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Obama: a yet another Neocon in foreign policy

And inflating a giant, empty balloon of promises of hope and change for working Americans in domestic policy

News Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Recommended Links Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton New American Militarism Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS
Obama, the Prince of Bait-and-Switch Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Robert Kagan Samantha Power Wolfowitz Doctrine
 "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Hillary Clinton email scandal Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Madeleine Albright Color revolutions Leo Strauss and the Neocons
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism Deception as an art form The History of Media-Military-Industrial Complex Concept The ability and willingness to employ savage methods Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism  IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement
Mayberry Machiavellians John Dilulio letter Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Big Uncle is Watching You Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization Anatol Leiven on American Messianism
Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Guardian paper LA Times Paper by Neal Gabler Washington Post paper by Mike Allen  From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014
Mayberry Machiavellians Corporatism Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few American Exceptionalism Politically Incorrect Humor Etc


It would be wrong to excuse the inaction of the Obama DOJ and SEC crews as being the result of some larger “corrosion of our collective values.”

The capos in those crews are the people doing the corroding, and not one of them was forced to (not) do what they did.

Notice that every last one of the initial bunch is presently being paid, by Wall Street, to the tune of millions of dollars per year. They opted to cover up crimes and take a pay-off in exchange. And they are owed punishment.

According to Wikipedia

Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud used in retail sales but also employed in other contexts. First, customers are "baited" by merchants' advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are not available, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, but higher priced items ("switching").

 Obama is perhaps the most lethal combination of neolib & neocon, a darling of the "deep state". While deception was used by all presidential candidates, past and present, Obama can be called Prince of bait and switch tactics. Even "Slick Willy"  with his "it's economy stupid" did not reach the higher of betrayal of the electorate delivered by Obama  with his famous and completely fraudulent "change we can believe it" slogan.  

Nicknamed "Barack CIA 0bama" and 'teleprompter" he actually represents the second president closely allied with CIA (the first was Bush the Older).  He symbolized the merge of economic/financial interests (neolib) with the imperial ambitions of neocon -- both represented in US intelligence  services, especially CIA, which was actually created by Wall street lawyers for Wall street policies enforcement, despite initial desire of Truman to see informational agency, and not cloak and dagger agency.   The viability of the USA is now tied to the viability of the transnational corporations.

Actually it is proper not to view Obama as a person. Obama is a brand, a puppet that was brought to power by the pure force of advertizing. Advertising is the rule of the political game in the USA probably since Reagan. In this case the real person does not matter. A constructed "image" is enough.  And absence of previous political experience is ideal prerequisite for the construction of the image that electorate wants. BTW, during Presidential elections cycle Obama managed to outspend republican McCain (the darling of MIC) mostly due to financial industry contributions. Tell me who is paying for your election and I will tell what policies you will pursue ;-)

And Obama campaign once again demonstrated old truth: Democratic Party just plays the role of destroyer of radical left, while Republican Party plays the same role for radical right. This provides kind of political stability. to a certain point  being two wings of a singles "Neoliberal Party of the USA."  See  Trump vs. Deep State.

And Obama was preselected by the same "deep state" handlers, which preselected Bill and Hillary Clinton. All talks about democracy after 1963, when "shadow government" came in power in the USA is akin to a slick advertizing trick. All the US people are allowed to do is to confirm one two preselected by deep state politicians (who later can prove to be a complete puppets, or not), providing political legitimacy.

Obama has close ties with the "deep state" are undeniable. Historically Obama spend some time working in Business International Corporation, the CIA outlet (Wikipedia)

In the late summer of 1983, future United States President Barack Obama interviewed for a job at Business International Corporation. He worked there for "little more than year."[3] As a research associate in its financial services division, he edited Financing Foreign Operations, a global reference service, and wrote for Business International Money Report, a weekly financial newsletter.[4] His responsibilities included "interviewing business experts, researching trends in foreign exchange, following market developments. . . . He wrote about currency swaps and leverage leases. . . . Obama also helped write financial reports on Mexico and Brazil.[5]

See also Verified CIA Front, Business International Corp, Paid for Obama’s Columbia College Tuition

 Export Blueprint

After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, Barack Obama went to work for a firm called Business International Corporation (BIC), a firm that was linked to economic intelligence gathering for the CIA.

For one year, Obama worked as a researcher in BIC’s financial services division where he wrote for two BIC publications, Financing Foreign Operations and Business International Money Report, a weekly newsletter. An informed source has told WMR that Obama’s tuition debt at Columbia was paid off by BIC.

In addition, WMR has learned that when Obama lived in Indonesia with his mother and his adoptive father Lolo Soetoro, the 20-year-old Obama, who was known as “Barry Soetoro,” traveled to Pakistan in 1981 and was hosted by the family of Muhammadmian Soomro, a Pakistani Sindhi who became acting President of Pakistan after the resignation of General Pervez Musharraf on August 18, 2008. WMR was told that the Obama/Soetoro trip to Pakistan, ostensibly to go “partridge hunting” with the Soomros, related to unknown CIA business.

The covert CIA program to assist the Afghan mujaheddin was already well underway at the time and Pakistan was the major base of operations for the CIA’s support. Obama also reportedly traveled to India, again, on unknown business for U.S. intelligence. WMR has been told by knowledgeable sources that Obama has, in the past, traveled on at least three passports: U.S., Indonesian, and British. BIC also maintained a European subsidiary, Business International S.A., in Geneva. BIC had long been associated with CIA activities since being founded by Eldridge Haynes, a self-professed liberal Democrat. The BIC headquarters was located at the prestigious address of 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in Manhattan. BIC held a series of off-the-record, no press, meetings between top U.S. business executives and top government officials, including the President, and the Secretaries of State, Defense, Treasury, Commerce, and Labor; the Attorney General, Senate leadership, and the heads of the Export-Import Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. BIC held international meetings in locations like Brussels and Mexico City.

In 1986, BIC was bought by the Economist Group in London and its operations were merged with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). There have been a number of reports that the EIU works as closely with Britain’s MI-6 intelligence service as BIC once worked with or for the CIA. One of BIC’s directors was the late Lord Pilkington, who was also a director of the Bank of England. Obama’s work for a company having ties to the CIA barely registered a blip on the 2008 presidential campaign radar screen. At the very least, Obama helped in providing economic intelligence to the CIA as a contract employee. At most, Obama was, like previous BIC employees who operated abroad for the CIA, a full-fledged non-official cover (NOC) agent. Since President Obama has backpedaled on CIA renditions and torture, as well as warrantless electronic surveillance by U.S. intelligence, he owes the American people a full explanation of the circumstances behind his being hired by BIC, what his job actually entailed, and whether he continued to have a relationship with BIC or any other CIA operation while attending Harvard Law School and thereafter.

In foreign policy Obama was simply a close variation of Bush II, which can be called Bush III. He behaved like a stanch neocon (no unlike Hillary Clinton to whom he "outsourced" his foreign policy during his first term in the office). He was a firm believer in American Exceptionalism (which is a flavor of radical nationalism), in the necessity of the US global dominance at all costs, in the maintenance and expansion of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. During his presidency he never got tied of imperial adventures and bombing brown people (The Bush-Obama-Neocon Doctrine):

It’s official: When it comes to foreign policy, Barack Obama’s first term is really George W. Bush’s third. Bill Kristol, son of the late neoconservative godfather Irving Kristol and editor of the Weekly Standard, declared that Obama is “a born-again neocon” during a March 30 appearance on the Fox News Channel’s Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld. Kristol’s remark came in the context of a discussion of Obama’s consultation with Kristol and other influential columnists prior to his March 28 address to the nation about his military intervention in Libya. Gutfeld quizzed Kristol about the President’s asking him for “help” with his speech. Kristol denied that Obama had sought his help. Instead, Kristol said,

In case anyone missed the significance of Kristol’s comment, Gutfeld made it clear: “We’ve got the drones. We’ve got military tribunals. We’ve got Gitmo. We’re bombing Libya. People who voted for Obama got four more years of Bush.”

Kristol agreed, adding: “What’s the joke — they told me if I voted for McCain, we’d be going to war in a third Muslim country…. I voted for McCain and we’re doing it.”

Of course, to Kristol, calling someone a neocon is a compliment. Indeed, Kristol praised Obama’s speech on the Weekly Standard blog, saying the President “had rejoined — or joined — the historical American foreign policy mainstream.” The speech was “reassuring,” Kristol explained, saying, “The president was unapologetic, freedom-agenda-embracing, and didn’t shrink from defending the use of force or from appealing to American values and interests.” In other words, it was a neocon speech, cloaking the use of violence in the language of liberty and treating the U.S. military as the President’s personal mercenaries to reshape the globe rather than as defenders of the territorial United States.

This is not the first time Kristol and other neocons have lauded Obama’s foreign policy. After Obama made a speech in 2009 announcing he was sending more troops to Afghanistan — that is, he was replicating Bush’s Iraq “surge” in another location — Michael Goldfarb, a Weekly Standard writer, asked Kristol for his reaction to the speech. “He said he would have framed a few things differently,” Goldfarb related, “but his basic response was: ‘All hail Obama!’”

Similarly, when the President last August claimed that “the American combat mission in Iraq has ended” while asserting that “our commitment to Iraq’s future is not” ending, New York Post resident neocon John Podhoretz applauded Obama for his “rather neoconservative speech, in the sense that Neoconservatism has argued for aggressive American involvement in the world both for the world’s sake and for the sake of extending American freedoms in order to enhance and preserve American security.” [Emphasis in original.]

Sheldon Richman, writing in Freedom Daily, reminded readers of just exactly what neocon policies have wrought:

Just to be clear, the neocons were among the key architects of the war against Iraq in 1991, followed by the embargo that killed half a million children. That war and embargo set the stage for the 9/11 attacks, which were then used to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq (an ambition long predating 9/11) and the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, American’s [sic] longest military engagement — all of which have killed more than a million people, wreaked political havoc, and made life in those countries (and elsewhere) miserable. Let’s not forget the drone assassination and special ops programs being run in a dozen Muslim countries. The neocon achievement also has helped drive the American people deep into debt.

Nice crowd Obama is hanging with these days. And that’s no exaggeration. Frederick Kagan, one of the top neocon brains and a signatory of the Project of the New American Century imperial manifesto, now works for Gen. David Petraeus.

Barack Obama, the candidate of “change we can believe in,” turned out to be the President of “more of the same.” Lest there remain any doubt about this, one need only turn to establishment news organ Time magazine. There Mark Halperin, explaining “why Obama’s Libya address was strong,” states quite bluntly: “George W. Bush could have delivered every sentence.”

In foreign policy the crown achievement of Obama was putsch in Ukraine, which brought in power far right government of Western Ukrainian nationalists, destroyed the Ukrainian economy, plunging the majority of population into abysmal, Central-African-level poverty (less then $2 a day) and unleashed civil war in Donbass region. But strategically it cut the most important of post  Soviet Republic from Russia, and that all that matters for Obama and his handlers. 

In internal, domestic  policy Obama was iether criminally negligent or criminally complicit , serving as a stooge of financial oligarchy. Essentially trying to imitate worst features of Clinton administration (despite deep hate between Obama and Clinton families, especially Michelle and Hillary; the later called Hillary Hilderbeast). He continued, but is much slower page (as after 2008 the wind changed the direction) the same deregulation policies and destruction the remnants of the New Deal.

The crown achievement of Obama is the push for TPP (derailed by Trump), which would  impoverish working Americans, proliferate McJobs and contractor jobs instead of normal full-time well paying jobs (that were the cornerstone of the New Deal) and enlarge the third country that exists within the USA today (50 million Americans who are on food stamps are in reality not a regular "upscale" US citizens, that world wants to imitate, but a citizens of this third world country within the USA).  In other words he was a selloff. The neoliberal transformation of the economy that all three last administrations advocated proved to be a cruel joke.

If you do not pay people well they can't buy the products on their income and go deeply into debts, trying to maintain their sliding standard of living.  While debt is freely available under neoliberalism to "shmucks" (lower 99% of the US population; the upper 0.1% is called  the "Masters of the Universe"), people can carry only so much of it and at some point the system goes into deep crisis and debt reached the critical mass and sink the economy. 

So you get into "let them eat cakes" situation, in which Obama and Hillary Clinton found themselves during the Democratic convention, when Sanders supporters walked out, it is understandable why they unleashed the new McCarthyism campaign against Russia. They faced the problem of  Demexit and fueling anti-Russian hysteria was a convenient way of offloading the responsibility for this political fiasco and preventing Demexit  from becoming a catastrophe for the neoliberalized by Bill Clinton Democratic Party, which betrayed its working class and lower middle class voters in favor of Wall street financial oligarchy.   

The rise of Trump and Bernie Sanders in the recent presidential election also signify the crisis of neoliberal governance within the USA. People simply became fed of immigration,. globalization and, most important, destruction of jobs and the standard of living for the majority of the population.

People are just fed up with the establishment and the prince of "bait and switch Obama, despite  much better  popularly ratings at the end of his presidency, he is as a disastrous president as Buss II was. Just with slightly darker skin, and without the same speech mistakes. Although it is difficult to say for any teleprompter loving President what was his actual level of conversation. Obama mostly avoid "open questions" interviews during his presidency which suggest that he was afraid of such encounters, where teleprompter is not available. 

What features defines the neocon foreign policy

 

The essence of imperial hubris is the belief that one's country is omnipotent; that the country can shape and create reality. The country's main aspiration is to create clients, dependencies and as the Godfather Zbigniew Bzrezinski candidly put it, "vassals".

Such a mindset does not just appreciate the reality of contingency; it also does not appreciate the nature of complex systems. The country's elites believe that both soft and hard power should be able to ensure the desired outcomes. But resistance to imperial designs and blowback from the imperial power's activities induce cognitive dissonance. Instead of such cognitive crises leading to a return to reality, they lead to denial amongst this elite. This elite lives in a bubble. Their discourse is intellectually incestuous and anybody that threatens this bubble is ostracized. Limits are set to what can be debated.

That is why realists like John Mearsheimer, Steve Walt, Michael Scheuer and Stephen Cohen are ignored by this elite even though their ideas are very germane. If other countries don't bow down to their dictates, they have only a combination of the following responses: sanctions, regime change and chaos. The paradox is that the more they double down with their delusions the more the country's power continues to decline. My only hope is that this doubling down will not take the world down with it.

Makutwa Omutiti | Aug 4, 2017 3:51:17 PM | 25

The neoconservative impulse became visible in modern American foreign policy since Reagan but became dominant ideology and foreign policy practice during criminal George W. Bush administration, which unleashed disastrous for American people Iraq war and destabilized the region, which eventually led to creation of ISIS. Those disastrous neoconservative policies were continued during Obama administration ("Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place. Especially sinister role was played  Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton  while she was the Secretary of State. She was the butcher of Libya and Syria.

Unlike traditionalist conservatism (which in the USA survived in the form of Paleoconservatism) and preaches noninterventionism, Neoconservatism has nothing to do with conservative doctrine at all. This is neoliberal interpretation of Trotskyism -- neoTrotskyism. Like neofascism it glories militarism (in the form of New American Militarism as described by Professor Bacevich),. emphasizes confrontation, and regime change in countries hostile to the interests of global corporation and which are a barrier of spread of neoliberalism and extension of global, US dominated neoliberal empire. It is extremely jingoistic creed.

The unspoken assumptions of neocon cult have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual wars of neoliberal conquest. It also led to destabilization of the whole regions, creation of political Islam and at the end creation of ISIS and "institutionalization" of  suicide bombings as the only means to fight against global neoliberal empire by people deprived of regular military means.  From which many nations, suffered especially in Russia and Europe.  In Russia neocons supported radical Islam and Wahhabism preaching extremists (sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Gulf monarchies), considering it the lesser evil, and were trying to dismember Russia.  In Ukraine neocons supported far right nationalists with distinct national socialism leanings and history of crime against humanity (Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia - Wikipedia), which make the country a debt slave of IMF and dropped already low standard of living of population almost three times. Making the Ukraine probably the poorest country in Europe where large percent of population (especially pensioners and single mothers) needs to survive of less the $3 a day. Average (note the word "average")  pension in Ukraine is about $1500 grivna which at the current exchange rate is approximately $60. It was three times higher before the Maydan color revolution which State Department so skillfully organized. Everywhere they bring wars and disasters. And they impoverish the US middle class. To say nothing about desperate, completely robbed 50 or so million people with Mcjobs, who are liming essentially in the third world country that exists within the USA now  (Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 46,000,000 for 38 Straight Months ).  They are concerned mainly with enriching themselves and their masters from military industrial complex and bloating government bureaucracy. In other words they behave like the USSR nomenklatura -- a privileged, above the law class, degeneration of which eventually led to collapse of the USSR. Such a conservatives. And not unlike Party bureaucracy of the Third Reich, despite being disproportionally Jewish. 

And in foreign policy they were a real, unmitigated  disaster.  Or more correctly series of disaster of varying magnitudes. Iraq was a huge, humiliating disaster. Probably the biggest one.  Afghanistan was a disaster of lesser scale. Libya were another, more small scale disaster. Syria is a potentially huge disaster, due to international consequences of creating ISIS in this region.  Ukraine is a huge and very expensive disaster, which might lead to the WWIII, a nuclear holocaust (neocons like to speculate on tragedy of Jewish population during the WWII).   which revived the threat of nuclear war with Russia (and probably was done in the name of US security, as neocons understand it ;-). Moreover it moved Russia closer to China, which is no way is in the USA geopolitical interests. Starting from Clinton administration their attitude to Russia was essentially was: be our vassal, or you have no right to exist. Which is reckless attitude to the second most powerful nuclear armed state in the world.  Even taking into account huge difficulties and huge deterioration of the Russia military capabilities after the dissolution of the USSR they are playing with fire. And enjoying every minute of it. Just look at Robert Kagan (the husband of Victoria Nuland, who was appointed as advisor to State Department by Hillary Clinton) face during his public speeches. This man is definitely enjoying himself and his wit. 

An assertion that the fundamental determinant of the relationship between states rests on military power and the willingness to use it is clearly wrong. It is a foreign policy equivalent to Al Capone idea that "You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone". It is very close to neo-Nazi idea that "War is a natural state, and peace is a utopian dream that induces softness, decadence and pacifism." The problem here is that it's the person who promotes this creed can be shot. Of course neocons are chickenhawks and prefer other people die for their misguided adventures.  

The idea  that disagreement about this postulate is tantamount to defeatism is simply silly. "Global unilateralism" is capable to bankrupt the USA.  Democracy promotion was a nice racket until probably 2008, but now way too many countries understand what it is about. The same is true about color revolutions.

It created level of anti-American sentiment at Middle East unheard before,  provoked rearmament of Russia and armament of China which together represent a formidable force able to turn the USA into radioactive ash no less effectively then the USA can turn them. 

Despite disastrous results of the Neocon foreign policy neocons remain a powerful, dominant political force in Washington. In recent Presidential race neocons are represented by Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton.


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[Jan 22, 2018] US Intelligence Could Well Have Wiretapped Trump by Ron Paul

Notable quotes:
"... Unable to come to terms with losing the 2016 election, Democrats are still pushing the 'Russiagate' probe and blocking the release of a memo describing surveillance abuses by the FBI, former Congressman Ron Paul told RT. ..."
"... I don't think anybody is seeking justice or seeking truth as much as they're seeking to get political advantage ..."
"... "I would be surprised if they haven't spied on him. They spy on everybody else. And they have spied on other members of the executive branch and other presidents." ..."
"... "The other day when they voted to get FISA even more power to spy on American people, the president couldn't be influenced by the fact that they used it against him. And I believe they did, and he believes that." ..."
"... "I've always maintained that government ought to be open and the people ought to have their privacy. But right now the people have no privacy and all our government does is work on secrecy and then it becomes competitive between the two parties, who get stuck with the worst deal by arguing, who's guilty of some crime," the politician explained. ..."
"... Paul also blasted the infamous 'Russian Dossier' compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, and which the Democrats used in their attack on Trump, saying it ..."
"... "has no legitimacy being revealing [in terms of] of Trump being associated with Russia. From the people I know The story has been all made up, essentially." ..."
"... "I'm no fan of Trump. I'm not a supporter of his, but I think that has been carried way overboard. I think the Democrats can't stand the fact that they've lost the election, and they can't stand the fact that Trump is a little bit more independent minded than they like," he said. ..."
Jan 20, 2018 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

Unable to come to terms with losing the 2016 election, Democrats are still pushing the 'Russiagate' probe and blocking the release of a memo describing surveillance abuses by the FBI, former Congressman Ron Paul told RT.

A top-secret intelligence memo, believed to reveal political bias at the highest levels of the FBI and the DOJ towards President Trump, may well be as significant as the Republicans say, Ron Paul told RT. But, he added, "there's still to many unknowns, especially, from my view point."

"Trump connection to the Russians, I think, has been way overblown, and I'd like to just get to the bottom of this the new information that's coming out, maybe this will reveal things and help us out," he said.

"Right now it's just a political fight," the former US Congressman said. "I think they're dealing with things a lot less important than the issue they ought to be talking about Right now, I don't think anybody is seeking justice or seeking truth as much as they're seeking to get political advantage."

Trump's claims that he was wiretapped by US intelligence agencies on the orders of the Obama administration may well turn out to be true, Paul said.

"I would be surprised if they haven't spied on him. They spy on everybody else. And they have spied on other members of the executive branch and other presidents."

However, he criticized Trump for doing nothing to prevent the Senate from voting in the expansion of warrantless surveillance of US citizens under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) earlier this week.

"The other day when they voted to get FISA even more power to spy on American people, the president couldn't be influenced by the fact that they used it against him. And I believe they did, and he believes that."

"I've always maintained that government ought to be open and the people ought to have their privacy. But right now the people have no privacy and all our government does is work on secrecy and then it becomes competitive between the two parties, who get stuck with the worst deal by arguing, who's guilty of some crime," the politician explained.

The fact that Democrats on the relevant committees have all voted against releasing the memo "might mean that Trump is probably right; there's probably a lot of stuff there that would exonerate him from any accusation they've been making," he said.

Paul also blasted the infamous 'Russian Dossier' compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, and which the Democrats used in their attack on Trump, saying it

"has no legitimacy being revealing [in terms of] of Trump being associated with Russia. From the people I know The story has been all made up, essentially."

"I'm no fan of Trump. I'm not a supporter of his, but I think that has been carried way overboard. I think the Democrats can't stand the fact that they've lost the election, and they can't stand the fact that Trump is a little bit more independent minded than they like," he said.

This article was originally published by RT -

[Jan 22, 2018] Trump Jr. on FISA memo Media, Democrats working together to deceive Americans

Jan 22, 2018 | www.washingtonexaminer.com

Donald Trump Jr. called for the release of a memo that allegedly contains information about Obama administration surveillance abuses and suggested that Democrats are complicit with the media in misleading the public.

"It's the double standard that the people are fed by the Democrats in complicity with the media, that's why neither have any trust from the American people anymore," Trump said on Fox News Friday.

[Jan 22, 2018] German Imperialism as a tool of the "Kingdom of Money" by Thomas Fazi

Ukraine after EuroMaydan is a de-facto EU colony.
Notable quotes:
"... By Thomas Fazi 4 December 2017 ..."
"... For Germany, the idea of Europeanism has provided the country's elites with the perfect alibi to conceal their hegemonic project behind the ideological veil of 'European integration' ..."
"... "That may sound absurd given that today's Germany is a successful democracy without a trace of national-socialism – and that no one would actually associate Merkel with Nazism. But further reflection on the word 'Reich', or empire, may not be entirely out of place. The term refers to a dominion, with a central power exerting control over many different peoples. According to this definition, would it be wrong to speak of a German Reich in the economic realm?" ..."
"... More recently, an article in Politico Europe ..."
"... Even though the power exercised by Europe's 'colonial masters' is now openly acknowledged by the mainstream press, it is however commonplace to ascribe Germany's dominant position as an accident of history: according to this narrative, we are in the presence of an 'accidental empire', one that is not the result of a general plan but that emerged almost by chance – even against ..."
"... Germany (and France) have been the main beneficiaries of the sovereign bailouts of periphery countries , which essentially amounted to a covert bailout of German (and French) banks, as most of the funds were channelled back to the creditor countries' banks, which were heavily exposed to the banks (and to a lesser degree the governments) of periphery countries. German policy, Helen Thompson wrote , overwhelmingly 'served the interests of the German banks'. ..."
"... This is a telling example of how Germany's policies (and the EU's policies more in general), while nominally ordoliberal – i.e., based upon minimal government intervention and a strict rules-based regime – are in reality based on extensive state intervention on behalf of German capital, at both the domestic and European level. ..."
"... German authorities have also been more than happy to go along with – or to encourage – the European institutions' 'exercise of unrestrained executive power and the more or less complete abandonment of strict, rules-based frameworks' – Storey is here referring in particular to the ECB's use of its currency-issuing monopoly to force member states to follows its precepts – 'to maintain the profitability of German banks, German hegemony within the Eurozone, or even the survival of the Eurozone itself'. ..."
"... Germany (and France) are also the main beneficiaries of the ongoing process of 'mezzogiornification' of periphery countries – often compounded by troika -forced privatisations –, which in recent years has allowed German and French firms to take over a huge number of businesses (or stakes therewithin) in periphery countries, often at bargain prices. A well-publicised case is that of the 14 Greek regional airports taken over by the German airport operator Fraport. ..."
"... France's corporate offensive in Italy is another good example: in the last five years, French companies have engaged in 177 Italian takeovers, for a total value of $41.8 billion, six times Italy's purchases in France over the same period. This is leading to an increased 'centralisation' of European capital, characterised by a gradual concentration of capital and production in Germany and other core countries – in the logistical and distribution sectors, for example – and more in general to an increasingly imbalanced relationship between the stronger and weaker countries of the union. ..."
"... In short, the European Union should indeed be viewed a transnational capitalist project, but one that is subordinated to a clear state-centred hierarchy of power, with Germany in the dominant position. In this sense, the national elites in periphery countries that have supported Germany's hegemonic project (and continue to do so, first and foremost through their support to European integration) can thus be likened to the comprador bourgeoisie ..."
"... Exportnationalismus' ..."
"... Modell Deutschland ..."
"... Even more worryingly, Germany is not simply aiming at expanding its economic control over the European continent; it is also taking steps for greater European military 'cooperation' – under the German aegis, of course. As a recent article in Foreign Policy ..."
"... In other words, Germany already effectively controls the armies of four countries. And the initiative, Foreign Policy ..."
Jan 21, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press
Originally from: Germany's dystopian plans for Europe: from fantasy to reality? By Thomas Fazi 4 December 2017

For Germany, the idea of Europeanism has provided the country's elites with the perfect alibi to conceal their hegemonic project behind the ideological veil of 'European integration'

After Emmanuel Macron's election in France, many (including myself) claimed that this signalled a revival of the Franco-German alliance and a renewed impetus for Europe's process of top-down economic and political integration – a fact that was claimed by most commentators and politicians, beholden as they are to the Europeanist narrative, to be an unambiguously positive development.

Among the allegedly 'overdue' reforms that were said to be on the table was the creation of a pseudo-'fiscal union' backed by a (meagre) 'euro budget', along with the creation of a 'European finance minister', the centre-points of Macron's plans to 're-found the EU' – a proposal that raises a number of very worrying issues from both political and economic standpoints, which I have discussed at length elsewhere .

The integrationists' (unwarranted) optimism, however, was short-lived. The result of the German elections, which saw the surge of two rabidly anti-integrationist parties, the right-wing FDP and extreme right AfD; the recent collapse of coalition talks between Merkel's CDU, the FDP and the Greens, which most likely means an interim government for weeks if not months, possibly leading to new elections (which polls show would bring roughly the same result as the September election); and the growing restlessness in Germany towards the 13-year-long rule of Macron's partner in reform Angela Merkel, means that any plans that Merkel and Macron may have sketched out behind the scenes to further integrate policies at the European level are now, almost certainly, dead in the water. Thus, even the sorry excuse for a fiscal union proposed by Macron is now off the table, according to most commentators.

At this point, the German government's most likely course in terms of European policy – the one that has the best chance of garnering cross-party support, regardless of the outcome of the coalition talks (or of new elections) – is the 'minimalist' approach set in stone by the country's infamous and now-former finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, in a 'non-paper' published shortly before his resignation.

The main pillar of Schäuble's proposal – a long-time obsession of his – consists in giving the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which would go on to become a 'European Monetary Fund', the power to monitor (and, ideally, enforce) compliance with the Fiscal Compact. This echoes Schäuble's previous calls for the creation of a European budget commissioner with the power to reject national budgets – a supranational fiscal enforcer.

The aim is all too clear: to further erode what little sovereignty and autonomy member states have left, particularly in the area of fiscal policy, and to facilitate the imposition of neoliberal 'structural reforms' – flexibilisation of labour markets, reduction of collective bargaining rights, etc. – on reluctant countries.

To this end, the German authorities even want to make the receipt of EU cohesion funds conditional on the implementation of such reforms , tightening the existing arrangements even further. Moreover, as noted by Simon Wren-Lewis , the political conflict of interest of having an institution lending within the eurozone would end up imposing severe austerity bias on the recovering country.

Until recently, these proposals failed to materialise due, among other reasons, to France's opposition to any further overt reductions of national sovereignty in the area of budgetary policy; Macron, however, staunchly rejects France's traditional souverainiste stance, embracing instead what he calls 'European sovereignty', and thus represents the perfect ally for Germany's plans.

Another proposal that goes in the same direction is the German Council for Economic Experts' plan to curtail banks' sovereign bond holdings. Ostensibly aimed at 'severing the link between banks and government' and 'ensuring long-term debt sustainability', it calls for: (i) removing the exemption from risk-weighting for sovereign exposures, which essentially means that government bonds would no longer be considered a risk-free asset for banks (as they are now under Basel rules), but would be 'weighted' according to the 'sovereign default risk' of the country in question (as determined by credit rating agencies); (ii) putting a cap on the overall risk-weighted sovereign exposure of banks; and (iii) introducing an automatic 'sovereign insolvency mechanism' that would essentially extend to sovereigns the bail-in rule introduced for banks by the banking union, meaning that if a country requires financial assistance from the ESM, for whichever reason, it will have to lengthen its sovereign bond maturities (reducing the market value of those bonds and causing severe losses for all bondholders) and, if necessary, impose a nominal 'haircut' on private creditors.

As noted by the German economist Peter Bofinger , the only member of the German Council of Economic Experts to vote against the sovereign bail-in plan, this would almost certainly ignite a 2012-style self-fulfilling sovereign debt crisis, as periphery countries' bond yields would quickly rise to unsustainable levels, making it increasingly hard for governments to roll over maturing debt at reasonable prices and eventually forcing them to turn to the ESM for help, which would entail even heavier losses for their banks and an even heavier dose of austerity.

It would essentially amount to a return to the pre-2012 status quo, with governments once again subject to the supposed 'discipline' of the markets, particularly in the context of a likely tapering of the ECB's quantitative easing (QE) program. The aim of this proposal is the same as that of Schäuble's 'European Monetary Fund': to force member states to implement permanent austerity.

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Of course, national sovereignty in a number of areas – most notably fiscal policy – has already been severely eroded by the complex system of new laws, rules and agreements introduced in recent years, including but not limited to the six-pack, two-pack, Fiscal Compact, European Semester and Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure (MIP).

As a result of this new post-Maastricht system of European economic governance, the European Union has effectively become a sovereign power with the authority to impose budgetary rules and structural reforms on member states outside democratic procedures and without democratic control.

The EU's embedded quasi-constitutionalism and inherent (structural) democratic deficit has thus evolved into an even more anti-democratic form of 'authoritarian constitutionalism' that is breaking away with elements of formal democracy as well, leading some observers to suggest that the EU 'may easily become the postdemocratic prototype and even a pre-dictatorial governance structure against national sovereignty and democracies'.

To give an example, with the launch of the European Semester, the EU's key tool for economic policy guidance and surveillance, an area that has historically been a bastion of national sovereignty – old-age pensions – has now fallen under the purview of supranational monitoring as well. Countries are now expected to (and face sanctions if they don't): (i) increase the retirement age and link it with life expectancy; (ii) reduce early retirement schemes, improve the employability of older workers and promote lifelong learning; (iii) support complementary private savings to enhance retirement incomes; and (iv) avoid adopting pension-related measures that undermine the long term sustainability and adequacy of public finances.

This has led to the introduction in various countries of several types of automatic stabilizing mechanisms (ASMs) in pension systems, which change the policy default so that benefits or contributions adjust automatically to adverse demographic and economic conditions without direct intervention by politicians. Similar 'automatic correction mechanisms' in relation to fiscal policy can be found in the Fiscal Compact.

The aim of all these 'automatic mechanisms' is clearly to put the economy on 'autopilot', thus removing any element of democratic discussion and/or decision-making at either the European or national level. These changes have already transformed European states into 'semi-sovereign' entities, at best. In this sense, the proposals currently under discussion would mark the definitive transformation of European states from semi-sovereign to de facto (and increasingly de jure ) non-sovereign entities.

Regardless of the lip service paid by national and European officials to the need for further reductions of national sovereignty to go hand in hand with a greater 'democratisation' of the euro area, the reforms currently on the table can, in fact, be considered the final stage in the thirty-year-long war on democracy and national sovereignty waged by the European elites, aimed at constraining the ability of popular-democratic powers to influence economic policy, thus enabling the imposition of neoliberal policies that would not have otherwise been politically feasible.

In this sense, the European economic and monetary integration process should be viewed, to a large degree, as a class-based and inherently neoliberal project pursued by all national capitals as well as transnational (financial) capital. However, to grasp the processes of restructuring under way in Europe, we need to go beyond the simplistic capital/labour dichotomy that underlies many critical analyses of the EU and eurozone, which view EU/EMU policies as the expression of a unitary and coherent transnational (post-national) European capitalist class.

The process underway can only be understood through the lens of the geopolitical-economic tensions and conflicts between leading capitalist states and regional blocs, and the conflicting interests between the different financial/industrial capital fractions located in those states, which have always characterised the European economy. In particular, it means looking at Germany's historic struggle for economic hegemony over the European continent.

It is no secret that Germany is today the leading economic and political power in Europe, just as it is no secret that nothing gets done in Europe without Germany's seal of approval. In fact, it is commonplace to come across references to Germany's 'new empire'. A controversial Der Spiegel editorial from a few years back event went as far as arguing that it is not out place to talk of the rise of a 'Fourth Reich':

"That may sound absurd given that today's Germany is a successful democracy without a trace of national-socialism – and that no one would actually associate Merkel with Nazism. But further reflection on the word 'Reich', or empire, may not be entirely out of place. The term refers to a dominion, with a central power exerting control over many different peoples. According to this definition, would it be wrong to speak of a German Reich in the economic realm?"

More recently, an article in Politico Europe – co-owned by the German media magnate Axel Springer AG – candidly explained why 'Greece is de facto a German colony'. It noted how, despite Tsipras' pleas for debt relief, the Greek leader 'has little choice but to heed the wishes of his "colonial" masters', i.e., the Germans.

This is because public debt in the eurozone is used as a political tool – a disciplining tool – to get governments to implement socially harmful policies (and to get citizens to accept these policies by portraying them as inevitable), which explains why Germany continues to refuse to seriously consider any form of debt relief for Greece, despite the various commitments and promises to that end made in recent years: debt is the chain that keeps Greece (and other member states) from straying 'off course'.

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Even though the power exercised by Europe's 'colonial masters' is now openly acknowledged by the mainstream press, it is however commonplace to ascribe Germany's dominant position as an accident of history: according to this narrative, we are in the presence of an 'accidental empire', one that is not the result of a general plan but that emerged almost by chance – even against Germany's wishes – as a result of the euro's design faults, which have allowed Germany and its satellites to pursue a neo-mercantilist strategy and thus accumulate huge current account surpluses.

Now, it is certainly true that the euro's design – strongly influenced by Germany – inevitably benefits export-led economies such as Germany over more internal demand-oriented economies, such as those of southern Europe. However, there is ample evidence to support the argument that Germany, far from having accidently stumbled upon European dominance, has been actively and consciously pursuing an expansionary and imperialist strategy in – and through – the European Union for decades.

Even if we limit our analysis to Germany's post-crisis policies (though there is much that could be said about Germany's post-reunification policies and subsequent offshoring of production to Eastern Europe in the 1990s), it would be very naïve to view Germany's inflexibility – on austerity, for example – as a simple case of ideological stubbornness, considering the extent to which the policies in question have benefited Germany (and to a lesser extent France).

Germany (and France) have been the main beneficiaries of the sovereign bailouts of periphery countries , which essentially amounted to a covert bailout of German (and French) banks, as most of the funds were channelled back to the creditor countries' banks, which were heavily exposed to the banks (and to a lesser degree the governments) of periphery countries. German policy, Helen Thompson wrote , overwhelmingly 'served the interests of the German banks'.

This is a telling example of how Germany's policies (and the EU's policies more in general), while nominally ordoliberal – i.e., based upon minimal government intervention and a strict rules-based regime – are in reality based on extensive state intervention on behalf of German capital, at both the domestic and European level.

As Andy Storey notes, not only did the German government, throughout the crisis, show a blatant disregard for ordoliberalism's non-interference of public institutions in the workings of the market, by engaging in a massive Keynesian-style programme in the aftermath of the financial crisis and pushing through bailout programmes that largely absolved German banks from their responsibility for reckless lending to Greece and other countries; German authorities have also been more than happy to go along with – or to encourage – the European institutions' 'exercise of unrestrained executive power and the more or less complete abandonment of strict, rules-based frameworks' – Storey is here referring in particular to the ECB's use of its currency-issuing monopoly to force member states to follows its precepts – 'to maintain the profitability of German banks, German hegemony within the Eurozone, or even the survival of the Eurozone itself'.

Germany (and France) are also the main beneficiaries of the ongoing process of 'mezzogiornification' of periphery countries – often compounded by troika -forced privatisations –, which in recent years has allowed German and French firms to take over a huge number of businesses (or stakes therewithin) in periphery countries, often at bargain prices. A well-publicised case is that of the 14 Greek regional airports taken over by the German airport operator Fraport.

France's corporate offensive in Italy is another good example: in the last five years, French companies have engaged in 177 Italian takeovers, for a total value of $41.8 billion, six times Italy's purchases in France over the same period. This is leading to an increased 'centralisation' of European capital, characterised by a gradual concentration of capital and production in Germany and other core countries – in the logistical and distribution sectors, for example – and more in general to an increasingly imbalanced relationship between the stronger and weaker countries of the union.

