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

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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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[Jul 14, 2019] Veselnitskaya testified to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in November 2017 that Browder's major American client, the Ziff brothers, had cheated on American and Russian taxes and contributed the "dirty money" to the Democrats

Jul 14, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

j2 , 13 July 2019 at 09:18 PM

Mr Johnson,
This would tie in to your (correct imo) observations of apparent untruths in the Mueller Dossier, and with Mr Habakkuk's comment above.

Re: The Trump Tower meeting and Russian attorney Veselnitskaya - journalist Lucy Komisar interviewed Veselnitskaya twice Nov 2018 iirc, and has found another apparent untruth. Komisar does not believe William Browder of Magnitsky Act fame, and Komisar's article backs up that claim, relating that to the Trump Tower meeting and the Mueller Dossier.

FTA - "the (Mueller) report on this topic is deceptive...the report itself lies about the issue the meeting addressed."

"It wasn't to provide dirt on Hillary Clinton...That was a ploy by Robert Goldstone...(Goldstone) got the lawyer (Veselnitskaya) the meeting for her to lobby a potentially incoming administration against the Magnitsky Act..."

"Veselnitskaya testified to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in November 2017 that Browder's major American client, the Ziff brothers, had cheated on American and Russian taxes and contributed the "dirty money" to the Democrats."

"The Mueller investigators appear not to have looked into her charges. The report promotes Browder's fabrications"
An informative read that verifies others who have said much the same. imo
https://www.thekomisarscoop.com/2019/07/mueller-report-gets-the-trump-tower-meeting-wrong-promotes-browder-hoax/


Komisar also interviewed with (who else?!) John Batchelor, and reveals a few more details.
https://audioboom.com/posts/7314020-what-did-we-know-about-the-russian-lawyer-natalia-vladimirovna-veselnitskaya-in-2016-lucykomisa


You and Mr Habakkuk should be aware Jeff Carlson (Epoch Times) is a "Q" follower (Trust The Plan), fwiw.
Aaron Mate, although a flaming Socialist Progressive, is top notch. imo

Thank you for your continuing research on this.
Thanks again to the Colonel for allowing the intrusion.
Regards.

[Jul 09, 2019] Epstein and the conversion of politicians into "corrupt and vulnerable" brand

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Epstein case has all the earmarks of CIA protection of an asset. ..."
"... Successful entry into politics requires candidates to first "tag themselves" with a "corrupted and venerable" "CAV" badge? ..."
"... Is the CAV Badge the weapon that has corrupted the intelligence services and stable of politicians in nearly every nation in the world? Did Colin Powell flash a CAV badge as he spoke to UN focus about the most likely presence of non existent WMDs that led to w__ in Iraq? ..."
Jul 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

lysias , Jul 9 2019 0:53 utc | 91

The Epstein case has all the earmarks of CIA protection of an asset.

snake , Jul 9 2019 4:03 utc | 99

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2019/07/08/trumpsteingate-the-coverup-of-donalds-little-girl-fetish-hits-high-gear/

Journalism. =>has disclosed the tunnel, and a few of its investigators are exploring its contents, expecting to find at the end of this tunnel Successful entry into politics requires candidates to first "tag themselves" with a "corrupted and venerable" "CAV" badge?

Wonder if this has traction in the persons involved in Grace I, the failure of JCPOA.

Is the CAV badge the weapon that has corrupted nearly every nation state in the western world?

Politicians make promises, and then within hours for unexplained reasons, reverse them..Hmmm?

Is the CAV Badge the weapon that has corrupted the intelligence services and stable of politicians in nearly every nation in the world? Did Colin Powell flash a CAV badge as he spoke to UN focus about the most likely presence of non existent WMDs that led to w__ in Iraq?

How can CAV badge victims be identified and isolated from politics?
The CAV badge could explain so many USA positive, American negative events?

[Jul 06, 2019] In practice, the USSR behaved exactly like a brutal totalitarian theocracy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Maher was right. I've been saying for decades -- since Brezhnev was still alive -- that the Soviet Union was a functional theocracy. ..."
"... In practice, the USSR behaved exactly like a brutal totalitarian theocracy would. They had an impersonal god (the theory of history that would lead inevitably to heaven on Earth) which the government treated as the source of their authority and their justification for everything they did in the name of the Revolution. ..."
"... They had a state church (the Communist Party -- no rivals allowed) that you needed to join to get anywhere in society. They had prophets (look what they did with Lenin after his death), saints (heroes of the Revolution), idols, sacred texts that could not be challenged, brutal suppression of other religions, witch hunts for heretics (anyone who opposed the Revolution). ..."
"... So yes: the USSR turned "communism" into their de facto state religion. ..."
Jul 03, 2019 | theamericanconservative.com

Douglas K 3 days ago • edited

To this day, Maher's response still leaves me dumbfounded: "I would say that's a secular religion." Before Douthat could ask what the hell a secular religion is, Maher changed the subject. The meaning of Maher's nonsensical statement was clear: everything Maher doesn't like is religion.

Maher was right. I've been saying for decades -- since Brezhnev was still alive -- that the Soviet Union was a functional theocracy. Sure, they didn't use God or angels or miracles in their rhetoric, but that's just surface trappings.

In practice, the USSR behaved exactly like a brutal totalitarian theocracy would. They had an impersonal god (the theory of history that would lead inevitably to heaven on Earth) which the government treated as the source of their authority and their justification for everything they did in the name of the Revolution.

They had a state church (the Communist Party -- no rivals allowed) that you needed to join to get anywhere in society. They had prophets (look what they did with Lenin after his death), saints (heroes of the Revolution), idols, sacred texts that could not be challenged, brutal suppression of other religions, witch hunts for heretics (anyone who opposed the Revolution).

So yes: the USSR turned "communism" into their de facto state religion. No, they didn't include personified invisible spirits in their ideology. But if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck ....

[Jun 30, 2019] Khrushchev and Mao

Notable quotes:
"... Mao only understood power. He sensed Khrushchev as 'weak' and acted as if he wanted to be the new Stalin. He also made international statements that made the US-USSR relations much worse. He berated Khrushchev for seeking co-existence with the West and pressed on for more World Revolution. ..."
"... It was all so stupid. China and Russia could have gotten along well if not for Mao's impetuosity. Of course, Khrushchev could be reckless, contradictory, and erratic, and his mixed signals to the West also heightened tensions. Also, he was caught between a rock and a hard place where the Eastern Bloc was concerned. He wanted to de-Stalinize, but this could lead to events like the Hungarian Uprising. ..."
Jun 30, 2019 | www.unz.com

Priss Factor , says: Website June 29, 2019 at 12:04 am GMT

Abrams is giving the West too much credit for the Sino-Soviet rift of the late 5os and 60s.

That was NOT the doing of the CIA or Western Europe. It was 90% the fault of Mao who tried to shove Khrushchev aside as the head of world communism. Because Stalin had treated Mao badly, Khrushchev wanted to make amends and treated Mao with respect. But Mao turned out to be a total a-hole. There are two kinds of people: Those who appreciate friendly gestures and those who seek kindness as 'weakness'.

It's like Hitler saw Chamberlain's offer as weakness and pushed ahead. Being kind is nice, but one should never be kind to psychopaths, and Khrushchev was nice to the wrong person.

Mao only understood power. He sensed Khrushchev as 'weak' and acted as if he wanted to be the new Stalin. He also made international statements that made the US-USSR relations much worse. He berated Khrushchev for seeking co-existence with the West and pressed on for more World Revolution.

He also ignored Soviet advice not to attempt radical economic policies (that were soon to bring China to economic ruin -- at least Stalin's collectivization led to rise of industry; in contrast, Mao managed to destroy both agriculture and heavy industry).

When Stalin was alive, he didn't treat Mao with any respect, and Mao disliked Stalin but still respected him because Mao understood Power. With Stalin gone, Khrushchev showed Mao some respect, but Mao felt no respect for Khrushchev who was regarded as a weakling and sucker.

It was all so stupid. China and Russia could have gotten along well if not for Mao's impetuosity. Of course, Khrushchev could be reckless, contradictory, and erratic, and his mixed signals to the West also heightened tensions. Also, he was caught between a rock and a hard place where the Eastern Bloc was concerned. He wanted to de-Stalinize, but this could lead to events like the Hungarian Uprising.

Anyway, Putin and Xi, perhaps having grown up in less turbulent times, are more stable and mature in character and temperament than Mao and Khrushchev. They don't see the Russo-China relations as a zero sum game of ego but a way for which both sides can come to the table halfway, which is all one can hope for.

[Jun 30, 2019] The Saker interviews A.B. Abrams about the geostrategic developments in Asia by The Saker

Notable quotes:
"... " China by contrast has historically conducted statecraft based on the concept of a civilization state – under which its strength is not measured by the weakness and subjugation of others but by its internal achievements. " ..."
"... In my view the Usa had an excellent opportunity to enact in a positive way after WW2 but blew it. The main reason was the failure to live up to the above quoted characterisation of the Chinese. To encourage potential achievers in the best sense of the word. ..."
"... Instead the Us oligarchy held back independent and creative thinking and brainwashed the population, in a way that weakened them. Jfk tried to encourage his countrymen but other forces prevailed. ..."
Jun 30, 2019 | www.unz.com

A.B. Abrams: In the introduction to this work I highlight that a fundamental shift in world order was facilitated by the modernization and industrialization of two Eastern nations – Japan under the Meiji Restoration and the USSR under the Stalinist industrialization program. Before these two events the West had retained an effective monopoly on the modern industrial economy and on modern military force. Russia's image is still affected by the legacy of the Soviet Union – in particular the way Soviet proliferation of both modern industries and modern weapons across much of the region was key to containing Western ambitions in the Cold War. Post-Soviet Russia has a somewhat unique position – with a cultural heritage influenced by Mongolia and Central Asia as well as by Europe. Politically Russia remains distinct from the Western Bloc, and perceptions of the country in East Asia have been heavily influenced by this. Perhaps today one the greatest distinctions is Russia's eschewing of the principle of sovereignty under international law and its adherence to a non-interventionist foreign policy. Where for example the U.S., Europe and Canada will attempt to intervene in the internal affairs of other parties – whether by cutting off parts for armaments , imposing economic sanctions or even launching military interventions under humanitarian pretexts – Russia lacks a history of such behavior which has made it a welcome presence even for traditionally Western aligned nations such as the Philippines, Indonesia and South Korea.

While the Western Bloc attempted to isolate the USSR from East and Southeast Asia by supporting the spread of anticommunist thought, this pretext for shunning Russia collapsed in 1991. Today the West has had to resort to other means to attempt to contain and demonize the country – whether labelling it a human rights abuser or threatening its economic and defense partners with sanctions and other repercussions. The success of these measures in the Asia-Pacific has varied – but as regional economies have come to rely less on the West for trade and grown increasingly interdependent Western leverage over them and their foreign policies has diminished.

Even when considered as a Western nation, the type of conservative Western civilization which Russia may be seen to represent today differs starkly from that of Western Europe and North America. Regarding a Russia Pivot to Asia, support for such a plan appears to have increased from 2014 when relations with the Western Bloc effectively broke down. Indeed, the Russia's future as a pacific power could be a very bright one – and as part of the up and coming northeast Asian region it borders many of the economies which appear set to dominate in the 21 st century – namely China, Japan and the Koreas. Peter the Great is known to have issued in a new era of Russian prosperity by recognizing the importance of Europe's rise and redefining Russia as a European power – moving the capital to St Petersburg. Today a similar though perhaps less extreme pivot Eastwards towards friendlier and more prosperous nations may be key to Russia's future.

The Saker: We hear many observers speak of an informal but very profound and even game-changing partnership between Putin's Russia and Xi's China. The Chinese even speak of a " strategic comprehensive partnership of coordination for the new era ". How would you characterize the current relationship between these two countries and what prospects do you see for a future Russian-Chinese partnership?

A.B. Abrams: A Sino-Russian alliance has long been seen in both the U.S. and in Europe as one of the greatest threats to the West's global primacy and to Western-led world order. As early as 1951 U.S. negotiators meeting with Chinese delegations to end the Korean War were instructed to focus on the differences in the positions of Moscow and Beijing in an attempt to form a rift between the two. Close Sino-Soviet cooperation seriously stifled Western designs for the Korean Peninsula and the wider region during that period, and it was repeatedly emphasized that the key to a Western victory was to bring about a Sino-Soviet split. Achieving this goal by the early 1960s and bringing the two powers very near to a total conflict significantly increased prospects for a Western victory in the Cold War, with the end of the previously united front seriously undermining nationalist and leftist movements opposing Western designs from Africa and the Middle East to Vietnam and Korea. Both states learned the true consequences of this in the late 1980s and early 1990s when there was a real risk of total collapse under Western pressure. Attempts to bring an end to China's national revolution through destabilization failed in 1989, although the USSR was less fortunate and the results for the Russian population in the following decade were grave indeed.

Today the Sino-Russian partnership has become truly comprehensive, and while Western experts from Henry Kissinger to the late Zbigniew Brzezinski among others have emphasized the importance of bringing about a new split in this partnership this strategy remains unlikely to work a second time. Both Beijing and Moscow learned from the dark period of the post-Cold War years that the closer they are together the safer they will be, and that any rift between them will only provide their adversaries with the key to bringing about their downfall. It is difficult to comprehend the importance of the Sino-Russian partnership for the security of both states without understanding the enormity of the Western threat – with maximum pressure being exerted on multiple fronts from finance and information to military and cyberspace. Where in the early 1950s it was only the Soviet nuclear deterrent which kept both states safe from very real Western plans for massive nuclear attacks, so too today is the synergy in the respective strengths of China and Russia key to protecting the sovereignty and security of the two nations from a very real and imminent threat. A few examples of the nature of this threat include growing investments in social engineering through social media – the results of have been seen in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Ukraine, a lowering threshold for nuclear weapons use by the United States – which it currently trains Western allies outside the NPT to deploy, and even reports from Russian and Korean sources of investments in biological warfare – reportedly being tested in Georgia, Eastern Europe and South Korea .

The partnership between Russia and China has become truly comprehensive, and is perhaps best exemplified by their military relations. From 2016 joint military exercises have involved the sharing of extremely sensitive information on missile and early warning systems – one of the most well kept defense secrets of any nuclear power which even NATO powers do not share with one another. Russia's defense sector has played a key role in the modernization of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, while Chinese investment has been essential to allowing Russia to continue research and development on next generation systems needed to retain parity with the United States. There is reportedly cooperation between the two in developing next generation weapons technologies for systems such as hypersonic cruise and anti aircraft missiles and new strategic bombers and fighter jets which both states plan to field by the mid-2020s. With the combined defense spending of both states a small fraction of that of the Western powers, which themselves cooperate closely in next generation defense projects, it is logical that the two should pool their resources and research and development efforts to most efficiently advance their own security.

Cooperation in political affairs has also been considerable, and the two parties have effectively presented a united front against the designs of the Western Bloc. In 2017 both issued strong warnings to the United States and its allies that they would not tolerate an invasion of North Korea – which was followed by the deployment of advanced air defense systems by both states near the Korean border with coverage of much of the peninsula's airspace. Following Pyongyang's testing of its first nuclear delivery system capable of reaching the United States , and renewed American threats against the East Asian country, China and Russia staged near simultaneous exercises near the peninsula using naval and marine units in a clear warning to the U.S. against military intervention. China's Navy has on several occasions deployed to the Mediterranean for joint drills with Russian forces – each time following a period of high tension with the Western Bloc over Syria.

In April 2018, a period of particularly high tensions between Russia and the Western Bloc over Western threats both to take military action against the Syrian government and to retaliate for an alleged but unproven Russian chemical weapons attack on British soil, the Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe traveled to Russia and more explicitly stated that the Sino-Russian partnership was aimed at countering Western designs. Referring to the Sino-Russian defense partnership as "as stable as Mount Tai" he stated : "the Chinese side has come to show Americans the close ties between the Armed Forces of China and Russia, especially in this situation. We have come to support you." A week later China announced large-scale live fire naval drills in the Taiwan Strait – which according to several analysts were scheduled to coincide with a buildup of Western forces near Syria. Presenting a potential second front was key to deterring the Western powers from taking further action against Russia or its ally Syria. These are but a few examples Sino-Russian cooperation, which is set to grow only closer with time.

The Saker: The US remains the most formidable military power in Asia, but this military power is being eroded as a result of severe miscalculations of the US political leadership. How serious a crisis do you think the US is now facing in Asia and how do you assess the risks of a military confrontation between the US and the various Asian powers (China, the Philippines, the DPRK, etc,).

A.B. Abrams: Firstly I would dispute that the United States is the most formidable military power in the region, as while it does retain a massive arsenal there are several indicators that it lost this position to China during the 2010s. Looking at combat readiness levels, the average age of weapons in their inventories, morale both publicly and in the armed forces, and most importantly the correlation of their forces, China appears to have an advantage should war break out in the Asia-Pacific. It is important to remember that the for the Untied States and its European allies in particular wars aren't fought on a chessboard. Only a small fraction of their military might can be deployed to the Asia-Pacific within a month of a conflict breaking out, while over 95% of Chinese forces are already on the region and are trained and armed almost exclusively for war in the conditions of the Asia-Pacific. In real terms the balance of military power regionally is in China's favor, and although the U.S. has tried to counter this with a military 'Pivot to Asia' initiative from 2011 this has ultimately failed due to both the drag from defense commitments elsewhere and the unexpected and pace at which China has expanded and modernized its armed forces.

For the time being the risk of direct military confrontation remains low, and while there was a risk in 2017 of American and allied action against the DPRK Pyongyang has effectively taken this option off the table with the development of a viable and growing arsenal of thermonuclear weapons and associated delivery systems alongside the modernization of its conventional capabilities. While the U.S. may have attempted to call a Chinese and Russian bluff by launching a limited strike – which seriously risked spiraling into something much larger – it is for the benefit of all regional parties including South Korea that the DPRK now has the ability to deter the United States without relying on external support. This was a historically unprecedented event, and as military technology has evolved it has allowed a small power for the first time to deter a superpower without relying on allied intervention. Changes in military technology such as the proliferation of the nuclear tipped ICBM make a shooting war less likely, but also alters the nature of warfare to place greater emphasis on information war, economic war and other new fields which will increasingly decide the global balance of power. Where America's answer to the resistance of China and North Korea in the 1950s to douse them with napalm, today winning over their populations through soft power, promoting internal dissent, placing pressure on their living standards and ensuring continued Western dominance of key technologies has become the new means of fighting.

That being said, there is a major threat of conflict in the Asia-Pacific of a different nature. Several organizations including the United Nations and the defense ministries of Russia, Singapore and Indonesia among others have warned of the dangers posed by Islamic terrorism to stability in the region. Radical Islamism, as most recently attested to by Saudi Arabia's crown prince , played a key role in allowing the Western Bloc to cement its dominance over the Middle East and North Africa – undermining Russian and Soviet aligned governments including Algeria, Libya, Egypt and Syria – in most cases with direct Western support. CIA Deputy Director Graham Fuller in this respect referred to the agency's "policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries." Several officials, from the higher brass of the Russian, Syrian and Iranian militaries to the former President of Afghanistan and the President of Turkey , have all alleged Western support for radical terror groups including the Islamic State for the sake of destabilizing their adversaries. As the Asia-Pacific has increasingly slipped out of the Western sphere of influence, it is likely that this asset will increasingly be put into play. The consequences of the spread of jihadism from the Middle East have been relatively limited until now, but growing signs of danger can be seen in Xinjiang, Myanmar, the Philippines and Indonesia. It is this less direct means of waging war which arguably poses the greatest threat.

The Saker: Do you think that we will see the day when US forces will have to leave South Korean, Japan or Taiwan?

A.B. Abrams: Other than a limited contingent of Marines recently deployed to guard the American Institute , U.S. forces are not currently stationed in Taiwan. The massive force deployed there in the 1950s was scaled down and American nuclear weapons removed in 1974 in response to China's acceptance of an alliance with the United States against the Soviet Union. Taiwan's military situation is highly precarious and the disparity in its strength relative to the Chinese mainland grows considerably by the year. Even a large American military presence is unlikely to change this – and just 130km from the Chinese mainland they would be extremely vulnerable and could be quickly isolated from external support in the event of a cross straits war. We could, however, see a small American contingent deployed as a 'trigger wire' – which will effectively send a signal to Beijing that the territory is under American protection and that an attempt to recapture Taiwan will involve the United States. Given trends in public opinion in Taiwan, and the very considerable pro-Western sentiments among the younger generations in particular, it is likely that Taipei will look to a greater rather than a lesser Western military presence on its soil in future.

Japan and particularly South Korea see more nuanced public opinion towards the U.S., and negative perceptions of an American military presence may well grow in future – though for different reasons in each country. Elected officials alone, however, are insufficient to move the American presence – as best demonstrated by the short tenure of Prime Minister Hatoyama in Japan and the frustration of President Moon's efforts to restrict American deployments of THAAD missile systems in his first year. It would take a massive mobilization of public opinion – backed by business interests and perhaps the military – to force such a change. This remains possible however, particularly as both economies grow increasingly reliant on China for trade and as the U.S. is seen to have acted increasingly erratically in response to challenges from Beijing and Pyongyang which has undermined its credibility. As to a voluntary withdrawal by the United States, this remains extremely unlikely. President Donald Trump ran as one of the most non-interventionist candidates in recent history, but even under him and with considerable public support prospects for a significant reduction in the American presence, much less a complete withdrawal, have remained slim.

The Saker: Some circles in Russia are trying very hard to frighten the Russian public opinion against China alleging things like "China want to loot (or even conquer!) Siberia", "China will built up its military and attack Russia" or "China with its huge economy will simply absorb small Russia". In your opinion are any of these fears founded and, if yes, which ones and why?

A.B. Abrams: A growth in Sinophobic sentiment in Russia only serves to weaken the nation and empower its adversaries by potentially threatening its relations with its most critical strategic partner. The same is applicable vice-versa regarding Russophobia in China. Given the somewhat Europhilic nature of the Russian state in a number of periods, including in the 1990s, and the considerable European soft influences in modern Russia, there are grounds for building up of such sentiment. Indeed Radio Free Europe, a U.S. government funded nonprofit broadcasting corporation with the stated purpose of "advancing the goals of U.S. foreign policy," notably published sinophobic content aimed at depicting the Russian people as victims of Chinese business interests to coincide with the Putin-XI summit in June 2019. However, an understanding of the modern Chinese state and its interests indicates that it does not pose a threat to Russia – and to the contrary is vital to Russia's national security interests. While Russia historically has cultural ties to the Western nations, the West has shown Russian considerable hostility throughout its recent history – as perhaps is most evident in the 1990s when Russia briefly submitted itself and sought to become part of the Western led order with terrible consequences. China by contrast has historically conducted statecraft based on the concept of a civilization state – under which its strength is not measured by the weakness and subjugation of others but by its internal achievements. A powerful and independent Russia capable of protecting a genuine rules based world order and holding lawless actors in check is strongly in the Chinese interest. It is clear that in Russia such an understanding exists on a state level, although there is no doubt that there will be efforts by external parties to turn public opinion against China to the detriment of the interests of both states.

The idea that China would seek to economically subjugate Russia, much less invade it, is ludicrous. It was from Europe were the major invasions of Russian territory came – vast European coalitions led by France and Germany respectively with a third American led attack planned and prepared for but stalled by the Soviet acquisition of a nuclear deterrent. More recently from the West came sanctions, the austerity program of the 1990s, the militarization of Eastern Europe, and the demonization of the Russian nation – all intended to subjugate and if possible shatter it. Even at the height of its power, China did not colonize the Koreans, Vietnamese or Japanese nor did it seek to conquer Central Asia. Assuming China will have the same goals and interests as a Western state would if they were in a similar position of strength is to ignore the lessons of history, and the nature of the Chinese national character and national interest.

The Saker: The Russian military is currently vastly more capable (even if numerically much smaller) than the Chinese. Does anybody in China see a military threat from Russia?

A.B. Abrams: There may be marginalized extreme nationalists in China who see a national security from almost everybody, but in mainstream discourse there are no such perceptions. To the contrary, Russia's immense contribution to Chinese security is widely recognized – not only in terms of technological transfers but also in terms of the value of the joint front the two powers have formed. Russia not only lacks a history of annexing East Asian countries or projecting force against them, but it is also heavily reliant on China in particular both to keep its defense sector active and to undermine Western attempts to isolate it. Russian aggression against China is unthinkable for Moscow – even if China did not possess its current military strength and nuclear deterrence capabilities. This is something widely understood in China and elsewhere.

