"This unconstrained Russian state also has destroyed Western wealth (happily stolen
under Yeltsin gang rule-- NNB) and discouraged investment by arbitrarily enforcing environmental
regulations against foreign oil investors, shutting out foreign partners in the development
of the Shtokman gas field, and denying a visa to the largest portfolio investor in Russia,
British citizen William Browder." - M. McFaul,
May 17, 2007 House Committee on International Relations, Russia Rebuilding the Iron Curtain
"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
Liberty Doctrine Hoover Institution
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)
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
"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
"Putin is the new Hitler";
The "Russia is a primitive country that should be contained at all costs";
"All Russian are mobsters";
"Russians must pay the price for support of the Putin regime",
The hysterical claim that "Putin is Stalin, Jr.,
Let's restart the Cold War"
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
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
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
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.
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
Also in case of JFK assassination, the patsy was chosen in a way that makes it easy to implicate
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
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).
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
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
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:
Their journalists tend to obfuscate facts and concrete numbers with rumors and assumptions;
they share their biases with those of the liberal opposition who are their most frequent interlocutors,
and reflect an ignorance of the broad ideological diversity across Russian politics and media;
and they frequently condemn Russia for things that just as prevalent or even more so in countries
considered Western and democratic.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Russophobia is a form of racism and studies of other forms of racism such as anti-Semitism are applicable
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
of Russian language and culture
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
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 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.
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
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 ).
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
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.
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.
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".
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?
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this context, recovering Crimea was a mirage, an illusion.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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 Zionistscan 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
Zionistsglobalization. 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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:
...."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".
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
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." Chapter One: Characteristics
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." 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. 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. 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
"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"
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. 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.
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."
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.
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
"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." 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." 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. 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.
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.
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." 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."
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."
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." 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  Brainwashing Conformity Ideology Indoctrination Media manipulation Mind control
Propaganda Psychological manipulation Psychological warfare Social Influence Socially constructed
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
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.
"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.
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.
"... McFaul: "Russia made the whole story up." Typical projection. And Browder only became a critic of Putin (the russian justice system) after his criminal enterprise was uncovered. ..."
"... As a "red blooded, Bible believing American", one who has served under oath, and know the duties and penalties, I suggest it's perhaps the best "diplomatic move" seen since Mr. Putin took up the Secretary of State's offer, took Syria's chemical weapons, and took up truly ridding the Nation of terrorists, both those of Saudi, and those my own government made. ..."
This is pure brilliance on Russia's part. It wont happen, but it draws attention to
the Browder story, and discredits McFaul by association. Very smart. Update : It
appears Michael McFaul is really getting nervous, tweeting like a teenager on meth tonight:
"I hope the White House corrects the record and denounces in categorical terms this
ridiculous request from Putin. Not doing so creates moral equivalency between a legitimacy US
indictment of Russian intelligence officers and a crazy, completely fabricated story invented
With The White House flip-flopping back and forth on what was actually said - and meant to
be said - in Helsinki, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dropped the latest tape-bomb to
blow the establishment's mind during to today's press conference.
Sanders reported that President Trump is open to a proposal from Vladimir Putin to let
Russian authorities question the former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul .
While Trump reportedly made no commitments to Putin, the Russian president offered to allow
Special Counsel Robert Mueller to observe interrogations of the 12 Russian intelligence agents
indicted by a U.S. grand jury last week for hacking Democratic Party email accounts.
Trump called it an "interesting idea" and an "incredible offer" at the news conference.
Sanders left the press corps dangling by concluding that:
"The president will work with his team and we'll let you know if there's an announcement
on that front."
As The Hill reports, Russia state-owned outlet RT reported that
Russia wanted to question McFaul and the author of the so-called Steele dossier, Christopher
Steele, among others in its investigation into American financier Bill Browder.
Browder is a prominent critic of Putin who lobbied on behalf of the Magnitsky Act, which
imposed sanctions against Russia.
McFaul has denounced the possibility of his being questioned by Russian officials, and has
called on Trump to condemn the proposal .
"Putin has been harassing me for a long time," McFaul said
on Twitter on Wednesday.
"That he now wants to arrest me, however, takes it to a new level. I expect my government
to defend me and my colleagues in public and private ."
And went on...
Does he seem nervous to you?
Source: Zero HedgePutin Asked Trump Permission to Interrogate Obama's Ambassador This is pure brilliance
on Russia's part. It wont happen, but it draws attention to the Browder story, and discredits
McFaul by association. Very smart. Tyler Durden 11 hours ago | 1,727
41 MORE: Politics Update : It appears Michael
McFaul is really getting nervous, tweeting like a teenager on meth tonight:
"I hope the White House corrects the record and denounces in categorical terms this
ridiculous request from Putin. Not doing so creates moral equivalency between a legitimacy US
indictment of Russian intelligence officers and a crazy, completely fabricated story invented
With The White House flip-flopping back and forth on what was actually said - and meant to
be said - in Helsinki, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dropped the latest tape-bomb to
blow the establishment's mind during to today's press conference.
Sanders reported that President Trump is open to a proposal from Vladimir Putin to let
Russian authorities question the former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul .
While Trump reportedly made no commitments to Putin, the Russian president offered to allow
Special Counsel Robert Mueller to observe interrogations of the 12 Russian intelligence agents
indicted by a U.S. grand jury last week for hacking Democratic Party email accounts.
Trump called it an "interesting idea" and an "incredible offer" at the news conference.
Sanders left the press corps dangling by concluding that:
"The president will work with his team and we'll let you know if there's an announcement
on that front."
As The Hill reports, Russia state-owned outlet RT reported that
Russia wanted to question McFaul and the author of the so-called Steele dossier, Christopher
Steele, among others in its investigation into American financier Bill Browder.
Browder is a prominent critic of Putin who lobbied on behalf of the Magnitsky Act, which
imposed sanctions against Russia.
McFaul has denounced the possibility of his being questioned by Russian officials, and has
called on Trump to condemn the proposal .
"Putin has been harassing me for a long time," McFaul said
on Twitter on Wednesday.
"That he now wants to arrest me, however, takes it to a new level. I expect my government
to defend me and my colleagues in public and private ."
I did like this one review of your insightful book, Mr. McFoul. If I send you the
review, will you sign it? I'd be honored. Russia's Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin By Michael McFaul, Cornell University Press, 2001
This book is a four-hundred page testimonial to the intellectual and moral bankruptcy
of the American Russia-watching mafia. In its pages, Michael McFaul condemns himself
again and again with staggering non-sequiturs, self-serving lies, crude
misrepresentations of his own past and the recent history of Russia, and repeated
failures to meet even the most basic standards of academic rigor.
Mr McFaul seems to be unfamiliar with the concept of law and a justice system. If he
is indicted by the Russian courts and required for questioning, why is that any different
from Russian "suspects" being indicted by US courts and required for questioning? Until the justice system has made its inquiries and run its course, no one can know
for sure whether Mr McFaul is guilty of crimes or not. So why does he demand total immunity from justice in such a peremptory, entitled
Surely it can't be because he feels that Americans are in any way "superior",
"exceptional", or immune from justice? Surely Mr McFaul isn't a crude common-or-garden racist? Surely...?
The rub here is the ambassador enjoys diplomatic immunity from prosecution for events
that might have occurred during his tenure in Moscow from Russian courts. If the Trump
DOJ decides he should face the music then he has no immunity.
Your third question answers your second question almost perfectly. Because he feels that Americans are in every way "superior", "exceptional", and should
be immune from justice, no matter how heinous the crimes they have committed.
There fixed it for ya. :-)
What a circus and what a lot of clowns. As they say, nobody is above the law or at least they shouldn't be. I would say that Mr McFaul does protest too much and judging by his rattled statements
appears that he has something to hide. Getting back to basics where is the $400K and how did it get there and did any
go missing on the way?
