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Pathological Russophobia
and sociopathic Carthago delenda est
(Carthage must be destroyed)
attitude of the US elite toward Russia

Who Rules America > Neoconservatism >
News Demonization of Putin Recommended Links British roots of US Rusoophobia Cold War II Perfidious Albion
Peak Cheap Energy and Temporary Oil Price Slump USA-Russia Gas War North Stream South Stream Zugzwang for Ukraine Russian Diplomacy
Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism False flag poisonings Skripal poisoning Litvinenko poisoning History of American False Flag Operations DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Nulandgate Anti-Russian hysteria in connection with DNC leak Putin-did-it fiasco Russian Ukrainian Gas Wars The Rape of Russia
British poisoning false flags MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Great Plunder of Russia after the dissolution of the USSR Obama: a yet another Neocon Professor Steven Cohen Putin stands up to US and G8 warmongers on Syria
Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization  Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Diplomacy by deception Net hamsters
Neoliberal Compradors Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Khodorkovsky case Boris Berezovsky Magnitsky case Navalny's Saga
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment America and the Imperial Project Demonization of Putin Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Nemtsov assassination
Color revolutions The Rape of Russia, Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the House Banking Committee Russian Color Revolution of 2012 From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine
Miraculous metamorphosis of Russian crooks on crossing Western border Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie America and the Imperial Project Most important anti-Russian propaganda campaigns The Deep State Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Russian foreign policy Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Pussi Riot Provocation American Exceptionalism "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Brain Drain
Soft propaganda The Real War on Reality Economics of Peak Energy Russophobic quotes from famous Russian Liberasts Humor Etc


Introduction

The current US policy of simultaneously antagonizing both China and Russia
 will likely go down as one of the 21st century's more significant strategic miscalculations.
Assuming of course that it is a part of some strategy and not just bumbling incompetence.
Is Russia Being Driven Into the Arms of China

This page is written in hope to help Russian language students to understand the country they are studying despite the level of brainwashing typical for MSM in the West. My own views on the problem were  influenced by Professor  Stephen F. Cohen

Russophobia is not actually only about Russia. It is form of social control of US population. Energy scapegoating is an important part of Propaganda machine, especially war propaganda.  Brainwashing people this way artificially (and temporary) increases social cohesion (as any enemy would) and is practiced when the elite experience difficulties now in 2016. That's why McCarthyism was dusted off and launched into mainstream.  Overextending this trick has negative consequences as Soviet Politburo discovered in starting from 70th.  But with the crisis of neoliberalism (2008  and then defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016 are two stages of the same process) reinventing "Red Scare" again became principally important, as a vital tool of controlling US (and in general, Western) population.

It is also important to understand that Russophobia in many Western countries and first of all in the USA, is an official policy. Much like in Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) was during certain period official policy in Rome.

American elite like Roman elite before need an enemy to unite nation as well as a smoke screen that hides their own corruption. Russophibia definitely helps to suppress internal discontent caused by growing inequality, unemployment, shrinking of the middle class and justifies the conversion of the country into National Security State after Islamic threat became less potent.   The mass production of faux news demonizing Russians invokes depictions of Orwell's nefarious Eurasians from whom the populace needed Big Brother for protection. Reincarnation of Ministry of Truth by Barack Obama is just another stage of the same process -- now like Soviet Politburo, the US government is afraid that the US people will be informed about the real events in the world.  And that like BBC and Voice of America in the past were used by Soviet population, at least some segments of Us population started using RT the same way -- to understand where MSM lie to them. 

In a similar vain, in the current international situation, I would consider Russophobia to be some kind of Freudian projection, a politically correct way of replacing  anti-Semitism. King of subconscious substitution of Jews to a different, "more acceptable" (aka politically correct)  nationality, with all related consequences and moral repercussions that entail this equivalency.  There is tragic irony here as Russians in the past were guilty of anti-Semitism (like most European nations).  Now they probably might understand better what it means to be  the target of anti-Semitism.  As Arkadiy Rukh observed (cited from dr-piliulkin.livejournal.com ):

"Today, in the era of the total political correctness in the Western world there is only one object for unpunished hatred, for realization of the inevitable phobias and other psychopathologies. This is Russia. Today Russians occupy in the world that niche, which for many centuries was occupied by the Jews: the object instinctive, illogical, animal hatred."

While in many respects Russophobia as a social phenomenon is somewhat similar to anti-Semitism it is also a natural by-product of American Exeptionalism as Russia refuses to accept the role of vassal that the US elite designated to them after the collapse of the USSR (the role which was temporary successfully implemented under drunk Yeltsin) . In this sense if it a condemnation of the revolt against "inevitable" in the eyes of the US elite world order --  the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  That also explains the level of bitterness involved. Russophobia became so fashionable in Western neoliberal MSM when Russia under Putin became an obstacle on the creation of the global, dominated by the USA neoliberal empire. That resistance to "neoliberal project" (although weak and inconsistent -- under Putin Russia became a member of WTO and Medvedev in general is a 'soft" neoliberal, almost a pro-Western comprador) also generates considerable amount of hate.  Pages of European and American newspapers and their comments columns, are packed with expressions such as

and other similar cliché that clearly remind German propaganda against Jews. This anti-Russian hysteria also helps to erase Snowden revelations from Western collective memory.

In other words the hatred of Russia  now is "a new normal" for the US neoliberal establishment and controlled by this establishment MSM.  How and for what reasons did this happen? The first thing to understand is that this is not a new phenomenon. British elite were adamantly Russophobic for a long time, several centuries:

The historian J. H. Gleason, in his 1950 book The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain, characterized the nineteenth-century English public’s “antipathy toward Russia” as the “most pronounced and enduring element in the national outlook on the world abroad.”

The sentiment, Gleason concluded, was concocted by a manipulative, imperial-minded elite—and was off base, anyway, since Britain’s foreign policy was actually “more provocative than Russia’s” in this period. Others concur. “The world champion imperialists of modern history, the British, were in a permanent state of hysteria about the chimera of Russia advancing over the Himalayas to India,”

While observations of Arkadiy Rukh are, in my opinion, absolutely correct (the article I cited above is pretty interesting too and contains a valuable discussion) I would add a more recent neoliberal edge of this problem (The Vineyard of the Saker):

The historical roots of the Russophobia of the American elites

Having said all of the above, its actually pretty simple to understand why Russia in general, and Putin in particular, elicits such a deep hatred from the Western plutocracy: having convinced themselves that they won the Cold War they are now facing the double disappointment of a rapidly recovering Russia and a Western economic and political decline turning into what seems to be a slow and painful agony.

In their bitterness and spite, Western leaders overlook the fact that Russia has nothing to do with the West's current problems. Quite to the contrary, in fact: the main impact the collapse of the Soviet Union on the US-run international economic system was to prolong its existence by creating a new demand for US dollars in Eastern Europe and Russia (some economists - such as Nikolai Starikov - estimate that the collapse of the USSR gave an extra 10+ years of life to the US dollar).

In the past, Russia has been the historical arch-enemy of the British Empire. As for Jews - they have always harbored many grievances towards pre-revolutionary Tsarist Russia. The Revolution of 1917 brought a great deal of hope for many East-European Jews, but it was short lived as Stalin defeated Trotsky and the Communist Party was purged from many of its Jewish members. Over and over again Russia has played a tragic role in the history of the Ashkenazi Jews and this, of course, has left a deep mark on the worldview of the Neocons who are all deeply Russophobic, even today. Somebody might object that many Jews are deeply grateful for the Soviet Army's liberation of Jews from the Nazi concentration camps or for the fact that the Soviet Union was the first country to recognize Israel. But in both cases, the country which is credited with these actions is the Soviet Union and not Russia which most Ashkenazi Jews still typically associate anti-Jewish policies and values.

It is thus not surprising that both the Anglo and the Jewish elites in the US would harbor an almost instinctive dislike for, and fear of, Russia, especially one perceived as resurgent or anti-American. And the fact is that they are not wrong in this perception: Russia is most definitely resurgent, and the vast majority of the Russian public opinion is vehemently anti-American, at least if by "America" we refer to the civilizational model or economic system.

... ... ...

Considering the never ending barrage of anti-Russian propaganda in the western corporate media one could wonder how strong anti-Russian feelings are in the West. This is really hard to measure objectively, but as somebody born in Western Europe and who has lived a total of 15 years in the USA I would say that anti-Russian sentiment in the West is very rare, almost non-existent. In the USA there have always been strong anti-Communist feelings - there still are today - but somehow most Americans do make the difference between a political ideology that they don't really understand, but that they dislike anyway, and the people which in the past used to be associated with it.

US *politicians*, of course, mostly hate Russia, but most Americans seem to harbor very little bad feelings or apprehension about Russia or the Russian people. I explain that by a combination of factors.

First, since more and more people in the West realize that they are not living in a democracy, but in a plutocracy of the 1%, they tend to take the official propaganda line with more than a grain of salt (which, by the way, is exactly what was happening to most Soviet people in the 1980s). Furthermore, more and more people in the West who oppose the plutocratic imperial order which impoverishes and disenfranchises them into corporate serfs are quite sympathetic to Russia and Putin for "standing up to the bastards in Washington". But even more fundamentally, there is the fact that in a bizarre twist of history Russia today stands for the values of the West of yesterday: international law, pluralism, freedom of speech, social rights, anti-imperialism, opposition to intervention inside sovereign states, rejection of wars as a means to settle disputes, etc.

In the case of the war in Syria, Russia's absolutely consistent stance in defense of international law has impressed many people in the USA and Europe and one can hear more and more praise for Putin from people who in the past has deep suspicions about him.

Russia, of course, is hardly a utopia or some kind of perfect society, far from it, but it has taken the fundamental decision to become a *normal* country, as opposed to being a global empire, and any normal country will agree to uphold the principles of the "West of yesterday", not only Russia. In fact, Russia is very un-exceptional in its pragmatic realization that to uphold these principles is not a matter of naive idealism, but a sound realistic policy goal. People in the West are told by their rulers and the corporate media that Putin in an evil ex-KGB dictator who is a danger for the US and its allies, but as soon as these people actually read or listen to what Putin actually says they find themselves in a great deal of agreement with him.

In another funny twist of history, while the Soviet population used to turn to the BBC, Voice of America or Radio Liberty for news and information, more and more people in the West are turning to Russia Today, Press TV, or Telesur to get their information. Hence the panicked reaction of Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the US outfit overseeing US media directed at foreign audiences, who declared that "we can't allow ourselves to be out-communicated by our enemies. You've got Russia Today, Iran's Press TV, Venezuela's TeleSUR, and of course, China is launching an international broadcasting 24-hour news channel with correspondents around the world". Folks like Isaacson know that they are slowly but surely loosing the informational battle for the control of the minds of the general public.

And now, with the entire Snowden affair, Russia is becoming the safe harbor for those political activists who are fleeing Uncle Sam's wrath. A quick search on the Internet will show you that more and more people are referring to Putin as the "leader of the Free World" while other are collecting signatures to have Obama give his Nobel Prize to Putin. Truly, for those like myself who have actually fought against the Soviet system it is absolutely amazing to see the 180 degree turn the world has taken since the 1980s.

Western elites - still stuck in the Cold War

If the world has radically changed in the last 20 years, the Western elites did not. Faced with a very frustrating reality they are desperately trying to re-fight the Cold War with the hope of re-winning it again. Hence the never ending cycle of Russia-bashing campaigns I mentioned at the beginning of this post. They try to re-brand Russia as the new Soviet Union, with oppressed minorities, jailed or murdered dissidents, little or no freedom of speech, a monolithic state controlled media and an all seeing security apparatus overseeing it all. The problem, of course, is that they are 20 years late and that these accusations don't stick very well with the western public opinion and get exactly *zero* traction inside Russia. In fact, every attempt at interfering inside Russian political affairs has been so inept and clumsy that it backfired every single time. From the absolutely futile attempts of the West to organize a color-coded revolution in the streets of Moscow to the totally counter-productive attempts to create some kind of crisis around homosexual human rights in Russia - every step taken by the western propaganda machine has only strengthened Vladimir Putin and his the "Eurasian Sovereignists" at the expense of the "Atlantic Integrationist" faction inside the Kremlin.

There was a deep and poignant symbolism in the latest meeting of the 21 APEC countries in Bali. Obama had to cancel his trip because of the US budget crisis while Putin was treated to a musically horrible but politically deeply significant rendition of "Happy birthday to you!" by a spontaneous choir composed of the leaders of the Pacific Rim countries. I can just imagine the rage of the White House when they saw "their" Pacific allies serenading Putin for his birthday!

... ... ...

On one side we have the 1%, the Anglo imperialists and the Ziocons, while on the other we have the rest of the planet, including potentially 99% of the American people. If it is true that at this moment in time Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists are the most powerful and best organized faction of the worldwide resistance to the Empire, they are far from being central, or even less so, crucial, to it. Yes, Russia can, and will, play its role, but only as a normal country amongst many other normal countries, some small and economically weak like Ecuador, other huge and powerful like China. But even small Ecuador was "big enough" to grand refuge to Julian Assange while China seems to have asked Snowden to please leave. So Ecuador is not that small after all?

It would be naive to hope that this "de-imperialization" process of the USA could happen without violence. The French and British Empires collapsed against the bloody backdrop of WWII, while did the Nazi and Japanese Empires were crushed under a carpet of bombs. The Soviet Empire collapsed with comparatively less victims, and most of the violence which did take place during that process happened on the Soviet periphery. In Russia itself, the number of death of the mini civil war of 1993 was counted in the thousands and not in the millions. And by God's great mercy, not a single nuclear weapon was detonated anywhere.

So what will likely happen when the US-Ziocon Empire finally collapses under its own weight? Nobody can tell for sure, but we can at least hope that just as no major force appeared to rescue the Soviet Empire in 1991-1993, no major force will attempt to save the US Empire either. As David Rovic's puts it so well, the big weakness of the 1% which rule the US-Ziocon Empire is that "they are a tiny minority and we are everywhere".

In the past 20 years the US and Russia have followed diametrically opposed courses and their roles appears to have been reversed. That "pas de deux" is coming to some kind of end now. Objective circumstances have now again placed these two countries in opposition to each other, but this is solely due to the nature of the regime in Washington DC. Russian leaders could repeat the words of the English rapper Lowkey and declare "I'm not anti-America, America is anti-me!" and they could potentially be joined by 99% of Americans who, whether they already realize it or not, are also the victims of the US-Ziocon Empire.

In the meantime, the barrage of anti-Russian propaganda campaigns will continue unabated simply because this seems to have become a form of psychotherapy for a panicked and clueless western plutocracy. And just as in all the previous cases, this propaganda campaign will have no effect at all.

It is my hope that next time we hear about whatever comes next after the current "Greenpeace" campaign you will keep all this in mind.

The Saker

The USA and Russian should be strategic partners

During the "cold War" the "old" US elite behaved more or less reasonable and tried to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Several moments were clear exception (Korea War, Cuban crisis, Vietnam war and support of radical political Islam in Afghanistan), but all-in-all it was kind of policy of "peaceful coexistence" (live and give other chance to live), not of an outright "all out" confrontation. Intelligence agencies behaves more provocatively, especially CIA in Europe, which organized and trained Nazi collaborators for the resistance to the possible Soviet invasion, and subsequent guerilla movement against Soviet occupation.

Also in case of JFK assassination, the patsy was chosen in a way that makes it easy to implicate Russia.

but those were exception, rather then the rule.  Probably the memory of the WWII still played some role in such restrain. But eventually a new generation of US elite, the elite did not have WWII experience come to power.

This  new US elite tried hard to colonize Russia instead of making it a valuable partner after dissolution of the USSR. Bill Clinton and Larry Summers are two good example of this behaviour. This adventurism backfired.  This was probably the first blunder, the blunder make by Clinton administration -- the first administration with a lot of neocons onboard (we all remember unforgettable female neocon Madeleine Albright). 

Subsequent administration also demonstrated strong neocon influence (actually neocons, such as Paul Wolfowitz dominated Bush II administration foreign policy)  and due to it made several strategic blunders such as invasions in Iraq, Afghanistan  and Libya.  And that despite the fact the Russia provided great help in Afghan operation, as it essentially controlled (and armed) the North Alliance against Taliban. 

Obama administration essentially continued Bush II foreign policy without major changes. The only change was that is did was more double-dealing. It did get Russia into a trap, when Medvedev government abstain in UN Security council votes for Libyan resolution (which was a disguised justification of NATO military intervention), which opened the way to the occupation of Libya and killing of colonel Kaddafi ("We came, we saw, he died").  Obama administration also masterfully played Iran card against Russia, crashing oil prices three times (from $120 to $30) from the second half of 2014 to January 2016 and keeping oil prices below $50 per barrel (on average) all 2016 (Russia needs approximately $50-$55 to balance the state budget).

It also outplayed Russia in Ukraine tuning this county into nationalistic enclave extremely hostile to Russia (see "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place ). And then to add insult to injury introduced sanctions against Russia. Obama might be not a great president, but he for sure is one of the greatest hypocrites in world history.

But those attacks as well as a clear attempt to encircle Russia in Europe backfired: if you pursue containment of China and at the same time introduce sanctions against Russia it is only natural that these countries will become closer political partners. From the point of view of traditional American and any other political logic, actions that contribute to the rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, are, to put it mildly, unwise.  And that what Obama administration archived. This is the main legacy of Obama administration in foreign policy.

Russian elite for too long was trying to please the Western colleagues. They swallowed completely unacceptable things. They resigned to NATO expansion. Even after the bombing of Yugoslavia, which was  a clear violation of international law, they still viewed the USA a friendly nation and hoped for the best. Another problem was that Russia was too weak at the moment, kind of semi-colony of the USA (and Yeltsin regime was clearly a comprador regime, no question about it).  But at this point attitude to the USA start changing to negative.  After Ukrainian coup d'état of February 2014 (Maydan Revolution, as it is called in the West) this change only accelerated. In other words huge amount of political goodwill that existed in Russia after dissolution of the USSR was completely squandered in less then 30 years.   That's an amazing art of making enemies from friends. 

But at the end of Obama administration Russia just stopped to trust the USA. At all. They view Obama as treacherous and extremely dangerous imperialist, who will not stop at anything by promoting the Us domination.  That means that they now view the USA as a geopolitical gangster, which is violating any laws in impunity using classic "might makes right" principle. That's a dangerous view and dangerous situation for the USA.  This is another geopolitical blunder of the US elite.

I never was a Russian citizen, but I was and still am interested in Russian politics and, especially, culture. I think that it is a European culture in its essence. Very interesting and very rich. Which was able to survive years of Soviet rule. So attempt of isolate Russia from Europe attempted by Obama neocons (see Nulandgate), following classic "device and conquer strategy of British Empire, might be a mistake.

Neocons defined Russia as the main threat. In other words deterrence of Moscow became the strategic goal of the USA foreign policy, which is essentially a neocon foreign policy, the policy of obtaining and maintaining the world domination at all costs.  That means that the efforts to explicitly shape the USA public opinion to see Russia as the key geopolitical enemy are dictated by priorities of the USA foreign policy, which is defined by neocons.

The role of skepticism

My negative attitude to distortions and clearly orchestrated by White house  anti-Russian campaign in the USA press reflects my natural skepticism. I am not content with typical coverage of Russia in the USA press which reminds me the caricature on the USA coverage by Soviet press (which at the time had higher standard of living the people of the USSR and low level of unemployment).  I consider hysteric Russophobia that is now practiced  to be simplistic and counterproductive policy which serves to promote equally shortsighted global imperial policy that benefits only the US financial oligarchy. Policy that has considerable cold-war inertia and that is damaging to the USA long term interests. Most journalists are simply behave like paid attack dogs (a good example here is Mr. Wallace: his interview of Putin was an insult to the American people; Wallace actually tried to lecture Vladimir Putin).

Here I collected some of the authors who try to see more long term approach and try to present their own understanding of the complex problems related to previous US attempt to colonize Russia after the dissolution of the USSR.  Or at least advice a more realistic US foreign policy toward Russia. Of course it is nice to squash the old geo-political enemy like a bug and I would be the first to admit that under Yeltsin West came close to this scenario. Criminal privatization of Russian companies was hugely successful attempt to put an end to the Russia as an independent country. Similar strategy was by-and-large successful in other USSR republics like Ukraine, Georgia and especially Baltic countries creating what can be called New Latin America.

But after Putin came to power, the attempts to convert Russia into yet another Latin American country became gradually reversed (although this process is some areas went too far and to reverse it completely is very difficult). As Ira Straus aptly put it in her letter Russia, U.S. Media:

Nowadays attacking Russia has a politically correct tinge to it, since Russia is a white Christian country. By contrast, attacking China still suffers from being susceptible to counter-charges of racism and anti-Communism. Perhaps this is the source of the strange double standard in which Russia is attacked just about any day for just about anything while China is virtually ignored day after day, month after month for the same and far worse.

Attacking Russia is especially "correct" when it is a matter attacking a Republican Administration for being soft on a Russia that is beating up on Muslims. One doubts that much of the American public shares the media's sensibilities on this. Picture bubba listening as Dan Rather launches into Russia for beating up on Muslim Chechens; he'll probably be telling himself, "there the liberal media go again, standing up for our enemies and blaming our allies the Russians for fighting back". Among Americans who write about politics, only Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter dare to say such things, but many more think it, in whole or in part.

The importance of adversarial culture for the media can be seen from the Bush I administration, which truly was anti-Russian. The media bashed Bush I for this; it became ambivalent on Russia, taking on a more pro-Russian hue than any time before or since. As soon as Clinton got a pro-Russian reputation, the media switched back to Russia-bashing mode. It was Clinton-bashing that was the real point.

In other words, the media should not be taken as a barometer of U.S. government policies on Russia. It is more often an indicator of the opposite.

What does it matter? A lot. The media drumbeat against Russia has an enormous impact on public policy, not only in the US but in every Western country, and in Russia itself. It makes it hard to think clearly, or even to see clearly. It fosters and fans conflict. It promotes a tit for every tat.

First, the effects on Russians. The media play an enormous role in convincing them that we're an enemy. They can see CNN, BBC and other Western media daily, at length; they hear from our government only rarely, and practically never from the American people. They can see the Western media's implicit premises far more clearly than the media themselves do. Mistakenly assuming these premises to represent Western policy, they draw what would be the logical conclusion: that we are their enemy. If Russia does in turn become an enemy again, the media will have been a major cause of it.

Second, effects on Western policy-making are just as damaging. Instead of helping the Western governments do their thinking, the media block out most of the space for it. They make it harder for the West to think out loud about such matters as how to build active alliance relations with Russia, or how to overcome the remaining Cold War standoffs. They make it harder to follow a steady course where cooperation has been agreed, They have done much to cause the West to be an unreliable partner for Russia, an unreliability that democrats in Russia noted with profound regret throughout the 1990s. They prioritize conflicting interests over shared interests, encouraging every minor divergence of interest to grow into a major opposition. Their audience ratings flourish on conflict; and no longer fearing it as risking war or nuclear incineration, they promote it shamelessly.

If we end up with a new Cold War -- and the risk is becoming a real one -- it won't be a small thing. It would mean a nuclear superpower once again ranged against us and the world plunged back into a bipolar disorder, only in more unstable conditions. In that case, the media will no doubt turn around and denounce as "reckless" those who carry out their painful duties in the conflict. The truly reckless ones, however, will have been those in this era who so freely did so much to bring it on.

My personal views are close to views expressed by Anatoly Karlin in About Da Russophile

As regards Russian politics, I make no secret that I’m a pro-Putin conservative. That said, my views are moderate – while Western media coverage of Russia may be woefully biased and frequently malicious, there are certainly plenty of things to criticize about Russia and Russians.

However, they must be grounded in in statistics, an appreciation of the viewpoints of ordinary Russians, and a judicious comparative perspective (which is NOT equivalent to "moral relativism" or "whataboutism" as many of the more hardcore Russophobe propagandists claim).

I think that the Western MSM fails on all three counts:

This blog concerns with calling them out on their lies. As the one-time Guardian chief editor C.P. Scott once said, "Comment is free but facts are sacred." While his newspaper has retreated from this vision in practice, I maintain that it’s the most elegant encapsulation of what real journalism (and punditry, blogging, etc) should all be about.

...I consider Charles de Gaulle to have done a great job, and consider Putin to be a comparable figure in vision and stature.

Russians are coming: War hysteria as classic Adorno

Outside obvious "Lebensraum" motives, it looks like western hate towards Russia rests on some deep inadequacy syndrome. Russia is supposed to be some has-been power that is now of no consequence, yet it gets way more attention than such a worthless state would merit. The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

Russophobia as persistent policy of the US government and US media. And all this talk about Russia aggressiveness, and carefully orchestrated related war hysteria in MSM is pure projection. It is the USA which is the most aggressive international player on the world stage.

Russophobia is the unofficial but persistent set of behavioral patterns of the US government and US media. It is clear that US tried to weaken and possibly dismember Russia out of geopolitical considerations which represents a real threat to the US world hegemony. This idea on which the US elite is hell bent since end of WWII and there were even plans to bomb Russia just after end of WWII.

It is the only military power that can annihilate large part of the continental USA, But there is something deeper here. It is also an attempt to unify nation, which under neoliberalism became much less coherent whole and in which 99% of the population hates the top 1% and the level of this hate is increasing, especially in minorities and inner cities.

Russophobia is a crucial part of the US foreign policy. In this respect the US foreign policy is so messianic that it reminds me Soviet foreign policy (with the substitution of "triumph of democracy" for "triumph of communism") and I wonder if the USSR really was a defeated party in the Cold War. This mentality of "export of revolution" is the integral part of mentality of the US elite. The difference with Trotskyism, if exists, is minor, and the key difference between Trotskyism and the US flavor of messianism probably is connected with the smell of oil which radically increases the urge to democratize a particular country. In any case attempt to export democracy in Russia never stopped since 1991 and under Yeltsin were so successful that the country lost more in industrial production then during the second World War and poverty became a norm for more then 50% of the population.

Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) attitude exists partially because the Western elites hate resource nationalists independently whether those nationalists are leftist or conservative. Fighting resource nationalists tooth-and-nail is an important, may be even critical part of neoliberal doctrine. The latter is a civic religion in the USA. That means the Russophobia in the USA has strong religious component, and is supported by 500 pound gorilla of the US elite propaganda machine. In other words there is a strong, consistent tendency of demonization of Russia (Paul Starobin, The National Interest Blog, August 28, 2014):

In any case, our taste for a country—favorable or unfavorable—shouldn’t dictate our foreign policy, which is properly shaped by a cool calculation of our national interest. On these terms, America is right to resist Russia if Putin seems truly bent on bullying his way to a redrawn map of Europe, but also right to try to keep working with Russia on matters of mutual concern such as Islamic militancy. And that same calculation will hold when Putin, as must happen eventually, exits the Kremlin, willingly or unwillingly, whether replaced by a new autocrat or a more democratic figure. Today’s heightened tension between the United States and Russia, conceivably the first chapter of a new cold war, with Europe as ambivalent as ever about its role, underscores that Russia is likely to remain one of America’s most vexing and formidable diplomatic challenges for a long time to come.

So the future of the presentation of Russia as a hodgepodge of unflattering stereotypes seems bright. The naive liberal notion that the world has a teleological disposition toward a progressive end—if only holdouts like Russia would get with the program—is deeply entrenched. Headlines datelined in Russia—on corrupt oligarchs, or on control-freak KGB-generation political operators—will continue to nourish sweeping criticism of Russians, from their leaders on down, as primitive and psychologically ill. Probably no other nation is so easy (or so safe) to caricature.

And the “Russia Is Doomed” syndrome is bound to survive because Russia, alas, still matters. The object of such concentrated anxiety over the centuries, far from heading down a path to obscurity, remains a global force and impossible to ignore. So the worries will live on, too, as will the sublimated wish to efface Russia. But perhaps the good news for the critics is precisely that Russia is not about to go away. They will have plenty of grist for their mill for decades to come.

The issue is whether comprador elites subservient to the US are in power, or more nationalistic "national sovereignty" guys. It is true that a nationalist elite can be as predatory as a comprador elite, but a reasonable degree of national sovereignty is a prerequisite for social justice and it is difficult to raise standard of living if your resources are owned by transnationals. The latter automatically became above the law and do what they want with impunity.

Russophobic views on Russia "There is no life there !"

The Russophobic views on Russia can be summed up in three words: "There is no life there !" This simple formula invoke the whole complex system of "corrupt journalism patterns" and powerful propaganda mechanisms polished during 45 years of Cold War. Those journalistic patterns causes most western journalists (not without help of their political handlers as independent journalism in the USA is a joke) treat Russia as a failed state. Not simply a country that temporary dropped out of the world civilization, but the country is doomed to such a drop by the several immanent features such as "national character", climate, landmass, religion, history, etc.

From Dr. MacFaul quotes above it is clear that in the American media and among American politicians Russia occupies a marginal position. After the Soviet Union is gone, they mostly cares about getting assets on pennies per dollar (behaviour of criminals like Mr. Browder, whom McFaul loves so much, exemplifies such an attitude) and to lesser extent about Russia military capabilities, which are still a risk. Although I doubt that.

From the typical US behavior it looks like American politicians are not really interested in any other aspect of Russian situation, other then energy resources (Khodorkovsky is a new saint in the USA, probably for his failed attempt to sell Russia oil resources to US companies). And he is new puppet in the show of finding the possibilities of regime change and installing a puppet regime as they unsuccessfully tried in 2011-2012. They still miss Yeltsin drunk regime and Gaidar-Chubais neoliberal gang, which almost converted Russia into kleptocracy from which Putin tried gradually to extract it with great and not always successful efforts.

It all comes down to a set of cliché: Russia is corrupt (while in reality this is a immanent feature of all neoliberal regimes and first of all the USA, the most corrupt neoliberal regime in existence) , does not respect human rights (unlike Saudis) and does not play by the rules (unlike Libya rebels), is not democratic (unlike Qatar). Russia seems to them so weak and uninteresting, not worthy of a real partnership dialogue. And is arrogant enough not to agree with the status of vassal so she needs to be taken care of:

"To promote liberty requires first the containment and then the elimination of those forces opposed to liberty, be they individuals, movements, or regimes. " - M. McFaul, The Liberty Doctrine: Reclaiming the purpose of American power. Policy Review April & May 2002 The Liberty Doctrine Hoover Institution

Such an ungrateful jerks, who jailed Dick Cheney best friend Khodorkovsky, squeezed this perfectly honest guy, exemplary "the largest portfolio investor in Russia, British citizen William Browder" (Who, BTW, was the USA citizen until recently, but suddenly changed his mind) and so on and so forth. They should be "regime changed". It is like the relationship between schoolchildren, when a bully see a threat on the school yard and acts preemptively.

Very well orchestrated Russophobia campaign of Western MSM

The first thing that surprise me is a very well "coordinated" level of Russophobia demonstrated by Western MSM. The degree of Russophobia in Western press varies very little be it Guardian, or NYT, or BBC or WashPost. As financial oligarchy controls the MSM you can't expect anything different. They act as a pack of dogs. Typical level is treating Russian as forever damned barbarians. Slightly more advanced is treating Russia a legitimate playground for testing the controversial socio-economic doctrines like shock therapy and a land were any foreign crook is entitled to get rich fast (like Browder did ). But the essence is the same, no right for "national sovereignty", no right for any "special way". Those concepts are simply outside a typical Western press journalists "template" that their editors enforce.

As John Drury noted in his comment to U.S. Russia Withheld Intel on Boston Bomb Suspect - WSJ.com

Ridiculous comments populate the blogs, the op eds and the comment sections of most sites. But what unsettles me more is the rabid Russian phobia (call it "Russophobia") which populates the American press (liberal/conservative).

We never see things from the Russian side. It is always Putin who is up to no good, Vladimir, the monster, the balding fool with no shirt flexing his muscles. This is not the Cold War, yet we have not shed our Cold War biases.

See Propaganda and The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment for more information

Two types of Russophobes: "Russophobes by conviction" vs. "Russophobes for money"

Russophobia is a form of racism and studies of other forms of racism such as anti-Semitism are applicable here.

It is a prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Russian people as an ethnic, religious, or racial group. In Baltic states it is close to regime of Apartheid. In Ukraine it has a form of suppression of Russian language and culture

Russophobes by conviction

I have an impression on the personal level sincere and acute Russophobia (not to be mixed with Russophobia as a official line ) can be a compensation mechanism (classic Adorno). I am not talking here about ideological prostitution typical for MSM journalists. But on individual level it looks like projection not that different from other national bigotry and the undisputable and provable fact is that the USA and, especially, Great Britain MSM serves as an "Incubator of hatred" toward Russia. Of course this also tells something very important about the US/GB governments.

I suspect that those who adopt Russophobia position not for money (let's call them "sincere Russophobes") have a personality of sectants/fanatics in a very deep sense of this word. Or like Eric Hoffer called them "True Believers" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer).

For though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious. The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. And whether we are to line up with him or against him, it is well that we should know all we can concerning his nature and potentialities.

In a way sincere Russophobe's are almost extinct minority (but still can be found among Ukrainian nationalists ;-).

Russophobes for money

There a legion of "Russophobes for money". People who are profiting personally from Russophobia nonsense they spew. This is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way. At best they are average with very few exceptions (Belkovski might be one exception). In a way we can view it as a survival tactic of people with mediocre talent in conditions of high competition. Similar displacement into obscure niches can be observed for mediocre people in other professions.

This "Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

"Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

Cold War II as an attempt to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and preserve it as an "oil drum" for the West

Cold War II is rooted not in Ukrainian event (The EuroMaydan coup d'état was organized by the USA and Western powers; Crimea was only a pretext) but is closely connected with the neocon attempts to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and secure Russia status as resource vassal of the USA. Here is a part of discussion from Kremlin Stooge that touch this theme in relation to Skolkovo techno-park.

kievite:
April 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

This is a very apt comment and I wish that your observation comes true. But the problem is that as you :

"The forces arrayed against Russia are sufficiently formidable and sufficiently unrelenting "

First of all the West is rich enough to finance substantial fifth column, especially fifth column media (official $70 millions for support of NGO and "alternative" press is just a tip of iceberg). That’s the essence of neo-colonialism do nothing new here. Also a large part of elite is already linked to the West and is not interested in any confrontation. Nothing new here too.

So the discussion about what level of state capitalism is beneficial (or where Medvedev should stop with his "second liberalization") is complex and far from purely technical one. External forces should be taken into account and once in a while liberalization companies to placate the West are not completely bad idea no matter how you view neoliberalism: state capitalism requires periodic "purges" (Stalin well understood that) and "liberalization" and, especially "fight with corruption" provides perfect pretext for purges. If one looks at some Medvedev’s actions from this angle and you might well come to conclusion that it might be not complete sell-off but a more complex game.

In situation when you need to purge excesses of state capitalism West can serve as a natural ally and in such situation slogan of cat Leopold "Rebyata davayte zhit’ druzhno" (Let’s be friends) suddenly became politically viable at least among the pro-Western part of the elite. And the idea of periodic moving the pendulum from "higher statism" to "higher private enterprise support" in order to avoid stagnation, say, each seven-ten year period is not completely absurd. The main question is whether the process runs out of control or not.

Another possible contention point is that sooner of later oil flow will start diminishing and with it revenues will also start dropping. Currently there are too few industries that can replace the flow the oil dollars. Attempt to revitalize some of the existing heavy industries under the flag of liberalization, if done clever is not a bad idea.

And as much as everybody here hates neoliberalism it is very clear about who should be the victim and provides an ideological justification for cruel actions against own population. Like Bolshevism, it proved to be an extremely potent weapon of convincing population to act against their own economic interests (see What’s the matter with Kansas for details). Perfect tool for the brainwashing "peasants" if you wish, very important when "Pryanikov sladkih vsegna ne hvataet na vseh" (Okudzhava ).

marknesop
April 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm I believe the oil money will go on for some time yet. Current practices are sloppy and inefficient, and more oil could be realized with better, more modern techniques, as well as new discoveries coming online. However, an early start on overhauling general business practices would be time and money well spent.

Medvedev should draw a lesson from Skolkovo. This is a project he has personally sponsored and touted as Russia’s official debut in the high-tech sector. Western response, overall, has been withering and contemptuous, although some major commercial figures (such as Microsoft) have offered early investment optimism. Collective opinion seems to be that Russia will use the new tech city as a base from which to steal foreign technology secrets from investors, or that it will be a dismal failure because Russians have no real ideas of their own. The west is likely to greet other initiatives by Medvedev in the same manner – hearty laughter, followed by offers to come in and make western-style changes for him, in exchange for certain considerations.

kievite
April 14, 2011 at 1:21 am

Very true. Thanks for the response.

You are right: Skolkovo is fuzzy (what exactly is "high-tech") initiative as first of all Medvedev can’t abolish brain-drain and that what will happens with the most talented researchers. The only realistic bait he has is blocking the companies from entering Russian market unless they provide considerable degree of localization and require that some fraction of research be performed in such parks. That’s a variant of policy that China successfully used. But if Russia joins WTO, tariff barriers to protect domestic producers in vital sectors will be more difficult to erect.

At the same time autarky does not work either. So maneuvering between those Scylla of globalization and Charybdis of autarky requires top political skills from the captain of the ship.

Some sectors of Russian heavy industry already are proved abroad and products already have some competitive advantage and export markets. That’s where this comparative advantage needs to be preserved and enhanced with help of techno-parks. State subsidized R&D is really important here and can be provided via small university based local techno parks. This would an excellent employment opportunity for most talented students who otherwise might emigrate and such parks not necessary need any foreign participation. This is especially important if company is partially state owned, as this along with having reps at the board that protects the investment. OK, I would agree, that it’s not necessary need to be people on minister level. It would be sad if he really wants not to reform or improve, but to dismantle state capitalism.

The real problem here that without oil revenue Russia gets into zugzwang. Hopefully, as you noted, that will not be soon.

marknesop
April 14, 2011 at 3:30 am

Yes, you’re right about Skolkovo; I did a piece on it awhile back (here) and Chinese tech parks were cited as an example. It’s funny how the west is all gaga over China, and just brushes off the fact that China has a considerably more predatory business model than does Russia; China shamelessly raids the west for business information and constantly tests them for weaknesses which might be exploited. But, obtusely, it’s Russia that’s held up as the consummate corporate raider.

I believe if Russia were allowed to join the WTO, fewer barriers would be necessary. There’s no reason foreign companies shouldn’t have to contribute to the local economy, but they should receive tradeoffs as well such as low corporate tax rates, and that was one of the considerations. Medvedev seems determined that Skolkovo will succeed, while some elements in the west are just as determined it will be a failure. We’ll see. Russia is a world leader in medical research, and I understand that will be a big part of Skolkovo as well.

Does Russia represent an alternative to the neoliberal economic/social model?

It is difficult to say where Putin's brand of mixture of neoliberal and state capitalism get him and Russian people. I would say that the answer is "reserved no". Currently Russia, while opposing the US hegemony does not provide an alternative economic model. And that's the weakness of "Putinism".