I would dispute that Russia's military is vastly more capable than China's own, as other than nuclear weapons there is a similar level of capabilities in most sectors in both countries. While Russia has a lead in many key technologies such as hypersonic missiles, air defenses and submarines to name a few prominent examples, China has been able to purchase and integrate many of these into its own armed forces alongside the products of its own defense sector. Russia's most prominent fighter jet for example, the Flanker (in all derivatives from Su-27 to J-11D), is in fact fielded in larger numbers by China than by Russia itself – and those in Chinese service have access to both indigenous as well as Russian munitions and subsystems. Furthermore, there are some less critical but still significant sectors where China does appear to retain a lead – for example it deployed combat jets equipped with a new generation of active electronically scanned array radars and air to air missiles from 2017 (J-20 and in 2018 J-10C ) – while Russia has only done so this in July 2019 with the induction of the MiG-35. Whether this is due to a Chinese technological advantage, or to a greater availability of funds to deploy its new technologies faster, remains uncertain. Russia's ability to provide China with its most vital technologies, and China's willingness to rely so heavily on Russian technology to comprise so much of its inventory, demonstrates the level of trust between the two countries

The Saker: Do you think that China could become a military threat to other countries in the region (especially Taiwan, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, etc.)?

A.B. Abrams: I would direct you to a quote by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamed from March this year. He stated: "we always say, we have had China as a neighbor for 2,000 years, we were never conquered by them. But the Europeans came in 1509, in two years, they conquered Malaysia." This coming from a nationalist leader considered one of the most sinophobic in Southeast Asia, whose country has an ongoing territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea, bears testament to the nature of claims of a Chinese threat. It is critical not to make the mistake of imposing Western norms when trying to understand Chinese statecraft. Unlike the European states, China is not and has never been dependent on conquering others to enrich itself – but rather was a civilization state which measured its wealth by what it could its own people could produce. A harmonious relationship with India, Vietnam, the Philippines and others in which all states' sovereign and territorial integrity is respected is in the Chinese interest.

A second aspect which must be considered, and which bears testament to China's intentions, is the orientation of the country's armed forces. While the militaries of the United States and European powers such as Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium and France among others are heavily skewed to prioritize power projection overseas, China's military has made disproportionately small investments in power projection and is overwhelmingly tailored to territorial defense. While the United States has over 300 tanker aircraft deigned to refuel its combat jets midair and attack faraway lands, China has just three purpose-built tankers – less than Malaysia, Chile or Pakistan. The ratio of logistical to combat units further indicates that China's armed forces, in stark contrast to the Western powers, are heavily oriented towards defense and fighting near their borders.

This all being said, China does pose an imminent threat to the government in Taipei – although I would disagree with your categorization of Taiwan as a country. Officially the Republic of China (ROC- as opposed to the Beijing based People's Republic of China), Taipei has not declared itself a separate country but rather the rightful government of the entire Chinese nation. Taipei remains technically at war with the mainland, a conflict would have ended in 1950 if the U.S. had not placed the ROC under its protection. The fast growing strength of the mainland has shifted the balance of power dramatically should the conflict again break out into open hostilities. China has only to gain from playing the long game with Taiwan however – providing scholarships and jobs for its people to live on the mainland and thus undermining the demonization of the country and hostility towards a peaceful reunification. Taiwan's economic reliance on the mainland has also grown considerably, and these softer methods of bridging the gaps between the ROC and the mainland are key to facilitating unification. Meanwhile the military balance in the Taiwan Strait only grows more favorable for Beijing by the year – meaning there is no urgency to take military action. While China will insist on unification, it will seek to avoid doing so violently unless provoked.

The Saker: In conclusion: where in Asia do you see the next major conflict take place and why?

A.B. Abrams: The conflict in the Asia-Pacific is ongoing, but the nature of conflict has changed. We see an ongoing and so far highly successful de-radicalization effort in Xinjiang – which was taken in direct response to Western attempts to turn the province into 'China's Syria or China's Libya,' in the words of Chinese state media, using similar means. We see a harsh Western response to the Made in China 2025 initiative under which the country has sought to compete in key technological fields formerly monopolized by the Western Bloc and Japan – and the result of this will have a considerable impact on the balance of economic power in the coming years. We see direct economic warfare and technological competition between China and the United States – although the latter has so far refrained from escalating too far due to the potentially devastating impact reprisals could have. We further see an information war in full swing, with Sinophobic stories often citing 'anonymous sources' being propagated by Western media to target not only their own populations – but also to influence public opinion in Southeast Asia and elsewhere. Influence over third parties remains vital to isolating China and cementing the Western sphere of influence. Use of social media and social engineering, as the events of the past decade have demonstrated from the Middle East in 2011 to Hong Kong today, remains key and will only grow in its potency in the coming years. We also see a major arms race, with the Western Bloc investing heavily in an all new generation of weapons designed to leave existing Chinese and allied defenses obsolete – from laser air defenses to neutralize China's nuclear deterrent to sixth generation stealth fighters, new heavy bombers, new applications of artificial intelligence technologies and new hypersonic missiles.

All these are fronts of the major conflict currently underway, and the Obama and Trump administrations have stepped up their offensives to bring about a new 'end of history' much like that of the 1990s – only this time it is likely to be permanent. To prevail, China and Russia will need to cooperate at least as closely if not more so as the Western powers do among themselves.

The Saker: thank you very much for your time and answers!


anonymous [290] Disclaimer , says: June 27, 2019 at 2:18 pm GMT

That being said, there is a major threat of conflict in the Asia-Pacific of a different nature. Several organizations including the United Nations and the defense ministries of Russia, Singapore and Indonesia among others have warned of the dangers posed by Islamic terrorism to stability in the region. Radical Islamism, as most recently attested to by Saudi Arabia's crown prince, played a key role in allowing the Western Bloc to cement its dominance over the Middle East and North Africa – undermining Russian and Soviet aligned governments including Algeria, Libya, Egypt and Syria – in most cases with direct Western support. CIA Deputy Director Graham Fuller in this respect referred to the agency's "policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries." Several officials, from the higher brass of the Russian, Syrian and Iranian militaries to the former President of Afghanistan and the President of Turkey, have all alleged Western support for radical terror groups including the Islamic State for the sake of destabilizing their adversaries. As the Asia-Pacific has increasingly slipped out of the Western sphere of influence, it is likely that this asset will increasingly be put into play. The consequences of the spread of jihadism from the Middle East have been relatively limited until now, but growing signs of danger can be seen in Xinjiang, Myanmar, the Philippines and Indonesia. It is this less direct means of waging war which arguably poses the greatest threat.

There is hardly such a thing called "Islamic Terrorism." In most egregious cases, such as IS, etc., it can be shown that those lowlifes have been the mercenaries of the evil West and their accursed implant in the ME (and nowadays the hindutvars too), collectively the avowed enemies of true monotheism, Islam. I am including the recent Colombo attacks here.

How can any so-called "muslim" who is a tool-of-evil of the enemies of Islam, be a true muslim? How then can it be termed "Islamic Terror"? Perhaps "Islamic Apostate Terror" would be more suitable.

Of course, there are many other non-IS muslims who are called "terrorists." The Palestinians, the Kashmiris, etc. For us muslims, they are simply freedom fighters.

Finally, there are a few muslims who do kill in the name Islam the Charlie Hebdo killers, Bombay\Dhaka attackers, etc. Some of them are justified (due to intense provocations) and others not at all. I will leave it for others to judge which falls under which category. Perhaps the listed order will help decipher that.

It must be conceded, when it comes to setting the narrative of pure deceit, the West (and its minions, the Jooscum and their lickspittle, the hindutvars), like in all things bad, can be satanically good. We muslims are being decimated in the propaganda war.

We still got our True Monotheism though. The pagan/godless enemies of the Almighty One are doomed to fail against it. God willing.

Sean , says: June 27, 2019 at 6:19 pm GMT
The American system ran on immigration that kept discontent about massive inequality under control because a substantial proportion of the lowest SES were immigrants just glad to be in the US. The tAmerican ruling class decided they could make more money by offshoring everything that could be offshored and mass immigration to keep wags from going up in the non offshorable parts of the economy.

China and America's venal globalising elite had converging agendas, but could not fool the common people of America and their tribune . Even the military had began to get alarmed about the economic growth and technological progress of China, which had been benefiting from officially sanctioned preferential treatment by the US since Carter.

Free ride is over for China, we will see China's economic and military strength progressively tested. What America built it can break.

Russia will be secretly pleased

Cyrano , says: June 27, 2019 at 9:18 pm GMT
China was made an economic superpower by the US elites. Not because they felt sorry for China and wanted to speed up conversion to democracy by switching them to capitalist way of doing business first.

They made them an economic superpower, because the US elites have lost their marbles. They simply didn't see it coming. They wanted to turn China into one giant cheap sweatshop in order to exploit their population with a low paying manufacturing jobs, which were never supposed to make China reach.

But they did, because no matter how much the lost generation of the western elites were foaming at their mouths about knowledge based economy, value added economy, high tech jobs and the other crap, it is obvious that manufacturing remains a basis for any strong economy. That doesn't look like it's going to change even when you add robots to the mixture.

I think that Napoleon was right when he warned the world about waking up the sleeping dragon. First they made them an economic superpower, and now they want to contain them militarily. Good luck with that.

There is a reason why China wants to build the silk road. Silk road implies land. The US military has never been any good at land warfare. Neither where their predecessors – the British. China, on the other hand, showed in Korea that even then, with a backward army, equipped with handouts from the Soviet Union, they can pretty much trash the US army.

With the silk road initiative, China will seize the control of the entire Euro-Asian land mass – the most populous and economically productive region of the world and will be more than happy to let the US play pirates on the seas.

Priss Factor , says: Website June 29, 2019 at 12:04 am GMT
Abrams is giving the West too much credit for the Sino-Soviet rift of the late 5os and 60s.

That was NOT the doing of the CIA or Western Europe. It was 90% the fault of Mao who tried to shove Khrushchev aside as the head of world communism. Because Stalin had treated Mao badly, Krushchev wanted to make amends and treated Mao with respect. But Mao turned out to be a total a-hole. There are two kinds of people: Those who appreciate friendly gestures and those who seek kindness as 'weakness'.

It's like Hitler saw Chamberlain's offer as weakness and pushed ahead. Being kind is nice, but one should never be kind to psychopaths, and Khrushchev was nice to the wrong person.

Mao only understood power. He sensed Khrushchev as 'weak' and acted as if he wanted to be the new Stalin. He also made international statements that made the US-USSR relations much worse. He berated Khrushchev for seeking co-existence with the West and pressed on for more World Revolution.

He also ignored Soviet advice not to attempt radical economic policies (that were soon to bring China to economic ruin -- at least Stalin's collectivization led to rise of industry; in contrast, Mao managed to destroy both agriculture and heavy industry).

When Stalin was alive, he didn't treat Mao with any respect, and Mao disliked Stalin but still respected him because Mao understood Power. With Stalin gone, Khrushchev showed Mao some respect, but Mao felt no respect for Khrushchev who was regarded as a weakling and sucker.

It was all so stupid. China and Russia could have gotten along well if not for Mao's impetuosity. Of course, Khrushchev could be reckless, contradictory, and erratic, and his mixed signals to the West also heightened tensions. Also, he was caught between a rock and a hard place where the Eastern Bloc was concerned. He wanted to de-Stalinize, but this could lead to events like the Hungarian Uprising.

Anyway, Putin and Xi, perhaps having grown up in less turbulent times, are more stable and mature in character and temperament than Mao and Khrushchev. They don't see the Russo-China relations as a zero sum game of ego but a way for which both sides can come to the table halfway, which is all one can hope for.

Peter Grafström , says: June 29, 2019 at 10:21 am GMT
@Priss Factor You are probably right about Hitler seeing (Neville) Chamberlain as weak. But Hitler was a dupe for Britains much smarter and devious elites, who successfully played him to do their bidding. Hitler, along with the major members of the nazis, had been significantly influenced by Neville's elder cousin who spurred the nazis towards 'the ultimate solution'.

Instead of being weak in the manner Hitler may have thought, Neville saved Hitler from his own generals.

In historical turns , when Britain has appeared weak, it mostly is a deliberate faint.

Be it in Gallipoli, St Petersburg in 1919, Norway or Singapore in WW2.

Peter Grafström , says: June 29, 2019 at 10:38 am GMT
Commendable contribution by Mr Abrams to enlighten the confused western establishment.

" China by contrast has historically conducted statecraft based on the concept of a civilization state – under which its strength is not measured by the weakness and subjugation of others but by its internal achievements. "

In my view the Usa had an excellent opportunity to enact in a positive way after WW2 but blew it. The main reason was the failure to live up to the above quoted characterisation of the Chinese. To encourage potential achievers in the best sense of the word.

Instead the Us oligarchy held back independent and creative thinking and brainwashed the population, in a way that weakened them.
Jfk tried to encourage his countrymen but other forces prevailed.

Carlton Meyer , says: Website June 30, 2019 at 4:16 am GMT
Americans cannot understand our relations with China by looking at events just the past 75 years. During the century before, European imperial powers and the United States treated China as a open borders business opportunity backed by foreign military force. China was infested by mini-colonies to profit from China's riches. The "Opium Wars" shock decent Americans.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/sKgrb0oggfE?feature=oembed

[Jun 27, 2019] Containment Plan How Trump Can Challenge China s Rising Power

This is just think tank swamp vapor. No real analysis, no real recommendation on adaption of the USA to the collapse of global neoliberal system (aka the USA empire)
Jun 27, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

At the heart of the alignment between China and Russia is their shared interest in undermining U.S. influence globally. The two countries are united in their mutual displeasure with the United States and the U.S.-dominated international order that they feel disadvantages them. But while Russia and China may have initially banded together in discontent, their repeated engagement on areas of mutual interest is fostering a deeper and enduring partnership.

It is clear that China will pose the greatest challenge to U.S. interests for the foreseeable future, but Beijing's increasing collaboration with Moscow will amplify that challenge.

... ... ...

Washington must come to terms with this China-Russia alignment and work to address and manage it. To contain the depth of alignment, Washington must look for opportunities to strain the seams in the Russia-China relationship. Russia and China may be drawing closer, but their interests -- and especially their approaches -- are not identical. Russia and China compete in the Middle East, for example, for military sales and nuclear energy deals. And their very different approaches to Europe could be a source of strain. In communicating with Beijing, Washington should underscore how Russian interference in these countries could generate instability that threatens China's growing economic interests.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is focused on combating China's unfair economic practices, a worthy undertaking. But any trade war "victory" will be incomplete if Washington does not address Beijing's challenge, in collaboration with Moscow, to the very fabric of the rules-based order that underpins continued U.S. global leadership and prosperity. Washington will be ineffective if it seeks to go it alone. Pushing back against the illiberal influence of an aligned Russia and China will require the collective heft of Allies and partners. The time is ripe to tackle this issue with America's European Allies. Europe has grown more attuned to -- and concerned about -- the threat that China poses and shares the U.S. imperative to compete with Russia and China.

Andrea Kendall-Taylor is a senior fellow and director of the Center for New American Security's Transatlantic Security Center.


Gerald Newton an hour ago • edited ,

The US has got to stop engaging in undeclared wars. Russia and China sit by as the US squanders trillions fighting undeclared wars.

jrmagtago an hour ago ,

just divide russia and china which is a solution to your problem.

jrmagtago an hour ago ,

just divide russia and china which is a solution to your problem.

rippled 7 hours ago ,

Contents of the article correlate extremely poorly with the title... I don't see even a semblance of a "containment plan" other than a vague outline that US should ask EU countries something as of yet unspecified...

The usual think tank vapour...

GUSSIE91 9 hours ago ,

Putin and Xi will unite in addition of its allies NK, Iran etc due to the US supremacy ....

[Jun 26, 2019] Black Markets Show How Socialists Can't Overturn Economic Laws Zero Hedge

Jun 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Black Markets Show How Socialists Can't Overturn Economic Laws

by Tyler Durden Tue, 06/25/2019 - 22:45 3 SHARES

Authored by Allen Gindler via The Mises Institute,

If we consider economics to be an objective science, its rules should also have universal significance and use, despite differences in societal order. However, socialists of the materialist camp are committed to the idea that common ownership of the means of production would change the way economic laws unfold under socialism. Basically, they reject the notion of the universality and objectivity of economic rules by suggesting that the laws would change along with a change to the social formation.

Thus, communists adhered to the Marxian idea that socialism would rectify a "surplus value" law, end the "exploitation" of workers, and efficiently regulate the production, distribution, and consumption aspects of the economy. They sought to eliminate the market regulatory mechanism and replace it with directives of the central planning authority. Bolsheviks enthusiastically got down to business: they eradicated private property, collectivized everything and everyone, and implemented an official planned economy.

Did it effectively turn off market relations as they thought it would?

No. In contrast to the common perception, socialism has been unable to kill the market economy. The market went underground and turned into a black market. Black markets existed in capitalist countries as well, but they worked underground because they dealt in illegal commodities and services. The black market under socialism served the same purpose, but the list of commodities and services included mostly items of everyday and innocent consumption that people under capitalism could easily purchase in stores. Virtually all groups of personal consumption products found their way to the black market at some time and in some places. Everything from jar lids to toilet paper was subject to black-market relations.

Despite the proclaimed planned economy, people were engaged in market relations on all levels and trusted more the price of the goods and services that were established by the market and not dictated by the government. The official exchange rate of the ruble to the dollar was 0.66 to 1 in 1980. But nobody except party nomenclature was able to enjoy such a favorable exchange rate. At the same time, the black market offered 4 rubles for 1 American dollar.

There was no production of jeans in the Soviet Union, but like all their peers abroad, Soviet youth wore jeans. The price was 180–250 rubles for a pair depending on the brand, which was almost twice as much as the monthly wage of an entry-level engineer. A visiting nurse charged 1 ruble for one injection if a patient lived below the fifth floor. The price reached 1.5 rubles for patients who lived on the fifth floor and up. A plumber happily repaired a faucet for just a bottle of vodka.

Two Prices for Everything

Therefore, in the Soviet Union, any significant goods had two price tags: one real and another virtual. The state set the first price through some obscure methods; the usual mechanism of supply and demand established the second price on the market. If you were lucky, after several hours of standing in a queue, you could purchase goods at the state price. However, due to the chronic lack of everything for everyone, the same product could be bought on the black market at a much higher price. The virtual price became real on the black market and reflected the actual value of the goods for the buyer. The presence of two price tags is a confirmation of the thesis of Ludwig von Mises regarding the impossibility of economic calculations under socialism. At the same time, this is proof of the immortality and immutability of the economic laws of the free market, even under a totalitarian regime. Therefore, two economic systems and two sets of prices co-exist under socialism.

People were forced to use the services of the black market, even under the penalty of severe punishment, including up to the death penalty. Almost the entire society was engaged in various corruption schemes to support a certain standard of living. There was a paradoxical situation when the shelves of the supermarkets were empty, but refrigerators at home were more or less full. The black market was filled with smuggled goods from abroad, as well as commodities produced in underground workshops. But more often, everyday products were specifically kept from retail to create a shortage and sell them on the black market at a speculative price. Socialism had undermined the normal flows of production, distribution, and consumption by ignoring the objective laws of economics. Nevertheless, an underground market and the intrinsic entrepreneurial spirit of the people helped them survive the socialist madness.

Regardless of the proclaimed successes of the Soviet economy reported by Communist party leaders, the socialist economy was unable to compete with its capitalist counterparts. Communists decided to create a system that somehow mimicked the work that a free market had successfully and automatically performed for centuries. Thus, they introduced socialist competition that was supposed to replace free market competition. Surely enough, it was an inadequate and unfortunate replacement. The rewards for winners in the capitalist competition were far higher than for the winners under socialism. For example, the capitalist winner enjoyed a significant increase in well-being.

Moreover, the principal winner of the free market competition was society as a whole. This is a natural feature of a free market economy and the main reason why the evolution of human societies selected this mode of production. A competition during socialism gave to the winners some publicity, a certificate of honor, maybe a trip to a "sanatorium" (that is, a health spa), and other bagatelles that people usually did not appreciate. But most importantly, society as a whole did not enjoy a significant improvement in well-being.

People were not sufficiently stimulated and were underpaid, which explained the lower labor productivity compared to capitalist countries. Moreover, this is despite the notion that the means of production, at last, belong to the workers themselves. People had a famous saying that can be considered the quintessence of Soviet-style socialism: "They [the government] pretend to pay, and we pretend to work."

Socialism is a set of systems that try to artificially inhibit the free flow of objective economic laws by creating subjective barriers in the form of specific legislation and punitive policies . Socialists mistakenly think that if they assault private property and market relations, the economic laws will also change. They have taken up the task which, in principle, has no rational solution. Nothing good comes from the idea of ignoring or violating the fundamental laws of economics. These laws still exist, regardless of opinions and neglect to recognize their real character and the impossibility of changing them.

Socialism disrupts the evolutionary process and leads society to a dead end. The desperate economic situation of ordinary folks in Venezuela , Cuba , and North Korea -- the remnants of socialist undertakings -- is a direct result of building a society in defiance of the natural action of the fundamental law of economics. As a rule, socialist regimes were buying time by employing slave labor, plunder, coercion, and everything else that an aggressive totalitarian regime could offer. However, in the end, the means of socialistic life support was exhausted, and than returning to the natural and healthy market relations, where the laws of economics work for the benefit of the human race.

The same laws of market economics have worked in different human societies: from pre-historic to post-industrial, but still socialists continue to entertain the idea of tampering with these forces of nature.

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[Jun 23, 2019] A modern example is the oligarchs who carved up the commons in a collapsing and disintegrating Soviet Union

Notable quotes:
"... It's not entrepreneurial; it's base rent-seeking and it was a violent act of forced approbriation by denying natural rights to others. ..."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

NotWithoutMyMonkey , 6 Mar 2012 06:27

@johncj

So easy to say when you so blithely ignore the historical injustices, the inequality of opportunity and the theft - the first person to claim a parcel of land as their own exclusive property was committing an act of theft.

It's not entrepreneurial; it's base rent-seeking and it was a violent act of forced approbriation by denying natural rights to others.

The subsequent claims to title are enforced by the threat of violence through the emergence of a pervasive state.

A modern example is the oligarchs who carved up the commons in a collapsing and disintegrating Soviet Union. Their's was an act of theft committed against society and the common good. Your definition of freedom is predicated on theft and is a denial of natural freedoms,

[Jun 22, 2019] Putin about the economic war being waged against Russia after the Ukraine Coup in 2014.

Notable quotes:
"... "Let's go back to economic issues. Many people link these difficulties with the Western sanctions. By the way, the European Union again extended them today. Sometimes, there are appeals to make peace with everyone. If Russia complied with the West's demands and agreed to everything, would this benefit our economy in any way?" ..."
"... "Second, what would this give us and what would it not give us, and what would we lose? Look, according to expert analyses, Russia fell short by about $50 billion as a result of these restrictions during these years, starting in 2014. The European Union lost $240 billion, the US $17 billion (we have a small volume of trade with them) and Japan $27 billion. All this affects employment in these countries, including the EU: they are losing our market... ..."
"... "Now, the attack on Huawei: where does it come from and what is its objective? The objective is to hold back the development of China, the country that has become a global rival of another power, the United States. The same is happening with Russia, and will continue to happen , so if we want to occupy a worthy place under the sun, we must become stronger, including, and above all, in the economy." [My Emphasis] ..."
"... Dealing with Putin's bolded remark is a question not just for Russia, China and Iran; it's a question for the entire world and harkens back to the words of George Kennan I cited a few days ago about the USA needing a policy to continue its economic dominance of the planet he uttered in 1947, the policy that became The Anti-Communist Crusade covering for its actual Super Imperialism policy to retain that dominance. ..."
"... What's happening is a titanic struggle to make the Outlaw US Empire cease pursuing that policy. ..."
Jun 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jun 21, 2019 6:34:03 PM | 189

I'd like barflies to ponder the following thought/probability: Radar Saturated Environment--radiation not from just individual, discreet, identifiable points, but from such a vast multitude that no single point can be discerned.

To further my brainstorming de-escalation, I'd like to point out what Putin said in his Direct Line yesterday about the economic war being waged against Russia in accordance with the Ukraine Coup in 2014. Pavel Zarubin asks:

"Let's go back to economic issues. Many people link these difficulties with the Western sanctions. By the way, the European Union again extended them today. Sometimes, there are appeals to make peace with everyone. If Russia complied with the West's demands and agreed to everything, would this benefit our economy in any way?"

I thought this a capital question very similar to Iran's dilemma. Putin's response is quite long, so I won't cite it all. Rather, I'll limit it to his initial reply and conclusion as they both deal with the Big Picture:

"First, what does it mean 'to make peace'? We have not fought with anyone and have no desire to fight with anyone.

"Second, what would this give us and what would it not give us, and what would we lose? Look, according to expert analyses, Russia fell short by about $50 billion as a result of these restrictions during these years, starting in 2014. The European Union lost $240 billion, the US $17 billion (we have a small volume of trade with them) and Japan $27 billion. All this affects employment in these countries, including the EU: they are losing our market....