Earl Browder was lauding Soviet Russia and its successes. He didn't fleece the Russian
people. His grandson is a parasite that hates Russia and has siphoned his ill-gotten
gains from the country. No comparison.
The interesting side of the story is Trump can say yes as president. Not much Michael
McFaul can do then?
It will turn MSM Media upside down.
Btw. NSA can give tips to the Russians about what to ask. They know everything.
Assad probably would also like to question McCain regarding illegal stay in Syria
Pay Back Time: Puppeticians will be taken out... One at the time...the Longer the Fun
will Last...Russia just make all their Lies Visible... it is a very Strong Weapon...
People are Tired and fed up with Liars, Traitors & Deceivers... Yesterday they caught
our Foreign Minister Blok with some nice Statements...He's like a gut-Shot animal at the
moment...one more Trick and He is Exit....just keep an eye on him...
Stef Blok... You are a complete idiot... take your stuff and Buzz Off...the IMF or the
European Union always can use Some Retarded Ex-Puppeticians Like You...
"Trump invited Putin to Washington for summit: White House".
Washington: President Donald Trump invited Russian leader Vladimir Putin to Washington
for a summit in the northern autumn.
"In Helsinki, @POTUS agreed to ongoing working level dialogue between the two security
council staffs," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a tweet on Thursday.
"President Trump asked @AmbJohnBolton to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall
and those discussions are already underway.
Sanders announced the invitation less than an hour after the
Republican-led Senate effectively rebuked President Donald Trump for considering Russia's
request to question US officials, giving voice to growing unease over the president's
relationship with Putin following their summit in Helsinki on Monday...
As a "red blooded, Bible believing American", one who has served under oath, and know
the duties and penalties, I suggest it's perhaps the best "diplomatic move" seen since
Mr. Putin took up the Secretary of State's offer, took Syria's chemical weapons, and took
up truly ridding the Nation of terrorists, both those of Saudi, and those my own
I was afraid for a bit, Syria was going to be broken, and I've served
beside Syrian Army in Beirut, I respect them highly, consider them among the best
professionals, as the world can easily see they are, and I hate what a criminal cadre are
doing to my Country, while we enjoy our sit/coms and beer, and eat snacks and get
God Bless Russia and President Putin, "it take's a man to make a man", is an old saying,
and the same is true for Nations, I expect.
Vanceboro, NC, USA
You did not understand the proposal. Russian police interrogates the indicted Russian
officials, and Mueller and team can be given permission to enter Russia and watch the
interrogations. American police interrogates Browder and accomplices, and Russian police
can be given permission to enter the US and watch the proceedings. Completely fair and
transparent, according to existing Treaty between the 2 countries. Nobody can be
extradited, because there is no extradition treaty between the countries.
"... The governments of Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, if their countries are to survive, must give up their deluded hopes of reaching agreements with the United States. No such possibility exists on terms that the countries can accept. ..."
"... American foreign policy rests on threat and force. It is guided by the neoconservative doctrine of US hegemony, a doctrine that is inconsistent with accepting the sovereignty of other countries. ..."
"... The Russians -- especially the naive Atlanticist Integrationists -- should take note of the extreme hostility, indeed, to the point of insanity, directed at the Helsinki meeting across the entirety of the American political, media, and intellectual scene ..."
"... There is no support for Trump's agenda of peace with Russia in the US foreign policy arena. The president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, spoke for them all when he declared that "We must deal with Putin's Russia as the rogue state it is." Russia is a " rogue state" simply because Russia does not accept Washington's overlordship. ..."
"... There is no support even in Trump's own government for normalizing relations with Russia unless the neoconservative definition of normal relations is used. By normal relations neoconservatives mean a vassal state relationship with Washington. That, and only that, is "normal." Russia can have normal relations with America only on the basis of this definition of normal. Sooner or later Putin and Lavrov will have to acknowledge this fact. ..."
"... A lie repeated over and over becomes a fact. That is what has happened to Russiagate. Despite the total absence of any evidence, it is now a fact in America that Putin himself put Trump in the Oval Office. That Trump met with Putin at Helsinki is considered proof that Trump is Putin's lackey, as the New York Times and many others now assert as self-evident. That Trump stood next to "the murderous thug Putin" and accepted Putin's word that Russia did not interfere in the election of the US president is regarded as double proof that Trump is in Putin's pocket and that the Russiagate story is true. ..."
The governments of Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, if their countries are to
survive, must give up their deluded hopes of reaching agreements with the United States. No
such possibility exists on terms that the countries can accept.
American foreign policy rests on threat and force. It is guided by the neoconservative
doctrine of US hegemony, a doctrine that is inconsistent with accepting the sovereignty of
other countries. The only way that Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea can reach an agreement
with Washington is to become vassals like the UK, all of Europe, Canada, Japan, and
The Russians -- especially the naive Atlanticist Integrationists -- should take note of the
extreme hostility, indeed, to the point of insanity, directed at the Helsinki meeting across
the entirety of the American political, media, and intellectual scene. Putin is incorrect that
US-Russian relations are being held hostage to an internal US political struggle between the
two parties. The Republicans are just as insane and just as hostile to President Trump's effort
to improve American-Russian relations as the Democrats, as Donald
Jeffries reminds us .
The American rightwing is just as opposed as the leftwing. Only a few experts, such as
Stephen Cohen and Amb. Jack Matlock , President Reagan's ambassador to the Soviet Union, have
spoken out in support of Trump's attempt to reduce the dangerous tensions between the nuclear
powers. Only a few pundits have explained the actual facts and the stakes.
There is no support for Trump's agenda of peace with Russia in the US foreign policy arena.
The president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, spoke for them all when he
declared that "We must deal with Putin's Russia as the rogue state it is." Russia is a " rogue state" simply because Russia does not accept Washington's overlordship.
Not for any other reason.
There is no support even in Trump's own government for normalizing relations with Russia
unless the neoconservative definition of normal relations is used. By normal relations
neoconservatives mean a vassal state relationship with Washington. That, and only that, is
"normal." Russia can have normal relations with America only on the basis of this definition of
normal. Sooner or later Putin and Lavrov will have to acknowledge this fact.
A lie repeated over and over becomes a fact. That is what has happened to Russiagate.
Despite the total absence of any evidence, it is now a fact in America that Putin himself put
Trump in the Oval Office. That Trump met with Putin at Helsinki is considered proof that Trump
is Putin's lackey, as the New York Times and many others now assert as self-evident. That Trump
stood next to "the murderous thug Putin" and accepted Putin's word that Russia did not
interfere in the election of the US president is regarded as double proof that Trump is in
Putin's pocket and that the Russiagate story is true.
"... Propaganda works, proved effective time and again – why it's a key tool in America's deep state playbook. ..."
"... Virtually anything repeated enough, especially through the major media megaphone, gets most people to believe it – no matter how preposterous the claim. ..."
"... Normalized relations with Russia and world peace are anathema notions in Washington. Bipartisan neocons infesting the US political establishment want none of it. America's hegemonic aims matter most – wanting dominance over planet earth, its resources and populations. Endless wars of aggression, color revolutions, and other unlawful practices harmful to human rights and welfare are its favored strategies. ..."
Propaganda works, proved effective time and again – why it's a key tool in
America's deep state playbook.
Virtually anything repeated enough, especially through the major media megaphone, gets
most people to believe it – no matter how preposterous the claim.
Not a shred of evidence suggests Russia meddled in America's political process –
Yet an earlier NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed most Americans believe the Russia
did it Big Lie. A months earlier Gallup poll showed three-fourths of Americans view Vladimir
Americans are easy marks to be fooled. No matter how many times they were deceived before,
they're easily manipulated to believe most anything drummed into their minds by the power of
repetitious propaganda – fed them through through the major media megaphone – in
lockstep with the official falsified narrative.