Here is a left-biased, but still very interesting assessment of the situation along similar lines: "All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. " ([Oct 21, 2014] Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values?):

2014/10/19 | Sociología crítica

Danos tu opinión

Un amable lector de este blog ha realizado un resumen en inglés de nuestro artículo Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar; es un resumen diferente al que nosotros hubiéramos hecho, pero de interés sin duda alguna. Ha sido publicado como apoyo a una pregunta en un coloquio con el economista ruso Mikhail Khazin organizado por The vineyard of the saker. Publicaremos aquí la respuesta.

Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values? / Arturo

For context to the question I will provide a translation / paraphrase / summary of some key points in the following article Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar

The article contains and numbers many more points (36 in total) but I have translated/summarized only the first 14 (the rest is provided is a very raw translation --NNB)

  1. Moscow cannot defeat the American plans – i.e. the Anglo Zionist world elite – without contradicting the class interests of its own elites (Russian oligarchs): This is impossible because the system of sanctions and the blocking of access to their accounts and assets in the West generates such contradictions in the Russian power elites that, in practice, it prevents them from reacting adequately; it puts them on their knees before the America.
  2. Russia *could* resist those plans, since it possesses the strength, sense of identity, historical memory and material resources to do so. But in order to do so, its ruling elites would have to take measures that would affect their own class status within both the Russian system and the international system. And we can see that these are measures they are not willing to take. On the other hand, the Anglo Zionists suffer no such internal contradiction. Quite the opposite, in fact: Their own interest as the supporting base of the globalist hyperclass necessarily forces them to maintain the challenge to the end.
  3. By the term Anglo Zionists, in this analysis, we mean the dominant power group whose territorial and military base resides in the United States, and whose center originates in the historical and social links of the Anglo-American oligarchies, branching off to other historical central metropolis in Europe or other power centers in different parts of the world.
  4. The concept is made up of two elements that must be explained: the first, the “anglo” reference, has to do with the North American British connection [...] the second, the “zionist” reference, has to do with the interconnection among the economic and financial power groups that maintain various kinds of links with Israel. It is not so much a reference to ethnic origin, but rather to orientations as groups or lobbies of political and economic interests. A good part of this Zionist component consists of people who are neither Israelis nor Jews, but who feel identified with the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, Britain and other countries. Thus the term “zionist” referees here to an ideology, not to an ethnic origin.
  5. The Anglo elites on both sides of the Atlantic have evolved from being national elites to being the executive base of a world Hyperclass made up of individuals capable of exerting a determining influence in the most powerful nation, the United States.
  6. The result of the Anglo Zionist line of attack is that the contradiction and internal struggle is now occurring in Moscow between those who have already chosen to sell out and those who have not yet found the time to realize that a multipolar global capitalism is not viable.
  7. In this context, recovering Crimea was a mirage, an illusion.
  8. If we compare the implications of the Maidan coup in Kiev with the liberation of Crimea, we see that the strategic defeat implicit in losing Ukraine as an ally is of such magnitude that everything else pales by co s (all of them) in Kiev was so gigantic that its implications are frightening. It was either a failure or something even worse. In any case, the Crimea affair was merely a small episode in a confrontation that Russia is losing.
  9. Russia arrived very late at modern capitalism, and that is why its current elite will be unable to occupy a space among the globalist elite without paying the necessary toll, which is none other than renouncing its territorial power base – its country and its access to and control of its energy resources and raw materials.
  10. Stubbornly maintaining the dispute in trying to obtain a multi-polar capitalism, leads necessarily to a intra-capitalist confrontation, as it did in 1914-1918. And because of the nature of the current actors, nuclear powers … it brings the conflict to 2.0 war versions (color revolutions)
  11. All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. It can only elicit some empathy from those who reject the American domination, but here the class contradictions come into play again, because it is not enough to oppose Washington merely on political-military grounds, since the key to global power resides in the financial and military structures that enable global control and plunder: World Trade Organization, IMF, Free Trade agreements, World Bank, NATO… these are entities in relation to which Russia only shows its displeasure at not being invited to the table as an equal, not accepting that because it arrived late at modern capitalism, it must play a secondary role. On the other hand, Russia is ignoring the deep contempt, bordering on racism, that things Slavic generate among Anglo Zionist elites.
  12. In order to be able to fight the 2.0 versions of war that are engineered today, an alternative social model is needed. Alternative not only in regard to the postmodern vs. traditional sets of values, but fundamentally in regard to the social model that stems from the modes of production. In the postmodern vs. traditional conflict, Russia tends to align with the most reactionary values. And in regard to the social struggle, they don’t want to enter that fray because they renounced it long ago. They renounced the entire Soviet Union, which they destroyed from within.
  13. The contradictions and the dialectical nature of reality have their own logic, however. Thus, a coup in Kiev and the widespread appearance of Nazi symbols in the streets of Ukraine was all that it took to induce a spontaneous reaction in the Slavic world. The popular resistance in the Donbass took strong root thanks to the historic memory of the people’s of the old USSR and its war against fascism.
  14. If Russia were to abandon Novorossia to the oligarchs and their mafias, the world’s “left” – or whatever remains of it — would come to scorn post-Soviet Russia even more than it already does. In the months following the brave action in Crimea and the heroic resistance in the Donbass, many people around the world looked to Moscow in search of some sign that it would support the anti-fascist and anti-oligarchic resistance, even if only as an act of self-defense by Moscow against the globalist challenge. If it finally abandons Novorossia, the price in terms of loss of moral prestige will be absolute.
  15. A support of the left has not been sought, but that is a collateral consequence of the character of class struggle open that has been given in the Donbas, where Russia has been forced to provide some assistance that would prevent the genocide at the hands of the fascist Ukrainian.
  16. Cuando say left, we refer logically to the one who has expressed their support to the struggle of people in the Donbas, as it is very difficult to consider the "left" to those who have preferred to remain silent or to have directly been complicit in the assault, and the coup in Kiev.
  17. The degradation of the left as politically active social force is very intense, their structures are embroiled in the collapse, or in the confusion, when not literally corrupt. Then related to both socialist parties since 1914 and the communists, at least from the time of fracture of 1956. The social changes experienced in Europe with the systems of welfare state, based on the elevation of the standard of living of the working population and the obtaining of social peace by sharing the power with the trade unions are at the base of the post-industrial society and the resulting profound changes of values.

    The suicide of the USSR in 1989-93 marked a brutal global change , in which the balance which was preserved during the cold war was broken. That led to the capitalist elite in the west, which we are calling the Anglo-Zionists, to the suspension of the social pact (forced abandonment of New Deal), that gave rise to the welfare state and the emergence stark reality of a global power of capitalists without systemic opposition . Today the whole neoliberal globalization system of capitalism is in danger by the depletion of the natural resources. And to sustain this mode of production, they need to speed up territorial domination in the form of control and access to resources of other countries. Now there no space in the global system for spaces, which are managed autonomously even to a certain level.

  18. The system of global domination, capitalism, ruling elites with a territorial basis in the area of Anglo-American, global parasitic Hyperclass and depletion of resources, as well as cannibalization of the other nations, in the midst of troika of crisis of climate change, peak of the energy and raw materials shortages. those three factors that challenge the current globalization framework ... And the crisis of Novorossia, been demonstrated both impotence and the lack of real political autonomy of Russian elite with the respect to the dominant power in neoliberal worlds order..
  19. The new citizen movements in the western world are not so much resistance movements as samples of the discontent of the middle classes in precarious position of marginalization and/or social trance. This protest led to a "Maidans" which are not permanent and does not question the basis of the system. The participants seems to believe that it is possible to restore the old good world of the welfare state.
  20. The western movements are brainwashed by messages emanating from the headquarters of Democratic party of North America, the propaganda anarcho-capitalist and the various networks of ideological interference, are managing to break the bonds of historical memory that unite the struggles of the past with the present, de-ideologize the struggles and conflicts and to deny the tension left and right, isolating the militants -- or simple citizens who feel identified with the values of the left - of the masses who are suffering in the first place casualisation. At the heart of this new "left" are leaders that are co-opted voices, pseudo-intellectuals who destroy the words and empty of content of key concepts in a way that the alienation of the masses demonstrate at the language itself, thus preventing putting a real name to social process and things, and to identify the social phenomena.
  21. Viva to Russia, which the only country which eve in a weak form decided to fight neoliberal world order and position itself as an anti-imperialist force... It is interesting to observe the current great moral confusion in political landscape of the societies in decay. Confusion which have been stimulated by Moscow actions. As the result some the far-right groups that are simultaneously anti-US that anti-Russian now support Moscow. Also some part of Russia far-right political groups got the sympathy and support of factions of the anti EU far right forces in France, the Nazis of the MSR in Spain, and from small groups of euro-asianists. This line of political affiliation will allow them to simply join the Russia failure [to find alternative to monopolar neoliberal capitalism] and might well discredit then more profoundly in the future.
  22. The euro-asianists forces technically speaking are reactionary forces, neoliberal forces which is comparable to the worst of the worst in the western world. Moreover, they do not have any way to solve the main contradictions that arise in the current neoliberal model in the terms of class and dominance of Anglo Zionist global elite.
  23. Euro-Asianism is just a suitable ideology for the construction of Russian national idea for those who seeks to achieve lease to life for Russia sovereignty on the world stage. It is the actual proof that Russia has come too late to globalised capitalism and fascism...
  24. Huttington and his war of civilizations cynically exploit this confrontation on Anglo Zionist elite and newcomers, redefining it along the idea of the clash of civilizations which avoid using the notion of class and thus is ideologically false. Alexander Duguin who promote similar ideas quite seriously just shows the degree of degeneration of the Russian intelligentsia, which oscillates between serving as comprador class to the global Anglo Zionist elite and the repetition (as a farce, and with 75 years of delay ) of fascist reactionary revolutions in Western Europe, which were phenomenon of the interwar period (rexistas in Belgium, Croix de feu in France, CruzFlechados in Hungary, Requetés and Falangistas in Spain).
  25. The globalist elite offered a solution formulated in class terms, as it could not be another way: in the best cases, they proposes the co-optation to a handful of members of the Russian elite as deserving members of the new global Hyperclass, but this path is opened only the very very rich, and the pre-condition is the delivery of the country to plunder, where the global elite certainly would have need of some compradors which will be more or less adequately compensated depending on their achievements and sacrifices in the name of global neoliberal domination.
  26. The part of the power elite of Russia, which managed to expel the western compradors of the Yeltsin era, and rein in the oligarchs then, had tried with some success to regain control of the territory of the country. The illusion of the members of this part of the power elite -- basically the security services, both civil and military, and various synergies of those with the military-industrial lobby -- is that it would be enough to neutralize the Russian fifth column of the Anglo Zionists to take back control of their territorial base of power. this idea is going to be shredded into pieces when it enter into contradiction with the reality of the class struggle and interests of the elite at the global level. Russia is, for its size, influence, and resources, so huge that a line of action based on the defense of its sovereignty strategic enters in collision with the global power of neoliberalism. And that why it attracts disproportional reaction of the Anglo Zionists
  27. Supporters of Anglo Zionists that are ready to consent to a German-Russian alliance or Russia-EU alliance that give the viability of a idea of mutually beneficial co-development of both Russia and Europe are forgetting that such an action would require European sovereignty. Which is was non-existent iether on the level of the EU, or on the level of member states. The penetration of the Atlantism in Europe is already systemic. In the old European states there are still ancient national traditions, which were based on the basis of cultural, industrial, economic, and political identity. And they still run strong. But in the current situation for such states there no space for the sovereignty as the dominant power bloc in the national elite as well as in EU elite are Atlantists. Where this situation takes the Russian elite and the Russian state without confrontation? A confrontation that they, on the other hand are not willing and are not able to pursue.
  28. The multi-polar capitalist world had its lifespan which come to an end (exploded) in 1914. In 2014, the globalization of the elites and the capital is of such magnitude that no serious resistance is possible on the basis of some capitalist model. In those conditions the idea of Russian elite ability to enforce change to multipolar version of the currently monopolar neoliberal world is doomed to be a failure.
  29. Zbigniew Brezinsky has raised things crudely and openly, unlike the ("fake") supporters of perestroika, and their current heirs in Russia. Brezinsky know how to think in terms of the class contradiction and knows perfectly well that the Russian oligarchy has directed its monetary flows abroad, moved families abroad, and moved their investments abroad. That means that Anglo Zionists can disrupt any claim of sovereignty over the territory and resources by simply pressing the local neoliberal elite, giving them to choose between their interests as a class and their illusionary desire for sovereignty. Because in a globalized world, with its brutal fight for the natural resources there is no possibility of maintaining both, except what can be achieved in terms of direct anti-imperialist struggle. There is no space for the national bourgeoisies in the XXI century. You can only have sovereignty if it is posed in terms of a rupture with the actually existing neoliberal order of global capitalism, which, in its core is Anglo Zionists globalization. This break does not have to be forced, but in terms of scientific analysis of the social processes is a logical consequence of following this path one way or the other. To claim sovereignty over their own resources and territory inevitably leads to confrontation, and logical needs a break up and confront the Anglo Zionist empire. If you really want to achieve the goal. And that fact imposes the logic of the relationships and balance of power in the world today.
  30. The claims of the BRIC countries -- to the extent that you do not question them -- is that they have an alternative model to the dominant neoliberal capitalism model (Ango Zionist globalization with the center in the USA) are doomed to be a failure. The efforts of the BRIC countries can generate a lot of noise and discomfort for the West, but they can not break the global neoliberal system. Those countries are rightfully fearful of their budget balances -- which are very fragile. It can be even said that they are on their way to implosion sooner or later, due to the unbalanced structure of their internal classes, including first of all their own elite.
  31. The claim that it is possible to achieve the multipolar capitalist world (which Russia defends) and which led to current Ukrainian crisis without confrontation is false. As soon as Russia wanted to return to the global chessboard. as an independent player, they instantly saw opponents attacking weak elements of their defense at the borders. Ukraine has been a defeat for Russia and the Crimea is not a adequate compensation for loss of Ukraine. Now Novorossia is being sacrificed precisely because the class contradictions that have emerged in Moscow and lack of desire of Russian elite to go the bitter end.
  32. The situation in the Donbas / Novorossia clearly shows the resignation of Moscow to the victory, and their desire to avoid the clash with neoliberal world order. The fact is that Royal Dutch Shell has already begun the fracking in the Donbas, the coup regime in Kiev are already internationally accepted without reservations, the truce imposed in Novorossia has brought to its knees the armed resistance to junta. All this leads way to deliver Novorossia to the hands of mafias sponsored by the local oligarchs with friends in Kiev and Moscow.
  33. Statement that the destiny of Russia was played in the Donbas is something more than a phrase, It is a claim based on a reality, as the defeat of Novorossia would be the proof that Moscow had not the will to struggle. The betrayal of the fighters and the hopes of Novorossia is the acceptance of the defeat and might lead in the future to the victory to the Moscow Maidan, the same alliance of compradors and nationalists using which as storm troopers the globalist elite achieved their goal in Ukraine. If Novorossia is defeated, they can expect being able to push a puppet into the Kremlin the same way. And not without reason. This summer, the heroic struggle of the militia of the Donbas was the key element that forced the changes of the script designed for Kiev as well as diminished chances of successful application of the same methods in Moscow. The Minsk Agreements and the truce imposed by them are putting Novorossia on its knees, allowing for its destruction, but this time at the hands of their allies. Sad spectacle for the Russian security services, which were effective enough to organize the Donbas resistance, but now are useless and powerless before the neofascist Kiev junta.
  34. The struggle of the Donbas does not correspond to the strategic interests of the Russian elite. They have been forced to intervene to prevent the horror of the mass murder of the population of the Donbas at the hands of the extreme right. But the dream of a Donbas free of oligarchs and with a sovereign state, committed to social justice for workers on this Slavic land are completely incompatible with the post-soviet status quo. Only to the extent that there is a significant faction of Russian elite aware of the contradictions of the global neoliberal game and who put their sense of patriotism first can lead them to face the challenge that they face. Only in this case there would be any possibility of resistance; I would say patriotic resistance, because we already know no one at the top is able to think in terms of class.
  35. While very unlikely - there can be a move from February to October in Novorossia. You would say impossible. But he insurrection of the Donbas in March, logically was "February". In order to achieve victory, to take full control over the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk needs creation of the Revolutionary Military Council and suspension of the upcoming elections. which looking to be a smokescreen for capitulation to junta. They need to declare that they are ready to resist to the end. This output would be desperate move, without a doubt, and would represent the equivalent of a new "October". The event which of it occurs would force Moscow to show their cards to their own population. And perhaps it can help to generate a pulse necessary for the organization of the fight with Anglo Zionists empire between the towers of the Kremlin. That would move the fight toward more patriotic and popular goals, But this presuppose a lot of assumptions and first of all that such a "Kremlin tower", which is capable of emitted such a pulse, exists. Only in this case we can talk about achieving a real sovereignty. As Vasily Záitsev in Stalingrad suggested: "Maybe we're doomed, but for the moment we are still the masters and lords of our land." In Novorossia there are plenty of fighters who would agree with Záitsev, but they certainly lack political direction and, now the lack the support of Kremlin.
  36. The Russian objective is achieving a multipolar capitalism with a Russia united under a nationalist ideology based on the manipulation of patriotic sentiment, Orthodoxy and various Slavic myths. This objective is being challenged by the reality of the conflict, which should be defined in terms of geopolitical goals. The reality is that the Russian elite would be allowed to control their population as they wish, provided they renounce its sovereignty over territory and resources, renounce their physical power base, i.e. homeland. This is the nature of the challenge. Putin is mistaken if he thinks that the Grand Patriarch has the answer in their holy books. There is not enough incense in the Kremlin cathedrals to mask that reality.”

Demonization of Putin as part of Russophobia

The Demonization of Putin is Not a Policy.
It is an Alibi for the Absence of One

Henry Kissinger

Now let's discuss attempts to demonize Putin by Western MSM. They can be understood only in context of rabid Russophobia of US neocons and their poodles in GB and other Western countries (especially in Germany).

Being tactful of Putin is one thing that I would not criticize the US press for ;-). If only because the track record disqualify them from lecturing, but because one simple fact: I remember how they covered the Chechen disaster and how they covered Iraq invasion by the USA. I strongly dislike Chechen war, as do most Russians. However, it is true that Chechen fundamentalists financed by Saudis have killed hundreds of Caucasian and Russian civilians and were a real threat to the Russian society, whereas the Iraqis were no practical threat to the USA.

Another problem with demonizing Putin is that no one in the US political system is willing to criticize the policies of Boris Yeltsin, which ruined the majority of Russian people, falsified elections and included criminals in his inner circle under close guidance of the USA. Sometime it looks to me that the real Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.

And in addition most of US neocons who dominated the USA foreign policy establishment sincerely consider themselves the only game in town. While understanding very little, or absolutely nothing about other countries. And that is statement is equally applicable to neocons dominated MSM such as NYT and Wash Post. American exeptionalism is uniquely blinding phenomenon.

It is actually pretty sad to read the infinite low of articles written without any desire to understand the complex situation in modern Russia. Neocons analytics in regard to Russia is nauseating propaganda. The logic behind such articles is invariably hostile. Moscow either weak or repressive or both. If Moscow sees some processes as a threat, it is racist, if it just lets it happen, it is weak.

No good solution for Russia ever exists according to these people. And it would be better for Russia and the rest of the world if it disappears from the face of Earth as quickly as possible.

See Demonization of Putin for more details.

Apartheid regime in Baltic countries as part of Russophobia campaign launched after dissolution of the USSR

Another influential part of world Russophobic community are Apartheid regimes established in Baltic countries with the direct help of the USA government and, especially, USA emigrant organizations. Western Ukraine also fit this scenario (after EuroMaidan putsch Western Ukrainian when far right nationalists came to power).

Baltic countries refuse to provide citizenship to people of different ethnicity who lawfully lived in them during the USSR period (which lasted half a century or so). Here is an insightful take on Russophobia from veteran Novosty journalist by Pyotr Romanov

A Dispassionate View on Russophobia

10/04/2006

Ability to write about Russophobia dispassionately is similar to the ability to maintain dignity when somebody unexpectedly poor a dirty water all over your head. However, as far as possible, try to talk about this phenomenon, no offense. We will not resent the fact that the "Russian, according to British press - the most stupid in the world." Smile at the argument that the "war against Napoleon won the non-Russian, and lice." We will not discuss with the Japanese man in the street, which feels an antipathy to us, among other things because all the cold storms come on the street it from Russia.

Forget about the Finns, who, according to Western opinion polls, do not love us more than any foreigners. And this at a time when, according to domestic opinion polls, that the Finns have the highest Russian sympathies.

What to do: love evil. In short, keep yourself in hand. It is better to remember the words of George Nathaniel Curzon Marquis, Viceroy of India and at the time the British Foreign Minister: "Every Englishman comes to Russia as Russophobe, and left as a Russophile" This means that in the basis of antipathy towards the Russian lies ignorance and myths. Partly born of life itself, partly by skillful professionals employed by our political opponents: there is such a thing as information warfare. And this is not limited to the Soviet period, but can be traced since ancient times. The disappearance of the Soviet Union did not affect Russophobia much. "New Thinking", which Gorbachev dreamed about never materialized. There is also historical memory. If we talk about ethnophobias, this is an inexhaustible source of poisoned water.

We can present many additional examples, but even from what has been said above, it is clear that the problem is multifaceted and so deeply ingrained in the mind of a typical Western person (to say nothing about establishment -- NNB) that for Russians it is better to forget about an illusion that it can be cured or even drastically changed. Each countermeasure is only a palliative solution.

Thus we should not deceive ourselves - any countermeasure is only palliative. Russophobia glow can be reduced, but to end it might be impossible as is the case with other ethnophoibias.

However, even to lower the level of Russophobia is a difficult undertaking which requires considerable intellectual efforts and financial investments. In addition, the Russian professionals in the field of foreign media (or propaganda, sorry for such old-fashioned word) are long time already listed in the "red book". After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new government decided that the professionals who know how to work with foreign media are no longer needed, everything will be done automatically: our friends Bill and Helmut will help. In extreme cases, retired professionals can be without problems replaced by the young and energetic sneakers merchants. It did not happen. Meanwhile, the bad image of Russia means for the country significant economic and political losses.

When it comes to Russophobia, the questions usually turns out to be a surplus, but the answers, even the most sophisticated, almost always may be subject to reasoned criticism. This is further evidence of the complexity and ambiguity of the problem. For example, surveys carried out by foreigners, record that in recent years the attitude to the Russian in almost all countries around the world deteriorated. It would seem that there is nothing to rejoice, meanwhile, history has repeatedly argued that a weakened Russia is far less negative feelings abroad than Russia on the path to recovery, when she, like Phoenix, once again rises from the ashes. Thus, the sharp deterioration of perceptions of Russia by foreigners can simultaneously be a sign that Moscow is perusing a wrong policy, and, conversely, that is peruse absolutely correct policy. It is difficult to sort out.

By the way, if we were talking about the West here, it is curious to see how the West steps for many centuries on the same rake. Whenever Russia is experiencing the most difficult times, Western politicians, believing Russia is close to death, begin to seriously talk about her vivisection, and, conversely, when the "deceased" Russia suddenly opens his eyes, the West falls into mortal fear and hysteria. So it was during the Troubled Times, when the Poles, Swedes and British tried to split Russian lands apart. Under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, when Russia was still weakened Western Europe for the sake of preserving peace in its own backyard identified zones of expansion of the major European powers: our motherland, according to this "peace plan", was granted to the Swedes. The only thing that did not consider the German philosopher, mathematician, lawyer and theologian, Gottfried Leibniz -- the author of this ingenious plan -- the birth of Peter the Great. By the end of the reign of Peter Sweden ceased to be a great power, Russia become an empire, and a Russian soldier, frightened Europe to such hiccups, from which it can not escape for a long time.

Then there was the defeat in the Crimean War, which, as it seemed to many European politicians, forever cemented lag Russian from the outside world, but came to the liberal reforms of Alexander II, who once again raised Russia from its knees. Later there was a First World, revolution, civil war, and those event immediately generated Churchill plan to put an end to Russia once and forever, dismembering her to pieces. And this project also ended in failure, but instead came back scared the West Europeans almost to death, the Soviet Union.

Finally, the collapse of the USSR has created new hopes, and the emergence of a Russian helm of Putin produced a new disappointment: hatred intermixed with fear. Here are typical in the West, the view expressed by one of the Italian journalists: "The USSR is considered a country, lost forever. The recent emergence of Russia as a nation state was a bolt from the sky. " And that's madam did not know yet what order book of Russian defense enterprises in the past year increased by 61%, as recently reported by Russian President. Thunder would be simply deafening.

In short, we are dealing with a déjà vu all over gain: the same way foreign press treated Russia in Europe and after the Troubled Times and after the Crimean War, and after the Revolution of 1917 .

Of course, the fact that due to the fear of Russian bear whose jaws are in Europe, and the tail is located in the Far East, simultaneously flourish Russophobia, does not make Russians happy. But I personally, if we have to choose, prefer to have a strong Russia with a undesirable side effect in the form of Russophobia, than the Russian bear's skin over the fireplace in some western office, which the owner, proudly showing visitors, affectionately scratching behind his ear. Without experiencing any of Russophobia!

Are there any tools that would provide the West at least a middle ground between a pathological fear of Russian and not less pathological contempt for her? I think it is. All I will not enumerate them all. But one thing worth mentioning is mandatory. Necessary, finally, once and for all clear the historic debris, which is really to blame Russian. We can remember, say, Russian-Polish friction because of Katyn. The fact that Stalin's regime committed a crime, we know the whole world, but Russia, including the modern Russia, could not find the courage to tell the whole truth about the Polish tragedy. If you want to, once again apologize, and most importantly to pass, finally, Warsaw, all at our disposal documents. In the end, there are still living relatives of the victims, who have every right to know how their relatives died. Why this is not done until now, I can not understand, especially because the crime is committed not this generation, but fundamentally different, the Stalinist regime.

At the same time, giving the necessary debt, in my opinion, in any case we can not forget about our own claims. Unlike its neighbors, we all too easy to forgive, but it does not promote respect for Russia. Yes, there was Katyn. But until it was no less terrible fate of the Russian prisoners who fell into the hands of the Poles after the failure of the famous Tukhachevsky offensive of Warsaw. There are undeniable evidence how they treated those prisoners, both in Russia and the West. Division of assistance to POW in Poland of the American Union of Christian youth on October 20, 1920 noted that the Russian prisoners were kept in deplorable conditions: indoors, totally unsuitable for housing, with no furniture, sleeping aids, and most importantly - no glass in the windows, despite the cold. In the prisoners had no shoes, clothing, medicines, not enough medical personnel, food. All of the above, conclude U.S. observers, leads "to the rapid extinction of prisoners of war." Really dying by the thousands. No wonder the Lviv newspaper "Forward" December 22, 1920 calls Tuchola camp a "death camp". Thus, Katyn and Tuchola stand side by side. And it is necessary to treat this and ask the Poles of repentance for the brutal treatment of Russian. By the way, we should not have any illusion. About the same barbaric way the Red Army prisoners of war were treated, Baltic states treated the White Army Yudenich forces which retreat to their land. They allowed to passed then through the border in small groups, then confiscated all the weapon, after another mile all the valuables, and then clothes. So they beat is on the based on ideology but simply because they were Russians. Defending our ancestors who were subjected to abuse, we are seeking not only justice but also of self-respect. Man, do not mindful of kinship, respect is not deserved.

However, even if it has been said above about Russophobia, only a small drop in the cap or a smallest piece of a huge iceberg.

In addition, there is still the main problem, without deal with which all the fighting Russophobia is meaningless. This problem is ourselves: our standard of living, our culture, the development of our civil society, our internal and foreign policy, our military and economic power. Weak are always subject to humiliation: that is, unfortunately, human nature.

Any countermeasures -- although without them it situation might get worse -- no matter how sophisticated and skilled as they are, still no substitute for that, I'm talking about. So, first of all, to deal with all of us Russophobia requires a healthy and strong Russia. The fact that in this country and to live pleasantly, of course.

The old wisdom says, to be respected around, start to start to respect himself - a thing that you have created with their own hands.

And there, staring, reconsider their views on the Russian, even touchy Finns.

Coverage of Russia in Western MSMs resembles war propaganda

The Western media even before the Ukrainian Maidan was broadcast events in Russia exclusively in a negative way. Attempts are being made to discredit almost all Russian initiatives and projects, ranging from the Olympics to the elections of the President, etc. For the implementation of anti-Russian propaganda standard techniques of "projection" polished in color revolutions were used. That includes activization via NGOs of the opposition media and opposition figures within the country. The set of  "prisoners of conscience" was created from   academics, businessmen and politicians, who, for various reasons, wished to leave Russia for the West. Corrupt businessmen, who escaped to the West to avoid prosecution in Russia became prisoner of conscience and political oppositionist on the moment they cross the border. Anti-Russian propaganda aims in stressing civilizational, cultural, intellectual backwardness of Russia compared "advanced and enlightened" West.

The purpose of this propaganda "strangulation" of Russia is instituting "regime change" and bring to power the second generation of compradors. As well as further dismemberment of its territory. Some forms on internal conflict are supported as a part of destabilization strategy. With the ultimate goal of second partitioning of Russia and the emergence of new quasi-independent States.

To understand the coverage of Russia in western MSM one needs to understand the mechanisms of war propaganda. The latter is guided by the following postulates well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

This topic is discussed in more details elsewhere, but a good starting point is the book Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965/1973) by French philosopher, theologian, legal scholar, and sociologist Jacques Ellul. This book was one the first attempt to study propaganda from a sociological approach as well as a psychological one. It presents a taxonomy for propaganda methods, including such paired opposites as

During World War II, Ellul was a leader in the French resistance after being discharged as a professor from French universities by the Vichy regime. After France's liberation, he became professor at the University of Bordeaux. He authored 58 books and numerous articles over his lifetime, the dominant theme of which has been the threat to human freedom created by modern technology. In 1947, Ellul was appointed chair of law and social history at the Institut d'études politiques that increased his reputation as a social and political philosopher which led to the publication of his works in the United States. Here is an abridged Wikipedia summary:

Background of propaganda attacks against Russia

...."The Institute for Propaganda Analysis, inspired by Harold Lasswell" defined propaganda as "the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influencing the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends and through psychological manipulations".[3]

This definition seemed more accurate and was supported by others such as Goebbels, a German propagandist, who stated, "We do not talk to say something, but to obtain a certain effect."[ Similarly F.C. Bartlett holds an accurate interpretation of the goal of propaganda as not merely as an instrument to increase political understanding of events, but to obtain results through action. Ellul supports the idea that propaganda is made primarily because of a will to action for the purpose of effectively arming policy made by the State. Leonard Doob, an American specialist, defined propaganda in 1948 as "the attempt to affect the personalities and to control the behavior of individuals towards desired ends."

Unending definitions show the uncertainty among specialists and the inability of definitions to encompass all that is propaganda. Just because the term propaganda cannot be defined with any degree of precision does not mean that attempts to define it should be abandoned.

"Very frequently propaganda is describe as a manipulation for the purpose of changing idea or opinions of making individuals 'believe' some idea or fact, and finally of making them adhere to some doctrine—all matters of the mind. It tries to convince, to bring about a decision, to create a firm adherence to some truth. This is a completely wrong line of thinking: to view propaganda as still being what it was in 1850 is to cling to an obsolete concept of man and of the means to influence him; it is to condemn oneself to understand nothing about propaganda. The aim of modern propaganda is no longer to modify ideas, but to provoke action. It is no longer to change adherence to a doctrine, but to make the individual cling irrationally to a process of action. It is no longer to transform an opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief."

...He holds that the main concern of propaganda through psychological influence is sparking action to a desired response by developing learned attitudes. ....

Summary of chapters

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes is divided into five substantive chapters discussing Ellul’s analysis. Introduction

Regardless of the State, propaganda should be viewed as situated at the center of the growing powers of governmental and administrative techniques.

"Differences in political regimes matter little; differences in social levels are more important; and most important is national self-awareness. Propaganda is a good deal less the political weapon of a regime (it is that also) than the effect of a technological society that embraces the entire man and tends to be a completely integrated society. Propaganda stops man from feeling that things in society are oppressive and persuades him to submit with good grace."[7] Chapter One: Characteristics of Propaganda

Modern propaganda is a technique that requires an analysis of both environment and individual to be subjected to propaganda therefore it is based on scientific analyses of psychology and sociology. Sufficient understanding of these two areas creates the most effective propaganda and without the scientific research of modern psychology and sociology there would be no propaganda. "Step by step the propagandist builds the techniques on the basis of his knowledge of man, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his conditioning, and as much on social psychology as on depth psychology."[8] 1.Part One: External Characteristics

Propaganda is first and foremost concerned with influencing an individual psychologically by creating convictions and compliance through imperceptible techniques that are effective only by continuous repetition. Propaganda employs encirclement on the individual by trying to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or his needs through his conscious and his unconscious, and by assailing him in both his private and his public life.[9] The propagandist also acknowledges the most favorable moment to influence man is when an individual is caught up in the masses. Propaganda must be total in that utilizes all forms of media to draw the individual into the net of propaganda. Propaganda is designed to be continuous within the individual's life by filling the citizen’s entire day. It is based on slow constant impregnation that functions over a long period of time exceeding the individual’s capacities for attention or adaptation and thus his capabilities of resistance. In order for propaganda to maintain encirclement, it must be exerted by an organization capable of influencing psychological channels that reach the individual. Psychological and physical actions are inseparable elements to propaganda, however, if no influence is exerted by an organization than there can be no propaganda because it cannot operate in a vacuum. The necessity for a physical organization limits propaganda enterprises and in order to be effective propaganda must work inside a group, principally inside a nation. Propaganda must first organize the masses in order to propagandize within the masses. In general, propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated into an organization.[10] Propaganda should no longer be viewed in terms of an orthodoxy but rather modern propaganda should be seen as an orthopraxy because it aims for participation not adherence. Participation can be active or passive: active if propaganda has been able to mobilize the individual for action; passive if the individual does not act directly but psychologically supports that action. 2. Part Two: Internal Characteristics The second major element that a propagandist must understand is the environment in which the individual operates, mainly the foci of interest of the public. An understanding of the conventional patterns and stereotypes that pre-exist in a milieu provide the propagandist with material from which to build off. Propaganda is not able to create something out of nothing and is confined to developing pre-existing material thereby expressing the fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. These currents include accepted structures such as collective sociological presuppositions and myths that are fundamental to society.

"The Four Great Collective Sociological Presuppositions in the Modern World: 1.That an individual's aim in life is happiness. 2.That man is naturally good. 3.That history develops in endless progress. 4.That everything is matter.

The Collective Myths: 1.of Work 2.of Happiness 3.of the Nation 4.of Youth 5.of the Hero"[11]

These currents reinforce socieand hold man’s mjor convictions and propa ganda must voice this reality. Propaganda is concerned with timeliness since an individual is only moved to action if he is pushed towards a timely one by propaganda. Once it becomes history it inevitably becomes neutral and indifferent to the individual who is sensitive primarily to current news. "Operational words" are used to penetrate an individual’s indifference. However they lose their value as immediacy passes as old facts are replaced by new ones. The "current events man" is carried along the current of news and caught in the events of today, losing interest in the events of yesterday. The indifferent are apolitical and without opinion, therefore they are outside of propaganda’s grasp. Incidentally, there are also the undecided, people whose opinions are vague, who form the majority of citizens within the collective. These citizens are the most susceptible to control of public opinion that is dictated by propaganda. Lastly, this part discusses propaganda and truth or the ability of propaganda to relay something as true based not on the accuracy of facts but of reality. Propaganda veils the truth with falsehoods even though lying is generally to be avoided. 3. Part Three: Categories of Propaganda Presented in this chapter is a sophisticated taxonomy for propaganda, including such paired opposites as political-sociological, vertical-horizontal, rational-irrational, and agitation-integration.

Political vs. Sociological Propaganda:

Political Propaganda involves techniques of influence employed by a government, a party, an administration, or a pressure group with the intention of changing the behavior of the public. The themes and objectives of this type of propaganda are of a political nature. The goals are determined by the government, party, administration, or pressure group. The methods of political propaganda are calculated in a precise manner and its main criteria is to disseminate an ideology for the very purpose of making various political acts acceptable to the people.[12] There are two forms of political propaganda, tactical and strategic. Tactical political propaganda seeks to obtain immediate results within a given framework. Strategic political propaganda is not concerned with speed but rather it establishes the general line, the array of arguments, and the staging of campaigns.

Political propaganda reversed is sociological propaganda because the ideology is penetrated by means of its sociological context. Propaganda, as it is traditionally known, implies an attempt to spread an ideology through the mass media of communication in order to lead the public to a desired action. In sociological propaganda even media that are not controllable such as individual art work, films, and writing reflect the ideology allowing for an accelerated penetration of the masses and the individuals within them.[13]

Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society seeks to integrate the maximum number of individuals into itself by unifying its members’ behavior according to a pattern, spreading its style of life abroad, and thus imposing itself on other groups. Essentially sociological propaganda aims to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[14] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best. Sociological propaganda creates an indisputable criterion for the individual to make judgments of good and evil according to the order of the individual’s way of life. Sociological propaganda does not result in action, however, it can prepare the ground for direct propaganda. From then on, the individual in the clutches of such sociological propaganda believes that those who live this way are on the side of the angels, and those who don’t are bad.[15]

Vertical vs. Horizontal Propaganda: Vertical propaganda is similar to direct propaganda that aims at the individual in the mass and is renewed constantly. However, in horizontal propaganda there is no top down structure but rather it springs up from within the group. It involves meticulous encirclement that traps an individual involuntarily in dialectic. The individual is led unfailingly to its adherence by talking about the dialectic until the individual discovers the answer that was set up unconsciously for him to find. Schools are a primary mechanism for integrating the individual into the way of life.

Rational vs. Irrational Propaganda:

Propaganda is addressed to the individual on the foundation of feelings and passions which are irrational, however, the content of propaganda does address reason and experience when it presents information and furnishes facts making it rational as well. It is important for propaganda to be rational because modern man needs relation to facts. Modern man wants to be convinced that by acting in a certain way he is obeying reason in order to have self justification. The challenge is creating an irrational response on the basis of rational and factual elements by leaving an impression on an individual that remains long after the facts have faded away. Individuals are not compelled to act based facts but rather on emotional pressure, the vision of the future, or the myth.

