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Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking

After twenty year of betrayal of working class Democrats face the consequences of their "Clinton strategy" in full force: in 2016 Presidential elections workers abandoned them in droves

Clinton family grip on the Dems, the neoliberal grip,  might weaken

News US Presidential Elections of 2016 Recommended Links Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Populism Anti-globalization movement Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Bernie Sanders as sheepdog for Hillary TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak
Clinton Cash and Hillary Clinton links to financial industry Hillary Clinton email scandal Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention Anti Trump Hysteria Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Hillary as a pathological liar Lesser evil trick of legitimizing a disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections
Neoconservatism Obama: a yet another Neocon Hillary health issues Female Sociopaths Bill Clinton With Bill possibly again occupying White House bedroom his sexapades became Hillary campaign issue Hillary Clinton defense of the middle aged rapist of a 12 years old girl
Media-Military-Industrial Complex New American Militarism Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime American Exceptionalism Color revolutions Deception as an art form Madeleine Albrigh as a model for Hillary
Clinton Cash The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich Crisis of Character A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They O Hillary the Other Woman Dolly Kyle Amazon.com Books The Clintons' War on Women Roger Stone, Robert Morrow Amazon.com Books Bill Clinton New Gilded Age President Patrick J. Maney 9780700621941 Amazon.com Books The Secret Life of Bill Clinton The Unreported Stories Ambrose Evans-Pritchard  Amazon.com Books Partners in Crime The Clintons' Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit Jerome Corsi  Amazon
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Strauss and the Neocons Lawrence Summers Sandy Weill: the banker who bought Bill Clinton Robert Rubin, the man who helped to convert the USA into banana republic
Diplomacy by deception Corruption of Regulators The Deep State Machiavellism Noble Lie Hillary role in cover up of Bill Clinton sexapades Nation under attack meme
Predator state The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Inverted Totalitarism == Managed Democracy == Neoliberalism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Politically Incorrect Humor  Etc
 
Bill, Hillary, Barack and the rest should do the decent and honorable thing: disappear completely, along with the rest of their vicious elitist Neoliberal Democrat ilk. Progressives who have insisted on backing these criminals – and who have tried to bully those of us on the actual left into joining them in that ugly and viciously circular embrace – need to make themselves over or just drop off the face of the political landscape and let people who are more serious and radical step in.

www.counterpunch.org - Nov 12, 2016, 7:00 PM

With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, there is some evidence that Clinton and Co. actually wanted to run against Donald Trump, and tried to get their allies to manipulate the Republican primary in favor of a Trump victory (hence all the free corporate media coverage of the Donald). The dossier, fabricated or not, seems to have been one of many 'ace in the holes' that the Clinton campaign thought they could use to discredit Trump (including the Access Hollywood tape, etc.) in the general election. If so, this strategy really blew up in their face – they thought they could manipulate the process, so they could ignore the Rust Belt concerns, and that's what handed Trump the presidency.

If the Clintonites were to admit this, however, they'd have to step down from party leadership and let the Sanders Democrats take over, and that's what this is really all about now, their effort to prevent that outcome. And they do not want  to do that. Instead they decided to launch  a smoke screen to hide their  fiasco in the form of  Russiagate hysteria.

Trump essentially run as independent using Republican Party as a host. And then Republican Party tried to capture him after the victory converting him into the run-of-a-mill republican -- a stooge of MIC. Trump was right to point out that the Clintons and their allies in DNC rigged the game against Bernie.  Now we know that FBI helped to achieve this particular result. But even he can't predict that elimination of Sanders would be such a  disaster for Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, Hillary lost not merely because she misread the “real” people, she decided to run a very divisive and nasty negative campaign, which has fueled the violence ever since. According to WikiLeaks emails from campaign John Podesta, Clinton colluded with the DNC and the media to raise what they thought would be the extreme right among Republicans to then make her the middle of the road to hide her agenda.

... ... ...

Clinton called this her “pied piper” strategy, that intentionally cultivated extreme right-wing presidential candidates and that would turn the Republicans away from their more moderate candidates. This enlisted mainstream media who then focused to Trump and raise him above all others assuming that would help Hillary for who would vote for Trump. This was a deliberate strategy all designed to propel Hillary to the White House.

The Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee along with mainstream media all called for using far-right candidates “as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right.” Clinton’s camp insisted that Trump should be “elevated” to “leaders of the pack” and media outlets should be told to “take them seriously.”

If we look back on April 23, 2015, just two weeks after Hillary Clinton officially declared her presidential campaign, her staff sent out a message on straregy to manipulate the Republicans into selecting the worse candidate. They included this attachment a “memo for the DNC discussion.”

The memo was addressed to the Democratic National Committee and stated bluntly, “the strategy and goals a potential Hillary Clinton presidential campaign would have regarding the 2016 Republican presidential field.” Here we find that the real conspiracy was Clinton manipulating the Republicans. “Clearly most of what is contained in this memo is work the DNC is already doing. This exercise is intended to put those ideas to paper.”

“Our hope is that the goal of a potential HRC campaign and the DNC would be one-in-the-same: to make whomever the Republicans nominate unpalatable to a majority of the electorate.”

The Clinton strategy was all about manipulating the Republicans to nominate the worst candidate Clinton called for forcing “all Republican candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election.”

It was not Putin trying to rig the elections, it was Hillary. Clinton saw the Republican field as crowded and she viewed as “positive” for her. “Many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right.” Clinton then took the strategic position saying “we don’t want to marginalize the more extreme candidates, but make them more ‘Pied Piper’ candidates who actually represent the mainstream of the Republican Party.”

Her manipulative strategy was to have the press build up Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson. “We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously.”

This conspiracy has emerged from the Podesta emails. It was Clinton conspiring with mainstream media to elevate Trump and then tear him down. We have to now look at all the media who endorsed Hillary as simply corrupt. Simultaneously, Hillary said that Bernie had to be ground down to the pulp. Further leaked emails showed how the Democratic National Committee sabotaged Sanders’ presidential campaign. It was Hillary manipulating the entire media for her personal gain. She obviously did not want a fair election because she was too corrupt.

What is very clear putting all the emails together, the rise of Donald Trump was orchestrated by Hillary herself conspiring with mainstream media, and they they sought to burn him to the ground. Their strategy backfired and now this is why she has not come out to to speak against the violence she has manipulated and inspired.

This is by far the WORST campaign in history and it was all orchestrated by Hillary to be intentionally divisive for the nation all to win the presidency at all costs. She has torched the constitution and the country. No wonder Hillary could not go to the stage to thank her supporters. She never counted on them and saw the people as fools. The entire strategy was to take the White House with a manipulation of the entire election process. Just unbelievable. Any Democrat who is not angry at this is clearly just a biased fool. Wake up and smell the roses. You just got what you deserve.

Neoliberal MSM are now justifiably discredited, and some most obnoxious neocons might lose their positions in think tanks and government.  Does this mean that Victoria Nuland will be fired? Actually, can she be fired? or at at least transferred to the embassy in Outer Mongolia? We do not know yet.

Neoliberal MSM so far were very kind to Obama and the Wall Street Democrats. What else we can expect. Clinton Democratic Party was all about throwing the people under the bus in the pursuit of the Almighty Dollar. Hillary candidacy was about betrayal of working Americans. Thomas Franks was especially clear about this in this speech  watch-v=pmCibWptzZQ

This was the Clinton Legacy, and that's why "serial betrayer" Obama, who also belongs to Clinton DemoRats camp, and the rest of the Democratic Establishment went along for the ride — and hit the electoral brick wall.  Bill Clinton great idea of betrayal: the working people have nowhere to go and body slamming the people who get you elected has no consequences for Democratic politicians, Woked for him and Obama. But it finally backfired with Hillary. 

For the professional class of politicians and the wealthy this was not about civil rights, this was not about decency and justice, and it certainly was not about compassion and kindness even if they were very careful to keep mouthing the words and giving lip service to the pretenses of social but not economic equality.

It was all about money and power. Theirs. Narrowly focused greed that was willfully blind to all that was happening around it. Washington and New York and London and Berlin are thick with it.

And now that their mighty god has betrayed them and bestowed its power on its other, more faithfully vicious children, they are running around without a mission or a purpose other than themselves, not knowing what to do next.

Michael Moore in his facebook post urged to "Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off."

Morning After To-Do List:

1. Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably.

2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off.

3. Any Democratic member of Congress who didn't wake up this morning ready to fight, resist and obstruct in the way Republicans did against President Obama every day for eight full years must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that's about to begin.

4. Everyone must stop saying they are "stunned" and "shocked". What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren't paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all "You're fired!" Trump's victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.

5. You must say this sentence to everyone you meet today: "HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!" The MAJORITY of our fellow Americans preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Period. Fact. If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don't. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump. The only reason he's president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we'll continue to have presidents we didn't elect and didn't want. You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there's climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don't want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the "liberal" position. We just lack the liberal leadership to make that happen (see: #1 above).

As neoliberal elite definitely prefers Trump to Sanders, so the DNC rigging of primaries was consistent with the neoliberal  Democratic Party elite’s (Clinton wing of the Democratic Party) longstanding vicious hatred of left-leaning progressives and anti-plutocratic populists in the ranks of their party (The Guardian)

...Democratic leaders made Hillary their candidate even though they knew about her closeness to the banks, her fondness for war, and her unique vulnerability on the trade issue – each of which Trump exploited to the fullest. They chose Hillary even though they knew about her private email server. They chose her even though some of those who studied the Clinton Foundation suspected it was a sketchy proposition. To try to put over such a nominee while screaming that the Republican is a rightwing monster is to court disbelief. If Trump is a fascist, as liberals often said, Democrats should have put in their strongest player to stop him, not a party hack they’d chosen because it was her turn. Choosing her indicated either that Democrats didn’t mean what they said about Trump’s riskiness, that their opportunism took precedence over the country’s well-being, or maybe both.

Clinton’s supporters among the media didn’t help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation’s papers, but it was the quality of the media’s enthusiasm that really harmed her.

... ... ...

...the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. Here’s what it consisted of:

How did the journalists’ crusade fail? The fourth estate came together in an unprecedented professional consensus. They chose insulting the other side over trying to understand what motivated them. They transformed opinion writing into a vehicle for high moral boasting. What could possibly have gone wrong with such an approach?

What has happened on November 8, 2016 can be described as a repudiation of the neoliberal globalization and the US neoliberal elite. If is even more significant if you understand that Trump essentially run as an independent: Unlike Hillary he was shunned by the Republican elite. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, actively worked against Trump’s nomination. Many senior Republicans refused to endorse him, or even give him their support. The Republican National Committee did not raise money for Trump to the extent it had for other Republican candidates for president.

The elite that controls the political leaders of both parties, their political operatives, and fundraisers; all major MSM; the country’s biggest corporations, their top executives, and Washington lobbyists and trade associations; the biggest Wall Street banks, their top officers, traders, hedge-fund and private-equity managers, and their lackeys in Washington; as well as bunch of super wealthy individuals who invest directly in politics.

Democratic party became a neoliberal party of top 10%, the party of bankers and white collar professionals. Under Bill Clinton the Democrats have become the party of neoliberals, the party of Financial Oligarchy. At this time  corporate interests were moving to finance as their main activity.  Clintons have positioned the Dems as pupppets of financial oligarchy and got in return the ability to control the media, which was owned by the same corporations.

When the media have to choose between their paymasters and honesty, their paymasters win every time.

Hillary Clinton’s defeat is all the more remarkable in that her campaign not only enjoied unconditional support of major MSM, but also almost twice  outspent the Trump campaign on television and radio advertisements, as well on get-out-the-vote  efforts.  The net result is the Democratic party lost working class voters and have no chanced to attack them on foreseeable future, unless it rejects its neoliberal ideology and current leaders, especially Clinton and Obama families. 

The best article on this issue that so far I managed to find is Sophia A. McClennen article in Salon which is devoted to defeat of Sanders, not Trump victory on November 8, 2016, despite all "sure" prediction of Hillary win. 
10 reasons why #DemExit is serious Getting rid of Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not enough  by Sophia A. McClennen

Salon.com

Shortly after Bernie Sanders publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton a new hashtag trended on Twitter: #DemExit.  The hashtag offered Sanders supporters a chance to vent their frustrations with the Democratic Party and with the sense that their candidate had been pressured into an endorsement.  Rather than reach out to these disaffected voters, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ignored them. Understood within the larger narrative that Sanders supporters were just whining brats who refused to concede and move on, #DemExit was dismissed as just more sour milk.

But now that the latest leak of DNC emails proves that Sanders supporters have a legitimate right to feel cheated, #DemExit increasingly seems like an appropriate response to a rigged system.

The new leak shows that the DNC never took the Sanders campaign seriously, even when he was winning state after state. Rather than recognize that Sanders was attracting new voters to the party, members of the DNC chose to mock them and close ranks around Clinton.

Here are 10 reasons why the #DemExit movement has a valid reason to want nothing to do with the DNC.  Having DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resign is not enough for #DemExit supporters because their concerns run throughout the ranks of the DNC. Until party leaders take these concerns seriously they will have to spend their convention watching potential voters jump ship.

1.     Superdelegates

It is important to recognize that frustrations over party politics are not uniquely tied to the email leaks. The frustration over the superdelegate system is one clear example that distrust of the DNC goes deeper. The fact that the party even has superdelegates is a sign of its anti-democratic, pro-oligarchy stance. As Branko Marcetic of In These Times reports the superdelegate system was created specifically to challenge the will of voters. According to Marcetic, “When a Sanders supporter criticized superdelegate Howard Dean for sticking with Clinton despite Sanders’ landslide victory in Vermont, Dean tweeted back: “Superdelegates don’t represent the people.”

While there have been new negotiations to adjust the role of superdelegates, these concessions still give too much power to the party elite.

In addition, the fact that Clinton superdelegates were regularly reported by the media in her delegate tally contributed to the sense that Sanders couldn’t win.  So it was not just the existence of the superdelegates; it was the way they were covered by the corporate media that pissed off Sanders supporters. Any party with a superdelegate system should be prepared to alienate voters.  This time it worked.

2.     The Debate Schedule

The DNC created a debate schedule designed to make it hard for candidates to challenge Clinton’s status as the “presumptive” nominee.  Debates were held on weekends, at times that conflicted with other events, and were generally slotted to attract fewer viewers. From the start, well before it was clear that Sanders was gaining momentum, folks were already complaining that the debate schedule was slanted towards Clinton. According to a piece in The National Review from November some Democrats thought it was no accident the DNC scheduled a debate in Iowa on the night of a big Iowa Hawkeyes game.  The next two debates were also scheduled for less viewer heavy weekend slots.

The drama over the debate schedule got worse as the DNC refused to add more debates to give Sanders a chance to continue to build momentum.  As The Intercept reports the DNC laughed at the idea of adding another debate prior to the California primary, even though Fox News offered to host one.  Fox News wrote that, “the race is still contested, and given that you sanctioned a final trio of debates, the last of which has not yet been held, we believe a final debate would be an excellent opportunity for the candidates to, as you said when you announced these debates, ‘share Democrats’ vision for the country.’”  There never was a California debate set up. Not on Fox News or any other venue.

3.     Campaign finance

Back in April the Sanders campaign questioned “serious apparent violations” of campaign finance laws under a joint fundraising deal between Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.  The Sanders camp alleged that the joint fundraising agreement offered Clinton a chance to “launder” money through the DNC.  “While the use of joint fundraising agreements has existed for some time — it is unprecedented for the DNC to allow a joint committee to be exploited to the benefit of one candidate in the midst of a contested nominating contest,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager.

Politico reported that legal experts gave conflicting views on whether the practice constituted a violation of campaign finance law.  But whether or not it was legal was not the only point.  Larry Noble, the general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, who served for 13 years as general counsel at the Federal Election Commission, stated that “It clearly goes against what was intended for the joint fundraising committees.”  Given the already significant war chest Clinton had to run her campaign it is not surprising that Sanders supporters would find this news disturbing.

4.     Refusal to Address Claims of Election Fraud

According to a piece from the Observer on calls in California to have the DNC investigate election fraud, “Voter tampering has been frequently cited in California, with many alleging their party registration was changed without their consent. In Riverside County, district attorney Mike Hestrin confirmed voters’ party affiliations were changed without their knowledge.” And that was just one part of the story from California.

The primary elections were rife with claims of election fraud. From the purging of voter rolls (Brooklyn) to cutting poll locations (Arizona, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico), to the debacle of the California primary, there were numerous situations where the DNC could and should have called for an investigation. Despite the fact that in many cases it was Democratic voters that were directly affected, the DNC made no move to support voters’ claims of election fraud.

5.     The Democratic Party Platform

The recent fights over the DNC platform reveal a real lack of support for progressive policy, especially on key economic issues.  As Marcetic reported for In These Timesthere’s no denying that the platform compromises on certain core progressive values.”  While some suggested that the new platform was a “win” for Sanders, in the end the platform submits to corporate will on many issues

Committee delegates selected by Clinton and Wasserman Schultz voted down several measures dear to progressives’ hearts: “amendments advocating single-payer health care and a $15 minimum wage indexed to inflation, several proposals to halt climate change, language criticizing Israeli ‘occupation’ of Palestine and an amendment explicitly opposing the TPP trade agreement.” As Marcetic shows, delegates to the committee with corporate ties were among the most avid in promoting pro-business policy completely out of step with the sort of progressive values that once separated Democrats from Republicans. Unsurprisingly, those very same delegates were the ones connected to Clinton and Wasserman Schultz.

6.     Documented Attempts to Discredit / Dismiss Sanders

As if the previous issues were not evidence enough to justify the #DemExit movement, the Guccifer 2.0 leaks now offer Sanders supporters copious examples of ways that the DNC simply did not respect the Sanders campaign.  It is important to note that Wasserman Schultz was not alone in this general attitude. Even more disturbing, we have no examples of any DNC staffer suggesting that Sanders deserved a better shake than he was getting.  Some of the most egregious examples can be found here.

7.     DNC Collusion with Media

The corporate media was no ally to the Sanders campaign. With AP calling the primary for Clinton before California, New Mexico, New Jersey, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota were set to vote, many Sanders’ supporters felt betrayed by the press. As Bill Boyarsky reports for Truthdig, “The story was not just a scoop. It fed the hostility and cynicism of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ fervent supporters.”

The Guccifer 2.0 leaks also reveal a disturbing pattern of collusion between the media and the DNC to support Clinton and not Sanders.  Luis Miranda, the national communications director for the DNC, communicated with reporters from both Politico and the Wall Street Journal in efforts to discredit Sanders. In one email thread, Miranda told Politico he would “point out… some of the issues” with Sen. Sanders’ DNC committee appointments, but only “off the record.”  Miranda also helped craft “talking points”  to be used by the Clinton campaign in response to the Hillary Victory Fund’s money laundering allegations referenced above.

DNC Press Secretary Mark Paustenbach also vetted a Politico story by reporter Ken Vogel before it was sent to editors:  “Vogel gave me his story ahead of time/before it goes to his editors as long as I didn’t share it,” Paustenbach wrote to Miranda. “Let me know if you see anything that’s missing and I’ll push back.”

And then there are the messages that show how Wasserman Schultz pressured MSNBC after it criticized her “unfair” treatment of Sanders.

8.     False Claims of Neutrality

Perhaps one of the most enervating features of the story is the fact that the leaked documents counter Wasserman Schultz’s claims that the DNC was neutral.  There simply is no evidence of neutrality at all–only evidence of bias. It makes moments like Wasserman Schultz’s interview with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah where he asked her to respond to allegations that she has been cock-blocking Sanders seem like an orchestrated cover-up exist and they make the DNC look really bad. Rather than worry about Russian hacks, the DNC should worry about its integrity.

Today the polling for a potential Donald Trump win is increasingly frightening.  Even Michael Moore is predicting a Trump win.  While there are a variety of forces that are working together to advance the Trump campaign, the DNC’s actions are certainly not helping. If Trump wins in November, the DNC will certainly bear a good portion of the blame.

Sophia A. McClennen is Professor of International Affairs and Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University. She writes on the intersections between culture, politics, and society. Her latest book, co-authored with Remy M. Maisel, is, Is Satire Saving Our Nation? Mockery and American Politics


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Old News ;-)

[Jun 16, 2018] There's Fking No One Else; DNC Strategist Laments Over Broken Party; Bill Clinton Toxic, Carter Too Old Zero Hedge

Jun 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Following a Monday report that President Obama is "secretly" meeting with top Democratic contenders for the 2020 election, The Hill notes that desperate Democrats beset with Clinton fatigue are freaking out over the fact that the much "blue wave" appears to be crashing on the rocks , and there's nobody around to salvage the party ahead of midterms and the 2020 election.

" There's f---ing no one else ," one frustrated Democratic strategist said. " Bill Clinton is toxic, [former President] Carter is too old, and there's no one else around for miles ." - The Hill

In the hopes of reinvigorating the DNC (of which up to 40 state chapters stand accused of funneling up to $84 million to the Clinton campaign), downtrodden dems are hoping that Obama will get off the sidelines and help rally support.

" He's been way too quiet ," said one longtime Obama bundler who rarely criticizes the former president, according to The Hill . " There are a lot of people who think he's played too little a role or almost no role in endorsing or fundraising and he's done jack shit in getting people to donate to the party. "

After the GOP made sweeping gains in the 2016 election, the DNC was left in disarray - and anyone who might be able to lead the party, be it Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren, may run in 2020. Bernie Sanders is of course out because he may run and he's not a Democrat.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was among five possible contenders for the Democratic crown attending the "We the People" conference in Washington on Wednesday. He received the loudest applause and heard chants of "Bernie."

But he can't play the elder role for the party, both because he may run for president and because he's not a Democrat.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), two other possibilities, have mass followings but also may join the 2020 race. - The Hill

That leaves the spotlight squarely on Barrack Hussein Obama - whose lack of endorsements during the primary season and general absence has frustrated Democrats.

Bill Clinton, who is more radioactive than ever after making ill-advised comments over "what you can do to somebody against their will," has endorsed several candidates since leaving office, yet Obama has declined to do the same thus far.

"You have all these people running for office, some of them against other Democrats, and his strategy has been to not endorse anyone and that's what's been so f---ing ridiculous because not only are you not helping them, you're hurting them ," said the bundler.

Former aides and Democratic strategists said Obama has sought to maintain a lower profile not only for his party to find new life, but also to avoid playing a foil to President Trump and Republicans.

A source close to Obama said the former president is looking forward to hitting the campaign trail, fundraising and issuing more endorsements closer to the midterms. But the source added that injecting himself into day-to-day politics would do the Democratic Party a disservice by making it more difficult for other Democratic voices to rise to prominence. - The Hill

Others say that Obama has remained the unofficial leader of the Democratic Party since leaving office.

"He always wanted to help, without a doubt. He cares tremendously about our country and our party. But I think he always intended to be a little more on the sidelines than he's been," said one former Obama aide. "I think he realizes he is needed and needed badly."

Former Obama aides say that the ex-President is unsettled by policies flowing from the Trump administration, along with the "tone and tenor" of the White House (but not enough to aggressively help active Democrats fight, apparently).

According to Democratic strategist David Wade: " It's certainly not the post-presidency he might've preferred. "

Maybe Obama is just having a good time hanging out?

Tags Politics

Comments
Vote up! 26 Vote down! 1

JimmyJones -> BandGap Fri, 06/15/2018 - 15:29 Permalink

The Neo-cons, excuse me Democrats better get moving. (its so hard to tell them apart these days) The clock is ticking, November is coming and more reports showing criminal behavior are on the way.

$60,000 dollars worth of "Succulent Hot dogs"

Theosebes Goodfellow -> TeamDepends Fri, 06/15/2018 - 16:36 Permalink

~"Many of you impatient homos are whining about no arrests or indictments have been made yet. When will it happen? I'll tell you: Early October."~

Bingo.

The dems have another problem and appear too stupid to focus on it. They apparently much rather worry about having a figurehead to lead them, but their real problem is much, much larger. Simply put, they have no message, save "Hate Trump!!!" What exactly do they promise voters these days? Trump impeachment as an economic program?

Also curious is the fact they want no part of Hillary. Do they admit she's as tainted as a leper?

crazzziecanuck -> TeamDepends Fri, 06/15/2018 - 16:46 Permalink

The problem with that will be people will see through it as cheap, partisan electioneering. The result will be an EASIER time to motivate Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts.

There's as much chance of an implosion of Democrats in 2018 as there were back in 2006 when the GOP was nearly blasted out of existence then too. Remember how all the predictions about the imminent doom of the GOP were front and centre?

Journalists are so lazy, they're just using Liquid Paper to erase "Republican" to "Democrat" and change the date from stuff they wrote back in 2006.

Doesn't matter if Republicans or Democrats win. In the end, everyone else simply loses. How much you lose is proportional to the distance from the party elite you actually are.

07564111 -> JimmyJones Fri, 06/15/2018 - 15:38 Permalink

Interesting shit. The world should now conclude that there are no qualified people left in the USA.

Is it that all are corrupt or none are corrupt enough. ??

[May 23, 2018] 2016 Hillary fiasco post mortem by Lambert Strether

Notable quotes:
"... Chasing Hillary ..."
"... As one person who had talked to Clinton about the difference between Trump and Sanders crowds recounted, her feeling was that 'at least white supremacists shaved.'" ..."
"... Why does Trump get away with corruption? Because Bill and Hillary Clinton normalized it ..."
May 23, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Clinton to be honored at Harvard for 'transformative impact'" [ The Hill ]. Irony is not dead.

"From the Jaws of Victory" [ Jacobin ]. Some highlights from Amy Chozick's Chasing Hillary , which really does sound like a fun read:

"In the public's mind, Clinton's 'deplorables' quip is remembered as evidence of her disdain for much of Trump's fan base. But there was one other group Clinton had a similar dislike of: Bernie Sanders supporters.

As one person who had talked to Clinton about the difference between Trump and Sanders crowds recounted, her feeling was that 'at least white supremacists shaved.'"

UPDATE "Why does Trump get away with corruption? Because Bill and Hillary Clinton normalized it" [Josh Barro, Business Insider ].

[Apr 02, 2018] How the East can save the West by The Saker

Notable quotes:
"... Frankly, Saker reads too much into this Chinese article. It is not about Russia. It is not because Skrypal hoax dialed ritual Russophobia over eleven. It just is a coincidence. Yet before loosing the elections Hillary was promising military war with Russia. Yet before winning the elections Trump was promising economic war with China. ..."
"... Russia`s biggest weakness is the incompetent, useless leaders they had from the 80`s to Yeltsin. The mess that the USSR left behind with unstable states on its borders with no treaty to prevent NATO expansion was a huge gift to the US that just keeps giving!! ..."
"... I`ll go as far as saying this gift to the US might lead to Russia`s end as a country in its present form. You can hardly blame the US I mean in 1990 Russia agreed to basically throw the towel in and live in a US dominated world in practice. Whatever they say about promises at the time that lasted for as long as their breath was warm ..."
"... the problem right now is the Imperial US (ruled from Israel). If it succeeds in destroying Russia, then the Chinese are irrelevant, and have nothing to say about anything. ..."
"... The US public are irretrievably useless and are going to have to go the whole way, with WW3 and/or an economic collapse, with the best bet being on WW3 (which they may well lose). ..."
Apr 01, 2018 | www.unz.com

Europe: My honor is solidarity!

"That tells you all you need to know about the difference between modern Britain and the government of Vladimir Putin. They make Novichok, we make light sabers. One a hideous weapon that is specifically intended for assassination. The other an implausible theatrical prop with a mysterious buzz. But which of those two weapons is really more effective in the world of today?".

(Boris Johnson)

Let's begin this discussion with a few, basic questions.

Question one: does anybody sincerely believe that "Putin" (the collective name for the Russian Mordor) really attempted to kill a man which "Putin" himself had released in the past, who presented no interest for Russia whatsoever who, like Berezovsky , wanted to return back to Russia , and that to do the deed "Putin" used a binary nerve agent? Question two: does anybody sincerely believe that the British have presented their "allies" (I will be polite here and use that euphemism) with incontrovertible or, at least, very strong evidence that "Putin" indeed did such a thing? Question three: does anybody sincerely believe that the mass expulsion of Russian diplomats will somehow make Russia more compliant to western demands (for our purposes, it does not matter what demands we are talking about)? Question four: does anybody sincerely believe that after this latest episode, the tensions will somehow abate or even diminish and that things will get better? Question five: does anybody sincerely believe that the current sharp rise in tensions between the AngloZionist Empire (aka the "West") does not place the Empire and Russia on collision course which could result in war, probably/possibly nuclear war, maybe not deliberately, but as the result of an escalation of incidents?

If in the zombified world of the ideological drones who actually remain in the dull trance induced by the corporate media there are most definitely those who answer "yes" to some or even all of the questions above, I submit that not a single major western decision maker sincerely believes any of that nonsense. In reality, everybody who matters knows that the Russians had nothing to do with the Skripal incident, that the Brits have shown no evidence, that the expulsion of Russian diplomats will only harden the Russian resolve, that all this anti-Russian hysteria will only get worse and that this all puts at least Europe and the USA, if not the entire planet, in great danger.

And yet what just happened is absolutely amazing: instead of using fundamental principles of western law (innocent until proven guilty by at least a preponderance of evidence or even beyond reasonable doubt), basic rules of civilized behavior (do not attack somebody you know is innocent), universally accepted ethical norms (the truth of the matter is more important than political expediency) or even primordial self-preservation instincts (I don't want to die for your cause), the vast majority of western leaders chose a new decision-making paradigm which can be summarized in two words:

"highly likely" "solidarity"

This is truly absolutely crucial and marks a fundamental change in the way the AngloZionist Empire will act from now on. Let's look at the assumptions and implications of these two concepts.

First, "highly likely". While "highly likely" does sound like a simplified version of "preponderance of evidence" what it really means is something very different and circular: "Putin" is bad, poisoning is bad, therefore it is "highly likely" that "Putin" did it. How do we know that the premise "Putin is bad" is true? Well -- he does poison people, does he not?

You think I am joking?

Check out this wonderful chart presented to the public by "Her Majesty's government" entitled "A long pattern of Russian malign activity":

In the 12 events listed as evidence of a "pattern of Russian malign activity" one is demonstratively false (2008 invasion of Georgia), one conflates two different accusations (occupation of Crimea and destabilization of the Ukraine), one is circular (assassination of Skripal) and all others are completely unproven accusations. All that is missing here is the mass rape of baby penguins by drunken Russian sailors in the south pole or the use of a secret "weather weapon" to send hurricanes towards the USA. You don't need a law degree to see that, all you need is an IQ above room temperature and a basic understanding of logic. For all my contempt for western leaders, even I wouldn't make the claim that they all lack these. So here is where "solidarity" kicks-in:

"Solidarity" in this context is simply a "conceptual placeholder" for Stephen Decatur 's famous " my country, right or wrong " applied to the entire Empire. The precedent of Meine Ehre heißt Treue just slightly rephrased into Meine Ehre heißt Solidarität also comes to mind.

Solidarity simply means that the comprador ruling elites of the West will say and do whatever the hell the AngloZionists tell them to. If tomorrow the UK or US leaders proclaim that Putin eats babies for breakfast or that the West needs to send a strong message to "Putin" that a Russian invasion of Vanuatu shall not be tolerated, then so be it: the entire AngloZionist nomenklatura will sing the song in full unison and to hell with facts, logic or even decency!

Solemnly proclaiming lies is hardly something new in politics, there is nothing new here. What is new are two far more recent developments: first, now everybody knows that these are lies and, second, nobody challenges or debunks them. Welcome to the AngloZionist New World Order indeed!

The Empire: by way of deception thou shalt do war

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it.

(John 8:44)

ORDER IT NOW

Over the past weeks I have observed something which I find quite interesting: both on Russian TV channels and in the English speaking media there is a specific type of anti-Putin individual who actually takes a great deal of pride in the fact that the Empire has embarked on a truly unprecedented campaign of lies against Russia. These people view lies as just another tool in a type of "political toolkit" which can be used like any other political technique. As I have mentioned in the past, the western indifference to the truth is something very ancient coming, as it does, from the Middle-Ages: roughly when the spiritual successors of the Franks in Rome decided that their own, original brand of "Christianity" had no use for 1000 years of Consensus Patrum . Scholasticism and an insatiable thrust for worldly, secular, power produced both moral relativism and colonialism (with the Pope's imprimatur in the form of the Treaty of Tordesillas ). The Reformation (with its very pronounced Judaic influence) produced the bases of modern capitalism which, as Lenin correctly diagnosed, has imperialism as its highest stage. Now that the West is losing its grip on the planet (imagine that, some SOB nations dare resist!), all of the ideological justifications have been tossed away and we are left with the true, honest, bare-bones impulses of the leaders of the Empire: messianic hubris (essentially self-worship), violence and, above all, a massive reliance on deception and lies on every single level of society, from the commercial advertisements targeted at children to Colin Powell shaking some laundry detergent at the UNSC to justify yet another war of aggression.

Self-worship and a total reliance on brute force and falsehoods -- these are the real "Western values" today. Not the rule of law, not the scientific method, not critical thought, not pluralism and most definitely not freedom. We are back, full circle, to the kind of illiterate thuggery the Franks so perfectly embodied and which made them so infamous in the (then) civilized world (the south and eastern Mediterranean). The agenda, by the way, is also the same one as the Franks had 1000 years ago: either submit to us and accept our dominion, or die, and the way to accept our dominion is to let us plunder all your riches. Again, not much difference here between the sack of the First Rome in 410, the sack of the Second Rome in 1204 and the sack of the Third Rome in 1991. As psychologists well know, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

Interestingly, the Chinese saw straight through this strategic psyop and they are now sounding the alarm in their very official Global Times : (emphasis added)

The accusations that Western countries have hurled at Russia are based on ulterior motives, similar to how the Chinese use the expression "perhaps it's true" to seize upon the desired opportunity. From a third-person perspective, the principles and diplomatic logic behind such drastic efforts are flawed, not to mention that expelling Russian diplomats almost simultaneously is a crude form of behavior. Such actions make little impact other than increasing hostility and hatred between Russia and their Western counterparts ( ) The fact that major Western powers can gang up and "sentence" a foreign country without following the same procedures other countries abide by and according to the basic tenets of international law is chilling. During the Cold War, not one Western nation would have dared to make such a provocation and yet today it is carried out with unrestrained ease. Such actions are nothing more than a form of Western bullying that threatens global peace and justice. ( ) It is beyond outrageous how the US and Europe have treated Russia. Their actions represent a frivolity and recklessness that has grown to characterize Western hegemony that only knows how to contaminate international relations. Right now is the perfect time for non-Western nations to strengthen unity and collaborative efforts among one another. These nations need to establish a level of independence outside the reach of Western influence while breaking the chains of monopolization declarations, predetermined adjudications and come to value their own judgment abilities. ( ) The West is only a small fraction of the world and is nowhere near the global representative it once thought it was. The silenced minorities within the international community need to realize this and prove just how deep their understanding is of such a realization by proving it to the world through action.

As the French say " à bon entendeur, salut! ": the Chinese position is crystal clear, as is the warning. I would summarize it as so: if the West is an AngloZionist doormat, then the East is most definitely not.

[Sidebar: I know that there are some countries in Europe who have, so far, shown the courage to resist the AngloZionist Diktat . Good for them. I will wait to see how long they can resist the pressure before giving them a standing ovation]

The modern Ahnenerbe' Generalplan Ost

The decision, therefore, lies here in the East; here must the Russian enemy, this people numbering two hundred million Russians, be destroyed on the battlefield and person by person, and made to bleed to death

(Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler)

Still, none of that explain why the leaders of the Empire have decided to engage in a desperate game of "nuclear chicken" to try to, yet again, force Russia to comply with its demands to "go away and shut up". This is counter-intuitive and I get several emails each week telling me that there is absolutely no way the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire would want a war with Russia, especially not a nuclear-armed one. The truth is that while western leaders are most definitely psychopaths, they are neither stupid nor suicidal, and neither were Napoleon or Hitler! And, yes, they probably don't really want a full-scale war with Russia. The problem is that these rulers are also desperate, and for good cause.

Let's look at the situation just a few months ago. The US was defeated in Syria, ridiculed in the DPRK, Trump was hated in Europe, the Russians and the Germans were working on North Stream, the British leaders forced to at least pretend to work on Brexit, the entire "Ukrainian" project had faceplanted, the sanctions against Russia had failed, Putin was more popular than ever and the hysterical anti-Trump campaign was still in full swing inside the USA. The next move by the AngloZionist elites was nothing short of brilliant: by organizing a really crude false flag in the UK the Empire achieved the following results:

The Europeans have been forced right back into the Anglosphere's fold ("solidarity", remember?) The Brexiting Brits are now something like the (im-)moral leaders of Europe again. The Russians are now demonized to such a degree that any accusation, no matter how stupid, will stick. In the Middle-East, the US and Israel now have free reign to start any war they want because the (purely theoretical) European capability to object to anything the Anglos want has now evaporated, especially now that the Russians have become "known chemical-criminals" from Ghouta to Salisbury At the very least, the World Cup in Russia will be sabotaged by a massive anti-Russian campaign. If that campaign is really successful, there is still the hope that the Germans will finally cave in and, if maybe not outright cancel, then at least very much delay North Stream thereby forcing the Europeans to accept, what else, US gas.

This is an ambitious plan and, barring an unexpected development, it sure looks like it might work. The problem with this strategy is that it falls short of getting Russia to truly "go away and shut up". Neocons are particularly fond of humiliating their enemies (look at how they are still gunning for Trump even though by now the poor man has become their most subservient servant) and there is a lot of prestige at stake here. Russia, therefore, must be humiliated, truly humiliated, not just by sabotaging her participation in Olympic games or by expelling Russian diplomats, but by something far more tangible like, say, an attack on the very small and vulnerable Russian task force in Syria. Herein lies the biggest risk.

The Russian task force in Syria is tiny, at least compared to the immense capabilities of CENTCOM+NATO. The Russians have warned that if they are attacked, they will shoot down not only the attacking missiles but also their launchers. Since the Americans are not dumb enough to expose their aircraft to Russian air defenses, they will use air power only outside the range of Russian air defenses and they will use only cruise missiles to strike targets inside the "protection cone" of the Russians air defenses. The truth is that I doubt that the Russians will have the opportunity to shoot down many US aircraft, at least not with their long-range S-300/S-400 SAMs. Their ubiquitous and formidable combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system, the Pantsir, might have a better chance simply because it's location is impossible to predict. But the real question is this: will the Russians shoot back at the USN ships if they launch cruise missiles at Syria?

My strictly personal guess is that they won't unless Khmeimim, Tartus or another large Russian objective (official Russian compounds in Damascus) are hit. Striking a USN ship would be tantamount to an act of war and that is just not something the Russians will do if they can avoid it. The problem with that is this restraint will, yet again, be interpreted as a sign of weakness, not civilization, by the "modern Franks" (visualize a Neanderthal with a nuclear club in his fist). Should the Russians decide to act à la American and use violence to "send a message", the Empire will immediately perceive that as a loss of face and a reason to immediately escalate further to reestablish the "appropriate" hierarchy between the "indispensable nation" and the "gas station masquerading as a country". So here is the dynamic at work

Russia limits herself to words of protests ==>> the Empire sees that as a sign of weakness and escalates

Russia responds in kind with real actions==>> The Empire feels humiliated and escalates

Now look at this from a Russian point of view for a second and ask yourself what you would do in this situation?

The answer, I think, is obvious: you try to win as much time as possible and you prepare for war. The Russians have been doing exactly that since at least early 2015.

For Russia this is really nothing new: been there, done that, and remember it very, very well, by the way. The "western project" for Russia has always been the same since the Middle-Ages, the only difference today is the consequences of war. With each passing century the human cost of the various western crusades against Russia got worse and worse and now we are not only looking at the very real possibility of another Borodino or Kursk, and not even at another Hiroshima, but at something which we can't even really imagine: hundreds of millions of people die in the course of just a few hours.

How do we stop that?

Is the West even capable of acting in a different way?

I very much doubt it.

The one actor who can stop the upcoming war: China

There is one actor which might, perhaps, stop the current skid towards Armageddon: China. Right now, the Chinese have officially declared that they have what they call a " comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation " later shortened to " strategic partnership ". This is a very apt expression as it does not speak of an "alliance": two countries of the size of Russia and China cannot have an alliance in the traditional sense -- they are too big and different for that. They are, however, in a symbiotic relationship, that both sides understand perfectly (see this White Paper for details). What this means in very simple terms is this: the Chinese cannot let Russia be defeated by the Empire because once Russia is gone, they will be left one on one with a united, triumphal and infinitely arrogant West (likewise I would argue that Russia cannot afford to have Iran defeated by the Empire for exactly the same reasons, and neither can Iran let the Israelis destroy Hezbollah). Of course, in terms of military power, China is a dwarf compared to Russia, but in terms of economic power Russia is the dwarf when compared to China in this "strategic community of interests". Thus, China cannot assist Russia militarily. But remember that Russia does not need this if only because military assistance is what you need to win a war. Russia does not want to win a war, Russia desperately needs to avoid a war! And here is where China can make a huge difference: psychologically.

Yes, the Empire is currently taking on both Russia and China, but everybody, from its leaders to its zombified population, seems to think that these are two, different and separate foes. [We can use this opportunity to most sincerely thank Donald Trump for so "perfectly" timing his trade war with China.] They are not: not only are Russia and China symbionts who share the same vision of a prosperous and peaceful Eurasia united by a common future centered around the OBOR and, crucially, free from the US dollar or, for that matter, from any type of major US role, but Russia and China also stand for exactly the same notion of a post-hegemonic world order: a multi-polar world of different and truly sovereign nations living together under the rules of international law. If the AngloZionists have their way, this will never happen. Instead, we will have the New World Order promised by Bush, dominated by the Anglosphere countries (basically the ECHELON members, aka the "Five Eyes") and, on top of that pyramid, the global Zionist overlord. This is something China cannot, and will not allow. Neither can China allow a US-Russian war, especially not a nuclear one because China, like Russia, also needs peace.

Conclusion

I don't see what Russia could do to convince the Empire to change its current course: the US leaders are delusional and the Europeans are their silent, submissive servants. As shown above, whatever Russia does it always invites further escalation from the Empire. Of course, Russia can turn the West into a pile of smoldering radioactive ashes. This is hardly a solution since, in the inevitable exchange, Russia herself will also be turned into a similar pile of smoldering radioactive ashes by the Empire. In spite of that, the Russian people have most clearly indicated by their recent vote that they have absolutely no intention of caving in to the latest western crusade against them. As for the Empire, it will never accept the fact that Russia refuses to submit. It therefore seems to me that the only thing which can stop Armageddon would be for the Chinese to ceaselessly continue to repeat to the rulers of the Empire and the people of the West what the wrote in the article quoted above: that " The West is only a small fraction of the world and is nowhere near the global representative it once thought it was" and "the silenced minorities within the international community need to realize this and prove just how deep their understanding is of such a realization by proving it to the world through action."

History teaches us that the West only strikes against those opponents it sees as defenseless or, at least, weaker. The fact that the Popes, Napoleon or Hitler were wrong in their evaluation of the strength of Russia does not change this truism. In fact, the Neocons today are making exactly the same mistake. So telling them about the fact that Russia is much stronger than what the western propaganda says and which, apparently, many western rulers believe (you always end up believing your own propaganda), does not help. Russian "reminders of reality" will do no good simply because the West is out of touch with reality and lacks the ability to understand its own limitations and weaknesses. But if China stepped in and conveyed that crucial message " The West is only a small fraction of the world " and that the rest of the world will prove this " through action " then other countries will step in and a war can be averted because even the current delusion-based "solidarity" will collapse in the face of a united Eurasia.

Russia alone cannot continue to carry the burden of stopping the messianic psychopaths ruling the Empire.

The rest of the world, led by China, now needs to step in to avert the war.


NoseytheDuke , March 30, 2018 at 6:49 am GMT

This plan for global dominance has been over 100 years in the making and has already cost over 100 million lives so far. How likely is it for them to back off now? The Chinese are far from stupid so it will be interesting to see how they view the situation and act.

I've stated previously that the people who really can put a halt to it are Americans themselves but it won't be easy. The ideal situation would be a mass mutiny of US military personnel and the line, The Empire: by way of deception thou shalt do war should probably read, The Israeli Empire: by way of deception thou shalt do war. It would be useful to repeat this ad nauseam until it truly sinks in for US military personnel that the US is a supplicant to Israel and to understand who they will be fighting and dying for. A mass mutiny would be the best way to save their families and future.

Anon [425] Disclaimer , March 30, 2018 at 7:16 am GMT
Again, not much difference here between the sack of the First Rome in 410, the sack of the Second Rome in 1204 and the sack of the Third Rome in 1991. As psychologists well know, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

But all three Romes were empires too filled with lies.

yurivku , March 30, 2018 at 11:00 am GMT
Oh, appears it's China who should do something !

But I think that if stupid westerners won't wake up, -- nobody will help. China is big and possibly can think that in world where no Russia, no Europe nor US/Canada are exist, some place will still be for China.

It's "higly posssible" a mistake, but if silly westerners will continue to munch their MSM grass their shadows will be printed on the walls of history.
Actually they deserve to be.

Seamus Padraig , March 30, 2018 at 11:53 am GMT

"Solidarity" in this context is simply a "conceptual placeholder" for Stephen Decatur's famous "my country, right or wrong" applied to the entire Empire.

Kind of disappointed in the Saker here. Just like liberals, he omits the rest of Decatur's famous toast: "Our country -- in her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right , and always successful, right or wrong. [ Emphasis mine. ]" Decatur was not trying to encourage amoral behavior, such as that which we now see with the AngloZionists running Washington.

By the way, I've heard the Russians are now telling a joke about Boris Johnson: they're saying he was poisoned with durachok (bonehead)!

Issac , March 30, 2018 at 3:53 pm GMT
China has deep ties to the western empire. Russians would be drinking too deeply from their own propaganda to miss this fact. Indeed, the latest crippling of Trumpist reform was lead by heavily Chinese invested men Ryan and McConnell. Israel has a strong grip on US foreign policy for obvious reasons, but Israel has no reason to see Russia bullied into submission. China does.

It should be plain to any objective observer of global politics that the west is internally incoherent and will wane in power by the crush weight of demographic change alone. China observes this and realizes the only long-term competitor to their ascendant position, one generation hence, is an independent Russia. Far better for the Chinese that Russia is mortally wounded or harried into Chinese vassal status before the west breaks down into a third world non-entity.

Fran Macadam , March 30, 2018 at 5:22 pm GMT
The real reasons for the expulsions is the revelation of Russia's next generation war weapons. It was taken up as an invitation to fight, not to make peace, and making it as hard as possible for Russians to either influence opinion or gather information.

Somebody wanted Skripal dead, and while it may be a useful false flag provocation, with his involvement with the Steele Dossier a possible trigger, it could be serving more than one purpose. As usual, we are assigning to the Russkies both more omnipotence and stupidity than is merited. I supoose it is our own elites who believe their omniscience in surveilling all of us means they are also smarter than the rest of us. Maybe

Boris M Garsky , March 30, 2018 at 6:18 pm GMT
Well said and accurate. There is no consensus among the hoipolloi with the neocon push for war. This will never come about. The west is desperate, no doubt, and will continue to beat its chest, much to its own detriment. If the west intended on war, it would have come about. Time is not on their side. The neocons have backed themselves into a corner and, therefore, must create chaos, camouflage, obfuscation, in order to bamboozle the world until they can safely go back into their holes. Most likely, they are looking for concessions. Remember the Wasserman-Schuiltz spy scandal? Remember the many deadly false flags being exposed to the public for what they are?
Arioch , Website March 30, 2018 at 6:25 pm GMT
Frankly, Saker reads too much into this Chinese article. It is not about Russia. It is not because Skrypal hoax dialed ritual Russophobia over eleven. It just is a coincidence. Yet before loosing the elections Hillary was promising military war with Russia. Yet before winning the elections Trump was promising economic war with China.

USA ruling 1% was making a strategic choice year ago.

When Trump got elected he inherited the raging war. He could not stop it, obviously. Then he turned it overboard. He started demanding so many wars at once that US Army got overstretched and paralyzed. Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Itan, Yemen, Korea, new European garrisons . Trump send Army to prepare to war everywhere and now Pentagon can not scratch together enough forces to attack anywhere specifically.
By his "clumsy and incompetent bravado" Trump neutralized the army, made and exposed it as incapable pretend-force.

Now Trump can switch to his programme -- economic war with China.

And that is why Chinese diplomats and media run crazy. Now it is their war, not Russia's. Now their tails are on the line. Now Russia mostly can move to backlines to lick wounds while China would exchange blows and collect bruises.

This turned recent Chinese statements so bald and pushing. This, and not a concern for Russia.

JVC , March 30, 2018 at 6:42 pm GMT
something the Russians might consider -- immediately cutting off all gas to Europe and restoring such service for payment only in gold or the new "petrol yuan" . Europe depends heavily on that Russian Gas, and such a move would re-align some European thinking. Replacing it with US provided LPG would take far too long and be much more expensive having to be shipped by sea

In fact, maybe if Russia, China, the other brics and aligned countries suddenly cut off all ties to the west, it would hasten the coming economic collapse of the EU and US, and that dreamed of multipolar world would arise from the ashes.
Better that than the ashes of a nuclear exchange I would think.

CARLOS231 , March 30, 2018 at 6:57 pm GMT
China is too smart to show its hand yet, they are building their economic & military strength quietly, they don't want to scare the westerners yet with threats.

Russia`s biggest weakness is the incompetent, useless leaders they had from the 80`s to Yeltsin. The mess that the USSR left behind with unstable states on its borders with no treaty to prevent NATO expansion was a huge gift to the US that just keeps giving!!

I`ll go as far as saying this gift to the US might lead to Russia`s end as a country in its present form. You can hardly blame the US I mean in 1990 Russia agreed to basically throw the towel in and live in a US dominated world in practice. Whatever they say about promises at the time that lasted for as long as their breath was warm .

Carlton Meyer , Website March 30, 2018 at 9:16 pm GMT
How the East Can Save the West

A couple centuries ago the phrase "The White Man's Burden" was used to explain why citizens of Western nations must devote resources to civilize the world. Gore Vidal used "The Yellow Man's Burden" to explain why citizens of Asian nations were devoting so much wealth to keep the USA and much of Europe wealthy. If our citizens suddenly lost 30% of their annual income due to tax increases and spending cuts needed to truly balance our national budgets, they would be outraged. They might learn that this was the result of "free trade", which might result in revolution and wars. Those who have profited off "free trade" by selling out their citizens know its best to let the working class learn this truth slowly.

_____________________

Trump's proclamation to pull out of Syria may be good news, but probably not. He hired psychopath Bolton, so we can assume the US military is just consolidating forces in Iraq to hold off attacks whilst they bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. The Iraqis aren't our allies, they just act to get free stuff, and they will know we are not bombing Iran to save Iranians. It might be wise to get our troops out of Iraq too!

____________________________

To answer:

Let's begin this discussion with a few, basic questions.

Question one (thru five): does anybody sincerely believe

Yes, this bimbo does, and she's the State Department spokesman. The State Department is still infected with Clinton-hysteria and uses sexy women to spin lies so the foreign press doesn't laugh and scorn absurd BS too loudly. The American press are just stenographers and eagerly copy her lies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dL9UxED4uuI

Sergey Krieger , March 30, 2018 at 9:50 pm GMT
The problem is that Russia/USSR submitted once and the West think it can be achieved again. Hence everything must be made clear. No partners word should be used and the West must be clearly warned that violence of unimaginable level will be used if they dare and what will follow if Russian force anywhere attacked and that any use of nukes against Russia means the end of humanity.