America's dominant media serve as a propaganda platform for US imperial and monied interests
– acting as agents of deception, betraying their readers and viewers time and again
instead of informing them responsibly.
"Did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials
to help him do that?"
Putin said: "Yes," he wanted Trump to win "because he talked about bringing the US-Russia
relationship back to normal," as translated from his Russian language response.
Here's the precise translation of his remark:
"Yes, I wanted him to win, because he talked about the need to normalize US-Russia
"Isn't it natural to have sympathy towards a man who wants to restore relations with your
country? That's normal."
Putin did not address the fabricated official narrative notion that he directed his
officials to help Trump win. Yet CNN's Harlow claimed otherwise, falsely claiming he ordered
Kremlin officials to help Trump triumph over Hillary.
He did nothing of the kind or say it, nor did any other Kremlin officials. No evidence
proves otherwise – nothing but baseless accusations supported only by the power of
Time and again, CNN, the NYT, and rest of America's dominant media prove themselves
They consistently abandon journalism the way it's supposed to be, notably on geopolitical
issues, especially on war and peace and anything about Russia.
After rejecting, or at least doubting, the official narrative about alleged Russian meddling
in the US political process to aid his election, Trump backtracked post-Helsinki –
capitulating to deep state power.
First in the White House, he said he misspoke abroad – then on CBS News Wednesday
night, saying it's "true," deplorably adding:
Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, and he "would" hold Russian President
Vladimir Putin responsible for the interference – that didn't occur, he failed to
GLOR: "You say you agree with US intelligence that Russia meddled in the election in
TRUMP: "Yeah and I've said that before, Jeff. I have said that numerous times before, and
I would say that is true, yeah."
GLOR: "But you haven't condemned Putin, specifically. Do you hold him personally
TRUMP: "Well, I would, because he's in charge of the country. Just like I consider myself
to be responsible for things that happen in this country. So certainly as the leader of a
country you would have to hold him responsible, yes."
GLOR: "What did you say to him?"
TRUMP: "Very strong on the fact that we can't have meddling. We can't have any of that
– now look. We're also living in a grown-up world."
"Will a strong statement – you know – President Obama supposedly made a strong
statement. Nobody heard it."
"What they did hear is a statement he made to Putin's very close friend. And that
statement was not acceptable. Didn't get very much play relatively speaking. But that
statement was not acceptable."
"But I let him know we can't have this. We're not going to have it, and that's the way
it's going to be."
There you have it – Trump capitulating to America's deep state over Russia on national
From day one in power, he caved to the national security state, Wall Street, and other
monied interests over popular ones.
The sole redeeming part of his agenda was wanting improved relations with Russia and
Vladimir Putin personally – preferring peace over possible confrontation, wanting the
threat of nuclear war defused.
Despite tweeting post-Helsinki that he and Putin "got along well which truly bothered many
haters who wanted to see a boxing match," his remarks on CBS News showed he'll continue dirty
US business as usual toward Russia.
Anything positive from summit talks appears abandoned by capitulating to deep state power
controlling him and his agenda.
Normalized relations with Russia and world peace are anathema notions in Washington.
Bipartisan neocons infesting the US political establishment want none of it. America's
hegemonic aims matter most – wanting dominance over planet earth, its resources and
populations. Endless wars of aggression, color revolutions, and other unlawful practices
harmful to human rights and welfare are its favored strategies.
Will Americans go along with sacrificing vital freedoms for greater security from invented
enemies – losing both? Will US belligerent confrontation with Russia inevitably follow?
Will mushroom-shaped denouement eventually kill us all?
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research
based in Chicago.
... I had the privilege of attending the first by invitation only
screening of a documentary"The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes," produced by
Russian filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov. The documentary had been blocked in Europe through lawsuits
filed by some of the parties linked to the prevailing narrative but the Newseum in
proved willing to permit rental of a viewing room in spite of threats coming from the same
individuals to sue to stop the showing.
Nekrasov by his own account had intended to do a documentary honoring Magnitsky and his
employers as champions for human rights within an increasing fragile Russian democracy. He had
previously produced documentaries highly critical of Russian actions in Chechnya, Georgia and
Ukraine, and also regarding the assassinations of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko in
London as well as of journalist Anna Politkovskaya in Moscow. He has been critical of Vladimir
Putin personally and was not regarded as someone who was friendly to the regime, quite the
contrary. Some of his work
has been banned in Russia.
After his documentary was completed using actors to play the various real-life personalities
involved and was being edited Nekrasov returned to some issues that had come up during the
interviews made during the filming. The documentary records how he sought clarification of what
he was reading and hearing but one question inevitably led to another.
The documentary began with the full participation of American born UK citizen William
Browder, who virtually served as narrator for the first section that portrayed the widely
accepted story on Magnitsky. Browder portrays himself as a human rights campaigner dedicated to
promoting the legacy of Sergei Magnitsky, but he is inevitably much more complicated than that.
The grandson of Earl Browder the former General Secretary of the American Communist Party,
studied economics at the University of Chicago, and obtained an MBA from Stanford.
From the beginning, Browder concentrated on Eastern Europe, which was beginning to open up
to the west. In 1989 he took a position at highly respected Boston Consulting Group dealing
with reviving failing Polish socialist enterprises. He then worked as an Eastern Europe analyst
for Robert Maxwell, the unsavory British press magnate and Mossad spy, before joining the
Russia team at Wall Street's Salomon Brothers in 1992.
He left Salomon in 1996 and partnered with the controversial Edmond Safra, the
Lebanese-Brazilian-Jewish banker who died in a mysterious fire in 1999, to set up Hermitage
Capital Management Fund. Hermitage is registered in tax havens Guernsey and the Cayman Islands.
It is a hedge fund that was focused on "investing" in Russia, taking advantage initially of the
loans-for-shares scheme under Boris
Yeltsin, and then continuing to profit greatly during the early years of Vladimir Putin's
ascendancy. By 2005 Hermitage was the largest foreign investor in Russia.
Browder had renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1997 and became a British citizen apparently
to avoid American taxes, which are levied on worldwide income. In
his bookRed Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder and One Man's Fight for
Justice he depicts himself as an honest and honorable Western businessman attempting to
function in a corrupt Russian business world. That may or may not be true, but the
loans-for-shares scheme that made him his initial fortune has been correctly characterized as
the epitome of corruption, an arrangement whereby foreign investors worked with local oligarchs
to strip the former Soviet economy of its assets paying pennies on each dollar of value. Along
the way, Browder
was reportedly involved in making false representations on official documents and
As a consequence of what came to be known as the Magnitsky scandal, Browder was eventually
charged by the Russian authorities for fraud and tax evasion. He was banned from re-entering
Russia in 2005, even before Magnitsky died, and began to withdraw his assets from the country.
Three companies controlled by Hermitage were eventually seized by the authorities, though it is
not clear if any assets remained in Russia. Browder himself was convicted of tax evasion in
absentia in 2013 and sentenced to nine years in prison.
Browder has assiduously, and mostly successfully, made his
case that he and Magnitsky have been the victims of Russian corruption both during and
since that time, though there have been skeptics
regarding many details of his personal narrative. He has been able to sell his tale to leading
American politicians like Senators John McCain, Ben Cardin and ex-Senator Joe Lieberman, always
receptive when criticizing Russia, as well as to a number of European parliamentarians and
media outlets. But there is, inevitably, another side to the story, something quite different,
which Andrei Nekrasov presents to the viewer.
Nekrasov has discovered what he believes to be holes in the narrative that has been
carefully constructed and nurtured by Browder. He provides documents and also an interview with
Magnitsky's mother maintaining that there is no clear evidence that he was beaten or tortured
and that he died instead due to the failure to provide him with medicine while in prison or
treatment shortly after he had a heart attack. A subsequent investigation ordered by then
Russian President Dimitri Medvedev in 2011 confirmed that Magnitsky had not received medical
treatment, contributing to this death, but could not confirm that he had been beaten even
though there was suspicion that that might have been the case.