These transformations cannot simply be described as processes without a subject: while there are undoubtedly structural reasons involved – countries with better developed economies of scale, such as Germany and France, were bound to benefit more than others from the reduction in tariffs and barriers associated with the introduction of the single currency – we also have to acknowledge that there are loci of economic-politic power that are actively driving and shaping these imperialist processes, which must be viewed through the lens of the unresolved inter-capitalist struggle between core-based and periphery-based capital.

From this perspective, the dichotomy that is often raised in European public discourse between nationalism and Europeanism is deeply flawed. The two, in fact, often go hand in hand. In Germany's case, for example, Europeanism has provided the country's elites with the perfect alibi to conceal their hegemonic project behind the ideological veil of 'European integration'. Ironically, the European Union – allegedly created as an antidote to the vicious nationalisms of the twentieth century – has been the tool through which Germany has been able to achieve the 'new European order' that Nazi ideologues had theorised in the 1930s and early 1940s.

In short, the European Union should indeed be viewed a transnational capitalist project, but one that is subordinated to a clear state-centred hierarchy of power, with Germany in the dominant position. In this sense, the national elites in periphery countries that have supported Germany's hegemonic project (and continue to do so, first and foremost through their support to European integration) can thus be likened to the comprador bourgeoisie of the old colonial system – sections of a country's elite and middle class allied with foreign interests in exchange for a subordinated role within the dominant hierarchy of power.

From this point of view, the likely revival of the Franco-German bloc is a very worrying development, since it heralds a consolidation of the German-led European imperialist bloc – and a further 'Germanification' of the continent. This development cannot be understood independently of the momentous shifts that are taking place in global political economy – namely the organic crisis of neoliberal globalisation, which is leading to increased tensions between the various fractions of international capital, most notably between the US and Germany.

Trump's repeated criticisms of Germany's beggar-thy-neighbour mercantilist policies should be understood in this light. The same goes for Angela Merkel's recent call – much celebrated by the mainstream press – for a stronger Europe to counter Trump's unilateralism. Merkel's aim is not, of course, that of making 'Europe' stronger, but rather of strengthening Germany's dominant position vis-à-vis the other world powers (the US but also China) through the consolidation of Germany's control of the European continental economy, in the context of an intensification of global inter-capitalist competition.

This has now become an imperative for Germany, especially since Trump has dared to openly challenge the self-justifying ideology which sustains Germany's mercantilism – a particular form of economic nationalism that Hans Kundnani has dubbed ' Exportnationalismus' , founded upon the belief that Germany's massive trade surplus is uniquely the result of Germany's manufacturing excellence ( Modell Deutschland ) rather than, in fact, the result of unfair trade practices.

This is why, if Germany wants to maintain its hegemonic position on the continent, it must break with the US and tighten the bolts of the European workhouse. To this end, it needs to seize control of the most coveted institution of them all – the ECB –, which hitherto has never been under direct German control (though the Bundesbank exercises considerable influence over it, as is well known). Indeed, many commentators openly acknowledge that Merkel now has her eyes on the ECB's presidency. This would effectively put Germany directly at the helm of European economic policy.

Even more worryingly, Germany is not simply aiming at expanding its economic control over the European continent; it is also taking steps for greater European military 'cooperation' – under the German aegis, of course. As a recent article in Foreign Policy revealed , 'Germany is quietly building a European army under its command'.

This year Germany and two of its European allies, the Czech Republic and Romania, announced the integration of their armed forces, under the control of the Bundeswehr. In doing so, the will follow in the footsteps of two Dutch brigades, one of which has already joined the Bundeswehr's Rapid Response Forces Division and another that has been integrated into the Bundeswehr's 1st Armored Division.

In other words, Germany already effectively controls the armies of four countries. And the initiative, Foreign Policy notes, 'is likely to grow'. This is not surprising: if Germany ('the EU') wants to become truly autonomous from the US, it needs to acquire military sovereignty, which it currently lacks.

Europe is thus at a crossroads: the choice that left-wing and popular forces, and periphery countries more generally, face is between (a) accepting Europe's transition to a fully post-democratic, hyper-competitive, German-led continental system, in which member states (except for those at the helm of the project) will be deprived of all sovereignty and autonomy, in exchange for a formal democratic façade at the supranational level, and its workers subject to ever-growing levels of exploitation; or (b) regaining national sovereignty and autonomy at the national level, with all the short-term risks that such a strategy entails, as the only way to restore democracy, popular sovereignty and socioeconomic dignity. In short, the choice is between European post-democracy or post-European democracy.

There is no third way. Especially in view of the growing tensions between Germany, the US and China, periphery countries should ask themselves if they want to be simple pawns in this 'New Great Game' or if they want to take their destinies into their own hands.

-- -

Some portions of this article previously appeared in this article published by Green European Journal. Thomas Fazi is the co-author (with William Mitchell) of Reclaiming the State: A Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post-Neoliberal World (Pluto, 2017).

[Jan 22, 2018] Kane Gamble posed as head of CIA to get secret files

So much for the director of CIA personal email security ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... A schoolboy hacker impersonated a CIA director to gain access to top secret military reports, a court heard yesterday. Kane Gamble was just 15 when he posed as CIA chief John Brennan from his Leicestershire home, even taking control of his wife's iPad. The teenager gained access to passwords, personal information, security details, contacts lists and sensitive documents about operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. ..."
"... Mr Lloyd-Jones said: 'He told a journalist, "It all started by me getting more and more annoyed at how corrupt and cold-blooded the US government are. So I decided to do something about it".' ..."
Jan 22, 2018 | dailymail.co.uk

A schoolboy hacker impersonated a CIA director to gain access to top secret military reports, a court heard yesterday. Kane Gamble was just 15 when he posed as CIA chief John Brennan from his Leicestershire home, even taking control of his wife's iPad. The teenager gained access to passwords, personal information, security details, contacts lists and sensitive documents about operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Gamble, who founded the pro-Palestinian group 'Crackas With Attitude', taunted the security service on Twitter about his successes.

During the attacks, which spanned from June 2015 to February 2016, he made hoax calls to Mr Brennan's family home and took control of his wife's iPad.

His other targets included former deputy director of the FBI Mark Giuliano, secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence under Obama.

He used the phone numbers he obtained to call and taunt his victims and their families, and take control of their devices.

Gamble, who is autistic, boasted about targeting Mr Clapper's email account and said: 'That's where the juicy s*** is'.

He also pretended to be Mr Clapper to phone communications company Verizon and set up call-forwarding to divert calls to the Free Palestine movement.

Gamble used Clapper's email to message other officials.

While speaking to an accomplice, he said: 'This email of Clapper's is very useful to fool these r****d into thinking I'm him. I can't wait lmao [sic].'

He also boasted about carrying out 'the best breach ever' after accessing an FBI database to get the names of 1,000 staff, including the officer responsible for the controversial shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The information Gamble collected was later used to carry out a 'swatting' attack on John Holdren, a science and technology adviser to President Barack Obama.

Gamble made a hoax call to Massachusetts police, resulting in armed officers being sent to the aide's family home.

The information Gamble collected was later used to carry out a 'swatting' attack on John Holdren, a science and technology adviser to President Barack Obama

+3

The information Gamble collected was later used to carry out a 'swatting' attack on John Holdren, a science and technology adviser to President Barack Obama

In the days before his arrest Gamble accessed the Department of Justice network using compromised details he gained from a former employee.

He gathered documents and information relating to offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon and details of more than 9,000 DHA officers and 20,000 FBI members of staff.

These details were posted online with the messages 'This is Free Palestine' and 'Long live Palestine.'

The Department of Homeland Security spent 40,000 dollars to resolve the problem and suffered 'substantial reputational damage', the court heard.

Gamble was arrested in February 2016 at his council home in Coalville, near Leicester, at the request of the FBI after he hacked into the Department of Justice network.

Last October, Gamble, of Linford Crescent, Coalville, pleaded guilty at Leicester Crown Court to eight charges of performing a function with intent to secure unauthorised access to computers and two charges of unauthorised modification of computer material.

Prosecutor John Lloyd-Jones QC told a sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey: 'Kane Gamble gained access to the communications accounts of some very high-ranking US intelligence officials and government employees.

'The group incorrectly have been referred to as hackers. The group in fact used something known as social engineering, which involves socially manipulating people - call centres or help desks - into performing acts or divulging confidential information.'

'The group frequently bragged on social media and subjected the victims to online harassment and abuse.'

The court heard Gamble 'felt particularly strongly' about US backed Israeli violence on Palestinians, the shooting of black people by US police, racist violence by the KKK and the bombing of civilians in Iraq and Syria.

Mr Justice Haddon-Cave described Gamble's activity as 'torture in the general sense - he got these people in control and played with them to make their lives difficult'.

Gamble was allowed to sit next to his mother behind his barrister rather than the dock when he appeared at the Old Bailey dressed in a dark blue coat.

Gamble also used an anonymous Twitter profile to talk to journalists.

Mr Lloyd-Jones said: 'He told a journalist, "It all started by me getting more and more annoyed at how corrupt and cold-blooded the US government are. So I decided to do something about it".'

He is due to be sentenced at the Old Bailey at a later date.

Pargolfer, Billericay, United Kingdom, 2 days ago

Does this not show, that the higher up you are the more you think you are too important to be hacked? If a 15 year old could do this, how safe is American security? I think you had better hire him.

oscartheone, London, United Kingdom, 2 days ago

In fact what he actually did was to gain access to the CIA directors hotmail account and ex po se d the fact the director of the CIA was using hotmail to email top secret documents. The travesty being it should be the director of the CIA on trial, not Gamble

steviewunda, Warrington, United Kingdom, 2 days ago

Some state he should be given a job, but then others would do outrageous things to put on their CV for a job in intelligence. We can't be seen to encourage this despicable behaviour, for any reason.

Villain1874, Villain Park, United Kingdom, 2 days ago

This will either ruin him or make him, if hes smart (which looks that way) he will use his talents for the better if hes arrogant and tries this again U.S and U.K authorities will destroy him before he knows whats hit him...

stc6, Stratford upon Avon, United Kingdom, 2 days ago

A talented kid! We should put him to good use but keep him on a tight leash!

CallMeDave, Bury, United Kingdom, 2 days ago

And right this minute the CIA are trying to link him to Russia.

Del, AEglesburgh, United Kingdom, 2 days ago

A lot of suggestions here to employ him. Yes appears to be a clever chap and probably could do a good job, but he has acted in a criminal manner with intent to cause harm. He's done this from his house, what damage could he do if employed by a Gov't agency? Temptation would be too great.

erict, ipswich, United Kingdom, 2 days ago

Well this goes to show intelligent the US homeland security the NSA and the FBI are I'am surprised the haven't put sanction's on Liestershire Iexpect those who work at HCHQ are laughing their head's off,

[Jan 22, 2018] Who's Lying FBI Says 5 Months Of Texts Lost, Yet IG Horowitz Says His Office Received Them In August

Notable quotes:
"... And if this is covered closely, then we may get some traction about how it was done and who pulled the strings. This maybe why former NSC Clapper is running scared, he set up his own personal intelligence network (there were reports early on, Clapper had his own intelligence network besides the 17 official intel agencies) to spy for the Obama WH, both he and former CIA Brennan were running intel ops for the Obama WH. Brennan ran political intel for the Obama election campaign. Indicating the Deep State intelligence apparatus is deeply involved in presidential elections. Brennan political campaign intel network using Deep State assets, next Obama;s NSC, next Obama's CIA director and was said to be the most political CIA director in history by CIA employees. ..."
"... The UK Govt appears to be complicit in the overthrow of the newly elected US Govt..........Team Globalist ..."
"... as I noted my beliefs before. Trump can be goofy at times. can be a walking ego at times. but he does not have an inherently evil heart. So he never fully comprehends the evil hearted person or collection of persons. ..."
"... He is a great marketer, but he is not a brilliant war strategist, because he doesn't fully understand the heart of his enemy. Example: He thought laying off of Hillary after the election was actually the gentlemanly thing to do....because, he thought she'd accept defeat and leave the playing field. (we on ZH knew better, but Trump actually didn't know) ..."
"... So now we know the real purpose of the FBI Trump investigation, to give Mueller and his band of merry Clinton-Lawyers the opportunity clean up the evidence. ..."
"... First, the backups are at the NSA and the Telco systems. 2nd, I'd ask WHO ELSE in the FBI was affected by lack of backups for such long period, AND how does that other impact ongoing investigations... If the answer is just those 2, well, follow the money. If the answer is more than these 2, than the credibility of the entire FBI is at stake. Which may not be much, but that is the only thing left at the moment. ..."
"... By the way, for non-techie out there, the FBI's excuse is that they couldn't get the software upgrade done right. If you work in a big company, you know how much testing and disturbance goes on before new software is rolled out. There is no such thing as a serious bug left running for months. Big companies just roll back in such extreme cases. Now imagine the amount of testing that goes on for secure phone on FBI systems. LOL. I suggest my american friends to look at this great invention called the guillotine? ..."
Jan 22, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

A major contradiction has been discovered between yesterday's revelation that the FBI "lost" five months of text messages, and a claim by the DOJ's Inspector General, Michael Horowitz - who claimed his office received the texts in question between FBI employees Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page last August.

... ... ...

Knowledge of the missing texts was revealed in a Saturday letter from Ron Johnson (R-WI), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) - after the Committee received an additional 384 pages of text messages between Strzok and Page, several of which contained anti-Trump / pro-Clinton bias. The new DOJ submission included a cover letter from the Assistant AG for Legislative Affairs, Stephen Boyd, claiming that the FBI was unable to preserve text messages between the two agents for a five month period between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017 - due to "misconfiguration issues" with FBI-issued Samsung 5 devices used by Strzok and Page (despite over 10,000 texts which were recovered from their devices without incident).

However - as the Gateway Pundit 's Josh Caplan points out , the lost text messages are in direct contradiction to a December 13, 2017 letter from the DOJ's internal watchdog - Inspector General Michael Horowitz, to Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley and HSGAC Chairman Ron Johnson, in which he claims he received the texts in question on August 10, 2017 .

In gathering evidence for the OIG's ongoing 2016 election review, we requested, consistent with standard practice, that the FBI produce text messages from the FBI-issued phones of certain FBI employees involved in the Clinton email investigation based on search terms we provided. After finding a number of politically-oriented text messages between Page and Strzok, the OIG sought from the FBI all text messages between Strzok and Page from their FBI-issued phones through November 30, 2016 , which covered the entire period of the Clinton e-mail server investigation. The FBI produced these text messages on July 20, 2017. Following our review of those text messages, the OIG expanded our request to the FBI to include all text messages between Strzok and Page from November 30, 2016, through the date of the document request, which was July 28, 2017.

The OIG received these additional messages on August 10, 2017.

This glaring contradiction suggests someone is lying or perhaps simply incompetent. Did Horowitz's office *think* they had received the texts in question without actually verifying? Did the DOJ screw up and fail to read Horowitz's letter before "losing" the text messages so that "leaky" Congressional investigators wouldn't see them? Either way, this question needs answering.

While you can draw your own conclusions, keep in mind that Inspector Horowitz has been described as your archetypical Boy Scout bureaucrat - who as we reported two weeks ago - fought the Obama administation to restore powers taken away from the OIG by then-Attorney General, Eric Holder.

After a multi-year battle, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) successfully introduced H.R.6450 - the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016 - signed by a defeated lame duck President Obama into law on December 16th, 2016 , cementing an alliance between Horrowitz and both houses of Congress .

And Congress has been very engaged with Horowitz's investigation; spoon-feeding the OIG all the questions they need in order to nail the DOJ, FBI and the Obama Administration for what many believe to be egregious abuses of power. As such, the OIG report is expected to be a bombshell , while also satisfying a legal requirement for the Department of Justice to impartially appoint a Special Counsel to launch an official criminal investigation into the matter.

As illustrated below, the report will go from the Office of the Inspector General to both investigative committees of Congress, along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

At this point, Horowitz's office needs to clarify whether or not they indeed took delivery of the "lost" text messages. If the OIG does indeed have them, it will be interesting to get to the bottom of exactly what the DOJ claims happened, and particularly juicy if they're caught in a lie.


CuttingEdge -> Four Star Jan 22, 2018 9:39 AM Permalink

If not found at the NSA, surely the texts will still be at Verizon or whichever SP the phones operate under. Only talking 18 months here. What really cracks me up is "Peter Strzok - Head of Counter Intelligence." Really? Has a dumber cunt ever graced the 7th floor of the Hoover Building?

Speaking of which, by the time this shit has gone down in it's entirety, they won't need a 7th floor. Chris Wray will be bloody lonely up there on his own. Probably coinciding with the search for Andrew McCabe's missing pension beginning in earnest...

BennyBoy -> CuttingEdge Jan 22, 2018 9:41 AM Permalink

Who's Lying: FBI Says 5 Months Of Texts "Lost," Yet IG Horowitz Says His Office Received Them In August

FBI: OOPS!

SethPoor -> BennyBoy Jan 22, 2018 9:47 AM Permalink
Jim in MN -> SethPoor Jan 22, 2018 9:52 AM Permalink

Bottom Line: The party in power used the apparatus of the police state to spy on and damage an opposition candidate. There really isn't a higher crime in our supposed system. THEN there's the cover-up.....as in deleting files and pretending you never had them even though the IG already does.

mtl4 -> Jim in MN Jan 22, 2018 10:53 AM Permalink

This used to be the reason why each new gov't as soon as it took power would toss out any folks showing any alignment to a party at all.........guess they knew a thing or two back then, didn't they. Time for Trump to warm up those Apprentice vocal chords and start uttering his famous words. At the current rate Nixon will be exonerated by the end of 2018.

teolawki -> Jim in MN Jan 22, 2018 11:38 AM Permalink

Could the treason be any more obvious? And not just treason, but treason in collaboration with foreign governments and multinational corporate elitists!

teolawki -> Jim in MN Jan 22, 2018 11:42 AM Permalink

"However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion." President George Washington Farewell Address | Saturday, September 17, 1796

MK ULTRA Alpha -> SethPoor Jan 22, 2018 10:22 AM Permalink

I read about this, it was quickly brushed under the rug. Didn't know it was as extensive because media coverage on this angle hasn't been clear. Good report.

And if this is covered closely, then we may get some traction about how it was done and who pulled the strings. This maybe why former NSC Clapper is running scared, he set up his own personal intelligence network (there were reports early on, Clapper had his own intelligence network besides the 17 official intel agencies) to spy for the Obama WH, both he and former CIA Brennan were running intel ops for the Obama WH. Brennan ran political intel for the Obama election campaign. Indicating the Deep State intelligence apparatus is deeply involved in presidential elections. Brennan political campaign intel network using Deep State assets, next Obama;s NSC, next Obama's CIA director and was said to be the most political CIA director in history by CIA employees.

Clapper may have been the one behind using British intelligence to spy on Trump. It would explain Clappers irrational statements about Trump, sabotage and incitement of government employees not to follow Trump's orders. We got that from Clapper, Brennan and former CIA director Hayden. All three have joined forces in LA, using celebrities to continue the coup against Trump. They formed, essentially a convert political action group using celebrities, to make their case in the media. It's illogical for Clapper to continue with the coup, there is no reward in it unless, he is guilty of treason and must continue the coup to protect himself. In other words, this isn't for Hillary Clinton.

Occams_Razor_Trader -> MK ULTRA Alpha Jan 22, 2018 11:12 AM Permalink

And we wonder why these "intelligence agencies" endorse Hillary for President? These fuckers need to hang. They not only conspired to excuse the email scandal, torpedoed Sanders in the primary -- and were conspiring against her political opponent. President Trump the time is NOW!

William Dorritt -> SethPoor Jan 22, 2018 11:46 AM Permalink

************ HAIL HYDRA **************

Nice write up, keep improving, updating and posting it. The UK Govt appears to be complicit in the overthrow of the newly elected US Govt..........Team Globalist

CatInTheHat -> NoDebt Jan 22, 2018 10:44 AM Permalink

They ARE ALL in on it. ALL of them are guilty of TREASON, SEDITION. Republicans didn't want Trump in power at first...until they realized Trump, as Mitch McConnell said, "He'll sign anything we put in front of him." If you want to know what is being done on Trump Administration end. Just watch SESSIONS. Right now, Sessions has bigger fish to fry with weed smokers.

ZIOCONS have an invested interest in Russia gate: to win public support for a war on Russia. Russiagate is WMD all over again. It's why Trump does ZERO about Russia gate, while arming neonazis in the Ukraine and surrounding Russia and China's borders with US and NATO troops.

N. Korea isn't about N. Korea but about regime change to put nukes on China's doorstep. Look at what they are or are not doing. Not what they SAY..

WillyGroper -> FoggyWorld Jan 22, 2018 11:26 AM Permalink

i disagree. they're digging their hole deeper. it's ALL already been captured. everything going on is to keep us off balance & emotional. don't feed the beast.

Antifaschistische -> NoDebt Jan 22, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

as I noted my beliefs before. Trump can be goofy at times. can be a walking ego at times. but he does not have an inherently evil heart. So he never fully comprehends the evil hearted person or collection of persons.

He is a great marketer, but he is not a brilliant war strategist, because he doesn't fully understand the heart of his enemy. Example: He thought laying off of Hillary after the election was actually the gentlemanly thing to do....because, he thought she'd accept defeat and leave the playing field. (we on ZH knew better, but Trump actually didn't know)

Bannon understood but wires got crossed there somehow. Kellyanne Conway understood. Sessions is a fine gentleman that appears to have no clue the battle that is really waging.

Most of the Washington VIPs that DO understand, are more interested in preserving their membership in the country club than saving America. This is why I like Trump...because he already has a country club and doesn't need to get invited to another party and doesn't really care about those scumbags. He just needs to understand a little bit more.

Bush Baby -> eclectic syncretist Jan 22, 2018 9:28 AM Permalink

So now we know the real purpose of the FBI Trump investigation, to give Mueller and his band of merry Clinton-Lawyers the opportunity clean up the evidence.

virgule -> Bush Baby Jan 22, 2018 9:48 AM Permalink

First, the backups are at the NSA and the Telco systems. 2nd, I'd ask WHO ELSE in the FBI was affected by lack of backups for such long period, AND how does that other impact ongoing investigations... If the answer is just those 2, well, follow the money. If the answer is more than these 2, than the credibility of the entire FBI is at stake. Which may not be much, but that is the only thing left at the moment.

By the way, for non-techie out there, the FBI's excuse is that they couldn't get the software upgrade done right. If you work in a big company, you know how much testing and disturbance goes on before new software is rolled out. There is no such thing as a serious bug left running for months. Big companies just roll back in such extreme cases. Now imagine the amount of testing that goes on for secure phone on FBI systems. LOL. I suggest my american friends to look at this great invention called the guillotine?

bloofer -> GunnerySgtHartman Jan 22, 2018 10:43 AM Permalink

I thought all deleted materials could be recovered from any hard drive, unless something like BleachBit is used, or the hard drive is physically destroyed. If the FBI lacks the expertise to recover the materials, may a team of IT specialists should be sent in to help them.

ultramaroon -> bloofer Jan 22, 2018 12:17 PM Permalink

There are magnetic traces left behind even after several passes of a "zero-fill" utility or pseudo-random over-writes. There are commercial companies whose business it is to recover such data. I recovered data for the Sheriff's department from a computer involved in a murder case. A company I worked for lost a Dell 96-drive array when just the right 3 drives died at the same time. A data recovery company got everything back and sold us our own data (and that's on a RAID 10 striped and mirrored array with 3 crashed drives).

They can get any data back if they want to badly enough.

[Jan 21, 2018] The FISA Memo Is All The Ammo Trump Needs To Take On The CIA by Tom Luongo

Notable quotes:
"... FISA is an abomination. Let's get that out of the way. And since I don't believe there are any coincidences in U.S. or geo-politics, the releasing of the explosive four-page FISA memo after Congress reauthorized FISA is suspicious ..."
"... Former NSA analyst (traitor? hero?) turned security state gadfly Edward Snowden came out in favor of President Trump vetoing the FISA reauthorization now that the full extent of what the statute is used for is known to members of the House Intelligence Committee, who are rightly aghast. ..."
"... Someone leaked this memo to the House Intelligence Committee with the sole intention of giving President Trump the opportunity to do exactly what Snowden is arguing for. And well Trump should. ..."
"... This is the essence of draining the swamp. It is the essence of his war with the Shadow Government. If one makes the distinction between the Deep State and the Shadow Government, like former CIA officer Kevin Shipp does , then this falls right in line with Trump's goals in cleaning up the rot and corruption in the U.S. government. In a recent interview with Greg Hunter at USAWatchdog.com, ..."
"... Shipp explains, "I differentiate between the 'Deep State' and the shadow government. The shadow government are the secret intelligence agencies that have such power and secrecy that they act even without the knowledge of Congress. There are many things that they do with impunity. Then there is the 'Deep State,' which is the military industrial complex, all of the industrial corporations and their lobbyists, and they have all the money, power and greed that give all the money to the Senators and Congressmen. So, they are connected, but they are really two different entities. It is the shadow government . . . specifically, the CIA, that is going after Donald Trump. It is terrified that some of its dealings are going to be exposed. If they are, it could jeopardize the entire organization." [emphasis mine] ..."
"... Trump's continued needling of the establishment; playing the long game and demonizing the media which is the tip of the Shadow Government's spear while strengthening the support of both the military (through his backing them at every turn) and his base by assisting them destroy the false narratives of globalism has been nothing short of amazing. ..."
"... So, Trump cozying up to the military, cutting a deal with the military-industrial complex (MIC) has the Deep State now incentivized to fight the Shadow Government for him. The tax cut bill, while a brilliant example of political knife-fighting, is fundamentally about shoring up the finances of the corporations that make up the MIC through the repatriation of foreign-earned income, lowering the corporate tax rate and stealing even more of the middle class back from the Democrats. ..."
Jan 20, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
FISA is an abomination. Let's get that out of the way. And since I don't believe there are any coincidences in U.S. or geo-politics, the releasing of the explosive four-page FISA memo after Congress reauthorized FISA is suspicious.

Former NSA analyst (traitor? hero?) turned security state gadfly Edward Snowden came out in favor of President Trump vetoing the FISA reauthorization now that the full extent of what the statute is used for is known to members of the House Intelligence Committee, who are rightly aghast.

Officials confirm there's a secret report showing abuses of spy law Congress voted to reauthorize this week. If this memo had been known prior to the vote, FISA reauth would have failed. These abuses must be made public, and @realDonaldTrump should send the bill back with a veto. https://t.co/BEwJ9EyIq0

-- Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 19, 2018

But, like I said, timing in these things is everything. And the timing on this leak is important.

Someone leaked this memo to the House Intelligence Committee with the sole intention of giving President Trump the opportunity to do exactly what Snowden is arguing for. And well Trump should.

This is the essence of draining the swamp. It is the essence of his war with the Shadow Government. If one makes the distinction between the Deep State and the Shadow Government, like former CIA officer Kevin Shipp does , then this falls right in line with Trump's goals in cleaning up the rot and corruption in the U.S. government. In a recent interview with Greg Hunter at USAWatchdog.com,

Shipp explains, "I differentiate between the 'Deep State' and the shadow government. The shadow government are the secret intelligence agencies that have such power and secrecy that they act even without the knowledge of Congress. There are many things that they do with impunity. Then there is the 'Deep State,' which is the military industrial complex, all of the industrial corporations and their lobbyists, and they have all the money, power and greed that give all the money to the Senators and Congressmen. So, they are connected, but they are really two different entities. It is the shadow government . . . specifically, the CIA, that is going after Donald Trump. It is terrified that some of its dealings are going to be exposed. If they are, it could jeopardize the entire organization." [emphasis mine]

Court the Military Against the Spooks

And as I've talked about at length, I've felt from the moment Trump was elected he was going to have to ally himself with the U.S. military to have any chance of surviving, let alone achieve his political goals.

Trump's final campaign ad was a clarion call to action. It was a declaration of war against both the Shadow Government and the Deep State. And it ensured that if he won, which he did, they would immediately go to war with him.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/vST61W4bGm8

And you don't declare war like this if you aren't prepared for the biggest knock-down, drag-out street brawl of all time. If you aren't prepared for it, don't say it. And for the past year we've been left wondering whether Trump was 1) prepared for it 2) capable of pulling it off.

Trump's continued needling of the establishment; playing the long game and demonizing the media which is the tip of the Shadow Government's spear while strengthening the support of both the military (through his backing them at every turn) and his base by assisting them destroy the false narratives of globalism has been nothing short of amazing.

As a hard-core, jaded politico, I can tell you I never thought for a second he had the ability to what he's already done. But, as the past few months have pointed out, the real power in the world doesn't rest with the few thousand who manipulate the levers of power but the billions who for years stood by and let them.

And those days of standing by are gone.

So, Trump cozying up to the military, cutting a deal with the military-industrial complex (MIC) has the Deep State now incentivized to fight the Shadow Government for him. The tax cut bill, while a brilliant example of political knife-fighting, is fundamentally about shoring up the finances of the corporations that make up the MIC through the repatriation of foreign-earned income, lowering the corporate tax rate and stealing even more of the middle class back from the Democrats.

Trump had the right strategy from the beginning. Civil Wars turn on what the police and the military do. They are instigated by and fanned by the spooks, but it is the soldiers and the cops who decide the outcome.

And so here we are.

FISA, It's Everywhere You Don't Want it to Be

Trump has called the Democrats' and RINOs' bluff on DACA and chain-immigration as a vote-buying scheme with zero political fallout. He's properly reframed the looming government shutdown on their inability to stick to their original agreements.

His much-maligned Justice Department is now rolling up traitors associated with Uranium One, pedophiles and human traffickers all over the country and preparing for a showdown with blue state governors and attorney generals over "Sanctuary" grandstanding.

By leading the charge, he gave strength to the patriots within both the Shadow Government and the Deep State organizations to leak the material needed to keep his campaign afloat.

And as each new thing drops at the most inopportune time for the political establishment mentioned ad nauseum in that final campaign ad linked above, you have to wonder just how big the revolt inside these organizations is.

Because, right here, right now, Trump can demand the release of this FISA memo and use it to torpedo the very thing that allowed the entire "Russia Hacked Muh Election" nonsense and send it back to the sh$&hole it was spawned from in the first place, the CIA and the DNC.

And if that means for a few months the FISA courts are inoperable while a new bill and a new set of rules is drafted so be it.

* * *

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[Jan 19, 2018] #ReleaseTheMemo Extensive FISA abuse memo could destroy the entire Mueller Russia investigation by Alex Christoforou

Highly recommended!
Looks like Rosenstein might lose his position.
Jan 19, 2018 | theduran.com

Classified documents obtained by members of Congress reportedly show extensive FISA abuses.

André De Koning , January 19, 2018 5:16 AM

What a bombshell! Finally some truth about the "Justice system" in the US.

Following on from this should be the whole subsequent story of the DNC-Fusion-Steele dossier in detail, exposing the MSM too for what it has been worth.
Perhaps then Trump dares to go against the deep state swamp and stop wars instead of following the dictates of CIA, Israel and Military Industrialists. That would be a real POTUS PLUS result.

foxenburg , January 19, 2018 5:13 AM

I thought Trump explained all this last March when he said his campaign was wiretapped, and he called for a Congressional investigation?

"Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"

12:35 PM - Mar 4, 2017

Rick Manigault foxenburg , January 19, 2018 6:01 AM

Trump gave in to the lie about Russian interference and the republicans who hated him went along with this hoax until recently.

louis robert , January 19, 2018 3:07 PM

""It's troubling. It is shocking," North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows said. "Part of me wishes that I didn't read it because I don't want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much.""

***

Come on, child! Enough with that spectacle. Get real. Have the basic courage to know and to admit what everybody has known about your country for ages!... The entire world already knows.

Franz Kafka , January 19, 2018 11:28 AM

More proof, if any were needed, that the only threat to the people of the USA comes from their own government. The 'external threat' is a fiction calculated to enslave the US population and enrich the Oligarchy.

Gano1 , January 19, 2018 8:11 AM

The DOJ, FBI and Democrats have colluded 100%.

Franz Kafka Gano1 , January 19, 2018 11:29 AM

Why omit the US Masked [sic] Media?

Franz Kafka , January 19, 2018 11:31 AM

If the 'swamp' gets drained all at once, can the bottom fall out of the pond?

WeAreYourGods , January 19, 2018 8:14 AM

Somebody's going to leak this in short order. Let's take a real look at what both Dems and Repubs just expanded, let's look at the monster they are feeding in broad daylight.

Rick Manigault , January 19, 2018 6:00 AM

This should be the focus until there are actual convictions of high level perpetrators.

Franz Kafka , January 19, 2018 2:05 PM

Why is Hannity afraid of using the 'C' word? CONSPIRACY!

Sueja , January 19, 2018 4:57 PM

Has the House Intelligence committee's Twitter account really been shut down. How corrupt is Twitter?

[Jan 17, 2018] Truman was a lot like obomba. shaped, modeled and fluffed to appear to be a thoughtful, moral and decent fellow - everyman, but in reality an empty suit and a useful frontispiece

Jan 17, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

fast freddy | Jan 14, 2018 4:50:02 PM | 31

Truman was a lot like obomba. shaped, modeled and fluffed to appear to be a thoughtful, moral and decent fellow - everyman, but in reality an empty suit and a useful frontispiece - puppet for the zioinist warmongers.

[Jan 17, 2018] Leftist musician Moby claims CIA asked him to post about Trump and Russia...and did so

Jan 17, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

test | Jan 15, 2018 4:25:58 AM | 55

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/01/13/moby-claims-cia-asked-him-to-post-about-trump-and-russia.html

[Jan 12, 2018] The DOJ and FBI Worked With Fusion GPS on Operation Trump

Highly recommended!
CIA trace in color revolution against Trump
Notable quotes:
"... Sally Yates essentially said 'all DOJ is subject to oversight, except the National Security Division'. ..."
"... In short, FISA "queries" from any national security department within government are allowed without seeking court approval. ..."
"... We know NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers became aware of an issue with unauthorized FISA-702(17) " About Queries " early in 2016. As a result of a FISA court ruling declassified in May of 2017 we were able to piece a specific timeline together. ..."
"... At the same time Christopher Steele was assembling his dossier information (May-October 2016), the NSA compliance officer was conducting an internal FISA-702 review as initiated by NSA Director Mike Rogers. The NSA compliance officer briefed Admiral Mike Rogers on October 20th 2016. On October 26th 2016, Admiral Rogers informed the FISA Court of numerous unauthorized FISA-702(17) "About Query" violations. Subsequent to that FISC notification Mike Rogers stopped all FISA-702(17) "About Queries" permanently . They are no longer permitted. ..."
"... Mike Rogers discovery becomes the impetus for him to request the 2016 full NSA compliance audit of FISA-702 use. It appears Fusion-GPS was the FBI contracted user identified in the final FISA court opinion/ruling on page 83. ..."
"... What plan came from that April 19th,2016 White House meeting? What plan did Mary Jacoby and Glenn Simpson present to use the information they had assembled? How and who would they feed their information to; and how do they best use that 'valuable' information? This appears to be where Fusion-GPS contracting with Christopher Steele comes in. ..."
"... Contacted by Fox News, investigators for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) confirmed that Nellie H. Ohr, wife of the demoted official, Bruce G. Ohr, worked for the opposition research firm last year. ..."
"... The precise nature of Mrs. Ohr's duties – including whether she worked on the dossier – remains unclear but a review of her published works available online reveals Mrs. Ohr has written extensively on Russia-related subjects. HPSCI staff confirmed to Fox News that she was paid by Fusion GPS through the summer and fall of 2016. ( link ) ..."
"... DOJ Deputy Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie Ohr had a prior working relationship with Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson. Together they worked on a collaborative CIA Open Source group project surrounding International Organized Crime. ( pdf here ) Page #30 Screen Shot Below . ..."
"... Nellie Ohr is a subject matter expert on Russia, speaks Russian, and also is well versed on CIA operations. Nellie Ohr's skills would include how to build or create counterintelligence frameworks to give the appearance of events that may be entirely fabricated. ..."
"... Knowing the NSA was reviewing FISA "Queries"; and intellectually accepting the resulting information from those queries was likely part of the framework put together by Glenn Simpson and Mary Jacoby; we discover that GPS employee Nellie Ohr applied for a HAM radio license [ May 23rd 2016 ] (screen grab below). ..."
"... Accepting the FBI was utilizing Fusion-GPS as a contractor, there is now an inherent clarity in the relationship between: FBI agent Peter Strzok, Fusion-GPS Glenn Simpson, and 'Russian Dossier' author Christopher Steele. They are all on the same team. ..."
"... The information that Fusion-GPS Glenn Simpson put together from his advanced work on the 'Trump Project', was, in essence, built upon the foundation of the close relationship he already had with the FBI. ..."
"... Simpson, Jacoby and Ohr then passed on their information to Christopher Steele who adds his own ingredients to the mix, turns around, and gives the end product back to the FBI. That end product is laundered intelligence now called "The Trump/Russia Dossier". ..."
"... The FBI turn around and use the "dossier" as the underlying documents and investigative evidence for continued operations against the target of the entire enterprise, candidate Donald Trump. As Peter Strzok would say in August 2016: this is their "insurance policy" per se'. ..."
"... In October 2016, immediately after the DOJ lawyers formatted the FBI information (Steele Dossier etc.) for a valid FISA application, the head of the NSD, Asst. Attorney General John P Carlin, left his job . His exit came as the NSD and Admiral Rogers informed the FISC that frequent unauthorized FISA-702 searches had been conducted. Read Here . ..."
"... Yes, the FBI was working with Christopher Steele through their contractor Fusion-GPS. Yes, the FBI and Clinton Team were, in essence, both paying Christopher Steele for his efforts. The FBI paid Steele via their sub-contractor Fusion-GPS. ..."
"... Lastly, when the DOJ/FBI used the Steele Dossier to make their 2016 surveillance activity legal (the October FISA application), they are essentially using the outcome of a process they created themselves in collaboration with both Fusion GPS and the Clinton campaign. ..."
"... All research indicates the intelligence information the DOJ and FBI collected via their FISA-702 queries, combined with the intelligence Fusion GPS created in their earlier use of contractor access to FISA-702(17) "about queries", was the intelligence data delivered to Christopher Steele for use in creating "The Russian Dossier". ..."
"... Christopher Steele was just laundering intelligence. The Steele "dossier" was then used by the DOJ to gain FISA-702 approvals – which provided retroactive legal cover for the prior campaign surveillance, and also used post-election to create the "Russian Narrative". ..."
"... The ENTIRE SYSTEM of FISA-702 surveillance and data collection was weaponized against a political campaign. The DOJ and FBI used the FISA Court to gain access to Trump data, and simultaneously justify earlier FISA "queries" by their contractor, Fusion GPS. FISA-702 queries were used to gather information on the Trump campaign which later became FBI counterintelligence surveillance on the officials therein. ..."
Jan 12, 2018 | theconservativetreehouse.com
Following the released transcript of Fusion-GPS Co-Founder Glenn Simpson's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee by Senator Dianne Feinstein , several media outlets have begun questioning the relationship between the FBI investigators, Glenn Simpson and dossier author Christopher Steele.

