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NeoMcCartyism as a smoke screen to hide the crisis of neoliberalism

Election of Trump is the sign of crisis of neoliberal ideology and decadence of US elite; warmongering neocon Hillary was the establishment candidate that was rejected by votes and which represented a grave threat to the US national security. War hysteria unleashed is an attempt to put a smoke screen of Hillary fiasco and preserve Democratic Party establishment from purges, as well as a sure way to renew hostile to each other social groups cooperation and patch cracks

A case study of state-fuelled paranoia designed to provide a smoke screen over crisis of neoliberalism in the USA which led to Trump victory. Samuel Johnson saying  "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" can be modified to "McCarthyism is the last refuge of Washington neocon scoundrels"

News Pathological Russophobia of the US elite Recommended Links Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump Steele dossier Fake tale about Smolenkov as "Kremlin spy" who provided info for Steele dossier Marina Butina case as classic neo-McCarthyism witch hunt DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Putin-did-it meme
Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative US and British media are servants of security apparatus Media as a weapon of mass deception MSM as fake news industry Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria in MSM Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections? Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few
Internet research agency story as fiasco of Russiagate Mueller invokes ghosts of GRU operatives to help his and Brennan case The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies How FBI swiped under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal Trump vs. Deep State Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Color revolutions "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship Brennan elections machinations Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy Frustrated underachievers
Conversion of Democratic Party into War Party and Hillary Clinton policy toward Russia History of American False Flag Operations Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism FBI Mayberry Machiavellians PeterStrzok and Strzok-gate Andrew McCabe James Comey role in preventing election of Sanders
Nation under attack meme National Security State Fake news hysteria in US MSM as a method of suppressing dissent against neoliberalism and militarism            
Machiavellism Mayberry Machiavellians Neocons Credibility Scam Doublespeak Leo Straus as the godfather of neocons Demonization of Putin Cold War II Predator state Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Diplomacy by deception Obama: a yet another Neocon Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

Due to the size the introductory article was  moved to NeoMcCartyism an introduction

===Sample ==

Russiagate is McCarthyism-style witch hunt that strives to achieve three main goals:

  1. Block any attempts of rapprochement and detente with Russia and preserve of, better, increase military budget. Detente contradicts that goals (and  wellbeing) of MIC, defense contractors,  and intelligence agencies as well as their lobbyists in Congress and MSM (Chris Hedges: The Demonization of Russia is Driven by Defense Contractors)
  2. Absolve the leadership of Democratic Party of Hillary Clinton fiasco and ensure that there will be no purges of discredited leadership.
  3. To patch cracks in the USA neoliberal society and to renew support of some social groups of Democratic Party. Or at least stem "Demexit"

While there might be better labels, we will call this new Anti-Russian hysteria neo-McCarthyism, because it is pretty diligent replication of "Red Scare" (which BTW lasted a decade)  in which Communist agents are replaced with "Russian agents" who are everywhere.  Marina Butina case is a textbook example here

This new McCarthyism-style campaign against Russia also reflects the depth of the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA.  A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug.

This new McCarthyism-style campaign against Russia also reflects the depth of the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA.  A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug. 

When they start pretending that the growing level of dissent is the work of "foreign enemies", well, this is an important sign of decadence/degeneration of the US elite as well as profound weakness of neoliberal ideology. The latter was discredited in 2008 and since then neoliberalism became a zombie. Bloodthirsty, but still zombie.  Latest counterrevolutions in Argentina and Brazil which brought back neoliberals into power should not hide the fact that the  time for Triumph March of neoliberalism over the globe is over. It is in retreat and is endangered in some countries.  Like Soviet Empire in 70th the US global neoliberal empire experience stress and might soon start to crumble (if oil prices go up above $100 then sooner, rather then later). Trump "might makes right" foreign policy just speed up the inevitable process, at the base of which are "secular stagnation" in the USA due to high oil prices and excesses of financialization, which weakened the country manufacturing base, while the competitors such  as Germany, Japan, and China now completely recovered from the post WWII destruction  and  now represent a real threat to the USA manufacturing having a more modern and more efficient manufacturing base.

Looking at the Integrity Initiative it's clear that UK was the key player in Russiagate, promoting information warfare with Russia at all levels - academia, the media, on down to the subsidized web sites and the individuals who are paid to insert comments on social media. The latter is now regarded in England as an integral part of Intelligence work.  Britain strived to stem Russian influence in Europe and block any possibility of the alliance of Germany and Russia or France and Russia for centuries. So, in a way, nothing changed.

That's why British intelligence services (working with the US intelligence services, which promote the US MIC interests that include creating anti-Russian hysteria) played important role in several recent false flag operations. Such as Steele dossier, Papadopoulos entrapmentNatalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. All of those false flags were designed to poison the US-Russia and EU-Russia relationships and block the possibilities of any detente.  And only as a side effect to entrap Trump.  I suspect Trump was never the primary goal as Mueller was appointed in May 2017, while Trump completely folded in April 2017. So creating the atmosphere of anti-Russian hysteria was probably the primary goal and instigation of Trump only secondary goal

They fully accomplished this goal. The level of anti-Russian hysteria in the USA now reached such height that merely passing the salt to a Russian guest at a dinner party makes you "an unregistered foreign agent" of Russia bent on implementing Putin's evil plans.

At the same time Mueller investigation exposed the MI6 and UK government attempts to manipulate the result of the 2016 US Presidential elections (the fact the Mueller tried to conceal in his disingenuous report).

The pillars of the USA "Deep State" such  as CIA, FBI and the Department of State are interested in enlargement of the military budget. And that requires elevated level of anti-Russian hysteria. Nothing personal, only business. That's why they tried to entrap Trump associates such as Papadopoulos  implicating them with ties to Russia. Simply because the détente with Russia contradicts their interests,  which they are ready to defend tooth and nail.  So any change in the USA foreign policy that threaten their budgets and influence is naturally defined as a treason, which we saw in the rhetoric of Brennan and Clapper (who more intellectually limited, but overambitious and ruthless  representatives of the upper echelons of the US intelligence community)  That's why on Russiagate all neoliberal MSM sing in unison, using intelligence agencies talking points. The  result is almost complete brainwashing which was can observe even among academic blogs such as  Angry Bear.  Relations with Russia are probably now spoiled for a generation or more.

The supporting factor is that ordinary people in the USA (who are busy with their lives and most of which struggle just to survive economically) have no time to decipher all those complex games. Most buy neoliberal MSM coverage uncritically. While neoliberal MSM lie and deceive the US public as if there is a war with Russia. Using all tried and true principles of war propaganda (10 principles of war propaganda):

  1. We don't want war, we are only defending ourselves
  2. The other guy is the sole responsible for this war
  3. Our adversary's leader is evil and looks evil
  4. We are defending a noble purpose, not special interest
  5. The enemy is purposefully causing atrocities; we only commit mistakes
  6. The enemy is using unlawful weapons
  7. We have very little losses, the enemy is losing big
  8. Intellectuals and artists support our cause
  9. Our cause is sacred
  10. Those who doubt our propaganda are traitors.

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[Jan 21, 2020] Wikipedia is fine for non-political info. For political information it is CIApedia

Jan 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

NoOneYouKnow , Jan 21 2020 18:50 utc | 34

Wikipedia is fine for unimportant info. I hope anyone who relies on it for serious subjects reads this: https://medium.com/@helen.buyniski/wikipedia-rotten-to-the-core-dcc435781c45
Also, in the penultimate sentence of Nebenzia's statement, "shelled" should be "shelved."

"talk-embed-stream-container"> hootowl 11 hours ago remove Share link Copy The CIA is funded, populated, and controlled by sociopathic dual-staters and drug cartels. They don't give a damn about Americans or real American interests.

17 so-called "Intelligence Agencies" are an existential threat, a clear and present danger to what remains of our constitutional freedoms and prosperity.

Who the hell can possibly control 17 intelligence agencies run by sociopaths and corrupt politicians (is that redundant)?

hootowl 11 hours ago remove Share link Copy The CIA is funded, populated, and controlled by sociopathic dual-staters and drug cartels. They don't give a damn about Americans or real American interests.

17 so-called "Intelligence Agencies" are an existential threat, a clear and present danger to what remains of our constitutional freedoms and prosperity.

Who the hell can possibly control 17 intelligence agencies run by sociopaths and corrupt politicians (is that redundant)?

/div

[Jan 21, 2020] BBC faces existential threat. In the 21st century, it has nobody left to lie to -- RT Op-ed

Jan 21, 2020 | www.rt.com

George Galloway was a member of the British Parliament for nearly 30 years. He presents TV and radio shows (including on RT). He is a film-maker, writer and a renowned orator.

Whoever replaces outgoing BBC Director General Tony Hall, be sure that establishment interests will be in safe hands. But multiple scandals the broadcaster has been involved in damaged it quite possibly beyond repair.

... ... ...

Corbyn had to be destroyed at almost ANY cost. Their news and current affairs output (and appointments) over the Corbyn era of 2015-2019 was as crude, and crudely effective, as any screaming, screeching Rupert Murdoch tabloid. Perhaps they were worried the ghost of Sir Alasdair Milne would return to haunt them in the form of his son Seumas Milne, Corbyn's director of communications and strategy and right-hand man. The junior Milne – also Winchester and Oxford – is a considerably harder nut to crack than anyone the BBC had ever had to deal with before

[Jan 21, 2020] HBO hires 'king of fake news' Brian Stelter from CNN to produce documentary on the dangers of fake news

Notable quotes:
"... "disinformation and the cost of fake news." ..."
"... "how post-truth culture has become an increasingly dangerous part of the global information environment," ..."
"... To say Stelter's involvement in the documentary attracted mockery online would be an understatement. "This is like Harvey Weinstein doing a documentary on sexual assault," lawyer and journalist Rogan O'Handley wrote. ..."
"... "HBO has hired Brian Stelter to do a documentary on Fake News. That's like hiring Bernie Madoff to teach accounting. Like hiring Michael Moore to host a fashion show. Not to mention [Stelter] is the dullest human ever on television," ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.rt.com

If you were making a documentary on fake news and wanted to get journalists involved behind the scenes, there are a few people you may want to avoid. One of those is CNN host Brian Stelter. The HBO network is rightly being mocked for putting Stelter – the host of a CNN show ironically named 'Reliable Sources' – on the team for an upcoming documentary on fake news.

According to Stelter himself, the documentary will investigate "disinformation and the cost of fake news." The film, for which Stelter was executive producer, will dive into "how post-truth culture has become an increasingly dangerous part of the global information environment," according to WarnerMedia.

HBO just announced something I've been working on for a couple of years: A documentary titled "AFTER TRUTH: DISINFORMATION AND THE COST OF FAKE NEWS." The film will premiere on TV and online this March. Directed by @a_rossi !

-- Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 15, 2020

To say Stelter's involvement in the documentary attracted mockery online would be an understatement. "This is like Harvey Weinstein doing a documentary on sexual assault," lawyer and journalist Rogan O'Handley wrote.

"HBO has hired Brian Stelter to do a documentary on Fake News. That's like hiring Bernie Madoff to teach accounting. Like hiring Michael Moore to host a fashion show. Not to mention [Stelter] is the dullest human ever on television," radio host Mark Simone added.

[Jan 21, 2020] Russian Hackers May Have Interfered With Vote on Church Potluck, Local Man Suspects

Dec 23, 2019 | www.anti-empire.com

Putin “needs to keep his commie hands” off of the sovereign Independent Baptist church’s affairs

According to sources, local man Clarence Williams has urged his church’s lead pastor as well as local law enforcement to move forward with an investigation into Russian hacking, claiming that there was ample evidence to support the theory that malicious foreign agents infiltrated and influenced the outcome of a vote on the date for next month’s potluck at Second Baptist Church.

... ... ...

The Babylon Bee 23 Dec 19 Society 625 0

[Jan 21, 2020] WaPo columnist endorses all twelve candidates

Highly recommended!
Are WaPo and NYT both encouraging their readerships to split the 'Anybody But Bernie' vote six ways from Super Tuesday? Fantastic!
Jan 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Cassiodorus on Mon, 01/20/2020 - 11:44am Alexandra Petri tells us:

In a break from tradition, I am endorsing all 12 Democratic candidates.

Of course, this is a parody of the NYT's endorsement of Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren , trying to encourage the "who cares about policy we want an identity-politics win" vote. Petri's funniest moment is:

One of two things is wrong with America: Either the entire system is broken or is on the verge of breaking, and we need someone to bring about radical, structural change, or -- we don't need that at all! Which is it? Who can say? Certainly not me, and that is why I am telling you now which candidate to vote for.

[Jan 21, 2020] Bernie Sanders Walks Straight Into the Russiagate Trap

Jan 21, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Daniel Lazare January 20, 2020 © Photo: Wikimedia The New York Times caused a mini-commotion last week with a front-page story suggesting that Russian intelligence had hacked a Ukrainian energy firm known as Burisma Holdings in order to get dirt on Joe Biden and help Donald Trump win re-election.

But the article was flimsy even by Russiagate standards, and so certain questions inevitably arise. What was it really about? Who's behind it? Who's the real target?

Here's a quick answer. It was about boosting Joe Biden, and its real target was his chief rival, Bernie Sanders. And poor, inept Bernie walked straight into the trap.

The article was flimsy because rather than saying straight out that Russian intelligence hacked Burisma, the company notorious for hiring Biden's son, Hunter, for $50,000 a month job, reporters Nicole Perlroth and Matthew Rosenberg had to rely on unnamed "security experts" to say it for them. While suggesting that the hackers were looking for dirt, they didn't quite say that as well. Instead, they admitted that "it is not yet clear what the hackers found, or precisely what they were searching for."

So we have no idea what they were up to, if anything at all. But the Times then quoted "experts" to the effect that "the timing and scale of the attacks suggest that the Russians could be searching for potentially embarrassing material on the Bidens – the same kind of information that Mr. Trump wanted from Ukraine when he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma, setting off a chain of events that led to his impeachment." Since Trump and the Russians are seeking the same information, they must be in cahoots, which is what Democrats have been saying from the moment Trump took office. Given the lack of evidence, this was meaningless as well.

But then came the kicker: two full paragraphs in which a Biden campaign spokesman was permitted to expound on the notion that the Russians hacked Burisma because Biden is the candidate that they and Trump fear the most.

"Donald Trump tried to coerce Ukraine into lying about Joe Biden and a major bipartisan, international anti-corruption victory because he recognized that he can't beat the vice president," the spokesman, Andrew Bates, said. "Now we know that Vladimir Putin also sees Joe Biden as a threat. Any American president who had not repeatedly encouraged foreign interventions of this kind would immediately condemn this attack on the sovereignty of our elections."

If Biden is the number-one threat, then Sanders is not, presumably because the Times sees him as soft on Moscow. If so, it means that he could be in for the same neo-McCarthyism that antiwar candidate Tulsi Gabbard encountered last October when Hillary Clinton blasted her as "the favorite of the Russians." Gabbard had the good sense to blast her right back.

"Thank you @Hillary Clinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know – it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine ."

If only Sanders did the same. But instead he put out a statement filled with the usual anti-Russian clichés:

"The 2020 election is likely to be the most consequential election in modern American history, and I am alarmed by new reports that Russia recently hacked into the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the impeachment trial, as well as Russia's plans to once again meddle in our elections and in our democracy. After our intelligence agencies unanimously agreed that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, including with thousands of paid ads on Facebook, the New York Times now reports that Russia likely represents the biggest threat of election meddle in 2020, including through disinformation campaigns, promoting hatred, hacking into voting systems, and by exploiting the political divisions sewn [sic] by Donald Trump ."

And so on for another 250 words. Not only did the statement put him in bed with the intelligence agencies, but it makes him party to the big lie that the Kremlin was responsible for putting Trump over the top in 2016.

Let's get one thing straight. Yes, Russian intelligence may have hacked the Democratic National Committee. But cybersecurity was so lax that others may have been rummaging about as well. (CrowdStrike, the company called in to investigate the hack, says it found not one but two cyber-intruders.) Notwithstanding the Mueller report, all the available evidence indicates that Russia did not then pass along thousands of DNC emails that Wikileaks published in July 2016. (Julian Assange's statement six months later that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party" remains uncontroverted.) Similarly, there's no evidence that the Kremlin had anything to do with the $45,000 worth of Facebook ads purchased by a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency – Robert Mueller's 2018 indictment of the IRA was completely silent on the subject of a Kremlin connection – and no evidence that the ads, which were politically all over the map, had a remotely significant impact on the 2016 election.

All the rest is a classic CIA disinformation campaign aimed at drumming up anti-Russian hysteria and delegitimizing anyone who fails to go along. And now Bernie Sanders is trying to cover his derrière by hopping on board.

It won't work. Sanders will find himself having to take one loyalty oath after another as the anti-Russia campaign flares anew. But it will never be enough, and he'll only wind up looking tired and weak. Voters will opt for the supposedly more formidable Biden, who will end up as a bug splat on the windshield of Donald Trump's speeding election campaign. With impeachment no longer an issue, he'll be free to behave as dictatorially as he wishes as he settles into his second term.

After inveighing against billionaire's wars, he'll find himself ensnared by the same billionaire war machine. The trouble with Sanders is that he thinks he can win by playing by the rules. But he can't because the rules are stacked against him. He'd know that if his outlook was more radical. His problem is not that he's too much of a socialist. Rather, it's that he's not enough.

[Jan 21, 2020] Iran Counters EU Threat Of Snapback Sanctions

Jan 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU1 , Jan 20 2020 19:06 utc | 3

U.S. President Donald Trump wants to destroy the nuclear agreement with Iran. He has threatened the EU-3 poodles in Germany, Britain and France with a 25% tariff on their car exports to the U.S. unless they end their role in the JCPOA deal.

In their usual gutlessness the Europeans gave in to the blackmail. They triggered the Dispute Resolution Mechanism of the deal. The mechanism foresees two 15 day periods of negotiations and a five day decision period after which any of the involved countries can escalate the issues to the UN Security Council. The reference to the UNSC would then lead to an automatic reactivation or "snapback" of those UN sanction against Iran that existed before the nuclear deal was signed.

Iran is now countering the European move. Its Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announced that Iran may leave the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) if any of the European countries escalates the issue to the UNSC:

Zarif said that Iran is following up the late decision by European states to trigger the Dispute Resolution Mechanism in the context of the JCPOA, adding that Tehran officially started the discussion on the mechanism on May 8, 2018 when the US withdrew from the deal.

He underlined that Iran sent three letters dated May 10, August 26 and November 2018 to the then EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, announcing in the latter that Iran had officially triggered and ended the dispute resolution mechanism and thus would begin reducing its commitments to the JCPOA.

However, Iran gave a seven-month opportunity to the European Union before it began reducing its commitments in May 8, 2019 which had operational effects two months later, according to Zarif.

Iran's top diplomat said that the country's five steps in compliance reduction would have no similar follow-ups, but Europeans' measure to refer the case to the United Nations Security Council may be followed by Tehran's decision to leave NPT as stated in President Hassan Rouhani's May 2018 letter to other parties to the deal.

He stressed that all the steps are reversible if the European parties to the JCPOA restore their obligations under the deal.

The Europeans certainly do not want Iran to leave the NPT. But as they are cowards and likely to continue to submit themselves to Trump's blackmail that is what they will end up with. Britain is the most likely country to move the issue to the UNSC as it is in urgent need of a trade deal with the U.S. after leaving the EU. Cooke has piece at Strategic Culture on Wurmser who may be the strategist behind Trump admin moves on Iran. Adds to this piece by b.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/01/20/many-matryoska-dolls-america-way-imagining-iran/
"Well (big surprise), Wurmser has now been at work as the author of how to 'implode' and destroy Iran. And his insight? "A targeted strike on someone like Soleimani"; split the Iranian leadership into warring factions; cut an open wound into the flesh of Iran's domestic legitimacy; put a finger into that open wound, and twist it; disrupt – and pretend that the U.S. sides with the Iranian people, against its government."

Overall, the strategy looks to be aimed at weakening and disrupting Iran and removing its allies in the region from the game before US strikes begin.

The downing of the Uki plane and Trump Pompeo immediately saying they were with the Iranian people would fit very well into this strategy though it is not mentioned by Crooke.


Peter AU1 , Jan 20 2020 19:14 utc | 4

And in Syria, US territory is becoming more defined. US intends to keep control of both Dier Ezzor and Hasakah oilfields along the Iraq border. Iraq Kurdistan is a secure base for the US and as well as being on Iran's border gives access through Hasakah province to the Syrian oilfields.
https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/us-forces-block-syrian-russian-troops-from-access-to-key-highway-photos/
vk , Jan 20 2020 19:17 utc | 5
The Europeans certainly do not want Iran to leave the NPT. But as they are cowards and likely to continue to submit themselves to Trump's blackmail that is what they will end up with. Britain is the most likely country to move the issue to the UNSC as it is in urgent need of a trade deal with the U.S. after leaving the EU.

We shouldn't humanize entire nations when analyzing geopolitics.

The Europeans are simply aware of the objective fact they are de facto occupied countries thanks to the many de facto American bases scattered around Western and Central Europe (Germany being the country with the most American bases in the world). They obey the USA for the simple fact they are occupied by the USA.

That's why some neocarolingians/European nationalists mainly from Germany, France and the Benelux (e.g. Macron, Juncker) avidly defend the creation of an European Army. You don't need to be a geopolitics genius to infer the grave consequences such move would have to the European peoples' welfare.

As long as NATO exists, Western Europe will remain firmly in American hands.

Besides, there's also the ideological factor.

Many Europeans still see today the USA as their "most illustrious child", their continuation as the Western Civilization's center. New York is the new Paris+London. They see themselves as the dwarf countries they really are and rationalize that, ultimately, it is better to live under the hegemony of another Western nation than under the hegemony of the "yellows" (i.e. Chinese) or the "slavics" (i.e. Russia). They really see themselves as a true North Atlantic family, which share the same race and the same cultural values.

These Atlanticists are specially numerous in the UK, which is not surprising, given its geographic location and the fact that it was indeed the country that founded the USA.

Walter , Jan 20 2020 19:17 utc | 6
Of course Iran and what happens in Iraq are joined at the hip...

Professor Maranadi>

"Seyed Mohammad Marandi
@s_m_marandi
·
10m
Many believe an economic crisis lies ahead of the US & the timing of the crash will determine the fate of Trump's re-election bid. However, another threat looms. If the US fails to swiftly comply with Iraqi demands to end the occupation, the resistance will become very violent."

and in Germany?

USA warnen: "Unmittelbar bevorstehender Angriff auf US-Militärs in Deutschland". RT/D

"Pulling back" may suit the Clowns, but agreement requires more than that if there's to be no child.

The Clowns are not contract capable. The only "deal" is for the imperial forces to leave the ME... the only deal is action....Of one sort or another. The clowns imagine a glorious victory over smoking ruins.

Careful what ya' wish fer, fellas...

erik , Jan 20 2020 19:21 utc | 7
Fatwa or not, Iran must have the bomb, for the same reason NoKo had to build it. It's the only way to lance the boil and move on from under the incessant threats from the United States. We won't let up, even if it takes 100 years, and they have to know this. They do have the engineering know how to do it; now they must, but they will have to be discrete and stockpile enough 90% U235, then fiddle around with the details involved in assembling a staged device with enough yield so it's understood by all. I expect this whole process will now move forward.
bjd , Jan 20 2020 19:21 utc | 8
Iran should finally make haste with:
a. developing nukes
b. the asymmetric warfare as we move into election season


tucenz , Jan 20 2020 19:25 utc | 9
So, what does Iran actually gain by leaving the NPT?
Guy THORNTON , Jan 20 2020 19:28 utc | 10
One is reminded of Austria-Hungary's ultimatum to Serbia in 1914: "As the German ambassador to Vienna reported to his government on July 14, the [note] to Serbia is being composed so that the possibility of its being accepted is practically excluded." As Churchill wrote at the time: "it seemed absolutely impossible that any State in the world could accept it, or that any acceptance, however abject, would satisfy the aggressor."

Uncle Sam is fooling nobody.

SteveK9 , Jan 20 2020 19:31 utc | 11
Many people refer to the European countries as 'occupied' (vk) and that is the reason they submit to American policy. I don't believe that is the case. The number of troops is far too small to 'occupy' a country that was resisting an occupation. Those troops were there as a 'trigger' to initiate a conflict with the Soviet Union if it invaded Europe. These days they are just there as some kind of vestigial legacy, and don't really mean anything. The US exercises its control over the EU and elsewhere through its control of international finance and trade. This system benefits the elite of those countries that are part of the 'empire', so has substantial support from influential people inside those countries. Unless and until there is some groundswell of support among the peoples of those countries to change that system, they will continue to be an obedient part of the US empire.

It's not even clear that resistance isn't futile. Those countries that want to maintain independence like Russia, China, Iran, Turkey (?), India (?) also have a strong internal attraction to Western 'culture'. As much as some denigrate that culture as shallow, materialistic, and worthless, it seems to have a very universal attraction around the World, particularly among the young. There are a lot of people everywhere that would like to be a part of a global empire, with a hedonistic Western-style culture. Sad, but true.

Abe , Jan 20 2020 19:32 utc | 12
I tend to agree with comments here saying Iran needs to make bomb.

North Korea proved that truth 100%. No amount of agreements or "guarantees" with usual lying suspects will provide security to Iran - only hard cold nuclear deterrence will.

This time, now, Iran has enough conventional & asymmetrical firepower to deter its enemies long enough for it to develop nukes (few years?).

It already has proven means to deliver warheads, now it needs them.

time2wakeup , Jan 20 2020 19:50 utc | 13
I strongly concur with several other commentators here. Iran should immediately commence enriching uranium to weapons grade levels and assemble at least 10-20 nuclear warheads ASAP if they ever hope to remain an intact, non-US/Israeli dominated country.

The US understands ONLY raw power and who it perceives has it (Israel, North Korea..etc.), and who doesn't (Libya, Syria, Iraq..etc.).

The NPT "Treaty" is nothing more than a cabal of nuclear armed countries attempting to cartel who's allowed to posses a nuclear weapons arsenal and all the rest of the world countries that's ultimately at their mercy.

Cornelius von Hamb , Jan 20 2020 19:59 utc | 14
"So, what does Iran actually gain by leaving the NPT?"

For one thing, it means they won't have to violate that treaty and international law if they decide to take steps that wouldn't be allowed under the NPT terms. It's easy to look at the lawless rogue US regime and forget this, but: some countries actually do try to have some semblance of abiding by and respecting treaties and the rule of law.

Nemesiscalling , Jan 20 2020 20:01 utc | 15
@2 Nemo

I am always taken aback when people compare unsavory characters to members of the primate family. Please do not engage in "zoomorphism." And I am dead fucking serious. Animals do not deserve to be denigrated in such a way. Keep your insults grounded in the human sphere.

lgfocus , Jan 20 2020 20:02 utc | 16
PIERACCINI has a very good article on Strategic Culture on what is happening to The Evil Empires dominance
The End of U.S. Military Dominance: Unintended Consequences Forge a Multipolar World Order
lysias , Jan 20 2020 20:03 utc | 17
The U.S. has already used that tactic of insisting on concessions known to be unacceptable to the other side with the intention of causing war at least twice: to Japan in 1941 and to Yugoslavia before the Kosovo War.
goldhoarder , Jan 20 2020 20:08 utc | 18
Does Iran really need a nuke? They have proven they can hit a US base and Saudi oil infrastructure. It is believed they already have.... or at least have the capability of mining the Strait of Hormuz. If the global financial elite can't get oil out of the gulf... what happens to the global economy? My guess is it would implode. Isn't this the real and only reason the US hasn't bombed Iran back to the stone age yet? They already have deterrence. The US claims about restoring deterrence was just the projection of sociopaths and psychopaths.
tucenz , Jan 20 2020 20:12 utc | 19
re:Cornelius von Hamb | Jan 20 2020 19:59 utc | 14
"For one thing, it means they won't have to violate that treaty and international law if they decide to take steps that wouldn't be allowed under the NPT terms."

Iran says it won't develop nuclear weapons (anti Islamic), so what steps could they possibly be not wanting to rule out?

Virgile , Jan 20 2020 20:17 utc | 20
The state of the JCPOA today bears a lot on Trump's negotiations with North Korea.
Kim Un Jung has be spooked by Bolton comparing North Korea's fate to Libya and by the ease with which US withdrew from the JCPOA. Negotiations have halted.
Trump needs to show that he is serious with deals that he guaranties will be binding the partners more seriously than the flawed JCPOA.
Iran has only one choice: Press Europe to take a stand against the USA, (which will probably not happen) then pull out officially from the JCPOA that has become a liability with no advantages and calls for re-negotiation. Trump will certainly jump in and will try to get the best deal possible by squeezing Iran on its regional role. Yet he can't have too excessive demands as he wants to make a similar deal with North Korea.
Iran could ask for withholding sanctions during negotiations. It could take years to finalize the deal. In the meantime the regional situation could change greatly
That seems to be the only path for Iran.
Laguerre , Jan 20 2020 20:27 utc | 21
According to what is said here, the US is still afraid of attacking Iran, and is going for internal disruption, and sanctions. So what's new? It's been the same policy for forty years. The fact that Trump doesn't like long-term wars, and will only go for a big bang without consequences, is neither here nor there.

Rouhani and his team, including Zarif, seem to me pretty bright, and capable of coping with the politics. Relighting nuclear refinement is essentially a political move.

jared , Jan 20 2020 20:30 utc | 22
Again, find it hard to believe that they are in fact such quisling sycophants to the US.
Suspect they rely on Trump to provide cover for the fact that they (like him) are beholden to higher powers.
winston2 , Jan 20 2020 20:35 utc | 23
The USE of WMDs is haram.
Words mean things B, much as the PC police have twisted their meanings,and even fatwas can be reversed.
The frantic efforts to corral the USSRs nukes were never anything like 100% effective,500+ warheads and tonnes of
plutonium were NEVER accounted for from the KNOWN inventory,who knows what the unknown inventory was ?
Generals of Rocket Forces had to eat,and there were willing buyers for their only wares.
A CIA assessment I was made privy to,the old boys network for an opinion from outside, claimed the Iranians did not have the ability to keep those warheads in working order,which begs a question,how many ?
I told my old schoolmate they were wrong in their assessment, they've had the capability since the Shahs nuclear program.I know Iran very well,worked and lived there ,during the Shah times.

[Jan 20, 2020] NYT Editors Hedge Their Bets, Endorse Warren Klobuchar

Fake news are consistent: Klobuchar and not Tulsi ?
Jan 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

...

in what the paper described as a "significant break with convention", the members of its editorial board have selected not one, but two candidates - both of them women.

Its chosen candidates are: Elizabeth Warren, the Republican-turned-progressive who for years posed as a Native American to game America's system of affirmative action - and Amy Klobuchar, the midwestern senator from the great state of Minneapolis with a reputation for being an unhinged dragon-lady boss.

That the NYT selected the two remaining women among the top tier of contenders is hardly a surprise: This is, after all, the same newspaper that kicked off #MeToo by dropping the first expose about Harvey Weinstein's history of abusing, harassing and assaulting women just days before the New Yorker followed up with the first piece from Ronan Farrow.

...After all, if the editors went ahead with their true No. 1 choice, Klobuchar, a candidate who has very little chance of actually capturing the nomination, they would look foolish.


DeePeePDX , 2 hours ago link

NYT is like that ex you dumped that won't stop trying to get your attention with increasingly desperate and pathetic acts.

Griffin , 2 hours ago link

Warren is a much better candidate than Biden is in my view.

Warren seems to get into trouble sometimes for all kinds of reasons like most people do, but the problems are usually trivial, more silly than dangerous. There is tendency in her to stick to her guns even when she does not know what she is doing.

When i run into something unexpected or something that seems to be something i don't understand, i usually backtrack and look at the problem from some distance to see what happened and why before trying to correct or fix the problem, rather than just doing something.

Its not a perfect plan, but it seems to work most of the time.

https://9gag.com/gag/ap5AO19

Someone Else , 2 hours ago link

The tennis shoe I threw away last week is a better candidate than Biden. So that's not saying much.

TheManj , 3 hours ago link

NYT remains a joke. Their endorsement is straight up virtue-signalling.

Here's some reality: Warren's latest antics have cemented her image as dishonest and high-strung. Knoblocker has no charisma and remains practically unknown.

John Hansen , 3 hours ago link

Why are foreign ownedNew York Times allowed to meddle in the election?

Where is the investigation?

pitz , 4 hours ago link

I've personally sat down and talked with Klobuchar. Not a lot of depth of intelligence in her, that's for sure, easily manipulated by lobbyists. Warren, at least, knows what the problem is, although she might have swallowed the proverbial Democratic party "kool aid".

spam filter , 4 hours ago link

Warren is the deep state establishment pick. If you must vote Dem, pick someone that isn't, or one the establishment seems to work against. Better yet, vote Trump, safe bet on gun rights, freedoms.

SheHunter , 5 hours ago link

Here's the link. It is a gd editorial.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/01/19/opinion/amy-klobuchar-elizabeth-warren-nytimes-endorsement.html

[Jan 20, 2020] Fake Investigations... Designed To Fool by Bryce Buchanan

Highly recommended!
Money quote: "The Deep State and the media appear to believe that we are fooled by these fraudulent investigations. We are not fooled. We are tired of the lies and the arrogance."
Notable quotes:
"... For the Deep State, hiding and destroying evidence of guilt is standard operating procedure. They simply report a "glitch" that destroyed the key evidence and that's the end of it. Or, they simply redact the portions of the record that would expose the truth. To my memory, no one ever suffers any consequences for this. Even now, Director Wray and others are tenaciously withholding evidence. ..."
"... When Anthony Weiner's laptop was found to contain over 340,000 Hillary emails in a file named "insurance", the FBI did not rejoice about finally getting the 'lost' email. No, they hid the discovery for weeks until a New York agent threatened to go public. Then, quite miraculously, Peter Strzok found a way to very quickly examine 340,000 messages and found that there was nothing at all that was incriminating. No rational person would believe that. ..."
"... The dirty cops are so confident in their ability to deceive the public that they just announced that the FISA court reforms will be managed by David Kris. Kris has been a defender of FBI misconduct and he attacked Devin Nunes for telling the truth about the FISA court. They don't even care about the appearance of fairness. They do what they want. ..."
"... Because there was nothing, and because it was known from the start that, " there is no big there, there ", the Mueller Team used several irrelevant legal actions to prolong the belief that they were closing in on Trump. Mueller arranged for their media partner, CNN, to film the early morning swat team raid on 67 year old Roger Stone's home. It was very dramatic and very un-necessary. Also, some small-time Russian troll farms were indicted so that the word "Russia" could fill the news, prolonging the desired myth. One of the indicted firms did not even exist. The others did not appear to favor any one candidate and much of their activity was after the election ..."
"... Mueller led a 40 million dollar investigation looking for a crime. That effort failed at finding any collusion, but it did play a role in the Democrats winning a majority in the House of Representatives. That then enabled another investigation of an imaginary crime for political purposes. A scripted hearsay 'whistleblower' submitted lies that allowed Adam Schiff to continue his own campaign of lies. You know the rest of the story. Trump is being falsely charged for doing what Biden bragged about doing. ..."
Jan 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Bryce Buchanan via The Burning Platform blog,

Many government officials with long entrenched power are unwilling to give up any of that power. In their minds, they have a right to control our lives as they see fit, with complete indifference to our wishes. To avoid rebellion, they need to hide this fact as much as possible. They want the citizens to believe the lie that we are a nation of laws with equal justice under the law. To advance this lie, they have staged many theatrical productions that they call "investigations". They try to give us the impression that they want to expose the facts and punish wrongdoing.

Most of the big 'investigations' in the news in recent years have not been at all what they pretended to be. The sham investigations of Hillary's email, or the Clinton Foundation, or Weiner's laptop, or Uranium One, or Mueller's witch hunt, or Huber's big nothing, or the IG's whitewash, or the Schiff-Pelosi charades, have all been premeditated deceptions.

There are three types of investigations that call for different deceptions by the Deep State.
  1. The first type is the rare honest investigation . Examples would be the attempt to find the truth about Fast and Furious (Obama's gunrunning operation), or the IRS scandal (Obama's weaponizing of government). In response to real investigations, the criminals do two things lie and hide evidence. Key evidence, even if it is under subpoena, just disappears. In the IRS case, Lois Lerner's relevant email and the email of 6 others involved in the scheme was just "lost". The IRS "worked tirelessly" to find the email, but hard drives had been destroyed and back-up drives were missing, so the subpoenaed evidence could not be provided.

    For the Deep State, hiding and destroying evidence of guilt is standard operating procedure. They simply report a "glitch" that destroyed the key evidence and that's the end of it. Or, they simply redact the portions of the record that would expose the truth. To my memory, no one ever suffers any consequences for this. Even now, Director Wray and others are tenaciously withholding evidence.

  2. The second type of 'investigation' is when the Deep State pretends to investigate the Deep State . In these 'investigations' the outcome is known in advance, but the script calls for pretending, sometimes for years, that it an honest investigation is underway.

    There was nothing about the Hillary investigations that had anything to do with finding facts. The purpose from the beginning was exoneration. Key witnesses were given immunity and many were allowed to attend each other's interviews. There were no early morning swat team raids to gather evidence. Evidence was destroyed with no consequences.

    When Anthony Weiner's laptop was found to contain over 340,000 Hillary emails in a file named "insurance", the FBI did not rejoice about finally getting the 'lost' email. No, they hid the discovery for weeks until a New York agent threatened to go public. Then, quite miraculously, Peter Strzok found a way to very quickly examine 340,000 messages and found that there was nothing at all that was incriminating. No rational person would believe that.

    The dirty cops are so comfortable about getting away with lies like this that Huber can announce that he found no corruption, when it is readily apparent that he did not interview key witnesses . He even turned away whistleblowers who wanted to submit evidence. A real investigator, Charles Ortel, could have given Huber a long list of Clinton Foundation crimes . Like the Weiner laptop fake investigation, you don't find crimes if you don't really look for them.

    The dirty cops are so confident in their ability to deceive the public that they just announced that the FISA court reforms will be managed by David Kris. Kris has been a defender of FBI misconduct and he attacked Devin Nunes for telling the truth about the FISA court. They don't even care about the appearance of fairness. They do what they want.

    IG investigations have proven to be flimsy exonerations of Deep State criminality. Any honest observer can see that there was a carefully organized plan by top officials to control the outcome of the Presidential election. This corrupt plan involved lying to the FISA court, illegal surveillance and unmasking of citizens and conspiring with media partners to make sure lies were widely circulated to voters. The government conspirators and the majority of the media were functioning as nothing more than a branch of Hillary's campaign. That's a lot of power aimed at destroying Trump.

    To an IG investigator, this monumental scandal was presented to us as nothing to be very concerned about. Yes, a few minor rules were inadvertently broken and there did appear to be some bias, but there was no reason at all to think that bias effected any actions. If the agencies involved make a training video and set aside a day for a training meeting, then that should satisfy us completely.

  3. The third type of investigation involves investigating an imaginary crime for political reasons . The Mueller investigation and the impeachment investigation are two examples of this. Probably as a justification for illegal surveillance they were already doing, the conspirators pretended that there was powerful evidence that Trump was colluding with Putin to win the election. Lies about this issue propelled the country into 3 years of stories about nothing stories and investigations about something that never happened. Never in the history of nothing has nothing been so thoroughly covered.

    Because there was nothing, and because it was known from the start that, " there is no big there, there ", the Mueller Team used several irrelevant legal actions to prolong the belief that they were closing in on Trump. Mueller arranged for their media partner, CNN, to film the early morning swat team raid on 67 year old Roger Stone's home. It was very dramatic and very un-necessary. Also, some small-time Russian troll farms were indicted so that the word "Russia" could fill the news, prolonging the desired myth. One of the indicted firms did not even exist. The others did not appear to favor any one candidate and much of their activity was after the election .

    Mueller led a 40 million dollar investigation looking for a crime. That effort failed at finding any collusion, but it did play a role in the Democrats winning a majority in the House of Representatives. That then enabled another investigation of an imaginary crime for political purposes. A scripted hearsay 'whistleblower' submitted lies that allowed Adam Schiff to continue his own campaign of lies. You know the rest of the story. Trump is being falsely charged for doing what Biden bragged about doing.

The Deep State and the media appear to believe that we are fooled by these fraudulent investigations. We are not fooled. We are tired of the lies and the arrogance.

We are increasingly angry that there is a double standard of justice in this country. There is a protected class of people who are not prosecuted for their crimes. This needs to end.


insanelysane , 9 minutes ago link

The sheeple are easily led including the opposition sheeple. Two quick examples:

1. In the email scandal, Hillary was guilty, beyond a shadow of a doubt, of violating the FOIA by conducting all State Department business via a personal email She was guilty. Yet her team, listen up sheeple, her team made it about whether or not classified information was transmitted. This is a gray area which could be defended. She knew she was guilty of the FOIA violation because it was the whole reason the server was set up in the first place. Yet she got away with it because everyone focused on the classifications of emails which was a gray area.

2. In the Weiner / Abedin laptop matter, it is and was illegal for any of these emails to be on a personal computer. Again, guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. Yet again everyone focused on what was in the emails and not the fact that just possessing the emails was illegal. So the FBI was able to say nothing new here and let it drop. If another group such as the US Marshals was in charge of this investigation, Weiner / Abedin would have been fully charged with possessing these emails. They would have been pressured to reveal why it was named Insurance and have been asked to cut a deal.

DonGenaro , 10 minutes ago link

Assange rots in jail, and Maxwell walks free, while Trump is busy pleasuring every Zionist in sight

East Indian , 23 minutes ago link

A comment in 'The Gateway Pundit':

"Andy McCabe admits lying to the FBI and nothing happens. The FBI lies to Gen. Flynn and he faces jail time. Justice in Deep State America."

- reader ricocat1

hardmedicine , 38 minutes ago link

his name was Seth Rich!

hoffstetter , 40 minutes ago link

The purpose of show trials is to fool those that don't pay attention. There are millions of US citizens that get their news from their neighbor or a narrow set of information that is disseminated by media that parrot their providers verbatim without challenge. Such people are quite regularly fooled and some vote.

buckboy , 57 minutes ago link

We, the People are free to bitch and moan.

marlin2009 , 1 hour ago link

The double standard justice system in America is appalling and even worse than communists. Americans really don’t have any credit to criticize communist countries. The ruling class is no better than them.