Nekrasov also claims that much of the case against the Russian authorities is derived from
English language translations of relevant documents provided by Browder himself. The actual
documents sometimes say something quite different. Magnitsky is referred to as an accountant,
not a lawyer, which would make sense as a document of his deposition is apparently part of a
criminal investigation of possible tax fraud, meaning that he was no whistleblower and was
instead a suspected criminal.
Other discrepancies cited by Nekrasov include documents demonstrating that Magnitsky did not
file any complaint about police and other government officials who were subsequently cited by
Browder as participants in the plot, that the documents allegedly stolen from Magnitsky to
enable the plotters to transfer possession of three Hermitage controlled companies were
irrelevant to how the companies eventually were transferred and that someone else employed by
Hermitage other than Magnitsky actually initiated investigation of the fraud.
In conclusion, Nekrasov believes there was indeed a huge fraud related to Russian taxes but
that it was not carried out by corrupt officials. Instead, it was deliberately ordered and
engineered by Browder with Magnitsky, the accountant, personally developing and implementing
the scheme used to carry out the deception.
To be sure, Browder and his international legal team have presented documents in the case
that contradict much of what Nekrasov has presented in his film. But in my experience as an
intelligence officer I have learned that documents are easily forged, altered, or destroyed so
considerable care must be exercised in discovering the provenance and authenticity of the
evidence being provided. It is not clear that that has been the case. It might be that Browder
and Magnitsky have been the victims of a corrupt and venal state, but it just might be the
other way around. In my experience perceived wisdom on any given subject usually turns out to
Given the adversarial positions staked out, either Browder or Nekrasov is essentially right,
though one should not rule out a combination of greater or lesser malfeasance coming from both
sides. But certainly Browder should be confronted more intensively on the nature of his
business activities while in Russia and not given a free pass because he is saying things about
Russia and Putin that fit neatly into a Washington establishment profile. As soon as folks
named McCain, Cardin and Lieberman jump on a cause it should be time to step back a bit and
reflect on what the consequences of proposed action might be.
One should ask why anyone who has a great deal to gain by having a certain narrative
accepted should be completely and unquestionably trusted, the venerable Cui bono?
standard. And then there is a certain evasiveness on the part of Browder. The film shows him
huffing and puffing to explain himself at times and he has
avoided being served with subpoenas on allegations connected to the Magnitsky fraud that
are making their way through American courts. In one case he can be seen on YouTube running away from a server,
somewhat unusual behavior if he has nothing to hide.
A number of Congressmen and staffers were invited to the showing of the Nekrasov documentary
at the Newseum but it is not clear if any of them actually bothered to attend,
demonstrating once again how America's legislature operates inside a bubble of willful
ignorance of its own making. Nor was the event reported in the local "newspaper of record" the
Washington Post , which has been consistently hostile to Russia on its editorial and
A serious effort that a friend of mine described as "hell breaking loose" was also made
to disrupt the question and answer session that followed the viewing of the film, with a
handful of clearly coordinated hecklers interrupting and making it impossible for others to
speak. The organized intruders, who may have gained entry using invitations that were sent to
congressmen, suggested that someone at least considers this game being played out to have very
The point is that neither Nekrasov nor Browder should be taken at their word. Either or both
might be lying and the motivation to make mischief is very high if even a portion of the stolen
$230 million is still floating around and available. And by the same measure, no Congressman or
even the President should trust the established narrative, particularly if they persist in
their hypocritical conceit that global human
Gee, I know G. was a spook of some kind and I always read his articles wherever they turn
up.. but how could he get this wrong unless on purpose: Magnitsky was no lawyer. He was an
accountant and he was a co-conspirator in the frauds being perpetrated that resulted in the
charges. He died alright but there is some shading to the thesis that the fraudsters had him
bumped off because they knew he was a weak link. They bribed somebody in the prison to deny
him medical care. Hey, much like they did to Milosevic knowing they couldn't convict him of
their trumped up charges. Why would G. get wrong such a simple thing to determine? Hmm. I
Why would you continue the falsehood of calling Magnitsky a lawyer? He was not a lawyer.
Ever. He is and was an accountant and will remain that until Judgement Day. On the other
other hand, calling him a lawyer is perhaps an even greater insult than calling him an
"... In contrast, the transatlantic alliance should advance American and European security. Absorbing former members of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union, thereby pushing the alliance up to the Russian Federation's border, proved to be a foolish move because it violated assurances made to Russian leaders. Despite being former KGB, Vladimir Putin never appeared to be ideologically antagonistic toward America. However, when he perceived Washington's behavior as threatening -- including dismembering Serbia, backing revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, and promising to include both nations in NATO -- it encouraged him to respond violently. ..."
"... Admitting new members is never costless. Aid will be necessary to improve their militaries. Moreover, newer members sometimes become the most demanding, like the Baltics and Poland, which insist that they are entitled to American bases and garrisons. ..."
"... Continuing expansion also reinforces the message that NATO is hostile toward Russia. That's the only country allies are joining to oppose, after all. Obviously, there are plenty of other reasons Moscow should distrust the United States, but reinforcing negative perceptions for no benefit at all is bad policy. ..."
"... The Mouse that Roared ..."
"... Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of ..."
At last week's NATO summit, President Donald Trump denounced the allies for taking advantage of American taxpayers. Then
he approved their latest subsidies. He even agreed to invite a military weakling, Macedonia, to join NATO, which will
add yet another nation to our military dole.
When George Washington warned Americans against forming a "passionate
attachment" to other countries, he might have been thinking of the Balkans. Indeed, a couple decades later, John Quincy
Adams criticized proposals to aid Greece against the Ottoman Empire, which then ruled that region. America "goes not
abroad, in search of monsters to destroy," he intoned.
On into the 20th century, the Balkans were in turmoil. Germany's "Iron Chancellor," Otto von Bismarck, warned that
"the great European War would come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans." That's exactly what happened in
It took decades and two world wars for the Balkans to stabilize. But after the Cold War ended, Yugoslavia, which had
emerged from Europe's previous convulsions, broke apart. One of the smaller pieces was Macedonia.
The battles among the Serbians, Croatians, and Bosnians were bloody and brutal. In contrast, Macedonia provided comic
relief. The small, mountainous, landlocked nation of two million people won its independence without a fight in 1991,
though Athens launched a verbal and economic war against Skopje over the latter's use of the name "Macedonia."
Perhaps modern Greeks feared that a resurrected Alexander the Great would lead the newly freed Macedonian hordes
south and conquer Greece. Skopje entered the United Nations under the provisional name Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia, or FYROM. In June, after only 27 years, the two governments agreed that Macedonia/FYROM would be called the
Republic of North Macedonia -- though the decision must still be ratified by the Macedonian people in a referendum.
More serious was the insurgency launched by ethnic Albanians who made up about a quarter of the nation's population.
The battle two decades ago over Kosovo inflamed ethnic relations in Macedonia, eventually resulting in a short-lived
insurgency. Although the fighters disarmed, Skopje's politics remained nationalist and difficult. Last year, a more
liberal administration took over, but the country's democratic institutions remain fragile.
Indeed, Freedom House only rates the nation "partly free." The group cites voter intimidation, political patronage
networks, violent protests, and problems with judicial impartiality and due process. Particularly serious were the
threats against press freedom, which led to a rating of "not free" in that area. While NATO's newer members tend to
score lower than "Old Europe," as Donald Rumsfeld once referred to the original allies, Macedonia is a step further
down. Only Turkey, an incipient dictatorship, is worse: it almost certainly would not be considered for membership
None of this mattered last week, however. After suffering Trump's many slings and arrows, alliance members approved
an invitation for Skopje to join NATO. Macedonian lawmaker Artan Grubi called it "our dream coming true. We have been in
the waiting hall for too long."
