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Cold War II

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The Russian and US perceptions of war are totally different: for a Russian the war is a fight for survival as an individual and as a nation, for a US person war and killing are just another day in the office. And that includes perception of the risks of "Cold War" turning into hot.  Jingoism of the current US elite is really crazy: ‘Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad,’ says ex-CIA chief backing Clinton. And this is not some drunk schmuck in the pub.  This is a  top CIA official, who twice served as the acting director of the agency

In an interview with Charlie Rose in August 2016, Morell blamed Syrian President Assad, Russia, and Iran for the death toll in Syria.[28] He called on the moderate opposition in Syria to make Russia and Iran "pay a price" for their involvement in Syria, in part by targeting their military personnel in the country.[29] He also called on the US to begin bombing Syrian government targets in order to bring Assad to the negotiating table.[30] Regarding President Bashar al-Assad, Morell argued "I want to go after those things that Assad sees as his personal power base. I want to scare Assad."[29]

You would think that this guys is a crazy psychopath (thanks God he retired form CIA in 2013). But his views reflect the views of a large swat of Washington political establishment. And President Trump actually fulfilled Hillary bidding and attacked Assad's military installations, the action  which Morell argued for.   Which opened a new chapter in Cold War II history.

Key events of Cold War II

Generally we can think about Cold War II as consisting of several phases, signified by particular events:

  1. Phase I
    1. Prehistory (1991-1999). The USA, especially Bill Clinton administration,  wanted to weaken, isolate and subdue Russia since the dissolution of the USSR (using corrupt regime of drunk Yeltsin as a puppet and Harvard mafia as economic advisors; Russian neoliberals who came to power in Russia after the dissolution of the USSR  allowed fox to guard the chickens and faced consequences )  and encouraged efforts to dismember it (via support of Chechen radicals and islamists, in general).
    2. 1999: War against Yugoslavia as the demonstration of Russia neo-colonial status.  Primakov flight U-turn over Athlantic
    3. 2000: Putin ascendance to power as a reaction to Yeltsin regime failings and neo-colonization of Russia.  Kursk submarile disaster CBS news then broke the story that the United States had three ships in the vicinity observing the naval exercise that Kursk was taking part in. Two of the three ships were submarines, later determined to be USS Memphis and USS Toledo, type 688 Los Angeles class fast attack submarines which are often used for covert intelligence gathering.  USS Memphis, reported by Norway to be undergoing repairs at a Norwegian naval yard.
    4. 2001: Neocons get full power in Bush II administration and started to implement PNAC agenda. September 11, 2001 events. Invasion of Afghanistan with Russian support (via North Alliance) with large supplies of Russian arms.
    5. 2003: Colin Powell lies to UN in his speech about Iraq weapons of mass destruction(full text) falsely accusing Iraq regime of producing chemical weapons. Subsequent invasion of Iraq under false evidence and occupation of Iraq. The USA uses events in Afghanistan to establish military bases in former Soviet republics starting the operation of "encirclement" of Russia. For some period of time Russia allowed transport of military cargo via its territory. this stopped only after "NATO sanctions" were introduced in 2014.
    6. 2008: In august 2008 Georgia staged invasion of north Ossetia which resulted in Russian military operation against Georgia (called the war with Georgia). This was the first time Russia opposed US sanctioned actions of US allies. And did it militarily.
    7. 2011: "We say, we came, he died". The USA fooled Russian President Medvedev into supporting "no-fly zones" which were interpreted by West as the cart blanche for full scale bombing of Gaddafi regime. American and British naval forces fired over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles,[20] the French Air Force, British Royal Air Force, and Royal Canadian Air Force[21] undertaking sorties across Libya and a naval blockade by Coalition forces. French jets launched air strikes against Libyan Army tanks and vehicles. The Libyan government response to the campaign was totally ineffectual. Regime soon fell and Gaddafi was brutally murdered.
    8. 2011-2012 attempt to stage a color revolution in Russia by Obama administration (with Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State), using the power of NGOs and neoliberal fifth column to prevent return of Putin to power ("white revolution" of 2012)
  2. Phase II
    1. 2014: Anti-Russian hysteria during Sochi Olympics, Ukrainian coup d'état and introduction of sanctions. Malaysian flight MH17  tragegy that points to a false flag operation
    2. 2015: Russian involvement in Syria and Ambush of Russian Su-24 bomber by Turkey.
    3. 2016: US deploy offensive and dangerous to Russian strategic forces "missile shield" in Poland and Romania, continuing the policy of encirclement of Russia. On May 12, 2016 US missile shield in Romania goes live to Russian fury
    4. 2016: Anti-Russian hysteria during and after Presidential elections. Democtatic Pary turns into the second War party in Washington and the level of jingoism and anti-Russian hysteria reached unprecedented level.
    5. 2017: As a reaction to Hillary loss in 2016 election fierce  Neo-Mccratyism campaign against Russia was launched, with the level of demonization of Russia justifiable only if the USA is reading population for a war.  The Congress starts the investigation of Russian meddling into the US Presidential Elections.
    6. April 2017: Hopes about Trump more reasonable approach to foreign policy and detente with Russia vanished. Under relentless attacks of neocons, which actually resemble a color revolution" (called Purple revolution) Trump folded. Attack on Syrian airbase followed, which actually signify direct attack on Russian involvement (and policy) in Syria. It was masked as a reaction on Khan Sheikhoun gas attack (which, most probably, was a false flag operation)

Sanction as official start of Cold War II

What is called "sanctions" is essentially the "official" start of Cold War II. Not everybody  understand this. Russians tend to obscure this fact with bravado. "Sanctions is not only a challenge, but also can serve as a useful resource for our country economic development" -- said the first deputy head of the Presidential Administration Vyacheslav Volodin, in his address to the seminar meeting with officials of the government of subjects of the Russian Federation and representatives of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation which took place Dec 1-3.

"Today, the state conducts an internal policy that really reflects the interests and enjoys the support of the absolute majority of the Russian people. For example, the reunification of the Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia has supported more than 93% of Russian citizens" noted Vyacheslav Volodin. "But the highest level of support for government policy - not a reason to calm down and relax. This is the issue of preversing this huge level of credibility, great expectations of people. It is important to use this social energy for development of the country, addressing major social and economic problems. "

"The current economic situation is today is an inflected on us stress test for the government, for the economy, for the country as a whole," - said Vyacheslav Volodin.

"This is an opportunity to see who is who. World leaders of the 20th century took place at different times this path - the path of development in the face of opposition of the environment, trade wars, sanctions and restrictions. Some of the countries, such as China, have been able, in spite of the sanctions regime, to build one of the strongest economies in the world and dramatically improve the quality of life of its citizens. Such an opportunity does exist for us too. "

According to Vyacheslav Volodin, economic recovery should be a continuing priority for the country. Sanctions - this is an additional opportunity to resolve overdue to restructure the domestic market, provided support for domestic manufactures.

"Import substitution and new industrialization, which we discussed back in the pre-election articles and messages of the President of the Russian Federation in 2012 and 2013 - a key aspect of state sovereignty,"

I would recommend Volodin to listen famous Russian song, almost a hymn of Russian navy Varyag.  Russia now faces the whole NATO alliance, which is by oprder or magnitute is more powerful economically.  

Putin assessed situation in more sober way (From 28 min Putin discuss sanctions), but still I think underestimated the capabilities of the "collective West" led by the USA to wreck Russian economy. And while Biden is a regular neocon chickenhawk (essentially Hillary in pants), behind him  like an aircraft carriers stand 500 largest US companies and the whole US military industrial complex which wants war: 

The U.S. and the European Union imposed sanctions on people and companies close to President Vladimir Putin after Russia annexed the Black Sea Crimea peninsula in March. Ukraine has accused Russia of supplying weapons, military vehicles and mercenaries to separatists, which Russia denies. The two nations are also in conflict over gas, with Russia cutting off supplies this week because of unpaid bills.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Putin's government faces the threat of further economic sanctions if it doesn’t do more “to exercise its influence among the separatists to lay down their weapons and renounce violence, both of which Russia has thus far failed to do,” according to a statement released by the White House yesterday.

And it is not accidental that  the World Bank, one of the cornerstones of world neoliberal economic order,  has designed two scenarios for the growth of the Russian economy in 2014 taking into account increased risks over the Crimean crisis (MOSCOW, March 26 (RIA Novosti)

The first variant is based on short-term influences of the events in Ukraine on Russia's economy, and the second, threats of a serious shock and downturn of the gross domestic product (GDP).

"The scenario with a low level of risk presupposes that actions over the Crimean crisis will be limited and short-term and with a prognosis of a slowing economic growth to 1.1 percent in 2014 and a slight increase to 1.3 percent in 2015,"

according to a World Bank report on the Russian economy published on Wednesday.

French politician Philippe de Villiers Without Russia Europe has no future by Viacheslav

Q: What do you think about the "war of sanctions" that Russia waged against the West?

Philippe de Villiers: I will answer you as a person, seriously studied history. It was not even a single case where sanctions would lead to the desired result. Moreover, they give the opposite result.

Country against which an embargo is introduced, usually finds the hidden reserves and becomes stronger. Sanctions by themselves - it is an act of war, they hurt the pride of the people, and those mobilized, concentrated, what is happening now in Russia. In French, one of the meanings of the word "sanctions" refers to a school dictionary. Teacher allowed to punish the student to apply to it "sanctions." But as far as I know, Mr. Putin is not a disciple of Mr Barroso. Sanctions lead to retaliatory sanctions to a dangerous chain of mutual blows.

Cooperation between countries - it is an act of peace. Our joint project of theme parks in Russia and indeed this is. Support him, President Putin has committed an act of peace. I appeal to all the French entrepreneurs to follow suit in order to strengthen ties and friendship between France and Russia.

The Colder War Has Begun… and Russia Is Winning!

Eye-opening new book reveals that Vladimir Putin has launched an ingenious yet devastating plan to strip America of its superpower status. And he’s not using bombs or tanks to do it!

Free Book - The Colder War
Instead, he’s grabbing control of the global energy trade—the largest source of demand for the dollar and the bedrock of American might and prosperity.

Should Putin win, he could nuke the US economy and cost the average American dearly.

That’s why I want to send you a FREE copy of this book to help you prepare for this epic struggle that will define this decade and the century to come.


“ The Colder War provides a reversing contrast from the hysterical "Putin is Stalin, Jr., let's restart the Cold War" message emanating from the neocon think tanks and the mainstream media. Marin Katusa shows the real threat to the American people... "

Ron Paul



Dr. Ron Paul
former US Congressman, founder of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
Dear Reader,

Putin has transformed Russia from a sickly former Soviet state into an energy powerhouse to become:
The second-largest oil exporter in the world, on pace to pass Saudi Arabia very soon;
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While America and the West weren’t watching all this develop, Marin Katusa had a front-row seat. He’s seen Putin’s mounting influence on the global energy trade firsthand.

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William Bonner


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[Jul 30, 2020] Financial capitalism is bloodthirstily by definition as it needs new markets. It fuels wars.

Jul 29, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

steven t johnson 07.29.20 at 3:14 pm (50 )

PS likbez@46 reminded me of a line from the movie Reds. Warren Beatty's John Reed spoke of people who "though Karl Marx wrote a good antitrust law." This was not a favorable comment. The confusion of socialism and what might be called populism is quite, quite old. Jack London's The Iron Heel has its hero pointing out even before the Great (Class) War that the normal operations of capitalism, concentration and centralization, destroyed the middle class paradise of equal competition. It wasn't conspiracies.

likbez 07.29.20 at 3:30 pm

@steven t johnson 07.29.20 at 3:14 pm (51)

Jack London's The Iron Heel has its hero pointing out even before the Great (Class) War that the normal operations of capitalism, concentration and centralization, destroyed the middle class paradise of equal competition.

I think the size of the USA military budget by itself means the doom for the middle class, even without referring to famous Jack London book (The Iron Heel is cited by George Orwell 's biographer Michael Shelden as having influenced Orwell's most famous novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.).

Wall Street and MIC (especially intelligence agencies ; Allen Dulles was a Wall Street lawyer) are joined at the hip. And they both fully control MSM. As Jack London aptly said:

"The press of the United States? It is a parasitic growth that battens on the capitalist class. Its function is to serve the established by moulding public opinion, and right well it serves it."
― Jack London, The Iron Heel

Financial capitalism is bloodthirstily by definition as it needs new markets. It fuels wars. In a sense, Bolton is the symbol of financial capitalism foreign policy.

It is important to understand that finance capitalism creates positive feedback loop in the economy increasing instability of the system. So bubbles are immanent feature of finance capitalism, not some exception or the result of excessive greed.

[Jul 29, 2020] The UK government didn't find evidence because it didn't look for it, and backs increased powers for intelligence agencies and media censorship as a result

Jul 29, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

WARREN July 27, 2020 at 10:07 am

https://www.youtube.com/embed/NG17cgS2-sU?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

UK 'Russia report' fear-mongers about meddling yet finds no evidence
10,974 views•25 Jul 2020

The Grayzone
111K subscribers
Pushback with Aaron Maté

A long-awaited UK government report finds no evidence of Russian meddling in British domestic politics, including the 2016 Brexit vote. But that hasn't stopped the fear-mongering: the report claims the UK government didn't find evidence because it didn't look for it, and backs increased powers for intelligence agencies and media censorship as a result. Afshin Rattansi, a British journalist and host of RT's "Going Underground", responds.

Guest: Afshin Rattansi, British journalist and host of RT's "Going Underground."

[Jul 29, 2020] How Modern Jihadism Became Co-Invented by the U.S. and Saudi Governments -- Strategic Culture

Jul 29, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Modern jihadism was co-invented in 1979 by Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan al Saud, and U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, working together, and here is the background for it, and the way -- and the reasons -- that it was done:

Back in the later Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church and its aristocracies had used religious fervor in order to motivate very conservative and devout people to invade foreign countries so as to spread their empire and to not need to rely only on taxes in order to fund these invasions, but also to highly motivate them by their faith in a heavenly reward. It was far cheaper this way, because these invading forces wouldn't need to be paid so much; the reason why they'd be far cheaper is that their pay would chiefly come to them in their afterlife (if at all). That's why people of strong faith were used. (Aristocracies always rule by deceiving the public, and faith is the way.) Those invaders were Roman Catholic Crusaders, and they went out on Crusades to spread their faith and so 'converted' and slaughtered millions of Muslims and Jews, so as to expand actually the aristocracies' and preachers' empire, which is the reason why they had been sent out on those missions (to win 'converts'). This was charity, after all. (Today's large tax-exempt non-profits are no different -- consistently promoting their aristocracy's invasions, out of 'humanitarian' concern for the 'welfare', or else 'souls', of the people they are invading -- and, if need be, to kill 'bad people'. This has been the reality. And it still is. It's the way to sell imperialism to individuals who won't benefit from imperialism -- make mental slaves of them.)

The original Islamic version of the Christian Crusades, Islamic Holy War or "jihad," started on 14 November 1914 in Constantinople (today's Istanbul) when the Sheikh Hayri Bey, the supreme religious authority in the Ottoman Empire , along with the Ottoman Emperor, Mehmed V , declared a Holy War for their Muslim followers to take up arms against Britain, France, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro in World War I. They were on Germany's side, and lost. (That's the reason why the Ottoman Empire ended.) Both the Sheikh and the Emperor had actually been selected -- and then forced -- by Turkey's aristocracy, for them to declare Islamic Holy War at that time. In fact, the sitting Sheikh, Mehmet Cemaleddin Efendi , in 1913, was actually an opponent of the pro-German and war-oriented policy of the Union and Progress Party, which represented Turkey's aristocrats, and so that Sheikh was replaced by them, in order to enable a declaration of Islamic Holy War. Jihad actually had its origin in Turkey's aristocracy -- not in the Muslim masses, and not even in the Muslim clergy. It resulted from an overly ambitious Turkish aristocracy, hoping to extend their empire. It did not result from the public. And, at that time, relatively few Muslims followed this 'Holy' command, which is one reason why the Ottoman Empire soon thereafter ended.

Incidentally, so as to clarify how Turkey's aristocracy ran the show, at that time, Taner Akçam's September 2006 "The Ottoman Documents and the Genocidal Policies of the Committee for Union and Progress toward the Armenians in 1915" reported that:

The fact that the decision about the Armenians was made after a great deal of thought, based on extensive debate and discussion by the Central Committee of the CUP [Committee for Union and Progress] , can be understood by looking at other sources of information as well. The indictment of the Main Trial states as follows: ''The murder and annihilation of the Armenians was a decision taken by the Central Committee of the Union and Progress Party.'' These decisions were the result of ''long and extensive discussions.'' In the indictment are the statements of Dr. Nazım to the effect that ''it was a matter taken by the Central Committee after thinking through all sides of the issue'' and that it was ''an attempt to reach a final solution to the Eastern Question .'' 54 In his memoirs, which were published in the newspaper Vakit, Celal, the governor of Aleppo, describes the same words being spoken to him by a deputy of the Ottoman Parliament from Konya, coming as a ''greeting of a member of the Central Committee .'' This deputy told Celal that if he had ''expressed an opinion that opposed the point of view of the others, [he would] have been expelled .'' 55

(And, consequently, when Hitler allegedly -- on 22 August 1939 , right before his invasion of Poland which started WW II, and it is on page 2 here , but the sincerity and even the authenticity of that alleged private 'speech' by him should be questioned and not accepted outright by historians -- cited Turkey's genocide against Armenian Christians as being proof that genocide is acceptable, Hitler would actually have been citing there not only a Muslim proponent of genocide, but an ally of Germany who had actually done it, because the Ottoman Empire's aristocracy had been both Muslim and German-allied. Hitler would, in that 'speech', if he actually said it, have been citing that earlier ally of Germany, which had actually genocided Christians. The genocide happened, even if that speech mentioning it was concocted by some propagandist during WW II.)

The new jihad, or Islamic version of the Crusades, is, however, very different from the one that had started on 14 November 1914. It wasn't Turkish, it instead came straight from Turkey's top competitor to lead the world's Muslims, the royal family who owned Saudi Arabia, the Sauds. But they partnered with America's aristocracy, in creating it.

Today's jihadism started in 1979, when U.S. President Jimmy Carter's national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski (a born Polish nobleman), and his colleague Prince Bandar bin Sultan al Saud, re-created jihad or Islamic Holy War, in order to produce a dirt-cheap army of Pakistani fundamentalist Sunni students or "mujahideen," soon to be renamed Taliban ( Pashto & Persian ṭālibān, plural of ṭālib student, seeker, from Arabic ) so as to invade and conquer next door to the Soviet Union the newly Soviet-allied Afghanistan, and to turn it 'pro-Western', now meaning both anti-Soviet, and anti-Shiite. (The Saud family hate Shiites , and so do America's aristocrats, whose CIA had conquered Shiite Iran in 1953, and who became outraged when Shiites retook Iran in 1979. And, from then on, America's aristocracy, too, have hated Shiites and have craved to re-conquer Iran. By contrast, the Sauds had started in 1744 to hate Shiites.) So, modern Islamic Holy War started amongst fundamentalist Sunnis in Pakistan in 1979, against both the Soviets and the Iranians (and now against both Russia and Iran ). Here is a video of Brzezinski actually doing that -- starting the "mujahideen" (subsequently to become the Taliban) onto this 'Holy War':

https://www.youtube.com/embed/A9RCFZnWGE0?feature=oembed

Brzezinski , incidentally, had been born a Roman Catholic Polish aristocrat whose parents hated and despised Russians, and this hostility went back to the ancient conflicts between the Roman Catholic and the Russian Orthodox Churches.

So: whereas on the American end this was mainly a Roman Catholic versus Orthodox operation, it was mainly a Sunni versus Shiite operation on the Saudi end.

Here's more of the personal background regarding the co-creation, by the aristocracies of America and of Saudi Arabia, of today's jihadism, or "radical Islamic terrorism":

Whereas Nelson Rockefeller in the Republican Party sponsored Harvard's Henry Kissinger as the geostrategist and National Security Advisor, David Rockefeller in the Democratic Party sponsored Harvard's and then Columbia's Zbigniew Brzezinski as the geostrategist and National Security Advisor. The Rockefeller family was centrally involved in controlling the U.S. Government.

According to pages 41-44 of David B. Ottaway's 2008 The King's Messenger: Prince Bandar , U.S. President Jimmy Carter, whose National Security Advisor was Brzezinski, personally requested and received advice from a certain graduate student at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan al Saud, regarding geostrategy. At the time, Brzezinski commented favorably on Bandar's graduate thesis. But that's not all. "Secretly, Carter had already turned to the kingdom for help, calling in Bandar and asking him to deliver a message to [King] Fahd pleading for an increase in Saudi [oil] production. Fahd's reply, according to Bandar, was 'Tell my friend, the president of the United States of America, when they need our help, they will not be disappointed.'13 The king was true to his world." However, Bandar's advice went beyond oil. And the re-creation, of the fundamentalist-Sunni movement (amongst only fundamentalist Sunni Muslims, both in 1914 and in 1979), that now is called "jihadism," was a joint idea, from both Brzezinski and Bandar.

On 2 July 2014, Akbar Ganji headlined at Huffington Post, "U.S.-Jihadist Relations (Part 1): Creating the Mujahedin in Afghanistan" , and he noted that :

It was the United States that, together with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan, dispatched the jihadists to Afghanistan. Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia played a key role in those operations, with Saudi Arabia providing the key financial, military and human support for them. The kingdom encouraged its citizens to go to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet army. One such citizen was Osama bin Laden. Saudi Arabia agreed to match, dollar for dollar, any funds that the CIA could raise for the operations. The U.S. provided Pakistan with $3.2 billion , and Saudi Arabia bought weapons from everywhere, including international black markets, and sent them to Afghanistan through Pakistan's ISI.

That was then, and this is now, but it is merely an extension of that same operation, even after the Soviet Union and its communism and its Warsaw Pact military alliance all ended in 1991, and Russia ended its side of the Cold War but the United States secretly continued its side , as is shown here, by an example. This example, of America's continuing its Cold War, is America's longstanding effort, after the death of FDR in 1945, to overthrow and replace Syria's pro-Russian Government and install instead a Syrian Government that will be controlled by the Sauds:

U.S. President Barack Obama was warned in 2012 by U.S. DOD intelligence that if he would try to overthrow and replace Syria's secular, non-sectarian (and predominantly Shiite) Government (as the Sauds had been urging every U.S. President ever since Truman to do -- to replace those secular Shiites by fundamentalist Sunnis ), he would be able to do it only with the support of Syria's minority of fanatically Sunni fundamentalists , who were especially concentrated in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, bordering Turkey. Obama went for the idea , and promoted it as being his attempt to 'liberate' Syria, from being led by the "barbaric" secular, non-sectarian, Shiite, Bashar al-Assad. As far back as 2009, Obama had been informed that an intense drought was ripening Syria for overthrow (regime-change), but Obama wanted to wait for his second term before he'd go all-out for this conquest. Obama didn't want his re-election chances to be clouded by possible accusations that he would be arming Al Qaeda. But, anyway, he needed to do it that way because only as late as December 2012 did Syria's domestic jihadists make clear to him that they'd go along with his plan to wage war against Assad only if they would be led by Syria's Al Qaeda, called "Al Nusra." So, this invasion began only in his second term, starting in January 2013. But the planning for the 'rebellion' -- the "Arab Spring" in Syria -- actually began in 2009 , and the U.S. State Department, under Hillary Clinton, was centrally involved . Turkey "began operations in April-May 2011" to overthrow Assad, but Obama had actually started it, Erdogan didn't. Turkey merely cooperated with it. Altogether, throughout the U.S.-initiated war in Syria, something on the order of around a hundred thousand jihadists have come into Syria from around the world so as to overthrow Bashar al-Assad. Virtually all of them entered through Turkey, to its north. The influx was a trickle as late as 2013, escalated in 2014, approximately doubled in 2015, and continued escalating , but no reliable count of the incoming jihadists exists. Though Turkey was the pathway, this invasion started actually in Washington.

So, in this new 'Islamic holy war', to overthrow Syria's non-sectarian Government, the fighters entered Syria through Turkey, and they were welcomed mainly in Syria's province of Idlib, which adjoins Turkey.

On 13 March 2012, the Al Jazeera TV station, of the pro-jihad Thani royal family of Qatar, headlined "Inside Idlib: Saving Syria" , and opened

The Syrian government crackdown on the dissenting northern city of Idlib has continued for a third day, with casualties from random shelling and sniper fire mounting, and growing concerns for many citizens detained by government forces. "I can't tell you what an unequal contest this is . The phrase that we felt yesterday applied to it was 'Shooting fish in a barrel' – these people can't escape, they can't help themselves, they have very little weaponry, what can they do but sit there and take it?"

The UK Government had given Qatar to the Thanis in 1868. On 12 September 1868 , Mohammed Bin Thani signed "an agreement with the British Political Resident Col. Lewis Pelly, which was considered as the first international recognition of the sovereignty of Qatar"; so, on that precise day, Britain's Queen Victoria gave Qatar to his family, which owns it, to the present day. The Thanis are the leading financial backers of the Muslim Brotherhood, which spreads Thani influence to foreign countries. (At least up till 9/11, the Saud family have been the main financial backers of Al Qaeda .) The Thanis have been, along with the Sauds, the main financial backers of replacing the non-sectarian Syrian Government by a fundamentalist-Sunni Syrian Government. Whereas the Sauds want to control that new government, also the Thanis do, and this is one reason for the recent falling-out between those two families. America's aristocracy prefers that Syria's rulers will be selected by the Saud family, because they buy more weapons from the U.S. than does any other country. However, everything is transactional between aristocracies, and, so, international alliances can change. It's always a jostling, everyone grabbing for whatever they can get: aristocracies operate no differently than crime-families do, because FDR's dream of an anti-imperialistic U.N., which would set and enforce international laws, died when he did; we live instead in an internationally lawless world -- he died far too soon. In a sense (at least ideologically), Hitler won, but, actually, Churchill did (he was as much an imperialist as Hitler and Mussolini were).

Anyway, uncounted tens of thousands of jihadists from all over the world descended upon Syria, funded by the Sauds and the Thanis, and armed and trained by the United States, to conquer Syria. At the Syrian Government's request, Russia started bombing the jihadists on 30 September 2015 . That air-support for the Syrian Army turned the war around. By the time of 4 May 2018, Britain's Financial Times headlined "Idlib offers uncertain sanctuary to Syria's defeated rebels" ("rebels" being the U.S. and UK Governments' term for jihadists who were serving as the U.S., Saud and Thani, proxy-forces or mercenaries to conquer Syria) and reported (stenographically transmitting what the CIA and MI6 told them to say) that, "more than 70,000 rebels and civilians" -- meaning jihadists and their families -- who were "fleeing the last rebel holdout near the capital," had been given a choice, and this "choice was die in Ghouta, or leave for Idlib," and chose to get onto the Government-supplied buses taking them to Idlib. So, perhaps unnumbered hundreds of thousands of jihadists did that, from all over Syria, and collecting them in Idlib.

As I reported on 10 May 2018:

On May 8th, Syria's Government bannered, "6th batch of terrorists leave southern Damascus for northern Syria" and reported that "During the past five days, 218 buses carrying terrorists with their families exited from the three towns to Jarablos and Idleb under the supervision of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent." Jarablos (or " Jarabulus ") is a town or "District" in the Aleppo Governate; and Idleb (or " Idlib ") is the capital District in the adjoining Governate of Idlib, which Governate is immediately to the west of Aleppo Governate; and both Jarabulus and Idlib border on Turkey to the north. Those two towns in Syria's far northwest are where captured jihadists are now being sent.

The Government is doing that because at this final stage in the 7-year-long war, it wants civilian deaths and additional destruction of buildings to be kept to a minimum, and so is offering jihadists the option of surviving instead of being forced to fight to the death (which would then require Syria's Government to destroy the entire area that's occupied by the terrorists); this way, these final clean-up operations against the terrorists won't necessarily require bombing whole neighborhoods -- surrenders thus become likelier, so as to end the war as soon as possible, and to keep destruction and civilian casualties at a minimum.

The Syrian and Russian Governments had planned to finish them off there in Idlib, so that none of them could escape back into their home countries to continue their jihad. However, the U.S. and its allies raised 'humanitarian' screams at the U.N. and other international organizations, in order to protect the 'rebels' against the 'barbarous dictator' of Syria, its President, Bashar al-Assad -- just in order to create more anti-Assad (and anti-Russian, and anti-Iranian) propaganda. And, so, on 9 and 10 September 2018, Putin and Erdogan and Rouhani met in Rouhani's Tehran to decide what to do. By that time, Erdogan was riding the fence between Washington and Moscow. On 17 September 2018, I headlined "Putin and Erdogan Plan Syria-Idlib DMZ as I Recommended" and reported that Putin and Rouhani entrusted Idlib to Erdogan, with the expectation that Erdogan would keep the jihadists penned-up there, so that Putin and Assad would be able to bomb them to hell after the 'humanitarian crisis' in Idlib would be no longer on front pages.

As things turned out, Erdogan double-crossed Putin and Rouhani, and just grabbed the territory .

The role of the United Nations in this has been to stand aside and pretend that it's a 'humanitarian crisis' (as the U.S. regime wanted it to be called) instead of a U.S.-and-allied invasion, aggressive war, and consequently a vast war-crime such as Hitler's top leaders were prosecuted and executed for at Nuremberg. As Miri Wood wrote, at Syria News, on 28 February 2018 :

Members of the General Assembly must be in good financial standing to vote. Dues are on a sliding scale but do not factor in draconian sanctions against targeted members, nor crimes of war involved in their destruction. As such, CAR, Libya, Venezuela and Yemen have been stripped of their voting rights. The non-permanent SC members function as obedient House Servants to the P3 bullies, ever mindful of placing self-preservation above moral integrity .

So Truman's U.N. turns out to be on the side of the new Nazism, against its victims.

Erdogan wants to be with the winners. He evidently believes that whatever empire he'll be able to have will be just a vassal nation within the U.S. Empire. He had been extremely reluctant to accept this viewpoint , but, apparently, he now does. And so, now, Erdogan has become so confident that he has the backing of Christian-majority America and of Christian-majority Europe, so that Turkey's Hagia Sophia , which had been "the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520," has finally become officially declared by the Turkish Government to be, instead, a mosque. He feels safe enough to insult the publics in the other NATO countries so as to be able now to assert publicly his support for Islam against Christianity, because he knows that NATO's other aristocracies -- all of them majority-Christian, and all of these aristocrats ruling their respective Christian-majority countries -- don't really give a damn about that. Amongst themselves, the concern for 'heaven' is all just for show, because they are far more interested to buy Paradise in the here-and-now, for themselves and for their families. As for any possible 'afterlife', it will be reflected in the big buildings and charities that will bear their names, after they're gone. Erdogan feels safe, knowing that they're all psychopaths. And, as for the publics anywhere -- Syria, Libya, even in Turkey itself -- they don't matter, to him, any more than they do to the leaders of those other NATO countries.

Consequently, too, on July 18th, the American Herald Tribune headlined "As It Did in Libya, Turkey Recruits Syrian Militants to Fight in Azerbaijan" , and Khaled Iskef, a journalist for Beirut's Almaydeen TV, reported, based on unnamed "private sources in the northern countryside of Aleppo," that

Turkish forces started recruiting numbers of its armed fighters to send them to Azerbaijan in order to assist the Azerbaijani forces in confronting the Armenian army.

According to sources, Turkey opened special promotion offices in different parts of Afrin northern Aleppo, to attract the militants and encourage them to sign contracts by which they would move to fight in Azerbaijan for a period of six months, renewable in case they wanted to.

According to the contract, the militants receive a monthly salary of $2500, while the advantage of granting Turkish citizenship to the families of the militants in case they died is absent, contrary to the contracts that Turkey had signed with the armed men who wanted to move to Libya.

The sources said that Turkey has designated centers for registering militants wishing to fight in Azerbaijan within the towns of Genderes and Raju, along with Afrin city, and these centers have already started receiving requests by the militants.

Armenia is virtually 100% Christian, and, according to Wikipedia :

The Armenian Genocide [c] (also known as the Armenian Holocaust ) [13] was the systematic mass murder and expulsion of 1.5 million [b] ethnic Armenians carried out in Turkey and adjoining regions by the Ottoman government between 1914 and 1923. [14] [15] The starting date is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day that Ottoman authorities rounded up, arrested, and deported from Constantinople (now Istanbul) to the region of Angora ( Ankara ), 235 to 270 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders , the majority of whom were eventually murdered.

So, the recruitment of fundamentalist-Sunni mercenaries in the areas of Syria that Turkey has captured, and sending those men "to assist the Azerbaijani forces in confronting the Armenian army," is likewise consistent with the NATO member-country Turkey's restoration of its former Ottoman Empire. Using these jihadist proxy-soldiers, NATO is now invading Christian Armenia.

However, Iskef was reporting without paying any attention to the aristocratic interests which were actually very much involved in what Erdogan was doing here. On July 19th, Cyril Widdershoven at the "Oil Price" site bannered "The Forgotten Conflict That Is Threatening Energy Markets" and he reported the economic geostrategic factors which were at stake in this now-emerging likely hot war, which is yet another "pipeline war," and which pits Turkey against Russia. In this particular matter, Turkey has an authentic economic reason to become engaged in a possible hot war allied with Muslim Azerbaijan against Christian Armenia. Russia, yet again, would be backing Christian soldiers. Of course, NATO, also yet again, would be on the Muslim side, against the Christians. But, this time, NATO would be backing Azerbaijan, which is 85% Shiite. Consequently, in such a conflict, the U.S. could end up on the same side as Iran, and against Russia.

If history is any guide, aristocratic interests will take precedence over theocratic interests, but democratic interests -- the interests of the publics that are involved -- will be entirely ignored. The sheer hypocrisy of the U.S. regime exceeds anything in human history.

How can anybody not loathe the U.S. regime and its allies? Only by getting one's 'news' from its 'news'-media -- especially (but not only) its mainstream ones.

[Jul 29, 2020] Russia and the next Presidential election in the US by The Saker

Jul 29, 2020 | www.unz.com

A quick look at Russia

Before looking into Russian options in relation to the US, we need to take a quick look at how Russia has been faring this year. The short of it would be: not too well. The Russian economy has shrunk by about 10% and the small businesses have been devastated by the combined effects of 1) the economic policies of the Russian government and Central Bank, and 2) the devastating economic impact of the COVID19 pandemic, and 3) the full-spectrum efforts of the West, mostly by the Anglosphere, to strangle Russia economically. Politically, the "Putin regime" is still popular, but there is a sense that it is getting stale and that most Russians would prefer to see more dynamic and proactive policies aimed, not only to help the Russian mega-corporations, but also to help the regular people. Many Russians definitely have a sense that the "little guy" is being completely ignored by fat cats in power and this resentment will probably grow until and unless Putin decides to finally get rid of all the Atlantic Integrationists aka the "Washington consensus" types which are still well represented in the Russian ruling circles, including the government. So far, Putin has remained faithful to his policy of compromises and small steps, but this might change in the future as the level of frustration in the general population is likely to only grow with time.

That is not to say that the Kremlin is not trying. Several of the recent constitutional amendments adopted in a national vote had a strongly expressed "social" and "patriotic" character and they absolutely horrified the "liberal" 5th columnists who tried their best two 1) call for a boycott, and 2) denounce thousands of (almost entirely) imaginary violations of the proper voting procedures, and to 3) de-legitimize the outcome by declaring the election a "fraud". None of that worked: the participation was high, very few actual violations were established (and those that were, had no impact on the outcome anyway) and most Russians accepted that this outcome was the result of the will of the people. Furthermore, Putin has made public the Russian strategic goals for 2030 ,which are heavily focused on improving the living and life conditions of average Russians (for details, see here ). It is impossible to predict what will happen next, but the most likely scenario is that Russia has several, shall we say, "bumpy" years ahead, both on the domestic and on the international front.


JasonT , says: July 28, 2020 at 10:53 pm GMT

Good analysis.

I would add that Russia should also start opening channels of communication with various organizations in Canada, especially those in the far north. While Canada is small politically, it is vastly bigger than the U.S. in natural resources, very strategically located and right next door to Russia.

Twilight Patriot , says: Website July 29, 2020 at 12:26 am GMT

I really agree with you that the "blame Russia" and "blame China" thing has gotten out of hand in US politics. Whether it will turn into a shooting war seems doubtful to me, as the government is still full of people who are looking out for their own interests and know that a full-sized war with Russia, China, Iran or whoever will not advance their interests.

But who would have guessed, a few years ago, that "Russian asset" would become the all-purpose insult for Democrats to use, not just against Republicans, but against other Democrats?

... ... ...

aandrews , says: July 29, 2020 at 3:22 am GMT

" at worst, the crisis will move to a new stage . "

Highly likely.