The media and ruling classes have tried decades to brainwashed the mass to believe that the less or even not corrupted.

Deep Snorkeler , 1 hour ago link

Trump's Non-Crimes

Trump University Fraud: Trump paid fine

Trump Taj Mahal Casino Money Laundering: Trump paid fine

Trump Foundation Fraud: Trump paid fine

Trump Campaign Law Violations: pending

Trump Obstruction:

Trump Abuse of Power:

Trump...

Old Hippie Patriot , 1 hour ago link

They could have never pulled off the JFK assassination had the internet existed back in 1963. Time for the Epstein *********** to be posted on the internet. Even the asleep would realize the unimaginable evil that has been controlling this world for millenia.

HANGTHEOWL , 1 hour ago link

I am not sure about that,,we have the net now,,and although there are many of us that pay attention and figure out their crimes and hoax's,,,,they still get away with them,,,,,,NASA still gets 59 million a day to fake the space program,,,

monty42 , 1 hour ago link

Why not? They pulled off 9/11. And what do we have? The same as with the JFK murder. People still arguing over how it was done, and ignoring the obvious, historically established now, of who benefited and why. Grassy knoll, 2nd shooter, or directed energy weapons or explosives, internet or not, still chasing the tail.

HANGTHEOWL , 57 minutes ago link

True, they murdered 3,000 of us on 9-11,,right on TV, using plainly obvious controlled demolitions, and to date they have still gotten away with it...

[Jan 20, 2020] Important clarification about MadCow disease

Jan 15, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

DC_rez , January 16, 2020 at 16:08

Are you insinuating Rachel Maddow is a journalist?

[Jan 20, 2020] The US has turned into such a fake bullshit nation that nothing the people say who run the place can be trusted.

Jan 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

zard , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 6:29 pm GMT

The US has turned into such a fake bullshit nation that nothing the people say who run the place can be trusted. It is totally a Masonic land where money is God and the decent people are exploited and oppressed. Free speech and democracy are only kosher if the issue is something like Pooper-Scooper Enforcement Officer with no real money or power involved, unless of course there is an impressive uniform which goes with the position.

The brainwashed masses are presently transfixed to their TV's watching the theatre of the fake-impeachment pageant unfold, dutifully believing it is all real. All the performers strut about keeping to their carefully-scripted lines. Like the establishment-hatched fake Russia-bashing campaign, it is all theater. With the impeachment drama intended the polarize the entire nation, the people are once-again being caresully herded into their red and blue stalls in ensure nothing really populist, and not controlled by the establishment cabal running things, gets off of the ground. the entire performance will be so carefully choreographed, on a pro and anti Trump basis that it will also ensure that whomever the ruling cabal anoints will be chosen for the top puppet job.

Like in the US midterm elections in 2018, issues involving US foreign policy were mum. In the coming presidential election, Americans will see no real difference in the leading contenders' position regarding foreign affairs, which most Americans in any case now believe should be left to the military and the agencies who know best how to protect and advance their interests. Once again, any real discussion or debate on foreign policy during the coming election campaign will be taboo, and with the careful censorship of the alternate media, and with no real protest from the American people, who in fact become willing accomplices to any further unjust wars and atrocities their so-called "free" nation commits.

Americans are brought up on Hollywood imagery, life-styles and fantasy. The corporate media and entertainment industry is so pervasive that most of the people cannot discern the difference between fantasy and reality, and as result of their constantly-fed addiction, they now demand more and more theatre and even wars to satisfy their cravings. A false-flag attack, 9/11, on their own people coming from their diabolical "owners", results in being no more than a thrilling performance to make life seem more real. If there was any reality to the people they would long ago have arrested the thousands of insider perps involved, (especially deep-state ones in and out of the US), and long ago they would hung everyone of them.

[Jan 20, 2020] Trump s erraticness is a strong signal he fits to a pattern the Russians have used to depict the US: not agreement capable

Jan 14, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

January 14, 2020 at 12:31 pm

I would put it a bit differently. Trump's erraticness is a strong signal he fits to a pattern the Russians have used to depict the US: "not agreement capable". That's what I meant by he selects for weak partners. His negotiating style signals that he is a bad faith actor. Who would put up with that unless you had to, or you could somehow build that into your price?

Yves Smith Post author, January 15, 2020 at 12:16 am

I have no idea who your mythical Russians are. I know two people who did business in Russia before things got stupid and they never had problems with getting paid. Did you also miss that "Russians" have bought so much real estate in London that they mainly don't live in that you could drop a neutron bomb in the better parts of Chelsea and South Kensington and not kill anyone?

Pray tell, how could they acquire high end property if they are such cheats?

Boomka, January 15, 2020 at 6:38 am

somebody was eating too much US propaganda? how about this for starters:

https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/26-years-on-russia-set-to-repay-all-soviet-unions-foreign-debt

"It is politically important: Russia has paid off the USSR's debt to a country that no longer exists," said Mr Yuri Yudenkov, a professor at the Russian University of Economics and Public Administration. "This is very important in terms of reputation: the ability to repay on time, the responsibility," he told AFP.

It would have been very easy for Russia to say it cannot be held responsible for USSR's debts, especially in this case where debt is to a non-existent entity.

drumlin woodchuckles, January 14, 2020 at 7:09 pm

In Syria, the Department of Defense was supporting one group of pet jihadis. The CIA was supporting a different group of pet jihadis.

At times the two groups of pet jihadis were actively fighting each other. I am not sure how the DoD and CIA felt about their respective pet jihadis fighting each other. However they felt, they kept right on arming and supporting their respective groups ...

[Jan 19, 2020] Johnson was probably one of the architects of Skripal fake poisoning and now can't admit that this false flag operation failed

Jan 19, 2020 | www.politico.eu

https://www.politico.eu/article/boris-johnson-vladimir-putin-uk-russia-relations-still-poisoned/

In a statement , No. 10 Downing Street said: "He was clear there had been no change in the U.K.'s position on Salisbury, which was a reckless use of chemical weapons and a brazen attempt to murder innocent people on U.K. soil. He said that such an attack must not be repeated."

There was no immediate statement by the Kremlin, but Putin has rejected the British allegations as baseless and Russian officials repeatedly demanded that U.K. authorities come forward with hard evidence.

In its statement, No. 10 portrayed Johnson as unbudging in his insistence that Russia end its extra-territorial mischief and said he had reiterated the two countries' responsibilities as world powers.

"The Prime Minister said that they both had a responsibility to address issues of international security including Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iran," the statement said. "The Prime Minister said there will be no normalization of our bilateral relationship until Russia ends the destabilizing activity that threatens the U.K. and our allies and undermines the safety of our citizens and our collective security."

Johnson and Putin were in the German capital for an international conference aimed at achieving a cease-fire to end a long-running civil war in Libya.

[Jan 19, 2020] Why Neocons Hate Russia Even More Than They Hate Any Other Nation

Jan 19, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Eric Zuesse July 27, 2018 © Photo: Public domain

Neoconservatism started in 1953 with Henry "Scoop" Jackson, the Democratic Party US Senator from the state of Washington (1953-1983), who became known as a 'defense' hawk, and as "the Senator from Boeing," because Boeing practically owned him. The UK's Henry Jackson Society was founded in 2005 in order to carry forward Senator Jackson's unwavering and passionate endorsement of growing the American empire so that the US-UK alliance will control the entire world (and US weapons-makers will dominate in every market).

Later, during the 1990s, neoconservatism became taken over by the Mossad and the lobbyists for Israel and came to be publicly identified as a 'Jewish' ideology, despite its having -- and having long had -- many champions who were 'anti-communist' or 'pro-democracy' or simply even anti-Russian, but who were neither Jewish nor even focused at all on the Middle East. Republicans Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and John McCain; and the Democrat, CIA Director James Woolsey -- the latter of whom was one of the patrons of Britain's Henry Jackson Society -- were especially prominent neoconservatives, who came to prominence even before neocons became called "neoconservatives." What all neocons have always shared in common has been a visceral hatred of Russians. That comes above anything else -- and even above NATO (the main neocon organization).

During recent decades, neocons have been hating Iranians and more generally Shiites -- such as in Syria and in Lebanon, and now also in Yemen -- and not only hating Russians.

When the Israel lobby during the 1990s and after, pumped massive resources into getting the US Government to invade first Iraq and then Iran, neoconservatism got its name, but the ideology itself did not change. However, there are a few neoconservatives today who are too ignorant to know, in any coherent way, what their own underlying beliefs are, or why, and so who are anti-Russians (that's basic for any neocon) who either don't know or else don't particularly care that Iran and Shia Muslims generally, are allied with Russia. Neoconservatives such as this, are simply confused neocons, people whose underlying ideology is self-contradictory, because they've not carefully thought things through.

An example is Vox's Alex Ward, who built his career as an anti-Russia propagandist , and whose recent ten-point tirade against Russia I then exposed as being false on each one of its ten points , each of those points having been based upon mere allegations by US neocons against Russia without any solid evidence whatsoever. Indictments, and other forms of accusations, are not evidence for anything. But a stupid 'journalist' accepts them as if they were evidence, if those accusations come from 'the right side' -- but not if they come from 'the wrong side'. They don't understand even such a simple distinction as that between an indictment, and a conviction. A conviction is at least a verdict (though maybe based on false 'evidence' and thus false itself), but all that an accusation is an accusation -- and all accusations (in the American legal system) are supposed to be disbelieved, unless and until there is at least a verdict that gives the accusation legal force. (This is called "innocent unless proven guilty.")

Earlier, Mr. Ward had headlined as if he were an anti -neocon, when he posted his "America is fueling the war in Yemen. Congress is finally pushing back." What can account for that seemingly incongruous article?

Mr. Ward is a Democrat -- an heir to Senator Jackson's allegedly anti-communist though actually anti-Russian ideology -- but, since Ward isn't as intelligent as the ideology's founder was, Ward becomes anti -neocon when a Republican-led Administration is doing things (such as Ward there criticizes) that are even more-neocon than today's Democratic Party itself is. In other words: 'journalists' (actually, propagandists) such as he, are more partisan in favor of support of Democratic Party billionaires against Republican Party billionaires, than in support of conquering Russia as opposed to cooperating with Russia (and with all other countries). They're unaware that all American billionaires support expansion of the US empire -- including over Yemen (to bring Yemen in, too -- which invasion Ward incongruously opposes). But politicians (unlike their financial backers) need to pretend not to be so bloodthirsty or so beholden to the military-industrial complex. Thus, an American doesn't need to be intelligent in order to build his or her career in 'journalism', on the basis of having previously served as a propagandist writing for non-profits that are mere fronts for NATO and for Israel, and which are fronts actually for America's weapons-manufacturing firms, who need those wars in order to grow their profits. Such PR for front-organizations for US firms such as Lockheed Martin, is excellent preparation for a successful career in American 'journalism'. If a person is stupid, then it's still necessary to be stupid in the right way, in order to succeed; and Ward is, and does.

This, for example, is how it makes sense that Ward had previously been employed at the War on the Rocks website that organized the Republican neoconservative campaign against Donald Trump during the 2016 Republican primaries : the mega-donors to both US Parties are united in favor of America conquering Russia. And that's why War on the Rocks had organized Republican neocons to oppose Trump: it was done in order to increase the chances for Trump's rabidly anti-Russia and pro-Israel competitors such as Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio to win that nomination instead, which would then have produced the billionaires' dream contest, between Hillary Clinton versus an equally neoconservative Republican nominee. A bipartisan neoconservatism controls both of the American political Parties. A 'journalist' who displays that sort of bipartisanship can't fail in America, no matter how incompetent at real journalism he or she might be. (However, they do have to be literate . Stupid, maybe; but literate, definitely.)

The core of America's form of capitalism has come to be the US aristocracy's bipartisan, liberal and conservative, Democratic and Republican, form of capitalism, which isn't merely fascist (which includes privatizing everything that can be privatized) but which is also imperialist (which means favoring the country's perpetration of invasions and coups in order to expand that nation's empire). The United States is now a globe-spanning empire, controlling not merely the aristocracies in a few banana republics such as Guatemala and Honduras, but also the aristocracies in richer countries such as France, Germany and UK, so as to extract from virtually the entire world -- by means mainly of deception but also sometimes public threats and clearly coercive -- unfair advantages for corporations that are within its borders, and against corporations that are headquartered in foreign countries. America's billionaires -- both the Democratic ones and the Republican ones -- are 100% in favor of America's conquering the world: this ideology is entirely bipartisan, in the United States. Though the billionaires succeeded, during the first Cold War -- the one that was nominally against communism -- at fooling the public to think they were aiming ultimately to conquer communism, George Herbert Walker Bush made clear, on the night of 24 February 1990, privately to the leaders of the US aristocracy's foreign allies, that the actual goal was world-conquest, and so the Cold War would now secretly continue on the US side , even after ending on the USS.R. side. When GHW Bush did that, the heritage of US Senator Jackson became no longer the formerly claimed one, of 'anti-communism', but was, clearly now and henceforth, anti-Russian. And that's what it is today -- not only in the Democratic Party, and not only in the Republican Party, and not only in the United States, but throughout the entire US alliance .

And this is what we are seeing today, in all of the US-and-allied propaganda-media. America is always 'the injured party' against 'the aggressors'; and, so, one after another, such as in Iraq, and in Libya, and in Syria, and in Iran, and in Yemen, and in China, all allies (or even merely friends) of Russia are 'the aggressors' and are 'dictatorships' and are 'threats to America', and only the US side represents 'democracy' . It's actually an aristocracy , which has deeply deceived its public, to think it's a democracy. Just as every aristocracy is based on lies and on coercion, this one is, too -- it is no exception; it's only that this particular empire is on a historically unprecedentedly large scale, dominating all continents. Support that, and you're welcomed into the major (i.e., billionaire-backed) 'news' media in America, and in its allied countries. This is America's 'democracy' . (Of course, an article such as this one is not 'journalism' in America and its allied countries; it's merely "blogging." So, it won't be found there though it's being submitted everywhere. It will be accepted and published at only the honest news-sites. A reader may Web-search the headline here in order to find out which ones those are. Not many 'news'media report the institutionalized corruptness of the 'news'media; they just criticize one-another, in the way that the politicians do, which is bipartisan -- the bipartisan dictatorship. But the rot that's actually throughout the 'news'media, is prohibited to be reported about and published, in and by any of them. It is totally suppressed reality. Only the few honest news-sites will publish this information and its documentation, the links here.)

However, actually, the first time that the term either "neoconservatism" or "neo-conservatism" is known to have been used, was in the British magazine, The Contemporary Review , January 1883, by Henry Dunkley, in his "The Conservative Dilemma" where "neo-conservative" appeared 8 times, and was contrasted to traditional "conservatism" because, whereas the traditional type "Toryism" was pro-aristocratic, anti-democratic, and overtly elitist; the new type was pro-democratic, anti-aristocratic, and overtly populist (which no form of conservatism honestly is -- they're all elitist): "What is this new creed of yours? That there must be no class influence in politics? That any half-dozen hinds on my estate are as good as so many dukes? That the will of the people is the supreme political tribunal? That if a majority at the polls bid us abolish the Church and toss the Crown into the gutter we are forthwith to be their most obedient servants?" "No: from whatever point of view we consider the question, it is plain that the attempt to reconstruct the Tory party on a Democratic basis cannot succeed." "The Tories have always been adepts at conservation, but the things they have been most willing to conserve were not our liberties but the restrictions put upon our liberties." "The practical policy of Conservatism would not alter, and could not be altered much, but its pretensions would have to be pitched in a lower key." "Here we seem to get within the smell of soup, the bustle of evening receptions, and the smiles of dowagers. The cares which weigh upon this couple of patriot souls cannot be described as august. It is hardly among such petty anxieties that the upholders of the Empire and the pilots of the State are bred." "The solemn abjuration which is now proposed in the name of Neo-conservatism resembles a charge of dynamite." He viewed neo-conservatives as being let's-pretend populists, whose pretense at being democrats will jeopardize the Empire, not strengthen it. Empire, and its rightness, were so deeply rooted in the rulers' psyche, it went unchallenged. In fact, at that very time, in the 1880s, Sir Cecil Rhodes was busy creating the foundation for the UK-US empire that now controls most of the world .

The modern pro-Israel neoconservatism arose in the 1960s when formerly Marxist Jewish intellectuals in New York City and Washington DC, who were even more anti-communist than anti-nazi, became impassioned with the US empire being extended to the entire world by spreading 'democracy' (and protection of Israel) as if this Israel-protecting empire were a holy crusade not only against the Soviet Union, which was demonized by them, but against Islam, which also was demonized by them (since they were ethnocentric Jews and the people whose land the 'Israelis' had stolen were overwhelmingly Muslims -- and now were very second-class citizens in their own long-ancestral and also birth-land). This was how they distinguished themselves from "paleoconservatism" which wasn't nearly so Messianic, but which was more overtly ethnocentric, though ethnic Christian, instead of ethnic Jewish. The "paleoconservatives" were isolationists, not imperialists. They originated from the opponents of America's entry into WW II against the imperialists of that time, who were the fascists. Those American "isolationists" would have given us a world controlled by Hitler and his Axis allies. All conservatism is absurd, but there are many forms of it, none of which makes intelligent sense.

The roots of neoconservatism are 100% imperialistic, colonialist, supremacist, and blatantly evil. They hate Russia because they still crave to conquer it , and don't know how, short of nuclear annihilation, which would be extremely dangerous, even for themselves. So, they endanger everyone.

[Jan 19, 2020] CNN is Trash

Jan 19, 2020 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

Then CNN turned to a story that it had reported on just prior to the debate, alleging that Sanders had told Senator Elizabeth Warren that he did not believe a woman could be elected U.S. president. The CNN moderator ignored Sanders' assertions that he had a public record going back decades of stating that a woman could be elected president, that he had stayed out of the race in 2015 until Warren decided not to run, and that in fact he had told Warren no such thing. Then came this exchange:
CNN: So Senator Sanders -- Senator Sanders, I do want to be clear here, you're saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election?

SANDERS: That is correct.

CNN: Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?
You don't have to know that you'd be better off with free college and Medicare for All than with yet another war to recognize the bias here.

Many viewers recognized the slant. Many even began to notice the strange double standard in never mentioning the cost of any of the wars, but pounding away on the misleading assertions that healthcare and other human needs cost too much. Here's a question asked by CNN on Tuesday:
" Vice President Biden, does Senator Sanders owe voters a price tag on his health care plan? "

There was even time for this old stand-by bit of name-calling: " Senator Sanders, you call yourself a Democratic Socialist. But more than two-thirds of voters say they are not enthusiastic about voting for a socialist. Doesn't that put your chances of beating Donald Trump at risk? "

So say the people who did so much to elect Donald Trump.
Source, links:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/17/cnn-is-trash/

[Jan 19, 2020] The Little-Known Loophole in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty The National Interest

Jan 19, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

North Korea's cavalier rejection of its NPT membership in 2003 is a prime example , but many saw it as a case not applicable to most member states. However, more recently, Saudi Arabia , and Turkey and Iran (which, after the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, is looking for new ways to upset Washington), have gone so far as ti layout terms under which they would leave the treaty and even obtain nuclear weapons, statements without precedent in the treaty's history.

A number of otherwise respectable member countries, such as South Korea , also have political parties in their legislatures that advocate treaty withdrawal and acquisition of nuclear weapons.

We have to take seriously the possibility that -- without international action to arrest this tendency -- the already frayed bonds that tie countries to the NPT and the pledge not to acquire nuclear weapons may not hold. This would presage a world with many more nuclear states and a vastly increased risk of nuclear use.

Victor Gilinsky is program advisor for the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) in Arlington, Virginia. He served on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan. Henry Sokolski is executive director of NPEC and the author of Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future (second edition 2019). He served as deputy for nonproliferation policy in the office of the U.S. secretary of defense in the Cheney Pentagon.

[Jan 19, 2020] Did Washing played on oil price hike threat to achive Genramny, France and GB compliance

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
Jan 19, 2020 | www.wsws.org

Britain and the EU powers fear Washington's ever-escalating aggression against Iran will spark an all-out war that will redound against their own imperialist interests, even if it doesn't immediately draw in Russia and China. A war would send oil prices soaring, roil the European economy, spark another massive refugee crisis and further radicalize a growing working class counter-offensive.

No doubt Pompeo and others have told the Europeans that if they want to restrain Trump, avert a major conflagration and retain influence in the Middle East, they must rally behind Washington and its maximum pressure campaign.

To these dubious incentives, the Trump administration added a trade war threat, according to a report published yesterday by the Washington Post under the title, "Days before Europeans warned Iran of nuclear deal violations, Trump secretly threatened to impose 25 percent tariff on European autos if they didn't."

[Jan 19, 2020] Iran The EU-three Trigger Dispute Mechanism in Iran Nuclear Deal New Eastern Outlook

Jan 19, 2020 | journal-neo.org

Why, after so many assurances to the contrary, have the three European Iran's Nuclear Deal Partner's – Germany, France, the UK – decided to go after Iran, to follow the US dictate again?

The short answer is because the cowards. They have zero backbone to stand up against the US hegemony, because they are afraid to be sanctioned – as Trump indicated if they were to honor the" Nuclear Deal". Iran is absolutely in their right to progressively increase uranium enrichment, especially since the US dropped out unilaterally, without any specific reasons, other than on Netanyahu's orders – of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also called Iran's Nuclear Deal.

Just a few days ago Ms. Angela Merkel met with President Putin in Moscow, and BOTH pledged in front of a huge press crowd that the Nuclear Deal must stay, must be maintained and validated.

And now, because of Trump's Barbarian threats, trade threats on Europe – an increase of up to 25% import taxes on European cars – and wanting a new deal with Iran, whatever that means, they, the Europeans – the three Nuclear Deal partners, back down. Why not call Trump's bluff? As China did. This Barbarian Kingpin is lashing around his deathbed with tariffs and sanctions, it is only a sign of weakness, a sign of slowly but surely disappearing in the – hopefully – bottomless abyss.

This threesome is a bunch of shameless and hopeless cowards. They have not realized yet that the west, starting with the US empire, is passé. It's a sinking ship. It's high time for Iran to orient herself towards the east. Iran is already a Middle-Eastern key hub for the Chinese Belt and Road initiative (BRI), or the New Silk road. Iran can do without Europe; and the US needs Europe more than vice-versa. But the 'chickens' haven't noticed that yet.

On the behest of Washington, the Trump clown, they, Germany, France and the UK, want to start an official dispute process, bringing Iran back to where it was before the Nuclear Deal, and reinstating all the UN sanctions of before the signature of the deal in July 2015. And this despite the fact that Iran has adhered to their part of the deal by 100%, as several times attested to by the Atomic Energy Commission in Vienna. Can you imagine what these abhorrent Europeans are about to do?

This reminds of how Europe pilfered, robbed and raped Africa and the rest of the now called developing world, for hundreds of years. No ethics, no qualms, just sheer egocentricity and cowardice. The European Barbarians and those on the other side of the Atlantic deserve each other. And they deserve disappearing in the same bottomless pit.

Iran may consider three ideas:

1) Call the European bluff. Let them start the dispute process – and let them drive it all the way to the UN Security Council. Their spineless British Brother in Crime, BoJo, also called the British Prime-Minister, Boris Johnson, will do the job for them, bringing the case "Iran Nuclear Deal – and Sanctions" to the UN Security Council – where it will fail, because Russia and China will not approve the motion.

2) Much more important, Dear Friends in Iran – do not trust the Europeans for even one iota ! – They have proven time and again that they are not trustworthy. They buckle under every time Trump is breaking wind – and

3) Dedollarize your economy even faster – move as far as possible away from the west – join the Eastern economy, that controls at least one third of the world's GDP. You are doing already a lot in this direction – but faster. Join the SCO – the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, comprising half of Mother Earth's population; ditch the dollar and the SWIFT payment system, join instead the Chinese Interbank Payment System (CIPS) – and be free of the sanction-prone western monetary system. Eastern monetary transactions are blocking out western dollar-based sanctions. Already your hydrocarbon trades with China, Russia, India and others are not carried out in US dollars, but in local currencies, Chinese yuans, Russian rubles and Indian rupees.

True – Iran will have to confront Iran-internally the western (NATO) and CIA trained, funded and bought Atlantists, the Fifth Columnists. They are the ones that create constant virulently violent unrest in the cities of Iran; they are trained – and paid for – to bring about Regime Change. That's what Russia and China and Venezuela and Cuba are also confronted with. They, the Fifth Columnists have to be eradicated. It's a challenge, but it should be doable.

Follow the Ayatollah's route. He is on the right track – looking East.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. After working for over 30 years with the World Bank he penned Implosion , an economic thriller, based on his first-hand experience. Exclusively for the online magazine " New Eastern Outlook. "

[Jan 18, 2020] In a way the brainwashed Americans and neoliberal propagandists hatred of Russia is hilarious

Jan 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Wezz Gary Sellars a day ago

"Russiagate is a hoax" Where did I hear that before?

Oh yes, from Trump about 1000 times... strange that even though he said he was innocent he had to keep telling us every time he opened his mouth... it makes me suspicious for some reason. That and the fact that Trump has been caught lying a few times.

Antiphon Wezz a day ago
I usually assess the validity of such claims on something more substantial than OrangeManBad.
Aker Wezz a day ago • edited
Your hatred of Russia is hilarious. Doubly when Amerilards have a history of interference in other country's governments.

America is objectively a more violent country than Russia. It isn't Russia that has ridicously high violent crime scores despite its wealth. Invaded Afghanistan, attacked Iraq, provided aid for Islamists who'd go on to build ISIS.

I don't recall Putin's regime achieving a higher bodycount than America under Bush with Obama. Keep pretending Putin's some villain from childish stories like Harry Potter or Black Panther.

Aker Aker 20 hours ago • edited
https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

America's homicide level is Notably higher than West Europe's and Far Eastern lands like Japan. Russia's is only somewhat higher, and is notably less wealthy.

thelastindependentYankee Aker 6 hours ago
The Gulags were resorts I know.
Aker thelastindependentYankee 4 hours ago
Tell us when you plan to shut down Guantanamo Bay and end your dysfunctional prison system. Also, Murica supported enough regimes.
EliteCommInc. Wezz 21 hours ago
It would be interesting if had as much veracity as a hoax ---

but it lacks even that.

Aker Wezz 20 hours ago
https://www.washingtontimes...

https://www.nytimes.com/200...

Apologize for American interference in other countries' governments.

John Mann Wezz 12 hours ago
A stopped clock is right twice a day. Hey, Saddam Hussein turned out to be telling the truth about WMDs.
Aker Gary Sellars 20 hours ago
It's an attempt to assuage a failed presidential candidate and give a target to blame for how society is. If not Trump himself, then Russia.

[Jan 18, 2020] Washington is certainly it's impossible to make an agreement with it and, if you should think you have done so, it will break it. A dangerous, uncontrollable madman, staggering around blowing everything up

Jan 18, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

For some years Washington, an implacable enemy of Moscow, has been getting less and less predictable. Lavrov and Kerry spend hours locked up negotiating a deal in Syria ; within a week the US military attacks a Syrian Army unit; "by mistake" . Who's in charge? Now with the murder of Soleimani, possibly on a Washington-approved peace mission, Washington has moved to another level of lawlessness and is exploring the next depth as it defies Baghdad's order to get out. A pirate power. The outside problems for Moscow aren't getting smaller, are they? Washington is certainly недоговороспособны – it's impossible to make an agreement with it and, if you should think you have done so, it will break it. A dangerous, uncontrollable madman, staggering around blowing everything up – is any foreign leader now to be assumed to be on Washington's murder list? Surviving its decay is a big job indeed. The problems are getting bigger in the Final Days of the Imperium Americanum.

[Jan 18, 2020] Putin plants to prohibit dual citizens to serve in government

Highly recommended!
Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Peripatetic Commenter , says: Show Comment January 17, 2020 at 9:43 pm GMT

I don't think it will be long before we see Congress in the US calling for invasion of Russia on the grounds of a lack of diversity, lack of respect for LGBTP and so forth.

[Jan 16, 2020] TRANSCRIPT Putin's Address to the Federal Assembly

Jan 16, 2020 | off-guardian.org

This is about fight with fifth column... The time for those changes is long overdue.

I truly believe that it is time to introduce certain changes to our country's main law, changes that will directly guarantee the priority of the Russian Constitution in our legal framework.

What does it mean? It means literally the following: requirements of international law and treaties as well as decisions of international bodies can be valid on the Russian territory only to the point that they do not restrict the rights and freedoms of our people and citizens and do not contradict our Constitution.

Second, I suggest formalising at the constitutional level the obligatory requirements for those who hold positions of critical significance for national security and sovereignty. More precisely, the heads of the constituent entities, members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies, the prime minister and his/her deputies, federal ministers, heads of federal agencies and judges should have no foreign citizenship or residence permit or any other document that allows them to live permanently in a foreign state.

The goal and mission of state service is to serve the people, and those who enter this path must know that by doing this they inseparably connect their lives with Russia and the Russian people without any assumptions and allowances.

Requirements must be even stricter for presidential candidates. I suggest formalising a requirement under which presidential candidates must have had permanent residence in Russia for at least 25 years and no foreign citizenship or residence permit and not only during the election campaign but at any time before it too.

I know that people are discussing the constitutional provision under which one person cannot hold the post of the President of the Russian Federation for two successive terms. I do not regard this as a matter of principle, but I nevertheless support and share this view.

I have already said before that our goal is to ensure high living standards and equal opportunities for all throughout the country. It is towards this goal that our national projects and development plans are aimed.


Stephen Morrell ,

Putin clearly is the most informed and visionary bourgeois politician in the world today, by a country mile. He not only is attempting to address the very real real social, demographic and economic needs of Russia, in his usual comprehensive manner, but also and cannily is co-opting many of the expectations that the USSR used to fulfil, attempting to neutralise any socialist political sentiments in the Russian population. Putin is the Bismarck of Russia.

richard le sarc ,

Russia's economic situation, within the global capitalist system, with its large reserves, much in gold, no exposure to the toilet paper of US Treasuries, and substantial local self-sufficiency in agriculture (thank-you sanctions)means that when the Western debt Ponzi Himalaya implodes, the Russians will be pretty much immune to the consequences.

richard le sarc ,

I agree entirely, but Putin has no alternative. Any chink in his armour and the USA will destroy Russia and break it up into fragments as they did in Yugoslavia, the USSR and wish to do in China. I rather think that Putin knows full well how dire is the global ecological situation, but he needs to balance less enlightened forces at home, and the 'Atlanticist' Quislings.

BigB ,

I don't disagree either: but that is not my point. The Atlanticists are waiting in the wings for another four years. Last time I checked: they still command 80% of Russian private property. And were expropriating $25bn pa annum in capital flight which has slowed slightly in the last few years. I read the Saker too. There is a deadlock and uneasy power sharing arrangement internally. But you may have missed the time when the Saker admitted "Putin is a neoliberal"?

It may be difficult to disentangle our vision from the neoliberal-statist-market ontology we are being repressed by but that is what we must do. We cannot expect neoliberal capitalist social inclusivity to save us from ecological catastrophe. Nor can we expect to grow economically into humanism: when exponential growth is what is destroying any lasting chance of a purely sustainable human-emancipatory freedom. Putin may not have a choice: but we do. The neoliberal-statist-market ontology is globally self-determined to produce total failure as its inevitable and only possible outcome. This is known a 'parametric determinism' when we automatically follow a maladaptive 'rational' self-optimising behaviour pattern long after it failed as it did in 2007. There is no recovery possible, and technology only speeds total failure whilst masking the ecological destruction it is accelerating.

States have to think and act in a pre-determined way that is true. But we do not have to think like that. Not if there is to be any alternative or succession of humanity ex-post the neoliberal-statist-market ontology which is morally, ecologically, humanistically and most importantly *actually* bankrupt at this point.

Do we exit a 350 year process of exponentially disproportionate wealth distribution, deliberate maldevelopment and global dehumanisation with all the wealth in the hands of those who benefited from the expropriation? Or do we attempt a redistribution and develop a new, hitherto unknown (and unknowable under capitalist alienation), value set where everyone globally has equal access to resources and a right to life as a birthright?

The decision is not beyond you or I: but it will take the development of the assessment of capitalism on other than its own neoliberal-statist-market ontological terms. No state or state leader can develop humanity on the path of less-is-more it needs to take but the people can. That's all.

richard le sarc ,

Putin is either a believing neo-liberal, in which case he is part of the problem you identify, or he is using it through necessity. I could not agree more with your diagnosis of the omnicidal nature of capitalism, and the inability of so many to visualise the end of capitalism-they more easily can conceive of the end of humanity. In fact I rather think that that is the way in which the ruling parasites intend to save their own bacon, by allowing the ecological Holocaust to cull the 90% of 'useless eaters' that the ruling elites fear and despise, and who they see only as a threat. Their labour is no longer required in an age of automation, robotisation and computerisation, and even their consumption is today superfluous. The ecological Holocaust has passed numerous tipping-points and points of no return, while the IPCC downplays the extremity of our situation, the Right still denies it is even happening, and the public is slowly waking up, too late of course. We've just experienced a fire Holocaust, yet the Pentecostal thug PM, 'Smoko' Morrison, who is surely seeing it all as God's Will and the sign of the coming End Times that his cult so longs for, utterly refuses to reduce CO2 emissions beyond a ludicrous 28% by 2030 from 2005 (base-line creep)levels, 'target', that we will not come close to. And now it is raining, a little, so the Great Austrayan Mediocracy can go back to their slumber. But they'll 'Wake in Fright', again, soon.

Hugh O'Neill ,

"It is very important that they adopt the true values ​​of a large family – that family is love, happiness, the joy of motherhood and fatherhood, that family is a strong bond of several generations, united by respect for the elderly and care for children, giving everyone a sense of confidence, security, and reliability. If the younger generations accept this situation as natural, as a moral and an integral part and reliable background support for their adult life, then we will be able to meet the historical challenge of guaranteeing Russia's development as a large and successful country."

I know very little of Russia alas, but the over-riding impression I take from this speech is President Putin's depth and breadth grasp of detail and concern for every aspect of Russian society – and his frustration that decisions made at federal level do not transform into concrete action at regional levels. The curse of bureaucracy and local fiefdoms jealous of their power and autonomy.

I was fully expecting him to come up a resonating phrase like: "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask instead what you can for your country." For Russia to have (seemingly) escaped the rapacious talons of the vulture capitalists unleashed by the Yeltsin puppet ought to be a lesson for us all.

Finally, in international politics, he remains impeccably diplomatic, restrained and wise. Would that there were more world leaders of such calibre.

Hugh O'Neill ,

Leadership and Learning are indispensable to each other. Looking at the calibre of Presidents since JFK, it seems that all the best candidates were either killed off or scared off. All the Unspeakable can do is kill in answer to any and all problems.

richard le sarc ,

Imagine the money freed if US military expenditure was not 90% graft and inefficiency.

richard le sarc ,

His manifest virtues are precisely why the vermin of the Western ruling elites hate him so psychotically.

[Jan 16, 2020] Americans Beware! Russia Can Hack Your Brain, Make You Believe Joe Biden Unfit For Oval Office by Robert Bridge

[satire]
Jan 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

... ... ...

Courtesy of Bloomberg :

"U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials are assessing whether Russia is trying to undermine Joe Biden in its ongoing disinformation efforts with the former vice president still the front-runner in the race to challenge President Donald Trump, according to two officials familiar with the matter

Part of the inquiry is to determine whether Russia is trying to weaken Biden by promoting controversy over his past involvement in U.S. policy toward Ukraine while his son worked for an energy company there."

So how exactly does Russia, in a scene straight out of A Clockwork Orange, tap into the frontal lobe section of the U.S. electorate and cause them to lose all confidence in their political favorites?

"A signature trait of Russian President Vladimir Putin 'is his ability to convince people of outright falsehoods,' William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said in a statement. 'In America, [the Russians are] using social media and many other tools to inflame social divisions, promote conspiracy theories and sow distrust in our democracy and elections.'"

Yes, somehow those dastardly Russians have outsmarted the brightest and best-paid political strategists in Washington, D.C. by brandishing what amounts to some really persuasive memes over social media, and for just rubles on the dollar. The techies at Wired went so far as to call this epic assault on the fragile American cranium, "meme warfare to divide America." By way of evidence, it cited a very creative meme that screamed, "F*CK THE ELECTIONS," which was intended, as the ironclad argument goes, to cause a number of impressionable Americans to throw up their hands in a fit of collective exasperation and say, 'Ok, that's it. I'm staying at home on Election Day.'

Yes, it's really that easy! Imagine all the money the Russians and their radical new political technologies could have saved guys like casino tycoon, Sheldon Adelson, who showered the Trump campaign with $100 million dollars.

Many of those divisive Russian messages wormed their way onto Facebook, purportedly, where God only knows how many voter brains' turned to maggots and mush just staring at them. Yet one individual who actually recalls seeing one or two of these dangerous memes was Rob Goldman, former Vice President for Advertising on Facebook, who revealed via Twitter, another infected social media platform, some interesting information:

"Most of the coverage of Russian meddling involves their attempt to effect the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election. I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal ."

Clearly, Goldman seems to have been under the sway of some folk Russian brainwashing technique, probably passed down from the time of Rasputin. In any case, Donald Trump himself took great satisfaction from that particular revelation, retweeting it to his millions of minions.

Most of the coverage of Russian meddling involves their attempt to effect the outcome of the 2016 US election. I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal.

-- Rob Goldman (@robjective) February 17, 2018

Incidentally, it may or may not be relevant, but Goldman retired from Facebook in October 2019 after seven years with the company.

Russia, the gift that keeps on giving

Not only have the Democrats been able to use the Russia bogeyman as their excuse for losing the White House in 2016, they are able to summon this distant nuclear power whenever they wish to curb internet freedoms, which is pretty much every day now.

Now, fun-loving memes are under attack and may soon go the way of the DoDo bird ("A small office of Russian trolls could derail 241 years of U.S. political history with a handful of dank memes and an advertising budget that would barely buy you a billboard in Brooklyn," screamed insanely The Guardian ). At the same time, the freedom of speech is getting destroyed by vapid accusations of 'hate speech,' which, unless used to incite violence, is a totally meaningless term used to eliminate any conversation that is undesirable to the elite.

Meanwhile, only the mainstream media these days are permitted to dabble in 'conspiracy theories' even as their own false narratives have contributed to the pulverization of entire nations, as was the case in Iraq, for example, which sustained a full-blown U.S. military invasion in 2003 following debunked claims that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction. That was the mother of all conspiracy theories that was pushed unchallenged by the mainstream media.

So back to Joe Biden.

Do intelligent Americans really need help from Russia to prove that just maybe the former Vice President is mentally and physically unfit to stand for the White House? Probably not. From whispering sweet nothings into the ears of any female within groping distance, to sucking on his wife's fingertips at a political rally, something just doesn't seem altogether right upstairs with Joe Biden. So what is the real story for dragging Russia, once again, into the internal swamp pit known as Washington, D.C.?

The Bloomberg article provides a big hint: "This time around, the narrative about Biden and Ukraine is well-publicized and being advanced by Trump, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and the president's Republican allies in Congress."

And that "narrative" has everything to do with not only the Democrats' frozen impeachment proceedings against the U.S. leader, which promises to have major connections to Ukraine, Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and quite possibly dozens of other top Democrats. In other words, the Democrats understand that pushing ahead with impeachment could be their ultimate downfall.

Although few Americans seem to remember that back in May of 2019, Trump granted U.S. Attorney General William Barr "full and complete authority" to investigate exactly how claims that Trump was 'conspiring with the Kremlin' in the 2016 presidential election had originated, the Democrats certainly have not.

Their bogus 'Russian collusion' claim provided the rationale for a four-year-long 'witch hunt' that began when the Democrats, relying on the flimsy findings contained in the so-called 'Steele dossier, managed to get approval from the FISA court to spy on the Trump campaign. Now, some top-ranking Democrats – never imagining Hillary Clinton would actually lose in 2016 – are understandably nervous as to what Barr and his assistant, federal attorney John Durham will divulge to the public in the coming months.

With so much riding on the line in 2020 , is anyone surprised that Bloomberg, the news affiliate owned and operated by Democratic contender Michael Bloomberg, is now reporting "U.S. officials are warning that Russia's election interference in 2020 could be more brazen than in the 2016 presidential race or the 2018 midterm election."

In other words, the racist ploy used by Democrats to explain their monumental defeat in 2016 did not end with the Mueller Report.

The conspiracy theory, promulgated by a media that is in effect just another branch of the Democratic National Committee, is being primed to explain not only possible criminal charges aimed at top Democrats in the coming months, but how Democrats, like Michael Bloomberg, failed once again to beat the seemingly unstoppable incumbent, Donald Trump. Tags Politics

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[Jan 16, 2020] RUSSIAN RESHUFFLE by Patrick Armstrong - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Jan 16, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

RUSSIAN RESHUFFLE by Patrick Armstrong

(Written on the evening of. So subject to reconsideration/revision/outright denial as we learn more.)

I didn't expect any of it. Neither did anyone else, whatever the so-called experts outgassing on the US Garbage Media may be pretending. I don't know what it all means. Neither does anyone else. (Well Putin & Co do, but they keep their cards close to their chests. As we've just seen.)

What do we know? Putin gave his annual address to the Federal Council ( Rus ) ( Eng ) and started off with how important it was that the birthrate should be raised. Fair enough: he wants more Russians on the planet, the government's programs have ensured that there will be quite a few more but there are still more to come. Many programs planned; some of which will work: after all, not everything works out as we hoped does it? He mentioned how dangerous the world is – especially the MENA – and said at least Russia is pretty secure (as indeed it is except against lunatics addicted to the Book of Revelation .)