Agitation vs. Integration propaganda: Propaganda of agitation seeks to mobilize people in order to destroy the established order and/or government. It seeks rebellion by provoking a crisis or unleashing explosive movements during one. It momentarily subverts the habits, customs, and beliefs that were obstacles to making great leap forward by addressing the internal elements in each of us. It eradicates the individual out of his normal framework and then proceeds to plunge him into enthusiasm by suggesting extraordinary goals which nevertheless seem to him completely within reach. However, this enthusiasm can only last a short duration so the objective must be achieved quickly followed by a period of rest. People cannot be kept at in a "state of perpetual enthusiasm and insecurity". Rebellion is incited by the propagandist who knows that hate is one of the most profitable resources when drawn out of an individual. Agitation propaganda is usually thought of as propaganda in that it aims to influence people to act. Integration propaganda, on the other hand, is a more subtle form that aims to reinforce cultural norms. This is sociological in nature because it provides stability to society by supporting the "way of life" and the myths within a culture. It is propaganda of conformity that requires participation in the social body. This type of propaganda is more prominent and permanent, yet it is not as recognized as agitation propaganda because it is more permanent manner. Basically, agitation propaganda provides the motive force when needed and when not needed integration propaganda provides the context and backdrop. Chapter Two: The Condition for the Existence of Propaganda

The nature of propaganda has changed over the course of time and yet it is evident that propaganda cannot exist without a milieu. The emergence of propaganda is interconnected with technology and scientific discoveries yet it can only appear and grow under certain conditions. Several events have occurred that have furthered propaganda by increasing its ability in depth and discovering new methods. Modern propaganda could not exist without the mass media or modern means of transportation which permit crowds of diverse individuals from all over to assemble easily and frequently. 1.Part One: The Sociological Conditions

Society must contain elements of both an individualist society and a mass society. Propaganda aims to capture both the mass and the individual at the same time through this dual type of society. A mass society is based on individuals that are reduced to ciphers based on what they have in common to others. First conditions for growth and development of modern propaganda: it emerged in Western Europe in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth precisely because that was when society was becoming increasingly individualistic and its organic structures were breaking down. Individuals without natural organic local groups are defenseless and more likely to be caught up in a social current. On the other hand, a mass society has considerable population density in which local structures and organizations are weak, currents of opinion are strongly felt creating a certain psychological unity, and individuals are organized into large and influential collectives. Mass society is characterized by uniformity and material life despite differences of environment. Once a mass society is created, public opinion will begin to play a role to help individuals form their own personal opinion. Public opinion can only express itself through channels which are provided by the mass media of communication without which there could be no propaganda. Yet it is important that mass media be subject to centralized control in order to successfully form public opinion without any opposition. Again Ellul mentions that the individual must be caught in wide net of media through all channels. Once opinion has been formed, propaganda is able to reinforce it and transform opinion into action. 2. Part Two: Objective Conditions of Total Propaganda Propaganda thrives off of what individuals have in common with others to develop patterns of behavior and modify cultural opinions. Total propaganda recognizes that within a nation individuals should all have in common a standard of living, a culture, and an ideology. The need of an average standard of living is that people must be able to afford to buy a radio, TV, a newspaper, or go to the movies. It is mostly concerned with the densest mass which is made up of average men and not the very rich or very poor. Poor cannot do this therefore they cannot be subjected to integration propaganda because the immediate concerns of daily life absorb all their capacities and efforts. The poor can only be subjected to agitation propaganda, excited to the point of theft and murder. But they cannot be trained by propaganda, kept in hand, channeled, and oriented. More advanced propaganda can influence only a man who is not completely haunted by poverty, a man who can view things from a certain distance and be reasonably unconcerned about his daily bread, who therefore can take an interest in more general matters.

"For propaganda to be effective the propagandee must have a certain store of ideas and a number of conditioned reflexes that can only be acquired through peace of mind springing from relative security. The establishment of a mode of common life- all this leads to the creation of a type of normal man conveniently leads all men toward that norm via a multitude of paths. Propaganda’s intent is to integrate people into the normal pattern prevailing in society bring about conformance to way of life. To sum up: The creation of normalcy in our society can take one of two shapes. It can be the result of scientific, psycho-sociological analysis based on statistics- that is the American type of normalcy. It can be ideological and doctrinaire- that is the Communist type. But the results are identical: such normalcy necessarily gives rise to propaganda that can reduce the individual to the pattern most useful to society."[16]

"Information" Is an essential element of propaganda, which must "have reference to political or economic reality" to be credible. In fact, no propaganda can work until the moment when a set of facts has become a problem in the eyes of those who constitute public opinion." Education permits the dissemination of propaganda in that it enables people to consume information. Information is indistinguishable from propaganda in that information is an essential element of propaganda because for propaganda to succeed it must have reference to political or economic reality. Propaganda grafts itself onto an already existing reality through "informed opinion". Where no informed opinion with regard to political or economic affairs propaganda cannot exist making it an indispensable aspect. Propaganda means nothing without preliminary information that provides the basis for propaganda, gives propaganda the means to operate, and generates the problems that propaganda exploits by pretending to offer solutions. It is through information that the individual is placed in a social context and learns to understand the reality of his own situation. Information allows us to evaluate our situation feel our own personal problems are a general social problem thus enabling propaganda to entice us into social and political action. Information is most effective when it is objective and broad because it creates a general picture. With information quantity is better than quality, the more political or economic facts believed to be mastered by an individual, the more sensitive their judgment is to propaganda. In fact, only in and through propaganda do the masses have access to political economy, politics, art, or literature. The more stereotypes in a culture, the easier it is to form public opinion, and the more an individual participates in that culture, the more susceptible he becomes to the manipulation of these symbols. Chapter Three: The Necessity for Propaganda

All propaganda is based on a need, a dual need, first there is the need of state to make it and second there is the need of propagandee to receive it. These two needs compliment and correspond to each other in the development of propaganda. Propaganda is an expression of modern society as a whole. 1.Part One: The State's Necessity

The State has the need to make propaganda to integrate citizens into its society, to disseminate information, and to increase participation and involvement of members of society. Sometimes the people want to take part in government affairs. However, the official leaders cannot disconnect themselves from what the people want. Being that the people in charge cant escape the people , bait must be presented to them. This acts as a disguise that must be there to hide what is really happening behind the scenes in the government . Citizens are aware that political decisions affect everybody and governments cannot govern without the support, presence, pressure, or knowledge of the people. Yet the people are incapable of making long term policy so opinion must be created to follow the government because the government cannot be led by opinion. All of this describes the "Mass-Government" relationship characterized by people demanding what has already been decided, in order to appear as though the government is actually caring about what the people need. The next part that the book discuss is psychological warfare. It is believed to be a peace policy that is used between nations as a form of aggression. This type of propaganda changes the public opinion of an opposing regime so that it can be in favor of there regime. 2. Part Two: The Individual’s Necessity The individual needs propaganda to gain satisfaction as a member of society. Individuals want to be informed and to participate in the decisions of the state. Propaganda is the outlet through which individuals obtain the satisfaction of having contributed to the state. It is a necessary instrument of a state or institution to spread information to members of the group or society. But for propaganda to succeed it must respond to a need on the individual’s part as well. The individual is by no means just an innocent victim of propaganda when in fact he provokes the psychological action of propaganda by not merely lending himself to it, but also from deriving satisfaction from it. It is strictly a sociological phenomenon, in the sense that it has its roots and reasons in the need of the group that will sustain it. The great role performed by propaganda is in its ability to give the people the involvement they crave or the illusion of it in order for the masses to be artificially satisfied. Individuals are faced with decisions which require a range of information that the individual does not and cannot have without propaganda. Thus, the individual is unable to accept that he cannot form opinion on his own and is caught between his desire and his inability. People are willing and likely to accept propaganda that allows them to artificially satisfy their desire to have an opinion by hiding their incompetence. The individual does not mind being given preconceived positions because otherwise he would realize that he does not understand the problems of the modern world. The individual would then realize that he "depends on situations of which he has no control" and have to face this reality. The individual cannot live in the state of this harsh reality so he derives satisfaction from the veil created by the ideology and the sense of values it provides. The individual need psychological and ideological reasons why he needs to be where he is and propaganda is the mechanism that the state uses for this very purpose. Chapter Four: Psychological Effects of Propaganda

The psychological effects of propaganda on an individual cannot be ignored. The individual undergoes profound changes while being propagandized mainly the diminishment of personal activity. "Propaganda furnishes objectives, organizes the traits of an individual into a system, and freezes them into a mold by standardizing current ideas, hardening the prevailing stereotypes, and furnishing thought patterns in all areas."[17] The individual is traumatized by the overwhelming force of propaganda that intensifies the prejudices and beliefs until eventually the individual has no control over his own impulses. It seeks to push the individual into the mass until his will fades entirely into that of the mass. Individuality is sacrificed for the greater cause of the nation by uniting him and blending him with others. Critical and personal judgment are subdued and replaced with ready-made attitudes and opinions. Discernment is made nearly impossible for the individual whose ability to judge is destroyed making him dependent on propaganda’s ready-made opinions from then on. The individual can no longer exercise his own judgment and becomes honed into what propaganda tells him. He no longer expresses himself but his group once he accepts public opinion as his own. The artificial, impersonal public opinion created by propaganda is absorbed by the individual and he becomes filled with its conviction. When he is fully integrated in the social group and can no longer distinguish between himself and society than he has reached total alienation. In this process, the individual’s personal inclinations lead to participation in the collective where he loses control and submits to external impulses. The individual is suppressed psychologically so that he can continue to live under the conditions in which society places him by providing an artificial and unreal reality that is the result of powerful propaganda. Chapter Five: The Socio-Political Effects

"In the nineteenth century, the problem of opinion formation through the expression of thought was essentially a problem of contacts between the State and the individual, and a problem of acquisition of freedom. But today, thanks to the mass media, the individual finds himself outside the battle that is now between the State and powerful groups. The freedom to express ideas is no longer at stake in this debate but it has been replaced by mastery and domination by the State or some powerful groups over the formation of opinion. The individual is not in the battle because he is the stake and the battle will determine what voice he will be permitted to hear and which words will have the power to obsess him."[18] 1.Part One: Propaganda and Ideology

An ideology provides society certain beliefs and no social group can exist without the foundation of these beliefs. Propaganda is the means by which an ideology can expand without force. An ideology is either fortified within a group or expanded beyond the borders of a group through propaganda. However, propaganda is less and less concerned with spreading the ideology nowadays as it is with becoming autonomous. The ideology is no longer the decisive factor of propaganda that must be obeyed by the propagandist. The propagandist cannot be constrained by the ideology of his State but must operate in service of the state and be able to manipulate the ideology as if it were an object. The ideology merely provides the content for the propagandist to build off since he is limited to what already is present within the group, nation, or society. The fundamental ideologies are nationalism, socialism, communism, and democracy. 2. Part Two: Effects on the Structure of Public Opinion Public opinion is an instrument of propaganda that is disseminated through the mass media of communication to the masses. While most people view the formation of public opinion as being shaped itself by interaction between different viewpoints on controversial questions, this is incorrect because public opinion is delineated by propaganda as a "truth" which is either believed or not believed. Public opinion ceases to be controversial and can no longer form itself except through channels of mass media. No opinion can be held until it is communicated to the masses through mass media. Propaganda uses public opinion to externalize inner opinions of the organization to the masses that eventually produces conformity.[19] 3. Part Three: Propaganda and Grouping In regards to propaganda, there are two groups: the groups that make propaganda and the groups that are subjected to propaganda. In Ellul's view, there is a "double foray on the part of propaganda that proves the excellence of one group and the evilness of another at the same time to create partitioning". This creates isolation between groups by promoting allegiance to the group one is in and suppressing conversation between groups. The more they listen to their propaganda the stronger their beliefs and the greater their justifications for their actions. Partitioning takes place on many different levels including class, religious, political, national and blocs of nations. A superior group is able to affect the lesser groups, however, groups that have an equal amount of influence will only separate further from one another in that a members allegiance to a group develops closed mindedness. Well-organized propaganda is able to work with different elements that exist within a nation such as religion, political parties, and labor groups. 4. Part Four: Propaganda and Democracy Since democracy depends on public opinion, it is clear that propaganda must be involved. The relationship between democracy and propaganda evidently presents a conflict between the principles of democracy and the processes of propaganda. The individual is viewed as the cornerstone of a democracy which is a form of government that is made "for the people and by the people". However, as discussed in early chapters Ellul described the masses are incapable of making long-term foreign policy and the government needs to make these decisions in a timely manner. This is where propaganda comes into play and projects an artificial reality to the masses to satisfy their need to participate in government while the decisions are really made behind the scenes. This was also describe earlier as the "mass-government" relationship. Democratic regimes develop propaganda in line with its myths and prejudices. Propaganda stresses the superiority of a democratic society while intensifying the prejudices between democratic and oppressive.

Major themes

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes builds on prior notions of propaganda to demonstrate that while propaganda is psychological in nature it is just as much sociological in nature as well. Propaganda is not just embedded into the individual's psyche but also the cultural psyche. Propaganda works off the inner characteristics of both the individual and the society that the individual belongs. This thorough analysis made by Ellul illustrates that to downplay the importance of the sociological influences of propaganda to psychological ones is a dreadful error. Propaganda is more threatening when it begins to be recognized as sociological as well psychological in nature. Below are two major themes the first stressing the psychological aims of propaganda the second the sociological aims.

"The Lonely Crowd"

The term "lonely crowd" is used by Ellul to distinguish the two inseparable elements of propaganda, the individual and the masses, which must be addressed by the propagandist at the same time. As an isolated unit, the individual is of no interest to the propagandist unless he is reduced to an average. It is crucial that the individual is never considered as an individual but always in terms of what he has in common with others. The individual is included and integrated into the mass because the propagandist profits from the process of diffusion of emotions through the mass, and at the same time, from the pressures felt by an individual when in a group.[20]

In this setting, "the individual caught up in the mass", the individual's reactions are easier to provoke and psychic defenses are weakened. The individual must always be considered as a participant in a mass and similarly the mass must only be viewed as a crowd composed of individuals. When propaganda is addressed to the crowd, it must touch each individual in that crowd which is in fact nothing but assembled individuals. Conversely, the individual should not be viewed as alone as a listener, watcher, or reader because the individual is nevertheless part of an invisible crowd though he is actually alone. The most favorable moment to influence an individual is when he is alone in the mass, the structure of the mass is extremely profitable to the propagandist concerned with being effective.

Fundamental currents in society

"One cannot make just any propaganda any place for anybody."[21] While propaganda is focused on reaching the individual, it cannot only rely on building off what already exists in the individual. Propaganda must also attach itself to the pre-existing fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. The propagandist must know the current tendencies and the stereotypes among the public he is trying to reach. These are indicated by principal symbols of the culture the propagandist wishes to attack since these symbols express the attitudes of a particular culture. Individuals are part of a culture and are therefore psychologically shaped by that culture. The main task of propaganda is to utilize the conditioned symbols as transmitters of that culture to serve its purpose. Propaganda must be a reflection of the fundamental structures of society to be successful and not contradictory of existing opinions. A skillful propagandist does not try to change mass opinion or go against an accepted structure. Only a bad propagandist would make a direct attack on an established, reasoned, durable opinion, accepted cliché, or fixed pattern. "Each individual harbors a large number of stereotypes and established tendencies; from this arsenal the propagandist must select those easiest to mobilize, those which will give the greatest strength to the action he wants to precipitate."[22]

While propaganda cannot create something out of nothing, it does have the ability to build on the foundation already established. More importantly even though it does not create new material and is confined to what already exists, it is not necessarily powerless. "It can attack from the rear, war own slowly, provide new centers of interest, which cause the neglect of previously acquired positions; it can divert a prejudice; or it can elicit an action contrary to an opinion held by the individual without his being clearly aware of it."[23]

Propaganda can gradually undermine prejudices and images in order to weaken them. These fundamental currents in society create the perfect atmosphere for sociological propaganda which influences the individual through his customs and unconscious habits. Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society tries to unify its members’ behavior according to a pattern. Essentially sociological propaganda is to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[24] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best.

See also [edit] Brainwashing Conformity Ideology Indoctrination Media manipulation Mind control Propaganda Psychological manipulation Psychological warfare Social Influence Socially constructed reality

British propaganda is especially sophisticated and nasty. See In Foreign Events Coverage The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment

Anatomy of US sanctions against Russia

The USA administration, and especially neocons, entrenched in State Department, organized putsch in Kiev with the help of their European satellites. When the civil war started as the result of the putsch the USA introduced sanctions against Russia. See "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place

Tremendous pressure exerted on Russia by the West, largely intended to show the subjects of world politics undesirability of implementing an independent foreign policy. Washington and its satellites in Europe through sanctions are trying to demonstrate their ability to isolate the "offending" countries from the global economy and technical progress by controlling supplies of high technology equipment. However, analysis of the accusations against Russia suggests that both the USA Europe are dominated by neoliberals/neocons who themselves are divorced from the realities of the current processes and looks at the world through the eyes of the early 90th then neoliberalism enjoyed its triumphal march in Eastern Europe and xUSSR space.

After 2008  neoliberalism entered so called zombie stage. It is still very powerful and very dangerous, but ideology of neoliberalism, like ideology of Marxism before is now looks like  perishable goods with expired date of consumption. In no way it is not attractive anymore. Events like enforcing Greece debt slavery by Germany and France only increase the reaction of rejection. 

And that's despite all economic power the USA definitely possesses and success in implementing economic sanctions which drove the Russia GDP growth into negative rages presents huge challenge for the USA. One of the best option the USA elites are pushing is the limited war in Europe that can weaken both EU and Russia. So in a way the putsch in Kiev was anti-EU measure, as Victoria Nuland famous quote suggests.

Sanctions, as damaging  as they are, suggest that the empire lost diplomatic skills. And there is no question that  economic weapons are as close to the act of war as you can get.  See Cold War II. As Patrick Buchanan notes (ecnomicpolicyjournal.com, April 28, 2014):

"Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin's Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world ... and effectively making it a pariah state."

So wrote Peter Baker in Sunday's New York Times. Yet if history is any guide, this "pariah policy," even if adopted, will not long endure.

Three years after Khrushchev sent tanks into Hungary, he
was touring the USA and celebrating with Ike the new "Spirit of Camp David."

Half a year after Khrushchev moved missiles into Cuba, JFK was talking detente is his famous speech at American University.

Three weeks after Moscow incited the Arabs in the Six-Day War, Lyndon Johnson was meeting with Premier Alexei Kosygin in New Jersey, where the "Spirit of Glassboro," was born.

So it went through the Cold War. Post-crises, U.S. presidents reached out to Soviet leaders. For they saw Russia as too large and too powerful to be isolated and ostracized like North Korea.

The sustained expansion of economic sanctions, especially  against the oil and gas sector and specific companies as well as limited access to credit resources indicate the seriousness of the Western establishment to deprive Russia of the economic growth and the ability to protect its own economic interests.

The neocons strategy of encirclement and isolation of Russia

This "Anaconda strategy" of encircling Russia got a significant boost after the victory of far right in EuroMaidan. This event has become for a great geopolitical victory for the USA and humbling defeat for Russia. Russia was in bad shape to prevent it, as the logic of development of new state immanently produces anti-Russian sentiments as the mean to create their own identity. But still weakness of Russia in Ukraine was real and signify a serious problems ahead. Also the USA is way to strong to go into open confontation with the US neocons, which dominates the US foreign policy.

The reaction of Russia on far right victory at EuroMaydan gave rise in in the US establishment, to even more active implementation of the strategy of confrontation, and propaganda campaign against "the Russian threat".  Like Bolsheviks before them (and neocons are just turncoat Trotskyites, so there are a lot of common between two), they hate any obstacle on the path to creation of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. This strategy involves increasing the military presence on the European continent and military power of NATO. Much tougher stance toward Russian projects in Western and Eastern Europe and in attacks on the level of international organizations. Along with the anti-Russian operations in Europe, the US and its satellites are active in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. A good example is the recent attempt to organize a Maidan in Armenia.


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[Oct 14, 2018] I don't think Trump cared much about the Skripal case either. He imposed a few more sanctions under pressure from the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, GOP Rep. Ed Royce of California.

Notable quotes:
"... Any scenario is possible coming from the Saudis or the Anglo media. The Skripal has been a successful one. ..."
Oct 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

dh , Oct 12, 2018 5:02:06 PM | link

@81 I don't think Trump cared much about the Skripal case either.

He imposed a few more sanctions under pressure from the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, GOP Rep. Ed Royce of California.


Virgile , Oct 12, 2018 5:07:49 PM | link

@71 Activist potatoe

We are in "Pulp Fiction" aren't we? Any scenario is possible coming from the Saudis or the Anglo media. The Skripal has been a successful one.
Thanks for completing the scenario with your own ideas of the beheading of witnesses that you mistakenly attributed to me.

I would suppose that Saudis have something usually convincing to shut off talkative people, like they will shut off Trump or even the Turks: Money

Activist Potato , Oct 12, 2018 6:08:40 PM | link

... ... ...

The Skripal hoax grew legs I never imagined possible. If people did quietly question it, those people were deprived of a public counter-narrative in the mainstream Press to nurture their skepticism. This could cause a dimwit to renounce natural suspicion and a sharpie to know when to shut-up if he/she did not wish to be laughed at or worse.

They have so many of us dangling on a string. Thank b and others for MoA!


Den Lille Abe , Oct 12, 2018 10:10:26 PM | link
Cool down! We had TWO GRU murderers walk into Salisbury, with no CCCTV ecidense yet that they were near Skripal's house, and no evidence from his house , which surely must have under surveillance. Do you believe this? OK you believe the official story too.
And apart from that, Kashroggis probable demise is all cool, as he was a head chopping advocate, a Wahabistst. Fuck him . Wahabists go in Class on camps which has on the entrance "Arbeit mach frei" which of course is a general lie, but the whe get to kill them in a humanely way (see instruction manual from CiA)
Or you just shoot them in the chest, less smatter and more blood. Headshots are messy, stuff everywhere., sometimetimes, if you accidentially hit a weak point in the cranium , you have brains everywhere , dont wan't that.
Den Lille Abe , Oct 13, 2018 8:46:30 AM | link
As another poster commented, something is missing...
It is like a well choreograhped drame, Skripals were the same, this also is tooooo nice fitting together... Hmfr!
Qui bono? Who makes money on this? I certainly cannot answer that, but lets play safe : The Russians did it!
They beamed up Kasshoggi to their base on the dark side of the moon, the re killed him in civilized manner, fucking him to death with nice looking whores and spoonfeeding him Beluga caviar and interjected wit sips of Russian Starka. He was then made to mush and beamed back into the Saudi consulate making a real mess. Now poor headchop promoter is all over the place! He must love that up in his muslum heaven with 72 old hags. There is no martyrdom in being beamed to the moon and put through a garden shredder, that is nothing special.
So now the Saudi's has Khassoggi al over their faces (literally :)) and the Turks eye a new way to betray someone (Putin, wake up!!). Ever since democracy was bestowed on these people, they have made a mess of it.
Back in the day (when I was gung ho Army boy), it was OK for a Turk officer to shoot dead a couple of conscripts a year, no problemo, the sentries with weapons had no live rounds hi-hi. Turkey does not need a hard shove and it will crumble, and the Americans will intervene, unless Russia is first.
This game is about Turkey, and not goat herders in Saudi Sodoma. They have hardly oil left and the plebs are angry.
Robert Snefjella , Oct 13, 2018 8:50:46 AM | link
Trivia?

Jared Kushner's friendship/affair with previously merely progressive war criminal MBS, who has progressed to now also beinted tainted with responsibility for the lurid butchery of an offensive to MBS 'journalist' who was but days from marriage and the arms of his love, does not elevate Kushner's already dubious standing in some circles.

Kushner, he who on one memorable occasion chatted til the early hours of the morning, "cultivating a close friendship", with the mass murdering progressive MBS, who (thus inspired?; coincidentally?) to Trumpian applause arrested and shook down many members of his billionaire-cult family. But is this a busom buddy friendship born of equality, two young men with so much in common?

MBS has been quoted as saying he has "Kushner in my pocket". Hmmm.

And then there's NYT's Tom Friedman's gushing rhapsody in purple over MBS: "... a genuine reformer, mega-popular dude, and an all-around super awesome guy." Friedman's love was stoked over what he presumed was a lamb dinner, but in the light of further developments, we are not so sure....

mali , Oct 13, 2018 9:30:32 AM | link
Trump vows 'severe punishment' if Saudi Arabia is behind killing of WaPo journalist Khashoggi . However, Trump stressed that even if the journalist was killed at the hands of Riyadh, he still wouldn't end the arms deal between the two countries .
Noirette , Oct 13, 2018 9:53:35 AM | link
Reminded me of the Sultan Bin Turki affair.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan_bin_Turki_II_bin_Abdulaziz_Al_Saud

He was most critical of the Saudi Royals and ;) 'pro-reform.' He was kidnapped in Geneva, apparently as carried out or 'allowed' for a good part by the Saudi Ambassador.

He was, allegedly, 'rendered' back to KSA, drugged and tortured. Five masked men knocked him unconscious, anesthetized him, taken him to a Boeing 747 waiting at the Geneva airport, and flew him to the Saudi capital Riyadh

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940427000348

In F, closer to the events: Celui-ci s'éclipse de la pièce et peu après, des hommes armés font irruption, frappent Sultan ben Turki, le menottent, lui font une injection et le transportent inconscient jusqu'à l'aéroport de Cointrin, où il est embarqué à bord d'un Boeing médical arrivé plusieurs jours auparavant et toujours prêt à décoller, selon le récit qu'il en a fait plus tard.

https://www.letemps.ch/monde/ne-prince-saoudien-exile-europe

Prison > house arrest, > once freed - he was allowed to go to Boston for medical treatment - he fled - back to Geneva! - and a court case took place (2016.) Pierre de Preux, a well known lawyer here, represented him. Imho the state prosecutor (= DA) was brave to take on this case. It was nevertheless shelved for lack of evidence.

Killing off critics / potential trouble makers / other / takes different forms in different régimes.

In the US for ex. no big show is made, and the death is classed as suicide, car accident, druggie death, mystery fall / drowning, etc. no matter how weird the circumstances. In other lands, it is deemed necessary to demonstrate the power of the Overlords, who can organise 15 ppl, a stark warning is projected.

Piotr Berman , Oct 13, 2018 10:40:02 AM | link
Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Oct 13, 2018 8:46:30 AM | 118

On one hand, the quantity of black flag incidents is increasing, and that leads to low quality at many occasions. Ukrainians in particular excel in making most laughable incidents and the British seem to be influenced. Babchenko was killed, his murder condemned by Her Majesty Foreign Office and then got resurected. Brits seem to liked that, as exemplified by heroics of Sir Gavin, the Lord Defender of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, Island of Man etc. etc.) on the frontline of the Free Ukraine.

On the other hand, were Saudis innocent they should have means of proving it. Consulates have security systems including cameras near the entry. While they are attacked less frequently than convenience stores, they have a better budget for such systems. Thus it should not be hard to show that either (a) Jamal Khashoggi actually did not enter KSA consulate in Istanbul on the day in question or (b) he entered and exited. Barring the use of hitherto unknown types of beam weapons, I would conclude that he entered and did not exit by normal means.

That said, there were no reports on beam weapons capable of transporting material objects. At worst, Russians could focus microwave weapons reducing people inside the consulate to incontinent cricket hearing idiots, enter through the underground and get out carrying whatever they please. KSA could be reluctant to release videos showing their people as they looked like idiots who just pissed into their pants and worse. This is what I can imagine on the basis of stories from American press that include at least two of "Russia, consulate/embassy, microwave weapons", usually all three. If we restrict ourself to more corroborated stories, Russians could drill holes and saturate the air with "military grade fentanyl" and eschew microwaves. But it would be easier if it was done by Turks with the help of Russian experts who botched something like that at least once, so they have data how to drill, spray and calculate the dosage.

Surely, one should not deprecate the ability of Turks to concoct tales. For example, a typical tale from Tales of 1001 Nights features a beautiful Turkish princess that falls from one misfortune to another at the hands of a trio of bad characters: a Jewish merchant, a Christian magician and a Kurdish leader of a band of robbers, only to be eventually rescued by a dashing young Muslim Arab, and we may have such a tale suitable altered for the occasion -- perhaps despicable Kurds will show up later.

But really, offering Starka to a prisoner? Because of long aging time and the demand, it is surprisingly hard to buy, and it is hard to tell if it is popular in Russia at all, Poland and the Baltics have more of Starka tradition.

[Oct 14, 2018] Empire Loyalists Grieve Resignation of Moderate Psychopath Nikki Haley

Notable quotes:
"... Describing Nikki Haley as a "moderate Republican" is like describing Jeffrey Dahmer as "a moderate meat eater". Besides John Bolton there is nobody within the depraved Trump administration who's been a more reliable advocate for war, oppression and American/Israeli supremacism, no more virulent a proponent of the empire's photogenic version of fascism than she. ..."
"... But because she only advocates establishment-sanctioned mass murders (and perhaps partly because she wears the magical "Woman of Color" tiara), Haley can be painted as a sane, sensible adult-in-the-room by empire lackeys who are paid to normalize the brutality of the ruling class. ..."
"... Haley will be departing with a disgusting 75 percent approval rating with Republicans and 55 percent approval with Democrats, because God is dead and everything is stupid. ..."
Oct 14, 2018 | medium.com

Empire Loyalists Grieve Resignation of Moderate Psychopath Nikki Haley "Describing Nikki Haley as a 'moderate Republican' is like describing Jeffrey Dahmer as 'a moderate meat eater'" Caitlin Johnstone Thu, Oct 11, 2018 | 820 words 3,560 164

World War Three proponent and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has announced her resignation today, to the dismay of establishment bootlickers everywhere.

"Nikki Haley, ambassador to the United Nations, has resigned, leaving the administration with one less moderate Republican voice," tweeted the New York Times, without defining what specifically is "moderate" about relentlessly pushing for war and starvation sanctions at every opportunity and adamantly defending the slaughter of unarmed Palestinian protesters with sniper fire.

"Too bad Nikki Haley has resigned," tweeted law professor turned deranged Russia conspiracy theorist Laurence Tribe. "She was one of the last members of Trumplandia with even a smidgen of decency."

"Thank you @nikkihaley for your remarkable service. We look forward to welcoming you back to public service as President of the United States," tweeted Mark Dubowitz, Chief Executive of the neoconservative think tank/ covert Israeli war psyop firm Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

"Thank you @nikkihaley for your service in the @UN and unwavering support for Israel and the truth," tweeted the fucking IDF. "The soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces salute you!"

I'm not going to go over every single fawning, sycophantic tweet, but if you ever ingest poison and can't afford to go to the hospital because of America's disastrous healthcare system, you can always try going to Haley's Twitter page and looking at all the empire loyalists she's been retweeting who've been falling all over themselves to paint her as something other than the bloodthirsty psychopath that she is. If that doesn't empty your stomach contents all over your screen, you are made of stronger stuff than I.

Describing Nikki Haley as a "moderate Republican" is like describing Jeffrey Dahmer as "a moderate meat eater". Besides John Bolton there is nobody within the depraved Trump administration who's been a more reliable advocate for war, oppression and American/Israeli supremacism, no more virulent a proponent of the empire's photogenic version of fascism than she.

Whether it's been blocking any condemnation of or UN investigation into the slaughter of unarmed Palestinian protesters via sniper fire, calling for a coalition against Syria and its allies to prevent them from fighting western-backed terrorist factions, outright lying about Iran to advance this administration's regime change agenda in that nation, her attempts to blame Iran for Saudi Arabia's butchery of Yemeni civilians with the help of the US and UK, her calls for sanctions against Russia even beyond those this administration has been willing to implement, her warmongering against North Korea , and many, many examples from a list far too long to get into here, Haley has made death and destruction her life's mission every day of her gore-spattered tenure.

But because she only advocates establishment-sanctioned mass murders (and perhaps partly because she wears the magical "Woman of Color" tiara), Haley can be painted as a sane, sensible adult-in-the-room by empire lackeys who are paid to normalize the brutality of the ruling class. While you still see Steve Bannon routinely decried as a monster despite his being absent from the Trump administration for over a year, far more dangerous and far more powerful ghouls are treated with respect and reverence because they know what to say in polite company and never smoked cigars with Milo Yiannopoulos. All it takes to be regarded as a decent person by establishment punditry is the willingness to avoid offending people; do that and you can murder as many children with explosives and butterfly bullets as your withered heart desires.

Haley will be departing with a disgusting 75 percent approval rating with Republicans and 55 percent approval with Democrats, because God is dead and everything is stupid. It is unknown who will replace her once she vacates her position (I've got my money on Reaper drone in a desk chair), but it's a safe bet that it will be someone who espouses the same neoconservative imperialist foreign policy that this administration has been elevating since the beginning. Whoever it is should be watched closely, as should the bipartisan beltway propagandists whose job it is to humanize them.

UPDATE: Had to include this gem from the New York Times editorial board:


Source: Medium.com

[Oct 14, 2018] Nobody in the adults world will miss Haley

Notable quotes:
"... They should definitely send more women to the places they messed up - Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Iran etc. They should never send them to Iran as they will have a fit when they see how civilised and courteous ordinary people are over there. For some strange reason, most Iranians like America. I could never understand that. ..."
Oct 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Canosin 3 days ago ,

what a poisonous snake.. .... nobody in the adults world will miss this piece of lying shit.....

Alberto Canosin 2 days ago ,

Samantha Power was terrible too. Hard to say which is worse. They share the same discourse. No difference between democrats and Republicans. Both defend the Empire by resorting to invasions, conspiracies, and murder.

Seán Murphy Alberto 2 days ago ,

Think Power had slightly more between her ears... but the same warmongering attitudes. What's wrong with women when they get into positions of power, that so many of them become warhawks? Think Power, Haley, Rice (both of them), Clinton, Albrighton, Thatcher, et al?
And them the feminists tell us that the world would be a more just and peaceful place if there were more of them in office!

Nassim7 Seán Murphy 2 days ago ,

"What's wrong with women when they get into positions of power, that so many of them become warhawks?"

They should definitely send more women to the places they messed up - Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Iran etc. They should never send them to Iran as they will have a fit when they see how civilised and courteous ordinary people are over there. For some strange reason, most Iranians like America. I could never understand that.

franz kafka Nassim7 2 hours ago ,

The US propaganda was effective. It worked in the USSR too... but only once.

Alberto Seán Murphy 2 days ago ,

Because women in power want to imitate men's behavior. Don't want to differentiate themselves. Bad news for bad feminism. U.S. feminists adore people like Albright or H Clinton. They are not credible.

JIMI JAMES Alberto 2 days ago ,

They all suffer severe complex mental deficiencies, this is why the people rejected likes of clintons, bush +co's

Kjell Hasthi Gonzogal 3 days ago ,

US and its 100,000 Intelligence community working for "Monaco" makes as much sense as Hitler worked for Luxembourgh. With 22 new Capitol Hill size buildings in Washington DC for CIA since 2001, they could house whole Israeli state administration alone

Billo Kjell Hasthi 2 days ago ,

I think maybe they do.

[Oct 13, 2018] Haley's Poor Record at the U.N. The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Haley lied a lot, but maybe half the time at least probably had no idea she was lying. Don't give her too much credit. Remember "Binomo." ..."
Oct 13, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Harry Kazianis reviews Nikki Haley's record as ambassador to the U.N. and finds it very lacking:

That was my problem with the ambassador. Not that she did a bad job, not that she was a terrible representative of our nation's interests, but simply that she lacked of the experience and natural abilities needed in such a role. Spitting back Trumpian rhetoric is not enough to be credible on the world's stage.

Kazianis is right that Haley was ill-prepared for the job, and I would add that she made a habit of making false claims , unreasonable demands, and unnecessary threats . Whether she was threatening military action over missile tests, telling lies about the nuclear deal with Iran , or warning that the U.S. would be "taking names" of the states that didn't fall in line, Haley proved herself to be a poor diplomat and an ineffective representative of the United States. Her time at the U.N. was marked by unwarranted, cruel actions to punish the Palestinian civilian population, a disgraceful defense of the massacre of protesters in Gaza, and a misguided decision to withdraw from the Human Rights Council. While the world's worst humanitarian crisis intensified in Yemen with U.S. support for the Saudi coalition, Haley was too busy trying to distract everyone's attention by shouting about Iran.

Haley didn't have a good grasp of substance, and instead relied on talking points to a fault. Kazianis quotes a Republican consultant's view of the ambassador:

"Haley was a great spokesperson for the administration; in fact, she was great at parroting whatever lines Trump wanted her to deliver," the consultant continued. "But for anyone who has ever interacted with her, one thing became very clear. The second she left the land of talking points, any time she was asked to discuss any issue in any depth, it was apparent there was nothing there. And that is not what we need as ambassador at the UN."

It is a sign of how little many of her fellow hawks care about substantive knowledge that several of them greeted news of her resignation with dismay. Max Boot described her resignation as a "sad moment," and Bill Kristol began fantasizing about a primary challenge to Trump that will never happen. When these are the people touting Haley's record, it is a safe bet that the U.S. will be better off being represented by someone else at the U.N.


b. October 10, 2018 at 2:14 pm

"When these are the people touting Haley's record, it is a safe bet that the U.S. will be better off being represented by someone else at the U.N."

Sara Palin? She can see 2022 from here house, too.

b. , says: October 10, 2018 at 2:20 pm
Haley was just another Cargo Cult politician.

Following Reagan and Trump, the only reason we don't see actual actors hired for candidacies and campaigns is because the best Judas Goat for any election rodeo is one that believes its own BS.

Blimbax , says: October 10, 2018 at 4:26 pm
Thaomos says, "A diplomat is a person sent to lie on behalf of their country. Maybe Haley just got tired of doing it."

Haley lied a lot, but maybe half the time at least probably had no idea she was lying. Don't give her too much credit. Remember "Binomo."

Minnesota Mary , says: October 10, 2018 at 7:48 pm
Let's face it. Trump did not have an army of qualified people to fill government and administration posts. He had to fill positions from the Neocon pool of bureaucrats. Nikki Haley is a mind-numbed robot, drunk on Neocon Kool-Aid and Premillenial Dispensationalism. Really sad that Trump picked her for the UN slot. Even sadder is he will replace her with someone just as bad, but more clever at disguising a rotten foreign policy.

[Oct 12, 2018] 'Land of censorship home of the fake' Alternative voices on Facebook and Twitter's crackdown

Normal people do not browse Facebook, anyway.
Notable quotes:
"... "misleading users." ..."
"... Journalist Glenn Greenwald hit out at those on the left who cheered Facebook and Twitter's coordinated 'deplatforming' of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in August. "Those who demanded Facebook & other Silicon Valley giants censor political content...are finding that content that they themselves support & like end up being repressed," he wrote. "That's what has happened to every censorship advocate in history." ..."
"... "a wider war on dissident narratives in online media." ..."
"... "eyes and ears" ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | www.rt.com

Alternative voices online are incensed after Facebook and Twitter closed down hundreds of political media pages ahead of November's crucial midterm elections. Facebook says they broke its spam rules, they say it's censorship. Some 800 pages spanning the political spectrum, from left-leaning organizations like The Anti Media, to flag-waving opinion sites like Right Wing News and Nation in Distress, were shut down. Other pages banned include those belonging to police brutality watchdog groups Filming Cops and Policing the Police.