I think Trump can win, though, if he successfully hangs the escalating Antifa/BLM mayhem around the Democrat's necks. Normal, salt-of-the-earth-type Americans won't vote for the party of Maoist mayhem. I just hope their numbers are still sufficient. So, really, the mayhem needs to worsen and get ultra-bad, and Trump needs to carefully respond with just enough law enforcement to bait the Democrats into defending the insurrectionists and their tactics and loudly condemning Trump's "fascist" response. Normal people will see the true story and in the privacy of the voting booth, not vote Democrat. And if you think the other side lost their minds after the 2016 election .

GMC , says: July 29, 2020 at 7:54 am GMT

Thanks Saker – I would have loved it, had Alaska been able to hang on to the 90s relationship with Russia. It was a perfect match, except that Russian economy { as we were told} was just tanking, and they had no money to throw into the tourist trade. Not that us Alaskans, expected much more than what our bush villages had to offer. lol But , I'm afraid this will never happen again, with the Zio freaks in charge of the US. I recall when I was flying and living in McGrath in the 90s, that a womens Russian helicopter team dropped down to refuel and I was workin on my cessna about 50 yrds away. I saw about 6+ really good looking Russian chicks come out of those choppers, and us guys were floored ! We started to communicate with them, they told us that they were re -tracing the WW II lend lease route and were headed to the lower 48. Just about the time we started getting close tho, an old Lady colonel jumped out and put the girls in place – lol . I also remember the Magadan hockey team came over to play against our University teams Anchorage and Fairbanks. My neighbor here in Kryme, was on that Russian team – small world. Ya, Russia and Alaska would be a great match today – just gotta get rid of Washington. Thanks for the memories.

Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website July 29, 2020 at 12:22 pm GMT

" until and unless Putin decides to finally get rid of all the Atlantic Integrationists aka the "Washington consensus" types which are still well represented in the Russian ruling circles, including the government."

Putin's regime is merely a less unbearable version of the Yeltsin regime, with open loot by oligarchs replaced by less overt loot by smaller scale actors. Putin is exactly as beholden to the neoliberal capitalist system as Yeltsin. To expect Putin to change sides as this point is ludicrous.

" Russia and the Empire have been at war since at least 2013, for no less than seven years (something which Russian 6th columnists and Neo-Marxists try very hard to ignore)."

I have no idea what a "neo" Marxist is (apart from a blatant made up term to taint us by association with the neo-Nazis), but as a Marxist, which the Saker obviously is not, it's obvious to me that the Imperialist States of America has been at war with Russia since the Yeltsinite attack on the Moscow parliament in 1993, and probably from the failed patriotic coup of 1991. If we ignore the Saker's idea of a war since 2013 it's only because we know it's twenty years out of date.

Things will never improve between Amerikastan and Russia and don't need to. Amerikastan is sinking and will sink; Putin will, if he continues on the neoliberal capitalist track, sink Russia as well in the end.

RoatanBill , says: July 29, 2020 at 12:32 pm GMT

The video link to Sahra Wagenknecht's report was the best part of this article although the article itself was spot on if one has any respect for reality.

I keep waiting for Germany to tell NATO and the US to get the hell out, but their political establishment is just as corrupt as the US's.

The amount of money the US Fed Gov steals from the population in taxes and regulation or causes loss of purchasing power by increasing debt could be much better put to use than shoveling it into the military to murder people around the globe. The entire Fed Gov will, I hope, disappear like fart gas as a result of the economic collapse in the making.

mark tapley , says: July 29, 2020 at 4:54 pm GMT
@Emily at was just a brutal form of monopoly capitalism that is the essence of the Zionist syndicate we all are up against. Today piratized not privatized Russia is suffering a less severe form but it is estimated that half Jew Putin and his oligarch cronies control ap. 30% of the Russian economy. all of this insider theft was "codified and Legalized" by Larry Summers and the Harvard Jews. Same thing is happening in Jewmerica and moving lots faster now with the theft under cover of the fake virus. Don't forget in 08-09 the bailout for billionaires cost the regular economy trillions then too. No problem, the Jews at Black Rock picked up some great bargains as they will this time.
Stanley Dundee , says: Website July 29, 2020 at 5:27 pm GMT

Per the Saker:

The real cause of the West's hatred for Russia is as simple as it is old: Russia cannot be conquered, subdued, subverted or destroyed.

I would add that Putin (a masterful statesman) tamed Russia's oligarchs. The greatest fear of America's oligarchs might well be a similar taming by a masterful American statesman. Hence the refusal to allow anyone other than corrupted mediocrities anywhere near nominal power in the US. And hence the entirely genuine hatred for Putin. He embodies their worst nightmare.

Harold Smith , says: July 29, 2020 at 5:50 pm GMT

"Russia will never attack first (which is a major cause of frustration for western russophobes)"

Now that team orange clown (with the full support of congress) has done away with the doctrine of mutually assured destruction, apparently replacing it with the concept of a "winnable" nuclear war (impliedly by way of a devastating first strike), the time may come when Russia may have to either strike first or be struck first.

Also, what about the case where the empire is finally successful in starting a war against Iran, for example, and the war goes badly for the empire (i.e. Iran is inflicting some serious damage), whereupon the empire resorts to nukes. Would Russia just sit back and watch, or would Russia then realize that the monster has to be put down?

"The real cause of the West's hatred for Russia is as simple as it is old: Russia cannot be conquered, subdued, subverted or destroyed."

In a sense that's true as far as it goes, but it really doesn't explain very much. Lots of countries are unable to subdue, subvert or conquer other countries but that in itself doesn't generally lead to "hatred." The simpler and more profound explanation is that the empire does what it does because it's evil. And the evil empire is analogous to an aggressive cancer: either the cancer wins and the patient dies, or the cancer is completely eradicated and the patient survives. There is no peaceful coexistence with the evil empire just like there is no peaceful coexistence with glioblastoma. You cannot negotiate with it to find some kind of a reasonable compromise.

AnonFromTN , says: July 29, 2020 at 6:53 pm GMT
@JVC

The US government and FRS seem to be hell-bent on destroying the value of the US $: when someone issues debt obligations (treasuries) and then buys them himself because there are no other takers, you cannot help smelling a rat.

The crash of the $ will hurt everyone, but some will recover faster than others. Euro and yen would be buried with the US $, but assets in less US-dependent countries that have real economies producing things other than hot air will likely fare better. Which leaves Russia, big China, South Korea, and some SE Asia countries.

Harold Smith , says: July 29, 2020 at 7:14 pm GMT
@Stanley Dundee

"And hence the entirely genuine hatred for Putin. He embodies their worst nightmare."

Evil hates a good example.

cassandra , says: July 29, 2020 at 7:27 pm GMT
@Jake t statistic for China is surprisingly better than I would have guessed. According to the CBO chart at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_inequality_in_the_United_States ,

the US was at about the same level in 2013: "The top 10% of families held 76% of the wealth in 2013, while the bottom 50% of families held 1%. Inequality worsened from 1989 to 2013"

Indications are that the worsening has only continued since then, and with all the money being poured into the stock market by the Fed this year, 2020 is on track to be exceptionally iniquitously inequitable.

Xaxa , says: July 29, 2020 at 7:47 pm GMT

Trump 're-election' is certain. All roads are paved toward it. In fact and so far Trump is the best Neocon/Deep State's man they found. Stop pretending Saker!

Agent76 , says: July 29, 2020 at 7:50 pm GMT

June 17, 2020 America: An Empire Eating Itself

Empire has one trick – divide and conquer. When it runs out of territory, nations, and people abroad to consume, it turns inward on itself.

https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2020/06/america-empire-eating-itself.html

Jul 3, 2020 Independence Day Under Dictatorship

The US is under rule by decree, not by rule of law. Looking at the original list of grievances the Colonists had against King George, it looks like most of them are met – and then some – by our current system of government. Can we regain our independence?


Wally , says: July 29, 2020 at 7:53 pm GMT
@Herald

said:
"A Trump re-election will virtually guarantee civil war, but that is still a better option than a Biden hot war against Russia. Either way though, the country is totally fucked."

– We already have a civil war.

– Either way there will be no "hot war against Russia". That's just silly.

– And there is no "Biden" there.

– The US is much, much better off with Trump, it's not even close. Especially if you value free speech, fighting violence, and at least some semblance of a market economy devoid of the 'Green New Deal' scam.

Alfred , says: July 29, 2020 at 8:35 pm GMT
@Anon

after Vietnam war, Vietnam, ally of China , keep their regime in their own hand.

The ally of North Vietnam was Russia.

China blocked the transit of Russian weapons to North Vietnam. After North Vietnam defeated the Americans, with Russian help, China invaded North Vietnam and was defeated.

marryne , says: July 29, 2020 at 8:47 pm GMT

For Saker it is always about Russia, Russia, Russia Sure, Russia is a big world power, it used to be and it is now. It is so mostly because of its military, which draws its strength and know-how from the USSR (meaning it is not strictly Russian). However, Russia will never again be a superpower as the USSR had been. It was possible then only because of the (historically) unparalleled appeal of the communist ideology. Firstly and objectively, Russia does not have an economy necessary to support such a status. Secondly, Russia has no sufficient population which, again, is a limiting factor to its economy. Putin probably realized that although he did not realize that the Putin-inspired immigration from the former Muslim republic of the USSR will not alleviate the problem. But again, who would even want to go to today's Russia if not Asiatic muslims. It will slowly but surely make Russia not much different from the West. Muscovites, just like New Yorkers are already leaving the city, those who can afford.
And, subjectively, Russia or the Russians don't have the most important ingredient fort the superpower status – the MENTALITY. The recent (1990-2020) Russian history clearly displays that. It shows that in order to realize the centuries old dreams of the few (so called "elites") Russia as a nation and as country had put itself to the downward trajectory: As an empire it sold Alaska; as a civilization – it destroyed itself by dismantling the rest of the empire, the USSR. As an ally it abandoned and handed over the most Russophile german friend and ally E. Honecker and others to the "partners" in the west. And, as an orthodox and Slavic "brother" it betrayed and abandoned the only people that have always loved Russia – the Serbs. As an ally it behaved recklessly and treacherously. Russia will do the same again. So, hate Russia.

Ko , says: July 29, 2020 at 8:59 pm GMT

Since 2016 I've always believed Trump will be legally elected in 2020 but the DNC/Deep State will reject the result much more forcefully and violently than they've been doing since 2016. The DNC/Deep State will establish a shadow government minus the shadow. It will not be Joe Biden leading it but someone much younger, possibly Biden's VP choice – who was (will be) selected to replace Biden should Biden actually win. Hell, it may even be Hussein since he's such a treasonous pussy and easy to manipulate. The communists behind the scenes (aren't they always such cowards) currently coordinating BLM and Antifa riots all over America will again use rioting but with firearms and bombings. This must be met with a military response and the violence will be nationwide. At some point either Trump declares martial law and outright civil war ensues, or a military coup takes over with or without Trump as a figurehead and they crush the communists and leftists while right wing militias join in the hunt. The only wild-card is if race driven factionalism within lower ranks cause wide divisions and some officers break away – then the whole show is over and there will be no place safe from people with guns and bad intentions. We will be fighting over food and gasoline. At least, like in China, there will be plenty of dogs to satisfy hunger.

mark tapley , says: July 29, 2020 at 9:01 pm GMT
@Wally

To Wally and Herald: How many Presidential election circuses have you guys seen. Probably a lot of them like me...

cassandra , says: July 29, 2020 at 9:16 pm GMT

Putin's difficulty is that Russia is really too important for the West to ignore.

Western elites, and not just in the US, but in the EU and the western-hemisphere in general, are facing a problem: people are beginning to notice that human values are not universal. This had been one of the main pillars for the existence and credibility of a technocratic elite, specifically for the people to trust the elites to implement some unspecified but benevolent neo-enlightenment.

Putin became truly anathema first when he rejected western neoliberal criminality because

[Hide MORE] it was destroying his country, secondly, when he thwarted amputation of Crimea by color revolution, and thirdly, when he kept calling out NATO/EU expansionism for what it was. This made conversion of Russia to the neoliberal finance and 'universal value" system even less likely than the conversion to Roman Catholicism prophesied at Fatima. Putin decided that Russia would live by its own values, thank you very much. Russia could still have been an arms-length ally, but Anglo-Zionist geopolitical extremism forced him to make cause with a clearly adversarial China, and encouraged him to circumvent the western currency system as well.

But peoples within the west were also developing this NGTOW (Nations Going Their Own Way) attitude. Hungary and Poland were already becoming thorns in the side of the EU over the "human value" immigration, and the elections of Trump and Brexit were further assertions of populist preferences. Other politicians like Wagenknecht, LePen and Salvini are nurturing this movement elsewhere. It remains to be seen whether the neoliberal oligarchy, by dialing up propaganda and censorship, and by using Orwellian cancel terrorism, can quell this awakening rebellion.

alwayswrite , says: July 29, 2020 at 9:18 pm GMT
@marryne elves out

Capital flight is enormous,especially through London

Ask yourself why????

Because British intelligence knows absolutely the places all this money goes to

British intelligence aren't stupid, they've played this game for centuries

Which gives them enormous leverages over the Russians,who are trapped by this age old system

Putin knows this as do all Russian oligarchs

Money rules,not silly hypersonic weapons !!!!

Which doesn't come into the sakers evaluation

Basically,the saker doesn't understand power,money power!!!

AnonFromTN , says: July 29, 2020 at 9:59 pm GMT
@Wally licies.
6. Dramatically improve US education, from elementary school up.
7. Reform US healthcare, with a view of making it healthcare, rather than extortion racket it is today.

There are many other things, but anyone attempting to do even half of those listed would be promptly JFK'ed by the Deep State. That is why there is no one in the US politics decent enough to even talk about real problems, not to mention attempting to do what needs to be done to save the country. Hence, I can name no names.

As things stand, even Trump is better than senile and corrupt Biden. But being better than that piece of shit is not a big achievement.

hu_anon , says: July 29, 2020 at 10:07 pm GMT
@Alfred

China allowed Soviet arms through to North Vietnam and was herself giving weapons to them. The Soviets didn't trust the Chinese though, so they preferred to transport more advanced weapons on ships rather than by train through China, to prevent the Chinese from getting a close look on these.

China attacked Vietnam for invading Cambodia, but this war exposed the weakness of the Chinese Army. Deng Xiaoping was able to push through military reforms after the debacle.

mark tapley , says: July 29, 2020 at 10:30 pm GMT
@Ko e and destabilize western nations. These paid activists, opportunists and useful idiots could be taken care of by the local law enforcement as the constitution mandates if allowed to do so. The goal of the Zionist criminals is to create enough chaos and breakdown that people will demand that the national gov. step in with martial law. This is exactly what the Zionists want so they can get rid of the locally controlled police and implement a gestapo of thugs that are accountable only to the elite at the top.

The zionist politicians and their operatives from the mayors to the Governors on up need to be thrown out of office. That is the first step in restoring the Republic.

annamaria , says: July 29, 2020 at 10:49 pm GMT
@alwayswrite ernative media has excellent analysts) instead of immersing in the stinky products of presstituting MSM controlled by 6 zio-corporations.

Your hysterics about Russia's alleged attempts at destabilizing the EU are particularly entertaining. For starter, 1. learn about US bases in Europe and beyond, and 2. read about the consequences of the wars of aggression (also known as Wars for Israel) in the Middle East for the EU.

If you are in search of neonazi, turn your attentions to a great project run by ziocons and neonazi in Ukraine. See Grossman, Kolomojsky, Zelinsky, Nuland-Kagan, Pyatt, Carl Gershman (NED), and the whole Kagans' clan united with Banderites What can go wrong?

[Jul 28, 2020] Turkey On The Warpath

Putin decision to save Erdogan from the coup in retrospect looks like a blunder...
Jul 28, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Uzay Bulut via The Gatestone Institute,

Turkey is currently involved in quite a few international military conflicts -- both against its own neighbors such as Greece, Armenia, Iraq, Syria and Cyprus, and against other nations such as Libya and Yemen. These actions by Turkey suggest that Turkey's foreign policy is increasingly destabilizing not only several nations, but the region as well.

In addition, the Erdogan regime has been militarily targeting Syria and Iraq, sending its Syrian mercenaries to Libya to seize Libyan oil and continuing, as usual, to bully Greece. Turkey's regime is also now provoking ongoing violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

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Erdogan leads first Muslim prayer after Hagia Sophia mosque reconversion

Istanbul's Hagia Sophia reconversion to a mosque, 'provocation to civilised world', Greece says

Turkish top court revokes Hagia Sophia's museum status, 'tourists should still be allowed in'

Erdogan: Interference over Hagia Sophia 'direct attack on our sovereignty'

Libya's GNA says Egypt's warning on Sirte offensive a 'declaration of war'

Erdogan says 'agreements' reached with Trump on Libya

What Turkish Election Results Mean for the Lira

Erdogan Sparks Democracy Concerns in Push for Istanbul Vote Rerun

Since July 12, Azerbaijan has launched a series of cross-border attacks against Armenia's northern Tavush region in skirmishes that have resulted in the deaths of at least four Armenian soldiers and 12 Azerbaijani ones. After Azerbaijan threatened to launch missile attacks on Armenia's Metsamor nuclear plant on July 16, Turkey offered military assistance to Azerbaijan.

"Our armed unmanned aerial vehicles, ammunition and missiles with our experience, technology and capabilities are at Azerbaijan's service," said İsmail Demir, the head of Presidency of Defense Industries, an affiliate of the Turkish Presidency.

One of Turkey's main targets also seems to be Greece. The Turkish military is targeting Greek territorial waters yet again. The Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported :

"There have been concerns over a possible Turkish intervention in the East Med in a bid to prevent an agreement on the delineation of an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between Greece and Egypt which is currently being discussed between officials of the two countries."

Turkey's choice of names for its gas exploration ships are also a giveaway. The name of the main ship that Turkey is using for seismic "surveys" of the Greek continental shelf is Oruç Reis , (1474-1518), an admiral of the Ottoman Empire who often raided the coasts of Italy and the islands of the Mediterranean that were still controlled by Christian powers. Other exploration and drilling vessels Turkey uses or is planning to use in Greece's territorial waters are named after Ottoman sultans who targeted Cyprus and Greece in bloody military invasions. These include the drilling ship Fatih "the conqueror" or Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, who invaded Constantinople in 1453; the drilling ship Yavuz , "the resolute", or Sultan Selim I, who headed the Ottoman Empire during the invasion of Cyprus in 1571; and Kanuni , "the lawgiver" or Sultan Suleiman, who invaded parts of eastern Europe as well as the Greek island of Rhodes.

Turkey's move in the Eastern Mediterranean came in early July, shortly after the country had turned Hagia Sophia, once the world's greatest Greek Cathedral, into a mosque. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan then linked Hagia Sophia's conversion to a pledge to "liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque" in Jerusalem.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

On July 21, the tensions arose again following Turkey's announcement that it plans to conduct seismic research in parts of the Greek continental shelf in an area of sea between Cyprus and Crete in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.

"Turkey's plan is seen in Athens as a dangerous escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean, prompting Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to warn that European Union sanctions could follow if Ankara continues to challenge Greek sovereignty," Kathimerini reported on July 21.

Here is a short list of other countries where Turkey is also militarily involved:

In Libya , Turkey has been increasingly involved in the country's civil war. Associated Press reported on July 18:

"Turkey sent between 3,500 and 3,800 paid Syrian fighters to Libya over the first three months of the year, the U.S. Defense Department's inspector general concluded in a new report, its first to detail Turkish deployments that helped change the course of Libya's war.

"The report comes as the conflict in oil-rich Libya has escalated into a regional proxy war fueled by foreign powers pouring weapons and mercenaries into the country."

Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when an armed revolt during the "Arab Spring" led to the ouster and murder of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Political power in the country, the current population of which is around 6.5 million, has been split between two rival governments. The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), has been led by Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj. Its rival, the Libyan National Army (LNA), has been led by Libyan military officer, Khalifa Haftar.

Backed by Turkey, the GNA said on July 18 that it would recapture Sirte, a gateway to Libya's main oil terminals, as well as an LNA airbase at Jufra.

Egypt, which backs the LNA, announced , however, that if the GNA and Turkish forces tried to seize Sirte, it would send troops into Libya. On July 20, the Egyptian parliament gave approval to a possible deployment of troops beyond its borders "to defend Egyptian national security against criminal armed militias and foreign terrorist elements."

Yemen is another country on which Turkey has apparently set its sights. In a recent video , Turkey-backed Syrian mercenaries fighting on behalf of the GNA in Libya, and aided by local Islamist groups, are seen saying, "We are just getting started. The target is going to be Gaza." They also state that they want to take on Egyptian President Sisi and to go to Yemen.

"Turkey's growing presence in Yemen," The Arab Weekly reported on May 9, "especially in the restive southern region, is fuelling concern across the region over security in the Gulf of Aden and the Bab al-Mandeb.

"These concerns are further heightened by reports indicating that Turkey's agenda in Yemen is being financed and supported by Qatar via some Yemeni political and tribal figures affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood."

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In Syria , Turkey-backed jihadists continue occupying the northern parts of the country. On July 21, Erdogan announced that Turkey's military presence in Syria would continue. "Nowadays they are holding an election, a so-called election," Erdogan said of a parliamentary election on July 19 in Syria's government-controlled regions, after nearly a decade of civil war. "Until the Syrian people are free, peaceful and safe, we will remain in this country."

Additionally, Turkey's incursion into the Syrian city of Afrin, created a particularly grim situation for the local Yazidi population:

"As a result of the Turkish incursion to Afrin," the Yazda organization reported on May 29, "thousands of Yazidis have fled from 22 villages they inhabited prior to the conflict into other parts of Syria, or have migrated to Lebanon, Europe, or the Kurdistan Region of Iraq... "

"Due to their religious identity, Yazidis in Afrin are suffering from targeted harassment and persecution by Turkish-backed militant groups. Crimes committed against Yazidis include forced conversion to Islam, rape of women and girls, humiliation and torture, arbitrary incarceration, and forced displacement. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in its 2020 annual report confirmed that Yazidis and Christians face persecution and marginalization in Afrin.

"Additionally, nearly 80 percent of Yazidi religious sites in Syria have been looted, desecrated, or destroyed, and Yazidi cemeteries have been defiled and bulldozed."

In Iraq , Turkey has been carrying out military operations for years. The last one was started in mid-June. Turkey's Defense Ministry announced on June 17 that the country had "launched a military operation against the PKK" (Kurdistan Workers' Party) in northern Iraq after carrying out a series of airstrikes. Turkey has named its assaults "Operation Claw-Eagle" and "Operation Claw-Tiger".

The Yazidi, Assyrian Christian and Kurdish civilians have been terrorized by the bombings. At least five civilians have been killed in the air raids, according to media reports . Human Rights Watch has also issued a report , noting that a Turkish airstrike in Iraq "disregards civilian loss."

Given Turkey's military aggression in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Armenia, among others, and its continued occupation of northern Cyprus, further aggression, especially against Greece, would not be unrealistic. Turkey's desire to invade Greece is not exactly a secret. Since at least 2018, both the Turkish government and opposition parties have openly been calling for capturing the Greek islands in the Aegean, which they falsely claim belong to Turkey.

If such an attack took place, would the West abandon Greece?


Gaius Konstantine , 10 hours ago

If such an attack took place, it will get real messy, real fast. The Turkish military is only partially adept at fighting irregular forces that lack heavy weaponry while Turkey has absolute control of the sky. Even then, the recent performance of Turkish forces has been lacklustre for "the 2nd largest Army in NATO".

Turkey should understand that a fight with Greece will mean that the advantages she enjoyed in her recent adventures will not be there. Nor should Turkey look to the past and expect an easy victory, the Greek Army will not be marching deep into Anatolia this time, (which was the wrong type of war for Greece).

So what happens if they actually take it to war?

The larger Greek islands are well defended, they won't be taken, but defending the smaller ones is hard and Turkey will probably grab some of those. The Greeks, who have absolute control and dominance in the Aegean will do several things. Turkish naval and air bases along the Aegean coastline will be attacked as will the bosphorus bridges, (those bridges WILL go down). The Greek army, which is positioned well, will blitz into eastern Thrace and stop outside Istanbul where they will dig in and shell the city, thereby causing the civilians to flee and clogging up the tunnels to restrict military re-enforcement.

That's Greece acting alone, a position will be achieved where any captured islands will be traded for eastern Thrace. Should the French intervene, (even if it's just air and naval forces), it gets a lot more interesting.

The mighty Turkish fleet was just met by the entire Greek navy in the latest stand-off, it was enough to cause Turkey to reconsider her options. There will be no Ottoman empire 2.0

OliverAnd , 9 hours ago

The Greeks need their navy for surgically precise attacks against Turkey's navy. Every island, especially the large ones are unsinkable aircraft carriers. No one has mentioned in any article that Turkey's navy is functioning with less than minimum required personnel. No one has mentioned that their air force is flying with Pakistani pilots. The only way Turks will land on Greek uninhabited islands is only if they are ship wrecked and that for a very very short period of time. Turkey's population is composed of 25% Kurds... that will also be very interesting to see once they awaken from their hibernation and realize their great and holy goal of Kurdistan. Egypt will not waste the opportunity to join in to devastate whatever Turkish navy remains. Serbian patriots will not allow the opportunity to go to waste and will attack Kosovo and indirectly Albania composed primarily of Turkish descendants... realize the coverage lately of how the US did wrong for supporting these degenerate Muslim Albanians.

I have no doubt Greeks will make it to Aghia Sophia but will not pass Bosporus. The result will be a Treaty that is a hybrid of the Treaty of Lausanne and the Treaty of Sevron. If the Albanians decide to support the Turks by attacking Greeks in the North and in Northern Epeirus they should expect annexation of Northern Epeirus to Greece. Erdogan bases his bullying on Trump's incompetences and false friendship. This is why America is non existent in any of these regions. If Trump wins the election it will be a long war and very destabilized for the region. If Trump loses the war will be much much quicker. The outcome will remain the same. The Russians will not allow Turkey to dictate in the area. Israel will not allow Turkey to dictate in the area. Egypt will not allow Turkey to dictate in the area. Not even European Union. UK is the questionable.

bobcatz , 2 hours ago

And the US in the Middle East is not????????

ALL MidEast terrorism, shenanigans, and warmongering are for APARTHEID Israhell.

Joy Division , 7 hours ago

The West has Turkey's back otherwise the Turkish currency the Turkish Lira would have collapsed by now under attacks from the City of London Freemasonic Talmudic bankers.

Remember what happened to the Russian Rouble when Russia annexed Crimea?

The Fed and the ECB in cahoots with the usual Talmudic interests, are supporting the Turkish Lira and propping up the Erdogan regime.

There is NO OTHER explanation.

The Turks have NO foreign currency reserves, no net positive euro nor dollar reserves. Their tourism industry and main hard currency generator has COLLAPSED (hotels are 95 percent empty). The Turkish central bank has resorted to STEALING Turkish citizens' dollar-denominated bank accounts via raising Turkish Banks' foreign currency reserve requirements which the Turkish central bank SPENDS upon receipt to buy TLs and prop up the Turkish Lira.

This is utter MADNESS and FRAUD and LARCENY.

London-based currency traders would be all over the Turkish Lira and/or Turkish bonds and stocks by now UNLESS they had been instructed by the Fed and the ECB or the Talmudic bankers that own and control both, to lay off the Turkish Lira.

Despite the noise on TV or the press,

BY DEFINITION,

Erdogan and the Turks are only doing the bidding of the TRIBE hence Erdogan has the blessing and the protection of the people ZH censors the name.

BUT

You know how those parasites treat their host and what the inevitable outcome is, right?

Indeed,

Erdogan and the Turks are being set up to be thrown under the proverbial bus at the appropriate time.

The Neo-Ottoman Sultan has inadvertently set up his (ill begotten) country for eventual destruction and partition. The Kurds will get a piece of it. Who knows, maybe even the Armenians will be able to recover some bits of their ancient homeland.

Greeks in Constantinople? Nothing is impossible thanks to the hubris and chutzpah of Erdogan who is purported to have "Amish" blood himself.

Know thyself , 5 hours ago

Good for the UK that they have left the EU.

Apart from the Greeks, who would be fighting for their lives and homeland, the only EU forces capable of acting are the French. German does not have an operative army or navy; Italy, Spain and Portugal have neglected their armed forces for many years, and the Baltic and Eastern Nations are unlikely to want to get involved. The Netherlands have very good forces but not many of them.

MPJones , 7 hours ago

We can live in hope. Erdogan certainly seems to need external enemies to hold the country together. Let us also hope that Erdogan's adventurism finally wakes up Europe to the reality of the ongoing Muslim invasion so that the necessary Muslim repatriation can get going without the bloodshed which Islam's current strategy in Europe will otherwise inevitably lead to.

Know thyself , 5 hours ago

The Turkish army is a conscript army. They will need to be whipped up with religious fervour to perform. Otherwise they will look after their own skins.

But remember that the Turks put up a good defence in the Dardanelles in the First World War.

HorseBuggy , 9 hours ago

What do you expect? He killed Russian fighter pilots and he survived, this empowers terrorists like him. Those pilots were the only ones at that time fighting ISIS. May they RIP.

Max.Power , 9 hours ago

Turkey is in a "proud" group of failed empires surrounded by nations they severely abused less than 100 years ago.

Other two are Germany and Japan. Any military aggression from their side will be met with rage by a coalition of nations.

US position will be irrelevant at this point, because local historical grievances will overweight anything else.

monty42 , 10 hours ago

"Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when an armed revolt during the "Arab Spring" led to the ouster and murder of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Political power in the country..."

Kinda gave yourself away there. The coordinated assault on Libya by the US, Britain, France, and their Al-CiA-da allies on the ground resulted in the torture, sodomizing, and murder of Gaddafi, as well as his son and grandchildren killed in bombings by the US.

Also, let's not forget that Turkey is still in NATO, and their actions in Syria were alongside the US regime and terrorist proxies labeled "moderate rebels". The same terrorists originally used in Libya, then shipped to destroy Syria, now flown back to Libya. The attempt to paint all of those things as Turkey's actions alone is not honest.

When Turkey isn't in NATO anymore, let me know.

TheZeitgeist , 10 hours ago

Don't forget that Hiftar guy Turks are fighting in Libya was a CIA toadie living in Virginia for a decade before they gave him his "chance" to among other things become a client of the Russians apparently. Flustercluck of the 1st order everywhere one looks.

monty42 , 10 hours ago

Then they put on this whole production where it's the CIA guy or the terrorist puppet regime they installed, so that the rulers win regardless of the outcome. The victims are those caught up in their sick game.

GalustGulbenkyan , 9 hours ago

Turkish population has been recently getting ****** due to the economic contractions and devaluation of the Lira. Once Turkey starts fighting against a real army the Turks will realize that they are going to be ****** by larger dildos. In 1990's they sent thousands of volunteers to Nagorno Karabagh to fight against irregular Armenian forces and we know how that ended for them. Greeks and Egyptians are not the Kurds. Erdogan is a lot of hot air and empty threats. You can't win wars with Modern drones which even Armenians have learned how to jam and shoot down with old 1970's soviet tech.

Guentzburgh , 5 hours ago

Greece should be aligned with Russia, EU and USA are a bad choice that Greece will regret.

Greece needs to pivot towards Russia which will open huge opportunities for both countries

KoalaWalla , 6 hours ago

Greeks are bitter and prideful - they would not only defend themselves if attacked but would counter attack to reclaim land they've lost. But, I don't know that Erdogan is clever enough to realize this.

60s Man , 9 hours ago

Turkey is America's Mini Me.

currency , 3 hours ago

Erdogan is in Trouble at home declining economy and his radical conservative/Thug type policies. Turks are moving away from him except the hard core radicals and conservatives. He and his family are Corrupt - they rule with threats and use of THUGS. Sense his constant wars may be over stretched Time for a Turkish Spring.

Time for US, Nato and etc. to say goodbye to this THUG

OrazioGentile , 7 hours ago

Turkey seems to be on a warpath to imploding from within. Erdogan looks like a desperate despot with a failing economy, failing political clout, and failing modernization of his Country. Like any despot, he has to rally the troops or he will literally be a dead man walking.

HorseBuggy , 9 hours ago

The world fears loud obnoxious tyrants and Erdogan is the loudest tyrant since Hitler. Remember how countries pandered to Hitler early on? Same thing is happening with Erdogan.

This terrorist will do a lot more damage than he has already before the world wakes up.

By the time Hitler was done, 70 million people were dead, what will Erdogan cause?

OliverAnd , 9 hours ago

Turkey is not Germany. Not by far. Erdogan may be a bigger lunatic than Hitler, but Turkey is not Germany of the 30's. Without military equipment/parts from Germany, Italy, Spain, France, USA, and UK he cannot even build a nail. Economies are very integrated; he will be disposed of very very quickly. He has been warned. He is running out of lives.

NewNeo , 9 hours ago

You should research a lot more. Turkey is a lot more power thank Nazi Germany of the 1930's. Turkey currently have brand new US made equipment. It even houses the nuclear arsenal of NATO.

You should probably look at information from stratfor and George Friedman to give you a better understanding.

The failed coupe a few years ago was because the lunatic had gone off the reservation and was seen as a threat to the region. Obviously the bankers thought it in their benefit to keep him going and tipped him off.

OliverAnd , 8 hours ago

Clearly the lockdown has hindered your already illiteracy. Turkey has modern US equipment. Germany did not need US equipment. They made their own equipment; in fact both the US and USSR used Grrman old tech to develop future tech.

The coup was designed by Erdogan to bring himself to full power. When this is all done he will be responsible for millions of Turkish lives; after all he is not a Turk but a Muslim Pontian.

[Jul 28, 2020] Barr is so much better and smarter than neoliberal Dems

Barr opening statement
Jul 28, 2020 | townhall.com

Go back and watch the sad spectacle for yourself on C-SPAN's website, if you'd like. I wouldn't recommend it. As a preview of coming attractions, Chairman Nadler -- who recently dismissed the serious, documented violence in Portland as a "myth" -- concluded his harried Q&A with this: "Shame on you, Mr. Barr."

... Like many of his colleagues, Nadler repeatedly interrupted Barr's attempts to even begin to respond to the accusations being hurled at him, then concluded his scripted performance with a dramatic "shame on you!" And so it has gone. Alternating parcels of Five Minutes' Hate, interspersed with Republicans playing defense and scoring their own points. Occasional actual questions have slipped through the theater, but the overall episode has been largely useless.

From Berr opning statement:

Ever since I made it clear that I was going to do everything I could to get to the bottom of the grave abuses involved in the bogus "Russiagate" scandal , many of the Democrats on this Committee have attempted to discredit me by conjuring up a narrative that I am simply the President's factotum who disposes of criminal cases according to his instructions. Judging from the letter inviting me to this hearing, that appears to be your agenda today.

So let me turn to that first. As I said in my confirmation hearing, the Attorney General has a unique obligation. He holds in trust the fair and impartial administration of justice. He must ensure that there is one standard of justice that applies to everyone equally and that criminal cases are handled even-handedly, based on the law and the facts, and without regard to political or personal considerations...

Indeed, it is precisely because I feel complete freedom to do what I think is right that induced me serve once again as Attorney General. As you know, I served as Attorney General under President George H. W. Bush.

After that, I spent many years in the corporate world. I was almost 70 years old, slipping happily into retirement as I enjoyed my grandchildren. I had nothing to prove and had no desire to return to government. I had no prior relationship with President Trump.

Watch the whole thing here , or read the full transcript here . I'll leave you with this.

[Jul 27, 2020] Germany Rejects Trump Bid To Let Russia Back Into G7- 'No Chance Due To Ukraine'

So Merkel and Obama staged the coup and Russia is guilty of consequences.
Jul 27, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

For much of the past year Trump has caused angst among allies by maintaining a consistent position that Russia should be invited back into the Group of Seven (G7), making it as it was prior to 2014, the G-8.

Russia had been essentially booted from the summit as relations with the Obama White House broke down over the Ukraine crisis and the Crimea issue. Trump said in August 2019 that Obama had been "outsmarted" by Putin.

But as recently as May when Germany followed by other countries rebuffed Trump's plans to host the G7 at Camp David, Trump blasted the "very outdated group of countries" and expressed that he planned to invite four additional non-member nations, mostly notably Russia .

... per Reuters :

Germany has rejected a proposal by U.S. President Donald Trump to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin back into the Group of Seven (G7) most advanced economies , German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a newspaper interview published on Monday.

Interestingly enough the Ukraine and Crimea issues were raised in the interview: "But Maas told Rheinische Post that he did not see any chance for allowing Russia back into the G7 as long as there was no meaningful progress in solving the conflict in Crimea as well as in eastern Ukraine," according to the report.