"Now to the question of whether some things would be different if we give in and abandon our fundamental national interests. We are not talking about reconciliation here. Perhaps there will be some external signals, but no drastic change. Look, the People's Republic of China has nothing to do with Crimea and Donbass, does it? We are accused of occupying Donbass, which is nonsense and a lie.

But China has nothing to do with it, and yet the tariffs for Chinese goods are rising, which is almost the same as sanctions.

"Now, the attack on Huawei: where does it come from and what is its objective? The objective is to hold back the development of China, the country that has become a global rival of another power, the United States. The same is happening with Russia, and will continue to happen , so if we want to occupy a worthy place under the sun, we must become stronger, including, and above all, in the economy." [My Emphasis]

This year's Direct Line was as usual filled with domestic issues some that lead to foreign policy issues. The overall scope and distinctness of the minutia are as vast as Russia. I've followed these over the years and note they reveal Russia's strengths and fragilities. I'm tempted to cite more but will leave it to the reader to pursue, but after 90 minutes you still won't be finished because the transcript isn't yet complete, which while frustrating is also amazing.

Dealing with Putin's bolded remark is a question not just for Russia, China and Iran; it's a question for the entire world and harkens back to the words of George Kennan I cited a few days ago about the USA needing a policy to continue its economic dominance of the planet he uttered in 1947, the policy that became The Anti-Communist Crusade covering for its actual Super Imperialism policy to retain that dominance.

What's happening is a titanic struggle to make the Outlaw US Empire cease pursuing that policy.

[Jun 21, 2019] The shadow economy in the USSR how it all began

Jun 21, 2019 | weaponews.com

The question about the causes of the collapse and destruction of the Soviet Union – is not idle. It does not lose its relevance today, 22 years after occurred the death of the Soviet Union . Why? because some on the basis of this event concluded that, say, the capitalist model of the economy more competitive, more efficient and has no alternatives. American political scientist Francis Fukuyama after the collapse of the Soviet Union even hastened to declare that it was the "End of history": humanity has reached the highest and last stage of its development in the form of a universal, global capitalism. The relevance of studying the shadow economy, ssco opinion of this kind of political scientists, sociologists and economists, discussing the socialist economic model does not deserve attention.

Better to focus on improving the capitalist model of the economy, i. E. A model that targets all members of society to the enrichment, and a means of enrichment (profit) is the exploitation of one person by another. However, there are such "Natural" attributes of the capitalist model of social and income inequality, competition, cyclical crises, bankruptcies, unemployment and the like. All proposed improvements are aimed only at mitigating the inhuman consequences of capitalism that is reminiscent of utopian attempts to limit the appetite of a wolf devouring a sheep. We proceed from the fact that the key socio-economic characteristics of the socialist model are welfare for all members of society (goal), public ownership of the means of production (the main means), income generation solely for labor, planned nature of the economy, centralization of management, command positions of the state in the economy, the social consumption funds, the limited nature of commodity-money relations and so on. While this refers to the well-being not only in the form of products and services that are vital (biological) needs of the person.

This would also include public safety and defense, education, culture, conditions of work and rest. Of course, socialism – not only the economy and social relations. It also implies a certain type of political power, ideology, a high level of spiritually-moral development of society and another. High moral and spiritual requests should assume that there are higher goals in relation to socio-economic objectives.

But let's focus now is on the socio-economic aspect of the socialist model. So the erosion of the socialist model began long before the tragic events of december 1991, when it signed the infamous agreement on the division of the ussr in the bialowieza forest. It was already the final act of the political order. It is not only the date of death of the ussr, and date of full legalization of a new socio-economic model, which is called "Capitalism". However, implicitly capitalism germinated in the depths of soviet society for nearly three decades.

The soviet economy de facto has acquired the traits of a mixed. It combined socialist and capitalist structures. However, some foreign researchers and politicians said that de facto in the Soviet Union there was a complete restoration of capitalism in the 1960-ies – 1970-ies. The restoration of capitalism was linked to the emergence and development in the bowels of the ussr the so-called shadow or "Second" economy.

In particular, in the early 1960-ies member of the german communist party willy dickhut began publishing their articles, which stated that since coming to power in our country n. With. Khrushchev happened (not started, but it happened!) the restoration of capitalism in the ussr. The shadow economy functioned on the principles different from the socialist. Anyway, she was tied to corruption, embezzlement of state property, receipt of unearned income, in violation of the laws (or use of "Holes" in the legislation). Not to be confused with the shadow economy "Informal" economy, which is not contrary to the laws and principles of the socialist system, but complemented the economy "Official".

First of all, this self-employment – for example, the work of the farmer on the plot or the citizen in his summer cottage. And in the best of times (under stalin) widely developed the so-called fishing cooperation, which was occupied by production of consumer goods and services. In the Soviet Union state and party authorities chose to ignore the phenomenon of the shadow economy. No, of course, the police had uncovered and suppressed various operations in the sphere of the shadow economy. But the leaders of the ussr, commenting on this kind of history, fobbed off with phrases such as "Exception", "Some shortcomings", "Defects", "Bugs" and the like.

For example, in the early 1960-ies of the then first deputy of the ussr council of ministers anastas mikoyan has identified black market in the Soviet Union as "A handful of some dirty foam appearing on the surface of our society. "The shadow economy of the ussr: acincinnati some serious research shadow ("Second") economy in the ussr was conducted until the late 1980-ies. Abroad, such studies came first. First of all we should mention the work of american sociologist gregory grossman (university of california), which was called "Destructive independence. The historical role of genuine trends in soviet society".

She became widely known after was published in 1988 in the book "The light at the end of the tunnel" (university of berkeley, edited by stephen f. Cohen). However, the first article of grossman on this topic appeared in 1977 and was called "The second economy in the ussr (journal problems of communism, september-october 1977). You can also mention the book emigrated to the United States , the soviet lawyer konstantin simis "Corruption in the Soviet Union – the secret underground world of soviet capitalism", published in 1982. The author in the 1970-ies is closely in contact with some shady businessman, a lawyer which he performed at the trials.

However, quantitative assessments of shadow ("Second") economy k. Simes does not. Later appeared the work of american sociologists and economists of Russian origin Vladimir tremlia and michael alexeev. Since 1985, gregory grossman and Vladimir treml produce periodic collections of the "Second economy" of the ussr. Releases continued until 1993, only 51 were published a study involving 26 authors.

Many studies represented surveys of families of immigrants from the Soviet Union (a total of 1061 family). To studies have also used surveys of emigrants from other socialist countries, the official statistics of the ussr, publications in mass media and scientific journals of the Soviet Union . Despite the differences in some quantitative estimates of the individual authors, these differences were not fundamental. The differences arose due to the fact that some authors considered "Informal economy", the other – the shadow economy; however, their definitions of both economies could not match. Here are some results of these studies. 1.

In 1979 the illicit manufacture of wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages, as well as speculative resale of alcoholic beverages produced in the "First economy", provided the income, equal to 2. 2% of gnp (gross national product). 2. In the late 1970-ies in the ussr was flourishing black market gasoline. From 33 to 65% of purchases of gasoline in urban areas of the country, individual owners of cars had petrol sold by drivers of public enterprises and organizations (gasoline were sold at a price below the state). 3. In the soviet hairdresser 'left' incomes exceeded the amounts that customers have paid through cash.

This is just one example of what some state-owned enterprises de facto belonged to the "Second" economy. 4. In 1974 the share of employment in private and home gardens accounted for almost a third of the total working time in agriculture. And this was almost 10% of the total working time in the soviet economy. 5. In the 1970-ies, about a quarter of agricultural products produced on private plots, much of it was directed at kolkhoz markets. 6.

In the late 1970's, around 30% of all income of the urban population was obtained through various types of private activity – both legal and illegal. 7. By the end of 1970-ies the proportion of people employed in the "Second economy", reached 10-12% of the total workforce in the ussr. At the end of 1980-ies there appeared a number of works on the shadow and "Second" economy in the ussr. First and foremost is the publication of the soviet economist tatyana results and director of the research institute of the state planning commission valery rutgajzer. Here is the data from the t.

The results of the "Shadow economy of the ussr". The annual value of illegally produced goods and services in the early 1960-ies amounted to about 5 billion rubles, and in the end of 1980-ies was already reached 90 billion rubles. At current prices, the gnp of the ussr was (in billions of rubles): in 1960 – 195; in 1990, 701. Thus, the economy of the ussr for thirty years has increased 3. 6 times, and the shadow economy – 14 times.

If in 1960 the shadow economy relative to official gdp was 3. 4%, while by 1988 this figure rose to 20%. However, in 1990 it was equal to 12. 5%. This decline was due to changes in soviet legislation, which transferred to discharge a legal a range of economic activities, which were previously considered illegal. The number of employed in the shadow economy, estimated to be the results, in the beginning of 1960-ies was 6 million people, and in 1974 their number increased to 17-20 million people (6-7% of the population). In 1989, the such shadow was already 30 million people, or 12% of the population of the ussr. The threats and consequences of the development of the shadow economy in sssri american and soviet researchers pay attention to some features of the shadow economy and its impact on the overall situation in the Soviet Union .

[Jun 15, 2019] U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia s Power Grid by David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth

Comments published by NYT draw a very sad picture of paranoid, brainwashed society. Very few critical comments (less then a dozen), while number of jingoistic and otherwise stupid comments is in the hundreds). This is very sad, if not tragic.
Petty CIA-controlled provocateurs from Grey Prostitute. Hacking national grid means war.. Bolton needs to be fired for jingoism and stupidity.
I am pretty sure that two of those warmongering neocons David E. Sanger Nicole Perlroth ( MadCow disease.
Do those two presstitutes and their handlers accurately calculated possible reaction from Moscow on such "revelations"?
From comments: "It is horrible to think that we have our of control counterintelligence agencies with their own agenda operating as independent forces capable of dragging the country into international conflict "
From comments: "Aggressive malware intrusions into foreign countries' sensitive (and sovereign) computer systems is now seen as a standard security procedure. "Gunboat diplomacy" is not an apt metaphor, as gunboats remained at discreet distances from borders. Our cyber policy is more akin to placing bombs in the public squares of foreign cities with threats to detonate. "
Notable quotes:
"... But in a public appearance on Tuesday, President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was now taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort "to say to Russia, or anybody else that's engaged in cyberoperations against us, 'You will pay a price.'" ..."
"... Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place "implants" -- software code that can be used for surveillance or attack -- inside the Russian grid. ..."
"... Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister. ..."
"... The intent of the operations was described in different ways by several current and former national security officials. Some called it "signaling" Russia, a sort of digital shot across the bow. Others said the moves were intended to position the United States to respond if Mr. Putin became more aggressive. ..."
"... Already, such attacks figure in the military plans of many nations. In a previous post, General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country. ..."
"... How Mr. Putin's government is reacting to the more aggressive American posture described by Mr. Bolton is still unclear. "It's 21st-century gunboat diplomacy," said Robert M. Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas, who has written extensively about the shifting legal basis for digital operations. "We're showing the adversary we can inflict serious costs without actually doing much. We used to park ships within sight of the shore. Now, perhaps, we get access to key systems like the electric grid." ..."
"... successful attack on Iranian centrifuges as one example ..."
"... Not willing to discuss it with the President but happy to chat about it with reporters..? ..."
"... This scenario sounds like something straight out of Dr, Strangelove. All sides and all actors need to realize that this is a no win game, with the very real possibility of serious harm to the lives and livelihoods of millions of people hanging in the balance. ..."
"... It's a macho power game that can easily escalate into unintended and out-of-control consequences. As with prior successful nuclear test ban negotiations & treaties we need to step back and consider what's truly in the long-term national interests of all concerned. The citizens of all the countries involved are not pawns to be played with like disposable chess pieces, in a power game with no real winners. ..."
"... This turn of events is truly disturbing, as it presents the seriousness, now, of how cyberwar is more likely a prelude to actual war ..."
"... Restated, the Commander In Chief is not briefed on military operations for fear of betrayal. I feel like I'm going nuts. Someone please tell me what is going on in this country! ..."
Jun 15, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

WASHINGTON -- The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia's electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said.

In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia's grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow's disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections.

Advocates of the more aggressive strategy said it was long overdue, after years of public warnings from the Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I. that Russia has inserted malware that could sabotage American power plants, oil and gas pipelines, or water supplies in any future conflict with the United States.

But it also carries significant risk of escalating the daily digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow. Advertisement

The administration declined to describe specific actions it was taking under the new authorities, which were granted separately by the White House and Congress last year to United States Cyber Command, the arm of the Pentagon that runs the military's offensive and defensive operations in the online world.

But in a public appearance on Tuesday, President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was now taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort "to say to Russia, or anybody else that's engaged in cyberoperations against us, 'You will pay a price.'"

Power grids have been a low-intensity battleground for years. Since at least 2012, current and former officials say, the United States has put reconnaissance probes into the control systems of the Russian electric grid. But now the American strategy has shifted more toward offense, officials say, with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before. It is intended partly as a warning, and partly to be poised to conduct cyberstrikes if a major conflict broke out between Washington and Moscow.

The commander of United States Cyber Command, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, has been outspoken about the need to "defend forward" deep in an adversary's networks to demonstrate that the United States will respond to the barrage of online attacks aimed at it. President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort to warn anybody "engaged in cyberoperations against us." Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

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President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort to warn anybody "engaged in cyberoperations against us." Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

"They don't fear us," he told the Senate a year ago during his confirmation hearings.

But finding ways to calibrate those responses so that they deter attacks without inciting a dangerous escalation has been the source of constant debate.

Mr. Trump issued new authorities to Cyber Command last summer, in a still-classified document known as National Security Presidential Memoranda 13, giving General Nakasone far more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without receiving presidential approval.

But the action inside the Russian electric grid appears to have been conducted under little-noticed new legal authorities, slipped into the military authorization bill passed by Congress last summer. The measure approved the routine conduct of "clandestine military activity" in cyberspace, to "deter, safeguard or defend against attacks or malicious cyberactivities against the United States."

Under the law, those actions can now be authorized by the defense secretary without special presidential approval.

"It has gotten far, far more aggressive over the past year," one senior intelligence official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity but declining to discuss any specific classified programs. "We are doing things at a scale that we never contemplated a few years ago."

The critical question -- impossible to know without access to the classified details of the operation -- is how deep into the Russian grid the United States has bored. Only then will it be clear whether it would be possible to plunge Russia into darkness or cripple its military -- a question that may not be answerable until the code is activated. Sign Up for On Politics With Lisa Lerer

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Both General Nakasone and Mr. Bolton, through spokesmen, declined to answer questions about the incursions into Russia's grid. Officials at the National Security Council also declined to comment but said they had no national security concerns about the details of The New York Times's reporting about the targeting of the Russian grid, perhaps an indication that some of the intrusions were intended to be noticed by the Russians.

Speaking on Tuesday at a conference sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Bolton said: "We thought the response in cyberspace against electoral meddling was the highest priority last year, and so that's what we focused on. But we're now opening the aperture, broadening the areas we're prepared to act in."

He added, referring to nations targeted by American digital operations, "We will impose costs on you until you get the point." Gen. Paul Nakasone, the commander of United States Cyber Command, was given more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without obtaining presidential approval.

Gen. Paul Nakasone, the commander of United States Cyber Command, was given more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without obtaining presidential approval. Credit Erin Schaff for The New York Times

Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place "implants" -- software code that can be used for surveillance or attack -- inside the Russian grid.

Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister.

Because the new law defines the actions in cyberspace as akin to traditional military activity on the ground, in the air or at sea, no such briefing would be necessary, they added.

The intent of the operations was described in different ways by several current and former national security officials. Some called it "signaling" Russia, a sort of digital shot across the bow. Others said the moves were intended to position the United States to respond if Mr. Putin became more aggressive.

So far, there is no evidence that the United States has actually turned off the power in any of the efforts to establish what American officials call a "persistent presence" inside Russian networks, just as the Russians have not turned off power in the United States. But the placement of malicious code inside both systems revives the question of whether a nation's power grid -- or other critical infrastructure that keeps homes, factories, and hospitals running -- constitutes a legitimate target for online attack.

Already, such attacks figure in the military plans of many nations. In a previous post, General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country.

How Mr. Putin's government is reacting to the more aggressive American posture described by Mr. Bolton is still unclear. "It's 21st-century gunboat diplomacy," said Robert M. Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas, who has written extensively about the shifting legal basis for digital operations. "We're showing the adversary we can inflict serious costs without actually doing much. We used to park ships within sight of the shore. Now, perhaps, we get access to key systems like the electric grid."

Russian intrusion on American infrastructure has been the background noise of superpower competition for more than a decade.

A successful Russian breach of the Pentagon's classified communications networks in 2008 prompted the creation of what has become Cyber Command. Under President Barack Obama, the attacks accelerated. But Mr. Obama was reluctant to respond to such aggression by Russia with counterattacks, partly for fear that the United States' infrastructure was more vulnerable than Moscow's and partly because intelligence officials worried that by responding in kind, the Pentagon would expose some of its best weaponry.

At the end of Mr. Obama's first term, government officials began uncovering a Russian hacking group, alternately known to private security researchers as Energetic Bear or Dragonfly. But the assumption was that the Russians were conducting surveillance, and would stop well short of actual disruption.

That assumption evaporated in 2014, two former officials said, when the same Russian hacking outfit compromised the software updates that reached into hundreds of systems that have access to the power switches.

"It was the first stage in long-term preparation for an attack," said John Hultquist, the director of intelligence analysis at FireEye, a security company that has tracked the group.

In December 2015, a Russian intelligence unit shut off power to hundreds of thousands of people in western Ukraine. The attack lasted only a few hours, but it was enough to sound alarms at the White House.

A team of American experts was dispatched to examine the damage, and concluded that one of the same Russian intelligence units that wreaked havoc in Ukraine had made significant inroads into the United States energy grid, according to officials and a homeland security advisory that was not published until December 2016. Advertisement

"That was the crossing of the Rubicon," said David J. Weinstein, who previously served at Cyber Command and is now chief security officer at Claroty, a security company that specializes in protecting critical infrastructure.

In late 2015, just as the breaches of the Democratic National Committee began, yet another Russian hacking unit began targeting critical American infrastructure, including the electricity grid and nuclear power plants. By 2016, the hackers were scrutinizing the systems that control the power switches at the plants. In 2012, the defense secretary at the time, Leon E. Panetta, was warned of Russia's online intrusions, but President Barack Obama was reluctant to respond to such aggression by Moscow with counterattacks. Credit Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

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In 2012, the defense secretary at the time, Leon E. Panetta, was warned of Russia's online intrusions, but President Barack Obama was reluctant to respond to such aggression by Moscow with counterattacks. Credit Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Until the last few months of the Obama administration, Cyber Command was largely limited to conducting surveillance operations inside Russia's networks. At a conference this year held by the Hewlett Foundation, Eric Rosenbach, a former chief of staff to the defense secretary and who is now at Harvard, cautioned that when it came to offensive operations "we don't do them that often." He added, "I can count on one hand, literally, the number of offensive operations that we did at the Department of Defense."

But after the election breaches and the power grid incursions, the Obama administration decided it had been too passive.

Mr. Obama secretly ordered some kind of message-sending action inside the Russian grid, the specifics of which have never become public. It is unclear whether much was accomplished.

"Offensive cyber is not this, like, magic cybernuke where you say, 'O.K., send in the aircraft and we drop the cybernuke over Russia tomorrow,'" Mr. Rosenbach said at the conference, declining to discuss specific operations.

After Mr. Trump's inauguration, Russian hackers kept escalating attacks.

Mr. Trump's initial cyberteam decided to be far more public in calling out Russian activity. In early 2018, it named Russia as the country responsible for " the most destructive cyberattack in human history ," which paralyzed much of Ukraine and affected American companies including Merck and FedEx.

When General Nakasone took over both Cyber Command and the N.S.A. a year ago, his staff was assessing Russian hackings on targets that included the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation , which runs a nuclear power plant near Burlington, Kan., as well as previously unreported attempts to infiltrate Nebraska Public Power District's Cooper Nuclear Station, near Brownville. The hackers got into communications networks, but never took over control systems.

In August, General Nakasone used the new authority granted to Cyber Command by the secret presidential directive to overwhelm the computer systems at Russia's Internet Research Agency -- the group at the heart of the hacking during the 2016 election in the United States. It was one of four operations his so-called Russia Small Group organized around the midterm elections. Officials have talked publicly about those, though they have provided few details.

But the recent actions by the United States against the Russian power grids, whether as signals or potential offensive weapons, appear to have been conducted under the new congressional authorities.

As it games out the 2020 elections, Cyber Command has looked at the possibility that Russia might try selective power blackouts in key states, some officials said. For that, they said, they need a deterrent.

In the past few months, Cyber Command's resolve has been tested. For the past year, energy companies in the United States and oil and gas operators across North America discovered their networks had been examined by the same Russian hackers who successfully dismantled the safety systems in 2017 at Petro Rabigh, a Saudi petrochemical plant and oil refinery.

The question now is whether placing the equivalent of land mines in a foreign power network is the right way to deter Russia. While it parallels Cold War nuclear strategy, it also enshrines power grids as a legitimate target.

"We might have to risk taking some broken bones of our own from a counterresponse, just to show the world we're not lying down and taking it," said Robert P. Silvers, a partner at the law firm Paul Hastings and former Obama administration official. "Sometimes you have to take a bloody nose to not take a bullet in the head down the road." David E. Sanger reported from Washington, and Nicole Perlroth from San Francisco


Bitsy Fort Collins, CO 6h ago Times Pick

See the Zero Days documentary, available on several streaming services, if you want to better understand this issue and its origins and early applications (successful attack on Iranian centrifuges as one example). This cat has been out of the bag for some time.
Dubliner Dublin 6h ago Times Pick
Not willing to discuss it with the President but happy to chat about it with reporters..? If the President didn't know about it he does now, so it's hardly a successful strategy. I would presume this is more a way to convince the public that something is being done. Whether there is reality behind it is a different issue.
Stan Chaz Brooklyn,New York 6h ago Times Pick
This scenario sounds like something straight out of Dr, Strangelove. All sides and all actors need to realize that this is a no win game, with the very real possibility of serious harm to the lives and livelihoods of millions of people hanging in the balance.

It's a macho power game that can easily escalate into unintended and out-of-control consequences. As with prior successful nuclear test ban negotiations & treaties we need to step back and consider what's truly in the long-term national interests of all concerned. The citizens of all the countries involved are not pawns to be played with like disposable chess pieces, in a power game with no real winners.

David Henderson Arlington, VA 6h ago Times Pick
On the cyber playing field, the U.S. has so far shown itself still in the minor leagues against other nations. If the U.S. is so bold as to reveal action against Russia's power grid, we'd be best advised to stock up on candles and batteries.
B. Rothman NYC 6h ago Times Pick
And here is yet another reason for the US to get off the use of public utilities alone for the production of electricity. A big goal for national security ought to be the decentralization of electrical production. Businesses and many individual households could do this and create a manufacturing boom at the same time. Too bad the guys in charge are so fixated on making energy money in way only.
newsmaned Carmel IN 6h ago Times Pick
What's most disturbing about this article is that Trump hasn't been told much about it, out of concern he could screw it up. It raises the question of how much the president is actually The President or just an obstacle to be managed while parts of the federal government are haring off on their own into uncharted waters.
TMah Salt Lake City 10h ago Times Pick
The US Military revealing that they have done this means that they believe that they have established superiority with this malware, and also the ability to re-establish it if needed. Else, why would they reveal it. If you think what a patchwork the controls on US Power systems, dams, and other key infrastructure are, Russia's must be in much worse shape. Their national systems are likely made up largely of outdated infrastructure, with controls that are a patchwork. Their economy is the size of Italy's, yet they funnel inordinate amounts of money to their armed forces, starving other areas. Their economy is based on petroleum and natural gas, using technology and expertise from European and American companies --just imagine what opportunities that provides.
Bruce1253 San Diego 10h ago Times Pick
We are extremely vulnerable here. The US power grid is made up of a series of local systems that are tied together with high voltage interconnects that allow power to be sent from one system to another to balance loads. Those interconnects are powered by a few, very few, specialized transformers.

These transformers are huge, expensive, and take a long time to build. Disruption of these transformers would have devastating consequences. Several years ago we got a taste of this in SoCal. There was a region wide power outage. The back up generators for business's promptly kicked in, no problem. The power outage lasted longer than their fuel supply, you could not drive to the gas station to get more fuel, all of SoCal was without power. One by one these businesses and other critical operations shutdown. Now try to imagine you life with no power at all for just a short time, say a week. . . .

Telly55 St Barbara 10h ago Times Pick
This turn of events is truly disturbing, as it presents the seriousness, now, of how cyberwar is more likely a prelude to actual war. But what it most alarming is that we have a President who cannot be trusted to honor the institutional frameworks around National Security and our own Intelligence Institutions and organization. It is the height of incredulity to know that his narcissism, coupled with his sense of authoritarian marriage to wealth and delusions of Royalty, is the weakest point, now, in our security as a nation. So--given these new developments: what about all those earlier attempt to create "back channels" with Russia???