Unfortunately acting adequately and carefully Russia never was able to avoid war. It is in the books. Right now bets are life on earth hence being too careful and being perceived as weak is a bad thing. Russia IMHO must act boldly. Respond to USA and UK harassment by cutting diplomatic relations and giving straight terse warning.

myself , March 30, 2018 at 10:27 pm GMT
@Godfree Roberts

I think what disturbs China about this whole situation regarding the ENTIRE Western world (US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia) is not simply that it is an overreaction to Russia, but the whole idea that one particular people -- the Russian people -- have once again been SINGLED OUT for collective intimidation and eventually for possible dismemberment.

China has very long and very bitter experience of this itself. In the 19th century, the imperial powers, for some reason, ganged up on China.

In other parts of the world, the experience of other backward peoples was with but ONE particular Empire (ex. only the Americans vs the Amerinds, only the Spanish in South America, only Great Britain in India and Australia, only Russians in Central Asia and Siberia, and only Japanese in Korea. The British, French, Germans, Italians and Belgians each had separate RIVAL spheres in Africa, and ditto for South-East Asia.

But when it came to China, ALL these competing powers set aside their differences. It's as if they said to each other "Hey, China is so enormous and juicy, we should not fight among ourselves, there's enough for everyone!" Unbelievably vicious.

And now, we see the same pattern. the whole Western world against Russia. I think in this instance, the Han don't need anyone to tell them what to think -- it is 100% certain they do not approve of what the collective West is doing.

Miro23 , March 30, 2018 at 10:37 pm GMT

But if China stepped in and conveyed that crucial message "The West is only a small fraction of the world"

They can do better than this, and explicitly state that a nuclear war with Russia is a nuclear war with China -- just to make it clear -- and let the US do some more realistic calculations.

Seamus Padraig , March 30, 2018 at 10:45 pm GMT
@Issac

Israel has a strong grip on US foreign policy for obvious reasons, but Israel has no reason to see Russia bullied into submission.

Sure they do: Syria.

Seamus Padraig , March 30, 2018 at 10:47 pm GMT
@Arioch

"war is a path of deceit. When you are strong -- pretend weak ."

Am familiar with Sun-tzu a well. But what are you saying here? That the UK is stronger than Russia. I would definitely have to disagree with that proposition!

Miro23 , March 30, 2018 at 11:06 pm GMT
@Issac

It should be plain to any objective observer of global politics that the west is internally incoherent and will wane in power by the crush weight of demographic change alone. China observes this and realizes the only long-term competitor to their ascendant position, one generation hence, is an independent Russia.

Maybe, but the problem right now is the Imperial US (ruled from Israel). If it succeeds in destroying Russia, then the Chinese are irrelevant, and have nothing to say about anything.

myself , March 30, 2018 at 11:15 pm GMT
Something just occurred to me.

The recent THREATENED tariffs have an INTERESTING TIMING to them. It is being used by Washington to convince China to stay passive as the West takes down Russia. Conversely, if China "bends the knee", then the West promises that the threats won't materialize. (The West loves worthless promises). Washington calculates that the mere threat of tariffs will make China stand by as a neighbor is destroyed. Any turmoil in your neighbor's house, spills over into yours whether you want it to or not. A neighbor is a neighbor, period.

And THAT, IMHO, is why the protectionist threats are happening NOW. Don't get me wrong, the tariffs were going to happen anyway, eventually. China, whatever it does, cannot escape them.

But to threaten a trade war RIGHT NOW with the one power guaranteed to be Russia's economic lifeline (we know that China couldn't care less what Russia does in its backyard, in the Ukraine) while preparing to attack Russia itself? Well, the whole thing is WAY TOO OBVIOUS.

And if someone like me can see, so can a lot of other people in Moscow and Beijing. Washington thinks its being "smart", but they are so ridiculously easy to read.

myself , March 30, 2018 at 11:24 pm GMT
@Seamus Padraig

No, not that UK is really stronger than Russia but appears weaker. It's that the West is actually not capable of defeating Russia but loudly shouts that it CAN defeat them easily, and tries to look powerful and intimidating to Russia. In this situation, the weaker-positioned West pretends to Russia that we are stronger, and we want Russia to believe us. That way, it won't come to actual war, and we think Russia will back down. It's an extremely risky plan.

Miro23 , March 30, 2018 at 11:26 pm GMT
@peterAUS

That could, perhaps, take minds of US citizens from shopping and social media to, perhaps, more serious matters.

Won't hold my breath.

Taking everything into account, I think the you're right. The US public are irretrievably useless and are going to have to go the whole way, with WW3 and/or an economic collapse, with the best bet being on WW3 (which they may well lose).

myself , March 30, 2018 at 11:39 pm GMT
In fact, it's very possible RUSSIA is NOT, at this time, the target of Western aggression. Sure, the West shall SURELY try to destroy Russia, but the urgency is not there YET. Maybe the real target right now is CHINA, shortly to have the world's largest economy in absolute terms. They must be destroyed NOW! The West is trying to cut a deal with Russia: "Stab China in the back, and bow down to us. You can live A LITTLE LONGER, before we come for you. Otherwise we get pissed and kill you TODAY".

An entirely plausible master-plan from Washington, London and Paris. Also a pretty transparent one, if it's the case. The problem with this "Divide and Conquer" plan, aside from being easy to read, is that it counts on both Russia and China to be dumb enough to believe they are not BOTH in the cross-hairs. How stupid does the West think China and Russia are?

myself , March 30, 2018 at 11:47 pm GMT
@Miro23

It would have a psychological effect, at most. Russia has 5,000 warheads, China only admits to having around 500 or 600 strategic city-killers. They may have more, but if you don't admit something it doesn't count for deterrence. Maybe a decade from now, as China builds its arsenal, the statement could be much more effective.

Mikel , March 31, 2018 at 12:09 am GMT
No, the Chinese are surely disgusted with this bullying behavior of the West (even many Europeans are, just read the comments to the news in the different media outlets) but China cannot seriously confront the West. That would make them lose trillions of dollars in exports and investments and put an abrupt end to their miraculous but still ongoing economic development. Not gonna happen anytime soon.

The situation will continue to deteriorate until some sort of modus vivendi is reached (like at the beginning of the first Cold War). Or perhaps it's just been too long since the last World War and the time is ripe for the next one.

As for the Skripal murder attempt, it's hard to imagine Putin ordering it at this time and in that manner but it's not that hard to imagine someone from the Kremlin sewers being behind it.

In the somewhat less likely scenario of a false flag operation, I would consider an Israeli asymmetrical response to the recent downing of their jet by the Syrians with obvious help from the Russians. They have plenty of experience in extraterritorial assassinations and more than enough knowledge to fabricate a Russian-like nerve agent.

Franklin , March 31, 2018 at 12:22 am GMT
@Anon

I respect and value Saker as a commentator on Russian and military affairs. Those are his areas of expertise and professional experience. I do not value him as a historian, because there enters into his writing a clear bias. I respect the fact of his commitment to his Orthodox faith, but I don't appreciate being almost hammerlocked into having to take a side in his prejudices.

He has a way of lumping 1,000 years of exceedingly complex history into what amounts practically to silly formulas that remind one of adolescent pique. West is characterized by "thuggery," whereas the "East," is presumably the source -- and is possibly the monopoly -- of the virtues Saker has in mind, while Western-like manifestations of military violence and conquest are unknown there.

And there is this pearl: "Scholasticism and an insatiable thrust for worldly, secular, power produced both moral relativism and colonialism " This is downright embarrassing in its silliness. Of course, after deep study of Aquinas or Bonaventure the light comes on: moral relativism! Clearly, subtlety and essential distinctions are not the Saker's strong points, to say the least, when it comes to registering his annoyance and bitterness in his 1000 year view of "the West," whereas sweeping and frankly spectacularly inept generalizations are. One is really tempted to accuse him of a lack of intellectual integrity when it comes to these matters.

At root, Saker is a highly emotional and touchy "rooter" for Orthodoxy. Fine, that's his right, but he is no scholar. One looks in vain either for impartiality, for breadth and depth of understanding and sympathy, and hence for generosity of spirit. Thankfully, there are many great scholars of history, East and West.

Johann Ricke , March 31, 2018 at 1:01 am GMT
@myself

In the 19th century, the imperial powers, for some reason, ganged up on China.

That's the opposite of reality. If they had ganged up on China, each would have taken large piece for itself. In reality, they were overawed by China, and tried to preserve it much as they tried to preserve Ottoman rule against both breakup and dismemberment by Russia. The Ottomans were too far gone, so they failed in both respects. But they did manage to prevent China's breakup while failing to keep Russia from annexing a large chunk of Chinese territory.

Heck, they even helped China defeat the millenarian Taiping rebels who racked up a large body count during their rebellion. Note that when the Jurchens detected internal rebellion during the Ming dynasty, they waited until the imperial armies were occupied with rebel suppression before delivering the coup de grace to the Ming dynasty. The Western powers were too tied up competing with each other to really cooperate in anything more than avenging the honor of their envoys and getting trading posts set up on Chinese territory.

myself , March 31, 2018 at 2:06 am GMT
@Johann Ricke

By "ganging up" I refer to the way in which China was COLLECTIVELY FORCED to extend any and all concessions granted any single Imperial Power to ALL Imperial powers. And all the Imperial powers were on-board with this policy , again as a unified group.

For example, if Russia forced a railroad treaty on China, China by unequal, at-gun-point "Treaty" with the Eight Powers (at the time Great Britain, France, Japan, Germany, Russia, The United States, Austria-Hungary and Italy) would also have to grant EVERYONE railroad concessions in their respective zones.

Or say if China was forced to open trade relations by America, China would automatically be forced to open trade to EVERYONE ELSE , and even the instigators in that case, the United States, would force China to do it. All in the name of the relevant Treaties, of course.

Also by mutual agreement among the imperial powers, they would not support China in any efforts to get better terms in any negotiation with any other power . So Russia refused to, say provide support for Chinese efforts to fend off the Japanese, though normally it might have done so. This was because, both being part of the Imperial Powers grouping, Russia and Japan had agreed to co-exist in mutual exploitation of China.

It was all designed so that China would have no ability to shift its favor diplomatically from one power to another, but had to negotiate from a position of deliberately imposed weakness. Diplomacy was the only tool available to China in that execrably weak state, pathetic as that tool was. By collective agreement among the Empires, that tool was taken away.

In effect, exploitation of China became a COOPERATIVE project between such disparate rivals as Britain, France and Germany, or United States, Japan and Russia. Such a thing, of a coordinated desire to apportion one country among many, was not seen anywhere else in the Colonial Age .

That is my meaning when I referred to the Empires "ganging up" on China.

Issac , March 31, 2018 at 2:37 am GMT
@Miro23

How absurd. The foremost producer of virtually all modern goods is irrelevant without Russia? A weakened Russia is a boon to Chinese expansion into their desired role as Eurasian leader state. The only irrelevant nations are in the West as their post-national suicide becomes all the more certain.

Anonymous [392] Disclaimer , March 31, 2018 at 4:03 am GMT
@Issac

Ridiculous, China needs Russia as Russia is a perfect complement to Chinas weaknesses. In fact, neither China nor Russia could have picked a better strategic partner than each other as neither country could confront the West on it's own but together the West cannot topple either nation. No other combination between countries would provide near as much synergies.

China is not looking to expand into Russia. Why would they when they have a shrinking population. They are expanding into the SCS in order to keep their oil lines free.

The real strategic advantage Russia and China have with each other is the OBOR. This is key to everything and is the reason why the West is targeting Russia so aggressively.

myself , March 31, 2018 at 8:13 am GMT
@Anonymous

If Mackinder's Heartland theory is at play, and you want to cut China off from Europe, taking down Russia would seem to be an enormous effort to accomplish that. There are much easier ways. Why not just lobby your European "allies" not to trade at all with China? Mission accomplished, and no war with Russia as a bonus. If the EU won't follow the Empire's orders, you need to take out not only Russia, but probably Pakistan, and all the Central Asian nations, plus Iran and Turkey. If not, and you only destroy one or a few of these, China's One Belt One Road reaches Europe anyway.

Also don't forget the outright blockade of China's maritime trade to be conducted by the U.S. Navy -- kind of an act of war in itself.

Seems far easier, if you want to slow China down, to just ORDER America's NATO allies to stop all trade with China. The rest of the world all together won't be able to fill the gap, not any time soon.

Voila, you lower China's GDP growth by some significant percentage, using just strong-arm diplomacy in Europe.

Buys America another full decade as number one economy, maybe.

myself , March 31, 2018 at 8:29 am GMT
In the fevered dreams of Western strategists, they hope for Russia and China to turn on each other, sparing the Atlantic powers the trouble. Then, they come in and pick up the pieces. They hope to replicate the success of Britain in playing off France against Germany pre-World War One. The problem is they have in fact encouraged the Sino-Russian strategic alignment, not hindered it.

No matter, after all, there can never be such a thing, thought the British, of a long-term common interest between France and Germany -- a "European Union" will never come about. French and Germans naturally hate each other! Right?

And how did Britain make out with that thinking? How will America make out in coming decades? In geopolitics, not that well. Not as long as we are short-sighted.

Anon [384] Disclaimer , March 31, 2018 at 2:11 pm GMT

"solidarity"

Those with the power, and the happily ruled, have always needed synonyms for "obedience." Solidarity is a choice in line with our social-mediatic times and the related communication standards.

Herald , March 31, 2018 at 3:36 pm GMT
@myself

As well as being extremely risky it's also bloody stupid and doomed to failure.

Arioch , March 31, 2018 at 3:40 pm GMT
@Seamus Padraig

I mean, like i said above, Johnson and other western politicians are not "boneheads" (intellectually weak) as you said, no, they are smart (intellectually strong) and pretending, faking their intellectual weakness (appearance of stupidity)

Sean , March 31, 2018 at 5:35 pm GMT
Answers:-
One and two. Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not mean there is no chance of a mistake, and the standard necessary for thinking Putin responsible is less than what would be needed for finding him guilty in a court of law. He cannot hide behind his country and diplomatic immunity while claiming the protection of British Law for evidence necessary to convict someone on trial for a capital offence.

Three. We want nothing from Russia , for indeed they have nothing to offer. To go away and shut up is the most they can do, and that is why are sending the worst of the Russian goons back were they came from, whether they want to go back or not (they would love to stay in London*).

Four. Punishment is essential, otherwise they will see weakness.

Five. No chance of nuclear war or any other kind or war. Russia is destined to become the lonely old man of Europe. It has nothing anyone wants at the price of being treated like an imbecile, and our diplomats dislike living there*).

Arioch , March 31, 2018 at 8:22 pm GMT
@TT

Oh, we have a copypaste contest? Okay then, i'd copy here my reply at saker's blog too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[MORE]
> China will be blackmailed into submission.

Wooop! Then it is not "existential threat" for China.
Clash for power, clash for sovereignty, clash fo prosperity -- but not for survival.

> Russia & China are working closely

Which does not mean China's role is making harsh diplomatic statements in favor of Russia. At least it was not so before today. So i think it is not today either. Also remember that Chinese social mindset is build upon idea of "indebting with gifts and aids" and then requesting payback when they need it. Which means Russia should be very wary about accepting any help from China unless it wishes to be seen by China as a deeply indebted beggar incapable of sustaining itself. And since diplomatic situation for Russia is not deadly critical I do not think Russia needed that newspaper article. If Russia would request China's support of the kind -- it would be in official diplomatic venues like UN.

> Russia needs to save Syria for its own skin
> Iran needs to save its skin

But is it so for China? Is China in critical need of sovereign and friendly Syria? I doubt it.

> China has been backing up with big cheque book for last few years, signing hundreds of billions deal with upfront payments to prop Russia economy for prolong war.

Which is very important, but is not diplomatic statements nor Chinese newspaper articles.

That is exactly the Chinese role in this fight like i said many times before -- economic and financial warfare is Chinese responsibility, while military and diplomatic warfare is Russian's.

> Global times news mostly reflected the China think tank policy that they wish to propagate to English speaking world.

And here we are getting back to the topic. Why such a harsh, explicitly worded article did appeared today? Was it because of Russia or of China itself? Was that article reaction to some new threat to Syria, to russia, or to China itself?
And i believe in the latter option. This article is not linked to any recent events around Russia, it is caused by Sino-American relations shift.

> China has sensed West is tightened noose around Russia to cut it off from world, seeing from Olympic & now the Skirpal circus

Skripal affair is much less than Olympics was. Even European states many did not jumped Skripal wagon. Additionally, if Russia would be "cut off from Western world" -- what the West did not dared to do even in 2014 on the height of Crimea and MH17 accusations and on the hopes of "gas station" imminent and fast collapse, so would hardly dare now just because some Skripal -- but if Russia would somehow gets politically isolated from the West, what bad is it for China? Russia would become more dependent on China, like many of the trade with West would had to go through Chinese "laundry". China gets more influence over Russia. Russia gets much more limited in its options. Good (for China) development, why hurry to cancel it before Russia even asked for ?

> Trade war will be too bloody for the world

Yes, but the said trade war is not having Russia as primary adversary -- Russian economy i not that significant to the western world, and for USA in particular it has but zero significance. The trade war we see igniting -- is the war against China. China can no more be "wise monkey up the trees", when USA moved their chaingun aim from Russia onto China. Now China is being shot at, and the article is Chinese response to China being attacked. Not to anything around Russia.

> You are silly self center viewer

Frankly, it is exactly the opposite here. It is you who claim Russia being behind that article in Global Time. It is me who claims Russia has no any relation to the timing and wording of that article.

> China special force is operating in Syria.

Maybe it is, but seems no one ever saw those operations.

> Lot of weapons supply to SAA.

Maybe they are, but can you name those Chinese weapons and show me where SAA is employing it?

> Lot of money pump in to sustain Syria war,

If they are, then China does it part of the fight, good. Like USA supplied money and material to fighting European states during WW2. However that has no relation with the Global Times article being discussed.

> always throwing allies under bus whenever possible,

.because Putin is evil and just enjoys every opportunity to do bad thing. Always. I wish i would hear somethign remotely creative from you.

> hence Russia deserve to be raped by West like 1990 is natural.

Oh, i see. Yet another russophobic preaching that "Russians should repent and repay, repay, and repent", then frustrated when Russia shrugs this lecture off.

Vidi , March 31, 2018 at 8:34 pm GMT
@Anonymous

And, as you said, the west has many ways of neutralizing China.

Don't forget that China has an enormous internal market too, which in time should be larger than the U.S. and EU combined. European countries that stay out of this vast and rapidly growing market will be cutting their own throats. Good luck convincing them to do that.

[Apr 02, 2018] Russophobia Anti-Russian Lobby and American Foreign Policy by A. Tsygankov

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I wanted to investigate whether the growing volume of criticism toward Russia, sometimes by people who could hardly claim to be knowledgeable about the country, concealed a political agenda. ..."
"... I discovered evidence of Russophobia shared by different circles within the American political class and promoted through programs and conferences at various think tanks, congressional testimonies, activities of NGOs, and the media. Russophobia is not merely a critique of Russia, but a critique beyond any sense of proportion, waged with the purpose of undermining the nation's political reputation. ..."
"... To these individuals, Russophobia is merely a means to pressure the Kremlin into submitting to the United States in the execution of its grand plans to control the world's most precious resources and geostrategic sites. In the meantime, Russia has grown increasingly resentful, and the war in the Caucasus in August 2008 has demonstrated that Russia is prepared to act unilaterally to stop what it views as US unilateralism in the former Soviet region. ..."
"... Anti-American attitudes are strongly present in Russian media and cultural products, as a response to the US policies of nuclear, energy, and military supremacy in the world. Extreme hegemonic policies tend to provoke an extreme response, and Russian nationalist movements and often commentators react harshly to what they view as unilateral encroachment on Russia's political system and foreign policy interests. Russia's reactions to these policies by the United States are highly negative and frequently inadequate, but hardly more extreme than the American hegemonic and imperial discourse. ..."
"... The central objective of the Lobby has been to preserve and strengthen America's power in the post-Cold War world through imperial or hegemonic policies. The Lobby has viewed Russia with its formidable nuclear power, energy reserves, and important geostrategic location as a major obstacle in achieving this objective. Even during the 1990s, when Russia looked more like a failing state3 than one capable of projecting power, some members of the American political class were worried about the future revival of the Eurasian giant as a revisionist power. In their percep- tion, it was essential to keep Russia in a state of military and economic weakness-not so much out of emotional hatred for the Russian people and their culture, but to preserve American security and promote its val- ues across the world. To many within the Lobby, Russophobia became a useful device for exerting pressures on Russia and controlling its policies. Although to some the idea of undermining and, possibly, dismembering Russia was personal, to others it was a necessity of power dictated by the realities of international politics. ..."
"... According to this dominant vision, there was simply no place in this "New American Century" for power competitors, and America was destined eventually to assume control over potentially threatening military capabilities and energy reserves of others. As the two founders of the Project for the New' American Century (PNAC), William Kristol and Robert Kagan, asserted when referring to the large military forces of Russia and China, "American statesmen today ought to recognize that their charge is not to await the arrival of the next great threat, but rather to shape the international environment to prevent such a threat from arising in the first place."4 ..."
"... Russia was either to agree to assist the United States in preserving its world-power status or be forced to agree. It had to either follow the U.S. interpretation of world affairs and develop a political and economic system sufficiently open to American influences or live as a pariah state, smeared by accusations of pernicious behavior, and in constant fear for its survival in the America-centered world. As far as the U.S. hegemonic elites were concerned, no other choice was available. ..."
"... This hegemonic mood was largely consistent with mainstream ideas within the American establishment immediately following the end of the Cold War. For example, 1989 saw the unification of Germany and the further meltdown of the Soviet Union, which some characterized as "the best period of U.S. foreign policy ever."5 President Jimmy Carter's former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski envisioned the upcoming victory of the West by celebrating the Soviet Union's "grand failure."6 ..."
"... Charles Krauthammer, went as far as to proclaim the arrival of the United States' "unipolar moment," a period in which only one super- power, the United States, would stand above the rest of the world in its military, economic, and ideological capacity ..."
"... The mid-1990s saw the emergence of post-Soviet Russophobia. The Lobby's ideology was not principally new, as it still contained the three central myths of Sovietophobia left over from the Cold War era: Russia is inherently imperialist, autocratic, and anti-Western. This ideology now had to be modified to the new conditions and promoted politically, which required a tightening of the Lobby's unity, winning new allies within the establishment, and gaining public support.15 ..."
"... During the period of 2003-2008, Vice President Richard Dick Cheney formed a cohesive and bipartisan group of Russia critics, who pushed for a more confrontational approach with the Kremlin. ..."
"... Cheney could not tolerate opposition to what he saw as a critical step in establishing worldwide US hegemony. He was also harboring the idea of controlling Russia's energy reserves.91 ..."
"... In Russia, however, the Cold War story has been mainly about sovereignty and independence, rather than Western-style liberalism. To many Russians it is a story of freedom from colonization by the West and of preserving important attributes of sovereign statehood. ..."
"... In a world where neocolonialism and cultural imperialism are potent forces, the idea of freedom as independence continues to have strong international appeal and remains a powerful alternative to the notion of liberal democracy. ..."
"... The West's unwillingness to recognize the importance of this legitimizing myth in the role of communist ideology has served as a key reason for the Cold War.5 Like their Western counterparts, the Soviets were debating over methods but not the larger assumptions that defined their struggle. ..."
"... Yet another analyst wrote "at the Cold War's end, the United States was given one of the great opportunities of history: to embrace Russia, the largest nation on earth, as partner, friend, ally. Our mutual interests meshed almost perfectly. There was no ideological, territorial, his- toric or economic quarrel between us, once communist ideology was interred. We blew it. We moved NATO onto Russia's front porch, ignored her valid interests and concerns, and, with our 'indispensable-nation' arrogance, treated her as a defeated power, as France treated Weimar Germany after Versailles."114 ..."
Jun 09, 2017 | www.amazon.com

It was during the spring of 2006 that I began this project. I wanted to investigate whether the growing volume of criticism toward Russia, sometimes by people who could hardly claim to be knowledgeable about the country, concealed a political agenda.

As I researched the subject, I discovered evidence of Russophobia shared by different circles within the American political class and promoted through programs and conferences at various think tanks, congressional testimonies, activities of NGOs, and the media. Russophobia is not merely a critique of Russia, but a critique beyond any sense of proportion, waged with the purpose of undermining the nation's political reputation.

... ... ....

Although a critical analysis of Russia and its political system is entirely legitimate, the issue is the balance of such analysis. Russia's role in the world is growing, yet many U.S. politicians feel that Russia doesn't matter in the global arena. Preoccupied with international issues, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, they find it difficult to accept that they now have to nego- tiate and coordinate their international policies with a nation that only yesterday seemed so weak, introspective, and dependent on the West. To these individuals, Russophobia is merely a means to pressure the Kremlin into submitting to the United States in the execution of its grand plans to control the world's most precious resources and geostrategic sites. In the meantime, Russia has grown increasingly resentful, and the war in the Caucasus in August 2008 has demonstrated that Russia is prepared to act unilaterally to stop what it views as US unilateralism in the former Soviet region.

And some in Moscow are tempted to provoke a much greater confrontation with Western states. The attitude of ignorance and self-righteousness toward Russia tells us volumes about the United States' lack of preparation for the twenty-first century's central challenges that include political instability, weapons proliferation, and energy insecurity. Despite the dislike of Russia by a considerable number of American elites, this attitude is far from universally shared. Many Americans understand that Russia has gone a long way from communism and that the overwhelming support for Putin's policies at home cannot be adequately explained by high oil prices and the Kremlin's manipulation of the public-despite the frequent assertions of Russophobic observers.

Balanced analysts are also aware that many Russian problems are typical difficulties that nations encounter with state-building, and should not be presented as indicative of Russia's "inherent drive" to autocracy or empire. As the United States and Russia move further to the twenty-first century, it will be increasingly important to redefine the relationship between the two nations in a mutually enriching way.

Political and cultural phobias are, of course, not limited to those of an anti-Russian nature. For instance, Russia has its share of America-phobia -- a phenomenon that I have partly researched in my book Whose World Order (Notre Dame, 2004) and in several articles. Anti-American attitudes are strongly present in Russian media and cultural products, as a response to the US policies of nuclear, energy, and military supremacy in the world. Extreme hegemonic policies tend to provoke an extreme response, and Russian nationalist movements and often commentators react harshly to what they view as unilateral encroachment on Russia's political system and foreign policy interests. Russia's reactions to these policies by the United States are highly negative and frequently inadequate, but hardly more extreme than the American hegemonic and imperial discourse.

The Anti-Russian Lobby

When the facile optimism was disappointed, Western euphoria faded, and Russophobia returned ... The new Russophobia was expressed not by the governments, but in the statements of out-of-office politicians, the publications of academic experts, the sensational writings of jour- nalists, and the products of the entertainment industry. (Rodric Braithwaite, Across the Moscow River, 2002)1

....

Russophobia is not a myth, not an invention of the Red-Brovvns, but a real phenomenon of political thought in the main political think tanks in the West . .. [T]he Yeltsin-Kozyrev's pro-U.S. "giveaway game" was approved across the ocean. There is reason to say that the period in ques- tion left the West with the illusion that Russia's role was to serve Washington's interests and that it would remain such in the future. (Sergei Mikoyati, International Affairs /October 2006j)2

This chapter formulates a theory of Russophobia and the anti-Russian lobby's influence on the U.S. Russia policy. 1 discuss the Lobby's objec- tives, its tactics to achieve them, the history of its formation and rise to prominence, and the conditions that preserved its influence in the after- math of 9/11.1 argue that Russophobia has been important to American hegemonic elites in pressuring Russia for economic and political conces- sions in the post-Cold War era.

1. Goals and Means

Objectives

The central objective of the Lobby has been to preserve and strengthen America's power in the post-Cold War world through imperial or hegemonic policies. The Lobby has viewed Russia with its formidable nuclear power, energy reserves, and important geostrategic location as a major obstacle in achieving this objective. Even during the 1990s, when Russia looked more like a failing state3 than one capable of projecting power, some members of the American political class were worried about the future revival of the Eurasian giant as a revisionist power. In their percep- tion, it was essential to keep Russia in a state of military and economic weakness-not so much out of emotional hatred for the Russian people and their culture, but to preserve American security and promote its val- ues across the world. To many within the Lobby, Russophobia became a useful device for exerting pressures on Russia and controlling its policies. Although to some the idea of undermining and, possibly, dismembering Russia was personal, to others it was a necessity of power dictated by the realities of international politics.

According to this dominant vision, there was simply no place in this "New American Century" for power competitors, and America was destined eventually to assume control over potentially threatening military capabilities and energy reserves of others. As the two founders of the Project for the New' American Century (PNAC), William Kristol and Robert Kagan, asserted when referring to the large military forces of Russia and China, "American statesmen today ought to recognize that their charge is not to await the arrival of the next great threat, but rather to shape the international environment to prevent such a threat from arising in the first place."4

Russia was either to agree to assist the United States in preserving its world-power status or be forced to agree. It had to either follow the U.S. interpretation of world affairs and develop a political and economic system sufficiently open to American influences or live as a pariah state, smeared by accusations of pernicious behavior, and in constant fear for its survival in the America-centered world. As far as the U.S. hegemonic elites were concerned, no other choice was available.

This hegemonic mood was largely consistent with mainstream ideas within the American establishment immediately following the end of the Cold War. For example, 1989 saw the unification of Germany and the further meltdown of the Soviet Union, which some characterized as "the best period of U.S. foreign policy ever."5 President Jimmy Carter's former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski envisioned the upcoming victory of the West by celebrating the Soviet Union's "grand failure."6

In his view, the Soviet "totalitarian" state was incapable of reform. Communism's decline was therefore irreversible and inevitable. It would have made the system's "practice and its dogma largely irrelevant to the human conditions," and communism would be remembered as the twentieth century's "political and intellectual aberration."7 Other com- mentators argued the case for a global spread of Western values. In 1990 Francis Fukuyama first formulated his triumphalist "end of history" thesis, arguing a global ascendancy of the Western-style market democracy.®

... ... ...

Marc Plattner declared the emergence of a "world with one dominant principle of legitimacy, democracy."9 When the Soviet system had indeed disintegrated, the leading establishment journal Foreign Affairs pronounced that "the Soviet system collapsed because of what it was, or more exactly, because of what it was not. The West 'won' because of what the democracies were-because they were free, prosperous and successful, because they did justice, or convincingly tried to do so."10 Still others, such as Charles Krauthammer, went as far as to proclaim the arrival of the United States' "unipolar moment," a period in which only one super- power, the United States, would stand above the rest of the world in its military, economic, and ideological capacity.11

In this context of U.S. triumphalism, at least some Russophobes expected Russia to follow the American agenda. Still, they were worried that Russia may still have surprises to offer and would recover as an enemy.12

Soon after the Soviet disintegration, Russia indeed surprised many, although not quite in the sense of presenting a power challenge to the United States. Rather, the surprise was the unexpectedly high degree of corruption, social and economic decay, and the rapid disappointment of pro-Western reforms inside Russia. By late 1992, the domestic economic situation was much worsened, as the failure of Western-style shock ther- apy reform put most of the population on the verge of poverty. Russia was preoccupied not with the projection of power but with survival, as poverty, crime, and corruption degraded it from the status of the indus- trialized country it once was. In the meantime, the economy was largely controlled by and divided among former high-ranking party and state officials and their associates. The so-called oligarchs, or a group of extremely wealthy individuals, played the role of the new post-Soviet nomenklatura; they influenced many key decisions of the state and suc- cessfully blocked the development of small- and medium-sized business in the country.13 Under these conditions, the Russophobes warned that the conditions in Russia may soon be ripe for the rise of an anti-Western nationalist regime and that Russia was not fit for any partnership with the United States.14

The mid-1990s saw the emergence of post-Soviet Russophobia. The Lobby's ideology was not principally new, as it still contained the three central myths of Sovietophobia left over from the Cold War era: Russia is inherently imperialist, autocratic, and anti-Western. This ideology now had to be modified to the new conditions and promoted politically, which required a tightening of the Lobby's unity, winning new allies within the establishment, and gaining public support.15

... ... ...

The impact of structural and institutional factors is further reinforced by policy factors, such as the divide within the policy community and the lack of presidential leadership. Not infrequently, politicians tend to defend their personal and corporate interests, and lobbying makes a difference in the absence of firm policy commitments.

Experts recognize that the community of Russia watchers is split and that the split, which goes all the way to the White House, has been responsible for the absence of a coherent policy toward the country. During the period of 2003-2008, Vice President Richard Dick Cheney formed a cohesive and bipartisan group of Russia critics, who pushed for a more confrontational approach with the Kremlin. The brain behind the invasion of Iraq, Cheney could not tolerate opposition to what he saw as a critical step in establishing worldwide US hegemony. He was also harboring the idea of controlling Russia's energy reserves.91

Since November 2004, when the administration launched a review of its policy on Russia,92 Cheney became a critically important voice in whom the Lobby found its advocate. Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and, until November 2004, Colin Powell opposed the vice president's approach, arguing for a softer and more accommodating style in relations with Moscow.

President Bush generally sided with Rice and Powell, but he proved unable to form a consistent Russia policy. Because of America's involvement in the Middle East, Bush failed to provide the leadership committed to devising mutually acceptable rules in relations with Russia that could have prevented the deterioration in their relationship. Since the end of 2003, he also became doubtful about the direction of Russia's domestic transformation.93 As a result, the promising post-9/11 cooperation never materialized. The new cold war and the American Sense of History

It's time we start thinking of Vladimir Putin's Russia as an enemy of the United States. (Bret Stephens, "Russia: The Enemy," The Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2006)

If today's reality of Russian politics continues ... then there is the real risk that Russia's leadership will be seen, externally and internally, as illegitimate. (John Edwards and Jack Kemp, "We Need to Be Tough with Russia," International Herald Tribune, July 12, 2006)

On Iran, Kosovo, U.S. missile defense, Iraq, the Caucasus and Caspian basin, Ukraine-the list goes on-Russia puts itself in conflict with the U.S. and its allies . . . here are worse models than the united Western stand that won the Cold War the first time around.

("Putin Institutionalized," The Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2007) In order to derail the U.S.-Russia partnership, the Lobby has sought to revive the image of Russias as an enemy of the United States. The Russophobic groups have exploited important differences between the two countries' historical self-perceptions, presenting those differences as incompatible.

1. Contested History

Two versions of history

The story of the Cold War as told from the U.S. perspective is about American ideas of Western-style democracy as rescued from the Soviet threat of totalitarian communism. Although scholars and politicians disagreed over the methods of responding to the Soviet threat, they rarely questioned their underlying assumptions about history and freedom.' It therefore should not come as surprise that many in the United States have interpreted the end of the Cold War as a victory of the Western freedom narrative. Celebrating the Soviet Union's "grand failure"-as Zbigniew Brzezinski put it2-the American discourse assumed that from now on there would be little resistance to freedom's worldwide progression. When Francis Fukuyama offered his bold summary of these optimistic feelings and asserted in a famous passage that "what we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War... but the end of history as such,"3 he meant to convey the disappearance of an alternative to the familiar idea of free- dom, or "the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government."4

In Russia, however, the Cold War story has been mainly about sovereignty and independence, rather than Western-style liberalism. To many Russians it is a story of freedom from colonization by the West and of preserving important attributes of sovereign statehood.

In a world where neocolonialism and cultural imperialism are potent forces, the idea of freedom as independence continues to have strong international appeal and remains a powerful alternative to the notion of liberal democracy. Russians formulated the narrative of independence centuries ago, as they successfully withstood external invasions from Napoleon to Hitler. The defeat of the Nazi regime was important to the Soviets because it legitimized their claims to continue with the tradition of freedom as independence.

The West's unwillingness to recognize the importance of this legitimizing myth in the role of communist ideology has served as a key reason for the Cold War.5 Like their Western counterparts, the Soviets were debating over methods but not the larger assumptions that defined their struggle.

This helps to understand why Russians could never agree with the Western interpretation of the end of the Cold War. What they find missing from the U.S. narrative is the tribute to Russia's ability to defend its freedom from expansionist ambitions of larger powers. The Cold War too is viewed by many Russians as a necessarily defensive response to the West's policies, and it is important that even while occupying Eastern Europe, the Soviets never celebrated the occupation, emphasizing instead the war vic- tory.6 The Russians officially admitted "moral responsibility" and apolo- gized for the Soviet invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia.7 They may be prepared to fully recognize the postwar occupation of Eastern Europe, but only in the context of the two sides' responsibility for the Cold War. Russians also find it offensive that Western VE Day celebrations ignore the crucial contribution of Soviet troops, even though none of the Allies, as one historian put it, "paid dearer than the Soviet Union for the victory. Forty Private Ivans fell in battle to every Private Ryan."8 Victory over Nazi Germany constitutes, as another Russian wrote, "the only undisputable foundation of the national myth."9

If the two sides are to build foundations for a future partnership, the two historical narratives must be bridged. First, it is important to recognize the difficulty of negotiating a common meaning of freedom and accept that the idea of freedom may vary greatly across nations. The urge for freedom may be universal, but its social content is a specific product of national his- tories and local circumstances. For instance, the American vision of democracy initially downplayed the role of elections and emphasized selection by merit or meritocracy. Under the influence of the Great Depression, the notion of democracy incorporated a strong egalitarian and poverty-fighting component, and it was not until the Cold War- and not without its influence-that democracy has become associated with elections and pluralistic institutions.10 Second, it is essential to acknowledge the two nations' mutual respon- sibility for the misunderstanding that has resulted in the Cold War. A historically sensitive account will recognize that both sides were thinking in terms of expanding a territorial space to protect their visions of security. While the Soviets wanted to create a buffer zone to prevent a future attack from Germany, the Americans believed in reconstructing the European continent in accordance with their ideas of security and democracy. A mutual mistrust of the two countries' leaders exacerbated the situation, making it ever more difficult to prevent a full-fledged political confronta- tion. Western leaders had reason to be suspicious of Stalin, who, in his turn, was driven by the perception of the West's greed and by betrayals from the dubious Treaty of Versailles to the appeasement of Hitler in Munich. Arrangements for the post-World War II world made by Britain, the USSR, and the United States proved insufficient to address these deep-seated suspicions.

In addition, most Eastern European states created as a result of the Versailles Treaty were neither free nor democratic and collaborated with Nazi Germany in its racist and expansionist policies. The European post-World War 1 security system was not working properly, and it was only a matter of time before it would have to be transformed.

Third, if an agreeable historical account is to emerge, it would have to accept that the end of the Cold War was a product of mutually beneficial a second Cold War, "it also does not want the reversal of the U.S. geopolitical gains that it made in the decade or so after the end of the Cold War."112 Another expert asked, "What possible explanation is there for the fact that today-at a moment when both the U.S. and Russia face the common enemy of Islamist terrorism-hard-liners within the Bush administration, and especially in the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, are arguing for a new tough line against Moscow along the lines of a scaled-down Cold War?"113

Yet another analyst wrote "at the Cold War's end, the United States was given one of the great opportunities of history: to embrace Russia, the largest nation on earth, as partner, friend, ally. Our mutual interests meshed almost perfectly. There was no ideological, territorial, his- toric or economic quarrel between us, once communist ideology was interred. We blew it. We moved NATO onto Russia's front porch, ignored her valid interests and concerns, and, with our 'indispensable-nation' arrogance, treated her as a defeated power, as France treated Weimar Germany after Versailles."114

[Apr 02, 2018] Confronting Russophobia by Srdja Trifkovic

Notable quotes:
"... The roots of Russophobia's emotional appeal to the left seem clear: It comes as a huge mental relief to the ultrasensitive liberal mind to be able to hate an outside group with impunity, and even to appear virtuous in the process . Of course, the object of that animus is a Christian and European nation that stubbornly refuses to be postmodernized, or become gripped by self-hate and morbid introspection; a nation not ashamed of its past and unwilling to surrender its future to alien multitudes; a nation where nobody obsesses over transgender bathrooms, microaggressions, and other "issues" indicative of a society's moral and intellectual decrepitude. ..."
"... The liberals' ideological and emotional Russophobia has blended seamlessly with the bread-and-butter hostility to Russia shared by Deep State operatives in the intelligence and national-security apparatus, in the military-industrial complex, and in the congressional duopoly. ..."
"... The late Anna Politkovskaya thus wrote in the Los Angeles Times 12 years ago that "it is common knowledge that the Russian people are irrational by nature." It is impossible to imagine a mainstream publication publishing a similar statement about Jews or Muslims. ..."
"... Cheesepopes be gaslighting ..."
"... Nothing give a NYC Wall Street banker more of a wet dream than the possibility of war between the goy. Oil, white slaves, truly a banker's dream come true. ..."
Apr 23, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
by Srdja Trifkovic via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

There is a paranoid, hysterical quality to the public discourse on Russia and all things Russian in today's America. The corporate media machine and its Deep State handlers have abdicated reason and common decency in favor of raw hate and fear-mongering. We have not seen anything like it before, even in the darkest days of the Cold War.

The roots of Russophobia's emotional appeal to the left seem clear: It comes as a huge mental relief to the ultrasensitive liberal mind to be able to hate an outside group with impunity, and even to appear virtuous in the process . Of course, the object of that animus is a Christian and European nation that stubbornly refuses to be postmodernized, or become gripped by self-hate and morbid introspection; a nation not ashamed of its past and unwilling to surrender its future to alien multitudes; a nation where nobody obsesses over transgender bathrooms, microaggressions, and other "issues" indicative of a society's moral and intellectual decrepitude.

The liberals' ideological and emotional Russophobia has blended seamlessly with the bread-and-butter hostility to Russia shared by Deep State operatives in the intelligence and national-security apparatus, in the military-industrial complex, and in the congressional duopoly. The result is a surreal narrative that mixes supposedly unprovoked "Russian aggression" in Ukraine, hostile intent in the Baltics, serial war crimes in Syria, political destabilization in Western Europe, and gross interference in America's "democratic process". The result is an altogether fictitious "existential threat," which has made President Trump's intended détente with Moscow impossible. He may have been serious about turning over a new leaf, but the Deep State counterpressure proved just too great. A solid rejection front emerged, left and right, conservative and liberal, which extends even into his own team and finally inhibited him from making moves that could have appeared too friendly to Putin.

The Russophobes' narrative is unrelated to Russia's actual policies. It reflects a deep odium of the elite class toward Russia-as-such. That animosity has been developing in its current form since roughly the time of the Crimean War, when in his Letters From Russia the Marquis de Custine said that the country's "veneer of European civilization was too thin to be credible."

"No human beings, black, yellow or white, could be quite as untruthful, as insincere, as arrogant-in short, as untrustworthy in every way-as the Russians," President Theodore Roosevelt wrote in 1905. John Maynard Keynes, after a trip to the Soviet Union in 1925, wondered whether the "mood of oppression" might be "the fruit of some beastliness in the Russian nature." J. Robert Oppenheimer opined in 1951 that, in Russia, "We are coping with a barbarous, backward people." More recently, Sen. John McCain declared that "Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country." "Russia is an anti-Western power with a different, darker vision of global politics," Slate wrote in early 2014, even before the Ukrainian crisis reached its climax.

This narrative has two key pillars. In terms of geopolitics, we see the striving of maritime empires-Britain before World War II, and the United States after - to "contain" and if possible control the Eurasian heartland, the core of which is of course Russia. Equally important is the already noted cultural antipathy, the desire not merely to influence Russian policies and behavior but to effect an irreversible transformation of Russia's identity. Some of the most viscerally Russophobic stereotypes come from Russia herself, from those members of Moscow's "intelligentsia" who feel more at home in New York or London than anywhere in their own country. The late Anna Politkovskaya thus wrote in the Los Angeles Times 12 years ago that "it is common knowledge that the Russian people are irrational by nature." It is impossible to imagine a mainstream publication publishing a similar statement about Jews or Muslims.

The Russophobic frenzy comes at a cost. It further devalues the quality of public discourse on world affairs in the United States, which is already dismally low. It has already undermined the prospects for a mutually beneficial new chapter in U.S.-Russian relations, based on a realist assessment that those two powers have no "existential" differences - and share many actual and potential commonalities. It perpetrates the arrogant delusion that there is a superior, "Western" model of social and cultural thought and action that can and should be imposed everywhere, but especially in Russia.

Saddest of all, Russophobic mania prolongs the European civil war that exploded in July 1914, continued in 1939, and has never properly ended - not even with the fall of the Berlin Wall. It would be in the American interest, as well as Russia's and Europe's, for that conflict to end, so that the existential challenge common to all- that of resurgent jihad and Europe's demographic crisis - can be properly addressed.

francis soyer , Apr 23, 2017 7:28 PM

Cheesepopes be gaslighting

Blue Balls -> francis soyer , Apr 23, 2017 7:35 PM

Nothing give a NYC Wall Street banker more of a wet dream than the possibility of war between the goy. Oil, white slaves, truly a banker's dream come true.

Ramesees -> Blue Balls , Apr 23, 2017 7:39 PM

We don't have to go to war with Russia, but let's agree that Russia is, at a minimum, a rival.

Lumberjack -> Ramesees , Apr 23, 2017 7:40 PM

Wrong. China is.

Ramesees -> Lumberjack , Apr 23, 2017 7:43 PM

Russia has its own interests, just like the United States. Sometimes our interests align, more often they do not.

How is that any different than China, other than Russia's demographic death spiral that will eliminate them as a rival in 50-75 years?

knukles -> Ramesees , Apr 23, 2017 7:46 PM

Why can't we all just get along?

Dizzy Malscience -> knukles , Apr 23, 2017 8:16 PM

..it seems like our foreign policy is like an angry poor, innocent "motorist", whacked out on amphetamines, speeding over 100 mph and destined to drown in his liberal negro lottery swimming pool.

Volkodav -> Ramesees , Apr 23, 2017 8:09 PM

missed fact Russian demographic is much improve

sure better than europe

Centerist -> Volkodav , Apr 23, 2017 8:24 PM

Da, comrade. Russian demographic is much improve. Population shrink less fast now.

Lumberjack -> Lumberjack , Apr 23, 2017 8:10 PM

Comment: why US allies Israel, Saudi Arabia are cosying up to China

http://m.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2082673/comment-w...

Furthermore...

Breaking:

The United States is closely watching a recent increase in piracy off the coast of Somalia, a senior U.S. military official said on Sunday as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited an important military base in Djibouti.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-mattis-africa-idUSKBN17P0C7?utm_ca ...

-----

Hate to use huffpo but this is relevent...

Why China and Saudi Arabia Are Building Bases in Djibouti http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-braude/why-china-and-saudi-arabi_b_ ...

Then this:

http://thediplomat.com/2017/02/the-chinese-navys-djibouti-base-a-support ...

malek -> Ramesees , Apr 23, 2017 7:49 PM

"Russia is, at a minimum, a rival."

If I ignore your bullshit "but at the maximum..." implication:

So what do you conclude from that. Is it a bad thing to have rivals? Should we strive to turn every remaining rival into a vassal? Is there a limit on methods allowed toward a rival?

Centerist -> Ramesees , Apr 23, 2017 8:20 PM

I'll give you a green arrow to make up for the narrow-mindedness of the simpletons who all gave you red arrows.

We don't need a war with Russia, and the US won't instigate one, either. The juice wouldn't be worth the squeeze.

With all of that being said, Russia is a rival to the US in other parts of the world. The US isn't the only country with a desire for influence around the world.

As much as there is a "Russo-phobia" being perpetuated in the US, you can bet a buck that there is an "Ameri-phobia" being perpetuated out there.

The big difference is that in Russia, they don't have message boards full of people sh*tting on their own country.

Lumberjack -> Centerist , Apr 23, 2017 9:03 PM

They will accomplish the war by proxy.

Centerist -> Lumberjack , Apr 23, 2017 9:17 PM

Well, that is kind of how major powers compete for influence. It takes two to tango. We can't exactly engage in war by proxy if the Russians aren't involved in it, too.

monk27 -> Blue Balls , Apr 23, 2017 7:49 PM

I hate to say it but the so called "elites", in charge of our beloved deep state controlling everything, are quite stupid -- This continuous news hysteria, against whatever subject du jour our intelligentsia decides to float publicly, proves beyond any reasonable doubt that said "elites" suffer from a combination of low IQ, partial education (at best !), and high self-delusion... We might get to witness nuclear war, just because our "elites" are too idiotic to realize what a nuclear war really is...

dsty , Apr 23, 2017 7:29 PM

Yes ZH, tell us once again how wonderful and humane Putin's Russia is.

Don't forget the loving relationship he has with little Kimmy of NK.

Billy the Poet -> dsty , Apr 23, 2017 7:34 PM

I see no such thing in this article. Can you provide quotes to support your criticism?

rccalhoun -> dsty , Apr 23, 2017 7:39 PM

dsty-- ZH does promote putin too much (ZH bias), but ZH is correct in that the MSM has the full court press on to instigate

and insult russia in any way possible.

my question; why the fuck does the USSA stick their fucking nose into everything? if the USSA wants supreme power...then go

conquer these nations and see how that works out.

Justin Case -> rccalhoun , Apr 23, 2017 7:47 PM

They stick their hook nose into everything because they want to own the whole 4th rock from the sun. These people are ill, very ill and as I read these comments it's obvious that some just don't get it yet.

Pure Evil -> Justin Case , Apr 23, 2017 7:59 PM

If we're the fourth rock from the sun, then the other three rocks between us and the sun are.......Venus, Mercury and ?

Implied Violins -> Pure Evil , Apr 23, 2017 9:03 PM

Nibiru. Or Wormwood. Nemesis? Planet X?? Ah fuck it.

knukles -> rccalhoun , Apr 23, 2017 7:48 PM

Which tells us that since we all live rent free in Tyler's pro-Russian basement, that we're now on 2 different sets of lists? That's disturbing.

Brazen Heist -> dsty , Apr 23, 2017 7:40 PM

Do tell us of that more loving butt-buddy relationship the US government has with the Wahhabi terrorist state.

Squid Viscous -> dsty , Apr 23, 2017 8:08 PM

Dsty, dirty stinking tacky yid?

35 Whelen , Apr 23, 2017 7:39 PM

"haven't seen anything like this since the darkest days of the cold war" ... that's because the media was by and large pro-Soviet.

Normalcy Bias , Apr 23, 2017 7:41 PM

All of this B.S. Russophobia evolved from a convenient distraction from the CONTENT of the leaked DNC emails, and has been amplified because of the symbiosis with Neoconservative/Globalist strategies.

dilligaff , Apr 23, 2017 7:42 PM

What amazes me is how well the propaganda seems to be working. There's a bunch of old farts (not that I'm really young!) at the gym every morning talking about how awesome it is that we bombed Syria and it'll show that bastard Putin we're tough and mean business. "America, Fuck yeh!" I wanted to ask them if they were mentally defective or just fucking retards...

Justin Case -> dilligaff , Apr 23, 2017 7:49 PM

Typical merica pie. Fuck tarts

UncleChopChop -> dilligaff , Apr 23, 2017 7:50 PM

sad

monk27 -> dilligaff , Apr 23, 2017 7:51 PM

Propaganda works very well with stupid subjects; the dumber the better...

Reaper -> dilligaff , Apr 23, 2017 7:58 PM

They "think/emote" alike, because each fears the others would otherwise discover their real ignorance.