That's because Macedonia had hoped for an invite back in 2008 at the Bucharest summit, but was blocked by Athens over
the name dispute, and has wanted to join ever since. Macedonia's Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska said, "With NATO
membership, Macedonia becomes part of the most powerful alliance. That enhances both our security and economic
prosperity." Money and status are expected to follow.
But how would this benefit the United States and other NATO members? James Ker-Lindsay at the London School of
Economics made the astonishing claim that "opening the way for the country to join NATO would be a big win for the
organization at a crucial time when concerns over Russian influence in the Western Balkans are growing in many
capitals." As Skopje goes, so goes Europe? Not likely. If Washington and Moscow are engaged in a new "great game," it is
not a battle for Macedonia.
In fact, Macedonia is a security irrelevancy, destined to require American aid to create the pretense that its
military is fit for the transatlantic alliance. Skopje spent just $112 million on its armed forces last year, ahead of
only one NATO member, Montenegro. That was barely 1 percent of its GDP, putting Macedonia near the back of the NATO
With an 8,000-man military, one is tempted to ask, why bother? But then one could similarly pose that query to
several other NATO members. Skopje's military is roughly the same size as Albania's, slightly bigger than Slovenia's,
and about four times the size of Montenegro's. None will be of much use in a conflict with the only conceivable threat,
So why bring Macedonia into NATO?
Some American policymakers see alliance membership as a means to socialize nations like Macedonia, helping them move
towards democracy. However, the European Union, which sets standards governing a range of domestic policies, has always
been better suited to this task, and EU membership imposes no security obligations on Washington. With the name
controversy tentatively resolved, Skopje could begin the EU accession process -- if the Europeans are willing. That is
properly their -- not Washington's -- responsibility.
In contrast, the transatlantic alliance should advance American and European security. Absorbing former members
of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union, thereby pushing the alliance up to the Russian Federation's border, proved to be a
foolish move because it violated assurances made to Russian leaders. Despite being former KGB, Vladimir Putin never
appeared to be ideologically antagonistic toward America. However, when he perceived Washington's behavior as
threatening -- including dismembering Serbia, backing revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, and promising to include both
nations in NATO -- it encouraged him to respond violently.
The Balkans are peripheral even to Europe and matter little to America's defense. The states and peoples there tend
to be more disruptive and less democratic than their neighbors, reflecting the region's unstable history. (North)
Macedonia's 8,000 troops aren't likely to be reborn as the Spartan 300 and hold off invading Russians. So why should
America threaten war on Skopje's behalf?
Admitting new members is never costless. Aid will be necessary to improve their militaries. Moreover, newer
members sometimes become the most demanding, like the Baltics and Poland, which insist that they are entitled to
American bases and garrisons.
Expansion also complicates alliance decision-making. No doubt, Washington wishes its European allies would do what
they're told: spend more, shut up, and deploy where America wants them. That doesn't work out very well in practice,
alas, as Trump has discovered in Europe (though nations with smaller militaries are more likely to acquiesce than
nations with bigger ones). An organization of 30 members, which NATO will become if Macedonia is added, is a more
complex and less agile creature than one of 16, the number that existed before NATO raced east.
Continuing expansion also reinforces the message that NATO is hostile toward Russia. That's the only country
allies are joining to oppose, after all. Obviously, there are plenty of other reasons Moscow should distrust the United
States, but reinforcing negative perceptions for no benefit at all is bad policy.
Finally, expanding the alliance is nonsensical in light of the president's criticisms of the Europeans. Hiking U.S.
military spending, increasing manpower and materiel deployments in Europe, and adding new members all contradict his
demand that the allies do more and signal that the president is not serious in his demands. That leaves the Europeans
with little incentive to act, especially since most of their peoples perceive few if any security threats.
Yet again President Trump has been exposed as a thoughtless blowhard. His rabid supporters have likely enjoyed his
confrontational rhetoric, but he has done nothing to turn it into policy. The Europeans need only wait for his attacks
to ebb and then they can proceed much the same as before. The status quo will continue to reign, impervious to change.
Montenegro always resembled the Duchy of Grand Fenwick from the delightful novel
The Mouse that Roared
Macedonia is the Duchy of North Grand Fenwick, a slightly larger neighboring state with similar features but additional
problems. Neither is remotely relevant to American security. America doesn't need yet another security black hole as an
"The people want an end to the parties," chanted protesters, adapting a famous slogan of the
Arab Spring , as
they stormed the governor's office and the international airport in the Shia holy city of
Part of the wave of demonstrations sweeping across central and southern Iraq, they demanded
jobs, electricity, water and an end to the mass theft of Iraq's oil wealth by the political parties.
Beginning on 8 July, the protests are the biggest and most prolonged in a country where
anti-government action has usually taken the form of armed insurgency.
The demonstrations are taking place in the heartlands of the Shia majority, reflecting their
outrage at living on top of some of the world's largest oilfields, but seeing their families
barely survive in squalor and poverty.
The protests began in Basra, Iraq's third largest city which is at the centre of 70 per cent
of its oil production. A hand-written placard held up by one demonstrator neatly expresses
popular frustration. It read:
"2,500,000 barrels daily
Price of each barrel = $70
2,500,000 x $70 = zero !!
Sorry Pythagoras, we are in Basra"
The protests quickly spread to eight other provinces, including Najaf, Kerbala, Nasariya and
In several places, the offices of the Dawa Party, to which the Prime Minister Haider
al-Abadi belongs, were burned or attacked, along with those of parties whom people blame for
looting oil revenues worth hundreds of billions of dollars in the 15 years since the overthrow
of Saddam Hussein.
As the situation deteriorated, Mr Abadi flew to Basra on 13 July, promising to make $3bn
available to improve services and provide more jobs. After he left, his hotel was invaded by
The credibility of almost all Iraqi politicians is at a low ebb, the acute feeling of
disillusionment illustrated by the low 44.5 per cent turnout in the parliamentary election on
12 May that produced no outright winner.
The poll was
unexpectedly topped by the Sairoun movement of the populist nationalist cleric, Muqtada
al-Sadr, who has encouraged his followers to start protests against government corruption and
lack of services since 2015.
The Sadrists, who emphasised their socially and economically progressive programme by
allying themselves with the Iraqi Communist Party in the election, are playing a role in the
The demonstrations are also backed by the prestigious Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. At ground
level, political activists and tribal leaders have set up a joint committee called "the
Coordination Board for Peaceful Protests and Demonstrations in Basra", its purpose being to
produce a list of demands, unite the protest movement, and keep their actions non-violent.
"The ends don't justify the means," says the committee in a statement. "Let us, being
oppressed, not lead to the oppression of others."
A list of 17 demands is headed by one asking for a government timetable for supplying water
and electricity, both of which are short at a time of year when the temperature sometime
exceeds 50C, making it one of the hottest places on earth.
Local people claim that the last time that the port city of Basra, once called the Venice of
the Gulf, had an adequate supply of drinking water was in 1982. Iran had been supplying some
extra electricity, but has cut this back because of its own needs and failure of Iraq to pay on
The second demand of the protesters is for jobs with "priority to the competent sons of
Basra", the discharge of foreign labourers and employment for a quarter of people living in the
Lack of jobs is a source of continuing complaint all over Iraq. Much of its oil income
already goes on paying 4.5 million state employees, but between 400,000 and 420,000 young
people enter the workforce every year with little prospects of employment.
Anger towards the entire political class is intense because it is seen as a kleptocratic
group which syphoned off money in return for contracts that existed only on paper and produced
no new power plants, bridges or roads.
Political parties are at the centre of this corruption because they choose ministries,
according to their share of the vote in elections or their sectarian affiliation, which they
then treat as cash cows and sources of patronage and contracts.
Plundering like this and handing out of jobs to unqualified people means that many
government institutions have become incapable of performing any useful function.