Then the constitutional stuff. He believes the Constitution needs a few tweaks. Important officials should really be Russians and not people with a get-out-of-jail-card/alternate-loyalty-card in their vests. Reasonable enough: they should "inseparably connect their lives with Russia and the Russian people without any assumptions and allowances." (Good idea actually. Can we in the West steal the idea? We vote for X but who does he vote for?) Russian law should take precedence over decrees contaminated by the " Rules-Based International Order" (" we make the rules , you follow our orders "). The PM should be named by the Duma. (A pretty big change, actually: let's have more details on the division of labour please. In some countries the head of state is The Boss – USA, Russia (now), France – in others the head of government is The Boss – Germany, Canada, Denmark. There is a serious carve up of powers question here that has to be worked out in detail.) Constitutional changes should be approved in a referendum. The President either should or should not be bound by the no-three-terms-in-a-row-rule (I personally can't figure out what "этим" refers to in "Не считаю, что этот вопрос принципиальный, но согласен с этим. Не считаю, что этот вопрос принципиальный, но согласен с этим." But, no doubt we will soon learn.)

So, a somewhat less presidential republic. Details to be decided. Many details. But I'm confident that it's been worked out and we will learn. Putin & Co have shown us over 20 years that they don't make things up on the fly.

Then we learned that the entire government had resigned – but individuals to stay in place until replaced. Then we learned – a fast few hours indeed! – that Dmitri Medvedev was replaced by somebody that no one (other than Russian tax specialists) had ever heard of: Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin. ( Russian Wiki entry – none in English so far.) Those cheering Medvedev's dismissal (something predicted and hoped for by a sector of Russianologists) had to then swallow this: not tossed out into ignominy and shame, as they wanted, but something else. Putin says that there is a clear distinction between government and presidential concerns; defence and security are clearly in the latter. But Medvedev has always been closely following defence and security issues and it is suitable and appropriate that he continue to do so. So a new position, deputy heard of the security council, will be created for him. So what are we to make of this? Medvedev has been given the boot and a sinecure? Or he's been given a crucial job in the new carve-up of responsibilities?

After all, Russia's problems keep getting bigger but nobody is getting any younger. Especially the problems from outside. For some years Washington, an implacable enemy of Moscow, has been getting less and less predictable. Lavrov and Kerry spend hours locked up negotiating a deal in Syria ; within a week the US military attacks a Syrian Army unit; "by mistake" . Who's in charge? Now with the murder of Soleimani, possibly on a Washington-approved peace mission, Washington has moved to another level of lawlessness and is exploring the next depth as it defies Baghdad's order to get out. A pirate power. The outside problems for Moscow aren't getting smaller, are they? Washington is certainly недоговороспособны – it's impossible to make an agreement with it and, if you should think you have done so, it will break it. A dangerous, uncontrollable madman, staggering around blowing everything up – is any foreign leader now to be assumed to be on Washington's murder list? Surviving its decay is a big job indeed. The problems are getting bigger in the Final Days of the Imperium Americanum.

So, maybe Moscow needs more people on the job.

So are we looking at a new division of labour in Moscow as part of managing the Transition? (To say nothing of the – what's the word? – Thucydides trap ? ). Mishustin looks after the nuts and bolt of Russia's economy and internal management. Medvedev looks after defence and security – something not likely to get smaller while Putin looks after the big picture?

But this is only the first step in The Transition and we will learn more soon.

[Jan 16, 2020] that it isn't America (i.e., America the nation-state, which most Americans still believe they live in) that is militarily occupying much of the planet, making a mockery of international law, bombing and invading other countries, and assassinating heads of state and military officers with complete impunity. Or, rather, sure, it is America but America is not America."

Jan 16, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star

January 14, 2020 at 4:11 pm
"World War III is not going to happen because World War III already happened and the global capitalist empire won. [Where is the "capitalism"?] Take a look at these NATO maps (make sure to explore all the various missions). Then take a look at this Smithsonian map of where the U.S. military is "combating terrorism." And there are plenty of other maps you can google. What you will be looking at is the global capitalist empire. Not the American empire, the global capitalist empire.
If that sounds like a distinction without a difference well, it kind of is, and it kind of isn't. What I mean by that is that it isn't America (i.e., America the nation-state, which most Americans still believe they live in) that is militarily occupying much of the planet, making a mockery of international law, bombing and invading other countries, and assassinating heads of state and military officers with complete impunity. Or, rather, sure, it is America but America is not America."

BINGO!!!!!

https://www.anti-empire.com/ww3-flickers-out-after-terroristy-terrorists-inflict-mass-non-casualties/

[Jan 16, 2020] Does the United States's withdrawal from the JCPOA constitute non-compliance, or not? If so, does their non-compliance constitute breach of contract

Jan 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Joshua , Jan 15 2020 2:39 utc | 115

Does the United States's withdrawal from the JCPOA constitute non-compliance, or not? If so, does their non-compliance constitute breach of contract, or not?

[Jan 16, 2020] The US extorted their own "allies" to get them to betray Iran and destroy their own reputations

Jan 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

b , Jan 15 2020 19:40 utc | 175

woah

WaPo: Days before Europeans warned Iran of nuclear deal violations, Trump secretly threatened to impose 25% tariff on European autos if they didn't

The U.S. effort to coerce European foreign policy through tariffs, a move one European official equated to "extortion," represents a new level of hardball tactics with the United States' oldest allies, underscoring the extraordinary tumult in the transatlantic relationship.
...
U.S. officials conveyed the threat directly to officials in London, Berlin and Paris rather than through their embassies in Washington, said a senior European official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive negotiations.

Kadath , Jan 15 2020 20:05 utc | 179

Yes the US extorted their own "allies" to get them to betray Iran and destroy their own reputations. I must say the one thing i begrudgingly like about Trump is his honest upfront thuggist actions. After the backroom betrayals of Obama bush clinton merkel and the rest its almost refreshingly honest. Also i can think of no quicker way of destroying the US empire than by threatening your own allies the MIC must be desperate to start a new never ending war, although perhaps they should be careful of what they wish for

[Jan 16, 2020] Bulling EU: Trumps calculations were (obviously) right. EU would have never risked a massive economic crisis because of a breakdown in US-EU trade by siding with Iran.

Jan 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

DontBelieveEitherPr. , Jan 15 2020 2:14 utc | 113

Trumps calculations were (obviously) right. EU would have never risked a massive economic crisis because of a breakdown in US-EU trade by siding with Iran.
Sadly, they are doing what every other country would do in this position to protect their own self percieved national interests.

Like China,India and Russia too now more and more totally abiding by sanctions and in case of China winding down oil trade even more.

In this time of lurking economic crisis, US sanctions could cripple Europe from one day to the next. With our countries also being on the edge of social unrest, and mass conflict between elites and people, a massive economic crisis would bring everything tumbling down.

This is the sad reality. Risking the sure economic meltdown to save an already lost Iran deal would trade the social and economic welbeing of their voters for Iran. The deal has been lost ever since Trump annouced his opposition. This is the reality. Triggering a crisis on the back of its own voters without a real chance to save that deal would have been an empty gesture anyway.

Realpolitik.

Good thing is Merkel seems to have had a great day with Putin. EU will silently learn from this and warm ties with Russia. If not for its people, for its business.

The deal was a good idea, but it always was destined to end like this. Iran will go nuclear, and the US and Isreal will have "no alternative" for shooting war. If they dare now.


Peter AU1 , Jan 15 2020 2:30 utc | 114

Paragragh 14 of the UNSC resolution is worth thinking about.

"14. Affirms that the application of the provisions of previous resolutions pursuant to paragraph 12 do not apply with retroactive effect to contracts signed between any party and Iran or Iranian individuals and entities prior to the date of application, provided that the activities contemplated under and execution of such contracts are consistent with the JCPOA, this resolution and the previous resolutions;"

To date, only Russia and China are holding up their ends of the deal. Iran, sticking to the deal is on the losing side as it has no trade with the EU yet it still must stay within the provisions of the deal. I believe there were clauses on what Iran could do if other parties were not upholding their end.
The nuke deal is dead and Iran knows it. Under Paragragh 14, Russia China can sign up to all deals allowed under the resolution and when snapback provisions occur, Iran Russia china can still operate contracts it has signed before sanctions reinstated. This way, Iran gets the benefits of trade and investment with China and Russia that could not have occurred before the nuke deal, but at the same time, Iran will no longer be bound by the deal.
China signed up a huge oil deal with Iran not long back. Russia have also been signing a good number of contracts. None of these will be effected by UNSC sanction.

Overall, the nuke deal was a win for Iran. Pity the US and Euro's have reneged, but still, a win for Iran.

Joshua , Jan 15 2020 2:39 utc | 115
Does the United States's withdrawal from the JCPOA constitute non-compliance, or not? If so, does their non-compliance constitute breach of contract, or not?
karlof1 , Jan 15 2020 2:43 utc | 116
Peter AU 1 @114--

Now Peter, do you really think the Outlaw US Empire or its poodles will abide by contract law in general and the JCPOA contract law specifically?

IMO, the JCPOA's outcome is becoming similar to the outcome of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in that it bought time and showed who's the true aggressor. I recall writing the Eurasians need to behave as if they're at war with the EU-3 and their master--and that includes the Eurasian nations who so far aren't too much affected by the fallout from the JCPOA's failure.

What has me curious is the nature of the talks between Iran and Qatar.

Piotr Berman , Jan 15 2020 3:11 utc | 119 Jackrabbit , Jan 15 2020 3:12 utc | 120
Peter AU1 @114

=
Under Paragragh 14, Russia China can sign up to all deals allowed under the resolution and when snapback provisions occur, Iran Russia china can still operate contracts it has signed before sanctions reinstated.

Not sure about that. Paragraph 14 has this constraining language:

... provided that the activities contemplated under and execution of such contracts are consistent with the JCPOA, this resolution and the previous resolutions.
My reading of this phrase is that he word "and" implies that the contracts must satisfy provisions of ALL of these.

Put another way: When the snap back occurs, then contracts signed are exempt except that they must comply with the provisions that are snapped back (AND) the JCPOA, AND this resolution!?!?

Yes, it seems nonsensical. But how else can one interpret the "and"?

=
Overall, the nuke deal was a win for Iran.

It was a 'win' for both sides.

I've always believed that USA entered into the JCPOA to buy time because Syrian "regime change" was taking longer than expected. I've read many times that neocons and/or neocon sympathizers believed that "Damascus is on the road" to Tehran."

USA-Israel want to fight Iran before it gets a bomb. Iran bought time to prepare for that fight.

!!

snake , Jan 15 2020 3:42 utc | 121
The EU cannot lead in anything - it is a completely owned and operated US tool. It is a big zero in providing humanity any help with the big problem of our time: the 'indispensable and exceptional' supremacist US. by: AriusArmenian @ 15

evilempire @ 74 <= I agree the Iranians probably did not shoot down the 737.. I posted to MOA a link to a presstv article, headlined no missile hit the passenger liner, and the link even said --its official.. within a short few minutes after tha, the pressTV link disappeared and PressTV replaced it with a new story , Iranians admit they had mistakenly shot down the PS752 taking off from Tehran. This suggest either a military coup in Iran, or Iraq double crossed Iran. killed in Iraq by Trump were the leaders of the Shia religious arm (IRCG leaders )

The unusually harsh words and expression in anger by Khomeini, said he would severely punish those 8 persons responsible for the mistake, <= non characteristic of Khomeini , suggesting a trusted friend let him down; the two arms of the Military may be at war with each other and Trump was helping the Iranian Military (eliminate the upper leadership of the Revolutionary guard)? Today's JCOPA by the European powers issue suggest insiders have been at work all weekend. Russia and China silence all fit betrayal. Have the two separate branches of Iran military been at odds with each?
Imagine the White house wiping out Qaseum Soleimani and other IRCG members drawn on false pretense into Iraq.?

here is Bs report on the matter
The Iranian Armed Forces General Staff just admitted (in Farsi, English translation) that its air defenses inadvertently shot down the Ukrainian flight PS 752 shortly after it took off on January 8 in Tehran :

2- In early hours after the missile attack [on US' Ain al-Assad base in Iraq], the military flights of the US' terrorist forces had increased around the country. The Iranian defence units received news of witnessing flying targets moving towards Iran's strategic centres, and then several targets were observed in some [Iranian] radars, which incited further sensitivity at the Air Defence units.
3- Under such sensitive and critical circumstances, the Ukrainian airline's Flight PS752 took off from Imam Khomeini Airport, and when turning around, it approached a sensitive military site of the IRGC, taking the shape and altitude of a hostile target. In such conditions, due to human error and in an unintentional move, the airplane was hit [by the Air Defence], which caused the martyrdom of a number of our compatriots and the deaths of several foreign nationals.

4- The General Staff of the Armed Forces offers condolences and expresses sympathy with the bereaved families of the Iranian and foreign victims, and apologizes for the human error. It also gives full assurances that it will make major revision in the operational procedures of its armed forces in order to make impossible the recurrence of such errors. It will also immediately hand over the culprits to the Judicial Organization of the Armed Forces for prosecution.

The Pentagon had claimed that Iran shot down the airliner but the evidence it presented was flimsy and not sufficient as the U.S. tends to spread disinformation about Iran.

The Associated Press errs when it says that the move was "stoked by the American drone strike on Jan. 3 that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani". The move was stoked five days earlier when the U.S. killed 31 Iraqi security forces near the Syrian border despite the demands by the Iraqi prime minister and president not to do so. It was further stoked when the U.S. assassinated Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes, the deputy commander of the Popular Militia Forces and a national hero in Iraq.b at 19:09 UTC | Comments (150)

The State Department issued a rather aggressive response to Abdul-Mahdi's request:b at 19:09 UTC | Comments (150)
Very interesting post. something is up Thanks.

Mao , Jan 15 2020 3:51 utc | 122
This picture

https://www.moonofalabama.org/images5/europeanpoodles.jpg

in many ways resembles another picture:

https://i.redd.it/ahft7ubghjt31.jpg

Mao , Jan 15 2020 4:19 utc | 124
Posted by: V | Jan 15 2020 4:04 utc | 123

Current Europe is a selling girl of imperialism.

moon , Jan 15 2020 4:58 utc | 125
Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Jan 15 2020 2:14 utc | 113

thanks, yes, the US economic power directly and indirectly via economic laws or extra-territorial sanctions. A company simply cannot make a deal with Iran if it doesn't want to be ruined by US legal means. Sad, but true.

Iranian frozen assets in international accounts are calculated to be worth between $100 billion[1][2] and $120 billion.[3][4] Almost $1.973 billion of Iran's assets are frozen in the United States.[5] According to the Congressional Research Service, in addition to the money locked up in foreign bank accounts, Iran's frozen assets include real estate and other property. The estimated value of Iran's real estate in the U.S. and their accumulated rent is $50 million.[1] Besides the assets frozen in the U.S., some parts of Iran's assets are frozen around the world by the United Nations.[1]

***********

Now I will have to cry myself to sleep. Trump, such a poor man...

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 15 2020 3:11 utc | 119

Yes, I am getting tired of that meme too. The poor helpless king of the world, if only he could do what he wants ... if only he could "drain the swamp"

He promised to abolish the JCPOA, he suggested he would deal with the increase of Iran's power in the region and he promised to restore US and military power to it's old (lost) world domination. A world domination Russia and China would need to deal with too:

He already promised he would abolish JCPOA during his 2016 election campaign. And he promised to not only make both the American economy and military strong again. So America can exert at least as much power as it did under the great Ronald Reagan.

Secondly, we have to rebuild our military and our economy. The Russians and Chinese have rapidly expanded their military capability, but look at what's happened to us. Our nuclear weapons arsenal, our ultimate deterrent, has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal. And it has to happen immediately. Our active duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today. The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during this same period of time. The Air Force is about one-third smaller than 1991. Pilots flying B-52s in combat missions today. These planes are older than virtually everybody in this room.

And what are we doing about this? President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget that in real dollars, cuts nearly 25 percent from what we were spending in 2011. Our military is depleted and we're asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming.

We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. It is the cheapest, single investment we can make. We will develop, build and purchase the best equipment known to mankind. Our military dominance must be unquestioned, and I mean unquestioned, by anybody and everybody.

V , Jan 15 2020 5:02 utc | 126
Mao | Jan 15 2020 4:19 utc | 124
Current Europe is a selling girl of imperialism.

Indeed! The western band of galoots are captives of their white skin color...
Very unbecoming to the rest of the non-white world = majority.
Fortunately, many of us see past our skin colors, whatever that may be...

V , Jan 15 2020 5:15 utc | 127
We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. It is the cheapest, single investment we can make. We will develop, build and purchase the best equipment known to mankind. Our military dominance must be unquestioned, and I mean unquestioned, by anybody and everybody.

Posted by: moon | Jan 15 2020 4:58 utc | 125

Oh, we'll spend the money alright; for more of the inferior, junk, weaponry already in our arsenals.
Planes that can't fly in the rain, aircraft carriers that can't be commisioned, and battle rifles (that's a misnomer; the M-14 was the last U.S. battle rifle) (M-4 & M-16) that are unreliable in intense combat situations. The M-16 should have been replaced during the Viet Nam war...
But there it still is; almost 60 years later...

Lurker of the Dark , Jan 15 2020 5:41 utc | 128
steven t. jonhson @5

Personally I thought the cartoon was pretty good. The artist even thought that the detail of the dogs' ass holes was important enough to include. Notably none of them have any external genitalia, hence "bitches" also being accurate. I bet if we could see the rendition from the other side, Israel's face would be hideous despite the appealing rear view!

Cyrus , Jan 15 2020 6:50 utc | 131
This is a repeat of the EU3 negotiations with Iran that ended with a EU3 deal offered to Iran that experts called "a lot of pretty wrappig around an empty box" because as it turned out, the EU3 had been promising the US that they would not recognize Iran's right to enrichment contrary to what they were telling the Iranians as part of the EU3's effort to drag out Iran's suspension of enrichment.
The result was that Khatami was embarrassed and Ahmadinejad was elected, as Jack Straw said later: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/us-scuppered-deal-with-iran-in-2005-says-then-british-foreign-minister/

So again the Eu is playing the good cop to the US bad cop, and they keep goalposts moving
This has been a consistent pattern going back years.
All along Iran has been making better compromise offers than the JCPOA only to see the goalposts moved because this conflict was never really about nukes just as the invasion of Iraq was not about WMDs, all that is just a pretext for a policy of imposed regime-change.

NOTE That the Obama administration itself said that the JCPOA is "non-binding" funny how Iran is accused of "breaching" or "violating" it yet Trump is only said to have "abandoned" or even "withdrawn" from the deal

Richard , Jan 15 2020 6:50 utc | 132
Sad news. European leaders are pathetic, craven cowards, hostages to the evil American Regime...

https://richardhennerley.com/2020/01/14/welcome-to-the-american-regime/

Australian lady , Jan 15 2020 6:51 utc | 133
"President Rohani represent's the interests of the bourgeoisie in Tehran and Esfahan, merchants oriented toward international trade and hard hit by US sanctions. Sheikh Rohani is a long time friend of the US deep state: he was the first Iranian contact between the Reagan administration and Israel during the Iran-contra affair in 1985. It was he who introduced Hashem Rafsanjani to Oliver North's men, allowing him to buy arms, to become commander-in-chief of the armies and incidentally the richest man in the country, and the president of the Islamic Republic."
Thierry Meyssan. Voltairenet. org.
Wednesday morning, my first read before b's M. O. A. is Thierry. Really folks, it is indespensible. One can support the I. R. I.,but still reserve criticism of the domestic politics of Iran.
Steve , Jan 15 2020 6:56 utc | 134
Outside the West, people don't see any difference between Europe and the USA. So it is known that which ever direction the US takes, Europe will follow. Both the USA and Europe are Israeli colonies. So unless Israel objects whatever the US does would always be the Eurooean policy.
powerandpeople , Jan 15 2020 8:41 utc | 138
Annex B, paragraph 5 allows Iran to purchase weapons from Russia (for example...) after 5 years from signing of the Agreement in 2015.

So 2020 for weapons.

This is why Russia is so insistent the agreement holds together for the 5 years, at least. If it doesn't, due to this action by Germany etc, then they can't sell to Iran as all old sanctions will 'snap back'.

(Other restrictions are lifted on longer time frames, 8 and 10 years. Also, other matters remain open forever until security council agrees the nuclear proliferation issue in Iran is dead and buried.)

V , Jan 15 2020 9:05 utc | 142 Russ , Jan 15 2020 11:08 utc | 143
powerandpeople 138 says:

Annex B, paragraph 5 allows Iran to purchase weapons from Russia (for example...) after 5 years from signing of the Agreement in 2015.

So 2020 for weapons.

This is why Russia is so insistent the agreement holds together for the 5 years, at least. If it doesn't, due to this action by Germany etc, then they can't sell to Iran as all old sanctions will 'snap back'.

There's an example of how appeasement and idiot-legality are way past their expiration date. It's clear the UN itself, like all other existing international bodies, has been fully weaponized with Russia the ultimate target.

In the process of "first they came for Irak, then they came for Libya [with the full consent of Russia and China]...now they're coming for Irak again and for Iran....", well obviously Russia is the one they'll ultimately be coming for.

It really is time to hang together or hang separately. Although Russia should remain cautious about direct military stand-offs, it's definitely way past time to start openly challenging and flouting war-by-sanctions, and to start constructing international bodies alternative to the UN and other imperial weapons.

As for fighting within the UN, someone earlier said Russia and China wouldn't be able to prevent the "snap-back" of UN sanctions on Iran. Why not? I'm not asking for a technical-legalistic answer, but a power-based answer. Self-evidently the "legality" ship has sunk, and anyone who still makes a fetish of it is fighting with one hand tied behind one's back.

I don't say gratuitously flout legality; certainly there's great propaganda value in seeming to adhere to international law in the face of the open lawlessness of the US. But where it comes to critical battles like getting Iran out from under the sanctions, in the process dealing a blow to the alleged impregnability of the sanctions weapon, the most important thing is the real result.

Carciofi , Jan 15 2020 11:14 utc | 144
Trump has in fact done more to ensure that Iran will have a nuclear weapon than any other president through his abrupt withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) and his assassination of Soleimani..

Trump and Congress Double Down on Demonizing Iran

And this is why you'll never see Philip Giraldi on CNN, Fox News, or any other US broadcast network.

Carciofi , Jan 15 2020 11:14 utc | 144
Trump has in fact done more to ensure that Iran will have a nuclear weapon than any other president through his abrupt withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) and his assassination of Soleimani..

Trump and Congress Double Down on Demonizing Iran

And this is why you'll never see Philip Giraldi on CNN, Fox News, or any other US broadcast network.

Peter AU1 , Jan 15 2020 11:23 utc | 145
Russ
Russia and I think China are working towards a multi-polar world order based on international law.
Russia is pushing this vision and to pull other countries in, it has to walk the talk.
PR information warfare play a big part in state decisions. As we have seen from the Uki plane shootdown Euro's beginning the process to trigger snapback, A small anti Iran block sprang to life (UK, Canada, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Sweden) that will be great PR for the US in its anti Iran crusade.
As I put in another comment, everyone likes a winner
Bemildred , Jan 15 2020 13:30 utc | 148
Alistair Crooke:

Reading Sun Tzu in Tehran

I also recommend the short piece by Patrick Armstrong posted by moon up there.

I've been of the opinion from the beginning of this that the main reason Russia & China have not leapt to the aid of Iran is that Iran does not need or want them to, yet at least. Crooke's mention of the attack on the Saudi oil facilities is a connection that needs to be made, that was not a fluke.

But it's a very "asymmetric" situation, as Crooke points out. Interesting times.

Bemildred , Jan 15 2020 13:30 utc | 148 peter mcloughlin , Jan 15 2020 13:50 utc | 149
And each consequence leads to yet another consequence. But world leaders do not recognize where this path is leading humanity. If they did they might be able to stop – or perhaps not. They delude themselves to the real destination of the journey.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/


Formerly T-Bear , Jan 15 2020 13:57 utc | 150
@ V | Jan 15 2020 1:32 utc | 104

Does this new 'Policy of Deterrence' apply only to Iran? Could become interesting if it doesn't. Good example of 'be careful of what you wish for'.

Likklemore , Jan 15 2020 14:07 utc | 153
b wrote

"But those promises [of the EU] were empty"

Indeed they were, and now we know it was just a charade. Triggering the Dispute Resolution Mechanism on basis intel supplied by Bibi is a ruse to replace the JCPOA. Where have we heard this before?
Oh, Iran is less than a year from getting the nuclear bomb.

Iran Rejects 'Trump Deal' Proposed by UK PM Johnson as a Replacement for JCPOA


On Tuesday, Britain, France and Germany launched the 2015 Iran nuclear deal's dispute resolution mechanism, which they said was partly prompted by concerns that Tehran might be less than a year away from developing a nuclear weapon.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has rejected a proposal for a new "Trump deal" to resolve a nuclear spat as a "strange" offer, pointing the finger at the US President over his failure to deliver on promises.


"This Mr. Prime Minister in London, I don't know how he thinks. He says let's put aside the nuclear deal and put the Trump plan in action. If you take the wrong step, it will be to your detriment. Pick the right path. The right path is to return to the nuclear deal", Rouhani said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Trump to replace the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with his own new pact to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The US president responded by tweeting that he agreed with Johnson on a "Trump deal".

Zarif Says 'It Depends on Europe' if JCPOA Remains After Dispute Resolution Mechanism Activation. [.]


wendy davis , Jan 15 2020 14:20 utc | 154
my apologies if anyone's brought this already, but the plot now thickens. a commenter at the site at which i cross-post brought this to my attention on my 'iran makes arrests over accidental downing of Ukrainian airliner'.

it's a tweet leading to new york times coverage of a 'Exclusive: Security camera footage verified by the New York Times confirms that 2 missiles, fired 30 seconds apart from an Iranian military site, hit the Ukrainian plane'

i'd used a free click to pull text, including:

"The new video was uploaded to YouTube by an Iranian user around 2 a.m. on Tuesday.
The date visible on the footage is "2019-10-17," not Jan. 8, the day the plane was downed. We believe this is because the camera system is using a Persian calendar, not a Gregorian one. Jan. 8 converts to the 18th of Dey, the 10th month in the Persian calendar. Digitally that would display as 2019-10-18 in the video. One theory is that the discrepancy of one day can be explained by a difference between Persian and Gregorian leap years or months." "

but it's everywhere already, set in stone, the WSJ news coverage included:

"The video was verified by Storyful, a social-media-intelligence company owned by News Corp, parent of Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones. It raises new questions about how forthcoming Iranian authorities were when, after three days of denial, they admitted they had mistakenly struck the Ukraine International Airlines flight without mentioning a second missile."

https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1217160457385103360

the video obviously bring up a dozen more questions, including what it shows, where, when, etc., but corporate coverage assures us that 'iran has lied about the airliner thrice now: evil iran'.

wait for even more sanctions, more assassinations.

snake , Jan 15 2020 14:26 utc | 155
What bothers me about this entire thread is no one can see either a way to end the suppression every player on the field has been subjected to by the private mobsters. . War whether by WMDs or Sanctions. produces the same, millions will die and nothing will alter the possession of power, and the abuse of the masses, by the few.

The thesis "the nation state system is the structure that allows the mobsters (private bankers, private corporations, and privateers) to control sufficient authority to rule the world". Without strength from deadly force, and authority from engineered consent, ruling the world is difficult.

No one has found a way to pin the maker of wrongdoing chaos button, or convicted criminal button on the private mobsters. As the private mobsters dance, and side step their positions between the 206 or so nation states, they avoid being boxed up, and they install their puppets in every place they land. It is the puppets who deliver to the international arenas the voting power that allow the private mobsters to control conflict outcomes; and puppets in-service-to the private mobsters oversee and manage the regional and local political and economic domains. In such a situation, the law becomes progressively more suppressive; it produces a hierarchy of relative power and the hierarchy allows to order the nation states relative to their power in the hierarchy. The world might even be safer without any government at all than to allow itself to be victimized by the private mobster use of the nation state system. Clearly the mightier the actor in the system, the less the system can or will hold the mighty actor to conform to the rule of law. So the rule of law suppresses the little guy and enhances the big guy.. If there were no nation state system, there would not be any push button suppression.

There has to be an answer.. that is not war or decimation of more humanity.

chb , Jan 15 2020 14:37 utc | 156
The only goal of Europe in sticking to the JPCoA when Trump walks out is to keep Tehran from developping its nuke while excruciating sanctions hinder all normal life. Regime change is still the goal, be it at the expense of european trade.
Think of NorthStream, or of the two-state fiction in Palestine where " there's no one to broke peace with ".
Robert Snefjella , Jan 15 2020 14:58 utc | 157
There has to be an answer.. that is not war or decimation of more humanity.
Posted by: snake | Jan 15 2020 14:26 utc | 155

One lesson from history is that it is important that those big shots just beneath the ultimate societal power be held to the strictest standards: The law applies to you too, big shot. Clovis effectively adhered to this principle many centuries ago. Putin by reining in the worst of the oligarchs operated in tune with this principle.

The prevailing principle in the West is that oligarchs, the mighty, etc are above the law, while in the US for example swat teams kill pets that bark at their door-smashing arrival at the homes of the little people, and those who invest in private prisons feast financially on slave labor by millions of plebeians 'plea bargained' into servitude.

Carciofi , Jan 15 2020 15:04 utc | 158
Likklemore | Jan 15 2020 14:07 utc | 153
Oh, Iran is less than a year from getting the nuclear bomb.

Since Bibi, Trump and the rest of Iran's enemies and their indoctrinated populations have been saying this for years it's time for Iran to just get on with it and pull out all stops in putting several together to be used as an option of last resort. But they should make no public confirmation, like Israel. If the warmongering US wants a war they and their allies (and their populations would then be aware of the consequences and would force them to re-assess the situation. IMO this is the only way Iran will survive. If Trump wins another term I can almost guarantee he will forge ahead with attempting another regime change. Iran is already a pariah state in their eyes so really nothing much more for Iran to lose.

A P , Jan 15 2020 15:04 utc | 159
Tim Horton's has been foreign-owned (now Brazil) since 2014, but the rot started to set in as expansion, particularly into the US, became a major goal. Once a reasonable quality purveyor of coffee and made-from-scratch in-store donuts, now just another hawker of industrialized brown swill and partly-cooked/frozen-then-shipped and finish-baked chemical-laced products.

I only patronize a Timmie's if I don't know of a decent quality local bakery/restaurant in that particular area. The devil you know...

bevin , Jan 15 2020 15:15 utc | 160
bemildred draws attention to this article at Strategic Culture:
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/01/15/reading-sun-tzu-in-tehran/

Another interesting article is this one, which tends to suggest a real softening in Canada's following of the US line.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/trudeau-plane-victims-alive-iran-tensions-200114043724127.html

A P , Jan 15 2020 15:17 utc | 161
To William Gruff: Absolutely, Canada is a vassal state of the US.

Example 1: Cretien managed to keep Cdn troops out of Iraq, but dithering Paul Martin got forced by the US to send non-combat troops into Afghanistan, then bribery-cash-in-brown-envelopes Harper turned it into combat roles that persist to this day.

Ex 2, Diefenbaker scrapped the nearly-complete AVRO Arrow project on direct orders from the US that the total-crap BOMARC missile system was to be implemented instead.

Trudeau sorta confronted the US by legalizing pot, but other than that... the foreign policy leash is very visible on the Canadian lapdog.

Anmie , Jan 15 2020 15:40 utc | 162
Iran doesn't react like the US psychopaths do..
They follow the letter of the law, as they have done with JCPOA.
But in my opinion, Iran should get its nuke capabilities up to par asap. Why continue to want to look as though you're following the law of JCPOA by allowing the IAEA in who reports to the EU/US to continue intrusive inspections when they all plan war against you leaving you nuke defenseless while Israel and Saudis have or are getting nukes?
If Iran has nukes the US will back off. Nuff said.
LuBa , Jan 15 2020 15:41 utc | 163
Mike-SMO

"Israel has done some nasty stuff"

In 70 years of illegal and violent occupation of Palestine through deportation,eradication and no respect for human lives adding what zionist army and services have done through these years and this is "some nasty stuff"..no israel it's the cancer of middle-east..just it!

xLemming , Jan 15 2020 15:43 utc | 164
Posted by: A P | Jan 15 2020 15:17 utc | 161

Thanks AP

The AVRO Arrow fiasco was criminal... "scrapping" doesn't even begin to tell the story... utter destruction was more like it, with welding torches, right down to the last bolt. That plane, with it's mach 2 Iroquois engine was en route to completely embarrassing the US MIC

As well, few people know the AVRO Jetliner story, which preceded the Arrow - the first North American passenger jet aircraft - years ahead of anything the US produced

Jackrabbit , Jan 15 2020 15:48 utc | 165
powerandpeople @138:
Annex B, paragraph 5 allows Iran to purchase weapons ... after 5 years

Thanks for making us aware of this, powerandpeople.

!!

Krollchem , Jan 15 2020 15:59 utc | 166
snake@155

This panel discussion explains how Congress is bought by the military industrial (mostly oil) complex. Then again Eisenhower included Congress in the Cabal several years after he overthrew the democratic leader of Iran. The dialogue of these panel members links all Mideast invasions back to the initial destruction of Iranian government in 1953. Apparently, we cannot have democracy in the Mideast as it is bad for the mafia business.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-W9b-_K_Xo&feature=youtu.be

Trailer Trash , Jan 15 2020 16:00 utc | 167
I recently heard a story on CBC radio about the Arrow. Not only did they destroy the prototype and all parts, they even destroyed all the drawings, except for one set which was smuggled out by a draftsman, who kept them secret for decades. But now they are on display at the "Diefenbaker Canada Centre at the University of Saskatchewan until April 2020" (from Wiki)

It's interesting to learn that Uncle Sam wanted the program stopped. Why didn't some US company just buy Avro instead? Buying out the competition is standard operating procedure for US corporate parasites.

Carciofi , Jan 15 2020 16:02 utc | 168
What has Iran gotten by being "nice" and playing by the rules all these decades?

Nice guys finish last!

h , Jan 15 2020 17:29 utc | 169
wendy davis @154 Rouhani's tweet when accepting responsibility for the downing of the plane stated:

Hassan Rouhani
@HassanRouhani
·
Jan 10
Armed Forces' internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people.
Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake. #PS752

As you can see, Rouhani stated 'missiles' as in plural.

Hope this helps.

[Jan 16, 2020] By signing on to the JCPOA Iran demonstrated a number of things. Iran keeps her word. The US never does. Europe's role is to smile while preparing to stab you in the back

Jan 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lysander , Jan 15 2020 2:04 utc | 111

#39 Kooshy!!

Great to run into you again. Indeed by signing on to the JCPOA Iran demonstrated a number of things. 1) Iran keeps her word. 2) The US never does. 3) Europe's role is to smile while preparing to stab you in the back. 4) The US will sacrifice her own interests for Israel's everytime.

I think all of us could have predicted all that. But what I could never have predicted was the complete in your face nature of American imperialism. It is one thing for there to be overwhelming evidence against a suspect. It's quite another for him to openly brag about his crimes and then promise to commit even more. That is why Trump's presidency is a blessing for Iran. If you happen to be in Iran, please share with us any information about the national mood and how people are coping in difficult circumstances.

[Jan 16, 2020] Another reason Merkel qualifies as a cowardly poodle. It's also clear, IMO, that Merkel lied to Putin and the press about her position on the JCPOA

Jan 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , Jan 15 2020 1:42 utc | 107


karlof1 , Jan 15 2020 1:45 utc | 108

Passer by @61--

Didn't know that about Merkel; yet another reason she qualifies as a cowardly poodle. It's also clear, IMO, that Merkel lied to Putin and the press about her position on the JCPOA at their post-talks presser :

Putin: "We certainly could not ignore another issue which is vitally important not only for the region but also for the whole world – the issue of preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran's nuclear programme. After the United States withdrew from this fundamental agreement, the Iranian side declared that they suspended some of their voluntary commitments under the JCPOA. Let me underscore this – they only suspended their voluntary commitments while they stress their readiness to go back to full compliance with the nuclear deal.

"Russia and Germany resolutely stand for the continued implementation of the Joint Plan. The Iranians are entitled to a support from European nations, which promised to set up a special financial vehicle separate from the US dollar to be used in trade settlements with Iran. The Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) must finally begin working."

Merkel, statement: "Of course, we also discussed Iran. We agree that everything necessary must be done to preserve the JCPOA. Germany believes that there should be no nuclear weapons in Iran, and therefore we will use all the available diplomatic means to preserve this agreement, even though it is not perfect, but it includes obligations of all the sides."

Merkel answering a question: " I have mentioned an issue on which we do not see eye to eye with the Americans (JCPOA), even though they are our allies with whom we are working together on many matters. But when it comes to German and European opinions, we are acting above all in our own interests, while Russia is upholding its own interests, so we should look for common interests in this process.

"Despite certain obstacles, we have found common interests in our bilateral relations regarding the JCPOA with Iran. We have common opinions and different views, but a visit such as this one is the best thing. It is better to talk with each other rather than about one another, because it helps one to understand the other side's arguments."

It's very clear from Russia's reaction that the EU-3's action was a complete surprise. I doubt Merkel will be invited to Moscow again. For Russians and the rest of humanity, there's no trusting the West. IMO, it must always be treated as hostile regardless the smiles.
"

jared , Jan 15 2020 1:52 utc | 109
@ karlof1

Much like Trump - says one thing then immediately does something else. Only makes sense if in fact is outside thier control.

[Jan 16, 2020] While it might work in domestic politics, this mad man negotiating tactic erodes trust in international affairs and it will take decades for the US to recover from the harm done by Trump's school yard bully approach.

Jan 16, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Thuto , , January 14, 2020 at 11:48 am

While it might work in domestic politics, this mad man negotiating tactic erodes trust in international affairs and it will take decades for the US to recover from the harm done by Trump's school yard bully approach.

Even the docile Europeans are beginning to tire of this and once they get their balls stitched back on after being castrated for so long, America will have its work cut out crossing the chasm from unreliable and untrustworthy partner to being seen as dependable and worthy of entering into agreements with.

[Jan 15, 2020] Trump and the Mad Negotiator Approach

Notable quotes:
"... Another aspect of Trump's erraticness is making sudden shifts, or what we have called gaslighting. He'll suddenly and radically change his rhetoric, even praise someone he demonized. That if nothing else again is a power play, to try to maintain his position as driving the pacing and content of the negotiations, which again is meant to position his counterparty as in a weaker position, of having to react to his moves, even if that amounts to identifying them as noise. It is a watered-down form of a cult strategy called love bombing (remember that Trump has been described as often being very charming in first meetings, only to cut down the person he met in a matter of days). ..."
"... I would disagree with the "selecting staff" part. I can't really think of any of his appointees to any office while he is president that was a good pick. One worse than the other basically. Maybe in his private dealings he did better, but in public office it's a continuous horror show. Examples like Pence, Haley, "Mad Dog", Bolton, DeVos, his son in law, Pompeo. The list goes on. ..."
"... For me as a foreigner who detests the forever wars and most of the US foreign policy, this is a good thing: the more heavy handed, the more brutal, the more cruel, the more stupid the US policy is, the less is the chance for our euro governments to follow the US in today's war or other policy. ..."
"... They are not inept and incompetent at what they are trying to achieve. The GOP has long sought to privatize government to help the rich get richer and harm anyone who isn't rich by cutting services and making them harder to get. Trumps picks are carrying out that agenda very well. ..."
"... Trump is just a huge crude extension of the usual "exceptional" leaders, much more transparent by not pretending he is any sort of representative of democratic and cooperative values claimed by his predecessors. ..."
"... But what I think is noticeable is that his worst high profile staff picks, while horrible people, are generally those who are under his thumb and so he has control of. ..."
"... He got elected over the dead bodies of just about everyone who counts in the Republican Party. He pretty much did a hostile takeover of the GOP. So his ability to draw on seasoned hands was nil. And on top of that, he is temperamentally not the type to seek the counsel of perceived wise men in and hanging around the party. The people he has kept around are cronies like Wilbur Ross and Steve Mnuchin. ..."
"... The one notably competent person he has attracted and retained is Robert Lightizer, the US Trade Representative ..."
"... oderint, dum metuant ..."
"... Führerprinzip ..."
"... Hitler ran the Third Reich by a system of parallel competition among bureaucratic empire builders of all stripes. Anyone who showed servile loyalty and mouthed his yahoo ideology got all the resources they liked, for any purpose they proposed. But the moment he encountered any form of independence or pushback, he changed horses at once. He left the old group in place, but gave all their resources to a burgeoning new bureaucracy that did things his way. If a State body resisted his will, he had a Party body do it instead. He was continually reaching down 2-3 levels in the org charts, to find some ambitious firecracker willing to suck up to him, and leapfrog to the top. ..."
"... This left behind a complete chaos of rival, duplicated functions, under mainly unfit leaders. And fortunately for the world, how well any of these organizations actually did their jobs was an entirely secondary consideration. Loyalty was all. ..."
"... Hitler sat at the center of all the resource grabbers and played referee. This made everyone dependent on his nod and ensured his continued power. The message was: there are no superiors in the Reich. There is only der Führer, and his favor trumps everything ..."
"... The few over-confident generals he picked, except for Flynn, finally caved when they realized staying was an affront to the honor code they swore to back in OCS or their academy. ..."
"... I don't know how they selected staff in the Reagan years, but lately the POTUS seems to appoint based on who the plutocrats want. As has been noted Bary O took his marching orders from Citigroup if I remember right. I doubt if Trump had even heard of most of the people he appointed prior to becoming president. So at least some of Trump's turnover is due to him firing recommendations from others who didn't turn out how he'd like. That's one reason I didn't get all that upset over the Bolton hiring – I didn't think he'd last a year before Trump canned him. ..."
"... I would say that Trump, not acting in an intelligent way is doing very clever things according to his interests. My opinion is that his actions/negotiations with foreign countries are 100% directed for domestic consumptiom. He does not care at all about international relationships, just his populist "make America great again" and he almost certainly play closest attention to the impact of his actions in US opinion. ..."
"... Classic predatory behaviors: culling the herd and eating the weak. ..."
"... I think Trump understands that one of the basic tactics of negotiation (though forgotten by the Left(tm)) is to set out a maximalist position before the negotiation starts, so that you have room to make compromises later. ..."
"... But in domestic politics, there's no doubt that publicly announcing extreme negotiating positions is a winning tactic. You force the media and other political actors to comment and make counter-proposals, thus dragging the argument more in your direction from the very start. Trump remembers something that his opponents have willfully forgotten: compromise is something you finish with not something you start from . In itself, any given compromise has no particular virtue or value. ..."
"... Today's Democrats want to destroy those social programs you cite. They have wanted to destroy those social programs ever since President Clinton wanted to conspire with "Prime Minister" Gingrich to privatize Social Security. Luckily Monica Lewinsky saved us from that fate. ..."
"... A nominee Sanders would run on keeping Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in existence. And he would mean it. A nominee Biden might pretend to say it. But he would conspire with the Republicans to destroy them all. ..."
"... The maintenance of fear, chaos and blowback are exACTLY the desired result. Deliberately and on purpose. ..."
"... It also helps him do some things quietly in the background ..."
Jan 15, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Trump and the Mad Negotiator Approach Posted on January 14, 2020 by Yves Smith Trump's numerous character flaws, such as his grandiosity, his lack of interest in the truth, his impulsiveness, his habitual lashing out at critics, have elicited boatloads of disapproving commentary. It's disturbing to see someone so emotional and undisciplined in charge of anything, let alone the United States.