[Jul 27, 2020] The narratives are breaking down: The entire media class will now spend years leading the public on a wild goose chase for Russian collusion and then act like it's no big deal when the whole thing turned out to be completely baseless by Caitlin Johnstone

Jul 27, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

People's old ways of understanding what's going on in the world just aren't holding together anymore.

... ... ...

New Cold War escalations between the U.S.-centralized empire and the unabsorbed governments of China and Russia are going to cause the media airwaves around the planet to become saturated in ever-intensifying propaganda narratives which favor one side or the other and have no interest in honestly telling people the truth about what's going on.

[Jul 27, 2020] Why it is so difficult to understand what's going on in the world

Jul 27, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

It's difficult to understand what's going on in the world because powerful people actively manipulate public understanding of what's going on in the world.

Powerful people actively manipulate public understanding of what's going on in the world because if the public understood what's going on in the world, they would rise up and use their strength of numbers to overthrow the powerful.

The public would rise up and use their strength of numbers to overthrow the powerful if they understood what's going on in their world because then they would understand that the powerful have been exploiting, oppressing, robbing, cheating and deceiving them while destroying the ecosystem, stockpiling weapons of Armageddon and waging endless wars, for no other reason than so that they can maintain and expand their power.

The public do not rise up and use their strength of numbers to overthrow the powerful because they have been successfully manipulated into not wanting to.

[Jul 27, 2020] Militarism kiiled the remnants of democracy in the USA long ago by William J. Astore

Notable quotes:
"... The reality is that, in the summer of 2020, America faces two deadly viruses. The first is Covid-19. With hard work and some luck, scientists may be able to mass-produce an effective vaccine for it, perhaps by as early as next spring . In the meantime, scientists do have a sense of how to control it, contain it, even neutralize it, as countries from South Korea and New Zealand to Denmark have shown, even if some Americans, encouraged by our president, insist on throwing all caution to the winds in the name of living free. The second virus, however, could prove even more difficult to control, contain, and neutralize: forever war, a pandemic that U.S. military forces, with their global strike missions, continue to spread across the globe. ..."
"... To survive, the human body needs a healthy immune system, so when it goes haywire, becomes wildly inflamed, and ends up attacking and degrading our vital organs, we're in trouble deep. It's a reasonable guess that, in analogous terms, American democracy is already on a ventilator and beginning to feel the effects of multiple organ failure. ..."
"... Unlike a human patient, doctors can't put our democracy into a medically induced coma. But collectively we should be working to suppress our overactive immune system before it kills us. In other words, it's truly time to defund that military machine of ours, as well as the militarized version of the police, and rethink how actual threats can be neutralized without turning every response into an endless war. ..."
Jul 27, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

...as Martin Luther King, Jr., pointed out in 1967 during the Vietnam War, the United States remains the world's greatest purveyor of violence -- and nothing in this century, the one he didn't live to see, has faintly proved him wrong. Considered another way, Washington should be classified as the planet's most committed arsonist, regularly setting or fanning the flames of fires globally from Libya to Iraq, Somalia to Afghanistan, Syria to -- dare I say it -- in some quite imaginable future Iran, even as our leaders invariably boast of having the world's greatest firefighters (also known as the U.S. military ).

Scenarios of perpetual war haunt my thoughts. For a healthy democracy, there should be few things more unthinkable than never-ending conflict, that steady drip-drip of death and destruction that drives militarism , reinforces authoritarianism, and facilitates disaster capitalism . In 1795, James Madison warned Americans that war of that sort would presage the slow death of freedom and representative government. His prediction seems all too relevant in a world in which, year after year, this country continues to engage in needless wars that have nothing to do with national defense.

You Wage War Long, You Wage It Wrong

U.S. helicopters on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CV-41) during the evacuation of Saigon, April 1975. (DanMS, Wikimedia Commons)

To cite one example of needless war from the last century, consider America's horrendous years of fighting in Vietnam and a critical lesson drawn firsthand from that conflict by reporter Jonathan Schell. "In Vietnam," he noted , "I learned about the capacity of the human mind to build a model of experience that screens out even very dramatic and obvious realities." As a young journalist covering the war, Schell saw that the U.S. was losing, even as its military was destroying startlingly large areas of South Vietnam in the name of saving it from communism. Yet America's leaders, the " best and brightest " of the era, almost to a man refused to see that all of what passed for realism in their world, when it came to that war, was nothing short of a first-class lie.

Why? Because believing is seeing and they desperately wanted to believe that they were the good guys, as well as the most powerful guys on the planet. America was winning, it practically went without saying, because it had to be. They were infected by their own version of an all-American victory culture , blinded by a sense of this country's obvious destiny: to be the most exceptional and exceptionally triumphant nation on this planet.

As it happened, it was far more difficult for grunts on the ground to deny the reality of what was happening -- that they were fighting and dying in a senseless war. As a result, especially after the shock of the enemy's Tet Offensive early in 1968, escalating protests within the military (and among veterans at home) together with massive antiwar demonstrations finally helped put the brakes on that war. Not before, however, more than 58,000 American troops died, along with millions of Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians.

In the end, the war in Indochina was arguably too costly, messy, and futile to continue. But never underestimate the military-industrial complex , especially when it comes to editing or denying reality, while being eternally over-funded for that very reality. It's a trait the complex has shared with politicians of both parties. Don't forget, for instance, the way President Ronald Reagan reedited that disastrous conflict into a " noble cause " in the 1980s. And give him credit! That was no small thing to sell to an American public that had already lived through such a war. By the way, tell me something about that Reaganesque moment doesn't sound vaguely familiar almost four decades later when our very own " wartime president " long ago declared victory in the "war" on Covid-19, even as the death toll from that virus approaches 150,000 in the homeland.

President Donald Trump during briefing on Covid-19 testing capacity May 11, 2020. (White House, Shealah Craighead)

In the meantime, the military-industrial complex has mastered the long con of the no-win forever war in a genuinely impressive fashion. Consider the war in Afghanistan. In 2021 it will enter its third decade without an end in sight. Even when President Donald Trump makes noises about withdrawing troops from that country, Congress approves an amendment to another massive, record-setting military budget with broad bipartisan support that effectively obstructs any efforts to do so (while the Pentagon continues to bargain Trump down on the subject).

The Vietnam War, which was destroying the U.S. military, finally ended in an ignominious withdrawal. Almost two decades later, after the 2001 invasion, the war in Afghanistan can now be -- the dream of the Vietnam era -- fought in a "limited" fashion, at least from the point of view of Congress, the Pentagon, and most Americans (who ignore it), even if not the Afghans. The number of American troops being killed is, at this point, acceptably low , almost imperceptible in fact (even if not to Americans who have lost loved ones over there).

More and more, the U.S. military is relying on air power , unmanned drones, mercenaries, local militias, paramilitaries, and private contractors. Minimizing American casualties is an effective way of minimizing negative media coverage here; so, too, are efforts by the Trump administration to classify nearly everything related to that war while denying or downplaying " collateral damage " -- that is, dead civilians -- from it.

Their efforts boil down to a harsh truth: America just plain lies about its forever wars, so that it can keep on killing in lands far from home.

When we as Americans refuse to take in the destruction we cause, we come to passively accept the belief system of the ruling class that what's still bizarrely called "defense" is a "must have" and that we collectively must spend significantly more than a trillion dollars a year on the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, and a sprawling network of intelligence agencies, all justified as necessary defenders of America's freedom. Rarely does the public put much thought into the dangers inherent in a sprawling "defense" network that increasingly invades and dominates our lives.

Unmanned MQ-9 Reaper taxis after a mission in Afghanistan, Oct. 1, 2007. (Wikimedia)

Meanwhile, it's clear that low-cost wars , at least in terms of U.S. troops killed and wounded in action, can essentially be prolonged indefinitely, even when they never result in anything faintly like victory or fulfill any faintly useful American goal. The Afghan War remains the case in point. "Progress" is a concept that only ever fits the enemy -- the Taliban continues to gain ground -- yet, in these years, figures like retired general and former CIA Director David Petraeus have continued to call for a " generational " commitment of troops and resources there, akin to U.S. support for South Korea.

Who says the Pentagon leadership learned nothing from Vietnam? They learned how to wage open-ended wars basically forever, which has proved useful indeed when it comes to justifying and sustaining epic military budgets and the political authority that goes with them. But here's the thing: in a democracy, if you wage war long, you wage it wrong. Athens and the historian Thucydides learned this the hard way in the struggle against Sparta more than two millennia ago. Why do we insist on forgetting such an obvious lesson?

'We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us'

Sept. 11, 2001: Firefighters battling fire in portion of the Pentagon damaged by attack. (U.S. Navy/Bob Houlihan)

World War II was arguably the last war Americans truly had to fight. My Uncle Freddie was in the Army and stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. The country then came together and won a global conflict (with lots of help) in 44 months, emerging as the planetary superpower to boot. Now, that superpower is very much on the wane, as Trump recognized in running successfully as a declinist candidate for president in 2016. (Make America Great Again !) And yet, though he ran against this country's forever wars and is now president, we're approaching the third decade of a war on terror that has yielded little, spread radical Islamist terror outfits across an expanse of the planet, and still seemingly has no end.

"Great nations do not fight endless wars," Trump himself claimed only last year. Yet that's exactly what this country has been doing, regardless of which party ruled the roost in Washington. And here's where, to give him credit, Trump actually had a certain insight. America is no longer great precisely because of the endless wars we wage and all the largely hidden but associated costs that go with them, including the recently much publicized militarization of the police here at home. Yet, in promising to make America great again, President Trump has failed to end those wars, even as he's fed the military-industrial complex with even greater piles of cash.

There's a twisted logic to all this. As the leading purveyor of violence and terror, with its leaders committed to fighting Islamist terrorism across the planet until the phenomenon is vanquished, the U.S. inevitably becomes its own opponent, conducting a perpetual war on itself. Of course, in the process, Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians, Somalis, and Yemenis, among other peoples on this embattled planet of ours, pay big time, but Americans pay, too. (Have you even noticed that high-speed railroad that's unbuilt , that dam in increasing disrepair , those bridges that need fixing, while money continues to pour into the national security state?) As the cartoon possum Pogo once so classically said , "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Early in the Iraq War, General Petraeus asked a question that was relevant indeed: "Tell me how this [war] ends." The answer, obvious to so many who had protested in the global streets over the invasion to come in 2003, was "not well." Today, another answer should be obvious: never, if the Pentagon and America's political and national security elite have anything to do with it. In thermodynamics class, I learned that a perpetual motion machine is impossible to create due to entropy. The Pentagon never took that in and has instead been hard at work proving that a perpetual military machine is possible until, that is, the empire it feeds off of collapses and takes us with it.

America's Military Complex as a Cytokine Storm

U.S. Air Force basic military graduation on April 16, 2020, on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. (U.S. Air Force, Johnny Saldivar)

In the era of Covid-19, as cases and deaths from the pandemic continue to soar in America, it's astonishing that military spending is also soaring to record levels despite a medical emergency and a major recession.

The reality is that, in the summer of 2020, America faces two deadly viruses. The first is Covid-19. With hard work and some luck, scientists may be able to mass-produce an effective vaccine for it, perhaps by as early as next spring . In the meantime, scientists do have a sense of how to control it, contain it, even neutralize it, as countries from South Korea and New Zealand to Denmark have shown, even if some Americans, encouraged by our president, insist on throwing all caution to the winds in the name of living free. The second virus, however, could prove even more difficult to control, contain, and neutralize: forever war, a pandemic that U.S. military forces, with their global strike missions, continue to spread across the globe.

Sadly, it's a reasonable bet that in the long run, even with Trump as president, America has a better chance of defeating Covid-19 than the virus of forever war. At least, the first is generally seen as a serious threat (even if not by a president blind to anything but his chances for reelection); the second is, however, still largely seen as evidence of our strength and exceptionalism. Indeed, Americans tend to imagine "our" military not as a dangerous virus but as a set of benevolent antibodies, defending us from global evildoers.

When it comes to America's many wars, perhaps there's something to be learned from the way certain people's immune systems respond to Covid-19. In some cases, the virus sparks an exaggerated immune response that drives the body into a severe inflammatory state known as a cytokine storm . That "storm" can lead to multiple organ failure followed by death, yet it occurs in the cause of defending the body from a viral attack.

In a similar fashion, America's exaggerated response to 19 hijackers on 9/11 and then to perceived threats around the globe, especially the nebulous threat of terror, has led to an analogous (if little noticed) cytokine storm in the American system. Military (and militarized police ) antibodies have been sapping our resources, inflaming our body politic, and slowly strangling the vital organs of democracy. Left unchecked, this "storm" of inflammatory militarism will be the death of democracy in America.

To put this country right, what's needed is not only an effective vaccine for Covid-19 but a way to control the "antibodies" produced by America's forever wars abroad and, as the years have gone by, at home -- and the ways they've attacked and inflamed the collective U.S. political, social, and economic body. Only when we find ways to vaccinate ourselves against the destructive violence of those wars, whether on foreign streets or our own, can we begin to heal as a democratic society.

To survive, the human body needs a healthy immune system, so when it goes haywire, becomes wildly inflamed, and ends up attacking and degrading our vital organs, we're in trouble deep. It's a reasonable guess that, in analogous terms, American democracy is already on a ventilator and beginning to feel the effects of multiple organ failure.

Unlike a human patient, doctors can't put our democracy into a medically induced coma. But collectively we should be working to suppress our overactive immune system before it kills us. In other words, it's truly time to defund that military machine of ours, as well as the militarized version of the police, and rethink how actual threats can be neutralized without turning every response into an endless war.

So many years later, it's time to think the unthinkable. For the U.S. government that means -- gasp! -- peace. Such a peace would start with imperial retrenchment (bring our troops home!), much reduced military (and police) budgets, and complete withdrawal from Afghanistan and any other place associated with that "generational" war on terror. The alternative is a cytokine storm that will, in the end, tear us apart from within.

A retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and professor of history, William J. Astore is a TomDispatch regular . His personal blog is " Bracing Views ."

This article is from TomDispatch.com .

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Richard A. Pelto , July 27, 2020 at 18:00

To understand what enables all the absurdity noted, try identifying what made short shrift of Tulsi Gabbard’s run for the democrat nomination. She clearly was raising the wrong questions about war, and some one like Biden and Hillary were providing the narratives that enable what is happening to continue.

evelync , July 27, 2020 at 17:26

Why do we live a different public from private life?

– The secretive State Dept and Intelligence agencies adopt policies that serve short term financial interests of MICIMATT
NOT the long term public interest.

Trump was elected in part because people are sick of endless regime change wars and reckless financial deregulation and unfair trade.
He made promises (which he lied about) because in spite of his glaring flaws he’s a clever manipulator of peoples’ feelings and he knows what people worry about.

Aaron , July 27, 2020 at 13:48

The war on terror is an Israeli construct, it’s a perpetual war, an impossible kind of war for our military to win in any conventional sense, whereby we could then pack up and go home, which is exactly the way the Zionists want it to be played out. The goal has been to Balkanize all of the countries that Israel feels threatened by and break them apart into ethnic statelets, and thereby hugely weakening their overall power.

Not unlike what happened to the former Yugoslavia. Remember that after the war in Afghanistan started, a person in the Pentagon told Wesley Clark that we were going to war in 7 Middle East countries, and he said he asked the person “Why?” and they didn’t give him an answer other than that was the plan.

Sure, there are always the war profiteers and all that, but the particular mission that our military is serving in that overall region is a Zionist plan.

The American people have bought this for the most part because the Zionist mainstream media has successfully conflated the goals of the state of Israel with our own goals, and that we must equate any and all things Israeli with “The West”, and so whatever antipathy is directed at them, we are to construe that they are attacking America also. And not only have many thousands of American troops been killed, tens of thousands injured, the p.t.s.d. and suicides will go on, as Petraeus seems to imply, for generations. This is a like a terrible, persistent sickness.

Will there be a modern day Alexander to cut this Gordian Knot? The financial, emotional, spiritual, moral toll of this forever war is indeed killing our democracy.

[Jul 26, 2020] Sino-US tensions caused by US, but China hopes to achieve win-win cooperation FM Wang Yi -- RT Newsline

Jul 26, 2020 | www.rt.com

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday that current tensions in Sino-US relations were entirely caused by the United States. However, Beijing still hopes to achieve win-win cooperation with mutual respect with the US, Reuters quoted Wang as saying.

The top diplomat made the statement as he held a video conversation with his German counterpart.

Beijing ordered Washington to close its consulate in the city of Chengdu on Friday, responding to a US demand this week that China close its consulate in Houston.

[Jul 26, 2020] As Congress Blocks Defunding the Pentagon, Here Are Ten Things We Could Have Spent the Money On

Jul 26, 2020 | www.mintpressnews.com

July 22nd, 2020

By Alan Macleod

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T he majority of House Democrats joined with the Republican colleagues yesterday in voting down progressive legislation that would have cut the Pentagon budget by 10 percent ($74 billion) and used the money to fund healthcare, housing, and education for the poorest Americans.

The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, sponsored by Barbara Lee (D–CA) and Mark Pocan (D–WI) was soundly defeated 93-324 , with 139 Democrats joining all 185 voting Republicans in rejecting the idea. Despite the defeat, Pocan vowed to continue pushing an anti-war agenda. "We will keep fighting for pro-peace, pro-people budgets until it becomes a reality," he said . Democrats who voted against the military budget cuts received over three times the contributions from the defense industry as those who voted for the reduction. Earlier today, the Senate also voted down the proposal.

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The result will no doubt disappoint the majority of Americans as well. A poll conducted last week by Data for Progress found that 56 percent of the country supported the idea to defund the military and use the money to fight COVID-19 alleviate the growing housing crisis. Democrat-voters supported the plan by 69 to 19 percent, with Republicans also backing it, by 50 to 37 percent. The proposal is hardly a radical shift; the military's budget has increased by around 20 percent under President Trump alone, reaching near-historic highs.

The National Priorities Project, a part of the Institute for Policy Studies think tank, put together a list of ten better uses for the $74 billion than giving it to one of the world's largest bureaucracies. This included:

  1. Housing every one of the United States' over half a million homeless people.
  2. Creating more than one million infrastructure jobs across America, especially in many of the most economically depressed locations.
  3. Conduct two billion COVID-19 tests, or six tests per person (44 times as many as has already been done).
  4. Easily close the $23 billion funding gap between majority-white and majority non-white public schools.
  5. Fund free college programs for more than two million of the poorest American students.
  6. A revolution in clean energy. $74 billion could create enough solar and/or wind energy to meet the needs of virtually every American household.
  7. One million well-paid clean energy jobs, enough to transition most dirty industry workers into renewables.
  8. Hire 900,000 new elementary school teachers, or nine per school, creating a golden age of education.
  9. Send a $2,300 check to the more than 32 million currently unemployed people across the country.
  10. Purchase enough N95 masks for all 55 million essential workers to use, one per day, every day for a year, with change to spare.

Ashik Siddique of the National Priorities Project told MintPress that he was disappointed with the results, but that he was hopeful for the future:

It's important to note how quickly the political landscape is shifting around this issue. This is the first time in decades that Congress has seriously considered reinvesting away from Pentagon spending. Just a few years ago, it would have been hard to imagine getting even 93 votes in the House and 23 in the Senate -- or nearly 40 to 50 percent of the Democratic Caucus -- to cut the Pentagon budget by 10 percent, as they did this time.

That sets up a much stronger baseline to work from next year -- especially since the budget caps put in place by the Budget Control Act of 2011 will expire, giving Americans the chance to more deeply transform this country's militarized agenda in a way that has not been on the table for decades."

Siddique's figures demonstrate just how much money is spent on war and what could be possible in the United States if there was a paradigm shift away from bloated military spending. The U.S. military budget is by far the largest in the world, rivaling that of all other countries combined. More than half of all discretionary spending goes to the Pentagon, with the U.S. spending far more per capita on weaponry than comparable countries. Yet even the $740 billion defense bill does not tell the full story, as it does not include the costs of nuclear weapons (borne by the Department of Energy), nor many veterans' pensions.

https://cdn.iframe.ly/unjDmtn?iframe=card-small&v=1&app=1

In February the Pentagon announced its fiscal year 2021 budget request, in which it signaled a move away from the Middle East as its primary focus, towards that of Russia and China. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper declared the Asian Pacific region to be the U.S.' new "priority theater." There appears to be no partisan split in foreign policy, with both Democrats and Republicans viewing China as an increasing nemesis. In recent weeks Donald Trump and Joe Biden have accused each other of being in Beijing's pockets while ratcheting up the tensions with the world's most populous country.

Like with the cut to military spending, however, the political elite's opinion varies radically with that of the general public. When polling group Pew asked what was the number one international threat to America, the spread of infectious disease was by some way the top answer. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has been cutting health budgets, including attempting to slash funding for the Center for Disease control. Internationally, he has also committed the U.S. to leaving the World Health Organization, a move that is sure to wreak havoc internationally and undermine cooperation against future worldwide health threats.

Feature photo | President Donald Trump, right, looks over a helicopter with United States Military Academy Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, prior to a commencement ceremony on the parade field, at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., June 13, 2020. Alex Brandon | AP

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent . He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting , The Guardian , Salon , The Grayzone , Jacobin Magazine , Common Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary . Republish our stories! MintPress News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

[Jul 26, 2020] Pompeo Lays Out New US Cold War Against China by Jason Ditz

Jul 24, 2020 | news.antiwar.com

Following near daily screeds against China, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now laying out US hostility, and the goal of "changing" China as part of what is effectively a new Cold War, likening it to Cold War with the Soviet Union.

Saying that the US had changed Soviet behavior, Pompeo expressed confidence that they could change China as well, saying that the nations of the world have a duty to help the US "defend freedom." He also warned that "our children's children may be at the mercy of the Communist party."

This seems to be harkening back to the language of the historic red scares, and the idea that China is a real threat to dominate the future is likely intended to scare Americans into supporting more hostility, as opposed to a serious policy reality.

Either way, it seems like the era of diplomacy with China, at least so far as the administration is concerned, is over, with Pompeo saying that the US can "never go back to engagement," declaring China "a Marxist-Leninist regime" and following a "bankrupt totalitarian ideology."

[Jul 26, 2020] Cold Wars Profit -

Jul 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Cold Wars & Profit


by Tyler Durden Fri, 07/24/2020 - 02:00 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Craig Murray via ConsortiumNews.com,

If an asteroid runs into the earth, any surviving press will blame it on Russia...

The Guardian a few days ago carried a very strange piece [which has since been removed] under the heading "Stamps celebrating Ukrainian resistance in pictures." The first image displayed a stamp bearing the name of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).

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The UPA was, without any shadow of a doubt, responsible for the slaughter of at least 200,000 Polish civilians; they liquidated whole Polish communities in Volhynia and Galicia, including the women and children. The current Polish government, which is as anti-Russian and pro-NATO as they come, nevertheless has declared this a genocide.

It certainly was an extremely brutal ethnic cleansing. There is no doubt either that at times between 1942 and 1944 the UPA collaborated with the Nazis and collaborated in the destruction of Jews and Gypsies. It is simplistic to describe the UPA as fascist or an extension of the Nazi regime; at times they fought the Nazis, though they collaborated more often.

There is a real sense in which they operated at the level of medieval peasants, simply seizing local opportunities to exterminate rural populations and seize their land and assets, be they Polish, Jew or Gypsy. But on balance any reasonable person would have to conclude that the UPA was an utterly deplorable phenomenon. To publish a celebration of it, disguised as a graphic art piece, without any of this context, is no more defensible than a display of Nazi art with no context.

In fact, The Guardian's very brief text was still worse than no context.

"Ukrainian photographer Oleksandr Kosmach collects 20th-century stamps issued by Ukrainian groups in exile during the Soviet era.

Artists and exiles around the world would use stamps to communicate the horrors of Soviet oppression. "These stamps show us the ideas and values of these people, who they really were and what they were fighting for," Kosmach says."

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That is so misleadingly partial as a description of the art glorifying the UPA movement as to be deeply reprehensible. It does however fit with the anything- goes stoking of Russophobia, which is the mainstay of government and media discourse at the moment. Even at the height of the Cold War, we never saw such a barrage of unprovable accusations leveled at Russia through the media by "security service sources."

Attack on UK Vaccine Research

A whole slew of these were rehearsed by Andrew Marr on his flagship BBC1 morning show. The latest is the accusation that Russia is responsible for a cyber attack on Covid-19 vaccination research. This is another totally evidence-free accusation. But it misses the point anyway.

Andrew Marr, center, in 2014. (Financial Times, Flickr)

The alleged cyber attack, if it happened, was a hack not an attack -- the allegation is that there was an effort to obtain the results of research, not to disrupt research. It is appalling that the U.K. is trying to keep its research results secret rather than share them freely with the world scientific community.

As I have reported before , the U.K. and the USA have been preventing the WHO from implementing a common research and common vaccine solution for Covid-19, insisting instead on a profit driven approach to benefit the big pharmaceutical companies (and disadvantage the global poor).

What makes the accusation that Russia tried to hack the research even more dubious is the fact that Russia had just bought the very research specified. You don't steal things you already own.

Evidence of CIA Hacks

If anybody had indeed hacked the research, we all know it is impossible to trace with certainty the whereabouts of hackers. My VPNs [virtual private networks] are habitually set to India, Australia or South Africa depending on where I am trying to watch the cricket, dodging broadcasting restrictions.

More pertinently, WikiLeaks' Vault 7 release of CIA material showed the specific programs for the CIA in how to leave clues to make a leak look like it came from Russia. This irrefutable evidence that the CIA do computer hacks with apparent Russian "fingerprints" deliberately left, like little bits of Cyrillic script, is an absolutely classic example of a fact that everybody working in the mainstream media knows to be true, but which they all contrive never to mention.

Thus when last week's "Russian hacking" story was briefed by the security services -- that former Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn deployed secret documents on U.K./U.S. trade talks which had been posted on Reddit, after being stolen by an evil Russian who left his name of Grigor in his Reddit handle -- there was no questioning in the media of this narrative. Instead, we had another round of McCarthyite witch-hunt aimed at the rather tired looking Corbyn.

Personally, if the Russians had been responsible for revealing that the Tories are prepared to open up the NHS "market" to big American companies, including ending or raising caps on pharmaceutical prices, I should be very grateful to the Russians for telling us. Just as the world would owe the Russians a favor if it were indeed them who leaked evidence of just how systematically the DNC rigged the 2016 primaries against Bernie Sanders.

But as it happens, it was not the Russians. The latter case was a leak by a disgusted insider, and I very much suspect the NHS U.S. trade deal link was also from a disgusted insider.

When governments do appalling things, very often somebody manages to blow the whistle.

Crowdstrike's Quiet Admission

If you can delay even the most startling truth for several years, it loses much of its political bite. If you can announce it during a health crisis, it loses still more. The world therefore did not shudder to a halt when the CEO of Crowdstrike admitted there had never been any evidence of a Russian hack of the DNC servers.

Crowdstrike's Shawn Henry presenting at the International Security Forum in Vancouver, 2009.
(Hubert K, Flickr)

You will recall the near incredible fact that, even through the Mueller investigation, the FBI never inspected the DNC servers themselves but simply relied on a technical report from Crowdstrike, the Hillary Clinton-related IT security consultant for the DNC.

It is now known for sure that Crowdstrike had been peddling fake news for Hillary. In fact, Crowdstrike had no record of any internet hack at all. There was no evidence of the email material being exported over the internet. What they claimed did exist was evidence that the files had been organized preparatory to export.

Remember the entire "Russian hacking" story was based ONLY on Crowdstrike's say so. There is literally no other evidence of Russian involvement in the DNC emails, which is unsurprising as I have been telling you for four years from my own direct sources that Russia was not involved. Yet finally declassified congressional testimony revealed that Shawn Henry stated on oath that "we did not have concrete evidence" and "There's circumstantial evidence , but no evidence they were actually exfiltrated."

This testimony fits with what I was told by Bill Binney, a former technical director of the National Security Agency (NSA), who told me that it was impossible that any large amount of data should be moved across the internet from the USA, without the NSA both seeing it happen in real time and recording it. If there really had been a Russian hack, the NSA would have been able to give the time of it to a millisecond.

That the NSA did not have that information was proof the transfer had never happened, according to Binney. What had happened, Binney deduced, was that the files had been downloaded locally, probably to a thumb drive.

Bill Binney. (Miquel Taverna / CCCB via Flickr)

So arguably the biggest news story of the past four years -- the claim that Putin effectively interfered to have Donald Trump elected U.S. president -- turns out indeed to be utterly baseless. Has the mainstream media, acting on security service behest, done anything to row back from the false impression it created? No it has doubled down.

Anti-Russia Theme

The "Russian hacking" theme keeps being brought back related to whatever is the big story of the day.

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Then we have those continual security service briefings. Two weeks ago we had unnamed security service sources telling The New York Times that Russia had offered the Taliban a bounty for killing American soldiers. This information had allegedly come from interrogation of captured Taliban in Afghanistan, which would almost certainly mean it was obtained under torture.

It is a wildly improbable tale. The Afghans have never needed that kind of incentivization to kill foreign invaders on their soil. It is also a fascinating throwback of an accusation – the British did indeed offer Afghans money for, quite literally, the heads of Afghan resistance leaders during the first Afghan War in 1841, as I detail in my book "Sikunder Burnes."

Taliban in Herat, Afghanistan, 2001. (Wikipedia)

You do not have to look back that far to realize the gross hypocrisy of the accusation. In the 1980s the West was quite openly paying, arming and training the Taliban -- including Osama bin Laden – to kill Russian and other Soviet conscripts in their thousands. That is just one example of the hypocrisy.

The U.S. and U.K. security services both cultivate and bribe senior political and other figures abroad in order to influence policy all of the time. We work to manipulate the result of elections -- I have done it personally in my former role as a U.K. diplomat. A great deal of the behavior over which Western governments and media are creating this new McCarthyite anti-Russian witch hunt, is standard diplomatic practice.

My own view is that there are malign Russian forces attempting to act on government in the U.K. and the USA, but they are not nearly as powerful as the malign British and American forces acting on their own governments.

The truth is that the world is under the increasing control of a global elite of billionaires, to whom nationality is irrelevant and national governments are tools to be manipulated. Russia is not attempting to buy corrupt political influence on behalf of the Russian people, who are decent folk every bit as exploited by the ultra-wealthy as you or I. Russian billionaires are, just like billionaires everywhere, attempting to game global political, commercial and social structures in their personal interest.

The other extreme point of hypocrisy lies in human rights. So many Western media commentators are suddenly interested in China and the Uighurs or in restrictions on the LBGT community in Russia, yet turn a completely blind eye to the abuse committed by Western "allies" such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

As somebody who was campaigning about the human rights of both the Uighurs and of gay people in Russia a good decade before it became fashionable, I am disgusted by how the term "human rights" has become weaponized for deployment only against those countries designated as enemy by the Western elite.

Finally, do not forget that there is a massive armaments industry and a massive security industry all dependent on having an "enemy." Powerful people make money from this Russophobia. Expect much more of it. There is money in a Cold War. Sign in to comment Viewing Options arrow_drop_down

jmNZ , 2 hours ago

Most of this can be traced to a group of fanatical Dr Strangeloves in the UK, known as the "The Integrity Initiative" (sic) , now continuing under a new name since its cover was blown by ukcolumnnews.

This group is handsomely funded from the public purse by the Foreign Office and its influence is spread by the BBC and a corps of "disinformation officers" known as the 77th brigade and 13 Signals, all under the control of the British cabinet office.

They are the ones trying to destabilize America via the Democratic (sic) Party.

And their cover is weekly Russia-bashing stories.

bumboo , 6 hours ago

Craig Murray sounds a reasonable voice. He quit or was fired from his Ambassador job in Uzbekistan on Iraq war issue. Compare him with our Gen. Collin Powell, Mr. Clean, who lied about Iraqi WMD in UN, covered up My Lia massacre for a lousy promotion. Now writing books, public speaking for money and appearing on TVs as a wiseman. Wow.

Thutmoses , 7 hours ago

I think it wont be Russia, it will be China.

If an asteroid runs into the earth, any surviving press will blame it on China

Scipio Africanuz , 8 hours ago

Thanks Craig..

Any renewed cold War will freeze the instigators, and should it get hot, then they burn as well..

Unfortunately, in the hot version, mankind gets roasted as well and not just by bombs, but by..

As for the cold version however, the script had flipped thus..

As Sólómọ́nì Wise averred wisely, the borrower is slave to the lender, and it doesn't matter if the duplicitous borrower tries to stiff the lender..

The debts will be paid one way or another..

As for those bamboozled into unsustainable liabilities, there's always the merciful jubilee, but first things first, lessons must be learned, thinking rejuvenated, lifestyle changed, recalibration engaged, and vigilance imbibed..

To ensure serfdom culs de sac are avoided once the deceived by delusions are salvaged..

And thus Craig, the necessity of experience that's bitter, so folks may learn by necessity, what they chose not to learn via humility..

Cheers...

Really_Brit , 8 hours ago

The fundamental problem with this kind of revisionist narrative - that the Russian leadership has been wildly misinterpreted as hostile to the west - is actually the existence, in full sight, of Russia's most obvious propaganda tool - RT. What was called Russia Today until someone in Moscow twigged that almost nothing being broadcast was about Russia that was at all likely to upset Putin and his oligarchy or hint at the countries inferiority complex viz a viz the West. So not what would be seen as free press and free broadcasting.
Nothing remotely like the programs RT / Russia Today has put together (or bought) that describe civil unrest in the developed world. Or civil unrest in the developing world but caused by the machinations of the developed world.

The closure or restrictions on Western NGO's in Russia intentionally stops any attempt to replicate RT / Russia Today. So we will never see the Russian equivalents of recognisable US ex-TV anchors or ex-CIA sounding off, within Russia , about corruption and criminality in their motherland. Even sounding off about Russia outside in the developed world carries a heavy price - just remind ourselves of poisoned ex-spies and Salisbury door knobs!

Tarjan , 2 hours ago

"Salisbury door knobs!"

You're chitting me, right?

~

jmNZ , 51 minutes ago

Ha! Ha!

You're as unreal a Brit as can be imagined.

No one believes the Skripal pantomime. Nor the MH17 'narrative'. Nor the farce where a supposedly democratic country like the UK supports one of the richest and most arbitrary regimes, Sadist Barbaria, in the wanton destruction of one of the poorest, the Yemen. And how many times have the US/UK been caught out cooperating with fanatical jihadis terrorizing Syria, the only parliamentary, secular state in the ME?

We wouldn't know any of this from the BBC.

desertboy , 8 hours ago

" It is appalling that the U.K. is trying to keep its research results secret rather than share them freely with the world scientific community."

Assumes the intent is to make people healthier.

capital101 , 9 hours ago

War is a racket , from Smedley Butler, should be mandatory reading in school.

Don't be a tool, wake the **** up and stop mesuring your wealth using toilet paper

mike_1010 , 9 hours ago

I think there is a positive side to this western animosity against Russia and China too. Because Russia and China now have no good reason to respect western imperialism in the rest of the world.

During the last Cold War, Russia and China helped many countries in Africa and Asia throw off their yoke of western imperialism and have some alternatives for their trade and development. And now we are getting a similar situation.

Russia and China are developing financial tools for international trade independent of the US dollar. Which in the future will limit US power to impose sanctions and interfere with trade between other countries. And of course, both Russia and China have goods and technologies that rival those of western countries. They can provide a complete alternative for countries that the West is trying to isolate and subjugate.

Perhaps western animosity isn't good for world peace or for the people in Russia and China. But there is some benefit in this for many less developed countries who need an alternative to the West for their trade and development.

We have some real competition now, where the competitors aren't colluding with each other. Which is good for developing countries that need some real alternatives for their trade and development.

PT , 9 hours ago

"...First they were our enemies. Then they were our friends. Then they were our enemies again. Then they were our friends again..." - Mad Magazine was pointing this out in the 1970s ... or was it the 1960s?

Judging by the wording and the artwork, probably the '60s.

Fun side note: Compare Mad Magazines from each decade. Which ones had the higher quality writers? Which ones had the higher quality art work? The answer is clearly visible. The older, the better.

[Jul 26, 2020] How to Make a Brick from Straw and Bullshit: The UK and US have accused Russia of launching a weapon-like projectile from a satellite in space.

Jul 26, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE July 23, 2020 at 10:50 am

J'accuse! Again!

One hour ago, BBC:

UK and US say Russia fired a satellite weapon in space

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53518238

The UK and US have accused Russia of launching a weapon-like projectile from a satellite in space.
In a statement, the head of the UK's space directorate said: "We are concerned by the manner in which Russia tested one of its satellites by launching a projectile with the characteristics of a weapon."
The statement said actions like this "threaten the peaceful use of space".