Does Trump feign arrogance and disinterest in reading and keeping up on Security and Intelligence briefings--so that he can assimilate what he chooses to "hear/grasp" and then operate on such information as it might fit is grifter family's greed and faux aristocratic delusions? There is much to worry us--and it is worse than daily lies...

William Romp, Vermont | June 15

It is telling that the language of military "defense" has become indistinguishable from that of military offense. Aggressive malware intrusions into foreign countries' sensitive (and sovereign) computer systems is now seen as a standard security procedure. "Gunboat diplomacy" is not an apt metaphor, as gunboats remained at discreet distances from borders. Our cyber policy is more akin to placing bombs in the public squares of foreign cities with threats to detonate.

Absent in this discussion is the distinction between military targets of cyber warfare and civilian targets, if such distinctions remain. America prepares to unplug millions of Russian citizens, including the elderly and children, plus hospitals and other sensitive civilian infrastructure targets, in order to "inflict pain" (on foreign citizens) and "send a message" (to foreign politicians). The abandonment of moral principles formerly displayed by American institutions is striking.

The failure of leadership on all sides is even more striking. Having spent many months in Russia and China I can tell you (as can anyone who has travelled beyond the tourist destinations) that the people there hold largely positive feelings toward Americans and other foreigners. A small minority of xenophobes and racists dominate the leadership, as in America, and form foreign policies that are at odds with the citizenship, at odds with moral justice, and at odds with humanity.

Viv, .|10h ago

@William Romp

In the abstract, of course people hold positive views of their "enemy" nations. In practice, it is not at all true.

You don't need to travel to Russia to find Russians who have been victims of American xenophobia and bigotry. They're right there in America.

Americans has never really held to "moral" standards of war.

To this day you have people believing that dropping atomic bombs on civilians was the right thing to do because it "minimized" loss of life. This is absurd.

To this day you have people believing that it was okay to not only finance the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, but indoctrinate their children to be war fighters.

There's nothing to be proud about this "moral" leadership.

Tim Rutledge, California | June 15

Won't they just do the same to us? This is the strategy?

DaWill, 11 hours ago

"Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction - and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister."

Restated, the Commander In Chief is not briefed on military operations for fear of betrayal. I feel like I'm going nuts. Someone please tell me what is going on in this country!

Carlos Fiancé Oak Park, Il | June 15
I appreciate this article. The US media breathlessly report on Russia spending a few hundred thousand on Facebook, but rarely do they recount all the ways the US meddles with Russia, as well as a host of other countries. "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone", as Jesus (doubtfully) said.

Pete, CA|11h ago, @HonorB14U

Actually, everything you could think of in American 'technology' is the result of government, usually military, development projects. The internet and everything associated with it came out of DARPA. American advances in solid state integrated circuitry are the results of satellite, rocketry, i.e. military development.

Castanet, MD-DC-VA | June 15

Another theatre of war where Pandora's unintended consequences plays a major role. We hope the better angels will be able to keep the balance. And put the lid back on the box, and put the box away forever.

Norman, NYC|9h ago

@TMah

Outdated infrastructure is less vulnerable to cyberattacks. It's not connected to the internet. It's like the railroads in Atlas Shrugged. When the latest technology is left dysfunctional, you can go back to the manual controls.

If I was designing digital equipment that's so complicated it's essentially a black box and you can't understand what's going on inside, I'd design it with a fallback to simpler controls, even manual controls.

C.O., Germany|11h ago

For me it is really amazing that so many believe in the meddling of Russia in the US-election in 2016. I at least have never seen or read about concrete evidence that they did. What was apparent, however, was the misuse of social media like Facebook and Co in the election. They are open to everyone who can speak English, and everyone can use fake names. I am sure there were indeed waves of misinformation among voters in the US. But every reasonable person could have read American newspapers or watched American television to correct fake news if they pop up. In addition, I think that FoxNews, Trump's and Steve Bannon's disruptive and manipulative ideology and the massive campaign funds have been much more effective for Trump's victory. To blame it all on Russia is really too simple and in the end rather dangerous. To call for "persistent presence" inside Russian and its digital systems, as Bolton does, moreover shows that the US is not an innocent victim but up to the state of art. Frightening.

N. Smith, New York City|6h ago

It speaks volumes that Donald Trump was not informed and purposely kept out of the loop about these cyber operations against Russia's power grid.
But it's not surprising.

Especially when only a few days ago before walking it back, this President said that he'd have no problem taking advantage of any available information to undercut his opponent, obviously forgetting that Russia already took him up this invitation in the 2016 elections.

No doubt they're primed to do it again. Sooner or later Americans will come to the realization that Vladimir Putin is an ex-KGB operative who plans to restore Russia to its former Soviet glory. And the Cold War never ended.

Phil, Brooklyn | 4h ago

So your argument is that it's a good thing that the military is staging attacks against a nuclear power, basically without any oversight from any branch of government?

Paul, Virginia | June 15

The use of cyber attacks is another slippery road to actual shooting war. Some says that cyber warfare would deter or prevent nations from actually going to war with each other. This is wishful thinking for the national survival instinct would force a nation on the verge of being plunged into darkness and thus cyber defeat to resort to nuclear weapons or maximum conventional warfare which could easily lead to the use of nuclear weapons.
The world's leading powers should come together, discuss, and agree to a treaty outlawing the use of cyber attacks against other nations' power grids and other online systems essential for human welfare. The world cannot afford another arm race similar to the nuclear arm race after WW II that has since placed the survival of the human race on the vagaries of a few men.

Michael, Evanston, IL|June 15

@M. Casey Yes, and we have been doing it to them (and others) for some time. So it is a perfectly reasonable response to wonder if this won't simply escalate. And I hardly assume that this is a transparent process in which we will even know what is going on.

TPH, Colorado|11h ago

@David Henderson Actually, the US has been deeply involved in cyber-warfare for over nine years. In June 2010, the US attacked Iran with a cyber-attack and, together with Israel, completely took out the Iranian military nuclear facility in Natanz with the cyber-worm 'Stuxnet'. That attack destroyed over 1,000 nuclear centrifuges and pushed the Iranian nuclear program back by at least two years. The type of attacks on civilian power plants now being discussed would be a cakewalk in comparison. Nearly ten years of continuing development has taken place since -- not just in the US -- and the tech people working for and with the US government are some of the best in the world.

If the US has decided to start implanting the latest 2019 malware in the Russian power grid, they have a real reason for concern. It will be far more damaging and difficult to stop than anything the Russians have yet to develop.

[Jun 15, 2019] In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen NSA Tool Wreaks Havoc by Nicole Perlroth and Scott Shane

The idea that NonPetya was developed using NSA exploit EternalBlu is most probably false
Notable quotes:
"... Some F.B.I. and Homeland Security officials, speaking privately, said more accountability at the N.S.A. was needed. A former F.B.I. official likened the situation to a government failing to lock up a warehouse of automatic weapons. ..."
"... "I disagree completely," said Tom Burt, the corporate vice president of consumer trust, insisting that cyberweapons could not be compared to pickup trucks. "These exploits are developed and kept secret by governments for the express purpose of using them as weapons or espionage tools. They're inherently dangerous. When someone takes that, they're not strapping a bomb to it. It's already a bomb." ..."
"... Brad Smith, Microsoft's president, has called for a "Digital Geneva Convention" to govern cyberspace, including a pledge by governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than keeping them secret to exploit for espionage or attacks. ..."
May 25, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

For nearly three weeks, Baltimore has struggled with a cyberattack by digital extortionists that has frozen thousands of computers, shut down email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts and many other services.

But here is what frustrated city employees and residents do not know: A key component of the malware that cybercriminals used in the attack was developed at taxpayer expense a short drive down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at the National Security Agency, according to security experts briefed on the case.

Since 2017, when the N.S.A. lost control of the tool , EternalBlue, it has been picked up by state hackers in North Korea, Russia and, more recently, China, to cut a path of destruction around the world, leaving billions of dollars in damage. But over the past year, the cyberweapon has boomeranged back and is now showing up in the N.S.A.'s own backyard.

It is not just in Baltimore. Security experts say EternalBlue attacks have reached a high , and cybercriminals are zeroing in on vulnerable American towns and cities, from Pennsylvania to Texas, paralyzing local governments and driving up costs. Advertisement

The N.S.A. connection to the attacks on American cities has not been previously reported, in part because the agency has refused to discuss or even acknowledge the loss of its cyberweapon, dumped online in April 2017 by a still-unidentified group calling itself the Shadow Brokers . Years later, the agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation still do not know whether the Shadow Brokers are foreign spies or disgruntled insiders.

Thomas Rid, a cybersecurity expert at Johns Hopkins University, called the Shadow Brokers episode "the most destructive and costly N.S.A. breach in history," more damaging than the better-known leak in 2013 from Edward Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.

"The government has refused to take responsibility, or even to answer the most basic questions," Mr. Rid said. "Congressional oversight appears to be failing. The American people deserve an answer."

The N.S.A. and F.B.I. declined to comment.

Since that leak, foreign intelligence agencies and rogue actors have used EternalBlue to spread malware that has paralyzed hospitals, airports, rail and shipping operators, A.T.M.s and factories that produce critical vaccines. Now the tool is hitting the United States where it is most vulnerable, in local governments with aging digital infrastructure and fewer resources to defend themselves.

On May 7, city workers in Baltimore had their computers frozen by hackers. Officials have refused to pay the $100,000 ransom. Credit .

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On May 7, city workers in Baltimore had their computers frozen by hackers. Officials have refused to pay the $100,000 ransom. Credit .

Before it leaked, EternalBlue was one of the most useful exploits in the N.S.A.'s cyberarsenal. According to three former N.S.A. operators who spoke on the condition of anonymity, analysts spent almost a year finding a flaw in Microsoft's software and writing the code to target it. Initially, they referred to it as EternalBluescreen because it often crashed computers -- a risk that could tip off their targets. But it went on to become a reliable tool used in countless intelligence-gathering and counterterrorism missions. Advertisement

EternalBlue was so valuable, former N.S.A. employees said, that the agency never seriously considered alerting Microsoft about the vulnerabilities, and held on to it for more than five years before the breach forced its hand.

The Baltimore attack , on May 7, was a classic ransomware assault. City workers' screens suddenly locked, and a message in flawed English demanded about $100,000 in Bitcoin to free their files: "We've watching you for days," said the message, obtained by The Baltimore Sun . "We won't talk more, all we know is MONEY! Hurry up!"

Today, Baltimore remains handicapped as city officials refuse to pay, though workarounds have restored some services. Without EternalBlue, the damage would not have been so vast, experts said. The tool exploits a vulnerability in unpatched software that allows hackers to spread their malware faster and farther than they otherwise could.

North Korea was the first nation to co-opt the tool, for an attack in 2017 -- called WannaCry -- that paralyzed the British health care system, German railroads and some 200,000 organizations around the world. Next was Russia, which used the weapon in an attack -- called NotPetya -- that was aimed at Ukraine but spread across major companies doing business in the country. The assault cost FedEx more than $400 million and Merck, the pharmaceutical giant, $670 million.

The damage didn't stop there. In the past year, the same Russian hackers who targeted the 2016 American presidential election used EternalBlue to compromise hotel Wi-Fi networks. Iranian hackers have used it to spread ransomware and hack airlines in the Middle East, according to researchers at the security firms Symantec and FireEye.

"It's incredible that a tool which was used by intelligence services is now publicly available and so widely used," said Vikram Thakur, Symantec's director of security response. Sign Up for The Daily Newsletter

Every Friday, get an exclusive look at how one of the week's biggest news stories on "The Daily" podcast came together.

One month before the Shadow Brokers began dumping the agency's tools online in 2017, the N.S.A. -- aware of the breach -- reached out to Microsoft and other tech companies to inform them of their software flaws. Microsoft released a patch, but hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide remain unprotected. Microsoft employees reviewing malware data at the company's offices in Redmond, Wash. EternalBlue exploits a flaw in unpatched Microsoft software.

Hackers seem to have found a sweet spot in Baltimore, Allentown, Pa., San Antonio and other local, American governments, where public employees oversee tangled networks that often use out-of-date software. Last July, the Department of Homeland Security issued a dire warning that state and local governments were getting hit by particularly destructive malware that now, security researchers say, has started relying on EternalBlue to spread.

Microsoft, which tracks the use of EternalBlue, would not name the cities and towns affected, citing customer privacy. But other experts briefed on the attacks in Baltimore, Allentown and San Antonio confirmed the hackers used EternalBlue. Security responders said they were seeing EternalBlue pop up in attacks almost every day.

Amit Serper, head of security research at Cybereason, said his firm had responded to EternalBlue attacks at three different American universities, and found vulnerable servers in major cities like Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.

The costs can be hard for local governments to bear. The Allentown attack, in February last year, disrupted city services for weeks and cost about $1 million to remedy -- plus another $420,000 a year for new defenses, said Matthew Leibert, the city's chief information officer.

He described the package of dangerous computer code that hit Allentown as "commodity malware," sold on the dark web and used by criminals who don't have specific targets in mind. "There are warehouses of kids overseas firing off phishing emails," Mr. Leibert said, like thugs shooting military-grade weapons at random targets. Advertisement

The malware that hit San Antonio last September infected a computer inside Bexar County sheriff's office and tried to spread across the network using EternalBlue, according to two people briefed on the attack.

This past week, researchers at the security firm Palo Alto Networks discovered that a Chinese state group, Emissary Panda, had hacked into Middle Eastern governments using EternalBlue.

"You can't hope that once the initial wave of attacks is over, it will go away," said Jen Miller-Osborn, a deputy director of threat intelligence at Palo Alto Networks. "We expect EternalBlue will be used almost forever, because if attackers find a system that isn't patched, it is so useful." Adm. Michael S. Rogers, who led the N.S.A. during the leak, has said the agency should not be blamed for the trail of damage. Credit Erin Schaff for The New York Times

Image

Until a decade or so ago, the most powerful cyberweapons belonged almost exclusively to intelligence agencies -- N.S.A. officials used the term "NOBUS," for "nobody but us," for vulnerabilities only the agency had the sophistication to exploit. But that advantage has hugely eroded, not only because of the leaks, but because anyone can grab a cyberweapon's code once it's used in the wild.

Some F.B.I. and Homeland Security officials, speaking privately, said more accountability at the N.S.A. was needed. A former F.B.I. official likened the situation to a government failing to lock up a warehouse of automatic weapons.

In an interview in March, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, who was director of the N.S.A. during the Shadow Brokers leak, suggested in unusually candid remarks that the agency should not be blamed for the long trail of damage. Advertisement

"If Toyota makes pickup trucks and someone takes a pickup truck, welds an explosive device onto the front, crashes it through a perimeter and into a crowd of people, is that Toyota's responsibility?" he asked. "The N.S.A. wrote an exploit that was never designed to do what was done."

At Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Wash., where thousands of security engineers have found themselves on the front lines of these attacks, executives reject that analogy.

"I disagree completely," said Tom Burt, the corporate vice president of consumer trust, insisting that cyberweapons could not be compared to pickup trucks. "These exploits are developed and kept secret by governments for the express purpose of using them as weapons or espionage tools. They're inherently dangerous. When someone takes that, they're not strapping a bomb to it. It's already a bomb."

Brad Smith, Microsoft's president, has called for a "Digital Geneva Convention" to govern cyberspace, including a pledge by governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than keeping them secret to exploit for espionage or attacks.

Last year, Microsoft, along with Google and Facebook, joined 50 countries in signing on to a similar call by French President Emmanuel Macron -- the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace -- to end "malicious cyber activities in peacetime."

Notably absent from the signatories were the world's most aggressive cyberactors: China, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Russia -- and the United States.

[Jun 15, 2019] Two filthy NYT neocons try to provoke Russia to attack the USA power grid

Looks like NYT provocation. Coordinated with whom? With Brennan and his cabal?
I wonder what will be reaction of Russian authorities and military intelligence on reading this stupid provocation. Hopefully they will not overreact.
Notable quotes:
"... I think they're revealing it because it may be for Russian ears, but not necessarily true or as good as stated. Misinformation abounds, especially when they're letting the press in. Mass destruction anyone? In Reply to Socrates ..."
"... While Obama and Trump are obviously different in some ways, this article reveals yet another continuity between their administrations. Burgeoning attacks on a foreign country's power grid, and little need for prior approval and oversight. ..."
"... Given the timing and the decision to talk about something so classified just now, I take this to be a threat aimed at Iran. "General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country." The leak is an escalation, a threat. ..."
"... This will not end well. The unspoken assumption behind this issue is that the US assumes it must have dominance in all relations to other countries, and that moral outrage for such acts do not apply to us, because we are the "good guys" of course. ..."
"... It's always the big-mouth in the bar that starts the bar fight, then he sneaks out the side door while the rest of us get hit with beer bottles. ..."
"... What about attaching a price to the US's misdeeds, there are plenty of them, Iraq, and all the other US forced regime changes or attempted regime change as in Syria and Venezuela. ..."
"... Giving the military the authority to decide if and when a cyber attack occurs seems unconstitutional. And it seems very dangerous. Just because the actions originate on computer networks doesn't mean it's not violence against a foreign power. Even though everyone is dancing around the issue, a cyber attack is an act of war. Congress is supposed to make decisions on attacks by the military. It seems very Dr. Strangelove-like to me. Very risky giving a military commander the authority to start a war. ..."
"... Of course, the problem with all these "implants" and zero-day exploits is that once they are out there, they are readily deconstructed, repurposed, and turned back to bite us in new form, as has already happened on numerous occasions. ..."
"... To this day you have people believing that it was okay to not only finance the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, but indoctrinate their children to be war fighters. There's nothing to be proud about this "moral" leadership. ..."
"... Sure, the US can install malware deep inside Russia's grid. But that doesn't mean that the American cyberwar gambit is effective. And it doesn't mean that the US has the capacity to prevent Russia from using malware to inflict even deeper damage on the American grid. ..."
"... To understand exactly who is probably getting the better of who in this conflict, we need to ask ourselves what motivates Russia and America to fight this conflict. The answer doesn't bode well for Americans. Russia, which has been on the defensive since the fall of the USSR three decades ago, is fighting to protect its sovereignty against American encroachment. ..."
"... We could have mandated IPV6 with its better security model twenty years ago. We could encourage end-to-end encryption to secure networks. We could have directed the NSA and other security agencies to search out and fix bugs in software libraries instead of building backdoors that are now open to everyone. Instead everything gets converted to a weapon. Fear reigns supreme. Then we go to war and the merchants of death make huge profits ..."
"... The U.S. escalates cyber attacks on Russia's power grid. However, the Pentagon [and NSA] will not brief Trump because he might "countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials" as he did before with the Russians. Folks, we're running an unchecked cyber war against a global nuclear power without the involvement of POTUS who isn't interested, doesn't care, and is too busy complaining about CNN on Twitter. We are a banana republic and no one is minding the store ..."
"... I just don't get it. The New York Times publishing what surely must be classified information about a secret incursion by the U.S. government into the Russian power grid! And Julian Assange is criminally charged for doing the same thing? ..."
"... The US is certainly a very offensive country. The US Is considered The Exceptional World Leader. I don't know if the world can survive such leadership. The US is going to drown in its military superiority, and settle into a state of violent mediocrity with a poorly educated, somewhat unhealthy citizenry with loads of of weaponry, poor mental health and lots of drug addiction and a country with the world's highest rate of incarceration and lousy infrastructure. ..."
"... And for all of those who are blaming Russia, kindly remember how the U.S. started all this with the creation and deployment of Stuxnet against Iran. ..."
"... This reminds me of the Cold War. We were sold a bill of goods about Russia's capacity to harm us when, we the US was actually the aggressor, JFK sold this under the brand of "Missile Gap". The United States is, as usual, the aggressor here. The US Empire wants to control the world. Any independent nation will be considered a threat and not be tolerated. This demonization of Russia is an embarrassment and worse, is extremely dangerous, The Russian bear is not to be trifled with, despite American fantasies. ..."
"... The world needs a Cyber Geneva Convention. Immediately if not years ago. All the tunnel vision patriotic cheering in these comments is very alarming. Think about where Cyber War could go, what it could do, who it would harm. ..."
"... This is the path to the military itself becoming a danger to the state through ill-considered unilateral action. ..."
"... "Defend forward?" A new entry in the Newspeak dictionary... We are partying like it's 1984. ..."
"... "Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction..." So the commander of United States Cyber Command, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, decided to undertake an overt act of war and not tell his Commander in Chief because he thought he might disagree? If true, Trump should fire this guy tomorrow, if not court-martial him for insubordination. ..."
"... Something's wrong with this article. A newspaper is telling the world that the US is messing around with Russia's power grid? Shouldn't this be super confidential? Basically now Russians are allowed to re tagliate in any way for what the USA is doing. What would be the reaction of the US if the situation was reversed? A bunch of blackouts in NYC, Chicago, San Francisco and the Russians saying "we did it"? Our military would bomb them right away! ..."
"... GREAT ! A military junta within the Trump regime...what could go wrong. ..."
"... There is a real danger in deploying cyber-mines in adversary systems. All code can be broken and used in retaliation. Even so-called "encapsulated" code can be disassembled. STUXNET was disassembled and repurposed as ransom-ware. ..."
Jun 15, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Bruce Rozenblit Kansas City, MO 11h ago

This is very disturbing and it threatens the security of the entire planet. Cyber warfare is cheap. As this technology continues to develop, no nation, no industry, no utility will be safe. Just as many nations want the bomb, many will want this capability and they don't have to spend much to have it. The economic and human costs of disrupting power flows could be huge. This isn't a video game. It is real warfare. We should be extremely cautious with the application of these cyber tools. Do we want to live in a world where nation states are actively trying to cripple any infrastructure they can get at? Talk about the war of all against all. It is also very troubling that organizations within our government can carry out these incursions without specific orders from the top of our command structures. We can't have the dept. of this or that conducting assaults on other nations on their own. Everyone can see where that aircraft carrier is, but no one can see that malware hiding in a water treatment center. These weapons cause us to lose our ability of command and control. That's the real danger here, loss of command and control. We already have president who has command but no control. We don't need a dozen agencies with the same problem.
alanore or 9h ago
@TMah

I think they're revealing it because it may be for Russian ears, but not necessarily true or as good as stated. Misinformation abounds, especially when they're letting the press in. Mass destruction anyone? In Reply to Socrates

Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ 8h ago
@Marcus Aurelius

"the action inside the Russian electric grid appears to have been conducted under little-noticed new legal authorities, slipped into the military authorization bill passed by Congress last summer. " That bipartisan bill, now law, is known as "H.R.5515 - The John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019", was reluctantly signed by Donald Trump; he hated the law because it was named after an American patriot and hero that he hated.

JDM South Bend, IN June 15
While Obama and Trump are obviously different in some ways, this article reveals yet another continuity between their administrations. Burgeoning attacks on a foreign country's power grid, and little need for prior approval and oversight.
David G. Wisconsin 11h ago
How did we ever survive for half a century without putting our power grid on the internet? Get our power back off the internet, create some extra jobs to do what computers do now, raise prices a couple of percent to cover the new employees, and avoid the worry about hacking the grid. 2 Replies
Mark Thomason Clawson, MI 6h ago
Given the timing and the decision to talk about something so classified just now, I take this to be a threat aimed at Iran. "General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country." The leak is an escalation, a threat.
William Wroblicka Northampton, MA 4h ago
It seems to be common knowledge that our country's electric grid has been infiltrated by the Russians. What I don't understand, given this situation, is why the compromised systems can't be purged of any malware that might be present and the security holes that allowed it to be installed in the first place patched.

Retail software companies (e.g., Microsoft) are finding security vulnerabilities in and releasing updates to their products all the time. What's so different about industrial software systems?

Scott Newton San Francisco , Ca 6h ago
This will not end well. The unspoken assumption behind this issue is that the US assumes it must have dominance in all relations to other countries, and that moral outrage for such acts do not apply to us, because we are the "good guys" of course. Almost anything that another country can be accused of (interfering in elections, cyber-espionage, stealing trade secrets and technology) is something almost surely done by the US first to others. I applaud the NYT for reporting this, but reporters should question the reasoning behind it a bit more. 1 Reply
itsmildeyes philadelphia 8h ago
It's always the big-mouth in the bar that starts the bar fight, then he sneaks out the side door while the rest of us get hit with beer bottles. Sure wish the bouncer had stopped DJT and his entourage at the door.
CK Rye 11h ago
@Socrates - But keep in mind: just any blue will NOT do. Reject Neoliberals without hesitation! In

Reply to Mauichuck

KC Okla 4h ago
They're what? My son graduated in 2002 and we've been at war or trying to start one ever since. Can we not do anything but build weapons of death and destruction and look for ways to put them to use? This war thing is getting out of control.
Lucy Cooke California 8h ago
@GV

What about attaching a price to the US's misdeeds, there are plenty of them, Iraq, and all the other US forced regime changes or attempted regime change as in Syria and Venezuela.