Rather than offer yet more armchair analysis, it might be productive to ask a different question: why hasn't Trump been an abject failure? There are plenty of rich heirs who blow their inheritance or run the family business into the ground pretty quickly and have to knuckle down to a much more modest lifestyle.

Trump's lack of discipline has arguably cost him. The noise regularly made about his business bankruptcies is wildly exaggerated. Most of Trump's bankruptcies were of casinos , and most of those took place in the nasty 1991-1992 recession. He was one of only two major New York City developers not to have to give meaningful equity in some of their properties in that downturn. He even managed to keep Mar-a-Lago and persuaded his lenders to let him keep enough cash to preserve a pretty flashy lifestyle because he was able to persuade them that preserving his brand name was key to the performance of Trump-branded assets.

The idea that Trump couldn't borrow after his early 1990s casino bankruptcies is also false. As Francine McKenna pointed out in 2017 in Donald Trump has had no trouble getting big loans at competitive rates:

The MarketWatch analysis shows a variety of lenders, all big banks or listed specialized finance companies like Ladder Capital, that have provided lots of money to Trump over the years in the forms of short-, medium- and long-term loans and at competitive rates, whether fixed or variable.

"The Treasury yield that matches the term of the loan is the closest starting benchmark for Trump-sized commercial real estate loans," said Robert Thesman, a certified public accountant in Washington state who specializes in real estate tax issues. The 10-year Treasury swap rate is also used and tracks the bonds closely, according to one expert.

Trump's outstanding loans were granted at rates between 2 points over and under the matching Treasury-yield benchmark at inception. That's despite the well-documented record of bankruptcy filings that dot Trump's history of casino investment.

The flip side is that it's not hard to make the case that Trump's self-indulgent style has cost him in monetary terms. His contemporary Steve Ross of The Related Companies who started out in real estate as a tax lawyer putting together Section 8 housing deals, didn't have a big stake like Trump did to start his empire. Ross did have industrialist and philanthropist Max Fisher as his uncle and role model, but there is no evidence that Fisher staked Ross beyond paying for his education . Ross has an estimated net worth of $7.6 billion versus Trump's $3.1 billion.

Despite Trump's heat-seeking-missile affinity for the limelight, we only get snippets of how he has managed his business, like his litigiousness and breaking of labor laws. Yet he's kept his team together and is pretty underleveraged for a real estate owner.

The area where we have a better view of how Trump operates is via his negotiating, where is astonishingly transgressive. He goes out of his way to be inconsistent, unpredictable, and will even trash prior commitments, which is usually toxic, since it telegraphs bad faith. How does this make any sense?

One way to think of it is that Trump is effectively screening for weak negotiating counterparties. Think of his approach as analogous to the Nigerian scam letters and the many variants you get in your inbox. They are so patently fake that one wonders why the fraudsters bother sending them.

But investigators figured that mystery out. From the Atlantic in 2012 :

Everyone knows that Nigerian scam e-mails, with their exaggerated stories of moneys tied up in foreign accounts and collapsed national economies, sound totally absurd, but according to research from Microsoft, that's on purpose .

As a savvy Internet user you probably think you'd never fall for the obvious trickery, but that's the point. Savvy users are not the scammers' target audience, [Cormac] Herley notes. Rather, the creators of these e-mails are targeting people who would believe the sort of tales these scams involve .:

Our analysis suggests that is an advantage to the attacker, not a disadvantage. Since his attack has a low density of victims the Nigerian scammer has an over-riding need to reduce false positives. By sending an email that repels all but the most gullible the scammer gets the most promising marks to self-select, and tilts the true to false positive ratio in his favor.

Who would want to get in a business relationship with a guy who makes clear early on that he might pull the rug out from under you? Most people would steer clear. So Trump's style, even if he adopted it out of deep-seated emotional needs, has the effect of pre-selecting for weak, desperate counterparties. It can also pull in people who think they can out-smart Trump and shysters who identify with him, as well as those who are prepared to deal with the headaches (for instance, the the business relationship is circumscribed and a decent contract will limit the downside).

Mind you, it is more common than you think for businesses to seek out needy business "partners". For instance, back in the day when General Electric was a significant player in venture capital, it would draw out its investment commitment process. The point was to ascertain if the entrepreneurs had any other prospects; they wouldn't tolerate GE's leisurely process if they did. By the time GE was sure it was the only game in town, it would cram down the principals on price and other terms. There are many variants of this playbook, such as how Walmart treats suppliers.

Trump has become so habituated to this mode of operating that he often launches into negotiations determined to establish that he had the dominant position when that is far from clear, witness the ongoing China trade row. Trump did in theory hold a powerful weapon in his ability to impose tariffs on China. But they are a blunt weapon, with significant blowback to the US. Even though China had a glass jaw in terms of damage to its economy (there were signs of stress, such as companies greatly stretching out when they paid their bills), Trump could not tolerate much of a stock market downdraft, nor could he play a long-term game.

Another aspect of Trump's erraticness is making sudden shifts, or what we have called gaslighting. He'll suddenly and radically change his rhetoric, even praise someone he demonized. That if nothing else again is a power play, to try to maintain his position as driving the pacing and content of the negotiations, which again is meant to position his counterparty as in a weaker position, of having to react to his moves, even if that amounts to identifying them as noise. It is a watered-down form of a cult strategy called love bombing (remember that Trump has been described as often being very charming in first meetings, only to cut down the person he met in a matter of days).

Voters have seen another face of Trump's imperative to find or create weakness: that of his uncanny ability to hit opponents' weak spots in ways that get them off balance, such as the way he was able to rope a dope Warren over her Cherokee ancestry claims.

The foregoing isn't to suggest that Trump's approach is optimal. Far from it. But it does "work" in the sense of achieving certain results that are important to Trump, of having him appear to be in charge of the action, getting his business counterparts on the back foot. That means Trump is implicitly seeing these encounters primarily in win-lose terms, rather than win-win. No wonder he has little appetite for international organizations. You have to give in order to get.


PlutoniumKun , January 14, 2020 at 7:08 am

I think this is pretty astute, thanks Yves. One reason I think Trump has been so successful for his limited range of skills is precisely that 'smart' people underestimate him so much. He knows one thing well – how power works. Sometimes that's enough. I've known quite a few intellectually limited people who have built very successful careers based on a very simple set of principles (e.g. 'never disagree with anyone more senior than me').

Anecdotally, I've often had the conversation with people about 'taking Trump seriously', as in, trying to assess what he really wants and how he has been so successful. In my experience, the 'smarter' and more educated the person I'm talking to is, the less willing they are to have that conversation. The random guy in the bar will be happy to talk and have insights. The high paid professional will just mutter about stupid people and racism.

I would also add one more reason for his success – he does appear to be quite good at selecting staff, and knowing who to delegate to.

timotheus , January 14, 2020 at 8:30 am

There is another figure from recent history who displayed similar astuteness about power while manifesting generally low intelligence: Chile's Pinochet. He had near failing grades in school but knew how to consolidate power, dominate the other members of the junta, and weed out the slightest hint of dissidence within the army.

Off The Street , January 14, 2020 at 9:17 am

To the average viewer, Trump's branding extends to the negative brands that he assigns to opponents. Witness Lyin' Ted , Pocahontas and similar sticky names that make their way into coverage. He induces free coverage from Fake News as if they can't resist gawking at a car wreck, even when one of the vehicles is their own. Manipulation has worked quite a lot on people with different world views, especially when they don't conceive of any different approaches.

drumlin woodchuckles , January 14, 2020 at 6:52 pm

Scott Adams touted that as one of Trump's hidden persuasionological weapons . . . that ability to craft a fine head-shot nickname for every opponent.

If Sanders were to be nominated, I suppose Trump would keep saying Crazy Bernie. Sanders will just have to respond in his own true-to-himself way. Maybe he could risk saying something like . . .

" so Trashy Trump is Trashy. This isn't new."

If certain key bunches of voters still have fond memories for Crazy Eddie, perhaps Sanders could have some operatives subtly remind people of that.

Some images of Crazy Eddie, for those who wish to stumble up Nostalgia Alley . . .

https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0geKYkLVB5emoUAN6RXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyNm03Y25mBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMyBHZ0aWQDQTA2MTVfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=crazy+eddie&fr=sfp

curious euro , January 14, 2020 at 9:23 am

I would disagree with the "selecting staff" part. I can't really think of any of his appointees to any office while he is president that was a good pick. One worse than the other basically. Maybe in his private dealings he did better, but in public office it's a continuous horror show. Examples like Pence, Haley, "Mad Dog", Bolton, DeVos, his son in law, Pompeo. The list goes on.

Another indication how bad his delegation skills are is how short his picks stay at their job before they are fired again. Is there any POTUS which had higher staff turnover?

NotTimothyGeithner , January 14, 2020 at 9:45 am

Its a horror show because you don't agree with their values. After the last few Presidents, too much movement to the right would catastrophic, so there isn't much to do. His farm bill is a disaster. The new NAFTA is window dressing. He slashed taxes. He's found a way to make our brutal immigration system even more nefarious. His staff seems to be working out despite it not having many members of the Bush crime family.

Even if these people were as beloved by the press as John McCain, they would still be monsters.

curious euro , January 14, 2020 at 10:43 am

It's not their values that make them a horror show, it's their plain inaptitude and incompetency. E.g. someone like that Exxon CEO is at least somewhat capable, which is why I didn't mention him. Though he was quite ineffective as long as he lasted and probably quite corrupt. Pompeo in the same office on the other hand is simply a moron elevated way beyond his station. Words fail and the Peter principle cannot explain.

The US can paper over this due to their heavy handed application of power for now, but every day he stays in office, friends are abhorred while trying not to show it, and foes rejoice at the utter stupidity of the US how it helps their schemes.

For me as a foreigner who detests the forever wars and most of the US foreign policy, this is a good thing: the more heavy handed, the more brutal, the more cruel, the more stupid the US policy is, the less is the chance for our euro governments to follow the US in today's war or other policy. So while I am sort of happy about the outcome, I don't see the current monsters at the helm worse than the monsters 4 years ago under Obama. In fact I detested them much more since they had the power to drag my governments into their evil schemes.

Evil and clearly despicable is always better than evil and sort of charismatic.

tegnost , January 14, 2020 at 11:29 am

For me as a foreigner who detests the forever wars and most of the US foreign policy, this is a good thing: the more heavy handed, the more brutal, the more cruel, the more stupid the US policy is, the less is the chance for our euro governments to follow the US in today's war or other policy.

Indeed, if you look at the trendline from the '80's to now, trump is, in some ways, the less effective evil.

James O'Keefe , January 14, 2020 at 1:17 pm

They are not inept and incompetent at what they are trying to achieve. The GOP has long sought to privatize government to help the rich get richer and harm anyone who isn't rich by cutting services and making them harder to get. Trumps picks are carrying out that agenda very well.

That he still hasn't filled 170 appointed positions is icing on the cake. See stats at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/trump-administration-appointee-tracker/database/

rosemerry , January 14, 2020 at 4:47 pm

I feel exactly the same. Trump is just a huge crude extension of the usual "exceptional" leaders, much more transparent by not pretending he is any sort of representative of democratic and cooperative values claimed by his predecessors.

PlutoniumKun , January 14, 2020 at 10:05 am

But what I think is noticeable is that his worst high profile staff picks, while horrible people, are generally those who are under his thumb and so he has control of. But in the behind the scenes activities, they've been very effective – as an obvious example, witness how he's put so many conservative Republicans into the judiciary, in contrast with Obamas haplessness.

curious euro , January 14, 2020 at 10:51 am

That is not a Trump thing, getting more judges is a 100% rep party thing and only rep party thing. Sure, he is the one putting his rubber stamp on it, but the picking and everything else is a party thing. They stopped the placement for years under Obama before Trump was ever thought about, and now are filling it as fast as they can. Aren't they having complicit democrats helping them or how can they get their picks beyond congress? Or am I getting something wrong and Obama could have picked his judges but didn't?

The people he chooses to run his administration however are all horrible. Not just horrible people but horrible picks as in incompetent buffoons without a clue. Can you show a evil, horrible or not but actually competent pick of his in his administration?

The only one I can think of is maybe the new FAA chief Dickson. Who is a crisis manager, after the FAA is in its worst crisis ever right now. So right now someone competent must have this post. All the others seem to be chickenhawk blowhards with the IQ of a fruitfly but the bluster of a texan.

fajensen , January 14, 2020 at 11:13 am

Gina Haspel? She is probably equally good with a handgun, an ice pick and a pair of pliers.

curious euro , January 14, 2020 at 11:49 am

Is she effective? What has she done to make her a spy mastermind? She is obviously a torturer, but is that a qualification in any way useful to be a intelligence agency boss?

I have the suspicion Haspel was elevated to their office by threatening "I know where all the bodies are buried (literally) and if you don't make me boss, I will tell". Blackmail can helping a career lots if successful.

Thuto , January 14, 2020 at 11:18 am

The outcomes of incompetence and malicious intent are sometimes indistinguishable from one another. With the people Trump has surrounded himself with, horrible, nasty outcomes are par for the course because these guys are both incompetent and chock full of malicious intent. Instead of draining the swamp, he's gone and filled it with psychotic sociopaths.

drumlin woodchuckles , January 14, 2020 at 7:04 pm

Some time ago I heard Mulvaney answer the criticism about the Trump budget of the day cutting so much money from EPA that EPA would have to fire half of its relevant scientists. He replied that " this is how we drain the swamp".

Citing "corruption" was misdirection. Trump let his supporters believe that the corruption was The Swamp. What the Trump Group ACTually means by "The Swamp" is all the career scientists and researchers and etc. who take seriously the analyzing and restraining of Upper Class Looter misbehavior.

Yves Smith Post author , January 14, 2020 at 12:28 pm

I limited the post to his negotiating approach. One would think someone so erratic would have trouble attracting people. However, Wall Street and a lot of private businesses are full of high maintenance prima donnas at the top. Some of those operations live with a lot of churn in the senior ranks. For others, one way to get them to stay is what amounts to a combat pay premium, they get paid more than they would in other jobs to put up with a difficult boss. I have no idea how much turnover there is in the Trump Organization or how good his key lieutenants are so I can't opine either way on that part.

Regarding his time as POTUS, Trump has a lot of things working against him on top of his difficult personality and his inability to pay civil servants a hardship premium:

1. He got elected over the dead bodies of just about everyone who counts in the Republican Party. He pretty much did a hostile takeover of the GOP. So his ability to draw on seasoned hands was nil. And on top of that, he is temperamentally not the type to seek the counsel of perceived wise men in and hanging around the party. The people he has kept around are cronies like Wilbur Ross and Steve Mnuchin.

The one notably competent person he has attracted and retained is Robert Lightizer, the US Trade Representative

2. Another thing that undermines Trump's effectiveness in running a big bureaucracy is his hatred for its structure. He likes very lean organizations with few layers. He can't impose that on his administration. It's trying to put a round peg in a square hole.

cocomaan , January 14, 2020 at 1:56 pm

I have no idea how much turnover there is in the Trump Organization or how good his key lieutenants are so I can't opine either way on that part.

Is it just me or does nobody know? Does it seem to anyone else like there has been virtually no investigation of his organization or how it was run?

Maybe it's buried in the endless screeds against Trump, but any investigations of his organizations always seem colored by his presidency. I'd love to see one that's strictly historical.

Yves Smith Post author , January 14, 2020 at 2:10 pm

I am simply saying that I have not bothered investigating that issue. There was a NY Times Magazine piece on the Trump Organization before his election. That was where I recall the bit about him hating having a lot of people around him, he regards them as leeches. That piece probably had some info on how long his top people had worked for him.

ObjectiveFunction , January 15, 2020 at 2:30 am

Congratulations Yves, on another fine piece, one of your best. I might recommend you append this comment to it as an update, or else pen a sequel.

While Trump has more in common stylistically with a Borgia prince out of Machiavelli, or a Roman Emperor ( oderint, dum metuant ) than with a Hitler or a Stalin, your note still puts me in mind of an insightful comment I pulled off a history board a while ago, regarding the reductionist essence of Führerprinzip , mass movement or no mass movement. It's mostly out of Shirer:

Hitler ran the Third Reich by a system of parallel competition among bureaucratic empire builders of all stripes. Anyone who showed servile loyalty and mouthed his yahoo ideology got all the resources they liked, for any purpose they proposed. But the moment he encountered any form of independence or pushback, he changed horses at once. He left the old group in place, but gave all their resources to a burgeoning new bureaucracy that did things his way. If a State body resisted his will, he had a Party body do it instead. He was continually reaching down 2-3 levels in the org charts, to find some ambitious firecracker willing to suck up to him, and leapfrog to the top.

This left behind a complete chaos of rival, duplicated functions, under mainly unfit leaders. And fortunately for the world, how well any of these organizations actually did their jobs was an entirely secondary consideration. Loyalty was all.

Hitler sat at the center of all the resource grabbers and played referee. This made everyone dependent on his nod and ensured his continued power. The message was: there are no superiors in the Reich. There is only der Führer, and his favor trumps everything .

As you note, some of these tools (fortunately) aren't available to Cheeto 45 .

I hope this particular invocation of Godwin's avenger is trenchant, and not OT. Although Godwin himself blessed the #Trump=Hitler comparison some time ago, thereby shark-jumping his own meme.

Tomonthebeach , January 14, 2020 at 12:53 pm

It might be as simple as birds of a feather (blackbirds of course) flocking together. Trump seems to have radar for corrupt cronies as we have seen his swamp draining into the federal prison system. The few over-confident generals he picked, except for Flynn, finally caved when they realized staying was an affront to the honor code they swore to back in OCS or their academy.

lyman alpha blob , January 14, 2020 at 2:16 pm

The crooks in the Reagan administration were getting bounced seemingly every other day. Just found this from Brookings (blecchh) which if accurate says Trump has recently surpassed Reagan – https://www.brookings.edu/research/tracking-turnover-in-the-trump-administration/

I don't know how they selected staff in the Reagan years, but lately the POTUS seems to appoint based on who the plutocrats want. As has been noted Bary O took his marching orders from Citigroup if I remember right. I doubt if Trump had even heard of most of the people he appointed prior to becoming president. So at least some of Trump's turnover is due to him firing recommendations from others who didn't turn out how he'd like. That's one reason I didn't get all that upset over the Bolton hiring – I didn't think he'd last a year before Trump canned him.

My recollection of the Reagan years was that he had a lot of staff who left to "spend more time with their families"; in other words they got caught being crooked and we're told to go lest they besmirch the sterling reputation of St. Ronnie.

drumlin woodchuckles , January 14, 2020 at 6:57 pm

He early-on adopted the concept of "dismantle the Administrative State". Some of his appointees are designed to do that from within. He appoints termites to the Department of Lumber Integrity because he wants to leave the lumber all destroyed after he leaves the White House.

His farm bill is only a disaster to those who support Good Farm Bill Governance. His mission is to destroy as much of the knowledge and programs within the USDA as possible. So his farm bill is designed to achieve the destruction he wants to achieve. If it works, it was a good farm bill from his viewpoint. For example.

Ignacio , January 15, 2020 at 5:38 am

I would say that Trump, not acting in an intelligent way is doing very clever things according to his interests. My opinion is that his actions/negotiations with foreign countries are 100% directed for domestic consumptiom. He does not care at all about international relationships, just his populist "make America great again" and he almost certainly play closest attention to the impact of his actions in US opinion.

He calculates the risks and takes measures that show he is a strong man defending US interests (in a very symplistic and populist way) no matter if someone or many are offended, abused or even killed as we have recently seen. Then if it is appreciated that a limit has been reached, and the limit is not set by international reactions but perceived domestic reactions, he may do a setback showing how sensibly magnanimous can a strongman like him be. In the domestic front, IMO, he does not give a damn on centrists of all kinds. Particularly, smart centrists are strictly following Trumps playbook focusing on actions that by no means debilitate his positioning as strongman in foreign issues and divert attention from the real things that would worry Trump. The impeachment is exactly that. Trump must be 100% confident that he would win any contest with any "smart" centrist. Of course he also loves all the noises he generates with, for instance, the Soleimani killing or Huawei banning that distract from his giveaways to the oligarchs and further debilitation of remaining welfare programs and environmental programs. This measures don't pass totally unnoticed but Hate Inc . and public opinions/debates are not paying the attention his domestic measures deserve. Trump's populism feeds on oligarch support and despair and his policies are designed to keep and increase both. Polls on Democrats distract from the most important polls on public opinion about Trum "surprise" actions.

Trump will go for a third term.

Seamus Padraig , January 14, 2020 at 7:18 am

Trump has the rare gift of being able to drive his enemies insane – just witness what's become of the Democrats, a once proud American political party.

Eureka Springs , January 14, 2020 at 9:39 am

Democrats have long been (what, 50 plus yrs. – Phil Ochs – Love Me I'm A Liberal) exuding false pride of not appearing to be or sounding insane. Their place, being the concern troll of the duopoly. All are mad. If the Obama years didn't prove it, the Dems during Bush Cheney certainly did.

curious euro , January 14, 2020 at 10:53 am

Yes, 50 years. Nixon played mad to get his Vietnam politics through, Reagan was certifiable "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever." "We begin bombing in five minutes." live on air. Etc.

vlade , January 14, 2020 at 7:38 am

I suspect only half of the post was posted? The last para seems to get cut in mid sentence.

I'd add one more thing (which may be in the second half, assuming there's one). Trump's massively insane demands are a good anchoring strategy. Even semi-rational player will not make out-of-this-earth demands – they would be seen as either undermining their rationality, or clearly meant to only anchor so less effective (but surprisingly, even when we know it's only an anchor it apparently works, at least a bit). With irrational Trump, one just doesn't know.

GramSci , January 14, 2020 at 7:41 am

Classic predatory behaviors: culling the herd and eating the weak.

David , January 14, 2020 at 8:21 am

I think Trump understands that one of the basic tactics of negotiation (though forgotten by the Left(tm)) is to set out a maximalist position before the negotiation starts, so that you have room to make compromises later.

Sometimes this works better than others – I don't know how far you can do it with the Chinese, for example. But then Trump may have inadvertently played, in that case, into the tradition of scripted public utterances combined with behind-the-scenes real negotiation that tends to characterize bargaining in Asia.

But in domestic politics, there's no doubt that publicly announcing extreme negotiating positions is a winning tactic. You force the media and other political actors to comment and make counter-proposals, thus dragging the argument more in your direction from the very start. Trump remembers something that his opponents have willfully forgotten: compromise is something you finish with not something you start from . In itself, any given compromise has no particular virtue or value.

Michael Fiorillo , January 14, 2020 at 8:59 am

Yes, Trump does seem to be very good at getting to people to "negotiate against themselves."

chuck roast , January 14, 2020 at 9:52 am

and that is why Trump will eat Biden's lunch.

The Rev Kev , January 14, 2020 at 9:09 am

There is actually two parts to a negotiation I should mention. There is negotiating a deal. And then there is carrying it out. Not only Trump but the US has shown itself incapable of upholding deals but they will break them when they see an advantage or an opportunity. Worse, one part of the government may be fighting another part of the government and will sabotage that deal in sometimes spectacular fashion.
So what is the point of having all these weird and wonderful negotiating strategies if any partners that you have on the international stage have learned that Trump's word is merely a negotiating tactic? And this includes after a deal is signed when he applies some more pressure to change something in an agreement that he just signed off on? If you can't keep a deal, then ultimately negotiating a deal is useless.

curious euro , January 14, 2020 at 9:28 am

The incapability of the US to keep their treaties has been a founding principle of the country. Ask any Indian.

Putin or the russian foreign ministry called the US treaty incapable a few years before Trump, and they were not wrong. Trump didn't help being erratic as he is, but he didn't cancel any treaty on his own: JCPOA, INF, etc. He had pretty broad support for all of these. Only maybe NAFTA was his own idea.

timbers , January 14, 2020 at 9:47 am

I'm just not impressed by Trump in any way.

He owes the fact he's President not to any skill he has, but to Democrats being so bad. Many non establishment types could have beaten Hillary.

And Trump owes the fact that he's not DOA in 2020 re-election again because Democrats are so bad. There are a handful of extremely popular social programs Democrats could champion that would win over millions of voters and doom Trump's re-election. But instead, they double down on issues that energize Trump's base, are not off-limits to there donors while ignoring what the broad non corporate/rich majority support. For example impeaching him for being the first recent President not to start a major new war for profit and killing millions and then saying it's really because something he did in Ukraine that 95% of Americans couldn't care less about and won't even bother to understand even if they could.

That leaves the fact he is rather rich and must have done something to become that. I don't know enough about him to evaluate that. But I would never what to know him or have a friend that acts like him. I've avoided people like that in my life.

Yves Smith Post author , January 14, 2020 at 12:36 pm

Did you read the post as positive? Please read again. Saying that Trump's strategy works only to the extent that he winds up selecting for weak partners is not praise. First, it is clinical, and second, it says his strategy has considerable costs.

rd , January 14, 2020 at 6:54 pm

I find it interesting that the primary foreign entity who has played Trump like a violin is Kim in North Korea. He has gotten everything he wanted, except sanctions relief over the past couple of years.

However, Trump's style of negotiating with Iran has made it clear to Kim that North Korea would be idiots to give up their nuclear weapons and missiles. Meanwhile, Iran has watched Trump's attitude towards Kim since Kim blew up his first bomb and Trump is forcing them to develop nuclear weapons to be able to negotiate with Trump and the West.

ObjectiveFunction , January 15, 2020 at 1:36 am

But other than the minor matter of US 8th Army (cadre) sitting in the line of fire, the bulk of any risks posed by Li'l Kim are borne by South Korea, Japan and China. So for Trump, it's still down the list a ways, until the Norks can nuke tip a missile and hit Honolulu. So what coup has Kim achieved at Trump's expense, again?

drumlin woodchuckles , January 14, 2020 at 7:13 pm

Today's Democrats want to destroy those social programs you cite. They have wanted to destroy those social programs ever since President Clinton wanted to conspire with "Prime Minister" Gingrich to privatize Social Security. Luckily Monica Lewinsky saved us from that fate.

A nominee Sanders would run on keeping Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in existence. And he would mean it. A nominee Biden might pretend to say it. But he would conspire with the Republicans to destroy them all.

The ClintoBama Pelosicrats have no standing on which to pretend to support some very popular social programs and hope to be believed any longer. Maybe that is why they feel there is no point in even pretending any more.

Yves Smith Post author , January 14, 2020 at 6:42 pm

Mind you, there's no reason to think that this negotiation approach wasn't an adaptation to Trump's emotional volatility, as in finding a way to make what should have been a weakness a plus. And that he's less able to make that adaptation work well as he's over his head, has less control than as a private businessman, and generally under way more pressure.

HH , January 14, 2020 at 11:43 am

I recall reading that Trump's empire would have collapsed during the casino fiasco were it not for lending from his father when credit was not available elsewhere. NYT investigative reporters have turned up evidence of massive financial support from Trump father to son to the tune of hundreds of millions throughout the son's career. So much for the great businessman argument.

carbpow , January 14, 2020 at 11:45 am

Trump is nothing more or less than a reflection of the mind set of the US people. The left wing resorts to the same tactics that Trump uses to gain their ends. Rational thought and reasonable discussion seems to be absent. Everyone is looking for a cause for the country's failing infrastructure, declining life expectancy, and loss of opportunity for their children to have a better life than they were able to achieve.

They each blame the other side. But there are more than two sides to most folks experience. If ever the USA citizens abolish or just gets fed up with the two party system maybe things will change. In reality most people know there is little difference between the two parties so why even vote?

Jeremy Grimm , January 14, 2020 at 12:11 pm

This analysis of Trump reminded me of a story I heard from the founders of a small rural radio station. Both had been in broadcasting for years at a large station in a major market, one as a program director and the other in sales. They competed for a broadcasting license that became available and they won.

With the license in-hand they needed to obtain investments to get the station on-air within a year or they would lose the license. Even with their combined savings and as much money as they could obtain from other members of their families and from friends -- they were short what they needed by several hundred thousand dollars.

Their collateral was tapped out and banks wouldn't loan on the broadcast license alone without further backing. They had to find private investors. They located and presented to several but their project could find no backers. In many cases prospects told them their project was too small -- needed too little money -- to be of interest. As the deadline for going on-air loomed they were put in touch with a wealthy local farmer.

After a long evening presenting their business case to this farmer in ever greater detail, he sat back and told them he would give them the money they needed to get their station on-air -- but he wanted a larger interest in the business than what they offered him. He wanted a 51% interest -- a controlling interest -- or he would not give them the money, and they both had to agree to work for the new radio station for a year after it went on-air.

The two holders of the soon to be lost broadcast license looked at each other and told the farmer he could keep his money and left. The next day the farmer called on the phone and gave them the names and contact information for a few investors, any one of whom should be able and interested in investing the amounts they needed on their terms. He also told them that had they accepted his offer he would have driven them out of the new station before the end of the year it went on-air. He said he wanted to see whether they were 'serious' before putting them in touch with serious investors.

juliania , January 14, 2020 at 12:22 pm

Sorry, assassination doesn't fit into this scenario. That is a bridge too far. Trump has lost his effectiveness by boasting about this. It isn't just unpredictability. It is dangerous unpredictability.

Yves Smith Post author , January 15, 2020 at 5:52 am

I never once said that Trump was studied in how he operates, in fact, I repeatedly pointed out that he's highly emotional and undisciplined. I'm simply describing some implications.

meadows , January 14, 2020 at 12:28 pm

If our corrupt Congress had not ceded their "co-equal" branch of gov't authority over the last 40 years thereby gradually creating the Imperial Presidency that we have now, we might comfortably mitigate much of the mad king antics.

Didn't the Founding Fathers try desperately to escape the terrible wars of Europe brought on by the whims and grievances of inbred kings, generation after generation? Now on a whim w/out so much as a peep to Congress, presidential murder is committed and the CongressCritters bleat fruitlessly for crumbs of info about it.

I see no signs of this top-heavy imperialism diminishing. Every decision will vanish into a black hole marked "classified."

I am profoundly discouraged at 68 who at 18 years old became a conscientious objector, that the same undeclared BS wars and BS lies are used to justify continuous conflct almost nonstop these last 50 years as if engaging in such violence can ever be sucessful in achieving peaceful ends? Unless the maintenance of fear, chaos and blowback are the actual desired result.

Trump's negotiating style is chaos-inducing deliberately, then eventually a "Big Daddy" Trump can fix the mess, spin the mess and those of us still in the thrall of big-daddyism can feel assuaged. It's the relief of the famiy abuser who after the emotional violence establishes a temporary calm and family members briefly experience respite, yet remain wary and afraid.

drumlin woodchuckles , January 14, 2020 at 7:34 pm

Bingo!

The maintenance of fear, chaos and blowback are exACTLY the desired result. Deliberately and on purpose.

Jeff Wells of Rigorous Intuition wrote a post about that years ago, in a different context. Here it is.

https://rigint.blogspot.com/2006/07/violent-bear-it-away.html

xkeyscored , January 15, 2020 at 5:42 am

It also helps him do some things quietly in the background
I think you've hit the nail on the head there.

KFritz , January 14, 2020 at 10:17 pm

Kim Jong Un uses similar tactics, strategy, perhaps even style. Clinically and intellectually, it's interesting to watch their interaction. Emotionally, given their weaponry, it's terrifying.

Jason , January 15, 2020 at 9:15 am

Great post! The part about selecting for desperate business partners is very insightful, it makes his cozying up to dictators and pariah states much more understandable. He probably thinks/feels that these leaders are so desperate for approval from a country like the US that, when he needs something from them, he will have more leverage and be able to impose what he wants.

[Jan 12, 2020] The Politics Behind Banning Russia From the Olympics -- Strategic Culture

Jan 12, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Michael Averko January 11, 2020 © Photo: Government.ru There've been ongoing propaganda pieces that skirt over some inconvenient realities, for those seeking to unfairly admonish Russia in the Olympic movement. One case in point is the January 2 Reuters article " Use 1992 Yugoslavia Precedent for Russians in Tokyo – Historian ". With a stated " some Russians ", that article suggestively under-represents the actual number of 2018 Russian Winter Olympians at Pyeongchang, while supporting a hypocritically flawed aspect, having to do with Yugoslavia in 1992.

The downplaying of Russian participation at Pyeongchang, is seemingly done to spin the image of many Russian cheats being kept out. At the suggestion of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) closely vetted Russians for competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics. In actuality, the 2018 Russian Winter Olympic participation wasn't so off the mark, when compared to past Winter Olympiads – something which (among other things) puts a dent into the faulty notion that Russia should be especially singled out for sports doping.

At the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Russia had its largest ever Winter Olympic contingent of 232 , on account of the host nation being allowed a greater number of participants. The 168 Russian Winter Olympians at Pyeongchang is 9 less than the Russians who competed at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Going back further, Russian Winter Olympic participation in 2006 was at 190 , with its 2002 contingent at 151 , 1998 having 122 and 1994 (Russia's first formal Winter Olympic appearance as Russia) 113 .

The aforementioned Reuters piece references a " historian ", Bill Mallon, who is keen on using the 1992 Summer Olympic banning of Yugoslavia (then consisting of Serbia and Montenegro) as a legitimate basis to ban Russia from the upcoming Summer Olympics. In this instance, Alan Dershowitz's periodic reference to the " if the shoe is on the other foot " test is quite applicable . Regarding Mallon, " historian " is put in quotes because his historically premised advocacy is very much incomplete and overly propagandistic.

For consistency sake and contrary to Mallon, Yugoslavia should've formally participated at the 1992 Summer Olympics. The Olympic banning of Yugoslavia was bogus, given that the IOC and the IOC affiliated sports federations didn't ban the US and USSR for their respective role in wars, which caused a greater number of deaths than what happened in 1990s Bosnia. The Reuters article at issue references a United Nations resolution for sanctions against Yugoslavia, without any second guessing, in support of the preference (at least by some) to keep politics out of sports as much as possible.

Mallon casually notes that Yugoslav team sports were banned from the 1992 Summer Olympics, unlike individual Yugoslav athletes, who participated as independents. At least two of the banned Yugoslav teams were predicted to be lead medal contenders.

Croatia was allowed to compete at the 1992 Summer Olympics, despite that nation's military involvement in the Bosnian Civil War. During the 1992 Summer and Winter Olympics, the former USSR participated in individual and team sports as the Unified Team (with the exception of the three former Soviet Baltic republics, who competed under their respective nation). With all this in mind, the ban on team sports from Yugoslavia at the 1992 Summer Olympics, under a neutral name, appears to be hypocritical and ethically challenged.

BS aside, the reality is that geopolitical clout (in the form of might making right), is what compels the banning of Yugoslavia, unlike superpowers engaged in behavior which isn't less egregious. Although a major world power, contemporary Russia lacks the overall geopolitical influence of the USSR. Historian Stephen Cohen and some others, have noted that post-Soviet Russia doesn't get the same (for lack of a better word) respect accorded to the USSR. This aspect underscores how becoming freer, less militaristic and more market oriented doesn't (by default) bring added goodwill from a good number of Western establishment politicos and the organizations which are greatly influenced by them.

On the subject of banning Russia from the Olympics, Canadian sports legal politico Dick Pound, continues to rehash an inaccurate likening with no critical follow-up. ( An exception being yours truly .) Between 2016 and 2019 , Pound references the Olympic banning of South Africa, as a basis for excluding Russia. South Africa was banned when it had apartheid policies, which prevented that country's Black majority from competing in organized sports. Russia has a vast multiethnic participation in sports and other sectors.

As previously noted , the factual premise to formally ban Russia from the Olympics remains suspect. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is set to review Russia's appeal to have the recommended WADA ban against Russia overturned, as Western mass media at large and sports politicos like Pound continue to push for a CAS decision against Russia.

[Jan 12, 2020] The Skripal Affair A Lie Too Far -- Strategic Culture

Jan 12, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Strategic Culture

Search World The Skripal Affair: A Lie Too Far? Michael Jabara Carley April 18, 2018 © Photo: Public domain

On 4 March 2018 it was a foggy day in southern England, and the MI6 Russian spy Sergei Viktorovich Skripal and his daughter Yulia stepped out for a stroll, stopped at the local pub in Salisbury, went to lunch at a nearby restaurant, and then took a walk in the park where they collapsed on a park bench. What had happened to them? Did they suffer from food poisoning? Or was Sergei Skripal involved in some dark affaire and the object of a hit by persons unknown, his daughter being an accidental victim?

The police received a call that day at 4:15pm reporting two people in distress. Emergency services were despatched immediately. The Skripals were rushed to hospital, while the local police launched an investigation. It began to look like attempted murder, but the police urged patience, saying it could take months before they might know what had happened and who, if anyone, was responsible.

The Conservative government decided that it did not need to wait for a police investigation. "The Russians" had tried to assassinate a former intelligence officer turned informant for MI6. Skripal went to jail for that, but was released four years later in an exchange of agents with the United States. Now, "the Russians," so the Tory hypothesis goes, wanted to settle old scores. Less than 24 hours after the incident in Salisbury, the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, suggested that the Russian government was the prime suspect in what looked like an attempt gone wrong to assassinate Sergei Skripal.

On 12 March the foreign secretary summoned the Russian ambassador to inform him that a nerve agent, A-234, had been used against the Skripals. How did you do it, Johnson wanted to know, or did the Russian government lose control of its stocks of chemical weapons? He gave the Russian ambassador 24 hours to respond. In point of fact, the Russian government does not possess any stockpiles of chemical weapons or nerve agents, having destroyed them all as of September 2017.

Later that day, the British prime minister, Theresa May, declared in the House of Commons that the Skripals, then said to be in a coma, were poisoned with "a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia " (italics added) called a 'novichok', a Russian word having various possible translations into English (beginner, novice, newcomer, etc.). May claimed that since the Soviet Union was known to have produced this chemical weapon, or nerve agent (also known as A-234), that it was " highly likely " that the Russian government was guilty of the attack on the Skripals.

Here is what the prime minister said in the House of Commons: "Either this was a direct act by the Russian State against our country. Or the Russian government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others." The hurried British accusations were redolent of those in 2014 alleging Russian government complicity or direct involvement in the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH 17 over the Ukraine. Within hours of the destruction of MH 17, the United States and its vassals, including Britain, accused Russia of being responsible.

The western modus operandi is the same in the Skripal case. The Tories rushed to conclusions and issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the Russian government to prove its innocence, or rather to admit its guilt. How was the so-called novichok delivered to London, did President Vladimir Putin authorise the attack, did Russia lose control of its stockpile? The prime minister and her foreign secretary had in effect declared Russia guilty as charged. No objective police investigation, no due process, no presumption of innocence, no evidence was necessary: it was "sentence first, verdict later", as the Red Queen declared in Alice in Wonderland .

On 13 March the Russian embassy informed the Foreign Office that the Russian Federation was not involved in any way with the Salisbury incident. We will not respond to an ultimatum, came the reply from Moscow. The eloquent Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, Mariia Zakharova, characterised the British démarche as a "circus show". Actually, Foreign Office clerks must have told Boris Johnson that Russia would not respond to such an ultimatum so that it was a deliberate British attempt to provoke a negative Russian reply.

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated for the record that "as soon as the rumors, fed by the British leadership, about the poisoning of Skripal appeared, we immediately requested access to this [toxic] substance so that our experts could analyze it in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons." After the British ambassador visited the Russian foreign ministry on 13 March to receive the formal Russian reply to the British ultimatum, the foreign ministry in Moscow issued a communiqué: " The [Salisbury] incident appears to be yet another crooked attempt by the UK authorities to discredit Russia. Any threat to take 'punitive' measures against Russia will meet with a response. The British side should be aware of that." The Russian government in fact proposed that the alleged poisoning of the Skripals should be examined by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, according to procedures to which Britain itself had agreed when the OPCW was established in 1997.

On 14 March the British government expelled 23 Russian diplomats, and a few days later the Russian side expelled 23 British diplomats and shuttered the offices of the British Council in Russia. At the same time, the British appealed to their allies and to the European Union to show solidarity by expelling Russian diplomats. Twenty-eight countries did so, though for most it was one or two expulsions, tokenism to appease the British. Other countries -- for example, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal -- refused to join the stampede. Going over the top, the United States expelled sixty diplomats and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle. The Russians responded in kind with sixty expulsions and the closure of the US consulate in St. Petersburg. Momentum seemed to be building toward a major confrontation. The British prime minister even alluded to the possibility of military action .

In the meantime, President Putin weighed in. "I guess any reasonable person [has] realised," he said, "that this is complete absurd[ity] and nonsense. [How could] anybody in Russia allow themselves such actions on the eve of the [Russian] presidential election and the football World Cup? This is unthinkable." In any police inquiry, investigators look for means, motive and opportunity. On these grounds did the trail of guilt lead to Moscow?