Those Russians!

Now they're even weaponizing weapons!!!

MARK CHAPMAN July 23, 2020 at 11:48 am

But of course the USA's anti-satellite weapons do not 'threaten the peaceful use of space'. Like its 'Bold Onion' project 60 years ago.

https://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2019/03/27/history-anti-satellite-weapon-us-asat-missile.html

The USA and UK's constant, unremitting "Putin stole my baby's candy" stories that nobody expects them to prove are merely making the pair of them look ridiculous. If you're trying to get Code-Red support for war, step up to the mark and take your shot, instead of constantly sniveling and making it sound like nobody can draw a peaceful breath until the Russians have been eliminated from the planet. But I promise you if you do, you are going to be so sorry. Russia is not Grenada. Time again to trot out my favourite maxim – 'experience keeps a hard school, but fools will learn at no other'.

ET AL July 23, 2020 at 12:57 pm

Or the US's recently stood up Space Force(skin) USSF – spaceforce.mil (.mil = as in military). Maybe that is why the UK is whining about it, i.e. to put space between the US? Oh, and the Brits don't have a capability, having given up launchers in the 1960s.

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/21/790492010/trump-created-the-space-force-heres-what-it-will-do?t=1595537367261

"Space is the world's newest war-fighting domain," President Trump said during the signing ceremony. "Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we're leading, but we're not leading by enough. But very shortly we'll be leading by a lot."

"This is not a farce. This is nationally critical," Gen. John Raymond, who will lead the Space Force, told reporters on Friday. "We are elevating space commensurate with its importance to our national security and the security of our allies and partners."

About 16,000 Air Force active duty and civilian personnel are being assigned to the Space Force. There's still a lot to figure out, including the force's uniform, logo, and even its official song.

The Space Force will fall within the Department of the Air Force, but after one year it will have its own representation on the Joint Chiefs of Staff,

The new service branch essentially repackages and elevates existing military missions in space from the Air Force, Army and Navy, said Todd Harrison, who directs the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

"It's about, you know, all the different types of missions our military already does in space -- just making sure that we're doing them more effectively, more efficiently," said Harrison.

"It will create a centralized, unified chain of command that is responsible for space, because ultimately when responsibility is fragmented, no one's responsible," he added.
####

The most interesting bit about the article above is the ommission, i.e. it doesn't mention offensive space capabilities, even though we know about the robotic Boing X57* winged spaceplane that swans about for up to a year.

No. Everyone should wait for the US to deploy its weapon systems and then follow! That would be fair and just because the US is a Democracy and it has earned the right and more importantly, the benefit of the doubt ad infinitum. Or is the X-37 just there to sprinkle calming holy water on America's adversaries? ODFO!

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-37

[Jul 26, 2020] Russian hatefest was over the top. It was a classic case of accusing Russia of what we do. Russia (aka United States) nihilistically creates trouble and by amplifying discord in other countries in order to deflect from their own domestic problems and foreign adventurism in places like Syria and Ukraine.

Jul 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Christian J. Chuba , Jul 26 2020 15:54 utc | 7

Made the mistake of watching Fareed Zakaria show

The good , a 5 minute segment where a guest picked winner / loser countries post covid19 world.
Winners: Germany, Taiwan, and Russia, Loser: United States.
It was amusing to watch Zakaria's face contort at the mention of Russia being named a winner, 'wha-whaaaaaaat?' The guest had to reassure Zakaria that Russia is a crap country and only benefits because of Putin's Fortress Russia campaign and low debt making it capable of weathering storms. Zakaria's face still frozen in a mask of horror.

The bad a rather long segment on Russia, China, and Iran's meddling campaign for our next election. This was more painful to me then when I had appendicitis and had to wait several hours before anyone could drive me to the emergency room.
1. Two experts, a China hater and a Russia hater from different 'Institutes'

2. The gratuitous adding of Iran to the list without explanation. Pro-Iranian views are invisible.

3. Russian hatefest was over the top. It was a classic case of accusing Russia of what we do. Russia (aka United States) nihilistically creates trouble and by amplifying discord in other countries in order to deflect from their own domestic problems and foreign adventurism in places like Syria and Ukraine.

Nihilistic spoilers? We the U.S. lost in Syria but are now trying to create a quagmire for Russia and are pulling out all of the stops to make Syrians brutally suffer with a full scale trade embargo and partition of their country.

[Jul 26, 2020] Takes much more bravery to go against the dumbass belligerent society you are unfortunately born into

Jul 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

obwandiyag , says: July 23, 2020 at 11:44 pm GMT

@Wade onal murderers, do ya?

You're right about the rich eating our lunch.

But you're wrong about Marines. They kill people for a living. Innocent people. Like Iraqis. And Afghans. Anyone who thinks that murdering Iraqis and Afghans, who never did nothing to Americans, nor Vietnamese, who also did nothing to Americans, or, as Cassius Clay said, "I ain't got nothing against no Vietcong." And he didn't. Because he was an American. So, I thank the service of conscientious objectors, draft dodgers, and deserters. They are the real heroes. Takes much more bravery to go against the dumbass belligerent society you are unfortunately born into. Oh, fuck it, you'll never understand.

Wade , says: July 24, 2020 at 2:24 pm GMT
@obwandiyag ompletely object to our whole response to 911 as it was indeed a false flag.

If so many people were so easily fooled in the US by our "American Pravda" including myself, how can I hold it against an 18 year old or some other kid who hasn't even gone to college that he too cannot see through the dense haze of lies bellowed by those who rule over us? So yes, I admire their bravery but I want desperately for the US military to withdraw from the Middle East (and most everywhere else) and return home to protect us and only us from any real invasion should it ever occur.

We need a) a good military and b) honest leadership. We have the former but not the latter.

[Jul 26, 2020] Not a chance ro stopm militarism in the USA. Too many people's livelihood depends on war. From billionaires to the person who putting bullets in boxes. Anyone who advocate no war will end up in prison for colluding with the Russians.

Jul 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Angry Panda , 16 hours ago

Not a chance. Too many people's livelihood depends on war. From billionaires to the person who putting bullets in boxes. Anyone who advocate no war will end up in prison for colluding with the Russians.

monty42 , 16 hours ago

Colluding with the Reds, Terrorists, Chicoms, Covid...pick an enemy. That's how it works. They roll out their psyops and make sure to inform you up front that those who question the narrative are in the enemy column.

uhland62 , 14 hours ago

They've done it with us since 1970.

A_Huxley , 15 hours ago

Contractors like their world travel and over time.

Too many US camps, forts, bases around the world to keep working.

quanttech , 13 hours ago

The single most powerful voice against the wars in the last two years has been Tucker Carlson - and look at what they're doing to him.

optimator , 8 hours ago

A vibrant economy can't tell the difference between manufacturing a submarine or a refrigerator.

monty42 , 16 hours ago

Honor your oath and the wars for empire will stop. A standing army is only viable through the Constitution for a short term defense of the States, not for endless wars of aggression and invasion for the spread of a military empire.

quanttech , 13 hours ago

Correct. Lt. Ehren Watada refused his illegal orders to deploy to Iraq. His case was dismissed, and he was simply discharged. Today he co-owns a restaurant in Vegas.

THERE'S LITERALLY NO PENALTY FOR FOLLOWING THE LAW.

alexcojones , 16 hours ago

As an old veteran, I've spent 50 years atoning some how, some way, myself.

"Vietnam veteran Tim O'Brien wrote: "There should be a law . . . If you support a war, if you think it's worth the price, that's fine, but you have to put your own precious fluids on the line. You have to head for the front and hook up with an infantry unit and help spill the blood." As every old veteran knows, the day that happens is the day warfare ends forever, when bullets are fattening rather than fatal to your health.

Brothers in Arms | Strike-The-Root:

Omni Consumer Product , 14 hours ago

Heinlein's proposal in Starship Troopers - that only combat troops be given the franchise to vote - is a concept with merit

ConanTheContrarian1 , 8 hours ago

I don't know that we have to make atonement. The official government position that we were invited there to help the legitimate government of South VietNam still holds water. The Nguyen and Tranh had been at war with each other for centuries until the French took over, and the war was simply a continuation that the Dogpile Democrats of the day didn't see as anything other than a way to make money. Just because you reject rightwing propaganda, don't fall for the leftwing either.

Atlana99 , 16 hours ago

We need thousands of hardcore street activists to print these fliers out and place them on car windshields all across America:

https://t.me/JohnUbele/75

pocomotion , 16 hours ago

Bring HOME ALL THE MILITARY. Then we will not need a debate!

TBT or not TBT , 16 hours ago

You'd ... still need to convince a few people to do that first, "Bring HOME..." bit.

[Jul 26, 2020] Caitlin Johnstone- I say keep Confederate names on US bases. Add more of them! THAT's more honest for American murder machine -- RT Op-ed

Jul 26, 2020 | www.rt.com

By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz Senate has passed a bill calling for the removal of Confederate names from US bases, but it'd be more truthful for them to continue to be named after racists, killers & oppressors, as they embody the values of the US war machine.

"JUST IN: Senate Passes $740 Billion Defense Bill With Provision To Remove Confederate Names Off Military Bases" reads a headline from the digital news site Mediaite , which could also serve as a perfect diagnosis for everything that is sick about mainstream liberal orthodoxy.

The Democrat-led House and Republican-led Senate have now both passed versions of this bill authorizing three-quarters of a trillion dollars for a single year of military spending, both by overwhelming bipartisan majorities, on the condition that the names of Confederate Civil War leaders be removed from military bases.

Unsurprisingly, the Security Policy Reform Institute's Stephen Semler found a direct relationship between how much a House Democrat has been paid by the war industry and how likely they were to have voted for the bloated military budget, which also obstructs any attempts to scale down troop presence in Afghanistan.

This is everything that is horrible about the Democratic Party and the ideological position of mainstream liberals. Their leaders have figured out a way to trade hard objects for empty narrative. To get people to consent to almost limitless amounts of thievery, murder and exploitation in exchange for words and stories.

They'll get rid of Confederate names on bases, but they won't even slightly reduce the vast fortunes they're stealing from an impoverished populace and pouring into global slaughter and oppression. They'll kneel wearing Kente cloth , but they won't even think about dismantling the US police state. They'll say "I hear you, and that's something we're looking at," but they'll never intervene against plutocrats funnelling money away from the needful to add to their unfathomably vast fortunes. They'll call you whatever gender pronoun you like, but they'll never do anything to inconvenience the oligarchs and warmongers.

They'll still make you fight tooth and claw for each empty concession, because otherwise they'd be devaluing the empty, imaginary currency they're trading you in exchange for the concrete things they want. But in the end there is no amount of narrative the powerful won't swap out for actual policy changes of substance, because narrative in and of itself has no value. Manipulators understand this distinction with crystal clear lucidity. Their victims do not.

In reality, it would be a lot more truthful and authentic for bases within the US war machine to continue to bear the names of racists, killers and oppressors, since these embody the values of that war machine far better than anything with a more pleasant ring to it. As long as you're robbing the American people to murder brown-skinned foreigners for corporate interests and geostrategic resource control, you might as well have names which reflect such values on your war machinery.

ALSO ON RT.COM Caitlin Johnstone: In post-Iraq invasion world, it's absolutely insane to blindly believe the US narrative on China

So I say keep the Confederate names on the bases. Hell, add more of them. Add the names of Nazis, genocidal warlords, and serial killers too while you're at it. It'd certainly be a lot more honest and accurate to have a Fort Jeffrey Dahmer as part of America's murder machine than a Fort Colin Kaepernick.

War is the single worst thing in the world. It is the most evil, insane, counter-productive, wasteful, damaging, kleptocratic and unsustainable thing that human beings do, by a very wide margin. If Americans could viscerally experience all of the horrors that are inflicted by the war machine their wealth and resources are being funneled into, with their perception unfiltered by propaganda and government secrecy, they would fall to their knees screaming with abject rage. They would be in the streets immediately forcing an end to this unforgivable savagery. Which is exactly why America has so much government secrecy and propaganda.

If Americans could see with their perceptions unmanipulated, their response to the news that $740 billion is being stolen from the American people by a sociopathic murder machine in exchange for removing the names of Confederate leaders from its bases would not be "Oh good, maybe we'll get a Fort Harriet Tubman!" It would be rage. Unmitigated, unforgiving rage. Which is all the status quo deserves. Which is all the Democratic Party exists to prevent.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

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

[Jul 26, 2020] Steele's -Primary Subsource- Was Alcoholic Russian National Who Worked With Trump Impeachment Witness At Brookings

Jul 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Steele's "Primary Subsource" Was Alcoholic Russian National Who Worked With Trump Impeachment Witness At Brookings by Tyler Durden Sat, 07/25/2020 - 16:50 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Paul Sperry via RealClearInvestigations.com,

The mysterious "Primary Subsource" that Christopher Steele has long hidden behind to defend his discredited Trump-Russia dossier is a former Brookings Institution analyst -- Igor "Iggy" Danchenko, a Russian national whose past includes criminal convictions and other personal baggage ignored by the FBI in vetting him and the information he fed to Steele , according to congressional sources and records obtained by RealClearInvestigations. Agents continued to use the dossier as grounds to investigate President Trump and put his advisers under counter-espionage surveillance.

The 42-year-old Danchenko, who was hired by Steele in 2016 to deploy a network of sources to dig up dirt on Trump and Russia for the Hillary Clinton campaign, was arrested, jailed and convicted years earlier on multiple public drunkenness and disorderly conduct charges in the Washington area and ordered to undergo substance-abuse and mental-health counseling, according to criminal records.

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Fiona Hill: She worked at the Brookings Institution with dossier "Primary Subsource" Igor "Iggy" Danchenko (top photo), and testified against President Trump last year during impeachment hearings. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

In an odd twist, a 2013 federal case against Danchenko was prosecuted by then-U.S Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who ended up signing one of the FBI's dossier-based wiretap warrants as deputy attorney general in 2017.

Danchenko first ran into trouble with the law as he began working for Brookings - the preeminent Democratic think tank in Washington - where he struck up a friendship with Fiona Hill, the White House adviser who testified against Trump during last year's impeachment hearings. Danchenko has described Hill as a mentor, while Hill has sung his praises as a "creative" researcher.

Hill is also close to his boss Steele, who she'd known since 2006 . She met with the former British intelligence officer during the 2016 campaign and later received a raw, unpublished copy of the now-debunked dossier.

It does not appear the FBI asked Danchenko about his criminal past or state of sobriety when agents interviewed him in January 2017 in a failed attempt to verify the accuracy of the dossier, which the bureau did only after agents used it to obtain a warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The opposition research was farmed out by Steele, working for Clinton's campaign, to Danchenko, who was paid for the information he provided.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

A newly declassified FBI summary of the FBI-Danchenko meeting reveals agents learned that key allegations in the dossier, which claimed Trump engaged in a "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation" with the Kremlin against Clinton, were largely inspired by gossip and bar talk among Danchenko and his drinking buddies, most of whom were childhood friends from Russia.

The FBI memo is heavily redacted and blacks out the name of Steele's Primary Subsource. But public records and congressional sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirm the identity of the source as Danchenko.

In the memo, the FBI notes that Danchenko said that he and one of his dossier sources "drink heavily together." But there is no apparent indication the FBI followed up by asking Danchenko if he had an alcohol problem, which would cast further doubt on his reliability as a source for one of the most important and sensitive investigations in FBI history.

The FBI declined comment. Attempts to reach Danchenko by both email and phone were unsuccessful.

The Justice Department's watchdog recently debunked the dossier's most outrageous accusations against Trump, and faulted the FBI for relying on it to obtain secret wiretaps. The bureau's actions, which originated under the Obama administration, are now the subject of a sprawling criminal investigation led by special prosecutor John Durham.

Rod Rosenstein: In an odd twist, a 2013 drunkenness case against Danchenko was prosecuted by then-U.S Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who ended up signing one of the FBI's dossier-based wiretap warrants as deputy attorney general in 2017. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

One of the wiretap warrants was signed in 2017 by Rosenstein, who also that year appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller and signed a "scope" memo giving him wide latitude to investigate Trump and his surrogates. Mueller relied on the dossier too. As it happens, Rosenstein also signed motions filed in one of Danchenko's public intoxication cases, according to the documents obtained by RCI.

In March 2013 -- three years before Danchenko began working on the dossier -- federal authorities in Greenbelt, Md., arrested and charged him with several misdemeanors, including "drunk in public, disorderly conduct, and failure to have his [2-year-old] child in a safety seat," according to a court filing . The U.S. prosecutor for Maryland at the time was Rosenstein, whose name appears in the docket filings .

The Russian-born Danchenko, who was living in the U.S. on a work visa, was released from jail on the condition he undergo drug testing and "participate in a program of substance abuse therapy and counseling," as well as "mental health counseling," the records show. His lawyer asked the court to postpone his trial and let him travel to Moscow "as a condition of his employment." The Russian trips were granted without objection from Rosenstein. Danchenko ended up several months later entering into a plea agreement and paying fines.

In 2006, Danchenko was arrested in Fairfax, Va., on similar offenses, including "public swearing and intoxication," criminal records show. The case was disposed after he paid a fine.

At the time, Danchenko worked as a research analyst for the Brookings Institution, where he became a protégé of Hill. He collaborated with her on at least two Russian policy papers during his five-year stint at the think tank and worked with another Brookings scholar on a project to uncover alleged plagiarism in Russian President Vladimir Putin's doctoral dissertation -- something Danchenko and his lawyer boasted about during their meeting with FBI agents. (Like Hill, the other scholar, Clifford Gaddy, was a Russia hawk. He and Hill in 2015 authored "Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin," a book strongly endorsed by Vice President Joe Biden at the time.)

"Igor is a highly accomplished analyst and researcher," Hill noted on his LinkedIn page in 2011.

"He is very creative in pursuing the most relevant of information and detail to support his research."

Strobe Talbott of Brookings with Hillary Clinton: He connected with Christopher Steele and passed along a copy of his anti-Trump dossier to Fiona Hill. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Hill also vouched for Steele, an old friend and British intelligence counterpart. The two reunited in 2016, sitting down for at least one meeting. Her boss at the time, Brookings President Strobe Talbott, also connected with Steele and passed along a copy of his anti-Trump dossier to Hill. A tough Trump critic, Talbott previously worked in the Clinton administration and rallied the think tank behind Hillary.

Talbott's brother-in-law is Cody Shearer, another old Clinton hand who disseminated his own dossier in 2016 that echoed many of the same lurid and unsubstantiated claims against Trump. Through a mutual friend at the State Department, Steele obtained a copy of Shearer's dossier and reportedly submitted it to the FBI to help corroborate his own.

In August 2016, Talbott personally called Steele, based in London, to offer his own input on the dossier he was compiling from Danchenko's feeds. Steele phoned Talbott just before the November election, during which Talbott asked for the latest dossier memos to distribute to top officials at the State Department. After Trump's surprise win, the mood at Brookings turned funereal and Talbott and Steele strategized about how they "should handle" the dossier going forward.

During the Trump transition, Talbott encouraged Hill to leave Brookings and take a job in the White House so she could be "one of the adults in the room" when Russia and Putin came up. She served as deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019.

She left the White House just before a National Security Council detailee who'd worked with her, Eric Ciaramella, secretly huddled with Democrats in Congress and alleged Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to launch an investigation of Biden and his son in exchange for military aid. Democrats soon held hearings to impeach Trump, calling Hill as one of their star witnesses.

Congressional investigators are taking a closer look at tax-exempt Brookings, which has emerged as a nexus in the dossier scandal. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the liberal think tank is prohibited from lobbying or engaging in political campaigns. Gryffindor/Wikimedia

Under questioning by Republican staff, Hill disclosed that Steele reached out to her for information about a mysterious individual, but she claimed she could not recall his name. She also said she couldn't remember the month she and Steele met.

"He had contacted me because he wanted to see if I could give him a contact to some other individual, who actually I don't even recall now, who he could approach about some business issues," Hill told the House last year in an Oct. 14 deposition taken behind closed doors.

Congressional investigators are reviewing her testimony, while taking a closer look at tax-exempt Brookings, which has emerged as a nexus in the dossier scandal.

Registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the liberal think tank is prohibited from lobbying or engaging in political campaigns. Specifically, investigators want to know if Brookings played any role in the development of the dossier.

"Their 501(c)(3) status should be audited, because they are a major player in the dossier deal," said a congressional staffer who has worked on the investigation into alleged Russian influence.

Hill, who returned to Brookings as a senior fellow in January, could not be reached for comment. Brookings did not respond to inquiries.

Ghost Employee

As a former member of Britain's secret intelligence service, Steele hadn't traveled to Russia in decades and apparently had no useful sources there . So he relied entirely on Danchenko and his supposed "network of subsources," which to its chagrin, the FBI discovered was nothing more than a "social circle."

It soon became clear over their three days of debriefing him at the FBI's Washington field office - held just days after Trump was sworn into office - that any Russian insights he may have had were strictly academic.

Danchenko confessed he had no inside line to the Kremlin and was "clueless" when Steele hired him in March 2016 to investigate ties between Russia and Trump and his campaign manager.

Christopher Steele, former British spy, leaving a London court this week in a libel case brought against him by a Russian businessman. Dossier source Danchenko's drinking pals fed him a tissue of false "rumor and speculation" for pay -- which Steele, in turn, further embellished with spy-crafty details and sold to his client as "intelligence." (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

Desperate for leads, he turned to a ragtag group of Russian and American journalists, drinking buddies (including one who'd been arrested on pornography charges) and even an old girlfriend to scare up information for his London paymaster, according to the FBI's January 2017 interview memo, which runs 57 pages. Like him, his friends made a living hustling gossip for cash, and they fed him a tissue of false "rumor and speculation" -- which Steele, in turn, further embellished with spy-crafty details and sold to his client as "intelligence."

Instead of closing its case against Trump, however, the FBI continued to rely on the information Danchenko dictated to Steele for the dossier, even swearing to a secret court that it was credible enough to renew wiretaps for another nine months.

One of Danchenko's sources was nothing more than an anonymous voice on the other end of a phone call that lasted 10-15 minutes.

Danchenko told the FBI he figured out later that the call-in tipster, who he said did not identify himself, was Sergei Millian, a Belarusian-born realtor in New York. In the dossier, Steele labeled this source "an ethnic Russian close associate of Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump," and attributed Trump-Russia conspiracy revelations to him that the FBI relied on to support probable cause in all four FISA applications for warrants to spy on Trump adviser Carter Page -- including the Mueller-debunked myth that he and the campaign were involved in "the DNC email hacking operation."

Danchenko explained to agents the call came after he solicited Millian by email in late July 2016 for information for his assignment from Steele. Millian told RCI that though he did receive an email from Danchenko on July 21, he ignored the message and never called him.

"There was not any verbal communications with him," he insisted. "I'm positive, 100%, nothing what is claimed in whatever call they invented I could have said."

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Millian provided RCI part of the email, which was written mostly in Russian. Contact information at the bottom of the email reads:

Igor Danchenko
Business Analyst
Target Labs Inc.
8320 Old Courthouse Rd, Suite 200
Vienna, VA 22182
+1-202-679-5323

At the time, Danchenko listed Target Labs, an IT recruiter run by ethnic-Russians, as an employer on his resumé. But technically, he was not a paid employee there. Thanks to a highly unusual deal Steele arranged with the company, Danchenko was able to use Target Labs as an employment front.

It turns out that in 2014, when Danchenko first started freelancing regularly for Steele after losing his job at a Washington strategic advisory firm, he set out to get a security clearance to start his own company. But drawing income from a foreign entity like Steele's London-based company, Orbis Business Intelligence, would hurt his chances.

So Steele agreed to help him broker a special "arrangement" with Target Labs, where a Russian friend of Danchenko's worked as an executive, in which the company would bring Danchenko on board as an employee but not put him officially on the payroll. Danchenko would continue working for Steele and getting paid by Orbis with payments funneled through Target Labs. In effect, Target Labs served as the "contract vehicle" through which Danchenko was paid a monthly salary for his work for Orbis, the FBI memo reveals.

Though Danchenko had a desk available to use at Target Labs, he did most of his work for Orbis from home and did not take direction from the firm. Steele continued to give him assignments and direct his travel. Danchenko essentially worked as a ghost employee at Target Labs.

Asked about it, a Target Labs spokesman would only say that Danchenko "does not work with us anymore."

Brian Auten: He wrote the memo on the FBI's interview with the Primary Subsource, which is silent about Danchenko's criminal record. Patrick Henry College

Some veteran FBI officials worry Moscow's foreign intelligence service may have planted disinformation with Danchenko and his network of sources in Russia. At least one of them, identified only as "Source 5" in the FBI memo, was described as having a Russian "kurator," or handler.

"There are legions of 'connected' Russians purveying second- and third-hand -- and often made-up -- due diligence reports and private intelligence," said former FBI assistant director Chris Swecker. "Putin's intelligence minions use these people well to plant information."

Danchenko has scrubbed his social media account. He told the FBI he deleted all his dossier-related electronic communications, including texts and emails, and threw out his handwritten notes from conversations with his subsources.

In the end, Steele walked away from the dossier debacle with at least $168,000, and Danchenko earned a large undisclosed sum.

The FBI interview memo, which is silent about Danchenko's criminal record, was written by FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten, who was called out in the Justice inspector general report for ignoring inconsistencies, contradictions, errors and outright falsehoods in the dossier he was supposed to verify.

It was also Auten's duty to vet Steele and his sources. Auten sat in on the meetings with Danchenko and also separate ones with Steele. He witnessed firsthand the countless red flags that popped up from their testimony. Yet Auten continued to tout their reliability as sources, and give his blessing to agents to use their dossier as probable cause to renew FISA surveillance warrants to spy on Page.

As RCI first reported, Auten teaches a national security course at a Washington-area college on the ethics of such spying .

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[Jul 26, 2020] Actually, the inspiration for "Space Force" came to Trump after watching Starship Trooper

Of course the USA's anti-satellite weapons do not 'threaten the peaceful use of space'. Like its 'Bold Onion' project 60 years ago. https://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2019/03/27/history-anti-satellite-weapon-us-asat-missile.html
Everyone should wait for the US to deploy its weapon systems and then follow! That would be fair and just because the US is a Democracy and it has earned the right and more importantly, the benefit of the doubt ad infinitum. Or is the X-37 just there to sprinkle calming holy water on America's adversaries? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-37
Jul 26, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

PATIENT OBSERVER July 24, 2020 at 4:51 am

It brought tears to me eyes .

Actually, the inspiration for "Space Force" came to Trump after watching Starship Trooper:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8-q8J4FFs4Y?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

PATIENT OBSERVER July 24, 2020 at 8:18 am

Off we go into the wild black yonder, Climbing high into space,
Here they come zooming in trying to take our place,
At 'em persons of all genders and sexual orientation , Give 'er the raygun!
(Give 'er the raygun!) Down we dive, spouting our
super duper lasers,
Pew! Pew! Pew!
Onward we flew
With one helluva roar!
Hey! Nothing'll stop the U.S. Space Force!

[First Draft]

MOSCOWEXILE July 24, 2020 at 9:46 am

To the melody of "Halls of Montezuma":

From the the plains of the lunar landscape,
To the stars of the Galaxy,
We shall fight our nation's battles,
To keep the Cosmos free!
We shall blast our foes with lasers,
In the name of Liberty,
And woe to Galactic tyrants,
That scorn the Land of the Free!

[Jul 26, 2020] Patriotic Dissent- How A Working-Class Soldier Turned Against -Forever Wars- -

Jul 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Patriotic Dissent: How A Working-Class Soldier Turned Against "Forever Wars"


by Tyler Durden Sat, 07/25/2020 - 00:05 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Steve Early and Suzanne Gordon via Counterpunch.org,

When it comes to debate about US military policy, the 2020 presidential election campaign is so far looking very similar to that of 2016. Joe Biden has pledged to ensure that "we have the strongest military in the world," promising to "make the investments necessary to equip our troops for the challenges of the next century, not the last one."

In the White House, President Trump is repeating the kind of anti-interventionist head feints that won him votes four years ago against a hawkish Hillary Clinton. In his recent graduation address at West Point, Trump re-cycled applause lines from 2016 about "ending an era of endless wars" as well as America's role as "policeman of the world."

In reality, since Trump took office, there's been no reduction in the US military presence abroad, which last year required a Pentagon budget of nearly $740 billion. As military historian and retired career officer Andrew Bacevich notes , "endless wars persist (and in some cases have even intensified ); the nation's various alliances and its empire of overseas bases remain intact; US troops are still present in something like 140 countries ; Pentagon and national security state spending continues to increase astronomically ."

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When the National Defense Authorization Act for the next fiscal year came before Congress this summer, Senator Bernie Sanders proposed a modest 10 percent reduction in military spending so $70 billion could be re-directed to domestic programs. Representative Barbara Lee introduced a House resolution calling for $350 billion worth of DOD cuts. Neither proposal has gained much traction, even among Democrats on Capitol Hill. Instead, the House Armed Services Committee just voted 56 to 0 to spend $740. 5 billion on the Pentagon in the coming year, prefiguring the outcome of upcoming votes by the full House and Senate.

An Appeal to Conscience

Even if Biden beats Trump in November, efforts to curb US military spending will face continuing bi-partisan resistance. In the never-ending work of building a stronger anti-war movement, Pentagon critics, with military credentials, are invaluable allies. Daniel Sjursen, a 37-year old veteran of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan is one such a critic. Inspired in part by the much-published Bacevich, Sjursen has just written a new book called Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War (Heyday Books)

Patriotic Dissent is a short volume, just 141 pages, but it packs the same kind of punch as Howard Zinn's classic 1967 polemic, Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal . Like Zinn, who became a popular historian after his service in World War II, Sjursen skillfully debunks the conventional wisdom of the foreign policy establishment, and the military's own current generation of "yes men for another war power hungry president." His appeal to the conscience of fellow soldiers, veterans, and civilians is rooted in the unusual arc of an eighteen-year military career. His powerful voice, political insights, and painful personal reflections offer a timely reminder of how costly, wasteful, and disastrous our post 9/11 wars have been.

Sjursen has the distinction of being a graduate of West Point, an institution that produces few political dissenters. He grew up in a fire-fighter family on working class Staten Island. Even before enrolling at the Academy at age 17, he was no stranger to what he calls "deep-seated toxically masculine patriotism." As a newly commissioned officer in 2005, he was still a "burgeoning neo-conservative and George W. Bush admirer" and definitely not, he reports, any kind of "defeatist liberal, pacifist, or dissenter."

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Sjursen's initial experience in combat -- vividly described in his first book, Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of The Surge (University Press of New England) -- "occurred at the statistical height of sectarian strife" in Iraq.

"The horror, the futility, the farce of that war was the turning point in my life," Sjursen writes in Patriotic Dissent .

When he returned, at age 24, from his "brutal, ghastly deployment" as a platoon leader, he "knew that the war was built on lies, ill-advised, illegal, and immoral." This "unexpected, undesired realization generated profound doubts about the course and nature of the entire American enterprise in the Greater Middle East -- what was then unapologetically labeled the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT)."

A Professional Soldier

By the time Sjursen landed in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, in early 2011, he had been promoted to captain but "no longer believed in anything we were doing."

He was, he confesses, "simply a professional soldier -- a mercenary, really -- on a mandatory mission I couldn't avoid. Three more of my soldiers died, thirty-plus were wounded, including a triple amputee, and another over-dosed on pain meds after our return."

Despite his disillusionment, Sjursen had long dreamed of returning to West Point to teach history. He applied for and won that highly competitive assignment, which meant the Army had to send him to grad school first. He ended up getting credentialed, while living out of uniform, in the "People's Republic of Lawrence, Kansas, a progressive oasis in an intolerant, militarist sea of Republican red." During his studies at the state university, Sjursen found an intellectual framework for his "own doubts about and opposition to US foreign policy." He completed his first book, Ghost Riders , which combines personal memoir with counter-insurgency critique. Amazingly enough, it was published in 2015, while he was still on active duty, but with "almost no blowback" from superior officers.

Before retiring as a major four years later, Sjursen pushed the envelope further, by writing more than 100 critical articles for TomDispatch and other civilian publications. He was no longer at West Point so that body of work triggered "a grueling, stressful, and scary four-month investigation"by the brass at Fort Leavenworth, during which the author was subjected to "a non-publication order." At risk were his career, military pension, and benefits. He ended up receiving only a verbal admonishment for violating a Pentagon rule against publishing words "contemptuous of the President of the United States." His "PTSD and co-occurring diagnoses" helped him qualify for a medical retirement last year.

Sjursen has now traded his "identity as a soldier -- the only identity I've known in my adult life -- for that of an anti-war, anti-imperialist, social justice crusader," albeit one who did not attend his first protest rally until he was thirty-two years old. With several left-leaning comrades, he started Fortress on A Hill, a lively podcast about military affairs and veterans' issues. He's a frequent, funny, and always well-informed guest on progressive radio and cable-TV shows, as well as a contributing editor at Antiwar.com , and a contributor to a host of mainstream liberal publications. This year, the Lannan Foundation made him a cultural freedom fellow.

In Patriotic Dissent , Sjursen not only recounts his own personal trajectory from military service to peace activism. He shows how that intellectual journey has been informed by reading and thinking about US history, the relationship between civil society and military culture, the meaning of patriotism, and the price of dissent.

One historical figure he admires is Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, the recipient of two Medals of Honor for service between 1898 and 1931. Following his retirement, Butler sided with the poor and working-class veterans who marched on Washington to demand World War I bonus payments. And he wrote a best-selling Depression-era memoir, which famously declared that "war is just a racket" and lamented his own past role as "a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers."

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Sjursen contrasts Butler's anti-interventionist whistle-blowing, nearly a century ago, with the silence of high-ranking veterans today after "nineteen years of ill-advised, remarkably unsuccessful American wars." Among friends and former West Point classmates, he knows many still serving who "obediently resign themselves to continued combat deployments" because they long ago "stopped asking questions about their own role in perpetuating and enabling a counter-productive, inertia-driven warfare state."

Sjursen looks instead to small left-leaning groups like Veterans for Peace and About Face: Veterans Against the War (formerly Iraq Veterans Against the War), and Bring Our Troops Home. US, a network of veterans influenced by the libertarian right. Each in, its own way, seeks to "reframe dissent, against empire and endless war, as the truest form of patriotism." But actually taming the military-industrial complex will require "big-tent, intersectional action from civilian and soldier alike," on a much larger scale. One obstacle to that, he believes, is the societal divide between the "vast majority of citizens who have chosen not to serve" in the military and the "one percent of their fellow citizens on active duty," who then become part of "an increasingly insular, disconnected, and sometimes sententious post-9/11 veteran community."

Not many on the left favor a return to conscription.

But Sjursen makes it clear there's been a downside to the U.S. replacing "citizen soldiering" with "a tiny professional warrior caste," created in response to draft-driven dissent against the Vietnam War, inside and outside the military. As he observes:

"Nothing so motivates a young adult to follow foreign policy, to weigh the advisability or morality of an ongoing war as the possibility of having to put 'skin in the game.' Without at least the potential requirement to serve in the military and in one of America's now countless wars, an entire generation -- or really two, since President Nixon ended the draft in 1973–has had the luxury of ignoring the ills of U.S. foreign policy, to distance themselves from its reality ."

At a time when the U.S. "desperately needs a massive, public, empowered anti-war and anti-imperial wave" sweeping over the country, we have instead a "civil-military" gap that, Sjursen believes, has "stifled antiwar and anti-imperial dissent and seemingly will continue to do so." That's why his own mission is to find more "socially conscious veterans of these endless, fruitless wars" who are willing to "step up and form a vanguard of sorts for revitalized patriotic dissent." Readers of Sjursen's book, whether new recruits to that vanguard or longtime peace activists, will find Patriotic Dissent to be an invaluable educational tool. It should be required reading in progressive study groups, high school and college history classes, and book clubs across the country . Let's hope that the author's willingness to take personal risks, re-think his view of the world, and then work to change it will inspire many others, in uniform and out.

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Justus_Americans , 59 minutes ago

Do we need to be in 160 countries with our military and can we afford it?

Cat Daddy , 1 hour ago

I am all for bringing the troops home except for this one unnerving truth; nature abhors a vacuum, specifically, when we pull out, China moves in. A world dominated by the CCP will be a dangerous place to be. When we leave, we will need to make sure our bases are safely in the hands of our friends.

dogbert8 , 1 hour ago

War is effectively the way the U.S. has done business since the Spanish American War, our first imperial conquests. War is how we ensure big business has the materials and markets they demand in return for their support of political parties and candidates. War is the only area left with opportunities for growth and profit. Don't think for a minute that TPTB will ever let us stop waging war to get what we (they) want.