Even RT America's Rachel Blevins found her own page banned for posts that were allegedly "misleading users."

Journalist Glenn Greenwald hit out at those on the left who cheered Facebook and Twitter's coordinated 'deplatforming' of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in August. "Those who demanded Facebook & other Silicon Valley giants censor political content...are finding that content that they themselves support & like end up being repressed," he wrote. "That's what has happened to every censorship advocate in history."

In America, Conservatives were the first to complain about unfair treatment by left-leaning Silicon Valley tech giants. However, leftist sites have increasingly become targets in what Blumenthal calls "a wider war on dissident narratives in online media." In identifying enemies in this "war," Facebook has partnered up with the Digital Forensics Lab, an offshoot of NATO-sponsored think tank the Atlantic Council. The DFL has promised to be Facebook's "eyes and ears" in the fight against disinformation (read: alternative viewpoints).

[Oct 12, 2018] Southfront's published

Oct 12, 2018 | southfront.org

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 12, 2018 2:40:46 PM | 45

[Oct 12, 2018] Kuwait and Bahrein might reevaluate relations with Syria, the UAE might slowly move out the Yemen war

Oct 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Virgile , Oct 12, 2018 10:40:45 AM | link

Qatar is jubilating! Turkey, too! Saudi Arabia will be criticized and isolated as most GCC countries would dissaprove and prefer to dissociate from such a crime. Dismembering the body of a dead moslem man is a very serious crime in Islam.

Kuwait and Bahrein are already cozyng up with Syria, the UAE is slowly moving out the Yemen war and reviewing ist relation with Syria.

Kashoogi's alleged martyr may save Yemenis lives and may have the Western world faced to the reality that in the region, the evil is not Iran but their best friend, Saudi Arabia and its smiling monster MBS.

Kashoogi may have succeeded unintentionally to destabilize MBS and probably trigger his removal. The USA will have no problem in sacrificing MBS for the sake of keeping the Saudi milking under control. The only problem will be that it will reflect on Kushner-MBS Grand Palestinian plan.

Maybe Kashoogi's love for fiancee made him take the risk to get a divorce paper from the Saudi Arabia consulate and be killed.

A sad ending to a love story.

dh , Oct 12, 2018 3:19:01 PM | link

@75 Why should Trump make a big issue about some dead Arab? Because he was a journalist? Trump hates journalists.

If bleeding heart progressives want to make a fuss so be it. He knows his base don't give a shit about the world outside the USA as long as they buy American arms.

[Oct 12, 2018] The Shaky Case That Russia Manipulated Social Media to Tip the 2016 Election by Gareth Porter

Russians under each Facebook account
Oct 12, 2018 | original.antiwar.com
adopted false US personas online to get people to attend rallies and conduct other political activities. (An alternative explanation is that IRA is a purely commercial, and not political, operation.)

Whether those efforts even came close to swaying US voters in the 2016 presidential election, as Shane and Mazzetti claimed, is another matter.

Shane and Mazzetti might argue that they are merely citing figures published by the social media giants Facebook and Twitter, but they systematically failed to report the detailed explanations behind the gross figures used in each case, which falsified their significance.

Their most dramatic assertions came in reporting the alleged results of the IRA's efforts on Facebook. "Even by the vertiginous standards of social media," they wrote, "the reach of their effort was impressive: 2,700 fake Facebook accounts, 80,000 posts, many of them elaborate images with catchy slogans, and an eventual audience of 126 million Americans on Facebook alone."

Then, to dramatize that "eventual audience" figure, they observed, "That was not far short of the 137 million people who would vote in the 2016 presidential elections."

But as impressive as these figures may appear at first glance, they don't really indicate an effective attack on the US election process at all. In fact, without deeper inquiry into their meaning, those figures were grossly misleading.

A Theoretical Possibility

What Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch actually said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last October was quite different from what the Times reporters claimed. "Our best estimate is that approximately 126,000 million people may have been served one of these [IRA-generated] stories at some time during the two year period," Stretch said.

Stretch was expressing a theoretical possibility rather than an established accomplishment. Facebook was saying that it estimated 126 million Facebook members might have gotten at least one story from the IRA –- not over the ten week election period but over 194 weeks during the two years 2015 through 2017. That, figure, in turn, was based on the estimate that 29 million people might have gotten at least one story in their Facebook feed over that same two-year period and on the assumption that they shared it with others at a particular rate.

The first problem with citing those figures as evidence of impact on the 2016 election is that Facebook did not claim that all or even most of those 80,000 IRA posts were election–related. It offered no data on what proportion of the feeds to those 29 million people was, in fact, election-related. But Stretch did testify that IRA content over that two–year period represented just four thousandths (.0004) of the total content of Facebook newsfeeds.

Thus each piece of IRA content in a twitter feed was engulfed in 23,000 pieces of non-IRA content.

That is an extremely important finding, because, as Facebook's Vice President for News Feed, Adam Moseri, acknowledged in 2016 , Facebook subscribers actually read only about 10 percent of the stories Facebook puts in their News Feed every day. The means that very few of the IRA stories that actually make it into a subscriber's news feed on any given day are actually read.

Facebook did conduct research on what it calls "civic engagement" during the election period, and the researchers concluded that the "reach" of the content shared by what they called "fake amplifiers" was "marginal compared to the volume of civic content shared during the US elections." That reach, they said, was "statistically very small" in relation to "overall engagement on political issues."

Shane and Mazzaetti thus failed to report any of the several significant caveats and disclaimers from Facebook itself that make their claim that Russian election propaganda "reached" 126 million Americans extremely misleading.

Tiny IRA Twitter Footprint

Shane and Mazzetti's treatment of the role of Twitter in the alleged Russian involvement in the election focuses on 3,814 Twitter accounts said to be associated with the IRA, which supposedly "interacted with 1.4 million Americans." Although that number looks impressive without any further explanation, more disaggregated data provide a different picture: more than 90 percent of the Tweets from the IRA had nothing to do with the election, and those that did were infinitesimally few in relation to the entire Twitter stream relating to the 2016 campaign.

Twitter's own figures show that those 3,814 IRA-linked accounts posted 175,993 Tweets during the ten weeks of the election campaign, but that only 8.4 percent of the total number of IRA-generated Tweets were election-related.

Twitter estimated that those 15,000 IRA-related tweets represented less than .00008 (eight one hundred thousandths) of the estimated total of 189 million tweets that Twitter identified as election-related during the ten-week election campaign. Twitter has offered no estimate of how many Tweets, on average were in the daily twitter stream of those people notified by Twitter and what percentage of them were election-related Tweets from the IRA. Any such notification would certainly show, however, that the percentage was extremely small and that very few would have been read.

Research by Darren Linvill and Patrick Warren of Clemson University on 2.9 million Tweets from those same 3,814 IRA accounts over a two year period has revealed that nearly a third of its Tweets had normal commercial content or were not in English; another third were straight local newsfeeds from US localities or mostly non-political "hashtag games", and the final third were on "right" or "left" populist themes in US society.

Furthermore, there were more IRA Tweets on political themes in 2017 than there had been during the election year. As a graph of those tweets over time shows, those "right" and "left" Tweets peaked not during the election but during the summer of 2017.

The Mysterious 50,000 'Russia-Linked' Accounts

Twitter also determined that another 50,258 automated Twitter accounts that tweeted about the election were associated with Russia and that they have generated a total to 2.1 million Tweets – about one percent of the total number election-related tweets of during the period.

But despite media coverage of those Tweets suggesting that they originated with the Russian government, the evidence doesn't indicate that at all. Twitter's Sean Edgett told the Senate Intelligence Committee last November that Twitter had used an "expansive approach to defining what qualifies as a Russian-linked account". Twitter considered an account to be "Russian" if any of the following was found: it was created in Russia or if the user registered the account with a Russian phone carrier or a Russian email; the user's display name contains Cyrillic characters; the user frequently Tweets in Russian, or the user has logged in from any Russian IP address.

Edgett admitted in a statement in January, however, that there were limitations on its ability to determine the origins of the users of these accounts. And a past log-in from a Russian IP address does not mean the Russian government controls an account. Automated accounts have bought and sold for many years on a huge market, some of which is located in Russia. As Scott Shane reported in September 2017, a Russian website BuyAccs.com offers tens and even hundreds of thousands of Twitter accounts for bulk purchase.

Twitter also observed that "a high concentration of automated engagement and content originated from data centers and users accessing Twitter via Virtual Private Networks ("VPNs") and proxy servers," which served to mask the geographical origin of the tweet. And that practice was not limited to the 50,000 accounts in question. Twitter found that locations of nearly 12 percent of the Tweets generated during the election period were masked because of use of such networks and servers.

Twitter identified over half of the Tweets, coming from about half of the 50,000 accounts as being automated, and the data reported on activity on those 50,000 accounts in question indicates that both the Trump and Clinton campaigns were using the automated accounts in question. The roughly 23,000 automated accounts were the source of 1.34 million Tweets, which represented .63 percent of the total election-related Tweets. But the entire 50,000 accounts produced about 1 percent of total election-related tweets.

Hillary Clinton got .55 percent of her total retweets from the 50,000 automated accounts Twitter calls "Russia-linked" and .62 percent of her "likes" from them. Those percentages are close to the percentage of total election-related Tweets generated by those same automated accounts. That suggests that her campaign had roughly the same proportion of automated accounts among the 50,000 accounts as it did in the rest of the accounts during the campaign.

Trump, on the other hand, got 1.8 percent of this total "likes" and 4.25 percent of his total Retweets for the whole election period from those accounts, indicating his campaign was more invested in the automated accounts that were the source of two-thirds of the Tweets in those 50,000 "Russia-linked" accounts.

The idea promoted by Shane and Mazzetti that the Russian government seriously threatened to determine the winner of the election does not hold up when the larger social media context is examined more closely. Contrary to what the Times' reporters and the corporate media in general would have us believe, the Russian private sector effort accounted for a minuscule proportion of the election-related output of social media. The threat to the US political system in general and its electoral system in particular is not Russian influence; it's in part a mainstream news media that has lost perspective on the truth.

Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His new book is Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare . He can be contacted at porter.gareth50@gmail.com . Reprinted from Consortium News with the author's permission.

[Oct 12, 2018] Sic Semper Tyrannis RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 11 OCTOBER 2018 by Patrick Armstrong

Notable quotes:
"... its russia and chinas job to assist america to reach the acceptance stage as peacefully as possible while allowing as much face saving as possible for washington and their ruling class. at the end of the day everyone wants to go on living. the next 15 years ought to be quite exciting. ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

SKRIPALMANIA. Has now been completely outsourced to Bellingcat . Which tells the discerning observer two things: 1) there is no evidence 2) the truth is probably the opposite. (And for those of you who take Bellingcat seriously: become discerning .)


Araminta Smade , 16 hours ago

SKRIPALMANIA. Has now been completely outsourced to Bellingcat. Which tells the discerning observer two things: 1) there is no evidence 2) the truth is probably the opposite. (And for those of you who take Bellingcat seriously: become discerning.)

To those of you who are like myself deeply sceptical about this story can I recommend this article in the UK Independent newspaper.

We should be asking for answers about the Skripals and Bellingcat – and not just from Russia. Mary Dejevsky.

https://www.independent.co....

Snow Flake -> Araminta Smade , 5 hours ago
It has transatlantic connections.

Higgins has entered the polite academic space both in the Uk and the US in lightening speed. And as a result of that got special attention by media. Not only that, but in the US he additionally joined an important cog of the EU-US think thank world. The Atlantic Council made him a non-resident "Senior Fellow". As expert in digital forensics, open source and the future of Europe.

When the huge open source "gold rush" caught my attention in the early post 9/11 years, all the excited members I witnessed more close up were quite system conform. That was after the Iraq war intelligence expertise. That's why it made me wonder. Thus,the story of Eliot Higgins seems no outlier from my rather limited perspective.

And yes, I am with Paul Robinson, who a while ago noticed the same contradictions as Mary Dejevsky. On one hand the Russians seem to be omnipotent, on the other they have all these bungling secret service members that are so easy to out. But notice not by a bunch of laymen, but by a crowd led by a serious senior expert and academic. ;)

Peddling Certainty:

https://irrussianality.word...

Snow Flake -> Araminta Smade , 5 hours ago
It has transatlantic connections.

Higgins has entered the polite academic space both in the Uk and the US in lightening speed. And as a result of that got special attention by media. Not only that, but in the US he additionally joined an important cog of the EU-US think thank world. The Atlantic Council made him a non-resident "Senior Fellow". As expert in digital forensics, open source and the future of Europe.

When the huge open source "gold rush" caught my attention in the early post 9/11 years, all the excited members I witnessed more close up were quite system conform. That was after the Iraq war intelligence expertise. That's why it made me wonder. Thus,the story of Eliot Higgins seems no outlier from my rather limited perspective.

And yes, I am with Paul Robinson, who a while ago noticed the same contradictions as Mary Dejevsky. On one hand the Russians seem to be omnipotent, on the other they have all these bungling secret service members that are so easy to out. But notice not by a bunch of laymen, but by a crowd led by a serious senior expert and academic. ;)

Peddling Certainty:

https://irrussianality.word...

FB -> Snow Flake , an hour ago
I think some people here are actually taking Eliott Higgins far too seriously...he is still an uneducated underwear salesman...and acts like it...case in point his recent twitter outburst at Ted Postol, calling him an 'idiot'...that just shows what a substance free clown this guy is...

I briefly looked at that blog article linked to by snowflake and it is basically verbal diarrhea...bottom line is that Higgins and that Bellincat 'outfit' are best simply ignored...not worth the time or mental bandwidth to even think about...

smoothieX12 . -> Snow Flake , 2 hours ago
Atlantic Council has a very great Ph.D consultant, and strategists' strategist and tacticians' tactician, Dr. Blank. He, of all places, taught in US Army War College. He taught, of course, about Russia, since he has Ph.D in Soviet/Russian "history" or whatever passes as such in US "Russian Studies" field.

http://www.wikistrat.com/ex...

His strategic concepts are so devoid of even basic high school level knowledge of Russia (and her geography, BTW) that one is forced to ask how is it even possible to have this kind of "experts"? Among many outlandish ideas Dr. Blank proposed in his academic career dedicated to fighting evil Russians was to send US Navy to the Azov Sea to demonstrate the US Naval might.

http://www.atlanticcouncil....

This was one of the most profound facepalm moments of my life--I mean it. Not only Dr. Blank has no clue about Russia, he also has no clue about US Navy. Yet, he is an expert, alright.

TTG , 19 hours ago
You left the best part out of that State Department policy statement. He announced a new position, the Senior Advisor for Russian Malign Activities and Trends or SARMAT for short. That's straight out of the axis of evil mindset. How can we have a sober and productive policy towards Russia with crap like this?
PRC90 -> TTG , 8 hours ago
I thought that was from Duffleblog but you're right: https://www.state.gov/p/eur...
Third para from the bottom. Part of that $380 million must be Bellingcat's budget.
Timothy Hagios -> TTG , 9 hours ago
I can't wait to see what awful person is selected for this role. Also, Sarmat is also the name for Russia's newest ICBM, which makes one wonder what was on the back of their minds when they came up with this one.
ted richard , 4 hours ago
washingtons foreign policy visa vie russia and china is as yet unable to reach the psychological stage of sublimation. frustrated, angry and demoralised that they can not militarily atttack russia once and for all putting paid ....to who is the biggest dog in the yard...... american elites lash out ineffectually using various media, economic and financial games to assuage their inability to get their way.

each iteration of this plan becomes weaker and less effective than the previous one leading to more rage at being thwarted.

where the current crop of american ruling elites are concerned we are talking about 2 factors.... a profound lack of a really good cosmopolitan education and a near total lack of appreciation for how weak the american industrial base has become the past 30 years (you can not intimidate powerful nations if your military technology is 1 or more generations BEHIND)

an apt understanding of washingtons dilemma is best grasped reading the kubler-ross stages of grieving over a dying loved one. in this case the dying loved one is american exceptionalism and the l godlike power that goes with it for the 1/100 or 1%.

its russia and chinas job to assist america to reach the acceptance stage as peacefully as possible while allowing as much face saving as possible for washington and their ruling class. at the end of the day everyone wants to go on living. the next 15 years ought to be quite exciting.

[Oct 12, 2018] Christ was crucified because of the Russians. GRU and Putin conspired to poison him at the Last Supper. The actual death on the Cross was staged to cover the poisoning.

Notable quotes:
"... Bellingcat is due with the official report shortly. Stay tuned. ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Red Ryder , Oct 11, 2018 5:13:17 PM | link

Christ was crucified because of the Russians. GRU and Putin conspired to poison him at the Last Supper. The actual death on the Cross was staged to cover the poisoning.

"Highly Likely" Iran had a hand in it also. Judas was a 'Persian', of course, and would have been a Shiite if he hadn't been suicidal and lived another 800 years or so.

Bellingcat is due with the official report shortly. Stay tuned.

[Oct 12, 2018] Austraia is staunch member of five eyes and that shows.

Oct 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU 1 , Oct 12, 2018 5:34:22 AM | link

Official propaganda here in oz.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-11/bellingcat-probing-whether-russian-spies-compromised-mh17-probe/10362090
The Malaysian's remarks surprised observers. At a parliamentary hearing in Canberra, foreign affairs legal officer James Larsen was asked whether Russia was directly in the frame for the atrocity.

"Australia believes there is conclusive evidence," he said.

Mr Loke's remarks also caught the attention of Christo Grozev, an investigator with Bellingcat, a London-based reporting website that has recently dragged several of Russia's covert disruptions into the light.

It was a "surprising dissension", he said. Malaysia was the "only country that did not fully endorse the findings of the joint investigation team".

In an interview with the ABC, Mr Grozev said Bellingcat was now actively probing whether Russia had played a role in this public display of disunity.

The team's "working hypothesis", he said, was that the entire Malaysian contingent, or one member of it, had been compromised by Russia's spies.
.......

Col from OZ , Oct 12, 2018 6:47:57 AM | link

32 Peter keep up the good work! Ukraine IS RESPONSIBLY for MH17. I am of the opinion it was premeditated too.

[Oct 12, 2018] It no longer possible to hide the fact that Bellingcat is a propaganda operation financed by intelligence againcies, not that different from White Helmetss

Oct 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

jsb , Oct 11, 2018 6:00:34 PM | link

@Red Ryder (14)

Even Bellingcat beginning to be outed by the Independent

not seen till now though is any questioning of Bellingcat's credentials in mainstream media. So let me hand you over, without further ado and with hearty if surprised approval, to Mary Dejevsky: not known as a Kremlin stooge or Putin troll. Yet here she is, in today's Independent, asking in all sincerity and with admirable bluntness just WTF is Bellingcat?

[Oct 12, 2018] If the gas pipeline project is indeed implemented, then Kiev will demand that a penalty against against Russia be awarded the Ukraine for the loss it will suffer because of the redundancy of its gas transport system.

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile October 5, 2018 at 12:58 am

... .. ...

Ukraine Naftogaz Commercial Director Yuriy Vitrenko, in an interview with "The Fifth Channel" has spoken of a plan that has been prepared in order to protect Naftogaz interests in the event of the launch of "Nord Stream-2".

According to him, if the gas pipeline project is indeed implemented, then Kiev will demand that a penalty against against Russia be awarded the Ukraine for the loss it will suffer because of the redundancy of its gas transport system.

The loss incured has been estimated by the Ukraine to be $12 billion. A lawsuit has already been filed by Naftogaz for international arbitration.

https://www.rbc.ru/politics/05/10/2018/5bb704ec9a7947bd43fa167c?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=desktop

Right!

So for several years I have been shopping at a Pyatyorochka supermarket around the corner from our house. Now there's a new Billa supermarket around the other corner. It has a wider range of goods and is very competitive as regards its Pyatorocka prices, so I now do most of my shopping at Billa.

Does this mean Pyatyorachka can sue me for damages because of the loss of income it is suffering because of my choice to use another retail outlet?

I shall check with the Swedish court of arbitration.

Stay tuned!

Mark Chapman October 5, 2018 at 8:30 am
Perhaps they would get further by suing the US Department of State. I'm pretty sure that if it were not for them, Ukraine's gas transit system would still be in use. Ukraine could at least make a sensible case, which they cannot do against Russia. Mind you, a UK judge would probably rule in their favour, because simply wanting to get at Russia seems to be good enough these days – making a sensible case is not required.

[Oct 12, 2018] US senators demand Magnitsky Act probe, sanctions on Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi disappearance

Notable quotes:
"... What we are seeing now are the consequences of classic imperial over-reach – extending one's power so far and so generally that it hoists itself upon its own petard! The implosion of the USA continues afoot, Hillary Clinton being one of its cheerleaders (according to her recent Amappaling interview). ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al October 11, 2018 at 2:22 am

RT.com: US senators demand Magnitsky Act probe, sanctions on Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi disappearance
https://www.rt.com/usa/440922-trump-letter-senators-khashoggi/

####

All kinds of delicious can proceed from this.

The whole Magnitsky Act thing was supposed to be a convenient tool of western foreign policy cloaked in Human Rights sugar to justify punished the usual suspects ad perpituitam, not for attacking allies. It looks like some US politicians actually think it is about human rights! They'll need to practice their best acting to explain why some are on the list and others aren't, along with compliant media and governments.

What we are seeing now are the consequences of classic imperial over-reach – extending one's power so far and so generally that it hoists itself upon its own petard! The implosion of the USA continues afoot, Hillary Clinton being one of its cheerleaders (according to her recent Amappaling interview).

Trump is also promising a rapid USG reaction to India buying S-400s, so it really is time to stock up on the popcorn. I knew for sure that this year would certainly be more interesting than last year, but 2019 should be a corker. Woo.

[Oct 12, 2018] Link to an interesting article about declassified CIA documents on labour camps in the Soviet Union during the 1950s

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Jen October 10, 2018 at 6:21 pm

Link to an interesting article about declassified CIA documents on labour camps in the Soviet Union during the 1950s:
http://members5.boardhost.com/xxxxx/msg/1539095708.html

I linked to the Lifeboat News paste because it may be easier for some people to read but if you want to read the original article, here it is:
https://stalinistkatyusha.wixsite.com/stalinist-katyusha/single-post/2018/10/04/The-Truth-about-the-Soviet-Gulag -- Surprisingly-Revealed-by-the-CIA

As we might have suspected already, the gulags were not nearly so horrible as Western news media outlets made them out to be in the past.

Evgeny October 10, 2018 at 11:39 pm
If you have read Solzhenitsyn's "In the First Circle" -- which is partially autobiographical -- the basic premise of the story is that he has voluntarily left the privileged camp (where he was supposed to do an engineering work) to a common camp where he would do physical labor. He did that so that he would be free to write. Not to write in a traditional sense -- he couldn't write a manuscript of course -- but he composed parts of his novels, memorized them and occasionally recited them to keep them fresh in his memory. From that anecdote we can see that at least the Gulag camps were supposed to be survivable.
yalensis October 11, 2018 at 2:17 am
Thanks for posting this interesting piece, Jen.

"During the period from 1921 to the present time for counterrevolutionary crimes were convicted 3,777,380 people, including to capital punishment – 642,980 people to the conent in the camps and prisons for a period of 25 years old and under – 2,369,220 into exile and expulsion – 765,190 people.

"Of the total number of convicts, approximately convicted: 2,900,000 people – College of OGPU, NKVD and triples Special meeting and 877,000 people – courts by military tribunals, and Spetskollegiev Military Collegium.

"It should be noted that established by Decree on November 3, 1934 Special Meeting of the NKVD which lasted until September 1, 1953 – 442,531 people were convicted, including to capital punishment – 10,101 people to prison – 360,921 people to exile and expulsion (within the country) – 57,539 people and other punishments (offset time in detention, deportation abroad, compulsory treatment) – 3,970 people "

I think these numbers prove a point that I have made numerous times, namely that the Stalinist repressions (putting aside the mixing of political prisoners with regular criminals, which muddies up the numbers) were mainly directed at Stalin's political rivals, and not at ordinary people.
And that shills like Solzhenitsyn were simply making a lot of shit up, to support the Westie narrative.
I have no tolerance for the Stalin adulators and Furries either (Stalin was a mean person and overall jerk), but the facts are more on their side, than on the other.

I took some criticism on my blog for calling the Stalin repressions "Office Politics on Steroids", but in essence that is what they were. Here, by the way, is another interesting article I saw recently on the repression and execution of Nikolai Bukharin, still another one of the Old Bolsheviks who got in Stalin's way:

http://www.aif.ru/society/history/smert_lyubimca_partii_kak_nikolay_buharin_stal_vragom_naroda

MoscowExile October 10, 2018 at 9:14 pm
Only yesterday I was working here at ExxonMobil, whose Moscow HQ is situated slap-bang next to the US embassy. Whilst waiting for my client to turn up, I started reading a well-made, luxuriously bound coffee-table volume, filled with glossy pages of wonderful photographs and published by that company about its Sakhalin venture.

The foreword was written by the ExxonMobil CEO. It started thus:

Sakhalin Island, where the tsar's labor camps were situated and which were so graphicaly described by Chekov

Welcome to Russia, arseholes!

yalensis October 11, 2018 at 2:06 am
Did they mean this book, by Anton ChekHov?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakhalin_Island_(Chekhov)

Or maybe they were talking about that other book, written by Ensign Chekov of the Star Ship Enterprise. I heard that he also visited Sakhalin, on an earlier voyage, when his ship was docking there for some R&R.

[Oct 12, 2018] I suspect The Netherlands are being targeted because among other things the International Court of Crimes and the International Court of Justice are based in The Hague. One of these bone-shakers is that The Netherlands is a major corporate tax haven and as such competes with Britain and the US.

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Jen October 4, 2018 at 2:49 pm

I suspect The Netherlands are being targeted because among other things the International Court of Crimes and the International Court of Justice are based in The Hague. There may be other reasons as well: the Dutch must have a fair few skeletons in their collective closet and the US could very well target one of these and bring the entire wardrobe crashing down and exposing all its sordid secrets.

One of these bone-shakers is that The Netherlands is a major corporate tax haven and as such competes with Britain and the US.

http://www.nomoretax.eu/netherlands-tax-haven/

kirill October 4, 2018 at 7:49 am
Pence is now accusing of China of hacking the US elections. I know China has been lobbying and making campaign finance contributions in the past, but the US accusations have a clear pattern. Recall how US blacks were tagged as rapists of fine white virgins. This reputation was then used to justify apartheid laws. The US is basically accusing Russia and China of violation of America's "dignity". And is trying to globally treat them as segregated blacks. The same tired shtick for the "exceptional" nation with a self-assigned "manifest destiny". The country that needs containment is the USA. It has clear, psychotic ambitions to rule the world.
Moscow Exile October 6, 2018 at 2:16 am
Coming from government ministers of the most powerful state on earth, do not all these accusations directed against all those other states that are populated by sad, lesser beings who are envious of the "Shining City on the Hill", the "Home of the Brave and Land of the Free", that epitome of human society, that place where "history has ended", not sound somwhat hysterical, a symptom of weakness, of self-doubt concerrning the hegemon's might and integrity?
kirill October 6, 2018 at 4:47 am
They need an excuse for their colonial racket. During the USSR era, they had the "threat of communism" to rally local elites in developing countries and also used this "threat" as an excuse to install death squad junta regimes. The death of the USSR deprived them of the "threat" fig leaf so they had to ramp up the humanitarian concern BS. Countries need to be controlled by demonizing their leaders for being tyrants and terrorist sponsors. For violating human rights by not letting Soros and NATzO funded 5th column operations called NGOs do their thing. It seems these transparent pretexts are still effective at convincing people around the world that America and its vassals are a collection of noble knights doing good deeds and not a pack of hyenas engaged in gang mutilation of countries that leads to millions of deaths of innocent civilians. What was the point of Libya, Iraq, Syria, and all the other regime change victims? There was no arrival of democracy and safety. There was only needless death and degradation.

[Oct 12, 2018] The west returns compulsively to the region because it thinks that this is where things might tear loose; independence movements in Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan. Where, as the western regime-change impulse fondly returns time and again, issues of fundamentalist religion can be played upon to flare into conflict

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman October 6, 2018 at 10:19 am

The west returns compulsively to the region because it thinks that this is where things might tear loose; independence movements in Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan. Where, as the western regime-change impulse fondly returns time and again, issues of fundamentalist religion can be played upon to flare into conflict – it has worked for the west all around the world, turning Shi'ite against Sunni and this one against that one. It often signals its interest with plaintive articles by pro-democracy think-tanks implore Vladimir Putin to let the Chechens be free, instead of imposing a succession of overlords upon them, bla, bla, you know the drill. How can Putin diss the mighty USA for supporting oppressors of choice around the world when he won't man up and let the Chechens have their own free state?

In fact, Putin has said in the past that the Chechens can be free and independent if that is what they really want. But implied in that is that Moscow will no longer underwrite the new state; that it will have to achieve economic viability itself.

Normally that is where the west comes in, singing siren songs of sovereignty-association and fabulous prosperity to be had in attaching oneself to the western orbit. But so far not enough people buy it – there are always the rebel darlings, the tearaways who bleat discontent and stir the imagination of the western press. But just as often they are religious nutters and suicide bombers who just want a dramatic death. Like that chap and his missus – Dagestan, I think it was, a few years back – who had their apartment shot to rubble with them in it after they repeatedly refused repeated offers to surrender and live, deigning only for a hi-lift crane bucket to come up to the balcony to give their daughter into the arms of her wailing granny. Martyrdom and progressive leadership almost never flourish in the same person, for some reason. Except maybe for Jeremy Corbyn.

Jen October 5, 2018 at 12:57 pm
Just looked up Ingushetia on Wikipedia and found it's a small federal republic whose population as of 2014 was less than 500,000.

I rather doubt then that thousands of people turned up in Magas to protest. If there are no aerial photographs of the protesters, then we have to treat the figures reported by Reuters and other news agencies outside Russia with suspicion.

The OC Media article at this link states hundreds turned up to protest and the photographs appear to back up that statement:
http://oc-media.org/protests-erupt-in-ingushetia-as-mps-say-chechnya-land-swap-vote-was-falsified/

There is dispute over the size of the area being transferred to Chechnya: the area officially being transferred amounts to less than 2,000 hectares but according to Ingushetian opposition group Mekhk Kkhel 58,000 hectares are being transferred. The difference between the figures seems suspicious and the upper figure is likely to be an exaggeration.

et Al October 6, 2018 at 6:06 am
Nice source Jen:

http://oc-media.org/about-us/about-oc-media/

We strive to shed light and offer a variety of per­spec­tives on ongoing social, economic and political devel­op­ments in the region, including in: human rights, ethnic and religious minori­ties, labour rights, gender and queer issues, devel­op­ment, as well as conflict dynamics in the region

OC Media was co-founded in January 2017 by Mari Nikuradze, Dominik K. Cagara, and Caroline Sutcliffe, initially under the auspices of Chai Khana NGO. It has received funding from the UK Government's Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, the European Endowment for Democracy, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Caucasus Office, Open Society Foun­da­tions, and the United Kingdom Foreign and Com­mon­wealth Office, with joint com­mis­sions with Inter­na­tion­al Alert (EPNK/European Union Ini­tia­tive), Civil.ge (COBERM), and Open Democracy Russia.

[Oct 12, 2018] Terrorists Want America to Reverse Engineer Russian Machineguns by Michael Peck

Notable quotes:
"... US Special Forces Command wants to copy Russian firearms in the US to give away to proxies around the world ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | russia-insider.com

US Special Forces Command wants to copy Russian firearms in the US to give away to proxies around the world

Wed, Oct 10, 2018 | 500 words 4,029 45 Why would U.S. special forces want to manufacture Russian machine guns?

Just watch any video of a conflict such as Iraq and Syria, and the answer becomes clear. Many of the combatants are using Russian or Soviet weapons, or local copies thereof, from rifles to rocket launchers to heavy machine guns mounted on pickups. Which means that when U.S. special forces provide some of these groups with weapons, they have to scrounge through the global arms market to buy Russian hardware as well as spare parts.

So U.S. Special Forces Command, which oversees America's various commando units, has an idea: instead of buying Russian weapons, why not build their own? That's why USSOCOM is asking U.S. companies to come up with a plan to manufacture Russian and other foreign weapons.

The goal is to "develop an innovative domestic capability to produce fully functioning facsimiles of foreign-made weapons that are equal to or better than what is currently being produced internationally," according to the USSOCOM Small Business Innovation Research proposal .

v76 a day ago ,

"develop an innovative domestic capability to produce fully functioning facsimiles of foreign-made weapons that are equal to or better than what is currently being produced internationally,"

I laughed and stopped reading.

Kjell Hasthi v76 a day ago ,

It is a good story. US needed so many AK-47 for African terrorists group, killing Blacks, they had to build a new factory in Africa to handle demand. There were not that many AK-47 available on the black market

Think about that. Look into a mirror and say slowly
- WE LIBERALS ARE TERRORISTS

Mary Floyd Kjell Hasthi 3 hours ago ,

Actually, that should read: We American politicians and military are terrorists...the worst in the world

[Oct 12, 2018] The Boy Who Cried "Bear!!": a Norwegian Folk Tale

Notable quotes:
"... Remember that back in 2002 it was discovered that the US bugged the 767 of then Chinese Premier Jian Xiao-Ping. ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al October 4, 2018 at 9:06 am

The OPCW, like the Council of Europe, the OSCE, WADA and others have become deeply partizan and anti-Russian organizations since the 1990s. A handful of members put out a 'report' on whatever and claim that they have 'evidence' which they should be trusted on rather than provide. The rest of them go along with it. The only reason that makes sense for the attempted 'hack' on the OPCW is that Russia is being denied access to information. The argument, like everything else bullshit from the West is ' You don't show the evidence to the arsonist ' , sic MH17 because it has already been judged and found guilty.

So far WADA had to row back because of the Schimdt Report (which the media of course did not report) and all the reinstated athletes, Russia has suspended payments and may well pull out of the CoE because is it sick and tired of being bombarded with bs at every meeting as if medieval Bear baiting has returned in a modern form (it has).

All these organizations are destroying themselves. If anything all this shows how weak the West's soft power has become that they need to throw everything including the kitchen sink at Russia. They don't like resistance, let alone pushback. They're more careful about China of course and as we saw recently in the South Pacific the Chinese simply won't be cowed or intimidated.

As for the allegations about China, we'll most of us have followed the Snowden revelations about the USA and its Five Eyes global surveillance and infiltration, so its no surprise that China has been running its own operations. It's what countries do, though apparently they're not supposed to. Remember that back in 2002 it was discovered that the US bugged the 767 of then Chinese Premier Jian Xiao-Ping. * I think that all this reporting is a sign of desperation by the powers that be because all else has failed so far and they need to keep the narrative going.

By wrapping it all up together with a pretty pink bow it is to make it ' undeniable ' in the eyes of people who should know better.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1382116/China-finds-spy-bugs-in-Jiangs-Boeing-jet.html

et Al October 4, 2018 at 9:13 am
The temptation by Russia will be to publicly burn western spies in Russia, but it is just another in a long line of provocations to get Russia to respond angrily and make a big mistake. I can imagine RT being banned and other measures if things start to spiral.

This whole G(R)U story was ready to go at an appropriate moment, and I suspect one of the factors was Putin's recent comments about Skripal that had captured the world media's ear. By piling their report on shortly afterwards, they hope to hijack and amplify their narrative.

But, it's words, not meaningful actions. Either they will try and use this to kick off a whole new level of sanctions that they haven't before (high value, sensitive stuff like aerospace, tech etc.). It is possible the timing of this is a last ditch effort to try and get U-rope on board to stop NordSteam II or anything they think they can squeeze through. It's weakness through desperation and also to divert from their failures elsewhere.

et Al October 5, 2018 at 6:26 am
Or burn western spies in other countries that are far less friendly

It is interesting that one of the groups doxxing Russian 'spies' claim to be volunteers and patriots. No-one believes that in the slightest apart from morons. Like BellEnd cat, the number of cut-outs/plausible denial groups has mushroomed and ebb and flow with need. The volunteer claim is no protection.

James lake October 4, 2018 at 7:45 am
This all seems to coordinated distractions from domestic politics in the UK and the USA

Why are th Dutch going along with this nonsense?

kirill October 4, 2018 at 7:51 am
How can you ask such a question. Holland is a US vassal and the US uses its vassals to give its actions legitimacy by claiming that there is an "international" reaction to "Russian aggression". This is why the US always attacks countries around the world as part of some BS coalition of its own vassals. It is claiming its aggression is actually justified international action.
et Al October 4, 2018 at 8:48 am
The Dutch recently signed a big order to have 28 of their AH-64D Apache's 'upgraded' to the 'E' model which is really a re-manufactue and upgrade (from sand and heavy use in helping the US bomb tribesmen far away), & their Patriots to be modernized too.
moscowexile October 4, 2018 at 8:33 am
Because the so called chemical weapons watchdog, which the British government has recently made judge, jury and exucationer as regards all incidences of alleged uses of chemical agents as a weapon, namely it can now accuse and condemn whom it thinks are perpetrators of such chemical attacks, is based in The Hague, where the wicked Russians have allegedly been hacking etc. and, in general, up to their vile and nefarious deeds, as is, of course, in their nature of doing things, because they are vile barbarians, subhuman even
Moscow Exile October 4, 2018 at 9:51 am
I forget where I picked the following up ( from some Russian blog, because it is a translation). I saved it but forget to put in the source:

September 14, 2018
THE DUBIOUS ROLE OF THE OPCW
(OPCW NEVER uses the word "Novichok")
Even those people who are skeptical about what the British government says (and rightly so) tend to accept the „Novichok"-Psyop after they read that "OPCW confirms Novichok nerve agent in Amesbury". But if you actually read what the (summary) of the OPCW says, you will find the following:

"The team requested and received vials of biomedical samples COLLECTED BY THE BRITISH AUTHORITIES for delivery to the OPCW laboratory and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories for purposes of comparison and in order to verify the analysis conducted by the United Kingdom. (S 1671, Paragraph 6.)

This VIOLATES THEIR OWN RULES about ensuring a forensic "chain of custody" because they did not take bio-samples THEMSELVES but accepted the (2nd-hand) material that the 'authorities" had given them.

Regarding the "Premier Jour" perfume-story the OPCW has this to say:

"During the second deployment [6 weeks after Sturgess fell ill] the team collected a sample of the contents of a small bottle that the police had seized as a suspect item from the house of Charles Rowley in Amesbury" (P. 9)

In paragraph 10 they confirm that the results of the subsequent analysis "show that the sample consists of a toxic chemical at a concentration of 97-98% therefore considered to be "of high purity". (If Charly had got this on his skin he would not have survived )

Again, the chain of custody is non-existent: The OPCW did NOT collect the glass-vial in Rowley's flat, and could not verify its condition at the end of June, but they accepted what "the authorities" had told them about it and examined a sample of its content. There was plenty of time to tamper with the bottle before the OPCW arrived in Salisbury (so malfeasance cannot be ruled out).