Momentum is sometimes like a balloon, it blows up and then it suddenly bursts. The British case against Russia began to fall apart almost from the time it was made. In late March the Russian newspaper Kommersant leaked a British PowerPoint presentation sent to eighty embassies in Moscow. It asserted, inter alia , that the British chemical weapons facility at Porton Down had positively identified the substance, which allegedly poisoned the Skripals, as a Novichok, "developed only by Russia". Both these statements are false. On 3 April Porton Down stated publicly that it could not determine the origin of the substance that poisoned the Skripals. It also came out that the formula for making a so-called novichok was published in a book by a Russian dissident and chemist, Vil Mirzayanov, who now lives in the United States. You can buy his book (published in 2008), which includes the formula, on Amazon.com . In fact, any number of governments or smart chemists or even bright undergraduate chemistry students with the proper facilities could make this nerve agent. Amongst those governments having access to the original formula are Britain and the United States. The Russian embassy in London noted in a published report that "neither Russia nor the Soviet Union has ever developed an agent named 'Novichok'." The report further stated that "While Soviet scientists did work on new types of chemical poisons, the word 'Novichok' was introduced in the West in mid-1990s to designate a series of new chemical agents developed there on the basis of information made available by Russian expat researchers. The British insistence to use the Russian word 'Novichok' is an attempt to artificially link the substance to Russia."

The British PowerPoint presentation did not stop with its two main canards. It goes on to refer to "Russian malign activity" including, inter alia , the "invasion" of Georgia in 2008, the "destabilisation" of the Ukraine and the shooting down of MH17 in 2014, and interference in the US elections in 2016. All of these claims are audacious lies , easily deconstructed and unpacked. The referenced events are also unrelated to the Salisbury incident and were raised in an attempt to smear the Russian Federation. In fact, the British PowerPoint slides represent vulgar propaganda, bourrage de crâne , as preposterous as any seen during the Cold War.

As Minister Lavrov pointed out, the Skripal case should have gone for resolution to the OPCW in The Hague. Russia would then be directly involved in the investigation and would have access to the alleged toxin, and other evidence to try to determine what had happened and who were the perpetrators. The British government at first refused to go to the OPCW, and then when it did, refused to authorise the Russian government to have access to the alleged substance, which had sickened the Skripals. That idea is "perverse", said British authorities. Actually, not at all, it is the procedure laid out in OPCW statutes, to which Britain itself agreed but has refused to respect. When the Russian representative at the OPCW proposed a resolution to the executive council, that it should respect its own statutes, he could not obtain the required vote of approval. The British were attempting to hijack the OPCW as a potential tool against the Russian Federation. Thus far, that stratagem has not worked. On 12 April the OPCW released a report stating that it had "confirm[ed] the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury ." The report said nothing about the origin of the so-called "toxic chemical". The British accusation against Russia thus remained unsubstantiated.

What I could not understand when I read the OPCW communiqué, is why the Skripals were still alive. The OPCW says that the toxic chemical used against the Skripals was "of high purity". Was it a nerve agent? Oddly, the OPCW published report avoids a straight answer. If it was a nerve agent, being of "high purity," it should have been instant acting and killed the Skripals almost immediately. Yet both have survived at the time of this writing. Something does not make sense. Of course, there could be a simple explanation for this puzzling mystery.

On 14 April, Minister Lavrov at a meeting in Moscow provided the answer. The substance used to attack the Skripals was laced with a substance know as BZ which incapacitates rather than kills and takes longer to work than an instant acting nerve agent which kills immediately. The United States, Britain and other NATO countries have developed this toxin and put it into service; the Soviet Union never did so. Traces of A-234 were also identified, but according to experts, such a concentration of the A-234 agent would cause death to anyone affected by it. "Moreover," according to the Russian embassy in London , "considering its high volatility, the detection of this substance in its initial state (pure form and high concentration) is extremely suspicious as the samples have been taken several weeks since the poisoning," Could Britsh authorities have tampered with the samples? The public OPCW report gives no details, and refers only to a "toxic chemical". Nor did the report say that the OPCW had submitted specimens of the substance to a well-known Swiss lab , which promptly reported back its surprising results. The OPCW authorities thus lied when they said that the tests "confirmed" the British identify of the "toxic chemical". Unless Porton Down knew that the substance used against the Skripals was a BZ type toxin, and so informed the OPCW, or, unless the Tory government lied in claiming publicly that it was a novichok nerve agent. The British attempted hijacking of the OPCW has compromised its independence, for the public report issued on 12 April is misleading. Moreover, since the BZ toxin is made by the US, Britain and other NATO countries, it begs the same questions, which the Tories put to Moscow: how did the perpetrators obtain the BZ toxin and bring it to Salisbury, did MI5 or MI6 authorise a false flag attack against the Skripals, or was it authorised by the British cabinet or by the prime minister alone? Or did British authorities lose control of their stockpiles? The trail of evidence does not lead to Moscow; it leads to London.

A prima facie case can be made that the British government is lying about the Skripal affaire . Suspicion always falls upon those who act deviously, who hide behind clever turns of phrase and procedural and rhetorical smokescreens. British authorities are now saying that they have other top secret evidence, which explains everything, but unfortunately it can't be publicised. Nevertheless, the British government appears to have leaked it to the press. The Times published a story about a covert Russian lab producing nerve agents and it spread like wild fire across the Mainstream Media. The Daily Mirror put out a story about a Russian secret assassins' training manual. These stories are laughable. Is the Tory government that desperate? Is the British "everyman" that gullible?

The secret assassin's manual reminds me of the 1924 "Zinoviev Letter", a counterfeit document produced by White Russians in Germany, purporting to demonstrate Soviet interference in British elections and planning for a socialist revolution. It was early days of "fake news". Parliamentary elections were underway in October 1924 and the Tories used the letter to attack the credibility of the Labour party. It was whipping up the red scare, and it worked like a charm. The Tories won a majority government. Soviet authorities claimed that the letter was bogus and they demanded a third party, independent investigation to ascertain the truth, just as the Russian government has done now. In 1924, the Tories refused, and understandably so, since they had a lot to hide. It took seventy-five years to determine that "the letter" was in fact counterfeit.

The Tories are again acting as if they have something to hide. It is déjà vu. Will it take seventy-five years to get at the truth? Are there any honest British cops, judges, civil servants ready to reveal the truth?

There is other evidence to suggest that the British narrative on the Salisbury incident is bogus. The London Metropolitan Police have sought to prevent any outside contact with the Skripals. They have taken away a recovered Yulia Skripal to an unknown location. They have until now denied Russian consular authorities access to a Russian citizen in violation of British approved consular agreements. Is there any chapter of international law, which the British government now respects? British authorities have denied access to Yulia Skripal's family in Russia; they have denied a visa to Yulia's cousin, Viktoria, to visit with her. Are British spooks grooming Yulia, briefing her to stay on the Tory narrative? Is she being manipulated like some kind of Manchurian Candidate? Have they induced her to betray her country in exchange for emoluments, a new identity in the United States, a house, a BMW and money? Are they playing upon her loyalty to her father? Based on a statement attributed to Yulia by the London Metropolitan Police, it begins to look that way . Or, is the message, sounding very British and official, quite simply a fake? The Russian embassy in London suspects that it is. What is certain is that British authorities are acting as though they have something to hide. Even German politicians, amongst others, have criticised the British rush to indict Russia. Damage control is underway. Given all the evidence, can any person with reasonable abilities to think critically believe anything the Tories are saying about the Salisbury affair?

"They are liars. And they know that they are liars," the late Egyptian writer and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz once wrote: "And we know that they are liars. Even so, they keep lying ." Mahfouz was not writing about the British, but all the same, he could have been. Are not his well-known lines apposite to the present government in London?

The Tories are trying doggedly to maintain control of the narrative. Stakes are high for if it eventuates that the Tories have lied deliberately for political gain, at the risk of destabilising European, indeed world peace and security, the Tory government should be forced to resign and new elections, called. Then, the British electorate can decide whether it wants to be governed by reckless, mendacious Tory politicians who risk to provoke war against the Russian Federation. The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Tags: May OPCW United Kingdom Print this article Michael Jabara Carley April 18, 2018 | World The Skripal Affair: A Lie Too Far?

On 4 March 2018 it was a foggy day in southern England, and the MI6 Russian spy Sergei Viktorovich Skripal and his daughter Yulia stepped out for a stroll, stopped at the local pub in Salisbury, went to lunch at a nearby restaurant, and then took a walk in the park where they collapsed on a park bench. What had happened to them? Did they suffer from food poisoning? Or was Sergei Skripal involved in some dark affaire and the object of a hit by persons unknown, his daughter being an accidental victim?

The police received a call that day at 4:15pm reporting two people in distress. Emergency services were despatched immediately. The Skripals were rushed to hospital, while the local police launched an investigation. It began to look like attempted murder, but the police urged patience, saying it could take months before they might know what had happened and who, if anyone, was responsible.

The Conservative government decided that it did not need to wait for a police investigation. "The Russians" had tried to assassinate a former intelligence officer turned informant for MI6. Skripal went to jail for that, but was released four years later in an exchange of agents with the United States. Now, "the Russians," so the Tory hypothesis goes, wanted to settle old scores. Less than 24 hours after the incident in Salisbury, the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, suggested that the Russian government was the prime suspect in what looked like an attempt gone wrong to assassinate Sergei Skripal.

On 12 March the foreign secretary summoned the Russian ambassador to inform him that a nerve agent, A-234, had been used against the Skripals. How did you do it, Johnson wanted to know, or did the Russian government lose control of its stocks of chemical weapons? He gave the Russian ambassador 24 hours to respond. In point of fact, the Russian government does not possess any stockpiles of chemical weapons or nerve agents, having destroyed them all as of September 2017.

Later that day, the British prime minister, Theresa May, declared in the House of Commons that the Skripals, then said to be in a coma, were poisoned with "a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia " (italics added) called a 'novichok', a Russian word having various possible translations into English (beginner, novice, newcomer, etc.). May claimed that since the Soviet Union was known to have produced this chemical weapon, or nerve agent (also known as A-234), that it was " highly likely " that the Russian government was guilty of the attack on the Skripals.

Here is what the prime minister said in the House of Commons: "Either this was a direct act by the Russian State against our country. Or the Russian government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others." The hurried British accusations were redolent of those in 2014 alleging Russian government complicity or direct involvement in the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH 17 over the Ukraine. Within hours of the destruction of MH 17, the United States and its vassals, including Britain, accused Russia of being responsible.

The western modus operandi is the same in the Skripal case. The Tories rushed to conclusions and issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the Russian government to prove its innocence, or rather to admit its guilt. How was the so-called novichok delivered to London, did President Vladimir Putin authorise the attack, did Russia lose control of its stockpile? The prime minister and her foreign secretary had in effect declared Russia guilty as charged. No objective police investigation, no due process, no presumption of innocence, no evidence was necessary: it was "sentence first, verdict later", as the Red Queen declared in Alice in Wonderland .

On 13 March the Russian embassy informed the Foreign Office that the Russian Federation was not involved in any way with the Salisbury incident. We will not respond to an ultimatum, came the reply from Moscow. The eloquent Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, Mariia Zakharova, characterised the British démarche as a "circus show". Actually, Foreign Office clerks must have told Boris Johnson that Russia would not respond to such an ultimatum so that it was a deliberate British attempt to provoke a negative Russian reply.

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated for the record that "as soon as the rumors, fed by the British leadership, about the poisoning of Skripal appeared, we immediately requested access to this [toxic] substance so that our experts could analyze it in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons." After the British ambassador visited the Russian foreign ministry on 13 March to receive the formal Russian reply to the British ultimatum, the foreign ministry in Moscow issued a communiqué: " The [Salisbury] incident appears to be yet another crooked attempt by the UK authorities to discredit Russia. Any threat to take 'punitive' measures against Russia will meet with a response. The British side should be aware of that." The Russian government in fact proposed that the alleged poisoning of the Skripals should be examined by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, according to procedures to which Britain itself had agreed when the OPCW was established in 1997.

On 14 March the British government expelled 23 Russian diplomats, and a few days later the Russian side expelled 23 British diplomats and shuttered the offices of the British Council in Russia. At the same time, the British appealed to their allies and to the European Union to show solidarity by expelling Russian diplomats. Twenty-eight countries did so, though for most it was one or two expulsions, tokenism to appease the British. Other countries -- for example, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal -- refused to join the stampede. Going over the top, the United States expelled sixty diplomats and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle. The Russians responded in kind with sixty expulsions and the closure of the US consulate in St. Petersburg. Momentum seemed to be building toward a major confrontation. The British prime minister even alluded to the possibility of military action .

In the meantime, President Putin weighed in. "I guess any reasonable person [has] realised," he said, "that this is complete absurd[ity] and nonsense. [How could] anybody in Russia allow themselves such actions on the eve of the [Russian] presidential election and the football World Cup? This is unthinkable." In any police inquiry, investigators look for means, motive and opportunity. On these grounds did the trail of guilt lead to Moscow?

Momentum is sometimes like a balloon, it blows up and then it suddenly bursts. The British case against Russia began to fall apart almost from the time it was made. In late March the Russian newspaper Kommersant leaked a British PowerPoint presentation sent to eighty embassies in Moscow. It asserted, inter alia , that the British chemical weapons facility at Porton Down had positively identified the substance, which allegedly poisoned the Skripals, as a Novichok, "developed only by Russia". Both these statements are false. On 3 April Porton Down stated publicly that it could not determine the origin of the substance that poisoned the Skripals. It also came out that the formula for making a so-called novichok was published in a book by a Russian dissident and chemist, Vil Mirzayanov, who now lives in the United States. You can buy his book (published in 2008), which includes the formula, on Amazon.com . In fact, any number of governments or smart chemists or even bright undergraduate chemistry students with the proper facilities could make this nerve agent. Amongst those governments having access to the original formula are Britain and the United States. The Russian embassy in London noted in a published report that "neither Russia nor the Soviet Union has ever developed an agent named 'Novichok'." The report further stated that "While Soviet scientists did work on new types of chemical poisons, the word 'Novichok' was introduced in the West in mid-1990s to designate a series of new chemical agents developed there on the basis of information made available by Russian expat researchers. The British insistence to use the Russian word 'Novichok' is an attempt to artificially link the substance to Russia."

The British PowerPoint presentation did not stop with its two main canards. It goes on to refer to "Russian malign activity" including, inter alia , the "invasion" of Georgia in 2008, the "destabilisation" of the Ukraine and the shooting down of MH17 in 2014, and interference in the US elections in 2016. All of these claims are audacious lies , easily deconstructed and unpacked. The referenced events are also unrelated to the Salisbury incident and were raised in an attempt to smear the Russian Federation. In fact, the British PowerPoint slides represent vulgar propaganda, bourrage de crâne , as preposterous as any seen during the Cold War.

As Minister Lavrov pointed out, the Skripal case should have gone for resolution to the OPCW in The Hague. Russia would then be directly involved in the investigation and would have access to the alleged toxin, and other evidence to try to determine what had happened and who were the perpetrators. The British government at first refused to go to the OPCW, and then when it did, refused to authorise the Russian government to have access to the alleged substance, which had sickened the Skripals. That idea is "perverse", said British authorities. Actually, not at all, it is the procedure laid out in OPCW statutes, to which Britain itself agreed but has refused to respect. When the Russian representative at the OPCW proposed a resolution to the executive council, that it should respect its own statutes, he could not obtain the required vote of approval. The British were attempting to hijack the OPCW as a potential tool against the Russian Federation. Thus far, that stratagem has not worked. On 12 April the OPCW released a report stating that it had "confirm[ed] the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury ." The report said nothing about the origin of the so-called "toxic chemical". The British accusation against Russia thus remained unsubstantiated.

What I could not understand when I read the OPCW communiqué, is why the Skripals were still alive. The OPCW says that the toxic chemical used against the Skripals was "of high purity". Was it a nerve agent? Oddly, the OPCW published report avoids a straight answer. If it was a nerve agent, being of "high purity," it should have been instant acting and killed the Skripals almost immediately. Yet both have survived at the time of this writing. Something does not make sense. Of course, there could be a simple explanation for this puzzling mystery.

On 14 April, Minister Lavrov at a meeting in Moscow provided the answer. The substance used to attack the Skripals was laced with a substance know as BZ which incapacitates rather than kills and takes longer to work than an instant acting nerve agent which kills immediately. The United States, Britain and other NATO countries have developed this toxin and put it into service; the Soviet Union never did so. Traces of A-234 were also identified, but according to experts, such a concentration of the A-234 agent would cause death to anyone affected by it. "Moreover," according to the Russian embassy in London , "considering its high volatility, the detection of this substance in its initial state (pure form and high concentration) is extremely suspicious as the samples have been taken several weeks since the poisoning," Could Britsh authorities have tampered with the samples? The public OPCW report gives no details, and refers only to a "toxic chemical". Nor did the report say that the OPCW had submitted specimens of the substance to a well-known Swiss lab , which promptly reported back its surprising results. The OPCW authorities thus lied when they said that the tests "confirmed" the British identify of the "toxic chemical". Unless Porton Down knew that the substance used against the Skripals was a BZ type toxin, and so informed the OPCW, or, unless the Tory government lied in claiming publicly that it was a novichok nerve agent. The British attempted hijacking of the OPCW has compromised its independence, for the public report issued on 12 April is misleading. Moreover, since the BZ toxin is made by the US, Britain and other NATO countries, it begs the same questions, which the Tories put to Moscow: how did the perpetrators obtain the BZ toxin and bring it to Salisbury, did MI5 or MI6 authorise a false flag attack against the Skripals, or was it authorised by the British cabinet or by the prime minister alone? Or did British authorities lose control of their stockpiles? The trail of evidence does not lead to Moscow; it leads to London.

A prima facie case can be made that the British government is lying about the Skripal affaire . Suspicion always falls upon those who act deviously, who hide behind clever turns of phrase and procedural and rhetorical smokescreens. British authorities are now saying that they have other top secret evidence, which explains everything, but unfortunately it can't be publicised. Nevertheless, the British government appears to have leaked it to the press. The Times published a story about a covert Russian lab producing nerve agents and it spread like wild fire across the Mainstream Media. The Daily Mirror put out a story about a Russian secret assassins' training manual. These stories are laughable. Is the Tory government that desperate? Is the British "everyman" that gullible?

The secret assassin's manual reminds me of the 1924 "Zinoviev Letter", a counterfeit document produced by White Russians in Germany, purporting to demonstrate Soviet interference in British elections and planning for a socialist revolution. It was early days of "fake news". Parliamentary elections were underway in October 1924 and the Tories used the letter to attack the credibility of the Labour party. It was whipping up the red scare, and it worked like a charm. The Tories won a majority government. Soviet authorities claimed that the letter was bogus and they demanded a third party, independent investigation to ascertain the truth, just as the Russian government has done now. In 1924, the Tories refused, and understandably so, since they had a lot to hide. It took seventy-five years to determine that "the letter" was in fact counterfeit.

The Tories are again acting as if they have something to hide. It is déjà vu. Will it take seventy-five years to get at the truth? Are there any honest British cops, judges, civil servants ready to reveal the truth?

There is other evidence to suggest that the British narrative on the Salisbury incident is bogus. The London Metropolitan Police have sought to prevent any outside contact with the Skripals. They have taken away a recovered Yulia Skripal to an unknown location. They have until now denied Russian consular authorities access to a Russian citizen in violation of British approved consular agreements. Is there any chapter of international law, which the British government now respects? British authorities have denied access to Yulia Skripal's family in Russia; they have denied a visa to Yulia's cousin, Viktoria, to visit with her. Are British spooks grooming Yulia, briefing her to stay on the Tory narrative? Is she being manipulated like some kind of Manchurian Candidate? Have they induced her to betray her country in exchange for emoluments, a new identity in the United States, a house, a BMW and money? Are they playing upon her loyalty to her father? Based on a statement attributed to Yulia by the London Metropolitan Police, it begins to look that way . Or, is the message, sounding very British and official, quite simply a fake? The Russian embassy in London suspects that it is. What is certain is that British authorities are acting as though they have something to hide. Even German politicians, amongst others, have criticised the British rush to indict Russia. Damage control is underway. Given all the evidence, can any person with reasonable abilities to think critically believe anything the Tories are saying about the Salisbury affair?

"They are liars. And they know that they are liars," the late Egyptian writer and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz once wrote: "And we know that they are liars. Even so, they keep lying ." Mahfouz was not writing about the British, but all the same, he could have been. Are not his well-known lines apposite to the present government in London?

The Tories are trying doggedly to maintain control of the narrative. Stakes are high for if it eventuates that the Tories have lied deliberately for political gain, at the risk of destabilising European, indeed world peace and security, the Tory government should be forced to resign and new elections, called. Then, the British electorate can decide whether it wants to be governed by reckless, mendacious Tory politicians who risk to provoke war against the Russian Federation. © 2010 - 2020 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org . The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Also by this author Michael Jabara Carley Professor of history at the Université de Montréal. He has published widely on Soviet relations with the West What Poland Has to Hide About the Origins of World War II The Canadian Prime Minister Needs a History Lesson The Russian V-Day Story (Or the History of World War II Not Often Heard in the West) Why Canada Defends Ukrainian Fascism Lament for Canada Sign up for the Strategic Culture Foundation Newsletter Subscribe


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© 2010 - 2020 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org . The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. <div><img src="https://mc.yandex.ru/watch/10970266" alt=""/></div>

[Jan 11, 2020] New category of Russian agents: The level of fake information in coverage of neoliberal MSM of Iranian event force people to read Sputnik and Xinhua

Notable quotes:
"... It's as if the entire capital city of the US has become a mental asylum / Hotel California ..."
Jan 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Jan 10 2020 19:30 utc | 1

The sheer arrogance and wilful blindness expressed in the US State Department press statement and WaPo staffer Louisa Loveluck's tweets are astounding beyond belief. It's as if the entire capital city of the US has become a mental asylum / Hotel California , where one can enter but never leave spiritually and morally, though one can take many physical trips in and out of the madhouse.

Iraq definitely does need the S-300 missile defense systems. The most pressing issue though is whether the Iraqis will suffer the delays Syria suffered in acquiring those systems even after paying for them.

Time now is of the essence. Iraqi operators need to be trained in those systems. Syria may be able to supply some training but at the risk of letting down its guard in sending some of its operators to Baghdad and exposing them to US drone attacks.

[Jan 10, 2020] The level of disinformation produced by fake news outliets controlled by intelligence agencies is just staggering. You cna't beleve a single work in politically changed fortin covergarate

They really are able to turn white into black and black into white.
Notable quotes:
"... 1) Occurs as Iran is on brink of war with USA?; 2) Indications of USA using info war tactics; 3) airliner owner by Kolomoisky? 4) No communication with tower? 5) USA and Israel history of duplicity and narrative management (example: MH-17). ..."
"... NATO has weaponized aircraft accident investigations. Lawfare in combination with state terrorism. ..."
"... The Ukies know how to obliterate a debris field. MH-17 -- They used artillery for months to keep OSCE and Dutch officials away, and despite the locals working to protect the deceased and the debris, body parts have been found years later. ..."
Jan 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Rob , Jan 10 2020 17:46 utc | 2
There were also clear sightings of a missile to bring down TWA 800. Except it didn't. As an Navy Pilot , flight instructor and 737 captain this does not at 1st or 2nd glance appear to be a missile strike. Catastropic engine failure is my bet. They made most of the turn back to the airport before losing integrity or loss of thrust.

Good analysis.


vk , Jan 10 2020 17:52 utc | 3

US Claim of Ukrainian Boeing 737 Plane Being Hit by Missile Aims to Manipulate Stock Markets
On Wednesday, Boeing's shares plummeted by 2.3 percent ($3.4bn) after the Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 aircraft crashed in Tehran due to encountering a technical glitch.

On Thursday, the stock rose by 3 percent after unnamed Pentagon officials claimed that the Ukrainian passenger plane was most likely brought down by anti-aircraft missiles, and US President Donald Trump implicitly supported the claim. This has been read by analysists as an attempt to manipulate the stock market; a measure that would both overshadow Trump's failure in Iraq and save Boeing from bankruptcy.

Russia says no grounds to blame Iran for Ukrainian plane crash: TASS

I didn't find the article on TASS. Maybe it was in its Russian version, or in its TV/Radio/Podcast version.

I don't discard a terrorist attack from the inside, or sabotage of the plane by the Ukrainian government. What I think is missile attack can be pretty much discarded: the evidence the Iranians already have through their air control data discard any possibility, by sheer logic alone, that that was the case.

Unless, of course, the Iranians are lying. But then there isn't any cui bono for Iran to lie about it (if it was a mistake they wanted to cover, they could blame a random independent militia so as to give plausible deniability) with the technical malfunction argument, and now Russia's foreign minister Ryabkov is on the boat with it - so I don't see the cui bono for Russia either.

ninel , Jan 10 2020 17:58 utc | 4
A little guide to Iran's modern history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1988_executions_of_Iranian_political_prisoners
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chain_murders_of_Iran
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_student_protests,_July_1999
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zahra_Kazemi
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_foreign_nationals_detained_in_Iran
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_Iran
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_Iran

Perseus wore a magic cap so that the monsters he hunted down might not see him. Some of you choose to draw the magic cap down over your eyes and ears so as to make-believe that there are no monsters in Iran.

Per/Norway , Jan 10 2020 18:03 utc | 5
Posted by: ninel | Jan 10 2020 17:58 utc | 4

"Some of you choose to draw the magic cap down over your eyes and ears so as to make-believe that there are no monsters in Iran."

No, it is a lot easier than that.

Most of us dont get paid to post bs about the imperial enemies like you, and most off us still know how to use our brain.
That is it, nothing more nothing less.

PavewayIV , Jan 10 2020 18:10 utc | 6
Rob@2 - What do you make of the loss of ADS-B? Could a catastrophic engine failure take out both power buses? The ADS-B transceiver? I know a the turbine blades turn into little missile blades when they decide to leave the engine, but I have no idea of the way power is transferred when either bus or the standby goes down. I assume automatic? Are the transfer switches anywhere near the engines? Does the APU automatically fire up? I assume the ADS-B box is in the electronics bay, but where is the antenna?

karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 18:37 utc | 12
Thanks b! As I commented towards the end of the previous thread on this topic, the mundane evidence has already been shown. IMO, if a missile or bomb was employed, the Iranians would be yelling louder than anyone and the denials would be coming from BigLie Media instead of accusations. And as I answered psychohistorian, the massive coverage by BigLie media serves as narrative distraction from what's being obfuscated--casualties taken by Outlaw US Empire troops and the BDA presented by Iranian Military.

In that regard, The Saker's update sticks to the important facts of the now escalated ongoing war between Iran and the Evil Empire.


Jackrabbit , Jan 10 2020 19:11 utc | 17
Sorry, but there's good reasons to suspect foul play - as I and others have explained on the last thread.

1) Occurs as Iran is on brink of war with USA?; 2) Indications of USA using info war tactics; 3) airliner owner by Kolomoisky? 4) No communication with tower? 5) USA and Israel history of duplicity and narrative management (example: MH-17).

<> <> <> <>

Also: IMO it's dangerous for Iran to invite experts from a group of Western countries. What is likely to happen is that all the Western experts will be pressure to disagree with Iran's findings. CIA knows that people will believe the "group of experts!" over Iran.

!!

pleasebeleafme , Jan 10 2020 19:12 utc | 18
I don't know how anal Iran is about keeping track of ordinance but they must be pretty certain as to whether they downed the plane or not! Looks like they are being transparent and open. If they come out of this proving engine failure or something else then this could be a great pr coup.
There would be a lot of egg on many faces trying to explain how the intelligence is wrong yet again. I look forward to watching trudeau walk that back. Hopefully!
Gary , Jan 10 2020 19:17 utc | 19
One explanation is the Boeing was used as a human shield, a military plane hides behind a slow moving plane when detected. The ukrainians did it with the MH17 and the israeli with the russian plane and tried it with the attack on damascus. In both cases there was a lot of dis-info and blaming right away. But the iranian would have known what the target was, and mentioned it, so very unlikely.

Another question is the possibility a smaller missile only damaged the plane, also very unlikely.

Head of Iran Civil Aviation Organization Ali Abedzadeh exaggerates: "From a scientific viewpoint, it is impossible that a missile hit the Ukrainian plane."

"We can say that the airplane, considering the kind of the crash and the pilot's efforts to return it to Imam Khomeini airport, didn't explode in the air. So, the allegation that it was hit by missiles is totally ruled out," the official noted.

Walter , Jan 10 2020 19:25 utc | 20
Dude, when you're in Wyoming and see critter tracks down by the creek, you would assume it was Martians rather than antelope? Get real. The Ukie blew a crappy GE engine...they have this characteristic...

Stay real, use Occam's Razor + physical evidence. Otherwise it's distraction and TBS...

TJ , Jan 10 2020 19:26 utc | 21
@11 Ernesto Che

Craig Murray has been tracking a propagandist Wikipedia editor called "Philip Cross", here is the main article, but there are others on his site The Philip Cross Affair

karlitozulu , Jan 10 2020 19:38 utc | 24
ninel@ #4

here is a little reminder of Murica's recent history:

From 1945 until today - 20 to 30 million people killed by the USA

https://www.voltairenet.org/article204021.html

so, when you talk about monsters are you talking about yourself? ;)

Piotr , Jan 10 2020 19:39 utc | 25
ICAO is in contact with the States involved and will assist them if called upon. Its leadership is stressing the importance of avoiding speculation into the cause of the tragedy pending the outcomes of the investigation ...

ICAO may be a worthy organization (some staff changes seem to be warranted), but isn't it a bit too much?! If this is a sincere wish of democratically elected heads of democratic nations that they want to form a harmonious chorus and speculate, then no mundane power can stop them. BTW, what is wrong with Zelensky that he did not join? PTSD after the brutal telephonies calls? I would add it to the list of proven damages to the security of those several states that will be debated in the Senate. [end of snark, "several states" is the entity named in the so-called Constitution of The United States of America].

journey80 , Jan 10 2020 19:50 utc | 26
The flight originated in Teheran, bound for Kiev, but where was it before it arrived in Iran? It could have been sabotaged anywhere; then easy, right, to set off an onboard bomb by remote control from the ground? I'm sure Iran is crawling with Mosssad/MI6/CIA spooks.
ninel , Jan 10 2020 19:51 utc | 27
@karlitozulu

So you turn a blind eye to atrocities committed by other countries or peoples because the US government is responsible for the most? Did you even complete your high school education with that sort of reasoning? I never absolved the US or any other country. Simpletons like you seem to live in a black and white world in which one side must be chosen over the other. I feel unfortunate for b or anyone else who frequents this blog who does not view the world in such a profoundly problematic way.

I am far more informed about Iranian politics, history, culture and religion than most people here. Please don't allow your hate for the USA, well justified, to cloud your judgment.

Symen Danziger , Jan 10 2020 19:53 utc | 28
NATO has weaponized aircraft accident investigations. Lawfare in combination with state terrorism.

It's time for new rules and regulations. ICAO Annex 13 was drafted in different times. A rule based order is ancient history.

People should be able to chose their destination, route and carrier based on personal preferences like price and comfort, not on factors like the latest or next conflict zone, corruption in the countries along the route, military and political adventurism, etc.

The world has gone crazy.

Willy2 , Jan 10 2020 20:01 utc | 33
- As said before: I didn't believe for one second that that ukrainian plane was shot down. It would have given the US simply another stick to beat up the iranian government. I assume the iranians are smart enough to know that. They simply don't want to escalate the situation more. Although Iran has now the "moral high ground" it is still (very) vulnerable in a number of ways.

- I think the ukrainian tourists were small traders. I.e. buy stuff e.g. clothing and other "merchandise" in Teheran, bring it into the Ukraine and then sell that "merchandise" in Ukraine with a (big) profit.

William Gruff , Jan 10 2020 20:05 utc | 35
We have a distinguished professor in our midst! Quite unlike the lowly regular professors or inconsequential adjunct instructors that normally grace these pages. Let me kick back and get a tan from the brilliance pouring out of this one! Us high latitude types have to get our Vitamin D wherever we can.

As for my lack of criticism of Iran's government, that's the business of the Iranian people and none of my own. The Evil Empire attacking Iran? That, unfortunately, is everyone's business whether they want it to be or not.

Why is it that these wise guys from the West (Americans mostly) feel it is their duty to criticize everyone else's governments and cultures when the examples they are setting themselves are so appallingly bad? Maybe these distinguished critics of other peoples' ways of life feel that it is easier to fix those other peoples' societies than it is to fix their own. After all, they apparently feel that fixing other countries just requires some number of bombs, while fixing their own country... where do they even start? How do you fix perfection?

Jen , Jan 10 2020 20:06 utc | 36
I'd be curious to know whether the flight crew on board Flight PS752 had had sufficient rest. Three hours of resting do not seem like sufficient time but that depends on the journey the plane made to Tehran, the duration of that journey and where it started. Was the plane also checked for signs of wear and tear during the three-hour-plus pause?

Are UIA's owners (among them Ihor Kolomoisky) working their employees and hardware assets too hard and too cheaply as well?

Walter , Jan 10 2020 20:33 utc | 43
@ Rob | Jan 10 2020 17:46 utc | 2

Yes. I think so too. Looks like the engine ran at reduced thrust as they turned, and then failed entirely at below minimum control speed, with the expected result, asymmetrical stall, yaw, roll, bang.

There are pictures of severe erosion of what looks like compressor wheel from, presumably, ingestion of foreign material. Crap on the runway probably, and pencil-whipped maintenance, I should imagine.

foolisholdman , Jan 10 2020 20:36 utc | 44
bevin | Jan 10 2020 18:52 utc | 15

Reuters was bought by Rothschild some years ago.

PavewayIV , Jan 10 2020 21:01 utc | 49
journey80@26 - Kiev is Ukrainian Airlines main hub. The 737 arrived from Kiev earlier that morning and was returning there.

Jen@36 - No reason to do anything but a cursory safety check at Tehran. The airline's mechanics are in Kiev - anything beyond a normal pre-flight check involving maintenance would be done there, not Tehran. I doubt the crew was rested. That's not how UAI rolls on it's hub round-trips.

UAI is also bleeding money like crazy. They're nearly bankrupt and stole the money they collect from passengers for the Ukraine Civil Aviation Authority fees. Tens of millions USD. The new CEO promises to fix everything somehow. I guess by overworking crews, skipping maintenance and crappy service. Those are always money-savers for cheap, poorly-run airlines (prior to bankruptcy). Too bad. Supposedly it wasn't that bad of an airline when they first added passenger service to their existing cargo ops a decade ago, but has been going downhill ever since.

"Some real gems you got following your blog b."
So why are you here?

Peter AU1 , Jan 10 2020 21:39 utc | 56
Ocams razor... bookies odds... planes fall out o the sky from time to time for all sorts of reasons not related to malicious activity. What are the odds of this occurring in Iran shortly after an Iran strike on a US base.

The US has and does use terrorist tactics such as shooting down passenger jets. Trump threatened Iran with retribution against cultural sites and so forth (terrorist actions). Fifty two targets of fifty two ways of getting back at Iran.

What are the odds US would down a passenger jet in Iran within hours of Iran's strike against their base.

I have to go with US terrorist actions for that one. Similar to the protests in Iraq. The people had genuine grievances as do all good color revolutions but the were just too advantageous for the US for it not to be a made in the US color revolution style protest. We now know from the Iraq PM that is exactly what it was.

Walter , Jan 10 2020 22:05 utc | 58
The odds are unrelated unless there's agency. No agency has been credibly proposed. You know this is so, as the probability maths in se have been discussed previously @ MoA.

But of course, the US does murder all over the place, so if there is agency, then I tend to agree with the idea that "they" or their cohort in zionishland may be causative. What are the "odds" that the engine shown has severe blade erosion? Again 100% . Engine swallows scrap off the tarmac...a dependent relation, drop junk in engine, blades damaged, run at 100%, 100% "chance" of engine failure.

Repeating the essence of the matter of odds>

"Two events are independent, statistically independent, or stochastically independent if the occurrence of one does not affect the probability of occurrence of the other (equivalently, does not affect the odds). Similarly, two random variables are independent if the realization of one does not affect the probability distribution of the other."

ie without a dependent relationship the odds are whatever the odds are for engine failure and crash. And the other odds don't exist, because those events, the shooting, was not random or accidental. The odds of Iran firing rockets in reprisal was dependent on the US attacks, ie 100%

But if you're building engines at GE, or obsolete defective airplanes in Seattle, then of course the odds are that you devoutly wish it was a rocket up the tailpipe... Pay-day's come Friday, and all of that...

dave , Jan 10 2020 22:29 utc | 59
@PavewayIV

The APU will auto-shutdown for the following reasons:

Fire
Low oil pressure
High oil temperature / Fault
Overspeed

http://www.b737.org.uk/apu.htm

t , Jan 10 2020 22:38 utc | 62
Would like to see debunk the NYT video: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/video/iran-plane-missile.html

Have checked it myself (google earth etc) after being skeptical and the landmarks and sounds do indeed seem to match.

Bigben , Jan 10 2020 22:51 utc | 66
This link is worth reading. I can't play the video on my computer, but we will see if this theory gains traction during the next few days.

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/01/10/video-of-ukrainian-airliner-in-failed-landing-with-burning-engine-makes-trump-a-chump/

t , Jan 10 2020 23:02 utc | 69
@Poor,

I know NYT is a sham, and believe me I held my intellectual nose as I went into its site. It's not somewhere I frequent at all.

I did think about the point you made too, but there are 2 issues:

1) In the other 2 videos we see the plane as it's already burning, we don't see it in its "before" state. For me it's reasonable to imagine the hit on the impact caused some initial burning which was extinguished due to wind, and then started back up again a few moments after the NYT video ended and before the other 2 videos began.

2) If the NYT video is indeed doctored (and for me it would be a pretty convincing doctor), why wouldn't the creator simply keep the light going until the end of the vid?

Likklemore , Jan 10 2020 23:39 utc | 74
Iran to Announce Cause of Ukraine Jet Crash Tomorrow - Reports
Iran will announce the cause of the Ukrainian Boeing 737 crash after the accident investigation commission meeting on Saturday, the Fars News agency reported on Thursday, citing a source familiar with the matter.

"Tomorrow, after the meeting of the civil aviation accident investigation commission, the cause of the crash of the Ukrainian passenger plane will be announced", the source said.

Domestic and foreign parties, whose citizens died in the crash, will take part in the Saturday meeting, the outlet added. They will announce the reason for the accident after reviewing the preliminary report.

Ukraine says Iran cooperating with Boeing crash probe, calls to reduce media speculation

[.]Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko asked that the media not spread "unconfirmed" information on Friday, pleading with reporters to "reduce the level of speculation" while the probe continues. The experts are still analyzing evidence, looking at the bodies of the victims and the wreckage in hope of gaining insight into what took down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, killing all 176 people on board.[,]
A User , Jan 11 2020 1:27 utc | 78
If no one had engaged with nine-drongos the thread would not have been disrupted and perhaps a useful dialog about the plane crash could have ensued. Those who did swallow the hook are just as guilty the original whatabouter of making this thread useless - good job. I would say exercise some discipline but that would be a waste of breath given the insecurities about their beliefs too many here apparently have. Letting some arsehole spout uninterrupted is a better indication of your point of view than anger, hysteria or ad hominem. Your stupidity has caused a thread to fail.
Red Ryder , Jan 11 2020 1:34 utc | 82
The Ukies know how to obliterate a debris field. MH-17 -- They used artillery for months to keep OSCE and Dutch officials away, and despite the locals working to protect the deceased and the debris, body parts have been found years later.

Patience, folks. The truth will come out.

Tom , Jan 11 2020 2:03 utc | 83
#57 posted by Poor Ramin Mazaheri who works for Press TV and has had many articles published on The Saker. He would describe the Iranian economy as socialist with Iranian charters. The link to the article below is an excellent source for information on Iran's economy.

What comes as a surprise to me is ICAO seems to have some integrity. It seems the US and friends haven't completely taken it over.

You can judge someone by their friends. NATO and the terrorists in Idlib have backed the killing of Soleimani. Who seems to enjoy killing civilians? The US just droned killed 60 civilians in Afghanistan. Information provided by the Iraqi prime minister showed the US is willing to use snipers and paid protesters to tear Iraq apart. They utterly destroyed Mosul and Raqqa without regard for civilians. The Syrian government has tried to avoid civilian deaths, which is why those who want to cause chaos in the region always accuses them of targeting civilians. So the US would have no problem getting MEK to or some other group to shoot the plane down but I'm leaning against that scenario.

The US has been planning to control oil for a long time. In 1975 a feasibility study was prepared for the Special Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on International Relations on "Oil fields as military objectives", better described as bringing Democracy to the Middle East. Well, they did that sorta in Iraq, and now the Iraq government has politely asked the US to leave and the Iranians have demonstrated to them why they should leave. I'm not sure if the Ukrainian plane crashing is the next move the US has made in this great game, but I would put my money on shoddy management of the Ukrainian plane. Why not, the country is barely functioning. I doubt the plane was hit with a missle. More likely the US can't pass up an opportunity for stirring trouble and the MSM has no problem memory holing another lie.

http://thesaker.is/sanctions-on-khamenei-ending-the-myth-of-the-millionaire-mullah/

[Jan 09, 2020] It looks like UK and the USA intelligences agencies run the contest to see who can come up with the most surreal anti-Russian propaganda psy-ops

Highly recommended!
For MI6 this level of detachment from reality is stunning
Notable quotes:
"... "The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation. ... much of the espionage performed on the Trump campaign was conducted on UK soil throughout 2016." ..."
"... "Gregory R. Copley, editor and publisher of Defense & Foreign Affairs, posited that Sergei Skripal is the unnamed Russian intelligence source in the Steele dossier. ... In Skripal's pseudo-country-gentleman retirement, the ex-GRU-MI6 double agent was selling custom-made "Russian intelligence"; he had fabricated "material" that went into the Steele dossier..." ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Likbez,

It looks like UK and USA are engaged in the contest to see who can come up with the most surreal anti-Russian propaganda psy-ops.

British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns

That shed some light on the common origin of MH17, Russiagate and Scripal propaganda campaigns connecting all three with British government's psy-op operation called The ' Integrity Initiative ' which builds 'cluster' or contact groups of trusted journalists, military personal, academics and lobbyists within foreign countries. These people get alerts via social media to take action when the British center perceives a need.