Reaper , Apr 23, 2017 7:42 PM

Hate = emote. Emote = antithesis of reason. Hate controls the hater. Ergo, the creators of the hate control the haters.

medium giraffe -> Reaper , Apr 23, 2017 8:02 PM

Pretty much. Society has opted to run on emotion rather than fact, emotional manipulation being the key part of the most popular forms of entertainment. Sadly this bleeds into our dealings with each other which are increasingly emotional or insulting. Most of human behaviour and attitudes are due to fear, particularly the egoic fear of inadequacy. As a control mechanism, fear is a formidable tool. But fear is also a choice.

Reaper -> medium giraffe , Apr 23, 2017 8:18 PM

Fear is less effective tool than respect, especially in diplomacy. http://www.businessinsider.com/dale-carnegie-on-habits-of-influential-pe...

aloha_snakbar , Apr 23, 2017 7:44 PM

"Say Russia one more time... I DARE you"...

IranContra , Apr 23, 2017 7:50 PM

The Strategic Culture Foundation who published this piece has an evil agenda, and they are not even friends of Putin. They are very subtle warmongers. You will see when the time comes.

Putin was duped by Iran in Syria, Iran got Syria, not Putin. Trump and Saudi can give Russia what it needs to survive, if Putin stops being duped by deceptive hegemonial Iran.

Billy the Poet -> IranContra , Apr 23, 2017 7:56 PM

The Saudis gave us September 11 -- the gift that keeps on giving. But I doubt that Putin's jealous.

earleflorida -> IranContra , Apr 23, 2017 8:39 PM

"Iran approves six presidential candidates-- blocks Ahmadinejad"

have you any ideal how powerful this nutjob was? ahmadinejab was so powerful at one tyme he challenged the actual ayatollah position as last word! now, this guy was nuts!!! http://news.antiwar.com/2017/04/20/iran-approves-six-presidential-candidates-blocks-ahmadinejad/

sbenard , Apr 23, 2017 8:00 PM

This reminds me of when the ZerroHedge owners mentioned that Bloomberg article several months back that involved an interview of a former Zero Hedge writer blowing the lid off this place. He mentioned how pro-Russia the ZH owners were. This article suggests that he may have been right after all!

number06 -> sbenard , Apr 23, 2017 8:10 PM

Its pretty obvious many around here are in the superbowl ring stealing midgets pocket

stpioc -> sbenard , Apr 23, 2017 8:16 PM

Here is that article showing the Russiophile Zerohedgers:

http://rightwingers.org/forums/thread-156.html

Yea, we shouldn't be afraid of a country with nukes, that invades it's neigbours, has an uber crony economy the size of Italy's, dominated by oligarchs in mining and the obligation to keep friendly with the Kremlin or risk being put in jail and have your assets taken away on trumped up charges. The country that murders it's opponents and critics with nasty stuff like Polonium, even abroad, that interferes in others elections with misinformation campaigns and troll factories, that is on the side of the ayatolla's of Iran and the mass murderer in Syria, helping him by bombing hospitals and refugees, only to be "recognized as a player again on the world stage" A coutry of alcoholics with one of the lowest life expectancy in the developed world. Really, a model state.

As Paul Graig Roberts, the inhouse idiot here noted, Putin for the Nobel peace price!

Neochrome -> stpioc , Apr 23, 2017 8:33 PM

Which of the above does NOT apply to US and even worse?

Volkodav -> sbenard , Apr 23, 2017 8:24 PM

maybe here is one few places balance from the foamy mouth MSM

ZH far more logic, reason informed visitors

momprayn , Apr 23, 2017 8:28 PM

Wikileaks has disclosed the tactic to blame Russia for the election results, Trump's collusion, etc. back to spring of 2016 --- I remember when they started making those "Russia" comments. They wanted to start the thoughts about him/his staff being in collusion with the Russians. That was to hopefully make more decide not to vote for him and in case he won, use it to prove election fraud, treason and somehow impeach him.

Those who know about the Globalists NWO agenda, Deep State, Neocons, etc. realize we've all been lied to about Russia (among all the other lies) since the end of the Cold War. for "their" agenda purposes - need for continuous wars for MIC, etc. also. Putin is not as portrayed at all. Russia is not the "big bad Commie" beast that wants to take over the world as they want us to believe to "justify" another war.

Putin is an Eastern Orthodox Chrsitian who protects Christians, hates and fights terrorists and Globalism. He is not a Globalist. We have those goals in common and Pres. Trump and Putin would be a fantastic duo that when united, terrorism and Globalism would finally be dealt death blows,

Our enemies within know that and therefore they're trying to do everything they can to hurt that relationship and not let it happen because it would mean finally - the end of their evil world order plan.

VW Nerd -> momprayn , Apr 23, 2017 8:45 PM

Excellent assessment. I'll have to share it with my sister. She's a Republican Russia/Iran/Syria hater.

Neochrome , Apr 23, 2017 8:34 PM

Amount of pressure applied commensurate to strength of a country in question. For some of them all it takes is a stern talk from the ambassador, Russia right now is safely beyond the US ability to apply the required pressure, including the threat of Nuclear War. What is happening instead is that world being interconnected the way it is, applying pressure at hardened point that is Russia is also increasing pressure at other weaker points as well, pretty much all over the world. EU and NATO are posturing against Russia in display of lunacy that is symptomatic for the West, it seems that God is taking away humans ability to reason. Day 1, Russia announces indefinite cuts of gas supplies to Europe, stocks crater, world economy craters, Russia and China who were hoarding gold watch the West collapse like a house of cards while passing the popcorn. The End.

earleflorida -> Neochrome , Apr 23, 2017 8:51 PM

"Where Empires go to Die?"?!?

Afghanistan is about to go full retard again, as taliban cuts ussa out of heroin billions--- as our afghan troops turn their weapons on their masters[1]

seems, we bunker-busted the wrong cavity?

http://news.antiwar.com/tag/afghanistan/

Spinkbottle , Apr 23, 2017 8:51 PM

The Jewish media has been obsessed with this business about Russia allegedly influencing the recent 2016 U.S. election. This obsession has concealed the real problem with foreign influence over the American electoral system. It isn't Russian influence that's the problem, it is Israeli influence that's the problem.

Below is a list of stories showing how Israelis or Jews substantively connected to Israel have been subverting the American electoral process.

https://www.dailystormer.com/israel-is-the-main-foreign-power-subverting-the-american-election-system/

globalintelhub , Apr 23, 2017 8:55 PM

Read it and weep www.splittingpennies.com

Son of Captain Nemo , Apr 23, 2017 8:59 PM

You know we will have turned the corner when Donald Trump gives the American people a "Fireside Chat" and tells the public the real reasons the media spearheads a constant barrage of hate filled anti-Russian LYING PROPAGANDA filled rhetoric... BECAUSE

A) THEY ARE THE WORLDS LEADER IN OIL PRODUCTION B) HAVE NO DEBT C) HAVE THERE OWN BALANCE OF PAYMENT CREDIT SYSTEM MIR THAT WILL REPLACE THE WESTERN CENTRAL BANK(S) SYSTEM "SWIFT"

And after he delivers that truthful message he will NEVER BE ALLOWED TO EVER AGAIN... He will probably be shot like HOWARD BEALE in the movie NETWORK... Or WWWIII will be LAUNCHED!!!

[Apr 01, 2018] Big American Money, Not Russia, Put Trump in the White House: Reflections on a Recent Report by Paul Street

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Running against what she (wrongly) perceived (along with most election prognosticators) as a doomed and feckless opponent and as the clear preferred candidate of Wall Street and the intimately related U.S foreign policy elite , including many leading Neoconservatives put off by Trump's isolationist and anti-interventionist rhetoric, the "lying neoliberal warmonger" Hillary Clinton arrogantly figured that she could garner enough votes to win without having to ruffle any ruling-class feathers. ..."
"... Smart Wall Street and K Street Democratic Party bankrollers have long understood that Democratic candidates have to cloak their dollar-drenched corporatism in the deceptive campaign discourse of progressive- and even populist-sounding policy promise to win elections. ..."
"... Trump trailed well behind Clinton in contributions from defense and aerospace – a lack of support extraordinary for a Republican presidential hopeful late in the race. ..."
"... one fateful consequence of trying to appeal to so many conservative business interests was strategic silence about most important matters of public policy. Given the candidate's steady lead in the polls, there seemed to be no point to rocking the boat with any more policy pronouncements than necessary ..."
"... Misgivings of major contributors who worried that the Clinton campaign message lacked real attractions for ordinary Americans were rebuffed. The campaign sought to capitalize on the angst within business by vigorously courting the doubtful and undecideds there, not in the electorate ..."
"... Of course, Bill and Hillary helped trail-blaze that plutocratic "New Democrat" turn in Arkansas during the late 1970s and 1980s. The rest, as they say, was history – an ugly corporate-neoliberal, imperial, and racist history that I and others have written about at great length. ..."
"... My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency ..."
"... Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton ..."
"... The Condemnation of Little B: New Age Racism in America ..."
"... Still, Trump's success was no less tied to big money than was Hillary's failure. Candidate Trump ran strangely outside the longstanding neoliberal Washington Consensus, as an economic nationalist and isolationist. His raucous rallies were laced with dripping denunciations of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, and globalization, mockery of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, rejection of the New Cold War with Russia, and pledges of allegiance to the "forgotten" American "working-class." He was no normal Republican One Percent candidate. ..."
"... Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache ..."
"... "In a frontal assault on the American establishment, the Republican standard bearer proclaimed 'America First.' Mocking the Bush administration's appeal to 'weapons of mass destruction' as a pretext for invading Iraq, he broke dramatically with two generations of GOP orthodoxy and spoke out in favor of more cooperation with Russia . He even criticized the 'carried interest' tax break beloved by high finance" (emphasis added). ..."
"... "What happened in the final weeks of the campaign was extraordinary. Firstly, a giant wave of dark money poured into Trump's own campaign – one that towered over anything in 2016 or even Mitt Romney's munificently financed 2012 effort – to say nothing of any Russian Facebook experiments [Then] another gigantic wave of money flowed in from alarmed business interests, including the Kochs and their allies Officially the money was for Senate races, but late-stage campaigning for down-ballot offices often spills over on to candidates for the party at large." ..."
"... "In a harbinger of things to come, additional money came from firms and industries that appear to have been attracted by Trump's talk of tariffs, including steel and companies making machinery of various types [a] vast wave of new money flowed into the campaign from some of America's biggest businesses and most famous investors. Sheldon Adelson and many others in the casino industry delivered in grand style for its old colleague. Adelson now delivered more than $11 million in his own name, while his wife and other employees of his Las Vegas Sands casino gave another $20 million. ..."
"... Peter Theil contributed more than a million dollars, while large sums also rolled in from other parts of Silicon Valley, including almost two million dollars from executives at Microsoft and just over two million from executives at Cisco Systems. ..."
"... Among those were Nelson Peltz and Carl Icahn (who had both contributed to Trump before, but now made much bigger new contributions). In the end, along with oil, chemicals, mining and a handful of other industries, large private equity firms would become one of the few segments of American business – and the only part of Wall Street – where support for Trump was truly heavy the sudden influx of money from private equity and hedge funds clearly began with the Convention but turned into a torrent " ..."
"... The critical late wave came after Trump moved to rescue his flagging campaign by handing its direction over to the clever, class-attuned, far-right white- and economic- nationalist "populist" and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, who advocated what proved to be a winning, Koch brothers-approved "populist" strategy: appeal to economically and culturally frustrated working- and middle-class whites in key battleground states, where the bloodless neoliberal and professional class centrism and snooty metropolitan multiculturalism of the Obama presidency and Clinton campaign was certain to depress the Democratic "base" vote ..."
"... Neither turnout nor the partisan division of the vote at any level looks all that different from other recent elections 2016's alterations in voting behavior are so minute that the pattern is only barely differentiated from 2012." ..."
"... An interesting part of FJC's study (no quick or easy read) takes a close look at the pro-Trump and anti-Hillary Internet activism that the Democrats and their many corporate media allies are so insistently eager to blame on Russia and for Hillary's defeat. FJC find that Russian Internet interventions were of tiny significance compared to those of homegrown U.S. corporate and right-wing cyber forces: ..."
"... By 2016, the Republican right had developed internet outreach and political advertising into a fine art and on a massive scale quite on its own. ..."
"... Breitbart and other organizations were in fact going global, opening offices abroad and establishing contacts with like-minded groups elsewhere. Whatever the Russians were up to, they could hardly hope to add much value to the vast Made in America bombardment already underway. Nobody sows chaos like Breitbart or the Drudge Report ." ..."
"... no support from Big Business ..."
"... Sanders pushed Hillary the Goldman candidate to the wall, calling out the Democrats' capture by Wall Street, forcing her to rely on a rigged party, convention, and primary system to defeat him. The small-donor "socialist" Sanders challenge represented something Ferguson and his colleagues describe as "without precedent in American politics not just since the New Deal, but across virtually the whole of American history a major presidential candidate waging a strong, highly competitive campaign whose support from big business is essentially zero ." ..."
"... American Oligarchy ..."
"... teleSur English ..."
"... we had no great electoral democracy to subvert in 2016 ..."
"... Only candidates and positions that can be financed can be presented to voters. As a result, in countries like the US and, increasingly, Western Europe, political parties are first of all bank accounts . With certain qualifications, one must pay to play. Understanding any given election, therefore, requires a financial X-ray of the power blocs that dominate the major parties, with both inter- and intra- industrial analysis of their constituent elements." ..."
"... Elections alone are no guarantee of democracy, as U.S. policymakers and pundits know very well when they rip on rigged elections (often fixed with the assistance of U.S. government and private-sector agents and firms) in countries they don't like ..."
"... Majority opinion is regularly trumped by a deadly complex of forces in the U.S. ..."
"... Trump is a bit of an anomaly – a sign of an elections and party system in crisis and an empire in decline. He wasn't pre-approved or vetted by the usual U.S. " deep state " corporate, financial, and imperial gatekeepers. The ruling-class had been trying to figure out what the Hell to do with him ever since he shocked even himself (though not Steve Bannon) by pre-empting the coronation of the "Queen of Chaos." ..."
"... His lethally racist, sexist, nativist, nuclear-weapons-brandishing, and (last but not at all least) eco-cidal rise to the nominal CEO position atop the U.S.-imperial oligarchy is no less a reflection of the dominant role of big U.S. capitalist money and homegrown plutocracy in U.S. politics than a more classically establishment Hillary ascendancy would have been. It's got little to do with Russia, Russia, Russia – the great diversion that fills U.S. political airwaves and newsprint as the world careens ever closer to oligarchy-imposed geocide and to a thermonuclear conflagration that the RussiaGate gambit is recklessly encouraging. ..."
Mar 30, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

"She Doesn't Have Any Policy Positions"

On the Friday after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series and prior to the Tuesday on which the vicious racist and sexist Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Bernie Sanders spoke to a surprisingly small crowd in Iowa City on behalf of Hillary Clinton. As I learned months later, Sanders told one of his Iowa City friends that day that Mrs. Clinton was in trouble. The reason, Sanders reported, was that Hillary wasn't discussing issues or advancing real solutions. "She doesn't have any policy positions," Sanders said.

The first time I heard this, I found it hard to believe. How, I wondered, could anyone run seriously for the presidency without putting issues and policy front and center? Wouldn't any serious campaign want a strong set of issue and policy positions to attract voters and fall back on in case and times of adversity?

Sanders wasn't lying. As the esteemed political scientist and money-politics expert Thomas Ferguson and his colleagues Paul Jorgensen and Jie Chen note in an important study released by the Institute for New Economic Thinking two months ago, the Clinton campaign "emphasized candidate and personal issues and avoided policy discussions to a degree without precedent in any previous election for which measurements exist .it stressed candidate qualifications [and] deliberately deemphasized issues in favor of concentrating on what the campaign regarded as [Donald] Trump's obvious personal weaknesses as a candidate."

Strange as it might have seemed, the reality television star and presidential pre-apprentice Donald Trump had a lot more to say about policy than the former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a wonkish Yale Law graduate.

"Courting the Undecideds in Business, not in the Electorate"

What was that about? My first suspicion was that Hillary's policy silence was about the money. It must have reflected her success in building a Wall Street-filled campaign funding war-chest so daunting that she saw little reason to raise capitalist election investor concerns by giving voice to the standard fake-progressive "hope" and "change" campaign and policy rhetoric Democratic presidential contenders typically deploy against their One Percent Republican opponents. Running against what she (wrongly) perceived (along with most election prognosticators) as a doomed and feckless opponent and as the clear preferred candidate of Wall Street and the intimately related U.S foreign policy elite , including many leading Neoconservatives put off by Trump's isolationist and anti-interventionist rhetoric, the "lying neoliberal warmonger" Hillary Clinton arrogantly figured that she could garner enough votes to win without having to ruffle any ruling-class feathers. She would cruise into the White House with no hurt plutocrat feelings simply by playing up the ill-prepared awfulness of her Republican opponent.

If Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Chen (hereafter "JFC") are right, I was on to something but not the whole money and politics story. Smart Wall Street and K Street Democratic Party bankrollers have long understood that Democratic candidates have to cloak their dollar-drenched corporatism in the deceptive campaign discourse of progressive- and even populist-sounding policy promise to win elections. Sophisticated funders get it that the Democratic candidates' need to manipulate the electorate with phony pledges of democratic transformation. The big money backers know it's "just politics" on the part of candidates who can be trusted to serve elite interests (like Bill Clinton 1993-2001 and Barack Obama 2009-2017 ) after they gain office.

What stopped Hillary from playing the usual game – the "manipulation of populism by elitism" that Christopher Hitchens once called "the essence of American politics" – in 2016, a year when the electorate was in a particularly angry and populist mood? FJC's study is titled " Industrial Structure and Party Competition in an Age of Hunger Games : Donald Trump and the 2016 Presidential Election." It performs heroic empirical work with difficult campaign finance data to show that Hillary's campaign funding success went beyond her party's usual corporate and financial backers to include normally Republican-affiliated capitalist sectors less disposed than their more liberal counterparts to abide the standard progressive-sounding policy rhetoric of Democratic Party candidates. FJC hypothesize that (along with the determination that Trump was too weak to be taken all that seriously) Hillary's desire get and keep on board normally Republican election investors led her to keep quiet on issues and policy concerns that mattered to everyday people. As FJC note:

"Trump trailed well behind Clinton in contributions from defense and aerospace – a lack of support extraordinary for a Republican presidential hopeful late in the race. For Clinton's campaign the temptation was irresistible: Over time it slipped into a variant of the strategy [Democrat] Lyndon Johnson pursued in 1964 in the face of another [Republican] candidate [Barry Goldwater] who seemed too far out of the mainstream to win: Go for a grand coalition with most of big business . one fateful consequence of trying to appeal to so many conservative business interests was strategic silence about most important matters of public policy. Given the candidate's steady lead in the polls, there seemed to be no point to rocking the boat with any more policy pronouncements than necessary . Misgivings of major contributors who worried that the Clinton campaign message lacked real attractions for ordinary Americans were rebuffed. The campaign sought to capitalize on the angst within business by vigorously courting the doubtful and undecideds there, not in the electorate " (emphasis added). Hillary Happened

FJC may well be right that a wish not to antagonize off right-wing campaign funders is what led Hillary to muzzle herself on important policy matters, but who really knows? An alternative theory I would not rule out is that Mrs. Clinton's own deep inner conservatism was sufficient to spark her to gladly dispense with the usual progressive-sounding campaign boilerplate. Since FJC bring up the Johnson-Goldwater election, it is perhaps worth mentioning that 18-year old Hillary was a "Goldwater Girl" who worked for the arch-reactionary Republican presidential candidate in 1964. Asked about that episode on National Public Radio (NPR) in 1996 , then First Lady Hillary said "That's right. And I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with. I don't recognize this new brand of Republicanism that is afoot now, which I consider to be very reactionary, not conservative in many respects. I am very proud that I was a Goldwater girl."

It was a revealing reflection. The right-wing Democrat Hillary acknowledged that her ideological world view was still rooted in the conservatism of her family of origin. Her problem with the reactionary Republicanism afoot in the U.S. during the middle 1990s was that it was "not conservative in many respects." Her problem with the far-right Republican Congressional leaders Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay was that they were betraying true conservatism – "the conservatism [Hillary] was raised with." This was worse even than the language of the Democratic Leadership Conference (DLC) – the right-wing Eisenhower Republican (at leftmost) tendency that worked to push the Democratic Party further to the Big Business-friendly right and away from its working-class and progressive base.

Of course, Bill and Hillary helped trail-blaze that plutocratic "New Democrat" turn in Arkansas during the late 1970s and 1980s. The rest, as they say, was history – an ugly corporate-neoliberal, imperial, and racist history that I and others have written about at great length. (I cannot reprise here the voluminous details of Mrs. Clinton's longstanding alignment with the corporate, financial, and imperial agendas of the rich and powerful. Two short and highly readable volumes are Doug Henwood, My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency [OR Books, 2015]; Diana Johnstone, Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton [CounterPunch Books, 2015]. On the stealth, virulent racism of the Clintons in power, see Elaine Brown's classic volume The Condemnation of Little B: New Age Racism in America [2003].)

What happened? Horrid corporate Hillary happened. And she's still happening. The "lying neoliberal warmonger" recently went to India to double down on her "progressive neoliberal" contempt for the "basket of deplorables" (more on that phrase below) that considers poor stupid and backwards middle America to be by saying this : "If you look at the map of the United States, there's all that red in the middle where Trump won. I win the coasts. But what the map doesn't show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America's gross domestic product (GDP). So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward" (emphasis added).

That was Hillary Goldman Sachs-Council on Foreign Relations-Clinton saying "go to Hell" to working- and middle-class people in Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, and West Virginia. It was a raised middle and oligarchic finger from a super-wealthy arch-global-corporatist to all the supposedly pessimistic, slow-witted, and retrograde losers stuck between those glorious enclaves (led by Wall Street, Yale, and Harvard on the East coast and Silicon Valley and Hollywood on the West coast) of human progress and variety (and GDP!) on the imperial shorelines. Senate Minority Leader Dick Durbin had to go on television to say that Hillary was "wrong" to write off most of the nation as a festering cesspool of pathetic, ass-backwards, lottery-playing, and opioid-addicted white-trash has-beens. It's hard for the Inauthentic Opposition Party (as the late Sheldon Wolin reasonably called the Democrats ) to pose as an authentic opposition party when its' last big-money presidential candidate goes off-fake-progressive script with an openly elitist rant like that.

Historic Mistakes

Whatever the source of her strange policy silence in the 2016 campaign, that hush was "a miscalculation of historic proportion" (FJC). It was a critical mistake given what Ferguson and his colleagues call the "Hunger Games" misery and insecurity imposed on tens of millions of ordinary working- and middle-class middle-Americans by decades of neoliberal capitalist austerity , deeply exacerbated by the Wall Street-instigated Great Recession and the weak Obama recovery. The electorate was in a populist, anti-establishment mood – hardly a state of mind favorable to a wooden, richly globalist, Goldman-gilded candidate, a long-time Washington-Wall Street establishment ("swamp") creature like Hillary Clinton.

In the end, FJC note, the billionaire Trump's ironic, fake-populist "outreach to blue collar workers" would help him win "more than half of all voters with a high school education or less (including 61% of white women with no college), almost two thirds of those who believed life for the next generation of Americans would be worse than now, and seventy-seven percent of voters who reported their personal financial situation had worsened since four years ago."

Trump's popularity with "heartland" rural and working-class whites even provoked Hillary into a major campaign mistake: getting caught on video telling elite Manhattan election investors that half of Trump's supporters were a "basket of deplorables." There was a hauntingly strong parallel between Wall Street Hillary's "deplorables" blooper and the super-rich Republican candidate Mitt Romney's infamous 2012 gaffe : telling his own affluent backers saying that 47% of the population were a bunch of lazy welfare cheats. This time, though, it was the Democrat – with a campaign finance profile closer to Romney's than Obama's in 2012 – and not the Republican making the ugly plutocratic and establishment faux pas .

"A Frontal Assault on the American Establishment"

Still, Trump's success was no less tied to big money than was Hillary's failure. Candidate Trump ran strangely outside the longstanding neoliberal Washington Consensus, as an economic nationalist and isolationist. His raucous rallies were laced with dripping denunciations of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, and globalization, mockery of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, rejection of the New Cold War with Russia, and pledges of allegiance to the "forgotten" American "working-class." He was no normal Republican One Percent candidate. As FJC explain:

"In 2016 the Republicans nominated yet another super-rich candidate – indeed, someone on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans. Like legions of conservative Republicans before him, he trash-talked Hispanics, immigrants, and women virtually non-stop, though with a verve uniquely his own. He laced his campaign with barely coded racial appeals and in the final days, ran an ad widely denounced as subtly anti-Semitic. But in striking contrast to every other Republican presidential nominee since 1936, he attacked globalization, free trade, international financiers, Wall Street, and even Goldman Sachs. ' Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache . When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians do nothing. For years, they watched on the sidelines as our jobs vanished and our communities were plunged into depression-level unemployment.'"

"In a frontal assault on the American establishment, the Republican standard bearer proclaimed 'America First.' Mocking the Bush administration's appeal to 'weapons of mass destruction' as a pretext for invading Iraq, he broke dramatically with two generations of GOP orthodoxy and spoke out in favor of more cooperation with Russia . He even criticized the 'carried interest' tax break beloved by high finance" (emphasis added).

Big Dark Money and Trump: His Own and Others'

This cost Trump much of the corporate and Wall Street financial support that Republican presidential candidates usually get. The thing was, however, that much of Trump's "populist" rhetoric was popular with a big part of the Republican electorate, thanks to the "Hunger Games" insecurity of the transparently bipartisan New Gilded Age. And Trump's personal fortune permitted him to tap that popular anger while leaping insultingly over the heads of his less wealthy if corporate and Wall Street-backed competitors ("low energy" Jeb Bush and "little Marco" Rubio most notably) in the crowded Republican primary race.

A Republican candidate dependent on the usual elite bankrollers would never have been able to get away with Trump's crowd-pleasing (and CNN and FOX News rating-boosting) antics. Thanks to his own wealth, the faux-populist anti-establishment Trump was ironically inoculated against pre-emption in the Republican primaries by the American campaign finance "wealth primary," which renders electorally unviable candidates who lack vast financial resources or access to them.

Things were different after Trump won the Republican nomination, however. He could no longer go it alone after the primaries. During the Republican National Convention and "then again in the late summer of 2016," FJC show, Trump's "solo campaign had to be rescued by major industries plainly hoping for tariff relief, waves of other billionaires from the far, far right of the already far right Republican Party, and the most disruption-exalting corners of Wall Street." By FJC's account:

"What happened in the final weeks of the campaign was extraordinary. Firstly, a giant wave of dark money poured into Trump's own campaign – one that towered over anything in 2016 or even Mitt Romney's munificently financed 2012 effort – to say nothing of any Russian Facebook experiments [Then] another gigantic wave of money flowed in from alarmed business interests, including the Kochs and their allies Officially the money was for Senate races, but late-stage campaigning for down-ballot offices often spills over on to candidates for the party at large."

"The run up to the Convention brought in substantial new money, including, for the first time, significant contributions from big business. Mining, especially coal mining; Big Pharma (which was certainly worried by tough talk from the Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, about regulating drug prices); tobacco, chemical companies, and oil (including substantial sums from executives at Chevron, Exxon, and many medium sized firms); and telecommunications (notably AT&T, which had a major merge merger pending) all weighed in. Money from executives at the big banks also began streaming in, including Bank of America, J. P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. Parts of Silicon Valley also started coming in from the cold."

"In a harbinger of things to come, additional money came from firms and industries that appear to have been attracted by Trump's talk of tariffs, including steel and companies making machinery of various types [a] vast wave of new money flowed into the campaign from some of America's biggest businesses and most famous investors. Sheldon Adelson and many others in the casino industry delivered in grand style for its old colleague. Adelson now delivered more than $11 million in his own name, while his wife and other employees of his Las Vegas Sands casino gave another $20 million.

Peter Theil contributed more than a million dollars, while large sums also rolled in from other parts of Silicon Valley, including almost two million dollars from executives at Microsoft and just over two million from executives at Cisco Systems. A wave of new money swept in from large private equity firms, the part of Wall Street which had long championed hostile takeovers as a way of disciplining what they mocked as bloated and inefficient 'big business.' Virtual pariahs to main-line firms in the Business Roundtable and the rest of Wall Street, some of these figures had actually gotten their start working with Drexel Burnham Lambert and that firm's dominant partner, Michael Milkin.

Among those were Nelson Peltz and Carl Icahn (who had both contributed to Trump before, but now made much bigger new contributions). In the end, along with oil, chemicals, mining and a handful of other industries, large private equity firms would become one of the few segments of American business – and the only part of Wall Street – where support for Trump was truly heavy the sudden influx of money from private equity and hedge funds clearly began with the Convention but turned into a torrent "

The critical late wave came after Trump moved to rescue his flagging campaign by handing its direction over to the clever, class-attuned, far-right white- and economic- nationalist "populist" and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, who advocated what proved to be a winning, Koch brothers-approved "populist" strategy: appeal to economically and culturally frustrated working- and middle-class whites in key battleground states, where the bloodless neoliberal and professional class centrism and snooty metropolitan multiculturalism of the Obama presidency and Clinton campaign was certain to depress the Democratic "base" vote . Along with the racist voter suppression carried out by Republican state governments (JFC rightly chide Russia-obsessed political reporters and commentators for absurdly ignoring this important factor) and (JFC intriguingly suggest) major anti-union offensives conducted by employers in some battleground states, this major late-season influx of big right-wing political money tilted the election Trump's way.

The Myth of Potent Russian Cyber-Subversion

As FJC show, there is little empirical evidence to support the Clinton and corporate Democrats' self-interested and diversionary efforts to explain Mrs. Clinton's epic fail and Trump's jaw-dropping upset victory as the result of (i) Russian interference, (ii), then FBI Director James Comey's October Surprise revelation that his agency was not done investigating Hillary's emails, and/or (iii) some imagined big wave of white working-class racism, nativism, and sexism brought to the surface by the noxious Orange Hulk. The impacts of both (i) and (ii) were infinitesimal in comparison to the role that big campaign money played both in silencing Hillary and funding Trump.

The blame-the-deplorable-racist-white-working-class narrative is belied by basic underlying continuities in white working class voting patterns. As FJC note: " Neither turnout nor the partisan division of the vote at any level looks all that different from other recent elections 2016's alterations in voting behavior are so minute that the pattern is only barely differentiated from 2012." It was about the money – the big establishment money that the Clinton campaign took (as FJC at least plausibly argue) to recommend policy silence and the different, right-wing big money that approved Trump's comparative right-populist policy boisterousness.

An interesting part of FJC's study (no quick or easy read) takes a close look at the pro-Trump and anti-Hillary Internet activism that the Democrats and their many corporate media allies are so insistently eager to blame on Russia and for Hillary's defeat. FJC find that Russian Internet interventions were of tiny significance compared to those of homegrown U.S. corporate and right-wing cyber forces:

"The real masters of these black arts are American or Anglo-American firms. These compete directly with Silicon Valley and leading advertising firms for programmers and personnel. They rely almost entirely on data purchased from Google, Facebook, or other suppliers, not Russia . American regulators do next to nothing to protect the privacy of voters and citizens, and, as we have shown in several studies, leading telecom firms are major political actors and giant political contributors. As a result, data on the habits and preferences of individual internet users are commercially available in astounding detail and quantities for relatively modest prices – even details of individual credit card purchases. The American giants for sure harbor abundant data on the constellation of bots, I.P. addresses, and messages that streamed to the electorate "

" stories hyping 'the sophistication of an influence campaign slickly crafted to mimic and infiltrate U.S. political discourse while also seeking to heighten tensions between groups already wary of one another by the Russians miss the mark.' By 2016, the Republican right had developed internet outreach and political advertising into a fine art and on a massive scale quite on its own. Large numbers of conservative websites, including many that that tolerated or actively encouraged white supremacy and contempt for immigrants, African-Americans, Hispanics, Jews, or the aspirations of women had been hard at work for years stoking up 'tensions between groups already wary of one another.' Breitbart and other organizations were in fact going global, opening offices abroad and establishing contacts with like-minded groups elsewhere. Whatever the Russians were up to, they could hardly hope to add much value to the vast Made in America bombardment already underway. Nobody sows chaos like Breitbart or the Drudge Report ."

" the evidence revealed thus far does not support strong claims about the likely success of Russian efforts, though of course the public outrage at outside meddling is easy to understand. The speculative character of many accounts even in the mainstream media is obvious. Several, such as widely circulated declaration by the Department of Homeland Security that 21 state election systems had been hacked during the election, have collapsed within days of being put forward when state electoral officials strongly disputed them, though some mainstream press accounts continue to repeat them. Other tales about Macedonian troll factories churning out stories at the instigation of the Kremlin, are clearly exaggerated."

The Sanders Tease: "He Couldn't Have Done a Thing"

Perhaps the most remarkable finding in FJC's study is that Sanders came tantalizingly close to winning the Democratic presidential nomination against the corporately super-funded Clinton campaign with no support from Big Business . Running explicitly against the "Hunger Games" economy and the corporate-financial plutocracy that created it, Sanders pushed Hillary the Goldman candidate to the wall, calling out the Democrats' capture by Wall Street, forcing her to rely on a rigged party, convention, and primary system to defeat him. The small-donor "socialist" Sanders challenge represented something Ferguson and his colleagues describe as "without precedent in American politics not just since the New Deal, but across virtually the whole of American history a major presidential candidate waging a strong, highly competitive campaign whose support from big business is essentially zero ."

Sanders pulled this off, FJC might have added, by running in (imagine) accord with majority-progressive left-of-center U.S. public opinion. But for the Clintons' corrupt advance- control of the Democratic National Committee and convention delegates, Ferguson et al might further have noted, Sanders might well have been the Democratic presidential nominee, curiously enough in the arch-state-capitalist and oligarchic United States

Could Sanders have defeated the billionaire and right-wing billionaire-backed Trump in the general election? There's no way to know, of course. Sanders consistently out-performed Hillary Clinton in one-on-one match -up polls vis a vis Donald Trump during the primary season, but much of the big money (and, perhaps much of the corporate media) that backed Hillary would have gone over to Trump had the supposedly "radical" Sanders been the Democratic nominee.

Even if Sanders has been elected president, moreover, Noam Chomsky is certainly correct in his recent judgement that Sanders would have been able to achieve very little in the White House. As Chomsky told Lynn Parramore two weeks ago, in an interview conducted for the Institute for New Economic Thinking, the same think-tank that published FJC's remarkable study:

"His campaign [was] a break with over a century of American political history. No corporate support, no financial wealth, he was unknown, no media support. The media simply either ignored or denigrated him. And he came pretty close -- he probably could have won the nomination, maybe the election. But suppose he'd been elected? He couldn't have done a thing. Nobody in Congress, no governors, no legislatures, none of the big economic powers, which have an enormous effect on policy. All opposed to him. In order for him to do anything, he would have to have a substantial, functioning party apparatus, which would have to grow from the grass roots. It would have to be locally organized, it would have to operate at local levels, state levels, Congress, the bureaucracy -- you have to build the whole system from the bottom."

As Chomsky might have added, Sanders oligarchy-imposed "failures" would have been great fodder for the disparagement and smearing of "socialism" and progressive, majority-backed policy change. "See? We tried all that and it was a disaster!"

I would note further that the Sanders phenomenon's policy promise was plagued by its standard bearer's persistent loyalty to the giant and absurdly expensive U.S.-imperial Pentagon System, which each year eats up hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars required to implement the progressive, majority-supported policy agenda that Bernie F-35 Sanders ran on.

"A Very Destructive Ideology"

The Sanders challenge was equally afflicted by its candidate-centered electoralism. This diverted energy away from the real and more urgent politics of building people's movements – grassroots power to shake the society to its foundations and change policy from the bottom up (Dr. Martin Luther King's preferred strategy at the end of his life just barely short of 50 years ago, on April 4 th , 1968) – and into the narrow, rigidly time-staggered grooves of a party and spectacle-elections crafted by and for the wealthy Few and the American Oligarchy 's "permanent political class" (historian Ron Formisano). As Chomsky explained on the eve of the 2004 elections:

"Americans may be encouraged to vote, but not to participate more meaningfully in the political arena. Essentially the election is a method of marginalizing the population. A huge propaganda campaign is mounted to get people to focus on these personalized quadrennial extravaganzas and to think, 'That's politics.' But it isn't. It's only a small part of politics The urgency is for popular progressive groups to grow and become strong enough so that centers of power can't ignore them. Forces for change that have come up from the grass roots and shaken the society to its core include the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the peace movement, the women's movement and others, cultivated by steady, dedicated work at all levels, every day, not just once every four years sensible [electoral] choices have to be made. But they are secondary to serious political action."

"The only thing that's going to ever bring about any meaningful change," Chomsky told Abby Martin on teleSur English in the fall of 2015, "is ongoing, dedicated, popular movements that don't pay attention to the election cycle." Under the American religion of voting, Chomsky told Dan Falcone and Saul Isaacson in the spring of 2016, "Citizenship means every four years you put a mark somewhere and you go home and let other guys run the world. It's a very destructive ideology basically, a way of making people passive, submissive objects [we] ought to teach kids that elections take place but that's not politics."

For all his talk of standing atop a great "movement" for "revolution," Sanders was and remains all about this stunted and crippling definition of citizenship and politics as making some marks on ballots and then returning to our domiciles while rich people and their agents (not just any "other guys") "run [ruin?-P.S.] the world [into the ground-P.S.]."

It will take much more in the way of Dr. King's politics of "who' sitting in the streets," not "who's sitting in the White House" (to use Howard Zinn's excellent dichotomy ), to get us an elections and party system worthy of passionate citizen engagement. We don't have such a system in the U.S. today, which is why the number of eligible voters who passively boycotted the 2016 presidential election is larger than both the number who voted for big money Hillary and the number who voted for big money Trump.

(If U.S. progressives really want to consider undertaking the epic lift involved in passing a U.S. Constitutional Amendment, they might want to focus on this instead of calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment. I'd recommend starting with a positive Democracy Amendment that fundamentally overhauls the nation's political and elections set-up in accord with elementary principles and practices of popular sovereignty. Clauses would include but not be limited to full public financing of elections and the introduction of proportional representation for legislative races – not to mention the abolition of the Electoral College, Senate apportionment on the basis of total state population, and the outlawing of gerrymandering.)

Ecocide Trumped by Russia

Meanwhile, back in real history, we have the remarkable continuation of a bizarre right-wing, pre-fascist presidency not in normal ruling-class hands, subject to the weird whims and tweets of a malignant narcissist who doesn't read memorandums or intelligence briefings. Wild policy zig-zags and record-setting White House personnel turnover are par for the course under the dodgy reign of the orange-tinted beast's latest brain spasms. Orange Caligula spends his mornings getting his information from FOX News and his evenings complaining to and seeking advice from a small club of right-wing American oligarchs.

Trump poses grave environmental and nuclear risks to human survival. A consistent Trump belief is that climate change is not a problem and that it's perfectly fine – "great" and "amazing," in fact – for the White House to do everything it can to escalate the Greenhouse Gassing-to-Death of Life on Earth. The nuclear threat is rising now that he has appointed a frothing right-wing uber-warmonger – a longtime advocate of bombing Iran and North Korea who led the charge for the arch-criminal U.S. invasion of Iraq – as his top "National Security" adviser and as he been convinced to expel dozens of Russian diplomats. Thanks, liberal and other Democratic Party RussiaGaters!

The Clinton-Obama neoliberal Democrats have spent more than a year running with the preposterous narrative that Trump is a Kremlin puppet who owes his presence in the White House to Russia's subversion of our democratic elections. The climate crisis holds little for the Trump and Russia-obsessed corporate media. The fact that the world stands at the eve of the ecological self-destruction, with the Trump White House in the lead, elicits barely a whisper in the reigning commercial news media. Unlike Stormy Daniels, for example, that little story – the biggest issue of our or any time – is not good for television ratings and newspaper sales.

Sanders, by the way, is curiously invisible in the dominant commercial media, despite his quiet survey status as the nation's "most popular politician." That is precisely what you would expect in a corporate and financial oligarchy buttressed by a powerful corporate, so-called "mainstream" media oligopoly.

Political Parties as "Bank Accounts"

One of the many problems with the obsessive Blame-Russia narrative that a fair portion of the dominant U.S. media is running with is that we had no great electoral democracy to subvert in 2016 . Saying that Russia has "undermined [U.S.-] American democracy" is like me – middle-aged, five-foot nine, and unblessed with jumping ability – saying that the Brooklyn Nets' Russian-born center Timofy Mozgof subverted my career as a starting player in the National Basketball Association. In state-capitalist societies marked by the toxic and interrelated combination of weak popular organization, expensive politics, and highly concentrated wealth – all highly evident in the New Gilded Age United States – electoral contests and outcomes boil down above all and in the end to big investor class cash. As Thomas Ferguson and his colleagues explain:

"Where investment and organization by average citizens is weak, however, power passes by default to major investor groups, which can far more easily bear the costs of contending for control of the state. In most modern market-dominated societies (those celebrated recently as enjoying the 'end of History'), levels of effective popular organization are generally low, while the costs of political action, in terms of both information and transactional obstacles, are high. The result is that conflicts within the business community normally dominate contests within and between political parties – the exact opposite of what many earlier social theorists expected, who imagined 'business' and 'labor' confronting each other in separate parties Only candidates and positions that can be financed can be presented to voters. As a result, in countries like the US and, increasingly, Western Europe, political parties are first of all bank accounts . With certain qualifications, one must pay to play. Understanding any given election, therefore, requires a financial X-ray of the power blocs that dominate the major parties, with both inter- and intra- industrial analysis of their constituent elements."

Here Ferguson might have said "corporate-dominated" instead of "market-dominated" for the modern managerial corporations emerged as the "visible hand" master of the "free market" more than a century ago.

We get to vote? Big deal.

People get to vote in Rwanda, Russia, the Congo and countless other autocratic states as well. Elections alone are no guarantee of democracy, as U.S. policymakers and pundits know very well when they rip on rigged elections (often fixed with the assistance of U.S. government and private-sector agents and firms) in countries they don't like, which includes any country that dares to "question the basic principle that the United States effectively owns the world by right and is by definition a force for good" ( Chomsky, 2016 ).

Majority opinion is regularly trumped by a deadly complex of forces in the U.S. The list of interrelated and mutually reinforcing culprits behind this oligarchic defeat of popular sentiment in the U.S. is extensive. It includes but is not limited to: the campaign finance, candidate-selection, lobbying, and policy agenda-setting power of wealthy individuals, corporations, and interest groups; the special primary election influence of full-time party activists; the disproportionately affluent, white, and older composition of the active (voting) electorate; the manipulation of voter turnout; the widespread dissemination of false, confusing, distracting, and misleading information; absurdly and explicitly unrepresentative political institutions like the Electoral College, the unelected Supreme Court, the over-representation of the predominantly white rural population in the U.S. Senate; one-party rule in the House of "Representatives"; the fragmentation of authority in government; and corporate ownership of the reigning media, which frames current events in accord with the wishes and world view of the nation's real owners.

Yes, we get to vote. Super. Big deal. Mammon reigns nonetheless in the United States, where, as the leading liberal political scientists Benjamin Page and Martin Gilens find , "government policy reflects the wishes of those with money, not the wishes of the millions of ordinary citizens who turn out every two years to choose among the preapproved, money-vetted candidates for federal office."

Trump is a bit of an anomaly – a sign of an elections and party system in crisis and an empire in decline. He wasn't pre-approved or vetted by the usual U.S. " deep state " corporate, financial, and imperial gatekeepers. The ruling-class had been trying to figure out what the Hell to do with him ever since he shocked even himself (though not Steve Bannon) by pre-empting the coronation of the "Queen of Chaos."

He is a homegrown capitalist oligarch nonetheless, a real estate mogul of vast and parasitic wealth who is no more likely to fulfill his populist-sounding campaign pledges than any previous POTUS of the neoliberal era.

His lethally racist, sexist, nativist, nuclear-weapons-brandishing, and (last but not at all least) eco-cidal rise to the nominal CEO position atop the U.S.-imperial oligarchy is no less a reflection of the dominant role of big U.S. capitalist money and homegrown plutocracy in U.S. politics than a more classically establishment Hillary ascendancy would have been. It's got little to do with Russia, Russia, Russia – the great diversion that fills U.S. political airwaves and newsprint as the world careens ever closer to oligarchy-imposed geocide and to a thermonuclear conflagration that the RussiaGate gambit is recklessly encouraging.

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Paul Street's latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014)

[Mar 27, 2018] Brzezinski's Heritage West Wants Total Partition and Defeat of Russia

Notable quotes:
"... The views and opinions expressed by Srdja Trifkovic are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik. ..."
Mar 03, 2018 | sputniknews.com
1 5 0 On Monday, a number of European countries, as well as the United States and Canada, announced they were expelling Russian diplomats over the Skripal case. Radio Sputnik discussed the significance of the diplomatic response by the Western powers with Srdja Trifkovic, a US journalist and writer on international affairs. Sputnik: What is your overall assessment about what has happened with this diplomatic response by so many countries? How significant is it?

Srdja Trifkovic: The overall impression is that rational discourse has given way to collective hysteria and that it is indeed remarkable. The extent to which the bandwagon has successfully started rolling while we don't even have elementary answers to the questions concerning the case itself.

The second important and discouraging aspect is that continental European countries have followed the Anglo-American lead in Russophobia and this represents a further trial of the Atlanticist domination over Europe. It is indeed remarkable when both Germany and France, the putative leaders of independent European foreign policy, have been reduced to the status of automatic followers of the lead supported by Washington especially when we bear in mind that the initial round of sanctions in 2014 against Russia was dictated by the United States which had nothing to lose in the proceedings and to the detriments of Europeans' interests.

So overall I think that, one we have the hysterical phase of Russophobic discourse in the West which is not amenable to any rational arguments and two, we have a successful degradation of European diplomacy to the status of pliant satellites comparable to East Germany and Bulgaria vis-à-vis Brezhnev.

Sputnik: Do you think there was some classified evidence that was presented that proves beyond a shadow of doubt that Russia was involved or do you think that the fact that there are 11 countries who have not joined in the protest perhaps hints at the fact that this was not the case?

Srdja Trifkovic: Well, first of all, I would say that President Putin, Foreign Minister Lavrov and others would not have made such categorical denials of Russian involvement if there was any possibility of a smoking gun which could effectively show to the world that they were not telling the truth.

And secondly, it is always possible to present some equivocal evidence in the form that even if that indicates the modus operandi of intelligence agencies nevertheless does not disclose outright state secrets. In fact, we've seen that in the past and I don't think that it would be possible for such confidential information to be disclosed to the diplomats and foreign ministers of EU countries as divergent as the 27 are, without risking these very sources.

So I really believe that if you look at the countries which have taken measures against Russia, they almost read like who is who of those who are prepared to follow the US lead and if you look at those reluctant to do so, including Austria, Hungary, Cyprus, Greece, we are looking at those who actually have a more independent foreign policy. So I don't think it's a reflection of the quality of possible intelligence, it is simply a reflection of the determination of decision-makers of those countries to preserve a modicum of independence.

Sputnik: What would you say about the level to which the actions that were actually taken by individual countries? What can you say about the numbers game that's being played? What do you think determined the number of diplomats?

Srdja Trifkovic: Some of these countries are absolutely insignificant countries like the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which also expelled one Russian and it's just a pathetic non country. On the other hand in the United States obviously it is a matter of regret that President Trump's initially stated intention to have detente with Russia has been subverted by the deep state, it is a long story but now we have really reached the end of the road with the appointment of Pompeo to State Department and Bolton as the national security adviser.

So we can really look at Trump as the would-be drainer of the swamp who has been swallowed by the swamp. And I think that we are in for a long haul. I was in Moscow two weeks ago and coming again next week and sometimes I am surprised that some of my Russian interlocutors are insufficiently aware of the animosity or end of the rule Russophobic sentiment that currently prevails among the Western elites, both political and academic and media. It's almost pathetic when some Russians still use the term "our Western partners," because for partnership you need to have a modicum of mutual respect and trust and these people really seriously want to destroy Russia.

They want to delegitimize the Russian political system and process as we have seen with the public commentary on President Putin's re-election and they want nothing short of regime change, which would then lead to a permanent and irreversible change of Russia's national character and possibly the country's partition along the lines allocated by Zbigniew Brzezinski. With these people partnership is impossible and Russia needs to be prepared for a long and sustained period of confrontation .

The views and opinions expressed by Srdja Trifkovic are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

[Mar 27, 2018] West pushing anti-Russia conspiracy theories for achieving political economic advantage

Notable quotes:
"... "should go away and shut up;" ..."
"... "[Sergei Skripal] was handed in to Britain as a result of an exchange. So, why should Russia hand in a man that is of any importance or that is of any value? It's unimaginable. If he's handed in – so Russia quits with him. He's of zero value or zero importance," ..."
"... "America stands ready to help Poland and other European nations diversify their energy supplies so that you can never be held hostage to a single supplier," ..."
"... "If we want to have the United States' LNG supplies in Central Europe, we also want to see the United States getting tough on Nord Stream 2, which means getting tough on Russia," ..."
"... "getting tough on Russia." ..."
"... "The draft law makes clear that they're pursuing economic interests and we think that's not acceptable," ..."
"... "Aggressively combining foreign policy issues with American economic interests and saying: 'We want to drive Russian gas out of the European market so we can sell American gas there is definitely not something we can accept.'" ..."
"... "We are determined to maintain open channels of dialogue with Russia," ..."
Mar 27, 2018 | www.rt.com

Once again, the West has tossed out the democratic baby with the bath water, scapegoating Russia for a mysterious crime on UK territory without a shred of evidence. To understand why, just follow the money. Any hope that Western capitals would come to their democratic senses and demand that PM Theresa May provide some proof that Russia was behind an alleged assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal, a former Russian intelligence officer turned British spy, were dashed on Monday. Sixteen EU states fell in lockstep behind the US and UK, taking the dramatic measure of banishing Russian diplomats.

Breaking: US to expel 48 Russian embassy workers in Washington, D.C. and 12 at the Russian mission to the U.N. U.S. says they were intel officers using diplo status as cover. pic.twitter.com/mRuwY8Tes6

-- Patrick Tucker (@DefTechPat) March 26, 2018

Meanwhile, back in the land of the free, Trump enthusiastically joined the inquisition, saying he would expel 60 Russian diplomats 'personae non grata,' and shut down the Seattle consulate. Good to see that the American leader practices cool-headed moderation in times of uncertainty.

Short of an actual military conflict with Russia, it would be hard to imagine the situation getting any worse. Most worrisome is the peddling of pulp-fiction conspiracy theories against Russia, which compels Western officials to compensate for their wild imaginations with hysterical, inflammatory outbursts that border on sheer madness.

How else to explain the comment by UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson, who spoke like a kid at the playground when he said Russia "should go away and shut up;" or that of Boris Johnson, the British foreign minister, who had the audacity and historical ignorance to compare Russia's hosting of this year's World Cup to the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany.

So, what is motivating self-satisfied Western countries, like the US and Britain, to forward such slanderous claims against Russia without a hint of legal due process? After all, it cannot be denied that Russia would have stood to gain nothing from targeting Skripal.

"[Sergei Skripal] was handed in to Britain as a result of an exchange. So, why should Russia hand in a man that is of any importance or that is of any value? It's unimaginable. If he's handed in – so Russia quits with him. He's of zero value or zero importance," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in an exclusive interview with RT.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/7ATdRpvQKvI

When we ask the question, 'Cui bono' – who stands to benefit the most from an assassination attempt on a man of absolutely no consequence to Moscow – the most credible answer always comes back to 'Russia's accusers.'