(BTW, Sometimes you don't see the wood for the trees: WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would transport a deadly nerve-agent in a GLASS-BOTTLE??????)

Again they accepted material from the British authorities (as if they were incapable of any deception )
What former (Iraq) weapons-inspector Scott Ritter wrote about the OPCW „fact-finding" mission in Syria is also to a certain extent relevant in the Skripal-Saga:

"The problem, however, is that the OPCW is in no position to make the claim it did. One of the essential aspects of the kind of forensic investigation carried out by organizations such as the OPCW -- namely the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of a crime -- is the concept of "chain of custody" of any samples that are being evaluated. This requires a seamless transition from the collection of the samples in question, the process of which must be recorded and witnessed, the sealing of the samples, the documentation of the samples, the escorted transportation of the samples to the laboratory, the confirmation and breaking of the seals under supervision, and the subsequent processing of the samples, all under supervision of the OPCW. Anything less than this means the integrity of the sample has been compromised -- in short, there is no sample."
(Article: Ex-weapons-inspector: Trump's Sarin Claims built on „Lie" by Scott Ritter)

Here, Ritter was referring the fact that the OPCW was not able to actually visit the (terrorist-controlled) "crime-scene" in Khan Sheikhoun but instead went to Turkey (!) where they accepted testimonies and material given to them by the White Helmets and other artificial "NGOs" ("highly likely" paid and organized by MI6, DGSE and the CIA). There they were able to observe autopsies of the 3 alleged victims of the poison-gas attack.

"An NGO had delivered the bodies to the hospitals, though OPCW will not publicly comment on the identity of the NGO. Samples from the bodies were provided to two separate laboratories, which independently confirmed indications of sarin or sarin-like substances.

In criminal proceedings, though, which are similar to the process followed by the UN in determining a war crime, it is a fundamental principle that ALL EVIDENCE be under the control of investigators AT ALL TIMES. That didn't happen in this case."

By the way, the OPCW-FFM in Syria (regarding the Douma-incident) was led by two BRITISH "experts":
The work of the fact finding mission [FFM] was criticized by the Russian Permanent Representative to the OPCW who complained on 14 April 2017 that:

"Under the mandate defined for [the FFM], its membership should be approved by the Syrian government, and it should be balanced. For some time, these provisions were observed somewhat, but then the mission was split into two groups. One [Team Bravo], led by Steven Wallis from Britain, works in contact with the Syrian government, while the other one [Team Alpha], headed by his fellow countryman Leonard Phillips, deals with the claims filed by the Syrian armed opposition. THIS LATTER GROUP IS WORKING COMPLETELY NON-TRANSPARENTLY. ITS MEMBERSHIP IS CLASSIFIED, AND NO ONE KNOWS WHERE IT GOES OR HOW IT OPERATES. They are allegedly using the same methodology as Steven Wallis' group, but they are clearly working mostly remotely, relying on the internet and the fabrications provided by Syrian opposition NGOs, and never go to Syria. At least, we are not aware of a single such trip".

But the unspeakable "journalists" of the MSM (and RT is not much better the interview with the suspects is a joke ) do not bother with such complicated details. They just write "OPCW confirms use of Sarin" in Khan Sheikhoun (and "Novichok" in Salisbury) and ignore all contradicting evidence and the MOTIVE the UK gov has for demonizing Russia (spoiling their dirty game in Syria and "Sykes-Picot №2") so one can only agree with this comment:

"Professional journalism is now a wasteland. There is no public exposure of what we all know has happened and the threat it represents to us all . They have been disloyal to us, so we owe them no respect in return".

And finally – on the implied higher "morality" of UK politics:

The ECJ has just recently found that the UK's mass surveillance programmes, revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, did "not meet the 'quality of law' requirement" and were "incapable of limiting 'interference' to what is 'necessary in a democratic society'"'.(P.387 of the judgement: Case of Big Brother Watch & others vs .UK)

Mark Chapman October 4, 2018 at 11:51 am
The British evidently thought also about the lunacy of transporting a nerve agent in sufficient quantity to kill dozens if not hundreds in a glass bottle; that's why Hamish de Beegee chimed in with his article about how the FSB and the Kremlin had invested months of work and thousands of pounds developing a ceramic bottle which looked just like the real thing, but which you could stand a Volkswagen on top of. That's why I pointed out that they had already used the excuse that it broke to establish how Rowley was exposed.
Jen October 4, 2018 at 2:49 pm
I suspect The Netherlands are being targeted because among other things the International Court of Crimes and the International Court of Justice are based in The Hague. There may be other reasons as well: the Dutch must have a fair few skeletons in their collective closet and the US could very well target one of these and bring the entire wardrobe crashing down and exposing all its sordid secrets. One of these bone-shakers is that The Netherlands is a major corporate tax haven and as such competes with Britain and the US.
http://www.nomoretax.eu/netherlands-tax-haven/

[Oct 12, 2018] OPSW VIOLATES THEIR OWN RULES about ensuring a forensic "chain of custody" because they did not take bio-samples THEMSELVES but accepted the (2nd-hand) material that the 'authorities" had given them.

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile October 4, 2018 at 9:51 am

I forget where I picked the following up ( from some Russian blog, because it is a translation). I saved it but forget to put in the source:

September 14, 2018
THE DUBIOUS ROLE OF THE OPCW
(OPCW NEVER uses the word "Novichok")
Even those people who are skeptical about what the British government says (and rightly so) tend to accept the „Novichok"-Psyop after they read that "OPCW confirms Novichok nerve agent in Amesbury". But if you actually read what the (summary) of the OPCW says, you will find the following:

"The team requested and received vials of biomedical samples COLLECTED BY THE BRITISH AUTHORITIES for delivery to the OPCW laboratory and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories for purposes of comparison and in order to verify the analysis conducted by the United Kingdom. (S 1671, Paragraph 6.)

This VIOLATES THEIR OWN RULES about ensuring a forensic "chain of custody" because they did not take bio-samples THEMSELVES but accepted the (2nd-hand) material that the 'authorities" had given them.

Regarding the "Premier Jour" perfume-story the OPCW has this to say:

"During the second deployment [6 weeks after Sturgess fell ill] the team collected a sample of the contents of a small bottle that the police had seized as a suspect item from the house of Charles Rowley in Amesbury" (P. 9)

In paragraph 10 they confirm that the results of the subsequent analysis "show that the sample consists of a toxic chemical at a concentration of 97-98% therefore considered to be "of high purity". (If Charly had got this on his skin he would not have survived )

Again, the chain of custody is non-existent: The OPCW did NOT collect the glass-vial in Rowley's flat, and could not verify its condition at the end of June, but they accepted what "the authorities" had told them about it and examined a sample of its content. There was plenty of time to tamper with the bottle before the OPCW arrived in Salisbury (so malfeasance cannot be ruled out).

(BTW, Sometimes you don't see the wood for the trees: WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would transport a deadly nerve-agent in a GLASS-BOTTLE??????)

Again they accepted material from the British authorities (as if they were incapable of any deception )
What former (Iraq) weapons-inspector Scott Ritter wrote about the OPCW „fact-finding" mission in Syria is also to a certain extent relevant in the Skripal-Saga:

"The problem, however, is that the OPCW is in no position to make the claim it did. One of the essential aspects of the kind of forensic investigation carried out by organizations such as the OPCW -- namely the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of a crime -- is the concept of "chain of custody" of any samples that are being evaluated. This requires a seamless transition from the collection of the samples in question, the process of which must be recorded and witnessed, the sealing of the samples, the documentation of the samples, the escorted transportation of the samples to the laboratory, the confirmation and breaking of the seals under supervision, and the subsequent processing of the samples, all under supervision of the OPCW. Anything less than this means the integrity of the sample has been compromised -- in short, there is no sample."
(Article: Ex-weapons-inspector: Trump's Sarin Claims built on „Lie" by Scott Ritter)

Here, Ritter was referring the fact that the OPCW was not able to actually visit the (terrorist-controlled) "crime-scene" in Khan Sheikhoun but instead went to Turkey (!) where they accepted testimonies and material given to them by the White Helmets and other artificial "NGOs" ("highly likely" paid and organized by MI6, DGSE and the CIA). There they were able to observe autopsies of the 3 alleged victims of the poison-gas attack.

"An NGO had delivered the bodies to the hospitals, though OPCW will not publicly comment on the identity of the NGO. Samples from the bodies were provided to two separate laboratories, which independently confirmed indications of sarin or sarin-like substances.

In criminal proceedings, though, which are similar to the process followed by the UN in determining a war crime, it is a fundamental principle that ALL EVIDENCE be under the control of investigators AT ALL TIMES. That didn't happen in this case."

By the way, the OPCW-FFM in Syria (regarding the Douma-incident) was led by two BRITISH "experts":
The work of the fact finding mission [FFM] was criticized by the Russian Permanent Representative to the OPCW who complained on 14 April 2017 that:

"Under the mandate defined for [the FFM], its membership should be approved by the Syrian government, and it should be balanced. For some time, these provisions were observed somewhat, but then the mission was split into two groups. One [Team Bravo], led by Steven Wallis from Britain, works in contact with the Syrian government, while the other one [Team Alpha], headed by his fellow countryman Leonard Phillips, deals with the claims filed by the Syrian armed opposition. THIS LATTER GROUP IS WORKING COMPLETELY NON-TRANSPARENTLY. ITS MEMBERSHIP IS CLASSIFIED, AND NO ONE KNOWS WHERE IT GOES OR HOW IT OPERATES. They are allegedly using the same methodology as Steven Wallis' group, but they are clearly working mostly remotely, relying on the internet and the fabrications provided by Syrian opposition NGOs, and never go to Syria. At least, we are not aware of a single such trip".

But the unspeakable "journalists" of the MSM (and RT is not much better the interview with the suspects is a joke ) do not bother with such complicated details. They just write "OPCW confirms use of Sarin" in Khan Sheikhoun (and "Novichok" in Salisbury) and ignore all contradicting evidence and the MOTIVE the UK gov has for demonizing Russia (spoiling their dirty game in Syria and "Sykes-Picot №2") so one can only agree with this comment:

"Professional journalism is now a wasteland. There is no public exposure of what we all know has happened and the threat it represents to us all . They have been disloyal to us, so we owe them no respect in return".

And finally – on the implied higher "morality" of UK politics:

The ECJ has just recently found that the UK's mass surveillance programmes, revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, did "not meet the 'quality of law' requirement" and were "incapable of limiting 'interference' to what is 'necessary in a democratic society'"'.(P.387 of the judgement: Case of Big Brother Watch & others vs .UK)

Mark Chapman October 4, 2018 at 11:51 am
The British evidently thought also about the lunacy of transporting a nerve agent in sufficient quantity to kill dozens if not hundreds in a glass bottle; that's why Hamish de Beegee chimed in with his article about how the FSB and the Kremlin had invested months of work and thousands of pounds developing a ceramic bottle which looked just like the real thing, but which you could stand a Volkswagen on top of. That's why I pointed out that they had already used the excuse that it broke to establish how Rowley was exposed.
Aule Valar October 4, 2018 at 10:55 am
US forces out head of OPCW: https://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/23/world/us-forces-out-head-of-chemical-arms-agency.html

That's an actual title in NYT, they are not even hiding.

Step 1: give OPCW expanded powers
Step 2: install a US-friendly head of agency
Step 3: we shall see.

Mark Chapman October 4, 2018 at 11:56 am
Explosive. Nobody but Americans can be trusted to run international institutions, especially when they are bought and paid for by the USA. Hey, that'd be a good job for Travis Tygart. He has been chafing lately about the limits of his power to get at Russia from USADA.

The pace of events seems to be taking on momentum, as if it is leading up to something, and there's that kind of stillness in the air, while sounds seem far away and tinny, like just before a big storm breaks.

et Al October 4, 2018 at 12:38 pm
They're going for broke. Trans: going until it is broken.
Aule Valar October 4, 2018 at 3:36 pm
I must apologize for not noticing that the article is from 2002. Sorry.

Still, it does show how much more pull US has in those supposedly indpendent agencies than everyone else.

Mark Chapman October 4, 2018 at 10:41 pm
I didn't notice either. It felt so current, considering the ongoing situation.

[Oct 12, 2018] Jeez, those NATo propagandists are tough!

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile October 10, 2018 at 5:59 am

Reporting it like it is

Alexander Mishkin, the second man accused of involvement in the Skripal assassination plot, was likely to have been sent on the mission because he was a trained doctor capable of providing an antidote in case the novichok attack went wrong, according to security sources.

Dr Mishkin, like the GRU colleague who travelled with him to Salisbury, was made a 'Hero of the Russian Federation' with Vladimir Putin personally presenting him with the award, according to the investigative website Bellingcat.

Second Skripal suspect likely sent to Salisbury to administer novichok antidote, security sources say
'We know that novichok exposure needs immediate antidote so it makes eminent sense to have a military doctor, who is also a trained GRU operative, who can play his part in the operation'

Mark Chapman October 10, 2018 at 8:36 am
The 'antidote' to nerve-agent exposure is atropine, which is broadly marketed to world defense forces in an auto-injector. Your medical expertise in dispensing it is to remove the protective cap, and strike it against your thigh in the muscle, point-first – the internal spring does the rest, right through your clothing. We used to practice it regularly in NBCD training, except the fluid in training injectors is just water. Some crybaby pointed out the needle might pick up a fragment of cloth on its way in, and cause an infection, so we stopped doing it with real needles, and now you just get a thump against your leg from the spring.

https://chemm.nlm.nih.gov/antidote_nerveagents.htm

Military forces are also trained to administer atropine to stricken comrades who were overcome before they could react. Just be sure to give him his own atropine and not yours, and push the needle through his pocket-flap afterward and then bend it over, so that anyone happening on the scene after you have left will know he has already been given atropine and not administer another dose. Atropine overdose causes its own set of problems.

I think it's pretty clear that it does not 'make eminent sense' to have a 'qualified military doctor along in case something went wrong with the Novichok', since anyone can administer Atropine and there is an enormous worldwide base of soldiers and ex-soldiers who could do it as well as anyone else. Horseshit piled on top of horseshit.

kirill October 10, 2018 at 8:23 pm
For some bizarre reason this UK fairy tale requires many Russians. One isn't enough to smear some alleged top secret nerve agent on a door knob (at least in one of the dozens of contradictory theories spewed by Scotland Yard). Wearing gloves (e.g. store bought nitrile ones which would stop this poison, unlike latex ones) is clearly considered too much intellectual effort for Russian untermenschen and they need a doctor to tag along. This fictional doctor claim is patently absurd. A doctor without hospital facilities is nothing but a paramedic and as you rightly describe no such person is needed to administer atropine.

The average media sap in the UK and NATzO apparently can't be bothered to do any thinking. The best assassination plot would involve only a single agent and not a handful. Even freaking video games have the lone assassin meme repeated. One agent could also have a well established cover story. A gang of assassins would essentially be evidence against itself. A whole specially designed bottle of nerve agent is ridiculous and unnecessary. And having it disposed of in a way that it can be found by some homeless junkies is simply not credible. Don't they have sewer grates in the UK?

[Oct 12, 2018] Like the values and rules that led the NSA to eavesdrop on Chancellor Merkel's phone calls for years, and to use American Embassies as listening posts. Mutti Merkel was very understanding, considering they were only doing it to keep us all safe.

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman October 4, 2018 at 11:02 am

"the GRU's disregard for global values and rules that keep us all safe".

Like the values and rules that led the NSA to eavesdrop on Chancellor Merkel's phone calls for years, and to use American Embassies as listening posts. Mutti Merkel was very understanding, considering they were only doing it to keep us all safe.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/cover-story-how-nsa-spied-on-merkel-cell-phone-from-berlin-embassy-a-930205.html

The British and the Dutch – and doubtless all America's many 'allies' – have no real pride left. They just keep bending over further.

[Oct 12, 2018] if Russia is so incompetent- why are they deemed a threat? Why is NATO beating the war drums about such a country?

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

James lake October 5, 2018 at 4:07 am

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/05/string-of-own-goals-by-russian-gru-spies-reveals-new-trend-of-sloppiness

The secretive, daring GRU seems to have lost its way in the age of internet search

//if Russia is so incompetent- why are they deemed a threat?
//Why is NATO beating the war drums about such a country?

Moscow Exile October 5, 2018 at 4:15 am
Because it is dangerous in its incompetence?
yalensis October 5, 2018 at 1:48 pm
There is nothing more dangerous than a monkey armed with a hand grenade(?)
kirill October 5, 2018 at 6:02 am
As pointed out elsewhere there is no such agency called the GRU. Like there is no agency called the KGB. This in itself demonstrates that NATzO is spreading pure propaganda.
Mark Chapman October 5, 2018 at 9:14 am
It's probably not sloppiness, per se; it's more that Britain has reached a new level of dazzling investigative brilliance, so that normal GRU tradecraft can no longer withstand its piercing eye.

[Oct 11, 2018] Most American LNG cargoes thus far to Europe are promptly sold on to someplace else where the Europeans can get more for it.

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman October 8, 2018 at 5:46 pm

In another stellar example of simply making up an optimistic headline that makes readers feel good – those readers who only read headlines, for example – a French analyst is apparently willing to go out on a limb and say that Nord Stream II 'won't be built as planned'. That's already a little hedgy, but if you read the article itself, he doesn't say anything remotely like that. In fact, he says Russian gas is the cheapest option, and most American LNG cargoes thus far to Europe are promptly sold on to someplace else where the Europeans can get more for it.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/interview/french-analyst-nord-stream-2-wont-be-built-as-planned/

The major issue is that US LNG may come if we have higher prices. But why would we need them? They are quite high already. If China is prepared to overbid us, we don't need the American gas. We can ask for more Russian gas

Mark Chapman October 8, 2018 at 6:50 pm
Russia's Energy Minister sees the potential to double Russian gas exports by 2035. Russia's gas exports are growing by 6-7%/yr while global gas demand growth is at 2.6%/yr until 2035.

https://www.naturalgasworld.com/russian-producers-eye-doubling-exports-64936?#signin

Probably not the greatest news for the environment, as most analysts agree we need to start immediately moving away from a petroleum-based energy policy. But getting rid of all use of coal would be a good start for the present; gas is relatively clean, although I don't know if that makes any real difference to greenhouse-gas emissions.

[Oct 11, 2018] Dutch push for a new sanctions regime for Human Rights abusers, apart from global sponsors of Islamic terrorism who also happen to have $$$

Oct 08, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Vis the Dutch push for a new sanctions regime for Human Rights abusers, apart from global sponsors of Islamic terrorism who also happen to have $$$, the obvious takeaway that only just occurred to me is that the push for a European Magnitsky Act must have failed.

This is exactly the same thing, they just dropped the name. The EU is not united and I don't see the Netherlands as having enough influence in the EU without the UK.

[Oct 11, 2018] More Cold War Extremism and Crises by Stephen F. Cohen

Oct 03, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton University, and John Batchelor continue their discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fifth year, are at TheNation.com.)

Emphasizing growing Cold War extremism in Washington and war-like crises in US-Russian relations elsewhere, Cohen comments on the following examples:

Russiagate, even though none of its core allegations have been proven, is now a central part of the new Cold War, severely limiting President Trump's ability to conduct crisis-negotiations with Moscow and further vilifying Russian President Putin for having ordered "an attack on America" during the 2016 presidential election. The New York Times and The Washington Post have been leading promoters of the Russiagate narrative, even though several of its foundational elements have been seriously challenged, even discredited.

Nonetheless, both papers recently devoted thousands of words to retelling the same narrative -- on September 20 and 23, respectively -- along with its obvious fallacies. For example, Paul Manafort, during the crucial time he was advising then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, was not "pro-Russian" but pro -- European Union. And contrary to insinuations, General Michael Flynn did nothing wrong or unprecedented in having conversations with a representative of the Kremlin on behalf of President-elect Trump. Many other presidents-elect had instructed top aides to do the same. The epic retellings of the Russiagate narrative by both papers, at extraordinary length, were riddled with similar mistakes and unproven allegations. (Nonetheless, a prominent historian, albeit one seemingly little informed both about Russiagate documents and about Kremlin leadership, characterized the widely discredited anti-Trump Steele dossier -- the source of many such allegations -- as "increasingly plausible.")

Astonishingly, neither the Times nor the Post give any credence to the emphatic statement made at least one week before by Bob Woodward -- normally considered the most authoritative chronicler of Washington's political secrets -- that after two years of research he had found "no evidence of collusion" between Trump and Russia.

For the Times and Post and other mainstream media outlets, Russiagate has become, it seems, a kind of cult journalism that no counter-evidence or analysis can dint, and thus itself is a major contributing factor to the new and more dangerous Cold War. Still worse, what began nearly two years ago as complaints about Russian "meddling" in the US presidential campaign has become for The New Yorker and other publications an accusation that the Kremlin actually put Trump in the White House. For this reckless charge, with its inherent contempt for the good sense of American voters, there is no convincing evidence -- nor any precedent in American history.

Meanwhile, current and former US officials are making unprecedented threats against Moscow. NATO ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchinson threatened to "take out" any Russian missiles she thought violated a 1987 arms treaty, a step that would risk nuclear war. The secretary of the interior threatened a "naval blockade" of Russia. In an unprecedented, undiplomatic Russophobic outburst, UN ambassador Nikki Haley declared that "lying, cheating and rogue behavior" are a "norm of Russian culture."

These may be outlandish statements by untutored appointed political figures, though they inescapably raise the question: Who is making Russia policy in Washington -- President Trump with his avowed policy of "cooperating with Russia," or someone else?

But how to explain, other than as unbridled extremism, statements by a former US ambassador to Moscow and longtime professor of Russian politics, who appears to be the mainstream media's leading authority on Russia? According to him, Russia today is "a rogue state," its policies "criminal actions," and the "world's worst threat." It must be countered by "preemptive sanctions that would go into effect automatically" -- indeed, "every day," if deemed necessary. [These are the words of Michael McFaul, who has appointments at Stanford University which has become a friendly home for warmongers.]

Considering the "crippling" sanctions now being prepared by a bipartisan group of US senators -- their actual reason and purpose apparently unknown even to them -- this would be nothing less than a declaration of war against Russia; economic war, but war nonetheless.

Several other new Cold War fronts are also fraught with hot war, but today none more than Syria.

Another reminder occurred on September 17, when Syria accidentally shot down an allied Russian surveillance plane, killing all 15 crew members. The cause, as is known, was subterfuge by Israeli F-15s supplied by Washington that used the larger radar image of the Russian airplane to cloak their illegal attack on Syria. The reaction in Moscow was highly indicative -- potentially ominous.

At first, Putin, who had developed good relations with Israel's political leadership, said the incident was an accident, an example of the fog of war. His own Ministry of Defense, however, loudly protested, blaming Israel. Putin quickly retreated, adopting a much more hard-line position, and in the end vowed to send to Syria Russia's highly effective S-300 surface-to-air defense system, a prize both Syria and Iran have requested in vain for years. [Actually, Russia has now supplied both Iran and Syria the S-300.]

Second, if the S-300s are installed in Syria (they will be operated by Russians, not Syrians), Putin can in effect impose a "no-fly zone" over that country, which has been torn by war due, in no small part, to the presence of several major foreign powers. (Russia and Iran are there legally; the United States and Israel are not.) If so, it will be a new "red line" that Washington and Tel Aviv must decide whether or not to cross. Considering the mania in Washington, it's hard to be confident that wisdom will prevail. [Actually, it is likely that Putin will shift the responsibility of using the air defense system to Syria.]

All of this unfolded on approximately the third anniversary of Russia's military intervention in Syria, in September 2015. At that time, Washington pundits denounced Putin's "adventure" and were sure it would "fail." Three years later, "Putin's Kremlin" has destroyed the vicious Islamic State's grip on large parts of Syria, all but restored President Assad's control over most of the country, and has become the ultimate arbiter of Syria's future. President Trump would do best by joining Moscow's peace process, though it is unlikely Washington's mostly Democratic Russiagate party will permit him to do so. (For perspective, recall that, in 2016, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promised to impose a US no-fly zone over Syria to defy Russia.)

There is also this. As the US-led "liberal world order" disintegrates, not only in Syria, a new alliance is emerging between Russia, China, Iran, and possibly NATO member Turkey. It will be a real "threat" only if Washington makes it one, as it has Russia in recent years.

Finally, the US-Russian proxy war in Ukraine has recently acquired a new dimension. In addition to the civil war in Donbass, Moscow and Kiev have begun to challenge each other's ships in the Sea of Azov, near the vital Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. Trump is being pressured to supply Kiev with naval and other weapons to wage this evolving war, yet another potential tripwire. Here too President Trump would do best by putting his administration's weight behind the long-stalled Minsk peace accords. Here, too, this seemed to be his original intention, but it has proven to be yet another approach, it now seems, thwarted by Russiagate.

Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University and a contributing editor of The Nation .

[Oct 11, 2018] New clues may help locate lost intelligence files from 1938 French-British-Nazi pact

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al October 8, 2018 at 7:38 am

IntelNews: New clues may help locate lost intelligence files from 1938 French-British-Nazi pact
https://intelnews.org/2018/10/01/01-2408/

October 1, 2018 by Joseph Fitsanakis

Nearly 2,000 missing British intelligence files relating to the so-called Munich Agreement, a failed attempt by Britain, France and Italy to appease Adolf Hitler in 1938, may not have been destroyed, according to historians
####

More at the link.

The UK government also claimed that they did not have the files relating to their backing of Kenyans who tortured and killed those taking part in the Mau Mau Rebellion. If I remember correctly, A dozen or so large files were discovered in a skip outside an MoD office that was being sold off.

Mark Chapman October 8, 2018 at 9:11 am
If so, it was a mistake to suggest the files may not have been destroyed before they were safely in non-partisan custody. The west has too much invested in preserving its Molotov-Ribbentrop indignation to allow for even the possibility of equivalency, and efforts to find any such files and destroy or discredit them will go into overdrive.
Cortes October 8, 2018 at 11:23 am
Nothing unusual there.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/542133.Haig_s_Command

is a fantastic book and central to it is the author's ingenious way to get round the systematic doctoring of official reports and first-hand accounts of WWI. One appendix has quite astonishing portraits of many of the leading players, one of which – that of the American Pershing – is almost comical in describing the disappearance of swathes of files bearing witness to his incompetence; so it's not just the Brits.

[Oct 11, 2018] After the Nazis and their Baltic allies lost the war, the Balts (like other Eastern Europeans) had to do some serious shucking and jiving to re-brand themselves as Jeffersonian Democrats. Hence, the phony "dual totalitarian" or "dual-genocide" theories, which their court philosophers and historians quickly pulled out of their collective asses.

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

yalensis October 5, 2018 at 3:25 am

On that topic of Baltic collaborationism, I just finished posting this 4-part series about the Salaspils concentration camp in Latvia.

When you think about it, it really doesn't take much rocket science to understand why a segment (possibly the majority) of Baltic populations supported the Nazis at the time:

(1) This segment of the public were politically right-wing anyhow, they liked the fascist ideas and they hated Communism;
(2) The Nazis regarded the Balts as racially superior to the Jews and Slavs, so Balts felt they could live quite comfortably under Nazi domination, and they were right about that;
(3) They disliked Jews and were not sad to see them go.

Basically, in the Baltic states, the majority (probably) were pro-Nazi, and the other segment were pro-Communist. I reckon there were very few people in between.

After the Nazis and their Baltic allies lost the war, the Balts (like other Eastern Europeans) had to do some serious shucking and jiving to re-brand themselves as Jeffersonian Democrats. Hence, the phony "dual totalitarian" or "dual-genocide" theories, which their court philosophers and historians quickly pulled out of their collective asses.

Mark Chapman October 5, 2018 at 8:54 am
And you can probably see why much of the west is quietly pro-Nazi now as well. The pro-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists espouse western values – get rid of immigrants and the retarded and those who don't pull their weight, and most of all the dirty Russians, and usher in a land of purity and decency and bustling commerce, and let's hear no more of 'tolerance'. The movers and shakers in the west support liberal policies because they must, and they are sometimes useful as leverage, but if you were to yell "America for Americans" in the House or Senate, most of the Republicans and probably a few Democrats would stand and salute before they could stop themselves.
kirill October 5, 2018 at 10:54 am
I don't see the republicans being the Nazis. The US war party is composed of both Democraps and Rethuglicans. The Republican base has values closer in line with paleocons and not the neocons. The values of the Democraps are pure imperialist, exceptionalist and totalitarian in the name of PC. Obummer was neocon tool like W. Bush. Thus it is the Democraps that are the proper heirs of the Nazis and their 4th Reich global domination project. Paleocons are isolationist nationalists that actually believe in the constitutional values that the USA claims to espouse. The Democraps are all about lust for power and dirty tricks to enable the seizing of power. Obummer weaponized the FBI and CIA into partisan instruments giving us the Russia meddling inquisition. Truman was a foaming at the mouth racist cold warrior. Eisenhower at least warned about the creeping influence of the MIC. Clinton was a slimeball that continued the Reich agenda in the Balkans. And so on.

[Oct 11, 2018] Gleiwitz replay by British is planned

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile October 6, 2018 at 10:03 pm

Panic in Mordor!!!

Britain is ready to conduct a cyber attack against Russia -- The Sunday Times

The British military is ready to take this step in case of an "attack" by Russia against one of the Western countries

LONDON, 7 October 2018, 07:28 -- REGNUM The military command of Great Britain has announced its willingness to carry out a cyber attack against Moscow , writes the British newspaper "The Sunday Times" on 7 October,.

According to the publication, citing an unnamed source closely familiar with the situation , the British military is ready to take this step in case of an "attack" by Russia against a Western country. This measure will be possible when Britain has a shortage of conventional defence resources and will manifest itself by the fact that the capital of Russia will have its energy supplies cut off.

According to the "Sunday Times" source, variants of "Russian aggression", against which the British military is prepared to use cyber weapons, are said to be an invasion by Russian President Vladimir Putin of Libya in order to seize oil and to create a new crisis of migrants in Europe and an attempt to capture "small Islands belonging to Estonia". [Such action would be taken by the UK] so as to comply with a NATO clause, in which an attack against one member is considered to be an attack against the whole alliance.

We should note that recently the West has been constantly accusing Russia of cyber attacks against the West for economic sabotage and interference in local political life. However, tangible evidence of Russian guilt as regards such accusations has not once been provided.

My stress above.

Why should Russia, personified as the Dark Lord, wish to seize oil in Libya? Has Russia no oil of its own?

Sowing disarray in Libya? Now who, I wonder, might have done that before now?

An immigrant crisis in Europe created by the Empire of Evil?

And the present crisis? Created by whom?

Estonian Islands? What need has Russia of islands in the Baltic?

And of course, an unnamed source.

All in all, classic "projection: the West threatening to do what it has long planned and, furthermore, continuously accused Russia of doing , without providing any evidence whatsoever, so as to psych-up the sheeple for justified retaliation against the "Putin Regime".

Gleiwitz replay, anyone?

[Oct 11, 2018] Bellingcat has passed the CIA, MI5, Scotland Yard and the FBI and never looked back.

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile October 8, 2018 at 7:40 pm

Bellingcat exclusive!!!!!

Second Skripal Poisoning Suspect Identified as Dr. Alexander Mishkin

Gosh!

Moscow Exile October 8, 2018 at 7:41 pm
Bum link again!

Second Skripal Poisoning Suspect Identified as Dr. Alexander Mishkin

Mark Chapman October 8, 2018 at 8:02 pm
Where would we be without solid, honest citizen journalism like this? Bellingcat has passed the CIA, MI5, Scotland Yard and the FBI and never looked back. In fact, we have not heard Peep One from any of them since Bellingcat burst on the scene, and the British press goes straight to print from its reports, to hell with waiting for informed comment from the intelligence services or law enforcement.

Come to think about it, what are their countries paying them for?

Cortes October 8, 2018 at 11:15 pm
I'm looking forward to the first Bellingcat spin-offs.

Eliot Higgins – Special Invesigator featuring Tom Cruise and introducing Sparky his lovable mongrel dog which miraculously survived the Salisbury Novichok Massacre and can sniff out GRU agents a mile away.

Jen October 9, 2018 at 8:35 pm
How Sparky the lovable mongrel dog survived the Salisbury Novichok Massacre:

https://avatars.mds.yandex.net/get-pdb/881477/505e84f8-9835-4ab0-9a12-1d7ea375c032/orig

His weaknesses are sniffing power pylons and swallowing batteries.

Cortes October 9, 2018 at 11:41 pm
Excellent!
Moscow Exile October 9, 2018 at 3:08 am
And following temporary employment reviewing orders at a Leicester UK women's underwear manufacturer, the unemployed Higgins then "dispensed with looking for another job so that he could devote himself to blogging full-time" and has now pogressed to being a senior fellow in the "Digital Forensic Research Laboratory" and the "Future Europe Initiative", projects run by the Washington, D.C based "think tank" the "Atlantic Council".


Higgins hard at work researching

A "kept man"? His wife must bring home the bacon then.

Well, she would if she were not a Turk.

The then 32-year-old Higgins started blogging about the civil war in Syria from his home as Brown Moses: "He had no formal intelligence training or security clearance that gave him access to classified documents. He could not speak or read Arabic. He had never set foot in the Middle East, unless you count the time he changed planes in Dubai en route to Manila, or his trip to visit his in-laws in Turkey".

As far as I am aware, he still has no credentials for his chosen field, albeit he is now a "fellow" of this and that. He has also since bursting into the bloggosphere considerably put on weight:

Higgins belongs to an obsessive coterie of self-appointed military intelligence experts who use social media to piece together critical details of faraway conflicts, often well ahead of seasoned professionals. Frequently self-taught and operating far outside the military-industrial complex, these amateur analysts have honed a novel set of sleuthing skills that fuse old-fashioned detective work with new sources of intelligence generated by cell phone cameras and spread by social networks. Syria's war, widely considered the most documented conflict in history, has turned social media into a weapon of mass detection -- critical both for fighters on the ground and for faraway observers trying to make sense of the conflict.

The mind boggles: he and his fellow "amateur analysts" are often well ahead of seasoned professionals. Frequently self-taught and operating far outside the military-industrial complex !!!

See: Inside The One-Man Intelligence Unit That Exposed The Secrets And Atrocities Of Syria's War , by Bianca Boscar.

Bianca Bosker is the Executive Tech Editor of the Huffington Post.

Well who'd a-thowt!

Moscow Exile October 9, 2018 at 3:11 am
And Higgins is also an unabashed liar:

Eliot Higgins,: "I've not received funding from NED. Stop reading conspiracy websites"

Also Eliot Higgins "Bellingcat has received money from NED"

#BellingCrap #lieslieslies #UnderwearSalesman #CarpetSlippers pic.twitter.com/VvciGlaTtw

-- Emma (@emmadefano1) September 29, 2018

Mark Chapman October 9, 2018 at 3:29 pm
Once upon a time, nobody would dare to do what they are doing because of the danger of a ruinous lawsuit. But so long as he continues accusing the right people, the west will safeguard him from that as best it can. Maybe that's the way to go. They've left themselves without a retreat, saying this and that are 'confirmed'. Sue the outfit.
Jen October 8, 2018 at 9:05 pm
Bum link again? well it's Bellingcrap, what else could it be but a bum link?
Moscow Exile October 9, 2018 at 12:43 am
And now avidly reported by the British government organ, the "independent", non-Westminster-contolled BBC:

Skripal attack: Second Russian Salisbury suspect named

At least the BBC labels "Dr. Mishkin" as a "suspect"..

Moscow Exile October 9, 2018 at 1:06 am
Note how Bellingtwat states that it has "conclusively" established the real identity of Petrov on evidence gleaned from "multiple open sources" and "testimony from people familiar with the person" in question.

How do they do this?

First to the post again and well ahead of all the Western intelligence agencies, which are obviously understaffed with incompetents and not in possession of state-of-the-art means of gathering intelligence such as . errrr, Facebook?

Moscow Exile October 9, 2018 at 1:10 am

Moscow Exile October 9, 2018 at 1:41 am

I'm sick of Western European shite in general.

A few days ago, that lying old slag May appeared on stage at the Conservative Party annual conference with Abba's "Dancing Queen" playing in the bacground. May appeared to be trying to dance to the Abba hit. What a cupid old stunt!

And yesterday at an EUSSR Brussels conference, EU chief-executive and piss-artist Juncker appears to have been possibly trying to take the piss out of that old, lying bag May's gyrations:

Mark Chapman October 9, 2018 at 3:25 pm
Dear God. She gives new meaning to 'wooden', and makes Pinocchio look like he was made of quicksilver.
Mark Chapman October 9, 2018 at 3:09 am
Yes, their resources really do beat all, don't they? Able to trawl through Russians' private records at will, even those ominously marked, "Not for public release". But then, they have lots of willing helpers inside Russia, which the western intelligence agencies officially have not. Makes you wonder how Russia can miss catching them, innit, considering the intertubes are strictly controlled in Russia and all their intelligence transactions are in the public domain? I mean, with their troll farms and all their snoopy organizations?
Jen October 9, 2018 at 3:46 am
Bellingcrap could have just mentioned its sources during the course of its article instead of proclaiming that it's going to detail in another post to be supposedly published today (9 October 2018) the methodology it and The Insider Russia used and the information trail established. Perhaps a sign that Bellingcrap is starting to feel some pressure to lift its game to a level acceptable to its masters at The Atlantic Council?
kirill October 9, 2018 at 8:16 pm
I guess the belled cat thinks he's immune from some "GRU" hit. LOL.
et Al October 9, 2018 at 2:32 am
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. BellEndCat can only manage the former. Still, it's good enough for the BBC who this morning spoke to a (former?) Georgian minister who was saying that if the West was united and stopped Russia from invading Georgia in 2008, then Ukraine, Crimea, Skripals etc. wouldn't have happened, followed by BBC correspondent Norton who said that 'was about right'.
cartman October 9, 2018 at 10:14 am
Don't forget that Bellingcat is linked to the Stasi:

Forgot about this: Der Spiegel outed Bellingcat analyst as former full-time Stasi goon. https://t.co/kfB69NuQ6N

-- Yasha Levine (@yashalevine) October 9, 2018

[Oct 11, 2018] US military program could be seen as bioweapon: Using the US's own definitions that it has used to place sanctions on other countries, this is clearly a dual-use technology, i.e. civilian with military applications

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al October 5, 2018 at 4:18 am

crAP via Antiwar.com: Scientists: US military program could be seen as bioweapon
https://apnews.com/8ed74d87df524ab580d7fbd3b845d0c6/Scientists:-US-military-program-could-be-seen-as-bioweapon

A research arm of the U.S. military is exploring the possibility of deploying insects to make plants more resilient by altering their genes. Some experts say the work may be seen as a potential biological weapon.

