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Demonization of Putin

Reuters/David W Cerny

PseudoScience > Who Rules America > Pathological Russophobia of the US elite

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Europe has manufactured an artificial "Russian enemy"
 in order to create an artificial "European identity"

Guy Mettan

Demonization of Putin is integral part of policy of the US and British elite toward Russia, designed to weaken, and, if possible, dismember the Russian state. It is also an instrument of increasing national unity by creating a demonized external enemy.

Russophobia of the US elite should be understood in the context of Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism as Russia represent an obstacle for complete domination of the globe by the US neoliberal empire. Nothing personal here, just business. Recent statements by Putin made at Valday club in Sochi (October 24, 2014) also do not produce any love to Putin from the global and first of all the USA neoliberal elite as well as London-based financial oligarchy. Not accidentally for both the US and GB elite Putin is a "Great Satan".

Like anti-Semitism, Russophobia is based on standard mechanism of Demonization (Wikipedia):

In colloquial usage, the term demonization is used metaphorically to refer to propaganda directed on delitimization of particular individual or group.

Delegitimization is the psychological process which undermines or marginalizes an individual or entity by presenting value judgments as facts which are construed to devalue legitimacy. The ultimate goal of justifying harm or war.

The concept applies to a wide spectrum of social contexts but generally means categorization of individual or groups into extreme social categories which are ultimately excluded from society. Delegitimization provides the moral and the discursive basis to harm the delegitimized group, even in the most inhumane ways.

It is related to stereotyping in a sense that it leads to prejudice when people emotionally react to the name of the person, ascribe evil intention and characteristic to the person or group without evaluating objective evidence.

As always in such cases three-letter agencies are in the vanguard of such complains (Is the CIA Running a Defamation Campaign Against Putin - Russia Insider)

A major topic in the Russian media is mystification with how Putin is portrayed in the Western media. Wildly popular at home, and seen as a decent, modest, an admirable person, and Russians don't understand how there can be such a disconnect with Western impressions.

Recently, leading Russian commentators and politicians have been suggesting that this can only be explained by a deliberate campaign to defame Putin, by governments or other groups.

Yesterday, at a briefing to foreign journalists, Sergey Ivanov, Putin's chief of staff, arguably the 2nd most powerful man in Russia, spoke of an "information war" consisting of "personal attacks" on Putin.

The western media hit a new low...
>The day before another member of Putin's inner circle, Vyasheslav Volodin, made similar remarks, telling foreign journalists "an attack on Putin is an attack on Russia."

The logic, they argue, is that by defaming the leader of a country, you weaken his power domestically by undermining popular support for him, and internationally, by rallying popular opinion to support policies against that country. The ultimate goal, they argue, is to weaken the country itself. They also talk about regime change.

They argue that if one looks at the facts, that there is evidence of ongoing character assassination which cannot be explained by a vague popular zeitgeist in the West, but is more likely the result of a dedicated effort to introduce this defamation into the news flow.

Newsweek has been one of the most virulent Putin-bashers for years

The issue of manipulation of news by intelligence services has been in the news recently with revelations that the CIA and German Secret Service (GSS) have long-running programs to influence how media executives and top journalists convey and interpret the news, including direct cash payments.

Here are some examples they point to:

RI sat down with The Saker, a leading analyst of Russia in international affairs, and asked him what he thinks:

So, is there any credence to this line of thinking, or is this conspiracy theorists running wild?

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the US is waging a major psyop war against Russia, although not a shooting war, for now, and that what we are seeing is a targeted campaign to discredit Putin and achieve "regime change" in Russia or, should that fail, at the very least "regime weakening" and "Russia weakening".

And the Economist has been the very worst of them all...

So this is a US government program?

Yes, Putin is absolutely hated by certain factions in the US government two main reasons:

1. He partially, but not fully, restored Russia's sovereignty which under Gorbachev and Yeltsin had been totally lost … Russia then was a US colony like Ukraine is today … and,

2. He dared to openly defy the USA and its civilizational model.

… a free and sovereign Russia is perceived by the US "deep state" as an existential threat which has to be crushed. … this is a full-scale political assault on Russia and Putin personally.

So what the Russians are saying, that the constant personal attacks against Putin in the global media are partly the result of deliberate efforts by US intelligence services, … basically, planted stories…

Yes, absolutely

It seems like “Operation Mockingbird” all over again… Are you aware of other instances aimed at Putin?

(Editors Note: Operation Mockingbird was a CIA program started in the 1950s to influence the US media, which was gradually exposed by investigative journalists starting in the late 60s, culminating in sensational televised congressional hearings in 1975 which shocked the nation, forcing the program’s termination. Critics maintain that the same tactics have continued since, under different programs. Wikipedia)

Yes, of course. Since this defamation has very little traction with the Russian public … Putin's popularity is higher than ever before .., there is an organized campaign to convince them that Putin is "selling out" Novorussia, that he is a puppet of oligarchs who are making deals with Ukrainian oligarchs to back-stab the Novorussian resistance…

… So far, Putin's policies in the Ukraine have enjoyed very strong support from the Russian people who still oppose an overt military intervention…

… but if Kiev attacks Novorussia again - which appears very likely - and if such an attack is successful - which is less likely but always possible - then Putin will be blamed for having given the Ukrainians the time to regroup and reorganize.

Warm and fuzzy...

So you are saying that if the Ukrainian military strengthens its position enough to deliver a serious blow to the East Ukrainians, the US can use this as a method to strike at Putin’s support base…

Yes, that’s right ... there are a lot of "fake patriots" in Russia and abroad who will reject any negotiated solution and who will present any compromise as a "betrayal". They are the "useful idiots" used by western special services to smear and undermine Putin.

Is it limited to government special ops, or are there other groups who might have an interest in doing this?

Yes, well here is something that most people in the west don’t appreciate… there is a major behind-the scenes struggle among Russian elites between what I call the "Eurasian Sovereignists" (basically, those who support Putin) and what I call the "Atlantic Integrationists" (those whom Putin refers to as the "5th column).

The western media talks about this as the struggle between Russian liberals and conservatives, reformers and reactionaries, right?

Well its sort of like that, but not exactly…

The former see Russia's future in the Russian North and East and want to turn Russia towards Asia, Latin America and the rest of the world, while the latter want Russia to become part of the "North Atlantic" power configuration.

The Atlantic Integrationists are now too weak to openly challenge Putin - whose real power base is his immense popular support - but they are quietly sabotaging his efforts to reform Russia while supporting anti-Putin campaigns.

Regarding the revelations of CIA activities in Germany, do you think this is going on in other countries, in the US?

I am sure that this is happening in most countries worldwide. The very nature of the modern corporate media is such that it makes journalists corrupt.

As the French philosopher Alain Soral says "nowadays a reporter is either unemployed or a prostitute". There are, of course, a few exceptions, but by and large this is true.

This is not to say that most journalists are on the take. In the West this is mostly done in a more subtle way - by making it clear which ideas do or do not pass the editorial control, by lavishly rewarding those journalists who 'get it' and by quietly turning away those who don't.

If a journalist or reporter commits the crime of "crimethink" he or she will be sidelined and soon out of work.

There is no real pluralism in the West where the boundaries of what can be said or not are very strictly fixed.

Ok, but is it like what has been revealed in Germany, …similar specific operational programs in France, the UK, Italy, Latin America, etc.

Yes, one has to assume so – it is in their interests to have them and there is no reason for them not to.

As for the CIA, it de-facto controls enough of the corporate media to "set the tone". As somebody who in the past used to read the Soviet press for a living, I can sincerely say that it was far more honest and more pluralistic than the press in the USA or EU today.

Joseph Goebbels or Edward Bernays could not have imagined the degree of sophistication of modern propaganda machines.

If the US is doing it, can't one assume other governments are too? Are the Russians doing it against western leaders?

I think that all governments try to do that kind of stuff. However, what makes the US so unique it a combination of truly phenomenal arrogance and multi-billion dollar budgets.

The US "deep state" owns the western corporate media which is by far the most powerful media on the planet. Most governments can only do that inside their own country ... to smear a political opponent or discredit a public figure, but they simply do not have the resources to mount an international strategic psyop campaign. This is something only the US can do.

So foreign governments are at a great disadvantage in this arena vis-a-vis the US?

Absolutely.

Quotes from Putin speech and answers to the questions at the meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club

 


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[Sep 20, 2018] The real target of Russiagate isn't Trump, it's you

Sep 20, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Sep 19, 2018 3:02:55 PM | link

Caitlin Johnstone on Russiagate : "The real target of Russiagate isn't Trump, it's you." If you haven't read her essay about controlling the narrative, you can find it here.

[Sep 19, 2018] First containership goes north of Russia from Asia to Europe

Sep 19, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al September 17, 2018 at 9:30 am

EUObserver: First containership goes north of Russia from Asia to Europe
https://euobserver.com/news/142837

A brand new ice-strengthened containership is heading straight into the annals of maritime history. As the first containership ever Venta Maersk is on its way through the still ice-plagued North East passage north of Russia from Asia to Europe.

Venta Maersk belongs to Seago Line, a shipping company owned by Denmark's A.P. Moller Maersk A/S, the world's largest container-shipping agency

The first stop in Europe, in Bremerhaven, Germany, is expected to take place in late September before Venta Maersk continues to St Petersburg, Russia.

Venta Maersk is one of seven ice-strengthened containerships that Maersk is currently having built in China.

The ships are 200 metres long, 35.2 metres wide and capable of shipping 3,600 containers, six metres long, through one metre of ice. ..

[Sep 19, 2018] 13 British hypothesis about Skripal poisoning

Sep 19, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile September 13, 2018 at 11:14 pm

The British Foreign Office almost immediately reacted to the RT scoop with its usual bluster: "Lies and obfuscation!"

Interesting accusation off HM government is that!

Since March 4 of this year, the British side has stated that:

  1. Yulia Skripal brought "Novichok" in her suitcase.
  2. The Skripals were poisoned with buckwheat.
  3. The Skripals were poisoned with bouquet of flowers at the cemetery. T
  4. he Skripals were poisoned with an UAV drone.
  5. The Skripals were poisoned through air conditioning in the car.
  6. The Skripals were poisoned with an aerosol.
  7. The Skripals were poisoned by Mikhail Savitskis (aka "Gordon") group, consisting of 6 killers.
  8. The killer/s poured "Novichok"onto a door handle.
  9. The Skripals were poisoned with "Novichok" in a form of a gel.
  10. The Skripals were poisoned with a perfume bottle (so it seems "Novichok" is still liquid).
  11. The killer/s poured "Novichok" in a public toilet.
  12. The killer/s poured "Novichok" in a hotel room.
  13. The Skripals were poisoned by 2 GRU* agents.

"Novichok" is a "5–8 times more lethal than VX nerve agent" and "the most deadly ever made", though it can't kill even 2 people.

*There has, in fact, been no such organization known as the GRU in Russia since 2010, when the official name of the unit was changed from ″GRU″ [ Главное разведывательное управление -- Glavnoye razvedyvatel'noye upravleniye ], namely "The Main intelligence Agency", to "The Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation", or ″GU″ [Главное управление Генерального штаба Вооружённых Сил Российской Федерации -- Glavnoye upravleniye General'nogo shtaba Vooruzhyonnykh Sil Rossiiskoi Federatsii ].

The Russian Embassy in London has been keeping a record of all the scenarios presented in the UK by the Govt/MSM and at the last count it was stated that there were 40 different, often contradictory, unproven scenarios.

Last week, the UK Ambassador to the UN, she who resembles a drag-queen well past his sell-by date, namely the inimitable Karen Pierce, attempted to take the piss out of Russia by stating at the UNSC that Russia had put forward 40 different accounts of what had happened, which ludicrous proposals simply proved how lacking in credibility the Russian government allegations are.