Follow the money

Since Washington has taken by far the severest steps against Russia over the Skripal fallout, it would be fair to ask if the US stands to gain anything from the wave of Russophobia now sweeping the West, which got its start, incidentally, as a direct result of 'Russiagate.'

Against the backdrop of the Skripal scandal are extremely lucrative gas contracts with EU countries that Russia has dutifully fulfilled since the Soviet heydays. Today, Russia supplies about 40 percent of Europe's gas. The US, however, with its fracking-backed liquefied natural gas (LNG) program, is anxious to get a piece of the pie.

In July, Donald Trump paid a visit to Poland, where he pledged to boost exports of LNG to Central Europe, as well as challenge Russia's market on energy supplies.

"America stands ready to help Poland and other European nations diversify their energy supplies so that you can never be held hostage to a single supplier," Trump told reporters after talks with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

The comment was odd since, even at the height of the Cold War, Europe never froze due to its gas being turned off in the middle of the night by Moscow.

Read more © Joshua Roberts Entangling alliances or scoring at home? Why US went out of its way with Russian diplomat expulsions

Marek Matraszek, founder of the lobby firm CEC Government Relations, offered a very disturbing comment about Washington's push to supply LNG to Europe.

"If we want to have the United States' LNG supplies in Central Europe, we also want to see the United States getting tough on Nord Stream 2, which means getting tough on Russia," Matraszek said .

I am very curious to know exactly what Matraszek had in mind when he spoke about "getting tough on Russia." Would he approve of the current bilateral breakdown between the nuclear powers? I certainly hope not.

In light of the massive prospects for gross profit on the European continent, would Western capitals not be tempted – tempted, at the very least – to deny Moscow the benefit of the doubt whenever highly suspicious criminal cases arise, like the present one regarding Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia?

In an effort to slander Russia and push it out of lucrative markets, they may be tempted to milk the situation for all its worth – which is exactly what is happening now. To doubt that possibility would require a deep misunderstanding of the geopolitical realities as they have played out over the course of the last decade, complete with a massive propaganda campaign aimed at everything related to Russia – from the Olympic Games to anti-terrorist operations in Syria to criminal cases in foreign lands.

Meanwhile, as the showdown between the US and Russia over EU gas supplies festers, especially in light of Nord Stream 2, the German-Russia venture that would double direct Russia gas supplies, the ongoing US sanction regime against Russia is beginning to look suspect.

Commenting on Trump's passage in August of brand new sanctions against Russia, then German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel was brave enough to mention the elephant in the room.

"The draft law makes clear that they're pursuing economic interests and we think that's not acceptable," he said .

"Aggressively combining foreign policy issues with American economic interests and saying: 'We want to drive Russian gas out of the European market so we can sell American gas there is definitely not something we can accept.'"

Meanwhile, it is not only in the energy sector where the United States - and to a lesser degree the UK - stands to gain from wrecked relations with Russia, but in the defense sector as well.

The UK regularly ranks as Europe's leading weapons exporter, behind the United States globally, which remains the world's leading arms exporter. Much of the expenditure comes from NATO member states, which were just put on notice by Trump to keep their military spending at 2 percent of GDP, at the very same time Washington was going out of its way to portray Russia as a belligerent nation, when it has been the West that has been hell-bent on fomenting regime change around the world. Now that's certainly an interesting sales strategy.

Romanian Prime Minister @VioricaDancila said that the government decisions to purchase #HIMARS missile systems and multirole corvettes were important steps in improving the capability of the Romanian armed forces as a @NATO and EU member #defence pic.twitter.com/EEYk4Sk5MR

-- Radio Romania International (@RRInternational) February 15, 2018

Can this propaganda campaign against Russia work? I believe the answer is no, for many reasons. First, it is not just the Russians who understand that they are being played by major powers in a conspicuous attempt to gain geopolitical and economic advantage.

Thus far, nearly half of the EU's member states have refrained from committing a gesture of "solidarity" with London, deciding not to expel Russian diplomats. Those 'conscientious objectors' are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia.

"We are determined to maintain open channels of dialogue with Russia," Austrian government spokesperson Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal told RIA Novosti.

In many ways, this represents a victory for Russia – albeit a bittersweet one – that London failed to get so many countries on board its anti-Russia juggernaut.

This needs to be emphasized. The majority of the EU countries did not join in this mass expulsion. As for those that did, expulsions were mostly pro forma, undertaken in order to keep the British happy. Why then the wildly disproportionate response from Trump? https://t.co/4FldvIS80W

-- George Szamuely (@GeorgeSzamuely) March 26, 2018

Second, Russia is actively diversifying its economy away from Western markets in preparation for a worse-case scenario. For example, the "$55bn Power of Siberia pipeline will start carrying gas 3,000km to China next year. The company is also spending $13bn on a pipeline to Turkey," the Financial Times reported.

Finally, as Russia understands that they are up against some very dishonest players, the country has made tremendous inroads to producing many of the things it once depended upon imports to have, and we are not just talking about cheese. The Russian authorities have even prepared a backup plan in the event that Russia is terminated from the SWIFT international payment system. Although, of course, Russia would prefer not to have to take such drastic steps, the unfortunate situation in many Western capitals, where otherwise intelligent people are pointing fingers and hurling unfounded accusations at Russia, without critical evidence or due process – once hallmarks of the Western judicial system – make such steps absolutely vital.

All things considered, Russia will survive this storm, as it has done so many other times in the past against far graver enemies, and stronger than ever.

@Robert_Bridge

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Trends: Facebook West pushing anti-Russia conspiracy theories for achieving political & economic advantage Comparing Russia to Nazi Germany is 'disgusting' – Kremlin on Johnson's 'Hitler' remarks

[Mar 24, 2018] Why the UK, the EU and the US Gang-Up on Russia by James Petras

Highly recommended!
For the greater part of a decade the US, the UK and the EU have been carrying out a campaign to undermine and overthrow the Russian government and in particular to oust President Putin. Fundamental issues are at stake including the real possibility of a nuclear war. "
Why do the Western regimes now feel Russia is a greater threat then in the past? Do they believe Russia is more vulnerable to Western threats or attacks? Why do the Western military leaders seek to undermine Russia's defenses? Do the US economic elites believe it is possible to provoke an economic crisis and the demise of President Putin's government? What is the strategic goal of Western policymakers? Why has the UK regime taken the lead in the anti-Russian crusade via the fake toxin accusations at this time?
Notable quotes:
"... For the greater part of a decade the US, the UK and the EU have been carrying out a campaign to undermine and overthrow the Russian government and in particular to oust President Putin. Fundamental issues are at stake including the real possibility of a nuclear war. ..."
"... First and foremost, during the 1990's the US degraded Russia, reducing it to a vassal state, and imposing itself as a unipolar state. ..."
"... Secondly, Western elites pillaged the Russian economy, seizing and laundering hundreds of billions of dollars. ..."
"... Thirdly, the US seized and took control of the Russian electoral process, and secured the fraudulent "election" of Yeltsin. ..."
"... With the collapse of the Yeltsin regime and the election of President Putin, Russia regained its sovereignty, its economy recovered, its armed forces and scientific institutes were rebuilt and strengthened. Poverty was sharply reduced and Western backed gangster capitalists were constrained, jailed or fled mostly to the UK and the US. ..."
"... As the entire US unipolar fantasy dissolved it provoked deep resentment, animosity and a systematic counter-attack. The US's costly and failed war on terror became a dress rehearsal for the economic and ideological war against the Kremlin ..Russia's historical recovery and defeat of Western rollback intensified the ideological and economic war. ..."
"... Russia is not a threat to the West: it is recovering its sovereignty in order to further a multi-polar world. President Putin is not an "aggressor" but he refuses to allow Russia to return to vassalage. ..."
"... The Western regimes recognize that Russia is a threat to their global dominance; they know that Russia is no threat to invade the EU, North America or their vassals. ..."
"... Western regimes believe they can topple Russia via economic warfare including sanctions. In fact Russia has become more self-reliant and has diversified its trading partners, especially China, and even includes Saudi Arabia and other Western allies. ..."
Mar 20, 2018 | unz.com
Originally from: www.globalresearch.ca Prof. James Petras Global Research, March 21, 2018 Region: Europe , Russia and FSU Theme: History , Intelligence , US NATO War Agenda

Introduction

For the greater part of a decade the US, the UK and the EU have been carrying out a campaign to undermine and overthrow the Russian government and in particular to oust President Putin. Fundamental issues are at stake including the real possibility of a nuclear war.

The most recent western propaganda campaign and one of the most virulent is the charge launched by the UK regime of Prime Minister Theresa May . The Brits have claimed that Russian secret agents conspired to poison a former Russian double-agent and his daughter in England , threatening the sovereignty and safety of the British people. No evidence has ever been presented. Instead the UK expelled Russian diplomats and demands harsher sanctions, to increase tensions. The UK and its US and EU patrons are moving toward a break in relations and a military build-up.

A number of fundamental questions arise regarding the origins and growing intensity of this anti-Russian animus.

Why do the Western regimes now feel Russia is a greater threat then in the past? Do they believe Russia is more vulnerable to Western threats or attacks? Why do the Western military leaders seek to undermine Russia's defenses? Do the US economic elites believe it is possible to provoke an economic crisis and the demise of President Putin's government? What is the strategic goal of Western policymakers? Why has the UK regime taken the lead in the anti-Russian crusade via the fake toxin accusations at this time?

This paper is directed at providing key elements to address these questions.

The Historical Context for Western Aggression

Several fundamental historical factors dating back to the 1990's account for the current surge in Western hostility to Russia.

First and foremost, during the 1990's the US degraded Russia, reducing it to a vassal state, and imposing itself as a unipolar state. Secondly, Western elites pillaged the Russian economy, seizing and laundering hundreds of billions of dollars. Wall Street and City of London banks and overseas tax havens were the main beneficiaries Thirdly, the US seized and took control of the Russian electoral process, and secured the fraudulent "election" of Yeltsin. Fourthly, the West degraded Russia's military and scientific institutions and advanced their armed forces to Russia's borders. Fifthly, the West insured that Russia was unable to support its allies and independent governments throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Russia was unable to aid its allies in the Ukraine, Cuba, North Korea, Libya etc.

With the collapse of the Yeltsin regime and the election of President Putin, Russia regained its sovereignty, its economy recovered, its armed forces and scientific institutes were rebuilt and strengthened. Poverty was sharply reduced and Western backed gangster capitalists were constrained, jailed or fled mostly to the UK and the US.

Russia's historic recovery under President Putin and its gradual international influence shattered US pretense to rule over unipolar world. Russia's recovery and control of its economic resources lessened US dominance, especially of its oil and gas fields.

As Russia consolidated its sovereignty and advanced economically, socially, politically and militarily, the West increased its hostility in an effort to roll-back Russia to the Dark Ages of the 1990's. The US launched numerous coups and military intervention and fraudulent elections to surround and isolate Russia . The Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Russian allies in Central Asia were targeted. NATO military bases proliferated.

Russia's economy was targeted : sanctions were directed at its imports and exports. President Putin was subject to a virulent Western media propaganda campaign. US NGO's funded opposition parties and politicians.

As the entire US unipolar fantasy dissolved it provoked deep resentment, animosity and a systematic counter-attack. The US's costly and failed war on terror became a dress rehearsal for the economic and ideological war against the Kremlin ..Russia's historical recovery and defeat of Western rollback intensified the ideological and economic war.

The UK poison plot was concocted to heighten economic tensions and prepare the western public for heightened military confrontations.

Russia is not a threat to the West: it is recovering its sovereignty in order to further a multi-polar world. President Putin is not an "aggressor" but he refuses to allow Russia to return to vassalage.

President Putin is immensely popular in Russia and hated by the US precisely because he is the opposition of Yeltsin -- he has created a flourishing economy; he resists sanctions and defends Russia's borders and allies.

Conclusion

In a summary response to the opening questions.

The Western regimes recognize that Russia is a threat to their global dominance; they know that Russia is no threat to invade the EU, North America or their vassals. Western regimes believe they can topple Russia via economic warfare including sanctions. In fact Russia has become more self-reliant and has diversified its trading partners, especially China, and even includes Saudi Arabia and other Western allies.

The Western propaganda campaign has failed to turn Russian voters against Putin. In the March 19, 2018 Presidential election voter participation increased to 67% . .Vladimir Putin secured a record 77% majority. President Putin is politically stronger than ever.

Russia's display of advanced nuclear and other advanced weaponry has had a major deterrent effect especially among US military leaders, making it clear that Russia is not vulnerable to attack.

The UK has attempted to unify and gain importance with the EU and the US via the launch of its anti-Russia toxic conspiracy. Prime Minister May has failed. Brexit will force the UK to break with the EU.

President Trump will not replace the EU as a substitute trading partner. While the EU and Washington may back the UK crusade against Russia they will pursue their own trade agenda; which do not include the UK.

In a word, the UK, the EU and the US are ganging-up on Russia, for diverse historic and contemporary reasons. The UK exploitation of the anti-Russian conspiracy is a temporary ploy to join the gang but will not change its inevitable global decline and the break-up of the UK.

Russia will remain a global power. It will continue under the leadership of President Putin. The Western powers will divide and bugger their neighbors -- and decide it is their better judgment to accept and work within a multi-polar world.

*

Prof. James Petras is a Research Associate of the CRG.

[Mar 22, 2018] I think that in much of the world The World Cup is a bigger deal than the Olympics. That's why Brits want to undermine it with Skripal affair

Notable quotes:
"... I think that in much of the world The World Cup is a bigger deal than the Olympics. I knew some athletes here in Canada who had their athletic careers ended by our boycott of the 1980 Olympics (after years and years of hard work). I'm surprised western intelligence agencies have not done more to undermine Russia's world cup. They may yet. ..."
"... Outside of North America the World Cup is definitely a much bigger event than the Olympics. ..."
"... I just thought we would see the same nonsense we saw to undermine the Sochi Olympics, this just seems much more than just derogatory media coverage, or officials boycotting attending the event. I was interested to see Professor Richard Sakwa, his book on the Ukraine crisis is probably the best out there, interviewed on RT regarding this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcKQ-4Qqel0 ..."
Mar 22, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

JamesT , 21 March 2018 at 09:48 PM

LondonBob

I think that in much of the world The World Cup is a bigger deal than the Olympics. I knew some athletes here in Canada who had their athletic careers ended by our boycott of the 1980 Olympics (after years and years of hard work). I'm surprised western intelligence agencies have not done more to undermine Russia's world cup. They may yet.

LondonBob -> JamesT ... , 22 March 2018 at 04:24 AM
Outside of North America the World Cup is definitely a much bigger event than the Olympics. I already have my tickets for England v Panama in Nizhny Novgorod, as well as a second round match in Moscow.

I don't care much for the Olympics, although I do like the Winter Olympics. I just thought we would see the same nonsense we saw to undermine the Sochi Olympics, this just seems much more than just derogatory media coverage, or officials boycotting attending the event. I was interested to see Professor Richard Sakwa, his book on the Ukraine crisis is probably the best out there, interviewed on RT regarding this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcKQ-4Qqel0

[Mar 21, 2018] An insane anti-Putin propaganda campaign in the West helped Russian people to learn their lesson: another Yeltsin or Gorbachev in Russia are now highly unlikely. In fact, the West will regret the day Putin is gone.

Mar 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

yurivku , Next New Comment March 21, 2018 at 12:53 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

" As far as we all know now are quite hard times to Russia and to the world as a whole. "

Why do we have these hard times ?
Could it be globalisation, western greed, and western aggression ?

Well, probably it can be more clear for those who are attacking and humiliating Russia in all directions? The West-ZUS-UK

But I think it's just an agony of Empire seeing the world order is about to change. And yes it's "western greed" which have a "western aggression" as a consequence.

The "globalisation" actually IS that world order which the West trying to establish. Russia in all times in all its internal structure was a subject of annexation and submission. But we never agreed and never will do it, until alive. The West is too stupid to get that simple thing to know and leave us to live as we are about to.

[Mar 21, 2018] The coma patients at the service of Her Majesty

Notable quotes:
"... Well, the party lime is pretty different: "Treat Russia Like the Terrorist It Is. Whether the Skripal poisoning can be conclusively pinned on Moscow is beside the point." https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-03-09/u-k-spy-poisoning-treat-russia-like-the-terrorist-it-is ..."
"... The fact that neither Putin personally nor Russia benefits from the death of Skripal is obvious to any sane person. ..."
"... In addition, statements that gas called "Novichok could be made only in Russia is a known lie. This poison was created forty years ago in the USSR, so to have this gas can, at a minimum, all countries of the former Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The inventor of the gas has fled to the US, and the chemical composition of the gas is known and now it can be manufactured it any relatively developed country. ..."
"... It would be possible not to poison Skripal by gas, but simply to strike on the head by the bust of Dzerzhinsky. It would be the same level of evidence, of the guilt of the FSB, the KGB successor of the successor of the VChK. ..."
"... Basically, we have a political elite who needs an enemy to distract their own people from what they are doing and oh, do they miss the Soviet Union. ..."
Mar 21, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com


Tiktaalik, , March 20, 2018 at 5:50 am

Well, the party lime is pretty different: "Treat Russia Like the Terrorist It Is. Whether the Skripal poisoning can be conclusively pinned on Moscow is beside the point." https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-03-09/u-k-spy-poisoning-treat-russia-like-the-terrorist-it-is
James from Durham ,, March 20, 2018 at 8:13 am
I'm a socialist. I don't understand how a conservative is getting this so right! There is a mad rush to judgment and anyone who wants to ask questions is getting accused of being unpatriotic.
rus_programmer ,, March 20, 2018 at 10:11 am
Quite a sensible article. The fact that neither Putin personally nor Russia benefits from the death of Skripal is obvious to any sane person.

In addition, statements that gas called "Novichok could be made only in Russia is a known lie. This poison was created forty years ago in the USSR, so to have this gas can, at a minimum, all countries of the former Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The inventor of the gas has fled to the US, and the chemical composition of the gas is known and now it can be manufactured it any relatively developed country.

It would be possible not to poison Skripal by gas, but simply to strike on the head by the bust of Dzerzhinsky. It would be the same level of evidence, of the guilt of the FSB, the KGB successor of the successor of the VChK.

Serge ,, March 20, 2018 at 11:36 am
At the end of 1980s there was a project started by KGB supposed (1) to detect possible channels of security leakage, and (2) to begin spreading misinformation to potential adversaries. Different names were used to test different security leaks. The name "NOVICHOK" used to identify misinformation given to one of suspects, Vil Mirzayanov who was not chemist but rather a clerk. Very soon this security leakage was detected, and tons of other misinformation supplied to Mirzayanov, who was immediately secretly discharged from access to any real project. Mirzayanov was allowed to publish this fake info in NYT (around 1992-95?), and then to escape from Russia in 1995.

Since that time NATO has spent about $10 billions to develop protection tools against this fake "NOVICHOK"

P.S. The Russian word NOVICHOK stands for "a newbie"; from Russian grammar point of view, there is no chance such word to be assigned to any chemical weapon. It was assigned to Mirzayanov who was "a newbie" to this sort of projects at that time.

mark_be ,, March 20, 2018 at 12:43 pm
Cui bono: every murder of a Russian dissident/defector/oligarch/critical journalist, cannot possibly have happened on Putin's orders or with his tacit approval, because it reflects badly on Russia.

So, we have two possible explanations: some Western intelligence agency is murdering those people, probably without the knowledge of their own government (you'd have think that someone in elected office would have stopped such a programme by now); or the Russian Putin opposition is killing its own people, both in Russia and abroad. If the goal of such an operation is the destabilization of the Putin regime through Western sanctions, it is obviously not working.

You say cui bono, I say Occam's razor. Putin takes out those who might threaten him, raises his popularity, the sanctions are used to cover up his own disastrous economical policies, and in the end nothing changes.

b. ,, March 20, 2018 at 12:58 pm
We *knew* Iraq had no nukes, and we knew that the Bush administration lied, and we knew that "WMD" is the kind of BS we make up when there are no nukes.

Buchanan is not arguing in good faith. What Maine, Tonkin and WMD are about is *lies*, lies in service of criminal acts of aggression, lies to facilitate a premeditated violation of the Constitution as well as international law.

That is frankly a more important issue than the – justified and necessary – doubts regarding the attempted Skripal assassination and the motives behind it.

This is also true of an ongoing campaign employing drones – some controlled by CIA illegal combatants – and kill teams to implement collective punishment and ideological cleansing by means of sustained assassination – based on "signatures" provided by the likes of Google or Booz Allen. The US has no standing to judge the assassination attempts of others, just as our government can no longer meaningfully speak out on aggressive acts of war, collective punishment, and torture. A house divided cannot stand for anything.

Will Harrington ,, March 20, 2018 at 1:19 pm
Emil Bogdan

You say that the burden of proof is on the accused? That works in many parts of the world, but I hope that we here in the US have had a better standard of Justice. The burden of proof falls upon the accuser, in this case Britain. There is no ther standard that America should accept if we are to remain true to American principals. Not that I expect that our current oligarchy will care about principals.

SteveM ,, March 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm
"Cui bono?"

Exactly. Putin's long term strategy is an integrated Pan-Eurasian economic architecture in which Europe would be a major customer segment. That is why the EAEU was stood up by Russia and the BRI stood up by China. With supporting investment platforms like the AIIB to enable the initiatives.

Given that objective, why would Russia/Putin seek to totally wreck its relationship with Europe? More importantly what would be the motive and objectives for Russia to attack Poland and the Baltic Republics – the fear-monger threats du jour? When an overrun of Poland would create 30+ million subversive malcontents that Russia would have to govern, and when there are only minority ethnic Russian populations in the Baltics?

The driving force behind the illogical and incoherent demonization of Russia is the Washington War Party that froths up the political environment with the militarized fear-mongering. Because as Fran Macadam notes, there's Big Money in it. And the Neocon war-monger mouthpieces need some Big Enemies to keep themselves relevant, busy and living very large on the $200K – $600K salaries they collect at the bought off Think Pimp Tanks.

A crazed U.S. foreign policy that has been completely militarized is a train wreck waiting to happen. And us taxpayers will yet again be stuck with the bills to clean up the wreckage.

Will Harrington ,, March 20, 2018 at 1:25 pm
John S

Sovietologists? Now this, more than anything else, explains the reflexive anti-Russia hysteria. Who cares what historians dealing with the twentieth century Soviet Union think about current events? Historians provide useful insight, yes, but that does not mean they are conversant with current events. What you are doing is throwing in a fear laden buzzword. Basically, we have a political elite who needs an enemy to distract their own people from what they are doing and oh, do they miss the Soviet Union.

ScottA ,, March 20, 2018 at 1:53 pm
Our leaders are enthusiastic about being aggressive with the Russians, but the America Empire has a problem attracting enough volunteers to join the military.

For example, the Air Force has a shortage of 2,000 pilots and the Navy has a shortage of mechanics that they need to work on their on their aircraft.

Minnesota Mary ,, March 20, 2018 at 2:39 pm
The U.S. and Britain showed more respect to Joseph Stalin, the Butcher, than it has shown to Putin. The demonization of Putin in all the mainstream media outlets is the tip-off to me that Putin must be a pretty good guy doing some good things for Russia.

"If the world hates you know that it has hated me first. If the world loves you it is because you belong to the world." -- Jesus Christ

Tiktaalik ,, March 20, 2018 at 3:09 pm
>>Given the poison used it means one to two things -- either it was Russian secret services or the Russians have lost control over their poisons. Either one is a nasty thought.

Why? It was presumably created 40 years ago. Pretty much to time for information to spread around.
E.g., Kim's brother was presumably (again) poisoned by VX. Does it mean that it was MI-6? It's a British invention after all.

In any case, this story stinks, pardon for a word pun. A 'military grade agent' and no casualties. How could it be?

>>Why do it? To prove they can. To prove that no matter where you go they can get you -- that there is no safety.

Safety from what? This guy was non-entity, nobody knew him. More importantly, he has been already punished and pardoned, so double no sense.

>>I am sure Gary Kasparov is feeling a bit worried right now and Bill Browder is thinking of moving somewhere new.

Well, I'd suspect that Rodchenko and Khodorkovskiy are more evident sacrificial targets.

>>You ask Cui bono? Who do you think?

Western secret services, non?

EarlyBird ,, March 20, 2018 at 3:52 pm
Pat asks important questions. Unless we ever see the "evidence" to which Boris Johnson refers, or other direct evidence that this hit (and others) in Britain was directed by the Kremlin, it's worth continuing to ask them.

"Who benefits?" Indeed, it could be rogue Russian agents or Western agents attempting to further drive a wedge between the West and Russia.

But it could also be Putin signalling that the Russia which held onto traitorous spies between 2006 and 2010 is over.
It could be him simply trying to show that he can reach people inside the West, a pure flexing of muscle, a warning to future would-be traitors and Western governments. It could be to make America's allies nervous about Putin's relationship with his American puppet, Trumpolini. It could be just Putin sowing chaos and attempting to create discord among Western governments.

Skepticism about the latest pronouncements is valid, but Occam's Razor still applies. If it growls like a Russian bear and kills like a Russian bear

Light Horse Harry ,, March 20, 2018 at 3:58 pm
Who could be so phillistine as to suggest, on the eve of the World Cup, that Premier Andropov's KGB protege', Major Putin, would one day stoop to whacking a traitorous defector from the Party Line ?

The mind is repelled !

Now pass the polonium popcorn.

Tiktaalik ,, March 20, 2018 at 4:47 pm
>>Skepticism about the latest pronouncements is valid, but Occam's Razor still applies. If it growls like a Russian bear and kills like a Russian bear

Occam's Razor, my backside. Some guys from MI-5 tried to kill him like they killed David Kelly and Gareth Williams before. It's as credible as it gets, exactly the same amount of evidence.

Ken Zaretzke ,, March 20, 2018 at 5:00 pm
"But what is missing here is the Kremlin's motive for the crime."

Whereas rogue agents in the CIA or M16 would have a strong motive, by tarnishing the image of Russia and Putin.

sianka ,, March 20, 2018 at 5:28 pm
About the coma patients at the service of Her Majesty http://www.youtube.com/embed/g3CQ_4KEehw
Kuzmich Mar , , March 20, 2018 at 6:15 pm
Russia is guilty always. Russia is guilty in principle. If Russia is innocent, then it is guilty that she is innocent.

[Mar 19, 2018] That it is just too Wile E. Coyote method of poinsoning

"I'm surprised they didn't happen to "find" the assassin's Russian passport lying on the ground next to the victims!"
Mar 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Bemused Observer -> DownWithYogaPants Sun, 03/18/2018 - 11:56 Permalink

Seriously...I think these 'conspiracy theorists' have been watching too many Hollywood movies.

This is what I want to SCREAM every time I hear this shit...Why the HELL would Russia, or anyone else, bother to use such a messy, traceable and complicated method to kill this guy? Especially when there are SO MANY WAYS it could have been done that wouldn't have garnered all the attention, and that would have left no traces? They could have sent someone to shove him in front of a train or something, or staged a 'botched robbery'.

Reminds me of the stupid assassination methods the CIA wanted to use on Castro...poisoning his beard? Really? Well, aside from the fact that it is just too 'Wile E. Coyote' to be taken seriously, did anyone ask, if such an assassin could get close enough to poison his beard, why he wouldn't go with a more dependable method?

Snaffew -> Bemused Observer Sun, 03/18/2018 - 16:43 Permalink

exactly why all the fingerprints of this assassination attempt point to the NSA/CIA. Which is more absurd...their methods or the gullible public?

An Shrubbery -> Bemused Observe r Mon, 03/19/2018 - 01:42 Permalink

+1 for "Wile E. Coyote method" lol

Snaffew -> pawn • Sun, 03/18/2018 - 16:41 Permalink

I blame the wildly dumbed down and complicit media here in the US and in our "allies" abroad. They spit out whatever the government feeds to them without a single ounce of effort to validate the stories they frantically preach to the ignorant public. Damn, I can't believe how many times people will be duped into trillion dollar wars and they still are die hard believers in the ethics and truthfulness of the US gov't. Morons---

dussasr -> Kafir Goyim • Sat, 03/17/2018 - 21:13 Permalink

It makes little sense that Russia would assassinate someone using a technique that would immediately implicate them. I'm surprised they didn't happen to "find" the assassin's Russian passport lying on the ground next to the victims! <

0

lakecity55 -> Kafir Goyim Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:00 Permalink

The only "issue" the Atlanticists can bring up in the "Press" are CWs against the RF and Syria.

It's patently obvious the entire affair is a FF and made up out of a bolt of whole cloth.

The Atlanticists' claims are Pure Bullshit.

((They)) want Russia, and they will kill, lie, cheat and steal to get her back.

WE will pay the price unless they are stopped.

JohannSennefelder -> DaiRR Sun, 03/18/2018 - 07:41 Permalink

I disagree. If a government is going to terminate a spy they don't botch the job by letting him get to a hospital. In Putin's Russia they know how to terminate most efficiently. I may be wrong but this is a pretext for something more aggressive/dangerous.

I got a bad feeling about this situation...

philip88 -> JohannSennefelder Sun, 03/18/2018 - 10:33 Permalink

Me too...

Something big is coming..😱

Griffin -> JohannSennefelder Sun, 03/18/2018 - 13:36 Permalink

It is interesting that the incident took place only 12 km from Porton Down, a government run top secret facility that works on chemicals.

Maybe this was a accident, and the target was supposed to be something that would have had a more powerful impact.

It looks to me that its not entirely impossible that May may end up eating a big slice of humble pi.

lakecity55 -> Griffin Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:02 Permalink

May is not going to like it when she comes out of her Bunker to find all of the UK a smoking nuclear wasteland.

"Shit! There's nobody left to boss around!!"

bh2 -> JohannSennefelder Sun, 03/18/2018 - 16:08 Permalink

Every war begins with a lie.

PeterLong -> DaiRR Sun, 03/18/2018 - 10:47 Permalink

And the proof that this attack ever happened is?

[Mar 19, 2018] Salisbury Hysteria Exposes the Chauvinism and Hypocrisy of British Elites

Notable quotes:
"... Everything they say is true of brexiters is actually far more true of them ..."
Mar 19, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Salisbury Hysteria Exposes the Chauvinism of British Elites Everything they say is true of brexiters is actually far more true of them

Crypto • 2 days ago ,

Nothing I have ever seen in my life is more ludicrous, more absurd and more unjust than this display in parliament.

1691 Crypto 2 days ago ,

Remember the MH17 tragedy. It was worst. The whole western world was screaming Russia/Putin.

[Mar 11, 2018] Reality Check: The Guardian Restarts Push for Regime Change in Russia by Kit

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... This,,,"Russia appears lost, a global menace, a moral vacuum, a far greater threat than it ever was during the cold war." Should be changed to "The Guardian appears lost, a global menace, a moral vacuum, a far greater threat than it ever was during the cold war." ..."
"... The Guardian has consistently propagandised for regime changes inspired by Washington NeoCons, those of Libya, Syria, Ukraine and is ramping up their propaganda machine toward North Korea, Venezuela and now Russia itself having promoted destabilisation on its borders in Ukraine. ..."
"... On top of what I said yesterday, if Russian oligarchs do pull all their money out of Britain, the British economy would crash, it being highly dependent on the services sector (constituting 80% of Britain's GDP in 2016 according to Wikipedia) and the financial services industry in particular. So if all those Russian billions swirling through Britain's financial system are "dodgy", that's because the system itself encouraged those inflows. ..."
"... "Poor little Britain" which actually spends on par with Russia in terms of its military budget, despite the fact that a) it's a much smaller country to defend and is surrounded by water, and b) it's part of NATO with the US as its staunch defender so it really doesn't need a standalone military anyway. ..."
"... From what's emerging now, it seems there simply were no assassins wandering round Salisbury. Instead, it appears Mr Skripal for some reason has a house full of nerve gas, or enough of it at least to take out himself, his daughter and a policeman who inspected the premises. ..."
"... There is one key element that proves that the Russians didn't do it: The Russians aren't so clumsy as to poison over a dozen other people at the same time. ..."
"... The whole piece is an emotionally charged rant, bordering on hysteria, based on a transparent tissue of lies, distortions and absolutely stunning hypocrisy; and this coming from the 'liberal' 'left of centre' Guardian! ..."
Mar 11, 2018 | off-guardian.org

Mark Rice-Oxley, Guardian columnist and the first in line to fight in WWIII.

The alleged poisoning of ex-MI6 agent Sergei Skripal has caused the Russophobic MSM to go into overdrive. Nowhere is the desperation with which the Skripal case has been seized more obvious than the Guardian. Luke Harding is spluttering incoherently about a weapons lab that might not even exist anymore . Simon Jenkins gamely takes up his position as the only rational person left at the Guardian, before being heckled in the comments and dismissed as a contrarian by Michael White on twitter. More and more the media are becoming a home for dangerous, aggressive, confrontational rhetoric that has no place in sensible, adult newspapers.

For example, Mark Rice-Oxley's column in today's Guardian:

Oh, Russia! Even before we point fingers over poison and speculate about secret agents and spy swaps and pub food in Salisbury, one thing has become clear: Russia appears lost, a global menace, a moral vacuum, a far greater threat than it ever was during the cold war.

Read this. It's from a respected "unbiased", liberal news outlet. It is the worst, most partisan political language I have ever heard, more heated and emotionally charged than even the most fraught moments of the Cold War. It is dangerous to the whole planet, and has no place in our media.

If everything he said in the following article were true, if he had nothing but noble intentions and right on his side, this would still be needlessly polarizing and war-like language.

To make it worse, everything he proceeds to say is a complete lie.

Usually we would entitle these pieces "fact checks", but this goes beyond that. This? This is a reality check.

Its agents pop over for murder and shopping

FALSE: There's no proof any of this ever happened. There has been no trial in the Litvinenko case. The "public inquiry" was a farce, with no cross-examination of witnesses, evidence given in secret and anonymous witnesses. All of which contravene British law regarding a fair trial.

even while its crooks use Britain as a 24/7 laundromat for their ill-gotten billions, stolen from compatriots.

TRUE sort of: Russian billionaires do come to London, Paris, and Switzerland to launder their (stolen) money. Rice-Oxley is too busy with his 2 minutes of hate to interrogate this issue. The reason oligarchs launder their money here is that WE let them. Oligarchs have been fleeing Russia for over a decade. Why? Because, in Russia, Putin's government has jailed billionaires for tax evasion and embezzling, stripped them of illegally acquired assets and demanded they pay their taxes. That's why you have wanted criminals like Sergei Pugachev doing interviews with Luke Harding, complaining he's down to his "last 270 million" .

When was the last time a British billionaire was prosecuted for financial crimes? Mega-Corporations owe literally billions in tax , and our government lets them get away with it.

Its digital natives use their skills not for solving Russia's own considerable internal problems but to subvert the prosperous adversaries that it secretly envies.

FALSE: Russiagate is a farce, anyone with an open-mind can see that . The reference to Russians envying the west is childish and insulting. The 13, just thirteen, Russians who were indicted by Mueller have no connection to the Russian government, a nd allegedly campaigned for many candidates , and both for and against Trump. They are a PR firm, nothing more.

It bought a World Cup,

FALSE: The World Cup bids are voted on, and after years and years of investigation the US/UK teams have found so little evidence of corruption in the Russia bid that they simply stopped talking about it. If the FBI had found even the slightest hint of financial malpractice, would we ever have stopped hearing about it?

invaded two neighbours

False: A European Union investigation found that Georgia was to blame for the start of the (very brief, very humiliating) Russo-Georgian war . It lasted a week. That a week-long conflict started by the other side is evidence of "global threat" in a world where Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have happened is beyond hypocritical it is delusional.

Regarding the second "neighbour": Ukraine. Ukraine and Russia are not at war. Ukraine has claimed to have been "invaded" by Russia many times but has never declared war. Why? Because they rely on Russian gas to live, and because they know that if Russia were to ever REALLY invade, the war would last only just a big longer than the Georgian one. The "anti-terrorist operation" in Ukraine was started by the coup government in 2014. Since that time over 10,000 people have died. The vast majority killed by the governments mercenaries and far-right militias many of whom espouse outright fascism .

bombed children to save a butcher in the Middle East.

MISLEADING: The statement is trying to paint Russia/Assad as deliberately targeting children, which is clearly untrue. Russia is operating in Syria in full compliance with international law. Unlike literally everybody else bar Iran. When Russia entered the conflict, at the invitation of the legitimate Syrian government, Jihadists were winning the war. ISIS had huge swathes of territory, al-Qaeda affiliates had strongholds in all of Syria's major cities. Syria was on the brink of collapse. Rice-Oxley is unclear whether or not he thinks this is a good thing.

Today, ISIS is obliterated, Aleppo is free and the war is almost over. Apparently Syria becoming another Libya is preferable to a secular government winning a war against terrorists and US-backed mercenaries.

And now it wants to start a new nuclear arms race.

FALSE: America started the arms race when they pulled out of the anti-ballistic missile treaty. Putin warned at the time it was a dangerous move . America then moved their AEGIS "defense shield" into Eastern Europe . Giving them the possibility of first-strike without retaliation. This is an untennable position for any country. Putin warned, at the time, that Russia would have to respond. They have responded. Mr Rice-Oxley should take this up with Bush and Cheney if he has a problem with it.

And before the whataboutists say, "America does some of that stuff too", that may be true, but just because the US is occasionally awful it doesn't mean that Russia isn't.

MISLEADING: America doesn't do "some of that stuff". No, America aren't "occasionally awful". They do ALL of that stuff, and have been the biggest destructive force on the planet for over 70 years. Since Putin came to power America has carried out aggressive military operations against Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria. They have sanctioned and threatened and carried out coups against North Korea, Ukraine, Iran, Honduras, Venezuela and Cuba. All that time, the US has also claimed the right to extradite and torture foreign nationals with impunity. The war crimes of American forces and agencies are beyond measure and count.

We are so used to American crimes we just don't see them anymore. Imagine Putin, at one his epic four-hour Q&A sessions, off-handedly admitting to torturing people in illegal prison camps . Would we ever hear the end of it?

Even if you cede the utterly false claim that Russia has "invaded two neighbours", the scale of destruction just does not compare.

Invert the scale of destruction and casualties of Georgia and Iraq. Imagine Putin's government had killed 500,000 people in Georgia alone, whilst routinely condemning the US for a week-long war in Iraq that killed less than 600 people. Imagine Russia kidnapped foreign nationals and tortured them, whilst lambasting America's human rights record.

The double-think employed here is literally insane.

Note to Rice-Oxley and his peers, pointing out your near-delusional hypocrisy is not "whataboutism". It's a standard rhetorical appeal to fairness. If you believe the world shouldn't be fair, fine, but don't expect other people not to point out your double standards.

As for poor little Britain, it seems to take this brazen bullying like a whipping boy in the playground who has wet himself. Boycott the World Cup? That'll teach them!

FALSE: Rice-Oxley is trying to paint a picture of false weakness in order to promote calls for action. Britain has been anything but cooperative with Russia. British forces operate illegally in Syria , they arm and train rebels. They refused to let Russian authorities see the evidence in the Litvinenko case, and refused to let Russian lawyers cross-examine witnesses. Britain's attitude to Russia has been needlessly, provocatively antagonistic for years.

Russians have complained that the portrayal of their nation in dramas such as McMafia is cartoonish and unhelpful, a lazy smear casting an entire nation as a ludicrous two-dimensional pantomime villain with a pocketful of poisonous potions .Of course, the vast majority of Russians are indeed misrepresented by such portrayals, because they are largely innocent in these antics.

TRUE: Russians do complain about this, which is entirely justifiable. The western representation of Russians is ignorant and racist almost without exception. It is an effort, just like Rice-Oxley's column, to demonize an entire people and whip up hatred of Russia so that people will support US-UK warmongering.

Most ordinary Russians are in fact also victims of the power system in their country, which requires ideas such as individual comfort, aspiration, dignity, prosperity and hope to be subjugated to the wanton reflexes of the state

FALSE: Putin's government has decreased poverty by over 66% in 17 years . They have increased life-expectancy, decreased crime, and increased public health. Pensions, social security and infrastructure have all been rebuilt. These are not controversial or debated claims. The Guardian published them itself just a few years ago. That is hardly a state where hope and aspiration are put aside.

Why is Russian power like this: cynical, destructive, zero-sum, determined to bring everything down to a base level where everyone thinks the worst of each other and behaves accordingly?

MISLEADING FALLACY: This is simply projection. There is no logical basis for this statement. He is simply employing the old rhetorical trick of asking WHY something exists, as a way of establishing its existence. This allows the (dishonest) author to sell his own agenda as if it solves a riddle. Before you can explain something, you need to establish an explanandum something which requires explaining. This is the basic logical process that our dear author is attempting to circumvent. We don't NEED to explain why Russian power is like this, because he hasn't yet established that it is .

I think there are two reasons. The most powerful political idea in Russia is restoration. A decade of humiliation – economic, social and geopolitical – that followed its rebirth in 1991 became the defining narrative of the new nation.

MISLEADING LANGUAGE: Describing the absolute destruction caused by the fall of the USSR as "rebirth" is an absurd joke. People sold their medals, furniture and keepsakes for food, people froze to death in the streets.

At times, even the continued existence of the Russian Federation appeared under threat.

TRUE: This is true. Russia was in danger of Balkanisation. The possibility of dozens of anarchic microstates, many with access to nuclear weapons, was very real. Most rational people would consider this a bad thing. The achievement of Putin's government in pulling Russia back from the brink should be applauded. Especially when compared with our Western governments who can barely even maintain the functional social security states created by their predecessors. Compare the NHS now with the NHS in 2000, compare Russia's health service now to 17 years ago. Who do you think is really in trouble?

The second reason is that the parlous internal state of Russia – absurdist justice, a threadbare social safety net, a pyramid society in which a very few get very rich and the rest languish – creates moral ambivalence.

PROJECTION: he actually makes this statement without even a hint of irony. The Tory government has killed people by slashing their benefits, and homeless people froze to death during the recent blizzards. The overall trend of British social structure has been down, for decades. Poverty is increasing all the time , food banks are opening and people are increasingly desperate. We are trending down. 20%, one in five British people, now live in poverty .

In that same time, as stated above, Russia's poverty has gone down and down. 13% of Russians live in poverty, almost half the UK rate. In 2014, before we sanctioned Russia, it was only 10%. Even the briefest research would show this. Columnists like Rice-Oxley go out of their way to avoid inconvenient facts.

What is to be done? I wouldn't respond with empty threats, Boris Johnson. No one cares.

Here we come to the centre of the shrubbery maze, up until now the column was just build up. Establishing a "problem" so he can pitch us a "solution".

There are only two weaknesses in this bully's defences. The first is his money. Britain needs to do something about the dodgy Russian billions swilling through its financial system. Make it really hard for Kremlin-connected money to buy football clubs or businesses or establish dodgy limited partnerships; stop oligarchs from raising capital on the London stock exchange. Don't bother with sanctions. Just say: "No thanks, we don't want your business."

FALSE: This shows not even the most basic understanding of the way money works. Money being made in Russia and spent in London is bad fo Russia. Sending billionaires back to Russia would inject money INTO the Russian economy. Either Rice-Oxley is actually a moron, or he is being deliberately dishonest.

What he REALLY means is that we should put pressure on the oligarchs, not to the hurt the Russian economy, but in the hopes the oligarchs will turn on Putin and remove him by undemocratic means.

He is pushing for backdoor regime change. And if you think I'm reading too much into this, then here

The second is public opinion. The imminent presidential election is a foregone conclusion, but the mood in Russia can turn suddenly, as we saw in 1991, 1993 and 2011-2012.

Notice how quickly he dismisses the democratic will of the Russian people. Poor, stupid, "envious" Russians aren't equipped to make their own decisions. We need to step in. "Public opinion" turning means a colour revolution. It means US backed regime change in a nuclear armed super-power. Backed by the cyberwarriors paid to spread Western propaganda online.

Maybe it's time to try some new digital hearts-and-minds operation. In the internet age, Russians have already shown how public opinion can be manipulated. Perhaps our own secret digital marvels can embark on the kind of information counter-offensive to win over the many millions of Russians who share our values. Perhaps they already are.

The hypocrisy is mind-blowing, when I read this paragraph I was dumb-founded. Speechless. For months we've been hearing about how terrible Russia is for allegedly interfering in the American election. Damaging democracy with reporting true news out of context and some well placed memes.

Our response? Our defense of our "values"? Use the armies of online propagandists our governments employ – their existence was reported in the Guardian – in order to undermine, or undo the democratic will of the Russian people. Rice-Oxley is positing this with a straight face.

Russia is such a destabilising threat to "our democratic values", such a moral vacuum, that we must use subterfuge to undermine their elections and remove their popular head of state.

Rice-Oxley wants to push and prod and provoke and antagonise a nuclear armed power that, at worst, is guilty of nothing but playing our game by our rules and winning. He wants to build a case for war with Russia, and he's doing it on bedrock of cynical lies.

It's all incredibly dangerous. Hopefully they'll realise that before it's too late. For all our sakes.


vexarb says March 11, 2018

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Putin's 10 year plan for the future of Russia. Putin is a builder, like Peter the Great. He is a seeker after excellence, like Catherine the Great. If his 10 year plan can achieve the half of what he set out in his recent speech, the name Putin will go down in history with the same sobriquet.

The most important part of Putin's March 1st speech:

https://thesaker.is/the-most-important-part-of-putins-march-1st-speech/

And on the village level, because that's where most of the real work of the world is done, a snippet BTL from Auslander who lives in the Crimea: "the first implications of anti corruption efforts are obvious in our little village. We'll see how it pans out but everyone can, and should, assist in this task. The proof will be in the pudding when The West starts screaming about certain kind, gentle and innocent 'businessmen' who end up counting trees [in Siberia?] for a decade or three."

Jay Q says March 10, 2018
Take a look at this wretched piece in the Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/10/sergei-skripal-case-proved-charge-putin-attempted-murder

I wonder how much longer the general readership over there will cotton on to the pro-war and propaganda agenda of the Guardian and leave it en masse? It's as dishonest as The Sun.

M. says March 10, 2018
"Poor little Britain", with half the population, a much smaller territory ,and being part of the largest military alliance in the world, spends only 10 billions less than Russia in "defense". One of those "defense" strategies included in the budget, one that all those commentators vilifying Russia conveniently ignore, is to blow up weddings, funerals and entire villages with missiles fired from drones. No trial, no public kill list, no record of people killed, no accountability. That is sanctioned, extra-judicial murder of suspects and everyone around them. And these progressive commentators, eager to spread prosperity by any mean, seem to be ok with it.

Update: as I was writing this I noticed that The Guardian has a piece by (of all people!), Simon Jenkins, which, yes, takes for granted that the assassination attempt was carried out by the Russians, but asks if there is a moral difference between that and killing suspects with drone strikes. For that, he has been labeled an useful idiot and "an apologist for attempted mass murder on British soil". Highly amusing if you ask me, but also a terrifying example of how straying if only a little bit from the official line ("yes, the Russians tried to kill this guy, they are the worst, but maybe we should have a look at ourselves and our (kind of) inappropriate tendency to murder everyone we want") has to be punished. There are no ifs or buts while at the two minutes of hate. Now even the pieces that are there to give a semblance of balance have to be torn apart by those liberal, prosperity loving persons that can´t seem to be able to condemn the murder of children at will. Now it is time to express hatred towards Goldstein, I mean, of course, Putin and everything Russia.

Greg Bacon says March 10, 2018
This,,,"Russia appears lost, a global menace, a moral vacuum, a far greater threat than it ever was during the cold war." Should be changed to "The Guardian appears lost, a global menace, a moral vacuum, a far greater threat than it ever was during the cold war."

All suffering from PTDS AKA Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome.

stevehayes13 says March 10, 2018
The Russophobes over at the Guardian (and the rest of the corporate media) would be well advised to review the trial of Julius Streicher at the Nuremberg Tribunal.
Sheila Coombes says March 10, 2018
The Guardian has consistently propagandised for regime changes inspired by Washington NeoCons, those of Libya, Syria, Ukraine and is ramping up their propaganda machine toward North Korea, Venezuela and now Russia itself having promoted destabilisation on its borders in Ukraine.

I find it the ultimate paradox that a publication purporting to be 'liberal' acts so enthusiastically for deadly regime changes from this once Trotskyist but now extreme Right Wing group. There is nothing 'liberal', 'humanitarian', or moral about promotion of deadly regime changes that have destroyed previously peaceful nations and murdered hundreds of thousands in the process. Guardian for the geopolitical goals of the self-declared 'exceptional' Empire, the new 'master race' that of the US.

Big B says March 10, 2018
One final observation on the Skripal case (for now): this stuff is so toxic. We don't know what the stuff is: nevertheless, we know it is so toxic, can only be made by a state, and needs careful expert handling. We know this because every paper and TV channel has by now emphasised that this stuff is so toxic, etc. If we missed the "nerve agents and what they do to you" coverage: we can ascertain for ourselves from the men in the hazmat suits, the this stuff must be so toxic. The Army have now been deployed: on hand after completing the largest CW exercise ever held, 'Toxic Dagger'; they are now employing their specialist skills to carry out "Sensitive Site Operations" because this stuff is you get it by now. In another piece of pure theater: police in hazmat suits were examining the grave of Alexander and Liudmila Skripal because even after a year or more buried underground, you can't be too careful, because this stuff is A woman from the office next to Zizzi was taken ill (maybe she had the risotto con pesce) because even after a week, and next door, traces of this stuff can still be

11 (or 16) people were hospitalised from the effects of 'this stuff': the first attending officer, Nick Bailey, is only just out of ICU and lucky to be alive. The Skripal's are not so lucky: and on "palliative care" according to H de Bretton-Gordon. Yet the eye-witness calling himself 'Jamie Paine' was close enough to get coughed on; and the unnamed passing doctor and nurse that attended the Skripals at the scene, clearing their airways, are all fine (despite being hospitalised). Yet PC Bailey nearly died? Funny that?

When first you practice to deceive: someone in the propaganda department must have noticed this glaring inconsistency. Enter, stage right, former Met Chief Ian (now Lord) Blair (guess who was leading the Met when Litvinenko was poisoned?): to clarify that PC Bailey was contaminated when he was the first officer to enter the Skripal's home – not attend them in Salisbury. This allowed the Torygraph and Fox to speculate that Yulia brought a contaminated present for her father (which she kept in a drawer for a week, because this stuff is so toxic?). The Torygraph's previous spin: that Skripal was poisoned for his contributions to the Pissgate dossier were torpedoed by Orbis (Steele's company). Speaking on Radio 4: after pushing the Buzzfeed "14 other deaths" dodgy dossier; Blair said "So there maybe some clues floating around in here." Yes, clues that you are lying? This is pure theater: only it is more Morecambe and Wise than Shakespeare.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/09/russian-spy-may-have-poisoned-home-police-believe/

DomesticExtremist says March 10, 2018
Theatre indeed.

Check out the report from C4News (mute the sound).

Two guys plodding around in fluorescent breather suits, another couple with gas masks, but behind them firemen in normal uniform and no gas masks and the reporter 20 feet in front, in civvies wih no protective gear at all.

Virulent nerve agent threat? Theatre, and not very convincing at that.