What we have discovered highlights the answer to those relationship questions; and also answers a host of other questions, including: Did the FBI pay Christopher Steele? Yes, but now how media has stated. Was the FBI connected to the creation of the Steele Dossier? Yes, but again, not the way the media is currently outlining.

... ... ...

[Jan 10, 2018] Former Director of the CIA, Michael Morell admits there was no Russian collusion

Notable quotes:
"... Well this clearly shows Morell is smart enough to realize that the whole Russian conspiracy is collapsing, and he wants to be the first in line to cover his backside. ..."
"... Well well well no big surprise there. Now, I'm wondering how much of our money they used to try and prove this conspiracy to be true ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | www.city-data.com

Goodnight

Originally Posted by stburr91

Well, one of Trump's most outspoken critics in the CIA (Michael Morell Former Director of the CIA) admits in an interview with Politico, that if there was any collusion, it would have already been found. Morell also admits his becoming political, and attacking Trump was something "he didn't think through".

Well this clearly shows Morell is smart enough to realize that the whole Russian conspircy is collapsing, and he wants to be the first in line to cover his backside.

That's not what he actually said regarding collusion. He did indicate that weighing into the election was a mistake both by him and other intelligence agency heads because it gave the Bannon-Gorka wing conspiracy theory credibility. There was certainly reason to criticize Trump but they would have been better off remaining out of the fray.

You should read the entire article, good read on Ukraine, Russia. I got a lot more out of it than your statement. It was a half hour interview and that's all you got.

Also it would be nice if you would provide a link when you are referring to a quote.

Quote:

Morell: So, let's talk about what I think the possibilities are, going forward. So, I would not be surprised if Bob Mueller concludes that the Trump campaign did not violate the law with regard to its interactions with the Russians. I'm really open to that possibility. Why? Because, as you know, The New York Times, The Washington Post , every media outlet that is worth its salt has reporters digging into this, and they haven't found anything.
And I think that, had there been something there, they would have found something. And I think Bob Mueller would have found it already and it would have leaked.

So, I'm really open to the possibility that there's no there there on a crime being committed by the campaign and the Russians. Right? That interaction leading to criminal charges.

cremebrulee

Originally Posted by stburr91

Well, one of Trump's most outspoken critics in the CIA (Michael Morell Former Director of the CIA) admits in an interview with Politico, that if there was any collusion, it would have already been found. Morell also admits his becoming political, and attacking Trump was something "he didn't think through".

Well this clearly shows Morell is smart enough to realize that the whole Russian conspiracy is collapsing, and he wants to be the first in line to cover his backside.

Well well well no big surprise there. Now, I'm wondering how much of our money they used to try and prove this conspiracy to be true

Goodnight

Originally Posted by Troyfan

Sounds like there was no collusion. Manafort may have laundered money, obstructed, etc. but what he may have or may not have done was done years ago, before there was a Trump campaign.

Well not exactly, also from the interview:

Quote:

The second point I'd make is that I wouldn't be surprised if there were single individuals who were associated with the campaign who violated the law with respect to their interactions with the Russians on the election. Paul Manafort comes to mind. I think he has little to no integrity. There's no way you spend that much time with the old Ukrainian government and not bump up against Russian intelligence officers a lot.

dothetwist

Can't see where this guy is anywhere near the loop, let alone in the loop. He was never DIRECTOR of CIA , he was acting Director for less than a year.

[Jan 10, 2018] CIA Director under fire

Former Prosecutor Katie Phang called to investigate CIA Director John Brennan over whether he leaked information about the Russian hacking investigation to the media ( CIA Director under fire , Dec 19, 2016)
Notable quotes:
"... The CIA Has Always Played Political Chess ..."
"... Brennan is a politician, He was working for Clinton because he thought she would prevail. Brennan has NO integrity. He is a spineless worm trying to placate his masters. He needs to be indicted. ..."
"... Brennan is an idiot. what kind of moron tries to undermine and destabilize the administration of his incoming boss by leaking fake news about him? total fool and a liar. he has done america a great disservice. he not only deserveds to be fired, he should be arrested ..."
Jan 10, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Scott Boler , 1 year ago

The CIA Has Always Played Political Chess .

Bob Kelley , 1 year ago

17 Intelligence agencies? Yeah one of them is the Coast Guard Intelligence. I'm sure they were on the case!!

Salty Winters , 1 year ago

The CIA is one of the Barrack Obamas corrupt agencies. Trump will need to replace the FBI, CIA, DOJ, the STATE DEPARTMENT, IRS departments. It would be stupid for Trump to trust the Obama intelligence machinery.

Debbie Beane , 1 year ago

Here are Clinton's "17 agencies:" Air Force Intelligence, Army Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, Coast Guard Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency, Energy Department, Homeland Security Department, State Department, Treasury Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Marine Corps Intelligence, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, National Security Agency, Navy Intelligence and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. What does the Coast Guard Intelligence, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency or the Drug Enforcement Administration know about John Podesta's emails? Answer: nothing.

Kali Wolf , 1 year ago

Brennan is probably THE MOST DANGEROUS person in Gov't, IMO. I wonder if people remember that Brennan is who Michael Hastings was allegedly investigating when his car 'crashed and burned'. A BRAND NEW Mercedes, at that.... yet, again, there was NOTHING to see there...

abukamoon , 1 year ago

Brennan is a politician, He was working for Clinton because he thought she would prevail. Brennan has NO integrity. He is a spineless worm trying to placate his masters. He needs to be indicted.

Augustus McRae , 11 months ago (edited)

Brennan is an idiot. what kind of moron tries to undermine and destabilize the administration of his incoming boss by leaking fake news about him? total fool and a liar. he has done america a great disservice. he not only deserveds to be fired, he should be arrested.

danbanrock1 , 11 months ago

John Brennen , CIA Director , pushing the Russia Hacking agenda but not releasing the evidence but are here are some facts for you, Obama appointed him , when sworn into office refused to put his hand on the bible because he joined the Muslim faith, lied about associations with Hilary in Bengazia and the facts , and there is more to numerous to mention. When Trump gets in , he'll fire his sorry ass for sure , Ha Ha !!!

[Jan 07, 2018] Reading WaPo piece it becomes clear (but is never said) that the sole source for that August 2016 Brennan claim of "Russian hacking" is the absurd Steele dossier some ex-MI6 dude created for too much money as opposition research against Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Reading that piece it becomes clear (but is never said) that the sole source for that August 2016 Brennan claim of "Russian hacking" is the absurd Steele dossier some ex-MI6 dude created for too much money as opposition research against Trump . The only other "evidence" for "Russian hacking" is the Crowdstrike report on the DNC "hack". Crowdstrike has a Ukrainian nationalist agenda, was hired by the DNC ..."
"... The Crowdstrike' report was concocted under command of Dmitri Alperovitch, a rabid Russophobe of Jewish ethnicity, who is also an "expert" at Atlantic Council, where he joins other "experts" like Eliot Higgins. Higgins was nicely dressed recently by the honorable C0l. Pat Lang who wrote about Higgins: " an uneducated, inexperienced guy with an opinion The fact that this gentlemen is treated as a credible source is further proof of the insanity that has taken over the public debate. He knows nothing other than what he has read. He has not been through live agent training at Fort McClellan (I have). He has no scientific background in the subject matter and no experience (other than playing video games) with actual chemical weapons (Ted Postol, who has written extensively on the subject, does have actual scientific and military expertise on the topic). Higgins knows nothing of the military doctrine for employing such weapons. He knows nothing of the process and procedures required for a military unit to safely handle, load, activate and deploy such weapons." ..."
"... To illustrate the power of the Lobby, it is educational to know that Higgins is also a "Visiting Research Associate at the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS), Department of War Studies, King's College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS," - kidding you not. http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/warstudies/people/visiting/higgins.aspx ..."
Jun 27, 2017 | www.unz.com

annamaria, June 27, 2017 at 2:50 pm GMT

How Israel manages its messages? – Via the presstituting MSM like Washington Post: http://www.moonofalabama.org

"WaPo has a 8,300 word weekend opus on how Obama failed to react to CIA director Brennan's claims that Putin himself ordered to hack the U.S. election.

Note:

Reading that piece it becomes clear (but is never said) that the sole source for that August 2016 Brennan claim of "Russian hacking" is the absurd Steele dossier some ex-MI6 dude created for too much money as opposition research against Trump . The only other "evidence" for "Russian hacking" is the Crowdstrike report on the DNC "hack". Crowdstrike has a Ukrainian nationalist agenda, was hired by the DNC , had to retract other "Russian hacking" claims and no one else was allowed to take a look at the DNC servers.

Said differently: The whole "Russian hacking" claims are solely based on "evidence" of two fake reports."

The Crowdstrike' report was concocted under command of Dmitri Alperovitch, a rabid Russophobe of Jewish ethnicity, who is also an "expert" at Atlantic Council, where he joins other "experts" like Eliot Higgins. Higgins was nicely dressed recently by the honorable C0l. Pat Lang who wrote about Higgins: " an uneducated, inexperienced guy with an opinion The fact that this gentlemen is treated as a credible source is further proof of the insanity that has taken over the public debate. He knows nothing other than what he has read. He has not been through live agent training at Fort McClellan (I have). He has no scientific background in the subject matter and no experience (other than playing video games) with actual chemical weapons (Ted Postol, who has written extensively on the subject, does have actual scientific and military expertise on the topic). Higgins knows nothing of the military doctrine for employing such weapons. He knows nothing of the process and procedures required for a military unit to safely handle, load, activate and deploy such weapons."

To illustrate the power of the Lobby, it is educational to know that Higgins is also a "Visiting Research Associate at the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS), Department of War Studies, King's College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS," - kidding you not. http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/warstudies/people/visiting/higgins.aspx

[Jan 02, 2018] Meet Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Secret Source In Trump Probe – The Forward

Notable quotes:
"... Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or on Twitter, @nathanguttman ..."
Mar 30, 2017 | forward.com

Who is Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the 30-year-old White House aide who could be a key player in the blockbuster investigation into Russian ties to President Trump and his campaign?

Cohen-Watnick, 30, who The New York Times reports provided key information in the probe, is a once fast-rising protege of ousted Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn with deep roots in suburban Washington's Jewish community.

The paper identified him as one of two staffers who explosively gave information on intelligence gathering in the Russia probe to Republican House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a move that potentially compromised the lawmaker's role in the bombshell probe.

Cohen-Watnick grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just outside the nation's capital, and attended the nearby Conservative synagogue Ohr Kodesh. Last November he celebrated his engagement to Rebecca Miller at the synagogue.

He attended the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 2008. Cohen-Watnick began working as an intelligence analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency after college. At the DIA, Cohen-Watnick met Flynn, the then-director who was later removed from his position during the Obama administration.

After Trump won the November election, Flynn brought Cohen-Watnick from the DIA to the Trump transition team, where the young staffer, according to The Washington Post, was among the few Trump advisers to hold a top security clearance. He participated in high-level intelligence briefings and briefed Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and their team on national security issues.

When Flynn was appointed to lead the National Security Council, he hired Cohen-Watnick to work with him there. But Flynn served as national security adviser for less than a month before being asked to leave following revelations that he had maintained ties with Russia during the campaign.

Flynn's successor, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, sought to remove Cohen-Watnick from the team, following input from the CIA director who pointed to problems intelligence officers had when dealing with Cohen-Watnick. Questions were raised about his ability to carry out the position of senior NSC director for intelligence programs, who oversees ties with intelligence agencies and vets information that should reach the president's desk.

But Cohen-Watnick was spared when Trump personally intervened, reportedly after top White House aides Sphen Bannon and Jared Kushner stepped in. Cohen-Watnick still serves as senior director at the NSC.

Cohen-Watnick is known for holding hawkish views on national security issues and of being a proponent of an American tough line toward Iran.

The Times said that Cohen-Watnick became swept up in the Russia probe this month, shortly after Trump wrote on Twitter about unsubstantiated claims of being wiretapped on the orders of the former president Barack Obama.

Cohen-Watnick apparently was reviewing highly classified reports detailing the intercepted communications of foreign officials that consisted primarily of ambassadors and other foreign officials talking about how they were trying to curry favor with Trump's family and inner circle in advance of his inauguration. He and another aide, identified as Michael Ellis, came across information that Trump aides may have been inadvertently caught on some of the surveillance.

Nunes says he went to the White House to meet with the aides, whom he has refused to identify. Nunes would not share the information with his colleagues on the committee but did brief Trump, raising major questions about his independence.

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or on Twitter, @nathanguttman

[Jan 02, 2018] The Deep State's War on Ezra Cohen-Watnick by Daniel Greenfield

Notable quotes:
"... In totalitarian systems where the media does nothing but churn out propaganda, people learn to read between the lines. You understand what is really going on by inferring what they don't want you to know from what they do what you to know. ..."
"... Why would you not believe "unnamed officials"? But what we are seeing very obviously is some of the shape and texture of the war based on who is being targeted and why. While those doing the targeting are "unnamed", their targets are named. And that tells us also about those doing the targeting. ..."
Mar 31, 2017 | www.frontpagemag.com
In totalitarian systems where the media does nothing but churn out propaganda, people learn to read between the lines. You understand what is really going on by inferring what they don't want you to know from what they do what you to know.

The interesting thing about the current political conflict is which key anti-terrorist Trump figures are being targeted. Flynn was a major target. Then Gorka. The case of Gorka made the targeting obvious. You can tell the targeting when if the first attack fails, they come back with a second one.

Now there's Ezra Watnick-Cohen. He showed up in the news recently when McMaster attempted to replace him with an establishment infiltrator.

President Donald Trump has overruled a decision by his national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, to sideline a key intelligence operative who fell out of favor with some at the Central Intelligence Agency, two sources told POLITICO.

On Friday, McMaster told the National Security Council's senior director for intelligence programs, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, that he would be moved to another position in the organization.

The conversation followed weeks of pressure from career officials at the CIA who had expressed reservations about the 30-year-old intelligence operative and pushed for his ouster.

But Cohen-Watnick appealed McMaster's decision to two influential allies with whom he had forged a relationship while working on Trump's transition team -- White House advisers Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner. They brought the matter to Trump on Sunday, and the president agreed that Cohen-Watnick should remain as the NSC's intelligence director, according to two people with knowledge of the episode.

Cohen-Watnick was brought onto Trump's transition team and then the NSC by a leading critic of the CIA: retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was Cohen-Watnick's boss at the Defense Intelligence Agency and preceded McMaster as national security adviser.

Cohen-Watnick and Flynn "saw eye to eye about the failings of the CIA human intelligence operations," said a Washington consultant who travels in intelligence circles. "The CIA saw him as a threat, so they tried to unseat him and replace him with an agency loyalist," the operative said.

Specifically they tried to replace Cohen-Watnick with a woman at the center of the Benghazi mess.

Two sources within the White House tell me that last week McMaster had interviewed a potential replacement for Cohen-Watnick: longtime CIA official Linda Weissgold. Weissgold apparently had a good interview with McMaster, as she was overheard saying as she left the White House she would next have to "talk to Pompeo" -- as in Mike Pompeo, the director of the CIA. But Weissgold was never offered the job; days later, Trump himself overruled the effort to move Cohen-Watnick out of his senior director role.

During the Obama administration Weissgold served as director of the CIA's Office of Terrorism Analysis. She was among those who briefed Congress following the Benghazi terrorist attack in 2012, a team of intelligence and military experts who reportedly earned the nickname "the dream team" within the administration.

In her position at OTA, she was also involved directly in drafting the now infamous Benghazi talking points, which government officials revised heavily to include factually incorrect assessments that stated the attackers were prompted by protests. According to the House Select Committee on Benghazi's report, Weissgold testified she had changed one such talking point to say that extremists in Benghazi with ties to al Qaeda had been involved in "protests" in the Libyan city, despite the fact that no such protests had occurred there on the day of the attack.

McMaster's interview of Weissgold last week raised eyebrows beyond the White House, with members of the congressional oversight committees expressing concerns about Weissgold to top officials in the White House and the intelligence community.

If at first you don't succeed, try again. Now Ezra Watnick-Cohen is at the center of the latest manufactured scandal.

A Jewish security official has been named as the confidential source of House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) following claims that US President Donald Trump and his aides were swept up in surveillance by US intelligence agencies, The New York Times revealed Thursday.

Citing unnamed US officials, the Times identified the White House official as "Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council."

Why would you not believe "unnamed officials"? But what we are seeing very obviously is some of the shape and texture of the war based on who is being targeted and why. While those doing the targeting are "unnamed", their targets are named. And that tells us also about those doing the targeting. Any enemy action reveals something about the enemy, his motives, his nature and his goals. That is how wars of this kind must be understood.

[Jan 01, 2018] Donald Trump vs. US Intelligence A timeline of the president's spat with the FBI and CIA

This is clearly neoliberal/neocon outlet and its interpretation of events is highly suspect. But there one art quote here due to which I decided to reproduce this example of garbage journalism -- quote from Trump about national security state: "Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany? "
Calling CIA judgment into question is a dangerous business in the USA (as Chuck Shumer told Trump), as the tail is wagging the dog.
Notable quotes:
"... In his Person of the Year interview with Time , Trump said that he did not believe Russia interfered in the election. "It could be Russia," Trump said. "And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey." Later, his transition team released a statement that not only rejected the CIA's findings, but called the agency's judgement into question . ..."
"... "These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," the Trump transition team said Dec. 9 ..."
"... Trump continued to attack the intelligence community into January, appearing to side with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over his own intelligence community and expressing skepticism about the agencies on Twitter. ..."
"... After the release of an unverified bombshell report alleging Russia had been "assisting Trump for at least five years" and that he had received a "golden shower show," Trump invoked Nazi Germany in a tirade against U.S. intelligence. ..."
"... Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany? ..."
"... "I have a running war with the media," Trump said. "They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth. And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you're the number-one stop is exactly the opposite -- exactly." ..."
Jan 01, 2018 | mic.com

In December , the CIA told Senators that Russia had not only interfered in the 2016 election, but had done so with the intent of getting Trump into the White House. Trump and his transition team immediately dismissed the claims.

In his Person of the Year interview with Time , Trump said that he did not believe Russia interfered in the election. "It could be Russia," Trump said. "And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey." Later, his transition team released a statement that not only rejected the CIA's findings, but called the agency's judgement into question .

"These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," the Trump transition team said Dec. 9. "The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It's now time to move on and "Make America Great Again.'"

Trump continued to attack the intelligence community into January, appearing to side with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over his own intelligence community and expressing skepticism about the agencies on Twitter.

After the release of an unverified bombshell report alleging Russia had been "assisting Trump for at least five years" and that he had received a "golden shower show," Trump invoked Nazi Germany in a tirade against U.S. intelligence.

Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
The day after Trump assumed the presidency, he gave a rambling speech at CIA headquarters in which he blamed the media for "[making] it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community."

"I have a running war with the media," Trump said. "They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth. And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you're the number-one stop is exactly the opposite -- exactly."

... ... ...

[Dec 31, 2017] Maybe Trump was the deep state candidate of choice? Maybe that s why they ran Clinton against him rather than the more electable Sanders? Maybe that s why Obama started ramping up tensions with Russia in the early fall of 2016 – to swing the election to Trump (by giving the disgruntled anti-war Sanders voters a false choice between Trump or war with Russia?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Stop right there. Rather than the generously imply that Trump had good intentions in the first place, isn't it time to at least consider the possibility that Trump's campaign was a calculated "bait and switch" fraud from the beginning? ..."
"... Not "paranoid" but "PNAC" as in PNAC manifesto for world domination and control ..."
"... "It is plainly obvious that the Neocons are now back in total control of the White House, Congress and the US corporate media. Okay, maybe things are still not quite as bad as if Hillary had been elected, but they are bad enough to ask whether a major war is now inevitable next year." ..."
"... "Rather than generously imply that Trump had good intentions in the first place, isn't it time to at least consider the possibility that Trump's campaign was a calculated "bait and switch" fraud from the beginning?" ..."
"... A point that cannot be made often enough, IMO. Trump is the Republican Bill Clinton. ..."
"... Maybe it's time for Americans to admit that their quadrennial Mr. America contest amounts to little more than a "suck Satan's c *** " audition for the deep state, and that the contestants have no qualms about getting on their knees. It is far more comforting to believe that "your" guy was subverted after the (s)election, but that's not how it actually works. ..."
"... I'm imagining a bumper sticker with Trump's laughing face and a sad-looking deplorable in a baseball cap, with the caption "Bait and Switch- the American Way." Someone also once suggested "There are two kinds of Republicans: millionaires and suckers." ..."
Dec 31, 2017 | www.unz.com

Harold Smith , December 29, 2017 at 7:00 pm GMT

"Not only has the swamp easily, quickly and totally drowned Trump "

Stop right there. Rather than the generously imply that Trump had good intentions in the first place, isn't it time to at least consider the possibility that Trump's campaign was a calculated "bait and switch" fraud from the beginning?

"Furthermore, the Trump Administration now has released a National Security Strategy which clearly show that the Empire is in 'full paranoid' mode."

Not "paranoid" but "PNAC" as in PNAC manifesto for world domination and control.

"It is plainly obvious that the Neocons are now back in total control of the White House, Congress and the US corporate media. Okay, maybe things are still not quite as bad as if Hillary had been elected, but they are bad enough to ask whether a major war is now inevitable next year."

Maybe Trump was the "deep state" candidate of choice? Maybe that's why they ran Clinton against him rather than the more electable Sanders? Maybe that's why Obama started ramping up tensions with Russia in the early fall of 2016 – so as to swing the election to Trump (by giving the disgruntled anti-war Sanders voters a false choice between Trump or war with Russia?

Lana Kane , December 30, 2017 at 2:27 am GMT
@Harold Smith

"Rather than generously imply that Trump had good intentions in the first place, isn't it time to at least consider the possibility that Trump's campaign was a calculated "bait and switch" fraud from the beginning?"

A point that cannot be made often enough, IMO. Trump is the Republican Bill Clinton.

Maybe it's time for Americans to admit that their quadrennial Mr. America contest amounts to little more than a "suck Satan's c *** " audition for the deep state, and that the contestants have no qualms about getting on their knees. It is far more comforting to believe that "your" guy was subverted after the (s)election, but that's not how it actually works.

I'm imagining a bumper sticker with Trump's laughing face and a sad-looking deplorable in a baseball cap, with the caption "Bait and Switch- the American Way." Someone also once suggested "There are two kinds of Republicans: millionaires and suckers."

[Dec 31, 2017] How America Spreads Global Chaos by Nicolas J.S. Davies

Highly recommended!
Essentially CIA dictates the US foreign policy. The tail is wagging the dog. The current Russophobia hysteria mean additional billions for CIA and FBI. As simple as that.
The article contain some important observation about self-sustaining nature of the US militarism. It is able to create new threats and new insurgencies almost at will via CIA activities.
The key problem is that wars are highly profitable for important part of the ruling elite, especially representing finance and military industrial complex. Also now part of the US ruling elite now consists of "colonial administrators" which are directly interested in maintaining and expanding the US empire. This is trap from which nation might not be able to escape.
Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. government may pretend to respect a "rules-based" global order, but the only rule Washington seems to follow is "might makes right" -- and the CIA has long served as a chief instigator and enforcer, writes Nicolas J.S. Davies. ..."
"... Once the CIA went to work in Vietnam to undermine the 1954 Geneva Accords and the planned reunification of North and South through a free and fair election in 1956, the die was cast. ..."
"... No U.S. president could extricate the U.S. from Vietnam without exposing the limits of what U.S. military force could achieve, betraying widely held national myths and the powerful interests that sustained and profited from them. ..."
"... The critical "lesson of Vietnam" was summed up by Richard Barnet in his 1972 book Roots of War . "At the very moment that the number one nation has perfected the science of killing," Barnet wrote, "It has become an impractical means of political domination." ..."
"... Even the senior officer corps of the U.S. military saw it that way, since many of them had survived the horrors of Vietnam as junior officers. The CIA could still wreak havoc in Latin America and elsewhere, but the full destructive force of the U.S. military was not unleashed again until the invasion of Panama in 1989 and the First Gulf War in 1991. ..."
"... Half a century after Vietnam, we have tragically come full circle. With the CIA's politicized intelligence running wild in Washington and its covert operations spreading violence and chaos across every continent, President Trump faces the same pressures to maintain his own and his country's credibility as Johnson and Nixon did. ..."
"... Trump is facing these questions, not just in one country, Vietnam, but in dozens of countries across the world, and the interests perpetuating and fueling this cycle of crisis and war have only become more entrenched over time, as President Eisenhower warned that they would, despite the end of the Cold War and, until now, the lack of any actual military threat to the United States. ..."
"... U.S. Air Force Colonel Fletcher Prouty was the chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1955 to 1964, managing the global military support system for the CIA in Vietnam and around the world. Fletcher Prouty's book, The Secret Team: The CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World , was suppressed when it was first published in 1973. Thousands of copies disappeared from bookstores and libraries, and a mysterious Army Colonel bought the entire shipment of 3,500 copies the publisher sent to Australia. But Prouty's book was republished in 2011, and it is a timely account of the role of the CIA in U.S. policy. ..."
"... The main purpose of the CIA, as Prouty saw it, is to create such pretexts for war. ..."
"... The CIA is a hybrid of an intelligence service that gathers and analyzes foreign intelligence and a clandestine service that conducts covert operations. Both functions are essential to creating pretexts for war, and that is what they have done for 70 years. ..."
"... Prouty described how the CIA infiltrated the U.S. military, the State Department, the National Security Council and other government institutions, covertly placing its officers in critical positions to ensure that its plans are approved and that it has access to whatever forces, weapons, equipment, ammunition and other resources it needs to carry them out. ..."
"... Many retired intelligence officers, such as Ray McGovern and the members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), saw the merging of clandestine operations with intelligence analysis in one agency as corrupting the objective analysis they tried to provide to policymakers. They formed VIPS in 2003 in response to the fabrication of politicized intelligence that provided false pretexts for the U.S. to invade and destroy Iraq. ..."
"... But Fletcher Prouty was even more disturbed by the way that the CIA uses clandestine operations to trigger coups, wars and chaos. The civil and proxy war in Syria is a perfect example of what Prouty meant ..."
"... The role of U.S. "counterterrorism" operations in fueling armed resistance and terrorism, and the absence of any plan to reduce the asymmetric violence unleashed by the "global war on terror," would be no surprise to Fletcher Prouty. As he explained, such clandestine operations always take on a life of their own that is unrelated, and often counter-productive, to any rational U.S. policy objective. ..."
"... This is a textbook CIA operation on the same model as Vietnam in the late 1950s and early 60s. The CIA uses U.S. special forces and training missions to launch covert and proxy military operations that drive local populations into armed resistance groups, and then uses the presence of those armed resistance groups to justify ever-escalating U.S. military involvement. This is Vietnam redux on a continental scale. ..."
"... China is already too big and powerful for the U.S. to apply what is known as the Ledeen doctrine named for neoconservative theorist and intelligence operative Michael Ledeen who suggested that every 10 years or so, the United States "pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business." ..."
"... As long as the CIA and the U.S. military keep plunging the scapegoats for our failed policies into economic crisis, violence and chaos, the United States and the United Kingdom can remain the safe havens of the world's wealth, islands of privilege and excess amidst the storms they unleash on others. ..."
"... But if that is the only "significant national objective" driving these policies, it is surely about time for the 99 percent of Americans who reap no benefit from these murderous schemes to stop the CIA and its allies before they completely wreck the already damaged and fragile world in which we all must live, Americans and foreigners alike. ..."
"... Douglas Valentine has probably studied the CIA in more depth than any other American journalist, beginning with his book on The Phoenix Program in Vietnam. He has written a new book titled The CIA as Organized Crime : How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World, in which he brings Fletcher Prouty's analysis right up to the present day, describing the CIA's role in our current wars and the many ways it infiltrates, manipulates and controls U.S. policy. ..."
"... In Venezuela, the CIA and the right-wing opposition are following the same strategy that President Nixon ordered the CIA to inflict on Chile, to "make the economy scream" in preparation for the 1973 coup. ..."
"... The U.S. willingness to scrap the Agreed Framework in 2003, the breakdown of the Six Party Talks in 2009 and the U.S. refusal to acknowledge that its own military actions and threats create legitimate defense concerns for North Korea have driven the North Koreans into a corner from which they see a credible nuclear deterrent as their only chance to avoid mass destruction. ..."
"... Obama's charm offensive invigorated old and new military alliances with the U.K., France and the Arab monarchies, and he quietly ran up the most expensive military budge t of any president since World War Two. ..."
"... Throughout history, serial aggression has nearly always provoked increasingly united opposition, as peace-loving countries and people have reluctantly summoned the courage to stand up to an aggressor. France under Napoleon and Hitler's Germany also regarded themselves as exceptional, and in their own ways they were. But in the end, their belief in their exceptionalism led them on to defeat and destruction. ..."
Oct 30, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

The U.S. government may pretend to respect a "rules-based" global order, but the only rule Washington seems to follow is "might makes right" -- and the CIA has long served as a chief instigator and enforcer, writes Nicolas J.S. Davies.

As the recent PBS documentary on the American War in Vietnam acknowledged, few American officials ever believed that the United States could win the war, neither those advising Johnson as he committed hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops, nor those advising Nixon as he escalated a brutal aerial bombardment that had already killed millions of people.

As conversations tape-recorded in the White House reveal, and as other writers have documented, the reasons for wading into the Big Muddy, as Pete Seeger satirized it , and then pushing on regardless, all came down to "credibility": the domestic political credibility of the politicians involved and America's international credibility as a military power.

Once the CIA went to work in Vietnam to undermine the 1954 Geneva Accords and the planned reunification of North and South through a free and fair election in 1956, the die was cast. The CIA's support for the repressive Diem regime and its successors ensured an ever-escalating war, as the South rose in rebellion, supported by the North. No U.S. president could extricate the U.S. from Vietnam without exposing the limits of what U.S. military force could achieve, betraying widely held national myths and the powerful interests that sustained and profited from them.

The critical "lesson of Vietnam" was summed up by Richard Barnet in his 1972 book Roots of War . "At the very moment that the number one nation has perfected the science of killing," Barnet wrote, "It has become an impractical means of political domination."

Even the senior officer corps of the U.S. military saw it that way, since many of them had survived the horrors of Vietnam as junior officers. The CIA could still wreak havoc in Latin America and elsewhere, but the full destructive force of the U.S. military was not unleashed again until the invasion of Panama in 1989 and the First Gulf War in 1991.

Half a century after Vietnam, we have tragically come full circle. With the CIA's politicized intelligence running wild in Washington and its covert operations spreading violence and chaos across every continent, President Trump faces the same pressures to maintain his own and his country's credibility as Johnson and Nixon did. His predictable response has been to escalate ongoing wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and West Africa, and to threaten new ones against North Korea, Iran and Venezuela.

Trump is facing these questions, not just in one country, Vietnam, but in dozens of countries across the world, and the interests perpetuating and fueling this cycle of crisis and war have only become more entrenched over time, as President Eisenhower warned that they would, despite the end of the Cold War and, until now, the lack of any actual military threat to the United States.

Ironically but predictably, the U.S.'s aggressive and illegal war policy has finally provoked a real military threat to the U.S., albeit one that has emerged only in response to U.S. war plans. As I explained in a recent article , North Korea's discovery in 2016 of a U.S. plan to assassinate its president, Kim Jong Un, and launch a Second Korean War has triggered a crash program to develop long-range ballistic missiles that could give North Korea a viable nuclear deterrent and prevent a U.S. attack. But the North Koreans will not feel safe from attack until their leaders and ours are sure that their missiles can deliver a nuclear strike against the U.S. mainland.

The CIA's Pretexts for War

U.S. Air Force Colonel Fletcher Prouty was the chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1955 to 1964, managing the global military support system for the CIA in Vietnam and around the world. Fletcher Prouty's book, The Secret Team: The CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World , was suppressed when it was first published in 1973. Thousands of copies disappeared from bookstores and libraries, and a mysterious Army Colonel bought the entire shipment of 3,500 copies the publisher sent to Australia. But Prouty's book was republished in 2011, and it is a timely account of the role of the CIA in U.S. policy.

Prouty surprisingly described the role of the CIA as a response by powerful people and interests to the abolition of the U.S. Department of War and the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947. Once the role of the U.S. military was redefined as one of defense, in line with the United Nations Charter's prohibition against the threat or use of military force in 1945 and similar moves by other military powers, it would require some kind of crisis or threat to justify using military force in the future, both legally and politically. The main purpose of the CIA, as Prouty saw it, is to create such pretexts for war.

The CIA is a hybrid of an intelligence service that gathers and analyzes foreign intelligence and a clandestine service that conducts covert operations. Both functions are essential to creating pretexts for war, and that is what they have done for 70 years.

Prouty described how the CIA infiltrated the U.S. military, the State Department, the National Security Council and other government institutions, covertly placing its officers in critical positions to ensure that its plans are approved and that it has access to whatever forces, weapons, equipment, ammunition and other resources it needs to carry them out.

Many retired intelligence officers, such as Ray McGovern and the members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), saw the merging of clandestine operations with intelligence analysis in one agency as corrupting the objective analysis they tried to provide to policymakers. They formed VIPS in 2003 in response to the fabrication of politicized intelligence that provided false pretexts for the U.S. to invade and destroy Iraq.

CIA in Syria and Africa

But Fletcher Prouty was even more disturbed by the way that the CIA uses clandestine operations to trigger coups, wars and chaos. The civil and proxy war in Syria is a perfect example of what Prouty meant. In late 2011, after destroying Libya and aiding in the torture-murder of Muammar Gaddafi, the CIA and its allies began flying fighters and weapons from Libya to Turkey and infiltrating them into Syria. Then, working with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Croatia and other allies, this operation poured thousands of tons of weapons across Syria's borders to ignite and fuel a full-scale civil war.

Once these covert operations were under way, they ran wild until they had unleashed a savage Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria (Jabhat al-Nusra, now rebranded as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham), spawned the even more savage "Islamic State," triggered the heaviest and probably the deadliest U.S. bombing campaign since Vietnam and drawn Russia, Iran, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Hezbollah, Kurdish militias and almost every state or armed group in the Middle East into the chaos of Syria's civil war.

Meanwhile, as Al Qaeda and Islamic State have expanded their operations across Africa, the U.N. has published a report titled Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment , based on 500 interviews with African militants. This study has found that the kind of special operations and training missions the CIA and AFRICOM are conducting and supporting in Africa are in fact the critical "tipping point" that drives Africans to join militant groups like Al Qaeda, Al-Shabab and Boko Haram.

The report found that government action, such as the killing or detention of friends or family, was the "tipping point" that drove 71 percent of African militants interviewed to join armed groups, and that this was a more important factor than religious ideology.

The conclusions of Journey to Extremism in Africa confirm the findings of other similar studies. The Center for Civilians in Conflict interviewed 250 civilians who joined armed groups in Bosnia, Somalia, Gaza and Libya for its 2015 study, The People's Perspectives : Civilian Involvement in Armed Conflict . The study found that the most common motivation for civilians to join armed groups was simply to protect themselves or their families.

The role of U.S. "counterterrorism" operations in fueling armed resistance and terrorism, and the absence of any plan to reduce the asymmetric violence unleashed by the "global war on terror," would be no surprise to Fletcher Prouty. As he explained, such clandestine operations always take on a life of their own that is unrelated, and often counter-productive, to any rational U.S. policy objective.

"The more intimate one becomes with this activity," Prouty wrote, "The more one begins to realize that such operations are rarely, if ever, initiated from an intent to become involved in pursuit of some national objective in the first place."

The U.S. justifies the deployment of 6,000 U.S. special forces and military trainers to 53 of the 54 countries in Africa as a response to terrorism. But the U.N.'s Journey to Extremism in Africa study makes it clear that the U.S. militarization of Africa is in fact the "tipping point" that is driving Africans across the continent to join armed resistance groups in the first place.

This is a textbook CIA operation on the same model as Vietnam in the late 1950s and early 60s. The CIA uses U.S. special forces and training missions to launch covert and proxy military operations that drive local populations into armed resistance groups, and then uses the presence of those armed resistance groups to justify ever-escalating U.S. military involvement. This is Vietnam redux on a continental scale.

Taking on China

What seems to really be driving the CIA's militarization of U.S. policy in Africa is China's growing influence on the continent. As Steve Bannon put it in an interview with the Economist in August, "Let's go screw up One Belt One Road."

China is already too big and powerful for the U.S. to apply what is known as the Ledeen doctrine named for neoconservative theorist and intelligence operative Michael Ledeen who suggested that every 10 years or so, the United States "pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business."

China is too powerful and armed with nuclear weapons. So, in this case, the CIA's job would be to spread violence and chaos to disrupt Chinese trade and investment, and to make African governments increasingly dependent on U.S. military aid to fight the militant groups spawned and endlessly regenerated by U.S.-led "counterterrorism" operations.

Neither Ledeen nor Bannon pretend that such policies are designed to build more prosperous or viable societies in the Middle East or Africa, let alone to benefit their people. They both know very well what Richard Barnet already understood 45 years ago, that America's unprecedented investment in weapons, war and CIA covert operations are only good for one thing: to kill people and destroy infrastructure, reducing cities to rubble, societies to chaos and the desperate survivors to poverty and displacement.

As long as the CIA and the U.S. military keep plunging the scapegoats for our failed policies into economic crisis, violence and chaos, the United States and the United Kingdom can remain the safe havens of the world's wealth, islands of privilege and excess amidst the storms they unleash on others.

But if that is the only "significant national objective" driving these policies, it is surely about time for the 99 percent of Americans who reap no benefit from these murderous schemes to stop the CIA and its allies before they completely wreck the already damaged and fragile world in which we all must live, Americans and foreigners alike.

Douglas Valentine has probably studied the CIA in more depth than any other American journalist, beginning with his book on The Phoenix Program in Vietnam. He has written a new book titled The CIA as Organized Crime : How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World, in which he brings Fletcher Prouty's analysis right up to the present day, describing the CIA's role in our current wars and the many ways it infiltrates, manipulates and controls U.S. policy.

The Three Scapegoats

In Trump's speech to the U.N. General Assembly, he named North Korea, Iran and Venezuela as his prime targets for destabilization, economic warfare and, ultimately, the overthrow of their governments, whether by coup d'etat or the mass destruction of their civilian population and infrastructure. But Trump's choice of scapegoats for America's failures was obviously not based on a rational reassessment of foreign policy priorities by the new administration. It was only a tired rehashing of the CIA's unfinished business with two-thirds of Bush's "axis of evil" and Bush White House official Elliott Abrams' failed 2002 coup in Caracas, now laced with explicit and illegal threats of aggression.

