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Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better
|News||Fifth column||Recommended Links||Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats||Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool||MSM as attack dogs of color revolution|
|Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0||Nancy Pelosi impeachment gambit||American Maidan 2020||CHAZ free zone -- Seattle Maidan||Black Lives Matter till November elections||Iconoclasm in America|
|Venezuela: another "bombs for oil" scenario after Libya?||Syria civil war||Civil war in Ukraine||Yemen war||Looting pays dividends to empire||War and Venture Capitalism|
|Methods used for destabilization of the society in color revolutions||Bombing country with dollars||Government snipers on rooftops false flag operation||"Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for color revolutions undermining government in developing and xUSSR countries||Role of State Department and western embassies||NGOs and think tanks as brain trust of color revolutions|
|Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair||Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources||Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy||"Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries||Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism||The World as the Grand Chessboard of the American empire|
|Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war||Delegitimization of Ruling Party||Parasitism on Human rights: children of Lieutenant Schmidt||Human right activists or globalism fifth column||The art of manufacturing of prisoners of consciousness||Sect of fraudulent election witnesses|
|Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism||Neoconservatism||Media-Military-Industrial Complex||The Deep State||Compradors|
|Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair||NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions||Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014||EuroMaidan||Russian Color Revolution of 2012||Ukrainian orange revolution|
|Frustrated underachievers||Russian neoliberal compradors||Net Hamsters as a part of fifth column||Exploiting Revolutionary Romantics as polit-technology||IntelliXencia: Corruption of Intelligentsia and it usage in fifth column in Russia||Gene Sharp Recipes and Russian Experience|
|Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite||The Iron Law of Oligarchy||Two Party System as polyarchy||Foreign Agents Registration Act||Attack of Think Tanks||Destruction by the USA of international law|
|Predator state||The Real War on Reality||Media as a weapon of mass deception||Anatol Leiven on American Messianism||Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich|
|American Exceptionalism||Non-Interventionism||Hypocrisy of British ruling elite||Politically Incorrect Humor||Russian Fifth column Humor||Etc|
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
|"The great masquerade of evil has played havoc with all our ethical concepts. For evil to appear disguised
as light, as charity, as historical necessity, or social justice is quite bewildering to anyone raised on traditional ethical
concepts. But for the Christian who builds his life on the word of God, it merely confirms the fundamental perversity of evil."
-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Sep 20, 2020 | townhall.com
In May of 2017, President Trump did the right thing and fired FBI Director James Comey, the individual at the center of the attempt to overturn the 2016 election results. Comey orchestrated the spying efforts on President Trump and his campaign, which included the FBI improperly applying for four separate Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrants to eavesdrop on campaign aide Carter Page. He also authorized a politically motivated investigation into Lt. General Michael Flynn and encouraged the entrapment of Flynn by his FBI agents in an infamous White House interview.
Clearly, Comey was a disastrous FBI Director; however, the President made a terrible choice when he replaced him with Christopher Wray, a bureaucrat who has not reformed the agency in any meaningful way. He also seems to be incapable of identifying the real threats that are facing the country.
In testimony on Thursday before the House Homeland Security Committee, Wray made a series of remarkable claims. He stated that Antifa is not a group but is more of "an ideology or maybe a movement." He also refused to identify Chinese efforts to interrupt the 2020 election and again focused attention on activities from Russia.
With these remarks, Wray is doing the bidding of the Democrats and following their talking points. Regarding Antifa violence, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), claimed it was a "myth."
me title=CARTOONS | MICHAEL RAMIREZ VIEW CARTOON
Nadler has been in his congressional cocoon for too long. Antifa has been active for several years, but since the death of George Floyd on May 25, it has intensified its activities around the country. Millions of Americans have seen the frequent and disturbing video footage of rioting and looting throughout the country. According to U.S. Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), "there have been more than 550 declared riots, many stoked by extremists, Antifa and the BLM (Black Lives Matter) organization."
In his comments to Wray at the committee meeting, Crenshaw also noted the rioters have done an extensive amount of damage. He stated that "between one and two billion dollars of insurance claims will be paid out. That doesn't come close to measuring the actual and true damage to people's lives, not even close."
Crenshaw is right as many of our urban areas, such as New York, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland among others have been devastated by a series of violent protests. In the past few months, scores of monuments have been destroyed, and significant damage has been done to businesses and public buildings. The group has also attacked innocent civilians and targeted police officers. As Crenshaw asserted in this rebuttal to Wray, Antifa matches the definition of a domestic terrorist organization.
Sep 19, 2020 | www.voltairenet.org
Who wants to overthrow President Lukashenko? by Thierry Meyssan
The Western press highlights Svetlana Tikhanovskaya as the winner of the Belarusian presidential election and accuses outgoing President Alexander Lukashenko of violence, nepotism and election rigging. However, an analysis of this country shows that the policies of its president correspond to the wishes of its citizens. Behind this fabricated quarrel lies the spectre of Ukrainian Euromaidan and a provoked rupture with Russia. VOLTAIRE NETWORK | PARIS (FRANCE) | 1 SEPTEMBER 2020 عربي DEUTSCH ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΆ ESPAÑOL FRANÇAIS ITALIANO NEDERLANDS POLSKI PORTUGUÊS РУССКИЙ TÜRKÇE
- Svetlana Tikhanovskaya managed to gather both thousands of liberals and neo-Nazis against President Lukashenko.
One of the objectives of the Euromaidan coup (Ukraine, 2013-14) was to cut the Silk Road in Europe. China reacted by changing its route and passing it through Belarus. From then on, Minsk tried to protect itself from the same destabilization by pursuing a more balanced policy towards the West, participating in military manoeuvres with Moscow and agreeing to supply arms to Daesh, which Moscow was fighting in Syria.
However, despite Minsk's prevarication, the CIA intervened on the occasion of the presidential election of 2020. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya defied the outgoing president, Alexander Lukashenko, who was running for a sixth term. She obtained only 10 per cent of the vote, cried fraud and fled to Lithuania, where Frenchman Bernard-Henri Lévy rushed to welcome her. Unanimously, the Western press denounced the "dictator" and hinted that Madame Tikhanovskaya had been victorious in the election.
The reality is much more complex.
First of all, while it is quite possible that the elections were rigged in favour of the incumbent president, it is highly unlikely that Svetlana Tikhanovskaya came close to the majority, as what she represents is foreign to the vast majority of Belarusians. For the past 30 years or so, a debate has been going on in the country about its European identity. Is it culturally close to pro-US Western Europe or does it belong to Slavic, pro-Russian Europe? Without a doubt, the answer is that Belarusians are culturally Russian, even if some of them do not speak exactly the same language. Admittedly, two small minorities profess divergent opinions: the first calls itself "nationalist" in reference to the short-lived Belarusian People's Republic (1918-19) whose organs in exile collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War, then with the Stay-Behind networks of NATO; the second says it is in favour of the liberal model and the European Union.
Unlike Ukraine, which is divided into two culturally distinct zones (the pro-German West and the pro-Russian East), Belarus fundamentally thinks of itself as Russian, although politically independent of Moscow.
Secondly, if there was any doubt about the role of the US secret services in this affair, the emergence of Bernard-Henri Lévy should remove it. The rich heir of a precious wood import company made a career writing anti-Soviet essays. Sold by his publisher as a "New Philosopher", he still passes for a "philosopher" today. He supported the "freedom fighters", i.e. the Arab mercenaries of the Muslim Brotherhood in Afghanistan against the Soviets, including their leader Osama Bin Laden. He sided with the Contras in Nicaragua, i.e. the South American mercenaries of John Negroponte armed by Hashem Rafsanjani's Iran. He boasts of having been press advisor to the Bosnian President Alija Izetbegović when the former pro-Nazi had the American neoconservative Richard Perle as political advisor and the aforementioned Osama Bin Laden as military advisor. I remember how afterwards he impressed me by explaining to me that it was necessary to bomb Belgrade to bring down the "dictator" Slobodan Milošević. I did not understand very well why the pro-Nazi Izetbegović was a "democrat" while the communist Milošević was a "dictator". Anyway, going back in time, Bernard-Henri Levy, now nicknamed "BHL," gave his noisy support to the Chechen Muslim Brotherhood, which formed the Islamic Emirate of Itchkeria on Russian territory. According to a report from the Jamahiriya's foreign services, he participated in the meeting organized by Republican Senator John McCain in Cairo in February 2011 to settle the details of the overthrow of the "Gaddafi regime" which was then cited as an example by the United States. The French were surprised to see him announce in the courtyard of the Elysée Palace, in the place of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, his country's commitment against the "dictator" (all the men to be shot - and they alone - are "dictators"). Of course, he was on Kiev's Maidan Square during the "color revolution" led there by authentic Nazis.
- Born fatherless on a collective farm, Alexander Lukashenko became the most skilful head of state in Europe.
That being said, Belarusians may have grievances against President Lukashenko, but not against his policies. All the connoisseurs of the country, whether they are among his supporters or among his opponents, admit that his policy is in line with the concerns of the Belarusians. All those who approached Alexander Lukashenko were astonished by his intelligence, charisma and incorruptibility. Those who accused him of advocating attachment to Russia out of political calculation and not out of conviction admitted that they were mistaken when he maintained his position despite Moscow's rebuffs and the incredible gas war between the two countries. All were surprised by his extraordinary abilities which made him threaten the power of President Boris Yeltsin when he proposed union with Russia.
The main reproach that one could level at President Lukashenko is that he made several opposition leaders disappear; an accusation that he vigorously denies, accusing these personalities of links with criminal organizations that would have turned to their disadvantage.
For years, his opponents accused him of enriching himself on the backs of the nation without ever providing the slightest proof. Yet all international operators know that when Belarus signs a contract, the retro-commissions never exceed 5%, compared to 10% for the USA, 50% for Yeltsin's Russia (this figure fell to 10% under Putin's administration) and 60% for Iran. It is clear that the man is not motivated by money. In the absence of corruption, Western propaganda began to accuse him preventively of nepotism for the benefit of his young son, Nikolai, known as "Kolia".
The only reproach that can be made against him is that he regularly makes anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks - never having supported anti-Semitic or homophobic acts. In doing so, he is unfortunately in line with the leaders of his country.
Since the beginning of the crisis, President Lukashenko has been claiming that the opposition of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and her allies is a West-East geopolitical problem and not a national political quarrel. While this opposition claims not to be at the service of any foreign power.
Apart from the irruption of Bernard-Henri Lévy, several elements suggest that Alexander Lukashenko is telling the truth.
The Psychological Action Group of the Polish Special Forces seems to have been extremely active since the beginning of the crisis in the service of Madame Tikhanovskaya.
Ukrainian neo-Nazi militias are also involved.
Finally, the Lithuanian government, which is also hosting Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, is also involved.
However there is no trace of the European Union, unlike the Ukrainian Euromaïdan. So the most likely is that Washington is orchestrating regional actors (Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania) against the Slavic world.
In any case, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has just set up a reserve force, capable of intervening in Belarus to support the institutions and President Lukashenko; this at a time when the two men have maintained relations that are sometimes very conflicted. Thierry Meyssan
Sep 19, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
MARK CHAPMAN September 16, 2020 at 9:02 am
Yes, the EU is tentatively exploring a Guaido operation of its own, and 'recognizing' Tikohonovskaya as the real leader of Belarus. They may have been panicked into it by the very real possibility of a unification deal between Russia and Belarus – that way, they could claim any such agreement had no legal weight, as the 'real president' did not sign it. Lithuania was excited to be the first.
The Balts are always happy to lead with their chins when they believe their big brothers have their backs. But I don't think it will gain broad acceptance – that is, unless the EU is completely tone-deaf, because it is so manifestly like Operation Mister Smiley in Venezuela that the equivalency is inescapable, and that has turned into a major embarrassment for Washington. That, and signing on en masse to such a ditzy jape would more than likely only harden resolve on the part of Lukashenko. He's already had nearly every regime-change template run on him, and has flummoxed them all, so when they can't win 'fairly' (at least according to their definition of fairness) they're just going to drop all pretenses and declare their preferred candidate the winner, after refusing to observe the election so they could later say it was rigged. All of which looks suspiciously like putting your hands over your eyes and imagining you are invisible. But childishness is often mistaken for courage in Europe.
However, all this has the effect of imposing further divisions between Europe and Russia, which makes Washington a winner. Unless there is a broad European revolt by the European business community – which should realize that dividing Russia and Europe is only making Europe safe for American trade, while having little practical effect on Russia – then Washington just needs to keep its mouth shut, and clean up.
Apr 11, 2018 | www.stalkerzone.orgTranslated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard 21:40:32 11/04/2018 ria.ru
The former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the UAF Yury Dumansky stated on the air of the " NewsOne " TV channel that Kiev is guided by the decisions of the US concerning the question of resolving the conflict in Donbass.
The demands of the President Petro Poroshenko concerning the deployment of UN peacekeepers in the east of the country will directly be agreed with the special representative of the US State Department for Ukraine Kurt Volker , stressed Dumansky."We are in the conditions of the negotiation process. Not we, Ukraine, but a third external player who presents America – Volker – decides for us. And he solves the problem with the Russian Federation at the level of negotiations," noted the Lieutenant-General.
And it is only after, according to the military, that Poroshenko undertakes measures coordinated with the US for the solving of the conflict in Donbass.
"And then the corresponding processes are launched -- what we observe directly -- the president's trips to Turkey, Germany where one of the questions concerning solving this conflict are being raised," noted Dumansky.
Kiev in April, 2014, started a military operation against the self-proclaimed LPR and the DPR, which declared their independence after a coup d'etat in Ukraine.
The issue of solving the situation in Donbass is discussed also during contact group meetings in Minsk, which since September, 2014, adopted already three documents regulating steps to de-escalate the conflict. However, firefights between the parties of the conflict still continue.
Now the Ukrainian authorities try to obtain the introduction of UN peacekeepers in the East of Ukraine. According to Kiev, "blue helmets" should be deployed on all the territory of Donbass up to the border with Russia.
Vladimir Putin supported the idea of sending a peacekeeping mission to the East of Ukraine. However, according to him, their task includes only ensuring the security of OSCE staff, and they have to be based on the contact line.
Sep 17, 2020 | www.rt.com
apothqowejh 4 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:31 PMThe CIA was founded by the same fascists who tried to enlist Smedley Butler to overthrow FDR. During the post-war period, they smuggled their ideological brethren out of Germany with operation Paperclip. Their founding fathers included Prescott Bush, a Nazi, whose son and grandson went on to become US Presidents.
They have never stopped hating Russia, nor have they ever stopped lying to the American Public.
Sep 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
xrxs , 38 minutes ago
Sen. Chris Murphy said this the other day: "I have a real belief that democracy is unnatural. We don't run anything important in our lives by democratic vote other than our government. Democracy is so unnatural that it's illogical to think it would be permanent. It will fall apart at some point, and maybe that point isn't now, but maybe it is."
Sep 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
1. Do I have the facts straight?
Karl Marx said that " Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it ." I doubt very much that you will know which changes you need to make if you don't have a very good idea about your starting point. In his book Factfulness and in his many excellent online presentations, the late Swedish Professor of International Health Hans Rosling identifies a lot of the ways things have gotten better , especially for the world's poorest.
Suppose, for example, that you encounter the name " Milton Friedman ," perhaps in connection with lamented "neoliberalism" and maybe in connection with human rights abuses perpetrated by the brutal Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Friedman has been denounced as the "father of global misery," and his reputation has taken another beating in the wake of the fiftieth anniversary of his 1970 New York Times Magazine essay " The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits ," which I suspect most people haven't read past its title. But what happened during "The Age of Milton Friedman," as the economist Andrei Shleifer asked in a 2009 article ? Shleifer points out that "Between 1980 and 2005, as the world embraced free market policies, living standards rose sharply, while life expectancy, educational attainment, and democracy improved and absolute poverty declined." Things have never been so good, and they are getting better , especially for the world's poor.
In 2008, there was a bit of controversy over the establishment of the Milton Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago, which operates today as the Becker Friedman Institute (it is also named for Friedman's fellow Chicago economist Gary Becker ). In a blistering reply to a protest letter signed by a group of faculty members at the University of Chicago, the economist John Cochrane wrote, "If you start with the premise that the last 40 or so years, including the fall of communism, and the opening of China and India are 'negative for much of the world's population,' you just don't have any business being a social scientist. You don't stand a chance of contributing something serious to the problems that we actually do face." Nor, might I add, do you stand much of a chance of concocting a revolutionary program that will actually help the people you're trying to lead.2. What makes me so sure I won't replace the existing regime with something far worse?
I might hesitate to push the aforementioned button because while the world we actually inhabit is far from perfect, it's not at all clear that deleting the state overnight wouldn't mean civilization's wholesale and maybe even perpetual collapse. At the very least, I would want to think long and hard about it. The explicit mention of Frantz Fanon and Che Guevara in the course description suggest that students will be approaching revolutionary ideas from the left. They should look at the results of populist revolutions in 20th century Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The blood of many millions starved and slaughtered in efforts to "forge a better society" cries out against socialism and communism, and macroeconomic populism in Latin America has been disastrous . As people have pointed out when told that "democratic socialists" aren't trying to turn their countries into Venezuela, Venezuelans weren't trying to turn their country into Venezuela when they embraced Hugo Chavez. I wonder why we should expect WLU's aspiring revolutionaries to succeed where so many others have failed.3. Is my revolutionary program just a bunch of platitudes with which no decent person would disagree?
In 2019, Kristian Niemietz of London's Institute of Economic Affairs published a useful volume titled Socialism: The Failed Idea That Never Dies , which you can download for $0 from IEA . He notes a tendency for socialists and neo-socialists to pitch their programs almost exclusively in terms of their hoped-for results rather than in terms of the operation of concrete social processes they hope to set in motion (on this I paraphrase my intellectual hero Thomas Sowell ).
Apply a test proposed a long time ago by the economist William Easterly: can you imagine anyone seriously objecting to what you're saying? If not, then you probably aren't saying anything substantive. Can you imagine someone saying "I hate the idea of the world's poor having better food, clothing, shelter, and medical care" or "It would be a very bad thing if more people were literate?" If not, then it's likely that your revolutionary program is a tissue of platitudes and empty promises. That's not to say it won't work politically–God knows, nothing sells better on election day than platitudes and empty promises–but you shouldn't think you're saying anything profound if all you're saying is something obvious like "It would be nice if more people had access to clean, drinkable water."
... ... ...7. How has it worked the other times it has been tried?
Are you considering "land reform," whether land expropriation and redistribution, or straight up collectivization? Satellite images of the effects of land reform in Zimbabwe should make you think twice.
Years before the Russian Revolution, Eugene Richter predicted with eerie prescience what would happen in a socialist society in his short book Pictures of the Socialistic Future ( which you can download for $0 here ). Bryan Caplan, who wrote the foreword for that edition of Pictures and who put together the online " Museum of Communism ," points out the distressing regularity with which communists go from "bleeding heart" to "mailed fist." It doesn't take long for communist regimes to go from establishing a workers' paradise to shooting people who try to leave. Consider whether or not the brutality and mass murder of communist regimes is a feature of the system rather than a bug. Hugo Chavez and Che Guevara both expressed bleeding hearts with their words but used a mailed fist in practice (I've written before that "irony" is denouncing Milton Friedman for the crimes of Augusto Pinochet while wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt. Pinochet was a murderous thug. Guevara was, too). Caplan points to pages 105 and 106 of Four Men: Living the Revolution: An Oral History of Contemporary Cuba . On page 105, Lazaro Benedi Rodriguez's heart is bleeding for the illiterate. On page 106, he's "advis(ing) Fidel to have an incinerator dug about 40 or 50 meters deep, and every time one of these obstinate cases came up, to drop the culprit in the incinerator, douse him with gasoline, and set him on fire."
... ... ...9. What will I do with people who aren't willing to go along with my revolution?
Walter Williams once said that he doesn't mind if communists want to be communists. He minds that they want him to be a communist, too. Would you allow people to try capitalist experiments in your socialist paradise? Or socialist experiments in your capitalist paradise (Families, incidentally, are socialist enterprises that run by the principle "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.")? Am I willing to allow dissenters to advocate my overthrow, or do I need to crush dissent and control the minds of the masses in order for my revolution to work? Am I willing to allow people to leave, or will I need to build a wall to keep people in?10. Am I letting myself off the hook for questions 1-9 and giving myself too much credit for passion and sincerity?
The philosopher David Schmidtz has said that if your best argument is that your heart is in the right place, then your heart is most definitely not in the right place. Consider this quote from Edmund Burke and ask whether or not it leads you to revise your revolutionary plans:
"A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood. He would feel some apprehension at being called to a tremendous account for engaging in so deep a play, without any sort of knowledge of the game. It is no excuse for presumptuous ignorance, that it is directed by insolent passion. The poorest being that crawls on earth, contending to save itself from injustice and oppression is an object respectable in the eyes of God and man. But I cannot conceive any existence under heaven (which, in the depths of its wisdom, tolerates all sorts of things) that is more truly odious and disgusting, than an impotent helpless creature, without civil wisdom or military skill, without a consciousness of any other qualification for power but his servility to it, bloated with pride and arrogance, calling for battles which he is not to fight, contending for a violent dominion which he can never exercise, and satisfied to be himself mean and miserable, in order to render others contemptible and wretched." (Emphasis added).
Sep 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
booboo , 6 hours agoAce006 , 5 hours ago
"The Past is Prologue
It is September 2020. Americans are focused on an election between an Orange Fascist criminal and an old-school right-wing Democrat war criminal. Where Donald Trump projects chaos and disorder, Biden projects stability, order, and a return to normalcy. If Trump is the virus, then surely Biden is the cure"
so this *** clown spends 5000 words on the criminal operation in Libya under Obama/Biden/Clinton which leave the country in utter chaos and this is his money shot? Orange man bad fascist, old school democrat War Criminal normal.
what a load of tripe
A+. He provides much needed clarity and perspective on the Libyan tragedy and then crashes into the usual delusional, leftist landfill of fascism, murder of black youth, BLM (all hail), and Biden as, so help me, some kind of a cure for anything.
... ... ...
Sep 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
The Plot Against Libya: An Obama-Biden-Clinton Criminal Conspiracy
by Tyler Durden Fri, 09/11/2020 - 23:40 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
Authored by Eric Draitser via Counterpunch.org,
The scorching desert sun streams through narrow slats in the tiny window. A mouse scurries across the cracked concrete floor, the scuttling of its tiny feet drowned out by the sound of distant voices speaking in Arabic. Their chatter is in a western Libyan dialect distinctive from the eastern dialect favored in Benghazi. Somewhere off in the distance, beyond the shimmering desert horizon, is Tripoli, the jewel of Africa now reduced to perpetual war.
But here, in this cell in a dank old warehouse in Bani Walid, there are no smugglers, no rapists, no thieves or murderers. There are simply Africans captured by traffickers as they made their way from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Eritrea, or other disparate parts of the continent seeking a life free of war and poverty, the rotten fruit of Anglo-American and European colonialism. The cattle brands on their faces tell a story more tragic than anything produced by Hollywood.
These are slaves: human beings bought and sold for their labor. Some are bound for construction sites while others for the fields. All face the certainty of forced servitude, a waking nightmare that has become their daily reality.
This is Libya, the real Libya. The Libya that has been constructed from the ashes of the US-NATO war that deposed Muammar Gaddafi and the government of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The Libya now fractured into warring factions, each backed by a variety of international actors whose interest in the country is anything but humanitarian.
But this Libya was built not by Donald Trump and his gang of degenerate fascist ghouls. No, it was the great humanitarian Barack Obama, along with Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Susan Rice, Samantha Power and their harmonious peace circle of liberal interventionists who wrought this devastation. With bright-eyed speeches about freedom and self-determination, the First Black President, along with his NATO comrades in France and Britain, unleashed the dogs of war on an African nation seen by much of the world as a paragon of economic and social development.
But this is no mere journalistic exercise to document just one of the innumerable crimes carried out in the name of the American people. No, this is us, the antiwar left in the United States, peering through the cracks in the imperial artifice – crumbling as it is from internal rot and political decay – to shine a light through the gloom named Trump and directly into the heart of darkness.
There are truths that must be made plain lest they be buried like so many bodies in the desert sand.The War on Libya: A Criminal Conspiracy
To understand the depth of criminality involved in the US-NATO war on Libya, we must unravel a complex story involving actors from both the US and Europe who quite literally conspired to bring about this war, while simultaneously exposing the unconstitutional, imperial presidency as embodied by Mr. Hope and Change himself.
In doing so, a picture emerges that is strikingly at odds with the dominant narrative about good intentions and bad dictators. For although Gaddafi was presented as the villain par excellence in this story told by the Empire's scribes in corporate media, it is in fact Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, former French President Nicholas Sarkozy, French philosopher-cum-neocolonial adventurist Bernard Henri-Levy, and former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who are the real malevolent forces. It was they, not Gaddafi, who waged a blatantly illegal war on false pretenses and for their own aggrandizement. It was they, not Gaddafi, who conspired to plunge Libya into chaos and civil war from which it is yet to emerge. It was they who beat the war drums while proclaiming peace on earth and good will to men.
The US-NATO war on Libya represents perhaps one of the most egregious examples of US military aggression and lawlessness in recent memory. Of course, the US didn't act alone as a wide cast of characters played a role as the French and British were keen to involve themselves in the reassertion of control over a once lucrative African asset torn from European control by the evil Gaddafi. And this, only a few years after former UK Prime Minister and Iraq war criminal Tony Blair met with Gaddafi to usher in a new era of openness and partnership.
The story begins with Bernard Henri-Lévy, the French philosopher, journalist, and amateur foreign service officer who fancied himself an international spy. Having failed to arrive in Egypt in time to buttress his ego by capitalizing on the uprising against former dictator Hosni Mubarak, he quickly shifted his attention to Libya, where an uprising in the anti-Gaddafi hotbed of Benghazi was underway. As Le Figaro chronicled , Henri-Levy managed to talk his way into a meeting with then head of the National Transition Council (TNC) Mustapha Abdeljalil, a former Gaddafi official who became head of the anti-Gaddafi TNC. But Henri-Levy wasn't there just for an interview to be published in his French paper, he was there to help overthrow Gaddafi and, in so doing, make himself into an international star.
Henri-Levy quickly pressed his contacts and got on the phone with French President Nicholas Sarkozy to ask him, rather bluntly, if he'd agree to meet with Abdeljalil and the leadership of the TNC. Just a few days later, Henri-Levy and his colleagues arrived at the Élysée Palace with TNC leadership at their side. To the utter shock of the Libyans present, Sarkozy tells them that he plans to recognize the TNC as the legitimate government of Libya. Henri-Levy and Sarkozy have now, at least in theory, deposed the Gaddafi government.
But the little problem of Gaddafi's military victories and the very real possibility that he might emerge victorious from the conflict complicated matters as the French public had become aware of the scheme and was rightly lambasting Sarkozy. Henri-Levy, ever the opportunist, stoked the patriotic fervor by announcing that without French intervention, the tricolor flag flying over five-star hotels in Benghazi would be stained with blood. The PR campaign worked as Sarkozy quickly came around to the idea of military intervention.
However, Henri-Levy had a still more critical role to play: bringing the US military juggernaut into the plot. Henri-Levy organized the first of what would be several high-level talks between US officials from the Obama Administration and the Libyans of the TNC. Most importantly, Henri-Levy set up the meeting between Abdeljalil and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. While Clinton was skeptical at the time of the meeting, it would be a matter of months before she and Joe Biden, along with the likes of Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and others would be planning the political, diplomatic, and military route to regime change in Libya.The Americans Enter the Fray
There would have been no war in Libya were it not for the US political, diplomatic, and military machine. In this sense, despite the relatively meager US military involvement, the war in Libya was an American war. That is to say, it was a war that could not have happened were it not for the active collaboration of the Obama Administration with its French and British counterparts.
As Jo Becker of the NY Times explained in 2016, Hillary Clinton met with Mahmoud Jibril, a prominent Libyan politician who would go on to become the new Prime Minister of post-Gaddafi Libya, and his associates, in order to assess the faction now garnering US support . Clinton's job, according to Becker, was "to take measure of the rebels we supported" – a fancy way of saying that Clinton attended the meeting to determine whether this group of politicians speaking on behalf of a diverse group of anti-Gaddafi voices (ranging from pro-democracy activists to outright terrorists affiliated with global terror networks) should be supported with US money and covert arms.
The answer, ultimately, was a resounding yes.
But of course, as with all America's warmongering misadventures, there was no consensus on military intervention. As Becker reported, some in the Obama Administration were skeptical of the easy victory and post-conflict political calculus. One prominent voice of dissent, at least according to Becker, was former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Himself no dove, Gates was concerned that Clinton and Biden's hawkish attitude toward Libya would ultimately lead to an Iraq-style political nightmare that would undoubtedly end with the US having created and then abandoned a failed state – exactly what happened.
It is important to note that Clinton and Biden were two of the principal voices for aggression and war. Both were supportive of the No-Fly Zone from early on, and both advocated for military intervention. Indeed, the two have been simpatico in nearly every war crime committed by the US in the last 30 years, including perhaps most egregiously in support of Bush's crime against humanity that we call the second Iraq War.
As former Clinton lackey (Deputy Director of Secretary of State Clinton's Policy Planning staff) Derek Chollet explained, "[Libya] seemed like an easy case." Chollet, a principal participant in the American conspiracy to make war on Libya who later went on to serve directly under Obama and at the National Security Council, inadvertently illustrates in stark relief the imperial arrogance of the Obama-Clinton-Biden liberal interventionist camp. In calling Libya an "easy case" he of course means that Libya was a perfect candidate for a regime change operation whose primary benefit would be to boost politically those who supported it.
Chollet, like many strategic planners at the time, saw Libya as a slam dunk opportunity to turn the demonstrations and uprisings of 2010-2011, which quickly became known as the Arab Spring, into political capital from the Democratic camp of the US ruling class. This rapidly became Clinton's position. And soon, the consensus of the entire Obama Administration.Obama's War Off the Books
One of the more pernicious myths of the US war on Libya was the notion – propagated dutifully by the defense lobbyists-cum-journalists at major corporate media outlets – that the war was a cheap little war that cost the US almost nothing. There were no American lives lost in the war itself (Benghazi is another mythology to be unraveled later), and very little cost in terms of "treasure", to use that despicable imperialist phrase.
But while the total cost of the war paled in comparison to the monumental-scale crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the means by which it was funded has cost the US far more than dollars; the war on Libya was a criminal and unconstitutional endeavor that has further laid the groundwork for the imperial presidency and unconstrained executive power. As the Washington Post reported at the time:
Noting that Obama had said the mission could be paid for with money already appropriated to the Pentagon, [former House Speaker] Boehner pressed the president on whether supplemental funding would be requested from Congress.
Unforeseen military operations that require expenditures such as those being made for the Libyan effort normally require supplemental appropriations since they are outside the core Pentagon budget. That is why funds for Afghanistan and Iraq are separate from the regular Defense Department budget. The added costs for some of the operations in Libya are minimal But the expenditures for weapons, fuel and lost equipment are something else.
Because the Obama Administration did not seek congressional appropriations to fund the war, there is very little in the way of paper trail to do a proper accounting of the costs of the war. As the cost of each bomb, fighter jet, and logistical support vehicle disappeared into the abyss of Pentagon accounting oblivion, so too did any semblance of constitutional legality. In essence, Obama helped establish a lawless presidency that not only has little respect for constitutionally mandated checks and balances, but completely ignores the rule of law. Indeed, some of the crimes that Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr are guilty of have their direct corollary in the Obama Administration's prosecution of the Libya war.
So where did the money come from and where did it go? It's anybody's guess really, unless you're one of those rubes who likes taking the Pentagon's word for it. As a Pentagon spokesperson told CNN in 2011, "The price tag for U.S. Defense Department operations in Libya as of September 30 [was] $1.1 billion. This included daily military operations, munitions, the drawdown of supplies and humanitarian assistance." However, to illustrate the downright Orwellian impossibility of discerning the truth, Vice President Joe Biden doubled that number when speaking on CNN, suggesting that "NATO alliance worked like it was designed to do, burden-sharing. In total, it cost us $2 billion, no American lives lost."
As is painfully evident, there is no clear way to know how much was spent other than to take the word of those who prosecuted the war. With no congressional oversight, and no clear documentary record, the war on Libya disappears down the memory hole, and with it the idea that there is a separation of powers, Congressional authority to make war, or a functioning Constitution.America's Dirty War in Libya
While the enduring memory of Libya for most Americans is the political theater that resulted from the attack on the US facility in Benghazi that killed several Americans, including US Ambassador Stevens, it is not nearly the most consequential. Rather, America's use of terrorist groups (and the insurgents who emerged from them) as military proxies may perhaps be the real legacy from a strategic perspective. For while the corporate media presented the narrative of spontaneous protests and uprisings to overthrow Gaddafi, it was in fact a loose network of terror groups that did the dirty work.
While much of this recent history has been buried by bad reporting, establishment mythmaking, and conspiracist muddying of the truth, it was surprisingly well reported at the time. For example, as the New York Times wrote of one of the primary US-backed forces on the ground during the war in 2011:
"The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was formed in 1995 with the goal of ousting Colonel Qaddafi. Driven into the mountains or exile by Libyan security forces, the group's members were among the first to join the fight against Qaddafi security forces Officially the fighting group does not exist any longer, but the former members are fighting largely under the leadership of Abu Abdullah Sadik [aka Abdelhakim Belhadj]."
Even at the time, there was considerable unease among Washington's strategic planners that the Obama Adminstration's embrace of a terror group with known links to al-Qaeda could prove to be a major blunder. "American, European and Arab intelligence services acknowledge that they are worried about the influence that the former group's members might exert over Libya after Colonel Qaddafi is gone, and they are trying to assess their influence and any lingering links to Al Qaeda," the Times noted.
Of course, those in the know at the various US intelligence agencies already had a pretty good sense of who they were backing, or at least the elements likely to be involved in any US operation. Specifically, the US knew that the areas from which it was drawing anti-Gaddafi opposition forces was a hotbed of criminal and terrorist activity.
In a 2007 study entitled "Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records" which examined the origins of various criminal and terrorist groups active in Iraq, the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point concluded that:
"Almost 19 percent of the fighters in the Sinjar Records came from Libya alone. Furthermore, Libya contributed far more fighters per capita than any other nationality in the Sinjar Records, including Saudi Arabia The apparent surge in Libyan recruits traveling to Iraq may be linked with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group's (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al-Qa'ida which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al-Qa'ida on November 3, 2007 The most common cities that the fighters called home were Darnah [Derna], Libya and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with 52 and 51 fighters respectively. Darnah [Derna] with a population just over 80,000 compared to Riyadh's 4.3 million, has far and away the largest per capita number of fighters in the Sinjar records."
It was known at the time that the majority of the anti-Gaddafi forces hailed from the region including Derna, Benghazi, and Tobruk – the "Eastern Libya" so often referred to as anti-Gaddafi – and that the likelihood that al-Qaeda and other terror groups were among the ranks of the US recruits was very high. Nevertheless, they persisted.
Take the case of the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, charged by the US with guarding the CIA facility in Benghazi at which Ambassador Stevens was murdered. As the Los Angeles Times reported in 2012:
"Over the last year, while assigned by their militia to help protect the U.S. mission in Benghazi, the pair had been drilled by American security personnel in using their weapons, securing entrances, climbing walls and waging hand-to-hand combat The militiamen flatly deny supporting the assailants but acknowledge that their large, government-allied force, known as the Feb. 17 Martyrs Brigade, could include anti-American elements The Feb. 17 brigade is regarded as one of the more capable militias in eastern Libya."
But it wasn't just LIFG and al-Qaeda affiliated criminal groups entering the fray thanks to Washington rolling out the blood-stained red carpet.NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
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A longtime asset of the US, General Khalifa Hifter and his so-called Libyan National Army have been on the ground in Libya since 2011, and have emerged as one of the primary forces vying for power in post-war Libya. Hifter has a long and sordid history working for the CIA in its attempts to overthrow Gaddafi in the 1980s before being resettled conveniently near Langley, Virginia. As the New York Times reported in 1991:
The secret paramilitary operation, set in motion in the final months of the Reagan Administration, provided military aid and training to about 600 Libyan soldiers who were among those captured during border fighting between Libya and Chad in 1988 They were trained by American intelligence officials in sabotage and other guerrilla skills, officials said, at a base near Ndjamena, the Chadian capital. The plan to use the exiles fit neatly into the Reagan Administration's eagerness to topple Colonel Qaddafi.
Hifter, leader of these failed efforts, became known as the CIA's "Libya point man," having taken part in numerous regime change efforts, including the aborted attempt to overthrow Gaddafi in 1996. So, his arrival in 2011 at the height of the uprising signaled an escalation of the conflict from an armed uprising to an international operation. Whether Hifter was directly working with US intelligence or simply complimenting US efforts by continuing his decades-long personal war against Gaddafi is somewhat irrelevant. What matters is that Hifter and the Libyan National Army, like LIFG and other groups, became part of the broader destabilization effort which successfully toppled Gaddafi and created the chaotic hellscape that is modern Libya.
Such is the legacy of the US dirty war on Libya.The Past is Prologue
It is September 2020. Americans are focused on an election between an Orange Fascist criminal and an old-school right-wing Democrat war criminal. Where Donald Trump projects chaos and disorder, Biden projects stability, order, and a return to normalcy. If Trump is the virus, then surely Biden is the cure.
It is September 2020. Libya prepares to enter its eighth year of civil war. Slave markets like the one in Bani Walid are as common as youth literacy centers were in Gaddafi's Libya. Armed gangs and militias wield power even in areas nominally under government control. A warlord regroups in the East as he looks to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates for support.
It is September 2020 and the US-NATO war on Libya has faded to a distant memory as other issues like Black Lives Matter and police murder of Black youth have captured the public imagination and discourse.
But these issues are, in fact, united by the bond of white supremacy and anti-Blackness. The Libya once known as the "Jewel of Africa," a country that provided refuge for many sub-Saharan African migrant workers while maintaining independence from the US and the former colonial powers of Europe, is no more. In its place is a failed state that now reflects the kind of vicious anti-Black racism forcefully suppressed by the Gaddafi government.
Libya as the global exemplar of the exploitation and disposability of the black body.
Squint a little and you can see President Joe Biden getting the old band back together. Hillary Clinton welcomed into the Oval Office as an influential voice, someone to give words to the demented thoughts of the living corpse serving as Commander-in-Chief. Derek Chollet and Ben Rhodes laughing together as they buy another round at their favorite DC hangout, toasting to the re-establishment of order in Washington. Barack Obama as the éminence grise behind the political resurgence of the liberal-conservative dominant structure.
But in Libya, there is no going back, no fixing the past to escape the present.
Perhaps the same might be true of the United States.AVmaster , 13 hours agofucking truth , 12 hours ago
Number of wars the boy king and his minions started: 6, that we know of: Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.
(Not withstanding the proxy wars during the "muslim spring" like in egypt)
Number of wars Trump has started: 0
This is NOT including the ongoing wars that trump inherited but has dialed back somewhat, like reduced troop presence in iraq/afghan.GreatUncle , 3 hours ago
Trump hasn't started any but he still feeds the beast, hopefully his next four will see a correction to this behaviour,one can only hope.ay_arrow 2Bollixed , 2 hours ago
Has no choice.
The economic reality is the MIC is a big part of the US domestic economy.
Shut that down and you would go into a full blown depression.
If you build bullets, missile, bombs, F35's etc. they have to be used or you have to start scrapping them.
The issue though is not the MIC as such but the lack of any moral integrity and disregard for human life by those mentioned in the article. Once the country was put into this position by them it is much more difficult to extract.
Now I think those in the article should be prosecuted for not going to Congress to declare a war and fund it correctly as this is supposed to be the check and balance of a rogue president.play_arrowDeepStateThrombosis , 3 hours ago
Regarding the MIC, many of those companies consist of manufacturing entities comprised of engineers, factory infrastructure and logistics infrastructure funded by government spending that could realistically be 'retooled' to produce things that could benefit society instead of piss money away on the tools of destruction. America is in need of a massive infrastructure overhaul from our electric grid to our transportation modes to name just two. Nothing is preventing those MIC giants from refocusing their efforts toward a better America versus the current focus they are paid to undertake. It's a matter of priorities and right now I find their priorities misplaced and vulgar.
The money is available at their current funding rates, the manpower and brain power is there, what is lacking is the will to turn the ship around and start putting humans before profits. There is no need to go into a full blown depression as with the shut down of that capacity if those entities are given a mandate to redirect their output for the good of society and create things of lasting value. In other words, take the retooling mindset that turned refrigerator factories into weapons factories like they did in WW2 and take the weapons factories and turn them into entities for the betterment of society. And then wean them off of the government teat.DaiRR , 1 hour ago
Unused funds from the Pentagon can be redirected to the Wall and other Defense protections not known to the public at this time.ay_arrowmuggeridge , 11 hours ago
DemoRats and NeoCons will try every way possible to keep the wars going.
The USA is incredibly blessed to have Donald J. Trump in the White House.play_arrow 1GreatUncle , 3 hours ago
To think Americans demonstrated in the millions to stop the Vietnam war exposed as a fraud by Daniel Ellsberg in the PENTAGON PAPERS. Obama did admit that the removal of Ghadaffy was his biggest foreign policy mistake. Clinton also in trouble over Tunisia while Secretary of State with US ambassador killed in 2012. She took responsibility but was found not to have acted improperly by US Congress. However her part in this tragedy remains an open question. Today the only Middle Eastern country still standing IRAN supported by China. Syria supported by Russia. Cold Wars never go away?
play_arrow 2scaleindependent , 10 hours ago
Cold war is an inevitable consequence of a MIC that must continually produce and expend munitions to keep its part of the economy going.
2 play_arrowmuggeridge , 10 hours ago
Final Jeopardy, genius!
What is Syria and Iran?
HIS acts against those countries ARE acts of war.CheapBastard , 7 hours ago
Regime Change as our modus operandi to serve the cause of military superiority as if pre-set by computer.
How everything became war and the military became everything by Rosa Brooks Tales of the Pentagon.
Something funny happened on the way to the forum; Broadway musical. Hail Caesar?play_arrowGreatUncle , 3 hours ago
Hey, military contractors have to put food on the table also, even if it means murdering millions of innocent people in Yugoslavia (like Clinton did) or in the middle east (like Bush and Obama did).play_arrowSoilMyselfRotten , 3 hours ago
Yep some people don't get it.
With all the military contractors now moved into peaceful protests maybe we actually need more war to keep them gainfully employed.
Get the picture?
2 play_arrowNo1uNo , 9 hours ago
HIS acts against those countries ARE acts of war
Don't forget also blockading Venezuela
sauldaddy , 11 hours ago
No Libya story is complete without mentioning David Shayler- the MI6 agent turned whistleblower who was tasked with blowing up Gaddafi in his car - but refused to do so when he was accompanied by his wife and children. (under the Tony Blair govt). -yep.
Shayler later went into a bizarre series of personas -which is understood by many as self preservation tactic - (testimony of mentally unstable is not recognised in court - so no threat).
Then there's the covert ratlines of gathering the ex-Libyan army weapons & shipping them to ISIS Syria via Turkey and White Helmets (see James Corbett) organised by HRC via Benghazi -so no rescue for US Ambassador & team (RIP) HRC prefer'd keep op covert. Carrier 50 miles off coast -HRC killed US Diplomats & support team. -Biden knew.
Also check out the courageous Dilyana Gaytandzhieva who runs armswatch .com and some SM in her name. for laypersons overview of extent of games-within-games & wheels-within-wheels in arms trade/ chem weapons "research". She's currently researching the Beirut bombings - which will be another revelation when it hits.. . . _ _ _ . . . , 13 hours ago
That awkward moment when you find out the first Black President brought slavery BACK to Africa .....Q- That awkward moment when you find out the first Black President brought slavery BACK to Africa_arrowMs No , 13 hours ago
Qaddafi kept African migrants out of the Mediterranean and away from Europe's shores.
Sarkozy couldn't allow that knowing what was in store for Europe.
He predicted what would happen to Europe were he to be deposed. He was right. Macron's (and Merkel's) policies are proof.
That and the gold dinar was his undoing.
P.S. Don't tell the leftists, but Libya was the only case of a successful socialist state. On second thought, it might be funny to see them publicly defending Qaddafi.not dead yet , 12 hours ago
That may work for a while when you pull black gold out of the ground, for a while. Oil declines and free **** armies breed faster. Then you are Saudi Arabia and we are about to see how that ends up.play_arrowNo1uNo , 9 hours ago
Libyan youth unemployment was over 30% because these spoiled kids with their families getting oil checks in the mail every month refused to do menial jobs. Qaddafi kept the black Africans out of the boats by letting them do the work the kids and other Libyans thought was beneath them. A lot of the money the Africans made they sent home which was spent in the local economies which increased jobs there. Libya also invested heavily in Africa which created lots of jobs. These actions kept the number of Africans headed to Europe a trickle. Once Qaddafi was gone so were all the jobs in Libya and the money that flowed into Africa dried up and jobs were lost. A lot of businesses the Libyans created in Africa were confiscated by the local governments and no doubt given to cronies who ran them into the ground.. . . _ _ _ . . . , 6 hours ago
Gaddafi thought wrongly that job description would save him. Also suggested trading oil for €uro's over dollar$, which blew the lid on powder keg. In the end they say it was the oil, though my thinking was DC think tanks didn't want a monied "Mexico" on south coast of Euroland - could make Europe too financially powerful & too difficult to control.play_arrowNo1uNo , 6 hours ago
I had heard about selling oil for Euros in relation to Saddam, but not to Qaddafi. Qaddafi was about the gold Dinar.
??Steverino , 13 hours ago
Yep, it's what can happen if I'm not careful when I post and try to watch a documentary at the same time.
Thanks for your vigilance.
In case anyone's interested: ex-mossad agent - 57minsplay_arrow
https://archive.org/details/victor-ostrovsky-1995quanttech , 13 hours ago
Find the Libyan gold that dissapeard.... and one likely finds the source of the overthrow....Bill300 , 12 hours ago
try the french treasury...Justapleb , 12 hours ago
Look no further than Hillary's brother. General Gage, a former Special Forces Colonel, had been hired by Hillary, et al, to assemble a merc army to secure Qaddafi's gold amidst the fog of war and transport it to Haiti to be laundered thru Hugh Rodham's little gold mine. Does anyone really think Obama sold enough books to buy a $12M seaside mansion in Massachusetts and the Washington DC home?
These people are so evil.dark pools of soros , 4 hours ago
That's certainly titillating. Do you have a source that puts these things together?
I tried some Google searches, but I already know those searches are censored so it is not an easy thing to findDaCrustyDad , 13 hours ago
you gotta get your hands dirty if you want to know whats in the soilquanttech , 12 hours ago
Imagine if some country invaded us and slaughtered about 23.5 million (apples for apples based on the 500k civilians killed out of 7,000,000)? Obama and the Clinton's should be playing basketball at Pelican Bay the rest of their lives at best.Arch_Stanton , 9 hours ago
It's mind boggling.
Trump dropped 7400 bombs on Afghanistan in 2019. That would be like 60,000 bombs dropping on the US one year.Shifter_X , 9 hours ago
Libya was a modern, secular Arab state. A model for the rest of Islam. Who the f@@k decided it was appropriate to reduce Libya to a 19th century sh1thole?Constitution101 , 6 hours ago
Hillary ******* ClintonBest Satan in Town , 6 hours ago
on instruction from the cabalist banksters who never permit a rival currency system.
Qaddafi's gold-backed dinar throughout Nth Africa would have exposed and displace their petrodollar scam in which they infinitely print their cronies untold trillion$.
end the fed, and all central banks.desertboy , 10 hours ago
That's the story in a nutsh-ellNo1uNo , 8 hours ago
The petrodollar centrality gets monotonously overplayed. For anyone who cares to look, the geopolitics of the West/NATO are the geopolitics of all its central bank owners as an interlinked group, who are keeping all their options open.
Destroying Libya went beyond the petrodollar to the fight for influence in Africa's future, where France's history in Africa has made it the designated hitter. Note the new CFR-type buzz on a "resurgent France" due to this role.No1uNo , 9 hours ago
I maintained elsewhere on this thread, was advice of DC think tanks he was taken out. Because a well funded, well educated, low cost, labor factory resource state on south coast of eurozone makes europe too competitive to DC tank's interests. (and open Africa's growing economy to cheap - outside eurozone - euro profiting business interests).
Gaddafi was never a threat to Europe, but europe buying his oil and building his economy......different story.not dead yet , 11 hours ago
get your case of beer for that one!Constitution101 , 6 hours ago
Qaddafi would have not met with death if he only wanted to sell oil in the Gold Dinar. Instead he wanted the Gold Dinar as the currency for all of Africa. The system was being set up along with 4 central banks to manage African economic and monetary affairs when Libya was attacked. Libya also invested heavily in Africa creating lots of jobs and enhancing communications. Unlike the IMF and World Bank with their draconian edicts attached to their loans, like no loans for fossil fueled power plants and other eco garbage, almost guaranteeing default the Libyan Development Fund attached no such garbage to their loans making success possible. Europe was charging Africa $500 million a year for use of their satellites. Qaddafi ponied up $300 million of the $400 million needed to put up Africa's first satellite screwing Europe out of $500 million a year. Qaddafi was also the driving force for Africa for Africans and which kept US African command and it's troops out of Africa. Now the US has troops all over Africa. Qaddafi really was bad. Bad for Western exploitation of Africa.