BigB says March 10, 2018
Another day, another story: now the BBC, Torygraph (contradicting its own article above), Wiltshire Police, and Nick Bailey himself all confirmed that he became ill after attending the Skripals. So now we know they are lying: the house story concocted by Blair was a complete fabrication. The "nerve agent" appears to be only selectively toxic!
http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/journalnewsindex/16078868.Police_officer_in_hospital_over_nerve_agent_attack_releases_first_statement/
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/08/russian-spy-poisoning-police-officer-struck-rare-nerve-agent/
flaxgirl says March 10, 2018
It just seems like the so very patronizing nonsense you'd see in a right-wing publication.
Edwige says March 10, 2018
Or the tune you'd hear played on the "mighty wurlitzer".
BigB says March 10, 2018
Flaxgirl: a bit OT, but not too much as this event does not seem to have too much basis in reality: on the question of fabrication the UK Home Office held an event this week – Security and Policing 2018 – where the "Live Demo Area" was sponsored by Crisis Cast. I though you might interested? Are they providing critical incident training: or the critical incidents themselves is a legitimate question after the events in Salisbury?

https://www.securityandpolicing.co.uk/security-policing-live/demo/

As featured on UK Column News (from 22:52.)
https://www.ukcolumn.org/ukcolumn-news/uk-column-news-6th-march-2018

Francis Lee says March 10, 2018
I suppose by now we should be used to the nauseating, self-righteous bluster dished out on a daily basis by the Anglo-Zionist media. The two minutes hate by the flabby 'left' liberals who now have apparently joined forces with the demented US neo-cons in openly baying for a war against Russia. How, exactly did these people expect Russia to react to the abrogation of the ABM agreement, marching NATO right up to Russia's doorstep, staging coups in the Ukraine and Georgia, having the US sixth fleet swanning around in the Black Sea? Of course, Russia reacted as any other self-respecting state would react to such blatant provocations. And this includes the US during the Cuba crisis and its self-proclaimed right to intervene in its sphere of influence – Latin America – and for that matter anywhere else on the planet. And it does so A L'outrance.

But I was foregetting, the Anglo-Zionist axis has a divine mission mandated by the deity to reconfigure the world and bring democracy and freedom to those "Lesser breeds without the Law" (Kipling). Of course, this updated version of 'taking up the white man's burden' by the 'exceptional people' may involve mass murder, mayhem, destruction and chaos, unfortunately necessary in the short(ish) run. But these benighted peoples should realise it is for their own good, and if this means starving to death 500,000 Iraqi children through sanctions, well, it was 'worth it' according to the lovely Madeline Albright. This is the language and methodology of a totalitarian imperialism. As someone has remarked the Anglo-zionist empire is not on the wrong side of history, it is the wrong side of history.

The arrogance, ignorance and crass venality of these people is manifest to the point of parody.

Jen says March 10, 2018
I agree with Mark Rice-Oxley that Russian oligarchs should pull their money out of Britain and return it to Russia to invest in businesses there. That would be the ethical thing for them to do, to fulfill their proper tax obligations and stop using Britain as a tax haven.

I hear that Russia has had another bumper wheat harvest and is now poised to take over from Australia as the major wheat exporter to Egypt and Indonesia, the world's biggest buyers of wheat. So if Russian oligarchs are wondering where to put their money in, wheat production, research into improving wheat yields and the conditions wheat is grown in are just a few areas they can invest in.

Be careful what you wish for, Mr Rice-Oxley – your wish might come true bigger than you realise!

Jen says March 11, 2018
On top of what I said yesterday, if Russian oligarchs do pull all their money out of Britain, the British economy would crash, it being highly dependent on the services sector (constituting 80% of Britain's GDP in 2016 according to Wikipedia) and the financial services industry in particular. So if all those Russian billions swirling through Britain's financial system are "dodgy", that's because the system itself encouraged those inflows.

Who's really "dodgy", Mr Rice-Oxley?

David C. Lee (@worldblee) says March 10, 2018
"Poor little Britain" which actually spends on par with Russia in terms of its military budget, despite the fact that a) it's a much smaller country to defend and is surrounded by water, and b) it's part of NATO with the US as its staunch defender so it really doesn't need a standalone military anyway.
Emily Durron says March 9, 2018
The Guardian are scum. Lying, deceiving, warmongering, hating scum. I would love to parachute them all into East Ghouta.
Fair dinkum says March 9, 2018
"It's them, over there, they are evil. We must stop them. They are coming for us, they will take our children and steal our i phones !!! Arrgh!!!" "I'll have another strong short black thanks"
bevin says March 9, 2018
Their world is falling apart- in Korea and the Middle East the Empire is on the verge of eviction. All the certitudes of yesteryear are dissolving. Even the Turks, who, famously, held the line in Korea when the PLA attacked and the US Eighth Army fled south, are now on the other side. The same Turks who hosted US nuclear armed strategic missiles so openly that the USSR sent missiles of its own to Cuba.
As to the UK, the economy is contracting and the economic infrastructure is cracking up- living standards are plummeting and the only recourse of those responsible for the mess-the officers on the bridge- is propaganda. Like the Empire the British Establishment has been living on the fruits of its own propaganda for so long that, when it is exposed as merely empty bullying, there is nothing left but to resort to more lies in the hope that they will obscure raw and looming reality.

In The Guardian newsroom the water is three feet deep and rising inexorably, the ship is sinking and all hands are required to bail or the screens will go black. There is no time to wait for developments, for investigations to be completed, for evidence- every ounce of strength must be thrown into the defiance of nature, the shocking nakedness of reality.

There is something very significant about the way that simultaneous attacks of impotent russophobic dementia are eating away the brains of the rulers on both sides of the Atlantic.

The game, which has been going the same way for about 500 years, is up. The maritime empire is becoming marginal and the force that it has used, throughout these centuries, no longer overwhelms. The cruisers and carriers no longer work except to intimidate those not worth frightening.

There is only one thing left for the Empire and its hundreds of thousands of apparatchiki-from cops to pundits, from Professors to jailers- either they adjust to a new dispensation because the Times are Changing or they blow themselves and the whole planet up.

Thomas Peterson says March 9, 2018
From what's emerging now, it seems there simply were no assassins wandering round Salisbury. Instead, it appears Mr Skripal for some reason has a house full of nerve gas, or enough of it at least to take out himself, his daughter and a policeman who inspected the premises.
Thomas Prentice says March 9, 2018
Cleary the Guardian was swallowed up by England's fascist regime controlled by the City of London when it surrendered its hard drives to the regime for examination and/or destruction in the wake of the Snowden revelations.

The Guardian ownerships also sold their souls -- although the Guardian had already been in decline before they nabbed Glenn Greenwald. When he left, the Guardian lost ALL presumptive credibility.

Now The Guardian is just an organ of regime propaganda like the BBC (thank GOd for OffGuardian) and here is the island nation AGAIN asserting its dominance over the whole world, but this time on behalf of his brawnier brother, the EUSE, aka Exceptional US Empire.

One wonders how much longer the Russians will put up with this now that it is CLEAR that -- for the first time ever -- the Russians have complete military and nuclear superiority over "The West."

I'll bet Putin won't invade Ukraine, Germany, France, Brussels and England from the North and from the sea in the wintertime.

The Big Problem Is YThat Americans are afraid -- frightened -- but they are NOT afraid or frightened of a particular tbhing -- it is a generic fright. So they are no longer afraid of nuclear war. Trotsky said A'meria was the strongest nation but also the most terrified' and nothing has changed except military and nuclear superiority along with economic clout has shifted to Russia and China. Were Americans afraid of nuclear war -- or say, of an invasion from Saskatchewan or Tamaulipas -- there might be hope.

But somewhere along the time beginning with Clinton, Americans didn't worry their pretty little heads about nuclear war or American wars on everybody anywhere any longer so long as it didn't disturb their creature comforts and shopping and lattes by coming to the homeland. The Nuclear Freeze movement was, after all, a direct response to Reagan's "evil empire" military buildup in the 1980s and then voila he and Gorbachev negotiated away a whole class of nuclear weapoms and Old Bush promised NAto wouldn;t expand. Hope. Then that sneaky little bastard Clinton started expanding Nato on behalf of the Pentagon / CKIA / NSA / miklitary /congressional industyrial complex.

None of this suggests tht it will end pretty.

vierotchka says March 9, 2018

Maybe it's time to try some new digital hearts-and-minds operation. In the internet age, Russians have already shown how public opinion can be manipulated. Perhaps our own secret digital marvels can embark on the kind of information counter-offensive to win over the many millions of Russians who share our values. Perhaps they already are.

He really is taking Russians for idiots and fools!

vierotchka says March 9, 2018
There is one key element that proves that the Russians didn't do it: The Russians aren't so clumsy as to poison over a dozen other people at the same time.
MichaelK says March 9, 2018
The whole piece is an emotionally charged rant, bordering on hysteria, based on a transparent tissue of lies, distortions and absolutely stunning hypocrisy; and this coming from the 'liberal' 'left of centre' Guardian!

It's rather scary. The Guardian screaming for a crusade aimed at toppling the Russian system and replacing it with something else, something closer to 'our values.' The moralizing is shocking and grotesque. I really wish the ground would just open up and swallow the Guardian whole. We'd be far better off with out it.

[Mar 01, 2018] Putin The Man Who Stopped Washington s Regime Change Rampage by Mike Whitney

What Washington really haptes about Putin is that he has refused to comply with their diktats and has openly rejected their model of a "unipolar" world order.
Notable quotes:
"... The attacks on Putin began sometime in 2006 during Putin's second term when it became apparent that Russia was going to resist the looting and exploitation the US requires of its vassal states. ..."
"... That's right, Russia was thrown under the bus because they wanted to control their own oil and their own destiny. ..."
"... John Edwards and Jack Kemp were appointed to lead a CFR task force which concocted the absurd pretext that that Putin was "rolling back democracy" in Russia. ..."
"... What Washington really despises about Putin is that he has refused to comply with their diktats and has openly rejected their model of a "unipolar" world order. ..."
"... Despite Russia's efforts to assist the US in its War On Terror, Washington has continued to regard Putin as an emerging rival that would eventually have to be confronted. The conflict in Ukraine added more gas to the fire by pitting the two superpowers against each other in a hot war that remains unresolved to this day. ..."
"... But Syria was the straw that broke the camel's back. Russia's intervention in the Syrian War in September 2015 proved to be the turning point in the 7 year-long conflagration. By rolling back the CIA-trained militants, Putin bloodied Washington's nose and forced the Pentagon to adopt a backup plan that relied heavily on Kurdish proxies east of the Euphrates. ..."
"... The Syria humiliation precipitated the Russia-gate Information Operation (IO) which is the propaganda component of the current war on Russia. The scandal has been an effective way to poison public perceptions and to make it look like the perpetrator of aggression is really the victim. ..."
"... Putin clearly blames the United States for the rise of ISIS and the surge in global terrorism. He also condemns Washington's strategy to use terrorist organizations to achieve its own narrow strategic objectives. (regime change) More important, he uses his platform at the United Nations to explain why he has deployed the Russian Air-force to bases in Syria where it will it will be used to conduct a war against Washington's jihadist proxies on the ground. ..."
"... The only place where people have a negative view of Putin is in the United States (14 percent) and EU (28 percent), the two locations where he is relentlessly savaged by the media and excoriated by the political class. ..."
"... The problem is that the propaganda power structure behind the yankee imperium is probably too powerful for rationality to triumph, so we are in for serious trouble. ..."
"... After having spent 36 years in the West and having seen Westerners vote for the likes of Blair, Sarkozy or Macron, I have a very low opinion of Western intelligence, and Western moral relativism and indifference with regards to the crimes their elected leaders committed abroad. ..."
"... China is a rival but an odd kind of rival. Let's not forget that the US, over the last 30 whatever years has enthusiastically facilitated China's rise. China has become the world's factory because the US and other countries Co's want CHEAP labour. ..."
"... American liberals support lifting living standards and ending poverty? You mean, the same American liberals who support 'free' trade and importing unlimited amounts of scab labor? You must have us confused with some other country, Mike. ..."
"... not like he had a choice. dc was about to have it's hands on his throat and he finally reacted. That was ukraine. syria was him trying to protect another one of his naval bases. the bear simply reacted to attempts at cutting off it's legs. ..."
"... Putin inherited a broken Russia in 2000. A Russia on the verge of collapse due to misrule of drunkard Yeltsin and body blows administered by US/NATO. A broken down military; economy in shambles; demographic collapse. During his presidency US/EU/NATO engineered a collapse of oil prices and assaults on ruble: what exactly was Putin supposed to non-passively do to counter the collapse of world oil prices, for example? ..."
"... Putin was wise enough and cautious enough not to go head-to-head with US/NATO until his military and economy were in good enough shape to do and make a difference, as in Syria for example. It would have been very bad for Russia to act prematurely and get bled dry, which warmongering US Neocons were hoping for. ..."
"... Obviously Putin knows the strengths and weaknesses of Russia better than any of us here. He is butting heads with the combined military industrial might of US+EU: that block has a lot of human resources, wealth, worldwide financial and political influence. Also Putin has to – has to – improve the living standards of citizens of RF, so he cannot afford to get into an expensive arms race with the West. Putin is doing very well with what he has, as far as human and military-industrial resources Russia has. ..."
"... When asked by a Germany-based academic where Russia had most seriously gone wrong in the past decade and a half, Putin said he had too readily laid his trust in the West, which he then accused of having abused its relationship with Moscow to further its own interests." ..."
"... America is in a very ugly spot and getting worse everyday. Living here I can sense it. Americans are going crazy. Pathetic how they are trying and build hate for Russia/Putin mainly because America got triple fucked across the ME and especially in Syria. Very sad. ..."
"... America's greatest historical truth: in foreign policy the USA just cannot learn from experience. We keep making the same mistakes. Stupid, idiotic, nation building b/s. ..."
"... In my opinion, the USA, until now, could afford to conduct foreign policy for internal reasons ..."
"... The reason why the US empire will follow the British empire into the graveyard is because they are based on the same model – trying to prevent others from becoming equal to them instead of trying to get better than the competitors. ..."
"... GB was preoccupied with preventing Germany from surpassing them – and guess what? They succeeded. And where is the British empire now? ..."
"... US is on a similar path of self-destruction. First they made China an economic superpower and now they want to contain them militarily. Good luck with that. ..."
"... The money that the US spent on military misadventures – they could have bribed with far lesser amount of money the various "dictatorships" that they were so democratically inclined to topple – and would have achieved better results. Instead of using those money to make US better – for their citizens, they are trying to prevent the world from catching up with them – British style. ..."
Feb 28, 2018 | www.unz.com

"It is essential to provide conditions for creative labor and economic growth at a pace that would put an end to the division of the world into permanent winners and permanent losers. The rules of the game should give the developing economies at least a chance to catch up with those we know as developed economies. We should work to level out the pace of economic development, and brace up backward countries and regions so as to make the fruit of economic growth and technological progress accessible to all. Particularly, this would help to put an end to poverty, one of the worst contemporary problems." Vladimir Putin, President Russian Federation, Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club

Putin wants to end poverty? Putin wants to stimulate economic growth in developing countries? Putin wants to change the system that divides the world into "permanent winners and losers"? But, how can that be, after all, Putin is bad, Putin is a "KGB thug", Putin is the "new Hitler"?

American liberals would be surprised to know that Putin actually supports many of the same social issues that they support. For example, the Russian President is not only committed to lifting living standards and ending poverty, he's also a big believer in universal healthcare which is free under the current Russian Constitution. Naturally, the Russian system has its shortcomings, but there has been significant progress under Putin who has dramatically increased the budget, improved treatment and widened accessibility. Putin believes that healthcare should be a universal human right. Here's what he said at the annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club:

"Another priority is global healthcare . All people in the world, not only the elite, should have the right to healthy, long and full lives. This is a noble goal. In short, we should build the foundation for the future world today by investing in all priority areas of human development." (Vladimir Putin, President Russian Federation, Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club)

How many "liberal" politicians in the US would support a recommendation like Putin's? Not very many. The Democrats are much more partial to market-based reforms like Obamacare that guarantee an ever-increasing slice of the pie goes to the giant HMOs and the voracious pharmaceutical companies. The Dems no longer make any attempt to promote universal healthcare as a basic human right. They've simply thrown in the towel and moved on to other issues.

Many Americans would find Putin's views on climate change equally surprising. Here's another clip from the Valdai speech:

"Ladies and gentlemen, one more issue that shall affect the future of the entire humankind is climate change. I suggest that we take a broader look at the issue .What we need is an essentially different approach, one that would involve introducing new, groundbreaking, nature-like technologies that would not damage the environment, but rather work in harmony with it, enabling us to restore the balance between the biosphere and technology upset by human activities.

It is indeed a challenge of global proportions. And I am confident that humanity does have the necessary intellectual capacity to respond to it. We need to join our efforts, primarily engaging countries that possess strong research and development capabilities, and have made significant advances in fundamental research. We propose convening a special forum under the auspices of the UN to comprehensively address issues related to the depletion of natural resources, habitat destruction, and climate change. Russia is willing to co-sponsor such a forum .." Valdai)

Most people would never suspect that Putin supports a global effort to address climate change. And, how would they know, after all, bits of information like that– that help to soften Putin's image and make him seem like a rational human being– are scrubbed from the media's coverage in order to cast him in the worst possible light. The media doesn't want people to know that Putin is a reflective and modest man who has worked tirelessly to make Russia and the world a better place. No, they want them to believe that he's is a scheming tyrannical despot who's obsessive hatred for America poses a very real threat to US national security. But it's not true.

Putin is not the ghoulish caricature the media makes him out to be nor does he hate America, that's just more propaganda from the corporate echo-chamber. The truth is Putin has been good for Russia, good for regional stability, and good for global security. He pulled the Russian Federation back from the brink of annihilation in 2000, and has had the country moving in a positive direction ever since. His impact on the Russian economy has been particularly impressive. According to Wikipedia:

"Between 2000 and 2012 Russia's energy exports fueled a rapid growth in living standards, with real disposable income rising by 160%. In dollar-denominated terms this amounted to a more than sevenfold increase in disposable incomes since 2000. In the same period, unemployment and poverty more than halved and Russians' self-assessed life satisfaction also rose significantly."

Inequality is a problem in Russia just like it is in the US, but the vast majority of working people have benefited greatly from Putin's reforms and a system of distribution that –judging by steady uptick in disposable incomes – is significantly superior to that in the United States where wages have flatlined for over 2 decades and where virtually all of the nation's wealth trickles upward to the parasitic 1 percent.

Since Putin took office in 2000, workers have seen across-the-board increase in wages, benefits, healthcare and pensions. Poverty and unemployment have been reduced by more than half while foreign investment has experienced steady growth. Onerous IMF loans have been repaid in full, capital flight has all-but ceased, hundreds in billions in reserves have been accumulated, personal and corporate taxes have been slashed, and technology has experienced an unprecedented renaissance. The notorious Russian oligarchs still have a stranglehold on many privately-owned industries, but their grip has begun to loosen and the "kleptocracy has begun to fade."

Things are far from perfect, but the Russian economy has flourished under Putin and, generally speaking, the people are appreciative. This helps to explain why Putin's public approval ratings are typically in the stratosphere. (70 to 80 percent) Simply put: Putin the most popular Russian president of all time. And his popularity is not limited to Russia either, in fact, he typically ranks at the top of most global leadership polls such as the recent Gallup International End of Year Survey (EoY) where Putin came in third (43 percent positive rating) behind Germany's Angela Merkel (49 percent) and French President Emmanuel Macron. (45 percent) According to Gallup: "Putin has gone from one in three (33 percent) viewing him favourably to 43 percent, a significant increase over two years."

The only place where people have a negative view of Putin is in the United States (14 percent) and EU (28 percent), the two locations where he is relentlessly savaged by the media and excoriated by the political class. This should come as no surprise to Americans who know that the chances of stumbling across an article that treats Putin with even minimal objectivity is about as likely as finding a copper coin at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The consensus view of the western media is that Putin is a maniacal autocrat who kills journalists and political opponents (no proof), who meddles in US elections to "sow discord" and destroy our precious democracy (no proof), and who is conducting a secret and sinister cyberwar against the United States. (no proof). It's a pathetic litany of libels and fabrications, but its impact on the brainwashed American people has been quite impressive as Gallup's results indicate. Bottom line: Propaganda works.

The attacks on Putin began sometime in 2006 during Putin's second term when it became apparent that Russia was going to resist the looting and exploitation the US requires of its vassal states. This is when the powerful Council on Foreign Relations funded a report titled "Russia's Wrong Direction" that suggested that Russia's increasingly independent foreign policy and insistence that it control its own vast oil and natural gas resources meant that "the very idea of a 'strategic partnership' no longer seems realistic." That's right, Russia was thrown under the bus because they wanted to control their own oil and their own destiny.

John Edwards and Jack Kemp were appointed to lead a CFR task force which concocted the absurd pretext that that Putin was "rolling back democracy" in Russia. They claimed that the government had become increasingly authoritarian and that the society was growing less "open and pluralistic". Kemp and Edwards provided the ideological foundation upon which the entire public relations campaign against Putin has been built. Twelve years later, the same charges are still being leveled at Putin along with the additional allegations that he meddled in the 2016 presidential elections.

Needless to say, none of the nation's newspapers, magazines or broadcast media ever publish anything that deviates even slightly from the prevailing, propagandistic narrative about Putin. One can only assume that the MSM's views on Putin are either universally accepted by all 325 million Americans or that the so-called "free press" is a wretched farce that conceals an authoritarian corporate machine that censors all opinions that don't promote their own malign political agenda.

What Washington really despises about Putin is that he has refused to comply with their diktats and has openly rejected their model of a "unipolar" world order. As he said at the annual Security Conference at Munich in 2007:

"The unipolar world refers to a world in which there is one master, one sovereign; one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making. 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."

Despite Russia's efforts to assist the US in its War On Terror, Washington has continued to regard Putin as an emerging rival that would eventually have to be confronted. The conflict in Ukraine added more gas to the fire by pitting the two superpowers against each other in a hot war that remains unresolved to this day.

But Syria was the straw that broke the camel's back. Russia's intervention in the Syrian War in September 2015 proved to be the turning point in the 7 year-long conflagration. By rolling back the CIA-trained militants, Putin bloodied Washington's nose and forced the Pentagon to adopt a backup plan that relied heavily on Kurdish proxies east of the Euphrates. At present, US Special Forces and their allies are clinging to a strip of arid wasteland in the Syrian outback hoping that the Pentagon brass can settle on a forward-operating strategy that reverses their fortunes or brings the war to a swift end.

The Syria humiliation precipitated the Russia-gate Information Operation (IO) which is the propaganda component of the current war on Russia. The scandal has been an effective way to poison public perceptions and to make it look like the perpetrator of aggression is really the victim. More important, failure in Syria has led to a reevaluation of how Washington conducts its wars abroad. The War on Terror pretext has been jettisoned for a more direct approach laid out in the Trump administration's National Defense Strategy. The focus going forward will be on "Great Power Competition", that is, the US is subordinating its covert proxy operations to more flagrant displays of military force particularly in regards to the "growing threat from revisionist powers", Russia and China. In short, the gloves are coming off and Washington is ramping up for a land war.

Putin has become an obstacle to Washington's imperial ambitions which is why he's has been elevated to Public Enemy Number 1. It has nothing to do with the fictitious meddling in the 2016 elections or the nonsensical "rolling back democracy" in Russia. It's all about power. In the United States the group with the tightest grip on power is the foreign policy establishment. These are the towering mandarins who dictate the policy, tailor the politics to fit their strategic vision, and dispatch their lackeys in the media to shape the narrative. These are the people who decided that Putin must be demonized to pave the way for more foreign interventions, more regime change wars, more bloody aggression against sovereign states.

Putin has repeatedly warned Washington that Russia would not stand by while the US destroyed one country after the other in its lust for global domination. He reiterated his claim that Washington's "uncontained hyper-use of force" was creating "new centers of tension", exacerbating regional conflicts, undermining international relations, and "plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts." He has pointed out how the US routinely displayed its contempt for international law and "overstepped its national borders in every way." As a result of Washington's aggressive behavior, public confidence in international law and global security has steadily eroded and "No one feels safe. I want to emphasize this," Putin thundered in Munich. "No one feels safe."

On September 28, 2015 Putin finally threw down the gauntlet in a speech he delivered at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. After reiterating his commitment to international law, the UN, and state sovereignty, he provided a brief but disturbing account of recent events in the Middle East, all of which have gotten significantly worse due to Washington's use of force. Here's Putin:

"Just look at the situation in the Middle East and Northern Africa Instead of bringing about reforms, aggressive intervention destroyed government institutions and the local way of life. Instead of democracy and progress, there is now violence, poverty, social disasters and total disregard for human rights, including even the right to life

The power vacuum in some countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa obviously resulted in the emergence of areas of anarchy, which were quickly filled with extremists and terrorists. The so-called Islamic State has tens of thousands of militants fighting for it, including former Iraqi soldiers who were left on the street after the 2003 invasion. Many recruits come from Libya whose statehood was destroyed as a result of a gross violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 ."

US interventions have decimated Iraq, Libya, Syria and beyond. Over a million people have been killed while tens of millions have been forced to flee their homes and their countries. The refugee spillover has added to social tensions across the EU where anti-immigrant sentiment has precipitated the explosive growth in right wing groups and political organizations. From Northern Africa, across the Middle East, and into Central Asia, global security has steadily deteriorated under Washington's ruthless stewardship. Here's more from Putin:

"The Islamic State itself did not come out of nowhere. It was initially developed as a weapon against undesirable secular regimes. Having established control over parts of Syria and Iraq, Islamic State now aggressively expands into other regions .It is irresponsible to manipulate extremist groups and use them to achieve your political goals, hoping that later you'll find a way to get rid of them or somehow eliminate them ."

Putin clearly blames the United States for the rise of ISIS and the surge in global terrorism. He also condemns Washington's strategy to use terrorist organizations to achieve its own narrow strategic objectives. (regime change) More important, he uses his platform at the United Nations to explain why he has deployed the Russian Air-force to bases in Syria where it will it will be used to conduct a war against Washington's jihadist proxies on the ground.

Putin: "We can no longer tolerate the current state of affairs in the world."

Less than 48 hours after these words were uttered, Russian warplanes began pounding militant targets in Syria.

Putin again: "Dear colleagues, relying on international law, we must join efforts to address the problems that all of us are facing, and create a genuinely broad international coalition against terrorism .Russia is confident of the United Nations' enormous potential, which should help us avoid a new confrontation and embrace a strategy of cooperation. Hand in hand with other nations, we will consistently work to strengthen the UN's central, coordinating role. I am convinced that by working together, we will make the world stable and safe, and provide an enabling environment for the development of all nations and peoples."

So, here's the question: Is Putin "evil" for opposing Washington's regime change wars, for stopping the spread of terrorism, and for rejecting the idea that one unipolar world power should rule the world? Is that why he's evil, because he won't click his heels and do as he's told by the global hegemon?

We should all be so evil.


Renoman , February 28, 2018 at 10:32 am GMT

Leader of the free World.
Robert Magill , February 28, 2018 at 11:00 am GMT
The dumbest thing about the US focus on Russia and Putin is that it leaves China, our actual rival, free to continue its march to overwhelming mastery of the entire Eastern Hemisphere. Without firing a shot or wasting a bullet China has moved into a position of influence the US has dreamed of for a century.

The next war, if it comes, will be over something like Cobalt. The future lies in big and plentiful electric batteries and China and Russia between them control almost 50% of the known supply of Cobalt, while the US has none. Stand by and wait, folks.

https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/mr-bernays-to-dr-goebbels-to-s-h-i-t-3/

macilrae , February 28, 2018 at 2:11 pm GMT

The only place where people have a negative view of Putin is in the United States (14 percent) and EU (28 percent), the two locations where he is relentlessly savaged by the media and excoriated by the political class.

I would be staggered is only 14 percent of Americans had a negative view of Putin – almost everybody I have spoken to has completely swallowed the media line. In Europe UK in particular has been brainwashed against him – southern Europe far less so. The 28 percent is more realistic.

Harold Smith , February 28, 2018 at 2:41 pm GMT
@Robert Magill

Is China trying to trash our constitution? Is China invading other countries, killing people with missiles and bombs all over the world, staging "color revolutions" and subverting legitimate governments in the "West"? Is China patrolling the Gulf of Mexico and putting missiles in Mexico and Canada? China hasn't done anything bad to me or to anyone I know, so please explain how China is "our" "rival"?

exiled off mainstreet , February 28, 2018 at 3:37 pm GMT
This is a great article. The problem is that the propaganda power structure behind the yankee imperium is probably too powerful for rationality to triumph, so we are in for serious trouble.
Tailgunner Joes talking liver , February 28, 2018 at 3:50 pm GMT
Magisterial article.

There's a simple reason why Putin is talking sense. He's doing nothing more than stating customary international law. Those economic quotes have been set out in a series of UN resolutions including A/RES/41/128 on the right to development. This is the acquis of the civilized world. No country in the world opposes it – except the USA. The US votes alone against it every time it comes up, even though customary international law is US federal and state common law under the Supreme Court decision, The Paquete Habana.

Mr. Whitney has accepted the official framing that it's all about Putin. That clever decision makes his article more provocative. Calm appraisal of the current official foreign devil is inherently inflammatory. However, this has nothing to do with Putin. Rigid legalist that he is, his hands are tied. Russia has ratified the ICESCR.

Russia has ratified the ICESCR. The USA has not. Here are some of the rights Russians have that you do not:

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CESCR.aspx

OHCHR has a convenient compilation showing how each government meets its legal obligations and commitments. The synoptic heatmap below shows the US deep down in the shithole with Wahhabi headchoppers and neocolonial African presidents-for-life.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Indicators/Pages/HRIndicatorsIndex.aspx

The exhaustively documented fact here is, the Russian state meets world standards. The US government does not. The Russian government respects, protects, and fulfils human rights. The US government fights tooth and nail to keep them out of your reach, and negates your incomplete half-assed constitutional rights with statist red tape. Russians get a better deal than you do. Merely by reciting the law as he does, Putin would win a fair election here with Roosevelt-scale majorities, again and again. That's why he drives the US government up the wall.

Beckow , February 28, 2018 at 4:23 pm GMT
Where is it the propaganda campaign going? We have seen this before as preparation for a war or a regime change. In Russia both are unlikely to succeed. That leaves an ever increasing propaganda bombast in the West, people brainwashed to the point where outright racism against anything 'Russian' will become widespread. Then what? Move movies with white Russian villains, as if that is what threatens West the most?

Russia can neither be isolated, nor 'collapsed' economically, nor ignored. It is too resource rich and powerful. Russia could possibly be checked in a second tier conflict (Syria?), but that would be of minimal consequence. Ukraine could be escalated, but there Russia has an enormous local logistics advantage, it would be a disaster for Kiev. And Russia is on friendly terms with China, its only potential military threat on land.

Propaganda by itself does nothing, it is only means to an end. West is in no position to go beyond propaganda, so we might experience a bizarre example of a mindless propaganda that goes on and on. As with all propaganda the main target is the domestic population – in other words it is the common people in the West who are being propagandised and in effect made more stupid, less capable of making rational decisions.

Even a slight u-turn is at this point unthinkable, almost all elites have too visibly engaged in the evil-Russia talk, how could they let go of it? We are stuck, we might get saved by an unrelated 'big event' somewhere else. If not, this could just be fatal, after all this belligerent talk we could perish because somebody dared to call Clinton a satan on Facebook. And they didn't use their real name – the horror .

dearieme , February 28, 2018 at 5:08 pm GMT
My own view is that Putin is probably as trustworthy and honest as any other ex-KGB man. On the other hand he does come across as intelligent, cautious, and calm. Especially when compared to the crook Hillary or the oaf Trump.
Si1ver1ock , February 28, 2018 at 5:34 pm GMT
@Tailgunner Joes talking liver

Great comment. I tried to follow the links but got an error:

The connection has timed out

The server at http://www.ohchr.org is taking too long to respond.

The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few moments.
If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network connection.
If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.

This is starting to bother me. Stuff is disappearing from the web. Look at the link below to an Al Jazeera documentary which has disappeared from YouTube and the web.

Attempting to play the video gives a message:

This video is unavailable.

https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2010/03/201031761541794128.html

Si1ver1ock , February 28, 2018 at 5:38 pm GMT
Nowadays being Pro Truth now makes you Anti American.

Sad.

and

Edie P , February 28, 2018 at 8:36 pm GMT
Si1ver1ock, interesting problems you're having. I had no problem with the links, but then the magic of Tor means I'm reaching them from the Netherlands. State censorship is harder when you can access suppressed URLs from a couple dozen different countries.

( https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy.html.en )

anonymous Disclaimer , February 28, 2018 at 11:50 pm GMT
@Robert Magill

Please do respond, and in good faith, to the reply of commenter Harold Smith. I share his apparent concern that you may be conflating the interests of the American people with the imperial ambitions of their Uncle Sam.

Robert Magill , March 1, 2018 at 1:19 am GMT
@Harold Smith

Harold Smith,

I feel we have a problem with the term 'rival' here. All the negatives you describe represent a rivalry that I in no way imply in my statements. Rivalry can be strictly limited to trade and business and not in the war-making processes you are citing. I tried to point out that we as a nation miss the mark in constantly demonizing Russia, who is certainly no rival in trade and business, while China certainly is.
Our zealous attacking of rivals has a long history and is not easily abandoned. However, I am afraid our national focus in this unproductive way will cause us as a people to not be aware of where our serious competition is actually coming from and be able to deal with it in a timely fashion.

Robert Magill , March 1, 2018 at 1:20 am GMT
@anonymous

See my reply to Harold Smith.

Harold Smith , March 1, 2018 at 2:52 am GMT
@Robert Magill

"I feel we have a problem with the term 'rival' here. All the negatives you describe represent a rivalry that I in no way imply in my statements. Rivalry can be strictly limited to trade and business and not in the war-making processes you are citing."

In your original comment you said:

"The dumbest thing about the US focus on Russia and Putin is that it leaves China, our actual rival, free to continue its march to overwhelming mastery of the entire Eastern Hemisphere. Without firing a shot or wasting a bullet China has moved into a position of influence the US has dreamed of for a century."

Since a big part of the U.S. "focus" on Russia is military encirclement, confrontation by proxy, the threat of direct conflict even nuclear war, etc., this statement clearly suggests a "military solution" to "contain" an economically "rising" China, IMO. (After all, when the only tool the U.S. "government" has is a hammer, everything looks like a nail).

But so what if China has some kind of "mastery" of the Eastern hemisphere? To the extent that's true, at least they didn't do it by way of lawless imperial treachery.

The U.S. is losing influence all over the world because it's making itself hated; it's imposing itself everywhere and squandering everything of value on the hopeless pursuit of world domination and control.

"I tried to point out that we as a nation miss the mark in constantly demonizing Russia, who is certainly no rival in trade and business, while China certainly is."

The thing is "we" don't demonize Russia "as a nation"; rather, it's done by the Satanic ruling class that hates Russia – not for any rational reason, but for the same reason that Cain hated Abel: because "evil" hates a "good" example.

"Our zealous attacking of rivals has a long history and is not easily abandoned."

Unless you're going change the definition of "rival" again, I should point out that the U.S. "government" doesn't generally attack "rivals" but deems any country that asserts its sovereign independence and refuses to take orders an "enemy", subject to economic, political and military attack.

"However, I am afraid our national focus in this unproductive way will cause us as a people to not be aware of where our serious competition is actually coming from and be able to deal with it in a timely fashion."

You seem to be conflating "us as a people" with the U.S. "government" which has by now lost even the pretense of moral and constitutional legitimacy, and thus has nothing remotely to do with what's in the best interests of "us as a people".

Ilyana_Rozumova , March 1, 2018 at 5:34 am GMT
@Harold Smith

Here is the explanation. China is economic rival to US. That is not only inconvenient, rival, it is the most efficient and most dangerous rival, because who is wining the economic competition is pushing out the opponent from world markets.

LarryS , March 1, 2018 at 5:51 am GMT
@Harold Smith

Somebody wants white Christians to kill each other. Again.

Vojkan , March 1, 2018 at 6:52 am GMT
That people in the West believe the lies that TPTB concoct for their consumption, I can conceive, though only after a convoluted intellectual effort, for given all the now exposed deceit, one is left in wonder as to why the masses still believe proven liars.

After having spent 36 years in the West and having seen Westerners vote for the likes of Blair, Sarkozy or Macron, I have a very low opinion of Western intelligence, and Western moral relativism and indifference with regards to the crimes their elected leaders committed abroad.

Still, I can't figure out if TPTB believe their own narrative. It takes a very peculiar mindset to be able to live in permanent lies. Contrary to truth which can exist per se and is therefore essentially cost-free, lies demand permanent maintenance and have high maintenance cost.
So, TPTB of the West are either delusional in thinking they can maintain their lies ad vitam aeternam, or they are mythomaniacs. Either way, just think what happens when lies cannot be maintained any more and the liars don't want to relinquish power.

Bear in mind that lying being effectively irrational, they cannot be considered as rational actors. Prepare your shelters folks.

Ludwig Watzal , Website March 1, 2018 at 8:02 am GMT
Very seldom, I've read such a realistic article on President Putin and his policy. I've been following not only his administration but also that of the US Empire, and I'm always flabbergasted about the US elites demonization of this leader. He belongs to the few leaders who got their act together compared to the political exorcists in Washington. The real thugs and psychopaths are the members of the American political elite and their cheerleaders in the fawning US mainstream media. Following their analysis, I often think they stem from lunatics who are coming from outer space.
animalogic , March 1, 2018 at 9:05 am GMT
@Robert Magill

Yes, China is a rival but an odd kind of rival. Let's not forget that the US, over the last 30 whatever years has enthusiastically facilitated China's rise. China has become the world's factory because the US and other countries Co's want CHEAP labour.
So -- Dr Frankenstein is now scared of his own monster. Oh the irony !

Truthmatters , March 1, 2018 at 9:41 am GMT
In the last two weeks a virtual book burning has begun on YouTube. Scores of independent truth seeking channels have been deleted. Some were pretty amateur and sensationalist, many were good, top notch investigative fact checking in nature. Many had large numbers of subscribers, a few had 100,000s subscribers.

Common denominator seemed to question official mainstream media narrative on mass shootings, 9/11, war on terror, human sex trafficking, Clinton Foundation corruption, and even UFO coverups. One channel was a woman skilled at body language commenting on videos of people like John Podesta being interviewed as to whether he was lying.

None of these channels advocated violence, quite the contrary. Most couched opinion alongside probable facts by asking deductive and inductive questions. The YouTube virtual book burning appears to have gathered pace in last week.

So much for free speech in the fake but very slickly fake Western democracies. Where the geopolitical narrative is uniformly uniform.

Seamus Padraig , March 1, 2018 at 9:43 am GMT

American liberals would be surprised to know that Putin actually supports many of the same social issues that they support. For example, the Russian President is not only committed to lifting living standards and ending poverty, he's also a big believer in universal healthcare which is free under the current Russian Constitution.

American liberals support lifting living standards and ending poverty? You mean, the same American liberals who support 'free' trade and importing unlimited amounts of scab labor? You must have us confused with some other country, Mike.

"I suggest that we take a broader look at the issue .What we need is an essentially different approach, one that would involve introducing new, groundbreaking, nature-like technologies that would not damage the environment, but rather work in harmony with it "

I note that he says nothing about 'cap and trade,' or any other Western bankster-scam. I have nothing against renewable energy–whether or not global warming is real.

PiltdownMan , March 1, 2018 at 11:01 am GMT
For the West, the demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one. -- Henry Kissinger in 2014.
Swan Knight , Website March 1, 2018 at 11:18 am GMT
Vladimir Putin is the World's greatest leader since Robert E Lee
Astuteobservor II , March 1, 2018 at 12:50 pm GMT
not like he had a choice. dc was about to have it's hands on his throat and he finally reacted. That was ukraine. syria was him trying to protect another one of his naval bases. the bear simply reacted to attempts at cutting off it's legs.

that is actually very, very passive.

Robert Magill , March 1, 2018 at 1:49 pm GMT
@ animalogic

"China has become the world's factory because the US and other countries Co's want CHEAP labour. "

We all know the drill here. China makes stuff cheap so that WalMart can undercut competitors and grow rich. Therefore, alas, what can be done? Except that WalMart has over four hundred stores IN CHINA and plans to build forty more! So what's our excuse now for not being able to compete?

Avery , March 1, 2018 at 2:18 pm GMT
@Harold Smith

{Russia had not been so passive over the years,}

Putin inherited a broken Russia in 2000. A Russia on the verge of collapse due to misrule of drunkard Yeltsin and body blows administered by US/NATO. A broken down military; economy in shambles; demographic collapse. During his presidency US/EU/NATO engineered a collapse of oil prices and assaults on ruble: what exactly was Putin supposed to non-passively do to counter the collapse of world oil prices, for example?

Putin was wise enough and cautious enough not to go head-to-head with US/NATO until his military and economy were in good enough shape to do and make a difference, as in Syria for example. It would have been very bad for Russia to act prematurely and get bled dry, which warmongering US Neocons were hoping for.

Obviously Putin knows the strengths and weaknesses of Russia better than any of us here. He is butting heads with the combined military industrial might of US+EU: that block has a lot of human resources, wealth, worldwide financial and political influence. Also Putin has to – has to – improve the living standards of citizens of RF, so he cannot afford to get into an expensive arms race with the West. Putin is doing very well with what he has, as far as human and military-industrial resources Russia has.

TailgunnerJoes Talking Liver , March 1, 2018 at 2:33 pm GMT
Alden, sounds like you stopped with the maps and didn't read any of the underlying documents because of the preconceptions you wear on your sleeve: "idealistic pie in the sky by and by UN treaties impossible to effect." Those preconceptions happen to coincide with the residual message of one persistent strand of US statist propaganda.

Have you ever read, in any US institution or medium, criticism as comprehensive and incisive as this?

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/LACRegion/Pages/USIndex.aspx

IGs can't do this. Courts can't begin to do this. Congress wouldn't dare do this. Media would never do it if they could. The recommendations are legally binding and the US government knows it. Each review is videoed. You haven't lived until you've seen State and Justice bureaucrats crawling and sniveling and tying themselves in logical knots, making fools of themselves in the most public forum in the world. You get to watch the US regime bleeding influence and standing and 'soft power.' It's public disgrace in front of the 96% of the world outside the US iron curtain. You may not want to watch impartial legal experts make a laughingstock of the USG, but everybody else in the world watches with amusement, so you might as well know.

Treaty body review has driven more reforms than Congress ever did. You know perfectly well how bad your government sucks, what a useless parasite it is. The treaty bodies and charter bodies give you more say than either state-controlled political party. Face it, human rights review is all you got. When your government sucks, you go over its head to the world.

Harold Smith , March 1, 2018 at 4:11 pm GMT
@Avery

"During a policy talk at the Valdai Discussion Club, the Russian leader spoke on a number of issues, especially criticizing U.S. foreign policy moves across the globe and lauding Russia's increasingly relevant role as a world power. When asked by a Germany-based academic where Russia had most seriously gone wrong in the past decade and a half, Putin said he had too readily laid his trust in the West, which he then accused of having abused its relationship with Moscow to further its own interests."

http://www.newsweek.com/russia-putin-reveal-biggiest-mistake-trusting-west-688998

Well maybe you can make Vladimir Putin feel better about this. You can tell him that blindly trusting the corrupt "West" (in the face of shamelessly obvious provocations) was actually not a mistake at all, since Russia couldn't have done a single thing about it anyway, right?

EugeneGur , March 1, 2018 at 4:40 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

Putin has drubbed Russia's economy.

This is a ridiculous statement. When Putin came aboard, there was no Russian economy to speak of. Now it's grown strong enough to withstand the events in Ukraine, sanctions and what not and even derive benefits from these challenges. I am not saying everything's coming up roses but it could hardly be expected considering the deep hole Russia dug itself into in the 1990s.

the entire region is upset with Putin's behavior as they have seen Putin's behavior in Crimea and the Donbas.

The entire region, it you mean our Eastern European neighbors, can like it or lump it. They, Poland in particular, participated very willingly and actively in the coup in Ukraine. Crimea and Donbass are direct, and perfectly predictable, consequences of that coup. If they forgot the law of physics that every action has a reaction, this is just as good a reminder as any.

the thing is, because of the recent study by J. Leroy Hulsey, Putin could still do it, but I predict that he unfortunately will do nothing of the kind.

EugeneGur , March 1, 2018 at 4:57 pm GMT
@Harold Smith

blindly trusting the corrupt "West" (in the face of shamelessly obvious provocations) was actually not a mistake at all, since Russia couldn't have done a single thing about it anyway, right?

Actually, it could've done a lot. Right at the beginning, Russia could've refused to trust in the word of the West's leaders about the NATO expansion and demand guarantees. A formal treaty plus a couple of remaining military bases, say, in Poland and East Germany, would've sufficed. This likely would've saved Yugoslavia as well.

Russia could've refrained from stopping the development of many weapon system and from destroying others. It could've also kept its own industry (civil aviation comes to mind) instead of relying on cooperation with the West. It could've refrained from allowing the US troops to use the Russia territory to move supplies to Afghanistan. Even recently it did occur to someone exceedingly smart to order aircraft carriers in France – speaking about trust! I do hope they learned their lesson, finally.

jilles dykstra , March 1, 2018 at 5:43 pm GMT
@Avery

In my opinion Putin is the man who saves us from a worldwide USA yoke

windwaves , March 1, 2018 at 6:07 pm GMT
Great Article.

America is in a very ugly spot and getting worse everyday. Living here I can sense it. Americans are going crazy. Pathetic how they are trying and build hate for Russia/Putin mainly because America got triple fucked across the ME and especially in Syria. Very sad.

America's greatest historical truth: in foreign policy the USA just cannot learn from experience. We keep making the same mistakes. Stupid, idiotic, nation building b/s. Come on dudes !

This is just a phase, we will turn it around and make America great again ( as opposed to israel which was never great anyway). It is just a question of how long it will take.

It will start the day when we'll tell that terrorist, shit-hole country called israel to go the hell, fight your own wars, pay for your own wars.

When Ukies attack , March 1, 2018 at 6:25 pm GMT
@EugeneGur

GDP per capita tripled on Putin's watch. That's one reason why he has public approval numbers that US politicians couldn't dream of.

jilles dykstra , March 1, 2018 at 6:58 pm GMT
@windwaves

In my opinion, the USA, until now, could afford to conduct foreign policy for internal reasons. Because of this the Sept 11 shock, while in reality it meant very little, as USA citizens working in the Netherlands soon afterwards said 'we have 30.000 traffic deaths each year'.

edNels , March 1, 2018 at 7:46 pm GMT
@Harold Smith

Good comeback there that was one of the best ones in a while!

I'm sorry, but no we're not. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we here in the "West" are living under a Satanic judeo-communist dictatorship, bent on world domination and control at any cost.

The difference between corporate state, and totalitarian state like old Soviet system is getting blurier all the time. Like planned economies of command systems, now they just create money for the cronies, who might as well be commies, and they don't give a care about what's true or honest, they lie and that's, like you mentioned, (Satanic), the truth isn't in 'em.

FB , March 1, 2018 at 8:01 pm GMT
@Seamus Padraig

' I note that he says nothing about 'cap and trade,' or any other Western bankster-scam. I have nothing against renewable energy–whether or not global warming is real '

Good comment however the environment is about more than just 'global warming' which may or may not be man-caused there is no scientific certainty but certainly what looks like a concerted push by certain quarters

But there is also habitat loss the toxins introduced through pollution industrial farming and the problems it causes with erosion, bad food etc

Putin's comments and Mike's citation of them reflect a thoughtful and realistic approach to at least start looking at these problems

Anon Disclaimer , March 1, 2018 at 8:15 pm GMT
Anon from TN
The author is painting Putin as larger-than-life figure, which he isn't. Just like the Soviet Union was not defeated by the US, but actually collapsed due to internal problems, regime change rampage is over largely because the United States pushed their luck and overextended themselves, and not just thanks to Putin. Throughout history, all dominant empires lose their grip and eventually crumble (remember Roman or British), and now it's the turn of the US Empire. Fortunately or unfortunately, the next will be the Chinese Empire, not Russian. (PS. Muslims missed the train. Again)
The Alarmist , March 1, 2018 at 10:57 pm GMT
@Harold Smith

It's not like he used the term 'enemy,' which too many unfortunately resort to in these discussions. During Cold War 1.0, a lot of us referred to the Sovs as the 'Adversary' because it was a less loaded term than enemy, though many equate the two. Are the Chinese rivals? Sure. Are they adversaries? You bet, especially when we keep stepping into their back yard. Are they enemies? The will be if we keep stepping into their back yard and telling them how to behave with their next door neighbours. All of this applies to Russia as well.

Cyrano , March 1, 2018 at 11:15 pm GMT
The reason why the US empire will follow the British empire into the graveyard is because they are based on the same model – trying to prevent others from becoming equal to them instead of trying to get better than the competitors.

GB was preoccupied with preventing Germany from surpassing them – and guess what? They succeeded. And where is the British empire now?

From an empire on which the sun never sets, pretty soon they'll be a country where the sun never rises – thanks to their stupid immigration policies and preoccupations with Russia (still!), like they (the British) are still even a factor in the global power games.

US is on a similar path of self-destruction. First they made China an economic superpower and now they want to contain them militarily. Good luck with that.

The money that the US spent on military misadventures – they could have bribed with far lesser amount of money the various "dictatorships" that they were so democratically inclined to topple – and would have achieved better results. Instead of using those money to make US better – for their citizens, they are trying to prevent the world from catching up with them – British style.

If anything the British military record was at least better than US's, at least they used to win wars – they pretty much went down undefeated – but they did went down and US military doesn't have the same success rate and even if they did, they will not accomplish holding the world back – same as Britain didn't.

renfro , March 1, 2018 at 11:26 pm GMT

American liberals would be surprised to know that Putin actually supports many of the same social issues that they support. For example, the Russian President is not only committed to lifting living standards and ending poverty, he's also a big believer in universal healthcare which is free under the current Russian Constitution

I do not see anything 'liberal' in Putin's ideas, certainly not as in the liberal agendas in the US.

I see him advocating Balance . creating a better order for the needs of populations and interactions between nations . therefore preserving nations, people and earth. Balance is not rocket science .nature is the ultimate example of balance, when it is tampered with all species eventually suffer.

Florin , March 2, 2018 at 12:06 am GMT
The neocons were/are Zionist in essence and mainly Jewish in thought leadership – this is inarguable. Also inarguable, though I am not aware of very many well-written essays on the topic, is that under Yeltsin, brought to power in no small part by US meddling, there was a fire sale of Russian assets – something arranged very largely by Jewish economists and Jewish bureaucrats. And the new 'oligarchs?' Why 6 of 7 of the most enriches were Jews in a nation <3% Jewish.

Ukraine was largely a coup by Nuland, Pyatt, Feltman ato help Jewish oligarchs in Ukraine who suddenly found themselves in the very top of the new govt. Jewish names pop up inordinately as to authors and editors of unhinged Russophobic articles. At what point do we say that the mideast wars are driven by Jews, so, disproportionately (maybe even mainly as to the media) is the aggression and disinfo on Russia.

The Jewish Problem is to be taken seriously. We need to find a way to discuss it, rescued from Zionists and bona fide Judeophobes. Our lives may well depend on it.