The reality was, however, that in presenting such accounts, Russia was taking the piss out of Her Majesty's Government and the sensationalist, Russophobic, warmongering British press and their more than 40 accounts of what happened in Salisbury last March.

The delectable Karen seemed unaware of this fact.

Recall, that Pierce is the woman, a high ranking British diplomat, no less, who believes that Russia (i.e. the Russian Federation that came into existence in 1991) was founded on many of Karl Marx's precepts.

yalensis September 14, 2018 at 2:13 am
Exactly! For Simonjan this unexpected interview was the scoop of the century.
The Russian press is going wild with this story.
One blogger wrote that some of the utterances of the 2 gopniki are rapidly becoming "winged phrases" compared only to snippets from Griboedov's "Woe from Wit".

Best example: "We returned to Salisbury to complete this business."
Simonjan (suspiciously): "What business?"
Gopnik: "To see the cathedral

[Sep 18, 2018] Putin and Erdogan Plan Syria-Idlib DMZ

Sep 18, 2018 | theduran.com

As I recommended in a post on September 10th , Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan jointly announced on September 17th, "We've agreed to create a demilitarized zone between the government troops and militants before October 15. The zone will be 15-20km wide," which compares to the Korean DMZ's 4-km width . I had had in mind the Korean experience, but obviously Putin and Erdogan are much better-informed about the situation than I am, and they have chosen a DMZ that's four to five times wider. In any case, the consequences of such a decision will be momentous, unless U.S. President Donald Trump is so determined for there to be World War III as to stop at nothing in order to force it to happen no matter what Russia does or doesn't do.

What the Putin-Erdogan DMZ decision means is that the 50,000 Turkish troops who now are occupying Idlib province of Syria will take control over that land, and will thus have the responsibility over the largest concentration of jihadists anywhere on the planet: Idlib. It contains the surviving Syrian Al Qaeda and ISIS fighters, including all of the ones throughout Syria who surrendered to the Syrian Army rather than be shot dead on the spot by Government forces.

For its part, the U.S. Government, backed by its allies and supported in this by high officials of the United Nations, had repeatedly threatened that if there occurs any chemical-weapons attack, or even any claimed chemical-weapons attack, inside Idlib, the U.S. and its allies will instantaneously blame the Syrian Government and bomb Syria, and will shoot down the planes of Syria and of Russia that oppose this bombing-campaign to conquer or 'liberate' Syria from its Government. The U.S. has announced its determination to protect what one high U.S. official -- who is endorsing what Trump is doing there -- "the largest Al Qaeda safe haven since 9/11." He admits it, but he wants to protect them from being bombed by Syria and by Russia.

During recent weeks, the U.S. military has increasingly said that even if the jihadists they've been assisting to assemble the materials for a chemical-weapons attack fail to carry it out or to stage one, any attempt by Syrian and Russian forces to destroy the jihadists (which the U.S. side calls 'rebels') in Idlib will be met with overwhelming U.S.-and-allied firepower. That would spark WW III, because whichever side -- Russia or U.S. -- loses in the Syrian battlefield will nuclear-blitz-attack the other side so as to have the lesser damage from the nuclear war and thus (in military terms) 'win' WW III, because the blitz-attack will destroy many of the opposite side's retaliatory weapons. In a nuclear war, the first side to attack will have a considerable advantage -- reducing the number of weapons the other side can launch.

If, on the other hand, the DMZ-plan works, then Turkey's forces will be responsible for vetting any of Idlib's residents who try to leave, in order to prohibit jihadists and their supporters from leaving. Once that task (filtering out the non-dangerous inhabitants and retaining in Idlib only the jihadists and their supporters) is done, the entire world might be consulted on whether to exterminate the remaining residents or to set them free to return to the countries from which they came or to other countries. Presumably, no country would want those 'refugees'. That would answer the question.

America's Arab allies, the oil monarchies such as the Sauds who own Saudi Arabia and the Thanis who own Qatar, and which have funded Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, would then be put on a spot, because if they say "Exterminate them!" then their clergy who have provided the moral imprimatur upon those families' ownership of those nations, will either be in rebellion or else will themselves become overthrown either by their own followers or else by their monarch -- overthrown from below or from above.

Alternatively, after Turkey's forces in Idlib will have allowed release from Idlib of all who will be allowed out, Syria's and Russia's bombers will simply go in and slaughter the then-surrounded jihadists and take upon themselves the responsibility for that, regardless of what the leaders of the U.S. and its allied governments might say.

On the night of September 17th in Syria, there were missile-attacks "from the sea" against several Syrian cities; and those attacks could have come from either Israel's or America's ships, or from other U.S.-allied ships. Russian Television bannered, "Russian plane disappears from radars during Israeli attack on Syria's Latakia – MoD" and reported:

A Russian military Il-20 aircraft with 14 service members on board went off the radars during an attack by four Israeli jets on Syria's Latakia province, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Air traffic controllers at the Khmeimim Air Base "lost contact" with the aircraft on Wednesday evening, during the attack of Israeli F-16 fighters on Latakia, said the MOD.Russian radars also registered the launch of missiles from a French frigate in the Mediterranean on the evening of September 17.
The attack on Latakia came just hours after Russia and Turkey negotiated a partial demilitarization of the Idlib province

If the missiles were authorized by President Trump, then WW III has already begun in its pre-nuclear stage. However, if the attacks were launched by Israel's Netanyahu, and/or by France's Macron, without U.S. authorization, then the U.S. President might respond to them by siding against that aggressor(s) (and also against what he used to call "Radical Islamic Terrorists"), so as to prevent a nuclear war.

Late on September 17th, Al Masdar News bannered "NATO warships move towards Syrian coast" and reported "The NATO flotilla cruising off the Syrian coast reportedly consists of a Dutch frigate, the De Ruyter, a Canadian frigate, the Ville de Quebec, and a Greek cruiser, the Elli." Al Qaeda and ISIS have influential protectors.

Ultimately, the decision will be U.S. President Trump's as to whether he is willing to subject the planet to WW III and to its following nuclear winter and consequent die-off of agriculture and of everyone, in order to 'win' a nuclear war, such as America's aristocracy has especially championed since the year 2006. The nuclear-victory concept is called "Nuclear Primacy" -- the use of nuclear weapons so as to win a nuclear war against Russia, instead of to prevent a nuclear war. That concept's predecessor, the "Mutually Assured Destruction" or "M.A.D." meta-strategy, predominated even in the U.S. until 2006. Trump will have to decide whether the purpose of America's nuclear-weapons stockpiles is to prevent WW III, or is to win WW III.

In Russia, the purpose has always been to have nuclear weapons in order to prevent WW III. But America's President will be the person who will make the ultimate decision on this. And Idlib might be the spark. Netanyahu or Macron might be wanting to drag the U.S. into war even against Russia, but the final decision will be Trump's.

The ultimate question is: How far will the U.S. go in order to continue the U.S. dollar as being the overwhelmingly dominant global currency?

-- -- -- -- --

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity .

[Sep 18, 2018] "Doorknob" version of Skripals poisoning was killed by Petrov - Boshirov story. Now UK authorities look really disingenuous.

Notable quotes:
"... The Gvmt. *slowly* latched onto the meme 'the Russians did it' thru pol. opportunism (Syria etc.) and/or as a cover up for some ugly and dismaying stuff. At every step of the way, they tardily re-calibrated, 'fixed' the narrative to jell with that script. A good ex. is DS Bailey: he was at first affected as a first responder to the Bench Scene, but much later, that was denied, and he was poisoned because he stole comatose Sergei's keys and went to his home where he "most likely" touched a Novichoked doornob. (Note the doornob tale leaves the door open (sic) to some mundane passers-by doing nefarious deeds.) ..."
"... After examining endless planeloads of Russian travellers to the UK, and thousands of hours of CCTV, they turned up these two (and kept their jobs and kiddies safe! Yay! ) ..."
"... The only link between the pair and the Skripal 'event' is the stated fact that 'minuscule traces of Novichok' were found in the Hotel in London they stayed in. This is complete BS, see for ex. even the Daily Mail! ..."
Sep 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette , Sep 17, 2018 9:07:22 AM | link

Petrov - Boshirov. To me they were utterly convincing. Mostly because they were absolutely terrified and utterly naive about doing a TV interview and answering questions.

RT, the interviewer and setting - an office - and the number of cameras were their conditions, I have read, and I believe it. They wanted to appear in public, rather than hide (no doubt following some excellent advice, and Putin's public assurance, saying he hoped they would come forward..) but had little idea beyond that except that they wanted to avoid being Center in a media circus - storm. (They need a PR expert and top-class lawyer.)

Why their gayness / not or what business they run legally or not-so-much and lots of other topics are invoked and puzzled over is because ppl simply cannot believe what happened here. (Imho!)

(Some weird event, possibly fabricated, organised by X, or strange happenstance, or whatever) .. sent Sergei and Yulia 'queer -- ill', as well as DS Bailey, and later, Dawn and Charlie (All connected to some 'event' that remains cloudy.)

The Gvmt. *slowly* latched onto the meme 'the Russians did it' thru pol. opportunism (Syria etc.) and/or as a cover up for some ugly and dismaying stuff. At every step of the way, they tardily re-calibrated, 'fixed' the narrative to jell with that script. A good ex. is DS Bailey: he was at first affected as a first responder to the Bench Scene, but much later, that was denied, and he was poisoned because he stole comatose Sergei's keys and went to his home where he "most likely" touched a Novichoked doornob. (Note the doornob tale leaves the door open (sic) to some mundane passers-by doing nefarious deeds.)

The investigators behind the computers acted under orders and under the imposed assumption

"Some Russian undercover(s) flew in on or around March 1,2,3, and poisoned a door in Salisbury, find a match."

After examining endless planeloads of Russian travellers to the UK, and thousands of hours of CCTV, they turned up these two (and kept their jobs and kiddies safe! Yay! )

The only link between the pair and the Skripal 'event' is the stated fact that 'minuscule traces of Novichok' were found in the Hotel in London they stayed in. This is complete BS, see for ex. even the Daily Mail!

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6139871/Owner-hotel-Russians-hid-novichok-told-police-killer-guests-YESTERDAY.html

(see also Grieved and Debsisdead above)

[Sep 17, 2018] The Dirty Dozen: 12 lies they tell you to anaesthetise you for the upcoming bombing of Syria by Peter Ford

Notable quotes:
"... There are more babies than jihadis in Idlib ..."
"... The reports [of the imminent chemical weapons 'attack'] must be truebecause Asad has done it before. ..."
"... The OPCW report on Douma was flawed because the Russians and ..."
"... Syrians caused delay ..."
"... Asad uses chemical weapons because they frighten large numbers of people into fleeing ..."
"... The OPCW won't be able to investigate because it won't ..."
"... The upcoming strikes are not aimed at regime change. ..."
"... It's all Russian disinformation ..."
"... There won't be enough time for parliamentary debate. ..."
"... MPs can't be told what is planned because it would ..."
"... eopardise the safety of service personnel. ..."
"... There are going to be massacres/a bloodbath/genocide. ..."
"... People have nowhere to go ..."
"... We can't tell you which armed groups we support because it would make them targets for Asad ..."
Sep 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The propaganda mills of the British and American governments - spokespersons, media, think tanks - are working overtime churning out 'talking points' to justify the upcoming large scale bombing of Syria on the pretext of use of prohibited weapons.

Here is a guide from a former insider to the top dozen of these lies.