TheLastMan , 2 hours ago

If you are new to zh all you need to do is study PNAC and the related nature of all parties to understand the criminality of USA militarization and for whose benefit it serves

Anonymous IX , 2 hours ago

I have written many times on this platform the exact same sentiments.

I am most disheartened by the COVID + Antifa/BLM Riots because of the facts this author presents.

We are distracted with emotional and highly volatile MASSIVELY PROPAGANDIZED stories by MSM (I don't watch) while the real problem in the world is as the author describes above.

We are war-mongering nation who needs to bring our troops home and disband over half of our overseas installations and bases.

We have no right to levy economic sanctions to impoverish, sicken, and weaken the citizens of Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, or anywhere else.

Yet, we run around arguing about masks and who can go into a restaurant or toppling statutes and throwing mortar-type fireworks at federal officers. This is what we do instead of facing a real problem which is that we are war-mongering nation with no moral/ethical conscience. These scraggily bearded white Antifas need to WTFU and realize who their true enemy.

Oh, wait. They work for the true enemy! Get it?

Max21c , 1 hour ago

We have no right to levy economic sanctions to impoverish, sicken, and weaken the citizens of Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, or anywhere else.

I don't agree with the economic sanctions nonsense thing as they seem to be more of a crutch for people that are not any good at planning, strategy, analytical thinking, critical thinking, strategic thinking, and lack much in the way of talent or creativity or intellectual acumen or intellectual skills...I believe there's around just shy of 10k economic sanctions by Washington...

But the USA does have the right to receive or refuse to receive foreign Ambassadors and Consuls and to recognize or not recognize other nations governments thus it does have some degrees of the right to not trade or engage in commerce with other nations to a certain extent... per imports and exports... et cetera... though it's not necessarily an absolute right or power

IronForge , 2 hours ago

Sjursen may admire General Butler; but he doesn't seem to know that several of the General's Descendants Served in the US Military.

Sjursen isn't Butler. The General Prevented a Coup in his Time.

The USA are a Hegemony whose KleptOchlarchs overtook the Original Constitutional Republic.

PetroUSD, MIC, Corporate Expansion-Conquest, AgriGMO, and Pharma Interests Span the Globe.

Wars are Rackets; and Societies to Nation-States have waged them over Real Estate, Natural Resources, Trade Routes, Industrial Capacity, Slavery, Suppresive Spite, Religious/Ideological Zeal, Economic Preservation, and Profiteering Greed.

YET, Militaries are still formed by Nation-States to Survive and for Some - Thrive above such Competitive Existenstential Threats.

*****

The Hegemony are running up against New Shifts in Global Power, Systems, and Influences; and are about to Lose their Unilateral Advantages. The Hegemon themselves may suffer Societal Collapses Within.

Sjursen should read up on Chalmers Johnson. Instead of trying to Coordinate Ineffective Peace Demonstrations, the Entire Voting/Political Contribution/Candidacy Schemes should be Separated from the Oligarchy of Plutocrats and Corporate/Political KleptOchlarchs.

Without Bringing the Votes back to the Collective Hands of Citizenry Interests First and Foremost, the Republic are Forever Conquered; and the Ethical may have to resort to Emigration and/or Secession.

Ink Pusher , 2 hours ago

Nobody rides for free,there's always a cost and those who can't pay in bullion will often pay in bodily fluids of one form or another.

Profiteers that create warfare for profit are simply parasitical criminals and should not be considered a "special breed" when weighed upon the Scales of Justice.

gzorp , 2 hours ago

Read 'Starship Troopers' by Robert A Heinlein (1959) pay especial attention to the "History and Moral Philosophy" courses... that's where his predictions for the future course of 'America's' future appear.... rather accurately. Heinlein was a 1930's graduate of Annapolis (Navy for you dindus and nohabs).....

A DUDE , 2 hours ago

t's not just the war machine but the entire system, the corporatocracy, of which the MIC is a part. And there is no way to change the system from within the system because whatever is anti-establishment becomes absorbed and neutered and part of the system.

So why would anyone vote is my question? 11. Trump and Biden Are Far Right of Center and Running to Offenbach Nearly Every Day

sbin , 2 hours ago

Tulsi Gabbard ran on anti interventionism foreign policy.

Look how fast the DNC disappeared her.

Of course destroying Kamala Harris in a debate and going after the ancient evil Hitlery sealed her fate.

BarkingWolf , 2 hours ago

In reality, since Trump took office, there's been no reduction in the US military presence abroad, which last year required a Pentagon budget of nearly $740 billion. As military historian and retired career officer Andrew Bacevich notes , "endless wars persist (and in some cases have even intensified ); the nation's various alliances and its empire of overseas bases remain intact; US troops are still present in something like 140 countries ; Pentagon and national security state spending continues to increase astronomically ."

Now wait just a minute there mister, that sounds like criticism of the Donald John PBUH PBUH PBUH ... you can't do that ... the cult followers will call you a leftist and a commie if you point out stuff like that even if it is objectively true! That's strike one, punk.

An Appeal to Conscience

Even if Biden beats Trump in November, efforts to curb US military spending will face continuing bi-partisan resistance.

November doesn't have anything to do with anything really. The appeal to conscience is wasted. The appeal would be better spent on removing the political class that is on the AIPAC dole and have dual citizenship in a foreign country in the ME while pretending to serve America while they are members of Congress. That's only the tip of the spear ... and that is a nonstarter from the get go.

Sjursen skillfully debunks the conventional wisdom of the foreign policy establishment, and the military's own current generation of "yes men for another war power hungry president."


I don't think Trump is necessarily a war power hungry president. While it is true that we have not withdrawn from Syria and basically stole their oil as Trump has repeated promised he would do, it is also true that Trump has yet to deliver Israels war with Iran and in fact had called back an invasion of Iran ten minutes before a flotilla of US warships was about to set sail to ignite such an invasion leaving Tel Aviv not only aggrieved, but angry as well.

Sjursen has now traded his "identity as a soldier -- the only identity I've known in my adult life -- for that of an anti-war, anti-imperialist, social justice crusader," albeit one who did not attend his first protest rally until he was thirty-two years old. With several left-leaning comrades ...

Okay, this is where you are starting to lose me .... i't like listening to a concert and suddenly the music is hitting sour notes that are off key, off tempo, and don't seem to fit somehow.

Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, the recipient of two Medals of Honor for service between 1898 and 1931. Following his retirement, Butler sided with the poor and working-class veterans who marched on Washington to demand World War I bonus payments. And he wrote a best-selling Depression-era memoir, which famously declared that "war is just a racket" and lamented his own past role as "a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers."

"On July 28, 1932, at the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, they marched down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol to launch an attack on World War I veterans. " https://www.stripes.com/news/us/the-veterans-were-desperate-gen-macarthur-ordered-us-troops-to-attack-them-1.480665

Butler was correct, war especially nowadays, is a racket that makes rich people who never seem to get their hands dirty, even richer. As one grunt put it long ago, "it's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it."

That "somebody" is going to be the kids of the little people (the real high-class muscle-men ) who are hated by their political class overlords even as the political class are worshipped as gods.

Sjursen looks instead to small left-leaning groups like Veterans for Peace and About Face: Veterans Against the War (formerly Iraq Veterans Against the War), and Bring Our Troops Home. US, a network of veterans influenced by the libertarian right.

The problem here is that the so-called "left" brand has always been about war and the capitalism of death.

The Democrat party is really the group that started the American civil war for instance, they are the ones behind legacy of Eugenists like Margaret Sanger who was a card carrying Socialist who founded the child murder mill known today as Planned Parenthood that sadly still exists under Trump but has turned into the industrialized slaughter of children ...even after birth so that their organs can be "harvested" for profit.

Sjursen's affinity for "the left" as saintly purveyors of peace, goodness, love, and life strikes me as rather disingenuous. Then he seems to argue if I read the analysis correctly that conscription will somehow be the panacea for the insatiable appetite for war?

One false flag such as The Gulf of Tonkin or 911 or even Perl Harbor or the Sinking of the Lusitania or the assassination of an Arch Duke ... is all that is really needed to arouse the unbridled hoards to march off to battle with almost erotic enthusiasm -the political class KNOWS IT!

Amendment X , 2 hours ago

And don't forget President Wilson (D) who was re-elected on the platform "He kept us out of the war" only to drag U.S. into the hopeless European Monarchary driven WWI.

11b40 , 1 hour ago

Yo! Low class muscle man here, and I have to agree with bringing back the draft. It should never have been eliminated, and is the root of the golbalists abiity to keep us in Afghanistan, and other parts of the ME, for going on 20 years.

Skin in the game. It means literally everything. As noted we now have 2 generations of men who never had to give much thought at all to what's happening around the world, and how America is involved....and look at the results. It would be a much different situation today if all those 18 year olds had to face the draft board with an unforgiving lottery.

Yes, one false falg can whip up the country to a war time fever pitch, but unless there is a real, serious threat, the fever cannot be maintained. The 1969 draft lottery caught me when I stayed out the first semester of my senior year. Didn't want to go, but accepted my fate and did the best job I could to stay alive and keep those around me as safe as possible. In 1966, I was in favor of the war, and was about to go Green Beret on the buddy system. We were going to grease gooks with all the enthusiasm of John Wayne. My old man, an artillery 1st Sgt at the time in Germany, talked me out of it. More like get your *** on a plane back to the States and into college, befroe i kick it up around your shouders. A WW2 & Korea vet, he told me then it was the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

The point is, when kids are getting drafted, Mom's, Dad's, and everyone else concerned with the safety of their friends & relatives, start paying attention and asking hard questions of politicians. Using Afghanistan as an example, we would have been on the way out by the 2004 election cycle, or at max before the next one in 2008. That was 12 years ago, and we are still there.

I addition, the reason we went would have been more closely examined, and there may have been a real investigtion into 9/11. Plus, I am convinced that serving your country makes for a better all around citizen, and God knows, we need better citizens.

Cassandra.Hermes , 2 hours ago

Trump and Pompeo started new cold war with China, but have no way to back up their threats and win it!! When i was in Kosovo peace corps i heard so many stories from Albanian who were blamed to be Russian or American spy because of double cold war against Albania. Trump and Pompeo just gave excuse to Xi to blame anyone who protest as American spy. BBC were showing China's broadcast of the protests in Oregon to Hong Kong with subtitle "Do you really want American democracy?", LMFAO

Max21c , 2 hours ago

Joe Biden has pledged to ensure that "we have the strongest military in the world," promising to "make the investments necessary to equip our troops for the challenges of the next century, not the last one."

The United States shall continue to have a weak military until it starts to fix its foreign policy and diplomacy. You cannot have the strongest military in the world if you lack a good foreign policy and good diplomacy. Brains are a lot more important than battleships, battalions, bullets, barrels, or bombs. Get a frickin' clue you friggin' Washington morons.

Washington is weak because they are dumb. Blind, deaf, and dumb.

Heroic Couplet , 2 hours ago

Too little, too late. Great ad for a book that will be forgotten in a week. Read Bolton's book. The minute Trump tries to reduce troops, Bolton is right there, saying "No, we can't move troops to the perimeter. No, we can't move troops from barracks to tents at the perimeter." Who needs AI?

Erik Prince wrote 3.5 years ago that 4th gen warfare consists of cyberwarfare and bio-weapons. The US military is fooked. There's probably an interesting book to be researched: How do Republicans feel about contracting COVID-19 after listening to Trump fumble?

ChecksandBalances , 3 hours ago

Blame the voters. Run on a platform to reduce military and police spending. See how many of those lose. Probably all of them. You have to stop feeding the beast. This is a slogan Trump correctly said but as usual didn't actually mean. We should cut all military and police spending by 1/2 and then take the remaining money and build a smarter, more efficient military and police force.

Max21c , 3 hours ago

It's not just the "Deep State." It's Washingtonians overall. It's Deep Crazy. They're all Deep Crazy! They're nuts. And the rare exceptions that may know better and have enough common sense to know its wrong to sick the secret police on innocent American civilians aren't going to say anything or do anything to stop it. The few that know better in foreign policy aren't going to say anything or do anything against the new Cold Wars on the Eastern Front against China or on the Western Front against Russia since they're not willing to go up against the Regime. So the Regimists know they have carte blanche to persecute or terrorize or go after any that stand in their way. This is how tyrannies and police states operate. It's the nature of the beast. At a minimum they brow beat people into submission. People don't want to stick their neck out and risk going up against the Regime and risk losing to the Regime, its secret police, and the powers that be. They shy away from anything that would bring the Regime and its secret police and its radicals, extremists, fanatics, and zealots their way.

nonkjo , 4 hours ago

It's okay to be against "forever war" and still not have to be a progressive douchbag.

Sjursen is an unprincipled ******** artist. He leaves Iraq disillusioned as a lieutenant but sticks around long enough for them to pay for his grad school and give him some sweet "resume building" experiences that he can stand on to sell books? FYI, from commissioning time as a second lieutenant to promotion to captain is 3 years...that means Sjusen was so disillusioned that he decided to stick around for 12 more years which is about 9 years longer than he actually needed to as an Academy grad (he only had to serve 6 unless he elected to go to grad school).

The bottom line is Sjusen capitalizes on people not knowing how the military works. That is, that his own self-interest far outweighs his the principles he espouses. Typical leftist hypoctite.

Max21c , 4 hours ago

...the U.S. "desperately needs a massive, public, empowered anti-war and anti-imperial wave ..."

Perhaps the USA just needs a better foreign policy. Though we all know that's not going to happen with the flaky screwballs of Washington and the flaky screwballs in the Pentagon, CIA, State Department, foreign policy establishment, think tanks et cetera.

Minor technical point: the time for the "anti-imperial wave" was before Washingtonians destroyed much of the world and created their strategic blunders and disastrous foreign policy. You folks all went along with this nonsense and now you have your quagmires, forever wars, and numerous trouble spots that have popped up here and there along the way to boot.

Pottery barn rule: you broke it and you own it and it's yours...Ma'am please pay at the register on the way out...Sorry Ma'am there's no more free gluing...though the gluing specialist may be in on the third Thursday this month though it's usually the second Tuesday each month...

Contemporaneously, in the same vein the American public has been brainwashed into going along with the new Cold Wars on the Western Front against Moscow and the even newer Cold War on the Eastern Front against Beijing. It's like P.T. Barnum said "There's a sucker born every minute," and you fools in the American public just keep buying right in to the brainwashing. They're now successfully indoctrinating you into buying into their new Cold Wars with Russia and China. The Cold War on the Eastern Front versus Peking is more getting more fanciful attentions at the moment and the Cold War on the Western Front has temporarily been relegated to the back burner but they'll move the Western Front Cold War from simmer to boil over whenever it suits their needs. It's just a rendition of the Oceania has always been at war with East Asia and Eurasia is our friend are just gameplays right out of George Orwell's 1984.

Most of the quagmires can be fixed to a certain extent by applying some cement and engineering to the quicksand and many of the trouble spots can become more settled and less unstable if not stable in some instances. Even some of the more serious strategic problems like the South China Sea, North Korean nuclear weapons development, and potential Iranian nuclear weapons development can still be resolved through peaceful strategies and solutions.

In re sum, while I won't disparage a peace movement I do not believe it is either necessary nor proper simply because you will not solve anything through a peace movement. The sine qua non or quintessential element is simply to end one of these wars successfully through a peaceful diplomatic solution or solve one of these serious foreign policy problems through diplomacy which is something that hasn't been the norm since the downfall of the Berlin Wall, is no longer in favor, and which is the necessary element to prove that peace can be achieved through strategy and diplomacy and thereby change the course of the country's future.

In foreign affairs the foreign policy establishment has its pattern of behavior and it is that pattern of behavior that has to be changed. It's the mindset of the Washingtonians & elites that has to be changed. Just taking to the streets won't really change their ways or their beliefs for any significant part of the duration. They may pay lip service to peace & diplomacy but it won't win out in their minds in the long run. They are so warped in their views and beliefs that it'll have little or no effect over the long haul. As soon as the protests dissipate they'll be right back at it, back to their bad ways and bad behavior.

Son of Captain Nemo , 4 hours ago

For the past 19 years... And as Anti-War as you will ever get!...

https://action.ae911truth.org/p/salsa/web/common/public/signup?signup_page_KEY=11418&killorg=True&loggedOut=True

https://www.ae911truth.org/grandjury

P.S.

Remind 0range $hit $tain ( https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/11/14/trump-im-reopening-911-investigation/ ) that if he makes this a campaign pledge and an issue for debate he maybe can avoid a war crimes tribunal given how much has already been spent on the war machine ( https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/944-trillion-reasons-why-fed-quietly-bailing-out-hedge-funds )!

Hatterasjohn , 4 hours ago

Was it George Carlin that said " if voting made a difference they wouldn't let us do it " ? The only way to stop these forever wars is for people to stop joining the military. Parents should teach their children that joining the military and trotting off to some country to fight a war for the elite is not being patriotic . I was in the military from 1964 -1968. When Lyndon Johnson became president he drug out the Vietnam war as long as he could. Oh ! Lady Byrd Johnson bought Decon Company [ rat poison ] when most people never heard of it. Johnson bought this rat poison , government paid for ,at an inflated price . Sent ship loads of it to Vietnam .Never mind all the Americans and so called enemy killed.. Jane Fonda , Hanoi Jane , was really a hero who helped save countless lives by helping to end the war. Tommy and **** Smothers , Smother Brothers , spoke out against the war . Our government had them black balled from TV. Our government is probably as corrupt as any other country.

No-Go zone , 5 hours ago

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-19/top-us-general-says-american-troops-should-be-ready-die-israel

cowboyted , 7 hours ago

A piece of irony, one of our greatest generals was Dwight Eisenhower, the Allied Supreme Commander in WWII and two term president. He kept the peace for almost 10 years and warned Americans to beware of the "military-industrial complex." Most military men never want war, they just make sure they are ready if it comes. We have had the military industrial complex for way too long, it needs to be reduced and we need more generals to run for president, Gen. Flynn maybe? I'll also take Schwartzkoff.

cowboyted , 7 hours ago

The U.S. should only use our military if we are attacked, period. Otherwise, as Jefferson astutely stated, a standing army is a threat to democracy.

captain noob , 7 hours ago

Capitalism has no morals

Profit is the driving force of every single thing

cowboyted , 7 hours ago

The U.S. should only use our military if we are attacked, period. Otherwise, as Jefferson astutely stated, a standing army is a threat to democracy.

Chief Joesph , 7 hours ago

After what General Smedley Butler had to say and warned us about, here we are, 90 years later, doing the very same thing. Goes to show how utterly dumb, unprogressive, sheepish, and Medieval Americans really are. And you thought this is what makes America Great????

cowboyted , 8 hours ago

The U.S. Constitution provides for a "national defense." Yet, the last time we were attacked by a foreign nation was on Dec. 7, 1941 in which, the Congress declared war on Japan. Yet, in the past 100 years our country's leaders have convinced Americans that we can wage war if the issue concerns our "national INTEREST." This is wrong and needs to be deleted and replaced with our Constitution's language. Also, Congress is the ONLY Constitutional authority to declare war, not the executive branch. Too many countries, including the U.S., spend too much money preparing for war on levels of destruction that are unnecessary. We must attain a new paradigm with leading countries to achieve a mutual understanding that the people of the world are better off with jobs, food, families, peace, and a chance at a better life, filled with hope, faith, and flourishing communities. Things have to change.

transcendent_wannabe , 8 hours ago

I have to agree in sentiment with the author, but the reality of humans on earth almost demands constant war, it is the price we pay for the modern city lifestyle. There are various reasons.

1. Ever since WW1, the country has become citified, and the old peaceful country farm life was replaced with the rat race of industrial production. Without war, there is no need for the level of industrial production required to give full employment to the overpopulated cities. People will scream for war and jingoism when they have no city jobs. How do you deal with that? Sure, War is a Racket, but so far a necessary racket.

2. Every 20 years the military needs a real shooting war to battle test its upcoming soldiers and new equipment. Now the battles are against insurgencies... door-to-door in cities and ghettos, and new tactics need to be field tested. If the military goes more than 20 years without a real shooting war, they lose the real men, the sargeant majors, who just become fat pot bellied desk personel without the adrenaline of a real fight.

3. Humans inately like to fight. Even children, boys wrestle, girls taunt one another. There is no way discovered yet to keep people from turning violent in their attempts to steal what others have, or to gain dominance thru physical intimidation. Without war, gangs will form and fight over territorial boundaries. There is no escaping it.

4. Earth is where the battle field is, Battlefield Earth. There is no fighting allowed in heaven, so Earth is where souls come to fight. Nobody on earth likes it, but fighting and war is here to stay, and you should really use this life to find out how to transcend earth and get to a place where war is not needed or allowed, like heaven or Valhalla.

Tortuga , 8 hours ago

So. He thinks the crooked, grifting, regressive hate US murdering dim pustules aren't the warmongering, globalist, hate US, crooked, grifting, murdering republicrats. What a mo ron.

HenryJonesJr , 8 hours ago

Real conservatives were always against foreign intervention. It was the Left that embraced foreign wars (Wilson / Roosevelt / Truman / Johnson).

messystateofaffairs , 8 hours ago

From my perspective being a professional goon to serve the greater glory of international criminals, is, aside from having to avoid the mirror, way too much hard and dangerous work for the money. As a civilian of a society run by criminals on criminal imperialist principles, I have no literal PTSD type of skin in that filthy game, but like most citizens, knowing and unknowing, I do swim in that sewer everyday, doing my best to avoid bumping into the larger turds. My "patriotism" lies where the turds are fewest, anywhere in the world that might be.

bh2 , 8 hours ago

The threat to US interests is not in the ME (apart from Israel). It's in the Pacific.

NATO was never intended to be a defense arrangement perpetually funded by the US. Once stood up and post-war economies in Europe were restored, it was supposed to be a European defense shield with the US as ultimate backup. Not as a sugar-daddy for wealthy nations. Now that Russia is no longer situated to attack through the Fulda Gap, NATO is a grotesque expression of Parkinson's Law writ large.

China is a real threat to US interests. That's obvious simply by consulting a map. Military assets committed to engagement in theaters that no longer seriously matter is feckless and spendthrift. Particularly when Americans are put in harm's way with no prospect of either winning or leaving.

Worse yet is the accelerating prospect of being drawn into conflict in the South China Sea because fewer than decisive US and allied assets are deployed there.

While nations are now responding to that threat (including Japan, who are re-arming), China must realize a successful Taiwan invasion faces steadily diminishing prospects. They must act soon or give up the opportunity. Moreover, the CCP are loosing face with their own people because of multiple calamities wreaking havoc. The danger of a desperate CCP turning to a hot war to save face is an ever-rising threat. (If Three Gorges Dam fails, that could be the final straw.)

FDR deliberately suckered Japan into attacking the US (but apparently never guessed it would be on Pearl Harbor). It appears modern neo warmongers of all stripes would be delighted if China were tempted into yet another senseless war in the Pacific. And more lives lost on all sides.

While the size of US military and (ineptly named) "intelligence" budgets are vastly out of scale, the short-term cost in money is secondary to risk of long-term cost in blood. Surging the budget may make good sense when guns are all pointing in the wrong direction and political donors don't care as long as it pays well.

Defeating that outrageously wasteful spending is the first battle to be won. Disengaging from stupid, distracting, unwinnable conflicts is an imperative to achieve that goal.

The Judge , 8 hours ago

US. is the real threat to US interests.

DeptOfPsyOps-14527776 , 8 hours ago

An important part of this statue quo is propaganda and in particular neo-con propaganda.

Once it was clear that agitating against the Russian federation had failed, they started agitating against the PRC.

FDR administration wasn't that clever, they just had (((support))). They wanted Imperial Japan unable to strengthen itself against the United Kingdom as it was waging a war against the European Axis, did not realize that the Japanese fleet could reach as far as Hawaii and after Pearl Harbor, believed the West Coast could have been attacked as well.

Hovewer, they likely expected the Japanese to intercept their fleet on the way to the Phillipines after a war between Imperial Japan and the Commonwealth had started.

Salzburg1756 , 8 hours ago

"FDR deliberately suckered Japan into attacking the US (but apparently never guessed it would be on Pearl Harbor)." No, we knew the japs were going to attack Pearl Harbor. We had broken their code. That's why we sent our best battle ships away from Hawaii just before the attack. Most of the ships they sank were old and worthless; our good ships were out at sea.

TheLastMan , 4 hours ago

What constitutes "America's interests"?

the us military is the world community welcome wagon for global multi national Corp chamber of commerce

Do us citizens serve corporations or do corporations serve us citizens?

next ?, who owns / controls corporations?

Alice-the-dog , 8 hours ago

There is a reason why suicide is the leading cause of death among active duty military. They come to realize that what they are doing is perfect male bovine fecal matter. That they are guilty of participating in completely unwarranted death and destruction.

847328_3527 , 9 hours ago

Liberals and "progressives" are traditionally against wars. This new "woke" group of Demorats shows they are NOT liberals or progressives since they support the Establishment War Criminals like Obama and his side kick, demented Biden, and Bloodthirsty Clinton.

[Jul 25, 2020] Propaganda for kids- UK govt-backed 'news' site teaches children about 'ruthless' Putin 'shameless' Russia -- RT UK News

Jul 25, 2020 | www.rt.com

Propaganda for kids: UK govt-backed 'news' site teaches children about 'ruthless' Putin & 'shameless' Russia 24 Jul, 2020 19:09 / Updated 1 day ago Get short URL © Getty Images / Robert Daly 98 32 Follow RT on RT Is Vladimir Putin "the most dangerous man in the world?" If you trust the same news sources that some British schoolchildren's teachers do, then yes. Perhaps it's a good thing that the kids aren't listening.

When schools in Britain eventually reopen in September, children filling into the classrooms won't just be learning their reading, writing and arithmetic. On top of these fundamentals, their teachers will spoon-feed them blatant propaganda that would make Herr Goebbels blush.

The propaganda source in question is The Day, a news site founded by a team of established journalists and directed at teens. Designed for use in the classroom, each of The Day's stories is presented alongside a range of thought-provoking questions and exercises to help young people learn to "think for themselves and engage with the world."

Though UK-focused, The Day is used in classrooms around the world as a teaching aid.

ALSO ON RT.COM Madonna LIES about getting fined A MILLION DOLLARS in Russia for speaking up about gay rights – what else is new?

A recent article describes Russian President Vladimir Putin as "the most dangerous man in the world" and suggests "nothing can be done to bring this rogue state [Russia] to heel." Moscow's entire foreign policy is "shameless" and Putin is described as a man who delights in stoking unrest in the West. The widely-debunked accusations of Russian interference into the 2016 US election are treated as fact, as are the rumors that Putin meddled in the UK's Brexit referendum and in last year's general election.

The children are also offered Bill Browder's opinion that Russia is a "mafia state running a mafia operation." Browder, the site omits, is a magnate and fraudster who made billions of dollars in Russia during the privatization rush of the 1990s and reinvented himself as an anti-Putin activist once his revenue stream was cut off.

Below the article, kids are asked to answer a number of questions, such as "Should Russia be expelled from the United Nations?" and even to write a creative story about what it would be like to meet Putin during his KGB days. For good measure, the New York Times' recent evidence-free and widely criticized story claiming Russia paid bounties to the Taliban to kill US troops in Afghanistan is suggested as further reading to help kids become an "expert" on all things Putin.

ALSO ON RT.COM The Russians are coming, again! Poorly understood cybercrimes play perfectly into political agendas

The Day does not bill itself as an anti-Russia think tank for kids. Quite the opposite. Ironically, its founder, Richard Addis, wanted to set up the site to fight deceptive journalism, hoaxes, "slanted reporting" and "stories where the truth is contentious" -- fake news in other words.

He was supported in this quest by the British government's Commission on Fake News and the Teaching of Critical Literacy Skills in Schools, which partnered with The Day to compile a damning report in 2018, revealing that only two percent of British youngsters have the critical thinking skills to spot phony news.

"It is clear that our schools are absolutely vital in encouraging children to burrow through the rubbish and rootle out the truth," Addis said at the time. Stories on the site with titles like 'Putin the terrible' and 'Toxic Putin on mission to poison the West' are clearly what Addis considers balanced journalism.

ALSO ON RT.COM George Galloway: Labour's demand for Ofcom review of RT licence is apostasy against democratic principles

Balance, however, is not a common trait among British Russia-watchers. Parliament's long-awaited 'Russia report' relies almost wholesale on "allegations" to back up its claim that Moscow "poses a significant threat to the UK." The report even relies on articles by BuzzFeed to substantiate its shaky claims.

As slanted as its coverage is, The Day's message may fall on deaf ears. According to the same government report, only a quarter of older children actually trust the news they read online. As such, The Day's propagandizing might all be in vain.

[Jul 25, 2020] As long suffering is not at your doorsteps, human race as individuals, is as bad as our governments.

Jul 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Man , Jul 25 2020 4:09 utc | 84

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 25 2020 0:16 utc | 62

"And USA's propaganda is second to none. That's important because winning a war, whether Cold or Hot, requires a populace that will accept sacrifices. Blaming the other side for the need for such sacrifices is an art as much as a science."

Was causing the death of two million Iraqi's is one of the scarifies you talk about that the populace had to accept?

Sometimes I have a problem to understand the way the so called "western people" behave. I am almost reaching a conclusion that the art of media is to give the populous an excuse to themselves why they appear to be accepting scarifies.

We should stop lying to ourselves that we care about others. As long suffering is not at your doorsteps, human race as individuals, is as bad as our governments.

[Jul 25, 2020] One way to look at the recent voting on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and on Mark Pocan's amendment to the NDAA (that would have reduced military spending by 10 percent)

Jul 25, 2020 | stephensemler.substack.com

The more money a member of Congress accepts from the defense industry, the higher the probability that they'll vote how the defense industry wants them to vote. (So probably what you expected.)

... ... ...

If you order the members of Congress based on the amount each of them accepted from the defense sector (2020 cycle) with their respective votes then break your list down (roughly) into fourths, you'll get something that looks like this:

Amount member accepts from defense
industry Likelihood that member lets us down Less than $3,000 70% $3,000-$9,999 77% $10,000-$29,999 84% More than $30,000 More than 98% Notes

[Jul 25, 2020] Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results

Jul 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Zalamander

One by one the so-called Russiagate "evidence" have collapsed. The fake Steele Dossier, "Russian spy" Joseph Mifsud who is actually a self-admitted member of the Clinton Foundation, Roger Stone's non-existant Wikileaks contacts, Russian Afgan bounties, etc. But the neoliberal mainstream media still presents these as "facts" with no retractions.

This is not journalism, its disinformation designed to distract the American public from the failures of capitalism.

[Jul 25, 2020] Part of the ideological fencing during the new Cold War was the Chinese's spying menace

Jul 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU1 , Jul 24 2020 22:14 utc | 57

The choice of embassies was interesting after a global times editorial I linked a few days back. It was a recognition of cold war and that what is currently being ramped up by the US will not change no matter what slimebag is in office. It was a notice that China would now respond to all US hostile moves but in such a manner that US was more damaged by its moves than China.
US wanting to decouple would have been hoping China would shut a consulate that was involved in a lot of US - China trade.

[Jul 24, 2020] Greater Russia -- Is Moscow out to subvert the West by Richard Sakwa

There some interesting parts of this analysis. But as soon as a Professor shows that he believes that The Internet Research Agency (IRA) troll factory influence 2016 elections his credibility falls to zero. The same is true about believing that Gussifer 2.0 was not a false play operation by some US actors.
The key problem in the USA foreign policy toward Russia is the concept of "Full Spectrum Dominance" cherished by Washington Neocons and foreign policy establishment (which are of ten the same people). Add to this a crown of greedy and unprincipled chickenhawks (the Blob) who play the anti-Russian for their own advancement, obtaining lucrative positions and enrichment (Fiona Hill, Victoria Nuland and company) and you see the problem. \
Destruction of the UN attempted by the USA after the dissolution of the USSR is a really tragic event, which probably will backfire for the USA sooner of later
Notable quotes:
"... The Putin elite had earlier welcomed Trump's election, but in practice relations deteriorated further. The foreign policy establishment is deeply sceptical that the EU will be able to act with 'strategic autonomy'. Above all, Russo-Western relations have entered into a statecraft 'security dilemma': ..."
"... Currently, we are again faced with a situation in which mutual intentions are assessed by Washington and Moscow as subversive, while each side considers the statecraft employed by the other side as effective enough to achieve its malign goals. At the same time, each side is more sceptical about its own statecraft and appears (or pretends) to be scrambling to catch up (Troitskiy 2019 ). ..."
Jul 15, 2020 | springer.com
Abstract

Russia today is presented as out to subvert the West. The chosen means are meddling in elections and sowing discord in Western societies. Russia in this imaginary looms over an unsuspecting West, undermining democracy and supporting disruptive forces. No longer couched in terms of the Cold War struggle between capitalism and communism, this is a reversion to great power politics of the rawest sort. However, is this analysis correct? Is Vladimir Putin out to undermine the West to achieve his alleged goal of re-establishing some sort of post-Soviet 'greater Russia' imperial union in Russia's neighbourhood, to weaken the Atlantic power system and to undermine the liberal international order? The paper challenges the view that Russia is trying to reconstitute a Soviet-type challenge to the West, and provides an analytical framework to examine the dynamics of Russian foreign policy and on that basis assesses Russia's real rather than imaginary aspirations.

It has become orthodoxy that Russia under an embittered and alienated Vladimir Putin is out to subvert the West. The chosen means are taken to be meddling in elections and sowing discord in Western societies. The various special operations include propelling Donald J. Trump to the White House and fixing the Brexit vote in 2016 (Snyder 2018 ). Putin's Russia in this imaginary looms over an unsuspecting West, undermining democracy and supporting disruptive forces (Shekhovtsov 2017 ; Umland 2017 ). From this perspective, post-communist Russia is up to its old tricks, with the image of the Russian bear threatening the honour of a defenceless Europe dusted off from the Crimean War and the era of the great game in the late nineteenth century. No longer couched in terms of the Cold War struggle between capitalism and communism, this is a reversion to great power politics of the imperial sort. It also represents the application of the weapons of the weak, since Russia by any definition is but a shadow of the former Soviet Union, with less than half the population and an economy at most one-tenth the size of that of the USA. Is this analysis correct? Is Putin out to undermine the West to achieve his alleged goal of re-establishing some sort of post-Soviet union in Russia's neighbourhood and to weaken the Atlantic power system so that the liberal international order is eroded from within? In other words, is Russia today a revisionist power out to create a greater Russia?

Before attempting an answer we need to define our terms. What does it mean to be a revisionist power today, and how can a strategy designed to 'subvert' be analysed and measured? Some fundamental methodological problems render study of the question inherently difficult. How can revisionism and subversion be measured? How can the specific actors involved in such actions be identified and disaggregated? At what point do normal policy differences between states become an existential challenge to an existing order? The answer will take four forms, each of which further defines the question. First, an assessment of the charge of Russian subversion and the various approaches that can be used to examine the simple but endlessly complex question: is there a new quality to Russia actions that build on Soviet era 'active measures' to denigrate and ultimately to destroy an opponent. This requires an examination of the logic of Russian motives and policy-making, including examination of the structure of the international system and the dynamics of Russian international politics, which will be presented in the second section. Third, an assessment of some of the Kremlin's subversive behaviour in recent years, examined in the light of the earlier sections. Fourth, analysis of the character of Russia's challenge assesses whether Russia today really is an insurgent and revisionist power.

Active measures and the subversion of American democracy

Is Russia really out to subvert the West? Much of the American political establishment believe that this is the case. A comprehensive list of Russian sins is presented by Biden and Carpenter ( 2018 ), including tyranny at home, the violation of the sovereignty of neighbours, meddling in the affairs of countries on the road to NATO membership, 'soft subversion' through electoral interference in the USA and France, the manipulation of energy markets and the 'weaponisation' of corruption. In his warning not to overreact to the Chinese challenge, Zakaria ( 2020 , p. 64) notes that its actions, such as stealing military secrets and cyber-warfare, 'are attempts to preserve what China views as its sovereignty'. However, these actions are 'nothing like Moscow's systematic efforts to disrupt and delegitimize Western democracy in Canada, the United States and Europe'. Why do Russia's actions in his view fall into an entirely different category?

One answer is that it is a question of political culture. The study of Moscow Rules by Giles ( 2019a , p. 23) argues that Russia's 'instinctive rejection of cooperative solutions is reinforced by the belief that all great nations achieve security through the creation and assertion of raw power', and this in turn means that Russia believes 'that the insecurity of others makes Russia itself more secure', predicated 'on the dubious principle that there is only a finite amount of security in the world'. Elsewhere (Giles 2019b ) sums up the policy implications in ten key points, which together do not leave much room for diplomatic manoeuvre or even engagement with such a wily adversary who 'takes a very expansive view of what constitutes Russian territory'. Treating it as an equal by normalising relations, as during Barack Obama's reset, 'delivered entirely the wrong messages to Moscow' (Giles 2019a , p. 25). There can be no common ground with such an existential foe, and any substantive engagement smacks of appeasement.