Radical reform is difficult because the whole system is saturated by corruption and
incompetence. Technocrats without party backing who are parachuted into ministries become
isolated and ineffective.
One party leader told The Independent that he thought that the best that could be
done "would be to insist that the parties appoint properly qualified people to top jobs."
The defeat of Isis in 2017 with the recapture of Mosul means that Iraqis are no longer
absorbed in keeping their families safe so they have they have more time to consider
"corruption" – a word they use not just to mean bribery but the parasitic nature of the
government system as a whole.
There is a general mood of cynicism and dissatisfaction with the way things are run.
"Bad government, bad roads, bad weather, bad people," exclaimed one Iraqi friend driving on
an ill-maintained road.
Corrupt motives are ascribed to everything that happens: a series of unexplained fires in
Baghdad in June were
being ascribed to government employees stealing from state depots and then concealing their
crime by setting fire to the building and destroying it.
Given that the Iraqi security forces are primarily recruited from the areas in which the
protests are taking place, the government will need to be careful about the degree of
repression it can use safely.
The armed forces have been placed on high alert. Three regiments of the elite
Counter-Terrorism Service, which led the attack on Mosul and is highly regarded and well
disciplined, has been ordered south to cope with protests and away from places where there is
still residual activity by Isis.
The protests are largely spontaneous, but the Sadrists, whose offices have not been attacked
by crowds, want to put pressure on Mr Abadi, Dawa and other parties to form a coalition
government with a reform programme.
Many protesters express anti-Tehran slogans, tearing up pictures of Iranian spiritual
leaders such as Ayatollah Khomeini and the current Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. They blame
Iran for supporting
corrupt parties and governments in Iraq.
Protesters have so far escalated their actions slowly, gathering at the entrances to the
major oil and gas facilities, but not disrupting the 3.6 million barrel a day production. If
this happens, it would affect a significant portion of world crude output.
Iraq's corrupt and dysfunctional governing system may be too set in its profitable ways to
be reformed, but, if the ruling elite wants to survive, it must give ordinary Iraqi a larger
share of the oil revenue cake.
Read the first piece in Patrick Cockburn's latest series, 'Catastrophic drought
threatens Iraq as major dams in surrounding countries cut off water to its great rivers',
Part II, 'For this Iraqi tribe massacred by Isis, fear of the group's return is a
Part III, 'After series of calamitous defeats, is Isis about to lose its last town?',
Part III, 'Iraq unrest: Chaos reigns in the country even Saddam Hussein 'found difficult
"Oh for the good old days when Saddam was running things."
Electricity production in Iraq overall is superior to what it
was during Saddam's rule. But availability is not 24/365, which is presumably what they're
Prewar Baghdad had electricity 16 to 24 hours per day and was favored for distribution.
The remainder of Iraq received 4–8 hours of electricity per day. Post war, Baghdad
no longer has priority and therefore both Baghdad and the country as a whole received on
average 15.5 hours of electricity per day as of February 2010.
If they want some facsimile of Saddam's rule back, they could easily elect the Sunni Arab
parties to power. Which they haven't. Demonstrations were rare during Saddam's reign because
he killed the opposition and consigned those he did not kill to Abu Ghraib, where they were
raped and/or beaten to within an inch of their lives.
Shiites were unhappy with American occupation because they thought the only thing keeping
them from becoming a Shiite version of Saudi Arabia, economically-speaking was an American
plot to steal their oil and sow division in the country. After GI's left, they discovered,
through ISIS's long record of victories, that Sunni Arabs really, really don't like being
ruled by Shiites, and that Iraq's Sunni Arabs really are better at military endeavors than
the Shiites or the Kurds. They are fortunate that Uncle Sam came to their rescue, yet
It's becoming clear that the Iraq's Shiite Arabs and Kurds could never have lifted the
Sunni Arab foot from their necks by their own efforts. The question is whether their history
books will ever reflect this truth.
"... Hazony responds with the obvious answer that control can be imposed on the unwilling even if the empire builders are not overtly annexing territory. Meanwhile, other neoconservatives have given the game away by pushing their imperialist position a bit further than Krauthammer's. Max Boot, for example , has been quite open in demanding "an American empire" built on ideological and military control even without outright annexation. ..."
"... The belief that the U.S. is a supremely good nation founded on universal principles has consequences that go well beyond electoral politics. Dennis Prager, a nationally syndicated talk radio host and co-owner of the website Townhall.com, extols American exceptionalism, which he says springs from American values. ..."
Neoconservatives like Max Boot are fooling themselves if they think imposing 'values' on the rest of the world isn't a matter
Recently while reading a book by an Israeli scholar named Yoram Hazony with the provocative title
The Virtue of Nationalism , I encountered
a distinction drawn by the late Charles
Krauthammer between empire building and American global democratic hegemony. Like the editors of the Weekly Standard ,
for which he periodically wrote, Krauthammer believed it was unfair to describe what he wanted to see done, which was having the
U.S. actively spread its own form of government throughout the world, as "imperialism." After all, Krauthammer said, he and those
who think like him "do not hunger for new territory," which makes it wrong to accuse them of "imperialism."
Hazony responds with the obvious answer that control can be imposed on the unwilling even if the empire builders are not overtly
annexing territory. Meanwhile, other neoconservatives have given the game away by pushing their imperialist position a bit further
than Krauthammer's. Max Boot, for
example , has been quite open in demanding "an American empire" built on ideological and military control even without outright
The question that occurred to me while reading Krauthammer's proposal and Hazony's response (which I suspect would have been more
devastating had Hazony not been afraid of losing neoconservative friends and sponsors) is this one: how is this not imperialism?
Certainly the use of protectorates to increase the influence of Western powers in the non-Western world goes back a long time.
As far back as the Peloponnesian War, rival Greek city-states tried to impose their constitutional arrangements on weaker Greek societies
as a way of managing them politically. According to Xenophon, when the Athenians then surrendered to the Spartan commander Lysander
in 403 BC, they had two conditions imposed on them: taking down their great wall ( kathairein ta makra teixe ) and
installing a regime that looked like the Spartan one. Thus is arguing that territory has to be annexed outright in order for it to
become part of an American empire so utterly unconvincing.
One reason the views offered by Krauthammer and Boot did not elicit more widespread criticism -- and have enjoyed enthusiastic
favor among Republicans for decades, culminating in the oratorical wonders of George W. Bush -- may have been the embrace of another
neoconservative doctrine: "American exceptionalism." The belief that the U.S. is a supremely good nation founded on universal
principles has consequences that go well beyond electoral politics. Dennis Prager, a nationally syndicated talk radio host and co-owner
of the website Townhall.com, extols American exceptionalism, which he says springs from American values.
Those values have "universal applicability,"
according to Prager, and are "eminently exportable." Glenn Beck has taken up
the same theme of "American exceptionalism"
an exportable "idea " that is meant for everyone on the planet. The "ideas" or "values" in question are variously defined by
the neoconservative media as "human rights," "universal equality," or just making sure everyone lives like us. Whatever it is, we
are told that to withhold it from the rest of the human race would be uncharitable. Our efforts to bring it to others therefore cannot
be dismissed as "imperialism" any more than the Spanish government of the 16th century thought it was doing wrong by forcing its
religion on indigenous people in the Americas.
Although I'm hardly a fan of his political views, former president Barack Obama once said something that I thought was self-evident
but that offended even members of his own party. According to Obama, "Americans believe they're exceptional. But the Brits and Greeks
believe they're special too." Obama was merely observing that it's okay for others to believe they're special, even if they're not
Americans imbued with "the idea." Yet his statement was received with such uproar that he felt compelled to backtrack. Speaking later
at West Point,
he made it clear that "I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being." This from someone whom Fox News assures
us hated America and spent every minute of his presidency denying our greatness! (And, yes, I've heard the rejoinder to this: Obama
was only pretending to believe in the creed he dutifully recited.)