In an opinion paper published Thursday in the journal Science, the authors say the U.S. needs to provide greater justification for the peace-time purpose of its Insect Allies project to avoid being perceived as hostile to other countries. Other experts expressed ethical and security concerns with the research, which seeks to transmit protective traits to crops already growing in the field .
####

The rest at the link.

Using the US's own definitions that it has used to place sanctions on other countries, this is clearly a dual-use technology, i.e. civilian with military applications (which is just about the same as any fancy satellited up in space etc.). Conclusion? The US must sanction itself!

kirill October 5, 2018 at 5:59 am
The US has been using insects as bioweapons for decades (including attacking Cuba and the USSR). The current development program is using this insect research as a cover. Its real function is to develop targeted genetic weapons designed to exterminate ethic groups. These weapons are beyond any "mass destruction" and are pure genocide devices. Anyone who thinks that this sort of research is unlikely is a retard without a clue. There is a reason why certain US companies were buying up Russian human bio-waste (e.g. amputated limbs, cadavers).

If anyone thinks that the US will care about collateral damage to neighbouring Slavic countries, then they are full on retarded as well. In 1990 Americans could not tell the difference between Ukrainians and Russians (and even Chechens). Now for purely political reasons they pretend to see every microscopic difference. The US has no love for Poland, Ukraine, or any other new Europe country. They are merely cannon fodder for its imperial ambitions. The hate that Poles and other Slavic states have for Russia is pathological. Poland is basically a German branch plant economy. Tell me why Poland should have more love for Germany than for Russia? And don't invoke communism since Russians were not privileged compared to Poles before 1991. It was, in fact, the other way around.

Mark Chapman October 5, 2018 at 9:22 am
The US is always asking to be trusted with some fearsome new capability, on the grounds that its values are a fail-safe – it is so innately good that it could never use such capabilities for evil. And it seems obsessed with modifications to achieve super-plants so that one potato will feed a family of eight, and suchlike – what's wrong with food the way nature intended it to be?

If you would decide whether a technology or process should be viewed as a threat, just imagine it was announced by Russia. The USA would scream its head off.

I can't help noticing as well that some of its changes seem geared toward not having to do anything about global warming, continuing to rely on a petroleum-dominated energy policy and so forth, by engineering a food supply that will flourish through as changing environment. If it is successful in that aim it is assured global domination, as the food supply of other countries could vanish if the country did not sign on to the US technology agenda. America would not have to threaten anyone's crops with secret-agent bugs. It could just go on as it is doing, and continue to contribute to global warming.

[Oct 11, 2018] Telegraph propaganda honchos as " "Highly likely" jerks

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

moscowexile

October 10, 2018 at 6:20 pm
A suspected third member of the Kremlin hit squad behind the Salisbury nerve agent attack has been named, according to a respected Russian news website.

Sergey Fedotov, 45, travelled to the UK on the same day as the two assassins already charged by British authorities – and boarded the same flight home.

The Telegraph had previously reported the existence of a third member of the Russian intelligence hit squad and a trawl of flight records by the Fontanka news agency matched it to Fedotov.

According to Fontanka, Fedotov flew to the UK on a passport whose number differs by only a few digits from those used by the two GRU military intelligence agents officially wanted for the nerve agent attack.

It is almost certain Fedotov is not the passenger's real name but an alias. No traces of Sergei Fedotov have been found in documentary databases or on social media. He has no property, vehicles or telephone numbers registered to his name in Russia, according to Fontanka.

Telegraph

No "alleged"in "Kremlin hit squad behind the Salisbury nerve agent attack but It is almost certain Fedotov is not the passenger's real name but an alias.

Highly likely indeed!

[Oct 11, 2018] Can the replacement be worse than Haley?

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

James lake October 9, 2018 at 6:59 am

Breaking!

Nikki Haley resigns as US ambassador to UN, reports say
Sources say Donald Trump has accepted Haley's resignation

I have no doubt the replacement will be worse than her.

I thought no one could be as bad as Samantha power until Nikki came along!!

Northern Star October 9, 2018 at 11:15 am
https://www.businessinsider.com/nikki-haley-resign-investigation-flights-free-private-jets-2018-10

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/watchdog-demanded-investigation-into-nikki-haleys-private-flights-before-she-resigned

Pavlo Svolochenko October 10, 2018 at 7:41 am
If she was forced out for something that petty, Trump must have been looking for an excuse to get rid of her.
Mark Chapman October 10, 2018 at 7:55 am
Or those who hate him – and they are legion – wanted her out, because if Trump wanted her out her replacement would already have been announced. I saw on one of those 'sponsored content' trash teaser clickbait headlines that it was going to be Ivanka, but not even Trump would do that. Although you never know – it's not as if Haley brought any wealth of foreign-policy knowledge to the table, and she was mostly there to be a partisan spoiler of initiatives the USA did not want to pass. I suppose anyone could do that.
Mark Chapman October 9, 2018 at 4:13 pm
Maybe this loon is still available.

https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/563fd2451400006f023ca344.jpeg?ops=scalefit_720_noupscale

[Oct 11, 2018] Nikki Haley's Surprising Departure

Oct 11, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute:

Nikki Haley's resignation as President Trump's Ambassador to the United Nations yesterday came as quite a surprise. Haley seemed pleased to play her imagined role as the world's procurator, as she used her UN perch to incessantly threaten and condemn all the global enemies of her fellow neoconservatives. She came to the job with no foreign policy experience and she will be leaving exactly as she arrived.

If Haley's departure came as a surprise, so too did her appointment in the first place. During the primaries, she was famously in the " anyone but Donald Trump " camp of neocons, saying that Trump was "everything a governor doesn't want in a president."

Trump soon returned the compliment, Tweeting that, "The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!"

Nevertheless, like many neocons who had been critical of Trump, she found herself rewarded with a top position in the Administration. From her position she had consistently gotten ahead of her boss, the President, in policy pronouncements and at almost every turn she appeared to be pushing a Haley foreign policy rather than a Trump foreign policy.

For example, just as President Trump was returning from his historic summit meeting in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where the US President spoke very optimistically about a new approach to US/Russian relations, Nikki Haley gave an interview in which she said, "we don't trust Russia, we don't trust Putin; we never will...they're never going to be our friend...that's a fact."

Last September she acted as if she, rather than Trump, were the commander-in-chief, Tweeting of North Korea, "we cut 90% of trade and 30% of oil. I have no problem kicking it to Gen. Mattis because I think he has plenty of options." The idea that she, and not her boss, would "kick it" to Defense Secretary Mattis was preposterous, but contradicting and countermanding Trump's disappointingly rare bobs toward diplomacy and disengagement over bluster and bombs was a chief characteristic of Haley's reign as UN chief finger-wagger.

President Trump had been extremely critical of Syria's Assad, particularly after he fell for two false-flag rebel gas attacks blamed on Assad, but he had been careful not to explicitly set US policy as "Assad must go," as had his predecessor. Nevertheless Nikki Haley again got out ahead of official US policy with her own policy, stating in September 2017 that, "we're not going to be satisfied until we see a solid and stable Syria, and that is not with Assad in place."

Nikki Haley had long been associated with neocon warhawk John Bolton and had also benefited from the largesse of GOP moneybags Sheldon Adelson, the Israel-obsessed casino magnate who bankrolled Haley's PAC to the tune of a quarter of a million dollars in 2016 alone. Haley was Adelson's kind of governor: While South Carolina's executive, she signed the nation's first law making it a criminal offense to support a boycott of Israel.

How did the mainstream media handle the surprise resignation of such an extreme warhawk? Someone one might consider on the far fringe of US political life? The New York Times mourned the departure of Ambassador Haley, Tweeting that it would be "leaving the administration with one less moderate Republican voice."

"Moderate" voice?

For such a pro-war extremist to be considered "moderate" by the newspaper of record may strike some as odd, but as Glenn Greenwald so accurately explained :

The reason NYT calls her "moderate" is because she affirms all of the standard pro-war, pro-imperial orthodoxies that are bipartisan consensus in Washington. That's why @ BillKristol reveres her. She was a Tea Party candidate, but "moderate" means: loves US wars & hegemony.
That's it in a nutshell. Because in Washington being extreme pro-interventionist and pro-war is the orthodoxy. The facade that there are real differences between the Republican and Democrat party is carefully crafted by the mainstream media to cover the fact that we do live in a one-party state. Pro-war, pro-intervention, pro-bombing, pro-overthrow, pro-meddling - these are moderate positions. For Washington and the mainstream media, the extremists are the ones who wish to abide by the admonitions of our Founding Fathers that we go not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.

Well, it seems there are plenty of monsters closer to home.

So good riddance to Nikki Haley...but don't hold your breath that it means the end of Nikki Haley-ism, which is the foundation of US foreign policy. Clearly we have much work left to do.

Your tax deductible contributions to the Ron Paul Institute allow us to provide you with real analysis of breaking issues. Our continued ability to provide a counter-balance to the mainstream media's false narrative depends on your financial support . We thank you for standing with us.

Sincerely yours,

Daniel McAdams
Executive Director
Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

[Oct 11, 2018] I still don't understand why her UN staff did not know until this morning that she was resigning.

Oct 11, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Pat Lang Mod , a day ago

OK, but I still don't understand why her UN staff did not know until this morning that she was resigning.
Ken Roberts -> Pat Lang , a day ago
My guess: DT had delegated to NH the management of UN interface. She flubbed, badly, DT being laughed at during his address. Out she goes!
confusedponderer -> Pat Lang , a day ago
Pat,
" why her UN staff did not know until this morning that she was resigning. "

Dunno, but what about the possibility that she herself didn't knew she was to "retire" until this morning? That she didn' quit but just quietly (which would be very un-Trumpish) got the boot?

As for firing people, Trump made a TV show out of that, though usually he prefers to "use megaphones over whispering".

That'd be the sort of retirement that's more frankly called " get the eff out and shut the eff up on your way out, and don't forget to say thank you! ".

All it needed for that to happen is the orange king having a "fart sit crosswise". As for Harper's good riddance, indeed.

Kooshy -> confusedponderer , 14 hours ago
IMO, at least she knew she is a goner since last week, I also think she agreed to leave on a non-embarrassing way, meaning not to be fired in mob boss' favorite way as in Apprentice. Like Colonel suggest neocons and her Israeli backers like to preserve her for a later day, she is a useful idiot. IMO, Trump, like the mob boss he think he is, and acts like, believes she was cause of his embarrassing performance/program at UN, again like mob bosses Don Trump doesn't give a second chance to anyone.
Walrus -> Pat Lang , a day ago
Because she believes they are big leakers like herself? Narcissists assume others have identical (rotten) behaviours as their own.
im cotton -> Pat Lang , a day ago
Trump is a master of political timing. Perhaps for whatever reason he wanted to move on from the Kavanaugh hubbub to something else--like Haley resigning. It has dominated the news cycle moreso than if it had been leaked by a staffer. Just my guess.
Tony -> Pat Lang , a day ago
Maybe because she didn't know?

[Oct 11, 2018] HARPER NIKKI FINDS THE DOOR

Oct 11, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

[Oct 11, 2018] Nikki Haley Just Screwed Conservatives Going Into Midterms: Bannon

Haley-Binomo was a liability not an asset.
Oct 11, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon slammed UN ambassador Nikki Haley's decision on Tuesday to announce her resignation, calling it "suspect" and "horrific," and that it overshadowed positive news that Trump and the Republicans need to build support going into midterms, according to Bloomberg .

The timing was exquisite from a bad point of view ," Bannon told Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait on Wednesday at the Bloomberg Invest London forum. " Everything she said yesterday and everything she said about stepping down could have been done on the evening of November 6. The timing could not have been worse. "

Haley's announcement, according to Bannon, took White House officials by surprise - and distracted attention from Brett Kavanaugh's first day as a justice on the Supreme Court, along with headlines over the lowest US unemployment rate in five decades. Haley's decision undermines Trump's message to Republican voters, said Bannon.

In the Oval Office on Tuesday, Trump said Haley told him six months ago she wanted a break after spending two years in the post. She'll continue in her role until year-end. Haley said Tuesday that she was ready for a break after two terms as South Carolina's governor and two years at the United Nations. - Bloomberg

Bannon also says that he took Haley at her word that she has no political aspirations - particularly when it comes to running against Trump in 2020. She says that she looks forward to campaigning for Trump in two years. That said, Bannon calls Haley "ambitious" and "very talented," though he said so using a backhanded compliment.

"I think she is incredibly politically ambitious," Bannon added. " Ambitious as Lucifer but that is probably...I am probably taking Milton out of context."

Trump defended the timing of Haley's departure on Wednesday, saying "there's no good time" for her to have announced her resignation - and that if she'd waited until after midterms, it would have raised questions as to whether her motive was based on the results.


Yen Cross , 19 seconds ago link

Bannon is unhinged. Nikki Haley was horrible in her position! If Bannon payed attention to voter base of Trump, he'd see Haley was a thorn in the side of the Trump administration.

One of the best appointments Trump has made, is Mike Pompeo. I thought he'd be some crazed warmonger, but has turned out to be quite the opposite.

He's got this kind of easy going swagger and confidence about him. He's chubby, and his every day guy, sort of approach, is affable.

Grandad Grumps , 1 minute ago link

She is not human. Maybe she eats babies.

I am Groot , 1 minute ago link

Back to Binomo ! Don't let the door hit you in your *** on the way out Nimrata. And take your Obamacare curtains with you.

Prosource , 13 minutes ago link

Busted for the NYT memo ?

Whatever the cause, good riddance.

Bat-Shiite crazy with a dangerously big war mongering mouth.

Bannon is totally wrong on this one. Conservatives saw right through her.

The November vote won't be harmed, may even be bolstered.

Is Bannon's point that because she is a woman, it hurts Trump with women?

Regardless, the sooner these neo-con fake patriots are gone, the better

Albertarocks , 16 seconds ago link

Yes sir... her rhetoric is pure deep state war mongering of the most evil kind. She was told to stir up as much hatred and fear at the UN as possible and try to get the opposition to do something stupid in response to her remarks. That's not Trump talk for damned sure... that's deep state talk.

Yippie21 , 23 minutes ago link

He makes a GREAT point that occurred to me immediately. If you are resigning effective at the end of the year and everything is awesome, just time to move on.... why the hell are you publicly announcing it 3 weeks before a VERY contentious midterm election and only a day or so after a brutal SCOTUS nomination conclusion? Why? Why now? Very curious and a unforced error.

Vigilante , 44 minutes ago link

I never trusted Haley

The timing was no co-incidence for sure

She trashed Trump during the election season if you remember

[Oct 10, 2018] Nikki Haley Trump's Baghdad Bob by Harry J. Kazianis

She should leave directly after Binomo hoax...
Notable quotes:
"... Her biggest problem as UN ambassador was simple: she was totally out of her depth. ..."
Oct 10, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Her biggest problem as UN ambassador was simple: she was totally out of her depth. "She was picked for UN Ambassador for one reason," explained a senior GOP political consultant to me, reacting to the news that Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, had just resigned from the Trump administration. "She was supposed to present a feminine, or supposedly softer version of Trump's America First message. Instead she became the administration's national security sledgehammer."

"Haley was a great spokesperson for the administration; in fact, she was great at parroting whatever lines Trump wanted her to deliver," the consultant continued. "But for anyone who has ever interacted with her, one thing became very clear. The second she left the land of talking points, any time she was asked to discuss any issue in any depth, it was apparent there was nothing there. And that is not what we need as ambassador at the UN."

Perhaps I can come up with a better description of Nikki Haley. She was Donald Trump's very own "Baghdad Bob," the propaganda chief under Saddam Hussein who appeared on TV during the 2003 Iraq invasion and said anything the regime wanted, no matter how inflammatory or wrong. While Haley was never forced to claim anything so preposterous as that Saddam's Republican Guard was winning a war against a superpower, her ability to trump even Trump in crazy talk was a rare talent -- and not a welcome one.

That was my problem with the ambassador. Not that she did a bad job, not that she was a terrible representative of our nation's interests, but simply that she lacked of the experience and natural abilities needed in such a role. Spitting back Trumpian rhetoric is not enough to be credible on the world's stage. It would be like asking me to become a plumber: sure, I could figure it out at some point, but I would leave behind quite a few clogged toilets and busted faucets along the way.

Haley left behind some busted faucets, that's for sure. If she did make any sort of major impression, it was thanks to her tough talk on North Korea and Iran. But it was her hard-hitting rhetoric leveled at the Kim regime that stuck out the most. In an almost comical attempt to parrot the words of President Trump, who in early September said at the UN that America "has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea," Haley stated in November that "if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed."

That's just for starters. There were also the clear missteps, when we could see her lack of expertise and preparation at work. In a primetime interview with Fox News nighttime anchor Martha MacCallum, Haley was asked about the 2018 Olympics and whether U.S. athletes would participate. North Korea experts knew this was the question that would have to be asked, and were keen to see what Haley would have to say.

She blew it, big time. The interview, conducted in January, at a time when some thought a war with the Kim regime was still very possible, drove headlines the world over, as Haley said she would not commit to U.S. citizens participating, stating, "there's an open question." MacCallum pounced on Twitter, and rightly so, writing that "Amb. Nikki Haley not certain we should send our athletes to the Olympics. Will depend on NK situation."

Now, to be fair to Haley, the remarks were more qualified than the press made them out to be. Still, they were confusing to say the least, and show that she was not ready for what was an obvious question. In fact, Haley seemed to stumble, adding, "I have not heard anything about that" and "I do know in the talks that we have -- whether it's Jerusalem or North Korea -- it's about, how do we protect the U.S. citizens in the area?"

Nikki Haley: The Bold Scold of the Trump Administration America Forfeits Its Influence at the UN

What? As another Republican put it to me just a day later: "She had no idea what the hell she was talking about."

Haley even scared some very senior diplomats, who wondered exactly what the administration was planning if Washington would not send its citizens or athletes to the Olympics. "Is America getting ready to attack North Korea? Is that where this is headed?" asked a senior diplomat here in Washington minutes after the interview was over.

I could go on, but I think you get my point. President Trump can do far better than Haley.

Harry J. Kazianis ( @grecianformula ) is director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest and executive editor of its publishing arm The National Interest. Previously, he led the foreign policy communications efforts of the Heritage Foundation, and served as editor-in-chief of The Diplomat and as a fellow at CSIS:PACNET. The views expressed are his own.

[Oct 10, 2018] Nikki Haley's shock resignation prompts various theories

Oct 10, 2018 | www.rt.com

Immediately after she resigned, Twitter lit up with theories and opinions about the reason, with many suggesting Haley could be the Trump administration official behind a highly critical anonymous op-ed published by the New York Times last month.

[Oct 10, 2018] Freedom fighters of Binomo and other notable quotes

Notable quotes:
"... "It was abusive, how bad the international community was to Israel. It reminded me of a kid being bullied in the playground I just wasn't going to have it. It was just so upsetting to see, that I just started yelling at everybody " ..."
"... We had the back of Israel, and if they were going to mess with Israel they had to mess with the US. ..."
"... As you consider your vote, I encourage you to know the president and the US take this vote personally. The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those who voted against us. ..."
"... We don't trust Russia. We don't trust Putin. We never will. They're never going to be our friend. That's just a fact. ..."
"... "They are aggressive and they can be difficult to work with in the Council... And they do try to cause some disruption, but we manage them and we continue to remind them what their place is." ..."
"... "weapon of choice and we have to make sure we get in front of it." ..."
"... When a country can come interfere in another country's elections, that is warfare. ..."
"... We are going to fight for Venezuela and we are going to continue doing it until [President Nicolas] Maduro is gone! ..."
"... If there are chemical weapons that are used, we know exactly who's going to use them. ..."
"... Judging by how it has fallen short of its promise, the Human Rights Council is the UN's greatest failure. It has taken the idea of human dignity and it has reduced it to just another instrument of international politics. ..."
"... "Its members included some of the worst human rights violators – the dictatorships of Cuba, China and Venezuela all have seats on the Council," ..."
"... We're aware of that. We've been watching that [Binomo situation] very closely. And I think we will continue to watch as we deal with the issues that keep coming up about the South China Sea. ..."
Oct 10, 2018 | www.rt.com

'Mess with Israel – you'll mess with US'

Israel seems to be most upset by Haley's resignation from her UN job, since the envoy for Washington often ended up championing Israeli interests at the world body. Statements like this one perfectly explain Tel Aviv's grief:

"It was abusive, how bad the international community was to Israel. It reminded me of a kid being bullied in the playground I just wasn't going to have it. It was just so upsetting to see, that I just started yelling at everybody "

We had the back of Israel, and if they were going to mess with Israel they had to mess with the US.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
"I would like to thank Ambassador @nikkihaley , who led the uncompromising struggle against hypocrisy at the UN, and on behalf of the truth and justice of our country. Best of luck!" pic.twitter.com/Lr6IvkM5U9

-- PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) October 9, 2018

The US envoy was also never shy to pressure the UN member states into voting the way Washington saw fit. The most notable example of such extortion was the vote on recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital last December.

As you consider your vote, I encourage you to know the president and the US take this vote personally. The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those who voted against us.

The threats did not work, however, as the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly rejected Washington's unilateral recognition of the disputed city as Israeli capital.

Russia is 'never going to be our friend'

When it came to relations with Moscow, the top US diplomat just wasn't very diplomatic on many occasions, instead choosing to amplify Russophobic rhetoric put forth by Trump's opposition.

We don't trust Russia. We don't trust Putin. We never will. They're never going to be our friend. That's just a fact.

"They are aggressive and they can be difficult to work with in the Council... And they do try to cause some disruption, but we manage them and we continue to remind them what their place is."

FILE PHOTO: Haley laughing with her Russian counterpart at the UN Vassily Nebenzia © Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Haley was fully on board with accusations that Moscow meddled in the 2016 US election, calling them aggression on Russia's part. Election meddling, she said, is Russia's "weapon of choice and we have to make sure we get in front of it."

When a country can come interfere in another country's elections, that is warfare.

'Fight until they're gone'

The ambassador showed no sign of awareness that her comments about interference sounded ironic and hypocritical when placed next to some others she made – regarding places like Venezuela or Syria.

Last month, Haley joined Venezuelan protesters outside the UN headquarters in New York, shouting into the megaphone:

We are going to fight for Venezuela and we are going to continue doing it until [President Nicolas] Maduro is gone!

Haley takes part in Venezuelans' anti-Maduro protest in New York on September 27, 2018 © AFP/Jim Watson

The US envoy even showed hints of psychic powers, as she tried to downplay Russia's warnings that Western-backed terrorists were preparing a false flag chemical attack in Syria in order to set up Damascus. Gazing straight into the future, she appeared to point her finger at President Bashar Assad's government.

If there are chemical weapons that are used, we know exactly who's going to use them.

In July, the US stunned the international community by withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council, and the American ambassador had some strong words to back the move.

Judging by how it has fallen short of its promise, the Human Rights Council is the UN's greatest failure. It has taken the idea of human dignity and it has reduced it to just another instrument of international politics.

"Its members included some of the worst human rights violators – the dictatorships of Cuba, China and Venezuela all have seats on the Council," Haley fumed.

Freedom fighters of Binomo

When dealing with other states, the US envoy tried her best to uphold an image of an expert on international affairs including on those nation that... well, didn't even exist.

In a scandalous YouTube recording made by two Russian pranksters, posing as a high-ranked Polish official, Haley was asked to comment on the aspirations of the nation of Binomo in the South China Sea.

We're aware of that. We've been watching that [Binomo situation] very closely. And I think we will continue to watch as we deal with the issues that keep coming up about the South China Sea.

She also said that Russia "absolutely" meddled in the country's election as well – a truly extraordinary achievement, given that Binomo was entirely made up.

[Oct 10, 2018] Report Nikki Haley Is Resigning by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... The Peter Principle is alive and well in the fractured U.S. governance model. ..."
"... Is there any advanced country on the planet with a political class saturated with so much mediocrity? ..."
"... BTW, the BoD scam is a standard political payoff. Susan Bayh the wife of former Senator Evan Bayh is a middling attorney who made over $2 Million a year flitting from BoD meeting to BoD meeting. Must be nice ..."
"... How did this woman move herself from the dignified, elected position of Governor to trump underling and Israeli bull horn? The things we do for greed! ..."
"... Good riddance. An embarrassment to US diplomacy. Her full throated echoing of Trump's stupidest and most destructive ideas should end her political career, especially coming on the heels of earlier denunciations of Trump. ..."
"... She leaves Turtle Bay with no achievements and the sound of jeering delegate laughter at the General Assembly still ringing in her ears. ..."
"... Out of her depth. Completely. ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
NBC News reports that Nikki Haley will be resigning from her position as ambassador to the United Nations:

In an unexpected development, President Donald Trump's U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, plans to resign, NBC News has confirmed.

Haley informed her staff that she plans to resign. The news, first reported by Axios, comes ahead of an announcement she plans to make with President Donald Trump at the White House Tuesday morning.

Haley's tenure as U.N. ambassador was fairly brief and not very successful. The Security Council did approve additional North Korea sanctions during her time there. Otherwise, she was known mostly for ineffectively promoting the administration's Iran obsession , picking fights with most other states over Israel, and calling attention to how isolated the U.S. has become following the withdrawal from the JCPOA. Her last big effort at the U.N. was the Security Council session last month that was originally supposed to focus on criticizing Iran. The administration changed the subject of the meeting to nonproliferation, but that still allowed all of the other members to tout their support for the nuclear deal and criticize U.S. withdrawal from the agreement. If that was meant to be Haley's crowning achievement before she left, it didn't work out very well.

Trump's decision to appoint Haley to this position struck me as odd from the beginning. Haley had no diplomatic or foreign policy experience, and beyond the usual knee-jerk "pro-Israel" reactions she did not have any record of talking or thinking about foreign policy. It is taken for granted that she took the job to build up her credentials on foreign policy, but her stint as ambassador has been so short that I'm not sure that it will do her very much good in future political campaigns. When she was appointed, I said that "this may prove to be a rather fruitless detour for the next few years." Haley's resignation after less than two years in the job suggests that she concluded that there was no point in sticking around any longer.

gus October 9, 2018 at 11:09 am

The speculation I've seen, that after the election Trump fires Sessions, appoints Graham, and Haley gets appointed to Graham's Senate seat, makes a ton of sense. She'll be back, and she'll run for President someday, guaranteed.
G , says: October 9, 2018 at 11:26 am
One theory I've heard is that Nikki Haley was thought to be the top contender for a potential primary challenge to Trump in 2020 (if things didn't go well for the Trump administration). As you previously noted, she was a vocal critic of Donald Trump in the primaries (the President doesn't easily forgive or forget criticism). So she was dumped into the UN as a way to keep her from going rogue. The President doesn't like to see figures in his administration outshining him, so as she began to make a name for herself as being exceptionally tough on Iran, Trump kicked the legs out from under that policy directive and sent her to haplessly defend "non-proliferation".

End result? Two years have passed and Nikki Haley has no real accomplishment to show for it (Sad!), while at the same time by virtue of working within the Trump Administration, she's been effectively silenced for two years in her once-vocal criticism. Trump: 1, Haley 0.

SteveM , says: October 9, 2018 at 11:43 am
The Peter Principle is alive and well in the fractured U.S. governance model.

Of course when that Nitwit Hack transitions to the "private sector" she will be invited to sit on various BoD's to be a potted plant at Board meetings. And she will also live large from the remuneration for just showing up. And don't forget the honorary degrees Nikki will be awarded. It's like the Tin Man getting an honorary "Th.D", (Doctor of Thinkology) from the Wizard of Oz.

Is there any advanced country on the planet with a political class saturated with so much mediocrity?

BTW, the BoD scam is a standard political payoff. Susan Bayh the wife of former Senator Evan Bayh is a middling attorney who made over $2 Million a year flitting from BoD meeting to BoD meeting. Must be nice

rayray , says: October 9, 2018 at 11:52 am
Yeah, agreed with all of the above. Although it's unclear to me that anyone associated with the Trump administration will walk away with a leg up to seek higher office.

By virtue of most folks disinterest in foreign policy or the UN Haley may have the advantage over the others in the Trump administration. Getting out early is smart.

As for her lack of competence and knee-jerk Israel supporting bent this may not hurt her in the long run either with a GOP that has proven itself to be on a path of less and less competence, less and less integrity, and (one can only hope) less and less relevance.

PAX , says: October 9, 2018 at 12:47 pm
Well said. She is more the ambassador for Isreal than for America. One can only hope that Trump realizes this and appoints a diplomat with skills and an even keel. Hope he does not have Jared Kushner in mind?
Ninth and Hennepin , says: October 9, 2018 at 12:51 pm
The odd thing about Trump's appointment of Haley was *not* that she had virtually no record of talking or thinking about foreign policy.

It was that, unlike most of Trump's cabinet, she had no record of working to sabotage the very department she was appointed to lead.

Janet , says: October 9, 2018 at 1:12 pm
Wherever she ends up, it'll have to be someplace she can exercise her big mouth and small brain, because that's all she did at the UN.
swb , says: October 9, 2018 at 1:49 pm
It appears that an ethics inquiry into free rides on corporate jets has been requested.

https://www.businessinsider.com/nikki-haley-resign-investigation-flights-free-private-jets-2018-10

Just another day in the Trump administration.

One Guy , says: October 9, 2018 at 2:02 pm
There are stories that she accepted gifts she wasn't supposed to accept (no, not curtains). I think she resigned to head those off, as well as to be available for other positions that might open up (Senator? President?).

Whatever, it's just the latest in an unprecedented amount of people leaving this administration. If Trump only hires the best people, why do those smart people keep leaving him?

Talltale , says: October 9, 2018 at 2:47 pm
How did this woman move herself from the dignified, elected position of Governor to trump underling and Israeli bull horn? The things we do for greed!
One Guy , says: October 9, 2018 at 4:55 pm
Trump claims he knew about her leaving six months ago, but he hasn't lined up a replacement.

Or maybe he can't get anyone to accept the position who isn't an outright joke. Ted Nugent? Sarah Palin? Rudy Giuliani?

Ken T , says: October 9, 2018 at 5:09 pm
With regard to her possible 2020 WH run:

1. Yes, she has the Trump stench on her. But by resigning now she has two years to try to wash it off.

2. To a certain segment of the GOP base, being completely ineffectual at the UN will be seen as a feature, not a bug.

3. She has one huge advantage over some other potential rivals (Flake, for example) in that by not being in the Senate this past week she played no part in the Kavanaugh fiasco. Since she never had to vote on it, she can still try to play it both ways.

Bog Man , says: October 9, 2018 at 5:45 pm
Good riddance. An embarrassment to US diplomacy. Her full throated echoing of Trump's stupidest and most destructive ideas should end her political career, especially coming on the heels of earlier denunciations of Trump.

Instead, she'll be bankrolled by some rich Zionist creeps, a la Rubio, and turn up again in 2020 or 2024 offering to keep us bogged down in Middle East wars another four years.

belleville , says: October 9, 2018 at 7:03 pm
She leaves Turtle Bay with no achievements and the sound of jeering delegate laughter at the General Assembly still ringing in her ears.

After a year and a few months of failure and eye-rolling from UN colleagues, she knew that all that lay ahead was more of the same.

Out of her depth. Completely.

[Oct 09, 2018] US Russia Sanctions Are 'A Colossal Strategic Mistake', Putin Warns

Oct 09, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Washington of making a "colossal" but "typical" mistake by exploiting the dominance of the dollar by levying economic sanctions against regimes that don't bow to its whims.

"It seems to me that our American partners make a colossal strategic mistake," Putin said.

"This is a typical mistake of any empire," Putin said, explaining that the US is ignoring the consequences of its actions because its economy is strong and the dollar's hegemonic grasp on global markets remains intact. However "the consequences come sooner or later."

These remarks echoed a sentiment expressed by Putin back in May, when he said that Russia can no longer trust the US dollar because of America's decisions to impose unilateral sanctions and violate WTO rules.

... ... ...

With the possibility of being cut off from the dollar system looming, a plan prepared by Andrei Kostin, the head of Russian bank VTB, is being embraced by much of the Russian establishment. Kostin's plan would facilitate the conversion of dollar settlements into other currencies which would help wean Russian industries off the dollar. And it already has the backing of Russia's finance ministry, central bank and Putin.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin is also working on deals with major trading partners to accept the Russian ruble for imports and exports.

In a sign that a united front is forming to help undermine the dollar, Russia's efforts have been readily embraced by China and Turkey, which is unsurprising, given their increasingly fraught relationships with the US. During joint military exercises in Vladivostok last month, Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that their countries would work together to counter US tariffs and sanctions.

"More and more countries, not only in the east but also in Europe, are beginning to think about how to minimise dependence on the US dollar," said Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin's spokesperson. "And they suddenly realise that a) it is possible, b) it needs to be done and c) you can save yourself if you do it sooner."

[Oct 09, 2018] Why the US empire now after several years of desprate pressure of oil prices down is now content with the possibility of dramatic increase in oil prices ?

Oct 09, 2018 | thesaker.is

Outlaw Historian on October 03, 2018 , · at 2:27 pm EST/EDT

You would have to wonder why Putin opened with the following remarks if you were ignorant of the global situation:

"You came here to hold an open and trust based discussion on the issues of the global energy agenda .

"We believe that progress in global energy, as well as the stable energy security of our entire planet, can only be achieved through global partnership, working in accordance with general rules that are the same for everyone, and, of course, through conducting transparent and constructive dialogue among market players which is not politically motivated but is based on pragmatic considerations and an understanding of shared responsibilities and mutual interests." [My Emphasis]

His characterization of Skripal came during the Q&A, and there are likely more gems to be had from that session.

Meanwhile, the Outlaw US Empire has unilaterally withdrawn from a 1955 Treaty with Iran in order to try and avoid today's judgement of the International Court of Justice, https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201810031068561238-us-missions-iraq-threat-iran-pompeo/ and from the optional protocol on disputes to the Vienna convention, https://sputniknews.com/world/201810031068565352-vienna-convention-option-protocol-us-withdrawal/

Waging Illegal Aggressive War, Illegal sanctions, Violations of UNSC Resolutions, Breaking of Contracts, and Ongoing violation of the UN Charter and US Constitution since 1945 are just a few of the reasons why it must be called the Outlaw US Empire as no other term properly describes it. 80 years ago, appeasement didn't work, and it's clear it doesn't work today either. Together the world's nations must bring the Outlaw US Empire to heel and make it obey the Rule of Law and abandon its unilateral Rule of the Gun.

Anonymous on October 03, 2018 , · at 5:31 pm EST/EDT
Ah, there it is. The reason behind this strange week, the dots that few will connect.

Putin speaking at a conference about "sustainable energy in a changing world."

Right there, two phrases that are certain to set off Exxon corp and their puppets in the political theater. Say "sustainable energy" around an oil giant and watch them shudder. The, mention "changing world" to any of that class and they have nightmares about their children having to learn Chinese. Put them all together in one title of a conference at which Putin himself is speaking and well, now we know why the Shakespearian chorus of Exxon's oil industry bit players like former Texas Governor Rich "the hair" Perry and former Texas Senator Hutchinson are suddenly frothing at the bit about the Park Rangers mounting a naval blockade of Russia (see Yogi Bear for how that's likely to turn out, hey booboo?) and nuclear first strikes on Russia.

Putin, Sustainable Energy, Changing world .. enough to send some senior executive geezers at Exxon grabbing for their nitro pills and speed dialing their cardiologists.

Dr. NG Maroudas on October 04, 2018 , · at 5:49 am EST/EDT
For those who like to call Russia "a gas station masquerading as a country" here is Putin's note on ecology:

"A separate ambitious task for the future is the development of renewable energy sources, especially in remote, difficult-to-access areas of this country, such as Eastern Siberia, and the Far East. This is opening a great opportunity for our vast country, the world's largest country with its diverse natural and climatic conditions.

Friends, in conclusion I would like to tell you the following: sustainable and steady development of the energy industry is a key condition for dynamic growth of the world economy, enhancing living standards and improving the wellbeing of all people on our planet.

Russia is open to cooperation in the energy industry in the interests of global energy security and for the benefit of the future generations. And we certainly rely on active dialogue on these subjects and cooperation.

Thank you for your attention". -- President Putin

milan on October 05, 2018 , · at 9:30 pm EST/EDT
Nothing is going to save us from our energy problems, nothing and especially not renewables.

Spend some time reading and studying Gail Tverberg's material and one will quickly see we are heading for a financial catastrophe because of affordability issues. On the one hand there isn't enough money to pay for extraction of oil and gas and on the other the consumer is strapped because of high pump prices etc. But like she herself says if only the wages of non elite workers could rise high enough to help pay for the increased costs then likely we wouldn't have a problem. That though is clearly not happening.

I am deeply afraid we are going to wake up to a world very different from the one we went to sleep in. Just this one article alone expresses the grave situation the world is in:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-15/truckers-asleep-at-the-wheel-as-diesel-price-shock-creeps-closer

Every time Chuck Paar makes the over 500-mile round trip from his home in Mt. Jewett, Pennsylvania, to Buffalo and Syracuse, New York, his 18-wheel tractor trailer carries 25 tons of sand or cement and burns about $265 of diesel in one day. That's up from as little as $166 for the same route two years ago, and the increased cost of fuel is squeezing already thin industry profit margins.

It's about to get worse.

[Oct 09, 2018] Some suggest that the British find it useful to paint an ongoing story for the public of Russian depravity and duplicity. If that were the case, why paint Russia as the gang that couldn't shoot straight - too inept to constitute a serious threat?

Notable quotes:
"... As many, including Murray have pointed out, the story the UK is telling displays none of the tradecraft that one would expect from a sophisticated intelligence service. ..."
Oct 09, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

smoke , 9 hours ago

So little about the mutating, public narrative makes sense, including motive, whether Russian or British. Some suggest that the British find it useful to paint an ongoing story for the public of Russian depravity and duplicity. If that were the case, why paint Russia as the gang that couldn't shoot straight - too inept to constitute a serious threat?

As many, including Murray have pointed out, the story the UK is telling displays none of the tradecraft that one would expect from a sophisticated intelligence service.

[Oct 09, 2018] The Skripals Are an MI6 Hoax - 'Not Worthy of Ladies' Detective Novels' - Israeli Expert Demolishes UK Case

Highly recommended!
Oct 09, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Very convincing. This Israeli expert blows up the UK's narrative in a few well-chosen one-liners.

"If the GRU acted, both the killers and the other participants in the operation would come to the UK on the passports of other countries that have visa-free relations with it. Here, two alleged GRU officers go to the embassy, ​​leave their fingerprints there, get a visa, stop at the hotel, pass under all the cells. This you will not find even in ladies' detective novels."

An Israeli expert on international terrorism, writer Alexander Brass, shared his view on the case of the Skripals poisoning in Salisbury. Brass draws parallels between the work of the special services of Israel and Russia – he believes that if to compare the British version with the practice of the special agents, then the absurdity becomes obvious.

"Alexander, so what, in your opinion, happened in Salisbury?"