And among others participants, William Browder is listed too:

Members of the Atlantic Council, which has a contract to censor Facebook posts , appear on several cluster lists. The UK core cluster also includes some prominent names like tax fraudster William Browder , the daft Atlantic Council shill Ben Nimmo and the neo-conservative Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum. One person of interest is Andrew Wood who handed the Steele 'dirty dossier' to Senator John McCain to smear Donald Trump over alleged relations with Russia. A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times, Neil Buckley from the FT and Jonathan Marcus of the BBC.
Here is one interesting comment from MoA:

Anya, Nov 24, 2018 11:57:00 AM

The British government has been running a serious meddling into the US affairs:

https://www.zerohedge.com/n...

"The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation. ... much of the espionage performed on the Trump campaign was conducted on UK soil
throughout 2016."
A Steele & Skrupal's anti-Russian / anti-Trump saga: https://spectator.org/big-d...
"Gregory R. Copley, editor and publisher of Defense & Foreign Affairs, posited that Sergei Skripal is the unnamed Russian intelligence source in the Steele dossier. ... In Skripal's pseudo-country-gentleman retirement, the ex-GRU-MI6 double agent was selling custom-made "Russian intelligence"; he had fabricated "material" that went into the Steele dossier..."
For M16 to expose this level of stupidity is stunning.

[Jan 08, 2020] Big, bad Putin attacked by slimy rat Browder.

Jan 08, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Is there a chorus of politicians singing in there about how lazy they are, and how they never bothered to verify Browder' story? The story is indeed remarkable, but not in the way that first appears.

Stephen Fry / @stephenfry

You may or may not know the remarkable story of @Billbrowder and the #MagnitskyAct - find out the startling truth by listening to
#MagnitskytheMusical by the wondrous @JohnnyFlynnHQ & @roberthudson - @BBCRadio3 7.30 Sun 12th Jan

Magnitsky the Musical

Book and lyrics by Robert Hudson
Music and lyrics by Johnny Flynn

12 January 2020
О 1 hour, 34 minutes

Johnny Flynn and Robert Hudson bring us a musical based on the
incredible story of an American venture capitalist, a Russian tax
advisor, a crazy heist, the Trump Tower meeting and the very rule of
law.

Blending music and satire, the story explores the truths and fictions
surrounding the origins and aftershocks of the Magnitsky Act; global
legislation which allows governments to sanction those who they see
as offenders of human rights.

It tells the story of a tax adviser's struggle to uncover a huge tax
fraud, his imprisonment by the very authorities he is investigating,
and the American financier's crusade for justice.

Johnny Flynn, Paul Chahidi and members of the cast perform songs in
a epic story that explores democracy, corruption, and how we
undervalue the law at our peril.

Bill Paul Chahidi Sergei Johnny Flynn Jamie Fenella Woolgar Natalia Ellie Kendrick Kuznetsov Gus Brown Guard Clive Hayward Silchenko Ian Conningham Jared Will Kirk Fisherman Neil McCaul Judge Jessica Turner

Additional singing by Sinead Maclnnes, Laura Christy, Scarlett
Courtney and Lucy Reynolds.

The cellist is Joe Zeitlin. Sound is by Peter Ringrose. Directed by Sasha Yevtushenko.

[Jan 08, 2020] Jan 8, 2020 Boeing 737-800 crash in Tehran: The Ukraine wants to do the 737 accident investigation. Why? To delegate it to the Dutch, get Bellingcat involved and blame it on Russia?

Notable quotes:
"... Mike Pence will blame Iran for MH17 and Iraq will be sanctioned for it. Don't you just love the rule based order? ..."
Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Symen Danziger , Jan 8 2020 17:11 utc | 124

The Ukraine wants to do the 737 accident investigation. Why? To delegate it to the Dutch, get Bellingcat involved and blame it on Russia?

I am sure Bellingcat will find some shitty video online of a Russian Buk that backed up all the way from Kursk to Tehran without nobody else noticing it. Putin's niece was driving it by direct order from the Kremlin!

Mike Pence will blame Iran for MH17 and Iraq will be sanctioned for it. Don't you just love the rule based order?

[Jan 08, 2020] CNN Attacks Babylon Bee Is The Web Only Big Enough For One Fake News Site

Jan 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

And, The Babylon Bee immediately jumped into action to satirically 'document' the reaction:

CNN has slammed the world's best satire site, The Babylon Bee, after CNN executives realized that "fake news" articles on the website were getting at least as much social media traction as their own.

"There ain't room in this internet for the both of us," growled one CNN anchor on the air Monday evening. "There simply aren't enough people out there for us to fool with our fake news stories and The Babylon Bee to fool with their satire. There isn't enough clickbait and outrage traffic to go around. "

"They're obviously amateurs over there at The Bee," said Brian Stelter.

"A lot of times, their reporting comes true. If you're gonna do fake news, do it right -- 100% fake, guaranteed, 24/7. They really should learn from the pros over here at CNN."

"Stay out of our territory," he growled.

[Jan 07, 2020] CNN Attacks Babylon Bee Is The Web Only Big Enough For One Fake News Site

Jan 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

And, The Babylon Bee immediately jumped into action to satirically 'document' the reaction:

CNN has slammed the world's best satire site, The Babylon Bee, after CNN executives realized that "fake news" articles on the website were getting at least as much social media traction as their own.

"There ain't room in this internet for the both of us," growled one CNN anchor on the air Monday evening. "There simply aren't enough people out there for us to fool with our fake news stories and The Babylon Bee to fool with their satire. There isn't enough clickbait and outrage traffic to go around. "

[Jan 07, 2020] The United States, like Israel, has become a pariah that shreds, violates or absents itself from international law

Jan 07, 2020 | www.truthdig.com

The United States, like Israel, has become a pariah that shreds, violates or absents itself from international law. We launch preemptive wars, which under international law is defined as a "crime of aggression," based on fabricated evidence. We, as citizens, must hold our government accountable for these crimes. If we do not, we will be complicit in the codification of a new world order, one that would have terrifying consequences. It would be a world without treaties, statutes and laws. It would be a world where any nation, from a rogue nuclear state to a great imperial power, would be able to invoke its domestic laws to annul its obligations to others. Such a new order would undo five decades of international cooperation -- largely put in place by the United States -- and thrust us into a Hobbesian nightmare. Diplomacy, broad cooperation, treaties and law, all the mechanisms designed to civilize the global community, would be replaced by savagery.

Chris Hedges, an Arabic speaker, is a former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. He spent seven years covering the region, including Iran.

[Jan 06, 2020] Russia's Real Reasons for Partnering with Iran by Nadya Glebova

July 13, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

Moscow has a vested interest in the state of affairs in the Persian Gulf; it has tried its best to contain the impact that the U.S.-Iranian crisis could have on its own national security.

The third area of focus is connected with overlapping humanitarian and economic concerns that impact both Russia and Iran. These concerns have been footholds in the history of mutual relationships since the time of Russian and Persian empires. Nowadays both of the countries are trying to compensate for their failures by pursuing policies that promote their own and unique civilizations. In this situation the humanitarian sphere is one of the strategic ones allowing to pursue long-term aims. Of note, Russian-Iranian educational and cultural projects have doubled since the Trump administration announced its strategy for Iran. While the United States has been focused on "bringing Iran to its knees," Russia has been focused on the future. Economic ties between these two countries have been strengthening over the past few years, with bilateral trade reaching $2 billion in 2018.

Hopefully, Russia and Iran will maintain a positive relationship despite their differences and past difficulties. For example, in 2016 Russian forces were pushed off of a military base in Iran that it had used to conduct military operations in Syria. The strategic shift happened after the Iranians squabbled over whether foreign forces should be allowed to use an Iranian military base. Also, the two countries have had some disputes over the fate of Syria. Despite these issues, Russia maintains a positive relationship with Iran, which it further confirmed during a June 25 meeting between national security advisers John Bolton, Meir Ben-Shabbat and Nikolai Patrushev. During the meeting, Patrushev, the Secretary of the Russian Security Council, declared that Russia would continue to accommodate Iran's interests in the Middle East because it remains "the ally and partner" of choice in Syria. Both countries are focused on preventing further destabilization in the region, he said.

Nadya Glebova is a fellow at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a MENA researcher.

[Jan 06, 2020] Putin's Hour Is At Hand - PaulCraigRoberts.org

Notable quotes:
"... Putin's Hour Is At Hand was published in the Russian press Monday morning, January 6, 2020. ..."
Jan 06, 2020 | www.paulcraigroberts.org

Putin's Hour Is At Hand January 4, 2020 | Categories: Articles & Columns | Tags: | Print This Article Print This Article

Putin's Hour Is At Hand was published in the Russian press Monday morning, January 6, 2020.

Putin's Hour Is At Hand

Paul Craig Roberts

Vladimir Putin is the most impressive leader on the world stage. He survived and arose from a Russia corrupted by Washington and Israel during the Yeltsin years and reestablished Russia as a world power. He dealt successfully with American/Israeli aggression against South Ossetia and against Ukraine, incorporating at Crimea's request the Russian province back into Mother Russia. He has tolerated endless insults and provocations from Washington and its empire without responding in kind. He is conciliatory and a peacemaker from a position of strength.

He knows that the American empire based as it is on arrogance and lies is failing economically, socially, politically, and militarily. He understands that war serves no Russian interest.

Washington's murder of Qasem Soleimani, a great Iranian leader, indeed, one of the rare leaders in world history, has dimmed Trump's leadership and placed the limelight on Putin. The stage is set for Putin and Russia to assume the leadership of the world.

Washington's murder of Soleimani is a criminal act that could start World War 3 just as the Serbian murder of the Austrian Archduke set World War 1 in motion. Only Putin and Russia with China's help can stop this war that Washington has set in motion.

Putin understood that the Washington/Israeli intended destabilization of Syria was aimed at Russia. Without warning Russia intervened, defeated the Washington financed and armed proxy forces, and restored stability to Syria.

Defeated, Washington and Israel have decided to bypass Syria and take the attack on Russia directly to Iran. The destabilization of Iran serves both Washington and Israel. For Israel Iran's demise stops support for Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia that has twice defeated Israel's army and prevented Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon. For Washington Iran's demise allows CIA-supported jihadists to bring instability into the Russian Federation.

Unless Putin submits to American and Israeli will, he has no choice but to block any Washington/Israeli attack on Iran.

The easiest and cleanest way for Putin to do this is to announce that Iran is under Russia's protection. This protection should be formalized in a mutual defense treaty between Russia, China, and Iran, with perhaps India and Turkey as members. This is hard for Putin to do, because incompetent historians have convinced Putin that alliances are the cause of war. But an alliance such as this would prevent war. Not even the insane criminal Netanyahu and the crazed American neoconservatives would, even when completely drunk or deluded, declare war on Iran, Russia, China, and if included in the alliance India and Turkey. It would mean the death of America, Israel and any European country sufficiently stupid to participate.

If Putin is unable to free himself from the influence of incompetent historians, who in effect are serving Washington, not Russian, interests, he has other options. He can calm down Iran by giving Iran the best Russian air defense systems with Russian crews to train the Iranians and whose presence serve as a warning to Washington and Israel that an attack on Russian forces is an attack on Russia.

This done, Putin can then, not offer, but insist on mediating. This is Putin's role as there is no other with the power, influence and objectivity to mediate.

Putin's job is not so much to rescue Iran as to get Trump out of a losing war that would destroy Trump. Putin could set his own price. For example, Putin's price can be the revival of the INF/START treaty, the anti-ballistic missile treaty, the removal of NATO from Russian borders. In effect, Putin is positioned to demand whatever he wants.

Iranian missiles can sink any American vessels anywhere near Iran. Chinese missiles can sink any American fleets anywhere near China. Russian missiles can sink American fleets anywhere in the world. The ability of Washington to project power in the Middle East now that everyone, Shia and Sunni and Washington's former proxies such as ISIS, hates Americans with a passion is zero. The State Department has had to order Americans out of the Middle East. How does Washingon count as a force in the Middle East when no American is safe there?

Of course Washington is stupid in its arrogance, and Putin, China, and Iran must take this into consideration. A stupid government is capable of bringing ruin not only on itself but on others.

So there are risks for Putin. But there are also risks for Putin failing to take charge. If Washington and Israel attack Iran, which Israel will try to provoke by some false flag event as sinking an American warship and blaming Iran, Russia will be at war anyway. Better for the initiative to be in Putin's hands. And better for the world and life on Earth for Russia to be in charge.

[Jan 06, 2020] Diplomacy Trump-style. Al Capone probably would be allow himself to fall that low

Highly recommended!
Jan 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Fec , Jan 5 2020 15:23 utc | 3

"We have learned today from #Iraq Prime Minister AdilAbdl Mahdi how @realDonaldTrump uses diplomacy:
#US asked #Iraq to mediate with #Iran. Iraq PM asks #QassemSoleimani to come and talk to him and give him the answer of his mediation, Trump &co assassinate an envoy at the airport."

https://twitter.com/ejmalrai/status/1213833855754485762

[Jan 06, 2020] Now I know for sure that the US government spreads shameless lies, so you can't believe anything it says.

Notable quotes:
"... So, I did not see it as a war crime back then, but I do now. ..."
Jan 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment January 5, 2020 at 10:22 pm GMT

@ChuckOrloski At the time I thought that it might be justified, if Al Qaida actually did 9/11. Now I know that Al Qaida was and is a CIA operation and have my doubts regarding its involvement in 9/11.

Even if it was, that was on direct orders of its American handlers.

What's more, now I know for sure that the US government spreads shameless lies, so you can't believe anything it says. In fact, you can safely assume that everything it says is a lie and be right 99.9% of the time.

So, I did not see it as a war crime back then, but I do now.

[Jan 04, 2020] Why the US Seeks to Hem in Russia, China and Iran by Patrick Lawrence

Sep 13, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

America's three principal adversaries signify the shape of the world to come: a post-Western world of coexistence. But neoliberal and neocon ideology is unable to to accept global pluralism and multipolarity, argues Patrick Lawrence.


Special to Consortium News

The Trump administration has brought U.S. foreign policy to the brink of crisis, if it has not already tipped into one. There is little room to argue otherwise. In Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, and in Washington's ever-fraught relations with Russia, U.S. strategy, as reviewed in my previous column , amounts to little more than spoiling the efforts of others to negotiate peaceful solutions to war and dangerous standoffs in the interests of an orderly world.

The bitter reality is that U.S. foreign policy has no definable objective other than blocking the initiatives of others because they stand in the way of the further expansion of U.S. global interests. This impoverished strategy reflects Washington's refusal to accept the passing of its relatively brief post–Cold War moment of unipolar power.

There is an error all too common in American public opinion. Personalizing Washington's regression into the role of spoiler by assigning all blame to one man, now Donald Trump, deprives one of deeper understanding. This mistake was made during the steady attack on civil liberties after the Sept. 11 tragedies and then during the 2003 invasion of Iraq: namely that it was all George W. Bush's fault. It was not so simple then and is not now. The crisis of U.S. foreign policy -- a series of radical missteps -- are systemic. Having little to do with personalities, they pass from one administration to the next with little variance other than at the margins.

Let us bring some history to this question of America as spoiler. What is the origin of this undignified and isolating approach to global affairs?

It began with that hubristic triumphalism so evident in the decade after the Cold War's end. What ensued had various names.

There was the "end of history" thesis. American liberalism was humanity's highest achievement, and nothing would supersede it.

There was also the "Washington consensus." The world was in agreement that free-market capitalism and unfettered financial markets would see the entire planet to prosperity. The consensus never extended far beyond the Potomac, but this sort of detail mattered little at the time.

The neoliberal economic crusade accompanied by neoconservative politics had its intellectual ballast, and off went its true-believing warriors around the world.

Happier days with Russia. (Eric Draper)

Failures ensued. Iraq post–2003 is among the more obvious. Nobody ever planted democracy or built free markets in Baghdad. Then came the "color revolutions," which resulted in the destabilization of large swathes of the former Soviet Union's borderlands. The 2008 financial crash followed.

I was in Hong Kong at the time and recall thinking, "This is not just Lehman Brothers. An economic model is headed into Chapter 11." One would have thought a fundamental rethink in Washington might have followed these events. There has never been one.

The orthodoxy today remains what it was when it formed in the 1990s: The neoliberal crusade must proceed. Our market-driven, "rules-based" order is still advanced as the only way out of our planet's impasses.

A Strategic and Military Turn

Midway through the first Obama administration, a crucial turn began. What had been an assertion of financial and economic power, albeit coercive in many instances, particularly with the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, took on further strategic and military dimensions. The NATO bombing campaign in Libya, ostensibly a humanitarian mission, became a regime-change operation -- despite Washington's promises otherwise. Obama's "pivot to Asia" turned out to be a neo-containment policy toward China. The "reset" with Russia, declared after Obama appointed Hillary Clinton secretary of state, flopped and turned into the virulent animosity we now live with daily. The U.S.-cultivated coup in Kiev in 2014 was a major declaration of drastic turn in policy towards Moscow. So was the decision, taken in 2012 at the latest , to back the radical jihadists who were turning civil unrest in Syria into a campaign to topple the Assad government in favor of another Islamist regime.

Spoilage as a poor excuse for a foreign policy had made its first appearances.

I count 2013 to 2015 as key years. At the start of this period, China began developing what it now calls its Belt and Road Initiative -- its hugely ambitious plan to stitch together the Eurasian landmass, Shanghai to Lisbon. Moscow favored this undertaking, not least because of the key role Russia had to play and because it fit well with President Vladimir Putin's Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), launched in 2014.

Belt and Road Initiative. (Lommes / CC BY-SA 4.0)

In 2015, the last of the three years I just noted, Russia intervened militarily and diplomatically in the Syria conflict, in part to protect its southwest from Islamist extremism and in part to pull the Middle East back from the near-anarchy then threatening it as well as Russia and the West.

Meanwhile, Washington had cast China as an adversary and committed itself -- as it apparently remains -- to regime change in Syria. Three months prior to the treaty that established the EAEU, the Americans helped turn another case of civil unrest into a regime change -- this time backing not jihadists in Syria but the crypto-Nazi militias in Ukraine on which the government now in power still depends.

That is how we got the U.S.-as-spoiler foreign policy we now have.

If there is a president to blame -- and again, I see little point in this line of argument -- it would have to be Barack Obama. To a certain extent, Obama was a creature of those around him, as he acknowledged in his interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic toward the end of his second term. From that "Anonymous" opinion piece published in The New York Times on Sept. 5, we know Trump is too, to a greater extent than Obama may have feared in his worst moments.

The crucial question is why. Why do U.S. policy cliques find themselves bereft of imaginative thinking in the face of an evolving world order? Why has there been not a single original policy initiative since the years I single out, with the exception of the now-abandoned 2015 accord governing Iran's nuclear programs? "Right now, our job is to create quagmires until we get what we want," an administration official told The Washington Post 's David Ignatius in August.

Can you think of a blunter confession of intellectual bankruptcy? I can't.

Global 'Equals' Like Us?

There is a longstanding explanation for this paralysis. Seven decades of global hegemony, the Cold War notwithstanding, left the State Department with little to think about other than the simplicities of East-West tension. Those planning and executing American diplomacy lost all facility for imaginative thinking because there was no need of it. This holds true, in my view, but there is more to our specific moment than mere sclerosis within the policy cliques.

As I have argued numerous times elsewhere, parity between East and West is a 21st century imperative. From Woodrow Wilson to the post-World War II settlement, an equality among all nations was in theory what the U.S. considered essential to global order.

Now that this is upon us, however, Washington cannot accept it. It did not count on non-Western nations achieving a measure of prosperity and influence until they were "just like us," as the once famous phrase had it. And it has not turned out that way.

Can't we all just get along? (Carlos3653 / Wikimedia)

Think of Russia, China, and Iran, the three nations now designated America's principal adversaries. Each one is fated to become (if it is not already) a world or regional power and a key to stability -- Russia and China on a global scale, Iran in the Middle East. But each stands resolutely -- and this is not to say with hostile intent -- outside the Western-led order. They have different histories, traditions, cultures, and political cultures. And they are determined to preserve them.

They signify the shape of the world to come -- a post-Western world in which the Atlantic alliance must coexist with rising powers outside its orbit. Together, then, they signify precisely what the U.S. cannot countenance. And if there is one attribute of neoliberal and neoconservative ideology that stands out among all others, it is its complete inability to accept difference or deviation if it threatens its interests.

This is the logic of spoilage as a substitute for foreign policy. Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author, and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century (Yale). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is www.patricklawrence.us. Support his work via www.patreon.com/thefloutist .

If you valued this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

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Tags: Barack Obama China Donald Trump George W. Bush Iran Neoliberlism Patrick Lawrence Russia Spoiler United States Vladimir Putin

Post navigation ← Solving Italy's Immigration Crisis Consortium News Unveils New Logo → 78 comments for "Why the U.S. Seeks to Hem in Russia, China and Iran"

R Davis , September 20, 2018 at 04:21

adversary: – one's opponent in a contest, conflict or dispute.

& I ask this
"Is it really thus"
"Why must it be thus"

How can China be an adversary of the USA when all their manufactured goods come from China.
example:- a water distiller – manufactured in & purchased from China retails for AU$70 odd.
The very same item manufactured in China – but purchased from the USA retails for US$260 plus.
China should be a most welcome guest at the dinner table of the USA.

R Davis , September 20, 2018 at 04:28

While i'm here – where did China get all their surveillance equipment from – the place is locked down tighter than a chicken coop plagued by foxes.

relevant article – CRAZZ FILES – Bone Chilling Footage Shows the Horrific Tyranny Google is Now Secretly Fostering in China.

In my opinion Google is not trying to keep information out of China – BUT – preventing information from get out of China – to the world at large.
A lockdown as severe as this – tells us that there is something seriously bad happening inside China.
Maybe even a mass genocide

Bob Arnold , September 16, 2018 at 09:48

This analysis is correct as far as it goes. However, what is lacking is an analysis of the lunatic monetary ideology that has looted the physical economy of the U.S. by putting enormous fake profits of speculative instruments in the hands of our "elites." It is the post industrial, information age economy which must be transformed by very painful loss of control by these putative elites if the world is to survive their insane geopolitics. What the Chinese are doing by rapid build up of worldwide infrastructure needs to be replicated here. The only way of doing so is first by ending the Wall St./City of London derivatives nightmare and then by issuing trillions of credits needed for that very purpose.

Lee Anderson , September 16, 2018 at 15:16

Agreed, you speak wisely of the root of the problem. Those who create and distribute money make ALL the rules and dominate the political and media landscape.

Freedomlover , September 17, 2018 at 15:20

Hit the nail on the head.
Thanks

bevin , September 14, 2018 at 18:32

This really is an excellent analysis. I would highlight the following point:
"There is a longstanding explanation for this paralysis. Seven decades of global hegemony, the Cold War notwithstanding, left the State Department with little to think about other than the simplicities of East-West tension. Those planning and executing American diplomacy lost all facility for imaginative thinking because there was no need of it. This holds true, in my view, but there is more to our specific moment than mere sclerosis within the policy cliques "

Conformism and its consequences, probably derived in part from Puritanism and further cemented by the alternating racisms of anti-indigenous and anti black attitudes- the history of the lynch mob and various wars against the poor which ended up in the anti-communist frenzies of the day before yesterday constitute the backbone of American history- is the disease which afflicts Washington.

Don Bacon , September 14, 2018 at 18:03

You don't mention corruption and profiteering, which go hand-in-hand with American Exceptionalism and the National Security State (NSS) formed in 1947. The leader of the world which is also an NSS requires enemies, so the National Security Strategy designates enemies, a few of them in an Axis of Evil. Arming to fight them and dreaming up other reasons to go to war, including a war on terror of all things, bring the desired vast expenditures, trillions of dollars, which translate to vast profits to those involved.

This focus on war has its roots in the Christian bible and in a sense of manifest destiny that has occupied Americans since before they were Americans, and the real Americans had to be exterminated. It certainly (as stated) can't be blamed on certain individuals, it's predominate and nearly universal. How many Americans were against the assault by the Coalition of the Willing upon Iraq? Very few.

Homer Jay , September 14, 2018 at 22:09

"How many Americans were against the assault by the Coalition of the Willing upon Iraq? Very few."

Are you kidding me? Here is a list of polls of the American public regarding the Iraq War 2003-2007;

https://www.politifact.com/iraq-war-polls/

Even in the lead up the war when the public was force fed a diet comprised entirely of State Dept. lies about WMDs by a sycophantic media, there was still a significant 25-40 percent of the public who opposed the war. You clearly are not American or you would remember the vocal minority which filled the streets of big cities across this country. And again the consent was as Chomsky says "manufactured." And it took only 1 year of the war for the majority of the public to be against it. By 2007 60-70% of the public opposed the war.

Judging from your name you come from a country whose government was part of that coalition of the willing. So should we assume that "very few" of your fellow country men and women were against that absolute horror show that is the Iraq war?

Don Bacon , September 14, 2018 at 23:05

You failed to address my major point, and instead picked on something you're wrong on.

Iraq war poll –Pew Research
http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/old-assets/publications/770-1.gif

PS: bevin made approximately the same point later (w/o the financial factor).
"Conformism and its consequences, probably derived in part from Puritanism and further cemented by the alternating racisms of anti-indigenous and anti black attitudes- the history of the lynch mob and various wars against the poor which ended up in the anti-communist frenzies of the day before yesterday constitute the backbone of American history- is the disease which afflicts Washington."

Homer Jay , September 17, 2018 at 14:47

Respectfully, Your data backs up my comment/data. And to your larger point, again we must be careful when describing such attitudes as "American", a country with a wide range of attitudes/ beliefs. To suggest we are all just a war mongering mob is bigoted. You probably will say that's defensive but it's also right. And making the recklessly inaccurate claim that "very few" Americans opposed the war in Iraq, without taking into account the disinformation campaign that played into the initial consent, needs to corrected more than once.

Sari , September 14, 2018 at 15:15

I just encountered (via Voltairenet) "The Pentagon's New Map," a book written by Thomas Barnett, an assistant once to Admiral Arthur K. Cebrowski (now deceased). Barnett wrote an earlier article for the March 2003 Esquire entitled "Why the Pentagon Changes Its Map: And Why We'll Keep Going to War" ( https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a1546/thomas-barnett-iraq-war-primer/ ) describing their ideas which are introduced thusly:

"Since the end of the cold war, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world -- and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there's a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since September 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis at the U.S. Naval War College, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community. Now, he gives it to you."

His basic premise: "Show me where globalization is thick with network connectivity, financial transactions, liberal media flows, and collective security, and I will show you regions featuring stable governments, rising standards of living, and more deaths by suicide than murder. These parts of the world I call the Functioning Core, or Core. But show me where globalization is thinning or just plain absent, and I will show you regions plagued by politically repressive regimes, widespread poverty and disease, routine mass murder, and -- most important -- the chronic conflicts that incubate the next generation of global terrorists. These parts of the world I call the Non-Integrating Gap, or Gap."

One more quote gives you the "Monarch Notes" edition: "Think about it: Bin Laden and Al Qaeda are pure products of the Gap -- in effect, its most violent feedback to the Core. They tell us how we are doing in exporting security to these lawless areas (not very well) and which states they would like to take "offline" from globalization and return to some seventh-century definition of the good life (any Gap state with a sizable Muslim population, especially Saudi Arabia).

If you take this message from Osama and combine it with our military-intervention record of the last decade, a simple security rule set emerges: A country's potential to warrant a U.S. military response is inversely related to its globalization connectivity."

Of course, we all recognize how much prevarication currently exists in "implementing" this strategy, but I would suggest that, very likely, the Pentagon is, indeed, following this "New Map." And, yes, this "map" shows us why the U.S. has been continually at war since 9/11 and subbornly refuses to leave Syria, Iraq, and the Middle East with their apparent justification being "Might Makes Right." Thierry Mayssen (Voltairenet) aptly describes the Gap states as "reservoirs of resources" driven into perpetual war, destabilization, and chaos by a preeminently overwhelming hegemonic U.S. military.

I had to laugh. One of Barnett's reasons in promulgating this new "map" involves the continued stability of the Core; however, what do we see today? Huge waves of immigration greatly destabilizing every aspect of Europe and chaos and destabilization flooding the U.S. via false/contrived polarization in every sphere of life. BUT! The military has "a Map!"

Psssstt!! Who's "creating" the Gap? Who has funded and armed Al Qaeda/DAESH/ISIS in the Middle East? We'll need GPS to keep up with the Pentagon's "new map!"

Archie1954 , September 14, 2018 at 14:39

I have often wondered why the US was unable to accept the position of first among equals. Why does it have to rule the World? I know it believes that its economic and political systems are the best on the planet, but surely all other nations should be able to decide for themselves, what systems they will accept and live under? Who gave the US the right to make those decisions for everyone else? The US was more than willing to kill 20 million people either directly or indirectly since the end of WWII to make its will sovereign in all nations of the World!

Bob Van Noy , September 14, 2018 at 21:54

Archie 1954, because 911 was never adequately investigated, our government was inappropriately allowed to act in the so-called public interest in completely inappropriate ways; so that in order for the Country to set things right, those decisions which were made quietly, with little public discussion, would have to be exposed and the illegalities addressed. But, as I'm sure you know, there are myriad other big government failures also left unexamined, so where to begin?

That is why I invariably raise JFK's Assassination as a logical starting point. If a truly independent commission would fix the blame, we could move on from there. Sam F., on this forum, has mentioned a formal legal undertaking many times on this site, but now is the time to begin the discussion for a formal Truth And Reconciliation Commission in America Let's figure out how to begin.

So,"Who gave the US the right to make those decisions for everyone else?", certainly not The People

Lee Anderson , September 16, 2018 at 15:28

Jill Stein said if elected she would boycott all countries guilty of human rights abuses and she included Saudi Arabia and Israel. She also said she would form a 9/11 commission comprised of those independent people and groups currently reporting on this travesty. Meanwhile we have the self-proclaimed "progressive" talk show hosts such as Thom Hartmann, defending the PNAC NEOCONS while making Stein persona non grata and throwing real progressive candidates under the bus.

The PNAC NEOCONS understood the importance of creating a galvanizing, catastrophic and catalyzing event but the alternative media is afraid to call a spade a spade, something about the truth being too risky to ones career, I assume.

See much more at youtopia.guru

Bob Van Noy , September 17, 2018 at 09:19

Lee Anderson thank you for your response, I agree and I appreciate the link suggestion, I'm impressed and will read more

didi , September 14, 2018 at 13:49

It is always the unintended consequences. Hence I disagree with some of your views. A president who takes actions which trigger unintended/unexpected consequences can be held accountable for such consequences even if he/she could not avert the consequences. It is also often true that corrections are possible when such consequences begin to appear. Given our system which makes only presidents powerful to act on war, peace, and foreign relationships there is no escaping that they must be blamed only.

Jessika , September 14, 2018 at 13:36

A very good article. Spoiler and bully describe US foreign policy, and foreign policy is in the driver's seat while domestic policy takes the pickings, hardly anything left for the hollowed-out society where people live paycheck to paycheck, homelessness and other assorted ills of a failing society continue to rise while oligarchs and the MIC rule the neofeudal/futile system. When are we going to make that connection of the wasteful expenditure on military adventurism and the problem of poverty in the US? The Pentagon consistently calls the shots, yet we consistently hear about unaccounted expenditures by the Pentagon, losing amounts in the trillions, and never do they get audited.

nondimenticare , September 14, 2018 at 12:18

I certainly agree that the policy is bereft, but not for all of the same reasons. There is the positing of a turnaround as a basis for the current spoiler role: "What had been an assertion of financial and economic power, albeit coercive in many instances, particularly with the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, took on further strategic and military dimensions."

To substantiate this "crucial turn," Lawrence makes the unwarranted assumption that the goal post Soviet Union was simply worldwide free-market capitalism, not global domination: "Failures ensued. Iraq post–2003 is among the more obvious. Nobody ever planted democracy or built free markets in Baghdad"; and the later statement that the US wanted the countries it invaded to be "Just like us."

Though he doesn't mention (ignores) US meddling in Russia after the collapse of the USSR, I presume from its absence that he attributes that, too, to the expansion of capital. Indeed, it was that, but with the more malevolent goal of control. "Just like us" is the usual "progressive" explanation for failures. "Controlled by us" was more like it, if we face the history of the country squarely.

That is the blindness of intent that has led to the spoiler role.

Unfettered Fire , September 14, 2018 at 11:15

Is it really so wise to be speaking in terms of nationhood after we've undergone 50 years of Kochian/libertarian dismantlement of the nation-state in favor of bank and transnational governance? Remember the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski:

"The "nation-state" as a fundamental unit of man's organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state." ~ Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages, 1970

"Make no mistake, what we are seeing in geopolitics today is indeed a magic show. The false East/West paradigm is as powerful if not more powerful than the false Left/Right paradigm. For some reason, the human mind is more comfortable believing in the ideas of division and chaos, and it often turns its nose up indignantly at the notion of "conspiracy." But conspiracies and conspirators can be demonstrated as a fact of history. Organization among elitists is predictable.

Globalists themselves are drawn together by an ideology. They have no common nation, they have no common political orientation, they have no common cultural background or religion, they herald from the East just as they herald from the West. They have no true loyalty to any mainstream cause or social movement.

What do they have in common? They seem to exhibit many of the traits of high level narcissistic sociopaths, who make up a very small percentage of the human population. These people are predators, or to be more specific, they are parasites. They see themselves as naturally superior to others, but they often work together if there is the promise of mutual benefit."

http://www.alt-market.com/articles/3504-in-the-new-qmultipolar-worldq-the-globalists-still-control-all-the-players

Jeff Davis , September 14, 2018 at 11:46

Your comment is astute and valuable, and consequently deserves to be signed with your real name, so that you can be identified as someone worth listening to.

Don Bacon , September 14, 2018 at 17:44

Screen names don't matter, content does.

OlyaPola , September 15, 2018 at 11:34

"Screen names don't matter, content does."

Apparently not for some where attribution is sought and the illusion of trust the source trust the content is held, leading to curveballs mirroring expectations whilst serving the purposes of others.

JuanPZenter , September 17, 2018 at 07:31

Why? The better to dox him with?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doxing

OlyaPola , September 14, 2018 at 13:35

""The "nation-state" as a fundamental unit of man's organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state." ~ Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages, 1970"

The date of publication is of significance as was Mr. Paul Craig Roberts' Alienation in the Soviet economy of 1971, as was Mr. Andrei Amalrik's "Can the Soviet Union last until 1984 published in 1969.

The period 1968 – 1973 was one significant trajectory in the half-life of "we the people hold these truths to be self-evident" which underpinned and maintained the "nation state" misrepresented/branded as the "United States of America" through a change in the assays of the amalga mutual benefit/hold these truths to be self-evident.

The last hurrah of the "red experts" – Mr. Brezhnev and associates – despite analyses/forecasts from various agencies agreed, detente based on spheres of influence facilitating through interaction/complicity various fiats including but not restricted to fiat currency, fiat economy, fiat politics all dependent on mutations of "we the people hold these truths to be self-evident".

This interaction also facilitated processes which accelerated the demise of the "Soviet Union" and its continuing transcendence by the Russian Federation – the choice of title being a notice of intent that some interpreted as the "End of History" whilst others interpreted as lateral opportunity facilitated by the hubris of the "End of History".

The "red experts" were not unique in their illusions; another pertinent example is the strategy of the PLO in maintaining the illusion of the two state solution/"Oslo accords" facilitating the continuing colonial project branded as "Israel".

Mr. Brzezinski was one of the others who interpreted the "End of History" as linear opportunity where the assay of amalga of form could be changed to maintain content/function which was/is to "still" control all the players.

However in any interactive system neither omniscience nor sole agency/control is possible, whilst by virtue of interaction the complicity of all can be encouraged in various ways to facilitate useful outcomes in furtherance of purpose, whilst illusions of the "End of History" and the search for the holy grail of "Full Spectrum Dominance" acted as both accelerators and multipliers in the process of encouragement, whilst obscuring this process in open sight through the opponents' amalga of reliance on "plausible belief based in part on projection", "exceptionalism" and associated hubris.

The "nation state" subsuming illusions of mutual benefit and mutual purpose has always been a function of the half-lives of components of its ideological facades and practices – sexual intercourse wasn't invented in 1963 and "The "nation-state" as a fundamental unit of man's organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force" wasn't initiated in 1970.

Unfettered Fire , September 14, 2018 at 13:43

"In our society, real power does not happen to lie in the political system, it lies in the private economy: that's where the decisions are made about what's produced, how much is produced, what's consumed, where investment takes place, who has jobs, who controls the resources, and so on and so forth. And as long as that remains the case, changes inside the political system can make some difference -- I don't want to say it's zero -- but the differences are going to be very slight." ~ Noam Chomsky

Giants: The Global Power Elite – A talk by Peter Phillips
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np6td-wzDYQ

The Elite World Order in Jitters
Review of Peter Phillips' book Giants: The Global Power Elite
https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/09/the-elite-world-order-in-jitters/

backwardsevolution , September 14, 2018 at 17:14

Unfettered Fire – good posts. Thank you. Peter Phillips is definitely worth listening to.

Jon Dhoe , September 14, 2018 at 11:02

Israel, Israel, Israel.

When are we going to start facing facts?

Daniel Good , September 14, 2018 at 09:59

Yet there is a thread that leads through US foreign policy. It all started with NSC 68. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSC_68 . Already in the 1950's, leading bankers were afraid of economic depression which would follow from a "peace dividend" following the end of WWII. To avoid this, and to avoid "socialism", the only acceptable government spending was on defense. This mentality never ended. Today 50% of discretionary govenmenrt spending is on the military. http://www.unz.com/article/americas-militarized-economy/ . We live in a country of military socialism, in which military citizens have all types of benefits, on condition they join the military-industrial-complex. This being so, there is no need for real "intelligence", there is no need to "understand" what goes on is foreign countries, there no need to be right about what might happen or worry about consequences. What is important is stimulate the economy by spending on arms. From Korean war, when the US dropped more bombs than it had on Nazi Germany, through Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya etc etc the US policy was a winning one not for those who got bombed (and could not fight back) but for the weapons industry and military contractors. Is the NYTimes ever going to discuss this aspect? Or any one in the MSM?

Lee Anderson , September 16, 2018 at 15:42

All that and we constantly have to endure the bankster/MIC-controlled media proclaiming everyone who joins the military as "heroes" defending our precious"freedoms." The media mafia is evil.

Walter , September 14, 2018 at 09:26

The "why" behind the US foreign policies was spoken with absolute honest clarity in the "Statement of A. Wess Mitchell
Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs" to the Senate on August 21 this year. The transcript is at :

https://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/082118_Mitchell_Testimony.pdf

Quoth the esteemed gentleman (inter alia)

"It continues to be among the foremost national security interests of the United States to prevent the domination of the Eurasian landmass by hostile powers. The central aim of the administration's foreign policy is to prepare our nation to confront this challenge by systematically strengthening the military, economic and political fundamentals of American power. "

Tellingly the "official" State Department copy is changed and omits the true spoken words

See yourself: https://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/2018/285247.htm

This is the essence of MacKinder's Thesis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Geographical_Pivot_of_History and was the underlying reason for both world wars in the 20th century.

An essay on this observed truth https://journal-neo.org/2018/09/11/behind-the-anglo-american-war-on-russia/

A deeper essay on the same subject https://www.silkroadstudies.org/resources/pdf/Monographs/1006Rethinking-4.pdf

I would propose that the zionish aspect exists due to the perceived necessity of "Forward Operating Base Israel" lookit a map, Comrade The ISIS?Saudi?Zionist games divides the New Silk Road and the Eurasian land mass and exists to throttle said pathways.

Interestingly the latter essay is attributed to Eldar Ismailov and Vladimer Papava

Brother Comrade Putin knows the game. The US has to maintain the fiction for the public that it does not know the game, and is consequently obliged to maintain a vast public delusion, hence "fake news" and all the rest.

OlyaPola , September 14, 2018 at 13:49

"I would propose that the zionish aspect exists due to the perceived necessity of "Forward Operating Base Israel" lookit a map, Comrade"

Some have an attraction to book-ends.

Once upon a time the Eurasian book-ends were Germany and Japan, and the Western Asian book-ends Israel and Saudi Arabia.

This "strategy" is based upon the notion that bookend-ness is a state of inertia which in any interactive system is impossible except apparently to those embedded in "we the people hold these truths to be self-evident".

Consequently some have an attraction to book-ends.

Walter , September 15, 2018 at 12:31

If I understand you correctly, then yes, some imagine that a static situation can exist. This a natural but delusional way of seeing the world, of course – especially because Chin and Rus are able to liquidate any counter-forces that attempt to create or maintain "book-ends.

The actual spoken words to the Senate of Mr. Michell are very significant, as the removal of them from the ostensibly real, but actually false, State Department "Transcript" implies. Foolish Mr. Michell! He accidentally spoke the true objective of US foreign policy and also the domestic objective – total bamboozlement of the US population "prepare the country for " (Obvious, world war against the Heartland states that fail to "cooperate" (surrender).

People ought to read the pdf what Michell actually spoke all of it and consider the logical implications. Michell has a big mouth Good. He confirms the dark truths

The guilty according to circumstantial evidence has confessed his guilt so to say; confirming the crime

An Israeli-Saudi "Greater Israel" dividing Syria between Saud and zion is of course a goal that in effect would be a "book-end".

Too late now as it is clear that Syrian skies are probably going to soon be "no-fly-zone" for foreign invaders

Then will come the "pitch-forks", as Napoleon's retreat from Moscow illustrated

OlyaPola , September 16, 2018 at 04:25

"If I understand you correctly, then yes, some imagine that a static situation can exist. This a natural but delusional way of seeing the world"

Absolutes including stasis don't exist but the belief of others in book-ends including extensive foreign bases are lands of opportunities for others facilitating pitch forking without extensive travel.

Consequently some perceive that the opponents have hopes and wishes which they seek to represent as "strategies" and "tactics" and some opportunities of lateral challenge derived there-from.