It might be argued (and has been by neoconservatives many times) that the U.S. is both morally superior and less dangerous than
ethnically defined societies because we advocate a "value" or "creed" that's accessible to the entire human race. But this is hardly
a recipe for peace as opposed to what Krauthammer called a "value-driven" relationship with the rest of the world. Australian journalist
Douglas Murray, in his intended encomium Neoconservatism: Why We Need It
, tries to praise his subjects but ends up describing a kind of global democratic jihadism. While Douglas admits that "socially,
economically, and philosophically" neoconservatism differs from traditional conservatism, he insists that it's something better.
He commends neoconservatives for wishing to convert the world to "values." Their primary goal, according to Murray, is the "erasing
[of] tyrannies and [the] spreading [of] democracy," an arduous task that requires "interventionism, nation-building, and many of
the other difficulties that had long concerned traditional conservatives."
Please tell me this is not what it obviously is: an invitation to war and empire building. The quest for hegemony always looks
the same, no matter what moral labels some choose to give it.
"... Repeated requests by Russia to obtain a sample of the alleged nerve agent for testing were rejected by the British government in spite of the fact that a military grade nerve agent would have surely killed both the Skripals as well as anyone else within 100 yards. As the latest British account of the location of the alleged poison places it on the door handle of the Scripals' residence, the timetable element was also unconvincing. That meant that the two would have spent three hours, including a stop at a pub and lunch, before succumbing on a park bench. Military grade nerve agents kill instantly. ..."
"... Nevertheless, the politically weak May government, desperately seeking a formidable foreign enemy to rally around against, insisted that Russia, almost certainly acting under orders from Vladimir Putin himself, carried out the killing of a former British double agent who had been released from a Kremlin prison in a spy swap and who was no longer capable of doing any damage to Russia. Putin apparently did all that in spite of the fact that he had an election coming up and would be the host of the World Cup in the summer, an event that would be an absolute top priority to have go smoothly. ..."
Poisoning enemies has a long history with Augustus Caesar's wife Livia allegedly a master of the art, as were the Borgias in Renaissance
Italy. Lately there has been a resurgence in allegations regarding the use of poisons of various types by several governments. The
claims are particularly damaging both morally and legally as international conventions regard the use of poisonous chemical compounds
as particularly heinous, condemning their use because they, when employed in quantity, become "weapons of mass destruction," killing
indiscriminately and horribly, making no distinction between combatants and civilians. Their use is considered to be a "war crime"
and the government officials who ordered their deployment are "war criminals," subject to prosecution by the International Criminal
Court in The Hague.
There are two important poisoning stories that have made the news recently. Both are follow-ups to reporting that has appeared
in the news over the past few months and both are particularly interesting because they tend to repudiate earlier coverage that had
been largely accepted by several governments as well as the media and the chattering class of paid experts that appears on television.
The first story relates to the poisoning of former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March.
There was quite a bit that was odd about the Skripal case, which
relied from the start " on circumstantial evidence and secret intelligence." And there was inevitably a rush to judgment. British
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson blamed Russia less than forty-eight hours after the Skripals were found unconscious on a bench in
Salisbury England, too soon for any chemical analysis of the alleged poisoning to have taken place.
British Prime Minister Theresa May threw gasoline on the fire when she addressed Parliament shortly thereafter to blame the Kremlin
and demand a Russian official response to the event in 36 hours, declaring that the apparent poisoning was "very likely" caused by
a made-in-Russia nerve agent referred to by its generic name novichok. The British media was soon on board with a vengeance, spreading
the government line that such a highly sensitive operation would require the approval of President Vladimir Putin himself. The expulsion
of Russian diplomats soon followed with the United States and other countries following suit.
Repeated requests by Russia to obtain a sample of the alleged nerve agent for testing were rejected by the British government
in spite of the fact that a military grade nerve agent would have surely killed both the Skripals as well as anyone else within 100
yards. As the latest British account of the location of the alleged poison places it on the door handle of the Scripals' residence,
the timetable element was also unconvincing. That meant that the two would have spent three hours, including a stop at a pub and
lunch, before succumbing on a park bench. Military grade nerve agents kill instantly.
The head of Britain's own chemical weapons facility Porton Down
even contradicted claims made by May, Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, and British Ambassador in Moscow Laurie Bristow. The lab's
Chief Executive Gary Aitkenhead testified that he did not know if the nerve agent was actually produced in Russia, a not surprising
observation as the chemical formula was revealed to the public in a scientific paper in 1992 and there are an estimated twenty countries
capable of producing it. There are also presumed stocks of novichok remaining in independent countries that once were part of the
Soviet Union, to include Russia's enemy du jour Ukraine, while a false flag operation by the British themselves, the CIA
or Mossad, is not unthinkable.
Nevertheless, the politically weak May government, desperately seeking a formidable foreign enemy to rally around against,
insisted that Russia, almost certainly acting under orders from Vladimir Putin himself, carried out the killing of a former British
double agent who had been released from a Kremlin prison in a spy swap and who was no longer capable of doing any damage to Russia.
Putin apparently did all that in spite of the fact that he had an election coming up and would be the host of the World Cup in the
summer, an event that would be an absolute top priority to have go smoothly.
Now there has been an actual death in Amesbury near Salisbury that has been attributed to novichok. On June 30 th ,
Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were admitted to hospital after being found unconscious. Sturgess died eight days later. The May
government has not yet blamed it on Putin or even on a clumsy Russian operative that might have
inadvertently left behind a vial of poison or a used syringe,
though Home Secretary Sajid Javid came close to that when he suggested
that Russia was using Britain as a "dumping ground for poisons." Police suggestions that the poisoned couple appear to have handled
novichok infused material of some kind before succumbing appears to be contradicted by inability to find the actual source of the
British government dancing around the issue notwithstanding, there have been suggestions that the closest source of more novichok
might well be the U.K. government labs at nearby Porton Down, only seven miles from Salisbury and Amesbury, which increases suspicion
about the original story promulgated by Downing Street. Would the British government actually poison an expendable ex-Russian spy
and his daughter to divert attention from a domestic political problem at home? It's worth considering as the "blame it all on Putin
narrative" becomes even less credible.
The second story comes from Syria, where there is also a Russian hand as Moscow is aiding the government of Bashar al-Assad. The
by now notorious April 7, 2018 alleged chemical attack on the rebel-held Syrian city of Douma was widely blamed by Western countries
and the mainstream media on Assad's forces. This resulted in a decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to order massive U.S.-led
retaliatory airstrikes against targets reportedly involved in chemical production in and around Damascus.
"animal Assad" for
"using nerve agents" and both the media and most European governments followed that line, concluding that Damascus had ordered
the chemical attacks a mere moments after videos purporting to show scores of chemical attack victims first surfaced from rebel sources,
long before U.S. intelligence could have made its own assessment. A 5-page
White House assessment released on April 13th, just days after the alleged attack
asserted that sarin was used at Douma , claiming that "A significant body of information points to the regime using chlorine
in its bombardment of Duma, while some additional information points to the regime also using the nerve agent sarin."
Independent sources warned at the time that
not a single neutral observer was on the ground to confirm that chemical agents launched by the Syrian government had, in fact,
been used, but were ignored. All of the sources reporting the attack were either affiliated with the rebels who occupied the area
or were not physically present in Douma.
Now, finally, three months later, there has been a credible independent report on what was determined about the attack through
chemical analysis of traces recovered in Douma. A preliminary report published last Friday by the Organization for the Prohibition
of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) found no traces of any nerve agent like sarin at the site. The OPCW report
states this clearly : "No organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples
or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties."
This means that the Trump Administration claimed to have details relating to an event in a foreign country that it did not know
and could not actually confirm to be true. And it used that as a justification for ordering an airstrike that killed people and destroyed
targets in Syria. Will the White House respond to the OPCW report and apologize, possibly to include reparations for an unjustified
attack on another sovereign nation? Don't hold your breath.