The US has wrecked lots of countries with its superior military and awesome financial clout. The US is going to drown in its military superiority, and settle into a state of violent mediocrity with a poorly educated, somewhat unhealthy citizenry with loads of of weaponry, poor mental health and lots of drug addiction and a country with the world's highest rate of incarceration and lousy infrastructure.

If the US would just drown quickly, before it destroys the livability of the world, perhaps Europe, Russia and China could cooperate enough to save the world.

Michael Chicago 11h ago
Giving the military the authority to decide if and when a cyber attack occurs seems unconstitutional. And it seems very dangerous. Just because the actions originate on computer networks doesn't mean it's not violence against a foreign power. Even though everyone is dancing around the issue, a cyber attack is an act of war. Congress is supposed to make decisions on attacks by the military. It seems very Dr. Strangelove-like to me. Very risky giving a military commander the authority to start a war. 1 Reply
LiorSamson Mass 6h ago
Of course, the problem with all these "implants" and zero-day exploits is that once they are out there, they are readily deconstructed, repurposed, and turned back to bite us in new form, as has already happened on numerous occasions.

Those of us in the cybersecurity community have been sounding the alarm for more than a decade, whether in professional papers, the general press, or in fictionalized accounts. With escalation, we are virtually inviting the Russians to mount counterattacks, the cost of which could be incalculable. Our natural gas transmission network may be even more vulnerable than our power grid, as an industry insider confessed to me prompting the writing of Gasline in 2013. Of course, now we have Trump on the trigger and...

Clearwater Oregon June 15
I can't wait until this US president is gone so that our future Executive branch can directly and positively (not out of self interest or hind-covering denial) get back to the the table with Russia and bring about real change on both sides. If we don't, one has to assume that all types of cold war warfare can lead to a thermonuclear exchange.

That has always been the potential endgame since 1948. Did you think that was no longer possible after 1991? You, like myself, were being naive. I think it's more possible now than ever before. For we have two authoritarians, each carrying a football named, Doom. 1 Reply

Viv . 11h ago
@William Romp In the abstract, of course people hold positive views of their "enemy" nations. In practice, it is not at all true. You don't need to travel to Russia to find Russians who have been victims of American xenophobia and bigotry. They're right there in America. Americans has never really held to "moral" standards of war. To this day you have people believing that dropping atomic bombs on civilians was the right thing to do because it "minimized" loss of life. This is absurd.

To this day you have people believing that it was okay to not only finance the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, but indoctrinate their children to be war fighters. There's nothing to be proud about this "moral" leadership. In Reply to Viv

Ted McGuire 3h ago
Sure, the US can install malware deep inside Russia's grid. But that doesn't mean that the American cyberwar gambit is effective. And it doesn't mean that the US has the capacity to prevent Russia from using malware to inflict even deeper damage on the American grid.

To understand exactly who is probably getting the better of who in this conflict, we need to ask ourselves what motivates Russia and America to fight this conflict. The answer doesn't bode well for Americans. Russia, which has been on the defensive since the fall of the USSR three decades ago, is fighting to protect its sovereignty against American encroachment.

The US, meanwhile, isn't fighting because it has to. America is fighting Russia simply to aggrandize its own power, and to expand its influence over world affairs. In my opinion, Russia is the power that has greater motivation to win this fight. For this reason, any American effort to defeat Russia by using cyberwarfare is likely to trigger a devastating Russian response. The US should quit while it's ahead. 1 Reply

rbitset Palo Alto 4h ago
Reagan talked about a missile shield, a Star Wars defense, that would make nuclear weapons obsolete. Almost 40 years later we know that was a pipe dream. But we can be safe in cyberspace. Many of the tools are there. A few more might need to be invented. What stands in the way? A U.S. government that wants, claims to need, to spy on everyone including its citizens stands in the way. Businesses that want to vacuum up and sell everyone's information stand in the way. Hardware companies that want to lease you a networked service instead of a stand alone device stand in the way.

We could have mandated IPV6 with its better security model twenty years ago. We could encourage end-to-end encryption to secure networks. We could have directed the NSA and other security agencies to search out and fix bugs in software libraries instead of building backdoors that are now open to everyone. Instead everything gets converted to a weapon. Fear reigns supreme. Then we go to war and the merchants of death make huge profits.

Bruce1253 San Diego 8h ago
@B. Rothman Micro grids would be helpful, yes, but what about large businesses? Say the ones who make the fuel for your home furnace, or that power the compressors for your natural gas? Or that power the giant freezers at the plant that makes your french fries? My point is that we are really interconnected, and vulnerable to attacks as described in this article. This is the kind of thing that gives the cyber security pro at you local utility nightmares. We are balanced on a ball. In Reply to Eric Peterson
Dave Madison. WI 11h ago
@M. Casey - Here we go with "timidity" and Obama. At the time, and in keeping with the strategy to withhold knowledge of our cyber reach into their systems, Obama's decision probably made sense. Such a thoughtful approach would have benefited us in the phony, "Weapons of Mass Destruction" war against Iraq, which cost thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. Such a thoughtful approach, which is anathema to chest-pounding chickenhawks, would have also been useful in Vietnam. And the Falklands. And Beirut. And Cuba and... In Reply to JM
Pelasgus Earth 5h ago
Electricity generation and reticulation worked perfectly satisfactorily before the internet, so why does it need to be connected to the internet? The obvious solution to attacks on systems is to cut the internet out of the equation. 2 Replies
Barbara SC 8h ago
@Bruce1253 I have lived through hurricanes that caused power outages for a week or more. Puerto Ricans can tell us just what it's like right now, given the damage they experienced recently. Our forebears lived without power for centuries. We would survive, but we wouldn't enjoy it. In Reply to Larry L
Mark Kinsler Lancaster, Ohio USA 2h ago
Some thoughts from an obsolete old power engineer:

(1) For the most part our power grid can be run by people at the substations and generating plants. There are always manual overrides--to wit: big levers with handles that actuate big switches. This is not a new development, for the systems were initially designed for manual operation. The digital relays were added later.

(2) The whole business makes power guys cringe, for they've been trained to keep the system going. But if necessary, every section of the power grid can be brought back to life by the employees.

(3) No public utility can operate reliably in a war or anywhere else that's lacking basic civil behavior. I'm surprised that cell phones have done so well in combat zones, for they rely on cables to link the towers.

JAS3rd Florida 11h ago
Overdue indeed. Unfortunately, if the U.S. doesn't do it, we would just disadvantage ourselves.
Aaron VanAlstine DuPont, WA 6h ago
The U.S. escalates cyber attacks on Russia's power grid. However, the Pentagon [and NSA] will not brief Trump because he might "countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials" as he did before with the Russians. Folks, we're running an unchecked cyber war against a global nuclear power without the involvement of POTUS who isn't interested, doesn't care, and is too busy complaining about CNN on Twitter. We are a banana republic and no one is minding the store
ldc Woodside, CA 7h ago
@Mark. Ok, but it is inconceivable that either the national security apparatus or his own advisors would have conspired to keep Obama in the dark because they didn't trust him. In Reply to Mark
Hardbop50 Ohio 4h ago
It's clear that most American, including many Times' readers don't understand Putin's strategy toward the U.S. and other democracies of western Europe. The real danger is his attack on our political system and democratic values. While an aggressive cyber defense and hardening of targets is important, cyber operations also need to undermine Russians' confidence in Putin and his government. There are plenty of ways to spread fake news and paranoia in Russia social and political media. The sanctions are our best "weapon". They hurt Russian economy and threaten wealthy oligarchs. If they didn't, why would Putin try so hard to squash them. Unfortunately, the President fails to enforce or expand them. Any guesses why he undermines sanctions?
Mike Ransmil San Bernardino June 15
that's not nice of the US.---disrupting Russia's power [grid]. They will not be happy about this. Donald can expect a phone call from Vladimir, expressing his displeasure!
Eugene NYC 6h ago
The problem, as usual is management. It is not possible underestimate management. Those of us on Long Island were without power after Sandy. In portions of The Rockaways, some 20' or more above sea level, National Grid turned off the power for 15 days. So we know what it is like to have no power. Having solar cells on the roof is no solution because LIPA / PSEG-LI REQUIRES the system to shut down if grid power drops!

But the real question must be, why is the electrical grid vulnerable? Do the control systems use PCs, or rock solid IBM z/OS architecture? Has any z/OS system ever been compromised? Why aren't individual electric systems designed to operate off the regional and therefore national grid in the event of a failure? And whatever happened to synchronous encrypted communication over secure leased lines? These problems are not difficult to solve. They only require a desire. Mr. Cuomo, are you listening?

Ross Stuart NYC 7h ago
I just don't get it. The New York Times publishing what surely must be classified information about a secret incursion by the U.S. government into the Russian power grid! And Julian Assange is criminally charged for doing the same thing? 2 Replies
Doremus Jessup On the move 8h ago
George Orwell would have a great time with all this.
Lucy Cooke California 11h ago
The US is certainly a very offensive country. The US Is considered The Exceptional World Leader. I don't know if the world can survive such leadership. The US is going to drown in its military superiority, and settle into a state of violent mediocrity with a poorly educated, somewhat unhealthy citizenry with loads of of weaponry, poor mental health and lots of drug addiction and a country with the world's highest rate of incarceration and lousy infrastructure.

If the US would just drown quickly, before it destroys the livability of the world, perhaps Europe, Russia and China could cooperate enough to save the world. Or, if enough citizens vote for Senator Bernie Sanders for President, the US could refresh its world leadership with a sane, even wise foreign policy and provide citizens with quality education for all, health care for all, better infrastructure, and, mostly, A FUTURE TO BELIEVE IN. 1 Reply

Mike Iker Mill Valley, CA 7h ago
It's been pointed out for years that our much higher level of internet control of our systems makes us more vulnerable to cyber attacks that Russia or China or Iran and certainly N. Korea. If this story is getting out, and based on the thesis that nothing happens by accident in the political world, the source must think that our defenses are strong enough to more than offset our inherent vulnerabilities. I hope that's true.
Roger Alaska June 15
The fact that we have implanted code is well-known, or at least should be. To say there has been only a handful of offensive operations is either purposely deceitful or shows the lack of access by the person quoted.
Lauren SW Virginia 6h ago
"Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister." Sigh.... our prez. Our number one threat to National Security.
Charles M Saint John, NB, Canada 11h ago
@HonorB14U Always? Who went first into space? If you were a trained technical person in control systems you'd know the names of lots of Russians who made fundamental break-throughs in understanding - more Russian names than I can recall American names. In Reply to HonorB14U
free range upstate 6h ago
This mutual insanity results from the disease people all around the world suffer from: the nation-state. Nation-states, in their modern form only four hundred years old, have taken the world hostage through feverish calls to nationalism and patriotism, deliberately confusing in our minds cultural identity with the nation-state. But cultural identity is not dependent on the nation-state! Either we find a way to free our cultural identities from those in power or, if and when this insane posturing leads to war, we pay the ultimate price of losing our lives.
Woof NY 11h ago
@jrinsc Re to freeze Russian oligarchs out of their ill-gotten assets. London is where Russian oligarchs store their assets See link below No US government has taken on the "City" (UK equivalent of Wall Street) on that issue https://www.economist.com/leaders/2018/10/11/londons-financial-flows-are-polluted-by-laundered-money 16 Replies
Lawrence Colorado 4h ago
Upgrading the grid to be more resilient to hacking and also to better accommodate wind and solar would be a significant, smart, long term investment. It would improve something we all use that really needs improving. It would help reduce our carbon footprint. It would generate good jobs here in America. So instead the GOP spent a trillion dollars on tax breaks for very wealthy people which the corporate kind used mostly for stock buy backs.
Doug Karo Durham, NH 8h ago
If both countries didn't have stable geniuses in charge, I would be pretty worried. If the stability of one of the leaders was not the case, I would be even more worried.
Ron Vermont 11h ago
So all these attacks we're trading have all gone through proper quality control procedures to make sure they don't disrupt anything by accident? Not likely. And with the UK, China, North Korea and others all doing the same, both the large controlling computers and the small embedded control system components are going to start failing due to all the malware they're being asked to hold. Malware will attack expecting it is attacking clean manufacturer supplied software/firmware, but if someone else has already modified it, how will these systems react? This seems like a mutual game of Russian Roulette. Any time an opponent makes a mistake something will break somewhere.
maureen f. Albuquerque, NM 11h ago
The scariest thing about this escalation is that nobody really knows which country--the U.S., Russia, or China--has the best cyber-weapons and cyber-defenses until the cyber-war actually begins. And for all of those who are blaming Russia, kindly remember how the U.S. started all this with the creation and deployment of Stuxnet against Iran. 2 Replies
RL Groves Amherst, MA 2h ago
This reminds me of the Cold War. We were sold a bill of goods about Russia's capacity to harm us when, we the US was actually the aggressor, JFK sold this under the brand of "Missile Gap". The United States is, as usual, the aggressor here. The US Empire wants to control the world. Any independent nation will be considered a threat and not be tolerated. This demonization of Russia is an embarrassment and worse, is extremely dangerous, The Russian bear is not to be trifled with, despite American fantasies.
Floyd New Mexico 4h ago
Why would information of such intelligence operations be publically announced as it has? Baffling. 1 Reply
Ned OSJL 11h ago
The world needs a Cyber Geneva Convention. Immediately if not years ago. All the tunnel vision patriotic cheering in these comments is very alarming. Think about where Cyber War could go, what it could do, who it would harm.
Saba Albany June 15
@M Congress should be at the helm of formulating an overall policy. The power to make war has moved from Congress to the President, and some Presidents have had an attitude of leave it up to the generals. So, the departments have gained power in some cases. Rightfully, Congress should create defensive and offensive policy which the President should endorse and the Cabinet should carry out. In Reply to TJ
J. von Hettlingen Switzerland 6h ago
John Bolton has a long history as a Russia hawk. It seems he's now in involved in ramping up cyber attacks on Russia's power grid, sending the message "You will pay a price" for cyberoperations – like election interference – against the US. ...
James San Clemente, CA 8h ago
I can understand why the U.S. would want to have this capability and to let the Russians know about it for the purposes of deterrence, but still, the news fills me with dread. The U.S. power infrastructure is far from perfect, but as anyone who has lived and worked in Russia knows, their system is much less reliable and far more prone to breakdowns. In addition, for anyone who watched the recent HBO series "Chernobyl," the idea of messing with the power grid in Russia is a little alarming. Russia still operates several RBMK reactors, and although there are repeated assurances that they are safe now, I wouldn't want to put that theory to the test by fiddling with the system. I'm sure our guys are all well aware of this, but, just sayin'...
Joseph Los Angeles 7h ago
And we'd be the first to complain if they did this to us. How about if humans finally stopped behaving like vindictive petulant 8 year olds. We're all stuck on this rock, so get along!
JohnW13 California June 15
Perhaps the most disturbing reveal in this article is that Trump has delegated an undisclosed amount of authority to engage in offensive military action by launching a cyber attack, potentially amounting to an act of war, without direct presidential oversight and approval. Trump issued "National Security Presidential Memoranda 13, giving General Nakasone far more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without receiving presidential approval." 9 Replies
Eric Peterson Napa, CA. 8h ago
@B. Rothman Individual decentralization of your home or business or a factory when the grid power goes out would be a wise move for many. This would most likely be solar or wind and possibly a generator as well, all backed by a battery. The interesting part comes in when your system is connected with the power companies grid. Will it be interactive? If it is then if the power company is hacked you are also hacked. If your system only comes on when the grid power goes off you would not be connected to the power companies grid communication and therefor you would not be hacked. An independent distributed system would keep your power on. Only used when the grid power was off. You would not be able to send excess power to the grid or get paid for excess power from solar or wind. Think military base or critical infrastructure. If all critical systems are isolated they stand alone and cannot be taken down by cyber war fare. This is a redundant system but it does keep the power on when everything else goes down. The only way I can see around this is to be connected to the power grid on a two way communication that is secured and verified to be hack free at all times. Not likely in this day of cyber war. It may be possible to shut down communication to the grid as soon as power goes down, thus isolating the location from any further attack or control by the outside. Then get conformation that it was not an attack, just an ordinary power outage and then reconnect. Simple. In Reply to Eric Peterson
Jo Williams Keizer 11h ago
Power grids as legitimate targets. Affecting hospitals, schools, civilian homes. After 9/11 there was discussion as to whether the Geneva Conventions on war should be modified, and also discussions on designating captured terrorists as POWs or....enemy combatants. A follow up article on how these ...agreements on war....might cover cyber attacks, would be helpful. Shutting off the power to a hospital- or all the hospitals, doctor's offices, clinics in a major city- how many die? Nuclear power plants as targets? If its war, call it war. At least we possible victims will know we aren't just disposable pawns in cyber gamesmanship.
Michael Pittsburgh June 15
Until recently I would be concerned if our military was acting independently of presidential direction or oversight and if the president or presidential advisors were not kept informed of initiatives our military and security forces were undertaking against other nations. Now I am thankful for it. As for the U.S. embedding malware and other malicious software in Russian, Chinese, North Korean, Iranian, Saudi, Israeli, and other potentially hostile nation infrastructure systems, we should be prepared to send them all back to campfires and candles at a moment's notice.
Nick Wright Halifax, NS 6h ago
The article reveals that the military is withholding information from the president about actions it's taking against another country, because it doesn't trust him. Predictably in the current political climate, everyone focuses on what it says about President Trump and fails to consider what it says about the military; i.e., that it feels it has a mandate to decide, at its own discretion, what military action against other nations is in the country's best interests. The military didn't trust President Obama either -- to the extraordinary extent of public insubordination by its top leadership.

How do we know that it obeyed his directive not to wage cyberwarfare against Russia, or any other country? We now have no reason to believe that it did. It doesn't matter that the military distrusts the current and previous president for different reasons. It will defy a strong, competent president as easily as it will sideline a weak, incompetent president. This is the path to the military itself becoming a danger to the state through ill-considered unilateral action.

Meredith New York 8h ago
@Andrzej Warminski...they'd call it 'un-American' to freeze US oligarchs out of ill gotten assets. Russia has its oligarchs, we have ours. Ours get protection for spiraling profits and power by mega donations to the lawmakers we elect, and our own Supreme Court legalized this Constitutional 1st A -Free Speech. This obvious collusion of big money and politics is avoided in our news media, famous for it's 1st Amendment protections from censorship. Russia has it's state media, and we have ours. FOX news functions as the GOP state media, consulting with Trump, and broadcasting his messages daily. Then social media further amplifies this across the country. 16 Replies
R. Fenwick U.S. South 11h ago
@David G. Generally increased use of the internet in any industry is a way to cut labor costs. In the pre-internet days, grid workers were likely paid more in today's dollars and jobs were more plentiful. In Reply to R. Fenwick
Doug Marcum Oxford, Ohio 7h ago
"Defend forward?" A new entry in the Newspeak dictionary... We are partying like it's 1984.
B. Honest Puyallup WA 7h ago
@JohnW13 It bothers me the Most that Mr Bolton is in the line of command there, for some ungodly reason. He is the type that would have flown drones, himself, to do a false flag attack like that. That they were above waterline is telling. I wonder what Iran found when they took whatever it was that attached itself to that tanker. I am sure that will be interesting indeed. 9 Replies
Lawrence Linn Phoenix 4h ago
"Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction..." So the commander of United States Cyber Command, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, decided to undertake an overt act of war and not tell his Commander in Chief because he thought he might disagree? If true, Trump should fire this guy tomorrow, if not court-martial him for insubordination.
AR San Francisco 8h ago
The Chinese! The Russians! They started it! Anyone who believes fairy tales from the Pentagon or Washington about this is a fool. Let's see at the end of the 'Cold War' Washington promised not expand NATO if the Russians et al handed over much of their nukes. They handed them over and Clinton, etc. marched NATO right up to the Russian border. George Kennan warned it was the greatest strategic error post WWII.

Who knows what nasty things Washington is really up to. Like the mysterious Venezuelan blackouts right at the height of their coup operation. Washington's unending saber-rattling and war mongering can never be trusted. What a horrifying thought that they would cut off heat and power to millions of Russian people in the winter. It will be ordinary people who pay the price on all sides.