-There was a rough provocation by the British special services. In my opinion, this is obvious.

"There's a lot of stupidity on stupidity." The story with Petrov and Boshirov does not hold up any professional peer review. According to the Brits, the Skripals were poisoned by GRU agents (this is what the department is called, although this is now the Main Directorate of the RF General Staff).

I want to explain how the special services work. If you need someone to eliminate, then this is a very serious operation, which is being prepared for a long time. A very significant material and human resource is allocated. We are talking about dozens of employees. On the territory of this state, an "advanced command post" is being created.

In the operation, a technical support group, a logistic group, a cover group, an external surveillance group and a group of performers are involved.

The performers themselves appear at the very last moment. They do not go anywhere, lighting up on cameras, do not use public transport, but move on rented cars, which they do not rent themselves. And the more they will not stop in hotels, but will live on safe houses provided by the logistics group.

Such groups do not come under the passport of their country, do not go to the embassy for obtaining a visa, leaving fingerprints. This is complete nonsense. Professionals do not work that way.

If the GRU acted, both the killers and the other participants in the operation would come to the UK on the passports of other countries that have visa-free relations with it. Here, two alleged GRU officers go to the embassy, ​​leave their fingerprints there, get a visa, stop at the hotel, pass under all the cells. This you will not find even in ladies' detective novels.

[Oct 09, 2018] During the attack on Serbia, US flew more than 90% of NATO missions and it managed to destroy three missile batteries and one radar station (using HARM)

Notable quotes:
"... Thanks to media, to this day very few people in the West know that towards the end of the 78-day war, US and UK deliberately targeted several completely civilian facilities (bridges, hospitals and schools) and in just a few days of such targeting killed about 200 civilians. ..."
Oct 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

Kiza says: October 7, 2018 at 7:50 am GMT 500 Words @Quartermaster I am not going to insult you personally, but as a cheap paid troll you have absolutely no clue about the subject you are typing about for your Israeli masters. FB has not explained everything perfectly but what he wrote is correct. It is not true that an airforce would target radar installations only with HARM missiles, which all NATO countries and Israel have, but in practice HARM are the only missiles to reliably target mobile air defence. During the attack on Serbia, US flew more than 90% of NATO missions and it managed to destroy three missile batteries and one radar station (using HARM). But the mobility of the Serbian immobile air defences had two major effects:
1) Unlike Iraq, Serbia let NATO bomb targets without always switching on its air defences to be detected and destroyed; this grossly reduced NATOs air effectiveness because with every bomber they had to constantly send at least one support plane with jammers, HARMs etc. NATO tried to claim a virtue out of this by saying that they were soft on Serbia and will get tougher, but in reality their military attack was becoming difficult to manage, expensive and risky (the NATO unity was beginning to fray).
2) It was a running joke in Serbia how NATO planes would attack some completely empty hill (Serbia is a relatively hilly country), create literally free fireworks for the villagers, just because there was an air defense installation on the hill maybe 5-10 hours ago. A similar joke was how the Serbian military or even the local villagers would spread a strip of black builders plastic over a river and NATO planes flying at above 5 km to avoid manpads would blast this $2 bridge with $200,000 worth of bombs (adding mission cost to the cost of bombs).

Regarding US F117, it was more "stealth" than F35 and similar stealth to the smaller F22, but the Serbians used the Checkoslovakian TAMARA passive radar, using ionospheric scatter, and also launched multiple operator guided missiles at F117 without a proper engagement radar to be HARMed. Self-confident in stealth the pilots of F117 did not manoeuvre, thus it was easy to predict their path even without the targeting and engagement radar.

Forcing US to retire F117 was the second costliest damage the Serbians have done (Lockheed did not cry, through their lobbyists they turned the loss into an opportunity to sell more rubbish). But the biggest cost to US was that Milosevic sold several unexploded cruise missiles and all F117 parts to China and used the money to rebuild and repair all civilian buildings in Serbia destroyed by NATO. Later, UK and US did a colour revolution in Serbia, got their hands on Milosevic, who then died from a health "accident" in NATO jail.


Kiza , says: October 7, 2018 at 8:16 am GMT

@Cyrano You are spot-on. The Serbian military fought NATO to a draw, proven by the fact that the peace treaty signed in Kumanovo in FYRM, did not contain the Rambouye clauses and even left Kosovo under Serbian jurisdiction as per UNSC 1244.

Even this military draw was forced on Serbia by increased bombardment of civilian targets in Serbia combined with open threats of carpet bombing by US B57. Serbia is a fairly densely populated country, no jungles to hide in as in Vietnam. The civilian targets were bombed to show that they could do carpet bombing with impunity (with the help of MSM). Thanks to media, to this day very few people in the West know that towards the end of the 78-day war, US and UK deliberately targeted several completely civilian facilities (bridges, hospitals and schools) and in just a few days of such targeting killed about 200 civilians.

Naturally, any agreements with the West are totally pointless. After the Kumanovo agreement, US and UK organized a color revolution in Serbia, took Kosovo away and got their Serbian puppets to agree to all Rambouye demands. Serbia did not lose the war, but it lost the agreement peace with the West.

FB , says: October 8, 2018 at 5:03 pm GMT
@Kiza

' to my knowledge the Serbians did not use a radiating radar to shoot-down one/two F117. They used a passive radar, which does not emit at all, it only receives a rough and noisy location of the stealth plane '

This is complete nonsense once again you choose to pontificate on things in which you have no knowledge

In your earlier comment, you identified this 'passive radar' allegedly used by the Serbs as the Czech 'Tamara' system which the Serbs did not possess

Not only that but this kind of system is not used for guiding SAM shots, and is certainly not any kind of 'anti-stealth' weapon this category of device is known as an emitter locator system [ELS], and is used to listen in on radio emissions from hostile aircraft and to then track them, by means of a number of geometrically deployed antennas that can then triangulate the bearing and direction of the aircraft

However, the basic physics involved means that these emitter locators are effective at tracking signals OTHER THAN the aircraft's onboard radar this would include the IFF [identification friend or foe transponder signal] and other onboard radio emitters which are OMNIDIRECTIONAL emitters

An aircraft radar's narrow pencil beam could not reach multiple [at least 2] ELS antenna [which would be geographically dispersed] to provide the needed triangulation

Once again Dr Carlo Kopp provides an excellent technical overview of ELS systems here

' A topic which appears to crop up with monotonous regularity [is] Warsaw Pact equipment "capable of detecting stealth aircraft".

These claims invariably involve either the Czech designed and built Tesla-Pardubice KRTP-86 Tamara or ERA Vera Emitter Locating Systems, or the Ukrainian designed and built Topaz Kolchuga series of Emitter Locating Systems.

More than often this equipment is described as 'anti-stealth radar', 'radar' or 'passive radar', all of which are completely incorrect.

Much of everything else you have farted out here regarding the Serb takedown of the F117 is similar bullshit

The 3′rd battery of the 250′th Air Defense missile Brigade, commanded by then Lt Col Zoltan Dani killed both F117s [the second one made it back to Aviano, Italy but was scrapped, as USAF Col Riccioni confirms in his F22 report I linked to earlier] as well as the kill on the F16 of then 555′th squadron Commander, then Lt Col David Goldfein, who, since 2016 happens to be Gen Goldfein and the USAF Chief of Staff

Here is Goldfein's F16 canopy and tail feathers on display at the Belgrade Aviation Museum

Incidentally, Col Riccioni mentions in that same report that Goldfein was doing 'other than what he was supposed to be doing' when shot down I guess in today's USAF that means you have the 'right stuff' to become The Chief

Also incidentally, the Goldfein kill was overseen by Col Dani's Deputy Maj Bosko Dotlic, as Col Dani was off duty at the time

The point is that that one single S125 battery accounted for ALL the confirmed kills of the Serb IADS in 1999 [although there are many more 'probable' kills that either ditched in the Adriatic, or limped back but were scrapped]

This speaks to my earlier point about human competence and the 'hawks' and 'doves' just like a small fraction of fighter pilots rack up the overwhelming majority of kills the same goes for air defense commanders, submarine captains, tank commanders etc

You have spewed here a whole lot of garbage about 'secret' anti-stealth weapons and 'lucky shots' etc which is a complete insult to the historical record and the great work by Col Dani and his men and to the entire principle of working and training hard to achieve professional competence in a military skill

Here is a picture of the side of the 3′rd Battery Command Cabin, with Three kills stenciled in the F117 [black] on top a B2 [not confirmed] and Goldfein's F16 in white at bottom

The battery used the standard SNR125 'Low Blow' engagement radar [1960s vintage technology] which operates at 9 GHz, so it is NOT a low-frequency radar proving that low frequency is not necessary to take out 'stealth' aircraft

As per standard Russian air defense design doctrine, the S125 uses a separate acquisition and tracking radar which DOES operate at a lower frequency in this case the P15 'Flat Face' which operates in the decimetric wavelength band [which is similar to ATC radar frequency of about 1.2 to 1.4 GHz...ie L band]

As explained previously the acquisition radar serves to find and track the target at long range and cues the engagement radar to scan a precise sector where the acquisition radar has found the target the engagement radar's increased precision [due to its higher frequency and antenna size] then provides pinpoint accuracy to guide the missile

It is this combination of separate radars working together that allows the targeting of low observable aircraft and what the 3′rd Battery did was a textbook example of using the equipment to its full potential despite the fact that this old radar technology was in fact susceptible to jamming, which the Nato forces employed massively

Col Dani also trained his men hard to be able to disassemble their radar and launchers within 90 minutes and load everything up on trucks and move to another location he also exercised strict discipline with regard to emissions allowing the radar to be turned on only for very short bursts at a time about a minute or two at most

This is all textbook Soviet operating procedure and the difference was the exceptional work ethic and competence that Col Dani maintained in his unit

It should be noted here that the Serb air defense was in fact very successful overall war is a game of survival and attrition and what the Serbs accomplished was noted by air combat practitioners

'The air campaign over Kosovo severely affected the readiness rates of the United States Air Force's Air Combat Command during that period. Units in the United States were the most badly affected, as they were were stripped of their personnel and spare parts to support ACC (Air Combat Command) and AMC (Air Mobility Command) units involved in Operation Allied Force.

The Commander of the USAF's Air Combat Command, General Richard E Hawley, outlined this in a speech to reporters on 29 April, 1999.[10] Further, many aircraft will have to be replaced earlier than previously planned, as their planned fatigue life was prematurely expended.

PGM inventories needed to be re-stocked, the warstock of the AGM-86C Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile dropping to 100 or fewer rounds.[11] Of the more than 25,000 bombs and missiles expended, nearly 8,500 were PGMs, with the replacement cost estimated at $US1.3 billion.[12]

Thus the USAF suffered from virtual attrition of its air force without having scored a large number of kills in theatre. Even if the United States' best estimates of Serbian casualties are used, the Serbians left Kosovo with a large part of their armoured forces intact.

–Andrew Martin RAAF [retired]

Incidentally, several years ago the downed USAF pilot Col Dale Zelko, traveled to Serbia to visit the man who shot him down Col Dani a film The Second Meeting was made here is a trailer

PS I will have more to say later, as you have littered this thread with all kinds of technically incorrect crapola

Vojkan , says: October 9, 2018 at 12:25 am GMT
@Johnny Rico NATO failed to defeat the Yugoslav army so NATO targeted Serbian civilians. You have suffered far more losses than you acknowledge so you started killing women and children. You rained the main marked and the main hospital of my hometown with cluster bombs. That's why Serbia accepted UN resolution 1244 and the Kumanovo agreement. Given the ultimatum in Rambouillet, that's not what I would call a capitulation. The only reason Serbia signed was because you threatened to mass murder Serbian civilians. Why would you threaten to massacre civilians if you had so soundly defeated the Yugoslav army? Never have so many American military died during training exercises than during the aggression against Serbia. We consider you to be shit at war. Extremely armed fags who pee in their pants when they face opposition. But believe what you want.
Vojkan , says: October 9, 2018 at 12:44 am GMT
@Kiza The Russians failed to defend Serbia in 1999. That's the Serbian approach.
Why on Earth would Russians defend Serbs who only remember "Russian" brothers when they're in dire straits?
Why would the Russian "love" us more than we "love" them? What is their interest? Because Serbs love "Tolstoevsky"?
Don't blame the Russian for Serbian failures. In true love as in a true contract, you have to give in order to take. Russia has given us a lot with no expectance of return. If she expected anything, we have given her nothing. We aren't Russia's spoiled child.
peterAUS , says: October 9, 2018 at 12:55 am GMT
@Vojkan

NATO failed to defeat the Yugoslav army so NATO targeted Serbian civilians.

Actually, they started to target civilian infrastructure. The objective was to intimidate the regime in Belgrade into surrender by pushing the country towards stone age.

I guess you could be onto something here:

You have suffered far more losses than you acknowledge .

and

Never have so many American military died during training exercises than during the aggression against Serbia.

As for

That's why Serbia accepted UN resolution 1244 and the Kumanovo agreement.

there was a little matter of Russia guaranteeing something too, I guess. While the drunkard was in the Kremlin.

Perceptions aside (Argentinians still believe they sank Royal Navy aircraft carrier in '82, for example) NATO delivered what its political masters wanted at the time.
Serbs lost .BADLY.

That's all what matters, really.

Beefcake the Mighty , says: October 9, 2018 at 1:43 am GMT
@Vojkan Yes. It's pretty much standard American practice to bomb civilian infrastructure immediately, regardless of the degree of resistance put up by the opposing military.
Cyrano , says: October 9, 2018 at 1:48 am GMT
@Vojkan I don't mean to interfere in inter-Serbian squabble, but I'll volunteer an opinion anyway. I think you are exaggerating what Russia has done for Serbia for example. How so? As a proud Balkaneer ( I am exaggerating here a little bit myself – the proud part) I have to say that we in the Balkans have always benefited from the simple fact that usually Russia's enemies are our enemies too, so when Russia takes care of their enemies, they automatically take care of our enemies too.

But I don't think that the Russians would necessarily put their neck on the line for the Balkan Slavs to defend them against enemies that are not their enemies as well. So, unfortunately for Serbia, that equation didn't work for them in the 90's – simply put – Serbia's enemies were not automatically Russia's enemies too. Russia was still trying to be friends with the west. I forgot who it was, but some prominent Russian politician at the time said: "We are not going to start nuclear war with US over Serbia".

But it seems that Serbia is always the canary in the mine – whenever someone attacks Serbia – Russia is next. That's why that buffoon Yeltsin had to go. Friendship with the west was over the moment they attacked Yugoslavia (Serbia). Now the Russia didn't start a nuclear war over Serbia, but they still might have to – to defend themselves, and as always Serbia will benefit from this – if anything is left over from this world after things go nuclear.

Vojkan , says: October 9, 2018 at 1:54 am GMT
@peterAUS Serbs did lose badly. Albeit not on the battlefield. Though there never was a real battlefield.
I have no reason to doubt the accounts of my friends in the military who sought in the rare conversations I've had with them on the subject, to humble down their achievements.
I believe Russians capitalised on the Serb's defeat. I can't blame them for that. No one is responsible for what happened to Serbs, as it happened, but Serbs. They're so keen on making the wrong decisions for the sake of appearing glorious, you can't blame the devil for that. It's their informed choice
Vojkan , says: October 9, 2018 at 2:09 am GMT
@Beefcake the Mighty To be fair, they only did it after they realised that the Serb military were too smart to be depleted by aerial bombardment and that in order to defeat them, you'd have to fight them on the ground. That's why NATO bombarded civilians. On a man to man basis, Serbs and Russians are the best soldiers in the world. No navy seal, no marine, no SAS can match them. Fighting for their homes gives them the little bit of adrenaline needed to prevail.
Vojkan , says: October 9, 2018 at 2:40 am GMT
@Cyrano My point was never "Russians" are our brothers. My point is, whatever cultural, religious or blood affinity I have with the Russians, they have their interests and we have ours. I cannot expect of Russians to defend Serbia for "ses beaux yeaux". The same goes the other way around. To some people Russia has "betrayed" Serbia, to some other Serbia has "betrayed" Russia. Yet the West sees us as one whole, Russia and little "Russia". I didn't ask myself before but now I love Russia infinetely more than the West. Russia has asked me nothing, has given me nothing and is expecting nothing from me.
If we can have a mutually beneficial relationship with Russia, great. We will never have that with the USA or the UK or Germany or France. They're guilty of the spoilation of Serbs' lives and private properties. Russians never spoiled Serbs of anything.

[Oct 09, 2018] How to Maliciously Smear Your Critics (and Not Get Away with It) by C.J. Hopkins

Notable quotes:
"... focus as much attention on the tactics and the motives of the smearers as possible ..."
Oct 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

Because that is precisely how the smear game works. The way it works is, the smearers bait the smearee into defending himself against the defamatory content of the smears. Once the smearee has done that, the smearers have him. From then on, the focus of the debate becomes whether or not the smears are accurate, rather than why he's being smeared, how he's being smeared, and who is smearing him .

This is the smearers' primary objective, i.e., to establish the boundaries of the debate, and to trap the target of the smears within them. If you've followed the fake "Labour Anti-Semitism" scandal, you've witnessed this tactic deployed against Corbyn , who unfortunately fell right into the trap and gave the smearers the upper hand.

No, the only way to effectively counter a smear campaign (whether large-scale or small-scale), is to resist the temptation to profess your innocence, and, instead, focus as much attention on the tactics and the motives of the smearers as possible . It is difficult to resist this temptation, especially when the people smearing you have significantly more power and influence than you do, and are calling you a racist and an anti-Semite, but, trust me, the moment you start defending yourself, the game is over, and the smearers have won.

Peasant , says: October 1, 2018 at 2:20 pm GMT

@Justsaying The evidence is that before Cockburn died Counterpunch would routinely publish articles which were basically honest about Israel (ie not terribly flattering) and now does not (as it states in the article above viewpoints of the extreme left and right ie genuine critique will not be tolerated so only critique from inside established paradigms will be allowed-just like every other media outlet).

Counterpunch used to be outside of the Jewish paradigm (ie it was genuinely leftist) but now will be just another gelded publication. Cockburn did a good job of fending off criticism-Counterpunch was a rather niche publication so it flew under the radar of the Jews.

Counterpunch was routinely critical of the neocons and even pointed out their Jewishness but a lot of liberal Jews did not like the neocons. Israel was and is the real litmus test.

The Guardian always had Alan Rusbridger who I beleive was Jewish. It is not exactly funded by Jewish money- it mainly subsists off of government departments advertising public sector jobs. Before the rise of the internet and gumtree etc it was mainly funded by sales of autotrader a car trading magazine (lol at the nost po faced anti pollution newspaper being funded by the sales of cars).

What changed is that the Jews are no longer able to control the narrative- they used to feel they could afford semi-critical comments about Israel before but not any more. This has gone hand in hand with increased efforts to censor the internet. The Jews were able to infiltrate BDS and subvert it, they were able to use their explicit power to pass anti BDS laws but they were not able to really turn the tide of public opinion. They have resorted to outright censorship.

As you say it is not suprising that Counterpunch was taken over any publication/organisation that wants to work outside of established Jewish limits on intellectual discourse will eventually be subverted. Just look at the British Labour party. Corbyn is an old school lefists (ie he wants to give people options other than the new labour globalist neo liberalism) and a very principaled one. He stands up for the Palestinians (some people say he just does this because of his Muslim constituents but that is not the case-he has always stood up for them) and as a result has been smeared time and time again by the Jewish press.

There is a power struggle in the Labour party (Muslim ethnics weight of numbers vs Jewish money) and it looks like the Jews will win.

It's very sad and like I said I hope the new Counterpunch will fold leaving Cockburn's histroy of excellent journalism unsullied.

[Oct 08, 2018] Tesla to end up like Lehman Brothers once Musk's 'deception' revealed investor

Notable quotes:
"... "the deception is about to catch up to TSLA. Elon's Musk erratic behavior suggests that he sees it the same way." ..."
"... Lehman threatened short sellers, refused to raise capital (it even bought back stock), and management publicly suggested it would go private. Months later, shareholders, creditors, employees and the global economy paid a big price when management's reckless behavior led to bankruptcy." ..."
"... "There are many parallels to TSLA. In 2013, TSLA was on the brink of failure. TSLA's cash reserves fell to a dangerously low level and CEO Elon Musk secretly and desperately tried to sell the company," ..."
"... "Rather than communicating the truth to shareholders, Mr. Musk bluffed his way through the crisis." ..."
"... "large revenue and earnings disappointment" ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | www.rt.com

The 'deception' around electric car maker Tesla will catch up to the company soon, according to hedge fund manager David Einhorn. He compared Elon Musk's behavior to Lehman Brothers executives shortly before the bank's demise. In a letter to investors, Einhorn wrote that like the investment bank that famously collapsed a decade ago "the deception is about to catch up to TSLA. Elon's Musk erratic behavior suggests that he sees it the same way."

According to Einhorn, " Lehman threatened short sellers, refused to raise capital (it even bought back stock), and management publicly suggested it would go private. Months later, shareholders, creditors, employees and the global economy paid a big price when management's reckless behavior led to bankruptcy."

Read more Tesla CEO Elon Musk © Rebecca Cook 'Shortseller Enrichment Commission': Musk mocks SEC over fraud probe

Lehman Brothers was one of the largest investment banks in the US, whose collapse triggered a global financial crisis of 2008. Einhorn is known for his short-selling of Tesla stock. In other words, he makes bets that Tesla shares would fall in price.

Bets against Tesla have been good for Einhorn's Greenlight Capital as the carmaker's stock plunged nearly 25 percent during the third quarter. Einhorn's fund has been burning through money, too – a 25 percent loss for the year despite the record gains in S&P 500.

According to Einhorn, Tesla has been acting in many ways like Lehman Brothers, which attacked Einhorn when he said that the bank was a risk to the financial system. A few months later Lehman collapsed.

"There are many parallels to TSLA. In 2013, TSLA was on the brink of failure. TSLA's cash reserves fell to a dangerously low level and CEO Elon Musk secretly and desperately tried to sell the company," he said. "Rather than communicating the truth to shareholders, Mr. Musk bluffed his way through the crisis."

The hedge fund manager predicts that Tesla would post a "large revenue and earnings disappointment" in its fourth quarter. Tesla has burnt through $3.5 billion since the beginning of the year, but Elon Musk hinted that Tesla may soon be profitable in recent emails to employees that were leaked to the media.

[Oct 08, 2018] CIA Democrats call for aggression against Russia, run pro-war campaigns in 2018 congressional races by Patrick Martin

In other words CIA Democrats actually are running on classic Republican foreign policy platform with some neo-McCarthyism flavor added for appetite. . Such a convergence of two parities.
Notable quotes:
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
Oct 03, 2018 | southfront.org

The Democratic Party is widely favored to win control of the House of Representatives in the US midterm elections November 6, with projections that it will gain 30 to 50 seats, or even more, well above the net gain of 23 required for a majority.

The last time the Democratic Party won control of the House from the Republicans was in 2006, when it captured 30 Republican seats on the basis of a limited appeal to the massive antiwar sentiment among working people after three years of disastrous and bloody warfare in Iraq, and five years after the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

In stark contrast, there is not a hint of an antiwar campaign by the Democratic challengers seeking Republican seats in the 2018 elections. On the contrary, the pronouncements of leading Democrats on foreign policy issues have been strongly pro-war, attacking the Trump administration from the right for its alleged softness on Russia and its hostility to traditional US-led alliances like NATO.

This is particularly true of the 30 Democratic congressional nominees in competitive races who come from a national-security background. These challengers, previously identified by the World Socialist Web Site as the CIA Democrats , constitute the largest single grouping among Democratic nominees in competitive seats, more than state and local officials, lawyers or those wealthy enough to finance their own campaigns.

The 30 national-security candidates include six actual CIA, FBI or military intelligence agents, six State Department or other civilian national security officials, 11 combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, all but one an officer, and seven other military veterans, including pilots, naval officers and military prosecutors (JAGs).

The range of views expressed by these 30 candidates is quite limited. With only one exception, Jared Golden , running in the First District of Maine, the military-intelligence Democrats do not draw any negative conclusions from their experience in leading, planning or fighting in the wars of the past 25 years, including two wars against Iraq, the invasion of Afghanistan, and other military engagements in the Persian Gulf and North and East Africa.

Golden, who is also the only rank-and-file combat veteran -- as opposed to an officer -- and the only one who admits to having suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, criticizes congressional rubber-stamping of the wars of the past 20 years. "Over the past decade and a half, America has spent trillions on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and on other conflicts across the globe," his campaign website declares. "War should be a last resort, and only undertaken when the security interests of America are clearly present, and the risks and costs can be appropriately justified to the American people."

These sentiments hardly qualify as antiwar, but they sound positively radical compared to the materials posted on the websites of many of the other military-intelligence candidates. In some ways, Golden is the exception that proves the rule. What used to be the standard rhetoric of Democratic Party candidates when running against the administration of George W. Bush has been entirely scrapped in the course of the Obama administration, the first in American history to have been engaged in a major military conflict for every day of its eight years.

All the other national-security candidates accept as a basic premise that the United States must maintain its dominant world position. The most detailed foreign policy doctrine appears on the website of Amy McGrath , who is now favored to win her contest against incumbent Republican incumbent Andy Barr in the Sixth Congressional District of Kentucky.

McGrath follows closely the line of the Obama administration and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, supporting the Iran nuclear deal that Trump tore up, embracing Israel, warning of North Korea's development of nuclear weapons, and declaring it "critical that the US work with our allies and partners in the region to counter China's advances" in the South China Sea and elsewhere in Asia.

But Russia is clearly the main target of US national-security efforts, in her view. She writes, "Our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has testified that Russia is the greatest threat to American security. Russia poses an existential threat to the United States due to its nuclear weapons and its behavior in the past several years has been disturbing. Russia's aggression in Georgia, Crimea, Ukraine, and Syria has been alarming. It's becoming more assertive in the Arctic, likely the most important geostrategic zone of competition in the coming decades. The US should consider providing defensive arms to Ukraine and exerting more pressure on Moscow using economic sanctions."

She concludes by calling for an investigation modeled on the 9/11 Commission into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Five other national-security candidates focus on specific warnings about the danger of Russia and China, thus aligning themselves with the new national security orientation set in the most recent Pentagon strategy document, which declares that the principal US national security challenge is no longer the "war on terror," but the prospect of great power conflicts, above all with Russia and China.

Jessica Morse , a former State Department and AID official in Iraq, running in the Fourth District of California, blasts the Trump administration for "giving away global leadership to powers like China and Russia. Our security and our economy will both suffer if those countries are left to re-write the international rules."

Former FBI agent Christopher Hunter , running in the 12th District of Florida, declares, "Russia is a clear and present danger to the United States. We emerged victorious over the Soviet Union in the Cold War. We must resolve anew to secure an uncompromising victory over Russia and its tyrannical regime."

Elissa Slotkin , the former CIA agent and Pentagon official running in Michigan's Eighth Congressional District, cites her 14 years of experience "working on some of our country's most critical national security matters, including U.S.-Russia relations, the counter-ISIS campaign, and the U.S. relationship with NATO." She argues that "the United States must make investments in its military, intelligence, and diplomatic power" in order to maintain "a unique and vital role in the world."

Max Rose , a combat commander in Afghanistan now running in New York's 11th Congressional District (Staten Island and Brooklyn), calls for "recognizing Russia as a hostile foreign power and holding the Kremlin accountable for its attempts to undermine the sovereignty and democratic values of other nations." Rose is still in the military reserves, and took two weeks off from his campaign in August to participate in small-unit drills.

Joseph Kopser , running in the 21st District of Texas, is another anti-Russian firebrand, writing on his website, "As a retired Army Ranger, I know first hand the importance of standing strong with your allies. Given Russia's march toward a totalitarian state showing aggression around the region, as well as their extensive cyber and information warfare campaign directed at the U.S., England, and others, our Article 5 [NATO] commitment to our European allies and partners is more important than ever." He concludes, "Since the mid-twentieth century, the United States has been a principal world leader -- a standard that should never be changed."

Four national-security candidates add North Korea and Iran to China and Russia as specific targets of American military and diplomatic attack.

Josh Welle , a former naval officer who was deployed to Afghanistan, now running in the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey, writes, "We have to stand together in the face of threats from countries like North Korea and Iran. The human rights violations and nuclear capabilities of these countries pose a direct threat to the stability of this world and therefore need to be met with strong military presence and a robust defense program to protect ourselves."

Tom Malinowski , former assistant secretary of state for human rights, running in New Jersey's Seventh District, calls for maintaining economic sanctions on Russia "until it stops its aggression in Ukraine and interference in our democracy ," effusively endorses the state of Israel (whose government actually interferes in US elections more than any other), and calls for stepped up sanctions against North Korea.

Mikie Sherill , a former Navy pilot and Russian policy officer, running in New Jersey's 11th District, writes, "I have sat across the table from the Russians, and know that we need our government to take the threat they pose seriously." She adds to this a warning about "threats posed by North Korea and Iran," the two most immediate targets of military-diplomatic blackmail by the Trump administration. She concludes, referring to North Korea's nuclear program, "For that reason I support a robust military presence in the region and a comprehensive missile defense program to defend America, our allies, and our troops abroad."

Dan McCready , an Iraq war unit commander who claims to have been born again when he was baptized in water from the Euphrates River, calls for war to be waged only "with overwhelming firepower," not "sporadically, with no strategy or end in sight, while our enemies like Iran, North Korea, Russia, and the terrorists outsmart and outlast us." He is running in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District, adjacent to the huge military complex at Fort Bragg.

One military-intelligence candidate cites immigration as a national-security issue, echoing the position of the Trump administration, which constantly peddles scare stories that terrorists are infiltrating the United States disguised as immigrants and refugees. That is Richard Ojeda , running in the Third Congressional District of West Virginia, who publicly boasts of having voted for Trump in 2016, in the same election in which he won a seat in the West Virginia state senate running as a Democrat.

Ojeda writes on his web site, "We must also ensure that terrorists do not reach American soil by abusing our immigration process. We must keep an up to date terror watch list but provide better vetting for those that go onto the watch list."

A career Army Airborne officer, Ojeda voices the full-blown militarism of this social layer. "If there is one thing I am confident in, it is the ability of our nation's military," he declares. "The best way to keep Americans safe is to let our military do their job without muddying up their responsibilities with our political agendas."

He openly rejects control of the military by civilian policy-makers. "War is not a social experiment and I refuse to let politics play a role in my decision making when it comes to keeping you and your family safe," he continues. "I will not take my marching orders from anyone else concerning national security."

Only one of the 30 candidates, Ken Harbaugh , a retired Air Force pilot running in the Seventh Congressional District of Ohio, centered on the industrial city of Canton, acknowledges being part of this larger group. He notes, "In 2018, more vets are running for office than at any moment in my lifetime. Because of the growing inability of Washington to deal responsibly with the threats facing our nation, veterans from both sides of the aisle are stepping into the breach."

Referring to the mounting prospect of war, he writes, "Today, we face our gravest geopolitical challenge since 9/11. Our country remains at war in Afghanistan, we have troops engaged in North Africa, Iraq and Syria, and Russia continues to bully our allies. Meanwhile, North Korea has the ability to directly threaten the American mainland with nuclear missiles." He concludes, "we need leaders with the moral authority to speak on these issues, leaders who have themselves been on the front lines of these challenges."

These statements, taken cumulatively, present a picture of unbridled militarism and aggression as the program of the supposed "opposition" to the Trump administration's own saber-rattling and threats of "fire and fury like the world has never seen."

Perhaps even more remarkable is that the remaining 17 national-security candidates say nothing at all about foreign policy (in 11 cases) or limit themselves to anodyne observations about the necessity to provide adequate health care and other benefits to veterans (two cases), or vague generalities about the need to combine a strong military with diplomatic efforts (four cases). They give no specifics whatsoever.

In other words, while these candidates tout their own records as part of the national-security apparatus as their principal credential for election to Congress, they decline to tell the voters what they would do if they were in charge of American foreign policy.

Given that these 17 include intelligence agents ( Abigail Spanberger and Gina Ortiz Jones ), a National Security Council Iraq war planner ( Andy Kim ), and numerous other high-level State Department and military commanders, the silence can have only the most ominous interpretation.

These CIA Democrats don't want to tell voters about their plans for foreign policy and military intervention because they know these measures are deeply unpopular. They aim to gain office as stealth candidates, unveiling their program of militarism and war only after they take their seats, when they may very well exercise decisive influence in the next Congress.

[Oct 08, 2018] NATO Bombed You To Protect You Stoltenberg Explains 1999 Bombings During Visit To Serbia

Oct 08, 2018 | southfront.org

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says that people having "poor" memories of NATO's 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia are wrong because the military bloc did this to protect civilians and save lives.

"I stressed that we did this to protect civilians and to stop the Milosevic regime," Stoltenberg stated during a meeting with the students of Belgrade University.

The NATO secretary stated further that the bloc supports a "dialogue" between Serbia and its breakaway region [now a self-proclaimed state] of Kosovo. According to him, Belgrade has to "look into the future" for furher cooperation between the two sides.

The attitude showed by Stoltenberg is a common example how the US-NATO propaganda works. Any actions, incluindg illegal military interventions, false flag provocations and mass civilian casualties, are being explained by the need to "defend democracy", "protect civilians" and "save lives".

https://www.youtube.com/embed/2M42BAJAk84?feature=oembed

[Oct 08, 2018] The Final Truth of Russia-gate by Justin Raimondo

Notable quotes:
"... As the hoax unravels, the real story of "foreign collusion" comes out ..."
"... This entire episode has Her Majesty's Secret Service's fingerprints all over it. Steele's key role is plain enough: here was a British spook who was not only hired by the Clinton campaign to dig up dirt on Trump but was unusually passionate about his work – almost as if he'd have done it for free. And then there was the earliest approach to the Trump campaign, made by Cambridge professor and longtime spook Stefan Halper to Carter Page. And then there's the mysterious alleged "link" to Russian intelligence, Professor Joseph Mifsud, whose murky British-based thinktank managed to operate openly despite later claims it was a Russian covert operation. ..."
"... It was Mifsud who orchestrated the Russia-gate hoax, first suggesting that the Russians had Hillary Clinton's emails, and then disappearing into thin air as soon as the story he had planted percolated into plain view. Some "Russian agent"! ..."
"... Trump's decision to walk back his announcement that the key Russia-gate intelligence would be declassified tells us almost as much as if he'd tweeted it out, unredacted. For what it tells us is that public knowledge of the contents would constitute a major break in relations with at least one key ally. ..."
"... So here we have it at last, the final truth of Russia-gate: yes, there was indeed foreign collusion in the 2016 election, but it came from the opposite direction than the media are telling us. We weren't attacked by Russia: a few thousand dollars in Facebook ads that nobody saw did not put Trump in the White House. Our democratic process was undermined, not by the supposedly omnipotent Vladimir Putin but by the intelligence agencies of some of our more beloved "allies." We were attacked by a tag -team, both foreign and domestic, intent on ousting a democratically-elected President by any means necessary. ..."
"... When those subsidies, subventions, and special privileges are threatened, as they are by the nationalist cheapskate Trump, who would gladly demolish the whole decrepit, dated, and dangerous cold war architecture with a wave of his hand. A US President who puts America first? They can't allow it. ..."
"... The global Establishment has risen up against the People. ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

As the hoax unravels, the real story of "foreign collusion" comes out

The conspiracy to overthrow a sitting US President extends far beyond our own "Deep State." As I've been saying in this space for quite some time, it's been an international team effort from the beginning. Setting aside the British origins of the obscene "dossier" compiled by "ex"-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, we now have further confirmation of foreign involvement in President Trump's decision to delay (perhaps indefinitely) the declassification of key Russia-gate documents. While US intelligence officials were expected to oppose the move, "Trump was also swayed by foreign allies, including Britain, in deciding to reverse course, these people said. It wasn't immediately clear what other governments may have raised concerns to the White House."

But of course the Washington Post knows perfectly well which other governments would have reason to raise "concerns" to the White House. It's clear from the public record that the following "allies" have rendered the "Resistance" essential assistance at one time or another:

This is part of the price we pay for our vaunted "empire," and the "liberal international order" the striped-pants set is so on about. As that grizzled old "isolationist" prophet, Garet Garrett, described the insignia of empire at the dawn of the cold war:

"There is yet another sign that defines itself gradually. When it is clearly defined it may be already too late to do anything about it. That is to say, a time comes when Empire finds itself –

"A prisoner of history.

"The history of a Republic is its own history . A Republic may change its course, or reverse it, and that will be its own business., But the history of Empire is a world history, and belongs to many people."

A Republic may restrain itself, wrote Garrett, but "Empire must put forth its power" – on whose behalf? There are many claimants whose wealth, position, and prestige depend on the Imperial largesse. When that claim is threatened, the "satellites" turn against their protector. This is what the Russia-gate covert action -- carried out by coordinated action of our "allies" – is all about. We now have clear evidence of just how far our "client" states are willing go to ensure that the American gravy train of free goodies continues to flow.

Trump's decision to walk back his announcement that the key Russia-gate intelligence would be declassified tells us almost as much as if he'd tweeted it out, unredacted. For what it tells us is that public knowledge of the contents would constitute a major break in relations with at least one key ally.

So here we have it at last, the final truth of Russia-gate: yes, there was indeed foreign collusion in the 2016 election, but it came from the opposite direction than the media are telling us. We weren't attacked by Russia: a few thousand dollars in Facebook ads that nobody saw did not put Trump in the White House. Our democratic process was undermined, not by the supposedly omnipotent Vladimir Putin but by the intelligence agencies of some of our more beloved "allies." We were attacked by a tag -team, both foreign and domestic, intent on ousting a democratically-elected President by any means necessary.

Here is the final irrefutable argument against America as the "world leader," designated champion of the "liberal international order" – we become, as Garrett noted, a prisoner of history. Indeed, we are no longer entitled to write our own history, but must endure the lobbying and aggressive interventions of our ungrateful and spiteful "allies," whose welfare states could not exist without generous US "defense" subsidies.

When those subsidies, subventions, and special privileges are threatened, as they are by the nationalist cheapskate Trump, who would gladly demolish the whole decrepit, dated, and dangerous cold war architecture with a wave of his hand. A US President who puts America first? They can't allow it.

And that's really the essence of the fight, the issue that will determine the woof and warp of American politics in the new millennium. The global Establishment has risen up against the People. There's no telling what the outcome will be, but one thing I know for sure: I know what side I'm on. Do you?