The Salisbury and Douma attacks are illustrative of just what happens when a government is prepared to dissimulate or even lie
to go the extra mile to make a case to justify preemptive action that otherwise might be challenged. Theresa May is, unfortunately,
still in power and so is Donald Trump. In a better world an outraged public would demand that they be thrown out of office and even
possibly subjected to the tender ministrations of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. With power comes accountability,
or at least that should be the rule, but it is a dictum that has for some time been ignored. Even given that, one might hope that
the blunders will not be repeated, but there is not even any assurance that either May or Trump is much given to "lessons learned"
or that a Mike Pence or Boris Johnson would be any better. That is our tragedy.
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational
foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is
www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134
and its email is email@example.com.
Putin apparently did all that in spite of the fact that he had an election coming up and would be the host of the World
Cup in the summer, an event that would be an absolute top priority to have go smoothly.
Would the British government actually poison an expendable ex-Russian spy and his daughter to divert attention from a domestic
political problem at home? It's worth considering as the "blame it all on Putin narrative" becomes even less credible.
these were my thoughts at first too, but I looked into the case quite extensively over the last several weeks and came to the
conclusion that Putin actually had more of a motive than the British government, et al.
This is my evolution on the Skripals' case:
On Skripal I'm not entirely certain, since I haven't really looked into the case. Also the timing of the incident seems
to be not what Putin would have chosen, in my opinion, since it was too close to the soccer World Cup events/celebrations in
Russia, and Putin usually tries to be conciliatory with the West before big sporting events like that in Russia, e.g. when
he released Khodorkovsky early before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, for example.
As I said before, I was agnostic about the Skripal case and tried to keep an open mind about it and not reflexively blame
it on (the) Russians (government), but you providing me with this additional information makes me actually more of a believer
in the official Western narrative now.
Repeated requests by Russia to obtain a sample of the alleged nerve agent for testing were rejected by the British government
in spite of the fact that a military grade nerve agent would have surely killed both the Skripals as well as anyone else within
It was hilarious to watch yesterday evening, as the presidential plane had been underway for two and a half hours, the consternation
As I expected, the vague accusations about Russian meddling in the elections continued this morning, on CNN.
I remember an interview on CNN before the elections, someoen said 'if Trump wins', the two of CNN burst into laughter.
I do hope Trump survives, politically and fysically.
Luckily is it not very ease to murder a president these days.
On top of that, Sept 11 made many all over the world quite suspicious.
I for one never believed that Russia would be so stupid as to try to murder two former spies in such a stupid way, and without
MH17 is a similar case.
Assad also is not stupid, he had no interest whatsoever to use poison gas in Syria.
How Arafat died we still do not know, that was done professionally, or maybe not, if I had to kill him I would try to make his
death look natural, a clear cause.
Who had a motive is quite clear.
Until the unhinged May lets Yulia go free–if she's still alive–and go back to Russia and tell her side of the story, nothing will
The so-called Deep State and its willing toady, the corrupt, lying MSM are accomplices in this False Flag and they are the
ones that should be in the dock at the ICC. But since the ICC is part of the Deep State, don't expect this to happen.
This Russian bashing has gotten completely out of hand. And now that Putin has stated that the sleazy Russian thief oligarch
Browder helped launder 400 million to the DNC-Clinton Mob, it's going to get very interesting, if not dangerous for humanity.
They need a BIG distraction to get the sheeple's thought off the truth that there is NOTHING to the Putin-Trump election meddling,
anything might happen, even a repeat of the Israeli masterminded 9/11 False Flag.
Does 'Lucky Larry' own anymore asbestos-laden skyscrapers?
i would love to make a formal complaint about conspiracies because there are people who will and do make trouble for others. it
has taken me a long time to come to that place – but it is no joke as dr. geraldi no doubt knows.
however, one needs the evidence and what has been lacking in all these accusations whether its russia and us elections, chemical
weapons in syria, or supposed poisoning of three people formerly associated with russia, there is suspicion, and there is narrative,
but little in the way of facts. and if any of these accusations were concerning single individual battling mere gossip and innuendo
or other nefarious behaviors, i have learned to discount nothing. look if you can't bring a coupon into a store, wait for coffee
without people launching into fits of fear of life . . . then who knows what triggers people's self defense. it apparently dos
not take much for the supposed superior people to make their inferiors look off kilt. i just take it granted that when i leave
my house, on occasion, i have visitors – as "nutty" as that sounds.
but these cases have multiple researchers and resources to bar on the matter and yet, the evidence is either mere narrative,
contradicted or has a variety of explanations just as reasonable or more reasonable. but what we have is an entire population
engaged in manufacturing not one but several cases in which the president of the us actually engaged in treason based on sketchy
financial dealings with russian banks and financial elites.
and i think this article makes the case that people with power who engage in wielding accusations should be held to the standard
of providing evidence. and while i am a little uncomfortable with our president engaging in open debate with our intel community
from overseas, his objection is well put. the process of evidence collection and by independent objective observers is unreasonable.
yet he found it quite convenient to buy the argument by the same intel agencies for said use in syria. the election is over, but
the war about the election, the level of dislike of the elected , i think it is fair to say has never been so widespread and deep
such that members of the government or government agencies would sign up to press the matter.
and quip reflctions about the damage being done and "it's all in one's head" just are insufficient to address the issues.
frankly, i think the country's not outraged because they are "drama fatigued" last week in attempting to capture a stray kitten
who disappearance has me overly stretched – i never used to like cats – bells rang and doors closed indicating that she had in
fact been enclosed on the patio – around two am or so – only to discover a cute little skunk was the detainee. whose release required
navigating around the house twice because the door locked actually worked. sometimes the evidence doesn't doesn't reveal what
as for the kitten, evidence suggests she managed to punch her way through a steel mesh garage vent. now i suspect that someone
recently punched a hole in those mesh barriers, but that is speculation on my part, even likely speculation. however, minus the
proof that is all it is. a mysterious frustrating event.
With the sad demise of the woman of the couple, the continuing make-up story in MSM makes the twist that the nerve agent was found
in a perfume bottle. While of these two non-Russian people (who allegedly were former drug-addicts) one may suspect that they
pick up any strange bottle from the ground and have a sniff at it, this is completely surrealistic in the case of the Skripals.
The difference couldn't be bigger between these two couples. Anyhow, the clue that brings them four together is the vicinity of
Porton Down, where chemical weapons are stored & tested.
The author laments that May and Trump are still in office.
She will last longer than he will. Trump will be out in three months either by impeachment and conviction or by other means. None
of this clandestine stuff like poisoning but by a military coup. I remember the era of 7 Days in May but that was not serious
just a storey teller weaving a good yarn. Today, we have members of Congress and large numbers of the media(probably over 50 percent)
calling for a Armed Forces take over.
The probable stumbling block is how to skip Pense and go directly to Speaker Paul Ryan. Or how to dispense with the chain of succession
entirely and enshrine Hilary or recall Obama until the emergency is over.
Is Mad Dog the man or will McMaster lead the coup? Remember, anyone wearing more than one star made the elite grade during the
Obama regime and some of the one stars had formative years as O-6 and O-5 while Obama ruled supreme.
Quickly, not instantly. If you had an atropine pen handy, you might survive, though it would leave you immobilised and dazed.
If the Skripals were dosed, it would likely have been at or near the bench where they were found. Residue on their clothing might
be weak enough to not kill the constable.
What I really loved about the coverage of the Skripal "poisoning" were the pictures of the cops wearing hazmat suits to clean
up the park bench. In the same shot birds were hopping around apparently unaffected by the deadly nerve gas. So we're to believe
that this stuff could kill a big cop but not a 2 pound pigeon .