Chris Rurally Isolated 1h ago
I have found that nobody listens to my critique of technology by which I state that 1) we no longer possess the skills that technology does for us, 2) our division of labor has become so extreme due to technological advancements that nobody really knows how to do anything but their one job, shopping and driving, and 3) should we lose power, we lose petroleum too, and without both we lose our society in just a few days. Food goes bad immediately, water pressure drops in cities precipitously, and people can't go to work, school or entertainment -- they can't do anything but wait for the power to come back on. But they don't wait, they loot, they attack, they scavenge, they make trouble. Anybody with a personal supply of food and water are targets. None of this is hyperbole or paranoia, yet those who make such slanders are driven by fearsome possibilities they NEVER want to face. Power outages would be akin to full-scale bombing of whole cities. The Defense Department knows this, but the citizenry does not.
Luca F Philadlphia 7h ago
Something's wrong with this article. A newspaper is telling the world that the US is messing around with Russia's power grid? Shouldn't this be super confidential? Basically now Russians are allowed to re tagliate in any way for what the USA is doing. What would be the reaction of the US if the situation was reversed? A bunch of blackouts in NYC, Chicago, San Francisco and the Russians saying "we did it"? Our military would bomb them right away!
Larry L Dallas, TX 8h ago
@Bruce1253, fragmented systems are inherently more resilient because one system going down does not mean everything else goes down. But having fragmented CONTROLS over INTERCONNECTED systems is more problematic. Lack of coordination will mean that if a problem occurs, there will be lack of oversight and will not be able to react quickly enough to contain the situation. As someone else also mentioned: old pre-Internet systems are actually far more secure because they are off the grid. Attempts by companies to make things more efficient (and profitable) actually makes them less secure. 9 Replies
polymath British Columbia 11h ago
"As Washington's strategy shifts to offense ..." What does the word "Washington" mean? It *used* to mean the U.S. gov't -- when it used to speak with more or less one voice. But it doesn't speak with one voice anymore. So, what does it mean now?
Bubba CA 2h ago
Here's the thing - if electricity goes out for any protracted time in the U.S., people will die. Many people, and quickly. The fragile veneer of social cohesion will be the first, and fatal, casualty.
dsbarclay Toronto 7h ago
If you are going to start covert operations that attack Russia's essential power grid, why brag about it? American geeks conducting cyber war can't keep a secret is one answer. Its certainly the wrong thing to do; it gives Putin more ammunition in his propaganda war against the West, and ensures he remain the 'savior' of mother Russia for the people.
HANK Newark, DE 8h ago
GREAT ! A military junta within the Trump regime...what could go wrong. I'm sure these attacks are devastating to Russian citizens, but how will it compare when the Russians are finally successful with similar attacks on us? They've already shown us what happens when they blow up and election.
Debbie Atlanta 6h ago
This brings to mind the devastating power outage in Venezuela recently. Maduro blamed the US for cyberattacking the grid. And others blamed the failing system itself. We may never know but the effects seen there are a sample of what could happen anywhere in the world with this new technology. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2019/03/09/could-venezuelas-power-outage-really-be-a-cyber-attack /
Lucy Cooke California 8h ago
@GV and, I suppose the way the game is played, Putin, and any other leader of a country who has suffered because of the US actions, and that list is long, should attach a price to our misdeeds. The word "price" always reminds me of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright saying, when asked about the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to US sanctions, "The price was worth it". With the US has The Exceptional World Leader, the world may not survive in a livable state. We need more Nelson Mandelas and Mikhail Gorbachevs. GV, do you know much Russian history? Putin's misdeeds are so minor compared to the killing of hundreds of thousands and wrecking of countries by the US... Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia 14 Replies
Vic Malen Offshore 2h ago
What is wrong with this law system? Open demand on attacking energy sources which could lead to casualties, property and environmental damage is an international criminal case and such officials must be investigated and charged immediately to avoid subsequent collateral effects.
Angelsea Maryland 4h ago
There is a real danger in deploying cyber-mines in adversary systems. All code can be broken and used in retaliation. Even so-called "encapsulated" code can be disassembled. STUXNET was disassembled and repurposed as ransom-ware. To be effective in Internet-connected systems, any attack-code must emulate "normal" behavior. To do this, publicly available programming code, such as, Java, Perl, etc., is used as components of the attack-code. Once the encapsulation of the code is broken, and it will be, the code can be reverse-engineered, defended against, and repurposed to use against us. CYBERCOM, tread lightly.
Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ 7h ago
@TMah Russian hackers are generally superior to American hackers. This won't end well. 9 Replies
markd michigan 8h ago
Is it just me or shouldn't this kind of program be, you know, black? Eyes only, top secret. The US would have a lot more to lose than Russia if we lost the East Coast for a few weeks. We don't stockpile transformers which are the backbones of the grid so if Russia overloaded a few thousand of them we'd be down for months. We shouldn't "overbound our steps" as Stan Laurel used to say. 1 Reply
Righty America 8h ago
@Bruce1253 exactly. We experienced the giant blackout of 2003. You really can't imagine how damaging this can be until you experience it. We lived somewhat near the interstate and hundreds of people had to pull off at our exit - they were low on gas, and there was no way to get gas. In the city, we know someone who was stuck in a subway under the East River for hours not even knowing what had happened, then had to crawl through dirty tunnels to get up to the streets. These are just the relatively minor things that happen in the first few hours. People were generally helpful, but I can't imagine that lasting over a few days. we don't need to be tested like this. We need to be protected. 9 Replies
Old Maywood Arlington, VA 8h ago
Think on this for just a bit... These authorities were delegated downwards and the plans are largely being kept from Trump because the military and other national security authorities don't trust him not to tell Russia about them. That's right, the military does not trust Trump not to tell Russia or "put Russia first." The good news is that as long as this story stays in the newspapers and not on TV, Trump will never know about it.
AR San Francisco 11h ago
Yes but is a useful narrative created by the Clinton campaign to justify their electoral debacle. It also serves as a useful tool to seek to deligitimize Trump (like the Republicans with Whitewater and 'birther' angles-- both parties equally rotten liars). What is most dangerous is the Democrats resurrection of McCarthyite and jingoistic denunciations of 'foreign' influences (like BLM), and calls for greater and greater censorship of the media and social media. While that seems attractive when applied to rightists, they are fools not to understand it will be enforced against the left first and foremost. In Reply to Dan K
Ed Watters San Francisco 2h ago
Yeah, and I'm pretty certain that Venezuela's accusations of US online attack on their power grid has merit.
sonnel Isla Vista, CA 7h ago
Oh great, American politicians who think power originates in the plug on the wall making decisions about things that neither their IQ nor their training allow them to understand. I can hear our President saying, "we just turned off power to the bad guys' houses and crime dens". Meanwhile, our top leaders will never report how many die in the hospitals or accidents that their messing with the power grids in other countries have caused. Just like... bombing Iraq. Collateral damage: out of sight, out of mind.
Marcus Aurelius Terra Incognita 11h ago
@Socrates As usual, the article read in its entirety tells a different story about what the President's involvement actually was and why presidential briefing wasn't required. "Mr. Trump issued new authorities to Cyber Command last summer, in a still-classified document known as National Security Presidential Memoranda 13, giving General Nakasone far more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without receiving presidential approval." And as to what the -- again, as usual, "anonymous") officials purportedly aside: "Because the new law defines the actions in cyberspace as akin to traditional military activity on the ground, in the air or at sea, no such briefing would be necessary, they added." In Reply to Mauichuck
Blank Venice 8h ago
@jrinsc Wisely our military and intelligence 'leaders' restrict information flow to Individual-1. He is very Kirkland Russian asset. Remember that he passed Top Secret information to Russians in the Oval Office as a Russian press entourage looked on. 16 Replies
A Goldstein Portland 8h ago
This is a new definition of war in the 21st century, cyber-war, and I suspect that most Americans, especially Trump supporters are nearly clueless about what is at stake. With Putin and other authoritarian rulers, we must put on display our capabilities in more than nuclear warheads and naval powers. I trust the U.S. intelligence agencies and military much more than the executive branch of government. This is not my preference but it reflects the unprecedented time in which we are living.
Frank Raleigh, NC 7h ago
From yesterdays article on US doing trying to start a war with Iran. That was regarding oil tankers that were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. Your editorial on that yesterday stated that we need to stay on top of this tanker violence because of: "American objectives in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere across the region." Those tankers are not American and the serial lying about the middle east and Russia and of course Venezuela are pathetic. All of this combined with climate change, world population growth and a news media that is only doing the "Manufacturing Consent" thing for the corporations including military industrial complex can only lead to world disaster. It is existential. Russia has been interfering with our military recently and that is another horrid example of why Donald Trump is the worst president we have ever had. A very dangerous man who surrounds himself with the most ignorant, hysterical, people who support the military industrial complex over anything else. Billions and billions of money is given to the military by the congress whenever they ask. We do not look for peace; we look to support the MIC at all costs and those COSTS ARE VERY, VERY HIGH AND GLOOMY. Attacking Russian power plants? Faking news for Venezuela and Iran? "American objectives in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere across the region?" Wake up folks. It's up to you; no one else can save us!
Susan Anderson Boston 8h ago
@jrinsc And, of course, Trump and Senate Republicans will reverse the freezing, as has been done in the past. 16 Replies
Raven Earth 2h ago
Imagine a world where one country tried to tell every other country in the world who to be friends with, who to trade with, who their rulers should be, what products they should buy and from whom, what laws they should pass, what meetings they should attend, how to live, etc, etc. And imagine this same world where the people who lived in this bully of a country thought they and their country had the God-given right to tell other people in other countries how to live. Sounds like some future dystopian hellscape, right? Surprise! It's not. This is 'Murica! in the 21st century on planet Earth.
Leslie Amherst 7h ago
How can we aggress in this manner and then be so indignant when it is done to us?? I hate this!! I don't want to be a citizen of a country that attacks others. I want peace! Defense is understandable; attack is not.
Aram Hollman Arlington, MA 2h ago
The newer and more digital a system is, the more vulnerable it is to hacking. The older and less digital it is, the less vulnerable. That probably makes us more vulnerable than Russia, but our somewhat obsolete infrastructure (the one we need to spend $1 trillion on) may be less vulnerable than expected due to its obsolescence. The inherent immorality of going after power plants, refineries, and other non-military targets is that the effects target civilians. The fact that one nation may have done so (Russia, to Ukraine's electricity during a winter) does not justify another nation doing the same.
J Denver 7h ago
This entire notification is a message for one person... Trump. This is the intelligence agencies using their newfound powers that lack White House oversight, to signal to the White House that the intelligence agencies are DEEP inside Russia's systems and that they will know if Trump shows up inside those systems during the next election cycle. They can't stop Russia from waging cyber war... and they can't stop Trump from welcoming help from or siding with Russia... but they can send a message that they will know if this administration "goes there"... again...
ebmem Memphis, TN 4h ago
@Stan Chaz MAD [mutual assured destruction] between Russia and the United States prevented nuclear devastation because both sides knew they couldn't win. We are in a different universe now. Russia, with its poor economy one fifth of the US is no longer a superpower, although it is rebuilding its network of client states [with some like Cuba and Venezuela dying on the vine, and other former satellites like Ukraine and Georgia resisting their reacquisition by Russia.] China is also a growing player, expanding its wealth an political and economic strength. Various quasi stateless terrorist groups can damage the US and not experience appropriate retaliation because they have no official governments or homelands to hold accountable. In Reply to Ron
LibertyLover California 8h ago
@David Henderson I would suggest going back and reading some of the material Edward Snowden revealed about the NSA. Those capabilities will be oriented toward this objective now rather than just conventional espionage. The expertise is second to none. For that matter, read the DOJ indictment of the 12 GRU officers who hacked the DNC. The amount of detail described there will make you understand their capabilities. It's as if they were in the room with them. 7 Replies
Bob M Whitestone, NY 7h ago
This is very concerning on why the Trump administration would disclose this to the public. What's their motive? More concerning is that Trump in his infinite wisdom had the idea of setting up a joint cyber security task force with none other than Russia. Weird.
Loyd Collins Laurens,SC 7h ago
@Telly55 And this from the article. Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister. 4 Replies
WeHadAllBetterPayAttentionNow Southwest 11h ago
I am not so sure I believe much in this. Bragging about such a program would be counterproductive. Meanwhile, our Republican president and Senate continue to deny Russian interference in our elections and do nothing about it.
Chris San Francisco 7h ago
Anyone who thinks that our military is not constantly fighting our enemies doesn't know anything about the military. Some version of this kind of thing has been ongoing throughout history. They are very good at it, often the best in the world. That the US officials would reveal this information can be nothing but part of a strategy related to global objectives, including but not limited to Russia. The revelation itself can be considered a kind of weapon, though, of course, the general public is not privy to it's purpose. I trust the competence of our military almost completely, but I do not trust their ability to set national policy. They control some enormous hammers, and there are many things in the world that could look like a nail. The erosion of civilian oversight described in this article is terrifying. Unfortunately we're all getting used to that.
Dan K Louisville, CO 11h ago
@C.O. I would suggest that you read the Mueller Report. In Reply to Dan K
stan continople brooklyn 8h ago
If I was Russia, I'd demonstrate my prowess by making the NYC subway system run on time. That would cause absolute panic.
chambolle Bainbridge Island 7h ago
All of which begs the question, why on earth do we spend about $750 billion a year on military hardware and personnel, when our adversaries have learned to do as much damage as they want without firing a shell, torpedo or missile? And, it would appear -- and one would hope -- so can we. It cost Russia next to nothing to commence the unraveling of America's political system - a few hackers sitting in cubicles, each with a laptop and an internet connection accomplished that, with the help of Fox News, facebook, instagram, you tube and, above all, an uneducated, bible-thumping American populace uninterested in facts and seemingly incapable of rational thought.
Mike LaFleur Minneapolis, MN 7h ago
To whom it may concern: This article would be far more credible if it listed the names of the companies that make and sell the vulnerable power plant operating systems, transmission line management systems, and the power distribution systems. Which systems are vulnerable? Emerson's? ABB's? Siemens? Who's switch gear is vulnerable? Are they infiltrating the operating systems, the sensors, communications, the actuators, or maybe even the metering? Even the US electric grid is, for the most part, very unsophisticated. Grid operators have very limited visibility into what is happening on the grid. In most of the US, when there is a power outage, linemen are dispatched in trucks to visually look for downed wires with their eyes!!! No computers needed. Combine the fact that Trump shows no interest in fighting election interference with the improbability of vast penetration into the electric grid and all you have left is a paper tiger named John Bolton. This article is likely fake news. Mike
dominic KL 7h ago
I don't quite understand this, if US know that Russia is illegally hacking in to US power grids you either remove the malware or lodge a complaint with with the UN or whatever international authorities involved. If you hack back then you are no better then Russia.
Stuart Alaska 8h ago
@tim k If there was no such thing as global warming your point would be a cogent one. Unfortunately, we can't ignore that fact. 14 Replies
george coastline 7h ago
HOW TO WIN AN ELECTION WITHOUT STEALING ANY EMAILS 1 Restrict early voting in key swing states 2 Pass laws discouraging absentee ballots in those same states 3 On election day, turn off the power in the core of every large city where democrats usually win by large margins, heavily suppressing turnout 4 Count the ballots: Trump wins the state and is re-elected President.
HonorB14U Michigan 7h ago
America decides our wins and losses; not Russia! We decide how much we lose and what success we win on.
Michael Feeley Honolulu 4h ago
Maybe we could do something really useful and sabotage Facebook and Twitter. Now there's an idea that would improve the quality of life.
Michael Tyndall San Francisco 11h ago
My concern with US cyber warfare is the possibility the same code is turned around and used against us or our allies (I think we still have those outside outside our favored Sunni and right wing autocracies). The possibility of boomerang cyber mischief isn't confined to governments either. Remember the stolen NSA hacking tools that ended up on the dark web? Those have been turned against municipal governments and individuals in the form of ransom ware. Perhaps we can limit such risks by forming the most sophisticated cyber weapons as binary tools. Ones where the full capability isn't effective without two secret parts, only one part of which is installed in an adversary's infrastructure. But once fully deployed, there's still the risk the weapon is identified, preserved, and later redeployed against us. I think there are also ways for our adversaries to guard against erasure protocols within cyber weapons. Lastly, we still don't know if our president is a Russian asset. Maybe he just really likes murderous kleptocrats and autocrats like Putin, Kim, MBS, MBZ, and Duterte. Maybe he just has to talk privately with no one else from our side listening. Either way, none of our current top secrets or foreign intelligence assets may be safe while he's in office, or even after he leaves (unless he's in jail).
B. Honest Puyallup WA 8h ago
@maureen f. Israel released Stuxnet, just a minor correction there. That is actually more problem than had we done it, Israel is more unstable than we are, and that says something. In Reply to B. Honest
Jim Georgia 6h ago
What was published here is not classified and if you read the article, you will know that administration officials had no problem with the publication of this work. Assange, on the other hand, definitely published stolen classified information and may have solicited and facilitated its acquisition -- a crime. In Reply to Jim
Alex E elmont, ny 7h ago
I thought that Trump is a stooge of Putin, so, he won't take any action against Russia. This is the misinformation NY Times and other fake news have been telling Americans and the world. Now by releasing this classified information they are jeopardizing American National security. No wonder they are called enemies of the people. 2 Replies
Andy Salt Lake City, Utah 7h ago
Escalating attacks? Or informing Russia of their weaknesses? Cyber assault is inherently centered around stealth. Sounds to me like Trump is intentionally tipping our hand. A submarine isn't much use if you teach your enemy how to find it. The description presented here more closely resembles a joint exercise. However, the US is the only one providing intelligence. Surprise, surprise. Unilaterally providing intelligence to Putin no less.
J Darby Woodinville, WA 7h ago
Good news, I hope we're hitting the cyber bullies as hard or harder than they're hitting us. And it's wise to let trump in on as little as possible.
pb calif 8h ago
This sounds like a coverup story for Trump and the GOP. If it were true, it would have been classified. Gimme a break! Vote them out!
Jomo San Diego 8h ago
Just think what will happen when Russia plants malware into all our self-driving cars.
Mark Conway Naples FL 4h ago
I don't understand why Trump allows such threatening behavior toward one of his closest allies. Isn't he in control of his own government?
Frank Seattle 6h ago
US taxpayers still paying for government officials to create new malware that will eventually be turned against US taxpayers. Thanks "public servants".
Mary Lake Worth FL 7h ago
@M Trump has made unpresented changes much like a fascist dictator, which he wants to be. It's just a wing and a prayer that our government hasn't ceased to function effectively, due to long-standing norms and those who would resist his worst impulses. All Russia would need is another cosy private meeting with Trump to have him bragging about this new secret weapon to deliver all this for Comrad Putin to use on us. Flattery is the way to his heart and there goes everything that should be kept under wraps for security. 8 Replies
md green Topanga, Ca. 8h ago
@GV Couldn't agree more! And it would make the Straits of Hormuz attach a much different issue. What's it going to take to get this oil addicted country to switch to renewables? I guess we'll find out. 14 Replies
Rebel in Disguise TO, Canada 8h ago
This doesn't bode well for Putin's next job performance appraisal of the POTUS he worked so hard to put into power. Trump's been kept in the dark by Americans who aren't subservient to Putin.
New World NYC 8h ago
I keep 14 days worth of water, food, and candles in my apt. I live on the 12th floor and twice a week I use the stairs to get up to my apt. I also keep a shotgun and cash
David Oak Lawn 4h ago
You see how Donald Trump's Iran claims were eaten up by the mainstream media. Now you see how Trump is playing both sides. He claims he wants to be lenient with Russia (which is a fool's errand) but his administration is getting tougher with Russia. Trump is easy to manipulate because he is so beholden to so many interests. Sorry to say it, but this makes him an attractive candidate to powerful interests.
Tim Nelson Seattle 8h ago
The best defense is a good offense, and a vital part of this American offensive capability is to keep the details out of the hands of this president. I have long waited to hear of how we are actively and effectively responding to Russian aggression, but in this age of Trump I have feared his ability to undermine any steps on our part. Of course he is beholden to the regime that got him elected. It is essential to counter the aggression of authoritarian regimes like Putin's and just as important to rid America in 2020 of the authoritarian menace that is Donald Trump.
TTC USA 2h ago
I thought America was the country that always played by the rules, and we're upset because we've been taken advantage of for too long. But apparently we're attacking another nation's power grid. Hypocrites we are. It's better if we're just honest with ourselves. Admit that we spin facts to feed our narrative, to justify the damage we cause to other nations. Next nation to justify going to war with? China. Cause only we can be #1.
uga muga miami fl 4h ago
Finally something presidential about Trump. They say there's a lot of symbolism to the presidency and this piece reflects an instance where he's president in name only.
K. H. Boston 8h ago
GOOD! About time we started punching back. Russia is mistaken if it thinks it can wantonly interfere in other countries (Salisbury, 2016, etc.) without repercussion. Good job boys.
Duane McPherson Groveland, NY 7h ago
Well, if the US decides to engage in some covert cyber-warfare then we should be safe, because the NSA has some really powerful hacking tools. So I'm sleeping easy tonight. Oh, wait, you say those tools got misplaced and lost? Never mind then, just buy some candles for light and a Coleman stove to cook on. You'll be fine; it'll be fun, just like camping out. In your own kitchen.
T OC 4h ago
It is time to go on the offensive in this Cold War. We've been on the losing defensive side of this way too long.
shiningstars122 CT 11h ago
Its obvious that we need to protect our online infrastructure in ways we have never done before, which a majority of the US economy uses. If this is not the case I get nervous if we start kicking the hornets next and we are not fully prepared for the response. As a consumer I am very wary of buying and using " smart" products in my home. It is obvious that the private sector has not even fortified their own firewalls to protect themselves. Do you think that Alexsa or that new refrigerator will have the level of encryption and protection guess against even the most basic cyber attack. I think a parallel approach is to fortify our own network in ways that have not occurred before, but sadly too much of these illegal breaches are based on human error and when it comes to that one you will never be fully secure. It is clear the rules of engagement for cyber warfare need to be discussed and treaties need to be put in play to protect civilians, who sadly in warfare always pay the highest prices when our maligned leaders, like the one currently holding office, go off the deep end.
Easy Goer Louisiana 8h ago
@Bruce1253 Agree. However, imagine your life without any power, for good? Everyone involved, whether they be American, Russian, Chinese, Korean, etc. is playing a deadly chess game, and humanity are the pawns. 9 Replies
steve CT 7h ago
So now we are going to attack other countries power grids , to hurt citizens like it seems we did to Venezuela to try and install our puppet Gaido, because we want to control their oil the largest in the world. We did not like their election of President Maduro so we tried to overthrow him because he wasn't willing to be controlled, like the 73% of dictators around the world that are our allies that we sell arms too. We have never cared about other countries elections, I also wonder if our elections are rigged, with our electronic machines supplied by questionable corporations. Now we are blaming the Russian government for what a troll farm company did in Russia buying election ads for clickbait so they could profit. This sounds like the 1950's red scare. Russia should be our friend just like Iran, except we ally with countries like Saudi Arabia the largest financier of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and that spreads Wahhabism. This is all so our Military Industrial Complex can profit needing ever larger weapons systems. Peace is not profitable it seems for our Oligarchy.
Robert Richardson Halifax June 15
If the US is openly pursuing this course, and succeeds, I would expect Putin to hit back in kind, by shutting down the power grids of America's less prepared allies. Like Canada, where our aging power grid is already struggling, without being attacked. 1 Reply
PE Seattle 11h ago
I'm not sure we want to perpetuate this tactic as fair game in war. Do we want our power grid hacked? This puts regular people at risk of have no electricity, no heat, no AC. Our war is not with regular people. Our war is with oligarchs.
Marc Chicago 7h ago
"Under the law, those actions [cyber espionage against U.S. adversaries] can now be authorized by the defense secretary without special presidential approval." Because Donny would pick up the phone to tattle to his BFF Vlad.
New World NYC 4h ago
One day we're all gonna wake up and look at our bank statements, 401Ks and our Etrade accounts and see a $0.00 balance. Then what ?
stefanie santa fe nm 7h ago
I thought the stable genius did not reveal what he was doing in terms of attacking another country. And if his good bro, Putin, said nothing was going on, why is the US attacking Russia? (sarcasm).
John Grillo Edgewater, MD 8h ago
What an absurd, clearly unprecedented, and highly dangerous state this country is in when the Commander-in-Chief, as reported herein, cannot be trusted by our own military and intelligence leaders with probably compartmentalized, top secret classified information about our cyber warfare capabilities and plans against Russia for fear that he could very well compromise the operation. Isn't this yet another reason why Trump should be removed from office by impeachment? What his own Administration's national security people are saying is that their leader cannot be trusted with the most sensitive information held by the government. If this Fake President is a threat to the nation on a scale of that profound magnitude, he cannot and must not be allowed to remain in office. Congress, are you listening???
C. Gregory California 2h ago
"Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail..." Um, isn't it normal procedure to brief the president of the United States about major changes in military strategy like this? I mean, the president is supposedly "commander in chief." How about Congress, or at least the relevant Congressional committees? Are they being kept in the loop? Or are Bolton and Co. just winging it on their own? If so, that's quite disturbing.
rjh NY 4h ago
So if a Russian nuclear plant has a meltdown or other catastrophe, will they be justified in wondering if the US caused it? Also, the malware against Iran spread to other countries even thought that was not intended to do so.
saucier Pittsburgh 7h ago
Wasn't their just an excellent show on HBO that shows what happens when you mess with controlling power? No, not Game of Thrones. Chernobyl. Nuclear comprises 20% of Russia's electricity generation. Do we really want our fingerprints all over the crime scene should something go wrong? Can't we mess with computer controlled vodka distillation instead?
Norman McDougall Canada 8h ago
Let me understand this. The same USA that is outraged by Russian election hacking is simultaneously conducting cyber-attacks on Russian infrastructure? This situation would be merely ironic if it weren't so callously hypocritical.
just Robert North Carolina 8h ago
It would be nice to think that the self proclaimed 'genius Trump knows something about the cyber war we are fighting or at least trust the experts on the front lines of this war. As it is he looks into Putin's eyes and declares him without sin and denies that Russia used cyber space to hack our 2016 elections and even declares that this information can be used to help his campaign. He prevaricates a little, but we heard you the first time, Mr.Trump. Our intelligence agencies may be planting these bugs in the Russian electric grid, but what we need is a leader who has the intelligence and wisdom to guide its use.
larry dc 8h ago
So CyberCommand doesn't brief the President because (1) they don't think the law requires them to do so, (2) and they don't trust him with important information? This is deeply disturbing on multiple fronts.
Larry L Dallas, TX 7h ago
@Barbara, in the past, before urbanism, it was possible to survive because you could live off the land. This is not a possibility in the middle of NYC, DC or SF. 9 Replies
joshbarnes Honolulu, HI 8h ago
It will all end in tears, I know it.

[Jun 14, 2019] Originally, creation of the Arc of Crisis was proposed by Bernard Lewis as a means to divide and rule, which has always been the British Empire s mody operandi , and Zbigniew Brzezinski wanted to create an Arc of Crisis all along the southern border of the USSR and later, Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Except for Afghanistan, the "Arc of Crisis" hasn't been all that successful as far as creating instability to Russia's south, and it hasn't been all that successful in promoting Anglo-American hegemony either. However, it has been wildly successful in perpetuating the "arc of instability" that justifies US military spending, so the MIC is quite well satisfied with the policies whether the broader interests and security of the British and American people are served well by the policy or not. ..."
"... Interesting to note that Daesh only ever appear to be attacking the traditional enemies of the Zionist. ..."
"... Daesh are like another Gladio, but on steroids. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | washingtonsblog.com
Southern 4 years ago • edited ,

Thanks for clarifying this - The roots of ISIS can be found in this article Creating an "Arc of Crisis": The Destabilization of the Middle East and Central Asia

Bill Rood Southern 4 years ago ,

Yes. Originally, creation of the "Arc of Crisis" was proposed by Bernard Lewis as a means to divide and rule, which has always been the British Empire's mody operandi , and Zbigniew Brzezinski wanted to create an "Arc of Crisis" all along the southern border of the USSR and later, Russia.

Except for Afghanistan, the "Arc of Crisis" hasn't been all that successful as far as creating instability to Russia's south, and it hasn't been all that successful in promoting Anglo-American hegemony either. However, it has been wildly successful in perpetuating the "arc of instability" that justifies US military spending, so the MIC is quite well satisfied with the policies whether the broader interests and security of the British and American people are served well by the policy or not.

Southern Bill Rood 4 years ago • edited ,

There are many different aspects to this, like from the moment that large numbers of prisoners on death row in S.A. were given the ultimatum for joining the FSA or decline and face certain execution.

Too often regions are deliberately being exploited by greedy individuals and mixed into politics.

Interesting to note that Daesh only ever appear to be attacking the traditional enemies of the Zionist.

Daesh are like another Gladio, but on steroids.