A second perspective focuses on Russophobia, which builds on the political culture notion of some inalienable and ineradicable essence to Russian behaviour. The concept of Russophobia is often used to discount what may well be legitimate criticism of Kremlin policies, but it nevertheless accurately conveys an approach that denigrates not only Russia's leaders but the people as a whole (Mettan 2017 ; Tsygankov 2009 ). In an interview in May 2017 former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper argued that Russians 'are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favour, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique' (Koenig 2017 ). The work of Smith ( 2019 ) complements that of Foglesong ( 2007 ) on long-standing American anxieties about Russia. Smith argues that recurrent bouts of Russophobia are prompted by what he calls the 'Russia anxiety', a long-term pattern of thinking and sentiments about Russia that alternate between fear, contempt and disregard for the country. The cycle began in the sixteenth century when Russia joined the nascent European international society. Anxiety that Russia threatens Western civilisation was accompanied by various versions of 'fake history', as in the publication in nineteenth-century France of Russia's 14-point plan for world domination -- the Testament of Peter the Great. This forgery is just one example of what Smith calls the 'black legend' of Russian history: the idea that aggression, expansionism and authoritarianism are inherent features of Russia's national character. Smith aims to demonstrate that Russia is far from exceptional, and instead its behaviour is predictable and in conformity with traditional patterns of a country defending its national interests, or as Zakaria argues with reference to China, its sovereignty. The major exception was the Soviet period, but this in many ways ran against Russia's national identity and represented an imposition based on chance and contingency. In his view, Russia today is doing no more than any other state, and its external actions are no more egregiously malevolent than any other.

A third approach looks at Soviet legacies and systemic characteristics. From this perspective, Russia has undergone an 'unfinished revolution' (McFaul 2001 ), allowing the Soviet era anti-Western and anti-democratic forces to regroup after the fall of communism. This particularly concerns the so-called siloviki (the security apparatus and its acolytes), as well as the transformed Soviet apparatchiks who became the core of Putin's model of statist oligarchic capitalism. This 'crony capitalism' spreads its subversion by abusing Western legal and financial institutions for their own malign purposes (Belton 2020 ; Dawisha 2014 ). Despite the change of regime and the end of old-style ideological confrontation, the Soviet system in certain fundamental respects has reproduced itself. This is why the repertoire of tactics is sometimes described as a continuation of Soviet era 'active measures' ( aktivnye meropriyatiya ) (Rid 2020 ). These are designed to undermine 'support in the United States and overseas for policies viewed as threatening to Moscow, discrediting US intelligence and law enforcement agencies, weakening US alliances and US relations with partners, and increasing Soviet power and influence across the globe' (Jones 2019 , p. 2). The term is now used indiscriminately to encompass disinformation and cyber activities as elements of a sustained strategy undertaken by the Soviet and now the Russian security services to undermine an enemy by exploiting divisions and the vulnerabilities of competitive and open democratic societies.

The Communist International (Comintern) was established in March 1919 to spread the revolution globally and prompted the Palmer raids in November of that year in the USA as part of the first Red Scare. During the Cold War there were plenty of times when Moscow tried to influence US politics (Haslam 2012 ). In 1948 the Soviet Union backed the Progressive Party's Henry Wallace, who had been Franklin D. Roosevelt's vice president but split with the Democratic Party over President Harry Truman's hawkish Cold War stance. In 1964 Soviet and Czechoslovak agencies smeared the Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater, as a racist and Ku Klux Klan supporter. In 1968 the Soviet Union offered an unprecedented level of support for the Democratic candidate, Hubert Humphrey, including financial aid (which naturally was refused). In 1976 the KGB adopted 'active measures' against Democratic Senator Henry 'Scoop' Jackson, a virulent anti-Soviet hawk. In 1980 and again in 1984 it appears that Senator Edward Kennedy sought Soviet support for his presidential campaign (Kengor 2018 ). In 1983 KGB agents were instructed to help defeat Reagan in his bid for re-election. The Soviet goals outlined above hold to this day in conditions of renewed Cold War, and this is why the term has regained currency (Abrams 2016 ). This is understandable, given the long history of Cold War conflict and renewed confrontation.

What is striking, however, is that most Soviet actions were inept and remarkably ineffective (Robinson 2019 ). We can also add that today such actions are also intensely counterproductive, arousing the hostility of the authorities against which they are directed and discrediting what may be legitimate policy differences with these countries. Political opponents are tarred with the brush of 'collusion' with an external enemy, as was the case during the second Red Scare in the post-war years overseen by Senator Joseph McCarthy. This is also the case, as we shall discuss below, in the 'Russiagate' collusion allegations, asserting that Trump worked with Moscow in 2016 to get himself elected (Sakwa 2021 ). The question then becomes: why does Russia do it? Is it part of a single and coordinated strategy of subversion using covert means, reflecting an overarching doctrine?

This is where the fourth approach, the ideational, comes in. From this perspective, the struggle between communism and capitalism has given way to the conflict between democracies and autocracies, with the latter developing a repertoire of techniques to keep democracy at bay (Hall and Ambrosio 2017 ). Each tries to subvert the other using a range of instruments, while advancing soft power agendas (Sherr 2013 ). Since at least 2004 Russia has been concerned with preventing what it calls 'colour revolutions', in which civil society is mobilised by Western agencies to achieve regime change (Horvath 2011 , 2013 ). This was the issue addressed by Valerii Gerasimov ( 2013 ), the Chief of the Russian General Staff, in his landmark article. The lesson of the Arab spring, he argued, was that the rules of war had changed. Viable states could quickly descend into armed conflict and become victims of foreign intervention and sink into an abyss of state collapse, civil conflict and humanitarian catastrophe. The article was a response to what was perceived to be new forms of Western 'hybrid warfare'. He noted that 'Frontal engagements of large formations of forces at the strategic and operational level are gradually becoming a thing of the past. Long-distance, contactless actions against the enemy are becoming the main means of achieving combat and operational goals'. He identified eight features of modern hybrid warfare that were applied to subvert states and to gain control of territory without resorting to conventional arms. Regime change could be achieved by the use of civil methods such as propaganda, funding and training of protest groups, and information campaigns aimed at discrediting the opponent. He stressed that the 'very rules of war have changed', arguing that non-military means such as the 'use of political, economic and informational, humanitarian, and other non-military measures -- applied in coordination with the protest potential of the population', can exceed 'the power of force of weapons in their effectiveness, and 'that the open use of forces -- often under the guise of peace-keeping and crisis regulation -- is resorted to only at a certain stage, primarily for the achievement of final success in the conflict'.

Gerasimov discounted the element of popular protest against corrupt and authoritarian systems in the Middle East, North Africa and post-Soviet Eurasia and instead framed these events as part of the radicalised West's regime change strategies. Following the Russian actions in Crimea and the Donbas in 2014, the term 'hybrid warfare' was applied to Russia's use of mixed methods (propaganda, disinformation, information warfare and special forces) to achieve what came to be known as a 'nonlinear' military operations (Fridman 2018 ). What Gerasimov had identified as the Western strategy against Russia was now interpreted as the blueprint for the Kremlin's attempts to destabilise its neighbours and Western democracies.

As for motivation, this is where a fifth approach comes in, focusing on questions of identity and Russia's search for status in a competitive international environment. From this perspective, the idealism of Mikhail Gorbachev's 'new political thinking' in international relations in the late 1980s 'offered a global mission that would enhance Soviet international status while preserving a distinctive national identity'. In this way, the Soviet Union could forge a 'shortcut to greatness' by winning great power status not through economic might and military power but through normative innovation and the transformation of international politics (Larson and Shevchenko 2003 ). This instrumental view of ideational innovation is challenged by English ( 2000 ), who stresses the long-term maturation of an intellectual revolution in Soviet thinking, which then carried over into Russian debates. As we shall see, there are many layers to Russia's foreign policy identity, although there is a clear evolution away from an initial enthusiasm for all things European and alignment with the West towards the stronger articulation of a great power version of Russian national interests. These great power aspirations have been interpreted as a type of aspirational constructivism directed towards the identity needs of domestic audiences rather than the expression of an aggressive policy towards the historic West (Clunan 2009 ). Status issues are important (Krickovic and Weber 2018 ), but they have to be understood as part of a larger ensemble of motivations within the structure of international relations.

The final approach focuses on the structural characteristics of international politics, whose specific post-Cold War manifestation will be examined below. Briefly put, defensive neorealism argues that in an anarchic international environment states typically seek to preserve the status quo to maintain their security by preserving the balance of power (Waltz 1979 , p. 121). Offensive realists focus on the maintenance of hegemony in the international system and the struggle to prevent usurpation (Mearsheimer 2001 , p. 21). Revisionism assumes that the balance of power does not adequately guarantee a state's security, hence it seeks to change the balance of power; or that is assumes that the balance of power has changed enough to mount a challenge to the status quo. In Russia's case, classical neorealism of either type would accept regional hegemony, with offshore balancing an adequate mechanism to ensure that it did not mount a global challenge. However, the liberal internationalism that predominated after 1989 makes no provision for regional hegemony of any sort, hence Russia was unable to exert the sort of influence to which it felt entitled, and hence its revisionist challenge was manifested in attacks on Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. This, at least, is the liberal structural perspective, and even the defensive realist position has guarded against any reassertion of Russia's great power ambitions, hence the concern to ensure that Ukraine was distanced as far as possible from any putative Russian 'sphere of influence' (Brzezinski 1994 , 1997 ).

How are we to adjudicate between these six different presentations of Russian interests and concerns? What is the standard against which we can measure the dynamics of Russian identity formation and foreign policy? Is Putin really trying to create a 'greater Russia' by not only challenging the established powers but also by waging a covert war to shape electoral outcomes while destroying the foundations of democracy itself? Undoubtedly, certain Cold War practices of propaganda and covert influence campaigns have been revived, while some (such as deep espionage operations) never stopped, accompanied now by 'black cash' flows (untraceable and illicit payments) to sympathetic movements, cyber-enhanced intelligence operations and outright cyber-warfare. Some of this predates the Cold War and is part of traditional statecraft, some is part of revived Cold War confrontation, while some is new and takes advantage of developing social media and communication technologies. Together they reflect the logic of conflict stopping short of kinetic military action.

Post-Cold War reconstruction of the West and the international system

What is the character of the conflict? We argue here that this is a structural feature of post-Cold War international politics. Two very different and incommensurate models of post-Cold War order were advanced after 1989 (Sakwa 2017a , pp. 12–19). The logic of expansion made perfect sense from the perspective of what came to be seen as the 'victors' at the end of the Cold War. The long-term adversary had not only renounced the ideology in whose name the struggle against capitalist democracy had been waged, but the country itself disintegrated. This really did look like 'the end of history', with no sustained ideological alternative to capitalist modernity on offer. From the first, the logic of expansion was opposed by Russia, the continuer state to the Soviet Union. From Moscow's perspective, the end of the Cold War was a mutual victory -- the triumph of the new political thinking that had matured in various academic institutes and think tanks (Bisley 2004 ; English 2000 ). This is why the logic of expansion was countered by the logic of transformation , the view that the end of the Cold War offered a unique opportunity to move beyond ideological confrontation between and within states. The idea of revolutionary socialism and class war would give way to a politics of reconciliation and all-class development. This is more than a 'shortcut to greatness' or a strategy for status advancement (although it is both of these), but a proposal for a structural transformation of the conduct of international politics. This demand lies at the base of normative developments in international law over the last century as well as in various peace and environmental movements today. There are plenty of credible realist arguments to dismiss such transformative approaches as hopelessly idealistic, but repeated financial and pathogenic shocks and the enduring threats of environmental catastrophe and nuclear annihilation provide the continuing impulse for transformative thinking (Lieven 2020 ).

This relates to a key point at the heart of Russian post-communist self-identity -- the ambition to join not the West as it exists within the accustomed binaries but a transformed West where Cold War antagonisms are structurally transcended. After 1989 the stated Russian ambition was to join the political West as it existed at the time, defined as the embodiment of the democratic ideal, the rule of law, defensible property rights, and above all the realm of freedom and independent associational life. However, because of the way that the political West evolved during the Cold War, when the larger political civilisation, termed after the Cold War the liberal international order, melded with the Atlantic power system, for a large part (but not all) of the Russia elite this became impossible. The power system at the heart of the liberal normative order endows US power with a unique character. The hegemonic aspect provided a range of international public goods, including the framework for economic globalisation. However, this was accompanied by the practices of primacy, which we can credibly describe as dominion, an ascendancy that has spawned a vast literature describing the USA as an empire (indicatively, Bacevich 2003 ; Johnson 2002 ; Mann 2005 ).

Russian leaders from Gorbachev to Putin insisted that the Cold War West -- what in Russian parlance became known as the 'historic West' -- would have to change with the end of the Cold War to become a 'greater West'. This was effectively the condition for Russia to join the expanded community, but in the end it turned out impossible for both sides to make the necessary adjustments. The greater West would not have to repudiate hegemony -- that was too much even for a demandeur state such as Russia to ask -- but Moscow's leaders did seek a change in the terms of dominion through the creation of what it insisted should be a mutually inclusive security order. Hegemony was to a degree acceptable as long as it was constrained by the system of international law grounded in the post-1945 international system, represented above all by the United Nations. Russian neo-revisionism challenges dominance in its various manifestations (empire, primacy, exceptionalism or greatness), but can live with constrained hegemony.

In sum, the fundamental post-Cold War process in the Russian view was to be mutual transformation , whereas the Western view envisaged a straightforward process of enlargement . In the context in which the main antagonist had itself repudiated the ideology on which it had based its opposition to the historical West since 1917, and which in 1991 disintegrated as a state, the Atlanticist pursuit of expansion and its accompanying logic of dominion was understandable (Wohlforth and Zubok 2017 ). Victory in the Cold War and the disintegration of the historic enemy (the Soviet Union) not only inhibited transformative processes in the historic West but in the absence of a counter-ideology or an opposing power system, encouraged the radicalisation of its key features (Sakwa 2018a ). The original liberal world order after 1945 developed as one of the major pillars (the Soviet Union was the other) within a bipolar system and was initially a relatively modest affair, based on the UN Charter defending the territorial integrity of states (although also committed to anti-colonial national self-determination), multilateral institutions, open markets that was later formulated as the 'four freedoms' of labour, capital, goods and services, accompanied by a prohibition on the use of force except in self-defence. After 1989 the liberal world order, as the only surviving system with genuinely universal aspirations, assumed more ambitious characteristics, including a radical version of globalisation, democracy promotion and regime change.

The framing of the 'historic West' against a putative 'greater West' repeats the recurring Russian cultural trope of contrasting 'good' and 'bad' Europes or Wests, 'with which Russians can seek to make common cause in domestic power struggles' (Hahn 2020 ; see also Neumann 2016 ). As the historic West radicalised, it also enlarged. On the global scale its normative system, the liberal international order, made universalist claims, while its power system (dominion) in Europe brought NATO to Russia's western borders and drove the European Union deep into what had traditionally been Russia's economic and cultural sphere. This would be disruptive in the best of circumstances, but when it became part of the expansion of an Atlantic power system accompanied by the universalising practices of the liberal international order, it provoked a confrontation over Ukraine and the onset of a renewed period of confrontation that some call a New Cold War (Legvold 2016 ; Mastanduno 2019 ; Monaghan 2015 ). In the absence of ideational or institutional modification, let alone innovation, after 1989, there was 'no place for Russia' (Hill 2018 , p. 8 and passim ) in this new order.

Does this mean that Russia has become a revisionist power, out to destroy the historic West? Russia's ambition has in fact been rather different, but in the end no less challenging: to change the practices of the power system at the core of the historic West. Once mutual transformation was no longer an option and the idea of a greater West receded (although it remains a residual feature of Russian thinking), Russia turned to neo-revisionism, a rather more modest ambition to change practices rather than systems (Sakwa 2019 ). This was the culmination of an extended thirty-year period of experimentation. Contrary to the view of the Russian power system as some immutable and unchangeable malign force (Lucas 2008 , 2013 ), the first and second models outlined above, foreign policy and more broadly Russia's engagement with the historic West since the end of the Cold War has evolved through four distinct periods. Periodisation is an important heuristic device and in methodological terms repudiates the view that there is some enduring essence to Russian foreign policy behaviour, with 'active measures' seamlessly transferred from the Soviet Union to post-communist Russia. It is important to note that the periodisation outlined here is layered . In other words, each phase does not simply give way to the next, but builds on and incorporates the earlier one, while changing the emphasis and introducing new elements.

The first period in the early 1990s was characterised by an enthusiastic Westernism and embrace of liberal Atlanticism (Kozyrev 2019 ). In conditions of catastrophic social and economic conditions at home and assertions of US hegemony and dominion abroad (although exercised rather reluctantly in Bosnia and elsewhere at this time), this gave way to a more assertive neo-Soviet era of competitive coexistence, masterminded by the foreign minister from January 1996, Yevgeny Primakov, who between September 1998 and May 1999 was prime minister. His assertion of multipolarity, alignment with India and China (the beginning of the RIC's grouping) and foreign policy activism received a harsh rebuff in the NATO bombing of Serbia from March 1999. Putin came to power in 2000 in the belief that the two earlier strategies were excessive in different directions, and through his policy of 'new realism' tried to find a middle way between acquiescence and assertion. Gorbachev-era ideas of 'normality' were revived, and Putin insisted that Russia would be a 'normal' great power, seeking neither favours from the West nor a privileged position for itself (Sakwa 2008 ). This strategy of positive engagement was thrown off course by the expansive dynamic of the Atlantic power system, including the war in Iraq in 2003, NATO enlargement and the Libyan crisis of 2011. As for Russia, the commodities boom of the 2000s fuelled an unprecedented period of economic growth, accompanied by remarkably successful reforms that transformed the Russian armed forces (Renz 2018 ). These fed ideas of Russian resurgence and appeared to provide the material base for a more assertive politics of resistance.

When Putin returned to the Kremlin in May 2012 the new realism gave way to the fourth phase of post-communist Russian foreign policy, the strategy of neo-revisionism. Already in his infamous Munich speech in February 2007, Putin ( 2007 ) objected to the behaviour of the US-led Atlantic power system, but in substance the fundamentals of the new realist strategy continued. Now, however, neo-revisionism challenged the universal claims of the US-led liberal international order and resisted the advance of the Atlantic power system by intensifying alternative integration projects in Eurasia and accelerating the long-term 'pivot to Asia'. By now Moscow was convinced that the normative hegemonic claims of the liberal international order were only the velvet manifestation of the iron fist of American dominion at its core. Russia, and its increasingly close Chinese partner, stressed the autonomy of international governance institutions, insisting that they were not synonymous with the universal claims of the liberal international order. This, in essence, is the fundamental principle of neo-revisionism: a defence of sovereign internationalism and the autonomy of the international system bequeathed by the Yalta and Potsdam conferences of 1945. This is accompanied by a rejection of the disciplinary practices of the US-led hegemonic constellation, including democracy promotion, regime change, humanitarian intervention and nation building (what Gerasimov identified as Western hybrid warfare) (Cunliffe 2020 ). In effect, this means a rejection of the practices of US-led international order, but not of the system in which it operates.

Putin defends a model of conservative (or sovereign) internationalism that maps on to a ternary understanding of the international system. On the top floor are the multilateral institutions of global governance, above all the UN (in which Russia has a privileged position as permanent member (P5) of the Security Council); on the middle floor states compete and global orders (like the US-led liberal international order) seek to impose their hegemony; while on the ground floor civil society groups and civil associations try to shape the cultural landscape of politics (such as groups trying to push responses to the climate catastrophe and nuclear threats up the global agenda). Putin and his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, condemn the liberal order for not living up to its own standards. As Lavrov ( 2019 ) argued, 'How do you reconcile the imperative of defending human rights with the bombardment of sovereign states, and the deliberate effort to destroy their statehood, which leads to the death of hundreds of thousands of people?'.

This is the neo-revisionist framework, which exposes the gulf between hegemonic principles and practices of dominion. It is revisionist to the degree that it repudiates the application of US dominion to itself, but is willing to work with that hegemony on major international issues as long as Russia's status as an autonomous diplomatic interlocutor is recognised (Lo 2015 ). Neo-revisionism is the natural culmination of a policy stance torn by two contradictory positions. The revisionist impulse seeks to reassert Russia into an international system in which great power diplomacy after the end of the Cold War in 1989 had given way to a hegemonic universalism that by definition repudiated the traditional instruments of great power diplomacy, such as spheres of influence, great power summitry and grand bargains. On the other side, Russia remains a conservative status quo power intent on maintaining the post-1945 international system, which grants it the supreme privilege of P5 membership as well as providing a benign framework to advance its model of sovereign internationalism. This is a model of world order favoured by China, India and many other states, wary not so much of the hegemonic implications of the liberal international order but of the power hierarchy associated with the practices of dominion. This is the framework in which Russia (and China) can engage in globalisation but repudiate the universalist ambitions of the power system with which it is associated.

With the USA under Trump withdrawing from multilateral commitments to focus on bolstering its ascendancy in the world of states (the second level), Russia (and China) inevitably stood up in defence of multilateralism, in which they have such a major stake. This is far from a revisionist position, and instead neo-revisionism defends the present international system but critiques the historical claim of the liberal international order to be identical with the multilateral order itself (Sakwa 2017a ). Of course, the US-led liberal order has indelibly marked international society, but this does not entail a proprietary relationship to that society (Dunne and Reut-Smith ( 2017 ). Russia emerges as the defender of the international system as it is presently constituted, but at the same time advances an alternative (non-hierarchical) idea of how it should operate. On occasion this may entail revisionist acts, such as the annexation of Crimea, which from Moscow's perspective was a defensive reaction to a Western-supported putsch against the legitimate authorities in Kiev (Treisman 2016 ), but they are not part of a consistent revisionist strategy. Both at home and abroad Russia is a status quo power. Putin railed against the West's perceived revisionism in both aspects, but the main point of resistance is the element of dominion at the heart of the Atlantic power system. In both respects there is no evidence that Russia seeks to destroy the international system as presently constituted.

This structural interpretation, in which incompatible models of international politics contest, is overwhelmingly rejected by the partisans of what can be called post-Cold War monism. From this perspective, there is only one viable order, the one generated by the USA and its allies. There can be pluralism within that order, but not between orders. This monist perspective is challenged by some recent international relations literature (Acharya 2017 ; Flockhart 2016 ) and of course by states defending a more pluralist understanding of the international system (for example, English School approaches, Buzan 2014 ). In practical terms the monist imperative, when couched in liberal order terms but rather less so when applied in the language of Trumpian 'greatness', renders Russia the structural equivalent of the Soviet Union, or even the dreaded image of Tsarist Russia.

This leads to a fundamental category error. Russia is not a 'revolutionary power' in the sense defined by Henry Kissinger ( 2013 , p 2), a country that can never be reassured of its security and consequently seeks absolute security at the expense of others. Napoleonic France or Hitlerite Germany were determined to overthrow the international systems of their times to create one more suited to their needs.

Russia today is a conservative power, alarmed by the way that the international system that it had helped create at the end of the Second World War became radicalised after the end of the Cold War. Critics argue that this radicalised version of liberal hegemony was 'bound to fail', since its ambitions were so expansive as to classify as delusional, and which in the end provoked domestic and external resistance (Mearsheimer 2018 , 2019 ). Russia's neo-revisionism after 2012 sought to defend the autonomy of the multilateralism inaugurated by the victorious powers after 1945 and was ready to embrace the 'hegemonic' goals of the liberal order as presented in the Cold War years, but came to fear the revisionism implicit in the 'exceptionalist' ideology of the post-Cold War version of the liberal order, especially when it was accompanied by what was perceived as the aggressive expansion of the dominion of the unipolar Atlantic power system.

The Kremlin and subversion

In the context of the distinction between the hegemony of the liberal international order and the dominion of the Atlantic power system, both Russia and China reaffirm their commitment to the normative principles underlying the international system as it developed after the Second World War. These include the primacy of state sovereignty, territorial integrity, the significance of international law and the centrality of the United Nations (Wilson 2019 ). However, both are challenger powers in two respects: first, in questioning the assertive universalism that was radicalised at the end of the Cold War, including various practices of humanitarian intervention and democracy promotion, accompanied by regime change strategies; and second, dissatisfaction with the existing distribution of power in the international system, hence challenge American primacy and hegemonic practices. This combination of commitment to the international system but challenges to the pre-eminence of a particular order in that system is what renders the two states neo-revisionist rather than outright revisionist powers. To label them as such is a category error, with grave and dangerous policy consequences.

This error has now become enshrined doctrinally. The US National Security Strategy ( 2015 ) already warned that Washington 'will continue to impose significant costs on Russia through sanctions' and would 'deter Russian aggression'. Trump's proclaimed intention of improving relations with Russia provoked a storm of hostility in which Republican neo-conservatives and Democrat liberal internationalists united to stymie moves in that direction. This is why the US National Security Strategy ( 2017 , p. 25), at the end of Trump's first year in power, warned against the 'revisionist powers of China and Russia', ranked alongside the 'rogue powers of Iran and North Korea' and the 'transnational threat organisations, particularly jihadist groups'. The National Defense Strategy ( 2018 , p. 2) also identified Russia and China as revisionist states, seeking 'to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model -- gaining veto authority over other nation's economic, diplomatic and security decisions'. The emergence of challengers undoubtedly came as a shock for a power and normative system that had enjoyed largely unquestioned pre-eminence. Responses to that shock range from intensified neo-conservative militarism, democratic internationalist intensification of ideological struggle to delegitimise Russia's aspirations, as well as an increasingly vocal 'realist' call for a return to the diplomatic practices of pre-Cold War sovereign internationalism.

The first two responses make common cause against Russia's perceived revisionist challenge and have mobilised a network of think tanks and strategies against Russia's instruments of subversion. The far from exhaustive list presented here indicates the scope of Moscow's armoury of subversion, as well as the methodological and practical problems in assessing their scale, motivation and effect. The first is support for insurgent populist movements in the West. Russia rides the wave of populist and nationalist insurgency, but it does not mean either that Russia is the main instigator or beneficiary. The Russian leadership has long complained about the 'hermetic' character of the Atlantic power system and thus welcomes the breach in the impregnable walls of rectitude created from within by the various national populisms of left and right. In other words, Moscow perceives national populist insurgency as a struggle for ideational pluralism within the liberal international order, but above all as allies in the struggle for geostrategic pluralism against the monism of the Atlantic power system. Russia supports some of these movements, but not to the extent of jeopardising the existing structures of the international system. Once again, the tempered challenge of neo-revisionism predominates over the insurrectionary behaviour that would characterise a genuinely revisionist power.

The Alliance for Securing Democracy identified at least 60 instances of Russia funding political campaigns beyond its borders, although many of the cases are circumstantial (Foer 2020 ). In his notorious interview with the Financial Times on the eve of the Osaka G20 summit in June 2019, Putin asserted that 'the liberal idea' has 'outlived its purpose' as publics turned against immigration, open borders and multiculturalism, but he immediately brought in the structural context: '[Liberals] cannot simply dictate anything to anyone just like they have been attempting to do over recent decades' (Barber and Foy 2019 , p. 1). The Kremlin has gone out of its way to identify with right wing (and occasionally left wing) 'populists' who argue for a revision of the EU's relations with Russia, including a dismantling of the sanctions regime. Thus, in the 2017 French presidential election Putin welcomed the head of National Rally (formerly the Front National) Marine Le Pen to Moscow, a move that still attracts widespread condemnation in France. Earlier, a Russian bank had made a €9.4 million loan to her party. Even this needs to be seen in context. Putin's favoured candidate in the 2017 French presidential election was not Le Pen but the more conventional social conservative François Fillon. When the latter's campaign as the nominee of the traditional Gaullist party imploded, Moscow was left bereft of a mainstream candidate calling for a revision of the post-Cold War dominion strategy. As for the funding for Le Pen, the loan was called in prematurely, and the bank was closed down as part of the Central Bank of Russia's attempt to clean up the financial sector.

As for Italy, the leader of the Lega (formerly Lega Nord) party, Matteo Salvini, was one of the strongest advocates of resetting relations with Russia as he entered government following the March 2018 elections as part of the coalition with the Five Star Movement. The relationship was no more than a 'marriage of convenience', with Moscow only engaged to the extent that it could advance the goal of weakening the EU's sanctions regime (Makarychev and Terry 2020 ). In a subsequent scandal, one of Salvini's closest associates and the president of Lombardy Russia, Gianluca Savoini, was taped talking in the Metropol Hotel in Moscow about an illicit scheme to funnel funds through oil sales to support the League's electoral campaigns (Nardelli 2019 ).

On his visit to the Vatican in July 2019 Putin met with the national populists, or otherwise put, the geopolitical revisionists. This was his third meeting with Pope Francis, and Putin sounded more Catholic than the Pope: 'Sometimes I get the feeling that these liberal circles are beginning to use certain elements and problems of the Catholic Church as a tool for destroying the Church itself' (Horowitz 2019 ).

The substantive issue remains. National populists in the West repudiate much of the social liberalism that has now become mainstream, but most also reject the geopolitical orthodoxy that in their view has provoked the Second Cold War with Russia. On that basis there is clearly common cause between the populist insurgency in Europe and the Kremlin. For defenders of the liberal order, this commonality turns the populists into a Moscow-inspired fifth column. The old division between capitalist democracy and communism after the Cold War has given way to a new binary, between liberal democracy and authoritarianism. The fundamental divide shifts on to new ground, which can variously be seen as one between patriotism and cosmopolitanism, which is a variant of the tension between revived nationalist movements opposed to the erosion of state efficacy by neoliberalism within the framework of globalisation. Many share concerns about the influx of refugees and fear even greater flows of migrants in the future, which in their view will erode the civic and cultural bonds of Western societies. National populists challenge cosmopolitan liberalism (Eatwell and Goodwin 2018 ) and thus align with the cultural conservatism that characterises the neo-revisionist period in Russian foreign policy (Robinson 2017 ). In this new political spectrum, Russia emerges as an ally of the patriots and the anti-globalisers and is condemned for funding and variously supporting the anti-liberal insurgency in the West. Whole institutes (such as the Political Capital Institute in Hungary headed by Péter Krekó and the Henry Jackson Society in London) are devoted to exposing these links and the various alleged illicit cash flows and networks. There are certainly plenty of lurid tales and examples of European politicians who have been supported by factions in Russia without being transparent about these links.

However, the common anti-liberal platform with Moscow is only part of the story. The geopolitical factor is no less important, with both left and right populists rejecting elements of US dominion in the Atlantic security system, and question the wisdom of the inexorable drive to the East that inevitably alienates Russia. Here they make common cause with international relations realists as well as pragmatists like George Kennan, who in 1998 warned of the deleterious effects on European security of Moscow's inevitable response to NATO enlargement (Friedman 1998 ). Today these groups are in the vanguard in calling for an end to the sanctions regime, which in their view misses the point -- that Russia's actions in Ukraine and elsewhere after 2014 was a response to the provocative actions of the Atlantic power system in the first place. In other words, anti-liberalism is only one dimension of the putative alliance between national populism in Europe and Moscow. Geopolitical revisionism is perhaps the most important one, and thus national populist movements incur the wrath of the national security establishments. In the UK this led to the creation of the Integrity Initiative and its various European and American affiliates, sponsored by the shadowy so-called Institute of Statecraft, funded by the British state.

There is a third dimension -- in addition to geopolitical revisionism and anti-cosmopolitanism -- in the putative alignment of national populism with Moscow, and that is the question of pluralism. Post-Cold War liberalism entered a paradoxical turn that in the end forswore the fundamental principles on which it is based -- tolerance and pluralism (Horsfield 2017 ). In a situation where the liberal idea faced no serious domestic or geopolitical opposition, it became radicalised and thus eroded its own values. The US-led liberal international order, as suggested above, posed as synonymous with order itself. There could be no legitimate outside to its own expansive ambitions. The counterpart to universalism is monism, which eroded the coherence of liberalism in domestic and foreign policy (Sakwa 2017b , 2018b ). This helps explain why relations with the EU deteriorated so drastically after 2004.

The influx of East European countries accentuated monism by embracing the security guarantees offered by American dominion. Extreme partisans of this view have little time for the hegemonic normative agenda and view the EU as just part of the Atlantic alliance system, and not necessarily the most important one. They radically repudiate Gorbachevian ideas about a common European home or a greater Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok and condemn those who suggest rapprochement with Moscow as 'Trojan horses' (Orenstein and Keleman 2017 ), the name of a series of Atlantic Council reports exposing Russian contacts in the West. For them, security guarantees from Washington are the priority. Thus, pan-continental ideas gave way to an intensified Atlanticism, and dominion prevailed over hegemony. One manifestation of this was the Polish-inspired Eastern Partnership, which in the end became an instrument for the expansion of the EU's geopolitical influence in its neighbourhood, provoking the Ukraine crisis in 2014 (Mearsheimer 2014 ). The European Neighbourhood Policy thereafter became more differentiated and thus accepted the pluralism that it had earlier been in danger of repudiating.

In short, geopolitical revisionist forces are at play in Europe and the USA, and Russian neo-revisionism makes common cause with them to the degree that they offer more pluralist perspectives on international politics and challenge the monist dominion of the Atlantic power system, but the degree to which Moscow supports let alone sponsors this challenge to the post-Cold War order is questionable. This links to a second form of Russian subversion, namely collusion with anti-establishment figures. The most spectacular case of this is the charge that Moscow colluded with Trump to steal the 2016 presidential election.

After nearly two years of work, in March 2019 the Robert Mueller Special Counsel Report into Russiagate boldly asserted that 'The Russian government interfered in the 2016 election in sweeping and systematic fashion' (Mueller 2019 , Vol. 1, p. 1). However, it then rather lamely conceded that 'the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities' (Mueller 2019 , Vol. 1, pp. 5 and 173). Once again reinforcing the geopolitical concerns underlying charges of Russian subversion, the instigators of Russiagate became the heart of the 'resistance' to the president. Alongside credible concerns about his impact on American democratic institutions, they also opposed the rapprochement with Russia that Trump had proclaimed as one of his campaign goals.

In his major foreign policy speech delivered at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington on 27 April 2016, Trump argued that 'I believe an easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia -- from a position of strength -- is possible. Common sense says this cycle of hostility must end. Some say the Russians won't be reasonable. I intend to find out'. Trump promised that America would get 'out of the nation-building business and instead [focus] on creating stability in the world' (Transcript 2016 ). This represented a radical rethinking of foreign policy priorities, and although some of the themes had sounded before, together they challenged the foundations of the post-Cold War international order. They also suited Russia, since the expansive Atlantic system had increasingly become a matter of concern in the Kremlin. This geopolitical coincidence of interests intersected with domestic US political conflicts to create Russiagate, which stymied putative moves towards a new détente.

The third subversive strategy imputed to Russia is cyber-warfare in various forms. There are plenty of cases of Russian hacking, including the attack on the German parliament in 2015, which the German chancellor Angela Merkel condemned as 'outrageous', noting that it impeded her attempts 'to have a better relationship with Russia' (Bennhold 2020 ). She had been equally outraged when she discovered that her office had been bugged by the NSA. In France, 2 days before the second-round presidential vote on 7 May 2017 20,000 campaign emails from the Emmanuel Macron campaign were uploaded to Pastebin, a file-sharing site, and then posted on 4chan, an anonymous message board. The Macron team denounced Russia for a 'high level attack', but even the Atlantic Council reported that the relevant French security agency 'declared that no conclusive evidence pointed to Russian groups', and 'that the simplicity of the attacks pointed toward an actor with lower capabilities' (Galante and Ee 2018 , p. 12). The regulation of hostile cyber activity is crucial, especially when accurate attribution is so difficult and 'false flag' attacks so easy.

This applies to the key Russiagate charge that Russian military intelligence (the GRU) 'hacked' into the server of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Campaign Congressional Committee (DCCC) and released embarrassing materials to WikiLeaks, the web-based investigative site founded by Julian Assange in 2006. The publication of the emails was allegedly coordinated in some way with the Trump team. The material revealed that the DNC opposed the campaign of the independent left-leaning senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, to ensure Clinton's nomination. The hackers also gained access to the emails of Clinton's campaign director, John Podesta, following a successful spearphishing email sent on 19 March 2016. The 50,000 Podesta emails exposed Clinton's ties with Wall Street bankers, high speaking fees and apparent hypocrisy in condemning privilege while enjoying its benefits. The Russian hackers undoubtedly sought to mine political intelligence, but whether they intended specifically to help Trump is more questionable. The Mueller report detailed the specific GRU cyber-warfare units which hacked the Clinton campaign and the DNC and then released the emails through Russian-sponsored cut-outs, Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks, as well as WikiLeaks. These were 'designed and timed to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election and undermine the Clinton Campaign' (Mueller 2019 , Vol. 1, p. 36).