  1. There are more babies than jihadis in Idlib . As it happens this gem of moral blackmail is untrue. There are twice as many jihadis (about 100,000) as babies (0-1 year) (55,000). What is this factoid meant to say anyway? Don't try to free an area of jihadis because you might harm a lot of children? The Western coalition scarcely heeded that consideration in razing Mosul and Raqqa in order to crush ISIS. They are still pulling babies out of the rubble in Raqqa.
  2. The reports [of the imminent chemical weapons 'attack'] must be truebecause Asad has done it before. False. Since 2013 when Asad gave up chemical weapons under supervision of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) the OPCW have not visited the sites of alleged attacks in jihadi-controlled areas but have accepted at face value 'reports' from pro-jihadi organisations like the White Helmets and the Syrian American Medical Society, along with 'evidence' from hostile intelligence agencies. In the case of the one site the OPCW did visit, Douma, their report said they found no evidence of sarin, no untoward traces in any of the blood samples taken from 'alleged victims' (their term), no bodies and only ambiguous evidence of use of chlorine.

3. The OPCW report on Douma was flawed because the Russians and Syrians caused delay . False. As documented in the OPCW report delay was caused by UN bureaucracy and jihadi snipers. The inspectors do not say their findings were to any significant degree invalidated by the delay.

  1. Asad uses chemical weapons because they frighten large numbers of people into fleeing . False. They don't. This desperate argument is trotted out to counter the fact that Asad would have to be stupid to use chemical weapons knowing what the result would be and that he would derive minimal military benefit. To date not one of the alleged chemical attacks has precipitated an exodus any greater than flight caused by the legendary 'barrel bombs'. The inhabitants of Douma by their own testimonies given to Western journalists were even unaware there might have been an attack until they heard about it in the media.
  2. The OPCW won't be able to investigate because it won't b e safe . A feeble excuse to preempt calls for establishing facts before bombing. The Turks escort Western journalists into Idlib. They have hundreds of troops there and the jihadis kowtow to them because they control all logistics. The Turks could escort OPCW. And wouldn't the jihadis be keener than anybody for the inspectors to visit if their claims were true?
  3. The upcoming strikes are not aimed at regime change. False. The plan is to decapitate the Syrian state with attacks on the presidency. Failing that the aim is to make Idlib a quagmire for the Russians. Anything to deprive Asad and Putin of victory, regardless of whether it prolongs the war.
  4. It's all Russian disinformation . Yeah, like the arms inspectors before the Iraq war who said no WMD in Iraq. Reality: the Russians have got great intelligence on what Western powers with their jihadi clients are up to and are calling out the phoney moves.
  5. There won't be enough time for parliamentary debate. Pull the other one. Reality: the government are terrified of a rerun of 2013 when Labour and 30 brave Tory MPs voted against bombing, causing Cameron and then Obama to back off.
  6. MPs can't be told what is planned because it would j eopardise the safety of service personnel. How low can you stoop? Feigning concern for flyers when it's really just about keeping the people in ignorance of how big the strikes are going to be.
  7. There are going to be massacres/a bloodbath/genocide. False. We heard all this hysteria before Aleppo, before Eastern Ghouta and before the campaign in the South. All vastly exaggerated. The Syrian Arab Army has not been responsible for a single massacre, while the jihadis have been responsible for many (source: quarterly reports of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria).
  8. People have nowhere to go . False. The Russians have opened safe corridors but the jihadis are not allowing people to leave. They can still leave for the northern border strip which Turkey controls, where there are camps, and many (including jihadi fighters) will be able to cross temporarily into Turkey.
  9. We can't tell you which armed groups we support because it would make them targets for Asad . Really? You think he doesn't know? Isn't it because you are terrified it will come out that we have been supporting some real head-choppers?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Ford_(diplomat)

[Sep 17, 2018] The Bluffer's Guide to Bombing Syria By Peter Ford

Notable quotes:
"... or, The Dirty Dozen: 12 lies they tell you to anaesthetise you for the upcoming bombing of Syria ..."
"... There are more babies than jihadis in Idlib ..."
"... The reports [of the imminent chemical weapons 'attack'] must be truebecause Asad has done it before. ..."
"... The OPCW report on Douma was flawed because the Russians and ..."
"... Syrians caused delay ..."
"... Asad uses chemical weapons because they frighten large numbers of people into fleeing ..."
"... The OPCW won't be able to investigate because it won't ..."
"... The upcoming strikes are not aimed at regime change. ..."
"... It's all Russian disinformation ..."
"... There won't be enough time for parliamentary debate. ..."
"... MPs can't be told what is planned because it would ..."
"... eopardise the safety of service personnel. ..."
"... There are going to be massacres/a bloodbath/genocide. ..."
"... People have nowhere to go ..."
"... We can't tell you which armed groups we support because it would make them targets for Asad ..."
Sep 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

or, The Dirty Dozen: 12 lies they tell you to anaesthetise you for the upcoming bombing of Syria

The propaganda mills of the British and American governments - spokespersons, media, think tanks - are working overtime churning out 'talking points' to justify the upcoming large scale bombing of Syria on the pretext of use of prohibited weapons.

Here is a guide from a former insider to the top dozen of these lies.

  1. There are more babies than jihadis in Idlib . As it happens this gem of moral blackmail is untrue. There are twice as many jihadis (about 100,000) as babies (0-1 year) (55,000). What is this factoid meant to say anyway? Don't try to free an area of jihadis because you might harm a lot of children? The Western coalition scarcely heeded that consideration in razing Mosul and Raqqa in order to crush ISIS. They are still pulling babies out of the rubble in Raqqa.
  2. The reports [of the imminent chemical weapons 'attack'] must be truebecause Asad has done it before. False. Since 2013 when Asad gave up chemical weapons under supervision of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) the OPCW have not visited the sites of alleged attacks in jihadi-controlled areas but have accepted at face value 'reports' from pro-jihadi organisations like the White Helmets and the Syrian American Medical Society, along with 'evidence' from hostile intelligence agencies. In the case of the one site the OPCW did visit, Douma, their report said they found no evidence of sarin, no untoward traces in any of the blood samples taken from 'alleged victims' (their term), no bodies and only ambiguous evidence of use of chlorine.

3. The OPCW report on Douma was flawed because the Russians and Syrians caused delay . False. As documented in the OPCW report delay was caused by UN bureaucracy and jihadi snipers. The inspectors do not say their findings were to any significant degree invalidated by the delay.

  1. Asad uses chemical weapons because they frighten large numbers of people into fleeing . False. They don't. This desperate argument is trotted out to counter the fact that Asad would have to be stupid to use chemical weapons knowing what the result would be and that he would derive minimal military benefit. To date not one of the alleged chemical attacks has precipitated an exodus any greater than flight caused by the legendary 'barrel bombs'. The inhabitants of Douma by their own testimonies given to Western journalists were even unaware there might have been an attack until they heard about it in the media.
  2. The OPCW won't be able to investigate because it won't b e safe . A feeble excuse to preempt calls for establishing facts before bombing. The Turks escort Western journalists into Idlib. They have hundreds of troops there and the jihadis kowtow to them because they control all logistics. The Turks could escort OPCW. And wouldn't the jihadis be keener than anybody for the inspectors to visit if their claims were true?
  3. The upcoming strikes are not aimed at regime change. False. The plan is to decapitate the Syrian state with attacks on the presidency. Failing that the aim is to make Idlib a quagmire for the Russians. Anything to deprive Asad and Putin of victory, regardless of whether it prolongs the war.
  4. It's all Russian disinformation . Yeah, like the arms inspectors before the Iraq war who said no WMD in Iraq. Reality: the Russians have got great intelligence on what Western powers with their jihadi clients are up to and are calling out the phoney moves.
  5. There won't be enough time for parliamentary debate. Pull the other one. Reality: the government are terrified of a rerun of 2013 when Labour and 30 brave Tory MPs voted against bombing, causing Cameron and then Obama to back off.
  6. MPs can't be told what is planned because it would j eopardise the safety of service personnel. How low can you stoop? Feigning concern for flyers when it's really just about keeping the people in ignorance of how big the strikes are going to be.
  7. There are going to be massacres/a bloodbath/genocide. False. We heard all this hysteria before Aleppo, before Eastern Ghouta and before the campaign in the South. All vastly exaggerated. The Syrian Arab Army has not been responsible for a single massacre, while the jihadis have been responsible for many (source: quarterly reports of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria).
  8. People have nowhere to go . False. The Russians have opened safe corridors but the jihadis are not allowing people to leave. They can still leave for the northern border strip which Turkey controls, where there are camps, and many (including jihadi fighters) will be able to cross temporarily into Turkey.
  9. We can't tell you which armed groups we support because it would make them targets for Asad . Really? You think he doesn't know? Isn't it because you are terrified it will come out that we have been supporting some real head-choppers?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Ford_(diplomat)

[Sep 16, 2018] Perils of Ineptitude by Andrew Levin

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is less shame in being undone by a "master of deceit." When J. Edgar Hoover coined that description, he had Communists in mind. Back then, though, "Ruskies" and "Commies" – it was all the same. Americans were conditioned to live in fear that the Russians were coming. ..."
"... That nonsense should have ended when Communism more or less officially expired in 1989, followed two years later by the demise of the Soviet Union itself. For a long time, it seemed that it had. At first, the reaction in Western, especially American, political and media circles was triumphalist. The war was over and our side won. Beneath the surface, however, there was mourning in America. ..."
"... With the Cold War, the death merchants, the masters of war, the neocons, and a host of others had had a good thing going. Having been born into it, the political class was comfortable with the status quo too; and generations of Americans had grown up imbibing Russophobia in their mother's milk (or infant formula). ..."
"... Before long, it became clear that our economic and political masters had nothing to worry about, that Cold War anti-Communism was more robust than Communism itself. ..."
"... That suited Bill Clinton and his First Lady, the former Goldwater Girl. Boris Yeltsin, Russia's leader, was their man. He was a godsend, a Trump-like cartoon character and a drunkard to boot – with an economy in tatters, and no rightwing base egging him on. ..."
"... The time was therefore right for a return of the repressed -- for full-blooded, fifties-style, anti-Communist (= anti-Russian) hysteria, or, since that still seemed far-fetched, for anti-Communist (= anti-Chinese) hysteria. ..."
"... Exactly what "Putin," the shorthand name for all that is Russian and nefarious, did, or is still doing, remains unclear. But this does not seem to bother purveyors of the conventional wisdom. Neither is ostensibly informed public opinion fazed by the fact that the evidence supporting the consensus view comes mainly from American intelligence services and from their counterparts in the UK and other allied nations. ..."
"... How ironic therefore that nowadays it is mainly bamboozled Trump supporters in the Fox News demographic -- people who could care less about peace or, for that matter, about truth -- who are wary of the CIA and skeptical of the FBI's claims! ..."
"... They do not even seem to notice that what they allege, vague as it is, is trifling compared to the massive and very open meddling of American plutocrats, Republican vote suppressers and gerrymanderers, and the governments of supposedly friendly nations – like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, and Israel ..."
"... Cold War revivalists can therefore rest easy, confident that their propagandists will have at least a few facts with which they can work to restore the perils of their vanished youth. ..."
"... Even so, the level of their hypocrisy is appalling. Russia, along with former Soviet republics and former members of the Warsaw Pact, has been bearing the brunt of far worse American meddling for far longer than anything sanctimonious defenders of so-called American "democracy" can plausibly allege. ..."
"... Hypocrisy reigns here too. It was the Obama administration – run through with neocons, liberal imperialists, and other holdovers from Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State – that did all it could to exacerbate longstanding tensions between that country's Ukrainian and Russian speaking populations, the better to complete NATO's encirclement of the Russian federation. And it was American meddling that led to the empowerment of virulently anti-Russian, fascisant Ukrainian politicians, much to the detriment of Russian speaking Ukrainians in the east. ..."
"... The Cold War that began after World War II involved a clash of rival political economic systems. The Cold War that reignited a few years ago involves a clash of rival imperialist centers. Its world more nearly resembles the one that existed before World War I than the one that emerged after World War II. ..."
"... However, the difference may be more superficial than it seems. The ease with which Cold War revivalists have been able to get the Cold War up and running again, even without Communism, suggests what a few observers have long maintained -- that the Cold War, on Russia's part, had little, if anything, to do with spreading Communism around the world, and everything to do with maintaining a cordon sanitaire around Russia's borders in order to protect against a demonstrably aggressive "free world." ..."
"... That part of Brzezinski's plan was at least a partial success. But inasmuch as Bush's "they" are still there, still spreading murder and mayhem throughout the Greater Middle East, America and the world has been paying a high price for the benefits, such as they were, that ensued. ..."
"... The never-ending wars set in motion by the "pivot" towards radical Islamism decades ago never quite succeeded in producing an enemy as serviceable as the USSR. But now that Putin's Russia has been pressed into service, that problem is potentially "solved." ..."
"... Efforts to recycle Bush's "they hate our freedom" nonsense ought to be non-starters. But this is the best Cold War revivalists have come up with so far. The Russians, they say, simply cannot deal with the fact that we Americans are so damned free. ..."
"... From a geopolitical point of view, Russia does have an interest in doing all it can to ward off Western aggression. It also has an interest in undermining strategic alliances aimed at blocking anything and everything that challenges American supremacy. And, until sanity prevails in Washington and other Western capitals, it arguably also has an interest in aiding and abetting rightwing nationalists in order to exacerbate tensions within Western societies. ..."
"... Clinton is bad, but Trump is worse -- not just by most measures but by all. Her fondness for war and preparations for war was alarming; she was bellicosity personified. But it was plain even before the election that Trump, a mentally unhinged narcissist, would be even more likely than she to bring on massive devastation. A vote for Trump was and still is a vote for catastrophe. ..."
"... For now, though, the hard and very relevant fact is that Trump has done nothing to help, and quite a few things to harm, Russia. ..."
"... It isn't just ordinary Russians who have been made worse off. Trump has been at least as hard on oligarchs close to Putin as Clinton would have been. ..."
"... If those damned Russians were half as smart as they are made out to be, they would have realized long ago that, for getting anything done that bucks the tide, Trump is too inept to be of any use at all; and that anything he sets out to do is likely to turn out badly not just for America and its allies but for Russia too. ..."
Aug 03, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