[Feb 24, 2018] The Mueller Indictments The Day the Music Died by Daniel Lazare

The size of funds that Democrats and Republicans operated were in billions. And , IRA staffers purchased just $100,000 worth of Facebook ads, 56% of which ran after Election Day. So only $44K was spent during election campaign.
There author is wrong about color revolution against Trump. It is progressing.
One interesting side effect will be ruthless suppression of the US influence in Russian elections. Bismark famously remarked that "the Russians are slow to saddle up, but ride fast." Here media dogs also are off leash and there will be innocent victims, blamed in treason and other nefarious activities just to voicing dissent. Russiagate discredited neoliberal fifth column in Russia, making them all "enemies of the people".
Notable quotes:
"... After nine months of labor, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller thus brought forth a mouse. Even if all the charges are true – something we'll probably never know since it's unlikely that any of the accused will be brought to trial -- the indictment tells us virtually nothing that's new. ..."
"... Yes, they persuaded someone in Florida to dress up as Hillary Clinton in a prison uniform and stand inside a cage mounted on a flatbed truck. And, yes, they also got another "real U.S. person," as the indictment terms it, to stand in front of the White House with a sign saying, "Happy 55th Birthday Dear Boss," a tribute, apparently, to IRA founder Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the convicted robber turned caterer whose birthday was three days away. Instead of a super-sophisticated spying operation, the indictment depicts a bumbling freelance operation that is still giving Putin heartburn months after the fact. ..."
"... Not that this has stopped the media from whipping itself into a frenzy. "Russia is at war with our democracy," screamed a headline in the Washington Post. "Trump is ignoring the worst attack on America since 9/11," blared another. " Russia is engaged in a virtual war against the United States through 21st-century tools of disinformation and propaganda," declared the New York Times, while Daily Beast columnist Jonathan Alter tweeted that the IRA's activities amounted to nothing less than a "tech Pearl Harbor." ..."
"... This makes the Dems seem crass, unscrupulous, and none too democratic. But then Mudde gave the knife a twist. The real trouble with the strategy, he said, is that it isn't working: ..."
"... No collusion means no impeachment and hence no anti-Trump "color revolution" of the sort that was so effective in Georgia or the Ukraine. Moreover, while 53 percent of Americans believe that investigating Russiagate should be a top or at least an important priority according to a recent poll , figures for a half-dozen other issues ranging from Medicare and Social Security reform to tax policy, healthcare, infrastructure, and immigration are actually a good deal higher – 67 percent, 72 percent, or even more. ..."
"... " the Russia-Trump collusion story might be the talk of the town in Washington, but this is not the case in much of the rest of the country." Out in flyover country, rather, Americans can't figure out why the political elite is more concerned with a nonexistent scandal than with things that really count, i.e. de-industrialization, infrastructure decay, the opioid epidemic, and school shootings. As society disintegrates, the only thing Democrats have accomplished with all their blathering about Russkis under the bed is to demonstrate just how cut off from the real world they are. ..."
"... But Russiagate is not just about regime change, but other things as well. One is repression. Where once Democrats would have laughed off Russian trolls and the like, they're now obsessed with making a mountain out of a molehill in order to enforce mainstream opinion and marginalize ideas and opinions suspected of being un-American and hence pro-Russian. If the RT (Russia Today) news network is now suspect -- the Times described it not long ago as "the slickly produced heart of a broad, often covert disinformation campaign designed to sow doubt about democratic institutions and destabilize the West" – then why not the BBC or Agence France-Presse? How long until foreign books are banned or foreign musicians? ..."
"... "I'm actually surprised I haven't been indicted," tweets Bloomberg columnist Leonid Bershidsky. "I'm Russian, I was in the U.S. in 2016 and I published columns critical of both Clinton and Trump w/o registering as a foreign agent." When the Times complains that Facebook "still sees itself as the bank that got robbed, rather than the architect who designed a bank with no safes, and no alarms or locks on the doors, and then acted surprised when burglars struck," then it's clear that the goal is to force Facebook to rein in its activities or stand by and watch as others do so instead. ..."
"... But Russiagate is about something else as well: war. As National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster warns that the "time is now" to act against Iran, the New York Times slams Trump for not imposing sanctions on Moscow, and a spooky "Nuclear Posture Review" suggests that the US might someday respond to a cyber attack with atomic weapons, it's plain that Washington is itching for a showdown that will somehow undo the mistakes of the previous administration. The more Trump drags his feet, the more Democrats conclude that a war drive is the best way to bring him to his knees. ..."
"... Thus, low-grade political interference is elevated into a casus belli while Vladimir Putin is portrayed as a supernatural villain straight out of Harry Potter. But where does it stop? Libya has been set back decades, Syria, the subject of yet another US regime-change effort, has been all but destroyed, while Yemen – which America helps Saudi Arabia bomb virtually around the clock – is now a disaster area with some 9,000 people killed, 50,000 injured, a million-plus cholera cases, and more than half of all hospitals and clinics destroyed. ..."
"... The more Democrats pound the war drums, the more death and destruction will ensue. The process is well underway in Syria, the victim of Israeli bombings and a US-Turkish invasion, and it will undoubtedly spread as Dems turn up the heat. If the pathetic pseudo-scandal known as Russiagate really is collapsing under its own weight, then it's not a moment too soon. ..."
"... The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy ..."
"... A minor quibble was how at the end the author kept referring to how the "U.S" or "Washington" were the forces for the regime changes or flat-out destruction of nations Israel wants destroyed. The crappy little pesthole has been the barely-concealed mastermind of all the "Wars For Israel" which have turned the US of A into a bankrupt laughingstock. ..."
"... As ludicrous as Russiagate became, it was no joke, and became a real amplifier of the threat of nuclear war, and the relentlessly increasing militarization of America. Without the enthusiastic help of the corporate media, the whole phony narrative would never have got off the ground. Of course the criminals we call the intelligence community did all they could to give it legs, as well. We can only pray that it fades away now, and is not replaced with something else like a shooting war. But that hope is fading now on several fronts ..."
"... That was NOT to remove Trump, which was always a long shot and would only produce Pence and angry motivated Trump voters in the next election. ..."
"... The Trump derangement syndrome had a calculated purpose to keep donors giving after they were outraged by the waste of their donations. They'd been acting like a donor-strike was in progress. This cured that. ..."
"... This fed off the Stages of Grief reactions of those who'd so confidently expected a Hillary win. That helped do it, but was not the real motive. Those who initiated and shaped it were more directed, and aimed at the money. That is why the more likely things to blame, like Comey, were set aside in favor of the easy target of a foreign enemy which was familiar from recent Cold War. ..."
"... Having only as reference my own personal take on our news media the infamous MSM, is that these journalistic bandits are only in the game of twisting the news for the ratings, and to promote their own opportunistic careers. The corporate owned media has replaced responsible reporting with salaisuus promotions of often tragic events in a way that tends to in my eyes be a mere exploitation of these tragedies, as we viewers become glued to our TV screens. ..."
Feb 24, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Fads and scandals often follow a set trajectory. They grow big, bigger, and then, finally, too big, at which point they topple over and collapse under the weight of their own internal contradictions. This was the fate of the "Me too" campaign, which started out as an exposé of serial abuser Harvey Weinstein but then went too far when Babe.net published a story about one woman's bad date with comedian Aziz Ansari. Suddenly, it became clear that different types of behavior were being lumped together in a dangerous way, and a once-explosive movement began to fizzle.

So, too, with Russiagate. After dominating the news for more than a year, the scandal may have at last reached a tipping point with last week's indictment of thirteen Russian individuals and three Russian corporations on charges of illegal interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. But the indictment landed with a decided thud for three reasons:

It failed to connect the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the alleged St. Petersburg troll factory accused of political meddling, with Vladimir Putin, the all-purpose evil-doer who the corporate media say is out to destroy American democracy. It similarly failed to establish a connection with the Trump campaign and indeed went out of its way to describe contacts with the Russians as "unwitting." It described the meddling itself as even more inept and amateurish than many had suspected.

After nine months of labor, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller thus brought forth a mouse. Even if all the charges are true – something we'll probably never know since it's unlikely that any of the accused will be brought to trial -- the indictment tells us virtually nothing that's new.

Yes, IRA staffers purchased $100,000 worth of Facebook ads, 56 percent of which ran after Election Day. Yes, they persuaded someone in Florida to dress up as Hillary Clinton in a prison uniform and stand inside a cage mounted on a flatbed truck. And, yes, they also got another "real U.S. person," as the indictment terms it, to stand in front of the White House with a sign saying, "Happy 55th Birthday Dear Boss," a tribute, apparently, to IRA founder Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the convicted robber turned caterer whose birthday was three days away. Instead of a super-sophisticated spying operation, the indictment depicts a bumbling freelance operation that is still giving Putin heartburn months after the fact.

Not that this has stopped the media from whipping itself into a frenzy. "Russia is at war with our democracy," screamed a headline in the Washington Post. "Trump is ignoring the worst attack on America since 9/11," blared another. " Russia is engaged in a virtual war against the United States through 21st-century tools of disinformation and propaganda," declared the New York Times, while Daily Beast columnist Jonathan Alter tweeted that the IRA's activities amounted to nothing less than a "tech Pearl Harbor."

All of which merely demonstrates, in proper backhanded fashion, how grievously Mueller has fallen short. Proof that the scandal had at last overstayed its welcome came five days later when the Guardian, a website that had previously flogged Russiagate even more vigorously than the Post, the Times, or CNN, published a news analysis by Cas Mudde, an associate professor at the University of Georgia, admitting that it was all a farce – and a particularly self-defeating one at that.

Mudde's article made short work of hollow pieties about a neutral and objective investigation. Rather than an effort to get at the truth, Russiagate was a thinly-veiled effort at regime change. "[I]n the end," he wrote, "the only question everyone really seems to care about is whether Donald Trump was involved – and can therefore be impeached for treason.

With last week's indictment, the article went on, "Democratic party leaders once again reassured their followers that this was the next logical step in the inevitable downfall of Trump." The more Democrats play the Russiagate card, in other words, the nearer they will come to their goal of riding the Orange-Haired One out of town on a rail.

This makes the Dems seem crass, unscrupulous, and none too democratic. But then Mudde gave the knife a twist. The real trouble with the strategy, he said, is that it isn't working:

"While there is no doubt that the Trump camp was, and still is, filled with amoral and fraudulent people, and was very happy to take the Russians help during the elections, even encouraging it on the campaign, I do not think Mueller will be able to find conclusive evidence that Donald Trump himself colluded with Putin's Russia to win the elections. And that is the only thing that will lead to his impeachment as the Republican party is not risking political suicide for anything less."

Other Objectives of "Russiagate"

No collusion means no impeachment and hence no anti-Trump "color revolution" of the sort that was so effective in Georgia or the Ukraine. Moreover, while 53 percent of Americans believe that investigating Russiagate should be a top or at least an important priority according to a recent poll , figures for a half-dozen other issues ranging from Medicare and Social Security reform to tax policy, healthcare, infrastructure, and immigration are actually a good deal higher – 67 percent, 72 percent, or even more.

Summed up Mudde: " the Russia-Trump collusion story might be the talk of the town in Washington, but this is not the case in much of the rest of the country." Out in flyover country, rather, Americans can't figure out why the political elite is more concerned with a nonexistent scandal than with things that really count, i.e. de-industrialization, infrastructure decay, the opioid epidemic, and school shootings. As society disintegrates, the only thing Democrats have accomplished with all their blathering about Russkis under the bed is to demonstrate just how cut off from the real world they are.

But Russiagate is not just about regime change, but other things as well. One is repression. Where once Democrats would have laughed off Russian trolls and the like, they're now obsessed with making a mountain out of a molehill in order to enforce mainstream opinion and marginalize ideas and opinions suspected of being un-American and hence pro-Russian. If the RT (Russia Today) news network is now suspect -- the Times described it not long ago as "the slickly produced heart of a broad, often covert disinformation campaign designed to sow doubt about democratic institutions and destabilize the West" – then why not the BBC or Agence France-Presse? How long until foreign books are banned or foreign musicians?

"I'm actually surprised I haven't been indicted," tweets Bloomberg columnist Leonid Bershidsky. "I'm Russian, I was in the U.S. in 2016 and I published columns critical of both Clinton and Trump w/o registering as a foreign agent." When the Times complains that Facebook "still sees itself as the bank that got robbed, rather than the architect who designed a bank with no safes, and no alarms or locks on the doors, and then acted surprised when burglars struck," then it's clear that the goal is to force Facebook to rein in its activities or stand by and watch as others do so instead.

Add to this the classic moral panic promoted by #MeToo – to believe charges of sexual harassment and assault without first demanding evidence "is to disbelieve, and deny due process to, the accused," notes Judith Levine in the Boston Review – and it's clear that a powerful wave of cultural conservatism is crashing down on the United States, much of it originating in a classic neoliberal-Hillaryite milieu. Formerly the liberal alternative, the Democratic Party is now passing the Republicans on the right.

But Russiagate is about something else as well: war. As National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster warns that the "time is now" to act against Iran, the New York Times slams Trump for not imposing sanctions on Moscow, and a spooky "Nuclear Posture Review" suggests that the US might someday respond to a cyber attack with atomic weapons, it's plain that Washington is itching for a showdown that will somehow undo the mistakes of the previous administration. The more Trump drags his feet, the more Democrats conclude that a war drive is the best way to bring him to his knees.

Thus, low-grade political interference is elevated into a casus belli while Vladimir Putin is portrayed as a supernatural villain straight out of Harry Potter. But where does it stop? Libya has been set back decades, Syria, the subject of yet another US regime-change effort, has been all but destroyed, while Yemen – which America helps Saudi Arabia bomb virtually around the clock – is now a disaster area with some 9,000 people killed, 50,000 injured, a million-plus cholera cases, and more than half of all hospitals and clinics destroyed.

The more Democrats pound the war drums, the more death and destruction will ensue. The process is well underway in Syria, the victim of Israeli bombings and a US-Turkish invasion, and it will undoubtedly spread as Dems turn up the heat. If the pathetic pseudo-scandal known as Russiagate really is collapsing under its own weight, then it's not a moment too soon.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).


Zachary Smith , February 24, 2018 at 1:25 pm

First thing I checked before reading this was to check for instances of misuse of the term "liberal". When I found none at all, the piece suddenly looked very promising. And it was a fine essay!

A minor quibble was how at the end the author kept referring to how the "U.S" or "Washington" were the forces for the regime changes or flat-out destruction of nations Israel wants destroyed. The crappy little pesthole has been the barely-concealed mastermind of all the "Wars For Israel" which have turned the US of A into a bankrupt laughingstock.

With that small objection on record, I will declare this was great.

BobH , February 24, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Zachary, I wouldn't get too hung up on words like "liberal" which have been used and abused to become almost meaningless but yes, "the Democratic Party is now passing the Republicans on the right." Somehow I think they believe they can pick up enough "moderate" Republicans in the midterms to make up for the "angry white males"(& intellectuals) they lost in the last election the same losing strategy.

mike k , February 24, 2018 at 1:41 pm

As ludicrous as Russiagate became, it was no joke, and became a real amplifier of the threat of nuclear war, and the relentlessly increasing militarization of America. Without the enthusiastic help of the corporate media, the whole phony narrative would never have got off the ground. Of course the criminals we call the intelligence community did all they could to give it legs, as well. We can only pray that it fades away now, and is not replaced with something else like a shooting war. But that hope is fading now on several fronts

Mark Thomason , February 24, 2018 at 1:41 pm

From its first moment, this was a Team Hillary exercise, decided on by her in the days right after the election and promoted through her media contracts that had been an extension of her campaign.

Why? At first they seemed to imagine it possible to reverse the election outcome.

Then it shifted to Trump hate. Why?

That was NOT to remove Trump, which was always a long shot and would only produce Pence and angry motivated Trump voters in the next election.

The Trump derangement syndrome had a calculated purpose to keep donors giving after they were outraged by the waste of their donations. They'd been acting like a donor-strike was in progress. This cured that.

This fed off the Stages of Grief reactions of those who'd so confidently expected a Hillary win. That helped do it, but was not the real motive. Those who initiated and shaped it were more directed, and aimed at the money. That is why the more likely things to blame, like Comey, were set aside in favor of the easy target of a foreign enemy which was familiar from recent Cold War.

It was completely cynical, guided by the same greed that had produced the candidacy of Hillary and run it the whole time, doing fund raising in friendly places instead of campaigning in swing states.

JDQ , February 24, 2018 at 2:00 pm

..please do read this. It gives Liberals more a bashing than Conservatives

Joe Tedesky , February 24, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Having only as reference my own personal take on our news media the infamous MSM, is that these journalistic bandits are only in the game of twisting the news for the ratings, and to promote their own opportunistic careers. The corporate owned media has replaced responsible reporting with salaisuus promotions of often tragic events in a way that tends to in my eyes be a mere exploitation of these tragedies, as we viewers become glued to our TV screens.

This is the way the MSM sell too many needless pharmaceutical products, and their drugs are products, to insurance ad's and somehow make commercial space for the MIC defense contractors. This is how the MSM makes real money, as they forfeited our learning of anything worthwhile, as to pave the way for more exploitation of our country's struggles with everything and anything, but all forfeited simply to make the MSM more money.

It goes without saying that we the American public aren't necessarily as fooled, and tricked, as our masters would like to believe we are. So to explain away the Empire's failings certain forces from within our nation's Beltway are hard at work trying to blame all of their misgivings on another, and that another is Vladimir Putin and his American engineered misunderstood Russians. For this reason our MSM hardly ever put the real Putin on our television screens. No never, these American media producers always when describing Putin, use a prop, or a slimy squinty eyed shirtless Russian stereotype instead. For our MSM ever to air a speech of Putin, or do as Oliver Stone did, is beyond question, so don't wait up kids to see ever steady Vladimir on our American TV sets because it just isn't going to happen.

So now our MSM is exploiting the Florida mass shooting, and it is with their slants and predisposed opinions where I lose faith in anything our media does. Even as terrible as this Florida school shooting was, our MSM must politicize and adhere left right slants to this story as in their daff journalistic heads this is what they must do. Like I said this is my opinion taken from my own experiences, so take my comment for what it is, and not from any references I happened upon.

[Feb 20, 2018] Russophobia is a futile bid to conceal US, European demise by Finian Cunningham

Highly recommended!
This is an old method to unite the nation against external enemy. Carnage (with so much oil and gas) needs to be destroyed. And it's working only partially with the major divisions between Trump and Hillary supporters remaining open and unaffected by Russiagate witch hunt.
Notable quotes:
"... It is an age-old statecraft technique to seek unity within a state by depicting an external enemy or threat. Russia is the bête noire again, as it was during the Cold War years as part of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Russophobia -- "blame it all on Russia" -- is a short-term, futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning when furious and informed Western citizens will demand democratic restitution for their legitimate grievances. ..."
"... The dominant "official" narrative, from the US to Europe, is that "malicious" Russia is "sowing division;""eroding democratic institutions;" and "undermining public trust" in systems of governance, credibility of established political parties, and the news media. ..."
"... A particularly instructive presentation of this trope was given in a recent commentary by Texan Republican Representative Will Hurd. In his piece headlined, "Russia is our adversary" , he claims: "Russia is eroding our democracy by exploiting the nation's divisions. To save it, Americans need to begin working together." ..."
"... He contends: "When the public loses trust in the media, the Russians are winning. When the press is hyper-critical of Congress the Russians are winning. When Congress and the general public disagree the Russians are winning. When there is friction between Congress and the executive branch [the president] resulting in further erosion of trust in our democratic institutions, the Russians are winning." ..."
"... The endless, criminal wars that the US and its European NATO allies have been waging across the planet over the past two decades is one cogent reason why the public has lost faith in grandiose official claims about respecting democracy and international law. ..."
"... The US and European media have shown reprehensible dereliction of duty to inform the public accurately about their governments' warmongering intrigues. Take the example of Syria. When does the average Western citizen ever read in the corporate Western media about how the US and its NATO allies have covertly ransacked that country through weaponizing terrorist proxies? ..."
"... The destabilizing impact on societies from oppressive economic conditions is a far more plausible cause for grievance than outlandish claims made by the political class about alleged "Russian interference". ..."
"... Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV. ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.rt.com

Russophobia - "blame it all on Russia" - is a short-term, futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning when furious and informed Western citizens will demand democratic restitution for their legitimate grievances

It is an age-old statecraft technique to seek unity within a state by depicting an external enemy or threat. Russia is the bête noire again, as it was during the Cold War years as part of the Soviet Union.

But the truth is Western states are challenged by internal problems. Ironically, by denying their own internal democratic challenges, Western authorities are only hastening their institutional demise.

Russophobia -- "blame it all on Russia" -- is a short-term, futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning when furious and informed Western citizens will demand democratic restitution for their legitimate grievances.

The dominant "official" narrative, from the US to Europe, is that "malicious" Russia is "sowing division;""eroding democratic institutions;" and "undermining public trust" in systems of governance, credibility of established political parties, and the news media.

This narrative has shifted up a gear since the election of Donald Trump to the White House in 2016, with accusations that the Kremlin somehow ran "influence operations" to help get him into office. This outlandish yarn defies common sense. It is also running out of thread to keep spinning.

Paradoxically, even though President Trump has rightly rebuffed such dubious claims of "Russiagate" interference as "fake news", he has at other times undermined himself by subscribing to the notion that Moscow is projecting a campaign of "subversion against the US and its European allies." See for example the National Security Strategy he signed off in December.

Pathetically, it's become indoctrinated belief among the Western political class that "devious Russians" are out to "collapse" Western democracies by "weaponizing disinformation" and spreading "fake news" through Russia-based news outlets like RT and Sputnik.

Totalitarian-like, there seems no room for intelligent dissent among political or media figures.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has chimed in to accuse Moscow of "sowing division;" Dutch state intelligence claim Russia destabilized the US presidential election; the European Union commissioner for security, Sir Julian King, casually lampoons Russian news media as "Kremlin-orchestrated disinformation" to destabilize the 28-nation bloc; CIA chief Mike Pompeo recently warned that Russia is stepping up its efforts to tarnish the Congressional mid-term elections later this year.

On and on goes the narrative that Western states are essentially victims of a nefarious Russian assault to bring about collapse.

A particularly instructive presentation of this trope was given in a recent commentary by Texan Republican Representative Will Hurd. In his piece headlined, "Russia is our adversary" , he claims: "Russia is eroding our democracy by exploiting the nation's divisions. To save it, Americans need to begin working together."

Congressman Hurd asserts: "Russia has one simple goal: to erode trust in our democratic institutions It has weaponized disinformation to achieve this goal for decades in Eastern and Central Europe; in 2016, Western Europe and America were aggressively targeted as well."

Lamentably, all these claims above are made with scant, or no, verifiable evidence. It is simply a Big Lie technique of relentless repetition transforming itself into "fact" .

It's instructive to follow Congressman Hurd's thought-process a bit further.

He contends: "When the public loses trust in the media, the Russians are winning. When the press is hyper-critical of Congress the Russians are winning. When Congress and the general public disagree the Russians are winning. When there is friction between Congress and the executive branch [the president] resulting in further erosion of trust in our democratic institutions, the Russians are winning."

As a putative solution, Representative Hurd calls for "a national counter-disinformation strategy" against Russian "influence operations" , adding, "Americans must stop contributing to a corrosive political environment".

The latter is a chilling advocacy of uniformity tantamount to a police state whereby any dissent or criticism is a "thought-crime."

It is, however, such anti-democratic and paranoid thinking by Western politicians -- aided and abetted by dutiful media -- that is killing democracy from within, not some supposed foreign enemy.

There is evidently a foreboding sense of demise in authority and legitimacy among Western states, even if the real cause for the demise is ignored or denied. Systems of governance, politicians of all stripes, and institutions like the established media and intelligence services are increasingly held in contempt and distrust by the public.

Whose fault is that loss of political and moral authority? Western governments and institutions need to take a look in the mirror.

The endless, criminal wars that the US and its European NATO allies have been waging across the planet over the past two decades is one cogent reason why the public has lost faith in grandiose official claims about respecting democracy and international law.

The US and European media have shown reprehensible dereliction of duty to inform the public accurately about their governments' warmongering intrigues. Take the example of Syria. When does the average Western citizen ever read in the corporate Western media about how the US and its NATO allies have covertly ransacked that country through weaponizing terrorist proxies?

How then can properly informed citizens be expected to have respect for such criminal government policies and the complicit news media covering up for their crimes?

Western public disaffection with governments, politicians and media surely stems also from the grotesque gulf in social inequality and poverty among citizens from slavish adherence to economic policies that enrich the wealthy while consigning the vast majority to unrelenting austerity.

The destabilizing impact on societies from oppressive economic conditions is a far more plausible cause for grievance than outlandish claims made by the political class about alleged "Russian interference".

Yet the Western media indulge this fantastical "Russiagate" escapism instead of campaigning on real social problems facing ordinary citizens. No wonder such media are then viewed with disdain and distrust. Adding insult to injury, these media want the public to believe Russia is the enemy?

Instead of acknowledging and addressing real threats to citizens: economic insecurity, eroding education and health services, lost career opportunities for future generations, the looming dangers of ecological adversity, wars prompted by Western governments trashing international and diplomacy, and so on -- the Western public is insultingly plied with corny tales of Russia's "malign influence" and "assault on democracy."

Just think of the disproportionate amount of media attention and public resources wasted on the Russiagate scandal over the past year. And now gradually emerging is the real scandal that the American FBI probably colluded with the Obama administration to corrupt the democratic process against Trump.

Again, is there any wonder the public has sheer contempt and distrust for "authorities" that have been lying through their teeth and playing them for fools?

The collapsing state of Western democracies has got nothing to do with Russia. The Russophobia of blaming Russia for the demise of Western institutions is an attempt at scapegoating for the very real problems facing governments and institutions like the news media. Those problems are inherent and wholly owned by these governments owing to chronic anti-democratic functioning, as well as systematic violation of international law in their pursuit of criminal wars and other subterfuges for regime-change objectives.

Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV.

[Feb 17, 2018] Russia condemned and defined as the enemy of America with laughably little evidence (effing Facebook posts being about the extent of it) .... not a word about JEWISH MONEY controlling the entire political system in the USA. When Netanyahu gets 29 standing ovations from Congress should that not have triggered an FBI Investigation

Taking oil price to 30th or 40th is a strategic goal of the USA in relation to Russia. Listen at 3:30.
Notable quotes:
"... Appeasing interview with a shockingly cheap incompetent former CIA head Woolsey. If this man seriously represents the intellectual level of the CIA, then the USA will implode even faster than in ten years. ..."
"... You are exactly right. U$ politicians are uninformed, stupid, detached from reality, selfish and they think like schoolyard kids do. ..."
"... They are the product of the US society as a whole. ..."
"... Craig Murray nailed this issue stone dead for all time a few years ago, when he wrote:"[neo]liberal interventionism, the theory that bombing brown people is good for them". ..."
"... In the former The Ukraine, the Jewish Quisling oligarch dictator, Poroshenko, has been appointing foreigners to positions of power (SackOfShvilli is but one). He supported this by stating: "Ukrainians are too corrupt to rule themselves." When will we in America hear such a statement from our leaders to justify the appointment of Jews and paid Judaeophiles to all positions of power? ..."
"... I'm just waiting for Yevgeny Prigozhin to hold a press conference in Russia to claim that Hillary Clinton paid him to run the Internet Research Agency to besmirch her opponent- watch the fireworks :) It's all a hall of mirrors. ..."
"... The Internet Research Agency couldn't have possibly been more ineffective, which points to it's main purpose being to besmirch Trump (more more likely it was just an unimportant hobby of Prigozhin). ..."
"... Sure the United States has, they have been doing it since 1953 with the overthrow of Iran, to as recently as 2012 Russian Election, 2014 Ukraine Election, the UK referendum on 23 June 2016 on Brexit and currently trying to overthrow it this year. These are just a few and there is a very long list of other countries also. The United States in now in Russia and Hungry today meddling it their elections. Got to get the right people in office so they will cow-tow to the United States. ..."
"... What an admission! trump doesn't want more drilling for oil to Americans to use. It is for export and for foreign interference ..."
"... and if the price of oil would go down to 30/40$ that would make a unhappy input and so would be the saudis and you fracking industry would go down the toilet and thy will drag the banks with them. What a moron. And US oil companies would like that alot too ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | theduran.com

Gano1 , February 17, 2018 10:31 AM

The USA has lost all morality, they are so hypocritical it is risible.

Patricia Dolan , February 17, 2018 10:25 AM

What Russian expansionism??? Look at the US expansionism..........get a grip!

Ann Johns Patricia Dolan , February 17, 2018 2:51 PM

Another tiresome, butthurt yank/wank? Between the new One Belt, One Road Chinese initiative, the Russians taking control of ME oil production and the fact that america has NO answers to help it's declining empire, it would seem to the non-partisan observer that america is well and truly f***ed. You must be talking about their debt expansionism, $20 TRILLION and rising by the second.

Vera Gottlieb Patricia Dolan , February 17, 2018 2:29 PM

US expansionism...really? Where? 😜

Mario8282 Vera Gottlieb , February 17, 2018 2:58 PM

Syria? Libya? Yemen? Africa, Afgh...

Vera Gottlieb Mario8282 , February 17, 2018 3:00 PM

And you left out Latin America...

Mario8282 Vera Gottlieb , February 17, 2018 3:05 PM

This is why I left with the dots... The list would end up with America itself (an endless spree of false flags and deception schemes).

Patricia Dolan Mario8282 , February 17, 2018 6:11 PM

Thank you Mario......let's not forget Ukraine, Kosovo, Bosnia, the entirety of eastern Europe, the entirety of northern Africa, Rwanda, the Congo, Venezuela, Chili, Guatemala, Panama, Jeeeeeeeze etc......

Patricia Dolan Vera Gottlieb , February 17, 2018 6:07 PM

get a grip......and turn your TV off!

Terry Ross Patricia Dolan , February 17, 2018 6:08 PM

'twas sarcasm Patricia.

Patricia Dolan Terry Ross , February 17, 2018 6:18 PM

I guess the WINKS need to be LARGER!!!! LOL

ThereisaGod , February 17, 2018 10:05 AM

Russia condemned and defined as the enemy of America with laughably little evidence (effing Facebook posts being about the extent of it) .... not a word about JEWISH MONEY controlling the entire political system in the USA. When Netanyahu gets 29 standing ovations from Congress should that not have triggered an FBI "Investigation"? Nah ... nothing happening there. It is breathtaking that THIS is the Alice-In-Wonderland world we inhabit.

Ton Jacobs, Human Guardians , February 17, 2018 10:02 AM

Appeasing interview with a shockingly cheap incompetent former CIA head Woolsey. If this man seriously represents the intellectual level of the CIA, then the USA will implode even faster than in ten years.

christianblood Ton Jacobs, Human Guardians , February 17, 2018 12:32 PM

(...If this man seriously represents the intellectual level of the CIA, then the USA will implode even faster than in ten years...)

You are exactly right. U$ politicians are uninformed, stupid, detached from reality, selfish and they think like schoolyard kids do.

Jesse Marioneaux christianblood , February 17, 2018 12:43 PM

They are the product of the US society as a whole.

christianblood Jesse Marioneaux , February 17, 2018 12:57 PM

They indeed are! U$A! U$A! U$A!

tom , February 17, 2018 11:14 AM

Craig Murray nailed this issue stone dead for all time a few years ago, when he wrote:"[neo]liberal interventionism, the theory that bombing brown people is good for them".

journey80 , February 17, 2018 12:37 PM

Yeah, that's hilarious. Join the murdering creep in a giggle, Laura, that's cute. Here's a global criminal who should have been hung years ago for crimes against humanity. No one in their right mind would treat this creep with anything but contempt and horror, let alone find him funny.

Franz Kafka , February 17, 2018 12:17 PM

In the former The Ukraine, the Jewish Quisling oligarch dictator, Poroshenko, has been appointing foreigners to positions of power (SackOfShvilli is but one). He supported this by stating: "Ukrainians are too corrupt to rule themselves." When will we in America hear such a statement from our leaders to justify the appointment of Jews and paid Judaeophiles to all positions of power?

journey80 Franz Kafka , February 17, 2018 12:34 PM

We don't need to hear it, we're living it.

Franz Kafka journey80 , February 17, 2018 3:33 PM

My profound and sincere condolences. You are getting the 'Democracy Treatment' by the West. I hope some of you survive to tell the tale and take revenge.

Franz Kafka , February 17, 2018 12:09 PM

Are those ears or bat-wings? WOW! Yet another Jewe, pretending not be be. I guess he would say that the USA murdered all the Indians and enslaved Africans 'for their own good' as well.
Talmudo-Satanism is the pernicious underlying ideology of the people who have taken over, not just the USA, but, lets face it, the entire West.

Vera Gottlieb , February 17, 2018 2:28 PM

What a bunch of ingrates we are...not appreciating all that the CIA is doing for us. We must thank them instead of complaining.

Trauma2000 , February 17, 2018 5:30 PM

Lets not forget that the U.$.A. meddled in Australia's election of the Whitlam Government. (And several governments there after as soon as they realised they could get away with it an nothing would happen to them). The United States are a bunch of sick puppies; really sick puppies the way they have treated Australia.

So much for being allies. With allies like the United States you don't need enemies (Unless the U.$. doctors them up for you to force you to pay them more money for weapons and protection).

And it makes me sick that so many 'naive' people around the world keep falling for the SH*T that comes out of their mouths.

When dealing with the United States there are a few rules to follow. (Apologies to the innocent Americans out there but 'they' allow their government to do some unspeakable horrors to the world.)

And that goes for the entire planet no matter who the United States is speaking to.

End of story.

Shue Trauma2000 , February 17, 2018 5:51 PM

Worst part is the our Gov can't think ahead, if they keep antagonising China on behalf of the Seppo's China will eventually pull their mineral imports and our economy will crash overnight.

HappyCynic , February 17, 2018 4:31 PM

Yes, nobody doubts that the US interferes with elections in other countries - we're the good guys, so this is ok :)

I'm just waiting for Yevgeny Prigozhin to hold a press conference in Russia to claim that Hillary Clinton paid him to run the Internet Research Agency to besmirch her opponent- watch the fireworks :) It's all a hall of mirrors.

The Internet Research Agency couldn't have possibly been more ineffective, which points to it's main purpose being to besmirch Trump (more more likely it was just an unimportant hobby of Prigozhin).

John R Balch Jr , February 17, 2018 6:31 PM

Sure the United States has, they have been doing it since 1953 with the overthrow of Iran, to as recently as 2012 Russian Election, 2014 Ukraine Election, the UK referendum on 23 June 2016 on Brexit and currently trying to overthrow it this year. These are just a few and there is a very long list of other countries also. The United States in now in Russia and Hungry today meddling it their elections. Got to get the right people in office so they will cow-tow to the United States.

Graeme Pedersen , February 17, 2018 6:11 PM

I believe john Key was sent from the U$A (Merrill Lynch) to ruin our economy in New Zealand as well.

janbn , February 17, 2018 5:37 PM

What an admission! trump doesn't want more drilling for oil to Americans to use. It is for export and for foreign interference.

Aidi Deduction , February 17, 2018 4:51 PM

Frederick the Great concluded that to allow governments to be dominated by the majority would be disastrous: "A democracy, to survive, must be, like other governments a minority persuading a majority to let itself be led by a minority."

General Kreeg , February 17, 2018 4:13 PM

Russian Trolls are all of a sudden the Russian Gov't.

fredd , February 17, 2018 3:18 PM

and if the price of oil would go down to 30/40$ that would make a unhappy input and so would be the saudis and you fracking industry would go down the toilet and thy will drag the banks with them. What a moron. And US oil companies would like that alot too

Mario8282 , February 17, 2018 2:56 PM

...and the US bombed half of the world's countries for their own good too. US made Libya a slave market for humanity's good as well. Oboomer even got the Nobel Peace Prize for it.

K Walker , February 17, 2018 2:55 PM

I would be greatly relieved if the USA government merely tweeted instead of invading and indulging in regime change.

Kevin S , February 17, 2018 12:55 PM

Talk about the pinnacle of hypocrisy!

[Feb 01, 2018] The Loser Dems by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... Trumps victory was a defeat for the corrupt political duopoly. The Uniparty. Trump is not our savior. But he is a foot in the door. Welcome aboard Mike. ..."
"... The Democrats are now the party of the Wall Street bankers. Congrats to the Clintons and the Gores, because this was their dream when they started the Democratic Leadership Council back in the '80′s. ..."
"... The Democrat campaigns before the Clintons struck were very different. The Chamber of Commerce Republican campaigns always had more money. The Democrats weren't broke, but they always had less. But they always had grassroots efforts going door to door. ..."
"... Looking backwards, its obvious why the Clintons didn't like this. Campaigns that had less money meant less money going into their pockets and into the consultants pockets. ..."
"... If you love bankers and nuclear war, then be a proud Democrat. If not, run like heck and get away from the party of bankers and nuclear war. ..."
Feb 01, 2018 | www.unz.com

The Democrats don't seem to understand that the Russia investigation has made Trump stronger not weaker. They don't see that their evidence-free probe has strengthened Trump's base and convinced his supporters that their leader is being unfairly attacked. (According to a January Quinnipiac survey, a full eighty-three percent of Republicans believe the current investigation is "a witch hunt". The data suggests that Russia-gate has rallied Trump's backers to his defense.) Dems don't grasp that, in the last 12 months, Trump has pushed through a massive tax bill followed by immigration reform that has broadened his support and silenced his GOP critics. When Trump took office, McConnell, Ryan and Graham were all on opposite sides of the political divide. Now Trump has them eating out of his hand. He took a fractious, splintered party and forced them to fall in line. Trump has succeeded in unifying his base while the collusion fiasco has had no noticeable impact at all. None.

As for the Dems, well, the Dems still refuse to pay attention to their own polling data that says that rank-and-file members want less emphasis on Russia and more emphasis on jobs, college tuition, health care, and entitlements. The tone-deaf Dems completely ignore that message choosing instead to pursue a counterproductive probe that has yet to produce a scintilla of hard evidence and that has helped to underscore the fact that the Dems have no platform, no vision for the future, and no solutions for the problems facing ordinary working class people.

Let me be completely honest: I don't give a flying fig about Russia, Russia hacking, Russia meddling, Russia collusion or any other screwball thing related to Russia. What I do care about is what's going on in this country. I do care that the man who ran on a campaign of "non-intervention" is currently building military bases in East Syria, stirring up trouble in the South China Sea, supporting counterinsurgency operations across Africa, facing off with Turkey, providing bombs for the ongoing genocide in Yemen, threatening North Korea with total annihilation, and pledging to build a new regime of "usable" nuclear weapons. That's what worries me, not Russia. But what worries me even more is that, just when we need a strong, highly-principled, credible opposition party to fight the good fight for wages, the environment, social services, education, infrastructure, civil liberties, and peace– the Democrats have turned into jello, a wobbly, gelatinous mass of ingratiating losers. What's that all about?

The Dems are a party without a leader and without a message. They keep carping about Russia and Trump because they have no convictions, no beliefs, and no fire in the belly. It's a party of empty suits and phony flannel-mouth politicos. The only thing they're good at is losing, which is an art they appear to have perfected. The problem is, that the rest of us are sick of the party's sad-sack song-and-dance, sick of the excuses, sick of the buck passing, and sick of losing. We want candidates who actually stand for something, who actually believe in something, and who'll actually fight for something.

Two weeks ago, the Dems shut down the government to see if they could force Trump into bending on the DACA issue. In less than 72 hours, they checked the polls, ran up the white flag, and caved in. I cannot remember a more flagrant display of political cowardice in my lifetime. Personally, I'd rather be on the side of someone who believes in something (even if he's wrong!), than on the side of someone who believes in nothing at all. Democrat leaders believe in nothing, which is why they are not worthy of our support. Here's how the World Socialist Web Site summed up the DACA cave in:

"The US Senate and House of Representatives voted Monday to approve a short-term budget resolution, putting an end to the partial shutdown of the federal government that began midnight Friday night. The deal leaves 800,000 DACA recipients without protection in what amounts to a total capitulation by Democrats to Trump and the Republicans ..

In the annals of cowardly capitulations, there are few spectacles that can match Monday's collapse by the Democratic Party, which abandoned its blockade against the budget resolution less than 72 hours after it began. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer announced the decision in a brief, nearly blubbering speech on the Senate floor, which combined phony invective directed against Trump with a complete surrender to the bigot-in-chief in the White House .

The surrender was not Schumer's individual decision, but the action of the entire Democratic caucus, which had no stomach for any serious fight .." ("Federal shutdown ends as Democrats cave in to Trump", World Socialist Web Site)

No stomach. No guts. No spine. Admit it: The entire Democratic party leadership isn't worth the powder to blow it to hell. It would be better for everyone if someone just put them out of their misery.

The Dems think the midterms are going to be a landslide-blowout. But don't count on it. It's going to take more than Russia-gate and a few glitzy photos with ME TOO celebrity-victims to get disillusioned liberals back to the polls. It's going to take a "message", a vision, a progressive way out of the dark, Trumpian fog we're all stuck in. Unfortunately, the Dems have no such vision, and they're too busy chasing fictitious Russian trolls on FaceBook to give it a second thought.

ORDER IT NOW

Look: I worked in the Democratic party at the local level. I know that the people at the grassroots level are sincere, principled people that are truly committed to making the country a better place for everyone. I know that! But there comes a time when you have to accept the reality the party's leaders believe in nothing, that they are joined at the hip with arms dealers, the neocons, the Intel agencies, Wall Street and the rest of the vermin who control this country.

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that's the truth.

It's time to pull up our big boy pants and face the facts: The Democratic party is NOT a suitable vehicle for the progressive agenda. It just isn't. We need to cut our losses and move on.


exiled off mainstreet , January 31, 2018 at 7:44 pm GMT

This is something that has to be said and is the salient fact of the political reality today. Once the FBI Rosenstein, Comey and Mueller et al are exposed as is likely, it will be back to the drawing board, and Trump's sellouts to the deep state on Syria, the Ukraine, Korea and elsewhere are fundamentally dangerous.
Miro23 , February 1, 2018 at 7:58 am GMT

Look: I worked in the Democratic party at the local level. I know that the people at the grassroots level are sincere, principled people that are truly committed to making the country a better place for everyone. I know that! But there comes a time when you have to accept the reality the party's leaders believe in nothing, that they are joined at the hip with arms dealers, the Neo-cons, the Intel agencies, Wall Street and the rest of the vermin who control this country.

Yes, it degrades as you go up the structure. Senate Democratic Party leader, dual Israeli/US citizen Charles "Chuck" Schumer was elected unanimously in 2017, while openly declaring that he's the Nº1 defender of Israel. You can't say the he believes in nothing – it's just that the interests of the United States are secondary those of Israel, whatever happens. And apart from the current leaders, that also seems to apply in the past, to a host of other dual Israeli/US citizens holding top US government positions, for example:

MEexpert , February 1, 2018 at 8:26 am GMT

Look: I worked in the Democratic party at the local level.

I know that the people at the grassroots level are sincere, principled people that are truly committed to making the country a better place for everyone.

Every politician that gets elected is committed to making the country a better place for everyone. But once elected, the tune changes, when they get indoctrinated by the AIPAC and get a tour of Israel.

I know that! But there comes a time when you have to accept the reality the party's leaders believe in nothing, that they are joined at the hip with arms dealers, the neocons, the Intel agencies, Wall Street and the rest of the vermin who control this country.

End of story.

Seamus Padraig , February 1, 2018 at 10:04 am GMT

The Dems are a party without a leader and without a message. They keep carping about Russia and Trump because they have no convictions, no beliefs

Of course the Dems have a core belief: they are unshakably certain of their own moral superiority.

Admit it: The entire Democratic party leadership isn't worth the powder to blow it to hell.

Oh yes they are! Though admittedly, that's all they're worth.

WorkingClass , February 1, 2018 at 11:06 am GMT
I was a union man back when labor was part of the Dem coalition. I voted for the Dems because the union said I should. I became neither Dem nor union man when Clinton sent my job to Mexico. What took you so long Mike? Didn't you see what they did to Nader? Kucinich?

Sarah Palin said we have two parties. Pick one. Is that why you stuck with the Dems? Loathing for the GOP? Fear of the political wilderness?

I used to hang out at firedoglake. Now I'm at Unz Review. One of the commenters here spoke for me when he said, paraphrasing, I'm with the Alt Right because there is no Alt Left.

Trumps victory was a defeat for the corrupt political duopoly. The Uniparty. Trump is not our savior. But he is a foot in the door. Welcome aboard Mike.

Bobbie , February 1, 2018 at 3:07 pm GMT
The Democrats are now the party of the Wall Street bankers. Congrats to the Clintons and the Gores, because this was their dream when they started the Democratic Leadership Council back in the '80′s.

The Democrat campaigns before the Clintons struck were very different. The Chamber of Commerce Republican campaigns always had more money. The Democrats weren't broke, but they always had less. But they always had grassroots efforts going door to door.

Looking backwards, its obvious why the Clintons didn't like this. Campaigns that had less money meant less money going into their pockets and into the consultants pockets.

What the Democratic voters want, "jobs, college tuition, health care, and entitlements", is obviously the exact opposite of what the Wall Street bankers and the other big money behind the modern Democrats want. And in today's Democrat Party, the Big Money controls everything. Anyone paying attention to what few primary challenges occur in the party already knew this. And by now its public record and should be well known that the creature of the Wall Street banks (aka Hillary) helped make sure the Bernie-Hillary race was rigged towards the favorite candidate of the bankers.

Since the same forces are blocking any 'reform' within the party, its going to stay this way. If anything, the party of the bankers is making sure that none of the Bernie people have any positions of power within the party. And there is no sign that the next Presidential nomination contest won't be as rigged, fake and corrupt as the last one. There is also no sign of a wave of primary challenges to the banker-favorite Democrat incumbents in the primaries that will be occuring within the coming months.

So, the drive to nuclear war suits the bankers. It makes sure the focus is off any policies the bankers oppose, which is anything that helps anyone except the bankers. The same bankers are invested in the nuke and defense industries that seem intent on driving the world towards a nuclear holocaust.

If you love bankers and nuclear war, then be a proud Democrat. If not, run like heck and get away from the party of bankers and nuclear war.

nebulafox , February 1, 2018 at 3:20 pm GMT
You can have a functional welfare state. You can have mass immigration.

You can't have both. Or, ordinarily you can't, not in a fiscally feasible way, as much of Europe has found out the hard way over the past decade. America's long-time status as the world's reserve currency let us get away with things that other countries couldn't for a few decades, but time is running out on that status.

(And even still-immigration levels in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s were much, much less than the torrent flood we've experienced in the 21st Century. America had a population of "only" around 225 million in 1979, for comparison. The growth of over *100 million* we've had since then is nearly all immigration fueled. I don't think people contemplate what 100 million people means.)

Johann , February 1, 2018 at 3:57 pm GMT
@Dutch Boy

In 1972 the democrats ran McGovern on a platform of the three As : acid, abortion, and amnesty. Richard Nixon went on to win forty nine states out of fifty, an unprecedented rout. Today fifty years later the Democrats are still running on the three As: Acid(legalization of drugs), abortion ( total non restriction of all abortions and government funded Planned Parenthood) and Amnesty( complete removal of any border control and the importation of any of the seven billion people who live on planet earth). I would also add that today they have added transgenderism and the idea that there is no difference between male and female and the widespread belief that all science is created by the DNC and its famous "the science is settled" dictum. If the Americans vote this absurd party into power then they deserve the grim future that they will surely reap.

bluedog , February 1, 2018 at 4:06 pm GMT
@Nancy Pelosi's Latina Maid

Well we are shit for after all this country and its voters really don't care how many are slaughtered in our name, as long as it dosen't disturb Monday night football, Bob Dole referred to the working class as "Joe six pack" and that term still applies long after Dole left office.. Hell as far as a solution go no farther than the post on here, and just how many agree/dis-agree with each other for its called divide and conquer and they are very good at the game, in fact its the only game in town

[Jan 27, 2018] Ukraine, Syria, Russiagate, the Media, and the Risk of Nuclear War by Robert Roth

Notable quotes:
"... London Review of Books, ..."
"... at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack ..."
"... Return to Moscow ..."
"... The demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia is where the neocons and the liberal interventionists most significantly come together. The U.S. media's approach to Russia is now virtually 100 percent propaganda. For instance, the full story of the infamous Magnitsky case cannot be told in the West, nor can the objective reality of the Ukrane coup in 2014 . The American people and the West in general are carefully shielded from hearing the "other side of the story." Indeed to even suggest that there is another side to the story makes you a "Putin apologist" or "Kremlin stooge." ..."
Jan 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

The claim of Russian meddling in the US election has brought US-Russia relations to what may be an all-time low, substantially contributing to the near-universal demonization of Russian president Vladimir Putin and of Russia itself in virtually all major media, with little or no discussion of the supposed evidence for the claim. A stellar exception is the London Review of Books, which published a critically important essay by Rutgers University professor Jackson Lears in the January 4, 2018 issue. Titled "What We Don't Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking," the article is an excellent overview and analysis of many of the issues the title suggests.

The claim of Russian meddling in the election remains to this day evidence-free, although you would never know that from the treatment of the topic in the mainstream media. As Professor Lears observes:

Like any orthodoxy worth its salt, the religion of the Russian hack depends not on evidence but on ex cathedra pronouncements on the part of authoritative institutions and their overlords. Its scriptural foundation is a confused and largely fact-free 'assessment' produced last January by a small number of 'hand-picked' analysts – as James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, described them – from the CIA, the FBI and the NSA. The claims of the last were made with only 'moderate' confidence. The label Intelligence Community Assessment creates a misleading impression of unanimity, given that only three of the 16 US intelligence agencies contributed to the report. And indeed the assessment itself contained this crucial admission: 'Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation and precedents.' Yet the assessment has passed into the media imagination as if it were unassailable fact, allowing journalists to assume what has yet to be proved. In doing so they serve as mouthpieces for the intelligence agencies, or at least for those 'hand-picked' analysts.

But although Professor Lears refers to the reports of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity in his discussion of "Russian hacking," it seems clear there must have been a leak, not a hack, because "the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack ." ("Was the 'Russian Hack' An Inside Job?", July 25, 2017, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/25/was-the-russian-hack-an-inside-job/ .)

In any case, definitive claims about who was responsible (assuming, purely arguendo , it was a hack) face the fact that, according to Ray McGovern and William S. Binney, two members of VIPS,

On March 31, 2017, WikiLeaks released original CIA documents [the "Vault 7" trove of CIA documents ] -- ignored by mainstream media -- showing that the agency had created a program allowing it to break into computers and servers and make it look like others did it by leaving telltale signs like Cyrillic markings, for example. ("Trumped-up Claims Against Trump," May 17, 2017, http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-trump-russia-phony-20170517-story.html ).

McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years; Binney worked for NSA for 36 years, was the agency's technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting, and created many of the collection systems still used by NSA.

In other words, as Russian president Vladimir Putin has explained,

today's technology is such that the final address can be masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one will be able to understand the origin of that address. And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual [so] that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack. (Valdimir Putin's televised interview on NBC (June 4, 2017), by NBC News' Megyn Kelly, text published on the website of the President of Russia, June 5, 2017.) [9]

Demonization of Putin and Russia

The demonization of Russian president Vladimir Putin and Russia itself is just part, albeit the most dangerous part, of a disinformation campaign flowing from the mainstream media. I don't propose to present a full treatment of the subject here. But in broad outline, it's my understanding that when the Cold War ended in 1991, Russian president Boris Yeltsin accepted the advice of Western neoliberal planners and dismantled much of the Russian "safety net," with the result that the Russian economy tanked and millions of people faced terrific hardship.

Vladimir Putin has been attempting to repair that situation, and his initial success is part of the reason for his popularity in Russia. That understanding comes from a number of articles I've read over the years, but primarily from Tony Kevin's book Return to Moscow , mentioned above. I'm hardly an expert on internal Russian politics. But I've read many of the extensive public statements Mr. Putin has made since 2007, and with my primary concern being his role in international relations and with respect to the control of Russia's nuclear arsenal, he strikes me as a statesman. [10] . Yet as investigative journalist Robert Parry observes,

The demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia is where the neocons and the liberal interventionists most significantly come together. The U.S. media's approach to Russia is now virtually 100 percent propaganda. For instance, the full story of the infamous Magnitsky case cannot be told in the West, nor can the objective reality of the Ukrane coup in 2014 . The American people and the West in general are carefully shielded from hearing the "other side of the story." Indeed to even suggest that there is another side to the story makes you a "Putin apologist" or "Kremlin stooge."