How Trump and the CIA plan to sacrifice their three scapegoats for America's failures remains to be seen. This is not 2001, when the world stood silent at the U.S. bombardment and invasion of Afghanistan after September 11th. It is more like 2003, when the U.S. destruction of Iraq split the Atlantic alliance and alienated most of the world. It is certainly not 2011, after Obama's global charm offensive had rebuilt U.S. alliances and provided cover for French President Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Cameron, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Arab royals to destroy Libya, once ranked by the U.N. as the most developed country in Africa , now mired in intractable chaos.

In 2017, a U.S. attack on any one of Trump's scapegoats would isolate the United States from many of its allies and undermine its standing in the world in far-reaching ways that might be more permanent and harder to repair than the invasion and destruction of Iraq.

In Venezuela, the CIA and the right-wing opposition are following the same strategy that President Nixon ordered the CIA to inflict on Chile, to "make the economy scream" in preparation for the 1973 coup. But the solid victory of Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party in recent nationwide gubernatorial elections, despite a long and deep economic crisis, reveals little public support for the CIA's puppets in Venezuela.

The CIA has successfully discredited the Venezuelan government through economic warfare, increasingly violent right-wing street protests and a global propaganda campaign. But the CIA has stupidly hitched its wagon to an extreme right-wing, upper-class opposition that has no credibility with most of the Venezuelan public, who still turn out for the Socialists at the polls. A CIA coup or U.S. military intervention would meet fierce public resistance and damage U.S. relations all over Latin America.

Boxing In North Korea

A U.S. aerial bombardment or "preemptive strike" on North Korea could quickly escalate into a war between the U.S. and China, which has reiterated its commitment to North Korea's defense if North Korea is attacked. We do not know exactly what was in the U.S. war plan discovered by North Korea, so neither can we know how North Korea and China could respond if the U.S. pressed ahead with it.

Most analysts have long concluded that any U.S. attack on North Korea would be met with a North Korean artillery and missile barrage that would inflict unacceptable civilian casualties on Seoul, a metropolitan area of 26 million people, three times the population of New York City. Seoul is only 35 miles from the frontier with North Korea, placing it within range of a huge array of North Korean weapons. What was already a no-win calculus is now compounded by the possibility that North Korea could respond with nuclear weapons, turning any prospect of a U.S. attack into an even worse nightmare.

U.S. mismanagement of its relations with North Korea should be an object lesson for its relations with Iran, graphically demonstrating the advantages of diplomacy, talks and agreements over threats of war. Under the Agreed Framework signed in 1994, North Korea stopped work on two much larger nuclear reactors than the small experimental one operating at Yongbyong since 1986, which only produces 6 kg of plutonium per year, enough for one nuclear bomb.

The lesson of Bush's Iraq invasion in 2003 after Saddam Hussein had complied with demands that he destroy Iraq's stockpiles of chemical weapons and shut down a nascent nuclear program was not lost on North Korea. Not only did the invasion lay waste to large sections of Iraq with hundreds of thousands of dead but Hussein himself was hunted down and condemned to death by hanging.

Still, after North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon in 2006, even its small experimental reactor was shut down as a result of the "Six Party Talks" in 2007, all the fuel rods were removed and placed under supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the cooling tower of the reactor was demolished in 2008.

But then, as relations deteriorated, North Korea conducted a second nuclear weapon test and again began reprocessing spent fuel rods to recover plutonium for use in nuclear weapons.

North Korea has now conducted six nuclear weapons tests. The explosions in the first five tests increased gradually up to 15-25 kilotons, about the yield of the bombs the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but estimates for the yield of the 2017 test range from 110 to 250 kilotons , comparable to a small hydrogen bomb.

The even greater danger in a new war in Korea is that the U.S. could unleash part of its arsenal of 4,000 more powerful weapons (100 to 1,200 kilotons), which could kill millions of people and devastate and poison the region, or even the world, for years to come.

The U.S. willingness to scrap the Agreed Framework in 2003, the breakdown of the Six Party Talks in 2009 and the U.S. refusal to acknowledge that its own military actions and threats create legitimate defense concerns for North Korea have driven the North Koreans into a corner from which they see a credible nuclear deterrent as their only chance to avoid mass destruction.

China has proposed a reasonable framework for diplomacy to address the concerns of both sides, but the U.S. insists on maintaining its propaganda narratives that all the fault lies with North Korea and that it has some kind of "military solution" to the crisis.

This may be the most dangerous idea we have heard from U.S. policymakers since the end of the Cold War, but it is the logical culmination of a systematic normalization of deviant and illegal U.S. war-making that has already cost millions of lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan. As historian Gabriel Kolko wrote in Century of War in 1994, "options and decisions that are intrinsically dangerous and irrational become not merely plausible but the only form of reasoning about war and diplomacy that is possible in official circles."

Demonizing Iran

The idea that Iran has ever had a nuclear weapons program is seriously contested by the IAEA, which has examined every allegation presented by the CIA and other Western "intelligence" agencies as well as Israel. Former IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei revealed many details of this wild goose chase in his 2011 memoir, Age of Deception : Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times .

When the CIA and its partners reluctantly acknowledged the IAEA's conclusions in a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), ElBaradei issued a press release confirming that, "the agency has no concrete evidence of an ongoing nuclear weapons program or undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran."

Since 2007, the IAEA has resolved all its outstanding concerns with Iran. It has verified that dual-use technologies that Iran imported before 2003 were in fact used for other purposes, and it has exposed the mysterious "laptop documents" that appeared to show Iranian plans for a nuclear weapon as forgeries. Gareth Porter thoroughly explored all these questions and allegations and the history of mistrust that fueled them in his 2014 book, Manufactured Crisis : the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare , which I highly recommend.

But, in the parallel Bizarro world of U.S. politics, hopelessly poisoned by the CIA's endless disinformation campaigns, Hillary Clinton could repeatedly take false credit for disarming Iran during her presidential campaign, and neither Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump nor any corporate media interviewer dared to challenge her claims.

"When President Obama took office, Iran was racing toward a nuclear bomb," Clinton fantasized in a prominent foreign policy speech on June 2, 2016, claiming that her brutal sanctions policy "brought Iran to the table."

In fact, as Trita Parsi documented in his 2012 book, A Single Roll of the Dice : Obama's Diplomacy With Iran , the Iranians were ready, not just to "come to the table," but to sign a comprehensive agreement based on a U.S. proposal brokered by Turkey and Brazil in 2010. But, in a classic case of "tail wags dog," the U.S. then rejected its own proposal because it would have undercut support for tighter sanctions in the U.N. Security Council. In other words, Clinton's sanctions policy did not "bring Iran to the table", but prevented the U.S. from coming to the table itself.

As a senior State Department official told Trita Parsi, the real problem with U.S. diplomacy with Iran when Clinton was at the State Department was that the U.S. would not take "Yes" for an answer. Trump's ham-fisted decertification of Iran's compliance with the JCPOA is right out of Clinton's playbook, and it demonstrates that the CIA is still determined to use Iran as a scapegoat for America's failures in the Middle East.

The spurious claim that Iran is the world's greatest sponsor of terrorism is another CIA canard reinforced by endless repetition. It is true that Iran supports and supplies weapons to Hezbollah and Hamas, which are both listed as terrorist organizations by the U.S. government. But they are mainly defensive resistance groups that defend Lebanon and Gaza respectively against invasions and attacks by Israel.

Shifting attention away from Al Qaeda, Islamic State, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and other groups that actually commit terrorist crimes around the world might just seem like a case of the CIA "taking its eyes off the ball," if it wasn't so transparently timed to frame Iran with new accusations now that the manufactured crisis of the nuclear scare has run its course.

What the Future Holds

Barack Obama's most consequential international achievement may have been the triumph of symbolism over substance behind which he expanded and escalated the so-called "war on terror," with a vast expansion of covert operations and proxy wars that eventually triggered the heaviest U.S. aerial bombardments since Vietnam in Iraq and Syria.

Obama's charm offensive invigorated old and new military alliances with the U.K., France and the Arab monarchies, and he quietly ran up the most expensive military budget of any president since World War Two.

But Obama's expansion of the "war on terror" under cover of his deceptive global public relations campaign created many more problems than it solved, and Trump and his advisers are woefully ill-equipped to solve any of them. Trump's expressed desire to place America first and to resist foreign entanglements is hopelessly at odds with his aggressive, bullying approach to every foreign policy problem.

If the U.S. could threaten and fight its way to a resolution of any of its international problems, it would have done so already. That is exactly what it has been trying to do since the 1990s, behind both the swagger and bluster of Bush and Trump and the deceptive charm of Clinton and Obama: a "good cop – bad cop" routine that should no longer fool anyone anywhere.

But as Lyndon Johnson found as he waded deeper and deeper into the Big Muddy in Vietnam, lying to the public about unwinnable wars does not make them any more winnable. It just gets more people killed and makes it harder and harder to ever tell the public the truth.

In unwinnable wars based on lies, the "credibility" problem only gets more complicated, as new lies require new scapegoats and convoluted narratives to explain away graveyards filled by old lies. Obama's cynical global charm offensive bought the "war on terror" another eight years, but that only allowed the CIA to drag the U.S. into more trouble and spread its chaos to more places around the world.

Meanwhile, Russian President Putin is winning hearts and minds in capitals around the world by calling for a recommitment to the rule of international law , which prohibits the threat or use of military force except in self-defense. Every new U.S. threat or act of aggression will only make Putin's case more persuasive, not least to important U.S. allies like South Korea, Germany and other members of the European Union, whose complicity in U.S. aggression has until now helped to give it a false veneer of political legitimacy.

Throughout history, serial aggression has nearly always provoked increasingly united opposition, as peace-loving countries and people have reluctantly summoned the courage to stand up to an aggressor. France under Napoleon and Hitler's Germany also regarded themselves as exceptional, and in their own ways they were. But in the end, their belief in their exceptionalism led them on to defeat and destruction.

Americans had better hope that we are not so exceptional, and that the world will find a diplomatic rather than a military "solution" to its American problem. Our chances of survival would improve a great deal if American officials and politicians would finally start to act like something other than putty in the hands of the CIA

Nicolas J. S. Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq . He also wrote the chapters on "Obama at War" in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama's First Term as a Progressive Leader .

[Dec 29, 2017] Brennan and Morrell might work on creating UAE Intelligence agency modeled after CIA

Notable quotes:
"... It also appears that both Brennan and Morrell are knee deep in it as well. ..."
Dec 29, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

J , 27 December 2017 at 04:19 AM

Colonel, PT,

Has Larry Sanchez stepped over the line?

https://intelnews.org/tag/larry-sanchez/

J , 27 December 2017 at 04:19 AM
Colonel,

It also appears that both Brennan and Morrell are knee deep in it as well.

[Dec 28, 2017] How CrowdStrike placed malware in DNC hacked servers by Alex Christoforou

Highly recommended!
If this is true, then this is definitely a sophisticated false flag operation. Was malware Alperovich people injected specifically designed to implicate Russians? In other words Crowdstrike=Fancy Bear
Images removed. For full content please thee the original source
One interesting corollary of this analysis is that installing Crowdstrike software is like inviting a wolf to guard your chicken. If they are so dishonest you take enormous risks. That might be true for some other heavily advertized "intrusion prevention" toolkits. So those criminals who use mistyped popular addresses or buy Google searches to drive lemmings to their site and then flash the screen that they detected a virus on your computer a, please call provided number and for a small amount of money your virus will be removed get a new more sinister life.
I suspected many of such firms (for example ISS which was bought by IBM in 2006) to be scams long ago.
Notable quotes:
"... They found that generally, in a lot of cases, malware developers didn't care to hide the compile times and that while implausible timestamps are used, it's rare that these use dates in the future. It's possible, but unlikely that one sample would have a postdated timestamp to coincide with their visit by mere chance but seems extremely unlikely to happen with two or more samples. Considering the dates of CrowdStrike's activities at the DNC coincide with the compile dates of two out of the three pieces of malware discovered and attributed to APT-28 (the other compiled approximately 2 weeks prior to their visit), the big question is: Did CrowdStrike plant some (or all) of the APT-28 malware? ..."
"... The IP address, according to those articles, was disabled in June 2015, eleven months before the DNC emails were acquired – meaning those IP addresses, in reality, had no involvement in the alleged hacking of the DNC. ..."
"... The fact that two out of three of the Fancy Bear malware samples identified were compiled on dates within the apparent five day period CrowdStrike were apparently at the DNC seems incredibly unlikely to have occurred by mere chance. ..."
"... That all three malware samples were compiled within ten days either side of their visit – makes it clear just how questionable the Fancy Bear malware discoveries were. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | theduran.com

Of course the DNC did not want to the FBI to investigate its "hacked servers". The plan was well underway to excuse Hillary's pathetic election defeat to Trump, and CrowdStrike would help out by planting evidence to pin on those evil "Russian hackers." Some would call this entire DNC server hack an "insurance policy."

... ... ...

[Dec 28, 2017] The CIA as Organized Crime How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... By illuminating CIA programs and systems of surveillance, control, and assassination utilized against the civilian population of South Vietnam, we are presented with parallels with operations and practices at work today in America's seemingly perpetual war against terror. ..."
"... Through the policies of covert infiltration and manipulations, illegal alliances, and "brute force" interventions that wreak havoc on designated enemy states, destroy progress and infrastructure under the claim of liberation, degrade the standards of living for people in the perceived hostile nations, "...America's ruling elite empowers itself while claiming it has ensured the safety and prestige of the American people. Sometimes it is even able to convince the public that its criminal actions are 'humanitarian' and designed to liberate the people in nations it destroys." ..."
"... Want to know why the DEA is losing the war on drugs, how torture has become policy? Want to know why the government no longer represents your interests? Look no further. ..."
Nov 27, 2016 | www.amazon.com
Alan Dale on November 27, 2016

5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Addition to an Essential Body of Work

Of the extraordinarily valuable and informative works for which Mr. Valentine is responsible, his latest, CIA As Organized Crime, may prove to be the best choice as an introduction to the dark realm of America's hidden corruptions and their consequences at home and around the world. This new volume begins with the unlikely but irrevocable framework by which Mr. Valentine's path led to unprecedented access to key Agency personnel whose witting participation is summarized by the chapter title: "How William Colby Gave Me the Keys to the CIA Kingdom."

By illuminating CIA programs and systems of surveillance, control, and assassination utilized against the civilian population of South Vietnam, we are presented with parallels with operations and practices at work today in America's seemingly perpetual war against terror.

Through the policies of covert infiltration and manipulations, illegal alliances, and "brute force" interventions that wreak havoc on designated enemy states, destroy progress and infrastructure under the claim of liberation, degrade the standards of living for people in the perceived hostile nations, "...America's ruling elite empowers itself while claiming it has ensured the safety and prestige of the American people. Sometimes it is even able to convince the public that its criminal actions are 'humanitarian' and designed to liberate the people in nations it destroys."

Mr. Valentine has presented us with a major body of work which includes: The Strength of the Wolf; The Strength of the Pack; The Pheonix Program, to which we may now add The CIA as Organized Crime, and for which we are profoundly indebted.

felixnola on December 6, 2016

5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth About the CIA and What is Instore For You

If you want the inside scoop on the CIA and it's criminal past; this is the book. Additionally, why the Phoenix Program is pertinent for our own times. This book connects the dots.

If you have been wondering why Homeland Security has fusion centers; why the USA Anti-Patriot Act, NDAA and Rex 84 have been passed by Congress; you will get your answer here.

A book every intelligent American needs to read and place in a prominent place in their library. Oh, and don't forget after you read it; spread the word !!! (this book is based upon actual face to face interviews and documents)

Jay Trout on January 2, 2017

5.0 out of 5 stars A crucial tool to understanding present reality. An absolute must read.

Run, don't walk, and get yourself a copy of this book. The author has been warning us for decades about the clear and present danger that is the CIA I was unaware of Valentine's work for most of those years, perhaps because our media outlets (even the "anti-establishment" ones like Democracy Now and The Intercept) have been compromised. Valentine's work has been suppressed since his ground-breaking book on the Phoenix Program.

Not that I didn't know anything about the sordid history. I knew about MK-Ultra, some of the agency's drug running and empire-building exploits. This work goes much deeper and paints a much bigger picture. The extent of the agency's influence is much greater than I had imagined.

This is not another history book about dirty tricks. It is not just about our insane foreign policy and empire building. The cancer of corruption, of outright crime, has metastasized into every agency of the government right here in the US itself. Those dirty tricks and crimes have become domestic policy- in fusion centers and Homeland Security, in the militarization of local police and in Congress, from Wall Street to Main Street. Border Patrol, the DEA, Justice and State have all been compromised.

Want to know why the DEA is losing the war on drugs, how torture has become policy? Want to know why the government no longer represents your interests? Look no further.

The problem is now. We are the new targets.

Read it and weep, but for God's sake, please read it.
A highly informative and comprehensive book, and a scathing, fearless indictment of government corruption.
I cannot overstate it's importance.

Andrew E. Belshaw on December 6, 2016

Disguising Obama's Dirty War Chapter 22

I just picked up this book and have not read it yet--but I am writing this to CORRECT THE RECORD regarding very basic information. There are 446 PAGES (not 286, as listed above). 160 Pages is a big difference--obviously, QUALITY is more important than quantity--but I do feel the listing needs be corrected.

The "Inside Look" feature is also cutting off the last 9 chapters of the book, which are as follows:

PART IV: MANUFACTURING COMPLICITY: SHAPING THE AMERICAN WORLDVIEW

John C. Landon on January 2, 2017

Expose of the CIA mafia

This is a devastating and must-read study of the social and political calamity created by the CIA over the last sixty years. The portrait shows the criminal character of the agency and finally of the government it is said to serve. The portrait is a double shock because it shows not just a sordid corruption but a malevolent 'dark side' mafia-style corruption of american civilization and government. That the CIA controls the drug trade is not the least of the stunning revelations of this history.

[Dec 28, 2017] Regime Change Comes Home: The CIA s Overt Threats against Trump by James Petras

Highly recommended!
This was written almost a year ago. Not author demonstrated tremendous insight which was confirmed by subsequent events.
Notable quotes:
"... The decisive shift to 'regime change' at home has been a continual process organized, orchestrated and implemented by elected and appointed officials within the Obama regime and by a multiplicity of political action organizations, which cross traditional ideological boundaries. ..."
"... The outgoing President Obama mobilized the entire leadership of the security state to fabricate 'dodgy dossiers' linking Donald Trump to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, insisting that Trump was a stooge or 'vulnerable to KGB blackmail'. The CIA's phony documents (arriving via a former British intelligence operative-now free lance 'security' contractor) were passed around among the major corporate media who declined to publish the leaked gossip. Months of attempts to get the US media to 'take the bite' on the 'smelly' dossier were unsuccessful. The semi-senile US Senator John McCain ('war-hero' and hysterical Trump opponent) then volunteered to plop the reeking gossip back onto the lap of the CIA Director Brennan and demand the government 'act on these vital revelations'! ..."
"... Under scrutiny by serious researchers, the 'CIA dossier' was proven to be a total fabrication by way of a former 'British official – now – in – hiding !' Undaunted, despite being totally discredited, the CIA leadership continued to attack the President-Elect. Trump likened the CIA's 'dirty pictures hatchet job' to the thuggish behavior of the Nazis and clearly understood how the CIA leadership was involved in a domestic coup d'état. ..."
"... CIA Director John Brennan, architect of numerous 'regime changes' overseas had brought his skills home – against the President-elect. For the first time in US history, a CIA director openly charged a President or President-elect with betraying the country and threatened the incoming Chief Executive. He coldly warned Trump to ' just make sure he understands that the implications and impacts (of Trump's policies) on the United States could be profound " ..."
Jan 20, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

The norms of US capitalist democracy include the election of presidential candidates through competitive elections, unimpeded by force and violence by the permanent institutions of the state. Voter manipulation has occurred during the recent elections, as in the case of the John F. Kennedy victory in 1960 and the George W. Bush victory over 'Al' Gore in 2000. But despite the dubious electoral outcomes in these cases, the 'defeated' candidate conceded and sought via legislation, judicial rulings, lobbying and peaceful protests to register their opposition.

These norms are no longer operative. During the election process, and in the run-up to the inauguration of US President-Elect Donald Trump, fundamental electoral institutions were challenged and coercive institutions were activated to disqualify the elected president and desperate overt public pronouncements threatened the entire electoral order.

We will proceed by outlining the process that is used to undermine the constitutional order, including the electoral process and the transition to the inauguration of the elected president.

Regime Change in America

In recent times, elected officials in the US and their state security organizations have often intervened against independent foreign governments, which challenged Washington 's quest for global domination. This was especially true during the eight years of President Barack Obama's administration where the violent ousting of presidents and prime ministers through US-engineered coups were routine – under an unofficial doctrine of 'regime change'.

The violation of constitutional order and electoral norms of other countries has become enshrined in US policy. All US political, administrative and security structures are involved in this process. The policymakers would insist that there was a clear distinction between operating within constitutional norms at home and pursuing violent, illegal regime change operations abroad.

Today the distinction between overseas and domestic norms has been obliterated by the state and quasi-official mass media. The US security apparatus is now active in manipulating the domestic democratic process of electing leaders and transitioning administrations.

The decisive shift to 'regime change' at home has been a continual process organized, orchestrated and implemented by elected and appointed officials within the Obama regime and by a multiplicity of political action organizations, which cross traditional ideological boundaries.

Regime change has several components leading to the final solution: First and foremost, the political parties seek to delegitimize the election process and undermine the President-elect. The mass media play a major role demonizing President-Elect Trump with personal gossip, decades-old sex scandals and fabricated interviews and incidents.

Alongside the media blitz, leftist and rightist politicians have come together to question the legitimacy of the November 2016 election results. Even after a recount confirmed Trump's victory, a massive propaganda campaign was launched to impeach the president-elect even before he takes office – by claiming Trump was an 'enemy agent'.

The Democratic Party and the motley collection of right-left anti-Trump militants sought to blackmail members of the Electoral College to change their vote in violation of their own mandate as state electors. This was unsuccessful, but unprecedented.

Their overt attack on US electoral norms then turned into a bizarre and virulent anti-Russia campaign designed to paint the elected president (a billionaire New York real estate developer and US celebrity icon) as a 'tool of Moscow .' The mass media and powerful elements within the CIA, Congress and Obama Administration insisted that Trump's overtures toward peaceful, diplomatic relations with Russia were acts of treason.

The outgoing President Obama mobilized the entire leadership of the security state to fabricate 'dodgy dossiers' linking Donald Trump to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, insisting that Trump was a stooge or 'vulnerable to KGB blackmail'. The CIA's phony documents (arriving via a former British intelligence operative-now free lance 'security' contractor) were passed around among the major corporate media who declined to publish the leaked gossip. Months of attempts to get the US media to 'take the bite' on the 'smelly' dossier were unsuccessful. The semi-senile US Senator John McCain ('war-hero' and hysterical Trump opponent) then volunteered to plop the reeking gossip back onto the lap of the CIA Director Brennan and demand the government 'act on these vital revelations'!

Under scrutiny by serious researchers, the 'CIA dossier' was proven to be a total fabrication by way of a former 'British official – now – in – hiding !' Undaunted, despite being totally discredited, the CIA leadership continued to attack the President-Elect. Trump likened the CIA's 'dirty pictures hatchet job' to the thuggish behavior of the Nazis and clearly understood how the CIA leadership was involved in a domestic coup d'état.

CIA Director John Brennan, architect of numerous 'regime changes' overseas had brought his skills home – against the President-elect. For the first time in US history, a CIA director openly charged a President or President-elect with betraying the country and threatened the incoming Chief Executive. He coldly warned Trump to ' just make sure he understands that the implications and impacts (of Trump's policies) on the United States could be profound "

Clearly CIA Director Brennan has not only turned the CIA into a sinister, unaccountable power dictating policy to an elected US president, by taking on the tone of a Mafia Capo, he threatens the physical security of the incoming leader.

From a Scratch to Gangrene

The worst catastrophe that could fall on the United States would be a conspiracy of leftist and rightist politicos, the corporate mass media and the 'progressive' websites and pundits providing ideological cover for a CIA-orchestrated 'regime change'.

Whatever the limitations of our electoral norms- and there are many – they are now being degraded and discarded in a march toward an elite coup, involving elements of the militarist empire and 'in`telligence' hierarchy.

Mass propaganda, a 'red-brown alliance, salacious gossip and accusations of treason ('Trump, the Stooge of Moscow') resemble the atmosphere leading to the rise of the Nazi state in Germany . A broad 'coalition' has joined hands with a most violent and murderous organization (the CIA) and imperial political leadership, which views overtures to peace to be high treason because it limits their drive for world power and a US dominated global political order.

James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. http://petras.lahaine.org/

[Dec 25, 2017] Kamala Harris Pisses Off Intelligence Committee Chairman When She Tries to Control Senate Hearing!

Dec 25, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Published on Nov 9, 2017

Kamala Harris Pisses Off Intelligence Committee Chairman When She Tries to Control Senate Hearing!

[Dec 24, 2017] The Great Puppeteer Counter-revolt of 2017 by Daniel J. Flynn

Notable quotes:
"... "I think it's the obligation of some executive branch officials to refuse to carry that out," former CIA director John Brennan said of the possibility of Donald Trump firing special counsel Robert Mueller. "I would just hope that this is not going to be a partisan issue. That Republicans, Democrats are going to see that the future of this government is at stake and something needs to be done for the good of the future. ..."
"... The American people, after all, elected Trump. Rod Rosenstein elected Mueller. ..."
"... A self-flattering interpretation by the puppeteers imagines Trump voters as Pap Finns resentful of the mere existence of the edumacated elites. Cultural tics surely explain part of this divide. But more so do frustrations with votes repeatedly resulting in policies unwanted by voters. Brennan encouraging employees of the executive branch to subvert the executive comes off as too analogous to the unelected continually sabotaging the will of the electorate that directly caused Trump's election. Trump's supporters certainly see it this way. This fight is an extension of the overall fight that colored the presidential election. ..."
"... policy change ..."
Jul 25, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

Last year, the marionettes rebelled. Naturally, the Great Puppeteer Counter-revolt of 2017 followed.

"I think it's the obligation of some executive branch officials to refuse to carry that out," former CIA director John Brennan said of the possibility of Donald Trump firing special counsel Robert Mueller. "I would just hope that this is not going to be a partisan issue. That Republicans, Democrats are going to see that the future of this government is at stake and something needs to be done for the good of the future. "

Leaving aside the imprudence of the president firing the man investigating his campaign's alleged ties to Russian interference in the 2016 election, Trump certainly possesses the right to dismiss Mueller. Unelected people who work for the man elected president do not possess the right to thwart the legal directives of their boss.

The American people, after all, elected Trump. Rod Rosenstein elected Mueller.

A fine line exists between anonymous, unelected, unaccountable government officials undermining the president's legal directives and such people working to overturn the results of last year's election. One might argue the two as one in the same differing only in degree.

Did the Russians meddle in our electoral process in 2016 or do entrenched bureaucrats do so on a constant basis? How one answers that question dictates one's response to this current controversy.

November's results, one might think, would have sparked epiphanies. Americans voted for a populist outsider to, in his words, "drain the swamp." Brennan's words indicate that the swamp thrives six months after inauguration. The election neither hastened the drain nor chastened the creatures from the swamp. As the late, great Stan Evans oft reflected, people go to Washington imagining it a swamp only to soon regard it as a hot tub. Who wants to vacate a hot tub?

A self-flattering interpretation by the puppeteers imagines Trump voters as Pap Finns resentful of the mere existence of the edumacated elites. Cultural tics surely explain part of this divide. But more so do frustrations with votes repeatedly resulting in policies unwanted by voters. Brennan encouraging employees of the executive branch to subvert the executive comes off as too analogous to the unelected continually sabotaging the will of the electorate that directly caused Trump's election. Trump's supporters certainly see it this way. This fight is an extension of the overall fight that colored the presidential election.

Consider any massive change in America over the last half century or so. The demographic sea change in the United States occurred in large part in spite, not because, of U.S. immigration laws. Courts, not the people, determined the legal status of abortion, gay marriage, school prayer, and much else. On important questions regarding the environment, the internet, and health care unelected bureaucrats make the rules under which we live. Such policy change exposes the metachange of process change that allows unelected people to impose their will on massive numbers of people. Tolerating the hijacking of policy soon leads to empowered hijackers thinking they can hijack the presidency.

The Constitution decrees, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government." Do the deep-state puppeteers imagine that this principle does not apply to Washington?

Donald Trump attempts to bring down the curtain on the long-running Puppet Show on the Potomac. Naturally, Charlie McCarthy finds this more liberating than Edgar Bergen

[Dec 23, 2017] Neocons and Neoliberals -- Two Masks, One Face by WashingtonsBlog

Notable quotes:
"... Trotsky communism ..."
Nov 10, 2008 | www.washingtonsblog.com

Obama might very well be classified as a "neoliberal". He appears to be appointing leading neoliberals to key positions in his administration .

If you're a liberal, you might think this is great. Instead of the Neoconservatives who have been in power for the last 8 years, we'll now have neoliberals. You may assume that "neoliberals" are new, smarter liberals -- with liberal social policies, but with a stronger, more realistic outlook.

Nope.

In reality, neoliberalism is as dissimilar to true progressive liberal politics as neo-conservatism is to true conservative politics (if you don't know it, most leading neoconservatives are former followers of Trotsky communism -- not very conservative, huh?)

For example, did you know that Ronald Reagan was a leading neoliberal ? In the U.S., of course, he is described as the quintessential conservative. But internationally, people understand that he really pushed neoliberal economic policies.

As former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer Philip Giraldi writes :

Neoconservatives and neoliberals are really quite similar, so it doesn't matter who gets elected in 2008. The American public, weary of preemptive attacks, democracy-promotion, and nation-building, will still get war either way.

And leading neo-conservative strategist Robert Kagan recently said :

Until now the liberal West's strategy has been to try to integrate these two powers into the international liberal order, to tame them and make them safe for liberalism."

So neoconservatives are not really conservative and neoliberals are not really liberal. But neocons and neoliberals are very similar to each other . Neocons are a lot more similar to neoliberals than to true conservatives; neoliberass are more similar to neocons than to real liberals.

Do you get it? Both the Republican and Democratic party are now run by people with identical agendas: make the big corporations richer and expand the American empire.

There is only one party, which simply puts on different faces depending on which "branch" of the party is in power. If its the Democratic branch, there is a slightly liberal social veneer to the mask: a little more funding for social programs, a little more nice guy talk, a little more of a laissez faire attitude towards gays and minorities, and a little more patient push towards military conquest and empire.

If its the Republican branch, there's a little more tough guy talk, quicker moves towards military empire, a little more mention of religion, and a tad more centralization of power in the president.

But there is only a single face behind both masks: the face of raw corporatism, greed and yearning for power and empire.

Until Americans stop getting distracted by the Republican versus Democratic melodrama, America will move steadily forward towards war, empire and -- inevitably as with any country which extends too far -- collapse.

Neoliberalism is neither "new" or liberal. Neoconservativism is neither new or conservative. They are just new labels for a very old agenda: serving the powers-that-be, consolidating power, controlling resources. Whether the iron fist has a velvet glove on it or not, it is still an iron fist.

A true opposition party is needed to counter the never-changing American agenda for military and corporate empire.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/9498954186704486?pubid=ld-6193-3093&pubo=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonsblog.com&width=747

J R Thompson , September 19, 2012 10:33 PM

This article does much to confuse and disinform. NeoCons are essential modern day Fascists. If you don't recall your politics, Fascists are to the right of Conservatives on the political spectrum. They have nothing to do with Communists who are far to the left. During the 1930s Nazis were the NeoCons. They were Fascists, and they also had the overwhelming support of Muslims, who are also Fascists. Today's NeoLiberals are basically Right Wing and hardly middle of the fence. There is virtually no politics to the left of centre and this is the catalyst for massive economic stagnation, economic collapse, rapidly growing global instability, indemic poverty, and an ongoing threat of pandemic disease and general global conflict. Until we have some form of political balance, we're on the brink of catastrophe, and will probably end up with an enormous mess to clean up.

Guest J R Thompson , June 18, 2014 8:12 PM

The Wiki page disagrees with you.

It says that Neo-Conservatives descend from Trotskeyism.

Grey Winters J R Thompson , June 23, 2014 4:28 PM

Fascism is statism and nothing represents the ultimate power of the state then the liberal. No liberal supports our constitution or a smaller government . But it's innately typical of a liberal to project their agenda onto others.

Malcolm Scott J R Thompson , November 4, 2016 9:18 PM

Fascism, Communism are just different faces of Totalitarianism or Statism. Fascism gives "private" owners (oligarchs) the illusion of freedom.

MisterReason J R Thompson , November 8, 2015 6:27 AM

Your communist professor lied to you.

Communism and Fascism are one degree apart. In Fascism, instead of the elite being part of the government, they are part of the private sector. That is the only difference. They are both mainly concerned with consolidation of power and shaping the culture though control of information. Internationally they operate the same as well, expanding their influence through wars of occupation.

Adnihilo , November 11, 2008 7:16 PM

Thank you for this article! As an author you always seem to be one step ahead of me in articles I've been planning to write! I too have been asserting [in comments mostly at OpedNews] that the economic right political 'values' found in NeoLibs, [short for both NeoLibertarians and Neoliberals] NeoCons, and TheoCons are predominantly the same for months now ever since these corporate bailouts started. This author has a firm grasp on political ideologies as evidenced in his other articles correctly identifying the now $2 trillion in US corporate bailouts as the economic policy of Fascism.

The TheoCons-NeoCons-NeoLibs have taken the country so far to the economic right and up in to an authoritarian level since 2000 that most all in the democratic party, excluding a few like Kucinich and Sanders, have moved from a 'centrist' political ideology to an authoritarian right and moderate conservative political ideology.

Like Anna here more fully displays, the overwhelming majority of Americans just do not have a realistic grasp on global political ideologies, much less their own personal political values. Political party indoctrination and mud slinging has the population wrongly convinced democratic politicians are for the most part 'liberals' when they're economic right NeoLiberals and moderate conservatives while republicans calling themselves 'conservative' are instead radically authoritarian and economic right TheoCons and NeoCons.

When Americans don't understand their own political values, much less those of the candidate they vote for, they will continue to make the wrong choices. This would seem to be exactly what the '1' party corporatist system wants so Americans will only continue making the wrong choices from choosing between 'moderate conservative' Democrats like Obama-Biden, and NeoCon/TheoCon republicans like McCain-Palin. Who better to assert this 1 party economic right NeoLiberal reality than one of the most renown liberal authors and intellectuals than Chomsky in his recent article the Anti-Democratic Nature of US Capitalism is Being Exposed.

Chomsky cites America as a "one-party system, the business party, with two factions, Republicans and Democrats" while putting the blame on this economic crisis where it belongs on the very people who created it, America's NeoLiberals. Anna, if you need more proof I suggest you take a trip to the non partisan web site created by a group of doctorate degreed political ideology professors, political experts and sociologists called Political Compass. I guarantee you these experts are far more learned than you are about political ideologies and political values not just in the US, but around the globe. It will surely shock you to learn based on speeches, public statements and most crucially voting records that Obama is firmly in the authoritarian right quadrant as a moderate conservative.

There you'll see their reasons for this based on his voting record and speeches briefly cited in "While Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader are depicted on the extreme left in an American context, they would simply be mainstream social democrats within the wider political landscape of Europe.

Similarly, Obama is popularly perceived as a leftist in the United States while elsewhere in the west his record is that of a moderate conservative. For example, in the case of the death penalty he is not an uncompromising abolitionist, while mainstream conservatives in all other western democracies are deeply opposed to capital punishment. The Democratic party's presidential candidate also reneged on his commitment to oppose the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He sided with the ultra conservative bloc in the Supreme Court against the Washington DC handgun ban and for capital punishment in child rape cases. He supports President Bush's faith-based initiatives and is reported in Fortune to have said that NAFTA isn't so bad."A way to realistically determine if the candidate you vote for actually represents your own political values is to take the political values test found at political compass here and afterward learn about the inadequacies inherent in the limited age-old traditional left-right economic view of political ideologies.

Then you Anna, along with a host of others, may actually start voting in support of candidates that factually represent your own political values. Or you may find you really aren't this liberal you think you are after all. Regardless, only by learning more about ones' own political values and those of the candidates Americans support will they get the political leaders, type of leadership, and government they actually want....

Alejandro Moreno Adnihilo , July 21, 2016 2:07 PM

Written 8 years ago and yet STILL true, Sanders and Kucinich are still of, by and for the people.

Dave , December 8, 2012 11:06 AM

Libertarian Party. http://www.lp.org

SuperTech86 Dave , November 11, 2015 3:20 AM

Doesn't do anything to stop the advance of corporatism which ultimately leads to tyranny and fascism.

Ian SuperTech86 , September 5, 2016 6:28 PM

Its debatable. Corporations won't be near as interested in a small government that is less willing to do favors for them. What do you suggest as a solution to stop the advancement of corporatism? If your answer is to tax the rich more and grow the government you would just get tyranny. Currently with big government we have both tyranny and fascism.

bosunj , November 10, 2008 5:59 PM

Indeed. One Party. The Corporate party. GOP-DEM are little different than Sunni and Shia! GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!

anon bosunj , November 17, 2013 9:43 PM

This is just ignorance -- the Republicans and Democrats are the same, but Sunni and Shia Islam are not just arbitrary branches of some terrorist collective called Islam. I suggest you read more about Islam, it's extraordinarily misunderstood AND--I might add--misinforming people about Islam is an integral part of the agenda of the corporate GOP-DEM elite. I'm not a Muslim, for the record.

Mike , November 10, 2008 6:31 PM

You are confusing the issue. The work neoliberal applies to an economic philosophy which is also sometimes called the Chicago School or the Washington Consensus. It is related to what we often call globalization, and it has to to with "liberalization" of economies, in other words privatization of publicly held industries etc. Liberal in the American political sense it totally unrelated to neoliberal. Neoconservatism is a political philosophy that espouses vanguardism and militant foreign policy. They are related in that their goals dove tail, kind of like apples and oranges are similar in that they are both edible.