There is less shame in being undone by a "master of deceit." When J. Edgar Hoover coined that description, he had Communists in mind. Back then, though, "Ruskies" and "Commies" – it was all the same. Americans were conditioned to live in fear that the Russians were coming.

That nonsense should have ended when Communism more or less officially expired in 1989, followed two years later by the demise of the Soviet Union itself. For a long time, it seemed that it had. At first, the reaction in Western, especially American, political and media circles was triumphalist. The war was over and our side won. Beneath the surface, however, there was mourning in America.

With the Cold War, the death merchants, the masters of war, the neocons, and a host of others had had a good thing going. Having been born into it, the political class was comfortable with the status quo too; and generations of Americans had grown up imbibing Russophobia in their mother's milk (or infant formula).

It turned out, though, that American triumphalism was only a phase. Before long, it became clear that our economic and political masters had nothing to worry about, that Cold War anti-Communism was more robust than Communism itself.

However, in the final days of Bush 41 and then at the dawn of the Clinton era, nobody knew that. Nobody gave America's propaganda system the credit it deserved.

Also, nobody quite realized how devastating Russia's regression to capitalism would be, and nobody quite grasped the savagery of the kleptocrats who had taken charge of what remained of the Russian state.

For more than a decade, the situation in that late great superpower was too dire to sustain the old fears and animosities. Capitalism had made Russia wretched again.

That suited Bill Clinton and his First Lady, the former Goldwater Girl. Boris Yeltsin, Russia's leader, was their man. He was a godsend, a Trump-like cartoon character and a drunkard to boot – with an economy in tatters, and no rightwing base egging him on.

But anti-Communism (without Communism) and its close cousin, Russophobia, could not remain in remission forever. The need for them was too great.

In the Age of Obama, the Global War on Terror, with or without that ludicrous Bush 43-era name, wasn't cutting it anymore. It was, and still is, good for keeping America's perpetual war regime going and for undoing civil liberties, but there had never been much glory in it, only endless misery for all. Also it was getting old and increasingly easy to see through.

The time was therefore right for a return of the repressed -- for full-blooded, fifties-style, anti-Communist (= anti-Russian) hysteria, or, since that still seemed far-fetched, for anti-Communist (= anti-Chinese) hysteria.

This was not the only factor behind the Obama administration's "pivot towards Asia," its largely failed attempt to take China down a notch or two, but it was an important part of the story.

However, by the time Obama and his team decided to pivot, China had become too important to the United States economically to make a good Cold War enemy. Worse still, it had for too long been an object of pity and contempt, not fear.

When the Soviet Union was an enemy, China was an enemy too, most glaringly during the Korean War. It remained an enemy even after the Sino-Soviet split became too obvious to deny. However, unlike post-1917 Russia, it had never quite become an historical foe.

Moreover, as Russia began to recover from the Yeltsin era, the Russian political class, and many of the oligarchs behind them, sensing the popular mood, decided that the time was ripe "to make Russia great again." Putin is not so much a cause as he is a symptom – and symbol – of this aspiration.

And so, there it was: the longed for new Cold War would be much like the one that seemed over a quarter century ago.

***

As everyone who has seen, heard or read anything about the 2016 election "knows," Russian intelligence services (= Putin) meddled. Everyone also "knows" that, with midterm elections looming, they are at it again.

This, according to the mainstream consensus view, is a bona fide casus belli , a justification for war. To be sure, what they want is a war that remains cold; ending life on earth, as we know it, is not on their agenda.

But inasmuch as cold wars can easily turn hot, this hardly mitigates the recklessness of their machinations. Humankind was extraordinarily lucky last time; there is no guarantee that all that luck will hold.

Exactly what "Putin," the shorthand name for all that is Russian and nefarious, did, or is still doing, remains unclear. But this does not seem to bother purveyors of the conventional wisdom. Neither is ostensibly informed public opinion fazed by the fact that the evidence supporting the consensus view comes mainly from American intelligence services and from their counterparts in the UK and other allied nations.

Time was when anyone with any sense understood that these intelligence services, the American ones especially, are second to none in meddling in the affairs of other nations, and that the American national security state – essentially our political police -- is comprised, by design, of liars and deceivers.

How ironic therefore that nowadays it is mainly bamboozled Trump supporters in the Fox News demographic -- people who could care less about peace or, for that matter, about truth -- who are wary of the CIA and skeptical of the FBI's claims!

Try as they might, the manufacturers and guardians of conventional wisdom have so far been unable to concoct a plausible story in which Russian meddling affected the outcome of the 2016 election in any serious way. The idea that the Russians defeated Hillary, not Hillary herself, is, to borrow a phrase from Jeremy Bentham, "nonsense on stilts." Leading Democrats and their media flacks don't seem to mind that either.

They do not even seem to notice that what they allege, vague as it is, is trifling compared to the massive and very open meddling of American plutocrats, Republican vote suppressers and gerrymanderers, and the governments of supposedly friendly nations – like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, and Israel.

Nevertheless, it probably is true that the Russians meddled. Cold War revivalists can therefore rest easy, confident that their propagandists will have at least a few facts with which they can work to restore the perils of their vanished youth.

Even so, the level of their hypocrisy is appalling. Russia, along with former Soviet republics and former members of the Warsaw Pact, has been bearing the brunt of far worse American meddling for far longer than anything sanctimonious defenders of so-called American "democracy" can plausibly allege.

Moreover, it should go without saying that the democracy they purport to care so much about has almost nothing to do with "the rule of the demos." It doesn't even have much to do with free and fair competitive elections – unless "free and fair" means that anything goes, so long as the principals and perpetrators are homegrown or citizens of favored nations.

Self-righteous posturing aside, Putin's real sin in the eyes of the American power elite is that, in his own small way, he has been defying America's "right" to run the world as it sees fit.

When Clinton was president, Serbia did that, and lived to regret it. Cuba has been suffering for nearly six decades for the same reason, and now Venezuela is paying its dues. The empire is merciless towards nations that rebel.

With Soviet support and then with sheer determination and grit, Cuba has been able to withstand the onslaught to some extent from Day One. Venezuela may not be so lucky – especially now that Republicans and Democrats feel threatened by the growing number of "democratic socialists" in their midst. Already, the propaganda system is targeting Venezuelan "socialism," blaming it for that country's woes, and warning that if our newly minted, homegrown socialists prevail, a similar fate will be in store for us.

This is ludicrous, of course – American hostility and the vagaries of the global oil market deserve the lion's share of the blame. But the on-going propaganda blitz could nevertheless pave the way for horrors ahead, should Trump decide to start a war America could actually win.

Inconsequential Russian meddling is a big deal on the "liberal" cable networks, on NPR, and in the "quality" press. Democrats and a few Republicans love to bleat on about it. But it is Ukraine that made Russia our "adversary" and its president Public Enemy Number One.

Hypocrisy reigns here too. It was the Obama administration – run through with neocons, liberal imperialists, and other holdovers from Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State – that did all it could to exacerbate longstanding tensions between that country's Ukrainian and Russian speaking populations, the better to complete NATO's encirclement of the Russian federation. And it was American meddling that led to the empowerment of virulently anti-Russian, fascisant Ukrainian politicians, much to the detriment of Russian speaking Ukrainians in the east.

But never mind: Putin – that is, the Russia government – violated international law by sending troops briefly into beleaguered Russian-speaking parts of the country. That they were generally welcomed by the people living there is of no importance.

Worst of all, Russia annexed Crimea – a territory integral to the Russian empire since the eighteenth century. Since long before the Russian Revolution, Crimea has been home to a huge naval base vital to Russia's strategic defense.

The story line back in the day was that anything that could be described as Russian aggression outside the Soviet Union's agreed upon sphere of influence had to do with spreading Communism. In fact, the Soviets did everything they could to keep Communist and other insurgencies from upending the status quo. The mainstream narrative was wrong.

Now Communism is gone and nothing has taken its place. Even so, the idea that Russia has designs on its neighbors for ideological reasons is hard to shake – in part because it is actively promoted by propagandists who have suddenly and uncharacteristically become defenders of international law.

Meanwhile, of course, the hypocrisies keep piling on. It is practically a tenet of the American civil religion that international law applies to others, not to the United States. This is why, when it suits some perceived purpose, America flaunts its violations shamelessly.

Thus nothing the Russians did or are ever likely to do comes close to the shenanigans Bill Clinton displayed – successfully, for the most part – in his efforts to tear Kosovo away from Serbia. Clinton even went so far as to bomb Belgrade; Putin never bombed Kiev.

The Cold War that began after World War II involved a clash of rival political economic systems. The Cold War that reignited a few years ago involves a clash of rival imperialist centers. Its world more nearly resembles the one that existed before World War I than the one that emerged after World War II.

However, the difference may be more superficial than it seems. The ease with which Cold War revivalists have been able to get the Cold War up and running again, even without Communism, suggests what a few observers have long maintained -- that the Cold War, on Russia's part, had little, if anything, to do with spreading Communism around the world, and everything to do with maintaining a cordon sanitaire around Russia's borders in order to protect against a demonstrably aggressive "free world."

George W. Bush claimed that 9/11 happened because "they hate our freedom." "They" would be radical Islamists of the kind stirred into action in Afghanistan by Zbigniew Brzezinski and his co-thinkers in the Carter administration. Their objective was to undermine the Soviet Union by getting it bogged down in a quagmire like the one that did so much harm to the United States in Vietnam.

That part of Brzezinski's plan was at least a partial success. But inasmuch as Bush's "they" are still there, still spreading murder and mayhem throughout the Greater Middle East, America and the world has been paying a high price for the benefits, such as they were, that ensued.

The never-ending wars set in motion by the "pivot" towards radical Islamism decades ago never quite succeeded in producing an enemy as serviceable as the USSR. But now that Putin's Russia has been pressed into service, that problem is potentially "solved."