At the time of Qaddafi's demise the Libyan Development Fund had $32 billion in banks around the world. Western governments and media tried to claim it was money stolen by Qaddafi. Last I knew the Libyan's, the rightful owners of that money, haven't seen a penny.dark pools of soros , 4 hours ago
got a good concise source?SmokeyBlonde , 12 hours ago
you have to dig deep to get little nuggets of truth about Libya since so many sides want to tarnish and twist to push their agenda and greed on its richesReflectoMatic , 11 hours ago
America, as a country, deserves whatever happens just for electing and re-electing Obama.
Far too many grifters, Bolsheviks, pedocrats, and sub-moron IQ feral ghetto rats oh-so-pleased with themselves for being so enlightened and bringing chaos to the whole F'n world.Shifter_X , 8 hours ago
The Democrats are working with the globalist at the United Nations & World Economic Forum. The program being run is the destruction of the United States and elimination of humans, per instructions from "The Cult of Rasur", which is located in the jungle at Mount Rasur in Costa Rica but now renamed as the United Nations University For Peace. The university teaches occult and meditation and only graduates 20 students per year, those students then take positions of influence within the UN. The cult was founded by Maurice Strong & Dr Muller, Strong also created the Agenda 21 & World Economic Forum, plus in 1982, the more exclusive secret group of 300 called just "World Forum" which met in Vail Colorado near his hippie commune at the Baca Grande in the San Luis Valley.
The GAIA Theory which was converted into GAIA Religion at the Maurice Strong Hippie Commune in Colorado. David Perkins was there, apparently one of the first hippies to arrive at the commune around 1978. In this podcast we get a rare look into the mindset of the globalist and the creation of Agenda 21.
It's not clear if David Perkins & his partner, Chris O'Brian, are aware of Maurice Strong & Klaus Schwab conducting the special and secret World Forum of 300 at Vail in 1982. At that 1982 event the concepts David Perkins describes, combined with concepts gotten by paranormal activities at Mount Rasur in Costa Rica, were passed down to the 300 and thus began the creation that has brought the world to a standstill.
Chris O'Brian has an interesting podcast also, describing the Maurice Strong hippie commune, in this he describes meeting Lawrence Rockefeller at the commune.
I saw it posted here that Amschel Rothschild Said Rothschilds Have Met with Satan met the Devil in Colorado , now we know where in Colorado.
And finally, who the heck is this guy, the one in the middle? MJ-12 captured this photo of him in Hollywood in 1972, he was then usually seen in company of Curtis LeMay, grandson of the General who founded JPL NASA MJ-12, then in 1982 he was at that World Forum in Vail and in charge of covertly poisoning them all with LSD. He was born in Berkley or Alameda in 1951 while his mother was at theater watching "Day The Earth Stood Still". Seems there is a message which needs to be understood.
David Champaign, night manager at the Christie Lodge in Avon Colorado, can give further description and verification that the ultra-secret World Forum did occur.
If you listened to that podcast, there was mention of the "group of psychics" at the Baca hippie commune. The guy in the photo, the link just above, the photo was taken in the presence of Allen J Funk MJ-12, Funk's only friend took the photo, Bob Custer. Bob shared hotel rooms with the Stones & Monkeys while on concert tour as official photographer. The guy in the photo and Bob were taken one night, in Allen's white Cadillac convertible, to a house in the hills east of JPL Pasadena. There he met Bob's ex, Val, and Val's work associates, the work Val and associates did was some secret psychic project in Central America and perhaps in Colorado, usually Val just came over to Bob's house to visit when Val was not off at those remote locations. Secret about it they were.bobroonie , 13 hours ago
These are self-loathing humans. Imagine wanting to destroy the human race.
SMHnot dead yet , 12 hours ago
Obama bombed Libya in defense of Islamic terrorists he sold weapons to. 600 requests for more security from Ambassador Stevens unanswered.. But when defense contractor Osprey Global's Sidney Blumenthal called Clinton gave him special treatment. Lots of money to be made for a defense contractor and the Secretary of State that starts the war.quanttech , 12 hours ago
At the time Stevens died, he was not murdered he died of smoke inhalation as the invaders set the place on fire and the safe room wasn't air tight, Benghazi was the most dangerous place on earth for diplomats. Attempted murders and kidnappings of diplomats were so rife that most governments closed their missions and evacuated their people. Stevens was well aware of this and he went to Benghazi, the US Embassy is in Tripoli, anyway with his last meeting running guns with the Turks. By doing so he signed his death warrant. According to many at the time Stevens was begging for more security shortly before he left for Benghazi he was offered a military security detachment that was already in Tripoli and Stevens refused. Seems Stevens and Hillary didn't want the military to know what they were up to.David2923 , 5 hours ago
the ambassador got what was coming to him. he was a terrorist, plain and simple.
the rest of the Americans were rescued ... by Qadaffi loyalists. the Americans are shy to admit this.Vivekwhu , 5 hours ago
Facts you probably do not know about Libya under Muammar Gaddafi:
• There are no electricity bills in Libya; electricity is free for all its citizens.
• There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.
• If a Libyan is unable to find employment after graduation, the state pays the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.
• Should Libyans want to take up a farming career, they receive farm land, a house, equipment, seed and livestock to kick start their farms – all for free.
• Gaddafi carried out the world's largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.
• A home considered a human right in Libya. (In Qaddafi's Green Book it states: "The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others.")
• All newlyweds in Libya receive 60,000 Dinar (US$ 50,000 ) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start a family.
• A portion of Libyan oil sales is credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
• A mother who gives birth to a child receives US $5,000.
• When a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidizes 50% of the price.
• The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 per liter.
• For $ 0.15, a Libyan local can purchase 40 loaves of bread.
• Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Libya can boast one of the finest health care systems in the Arab and African World. All people have access to doctors, hospitals, clinics and medicines, completely free of charge.
• If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government funds them to go abroad for it – not only free but they get US $2,300/month accommodation and car allowance.
• 25% of Libyans have a university degree. Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans were literate. Today the figure is 87%.
• Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – though much of this is now frozen globally.
Here is photo of the man who helped kill the Col shaking hands with the Col. https://news.antiwar.com/2011/03/03/un-postpones-praising-gadhafis-human-rights-record/dark pools of soros , 5 hours ago
You have explained why Libya was perfectly ripe for looting by the US Evil Empire and its slave states.Lokiban , 11 hours ago
Yes I've been shining a light on this for years. The true history of Libya should red pill EVERYONE that can still think for themselves.
We are destroying George Washington statues while worshiping a black african american president who destroyed the one rare prosperous socialist African nation.. which now has slave trading!!!! all because it didn't share it's water to french/italian bottlers. And of course the Gold Dinar becoming the African currency.NuYawkFrankie , 12 hours ago
Gadhaffi's two mistakes leading to this war.
Threaten to sell his sweet oil in gold dinars
Threaten French president Sarkozy to pull out all of his money out of France and reveal to the public the donations he made to the French presidential campaign of Sarkozy, which we know is illegal because foreigners can't donate money.
That sealed his fate. America needed to stop this gold for oil scheme just like it did in Iraq and French president Sarkozy's presidency was ont he line.Apeon , 11 hours ago
Slick Willy --> War Criminal
Chimp --> War Criminal
Obongo --> War Criminal
Hillarity --> War Criminal
Groper Joe --> War Criminal
Etc... etc... etc...
Are you at least BEGINNING to see a pattern here???
If not, you soon will do as 'the chickens come home to roost' and ZOG focusses it's attention on YOUR a$$!NuYawkFrankie , 8 hours ago
Apparently you are not old enough to remember JohnsonNAV , 2 hours ago
I'm holding "Johnson" as we speak... and the most I can accuse him of is being a naughty - sometimes a VERY naughty- boy. Looks like he's due for another spanking!NAV , 2 hours ago
But in Libya, there is no going back, no fixing the past to escape the present.
Perhaps the same might be true of the United States.
Obama left this country and Libya in rags, what else is there to say.
Yet Obama lives, while Gaddafi is dead, a man who had the good of his people in mind and already was using primary water from which eventually all of Africa could be watered and developed into a paradise for his people, a people who live on a continent rich with more natural resources than any other.
But this could not be allowed by the Devil's Globalists who want to own all the world's resources in order to make beggars of all mankind. Obama was their man. He not only betrayed Africa but all men for a $40,000,000 pot of silver proffered by the world enemy of liberty - the DEEPSTATE.you know it makes sense , 5 hours ago
But in Libya, there is no going back, no fixing the past to escape the present.
Perhaps the same might be true of the United States.
Obama left this country and Libya in rags, what else is there to say.
Yet Obama lives, while Gaddafi is dead, a man who had the good of his people in mind and already was using primary water from which eventually all of Africa could be watered and developed into a paradise for his people, a people who live on a continent rich with more natural resources than any other.
But this could not be allowed by the Devil's Globalists who want to own all the world's resources in order to make beggars of all mankind. Obama was their man. He not only betrayed Africa but all men for a $40,000,000 pot of silver proffered by the world enemy of liberty - the DEEPSTATE.taglady , 7 hours ago
Who writes this crap and who believes a word of it ?.
No mention that Gaddafi planned to set up a new gold backed African money to sell his oil rather than the euro or the dollar. 143+ tons of gold and 140 tons of silver went missing.
It was because of this lie and NATO's involvement in the destruction of Libya that both Russia and China vowed never again to allow this to happen to another countrytaglady , 7 hours ago
Trump: "lock her up" became "she's been through enough." What has she been through exactly? "Make America great again" became we need to bail out Boeing and the rest because of an "invisible enemy." It's invisible alright, because it doesn't exist. The only invisible enemy are the parasites shoveling our money into their own very deep pockets in every conceivable way. Like Biden and his entire family and the Clintons and the Obamas and many others have been doing for many years. Like Bush and Cheney made out so well after 911. That's how Gates and the pharmaceutical industry became so bloated while real Americans have struggled to make ends meet.Iconoclast27 , 1 hour ago
Interesting coalition between finance, government and media. Like when Bush announced the necessary, unconstitutional war and changes to our society after 911. We didn't get to vote on these changes. No referendum ever happened. Just an announcement in the media and media spin on public opinion, then preplanned actions by corrupt officials. This alliance was never more obvious than during the cv response. We are censored and silenced while liars and thieves are given the bully pulpit to beat us over the head with their idiocracy to enrich very few parasites, again. Then the public is blamed for the rogue actions of government/ business/media. America is bad. We just keep voting for these dummies. Except our voting system is run by the same corrupt dummies who keep getting re-elected. Hmmm. Just like they did to Kadafi and many others. Suddenly Libya is poor. What happened to all of Kadafi's gold? Probably the same thing that happened to the Pentagon trillions and SS "surplus" and public pensions across America. Taxation without representation leaves us broke, without a voice and broken. What are we going to do about it?John C Durham , 1 hour ago
The problem is you believe imperialism and colonialism has ended in the African continent when that clearly isn't the case, this Libyan regime change op being the latest example of interference you are claiming no longer exists.LEEPERMAX , 5 hours ago
Actually the end of colonialism that FDR ("Winston, Colonialism is the Cause of this War. This war is going to end all Colonialism".) wished for is hardly over. We got Democratic Party's Truman, not the great Henry Wallace, remember?
Libya only proves this true.QABubba , 5 hours ago
America's "BOTCHED CIA OPERATION OF THE CENTURY" as they funneled GADDAFI WEAPONS from the PORT OF BENGHAZI into SYRIA as OBAMA & CO. completed their agenda to DESTABILIZE THE MIDDLE EAST and eventually ALL OF EUROPE.
NO MORE . . . NO LESSVivekwhu , 6 hours ago
This is the very reason I sat out the 2016 election. They say citizens don't vote foreign policy but I did. The "We came, we saw, he died" statement illustrated that our leaders didn't have a clue as to the geopolitical damage we had done. The US supported a "no fly zone" in the UN Security Council. Russia supported it. Gaddafi declared his own, stating that none of his air force would fly. The US and their allies quickly "redefined" it to mean they could destroy his air force on the ground, and once destroyed, any of his antiaircraft guns, and once destroyed, any of his tanks and artillery (which don't fly), and his troop convoys.
Gaddafi's, Russia's, perhaps North Korea's big mistake was believing the US would stand by their agreement in the UN Security Council. This and the Eastward creep of Nato may very well be the deciding factor's in Putin's view that he has no responsible actors in the West to deal with. North Korea was watching. Any dream of getting a denuclearized North Korea just receded by about 50 years.
And of course, our presstitute media had a starring role as always. The average American thinks this was a just war, and knows nothing of the slave markets, and nothing about the flood of African immigrants, who are majority muslim, and have no plans whatsoever to assimilate, into Europe. The leaders of France and supposedly Great Britain have stabbed their citizens in the back, as they will now have to watch European culture destroyed.lastugro , 10 hours ago
Many thanks are due to Draitser for this excellent report on the vile activities of the US Evil Empire in Libya. The power motives have been laid bare, but the massive greed of the US/EU imperial elites have not been detailed. The greed for Libyan oil by France and Italy is well known but the US also looted Libyan gold, just as they looted Ukrainian gold after the 2014 Maidan coup.
By removing Gaddaffi (and who can forget Clinton's evil words "We came, we saw, he died") and looting the gold they scuppered the plans to create a gold-backed dinar for all of Africa, that would have challenged the use of USD, French-controlled "Franc" and other fiat currencies.
That would have been shocking for the US/EU imperial elite that regards Africa as their private fiefdom to loot at will.
Combined with a lust for power, the US/EU imperial elites have an insatiable greed. After all, what use is an empire if the elites can't gorge themselves at will?Michael Norton , 11 hours ago
... and Medvedev led Russia abstained (did not veto the vote) at the UNSC session where the intervention was approved. Russia bears a tacit responsibility.dogfish , 9 hours ago
Obama supplied ISIS with leftover weapons from the Libya operation to take out Bashar Assad in Syria. That didn't work out for him too well, did it? Got an ambassador and some CIA spooks killed in Benghazi.Maghreb2 , 5 hours ago
And Trump steals the oil, the oil that is desperately needed by the suffering Syrians. Trump is a real humanitarian.Maghreb2 , 5 hours ago
Obama believed every word he was fed about the R2P Right to Protect fantasy concocted at the U.N. At the same time if you knew how dangerous the man was with his Green Revolution and Desert sorcery you would have had him killed.
The first step of his plan was the Libyan African Gold Dinar which would have been a commodity backed gold cuerrency. This would have broken Rothschild and most of the colonial banking systems. On its own it was a just move but not even the Chinese could have an African Bloc form that fast with that much growth. Imploding the CFA system would have destroyed France as we know it and made it poorer than Poland.
Second factor was his ruthless plans to deal with his Islamic Nationalist and Monarchist "Brothers". Gaddafis Green revolution could have spread across the desert wastes and easily overthrown the Al Sauds and trapped Arab natioanlists in their citites. Not a powerful fighter but understood desert warfare. It was the cost of Soviet equipment and the French adapted technicals that made him weaker. The Wars of the Sahara desert like those of Polisario Front and Libyan Chad War were decided by mobility.
Finally there were reports amongst the occultists that the man was obsessed with the Occult and the Djinn. Giving a warlord his own banking system and access to African black Magic was enough even for the Jesuits to view the man as a threat to global peace. Rumours the djinns warned him of advance of air strikes and gave strength to his soldiers in the deserts made him a force to be reckoned with in his borders. The association with Abu Nidal is rumoured to have revealed things about the nature of these desert beings. If he had the innate gift for it his tribe probably would have joined us at some point. Reports he had fallen out with the real Green a man a sage and advisor to the Islamic leaders point to a major rupture with the Islamic creed.
Only God can really judge whether his plan to emancipate Africa was his own power grab to free the continent or another mad man trying to join the global elite by enslaving them.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hwiCkU73NASmokeyBlonde , 4 hours ago
The Moroccans learnt a lot from that mess. Islamic world lacks something like the Jesuits to keep these things under wraps.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USJCcZGbb7wMaghreb2 , 2 hours ago
It would appear, at this point in time, that regardless of motive of his plan, the US-backed alternative has turned out far worse. The only positive result is more money in the pockets of the MIC and the opportunity to play war games in the desert.freedommusic , 5 hours ago
Like I said he was a dangerous man. It takes one to rock the boat like he did. End of the day the system could have been put in place for the African Gold Standard to start to expand into areas that were tired of the Central African Franc system but it would have destroyed Rothschild and led to hundreds of million of Black Muslims having resources to throw at Israel.
Making Chad, Senegal and Mali into something like Yugoslavia with Chinese and Russian Weaponry was beyond the imaginings of Africom. Would have lowered the birth rates with the development and solved the migration and economic crisis. Having these countries like Sweden would have also created living space for white liberals who were highly educated. Instead all the money vanished with the Kleptokrats. Its only insane Facists who want dead Africans on their doorsteps in Berlin and on the television that agree with this madness.
Euafrica, Eurabia could be avoided by making sure the Africans slow their birth rates through development and saving wealth rather than following it to Europe when the big men run with gold and dollars.
At the same time he was known as a devil to the Arabs and the dissidents. Sort of like Rockefeller with the company towns and corporate face. You ask the bastards to resign and why all these people has vanished and gives you statistics on how many electrical appliances have been handed out and says he was never in charge and you don't know how the system works.
Hard to say but he played the game. Robbed Bunker Hunt which was enough for us. Bunker C%nt as we called him when he tried to bring down the Morgue in Texas. Stuff like that is why the Illuminati are feared. Its hard for anyone to gauge what is going on and what the domino effects are. He was trained by the Americans and British and supplied with Socialist apparatus. Gianni Agnelli the suavest yid since Joseph kept NATO off his back. He had ties to the U.S deep State as well but that goes back to Wheelus.
Like we said about the Occult everyone has a backer but that man had demons watching over him. According to some. Thin line between a Djinn and Shaytan when politics and murder get involved.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcgNqHnjLK8voting machine , 6 hours ago
Failed nation states make a perfect platform for a profitable global criminal enterprise.Jackprong , 7 hours ago
Allen Dulles couldn't have scripted this operation any better.
This is right out of the CIA hand book. Regime change 101bshirley1968 , 3 hours ago
As is painfully evident, there is no clear way to know how much was spent other than to take the word of those who prosecuted the war. With no congressional oversight, and no clear documentary record, the war on Libya disappears down the memory hole, and with it the idea that there is a separation of powers, Congressional authority to make war, or a functioning Constitution.
Got an answer for this: CUTBACKS!you_do , 6 hours ago
" The story begins with Bernard Henri-Lévy, the French philosopher, journalist, and amateur foreign service officer who fancied himself an international spy. "
"Lévy was born in 1948 in Béni Saf , French Algeria , to an affluent Algerian Jewish family. "JeanTrejean , 6 hours ago
The war against Libya is a crime .
The arguments for it are mostly fake .
The real reason is the threat against the `dollar`.Vivekwhu , 6 hours ago
It's the Frenchmen Sarkozy and B.H. Levy who are responsible for this agression.
The USA and NATO (outside Europe) were just "dumb followers".Joiningupthedots , 21 minutes ago
Nothing dumb about Obomber: why did he loot and murder in Libya (or Yemen, Ukraine, Syria etc)? Because he CAN!!!OTBorder@CA , 1 hour ago
Everything The West touches turns to rat ****.
Mercifully Russia recognised its mistake with Libya and stepped in to save Syria from the same fate.
Every country, its military bandits politicians involved in the unprovoked attack and subsequent destruction of Libya can be considered........WAR CRIMINALS.
Hopefully one day they will be stupid enough to attack Russia or China and be completely destroyed for their stupidity.csc61 , 1 hour ago
First of all, Gadhafi gave an unconditional surrender that was brokered by international diplomatic channels over a month before our invasion. Obama & his minions ignored it. We knew many pilots that flew "missions" over Libya during this war & were involved in a massive bombing campaign. Don't forget the Wikileaks where France signed onto the war on the condition they got a % of Libya's gold. My wish is that someday history will tell the truth about the bastard Obama. Read the Lost Arab Spring by, Walid Phares to see all of the other Countries Obama tried to overthrow & have radical Islamic Terrorists replace the peaceful governments.Mentaliusanything , 7 hours ago
The author gives these idiots far too much credit. People must come to the understanding that presidents and politicians (on all sides) simply do as they're told. It is the hidden hand, the international financiers, who are ruining the world. Politicians are mere pawns ... minions willing to sell their souls for a few short years of presumed power, only to scurry off afterward to play the role of elder statesmen. Politicians are nothing more than privileged degenerates who proved early in their political lives they could be easily corrupted and compromised. It is not them who do the damage directly - these things would happen no matter who's in charge. No, they're simply the ones pushed out front to sign documents and take blame for the world's ruination ... a small price they are willing to pay to feed their narcissistic appetites.Scipio Africanuz , 8 hours ago
I would caption that image as "Who is going first to the platform and rope... Biden thinks he has won a Prize and is excited , The Kenyan says you first Bro (loser) and the white Privileged woman is laughing as she says , You have nothing on Me... Bitches, I bury mine deep and dead, I do not swing
Now that we've completed stage 1 of the harvest, perhaps we ought boost the Republic of Liberty, and hopefully, temper the anxious wrath of folks..
Libya was a catastrophic mistake, borne of hubris, vanity, intellectual rigidity, vainglory, and confusion. Hubris on the part of some, Sarkozy comes to mind, vanity on the part of some, Hillary Clinton comes to mind, confusion on the part of some, Obama comes to mind, and Ideological rigidity on the part of some, Biden comes to mind, and vainglorious pride on the part of some, the security establishment and their directors come to mind..
Having cleared that, it's no use crying over spilt milk, what's necessary, if the humility to acknowledge errors is available, is contributing rationally, and pernitently, to fixing the errors, and not by the same thinking that led to the errors, but fresh thinking that ought now understand that..
What's sown, is what's reaped, but MERCY it is, mitigates the harvests of depravity, via the provision of energy to restitute, and make amends..
The caveat however, is that mercy is NEVER deployed without REPENTANCE and RECALIBRATION,
which are the foundational pillars that make MERCY provide the energy to effect RESTITUTION..
Having clarified that, it's pertinent to inform, that Providence is NOT interested, in any way, shape, or form, in the damnation of anyone and why?
Well, which loving father is interested in the damnation of his children, no matter how depraved?
Still, patience ought not be mistaken for coddling and why?
With one, patience, the intent is to provide time for change..
With the other, coddling, the gambit is the turning of blind eyes to depravity..
But seeing as God, the Almighty Father is CONSISTENTLY Just, we can conclude then, that patience is the prerequisite for either Mercy or Damnation and how so?
Because if patience is deployed, and the depraved utilize it to change, then their salvation is self directed..
And if not, utilized that is, then their damnation as well, is self obtained..
And thus is the Justice and Honor of Divine Providence satisfied..
It's that simple..
And on that note VP Biden, we'll no longer refer to you as that, but as Joseph..
That ought awaken in you the grave responsibility on your shoulders, like that of the Biblical Joseph, whose father made for him, a "Coat of MANY colors.."
And if you be perceptive Joseph, you're now about to wear E Pluribus Unum (Coat of many colors..), created as a singular garment (ONE NATION..), for a reason (the glorification of Provident Divinity..
And the glorification?
That E Pluribus Unum (coat of many colors created as a singular garment..), ought demonstrate to all who see it worn, the goodness, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, and LOVE of the Provider of the Coat..
And considering Joseph, that in service of the Republic, you've not withheld the fruit of your loins, it's appropriate then, that you ought now demonstrate that love for the Republic, by putting it first, just as you'd put the fruits of your loins first, except above Divine Providence, known to you, as God Almighty..
So then Joseph, as we begin the next stage of the harvest, remember your oath that "you keep your promises..", you'll be judged by that oath..
And Joseph, "a promise is a debt..", it MUST be paid..
And to boost you energetically, here's Parton the Sweet Voiced Nightingale..
Good luck and God speed...
Sep 12, 2020 | www.rt.com
Dannehy's email contained no information about the investigation, her work for Durham, or political pressure, according to the Courant.
Durham, the US attorney for the district of Connecticut since 2017, was tasked in May 2019 to investigate the way the FBI and the DOJ handled the so-called Russiagate probe of Trump's campaign and administration, from mid-2016 to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel in May 2017.
Though copious evidence that the investigation wasn't on the level has since emerged – from the text messages between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page to memos about "entrapment" of General Michael Flynn and a damning inspector-general report, Durham's probe has resulted in only one prosecution so far.
Last month, FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to making a false statement, admitting that he altered evidence in the case of Carter Page. By claiming Page was a 'Russian agent,' the FBI was able to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign, both before and after the 2016 presidential election.
Evidence has emerged that the principal basis of the FISA warrants was the discredited 'Trump-Russia dossier,' compiled by British spy Christopher Steele and funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign through the Democratic Party.
bjd050 11 Sep, 2020 07:14 PM"Improper political influence". That's rich, coming from a coup plotters' apologist.
Sep 11, 2020 | nationalinterest.org
Evangelists of Democracy
Mini Teaser: Radicals of the democracy-promotion movement embody the very thing they are fighting against -- a closed-minded conviction that they represent the one true path for all societies and thus possess a monopoly on social, ethical and political truth.by Author(s): David Rieff
Sep 11, 2020 | www.rt.com
Venezuela scenario at play? Lithuania recognizes exiled opposition figurehead Tikhanovskaya as 'elected leader' of Belarus 11 Sep, 2020 04:59 / Updated 8 hours ago Get short URL
Sep 11, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
In one of the greatest public disinformation campaigns in American history -- the Left and their NeverTrumper allies (under the nom de guerre : "Transition Integrity Project") released a 22-page report in August 2020 "war gaming" (their term) four election crisis scenarios:
1. A decisive Trump win;
2. A decisive Biden win;
3. A narrow Biden win; and,
4. A period of extended uncertainty after the election.
The outcome of each TIP scenario results in street violence and political impasse.
TIP organizers and leaders include Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks, Nils Gilman of the "independent" Berggruen Institute in California, and John Podesta, the longtime fixer and handler of the Clinton political dynasty. The nominally Republican members of group include former Republican National Chair Michael Steele, journalist David Frum, and former magazine editor Bill Kristol.
Publication of the TIP report is an information warfare strategy employed for revolutionary political purposes. The strategy is sophisticated and multifaceted. The TIP document:
Lays the groundwork for "consensus" news media and social media narratives;
Rationalizes "unconventional strategies" for generating maximum confusion and turmoil over "unfavorable" election outcomes;
Projects accusations of unlawful/criminal conduct on President Trump and those voting for him;
Co-opts the (already politically sympathetic) Washington DC federal bureaucracy to support their strategy from the headquarters of every department and agency of the Executive;
Relies (correctly) on a low-awareness/low-energy response from the political Right to counter the TIP program.
Is it possible that the leadership of the American Left, along with their NeverTrumper allies, are busy talking themselves into advocating and promoting street violence as a response to a presidential election?
The answer is: Yes.
In the opening paragraph of their "bipartisan" report, TIP states: " We assess with a high degree of likelihood that November's elections will be marked by a chaotic legal and political landscape." Especially if they have their way.
An alternative to one of the war-gamed scenarios resulted in the TIPsters advocating for the secession of Washington, Oregon and California. Is there no sense of historical irony in the Democrat party? Secession over an election? Again?
The single greatest irony of the TIP report is the overwhelming use of "projection" in framing and characterizing various claims against President Trump (and his supporters) as a means to justify the Left's "irregular" plans to disrupt the election process.
Projection, as a political technique, is not a secret. The American Left has never bothered to hide or disguise it, nor have they even found it desirable to do so.
The covert portion of the projection technique is the funding and organizational involvement behind the projection itself. Who is paying the bills for TIP and its affiliates? This is a highly organized, sophisticated operation with career political operatives calling the shots. No one does this for free, and someone (or some entity) is paying the bill. Who?
The TIP report is itself an exercise of power. Political intelligence information and public policy strategies are being fused through the actions of TIP. That synthesis is a demonstration of real political power, and it is being implemented in a written plan that contemplates street violence to affect the outcome of the US presidential election. The political power resourced and generated from a document like the TIP report can be used for persuasion (through news and social media), indoctrination (of activists and other "true believers"), and introduces the threat of terror and street violence (to the general population) as a "normal" or "expected" outcome.
Here is how the news and social media narrative is coming together and what you will see, hear and read in the next few weeks :
"Yes, expect violence in the aftermath of the election, because now that is the new 'normal.' Trump made us do it. He made us take the election, because the old, regular system just cannot be relied upon. That's why we had to publish our report, so we could organize 'around' all of the regular processes. Obama promised 'fundamental transformation,' and now, years later – we're finally going to deliver."
What evidence is there of awareness and preparedness on the political Right to confront and counter the TIP (and other Leftists) and their plans to disrupt the election? Not much. Time is short. The Left's threat of violence and subversion of the election is real. How we respond is critical.
Sep 11, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Mueller's 'Angry Democrats' Scrubbed Cell Phones After Russia Investigation by Tyler Durden Thu, 09/10/2020 - 18:20 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
Over two dozen phones belonging to members of Robert Mueller's special counsel team were wiped clean before they were handed over to the Inspector General, according to information contained in 87 pages of DOJ records released on Thursday.
Some of the phones were wiped using the Apple operating system's 'wrong-password' failsafe, where the wrong password must be entered ten times - after which the system wipes the drive.
Those who couldn't seem to remember their password 10 times in a row include 'attack dog' lawyer Andrew Weissman , who urged DOJ attorneys to go rogue and 'not' help US Attorney John Durham investigate FBI and DOJ conduct during the Trump investigation.
The malarkey continues (via National Review ):NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
A phone belong to assistant special counsel James Quarles "wiped itself without intervention from him," the DOJ's records state.
Andrew Weismann, a top prosecutor on Mueller's team, "accidentally wiped" his cell phone, causing the data to be lost. Other members of the team also accidentally wiped their phones, the DOJ said.
Phones issued to at least three other Mueller prosecutors, Kyle Freeny, Rush Atkinson, and senior prosecutor Greg Andres were also wiped of data.
Additionally, t he cell phone of FBI lawyer Lisa Page was misplaced by the special counsel's office . While it was eventually obtained by the DOJ inspector general, by that point the phone had been restored to its factory settings, wiping it of all dat a. The phone of FBI agent Peter Strzok was also obtained by the inspector general's office, which found "no substantive texts, notes or reminders" on it.
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Sep 09, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com
PROOF OF COLLUSION AT LAST! SEPTEMBER 2, 2020 PAULR 18 COMMENTS
Despite the secondary roles played some bit part actors in the Russiagate drama, the central figure in allegations that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to be elected as president of the United States has always been Trumps' onetime campaign manager Paul Manafort. The recent US Senate report on Russian 'interference' in the 2016 presidential election thus started off its analysis with a long exposé of Manafort's comings and goings.
Simply put, the thesis is as follows: while working in Ukraine as an advisor to 'pro-Russian' Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich, Manafort was in effect working on behalf of the Russian state via 'pro-Russian' Ukrainian oligarchs as well as Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska (a man with 'close ties' to the Kremlin). Also suspicious was Manafort's close relationship with one Konstantin Kilimnik, whom the US Senate claims is a Russia intelligence agent. All these connections meant that while in Ukraine, Manafort was helping the Russian Federation spread its malign influence. On returning to the USA and joining the Trump campaign, he then continued to fulfill the same role.
The fundamental flaw in this thesis has always been the well-known fact that while advising Yanukovich, Manafort took anything but a 'pro-Russian' position, but instead pressed him to sign an association agreement with the European Union (EU). Since gaining independence, Ukraine had avoided being sucked either into the Western or the Russian camp. But the rise of two competing geopolitical projects – the EU and the Russia-backed Eurasian Union – was making this stance increasingly impossible, and Ukraine was being put in a position where it would be forced to choose. This was because the two Unions are incompatible – one can't be in two customs unions simultaneously, when they levy different tariffs and have different rules. Association with the EU meant an end to the prospect of Ukraine joining the Eurasian Union. It was therefore a goal which was entirely incompatible with Russian interests, which required that Ukraine turn instead towards Eurasia.
Manafort's position on this matter therefore worked against Russia. Even The Guardian journalist Luke Harding had to concede this in his book Collusion , citing a former Ukrainian official Oleg Voloshin that, 'Manafort was an advocate for US interests. So much so that the joke inside [Yanunkovich's] Party of Regions was that he actually worked for the USA.'
If anyone had any doubts about this, they can now put them aside. On Monday, the news agency BNE Intellinews announced that it had received a leak of hundreds of Kilimnik's emails detailing his relationship with Manafort and Yanukovich. The story they tell is not at all what the US Senate and other proponents of the Trump-Russia collusion fantasy would have you believe. As BNE reports:
Today the Yanukovych narrative is that he was a stool pigeon for Russian President Vladimir Putin from the start, but after winning the presidency he actually worked very hard to take Ukraine into the European family. As bne IntelliNews has already reported, Manafort's flight records also show how he crisscrossed Europe in an effort to build support in Brussels for Yanukovych in the run up to the EU Vilnius summit.
On March 1, his first foreign trip as newly minted president was to the EU capital of Brussels. The leaked emails show that Manafort influenced Yanukovych's decision to visit Brussels as first stop, working in concert with his assistant Konstantin Kilimnik In a memorandum entitled 'Purpose of President Yanukovych Trip to Brussels,' Manafort argued that the decision to visit Brussels first would underscore Yanukovych's mission to "bring European values to Ukraine," and kick start negotiations on the Association Agreement.
The memorandum on the Brussels visit was the first of many from Manafort and Kilimnik to Yanukovych, in which they pushed Yanukovych to signal a clear pro-EU line and to carry out reforms to back this up.
To handle Yanukovych's off-message antics, Manafort and Kilimnik created a back channel to Yanukovych for Western politicians – in particular those known to appreciate Ukraine's geopolitical significance vis-à-vis Russia. In Europe, these were Sweden's then foreign minister Carl Bildt, Poland's then foreign minister Radosław Sikorski and European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule, and in the US, Vice President Joe Biden.
"We need to launch a 'Friends of Ukraine' programme to help us use informal channels in talks on the free trade zone and modernisation of the gas transport system," Manafort and Kilimnik wrote to Yanukovych in September 2010. "Carl Bildt is the foundation of this informal group and has sufficient weight with his colleagues in questions connected to Ukraine and the Eastern Partnership. ( ) but he needs to be able to say that he has a direct channel to the President, and he knows that President Yanukovych remains committed to European integration."
Beyond this, the emails show that Manafort and Kilimnik also tried hard to arrange a meeting between Yanukovich and US President Barack Obama, and urged Yanukovich to show leniency to former Prime Minister Yuliia Timoshenko (who was imprisoned for fraud).
It is noticeable that the members of the 'back channel' Manafort and Kilimnik created to lobby on behalf of Ukraine in the EU included some of the most notably Russophobic European politicians of the time, such as Carl Bildt and Radek Sikorski. Moreover, nowhere in any of what they did can you find anything that could remotely be described as 'pro-Russian'. Indeed, the opposite is true. As previously noted, Ukraine's bid for an EU agreement directly challenged a key Russian interest – the expansion of the Eurasian Union to include Ukraine. Manafort and Kilimnik were therefore very much working against Russia, not for it.
The idea, therefore, that Paul Manafort was an agent of influence for the Russian government flies against everything we know about what he actually did. As for Kilimnik, maybe he is a Russian intelligence agent – I'm not in a position to say. But if he is, he's a very weird one, who spent years actively pushing the Ukrainian government to pursue a policy which directly contradicted Russian interests.
None of this, needless to say, appears in the US Senate report. Instead, the report chooses to focus on the apparently shocking revelation that Manafort shared Trump campaign polling data with Kilimnik, as if this sharing of private information was in some ways a massive threat to national security and proof that Manafort was working for the Russians. The fact that both Manafort and Kilimnik spent years doing their damnedest to undermine Russia is simply ignored. Go figure!
Sep 06, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
... ... ...
And in the nation's capital - Play it again, Sam.
Oh, look, no masks! And you thought that got covered up by the investigation done by the Mueller team? Let's go over this one more time:
The document declassified by DNI Grenell shows that there were 14 unique days when the NSA received requests to "unmask"--the first was on 30 November 2016 by UN Ambassador Samantha Power and the last came on 12 January from Joe Biden. There were two separate requests on the 14th of December by Samantha Power, which indicates two separate NSA reports. Samantha Power would not have to submit two requests for the same document.
Aug 28, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Tensions are becoming dangerous in Syria and on Russia's back doorstep. US soldiers stand near US and Russian military vehicles in the northeastern Syrian town of al-Malikiyah (Derik) at the border with Turkey, on June 3, 2020. (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
A dangerous vehicle collision between U.S and Russian soldiers in Northeastern Syria on Aug. 24 highlights the fragility of the relationship and the broader test of wills between the two major powers.
According to White House reports and a Russian video that went viral this week, it appeared that as the two sides were racing down a highway in armored vehicles, the Russians sideswiped the Americans, leaving four U.S. soldiers injured. It is but the latest clash as both sides continue their patrols in the volatile area. But it speaks of bigger problems with U.S. provocations on Russia's backdoor in Eastern Europe.
A sober examination of U.S. policy toward Russia since the disintegration of the Soviet Union leads to two possible conclusions. One is that U.S. leaders, in both Republican and Democratic administrations, have been utterly tone-deaf to how Washington's actions are perceived in Moscow. The other possibility is that those leaders adopted a policy of maximum jingoistic swagger intended to intimidate Russia, even if it meant obliterating a constructive bilateral relationship and eventually risking a dangerous showdown. Washington's latest military moves, especially in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea, are stoking alarming tensions.
There has been a long string of U.S. provocations toward Russia. The first one came in the late 1990s and the initial years of the twenty-first century when Washington violated tacit promises given to Mikhail Gorbachev and other Soviet leaders that if Moscow accepted a united Germany within NATO, the Alliance would not seek to move farther east. Instead of abiding by that bargain, the Clinton and Bush administrations successfully pushed NATO to admit multiple new members from Central and Eastern Europe, bringing that powerful military association directly to Russia's western border. In addition, the United States initiated "rotational" deployments of its forces to the new members so that the U.S. military presence in those countries became permanent in all but name. Even Robert M. Gates, who served as secretary of defense under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, was uneasy about those deployments and conceded that he should have warned Bush in 2007 that they might be unnecessarily provocative.
As if such steps were not antagonistic enough, both Bush and Obama sought to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. The latter country is not only within what Russia regards as its legitimate sphere of influence, but within its core security zone. Even key European members of NATO, especially France and Germany, believed that such a move was unwise and blocked Washington's ambitions. That resistance, however, did not inhibit a Western effort to meddle in Ukraine's internal affairs to help demonstrators unseat Ukraine's elected, pro-Russia president and install a new, pro-NATO government in 2014.
Such provocative political steps, though, are now overshadowed by worrisome U.S. and NATO military moves. Weeks before the formal announcement on July 29, the Trump administration touted its plan to relocate some U.S. forces stationed in Germany. When Secretary of Defense Mike Esper finally made the announcement, the media's focus was largely on the point that 11,900 troops would leave that country.
However, Esper made it clear that only 6,400 would return to the United States; the other nearly 5,600 would be redeployed to other NATO members in Europe. Indeed, of the 6,400 coming back to the United States, "many of these or similar units will begin conducting rotational deployments back to Europe." Worse, of the 5,600 staying in Europe, it turns out that at least 1,000 are going to Poland's eastern border with Russia.
Another result of the redeployment will be to boost U.S. military power in the Black Sea. Esper confirmed that various units would "begin continuous rotations farther east in the Black Sea region, giving us a more enduring presence to enhance deterrence and reassure allies along NATO's southeastern flank." Moscow is certain to regard that measure as another on a growing list of Black Sea provocations by the United States.
Among other developments, there already has been a surge of alarming incidents between U.S. and Russian military aircraft in that region. Most of the cases involve U.S. spy planes flying near the Russian coast -- supposedly in international airspace. On July 30, a Russian Su-27 jet fighter intercepted two American surveillance aircraft; according to Russian officials, it was the fourth time in the final week of July that they caught U.S. planes in that sector approaching the Russian coast. Yet another interception occurred on August 5, again involving two U.S. spy planes. Still others have taken place throughout mid-August. It is a reckless practice that easily could escalate into a broader, very dangerous confrontation.
The growing number of such incidents is a manifestation of the surging U.S. military presence along Russia's border, especially in the Black Sea . They are taking place on Russia's doorstep, thousands of miles away from the American homeland. Americans should consider how the United States would react if Russia decided to establish a major naval and air presence in the Gulf of Mexico, operating out of bases in such allied countries as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
The undeniable reality is that the United States and its NATO allies are crowding Russia; Russia is not crowding the United States. Washington's bumptious policies already have wrecked a once-promising bilateral relationship and created a needless new cold war with Moscow. If more prudent U.S. policies are not adopted soon, that cold war might well turn hot.
Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at The American Conservative, is the author of 12 books and more than 850 articles on international affairs. His latest book is NATO: The Dangerous Dinosaur (2019).
Tradcon • 5 days ago • editedMike P Tradcon • 4 days ago
I mean, I think this has been bipartisan policy since at least 1947. Unlikely to change anytime soon, even with realists gaining ground. Perhaps expanding NATO east, sending support to Ukraine, and intervening in Syria (despite attempts to leave, the best we can get at this point are small troop reductions that most likely are redeployed to neighboring countries) aren't the best idea after all?northernobserver Mike P • 4 days ago
This is a very anti American article! Patriots know that where the U.S. gives political or economic ground Russia and other adversaries will fill the vacum with policies intended to destroy American peoeple. So no, it is not a bad idea to be involved in Syria and Ukraine in fact it is a very good idea.Aen Elle northernobserver • 4 days ago
The entire framing of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood as "pro American" and those who oppose them as "anti American" is delusional.
Russia is a weak state trying to maintain its natural spheres of influence along the Curzon line. Why has the State Department/ Pentagon decided to try and roll this back? How the F to they expect Russia to react. How would America react if a foreign power tried to turn Mexico into a strategic asset. So why is it ok to make Ukraine into a Nato member? It's reckless and ultimately it is pointless. Weakening Russia further serves little strategic purpose and potentially threatens to destabilize the Balkans and mid east with Turkish adventurism. What will America do if the Turks seize Rhodes under some pretext?
Syria is another case of State Department midwits not understanding the results of their regime change. What purpose does it serve to put a Sunni extremist government in Damascus. How hateful do you have to be to subject Syria's minorities to genocide at the hands of an ISIS sympathetic government? How do you delude yourself that such a regime will serve America's interests in the long run? So you can own Iran before the election? You are trading victory today for permanent loss tomorrow. It's insane.Bianca Aen Elle • a day agoHow the F to they expect Russia to react.
Just like you, they think Russia is a weak state and can do nothing therefore they are free to do as they please. Also, since Turkey is a NATO member and as such an ally to the U.S. shouldn't you be cheering in good faith for Turkey and against Russia?J Villain northernobserver • 4 days ago
You got that one. Because Turkey is a thorn in NATO side. It has massive economic interests in Russia, China and the rest of Asia. The "adventure" in Syria is coordinated with Russia to the last detail, while playacting tensions. US problem in Syria is not Russia or Turkey, but Russia AND Turkey.
As US is frowning at Egypt Al-Sisi , or Saudi MBS -- it is because they frown at Egypt AND Russia, as well as Saudi Arabia AND Russia.
Basically, countries nominally counted in OUR camp are frowned upon when collaborating with the ENEMY countries.
Our foreign policy is stuck in Middle East -- and cannot get unstuck. Cannot be better illustrated then Pompeo addressing Republican convention from Jerusalem.
The only way Russia can challenge encirclement is by challenging US in its home away from home -- Middle East. And creating new realities in the ground by collaborating with the countries in the region -- undermining monopoly.
And as the entire world is hurting from epidemic related economic setbacks, Russia and China are economies that are moving forward. And nobody in the Middle East can afford to ignore it.PJ London J Villain • a day ago
I agree with you with the exception of Russia being weak. One day the US which has never seen any thing in advance will push Russia one time to many and find the Russian Army in Poland and Romania. That is if China doesn't take out some thing precious to the US in the mean time like a U2, aircraft carrier etc.
There are two things at play here. The first is the US leadership wants ether country to take a shot at some thing US. Then then can scream and stomp their feet that no one on earth is allowed to trade with ether country and the US can block all trade with ether country.
The other thing at play is Americans love it when their leaders act like gangsters. That's why leaders do it. Nothing will get you votes faster in the US than saying your going to kill people. I see US citizens try that non-sense about it's all Washington we don't want that. But you keep voting for people that are going to give you the next war fix. When you stop they will stop.Bianca northernobserver • a day ago
I agree with your assessment except Russia will not put troops into any country without the express request from the legitimate government. They are not going into Poland and especially not Romania (Transnistria maybe) why would they? The countries do not have any resources that Russia wants. The only reason to put troops into Belarus is to maintain a distance between Poland and the borders.
Russia needs nothing from the rest of the world except trade. Un-coerced, free trade. This drives the US corporations crazy as no one will trade with the US anymore without coercion.
PS the same goes for China with the proviso that Taiwan is part of China and needs to be reabsorbed into the mainstream. It will take +20 years but China just keeps the pressure on until there will be no viable alternative.Tradcon Mike P • 4 days ago
It has never meant to serve American interests. Ever. Once you put it in perspective, it makes sense.
But if people are convinced that Russia is a weak state -- then it is easier to approve adventures abroad -- including ringing Russia.
The problem for never satiated Zealots is the following -- regional powers in the Middle East are hitching their wagons to Eurasian economic engine. That is definitely true of Turkey, Egypt and even Saudi Arabia. The tales of Moslem Brotherhood are here to interpret something today from the iconography from the past. And to explain today what an entirely different set of leaders did -- be that few years ago or one hundred years ago. Same goes for iconography of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Communism, Socialism, authoritarianism, and other ISMS.
Those icons serve the same purpose as icons in religion or in cyber-space. You look at them, or you click -- and the story and explanation is ready made for your consumption. Time to watch actions -- not media iconography to tell us what is going on.Alexandr Kosenkov Mike P • 3 days ago
If we're being purely ideological here those with an overtly internationalist disposition (barring leftists) are those who want to be involved overseas, hardly ones to go on about national interest or pride. Its been a common stance associated with American Nationalism and Paleoconservatives to be anti-intervention, these people (of which I consider myself a part) can hardly be bashed for holding unpatriotic views.)
Russia has a declining population, and an economy smaller than that of Spain. Its hardly a threat and our involvement in Eastern Europe was relatively limited pre-2014 and even so the overall international balance of power hasn't shifted after Russian annexation of Crimea, and the Ukrainians proved quite capable of defending their nation (though not so capable as to end retake separatist strongholds.Bianca Mike P • a day ago
Please explain to me, a Russian person, what kind of anti-American policy Russia is spreading in countries? If we exclude acts of counteraction against American expansion and aggression against Russia? What ideological foundations does Russia have after 1991? Isn't Russia's actions a guerrilla war on the communications of the self-proclaimed "Empire of Good", which is pursuing a tough offensive policy? And is it not because the Russians support a significant part of Putin's initiatives (despite a number of Putin's obvious shortcomings) precisely because they have experience of cooperation with the "Empire of Good" in the 90s: give loans, corrupt officials and deputies, put Russian firms under control big American companies, and then just give orders from the White House.
PS. I beg your pardon my google englishkouroi • 4 days ago • edited
Another Zealot in Patriot garb. The only people that are destroying Americans are within our borders, wielding power to fulfill their mission -- enrich themselves, keep the borders open, and our military all over the globe.Vhailor • 4 days ago
It would be interesting to read the minds of the US pilots engaged in these activities. My guess is that the cognitive dissonance energy in those heads is equivalent to the biggest nuclear bomb ever exploded...Kent Vhailor • 4 days ago
Hmmm... I think there is a third option besides escalation and deescalation - exhaustion. Projecting power across the globe is expensive, it is a slow but steady drain on US resources, which are needed elsewhere (for example to quell the riots in major US cities).
In a major crisis this could lead to a breaking point. What if some US adversary decides to double down and attack (directly or by proxy) US troops and the US will not be able to respond? A humiliating defeat combined with an exhausted public decidedly set against military adventures abroad could cause a rapid retrenchment and global withdrawal.Vhailor Kent • 4 days ago
I see it as exhaustion by corruption. The US military is increasingly bureaucratic, political and ineffectual. Our weapons are gold-plated, hyper-tech focused and require highly-skilled people to maintain them, which means we can't quickly train new people up. The weapons themselves are so complex and expensive that there is no way to manufacture them at scale quickly.
The DOD today is only about personal political position, and grubbing tax-payer dollars for self-aggrandizement. In any real war with a real adversary, we wouldn't stand a chance.kouroi Vhailor • 4 days ago
I wouldn't be so pessimistic regarding US military capabilities and I'm neither a US citizen or a fan of US global hegemony.