Strikingly, the FBI or Mueller never conducted forensic examinations of their own and instead relied on CrowdStrike, a private contractor hired by the Democrats to examine their servers. The material was then published, according to the report, through DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, 'fictitious online personas' created by the GRU, and later through WikiLeaks. Mueller argues that Guccifer 2.0 was the source of the emails and that he was a persona managed by Russian operators (Mueller 2019 , Vol. 1, p. 47). Mueller alleges that Assange worked for or conspired with Russian agencies, but Assange states unequivocally that the Russian government was not the source of the emails, and (surprisingly), he was never questioned by Mueller. The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) group argues that the DNC emails were physically downloaded and then transferred (by unknown persons) to WikiLeaks rather than being extruded via an electronic download (Binney and McGovern 2017 ). In Congressional testimony in December 2017 CrowdStrike president Shawn Henry ( 2017 ) admitted that he could not confirm that material had actually been exfiltrated from the DNC servers.

The fourth major subversive strategy is disinformation as well as media manipulation. The Internet Research Agency (IRA) based in St Petersburg deployed sock puppet accounts (trolls) and their automated versions (bots) to influence public debate by sharing accounts and voicing divisive opinions. These allegedly shaped voter preferences and depressed turnout among some key constituencies, above all people of colour, in the 2016 US election. The US Intelligence Community Assessment ( 2017 , p. 1) on 6 January 2017 accused Russia of trying to undermine American democracy and charged with 'high confidence' that Putin personally ordered 'an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency'. The ICA was issued in the name of 17 intelligence agencies, although later it became clear that it had been prepared by a 'hand-picked' group selected by Office of the DNI head, James Clapper (Full Transcript 2017 ). The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence ( 2020 , Vol. 4, p. 6) in April 2020 issued its fourth report in its Russia investigation arguing that 'the ICA presents a coherent and well-constructed basis for the case of unprecedented Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election', a view that is at odds with most commentary on what is usually considered a slipshod and poorly sourced document (for a summary of critiques, see McCarthy 2019 , 2020; Gessen 2017 ).

The coronavirus pandemic in 2020 prompted a new wave of criticism of Russia's disinformation efforts. The Strategic Communications and Analysis division of the European External Action Service, colloquially known as EUvsDisinfo, identified a 'trilateral convergence of disinformation narratives' being promoted by China, Iran and Russia (Jozwiak 2020 ). The work of EUvsDisinfo work was examined by the Reframing Russia group at the University of Manchester (Hutchings and Tolz 2020 ). They examined the specific stories that had been identified as disinformation, and took a broader look at reportage of the pandemic on Russian television, in particular on Channel 1. They found that 'there was little sign here of the coordinated pro-Kremlin "conspiracy theory propaganda" flagged by EUvsDisinfo'. They went further to note that its misrepresentation of Russian Covid-19 coverage was 'troubling' in two respects. First, through 'omission', with sentences taken out of context and 'rephrased in the form of summaries and headlines which make them sound particularly outrageous'. The second way is through 'blatant distortion'. For example, EUvsDisinfo claimed that Sputnik Latvia stated that 'Covid-19 had been designed specifically to kill elderly people', whereas in fact the article had ridiculed such conspiracy theories and highlighted 'their idiocy'. Reframing Russia questioned EUvsDisinfo's methodology, assuming that 'random websites without any traceable links to Russian state structures' were analogous to state-funded media agencies, and that all were part of a coordinated Kremlin-run campaign. It even included 'conspirological, far-right websites which are actually critical of Putin'. They conclude that 'EUvsDisinfo's headlines and summaries border on disinformation'. Examination of the source material 'cited by EUvsDisinfo demonstrates that the Russian state is, in fact, not targeting Western countries with an organised campaign around the current public health crisis'. They ask how a situation was created in which 'an EU-funded body set up to fight disinformation ends up producing it'. Reframing Russia advances two hypotheses to explain how things could be got so wrong. The first is 'a profound misunderstanding of how the media in neo-authoritarian systems such as Russia's work', with not everything managed by the Kremlin. Second, 'The outsourcing of services by state institutions to third parties without a proper assessment of their qualifications to do the required work', In the case of EUvsDisinfo, research is outsourced to some 400 volunteers, who are 'operating in a post-Soviet space saturated by anti-Russian attitudes'.

It is in this context that a burgeoning literature examines possible responses. An article in Foreign Policy in July 2019 argued that 'Moscow now acts regularly against US interests with impunity'. The question, in the view of the author, was how to rebuild deterrence -- 'how to get Putin to start fearing the United States again'. The problem was defined in broad terms: 'how to convince Putin that he can't afford to keep trying to disrupt the global order and undermine the United States, the West, and democracy itself'. The charge list was a long one:

Over the last decade, Putin has provoked Washington again and again: by invading Georgia, annexing Crimea, attacking Ukraine, assassinating opponents at home and abroad, and interfering in elections throughout the West. In each case the underwhelming US response helped convince Putin that he could get away with more such behaviour.

To 'get Putin to start respecting the United States again' such measures as toughening sanctions, strengthening military alliances, and conducting more assertive diplomacy were recommended (Geltser 2019 ). Simpson and Fritsch ( 2019 ), former Wall Street Journal writers who founded Fusion GPS, the agency that in 2016 hired Christopher Steele to prepare the infamous dossier on Trump's links with Russia, insisted that Britain needed its own Mueller report to investigate Russia's role in the Brexit vote. They argued that such an enquiry was 'essential to halt Russia's attack on Britain's democracy' (Simpson and Fritsch 2019 ). The Kremlin Watch Program ( 2019 ) of the Prague-based European Values Center for Security Policy suggested 20 measures to counter 'hostile Russian interference'.

A Pentagon assessment in June 2019 argued that the USA was ill-equipped to counter 'the increasingly brazen political warfare Russia is waging to undermine democracies' (Bender 2019 ). A 150-page study prepared for the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff argued that the USA was still underestimating the scope of Russia's aggression, including the use of propaganda and disinformation to sway public opinion in Europe and across the globe. The study also warned against the growing alignment of Russia and China, which were opposed to America's system of international alliances and shared a proclivity for 'authoritarian stability'. The authors argued that domestic disarray impeded the USA's ability to respond (Department of Defense 2019 ). Natalia Arno, the head of the Free Russia Foundation, agreed with the report's finding and argued that 'Russia is attacking Western institutions in ways more shrewd and strategically discreet than many realize' (Bender 2019 ). The Pentagon report recommended that the State Department should take the lead in devising more aggressive 'influence operations', including sowing division between Russia and China. The study analysed what it called 'gray zone' activities, the attempt by Putin's regime to undermine democratic nations, in particular those on Russia's periphery, through 'hybrid' measures, falling short of direct military action. However, although warning of Moscow's alignment with Beijing, the report recommended cooperation with Russia in key areas such as strategic nuclear weapons. One of the authors, John Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate School, argued that Ronald Reagan's offer in the 1980s to share research on ballistic missile defence (BMD) should be revisited. The report suggested that while elites and the people broadly supported Putin's foreign policy and the striving for great power status, this was liable to weaken when faced by socio-economic problems.

Inevitably, forces seeking to break the liberal hegemony at home will make common cause with an external power that is also interested in breaking that expansive hegemony. Russia looks for friends wherever it can find them, and seeks a way out of the impasse of the post-Cold War security order. However, it is important to stress the limits to that alignment. If Russia were a genuinely revisionist power, then it would make sense to ally with any force destructive of the old order; but as argued above, Russia is a neo-revisionist power -- concerned with changing the monist practices of post-Cold War liberalism, but not with changing the international system in its entirety. This means that Russia is quite happy to work within existing structures as long as monism can be kept in check. The struggle against 'fake news' and 'Russian disinformation' threatens the pluralism at the heart of traditional liberalism. That is why the investigation into the alleged collusion between the Trump camp and Russia in the 2016 presidential election was more damaging than the putative original offence. When policy differences and divergences in value preferences are delegitimated and couched in binary Cold War terms, then the Atlantic power system is in danger of becoming dangerously hermetic. Immunity to new ideas, even if they come from a traditional adversary, weakens resistance to domestic degradation.

Russia: challenger or insurrectionary?

We are now in a position to assess whether Putin really is out to subvert the West, as suggested by the US intelligence community, much recent commentary and numerous strategic and doctrinal statements. The 'black legend' charge underlies the Russiagate allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US and other elections. Such accusations are based on the view that a fundamental gulf has opened between the worldviews of the Russian leadership and the Western community. There are some grounds to argue that this is the case, although this needs to be placed into the broader framework of the evolution of Russian foreign policy since the end of the communist era and into the theoretical context of how Russia sees the international system, as described earlier. Above all, as the historic West moved into an era of expansive 'hegemonism', Russia (and China) were inevitably categorised as hostile nations. They had the motive and heft to fight back. Lavrov ( 2019 ) condemned the way that the 'rules-based order' substituted for international law, while the expanded institutions of dominion encircled both countries. Challengers to the radicalised liberal world order become subversive by definition.

Russia is a challenger power but it is not insurrectionary. In other words, it is far from the Soviet position of seeking to advance the ideology of revolutionary socialism, of which 'active measures' were one of the most specific manifestations. Further, Russia is not a revisionist power out to destroy the foundations of the international system as it has taken shape since 1945, but it is neo-revisionist, challenging the practices of the US-led Atlantic order within that system. As a conservative status quo Russia finds itself challenged by the radicalisation of the historic West that it had hoped to transform at the end of the Cold War. Concurrently, Russia's identity as a great power means that it resists the dominion element. It could live with the more modest liberal hegemony of the Cold War years (and in fact, one of the layers of Russia's foreign policy identity still wants to join it), but the combination of radicalised hegemonic universalism and the expansive logic of the power system rendered dominion unacceptable. Russia condemns the Atlantic system for its revolutionary radicalism, manifested in what is perceives to be Western revisionism. Russia thus finds itself divided from the historic West on a range of policy issues, but not ultimately by commitment to the post-1945 international system. This is why Moscow welcomed Trump's post-Atlanticist declarations, since he offered an alternative to the neo-conservative militarism and democratic interventionism of the post-Cold War era. Shackled by Russiagate, Trump was not able to deliver much and in fact the sanctions regime and other forms of neo-containment were intensified. In this context, six observations can help us examine the problem of greater Russia and subversion.

First, it is misleading to see direct continuity between the USSR and Russia. Russia no longer embodies an alternative ideology and is in fact a status quo power in both ideational and territorial terms. Russia is also comparatively far less powerful. If at its peak in the early 1970s Soviet GDP reached 58 per cent that of the USA, today Russia's at most is ten per cent of America's. Russia's defence spending in 2019 was the fourth largest in the world, but at $65 billion this is less than a tenth of the USA at $732 billion (38 per cent of total global military spending) and less than a quarter of China's $261 billion (SIPRI 2020 ). Cold War patterns have been restored, but the dynamics of this confrontation are very different even though some of the procedural rituals of mutual excoriation have returned (Monaghan 2015 ). However, Russia does claim to represent an alternative to the historical West in three ways: as the defender of conservative sovereign internationalism, where states interact on the basis of interests, although norms are far from repudiated; as a socially conservative civilisation state with societal dynamics of its own (Coker 2019 ; Tsygankov 2016 ); and as a European power with a stake in creating some pan-continental framework, while at the same time advocating the establishment of some sort of greater Eurasian unity.

All three open up lines of fracture that Russia seeks to exploit as a challenger but not as an insurrectionary power. In particular, at the civilisational level the identification of the West with the Atlantic system is challenged. This is a process that is advancing in any case within the Atlantic system, with the EU Global Strategy ( 2016 ) talking of 'strategic autonomy'. The election of Trump later that year prompted Merkel ( 2018 ), to argue that Europe could no longer rely on the USA to protect it. The French president Emmanuel Macron ( 2019 ) argued that the corollary of the growing Atlantic divide was rapprochement with Russia. Critics argue that Russia exploits this division and seeks to widen it, and in structural terms they are right. Any breach in the monist wall will be welcomed by any leader in Moscow. It is along this line that charges of Russian subversion lie.

Second, unlike the former Soviet Union where policy was coordinated by the Central Committee and Politburo, today Russia is far from monolithic. The layered phases mean that elements of at least four types of Russian engagement with the West coexist and operate at the same time, although with different intensity. As noted, these range from Atlanticist engagement, competitive coexistence, new realism to neo-revisionism. Commentary on contemporary Russia assumes that it behaves like a unitary actor, with Putin serving as the unique demi-urge with nothing better to do than ceaselessly monitor and manipulate global malign activities. This is indeed a manifestation of Western 'narcissism', and as Paul Robinson ( 2020 ) asks 'where does all this nonsense about Putin wanting to destroy democracy come from? It certainly doesn't come from anything he's ever said'. Russia is a vast and complex country with a vigorous public sphere with plenty of relatively autonomous interests and actors. Institutionalised political pluralism is constrained, but not all roads lead to the Kremlin (Sakwa 2020 ). For example, the national populist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the head of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, has hosted six conferences of far-right politicians since 1992, many attracted by the anti-Western language deployed by much of the Russian elite. They provide an alternative narrative that often coincides with the Kremlin's positions, but this does mean that there is an unbreakable alliance between the two (Moldovanov 2019 ). As the Reframing Russia team argue, not every outlandish comment in Russia's public sphere can be attributed to the Kremlin's propaganda and disinformation department. Equally, we may add, not every oligarch is 'Putin's crony', bent on advancing the Kremlin's malign agenda. This attribution and alignment fallacy is why, among other reasons, sanctions against alleged regime-associated individuals will not achieve the desired effect of changing Russian policy, since they are based on a flawed understanding of how Russia works, as well as the category error noted above about the structural sources of Russian foreign policy.

Third, Russian behaviour is located in the matrix of the changing dynamics of the Atlantic power system, the liberal international order and global power shifts (Karaganov (ed.) 2020 ). Russia is certainly alienated from a particular system that claims to be universal, as well as concerned about the advance of a power system to its borders. The liberal international order may well have been 'doomed to fail' because the key policies on which it is based are deeply flawed (Mearsheimer 2019 ). Spreading liberal democracy around the globe was benign in intent but disastrous in consequence (Walt 2019 ). The illusions generated by exaggerated claims of exceptionalism meant that the US 'squandered' Cold War victory (Bacevich 2020 ). Russia's reaction is just one to an order whose response to the end of the Cold War was to exaggerate the dominion factor and thus undermined its normative hegemony.

Fourth, Russia has returned as a power critical not only of the Atlantic hegemony but also of the values on which it is based. At the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in June 2019 Putin talked of the failure of the 'Euro-Atlantic' economic model and argued that 'the existing model of economic relations is still in crisis and this crisis is of a comprehensive nature' (Putin 2019b ). Here and on other occasions he condemned the Atlantic powers' use of sanctions as a form of economic warfare. On the eve of SPIEF on 6 June, Putin and China's leader, Xi Jinping, announced the upgrade of their relationship to a 'Comprehensive Partnership of Coordination for a New Era', accompanied by a joint statement on global strategic stability (Xinhua 2019 ). There is a tension between the expansive liberal hegemony and countries and social movements who question the identification of liberalism with order itself. Liberalism ultimately generates antinomies, which are not mere correctible aberrations but systemic flaws of the liberal paradigm itself. These above all concern the question of taming the power of capital and dealing with inequality and citizen marginalisation. Moscow does not identify itself with these radical critiques, and its criticisms ultimately have a superficial and reversible character. Russia does not stand outside the contradictions of contemporary liberalism, having entered its own liberal era at the end of the Cold War in 1989. That layer in its identity is far from nugatory. Russia's experience of liberalism is distinctive, characterising the 1990s as a time of liberal excess, yet the Putin system is permeated with neoliberal ideas and even liberal aspirations. His critics in Russia from the left and right condemn the antinomies of the system, whereas Putin simply points out the power and cultural contradictions of post-Cold War liberalism.

Fifth, the struggle for geopolitical pluralism after the neo-revisionist turn in 2012 is accompanied by a programme of cultural conservatism, opening the door to alignment with Europe's national populists. In condemning what he took to be the rampant social liberalism, accompanied by Merkel's 'welcome culture' in 2015 vis-à-vis the influx of refugees, Putin ( 2019a ) sought to bolster support among social conservatives in Europe. As political and social liberals united against Putinite Russia, it appeared that the impasse could only be broken by bolstering conservative (if not outright reactionary) movements in Europe. A European change of heart would allow a rapprochement without Russia having to change its domestic or foreign policies: 'It would be 1989 in reverse. This time it would not be Russia but Europe to go through a traumatic conversion to foreign ideas' (Maçães 2019 ). Russia would be rescued from isolation and policy-makers could once again turn to the creation of a 'greater Europe', reducing Russia's dependence on China and strengthening its position vis-à-vis the USA. This is the foundational argument about Russia being out to subvert the West, and there is some truth in it -- but not in the linear way it is usually interpreted. The alignment is situational and the geopolitics takes precedence over ideological alignment.

Sixth, as the Russiagate affair demonstrates, Russia acts as the scapegoat for problems generated by domestic contradictions. In that case, Russian 'meddling' helped explain how the most improbable of candidates was able to win against an experienced politician, Hillary Clinton, with a long record of public service, to pull off 'the greatest political upset in American history' (Green 2017 , p. 236). This impeded the Democratic Party from coming to terms with its own shortcomings, and the country from addressing its ills. This perhaps is the greatest subversive effect achieved by Russia. As far as we know, this was not achieved deliberately, although there is the view that Russia fed information 'to have the West believe what the Kremlin wants the West to believe' (McCarthy 2019 , p. 166). Even more cunningly, perhaps they were feeding misinformation to Steele to provoke a counter-intelligence investigation that would incapacitate the Trump presidency and set the Democrats off on a wild goose chase that prevented them from reforming and reconnecting with the real concerns of the American people. If the latter is the case, then the operation was a brilliant success. The struggle against presumed Russian 'active measures' does more damage to Western political institutions and the legitimacy of Western normative hegemony than the putative subversive activity itself. The security services and spy agencies of course continue to battle it out behind the scenes, but McCarthyism is as destructive today as it was in the 1950s.

Conclusion

Russia has returned as an international conservative power, but it is not a revisionist one, and even less is it out to subvert the West. Russia certainly looks for allies where it can find them, especially if they advocate the lifting of sanctions. When Macron ( 2019 ) argued that it was time to bring Russia out of the cold, arguing that 'We cannot rebuild Europe without rebuilding a connection with Russia', his comments were welcomed in Moscow, although tempered by a justifiable scepticism.

The Putin elite had earlier welcomed Trump's election, but in practice relations deteriorated further. The foreign policy establishment is deeply sceptical that the EU will be able to act with 'strategic autonomy'. Above all, Russo-Western relations have entered into a statecraft 'security dilemma':

Currently, we are again faced with a situation in which mutual intentions are assessed by Washington and Moscow as subversive, while each side considers the statecraft employed by the other side as effective enough to achieve its malign goals. At the same time, each side is more sceptical about its own statecraft and appears (or pretends) to be scrambling to catch up (Troitskiy 2019 ).

In the nineteenth century, Russia became the 'gendarme' of Europe, and while Putin repudiates the country assuming such a role again, Russia has undoubtedly returned as an international conservative power. Maintenance of a specifically historically determined definition of the status quo is the essence of its neo-revisionism: a defence of traditional ideas of state sovereignty and of an internationalism structured by commitment to the structures of the international system as it took shape after 1945. Russia resents its perceived exclusion from the institutions of Atlantic dominion (above all NATO); but is not out to destroy the international system in which this competition is waged. Thus, Anton Shekhovtsov ( 2017 ) is mistaken to argue that Russia's links to right-wing national populist movements are rooted in philosophical anti-Westernism and an instinct to subvert the liberal democratic consensus in the West. In fact, the alignment is situational and contingent on the impasse in Russo-Western relations and thus is susceptible to modification if the situation changes. Moscow's readiness to embrace Trump in 2016 when he repeatedly argued that it made sense to 'get on' with Russia indicates that Western overtures for improved relations would find the Kremlin ready to reciprocate. In 2017 the Kremlin sent Washington various ideas on how to move out of the impasse in US-Russian relations, but given the 'Russiagate' allegations, the White House was in no position to respond. The same applies when in 2019 Russia was invited to resume full voting rights in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which the Kremlin embraced even though powerful domestic neo-traditionalist and Eurasianist voices counselled against.

Russia is not out to subvert the West but seeks to change it. For the defenders of monist enlargement, this is just as bad. Resistance at home and abroad to the post-Cold War Western order has exposed unexpected fragilities and insecurities, hence the turn to the language of 'resilience' (for example, EU Global Strategy 2016 ). Given its strategy of resistance, Russia in turn becomes the object against which resilience is tested, becoming one of Federica Mogherini's 'five principles' ( 2016 ), creating yet another barrier to normal diplomatic relations. In fact, the structural model outlined in this paper suggests that Russia does not seek to create a greater Russia through subversion let alone physical enlargement, although all leaders since the end of the Cold have tried to make the country a great power. This raises the fundamental and still unresolved question: is Russia still interested in joining a transformed West? Or has it realised that the only way to retain great power status and sovereign decision-making is to remain outside the West? Joining the transformed West meant the attempt to create a 'greater Europe', what Gorbachev had earlier termed the common European home. For defenders of the existing West, this is perceived as threatening its existing values, norms and freedoms, and perhaps more importantly, also the existing hierarchy of international power; but for Russia, it is a way out of the perceived geopolitical impasse and offers a common developmental strategy.

The West is faced by a choice 'between containment and engagement on mutually agreed terms' (Trenin 2016 , p. 110). Incompatible understanding of the political character of the historical epoch provokes an intense barrage of propaganda from all sides, with mutual allegations of political subversion and interference. The interaction of hegemony and dominion on the one side and multiple layers of identity on the other provides fertile ground for incomprehension and the attribution of sinister motives, provoking the statecraft 'security dilemma' identified above. Russia maintains a neo-revisionist critique, but this does not mean repudiating improved relations with a post-dominion West. The country increasingly pivoted to the East and strengthened its alignment with China, but this does not mean that Russia seeks an irrevocable break with the West (Monaghan 2019 ). This is why it seeks improved relations with the EU and the USA if a satisfactory formula for restored contact can be found. Moscow's support for insurgent populist movements in Europe and disruptive forces in America will always be tempered by larger strategic concerns and are certainly not unequivocal. The greater Russia envisaged by the Kremlin elite is one whose sovereignty is defended and whose great power status is recognised, but it is not one that seeks more territory or to subvert the West and sow discord. The West can be trusted to do that without Russia's help. The West's response to Russia's neo-revisionism has been neo-containment and counter-subversion strategies, but if the analysis proposed in this article has any validity, then new forms of engagement may be a more productive course. References

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Download references Author information Affiliations

  1. School of Politics and International Relations, Rutherford College, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NX, UK

    Richard Sakwa

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[Jul 24, 2020] US officials force entry into shuttered Chinese consulate in Houston soon after evicted staff left -- RT USA News

Jul 24, 2020 | www.rt.com

NoisyBaboon dontdenythe 7 minutes ago Both China and Russia can even bulldoze the US embassies in their countries. But they will not do this because doing so is actually NONSENSICAL. Let the foools enjoy themselves.

[Jul 24, 2020] Cold Wars Profit by Craig Murray

Jul 24, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Consortiumnews Volume 26, Number 206 – Friday, July 24, 2020

AFGHANISTAN , COMMENTARY , FOREIGN POLICY , HISTORY , HUMAN RIGHTS , MEDIA , PROPAGANDA , RUSSIA , RUSSIAGATE , UKRAINE , UNITED KINGDON , UNTIL THIS DAY--HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE NEWS Cold Wars & Profit July 21, 2020 Save

Craig Murray lambasts a Russophobic media that celebrates a supposed cyber attack on UK vaccine research, ignores collapse of key evidence of a "hack" and dabbles in dubious memorabilia.

The Guardian's headquarters in London. (Bryantbob, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Craig Murray
CraigMurray.org.uk

... ... ...

Attack on UK Vaccine Research

Andrew Marr, center, in 2014. ( Financial Times , Flickr)

A whole slew of these were rehearsed by Andrew Marr on his flagship BBC1 morning show. The latest is the accusation that Russia is responsible for a cyber attack on Covid-19 vaccination research. This is another totally evidence-free accusation. But it misses the point anyway.

The alleged cyber attack, if it happened, was a hack not an attack -- the allegation is that there was an effort to obtain the results of research, not to disrupt research. It is appalling that the U.K. is trying to keep its research results secret rather than share them freely with the world scientific community.

As I have reported before , the U.K. and the USA have been preventing the WHO from implementing a common research and common vaccine solution for Covid-19, insisting instead on a profit driven approach to benefit the big pharmaceutical companies (and disadvantage the global poor).

What makes the accusation that Russia tried to hack the research even more dubious is the fact that Russia had just bought the very research specified. You don't steal things you already own.

Evidence of CIA Hacks

If anybody had indeed hacked the research, we all know it is impossible to trace with certainty the whereabouts of hackers. My VPNs [virtual private networks] are habitually set to India, Australia or South Africa depending on where I am trying to watch the cricket, dodging broadcasting restrictions.

More pertinently, WikiLeaks' Vault 7 release of CIA material showed the specific programs for the CIA in how to leave clues to make a leak look like it came from Russia. This irrefutable evidence that the CIA do computer hacks with apparent Russian "fingerprints" deliberately left, like little bits of Cyrillic script, is an absolutely classic example of a fact that everybody working in the mainstream media knows to be true, but which they all contrive never to mention.

Thus when last week's "Russian hacking" story was briefed by the security services -- that former Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn deployed secret documents on U.K./U.S. trade talks which had been posted on Reddit, after being stolen by an evil Russian who left his name of Grigor in his Reddit handle -- there was no questioning in the media of this narrative. Instead, we had another round of McCarthyite witch-hunt aimed at the rather tired looking Corbyn.

Personally, if the Russians had been responsible for revealing that the Tories are prepared to open up the NHS "market" to big American companies, including ending or raising caps on pharmaceutical prices, I should be very grateful to the Russians for telling us. Just as the world would owe the Russians a favor if it were indeed them who leaked evidence of just how systematically the DNC rigged the 2016 primaries against Bernie Sanders.

But as it happens, it was not the Russians. The latter case was a leak by a disgusted insider, and I very much suspect the NHS U.S. trade deal link was also from a disgusted insider.

When governments do appalling things, very often somebody manages to blow the whistle.

Crowdstrike's Quiet Admission

Crowdstrike's Shawn Henry presenting at the International Security Forum in Vancouver, 2009.
(Hubert K, Flickr)

If you can delay even the most startling truth for several years, it loses much of its political bite. If you can announce it during a health crisis, it loses still more. The world therefore did not shudder to a halt when the CEO of Crowdstrike admitted there had never been any evidence of a Russian hack of the DNC servers.

You will recall the near incredible fact that, even through the Mueller investigation, the FBI never inspected the DNC servers themselves but simply relied on a technical report from Crowdstrike, the Hillary Clinton-related IT security consultant for the DNC.

It is now known for sure that Crowdstrike had been peddling fake news for Hillary. In fact, Crowdstrike had no record of any internet hack at all. There was no evidence of the email material being exported over the internet. What they claimed did exist was evidence that the files had been organized preparatory to export.

Remember the entire "Russian hacking" story was based ONLY on Crowdstrike's say so. There is literally no other evidence of Russian involvement in the DNC emails, which is unsurprising as I have been telling you for four years from my own direct sources that Russia was not involved. Yet finally declassified congressional testimony revealed that Shawn Henry stated on oath that "we did not have concrete evidence" and "There's circumstantial evidence , but no evidence they were actually exfiltrated."

This testimony fits with what I was told by Bill Binney, a former technical director of the National Security Agency (NSA), who told me that it was impossible that any large amount of data should be moved across the internet from the USA, without the NSA both seeing it happen in real time and recording it. If there really had been a Russian hack, the NSA would have been able to give the time of it to a millisecond.

That the NSA did not have that information was proof the transfer had never happened, according to Binney. What had happened, Binney deduced, was that the files had been downloaded locally, probably to a thumb drive.

Bill Binney. (Miquel Taverna / CCCB via Flickr)

So arguably the biggest news story of the past four years -- the claim that Putin effectively interfered to have Donald Trump elected U.S. president -- turns out indeed to be utterly baseless. Has the mainstream media, acting on security service behest, done anything to row back from the false impression it created? No it has doubled down.

Anti-Russia Theme

The "Russian hacking" theme keeps being brought back related to whatever is the big story of the day.

Brexit? Russian hacking.
U.K. general election 2019? Russian hacking
Covid-19 vaccine? Russian hacking.

Then we have those continual security service briefings. Two weeks ago we had unnamed security service sources telling The New York Times that Russia had offered the Taliban a bounty for killing American soldiers. This information had allegedly come from interrogation of captured Taliban in Afghanistan, which would almost certainly mean it was obtained under torture.

It is a wildly improbable tale. The Afghans have never needed that kind of incentivization to kill foreign invaders on their soil. It is also a fascinating throwback of an accusation – the British did indeed offer Afghans money for, quite literally, the heads of Afghan resistance leaders during the first Afghan War in 1841, as I detail in my book "Sikunder Burnes."

Taliban in Herat, Afghanistan, 2001. (Wikipedia)

You do not have to look back that far to realize the gross hypocrisy of the accusation. In the 1980s the West was quite openly paying, arming and training the Taliban -- including Osama bin Laden – to kill Russian and other Soviet conscripts in their thousands. That is just one example of the hypocrisy.

The U.S. and U.K. security services both cultivate and bribe senior political and other figures abroad in order to influence policy all of the time. We work to manipulate the result of elections -- I have done it personally in my former role as a U.K. diplomat. A great deal of the behavior over which Western governments and media are creating this new McCarthyite anti-Russian witch hunt, is standard diplomatic practice.

My own view is that there are malign Russian forces attempting to act on government in the U.K. and the USA, but they are not nearly as powerful as the malign British and American forces acting on their own governments.

The truth is that the world is under the increasing control of a global elite of billionaires, to whom nationality is irrelevant and national governments are tools to be manipulated. Russia is not attempting to buy corrupt political influence on behalf of the Russian people, who are decent folk every bit as exploited by the ultra-wealthy as you or I. Russian billionaires are, just like billionaires everywhere, attempting to game global political, commercial and social structures in their personal interest.

The other extreme point of hypocrisy lies in human rights. So many Western media commentators are suddenly interested in China and the Uighurs or in restrictions on the LBGT community in Russia, yet turn a completely blind eye to the abuse committed by Western "allies" such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

As somebody who was campaigning about the human rights of both the Uighurs and of gay people in Russia a good decade before it became fashionable, I am disgusted by how the term "human rights" has become weaponized for deployment only against those countries designated as enemy by the Western elite.

Finally, do not forget that there is a massive armaments industry and a massive security industry all dependent on having an "enemy." Powerful people make money from this Russophobia. Expect much more of it. There is money in a Cold War.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.

This article is from CraigMurray.org.uk .

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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Tags: Cold War Craig Murray Russophobia Ukrainian Insurgent Army Ukrainian Resistance

Post navigation ← COVID-19: The Pentagon Confronts the Pandemic State Dept-Funded Transparency International Silent on Jailed Transparency Activist Julian Assange → 12 comments for " Cold Wars & Profit "

DH Fabian , July 22, 2020 at 19:54

On the core subject here: By necessity, a pandemic requires a cooperative international response. Only one country has refused to do so: The US. In their supreme arrogance, our ruling class lost track the fact that the US needs the rest of the world, not the other way way around.

Zalamander , July 22, 2020 at 19:12

One by one the so-called Russiagate "evidence" have collapsed. The fake Steele Dossier, "Russian spy" Joseph Mifsud who is actually a self-admitted member of the Clinton Foundation, Roger Stone's non-existant Wikileaks contacts, Russian Afgan bounties, etc. But the neoliberal mainstream media still presents these as "facts" with no retractions. This is not journalism, its disinformation designed to distract the American public from the failures of capitalism.

Piotr Berman , July 22, 2020 at 18:03

Peter Janney
July 22, 2020 at 06:55
Craig Murray succinctly (and very beautifully) gives us a REAL glimpse of what great journalism really looks like.
-- --
Perhaps it is great writing, but is it journalism?

Some people in National Union of Journalists (a trade union in UK) ponder that question for many months, unable to decide if Craig should be allowed to join or not. If he is neither a flack nor a hack, who kind of journalist is he? (More details at Craig Murray's web site).

Peter Janney , July 23, 2020 at 06:06

Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed.
Everything else is public relations.
-- George Orwell

rosemerry , July 22, 2020 at 16:42

All of the Russophobia and lies serve the rulers of the USA?UK and their poodles well. The whole year of Skripal mania started by Theresa May and joined in by Trump, with the media such as the Guardian's scurrilous Luke Harding providing fantasy "evidence" and the whole story conveniently disappearing, like the Skripals, when other "news" arrived, has no benefit to seekers of even the minimum of truth.

DH Fabian , July 22, 2020 at 19:46

Certainly, and this is key to understanding the current situation. What we're seeing now is the final stages of the long-sinking West -- those once-mighty partners of empire, the UK/US. This descent appears to have begun with the Reagan/Thatcher years, and is now in the final stages. We've seen a rather dramatic growth of psychosis in the political-media-public discussion over the past 3-4 years, driven by an irrational obsession with China/Russia. (Russia and China both quietly observe, prepared to respond if attacked.) There really isn't anything we can do about it, beyond acknowledging it as what it is.

Jerome J Donnelly , July 22, 2020 at 12:12

Very good, but needs to be supplemented by reference to the interview with NIH Director Franaic Collins on last Sunday's Meet the Press. When host Chuck Todd asked Collins about Russian hacking of US vaccine research Collins smiled and answered by pointing out that the research wasn't intended to be secret and that it was all to be published for "transparency." Todd looked disappointed, mumbled, "OK," and changed the subject. No media have reported this exchange, which is retrievable on the internet.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , July 22, 2020 at 10:58

Brilliant, but that's what one expects of Craig Murray.

Ray McGovern , July 22, 2020 at 10:13

Brilliant article, Craig. You do have a way of saying things. Thanks.

Question: "Team Mueller" forgot to interview you. Have any of the new investigators taken the trouble to talk to you?

Ray

Bob Van Noy , July 22, 2020 at 09:18

Can't thank you enough Craig Murray for your professional life of honesty!

Please read: hXXp://off-guardian.org/2020/07/21/globocap-uber-alles/

Peter Janney , July 22, 2020 at 06:55

Craig Murray succinctly (and very beautifully) gives us a REAL glimpse of what great journalism really looks like. I commend his courage for never bending in the face of all the bullshit we have had to tolerate from the mainstream media. Thank you, thank you dear Craig . . .

geeyp , July 22, 2020 at 00:10

Regarding Craig's last summing up paragraph, all one need do to confirm that is read the previous article of Michael T. Klare.

[Jul 24, 2020] Intelligence agencies, in Israel and elsewhere, are organized criminal syndicates

Jul 24, 2020 | twitter.com

. Jul 22 Funny that people hating on me for covering crimes of Israeli intelligence ignore the fact that Mossad heads openly admit it's a criminal organization. Intelligence agencies, in Israel and elsewhere, are organized criminal syndicates. Ex-spy chief said 'fun part' about Mossad is that it's a crime organization. Netanyahu is not amused *** haaretz.com

[Jul 24, 2020] Nobel peace price hawk and other stories

Jul 24, 2020 | www.rt.com

Roger Thornhill 2 hours ago If I recall correctly, Obama gave the Russians all of 48 hours to leave their consulate in San Francisco, which had been occupied since the 19th Century. This was around Christmas time in 2016. So I don't find this particularly surprising. Two days to have the diplomats, staff, and families completely out of the country.

[Jul 24, 2020] The Government of China has ordered the USA to close its consulate in Chengdu within 72 hours, in the widely-expected tit-for-tat response to the American order that the Chinese consulate in Houston be closed

Tank repairman Pompeo now probably better understands the meaning of: Experience keeps a hard school, but fools will learn at no other .
Jul 24, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MARK CHAPMAN July 24, 2020 at 5:02 pm

The Government of China has ordered the USA to close its consulate in Chengdu within 72 hours, in the widely-expected tit-for-tat response to the American order that the Chinese consulate in Houston be closed.

"The immediate effect of the two consulates' closures is expected to be minimal, especially since the visas they normally process have become moot at a time when travel has been severely limited by the coronavirus pandemic.