However, the American public is not as naïve as it used to be, and it is impossible to say, at this point, how well this new story line will work.

Efforts to recycle Bush's "they hate our freedom" nonsense ought to be non-starters. But this is the best Cold War revivalists have come up with so far. The Russians, they say, simply cannot deal with the fact that we Americans are so damned free.

It is hard to believe, but there are people who are actually buying this but, with a lot of corporate media assistance, there are. No matter how clear it is that they are not worth being taken seriously, Cold War mythologies just won't die.

However, it is worth pondering why today's Russia would do what it is alleged to have done; and why, as is also alleged, it is still doing it.

From a geopolitical point of view, Russia does have an interest in doing all it can to ward off Western aggression. It also has an interest in undermining strategic alliances aimed at blocking anything and everything that challenges American supremacy. And, until sanity prevails in Washington and other Western capitals, it arguably also has an interest in aiding and abetting rightwing nationalists in order to exacerbate tensions within Western societies.

However, in view of prevailing power relations, these are interests it cannot do much to advance. Acting as if this were not the case only puts Russia in a bad light -- not for meddling, but for meddling stupidly.

No doubt, for reasons both fair and foul, Putin wanted Hillary to lose the election two years ago. So, but for one little problem, would anyone whose head is screwed on right. That problem's name is Donald Trump.

Clinton is bad, but Trump is worse -- not just by most measures but by all. Her fondness for war and preparations for war was alarming; she was bellicosity personified. But it was plain even before the election that Trump, a mentally unhinged narcissist, would be even more likely than she to bring on massive devastation. A vote for Trump was and still is a vote for catastrophe.

Putin's enemy was Trump's enemy, and it is axiomatic that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" -- except sometimes it isn't. Sometimes, my enemy's enemy is an enemy far worse.

For reasons that remain obscure, Putin and Trump seem to have a "thing" going on between them. Some day perhaps we will know what that is all about. For now, though, the hard and very relevant fact is that Trump has done nothing to help, and quite a few things to harm, Russia.

It isn't just ordinary Russians who have been made worse off. Trump has been at least as hard on oligarchs close to Putin as Clinton would have been.

If those damned Russians were half as smart as they are made out to be, they would have realized long ago that, for getting anything done that bucks the tide, Trump is too inept to be of any use at all; and that anything he sets out to do is likely to turn out badly not just for America and its allies but for Russia too.

Therefore, if there really was Russian meddling, as there probably was, Putin should be ashamed – not so much for the DNC reasons laid out 24/7 on MSNBC and CNN, but for overestimating Trump's abilities and for underestimating the extent to which what started out as a maneuver of Hillary Clinton's, concocted to excuse her incompetence, would take a perilously "viral" turn, becoming a major threat to peace in a political culture that never quite got beyond the lunacy of the First Cold War.

Andrew Levine is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Sep 15, 2018] WADA committee recommends reinstating the "non-compliant" Russian anti-doping agency, RUSADA

Sep 15, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ort , Sep 15, 2018 3:58:24 PM | link

Well, this is a nice little ray of sunshine!

Perhaps it will inspire Dutch authorities to collectively "examine their conscience", and admit to cooking up the bogus MH-17 report that framed Russia or "pro-Russian" forces as the culprits who shot down the aircraft.

There's no connection, but somehow this resonates with the mildly surprising news that a WADA committee recommends reinstating the "non-compliant" Russian anti-doping agency, RUSADA. It's not a done deal yet, since apparently WADA insists that RUSADA officials validate WADA's show trial by confessing to its alleged crimes despite RUSADA's claims of innocence -- but it's promising news.

Is this the first stirrings of an "EU Spring?" ;)

[Sep 15, 2018] Why the US Seeks to Hem in Russia, China and Iran by Patrick Lawrence

Highly recommended!
The root of the current aggressive policy is the desire to preserve global neoliberal empire the US role as the metropolia with the rest of the world as vassals.
Notable quotes:
"... The crisis of U.S. foreign policy -- a series of radical missteps -- are systemic. Having little to do with personalities, they pass from one administration to the next with little variance other than at the margins. ..."
"... It began with that hubristic triumphalism so evident in the decade after the Cold War's end ..."
"... There was also the "Washington consensus." The world was in agreement that free-market capitalism and unfettered financial markets would see the entire planet to prosperity. ..."
"... The neoliberal economic crusade accompanied by neoconservative politics had its intellectual ballast, and off went its true-believing warriors around the world. ..."
"... Failures ensued. Iraq post–2003 is among the more obvious. Nobody ever planted democracy or built free markets in Baghdad. Then came the "color revolutions," which resulted in the destabilization of large swathes of the former Soviet Union's borderlands. The 2008 financial crash followed. I was in Hong Kong at the time and recall thinking, "This is not just Lehman Brothers. An economic model is headed into Chapter 11." One would have thought a fundamental rethink in Washington might have followed these events. There has never been one. ..."
"... Midway through the first Obama administration, a crucial turn began. What had been an assertion of financial and economic power, albeit coercive in many instances, particularly with the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, took on further strategic and military dimensions. ..."
"... The NATO bombing campaign in Libya, ostensibly a humanitarian mission, became a regime-change operation -- despite Washington's promises otherwise. Obama's "pivot to Asia" turned out to be a neo-containment policy toward China. The "reset" with Russia, declared after Obama appointed Hillary Clinton secretary of state, flopped and turned into the virulent animosity we now live with daily ..."
"... The U.S.-cultivated coup in Kiev in 2014 was a major declaration of drastic turn in policy towards Moscow. So was the decision, taken in 2012 at the latest , to back the radical jihadists who were turning civil unrest in Syria into a campaign to topple the Assad government in favor of another Islamist regime. ..."
"... In 2015, the last of the three years I just noted, Russia intervened militarily and diplomatically in the Syria conflict, in part to protect its southwest from Islamist extremism and in part to pull the Middle East back from the near-anarchy then threatening it as well as Russia and the West. ..."
"... Meanwhile, Washington had cast China as an adversary and committed itself -- as it apparently remains -- to regime change in Syria. Three months prior to the treaty that established the EAEU, the Americans helped turn another case of civil unrest into a regime change -- this time backing not jihadists in Syria but the crypto-Nazi militias in Ukraine on which the government now in power still depends. ..."
"... If there is a president to blame -- and again, I see little point in this line of argument -- it would have to be Barack Obama. To a certain extent, Obama was a creature of those around him, as he acknowledged in his interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... Think of Russia, China, and Iran, the three nations now designated America's principal adversaries. Each one is fated to become (if it is not already) a world or regional power and a key to stability -- Russia and China on a global scale, Iran in the Middle East. But each stands resolutely -- and this is not to say with hostile intent -- outside the Western-led order. They have different histories, traditions, cultures, and political cultures. And they are determined to preserve them. ..."
"... If you valued this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one. ..."
"... You don't mention corruption and profiteering, which go hand-in-hand with American Exceptionalism and the National Security State (NSS) formed in 1947. The leader of the world which is also an NSS requires enemies, so the National Security Strategy designates enemies, a few of them in an Axis of Evil. Arming to fight them and dreaming up other reasons to go to war, including a war on terror of all things, bring the desired vast expenditures, trillions of dollars, which translate to vast profits to those involved. ..."
"... How many Americans were against the assault by the Coalition of the Willing upon Iraq? Very few. ..."
"... Even in the lead up the war when the public was force fed a diet comprised entirely of State Dept. lies about WMDs by a sycophantic media, there was still a significant 25-40 percent of the public who opposed the war. ..."
"... "Conformism and its consequences, probably derived in part from Puritanism and further cemented by the alternating racisms of anti-indigenous and anti black attitudes- the history of the lynch mob and various wars against the poor which ended up in the anti-communist frenzies of the day before yesterday constitute the backbone of American history- is the disease which afflicts Washington." ..."
"... I have often wondered why the US was unable to accept the position of first among equals. Why does it have to rule the World? I know it believes that its economic and political systems are the best on the planet, but surely all other nations should be able to decide for themselves, what systems they will accept and live under? Who gave the US the right to make those decisions for everyone else? The US was more than willing to kill 20 million people either directly or indirectly since the end of WWII to make its will sovereign in all nations of the World! ..."
"... That is why I invariably raise JFK's Assassination as a logical starting point. If a truly independent commission would fix the blame, we could move on from there. Sam F., on this forum, has mentioned a formal legal undertaking many times on this site, but now is the time to begin the discussion for a formal Truth And Reconciliation Commission in America Let's figure out how to begin. ..."
"... A very good article. Spoiler and bully describe US foreign policy, and foreign policy is in the driver's seat while domestic policy takes the pickings, hardly anything left for the hollowed-out society where people live paycheck to paycheck, homelessness and other assorted ills of a failing society continue to rise while oligarchs and the MIC rule the neofeudal/futile system. ..."
"... When are we going to make that connection of the wasteful expenditure on military adventurism and the problem of poverty in the US? ..."
"... To substantiate this "crucial turn," Lawrence makes the unwarranted assumption that the goal post Soviet Union was simply worldwide free-market capitalism, not global domination: "Failures ensued. Iraq post–2003 is among the more obvious. Nobody ever planted democracy or built free markets in Baghdad"; and the later statement that the US wanted the countries it invaded to be "Just like us." ..."
"... Though he doesn't mention (ignores) US meddling in Russia after the collapse of the USSR, I presume from its absence that he attributes that, too, to the expansion of capital. Indeed, it was that, but with the more malevolent goal of control. "Just like us" is the usual "progressive" explanation for failures. "Controlled by us" was more like it, if we face the history of the country squarely. ..."
"... Is it really so wise to be speaking in terms of nationhood after we've undergone 50 years of Kochian/libertarian dismantlement of the nation-state in favor of bank and transnational governance? Remember the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski: ..."
"... "The "nation-state" as a fundamental unit of man's organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state." ~ Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages, 1970 ..."
"... Globalists themselves are drawn together by an ideology. They have no common nation, they have no common political orientation, they have no common cultural background or religion, they herald from the East just as they herald from the West. They have no true loyalty to any mainstream cause or social movement. ..."
"... What do they have in common? They seem to exhibit many of the traits of high level narcissistic sociopaths, who make up a very small percentage of the human population. These people are predators, or to be more specific, they are parasites. They see themselves as naturally superior to others, but they often work together if there is the promise of mutual benefit." ..."
"... Yet there is a thread that leads through US foreign policy. It all started with NSC 68. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSC_68 . Already in the 1950's, leading bankers were afraid of economic depression which would follow from a "peace dividend" following the end of WWII. ..."
"... To avoid this, and to avoid "socialism", the only acceptable government spending was on defense. This mentality never ended. Today 50% of discretionary govenmenrt spending is on the military. http://www.unz.com/article/americas-militarized-economy/ . ..."
"... The "why" behind the US foreign policies was spoken with absolute honest clarity in the "Statement of A. Wess Mitchell Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs" to the Senate on August 21 this year. The transcript is at : https://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/082118_Mitchell_Testimony.pdf ..."
"... Quote the esteemed gentleman (inter alia): "It continues to be among the foremost national security interests of the United States to prevent the domination of the Eurasian landmass by hostile powers. The central aim of the administration's foreign policy is to prepare our nation to confront this challenge by systematically strengthening the military, economic and political fundamentals of American power. " ..."
"... Patrick Lawrence's essay makes perfect sense only when it is applied to US foreign policy since the end of WW2. It is conventional wisdom that the US is now engaged in Cold War 2.0. In fact, Cold War 2.0 is an extension of Cold War 1.0. There was merely a 20 year interregnum between 1990 and 2010. ..."
"... Most analysts think that Cold War 1.0 was an ideological war between "Communism" and "Democracy". The renewal of the Cold War against both Russia and China however shows that the ideological war between East and West was really a cover for the geopolitical war between the two. ..."
"... Russia, China and Iran are the main geopolitical enemies of the US as they stand in the way of the global, imperialist hegemony of the US. In order to control the global periphery, i.e. the developing world and their emerging economies, the US must contain and defeat the big three. This was as true in 1948 as it is in 2018. Thus, what's happening today under Trump is no different than what occurred under Truman in 1948. Whatever differences exist are mere window dressing. ..."
"... There is no Cold War 2.0. It's a fallacy to create a false flag for regime change in Russia. Ms. Clinton, the Kagan family, the MIC, etc., figure if we can take out Yanukovich and replace him with Fascists/Nazis, what could stop us from doing the same to Russia. The good news: all empires fail. ..."
"... Mr. Lawrence is much too accommodating with his analysis. Imagine, linking US "foreign policy" in the same thought as "global stability", as if the two were somehow related. On the contrary, "global instability" seems to be our foreign policy goal, especially for those regions that pose a threat to US hegemony. Why? Because it is difficult to extract a region's wealth when its population is united behind a stable government that can't be bought off. ..."
"... I agree, Gerald. Enforcing the petro-dollar system seems to be the mainspring for much of our recent foreign policy militarism. If it were to unravel, the dollar's value would tank, and then how could we afford our vast system of military bases. Death Star's aren't cheap, ya know. ..."
"... +1 Gerald Wadsworth. It's not necessarily "Oil pure and simple" but "Currency Pure and Simple." If the US dollar is no longer the world's currency, the US is toast. ..."
"... And note (2) that Wall Street is mostly an extension of The City; the UK still thinks it owns the entire world, and the UK has been owned by the banks ever since it went off tally sticks ..."
"... Putin said years ago, and I cannot quote him, but remember most of it, that it doesn't matter who is the candidate for President, or what his campaign promises are, or how sincere he is in making them, whenever they get in office, it is always the same policy. ..."
"... Anastasia, I saved it: From Putin interview with Le Figaro: "I have already spoken to three US Presidents. They come and go, but politics stay the same at all times. Do you know why? Because of the powerful bureaucracy. When a person is elected, they may have some ideas. Then people with briefcases arrive, well dressed, wearing dark suits, just like mine, except for the red tie, since they wear black or dark blue ones. These people start explaining how things are done. And instantly, everything changes. This is what happens with every administration." ..."
"... Pres. Putin explained this several times when he was asked about preferring Trump to Hillary Clinton, and he carefully said that he would accept whoever the US population chose, he was used to dealing with Hillary and he knew that very little changed between Administrations. This has been conveniently cast aside by the Dems, and Obama's disgraceful expulsion of Russian diplomats started the avalanche of Russiagate. ..."
"... Many of the people involved in JFK's murder are now dead themselves, yet the "system" that demands confrontation rather than cooperation continues. These "personalities" are shills for that system, and if they are not so willingly, they are either bribed or blackmailed into compliance. ..."
"... Remember when "Dubya" ran on a "kinder and gentler nation" foreign policy? Obama's "hope and change" that became "more of the same"? And now Trump's views on both domestic and foreign policy seemingly also doing a 180? There are "personalities" behind this "system", and they are embedded in places like the Council on Foreign Relations. The people that run our banking system and the global corporate empire demand the whole pie, they would rather blow up the world than have to share. ..."
"... Bob and Joe, here's a solid review of Woodward's book Fear that points out his consistent service to the oligarchy, including giving Trump a pass for killing the Iran deal. Interesting background on Woodward in the comments as well. https://mondoweiss.net/2018/09/woodward-national-security/ ..."
"... "America's three principal adversaries signify the shape of the world to come: a post-Western world of coexistence. But neoliberal and neocon ideology is unable to to accept global pluralism and multipolarity, argues Patrick Lawrence." ..."
Sep 15, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