The US armed forces are made up of professionals. There are some universal advantages and disadvantages of such forces. A professional army is good at fighting wars but bad at controlling territory because of its limited size and higher costs-per-soldier. In order to control territory you need "boots on the ground" in great numbers, standing at checkpoints and patrolling the countryside. They didn't have to be trained to the level of Navy SEALS, for them it is enough if they can shoot straight and won't be scared from some fireworks and the US lacks such forces.Vhailor kouroi • 4 days ago
So how is one going to get the millions of manpower to fulfill these tasks? Pauperize the masses so that joining the army becomes the only viable solution? Introduce the Draft? Provide a pathway for US citizenship for any foreigner that joins, establishing a US Foreign Legion?
And then, how you'll have enough boots on the ground to pacify Russia or China. It took more than a month to establish and secure the beach heads in Bretagne in France in 1944. How do you think you can even get those boots to land in Russia or China, when you know that the ICBMs are going to start flying towards the continental US if something like this will ever happen?Baruch Dreamstalker Vhailor • 4 days ago
So how is one going to get the millions of manpower to fulfill these tasks? Pauperize the masses so that joining the army becomes the only viable solution? Introduce the Draft?
It is no longer possible to introduce the draft in the US - even mentioning it would lead to social unrests.alan Vhailor • 21 hours ago
The idea of a soft-mandatory year of service with a military option has been floated. It generates neither unrest nor interest.Scaathor Kent • 4 days ago
Read Jean Lartegy's "The Centurions." That is the direction where the tactically brilliant, but strategically incompetent US military leadership is headed.kouroi Vhailor • 4 days ago
In addition, those gold-plated weapon systems often do not work as advertised. Look how the multi-billion IADS of the Saudis couldn't protect their refinery complex from a cruise missile attack from Yemen. Look at the embarrassing failures of the LCS and Zumwalt ship classes, and the endless problems with the Ford CVN. The F35 is proving a ginormous boondoggle that will massively enrich LM shareholders but will do squat for US military capabilities.Baruch Dreamstalker William Toffan • 15 hours ago
It will go on as long as the US is able to benefit of its present ability to print money and have the world use that money...PJ London Feral Finster • a day ago
The alternative is an incumbent who runs against the condition of his own country as an outsider. It take an idiot to support that.Feral Finster PJ London • a day ago
He already did and the Military ignored him.
He backtracked with endless excuses and conditionals.
Bill Clinton once reportedly told senior White House reporter Sarah McClendon, "Sarah, there's a government inside the government, and I don't control it."
Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organised, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.
– Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States (1856-1924)
Do you really think that the adults with so much to lose would allow an idiot like Trump (or Clinton or Obama or Bush) to actually run things?Dan Greene bumbershoot • 3 days ago
And then, like the cuck he is, Trump knuckled under. "I like oil!"peter mcloughlin • 4 days ago
Stop focusing on what Trump says and look at what his administration does. Troops in Poland and Eastern Europe, Nord Stream 2, intrusive US reconnaissance flights along Russia's borders, support of Ukraine, interference with Russian patrols in Syria, the continuing attempt to destabilize Assad in Syria, the destruction of JCPOA, global sanctions campaign on Russia among others, withdrawal from arms control treaties, accusation that Russia was cheating on INF treaty, hiring dozens of anti-Russia hardliners, etc, etc.
I'll repeat: Focus on what Trump does, not what he says, and then total up the pro-Russia and anti-Russia actions of this administration and see what that reveals.I Don't Matter • 4 days ago
A danger with this "new Cold War" is the assumption it will end like the first one – peacefully. If this is the thinking among policy-makers we are in a very perilous situation. History shows that fatal miscalculations contributed to the First World War, and as a consequence the second. Today there is no room for miscalculation, which will set off unstoppable escalation into a third.
https://www.ghostsofhistory...Feral Finster I Don't Matter • 4 days ago
Russians deliberately repeatedly ram an American vehicle, but I'm sure it's all our fault. Shouldn't have worn that skirt I guess.
Before y'all armchair Putin experts say all your loving things: you have nothing to contribute unless you speak fluent Russian. I watched the video taken and published by the Russians and it was pretty clear what they were doing.dba12123 . I Don't Matter • 3 days ago • edited
The United States is not invited in Syria or wanted. Russian troops are in Syria at the invitation of the legitimate and recognized government.
Whatever happens to American troops there is deserved.hooly • 4 days ago
Something critical is being missed entirely. The United States has invaded Syria without a mandate from the UN. Its' president has explicitly stated that it is the intention of the US to take Syria's oil. Both are violations of international law. Any hostile action taken against the illegal US presence in Syria is justifiable as self defense. While the US presence in Syria is illegal, Russia's presence is not. Russia was invited into Syria by the UN recognized Syrian government to assist it in defending against the US regime change by Al Qaeda proxy operation..L RNY • 4 days ago
establish a major naval and air presence in the Gulf of Mexico, operating out of bases in such allied countries as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
What would happen if China or Russia established bases in the Caribbean and Latin America? Trump joked about selling Puerto Rico, what if the Chinese bought it?Carlton Meyer • 4 days ago
If the Israeli's have a problem with Russia being in Syria then Israel should deal with it. Its not our problem and Russia is not our enemy. Infact India is bringing closer relations between Russia and Japan. Which do you want? Russian antagonism because Israel doesn't want Russians in Syria or Russian partnership with India, Japan, Australia and the US dealing with China? Remember....you could spend 1000 years in the middle east and not make a dent in the animosities between peoples there...so one is a futile endeaver...while the other has great benefit.Hrant Carlton Meyer • 4 days ago
Note that Russian soldiers are in Syria at the request of its government to help fend off foreign invaders. The American troops are there illegally, with no UN or even Congressional authorization.
Also note the USA risks another Cuban missile crisis by withdrawing from the INF treaty after illegally building missile launch complexes in Romania and Poland that can hit Russia with nuclear cruise missiles.
The USA did much more than "meddle" in Ukraine. The Obama/Biden team openly organized a coup to overthrow its elected President because he didn't want to join NATO and the EU.
https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FnW7lNABfDVk%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DnW7lNABfDVk&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FnW7lNABfDVk%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtubeAen Elle Hrant • 4 days ago
Is that guy in the middle of the left seated Vlad Klitschko? I great boxer no doubt, but also known for his stunning stupidity. Is he part of the new Ukrainian political elite? Poor Ukraine.longlance • 4 days ago
Klichko has been the mayor of Ukrainian capital city Kiev since the victory of Euromaidan in 2014 until present day.Baruch Dreamstalker • 4 days ago • edited
Russia has been threatened & attacked by military powers to its West, East & South for 1000 years. Russia is now lean & mean, but still standing.kouroi Baruch Dreamstalker • 4 days ago
A Russian vehicle sideswipes an American vehicle, injuring two US soldiers, and that's an American provocation? An American spy plane claims to be in international waters, and you tack in a "supposedly" in that sentence? "Violating" a tacit promise, really? Russia aggression against Georgia and Crimea is OK because Sphere of Influence? This article is loaded with Blame America First crap usually associated with the Left (much to this liberal's disgust). Never expected to find it here.
Yes, the expansion of NATO east must have looked to Russia like something coming at their borders entirely too fast. I thought it was a terrible idea at the time, and wrote it off to the wheels of a fifty-year-old bureaucracy not knowing how to slow down. Your eye-straining gaze at the tea-leaves for Deeper State motives is unpersuasive, even without your odious prejudices.Hannibal Jubal • 4 days ago
Maybe some play of Rashomon would be in order here. That is your perspective.
Now your honor, what I have seen is that Georgia attacked first and hoped to occupy a certain area that Russian Federation was protecting, As a side comment, I have to point to an Orwellian use of the word "aggressive" and "attack". It seems that anything that the US cannot wantonly control or bomb is inherently aggressive and attacking either directly or indirectly the "rules based order".
Crimea had Russian assets that became endangered. Crimea was part of Russia until 1954, when was donated in an unsanctioned manner to Ukraine. The majority Russian population in Crimea has been persecuted by the Ukrainian state since at least 1994. The Euromaidan would have exacerbated that. A referendum was carried on and just considering ethnic lines, Russians won in their desire to re-unite with the Russian Federation. There aren't many legal arguments against that referendum and that process, if one looks for them...
So the above perspectives have nothing to do with just "sphere of influence" but with direct core interests of the Russian state and its core security...
The deep state is a tool that is trying to fulfill one objective: integration of Russian economy under the control of US and its Oligarchy. Otherwise it will always be a threat. A Nationalist, democratic (but not oligarchic) and sovereign Russia will always be considered an enemy of the world hegemon...
And the provocation is the actual presence in Syria of US troops. Ramming the US military vehicle is not a provocation from Russians, it is a simple eviction notification. End of story!Dan Greene Hannibal Jubal • 3 days ago
Isn't it just amazing how this writer gets to turn an incident of provocation by Russian soldiers into a story of persistent provocation by America. That is remarkable dexterity even for this paper. I am used to them suggesting that we should leave the people of Eastern Europe to the tender mercies of the whims and wishes of a dictator in Moscow - because they are in his backyard. But to be able to switch from that incident to their regular theme is an achievement one can recognize, though not respect. The people of those countries should have a choice about who they associate, and they certainly have a right not to align with people they fear. Calling us for not respecting he rights of other people to decide their fates is right and proper. I enthusiastically support this paper when they do. But when they turn right around and castigate us for not respecting Russia's right to do it - I am flabbergasted.Dan Greene • 3 days ago • edited
"Isn't it just amazing how this writer gets to turn an incident of provocation by Russian soldiers into a story of persistent provocation by America."
How do you know it's an incident of provocation by Russian soldiers? It almost certainly is almost the exact opposite.Dan Greene Hannibal Jubal • 3 days ago • edited
This piece spends too much time re-hashing everything Russia-US since 1990 and fails to focus on the key current issues.
The vehicle incidents in Syria are distinct from the European issue -- see below in this post -- that is generating some of the other tensions the author lists. Syria is really part of the larger Middle East issue.
His brief summary of the latest Syria mishap is inadequate to convey what actually happened.
If you actually look at the video, it does NOT appear to be the case that a Russian vehicle simply "sideswiped" a US vehicle. It appears that the US was maintaining a checkpoint on a road that in effect blocked Russian passage. Given the terrain, the Russians could of course bypass such a checkpoint, which is what they appear to have done. Then, however, other US vehicles left the checkpoint and attempted to block and turn back the Russian bypass movement, and this led to the collision. So the incident is part of a larger US policy to impede Russian operations in NE Syria.
Almost two years ago, Trump ordered US forces out of Syria, and Russia, in agreement with that plan, sent patrols to the NE to ensure that provisions of an stability agreement with Turkey and the Kurds were maintained. But then Trump was almost immediately convinced--by whom is not clear, but ultimately Israel in all probability--to do a 180 and keep US forces in NE Syria, the superficial rationale being to take control of oil, the kind of pirate operation that Trump likes. In fact, the goal of those who influence Trump is to keep Syria weak and unable to rebuild with the expectation that Assad can still be overthrown at some future point. This is the desire of Israel and its operatives in the US.
Trump's zag after the zig of planned withdrawal left the US-Russian understanding in chaos. Now both the US AND the Russians were operating in NE Syria. And over time the US has become more and more aggressive about impeding Russian operations. The Russians claim--credibly--that we are demanding that they, in moving their patrols up to the area of the Syria-Turkey border area not use the M4 highway, the main and direct route and instead follow a secondary route that circuitously follows the border. The Russians don't accept that demand. And the vehicle incidents that we are seeing are the outcome of that disagreement. The Russians are driving up Highway 4 and when they get to the US checkpoint are bypassing and then continuing up the highway. We are aggressively trying to deter them from that route choice.
Not sure why this article does not go into detail on this issue in order to clarify it.
Much of the other stuff the author is talking about here--intrusive air ops in the Black Sea, etc--is really a separate, European issue. The US is highly concerned about the economic interactions between Russia and Europe--especially the big economies of Western Europe and most especially Germany. We are worried that over time Russian-European economic integration will erode our strategic control and dominance over Europe in general.
Hence, we are making common cause with the anti-Russian elements in "the New Europe," i.e., Eastern Europe to try, in essence, to place a barrier between Russia and Western Europe, playing off Poland, the Baltics and Romania, among others, against Russia, Germany, France et al. Moving more US forces into Poland and the so-called "Black Sea Region"; impeding Nord Stream 2 and other Russian pipeline initiatives; indulging in recurrent anti-German propaganda for not maintaining a more robust anti-Russian military posture; fomenting (behind the scenes) the recent disturbances in Belarus; and promotion of the so-called "Three Seas Initiative" intended to weld Eastern and Central Europe together into a reliable tool of US policy are all part of this plan to retain US strategic control of Europe over the long term.
That's what the heightened tensions in Europe are about.
As I said, the Syria issue, part of the larger Middle East struggle, is separate from the parallel struggle for mastery in Europe.
It's all an important topic, but this article doesn't really capture the salient points.dba12123 . Hannibal Jubal • 3 days ago
You're living in a dreamland.
And you're playing word games. Syria's oil is effectively under US control. Yes, we are deriving strategic benefit from it in that we are denying it to the Syrian government in order to further destabilize it. It's not a good policy, but the policy does benefit from denying Syria its oil.
The problem is that most of the oil is on Arab land, not Kurdish land, and the Arabs of the Northeast are now realigning themselves with Assad, so holding on to the oil is likely to get more difficult in the future.
I have no idea what you mean by "slander." Guess that means truths you find inconvenient. Sorry--not in the business of coddling the faint of heart. Trump likes the idea of taking resources which he imagines to be payment for services we have rendered--like leaving the country in a state of ruin. He talked about Iraqi oil that way too, but taking that would be much harder.
Time for you to stop dismissing every reality you don't like as unpatriotic.Dan Greene Hannibal Jubal • 2 days ago • edited
The "Assad regime" is the UN recognized government of Syria. That is the only entity entitled to the country's resources. How is it "the property of the Syrian nation" if the Syrian government and its people no longer have access to it? To whom is the oil being sold? Who is receiving the proceeds of the oil sales?
Here are some of Trump's own words with respect to Syria's oil. "I like oil. We are keeping the oil." 4/11/2019. "The US is in Syria solely for the oil." "We are keeping the oil. We have the oil. The oil is secure. We left troops behind only for oil." "The US military is in Syria only for oil." What part of Trump's public assertion that "We are keeping the oil" are you having difficulty in understanding? How can you say the US "did not take possession of the oil" when Trump could not have been more explicit in saying precisely the opposite? Do you not comprehend that the US presence in Syria has no mandate either from the UN or from the US Congress. Do you not understand that the US presence in Syria is illegal under international law? Do you not understand that "Keeping the oil" is a violation of international law? Your post is one of the most ridiculous I have even read.Dr.Diprospan • 3 days ago
1. It's quite clear from the video that the US had set up a checkpoint on the road at left in the video. (Indeed, we are open about the fact that we are doing so in general in NE Syria.) And it's equally clear that Russian vehicles are seen bypassing those checkpoints. The encounter between US and Russian vehicles takes place off the road. There is only one logical interpretation of what happened. What is your alternative explanation?
2. "No one reading this can believe that Eastern Europeans have genuine cause to fear Russia, or that these countries continually request more military and political involvement than we are willing to provide or that we are not inducing them to do anything or manipulating them."
First of all, there are no current indications of any Russian intent to do anything in regard to Eastern Europe. Yes, one can understand the history, which is why there is anti-Russian sentiment in Eastern Europe, but aside perhaps from the Baltic states in their unique geographic position, there is no country that has any basis in reality to worry about Russian aggression in the present.
Of course, this does not stop the Poles from doing exactly that. And perhaps the Romanians to a much lesser extent. So yes, there is fear in a few key countries based on past history, Poland being the keystone of the whole thing, and yes, we are indeed manipulating that fear in an attempt to block/undermine any economic integration between Germany and Russia. We are also trying to use the "Three Seas Initiative" to block Chinese commercial and tech penetration of Eastern Europe--5G and their plan to rebuild the port of Trieste to service Central and NE Europe.
Do you actually believe Russia, which has lately been cutting its defense budget, is actually going to invade Europe? That really is a fantasy. The only military operations they will take are to prevent further expansion of NATO into Ukraine and Belarus. The real game today is commercial and tech competition. Putin knows it would be disastrous for Russia to start a war with NATO. Not sure why that's hard for you to see.
Your notion of the Russian threat--as it exists today--is wildly exaggerated.stevek9 • 3 days ago • edited
Once President Putin remarked that there are forces in the United States trying to use Russia for internal political struggle. He added that we will nevertheless try not to be drawn into these confrontations.
A scene from a Hollywood action movie rises before my eyes, when two heroes of the film are fighting and a circular saw is spinning nearby, and each of the heroes is trying to shove a part of the enemy's body under this saw.
The relationship between Russian and American servicemen, I would compare with two hockey teams, when the tough behavior of the players on the ice does not mean that the players of one team would be happy with the death of the entire opposing team, say in some kind of plane crash, since the presence of a strong opponent is a necessary condition for getting a good salary.
Still, I would not completely deny the possibility of a "hot war".
Since the times of the Roman Empire, the West of Europe has been trying to take control of the territory of Europe, Eurasia, and Eurasia, in turn, dreams of mastering the technologies of the West.
The defeat of the 3rd Reich provided the Soviet Union with a breakthrough in the nuclear industry and space...
It's hard to imagine that Russia is capable of defeating NATO, but I can imagine that in the current situation, President Putin can offer China to build military bases in western Russia for a million Chinese servicemen, for 100 thousand on the Chukchi Peninsula, for 500 thousand on Sakhalin...
The extra money for renting military bases in a coronavirus crisis will not hurt anyone.Denmark002 • 3 days ago
Of all the things about Hillary Clinton to despise, her selfish attempt to explain her loss, and to attack the President (to whom she never conceded the election!) by blaming Russia, is at the top of the list. To generate a completely unnecessary conflict with a nuclear super-power that could burn this country to ashes in minutes, out of personal vindictiveness, ... is lower than it can get.Dan Greene LostForWords • 2 days ago • edited
We are totally messing with fire... we will need Europe but Russia as well to defeat the Chinese.Ram2017 LostForWords • a day ago
I don't think US-Russian cooperation is doable at this point--or any time soon. Given how erratic US policy is--yawing violently from one direction to another--Russia has no reason to accept the damage to its relationship with China that shifting to a strategic arrangement with the US would entail. The risk is too high and the potential rewards too uncertain.
We have pretty much alienated the Russian state under Putin, and now we're trying to wait him out, with the expectation that there is no one of his capabilities to maintain the strategic autonomy of the Russian state in the longer term and that once he exits the scene, some Yeltsin-like stooge will present himself.
We thought we were dealing with the main threats to our global hegemony sequentially--Russia "defeated" in the Cold War, and then on to a defeat of "militant Islam" in the Greater Middle East and finally to a showdown with China. But now, the sequencing has fallen apart, and we're trying to prosecute all three simultaneously.
We're in serious trouble.William H Warrick III MD • a day ago
Hizbollah arose as a defensive militia because of an Israeli invasion of Lebanon. It is not a terrorist group even though labelled so by the US.Mark Thomason • a day ago
You have inverted the facts. The video evidence shows the Americans side-swiped the Russian vehicle and claimed "American soldiers had 'concussions'". A concussion requires loss of consciousness or significant changes in mental function. In football, you have your "Bell rung". You can't add 2+2 correctly. There is no evidence to support that.Jamie • a day ago
No, we are just trying to outdo each other with "Putin-under-the-bed" and all-powerful-Putin causing all the world's evils.alan • a day ago
Everyone is focusing on Russia because of the Russia hoax. Dems started a new cold war based on an irrational fear that Russia was threatening our democracy.
Along with Dems, I also blame Putin; he bribed Hillary millions for uranium -- that doesn't lend to good relations.
The foreign policy elite dislikes Russia, always has, and will do anything to keep this "adversary" front and center because their prospects for prestige, power and position depend upon the presence of an enemy. As an example see Strobe Talbot and Michael McFaul.
Aug 31, 2020 | www.rt.com
A full-bench US federal appeals court has reversed an earlier decision to dismiss the 'Russiagate' case against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, returning it to the judge who refused to let the charges be dropped.
In a 8-2 ruling on Monday, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Judge Emmet Sullivan, and sent the case back to him for review. Sullivan had been ordered by a three-judge panel in June to drop the case against Flynn immediately, but hired an attorney and asked for an en banc hearing instead.
Flynn's attorney Sidney Powell said the split was "as expected" based on the tone of the oral arguments, pointing to a partisan divide on the bench, and added it was a "disturbing blow to the rule of law."
The former top lawyer for the Barack Obama administration, Neal Katyal, hailed the decision as "an important step in defending the rule of law" and argued the case should not be dismissed because Flynn had pleaded guilty.
Flynn had indeed pleaded guilty to one charge of lying to the FBI, but Powell moved to dismiss the charges due to the failure of his previous attorneys – a law firm with ties to the Democrats – and the government to disclose evidence that could set him free. After producing documents revealing that the FBI set out to entrap Flynn, had no valid cause to interview him in the first place, and the prosecutors improperly extorted him into a plea by threatening to charge his son, the Justice Department moved to drop all charges.ALSO ON RT.COM End of Russiagate? DOJ drops case against Trump adviser Flynn that started 'witch hunt'
Sullivan had other ideas, however. In a highly unusual move, he appointed a retired judge – who had just written a diatribe about the case in the Washington Post – to be amicus curiae and argue the case should not be dropped. It was at this point that Powell took the case to the appeals court, citing Fokker, a recent Supreme Court precedent that Sullivan was violating.
Ignoring the fact that Sullivan had appointed the amicus and sought to prolong the case after the DOJ and the appeals court both told him to drop it, the en banc panel argued the proper procedure means he needs to make the decision before it can be appealed.
One of the judges, Thomas Griffith, actually argued in a concurring opinion that it would be "highly unusual" for Sullivan not to dismiss the charges, given the executive branch's constitutional prerogatives and his "limited discretion" when it came to the relevant federal procedure, but said that an order to drop the case is not "appropriate in this case at this time" because it's up to Sullivan to make the call first.ALSO ON RT.COM 'Russiagate' case against ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn effectively OVER, as DC appeals court orders to close it
The court likewise rejected Powell's motion to reassign a case to a different judge.
Conservatives frustrated by the neverending legal saga have blasted the appeals court's decision as disgraceful. "The Mike Flynn case is an embarrassing stain on this country and its 'judges'," tweeted TV commentator Dan Bongino. "We don't have judges anymore, only corrupted politicians in black robes."
While Flynn was not the first Trump adviser to be charged by special counsel Robert Mueller's 'Russiagate' probe, he was the first White House official pressured to resign over it, less than two weeks into the job.
With Mueller failing to find any evidence of "collusion" between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, Democrats have latched onto Flynn's case as proof of their 'Russiagate' conspiracy theory. The latest argument is that the effort to drop the charges against Flynn is politically motivated and proof of Attorney General Bill Barr's "corruption."
Barr is currently overseeing a probe by US attorney John Durham into the FBI's handling of the investigation against Trump during and after the 2016 election, with the evidence disclosed during the Flynn proceedings strongly implicating not just the senior FBI leadership but senior Obama administration figures as well.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Aug 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Belarus - NATO Lobby Acknowledges That Its Color Revolution Failed vk , Aug 26 2020 18:05 utc | 3
On August 15 we explained why the color revolution in Belarus would fail . Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko had offered President Vladimir Putin of Russia to finally implement the long delayed Union State that will unite Belarus with Russia. In exchange he wanted full Russian backing for shutting down the U.S. led color revolution against him. Putin accepted the deal. In consequence:Lukashenko, and his police, will not hang from a pole. Russia will take care of the problem and the Union State will finally be established.
That does not mean that the color revolution attempt is over. The U.S. and its lackey Poland will not just pack up and leave. But with the full backing from Russia assured, Lukashenko can take the necessary steps to end the riots.
And that is what he did. Lukashenko continued to allow demonstrations but when on Sunday the demonstrators were directed to storm the presidential palace they saw a theatrical but strong response :[T]he Polish-run Nexta Telagram channel (which is the main medium used by the Empire to overthrow Lukashenko) initially called for a peaceful protest, but at the end of the day a call was made to try to take over the main Presidential building. When the rioters (at this point we are dealing with an illegal, violent, attempt to overthrow the state – so I don't call these people demonstrators) got to the building they were faced with a real "wall" of riot cops in full gear: this (really scary) sight was enough to stop the rioters who stood for a while, and then had to leave.
Second, Lukashenko did something rather weird, but which makes perfectly good sense in the Belarusian context: he dressed himself in full combat gear, grabbed an AKSU-74 assault rife, dressed his (15 year old!) son also in full combat gear (helmet included) and flew in his helicopter over Minsk and then landed in the Presidential building. They then walked to the riot cops, where Lukashenko warmly thanked them and which resulted in the full police force giving him a standing ovation. To most of us this behavior might look rather outlandish if not outright silly. But in the context of the Belarusian crisis, which is a crisis primarily fought in the informational realm, it makes perfectly good sense.
The protesters, which police had earlier identified as "rich city kids, the children of rich parents who are fed up with the well-fed life", did not have the stomach to attack a well armed and motivated police force.
The NATO lobby shop Atlantic Council has also recognized that fact and bemoans it :The protesters are generally very sweet, polite, and peaceful. Many are young, middle class Belarusians who work in the country's booming IT industry and come to rallies dressed in form-fitting hipster ensembles. Unlike events in Kyiv in 2013-14, there is no militant edge to the demonstrations. Indeed, this revolution is so velvet that at times it feels positively sleepy. For better or worse, there is a marked absence of the rough and stalwart young men capable of making liberals uncomfortable or leading the resistance if and when the authoritarian state decides to deploy force.
Without Nazi stormtroopers like the U.S. used during the 2014 Maidan riots in Ukraine there is no chance to overthrow Lukashenko. With such troops the fight would end in a massacre and Lukashenko would still be the winner. The author rightly concludes:
Cont. reading: Belarus - NATO Lobby Acknowledges That Its Color Revolution FailedPosted by b at 17:13 UTC | Comments (117)
According to the American unconventional warfare manual, a color revolution can only be successful if the target government (TG) is divided, i.e. there's at lest one powerful elite faction awaiting to do the coup at the same time the protests are on the streets, and when there's the military component to "give it a spine".
A color revolution is, therefore, a military coup with a popular protest façade. But it is never the protesters per se who topple the government, but those two behind-the-scenes elements. That's why color revolutions are not revolutions, but regime change operations or, if you will, coup d'États.
The Belarus "shoe revolution" failed because, although they had the protesting element (the "colored" element) it lacked the other two ends of the process: a powerful militia and a faction of the Belarusian elite willing to topple Lukashenko. Instead, they had to improvise with a housewife who had (with all the NGO machine) 10% of the valid votes.
And we can argue the military element is the most important. In Venezuela, for example, the USA had the elite (including Capriles, who had 49% of the votes against Maduro, losing by a hair) and some of the colored element (the middle class from the Maracaibo Lake/Caracas area). Maduro held them out almost exclusively because he had the FANB united on his side and the vast majority of the people, many of them organized in militias (one fisherman dominating and arresting a Jack Ryan the other day).
On the other side, the Brazilian color revolution was a monumental success because:
1) The Brazilian Armed Forces already were in American hands (they are since 1957);
2) The entire Brazilian elite already is pro-American (including most of the Legislative and all of the Judiciary);
3) Most of the Brazilian people indeed is ideologically pro-capitalist (i.e. liberal, pro-USA).
In fact, the Workers' Party situation since taking the Presidential Office in 2003 was so frail that one can argue it wasn't even a color revolution, but a pro-USA society expelling a alien element.
--//--Second, Lukashenko did something rather weird, but which makes perfectly good sense in the Belarusian context: he dressed himself in full combat gear, grabbed an AKSU-74 assault rife, dressed his (15 year old!) son also in full combat gear (helmet included) and flew in his helicopter over Minsk and then landed in the Presidential building. They then walked to the riot cops, where Lukashenko warmly thanked them and which resulted in the full police force giving him a standing ovation. To most of us this behavior might look rather outlandish if not outright silly. But in the context of the Belarusian crisis, which is a crisis primarily fought in the informational realm, it makes perfectly good sense.
It harks back to the Bolshevik tradition, which demands that a communist leader must always lead by example and, in case of hot war, in the front lines. That's why it wasn't weird in the Belarusian context.
The Bolsheviks themselves lost most of their leadership in the Civil War merely because they led in the front. Trotsky himself led in the front a charge in a desperate attack to defend Petrograd from falling to the Whites. Fidel Castro led his army in the front line during the Bay of Pigs invasion. Stalin lost his son (I think he was a lieutenant) in a Nazi concentration camp. Not to mention all the leaders of the first generation of the CCP, who were all war-forged (yes, even Deng Xiaoping).
Red Ryder , Aug 26 2020 18:10 utc | 5Who Er , Aug 26 2020 18:33 utc | 7
Tsikhanouskaya haser BHL photo op as the zenith of her "revolution". Of course, it took place in a foreign country haven, which makes it doubly comical.
The entire Belarusian Color Revolution is fodder for, and seemingly product of, the Onion and John Cleese.
If a movie is done, Cleese can interject Guido, a truly comic character.
This fail in Minsk sadly lacks the personal handiwork of Eliot Abrams, but contains all his masterly failings. Must be a protege in the State Dept. and henchmen in the CIA who crafted this debacle for "democracy".
Succor for the bozos who ran this show for the US is the Navalny medical emergency. They will ride that donkey for all its worth. And hope everyone will forget Belarus 2020.Lozion , Aug 26 2020 19:03 utc | 14
When I opened the posting from the Saker cited above, my attention was caught by the picture of Lukushenko carrying an assault rifle, and I immediately thought of the famous picture of Salvador Allende carrying an AK-47 on the day he died.
Then I read the caption below the picture:
"Last week Lukashenko said that no other elections, nevermind a coup, will happen as long as he is alive. This time Lukashenko decided to show, symbolically, that he is in charge and that he will die fighting along his son if needed. The message here is clear: "I am no Ianukovich and, if needed, I will die just like Allende died ".The lies are failing. Good, very good..karlof1 , Aug 26 2020 19:34 utc | 15Tom Luongo massively stubbed his big toe on Belarus in his latest assessment of Outlaw US Empire policy. But just because he got Belarus so wrong, should we dismiss the other content? Luongo puts forth the hypothesis that Trump has unleashed his own version of a Color Revolution on his own State Department:Christian J. Chuba , Aug 26 2020 19:44 utc | 18
"Trump has a bigger problem on his hands, however. The chaos he's unleashed in his quest to remake European and U.S. relations is something his State Dept. under Pompeo can't control either. And he won't be in any position to do anything more than what he's doing now, win short-term victories and lose the long-term war while global capital abandons the U.S. and moves [E]ast."
IMO, Luongo should've kept to that thesis and its accompanying idea that Trump is attempting to undermine the UN, or perhaps get the Empire to quit the UN.alaff , Aug 26 2020 19:52 utc | 19
And that's what you get when you take short cuts
Step 1. Destroy a country economically to depopulate it and create a sub-population of Orcs
Step 2. Hire snipers.
Step 3. THEN you declare your sock puppet the winner of an election in the Color revolution, make them a member of NATO of your now vacant country, install missile bases, drones and Chechen terrorists.
Covid must be taking a toll on the A-Team of Neocons.Peter AU1 , Aug 26 2020 20:22 utc | 22A few journalist of the Belarus state TV went on a strike. They were unceremoniously fired and replaced with Russian journalists.
Hmm, I've heard otherwise. There is information that, on the contrary, Lukashenko forgives(!) those Belarusian journalists who rebelled against him, and takes them back to work (it is difficult to imagine a more stupid step).
The odious Minister Makei, like other pro-Westerners (who in fact organized the Maidan attempt in Belarus), retained their posts. Lukashenko did not purge personnel and did not identify traitors. Consequently, they will continue their subversive activities and will interfere with the implementation of the Union State.
Western (primarily Polish) NGOs and mass media have not been liquidated (or at least limited).
So far, there are no signs that Lukashenko is going to change his favorite (and so fatal both for him and for Belarus) "multi-vector policy". I do not think that we will see real shifts towards the implementation of the Union State. Rather the opposite.karlof1 , Aug 26 2020 20:30 utc | 23
there's a bit on the Union State agreement at wikipedia.
This is what Russia and Belarus are using at the moment along with other agreements. It was signed back in the late nineties so perhaps they will make a few changes to it.
"Union State Parliamentary Assembly denounces meddling in Belarus's internal affairs
It underscores that Alexander Lukashenko is the president-elect and that the vote took place in compliance with the country's Constitution"conspiracy-theorist , Aug 26 2020 20:31 utc | 24
Here's the Union State Portal whose Russian version is current while the English version lags about 3 weeks behind. It's difficult to get English language info on this topic that isn't massaged by the CIA or MI6, thus the need to read both Russian and Belarus sources. One Union model is the USA which is a federal, not unitary, construct, with states having a small amount of independence but don't have overall control of federal policies--security, monetary, fiscal, foreign, etc. I understand this version between Russia and Belarus to be similar--as I wrote earlier, Belarus would return to the SSR status it had within the USSR, although it was awarded a spot in the UN after WW2. The potential exists for other states to join. For example, the Donbass could become integrated, which makes sense to me.Shakesvshav , Aug 26 2020 20:38 utc | 25
Without Nazi stormtroopers like the U.S. used during the 2014 Maidan riots in Ukraine there is no chance to overthrow Lukashenko.
Posted by b on August 26, 2020 at 17:13 UTC | Permalink
Let me fix that for you, B:
Without organized militant elements like [insert every freaking revolution in history] there is no chance for the people to overthrow the state.
At some point, this sort of partisan cheerleaing cum "analysis" will crumble under the weight of its own contradictions.Laguerre , Aug 26 2020 20:42 utc | 26
Israel Shamir's entertaining take on it all: https://www.unz.com/ishamir/belarus-on-the-brink/Leser , Aug 26 2020 20:55 utc | 30
Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 26 2020 20:22 utc | 22
Everyone agrees Lukashenko's regime is reaching its end. The question is what happens next.
The West doesn't seem to have the power to impose a colour revolution as happened in Ukraine. Belarus are Russians in most views. Will it end with integration, or a new "independent" state. I have no idea.John Gilberts , Aug 26 2020 21:00 utc | 31
Belarus has been turned into a focal point of geopolitics, the outcome of this latest U.S. mis-adventure I'm sure will have profound ramifications. Thanks b for your sharp and insightful analysis, on par with your most excellent Syria, Skripal and other reporting that won me over to MoA as a regular.
It would be interesting to know if the failing Outlaw Empire (thanks karlof1 for that term) had reasons to hope for a different outcome of that gamble. On the face of it it looks either desperate or ignorant - to think that Russia which has foiled coups in places as far and surrounded by US stooges such as Venezuela and Syria (and possibly more), would not intervene successfully next door in a Russian-speaking country.Ken Garoo , Aug 26 2020 21:38 utc | 36
Further indications that indeed western colour revolution plans have fizzled. Note the tonal change absent the threats and belligerence in this Canadian communique:
Aug 26, 2020: Joint Statement by European Union High Representative/VP Josep Borrell and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Francois-Philippe Champagne
"...It is now urgent to launch an open and constructive national dialogue to find a way forward in Belarus."M Droy , Aug 26 2020 21:52 utc | 38
The Cavalry comes to the rescue of poor defenseless Belarus. The 'Human Rights (for some) Foundation' has formed the 'Belarus Solidarity Fund' - with either $106,957 (38 donors) or 1,397,340 EUR raised depending on who tells the tale:
https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/colonelcassad/19281164/2658305/2658305_900.pngHoratio , Aug 26 2020 22:14 utc | 39
The Belarus color revolution was an after thought, not a plan. It can't really have been said to have failed.
Venezuela again not Ukraine.
Madam Guaido's wikipedia entry was created after she stood for President. Even Random Guaido in Venezuela had a wikipedia entry 2 weeks before Trump named him president (though he still hasn't stood for it).powerandpeople , Aug 26 2020 23:14 utc | 45
@VK, Compare those socialists leading from the front to Trump, the great saviour of western civilization, according to the dupes at the RNC. You gotta be special kind of brainwashed to believe an anthropologically inferior personality type like Trump would do anything but continue destruction of material conditions for everyday americans. The notion of Trump's paradise lost, a fantastic Never-Never land of economic prosperity and good health - that never was neither on land or sea. Trump's globalist tax scam kept the Wall Street bubble going for two years with record ballooning deficits and no public benefit for masses of deplorables. The repo crisis of September 2019 already signaled collapsing of his bubble, but (after over ultimatums and pressure from Trump) fed countered with $1 Trillion per week in overnight loans for his financial parasite friends. The United States was in freefall even before pandemic began. A Dorian Gray individual like Trump is not saving anything or waging war on the front to save american republic against deep state actors. Trump is their best double agent, openly negociating access to chinese financial markets for globalist firms (see article). To top it off, his administration just socialized 3 to 4 trillions dollars to Wall Street with no oversight in latest pandemic bailout. He's basically destroying your country and children future economic position by giving a free endowment to financial parasites who will reengineer the whole of society at expense of hoi polloi. How that worked out for Weimar Germany ? We know what followed. Maybe I'm just stupid, but I don't see how destroying pre-requisite material conditions of freedom, make him suitable to lead anything ? Is this how one saves middle class deplorables, by paying it forward and scheming with his ''friends'' to steal pension funds from working class americans ? Nowadays conservatives have shown their true colours, sadly they don't believe in anything...Hating niggers, hispanics and antifa won't make them more competitive vis a vis marxist China and collectivist Russia. Can't fix cultish and stupid, derp.
His real friends: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/02/trump-says-he-cut-wall-street-reform-because-his-friends-need-money
Trump's friend already investing the looted 3 trillions overseas in Chinese equities:
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-01-16/u-s-investors-should-beware-china-trade-deal-access-to-bad-debt"She has already met various 'western' politicians including the General Secretary of the German Christian Democratic Union party of chancellor Angela Merkel, Peter Zeimiag, and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun. Neither will be able to help her."vk , Aug 26 2020 23:19 utc | 46
Biegun is currently Deputy State Secretary, but he met with Russian Foreign Minister when he 'came' to Moscow on 25 August.
Biegun made the claim, as reported by Lavrov "We heard the US confirm its position that it is not interested in creating an artificial crisis around the situation in Belarus."
He drew Biegun's attention to "...initiative of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko...of implementing Constitutional reform as a foundation for consolidating society and the holding of subsequent elections for president, parliament and local government authority. I believe a hand has been extended to all those who are interested in a stable and united Belarus. Of course, this should be considered by the opposition, and our Western partners, that are leading the opposition now."
Lavrov structured the last sentence so it could be read two ways, deliberately, I suspect, to allow the interpretation that Western 'partners' should pay attention to Lukasheko's concessions.
These concessions include constitutional reform, and we can be sure such changes will be modelled on the Russian constitutional changes, incorporating the US system or requiring foreign NGOs to report extensively on their holdings,financing, property etc. Those attempting to interfere in Govt are thrown out, quite rightly (altho in USA Saudi Arabia and Israel are functionally exempt, it appears).
His final remarks were the most important:
"We appealed to these countries, primarily the US and the EU, to pay attention to those circles, such as in Poland and Lithuania, that are emphatically expressing their discontent with normalisation in Belarus and are trying to provoke violent actions in order to cause a respective response from law enforcement.
We consider such actions dangerous, and I think Mr Biegun heard our serious warnings ."
This last recalls Pres. Putins comment on unveiling hypersonic missiles in response to USA seeking nuclear 'first strike' ability against Russia by deploying anti missile systems to block any Russian retaliatory resonse. He said along the lines 'they didn't listen to us then. Maybe they will listen now'.
So Lavrov is NOT saying USA is 'taking on board' Russias warnings. He is saying that USA HAS BEEN TOLD very clearly there will be a geopolitical blocking response that will not suits USA ambitions to surround Russia's land borders with an extreme close proximity ring of nuclear weapons.@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 26 2020 23:00 utc | 42bogdan , Aug 26 2020 23:29 utc | 47
That's why the Union State is not a reality yet. That's why Lukashenko risked everything by opening up to the West. It can only be because of the voracity of the Russian oligarchs.
But there's a tiny ray of hope: China. If Russia can settle on a Chinese model of socialism, then Belarus can open up (albeit gradually, very slowly). It's different when you have the system ready, as a palpable reality, where you just need to copy - you don't need to be like Lenin, trying desperately to educate and convince millions of illiterate peasants in the 1910s. It's much easier when the formula is ready and in the showcase, for everybody to see.to Horsewhisperer a 12karlof1 , Aug 26 2020 23:29 utc | 48
"b and the regulars here are ALL aware that AmeriKKKa is in terminal decline.
How come you only noticed today?"
Decline: the top layer of power is collapsing, but Am is a multi-layered federation. Illinois' (Chicago etc)
bonds are rated "junk", but the SF Bay Area is a power house. the terms of federation are the next issue.
track the state level, and Paul Jay and Larry Wilkerson. foreign policy is a wreck, so is the culture.powerandpeople @44--Chico , Aug 26 2020 23:31 utc | 49
I tend to agree with your parsing of Lavrov. It's been several months now that the Outlaw US Empire's been read the riot act by both China and Russia, who are now both engaging in pushback. Note the change in attitude in Syria where the Outlaw US Empire is in violation of the law--of course, it's an Outlaw--and Outlaw troops are now being pushed around by all, not just Russians. China's launch of two carrier killer missiles in response to continual provocations is also new. Clearly, the two Strategic Partners are acting in concert. And their message is directed to those behind Trump, who are also those behind Biden: Things are going to change and you're going to be the one doing the changing is the message.I just came to leave this link > https://www.ned.org/region/central-and-eastern-europe/belarus-2019/Piotr Berman , Aug 26 2020 23:36 utc | 50
NED donations to Belarus for....
"Increase local and regional civic engagement","expand an online depository of publications not readily accessible in the country, including works on politics, civil society, history, human rights, and independent culture","To defend and support independent journalists and media","To foster youth civic engagement","training democratic parties and movements in effective advocacy campaigns"b: "Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who falsely claimed to have won the election, is in Lithuania. She is supposed to be an English teacher but has difficulties to read the English text during her begging (vid) for 'western' support."bogdan , Aug 26 2020 23:44 utc | 51
S.T. has some trouble making speeches in Russian too, with unnatural pauses etc. If her English is similar, then slow speaking with numerous pauses and avoiding complicated terms may be OK in teaching foreign language with weird grammar and difficult phonetics. I recall my increasingly dispirited English teacher in high school: Teacher: "think", girl: "sink", teacher: "think", girl "tink", and that repeated like 10 times.
steven t johnson: "The enforcement of the Union Treaty means the dismantling of the state property left in Balarus; the maximum feasible termination of the social wage left; the absorption of any or all state assets into Moscow's central government; ..." I would need a credible link for that. EU has anti-subsidy rules etc., but state owned manufacturing companies exist in Russia, say, Rosatom (nuclear reactor and related products), United Aircraft Corporation, Gazprom, and quite a few other. Moreover, I seriously doubt if Union Treaty is anywhere as prescriptive as EU rules imposed on members and non-members like Ukraine. Putin is near fanatical about fiscal discipline, and lax about minimal wage (like Germany, if I recall, convenient if many workers are foreign), and was eliminating subsidies for Belarus. If anything, with Belarus more formally following Russia, the fiscal pressure from Moscow would relax. For example, Crimea does not pay for its infrastructure projects like the bridge, railroad and new highways.
On the other hand, economic and social consequences of incorporating Belarus to EU and NATO would be very severe.Jen , Aug 27 2020 0:12 utc | 52
sorry for the oversize. plus, the Russian KGB map is v useful. Am decline is a work in progress.Piotr Berman @ 49:Jen , Aug 27 2020 0:25 utc | 53
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya may be having trouble with a teleprompter going too quickly or placed too far for her to read.The failure of the Color Revolution in Belarus demonstrates that such actions can never be done on the cheap.Jen , Aug 27 2020 0:38 utc | 54
Color Revolutions require at least US$5 billion or whatever the current equivalent would be in today's money after being adjusted for inflation and other effects of incessant money-printing by the US Treasury. Plus you probably need someone of the calibre and menace of Victoria Nuland to carry it out properly, actually going to the place where the Color Revolution is occurring with loads of cookies and pastries to hand out to people and yakking to the US Ambassador in Minsk on the phone about who's going to be Prime Minister and who's going to be Foreign Minister, and so on and so forth.
As VK @3 says, it would have helped also if the US had cultivated a bunch of oligarchs like Khodorkovsky in Russia, Timoshenko in Ukraine and Leopoldo López Mendoza in Venezuela to meddle in national politics and pose as Belarus' legitimate political opposition. Instead the US and the EU thought they could woo Alexander Lukashenko to their side. As long as he appeared to be making all the right moves, they got lazy and neglected to nurture potential faux opposition candidates and groups until too late.
The result is that Lukashenko can point to nearly 30 years of political, economic and social stability as his record as President of Belarus, and that is a record that will be very hard for any political opposition to overcome.At the linke that Chico @ 48 posted (thanks, Chico!), I found this:Piotr Berman , Aug 27 2020 4:26 utc | 62
Increasing Party Capacity In Citizen Outreach And Issue Advocacy
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)
To enable a broad, diverse group of political activists representing democratic political parties and movements to conduct effective and systematic citizen outreach. The institute will assist political leaders in utilizing important pre- and post-election periods to carry out constructive citizen outreach by training democratic parties and movements in effective advocacy campaigns.
$300,000 is the largest single donation made by the NED in Belarus in 2019. Does anyone else think this is actually quite a small amount to spend on what presumably should be a medium-large group of political activists (say at least 15 individuals)? Some if not most of that grant money must represent their salaries and living expenses, not to mention also rent money and money for office equipment if they need a place to gather and work together.m , Aug 27 2020 6:31 utc | 68
Democracy is a universal human value. I don't think you value democracy very highly, b. Disappointing.
Posted by: jadan | Aug 27 2020 1:48 utc | 54
For starters, it is good to read "Ochlocracy" in Wikipedia, and ponder a bit about ochlocracy today. If you are lazy, it means "rule of mob", where changes of the government are violent and often lead to regression. Wikipedia is under many pressures, so the historical examples end in 19-th century, but there is a wealth of examples in 21-st century.
It is also worth to note that it used to be a "common wisdom" that democracy as a system cannot work in most of countries. Jeane Kirkpatrick, a professor and a diplomat, earned her diplomatic position (ambassador to UN?) writing "Dictatorships and Double Standards", published in Commentary in November 1979.
In that piece, Kirkpatrick mentioned what she saw as a difference between authoritarian regimes and the totalitarian regimes such as the Soviet Union; sometimes, it was necessary to work with authoritarian regimes if it suited American purposes: "No idea holds greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime and anywhere, under any circumstances ... Decades, if not centuries, are normally required for people to acquire the necessary disciplines and habits. In Britain, the road [to democratic government] took seven centuries to traverse ...
Many guiding ideas for "color revolutions" come from that background. There is Goodness ("we") and Badness ("evil they"), and to transition from Goodness to Badness, a few centuries of autocracy may be exactly what is needed. One can view it as democracy with a few necessary correction. In the context of east-central Europe, the correction include:
waves of purges under "de-Communization", and "removing Russian influence"
elimination of people who speak Russian from public life (Baltics, Ukraine, proposed for Belorus)
censorship of everything which smacks Communism, sympathy to Russia, advocacy of the right to education in Russian etc.
innovative uses of law enforcement (allow some people to be killed or beaten up to various degree by ardent "democrats", allow some parties to collect black money while unleashing huge search for the most picayune transgression for opposition parties
somewhat novel re-definition of "social activism", a combination of fascism and pro-NATO workshops paid by oligarchs and bureaucrats of the West
Not a full list, but it seems to be to be the less advertised part of Belarussian "democratic program".uncle tungsten , Aug 27 2020 9:44 utc | 72
I agree that Putin is not the type who is carried away by his emotions. However, the assessment that the Russia-Belarus Union will lead to the ouster of Lukashenko is well founded.
Putin has mase clear what he wants, already in 1999: The union of Russia and Belarus. Read: Belarus becoming an autonomous part of Russia and remaining an independent state in name only.
Lukashenko has also made clear what he wants: He has build his whole presidency on Belarus remaining an independent country. Independent both from the West and from Russia.
I don´t see how it is possible to reconcile the two positions.NEXTA and the Belarus games has me somewhat intrigued especially as it appears from an earlier thread that it was hacked and the demonstrators sent on wild goose chase after wild goose chase.uncle tungsten , Aug 27 2020 10:02 utc | 73
Was that when the western meddlers finally realised they were stymied? Has Telegram been hacked by the Belarus security?
Euronews spoke to Roman Potasetich, Nexta's Editor in chief, to find out more about the blog.
Some interesting details emerge and the extent of the network of spies and informants claimed by Potasetich would, if he were in the UK, land him in Belmarsh as a prisoner under the UK Official Secrets Act. Or if he were USA perhaps Gitmo, in Australia probably Manus Island rotting alongside refugees and waiting for malaria to finish him off.
Some extracts from the interview:-Potasetich: Our channel is called "Nexta," which means "somebody" in Belarusian. That's our specialty. Telegram is an anonymous platform, it's a place for the secure transmission of information, and "Nexta" is a network of thousands of Belarusians who are sharing information, who send it to us and thus share the information with the whole country.
We have people in each sphere, verified sources with whom we have been communicating for a long time. These are the people who provide information that is always 100% accurate. These are the people who send us internal documents from various agencies, including the security service.