Western journalists now apparently see it as their patriotic duty to hide key facts that otherwise would undermine the demonizing of Putin and Russia. Ironically, many "liberals" who cut their teeth on skepticism about the Cold War and the bogus justifications for the Vietnam War now insist that we must all accept whatever the U.S. intelligence community feeds us, even if we're told to accept the assertions on faith. [11] .

One result is a needless heightening of the dangers and risks outlined in this article.

[Jan 13, 2018] And by voting against its own interests, the white working class isn t just making itself poorer, it s literally killing itself

Notable quotes:
"... The central fact of US political economy, the source of our exceptionalism, is that lower-income whites vote for politicians who redistribute income upward and weaken the safety net because they think the welfare state is for nonwhites. ..."
"... And by voting against its own interests, the white working class isn't just making itself poorer, it's literally killing itself. ..."
"... With some slight variations, Krugman was essentially re-stating the thesis of my 2004 book, What's the Matter With Kansas?, in which I declared on the very first page that working people "getting their fundamental interests wrong" by voting for conservatives was "the bedrock of our civic order; it is the foundation on which all else rests". ..."
Jan 13, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

On New Year's Day, the economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman issued a series of tweets in which he proclaimed as follows:

The central fact of US political economy, the source of our exceptionalism, is that lower-income whites vote for politicians who redistribute income upward and weaken the safety net because they think the welfare state is for nonwhites.

and then, a few minutes later:

And by voting against its own interests, the white working class isn't just making itself poorer, it's literally killing itself.

Was I psyched to see this! With some slight variations, Krugman was essentially re-stating the thesis of my 2004 book, What's the Matter With Kansas?, in which I declared on the very first page that working people "getting their fundamental interests wrong" by voting for conservatives was "the bedrock of our civic order; it is the foundation on which all else rests".

... ... ...

Let me be more explicit. We have just come through an election in which underestimating working-class conservatism in northern states proved catastrophic for Democrats. Did the pundits' repeated insistence that white working-class voters in the north were reliable Democrats play any part in this underestimation? Did the message Krugman and his colleagues hammered home for years help to distract their followers from the basic strategy of Trump_vs_deep_state?

I ask because getting that point wrong was kind of a big deal in 2016. It was a blunder from which it will take the Democratic party years to recover. And we need to get to the bottom of it.

Thomas Frank is a Guardian columnist

[Jan 07, 2018] Neoliberal MSM want to control the narrative

"Controlling the narrative" is politically correct term for censorship.
Notable quotes:
"... I suspect most of the people who write all that furious invective on the Internet, professional polemicists and semiliterate commenters alike, are lashing out because they've been hurt -- their sense of fairness or decency has been outraged, or they feel personally wounded or threatened. ..."
"... "controlling the narrative" by neoliberal MSM is the key of facilitating the neoliberal "groupthink". Much like was in the USSR with "communist" groupthink. This is a step in the direction of the theocratic society (which the USSR definitely was). ..."
"... In other words "controlling the narrative" is the major form of neoliberal MSM "war on reality" as the neoliberal ideology is now completely discredited and can be sustained only by cult-style methods. ..."
Jan 30, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
libezkova -> Fred C. Dobbs... January 29, 2017 at 08:31 AM , 2017 at 08:31 AM
Neoliberal MSM want to control the narrative.

That's why "alternative facts" should be called an "alternative narrative".

https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/09/controlling-the-narrative/?_r=0

== quote ==

Maybe this is the same kind of clinical detachment doctors have to cultivate, a way of distancing oneself from the subject, protecting yourself against a crippling empathy. I won't say that writers or artists are more sensitive than other people, but it may be that they're less able to handle their own emotions.

It may be that art, like drugs, is a way of dulling or controlling pain. Eloquently articulating a feeling is one way to avoid actually experiencing it.

Words are only symbols, noises or marks on paper, and turning the messy, ugly stuff of life into language renders it inert and manageable for the author, even as it intensifies it for the reader.

It's a nerdy, sensitive kid's way of turning suffering into something safely abstract, an object of contemplation.

I suspect most of the people who write all that furious invective on the Internet, professional polemicists and semiliterate commenters alike, are lashing out because they've been hurt -- their sense of fairness or decency has been outraged, or they feel personally wounded or threatened.

libezkova -> libezkova... , January 29, 2017 at 09:24 AM
"controlling the narrative" by neoliberal MSM is the key of facilitating the neoliberal "groupthink". Much like was in the USSR with "communist" groupthink. This is a step in the direction of the theocratic society (which the USSR definitely was).

In other words "controlling the narrative" is the major form of neoliberal MSM "war on reality" as the neoliberal ideology is now completely discredited and can be sustained only by cult-style methods.

They want to invoke your emotions in the necessary direction and those emotions serve as a powerful filter, a firewall which will prevents you from seeing any alternative facts which taken as whole form an "alternative narrative".

It also creates certain taboo, such as "don't publish anything from RT", or you automatically become "Putin's stooge." But some incoherent blabbing of a crazy neocon in Boston Globe is OK.

This is an old and a very dirty game, a variation of method used for centuries by high demand cults:

"Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece.

Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood.

But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship

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

– Hermann Goering (as told to Gustav Gilbert during the Nuremberg trials)

You need to be able to decipher this "suggested" set of emotions and detach it from the set of facts provided by neoliberal MSM. It might help to view things "Sine ira et studio" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sine_ira_et_studio )

That helps to destroy the official neoliberal narrative.

Here skepticism (whether natural or acquired) can be of great help in fighting groupthink pushed by neoliberal MSM.

We are all guilty of this one sidedness, but I think that we need to put some efforts to move in direction of higher level of skepticism toward our own views and probably provide at least links to alternative views.

[Jan 05, 2018] I find Democratic Party optimism for the 2018 mid-term election to be odd

Jan 05, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Editorial comment:

I find Democratic Party optimism for the 2018 mid-term election to be odd. It seems to rest on two expectations.

1. The yearning of the faithful Left for some crime that could be laid at DJT's feet as a plausible basis for impeachment or "sale" to Trump supporters as a basis for voting Democratic in congressional and gubernatorial elections. This seems an unlikely outcome to me. In spite of all the hyper-ventilation in the MSM over every rumored "smoking gun" to come in the Russophobic investigations, there is nothing yet in evidence of a crime with which DJT could be charged in the process of impeachment and trial. Manafort, Flynn, etc. all have profound legal problems, but they are not Trump. Guilt by association has not yet become a chargeable offense in the US. Removal for mental incompetence under the 25th Amendment is not a realistic possibility. This would require a majority vote of the cabinet and with the concurrence of the VP. Good luck on that! AND, a hell of a lot of people across the country like Trump's actions even if they think his behavior is bizarre. Is it seemly for a serving president to host a for profit $750/plate gala at his Florida resort? No. It is not but most people just don't care about that. It is not a crime.

2. The Democrats believe/hope that the US economy will decline between now and November and that will cause scales to fall from the eyes of the masses. Well, pilgrims, that is a hell of a thing to hope for and that collapse in the economy seems to me to be very unlikely given the cumulative stimulative effect of DJT actions in tax law, deregulation and his various jaw-boning efforts with business. The private sector added 250,000 jobs in December BEFORE the tax law was signed. the DOW crossed the 25,000 frontier early today and just kept going. Rich people in New York, New Jersey, California and other blue states were never going to vote for Trump anyway sooo ... the loss of their state income tax deduction is not politically significant. Republican Congressman Reed from western New York state was asked about this today on the Tee Vee. He replied that he understood this would be difficult for rich people in the big cities but that in his district the average income is $42,000/year and that the continued $10,000 real estate deduction would take care of 99.9% of his constituents and so he had voted for the new tax law.

It seems to me that the Democrats are counting their chickens mighty early. pl

A.Pols ,

The Democrats are indeed counting their chickens....
The economy can do all kinds of things such as deflate when the hot money (endless levitation by the Fed) runs out, which it won't unless Petrodollar and Dollar reserve currency status come to an end. Now there is a real good chance that will happen, but probably not by November of this year, though by November of 2038 it probably will have come to pass.
I had been a Democrat since my first election in 1968, but these days what do the Democrats actually represent? If you love the idea of Stone Mountain being blown up and you're a full fledged diversity catamite or gender crybaby, then They're the virtue signalling voice of "progressivism". Otherwise what do they offer except domestic stagnation, persecution of the people who keep the lights on, and schizoid foreign intervention?
Anyone who thinks Alabama was a call to man the barricades is mistaken.Roy Moore was a stinker of a candidate, but he still made it to the one yard line.
Greco ,
Perhaps Democrats have reason to be cautiously optimistic, if not assured of themselves.

They have been aided no less by Trump's former strategist. The self-proclaimed Leninist, Mr.Bannon, has stuck his little dagger into the president. I don't know what mindlessness propelled him to sit for hours with Mr. Wolffe on record and mercilessly attack the president and his family. It's possible Wolffe is playing loose with Bannon's words, but it doesn't appear that Bannon himself can recall with any certainty that he didn't say what has been attributed to him.

I assume Bannon's inner Machiavelli figured he would be quoted anonymously as a "White House source." Serves him right to be exposed like this, but he has caused untold damage to a movement he has both helped to propel and control, not to mention having forced Trump into unneeded damage control just at a time when he was getting into the swing of things and was beginning to turn the table on his enemies.

At least we now know why McMaster astutely decided to get rid of Bannon from the NSC and why Kelly had him fired. Bannon was not only a leaker, he would privately disparage anyone who attempted to stand in the way of his influence, including the president. I just hope Trump is now better served by those around him now, but that doesn't strike me being necessarily so.

Farmer Don , 04 January 2018 at 02:41 PM
Where will the economy be at the end of 2018
I HAVE NO CLUE!

too many variables for me:

Reasons for crash:
Personal debt rising starting to cause problems. Credit card debt up/Car loan defaults up
US debt rising.
US balance of trade continuing
Fed says it will quit increasing QE & may raise interest rates.
China and bricks completing parallel monetary trade and movement systems to stop US financial monopoly. Ie chinese SWIFT replacement system, Chinese credit cards, Russian increasing gold holdings compared to US$
Rents and housing most expensive compared to wages ever.
US health care costs rising


Reasons for good times
Central banks printing money and buying stocks.
Tax laws brings money back to US (more stock buybacks)
US debt ceiling seems to be an illusion
Trump great spokesman for business
Trump may use new tools to fight recession (helicopter money etc.)
Trump says he likes cheap US$
Momentum of stock markets
Trump has started no new wars. Military $$ stay mostly inside the USA
Trump gets huge infrastructure bill passed

Wild cards
Crypto currencies?
Interest rates?
Job outsourcing or coming back to USA?
Economic Black Swan from outside USA

Richardstevenhack , 04 January 2018 at 02:41 PM
I tend to agree that the economy is due for a crash to the limited degree I read economics news and opinion (I used to be much more interested but after forty years of waiting for the "Big Depression" which hasn't come, I've become tired.) But hoping it will happen in the next year is clearly speculative.

Bottom line is Democrats have no plan for 2018 - and therefore are likely to lose big again.

kao_hsien_chih said in reply to tv... , 04 January 2018 at 02:41 PM
Of all the components of the tax bill (many of which are problematic--but that's mostly b/c it's a tax bill, not necessarily for ideological reasons), I thought putting a lot of tax onus on wealthy bicoastals was a stroke of genius. Having said that, things are looking in a lot of mixed directions: many people are uneasy for all sorts of reasons about Trump, but the bottom line (esp on economic matters) does not look too bad, to say the least.

In many ways, actually, the overall situation looks like Bill Clinton 2.0: people had all sorts of issues with WJC--Democrats were uneasy with him and Republicans absolutely hated him. But things were looking OK or better in general and voters weren't going to punish him for nothing that was particularly off track. I see the Democrats trying some of the same tricks. Maybe even all the way to impeachment. Unless things come apart at the seams very visibly, none of them will stick on DJT.

Jack , 04 January 2018 at 02:41 PM
Sir

The stock market and financial asset prices in general drive perceptions of the strength of the economy. As long as financial assets prices remain in melt-up mode it will benefit the incumbents. While the Fed and the other major central banks are slowly reducing liquidity by either reducing the rate of growth of their balance sheet or reducing it outright as in the case of the Fed, there's no knowing when speculation peaks. The one thing that bulls should watch is the flattening of the yield curve.

[Dec 31, 2017] What Happens When A Russiagate Skeptic Debates A Professional Russiagater

Highly recommended!
What a pitiful pressitute this Like Harding is...
The fact that he is employed by Guardia tells a lot how low Guardian fall. It's a yellow press (owned by intelligence agencies if we talk about their coverage of Russia).
Notable quotes:
"... In theory, it would be hard to find two journalists more qualified to debate each side of this important issue. In practice, it was a one-sided thrashing that The Intercept 's Jeremy Scahill accurately described as "brutal". ..."
"... Russiagate only works if you allow it to remain zoomed out, where the individually weak arguments of this giant Gish gallop fallacy form the appearance of a legitimate argument. ..."
"... That's not how you're going to get the truth about Russia. He's all appeals to authority - Steele's most of all, even name dropping Kerry. To finally land on "oh well if you would read my whole book" is just getting to the silly season. Also "well this is the kind of person Putin is" is a terrible argument. This isn't about either Putin or Trump really, its about the long history of US-Russia relations and all that has occurred. Also, the ubiquitous throwing around of accusations of the murder of journalists in Russia is a straw man argument, especially when it is just thrown in as some sort of moral shielding for a shabby argument. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Have you ever wondered why mainstream media outlets, despite being so fond of dramatic panel debates on other hot-button issues, never have critics of the Russiagate narrative on to debate those who advance it? Well, in a recent Real News interview we received an extremely clear answer to that question, and it was so epic it deserves its own article.

Real News host and producer Aaron Maté has recently emerged as one of the most articulate critics of the establishment Russia narrative and the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory, and has published in The Nation some of the clearest arguments against both that I've yet seen. Luke Harding is a journalist for The Guardian where he has been writing prolifically in promotion of the Russiagate narrative, and is the author of New York Times bestseller Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win.

In theory, it would be hard to find two journalists more qualified to debate each side of this important issue. In practice, it was a one-sided thrashing that The Intercept 's Jeremy Scahill accurately described as "brutal".

The term Gish gallop , named after a Young Earth creationist who was notoriously fond of employing it, refers to a fallacious debate tactic in which a bunch of individually weak arguments are strung together in rapid-fire succession in order to create the illusion of a solid argument and overwhelm the opposition's ability to refute them all in the time allotted. Throughout the discussion the Gish gallop appeared to be the only tool that Luke Harding brought to the table, firing out a deluge of feeble and unsubstantiated arguments only to be stopped over and over again by Maté who kept pointing out when Harding was making a false or fallacious claim.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Ikf1uZli4g

In this part here , for example, the following exchange takes place while Harding is already against the ropes on the back of a previous failed argument. I'm going to type this up so you can clearly see what's happening here:

Harding: Look, I'm a journalist. I'm a storyteller. I'm not a kind of head of the CIA or the NSA. But what I can tell you is that there have been similar operations in France, most recently when President Macron was elected ? -

Maté: Well actually Luke that's not true. That's straight up not true. After that election the French cyber-intelligence agency came out and said it could have been virtually anybody.

Harding: Yeah. But, if you'll let me finish, there've been attacks on the German parliament ? -

Maté: Okay, but wait Luke, do you concede that the France hack that you just claimed didn't happen?

Harding: [pause] What? -- ?that it didn't happen? Sorry?

Maté: Do you concede that the Russian hacking of the French election that you just claimed actually is not true?

Harding: [pause] Well, I mean that it's not true? I mean, the French report was inconclusive, but you have to look at this kind of contextually. We've seen attacks on other European states as well from Russia, they have very kind of advanced cyber capabilities.

Maté: Where else?

Harding: Well, Estonia. Have you heard of Estonia? It's a state in the Baltics which was crippled by a massive cyber attack in 2008, which certainly all kind of western European and former eastern European states think was carried out by Moscow. I mean I was in Moscow at the time, when relations between the two countries were extremely bad. This is a kind of ongoing thing. Now you might say, quite legitimately, well the US does the same thing, the UK does the same thing, and I think to a certain extent that is certainly right. I think what was different last year was the attempt to kind of dump this stuff out into kind of US public space and try and influence public opinion there. That's unusual. And of course that's a matter of congressional inquiry and something Mueller is looking at too.

Maté: Right. But again, my problem here is that the examples that are frequently presented to substantiate claims of this massive Russian hacking operation around the world prove out to be false. So France as I mentioned; you also mentioned Germany. There was a lot of worry about Russian hacking of the German elections, but it turned out? -- ?and there's plenty of articles since then that have acknowledged this? - ? that actually there was no Russian hack in Germany.

In the above exchange, Maté derailed Harding's Gish gallop, and Harding actually admonished him for doing so, telling him "let me finish" and attempting to go on listing more flimsy examples to bolster his case as though he hadn't just begun his Gish gallop with a completely false example .

That's really all Harding brought to the debate. A bunch of individually weak arguments, the fact that he speaks Russian and has lived in Moscow, and the occasional straw man where he tries to imply that Maté is claiming that Vladimir Putin is an innocent girl scout. Meanwhile Maté just kept patiently dragging the debate back on track over and over again in the most polite obliteration of a man that I have ever witnessed.

The entire interview followed this basic script. Harding makes an unfounded claim, Maté holds him to the fact that it's unfounded, Harding sputters a bit and tries to zoom things out and point to a bigger-picture analysis of broader trends to distract from the fact that he'd just made an individual claim that was baseless, then winds up implying that Maté is only skeptical of the claims because he hasn't lived in Russia as Harding has.

jeremy scahill 0
@jeremyscahill
This @aaronjmate interview is brutal. He makes mincemeat of Luke Harding, who can't seem to defend the thesis, much less the title, of his own book: Where's the 'Collusion' - YouTube
11:03 AM-Dec 25, 2017
Q 131 11597 C? 1,148

The interview ended when Harding once again implied that Maté was only skeptical of the collusion narrative because he'd never been to Russia and seen what a right-wing oppressive government it is, after which the following exchange took place:

Maté: I don't think I've countered anything you've said about the state of Vladimir Putin's Russia. The issue under discussion today has been whether there was collusion, the topic of your book.
Harding: Yeah, but you're clearly a kind of collusion rejectionist, so I'm not sure what sort of evidence short of Trump and Putin in a sauna together would convince you. Clearly nothing would convince you. But anyway it's been a pleasure.

At which point Harding abruptly logged off the video chat, leaving Maté to wrap up the show and promote Harding's book on his own.

You should definitely watch this debate for yourself , and enjoy it, because I will be shocked if we ever see another like it. Harding's fate will serve as a cautionary tale for the establishment hacks who've built their careers advancing the Russiagate conspiracy theory , and it's highly unlikely that any of them will ever make the mistake of trying to debate anyone of Maté's caliber again.

The reason Russiagaters speak so often in broad, sweeping terms? - saying there are too many suspicious things happening for there not to be a there there, that there's too much smoke for there not to be fire? - ? is because when you zoom in and focus on any individual part of their conspiracy theory, it falls apart under the slightest amount of critical thinking (or as Harding calls it, "collusion rejectionism"). Russiagate only works if you allow it to remain zoomed out, where the individually weak arguments of this giant Gish gallop fallacy form the appearance of a legitimate argument.

Well, Harding did say he's a storyteller.

* * *

Thanks for reading! My work here is entirely reader-funded so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following me on Twitter , bookmarking my website , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , or buying my new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . Our Hidden History 4 days ago (edited) That Harding tells Mate to meet Alexi Navalny, who is a far right nationalist and most certainly a tool of US intelligence (something like Russia's Richard Spencer) was all I needed to hear to understand where Luke is coming from.

He's little more than an intelligence asset himself if his idea of speaking to "Russians" is to go and speak to a bunch of people who most certainly have their own ties back to the western intelligence agencies.

That's not how you're going to get the truth about Russia. He's all appeals to authority - Steele's most of all, even name dropping Kerry. To finally land on "oh well if you would read my whole book" is just getting to the silly season. Also "well this is the kind of person Putin is" is a terrible argument. This isn't about either Putin or Trump really, its about the long history of US-Russia relations and all that has occurred. Also, the ubiquitous throwing around of accusations of the murder of journalists in Russia is a straw man argument, especially when it is just thrown in as some sort of moral shielding for a shabby argument.

Few in the US know about these cases or what occurred, or of the many forces inside of Russia that might be involved in murdering journalists just as in Mexico or Turkey. But these cases are not explained - blame is merely assigned to Putin himself. Of course if someone here discusses he death of Michael Hastings, they're a "conspiracy theorist", but if the crime involves a Russian were to assign the blame to Vladimir Putin and, no further explanation is required.

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

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

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

... ... ...

[Dec 28, 2017] On your surmise that Putin prefers Trump to Hillary and would thus have incentive to influence the election, I beg to differ. Putin is one smart statesman; he knows very well it makes no difference which candidates gets elected in US elections.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I accept your point that the Democrats and the Republicans are two sides of the same coin, but it's important to understand that Putin is deeply conservative and very risk averse. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton may be a threat to Russia but she knows the "rules" and is very predictable, while Trump doesn't know the rules and appears to act on a whim ..."
"... However, given the problems that Hillary Clinton had to overcome to get elected, backing her against Trump would be risky. So the highly risk averse Putin would logically stay out of the election entirely and all the claims of Russia hacking the election are fake news. ..."
"... As for the alleged media campaign, my response is "so what!". Western media, including state-owned media, interferes around the world all the time so complaining about Russian state-owned media doing the same is pure hypocrisy and should be ignored. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ghost Ship , Dec 27, 2017 10:17:37 AM | 92

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Dec 26, 2017 3:56:16 PM | 35
On your surmise that Putin prefers Trump to Hillary and would thus have incentive to influence the election, I beg to differ. Putin is one smart statesman; he knows very well it makes no difference which candidates gets elected in US elections.

I accept your point that the Democrats and the Republicans are two sides of the same coin, but it's important to understand that Putin is deeply conservative and very risk averse.

Hillary Clinton may be a threat to Russia but she knows the "rules" and is very predictable, while Trump doesn't know the rules and appears to act on a whim , so if Putin were to have interfered in the 2016 presidential election, logic would suggest that he would do so on Hillary Clinton's side. However, given the problems that Hillary Clinton had to overcome to get elected, backing her against Trump would be risky. So the highly risk averse Putin would logically stay out of the election entirely and all the claims of Russia hacking the election are fake news.

As for the alleged media campaign, my response is "so what!". Western media, including state-owned media, interferes around the world all the time so complaining about Russian state-owned media doing the same is pure hypocrisy and should be ignored.

[Dec 27, 2017] Putin is one smart statesman; he knows very well it makes no difference which candidates gets elected in US elections. Any candidate that WOULD make a difference would NEVER see the daylight of nomination, especially at the presidential level. I myself believe all the talk of Russia interfering the 2016 Election is no more than a witch hunt

Highly recommended!
Neocons dominate the US foreign policy establishment.
In other words Russiagate might be a pre-emptive move by neocons after Trump elections.
Notable quotes:
"... The dogma does not come from questioning this conclusion. Because Putin, during the campaign, complimented Trump, does not support the conclusion with its insinuation that those who voted for Trump needed to be influenced by anything other than being fed up with the usual in American politics. Same with Brexit. That dissatisfaction continues, and it doesn't need Russian influence to feed it. This is infantile oversimplification to say so. ..."
"... "The centrepiece of the faith, based on the hacking charge, is the belief that Vladimir Putin orchestrated an attack on American democracy by ordering his minions to interfere in the election on behalf of Trump. The story became gospel with breathtaking suddenness and completeness. Doubters are perceived as heretics and as apologists for Trump and Putin, the evil twins and co-conspirators behind this attack on American democracy. Responsibility for the absence of debate lies in large part with the major media outlets. Their uncritical embrace and endless repetition of the Russian hack story have made it seem a fait accompli in the public mind. It is hard to estimate popular belief in this new orthodoxy, but it does not seem to be merely a creed of Washington insiders. If you question the received narrative in casual conversations, you run the risk of provoking blank stares or overt hostility – even from old friends. This has all been baffling and troubling to me; there have been moments when pop-culture fantasies (body snatchers, Kool-Aid) have come to mind." ..."
"... But I do believe Putin, and for that matter Xi Jinping of China too, should make efforts to infiltrate the USA election processes. It's an eye for an eye. USA has been exercising its free hands in manipulating elections and stirring up color revolutions all around the world, including the 2012 presidential election in Russia. They should be given a taste of their own medicine. In fact, I believe it is for this reason that the US MSM is playing up this hocus pocus Russian-gate matter, as a preemptive measure to justify imposing electioneering controls in the future. ..."
"... USA may not be vulnerable as yet to this kind of external nuisances, as the masses have not yet reached the stage of being easily stirred. But that time will come. ..."
Dec 27, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Rhett , Dec 26, 2017 2:18:30 PM | 20

I have great respect for the reporting on this site regarding Syria and the Middle East. I regret that for some reason there is this dogmatic approach to the issue of Russian attempts to influence the US election. Why wouldn't the Russians try to sway the election? Allowing Hillary to win would have put a dangerous adversary in the White House, one with even more aggressive neocon tendencies than Obama. Trump has been owned by Russian mobsters since the the 1990s, and his ties to Russian criminals like Felix Sater are well known.

Putin thought that getting Trump in office would allow the US to go down a more restrained foreign policy path and lift sanctions against Russia, completely understandable goals. Using Facebook/Twitter bots and groups like Cambridge Analytica, an effort was made to sway public opinion toward Trump. That is just politics. And does anyone really doubt there are incriminating sexual videos of Trump out there? Trump (like Bill Clinton) was buddies with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Of course there are videos of Trump that can be used for blackmail purposes, and of course they would be used to get him on board with the Russian plan.

The problem is that everything Trump touches dies. He's a fraud and an incompetent idiot. Always has been. To make matters worse, Trump is controlled by the Zionists through his Orthodox Jewish daughter and Israeli spy son-in-law. This gave power to the most openly extreme Zionist elements who will keep pushing for more war in the Middle East. And Trump is so vile that he's hated by the majority of Americans and doesn't have the political power to end sanctions against Russia.

Personally, I think this is all for the best. Despite his Zionist handlers, Trump will unintentionally unwind the American Empire through incompetence and lack of strategy, which allows Syria and the rest of the world to breathe and rebuild. So Russia may have made a bad bet on this guy being a useful ally, but his own stupidity will end up working out to the world's favor in the long run.

Sid2 , Dec 26, 2017 3:17:40 PM | 27
@20

there is considerable irony in use of "dogmatic" here: the dogma actually occurs in the rigid authoritarian propaganda that the Russians Putin specifically interfered with the election itself, which now smugly blankets any discussion. "The Russians interfered" is now dogma, when that statement is not factually shown, and should read, "allegedly interfered."

The dogma does not come from questioning this conclusion. Because Putin, during the campaign, complimented Trump, does not support the conclusion with its insinuation that those who voted for Trump needed to be influenced by anything other than being fed up with the usual in American politics. Same with Brexit. That dissatisfaction continues, and it doesn't need Russian influence to feed it. This is infantile oversimplification to say so.

To suggest "possibly" in any argument does not provide evidence. There is no evidence. Take a look at b's link to the following for a clear, sane assessment of what's going on. As with:

"The centrepiece of the faith, based on the hacking charge, is the belief that Vladimir Putin orchestrated an attack on American democracy by ordering his minions to interfere in the election on behalf of Trump. The story became gospel with breathtaking suddenness and completeness. Doubters are perceived as heretics and as apologists for Trump and Putin, the evil twins and co-conspirators behind this attack on American democracy. Responsibility for the absence of debate lies in large part with the major media outlets. Their uncritical embrace and endless repetition of the Russian hack story have made it seem a fait accompli in the public mind. It is hard to estimate popular belief in this new orthodoxy, but it does not seem to be merely a creed of Washington insiders. If you question the received narrative in casual conversations, you run the risk of provoking blank stares or overt hostility – even from old friends. This has all been baffling and troubling to me; there have been moments when pop-culture fantasies (body snatchers, Kool-Aid) have come to mind."

this is b's link in URL form here:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n01/jackson-lears/what-we-dont-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-russian-hacking

Oriental Voice , Dec 26, 2017 3:56:16 PM | 35
@20:

I echo you opinion that this site gives great reports on issues pertaining to Syria and the ME. Credit to b.

On your surmise that Putin prefers Trump to Hillary and would thus have incentive to influence the election, I beg to differ. Putin is one smart statesman; he knows very well it makes no difference which candidates gets elected in US elections. Any candidate that WOULD make a difference would NEVER see the daylight of nomination, especially at the presidential level. I myself believe all the talk of Russia interfering the 2016 Election is no more than a witch hunt.

But I do believe Putin, and for that matter Xi Jinping of China too, should make efforts to infiltrate the USA election processes. It's an eye for an eye. USA has been exercising its free hands in manipulating elections and stirring up color revolutions all around the world, including the 2012 presidential election in Russia. They should be given a taste of their own medicine. In fact, I believe it is for this reason that the US MSM is playing up this hocus pocus Russian-gate matter, as a preemptive measure to justify imposing electioneering controls in the future.

USA may not be vulnerable as yet to this kind of external nuisances, as the masses have not yet reached the stage of being easily stirred. But that time will come.

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

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

Speaking to a Russian becomes treasonous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Tom Welsh

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

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

Do you ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@exiled off mainstreet

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Tom Welsh Excellent quote, Tom.

.And so true.

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

@jilles dykstra

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

Mar 6, 2017 Drug Boss Escobar Worked for the CIA

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

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

@jilles dykstra

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

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

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

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

@Agent76 "

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

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

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

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

@annamaria

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

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

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

PG:

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

getting to the crux of the matter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Dec 21, 2017] Former Intel chief Putin is handling Trump like 'an asset' by Olivia Beavers

Notable quotes:
"... "I think this past weekend is illustrative of what a great case officer Vladimir Putin is. He knows how to handle an asset, and that's what he's doing with the president," Clapper said on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper," clarifying that he means this "figuratively." ..."
"... Clapper took aim at the news that Putin called Trump on Sunday to thank him and the CIA for sharing information that helped prevent a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, describing the move as a "rather theatric gesture." ..."
"... He said the U.S. and Russia have shared such intelligence "for a long time" and it seemed over the top for Putin to call Trump " for something that goes on below the radar and is not all that visible." ..."
"... The remarks come after Trump said the U.S. is in competition with "revisionist" powers like Russia and China in a policy release about national security, while also stating in a speech that he wants to form a "great partnership" with them. Clapper said he found the message to be contradictory. ..."
"... Clapper's remarks on CNN come after he and over a dozen other former national security, intelligence and foreign policy officials filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit earlier this month against the Trump campaign and Republican operative Roger Stone. The brief details how Russia uses "active measures" and "actors" to spread disinformation and influence politics worldwide. "These actors include political organizers and activists, academics, journalists, web operators, shell companies, nationalists and militant groups, and prominent pro-Russian businessmen," the brief reads. ..."
Dec 18, 2017 | thehill.com

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be handling President Trump Donald John Trump House Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for 'serious case of amnesia' after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don't want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE like "an asset."

"I think this past weekend is illustrative of what a great case officer Vladimir Putin is. He knows how to handle an asset, and that's what he's doing with the president," Clapper said on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper," clarifying that he means this "figuratively."

Clapper took aim at the news that Putin called Trump on Sunday to thank him and the CIA for sharing information that helped prevent a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, describing the move as a "rather theatric gesture."

He said the U.S. and Russia have shared such intelligence "for a long time" and it seemed over the top for Putin to call Trump " for something that goes on below the radar and is not all that visible."

The former intelligence chief said Putin likely learned to recruit assets to help with his interests when he served as an officer in the KBG, which was the Soviet Union's main security agency.

"You have to remember Putin's background. He's a KGB officer, that's what they do. They recruit assets. And I think some of that experience and instincts of Putin has come into play here in his managing of a pretty important account for him, if I could use that term, with our president," he continued.

The remarks come after Trump said the U.S. is in competition with "revisionist" powers like Russia and China in a policy release about national security, while also stating in a speech that he wants to form a "great partnership" with them. Clapper said he found the message to be contradictory.

He also pointed to his previous experiences of trying to share intelligence with the Kremlin, stemming back to the early 1990s, describing the attempts as a "one-way street."

Clapper's remarks on CNN come after he and over a dozen other former national security, intelligence and foreign policy officials filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit earlier this month against the Trump campaign and Republican operative Roger Stone. The brief details how Russia uses "active measures" and "actors" to spread disinformation and influence politics worldwide. "These actors include political organizers and activists, academics, journalists, web operators, shell companies, nationalists and militant groups, and prominent pro-Russian businessmen," the brief reads.

"They range from the unwitting accomplice who is manipulated to act in what he believes is his best interest, to the ideological or economic ally who broadly shares Russian interests, to the knowing agent of influence who is recruited or coerced to directly advance Russian operations and objectives," it continues.

[Dec 18, 2017] The Scary Void Inside Russia-gate by Stephen F. Cohen

Highly recommended!
"A looming, aggressive enemy (so portrayed) is needed to sustain the US's parasitic surveillance, "security", and "defense" ecosystems." Well said. National security parasites are so entrenched (and well fed by MIC) that any change of the US foreign policy is next to impossible. The only legitimate course is more wars and bombing.
Notable quotes:
"... This is unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous, potentially more so than even Joe McCarthy's search for "Communist" connections. It would suggest, for example, that scores of American corporations doing business in Russia today are engaged in criminal enterprise. ..."
"... To suggest that such contacts are in any way criminal is to slur hundreds of reputations and to leave U.S. policy-makers with advisers laden with ideology and no actual expertise. It is also to suggest that any quest for better relations with Russia, or détente, is somehow suspicious, illegitimate, or impossible, as expressed recently by Andrew Weiss in The Wall Street Journal and by The Washington Post , in an editorial . This is one reason why I have, in a previous commentary , argued that Russia-gate and its promoters have become the gravest threat to American national security. ..."
"... Russia-gate began sometime prior to June 2016, not after the presidential election in November, as is often said, as an anti-Trump political project. (Exactly why, how, and by whom remain unclear, and herein lies the real significance of the largely bogus "dossier" and the still murky role of top U.S. intel officials in the creation of that document.) ..."
"... As Greenwald points out, all of the now retracted stories, whether by print media or cable television, were zealous promotions of Russia-gate and virulently anti-Trump. They, too, are examples of Russia-gate without Russia. ..."
"... Tillerson may be the last man standing who represents the possibility of some kind of détente. ..."
"... Unfortunately, and I can't believe I'm going to concede this, but FOX News, regarding this one particular issue: the baloney of Russiagate, is probably the most accurate mainstream source out there right now. Despite everything else they get wrong, FOX News, pertaining to Russiagate, is generally (generally) accurate from the bits and pieces I've seen. ..."
"... I agree. It seems sort of like the Nazi regime with more advanced technology and more complete ability for the gestapo to exercise control or more aptly like the Soviet Union where people actually believe the regime's propaganda. ..."
"... The neocon perpetrators of the Russia-gate hoax will continue putting their own greed (for money and power) ahead of American national security. That's who they are and what they do. They conflate global domination with American national security because it benefits them to do so. Sure, they don't want a hot war with Russia because they are neither psychotic nor suicidal. But they are power-crazed: delusional to the extent they think they can prevent the Russian-American hostility provoked by their own machinations from spinning out of control. ..."
"... Reason #3: A looming, aggressive enemy (so portrayed) is needed to sustain the U.S.'s parasitic surveillance, "security", and "defense" ecosystems. ..."
"... Thanks, Professor Cohen, and I happen to think that this phony Russia hacking fabrication is breaking down, along with many other false narratives of the West. So many things are exposing the lies and there are truly good investigators who are weighing in, so I am hopeful that the neocons will be finally outed as hopelessly behind the times. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Despite a lack of evidence at its core – and the risk of nuclear conflagration as its by-product – Russia-gate remains the go-to accusation for "getting" the Trump administration, explains Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen.

The foundational accusation of Russia-gate was, and remains, charges that Russian President Putin ordered the hacking of Democratic National Committee e-mails and their public dissemination through WikiLeaks in order to benefit Donald Trump and undermine Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, and that Trump and/or his associates colluded with the Kremlin in this "attack on American democracy."

As no actual evidence for these allegations has been produced after nearly a year and a half of media and government investigations, we are left with Russia-gate without Russia. (An apt formulation perhaps first coined in an e-mail exchange by Nation writer James Carden.) Special counsel Mueller has produced four indictments: against retired Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's short-lived national-security adviser, and George Papadopolous, a lowly and inconsequential Trump "adviser," for lying to the FBI; and against Paul Manafort and his partner Rick Gates for financial improprieties. None of these charges has anything to do with improper collusion with Russia, except for the wrongful insinuations against Flynn.

Instead, the several investigations, desperate to find actual evidence of collusion, have spread to "contacts with Russia" -- political, financial, social, etc. -- on the part of a growing number of people, often going back many years before anyone imagined Trump as a presidential candidate. The resulting implication is that these "contacts" were criminal or potentially so.

This is unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous, potentially more so than even Joe McCarthy's search for "Communist" connections. It would suggest, for example, that scores of American corporations doing business in Russia today are engaged in criminal enterprise.

More to the point, advisers to U.S. policy-makers and even media commentators on Russia must have many and various contacts with Russia if they are to understand anything about the dynamics of Kremlin policy-making. I myself, to take an individual example, was an adviser to two (unsuccessful) presidential campaigns, which considered my wide-ranging and longstanding "contacts" with Russia to be an important credential, as did the one sitting president whom I advised.

To suggest that such contacts are in any way criminal is to slur hundreds of reputations and to leave U.S. policy-makers with advisers laden with ideology and no actual expertise. It is also to suggest that any quest for better relations with Russia, or détente, is somehow suspicious, illegitimate, or impossible, as expressed recently by Andrew Weiss in The Wall Street Journal and by The Washington Post , in an editorial . This is one reason why I have, in a previous commentary , argued that Russia-gate and its promoters have become the gravest threat to American national security.

Russia-gate began sometime prior to June 2016, not after the presidential election in November, as is often said, as an anti-Trump political project. (Exactly why, how, and by whom remain unclear, and herein lies the real significance of the largely bogus "dossier" and the still murky role of top U.S. intel officials in the creation of that document.)

That said, the mainstream American media have been largely responsible for inflating, perpetuating, and sustaining the sham Russia-gate as the real political crisis it has become, arguably the greatest in modern American presidential and thus institutional political history. The media have done this by increasingly betraying their own professed standards of verified news reporting and balanced coverage, even resorting to tacit forms of censorship by systematically excluding dissenting reporting and opinions.

(For inventories of recent examples, see Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept and Joe Lauria at Consortiumnews . Anyone interested in exposures of such truly "fake news" should visit these two sites regularly, the latter the product of the inestimable veteran journalist Robert Parry.)

Still worse, this mainstream malpractice has spread to some alternative-media publications once prized for their journalistic standards, where expressed disdain for "evidence" and "proof" in favor of allegations without any actual facts can sometimes be found. Nor are these practices merely the ordinary occasional mishaps of professional journalism.

As Greenwald points out, all of the now retracted stories, whether by print media or cable television, were zealous promotions of Russia-gate and virulently anti-Trump. They, too, are examples of Russia-gate without Russia.

Flynn and the FBI

Leaving aside possible financial improprieties on the part of General Flynn, his persecution and subsequent prosecution is highly indicative. Flynn pled guilty to having lied to the FBI about his communications with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, on behalf of the incoming Trump administration, discussions that unavoidably included some references, however vague, to sanctions imposed on Russia by President Obama in December 2016, just before leaving office.

Those sanctions were highly unusual -- last-minute, unprecedented in their seizure of Russian property in the United States, and including a reckless veiled threat of unspecified cyber-attacks on Russia. They gave the impression that Obama wanted to make even more difficult Trump's professed goal of improving relations with Moscow.

Still more, Obama's specified reason was not Russian behavior in Ukraine or Syria, as is commonly thought, but Russia-gate -- that is, Putin's "attack on American democracy," which Obama's intel chiefs had evidently persuaded him was an entirely authentic allegation. (Or which Obama, who regarded Trump's victory over his designated successor, Hillary Clinton, as a personal rebuff, was eager to believe.)

But Flynn's discussions with the Russian ambassador -- as well as other Trump representatives' efforts to open "back-channel" communications with Moscow – were anything but a crime. As I pointed out in another commentary , there were so many precedents of such overtures on behalf of presidents-elect, it was considered a normal, even necessary practice, if only to ask Moscow not to make relations worse before the new president had a chance to review the relationship.

When Henry Kissinger did this on behalf of President-elect Nixon, his boss instructed him to keep the communication entirely confidential, not to inform any other members of the incoming administration. Presumably Flynn was similarly secretive, thereby misinforming Vice President Pence and finding himself trapped -- or possibly entrapped -- between loyalty to his president and an FBI agent. Flynn no doubt would have been especially guarded with a representative of the FBI, knowing as he did the role of Obama's Intel bosses in Russia-gate prior to the election and which had escalated after Trump's surprise victory.

In any event, to the extent that Flynn encouraged Moscow not to reply in kind immediately to Obama's highly provocative sanctions, he performed a service to U.S. national security, not a crime. And, assuming that Flynn was acting on the instructions of his president-elect, so did Trump. Still more, if Flynn "colluded" in any way, it was with Israel, not Russia , having been asked by that government to dissuade countries from voting for an impending anti-Israel U.N. resolution.

Removing Tillerson

Finally, and similarly, there is the ongoing effort by the political-media establishment to drive Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from office and replace him with a fully neocon, anti-Russian, anti-détente head of the State Department. Tillerson was an admirable appointee by Trump -- widely experienced in world affairs, a tested negotiator, a mature and practical-minded man.

Originally, his role as the CEO of Exxon Mobil who had negotiated and enacted an immensely profitable and strategically important energy-extraction deal with the Kremlin earned him the slur of being "Putin's pal." This preposterous allegation has since given way to charges that he is slowly restructuring, and trimming, the long bloated and mostly inept State Department, as indeed he should do. Numerous former diplomats closely associated with Hillary Clinton have raced to influential op-ed pages to denounce Tillerson's undermining of this purportedly glorious frontline institution of American national security. Many news reports, commentaries, and editorials have been in the same vein. But who can recall a major diplomatic triumph by the State Department or a Secretary of State in recent years?

The answer might be the Obama administration's multinational agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear-weapons potential, but that was due no less to Russia's president and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which provided essential guarantees to the sides involved. Forgotten, meanwhile, are the more than 50 career State Department officials who publicly protested Obama's rare attempt to cooperate with Moscow in Syria. Call it by what it was: the sabotaging of a president by his own State Department.

In this spirit, there are a flurry of leaked stories that Tillerson will soon resign or be ousted. Meanwhile, however, he carries on. The ever-looming menace of Russia-gate compels him to issue wildly exaggerated indictments of Russian behavior while, at the same time, calling for a "productive new relationship" with Moscow, in which he clearly believes. (And which, if left unencumbered, he might achieve.)

Evidently, Tillerson has established a "productive" working relationship with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, the two of them having just announced North Korea's readiness to engage in negotiations with the United States and other governments involved in the current crisis.

Tillerson's fate will tell us much about the number-one foreign-policy question confronting America: cooperation or escalating conflict with the other nuclear superpower, a détente-like diminishing of the new Cold War or the growing risks that it will become hot war. Politics and policy should never be over-personalized; larger factors are always involved. But in these unprecedented times, Tillerson may be the last man standing who represents the possibility of some kind of détente. Apart, that is, from President Trump himself, loathe him or not. Or to put the issue differently: Will Russia-gate continue to gravely endanger American national security?

Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University and a contributing editor of The Nation , where a version of this article first appeared.

Abe , December 15, 2017 at 1:49 pm

"Thanks to Flynn's indictment, we now know that the Israeli prime minister was able to transform the Trump administration into his own personal vehicle for undermining Obama's lone effort to hold Israel accountable at the UN. A clearer example of a foreign power colluding with an American political operation against a sitting president has seldom, if ever, been exposed in such glaring fashion.

"Kushner's deep ties to the Israeli right-wing and ethical breaches

"The day after Kushner was revealed as Flynn's taskmaster, a team of researchers from the Democratic Super PAC American Bridge found that the presidential son-in-law had failed to disclose his role as a co-director of his family's Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation during the years when his family's charity funded the Israeli enterprise of illegal settlements. The embarrassing omission barely scratched the surface of Kushner's decades long relationship with Israel's Likud-led government. [ ]

"A Clinton mega-donor defends Kushner's collusion

"So why isn't this angle of the Flynn indictment getting more attention? An easy explanation could be deduced from the stunning spectacle that unfolded this December 2 at the Brookings Institution, where the fresh-faced Kushner engaged in a 'keynote conversation' with Israeli-American oligarch Haim Saban. [ ]

""The spectacle of a top Democratic Party money man defending one of the Trump administration's most influential figures was clearly intended to establish a patina of bipartisan normalcy around Kushner's collusion with the Netanyahu government. Saban's effort to protect the presidential son-in-law was supplemented by an op-ed in the Jewish Daily Forward headlined, 'Jared Kushner Was Right To 'Collude' With Russia -- Because He Did It For Israel.'

"While the Israel lobby ran interference for Kushner, the favorite pundits of the liberal anti-Trump "Resistance" minimized the role of Israel in the Flynn saga. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, who has devoted more content this year to Russia than to any other topic, appeared to entirely avoid the issue of Kushner's collusion with Israel.

"There is simply too much at stake for too many to allow any disruption in the preset narrative. From the journalist pack that followed the trail of Russiagate down a conspiracy infested rabbit hole to the Clintonites seeking excuses for their mind-boggling campaign failures to the Cold Warriors exploiting the panic over Russian meddling to drive an unprecedented arms build-up, the narrative must go on, regardless of the facts."

Michael Flynn's Indictment Exposes Trump Team's Collusion With Israel, Not Russia
By Max Blumenthal
https://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/flynn-indictment-exposes-collusion-israel

Drew Hunkins , December 15, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Unfortunately, and I can't believe I'm going to concede this, but FOX News, regarding this one particular issue: the baloney of Russiagate, is probably the most accurate mainstream source out there right now. Despite everything else they get wrong, FOX News, pertaining to Russiagate, is generally (generally) accurate from the bits and pieces I've seen.

One quick example -- a few months ago the otherwise execrable Hannity actually had on his show the great Dennis Kucinich who railed against the deep state for attacking Trump b/c of his overtures toward peace with Moscow and how the deep state was using Russiagate to do it, etc. Kucinich was sensational. I doubt Maddow would ever have given him such a platform to voice the truth like Hannity did on this particular occasion.

Patrick Lucius , December 15, 2017 at 2:27 pm

I may have to take a look at Fox again–I bet you are right. Hannity as an arbiter of truth–oh my god

Drew Hunkins , December 15, 2017 at 3:35 pm

On this one particular issue, Hannity gets things right.

Rob , December 16, 2017 at 2:00 pm

If Hannity ever reports a story correctly, it's only because it coincides with his deeply partisan interests. Being truthful is something about which he cares little, if at all.

Skip Scott , December 15, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Yeah Drew-

For years I railed against Fox, but nowadays they seem to be the relatively sensible ones. Tucker Carlson is exceptionally bright, and I have no idea what got into Hannity. I used to loathe him to no end. Him giving Dennis Kucinich a chance to speak his mind is something I never would have imagined.

Drew Hunkins , December 15, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Isn't it something Mr. Scott?

Dave P. , December 15, 2017 at 11:34 pm

Drew and Skip Scott – Yes, I agree with you. I watched Dennis Kucinich too. Hannity and Carlson have been doing some very good reporting on these issues. It is amazing how the things have changed. Fox News was "No" for progressives to go to.

Annie , December 15, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Prior to Trump's presidency I would never watch Fox News, but on this issue,, they are a more accurate source of information then any other broadcasting media. Rachel Maddow does nothing but rave, as if she had her own personal agenda, and maybe she does, ousting Trump, and that a woman didn't win the White House. I too saw the interview with Kucinich, and indeed it was a very good one.

RamboDave , December 15, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Tucker Carlson, on Fox (right before Hannity), has had Glenn Greenwald on several times.

David G , December 16, 2017 at 9:08 am

That basically maps directly onto the fact that Russia is the one issue Trump is right on.

Patrick Lucius , December 15, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Great article. Has America gone off the deep end? I just watched the first ten minutes of an anti-Putin and anti-Russian Frontline on television two nights ago. I have never seen more blatant or shameless propaganda. Because my mom watches tv all day and I am taking care of her, I see the same slop, drivel, and gibberish parroted all day long on the major news outlets. Perhaps I should state that more professionally: I see the same shameless propaganda parroted daily by the mainstream news media And it occurs to me–these young news commentators are not part of a conspiracy, willfully lying–they actually believe the propaganda. We are in trouble. I think as a group we act much more like bees in a hive or monkeys in a troop than we do as rational beings, and I mean no disrespect to bees or monkeys.

exiled off mainstreet , December 15, 2017 at 2:56 pm

I agree. It seems sort of like the Nazi regime with more advanced technology and more complete ability for the gestapo to exercise control or more aptly like the Soviet Union where people actually believe the regime's propaganda.

Annie , December 15, 2017 at 4:35 pm

Personally I believe that many do know that there is nothing to the Russia-gate story, but go along to get along, and they are no different then politicians, who bow before the Israeli Lobby, or NRA, or corporate groups to get reelected, and maintain their standing in their party. Another way of putting it, is to say they are willing to prostitute themselves. I can't see myself doing that.

occupy on , December 16, 2017 at 12:36 am

I, too, saw this scurrilous 'documentary' – "Putin's Revenge" – and made a point of writing down the names of a good number of those commentators moving the narrative along. All of them are well-known active Zionists or children of American Zionists who've helped create and ardently protect the State of Israel. I wish I could remember now at least some of the commentors' names. I didn't see Frontline' "Putin's Revenge" on PBS. It was on a National Geographic channel that traditionally shows those anthropological 'documentaries' about "Ancient Alien Visitors," "Gods from Outer Space, etc .pleasant programs to fall to sleep by. 'Putin's Revenge', however, was grotesque in its downright lies – making me furiously wide awake until I could google info on those names.

alley cat , December 15, 2017 at 2:36 pm

"Or to put the issue differently: Will Russia-gate continue to gravely endanger American national security?"

The neocon perpetrators of the Russia-gate hoax will continue putting their own greed (for money and power) ahead of American national security. That's who they are and what they do. They conflate global domination with American national security because it benefits them to do so. Sure, they don't want a hot war with Russia because they are neither psychotic nor suicidal. But they are power-crazed: delusional to the extent they think they can prevent the Russian-American hostility provoked by their own machinations from spinning out of control.

exiled off mainstreet , December 15, 2017 at 2:54 pm

This is a great article by one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable commentators on Russia remaining active despite the ongoing dangerous propaganda storm. Those responsible for this storm are threatening our continued existence. Because of this depressing salient fact, the democratic party, which has been fully on board with this, has totally sacrificed its legitimacy and degenerated to a clear and present existential danger. Clear thinking people have to view it as such and take necessary action based upon that fact, which is serious in its implications, since it is difficult in the extreme to supplant an existing party in a two party system (which has degenerated into a two faction one party state some time ago) in light of the media propaganda, intelligence and police control exercised by this odious system.