... ... ..

The bitter reality is that U.S. foreign policy has no definable objective other than blocking the initiatives of others because they stand in the way of the further expansion of U.S. global interests. This impoverished strategy reflects Washington's refusal to accept the passing of its relatively brief post–Cold War moment of unipolar power.

There is an error all too common in American public opinion. Personalizing Washington's regression into the role of spoiler by assigning all blame to one man, now Donald Trump, deprives one of deeper understanding. This mistake was made during the steady attack on civil liberties after the Sept. 11 tragedies and then during the 2003 invasion of Iraq: namely that it was all George W. Bush's fault. It was not so simple then and is not now.

The crisis of U.S. foreign policy -- a series of radical missteps -- are systemic. Having little to do with personalities, they pass from one administration to the next with little variance other than at the margins.

Let us bring some history to this question of America as spoiler. What is the origin of this undignified and isolating approach to global affairs?

The neoliberal economic crusade accompanied by neoconservative politics had its intellectual ballast, and off went its true-believing warriors around the world.

Failures ensued. Iraq post–2003 is among the more obvious. Nobody ever planted democracy or built free markets in Baghdad. Then came the "color revolutions," which resulted in the destabilization of large swathes of the former Soviet Union's borderlands. The 2008 financial crash followed. I was in Hong Kong at the time and recall thinking, "This is not just Lehman Brothers. An economic model is headed into Chapter 11." One would have thought a fundamental rethink in Washington might have followed these events. There has never been one.

The orthodoxy today remains what it was when it formed in the 1990s: The neoliberal crusade must proceed. Our market-driven, "rules-based" order is still advanced as the only way out of our planet's impasses.

A Strategic and Military Turn

Midway through the first Obama administration, a crucial turn began. What had been an assertion of financial and economic power, albeit coercive in many instances, particularly with the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, took on further strategic and military dimensions.

The NATO bombing campaign in Libya, ostensibly a humanitarian mission, became a regime-change operation -- despite Washington's promises otherwise. Obama's "pivot to Asia" turned out to be a neo-containment policy toward China. The "reset" with Russia, declared after Obama appointed Hillary Clinton secretary of state, flopped and turned into the virulent animosity we now live with daily.

The U.S.-cultivated coup in Kiev in 2014 was a major declaration of drastic turn in policy towards Moscow. So was the decision, taken in 2012 at the latest , to back the radical jihadists who were turning civil unrest in Syria into a campaign to topple the Assad government in favor of another Islamist regime.

Spoilage as a poor excuse for a foreign policy had made its first appearances.

I count 2013 to 2015 as key years. At the start of this period, China began developing what it now calls its Belt and Road Initiative -- its hugely ambitious plan to stitch together the Eurasian landmass, Shanghai to Lisbon. Moscow favored this undertaking, not least because of the key role Russia had to play and because it fit well with President Vladimir Putin's Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), launched in 2014.

In 2015, the last of the three years I just noted, Russia intervened militarily and diplomatically in the Syria conflict, in part to protect its southwest from Islamist extremism and in part to pull the Middle East back from the near-anarchy then threatening it as well as Russia and the West.

Meanwhile, Washington had cast China as an adversary and committed itself -- as it apparently remains -- to regime change in Syria. Three months prior to the treaty that established the EAEU, the Americans helped turn another case of civil unrest into a regime change -- this time backing not jihadists in Syria but the crypto-Nazi militias in Ukraine on which the government now in power still depends.

That is how we got the U.S.-as-spoiler foreign policy we now have.

If there is a president to blame -- and again, I see little point in this line of argument -- it would have to be Barack Obama. To a certain extent, Obama was a creature of those around him, as he acknowledged in his interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic toward the end of his second term. From that "Anonymous" opinion piece published in The New York Times on Sept. 5, we know Trump is too, to a greater extent than Obama may have feared in his worst moments.

The crucial question is why. Why do U.S. policy cliques find themselves bereft of imaginative thinking in the face of an evolving world order? Why has there been not a single original policy initiative since the years I single out, with the exception of the now-abandoned 2015 accord governing Iran's nuclear programs? "Right now, our job is to create quagmires until we get what we want," an administration official told The Washington Post 's David Ignatius in August.

Can you think of a blunter confession of intellectual bankruptcy? I can't.

Global 'Equals' Like Us?

There is a longstanding explanation for this paralysis. Seven decades of global hegemony, the Cold War notwithstanding, left the State Department with little to think about other than the simplicities of East-West tension. Those planning and executing American diplomacy lost all facility for imaginative thinking because there was no need of it. This holds true, in my view, but there is more to our specific moment than mere sclerosis within the policy cliques.

As I have argued numerous times elsewhere, parity between East and West is a 21st century imperative. From Woodrow Wilson to the post-World War II settlement, an equality among all nations was in theory what the U.S. considered essential to global order.

Now that this is upon us, however, Washington cannot accept it. It did not count on non-Western nations achieving a measure of prosperity and influence until they were "just like us," as the once famous phrase had it. And it has not turned out that way.

Think of Russia, China, and Iran, the three nations now designated America's principal adversaries. Each one is fated to become (if it is not already) a world or regional power and a key to stability -- Russia and China on a global scale, Iran in the Middle East. But each stands resolutely -- and this is not to say with hostile intent -- outside the Western-led order. They have different histories, traditions, cultures, and political cultures. And they are determined to preserve them.

They signify the shape of the world to come -- a post-Western world in which the Atlantic alliance must coexist with rising powers outside its orbit. Together, then, they signify precisely what the U.S. cannot countenance. And if there is one attribute of neoliberal and neoconservative ideology that stands out among all others, it is its complete inability to accept difference or deviation if it threatens its interests.

This is the logic of spoilage as a substitute for foreign policy. Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author, and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century (Yale). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is www.patricklawrence.us. Support his work via www.patreon.com/thefloutist .

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bevin , September 14, 2018 at 6:32 pm

This really is an excellent analysis. I would highlight the following point:
"There is a longstanding explanation for this paralysis. Seven decades of global hegemony, the Cold War notwithstanding, left the State Department with little to think about other than the simplicities of East-West tension. Those planning and executing American diplomacy lost all facility for imaginative thinking because there was no need of it. This holds true, in my view, but there is more to our specific moment than mere sclerosis within the policy cliques "

Conformism and its consequences, probably derived in part from Puritanism and further cemented by the alternating racisms of anti-indigenous and anti black attitudes- the history of the lynch mob and various wars against the poor which ended up in the anti-communist frenzies of the day before yesterday constitute the backbone of American history- is the disease which afflicts Washington.

Don Bacon , September 14, 2018 at 6:03 pm

You don't mention corruption and profiteering, which go hand-in-hand with American Exceptionalism and the National Security State (NSS) formed in 1947. The leader of the world which is also an NSS requires enemies, so the National Security Strategy designates enemies, a few of them in an Axis of Evil. Arming to fight them and dreaming up other reasons to go to war, including a war on terror of all things, bring the desired vast expenditures, trillions of dollars, which translate to vast profits to those involved.

This focus on war has its roots in the Christian bible and in a sense of manifest destiny that has occupied Americans since before they were Americans, and the real Americans had to be exterminated. It certainly (as stated) can't be blamed on certain individuals, it's predominate and nearly universal. How many Americans were against the assault by the Coalition of the Willing upon Iraq? Very few.

Homer Jay , September 14, 2018 at 10:09 pm

"How many Americans were against the assault by the Coalition of the Willing upon Iraq? Very few."

Are you kidding me? Here is a list of polls of the American public regarding the Iraq War 2003-2007;

https://www.politifact.com/iraq-war-polls/

Even in the lead up the war when the public was force fed a diet comprised entirely of State Dept. lies about WMDs by a sycophantic media, there was still a significant 25-40 percent of the public who opposed the war. You clearly are not American or you would remember the vocal minority which filled the streets of big cities across this country. And again the consent was as Chomsky says "manufactured." And it took only 1 year of the war for the majority of the public to be against it. By 2007 60-70% of the public opposed the war.

Judging from your name you come from a country whose government was part of that coalition of the willing. So should we assume that "very few" of your fellow country men and women were against that absolute horror show that is the Iraq war?