[Dec 23, 2017] Ex-CIA Director John Brennan Testified Before House Intelligence Committee About Election Meddling

Now we can view Brennan testimony throw the prism of Steele dossier scandal and Strzok-gate (with whom he who probably has direct contacts)
Please note that the interview was given directly after the appointment of the Special Prosecutor Mueller and at this time many though that Trump was "fully cooked" and that neocon and neoliberal swamp in Washington managed to consume him.
May 23, 2017 | www.npr.org

Former CIA Director John Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday that Russia "brazenly interfered in the 2016 election process," despite U.S. efforts to warn it off. Brennan testified in an open session of the committee, one of a handful of congressional committees now investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Brennan said he told his Russian counterpart, the head of Russia's FSB, last August that if Russia pursued its efforts to interfere, "it would destroy any near-term prospect for improvement in relations" between the two countries. He said Russia denied any attempts to interfere.

In his opening statement, Brennan also recounted how he had briefed congressional leaders in August of last year, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees about the "full details" of what he knew of Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Brennan said he became convinced last summer that Russia was trying to interfere in the campaign, saying "they were very aggressive."

Brennan said he is "aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign." Brennan said that concerned him, "because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals," and that it raised questions about whether or not the Russians "were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals." Brennan added he didn't know if "collusion existed" between the Russians and those he identified as involved in the Trump campaign.

While Brennan would not specifically identify any individuals associated with the Trump campaign who had contacts with Russian officials and would not opine as to whether there was any collusion or collaboration, he did tell lawmakers why he was concerned about the contacts occurring against the general background of Russian efforts to meddle in the election. Brennan said he's studied Russian intelligence activities over the years, and how Russian intelligence services have been able to get people to betray their country. "Frequently, individuals on a treasonous path do not even realize they're on that path until it gets to be too late," he said.

Brennan said Russia was motivated to back Donald Trump in the presidential election because of a "traditional animus" between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He told committee members there had not been a good relationship between Putin and the Clintons over the years. What's more, Brennan said Putin blamed Hillary Clinton's actions as secretary of state during the Obama administration for domestic disturbances inside Russia. He said Putin was concerned Clinton would be more "rigid" on issues such as human rights if elected president.

But Brennan told the committee he believed that Russia anticipated that Clinton would be the likely winner of the presidential race, and that Russia tried to "damage and bloody" her before Election Day. Had she won, Brennan said, Russia would have continued to attempt to "denigrate her and hurt her" during her presidency. If Russia had collected more information about Clinton that they did not use against her during the campaign, Brennan said they were likely "husbanding it for another day."

On another question, Brennan criticized President Trump's reported sharing of classified intelligence with Russia officials. Brennan said if reports were accurate, Trump violated "protocols" by sharing the information with Russia's foreign minister and ambassador to the U.S.

Brennan also said he was "very concerned" by the release of what he said appears to be classified information from the Trump administration. He said there appear to be "very, very damaging leaks, and I find them appalling and they need to be tracked down."

Reacting to Brennan's testimony, a White House spokesman said "This morning's hearings back up what we've been saying all along: that despite a year of investigation, there is still no evidence of any Russia-Trump campaign collusion, that the President never jeopardized intelligence sources or sharing, and that even Obama's CIA Director believes the leaks of classified information are 'appalling' and the culprits must be 'tracked down.'"

Under questioning from Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., Brennan said the Russians have been trying to disrupt Western elections since the 1960s, and that they've quickly adapted to the times. Brennan pointed to the ease with which Russia was able to hack Democratic operatives' emails, which were then published on WikiLeaks.

"The cyber-environment now really provides so much more opportunity for troublemaking and the Russians take advantage of it," he said. Brennan said the use of spear phishing, and "whatever else so that they can then gain access to people's emails, computer systems networks," is something that the Russians are adept at.

He said Russia used WikiLeaks as a "cut-out," or go-between, and that protests by WikiLeaks that it is not working with Russia and Russia's claims it is not working with WikiLeaks are "disingenuous."

[Dec 23, 2017] What Did John Brennan and Anonymous Sources Really Say by Philip Giraldi

The rule for retired intelligence officials is to keep their mouth shut and disappear from the public view. This not the case with Brennan. Probably worried about his survival chances in case of failure, Brennan tries to justified the "putsch" of a faction of intelligence officials against Trump. Nice... Now we have indirect proof that he conspired with Michael Morell to depose legitimately elected president.
Now the question arise whether he worked with MI6 to create Steele dossier. In other words did CIA supplied some information that went to the dossier.
Moreover, since JFK assassination, the CIA is prohibited from spying on American citizens, especially tracking the activities of associates of a presidential candidate, which is clearly political activity.
This alone should have sent warning bells off for Congress critters, yet Brennan clearly persisted in following this dangerous for him and CIA trail. Very strange.
Notable quotes:
"... Speaking to a Russian becomes treasonous ..."
"... The article states that Brennan during the 2016 campaign "reviewed intelligence that showed 'contacts and interaction' between Russian actors and people associated with the Trump campaign." Politico was also in on the chase in an article entitled Brennan: Russia may have successfully recruited Trump campaign aides . ..."
"... The precise money quote by Brennan that the two articles chiefly rely on is "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals." ..."
"... At a later point in his testimony Brennan also said that "I had unresolved questions in my mind about whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting US persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion," clearly meant to imply that some friends of Trump might have become Russian agents voluntarily but others might have cooperated without knowing it. ..."
"... It is a line that has surfaced elsewhere previously, most notably in the demented meanderings of former acting Director of Central Intelligence Michael Morell. As the purpose of recruiting an intelligence agent is to have a resource that can be directed to do things for you, the statement is an absurdity and Brennan and Morell, as a former Director and acting Director of the CIA, should know better. ..."
"... In his testimony, Brennan also hit the main theme that appears to be accepted by nearly everyone inside the beltway, namely that Russian sought to influence and even pervert the outcome of the 2016 election. Interpreting his testimony, the Post article asserts that "Russia was engaged in an 'aggressive' and 'multifaceted 'effort to interfere in our election." As has been noted frequently before, even though this assertion has apparently been endorsed by nearly everyone in the power structure AKA (also known as) "those who matter," it is singularly lacking in any actual evidence. ..."
"... Last Wednesday, the New York Times led off its front page with a piece entitled Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer . Based, as always, on anonymous sources citing "highly classified" intelligence, the article claimed that "American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers " The "discussions," which are presumably NSA intercepts of phone calls, reportedly focused on two aides in particular, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, both of whom had established relationships with Russian businessmen and government officials. ..."
"... It would appear that the New York Times ' editors are unaware that the United States routinely interferes in elections worldwide and that the action taken in various places including Ukraine goes far beyond phone conversations. In some other places like Libya, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan the interference is particularly robust taking place at the point of a bayonet, but the Times and Washington Post don't appear to have any problem when the regime change is being accomplished ostensibly to make the world more democratic, even if it almost never has that result. ..."
"... "The "discussions," which are presumably NSA intercepts of phone calls, reportedly ." ..."
"... US is now like USSR? https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2017/05/29/forget-russian-collusion-we-are-russia/ ..."
"... The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival. ..."
"... Of course those, their mouth pieces Washpost, CNN and NYT, who still want USA control of the world, have aligned their careers on this policy, do anything to get rid of Trump. As Russia is seen by them as the next country to be subjugated, any talk with this 'enemy' to them is high treason. ..."
"... Mr. Clapper finally found the answer to this 1 billion dollar question why US is suffering in his NBC interview -- it is because Russians are untermensch. Russian genetics is wrong and we all were so sweating and suffering over this whole mess., while the answer was so close, on the surface. ..."
"... "If you put that in context with everything else we knew the Russians were doing to interfere with the election, and just the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned." ..."
"... This is a fact showing the US' direct meddling in the affairs of another state and in creating a war on a border with Russian federation. Brennan has been so much immersed in lies and politicking and war crimes that it is impossible to expect any decent reasoning from this miserable opportunist. ..."
"... What Goering did say – cogently and precisely – is that, regardless of the form of government, the people can always be quite easily stirred up to want war. The key sentence is this: "All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger". That is exactly what the US, UK and European governments have been doing for years to justify their terrorist scares and their wars of aggression. And Goering was absolutely right to point out that it works just the same in democracies (or "democracies") as under dictatorships. ..."
"... "Apparently we need to focus on protecting our vote from our own government". I very much doubt if the Deep State needs to resort to such small-scale and easily-detected trickery to retain control. As Philip Berrigan pointed out long ago, "If voting made any difference, it would be illegal". ..."
May 30, 2017 | www.unz.com

Speaking to a Russian becomes treasonous

The Washington Post and a number of other mainstream media outlets are sensing blood in the water in the wake of former CIA Director John Brennan's public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. The Post headlined a front page featured article with Brennan's explosive testimony just made it harder for the GOP to protect Trump . The article states that Brennan during the 2016 campaign "reviewed intelligence that showed 'contacts and interaction' between Russian actors and people associated with the Trump campaign." Politico was also in on the chase in an article entitled Brennan: Russia may have successfully recruited Trump campaign aides .

The precise money quote by Brennan that the two articles chiefly rely on is "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals."

Now first of all, the CIA is not supposed to keep tabs on American citizens and tracking the activities of known associates of a presidential candidate should have sent warning bells off, yet Brennan clearly persisted in following the trail. What Brennan did not describe, because it was "classified," was how he came upon the information in the first place. We know from the New York Times and other sources that it came from foreign intelligence services, including the British, Dutch and Estonians, and there has to be a strong suspicion that the forwarding of at least some of that information might have been sought or possibly inspired by Brennan unofficially in the first place. But whatever the provenance of the intelligence, it is clear that Brennan then used that information to request an FBI investigation into a possible Russian operation directed against potential key advisers if Trump were to somehow get nominated and elected, which admittedly was a longshot at the time. That is how Russiagate began.

But where the information ultimately came from as well as its reliability is just speculation as the source documents have not been made public. What is not speculative is what Brennan actually said in his testimony. He said that Americans associated with Trump and his campaign had met with Russians. He was "concerned" because of known Russian efforts to "suborn such individuals." Note that Brennan, presumably deliberately, did not say "suborn those individuals." Sure, Russian intelligence (and CIA, MI-6, and Mossad as well as a host of others) seek to recruit people with access to politically useful information. That is what they do for a living, but Brennan is not saying that he has or saw any evidence that that was the case with the Trump associates. He is speaking generically of "such individuals" because he knows that spies, inter alia , recruit politicians and the Russians presumably, like the Americans and British, do so aggressively.

At a later point in his testimony Brennan also said that "I had unresolved questions in my mind about whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting US persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion," clearly meant to imply that some friends of Trump might have become Russian agents voluntarily but others might have cooperated without knowing it.

It is a line that has surfaced elsewhere previously, most notably in the demented meanderings of former acting Director of Central Intelligence Michael Morell. As the purpose of recruiting an intelligence agent is to have a resource that can be directed to do things for you, the statement is an absurdity and Brennan and Morell, as a former Director and acting Director of the CIA, should know better. That they don't explains a lot of things about today's CIA

Brennan confirms his lack of any hard evidence when he also poses the question "whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals." He doesn't know whether the Americans were approached and asked to cooperate by Russian intelligence officers and, even if they were, he does not know whether they agreed to do so. That means that the Americans in question were guilty only of meeting and talking to Russians, which was presumably enough to open an FBI investigation. One might well consider that at the time and even to this day Russia was not and is not a declared enemy of the United States and meeting Russians is not a criminal offense.

In his testimony, Brennan also hit the main theme that appears to be accepted by nearly everyone inside the beltway, namely that Russian sought to influence and even pervert the outcome of the 2016 election. Interpreting his testimony, the Post article asserts that "Russia was engaged in an 'aggressive' and 'multifaceted 'effort to interfere in our election." As has been noted frequently before, even though this assertion has apparently been endorsed by nearly everyone in the power structure AKA (also known as) "those who matter," it is singularly lacking in any actual evidence.

Nor has any evidence been produced to support the claim that it was Russia that hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server, which now is accepted as Gospel, but that is just one side to the story being promoted. Last Wednesday, the New York Times led off its front page with a piece entitled Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer . Based, as always, on anonymous sources citing "highly classified" intelligence, the article claimed that "American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers " The "discussions," which are presumably NSA intercepts of phone calls, reportedly focused on two aides in particular, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, both of whom had established relationships with Russian businessmen and government officials.

The article goes on to concede that "It is unclear, however, whether Russian officials actually tried to directly influence Mr. Manafort and Mr. Flynn ," and that's about all there is to the tale, though the Times wanders on for another three pages, recapping Brennan and the Flynn saga lest anyone has forgotten. So what do we have? Russians were talking on the phone about the possibility of influencing an American's presidential candidate's advisers, an observation alluded to by Brennan and also revealed in somewhat more detail by anonymous sources. Pretty thin gruel, isn't it? Isn't that what diplomats and intelligence officers do?

It would appear that the New York Times ' editors are unaware that the United States routinely interferes in elections worldwide and that the action taken in various places including Ukraine goes far beyond phone conversations. In some other places like Libya, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan the interference is particularly robust taking place at the point of a bayonet, but the Times and Washington Post don't appear to have any problem when the regime change is being accomplished ostensibly to make the world more democratic, even if it almost never has that result.

How one regards all of the dreck coming out of the Fourth Estate and poseurs like John Brennan pretty much depends on the extent one is willing to trust that what the government, its highly-politicized bureaucrats and the media tell the public is true. For me, that would be not a lot. The desire to bring down the buffoonish Donald Trump is understandable, but buying into government and media lies will only lead to more lies that have real consequences, up to and including the impending wars against North Korea and Iran. It is imperative that every American should question everything he or she reads in a newspaper, sees on television "news" or hears coming out of the mouths of former and current government employees.

RobinG , May 30, 2017 at 5:20 am GMT

Thanks for the reassurance, Phil. It's lonely standing against the tide, and many are trying to fabricate excuses for the lack of evidence.

Take Melvin Goodman, author of Whistleblower at the CIA, for instance. (I realize CIA is a big place, but did you know him?) I've met Mr. Goodman, and he struck me as thoughtful, rational and capable of objective discussion. However, in his talk at the Gaithersburg Book Festival, he seemed a rather different person. At the end of Q&A, he said that he was trying to figure out how the Russians had laundered the "hacked" DNC emails to make it look like they were leaked by an insider. He's sure the Russians did it. With such creative speculation, who needs facts?

The book, though, is probably pretty good. Which makes it that much stranger that he's taking the political line on the DNC emails!

https://www.c-span.org/video/?427995-3/whistleblower-cia

Melvin A. Goodman talked about his book, Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider's Account of the Politics of Intelligence.

animalogic , May 30, 2017 at 5:32 am GMT

Ah, another day, another disgraceful display by the media. Incidentally: "The "discussions," which are presumably NSA intercepts of phone calls, reportedly ."

"Presumably" here is quite generous: I'd be tempted to presume a whole string of lies .

Anon , May 30, 2017 at 5:51 am GMT

US is now like USSR? https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2017/05/29/forget-russian-collusion-we-are-russia/

The Alarmist , May 30, 2017 at 5:54 am GMT

It's like climate change: The MSM tells us that 17 intelligence agencies agree that the Russians hacked the election and thereby influenced it, but when you dig a little you find that NSA, for example, did not express a high degree of confidence that this might have actually been the case. Nevertheless, the case is settled. Pravda and Izvestia should have been so convinced in their day.

exiled off mainstreet , May 30, 2017 at 6:15 am GMT

The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival.

jilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 8:00 am GMT

It all seems quite simple to me. After WWI the USA people decided that their sons should not die ever more for imperialism. Isolation, neutrality laws. In 1932 Roosevelt was brought into politics to make the USA great, great as the country controlling the world. Trump and his rich friends understand that this policy is not just ruining the USA, but is ruining them personally. If I'm right in this, it is the greatest change in USA foreign policy since 1932.

Of course those, their mouth pieces Washpost, CNN and NYT, who still want USA control of the world, have aligned their careers on this policy, do anything to get rid of Trump. As Russia is seen by them as the next country to be subjugated, any talk with this 'enemy' to them is high treason.

Russ , May 30, 2017 at 8:39 am GMT

Lisa Frank has recently (5/18/2017) written beautifully on the topic of Comey in the FBI: http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=72788

Just as Ms. Frank dissects Comey's background and motivations, so a similar dissection is now in order for Mr. Brennan.

LauraMR , May 30, 2017 at 9:32 am GMT

@exiled off mainstreet The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival.

Is he an Anglo-Zionist? I kind of missed a reference to the true puppet-masters in the article

Renoman , May 30, 2017 at 10:08 am GMT

I'll say it again "what has Russia ever done to the USA"? The answer is Nothing!

mp , May 30, 2017 at 10:30 am GMT

Is someone going to look in to how the Izzys influence our politicians and elections? No. Why? Because Russia is the "enemy" and Israel is our "ally." Can someone explain in simple terms why Russia is the enemy? Yes. Because Jews don't like them very much. Can someone explain in simple terms why Israel is our ally? Because of New York City, Hollywood, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, CBS and NBC, the major newspapers, Wall Street, porn, military subsidies, dual citizenship, etc. And because every president just can't wait to wear the beanie and genuflect at some wall. Any other questions?

Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 10:52 am GMT

" One might well consider that at the time and even to this day Russia was not and is not a declared enemy of the United States and meeting Russians is not a criminal offense".

Although in point of fact the USA has committed, and continues to commit, acts of war against Russia.

Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 10:53 am GMT

@Renoman "[W]hat has Russia ever done to the USA"?

Er, supported the US government during the American Civil War? Given it Alaska for a token payment? Won WW2 for it?

RealAmerican , May 30, 2017 at 11:23 am GMT

How many congressmen and other politicians in Washington are already suborned by AIPAC? Is that not AIPAC's raison d'etre ?

DanCT , May 30, 2017 at 11:33 am GMT

"Because of New York City, Hollywood, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, CBS and NBC, the major newspapers, Wall Street, porn, military subsidies, dual citizenship, etc. "

Let's not forget 911 and it's ongoing coverup, the State Dept's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs exemplifying our bestest ally's parallel command and control apparatus in every federal agency such as the FBI, etc

Wizard of Oz , May 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm GMT

The only problem I have with the article is understanding the vehemence with which Brennan and Morell are denounced for, as I read it, blathering about unwitting agents who might have co-operated without knowing it. I construed the objection to be based on a foreign intelligence service necessarily seeking to "direct" its agents. It would indeed follow that the agents could not help knowing what they were doing. However .

Is there not a category of people who Brennan and Morell might be referring to who could be aptly described as useful idiots. You meet them at a writer's festival, invite them to accept your country's generous and admiring hospitality and soon have them spouting the memes you have made sure they are fed as well inadvertently feeding you useful titbits of information, especially about people.

alexander , May 30, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh

I think something fascinating is going on, Tom. Our leaders made a choice to defraud us into the Iraq war. Russia didn't. This is a very serious crime for which there has been zero accountability. It seems that all the various people who should be in federal prison for having done this, are the one's "braying the loudest" about the Russian threat.

The real crisis in our country is the absence of accountability for the heinous crimes THEY committed, not anything the Russians did. If we allow acts of "war fraud" to go unprosecuted, then War Fraud becomes acceptable behavior. I do not know of one American, anywhere, who feels this is okay.

Do you ?

Andrei Martyanov , Website May 30, 2017 at 12:50 pm GMT

Nor has any evidence been produced to support the claim that it was Russia that hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server

It doesn't matter. Mr. Clapper finally found the answer to this 1 billion dollar question why US is suffering in his NBC interview -- it is because Russians are untermensch. Russian genetics is wrong and we all were so sweating and suffering over this whole mess., while the answer was so close, on the surface.

"If you put that in context with everything else we knew the Russians were doing to interfere with the election, and just the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned."

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/james-clapper-trump-russia-ties-my-dashboard-warning-light-was-n765601

Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 1:19 pm GMT

I know some others actually know you cannot believe spies. Some on the other hand so not.

Mar 22, 2017 How the CIA Plants News Stories in the Media. It is no longer disputed that the CIA has maintained an extensive and ongoing relationship with news organizations and journalists, and multiple, specific acts of media manipulation have now been documented.

August 30, 2015 THE CIA AND THE MEDIA: 50 FACTS THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW By Prof. James F. Tracy

Since the end of World War Two the Central Intelligence Agency has been a major force in US and foreign news media, exerting considerable influence over what the public sees, hears and reads on a regular basis.

https://www.intellihub.com/the-cia-and-the-media-50-facts-the-world-needs-to-know-2/ 

Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm GMT

@alexander Alexander, I definitely don't think it's OK, but I am not American – I am British (Scottish, to be exact). Although we have exactly the same problem over here – in miniature – with our local pocket Hitlers strutting around in their jackboots just salivating for the blood of foreigners.

I think the people who are braying about Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, etc. are doing so largely to distract attention from their own crimes. The following celebrated dialogue explains very clearly how it works.

-------------------------------------–
We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

- Conversation with Hermann Goering in prison, reported by Gustave Gilbert

jilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 2:23 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh I suppose the story is meant to show that Goering wanted war. The opposite is true, he sent the Swedish negotiator Dahlerus several times to London in his plane, taking himself care, telephoning with the Dutch authorities, that the Junckers could fly safely over the Netherlands. What Goering did not know was that Britain had been preparing for war at least since 1936. The march 1939 guarantee to Poland was meant to provoke Hitler to attack Poland. The trap worked.

jilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 2:29 pm GMT

@Agent76 That even Senator Moynihan, of the CIA Oversight Committee, was lied to by the CIA director, about laying mines in Havana harbour, says enough. The CIA is not a secret service, it is a secret army. This secret army began drugs production in Afghanistan, mainly for the USA market, when funds for the CIA's war in Afghanistan were insufficient.

Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT

This CIA director? May 19, 2010 Obama advisor John Brennan speaks about the beauty of Islam

jilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 2:34 pm GMT

@alexander It is.
After an investigation of some seven years the lies of Tony Blair were exposed, in a report of considerable size. What happened ? Nothing. Instead of being in jail, the man flies aroud in a private jet, with an enormous income, paid by whom for what, I do not have a clue.

Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 2:43 pm GMT

Dec 12, 2016 Georgia Official Says Homeland Security Tried To Hack Their State's Voter Database

While most of the country frets over Russia's role in the 2016 election, the state of Georgia has come forward saying that they've traced an IP from a hack of their voter database right back to the offices of the Department of Homeland Security. Apparently we need to focus on protecting our vote from our own government.

annamaria , May 30, 2017 at 2:50 pm GMT

@exiled off mainstreet

The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival. Brennan is just a regular profiteering opportunist. Someone needs to remind the scoundrel that the civil war in Ukraine (initiated by an illegal Kievan junta sponsored and installed by the US), had started immediately upon Brennan's arrival to Kiev in 2014. He tried to make the visit secret but this did not work and Brennan's presence in Ukraine became widely known: https://sputniknews.com/world/20140415189240842-ANALYSIS-CIA-Director-Brennans-Trip-to-Ukraine-Initiates-Use-Of/

"CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukraine over the weekend, information that was confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday, after being reported by media on Sunday.

Over the same weekend, Kiev authorities cracked down on pro-federalization protests in eastern Ukraine. Regime troops advanced toward a number of cities in eastern Ukraine Tuesday to attack the protesters. "Brennan's appearance in Kiev just before the announcement of a violent crackdown in eastern Ukraine is just too timely to assume that it is a coincidence," Turbeville [an American international affairs expert] said.

"Brennan, who has been actively involved in arming insurgents in Libya, Syria and Venezuela, has a reputation for using thuggish tactics in pursuit of CIA goals," Wayne Madsen, an American investigative journalist told RIA Novosti."

This is a fact showing the US' direct meddling in the affairs of another state and in creating a war on a border with Russian federation. Brennan has been so much immersed in lies and politicking and war crimes that it is impossible to expect any decent reasoning from this miserable opportunist.

alexander , May 30, 2017 at 2:58 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh Excellent quote, Tom.

.And so true.

Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 3:08 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Unfortunately for you and myself there are literally millions of people in America who do not think or challenge what they read or view as we do apparently. Thanks, *government schooling* .

Mar 6, 2017 Drug Boss Escobar Worked for the CIA

The notorious cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar worked closely with the CIA, according to his son. In this episode of The Geopolitical Report, we look at the long history of CIA involvement in the international narcotics trade, beginning with its collaboration with the French Mafia to using drug money to illegally fund the Contras and overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 3:29 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

I suppose the story is meant to show that Goering wanted war. The opposite is true, he sent the Swedish negotiator Dahlerus several times to London in his plane, taking himself care, telephoning with the Dutch authorities, that the Junckers could fly safely over the Netherlands. What Goering did not know was that Britain had been preparing for war at least since 1936. The march 1939 guarantee to Poland was meant to provoke Hitler to attack Poland. The trap worked.

What Goering did say – cogently and precisely – is that, regardless of the form of government, the people can always be quite easily stirred up to want war. The key sentence is this: "All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger". That is exactly what the US, UK and European governments have been doing for years to justify their terrorist scares and their wars of aggression. And Goering was absolutely right to point out that it works just the same in democracies (or "democracies") as under dictatorships.

As for your point about Britain having deliberately fomented the war, I don't think that holds water. Britain was grossly – almost grotesquely – underarmed in 1939, and came very close indeed to being conquered in 1940. In my view, it was FDR and his friends who assiduously wound up the Nazis and the Poles to fight one another, and then persuaded the British and French to give Poland guarantees. Everyone believed that, if war came, the USA would immediately join Britain and France in fighting Germany. Alas, they were very much mistaken.

Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 3:31 pm GMT

@Agent76 "

"Apparently we need to focus on protecting our vote from our own government". I very much doubt if the Deep State needs to resort to such small-scale and easily-detected trickery to retain control. As Philip Berrigan pointed out long ago, "If voting made any difference, it would be illegal".

Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 3:57 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh Well, another ruler also stated this, "Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." Joseph Stalin

Rurik , Website May 30, 2017 at 4:06 pm GMT

@annamaria

Brennan is just a regular profiteering opportunist. Someone needs to remind the scoundrel that the civil war in Ukraine (initiated by an illegal Kievan junta sponsored and installed by the US), had started immediately upon Brennan's arrival to Kiev in 2014. He tried to make the visit secret but this did not work and Brennan's presence in Ukraine became widely known: https://sputniknews.com/world/20140415189240842-ANALYSIS-CIA-Director-Brennans-Trip-to-Ukraine-Initiates-Use-Of/
"CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukraine over the weekend, information that was confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday, after being reported by media on Sunday.
Over the same weekend, Kiev authorities cracked down on pro-federalization protests in eastern Ukraine. Regime troops advanced toward a number of cities in eastern Ukraine Tuesday to attack the protesters. "Brennan's appearance in Kiev just before the announcement of a violent crackdown in eastern Ukraine is just too timely to assume that it is a coincidence," Turbeville [an American international affairs expert] said.
"Brennan, who has been actively involved in arming insurgents in Libya, Syria and Venezuela, has a reputation for using thuggish tactics in pursuit of CIA goals," Wayne Madsen, an American investigative journalist told RIA Novosti."
This is a fact showing the US' direct meddling in the affairs of another state and in creating a war on a border with Russian federation. Brennan has been so much immersed in lies and politicking and war crimes that it is impossible to expect any decent reasoning from this miserable opportunist.

the civil war in Ukraine (initiated by an illegal Kievan junta sponsored and installed by the US), had started immediately upon Brennan's arrival to Kiev in 2014

I wouldn't so much call it a civil war, as a ZUSA imposed putsch, installing a Zio-bankster-quisling.

PG:

the United States routinely interferes in elections worldwide and that the action taken in various places including Ukraine goes far beyond phone conversations.

getting to the crux of the matter

when Russia released the phone conversation where ZUS State Dept. – Kagan klan / Zio-bitch Nuland was overheard deciding who was going to be the next president of Ukraine (some democracy), it was this breach of global oligarch protocol that has riled the deepstate Zio-war-scum ever since. Hence all the screeching and hysterics about "Russian hacking".

The thug Brennan, (as you correctly call him [imagine this mug coming into the room as you're about to be 'enhanced interrogated'])

http://www.frontpagemag.com/sites/default/files/uploads/2015/03/John_Brennan.jpg

has his fingerprints not just all over the war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, but Syria and elsewhere too.

All these war criminals are all scrambling to undermine Trump in the fear that he'll eventually hold some of them accountable for their serial crimes, treasons, and treachery. Which brings us to this curious comment..

The desire to bring down the buffoonish Donald Trump is understandable,

what the hell does Mr. G think will replace him?!

So far the "buffoonish Donald Trump" has not declared a no-fly zone in Syria, as we know the war sow would have by now. He's not materially harmed the Assad regime, but only made symbolic attempts to presumably mollify the war pigs like McBloodstain and co in the zio-media/AIPAC/etc..

His rhetoric notwithstanding, he seems to be making nice with the Russians, to the apoplectic hysteria of people like Brennan and the Stain.

In fact the more people like Brennan and Bloodstain and the zio-media and others seem on the brink of madness, the better Trump seems to me every day.

And if it puts a smelly sock in the mouths of the neocons and war pigs to saber rattle at Iran, with no possibility to actually do them any harm, because of the treaty and Europe's need to respect it, then what's the harm of Trump sounding a little buffoonish if it gets them off his back so that he can circle himself with a Pretorian guard of loyalists and get to the bottom of all of this. I suspect that is what terrifies people like Brennan more than anything else.

[Dec 22, 2017] The way I see it "an ocean of blood" in Iraq was unleashed following US invasion, and it included plenty of American blood. Young healthy American men lost their lifes in Iraq, lost their their bodyparts (arms, legs, their nuts), lost their sanity, and as an American I can't imagine that you were pleased about that.

Dec 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 6:11 pm GMT

@Art Deco The way I see it "an ocean of blood" in Iraq was unleashed following US invasion, and it included plenty of American blood. Young healthy American men lost their lifes in Iraq, lost their their bodyparts (arms, legs, their nuts), lost their sanity, and as an American I can't imagine that you were pleased about that. Certainly, most of your countrymen didn't feel this way, they didn't feel this war was worth it for the US.
Randal , December 18, 2017 at 6:13 pm GMT
@Art Deco

We had no treaty commitments with either Serbia or Iraq

The treaty commitment in question was with almost the entire rest of the world, namely when your country entirely voluntarily signed up to a commitment to "refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state". If your country had retained the slightest trace of integrity and self-respect it would at least have had the decency to withdraw from membership of the the UN when it chose to breach those treaty commitments.

And if anything Americans make their own shamelessness worse when they fabricate imaginary pretexts for weaselling out of their country's commitment, such as a wholly imaginary entitlement for them to decide for themselves when there is a "humanitarian" justification for doing so, or make up wholesale fantasy allegations about "weapons of mass destruction" that even if true wouldn't justify war.

An entire nation state behaving like a lying '60s hippy or a shamelessly dishonest aggressor.

I'm sure you're proud.

and both places had it coming.

A straightforward confession of lawless rogue state behaviour, basically.

Do you actually think somehow you are improving your country's position with such arguments? Better for a real American patriot to just stop digging and keep sheepishly quiet about the past three decades of foreign policy.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 6:15 pm GMT
@reiner Tor The fact is neither did Crimeans really want to join Russia (polls didn't show that), and yet our re-unification has been a huge success! I honestly can't think of good reason, why we can't go futher.
Mr. XYZ , December 18, 2017 at 6:20 pm GMT
: Would Russia have been interested in joining both the E.U. and NATO?
Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 6:27 pm GMT
@reiner Tor Neither apply.
Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 6:30 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich "an ocean of blood" in Iraq was unleashed following US invasion,

By various and sundry Sunni insurgents, who continue to distort and disfigure life in the provinces where they have a critical mass of the population. The Kurdish and Shia provinces are quiet.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 6:32 pm GMT
@Randal Do you actually think somehow you are improving your country's position with such arguments?

Depends on the degree to which my interlocutor lives in a bubble breathing in the air of his own mephitic resentments.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 6:34 pm GMT
And if anything Americans make their own shamelessness worse when they fabricate imaginary pretexts

There were no imaginary pretexts. You need to get out more.

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

Another possibility is that the change since 2014 is rather the result of more anti-American reporting in Russia's state-owned media.

There seems no evident reason to look for another explanation for the drops in pro-American sentiment. They seem eminently justified by the US's behaviour over the period 1990-date and perfectly unsurprising.

What needs to be explained is not the sustained low opinion after 2014 but rather the remarkable recoveries after 1999, 2003 and 2008.

In the west, opinion of the US was managed upwards with the Obama presidency because he fitted so well with US sphere establishment antiracist and leftist dogmas that he had almost universally positive (even hagiographic) mainstream media coverage throughout the US sphere, but with Trump opinions of the US are mostly back down where Bush II left them. It seems unlikely the Russian media would have been as sycophantically pro-Obama merely for his blackness and Democrat-ness, though, and of course he wasn't around anyway in 2000 and in 2004.

It's understandable that following a particular instance of particularly bad US behaviour (such as Kosovo or Iraq) opinion of the US in US sphere states would dip dramatically (as it did, mostly) and then recover slowly to roughly its long term mean, because those crimes were not directed against the interests of US sphere states or elites. But they very much were targeted at Russia or its interests and disadvantageous to Russia and its global status. Russians had few excuses for failing to see that the US was an implacable and dangerous enemy from at least Kosovo onward, and yet they repeatedly chose to pretend to themselves that it wasn't.

Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 6:39 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

This would mean, as I suspect, that the pendulum will swing back once the Kremlin loosens its tight grip of the media.

Why are you assuming that the pendulum would swing back?
The Kremlin is still playing nice with Western "partners".
The alternative does not have to be more pro-American.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 6:40 pm GMT
@Art Deco As I recall the Sunnies and Shias killed and disfigured American servicemen together, which caused Americans to elect Obama and run away from the country. And now these Shia communities vote for pro-Iran politicians, who gradually turn Iraq into Iranian puppet -- is this why American soldiers died?

C'mon, Iraq invasion was a disaster for the US whichever way you look at it. That's what happens when you start a war for the wrong reasons.

inertial , December 18, 2017 at 6:45 pm GMT
@reiner Tor Correction. It's the elites that don't want to join Russia. And the reason they don't is because the West gives them goodies for being anti-Russian. This kind of strategy worked pretty well so far (for the West) in Eastern Europe and it will continue to work for some time yet. But not forever, not in Ukraine and Belorussia.

That's because the population of these places is Russian (no matter what they were taught to call themselves by the Commies.) Their culture is Russian. The rulers of Ukraine and, to a much lesser degree, Belorussia are trying to erect cultural barriers between themselves and Russia. Good luck with that, in the 21st century. It's more likely the culture will further homogenize, as is the trend anywhere in the world. Eventually it will tell.

Now, the question is if Russians will even want Ukraine back. This is not so clear.

reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 6:45 pm GMT
@Art Deco They do.
Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 6:47 pm GMT
@Mr. XYZ

Would Russia have been interested in joining both the E.U. and NATO?

Integration into West is what Russians wanted.

An example

IF RUSSIA HAD THE CHANCE TO BECOME A FULL MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN UNION NOW, WOULD YOU BE FOR OR AGAINST THIS? (N=800)

08/2009:
For: 53%
Against: 21%
Difficult to say: 27%

https://www.levada.ru/en/2016/06/10/russia-s-friends-and-enemies-2/

German_reader , December 18, 2017 at 6:52 pm GMT
@Art Deco That's just dumb. The reasons officially given for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 -- Saddam's regime hiding weapons of mass destruction and being an intolerable threat to the outside world -- were a transparently false pretext for war, and that was clearly discernible at the time. Saddam's regime was extremely brutal and increasingly Islamic or even Islamist in character, but by 2003 it wasn't a serious threat to anyone outside Iraq anymore the worst thing it did was send money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers (bad, but hardly an existential threat). Admittedly there was the question how to deal with his regime in coming years, whether to eventually relax sanctions or to keep them in place for the foreseeable future. But there was no urgent need to invade Iraq that was purely a war of choice which the US started in a demented attempt at reshaping the region according to its own preferences. If you don't understand why many people find that rather questionable, it's you who needs to get out more.
Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 6:56 pm GMT
@Randal

What needs to be explained is not the sustained low opinion after 2014 but rather the remarkable recoveries after 1999, 2003 and 2008.

Yugoslavia and Iraq were not that close to Russia and Russian elite was still pushing for Integration into West at that time. After 2008, "Reset" and Obama happened.

It seems unlikely the Russian media would have been as sycophantically pro-Obama merely for his blackness and Democrat-ness, though, and of course he wasn't around anyway in 2000 and in 2004.

Keep in mind that Obama's opponent in 2008 was McCain, that McCain.
Just like Trump, Obama seemed like the lesser evil and not to blame for previous conflicts.

reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 7:04 pm GMT
@Art Deco Hungary joined NATO a few days (weeks? can't remember) before the start of the Kosovo-related bombardment of Serbia. I attended university in a city in the south of Hungary, close to the Serbian border. I could see the NATO planes flying by above us every night when going home from a bar or club (both of which I frequented a lot).

I was a staunch Atlanticist at the time, and I believed all the propaganda about the supposed genocide which later turned out not to have gone through the formality of actually taking place. But it was never properly reported as the scandal it was -- it was claimed that the Serbs were murdering tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians, but it never happened. They might have killed a few hundred, at worst a few thousand civilians, but that's different from what the propaganda claimed at the time. I only found out that there was no genocide of Albanians in Kosovo when I searched the internet for it some time after the Iraq invasion. By that time I was no longer an Atlanticist. Most people are totally unaware that there was any lying going on while selling us the war.

reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 7:12 pm GMT
@German_reader

and that was clearly discernible at the time

Yes. It was the thing which opened my eyes and made me question some previous policies, especially the bombardment of Serbia. I wasn't any longer comfortable of being in NATO, especially since it started to get obvious that Hungarian elites (at least the leftists among them) used our membership to dismantle our military and use the savings on handouts for their electorate, or -- worse -- outright steal it. While it increasingly looked like NATO wasn't really protecting our interests, since our enemies were mostly our neighbors (some of them). This kind of false safety didn't feel alright.

German_reader , December 18, 2017 at 7:34 pm GMT
@reiner Tor "Yes. It was the thing which opened my eyes"

Same for me. I was 15 during the Kosovo war and believed NATO's narrative, couldn't understand how anybody could be against the war, given previous Serb atrocities during the Bosnian war it seemed to make sense. And after 9/11 I was very pro-US, e.g. I argued vehemently with a stupid leftie teacher who was against the Afghanistan war (and I still believe that war was justified, so I don't think I'm just some mindless anti-American fool). But Iraq was just too much, too much obvious lying and those lies were so stupid it was hard not to feel that there was something deeply wrong with a large part of the American public if they were gullible enough to believe such nonsense. At least for me it was a real turning point in the evolution of my political views.