In terms of mass protests, first of all, we observe the situation because we receive hundreds, sometimes thousands, of messages per hour. We are able to see the bigger picture and we immediately see when something corresponds to reality, and where there is an obvious provocation, exaggeration, or disinformation -- including by the special services, which also throws us information quite regularly.
We have a lot of exclusive information, we have many government insiders, a lot of documents from some small government agencies or enterprises. We also have a lot of documents and classified information from high-ranking officials, including the president's administration, as well as law enforcement agencies. People know that they can read what will never be said anywhere else, simply because if ordinary, independent mass media in Belarus wrote it, they would be subject to controls immediately, pressure from special services would start, warnings would be issued and the publication could be closed down.
And then this interesting comment that indicates Telegram was safe and handy for the Belarus security establishment:Euronews: Were you ready for the fact that the internet would be cut off across the whole country? How did you work under these conditions?
Potasetich: The good thing about Telegram is that it's the only platform that worked somehow. Even when no media downloads, at least it worked a bit. Most people in Belarus saw only a text version of messages, but at least this way they got information about what was going on.
A large number of subscribers from abroad also came to us and everything worked perfectly well. This news really spread all over the world. I think it's great, because even most government sites in Belarus still aren't working. At the moment, it's even impossible to enter the site of the Belarusian CEC (Central Election Commission of Belarus), because the internet has been blocked to such an extent.
This is the beauty of this new media format -- when there's no centralised site, when it's impossible to block or ban in any way, because everyone has access to it and this access is unconditional.
Did you advise your readers on how to get around the block?
Yes, we actively advised our subscribers to use proxies, VPN, Tor, and other ways to bypass the total blockage of the internet, which continues in Belarus for a second day. But the proxy-servers were so in demand that the addresses we gave immediately went down.
Ah yes - Tor - safe as a bank of course. Given the run around the demonstrators got it appears that someone outside of the core operators had admin rights to the NEXTA channel. Which likely gave them peek-a-boo rights to every subscriber.
I can imagine the Maxwell Smart cone of silence descending on the channel for a while. Can any barflies expand on this at all?Gizmodo offered this advice regarding Telegram in 2016 !!pppp , Aug 27 2020 14:02 utc | 86Telegram, the supposedly secure messaging app, has over 100 million users. You might even be one of them. If you are, you should probably stop using it right now . Here's the unfortunate truth about Telegram: it's not as secure as the company's marketing campaigns might lead you to believe.
According to interviews with leading encryption and security experts, Telegram has a wide range of security issues and doesn't live up to its proclamations as a safe and secure messaging application.
Take note Belarus activists, NEXTA has just set you all up for a big fall. That is how much they 'care for your revolution'.psychohistorian , Aug 27 2020 15:15 utc | 92
It took ten years to flip Ukraine to western side. I think it will take less to flip Belarus but this won't happen after one round of demonstrations and nobody sane believed it will. The pressure will be increased and at some point it will become unbearable.
I acknowledge Lukashenko skill, he managed to lead his country for 25 year without major bumps.
If Lukashenko wanted to make union with Russia he already had enough time to do it. IMHO it is more likely there will be an agreement with the west to hand over government while keeping wealth and some influence, similar to scenario played in Poland around 1989, where communist elites prepared to hand over for several years, quite possibly since 1985 and where they stayed a part of the political system for at least next 20 years. They are still around today but their significance is next to zero. Similar scenarios were played in Czechoslovakia and Hungary. Ceausescu did not play along so he got bloody treatment.
I expect Lukashenko to swap sides and align with west within 3 to 5 years from now.
Don't hope for the fall of the west. It's just with technical progress, people there became less useful so some of them can be disposed of, be it violent or non-violent way. It's up to you if you allow to be disposed of.Paco , Aug 27 2020 16:26 utc | 98
Democracy = Shamocracy in the West
The West is ruled by the dictatorship of global private finance. All other claims to representative government are subservient to the "rule-based-order" of the cult behind global private finance.
And many are too ignorant to understand this perspective and keep spewing this and that "ism" myth they think is reality as brainwashed tools for the elite.Putin interview today, about corona, a second vaccine. Concerning Belarus, a reserve force made after Lukashenko's request, to be deployed only if the situation goes out of control, the request is legally based on the United State Agreement between Russia and Belarus and the CSTO treaty.Paco , Aug 27 2020 16:32 utc | 99
Peter AU1 @32
Thanks for the link, Article 2 of the agreement calls for a common agreed upon foreign and defense policy.
I took some notes of the agreement, but I think whoever is interested in its contents can read it with a mechanical translation.One more detail in the interview, the operation to trap the supposedly Wagner mercenaries was designed by Kiev together with the USA, no surprises there, but now publicly announced.vk , Aug 27 2020 16:45 utc | 100karlof1 , Aug 27 2020 17:49 utc | 106
@ Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 27 2020 16:01 utc | 97
And what does it have to do with Belarus?
By the way, there's absolutely no evidence the results of this Belarusian presidential election aren't precise. Many Russian journalists and "experts" took the bait an immediately accepted Lukashenko doesn't have 80% of support, instead having "three thirds" (i.e. 66,66%).
The problem is the only material basis for this is the results in Minsk, where Lukashenko got "only" 64% of the votes. But even then you're assuming the official results are true.
Tikhanovskaya stated, citing her own particular sources, that it was actually she, and not Lukashenko, who received 80% of the vote. She equally stated Lukashenko actually got not more than 7% of the vote (!!). Either way, Lukashenko put her theory to test and proved her wrong.
Minsk is not Belarus. It is perfectly possible for a man to have received two thirds of the vote in the city which hates him the most to have received 90-99% in the interior. 80% of the vote is perfectly possible, and I think they are near the truth (but not exactly, as you have to take into account the people who voted "none" or didn't vote).
The fact that the pro-Lukashenko rallies flopped is not surprising. One of the main problems with late Soviet-style democracy is the profound castration of the masses in terms of political mobilization and organization. They grow up and expect the issue to be solved by the corresponding organ of the central party/State, so they don't bother to go out to the streets and do propaganda warfare. In fact, Lukashenko's call for his supporters to hit the streets must've sound very strange for them: he should simply deploy the police and, if it isn't enough, the army and get over it as quickly as possible.Paco--H.Schmatz , Aug 27 2020 17:52 utc | 107
Thanks for linking the Putin interview with Rossiya 24. Here's the official Kremlin transcript . On Belarus, Putin seems pleasantly pleased:
"Sergei Brilyov: We have seen numerous reports on your telephone conversations with European leaders. But these reports are usually just scanty press releases from the Kremlin Press Service. In fact, you have not yet publicly shared your view of the situation in detail. What do you think of the developments in Belarus?
"Vladimir Putin: You know, I think that we have shown much more restraint and neutrality with respect to the events in Belarus than many other countries, both European and American ones, such as the United States.
"In my opinion, we have indeed been covering the developments in Belarus quite objectively, from every angle, showing both sides. We believe that it is up to the Belarusian society and people themselves to deal with this. Although, certainly, we care about what is happening there.
"This nation is very close to us and perhaps is the closest, both in terms of ethnic proximity, the language, the culture, the spiritual as well as other aspects. We have dozens or probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of direct family ties with Belarus and close industrial cooperation. Suffice it to say that, for example, Belarusian products account for more than 90 percent of the total agricultural imports on the Russian market."
On the situation with the Russian Mercs:
"Vladimir Putin: This was an operation of Ukrainian secret services in cooperation with their US colleagues. Now this is known for sure. Some participants in this event or observers, well-informed people do not even conceal this now."
One point of difference between Ukraine and Belarus:
Putin: "By the way, the President of Belarus said that he is willing to consider conducting a constitutional reform, adopting a new Constitution, holding new parliamentary and presidential elections based on the new Constitution. But the effective Constitution must not be breached. Did you note that the Constitutional Court of Belarus issued a ruling, according to which it is absolutely unacceptable to establish supra-constitutional bodies which are not envisaged by the country's basic law and which are trying to take over power . It is hard to disagree with this ruling." [My Emphasis]
On the Union Treaty and actions based upon it:
"Vladimir Putin: There is no need to hush up anything.
"Indeed, the Union Treaty, that is, the Treaty on the Union State, and the Collective Security Treaty (CSTO) include articles saying that all member states of these organisations, including the Union State, which consists of two states only – Russia and Belarus, are obliged to help each other protect their sovereignty, external borders and stability. This is exactly what it says.
"In this connection, we have certain obligations towards Belarus, and this is how Mr Lukashenko has formulated his question. He said that he would like us to provide assistance to him if this should become necessary. I replied that Russia would honour all its obligations.
"Mr Lukashenko has asked me to create a reserve group of law enforcement personnel, and I have done this. But we have also agreed that this group would not be used unless the situation becomes uncontrollable, when extremist elements – I would like to say this once again – when the extremist elements, using political slogans as a cover, overstep the mark and start plundering the country, burning vehicles, houses, banks, trying to seize administration buildings, and so on.
"During our conversation with Mr Lukashenko, we came to the conclusion that now it is not necessary, and I hope that it will never be necessary to use this reserve, which is why we are not using it.
"I would like to say once again that we proceed from the belief that all the current problems in Belarus will be settled peacefully, and if any violations are permitted by either side – the state authorities and the law enforcement personnel, or the protesters – if they exceed the framework of the law, the law will respond to this accordingly. The law must be equal for everyone. But speaking objectively, I believe that the Belarusian law enforcement agencies are exercising commendable self-control despite everything. Just take a look at what is happening in some other countries ." [My Emphasis]
Brilyov takes the bolded bait and Putin delivers the coup de grace:
"Sergei Brilyov: Yes, but the first two days were awful for many people.
"Vladimir Putin: You know what I think about this. Was it not awful when people died in some European countries nearly every day?
"Sergei Brilyov: This is why Lukashenko rejected Macron's mediation, offering instead to help him deal with the yellow vest protests.
"Vladimir Putin: Is it not awful when a defenceless person is shot in the back and there are his three children in his car?
"Sergei Brilyov: Yes, it is awful.
"Vladimir Putin: Have those who are putting the blame on Belarus and the Belarusian authorities, President Lukashenko, have these people condemned these acts? I have not heard anything about this. Why such discrimination?
"This makes me think that the issue is not the current events in Belarus, but that some forces would like to see something different happening there. They would like to influence these processes and to bring about the solutions that would suit their political interests.
"Therefore, I would like to say once again that the general situation [in Belarus] is improving, by and large. And I hope that all the problems – and there are indeed problems, because otherwise the people would not have taken to the streets – that all these problems will be settled peacefully within the framework of the Constitution and the law."
The distinction Putin made between Russian/Belarusan behavior versus that of self-righteous Outlaw nations will leave viewers nodding their heads in agreement and they'll thank their lucky stars they live in a civilized nation as they ought. Add today's sanctions against the company that made the vaccine--a huge crime against humanity--and Putin's closing remarks will be further reinforced. Neither Putin or Lavrov will use my words, but in their minds I'm sure they note the USA has moved from an Outlaw nation to being a Renegade nation against which more force needs to be applied via its Eurasian Strategic Partnerships in order to make it modify its behavior before it truly does something MAD.I am seeing that, absent any alternative narrative, you here, some, regulars and trolls, reinforce each other in spreading, in the end, Empire´s narrative...fro the most rethorical rodeos you may use...H.Schmatz , Aug 27 2020 18:07 utc | 108
Yes, there are anti-Belomaidan rallies....only they are not being reported neither the MSM, nor by the "alt-media"...being as they are both media almost a monopoly of the Empire...Rallies across Belarus, resisting the color "revolution". Share these videos, counter the imperialist propaganda/lie that all Belarusians are for the color "revolution".
As you know online propaganda is essential for color revolutions.
The thing is that Belomaidan rallies are almost deserted by people at this point...Beibdnn , Aug 27 2020 18:12 utc | 109#BELARUS -- #Mogilyov, August 25, #BeloMaidan Independence Day rally. Very independent... of people generally.
Meanwhile, on the same day...in the Anti-Belomaidan Movement....
Minsk, Komarovsky Market..
Meanwhile...in Donbass...#DONBASS/#DPR -- The opening ceremony after installation of a bronze bust monument to the legendary commander of #Somali Battalion of DPR People's Militia, Mikhail #Givi Tolstykh, on the Alley of Glory, #Donetsk, August 25, 2020.
https://twitter.com/gbazov/status/1298320963222863872#DONBASS -- #Ceasefire between #Ukraine|ian punitive forces and the #DPR People's Militia, summer of 2020. Voenkor Kotenok Telegram channel. https://t.me/voenkorKotenok
https://twitter.com/gbazov/status/1297936329192419332In reading certain commentators here and their views on democracy versus authoritanarism, some of them seem to lack any comprehension of the cultural aspects.Noirette , Aug 27 2020 18:13 utc | 110
Belarus was part of Russia, for one thousand years, although I am open to correction if wrong, the peoples of Russia have always supported and adored a strong leader.
This has been completely diluted in the west. Belarus is basically Russia. Drawing a few lines on a map after yen centuries will not change the ethos of a people who have existed as a society for five times longer that that of the latest empire.
As the saying goes, 'you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink '.
The ignorance of the western ' elites'. ALWAYS ceases to amaze me...There have been many failed color revolutions ex.H.Schmatz , Aug 27 2020 18:35 utc | 111
Ukraine 2004 "Orange" but see subsequent Maidan, Our man Yats.
Kyrgistan "Tulip" 2005 then 2010
"Cedar" 2005 Lebanon
"Jeans or Denim 2005 - 2006" Belarus
Moldova several .. ex. "Grape" 2009
Iran "Green" 2010
Bahrain, Pearl, 2014
and many more
-- Ok moot, what is a color revol. and what is not? A flexible definition (taking into account host culture) would be required to make a tally and conclude vaguely.
Color revolutions are extremely cheap. Paying some stooges, protestors, democracy promoters, feeble on-the-take pols, new figures who crave a stage, media that supports, internet posters, laptops, bribes, whatever, a shoe-string budget suffices. So investing in color revs. is not expected (by now) to have much success, as in immediate success, it is more or a crap-shoot, or just a habit. Win a few, loose a lot, no matter. Cheap. Plus 'noble' on the face supporting the 'young', 'democracy', 'development', the economy, etc. etc. against some 'ugly dictator' or 'sclerotic authoritarain regime' etc.
The result is that repeated failure (note how the MSM cover that up) is nevertheless noticed by ppl on the ground, making ppl wary and the ersatz revolutionaries who might actually throw their lot in with the US (non-agreement capable, remember) not so keen. The merely short term profiteers abound it has all become pretty much performance art and a bit of joke, so increasingly the 'color revols' just fizzle out. Demos, get a bit of cash, etc.Poland summoned Belarusian ambassador on complaints for Belarus authorities claimming the illegal protests are called out from Poland, something by and large already exposed through tne myriad of data on NEXTA...plus...complaints on nmot allowing "humanitarian aid" entering Belarus...in the same way the Cúcuta event in Venezuela...AntiSpin , Aug 27 2020 19:37 utc | 112Ukrainian media: Belarus allegedly does not allow the so called "humanitarian aid" from Poland for "the victims who suffered during protests" to enter the country. What exactly is sending Poland? There is enough food in the shops. Bandages? Unlikely.
Apart from people without any scruples keen on easy money, we have the run of the mill nazi offspring organizing the Belomaidan..who other people would sell their ocuntry into slavery?Stepan Putilo, who is behind the pro-'colour revolution' Telegram channel "Nexta", is the great-grandson of A.G. Putilo; head of office in Asipovichy for the Nazi occupation of Belarus.
https://twitter.com/kopamaros/status/1297978685530808321@ uncle tungsten | Aug 27 2020 8:29 utc | 71uncle tungsten , Aug 27 2020 23:13 utc | 115
"The working class and poor in the USA have some access to the democratic election process and can organise to change their fate.
Not so Libyans, Vietnamese, Chileans, Syrians, Venezuelans, Koreans, Iraqis, Cubans, Afghanis, Bolivians, Iranians, St Georgians, etc, etc,."
That is wrong in so many ways, in so many countries. Let's take your most egregious example, Venezuela. That country's Constituent Assembly process alone, makes Venezuela far more democratic than the US ever has been or ever will be. Then there are the municipal-level "Collectivos" that decide local matters by popular vote.
Here are the three relevant clauses of the Venezuelan Constitution re the Constituent Assembly process:
Article 347 of the Venezuelan constitution says:
"The original constituent power rests with the people of Venezuela. This power may be exercised by calling a National Constituent Assembly for the purpose of transforming the State, creating a new juridical order and drawing up a new Constitution."
Article 348 of the constitution spells out the various ways that a National Constituent Assembly may be called:
"The initiative for calling a National Constituent Assembly may emanate from the President of the Republic sitting with the Cabinet of Ministers; from the National Assembly by a two-thirds vote of its members; from the Municipal Councils in open session, by a two-thirds vote of their members; and from 15% of the voters registered with the Civil and Electoral Registry."
Article 349 says:
"The President of the Republic shall not have the power to object to the new Constitution. The existing constituted authorities shall not be permitted to obstruct the Constituent Assembly in any way. For purposes of the promulgation of the new Constitution, the same shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Venezuela or in the Gazette of the Constituent Assembly."
In other words, political power in Venezuela is very much in the hands of the people, to a much greater extent than it is here in the US -- it is much more democratic than the US.
To a lesser extent, democracy is also very much alive in several of those countries you just slandered.AntiSpin #112uncle tungsten , Aug 28 2020 0:09 utc | 116
The intention of my words is to criticise the USA for attacking other nations that have no access to the USA democratic process .
I am sure all the countries I referenced as being attacked and sanctioned and impoverished by the USA have their own constitutions and political processes and democratic foundations. That was not my criticism - they are being punished regardless of their constitutions and they are unable to vote in the land of the attacker. Is that clearer?
The USA has systematically waged war on Libyans, Vietnamese, Chileans, Syrians, Venezuelans, Koreans, Iraqis, Cubans, Afghanis, Bolivians, Iranians, St Georgians, etc, etc,. It intimidates other nations into joining it or being sanctioned as well.
Those countries and many others are victims to aggression both military and financial by the USA and its captive nation collaborators at the IMF.
The USA is a belligerent state actor that threatens and intimidates people who are different or have resources the USA would like to steal.anti spin #112
and you set out the case nicely by referencing the Venezuelan constitution as to why Juan Guaido is in no way the President of Venezuela. The USA criminal leadership keeps distorting the Venezuelan constitution to promote this dog on their leash. The Venezuelan people have never given this yankee puppet any more than single digit votes for any role.
At least the Venezuelan people have a solid constitution to rely on and a President Maduro to defend it and them from USA aggression. The people in the USA can't even muster a candidate that respects their constitution or people.
Aug 27, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
PATIENT OBSERVER August 27, 2020 at 2:12 pm
Our Finlandian friend surely must be disappointed as Belarus may fall into the outstretched hand of Putin like a ripe apple without a nuclear strike. Putin probably did not even break a sweat. Per MOA:
It is over. The 'patchy strikes' were never real industrial actions. A few journalist of the Belarus state TV went on a strike. They were unceremoniously fired and replaced with Russian journalists. A few hundred workers at the MTZ Minsk Tractor Works did a walk out. But MTZ has 17,000 employees and the 16,500+ who did not walk out know very well why they still have their jobs. Should Lukashenko fall it is highly likely that their state owned company will be sold off for pennies and immediately 'right sized' meaning that most of them would be out of work.
On Monday the leader of the earlier MTZ walk out, one Sergei Dylevsky, was arrested while he agitated for more strikes. Dylevsky is a member of the self-proclaimed Coordination Council of the opposition which demands negotiations over the presidency. Other members of the council have been called in for questioning by state investigators over a criminal case against the council.
With Russia's backing the military, political and economic stability of Belarus is for now guaranteed. Lukashenko will at some point be ousted but that will be at a time and in a way that is convenient for Russia and not because some hapless NED financed IT hipsters try to stage a revolution.
If developments continue in the current direction, Russia will end up stronger than if the West had done nothing at all. For our Finlandian friend, it is called "shooting oneself in the foot."
Aug 27, 2020 | www.unz.com
niteranger , says:
Aug 25, 2020 | www.antiwar.com
Tom Couser Posted on August 20, 2020
I met Strobe Talbott in 1968 when he and I were graduate students at Magdalen College, Oxford. I liked him and respected him, and after we lost touch as friends, I followed his career at Time , the State Department, and the Brookings Institution with admiration. In recent years, however, I've become disillusioned with the foreign policy he advocated with regard to Russia and was disturbed to learn of his involvement in the genesis of the Russiagate narrative.
August 3, 2020
It has been a long time – a very long time – since we've been in touch, but I assume you remember me from 1968, when we met at Magdalen College, Oxford. Having just graduated from Yale, you were there on a Rhodes Scholarship; I was on a Reynold Scholarship granted by my alma mater, Dartmouth. Despite your three-barreled WASP name (Nelson Strobridge Talbott) and your distinguished pedigree (son of a Yale football captain, Hotchkiss alum, etc.) you were unpretentious, and we made friends quickly.
Despite assurances from my draft board that I would not be drafted that year, I got an induction notice on Nixon's inauguration day. You were the first person I consulted. Safe from the draft, like most Rhodes Scholars, you listened sympathetically. We were together in our opposition to the War if not in our vulnerability to the draft.
You and I played the occasional game of squash. And when my Dartmouth fraternity brother and Rhodes Scholar John Isaacson injured your eye with his racket, I visited you in the Radcliffe Infirmary during your convalescence. I was reading Tristram Shandy as part of my program, and one day I read some bits to you. You seemed to share my amusement; I can still see you smiling in your hospital bed with a big patch on one eye. When your father came from Ohio to visit you, he invited me, along with your Yale classmate Rob Johnson out to dinner at the Bear.
You had majored in Russian at Yale and were writing a thesis on some topic in Russian literature, Mayakovsky, perhaps? At any rate, you seemed committed to Russian studies. (Little did I know.) When I chose to take a student tour behind the Iron Curtain during the spring vac, you gave me some reading suggestions and advised me to dress warmly. Having packed for England's relatively mild climate, I lacked a warm enough coat; you generously loaned me your insulated car coat, which served me well in Russia's raw spring cold.
You likely debriefed me after my travels; I must have passed on to you my sense of the Soviet Union as a very drab place with a demoralized, often drunk, population, and a general sense of repression. Which is not to say that I didn't enjoy my trip – just that I was struck by the stark differences at the time between the West and the East. How lucky I was to have been born in the "free world."
The tour returned from Moscow and St. Petersburg via Ukraine and Czechoslovakia. In Prague, just after the brutal suppression of Prague Spring, we were acutely aware of how hated the Russians were. This just reinforced my distaste for what Ronald Reagan later termed the Evil empire – perhaps the only thing he said I ever agreed with. So, like you, I was staunchly anti-Communist at the time.
The next year, you got a gig polishing the text of Nikita Krushchev's memoirs, which had been smuggled out of Russia. The publisher put you up in an "undisclosed location," which you let on was the Commodore Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts; we met for coffee in Harvard Square with friends of yours, possibly including Brooke Shearer whom you later married, and one of her brothers, Cody or Derek. It may have been then that I drove you to the school where I was teaching on a deferment, Kimball Union Academy in central New Hampshire; you stayed overnight before returning to civilization.
Your second year, you moved into a house with Bill Clinton and two other Rhodes Scholars.
During the next few years – the early 70s – you and I exchanged occasional letters. After that, the rest is history: your illustrious career – as a journalist at Time , then as a Russia hand and Deputy Secretary of State Department in the Clinton administration, and then as president of the Brookings Institution – was easy to follow in the media.
Eventually our paths diverged, I lost touch with you, with one exception.
In the mid-1990s, while you were serving at State, a close friend asked me to ask you to do her a favor. I hate asking for favors, even for myself, and resent those who use connections to advance themselves. But all my friend needed was for a senior State official to sign off on a job application of some sort. I phoned your office from mine. I got a frosty reception from your administrative assistant, who was justifiably protective of your time, but she put me through. You recognized my voice, sounded glad to be in touch, and granted the favor. It never came to anything, but I remember how pleased I was even to have such a brief task-oriented phone encounter with you after a lapse of two decades.
In any case, over the next several decades I followed your career with interest and was pleased with your success.
As I was by that of another member of the Oxford cohort, Bob Reich, another fraternity brother of mine. We were not close, and I saw him less often in Oxford than I saw you. But you and he both wound up in the Clinton administration – the Oxford troika, I like to call you. You and Bob were doing what Rhodes Scholars were supposed to do: go into professions, network, and perform public service. The Rhodes to success. Never a whiff of scandal about either of you. You, Strobe, were very much what we Dartmouth men referred to as a straight arrow.
So why am I writing you now, after all these years? And why a public letter?
In part, because I have become progressively more critical of the foreign policy that you have advocated. Early on you were advocating disarmament. Good. And closer relations with the Soviet Union. Also good. Indeed, you were regarded as something of a Russophile (never a compliment). But while you initially resisted the expansion of NATO, you eventually went along with it. Like George Kennan, I consider that decision to be a serious mistake (and a breach of a promise not to expand NATO "one inch" to the east after Germany was reunited).
When the Cold War ended, the Warsaw Pact dissolved. NATO did not; instead, it expanded eastward to include former Warsaw Pact members and SSRs until today it borders Russia. Russia resistance to this is inevitably denounced in the West as "Russian aggression." Hence the tension in Ukraine today. You're not personally responsible for all of this of course. But you are deeply implicated in what seems to me a gratuitously provocative, indeed imperialistic, foreign policy.
Two old friends could amicably agree disagree on that, as I disagree with virtually all my liberal friends.
But your loyalty to the Clintons has apparently extended to involvement in generating the Russiagate narrative, which has exacerbated tensions between Russia and the USA and spread paranoia in the Democratic establishment and mainstream media. I am always disturbed by the hypocrisy of Americans who complain about foreign meddling in our elections, when the USA is the undisputed champ in that event. Indeed, we go beyond meddling (Yeltsin's reelection in 1996) to actual coups, not to mention regime-change wars.
My concern about this has come to a head with the recent revelation of your complicity in the dissemination of the Steele dossier, whose subsource, Igor Danchenko, was a Russian national employed by Brookings.
I don't know which is worse: that you and your colleagues at Brookings believed the dossier's unfounded claims, or that you didn't but found it politically useful in the attempt to subvert the Trump campaign and delegitimize his election. I suspect the latter. But doesn't this implicate you in the creation of a powerful Russophobic narrative in contemporary American politics that has demonized Putin and needlessly ramped up tension between two nuclear powers?
A lifelong Democrat who voted for Bill twice and Hillary once, I am no fan of Trump or of Putin. But Russiagate has served as a distraction from Hillary's responsibility for her catastrophic defeat and from the real weaknesses of the neoliberal Democratic Party, with its welfare "reform," crime bill, and abandonment of its traditional working-class base.
Moreover, in and of itself, the Russiagate story represents what Matt Taibbi has called this generation's WMD media scandal. The narrative, challenged from the beginning by a few intrepid independent journalists like Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, and Aaron Maté, and the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, is now being further undermined by the declassification of documents by the Senate. If, as I have recently read, you were active in disseminating the Steele dossier, you have contributed to the mainstream media's gas-lighting of the American public – liberals, at least (like most of my friends). Ironically, then, you have given credence to Trump's often, but not always, false charge: "Fake News." Once described as a Russophile, you now seem complicit in the creation of a nation-wide paranoid and hysterical Russophobia and neo-McCarthyism.
Say it ain't so, Strobe!
So long, old friend,
Aug 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Aug 24 2020 14:06 utc | 98
Russia Declares Austrian Diplomat Persona Non Grata in Response to Vienna's Earlier Decision
This is what, the third EU country to expel at least one Russian diplomat in less than one month?
The official reason for the expulsion (espionage) excludes the possibility they are part of the "Belarusian sanctions". Since the sanctions are already announced, there would be no reason to hide them under another pretext.
Looks like it really was a "double-header": there was a plan to take out Belarus and weaken Russia more or less at the same time (domino effect) by the EU.
Questions remain, though:
1) was this part of the plan all along or was this a contingency plan/consolation prize after Belarus didn't go exactly as expected? Since the Netherlands expelled their Russian diplomat earlier, I'm inclined to think it was part of the plan;
2) is the goal to take Belarus and destabilize Russia (prepare the terrain) or was it to take both at the same time?
3) or, alternatively: had the operation much more modest goals from the beginning, i.e. the goal was always just to shake both countries' societal foundations (everything else being a bonus)? In other words: was the goal just to brew Russophobia in the European Peninsula?
Aug 19, 2020 | www.rt.com
Joe Biden may be an uncertain election away from becoming president, but he's already tweeting like one. Following an entirely predictable script, Biden demanded that Russia "be told not to interfere" in Belarus' affairs.
"The brave citizens of Belarus are showing their voices will not be silenced by terror or torture," Biden tweeted on Wednesday. "The U.S. should support Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya's call for fair elections. Russia must be told not to interfere -- this is not about geopolitics but the right to choose one's leaders."
Aug 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Catapulting Russian-Meddling Propaganda
by Tyler Durden Sat, 08/22/2020 - 23:20 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
Authored by Ray McGovern via ConsortiumNews.com,
The New York Times is leading the full-court press to improve on what it regards as Special Counsel Robert Mueller's weak-kneed effort to blame the Russians for giving us Donald Trump...
The fresh orgy of anti-Russian invective in the lickspittle media (LSM) has the feel of fin de siècle . The last four reality-impaired years do seem as though they add up to a century. And no definitive fin is in sight, as long as most people don't know what's going on.
The LSM should be confronted: "At long last have you left no sense of decency?" But who would hear the question -- much less any answer? The corporate media have a lock on what Americans are permitted or not permitted to hear. Checking the truth, once routine in journalism, is a thing of the past.
Thus the reckless abandon with which The New York Times is leading the current full-court press to improve on what it regards as Special Counsel Robert Mueller's weak-kneed effort to blame the Russians for giving us Donald Trump. The press is on, and there are no referees to call the fouls.
The recent release of a 1,000-page, sans bombshells and already out-of-date report by the Senate Intelligence Committee has provided the occasion to "catapult the propaganda," as President George W. Bush once put it.
As the the Times 's Mark Mazzetti put it in his article Wednesday:
"Releasing the report less than 100 days before Election Day, Republican-majority senators hoped it would refocus attention on the interference by Russia and other hostile foreign powers in the American political process, which has continued unabated."
Mazzetti is telling his readers, soto voce : regarding that interference four years ago, and the "continued-unabated" part, you just have to trust us and our intelligence community sources who would never lie to you. And if, nevertheless, you persist in asking for actual evidence, you are clearly in Putin's pocket.
Incidentally, Mueller's report apparently was insufficient, only two years in the making, and just 448 pages. The Senate committee's magnum opus took three years, is almost 1,000 pages -- and fortified. So there.Iron Pills
Recall how disappointed the LSM and the rest of the Establishment were with Mueller's anemic findings in spring 2019. His report claimed that the Russian government "interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion" via a social media campaign run by the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and by "hacking" Democratic emails. But the evidence behind those charges could not bear close scrutiny.
You would hardly know it from the LSM, but the accusation against the IRA was thrown out of court when the U.S. government admitted it could not prove that the IRA was working for the Russian government. Mueller's ipse dixit did not suffice, as we explained a year ago in "Sic Transit Gloria Mueller."The Best Defense
is a good offense, and the Senate Intelligence Committee's release of its study -- call it "Mueller (Enhanced)" -- and the propaganda fanfare -- come at a key point in the Russiagate/Spygate imbroglio. It also came, curiously, as the Democratic Convention was beginning, as if the Republican-controlled Senate was sending Trump a message.
One chief worry, of course, derives from the uncertainty as to whether John Durham, the US Attorney investigating those FBI and other officials who launched the Trump-Russia investigation will let some heavy shoes drop before the election. Barr has said he expects "developments in Durham's investigation hopefully before the end of the summer."
FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith already has decided to plead guilty to the felony of falsifying evidence used to support a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to surveillance to spy on Trump associate Carter Page. It is abundantly clear that Clinesmith was just a small cog in the deep-state machine in action against candidate and then President Trump. And those running the machine are well known. The president has named names, and Barr has made no bones about his disdain for what he calls spying on the president.
The cognoscenti and the big fish themselves may be guessing that Trump/Barr/Durham will not throw out heavier lines for former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, CIA Director John Brennan, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, for example. But how can they be sure? What has become clear is that the certainty they all shared that Hillary Clinton would be the next president prompted them not only to take serious liberties with the Constitution and the law, but also to do so without taking rudimentary steps to hide their tracks.
The incriminating evidence is there. And as Trump becomes more and more vulnerable and defensive about his ineptness -- particularly with regard to Covid-19 -- he may summon the courage to order Barr and Durham to hook the big fish, not just minnows like Clinesmith. The neuralgic reality is that no one knows at this point how far Trump will go. To say that this kind of uncertainty is unsettling to all concerned is to say the obvious.
So, the stakes are high -- for the Democrats, as well -- and, not least, the LSM. In these circumstances it would seem imperative not just to circle the wagons but to mount the best offense/defense possible, despite the fact that virtually all the ammunition (as in the Senate report) is familiar and stale ("enhanced" or not).
Black eyes might well be in store for the very top former law enforcement and intelligence officials, the Democrats, and the LSM -- and in the key pre-election period. So, the calculation: launch "Mueller Report (Enhanced)" and catapult the truth now with propaganda, before it is too late.No Evidence of Hacking
The "hacking of the DNC" charge suffered a fatal blow three months ago when it became known that Shawn Henry, president of the DNC-hired cyber-security firm CrowdStrike, admitted under oath that his firm had no evidence that the DNC emails were hacked -- by Russia or anyone else.
Henry gave his testimony on Dec. 5, 2017, but House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff was able to keep it hidden until May 7, 2020.
Here's a brief taste of how Henry's testimony went: Asked by Schiff for "the date on which the Russians exfiltrated the data", Henry replied, "We just don't have the evidence that says it actually left."
You did not know that? You may be forgiven -- up until now -- if your information diet is limited to the LSM and you believe The New York Times still publishes "all the news that's fit to print." I am taking bets on how much longer the NYT will be able to keep Henry's testimony hidden; Schiff's record of 29 months will be hard to beat.Putting Lipstick on the Pig of Russian 'Tampering'
Worse still for the LSM and other Russiagate diehards, Mueller's findings last year enabled Trump to shout "No Collusion" with Russia. What seems clear at this point is that a key objective of the current catapulting of the truth is to apply lipstick to Mueller's findings.
After all, he was supposed to find treacherous plotting between the Trump campaign and the Russians and failed miserably. Most LSM-suffused Americans remain blissfully unaware of this, and the likes of Pulitzer Prize winner Mazzetti have been commissioned to keep it that way.
In Wednesday's article , for example, Mazzetti puts it somewhat plaintively:
"Like the special counsel the Senate report did not conclude that the Trump campaign engaged in a coordinated conspiracy with the Russian government -- a fact that the Republicans seized on to argue that there was 'no collusion'."
How could they!
Mazzetti is playing with words. "Collusion," however one defines it, is not a crime; conspiracy is.'Breathtaking' Contacts: Mueller (Enhanced)
Mark Mazzetti (YouTube)
Mazzetti emphasizes that the Senate report "showed extensive evidence of contacts between Trump campaign advisers and people tied to the Kremlin," and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the intelligence committee's vice chairman, said the committee report details "a breathtaking level of contacts between Trump officials and Russian government operatives that is a very real counterintelligence threat to our elections."
None of that takes us much beyond the Mueller report and other things generally well known -- even in the LSM. Nor does the drivel about people like Paul Manafort "sharing polling data with Russians" who might be intelligence officers. That data was "mostly public" the Times itself reported , and the paper had to correct a story that the data was intended for Russian oligarchs, when it was meant for Ukrainian oligarchs instead. That Manafort was working to turn Ukraine towards the West and not Russia is rarely mentioned.
Recent revelations regarding the false data given the FISA court by an FBI lawyer to "justify" eavesdropping on Trump associate Carter Page show the Senate report to be not up to date and misguided in endorsing the FBI's decision to investigate Page. The committee may wish to revisit that endorsement -- at least.
On the Steele Dossier, the committee also missed a ruling by a British judge against Christopher Steele, labeling his dossier an attempt to help Hillary Clinton get elected. Consortium News explained back in October 2017 that both CrowdStrike and Steele were paid for by the Democratic Party and Clinton campaign to push Russiagate.
Also missed by the intelligence committee was a document released by the Senate Judiciary Committee last month that revealed that Steele's "Primary Subsource and his friends peddled warmed-over rumors and laughable gossip that Steele dressed up as formal intelligence memos."Smearing WikiLeaks
The Intelligence Committee report also repeats thoroughly debunked myths about WikiLeaks and, like Mueller, the committee made no effort to interview Julian Assange before launching its smears. Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi, who partnered with WikiLeaks in the publication of the Podesta emails, described the report's treatment of WikiLeaks in this Twitter thread :Titillating
2. the description of #WikiLeaks ' publishing activities by this #SenateIntelligenceCommittee 's Report appears a true #EdgarHoover 's disinformation campaign to make a legitimate media org completely radioactive
3. Clearly, to describe #WikiLeaks and its publishing activities the #SenateIntelligenceCommittee's Report completely rely on #US intelligence community+ #MikePompeo's characterisation of #WikiLeaks. There is not even any pretense of an independent approach
4. there are also unsubstantiated claims like:
– "[WikiLeaks'] disclosures have jeopardized the safety of individual Americans and foreign allies" (p.200)
– "WikiLeaks has passed information to U.S. adversaries" (p.201)
5. it's completely false that "#WikiLeaks does not seem to weigh whether its disclosures add any public interest value" (p.200) and any longtime media partner like me could provide you dozens of examples on how wrong this characterisation [is].
Mazzetti did add some spice to the version of his article that dominated the two top right columns of Wednesday's Times with the blaring headline: "Senate Panel Ties Russian Officials to Trump's Aides: G.O.P.-Led Committee Echoes Mueller's Findings on Election Tampering."
Those who make it to the end of Mazzetti's piece will learn that the Senate committee report "did not establish" that the Russian government obtained any compromising material on Mr. Trump or that they tried to use such materials [that they didn't have] as leverage against him." However, Mazzetti adds,
"According to the report, Mr. Trump met a former Miss Moscow at a party during one trip in 1996. After the party, a Trump associate told others he had seen Mr. Trump with the woman on multiple occasions and that they 'might have had a brief romantic relationship.'
"The report also raised the possibility that, during that trip, Mr. Trump spent the night with two young women who joined him the next morning at a business meeting with the mayor of Moscow."
This is journalism?Another Pulitzer in Store?
The Times appends a note reminding us that Mazzetti was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on Donald Trump's advisers and their connections to Russia.
And that's not the half of it. In September 2018, Mazzetti and his NYT colleague Scott Shane wrote a 10,000-word feature, "The Plot to Subvert an Election," trying to convince readers that the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) had successfully swayed U.S. opinion during the 2016 election with 80,000 Facebook posts that they said had reached 126 million Americans.
That turned out to be a grotesquely deceptive claim. Mazzetti and Shane failed to mention the fact that those 80,000 IRA posts (from early 2015 through 2017, meaning about half came after the election), had been engulfed in a vast ocean of more than 33 trillion Facebook posts in people's news feeds – 413 million times more than the IRA posts. Not to mention the lack of evidence that the IRA was the Russian government, as Mueller claimed.
In exposing that chicanery, prize-winning investigative reporter Gareth Porter commented :Nothingburgers With Russian Dressing: the Backstory
"The descent of The New York Times into this unprecedented level of propagandizing for the narrative of Russia's threat to U.S. democracy is dramatic evidence of a broader problem of abuses by corporate media Greater awareness of the dishonesty at the heart of the Times' coverage of that issue is a key to leveraging media reform and political change."
The late Robert Parry.
"It's too much; it's just too much, too much", a sedated, semi-conscious Robert Parry kept telling me from his hospital bed in late January 2018 a couple of days before he died. Bob was founder of Consortium News .
It was already clear what Bob meant; he had taken care to see to that. On Dec. 31, 2017 the reason for saying that came in what he titled "An Apology & Explanation" for "spotty production in recent days." A stroke on Christmas Eve had left Bob with impaired vision, but he was able to summon enough strength to write an Apologia -- his vision for honest journalism and his dismay at what had happened to his profession before he died on Jan. 27, 2018. The dichotomy was "just too much".
Parry rued the role that journalism was playing in the "unrelenting ugliness that has become Official Washington. Facts and logic no longer mattered. It was a case of using whatever you had to diminish and destroy your opponent this loss of objective standards reached deeply into the most prestigious halls of American media."
What bothered Bob most was the needless, dishonest tweaking of the Russian bear. "The U.S. media's approach to Russia," he wrote, "is now virtually 100 percent propaganda. Does any sentient human being read The New York Times ' or The Washington Post 's coverage of Russia and think that he or she is getting a neutral or unbiased treatment of the facts? Western journalists now apparently see it as their patriotic duty to hide facts that otherwise would undermine the demonizing of Putin and Russia."
Parry, who was no conservative, continued:
"Liberals are embracing every negative claim about Russia just because elements of the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency produced a report last Jan. 6 that blamed Russia for 'hacking' Democratic emails and releasing them to WikiLeaks ."
Bob noted that the 'hand-picked' authors "evinced no evidence and even admitted that they weren't asserting any of this as fact."
It was just too much.Robert Parry's Last Article
Peter Strzok during congressional hearing in July 2018. (Wikimedia Commons)
Bob posted his last substantive article on Dec. 13, 2017, the day after text exchanges between senior FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were made public. (Typically, readers of The New York Times the following day would altogether miss the importance of the text-exchanges.)
Bob Parry rarely felt any need for a "sanity check." Dec. 12, 2017 was an exception. He called me about the Strzok-Page texts; we agreed they were explosive. FBI Agent Peter Strzok was on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's staff investigating alleged Russian interference, until Mueller removed him.
Strzok reportedly was a "hand-picked" FBI agent taking part in the Jan 2017 evidence-impoverished, rump, misnomered "intelligence community" assessment that blamed Russia for hacking and other election meddling. And he had helped lead the investigation into Hillary Clinton's misuse of her computer servers. Page was Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's right-hand lawyer.
His Dec. 13, 2017 piece would be his fourth related article in less than two weeks; it turned out to be his last substantive article. All three of the earlier ones are worth a re-read as examples of fearless, unbiased, perceptive journalism. Here are the links .
Bob began his article on the Strzok-Page bombshell:
"The disclosure of fiercely anti-Trump text messages between two romantically involved senior FBI officials who played key roles in the early Russia-gate inquiry has turned the supposed Russian-election-meddling "scandal" into its own scandal, by providing evidence that some government investigators saw it as their duty to block or destroy Donald Trump's presidency.?
"As much as the U.S. mainstream media has mocked the idea that an American 'deep state' exists and that it has maneuvered to remove Trump from office, the text messages between senior FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal how two high-ranking members of the government's intelligence/legal bureaucracy saw their role as protecting the United States from an election that might elevate to the presidency someone as unfit as Trump."
Not a fragment of Bob's or other Consortium News analysis made any impact on what Bob used to call the Establishment media. As a matter of fact, eight months later during a talk in Seattle that I titled "Russia-gate: Can You Handle the Truth?", only three out of a very progressive audience of some 150 had ever heard of Strzok and Page.
And so it goes.
Lest I am accused of being "in Putin's pocket," let me add the explanatory note that we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity included in our most explosive Memorandum for President Trump, on "Russian hacking."
Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.
We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental. The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times.somecallmetimmah , 1 hour agoAtATrESICI , 43 minutes ago
Only brain-washed losers read the new york times. Garbage propaganda for garbage people.Mouldy , 1 hour ago
"developments in Durham's investigation hopefully before the end of the summer." What summer? The summer of 2099.ominous , 1 hour ago
So in a nutshell.. They just called half the USA too stupid to make an informed decision for themselves.homeskillet , 25 minutes ago
the disagreement is over which half is the stupid halfDemeter55 , 1 hour ago
The MIC's bogey man. What a crock of **** this whole country has become. Pravda puts out more truth than our MSM. I trust Putin more than the Dem leaders at this point.sborovay07 , 1 hour ago
The Globalist/New World Order/Deep State/Elitists (or whatever other arrogant subsection of the psychopaths among us you wish to consider) have one great failing which will defeat them utterly in the end:
They do not know when to cut their losses.
As a result of that irrational stubbornness, born of a "Manifest Destiny" assumption of an eternal lock on the situation, they will go too far.
- Having more wealth than anyone is temporary.
- Having more power than anyone is temporary.
- Life is temporary.
- And we outnumber them by several billion.
Even if they systematically try to destroy us, they will not have the ability unless we are complicit in our own destruction. While there are many who have "taken the knee" to these tyrants in training, there are more who have no intention of doing so.
Most nations are not so buffaloed as to fall for this propaganda, but the United States especially was created with the notion that all men are created equal, and this is ingrained in the national character. We don't buy it.
And our numbers are growing daily, as people wake up and realize they have to take a side for themselves, their families, their communities.
The global covid-panic was a masterful attack, but it will fail. Indeed, it has failed already. The building counter-attack will take out those who chose to declare war on humanity. There really is no alternative for us, the humans. Live Free or Die, as they say in New Hampshire.
And despite the full support of the MSM and the DNC, the Would-Be Masters of the Universe will not succeed.wn , 1 hour ago
Sad Assange wasn't granted immunity to testify and was silenced just prior to the release of the Mueller report. Little has been heard since except his health is horrific. Now, all the Deep State figures on both sides are just throwing as much mud against Trump as possible to hide the truth. If Durnham does not indict the Deep State figures who participated in the Obama led coup, all is for not. Only the foot soldiers marching in lock step will be charged.nokilli , 25 minutes ago
To sum it up.
Conclusion of the Democrats.
Americans need Russian brains to decide their leader in order to move forward.KuriousKat , 35 minutes ago
Once the MO for "Russian hacking" is published to the international intelligence community, any (((party))) can pose as a "Russian hacker."
This is the way computers work. Sybil is eponymous.
Mazzeti looks like the typical Gopher boy for the CIA Station Chiefs around the world..they retire or become contributors to NewsWeek Wapo or NYT. ..not Any major network w/o one...Doing **** like this is mandatory..not elective.
Aug 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
psychohistorian , Aug 21 2020 17:03 utc | 1
I hope that the U.S. will follow through on this. The more it sanctions left and right for totally irrational reasons the more incentives will other countries have to build mechanisms that make U.S. sanctions ineffective and useless. Russia has already done that and China to some extend. The Europeans should have done this long ago but are only now considering it seriously.
There are also counter measures that could and should be considered. A European tax on digital products would seriously hurt Google, Facebook, Ebay and other U.S. companies. When their profits and stocks drop the Trump administration might learn that wreaking balls have the tendency to swing back.
We are seeing desperate measures taken to keep empire from crashing further and faster. We may be at the point where things where going slowly and then speed up all of a sudden.
I agree that Trump tactics have been like those of a wrecking ball and I don't think he/his handlers care about any coincidental damage.....this game continues to be for control of all the marbles and empire is losing, hence more delusional bullying.
The facets of the civilization war humanity is in will visit and touch every country. The bonds of financial slavery will be broken by this war.
Bemildred , Aug 21 2020 17:16 utc | 4jared , Aug 21 2020 17:16 utc | 5
It seems to me Trump/Pompass are hoist on their own petard here, in that: had they stayed in the JCPOA, they would now be in a better position to induce "snapback". Hmmm. Priceless.vk , Aug 21 2020 17:39 utc | 10
It's almost as if the U.S. state is a mindless, merciless, soulless entity which evil, selfish people serve for own self-interest. Fortunately it would appear this monstrous creature is discrediting and destroying itself. Perhaps with help from occasional provocation. It flails like a blinded cyclops, momentarily very dangerous.
Any group still collaborating with the US deserves no sympathy for what happens.annie , Aug 21 2020 17:48 utc | 13There are also counter measures that could and should be considered. A European tax on digital products would seriously hurt Google, Facebook, Ebay and other U.S. companies. When their profits and stocks drop the Trump administration might learn that wreaking balls have the tendency to swing back.
I don't think the EU can do that (unless it's just a symbolic tax, "to the delight of the masses"). At this point in history, those big American companies are probably very well fused and entrenched with the European government and governments of its members.
Besides, to do that would (that is, even if it could) automatically mean having to go back to China as an inferior part, and we already know at least Germany and France don't want that (they want a new European imperialism, as Merkel has already made clear many times over the years of her endless reign).dh , Aug 21 2020 17:54 utc | 15
The U.S. hopes to pressure Iran until it formally declares the deal dead. That could then give pretext for launching a larger conflict against the country.
israel/neocons want war with iran before trump leaves office bc while they don't think biden/harris would necessarily start it they'd have no choice but to continue if war was already started, hence the (30 day) timeline.@11 Higher oil prices and a meltdown on Wall Street won't help Trump at all. Nor would a lot of US troops with bad headaches.d dan , Aug 21 2020 18:25 utc | 16If the sanctions are really imposed, it is likely the poodles (UK, France, Germany) will chicken out rather than fighting against US. That will give Russian and China companies and arms sellers a field day - bigger profits, less competitions - won't they?Oui , Aug 21 2020 20:13 utc | 21
So, who says Trump is not an agent of Russia / China? /sarcPeter AU1 , Aug 21 2020 20:34 utc | 23
The world's largest producer and arms trader, sponsor of terror ...