But the closure of the consulate in Chengdu, in Sichuan Province, the westernmost of the five American consulates in mainland China, deprives the United States in a city that is a hub for China's commercial expansion across Central Asia. Chengdu is also its most valuable diplomatic outpost for gathering information on Xinjiang and Tibet, the two sometimes-restive regions in China's far west."

https://www.nytimes.com/svc/oembed/html/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2020%2F07%2F24%2Fworld%2Fasia%2Fchina-us-consulate-chengdu.html

Pompeo blabbered in a speech at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library that "If we bend the knee now, our children's children may be at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party, whose actions are the primary challenge today in the free world General Secretary Xi is not destined to tyrannize inside and outside of China forever unless we allow it." Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying compared him to 'an ant trying to shake a tree'.

I love the way the USA starts shit and then characterizes its rationale for continuing to escalate as the need to show it is not 'bending the knee'. Like backing away from something you started is submission to pressure. So you need to just keep cranking the level right the fuck up.

[Jul 24, 2020] The New Cold War Heats Up

Jul 24, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

by BRIAN CLOUGHLEY Facebook Twitter Reddit Email

Photograph Source: lilivanili – CC BY 2.0

At this time of all times, when the world is staggering from the shattering effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, it would be sensible for nations to pull together in order to devise policies and practicalities to counter and defeat the devastation that is taking place and seems likely to increase. Now is the time for cooperation, compromise and mutual assistance in all spheres of medical research and in devising protective measures which can be emplaced and enforced with the minimum of dislocation. Internationalism should be the norm, and the best brains in the world should be in harness, from Beijing to Boston and beyond.

But they're not, because there are some countries that are resolutely resisting cooperation in the fight against world disaster and choosing to focus on confrontation. And, naturally, they are the ones that are suffering most. As of July 23 , the highest numbers of deaths in the Americas were the United States with 146,200 and Brazil scoring 82,890, while in Europe the United Kingdom had a depressing 45,501. These are the countries whose "leaders" (for want of a better word to describe erratic bunglers at the head of government) have failed utterly to cope with the national aspects of the pandemic crisis.

Not only this, but concurrent with their exhibitions of domestic ineptitude, Presidents Trump and Bolsonaro and Prime Minister Johnson have ignored or even insulted and aggressively confronted nations with whom they should be most energetically working to help their own citizens return to leading normal lives.

There are two main countries with which the US, Brazil and Britain should be energetically cooperating in the campaign to alleviate and eventually overcome the virus : China and Russia. But forget it, because, for example, one of America's main priorities, as reported by Stars and Stripes , is the rebuilding and extension of the Campia Turzii air base in Romania for use by US strike aircraft. This is to cost 130 million dollars for "the biggest overseas military construction project under the Pentagon's European Deterrence Initiative, which was initiated in June 2014." The build up of US-Nato forces continues unabated around the Black Sea and along the length of Russia's borders.

Admiral James Foggo, recently departed head of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, declared that the U.S. "bottom line" is "mutual interest" with Ukraine, which is "why we regularly operate in the Black Sea. Both U.S. and NATO forces routinely operate there to send a message that we will uphold international law and norms. Our collective efforts will lead to a better and safer Ukraine, which means a better and safer Black Sea for all of us." In the Pentagon's playbook, US security is enhanced when it threatens other countries by indulging in massive military build-ups and confrontational military maneuvers round their borders. Foggo's replacement, Admiral Robert Burke, assumed command of Naval Forces Europe and NATO's Joint Forces Command on July 17 and promptly declared that China and Russia pose "overt challenges to the free and open international order."

The Coronavirus campaign takes a back seat, where US power-projection is concerned. The Pentagon has over 50,000 troops stationed in Japan, of whom half are in bases on the island of Okinawa which, as CBS News noted on July 16, "sits closer to Taiwan's capital, Taipei, than it does to Tokyo. It's a pivotal foothold for Washington, both to protect Asian allies including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, and to project U.S. power and be able to react to increasingly aggressive military moves by China in the region, and the ever-present threat from North Korea." But this pivotal foothold for US power projection is experiencing "the biggest coronavirus outbreak within the U.S. military anywhere in the world . . . [on July 16] U.S. Forces Japan confirmed another 36 infections among troops on Okinawa, bringing the total to at least 136 since the U.S. military reported its first cases there last week." The people of Okinawa are understandably extremely worried about the threat from the virus brought to their home by US military personnel -- but the Pentagon and the Washington establishment are prioritizing their activities in the region by indulging in confrontational antics in the South China Sea, where they have been carrying out massive military maneuvers involving two aircraft carrier strike groups and nuclear bombers in order to continue threatening China. (On July 17 a further two B-1 nuclear bombers were deployed to the U.S. colony of Guam in the western Pacific to carry out "strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based international order in the region.")

In the eyes of the Trump Administration, confrontation with China is preferable to cooperation in trying to combat the pandemic, and this was made abundantly clear during a bizarre Trump tirade in the Rose Garden on July 14 when he announced that "We hold China fully responsible for concealing the virus and unleashing it upon the world. They could've stopped it. They should've stopped it. It would've been very easy to do at the source when it happened." This palpable nonsense is U.S. official policy, and a most troubling indicator of belligerence.

Britain's Boris Johnson once described himself as a 'Sinophile' but has joined with Trump in trying to confront China over Hong Kong and obeyed his orders to ban the Chinese firm Huawei from business in the UK. Further, he is enthusiastically embracing the current propaganda campaign against Russia. Instead of cooperating with Beijing and Moscow in trying to develop a counter-virus vaccine, London joined Washington in proclaiming, in spite of there being no evidence whatever, the bogus allegation that Russia was paying the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. While this nonsense was being refuted , there came yet another accusation from London which at first seemed extremely serious.

It was claimed by the usual anonymous sources that, as reported by Reuters, "Britain, Canada and the United States said . . . that hackers backed by the Russian state were trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research from academic and pharmaceutical institutions." Britain's foreign minister promptly declared that "Russian intelligence services are targeting those working to combat the coronavirus pandemic," but when this was realized to be an absurd claim, even the New York Times had to state on July 17 that "Russian drugmaker R-Pharm has signed a deal with AstraZeneca for it to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the British pharmaceuticals giant and Oxford University." AstraZeneca's international headquarters in in Cambridge, England, and it has research laboratories in the U.S. State of Maryland and in Sweden.

This was a pretty amateur propaganda operation, but in spite of the fact that the allegations were demonstrably ridiculous there is no doubt the story had the intended outcome and that the anti-Russia fire was stoked effectively. The rift between the West and Russia and China is being deliberately widened, and a New Cold War is breaking out, with the U.S. and Britain playing down their domestic calamities and choosing international confrontation in preference to cooperation.

Trump and Johnson are not serving the best interests of their own citizens and are harming the entire world by their belligerent posture. There are rocks ahead. Maybe nuclear ones. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: BRIAN CLOUGHLEY

Brian Cloughley writes about foreign policy and military affairs. He lives in Voutenay sur Cure, France.

[Jul 23, 2020] Iran's top security official: Harsher revenge awaits perpetrators of Gen. Soleimani's assassination

Jul 23, 2020 | www.presstv.com

News / Politics Iran's top security official: Harsher revenge awaits perpetrators of Gen. Soleimani's assassination Wednesday, 22 July 2020 4:29 PM [ Last Update: Wednesday, 22 July 2020 4:29 PM ]

Members of the Iraqi honor guard walk past a huge portrait of Iran's late top general Qassem Soleimani (L) and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, both killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport last month, during a memorial service held in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone on February 11, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Iran's top security official says harsher revenge awaits the perpetrators of the attack that killed senior Iranian anti-terrorism commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his companions.

In a post on his Twitter page on Wednesday, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said that US President Donald Trump had admitted that the American, upon his direct order, committed the crime of assassinating General Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) counter-terrorism force, who were two prominent figures of the anti-terrorism campaign.

"The two Iranian and Iraqi nations are avengers of blood of these martyrs and will not rest until they punish the perpetrators," read part of the tweet.

"Harsher revenge is one the way," it concluded.

The two commanders and a number of their companions were assassinated in a US airstrike near Baghdad airport on January 3, as General Soleimani was on an official visit to the Iraqi capital.

Both commanders were extremely popular because of the key role they played in eliminating the US-sponsored Daesh terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

UN experts calls US drone attack on Gen. Soleimani 'unlawful' killing A senior UN human rights investigator says the United States' assassination of top Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad was an "unlawful" killing in violation of the international law.

In retaliation for the attack, the IRGC fired volleys of ballistic missiles a US base in Iraq on January 8. According to the US Defense Department, more than 100 American forces suffered "traumatic brain injuries" during the counterstrike. The IRGC, however, says Washington uses the term to mask the number of the Americans, who perished during the retaliation.

Iran has also issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining Trump, who ordered the assassination, and several other US military and political leaders behind the strike.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday Iran will never forget Washington's assassination of General Soleimani and will definitely deliver a "counterblow" to the United States.

Leader: Iran to deal US 'counterblow' for Gen. Soleimani's assassination Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei meets with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Tehran.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will never forget this issue and will definitely deal the counterblow to the Americans," Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Tehran.

"They killed your guest at your own home and unequivocally admitted the atrocity. This is no small matter," Ayatollah Khamenei told the Iraqi premier.

A UN special rapporteur says has condemned the US assassination and said Washington has put the world at unprecedented peril with its murder of Iran's top anti-terror commander.

UN expert raps US for arbitrary drone attack that killed Gen. Soleimani A UN special rapporteur slams the US for refusing to take responsibility for the assassination of General Soleimani in violation of international law.

Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, has also warned that it is high time the international community broke its silence on Washington's drone-powered unlawful killings.


Press TV's website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

[Jul 23, 2020] RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 23 JULY 2020 by Patrick Armstrong - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Jul 23, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 23 JULY 2020 by Patrick Armstrong


RUSSIA AND COVID. Latest numbers : total cases 795K; total deaths 12,892; tests per 1 million 178K . Russia has done 26 million tests (third after China and USA); among countries with populations over 10M it's second in tests per million and of those over 100M first. Russia claims to have a working vaccine that is safe and reliable and that produced antibodies in all who were tested . Mishustin expressed confidence to the Duma . In an amazing development Newsweek actually published this " What Russia Got Right About the Coronavirus -- and What It Can Share With The World ".

KHABAROVSK. Two weeks ago the FSB arrested Sergey Furgal , governor of Khabarovsk Region, on suspicion of organizing murders in 2004 and 2005. He was one of the few governors not from the pedestal party but from the LDPR . Furgal was quite popular and there have been significant protests. Doctorow discusses the background: one of his conclusions is that there are misgivings in the Russian Far East about Moscow's closeness with Beijing . Protest numbers have probably been exaggerated, but are still significant . Perhaps the appointment of another LDPR member as acting governor will calm things down. We will see. A terrorist plot in Khabarovsk was just prevented: would it be too cynical to wonder whether Moscow is telling the good citizens of Khabarovsk how valuable it is to them ?

RUSSIA INC. Despite everything, Russia's FOREX and gold kitty keeps growing – now worth 569 billion USD . Of course, quite a bit is the increase in the price of its gold holdings (about 2300 tonnes ).

RUSSIA- EXERCISE. Snap combat readiness test of Southern Military District . Kinzhal launch . Video . Not aimed at anybody or anything, just routine, blah blah blah , but, should anyone be watching...

CHINA. Another conversation between the two presidents about their "comprehensive strategic partnership". China FM Wang told Lavrov the USA had "lost its mind, morals and credibility".

NYT BIAS. Historian David Foglesong has written a piece about the long-time Russophobia of the NYT: "propaganda is not necessarily untrue. It is a method of emphasis calling attention to that which it is desired to have known". It is desired to have known . Free media indeed.

WESTERN VALUES™. Today's bloviation: "America is fundamentally good... America, uniquely among nations, has the capacity to champion human rights and the dignity of every human being made in the image of God, no matter their nation... And to the world, America is the star that shines brightest when the night is the darkest...". And so on . Does any other country said this sort of thing routinely?

MEDDLING. The CIA has been authorised to make cyberattacks on other countries including Russia . You only do this if you think you're better at it than your targets; otherwise you've just stuck a kick me sign on your back. Are the Americans better at this? Doubt it .

NORDSTREAM 2. Washington is going all out in sanctions; Bonn is determined to finish it . Well, Washington is going to lose this one; then what?

AMERICA-HYSTERICA. All lies. "The statements by Mr. Strzok question the entire premise of the FBI's investigation of the Trump Campaign and make it even more outrageous that the Mueller team continued this investigation for almost two and a half years. Moreover, the statements by Strzok raise troubling questions as to whether the FBI was impermissibly unmasking and analyzing intelligence gathered on U.S. persons."

STEELE. Troubles are catching up to him. He just lost a court case in the UK against two Russian bankers over claims he made in the infamous Dossier. The fines plus court costs may bankrupt his company . And more revelations about the worthlessness of the sources of the junk in the famous Dossier. Bit late for this to come out – anybody with a bit of nous knew it was garbage from the start .

BUT THEY'RE STILL AT IT. The UK report is the s ame old crap from the same old sources (Steele too!) – don't pay it any attention. GIGO . Flying vampire bats with smart phones. (And Soviet stars – natch. )

NUGGETS FROM THE STUPIDITY MINE. Today's story is that Russian big wheels were getting the vaccine months ago , I guess we're supposed to forget last week's story that Russia was trying to steal our vaccine .

THE EMPTINESS OF FORMER FLAPS. Why do Russia's enemies fall from balconies ? Oops! Can we re-write that ?

HISTORY. " Canada's Nazi Monuments ". And don't think there aren't policy implications today.

[Jul 23, 2020] 'Putin Hacked Our Vaccine' the excessive use of words like ridiculous and stupid; calim is both stupid and evil

Notable quotes:
"... CaitlinJohnstone.com ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... This article was re-published with permission. ..."
"... The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News. ..."
Jul 23, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

COVID-19: 'Putin Hacked Our Vaccine' Is Dumbest Story Yet July 17, 2020 Save

Caitlin Johnstone tackles the latest "Russiavape" story.

By Caitlin Johnstone
CaitlinJohnstone.com

O MG you guys Putin hacked our coronavirus vaccine secrets!

Today mainstream media is reporting what is arguably the single dumbest Russiavape story of all time, against some very stiff competition.

"Russian hackers are targeting health care organizations in the West in an attempt to steal coronavirus vaccine research, the U.S. and Britain said," reports The New York Times .

"Hackers backed by the Russian state are trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research from academic and pharmaceutical institutions around the world, Britain's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said on Thursday," Reuters reports .

"Russian news agency RIA cited spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying the Kremlin rejected London's allegations, which he said were not backed by proper evidence," adds Reuters.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1283787832549691395&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F07%2F17%2Fcovid-19-putin-hacked-our-vaccine-is-dumbest-story-yet%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

I mean, there are just so many layers of stupid.

First of all, how many more completely unsubstantiated government agency allegations about Russian nefariousness are we the public going to accept from the corporate mass media? Since 2016 it's been wall-to-wall narrative about evil things Russia is doing to the empire-like cluster of allies loosely centralized around the United States, and they all just happen to be things for which nobody can actually provide hard verifiable evidence.

Ever since the shady cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike admitted that it never actually saw hard proof of Russia hacking the DNC servers, the already shaky and always unsubstantiated narrative that Russian hackers interfered in the U.S. presidential election in 2016 has been on thinner ice than ever. Yet because the mass media converged on this narrative and repeated it as fact over and over they've been able to get the mainstream headline-skimming public to accept it as an established truth, priming them for an increasingly idiotic litany of completely unsubstantiated Russia scandals, culminating most recently in the entirely debunked claim that Russia paid Taliban-linked fighters to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Secondly, the news story doesn't even claim that these supposed Russian hackers even succeeded in doing whatever they were supposed to have been doing in this supposed cyberattack.

"Officials have not commented on whether the attacks were successful but also have not ruled out that this is the case," Wired reports .

Thirdly, this is a "vaccine" which does not even exist at this point in time, and the research which was supposedly hacked may never lead to one. Meanwhile, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University reports that it has "successfully completed tests on volunteers of the world's first vaccine against coronavirus," in Russia.

Fourthly, and perhaps most importantly, how obnoxious and idiotic is it that coronavirus vaccine "secrets" are even a thing?? This is a global pandemic which is hurting all of us; scientists should be free to collaborate with other scientists anywhere in the world to find a solution to this problem. Nobody has any business keeping "secrets" from the world about this virus or any possible vaccine or treatment. If they do, anyone in the world is well within their rights to pry those secrets away from them.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1283875929152909312&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F07%2F17%2Fcovid-19-putin-hacked-our-vaccine-is-dumbest-story-yet%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

This intensely stupid story comes out at the same time British media are blaring stories about Russian interference in the 2019 election, which if you actually listen carefully to the claims being advanced amounts to literally nothing more than the assertion that Russians talked about already leaked documents pertaining to the U.K.'s healthcare system on the internet.

"Russian actors 'sought to interfere' in last winter's general election by amplifying an illicitly acquired NHS dossier that was seized upon by Labour during the campaign, the foreign secretary has said," reports The Guardian .

"Amplifying." That's literally all there is to this story. As we learned with the ridiculous U.S. Russiagate narrative , with such allegations, Russia "amplifying" something can mean anything from RT reporting on a major news story to a Twitter account from St. Petersburg sharing an article from The Washington Post . Even the foreign secretary's claim itself explicitly admits that "there is no evidence of a broad spectrum Russian campaign against the General Election."

"The statement is so foggy and contradictory that it is almost impossible to understand it," responded Russia's foreign ministry to the allegations. "If it's inappropriate to say something then don't say it. If you say it, produce the facts."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1283786417206956034&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F07%2F17%2Fcovid-19-putin-hacked-our-vaccine-is-dumbest-story-yet%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

Instead of producing facts you've got the Murdoch press pestering Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party candidate, on his doorstep over this ridiculous non-story, and popular right-wing outlets like Guido Fawkes running the blatantly false headline "Government Confirms Corbyn Used Russian-Hacked Documents in 2019 Election." The completely bogus allegation that the NHS documents came to Jeremy Corbyn by way of Russian hackers is not made anywhere in the article itself, but for the headline-skimming majority this makes no difference. And headline skimmers get as many votes as people who read and think critically.

All this new Cold War Russia hysteria is turning people's brains into guacamole. We've got to find a way to snap out of the propaganda trance so we can start creating a world that is based on truth and a desire for peace.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Her work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook , following her antics on Twitter , checking out her podcast on either Youtube , soundcloud , Apple podcasts or Spotify , following her on Steemit , throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of her sweet merchandise , buying her books " Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone " and " Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ."

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Putin Apologist , July 19, 2020 at 17:50

"How many more completely unsubstantiated government agency allegations about Russian nefariousness are we the public going to accept from the corporate mass media?"

The Answer is none. Nobody (well, nobody with a brain) believes anything the "corporate mass media" says about Russia, or China, Iran or Venezuela or anything else for that matter.

James Keye , July 19, 2020 at 10:26

Guy , July 18, 2020 at 15:32

But,but, but we never heard the words "highly likely" ,they must be slipping.LOL


DH Fabian
, July 18, 2020 at 13:41

The Democrat right wing are robotically persistent, and count on the ignorance of their base. By late last year, we saw them begin setting the stage to blame-away an expected 2020 defeat on Russia. Once again, proving that today's Democrats are just too dangerous to vote for. Donald Trump owes a great deal to his "friends across the aisle."

[Jul 23, 2020] Am I in an IMAX theater? Because there is so much projection going on here.

Jul 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

jayc , Jul 22 2020 18:40 utc | 21

There's no way the trillion in T-bills will be seized/defaulted/whatever. The damage to US credibility will be unrecoverable.

It is certainly crazy time. AG Barr threatened major US corporations Disney & Apple with having to register as "foreign agents" due to their Chinese investments. Earlier in the year, the FBI and Congress decided to destroy the career of one of America's top scientists over failure to submit relatively inconsequential paperwork. These are the types of things which should result in a determined pushback against an intrusive national security state, but the balance of power in USA may have flipped.

J W , Jul 22 2020 17:01 utc | 4

Am I in an IMAX theater? Because there is so much projection going on here.

[Jul 23, 2020] Opinion - Defund the Pentagon- The Liberal Case - POLITICO

Highly recommended!
Jul 23, 2020 | www.politico.com

Defund the Pentagon: The Liberal Case

Cutting the defense budget by a modest 10 percent could provide billions to combat the pandemic, provide health care and take care of neglected communities.

Capitol Souvenir Company, Inc. via Boston Public Library

By SEN. BERNIE SANDERS

07/16/2020 02:15 PM EDT

Sen. Bernie Sanders is an independent from Vermont.

▶ Click here for the conservative case for reducing defense spending.

Fifty-three years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged all of us to fight against three major evils: "the evil of racism, the evil of poverty and the evil of war." If there was ever a moment in American history when we needed to respond to Dr. King's clarion call for justice and demand a "radical revolution of values," now is that time.

Whether it is fighting against systemic racism and police brutality, defeating the deadliest pandemic in more than a hundred years, or putting an end to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, now is the time to fundamentally change our national priorities.

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Sadly, instead of responding to any of these unprecedented crises, the Republican Senate is on a two-week vacation. When it comes back, its first order of business will be to pass a military spending authorization that would give the bloated Pentagon $740 billion -- an increase of more than $100 billion since Donald Trump became president.

me title=

Let's be clear: As coronavirus infections , hospitalizations and deaths are surging to record levels in states across America, and the lifeline of unemployment benefits keeping 30 million people afloat expires at the end of the month, the Republican Senate has decided to provide more funding for the Pentagon than the next 11 nations' military budgets combined.

Under this legislation, over half of our discretionary budget would go to the Department of Defense at a time when tens of millions of Americans are food insecure and over a half-million Americans are sleeping out on the street. After adjusting for inflation, this bill would spend more money on the Pentagon than we did during the height of the Vietnam War even as up to 22 million Americans are in danger of being evicted from their homes and health workers are still forced to reuse masks, gloves and gowns.

Moreover, this extraordinary level of military spending comes at a time when the Department of Defense is the only agency of our federal government that has not been able to pass an independent audit, when defense contractors are making enormous profits while paying their CEOs outrageous compensation packages, and when the so-called War on Terror will cost some $6 trillion.

Let us never forget what Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a former four-star general, said in 1953: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

What Eisenhower said was true 67 years ago, and it is true today.

If the horrific pandemic we are now experiencing has taught us anything it is that national security means a lot more than building bombs, missiles, nuclear warheads and other weapons of mass destruction. National security also means doing everything we can to improve the lives of tens of millions of people living in desperation who have been abandoned by our government decade after decade.

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That is why I have introduced an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act that the Senate will be voting on during the week of July 20th, and the House will follow suit with a companion effort led by Representatives Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.). Our amendment would reduce the military budget by 10 percent and use that $74 billion in savings to invest in communities that have been ravaged by extreme poverty, mass incarceration, decades of neglect and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under this amendment, distressed cities and towns in every state in the country would be able to use these funds to create jobs by building affordable housing, schools, childcare facilities, community health centers, public hospitals, libraries and clean drinking water facilities. These communities would also receive federal funding to hire more public school teachers, provide nutritious meals to children and parents and offer free tuition at public colleges, universities or trade schools.

This amendment gives my Senate colleagues a fundamental choice to make. They can vote to spend more money on endless wars in the Middle East while failing to provide economic security to millions of people in the United States. Or they can vote to spend less money on nuclear weapons and cost overruns, and more to rebuild struggling communities in their home states.

In Dr. King's 1967 speech, he warned that "a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

He was right. At a time when half of our people are struggling paycheck to paycheck, when over 40 million Americans are living in poverty, and when 87 million lack health insurance or are underinsured, we are approaching spiritual death.

At a time when we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on Earth, and when millions of Americans are in danger of going hungry, we are approaching spiritual death.

At a time when we have no national testing program, no adequate production of protective gear and no commitment to a free vaccine, while remaining the only major country where infections spiral out of control, we are approaching spiritual death.

At a time when over 60,000 Americans die each year because they can't afford to get to a doctor on time, and one out of five Americans can't afford the prescription drugs their doctors prescribe, we are approaching spiritual death.

Now, at this unprecedented moment in American history, it is time to rethink what we value as a society and to fundamentally transform our national priorities. Cutting the military budget by 10 percent and investing that money in human needs is a modest way to begin that process. Let's get it done. MOST READ

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[Jul 23, 2020] Wartime Without End, War Powers Without Check -

Jul 23, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

kouroi 13 days ago

The Congress is serving the interests of the US Oligarchy, at home and abroad. The strategy is simple: keep allies/vassals in obeisance and non-competitive and destroy polities that do not subject themselves to a similar system (which ends up to become subservient to the US interests anyways, in the long run). Thus, all enemies are polities were Oligarchy doesn't run the roster, and are semi-socialist / socialist countries: Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, in the past Iraq.

Fully fledged democracies, that truly enact the will of the people, would not do something like this.

Carlton Meyer 13 days ago

For those too young to remember the horrible American war on Yugoslavia in 1999, or those who have forgot, or were misled with lies about Kosovo, here is a quick summary:

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FUsRkqnFn8DA%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DUsRkqnFn8DA&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FUsRkqnFn8DA%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

ericsiverson Carlton Meyer 11 days ago

This is a very accurate and honest report what { NATO } the North American Terrorist Organization did to Yugoslavia . If you Americans wish to know what kind of global government you are promoting . You only have to find the actual transcripts of Milosevic's trail . Don't read or listen to any fake news of the trail . You must read the trail transcripts and judge for yourself The butcher of Balkans has kind of been exonerated after his death . The world court is something to be very afraid of not at all a instrument of justice .But the trail transcripts are about 5000 pages so you will have to work to find out the truth .

Ram2017 11 days ago

WW2 and it's depiction in various films and TV programs has had an unexpected effect on the military psyche. The US believes it won the war on it's own and the troops came home as heroes. This is the expectation of the US military even today, unable to accept that it can be defeated. "Thank you for your service" is a given whatever crimes had been committed abroad on the innocent who had done them no harm whatsoever. The ICC is opposed on the theory that US troops cannot commit torture or massacres.

Adriaan de Leeuw Ram2017 11 days ago

The Joke is that the US has not one a war since WWII, except maybe Granada. As for War Crimes, the Current President himself committed a War Crime, He gave a Pardon to a Convicted War Criminal, that is actually breach of the Geneva Conventions, which is US Treaty Law and as such equal to the Constitution itself in importance. Schedule 4 Article 146

The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention defined in the following Article.

Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts. It may also, if it prefers, and in accordance with the provisions of its own legislation, hand such persons over for trial to another High Contracting Party concerned, provided such High Contracting Party has made out a prima facie case.

Each High Contracting Party shall take measures necessary for the suppression of all acts contrary to the provisions of the present Convention other than the grave breaches defined in the following Article.

In all circumstances, the accused persons shall benefit by safeguards of proper trial and defense, which shall not be less favorable than those provided by Article 105 and those following of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949.

Article 147

Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power, or willfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

Article 148

No High Contracting Party shall be allowed to absolve itself or any other High Contracting Party of any liability incurred by itself or by another High Contracting Party in respect of breaches referred to in the preceding Article.

The President has by absolving the Navy Seal of the Liability, Absolved the United States of the War Crime also, Now I understand that we will hear arguments here of the Presidents ability to Pardon, but take this as a given, there is no way that During the Nuremberg Trials the Prosecution of those War Crimes would have accepted the argument that the Head of State of Germany (Hitler) had the blanket Authority to Pardon German War Criminals. as such and this is why this was placed in the Geneva Conventions the very act of Absolving a War Crime is itself a War Crime!

bootin buddin Ram2017 10 days ago

We could care less what the ICC is opposed to. We are not subject to the ICC or international law. We can enforce it if needed but do not have to abide by it.

rayray bootin buddin 10 days ago

The micrograins of ICC jurisdiction and validity require a sharper legal mind than mine to sift through. But the debate is revelatory of something else -

In general, the current domestic ICC debate reveals part of the true nature of the US (helped in no small part by the hamfisted and transparent vulgarity of President Trump): that we are in fact the rogue state that we accuse everyone else in the world of being.

If we are who we say we are we should be straight up supporting the ICC, helping to fund it and increase its reach and investigative power. Far better than any military intervention to deal with the truly bad actors in the world would be a legal intervention. The idea that vicious and violent despots should run scared when they travel or otherwise face arrest and extradition is exactly right.

But we're not. Why? The answer is obvious at this point - because we have powerful players in our midst that would face that arrest. And should face that arrest.

[Jul 23, 2020] Demorats defeat amedment ot cut Defence by 10%

Highly recommended!
Jul 23, 2020 | news.antiwar.com

Amendment to make across-the-board reductions overwhelmingly defeated by members of both parties

Eric Garris Posted on July 21, 2020 Categories News

By a vote of 324-93 , the House of Representatives soundly defeated an amendment to reduce Pentagon authorized spending levels by 10%. The amendment does not specify what to cut, only that Congress make across-the-board reductions. The amendment to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was offered by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI). No Republicans voted for the amendment. Libertarian Justin Amash supported the amendment.

Earlier, the House defeated an amendment to stop the Pentagon's submission of an unfunded priorities list. Each year, after the Pentagon's budget request is submitted to Congress, the military services send a separate "wish list," termed "unfunded priorities." This list includes requests for programs that the military would like Congress to fund, in case they decide to add more money to the Pentagon's proposed budget.

This article was written while observing the voting on CSPAN. The House Clerk has not yet posted the roll-call vote. Additional information will be added to the article when available.

[Jul 23, 2020] This is a biggie: Egypt's parliament approves troop deployment to Libya

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I suspect In'Sultin Erd O'Grand is a mole of the garden kind. He goes about digging one hole for himself after another. ..."
Jul 23, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL July 21, 2020 at 6:01 am

This is a biggie:

Al's Jizz Error: Egypt's parliament approves troop deployment to Libya
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/egypt-legislators-vote-deploying-troops-libya-200720141515828.html

Move comes as Libya gov't and Turkey demand an end of foreign intervention in support of commander Khalifa Haftar.
####

I suspect In'Sultin Erd O'Grand is a mole of the garden kind. He goes about digging one hole for himself after another. If he keeps this up, all the holes will merge in to one and he will disappear! It would give the West a chance to have someone running Turkey with a more reliably western perspective though I think it is clear that whatever comes next, Turkey will not allow itself to be treated as a western annex and pawn.

[Jul 23, 2020] Garbage in, Garbage out, again

Neocon presstitutes like Appelbaum (actually a well paid MIC lobbyist in disguise) and MI6 connected criminals like like Browder are the feature of the US political landscape, not a bug. I actually did laugh at Browder's piece on the BBC though, were a money launderer and tax evader who left his book keeper to die in a Russian prison telling us we shouldn't trust the Russians.
US economic problems are greatly enhanced by the tremendous amount of defense expenditures (outspending the combined next seven leading countries in arms expenditures) and tax payer's money being wasted on paranoid obsessions likes what's mentioned here: http://markcrispinmiller.com/2020/07/a-visit-from-the-fbi/
Jul 23, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com
A.I.S. JULY 21, 2020 AT 11:33 AM

How can anyone think that Bowder is an authority of anything other then high level Nigerian crown prince scams? Enrique JULY 22, 2020 AT 9:55 PM

Russia's goal? ..to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids, of course. Didn't you read the report? Mikhail JULY 22, 2020 AT 8:18 AM

Talk about "Garbage In-Garbage Out", the idiocy behind that is how she/he/it punked out of live discussion:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay/2007/08/a_new_cold_war.html

Much easier to lob pot shots from a distance where there's little, if any challenge. Enrique JULY 22, 2020 AT 9:31 PM

I think she finally found a husband and stopped ragging on western expats drooling over slavic women like schoolboys. 😉


Enrique JULY 22, 2020 AT 9:11 PM

The article mentions Steele as a discredited participant but what about Applebaum, or are we to forget how her Polish husband was demoted by his own government for concocting a story about Putin offering to split Ukraine with Poland, at an alleged meeting that he was shown to have never attended. Poland no doubt sanctioned him for fabricating such an easily disproved event, certainly not out of any such notion as a search for truth.

That said, not having invited even a token moderate voice to this august 'panel of experts' speaks volumes about either the ignorance, the incompetence, the perfidy or just plain 'We don't really care what you think. We've done our duty' arrogance of the report's authors.

[Jul 23, 2020] Egypt approves Libya deployment, risking clash with Turkey - HoustonChronicle.com

Jul 23, 2020 | www.houstonchronicle.com

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's parliament on Monday authorized the deployment of troops outside the country, a move that could escalate the spiraling war in Libya after the president threatened military action against Turkish-backed forces in the oil-rich country.

A troop deployment in Libya could bring Egypt and Turkey, close U.S. allies that support rival sides in the conflict, into direct confrontation.

[Jul 22, 2020] The west is so fixed on 'getting' Russia that it must simply make things up when it cannot find real reasons for its hatred. Here hired gunds like Browder comes handy

Notable quotes:
"... I seem to recall William "Bill" Browder, AKA "Putin's Number-One Enemy" was briefly detained in Spain on an Interpol warrant or something. ..."
"... And courtesy of today's Independent, the words of that most noble and trustworthy lying cnut Browder as regards "Russian Meddling" in the affairs of my pathetic Motherland: ..."
"... Spoken by a person who changed his citizenship so as to dodge paying tax. What a slimy toad Browder is! ..."
"... Of course, though, Browder is not an oligarch himself. He's an 'investment firm boss'. And naturally he does not himself engage 'basically in intelligence and influence work'. He only single-handedly managed to get the Magnitsky Act on the books, where it will stay forever although the German press is belatedly owning up that Magnitsky was not the pink-faced legal cherub Browder portrayed. If that's not influence, I don't know what is. ..."
"... The west is so fixed on 'getting' Russia that it must simply make things up when it cannot find real reasons for its hatred. You could say that the USA with its marble-this-and-that secret algorithms is making up online traffic and attributing it to Russia, but I'm pretty sure other western countries are not complete oafs themselves in the computer world, and if you know what you're looking for I'm sure that their analysts can separate fantasy-land gifts like 'Kremlin Assassination Plan for American Soldiers' from actual Russian plans. ..."
Jul 22, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL July 21, 2020 at 4:38 am

I think the only Spanish connection it is a convenient location for whatever they were up to off-shore. We are expected to trust the intelligence services word that Litvinenko/Skripal/whomever were investigating the 'Russian Mafia' in Spain, so in reality it could be anything.

What we do know is that Spain signed an updated SOFA (Status Of Forces Agreement) with the United States in 2012 (Second Amendment) and 2015 (Third Amendment). Why should this be linked to UK Russian assets like Litvinenko & Skripal? Because we know that when the United States wants to do something off the books , i.e. that is techincally illegal for their citizens to do on their soil, the UK more than happy to oblige (sic. the choice of Steele's Orbis company in the UK to peddle lies for the Democrats to say that they only lost the US election because of someone else. Everybody else's fault but not theirs.

MARK CHAPMAN July 21, 2020 at 11:54 am

Also, I seem to recall William "Bill" Browder, AKA "Putin's Number-One Enemy" was briefly detained in Spain on an Interpol warrant or something.

Why, yes; yes, he was, 'way back in the mists of 2018. According to the screeching British press, he was let go because the warrant was expired.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5786099/British-financier-Putin-critic-William-Browder-arrested-Spain-Russias-request.html

I daresay these international japes add spice to his life and put a spring in his step.

MOSCOWEXILE July 20, 2020 at 11:32 pm

And guess who arrives in London today to have discussions with Johnson and Raab?

None other than fat twat bully boy Pompeo!

TROND July 21, 2020 at 9:28 am

Next he is going to Denmark .

To bully them about NS2 .? An inform them that Greenland belongs to Uncle Sam.

MOSCOWEXILE July 21, 2020 at 1:34 am

And courtesy of today's Independent, the words of that most noble and trustworthy lying cnut Browder as regards "Russian Meddling" in the affairs of my pathetic Motherland:

Will the Russia report 'follow the money'?

Russia is operating in the UK through "oligarchs" who "spend their money on highly placed people", according to British investment firm boss Bill Browder.

Browder, the CEO of Hermitage Capital, who gave evidence for the report, told the BBC said these figures "would basically do intelligence and influence work".

How far will the report delve into the influence of Russian money in British politics? Although this morning's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) 50-page document is expected to cover political donations from wealthy Russians, reports suggest it won't actually name any names.

Spoken by a person who changed his citizenship so as to dodge paying tax. What a slimy toad Browder is!

I shouldn't have said that: toads are very useful creatures.

See -- or better: do not, see unless you have a vomit bag near at hand:

UK politics news live: Latest updates as long-awaited Russia report to be released today | Th