Some would hold that the opponents' have a greater assay of the rubbing sticks school of thermo-dynamics in "their" amalga of perception, in some regards even less perceptive than Heraclitus although Heraclitus lived in his time/interactions as the interaction below suggests.

One of the consequences is the opponents tendency to bridge doubt by belief to attain comfort through iteration and subsequent projection, facilitating lateral opportunities for others with greater perception of fission/metamorphosis/transcendence including the "unintended consequences" -at least in the opponents' perception – without resort to Mr. Heisenberg's deliberations, leading to some of the opponents resorting to snake-oil sales techniques suggesting that their intent/purpose was always what they perceived to be the concept/construct "chaos".

A further illustration of this and how it was/is not limited to present opponents citing trajectories during the period 1968 – 1973 and some subsequent consequences was broadcast through this portal on the 14th of September 2018 but not "published" possibly in ignorance of Mr. Bulgakov's contention that manuscripts don't burn.

The examples used were detente on the bases of spheres of influence agreed by the Politburo despite contrary advice from many agencies, the strategy of the PLO and half-life of these beliefs in the strategies of Hamas.

Detente on the basis of sphere of influence facilitated fiat currency, fiat politics, and fiat re-branding – "neo-liberalism" -, colonial projects in Western Asia, and how opening Pandora's box was/is only perceived as wholly a disadvantage for those seeking to deny lateral process (Stop the Empires War on Russia slogan being a useful example) and those not so immersed helped facilitate the ongoing transcendence of the "Soviet Union" by the Russian Federation – the title being a notice of intent that opponents perceived as the "End of History" as functions of their framing and projection.

OlyaPola , September 16, 2018 at 07:51

Some hold that New York, New York was so good they named it twice, whilst some others wonder whether they named it twice to make it easier for the inhabitants to locate.

Following the precautionary principle I attach below a further illustration of :

" . the opponents have hopes and wishes which they seek to represent as "strategies" and "tactics" and some opportunities of lateral challenge derived there-from ..

"One of the consequences is the opponents tendency to bridge doubt by belief to attain comfort through iteration and subsequent projection, facilitating lateral opportunities for others with greater perception of fission/metamorphosis/transcendence including the "unintended consequences" -at least in the opponents' perception – without resort to Mr. Heisenberg's deliberations, leading to some of the opponents resorting to snake-oil sales techniques suggesting that their intent/purpose was always what they perceived to be the concept/construct "chaos".

which was alluded to in the "unpublished" broadcast which referenced

1. "The "nation-state" as a fundamental unit of man's organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state." ~ Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages, 1970.

2. Mr. P.C. Roberts' Alienation in the USSR (1971)

3. Mr Andrei Amalrik's Can the Soviet Union last until 1984 (1969).

in illustration of interactive amalga which some call Russiagate, presumably because the water had flowed but apparently not under the bridge.

The recent US presidential election process including the "outcomes" were relatively easy to predict
and required no encouragement from outside – doing "nothing" being a trajectory of doing for those not trapped in the can do/must do conflation.

Some don't understand Russian very well and so instead of understanding Mr. Putin's remark that Mr. Trump was "colourful" which has connotations to some with facility in the Russian culture/language, some sought to bridge doubt by belief to attain expectation on the basis of "plausible belief".

An increasing sum of some are no longer so immersed as illustrated in

https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/438556-america-book-conversation-economy/

whilst perceptual frames often have significant half-lives.

exiled off mainstreet , September 14, 2018 at 00:42

This is a great series of articles and the comments, including those having reservations, are intelligent. Since those comments appearing not to appear later seem to have appeared, mechanical difficulties of some sort seem to have been what occurred. I hope Mr. Tedesky, one of the most valued commentators writing in the comments, continues his work.

Dennis Etler , September 13, 2018 at 21:05

Patrick Lawrence's essay makes perfect sense only when it is applied to US foreign policy since the end of WW2. It is conventional wisdom that the US is now engaged in Cold War 2.0. In fact, Cold War 2.0 is an extension of Cold War 1.0. There was merely a 20 year interregnum between 1990 and 2010. Most analysts think that Cold War 1.0 was an ideological war between "Communism" and "Democracy". The renewal of the Cold War against both Russia and China however shows that the ideological war between East and West was really a cover for the geopolitical war between the two. Russia, China and Iran are the main geopolitical enemies of the US as they stand in the way of the global, imperialist hegemony of the US. In order to control the global periphery, i.e. the developing world and their emerging economies, the US must contain and defeat the big three. This was as true in 1948 as it is in 2018. Thus, what's happening today under Trump is no different than what occurred under Truman in 1948. Whatever differences exist are mere window dressing.

Rob Roy , September 15, 2018 at 00:16

Mr. Etler,
I think you are mostly right except in the first Cold War, the Soviets and US Americans were both involved in this "war." What you call Cold War 2.0 is in the minds and policies of only the US. Russian is not in any way currently like the Soviet Union, yet the US acts in all aspects of foreign attitude and policy as though that (very unpleasant period in today's Russians' minds) still exists. It does not. You says there was "merely a 20 year interregnum" and things have picked up and continued as a Cold War. Only in the idiocy of the USA, certainly not in the minds of Russian leadership, particularly Putin's who now can be distinguished as the most logical, realistic and competent leader in the world.
Thanks to H. Clinton being unable to become president, we have a full blown Russiagate which the MSM propaganda continues to spread. There is no Cold War 2.0. It's a fallacy to create a false flag for regime change in Russia. Ms. Clinton, the Kagan family, the MIC, etc., figure if we can take out Yanukovich and replace him with Fascists/Nazis, what could stop us from doing the same to Russia. The good news: all empires fail.

Maxwell Quest , September 13, 2018 at 13:41

"This is the logic of spoilage as a substitute for foreign policy. Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability."

Mr. Lawrence is much too accommodating with his analysis. Imagine, linking US "foreign policy" in the same thought as "global stability", as if the two were somehow related. On the contrary, "global instability" seems to be our foreign policy goal, especially for those regions that pose a threat to US hegemony. Why? Because it is difficult to extract a region's wealth when its population is united behind a stable government that can't be bought off.

Walter , September 13, 2018 at 13:30

US is attempting to stop a process, to prevent Change see https://www.fort-russ.com/2017/10/v-golstein-end-of-cold-war-and/

Conjuring up Heraclitus..Time is a River, constantly changing. And we face downstream, unable to see the Future and gazing upon the Past.

The attempt has an effect, many effects, but it cannot stop Time.

The Russian and the Chinese have clinched the unification of the Earth Island, "Heartland" This ended the ability to control global commerce by means of navies – the methods of the Sea Peoples over the last 500 years are now failed. The US has no way of even seeing this fact other than force and violence to restore the status quo ante .

Thus World War, as we see

Recollecting Heraclitus again, the universe is populated by opposites as we see, China and Russia represent a cathodic opposite to the US

OlyaPola , September 14, 2018 at 09:38

"Conjuring up Heraclitus "

"And we face downstream, unable to see the Future and gazing upon the Past."

Time is a synonym of interaction the perception of which and opportunities derived therefrom being functions of analysing interactions which require notions and analyses of upstream-perceived transition point (similar to the concept/construct zero)-downstream lateral processes, which Heraclitus perceived and practiced.

Heraclitus lived in a previous time/interaction and the perception and uses of thermodynamics have laterally changed since Heraclitus' time.

Omniscience can never exist in any lateral system, but time/interaction has facilitated the increase of perceptions and lateral opportunities to facilitate various futures and their encouragement through processes of fission – the process of strategy formulation, strategy implementation, strategy evaluation, and strategy modulation refers.

Framing including attempts to deny agency to others and hence interaction thereby denying time, leads to strategic myopia, and when outcomes vary from expectations/hopes/wishes lead the myopic to attempt to bridge doubt by belief to attain comfort.

Categorical imperatives are kant facilitating can't, best left to Kant, although apparently some are loathe to agree.

"The US has no way of even seeing this fact other than force and violence to restore the status quo ante ."

The temporary socio-economic arrangement misrepresented/branded as "The United States of America" has a vested interest in seeking to deny time/interaction including through "exceptionalism" and a history of flailings and consequences derived therefrom.

"Recollecting Heraclitus again, the universe is populated by opposites as we see, China and Russia represent a cathodic opposite to the US "

As above, Heraclitus lived in a previous time and the perception and uses of thermodynamics have laterally changed since Heraclitus' time although apparently not informing the perceptions and practices of some.

Understandably Heraclitus sometimes relied within his framing on notions of moments of stasis/absolutes (steady states) such as opposites, where as like in all areas of thermo-dynamics a more modern framework would include the notions of amalga with varying interactive half-lives.

It would appear that your contribution is also subject to such "paradox" as in "China and Russia represent a cathodic opposite to the US "

Perhaps a more illuminating but more complex formulation would be found in :

"In other parts of planet earth the assay of amalga and their varying interactive half-lives differ from those asserted to exist within the temporary socio-economic arrangements misrepresented/branded as "The United States of America" thereby facilitating opportunities to transcend coercive relationships such as those practiced by the temporary socio-economic arrangements misrepresented/branded as "The United States of America", by co-operative socio-economic relations conditioned by the half-lives of perceptions and practices derived therefrom.

In part that contributed and continues to contribute to the lateral process of transcendence of the "Soviet Union" by the Russian Federation previously leading to a limited debate whether to nominate Mr. Brezhinsky, Mr.Clinton, Mr. Fukuyama or Mr. Wolfowitz for the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts facilitating the transcendence of the temporary socio-economic arrangements misrepresented/branded as "The United States of America".

Jeff Harrison , September 13, 2018 at 13:29

I guess I missed this one, Patrick. Great overview but let me put it in a slightly different context. You start with the end of the cold war but I don't. I could go all the way back to the early days of the country and our proclamation of manifest destiny. The US has long thought that it was the one ring to rule them all. But for most of that time the strength of individual members of the rest of the world constrained the US from running amok. That constraint began to be lifted after the ruling clique in Europe committed seppuku in WWI. It was completely lifted after WWII. But that was 75 years ago. This is now and most of the world has recovered from the world wide destruction of human and physical capital known as WWII. The US is going to have to learn how to live with constraints again but it will take a shock. The US is going to have to lose at something big time. Europe cancelling the sanctions? The sanctions on Russia don't mean squat to the US but it's costing Europe billions. This highlights the reality that the "Western Alliance" (read NATO) is not really an alliance of shared goals and objectives. It's an alliance of those terrified by fascism and what it can do. They all decided that they needed a "great father" to prevent their excesses again. One wonders if either the world or Europe would really like the US to come riding in like the cavalry to places like Germany, Poland, and Ukraine. Blindly following Washington's directions can be remarkably expensive for Europe and they get nothing but refugees they can't afford. Something will ultimately have to give.

The one thing I was surprised you didn't mention was the US's financial weakness. It's been a long time since the US was a creditor nation. We've been a debtor nation since at least the 80s. The world doesn't need debtor nations and the only reason they need us is the primacy of the US dollar. And there are numerous people hammering away at that.

Gerald Wadsworth , September 13, 2018 at 12:59

Why are we trying to hem in China, Russia and Iran? Petro-dollar hegemony, pure and simple. From our initial deal with Saudi Arabia to buy and sell oil in dollars only, to the chaos we have inflicted globally to retain the dollar's rule and role in energy trading, we are finding ourselves threatened – actually the position of the dollar as the sole trading medium is what is threatened – and we are determined to retain that global power over oil at all costs. With China and Russia making deals to buy and sell oil in their own currencies, we have turned both those counties into our enemies du jour, inventing every excuse to blame them for every "bad thing" that has and will happen, globally. Throw in Syria, Iran, Venezuela, and a host of other countries who want to get out from under our thumb, to those who tried and paid the price. Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and more. Our failed foreign policy is dictated by controlling, as Donald Rumsfeld once opined, "our oil under their sand." Oil. Pure and simple.

Maxwell Quest , September 13, 2018 at 14:18

I agree, Gerald. Enforcing the petro-dollar system seems to be the mainspring for much of our recent foreign policy militarism. If it were to unravel, the dollar's value would tank, and then how could we afford our vast system of military bases. Death Star's aren't cheap, ya know.

Maxwell Quest , September 13, 2018 at 15:33

I agree, Gerald. Along with ensuring access to "our" off-shore oil fields, enforcing the petro-dollar system is equally significant, and seems to be the mainspring for much of our recent foreign policy militarism. If this system were to unravel, the dollar's value would tank, and then how could we afford our vast system of military bases which make the world safe for democracy? Death Star's aren't cheap, ya know.

Anonymous Coward , September 13, 2018 at 22:40

+1 Gerald Wadsworth. It's not necessarily "Oil pure and simple" but "Currency Pure and Simple." If the US dollar is no longer the world's currency, the US is toast. Also note that anyone trying to retain control of their currency and not letting "The Market" (private banks) totally control them is a Great Devil we need to fight, e.g. Libya and China. And note (2) that Wall Street is mostly an extension of The City; the UK still thinks it owns the entire world, and the UK has been owned by the banks ever since it went off tally sticks

MichaelWme , September 13, 2018 at 12:18

It's called the Thucydides trap. NATO (US/UK/France/Turkey) have said they will force regime change in Syria. Russia says it will not allow regime change in Syria. Fortunately, as a Frenchman and an Austrian explained many years ago, and NATO experts say is true today, regime change in Russia is a simple matter, about the same as Libya or Panamá. I forget the details, but I assume things worked out well for the Frenchman and the Austrian, and will work out about the same for NATO.

Jeff Davis , September 14, 2018 at 12:53

Very dry. Kudos.

Anastasia , September 13, 2018 at 12:04

Putin said years ago, and I cannot quote him, but remember most of it, that it doesn't matter who is the candidate for President, or what his campaign promises are, or how sincere he is in making them, whenever they get in office, it is always the same policy.

Truer words were never spoken, and it is the reason why I know, at least, that Russia did not interfere in the US elections. What would be the point, from his viewpoint, and it is not only just his opinion. You cannot help but see at this point that that he said is obviously true.

TJ , September 13, 2018 at 13:47

What an excellent point. Why bother influencing the elections when it doesn't matter who is elected -- the same policies will continue.

Bart Hansen , September 13, 2018 at 15:43

Anastasia, I saved it: From Putin interview with Le Figaro:

"I have already spoken to three US Presidents. They come and go, but politics stay the same at all times. Do you know why? Because of the powerful bureaucracy. When a person is elected, they may have some ideas. Then people with briefcases arrive, well dressed, wearing dark suits, just like mine, except for the red tie, since they wear black or dark blue ones. These people start explaining how things are done. And instantly, everything changes. This is what happens with every administration."

rosemerry , September 14, 2018 at 08:02

Pres. Putin explained this several times when he was asked about preferring Trump to Hillary Clinton, and he carefully said that he would accept whoever the US population chose, he was used to dealing with Hillary and he knew that very little changed between Administrations. This has been conveniently cast aside by the Dems, and Obama's disgraceful expulsion of Russian diplomats started the avalanche of Russiagate.

James , September 13, 2018 at 09:24

Great to see Patrick Lawrence writing for Consortium News.

He ends his article with: "This is the logic of spoilage as a substitute for foreign policy. Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability. "

Speaking of consequences, how about the human toll this foreign policy has taken on so many people in this world. To me, the gravest sin of all.

Bob Van Noy , September 13, 2018 at 08:46

I agree with Patric Lawrence when he states "Personalizing Washington's regression into the role of spoiler by assigning all blame to one man, now Donald Trump, deprives one of deeper understanding." and I also agree that 'Seven decades of global hegemony have left the State Department, Cold War notwithstanding, left the State Department with little to think about other than the simplicities of East-West tension.' But I seriously disagree when he declares that: "The crisis of U.S. foreign policy -- a series of radical missteps -- are systemic. Having little to do with personalities, they pass from one administration to the next with little variance other than at the margins.'' Certainly the missteps are true, but I would argue that the "personalities" are crucial to America's crisis of Foreign Policy. After all it was likely that JFK's American University address was the public declaration of his intention to lead America in the direction of better understanding of Sovereign Rights that likely got him killed. It is precisely those "personalities" that we must understand and identify before we can move on

Skip Scott , September 13, 2018 at 09:35

Bob-

I see what you're saying, but I believe Patrick is also right. Many of the people involved in JFK's murder are now dead themselves, yet the "system" that demands confrontation rather than cooperation continues. These "personalities" are shills for that system, and if they are not so willingly, they are either bribed or blackmailed into compliance. Remember when "Dubya" ran on a "kinder and gentler nation" foreign policy? Obama's "hope and change" that became "more of the same"? And now Trump's views on both domestic and foreign policy seemingly also doing a 180? There are "personalities" behind this "system", and they are embedded in places like the Council on Foreign Relations. The people that run our banking system and the global corporate empire demand the whole pie, they would rather blow up the world than have to share.

Bob Van Noy , September 13, 2018 at 14:42

You're completely right Skip, that's what we all must recognize and ultimately react to, and against.
Thank you.

JWalters , September 13, 2018 at 18:46

I would add that human beings are the key components in this system. The system is built and shaped by them. Some are greedy, lying predators and some are honest and egalitarian. Bob Parry was one of the latter, thankfully.

JWalters , September 13, 2018 at 18:30

Skip, very good points. For those interested further, here's an excellent talk on the bankers behind the manufacutured wars, including the role of the Council on Foreign Relations as a front organization and control mechanism.
"The Shadows of Power; the CFR and decline of America"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6124&v=wHa1r4nIaug

Joe Tedesky , September 13, 2018 at 09:42

Bob, you are right. I find it most interesting and sad at the same time that in Woodward's new book 'Fear' that he describes a pan 'almost tragic incident' whereas Trump wanted to sign a document removing our missiles and troops out of S Korea, but save for the steady hand of his 'anonymous' staffers who yanked the document off his presidential desk . wow, close one there we almost did something to enforce a peace. Can't have that though, we still have lots to kill in pursue of liberty and freedom and the hegemonic way.

Were these 'anonymous' staffers the grandchildren of the staffers and bureaucracy that undermined other presidents? Would their grandparents know who the Gunmen were on the grassy knoll? Did these interrupters of Executive administrations fudge other presidents dreams and hopes of a peaceful world? And in the end were these instigators rewarded by the war industries they protected?

The problem is, is that this bureaucracy of war has out balanced any other rival agency, as diversity of thought and mission is only to be dealt with if it's good for military purposes. Too much of any one thing can be overbearingly bad for a person, and likewise too much war means your country is doing something wrong.

Bob Van Noy , September 13, 2018 at 14:51

Many thanks Joe, I admire your persistence. Clearly Bob Woodward has been part of the problem rather than the solution. The swamp is deep and murky

JWalters , September 13, 2018 at 18:36

Bob and Joe, here's a solid review of Woodward's book Fear that points out his consistent service to the oligarchy, including giving Trump a pass for killing the Iran deal. Interesting background on Woodward in the comments as well.
https://mondoweiss.net/2018/09/woodward-national-security/

will , September 15, 2018 at 22:30

people have been pointing out that Woodward is the exact kind of guy the CIA would recruit since shortly after Watergate.

O Society , September 13, 2018 at 18:21

The document Gary Cohen removed off Trump's desk – which you can read here – states an intent to end a free trade agreement with South Korea.

"White House aides feared if Trump sent the letter, it could jeopardize a top-secret US program that can detect North Korean missile launches within seven seconds."

Sounds like Trump wanted to play the "I am such a great deal maker, the GREATEST deal maker of all times!" game with the South Koreans. Letter doesn't say anything about withdrawing troops or missiles.

Funny how ***TOP-SECRET US PROGRAMS*** find their way into books and newspapers these days, plentiful as acorns falling out of trees.

Joe Tedesky , September 13, 2018 at 19:59

Thanks for the clarification. Joe

O Society , September 14, 2018 at 13:38

You're welcome, Joe. These things get confusing. Who knows anymore what is real and what isn't?

Trump did indeed say something about ending military exercises and pulling troops out of South Korea. His staff did indeed contradict him on this. It just wasn't in relation to the letter Cohn "misplaced," AFAIK.

Nobody asked me, but if they did, I'd say the US interfered enough in Korean affairs by killing a whole bunch of 'em in the Korean War. Leave'em alone. Let North and South try to work it out. Tired of hearing about "regime change.'

Republicans buck Trump on Korea troop pullout talk

Joe Tedesky , September 13, 2018 at 10:17

Bob once again my comment disappeared I hope someone retrieves it. Joe

Joe Tedesky , September 13, 2018 at 12:24

Here's what I wrote:

Bob, you are right. I find it most interesting and sad at the same time that in Woodward's new book 'Fear' that he describes a pan 'almost tragic incident' whereas Trump wanted to sign a document removing our missiles and troops out of S Korea, but save for the steady hand of his 'anonymous' staffers who yanked the document off his presidential desk . wow, close one there we almost did something to enforce a peace. Can't have that though, we still have lots to kill in pursue of liberty and freedom and the hegemonic way.

Were these 'anonymous' staffers the grandchildren of the staffers and bureaucracy that undermined other presidents? Would their grandparents know who the Gunmen were on the grassy knoll? Did these interrupters of Executive administrations fudge other presidents dreams and hopes of a peaceful world? And in the end were these instigators rewarded by the war industries they protected?

The problem is, is that this bureaucracy of war has out balanced any other rival agency, as diversity of thought and mission is only to be dealt with if it's good for military purposes. Too much of any one thing can be overbearingly bad for a person, and likewise too much war means your country is doing something wrong.

Joe Tedesky , September 13, 2018 at 12:24

Again

Bob, you are right. I find it most interesting and sad at the same time that in Woodward's new book 'Fear' that he describes a pan 'almost tragic incident' whereas Trump wanted to sign a document removing our missiles and troops out of S Korea, but save for the steady hand of his 'anonymous' staffers who yanked the document off his presidential desk . wow, close one there we almost did something to enforce a peace. Can't have that though, we still have lots to kill in pursue of liberty and freedom and the hegemonic way.

Were these 'anonymous' staffers the grandchildren of the staffers and bureaucracy that undermined other presidents? Would their grandparents know who the Gunmen were on the grassy knoll? Did these interrupters of Executive administrations fudge other presidents dreams and hopes of a peaceful world? And in the end were these instigators rewarded by the war industries they protected?

The problem is, is that this bureaucracy of war has out balanced any other rival agency, as diversity of thought and mission is only to be dealt with if it's good for military purposes. Too much of any one thing can be overbearingly bad for a person, and likewise too much war means your country is doing something wrong.

Joe Tedesky , September 13, 2018 at 14:03

Thanks for retrieving my comments sorry for the triplicating of them. Joe

Joe Tedesky , September 13, 2018 at 12:25

3 of my comments disappeared boy does this comment board have issues. I'm beginning to think I'm being targeted.

Deniz , September 13, 2018 at 17:58

Dont take it personally, I see it more of a lawnmower than a scalpel.

rosemerry , September 14, 2018 at 08:36

My comment has disappeared too-it was a reply to anastasia.

Kiwiantz , September 13, 2018 at 08:20

Spoiler Nation of America! You got that dead right! China builds infrastructure in other Countries & doesn't interfere with the citizens & their Sovereignty. Contrast that with the United Spoiler States of America, they run roughshod over overs & just bomb the hell out of Countries & leaves devastation & death wherever they go! And there is something seriously wrong & demented with the US mindset concerning, the attacks on 9/11? In Syria the US has ended up arming & supporting the very same organisation of Al QaedaTerrorists, morphed into ISIS, that hijacked planes & flew them into American targets! During 2017 & now in 2018, it defies belief how warped this US mentality is when ISIS can so easily & on demand, fake a chemical attack to suck in the stupid American Military & it's Airforce & get them to attack Syria, like lackeys taking orders from Terrorist's! The US Airforce is the airforce of Al Qaeda & ISIS! Why? Because the US can't stomach Russia, Syria & Iran winning & defeating Terrorism thus ending this Proxy War they started! Russia can't be allowed to win at any cost because the humiliation & loss of prestige that the US would suffer as a Unipolar Empire would signal the decline & end of this Hegemonic Empire so they must continue to act as a spoiler to put off that inevitable decline! America can't face reality that it's time in the sun as the last Empire, is over!

Sally Snyder , September 13, 2018 at 07:57

Here is what Americans really think about the rabid anti-Russia hysteria coming from Washington:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/08/americans-on-russia-will-of-people.html

Washington has completely lost touch with what Main Street America really believes.

Waynes World , September 13, 2018 at 07:37

Finally some words of truth about how we want our way not really democracy. A proper way to look at the world is what you said toward the end a desire to make people's lives better.

mike k , September 13, 2018 at 07:14

Simply put – the US is the world's biggest bully. This needs to stop. Fortunately the bully's intended victims are joining together to defeat it's crazy full spectrum dominance fantasies. Led by Russia and China, we can only hope for the success of the resistance to US aggression.

This political, economic, military struggle is not the only problem the world is facing now, but is has some priority due to the danger of nuclear war. Global pollution, climate disaster, ecological collapse and species extinction must also be urgently dealt with if we are to have a sustainable existence on Earth.

OlyaPola , September 13, 2018 at 04:39

Alpha : "America's three principal adversaries signify the shape of the world to come: a post-Western world of coexistence. But neoliberal and neocon ideology is unable to to accept global pluralism and multipolarity, argues Patrick Lawrence."

Omega: "Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability."

Framing is always a limiter of perception.

Among the consequences of the lateral trajectories from Alpha to Omega referenced above, is the "unintended consequence" of the increase of the principal opponents, their resolve and opportunities to facilitate the transcendence of arrangements based on coercion by arrangements based on co-operation.

Opening Pandora's box was/is only perceived as wholly a disadvantage for those seeking to deny lateral process.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , September 13, 2018 at 04:32

Yes, I certainly agree with author's view.

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/john-chuckman-comment-empire-corrupts-all-the-principles-of-economics-as-well-as-principles-of-ethics-and-good-government-there-is-nothing-good-to-say-about-empire-and-the-american-one-is-no-excep/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/john-chuckman-comment-how-american-politics-really-work-why-there-are-terrible-candidates-and-constant-wars-and-peoples-problems-are-ignored-why-heroes-like-julian-assange-are-persecuted-and-r/

HomoSapiensWannaBe , September 13, 2018 at 08:23

John Chuckman,
Wow. Thanks! I have just begun reading your commentaries this week and I am impressed with how clearly you analyze and summarize key points about many topics.

Thank you so much for writing what are often the equivalent of books, but condensed into easy to read and digest summaries.

I have ordered your book and look forward to reading that.

Cheers from Southeast USA!

[Jan 04, 2020] Russia would obviously provide Iran with military supplies, intelligence, and diplomatic support, making any invasion attempt very costly for the US.

Jan 04, 2020 | thesaker.is

Nate on January 03, 2020 , · at 8:32 pm EST/EDT

Regarding the talk of a hypothetical "Iran War", I do not think Washington will actually try invading Iran, for a couple of reasons.

1. The US does not currently have enough troops to occupy Iran. It would require a military draft. This would cause massive opposition inside the USA (easily the biggest internal US political turmoil since the Vietnam War). And the youngest American adults that would get drafted are the least religious US generation ever (i.e. they are not Evangelical fundamentalists who want to throw their lives away for "Israel" and the "End Times").

2. Where would Washington launch the invasion from? Iraq? The US will soon be asked to leave Iraq, and if Washington does not comply it will very quickly turn into another quagmire for the US just like it was in the 2000s. And if they tried invading from Afghanistan, Iran could always arm the Taliban. And besides, would Pakistan really allow the US military to pass through its territory to Afghanistan to invade Iran? I think not.

3. Russia would obviously provide Iran with military supplies, intelligence, and diplomatic support, making any invasion attempt very costly for the US.

Therefore, Washington's options are rather limited to missile strikes, CIA funded terrorist attacks, and other lesser forms of meddling.

[Jan 03, 2020] Skripals false flag along with Douma false flag and OPCW role in it, as well as DNC hack and Gussifer 2.0 false flags might be a watershed events in terms of the ability of the neoliberal MSM to control public opinion.

Notable quotes:
"... That is if the MSM get their way! Maybe I am being overoptimistic, but Russia - as a permanent member of the UNSC and a member of the OPCW - will do everything in it's powers to pursue this matter, and it seems quite possible they will be able to force it onto the main agenda within 2020. If that happens it will be impossible for the MSM to push it under the rug. ..."
"... The other aspect it is that the MSM ability to suppress this news is dependent on behaviour of the MSM community in its totality, and the relationship to reader plausibility ..."
"... What determines whether one MSM decides to break the pack and publish news on OPCW? Well, for one thing, MoA articles can influence individual journalists and individual editors! ..."
Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

BM , Dec 31 2019 17:18 utc | 15

B, under the "major stories covered" title you should include Skripal, about which you wrote many important articles; I believe ultimately - like OPCW and Russiagate - it will prove to be history-making event in terms of impact on public perceptions of media and the ability of the media to control public opinion. Probably eventually whistleblowers will come forward like the OPCW, and only thin will it have it's maximum impact.

(Well, the original event was 2018 not 2019, but some of the reports were in 2019 anyway)

BM , Dec 31 2019 17:36 utc | 20

My predictions on these issue for next year are:
...
Mainstream media have suppressed all news about the OPCW scandal. This will only change if major new evidence comes to light.

That is if the MSM get their way! Maybe I am being overoptimistic, but Russia - as a permanent member of the UNSC and a member of the OPCW - will do everything in it's powers to pursue this matter, and it seems quite possible they will be able to force it onto the main agenda within 2020. If that happens it will be impossible for the MSM to push it under the rug.

The other aspect it is that the MSM ability to suppress this news is dependent on behaviour of the MSM community in its totality, and the relationship to reader plausibility. There are a few factors that could influence this independently of major new evidence, such as the behaviour of a few outlier MSM's that decide to release information (and whether or not that information then takes off in the public consciousness); pressure that could build up in social media calling for the MSM to respond and attacking MSM credibility; or other forms of pressure from the public calling on the MSM to respond. It is therefore a dynamic that is not entirely predictable.

Both of the above are distinct from the emergence of new major evidence, although both cases would seem likely to provoke new revelations in turn.

What determines whether one MSM decides to break the pack and publish news on OPCW? Well, for one thing, MoA articles can influence individual journalists and individual editors!

[Jan 03, 2020] Power of propaganda and shooting down of the Malaysian "Boeing" by Alexander Petrakov

Jan 03, 2020 | www.rt.com

Original link went missing. Replaced with Solid facts 5 flaws that raise doubt over int'l MH17 criminal probe -- RT World News

Journalist Alexander Petrakov in his article he stated that the Russian Federation is a lot of evidence of innocence Russia and militias DND in the collapse of the Malaysian "Boeing".

"Your problem is that you have lived your whole life if there are rules. But there are no rules." Lorne Malvo (series "Fargo", 2014)

Intelligence agencies recruit pornographers to lead their disinformation operations, apparently because porn purveyors are so lacking in ethics they will tell public lies about anything

Optimists probably should not read any further, as well as those who think that the higher you sit the better you know. As well as pacifists, all those for thom "peace, friendship, and chewing gum" has the absolute value, some kind of religion. I can't convince those types for sure.

So I address this article to those who like me understand that it's time to start to think independently, be skeptical. And do not absorb blindly what TV talk heads are saying, no matter in what country you currently live and you nationality.

After the terrible catastrophe Malaysian liner we can see two major hypothesis, two points of views and two "truth": one is Russian position and the second version promoted by Ukraine and supported by the USA (or vice versa).

Which one you should believe more? The one that promoted by MSM of G7 countries or one that is promoted Russian MSM by and some other from the "the rest of the world". The answer, in fact, already evident. The "world-at-large" typically assumes that the "truth" is the view represented by CNN, Fox News and Euronews. The one that is written on the pages of The New York Times and republished by referring to "an unnamed source in the state Department" (or our very special Jen Psaki) Washington Post.

I personally am confident that most of as see that despite is growing evidence of innocence of rebels in the terrible tragedy the rest of the world these days and hours sees and hears another, "alternative" hypothesis only.

"Civilized world" talk about "persuasive evidence" of the guilt of the Russian Federation and the rebels of Donbass. Of evidence, however, is weak and contradictive. But it does not matter. If you repeat a lie clearly and firmly, with honest eyes on a brave face of various and sundry talking heads let's say one thousand times - people will say it's the fact; that it is the axiom based on which events need to interpreted. This isan all trick but it works. "Why, everybody knows about it", "all about this and they say".

This basic factor here is the power of PR. It is like artillery in was and as Napoleon noted God is firmly on the side of those with better artillery. Repetition lead to adoption of information and gradually a person begins to perceive it as his/her own point of view. Especially if the same information is provided by the whole spectrum of media outlets - TV, radio, Internet, and newspapers.

The average American, European, Japanese or Australian are brainwashed and belave that the rebels robbed the dead people on the aircraft and then cash credit card dead in Russia. While adding sure that this is "Russian rebels." As these "Russian rebels" learn or pick up in the open field access codes, passwords to the cards are for some reason forgotten. And why? In a democratic and free world video information rules and does not require any critical thinking: many of wisdom is much grief...

In each of the first CNN necessarily adds that "Russia is hampered the investigation", but it owes "effective and really help Ukraine," and that it "remained days or even hours, to show good will".

How can "interfere" investigation on foreign territory nobody elaborates. And why... everything is clear.

Then this phantasmagoria was added to the story of the companies Dutch and Malay over which bogumiles... and again refrain is "Russian".

From the first day of Maidan in the focus of the world media was not Ukraine, and Russia - all of us. Saying "Russia", "Russian" we have formed a new image in the eyes of the whole world". First it was the image of aggressor, now it is the image of criminal, terrorist. Not only conqueror, but the murderer.

And we are from the last bum up to the first person in the state did not understand, did not want to understand that our actions, words, "signals" nothing depends on it. Because no matter what he says and does Putin. It is important that will show and tell CNN.

Imagine that you are playing chess. On the table is a chess Board, the figures are placed in the proper order. You sit down and make a move, then another. All as it should be. And your opponent starts to move the pieces in random order. Then do sweeps them away from the Board and yells at the whole audience that he won, and you're a cheater and a crook, but when you open your mouth begins to beat you Board on the head.

So even if the Kremlin together wore embroidered shirts and jumped around the flag "right sector, the world would have seen more. That will show and tell him free and NeroLive media. That's why I did not believe and do not believe that our "restraint" someone and something to "keep" and anybody, and I will convince.

We talked about the inhumanity, the horrors of the moods of Nazism in Ukraine elites in the US and Europe. Told those who everyone knows and understands. And who simply don't care. This same "Russians" harness, hammer, rape, blow up, shoot... the "Russian barbarians", not "civilized people".

Maidan created the project "Banderovskiy-oligarachat" in Ukraine" and far right nationists were allowed to do this by the west and after the victory pumped hatred to Russia to the skies. To suspteinit they badly need a flase flag operation like MH17 to present Russians as the monsters.

Unfortunately Russia was caught by this false flag operation with hands down and initially tired to play by the rules of the normal world. But that faith that the West will dela tih Russia bases on common rules applicable in notmal world fell a few days ago from a height of 10 km and shattered into many tiny fragments.

Ukraine IMHO originally I wrote about this in March, April, may and not designed it as a trap. It might be an unfortunate incident due to decrepit state of Ukrainian air defense forces (but the question why they moved them to this area remain in this case unanswered). But as soon the shooing happened the plan emerge to blame it on Russia. To present it as an act of genocide by Russian mercenaries.

But most importantly, it was to become a stage on which the imagies of the wreckage were used to project the horror and disgust on Russia. They want to punish, to destroy us any cost and any methods from economic to military.

We tried to convince ourselves of the last already strength (and many still do)that any - even the most secret of our intervention, give a reason for the aggression against us. As if it were a "pretext" for example, you cannot create a virtual, on the computer and then show around the world. Or not to create artificially: blowing up the plane, the train, the city, nuclear will dance...

Remember, as Secretary Powell was shaking in the UN powder with Siberian ulcer" from Saddam. "The plague" was then washing powder. The country was bombed to the stage of democracy, and Powell... apologized sparingly in his memoirs.

Remember about the plots of terrible Serbian concentration camps in 1994, in Srebrenica. It's people came out in Europe on the streets and demanded to bomb, to punish, to stop. When the "bombed, punished, stopped, it became clear that terrible place belonged... to Bosnian Muslims of Izetbegovica, and dying people were just Serb prisoners. At that time anybody especially did not even apologize.

Finally, remember about the shocking footage of atrocities troops Gaddafi, killing women, children and the elderly. Already when Gaddafi was executed so that the footage was dashed against this background, and Libya drowned in real blood, it turned out that all the "atrocities" were shot in Qatar at a local Studio. Filmed venerable Hollywood Directors "at the request of the sheikhs".

Why the attack with "Boeing". No, this is not an excuse to enter NATO troops (it different enough to sign a bilateral agreement on military assistance, and then to show images of the "Russian occupation of Kyiv"). This is a PR-move, information technology.

In the history blown up with "Boeing" are three possible answers, but the whole world hears only one - it blew up "Russians" militias and the Russian Federation, we all are responsible for that. No matter what the investigation has just begun, which is not examined a "black boxes". Tube Powell is already lying on the table Obama, and the "free media" ready to show people the terrible Serbian concentration camp".

Russian experts have already talked about all the falsifications. Posted we have trumps, evidence. Only the world could see and hear more. About "Russian", nadrugalas over the dead and robbed them. And about the "Russian" the terrorists of Donbass.

The testimony of our experts, Ministers, diplomats referred to as "doubtful" and "require additional verification". Brad Avakov, screeching Poroshenko and all the hysteria over the possessed Yatseniuk called "serious" and "convincing" evidence. It's hard, it's really not want to believe we are living by the rules that don't exist. But it is a reality. And other reality and never will.

The verdict is still pending, but already discussed future sanctions and made the first proposal for "punishing Russia". Began policy - real and cynical, as usual.

What will be after the judgment has already announced the verdict?

Kiev junta now at the level of negotiations with heads of state and official requests of the international organization requires to recognize the militias and their educated patterns - terrorist network. As soon as the version on the guilt of the rebels is recognized by the Western countries, LNR and DND declared outside the law from the point of view of the international law.

Then Ukraine will likely together with one of the permanent members of the UN security Council (USA, France or the United Kingdom) requests to enter into the conflict zone "blue helmets of the United Nations, but not for peace, and for "police" transactions - by analogy with African countries, where the UN staff often help governments to disarm or destroy terrorist groups. No "cultivation and separation of the parties in such cases is not performed.

The composition of the police corps, representatives of Russia, as we all understanding, will not turn on. We now state - sponsor and accomplice of terrorists." As Iran, for example.

How many will vote for our country - I don't know and guess not want. If you support a resolution sadly, the South-East will be cleared by the Ukrainian guards and legalized under the UN flag armies of Western countries. Around the Crimea they will also be created land and then Maritime cordon.

If you use the right of veto, the world media will announce that we are "proved" his guilt and continue to cover terrorists and murderers".

Sanctions against Russia in any of these scenarios would multiply and they will be really ambitious, hard and long. States sponsoring terrorism "South stream" is not build and Mistral they do not sell. And we are so seriously to sanctions not prepared, more talked about it on TV. Of course, we will survive, but we have very hard and difficult.

Ukraine will begin to arm to the teeth as she bids to join NATO despite the fact that NATO Charter prohibits to NATO countries with unsolved territorial problems from joining. They will assign the status of associate member bloc.

But nothing is finished. Because first we were framed as aggressors. And the rest of the world believed. Now we were framed as terrorists. And as soon as the "civilized world" would believe it will become a logical last move: to put us beasts.

[Jan 03, 2020] Did Winston Churchill really say: "Poland is a greedy hyena of Europe."?

See also https://www.quora.com/Did-Winston-Churchill-really-say-Poland-is-a-greedy-hyena-of-Europe-In-what-context
Jan 03, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile December 30, 2019 at 11:30 am

US Ambassador to Poland gets her 2 cents in as regards the comments of Vladimir Putin and others in the Empire of Evil concerning the Molotov – Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact and Polish pre-WWII connivings with Nazi Germany.

Russian politicians had earlier strongly condemned the position of Warsaw, which does not consider itself responsible for any of the events leading up to the outbreak of WWII in Europe. Thus, the speaker of the state Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, urged Polish "colleagues" to apologize for the anti-Semitic remarks of Jozef Lipsky, former Polish Ambassador to Nazi Germany, who supported some ideas of Adolf Hitler and even suggested putting up a monument to him in honour of his plans to deport European Jews to Madagascar. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also criticized the attempt of Poland to rewrite history in favour of its political interests.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, criticized the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and actually laid the blame on the USSR for starting WWII along with Nazi Germany.

Head of the scientific Department of the Russian Military Historical Society, Yuri Nikiforov, noted that the Warsaw version of events leading to WWII was a "totally ideologized interpretation of history by orderr" and had nothing to do with the historical truth, and was promoting its version of history in order to weaken Russian influence on the world stage.

Drogi Prezydencie Putin, to Hitler i Stalin zmówili się, aby rozpocząć II wojnę światową. To jest fakt. Polska była ofiarą tego okropnego konfliktu.

-- Georgette Mosbacher (@USAmbPoland) December 30, 2019

Dear President Putin, it was Hitler and Stalin who agreed to start World War II. This is a fact. Poland was a victim of this terrible conflict.

Dear American business executive, entrepreneur and untrained diplomat now acting as US Ambassador to Poland, try studying some history.

By the way, before your plum appointment as ambassador to Poland, wasn't it you who suggested that Poland was responsible for the re-emergence of anti-Semitism across the continent of Europe because of a law which criminalizes blaming Poland for the actions of Nazi Germany on its soil during the Holocaust?

And wasn't it headbanger of a Polish President Andrzej Duda who stated that if you were to be appointed as the new U.S. ambassador to Poland, then you would be accepted, despite having made "unnecessary and mistaken" comments about his country?

Can't you see that the truth as regards WWII matters is only that which is approved by the Poles?

source

yalensis December 31, 2019 at 4:19 am
The Poles are putting Germany in an awkward position.
The official position of the modern German government (based on Nurnberg, etc.) is that Germany, and Germany alone, is responsible for the outbreak of WWII. Not the Soviet Union. Just Germany, ma'am, just Germany.