AP , December 18, 2017 at 7:45 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Russians know more about these things than you do. The vast majority of us do not regard Belarus and Ukraine as part of "заграница" -- foreign countries. Ukrainians and in particular Belorussians are simply variants of us, just like regional differences exist between the Russians in Siberia and Kuban'.

The last two sentences contradict the first.

Russians tend to be rather ignorant of Ukrainians, and you are no different.

DFH , December 18, 2017 at 7:45 pm GMT
@Mitleser Western Europe, with the best will in the world, doesn't need more Slav/Muslim immigrants. Europeans would have never agreed to it.
reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 7:48 pm GMT
@German_reader

Afghanistan war (and I still believe that war was justified

Destroying the Taliban government, yes. Building "democracy" is just stupid, though. They should've quickly left after the initial victory and let the Afghans to just eat each other with Stroganoff sauce if they so wished. It's not our business.

Darin , December 18, 2017 at 7:53 pm GMT
@inertial

That's because the population of these places is Russian (no matter what they were taught to call themselves by the Commies.) Their culture is Russian.

This is for them to decide, not for you.

It's more likely the culture will further homogenize, as is the trend anywhere in the world.

Yeah, the culture homogenizes around the world, into global Hollywood corporate culture. In the long there, "traditional Russian culture" is as doomed as "traditional Ukrainian culture" and "traditional American culture" if there is anything left of it.

AP , December 18, 2017 at 7:56 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

The fact is neither did Crimeans really want to join Russia (polls didn't show that)

Nonsense, Mr. Clueless-About-Ukraine:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_status_referendum,_2014#Polling

Polling by the Razumkov Centre in 2008 found that 63.8% of Crimeans (76% of Russians, 55% of Ukrainians, and 14% of Crimean Tatars, respectively) would like Crimea to secede from Ukraine and join Russia and 53.8% would like to preserve its current status, but with expanded powers and rights . A poll by the International Republican Institute in May 2013 found that 53% wanted "Autonomy in Ukraine (as today)", 12% were for "Crimean Tatar autonomy within Ukraine", 2% for "Common oblast of Ukraine" and 23% voted for "Crimea should be separated and given to Russia".

The takeaway is that Crimeans were satisfied being part of Ukraine as long as Ukraine had an ethnic Russian, generally pro-Russian president like Yanukovich in charge (2013 poll), but preferred being part of Russia to being part of a Ukrainian state run by Ukrainians (2008 poll, post-Maidan).

German_reader , December 18, 2017 at 7:56 pm GMT
@reiner Tor Totally agree, there should just have been a quick punitive expedition, trying to "fix" Afghanistan is pointless.
AP , December 18, 2017 at 7:59 pm GMT
@inertial

That's because the population of these places is Russian (no matter what they were taught to call themselves by the Commies.) Their culture is Russian.

Believer of Russian nationalist fairytales tells Russian nationalist fairytales. You managed to fit 3 of them into 2 sentences, good job.

Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 8:05 pm GMT
@DFH Oh, Western Europe does not mind Slav/Muslim immigrants.
In fact, they love them.
They would not have agreed for other reasons without admitting them in public.
Randal , December 18, 2017 at 8:07 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

As I recall the Sunnies and Shias killed and disfigured American servicemen together,

The amusing thing is that American apologists for their country's military interventionism like Art Deco more usually spend their time heaping all the blame on Iran and the Shia. As well as internet opinionators, that incudes some of the most senior US military figures like obsessively anti-Iranian SecDef James Mattis:

James Mattis' 33-Year Grudge Against Iran

That's something that ought to seriously concern anyone with a rational view of world affairs.

which caused Americans to elect Obama and run away from the country.

In fact the Americans had already admitted defeat and agreed to pull out before Obama took office. Bush II signed the withdrawal agreement on 14th December 2008. After that, US forces in Iraq were arguably no longer occupiers and were de jure as well as de facto present on the sufferance of the Iraqi government. The US regime had clearly hoped to have an Iraqi collaboration government for the long term, as a base from which to attack Iran, but the long Iraqi sunni and shia resistances scuppered that idea. The sunnis had fought hard, but were mostly defeated and many of them ended up collaborating with the US occupiers, as indeed had much of the shia, for entirely understandable reasons in both cases.

Military occupations are morally complicated like that.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 8:07 pm GMT
@AP I was referring specifically to Russian attitudes about Ukrainians. I know that among Ukrainians themselves, there is quite the confusion on this subject.
Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 8:09 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich As I recall the Sunnies and Shias killed and disfigured American servicemen together, which caused Americans to elect Obama and run away from the country. And now these Shia communities vote for pro-Iran politicians, who gradually turn Iraq into Iranian puppet -- is this why American soldiers died?

Your memory is bad. The three Kurdish provinces never suffered much. Political violence in the Shia provinces was finally suppressed over a series of months in late 2007 and early 2008. It was also contained to a degree in the six provinces with Sunnis. And that is how matters remained for six years. ISIS was active in those provinces which have had public order problems consistently since 2003.

Iran has influence in Iraq. It is an 'Iranian' puppet only when unzdwellers require rhetorical flourishes.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 8:11 pm GMT
@Randal In fact the Americans had already admitted defeat

Were we defeated, Iraq would be ruled by the Ba'ath Party or networks of Sunni tribesman. It is not. This isn't that difficult Randal.

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 8:15 pm GMT
@Mitleser Fair points, though you seem to concede to the Russian elites a significant degree of competence at managing public opinion, in 2000 and in 2004.

I was under the impression that Putin personally was still quite naïve about the US even after Kosovo, which partly accounts for his rather desperately helpful approach after 9/11, though not so much after Iraq.

But I have been told by Russians who ought to have some knowledge of these things that Putin and the wider regime were not so naïve even back in the late 1990s, so the case can be made both ways.

AP , December 18, 2017 at 8:16 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

reclaiming Belarus and Ukraine is absolutely essential to have a country, we could all proudly call 'home' -- an actual Russian nation-state.

In which 25 million or so Ukrainians actively resist you, and another 5 million or so Ukrainians plus a few million Belarusians nonviolently resent your rule. You will reduce the cities or parts of them to something like Aleppo, and rebuild them (perhaps with coerced local labor) while under a sanctions regime. Obviously there will have to be a militarized occupation regime and prison camps and a network of informants. A proud home.

Again, what really matters here is not the size of the country, it's that all the land that's historically Russian should be fully within the borders of this country.

Baltics were Russian longer than Ukraine. Central Poland became Russian at the same time as did half of Ukraine. According to the 1897 census, there were about as many Great Russian speakers in Kiev governate as in Warsaw. Take the Baltics and Warsaw back too?

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 8:17 pm GMT
@German_reader That's just dumb.

No, it's just an argument you're not used to having to answer.

The reasons officially given for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 -- Saddam's regime hiding weapons of mass destruction and being an intolerable threat to the outside world -- were a transparently false pretext for war, and that was clearly discernible at the time.

It was nothing of the kind. That was on the list of concerns Bush had. Bush's trilemmas don't go away just because Eurotrash strike poses and have impoverished imaginations.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 8:20 pm GMT
@reiner Tor I was a staunch Atlanticist at the time, and I believed all the propaganda about the supposed genocide

The concern at the time was that Serbia was beginning an ethnic cleansing operation contra the Albania population, but carry on.

inertial , December 18, 2017 at 8:20 pm GMT
@Darin This is for them to decide, not for you.

Yes, of course. Just don't assume they will decide the way you think.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 8:21 pm GMT
@AP These polls vary greatly from time to time and depending on the group conducting them. These polls are meaningless : most ordinary people go about their daily lives never thinking about that kind of issues, when suddenly prompted by a pollster they give a meaningless answer.

I'm sure, support for reunification will go up in Belarus, if the Kremlin shows some leadership on this issue. We will find enough people willing to work with us, the rest will just have to accept the new reality and go about their daily lifes as usual.

The situation in Ukraine is different, it differs wildly by region and will require us to modify our approach.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 8:24 pm GMT
@German_reader US started in a demented attempt at reshaping the region according to its own preferences.

It did nothing of the kind. It ejected two governments for reasons of state. One we'd been a state of belligerency with for 12 years, the other was responsible for a gruesome casus belli. Now, having done that, we needed to put in place a new government. There was no better alternative means of so doing than electoral contests.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT
@inertial Yes, of course. Just don't assume they will decide the way you think.

They've had ample opportunity over a period of 26 years to make the decision you favor. It hasn't happened, and there's no reason to fancy they'll be more amenable a decade from now.

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

How do you see this happening? Why would the Kremlin give up its control of the media? These people are smart enough to understand that whoever controls the media controls public opinion.

They are indeed, but my assumption is that Russia's present elite is, for the most part, corruptible. Putin will be gone before 2024, and his successor will be under immense pressure -- carrot and stick -- to deregulate Russia's media landscape, which will make foreign money pour into Russian media outlets, which will in turn lead to more positive coverage and more positive views of the West. Only a few days ago, we learnt that Washington ruled out signing a non-interference agreement with Moscow since it would preclude Washington from meddling in Russia's internal affairs. What does this tell you about the Western elite's plan for Russia?

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT
@Art Deco

Were we defeated, Iraq would be ruled by the Ba'ath Party or networks of Sunni tribesman. It is not. This isn't that difficult Randal.

Well this is an old chestnut that is really just an attempt to abuse definitions of victory and defeat on your part.

The US invasion of Iraq itself was initially a military success. It ended in complete military victory over the Iraqi regime and nation, the complete surrender of the Iraqi military and the occupation of the country.

However, the US regime's wider war aims were not achieved because they were unable to impose a collaboration government and use the country as a base for further projection of US power in the ME (primarily against Iran, on behalf of Israel), and the overall result of the war and the subsequent occupation was catastrophic for any honest assessment of American national interests (as opposed to the interests of the lobbies manipulating US regime policy). The costs were significant, the reputational damage was also significant, and the overall result was to replace a contained and essentially broken opponent with vigorous sunni jihadist forces together with a resurgent Iran unwilling to kowtow to the US as most ME states are.

So the best honest assessment is that the US was defeated in Iraq, despite an initial military victory.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT
@Randal

The amusing thing is that American apologists for their country's military interventionism like Art Deco more usually spend their time heaping all the blame on Iran and the Shia. As well as internet opinionators, that incudes some of the most senior US military figures like obsessively anti-Iranian SecDef James Mattis

I suspect the reason this happens is because ambitious American officers know that hating Iran (hating enemies of Israel in general) is what gets you promoted. It wasn't an accident that James Mattis was appointed Secretary of Defense -- he is Bill Kristol's favourite.

melanf , December 18, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

Another possibility is that the change since 2014 is rather the result of more anti-American reporting in Russia's state-owned media. This would mean, as I suspect, that the pendulum will swing back once the Kremlin loosens its tight grip of the media.

Definitely no
American propaganda (itself without the help of Putin) were able to convince the Russians that America is the enemy. Propaganda of Putin to this could add almost nothing.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 8:38 pm GMT
@Art Deco US military is still butthurt over the Iran's support for Shia militias, targeting US troops during Iraq occupation. Clearly, the Shias hurt them a lot, and it was very unexpected for the US, because Americans actually brought Shias into power.
Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 8:42 pm GMT
@Randal

Fair points, though you seem to concede to the Russian elites a significant degree of competence at managing public opinion, in 2000 and in 2004.

I am just taking into account that the early 00s were right after the 1990s when pro-Americanism was at its peak in Russia. Yugoslavia and Iraq were too distant too alienate the majority permanently.

I was under the impression that Putin personally was still quite naïve about the US even after Kosovo, which partly accounts for his rather desperately helpful approach after 9/11, though not so much after Iraq.

Why do you think did he suggest joining NATO as an option?
Not because NATO are "good guys", but because it would ensure that Russia has a voice that cannot be ignored. After all, the Kosovo War showed the limits of the UNSC and by extension of Russia's voice in the unipolar world.

melanf , December 18, 2017 at 8:43 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Integration into West is what Russians wanted.
An example
08/2009:

Since then, everything has changed

German_reader , December 18, 2017 at 8:44 pm GMT
@Art Deco Official justification for the Iraq war was concern about Iraq's supposedly hidden weapons of mass destruction which didn't exist in 2003. Your statement that this was merely one item "on the list of the concerns" Bush had, amounts to an admission that this was merely a pretext and that the real object of the war was a political reordering of the region according to US preferences (which of course backfired given that the Iraq war increased Iran's power and status).
Calling me "Eurotrash" oh well, I get it, US nationalists like you think you're the responsible adults dealing with a dangerous world, while ungrateful European pussies favor appeasement, are free riders on US benevolent hegemony etc. I've heard and read all that a thousand times before, it's all very unoriginal by now.
Randal , December 18, 2017 at 8:48 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Destroying the Taliban government, yes. Building "democracy" is just stupid, though. They should've quickly left after the initial victory and let the Afghans to just eat each other with Stroganoff sauce if they so wished. It's not our business.

In fact destroying the Taliban government was both illegal and foolish (but the latter was by far the more important). It seems clear now the Taliban were quite willing to hand bin Laden over for trial in a third party country, and pretty clearly either had had no clue what he had been planning or were crapping themselves at what he had achieved. Bush declined that offer because he had an urgent political need to be seen to be kicking some foreign ass in order to appease American shame.

The illegality is not a particularly big deal in the case of Afghanistan because it's clear that in the post-9/11 context the US could easily have gotten UNSC authorisation for the attack and made it legal. Bush II deliberately declined to do so precisely in order to make the point that the US (in Americans' view) is above petty details of international law and its own treaty commitments. A rogue state, in other words.

But an attack on Afghanistan was unnecessary and foolish (for genuine American national interests, that is, not for the self-interested lobbies driving policy obviously), as the astronomical ongoing costs have demonstrated. A trial of bin Laden would have been highly informative (and some would argue that was why the US regime was not interested in such a thing), and would if nothing else have brought him out into the open. Yes, he would have had the opportunity to grandstand, but if the US were really such an innocent victim of unprovoked aggression why would the US have anything to fear from that? The whole world, pretty much, was on the US's side after 9/11.

The US could have treated terrorism as what it is, after 9/11 -- a criminal matter. It chose instead to make it a military matter, because that suited the various lobbies seeking to benefit from a more militarised and aggressive US foreign policy. The result of a US attack on the government of (most of) Afghanistan would always have been either a chaotic jihadi-riddled anarchy in Afghanistan worse than the Taliban-controlled regime that existed in 2001, or a US-backed regime trying to hold the lid down on the jihadists, that the US would have to prop up forever. And so indeed it came to pass.

Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 8:51 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

Putin will be gone before 2024, and his successor will be under immense pressure -- carrot and stick -- to deregulate Russia's media landscape, which will make foreign money pour into Russian media outlets, which will in turn lead to more positive coverage and more positive views of the West.

There is no reason to assume that West will offer the Russian elite enough carrot to deregulate the Russian media order and the stick is just more reason not to do it and to retain control.

What does this tell you about the Western elite's plan for Russia?

And you think that people in Russian elite are not aware of it?

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 8:52 pm GMT
@AP

In which 25 million or so Ukrainians actively resist you, and another 5 million or so Ukrainians plus a few million Belarusians nonviolently resent your rule. You will reduce the cities or parts of them to something like Aleppo, and rebuild them (perhaps with coerced local labor) while under a sanctions regime.

This is a fantasy. Look, the effective size of Ukrainian army right now is around 70.000 -- does this look like a strong, united nation willing and able to defend itself?

On the left side of the Dnieper truly crazy svidomy types is a small minority -- they stand out from the crowd, can be easily identified and neutralised just like in Donbass. A typical Ukrainian nationalist east of Dnieper is a business owner, university educated white collar professional, a student, a journalist, "human rights activist" -- these are not the kind of individuals, who will engage in guerilla warfare, they will just flee (like they already fled from Donbass).

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 8:59 pm GMT
@Randal

In the west, opinion of the US was managed upwards with the Obama presidency because he fitted so well with US sphere establishment antiracist and leftist dogmas that he had almost universally positive (even hagiographic) mainstream media coverage throughout the US sphere, but with Trump opinions of the US are mostly back down where Bush II left them.

I agree with most of this, but you leave out precisely why public opinion shifts. My, rather cynical, view is that media is by far the main driver in shifting public views, and so whoever gives the media marching orders is the Pied Piper here.

An example close to home was the consternation among some of my conservative friends over the events Charlottesville. They knew nothing about the American alt-right, and still less about the context of what happened that day, yet they still spoke of what a disgrace it was for Trump not to distance himself from these deplorables. This was, of course, fully the making of Swedish media. The 1996 Presidential Election campaign suggests that the Russian public is no less suggestible, and so does Russian (and Ukrainian) opinions on the crisis in the Donbass.

Andrei Martyanov , Website December 18, 2017 at 8:59 pm GMT
@German_reader

US nationalists like you

He is not US "nationalist". Agree with the rest of your post.

Andrei Martyanov , Website December 18, 2017 at 9:01 pm GMT

while the percentage of Russians with actively negative views emerged essentially out of nowhere

LOL!!

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:03 pm GMT
@Swedish Family ruled out signing a non-interference agreement with Moscow since it would preclude Washington from meddling in Russia's internal affairs. What does this tell you about the Western elite's plan for Russia?

It tells me the reporters are confused or you are. There is no 'agreement' that will prevent 'Russia' from 'meddling' in American political life or the converse. The utility of agreements is that they make understandings between nations more precise and incorporate triggers which provide signals to one party or the other as to when the deal is off.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:04 pm GMT
@Swedish Family Why would the Kremlin give up its control of the media?

Why do people give up 'control' of anything? Because they cannot be bothered anymore.

utu , December 18, 2017 at 9:07 pm GMT
@inertial Soviets and Soviet Union were always in awe of America. You could see it in "between-the-lines" of the texts of the so-called anti-imperialist, anti-American Soviet propaganda. It was about catching up with American in steel production and TV sets ownership and so on. American was the ultimate goal and people did not think of American as an enemy.

Then there is the fact that Bolsheviks and Soviet Union owed a lot to America though this knowledge was not commonly known. Perhaps one should take look at these hidden connections to see what was the real mechanism bending the plug being pulled off the USSR. There might be even an analogy to South Africa but that is another story.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:09 pm GMT
@German_reader Official justification for the Iraq war was concern about Iraq's supposedly hidden weapons of mass destruction

No, that's what you noticed in an amongst everything else being discussed by officials and in the papers at the time.

which didn't exist in 2003.

It's a reasonable inference the stockpiles were largely destroyed. To what extent they were able to ship stockpiles to co-operating third parties is not altogether certain. You know the stockpiles were largely destroyed because . we were occupying the country .

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:11 pm GMT
@German_reader , amounts to an admission that this was merely a pretext a

It amounts to no such thing. That you have three reasons for doing something does not render one of them a 'real' reason and the others artificial.

Sean , December 18, 2017 at 9:12 pm GMT
Two powerful countries beside one another are natural enemies, they can never be friends until one has been relegated by defeat. Britain and France were enemies until France became too weak to present a threat, then Britain's enemy was Germany (it still is, Brexit is another Dunkirk with the UK realising it cannot compete with Germany on the continent). Russia cannot be a friend of China against the US until Russia has been relegated in the way France has been. France has irrecoverably given up control of its currency, they are relegated to Germany's sidekick.

China is like Bitcoin. The smart money (Google) is going there. Received wisdom in the US keeps expecting China's economic growth to slow down but it isn't going to happen. When it becomes clear that the US is going to be overtaken, America will try and slow down China's economic growth, that will be Russia's opportunity.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:13 pm GMT
@German_reader given that the Iraq war increased Iran's power and status).

Do they have one more soldier at their command and one more piece of equipment because we had troops in Iraq?

reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 9:16 pm GMT
@Art Deco What stockpiles are you talking about?
Johann Ricke , December 18, 2017 at 9:19 pm GMT
@German_reader

Official justification for the Iraq war was concern about Iraq's supposedly hidden weapons of mass destruction which didn't exist in 2003.

It was one of many reasons. You don't set a guy on Death Row free just because one of the charges didn't stick. The biggest reason was Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, which should have resulted in his removal from power. We settled on a truce because George HW Bush did not want to pay the price, and the (mostly-Sunni) Arab coalition members did not want (1) a democracy in Iraq and (2) a Shiite-dominated Iraq. Bush's son ended up footing the political bill for that piece of unfinished business. The lesson is that you can delay paying the piper, but the bill always comes due.

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 9:19 pm GMT
@melanf

American propaganda (itself without the help of Putin) were able to convince the Russians that America is the enemy. Propaganda of Putin to this could add almost nothing.

Being Russian, you would be in a better position than I am to comment on this, but the obvious counter to that line is who channeled this American propaganda to the Russian public and for what purpose? This article might hold the answer:

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/re-visiting-russian-counter-propaganda-methods/

reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 9:20 pm GMT
@Art Deco Well, they can now send troops to Syria on land.
Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:25 pm GMT
@German_reader Calling me "Eurotrash"

I didn't have you in particular in mind.

oh well, I get it, US nationalists like you think you're the responsible adults dealing with a dangerous world, while ungrateful European pussies favor appeasement, are free riders on US benevolent hegemony etc. I've heard and read all that a thousand times before, it's all very unoriginal by now.

No, I'm a fat middle aged man who thinks most of what people say on political topics is some species of self-congratulation. And a great deal of it is perverse. The two phenomena are symbiotic. And, of course, I'm unimpressed with kvetching foreigners. Kvetching Europeans might ask where is the evidence that they with their own skills and resources can improve some situation using methods which differ from those we have applied and kvetching Latin Americans can quit sticking the bill for their unhappy histories with Uncle Sam, and kvetching Arabs can at least take responsibility for something rather than projecting it on some wire-pulling other (Jews, Americans, conspiracy x).

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 9:26 pm GMT
@Art Deco

Do they have one more soldier at their command and one more piece of equipment because we had troops in Iraq?

Well, according to the likes of Mattis they certainly do. Have you never heard of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMU), a large faction of which reportedly swear allegiance directly to Khamenei.

Is that "victory" for you?

An of course they now have a direct land route to Hezbollah, to make it easier for them to assist that national defence militia to deter further Israeli attacks. That's something they never could have had when Saddam was in charge of Iraq.

Is that "victory" for you?

And they don't have to worry about their western neighbour invading them with US backing again.

Is that "victory" for you?

Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 9:28 pm GMT
@reiner Tor And they can recruit more easily in post-Saddam Iraq.
AP , December 18, 2017 at 9:28 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

These polls vary greatly from time to time and depending on the group conducting them. These polls are meaningless: most ordinary people go about their daily lives never thinking about that kind of issues, when suddenly prompted by a pollster they give a meaningless answer.

So according to you when hundreds or thousands of people are asked a question they are not prepared for, their collective answer is meaningless and does not indicate their preference?

So it's a total coincidence that when Ukraine was ruled by Ukrainians most Crimeans preferred to join Russia, when Ukraine was ruled by a Russian, Crimeans were satisfied within Ukraine but when Ukrainian nationalists came to power Crimeans again preferred being part of Russia?

Are all political polls also meaningless according to you, or just ones that contradict your idealistic views?

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:29 pm GMT
@Sean Brexit is another Dunkirk with the UK realising it cannot compete with Germany on the continent).

No, it's an effort by the British public to reclaim for elected officials discretion which had been transferred to unaccountable microbes in Brussels.

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 9:31 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

This is a fantasy. Look, the effective size of Ukrainian army right now is around 70.000 -- does this look like a strong, united nation willing and able to defend itself?

In fairness, the young Ukrainians I have spoken to avoid the "draft" mainly out of fear that they will be underequipped and used as cannon fodder. (I'm not sure "draft" is the word I'm looking for. My understanding is that they are temporarily exempt from military service if they study at university or have good jobs.)

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:36 pm GMT
@Randal Well, according to the likes of Mattis they certainly do. Have you never heard of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMU), a large faction of which reportedly swear allegiance directly to Khamenei.

You can get away with more by using the prefix 'there has even been speculation'/

An of course they now have a direct land route to Hezbollah, to make it easier for them to assist that national defence militia to deter further Israeli attacks. That's something they never could have had when Saddam was in charge of Iraq.

They've been supplying Hezbollah for 35 years.

And they don't have to worry about their western neighbour invading them with US backing again.

Their western neighbor never invaded them 'with U.S. backing'. During the latter half of the Iraq war, Iraq restored diplomatic relations with the United States and received some agricultural credits and other odds and ends.

Iran will be under threat from their western neighbor should they have something that neighbor wishes to forcibly seize.

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 9:38 pm GMT
@Johann Ricke

Bush's son ended up footing the political bill for that piece of unfinished business.

No, Bush II chose to invade Iraq entirely voluntarily. There was no good reason to do so, and the very good reasons why his father had sensibly chosen not to invade still largely applied (even more so in some cases, given Iraq's even weaker state).

The lesson is that you can delay paying the piper, but the bill always comes due.

This is of course self-serving fantasy. The Russians told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Germans told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The French told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Turks told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The sensible British told you there was no need to invade Iraq, but for some reason you preferred to listen to the words of the staring-eyed sycophant who happened to be Prime Minister at the time, instead.

More fool the Yanks. Most everyone else honest on the topic was giving you sensible advice. Bush II (whose incompetence is now generally accepted) chose to ignore that advice, and committed what is generally now regarded as the most egregious example of a foreign policy blunder since Vietnam at least, and probably since Suez, and will likely be taught as such around the world (including in the US, once the partisan apologists have given up trying to rationalise it) for generations to come.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:39 pm GMT
@Sean Received wisdom in the US keeps expecting China's economic growth to slow down but it isn't going to happen. When it becomes clear that the US is going to be overtaken, America will try and slow down China's economic growth, that will be Russia's opportunity.

https://www.amazon.com/MITI-Japanese-Miracle-Industrial-1925-1975/dp/0804712069

Whatever.

melanf , December 18, 2017 at 9:46 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

but the obvious counter to that line is who channeled this American propaganda to the Russian public and for what purpose?

It is known -- the minions of Putin translated into Russian language American (and European) propaganda, and putting it on the website http://inosmi.ru/ .
The Americans also try: there is a special "Radio Liberty" that 24-hour broadcasts (in Russian) hate speech against the Russian.
But it only speeds up the process (which will happen anyway) .

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 9:50 pm GMT
@Art Deco

They've been supplying Hezbollah for 35 years.

Only by air.

For the last four years, Iran was shipping weapons and ammunition to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah through an air route. This method allowed Israel to identify, track and target Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah easily, as only few cargo airplanes land in Syrian airports every day.

However, now Israel will be incapable of identifying any Iranian shipment on the new ground route, as it will be used by thousands of Iraq and Syrian companies on daily basis in the upcoming months. Experts believe that this will give Hezbollah and the SAA a huge advantage over Israel and will allow Iran to increase its supplies to its allies.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/12/httpssouthfrontorgfirst-iranian-military-convoy-enters-syria-through-land-route-from-iraq-reports.html

German_reader , December 18, 2017 at 9:51 pm GMT
@Art Deco US elites and media are constantly freaking out about some Iranian "empire" supposedly being created and threatening US allies in the mideast since you seem to put great trust in their credibility, shouldn't that concern you? Personally I think those fears are exaggerated, but how can it be denied that Iran's influence has increased a lot in recent years and that the removal of Saddam's regime facilitated that development? Iranian revolutionary guards and Iranian-backed Shia militias operate in Iraq, the Iraqi government maintains close ties to Iran, and Iran is also an active participant in the Syrian civil war would that have been conceivable like this before 2003?
Randal , December 18, 2017 at 9:52 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Why do you think did he suggest joining NATO as an option?
Not because NATO are "good guys", but because it would ensure that Russia has a voice that cannot be ignored. After all, the Kosovo War showed the limits of the UNSC and by extension of Russia's voice in the unipolar world.

Well you have to wonder if he was just trolling the Americans, or if he was really naïve enough to expect a serious response.

Sean , December 18, 2017 at 9:57 pm GMT
@Art Deco Lord Weinstock said Britain could be de-industrialised in the EU, and how right he was.
AP , December 18, 2017 at 10:12 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

This is a fantasy. Look, the effective size of Ukrainian army right now is around 70.000 -- does this look like a strong, united nation willing and able to defend itself?

It was about 50,000 in 2014, about 200,000-250,000 now.

Polish military has 105,000 personnel. Poland also not united or willing to defend itself?

On the left side of the Dnieper truly crazy svidomy types is a small minority -- they stand out from the crowd, can be easily identified and neutralised just like in Donbass

Avakov, Poroshenko's interior minister and sponsor of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion, in 2010 got 48% of the vote in Kharkiv's mayoral race in 2010 when he ran as the "Orange" candidate. In 2012 election about 30% of Kharkiv oblast voters chose nationalist candidates, vs. about 10% in Donetsk oblast. Vkontakte, a good source for judging youth attitudes, was split 50/50 between pro-Maidan and anti-Maidan in Kharkiv (IIRC it was 80/20 anti-Maidan winning in Donetsk). Kharkiv is just like Donbas, right?

A typical Ukrainian nationalist east of Dnieper is a business owner, university educated white collar professional, a student, a journalist, "human rights activist"

Football hooligans in these places are also Ukrainian nationalists. Azov battalion and Right Sector are both based in Eastern Ukraine.

Here is how Azov started:

The Azov Battalion has its roots in a group of Ultras of FC Metalist Kharkiv named "Sect 82″ (1982 is the year of the founding of the group).[18] "Sect 82″ was (at least until September 2013) allied with FC Spartak Moscow Ultras.[18] Late February 2014, during the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine when a separatist movement was active in Kharkiv, "Sect 82″ occupied the Kharkiv Oblast regional administration building in Kharkiv and served as a local "self-defense"-force.[18] Soon, on the basis of "Sect 82″ there was formed a volunteer militia called "Eastern Corps".[18]

Here is Azov battalion commander-turned-Kiev oblast police chief, Kharkiv native Vadim Troyan:

Does he look like an intellectual to you? Before Maidan he was a cop.

these are not the kind of individuals, who will engage in guerilla warfare,

On the contrary, they will probably dig in while seeking cover in urban areas that they know well, where they have some significant support (as Donbas rebels did in Donetsk), forcing the Russian invaders to fight house to house and causing massive damage while fighting native boys such as Azov. About 1/3 of Kharkiv overall and 1/2 of its youth are nationalists. I wouldn't expect mass resistance by the Kharkiv population itself, but passive support for the rebels by many. Russia will then end up rebuilding a large city full of a resentful population that will remember its dead (same problem Kiev will face if it gets Donbas back). This scenario can be repeated for Odessa. Dnipropetrovsk, the home base of Right Sector, is actually much more nationalistic than either Odessa or Kharkiv. And Kiev is a different world again. Bitter urban warfare in a city of 3 million (officially, most likely about 4 million) followed by massive reconstruction and maintenance of a repression regime while under international sanctions.

Russia's government has adequate intelligence services who know better what Ukraine is actually like, than you do. There is a reason why they limited their support to Crimea and Donbas.

Your wishful thinking about Ukraine would be charming and harmless if not for the fact that such wishful thinking often leads to tragic actions that harm both the invader and the invaded. Remember the Iraqis were supposed to welcome the American liberators with flowers after their cakewalk.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 10:14 pm GMT
@Swedish Family Only by air.

How often has Israel shot down Iranian aircraft?

However, now Israel will be incapable of identifying any Iranian shipment on the new ground route,

Not buying.

neutral , December 18, 2017 at 10:16 pm GMT
@AP

Does he look like an intellectual to you?

The question reminds me of this:

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 10:20 pm GMT
@Sean The share of value-added in industry as a share of global product has been declining for over 50 years. In the EU, industry accounts for 24.5% of value added. In Britain, the figure is 20.2%. Not seeing why that animates you.
AP , December 18, 2017 at 10:22 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

In fairness, the young Ukrainians I have spoken to avoid the "draft" mainly out of fear that they will be underequipped and used as cannon fodder.

Correct. The thinking often was -- "the corrupt officers will screw up and get us killed, or sell out our positions to the Russians for money, if the Russians came to our city I'd fight them but I don't wanna go to Donbas.." This is very different from avoiding the draft because one wouldn't mind if Russia annexed Ukraine. Indeed, Dnipropetrovsk in the East has contributed a lot to Ukraine's war effort, primarily because it borders Donbas -- ones hears from people there that if they don't fight in Donbas and keep the rebels contained there, they'd have to fight at home.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 10:28 pm GMT
US elites and media are constantly freaking out about some Iranian "empire" supposedly being created and threatening US allies in the mideast

No, they aren't. The political class has been anxious about Iran because it's sinking a lot of resources into building weapons of mass destruction, because key actors therein adhere to apocalyptic conceptions, and because it's a weirdly (and gratuitously) hostile country.

since you seem to put great trust in their credibility, shouldn't that concern you? Personally I think those fears are exaggerated, but how can it be denied that Iran's influence has increased a lot in recent years and that the removal of Saddam's regime facilitated that development? Iranian revolutionary guards and Iranian-backed Shia militias operate in Iraq, the Iraqi government maintains close ties to Iran, and Iran is also an active participant in the Syrian civil war would that have been conceivable like this before 2003?

You keep alluding to things that cannot be quantified or even readily verified. Iran's taken advantage of disordered situations in the past (in Lebanon), so it's not surprising they do so in Syria. The disordered situation there is a function of the breakdown of government in Syria, not of the Iraq war. Whether any influence Iran has in Iraq turns out to be abiding remains to be seen. The anxiety about Iraq has concerned it's inclination to subvert friendly governments and drop atomic weaponry on Israel. Not sure how their subrosa dealings with the Iraqi government further the latter (or even the former).

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 10:39 pm GMT
@AP LMAO, Ukrainians are nothing like Arabs. They are soft Eastern-European types. And in Eastern regions like Kharkov most of them will be on our side.

The best thing about Ukrainian neo-Nazis such as Azov battalion is that there is very few of them -- no more than 10.000 in the entire country. I assume Russian security services know all of them by name.

To deal with Ukronazi problem, I would first take out their leaders, then target their HQs, arms depots and training camps. I would kill or intimidate their sponsors. Ukronazis would be left decapitated, without resources, undermanned and demoralised, trying to fight an insurgency amongst the population that hates and despises them. It will be a short lived insurgency.

German_reader , December 18, 2017 at 10:46 pm GMT
@Art Deco

No, they aren't.

The supposed threat of an Iranian empire is a common theme in interventionist US media and in certain think tanks/pressure groups, even five minutes of googling produced this:

https://nypost.com/2015/02/01/the-iranian-dream-of-a-reborn-persian-empire/

http://www.breitbart.com/video/2016/01/15/fmr-nato-supreme-allied-commander-stavridis-iran-will-be-imperial-power-due-to-iran-deals-golden-shower-of-money/

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/middle-east/iran/iran-and-the-imperialism-hypocrisy/

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/30/what-to-do-about-an-imperial-iran-middle-east-persia-regional-dominance/

http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/may-clifford-d-the-new-persian-empire/ (btw, the Foundation for defense of democracies agrees with me that the removal of Saddam's regime was to Iran's benefit).

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/henry-kissinger-isis-iranian-radical-empire-middle-east-a7881541.html

Obviously I don't want Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, though imo US policy in this regard has been rather counter-productive recently.
Regarding the Iraq war, it's probably pointless to continue the discussion, if you want to continue regarding it as a great idea, I won't argue with you.

Talha , December 18, 2017 at 10:56 pm GMT
I remember my dad telling me that the Carter administration was the highlight of America-love in Pakistan. Slowly went downhill from there and crashed at Dubya.

Peace.

AP , December 18, 2017 at 10:58 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

LMAO, Ukrainians are nothing like Arabs. They are soft Eastern-European types.

And Russians and Poles were also soft when someone invaded their country? Ukrainians are not modern western Euros.

And in Eastern regions like Kharkov most of them will be on our side.

Most pensioners. It will be about 50/50 among young fighting-age people.

The best thing about Ukrainian neo-Nazis such as Azov battalion is that there is very few of them -- no more than 10.000 in the entire country

Maybe. Ukrainian government claims 46,000 in volunteer self-defense battalions (including Azov) but this is probably an exaggeration.

OTOH there are a couple 100,000 demobilized young people with combat experience who would be willing to fight if their homeland were attacked, who are not neo-Nazis in Azov. Plus a military of 200,000-250,000 people, many of whom would imitate the Donbas rebels and probably redeploy in places like Kharkiv where they have cover. Good look fighting it out block by block.

trying to fight an insurgency amongst the population that hates and despises them

In 2010, 48% of Kharkiv voters chose a nationalist for their mayor. In 2012 about 30% voted for nationalist parties. Judging by pro vs, anti-Maidan, the youth are evenly split although in 2014 the Ukrainian nationalist youths ended up controlling the streets, not the Russian nationalist ones as in Donbas. This is in the most pro-Russian part of Ukraine.

Suuure, the population of Kharkiv will despise their kids, grandkids, nephews, classmates etc,. but will welcome the invaders from Russia who will be bombing their city. Such idealism and optimism in Russia!

It will be a short lived insurgency.

And Iraq was supposed to be a cakewalk.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 11:04 pm GMT
@German_reader The supposed threat of an Iranian empire is a common theme in interventionist US media

"Imperial" or "Imperialist" is a term of art among IR specialists referring to active revisionist powers in a given state system.

The people you are linking to are a mixed bunch. One's a lapsed reporter. Two are opinion journalists with background (one in the military and one in the intelligence services, or so he says), one has been out of office for 40 years (and, IMO, is engaging in the academic's exercise of attention-seeking through counter-factual utterance; there's little downside to that), and one actually is someone who has been a policy-maker in the last generation (and he's offering a critique of the Iran deal, which was not a Bush administration initiative).

Johann Ricke , December 18, 2017 at 11:06 pm GMT
@Randal

This is of course self-serving fantasy. The Russians told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Germans told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The French told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Turks told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The sensible British told you there was no need to invade Iraq, but for some reason you preferred to listen to the words of the staring-eyed sycophant who happened to be Prime Minister at the time, instead.

Who gives a damn what they think? These are the same countries that plunged the world into two World Wars that killed 100m people between them. Their blinkered and self-serving stupidity is a model for what not to do.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 11:06 pm GMT
@Talha I remember my dad telling me that the Carter administration was the highlight of America-love in Pakistan. Slowly went downhill from there and crashed at Dubya.

I remember Gen. Zia on the front page of The New York Times ridiculing Mr. Carter in plain terms (the $400 million aid offer was 'peanuts').

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 11:10 pm GMT
@Randal The Russians told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Germans told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The French told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Turks told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The sensible British told you there was no need to invade Iraq,

The sensible British were a co-operating force in invading Iraq. As for the rest, they all have their shticks and interests (and no, I don't stipulate that you've characterized their opinion correctly either).

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 11:13 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Sounds like fun.