Check this out - letter from Raqqa

[Jun 14, 2019] Corrupt "good guys," Tax Justice Network kills podcast on Browder

Jun 14, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al June 7, 2019 at 1:42 am

I followed the 'J'accuse News' tweet in response to Barnes's mea post culpa and came across this:

Corrupt "good guys," Tax Justice Network kills podcast on Browder
https://www.thekomisarscoop.com/2019/05/corrupt-good-guys-tax-justice-network-kills-podcast-on-browder/

By Lucy Komisar
May 11, 2019

The Tax Justice Network, organized in 2003 to fight offshore tax evasion and corruption, has censored a podcast its founding director recorded when I spoke at the Offshore Alert Conference in November in London. I didn't write about this before now, because I though the TJN leaders might change their minds. But it turns out they are either cowardly or corrupt.
####

Browder's tentacles run far, but only as far as his backers allow him, which leads me to ask 'what would it take for them to drop him'? Browder has a shelf-life and at some point he will be surplus to requirement .

Mark Chapman June 7, 2019 at 3:19 pm
That's a very sad story. You can really only take on someone like Browder when you have nothing to lose – it seems that as soon as you attract interest at an organizational level, it turns out that organization is afraid of losing its funding, and bows to the power which threatens to take it away. Note that he was not able to intimidate Nekrasov into not making his film, but he was able to browbeat theatres into not showing it.

Sooner or later it will all come crashing down for Browder. But The USA will protect him until they have something to replace the Magnitsky Act so they can continue to legally discriminate against Russia. If Browder goes down, the act he worked so hard to get on the books will be revealed as partisan bullshit, and nobody in the west wants that.

[Jun 13, 2019] A recent RAND Corporation research paper which delivers a detailed road map as to how the United States can destabilize Russia

Jun 13, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Warren June 13, 2019 at 9:02 am

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_nCBxfsNADo?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Mark Chapman June 13, 2019 at 10:17 am
Astoundingly arrogant, not to mention immature. If Russia produced a study on how to destroy America, there would be screams of rage at the unmitigated evil which must motivate a national effort to wreck the economy of another, and cause misery and social collapse for millions of people who were completely innocent. But only the Exceptional Nation can discuss it impassively, as if the study were nothing more than a coffee-table book. Because, you know, it is destined to rule and to triumph over all. So many parallels to Rome, yes, yes.

Americans were blessed with a wonderful, rich and bountiful country. Instead of being content with it, the repellent US government has set its sights on world domination so as to draw upon global wealth to increase American personal wealth and influence. It really sees itself as sitting at the pinnacle of a global empire in which all other countries are either vassals or resources. And the American people, while you could not really call them complicit, are mostly sold on the notion that this is their birthright as Americans, and that anyone who tries to forestall its unfolding in this fashion is trying to upset the natural order of things. Americans cannot be content with simply having America – they have to own and control it all. Oddly enough, the very ambition which was attributed to the Communists.

Northern Star June 13, 2019 at 4:10 pm
Take a look at some of the most notable RAND members:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAND_Corporation#Notable_participants

I think that fairly well explains it

[May 22, 2019] The KGB plotters of 1991 had thought that post-Communist Russia would be treated by the West like the prodigal son, with a fattened calf being slaughtered for the welcome feast. To their disappointment, the stupid bastards discovered that their country was to play the part of the fattened calf at the feast, and they were turned from unseen rulers into billionaires' bodyguards

May 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

Jake says: Next New Comment May 22, 2019 at 3:27 pm GMT 100 Words This is good writing: "The KGB plotters of 1991 had thought that post-Communist Russia would be treated by the West like the prodigal son, with a fattened calf being slaughtered for the welcome feast. To their disappointment, the stupid bastards discovered that their country was to play the part of the fattened calf at the feast, and they were turned from unseen rulers into billionaires' bodyguards.

Jake says: Next New Comment May 22, 2019 at 3:22 pm GMT Andropov's mother was Jewish.

[May 05, 2019] Truman knew Russia posed no threat to the U$, but chose, like many a predecessor, to create a monster, an enemy of fearful dimension and ruthless intent, to keep the highly profitable militarization of the U$ going. That was the end on United Nations idea

May 05, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

CitizenOne , May 1, 2019 at 01:28

Correct Sam. From The Art of War to win one must know the enemy like one knows ones self. There were terrible consequences for the failure of the West to know Hitler's intentions and fail to act appropriately. England and France were duped by themselves into a policy of submission until it was almost too late. England held on by a thread and somehow managed to break the appeasement strategy and go on to total war. You know the "We shall fight them on the Beaches" speeches which were the defining moments after the failed diplomacy that changed the course of history.

But there is a problem with hindsight. Every hammer sees a problem as a nail. Our past victories are, in the end, no prediction of our future successes. We need to evaluate every emerging condition as an entirely new problem to be solved with no preconceptions. We need to cast a wide net and explore multiple paths for the successful defense of the Nation. We need to be able to correctly see the future and take actions.

This is where we have failed believing we have no existential threat we are willing to admit to ourselves except for the old threadbare reasons we find solace and comfort in dusting off the old playbook for World actions believing that the old plans will somehow guarantee success.

We need to move beyond a model of our preeminence and our position as the leading nation in the World which still relies on our former dominance and our ability to direct the course of foreign nations.

The entire population of the Planet is growing stronger and more diverse. The voices from emerging nations are growing louder. China is investing the cash they got from the West to implement new strategies to provide basic services to developing nations. Their aim is not philanthropy but eventual control.

We can no longer afford to expect that some foreign devil nation will rear its ugly head so we can chop it's head off like we did in WWII. Instead we should be preparing for the new frontier where former adversaries and allies are making inroads in building the new economies of the future.

There is only one option. We need to stop focusing on our past victories and the methods we used to achieve those victories and begin to correctly assess the opportunities out there where we can still influence the rest of the World in positive ways. China and Russia are not waiting for us to catch up.

Tedder , April 30, 2019 at 15:20

I have read that after WW II, the Soviets made overtures to the Truman government, but those were rejected in favor of hostility. It seems the capitalists' fear of socialism overcame good sense.

DW Bartoo , May 1, 2019 at 11:59

Truman knew Russia posed no threat to the U$, Tedder, but chose, like many a predecessor, to create a monster, an enemy of fearful dimension and ruthless intent, to keep the highly profitable militarization of the U$ going. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not done to bring the Japanese to their knees, they were already there, it was to send a message to the Soviet Union.

All that remained was to stoke domestic fear, inculcate loathing, and extend military empire, as evidenced by what soon transpired on the Korean Peninsula.

U$ history courses omitt so very much, being most often hagiographic exercises designed to impart unquestioning patriotism.

Truman instituted the peace-time draft for precisely the same reason, and Hollywood supplied the fictive depictions designed to instill a manly notion of ass-kicking which would dictate policy henceforth.

Truman and Eisenhower both knew that anti-communism was a lark, but it persuaded JFK to begin the war against Vietnam (and Cambodia and other hapless nearby nations). Vietnam presented no more threat to the U$ than had North Korea. Both were attacked to intimidate China and the Soviet Union.

The claim was that the wars were necessary to stop the spread of "monolithic communism" when, in fact, China and the Soviet Union were hardy bosom buddies and deeply distrusted each other.

But it was FDR who really sought what has become the US empire.

Though you will find no mention of that in most U$ history courses, any more than you will find but passing mention, if any at all, of General Smedley Butler, who made clear that his task had not been to protect the people of the U$, in his foreign engagements, but to open doors for banking and corporate interests.

We are at the tail end of a long series of provoked wars and fake news (when William R. Hearst found a day without news, he simply invented it -- imagine what that means if today's young historians seek to research the past by looking at "old" newspaper accounts).

Jeff Harrison , April 30, 2019 at 23:59

I would like to point out that the useless UN has repeatedly caved to US violations of international law, the UN charter, and any number of UN sanctioned treaties. How, exactly, is this any different than the League of Nations and Nazi Germany?

Zhu , April 30, 2019 at 01:31

Whoever moves into the White House, post ritual election, nothing much ever changes. As a society, we are committrd to constant warfare. It pleases our national vanity.

Sam F , April 29, 2019 at 21:03

It is a very good thing that "extremist ideologues accelerate America's already evident decline as a global power." It has long been apparent that US democracy cannot be saved from the tyranny of the rich, who now control all of its tools of democracy: its elections, mass media, and judiciary. Jefferson wrote that "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants" every 20 years or so, now long overdue. Certainly the US can only be rebuilt from a very low state, when the rich have been controlled and prohibited, if it is to be saved from violent revolution or conquest. So its economic destruction by imbecile demagogues is a blessing indeed, every step of the way. Let them take America to the recycling center, the sooner to be reworked as a real democracy for the new century.

Roberto , April 30, 2019 at 08:13

It's kind of like "Planet of The Apes", in the sense that the underlings support the process as religious fanatics, who are servants of an oligarchy.

Tedder , April 30, 2019 at 15:22

Sam, climate disruption will probably interfere with everything; hopefully, America's decline will be an intelligent response to actuality. I won't hold my breath.

KiwiAntz , April 29, 2019 at 19:35

America should be booted out of the United Nations & the Organization moved to another Country, outside of the US? Because this Country doesn't obey International Laws, there's no point in the US being part of it? Its a pariah, rogue State & must be treated as such & designated a Terrorist Nation! America is a AIDS virus infecting & poisoning the World & must be isolated & contained, like any deadly virus? Attempts by the International community to wean their economies away from the US Dollar system, must be accelerated & all the other Nations who rely on Iranian Oil, & others, need to stand together & say with one united voice, we reject your threats, your sanctions & your War crimes behaviour! This Global Bully called America, who thinks it can threaten every Nation on Earth with sanctions & threats in order to get its own way, must be stopped? Trumps geriatric, old white guy, hopeless Presidency & his lunatic appointment's of Bolton & Pompeo has exposed the true rotten face of US Imperialism, its benevolent face shown to be a complete lie & farce & thanks to Trump & his cronies, everyone can now see this Nation for what it really is? It's a criminal, Mafia, gangster Nation shaking down other Nations for oil & loot? Lashing around like a drunken buffoon on his last legs, America's last desperate effort to maintain its Hegemonic status is slipping through its fingers like water, in a increasingly multipolar World lead by Russia, China & every other Nation that's abandoning the suicidal, Western model of the US in favour of the One Belt, One Road Initiative & economic model of the future, leaving America behind in its wake as a has been, decaying Empire in its death throes, living on its past glories!

dfnslblty , April 30, 2019 at 13:12

"America should be booted out of the United Nations & the Organization moved to another Country, outside of the US? Because this Country doesn't obey International Laws, there's no point in the US being part of it?"
Excellent idea that points to usa's hypocracy and attendant violence.

JohnP , April 29, 2019 at 19:35

Besides the influence of Pompeo and Bolton upon Trump, there is Kershner and I sense Trump's desire to gift powerful Zionists who can then promote his business and his ego. Israel wants the Golan Heights it said, because it is defensive, however that may be true, there is also gas and oil there, and they are already taking it away from Syria, just as they deny the Palestinians the energy just off the Gaza shore.
As thick as Trump is, he has an ability to use vulnerable people to his advantage. I just wish they could or would see that.

JohnP , April 29, 2019 at 19:48

I meant to say at the start that I think it is Israeli influences through his advisors including Trumps son-in-law that have set the Iranian policy. They are the ones who helped Hizballah get Israel out southern Lebanon which Israel considers part of Greater Israel. Twice they have kicked Israel out of Lebanon.

Zhu , April 30, 2019 at 01:37

Christian Zionists, like Pompeo & Pence, have the political clout. We Americans are responsible for our own follies, not scapegoats in any other country.

Tedder , April 30, 2019 at 15:24

And Golan has water, worth more than gas and oil

boxerwar , April 29, 2019 at 19:28

NORTH KOREA BEGS, ON BENDED KNEES FOR AMERICAN EASE OF SANCTIONS

SO THAT N. KOREAN PEOPLE CAN HAVE ADEQUATE FOOD SUPPLIES, MEDICAL SUPPLIES, FERTILIZER FOR FARMS, OPEN COMMERCE WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THE WAR SHOOTING WITH KOREA CAME TO AN END DECADES AGO!!!!!!

WHY THE RUCK ARE WE STILL, IN EFFECT, HOLDING THAT NATION OF PEOPLE AS PRISONERS-OF-WAR FIFTY + FU-KEN YEARS AFTER OUR ABSOLUTELY TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF ALL THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE, ROADS, DAMS, FARMS, HOSPITALS, UTILITIES, LEAVING THEM ABSOLUTELY DEPENDENT ON THE SMALL CHARITY FROM COMPASSIONATE NATIONS.

THAT QUESTION 60 FRIGG'EN YEARS AFTER WE BOMBED THEM INTO HOLY CRAP AND'VE FORBIDDEN OTHER NATIONS, FOR NOW SIXTY YEARS, FROM DOING ANY SORT OF FREE TRADING ??? !!!

WHO THE G UCK ARE WE???? TO ENSHRINE AND ENFORCE SUCH TERRORISM UPON A PEOPLE WHOM'VE HAD NOT-A-THING TO DO WITH A WAR FRAUGHT UPON THEM SIXTY FRIGGIN YEARS AGO !!!!!!???????!!!!

ARE YOU (we) SO-CALLED PATRIOTS -- OR FRIGGEN PARTICIPANTS IN THE CONTINUED MASS MURDER OF CIVILIAN HUMAN BEINGS, STRUGGLING & STARVING UNDER OUR HOSTAGE INTERNATIONAL BULLYING / BARRIERS, I REPEAT ! AFTER NOW 70 FULL YEARS OF SANCTIONS/EMBARGOES and CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR AGAINST INNOCENT CIVILIANS . !!!!!!

dfnslblty , April 30, 2019 at 13:16

boxerwar:
Excellent plea and challenge ~ keep Protesting and Writing!

JOHN CHUCKMAN , April 29, 2019 at 19:01

Irrational is right.

For it is without question that the United States is behaving irrationally about Iran.

Here are some concise observations on the history of this and just why it is so:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/john-chuckman-comment-series-of-comments-on-american-sanctions-and-iran-why-america-hates-iran-important-details-of-irans-past-treatment-by-the-u-s-real-reason-israel-hates-iran-democracy/

boxerwar , April 29, 2019 at 18:49

IRRATIONAL -: adverse, unfavorable, improper, pernicious, noxious, EVIL, and, so on -- in terms of ruthless,or, imprudent bully-ism.
Such behavior is typical in the life of our unscrupulous, narcisistic Flim-Flam remorseless fiend, the American POTUS Trump.

WHAT BRUTAL HARMS HAVE BEEN INFLICTED ANYWHERE THIS WORLD BY THE PEOPLE/NATION OF IRAN ? ? ? ?
(as compared to Saudi Arabia and/or Israel ==== Both Our "Allies " whom have NO Compunction against bombing civilians )

Repeat the words of Secretary of State Condelezza Rice, "WHAT WE SEE NOW ARE THE BIRTH PANGS OF A NEW MIDDLE EAST."
(other officials stated openly that our intent in fomenting war in the Middle East was/is the purpose of "OPENING MARKETS.")

don't be fooled by love songs (patriotic) and/or lonely hearts (deceitful men)our 'leaders' are rapaciously greedy, evil persons /
why don't they reveal the un-redacted Mueller Report?! -- Same reasons for JFK report and Saudi's allowed to fly after 9/11.

https://muckrack.com/pepe-escobar/articles

JOHN CHUCKMAN , April 29, 2019 at 19:03

????

Perhaps you need to take a little time to explain what you were trying to say?

Boxerwar , April 30, 2019 at 15:17

"Such behavior is typical in the life of our unscrupulous, narcisistic Flim-Flam remorseless fiend, the American POTUS Trump"

JOHN CHUCKMAN -- "Perhaps you need to take a little time to explain what you were trying to say?

++++ "The US Moves on Iran's Oil Market as an Expression of an Irrational Foreign Policy" ++++

Mr. Chuckman; Recognize and Rationalise POTUS Trump in his narcissistic mind-set as the (a) 21st century NERO .

A neurotic / egotistical Fool, CONTROLLING Levers of World Economy,Commerce and Military POWER.

Mr. Chuckman; add to that the Power and Authority to OWN foreign government banks/politicians/sovereign Right of Control over THEIR NATIONAL RIGHT TO OWN AND CONTROL THEIR OWN ECONOMIES !!! ???

Mr. Trump is the face of an International Interloper, and/or is the shocking spearpoint of the brave-new-world of
Sentient Androids / Robots / Artificial Intelligence / TransHumanism. (wake up everybody!)

George Gilder warned of this in his 1989 book MICROCOSM

"BEWARE THE SENTIENT ANDROID" says Ian McEwan' book, "Machines Like Me"

Which Have -- NO HUMAN FEELING
No Human Feeling / No Compassion/ No Mercy --

This is Trumpian Nomenclature/ his Conclave'
his Obsequious blindness to the "android-istic
Inhuman-istic selfishness of his Personal Character.

Trump and his ilk would not fit well with the
human characters met in Theodore Sturgeon
likelyMore less in the sermons of Spurgeon.

boxerwar , April 30, 2019 at 15:46

Get it right, Chuckman,
Trump is a man out of place
in this period of time

But a Fool Out of his own
Place and Time w/ Robots
and CRISPER DNA Splicing .

Our next Future POTUS,
Aware of Trans humanism
will be Empowered by

Emerging Science and the
Robotic / Android world
seen by A. Turing & A. Toffler

boxerwar , May 1, 2019 at 14:47

https://www.google.com/search?channel=mac_bm&q=A.+Turing+%26+A.+Toffler&tbm=isch&source=hp&client=safari&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjtybe8_vrhAhXFsJ4KHSNUAzEQsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=1623&bih=1080 <img alt='' src='https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/b2a125099eac79b13f17cee0a76eff94?s=60&#038;d=identicon&#038;r=pg' srcset='https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/b2a125099eac79b13f17cee0a76eff94?s=120&#038;d=identicon&#038;r=pg 2x' class='avatar avatar-60 photo' height='60' width='60' />

boxerwar , April 30, 2019 at 19:27

My second reply, Mr. Chuckman, (my first reply apparently hasn't been approved)

In regard to what I'm 'trying to say' --

The decrepit history of our Brutally Arrogant and Obsequiously Religious belief in The NATIONAL EXCEPTIONALISM,
that affords us the RIGHT to Construct 'wars' with Enemies-Of-Our-Choice, solely at the call of Oil Company Executives, or WarPlane execs, or Trade War Expansionists or Bomb Makers or corporatists like Iraq War Apologist Donald Rumsfeld, who championed and pushed through U S and international markets, the killer sugar substitute Nutrasweet to millions and millions of Overweight and/or Diabetic sufferer's. -- -- -- -- -- -- Rumsfeld, who championed The Iraq War, where MILLIONS of innocent humans were Slaughtered or Displaced by the FALSE ACCUSATION THAT SADDAM HUSSEIN was the culprit of the 9/11 WTC Event.

Like the Gulf of Tonkin CREATED EVENT and our CIA and DEA cocaine involvement in Central America that created the DRACONIAN Crack Epidemic of Death and Imprisonment in American 'Inner-Cities' -- that also introduced the exorbitant overflow of firearms inside densely populated Black & Latino neighborhoods. -- These were Planned Events, with planned purpose -- AN EVIL PLAN.

God Bless America, right !! ?

What lies ahead is ever encroaching Artificial Intelligence -- Robots, Sentient Androids, Gene Splicing, Trans Humanism, DNA Networks, " A Crack In Creation" -- CRISPER and the ability to change the genetic makeup of humans -- -- Non-Human Minds interacting with IDIOT NUMB-SCULLS like POTUS Trump !

Perhaps you need to take a little time to explain what you were trying to say?

CHUCKMAN; In Morse Code it would be -- -- --

Tedder , April 30, 2019 at 15:27

When the Crazies state somehow that Iran is the greatest purveyor of terrorism in the world, I cringe. I follow the news, and I have not noticed one incidence of Iranian terrorism in many years -- perhaps the Embassy Takeover after the Revolution, but that can be excused as a defense against the CIA.

Drew Hunkins , April 29, 2019 at 15:55

"At the same time, Trump's desire to negotiate with adversaries -- Russia, Iran, North Korea -- is entirely defensible. But the "down to zero" Iran policy to take effect this week can be read as a signal of the president's failure to counter the foreign policy Manicheans who surround him."

Not sure if I agree with Lawrence on this point. Trump indeed always wanted to negotiate with Russia and NK. However , a distinction must be made when it comes to Iran specifically. Trump has always been a staunch hawk toward Iran, always; he didn't need any cajoling from Bolton or Pompeo Maximus. He's merely continuing his hostility against Iran. (Cue Sheldon Adelson of course.)

David G , April 30, 2019 at 04:43

Dead right. The same can be said for Venezuela.

I don't know how much credit Trump deserves for his gaseous musings about better relations with Russia and North Korea, and about disengagement from war in Syria and Afghanistan -- swamped and overturned as they have been by the Beltway consensus -- but whatever you want to grant him with respect to those countries, there's no public evidence that his brutal hostility toward Iran and Venezuela required any convincing.

rosemerry , April 30, 2019 at 16:31

The brutal hostility is of course entirely unjustified. His "choice" of advisers just makes the whole problem worse-it would be difficult to find worse people than Pompass, Bolton and Abrams.

earthling1 , May 1, 2019 at 13:18

The plan is to regime change Venezuela and steal their oil. Blockade Iran from selling their oil and use Venezuelas oil to maintain low gas prices. Regime change Iran and move missiles to Russias southern flank.

Blow up Russian pipelines/blockade export of Russian oil. Regime change Russia and complete "containment" of China's northern flank. Regime change China.

Game , set, victory. World conquest.

[May 01, 2019] NATO Demolishes the Libyan State - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

May 01, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

The Following text is Section 6 of The 70 Years of NATO: From War to War,

by the Italian Committee No War No NATO

*

Documentation presented at the International Conference on the 70th Anniversary of NATO, Florence, April 7, 2019

In the course of the next two weeks, Global Research will publish the 16 sections of this important document, which will also be available as an E-book.

*
Contents

1. NATO is born from the Bomb
2. In the post-Cold War, NATO is renewed
3. NATO demolishes the Yugoslav state
4. NATO expands eastward to Russia
5. US and NATO attack Afghanistan and Iraq
6. NATO demolishes the Libyan state
7. The US/NATO war to demolish Syria
8. Israel and the Emirates in NATO
9. The US/NATO orchestration of the coup in Ukraine
10. US/NATO escalation in Europe
11. Italy, the aircraft carrier on the war front
12. US and NATO reject the UN treaty and deploy new nuclear weapons in Europe
13. US and NATO sink the INF Treaty
14. The Western American Empire plays the war card
15. The US/NATO planetary war system
16. Exiting the war system of NATO

***

1. Multiple factors make Libya important in the eyes of the United States and the European powers. It has the largest oil reserves in Africa, precious for its high quality and low cost of extraction, and large reserves of natural gas. On these, the Libyan state maintains strong control, leaving limited profit margins to US and European companies. In addition to black gold, Libya has white gold: the immense reserve of fossil water from the Nubian aquifer, which extends under Libya, Egypt, Sudan and Chad. Relevant are the sovereign funds, the capital that the Libyan state has invested abroad, in particular to provide Africa with its own financial bodies and its own currency.

NATO Expands Eastward to Russia

2. On the eve of the 2011 war, the United States and the European powers "froze", or seized, the Libyan sovereign funds, delivering a mortal blow to the entire project. The emails of Hillary Clinton (Secretary of State of the Obama administration in 2011), which came to light later, confirmed the real purpose of the war: to block Gaddafi's plan to use Libyan sovereign funds to create autonomous financial bodies of the African Union and an African currency as an alternative to the dollar and the CFA franc (the currency that 14 African countries, ex-French colonies are forced to use). It was Clinton – the New York Times would later document – who had President Obama sign "a document authorizing a covert operation in Libya and the supply of weapons to the rebels".

3. Tribal sectors hostile to the government of Tripoli and Islamic groups that had until a few months before been defined as terrorists were financed and armed. At the same time special forces infiltrated Libya, including thousands of easily disguised Qatari commandos. The entire operation was led by the United States, first through the African Command, then through NATO under US command.

4. On 19 March 2011, Libya's air-sea bombing began. In seven months, US/NATO air forces carried out 30,000 missions, of which 10,000 were attacks involving the use of over 40,000 bombs and missiles. Italy participated in this war using its military bases and forces and tearing up the Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between the two countries. For the war on Libya, Italy made seven air bases (Trapani, Gioia del Colle, Sigonella, Decimomannu, Aviano, Amendola and Pantelleria) available to the US/NATO forces, providing technical assistance and supplies. The Italian Air Force participated in the war by carrying out over a thousand missions, and the Italian Navy engaged on several fronts.

5. With the US/NATO war of 2011, the Libyan state was demolished and Gaddafi himself assassinated. That State was demolished which, on the southern shore of the Mediterranean facing Italy, maintained "high levels of economic growth" (as the World Bank itself documented in 2010), recording "high indicators of human development" including universal access to primary and secondary education with 46% of the population at university level. Despite the disparities, the standard of living of the Libyan population was considerably higher than that of other African countries. This was evidenced by the fact that over two million immigrants, mostly Africans, found work in Libya.