So, in the face of this Polish revisionism, as Russian analysts are pointing out, Germany will either have to (a) bitch-slap Poland, or (b) renounce their entire official state policy and historical ideology since their defeat in WWII and start singing Horst Wessel Lied again.

What, oh what, will Germany do?

[Jan 02, 2020] The Art of Doublespeak Bellingcat and Mind Control by Edward Curtin

Notable quotes:
"... Bellingcat is an alleged group of amateur on-line researchers who have spent years shilling for the U.S. instigated war against the Syrian government, blaming the Douma chemical attack and others on the Assad government, and for the anti-Russian propaganda connected to, among other things, the Skripal poisoning case in England, and the downing of flight MH17 plane in Ukraine. ..."
"... The Intercept , along with its parent company First Look Media, recently hosted a workshop for pro-war, Google-funded organization Bellingcat in New York. The workshop, which cost $2,500 per person to attend and lasted five days, aimed to instruct participants in how to perform investigations using "open source" tools -- with Bellingcat's past, controversial investigations for use as case studies Thus, while The Intercept has long publicly promoted itself as an anti-interventionist and progressive media outlet, it is becoming clearer that – largely thanks to its ties to Omidyar – it is increasingly an organization that has more in common with Bellingcat, a group that launders NATO and U.S. propaganda and disguises it as "independent" and "investigative journalism." ..."
Dec 17, 2019 | countercurrents.org

In the 1920s, the influential American intellectual Walter Lippman argued that the average person was incapable of seeing or understanding the world clearly and needed to be guided by experts behind the social curtain. In a number of books he laid out the theoretical foundations for the practical work of Edward Bernays , who developed "public relations" (aka propaganda) to carry out this task for the ruling elites. Bernays had honed his skills while working as a propagandist for the United States during World War I, and after the war he set himself up as a public relations counselor in New York City.

There is a fascinating exchange at the beginning of Adam Curtis's documentary, The Century of Self , where Bernays, then nearly 100 years old but still very sharp, reveals his manipulative mindset and that of so many of those who have followed in his wake. He says the reason he couldn't call his new business "propaganda" was because the Germans had given propaganda a "bad name," and so he came up with the euphemism "public relations." He then adds that "if you could use it [i.e. propaganda] for war, you certainly could use it for peace." Of course, he never used PR for peace but just to manipulate public opinion (he helped engineer the CIA coup against the democratically elected Arbenz government in Guatemala in 1954 with fake news broadcasts). He says "the Germans gave propaganda a bad name," not Bernays and the United States with their vast campaign of lies, mainly aimed at the American people to get their support for going to a war they opposed (think weapons of mass destruction). He sounds proud of his war propaganda work that resounded to his credit since it led to support for the "war to end all wars" and subsequently to a hit movie about WWI , Yankee Doodle Dandy , made in 1942 to promote another war, since the first one somehow didn't achieve its lofty goal.

As Bernays has said in his book Propaganda ,

The American motion picture is the greatest unconscious carrier of propaganda in the world today.

He was a propagandist to the end. I suspect most viewers of the film are taken in by these softly spoken words of an old man sipping a glass of wine at a dinner table with a woman who is asking him questions. I have shown this film to hundreds of students and none has noticed his legerdemain. It is an example of the sort of hocus-pocus I will be getting to shortly, the sly insertion into seemingly liberal or matter-of-fact commentary of statements that imply a different story. The placement of convincing or confusing disingenuous ingredients into a truth sandwich – for Bernays knew that the bread of truth is essential to conceal untruth.

In the following years, Bernays, Lippman, and their ilk were joined by social "scientists," psychologists, and sundry others intent on making a sham out of the idea of democracy by developing strategies and techniques for the engineering of social consensus consonant with the wishes of the ruling classes. Their techniques of propaganda developed exponentially with the development of technology, the creation of the CIA, its infiltration of all the major media, and that agency's courting of what the CIA official Cord Meyer called in the 1950s "the compatible left," having already had the right in its pocket. Today most people are, as is said, "wired," and they get their information from the electronic media that is mostly controlled by giant corporations in cahoots with government propagandists. Ask yourself: Has the power of the oligarchic, permanent warfare state with its propaganda and spy networks increased or decreased over your lifetime. The answer is obvious: the average people that Lippman and Bernays trashed are losing and the ruling elites are winning.

This is not just because powerful propagandists are good at controlling so-called "average" people's thinking, but, perhaps more importantly, because they are also adept – probably more so – at confusing or directing the thinking of those who consider themselves above average, those who still might read a book or two or have the concentration to read multiple articles that offer different perspectives on a topic. This is what some call the professional and intellectual classes, perhaps 15-20 % of the population, most of whom are not the ruling elites but their employees and sometimes their mouthpieces. It is this segment of the population that considers itself "informed," but the information they imbibe is often sprinkled with bits of misdirection, both intentional and not, that beclouds their understanding of important public matters but leaves them with the false impression that they are in the know.

Recently I have noticed a group of interconnected examples of how this group of the population that exerts influence incommensurate with their numbers has contributed to the blurring of lines between fact and fiction. Within this group there are opinion makers who are often journalists, writers, and cultural producers of some sort or other, and then the larger number of the intellectual or schooled class who follow their opinions. This second group then passes on their received opinions to those who look up to them.

There is a notorious propaganda outfit called Bellingcat , started by an unemployed Englishman named Eliot Higgins, that has been funded by The Atlantic Council, a think-tank with deep ties to the U.S. government, NATO, war manufacturers, and their allies, and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), another infamous U.S. front organization heavily involved in so-called color revolution regime change operations all around the world, that has just won the International Emmy Award for best documentary. The film with the Orwellian title, Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World, received its Emmy at a recent ceremony in New York City.

Bellingcat is an alleged group of amateur on-line researchers who have spent years shilling for the U.S. instigated war against the Syrian government, blaming the Douma chemical attack and others on the Assad government, and for the anti-Russian propaganda connected to, among other things, the Skripal poisoning case in England, and the downing of flight MH17 plane in Ukraine.

It has been lauded by the corporate mainstream media in the west. Its support for the equally fraudulent White Helmets (also funded by the US and the UK) in Syria has also been praised by the western corporate media while being dissected as propaganda by many excellent independent journalists such as Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, Catte Black, among others. It's had its work skewered by the likes of Seymour Hersh and MIT professor Theodore Postol, and its US government connections pointed out by many others, including Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal at The Gray Zone. And now we have the mainstream media's wall of silence on the leaks from the Organization for the Prohibition on Chemical Weapons (OPCW) concerning the Douma chemical attack and the doctoring of their report that led to the illegal U.S. bombing of Syria in the spring of 2018. Bellingcat was at the forefront of providing justification for such bombing, and now the journalists Peter Hitchens, Tareq Harrad (who recently resigned from Newsweek after accusing the publication of suppressing his revelations about the OPCW scandal) and others are fighting an uphill battle to get the truth out.

Yet Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World won the Emmy , fulfilling Bernays' point about films being the greatest unconscious carriers of propaganda in the world today.

Who presented the Emmy Award to the film makers, but none other than the rebel journalist Chris Hedges . Why he did so, I don't know. But that he did so clearly sends a message to those who follow his work and trust him that it's okay to give a major cultural award to a propaganda outfit. But then, perhaps he doesn't consider Bellingcat to be that.

Nor, one presumes, does The Intercept , the billionaire Pierre Omidyar owned publication associated with Glen Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, and also read by many progressive-minded people. The Intercept that earlier this year disbanded the small team that was tasked with reviewing and releasing more of the massive trove of documents they received from Edward Snowden six years ago, a minute number of which have ever been released or probably ever will be. As Whitney Webb pointed out , last year The Intercept hosted a workshop for Bellingcat. She wrote:

The Intercept , along with its parent company First Look Media, recently hosted a workshop for pro-war, Google-funded organization Bellingcat in New York. The workshop, which cost $2,500 per person to attend and lasted five days, aimed to instruct participants in how to perform investigations using "open source" tools -- with Bellingcat's past, controversial investigations for use as case studies Thus, while The Intercept has long publicly promoted itself as an anti-interventionist and progressive media outlet, it is becoming clearer that – largely thanks to its ties to Omidyar – it is increasingly an organization that has more in common with Bellingcat, a group that launders NATO and U.S. propaganda and disguises it as "independent" and "investigative journalism."

Then we have Jefferson Morley , the editor of The Deep State, former Washington Post journalist, and JFK assassination researcher, who has written a praiseworthy review of the Bellingcat film and who supports Bellingcat. "In my experience, Bellingcat is credible," he writes in an Alternet article, "Bellingcat documentary has the pace and plot of a thriller."

Morley has also just written an article for Counterpunch "Why the Douma Chemical Attack Wasn't a 'Managed Massacre'" – in which he disputes the claim that the April 7, 2018 attack in the Damascus suburb was a false flag operation carried out by Assad's opponents. "I do not see any evidence proving that Douma was a false flag incident," he writes in this article that is written in a style that leaves one guessing as to what exactly he is saying. It sounds convincing unless one concentrates, and then his double messages emerge. Yet it is the kind of article that certain "sophisticated" left-wing readers might read and feel is insightful. But then Morley, who has written considerably about the CIA, edits a website that advertises itself as "the thinking person's portal to the world of secret government," and recently had an exchange with former CIA Director John Brennan where "Brennan put a friendly finger on my chest," said in February 2017, less than a month after Trump was sworn in as president, that:

With a docile Republican majority in Congress and a demoralized Democratic Party in opposition, the leaders of the Deep State are the most -- perhaps the only -- credible check in Washington on what Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) calls Trump's " wrecking ball presidency ."

Is it any wonder that some people might be a bit confused?

"I know what you're thinking about," said Tweedledum; "but it isn't so, nohow."

"Contrariwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."

As a final case in point, there is a recent book by Stephen Kinzer , Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb And The CIA Search For Mind Control, t he story of the chemist known as Dr. Death who ran the CIA's MK-ULTRA mind control project, using LSD, torture, electric shock therapy, hypnosis, etc.; developed sadistic methods of torture still used in black sites around the world; and invented various ingenious techniques for assassination, many of which were aimed at Fidel Castro. Gottlieb was responsible for brutal prison and hospital experiments and untold death and suffering inflicted on all sorts of innocent people. His work was depraved in the deepest sense; he worked with Nazis who experimented on Jews despite being Jewish himself.

Kinzer writes in depth about this man who considered himself a patriot and a spiritual person – a humane torturer and killer. It is an eye-opening book for anyone who does not know about Gottlieb, who gave the CIA the essential tools they use in their "organized crime" activities around the world – in the words of Douglass Valentine, the author of The CIA as Organized Crime and The Phoenix Program . Kinzer's book is good history on Gottlieb; however, he doesn't venture into the present activities of the CIA and Gottlieb's patriotic followers, who no doubt exist and go about their business in secret.

After recounting in detail the sordid history of Gottlieb's secret work that is nauseating to read about, Kinzer leaves the reader with these strange words:

Gottlieb was not a sadist, but he might well have been . Above all he was an instrument of history. Understanding him is a deeply disturbing way of understanding ourselves.

What possibly could this mean? Not a sadist? An instrument of history? Understanding ourselves? These few sentences, dropped out of nowhere, pull the rug out from under what is generally an illuminating history and what seems like a moral indictment. This language is pure mystification.

Kinzer also concludes that because Gottlieb said so, the CIA failed in their efforts to develop methods of mind control and ended MK-ULTRA's experiments long ago. Why would he believe the word of a man who personified the agency he worked for: a secret liar? He writes,

When Sydney Gottlieb brough MK-ULTRA to its end in the early 1960s, he told his CIA superiors that he had found no reliable way to wipe away memory, make people abandon their consciences, or commit crimes and then forget them.

As for those who might think otherwise, Kinzer suggests they have vivid imaginations and are caught up in conspiracy thinking: "This [convincing others that the CIA had developed methods of mind control when they hadn't] is Sydney Gottlieb's most unexpected legacy," he asserts. He says this although Richard Helms, the CIA Director, destroyed all MK-Ultra records. He says that Allen Dulles, Gottlieb, and Helms themselves were caught up in a complete fantasy about mind control because they had seen too many movies and read too many books; mind control was impossible, a failure, a myth, he maintains. It is the stuff of popular culture, entertainment. In an interview with Chris Hedges, interestingly posted by Jefferson Morley at his website, The Deep State , Hedges agrees with Kinzer. Gottlieb, Dulles, et al. were all deluded. Mind control was impossible. You couldn't create a Manchurian Candidate; by implication, someone like Sirhan Sirhan could not have been programmed to be a fake Manchurian Candidate and to have no memory of what he did, as he claims. He could not have been mind-controlled by the CIA to perform his part as the seeming assassin of Senator Robert Kennedy while the real killer shot RFK from behind. People who think like this should get real.

Furthermore, as is so common in books such as Kinzer's, he repeats the canard that JFK and RFK knew about and pressured the CIA to assassinate Fidel Castro. This is demonstrably false, as shown by the Church Committee and the Assassinations Record Review Board, among many others. That Kinzer takes the word of notorious liars like Richard Helms and the top-level CIA operative Samuel Halpern is simple incredible, something that is hard to consider a mistake. Slipped into a truth sandwich, it is devoured and passed on. But it is false. Bullshit meant to deceive.

But this is how these games are played. If you look carefully, you will see them widely. Inform, enlighten, while throwing in doubletalk and untruths. The small number of people who read such books and articles will come away knowing some history that has no current relevance and being misinformed on other history that does. They will then be in the know, ready to pass their "wisdom" on to those who care to listen. They will not think they are average.

But they will be mind controlled, and the killer cat will roam freely without a bell, ready to devour the unsuspecting mice.

Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/

[Jan 02, 2020] In his 2007 Munich speech wherein Putin made one very prescient observation: "It is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within."

Jan 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Dec 31 2019 22:14 utc | 51

Patrick Armstrong recaps the past 20 years since Putin wrote "Russia at the turn of the millennium" , where Putin stressed the aspects of geoeconomics as most important while barely mentioning Russia's military.

What Armstrong fails to connect is the need for the first to be accomplished so that the second has a chance of complete success: Russia's political-economy needed resuscitating and strong-arming in the case of the kleptocrats for Russia's condition to be as bright as it is on the dawn of a new decade 1/5 of the way into the 21st Century.

Armstrong also tarries at length with Putin's 2007 Munich speech wherein Putin made one very prescient observation: "It is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within."

Armstrong uses Putin's observation made after the Outlaw US Empire's failed attempt to prolong its Unipolar Moment in Iraq after it attacked itself to cause that conlict to show the self-inflicted damage has yet to stop:

"Do we not see this today? The USA is tearing itself apart over imagined Russian collusion, imagined Russian electoral interference and real Ukrainian corruption. And, meanwhile, the forever wars go on and on."

In 2016, I thought there was an excellent chance the D-Party would splinter in a manner similar to 1860 that was generated by both bottom->up and top->down forces. And in light of the court decision allowing the DNC to name whomever it wants as its POTUS and VEEP candidates regardless of both primary and convention balloting, IMO that possibility is even greater as like 2016 the DNC will not--cannot--anoint Sanders as its POTUS candidate. But all that's the subject for another comment.

The dynamics of geopolitics has allowed the China/Russia team and its allies to usher the EU into Eurasian integration over the next decade while exposing the Outlaw US Empire as nothing but a Ponzi Scheme that will collapse upon itself at some point in time.

karlof1 , Dec 31 2019 23:28 utc | 54

Xi Jinping's New Years speech is motivational as one would expect. His closing exhortations:

"2020 will be a year of milestone significance. We will finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and realize the first centenary goal. 2020 will also be a year of decisive victory for the elimination of poverty....

"Human history, like a river, runs forever, witnessing both peaceful moments and great disturbances. We are not afraid of storms and dangers and barriers. China is determined to walk along the road of peaceful development and will resolutely safeguard world peace and promote common development. We are willing to join hands with people of all countries in the world to build together the Belt and Road Initiative, and push forward the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and make unremitting efforts for the creation of a beautiful future for mankind ." [My Emphasis]

Clearly, China has grasped the leadership role abandoned by the Outlaw US Empire for promoting humanity, Trump and Pompeo's daily actions giving China's position a continual boost.

Putin's New Year speech is short but emphasizes his key points. Do note that for Russians the New Year celebration is akin to the West's Christmas (or perhaps was is the better verb):

"Friends, we always prepare for the New Year in advance and, despite being busy, we believe that the warmth of human relations and companionship are the most important thing. We strive to do something important and useful for other people and to help those who require our support, to make them happy by giving them presents and our attention.

"Such sincere impulses, pure thoughts and selfless generosity are the true magic of the New Year holiday. It brings out the best in people and transforms the world filling it with joy and smiles.

"Uplifting New Year's feelings and wonderful impressions have been living in us since childhood and come back every New Year, when we hug our loved ones, our parents, prepare surprises for our children and grandchildren, decorate the New Year tree with them and unpack once again paper cut-outs, baubles and glass garlands. These, sometimes ancient, but beloved family trinkets give their warmth to the younger generations."

His preamble is nationalist; his message paternalistic and humanist.

IMO, the Scrooges of the Outlaw US Empire's Current Oligarchy haven't a chance versus the likes of Putin, Xi and their likeminded allies.

I'll leave my fellow barflies with this 32 year-old music video that IMO well expresses the heart sets of Putin, Xi, and those of us who want to share the world they're trying to build instead of what the Outlaw US Empire's trying to pull down and destroy.

Happy New Year!

[Jan 01, 2020] Building a Russian Bogeyman Washington Intentionally 'Overcharged' Relations with Moscow for Strategic Advantage by Robert Bridge

Jul 30, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

Last week, we considered how the Bush and Obama administrations worked in tandem – wittingly or unwittingly, but I'm betting on the former – to move forward with the construction of a US missile defense system smack on Russia's border following the attacks of 9/11 and Bush's decision to scrap the ABM Treaty with Moscow.

That aggressive move will go down in the (non-American) history books as the primary reason for the return of Cold War-era atmosphere between Washington and Moscow. Currently, with the mainstream news cycle top-heavy with 24/7 'Russiagate' baloney, many people have understandably forgotten that it was during the Obama administration when US-Russia relations really hit rock bottom. And it had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton's home computer getting allegedly compromised by some Russia hackers.

The year is 2008; welcome to the international peace tour – although 'farce tour' would be much more accurate. Fatigued by 8 long years of Bush's disastrous war on terror, with over 1 million dead, maimed or on the run, the world has just let out a collective sigh of relief as Barack Obama has been elected POTUS. Due to Obama's velvety delivery, and the fact that he was not George W. Bush, he was able to provide the perfect smokescreen as far as Washington's ulterior motives with regards to Russia were concerned; the devious double game America was playing required a snake-oil salesman of immeasurable skill and finesse.

Just months into his presidency, with 'hope and change' hanging in the air like so many helium balloons, Obama told a massive crowd in Prague that, "To reduce our warheads and stockpiles, we will negotiate a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with the Russians this year. President Medvedev and I began this process in London, and will seek a new agreement by the end of this year that is legally binding and sufficiently bold (Applause!)."

It would take another 8 years for the world – or at least the awakened part – to come to grips with the fact that America's 'first Black president' was just another smooth-talking, Wall Street-bought operator in sheep clothing. In the last year of the Obama reign, it has been conservatively estimated that some 26,000 bombs of various size and power were duly dropped against enemies in various nations. In other words, nearly three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day.

But more to the point, US-Russia relations on Obama's watch experienced their deepest deterioration since the days of the US-Soviet standoff. In fact, with the benefit of hindsight, we can say that the 44th US president picked up almost seamlessly where Bush left off, and then some. Initially, however, it looked as though relations with Russia would improve as Obama announced he would "shelve" the Bush plan for ground-based interceptors in Poland and a related radar site in the Czech Republic. Then, the very same day, he performed a perfect flip-flop into the geopolitical pool, saying he would deploy a sea-based variety – which is every bit as lethal as the land version, as then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates admitted – instead of a land-locked one.

Following that announcement, Obama appeared intent on lulling Moscow into a false sense of security that the system was somehow less dangerous than the Bush model, or that the Americans would eventually agree and cooperate with them in the system. In March 2009, a curious thing happened at the same time relations between the two global nuclear powers were hitting the wall. A meeting – more of a photo opportunity than any significant summit – took place between then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva. To the delight of the phalanx of photographers present, Clinton, in a symbolic gesture of "resetting relations" with Russia, produced a yellow box with a red button and the Russian word "peregruzka" printed on it.

"You got it wrong," Lavrov said to general laughter. "It should be "perezagruzka" [reset]," he corrected somewhat pedantically. "This says 'peregruzka,' which means 'overcharged.'"

Clinton gave a very interesting response, especially in light of where we are today in terms of the bilateral breakdown: "We won't let you do that to us, I promise. We mean it and we look forward to it."

As events would prove, the US State Department's 'mistaken' use of the Russian word for 'overcharged' instead of 'reset' was far closer to the truth. After all, can anybody remember a time in recent history, aside from perhaps the Cuban Missile Crisis, when US-Russia relations were more "overcharged" than now? In hindsight, the much-hyped 'reset' was an elaborate ploy by the Obama administration to buy as much time as possible to get a strategic head start on the Russians.

It deserves mentioning that the fate of the New START Treaty (signed into force on April 8, 2010), the nuclear missile reduction treaty signed between Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, hung in the balance on mutual cooperation between the nuclear powers. Nevertheless, it became clear the Obama sweet talk was just a lot of candy-coated nothing.

What is truly audacious about the Obama administration's moves is that it somehow believed Moscow would radically reduce its ballistic missile launch capabilities, as prescribed in the New START treaty, at the very same time the United States was building a mighty sword along the entire length of its Western border.

The Obama administration clearly underestimated Moscow, or overestimated Obama's charm powers.

By the year 2011, after several years of failed negotiations to bring Russia onboard the system, Moscow's patience was clearly over. During the G-8 Summit in France, Medvedev expressed frustration with the lack of progress on the missile defense system with the US.

"When we ask for the name of the countries that the shield is aimed at, we get silence," he said. "When we ask if the country has missiles (that could target Europe), the answer is 'no.'"

"Now who has those types of missiles (that the missile defense system could counter)?"

"We do," Medvedev explained. "So we can only think that this system is being aimed against us."

In fact, judging by the tremendous strides Russia has made in the realm of military technologies over a very short period, it is apparent the Kremlin understood from the outset that the 'reset' was an elaborate fraud, designed to cover the administration's push to Russian border.

As I wrote last week on these pages: "In March, Putin stunned the world, and certainly Washington's hawks, by announcing in the annual Address to the Federal Assembly the introduction of advanced weapons systems – including those with hypersonic capabilities – designed to overcome any missile defense system in the world.

These major developments by Russia, which Putin emphasized was accomplished "without the benefit" of Soviet-era expertise, has fueled the narrative that "Putin's Russia" is an aggressive nation with "imperial ambitions," when in reality its goal was to form a bilateral pact with the United States and other Western states almost two decades ago post 9/11.

As far as 'Russiagate', the endless probe into the Trump administration for its alleged collusion with Russia in the 2016 election, not a shred of incriminating evidence has ever been provided that would prove such a thing occurred. And when Putin offered to cooperate with Washington in determining exactly what happened, the offer was rebuffed.

In light of such a scenario, it is my opinion that the Democrats, fully aware – despite what the skewed media polls erringly told them – that Hillary Clinton stood no chance of beating the Republican Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential contest, set about crafting the narrative of 'Russian collusion' in order to not only delegitimize Trump's presidency, possibly depriving him of a second term in 2010, but to begin the process of severely curtailing the work of 'alternative media,' which are in fact greatly responsible for not only Trump's victory at the polls, but for exposing the dirt on Clinton's corrupt campaign.

These alternative media sites have been duly linked to Russia in one way or another as a means of silencing them. Thus, it is not only Russia that has been victimized by the lunacy of Russiagate; every single person who stands for the freedom of speech has suffered a major setback one way or another.

Part I of this story is available here . The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Tags: Cold War George W. Bush Obama Russiagate START

[Jan 01, 2020] DiGenova: Comey And Brennan Were 'Coup Leaders'

Brennan probably will take the bullet for Obama...
Jan 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4777 DiGenova: Comey And Brennan Were 'Coup Leaders' by Tyler Durden Wed, 01/01/2020 - 19:30 0 SHARES

Former US Attorney Joe diGenova told OANN 's John Hines that former FBI Director James Comey and former CIA Director John Brennan were "coup leaders" in an attempt to reverse the outcome of the 2016 US election.

DiGenova says the Obama Justice Department was corrupted under Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, "with the authority and knowledge of then-president" Obama, and that a 'stupid and arrogant' Susan Rice was dumb enough to document his knowledge in a January 20th, 2017 email.

"And you'll never forget, I'm sure, that famous Susan Rice email on inauguration day of Donald Trump, where she sends an email to the file memorializing that there had been a meeting on January 5th with the president of the United States, all senior law enforcement and intelligence officials, where they reviewed the status of Crossfire Hurricane and the president announced - President Obama - that he was sure that everything had been done by the book.

I want to thank Susan Rice for being so stupid and so arrogant to write that email on January 20th because that's exhibit A for Barack Obama - who knew all about this from start to finish, and was more than happy to have the civil rights of a massive number of Americans violated so he could get Donald Trump." -Joe diGenova

Moreover, diGenova says that after "all this stuff involving Trump and Page and Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn," anyone who couldn't see that the "corrupt investigative process of the FBI and DOJ was basically being used to conduct a coup d'état" is an idiot.

"This was not hard. If you're a good prosecutor you look at the facts in the Trump case, and the Page case, the Flynn case. There's only one conclusion you can come to; none of this makes any sense. None of these people were evil. None of them. They were framed , and the whole process was playing out, and you knew it on July 5th 2016, when James Comey announced - usurping the functions of the Attorney General, that no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case against Hillary Clinton. That was ludicrous! She destroyed 30,000 emails that were under subpoena. If you or I did that, we would be in prison today . She got a break because she was Hillary Clinton, and James Comey was trying to kiss her fanny because he wanted something from her when she became president of the United States.

All of these people who watched that news conference and didn't think that it was a disgrace for the FBI. And then subsequently, watched all this stuff involving Trump and Page and Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn - and couldn't see that the corrupt investigative process of the FBI and the DOJ was basically being used to conduct a coup d'état . I mean you have to be an idiot. Any first year assistant US attorney would look at all these facts and say 'there's a coup underway. There's a conspiracy.'

But for those of us thought that, the Washington Post, the New York Times. We were 'conspiracy theorists.' You know what? Pretty damn good theory, it appears today.

" To what extent is the CIA involved in this? " asked Hines.

" Well there's no doubt that John Brennan was the primogenitor of the entire counterintelligence investigation, " replied diGenova. "It was John Brennan who went to James Comey and basically pummeled him into starting a counterintelligence investigation against Trump. Brennan's at the heart of this. He went around the world. He enlisted the help of foreign intelligence services. He's responsible for Joseph Mifsud and other people."

" People do not have even the beginning of an understanding of the role that John Brennan played in this . He is a monstrously important person, and I underscore monstrously important person. He has done more damage to the Central Intelligence Agency - it's equal to what James Comey has done to the FBI. It's pretty clear that James Comey will go down in history as the single worst FBI director in history, regardless of how Mr. Durham treats him."


gold_silver_as_money , 23 minutes ago link

Brennan was just the puppet. The real question is who the power brokers were behind the scenes pulling strings and giving all the government officials cover. That's probably what Durham is/needs to get to the bottom of. Hillary is untouchable until those guys get the book thrown at them. My guess is the Queen is involved, probably the Vatican and Mossad as well.

Leguran , 24 minutes ago link

Full agreement with Joe DiGenova. In addition, I believe President Obama was an instigator of this coup d'état. It could only happen in the intelligence field with his consent. His whole persona is based on his willingness to calculate political gain and he had no qualms or ethics. He was hailed as the first "black" President. His role in this coup was made possible by all the people who thought black people were inferior and needed an opportunity to get ahead. Depending upon how you look at that, that picture is in tatters. Black folks are incredibly fortunate to have President Trump who will not blame black folks for the travesties and destruction wrought by another black man. Would a died in the wool radical like Hillary Clinton think that way?

Schroedingers Cat , 48 minutes ago link

The good men of the agencies should punish Comey and Brennan. They have "six ways 'til Tuesday to get even." Why not teach them a lesson from the inside? Many MANY people in the agency have been insulted by this and they deserve justice against Comey and Brennan.

Dumpster Elite , 51 minutes ago link

Gotta give it to the OAN network. They're not dumb. If this actually DID pan out (indictments and such, as a result of this investigative stuff, with no help whatsoever from Barr, etc.), then OAN will be the lead network covering this.

Needless to say, it speaks VOLUMES upon VOLUMES, that Fox News isn't covering this (other than Hannity).

Md4 , 52 minutes ago link

"And you'll never forget, I'm sure, that famous Susan Rice email on inauguration day of Donald Trump, where she sends an email to the file memorializing that there had been a meeting on January 5th with the president of the United States, all senior law enforcement and intelligence officials, where they reviewed the status of Crossfire Hurricane and the president announced - President Obama - that he was sure that everything had been done by the book."

Now... let's, for a moment, imagine this scene.

We've already had a Watergate in our history, involving the spying of one party on another during a presidential campaign season.

These people know how that turned out.

Most of them are lawyers, and at least one is a supposed Constitutional scholar and professor of Constitutional law.

That's Blo.

Does Rice really expect us to believe they didn't know Crossfire Hurricane was based on Clinton Campaign-paid for ********?

Wouldn't a law professor president wanna know the basis, and the veracity of the details, of such a risky operation before authorizing it?

Or are we to believe he merely accepted the assembled "assurances" in this meeting?

Were there presidential meetings about spying on Trump that occurred well before this one?

[Jan 01, 2020] 'Vladimir the Terrible' US Deep State Desperately Needs a Russian Villain to Cover Its Tracks -- Strategic Culture

Jan 01, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

'Vladimir the Terrible': US Deep State Desperately Needs a Russian Villain to Cover Its Tracks Robert Bridge July 26, 2018 © Photo: Public domain

Conventional wisdom would have us believe that Russia became America's sworn enemy in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. As is often the case, however, conventional wisdom can be illusory.

In the momentous 2016 showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, a faraway dark kingdom known as Russia, the fantastic fable goes, hijacked that part of the American brain responsible for critical thinking and lever pulling with a few thousand dollars' worth of Facebook and Twitter adverts, bots and whatnot. The result of that gross intrusion into the squeaky clean machinery of the God-blessed US election system is now more or less well-documented history brought to you by the US mainstream media: Donald Trump, with some assistance from the Russians that has never been adequately explained, pulled the presidential contest out from under the wobbly feet of Hillary Clinton.

For those who unwittingly bought that work of fiction, I can only offer my sincere condolences. In fact, Russiagate is just the latest installment of an anti-Russia story that has been ongoing since the presidency of George W. Bush.

Act 1: Smokescreen

Rewind to September 24 th , 2001. Having gone on record as the first global leader to telephone George W. Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Putin showed his support went beyond mere words. He announced a five-point plan to support America in the 'war against terror' that included the sharing of intelligence, as well as the opening of Russian airspace for US humanitarian flights to Central Asia.

In the words of perennial Kremlin critic, Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia, Putin's "acquiescence to NATO troops in Central Asia signaled a reversal of two hundred years of Russian foreign policy. Under Yeltsin, the communists, and the tsars, Russia had always considered Central Asia as its 'sphere of influence.' Putin broke with that tradition."

In other words, the new Russian leader was demonstrating his desire for Russia to have, as Henry Kissinger explained it some seven years later, "a reliable strategic partner, with America being the preferred choice."

This leads us to the question for the ages: If it was obvious that Russia was now fully prepared to enter into a serious partnership with the United States in the 'war on terror,' then how do we explain George W. Bush announcing the withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty just three months later? There are some things we may take away from that move, which Putin tersely and rightly described as a "mistake."

First, Washington must not have considered a security partnership with Moscow very important, since they certainly understood that Russia would respond negatively to the decision to scrap the 30-year-old ABM Treaty. Second, the US must not considered the 'war on terror' very serious either; otherwise it would not have risked losing Russian assistance in hunting down the baddies in Central Asia and the Middle East, geographical areas where Russia has gained valuable experience over the years. This was a remarkably odd choice considering that the US military apparatus had failed spectacularly to defend the nation against a terrorist attack, coordinated by 19 amateurs, armed with box cutters, no less. Third, as was the case with the decision to invade Iraq, a country with nodiscernible connection to the events of 9/11, as well as the imposition of the pre-drafted Patriot Act on a shell-shocked nation, the decision to break with Russia seems to have been a premeditated move on the global chessboard. Although it would be hard to prove such a claim, we can take some guidance from Rahm Emanuel, former Obama Chief of Staff, who notoriously advised, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Pb-YuhFWCr4

So why did Bush abrogate the ABM Treaty with Russia? The argument was that some "rogue state," rumored to be Iran, might be tempted to launch a missile attack against "US interests abroad." Yet there was absolutely no logic to the claim since Tehran was inextricably bound by the same principle of "mutually assured destruction" (MAD) as were any other states that tempted fate with a surprise attack on US-Israeli interests. Further, it made no sense to focus attention on Shia-dominant Iran when the majority of the terrorists, allegedly acolytes of Osama bin Laden, reportedly hailed from Sunni-dominant Saudi Arabia. In other words, the Bush administration happily sacrificed an invincible relationship with Russia in the war on terror in order to guard against some external threat that only nominally existed, with a missile defense system that was largely unproven in the field. Again, zero logic.

However, when it is considered that the missile defense system was tailor-made by America specifically with Russia in mind, the whole scheme begins to make more sense, at least from a strategic perspective. Thus, the Bush administration used the attacks of 9/11 to not only dramatically curtail the civil rights of American citizens with the passage of the Patriot Act, it also took the first steps towards encircling Russia with a so-called 'defense system' that has the capacity to grow in effectiveness and range.

For those who thought Russia would just sit back and let itself be encircled by foreign missiles, they were in for quite a surprise. In March 2018, Putin stunned the world, and certainly Washington's hawks, by announcing in the annual Address to the Federal Assembly the introduction of advanced weapons systems – including those with hypersonic capabilities – designed to overcome any missile defense system in the world.

These major developments by Russia, which Putin emphasized was accomplished "without the benefit" of Soviet-era expertise, has fueled the narrative that "Putin's Russia" is an aggressive nation with "imperial ambitions," when in reality its goal was to form a bilateral pact with the United States and other Western states almost two decades ago post 9/11.

Now, US officials can only wring their hands in angst while speaking about an "aggressive Russia."

"Russia is the most significant threat just because they pose the only existential threat to the country right now. So we have to look at that from that perspective," declared Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of US Strategic Command, or STRATCOM.

Putin reiterated in his Address, however, that there would have been no need for Russia to have developed such advanced weapon systems if its legitimate concerns had not been dismissed by the US.

"Nobody wanted to talk with us on the core of the problem," he said. "Nobody listened to us. Now you listen!"

To be continued: Part II: Reset, or 'Overcharged' The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Tags: Deep State Russiagate

[Jan 01, 2020] In one poll 18% of the USA respondents are clearly suicidal

Jan 01, 2020 | twitter.com

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David Santoro ‏ 4:29 PM - 28 Dec 2019

Should (and can) we re-confirm the Reagan-Gorbatchev statement that "A # nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought?" Plus say why

[Dec 31, 2019] Skripals false flag and Russiagate are birds of the feather

Notable quotes:
"... If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS. ..."
Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Dec 29 2019 22:21 utc | 28

@Posted by: sleepy | Dec 29 2019 17:38 utc | 8

Thanks sleeply,

But underlying your comment is an assumption of *logic* in this world. If it ever existed it certainly does not apply any longer. Look how much mileage the MSM and the anti-Democracy Party got out of the nothingburger Russiagate.

The MSM doesn't even need to smell real blood, they will run with anything to continue the coup.

Anything negative that involves Edward Gallagher between now and election day could be magnified 1 million-fold and
repeated 1000 million times by the MSM and dropped in Trump's lap.

If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS.

[Dec 31, 2019] The US is now openly dismissive as a matter of law any ally or partner who engages in economic activity it disapproves by Tom Luongo

Dec 26, 2019 | astutenews.com

Europe is willing to defy the U.S. on Nordstream to the point of forcing the U.S. to openly and nakedly destroy its reputation with European contractors and governments to stop one pipeline in a place where multiple gas pipelines will be needed for future growth.

This is the diplomatic equivalent of the nuclear option. And the neocons in the Senate just pushed the button. Europe understands what this is really about, the U.S. retaining its imperial position as the policy setter for all the world. If it can set energy policy for Europe then it can set everything else.

And it's clear that the leadership in Europe is done with that status quo. The Trump administration from the beginning has used NATO as an excuse to mask its real intentions towards Europe, which is continued domination of its policies. Trump complains that the U.S. pays into NATO to protect Europe from Russia but then Europe buys its energy from Russia. That's unfair, Donald complains, like a little bitch, frankly, even though he right on the surface. But if the recent NATO summit is any indication, Europe is no longer interested in NATO performing that function. French President Emmanuel Macron wants NATO re-purposed to fight global terror, a terrible idea. NATO should just be ended.

But you'll notice how Trump doesn't talk about that anymore. He wants more billions pumped into NATO while the U.S. still sets its policies. This is not a boondoggle for the MIC as much as it's a Sword of Damocles to hold over Europe's head. The U.S.'s involvement in should be ended immediately, the troops brought home and the billions of dollars spent here as opposed to occupying most of Europe to point missiles at a Russia wholly uninterested in imperial ambitions no less harboring any of them.

And Trump also knows this but thinks stopping Nordstream 2 is the price Europe has to pay him for this privilege. It's insane. The time has come for Europe to act independently from the U.S. As much as I despise the EU, to untangle it from the U.S. on energy policy is the means by which for it to then deal with its problems internally. It can't do that while the U.S. is threatening it. Circling the wagons against the immediate threat, as it were.

And that means protecting its companies and citizens from the economic depredations of power-mad neoconservatives in the U.S. Senate like Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham.

Allseas, the Swiss company laying the pipe for Nordstream 2, has halted construction for now , awaiting instructions from the U.S. Gazprom will likely step in to finish the job and Germany will green light any of the necessary permits to get the pipeline done. Those people will be put out of work just in time for Christmas, turning thousands of people against the U.S. Commerce drives people together, politics drives them apart.

But, at the same time, the urgency to finish Nordstream 2 on time is wholly irrelevant now because Ukraine and Russia came to terms on a new five-year gas transit contract. This ensures Gazprom can meet its contractual deliveries to Europe that no one thought could be done on time. But when the Nazi threat to Zelensky meeting with Merkel, Macron and Putin in Paris failed to materialize, a gas deal was on the horizon.

And, guess what? U.S. LNG will still not have the marginal lever over Europe's energy policy because of that. Putin and Zelensky outmaneuvered Cruz, Graham and Trump on this. Because that's what this boils down to. By keeping Russian gas out of Europe, it was supposed to constrain not only Russia's growth but also Europe's. Because then the U.S. government can control who and how much energy can make it into European markets at critical junctures politically.

That was the Bolton Doctrine to National Security. And that doctrine brought nothing but misery to millions.

And if you look back over the past five years of U.S./EU relations you will see this gambit clearly for what it was, a way to continue European vassalage at the hands of the U.S. by forcing market share of U.S. providers into European markets.

Again, it gets back to Trump's ideas about Emergy Dominance and becoming the supplier of the marginal erg of energy to important economies around the world.

The smart play for the EU now that the gas transit deal is in place is to threaten counter-sanctions against the U.S. and bar all LNG shipments into Europe. Gas prices are at historic lows, gas supplies are overflowing thanks to fears of a deal not being in place.

So, a three to six month embargo of U.S. LNG into Europe to bleed off excess supply while Nordstream 2 is completed would be the right play politically.

But, in reality, they won't need to, because the U.S. won't be able to import much into Europe under current prices and market conditions. And once Nordstream 2 is complete, LNG sales to Europe should crater.

In the end, I guess it's too bad for Ted Cruz that economics and basic human ingenuity are more powerful than legislatures. Because Nordstream 2 will be completed. Turkstream's other trains into Europe will be built. Venezuela will continue rebuilding its energy sector with Russian and Chinese help.

There is no place for U.S. LNG in Europe outside of the Poles literally burning money virtue signaling their Russophobia. Nordstream 2 was a response to the revolt in Ukraine, to replace any potential losses in market share to Europe. Now Russia will have what it had before passing through Ukraine along with Nordstream 2. By 2024 there will be at least two trains from Turkstream coming into Europe.

Iran will keep expanding exports, settling its oil and gas trade through Russian banks. And the U.S. will continue to fulminate and make itself even more irrelevant over time. What men like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump refuse to understand is that when you go nuclear you can't ever go back. If you threaten the nuclear option, there's no fall back position.

And when those that you threaten with annihilation survive they are made all the stronger for passing through the eye of the needle. Looking at Gazprom's balance sheet right now, that's my take.


By Tom Luongo. Source: Gold Goats 'n Guns

[Dec 31, 2019] Another despicable attack on Tulsi

It is reasonably cheap to buy a journalist and turn him into the attack dog on particular, inconvenient or dangerious for the financial oligarchy candidate.
Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kali , Dec 29 2019 19:01 utc | 13

New article about Tulsi Gabbard being viciously attacked over religion during Christmas.

Angry Bernie Sanders supporters whom I guess forgot to take their meds over the holidaze are viciously attacking Tulsi because of Jesus? LOL. This new article is specifically about Mike Figueroa from The Humanist Report, a semi-popular vlogger, and also a fanatic atheist type.

He used to be a Tulsi supporter, but since he is connected to the TYT network which is funded by Hollywood Billionaire and major DNC Clinton funder Katzenberg, he must have recently been told to toe the party line on smearing Tulsi if he wanted to reap the funding benefits of TYT who are hardcore Tulsi haters, following the DNC line.

I guess Tulsi showing the Christmas spirit gave him a reason to look hardcore to his fellow fanatics and appease TYT money folks. Anyways, here is the new article Like, In The Year 2024