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 11:14 pm GMT
@German_reader

And after 9/11 I was very pro-US, e.g. I argued vehemently with a stupid leftie teacher who was against the Afghanistan war (and I still believe that war was justified, so I don't think I'm just some mindless anti-American fool). But Iraq was just too much, too much obvious lying and those lies were so stupid it was hard not to feel that there was something deeply wrong with a large part of the American public if they were gullible enough to believe such nonsense. At least for me it was a real turning point in the evolution of my political views.

The common factor amongst you, reiner and myself here is that none of us come from a dogmatically anti-American background or personal world-view, nor from a dogmatically pacifist one.

As I've probably noted here previously, I grew up very pro-American and very pro-NATO in the late Cold War, and as a strong supporter of Thatcher and Reagan. I saw the fall of the Soviet Union as a glorious triumph and a vindication of all the endless arguments against anti-American lefties and CND numpties. I also strongly supported the Falklands War (the last genuinely justified and intelligent war fought by my country, imo) and also the war against Iraq in 1990/1, though I'm a little less certain on that one nowadays. I'm significantly older than you both, it seems, however, and it was watching US foreign policy in the 1990s, culminating in the Kosovo war, that convinced me that the US is now the problem and not the solution.

When the facts changed, I changed my opinion.

So I was a war or two ahead of you, chronologically, because I'm older, but we've travelled pretty much the same road. Our views on America have been created by US foreign policy choices.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 11:15 pm GMT
@AP Again, supporting Maidan doesn't mean you're ready to take up Kalashnikov and go fight. Ukrainian youth is dodging draft en masse. It's a fact.

This is what typical Maidanist Ukrainian youths look like; these people certainly don't look like they have a lot of fight in them:

They remind me of Navalny supporters in Russia. These kind of people can throw a tantrum, but they are fundamentally weak people, who are easily crushed.

RadicalCenter , December 18, 2017 at 11:16 pm GMT
@Donnyess I haven't heard either Russia, or the Right in the USA, alleging that African-"Americans" are taking white Americans' jobs.

Generally, I don't know anyone in the USA whose complaint about African-"Americans" is that they are working.

RadicalCenter , December 18, 2017 at 11:17 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Similarly, it doesn't seem likely that the US government will give up its control and influence over the "independent media" that many Americans still think we have.
Randal , December 18, 2017 at 11:18 pm GMT
@Johann Ricke

Who gives a damn what they think?

Well history has proven them to have been correct and the US regime wrong on Iraq, so that pretty much tells you how far your arrogance will get you outside your own echo chamber.

US foreign policy is pretty much a byword for incompetence even amongst its own allies, at least when they are talking off the record.

RadicalCenter , December 18, 2017 at 11:22 pm GMT
@Art Deco Folks in Belarus shouldn't make up their minds about applying to the EU until they speak with regular German, French, English, and Swedish people about the effects of the Islamic / Third World immivasion that the EU has imposed on them. My wife and I speak & correspond with Germans living in Germany frequently, and the real state of affairs for non-elite Germans is getting worse fast, with no good end in sight.

Anyone who does not desire to die or at best live subjugated under sharia -- and sharia run largely by cruel dimwits from Africa and Arabia -- ought to stay out (or GET out of) the EU.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 11:24 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter It shocks me, the amount of supposedly 'smart', 'educated' people in the US, who seriously think "free press" is a thing.
Randal , December 18, 2017 at 11:25 pm GMT
@Art Deco

The sensible British were a co-operating force in invading Iraq.

That was the staring-eyed sycophant's work.

The man who opened the floodgates to immigration because he thought multiculturalism is a great idea.

As for the rest, they all have their shticks and interests

Of course. Unlike the exceptional United States of course, the only country in the world whose government never has any axe to grind in the nobility of purpose and intent it displays in all the wars it has ever fought.

You seem to be degenerating into a caricature of the ignorant, arrogant American.

Johann Ricke , December 18, 2017 at 11:31 pm GMT
@Randal

Well history has proven them to have been correct and the US regime wrong on Iraq, so that pretty much tells you how far your arrogance will get you outside your own echo chamber.

"History" has proven no such thing. What went wrong in Iraq was principally Bush's underestimate of the number of American casualties and the cost to the US treasury*, for which he and the GOP paid a serious political price. However, it's also clear that the Shiites and Kurds, an 80% majority, have no regrets that Saddam is gone. While both communities seem to think that we should continue to bear a bigger chunk of the price of pacifying Iraq's bellicose Sunni Arabs, it's also obvious that they are not electing Tikritis or even Sunni Arabs to office, as they would if they were nostalgic for Saddam's rule. The big picture, really, is that the scale of the fighting has probably convinced both Shiites and Kurds that they could not have toppled Saddam without the assistance of Uncle Sam. They could certainly not have kept Iraq's revived Sunni Arabs (in the form of ISIS) at bay without American assistance.

* These costs were larger than projected, but small compared to the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Whether or not Iraq can be secured as an American ally in the decades ahead, both the gamble and the relatively nugatory price paid will, in retrospect, be seen as a reasonable one, given Iraq's strategic location.

Talha , December 18, 2017 at 11:40 pm GMT
@Art Deco Sure, but the ordinary folks liked him -- he seemed like a humble man with faith from humble beginnings. Pakistanis could relate to someone like that.

I was just a wee lad at the time, so I'm only conveying what my dad told me.

Peace.

RadicalCenter , December 18, 2017 at 11:51 pm GMT
@Art Deco Well, there is some reason to think that membership in the EU will become a steadily less attractive prospect.

The substantial demographic changes sweeping northern and western Europe now will become far larger as (1) new "migration" occurs from Africa and the Middle East and Pakistan into Europe; (2) "family reunification" chain migration goes on endlessly from the same places into Europe; and (3) Muslims continue to dramatically outbreed non-Muslims in Europe.

(Even if Muslims in Europe drop their total fertility rate to replacement, around 2.1 I think, the non-Muslim Europeans have TFRs like 1.4 and 1.5 and 1.6, the very definition of dying peoples.)

And that doesn't even account for the flight of non-Muslims out of Europe as it becomes ever more violent, frightening, chaotic, and impoverished. That flight could become a massive phenomenon. (We have acquaintances in Germany and Austria already mulling over the idea, with great sadness and anger in their hearts.)

On current trends, what reason is there to think that "Germany" and "France" and "England" and "Sweden" won't in fact be heavily Islamic / African (and in the case of Germany, Turkish) hellholes in the lifetime of many of us here?

Granted, Russia has too many Muslims itself, and I don't know enough to predict whether they will be willing and able to remove the excessive number of Central Asian Muslims (guestworkers or otherwise) from their territory. But Russia is not giving itself away to Muslims at a breakneck pace like the terminally naïve Germans, French, English, and Swedes are doing with their own countries.

The point is, Belarus and Ukraine won't be faced with a choice between Russia and the "Europe" that we still envision from the recent past.

Belarus and Ukraine will likely face a choice between a tenuous independence that they lack the force to maintain, union or close formal affiliation with Russia, or a "Europe" where white Europeans are outnumbered, terrified, massively taxed to pay for their younger and more confident Islamic / African overlords, and ultimately subjugated and killed / inter-bred into nonexistence.

The Europe that you are positing as an alternative to Russia, already doesn't quite exist anymore. Soon it won't exist at all in any recognizable or desirable form. Russia merely needs to be a better alternative than THAT.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 11:54 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter Fine. The EU is poorly constructed and a threat to self-government.

Mr. Felix fancies White Russia is Russia's property. There's a constituency in White Russia for re-incorporation into Russia, but it amounts to about 1/4 of the population and is half the proportion it was 20 years ago. Kinda think it really shouldn't be Mr. Felix's call, but he doesn't see it that way.

RadicalCenter , December 18, 2017 at 11:59 pm GMT
@German_reader Agree with much of what you say. With a big exception": most Europeans ARE pussies who try to appease the Islamic and African aggressors and freeloaders they are importing into their lands at a furious pace. Besonders die Deutschen.

At least SOME decent portion of Americans are trying to resist the Mexican and Third World takeover of our country. Albeit probably without success.

Summary: we're probably screwed, you're almost certainly screwed worse and faster.

Keep patting yourself on the back. But grow that beard now and bend over -- and beat the rush.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 12:03 am GMT
@RadicalCenter Belarus and Ukraine will likely face a choice between a tenuous independence that they lack the force to maintain,

Just to point out that occasions where a state has had its sovereignty extinguished since 1945 are as follows: East Germany (1990, voluntary), South Yemen (1990, voluntary, but triggering an insurrection), Kuwait (1990, temporary), South VietNam (1975/76, conquered). Not real common. N.B. the Axis rampage in Europe and Asia during the War: the only thing that stuck was Soviet Russia's seizure of the Baltic states.

Mr. Hack , December 19, 2017 at 12:07 am GMT
@Felix Keverich Why don't you present us a photo of yourself, so that we can see what a true Russian warrior looks like?

I think I've found one of you?

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 12:08 am GMT
@RadicalCenter

At least SOME decent portion of Americans are trying to resist the Mexican and Third World takeover of our country.

30 years too late, though I'll readily admit that I was somewhat impressed how normal US citizens managed to kill off amnesty proposals during Bush's 2nd administration by lobbying their congressmen etc. Quite the contrast with what's going on in my own country where people just meekly submit to everything.
And I've never denied that many Europeans are quite decadent they should certainly spend more for their own defense, maybe even bring back conscription.

Randal , December 19, 2017 at 12:08 am GMT
@Johann Ricke

What went wrong in Iraq was principally Bush's underestimate of the number of American casualties and the cost to the US treasury

No, what went wrong in Iraq from the pov of any kind of honest assessment of an American national interest was that an unnecessary war was fought justified by lies that have seriously discredited the nation that told them, and that the results of the war were hugely counter to said American national interests: the conversion of a contained and broken former enemy state into a jihadist free fire training and recruitment zone combined with a strong ally of a supposed enemy state, Iran.

Whether the direct material cost of the war is acceptable or not is rather beside the point. It's a matter between Bush II and the parents, relatives and friends of those Americans who lost their lives or their health, and between Bush II and American taxpayers. If it had been achieved cost-free it still wouldn't have been worth it, because it was a defeat.

But it's no accident that the costs of the war were "underestimated". As usual, if the Bush II regime had been honest about the likely costs of their proposed war, there would have been a political outcry against it and they'd have been forced to back down as Obama was over Syria.

However, it's also clear that the Shiites and Kurds, an 80% majority, have no regrets that Saddam is gone

Amusing to see you are currently pretending that what Iraqi Kurds and Shiites feel matters. It's always entertaining to see just how shameless Americans can be at their game of alternately pretending to care for foreigners' views (when they need to justify a war) and regarding foreigners with utter contempt and disregard (when said foreigners are saying something Americans don't like to hear).

They could certainly not have kept Iraq's revived Sunni Arabs (in the form of ISIS) at bay without American assistance.

Well that partly depends upon how much support the US regime allowed its Gulf sunni Arab proxies to funnel to said jihadists, I suppose. But most likely they'd have crushed them in due course with Iranian backing.

In Iraq, IS were fine as long as they stayed out of the strongly Shiite areas in the south. They'd have quickly been whipped if they'd ventured there. Just as IS were fine in Syria as long as they were taking relatively remote land over from a government and army in desperate straits as a result of a disastrous externally funded civil war, but were soon beaten when the Russians stepped in and started actually fighting them rather than pretending to do so only as long as it didn't interfere too much with their real goal of overthrowing the Syria government, American-style.

utu , December 19, 2017 at 12:16 am GMT
@German_reader I see that Art Deco got more active than usual. Seems that the destruction of Iraq is close to his heart. Several days ago Ron Unz had this to say about him:

http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/time-to-stop-importing-an-immigrant-overclass/#comment-2116171
Exactly! It's pretty obvious that this "Art Deco" fellow is just a Jewish-activist type, and given his very extensive posting history, perhaps even an organized "troll." But he's certainly one of the most sophisticated ones, with the vast majority of his comments being level-headed, moderate, and very well-informed, generally focusing on all sorts of other topics, perhaps with the deliberate intent of building up his personal credibility for the periodic Jewish matters that actually so agitate him.

To which I added:

http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/time-to-stop-importing-an-immigrant-overclass/#comment-2116402
The quality and wide range of his comments are really impressive. As if it was coming form a super intelligent AI Hal that has access to all kinds of databases at his finger tips. And then there is always the same gradient of his angle: the reality is as it is; reality is as you have been told so far; do not try to keep coming with weird theories and speculations because they are all false; there is nothing interesting to see. His quality and scope are not congruent with his angle. All his knowledge and all his data and he hasn't found anything interesting that would not conform to what we all read in newspapers. Amazing. If America had its High Office of Doctrine and Faith he could have been its supreme director.

His overactivity here is somewhat out of character and after reading his comments here I doubt that Ron Unz would call him "one of the most sophisticated ones." I also would take back the "really impressive" part too. Perhaps some other individuum was assigned to Art Deco handle this Monday.

Randal , December 19, 2017 at 12:27 am GMT
Speaking of US foreign policy stupidity and arrogance, the response to the latest evidence that Trump will continue the inglorious Clinton/Bush II/Obama tradition of destructive corrupt/incompetent buffoonery:

US outnumbered 14 to 1 as it vetoes UN vote on status of Jerusalem

And here's the profoundly noxious Nikki Haley "lying for her country" (except, bizarrely, it isn't even really for her own country). Her appointment by Trump certainly was one of the first signs that he was going to seriously let America down:

The resolution was denounced in furious language by the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who described it as "an insult" that would not be forgotten. "The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy," she said.

"It's scandalous to say we are putting back peace efforts," she added. "The fact that this veto is being done in defence of American sovereignty and in defence of America's role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the security council."

The real nature of the UN resolution the execrable Haley was so faux-offended by:

The UK and France had indicated in advance that they would would back the text, which demanded that all countries comply with pre-existing UNSC resolutions on Jerusalem, dating back to 1967, including requirements that the city's final status be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

But requiring Israel and its US poodles to act in good faith is surely anti-Semitic, after all. The real beneficiary (he thinks, at least) of Trump's and Haley's buffoonery was suitably condescending in his patting of his poodles' heads:

The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, tweeted: "Thank you, Ambassador Haley. On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabi. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump."

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 12:28 am GMT
@utu Art Deco isn't Jewish iirc, but an (Irish?) Catholic from the northeastern US. And I suppose his views aren't even that extreme, but pretty much standard among many US right-wingers (a serious problem imo), so it makes little sense to attack him personally.
utu , December 19, 2017 at 12:29 am GMT
@German_reader Official justification for the Iraq war was concern about Iraq's supposedly hidden weapons

The fact that Iraq had no WMD was actually critical to making the claims that it had them. If Iraq had them it would officially relinquish them which would take away the ostensive cause for the invasion.

I am really amazed that now 14 years after the invasion there are some who still argue about the WMD. Iraq was to be destroyed because this was the plan. The plan to reorganize the ME that consisted of destruction of secular and semi-secure states like Iraq and Syria. The WDM was just an excuse that nobody really argued for or against in good faith including Brits or Germans or Turks. Everybody knew the writing on the wall.

utu , December 19, 2017 at 12:35 am GMT
@German_reader it makes little sense to attack him personally

Yes, personal attacks are counterproductive but I can't resit, I just can't help it, so I must to say what I said already several times in the past: you are a cuck. You are a hopeless case.

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 12:41 am GMT
@utu

The plan to reorganize the ME that consisted of destruction of secular and semi-secure states like Iraq and Syria.

Has to be admitted though that Iraq became increasingly less secular during the 1990s, with Saddam's regime pushing Islamization as a new source of legitimacy. It's probably no accident that former Baath people and officers of Saddam's army were prominent among the leadership of IS.
Still hardly sufficient reason for the Iraq war though.

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 12:48 am GMT
@utu With all due respect to you and Ron Unz, but the idea that someone like "Art Deco" is an "organized troll" who creates an elaborate fake persona (which he then maintains over multiple years on several different websites -- I first encountered him years ago on the American conservative's site) to spread pro-Jewish views seems somewhat paranoid to me.
I have no reason to doubt he's genuine (as far as that's possible on the internet), his views aren't unusual.
RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 3:16 am GMT
@German_reader Agree with everything you just wrote. And please understand, I love the Germans and I'm angry at them in the way that you'd be angry at a brother who refuses to stop destroying himself with drugs or whatever.
John Gruskos , December 19, 2017 at 3:25 am GMT
@German_reader The commenter using the name "Art Deco" is NOT an American nationalist.

He is neocon trash.

Cato , December 19, 2017 at 3:43 am GMT
@Felix Keverich Northern Kazakhstan is/was ethnically Russian, since the 1700s. This should have been folded into Russia; the North Caucasus should have been cut loose. My opinion.
AP , December 19, 2017 at 3:53 am GMT
@Felix Keverich Typical Russian mistakes regarding Ukraine: weak student-types in Russia are the main supporters of Ukraine in Russia, thus the same type must be the main pro-Maidan people in Ukraine. Because Ukraine = Russia. This silly dream of Ukraine being just like Russia leads to ridiculous ideas and hopes.

As I already said, the Azov battalion grew out of brawling football ultras in Kharkiv. Maidan itself was a cross-section -- of students, yes, but also plenty of Afghan war vets, workers, far right brawlers, professionals, etc. It's wasn't simply "weak" students, nor was it simply far-right fascists (another claim by Russia) but a mass effort of the western half of the country.

Here are Afghan war vets at Maidan:

Look at those weak Maidan people running away from the enemy:

Azov people in their native Kharkiv:

Kharkiv kids:

Ukrainian youth is dodging draft en masse. It's a fact.

Dodging the draft in order to avoid fighting in Donbas, where you are not wanted by the locals, is very different from dodging the draft to avoid fighting when your own town is being invaded.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 4:10 am GMT
@AP Summer camp was in Kiev, but there is another outside Kharkiv.

To be clear, most Ukrainians fighting against Russia are not these unsavory types, though they make for dramatic video. Point is that pro-Maidan types in Ukraine are far from being exclusively liberal student-types.

Anon , Disclaimer December 19, 2017 at 5:08 am GMT
@RadicalCenter Said a dude who invested in an Asian woman.
utu , December 19, 2017 at 6:59 am GMT
@German_reader Still hardly sufficient reason for the Iraq war though.

What do you mean by that? Are you so out of touch? You really do not understand what was the reason behind Iraq 2003 war and then fucking it up when Gen. Garner was recalled and replaced with Paul Bremer who drove Iraq to the ground? Repeat after me: Iraq was destroyed because this was the only objective of 2003 Iraq war. The mission was accomplished 100%.

jimbojones , December 19, 2017 at 8:01 am GMT
A few points:
- The Russians ALWAYS were Americanophiles -- ever since the Revolution. Russia has been an American ally most often explicit but occasionally tacit -- in EVERY major American conflict, including the War on Terror and excluding Korea and Vietnam (both not major compared to the Civil War or WW2). The only comparable Great Power US ally is France. Russia and the US are natural allies.
- Russians are Americanophiles -- they like Hollywood movies, American music, American idealism, American video games, American fashion, American inventions, American support in WW2, American can-do-aittude, American badassery and Americana in general.
- There are two Ukraines. One is essentially a part of Russia, and a chunk of it was repatriated in 2014. The other was historically Polish and Habsburg. It is a strange entity that is not Russian.
- The Maidan was a foreign-backed putsch against a democratically elected government. Yanukovich was certainly a corrupt scoundrel. But he was a democratically elected corrupt scoundrel. To claim Russian intervention in his election is a joke in light of the CIA-backed 2004 and 2014 coups. Moreover, post-democratic post-Yanukovich Ukraine is clearly inferior to its predecessor. For one thing, under Yanukovich, Sevastopol was still Ukrainian
LondonBob , December 19, 2017 at 8:18 am GMT
@Andrei Martyanov Art Deco is a Zionist, just checkout his reaction when you point out Israel assassinated JFK.
LondonBob , December 19, 2017 at 8:19 am GMT
@utu Israel wanted Iraq destroyed, it was.
Anatoly Karlin , Website December 19, 2017 at 1:35 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich I think this poll is the most relevant for assessing the question, since it covered different regions and used the same methodology.

Takeaway:

1. Support for uniting into a single state with Russia at 41% in Crimea at a time when it was becoming quite clear the Yanukovych regime was doomed.

2. Now translates into ~90% support (according to both Russian and international polls) in Crimea. I.e., a more than a standard deviation shift in "Russophile" sentiment on this matter.

3. Assuming a similar shift in other regions, Novorossiya would be quite fine being with Russia post facto . Though there would be significant discontent in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson (e.g., probably on the scale of Donbass unhappiness with the Ukraine before 2014).

4. Central and West Ukraine would not be, which is why their reintegration would be far more difficult -- and probably best left for sometime in the future.

5. What we have instead seen is a one standard deviation shift in "Ukrainophile" sentiment within all those regions that remained in the Ukraine. If this change is "deep," then AP is quite correct that their assimilation into Russia has been made impossible by Putin's vacillations in 2014.

Anon , Disclaimer December 19, 2017 at 1:39 pm GMT
@LondonBob Check out any American's reaction when some random Londoner tells him Israel assassinated JFK.
for-the-record , December 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm GMT
@German_reader they [Germans] should certainly spend more for their own defense, maybe even bring back conscription .

With all due respect, and making allowance for your relative youth, that is simply rubbish. Defense against whom? Russia? Iran? As your posts make it eminently clear, the real enemy of Germany is within, not without.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 2:18 pm GMT
@jimbojones

The Maidan was a foreign-backed putsch against a democratically elected government

Typical Russian nationalist half-truth about Ukraine.

To be clear -- Yanukovich was democratically elected in 2010, into a position where his powers were limited and where he was faced with a hostile parliament. His post-election accumulation of powers (overthrowing the Opposition parliament, granting himself additional powers, stacking the court with local judges from his hometown) was not democratic. None of these actions enjoyed popular support, none were made through democratic processes such as referendums or popular elections. Had that been the case, he would not have been overthrown in what was a popular mass revolt by half the country.

There are two Ukraines. One is essentially a part of Russia, and a chunk of it was repatriated in 2014. The other was historically Polish and Habsburg. It is a strange entity that is not Russian.

A bit closer to the truth, but much too simplistic in a way that favors Russian idealism. Crimea (60% Russian) was simply not Ukraine, so lumping it in together with a place such as Kharkiv (oblast 70% Ukrainian) and saying that Russia took one part of this uniformly "Russian Ukraine" is not accurate.

You are correct that the western half of the country are a non-Russian Polish-but-not Habsburg central Ukraine/Volynia, and Polish-and-Habsburg Galicia.

But the other half consisted of two parts: ethnic Russian Crimea (60% Russian) and largely ethniuc-Russian urban Donbas (about 45% Russian, 50% Ukrainian), and a heavily Russified but ethnic Ukrainian Kharkiv oblast (70% Ukrainian, 26% Russian), Dnipropetrovsk (80% Ukrainian, 20% Russian), Kherson (82% Ukrainian, 14% Russian), and Odessa oblast (63% Ukrainian, 21% Russian).

The former group (Crimea definitely, and urban Donbas less strongly) like being part of Russia. The latter group, on the other hand, preferred that Ukraine and Russia have friendly ties, preferred Russian as a legal language, preferred economic union with Russia, but did not favor loss of independence. Think of them as pro-NAFTA American-phile Canadians who would nevertheless be opposed to annexation by the USA and would be angered if the USA grabbed a chunk of Canada. In grabbing a chunk of Ukraine and supporting a rebellion in which Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk kids are being shot by Russian-trained fighters using Russian-supplied bullets, Putin has turned these people off the Russian state.

Mr. Hack , December 19, 2017 at 2:35 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

3. Assuming a similar shift in other regions, Novorossiya would be quite fine being with Russia post facto. Though there would be significant discontent in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson (e.g., probably on the scale of Donbass unhappiness with the Ukraine before 2014).

'Asumptions' like this are what provide Swiss cheese the airy substance that makes it less caloric! Looks like only the retired sovok population in the countryside is up to supporting your mythical 'NovoRosija' while the more populated city dwellers would be opposed, even by your own admission (and even this is questionable). I'm surprised that the dutifully loyal and most astute opposition (AP) has let this blooper pass without any comment?

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 2:41 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin I think when answering this question, most people simple give what they consider to be the socially acceptable answer, especially in comtemporary Ukraine, where you will go to prison for displaying Russian flag -- who wants to be seen as a "separatist"?

In Crimea it has become more socially acceptable to identify with Russia following the reunification, which is why the number of people who answer this way shot up . The same effect will seen in Belarus and Ukraine -- I'm fairly certain of it.

Though there would be significant discontent in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson

Discontent will be limited to educated, affluent, upwardly mobile circles of society. Demographic profile of Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper resembles demographic profile of Navalny supporters in Russia. These people are not fighters. Most of them will react to Russian takeover by self-deporting -- they have the money and resources to do it.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 2:51 pm GMT

Demographic profile of Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper resembles demographic profile of Navalny supporters in Russia. These people are not fighters.

Repeating your claim over and over again doesn't make it true.

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

The Azov Battalion has its roots in a group of Ultras of FC Metalist Kharkiv named "Sect 82″ (1982 is the year of the founding of the group).[18] "Sect 82″ was (at least until September 2013) allied with FC Spartak Moscow Ultras.[18] Late February 2014, during the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine when a separatist movement was active in Kharkiv, "Sect 82″ occupied the Kharkiv Oblast regional administration building in Kharkiv and served as a local "self-defense"-force.[18] Soon, on the basis of "Sect 82″ there was formed a volunteer militia called "Eastern Corps".[18]

The brawling East Ukrainian nationalists who took the streets of Kharkiv and Odessa were not mostly rich, fey hipsters.

Mr. Hack , December 19, 2017 at 2:53 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Discontent will be limited to educated, affluent, upwardly mobile circles of society.

So, even by tour own admission, the only folks that would be for unifying with Russia are the uneducated, poor and those with no hopes of ever amounting to much in society. I don't agree with you, but I do see your logic. These are just the type of people that are the most easily manipulated by Russian propoganda -- a lot of this went on in the Donbas, and we can see the results of that fiasco to this day.

Andrei Martyanov , Website December 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm GMT
@jimbojones

Russia and the US are natural allies.

While geopolitically and historically it is true:

a)Post-WWII American power elites are both incompetent and arrogant (which is a first derivative of incompetence) to understand that -- this is largely the problem with most "Western" elites.

b) Currently the United States doesn't have enough (if any) geopolitical currency and clout to "buy" Russia. In fact, Russia can take what she needs (and she doesn't have "global" appetites) with or without the US. Plus, China is way more interested in Russia's services that the US, which will continue to increasingly find out more about its own severe military-political limitations.

c) The United States foreign policy is not designed and is not being conducted to serve real US national interests. In fact, US can not even define those interests beyond the tiresome platitudes about "global interests" and being "exceptional".

d) Too late

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 3:10 pm GMT
@AP I like how I got you talking about the Ukronazis, it's kinda funny actually, so let me pose as Ukraine's "defender" here:

This neo-Nazi scum is not in any way representative of the population of Eastern Ukraine. These are delinquents, criminals, low-lifes. They are despised, looked down upon by the normal people, pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian alike. A typical Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper is a business owner, a journalist, an office worker, a student who dodges draft. It's just the way it is.

Andrei Martyanov , Website December 19, 2017 at 3:21 pm GMT
@jimbojones

American music

One substantial correction: generation which now is in power and defines most of Russia's dynamics, age group of 40s-50s, was largely influenced by British music, not American one, despite its definite presence in cultural menu in 1960 through 1980s. British music was on the order of magnitude more popular and influential in USSR. The love for American music was rather conditional and very selective. Of course, jazz was and is huge among educated and cultured, but in terms of pop/rock if one discounts immensely popular Eagles (for obvious reason), Donna Summer or something on the order of magnitude of Chicago, British pop-music was a different universe altogether. Beatles, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple or even British Glam were immense in 1970s, not to mention NWBHM in 1980s. One would have more luck hearing Iron Maiden blasting from windows somewhere in Russia than music of Michael Jackson.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 3:24 pm GMT
@AP The way to think about Azov battalion is to treat them like a simple group of delinquents, for whom Ukrainian nationalism has become a path to obtain money, resources, bigger guns and perhaps even political power. Azov is simply a gang. And Russian security services have plenty of experience dealing with gangs, so I don't expect Ukronazis to pose a major challenge.
Gerard2 , December 19, 2017 at 3:26 pm GMT
@AP [MORE]
RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 3:29 pm GMT
@Anon Yes, a highly intelligent, hardworking, conservative, Christian Asian woman who loves and appreciates America, is the same as a Muslim African, Arab or Paki whose religion tells him to subjugate or kill us. No drastic difference in genetics or the impact on our culture, language, economy, and security there.

Moreover, allowing our native-born white citizens to choose spouses from elsewhere is the same as admitting tens of millions of people with little to no screening whatsoever (the latter being admitted in the interest of those who actively seek the most dimwitted, violent, intimidating, slothful, hateful, and incompatible people psosible in order to endanger, impoverish, and dumb down out people and set the stage for us to "need" a police state to manage the chaos and crime they bring).

Your logic is impeccable, I'll admit.

How long have you been married, by the way? And how many children are you raising? I just ask because I am sure we can compare notes and I can benefit from your manly experience and expertise.

Get a consistent handle to use on this site. Then tell us personal details as many of us have done. Then we can have a further friendly chat, big anonymous man who comments on other men's wives.

reiner Tor , December 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich I'm not sure about Ukrainian football hooligans, but football hooligans in Hungary are not necessarily "low -lifes, criminals, delinquents", in fact, the majority of them aren't. Most groups consist mostly of working class (including a lot of security guards and similar) members, but there are some middle class (I know of a school headmaster, though I think he's no longer very active in the group) and working class entrepreneur types (e.g. the car mechanic who ended up owning a car dealership) and similar. I think outright criminal types are a small minority. Since it costs money to attend the matches, outright failures (the permanently unemployed and similar ne'er-do-wells) are rarely found in such groups.
reiner Tor , December 19, 2017 at 3:42 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

One would have more luck hearing Iron Maiden blasting from windows somewhere in Russia than music of Michael Jackson.

What about Metallica or Slayer? The famous 1991 Monsters of Rock in Moscow featured I think Metallica in its prime and Pantera right before they became really big (and heavy).

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 3:43 pm GMT
@LondonBob Art Deco is a Zionist, just checkout his reaction when you point out Israel assassinated JFK.

My reaction is that you need to take your risperidal, bathe, and quit pestering people for bits of cash. And make your clinic appointments. They're sick of seeing you at the ED.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 3:49 pm GMT
@LondonBob Israel wanted Iraq destroyed, it was.

The actually existing Israeli officialdom advised the Bush administration to give priority to containing Iran.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT
@reiner Tor LOL I classify all football hooligans as low-lifes simply due to the nature of their pastime. Ukrainian neo-Nazi militias have been involved in actual crimes including murder, kidnapping and racketeering. Their criminal activities go unpunished by the regime, because they are considered "heroes" or something.
AP , December 19, 2017 at 3:57 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

I like how I got you talking about the Ukronazis

I never denied the presence of them.

This neo-Nazi scum is not in any way representative of the population of Eastern Ukraine.

If by "representative" you mean majority, sure. Neither are artsy students, or Afghan war veterans, or schoolteachers, any other group a majority.

Also not all of the street fighters turned militias neo-Nazis, as are Azov. Right Sector are not neo-Nazis, they are more fascists.

These are delinquents, criminals, low-lifes.

As reiner tor correctly pointed out, this movement which grew out of the football ultra community is rather working class but is not lumpens. You fail again.

A typical Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper is a business owner, a journalist, an office worker, a student who dodges draft

Are there more business owners, students (many of whom do not dodge the draft), office workers combined than there are ultras/far-right brawlers? Probably. 30% of Kharkiv voted for nationalist parties (mostly Tymoshenko's and Klitschko's moderates) in the 2012 parliamentary elections, under Yanukovich. That represents about 900,000 people in that oblast. There aren't 900,000 brawling far-rightists in Kharkiv. So?

The exteme nationalist Banderist Svoboda party got about 4% of the vote in Kharkiv oblast in 2012. This would make Bandera twice as popular in Kharkiv as the democratic opposition is in Russia.

reiner Tor , December 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

I classify all football hooligans as low-lifes simply due to the nature of their pastime.

They are well integrated into the rest of society, so you can call them low-lifes, but they will still be quite different from ordinary criminals.

Ukrainian neo-Nazi militias have been involved in actual crimes including murder, kidnapping and racketeering.

But that's quite different from being professional criminals. Members of the Waffen-SS also committed unspeakable crimes, but they rarely had professional criminal backgrounds, and were, in fact, quite well integrated into German society.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm GMT
@Talha he seemed like a humble man with faith from humble beginnings. Pakistanis could relate to someone like that.

Carter was an agribusinessman whose personal net worth (not counting his mother's holdings and siblings' holdings) was in seven digits in 1976. (His dipso brother managed the family business -- passably well -- from 1963 until 198?). John Osborne interviewed 1st, 2d, and 3d degree relations of Carter during the campaign and discovered the family was in satisfactory condition financially even during the Depression. Carter also spent the 2d World War -- the whole thing -- at the Naval Academy.

There's much to be said for Carter, but there's no doubt one of his shortcomings is vanity. Harry Truman is the closest thing to a humble man in the White House in the years since Pakistan was constituted. If you're looking for 'humble beginnings', the best examples are Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.

Anon , Disclaimer December 19, 2017 at 4:07 pm GMT
@Art Deco Not relevant re humble beginnings but re Pakistan: you've probably heard the famous anecdote about Kennedy and Bhutto:

K: "You know, you're a bright man. If you were an American I'd have you in my cabinet."
B: "No, Mr. President; if I were an American you would be in my cabinet."

AP , December 19, 2017 at 4:08 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

The way to think about Azov battalion is to treat them like a simple group of delinquents, for whom Ukrainian nationalism has become a path to obtain money, resources, bigger guns and perhaps even political power

Yes, there are elements of this, but not only. If they were ethnic Russians, as in Donbas, they would have taken a different path, as did the pro-Russian militants in Donbas who are similar to the ethnic Ukrainian Azovites. Young guys who like to brawl and are ethnic Russians or identify s such joined organizations like Oplot and moved to Donbas to fight against Ukraine, similar types who identified as Ukrainians became Azovites or joined similar pro-Ukrainian militias. Also not all of these were delinquents, many were working class, security guards, etc.

Good that you admit that in Eastern Ukraine nationalism is not limited to student activists and businessmen.

And Russian security services have plenty of experience dealing with gangs,

They chose to stay away from Kharkiv and limit Russia's action to Donbas, knowing that there would be too much opposition, and not enough support, to Russian rule in Kharkiv to make the effort worthwhile.

utu , December 19, 2017 at 4:08 pm GMT
@Anon Out of all hypotheses on the JFK assassination the one that Israel was behind it is the strongest. There is no question about it. From the day one when conspiracy theories were floated everything was done to hide how Israel benefited form the assassination.
Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 4:13 pm GMT
@reiner Tor I feel that comparing Azov to SS gives it too much credit.

My point is that this way of life is not something that many people in Ukraine are willing to actively participate in. Most people are not willing to condone it either. AP says that Azov and the like can act like underground insurgency in Eastern cities. But I don't see how this could work -- there will a thousand people around them willing to rat them out.

There is no pro-Ukrainian insurgency in Crimea or inside the republics in Donbass, and it's not due to the lack of local football hooligans.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 4:25 pm GMT
@AP

That represents about 900,000 people in that oblast. There aren't 900,000 brawling far-rightists in Kharkiv. So?

This means these people won't pose a big problem. These folks will take care of themselves either through self-deportation or gradually coming to terms with the new reality in Kharkov, just like their compatriots in Crimea did.

Even among Svoboda voters, I suspect only a small minority of them are the militant types. We should be to contain them through the use of local proxies. The armies of Donbass republics currently number some 40-60 thousand men according to Cassad blog, which compares with the size of the entire Ukrainian army. We should be able to recruit more local Ukrainian proxies once we're in Kharkov.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 4:31 pm GMT
@Gerard2 oligarchs, not nationalism are the driving force behind the "Ukrainian" mass crimes against humanity committing --
Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 4:34 pm GMT
@utu Out of all hypotheses on the JFK assassination the one that Israel was behind it is the strongest. There is no question about it. From the day one when conspiracy theories were floated everything was done to hide how Israel benefited form the assassination.

Actually, it's completely random and bizarre, but random and bizarre appeals to a certain sort of head case. Oliver Stone's thesis (that the military-industrial complex took down the President by subcontracting the job to a bunch of French Quarter homosexuals) is comparatively lucid.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 4:48 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

AP says that Azov and the like can act like underground insurgency in Eastern cities. But I don't see how this could work -- there will a thousand people around them willing to rat them out.

About 1/3 of the population in Eastern Ukrainian regions voted for Ukrainian nationalists in 2012, compared to only 10% in Donbas. Three times as many. Likely after 2014 many of the hardcore pro-Russians left Kharkiv, just as hardcore pro-Ukrainians left Donetsk. Furthermore anti-Russian attitudes have hardened, due to the war, Crimea, etc. So there would be plenty of local support for native insurgents.

Russians say, correctly, that after Kiev has shelled Donetsk how can the people of Donetsk reconcile themselves with Kiev?

The time when Russia could have bloodlessly marched into Kharkiv is over. Ukrainian forces have dug in. How will Kharkiv people feel towards uninvited Russian invaders shelling their city in order to to take it under their control?

There is no pro-Ukrainian insurgency in Crimea or inside the republics in Donbass, and it's not due to the lack of local football hooligans.

Crimea was 60% Russian, Donbas Republics territory about 45% Russian; Kharkiv oblast is only 25% Russian.

With Donbas -- there are actually local pro-Ukrainian militants from Donbas, in the Donbas and Aidar battalions.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 4:50 pm GMT
@AP It was a decision that Putin personally made. He wasn't going to move in Crimea either, until Maidanists overthrew his friend

It goes without saying that Putin doesn't share my nationalist approach to Ukraine problem: he does not see the destruction of Ukrainian project as necessary or even desirable. And I'm sure the restraint Putin has shown on Ukraine doesn't come from him being intimidated by Azov militia.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 4:56 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

These folks will take care of themselves either through self-deportation or gradually coming to terms with the new reality in Kharkov, just like their compatriots in Crimea did

The problem with this comparison is that Crimeans were far more in favor of joining Russia that are Kharkivites.

The armies of Donbass republics currently number some 40-60 thousand men according to Cassad blog, which compares with the size of the entire Ukrainian army.

Ukrainian military has 200,000 -- 250,000 active members and about 100,000 reserves. Where did you get your information? The end of 2014?