"It is an enormous mistake not to extend this arms embargo. It's nuts!" Pompeo told reporters at the United Nations.
In the meantime, Iran announced a new ballistic missile with a range of approximately 870 miles and is named after Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani. A new cruise missile boasting a range more than 620 miles was named after Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Interview Pompeo at a friendly CNBC broadcast today.
https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/08/21/us-prepared-to-enforce-sweeping-un-sanctions-on-iran-pompeo-says.htmlClueless Joe , Aug 21 2020 20:52 utc | 25
EU falling out with US is over Iran and China as much as Trump. Going by Belarus though, the EU is still fully aboard US/Brit anti Russia moves.
Under Biden, I can't see US policy towards Iran and China changing at all as that is bipartisan.What the useless morons leading Europe should realize is that the only way forward is to isolate the US and work with everyone else, China and Russia to begin with, to fully blockade the country economically. Basically do to them what they'll end up doing sooner or later to any other country. That EU countries can't see that they'll share Iran or Russia fate in the future is painful - one wonders how world leaders can be so dumb.Hoyeru , Aug 21 2020 21:05 utc | 26to CLueless Joe:psychohistorian , Aug 21 2020 21:14 utc | 27
all those European "allies" have simply been bought with money. Money talks and BS walks, right? But they are finally understanding that US will trample them over as much as it would trample Iran. the North Stream 2 project gave them a big clue.
The US has been stomping on the Euro for decades now, in fear it will become more powerful than US dollar.
It just takes time. 50 million jobless in USA, dollar's purchasing power collapsing, while the Americans argue over Antifa and BLM and the rights of transgenders as their country is imploding all around them. Soon very soon indeed. The only problem is US might start a war to divert the attention of the average American moron. War is always the final card they use.Piotr Berman , Aug 21 2020 21:18 utc | 28
Below is a quote from the latest Reuters posting
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States was further isolated on Friday over its bid to reimpose international sanctions on Iran with 13 countries on the 15-member U.N. Security Council expressing their opposition, arguing that Washington's move is void given it is using a process agreed under a nuclear deal that it quit two years ago.
Something is puzzling to me. What countries will be intimidated by the "snapback" sanctions of weapon trade with Iran? It is quite possible that Chinese and Russian have some shipments ready or getting ready for the Fall delivery. But Iran is not about to engage in some huge shopping spree.
Aug 21, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Numerous, increasingly angry street demonstrations have erupted in Belarus against the continued rule of President Alexander Lukashenko, who has held power since 1994.
Belarus, like most of the countries that emerged from the wreckage of the Soviet Union, is a nominal democracy, but one in which opposition political forces are severely restricted and unmercifully harassed. Lukashenko has an outsized ego that makes him resist being a puppet of Vladimir Putin, but he is a close ally and de facto client of Russia's president. In return, Moscow provides crucial financial aid to keep the government in Minsk afloat.
Popular anger has been building for years against the corrupt and economically inept Lukashenko regime, but it exploded this month when Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory in the country's latest rigged election. Street protests have grown steadily in both size and assertiveness, with one on August 16 becoming the largest in the country's history. Lukashenko now has asked to Moscow to intervene to help him stay in office, blaming a plot by foreign powers for the growing disorder. In a statement, the Kremlin confirmed that it stood ready to provide help in accordance with a mutual security pact. Putin also explicitly warned Western governments not to interfere in Belarus.
Putin may have an added incentive to support his client in Belarus. Lukashenko is not the only leader confronting worrisome mass demonstrations. For several weeks, thousands of people in Russia's Far East have taken to the streets for protests against Putin's government. He has ample reason to worry that the events in Belarus and in his own country could become mutually reinforcing and pose a menace to both regimes. In the most recent demonstrations, protesters were chanting "long live Belarus" to express solidarity with the opposition in that country -- a development likely to make the Kremlin very nervous. From Putin's standpoint, helping Lukashenko suppress the growing threat to his rule would send an unsubtle message to anti-Putin factions in Russia that their campaign will not be tolerated either.
It's crucial that the United States and its European allies act with great caution and restraint in addressing the volatile situation in Belarus. Although NATO denies Belarus's claim of a military buildup on its western border, a NATO spokesperson did emphasize that the alliance was monitoring the situation closely.
Current developments in Belarus bear a troubling resemblance to the turbulence in Ukraine in late 2013 and early 2014 that led to the overthrow of the country's pro-Russian president, Victor Yanukovych. During that episode, the United States and key European Union members meddled shamelessly to support anti-government demonstrators, even though (unlike Lukashenko) Yanukovych had been chosen in an election that EU and other international observers conceded was reasonably free and fair. Despite that stamp of legitimacy, Barack Obama's administration praised the demonstrators for ousting Yanukovych nearly two years before the expiration of his term. Worse, Washington aided that effort and even helped choose key personnel for Kiev's pro-NATO successor government.
The West's interference infuriated the Kremlin, and Russia responded by annexing Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula, home to Moscow's strategically vital Black Sea fleet. That move, in turn, led to U.S. and European economic sanctions against Moscow and intensified an already emerging cold war.
Washington's conduct in Ukraine was recklessly provocative, and the Trump administration needs to adopt a far better policy regarding Belarus. Even from a political and diplomatic standpoint, it would be unwise for Washington to identify too closely with the demonstrators there. It is possible that most of them are Western-style democrats dedicated to ousting a corrupt autocrat and establishing a genuine democracy. Many of the demonstrators in Ukraine were legitimate democrats, but there also were highly unsavory ultranationalist and outright neo-Nazi elements. And some of them continued to play important roles in the post-revolutionary government. We know little about the political orientation of and possible factionalism in the anti-Lukashenko forces.
Even more important, caution is warranted because of important geostrategic considerations. U.S. officials have repeatedly claimed that the concept of spheres of influence has no legitimate place in international affairs, with both Condoleezza Rice and John Kerry explicitly making that assertion. It's a shockingly naïve view that ignores both history and logic. Great powers understandably view developments in their neighborhood as more important than events in distant locales, and they seek to protect their interests.
Russian leaders have reason to regard Ukraine and Belarus as being within Moscow's rightful sphere of influence. Indeed, those two nations are within Russia's core security zone, and the Kremlin will likely go to great lengths to prevent an even bigger NATO military presence on its borders than the one that exists now. A prudent U.S. foreign policy would tread very carefully regarding either Ukraine or Belarus.
NATO has confirmed that it is monitoring the evolving situation in Belarus, but it is imperative that the Alliance's posture not go beyond that task. The last thing U.S. leaders should do is provoke yet another crisis with Russia as they did in Ukraine. When it comes to the internal turmoil in Belarus, America does not have a dog in that fight.
Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at The American Conservative , is the author of 12 books and more than 850 articles on international affairs.
Tradcon • a day agoMPC Tradcon • a day ago
I almost forgot about the regime change operation in Ukraine. Belarus seems a perfect model for a repeat of that disaster. How's that War in the Donbass coming along again?Feral Finster MPC • 18 hours ago
A total disaster. Ukraine and any meager state run enterprises that can be plundered there are meager recompense for an action that poisoned the well for Russian relations for a long time and even continues to do so as long as that thing smolders.
Likewise Putin probably felt that his kicking Hillary was deserved payback for her meddling to undermine him but by wading into the US election and favoring Trump of all people, even if not nearly to the extent that the American security apparatus projected, he too has poisoned the well in American domestic politics.
American-Russian relations have worsened steadily over the past 30 years entirely on hubris - mostly, American belief that it can actually project power sustainably into the Soviet space, and to a lesser extent the Russian belief that it could actually piece that space back together. The hostility is entirely based on fantasies.
Belarus should hold fair elections, or at least a managed one that gives the opposition at least something more like the power their electoral support merits. For the West's part, explicitly reject any attempt to manipulate the outcome like in Ukraine. Belarus isn't theirs to run, and it's up to Belarus to define its relationship with Russia, and its internal politics.Hot Fresh Disqus Tradcon • 14 hours ago
For the West, a "fair election" means "one that our puppet won."
Even when their puppet loses (see, Ukraine in 2019), the West makes sure to keep the pressure up so that the opposition has no freedom to act.Richard Malcolm Hot Fresh Disqus • 7 hours ago
Perhaps Slavs aren't worthy or capable of self-government?
Thank God my ancestors left.Vhailor • a day ago
Well, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Croatia are all Slavic states.SatirevFlesti Vhailor • 16 hours ago
Poor batka, he made a lot of mistakes. He should have at least incorporated some pressure release valves into his regime. Even if he retains his power he will be a shadow of himself. But if he falls chaos and anarchy will follow. Belarus will become a plaything for foreign powers, its people gastarbeiter and serfs for the West, its agricultural land the property of oligarchs and foreigners and the EU and western NGO's will force their sick LGBTIQ+ agenda on the last tractor drivers of Europe...Vhailor SatirevFlesti • 12 hours ago
Perhaps the best option would be for Russia to re-incorporate Byelorussia into greater Russia in order to ward off those western NGOs, Wall Street sharks and vulture capitalists, EU & NATO encroachment, the GAFA Woke Capitalist LBGTQblahlblah++ agenda, etc.stevek9 SatirevFlesti • 12 hours ago • edited
Perhaps the best option would be for Russia to re-incorporate Byelorussia into greater Russia in order to ward off those western NGOs
They basically bankrolled Belarus through cheap oil and gas which it then sold for market prices to the West. This was and still is the lifeline of batka's regime. Putin tried to squeeze him a bit, because he "misbehaved" in the last couple of years. Putin doesn't like him, but he will support him if he sees western meddling.Dodo • 19 hours ago
That was the plan (Union State) but Lukashenko liked running 'his' own country, and played Russia off against the West for decades ... that game had to come to an end, and it has. Unfortunately it will be harder to incorporate Belarus into Russia now, although that is their only reasonable path. I suppose Russia still wants them, but that seems less clear.OneGenericUser Dodo • 16 hours ago
Let Belarusian decide what they want. Intervention will NOT topple Putin but only strengthen his will to oppose US.SatirevFlesti OneGenericUser • 16 hours agoIntervention will NOT topple Putin
I am flabbergasted at how people think they can "topple Putin"by militarily intervening in Russia's neighbourhood, or how anyone has the right to even try to "topple Putin". The man just won the Constitutional referendum with large margin, and we know it was a fully legitimate voting process as the day after the election, Western media claimed that Putin won because "the Russians didn't understand what they were voting for" - poor little matryoshkas, they might have had difficulties with the Cyrillic alphabet or something? (/s)
And if you think Putin's game is about "opposing the US", you're mistaken, with the cards he's been dealt, he's got definitely other plans (see EEC, BRICS, CSTO, etc)Hot Fresh Disqus SatirevFlesti • 13 hours ago
Indeed. US politicians and pundits who want to count "mail-in ballots" that arrive after election day and without a postmark have no business lecturing Russia or anyone else about how to properly conduct fair elections.SatirevFlesti Hot Fresh Disqus • 13 hours ago
Russia doesn't have elections, just Putin parades. Their Supreme Leader has decided that the average Russian is unfit to have a say in their own life. I used to think the Russians were tougher, but I guess several hundred years of serfdom affect the spirit.Hot Fresh Disqus SatirevFlesti • 12 hours ago
Snooze...try your tired Maddow-esque MSNBC talking points elsewhere.SatirevFlesti Hot Fresh Disqus • 11 hours ago
What does Rachel Maddow have to do with Russia's historical failure to achieve a level of civilization compatible with democracy?Hot Fresh Disqus SatirevFlesti • 11 hours ago
Apparently you have difficulties with analogies. You repetition of stale anti-Russia, anti-Putin tropes in your previous post was Maddow-esque in style, that's all.AngryFarmer Hot Fresh Disqus • 4 hours ago
I don't watch TV. I read Putin poisoned another Russian citizen today, for the crime of speaking out against Dear Leader. Another victory for glorious Russia and God!SatirevFlesti Dodo • 16 hours ago • edited
If Putin drops dead tomorrow, my life doesn't change.
If Putin gets a cyborg body, and lives forever, my life doesn't change.
Give me one good reason to care about this.
Why flirt with WWIII when there's not a single real-world benefit?peter mcloughlin • 17 hours ago
You were right in the first sentence.
But the implication in the second that US policy should be aimed at what will best help"topple Putin" is utterly wrongheaded, and why he has a "will to oppose US" in the first place. Is it any wonder, given that US policy since Clinton has been to aggressively expand NATO and antagonize Russia at every turn, especially by inventing the "Russia stole the election for Trump" hoax, etc.?
The Left and their fellow traveling neo-cons on the faux-right have envisioned more Russian bogeymen running around controlling everything since the fall of the USSR, and engage in more anti-Russia hysteria, than the most ardent anti-Communists or McCarthyites ever did during the Cold War.longlance • 17 hours ago
Spheres of influence are as relevant today as in any period of history -- and as dangerous. And their reality has to be acknowledged. Ultimately they are to protect interests, why nations go to war. That is what happens when spheres collide. All the parties in Belarus need to act with "caution and restraint". Otherwise they may not hear the warning cries of history, that a hundred years ago plunged mankind into its first world war.
https://www.ghostsofhistory...SatirevFlesti • 16 hours ago
Excellent article. Agree 100%.OneGenericUser • 16 hours ago • edited
100% correct. The way the Obama administration helped foment a coup in the Ukraine in 2014 (through scum like Victoria Nuland, and with the backing of McCain and other neo-conmen), was a disgrace, and we have no business interfering in the internal affairs of yet another country in Russia's backyard.
The US, NATO, and EU should keep out. Both Byelorussia and the Ukraine are within Russia's rightful sphere of influence, and have deep cultural and historical ties (one could make a legitimate case for them being part of greater Russia and not separate nations that should have their own sovereign states anyway; at the very least Russia was right to re-take the Crimean peninsula, which only ended up in the Ukraine after 1991 because of Khrushchev-era internal USSR administrative border manipulations).SatirevFlesti Hot Fresh Disqus • 13 hours agoNATO has confirmed that it is monitoring the evolving situation in Belarus, but it is imperative that the Alliance's posture not go beyond that task.
NATO shouldn't even exist anymore (seriously, can someone send a memo to Stoltenberg, that the USSR has ceased to exist? He talks about it all the time). NATO is putting Europe in danger , with its absolutely reckless behaviour, which is even contrary to 1997 NATO-Russia founding treaty. They all promised to cooperate with Russia for shared security, and they said they would have avoided to expand in sensitive areas on the Eastern flank, yet they're doing the opposite (the Bush administration started it, Obama gave it the biggest push and Trump is not relenting). And the recent Polish-US deal is not helping Europe, and neither is the withdrawal from OST and (the very likely) upcoming collapse of NewSTART.
NATO has done enough damage to European security architecture. Let's not have them escalate even more than they already have.
Main NATO literature on the topic:
1997 founding treaty
2002 Rome Declaration
2002 NATO-Russia Council, Rome Meeting (Head of States declarations)
https://www.nato.int/docu/c...AngryFarmer Hot Fresh Disqus • 4 hours ago
We should stand by our Christian brothers, which Chinese and Turks are not. It's a shameful stain on European history that they never banded together with Russia and other Orthodox to oust the Turks from Constantinople after 1453, but instead often sided with Turks and sowed intra-Christian division instead.CPT Hot Fresh Disqus • 12 hours ago
Their country, their choice. How is forcing our rather fragile system on them "self-rule"?donthomson1 Hot Fresh Disqus • 8 hours ago
Russia is not even remotely "totalitarian." Semi-authoritarian, yes.yakov Hot Fresh Disqus • 6 hours ago
There is no Guantanamo for Russian prisoners. There are elections that are more democratic than those of the USA. There's greater freedom of speech too. I admit only 50% of Democrats and 30% of Republicans support their political opponents losing their employment. Trump is correct that Yanks are too afraid to really have free speech.
Navalny isn't an important political figure like Tulsi Gabbard; he only has 4% support for his idea that Russia should accept US rule and that support will decline every year (How many idiots in the USA support Russia or China ruling the USA?). He appears to be ill but there isn't the slightest evidence he's been poisoned. He doesn't even claim it. He just says "maybe". Don't forget he's in a desperate political position and will say or do anything to try to get to 5%.
The pro-US politicians in Russia were kneecapped by Russia adopting the US legislation requiring foreign agents to register as foreign agents. If they continued to receive their pay but didn't register, they committed an offence. There went their funding.
If you really supported democracy, you wouldn't support the USA more than half-heartedly. Admittedly, the USA has much to teach the world about the genital mutilation of children and the Democrat's beloved censorship by billionaires. I don't include failure at epidemic control because all NATO countries are about as good. You could teach greater failure to Russia, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba but so could any NATO country.
email@example.comCharles • 13 hours ago
California is burning because they enslaved their prison population to fight fires, who can't get up because they all have COVID. Kamalamalala kept the nonviolent prisoners in these conditions because they couldn't give up their slaves.
Please, keep using Russia as a punching bag for all of your insecurities.L RNY • 13 hours ago
I agree with the essence of this article. It ls up to the people of Belarus to decide their fate. The idea that we should topple Putin is just plain madness.stevek9 • 12 hours ago
Russia is not trying to re-emerge as a Russian Empire. There are 5 (I think) major entry routes to invade Russia and Russia is just trying to secure them. Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Europe, Western Europe are all rapidly depopulating.
No one can afford a 10,000+ dead. There is significant distrust which needs to be dealt with but Russia doesn't not believe the US or NATO or Europe want to invade Russia (nor do we believe they want to invade us).
If they did then the US & Russia would have had many more nuclear confrontations and a far more militarized border than exists. Its the distrust that must be resolved.
If trust is to be built then it needs to be build at the local level between the former Warsaw Pact countries like Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, etc. Its the eastern European former Warsaw pact countries that need to be talking with Belarus and Russia.
Mutual reassurances of security. Mutual agreements to increase trade and partnerships (perhaps even an eastern European Free Trade Zone). The author is 100% correct that the US has no business getting involved.J Villain • 10 hours ago
A little late for 'non-interference'. All the hallmarks of a 'color' revolution are there.Vapaus • 10 hours ago • edited
NATO already has moved a large military force to within 15km of the Belarus border under the guise of a training mission. Way to much of what is going on here reminds of a Western planned color revolution. Those same Western backed color revolution brain fart brought 20+ years of occupation in Afghanistan. Slave trading and war to Libya. Genocide to Yemen and on and on and on. So what's to go wrong with staging one on Russia border? Any more clear thinking like this and you will have Russian tanks in Poland and Romania in the blink of an eye.Carlton Meyer • 5 hours ago
The Ukraine (Malorussia) and Belarus (Byelorussia) are not just in the "sphere of influence" of Moscow i.e. Great Russia. Little Russia and White Russia are ethnically, culturally, historically East Slavic Russians. Russian Federation is a massive diverse country containing populations far more alien to East Slavic Velikaya Rus than their brethren in what are now Belarus and Ukraine which were part of Russia for centuries, Russian Tsars were Tsar of All the Russias, not just the big one... (although Imperial Russia Tsars preferred the technical term "autocrat" from the Byzantine Græco-Romans which did not have negative connotations, the equivalent of Latin Roman "imperator"). Only when Russia was at its weakest moment in centuries amid the collapse of CCCP in 1990s could the idea of separating the Ukraine and Byelorussia into new separate countries have been serious contemplated, much less implemented...and to add insult to injury for decades later NATO expands even into those ethnic Russian states to install anti-Moscow, pro-Brussels/Washington regimes..
For hard evidence of the 2014 American coup in Ukraine, where Joe Biden played a key role, watch this short video.
Tales of the American Empire
1.12K subscribers SUBSCRIBE The end of the Cold war brought peace to Europe and armies began to demobilize. The American empire exploited this trust and ignored promises made to the Russians to expand NATO and absorb former Warsaw Pact nations and even former Soviet Republics. Efforts then focused on conquering the large former Soviet Republic of Ukraine. The Russians had found Ukraine unproductive, corrupt, and troublesome so granted it independence in 1991. The American empire plotted to absorb Ukraine into NATO and sent military units to Ukraine to bolster the Ukrainian army with plans for building American military bases. An American instigated coup in Ukraine led to bloody fighting and major economic disruptions. ______________________________________
"Did the U.S. Carry Out a Ukrainian Coup?"; The Real News; March 3, 2014; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p84Kz... Related Tale: “The NATO Conquest of Eastern Europe”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2lam...
Related Tale: “The 2003 Conquest of the Republic of Georgia”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC-xL...
“Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt phone call”; Ukraine on Fire; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGq_X...
“McCain’s Ukraine Rapid Eye Blinking Video”; Professor Michel Chossudovsky; Global Research TV; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHqEx...
“The Independent Ukraine's Painful Journey Through the Five Stages of Grief”; explains Ukraine’s current status; The Saker; Unz.com; https://www.unz.com/tsaker/the-indepe...
The US Army’s huge effort to secure Ukraine can be seen in the 349 articles posted at its website just over the past five years: https://search.usa.gov/search/news?af...
The United States provided Ukraine with $1.5 billion in military aid since 2014, to include $250 million in 2019. The purpose of these weapons is to kill Russians. https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Rele...
TAGS: Poland history Ukraine history Crimea history Ukraine coup Non-Governmental Organizations National Endowment for Democracy Yanukovych Victoria Nuland John Kerry Ukraine Obama Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk Geoffrey Pyatt NATO expansion NATO Crimea John McCain Ukraine US Army Ukraine Donbass war Russia history Soros Ukraine NGO Ukraine
Aug 20, 2020 | www.unz.com
The situation in Belarus is evolving very rapidly, and not for the better, to say the least. A lot has been going on, but here is a summary of what are the most crucial developments in my opinion:
Last Sunday was a major success for the Belarusian opposition: huge crowds took to the streets of several Belarusian cities and, in most cases, the demonstrations were peaceful. Belarus now has its own "Juan Guaido" in the person of Svetlana Tikhanovskaia – whose only "qualification" to lead the opposition is that is that her husband is in jail. Tikhanovskaia has already declared herself the "national leader" of Belarus. The Belarusian opposition formed a coordinating committee which is staffed by well-known and long-time rabid russophobes . The program of the opposition (they call it "Reanimation package of reforms for Belarus") is simple: new "fair" elections followed by the following goals: Belarus must withdrawn from all the collective agreements she has with Russia (including the union state, the SCO, etc.). Instead, the national goal ought to be, what else, to join NATO and the EU. All the Russian military forces in Belarus must be expelled. The Belarusian language must be reimposed, Ukie-style, on the Belarusian society (including, apparently, the military – good luck with that!). Russian organizations will be banned in Belarus, and Russian TV channels forbidden. The border with Russia must be closed.
Next, a new, independent "Belarusian Orthodox Church" must be created. Finally, the Belarusian economy will "reformed" – meaning that whatever can be sold will be sold, then the country will be deindustrialized (like the Ukraine or the Baltic states). At this point, it is pretty clear that the Western-controlled "opposition" has successfully taken over the control of the events from the very REAL local popular opposition.
This mechanism (the hijacking of a truly popular and legitimate opposition by western controlled agents of influence) is exactly what happened in the Ukraine, in Syria and in many other places (I would eve argue that this is what is happening to the US right now). Some Belarusian ambassadors (Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden) have now sided with the opposition just like what happened with Venezuela, Syria and other countries.
To be honest, there are more similarities between the recent events in Venezuela and what is now taking place in Belarus, it's not just Tikhanovskaia as the Belarusian Guaido. For example, Lukashenko made at least as many, if not more, crucial mistakes than Maduro and now there is hell to pay for it.
Let's look at Lukashenko's actions:Now Lukashenko is fuming against the West again, to the degree that he actually moved the most capable Belarusian military unit (the 103rd Special Mobile Guards Airborne Brigade from Vitebsk) to the western border, and the rest of the military forces have been put on high alert. Lukashenko explained that by saying that there is a real risk of western military intervention (which is utter nonsense, NATO does not have what it takes to attack Russia, which is present in Belarus, and survive). Lukashenko and at least two of his ministers did go out to talk to the protesters, which is a courageous act which should not be overlooked (as in: Lukashenko, for all his very real faults, is no Ianukovich, and neither are many of his ministers). The meetings did not go well, especially for the two ministers who both clearly lack the undeniable personal charisma of Lukashenko. Lukashenko has also publicly admitted that he has to engage Belarusian special forces against some demonstrations. He gave no further details, but that admission is interesting as it shows two things: a) since special forces had to be used, it means that other police forces were either unable or unwilling to control the situation and b) elite Belarusian forces are still backing Lukashenko Lukashenko has also called Putin several times and he is now declaring that the current threat is not only a threat to Belarus, but also a threat to Russia. Clearly, Lukashenko is begging for Russian help. Lukashenko has publicly declared "unless you remove me there will be no other elections" adding that the opposition would have to kill him before it will get to destroy Belarus (again – the dude is no Ianukovich).
Now let's also note what Lukashenko has NOT done:He has not fired his ministers of foreign affairs and the head of the Belarusian KGB (according to a pro opposition Telegram channel the Minister of Foreign Affairs did resign, but Lukashenko has rejected his resignation; this is one of the many rumors about Belarus inundating Telegram right now) He has NOT declared that his so-called "multi-vector policy" (i.e. courting the West) was a mistake or that it has now been changed or abandoned. Clearly, and in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Lukashenko still hopes that he can somehow sit between the two chairs of submission to the Empire or reunification with Russia. He has not apologized to Putin and/or Russia for all the false accusations he was hurling at them just a few days ago. Paradoxically, following the numerous cases of wanton violence which the Belarusian cops used initially, now the streets are almost entirely free from any police forces. On one hand this is good, the violence used initially did A LOT of damage to the government and it got people very angry. Furthermore, the amount of violence by the opposition did dramatically decrease too, which is also good. But the problem is that there are now very clearly special organized groups, not necessarily formed by locals, who are now trying to seize power illegally and by violence. It is vital that the Belarusian KGB now locate and arrest these people. My fear is that the Belarusian KGB has been infiltrated by pro-western elements who will be hard to neutralize.
Now let's look at what the "collective West" has done:The West has clearly taken a consolidated, common, position towards this crisis. The West does not recognize the outcome of the elections and the West has now thrown its full weight behind the so-called "opposition". Western leaders have called Putin, apparently to demand that Russia not intervene in Belarus. Putin apparently told them that what is taking place is Belarus is none of their business, thank you. It is now clear that the West will accept nothing short of what we could call a "Ukronazi outcome" and that the Empire will use all its resources short of military action to try to seize control of Belarus.
Next, let's look at what Belarus' neighbors are doing:Very predictably, the Poles are clearly thinking that they will restore something which is know by the evocative (to some..) concept of " Rzeczpospolita " in Polish and which roughly translates as "Polish Commonwealth" (see here for a quick primer). In this context, it is very important to understand that modern Poland is an ideological heir to the infamous Józef Piłsudski ( here for details). This means that Poland's ultimate goal is to break up Russia, restore the Polish Commonwealth, and become a willing prostitute to the western power, especially the US (it is just as easy for the current Polish pseudo-patriots to prostitute their nation to the US as it was for Piłsudski to prostitute himself before Hitler). If some of you bump into the concepts of " Prometheism " or " Intermarium " then click on these words for more details. It is hardly surprising that the nation Winston Churchill called the "the hyena of Europe" would pounce on Belarus: the Poles always, always, attack when either they think that a) there is some big guy behind them and b) that their victim is weak. I fully expect the Pope to publicly "pray for peace in Belarus" and express his "distress" at the violence. Truly – this has been the same gang for almost 1000 years (see here and here ) and they are still at it. There is really nothing new under the sun The clueless Balts also want to join the Rzeczpospolita for a very simple reasons: they are terrified that the West will eventually dump them and they know that by themselves they will never achieve anything. So as much as the Poles like to hide behind the US, the Balts like to hide behind Poland. Finally, these countries probably realize that even Belarus alone could prevail militarily over them, nevermind Russia, so they figure that united and protected by Uncle Shmuel they will seize Russia like they seized the Ukraine and finally (!) become the (collective?) "Prometheus" they think they are, but which history never allowed them to become. As for the EU gerontocrats, they are just doing what they know how to do: try to impersonate some kind of (moral?) "authority" which gets to decide which elections are fair, which are not, which regimes get to beat up demonstrators (Macron anybody?) and which ones must immediately yield to the demands of a carefully controlled "opposition". It is especially touching to see Merkel who clearly does not realize the utter contempt the Russians feel for her and for what she stands for.
Lastly, let's look at what Putin and other Russians are saying:Putin and Xi have both recognized the outcome of the elections. Frankly, I don't know of any halfway serious source which would dispute the fact that Lukashenko beat Tikhanovskaia by a wide margin. Yes, I also seriously doubt the frankly silly 80% vs 10% figures, but I doubt those who say that Lukashenko lost even more.
Neither Putin nor Xi will "unrecongnize" these elections. Which means that neither Putin nor Xi will ever accept the western narrative about what happened or what is happening now. Putin's reaction to Lukashenko's phone calls appears to be a special kind of "restrained goodwill" or "polite benevolence". Clearly, nobody in Russia has forgotten what just happened and I notice a very clear trend on Russian talkshows, news reports and articles: while most Russians sincerely see Belarusians as fellow Russian brothers, the level of frustration and even disgust with Lukashenko is hard not to notice, and it is only growing.
Even very pro-Kremlin commentators are losing their cool with what Lukashenko is doing (they are no less angry at what Lukashenko is not doing), I think of Igor Korotchenko, the head of the Public Council under the Ministry of defense of the Russian Federation, a typical Kremlin-insider, who has now declared that the Belarusian Foreign Minister is a "foreign agent of influence" (which I don't doubt) and that Russia ought to demand that he be fired. I can only agree with him.
Crucially, in the official summary transcript of the telephone conversation between Lukashenko and Putin the latter repeated that the integration between Russia and Belarus must continue. Here is how the Kremlin put it :
" The Russian side reaffirmed its readiness to render the necessary assistance to resolve the challenges facing Belarus based on the principles of the Treaty on the Creation of a Union State , as well as through the Collective Security Treaty Organization , if necessary ".
In other words, Putin is laying down the legal framework under which Russia might intervene in some manner, especially if such an intervention is officially requested by Minsk.
Now let's summarize what is really taking place, I will also do that in the form of a bullet-point list:There is no doubt that many Belarusians are fed up with Lukashenko There is no doubt that many Belarusians still support Lukashenko (if only as a guarantor against a Ukraine-like collapse). There is no doubt that the legitimate Belarusian opposition was quickly and effortlessly co-opted by western and, let's call them "Promethean", special services.
Lukashenko was so sure of himself, that he never bothered to really campaign, to talk and plead with his own people. He entered this election cocky sure of himself, only to find out that what is immediate entourage of yes-man (they stand when they report to him) either was lying or was clueless.
Next, it is also clear that Lukashenko was sure that between his KGB and the Belarusian riot police, he could easily clear the streets. And while this seemed to work for 24 hours, the last couple of days are proof that the regime has lost control of the streets and/or is clueless as to what to do next.
Furthermore, while you can use riot police to disperse demonstrators, you cannot use this riot police to force anybody to work: there are many consistent reports of strikes in major Belarusian plans and corporation. How will Lukashenko force these people to work? He cannot. In fact, he specifically said so when he declared that strikes will destroy Belarus.
There are now even reports that the company Belaruskalii , one of the most profitable companies in Belarus (it produces potassium fertilizer) has now stopped working. In extremis , Lukashenko began calling Putin and he even said " we, Russians " during a public meeting. Right now I know of no respectable analyst in Russia who would believe that Putin owes Lukashenko anything.
The blame for what just happened cannot be placed solely on Lukashenko's infinite arrogance, the infiltration of the Belarusian KGB or on Ukronazi provocations: it is possible that the SVR and GRU dropped the ball in this instance, in spite of the fact that what happened was easy to predict (and many did predict this).
Had it not been for the superb work of the FSB, it is quite possible that by now some Russian citizens would be sitting in Ukronazi jails. The Russian Foreign Ministry also appears to have been caught off guard.
I don't necessarily feel that "heads should roll" at the SVR/GRU, but at the very least there ought to be a full internal investigation on why this crisis apparently caught the Kremlin off-guard and some "organizational conclusions" ought to be drawn. By the way, there is also the possibility that the SVR/GRU and Ministry of Foreign Affairs did provide timely and substantive (actionable) warnings. In this case, the problem is with the heads of these services, the Russian government and the President.
It is sometimes said that the process of intelligence involves three phases referred to as the "three As": acquisition (data collection), analysis (data management and interpretation) and acceptance (convincing the political decision makers). I do, obviously, not know at what level this failure happened, but I see it as a clear sign of a major problem.
Now lets look at the core of the "Russian problem in Belarus": it is simple, really: Belarusians are Russians, even more so than the Ukrainians. Not only that, but judging from the footage from Belarus (on all changes and from all sources), while the (supposed) "leaders" of the so-called "opposition" are all rabid russophobes, the vast majority of those who protested against Lukashenko are not.
The problem here is that it is impossible to get truly reliable numbers. Official Belarusian polls are a joke, but "opposition" polls, or western run polls, are probably even MORE unreliable. Then there is the fact that Minsk is somewhat of a special case amongst Belarusian cities. Furthermore, there is a difference between urban and rural Belarus. And, finally, the opposition itself is not monolithic at all, and when somebody is asked whether he supports Lukashenko or not, there are many possible reasons why somebody might reply "no" (heck, many Russians in Russia do not support Lukashenko either). So we have to accept that until some kind of normalcy return to Belarus and truly free elections are held, nobody will know for sure what percentage of Belarusian think about this crisis or Lukashenko.
Then there is the fact that, just as in Syria or the Ukraine, the initial protest were legitimate, both in terms of having many valid reasons to protest and in terms of being truly local, not controlled from aboard. But then, just as in Syria and in the Ukraine, these protests were infiltrated and co-opted by foreign agents. Ideally, Russia would want to support the original/real demonstrators as much as possible within reason and counter-act the infiltrated subversives. But how can the Russian separate them unless they themselves make it happen?
One idea circulated here and there is that Russia should intervene very openly, in the context of the Union State between Russia and Belarus and, even more so, under the auspices of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Putin did mention this organization already, so this is definitely an option for Russia. But would that be a good option?
To be honest, I am not even sure that there are ANY good options left for Russia. I mentioned several times that I personally came to conclusion that the only possibly way for the Belarusian people to remain free is to join Russia. I still think that. However, I am not at all sure that this is even really possible right now, if only because the only interlocutor of Moscow in Belarus appears to be losing control of his own government and because there is no easy way to make progress on this issue while Belarus is at the very real risk of complete collapse.
The root cause of it all?
Corruption. As always.
It is often said that the Ukrainian leaders since 1991 were terrible, and that is true: every one of them seemed to be acting in some kind of toxic freak show. And yes, in Belarus, people feared the cops and the KGB a lot more than the did in the Ukraine. But that does not necessarily mean that Belarus was less corrupt. All this means, is that in Belarus the government did a great job running a semi-feudal system of protection which only guaranteed that only officials and their "business partners" got to make good money.
And this is not a Belarus or Ukrainian problem only. The exact same thing took place in Russia in the 90s. It is not even a personality problem, it is a class problem, in the Marxist sense of the word.
We need to remember that the CPSU and its Nomenklatura was a fantastically corrupt organization, not necessarily at the member level, but as a whole. I would summarize the "integrity" of these people as so:First they betrayed Stalin and the ideals of Marxism-Leninism (Khrushchev years) Then they betrayed their own USSR and CPSU (Brezhnev & Gorbachev years) Then they disguised themselves as patriots (or even nationalists, like that hardcore communist ideologue Kravchuk did!). Next, they deeply penetrated the West to seek protection, hide their real revenues and obtain the right to rule. Next, they sucked their countries dry of all their wealth while their personal worth skyrocketed. Finally, they all volunteered to prostitute themselves and their people before the West.
These guys have no more morals than an amoeba and they are as ruthless as any psychopath. They used to prostitute themselves before their Party bosses, and now they do the same to their AngloZionist ones.
So here is the question: how could Russia remove this ruling class without a) major bloodshed and b) making it look like what Russia is really doing is trying to save Lukashenko?
What Russia really needs now is for the West to do something as terminally stupid as when the US tried to overthrow Erdogan. But that would only be sufficient to bring Lukashenko to heel and get rid of some of the most dangerous elements in his entourage. The bigger problem is how could Russia help the Belarusian people?
Just tossing more money at the Belarusian regime makes no sense and does not work. Been there, done that.
Using military force is possible (I don't expect anybody in the Belarusian military, at least key commanders and units, to object to this). But that is very tricky and outright politically dangerous. It might also not be correctly understood by Belarusians and by many Russians too.
The first conclusion I personally am coming to is that Russia must not do anything which could be credibly construed as "saving Lukashenko". Lukashenko needs no "saving". Belarus does.
Second, while in military terms securing Belarus would not be a problem for the Russian military, in political terms it would be a major crisis as the West would, no doubt, pounce on that to not only impose more sanctions (that is not really a problem) but also to create a New Cold War in which mentally sane and patriotic Europeans would be "shouted down" by hysterical mantras about "the Russians are coming! the Russians are coming!".
I am also concerned about the recent military moves by Belarus. To forward deploy high readiness forces near the Polish border is a very bad idea: considering the historical record the Russians should never assume that any Polish leader won't do something fantastically stupid which will end up as fantastically tragic. I don't believe for one second that NATO has plans to invade Belarus. If anything, Lukashenko and Russia ought to leave what is called a "tripwire force" in the West while preparing their strategic defenses in depth. There is NO need to go and provoke the Poles, the Balts or anybody else in NATO.
If given a choice, Putin would probably want for both Lukashenko and the so-called 'opposition' to go (this reminds me of the Argentinian " que se vayan todos " or the Lebanese كلهم يعني كلهم both of which can be roughly translated as "they all have to go"and "all means all" – including both Tikhanovskaia AND Lukashenko.
At the time of writing this (Aug. 19th) it appears that Lukashenko will now have to chose between the "civilized West" and "Putin's bloody Mordor". Truly, he really has no option other than to chose Moscow, but that does not at all mean that Moscow thinks that there is anything salvageable from Lukashenko's regime. His latest "zag!" back to being a "Russian brother" is way too little and way too late. And if his foreign minister and his head of KGB are still in the next government, all this talk will also become irrelevant and meaningless.
Simply put: if Lukashenko wants to remain in power he has only one option – beg for Putin's mercy, not publicly, of course, be most emphatically and as sincerely as he can pretend to be. Then he needs to purge his government from every single name Putin (or the Russian special services) will hand to him. Yes, that means that he has to truly and really relinquish control. As for Putin, he needs to address both the Russian and the Belarusian people to explain whatever decision he comes to. This is, yet again, a situation where Putin's biggest weapon might be his very high popular support (not only in Russia, but also, by all accounts, in Belarus).
Right now it appears that the West seriously fears a Russian intervention: they probably (correctly) realize how easy it would be for Russia and how there is absolutely nothing anybody, including NATO or, even less so, the EU could do about it. Trump personally has much bigger fish to fry and I doubt if he cares much. But his narcissistic Secretary of State probably feels like he can turn Belarus into another US-run Banderastan.
So what can happen next?
I think that it is crucial that Russia reach out to the non-US-controlled opposition in Belarus, publicly, and try to establish some kind of dialog. Russia also has to publicly warn the people of Belarus that if they allow the current US-controlled "opposition leaders" to come to power, Belarus will collapse just like the Ukraine did.
This might be the strongest argument Russia could repeat over and over again: as bad as Lukashenko was, if he is overthrown in some kind of Maidan-like coup, then Belarus will become the next Banderastan. This will be a major headache for Russia, but Russia can easily survive this. Belarus cannot.
But simply keeping Lukashenko in power is no solution either: whether he did or did not win the latest elections is not even the real issue anymore – the real issue is that he did lose his credibility with pretty much everybody involved. For this reason alone – Lukashenko has to go. Next, some kind of government of national unity which would include the main political forces in Belarus except the ones controlled by the West should probably be formed. Finally, whoever is in power in Minsk needs to set a course on a full reintegration of Belarus into Russia. That remains the only viable long-term solution for the people of Belarus.
Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website August 20, 2020 at 3:52 am GMTPatronym , says: August 20, 2020 at 4:44 am GMT
I have repeatedly challenged the Saker's contention that Russia needs to annex Belarus. In this article, here is what I have to say:
I fail to see two things:
1. How Russia is supposed to save Belarus. Suppose Lukashenko now signs up for immediate accession of Belarus to Russia. Then what? Lukashenko, according to everyone I've read on the subject, no longer holds the authority to credibly do any such thing. If Lukashenko signs an accession, what will happen?
(a) The American Empire and its EU vassals will immediately blame Russia. This is a given. But they will also take the opportunity to dump Nordstream and other economic links to Russia, and all the slow patient work of improving the conditions since 2014 will disappear in a heartbeat. Is Belarus worth that?
(b) Russia will be faced with an insurgency like in Chechnya (much more easily armed and infiltrated into Belarus too) and you can be absolutely certain ISIS and Ukranazis at the very least will be recruited into this insurgency.
(c) Russia will have to find some way of paying for all this; in previous responses I have asked how exactly that is supposed to be done. Will it sell Belarus off to oligarchs? Tax Russians? Got will Russians react to that?
(d) Russia will be legitimately asked by Donbass people, if not South Ossetians, Abkhazians, and Transnistrians, too, why they can't be annexed despite wanting to be but Belarus can. This is not an easy question to answer.
(e) If Russia continues the socialist Belarus economy with social care as now, Russians will naturally ask why they can't have the same thing instead of suffering under Putinist regime neoliberal capitalism.
(f) What if the Belarus armed forces do *not* agree to be annexed? What if the rank and file revolt? What will Russia do then? Invade?
2. Why, exactly, should Russia save Belarus?
(a) If the idea is that Belarus will give NATO an invasion route across the Russian plain to Moscow and St Petersburg, that's rubbish. This isn't WWII; any such blitzkrieg offensive, even if NATO is capable of it, will result in their capitals being reduced to radioactive ash. The situation is no different from 2014 when Ukranazistan (NATO in all but name) provided an invasion route from the south west up towards Moscow and east towards Volgograd.
(b) If Belarus is such a basket case, what does it bring to the table for Russia? Has it industries, natural resources, technological institutes, anything at all that would make it worth the problems? Why should Russia take on yet another financial drain?
Face it, the murder of the USSR created new realities, and we are merely seeing the process dragging to its logical conclusion. Russia must get used to living in a situation where all its former co Soviet republics are active hostile enemy states. Those that aren't yet eventually will be. Russia needs to look East and forget about the west. There is no hope there.Ilya G Poimandres , says: August 20, 2020 at 5:49 am GMT
How about new elections, with Russian and Western observers and exit polls. No candidates jailed. Hold the vote after a cooling off period for a national discussion of Belarus' future.Harold Smith , says: August 20, 2020 at 6:08 am GMT
The problem with this analysis is that it relegated the people to passive observers, outside of the violent insurrection part.
Lukaahenko could set a referendum and ask whether the citizenry wants to join Russia, stay independent, or join the EU. Then he saves face, and the people choose their poison.
Really this is always the best solution for the citizenry, but it would be giving up the enormous tyrannical powers gained with representative democracy in the 19th century.Juri , says: August 20, 2020 at 6:27 am GMT
"Trump personally has much bigger fish to fry and I doubt if he cares much."
Of course he "cares"; he's been going out of his way to provoke Russia (and China, Syria, Iran and Venezuela) almost since the day he was inaugurated.
"But his narcissistic Secretary of State probably feels like he can turn Belarus into another US-run Banderastan."
He probably does, and that's why the evil orange clown nominated him for the job. What else should we expect?anonymous  Disclaimer , says: August 20, 2020 at 6:31 am GMT
Actually, there are very little love to the West in Eastern Europe. The entire West success story in Eastern Europe is based on Russian irrational love to Lenin and Stalin and WWII and Red Army.
Russia has 1000 years old rich history. There are noble artists , Pushkin, Dostoevsky. There are brilliant scientists , Lomonossov, Mendeleev , there are amazing amount of real heroes in Russian history.
But somehow, the only heroes glorified by Russian in the former Soviet territory are comrade Stalin and his murderous Red Army. When people see Immortal Regiment or young Russians in WW II era Red Army uniforms guarding the Soviet War memorials, this enough to turn normal reasoned people into russophobes.
Until Russia keep pushing the bad Nazis, good Soviet "liberators" myth, the Eastern Europe will be low hanging fruit to every last Russian enemy. Simple as that.Petermx , says: August 20, 2020 at 6:32 am GMT
The Navalny Poisoning definitely has something to do with Belarus. It may be a Western False Flag or Putin getting nervous. Either way, big news.GMC , says: August 20, 2020 at 6:54 am GMT
What is the other Banderastan? I wish there was one. I assume you are referring to Bandera's country Ukraine, now with its second Jewish president in a row, not to mention the other government posts Jews hold. The Jews also had Bandera removed from Ukraine's Hall of Heroes. Some Banderastan. They murder 8 million Ukrainians and then force the Ukrainians to stop honoring a man that stood up for them. I would like Germany to do that to Israel.
I plan on visiting the statue erected to Bandera in Lviv where he is buried the next time I visit the city and perhaps lay some flowers there to honor him.paranoid goy , says: Website August 20, 2020 at 6:55 am GMT
Good article. I do see similarities between X Ukie Prez Yanuk and Lukashenko. They both invited the West come into their countries, fully knowing about that little Trump fairy tale – about befriending that poisonous snake, that will eventually bite and kill you – Pompeo this time. Only stupid, stupid men -think their little country can play hardball with the NWO and come out of it unscathed. Years ago, when I saw the number of Ukies running to Belarus, it was easy to see that a Maidan like setup would follow. They took their time but there was a reason for that – to infiltrate Belarus gov. and the People. Failed/ Bought off Leaders and their accomplices destroy their own country , only the ones that stand and fight have a chance, but will pay a heavy heavy price like Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, and others. Belarus should close the borders – surround Minsk and throw out every non citizen in those protests, and tell everyone to go home, if they want to discuss a solution. That is what Yanukobitch should have done in Kyiv . Use your military or watch the NWO take over your country. Being nice is for losers or big countries with nukes when it comes to saving your country from the NWO. SpaciboPetermx , says: August 20, 2020 at 6:57 am GMT
Ukronazi Ukronazi Ukronazi. Every time you misname the Bolsheviks as Nazis, you perpetuate the wet dream of Zion: " we will eradicate the concept of national socialism from the collective memory of mankind" was it?
Nazism was an economics program that uplifted Germany from abject poverty and serfdom into, as I believe Churchil said: "..the best place to live in Europe".
I paraphrase, of course, the Bolshies will now attack with quotes from the Times. But a fairenough assessment, probably, all in all.Carlos22 , says: August 20, 2020 at 8:23 am GMT
"The clueless Balts also want to join the Rzeczpospolita for a very simple reasons: they are terrified that the West will eventually dump them and they know that by themselves they will never achieve anything."
According to some rankings Estonia now has the tenth highest standard of living in the world. This is a great achievement. They are ahead of the USA, which may not be saying much any more but the Baltic countries are successful and good contributors to the EU, unlike some southern countries. If Russia was as well run as Estonia it would still be a world power.
https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/standard-of-living-by-countryThe Alarmist , says: August 20, 2020 at 8:25 am GMT
If the shit holes of the Balt states can go it alone why does the saker think an independent Belarus is non viable.
This was an ultra slow moving car crash for Russia they may just have to let them go or instigate their own Russian coup?
It's a generational thing like being a teenager, they are rebelling against the USSR, in the future living memory of the USSR will be gone and the Slavs may unite again? Belarus will take longer because the USSR never went in that country.
But does Russia have a generation or two to allow people to get over it?Derer , says: August 20, 2020 at 8:31 am GMT
Russia has no good options at this point; they need to figure out the least worst option. They might start, however, by piecing together a plausible case documenting foreign interference in the election; it will never gain traction in the Western media, but it will be useful for the show trials of Luka and Tikha.Dumbo , says: August 20, 2020 at 8:47 am GMT
Why this naive illiterate people in Belarus opposition keep kissing West's asses? Don't they know that the West is pathologically hating Slavs and made historically target of invasions. They want your country for military bases to become a buffer zone. The West will gladly give you 3rd world unskilled immigrants that colonizing countries have accepted over the years and now want to unload and disperse to the white Eastern Europe population – sinister scheme of the Schengen zone. Sweden is now beyond repair. Show me the place where multiculturalism works in harmony is it US or France or Balkans?Bankotsu , says: August 20, 2020 at 8:52 am GMT
A lot of these former Soviet Republics (and large part of Eastern Europe) are between a rock and a hard place Stuck between the West and Russia. It is impossible to be completely independent.
But it's no longer the Cold War, with a friendly free West and an evil totalitarian Russia, even if that's what they are trying to sell. If anything, the anti-white degenerated West is an worse influence than current Russia to those countries I mean, would it really be better for Belarus to enter into the West's influence and start importing Africans and promoting gay marriage?Bip , says: August 20, 2020 at 9:58 am GMT
Pretty bad situation for both Belarus and Russia, but I think Russia should just annex entire Belarus and end the current charade.alwayswrite , says: August 20, 2020 at 11:25 am GMT
Stage II of destabilisation of the war against Russia itself is the "highly likely" poisoning of Navalny.Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website August 20, 2020 at 12:02 pm GMT
When will the saker realise that the USSR was a total basket case!