Don Bacon , September 14, 2018 at 11:05 pm

You failed to address my major point, and instead picked on something you're wrong on.

Iraq war poll –Pew Research: http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/old-assets/publications/770-1.gif

PS: bevin made approximately the same point later (w/o the financial factor).

"Conformism and its consequences, probably derived in part from Puritanism and further cemented by the alternating racisms of anti-indigenous and anti black attitudes- the history of the lynch mob and various wars against the poor which ended up in the anti-communist frenzies of the day before yesterday constitute the backbone of American history- is the disease which afflicts Washington."

Archie1954 , September 14, 2018 at 2:39 pm

I have often wondered why the US was unable to accept the position of first among equals. Why does it have to rule the World? I know it believes that its economic and political systems are the best on the planet, but surely all other nations should be able to decide for themselves, what systems they will accept and live under? Who gave the US the right to make those decisions for everyone else? The US was more than willing to kill 20 million people either directly or indirectly since the end of WWII to make its will sovereign in all nations of the World!

Bob Van Noy , September 14, 2018 at 9:54 pm

Archie 1954, because 911 was never adequately investigated, our government was inappropriately allowed to act in the so-called public interest in completely inappropriate ways; so that in order for the Country to set things right, those decisions which were made quietly, with little public discussion, would have to be exposed and the illegalities addressed. But, as I'm sure you know, there are myriad other big government failures also left unexamined, so where to begin?

That is why I invariably raise JFK's Assassination as a logical starting point. If a truly independent commission would fix the blame, we could move on from there. Sam F., on this forum, has mentioned a formal legal undertaking many times on this site, but now is the time to begin the discussion for a formal Truth And Reconciliation Commission in America Let's figure out how to begin.

So,"Who gave the US the right to make those decisions for everyone else?", certainly not The People

Jessika , September 14, 2018 at 1:36 pm

A very good article. Spoiler and bully describe US foreign policy, and foreign policy is in the driver's seat while domestic policy takes the pickings, hardly anything left for the hollowed-out society where people live paycheck to paycheck, homelessness and other assorted ills of a failing society continue to rise while oligarchs and the MIC rule the neofeudal/futile system.

When are we going to make that connection of the wasteful expenditure on military adventurism and the problem of poverty in the US? The Pentagon consistently calls the shots, yet we consistently hear about unaccounted expenditures by the Pentagon, losing amounts in the trillions, and never do they get audited.

nondimenticare , September 14, 2018 at 12:18 pm

I certainly agree that the policy is bereft, but not for all of the same reasons. There is the positing of a turnaround as a basis for the current spoiler role: "What had been an assertion of financial and economic power, albeit coercive in many instances, particularly with the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, took on further strategic and military dimensions."

To substantiate this "crucial turn," Lawrence makes the unwarranted assumption that the goal post Soviet Union was simply worldwide free-market capitalism, not global domination: "Failures ensued. Iraq post–2003 is among the more obvious. Nobody ever planted democracy or built free markets in Baghdad"; and the later statement that the US wanted the countries it invaded to be "Just like us."

Though he doesn't mention (ignores) US meddling in Russia after the collapse of the USSR, I presume from its absence that he attributes that, too, to the expansion of capital. Indeed, it was that, but with the more malevolent goal of control. "Just like us" is the usual "progressive" explanation for failures. "Controlled by us" was more like it, if we face the history of the country squarely.

That is the blindness of intent that has led to the spoiler role.

Unfettered Fire , September 14, 2018 at 11:15 am

Is it really so wise to be speaking in terms of nationhood after we've undergone 50 years of Kochian/libertarian dismantlement of the nation-state in favor of bank and transnational governance? Remember the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski:

"The "nation-state" as a fundamental unit of man's organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state." ~ Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages, 1970

"Make no mistake, what we are seeing in geopolitics today is indeed a magic show. The false East/West paradigm is as powerful if not more powerful than the false Left/Right paradigm. For some reason, the human mind is more comfortable believing in the ideas of division and chaos, and it often turns its nose up indignantly at the notion of "conspiracy." But conspiracies and conspirators can be demonstrated as a fact of history. Organization among elitists is predictable.

Globalists themselves are drawn together by an ideology. They have no common nation, they have no common political orientation, they have no common cultural background or religion, they herald from the East just as they herald from the West. They have no true loyalty to any mainstream cause or social movement.

What do they have in common? They seem to exhibit many of the traits of high level narcissistic sociopaths, who make up a very small percentage of the human population. These people are predators, or to be more specific, they are parasites. They see themselves as naturally superior to others, but they often work together if there is the promise of mutual benefit."

http://www.alt-market.com/articles/3504-in-the-new-qmultipolar-worldq-the-globalists-still-control-all-the-players

Unfettered Fire , September 14, 2018 at 1:43 pm

"In our society, real power does not happen to lie in the political system, it lies in the private economy: that's where the decisions are made about what's produced, how much is produced, what's consumed, where investment takes place, who has jobs, who controls the resources, and so on and so forth. And as long as that remains the case, changes inside the political system can make some difference -- I don't want to say it's zero -- but the differences are going to be very slight." ~ Noam Chomsky

Giants: The Global Power Elite – A talk by Peter Phillips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np6td-wzDYQ

The Elite World Order in Jitters Review of Peter Phillips' book Giants: The Global Power Elite: https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/09/the-elite-world-order-in-jitters/

backwardsevolution , September 14, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Unfettered Fire – good posts. Thank you. Peter Phillips is definitely worth listening to.

Jon Dhoe , September 14, 2018 at 11:02 am

Israel, Israel, Israel. When are we going to start facing facts?

Daniel Good , September 14, 2018 at 9:59 am

Yet there is a thread that leads through US foreign policy. It all started with NSC 68. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSC_68 . Already in the 1950's, leading bankers were afraid of economic depression which would follow from a "peace dividend" following the end of WWII.

To avoid this, and to avoid "socialism", the only acceptable government spending was on defense. This mentality never ended. Today 50% of discretionary govenmenrt spending is on the military. http://www.unz.com/article/americas-militarized-economy/ .

We live in a country of military socialism, in which military citizens have all types of benefits, on condition they join the military-industrial-complex. This being so, there is no need for real "intelligence", there is no need to "understand" what goes on is foreign countries, there no need to be right about what might happen or worry about consequences. What is important is stimulate the economy by spending on arms. From Korean war, when the US dropped more bombs than it had on Nazi Germany, through Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya etc etc the US policy was a winning one not for those who got bombed (and could not fight back) but for the weapons industry and military contractors. Is the NYTimes ever going to discuss this aspect? Or any one in the MSM?

Walter , September 14, 2018 at 9:26 am

The "why" behind the US foreign policies was spoken with absolute honest clarity in the "Statement of A. Wess Mitchell Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs" to the Senate on August 21 this year. The transcript is at : https://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/082118_Mitchell_Testimony.pdf

Quote the esteemed gentleman (inter alia): "It continues to be among the foremost national security interests of the United States to prevent the domination of the Eurasian landmass by hostile powers. The central aim of the administration's foreign policy is to prepare our nation to confront this challenge by systematically strengthening the military, economic and political fundamentals of American power. "

Tellingly the "official" State Department copy is changed and omits the true spoken words

See yourself: https://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/2018/285247.htm

This is the essence of MacKinder's Thesis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Geographical_Pivot_of_History and was the underlying reason for both world wars in the 20th century.

An essay on this observed truth https://journal-neo.org/2018/09/11/behind-the-anglo-american-war-on-russia/

A deeper essay on the same subject https://www.silkroadstudies.org/resources/pdf/Monographs/1006Rethinking-4.pdf

I would propose that the Zionism aspect exists due to the perceived necessity of "Forward Operating Base Israel" look it a map, Comrade The ISIS?Saudi?Zionist games divides the New Silk Road and the Eurasian land mass and exists to throttle said pathways.

Interestingly the latter essay is attributed to Eldar Ismailov and Vladimir Papava

Brother Comrade Putin knows the game. The US has to maintain the fiction for the public that it does not know the game, and is consequently obliged to maintain a vast public delusion, hence "fake news" and all the rest.

OlyaPola , September 14, 2018 at 1:49 pm

"I would propose that the Zionism aspect exists due to the perceived necessity of "Forward Operating Base Israel" lookit a map, Comrade"

Some have an attraction to book-ends. Once upon a time the Eurasian book-ends were Germany and Japan, and the Western Asian book-ends Israel and Saudi Arabia. This "strategy" is based upon the notion that bookend-ness is a state of inertia which in any interactive system is impossible except apparently to those embedded in "we the people hold these truths to be self-evident".

Consequently some have an attraction to book-ends.

Dennis Etler , September 13, 2018 at 9:05 pm

Patrick Lawrence's essay makes perfect sense only when it is applied to US foreign policy since the end of WW2. It is conventional wisdom that the US is now engaged in Cold War 2.0. In fact, Cold War 2.0 is an extension of Cold War 1.0. There was merely a 20 year interregnum between 1990 and 2010.

Most analysts think that Cold War 1.0 was an ideological war between "Communism" and "Democracy". The renewal of the Cold War against both Russia and China however shows that the ideological war between East and West was really a cover for the geopolitical war between the two.

Russia, China and Iran are the main geopolitical enemies of the US as they stand in the way of the global, imperialist hegemony of the US. In order to control the global periphery, i.e. the developing world and their emerging economies, the US must contain and defeat the big three. This was as true in 1948 as it is in 2018. Thus, what's happening today under Trump is no different than what occurred under Truman in 1948. Whatever differences exist are mere window dressing.

Rob Roy , September 15, 2018 at 12:16 am

Mr. Etler,

I think you are mostly right except in the first Cold War, the Soviets and US Americans were both involved in this "war." What you call Cold War 2.0 is in the minds and policies of only the US. Russian is not in any way currently like the Soviet Union, yet the US acts in all aspects of foreign attitude and policy as though that (very unpleasant period in today's Russians' minds) still exists. It does not. You says there was "merely a 20 year interregnum" and things have picked up and continued as a Cold War. Only in the idiocy of the USA, certainly not in the minds of Russian leadership, particularly Putin's who now can be distinguished as the most logical, realistic and competent leader in the world.

Thanks to H. Clinton being unable to become president, we have a full blown Russiagate which the MSM propaganda continues to spread.

There is no Cold War 2.0. It's a fallacy to create a false flag for regime change in Russia. Ms. Clinton, the Kagan family, the MIC, etc., figure if we can take out Yanukovich and replace him with Fascists/Nazis, what could stop us from doing the same to Russia. The good news: all empires fail.

Maxwell Quest , September 13, 2018 at 1:41 pm

"This is the logic of spoilage as a substitute for foreign policy. Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability."

Mr. Lawrence is much too accommodating with his analysis. Imagine, linking US "foreign policy" in the same thought as "global stability", as if the two were somehow related. On the contrary, "global instability" seems to be our foreign policy goal, especially for those regions that pose a threat to US hegemony. Why? Because it is difficult to extract a region's wealth when its population is united behind a stable government that can't be bought off.

Walter , September 13, 2018 at 1:30 pm

US is attempting to stop a process, to prevent Change see https://www.fort-russ.com/2017/10/v-golstein-end-of-cold-war-and/

Conjuring up Heraclitus..Time is a River, constantly changing. And we face downstream, unable to see the Future and gazing upon the Past.

The attempt has an effect, many effects, but it cannot stop Time.

The Russian and the Chinese have clinched the unification of the Earth Island, "Heartland" This ended the ability to control global commerce by means of navies – the methods of the Sea Peoples over the last 500 years are now failed. The US has no way of even seeing this fact other than force and violence to restore the status quo ante .