6. Sub-Saharan African immigrants were also affected by the war, who, persecuted on charges of collaborating with Gaddafi, were imprisoned or forced to flee. Many, driven by desperation, attempted the crossing of the Mediterranean towards Europe. Those who lost their lives were also victims of the war in which NATO demolished the Libyan state.

*

Sections 7-16 of the 70 Years of NATO, From War to War, forthcoming on Global Research

This text was translated from the Italian document which was distributed to participants at the April 7 Conference. It does not include sources and references.

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

[Apr 30, 2019] Managing Russia's Dissolution Truth or Desire OffGuardian

Notable quotes:
"... Promotion of myths about rich natural resources in the territory, where the ethnic group lives ..."
"... In large, this situation has become possible due to a de-facto inaction of or even unofficial ideological protection from authorities. If one takes a detailed look at the Russian elite, he will find that a significant part of it consists of westernized adherers to "liberal democratic order" while another consists of representatives of national family clans. ..."
"... Many of these persons do not associate themselves with the ordinary population and consider the territory of Russia only as a source to increase their personal wealth. ..."
Apr 30, 2019 | off-guardian.org

... ... ...

Bugajski's ideas are not new at all. Globalist think tanks have been advancing the same for decades.

Mud-slinging in order to undermine Russian statehood aims at fueling radicalism, nationalism and regionalism. It has the wave-like behavior. The previous wave top targeted pretty much the same regions: the North Caucasus, Middle Volga, Siberia and the Far East. Tricks and methods employed are not divers. The only difference between them is geographical location and names of the influenced ethnic groups.

These approaches could be provisionally marked as the "Polish style". This term has no links to modern Poland. We employ it only because the approaches provided below, except for the first point, Poland really has a great written history, are quite similar to the ones that were first used to fuel Polish nationalism in the 19 th and 20 th centuries and applied to the same geopolitical area.

The main ideas of this model are:

Creation of a pseudo-history of a nation or ethnic group. Usually this pseudo-history is dated back to the ancient world and legendary times. This "history" is based on pseudo-historical works and research papers composed by authors unknown to the world academic community. Promotion of ideas of exceptionalism among members of the nation or ethnic group. These ideas argue that the nation or ethnic group is superior to neighbors and instigate a grotesque sense of national identity (exceptionalism based on ethnicity). Creation of the myth of a historical archenemy, who has been oppressing the nation or ethnic group, often attempting to eliminate its "exceptional" culture. This historical archenemy is described as the reason for the group's undoing and thus its poor state in the modern world. The historical archenemy can be constructed from various states existing in different periods of history but, through which a historical succession or links can be traced. For example, the Golden Horde, the Moscow state, the Russian Empire, the USSR and the Russian Federation. The myth is actively fueled by speculation regarding historical events, which can neither be confirmed nor denied using factual data. Creation and promotion of the idea of the nation as once great but now defective, where this position of greatness had been stolen from it. Instigation of religious or intra-religious tensions, if the nation or ethnic group has a similar religion to that of its neighbors. The main approaches employed are:

The previous wave of information onslaught on nations and ethnic groups of Russia was aimed at the following targets:

It should be noted that the article "Managing Russia's dissolution" published by The Hill points to the same regions for further operations designed to dismantle Russia. These operations will be more dangerous than the previous ones because they will exploit the successes already achieved in some fields. For example:

the nationalism and religion issues in the North Caucasus; the nationalism of ethnic groups in the Volga region – Bashkirs, Tatars, Erzyas, Moshkas; the nationalism and regionalism of Buryats in eastern Siberia. the creation of a new separate pro-western identity by a good part of the people living in the cities of Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad, that distance itself from the rest of Russia; the creation of a separate ethnic-social identity in Western Siberia:

The regions have been targeted by multiple campaigns undermining and discrediting nationwide traditions and behaviors, for example the New Year traditional family holidays, social events of Soviet or Old Russian origin as well as common history of Russia. Individualism, neoliberal attitudes and values are successfully promoted in Saint Petersburg, Kaliningrad and Western Siberia. Education is simplified and westernized. Meanwhile stakeholders describe these tendencies as ugly and hostile examples to residents of the North Caucasus, southern Russia and other regions, promoted ultra-hardline or far right ideology. Local regionalism and ideology tensions are being successfully fueled.

In large, this situation has become possible due to a de-facto inaction of or even unofficial ideological protection from authorities. If one takes a detailed look at the Russian elite, he will find that a significant part of it consists of westernized adherers to "liberal democratic order" while another consists of representatives of national family clans.

Many of these persons do not associate themselves with the ordinary population and consider the territory of Russia only as a source to increase their personal wealth.

The term "new aristocracy", which has recently got spread in Russian media, has initially appeared as a proud self-designation among Russian elite families emphasizing exceptionality of their members.

Nonetheless, supporters of Bugajski ideas do not consider the aforementioned tendencies as sufficient for dismantling Russian statehood without additional strivings. While on the regional level they have achieved some results, the identified nationwide goals have not been accomplished. The system of Russia has not yet come close to an imbalance, that is, to the condition where destructive trends are already beginning to grow on their own, without additional artificial influence.

The negative tendencies so far set in motion could still be stopped and reversed. In this situation, we may expect a new wave of information onslaught toward Russia, traditionally backed by Western funds.

Copyrights 2015-2019. SouthFront (SF).


mark says Apr, 27, 2019

This is pure projection.
All the faults and failings and problems listed apply far more to the United Snakes and EU than to Russia. There is a remarkable continuity in western aggression towards Russia from Hitler till the present day. Carve up Russia into artificial mini states and loot its resources.

Bismarck used to say, Russia is not as strong as it seems. But it's not as weak as it seems either.

People point to the discrepancy in GDP and military spending. US v. Russia $21 trillion and $1.6 trillion, and $1,134 billion and $49 billion respectively.

That's true so far as it goes, but money buys 3 x as much in Russia. So that 1.6 figure is more like 4 plus, or around the size of the German economy.

Then there is the artificial dollar yardstick. The US organized a speculative attack on the rouble, driving it down from 30 to 80 to the dollar. So in dollar terms, the economy was reduced to less than half its previous size. But they were producing just as many cars and just as much oil and wheat as before. Exports were cheaper. The rouble was allowed to float back to around 55. Gold and foreign currency reserves were not wasted defending it, as Washington wanted. There was a great boost in domestic production. America can bankrupt itself with its endless wars and bloated inefficient war machine if it wants.

And if you look at the US economy, 40% is unproductive, rent seeking finance, Wall Street spivs pushing around worthless derivatives toilet paper and pretending it is worth trillions. Or the bloated rent seeking of the drug and insurance companies, 17% of the economy, charging $5,000 per hospital journey and $750 for a pill that costs a few cents to produce. So much else is accounted for by the military boondoggles.

When you take that into account, the figures are more like 8 trillion v. 4 trillion.

So much US wealth is eaten up by the gargantuan level of graft and corruption.

It is the US and EU that are at far greater risk of collapse – maybe a lot sooner than anyone realises.

Paul says Apr, 27, 2019
Anti Russian policies really took off in the 1780's when Catherine the Great was moving South (including taking Crimea). The British saw Russia as a threat to its business empire in India and possibly replacing parts of the Ottoman Empire if that was to finally crumble. The icing on the cake for the Russophobes came with Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. Russian soldiers bedded down on Parisian streets in 1814 got the paranoid juices flowing, from that time on the narrative has been that Russia is expanding aggressively and intends to dominate Europe while destroying European colonies in Asia.

The Revolution just increased Western paranoia; Russia was no longer just Russia but a Communist State and one immensely stronger with the formation of the USSR. When the Union collapsed and Russia was suddenly so much smaller and less powerful it was no surprise that plans developed to finally divide it up while hostility continues unabated.

It's almost as if the West needs the threat but not the war. In 250 years Britain has only once attacked Russia head on, during the French, Turkish, British attempt to seize Crimea in the 1850's. Although Sevastopol was destroyed the Allied forces had to withdraw.

Usually Britain has fought with Russia, against Napoleon and then the Germans in both World Wars.

BigB says Apr, 27, 2019
In global terms , Russia is particularly stable but, for reasons best known to itself – is risking global contagion due to its own neoliberal ideology (see below: reply to TTIC). Other than that, it is the whole integrated system that is susceptibly fragile to contagion. Russia and America are separated only by discourse – as revealed by capital flows.

And the epicentre of debt inertia could just as easily be the East – centred on China. For the precise reason that China built its way out of GFC 1.0. It won't build its way out of GFC 2.0 – which is likely to be many times the magnitude of the first one due to the debt hangover. We will discover what moral hazard and contagion really mean this time. And there will be no easy restart – negative interest rates and massive credit stimulus to reinflate the "mother of all bubbles'?

There are so many contradictions and fragilities, that predicting the where and when is a mugs game. But neither will there be any morality or false karmic retribution to it. The deliberately impoverished poor, sucked dry of their life essence by BOTH America and Russia (and Britain and China – see below) will suffer the most. The best thing humanity could do is reject as ecologically and evolutionarily redundant the entire hierarchical tributary system of globalised debt and death.

Entropically and ecologically, we can't afford it any more. But, psychologically, we probably won't. Some people seem to like it too much. They are not all American or European though. Even in their home countries – humanity has been left behind.

BigB says Apr, 27, 2019
The M$M lies: everyone knows its main purpose is para-state political propaganda – the integrated Fourth Estate. But it does not lie without purpose – there is the Herman/Chomsky model of controlling consent and consensus in the debatable public forum of acceptable discourse the Overton Window that focuses on the liberal democratic 'extreme centre'. It creates the spectacle of electoral politics – including Brexit and its transatlantic equivalent 'Obstructiongate'. This political 'bread and circuses' spectacle is extended into the fantasy imaginal of East/West geopolitcs. So is there intracapitalist inter-relational tensions and contradictions between East and West? Of course, ones that might get us all killed if they develop. But it also obscures what is happening beneath the radar – within and without the trained and political propaganda focused microscope – which is an International World Capitalism that is killing us all softly while our gaze is averted and focused on simulated and superficial spectacle elsewhere.

After the other day, I thought I better wind my neck in and do some actual research into international loans and FDI. There is plenty, if anyone wants to substantiate what I have said – there is no East and West to International World Capitalism (IWC). This should be obvious, but it isn't because the focus is on the ripples – sometimes large – on the surface of the pond. IWC works below the surface as integrated flows and counter-flows – round-tripping for treaty, tax, and money-laudering of illicit flows purposes. All of this is deregulated – and occurs 'elsewhere' beneath the public radar, and beneath the created spectacle that is deliberately narratively constructed to conceal it.

Nick Shaxson is a prime source, and one of the few journalists that cover the 'spiders web'. A web that is still centred on the City of London Corporation – that controls 25% of world trade. The other main centres are NY and Switzerland (Zurich – the BIS is 'elsewhere' to). Analysis of actual capital flows is not easy – deliberately so, as it is deliberately made to conceal the capital origination and through a series of accounting measures – make it look as it originated 'elsewhere'. But what analysis is available consolidates Wallerstein's World Systems Theory of a core, semi-periphery, and deliberately pauperised periphery.

Like it or not, (and downvotes won't change anything), it also shows that the 'network core' is the aforementioned ZUSUK ('Z' for Zurich) extended alliance of 'Pax Americana' and the City's post-colonial 'British Empire' – supported by a sub-imperial semi-periphery of the 'Eastern Block' and 'Greater China' as this paper shows.

https://www.smithschool.ox.ac.uk/events/Haberly%20and%20Wojcik,%20Regional%20Blocks%20and%20Imperial%20Legacies,%20Oct%202%20(WP) .pdf

So my unpopular proposal is that IWC is a parasitical hierarchical tributary system based on interest bearing debt, and Compounded Annual Rates of Growth (CAGR) that are are drawing the entire world into a deflationary death spiral. ZUSUK is the imperialist network core: with Russia/China as the sub-imperial, semi-periphery – drawing on the rest of the world. One that costs the poorest countries $1.2tn pa (in 2008). It is not a dynamic that anyone can do anything about, particularly when it is deliberately kept as a stealth dynamic – below the public radar. You can thank the media for that. But then, that's their job. Our job is to expose the lies and the underlying dynamics of death. It is globalised and integrated – and arranged hierarchically – not hemispherically. There is no East and West to capitalism not beneath the surface.

As Wallerstein has said: to understand World Systems – you have to forget what we have been inculcated with about the nation-state. We do not live in that regulated space anymore. The real world was deregulated for capital decades ago – though the neoliberal restructuring is ongoing. As soon as humanity realises that the teleology for capital accumulation is not an Ecological Civilisation – but deregulated Global Governance it may be able to consolidate the considerable anti-globalisation pushback growing in every country. Maybe, if and when we stop pretending the East has a capitalised Eco-Shangri-La rising. That, I'm afraid is capitalist propaganda.

[Apr 28, 2019] Rand think tank study suggest that the USA should flood the world with oil in order to overextend and unbalance Russia

Some pretty strange ideas if we are taking about oil. What they are smiling at RAND?
Notable quotes:
"... That evaluation is quite strange. The U.S. government does not produce oil. Private companies do so but only if they can make a profit. Increasing production beyond the global demand will decrease the oil price for all producers. All recent new U.S. production comes from shale oil. Optimistic estimates put the break even point for good shale oil fields at around $50 per barrel. Few fields can produce at lower costs. Most shale oil fields have a higher break even point. There is also a danger in suppressing oil prices. Many oil producing countries have U.S. friendly regimes. They need high oil prices to survive. Ruining them will not come cheap for the U.S. in geopolitical terms. ..."
"... of the 8 most promising suggestions - 6 of them are military... it seems to me these think tanks are great pr tools for the military industrial complex... who cares if the usa continues to move into 3rd world status as a nation, so long as more money for weapons can be acquired?? that is what these think tanks - rand and etc seem to want to foist on the public... it is all so very sad.. ..."
"... No, I think most US weapons procurement gives weapons that don't work as advertised, and wouldn't win wars anyway. I think it's one reason why the US military is largely only capable of spoiler wars, not actually conquering any place. (The other is the general unreliability of mercenary forces, which the US army basically is, however much they try to cultivate a militant Christian ethos.) ..."
"... I also do not believe spoiler wars help the country as a whole (as opposed to some of the owners) I think pretty much all a burden, immoral to boot and should be massively reduced. ..."
"... Even if you’re sure those companies are entirely private, if you print the current global reserve currency, can you not give “free” money to frackers and thereby make them more competitive than global peers? Sure, that’s flooding the market with an illegal subsidy. But, who can conduct proper accounting in opaque markets? ..."
Apr 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
According to RAND the best option to overextend and unbalance is to produce more oil:
Expanding U.S. energy production would stress Russia's economy, potentially constraining its government budget and, by extension, its defense spending. By adopting policies that expand world supply and depress global prices, the United States can limit Russian revenue. Doing so entails little cost or risk, produces second-order benefits for the U.S. economy, and does not need multilateral endorsement.

That evaluation is quite strange. The U.S. government does not produce oil. Private companies do so but only if they can make a profit. Increasing production beyond the global demand will decrease the oil price for all producers. All recent new U.S. production comes from shale oil. Optimistic estimates put the break even point for good shale oil fields at around $50 per barrel. Few fields can produce at lower costs. Most shale oil fields have a higher break even point. There is also a danger in suppressing oil prices. Many oil producing countries have U.S. friendly regimes. They need high oil prices to survive. Ruining them will not come cheap for the U.S. in geopolitical terms.

The second best option says RAND is to increase sanctions of Russia. This also doesn't make much sense. Russia can produce everything it needs and it has free access to the world's largest markets, China and India.

The best military options listed by RAND are all useless. All the new weapon systems Russia has revealed over the last two years are way more capable than anything the U.S. is able to field. If the U.S., as RAND advocates, invest more in certain fields, it will only be to catch up. That does not impose any new costs on Russia.

... ... ...

In all I find it a bit impertinent to publicly argue for "overextending and unbalancing Russia". Where is the need to do such?

The study demonstrates again that strategic analysis by U.S. think tanks is woefully shallow-minded. The "experts" writing these have no deep understanding of Russia, or even of the economic-political complexity of the real world.

Four of the eight best options the RAND study found start with the words "Invest more in ...". It is a sign that the foremost motive its writers had in mind is to grab more taxpayer money. Fine. Give it to them already. Overextending and unbalancing the U.S. by more abstruse expenditure for weapon systems that do not work will neither hurt me nor Russia.

james | Apr 27, 2019 2:34:51 PM | 2

thanks b.. of the 8 most promising suggestions - 6 of them are military... it seems to me these think tanks are great pr tools for the military industrial complex... who cares if the usa continues to move into 3rd world status as a nation, so long as more money for weapons can be acquired?? that is what these think tanks - rand and etc seem to want to foist on the public... it is all so very sad..

@1 steven.. well, as i read you, you are essentially supporting a continuation of the usa pouring endless money into the military then, regardless the accuracy of the accounts on the new Russian weapons.. do i have that right?

psychohistorian | Apr 27, 2019 2:42:19 PM | 3

@ b who wrote

"In all I find it a bit impertinent to publicly argue for "overextending and unbalancing Russia". Where is the need to do such?"

Russia is not beholden to the God of Mammon/global private finance world and the need to do such is to affect that position

The West is ruled by those that own private finance and all major conflict is predicated on the forceful, if necessary, maintenance of that control.

Steven T Johnson | Apr 27, 2019 2:47:15 PM | 4

james@2

No, I think most US weapons procurement gives weapons that don't work as advertised, and wouldn't win wars anyway. I think it's one reason why the US military is largely only capable of spoiler wars, not actually conquering any place. (The other is the general unreliability of mercenary forces, which the US army basically is, however much they try to cultivate a militant Christian ethos.)

However, since I also do not believe spoiler wars help the country as a whole (as opposed to some of the owners) I think pretty much all a burden, immoral to boot and should be massively reduced.

... ... ...

oglalla | Apr 27, 2019 5:34:07 PM | 18

>> The U.S. government does not produce oil. Private companies do so but only if they can make a profit. Increasing production beyond the global demand will decrease the oil price for all producers.

Even if you’re sure those companies are entirely private, if you print the current global reserve currency, can you not give “free” money to frackers and thereby make them more competitive than global peers? Sure, that’s flooding the market with an illegal subsidy. But, who can conduct proper accounting in opaque markets?

Of course, the money is not “free”. Depreciating the currency, an inflation tax, shows up in lower-quality goods (like frankenfood— we cannot afford healthy food any more) and higher prices in everything. But, again, who’s counting? The BLS and the media? Yep.

[Apr 28, 2019] The RAND Corporation think-tank report portrays Russia as a failing nation with a repressive authoritarian government, a predatory political elite that steals energy and mineral resources from colonial territories in Siberia and the Far East regions, decaying infrastructure and falling standards of living

Notable quotes:
"... The fish rots from the head; or so it's said. That does however, exactly describe the rolling disaster, earstwhile known as U.S. foreign policy; there isn't any! Just guns, more guns, bigger guns; but it's not working... ..."
"... Bolten, Pompeo, and Pense are in panic mode. Generally not known to produce clear, logical thinking. But their ideological positions also corrupt their cognitive skills(?)/conclusions. Buckle up; its going to be one hell of a ride... ..."
Apr 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Apr 27, 2019 5:38:18 PM | link

The RAND Corporation think-tank report is of a piece with Janusz Bugajski's flight into fancy with his January 2019 article for The Hill, "Managing Russia's Dissolution" , which portrays Russia as a failing nation with a repressive authoritarian government, a predatory political elite that steals energy and mineral resources from colonial territories in Siberia and the Far East regions, decaying infrastructure and falling standards of living. At least Bugajski's article lays out a strategy for the US to infiltrate Russia and hasten its break-up which, surprise of all surprises, turns out to be a regime-change strategy it has pursued in Syria and other parts of the world, past and present. It is the same kind of regime-change strategy the US chased in Russia when Boris Yeltsin first became Russian President in the early 1990s, and all of a sudden conflicts around the country's border regions (especially in Chechnya and Dagestan) began to spring up.

That such pieces as Bugajski's article and the RAND Corporation report have appeared about the same time is in itself a suggestion that the US Deep State truly exists on another plane of unreality. I wouldn't be surprised if a third hit-piece advocating regime change in Russia were to come out soon, either in the US or in the UK, but if that happens then we'll know we're really on a path to self-destruction.

karlof1 , Apr 27, 2019 7:18:00 PM | link

RAND produced a paper because it was contracted to produce a paper. There wasn't any demand that the paper be useful; rather, all that was wanted was the product--then paper. Now RAND can work on the next paper it's contracted to produce. I heard this next one does come with a requirement that its pages have perforations for easy tearing, absorbency, and be biodegradable.

Miss Lacy , Apr 27, 2019 7:54:36 PM | link

to jackrabbit #8 and taffyboy #15. cheers!

to tannenhouser #23.

It's 22 trillion. Yes. 22 trillion which by amazing coincidence is the exact amount (well give or take a few billion) of the national debt.

to karlofi

yes the RAND boondoggle is the slush fund for under employed academics. Let's hope it is biodegradable .

Clueless Joe , Apr 27, 2019 8:29:05 PM | link
Jen #22

Wait, this idiot isn't considering Siberia seceding from Russia? If that's the case, it's not just they live in their own reality, it's also that they're terminally stupid and completely ignorant of basic facts. From the Urals to Bering Straits, the bulk of the population is Russian, there's just no local ethnicity that can hope to go into guerrilla mode and secede. And since there's actually a continuum of Russian population going from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg, there's no sense of being a far away colony, like the US could have in 1770; it would be as if Florida felt to be a colony from Washington DC.

And the Russians I've met who came from Siberia felt very much Russian, belonging to Mother Russia, and didn't feel Moscow or Peter were a world of alien oppressive occupiers, they knew it was their country and their culture - with the classical shift between those who prefer and feel more alike to Moscow or to St. Petersburg (as most Russians, most Siberians I met feel akin to Moscow).

They should stick with the old plan of carving up the Caucasus, it's pretty much the only place where that can work and where secession can gain traction. It's a border region after all. The other major ethnies, Mordvins, Tatars, Bashkirs, Chuvash would all be enclaves inside Russia.

Well, there's always Tuva, but that wouldn't mean much as long as Russia has good relations with Mongolia, that's a small quite irrelevant area, and Defense Minister Shoygu is half-Tuvan so there's barely any way for a significant independance movement there for probably decades.

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 28, 2019 1:40:19 AM | link
Trump will be fuming when he hears what the Big Girls and the Naughty Little Girls at RAND are day-dreaming about now. Like any sane observer of the effects AmeriKKKan Foreign Policy, he knows Russia is just one of The Swamp's many imaginary "enemies of convenience."

He also knows that The Swamp, and its Global Judeo-Christian partners in crime and corruption, are the root cause of most of the military strife AND ter'rist insanity in the world.

In some ways this tosh can be seen as an extension of Richard Perle's Oafus Mawkish - A Clean Break - A Strategy For Securing The Realm.

Idle minds?

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 28, 2019 1:54:33 AM | link
This 'study' is what Penis Envy looks like when it's put in writing...
V , Apr 28, 2019 1:55:54 AM | link
The fish rots from the head; or so it's said. That does however, exactly describe the rolling disaster, earstwhile known as U.S. foreign policy; there isn't any! Just guns, more guns, bigger guns; but it's not working...

Bolten, Pompeo, and Pense are in panic mode. Generally not known to produce clear, logical thinking. But their ideological positions also corrupt their cognitive skills(?)/conclusions. Buckle up; its going to be one hell of a ride...

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 28, 2019 11:56:12 AM | link
That such pieces as Bugajski's article and the RAND Corporation report have appeared about the same time is in itself a suggestion that the US Deep State truly exists on another plane of unreality. I wouldn't be surprised if a third hit-piece advocating regime change in Russia were to come out soon, either in the US or in the UK, but if that happens then we'll know we're really on a path to self-destruction.

@Jen | Apr 27, 2019 5:38:18 PM | 19

It's easy to be mesmerised into focusing on Fink Tank drivel instead of the stuff happening outside the stale atmosphere of their unventilated tanks. The French peasants seem to have woken up to the fact that the Macron NeoLib govt has betrayed them and is only pretending to listen. It's only a matter of time until the Gillet Jaunes remember the words of jocular Neoliberal poster-boy Grover Norquist about "government small enough to drown in the bathtub."

Of course, when funny-man Grover said that he meant govt too small to responsibly oversee and administer all of its obligations to The People, thereby necessitating the 'outsourcing' of the juiciest govt obligations to Private Profiteers. Unfortunately, when a govt becomes too small and pompous to listen and respond to the legitimate concerns of The People, it runs the risk of having its size compared with the size of the Disenchanted demographic and, eventually, drowned. Hopefully metaphorically, although History says that when the French neglect reform for too long, metaphorical solutions tend to be neglected too.

And France is just the tip of the iceberg. Again.

[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.