He's to busy making excuses up for failed systems based upon simply deranged ideology,such as Marxist Lenin nonsense,its always some one else's fault isn't it Mr saker!
The fact is people in Belarus have had enough of their dictatorship and want change,this will probably be the same for Putin incidentally,there's no colour revolution happening,thats just silly conspiracy theories to hide behind by people who can't except the processes of democracy,whih isn't unique as the same unwillingness to except a result can be seen by those who hate Trump or the Brexit result
But it seems that people need the conspiracy these days to explain everything even when the facts speak for themselves !@Ilya G PoimandresIlya G Poimandres , says: August 20, 2020 at 12:08 pm GMT
Nobody except the winners will accept the results of the referendum.@alwayswriteHaruto Rat , says: August 20, 2020 at 12:08 pm GMT
Yes yes, and neither was the sniper fire during Maidan at all reminiscent of the sniper fire in Daraa.
Here is a video of a Ukrainian politician describing perfectly openly what, after the post Obama inspired coup, the Ukrainian elite believe is reasonable to enact on their population.Hiram of Tyre , says: August 20, 2020 at 12:21 pm GMT
I'm afraid North Ukrea will be a more appropriate name.
The clueless Balts also want to join the Rzeczpospolita
No, not really. Estonians think of themselves as above that (they've been occasionally trying to distance themselves from the other two as well); Lithuanians are worried about their crown jewels (er, I mean Vilnius); and in Latvia, Poland has a sort of bad rep down to the language level – "to buy smth. for Polish money" ( nopirkt par poļu naudu ) means to steal or otherwise embezzle.
Of course, Poland can buy a couple unscrupulous pols (and has likely already done so) and achieve some influence behind the scenes; but it would be hard to do anything openly.MLK , says: August 20, 2020 at 12:30 pm GMT
Dictatorship, Soviet Union, and what not.
Isn't, in reality, all about refusing to bend over to the IMF and to another extent, calling Covid-19, psychosis?vot tak , says: August 20, 2020 at 12:32 pm GMT
All that matters is what happens in Belarus between now and November 3rd, the American Election Day.
As I've explained previously, the global forces arrayed against Trump since 2016 haven't changed or given up their objective of getting rid of him and getting back to business as usual. His destruction continues to be as close to a dues ex machina as any of us have or will see in our lifetimes.
Thus we've seen an unending series of gambits designed to take him down. Astoundingly, Trump has so far successfully foiled them all. Such as removing "tripwire" American Special Forces from the Syria-Turkey border Democrats intended to see liquidated, or the Democrat-Iranian plot to seize American embassy personnel in Bagdad in a pitch perfect replay of the Iranian Hostage Crisis that sunk Carter's reelection, to cite just two examples.
No one should be surprised that they're returning to the scene of their original crime, Russia and its environs. Nor should it be at all difficult to reverse engineer what they have in mind. While you have to give the devils their due in so many respects, creativity is not among their strong suits.
Just two headlines from today reveal the contours of this exceedingly reckless effort:
"Russian Opposition Leader In A Coma After Being Poisoned For The 2nd Time In 16 Months"
"Risk of a Russian intervention rising in Belarus"
Don't fall for any aspect of the insult to the intelligence propaganda surrounding Putin/Russia. He and it are no angels. The Russian government is acting in its national interest. The Democrats, in league with other foreign powers, have offered Russia a series of carrots and sticks for furthering their objectives against Trump. The difference between Russia and other conscripted powers (e.g. U.K.; Ukraine; Italy; Australia; Israel) is one of degree not kind in this respect. Russia has acted self-protectively while keeping its options open in terms of undermining Trump if the compensation is sufficient and the risk contained.
That's the locus of the actual Treason in this saga, former Obama Administration officials promising to give away the geopolitical store to foreign powers, allies and adversaries alike, in return for assisting their seizure of power back from Trump.
Have you ever heard of CIA Directors making secret trips to Moscow? Perhaps someone here can explain what psychopath Brennan was discussing with his Russian handlers in March 2016:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-usa-cia/cia-boss-brennan-visited-moscow-in-early-march-interfax-idUSKCN0WU0S5Realist , says: August 20, 2020 at 12:33 pm GMT
The zionazi west wants Lukashenko to go, saker wants Lukashenko to go.@Fiendly Neighbourhood TerroristIlya G Poimandres , says: August 20, 2020 at 12:47 pm GMT
Nobody except the winners will accept the results of the referendum.
You mean like in the 2016 US election? Who cares.@Fiendly Neighbourhood Terroristnokangaroos , says: August 20, 2020 at 12:47 pm GMT
Well if they have to pick up the knuckle dusters and fight it out, then they have sunk that low. But good to give the population a chance to come to a direct consensus at least!@Petermxpeter mcloughlin , says: August 20, 2020 at 12:53 pm GMT
They got Stepan in Munich (where he is also buried) – there was no way they´d repatriate him, then or now.RegretLeft , says: August 20, 2020 at 1:05 pm GMT
The Saker has considerable insights into this crisis, and is much more knowledgeable about the subject than I am. But all the parties in the Belarus crisis – the Belarussian people/government, the West and Russia – must focus on what they want to avoid rather than what they want to achieve. They want to avoid world war. But the history of the last century shows world war is what we keep getting.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/@Hiram of Tyrehu_anon , says: August 20, 2020 at 1:35 pm GMT
Precisely – Covid – I skimmed the article and comments (just 24 hours in a day!) – looking for that – then went to Ctrl-F – and yours is the only appearance of the term in this vast article.
"all about" is likely over-stating the case – but, for sure, Belarus was one of just a few national dissenters from the plandemic. It had to be a chief motivator and a primary answer to the question: why now?
I wonder what they have in store for Sweden?@Dumbo h in the world, 19,943 Int$ in 2019, lower than that of Bulgaria, the poorest EU country (while Poland was at 34,218, Lithuania 38,214, Estonia 38,811). Nominal GDP per capita is even worse, 6,603 US$ (between Peru and Colombia). Belarus is way poorer than Russia, as it lacks the natural resources of the latter. Propping up Belarus is an economic drain on Russia. It is totally understandable that citizens of Belarus are comparing their living standards unfavorably to their western neighbors. This was the primary cause of the collapse of the Soviet bloc too, not "yearning for freedom" and all that bullshit. Only intellectuals cared about that.
I do not think that the so-called opposition is a force that will count too much in the future. There are the traditional groupuscular and unpopular opposition parties that were forced to act behind new (and female) personalities out of the hat for these elections, and without known or clear political past, and now there must be a whole fauna that revolves around them/them in Vilnius, Vilnius which is not Minsk by the way, not to mention the fact that deep Belarus has not said its last word too, because Minsk is not Belarus, it is 20% of the country and large regional centers count (Gomel, Mogilev, Vitebsk, Polotsk, Grodno). In the final analysis, it will be in the Kremlin that things will seem to be arbitrary, even if the Kremlin will undoubtedly leave some bones to gnaw at the "moderate "Westerners or the "selected" opposition, if they give guarantees of respect for Russia's strategic-military interests ....unless Lukashenko and / or his entourage still have some little-known assets in their purse.
With native farmers, we must never respond too quickly, especially in our troubled times where everything changes quickly, too quickly, on a global scale. After all in his last speech on Sunday, he told them "I warned you that these elections would be hectic, that's what happened. I was right" ...reason to make mistakes ? or reason to plan for further steps ??? Bragging about a "has been" or vision of something coming for the after ?
... Lukashenko 1, Lukashenko 2, Lukashenko 3 (for a single family, already three candidates for diversified options) or someone else in the administration ? And then, if things calm down a little with a fairly consensual government, the people of Belarus themselves, is not it ready to (re)go out into the street if we ever privatized ? Everyone agrees at least on one fact, Luka, the opponents, Putin, The Westerners : Belarusians are mostly opposed to privatization and the liberal model (and they all agree there, even when it enrages them).
Luka has been trying to play this card for a few days (apparently it would be even advisers arrived from the Kremlin who advised her to play this card to recover ... a while !) but this map, it is much wider than itself.
Any smart politician knows that, in the final analysis, it will be the winning card to play to get to be popular. The trendy youth bobo of the capital that we are shown does not represent much proportionally, even in Minsk, a few tens of thousands of people, it is crowded but this is not the real country. ...
So an anti-oligarchy "populist" candidate has every chance of raffling the bet, even if in the end he wants to throw this card in the trash. But are Belarusians today on this subject as naive and inexperienced as the Poles in 1989 or the Russians in 1991 ? And so will they let themselves be made or will they turn the big factories of which they are rightly proud into fortresses ? That is the question !!!
Let us not forget that in 1994 Lukashenko was democratically elected to the general surprise, absolutely general, against the candidate of the nomenklatura (Kebitch) and against the pro-Western Social-Democratic candidate (Shushkievich) because the deep country found Luka to prevent privatization, settle their accounts to the mobsters arriving from Russia, restore the Russian language, restore the legitimacy of the RSSB and the USSR, to honor the fighters of the Republic of partisans and post-war reconstruction and to give influence to the technocracy of large public enterprises, which knew well that it had no chance of becoming a bourgeoisie possessing by having the Russian oligarchs on one side and NATO on the other.
The Belarusian peasant knows how to look things in the face and measure them at their right measure, this is what has allowed him to last for centuries. Would things have changed so much ? Wait & See ! ... once, in 1994, the candidate of the nomenklatura was eliminated but not for the benefit of the opposition of the time ...roughly the same as today.
The choice made in 1994 surprised all the chancelleries of the West and the East, without any exception. So this people has already accustomed us to big surprises, would he fall into the ranks this time? In the globalized mould ???
Wait & See ! I don't know !!!
Aug 19, 2020 | www.rt.com
The European Union has announced that it will be placing new sanctions on Belarus, following an emergency meeting to discuss the situation in the country. The move comes after ten days of protests in Minsk and other cities.
Following the video conference, European Council President Charles Michel said that the bloc would impose sanctions on Belarusian officials accused of being responsible for "shocking and unacceptable" acts perpetrated against anti-government protesters.
The penalties will be imposed on a "substantial number" of individuals. EU leaders also collectively agreed that the results of Belarus' August 9 elections were "fraudulent."
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said there was unanimous support for the sanctions, and that the economic restrictions will be implemented without "hurting the people of Belarus." A list of individuals to be included should be adopted "as soon as possible," she added.
Officials declined to say whether Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko would be targeted directly by the measures.
Von der Leyen said the EU would support a peaceful transition of power in Belarus, and would allocate 53 million euros ($63.3 million) to support civil society and the country's Covid-19 response.ALSO ON RT.COM Tikhanovskaya urges EU not to recognize 'fraudulent' Belarus elections, vows to lead a 'peaceful transition of power'
The bloc also said that it wanted to see new elections in Belarus.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the main opposition candidate in the disputed election, urged the European Council ahead of its meeting to not recognize Belarus' the results. She said that a new ballot should be held under international supervision, but stressed that the EU should respect the choice of the Belarusian people.
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Aug 19, 2020 | www.rt.com
Whenever there is a mass protest against a government somewhere in the world, one of the first questions from skeptics will be whether it's a 'color revolution,' a technique of turning legitimate grievances into a coup d'etat.
The recent events in Belarus are a perfect example. It's not a color revolution, but President Alexander Lukashenko "repeating Soviet mistakes," argues Bradley Blankenship . While he is looking at the behavior of the protesters on the ground, however, Caitlin Johnstone is looking at the State Department. Foggy Bottom's actions and "imperial narrative management" by official US propaganda outlets have her convinced it is a color revolution. She's not the only one.READ MORE minsk-protests-similar-kiev-moscow
That's precisely the problem, however: in a world where "color revolutions" have become normalized, it's nearly impossible to tell if a mass protest is a spontaneous, grassroots event or an astroturfed regime-change operation. To the creators of color revolutions, this is a feature, not a bug.
The tactic has been around for two decades now, first tested following the September 2000 elections in Serbia. It involves activists trained by US-backed "NGOs," copious amounts of cash, strategies and tactics outlined in a manual written by the late Gene Sharp. The key element is narrative management, through which the revolutionaries usurp the initial protests and direct them towards their own ends.
One distinguishing feature of astroturf campaigns is a visual marketing campaign, such as the stenciled fists of Otpor in Serbia (used elsewhere since), or the 2004 orange scarves and banners in Ukraine. The sudden omnipresence of white-red-white flags in Belarus used briefly in 1918 and again under Nazi occupation seems to fit this pattern. So do the signs like "Belarusian Lives Matter," appealing not to the locals but to the West.
Back in the early days of the manufactured coups, when the US was drunk on their success, Western media actually openly admitted Washington's hand in these "spontaneous" uprisings. Stories about "suitcases full of cash" that fueled the revolt in Serbia appeared shortly after the coup in Belgrade. In November 2004, the Guardian wrote approvingly about how the US has created a "slick" operation of "engineering democracy through the ballot box and civil disobedience," developing since Belgrade a "template for winning other people's elections."
These days, there is no boasting, but the practice continues nonetheless. Most recently, the scenario played itself out in Bolivia (successfully), Venezuela (not) and Hong Kong , where "pro-democracy" protests against an extradition bill lasted long after it was withdrawn.
What changed is that the US and its media machine switched to denying involvement and pretending the "color revolutions" were actually genuine expressions of democracy, after some targeted governments managed to defeat these astroturf rebellions. This remained the case even as color revolution tactics came home to the US this summer.
Back in June, Franklin Foer of the Atlantic magazine a megaphone of the establishment actually wrote a favorable comparison of the riots across the US, posing as peaceful protests for "racial justice," to the color revolutions in places like Ukraine and Serbia. Note that Foer believes these revolutions were good and genuine things, rather than a hostile takeover tactic that was basically a mockery of democracy.
Democracy, at its essence, it's a straightforward deal. Citizens vote on an issue or for a candidate, and agree to abide by the rules whether they win or lose. But what happens when that vote is manipulated through street violence, in this case by outsiders, and the rulebook gets thrown out the window?
This is what makes color revolutions not just wrong, but evil. They literally destroy democracy, by corroding the very rules it is founded on. When they fail, things can escalate along the lines of Libya, Syria or Ukraine.
Even when they fail peacefully, like the 2006 "jeans revolution" in Belarus, they poison a country's politics so thoroughly, that the government sees any street demonstrations going forward as foreign-sponsored coup attempts. Especially when foreign powers openly express support for it, as has been the case with recent events.
Whatever may be happening in Belarus right now, democracy it is not. The US may not be one for long, either, if things carry on as they have. Two decades of color revolutions have made sure of that.
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Aug 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Non-profit activity lets super-elites broker political power tax-free, reshaping the world according to their designs.
America's super-wealthy have too much power. A republican regime based on the consent of the governed cannot survive when a few hands control too large a sum of money and too much human capital. A dominion of monopolists spells ruin for the common man.
The Federal Reserve calculates that, at present, America's total household wealth equals $104 trillion . Of that, $3.4 trillion belongs to America's 600 billionaires alone. Put another way, 3% of the nation's wealth belongs to 0.0002% of the population. Those 600 names control twice as much wealth as the least wealthy 170 million Americans combined . This is a problem. Economic power means political power. In an era of mass media, it has never been easier to manufacture public opinion and to manipulate the citizenry.
Look no further than the consensus view of Fortune 500 companies as to the virtues of Black Lives Matter. That movement's incredible cultural reach is, in large part, a function of its cachet among American elites. In 2016, the Ford Foundation began a Black-Led Movement Fund to funnel $100 million into racial and social justice causes. George Soros' Open Society Foundation immediately poured in $33 million in grants.
Soros and company received a massive return on investment. The shift leftward on issues of racial and social justice in the last four years has been nothing short of remarkable. Net public support for BLM , at minus 5 percent in 2018, has surged to plus 28 percent in 2020. The New York Times estimates that some 15 to 26 million Americans participated in recent protests over George Floyd's death.
And the money keeps flowing. In the last three months, hundreds of millions of dollars have poured into social and racial justice causes. Sony Music Group , the NFL , Warner Music Group , and Comcast all have promised gifts in excess of $100 million. MacKenzie Bezos has promised more than a billion dollars to Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as other racial and social justice organizations. Yet, as scholars like Heather MacDonald have pointed out -- America's justice system is not racist. Disquieting anecdotes and wrenching videos blasted across cyberspace are not the whole of, or even representative of, our reality. But well-heeled media and activism campaigns can change the perception. That's what matters.
The American tax code makes all of this possible. It greases the skids for the wealthy to use their fortunes to augment their political power. The 501(c)(3) designation makes all donations, of whatever size, to charitable nonprofits immune from taxation.
A man can only eat so much filet mignon in one lifetime. He can only drive so many Lamborghinis and vacation in so many French chalets. At a certain point, the longing for material pleasures gives way to a longing for honor and power. What a super-elite really wants is to be remembered for "changing the world." The tax code makes the purchasing of such honors even easier than buying fast cars and luxury homes.
For the super-wealthy, political power comes tax-free.
No one ever elected Bill Gates to anything. His wealth, and not the democratic process, is the only reason he has an outsized voice in shaping coronavirus policy. The man who couldn't keep viruses out of Windows now wants to vaccinate the planet. That isn't an unreasonable goal for a man of his wealth, either. Gates's foundation is the second largest donor to the World Health Organization, providing some 10 percent of its funds . That kind of influence over expert opinion is immense -- and it yields results. In April , Gates called for a nationwide total lockdown for 10 weeks. America didn't quite sink to that level of draconian control, but the shutdowns we did get absolutely crushed small businesses. Massive tech firms, however, made out like bandits. Microsoft stock is at an all-time high .
No one ever voted on those lockdowns, either. Like the mask-wearing mandates, they were instituted by executive fiat. The experts , many of them funded through donations given by tech billionaires like Gates , campaigned for policies that radically altered the basic structure of society. Here lies the danger of billionaire power. Without adequate checks and balances, the super-wealthy can skirt the normal political process, working behind the scenes to make policies that the people never even have a chance to debate or vote on.
A republic cannot be governed this way. America needs to bring its current crop of oligarchs to heel. That starts with constraining their ability to commandeer their massive personal fortunes to shape policy. Technically, the 501(c)(3) designation prevents political activities by tax-exempt charities. Those rules apply only to political campaigning and lobbying, however. They say nothing about funding legal battles or shaping specific policies indirectly through research and grants. America's universities, think tanks, and advocacy organizations are nearly universally considered tax-exempt nonprofits. Only a fool would believe they are not political.
One solution to the nonprofit problem to simply get rid of the charitable exemption all together. If there is no loophole, it can't be exploited by the mega-wealthy. Most Americans' charitable giving wouldn't be affected. The average American gives between $2,000 and $3,000 per year . That is well under the $24,800 standard tax deduction for married couples. Ninety percent of taxpayers have no reason to use a line-item deduction. Such a change likely wouldn't affect wealthy givers either. In 2014 , the average high-income American (defined as making more than $200,000 per year or having a million dollars in assets) gave an average of $68,000 to charity, and in 2018 93 percent said their giving had nothing to do with tax breaks.
Eliminating the tax exemption for charitable giving would make it simple to heavily tax the capital gains that drive the wealth of America's richest one thousand people. One could also leave the exemption in place for most Americans (those with a net worth under $100 million), while making larger gifts, especially those over a billion dollars, taxable at extremely high rates close to 100%. Bill Gates wants to give a billion dollars to his foundation? Great. But he should pay a steep fee to the American people to purchase that kind of power.
There is nothing socialist in these or similar tax proposals. We are not making an abstract commentary on whether having a billion dollars is "moral." These are simply prudential measures to put the people back in charge of their own country. Reining in billionaires and monopolists is a conservative free market strategy.
Incentives to make more money are generally good. The libertarians are mostly right -- people are usually better judges of how to spend and use their resources than the government.
But not always. The libertarian account does not adequately recognize man's political nature. We need law and order. We need a regime where elections matter and the opinions of the people actually shape policy. Contract law, borders, and taxes are all necessary to human flourishing, but all impede the total and unrestricted movement of labor and money. At the very top of the wealth pyramid, concentrated economic power always turns into political power. An economic policy that doesn't recognize that fact will create an untouchable class that controls both the market and the regime. There's nothing freeing about that outcome.
An America governed by Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and George Soros will be -- arguably, already is -- a disaster for the middle class and everyday Americans. Cracking down on their "selfless" philanthropy, combined with antitrust enforcement and higher progressive tax rates, is a key way for Americans to leverage the power of the ballot box against the power of the banker's vault.
Josiah Lippincott is a former Marine officer and current Master's student at the Van Andel School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College.
Kent • 13 hours agoAlexanderHistory X • 12 hours ago
I'd like to thank the author for actually discussing policy proposals that actually make sense. That's a rarity on TAC. However, he needs to keep a couple of things in mind:
1. You can't just say something isn't socialist on a conservative website. Conservatives have been conditioned for decades to believe that anything the GOP considers to be bad is called by the name "socialism". And taxes are bad. Therefore socialist. To bring any nuance to that word will be devastating to long-term conservative ability to argue points.
2. This proposal won't just hurt the ability of left-leaning tech giants, but also right-leaning oil and defense industry barons. A double-edged sword.joeo • 12 hours ago
This is an interesting idea that might have had a shot, big maybe, 50 plus years ago. America is too far gone to fix with political changes, not that you could make any major changes like this in the current political environment.
The rotting edifice that is the United States is coming down one way or another. Just accept it.bumbershoot joeo • 10 hours ago
I would end tax exempt status for organizations. When everyone pays taxes we all become better stewards of how that money is used.Ted joeo • 10 hours ago
Certainly! Just so long as the word "organizations" encompasses churches as well, I think lots of people on all sides of the political spectrum would agree.YT14 joeo • 7 hours ago • edited
Starting with the Roman Catholic Church.YT14 • 12 hours ago • edited
Complicated argument. Basically, charitable people will always give charity, even from taxed income. However, if people give charity from taxed income, the state can no longer control what the institutions given money do with that money as long as salaries and surplus are taxed.Woland • 11 hours ago
Interesting proposal. Removing tax deduction should of course throw IRS out of monitoring charitable giving. So less power to Lois Lerner and colleagues.bumbershoot • 10 hours ago
To think both Mr. Dreher and Mr. Van Buren just recently posted about the superwealthy leaving the big cities, citing as the main reasons the Covid thing on the one hand, and "excessively high" income taxes on the other. Most comments that followed were in the line of "that's what happens when you let socialists run things" and "stop giving money to the poor, then they'll work and get rich." And here we have someone proposing more and higher taxes on the wealthy to bust their political nuts.
Note that the author carefully left out any mention of conservative megadonors shaping public policy. Must be the quiet part, to avoid tarring and feathering by his own side.AdmBenson • 10 hours agoReining in billionaires and monopolists is a conservative free market strategy.
It certainly never has been one before, but we on the left welcome this new appreciation of the perils of growing inequality.
Now all you have to do is convince the entire Republican Party that this isn't "socialism." Good luck!gnt • 8 hours ago • edited
Say you like the game of Monopoly so much that you want it to last longer than the few hours it takes for one player to dominate and beat the others. Well, you could replace $200 as you pass Go with progessive taxation on income, assets, or a combination thereof. If you do it right, you can make the game last into perpetuity by ensuring that the dominance of any one player is only temporary.YT14 gnt • 7 hours ago
It's an interesting proposal, but it seems that if you're worried about super-elites brokering political power tax-free, you might focus on direct brokering of political power. For example, we could pass a law requiring full disclosure of all sources of funding for any political advertising.
If we wanted to be aggressive, we could even pass a constitutional amendment to specify that corporations are not people. It seems odd to worry about the political power exercised by institutions with no direct control over politics, and ignore the institution whose purpose is politics.
Another approach to deal with the direct influence of the super-elite would be to make lobbying expenses no longer tax deductible. I'm sure you could find support for that.Pete Barbeaux • 4 hours ago
You are aware that this way IRS will lose control? Lois Lerner will be able no more to go after conservative non-profits?GeorgeMarshall65 • 3 hours ago
This is the 5th TAC article since May to take something word-for-word from a Bernie Sanders-esque Leftist platform and call it something "Conservatives" want. GTFOOH.L RNY • 2 hours ago
Mr. Lippincott: That kind of influence over expert opinion is immense -- and it yields results. In April, Gates called for a nationwide total lockdown for 10 weeks. America didn't quite sink to that level of draconian control, but the shutdowns we did get absolutely crushed small businesses. Massive tech firms, however, made out like bandits. Microsoft stock is at an all-time high.
So the argument here is that the experts were not going to call for a lockdown, but Mr. Gates' outsized influence made them do it? The experts weren't going to do it anyway? Did that outsized influence extend to every other country in the world which imposed lockdowns? Was there a secret communique between Mr. Gates and the NBA so they suspended their season in mid-March? In the US, CA, Clark Cty in NV, Illinois, Kansas City, MA, MI, NY, OR, and WI all began lockdowns in March. Around the world, 80 countries began lockdowns in March. No matter what Mr. Gates said, lockdowns were deemed to be appropriate. Plus, Mr. Lippincott admits that Mr. Gates' proposal was not followed. In terms of "massive tech firms making out like bandits" v small businesses, might that have anything to do with their value?
I very much agree with this article and I think we need another Teddy Roosevelt Monopoly (oligarchy) buster but much has changed in the 100 years since Teddy Roosevelt was President. The first thing that comes to mind is that the aristocracy was mostly protestant and the business class was mostly domestic with high tariffs keeping foreign competitors out so we could break up these companies without a foreign country purchasing them and possibly creating a national security risk.
Today's aristocracy is much more diverse. Its more Jewish and it has much more minority representation from African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, etc so that creates the first problem in breaking up a monopoly or an oligarchy which would be the accusation of targeting minorities for discrimination. The second problem is that many of the aristocratic class in the US consider themselves global citizens and have dual citizenship. They can live anywhere anytime they choose so if you target them the way say Cuomo and DiBlasio and Newsom do then they will leave. Third problem is our global society particularly the digital / virtual society. If you break that up without safeguards then you will only be inviting foreign ownership then you will have a national security issue and even less influence.
The biggest problem is the NGOs, nonprofits that the rich set up to usurp the government on various issues from immigration to gender identity to politics. These NGO nonprofits arent your harmless community soup kitchen doing good works. The anarchy, arson, looting, rioting in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, NYC, Baltimore these are paid for by NGO nonprofits and they have the money to threaten local government, state government and federal government. Trump was 100% correct when he started to tax college endowments but he didnt go far enough. The tax laws have to be rewritten with a very strict and narrow interpretation of what exactly constitutes the public good and is deserving on non-profit status. If you say education then I will say you are correct but endowments are an investment vehicle under the umbrella of an educational nonprofit. Thats like a nonprofit hospital buying a mutual fund company or a mine or a manufacturing plan and claiming its non-profit. For me its relatively simple unless someone has a some other way. If you look at the non-profit community good...what are the budgets for say hospitals, schools, orphanages, retirement homes, etc. Put monetary limits on nonprofits which can vary depending on industry and the rest is taxed at a high rate. We simply cannot have NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) using a nonprofit status to bring down a country's financial system, over-throwing a country, financing civil strife and civil war, usurping the government on things like immigration, etc.
Aug 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Rob , Aug 19 2020 19:19 utc | 53
Actually, after only a quick review of some of the news reports, it appears that the Senate Committee placed great importance on the "fact" that Russia was involved in the "hacking" of emails from the DNC. This suggests that the Committee relied on the same intelligence sources that fabricated the Russiagate scenario in the first place. I guess that the Republicans on the Committee have not kept up with revelations that there is no evidence of any such hacking. Hence, the Committee's conclusions are likely based on the same old disinformation and can be readily dismissed.
Aug 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.complay_arrow
amnesia , 5 minutes agoDemeter55 , 47 minutes ago
Very telling that ZH editors don't consider this newsworthy: key findings of the Republican led Senate Select Committee on Intelligence regarding Russia's 2016 election interference.
Manafort and Kilimnik talked almost daily during the campaign. They communicated through encrypted technologies set to automatically erase their correspondence; they spoke using code words and shared access to an email account. It's worth pausing on these facts: The chairman of the Trump campaign was in daily contact with a Russian agent, constantly sharing confidential information with him.
It did not find evidence that the Ukrainian government meddled in the 2016 election, as Trump alleged. "The Committee's efforts focused on investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. However, during the course of the investigation, the Committee identified no reliable evidence that the Ukrainian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. election."
"Taken as a whole, Manafort's high-level access and willingness to share information with individuals closely affiliated with the Russian intelligence services, particularly [Konstantin] Kilimnik and associates of Oleg Deripaska, represented a grave counterintelligence threat," the report said.
Kilimnik "almost certainly helped arrange some of the first public messaging that Ukraine had interfered in the U.S. election."
Roger Stone was in communications with both WikiLeaks and the Russian hacker Guccifer 2.0 during the election; according to the Mueller report, Guccifer 2.0 was a conduit set up by Russian military intelligence to anonymously funnel stolen information to WikiLeaks.
The Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation found "significant evidence to suggest that, in the summer of 2016, WikiLeaks was knowingly collaborating with Russian government officials," the report said.
The FBI gave "unjustified credence" to the so-called Steele dossier, an explosive collections of uncorroborated memos alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials, the report said. The FBI did not take the "necessary steps to validate assumptions about Steele's credibility" before relying on the dossier to seek renewals of a surveillance warrant targeting the former Trump campaign aide, the report said.gene5722 , 2 hours ago
It's the latest in 5 years of "Get Trump!", a sitcom featuring the Roadrunner (Trump) and the Wiley Coyote (Deep State/Never Trumpers / etc, etc.)
This classic scenario never fails to please those who realize that the roadrunner rules, and the coyote invariably ends up destroyed.
The lie msm won't let die.
Aug 19, 2020 | twitter.com
More than anybody, #UAE is committed to making sure #Ankara having won the #Tripoli battle in Jun never helps it win the #Libya war. Idea is to contain #Turkey & turn its presence into a quagmire that bleeds it. By promising to help #Greece , the #French navy joins that endeavor
Jalel Harchaoui @JMJalel_H Aug 12France to bolster Mediterranean military presence. With Macron determined to assert French leadership in the the Mediterranean, he will have to team up w RU to take on Turkey. This means France will work w RU in Lebanon too. At cross purposes w the US. https:// reut.rs/31O3fjY Show this threadNabil Ferhat @FerhatNabil Aug 13Replying to@JMJalel_H Aug 13@JMJalel_H and@joshua_landis Aug 13@joshua_landis Will FR have the necessary resources and supports in the long run to succeed?
Aug 14, 2020 | www.rt.comPresident Aleksandr Lukashenko has called upon Belarusian citizens to not "go into the streets" and to avoid protests, blaming foreign agents for stoking the unrest that has gripped the country after the controversial election.
"Don't go out into the streets now! Understand that you and your children are being used as cannon fodder," Lukashenko said Friday, during a meeting with the country's National Security Council.
They've already come here in large numbers from Poland, the Netherlands, Ukraine, from this 'Open Russia' – [Russian opposition figure Alexey] Navalny and so on and so forth. The aggression against the country has already begun.
Addressing the handling of the protests by the police, Lukashenko has all but defended the sweeping police action. At least 6,700 people have been detained over the past few days, while the authorities have been accused of excessive force and even "torture" of incarcerated protesters. Lukashenko insisted that, as a "military man," he has no other option than to deal with the unrest, however.
"Do you want me to sit and wait until the whole of Minsk is upside down? We'll stabilize the situation later," the president said, promising to "deal with" the foreigners who allegedly came to Belarus to take part in the unrest.
Lukashenko has offered some wisdom to police officers, who've notably been much more lenient to protesters since last night, saying they shouldn't be beating prone and defenseless people. On Thursday, Interior Minister Yuri Karayev publicly apologized to people "accidentally" caught up in the crackdown and said he'd issued clear orders not to touch members of the press. This came after days of alleged beatings of both civilians and journalists, both in the streets and in detention facilities, with grisly details emerging in multiple media reports.
The Belarusian authorities have freed more than 2,000 of those detained on Friday, but thousands more are said to remain behind bars, so far without charge.
The unrest unfolded in Belarus after the presidential election, held on August 9, the result of which Lukashenko's opponents claim was grossly falsified. The country's authorities, however, maintain that the vote count was fair – according to the final figures, the long-term leader of Belarus secured a solid re-election, gaining more than 80 percent of votes. Lukashenko's closest competitor, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya got a mere 10 percent support, yet claimed to have won the election.
The election, and the turmoil that followed, have met an angry reaction in the West, and in the European Union, in particular. Late on Friday, top EU diplomat Josep Borrell said the bloc "doesn't accept the election results," and that work on sanctioning those "responsible for violence, arbitrary arrests, and falsification" has already begun.
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kensonnn 2 days ago
The EU is already asking for sanctions for crimes against human rights. Always the same script. When SA cracks down protests or chops of heads, no sanctions off course...nor any EU meddling.
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Aug 16, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.comFBI Lawyer Who Was A Member of the Mueller Probe Committed A Crime On Company Time. by J
The Mueller 'gang' as I'll call them has been caught with their pants down. The official FBI lawyer team-member of the Mueller gang is now under criminal indictment. A criminal indictment has been filed against former FBI Attorney Kevin Clinsesmith. H is criminal action occurred while he was a part of the Mueller Investigative Team . This crime is detailed in the Information Charging Document filed by the United States Department of Justice with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, wherein it documents that "on or about June 19, 2017" Kevin Clinesmith "did willfully and knowingly make and use a false writing and document, knowing the same to contain materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and entry in a matter before the jurisdiction of the executive branch and judicial branch of the Government of the United States".
Kevin Clinesmith while he was part of the Mueller Team did this while President Trump was in office.
-- "Count One" violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 (a) (3), that specifically says Clinesmith "shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both" -- the critical meaning of which is that Clinesmith is not only facing 5-years in prison, but could see his sentence having another 8-years added on if the crime he committed was domestic terrorism as defined by 18 U.S. C. § 2331.Definitions -- a definition that makes it a domestic terrorism crime "to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion" -- and is a domestic terrorism crime.
Clinesmith effectively admitted to committing this crime when he sent a text saying "I Have Initiated the Destruction of the Republic" -- that explains why Clinesmith has agreed to a plea deal with US Attorney Durham that will see him pleading guilty and giving evidence against other coup plotters.
See U.S.C. : 18 U.S. C. § 2331.Definitions
Clinesmith is proving to be a linchpin of the Operation Crossfire Hurricane investigation that the FBI used to illegally target the Trump campaign in which Clinesmith took part in the decision to send an FBI special agent into a counterintelligence briefing with Donald Trump and General Michael Flynn. Clinesmith being one of the FBI lawyers who took part in interviews with George Papadopoulos -- as well as Clinesmith was one of the plotters behind the FISA warrant having been illegally obtained to spy on President Trump after he was in office. Clinesmith did with joy as evidenced by his 22 November 2016 text disdaining Trump's election victory saying Viva le Resistance , of which caught Clinesmith by his short-hairs and he now fearing dread knowing he stuck his foot in his mouth so-to-speak.
It is sad that Clinesmith forgot his FBI OATH -- "I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God"
It is now Trump's turn to take down all of the membership of the attempted Coup d'Etat. Pop your popcorn, get out your beer and sodas, and settle in. The show is just getting started.
JohninMK , 16 August 2020 at 11:44 AMnbsp; turcopolier , 16 August 2020 at 12:12 PM
Even though we assume (the case is not clear yet) this is all about Clinsesmith reversing the meaning of a document submitted to the FISA court, about as bad act a senior FBI lawyer can get up to, they are nowhere near as confident as yourself about the potential outcome of this case over at the CTH.
Much more along the lines of this being another James Wolfe situation. Like Wolfe, Clinsesmith knows too much and if he spills it all hell lets loose. However, to show there is justice for all he, again like Wolfe, will spend a short amount of time in a white collar jail and that's it.
By pleading guilty he has saved himself a small fortune in lawyers fees. Nice one.SusieQ , 16 August 2020 at 12:34 PM
I agree that he has made a deal with Durham but if Durham presses him he must tell all about all or loose the deal and become the cutest fellow in the cell block.nbsp; turcopolier , 16 August 2020 at 12:43 PM
Someone asked that I paint a bird's eye, 20,000 mile high view of the why's and wherefore's for this whole fiasco, and I'd like feedback.
I draw a direct line from Russiagate to the West's NATO/EU expansion it's collusion with fascist forces to Regime Change(TM) Ukraine in '14
• where Manafort was working to promote Ukraine's EU accession (AGAINST Russia's interests)
• backed by the Clinton, Obama, McCain, Kerry, Nuland State Department, and the establishment media
• leading Crimeans to vote 95% for annexation with Russia, to escape the Ukraine civil war
prompting punishing sanctions to damage the recovery of Russia
• which was looted by the oligarchs under Clinton/Yeltsin/Summers "shock therapy" in the '90s.
• including by oligarch tax cheat Bill Browder who lied to promote the extra-judicial and bogus Magnitsky Act (REAL reason for Trump Tower meeting)
• all hiding behind a massive psy-op campaign of McCarthyite anti-Russia, anti-Putin hysteria
• brought to you by the (corrupt) FBI, CIA, NSA, MI-6, Five Eyes, all led by the nose by John Brennan, and
• and the disinfo industry and a spy network which laid out the breadcrumbs of distraction, while trying to entrap bozos George Papadopolous, Carter Page, Roger Stone, etc.
• ALL because Trump (via Manafort) would know the truth, and not see Russia as THE ENEMY - which would totally blowing their cover.
So, the incompetent Dems handed Trump his re-election victory and sparked a dangerous new Cold War (World War?) and nuclear M.A.D.
No one benefits from this other than the military/national security/information industry complex.
-=-=- whadayathink? -=-=-Deap , 16 August 2020 at 12:45 PM
"I draw a direct line from Russiagate to the West's NATO/EU expansion it's collusion with fascist forces to Regime Change(TM) Ukraine in '14" Do you think the Russians were guilty or not?SusieQ , 16 August 2020 at 01:13 PM
Plead guilty to a crime and you lose your bar license. I guess Clinesmith was not ready to fall back being only a bar-tender after all, so he is now wiggling out of his "plea agreement". The gulf between pleading guilty and pleading nolo contendre now appears insurmountable.
Reality bites, along with the drawn-out difficulty getting justice in any of this Spygate takedown. Humbles one about the amount of time it takes to actually build a beyond a reasonable doubt case against any of these now exposed players, when the defendant can successfully argue - I didn't intend to commit a crime, and/or I can't recall or I don't remember anything about this incident.
Carry on Barr-Durham You have my very best wishes and even prayers. Just like Benghazi, something happened, but you just can't prove something happened. Is that justice served or a miscarriage of justice?JohninMK , 16 August 2020 at 01:38 PM
Guilty of what in particular?Jack , 16 August 2020 at 01:40 PM
Col, the Russians guilty of what?nbsp; turcopolier , 16 August 2020 at 03:40 PM
An alternate theory that I find very plausible is that FBI contractors were using the NSA database for political opposition research. When the NSA found out and closed that avenue there was a movement to hide that activity. Russia Collusion provided that opportunity as the Clinton campaign funded Steele Dossier got laundered by Fusion GPS, DOJ official Bruce Ohr and with the support of Obama White House became the basis to launch a counter-intelligence investigation. After Trump got elected this operation moved to hide and obfuscate. Getting Flynn out became priority one and Trump obliged by firing him. Mueller was the additional option to prevent exposure and Trump once gain acceded by not declassifying.
As documents get declassified now the public, at least those following this story, get to see how law enforcement and intelligence were used to interfere in a presidential election and frame an opposition political candidate and duly elected president as a Manchurian Candidate. Even more importantly we see how the entire justice system got weaponized using false evidence and secret courts as well as a campaign of disinformation using the media who were in cahoots to destroy the Trump presidency.
Clinesmith's plea deal is an important cornerstone in uncovering both the malfeasance and the violation of law. He knowingly submitted false evidence to FISC to obtain a FISA warrant. The only open question is how far and deep does Bill Barr want to go?SusieQ , 16 August 2020 at 04:40 PM
Your comment is badly written and I am trying to get a clarification.
Begging your indulgence for my 'stream-of-consciousness' argument. Just trying to connect so many points and history into a concise post.
My view of Russia under Putin has been of a country initially leaning West but unwilling to give up its sovereignty to US diktat, given the history of NATO aggression.
It was the logical course of events which convinced me Putin was not the aggressor in Ukraine. First, the Sochi Olympics with all of the media potshots at Russia/Putin, concurrent and immediately followed by the Maidan coupe and ultra-right attacks on eastern Ukrainians, especially the fiery massacre in the Odessa Trade Union building killing nearly nearly 50, with 200 injured.
In the public record at the time was NATO's position that Ukraine must cancel a lease given the Russians to keep its centuries old naval fleet (it's only warm water base) on the Crimean peninsula. So, the accession of Crimea to the Russian federation by democratic vote seemed only too logical, considering it had historically been considered part of Russia.
Otherwise, Russia foreign policy appears to be a model for the world, when compared side-by-side with that of the U.S., IMHO.
Thank you for the opportunity to clarify.
Aug 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
jayc , Aug 16 2020 17:30 utc | 28
Greyzone did well with this expose of foreign meddling in Hong Kong
The NGO community has reacted angrily to the exposure, labelling Greyzone a Kremlin and Beijing linked disinfo site, even as the story was confirmed by South China Morning Post. The SCMP was then labelled "pro-communist". Facts are wholly partisan, since 2014.
Aug 13, 2020 | www.antiwar.com
With Elliott Abrams at the helm, the president found a way to make his Tehran policy even worseDaniel Larison Posted on August 7, 2020 From The American Conservative :
The New York Times reports on the resignation of Brian Hook, who will be replaced by none other than Elliott Abrams:
Mr. Hook will be succeeded by Elliott Abrams, a conservative foreign policy veteran and Iran hard-liner who is currently the State Department's special representative for Venezuela.
As the administration's special envoy, Hook had no success in gaining support from other governments for the "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran. His brief stint as a negotiator with our European allies yielded nothing, and when he was trying to negotiate with them Trump famously had no idea who he was . He mostly served as one of the administration's leading propagandists .
He was responsible for lies about Yemen, cringe-inducing video messages , promoting the administration's weird fixation with Cyrus the Great , and embarrassing historical revisionism about the 1953 coup. When he wasn't trying to bribe ships' captains to steal Iranian cargo, he was insulting our intelligence with phony claims of wanting to normalize relations with Tehran.
Last year he came under fire from the State Department's Inspector General for his role in the mistreatment of Sahar Nowrouzzadeh , who was the target of political retaliation at the department on account of her support for the JCPOA and at least partly because of her Iranian heritage.
Hook is described in the Times ' report as a "survivor," but they neglect to mention that the reason he has survived so long in the Trump administration is his cowardice .
Perhaps the most bizarre thing about the coverage of Hook·s resignation is that it is framed as somehow undermining the chances of diplomacy with Iran.
Aug 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
William Gruff , Aug 10 2020 17:45 utc | 4
The predicted color revolution attempt in Belarus proceeds as expected:Tsikhanouskaya, who drew tens of thousands of people to her campaign rallies, refused to recognize the preliminary official results announced by the TsVK on August 10.
"I consider myself the winner in the presidential election," she said in Minsk.
Tsikhanouskaya said her opinion was based on what she called "real protocols" collected at the majority of polling stations, which, according to her, prove that she won the election. She also charged that the official results announced by the TsVK were rigged.
Meanwhile, Tsikhanouskaya's supporters announced they would stage a mass demonstration against the official election tally on August 10 at 7 p.m. (1600 GMT/UTC) in central Minsk.
The opposition in Belarus also has called for a nationwide protest strike starting at noon local time on August 11.
President Lukashenko will not have any of that. The protests that followed yesterday's exit polls announcements were relatively small. Unless the security forces fall apart, which I do not expect to happen, the attempt to overthrow Lukashenko will be defeated.
Our host: "Unless the security forces fall apart, which I do not expect to happen, the attempt to overthrow Lukashenko will be defeated."
If Belarus police have been forewarned and have dismantled the sniper unit "death squads" that are a normal part of America's "color revolution" operations like the Chinese did in Hong Kong back in 2014, then the coup attempt will fail. But if the snipers simply have not been given the order to shoot yet then it is too early to say that the coup is over. If there is deadly violence that is attributed to the police then the protests will grow and the police will be demoralized. The Belarus authorities must prevent this from happening by capturing the snipers before they act.
Begemot , Aug 10 2020 18:34 utc | 16Tod , Aug 10 2020 19:30 utc | 25
Will Tikhanovskaya become the Guido of Belarus? Declared to be the legitimate president of that country by foreign interests?Hoarsewhisperer , Aug 10 2020 19:42 utc | 27
@Posted by: Thomas Minnehan | Aug 10 2020 17:52 utc | 7
"I will never understand why any country in this world allows soros' NGO's and NED to operate in their host country! It is an invitation for a coup."
If you try to get rid of them the American ambassador will contact all of his political friends in your country and tell them that this needs to stop. Various political figures will publicly denounce this abuse of power. The government will be marred by all kinds of scandals, most likely they will be accused of working for Putin or China. If the local campaign will not work, New York Times will write a front page article about gay people being summarily executed in your country, or Jews, or whatever. European leaders will voice concern about the presumed abuses, and demand an inquiry. Next, the leader of the free world, or the congress will start some investigation and impose economic sanctions. If that doesn't work, a random minority in your country will suddenly develop an independence movement and the US army will be called to impose peace.H.Schmatz , Aug 10 2020 20:14 utc | 31
Will Tikhanovskaya become the Guido of Belarus? Declared to be the legitimate president of that country by foreign interests?
Posted by: Begemot | Aug 10 2020 18:34 utc | 16
Excellent thought bubble! There are 4x more countries outside AmeriKKKa's "International (pseudo-Christian) Community" than inside it. So we shouldn't have to wait much longer to see a few of these countries "electing" replacements for POTUS and demanding "Trump must step down!"
Maybe the citizens of Venezuela, or another Latin American country under AmeriKKKan duress will get the ball rolling?William Gruff , Aug 10 2020 20:56 utc | 36
@Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 10 2020 17:45 utc | 4
Before the snipers, a Nemtsov event on Tikhanosvskaya has been foiled by Belarusian security services...which is greta news....Some in the Baltics are shouting to the four winds that they can not contact Tikhnaovskaya since hours ago....Obvious, she is not available for assassination intends...thanks to the KGBof Belarus....recall that the snipers in Maidan were organized by a Lithuanian citizen... Tikhanovskaya had stated she and his followers would not participate in today´s protests...Heavenly hundreds come to mind...of course, attention to the reference to a "sacred sacrifice"...sounds Ukrainian nazi all the way...
https://tass.com/world/1187931H.Schmatz , Aug 10 2020 21:05 utc | 39
- Zero Hedge
The stenographers at the
WashingtonBezos Post and the New YorkLangley Times probably already had the articles announcing Tikhanosvskaya's assassination by Putin ready to go. Now they are scrambling to come up with something else to put on the front page. I am sure they are disappointed.
She should request to the authorities to have her identity hidden now and try to disappear. US State Department "opposition candidates" who can only get single digit support in elections are completely disposable and they are often more valuable dead (which the CIA is happy to arrange) as an embarrassment to the election winners.
Good move by the Belarus KGB to know that was one of the "color revolution" tricks that the empire would try.H.Schmatz , Aug 10 2020 21:33 utc | 44
Completing the playbook of color revolution, Wikipedia edited Tikhanovskaya page naming her President of Belarus... encargada ...one guess...this could weel have been before the assasination intend...
https://www.stalkerzone.org/maidan-in-belarus-after-the-election/Grieved , Aug 11 2020 1:48 utc | 55
Firs "protester" dead in Belarus as a result of explosion of his own grenade in his hand...
Then, Pompeo Twitted his support for protestors and claimed for "peaceful transmision of power"...
After that, violence exhacerbated with an opposition activist ramming his car onto a riot policeman...
What have to say about that NATO, Germany, Lithuania, Chec Republic and Poland?Piotr Berman , Aug 11 2020 13:16 utc | 81
@39 H. Schmatz
Thanks for the stalkerzone report on Belarus, it's an excellent summary of events.
How this new age impresses me, that we can now count down every one of the color revolution tactics as they were employed in Belarus, and as each one failed or was neutralized by the state. Ukraine showed the way.
The concluding sentences say it all:Yanukovych in 2014 betrayed "Berkut". But Lukashenko did not betray his security forces in 2020. The difference is obvious.
I am very glad to hear this.Hoarsewhisperer , Aug 12 2020 5:44 utc | 126
Will Tikhanovskaya become the Guido of Belarus? Declared to be the legitimate president of that country by foreign interests?
Posted by: Begemot | Aug 10 2020 18:34 utc | 16
Guaido is gradually being forgotten (I put "Guido" as a symptom, then he will be "Guy" and "that guy"), even as he is recognized for the sake of keeping quite sizable stolen Venezuelan property.