[Oct 08, 2018] The Holes in the Official Skripal Story by Craig Murray

British intelligence services have a lot of things to explain now. But who will ask them ?
Notable quotes:
"... The nub of the British government's approach has been the shocking willingness of the corporate and state media to parrot repeatedly the lie that the nerve agent was Russian made, even after Porton Down said they could not tell where it was made and the OPCW confirmed that finding. ..."
"... What is certainly untrue is that only Russia has a motive. The obvious motive is to attempt to blame and discredit Russia. Those who might wish to do this include Ukraine and Georgia, with both of which Russia is in territorial dispute, and those states and jihadist groups with which Russia is in conflict in Syria. The NATO military industrial complex also obviously has a plain motive for fueling tension with Russia. ..."
"... There is of course the possibility that Skripal was attacked by a private gangster interest with which he was in conflict, or that the attack was linked to Skripal's MI6 handler Pablo Miller's work on the Orbis/Steele Russiagate dossier on Donald Trump. ..."
"... Plainly, the British governments statements that only Russia had the means and only Russia had the motive, are massive lies on both counts. ..."
"... Yet no motive has been adduced for an attack on Yulia or why they would attack while Yulia was visiting – they could have painted his doorknob with less fear of discovery anytime he was alone ..."
"... The incompetence of the assassination beggars belief when compared to British claims of a long term production and training programme. The Russians built the heart of the International Space Station. ..."
"... With Skripal being resettled by MI6, and a former intelligence officer himself, it beggars belief that MI6 did not fit, as standard, some basic security including a security camera on his house. ..."
"... Why did they both touch the outside doorknob in exiting and closing the door? Why did the novichok act so very slowly, with evidently no feeling of ill health for at least five hours, and then how did it strike both down absolutely simultaneously, so that neither can call for help, despite their being different sexes, weights, ages, metabolisms and receiving random completely uncontrolled doses. The odds of that happening are virtually nil. And why was the nerve agent ultimately ineffective? ..."
"... Why was the Detective Sergeant affected and nobody else who attended the house, or the scene where the Skripals were found? Why was Bailey only lightly affected by this extremely deadly substance, of which a tiny amount can kill? ..."
"... I am, with a few simple questions, demolishing what is the most ludicrous conspiracy theory I have ever heard – the Salisbury conspiracy theory being put forward by the British government and its corporate lackies. ..."
"... During a visit to Salisbury and Amesbury, the UK home secretary said: "We don't want to jump to conclusions." but they sure were with the first poisoning. Time will tell. ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | southfront.org

Craig Murray: "The Holes in the Official Skripal Story"

... ... ...

" The nub of the British government's approach has been the shocking willingness of the corporate and state media to parrot repeatedly the lie that the nerve agent was Russian made, even after Porton Down said they could not tell where it was made and the OPCW confirmed that finding. In fact, while the Soviet Union did develop the "novichok" class of nerve agents, the programme involved scientists from all over the Soviet Union, especially Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia, as I myself learnt when I visited the newly decommissioned Nukus testing facility in Uzbekistan in 2002.

Furthermore, it was the USA who decommissioned the facility and removed equipment back to the United States. At least two key scientists from the programme moved to the United States. Formulae for several novichok have been published for over a decade. The USA, UK and Iran have definitely synthesised a number of novichok formulae and almost certainly others have done so too. Dozens of states have the ability to produce novichok, as do many sophisticated non-state actors.

As for motive, the Russian motive might be revenge, but whether that really outweighs the international opprobrium incurred just ahead of the World Cup, in which so much prestige has been invested, is unclear." Craig Murray

What is certainly untrue is that only Russia has a motive. The obvious motive is to attempt to blame and discredit Russia. Those who might wish to do this include Ukraine and Georgia, with both of which Russia is in territorial dispute, and those states and jihadist groups with which Russia is in conflict in Syria. The NATO military industrial complex also obviously has a plain motive for fueling tension with Russia.

There is of course the possibility that Skripal was attacked by a private gangster interest with which he was in conflict, or that the attack was linked to Skripal's MI6 handler Pablo Miller's work on the Orbis/Steele Russiagate dossier on Donald Trump.

Plainly, the British governments statements that only Russia had the means and only Russia had the motive, are massive lies on both counts.

The Russians had been tapping the phone of Yulia Skripal. They decided to attack Sergei Skripal while his daughter was visiting from Moscow.

In an effort to shore up the government narrative, at the time of the Amesbury attack the security services put out through Pablo Miller's long term friend, the BBC's Mark Urban, that the Russians "may have been" tapping Yulia Skripal's phone, and the claim that this was strong evidence that the Russians had indeed been behind the attack.

But think this through. If that were true, then the Russians deliberately attacked at a time when Yulia was in the UK rather than when Sergei was alone. Yet no motive has been adduced for an attack on Yulia or why they would attack while Yulia was visiting – they could have painted his doorknob with less fear of discovery anytime he was alone. Furthermore, it is pretty natural that Russian intelligence would tap the phone of Yulia, and of Sergei if they could. The family of double agents are normal targets. I have no doubt in the least, from decades of experience as a British diplomat, that GCHQ have been tapping Yulia's phone. Indeed, if tapping of phones is seriously put forward as evidence of intent to murder, the British government must be very murderous indeed.

Their trained assassin(s) painted a novichok on the doorknob of the Skripal house in the suburbs of Salisbury. Either before or after the attack, they entered a public place in the centre of Salisbury and left a sealed container of the novichok there.

The incompetence of the assassination beggars belief when compared to British claims of a long term production and training programme. The Russians built the heart of the International Space Station. They can kill an old bloke in Salisbury. Why did the Russians not know that the dose from the door handle was not fatal? Why would trained assassins leave crucial evidence lying around in a public place in Salisbury? Why would they be conducting any part of the operation with the novichok in a public area in central Salisbury?

Why did nobody see them painting the doorknob? This must have involved wearing protective gear, which would look out of place in a Salisbury suburb. With Skripal being resettled by MI6, and a former intelligence officer himself, it beggars belief that MI6 did not fit, as standard, some basic security including a security camera on his house.

The Skripals both touched the doorknob and both functioned perfectly normally for at least five hours, even able to eat and drink heartily. Then they were simultaneously and instantaneously struck down by the nerve agent, at a spot in the city centre coincidentally close to where the assassins left a sealed container of the novichok lying around. Even though the nerve agent was eight times more deadly than Sarin or VX, it did not kill the Skripals because it had been on the doorknob and affected by rain.

Why did they both touch the outside doorknob in exiting and closing the door? Why did the novichok act so very slowly, with evidently no feeling of ill health for at least five hours, and then how did it strike both down absolutely simultaneously, so that neither can call for help, despite their being different sexes, weights, ages, metabolisms and receiving random completely uncontrolled doses. The odds of that happening are virtually nil. And why was the nerve agent ultimately ineffective?

Detective Sergeant Bailey attended the Skripal house and was also poisoned by the doorknob, but more lightly. None of the other police who attended the house were affected.

Why was the Detective Sergeant affected and nobody else who attended the house, or the scene where the Skripals were found? Why was Bailey only lightly affected by this extremely deadly substance, of which a tiny amount can kill?

Four months later, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were rooting about in public parks, possibly looking for cigarette butts, and accidentally came into contact with the sealed container of a novichok. They were poisoned and Dawn Sturgess subsequently died.

If the nerve agent had survived four months because it was in a sealed container, why has this sealed container now mysteriously disappeared again? If Rowley and Sturgess had direct contact straight from the container, why did they not both die quickly? Why had four months searching of Salisbury and a massive police, security service and military operation not found this container, if Rowley and Sturgess could?

I am, with a few simple questions, demolishing what is the most ludicrous conspiracy theory I have ever heard – the Salisbury conspiracy theory being put forward by the British government and its corporate lackies.

My next post will consider some more plausible explanations of this affair.

South Front: Craig Murray The Holes in the Official Skripal Story


RamboDave 3 months ago ,

Has anyone considered if Rowley and Sturgess might in fact be the actual ones that put the novichok on the Skripal's doorknob four months ago? Perhaps paid to do so by Israel or Ukraine?

ruca RamboDave 3 months ago ,

I don't believe that it ever was novichok. All BS from a British hag

Douglas Houck 3 months ago ,

From yesterday's Guardian:

"Searches began on 6 July of Rowley's home and it was not until Wednesday (11th) that the bottle was discovered by officers, who were battling searing sunshine and protective suits to stop them being exposed to the lethal toxin." "...As a precaution Public Health England continues to advise the public not to pick up any strange items such as syringes, needles, cosmetics or similar objects made of materials such as metal, plastic or glass."

Obviously, the bottle was not simply lying around in plain sight. Would appear to be drug related? Strange. Would be nice if the British were more forthcoming. Another interesting bit is why are the British now, not jumping to conclusions?

"Sajid Javid has said there are no plans to impose fresh sanctions on Russia following the latest nerve agent poisoning in Wiltshire.

During a visit to Salisbury and Amesbury, the UK home secretary said: "We don't want to jump to conclusions." but they sure were with the first poisoning. Time will tell.

AM Hants Douglas Houck 3 months ago ,

They are now saying it looked like a bottle of perfume. The story just gets weirder.

Novichok nerve agent that killed a mother-of-three in Salisbury was in a PERFUME bottle she may have sprayed herself with, her poisoned lover's brother reveals
Charlie Rowley, 45, was left fighting for his life after he was exposed to Novichok
His partner Dawn Sturgess, 44, died after she was poisoned by the nerve agent
Matthew Rowley said the poison was in a perfume bottle his brother picked up ... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

So how did the homeless woman's partner come into contact with, but, nobody else? How long does Novochok last, once made up? Hours or months?

Douglas Houck AM Hants 3 months ago ,

Bases on VX (the most similar nerve agent to Novochok) it would last days, except if kept sealed.

It's beginning to look like someone from Porton Down is the source, unless the perfume bottle was used to transport the Novochok into the country and then tossed.

The key is the bottle.

AM Hants Douglas Houck 3 months ago ,

Wonder if the junkies were the source?

albanaich@gmail.com 3 months ago ,

The fundamental flaw in the reasoning of this article is that it assumes the poisoning was meant to be kept secret. If you are going to poison someone with Polonium or Novichuk you are sending a distinct message about where the poison came from.

You could kill someone with alflatoxin and no one would know. There a loads of ways a state player can kill people in an untraceable way,

So the purpose of the poisoning was to send a message - not to eliminate a threat,

Once you see that as the purpose of the poisoning, the question becomes is who wants to tell the world that they can kill at long range and little detection with sophisticated neurochemical weapons. . . .

[Oct 08, 2018] Wilderness of mirrors MI6, the Cold War, spies and traitors from Gordievsky to Skripal by George Galloway

Notable quotes:
"... But Britain recruited Skripal in 1996 when not only was the Soviet Union dead but Russia was ruled by the West's performing bear Boris Yeltsin. And during his presidency, Russia was passed-out on the floor with everyone picking its pockets. ..."
"... What could possibly go wrong? ..."
Oct 03, 2018 | www.rt.com

That the USSR was an existential threat to Western capitalism and colonialism and war – of one kind or another – between these two camps was logical and inevitable. But the Soviet Union is 30 years dead.

Indeed, Gordievsky through Macintyre can – if he's telling the truth – claim that he helped bring about the (brief) end of history and the "final" victory. His claimed role in the rise and rise of Gorbachev's relationship with Mrs Thatcher and, by extension, President Reagan certainly hastened the downfall of the USSR.

But Britain recruited Skripal in 1996 when not only was the Soviet Union dead but Russia was ruled by the West's performing bear Boris Yeltsin. And during his presidency, Russia was passed-out on the floor with everyone picking its pockets.

Why was Britain still fighting the Cold War against Russia in 1996, and why is it still fighting the Cold War against Russia now?

Just this week, the rather effete British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson – a former fireplace salesman – said he was sending 800 shivering British soldiers to the Arctic to be ready to fight Russia there. Amidst the snow. And the ice.

As both Napoleon and Hitler must have said: " What could possibly go wrong? "

George Galloway was a member of the British Parliament for nearly 30 years. He presents TV and radio shows (including on RT). He is a film-maker, writer and a renowned orator.

[Oct 08, 2018] British intelligence now officially a by-word for organized crime by John Wight

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... And what about the possibility of MI5's involvement in, dare we use the term, false flag operations? ..."
"... As someone who abhors the premise of conspiracy theory on principle, the fact that more and more are turning to its warm embrace as an intellectual reflex against what is politely described as the 'official narrative' of events, well this is no surprise when we learn of the egregious machinations of Western intelligence agencies such as Britain's MI5. ..."
"... If any such investigation is to be taken seriously, however, it must include in its remit the power to investigate all possible links between Britain's intelligence community and organisations such as, let's see, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group ? ..."
"... The deafening UK mainstream media and political class silence over the trail connecting 2017 Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi and MI6, Britain's foreign intelligence agency, leaves a lingering stench of intrigue that will not out. The work of investigative journalist Mark Curtis on this sordid relationship is unsurpassed. ..."
"... "The evidence suggests that the barbaric Manchester bombing, which killed 22 innocent people on May 22nd, is a case of blowback on British citizens arising at least partly from the overt and covert actions of British governments." ..."
"... "The evidence points to the LIFG being seen by the UK as a proxy militia to promote its foreign policy objectives. Whitehall also saw Qatar as a proxy to provide boots on the ground in Libya in 2011, even as it empowered hardline Islamist groups." ..."
"... "Both David Cameron, then Prime Minister, and Theresa May – who was Home Secretary in 2011 when Libyan radicals were encouraged to fight Qadafi [Muammar Gaddafi] – clearly have serious questions to answer. We believe an independent public enquiry is urgently needed." ..."
"... In words that echo down to us from ancient Rome, the poet Juvenal taunts our complacency with a question most simple and pertinent: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" Who will guard the guards themselves? ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | www.rt.com

8 Oct, 2018

An intelligence service given free rein to commit 'serious crimes' in its own country is an intelligence service that is the enemy of its people. The quite astounding revelation that Britain's domestic intelligence service, MI5, has enjoyed this very freedom for decades has only just been made public at a special tribunal in London, set up to investigate the country's intelligence services at the behest of a coalition of human rights groups, alleging a pattern of illegality up to and including collusion in murder.

The hitherto MI5 covert policy sanctioning its agents to commit and/or solicit serious crimes, as and when adjudged provident, is known as the Third Direction. This codename has been crafted, it would appear, by someone with a penchant for all things James Bond within an agency whose average operative is more likely to be 5'6" and balding with a paunch and bad teeth than any kind of lantern-jawed 007.

The Pat Finucane Centre , one of the aforementioned human rights groups involved in bringing about this tribunal investigation (Investigatory Powers Tribunal, to give it its Sunday name) into the nefarious activities of Britain's domestic intelligence agency, issued a damning statement in response to the further revelation that former Prime Minister David Cameron introduced oversight guidelines with regard to the MI5 covert third direction policy back in 2012.

Cameron's decision to do so, the group claims, was far from nobly taken:

"It can be no coincidence that Prime Minister David Cameron issued new guidelines, however flawed, on oversight of MI5 just two weeks before publication of the De Silva report into the murder of Pat Finucane. The PM was clearly alive to the alarming evidence which was about to emerge of the involvement of the Security Service in the murder. To date no-one within a state agency has been held accountable. The latest revelations make the case for an independent inquiry all the more compelling."

Pat Finucane, a Belfast Catholic, plied his trade as a human rights lawyer at a time when the right to be fully human was denied the minority Catholic community of the small and enduring outpost of British colonialism in the north east corner of Ireland, otherwise known as Northern Ireland. He was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in 1989, back when the decades-long conflict euphemistically referred to as the Troubles still raged, claiming victims both innocent and not on all sides.

Unlike the vast majority of those killed and murdered in the course of this brutal conflict, Finucane's murder sparked a long and hard fought struggle for justice by surviving family members, friends and campaigners. They allege – rather convincingly, it should be said – that it was carried out with the active collusion of MI5.

Stepping back and casting a wider view over this terrain, the criminal activities of Britain's intelligence services constitute more than enough material for a book of considerable heft. How fortunate then that just such a book has already been written.

In his 'Dead Men Talking: Collusion, Cover Up and Murder in Northern Ireland's Dirty War', author Nicholas Davies "provides information on a number of the killings [during the Troubles], which were authorized at the highest level of MI5 and the British government."

But over and above the crimes of MI5 in Ireland, what else have those doughty defenders of the realm been up to over the years? After all, what is the use of having a license to engage in serious criminal activity, including murder and, presumably, torture, if you're not prepared to use (abuse) it? It begs the question of how many high profile deaths attributed to suicide, natural causes, and accident down through the years have been the fruits of MI5 at work?

And what about the possibility of MI5's involvement in, dare we use the term, false flag operations?

As someone who abhors the premise of conspiracy theory on principle, the fact that more and more are turning to its warm embrace as an intellectual reflex against what is politely described as the 'official narrative' of events, well this is no surprise when we learn of the egregious machinations of Western intelligence agencies such as Britain's MI5.

What we are bound to state, doing so without fear of contradiction, is this particular revelation opens up a veritable Pandora's Box of grim possibilities when it comes to the potential crimes committed by Britain's domestic intelligence agency, ensuring that a full and vigorous investigation and public inquiry is now both necessary and urgent.

If any such investigation is to be taken seriously, however, it must include in its remit the power to investigate all possible links between Britain's intelligence community and organisations such as, let's see, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group ?

The deafening UK mainstream media and political class silence over the trail connecting 2017 Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi and MI6, Britain's foreign intelligence agency, leaves a lingering stench of intrigue that will not out. The work of investigative journalist Mark Curtis on this sordid relationship is unsurpassed.

As Curtis writes,

"The evidence suggests that the barbaric Manchester bombing, which killed 22 innocent people on May 22nd, is a case of blowback on British citizens arising at least partly from the overt and covert actions of British governments."

In the same report he arrives at a conclusion both damning and chilling:

"The evidence points to the LIFG being seen by the UK as a proxy militia to promote its foreign policy objectives. Whitehall also saw Qatar as a proxy to provide boots on the ground in Libya in 2011, even as it empowered hardline Islamist groups."

Finally: "Both David Cameron, then Prime Minister, and Theresa May – who was Home Secretary in 2011 when Libyan radicals were encouraged to fight Qadafi [Muammar Gaddafi] – clearly have serious questions to answer. We believe an independent public enquiry is urgently needed."

In words that echo down to us from ancient Rome, the poet Juvenal taunts our complacency with a question most simple and pertinent: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" Who will guard the guards themselves?

Edward R Murrow puts it rather more bluntly: "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves."

Sooner or later, people in Britain are going to have to wake up to who the real enemy is.

Read more

John Wight has written for a variety of newspapers and websites, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal.

[Oct 08, 2018] Hacking and Propaganda by Marcus Ranum

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There has been an ongoing campaign on the part of the US, to get out the idea that China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have massive armies of hackers that are constantly looking to steal American secrets. The absurdity of the US' claims is pretty obvious. As I pointed out in my book The Myth of Homeland Security ..."
"... "The Great US/China Cyberwar of 2010" is one cyberwar that didn't happen, but was presaged with a run-up of lots of claims that the Chinese were hacking all over the place. I'm perfectly willing to accept the possibility that there was Chinese hacking activity, but in the industry there was no indication of an additional level of attack or significance. ..."
"... One thing that did ..."
"... US ideology is that "we don't start wars" -- it's always looking for an excuse to go to war under the rubric of self-defense, so I see these sorts of claims as justification in advance for unilateral action. I also see it as a sign of weakness; if the US were truly the superpower it claims it is, it would simply accept its imperial mantle and stop bothering to try to justify anything. I'm afraid we may be getting close to that point. ..."
"... My assumption has always been that the US is projecting its own actions on other nations. At the time when the US was talking the loudest about Chinese cyberwar, the US and Israel had launched STUXNET against the Iranian enrichment plant at Natanz, and the breeder reactor at Bushehr (which happens to be just outside of a large city; the attack took some of its control systems and backup generators offline). Attacks on nuclear power facilities are a war crime under international humanitarian law, which framework the US is signatory to but has not committed to actually follow. This sort of activity happens at the same time that the US distributes talking-points to the media about the danger of Russian hackers crashing the US power grid. I don't think we can psychoanalyze an entire government and I think psychoanalysis is mostly nonsense -- but it's tempting to accuse the US of "projection." ..."
"... All of this stuff happens against the backdrop of Klein, Binney, Snowden, and the Vault 7 revelations, as well as solid attribution identifying the NSA as "equation group" and linking the code-tree of NSA-developed malware to STUXNET, FLAME, and DUQU. ..."
"... the US has even admitted to deploying STUXNET -- Obama bragged about it. When Snowden's revelations outlined how the NSA had eavesdropped on Angela Merkel's cellphone, the Germans expressed shock and Barack Obama remarkably truthfully said "that's how these things are done" and blew the whole thing off by saying that the NSA wasn't eavesdropping on Merkel any more. [ bbc ] ..."
"... It's hard to keep score because everything is pretty vague, but it sounds like the US has been dramatically out-spending and out-acting the other nations that it accuses of being prepared for cyberwar. ..."
"... it's hard not to see the US is prepared for cyberwar, when both the NSA and the CIA leak massive collections of advanced tools. ..."
"... My observation is that the NSA and CIA have been horribly sloppy and have clearly spent a gigantic amount of money preparing to compromise both foreign and domestic systems -- that's bad enough. With friends like the NSA and CIA, who needs Russians and Chinese? ..."
"... The Russian and Chinese efforts are relatively tiny compared to the massive efforts the US expends tens of billions of dollars on. The US spends about $50bn on its intelligence agencies, while the entire Russian Department of Defense budget is about $90bn (China is around $139bn) -- maybe the Russians and Chinese have such a small footprint because they are much smaller operations? ..."
"... That brings us to the recent kerfuffle about taps on the Supermicro motherboards. That's not unbelievable at all -- not in a world where we discover that Intel has built a parallel management CPU into every CPU since 2008, and that there is solid indications that other processors have similar backdoors. ..."
"... There are probably so many backdoors in our systems that it's a miracle it works at all. ..."
"... So, with respect to "propaganda" I would say that the US intelligence community has been consistently pushing a propaganda agenda against the US government, and the citizens in order to justify its actions and defend its budget. ..."
"... What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes. ..."
"... Funny how those obsessed with "false flag" operations work so hard to invite more of same. ..."
Oct 07, 2018 | freethoughtblogs.com

Bob Moore asks me to comment on an article about propaganda and security/intelligence. [ article ] This is going to be a mixture of opinion and references to facts; I'll try to be clear which is which.

Yesterday several NATO countries ran a concerted propaganda campaign against Russia. The context for it was a NATO summit in which the U.S. presses for an intensified cyberwar against NATO's preferred enemy.

On the same day another coordinated campaign targeted China. It is aimed against China's development of computer chip manufacturing further up the value chain. Related to this is U.S. pressure on Taiwan, a leading chip manufacturer, to cut its ties with its big motherland.

It is true that the US periodically makes a big push regarding "messaging" about hacking. Whether or not it constitutes a "propaganda campaign" depends on how we choose to interpret things and the labels we attach to them -- "propaganda campaign" has a lot of negative connotations and one person's "outreach effort" is an other's "propaganda." An ultra-nationalist or an authoritarian submissive who takes the government's word for anything would call it "outreach."

There has been an ongoing campaign on the part of the US, to get out the idea that China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have massive armies of hackers that are constantly looking to steal American secrets. The absurdity of the US' claims is pretty obvious. As I pointed out in my book The Myth of Homeland Security (2004) [ wc ] claims such as that the Chinese had "40,000 highly trained hackers" are flat-out absurd and ignore the reality of hacking; that's four army corps. Hackers don't engage in "human wave" attacks.

"The Great US/China Cyberwar of 2010" is one cyberwar that didn't happen, but was presaged with a run-up of lots of claims that the Chinese were hacking all over the place. I'm perfectly willing to accept the possibility that there was Chinese hacking activity, but in the industry there was no indication of an additional level of attack or significance.

One thing that did happen in 2010 around the same time as the nonexistent cyberwar was China and Russia proposed trilateral talks with the US to attempt to define appropriate limits on state-sponsored hacking. The US flatly rejected the proposal, but there was virtually no coverage of that in the US media at the time. The UN also called for a cyberwar treaty framework, and the effort was killed by the US. [ wired ] What's fascinating and incomprehensible to me is that, whenever the US feels that its ability to claim pre-emptive cyberwar is challenged, it responds with a wave of claims about Chinese (or Russian or North Korean) cyberwar aggression.

John Negroponte, former director of US intelligence, said intelligence agencies in the major powers would be the first to "express reservations" about such an accord.

US ideology is that "we don't start wars" -- it's always looking for an excuse to go to war under the rubric of self-defense, so I see these sorts of claims as justification in advance for unilateral action. I also see it as a sign of weakness; if the US were truly the superpower it claims it is, it would simply accept its imperial mantle and stop bothering to try to justify anything. I'm afraid we may be getting close to that point.

My assumption has always been that the US is projecting its own actions on other nations. At the time when the US was talking the loudest about Chinese cyberwar, the US and Israel had launched STUXNET against the Iranian enrichment plant at Natanz, and the breeder reactor at Bushehr (which happens to be just outside of a large city; the attack took some of its control systems and backup generators offline). Attacks on nuclear power facilities are a war crime under international humanitarian law, which framework the US is signatory to but has not committed to actually follow. This sort of activity happens at the same time that the US distributes talking-points to the media about the danger of Russian hackers crashing the US power grid. I don't think we can psychoanalyze an entire government and I think psychoanalysis is mostly nonsense -- but it's tempting to accuse the US of "projection."

The anti-Russian campaign is about alleged Russian spying, hacking and influence operations. Britain and the Netherland took the lead. Britain accused Russia's military intelligence service (GRU) of spying attempts against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague and Switzerland, of spying attempts against the British Foreign Office, of influence campaigns related to European and the U.S. elections, and of hacking the international doping agency WADA. British media willingly helped to exaggerate the claims: [ ]

The Netherland [sic] for its part released a flurry of information about the alleged spying attempts against the OPCW in The Hague. It claims that four GRU agents traveled to The Hague on official Russian diplomatic passports to sniff out the WiFi network of the OPCW. (WiFi networks are notoriously easy to hack. If the OPCW is indeed using such it should not be trusted with any security relevant issues.) The Russian officials were allegedly very secretive, even cleaning out their own hotel trash, while they, at the same, time carried laptops with private data and even taxi receipts showing their travel from a GRU headquarter in Moscow to the airport. Like in the Skripal/Novichok saga the Russian spies are, at the same time, portrayed as supervillains and hapless amateurs. Real spies are neither.

The U.S. Justice Department added to the onslaught by issuing new indictments (pdf) against alleged GRU agents dubiously connected to several alleged hacking incidents . As none of those Russians will ever stand in front of a U.S. court the broad allegations will never be tested.

There's a lot there, and I think the interpretation is a bit over-wrought, but it's mostly accurate. The US and the UK (and other NATO allies, as necessary) clearly coordinate when it comes to talking points. Claims of Chinese cyberwar in the US press will be followed by claims in the UK and Australian press, as well. My suspicion is that this is not the US Government and UK Government coordinating a story -- it's the intelligence agencies doing it. My opinion is that the intelligence services are fairly close to a "deep state" -- the CIA and NSA are completely out of control and the CIA has gone far toward building its own military, while the NSA has implemented completely unrestricted surveillance worldwide.

All of this stuff happens against the backdrop of Klein, Binney, Snowden, and the Vault 7 revelations, as well as solid attribution identifying the NSA as "equation group" and linking the code-tree of NSA-developed malware to STUXNET, FLAME, and DUQU. While the attribution that "Fancy Bear is the GRU" has been made and is probably fairly solid, the attribution of NSA malware and CIA malware is rock solid; the US has even admitted to deploying STUXNET -- Obama bragged about it. When Snowden's revelations outlined how the NSA had eavesdropped on Angela Merkel's cellphone, the Germans expressed shock and Barack Obama remarkably truthfully said "that's how these things are done" and blew the whole thing off by saying that the NSA wasn't eavesdropping on Merkel any more. [ bbc ]

It's hard to keep score because everything is pretty vague, but it sounds like the US has been dramatically out-spending and out-acting the other nations that it accuses of being prepared for cyberwar. I tend to be extremely skeptical of US claims because: bomber gap, missile gap, gulf of Tonkin, Iraq WMD, Afghanistan, Libya and every other aggressive attack by the US which was blamed on its target. The reason I assume the US is the most aggressive actor in cyberspace is because the US has done a terrible job of protecting its tool-sets and operational security: it's hard not to see the US is prepared for cyberwar, when both the NSA and the CIA leak massive collections of advanced tools.

Meanwhile, where are the leaks of Russian and Chinese tools? They have been few and far between, if there have been any at all. Does this mean that the Russians and Chinese have amazingly superior tradecraft, if not tools? I don't know. My observation is that the NSA and CIA have been horribly sloppy and have clearly spent a gigantic amount of money preparing to compromise both foreign and domestic systems -- that's bad enough. With friends like the NSA and CIA, who needs Russians and Chinese?

The article does not have great depth to its understanding of the situation, I'm afraid. So it comes off as a bit heavy on the recent news while ignoring the long-term trends. For example:

The allegations of Chinese supply chain attacks are of course just as hypocritical as the allegations against Russia. The very first know case of computer related supply chain manipulation goes back to 1982 :

A CIA operation to sabotage Soviet industry by duping Moscow into stealing booby-trapped software was spectacularly successful when it triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian gas pipeline, it emerged yesterday.

I wrote a piece about the "Farewell Dossier" in 2004. [ mjr ] Re-reading it, it comes off as skeptical but waffly. I think that it's self-promotion by the CIA and exaggerates considerably ("look how clever we are!") at a time when the CIA was suffering an attention and credibility deficit after its shitshow performance under George Tenet. But the first known cases of computer related supply chain manipulation go back to the 70s and 80s -- the NSA even compromised Crypto AG's Hagelin M-209 system (a mechanical ciphering machine) in order to read global communications encrypted with that product. You can imagine Crypto AG's surprise when the Iranian secret police arrested one of their sales reps for selling backdoor'd crypto -- the NSA had never told them about the backdoor, naturally. The CIA was also on record for producing Xerox machines destined for the USSR, which had recorders built into them So, while the article is portraying the historical sweep of NSA dirty tricks, they're only looking at the recent ones. Remember: the NSA also weakened the elliptic curve crypto library in RSA's Bsafe implementation, paying RSADSI $13 million to accept their tweaked code.

Why haven't we been hearing about the Chinese and Russians doing that sort of thing? There are four options:

  1. The Russians and Chinese are doing it, they're just so darned good nobody has caught them until just recently.
  2. The Russians and Chinese simply resort to using existing tools developed by the hacking/cybercrime community and rely on great operational security rather than fancy tools.
  3. The Russian and Chinese efforts are relatively tiny compared to the massive efforts the US expends tens of billions of dollars on. The US spends about $50bn on its intelligence agencies, while the entire Russian Department of Defense budget is about $90bn (China is around $139bn) -- maybe the Russians and Chinese have such a small footprint because they are much smaller operations?
  4. Something else.

That brings us to the recent kerfuffle about taps on the Supermicro motherboards. That's not unbelievable at all -- not in a world where we discover that Intel has built a parallel management CPU into every CPU since 2008, and that there is solid indications that other processors have similar backdoors.

Was the Intel IME a "backdoor" or just "a bad idea"? Well, that's tricky. Let me put my tinfoil hat on: making a backdoor look like a sloppily developed product feature would be the competent way to write a backdoor. Making it as sneaky as the backdoor in the Via is unnecessary -- incompetence is eminently believable.

&

(kaspersky)

I believe all of these stories (including the Supermicro) are the tip of a great big, ugly iceberg. The intelligence community has long known that software-only solutions are too mutable, and are easy to decompile and figure out. They have wanted to be in the BIOS of systems -- on the motherboard -- for a long time. If you go back to 2014, we have disclosures about the NSA malware that hides in hard drive BIOS: [ vice ] [ vice ] That appears to have been in progress around 2000/2001.

Of note, the group recovered two modules belonging to EquationDrug and GrayFish that were used to reprogram hard drives to give the attackers persistent control over a target machine. These modules can target practically every hard drive manufacturer and brand on the market, including Seagate, Western Digital, Samsung, Toshiba, Corsair, Hitachi and more. Such attacks have traditionally been difficult to pull off, given the risk in modifying hard drive software, which may explain why Kaspersky could only identify a handful of very specific targets against which the attack was used, where the risk was worth the reward.

But Equation Group's malware platforms have other tricks, too. GrayFish, for example, also has the ability to install itself into computer's boot record -- software that loads even before the operating system itself -- and stores all of its data inside a portion of the operating system called the registry, where configuration data is normally stored.

EquationDrug was designed for use on older Windows operating systems, and "some of the plugins were designed originally for use on Windows 95/98/ME" -- versions of Windows so old that they offer a good indication of the Equation Group's age.

This is not a very good example of how to establish a "malware gap" since it just makes the NSA look like they are incapable of keeping a secret. If you want an idea how bad it is, Kaspersky labs' analysis of the NSA's toolchain is a good example of how to do attribution correctly. Unfortunately for the US agenda, that solid attribution points toward Fort Meade in Maryland. [kaspersky]

Let me be clear: I think we are fucked every which way from the start. With backdoors in the BIOS, backdoors on the CPU, and wireless cellular-spectrum backdoors, there are probably backdoors in the GPUs and the physical network controllers, as well. Maybe the backdoors in the GPU come from the GRU and maybe the backdoors in the hard drives come from NSA, but who cares? The upshot is that all of our systems are so heinously compromised that they can only be considered marginally reliable. It is, literally, not your computer: it's theirs. They'll let you use it so long as your information is interesting to them.

Do I believe the Chinese are capable of doing such a thing? Of course. Is the GRU? Probably. Mossad? Sure. NSA? Well-documented attribution points toward NSA. Your computer is a free-fire zone. It has been since the mid 1990s, when the NSA was told "no" on the Clipper chip and decided to come up with its own Plan B, C, D, and E. Then, the CIA came up with theirs. Etc. There are probably so many backdoors in our systems that it's a miracle it works at all.

From my 2012 RSA conference lecture "Cyberwar, you're doing it wrong."

The problem is that playing in this space is the purview of governments. Nobody in the cybercrime or hacking world need tools like these. The intelligence operatives have huge budgets, compared to a typical company's security budget, and it's unreasonable to expect any business to invest such a level of effort on defending itself. So what should companies do? They should do exactly what they are doing: expect the government to deal with it; that's what governments are for. The problem with that strategy is that their government isn't on their side, either! It's Hobbes' playground.

In case you think I am engaging in hyperbole, I assure you I am not. If you want another example of the lengths (and willingness to bypass the law) "they" are willing to go, consider 'stingrays' that are in operation in every major US city and outside of every interesting hotel and high tech park. Those devices are not passive -- they actively inject themselves into the call set-up between your phone and your carrier -- your data goes through the stingray, or it doesn't go at all. If there are multiple stingrays, then your latency goes through the roof. "They" don't care. Are the stingrays NSA, FBI, CIA, Mossad, GRU, or PLA? Probably a bit of all of the above depending on where and when.

Whenever the US gets caught with its pants down around its ankles, it blames the Chinese or the Russians because they have done a good job of building the idea that the most serious hackers on the planet at the Chinese. I don't believe that we're seeing complex propaganda campaigns that are tied to specific incidents -- I think we see ongoing organic propaganda campaigns that all serve the same end: protect the agencies, protect their budgets, justify their existence, and downplay their incompetence.

So, with respect to "propaganda" I would say that the US intelligence community has been consistently pushing a propaganda agenda against the US government, and the citizens in order to justify its actions and defend its budget.

The government also engages in propaganda, and is influenced by the intelligence community's propaganda as well. And the propaganda campaigns work because everyone involved assumes, "well, given what the NSA has been able to do, I should assume the Chinese can do likewise." That's a perfectly reasonable assumption and I think it's probably true that the Chinese have capabilities. The situation is what Chuck Spinney calls "A self-licking ice cream cone" -- it's a justifying structure that makes participation in endless aggression seem like a sensible thing to do. And, when there's inevitably a disaster, it's going to be like a cyber-9/11 and will serve as a justification for even more unrestrained aggression.


Want to see what it looks like? A thousand thanks to Commentariat member [redacted] for this link. If you don't like video, there's an article here. [ toms ]

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

Is this an NSA backdoor, or normal incompetence? Is Intel Management Engine an NSA-inspired backdoor, or did some system engineers at Intel think that was a good idea? There are other scary indications of embedded compromise: the CIA's Vault7 archive included code that appeared to be intended to embed in the firmware of "smart" flatscreen TVs. That would make every LG flat panel in every hotel room, a listening device just waiting to be turned on.

We know the Chinese didn't do that particular bug but why wouldn't they do something similar, in something else? China is the world's oldest mature culture -- they literally wrote the book on strategy -- Americans acting as though it's a great surprise to learn that the Chinese are not stupid, it's just the parochialism of a 250 year-old culture looking at a 3,000 year-old culture and saying "wow, you guys haven't been asleep at the switch after all!"

WIRED on cyberspace treaties [ wired ]

Comments
  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    October 6, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes.

    Funny how those obsessed with "false flag" operations work so hard to invite more of same.

  2. Marcus Ranum says

    October 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Pierce R. Butler@#1:
    What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes.

    Yes. Since 2001, as far as most of us can tell, federal cybersecurity spend has been 80% offense, 20% defense. And a lot of the offensive spend has been aimed at We, The People.

  3. Cat Mara says

    October 6, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Your mention of Operation Sundevil and Kevin Mitnick in a previous post made me think that maybe the reason we haven't seen the kind of leaks from the Russian and Chinese hacking operations that we've seem from the NSA is that they're running a "Kevin Mitnick style" operation; that is, relying less on technical solutions and using instead old-fashioned "social engineering" and other low-tech forms of espionage (like running troll farms on social media). I mean, I've seen interviews with retired US intelligence people since the 90s complain that since the late 1980s, the intelligence agencies have been crippled by management in love with hi-tech "SIGINT" solutions to problems that never deliver and neglecting old-fashioned "HUMINT" intelligence-gathering.

    The thing is, Kevin Mitnick got away with a lot of what he did because people didn't take security seriously then, and still don't. On a similar nostalgia vibe, I remember reading an article by Keith Bostic (one of the researchers who helped in the analysis of the Morris worm that took down a significant chunk of the Internet back in 1988) where he did a follow-up a year or so afterwards and some depressing number of organisations that had been hit by it still hadn't patched the holes that had let the worm infect them in the first place.

  4. Marcus Ranum says

    October 6, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Cat Mara@#3:
    Your mention of Operation Sundevil and Kevin Mitnick in a previous post made me think that maybe the reason we haven't seen the kind of leaks from the Russian and Chinese hacking operations that we've seem from the NSA is that they're running a "Kevin Mitnick style" operation; that is, relying less on technical solutions and using instead old-fashioned "social engineering" and other low-tech forms of espionage (like running troll farms on social media).

    I think that's right, to a high degree. What if Edward Snowden was an agent provocateur instead of a well-meaning naive kid? A tremendous amount of damage could be done, as well as stealing the US' expensive toys. The Russians have been very good at doing exactly that sort of operation, since WWII. The Chinese are, if anythi