We should be able to recruit more local Ukrainian proxies once we're in Kharkov.

You would be able to recruit some local proxies in Kharkiv. Kiev even did so in Donbas. But given the fact that Ukrainian nationalism was 3 times more popular on Kharkiv than in Donetsk, and that Kharkiv youth were split 50/50 in terms of or versus anti Maidan support (versus 80/20 IIIRC anti-Maidan in Donbas), it would not be so easy. Moreover, by now many of the hardcore anti-Kiev people have already left Kharkiv, while Kharkiv has had some settlement by pro-Ukrainian dissidents from Donbas. So the situation even in 2014 was hard enough that Russia chose to stay away, now it is even worse for the pro-Russians.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 5:00 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

And I'm sure the restraint Putin has shown on Ukraine doesn't come from him being intimidated by Azov militia.

This is rather a symptom of a much wider phenomenon: the population simply doesn't see itself as Russian and doesn't want to be part of Russia. So its hooligan-types go for Ukrainian, not Russian, nationalism as is the case in Russia.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 5:02 pm GMT
@AP

The time when Russia could have bloodlessly marched into Kharkiv is over. Ukrainian forces have dug in. How will Kharkiv people feel towards uninvited Russian invaders shelling their city in order to to take it under their control?

The locals will move to disarm Ukrainian forces, who have taken their city hostage, then welcome Russian liberators with open arms, what else they are going to do? lol

It's just a joke though. In reality there is virtually no Ukrainian forces in city of Kharkov. They don't have the manpower. Ukrainian regime managed to fortify Perekop and the perimeter of the people's republics, but the rest of Ukraine-Russia border remains completely undefended. It's wide open!

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 5:05 pm GMT
@AP Honestly, I doubt that this kind of stuff has much impact on Putin's decisionmaking.
Mr. Hack , December 19, 2017 at 5:09 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

It goes without saying that Putin doesn't share my nationalist approach to Ukraine problem: he does not see the destruction of Ukrainian project as necessary or even desirable.

Well there you have it. Putin is a much smarter guy than you are Felix (BTW, are you Jewish, all of the Felix's that I've known were Jewish?). Good to see that you're nothing more than a blackshirted illusionist.*

*фантазёр

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 5:20 pm GMT
@for-the-record German and European reliance on US security guarantees is a problem, since it's become pretty clear that the US political system is dysfunctional and US "elites" are dangerous extremists. We need our own security structures to be independent from the US so they can't drag us into their stupid projects or blackmail us anymore why do you think Merkel didn't react much to the revelations about American spying on Germany? Because we're totally dependent on the Americans in security matters.
And while I don't believe Russia or Iran are really serious threats to Europe, it would be foolish to have no credible deterrence.
AP , December 19, 2017 at 5:25 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

"How will Kharkiv people feel towards uninvited Russian invaders shelling their city in order to to take it under their control?"

They will move to disarm ther Ukrainian forces, who have taken their city hostage, then welcome their Russian liberators with open arms, what else they are going to do? lol

While about 1/3 of Kharkiv voted for Ukrainian nationalists, only perhaps 10%-20% of the city would actually like to be part of Russia (and I am being generous to you). So your idea is equivalent to American fantasies of Iraqis greeting their troops with flowers.

It's just a joke though. In reality there is virtually no Ukrainian forces in city of Kharkov. They don't have the manpower. Ukrainian regime managed to fortify Perekop and the perimeter of the people's republics, but the rest of Ukraine-Russia border remains completely undefended.

Are you living in 2014? Russian nationalists always like to think of Ukraine as if it is 2014-2015. It is comforting for them.

Ukraine currently has 200,000-250,000 active troops. About 60,000 of them are around Donbas.

Here is a map of various positions in 2017:

Kharkiv does appear to be lightly defended, though not undefended (it has a motorized infantry brigade and a lot of air defenses). The map does not include national guard units such as Azov, however, which would add a few thousand troops to Kharkiv's defense.

It looks like rather than stationing their military in forward positions vs. a possible Russian attack, Ukraine, has put lot of troops in Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, Kiev and Odessa.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 5:34 pm GMT
@AP

Ukrainian military has 200,000 -- 250,000 active members and about 100,000 reserves. Where did you get your information? The end of 2014?

I read Kassad blog, and he says Ukrainian formations assembled in Donbass number some 50-70 thousands men. The entire Ukrainian army is around 200.000 men, including the navy (LOL), the airforce, but most of it isn't combat ready. Ukraine doesn't just suffer from a lack of manpower, they don't have the resources to feed and clothe their soldiers, which limits their ability field an army.

By contrast the armies of people's republics have 40-60 thousand men -- that's impressive level of mobilisation, and they achieved this without implementing draft.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 5:54 pm GMT
@AP So your idea is equivalent to American fantasies of Iraqis greeting their troops with flowers.

The local populations in Iraq were congenial to begin with, at least outside some Sunni centers. It was never an object of American policy to stay in Iraq indefinitely.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 5:55 pm GMT
@AP

Kharkiv does appear to be lightly defended, though not undefended (it has a motorized infantry brigade and a lot of air defenses).

How many people does this "motorized infantry brigade" have? And more importantly what is its level of combat readiness? Couldn't we just smash this brigade with a termobaric bomb while they are sleeping?

Ukraine is full of shit. They had 20.000 troops in Crimea, "a lot of air defenses" and it didn't make a iota of difference. Somehow you expect me to believe Ukraine has a completely different army now. Why should I? They don't have the resources to afford a better army, so it is logical to assume that Ukrainian army is still crap.

for-the-record , December 19, 2017 at 5:55 pm GMT
@German_reader And while I don't believe Russia or Iran are really serious threats to Europe, it would be foolish to have no credible deterrence.

What "credible deterrence" are you proposing for Germany? As has been clearly demonstrated, the only credible deterrence against a determined foe (of which Germany has none, at least externally) is nuclear. Is this what you are suggesting?

Germany has willingly supported the US (presumably in continuing gratitude for US support during the Cold War), it hasn't been "blackmailed" into this. Austria, on the other hand, has survived for more than 60 years without the US "umbrella" to protect it (and with a military strength rated below that of Angola and Chile), so why couldn't Germany? There is no need whatsoever for Germany to build up its military strength; rather, what Germany (sorely) lacks is the desire (and guts) to act independently of the US.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 6:01 pm GMT
Russian nationalists always like to think of Ukraine as if it is 2014-2015. It is comforting for them.

Betwixt and between all the trash talking, they've forgotten that the last occasion on which one country attempted to conquer an absorb another country with a population anywhere near 30% of its own was during the 2d World War. Didn't work out so well for Germany and Japan.

Andrei Martyanov , Website December 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

What about Metallica or Slayer? The famous 1991 Monsters of Rock in Moscow featured I think Metallica in its prime and Pantera right before they became really big (and heavy).

Metallica primarily and AC/DC. Pantera were more of a bonus. Nowhere near massive popularity of AC/DC and Metallica, who were main attraction. Earlier, in 1988, so called Moscow Peace Festival also saw a collection of heavy and glam metal luminaries such as Motley Crue, Cinderella, Bon Jovi, Scorpions, of course, etc. But, of course, Ozzy was met with a thunder by Luzhniki stadium. The only rock royalty who was allowed to give a first ever concert on Red Square was Sir Paul, with Putin being personally present. Speaks volumes. British rock was always dominant in USSR. In the end, every Soviet boy who was starting to play guitar had to know three chords of the House of the Rising Sun. Russians are also very progressive rock oriented and in 1970s Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant etc. were huge. Soviet underground national anthem was Uriah Heep's masterpiece of July Morning. I believe Bulgaria still has July Morning gatherings every year. All of it was British influence. My generation also grew up with British Glam which for us was a pop-music of the day -- from Sweet to Slade, to T.Rex. And then there was: QUEEN.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT
@for-the-record Austria, on the other hand, has survived for more than 60 years without the US "umbrella" to protect it (and with a military strength rated below that of Angola and Chile), so why couldn't Germany?

Austria hasn't been absorbed by Germany or Italy therefore Germany doesn't have a use for security guarantees or an armed force. Do I render your argument correctly?

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 6:32 pm GMT
@for-the-record

Germany has willingly supported the US

Not completely true, Germany didn't participate in the Iraq war and in the bombing of Libya.
I'm hardly an expert on military matters, but it would seem just common sense to me that a state needs sufficient armed forces to protect its own territory if you don't have that, you risk becoming a passive object whose fate is decided by other powers. Doesn't mean Germany should have a monstrously bloated military budget like the US, just sufficient forces to protect its own territory and that of neighbouring allies (which is what the German army should be for instead of participating in futile counter-insurgency projects in places like Afghanistan). Potential for conflict in Europe is obviously greatest regarding Russia it's still quite low imo, and I want good relations with Russia and disagree vehemently with such insanely provocative ideas as NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, but it would be stupid not to have credible deterrence (whose point it is to prevent hostilities after all). I don't think that's an anti-Russian position, it's just realistic.
Apart from that Germany doesn't probably need much in the way of military capabilities maybe some naval forces for participation in international anti-piracy missions.
Regarding nuclear weapons, that's obviously something Germany can't or shouldn't do on its own (probably wouldn't be tolerated anyway given 20th century history), so it would have to be in some form of common European project. Hard to tell now if something like this could eventually become possible or necessary.

Mr. Hack , December 19, 2017 at 6:46 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Sorry to prickle your little fantasy world once again tovarishch, but according to current CIA statistics Ukraine has 182,000 active personnel, and 1,000,000 reservists! For a complete rundown of Ukraine's military strength, read this and weep:

https://www.globalfirepower.com/country-military-strength-detail.asp?country_id=ukraine

RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 6:47 pm GMT
@Art Deco "Clouseau He killed two customers, a Cossack, and a WAITER!!"
Sean , December 19, 2017 at 6:47 pm GMT
@Art Deco A lot of what used to be manufacturing, such as engineering design, is now put under the category of services. Manufacturing companies want to be listed as engaged in services because manufacturing is perceived as not profitable. Britain is alone among comparable countries in having lost significant amounts of productive capacity.
RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 6:48 pm GMT
@Art Deco You have exquisite taste in movies, sir. Something we can agree on.
Johann Ricke , December 19, 2017 at 7:06 pm GMT
@Anon

K: "You know, you're a bright man. If you were an American I'd have you in my cabinet."
B: "No, Mr. President; if I were an American you would be in my cabinet."

The thing about many of these corrupt, worthless and incompetent Third World leaders is they're not lacking in self-esteem. Just ask Karzai. Or Maliki.

Sean , December 19, 2017 at 7:13 pm GMT
@Art Deco The potential power of China is an order of magnitude greater than Japan. After WW2 Japan, and to a lesser extent Germany, were too small to be a threat. Don't you believe all that Robert Kagan 'the US solved the problems that caused WW1 and 2′ stuff. China is a real hegemon in the making and they will take a run at it, unless they are contained by military pressure on their borders.

Modern Japan is more like Singapore than China. China has economies of scale, they have a single integrated factory complex making laptops with has more workers than the British army. China will have a huge home market, like America. So by the time it dawns on America that China's growing power must be checked, economic measures will be ineffective.

for-the-record , December 19, 2017 at 7:42 pm GMT
@Art Deco Austria hasn't been absorbed by Germany or Italy therefore Germany doesn't have a use for security guarantees or an armed force. Do I render your argument correctly?

That's about right, yes. Except I didn't say that Germany should have no military capability, only that there is no sense in increasing current military expenditure. A military capability can be useful for dealing with emergencies, such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

Anonymous , Disclaimer December 19, 2017 at 7:45 pm GMT
@Anon t. le 56% face.

America's national IQ will be below 90 in a few decades so I really doubt that.

inertial , December 19, 2017 at 8:18 pm GMT
@Art Deco They've had ample opportunity over a period of 26 years to make the decision you favor. It hasn't happened, and there's no reason to fancy they'll be more amenable a decade from now.

Yes, these people had been sold a vision. If only they leave behind the backward, Asiatic, mongoloid Russia, they will instantly Join Europe. They will have all of the good stuff: European level of prosperity, rule of law, international approval, and so on; and none of the bad stuff that they associated with Russia, like poverty, corruption, and civil strife.

Official Ukrainian propaganda worked overtime, and still works today, to hammer this into people's heads. And it's an attractive vision. An office dweller in Kiev wants to live in a shiny European capital, not in a bleak provincial city of a corrupt Asian empire. The problem is, it's ain't working. For a while Ukraine managed to get Russia to subsidize Ukrainian European dream. Now this is over. The vision is starting to fail even harder.

The experience of Communism shows that it may take decades but eventually people notice that the state ideology is a lie. Once they do, they change their mind about things rather quickly.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 8:20 pm GMT
@Sean Manufacturing companies want to be listed as engaged in services because manufacturing is perceived as not profitable.

Inventive parry. Not buying.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 8:23 pm GMT
@Sean Modern Japan is more like Singapore than China.

There are 120 million people living in Japan, settlements of every size, and agricultural land sufficient for Japan to supply demand for rice from domestic production. So, no.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 8:24 pm GMT
@for-the-record That's about right, yes.

You said that, not me.

Swedish Family , December 19, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

It goes without saying that Putin doesn't share my nationalist approach to Ukraine problem: he does not see the destruction of Ukrainian project as necessary or even desirable.

Agreed, and he happens to be in the right here. Russia actually has a good hand in Ukraine, if only she keeps her cool . More military adventurism is foolish for at least three reasons:

(1) All the civilian deaths in the Donbass, somewhat perversely, play to Russia's advantage in that they take some of the sting out of the "Ukraine is the victim" narrative. Common people know full well that the Ukrainian troops are hated in the Donbass (I once watched a Ukrainian soldier shock the audience by saying this on Shuster Live), and they know also that Kiev has a blame in all those dead women and children. These are promising conditions for future reconciliation, and they would be squandered overnight if Russian troops moved further westward.

(2) The geopolitical repercussions would be enormous. As I and others have already written, the present situation is just about what people in elite Western circles can stomach. Any Russian escalation would seriously jeopardize European trade with Russia, among other things.

(3) There is a good chance that Crimea will eventually be internationally recognized as part of the RF (a British parliamentary report on this matter in 2015, I think it was, made this quite clear). The same might also be true of the Donbass. These "acquisitions," too, would be jeopardized by more military action.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 8:29 pm GMT
@inertial 1. You fancy they're bamboozled and you're not. Cute.

2. You also fancy your interlocutors are economic illiterates and that they'll buy into the notion that the solution to the Ukraine's economic problems is to be forcibly incorporated into Russia. Such a change in political boundaries addresses no economic problems.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT
@Swedish Family (1) All the civilian deaths in the Donbass, somewhat perversely, play to Russia's advantage in that they take some of the sting out of the "Ukraine is the victim" narrative.

You mean Putin mercs kill more Ukrainian civilians and we 'take some of the sting out of the 'Ukraine is a victim narrative'? Sounds like a plan.

There is a good chance that Crimea will eventually be internationally recognized as part of the RF (a British parliamentary report on this matter in 2015, I think it was, made this quite clear). The same might also be true of the Donbass. T

Did you cc the folks in Ramallah and Jerusalem about that?

RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT
@for-the-record That is terribly naïve.

I've been all over the comment boards calling for my country (the USA) to take a less belligerent, more honest, friendlier approach to Russia, and I've largely taken the side of Russia in the Ukraine and Syria controversies.

I also don't think Russia has any current designs on the territory of its western neighbors, or the desire for the dire consequences that would likely follow as the US and others react to such a move.

But that doesn't mean that it's prudent for Germany (or any other smaller, less populous country near Russia) to simply trust that Russia will never use military force against them in the future.

Nor should Germany assume that China will not ultimately find it worthwhile to take their territory or resources for its own massive, overcrowded, ambitious population.

Germany's military forces are grossly inadequate. Same for France. Same for the UK. None of them should purport to predict well into the future that Russia, China, and others (Turkey) will never be both willing and able to invade them. Nor should Germany et al. assume that the USA will always be in a position to jump in to defend Europeans in the absence of serious European militaries.

In fact, the western Europeans' glaring military weakness (and their obvious loss of the will to defend their people, their land, and their way of life) could serve to encourage physical aggression by, e.g., Turkey or Russia. Betting that you need a military merely "for dealing with emergencies, such as tornadoes and hurricanes" is a potentially fatal bet, with irreversible consequences.

RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 8:36 pm GMT
@for-the-record Yes, Germany would be wise to acquire at least a small nuclear deterrent, just as France and the UK and Israel have.
RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 8:40 pm GMT
@Johann Ricke So the costs of the US invasion/occupation/"reconstruction" of Iraq were (allegedly) less than the costs of the equally unnecessary and non-defensive US wars in Korea and Vietnam? Heck of an argument.

How about this: we should have refrained from all three wars.

We should be using our resources to secure our own borders, to police the international waters and vital shipping lanes / chokepoints (fighting pirates and terrorists as necessary to those ends), and to actually defend our land and our people and deter aggression. That's it.

Randal , December 19, 2017 at 9:16 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter

Germany's military forces are grossly inadequate. Same for France. Same for the UK.

Grossly inadequate for what purpose?

What matters about military strength is its relation to neighbours' and potential enemies' strengths. Germany's military spending currently ranks number nine in the world (using the SIPRI figures per Wikipedia for simplicity ), which when you consider they are located in the middle of one of the safest continents (militarily speaking) in the world, surrounded by allies with whom military conflict is currently pretty much inconceivable, is quite impressive. Above them are only its European allies UK and France, the grossly bloated US and Saudi Arabian budgets, Russia and China, and Japan and India. Apart from South Korea who come next, Germany spends half as much again as the next on the list (Italy).

Germany's military shortcomings can in no plausible degree be attributed to not spending enough, unless you think Germany should be remilitarising for a potential war with Russia. Basically, Germany's military is toothless mostly because nobody in Germany really thinks it matters, nobody expects to be involved in a war, and such spending as it has is mostly purposed to suit a Germany integrated into NATO and the EU rather than an independent state. If there's a problem it's not down to insufficient spending but to how the money is currently spent.

Like you I'm a general believer in having a strong military, and in "si vis pacem, para bellum". But it's hard to see how Germany could really benefit from increased military spending. If they were to feel genuinely threatened, nuclear weapons would make much more sense (along with a radical reorganisation of the current spending and conventional military establishment).

There's a lot of American nonsense talked about European states underspending on their military, but the reality is that the US grossly overspends to serve its own global interventionist purposes. There's no reason why European states should spend to serve those purposes, which is what in reality increased European spending in the current context would be used for.

What we might see in some potential circumstances is increased German (and European in general) military spending in order to give them the confidence to break away from NATO and US control, and build the long trailed "European Defence Force". That looks a lot more likely after Brexit and in the context of the Trump presidency than it did a few years ago, but it's still something of a distant possibility. In that case, though, the increases would be mainly for morale building and transitional spending purposes, given that the combined EU military budget is already second in the world, behind only the ludicrous US.

Talha , December 19, 2017 at 9:34 pm GMT
@Art Deco Hey Art Deco (cool name by the way -- I love that style of architecture -- probably one of the only modern styles I like),

Well, all I can say is he played it smooth enough to fool a heck of a lot of Pakistanis (not saying that's all that difficult).

Peace.

Swedish Family , December 19, 2017 at 9:56 pm GMT
@Art Deco

You mean Putin mercs kill more Ukrainian civilians and we 'take some of the sting out of the 'Ukraine is a victim narrative'? Sounds like a plan.

No, I wrote that those civilians are already gone and that both sides had a hand in their deaths, which will help the peace process since no side can claim sole victimhood.

And your assumption that the separatists are mercenaries is groundless speculation. Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine, and there is no evidence to suggest that they are fighting for the love of money.

Did you cc the folks in Ramallah and Jerusalem about that?

Risible comparison. Theirs is a conflict involving three major religions and the survival of the Israeli state at stake. On the Crimean question, we have already heard influential Westerners voice the possibility that it might one day be accepted as Russian, and if you read between the lines, many Ukrainians are of a similiar mind.

RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 9:57 pm GMT
@Art Deco We're in agreement on all of that, AD.

But the EU isn't merely a threat to self-government anymore. It is now actively and intentionally importing people who kill, rape, mug, beat, grope, harass, stalk, and generally disrespect and intimidate "their own" European people. The EU is an active threat to the lives and physical safety of European people. No people with the barest common sense and will to live will stay in the EU as these recent horrific events continue to unfold.

for-the-record , December 19, 2017 at 10:06 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter Nor should Germany assume that China will not ultimately find it worthwhile to take their territory or resources for its own massive, overcrowded, ambitious population.

This is really a case of misplaced priorities.

Germany is in the process of losing its national identity built up over 2,000 years or so, and it has nothing to do with the Chinese (or the Russians either, for that matter). And China certainly doesn't need its military to successfully export its "massive, overcrowded, ambitious population" overseas (cf. Western Canada, Australia).

Focusing on the (non-existent, in my opinion) need for Germany to increase its current (already high) level of military expenditures will do nothing to preserve Germany as a European nation.

RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 11:36 pm GMT
@for-the-record Take a look at my other comments. You'll see that I wholeheartedly agree with you about the moral sickness, cowardice, misplaced guilty, and terminal naivete of the Germans leading them to surrender their land, their property, their way of life, and their very lives to the Muslim and African savages they are importing.

As a recent book by a German politician put it, "Deutschland schafft sich ab", or "Germany does away with itself."

But what has that to do with Germany also refusing to maintain a serious military defense force to deter potential threats from state actors such as Russia, Turkey, and China? Any nation worth its salt must both secure / guard its orders AND keep a military ready to fight external forces. Germany can and should do both, and right now it's doing neither.

RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 11:41 pm GMT
@for-the-record As for China in particular: of course China is glad to export millions of its people to settle and become citizens in the USA, Canada, Australia, and the rest of the former "West."

They are thereby en route to acquiring real social influence, and ultimately some direct political power, in those places (especially Australia and the provinces of "British" Columbia and Alberta, owing to the very small white populations of those places compared to the immigration onslaught).

I lived part-time in Richmond and Vancouver, BC, and know just how quickly that region is becoming an alien culture -- Chinese more than anything, but also Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh. (Look up the career of crooked "Canadian" former pol and now radio-host Kash Heed, among many other examples.) I would expect that Mandarin will eventually become a co-equal official language of government (and public schools) in BC, with no effective opposition by those ever-"tolerant" Canadians ("We're not like those racist Americans, you know!").

But the people who have emigrated from China thus far are a drop in the bucket. China is still terribly overcrowded and lacks both land and natural resources needed to sustain its population. Actually outright TAKING swathes of Europe or, say, Africa, would help them a lot more than immigration. When the time is right -- say, after the US dollar loses its world reserve status and/or the US is beset by widespread racial conflict and riots -- China may well make its move in that regard. I hope not, and I don't think it will be very soon, but a wise country needs a strong military in the face of China and other threats.

RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 11:45 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter Talha, you agreed with me again? I must be slipping

Merry Christmas, buddy -

Anatoly Karlin , Website December 20, 2017 at 12:19 am GMT
@Felix Keverich Unfortunately, the Ukraine has been spending 5%* of its GDP on the military since c.2015 (versus close to 1% before 2014).

Doesn't really matter if tons of money continues to be stolen, or even the recession -- with that kind of raw increase, a major enhancement in capabilities is inevitable.

As I was already writing in 2016 :

Like it or not, but outright war with Maidanist Ukraine has been ruled out from the beginning, as the more perceptive analysts like Rostislav Ischenko have long recognized. If there was a time and a place for it, it was either in April 2014, or August 2014 at the very latest. Since then, the Ukrainian Army has gotten much stronger. It has been purged of its "Russophile" elements, and even though it has lost a substantial percentage of its remnant Soviet-era military capital in the war of attrition with the LDNR, it has more than made up for it with wartime XP gain and the banal fact of a quintupling in military spending as a percentage of GDP from 1% to 5%. This translates to an effective quadrupling in absolute military spending, even when accounting for Ukraine's post-Maidan economic collapse. Russia can still crush Ukraine in a full-scale conventional conflict, and that will remain the case for the foreseeable future, but it will no longer be the happy cruise to the Dnepr that it would have been two years earlier.

* There's a report that says actual Ukrainian military spending remained rather more modest at 2.5% of GDP ( https://www.osw.waw.pl/sites/default/files/prace_66_ang_best_army_ukraine_net.pdf ); even so, that still translates to huge improvements over 2014.

Anatoly Karlin , Website December 20, 2017 at 12:23 am GMT
@Art Deco How so? Poland and France (together around equal to Germany's population) worked out perfectly for Nazi Germany.

And Japan could have kept China subjugated indefinitely without the American intervention.

Not of course to otherwise entertain your completely false and misleading comparison.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 12:26 am GMT
@Felix Keverich

The entire Ukrainian army is around 200.000 men, including the navy (LOL), the airforce, but most of it isn't combat ready.

250,000. Combat readiness is very different from 2014.

Ukraine doesn't just suffer from a lack of manpower, they don't have the resources to feed and clothe their soldiers, which limits their ability field an army.

Again, it isn't 2014 anymore. Military budget has increased significantly, from 3.2 billion in 2015 to 5.17 billion in 2017. In spite of theft, much more is getting through.

By contrast the armies of people's republics have 40-60 thousand men -- that's impressive level of mobilisation, and they achieved this without implementing draft

It's one of the only ways to make any money in the Republics, so draft is unnecessaary.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 12:35 am GMT
@Swedish Family

Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine, and there is no evidence to suggest that they are fighting for the love of money.

80% are natives. Perhaps as much as 90%. However, often it a way to make a meager salary in those territories, so there is a mercenary aspect to it. Lots of unemployed workers go into the Republic military.

Anatoly Karlin , Website December 20, 2017 at 12:35 am GMT
@Swedish Family

Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine, and there is no evidence to suggest that they are fighting for the love of money.

80% in 2014-15, to be precise; another 10% from the Kuban; 10% from Russia, the Russian world, and the world at large.

NAF salaries are good by post-2014 Donbass standards, but a massive cut for Russians -- no Russian went there to get rich.

That said, I strongly doubt there will ever be international recognition of Crimea, let alone Donbass. Israel has by far the world's most influential ethnic lobby. Even NATO member Turkey hasn't gotten Northern Cyprus internationally recognized, so what exactly are the chances of the international community (read: The West) recognizing the claims of Russia, which is fast becoming established in Western minds as the arch-enemy of civilization?

AP , December 20, 2017 at 12:56 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin Fascinating link. The numbers for the military budget are a lot lower than reported elsewhere.

Mobilization percentages by region:

"Among the leaders of the fourth and fifth wave of partial mobilisation were the Khmelnitsky,
Dnipropetrovsk, Vinnytsia, Kirovohrad and Zaporizhia regions, as well as the city
of Kyiv, whose mobilisation plan was fulfilled 80-100% (the record was Vinnytsia oblast,
which achieved 100% mobilisation). At the opposite extreme are the Kharkiv, Chernivtsi,
Donetsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lugansk, Sumy, Ternopil and Transcarpathian regions, where
the results of the mobilisation varied from 25 to 60%."

Summary:

2014:

The true face of the Ukrainian armed forces was revealed by the Russian annexation of Crimea and the first weeks of the war in the Donbas -- they were nothing more than a fossilised structure, unfit for any effective function upon even a minimum engagement with the enemy, during which a significant part of the troops only realised whom they were representing in the course of the conflict and more than once, from the perspective of service in one of the post-Soviet military districts, they chose to serve in the Russian army

2017:

The war in the Donbas shaped the Ukrainian army. It gave awareness and motivation to the soldiers, and forced the leadership of the Defence Ministry and the government of the state to adapt the army's structure -- for the first time since its creation -- to real operational needs, and also to bear the costs of halting the collapses in the fields of training and equipment, at least to such an extent which would allow the army to fight a close battle with the pro-Russian separatists. Despite all these problems, the Ukrainian armed forces of the year 2017 now number 200,000, most of whom have come under fire, and are seasoned in battle. They have a trained reserve ready for mobilisation in the event of a larger conflict*; their weapons are not the latest or the most modern, but the vast majority of them now work properly; and they are ready for the defence of the vital interests of the state (even if some of the personnel still care primarily about their own vested interests). They have no chance of winning a potential military clash with Russia, but they have a reason to fight. The Ukrainian armed forces of the year 2014, in a situation where their home territory was occupied by foreign troops, were incapable of mounting an adequate response. The changes since the Donbas war started mean that Ukraine now has the best army it has ever had in its history.

* The Ukrainian armed forces have an operational reserve of 130,000 men, relatively well trained and with real combat experience, who since 2016 have been moulded out of veterans of the Donbas (as well as from formations subordinate to the Interior Ministry). It must be stressed, however, that those counted in the reserve represent only half of the veterans of the anti-terrorist operation (by October 2016, 280,000 Ukrainians had served in the Donbas in all formations subordinate to the government in Kyiv, with 266,000 reservists gaining combat status; at the beginning of February 2017, 193,400 reservists were in the armed forces). Thanks to that, at least in terms of the human factor, it should be possible in a relatively short period of time to increase the Ukrainian army's degree of combat readiness, as well as to fight a relatively close battle with a comparable opponent, something the Ukrainian armed forces were not capable of doing at the beginning of 2014.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 1:18 am GMT
@Art Deco I respectfully disagree with you about the Iraq war (one of the few areas on which I disagree with you).

I suppose had the West made a massive investment in Iraq, secured its Christian population, loaded it with US troops, and did to it what was done to Japan, over several decades, transforming it into a prosperous democratic US ally, removing Saddam (who deserves no sympathy) might have been a nice thing. It would have been a massive financial drain but having a "Japan", other than Israel, in the heart of the Middle East might have been worth it (I am not a Middle East expert but it seems the Shah's Persia was sort of being groomed for such a role).

Instead, it ended up being a disaster -- 100,000s dead in sectarian massacres, Christian population nearly destroyed, and other than Kurdish areas, an ally either of Iran or of militant anti-American Sunnis. At the cost, to the USA, of dead Americans, lots of money, and loss of soft power. I also suspect that America being stuck and preoccupied in Middle East conflicts gave room for Russia to act. I guess its a tribute to how strong America is, that it is still doing pretty well in spite of the debacle. A lesser power such as the USSR would have been sunk.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 1:21 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

NAF salaries are good by post-2014 Donbass standards, but a massive cut for Russians -- no Russian went there to get rich.

Which further points to the critical role played by Russians. Many of the local volunteers are participating because doing so offers a salary, which is very important in a wrecked, sanctioned Donbas. The Russian 10%-20% are motivated, often Chechen combat vets. They are more important than their % indicates.

Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 2:00 am GMT
@Art Deco [MORE]
Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 2:08 am GMT
@AP [MORE]
Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 2:30 am GMT
@AP [MORE]
Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 2:33 am GMT
@Gerard2 ..and lets not forget the failure in mobilisation from the Ukrainian military

That and having to hire loads of Georgians, Chechens,Poles and other mercenaries.

Pretty much tallys perfectly with the failed shithole Ukraine government structure full of everyone else .but Ukrainians

Talha , December 20, 2017 at 4:05 am GMT
@RadicalCenter Hey man -- when you're right, you're right -- that one was spot on.

If we can end the nonsense wars, we can at least solve a good chunk of the immigration crisis. It's all related.

Hope your family has a safe holiday and a good New Years.

Peace.

Mr. Hack , December 20, 2017 at 5:02 am GMT
@Gerard2 [MORE]
melanf , December 20, 2017 at 5:16 am GMT
Amazing -- almost any discussion in this section turns to хохлосрач (ukrohitstorm)
neutral , December 20, 2017 at 8:39 am GMT
@melanf What is almost incomprehensible for me in these endless Russia vs Ukraine arguments is how they (yes both sides) always ignore the real issues and instead keep on raising relatively petty points while thinking that mass non white immigration and things like the EU commissioner of immigration stating openly that Europe needs endless immigration, are not important. It's like white South Africans who still debate the Boer war or the Irish debate the northern Ireland question, and are completely oblivious to the fact that these things don't matter anymore if you have an entirely new people ruling your land (ok in South Africa they were not new, but you know what I mean).
ussr andy , December 20, 2017 at 9:52 am GMT
@Swedish Family cool screen name ; )
melanf , December 20, 2017 at 10:54 am GMT
@Swedish Family

Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine

much more than half

Donbass rebels: soldiers of the detachment of "Sparta". Data published by Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine:

https://imgur.com/a/Gh8zx

ussr andy , December 20, 2017 at 10:55 am GMT
@neutral yup, it's positively quaint , doubly so in light of the most-important-graph.gif.
TT , December 20, 2017 at 11:16 am GMT
That's rght, and it happens to the whole world too including those countries destroyed by US and under its sanction. The bombastic propaganda MSM fake news and Hollywood have brainwashed all to harbour delusion that US is a perfect heaven paved with gold, honey and milk, people of high morality and freedom. Wait till they live there to find out reality of DemoNcracy made in USA.
Anatoly Karlin , Website December 20, 2017 at 11:42 am GMT
@melanf I think it's mostly Gerard2. Mr. Hack is fairly hostile but coldly civil. Don't think this compares to Runet xoxlosraches at all (of course I try to cut any such developments in the bud).
TT , December 20, 2017 at 12:05 pm GMT
I have read a article mentioned something like Putin said, to annexed whole Ukraine means to share the enormous resource wealth of vast Russia land with them, which make no economic sense. If Russia is worst than Ukraine, then there won't be million of Ukrainian migrating over after the Maidan coup.

So are all those Baltic states. Russia don't want these countries as it burden, it is probably only interested in selected strategic areas like the Eastern Ukraine industrial belt and military important Crimea warm water deep seaport, and skilled migrants. Ukraine has one of lowest per capital income now, with extreme corrupted politicians controlled by USNato waging foolish civil war killing own people resulting in collapsing economic and exudes of skilled people.

What it got to lose to unify with Russia to have peace, prosperity and been a nation of a great country instead of poor war torn? Plus a bonus of free Russia market access, unlimited cheap natural gas and pipeline toll to tax instead of buying LNG from US at double price.

Sorry this s just my opinion based on mostly fake news we are fed, only the Ukrainian know the best and able to decde themselves.

Randal , December 20, 2017 at 12:59 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

Agreed, and he happens to be in the right here. Russia actually has a good hand in Ukraine, if only she keeps her cool. More military adventurism is foolish for at least three reasons:

Yes, this is my view also. I think Russia was never in a position to do much more than it has, and those who talk about more vigorous military interference are just naïve, or engaging in wishful thinking, about the consequences. I think Putin played a very bad hand as well as could reasonably be expected in Ukraine and Crimea. No doubt mistakes were made, and perhaps more support at the key moment for the separatists (assassinations of some of the key oligarchs who chose the Ukrainian side and employed thugs to suppress the separatists in eastern cities, perhaps) could have resulted in a better situation now with much more of the eastern part of Ukraine separated, but if Russians want someone to blame for the situation in Ukraine apart from their enemies, they should look at Yanukovich, not Putin.

In the long run, it seems likely the appeal of NATO and the EU (assuming both still even exist in their current forms in a few years time) is probably peaking, but strategic patience and only limited covert and economic interference is advisable.

The return of Crimea to Russia alone has been a dramatic improvement in the inherent stability of the region. A proper division of the territory currently forming the Ukraine into a genuine Ukrainian nation in the west and an eastern half returned to Russia would be the ideal long term outcome, but Russia can surely live with a neutralised Ukraine.

Mr. Hack , December 20, 2017 at 1:10 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin If presenting a Ukrainophile point of view at this website is considered to be 'pretty hostile' then so be it. I cannot countenance the slimy way that Gerard2 reponds to AP's comments. He was getting way out of line with his name calling and needed to be put in his place.
Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 1:15 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter But the people who have emigrated from China thus far are a drop in the bucket. China is still terribly overcrowded and lacks both land and natural resources needed to sustain its population.

As we speak, about 8.5% of the value-added in China's economy is attributable to agriculture and about 27% of the workforce is employed in agriculture. Industry and services are not land-intensive activities.

About 1/2 of China's land area consists of arid or alpine climates suitable for only light settlement. As for the rest, China's entire non-agricultural population could be settled at American suburban densities on about 23% of the whole.

You don't need 'natural resources' on site to 'sustain your population'. Imports of oil and minerals will do. As for foodstuffs, China's been a net importer since 2004. However, its food-trade deficit is currently about $35 bn, a single-digit fraction of China's total food consumption.

Felix Keverich , December 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

There's a report that says actual Ukrainian military spending remained rather more modest at 2.5% of GDP ( https://www.osw.waw.pl/sites/default/files/prace_66_ang_best_army_ukraine_net.pdf ); even so, that still translates to huge improvements over 2014.

You realise that Ukraine's GDP declined in dollar terms by a factor of 2-3 times, right? A bigger share of a smaller economy translates into the same paltry sum. It is still under $5 billion.

Futhermore an army that's actively deployed and engaged in fighting spends more money than during peacetime. A lot of this money goes to fuel, repairs, providing for soldiers and their wages rather than qualitatively impoving capabilities of the army.

The bottomline is Ukraine spent the last 3,5 years preparing to fight a war against the People's Republic of Donetsk. I'll admit Ukrainian army can hold its own against the People's Republic of Donetsk. Yet it remains hopelessly outmatched in a potential clash with Russia. A short, but brutal bombing campaign can whipe out Ukrainian command and control, will make it impossible to mount any kind of effective defence. Ukrainian conscripts have no experience in urban warfare, and their national loyalties are unclear.

AP predicts that the cities of Kharkov, Dniepropetrovsk will be reduced to something akin to Aleppo. But it has taken 3 years of constant shelling to cause the damage in Aleppo. A more likely outcome is that Ukrainian soldiers will promptly ditch their uniforms, once they realise the Russian are coming and their command is gone.

Anatoly Karlin , Website December 20, 2017 at 1:32 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Nominal GDP collapsed, but real GDP only fell by around 20%. This matters more, since the vast majority of Ukrainian military spending occurs in grivnas.

By various calculations, Ukrainian military spending went up from 1% of GDP, to 2.5%-5%. Minus 20%, that translates to a doubling to quadrupling.

What it does mean is that they are even less capable of paying for advanced weapons from the West than before, but those were never going to make a cardinal difference anyway.

AP is certainly exaggerating wrt Kharkov looking like Aleppo and I certainly didn't agree with him on that. In reality Russia will still be able to smash the Ukraine, assuming no large-scale American intervention, but it will no longer be the trivial task it would have been in 2014, and will likely involve thousands as opposed to hundreds (or even dozens) of Russian military deaths in the event of an offensive up to the Dnieper.

Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 1:33 pm GMT
@Gerard2 We'd all benefit if you'd sober up and add brevity and humor to your emotional outbursts and trash talk. No need for much verbiage in the absence of substantive information.
Art Deco ,