Concerning Belarus, it is mostly Russian speaking neighbor of Russia with many deep economic connections to Russia, and quite importantly, it lacks any larger nationalist movements. Historically, people there were always realistically following the state in power that for ca. 400 years was Lithuania in union with Poland (this is quite different with Ukraine history). A sharp break with Russia is not popular, "democracy" is not presenting itself as a shining example in Ukraine (anarcho-authoritarian), Poland (increasingly authoritarian) and in Baltic neighbors (a lot of anti-Slavic nationalism). In short, there is no reasonable prospect of a strategically better outcome than "triangulating" government that cooperates with the West to some extend on reciprocal basis. Looting Venezuela did not have a downside (except for the Venezuelans), squeezing Belarus may push them to unify with Russia, and that could be bothersome.
Ms Tsikhanouskaya, according to DW News, F24, Al Jazeera & RT, has fled Belarus and popped up in Lithuania, after lodging a formal request for a recount. She had sent her kids on ahead BEFORE ELECTION DAY, a rather clumsy/ eerily inept confession that she'd decided that the election was fraudulent before it had taken place! She also muttered something about "I regret calling for protests."
Russia and China noticed that Lukashenko won and have congratulated him on his re-election.
The Great Grey-Green Greasy Pompeo has threatened sanctions...
Aug 08, 2020 | www.rt.com
Following an investigative report the paper of record has revealed that business owners who were stuck in the Capitol Hill Organised Protest 'aren't so sure about abolishing the police'. No sh*t Sherlock.
The New York Times has done something distinctly out of character and actually produced some decent journalism. Taking a break from getting editors sacked for allowing Republican senators to write op-eds and forcing out the few remaining sane people on their staff for not quaffing the identity politics Cool-Aid enthusiastically enough, they dispatched a reporter to Seattle to pick through the remnants of the CHOP , a month after it closed.
The Capital Hill Organised Protest, formally CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone), was the area of the city that, for 23 glorious days, declared independence from the United States. A bunch of Black Lives Matter and Antifa radicals hoofed out the police and decided to try and run the area as some sort of Marxist utopia. What they actually established was a gang run hellhole that made the Wild West look like Switzerland.
It wasn't described as such at the time of course. Seattle's mayor said the city was in for a "summer of love" and most of the left-wing press would have had you believe that it was pretty much a hippy commune full of free vegan food and urban collective farms.
The land of soy milk and honey was disbanded on July 1 and was duly eulogised by the usual suspects as basically an extended block party. A month on, the NY Times finally got around to sending a reporter to speak to the people who lived and worked in the area before the protestors moved in and produced an admittedly excellent piece of reportage on the situation. It was headlined, "Abolish the Police? Those Who Survived the Chaos in Seattle Aren't So Sure." The piece, as journalist Michael Tracey observed on Twitter, would have been dismissed as right-wing propaganda just a month ago and shows that this little experiment in anarcho-communism was a million miles away from paradise.
To say they "aren't sure" has to be the understatement of the year. The picture painted by the residents is one of gangs of armed thugs running protection rackets and widespread vandalism. The first person mentioned in the piece, a gay man of Middle Eastern extraction named Faizel Khan, reveals that to get to the coffee shop he runs he had to get permission from "gun wielding white men" who at one point barricaded him and all his customers in the store.
Mr Khan's experiences during these three and a bit weeks of lawlessness were so horrendous that he and a host of other small business owners, described as "lonely voices in progressive areas," are suing Seattle after the local police force refused to respond to their calls for the duration of the CHOP. And as the litany of horrors they were subjected to is laid bare in the NY Times article, it is not hard to see why.
Another character we meet in this saga is Rick Hearns. In his pre-CHOP days, Mr Hearns was a security guard for many years, but after the police vacated the area (their precinct was taken over by protesters and then promptly set on fire) he became part of the "Black Lives Matter Community Patrol". This patrol had locals "pay for their protection." Now what other organisation does that remind you of? If you can't think of it, may I suggest you watch virtually any Martin Scorsese movie and I think you'll get the picture.
It doesn't sound like they were particularly good at ensuring community cohesion either, considering six people were shot under their jurisdiction and two of them died. Interestingly, since they were replacing the "institutionally racist" police force, (run by a black woman incidentally but why let facts spoil it) one of the victims was a black teenager.
Observers also noted that rather than being a multi-racial melting pot of equality, the CHOP turned into a "white occupation" as the numbers of Antifa activists began to outnumber the BLM protesters. They also established "black only segregated areas" within the CHOP, making it frightening similar to the Confederacy, which also, coincidentally, seceded from the union. Oh, and they had a Warlord, Raz from CHAZ, too, just as an icing on the cake.
Quite why these so-called activists felt the need to see how anarchy turns out in a world where Somaila exists is beyond me, and frankly any sane person who is even vaguely aware of history. I'm sure if they'd managed to get hold of the port it wouldn't have been long before they decided to give piracy on the high seas a try, but alas they didn't have the time.
This just makes the tone of the NY Times piece all the more baffling. While it does chart the horrors of the zone well, framing the notion of "abolishing the police" as anything other than irredeemably stupid is frankly ridiculous. I suppose they do deserve praise for finally telling the story, but in no way does it make up for the way they have fomented and given succour to the absurd and dangerous ideas that gave rise to the CHOP for so long.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.Guy Birchall, British journalist covering current affairs, politics and free speech issues. Recently published in The Sun and Spiked Online. Follow him on Twitter @guybirchall 7 Aug, 2020 22:11 Get short URL
Aug 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
by Tyler Durden Fri, 08/07/2020 - 21:05 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
Authored by Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com,
Many people have asked me why I haven't written a book since the start of my reporting on the FBI's debunked investigation into whether President Donald Trump's campaign conspired with Russia.
I haven't done so because I don't believe the most important part of the story has been told: indictments and accountability. I also don't believe we actually know what really happened on a fundamental level and how dangerous it is to our democratic republic. That will require a deeper investigation that answers the fundamental questions of the role played by former senior Obama officials, including the former President and his aides.
We're getting closer but we're still not there.
Still, the extent of what happened during the last presidential election is much clearer now than it was years ago when trickles of evidence led to years of what Fox News host Sean Hannity and I would say was peeling back the layers of an onion. We now know that the U.S. intelligence and federal law enforcement was weaponized against President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and administration by a political opponent. We now know how many officials involved in the false investigation into the president trampled the Constitution.
I never realized how terrible the deterioration inside the system had become until four years ago when I stumbled onto what was happening inside the FBI. Those concerns were brought to my attention by former and current FBI agents, as well as numerous U.S. intelligence officials aware of the failures inside their own agencies. But it never occurred to me when I first started looking into fired FBI Director James Comey and his former side kick Deputy Director A ndrew McCabe that the cultural corruption of these once trusted American institutions was so vast.
I've watched as Washington D.C. elites make promises to get to the bottom of it and bring people to justice. They appear to make promises to the American people they never intended to keep. Who will be held accountable for one of the most egregious abuses of power by bureaucrats in modern American political history? Now I fear those who perpetuated this culture of corruption won't ever really be held accountable.
These elite bureaucrats will, however, throw the American people a bone. It's how they operate.
They expect us to accept it and then move on.
One example is the most recent decision by the Justice Department to ask that charges be dropped on former national security advisor Michael Flynn. It's just a bone because we know now these charges should have never been brought against the three-star general but will anyone on former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team have to answer for ruining a man's life. No, they won't. In fact, Flynn is still fighting for his freedom.
Think about what has already happened? From former Attorney General Jeff Session's appointment of Utah Prosecutor John Huber to the current decision by Attorney General William Barr to appoint Connecticut prosecutor John Durham to investigate the malfeasance what has been done? Really, nothing at all. No one has been indicted.
The investigation by the FBI against Trump was never predicated on any real evidence but instead, it was a set-up to usurp the American voters will. It doesn't matter that the establishment didn't like Trump, in 2016 the Americans did. Isn't that a big enough reason to bring charges against those involved?
His election was an anomaly for the Washington elite. They were stunned when Trump won and went into full gear to save their own asses from discovery and target anyone who supported him. The truth is they couldn't stand the Trump and American disruptors who elected him to office.
Now they will work hand in fist to ensure that this November election is not a repeat win of 2016. We're already seeing that play out everyday on the news.
But Barr and Durham are now up against a behemoth political machine that seems to be operating more like a steam roller the closer we get to the November presidential elections.
Barr told Fox News in June that he expects Durham's report to come before the end of summer but like always, it's August and we're still waiting.
Little is known about the progress of Durham's investigation but it's curious as to why nothing has been done as of yet and the Democrats are sure to raise significant questions or concerns if action is taken before the election. They will charge that Durham's investigation is politically motivated. That is, unless the charges are just brought against subordinates and not senior officials from the former administration.
I sound cynical because I am right now. It doesn't mean I won't trying to get to the truth or fighting for justice.
But how can you explain the failure of Durham and Barr to actually interview key players such as Comey, or former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, or former CIA Director John Brennan. That is what we're hearing from them.
If I am going to believe my sources, Durham has interviewed former FBI special agent Peter Strzok, along with FBI Special agent Joe Pientka, among some others. Still, nothing has really been done or maybe once again they will throw us bone.
If there are charges to be brought they will come in the form of taking down the subordinates, like Strzok, Pientka and the former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith , who altered the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application against short term 2016 campaign advisor Carter Page.
Remember DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report in December, 2019: It showed that a critical piece of evidence used to obtain a warrant to spy on Page in 2016 was falsified by Clinesmith.
But Clinesmith didn't act alone. He would have had to have been ordered to do such a egregious act and that could only come from the top. Let's see if Durham ever hold those Obama government officials accountable.
I don't believe he will.
Why? Mainly because of how those senior former Obama officials have behaved since the troves of information have been discovered. They have written books, like Comey, McCabe, Brennan and others, who have published Opinion Editorials and have taken lucrative jobs at cable news channels as experts.NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
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It's frankly disgusting and should anger every American. We would never get away with what these former Obama officials have done. More disturbing is that the power they wield through their contacts in the media and their political connections allows these political 'oligarchs' unchallenged power like never before.
Here's one of the latest examples.
Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's top prosecutor Andrew Weissmann just went after Barr in a New York Times editorial on Wednesday. He went so far as to ask the Justice Department employees to ignore any direction by Barr or Durham in the Russia investigations. From Weissmann's New York Times Opinion Editorial:
Today, Wednesday, marks 90 days before the presidential election, a date in the calendar that is supposed to be of special note to the Justice Department. That's because of two department guidelines, one a written policy that no action be influenced in any way by politics. Another, unwritten norm urges officials to defer publicly charging or taking any other overt investigative steps or disclosures that could affect a coming election.
Attorney General William Barr appears poised to trample on both. At least two developing investigations could be fodder for pre-election political machinations. The first is an apparently sprawling investigation by John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, that began as an examination of the origins of the F.B.I. investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. The other , led by John Bash, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, is about the so-called unmasking of Trump associates by Obama administration officials. Mr. Barr personally unleashed both investigations and handpicked the attorneys to run them.
But Justice Department employees, in meeting their ethical and legal obligations , should be well advised not to participate in any such effort.
I think Barr and Durham need to move fast if they are ever going to do anything and if they are going to prove me wrong. We know now that laws were broken and our Constitution was torched by these rogue government officials.
We shouldn't give the swamp the time-of-day to accuse the Trump administration of playing politics or interfering with this election. If the DOJ has evidence and is ready to indict they need to do it now.
If our Justice Department officials haven't done their job to expose the corruption, clean out our institutions and hold people accountable then it will be a tragedy for our nation and the American people. I'm frankly tired of the back and forth. I'm tired of being toyed with and lied to. I believe they should either put up or shut up.
Revolution_starts_now , 4 hours agoWestcoaster , 4 hours ago
Oh Please, JFK, MLK,RFK and MX were all just a few.
50 Years after JFK, still cannot release info?
Just who the hell are we kidding?lay_arrowebworthen , 4 hours ago
You're absolutely right. And don't get me started on 9/11. The country needs an old fashion PURGE.
play_arrowCognitive Dissonance , 4 hours ago
This is how empires collapse.NeitherStirredNorShaken , 4 hours ago
There are two things a sociopath acquires on the way up the socioeconomic ladder.
2) Knowledge of where all the dead bodies are.....especially the ones he or she personally buried.lay_arrow 1Gold Banit , 4 hours ago
Sara must have missed my detailed facts and evidence over the last five years or so proving the entire government guilty of sedition, treason, complete failure of fiduciary duty and seemingly endless more crimes. Waiting for the hierarchy to prosecute itself is a waste of time.
Instead of a book start putting together something like Citizens Arrest teams.LEEPERMAX , 3 hours ago
Nobody has been charged and nobody has gone to jail and nobody will be charged or go to jail cause DemoRats and Republicans are best of friends....Fact
I have a question for all of the American posters here!
How did you all get so dumb naive brainwashed and FN Stupid?
Is Hillary in jail ?V
play_arrowyerfej , 3 hours ago
It's called " Running out the Clock " by almost every criminal on the planet.
WE'VE ALL BEEN PLAYED FROM THE GET GO .play_arrowsborovay07 , 3 hours ago
Its interesting that there are people out there who actually think this progressive push can be stopped, it is now impossible. Sixty or seventy years ago there might have been enough people with morals to fight but not anymore, the majority of people in the media, courts, academia, and bureaucracy are immoral thieves who are only interested in lining their pockets. They are HAPPY to see as many people as necessary sacrificed so they can get theirs, everyone else be damned. Not sure what the exact turning point was but its long ago.ay_arrowFarmer Tink , 2 hours ago
Love Sarah and John. She's 100% right as unless the top treasonists pay for their crimes it was nothing more of a shame investigation by Durnham. The victory laps taken by Hannity and others is nothing more than hot air. Easy to bring down the little guys, but the Comey's, Brennan's and Clapper's have to pay. Trump's trust in Barr is waning as we get closer to the election. Most who have followed all of this the past 4 years know the criminals are still within the bureaucracies that attempted to overthrow a sitting President. Only if Assange would have been granted immunity to testify. Now we are dependent on career government officials to bring justice. #RIPSeth.geo_w , 17 minutes ago
Weissmann's oped in the NYT strikes me as a threat against any DOJ attorney who dares work on any of Durham's cases. The Obama people would not have any compunctions against trying to ruin the lives of any attorney there who doesn't defy Barr. I wouldn't expect to be hired by any private firm ever again, I'd look for an attorney to represent me before the disciplinary committee off my bar association and I would assume that I'd be harassed and forced out by the next Dem AG if I did stay at DOJ.
Rather than see this as a symptom of strength, I see this as panic. If Durham has nothing or will do nothing, then why threaten junior lawyers? Weissmann's an unethical snake, but I think that he's rather nervous.
play_arrowSoloamber , 20 minutes ago
My respect for the FBI is gone.InTheLandOfTheBlind , 4 hours ago
I would like to see what Weissmann's $haul was from the "Mueller " investigation .
Sessions was a joke and the Mueller financed fraud should never have taken place .
Trump has been blind sided over and over by intel at the FBI and DOJ .
They take care of themselves .play_arrow4Y_LURKER , 3 hours ago
Justice dept doesnt hold people accountable. They have to prove the opposite and let a jury or judicial, not administrative, employee impose judgements.
Dont overplay your hand.
What if it's a High Royal Flush?
Apr 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
loveyajimbo , 3 hours ago link
Trump DID commit obstruction of justice... he refused to force HIS Dept of Justice to indict Hillary, Comey, Brennan and Clapper for their obvious major felonies.
And YES... he could have.
Aug 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
H.Schmatz , Aug 1 2020 23:56 utc | 139
What is happening in Belarus?
We thought the it would be only the Empire that would end giving violent jolting through which many of us could result seriously damaged... hence the attitude of restraint and patience by China and Russia on their bet for a soft landing and accommodation of the new situation/paradigm change...
What we did not think of ( at least not me...) was that all those countries dependant of the hegemon or playing the subjective stance ( like Belarus...Poland... the Baltics... see Colonel Cassad´s anlysis ) would suffer of equal if not more shaken environment in the middle of the uncertainty and the impossibility to continue milking two cows...
This is why, even when we do not like the EU as it is constituted right now, as a liberal house, I do not see any point in leaving it now ( as some non-European continuously push for here, what leads me to think they work for the US stablishment...), just when the hegemon is falling and the world is reorganizing...We will fall in the same weak position as Belarus...akin to be dismembered.. or worst, become a failing state...
According ot the last analysis by Rostislav Ischenko at Stalker Zone , it seems that sectors of the security services, as it is happening in the US, are trying to "secure" their future in what they deem as a situation similar to that of the 90s in Moscow, and thus organized the luring of some hundred Russian PMC, some with double Ukrainian/Russian passport, to be blamed for a coming Belarusian Maidan and violent overthrow of Lukashenko.
Under the menace of being extradited to the Ukraine, as some seem to have fought in Donbass, where they would face 15 years jail in the best of cases, or in the worst a death sentence by "suicide" into jail ( the Epstein treatment...), Ischenko assures some "will be persuaded by the KGB of Belarus to admit that they "on the instructions of Japanese intelligence dug a tunnel from Bangkok to London"....to save life...
Well, it seems that some others are being hard to peel and mantain they were going to Istanbul to visit Hagia Sophia ....
These PMC were found most suspicious by the "KGB of Belarus" because they found themselves stranded during a week in Minsk by the same Belarusian company who hired them to go to Lybia to fight along the opposite site supported by the Russians there, and moreover they do not smoke nor drink....You see...
Jul 31, 2020 | www.msn.com
Tucker Carlson described former President Obama as "one of the sleaziest and most dishonest figures in the history of American politics" after his eulogy at the funeral of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) on Thursday.© The Hill tucker Carlson
Carlson, who also described the former president as "a greasy politician" for calling on Congress to pass a new Voting Rights Act and to eliminate the filibuster, which Obama described as a relic of the Jim Crow era that disenfranchised Black Americans, in order to do so.
"Barack Obama, one of the sleaziest and most dishonest figures in the history of American politics, used George Floyd's death at a funeral to attack the police," Carlson said before showing a segment of Obama's remarks.Watch the latest video at foxnews.com
Jun 17, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca
Color Revolution is the term used to describe a series of remarkably effective CIA-led regime change operations using techniques developed by the RAND Corporation, "democracy" NGOs and other groups since the 1980's. They were used in crude form to bring down the Polish communist regime in the late 1980s. From there the techniques were refined and used, along with heavy bribes, to topple the Gorbachev regime in the Soviet Union. For anyone who has studied those models closely, it is clear that the protests against police violence led by amorphous organizations with names like Black Lives Matter or Antifa are more than purely spontaneous moral outrage. Hundreds of thousands of young Americans are being used as a battering ram to not only topple a US President, but in the process, the very structures of the US Constitutional order.
If we step back from the immediate issue of videos showing a white Minneapolis policeman pressing his knee on the neck of a black man, George Floyd , and look at what has taken place across the nation since then, it is clear that certain organizations or groups were well-prepared to instrumentalize the horrific event for their own agenda.
The protests since May 25 have often begun peacefully only to be taken over by well-trained violent actors. Two organizations have appeared regularly in connection with the violent protests -- Black Lives Matter and Antifa (USA). Videos show well-equipped protesters dressed uniformly in black and masked (not for coronavirus to be sure), vandalizing police cars, burning police stations, smashing store windows with pipes or baseball bats. Use of Twitter and other social media to coordinate "hit-and-run" swarming strikes of protest mobs is evident.
What has unfolded since the Minneapolis trigger event has been compared to the wave of primarily black ghetto protest riots in 1968. I lived through those events in 1968 and what is unfolding today is far different. It is better likened to the Yugoslav color revolution that toppled Milosevic in 2000.
Gene Sharp: Template for Regime Overthrow
In the year 2000 the US State Department, aided by its National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and select CIA operatives, began secretly training a group of Belgrade university students led by a student group that was called Otpor! (Resistance!). The NED and its various offshoots was created in the 1980's by CIA head Bill Casey as a covert CIA tool to overthrow specific regimes around the world under the cover of a human rights NGO. In fact, they get their money from Congress and from USAID.
In the Serb Otpor! destabilization of 2000, the NED and US Ambassador Richard Miles in Belgrade selected and trained a group of several dozen students, led by Srđa Popović, using the handbook, From Dictatorship to Democracy, translated to Serbian, of the late Gene Sharp and his Albert Einstein Institution. In a post mortem on the Serb events, the Washington Post wrote, "US-funded consultants played a crucial role behind the scenes in virtually every facet of the anti-drive, running tracking polls, training thousands of opposition activists and helping to organize a vitally important parallel vote count. US taxpayers paid for 5,000 cans of spray paint used by student activists to scrawl anti-Milošević graffiti on walls across Serbia."
Trained squads of activists were deployed in protests to take over city blocks with the aid of 'intelligence helmet' video screens that give them an instantaneous overview of their environment. Bands of youth converging on targeted intersections in constant dialogue on cell phones, would then overwhelm police. The US government spent some $41 million on the operation. Student groups were secretly trained in the Sharp handbook techniques of staging protests that mocked the authority of the ruling police, showing them to be clumsy and impotent against the youthful protesters. Professionals from the CIA and US State Department guided them behind the scenes.
The Color Revolution Otpor! model was refined and deployed in 2004 as the Ukraine Orange Revolution with logo and color theme scarves, and in 2003 in Georgia as the Rose Revolution. Later Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used the template to launch the Arab Spring. In all cases the NED was involved with other NGOs including the Soros Foundations.
After defeating Milosevic, Popovic went on to establish a global color revolution training center, CANVAS, a kind of for-profit business consultancy for revolution, and was personally present in New York working reportedly with Antifa during the Occupy Wall Street where also Soros money was reported.
Antifa and BLM
The protests, riots, violent and non-violent actions sweeping across the United States since May 25, including an assault on the gates of the White House, begin to make sense when we understand the CIA's Color Revolution playbook.
The impact of the protests would not be possible were it not for a network of local and state political officials inside the Democratic Party lending support to the protesters, even to the point the Democrat Mayor of Seattle ordered police to abandon several blocks in the heart of downtown to occupation by protesters.
In recent years major portions of the Democratic Party across the US have been quietly taken over by what one could call radical left candidates. Often they win with active backing of organizations such as Democratic Socialists of America or Freedom Road Socialist Organizations. In the US House of Representatives the vocal quarter of new representatives around Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib and Minneapolis Representative Ilhan Omar are all members or close to Democratic Socialists of America. Clearly without sympathetic Democrat local officials in key cities, the street protests of organizations such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa would not have such a dramatic impact.Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the Neoliberal Color Revolution in America
To get a better grasp how serious the present protest movement is we should look at who has been pouring millions into BLM. The Antifa is more difficult owing to its explicit anonymous organization form. However, their online Handbook openly recommends that local Antifa "cells" join up with BLM chapters.
FRSO: Follow the Money
BLM began in 2013 when three activist friends created the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag to protest the allegations of shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin by a white Hispanic block watchman, George Zimmermann. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi were all were connected with and financed by front groups tied to something called Freedom Road Socialist Organization, one of the four largest radical left organizations in the United States formed out of something called New Communist Movement that dissolved in the 1980s.
On June 12, 2020 the Freedom Road Socialist Organization webpage states, "The time is now to join a revolutionary organization! Join Freedom Road Socialist Organization If you have been out in the streets this past few weeks, the odds are good that you've been thinking about the difference between the kind of change this system has to offer, and the kind of change this country needs. Capitalism is a failed system that thrives on exploitation, inequality and oppression. The reactionary and racist Trump administration has made the pandemic worse. The unfolding economic crisis we are experiencing is the worst since the 1930s. Monopoly capitalism is a dying system and we need to help finish it off. And that is exactly what Freedom Road Socialist Organization is working for ."
In short the protests over the alleged police killing of a black man in Minnesota are now being used to call for a revolution against capitalism. FRSO is an umbrella for dozens of amorphous groups including Black Lives Matter or BLM. What is interesting about the self-described Marxist-Leninist roots of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) is not so much their left politics as much as their very establishment funding by a group of well-endowed tax-exempt foundations.
Alicia Garza of BLM is also a board member or executive of five different Freedom Road front groups including 2011 Board chair of Right to the City Alliance, Board member of School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL), of People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), Forward Together and Special Projects director of National Domestic Workers Alliance.
The Right to the City Alliance got $6.5 million between 2011 and 2014 from a number of very established tax-exempt foundations including the Ford Foundation ($1.9 million), from both of George Soros's major tax-exempts–Open Society Foundations, and the Foundation to Promote Open Society for $1.3 million. Also the cornflake-tied Kellogg Foundation $250,000, and curiously , Ben & Jerry's Foundation (ice cream) for $30,000.
Garza also got major foundation money as Executive Director of the FRSO front, POWER, where Obama former "green jobs czar" Van Jones, a self-described "communist" and "rowdy black nationalist," now with CNN, was on the board. Alicia Garza also chaired the Right to the City Alliance, a network of activist groups opposing urban gentrification. That front since 2009 received $1.3 million from the Ford Foundation, as well as $600,000 from the Soros foundations and again, Ben & Jerry's ($50,000).
And Garza's SOUL, which claimed to have trained 712 "organizers" in 2014, when she co-founded Black Lives Matter, got $210,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation and another $255,000 from the Heinz Foundation (ketchup and John Kerry family) among others. With the Forward Together of FRSO, Garza sat on the board of a "multi-racial organization that works with community leaders and organizations to transform culture and policy to catalyze social change." It officially got $4 million in 2014 revenues and from 2012 and 2014, the organization received a total of $2.9 million from Ford Foundation ($655,000) and other major foundations .
Nigeria-born BLM co-founder Opal Tometi likewise comes from the network of FRSO. Tometi headed the FRSO's Black Alliance for Just Immigration. Curiously with a "staff" of two it got money from major foundations including the Kellogg Foundation for $75,000 and Soros foundations for $100,000, and, again, Ben & Jerry's ($10,000). Tometi got $60,000 in 2014 to direct the group .
The Freedom Road Socialist Organization that is now openly calling for a revolution against capitalism in the wake of the Floyd George killing has another arm, The Advancement Project, which describes itself as "a next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization." Its board includes a former Obama US Department of Education Director of Community Outreach and a former Bill Clinton Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. The FRSO Advancement Project in 2013 got millions from major US tax-exempt foundations including Ford ($8.5 million), Kellogg ($3 million), Hewlett Foundation of HP defense industry founder ($2.5 million), Rockefeller Foundation ($2.5 million), and Soros foundations ($8.6 million).
Major Money and ActBlue
By 2016, the presidential election year where Hillary Clinton was challenging Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter had established itself as a well-organized network. That year the Ford Foundation and Borealis Philanthropy announced the formation of the Black-Led Movement Fund (BLMF), "a six-year pooled donor campaign aimed at raising $100 million for the Movement for Black Lives coalition" in which BLM was a central part. By then Soros foundations had already given some $33 million in grants to the Black Lives Matter movement . This was serious foundation money.
The BLMF identified itself as being created by top foundations including in addition to the Ford Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation and the Soros Open Society Foundations. They described their role: "The BLMF provides grants, movement building resources, and technical assistance to organizations working advance the leadership and vision of young, Black, queer, feminists and immigrant leaders who are shaping and leading a national conversation about criminalization, policing and race in America."
The Movement for Black Lives Coalition (M4BL) which includes Black Lives Matter, already in 2016 called for "defunding police departments, race-based reparations, voting rights for illegal immigrants, fossil-fuel divestment, an end to private education and charter schools, a universal basic income, and free college for blacks ."
Notably, when we click on the website of M4BL, under their donate button we learn that the donations will go to something called ActBlue Charities. ActBlue facilitates donations to "democrats and progressives." As of May 21, ActBlue had given $119 million to the campaign of Joe Biden.
That was before the May 25 BLM worldwide protests. Now major corporations such as Apple, Disney, Nike and hundreds others may be pouring untold and unaccounted millions into ActBlue under the name of Black Lives Matter, funds that in fact can go to fund the election of a Democrat President Biden. Perhaps this is the real reason the Biden campaign has been so confident of support from black voters.
What is clear from only this account of the crucial role of big money foundations behind protest groups such as Black lives Matter is that there is a far more complex agenda driving the protests now destabilizing cities across America.
The role of tax-exempt foundations tied to the fortunes of the greatest industrial and financial companies such as Rockefeller, Ford, Kellogg, Hewlett and Soros says that there is a far deeper and far more sinister agenda to current disturbances than spontaneous outrage would suggest.
Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook" where this article was originally published. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.
The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © F. William Engdahl , Global Research, 2020
Jul 26, 2020 | www.defenddemocracy.press
Former Poroshenko Ally Admits Euromaidan In 2014 Was Entirely Funded By "Organized Criminal Group" 25/07/2020
On July 21 st , Ukrainian businessman and politician David Zhvania revealed some open secrets of the Ukrainian politics, including crimes that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had carried out. The irony of the situation is that Zhvania was, at one point, the leader of Poroshenko's campaign headquarters.
He said that Euromaidan was ruled by criminal groups led by the people who were leading the parties that came into power following the coup – the BPP (Bloc of Petro Poroshenko) and the National Front.
He also said that he had participated in giving multimillion-dollar bribes to European officials in exchange for their support to Poroshenko's election as president.
The former member of Ukrainian parliament, in his video message, said that Ukraine is threatened with a new coming to power of Poroshenko.
"A creeping revenge is taking place in the country – Zelensky's rating falls, and Poroshenko and his entourage are again striving for power. I cannot look at it calmly, so I decided to give this press conference. Warn the citizens of Ukraine not to make a mistake. Tell everyone. who is Poroshenko and his entourage.
This is a criminal group that from the very beginning participated in the Maidan solely for the sake of seizing power and personal enrichment," Zhvania said.
He said that following the 2014 Maidan, an organized criminal group took power in Ukraine, and he admitted that he was part of it.
According to Zhvania, it was this criminal group that financed the protests and thwarted any options for agreements with the authorities (the Yanukovich government), which were designed to avoid escalation.Read also: Les gilets jaunes lancent un ultimatum au Président
"I was also a member of the organized criminal group, which seized power in 2014 on the wave of popular protests. We financed the Maidan, we fueled protest moods in the media, thwarted the government's peace initiatives, conducted separate negotiations with deputies of the Party of Regions, and negotiated with foreign embassies.
The organized criminal group included Martynenko, Poroshenko, Turchynov, Yatsenyuk, Klitschko. Each of whom has attached its own group. Turchinov, for example, brought Pashinsky and Parubiy," Zhvania said and added that he was ready to testify on this matter.
After the coup victory, Zhvania's group engaged in political corruption to secure the presidency for Poroshenko.
"I and Klimkin (note: Klimkin later became the foreign minister) directly participated in the transfer of 5 million euros through the Ukrainian Embassy in Germany for one high-ranking European official at that time in order to ensure support for Poroshenko as a candidate for the presidency of Ukraine from the EU. I am ready to provide the circumstances of this to the investigating authorities," Zhvania claimed.
In his opinion, Poroshenko became president as a result of the consensus of the oligarchs. And he took on certain obligations to them, which in most cases he carried out.
According to Zhvania, during his tenure as president, Poroshenko acquired approximately $3.4 billion in bribes.
The former politician hoped that President Zelensky "will have enough political will to bring the case of Poroshenko and his entourage to an end."
"Poroshenko today, on the eve of local elections, may try to run for mayor. Before Maidan, it was his dream – he humiliatingly begged Yanukovych for the right to run for mayor of Kiev, was ready to give a bribe for this. Yanukovych did not allow, and Poroshenko did not dare to disobey," Zhvania said and promised to reveal more in the following weeks.Read also: Brazil's Neo-Liberal Fascist Road to Power | By James Petras
In brief, he said:
- The Euromaidan in 2014 was not a spontaneous protest, but was financed by political circles to overthrow Yanukovych.
- Any peace initiatives were thwarted by a group that included Martynenko, Poroshenko, Turchynov, Yatsenyuk and Klitschko.
- Zhvania and Klimkin gave 5 million euros in bribes to a European official to lobby for Poroshenko's interests as a presidential candidate in 2014.
David Zhvania is a well-known Ukrainian businessman from Georgia. Long-term business partner of the deputy of several iterations of Parliament Nikolay Martynenko.
Zhvania was also a member in four different Ukrainian parliament configurations. In 2004, he was an ally of Yushchenko, was a member of the Our Ukraine bloc, and took part in the Orange Revolution. In 2005, he served as Minister of Emergency Situations in the government of Yulia Tymoshenko.
In 2006 he went to the Verkhovna Rada from "Our Ukraine" and Yushchenko, but he had a falling out with him.
In 2010, he became friends with the Yanukovych team.
In the 2012 elections, he entered parliament as a self-nominated and non-partisan candidate in 140 constituencies. He was a member of the Party of Regions faction, but left it in 2013 when the Revolution of Dignity began.
In the 2014 elections, he was one of the heads of the electoral headquarters of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc. People's Deputy Aleksandr Onishchenko stated that he transferred money to Zhvania for a seat in the parliament of the 8th convocation.
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
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 17, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org
I hadn't given The Russian Playbook much attention until Susan Rice, Obama's quondam security advisor, opined a month ago on CNN that " I'm not reading the intelligence today, or these days -- but based on my experience, this is right out of the Russian playbook ". She was referring to the latest U.S. riots.
Once I'd seen this mention of The Russian Playbook (aka KGB, Kremlin or Putin's Playbook), I saw the expression all over the place. Here's an early – perhaps the earliest – use of the term. In October 2016, the Center for Strategic and International studies (" Ranked #1 ") informed us of the " Kremlin Playbook " with this ominous beginning
There was a deeply held assumption that, when the countries of Central and Eastern Europe joined NATO and the European Union in 2004, these countries would continue their positive democratic and economic transformation. Yet more than a decade later, the region has experienced a steady decline in democratic standards and governance practices at the same time that Russia's economic engagement with the region expanded significantly.
Are these developments coincidental, or has the Kremlin sought deliberately to erode the region's democratic institutions through its influence to 'break the internal coherence of the enemy system'?
Well, to these people, to ask the question is to answer it: can't possibly be disappointment at the gap between 2004's expectations and 2020's reality, can't be that they don't like the total Western values package that they have to accept, it must be those crafty Russians deceiving them. This was the earliest reference to The Playbook that I found, but it certainly wasn't the last.
Russia has a century-old playbook for 'disinformation' 'I believe in Russia they do have their own manual that essentially prescribes what to do,' said Clint Watts, a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a former FBI agent. (Nov 2018)
The Russian playbook for spreading fake news and conspiracy theories is the subject of a new three-part video series on The New York Times website titled 'Operation Infektion: Russian Disinformation: From The Cold War To Kanye.' (Nov 2018)
I found headlines such as these: Former CIA Director Outlines Russian Playbook for Influencing Unsuspecting Targets (May 2017) ; Fmr. CIA op.: Don Jr. meeting part of Russian playbook (Jul 2017) ; Americans Use Russian Playbook to Spread Disinformation (Oct 2018) ; Factory of Lies: The Russian Playbook (Nov 2018) ; Shredding the Putin Playbook: Six crucial steps we must take on cyber-security -- before it's too late. (Winter 2018) ; Trump's spin is 'all out of the KGB playbook': Counterintelligence expert Malcolm Nance (May 2019) .
Of course, all these people are convinced Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Somehow. To some effect. Never really specified but the latest outburst of insanity is this video from the Lincoln Project . As Anatoly Karlin observes: "I think it's really cool how we Russians took over America just by shitposting online. How does it feel to be subhuman?" He has a point: the Lincoln Project, and the others shrieking about Russian interference, take it for granted that American democracy is so flimsy and Americans so gullible that a few Facebook ads can bring the whole facade down. A curious mental state indeed.
So let us consider The Russian Playbook. It stands at the very heart of Russian power. It is old: at least a century old . Why, did not Tolstoy's 1908 Letter to a Hindu inspire Gandhi to bring down the British Indian Empire and win the Great Game for Moscow? The Tolstoy-Putin link is undeniable as we are told in A Post-Soviet 'War and Peace': What Tolstoy's Masterwork Explains About Putin's Foreign Policy : "In the early decades of the nineteenth century, Napoleon (like Putin after him) wanted to construct his own international order ". Russian novelists: adepts of The Playbook every one . So there is much to consider about this remarkable Book which has had such an enormous – hidden to most – role in world history. Its instructions on how to swing Western elections are especially important: the 2016 U.S. election ; Brexit ; " 100 years of Russian electoral interference "; Canada ; France ; the European Union ; Germany and many more. The awed reader must ask whether any Western election since Tolstoy's day can be trusted. Not to forget the Great Hawaiian Pizza Debate the Russians could start at any moment.
What can we know about The Playbook? For a start it must be written in Russian, a language that those crafty Russians insist on speaking among themselves. Secondly such an important document would be protected the way that highly classified material is protected. There would be a very restricted need to know; underlings participating in one of the many plays would not know how their part fitted into The Playbook; few would ever see The Playbook itself. The Playbook would be brought to the desk of the few authorised to see it by a courier, signed for, the courier would watch the reader and take away the copy afterwards. The very few copies in existence would be securely locked away; each numbered and differing subtly from the others so that, should a leak occur, the authorities would know which copy read by whom had been leaked. Printed on paper that could not be photographed or duplicated. As much protection as human cunning could devise; right up there with the nuclear codes .
So, The Russian Playbook would be extraordinarily difficult to get hold of. And yet every talking head on U.S. TV has a copy at his elbow! English copies, one assumes. Rachel Maddow has comprehended the complicated chapter on how to control the U.S. power system . Others have read the impenetrably complex section on how to control U.S. voting machines or change vote counts . Many are familiar with the lists of divisions in American society and directions for exploiting them . Adam Schiff has mastered the section on how to get Trump to give Alaska back . Susan Rice well knows the chapter "How to create riots in peaceful communities".
And so on. It's all quite ridiculous: we're supposed to believe that Moscow easily controls far-away countries but can't keep its neighbours under control.
There is no Russian Playbook, that's just projection. But there is a "playbook" and it's written in English, it's freely available and it's inexpensive enough that every pundit can have a personal copy: it's named " From Dictatorship To Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation " and it's written by Gene Sharp (1928-2018) . Whatever Sharp may have thought he was doing, whatever good cause he thought he was assisting, his book has been used as a guide to create regime changes around the world. Billed as "democracy" and "freedom", their results are not so benign. Witness Ukraine today. Or Libya. Or Kosovo whose long-time leader has just been indicted for numerous crimes . Curiously enough, these efforts always take place in countries that resist Washington's line but never in countries that don't. Here we do see training, financing, propaganda, discord being sown, divisions exploited to effect regime change – all the things in the imaginary "Russian Playbook". So, whatever he may have thought he was helping, Sharp's advice has been used to produce what only the propagandists could call " model interventions "; to the "liberated" themselves, the reality is poverty , destruction , war and refugees .
The Albert Einstein Institution , which Sharp created in 1983, strongly denies collusion with Washington-sponsored overthrows but people from it have organised seminars or workshops in many targets of U.S. overthrows . The most recent annual report of 2014 , while rather opaque, shows 45% of its income from "grants" (as opposed to "individuals") and has logos of Euromaidan, SOSVenezuela, Umbrellamovement , Lwili , Sunflowersquare and others. In short, the logos of regime change operations in Ukraine, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Burkina Faso and Taiwan. (And, ironically for today's USA, Black Lives Matter). So, clearly, there is some connection between the AEI and Washington-sponsored regime change operations.
So there is a "handbook" but it's not Russian.
Reading Sharp's book, however, makes one wonder if he was just fooling himself. Has there ever been a "dictatorship" overthrown by "non-violent" resistance along the lines of what he is suggesting? He mentions Norwegians who resisted Hitler; but Norway was liberated, along with the rest of Occupied Europe, by extremely violent warfare. While some Jews escaped, most didn't and it was the conquest of Berlin that saved the rest: the nazi state was killed . The USSR went away, together with its satellite governments in Europe but that was a top-down event. He likes Gandhi but Gandhi wouldn't have lasted a minute under Stalin. Otpor was greatly aided by NATO's war on Serbia. And, they're only "non-violent" because the Western media doesn't talk much about the violence ; "non-violent" is not the first word that comes to mind in this video of Kiev 2014 . "Colour revolutions" are manufactured from existing grievances, to be sure, but with a great deal of outside assistance, direction and funding; upon inspection, there's much design behind their "spontaneity". And, not infrequently, with mysterious sniping at a expedient moment – see Katchanovski's research on the "Heavenly Hundred" of the Maidan showing pretty convincingly that the shootings were " a false flag operation" involving "an alliance of the far right organizations, specifically the Right Sector and Svoboda, and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland". There is little in Sharp's book to suggest that non-violent resistance would have had much effect on a really brutal and determined government. He also has the naïve habit of using "democrat" and "dictator" as if these words were as precisely defined as coconuts and codfish. But any "dictatorship" – for example Stalin's is a very complex affair with many shades of opinion in it. So, in terms of what he was apparently trying to do, one can see it only succeeding against rather mild "dictators" presiding over extremely unpopular polities. With a great deal of outside effort and resources.
His "playbook" is useful to outside powers that want to overthrow governments they don't like. Especially those run by "dictators" not brutal enough to shoot the protesters down. It's not Russian diplomats that are caught choosing the leaders of ostensibly independent countries . It's not Russians who boast of spending money in poor countries to change their governments . It's not Russian diplomats who meet with foreign opposition leaders . Russia doesn't fabricate a leader of a foreign country . It's not Russia that invents a humanitarian crisis , bombs the country to bits , laughs at its leader's brutal death and walks away. It's not Russia that sanctions numerous countries . It's not Russia that gives fellowships to foreign oppositionists . Even the Washington Post (one of the principals in sustaining Putindunnit hysteria) covered " The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere "; but piously insisted "the days of its worst behavior are long behind it". Whatever the pundits may claim about Russia, the USA actually has an organisation devoted to interfering in other countries' business ; one of whose leading lights proudly boasted: " A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA. "
The famous "Russian Playbook" is nothing but projection onto Moscow of what Washington actually does: projection is so common a feature of American propaganda that one may certain that when Washington accuses somebody else of doing something, it's a guarantee that Washington is doing it.
Jul 03, 2020 | consortiumnews.com
RAY McGOVERN: Mutiny on the Bounties
Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House, as Obama's former ambassador to Russia piles on the nonsense about Trump being in Putin's pocket?
By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News
C orporate media are binging on leaked Kool Aid not unlike the WMD concoction they offered 18 years ago to "justify" the U.S.-UK war of aggression on Iraq.
Now Michael McFaul, ambassador to Russia under President Obama, has been enlisted by The Washington Post 's editorial page honcho, Fred Hiatt, to draw on his expertise (read, incurable Russophobia) to help stick President Donald Trump back into "Putin's pocket." (This has become increasingly urgent as the canard of "Russiagate" -- including the linchpin claim that Russia hacked the DNC -- lies gasping for air.)
In an oped on Thursday McFaul presented a long list of Vladimir Putin's alleged crimes, offering a more ostensibly sophisticated version of amateur Russian specialist, Rep. Jason Crow's (D-CO) claim that: "Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with McFaul meeting Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, on May 7, 2013. (State Department)
McFaul had -- well, let's call it an undistinguished career in Moscow. He arrived with a huge chip on his shoulder and proceeded to alienate just about all his hosts, save for the rabidly anti-Putin folks he openly and proudly cultivated. In a sense, McFaul became the epitome of what Henry Wooton described as the role of ambassador -- "an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country." What should not be so readily accepted is an ambassador who comes back home and just can't stop misleading.
Not to doubt McFaul's ulterior motives; one must assume him to be an "honest man" -- however misguided, in my opinion. He seems to be a disciple of the James Clapper-Curtis LeMay-Joe McCarthy School of Russian Analysis.
Clapper, a graduate summa cum laude , certainly had the Russians pegged! Clapper was allowed to stay as Barack Obama's director of national intelligence for three and a half years after perjuring himself in formal Senate testimony (on NSA's illegal eavesdropping). On May 28, 2017 Clapper told NBC's Chuck Todd about "the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique."
As a finale, in full knowledge of Clapper's proclivities regarding Russia, Obama appointed him to prepare the evidence-impoverished, misnomered "Intelligence Community Assessment" claiming that Putin did all he could, including hacking the DNC, to help Trump get elected -- the most embarrassing such "intelligence assessment" I have seen in half a century .
Obama and the National Security State
I have asked myself if Obama also had earned some kind of degree from the Clapper/LeMay/McCarthy School, or whether he simply lacked the courage to challenge the pitiably self-serving "analysis" of the National Security State. Then I re-read "Obama Misses the Afghan Exit-Ramp" of June 24, 2010 and was reminded of how deferential Obama was to the generals and the intelligence gurus, and how unconscionable the generals were -- like their predecessors in Vietnam -- in lying about always seeing light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Thankfully, now ten years later, this is all documented in Craig Whitlock's, "The Afghanistan Papers: At War With the Truth." Corporate media, who played an essential role in that "war with the truth", have not given Whitlock's damning story the attention it should command (surprise, surprise!). In any case, it strains credulity to think that Obama was unaware he was being lied to on Afghanistan.
Clark Gable (l.) with Charles Laughton (r.) in Mutiny on the Bounty, 1935.
Does no one see the irony today in the Democrats' bashing Trump on Afghanistan, with the full support of the Establishment media? The inevitable defeat there is one of the few demonstrable disasters not attributable directly to Trump, but you would not know that from the media. Are the uncorroborated reports of Russian bounties to kill U.S. troops aimed at making it appear that Trump, unable to stand up to Putin, let the Russians drive the rest of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan?
Does the current flap bespeak some kind of "Mutiny on the Bounties," so to speak, by a leaker aping Eric Chiaramella? Recall that the Democrats lionized the CIA official seconded to Trump's national security council as a "whistleblower" and proceeded to impeach Trump after Chiaramella leaked information on Trump's telephone call with the president of Ukraine. Far from being held to account, Chiaramella is probably expecting an influential job if his patron, Joe Biden, is elected president. Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House?
And what does one make of the spectacle of Crow teaming up with Rep. Liz Cheney (R, WY) to restrict Trump's planned pull-out of troops from Afghanistan, which The Los Angeles Times reports has now been blocked until after the election?
Hiatt & McFaul: Caveat Editor
And who published McFaul's oped? Fred Hiatt, Washington Post editorial page editor for the past 20 years, who has a long record of listening to the whispers of anonymous intelligence sources and submerging/drowning the subjunctive mood with flat fact. This was the case with the (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the U.S.-UK attack. Readers of the Post were sure there were tons of WMD in Iraq. That Hiatt has invited McFaul on stage should come as no surprise.
To be fair, Hiatt belatedly acknowledged that the Post should have been more circumspect in its confident claims about the WMD. "If you look at the editorials we write running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction," Hiatt said in an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review . "If that's not true, it would have been better not to say it." [CJR, March/April 2004]
At this word of wisdom, Consortium News founder, the late Robert Parry, offered this comment: "Yes, that is a common principle of journalism, that if something isn't real, we're not supposed to confidently declare that it is." That Hiatt is still in that job speaks volumes.
'Uncorroborated, Contradicted, or Even Non-Existent'
It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the "intelligence" on WMD in Iraq was not "mistaken;" it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.
Announcing on June 5, 2008, the bipartisan conclusions from a five-year study by the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller ( D-WV) said the attack on Iraq was launched "under false pretenses." He described the intelligence conjured up to "justify" war on Iraq as "uncorroborated, contradicted, or even non-existent."
Yogi Berra in 1956. (Wikipedia)
Here's an assignment due on Monday. Read McFaul's oped carefully. It appears under the title: "Trump would do anything for Putin. No wonder he's ignoring the Russian bounties: Russia's pattern of hostility matches Trump's pattern of accommodation."
And to give you a further taste, here is the first paragraph:
"Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have paid Taliban rebels in Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers. Having resulted in at least one American death, and maybe more, these Russian bounties reportedly produced the desired outcome. While deeply disturbing, this effort by Putin is not surprising: It follows a clear pattern of ignoring international norms, rules and laws -- and daring the United States to do anything about it."
Full assignment for Monday: Read carefully through each paragraph of McFaul's text and select which of his claims you would put into one or more of the three categories adduced by Sen. Rockefeller 12 years ago about WMD on Iraq. With particular attention to the evidence behind McFaul's claims, determine which of the claims is (a) "uncorroborated"; which (b) "contradicted"; and which (c) "non-existent;" or (d) all of the above. For extra credit, find one that is supported by plausible evidence.
Yogi Berra might be surprised to hear us keep quoting him with "Deja vu, all over again." Sorry, Yogi, that's what it is; you coined it.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-year career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and briefed The President's Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.
Tarus77 , July 6, 2020 at 14:25
Gad, one wonders if it can ever get much lower in the press and the answer is yes, it can and will go lower, i.e. the mcfaul/hiatt tag team. They are still plumbing for the lows.
The question becomes just how stupid these two are or how stupid do they believe the readership is to read and believe this garbage.
Voice from Europe , July 6, 2020 at 11:58
By now the Russia did it ! is in effect a joke in Russia. Economically, politically, geo strategically China and Asia and Africa have become more important and reliable partners of Russia than the USA. And Europe is also dropping fast on the trustworthy partners list…..
John , July 5, 2020 at 12:55
Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both long-time members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), flagship of the globalist “liberal world order”. The CFR and its many interlocking affiliates, along with their media assets and frontmen in government, have dominated US policy since WW2. Most of the Fed chairmen and secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense and CIA have been CFR members, including Jerome Powell and Mark Esper.