Bill , December 15, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Really glad, Mr, Cohen, to see your article in Consortium. Your voice is always a wise one. Weekly listener.

Very important and accurate information, for the most part, in my view, though I have a few caveats.

Unfortunately for our perception of the 'goodness' of those in power, I tend to think the level of knowledge and intention of those who spread Russiagate are more cynical than you imagine.

When we read certain articles from hardline think-tanks and serious political commentary from those publications and outlets which sustain the current 'scandal' we see a surprising awareness of Russia's true intentions and nature. Sober, and reasonable. The problem is that this commentary is not what is used to persuade any element of the public toward a certain view on Russia. You instead see it within the establishment essentially talking amongst themselves.

The problem, as I see it, is that these people are fully aware of the truth, as well as Russia's intentions. They are just quite simply spinning vast lies to the contrary whenever they speak to, or in front of, the public. For two main reasons:

The remainder of this piece refers to #2.

Russia is an 'enemy' now, more than anything else, because, for whatever it's self-interested motivations, it is a loud, prominent, powerful voice actively and methodically criticizing and opposing US imperial hypocrisy, double-standards, and deception.

Russia is a fake enemy, talked about in a fake way, by fake people in an increasingly fake democracy. Respectfully, Mr. Cohen, I don't think ideology is the problem. I don't think those at the helm of US foreign policy have had an ideology in a long, long time. I think they have, with few exceptions, a 'prime directive': The retention and expansion of Oligarchic corporate power.

Nowadays, fearmongering over immigrant crime, terrorists, non-state cyber-criminals, or whatever else conjured to make the extremely safe-from-foreign-threats (To this day no war on our soil since the Civil War. Itself a domestic threat) American people feel afraid, and thus controllable and ignorant, is no longer working. Only a big fish like Russia can even hope to do the job. Plus that big fish is one of the factors 'sowing chaos' by giving a voice to anti-imperialists in the West to spread the truth of the government we actually live under.

In short, Russiagate, and it's accompanying digital censorship efforts, are a desperate attempt to rest control back over the American people and away from honest, rational truth.

Even shorter, our rulers underestimated the power of the internet.

Kind regards,
Bill

Lois Gagnon , December 15, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Thank you. That is a really truthful post. It really is all about maintaining imperial hegemony at all costs. Unfortunately, the cost could be the end of life on Earth. These weasels controlling the machinery of state from the darkness must be exposed as the treacherous criminals they are.

David G , December 16, 2017 at 9:22 am

Reason #3: A looming, aggressive enemy (so portrayed) is needed to sustain the U.S.'s parasitic surveillance, "security", and "defense" ecosystems.

Jessica K , December 15, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Thanks, Professor Cohen, and I happen to think that this phony Russia hacking fabrication is breaking down, along with many other false narratives of the West. So many things are exposing the lies and there are truly good investigators who are weighing in, so I am hopeful that the neocons will be finally outed as hopelessly behind the times.

And Twitter is helping because western media sources will not tell the truth and people are taking to it to push back. I agree that at this time Fox is more interested in the facts than MSNBC, and particularly Tucker Carlson. (The sex scandals, now another witch hunt, are showing what a fouled-up society America has become. It is feminist McCarthyism, sadly, and I am glad Tavis Smiley is fighting back.)

Yesterday I had a conversation with a loud mouth believer of the "Putin did it" fable and told him some details, that outright it was a fabrication, and someone nearby in the coffee shop actually joined to support the pushback with other facts. So, I am hopeful that people are waking up. And Nikki Haley has just been called by people on Twitter for her lies about Iran provocation in Yemen. Plus documents on NATO expansion after Gorbachev was assured would not happen, have just been revealed. I do think people are waking up.

Bill , December 15, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Jessica,

That's what it takes. The political battle of our times. Good on you. I think you're right. The beginnings of which seem to have motivated Russiagate in the first place. I did a longer post on this above. Please keep spreading sense. I'll do the same.

Best wishes,
Bill

RnM , December 15, 2017 at 9:25 pm

It's good to be optimistc, but let us not forget the long history (short by Old World standards) of the oligarchy of doing anything and everything to get what they want.

The present cock-up of Russia-gate (Geez, I hate using that MSM concocted jingo term) points, not to the oligarchs losing their groove, but to an incompetent but persistent bunch of Clinton/Obama synchophants. Their days in any kind of power are, thankfully, numbered. But the snakes are lurking in the bushes, as are the deeper parts of the deep state. It's the long game that they are in for.

Martin - Swedish citizen , December 15, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Thanks, Jessica,
A hopeful comment! Here, too, I sense at least some more dissent among us citizens with the prevailing lies.
When the bubble bursts, the boy has cried and everyone "realises" the emperor is naked, I wonder, will our governments, politicians and media survive? Everyone, practically, is complicit.

Jessica K , December 15, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Thanks, Bill, and I think we're at a profound crossroads in world history. I saw an interview on YouTube with young Americans who did not even know who won the Civil War nor why it was fought! We all must speak out with conviction and without anger.

Realist , December 15, 2017 at 3:44 pm

My parents always used to use the old argument to keep my thinking on track and avoid conforming to dangerous groupthink: "if everyone else decided to jump off the cliff, in the river or out the 10th floor window, would you just follow the crowd?" Professor Cohen is one of the rare little boys who either learned that lesson well or has always had strong innate instincts to avoid following the crowd or jumping on self-destructive bandwagons. Most of the readers of this site seem to have similar predilections and are among the very few Americans not being led by the Pied Pipers of all-encompassing self-destructive Russophobia. (Is there some common childhood experience or shared gene in our personal biographies that compel our rigorous adherence to the principles we all uphold?) As other posters have noted here, those few media personalities with a seeming immunity to the pathological groupthink now infecting most of America are indeed a very curious lot, with little else in the way of ideological conformity, but thank heavens for them for any restoration of mass sanity will surely have to originate from within their ranks, examples and leadership. I, for one, am pulling for Professor Cohen to be among those leading this country out of the wilderness of lock-step madness.

Bob Van Noy , December 15, 2017 at 3:47 pm

We remember an era before 11/22/1963

Joe Tedesky , December 15, 2017 at 4:30 pm

Realist I'm glad you brought up the readers on consortiumnews, and their not falling for this Russia-Gate nonsense. People posting comments here in support of 'no Russian interference' have been accused of being Trump supporters, but that was never the case. No, instead many here just saw through the fog of propaganda, and certainly saw this Russia-Gate idiocy as it being nothing more than an instigated coup. This defense of Trump could have been for any newly elected president, but the division between Hillary supporters, and Trump backers, has been the biggest obstacle to overcome, while attempting to explain your thought. I truly think that if the shoe had been on the other foot, that the many posters of comments here on consortiumnews would have been on Hillary's side, if it had been the same kind of coup that had been put in place. It's time to tell John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, and Robert Mueller, to call Hillary and say, 'well at least we tried Madam Secretary', and then be done with it.

Dave P. , December 16, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Realist and Joe – I always enjoy reading your thoughtful comments. Those of us who have been reading professor Stephen Cohen's articles for more than four decades now , know that he is the foremost authority on Russia. Instead of being courted to give his valuable input into the relations with Russia, he and others like him are being vilified as Putin apologists. It is the sign of the times we live in now.

As many comments posters here on this site had noted, the Russia-Gate has been deliberately created to confront Russia at this time rather than later on. Russia is in the way for final push for World domination – the Neoliberal Globalization.

Nobody, in Washington or elsewhere in the Country seems to ask why and for whom they, The ruling Powers want to establish this World Empire at any cost – even at the risk of a nuclear war. This process of building an Empire has changed the country as I had seen it more than half a century ago.

NeoLiberal Globalization, building this World wide Empire during the last three or four decades had its real winners and losers. Lot of wealth has been created all over the World under neoliberal global economy.

The big time winners are top .01% and another about 10% are also in the winners category, and have accumulated lot of wealth. From all over the World; China, India . . . this top 10% class send their kids to the best universities in the West for professional education; Finance, High tech, Sciences, and other professions and they get the jobs all over in Silicon Valley, and big financial Institutions and other professional fields in U.S. , U.K., Australia Canada . . .

The losers are middle class in U.S. – whom Hillary called deplorables – especially in those once mighty Industrial States in the Midwest, and East. With my marriage here , I inherited lots of relatives more than forty five years ago, most of them in the Midwest. As somebody commented a few weeks ago on this site about these middle class people that their " Way of Life " has been destroyed. It is true. All these people voted for Trump. With the exception of two, all our relatives in the Midwest and elsewhere on my wife's side voted for Trump. They are good, hard working people. It is painful to look at those ruined and abandoned factories in those States and ruined lives of many of those Middle Class people. Globalization has been disastrous for the middle class people in U.S. It is a race to the bottom for those people.

Ask those relatives if they have ever read anything about Russia during 2016. Not one of them have ever read or listened to anything related to Russian media or other Russian source. They did not even know if anything like RT or Sputnik News ever existed. Most of them don't even know now. And it is true of the people we associate with here where we live. None of them have time to read anything let alone Russian Media. I came to know about RT during events in Ukraine in 2014, and about Sputnik News over a year ago when this Russia- Gate commotion began. And I had read lot of Russian literature in my young age.

As several articles on this website have pointed out those email leaks were an inside job. Russia-Gate is just a concocted scheme to bring down Trump. And to destabilize Russia – a hurdle to Globalization and West's domination.

Skip Scott , December 17, 2017 at 8:39 am

Dave P-

Yours is a very accurate portrayal of the heartland of America. I live in a very rural area of the southwest, and you describe reality there to a "T". They are much too busy trying to survive to dig too deeply into world affairs. Thank goodness at least they've got Tucker Carlson at Fox to contrast the propaganda spewers on the other networks. They know the latte sippers and their government has abandoned them, but they don't fully understand the PNAC empire's moves in pursuit of global domination, and many wind up in the military jousting at windmills.

Realist , December 17, 2017 at 4:46 pm

I totally concur, Dave. I'm 70 and well remember, as a little kid, as a teenager and as a young man, folks talking about a far-off ideal of world unity, wherein all people on earth would share in earth's bounty and have the same democratic rights. The UN was supposed to be one of the first steps in that general direction. However, nobody thought that the eventual outcome would be what the movement has transmogrified into today: neoliberal globalism in which a tiny fraction of the top 1% own and control everything, with the rest of us actually suffering a drastic drop in our standard of living and a blatant diminution of our political rights.

It's been fifty years since I lived in Chicago, and about 45 since I last lived in the Midwest, but I was born and raised there and well recognise everything you have said about the place and the people in your remark to be entirely correct. It's also true for most of the other regions of this country in which I have lived, but the "Rust Belt" has paid the price in spades to satiate the neoliberal globalist "free traders." (Remember when THAT catchphrase was first sold to the working classes by Slick Willie's DLC wing of the Democratic party? He and Al Gore basically ended up doubling the ranks of "Reagan Democrats" whether they intended to do so or not. And, Hillary was so delusional as to assume those people would be on her side!)

Dave P. , December 17, 2017 at 11:36 pm

Yes, Realist. That Slick Willie and Gore did the most damage to the working class than any other administration in the recent American history. And being progressive democrats, we worked hard for their election as volunteers registering voters. At that time Rolling Stone Magazine called them as Saviors after Reagan and Bush era of greed – as they called it. Clintons sold the Democratic Party to the Wall Street and to Neoliberal Globalization. Tony Blair did the same in U.K. to the Labor Party.

Then we put faith in Hopey changey Obama and worked for his election. And he turned out to be big fraud too. After his Libya intervention and then on to Syria, I finally got turned off from Democratic Party politics. My wife, and I had started with McGovern Campaign in 1972.

Talking about Chicago, I landed at O'Haire fifty two years ago during snowy Winter, with just a few hundred dollars in my pocket enough for one semester on my way to Graduate School. You can not do it these days. America was at it's best. Ann Arbor was a Republican town those days with very friendly people. Compared to Europe, and other cultures, I found Americans the least prejudiced people, very open to other cultures. The factories In Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana . . . were humming. Never on Earth, such a prosperous middle class on such a scale has ever been created; made of good, hard working people in those small and big towns. The workers were back bone of the Democratic Party. And every thing looked optimistic. I, and couple of my friends thought it can not get better than this on Earth.

And all this seems like a past history now. Life is still good but that stability and that optimism of 1960's is gone. I visited Wisconsin and Michigan last Spring and in Fall again this year. It is painful to look at those gigantic factories shut down and in ruins. I lived for a decade in Michigan. As I said in my comments above, the biggest loser in this NeoLiberal Globalization is American Middle Class.

Piotr Berman , December 15, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Jessica K: The sex scandals, now another witch hunt, are showing what a fouled-up society America has become.

One could say that there is nothing bad about a witch hunt, provided that it genuinely goes after evil witches. Perhaps the worst hitch hunt in my memory was directed at preschool teachers accused of sexual molestation and sometimes satanism. Probably we are not in this Animal Kingdom story (yet):

Denizens of AK see a hare running very fast and they ask "what happen?" Mr. hare answers "They are castrating camels!" "But you are a hare, not a camel!" "Try to prove that you are not a camel!".

Abe , December 15, 2017 at 5:02 pm

"In a dramatic development in the trial in Kiev of several Berkut police officers accused of shooting civilians in the Maidan demonstrations in February 2014, the defence has produced two Georgians who confirm that the murders were committed by foreign snipers, at least 50 of them, operating in teams. The two Georgians, Alexander Revazishvili and Koba Nergadze have agreed to testify [ ]

"This dramatic and explosive evidence was first brought to light by the Italian journalist Gian Micalessin on November 16 in an article in the Italian journal Il Giornale and is again brought to the world's attention by a lawyer with some courage picking up on that report and speaking with the witnesses himself. These witnesses stated to Gian Micalessin, even more explosively, that the American Army was directly involved in the murders.

"The clear objective of the Maidan massacre in Kiev on February 20, 2014 was to sow chaos and reap the fall of the democratically elected, pro-Russian Yanukovych government. People were slaughtered for no other reason than to destroy a government the NATO powers, especially the United States and Germany, wanted removed because of its opposition to NATO, the EU, and their hegemonic drive to open Ukraine and Russia to American and German economic expansion. In other words, it was about money and the making of money.

"The western media and leaders quickly blamed the Yanukovych government for the killings during the Maidan demonstrations, but more evidence has become available indicating that the massacre in Kiev of police and civilians – which led to the escalation of protests, leading to the overthrow of the Yanukovych government – was the work of snipers working on orders of government opponents and their NATO controllers using the protests as a cover for a coup.

"One of the snipers already admitted to this in February 2015, thereby confirming what had become common knowledge just a few days after the massacre in Kiev and in a secretly recorded telephone call, the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet reported to the EU head of Foreign Policy, Catherine Ashton, in early March 2014, that there was widespread suspicion that "someone from the new coalition" in the Kiev government may have ordered the sniper murders. In February 2016, Maidan activist Ivan Bubenchik confessed that in the course of the massacre, he had shot Ukrainian police officers. Bubenchik confirmed this in a film that gained wide attention.

'Dr. Ivan Katchanovski, at the University of Ottawa, published a devastating paper on the Maidan killings setting out in extensive detail the conclusive evidence that it was a false flag operation and that members of the present Kiev regime, including Poroshenko himself were involved in the murders, not the government forces. [ ]

"In the November 16 article in the Italian journal Il Giornale, and repeated on Italian TV Canale 5, journalist Gian Micalessin revealed that 3 Georgians, all trained army snipers, and with links to Mikheil Saakashvili and Georgian security forces were ordered to travel to Kiev from Tbilisi during the Maidan events. It is two of these men that are now being called to testify in Kiev."

The Maidan Massacre: US Army Orders: Sow Chaos
By Christopher Black
https://journal-neo.org/2017/12/15/the-maidan-massacre-us-army-orders-sow-chaos/

Abe , December 15, 2017 at 5:12 pm

The pretext for the western-supported overthrow of Ukrainian President Yanukovych was the massacre of more than a hundred protestors in Kiev in February 2014, which Yanukovych allegedly ordered his forces to carry out. Doubts have been expressed about the evidence for this allegation, but they have been almost entirely ignored by the western media and politicians.

Ukrainian-Canadian professor Ivan Katchanovski has carried out a detailed study of the evidence of those events, including videos and radio intercepts made publicly available by pro-Maidan sources, and eye witness accounts. His findings point to the involvement of far-right militias in the massacre and a cover-up afterwards:

– The trajectories of many of the shots indicate that they were fired from buildings that were then occupied by Maidan forces.
– Many warnings were given by announcers on the Maidan stage about snipers firing from those buildings.
– Several leaders of the then opposition felt secure enough to give speeches on the Maidan around the time that gunmen in nearby buildings were shooting protestors dead, and those leaders were not targeted by the gunmen .
– Many of the protesters were shot with an outdated type of firearm that was not used by professional snipers but was available in Ukraine as a hunting weapon.
– Recordings of all live TV and Internet broadcasts of the massacre by five different TV channels were either removed from their websites immediately after the massacre or not made publicly available.
– Official results of ballistic, weapons, and medical examinations and other evidence collected during the investigations have not been made public, while crucial evidence, including bullets and weapons, has disappeared.
– No evidence has been given that links the then security forces' weapons to the killings of the protesters.
– No evidence has been given of orders to shoot unarmed protestors even though the new government claimed that Yanukovych issued those orders personally.
– So far the only three people have been charged with the massacre, one of whom has disappeared from house arrest.

http://www.academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine

Bob Van Noy , December 15, 2017 at 6:16 pm

Thank you Abe that article could change everything

Martin - Swedish citizen , December 15, 2017 at 6:54 pm

Abe,
Thanks for advocating Dr Katchanovski! I have been reading some of his papers since a year or two and his work seems very thorough! He uses physical facts like trajectories of bullets to determine where shots originated.

Another expert in the field who knows Mr Katchanovski fully endorsed his academic work without any hesitation when I asked him recently. He is being published by publishers with the highest demands. His work can be found in academia.com or is it .org, login is free of charge.
His work deserves the attention of real journalists.

Martin - Swedish citizen , December 15, 2017 at 6:57 pm

Oh, sorry, I see u already mentioned academia.edu!
No harm repeating though.
And it is .edu. :)

Litchfield , December 15, 2017 at 9:51 pm

Ditto with the airliner shootdown.
Russia is accused and evidence is destroyed/suppressed.
The pattern is quite clear. Russiagate is merely an extension of the same pattern.
Remember those intelligence tests that consist of presenting a series of numbers, and the test taker has to figure out what the next number in the pattern is . . .
So, the Russiagate thing is merely the next item that continues the pattern of Maidan, plane shootdown and cover-up, shootdown of plane in Sinai, etc. etc. etc.
I think the deep state REALLY went apoplectic when Snowden escaped to Russia.

They will have their revenged, at any price, to the USA, to Russia, to the world. These are madmen.

Joe Tedesky , December 16, 2017 at 12:32 am

It's prove Abe that 'only if you live long enough' applies to learning these newly uncovered facts regarding the Maiden Square riots. Let's hold out hope that the truth to MH17 comes out soon. Another thing, how can these sanctions against Russia stay in place while everything known as a narrative to that event comes unraveled.

Marko , December 15, 2017 at 5:31 pm

That's a good article , worth reading in its entirety. Thanks.

occupy on , December 16, 2017 at 1:23 am

Abe, thank you so much for this information. US fingerprints are all over Ukraine's sickening economic 'reforms', too! Have you read the House Ukraine Freedom Support Act – passed by both houses in the middle of the night Dec. 2014? I have. Wade through until nearly the end where it gives President Obama #1. the power to work toward US corporations exploring and developing Ukraine's natural resources (including fracking) once 'reforms' have been put in place (privatization); #2. the power to ask the World Bank to extend special loans for US corporations to develop those natural resources; #3. the power to install 'defensive' missile sites all along Russia's western borders; #4. the power to free US NGO's in Russia from their previously non-partisan restraints and allow them to work with anti-Putin political groups.

I urge you to google Dennis Kucinich/Ron Paul/Ukraine Freedom Support Act -2014. You won't believe how that bill got through the House of Representatives and Senate. And you'll have to laugh when you hear the word "democracy" in any context with "the USA".

Annie , December 15, 2017 at 6:48 pm

I also see the sexual allegations made against Trump, as another opportunity to oust him from his presidency. I in no way condone such behavior, but it's disturbing to think the main motivation driving this is another means of trying to oust him from his presidency. I don't believe, as these women claim, that they felt "left out", in the recent outings of men who have misused their positions of power to exploit women sexually.

Litchfield , December 15, 2017 at 9:58 pm

Yep, the Weinstein thing is being trumpeted and amplified to the extent that it synergizes wtih attempts to oust Trump. It is handy to the deep state. Trump qua political figure is being tarred with the Weinstein brush. That is the main reason we are seeing such a heavy dose of stories on male bad behavior. We would not be seeing this if Hillary were in power. Just a few stories but not full-court press. Because too many of these bad actors are actually in the Hillary camp. Like, most of Hollywood. The story wouldn't help her, politically, if she were in power. It only helps politically to drag down Trump. Before the Weinstein thing came along, we arleady had teh golden showers fairy tale. In fact it would not surprise me at all if Rose McGowan had some kind of political support and encouragement to "go public."
this is no way means that I think this kind of thing is OK. But, things are not straightforward in our world. It is a political as well as a "moral" or lifestyle story. One of the political targets is Trump. Notice that the heads of studios who knew all about this behavior and did nothing are not being forced to step down. Let's check out their political donations . . .

Joe Tedesky , December 16, 2017 at 12:44 am

What if the 'Sexual Predator Purge' stories along with the 'Get Trump Out of Office' campaign were but two stories colliding into each other? I mean a reporter in our TMZ world we live in would need paid a handsome sum to continually stay quiet over a Harvey Weinstein kind of scoop, so eventually these scandals had to come out. And then there's hateable loud mouth the Donald, who must be stopped by any means. Put the two together, and hey with how all these big shot perv's are going down, why not corral Trump and force him to resign. It's even cheaper than impeachment.

So the conniving once again craft together a piece of fiction, mixed in with some reality, and take the American conscience off into another realm of fantasy. Hate can get anybody carted off to the guillotine, if the timings right.

Joe Tedesky , December 16, 2017 at 12:55 am

Andrew Bacevich mentions the Weinstein scandal, and then goes on to suggest what the conversation should be.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48429.htm

Litchfield , December 16, 2017 at 9:12 am

Bacevich is fine as far as he goes
But he never quite "turns the corner" himself in taking the story as far as it needs to be taken and laying out the conclusions that the public needs to grasp.

David G , December 16, 2017 at 9:32 am

Yes! That! Thank you, Litchfield.

Bacevich is knowledgeable and worth reading. But he never, afaik, ventures to look deeply enough into the imperial heart of darkness – "turn the corner", as you say.

Leslie F. , December 15, 2017 at 7:11 pm

So the investigation isn't really about Russia. It is about corruption, money laundering, tax evasion, etc. All worthy of investigation. Not to mention the conspiracy to kidnap the Turkish cleric and collusion with Israel This investigation should not be shut down because the deep state and the press are in a conspiracy to blame it all on Russia. It is up to you guys in the press to convince your colleagues to call it what it really is, and expose those members who continue to misrepresent reality. The press, as a whole, has dropped the ball in a big way on this, but that is not Mueller's responsibility. The 4th estate is a mess and you should be trying to figure out how to clean it up without violating the constitution.

Annie , December 15, 2017 at 7:58 pm

This is one of the reasons I no longer support Democracy Now. As Mr. Cohen said, " worse, this mainstream malpractice has spread to some alternative-media publications once prized for their journalistic standards, "

God, help us, everyone including mental health professionals have no sense of professionalism, but they sure know how to make a buck, and try to undo a presidency.

"There are Thousands of Us": Mental Health Professionals Warn of Trump's Increasing Instability

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/12/8/there_are_thousands_of_us_mental

Litchfield , December 15, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Ditto, The Nation. See my post.

Annie , December 15, 2017 at 11:22 pm

I read your post, and of course I agree. Some of the allegations are so minor, as he hugged me and gave me a kiss on my mouth. He touched my breast. I was in the dressing room when he came in unannounced, and my hair was in curlers, and I was only wearing a robe, but I was nude underneath. Of course some were more disconcerting then those I mentioned, but all claim to be traumatized. I have no doubt their agenda is to bring him down and the whole thing has been orchestrated to do just that. Where is all the concern, and coverage of rape in this country where the estimates go from 300,000 to over a million women raped each year? Where are the stories about sexual trafficking of children, or the children who are sexually abused in their own homes? I've never seen coverage on these issues like what is happening now. That is another reason I find this whole thing appalling. Not to mention using sexual harassment as a political tool to bring down a president.

David G , December 16, 2017 at 9:41 am

So many examples of this. There's an alternative newspaper comic I used to like, "Tom the Dancing Bug" – smart, subversive, and "progressive". But the writer has completely bought into Scary Putin/Puppet Trump. It's depressing.

BobH , December 15, 2017 at 8:33 pm

"unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous" sums it up nicely. It was also good to have Professor Cohen's endorsement of this website's courageous initiatives in combatting the Russia-gate farce.

Bob Van Noy , December 16, 2017 at 11:15 am

I'll happily second that thought BobH. And thanks

Litchfield , December 15, 2017 at 9:29 pm

Thank god Consortium News keeps up the pressure on the Russia-gate scam.
And glad to see Stephen Cohen published here.
Readers of this site need to keep reminding themselve of the basic background on this -- at least, I do -- in case opportunities comes along to deflate others' credulousness.

One question for Stephen Cohen:
Your wife is the editor of The Nation.
What has The Nation done to stop the madness?
Not enough. What's the story?
In fact, during the campaign and post-election, The Nation shamefully lent itself to the craziness on the left that sought to devalidate not only the results of the election but Trump himself qua human being. Nothing has been too far below the belt for Nation editors and writers to strike. I have had the ongoing impression that The Nation's editorial board really cannot see below the surface on any of this and have driven a very superficial anti-Trump, "resist" narrative dangerous in its implications. I think I have seen just one story, by a Patrick someone, that seriously questioned the russia-gate narrative. The Nation has fallen right in to the trap of "I hate Trump so much and am so freaked out by his election that I will make common cause with any one and any forces in our polity that will get rid of him somehow." The nation seems too scared of facing head on the reality of deep state actors in the USA. Or is too wedded to its version of reality to see what has become incraseingly clear to growing numbers of Americans.
As many an intelligent and more knowledgeable than I person has said: There is plenty to decry about Trump. But worse is the actions taken in the name of ridding the country of him and his presidency.
Because of this consistent cluelessness I have canceled all gift subscriptions to The Nation. I'll pay for my own sub, to see where this magazine goes, but others will have to pay their own way with The Nation if they so choose.
So, please clean up at home and get the act together on what is left of the left.
First.

Herman , December 15, 2017 at 9:32 pm

Thought the acronym PEPs was clever, Progressives Except for Palestine. Now it has morphed into PEPIRs pronounced Peppers, Progressives Except for Palestine, Iran and Russia. Actually could be PEPIRS adding Syria. If we added Iraq it could be PIEPIRS or Peepers. Actually, I have little regard for such people whose aims include killing and maiming for land and money.

Professor Cohen's credentials are very impressive and his voice and pen are badly needed. People like him are precious resources for America and the world.

Herman , December 16, 2017 at 11:08 am

PIEPIRS is incorrect with the I before the E making Pipers. So we have PEPs, Peppers and Pipers. Please excuse the frivolous comments but it feels good to try to expose their hypocrisy in any way you can, that is of the Peps, Peppers and Pipers.

Gregory Herr , December 15, 2017 at 9:43 pm

What has really been astonishing to me -- beyond a lack of evidence for all the "Russia-gate" allegations–is the utterly preposterous nature of the narrative in the first place. Robert Parry has addressed this, but the voice of Stephen Cohen–with the perspective of specialized scholarship and experience vis-a-vis Russia–is a welcome voice indeed.

David G , December 16, 2017 at 9:55 am

The NY Times printed an allegedly explanatory graphic a couple of days ago showing the Trump/Russia "scandal" as a basically a proliferating root system descending from the central "collusion" premise, with the roots and rootlets branching down to encompass all the disjointed facts (and "facts") and allegations that have appeared in the media.

The graphic was unintentionally revealing of the phoniness of the whole business: instead of showing numerous observations leading to a deeper truth, it accurately depicted "Russia-gate" as a pre-existing (fact-free) conceit that has chaotically complexified to accommodate random developments. That's the definition of a weak and useless theory!

Gregory Herr , December 16, 2017 at 4:37 pm

It seems to that as a representative of the incoming Administration's foreign policy team Flynn was just doing his job speaking with the Russian ambassador about the sudden and striking maneuvers of Obama during the transition. And in trying to defuse potential fallout and escalation due to those sanctions he was doing his job well. Was it not perfectly legal and well within the parameters of his duties to establish some baselines of discussion with counterparts?
Flynn's expression of thoughts on policy to counterparts were, to my mind, subject to the approval of the head of the incoming Administration -- namely Trump, and Trump only.

By the time the FBI questioned Flynn, he surely must have had an idea his conversation with the Ambassador had been under surveillance. What was the "lie"? Was he forgetful of a detail and just caught in a nitpicking technicality? Or did he deliberately manufacture a falsehood? When he gets past his legal entanglement, I sure hope he sits down to a candid interview. I'd like him to demystify me about all this.

I like your phraseology David this nonsense has been chaotically complexified to accommodate random developments!

David G , December 16, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Thanks, Gregory Herr. In your earlier comment that I replied to, you reference "the utterly preposterous nature of the narrative". That's not bad phraseology either.

And it also gets to something I've been thinking all along: I'd like to hear a "Russia-gate" proponent, such as an MSNBC host, actually supply what they consider a plausible narrative that fits all these breathless Trump/Russia "scoops".

I'm not demanding they prove anything, but just want to hear a story that makes sense. Because it seems to me that all the little developments they rush toward with their hummingbird attention spans don't fit together, *even if you concede all the dubious and debatable "facts"*.

dhinds , December 16, 2017 at 7:28 am

An important interview, for anyone that wants to understand Russia, today.

https://youtu.be/E_WPk6Rxx00

Megyn Kelly Interview Vladimir Putin

June, 2017

Damn good Interview (on the part of Putin – He said what was needed to be said. including "well, this is just more nonsense Have you lost your mind over there, or something)? He then continued to wrap it up, in a reasonable and and diplomatic manner.

Effectively, the USA continues locked into denial, refusing to accept responsibility for it's own current state of affairs. (The mass delusion is so thick you could eat it with a spoon, if it wasn't so putrid).

Warmongering, terrorist and refugee creating Regime Change and mass assassinations (with neither congressional oversight nor due process), arms and influence peddling profiteering, the creation of a mass surveillance society and militarized police state that kills minorities, the homeless and poor with impunity, mass incarceration in private for profit prisons, increasingly gross inequality and the excessive cost of health care and education; show the USA to be a society adrift and devoid of fundamental values. (And that's me talking, not Vladimir Putin)

The Clintons, Bush's and their supporters are to blame and should be held accountable, but mainly a new course for society must be charted and neither of the two corrupt major political parties is capable of that at this time.

A new coalition is called for.

James , December 16, 2017 at 10:13 am

Thank you Mr. Cohen for your ever insightful and reasoned commentary on this disturbing trend.

Clif , December 16, 2017 at 5:04 pm

Yes, thank you Dr. Cohen.

The lack of scrutiny is alarming. I'd like to offer Victoria Nuland and Robert Kagan as possible figures who are working the lines and should be drawn into the light.

rosemerry , December 16, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Professor Cohen is one of the few who really knows about Russia, so of course so any of the Fawning Corporate Media (to quote Ray McGovern) denigrate his work. Even in GWBush's time he often explained "the Cold War is over", and Obama's intemperate rush to expel diplomats and push ahead the Russophobia after Trump's election had no basis in fact and just encouraged the Hillary-Dems and neocons to continue the unjustified destruction of the one aspect of Trump's "plan" that would have benefited the USA and peace.

Bill , December 17, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Do you really think that Obama was misled by others? I don't believe it. Obama and Hillary are the origin of the fabrications. Will anyone hold their feet to the fire?

Jerry Alatalo , December 17, 2017 at 1:56 pm

"It's the state-sponsorship of terrorism, stupid." The largest-scale, ongoing, organized war criminal operation in the history of the world has murdered millions.

Jessica K , December 17, 2017 at 9:10 pm

Vox has an article "The Left Shouldn't Make Peace With Neocons -- Even to Defeat Trump", by Robert Wright. Bill Kristol of American Conservative and many other neocons including Robert Kagan have dual US-Israel citizenship, and they push the MICC toward war. They'll be pushing for war with Iran and maybe Russia.

Tim , December 18, 2017 at 10:13 am

Sadly, quite a concise, clear picture of the muddy waters called Russia-gate, Intel's baby, and the faint possibilities of Tillerson and Lavrov holding fast against sabotage. Let's hope against all hope.

[Dec 15, 2017] James Clapper Corrects Left's Narrative On Russia Election Interference 'Not All 17' Intel Agencies Affirmed

Notable quotes:
"... Aaron Klein is Breitbart's Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, " ..."
"... Aaron Klein Investigative Radio ..."
"... ." Follow him on ..."
"... Twitter @AaronKleinShow. ..."
"... Follow him on ..."
"... With research by Joshua Klein. ..."
May 09, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

During yesterday's Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing, James Clapper, former director of national intelligence, put the kibosh on a major anti-Donald Trump talking point that 17 federal intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

That talking point was amplified last October, when Hillary Clinton stated the following at the third presidential debate: "We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber-attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin. And they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing."

Clinton was referring to an October 7, 2016 joint statement from the Homeland Security Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence claiming, "The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of emails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations."

The statement was followed by a January 6, 2017 U.S. Intelligence Community report assessing Russian intentions during the presidential election.

While the U.S. Intelligence Community is indeed made up of 17 agencies, Clapper made clear in his testimony yesterday that the community's assessments regarding alleged Russian interference were not the product of all seventeen agencies but of three – the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA).

Referring to the assessments, Clapper stated : "As you know, the I.C. was a coordinated product from three agencies; CIA, NSA and the FBI, not all 17 components of the intelligence community. Those three under the aegis of my former office."

Later in the hearing, Clapper corrected Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) when Franken claimed that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concluded Russia attempted to influence the election.

Here is a transcript of that exchange :

FRANKEN: And I want to thank General Clapper and – and Attorney General Yates for – for appearing today. We have – the intelligence communities have concluded all 17 of them that Russia interfered with this election. And we all know how that's right.

CLAPPER: Senator, as I pointed out in my statement Senator Franken, it was there were only three agencies that directly involved in this assessment plus my office

FRANKEN: But all 17 signed on to that?

CLAPPER: Well, we didn't go through that – that process, this was a special situation because of the time limits and my – what I knew to be to who could really contribute to this and the sensitivity of the situation, we decided it was a constant judgment to restrict it to those three. I'm not aware of anyone who dissented or – or disagreed when it came out.

The January 6 U.S. intelligence community report is titled, "Background to 'Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections': The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution."

The report makes clear it is a product of three intelligence agencies and not 17.

The opening states: "This report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies."

Following Clinton's presidential debate claim about "17 intelligence agencies," PolitiFact rated her statement as "true."

However, within its ruling, PolitiFact conceded:

We don't know how many separate investigations into the attacks there were. But the Director of National Intelligence, which speaks for the country's 17 federal intelligence agencies, released a joint statement saying the intelligence community at large is confident that Russia is behind recent hacks into political organizations' emails.

PolitiFact's "true" judgement was the basis for a USA Today piece titled, "Yes, 17 intelligence agencies really did say Russia was behind hacking."

Aaron Klein is Breitbart's Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, " Aaron Klein Investigative Radio ." Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

With research by Joshua Klein.

[Dec 15, 2017] Democrats lost because Clinton didn't bother to listen to the concerns of the working class. Instead, she demonized and ridiculed them

Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Larry Gates , December 14, 2017 at 9:14 am

Hillary Clinton "actually listening to the people"??? Nonsense.

Democrats lost because she didn't bother to listen to the concerns of the working class. Instead, she demonized and ridiculed them. If Democrats don't return to their one-time base in the working class, we will be doomed to more Donald Trumps and more massive transfers of wealth from those to work for a living to the very rich.

As a lifetime progressive, I categorically reject the neoliberal political philosophy of both Clinton and Obama. In addition to being morally wrong, it is foolish, because in kicking out both the working class and progressives like me, they don't have enough votes to win elections. I also reject lying in order to undo the will of the American people. Russia-gate is, from the "evidence" given, total BS.

The will of those stinking (not a word I would use) undesirables at Walmart was to raise their collective middle fingers at the elites who have abandoned them and thrown them under the bus. They were voting against phony promises of hope and change. They were voting against NAFTA and the TPP. And guess what: Plenty of them would have voted for Bernie Sanders.

[Dec 13, 2017] All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner. Who next?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... More like he's denying the story peddled by the Democrats in some vain attempt at reducing his legitimacy over smashing Hillary in the elections. ..."
"... What is he going to prison for, again? Colluding with Israel? ..."
"... The most anger in the media against the POTUS seems to be directed against Russia gate. Time and energy is wasted on conjecture, most 'probables will not stand in a court of law. This media hysteria deflects from the destruction of the affordable healthcare act and the tax changes good for the rich against the many. I think the people are being played. ..."
"... In the 1990s and 2000s a large section of the American establishment was effectively bought off by people like Prince Bandar. These are the ones that are determined that the anti-Russian policy then instigated be continued, even at the cost of slandering the current President's son-in-law. The irony is that in the meantime an effective regime change has taken place in Saudi and Bandar's bandits are mostly locked up behind bars. ..."
"... True, and not just hypocrisy either. This has to be seen in the context of a war, cold for now, on Russia - with China, via Iran and NK, next in line. Dangerous times, as a militarily formidable empire in economic decline looks set to take us all out. For the few who think and resist the dominant narrative - and are thereby routinely called out as 'kremlin trolls' - it is dismaying how easily folk are manipulated. ..."
"... Your points are valid but, alas, factual truths are routinely trumped (!) by powerful mythology. Fact is, despite an appalling record since WW2, Washington and its pet institutions - IMF/World Bank/WTO - are still seen as good guys. How? Because (a) all western states have traded foreign policy independence for favoured status in Washington, (b) English as global lingua franca means American soft propaganda is lapped up across the world via its entertainment industry, and (c) all 'our' media are owned by billionaire corps or as with BBC/Graun, subject to government intimidation/market forces. ..."
"... Truth is, DRT is not some horrifically new entity. (Let's not forget how HRC's 'no fly zone' for Syria promised to take us into WW3, nor her demented "we came, we saw, he died - ha ha" response to Gaddafi's sodomisation by knife blade, and more importantly to Libya's descent into hell.) As John Pilger noted, "the obsession with Trump the man – not Trump as symptom and caricature of an enduring system – beckons great danger for all of us". ..."
"... If all Meuller has is Flynn and the Russians during the transition period, he's got nothing. ..."
"... It's alleged that Turkey wanted Flynn to extradite Gullen for his alleged involvement in Turkey's failed coup. Just this weekend, Turkey have issued an arrest warrant for a former CIA officer in relation to the failed coup. So, IF the CIA were behind the failed coup and Flynn knows this - well, a good way to silence him would be to charge him with some serious crimes and then offer to drop them in return for his silence. But, like your theory, it's just speculation. ..."
"... The secret deep state security forces haven't been this diminished since Carter cleared the stables in the 70's - they fought back and stopped his second term ... ..."
"... Seeing how the case against Trump and Flynn is based on 'probable' and not hard proof its 'probable that the anti Trump campaign is directed from within the murky enclaves of the US intelligence community. ..."
"... Hatred against Trump deflects the anger, see the system works the US is still a democracy. Well it isn't, its a sick oligarchy run by the mega rich who own the media, 90% is owned by 5 corporations. Americans are fed the lie that their vast military empire with its 800 overseas bases are to defend US interests. ..."
"... Wow this is like becoming McCarthy Era 2.0. I'm just waiting for the show trials of all these so-called colluders. ..."
"... the interest of (Russian Ambassador) Kislyak in determining the position of the new administration on sanctions is not unheard of in Washington, or necessarily untoward to raise with one of the incoming national security advisers. Ambassadors are supposed to seek changes in policies and often seek to influence officials in the early stages of administrations before policies are established. Flynn's suggestion that the Russians wait as the Trump administration unfolded its new policies is a fairly standard response of an incoming official ..."
"... "The problem is charging Flynn for lying. A technicality. But not charging Hillary for email server. Another technicality. That's all the public will see if no collusion proved, and will ruin credibility of the FBI and the Dems" ..."
"... It's not just collusion is it, what about the rampant, naked nepotism, last seen on this unashamed scale in ancient Rome? ..."
"... So he lobbied for Israel not Russia then? Whoops. How does the author even know where Mueller's probe is heading, and which way Flynn flipped? Flynn worked much longer for the Obama administration than for Trump's. ..."
"... You can easily impeach Trump for bombing Syria's military airfield, which is by UN definition war crime of war aggression, starting war without the Congress approval; and doing so by supporting false flag of AQ, is support of terrorists and so on ..."
"... Oh you can't do it, of course, it was so - so presidential to bomb another country and it is just old habit and no war declaration, if country is too weak to bomb you back. And you love this exiting crazy balance of global nuclear annihilation too much, so you prefer screaming Russia, Russia to keep it hot, for wonderful military contracts. ..."
"... If the US wanted to do itself a massive favour it should shine the spotlight on Robert Mueller, the man now in charge of investigating the President of these United States for "collusion" with Russia and possible "obstruction of justice" himself obstructed a congressional investigation into the 9/11 terrorist attacks. ..."
"... Dealing with western backed coups on its own doorstep and being the only country actually to be legally fighting in Syria - a war that directly threatens its security - does not amount to global belligerence. ..."
"... Clinton lied under oath ..."
"... The logan act is a dead law no one will be prosecuted for a act that has never been used... plus the president elect can talk to any foreign leader he or she wishes to use and even talk deals even if a current president for 2 months is still in office... ..."
"... Should all countries which try to influence elections be treated as enemies? Where do you set the threshold? If we go by the actual evidence, Russia seems to have bought some Facebook ads and was allegedly involved in exposing HRC's meddling with the Democratic primaries. Compare that to the influence that countries like Israel and the Gulf Arabs exert on American politics and elections. Are you seriously claiming that Russia's influence is bigger or more decisive? ..."
"... The goal of weakening the US is also highly debatable. Accepting for a moment that Russia tried to tip the balance in favor of Trump, would America be stronger if it were engaged more actively in Syria and Ukraine? Is there a specific example where Trump's administration weakened the American position to the advantage of Russia? And how is the sustained anti-Russian information warfare helping anyone but the Chinese? ..."
"... The clues that Kushner has been pulling the strings on Russia are everywhere... He then pushed Flynn hard to try to turn Russia around on an anti-Israel vote by the UN security council. ..."
"... And Russia didn't turn, so hardly a clue that Kushner was pulling strings with any effect. What this clue does suggest however, is that Israel pressured/colluded with the Trump Team to undermine the Obama administrations policy towards a UN resolution on illegal settlements. The elephant in the room is Israels influence on US politics. ..."
"... In relation to the "lying" charge - In December, Flynn (in his role as incoming National Security Advisor) was told to talk to the Russians by Kushner (in his role as incoming special advisor). In these conversations, Flynn told the Russians to be patient regarding sanctions as things may change when Trump becomes President. All of this is totally legal and is what EVERY new adminstration does. Flynn had his phoned tapped by the FBI so they knew he had talked to the Russian about sanctions - they also knew the conversation was totally legal - but when they asked him about it, he said he didn't discuss sanctions. So Flynn is being charged about lying about something that was totally legal for him to do. That's it. ..."
"... All those thinking this is the beginning of the end of Trump are going to be disappointed. Just look at the charges so far. Manafort has been charged with money laundering and not registering as a foreign agent - however, both of those charges pre-date him working for Trump. Flynn has been charged with lying to the FBI about speaking to the Russians - even though him speaking to the Russians in his role as National Security Advisor to the President-elect was not only totally legal, it was the norm. And this took place in December, after the election. ..."
"... So the 2 main players have been charged with things that have nothing to do with the Trump campaign, and lets not forget the point of the investigation is to find out if Trump's campaign colluded with the Russians to win the election. Manafort's charges related to before working for the Trump campaign whilst Flynn's came after Trump won the Presidency, neither of which have anything to do with the election. As much as I wish Trump wasn't President, don't get your hopes up that this is going anywhere ..."
"... Gross hypocrisy on the US governments side. They have, since WW2 interfered with other countries elections, invaded, and killed millions worldwide, and are still doing so. Where were the FBI investigations then? Non existent. US politicians and the military hierarchy are completely immune from any prosecutions when it comes down to overseas illegal interference. ..."
"... America like all governments are narcissistic, they will cheat, steal, kill, if it benefits them. It's called national interest, and it's number one on any leader's job list. Watch fog of war with Robert McNamara, fantastic and terrifying to see how it works. ..."
"... The US has also been meddling in other countries elections for years, and doubtless most Americans neither know or care about that! So it's perhaps it's best to simply term them a 'rival', most people should be able to agree on that ..."
"... Gallup have been polling Americans for the past couple of decades on this. The last time I read about it a couple of years ago 70% of Americans had unfavourable views of Russia, ranging from those who saw them as an enemy (a smaller amount) through to those who saw them as a threat. ..."
Dec 13, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

polpont , 4 Dec 2017 08:32

Mueller will have to thread very carefully because he is maneuvering on a very politically charged terrain. And one cannot refrain from comparing the current situation with the many free passes the democrats were handed over by the FBI, the Department of Justice and the media which make the US look like a banana republic.

The mind blowing fact that Clinton sat with the Attorney General on the tarmac of the Phoenix airport "to chit-chat" and not to discuss the investigation on Clinton's very wife that was being overseen by the same AG, leaves one flabbergasted.

And the fact that Comey essentially said that Clinton's behaviour, tantamount in his own words to extreme recklessness, did not warrant prosecution was just inconceivable.

Don't forget that Trump has nearly 50 M gun-toting followers on Tweeter and that he would not hesitate to appeal to them were he to feel threatened by what he could conceive as a judicial Coup d'Etat. The respect for the institutions in the USA has never been so low.

ID1456161 -> Canadiman , 4 Dec 2017 08:30

...a judge would decide if the evidence was sufficient to warrant a trial.

Actually, in the U.S. a grand jury would decide if the evidence was sufficient to warrant formal charges leading to a trial. There is also the possibility that Mueller has uncovered both Federal and NY State offenses, so charges could be brought against Kushner at either level. Mueller has been sharing information from his investigation with the NY Attorney General's Office. Trump could pardon a federal offense, but has no jurisdiction to pardon charges brought against Kushner by the State of NY.

Anna Bramwell -> etrang , 4 Dec 2017 08:28
I watched RT for 24 months before the US election. They favoured Bernie Saunders strongly before he lost to Hilary. Then they ran hustings for the smaller US parties, eg Greens, and the Libertarians , which could definitely be seen as an interference in the US election, but which as far as I know, was never mentioned in the US. They were anti Hilary but not pro Trump. And indeed, their strong anti capitalist bias would have made such support unlikely.
EduardStreltsovGhost -> JonShone , 4 Dec 2017 08:28
What's he lying about? More like he's denying the story peddled by the Democrats in some vain attempt at reducing his legitimacy over smashing Hillary in the elections.

Obama and Hillary met hundreds of foreign officials. Were they colluding as well?

pretzelattack -> Atticus_Finch , 4 Dec 2017 08:28
What is he going to prison for, again? Colluding with Israel?
oddballs -> Taf1980uk , 4 Dec 2017 08:26
The most anger in the media against the POTUS seems to be directed against Russia gate. Time and energy is wasted on conjecture, most 'probables will not stand in a court of law. This media hysteria deflects from the destruction of the affordable healthcare act and the tax changes good for the rich against the many. I think the people are being played.
Krautolivier , 4 Dec 2017 08:21
In the 1990s and 2000s a large section of the American establishment was effectively bought off by people like Prince Bandar. These are the ones that are determined that the anti-Russian policy then instigated be continued, even at the cost of slandering the current President's son-in-law. The irony is that in the meantime an effective regime change has taken place in Saudi and Bandar's bandits are mostly locked up behind bars.
It's all too funny.
zerohoursuni -> damientrollope , 4 Dec 2017 08:19
True, and not just hypocrisy either. This has to be seen in the context of a war, cold for now, on Russia - with China, via Iran and NK, next in line. Dangerous times, as a militarily formidable empire in economic decline looks set to take us all out. For the few who think and resist the dominant narrative - and are thereby routinely called out as 'kremlin trolls' - it is dismaying how easily folk are manipulated.

Your points are valid but, alas, factual truths are routinely trumped (!) by powerful mythology. Fact is, despite an appalling record since WW2, Washington and its pet institutions - IMF/World Bank/WTO - are still seen as good guys. How? Because (a) all western states have traded foreign policy independence for favoured status in Washington, (b) English as global lingua franca means American soft propaganda is lapped up across the world via its entertainment industry, and (c) all 'our' media are owned by billionaire corps or as with BBC/Graun, subject to government intimidation/market forces.

Truth is, DRT is not some horrifically new entity. (Let's not forget how HRC's 'no fly zone' for Syria promised to take us into WW3, nor her demented "we came, we saw, he died - ha ha" response to Gaddafi's sodomisation by knife blade, and more importantly to Libya's descent into hell.) As John Pilger noted, "the obsession with Trump the man – not Trump as symptom and caricature of an enduring system – beckons great danger for all of us".

cookcounty , 4 Dec 2017 08:15
I missed Jill Abramson's column about all the meetings the Obama administration held -- quite openly -- with foreign governments during the transition period between his election and his first inauguration.

But since she's been demonstrably and laughably wrong about predicting future political events in the USA (see her entire body of work during the 2016 election campaign), why should she start making sense now?

It's completely possible, of course, that some as-yet-to-be-revealed piece of evidence will prove collusion -- before the election and by candidate Trump -- with the Russians. But the Flynn testimony certainly isn't it. All the heavy breathing and hysteria is simply a sign of how the media, yet again, always gravitates toward the news it wishes were true, rather than what really is true. If all Meuller has is Flynn and the Russians during the transition period, he's got nothing.

themandibleclaw -> SteveMilesworthy , 4 Dec 2017 08:12
Flynn was charged with far more serious crimes which were all dropped and he was left with a charge that if he spends any time in prison, it will be about 6 months. Now, you could say for him to agree to that, he must have some juicy info - and he probably does - but what that juicy info is is just speculation. And if we are speculating, then maybe what he traded it for was nothing to do with Trump? After all, one of the charges against him was failing to register as a foreign agent on behalf of Turkey.

It's alleged that Turkey wanted Flynn to extradite Gullen for his alleged involvement in Turkey's failed coup. Just this weekend, Turkey have issued an arrest warrant for a former CIA officer in relation to the failed coup. So, IF the CIA were behind the failed coup and Flynn knows this - well, a good way to silence him would be to charge him with some serious crimes and then offer to drop them in return for his silence. But, like your theory, it's just speculation.

WallyWillage , 4 Dec 2017 08:05
Still no evidence of Russian collusion in Trump campaign BEFORE the election...... whatever happened after being president elect is not impeachable unless it would be after taking office.

The secret deep state security forces haven't been this diminished since Carter cleared the stables in the 70's - they fought back and stopped his second term ...

EduardStreltsovGhost ->