The major finance, energy, defense and media corporations are CFR sponsors, and several of their execs are members. David Rubenstein, billionaire founder of the notorious Carlyle Group, is the current CFR chairman. Laurence Fink, billionaire chairman of BlackRock, is a CFR director. See lists at the CFR website.
Anna , July 6, 2020 at 09:38
Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both very active promoters of hate crimes. Neither has any decency hence decency is allergic to war profiteers and opportunistic liars.
The poor USA; to descend to such a deep moral hole that both Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are still alive and prospering. Shamelessness and presstituting are paid well in the US.
Juan M Escobedo , July 5, 2020 at 11:35
Dems and Reps are already mad. You cannot destroy what does not exist; like Democracy in these United States. Nor God or Putin could. This has always being a fallacy. This is not a democracy; same thing with ”communist" China or the USSR .Those two were never socialist. There has never being a real Socialist or Communist country.
Guy , July 4, 2020 at 12:26
“It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the “intelligence” on WMD in Iraq was not “mistaken;” it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.”
That statement goes to the crux of the matter.Why should journalists care about what is true or a lie in their reports ,they know they will never be held to account .They should be held to account through the court system . A lie by any journalist should be actionable by any court of law . The fear of jail time would sort out the scam journalists we presently have to endure .
As it is they have perverted the profession of journalism and it is the law of the jungle .No true democracy should put up with this. We are surrounded with lies that are generated by the very establishment that should protect it’s citizens from same .
Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 15:36
They are spoon fed those lies by our “intelligence” agencies. As CNN’s Jeff Zucker said, “We’re not investigators, we’re journalists”. Replace “journalists” with “toadies” or “shills” for our “intelligence” community and you’ve gotten to the truth of the matter.
Anna , July 6, 2020 at 09:50
The ‘journalists’ observe how things have been going on for Cheney the Traitor and Bush the lesser — nothing happened to the mega criminals. The hate-bursting and war-profiteering Cheney’s daughter has even squeezed into US Congress.
In a healthy society where human dignity is cherished, the Cheney family will be ostracized and the family name became a synonym for the word ‘traitor.’ In the unhealthy society of Clintons, Obamas, Epstein, Mueller, Adelsons, Clapper, and Krystols, human dignity is a sin.
Ricard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 11:42
Our institutions including journalism are not merely corrupt, they are degenerate. That is, the corruption is not occasional or the exception is is by design, desired and entirely normal.
Stan W. , July 4, 2020 at 12:10
I’m still confident that Durham’s investigation will expose and successfully prosecute the maggots that infest our government.
Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 15:29
What is the basis for this confidence?
John Puma , July 4, 2020 at 12:03
Re: whether Obumma “had earned some kind of degree from the Clapper/LeMay/McCarthy School” of Russia Analytics.
It would be a worthy addition to his degree collection featuring that earned from the Neville Chamberlain Night School of Critical Political Negotiation.
Jeff Harrison , July 4, 2020 at 11:16
Hmmm. Lessee. The US attacks Afghanistan with about the same legitimacy that we had when we attacked Iraq and the Taliban are in charge. We oust the Taliban from power and put our own puppets in place. What idiot thinks that the Taliban are going to need a bounty to kill Americans?
Wendy LaRiviere , July 4, 2020 at 18:29
Jeff Harrison, I like your logic. Plus, I understand that far fewer Americans are being killed in Afghanistan than were under Obama’s administration.
AnneR , July 4, 2020 at 10:27
Frankly, I am sick to death of the unwarranted, indeed bestial Russophobia that is megaphoned minute by minute on NPR and the BBC World Service (only radio here since my husband died). If it isn’t this latest trumped up (ho ho) charge, there are repeated mentions, in passing, of course, of the Russiagate, hacking, Kremlin control of the Strumpet to back up the latest bunch of lies.
Doesn’t matter at *all* that Russiagate was debunked, that even Mueller couldn’t actually demonstrably pull the DNC/ruling elites rabbit out of the hat, that the impeachment of the Strumpet went nowhere. And it clearly – by its total absence on the above radio broadcasts – doesn’t matter one iota that the Pentagonal hasn’t gone along, that gaping holes in the confabulation are (and were) obvious to those who cared to think with half a mind awake and reflecting on past US ruling elite lies, untruths, obfuscations. Nope. Just repeat, repeat, repeat. Orwell would clap his hands (not because he agreed with the atrocious politics but the lesson is learnt).
Added to the whipped up anti-Russia, decidedly anti-Putin crapola – is of course the Russian peoples’ vote, decision making on their own country’s changes to the Basic Law (a form of Constitution). When the radio broadcasts the usual sickening anti-Russian/Putin propaganda regarding this vote immediately prior they would state that the changes would install Putin for many more years: no mention that he would have to be elected, i.e. voted by the populace into the presidency. (This was repeated ad infinitum without any elaboration.) No other proposed changes were mentioned – certainly not that the Duma would gain greater control over the governance of the country and over the president’s cabinet. I.e. that the popularly elected (ain’t that what we call democracy??) representatives in the Duma (parliament) would essentially have more power than the president.
But most significantly, to my mind, no one has (well of course not – this is Russia) raised the issue of the fact that it was the Russian people, the vox populi/hoi polloi, who have had some say in how they are to be governed, how their government will work for them. HOW much say have we had/do we have in how our government functions, works – let alone for us, the hoi polloi? When did we the citizenry last have a voting say on ANY sentence in the Constitution that governs us??? Ummm I do believe it was the creation of the wealthy British descended slave holding, real estate ethnic-cleansing lot who wrote and ratified the original document and the hardly dissimilar Congressional and state types who have over the years written and voted on various amendments. And it is the members of the upper classes in the Supreme Court who adjudicate on its application to various problems.
BUT We the hoi polloi have never, ever had a direct opportunity to individually vote for or against any single part of the Constitution which is supposed to be the “democratic” superstructure which governs us. Unlike the Russians a couple of days ago.
Richard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 15:48
“HOW much say have we had/do we have in how our government functions, works…” See, that’s your mistake right there. WE don’t have a government. We need one, but we ain’t got one. THEY have a government which they let us go through the motions of electing. ‘Member back when Bernie was talking about a Political Revolution?
Here’s a little fact for you. The five most populous states have a total of 123,000,000 people. That’s 10 Senators. The five least populated states have a total of 3.5 million. That’s also 10 Senators. Democracy anyone?
vinnieoh , July 4, 2020 at 09:37
There have been three coup d’état within the US within the lifetimes of most that read these pages. The first was explained to us by Eisenhower only as he was exiting his time from the national stage; the MIC had co-opted our government. The second happened in 2000, with the putsch in Florida and then the adoption by the neocon cabal of Bush /Chaney of the PNAC blueprint “Strategies for Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (Defenses – hahahaha – shit!). The third happened late last year and early this year when the bottom-up grass-roots movement of progressivism was crushed by the DNC and the cold-warrior hack Biden was inserted as the champion of “the opposition party.”
And, make no mistake that Kamala Harris WILL be his running mate. It was always going to be Harris. It was to be Harris at the TOP of the ticket as the primaries began, but she wasn’t even placing in the top tier in any of the contests. However, the poohbahs and strategists of the DNC are nothing if not determined and consistent. If Biden should win, we should all start practicing now saying “President Harris” because that is what the future holds. For the DNC, she looks the part, she sounds the part, but more importantly she is the very definition of the status quo, corporate ass-kisser, MIC tool.
The professional political class have fully colluded to fatally cripple this democratic republic. “Democracy” is just a word they say like, “Where’s my kickback?” (excuse me – my “motivation”.) This bounty scam and the rehabilitation of GW Bush are nothing but a full blitzkrieg flanking of Trump on the right. And Trump of course is so far out of his depth that he actually believes that Israel is his friend. (A hint Donny: Israel is NO-ONE’S friend.)
What is most infuriating? hope-crushing? plain f$%&*#g scary? is that the majority of Americans from all quarters do not want any of what the professional political class keeps dumping on us. The very attempt at performing this upcoming election will finally and forever lay completely bare the collapse of a functioning government. It’s going to be very ugly, and it may very well be the end. Dog help us all.
Richard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 15:51
Don’t you think that the assassination of JFK counts as a coup d’etat?
Zhu , July 7, 2020 at 02:10
Apres moi, le Deluge.
John Drake , July 7, 2020 at 11:25
Oh gosh how can you forget the Kennedy Assassination. Most people don’t realize he was had ordered the removal of a thousand advisors from Vietnam starting the process of completely cutting bait there, as he had in Laos and Cambodia. All of which made the generals apoplectic. The great secret about Vietnam-which Ellsberg discovered much latter, and mentioned in his book Secrets, another good read- was that every president had been warned it was likely futile. Kennedy was the only one who took that intelligence seriously-like it was actually intelligent intelligence.
Enter stage right Allen Dulles (fired CIA chief), the anti Castro Cubans, the Mafia and most important the MIC; exit Jack Kennedy.
Douglas, JFK why he died and why it matters is the best work on the subject. And no Oswald did not do it; it was a sniper team from different angles, but read the book it gets complicated.
Roger , July 4, 2020 at 09:11
from Counterpunch.org : “Around 15,000 Soviet troops perished in the Afghan War between 1979 and 1989. The US funneled more than $20 billion to the Mujahideen and other anti-Soviet fighters over that same period. This works out to a “bounty” of $1.33 million for each Soviet soldier killed.”
Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 08:35
I am wondering how Cheney and Crow can block Trump from withdrawing the troops from Afghanistan. Is Trump Commander in Chief, or not? How can two senators stop the Commander in Chief from commanding troop movements? I realize they control the budget, but aren’t they crossing into illegality by restricting Trump’s ability to “command”?
Toad Sprocket , July 4, 2020 at 16:49
Yeah, I imagine it’s illegal. Didn’t Lindsay Graham threaten the same thing when Trump was thinking of pulling troops/”advisers” from Syria? And other congress warmongers joined in though I don’t think any legislation was passed. They can’t be bothered to authorize the starts of wars but want to step in when someone tries to end them.
Oh, and Schumer on South Korea troops, I think that one did pass. Almost certainly illegal if it came down to it, but our government is of course lawless. And our courts full of judges who are bought off or moronic or both.
dean 1000 , July 4, 2020 at 06:52
The soft coup attempt continues Ray. More lies and bullshit. It may continue until election day. Will the media fess-up to its lies after the fact again?
Francis Lee , July 4, 2020 at 04:49
“Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy.”
Yes, of course it is a well-known ‘fact’ that Putin has nothing better to do than destory American democracy, and I bet he has dreams about it too! But I am minded to think that if anybody has a penchant for destroying American democracy it is the powers that be in the US deep state, intelligence agencies, and zionist cliques controlling the President and Congress.
”Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”
The American establishment seems to be suffering from a bad case of ‘projection’ as psychiatrists call it. That is to say accusing others of what they are themselves actually doing.
The whole idiotic circus would be hilarious if it were not so serious.
Antonia Young , July 4, 2020 at 12:20
Putin’s (and by extension the Russian Federation’s) primary objective is international stability. “Destroying America, dividing Americans is the last thing he wants.) Putin learned many lessons during the break-up of the U.S.S.R. observing the carpet baggers/oligarchs/vultures who descended on the weak nation, absconding with it’s wealth and resources at mere fractions of their real value. The deep state’s worst fear is the co-operation btwn Putin and President Trump to make the world more peaceful, stable, co-operative and prosperous.
rosemerry , July 4, 2020 at 16:10
The whole conceited and arrogant “belief” that
- The USA has any resemblance to a democracy and
- Pres. Putin has nothing else to do but think how he could do a better job of showing the destructive and irresponsible behavior of the USA than its own leaders” and media can do with no help has no basis in reality.
If anything, Putin is such a stickler for international law, negotiations, avoidance of conflict that he is regarded by many as too Christian for this modern, individualistic, LBGTQ, ”nobody matters but me” worldview of the USA!
Steve Naidamast , July 5, 2020 at 19:54
“If the enemy is self destructing, let them continue to do so…”
Zhu , July 7, 2020 at 02:17
“zionist cliques”: Christian Zionist fighting Fundies, eager for the End of the World, the Second Coming of Jesus.
delia ruhe , July 4, 2020 at 01:09
Yup, we got a Bountygate. Since my early morning visit to the Foreign Policy site, the place has exploded with breathless articles on the dastardly Putin and the cowardly Trump, who has so far failed to hold Putin to account. Reminded me of a similar explosion there when Russiagate finally got the attention the Dems thought it deserved.
(Anyone think that the intel community pays a fee to each of the FP columnists whenever one of their a propaganda narratives needs a push to get it off the ground?)
JOHN CHUCKMAN , July 4, 2020 at 08:52
Udo Ulfkotte was a German journalist. He wrote a sensational book about the practices he experienced of the CIA paying German journalists to publish certain stories. The book was a big best seller in Germany. Its English translation was suppressed for years, but I believe is now available.
Susan Siens , July 5, 2020 at 16:30
Reply to John Chuckman: I’d love to read this book but it wasn’t available a few years ago when I looked. I’ll look again!
Voice from Europe , July 6, 2020 at 11:52
Gekaufte journalisten. Ulfkotte admitted he signed off on numerous articles that were prepared for him during his career. The last year’s of his life he changed his mores and advocated “better die in truth than live with lies”.
Richard A. , July 4, 2020 at 00:59
I remember the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour from decades ago. Real experts on Russia like Dimitri Simes and Stephen Cohen were the ones to appear on that NewsHour. The NewsHour of today rarely has experts on Russia, just experts on Russia bashing–like Michael McFaul. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
Antonia Young , July 3, 2020 at 23:35
Thank you, Ray for your clarion voice in the midst of WMD-seventeen-point-oh. Will the American people have the wisdom to notice how many times we’re being fooled? And finally wake up and stop supporting these questionable news outlets? With appreciation for your excellent analysis, as usual. ~Tonia Young (Formerly with the Topanga Peace Alliance)
Blessthebeasts , July 4, 2020 at 11:55
The majority of Americans have a lot more to worry about than the latest nonsense about Russia. I think most people just tune it out.
The ones being fooled are the fools who have been lapping this crap up from the get go. The supposed educated class who think themselves superior and well informed because they read and listen to the propaganda of PBS, NPR, NYT etc.
They don’t seem to realize the ship is sinking while they’re playing these ridiculous games.
Susan Siens , July 5, 2020 at 16:34
The supposedly educated class, yes! It can be stunning how people believe anything they hear on PBS or NPR, and then they make fun of people who believe anything they hear on Fox News. What’s the difference? Both are propaganda tools.
And, yes, watch us go down in flames while so-called progressives boo-hoo about Trump thinking he’s above the law (like every other president before him). Our local “peace and justice” group sent me an email asking me to sign a petition supporting Robert Mueller. I was gobsmacked, and then I realized our local “peace and justice” group had been taken over by Democratic Party “resisters.” Jeezums, why is every word hijacked?
Jun 29, 2020 | consortiumnews.com
One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia paid the Taliban to kill GIs as an attempt to pre-empt the findings into Russiagate's origins.
By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News
O n Friday The New York Times featured a report based on anonymous intelligence officials that the Russians were paying bounties to have U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan with President Donald Trump refusing to do anything about it. The flurry of Establishment media reporting that ensued provides further proof, if such were needed, that the erstwhile "paper of record" has earned a new moniker -- Gray Lady of easy virtue.
Over the weekend, the Times ' dubious allegations grabbed headlines across all media that are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans -- which seems to have been the main objective. To keep the pot boiling this morning, The New York Times' David Leonhardt's daily web piece , "The Morning" calls prominent attention to a banal article by a Heather Cox Richardson, described as a historian at Boston College, adding specific charges to the general indictment of Trump by showing "how the Trump administration has continued to treat Russia favorably." The following is from Richardson's newsletter on Friday:
- "On April 1 a Russian plane brought ventilators and other medical supplies to the United States a propaganda coup for Russia;
- "On April 25 Trump raised eyebrows by issuing a joint statement with Russian President Vladimir Putin commemorating the 75th anniversary of the historic meeting between American and Soviet troops on the bridge of the Elbe River in Germany that signaled the final defeat of the Nazis;
- "On May 3, Trump called Putin and talked for an hour and a half, a discussion Trump called 'very positive';
- "On May 21, the U.S. sent a humanitarian aid package worth $5.6 million to Moscow to help fight coronavirus there. The shipment included 50 ventilators, with another 150 promised for the next week;
- "On June 15, news broke that Trump has ordered the removal of 9,500 troops from Germany, where they support NATO against Russian aggression. "
Historian Richardson added:
"All of these friendly overtures to Russia were alarming enough when all we knew was that Russia attacked the 2016 U.S. election and is doing so again in 2020. But it is far worse that those overtures took place when the administration knew that Russia had actively targeted American soldiers. this bad news apparently prompted worried intelligence officials to give up their hope that the administration would respond to the crisis, and instead to leak the story to two major newspapers."
Hear the siren? Children, get under your desks!
The Tall Tale About Russia Paying for Dead U.S. Troops
Times print edition readers had to wait until this morning to learn of Trump's statement last night that he was not briefed on the cockamamie tale about bounties for killing, since it was, well, cockamamie.
Late last night the president tweeted: "Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or the VP. "
For those of us distrustful of the Times -- with good reason -- on such neuralgic issues, the bounty story had already fallen of its own weight. As Scott Ritter pointed out yesterday:
"Perhaps the biggest clue concerning the fragility of the New York Times ' report is contained in the one sentence it provides about sourcing -- "The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals." That sentence contains almost everything one needs to know about the intelligence in question, including the fact that the source of the information is most likely the Afghan government as reported through CIA channels. "
And who can forget how "successful" interrogators can be in getting desired answers.
Russia & Taliban React
The Kremlin called the Times reporting "nonsense an unsophisticated plant," and from Russia's perspective the allegations make little sense; Moscow will see them for what they are -- attempts to show that Trump is too "accommodating" to Russia.
A Taliban spokesman called the story "baseless," adding with apparent pride that "we" have done "target killings" for years "on our own resources."
Russia is no friend of the Taliban. At the same time, it has been clear for several years that the U.S. would have to pull its troops out of Afghanistan. Think back five decades and recall how circumspect the Soviets were in Vietnam. Giving rhetorical support to a fraternal Communist nation was de rigueur and some surface-to-air missiles gave some substance to that support.
But Moscow recognized from the start that Washington was embarked on a fool's errand in Vietnam. There would be no percentage in getting directly involved. And so, the Soviets sat back and watched smugly as the Vietnamese Communists drove U.S. forces out on their "own resources." As was the case with the Viet Cong, the Taliban needs no bounty inducements from abroad.
Besides, the Russians knew painfully well -- from their own bitter experience in Afghanistan, what the outcome of the most recent fool's errand would be for the U.S. What point would they see in doing what The New York Times and other Establishment media are breathlessly accusing them of?
CIA Disinformation; Casey at Bat
Former CIA Director William Casey said: "We'll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false."
Casey made that remark at the first cabinet meeting in the White House under President Ronald Reagan in early 1981, according to Barbara Honegger, who was assistant to the chief domestic policy adviser. Honegger was there, took notes, and told then Senior White House correspondent Sarah McClendon, who in turn made it public.
If Casey's spirit is somehow observing the success of the disinformation program called Russiagate, one can imagine how proud he must be. But sustained propaganda success can be a serious challenge. The Russiagate canard has lasted three and a half years. This last gasp effort, spearheaded by the Times , to breathe more life into it is likely to last little more than a weekend -- the redoubled efforts of Casey-dictum followers notwithstanding.
Russiagate itself has been unraveling, although one would hardly know it from the Establishment media. No collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Even the sacrosanct tenet that the Russians hacked the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks has been disproven , with the head of the DNC-hired cyber security firm CrowdStrike admitting that there is no evidence that the DNC emails were hacked -- by Russia or anyone else .
U.S. Attorney John Durham. (Wikipedia)
How long will it take the Times to catch up with the CrowdStrike story, available since May 7?
The media is left with one sacred cow: the misnomered "Intelligence Community" Assessment of Jan. 6, 2017, claiming that President Putin himself ordered the hacking of the DNC. That "assessment" done by "hand-picked analysts" from only CIA, FBI and NSA (not all 17 intelligence agencies of the "intelligence community") reportedly is being given close scrutiny by U. S. Attorney John Durham, appointed by the attorney general to investigate Russiagate's origins.
If Durham finds it fraudulent (not a difficult task), the heads of senior intelligence and law enforcement officials may roll. That would also mean a still deeper dent in the credibility of Establishment media that are only too eager to drink the Kool Aid and to leave plenty to drink for the rest of us.
Do not expect the media to cease and desist, simply because Trump had a good squelch for them last night -- namely, the "intelligence" on the "bounties" was not deemed good enough to present to the president.
(As a preparer and briefer of The President's Daily Brief to Presidents Reagan and HW Bush, I can attest to the fact that -- based on what has been revealed so far -- the Russian bounty story falls far short of the PDB threshold.)
Rejecting Intelligence Assessments
Nevertheless, the corporate media is likely to play up the Trump administration's rejection of what the media is calling the "intelligence assessment" about Russia offering -- as Rachel Maddow indecorously put it on Friday -- "bounty for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan."
I am not a regular Maddow-watcher, but to me she seemed unhinged -- actually, well over the top.
The media asks, "Why does Trump continue to disrespect the assessments of the intelligence community?" There he goes again -- not believing our "intelligence community; siding, rather, with Putin."
In other words, we can expect no let up from the media and the national security miscreant leakers who have served as their life's blood. As for the anchors and pundits, their level of sophistication was reflected yesterday in the sage surmise of Face the Nation's Chuck Todd, who Aaron Mate reminds us, is a "grown adult and professional media person." Todd asked guest John Bolton: "Do you think that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election, and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?"
"This is as bad as it gets," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday, adding the aphorism she memorized several months ago: "All roads lead to Putin." The unconscionably deceitful performance of Establishment media is as bad as it gets, though that, of course, was not what Pelosi meant. She apparently lifted a line right out of the Times about how Trump is too "accommodating" toward Russia.
One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia as a reflection of the need to pre-empt the findings likely to issue from Durham and Attorney General William Barr in the coming months -- on the theory that the best defense is a pre-emptive offense. Meanwhile, we can expect the corporate media to continue to disgrace itself.
Caitlin Johnstone, typically, pulls no punches regarding the Russian bounty travesty:
"All parties involved in spreading this malignant psyop are absolutely vile, but a special disdain should be reserved for the media class who have been entrusted by the public with the essential task of creating an informed populace and holding power to account. How much of an unprincipled whore do you have to be to call yourself a journalist and uncritically parrot the completely unsubstantiated assertions of spooks while protecting their anonymity? How much work did these empire fluffers put into killing off every last shred of their dignity? It boggles the mind.
It really is funny how the most influential news outlets in the Western world will uncritically parrot whatever they're told to say by the most powerful and depraved intelligence agencies on the planet, and then turn around and tell you without a hint of self-awareness that Russia and China are bad because they have state media.
Sometimes all you can do is laugh."
Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-years as a CIA analyst he led the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and prepared The President's Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. In retirement, he co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.
Aaron , June 30, 2020 at 12:33
If anything, all roads lead to Israel. You have to consider the sources, the writers, journalists, editors, owners, and rich people from which these stories come. This latest ridiculous story will certainly help Trump, so the sources of these Russia stories are actually fans of Trump, they love his tax cuts, he helps their revenue streams, and he's the greatest friend and Zionist to Israel so far and also Wall Street. I think most Americans can understand that Putin doesn't possess all of the supernatural all-encompassing powers and mind-controlling omnipotence that Pelosi and her ilk attribute to him. That's why at his rallies, when Trump points to where the journalists are and sneers at them calling them bloodsuckers and parasites and all that, the people love it, because of stuff like this. It's like saying "look at those assholes, those liberal journalists over at CNN say that you voted for me because of Vladimir Putin?!" It just pisses off people to keep hearing that mantra over and over. So it's a gift to Trump, it helps him so much. And seeing that super expensive helicopter flying around the barren rocky slopes of the middle east, seems like it's out of some Rambo movie. And like Rambo, the tens of thousands of American servicemen that were sacrificed over there, and still commit suicides at a horrific rate, have always been treated by the architects of these wars that only helped the state of Israel, as the expendables. Whether it's a black life, a soldier fighting in Iraq, a foreclosed on homeowner by Mnuchin's work, or a brainwashed New York Times subscriber, we don't seem to matter, we seem to feel the truth that to these people were are indeed expendable. The question to answer I think is, not who is a Russian asset, but who is an Israeli asset?
Andrew Thomas , June 30, 2020 at 12:04
Great reporting as usual, Ray. But special kudos for the NYT moniker 'Gray lady of easy virtue.' I almost laughed out loud. A rare occurrence these days.
Michael P Goldenberg , June 30, 2020 at 10:45
Thanks for another cogent assessment of our mainstream media's utter depravity and reckless irresponsibility. They truly have become nothing more than presstitutes and enemies of the people.
Bob Van Noy , June 30, 2020 at 10:42
"It's all over but the shouting" goes the idiom and I think that is true of Russiagate, especially, thank all goodness, here at Robert Parry's Journalistic site!
I have a theory that propaganda has a lifetime but when it reaches a truly absurd level, it's all over. Clearly, we've reached that level Thanks to all at CN
evelync , June 30, 2020 at 10:33
You call Rachel Madcow "unhinged", Ray ..well, yes, I'm shocked at myself that there was a time that I tuned in to her show .
Sorry Ms Madcow you've turned yourself into a character from Dr Strangelove
The key threats – climate change, pandemics, nuclear war – and why we continue to fail to address these real things while filling the airwaves instead with the tiresome russia,russia,russia mantra – per Accam's razer suggests that it serves very short term interests of money and power whoever whatever the MICIMATT answers to.
"Former CIA Director William Casey said: "We'll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false." "
Who exactly was the "we" Casey was answering to each day?
I know it wasn't me or the planet or humanity or anyone I know.
Bill Rice , June 30, 2020 at 10:20
If only articles like this were read by the masses. Maybe people would get a clue. Blind patriotism is not patriotic at all. Skepticism is healthy.
torture this , June 30, 2020 at 09:54
It's a shame that VIPS reporting is top secret. It's the only information coming from people familiar with the ins and outs of spy agencies that can be trusted.
GeorgeG , June 30, 2020 at 09:45
You missed the juicy stuff. See: tass.com/russia/1172369 Russia Foreign Ministry: NYT article on Russia in Afghanistan fake from US intelligence. Here is the kicker:
The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed to US intelligence agencies' involvement in Afghan drug trafficking.
"Should we speak about facts – moreover, well-known [facts], it has not long been a secret in Afghanistan that members of the US intelligence community are involved in drug trafficking, cash payments to militants for letting transport convoys pass through, kickbacks from contracts implementing various projects paid by American taxpayers. The list of their actions can be continued if you want," the ministry said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry suggested that those actions might stem from the fact that the US intelligence agencies "do not like that our and their diplomats have teamed up to facilitate the start of peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban (outlawed in Russia – TASS)."
"We can understand their feelings as they do not want to be deprived of the above mentioned sources of the off-the-books income," the ministry stressed.
Thomas Fortin , June 30, 2020 at 12:08
Affirmative Ray, two of my old comrades who were SF both did security on CIA drug flights back in the day, and later on both while under VA care decided to die off God I miss them, great guys and honest souls.
DH Fabian , June 30, 2020 at 09:41
One point remains a mystery. Why would anyone think that when the US invades a country, someone would need to pay the people of that country a bounty to fight back?
Mark Clarke , June 30, 2020 at 09:27
If Biden wins the presidency and the Democrats take back the Senate, Russiagate will strengthen and live on for many years.
Al , June 30, 2020 at 12:11
All to deflect from Clinton's private server while SOS, 30,000 deleted emails, and the sale of US interests via the Clinton Foundation.
Zedster , June 30, 2020 at 12:56
That, or we learn Chinese.
Skip Scott , June 30, 2020 at 09:08
Another interesting aside is that Tulsi Gabbard's "Stop funding Terrorists" bill went nowhere in Congress. So it's Ok for us and our Arab allies to fund them, but not the Russians? Maybe we should go back to calling them the Mujahideen?
Thomas Scherrer , June 30, 2020 at 12:10
Preach, my child.
And aloha to the last decent woman in those halls.
HARRY M HAYS , June 30, 2020 at 09:01
Do you not think that the timing of all this (months after the report was allegedly presented to Trump) is an attempt to stop Trump from signing an agreement with the Taliban that will allow him to withdraw American troops from that country?
Skip Scott , June 30, 2020 at 08:58
Great article Ray, but I have to question whether Durham will fulfill his role and get to the bottom of the origins of RussiaGate. If he actually does name names and prosecute, how will the MSM cover it? What will Ms. Madcow have to say? Ever since the fizzling failure of the Epstein investigation, I have had my doubts about Barr and his minion Durham. I hope I'm wrong. Time will tell.
Thomas Fortin , June 30, 2020 at 12:24
I think on here I can talk about this issue you brought up Scott, on other places when I tried to have a rational discussion on the matter, I got shouted down, well they tried anyway.
I highly suggest to any readers of this here on Consortium to get Gore Vidal's old book, Imperial America, and also watch his old documentary, THE UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA.
Here is the point of it,
"Officially we have two parties which are in fact wings of a common party of property with two right wings. Corporate wealth finances each. Since the property party controls every aspect of media they have had decades to create a false reality for a citizenry largely uneducated by public schools that teach conformity with an occasional advanced degree in consumerism."
-GORE VIDAL, The United States of Amnesia
"There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt -- until recently and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties."
? Gore Vidal
Others have pointed out the same like this,
"Nobody should have any illusions. The United States has essentially a one-party system and the ruling party is the business party."
? Noam Chomsky
"In the United States [ ] the two main business-dominated parties, with the support of the corporate community, have refused to reform laws that make it virtually impossible to create new political parties (that might appeal to non-business interests) and let them be effective. Although there is marked and frequently observed dissatisfaction with the Republicans and Democrats, electoral politics is one area where notions of competitions and free choice have little meaning. In some respects the caliber of debate and choice in neoliberal elections tends to be closer to that of the one-party communist state than that of a genuine democracy."
? Robert W. McChesney, Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order
"The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies is a foolish idea. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies."
? Carroll Quigley [1910 – 1977 was an American historian and theorist of the evolution of civilizations. He is remembered for his teaching work as a professor at Georgetown University, for his academic publications.]
Teddy Roosevelt, whose statue is under attack in NYC, had this to say,
"The bosses of the Democratic party and the bosses of the Republican party alike have a closer grip than ever before on the party machines in the States and in the Nation. This crooked control of both the old parties by the beneficiaries of political and business privilege renders it hopeless to expect any far-reaching and fundamental service from either."
-THEODORE ROOSEVELT, The Outlook, July 27, 1912
I suggest also that you look up on line this article, Heads They Win, Tails We Lose: Our Fake Two-Party System
by Prof. Stephen H. Unger at Columbia, here is his concluding thought,
"The drift toward loss of liberty, unending wars, environmental degradation, growing economic inequality can't be stopped easily, but it will never be halted as long as we allow corporate interests to rule our country by means of a pseudo-democracy based on the two-party swindle."
With this all in mind, and if your my age, you might recall about how over the past more then 50 years, no matter which party gets in power, nothing of any significance changes, the wars continue, the transfer of wealth to the few, and the erosion of basic civil liberties continues pretty well unabated.
Trump is surrounded by neo-cons and I expect nothing will happen to change anything. I would get into how most called liberals are hardly that, but in reality neo-cons, but I've said enough for now, when you consider the statements I shared, then the Matrix begins to come unraveled.
Grady , June 30, 2020 at 08:01
Not to mention the potential peace initiative with Afghanistan and Taliban that is looming. Peace is not profitable, so who has the dual interests in maintaining protracted war in a strategic location while ensuring the poppy crop stays the most productive in the world? It seems said poppy production under the pre war Taliban government was minimal as they eliminated most of it. Attacking the Taliban and thwarting its rule allowed for greater production, to the extent it is the global leader in helping to fulfill the opiate demand. Gary Webb established long ago that the intelligence community, specifically the CIA, has somewhat of a tradition in such covert operations and logic would dictate they're vested interest lies in maintaining a high yield crop while feeding the profit center that is the MIC war machine. While certainly a bit digressive, the dots are there to connect.
Paul , June 30, 2020 at 07:54
My friend, I love your columns. Thank you, you have been one of the few sane voices on Russiagate from the beginning.
Sadly most Americans and most people in the world will not receive these simple truths you are telling. (not their fault)
We will continue our fight against the system.
Peace, Paul from South Africa
Voice from Europe , June 30, 2020 at 07:38
Don't think this will be the last Russiagate gasp whoever becomes the next president.
The 'liberal democrats' believe their own delusions and as long as they control the MSM, they won't stop. Lol.
Thomas Fortin , June 30, 2020 at 12:29
You should read my reply to Scott, most of these Democrats are not liberals, but neo-cons who just liberal virtue signal while in reality supporting the neo-con agenda. I hate it how the so called alternative or independent media abuse terms and words, which obscures realities. Anyway, take a look at my reply and the quotes I shared.
"Definition of liberal, one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways, progressive, broad-minded, . willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one's own; open to new ideas, denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise."
? Derived from Webster's and the Oxford Dictionaries
"Liberal' comes from the Latin liberalis, which means pertaining to a free man. In politics, to be liberal is to want to extend democracy through change and reform. One can see why that word had to be erased from our political lexicon."
? Gore Vidal, "The Great Unmentionable: Monotheism and its Discontents," The Lowell Lecture, Harvard University, April 20, 1992.
Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:23
Er, hypocrisy much?
"'Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad,' says ex-CIA chief backing Clinton"
Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:13
Once again I would like to compliment Mr McGovern on his magnificently Biblical appearance. That full set would do credit to any Old Testament prophet.
I see him as the USA's own Jeremiah.
Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:12
Seeing that picture of Johnson's sad, wicked bloodhound features really, really makes me wish I had had a chance to be outside his tent pissing in. I'd have been careful to drink as many gallons of beer as possible beforehand.
Although it would have been better, from a humanitarian pont of view, just to set fire to the tent.
Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:10
"Historian Richardson "
Clearly a serious exaggeration.
Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:09
Ah, the Chinook! The 60-year-old helicopter that epitomises everything Afghan patriots love about the USA. It's big, fat, slow, clumsy, unmanoeuvrable, and may carry enough US troops to make shooting it down a damaging political blow against Washington.
Vivek , June 30, 2020 at 05:43
What do you make of Barbara Honeggar's second career as a alternative story peddler?
CNfan , June 30, 2020 at 03:43
A brilliant piece, with a deft touch depicting the timeless human follies running our foreign policy circus. Real-world experience, perspective, and courage like Ray's were the dream of the drafters of our 1st Amendment. And ending with Caitlin's hammer was effective. As to who benefits? I suspect the neocons – our resident war-addicts and Israeli assets. Paraphrasing Nancy, "All roads lead to Netanyahu."
Ehzal , June 30, 2020 at 03:12
So,Russia what will do in next Upcoming Years during these covid-19.
Realist , June 30, 2020 at 02:54
Ray, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has embraced these allegations against Russia as the gospel truth and has threatened to seek revenge against Putin once he occupies the White House.
He said Americans who serve in the military put their life on the line. "But they should never, never, never ever face a threat like this with their commander in chief turning a blind eye to a foreign power putting a bounty on their heads."
"I'm quite frankly outraged by the report," Biden said. He promised that if he is elected, "Putin will be confronted and we'll impose serious costs on Russia."
This is the kind of warmongering talk that derailed the expected landslide victory for the Queen of Warmongers in 2016. This time round though, Trump has seemingly already swung and badly missed three times in his responses to the Covid outbreak, the public antics attributed to BLM, and the Fed's creation of six trillion dollars in funny money as a gift to the most privileged tycoons on the planet. In baseball, which will not have a season in spite of the farcical theatrics between ownership and players, that's called a "whiff" and gets you sent back to the bench.
According to all the pollsters, Donnie's base of white working class "deplorables" are already abandoning his campaign–bigly, prompting the none-too-keen Biden to assume that over-the-top Russia bashing is back in season, especially since trash-talking Nobel Laureate Obama is now delivering most of the mute sock puppet Biden's lines. It was almost comical to watch Joe do nothing but grin in the framed picture to the left of his old boss during their most recent joint interview with the press. This dangerous re-set of the Cold War is NOT what the people want, nor is it good for them or any living things.
DH Fabian , June 30, 2020 at 10:18
Biden already lost 2020 -- in spite of the widely-disliked Trump. This is why Democrats began working to breath life back into Russia-gate by late last year, setting the stage to blame Russia for their 2020 defeat. We spent the past 25 years detailing the demise of the Democratic Party (replaced by the "New Democrat Party"), and it turned out that the party loyalists didn't hear a word of it.
John A , June 30, 2020 at 02:15
As a viewer from afar, in Europe, I find it mindboggling how the American public seem to believe all this nonsense about Russia. Have the people there really been that dumbed down by chewing gum for the eyes television and disgusting chemical and growth h0rmone laced food? Sad, sad, sad.
Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:17
John, I think there is something to what you say about dumbing down. I recall Albert Jay Nock lamenting, in about 1910, how dreadfully US education had already been dumbed down – and things have been going steadily downhill ever since.
But I don't think we can quite release the citizenry from responsibility on account of their ignorance. (Isn't it a legal maxim that ignorance is not an excuse?)
There is surely deep down in most people a sly lust for dominance, a desire to control and forbid and compel; and also a quiet satisfaction at hearing of inferior foreigners being harmed or killed by one's own "world class" armed forces.
TS , June 30, 2020 at 11:14
> As a viewer from afar, in Europe, I find it mindboggling how the American public seem to believe all this nonsense about Russia.
May I remind you that most of the mass media in Europe parrot all this nonsense, and a large segment of the public swallows it?
Charles Familant , June 30, 2020 at 00:50
Mr. McGovern has not made his case. To his question as to why Taliban militants need any additional incentive to target U.S. troops in Afghanistan, it is not far-fetched to believe these militants would welcome additional funds to continue their belligerency. Waging war is not cheap and is especially onerous for relatively small organizations as compared to major powers. What reason would Putin have to pay such bounty? The increase in U.S. troop casualties would provide Trump an additional rationale to bring the troops home, as he had promised during his campaign speeches in 2015 and 2016. This action would be a boon to his re-election prospects. Putin is well aware that if Biden wins in November, there is little likelihood of the hostility in Afghanistan or anywhere else being brought to an end. But, more to the point, the likelihood of U.S. sanctions against Russia being curtailed under a Biden presidency is remote. To what he deemed rhetorical, Mr. McGovern asks how successful were U.S. interrogators of such captured Taliban in the past, I remind him that there were opposing views regarding which techniques were most effective. Might not these interrogators have, in the present case, employed more effective means? Finally, it should not even be a question as to why any news agency does not reveal its sources. But in this case, the New York Times specifically mentions that the National Security Council discussed the intelligence finding in late March. Further, if it is true that Trump, Pence et al ignored the said briefs of which the administration was well aware, this should be no surprise to any of us. Case in point: how long did it take Trump to respond to the present pandemic? One telling observation: Mr. McGovern says that Heather Cox Richardson is "described as a historian at Boston College.' She is not just "described as a historian" Mr. McGovern, she IS a historian at Boston College; in fact, she is a professor at that college and has authored six scholarly works that have been published as books, the most recent of which in March of this year by the Oxford University Press. Mr. McGovern states that the points Richardson made her most most recent newsletter as "banal." I see nothing banal in that newsletter, but rather a list of relevant factual occurrences. Finally (this time it really is final), Mr. McGovern employs the use of sarcasm to discount what Richardson and others have contended regarding this most recent expose. And seems to give more credibility to the comments made by Trump and his cohorts, as though this administration is remarkable for its integrity.
Sam F , June 30, 2020 at 11:05
Plausible interest does not make unsupported accusations a reality. What bounties did the US offer?
Have you forgotten that the US set up Al Qaeda in Afghanistan with weapons to attack the USSR there?
Zhu , June 30, 2020 at 00:34
Come December this year, which losing party will blame which scapegoat? Russia? China? The Man in the Moon? It must be a hard decision!
Zhu , June 30, 2020 at 00:31
Unfortunately, bad ideas and conspiracy fictions rarely disappear completely. But that Afghans need to be paid to kill invaders is the dumbest conspiracy fiction yet.
Thomas Fortin , June 29, 2020 at 21:31
Excellent report Ray, as usual.
Interesting note here, I watched The Hill's Rising program, and listened to young conservative Saagar say, although he does not believe that Russia-gate is credible, he made the statement that Russia is supplying the Taliban weapons and wants us to get out of Afghanistan, and that is considered a fact by all journalists!
Saagar is a bit conflicted, he does not, but does believe the gods of intelligence, like so many did with the Gulf of Tonkin so long ago, I remember that all too well.
As I look out upon the ignorant masses and useful idiots who strain at those Confederate and other monuments, while continuing to elect the same old people back into office who continue the status quo, its a bit discouraging. We were told so long ago about our current situation, that,
"It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin." [James Monroe, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817]
As a historian of some sort and educational film maker, I do my best to educate people, though its a bit overwhelming at times how ignorant and fascist brain-washed most are. Monroe, like the other founders knew the secret of maintaining a free and prosperous republic, from the same piece, "Let us, then, look to the great cause, and endeavor to preserve it in full force. Let us by all wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties."
George Carlin got it right about why education "sucks", it was by design, so our work is cut out for us.
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
GMCasey , June 29, 2020 at 21:25
Why would Putin even bother? America and its endless wars is doing itself in. Afghanistan is said to be," the graveyard of empires." It was for Alexander the Great -- –it was for Russia and I suppose that it will be for America too -- -
DW Bartoo , June 29, 2020 at 20:50
Ray, I certainly hope that Durham and Barr will not wait too long a time to make public the truth about Russiagate.
Indeed, certain heads should, figuratively, roll, and as well, the whole story about who was behind the setting up of Flynn needs to, somehow, make it through the media flack.
Judge Sullivan's antics having been rather thoroughly shot down, though the media is desperately trying to either spin or ignore the reality that it was not merely Flynn that Sullivan was hoping to harm, but also the power of the executive branch relative to the judicial branch.
The role of Obama and of Biden who, apparently, suggested the use of the Logan Act as the means to go after Flynn, who we now know was intentionally entrapped by the intrepid FBI, need to be made clear as well.
Just as with the initial claims that torture was the work of "a few bad apples", when anyone with any insight into such "policy" actions had to have known that it WAS official policy (crafted by Addington, Bybee, and Yoo, as it turned out, directed to do so by the Bush White House), so too, must it be realized that it was not some rogue agents and loose cannons, but actual instructions "from above", explicit or implicit, that "encouraged" the behavior of those who spoke of "Insurance" policies designed to hamper, hinder, and harm the incoming administration.
Clearly, I am no fan of Trump, and while I honestly regard the Rule of Law as essentially a fairytale for the gullible (as the behavior of the "justice" system from the " qualified immunity" of the police, to the "absolute immunity" of prosecutors, judges, and the political class must make clear,to even the most giddy of childish believers in U$ purity, innocence, and exceptionalism, that the "law" serves to protect wealth and power and NOT the public), I should really like to consider that even in a pretend democracy, some things are simply not to be tolerated.
Things, like torture, like fully politicized law enforcement or "intelligence" agencies, like secret court proceedings, where judges may be lied to with total impunity and actual evidence is not required. As well as things like a media thoroughly willing to requrgitate blatant propaganda as "fact" (while having, again, no apparent need of genuine evidenc), or other things like total surveillance, and the destruction of habeas corpus.
One should like to imagine that such things might concern the majority.
Yet, a society that buys into forever wars, lesser-evil voting, and created Hitler like boogeymen, that countenances being lied into wars and consistently lied to about virtually everything, is hardly likely to discern the truth of things until the "Dream" collapses into personal pain, despair, and Depression.
Unless there is an awakening quite beyond that already tearing down statues, but yet still , apparently, unwilling to grasp the totality of the corruption throughout the entire edifice of "authority", of the total failure of a system that has no real legitimacy, except that given it by voters choosing between two sides of the same tyranny, it may be readily imagined, should Biden be "victorious", that Russiagate, Chinagate, Irangate, Venezuelagate, and countless other "Gates" will become Official History.
In which case, this is not a last gasp, of Russiagate, but a new and full head of steam for more of the same.
How easy it has been for the lies to prevail, to become "truth" and to simply disappear the voices of those who ask for evidence, who dare question, who doubt.
How easy to co-opt and destroy efforts to educate or bring about critically necessary change.
There are but a few months for real evidence to be revealed.
If Durham and Barr decide not to "criminalize policy differences", as Obama, the "constitutional scholar", did regarding torture, then what might we imagine will be the future of those who have an understanding of even those lies long being used, and with recent additions, for example, to torture Julian Assange?
All of the deceit has common purpose, it is to maintain absolute control.
If Russiagate is not completely exposed, for all that it is and was intended to be, then quaint little discussions about elite misbehavior will be banished from general awareness, and those who persist in questioning will be rather severely dealt with.
Antonia , June 30, 2020 at 11:43
ABSOLUTELY. Well said. NOW where to make the changes absolutely necessary?
Zalamander , June 29, 2020 at 18:47
Thanks Ray. There are multiple reasons for the continued existance of Russiagate as the Democratic party has no real answers for the economic depression affecting millions of Americans. Neoliberal Joe Biden is also an exceptionally weak presidential candidate, who does not even support universal healthcare for all Americans like every other advanced industrialized country has. That said, the Dems are indeed desperate to deflect attention away from the Durham investigation, as it is bound to expose the total fraud of Crossfire Hurricane.
Sam F , June 29, 2020 at 18:16
Thanks, Ray, a very good summary, with reminders often needed by many in dealing with complex issues.
Jun 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
JoaoAlfaiate , says: Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2020 at 2:48 pm GMTBefore confronting the Russians, it might be a good idea to regain control of Minneapolis and Seattle ..
Dec 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
likbez 12.27.19 at 10:21 pmJohn,
I've been thinking about the various versions of and critiques of identity politics that are around at the moment. In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new.
You missed one important line of critique -- identity politics as a dirty political strategy of soft neoliberals.
See discussion of this issue by Professor Ganesh Sitaraman in his recent article (based on his excellent book The Great Democracy ) https://newrepublic.com/article/155970/collapse-neoliberalism
To be sure, race, gender, culture, and other aspects of social life have always been important to politics. But neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity. Self-government requires uniting through our commonalities and aspiring to achieve a shared future.
When individuals fall back onto clans, tribes, and us-versus-them identities, the political community gets fragmented. It becomes harder for people to see each other as part of that same shared future.
Demagogues [more correctly neoliberals -- likbez] rely on this fracturing to inflame racial, nationalist, and religious antagonism, which only further fuels the divisions within society. Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, thus indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism that further undermines the preconditions for a free and democratic society.
The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy.
Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity.
Of course, the result is to leave in place political and economic structures that harm the very groups that inclusionary neoliberals claim to support. The foreign policy adventures of the neoconservatives and liberal internationalists haven't fared much better than economic policy or cultural politics. The U.S. and its coalition partners have been bogged down in the war in Afghanistan for 18 years and counting. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is a liberal democracy, nor did the attempt to establish democracy in Iraq lead to a domino effect that swept the Middle East and reformed its governments for the better. Instead, power in Iraq has shifted from American occupiers to sectarian militias, to the Iraqi government, to Islamic State terrorists, and back to the Iraqi government -- and more than 100,000 Iraqis are dead.
Or take the liberal internationalist 2011 intervention in Libya. The result was not a peaceful transition to stable democracy but instead civil war and instability, with thousands dead as the country splintered and portions were overrun by terrorist groups. On the grounds of democracy promotion, it is hard to say these interventions were a success. And for those motivated to expand human rights around the world, it is hard to justify these wars as humanitarian victories -- on the civilian death count alone.
Indeed, the central anchoring assumptions of the American foreign policy establishment have been proven wrong. Foreign policymakers largely assumed that all good things would go together -- democracy, markets, and human rights -- and so they thought opening China to trade would inexorably lead to it becoming a liberal democracy. They were wrong. They thought Russia would become liberal through swift democratization and privatization. They were wrong.
They thought globalization was inevitable and that ever-expanding trade liberalization was desirable even if the political system never corrected for trade's winners and losers. They were wrong. These aren't minor mistakes. And to be clear, Donald Trump had nothing to do with them. All of these failures were evident prior to the 2016 election.
If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump.
Initially Clinton calculation was that trade union voters has nowhere to go anyways, and it was correct for first decade or so of his betrayal. But gradually trade union members and lower middle class started to leave Dems in droves (Demexit, compare with Brexit) and that where identity politics was invented to compensate for this loss.
So in addition to issues that you mention we also need to view the role of identity politics as the political strategy of the "soft neoliberals " directed at discrediting and the suppression of nationalism.
The resurgence of nationalism is the inevitable byproduct of the dominance of neoliberalism, resurgence which I think is capable to bury neoliberalism as it lost popular support (which now is limited to financial oligarchy and high income professional groups, such as we can find in corporate and military brass, (shrinking) IT sector, upper strata of academy, upper strata of medical professionals, etc)
That means that the structure of the current system isn't just flawed which imply that most problems are relatively minor and can be fixed by making some tweaks. It is unfixable, because the "Identity wars" reflect a deep moral contradictions within neoliberal ideology. And they can't be solved within this framework.