Thus World War, as we see

Recollecting Heraclitus again, the universe is populated by opposites as we see, China and Russia represent a cathodic opposite to the US

Jeff Harrison , September 13, 2018 at 1:29 pm

I guess I missed this one, Patrick. Great overview but let me put it in a slightly different context. You start with the end of the cold war but I don't. I could go all the way back to the early days of the country and our proclamation of manifest destiny. The US has long thought that it was the one ring to rule them all. But for most of that time the strength of individual members of the rest of the world constrained the US from running amok. That constraint began to be lifted after the ruling clique in Europe committed seppuku in WWI. It was completely lifted after WWII. But that was 75 years ago. This is now and most of the world has recovered from the world wide destruction of human and physical capital known as WWII. The US is going to have to learn how to live with constraints again but it will take a shock. The US is going to have to lose at something big time. Europe cancelling the sanctions? The sanctions on Russia don't mean squat to the US but it's costing Europe billions. This highlights the reality that the "Western Alliance" (read NATO) is not really an alliance of shared goals and objectives. It's an alliance of those terrified by fascism and what it can do. They all decided that they needed a "great father" to prevent their excesses again. One wonders if either the world or Europe would really like the US to come riding in like the cavalry to places like Germany, Poland, and Ukraine. Blindly following Washington's directions can be remarkably expensive for Europe and they get nothing but refugees they can't afford. Something will ultimately have to give.

The one thing I was surprised you didn't mention was the US's financial weakness. It's been a long time since the US was a creditor nation. We've been a debtor nation since at least the 80s. The world doesn't need debtor nations and the only reason they need us is the primacy of the US dollar. And there are numerous people hammering away at that.

Gerald Wadsworth , September 13, 2018 at 12:59 pm

Why are we trying to hem in China, Russia and Iran? Petro-dollar hegemony, pure and simple. From our initial deal with Saudi Arabia to buy and sell oil in dollars only, to the chaos we have inflicted globally to retain the dollar's rule and role in energy trading, we are finding ourselves threatened – actually the position of the dollar as the sole trading medium is what is threatened – and we are determined to retain that global power over oil at all costs. With China and Russia making deals to buy and sell oil in their own currencies, we have turned both those counties into our enemies du jour, inventing every excuse to blame them for every "bad thing" that has and will happen, globally. Throw in Syria, Iran, Venezuela, and a host of other countries who want to get out from under our thumb, to those who tried and paid the price. Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and more. Our failed foreign policy is dictated by controlling, as Donald Rumsfeld once opined, "our oil under their sand." Oil. Pure and simple.

Maxwell Quest , September 13, 2018 at 2:18 pm

I agree, Gerald. Enforcing the petro-dollar system seems to be the mainspring for much of our recent foreign policy militarism. If it were to unravel, the dollar's value would tank, and then how could we afford our vast system of military bases. Death Star's aren't cheap, ya know.

Maxwell Quest , September 13, 2018 at 3:33 pm

I agree, Gerald. Along with ensuring access to "our" off-shore oil fields, enforcing the petro-dollar system is equally significant, and seems to be the mainspring for much of our recent foreign policy militarism. If this system were to unravel, the dollar's value would tank, and then how could we afford our vast system of military bases which make the world safe for democracy? Death Star's aren't cheap, ya know.

Anonymous Coward , September 13, 2018 at 10:40 pm

+1 Gerald Wadsworth. It's not necessarily "Oil pure and simple" but "Currency Pure and Simple." If the US dollar is no longer the world's currency, the US is toast. Also note that anyone trying to retain control of their currency and not letting "The Market" (private banks) totally control them is a Great Devil we need to fight, e.g. Libya and China.

And note (2) that Wall Street is mostly an extension of The City; the UK still thinks it owns the entire world, and the UK has been owned by the banks ever since it went off tally sticks

MichaelWme , September 13, 2018 at 12:18 pm

It's called the Thucydides trap. NATO (US/UK/France/Turkey) have said they will force regime change in Syria. Russia says it will not allow regime change in Syria. Fortunately, as a Frenchman and an Austrian explained many years ago, and NATO experts say is true today, regime change in Russia is a simple matter, about the same as Libya or Panamá. I forget the details, but I assume things worked out well for the Frenchman and the Austrian, and will work out about the same for NATO.

Anastasia , September 13, 2018 at 12:04 pm

Putin said years ago, and I cannot quote him, but remember most of it, that it doesn't matter who is the candidate for President, or what his campaign promises are, or how sincere he is in making them, whenever they get in office, it is always the same policy.

Truer words were never spoken, and it is the reason why I know, at least, that Russia did not interfere in the US elections. What would be the point, from his viewpoint, and it is not only just his opinion. You cannot help but see at this point that that he said is obviously true.

TJ , September 13, 2018 at 1:47 pm

What an excellent point. Why bother influencing the elections when it doesn't matter who is elected -- the same policies will continue.

Bart Hansen , September 13, 2018 at 3:43 pm

Anastasia, I saved it: From Putin interview with Le Figaro: "I have already spoken to three US Presidents. They come and go, but politics stay the same at all times. Do you know why? Because of the powerful bureaucracy. When a person is elected, they may have some ideas. Then people with briefcases arrive, well dressed, wearing dark suits, just like mine, except for the red tie, since they wear black or dark blue ones. These people start explaining how things are done. And instantly, everything changes. This is what happens with every administration."

rosemerry , September 14, 2018 at 8:02 am

Pres. Putin explained this several times when he was asked about preferring Trump to Hillary Clinton, and he carefully said that he would accept whoever the US population chose, he was used to dealing with Hillary and he knew that very little changed between Administrations. This has been conveniently cast aside by the Dems, and Obama's disgraceful expulsion of Russian diplomats started the avalanche of Russiagate.

James , September 13, 2018 at 9:24 am

Great to see Patrick Lawrence writing for Consortium News.

He ends his article with: "This is the logic of spoilage as a substitute for foreign policy. Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability. "

Speaking of consequences, how about the human toll this foreign policy has taken on so many people in this world. To me, the gravest sin of all.

Bob Van Noy , September 13, 2018 at 8:46 am

I agree with Patric Lawrence when he states "Personalizing Washington's regression into the role of spoiler by assigning all blame to one man, now Donald Trump, deprives one of deeper understanding." and I also agree that 'Seven decades of global hegemony have left the State Department, Cold War notwithstanding, left the State Department with little to think about other than the simplicities of East-West tension.' But I seriously disagree when he declares that: "The crisis of U.S. foreign policy -- a series of radical missteps -- are systemic. Having little to do with personalities, they pass from one administration to the next with little variance other than at the margins.'' Certainly the missteps are true, but I would argue that the "personalities" are crucial to America's crisis of Foreign Policy. After all it was likely that JFK's American University address was the public declaration of his intention to lead America in the direction of better understanding of Sovereign Rights that likely got him killed. It is precisely those "personalities" that we must understand and identify before we can move on

Skip Scott , September 13, 2018 at 9:35 am

Bob-

I see what you're saying, but I believe Patrick is also right.

Many of the people involved in JFK's murder are now dead themselves, yet the "system" that demands confrontation rather than cooperation continues. These "personalities" are shills for that system, and if they are not so willingly, they are either bribed or blackmailed into compliance.

Remember when "Dubya" ran on a "kinder and gentler nation" foreign policy? Obama's "hope and change" that became "more of the same"? And now Trump's views on both domestic and foreign policy seemingly also doing a 180? There are "personalities" behind this "system", and they are embedded in places like the Council on Foreign Relations. The people that run our banking system and the global corporate empire demand the whole pie, they would rather blow up the world than have to share.

Bob Van Noy , September 13, 2018 at 2:42 pm

You're completely right Skip, that's what we all must recognize and ultimately react to, and against.
Thank you.

JWalters , September 13, 2018 at 6:46 pm

I would add that human beings are the key components in this system. The system is built and shaped by them. Some are greedy, lying predators and some are honest and egalitarian. Bob Parry was one of the latter, thankfully.

JWalters , September 13, 2018 at 6:30 pm

Skip, very good points. For those interested further, here's an excellent talk on the bankers behind the manufacutured wars, including the role of the Council on Foreign Relations as a front organization and control mechanism.
"The Shadows of Power; the CFR and decline of America"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6124&v=wHa1r4nIaug

Joe Tedesky , September 13, 2018 at 9:42 am

Bob, you are right. I find it most interesting and sad at the same time that in Woodward's new book 'Fear' that he describes a pan 'almost tragic incident' whereas Trump wanted to sign a document removing our missiles and troops out of S Korea, but save for the steady hand of his 'anonymous' staffers who yanked the document off his presidential desk . wow, close one there we almost did something to enforce a peace. Can't have that though, we still have lots to kill in pursue of liberty and freedom and the hegemonic way.

Were these 'anonymous' staffers the grandchildren of the staffers and bureaucracy that undermined other presidents? Would their grandparents know who the Gunmen were on the grassy knoll? Did these interrupters of Executive administrations fudge other presidents dreams and hopes of a peaceful world? And in the end were these instigators rewarded by the war industries they protected?

The problem is, is that this bureaucracy of war has out balanced any other rival agency, as diversity of thought and mission is only to be dealt with if it's good for military purposes. Too much of any one thing can be overbearingly bad for a person, and likewise too much war means your country is doing something wrong.

Bob Van Noy , September 13, 2018 at 2:51 pm

Many thanks Joe, I admire your persistence. Clearly Bob Woodward has been part of the problem rather than the solution. The swamp is deep and murky

JWalters , September 13, 2018 at 6:36 pm

Bob and Joe, here's a solid review of Woodward's book Fear that points out his consistent service to the oligarchy, including giving Trump a pass for killing the Iran deal. Interesting background on Woodward in the comments as well. https://mondoweiss.net/2018/09/woodward-national-security/

O Society , September 13, 2018 at 6:21 pm

The document Gary Cohen removed off Trump's desk – which you can read here – states an intent to end a free trade agreement with South Korea.

"White House aides feared if Trump sent the letter, it could jeopardize a top-secret US program that can detect North Korean missile launches within seven seconds."

Sounds like Trump wanted to play the "I am such a great deal maker, the GREATEST deal maker of all times!" game with the South Koreans. Letter doesn't say anything about withdrawing troops or missiles.

Funny how ***TOP-SECRET US PROGRAMS*** find their way into books and newspapers these days, plentiful as acorns falling out of trees.

O Society , September 14, 2018 at 1:38 pm

You're welcome, Joe. These things get confusing. Who knows anymore what is real and what isn't?

Trump did indeed say something about ending military exercises and pulling troops out of South Korea. His staff did indeed contradict him on this. It just wasn't in relation to the letter Cohn "misplaced," AFAIK.

Nobody asked me, but if they did, I'd say the US interfered enough in Korean affairs by killing a whole bunch of 'em in the Korean War. Leave'em alone. Let North and South try to work it out. Tired of hearing about "regime change.'

Republicans buck Trump on Korea troop pullout talk

Joe Tedesky , September 13, 2018 at 12:24 pm

Here's what I wrote:

Bob, you are right. I find it most interesting and sad at the same time that in Woodward's new book 'Fear' that he describes a pan 'almost tragic incident' whereas Trump wanted to sign a document removing our missiles and troops out of S Korea, but save for the steady hand of his 'anonymous' staffers who yanked the document off his presidential desk . wow, close one there we almost did something to enforce a peace. Can't have that though, we still have lots to kill in pursue of liberty and freedom and the hegemonic way.

Were these 'anonymous' staffers the grandchildren of the staffers and bureaucracy that undermined other presidents? Would their grandparents know who the Gunmen were on the grassy knoll? Did these interrupters of Executive administrations fudge other presidents dreams and hopes of a peaceful world? And in the end were these instigators rewarded by the war industries they protected?

The problem is, is that this bureaucracy of war has out balanced any other rival agency, as diversity of thought and mission is only to be dealt with if it's good for military purposes. Too much of any one thing can be overbearingly bad for a person, and likewise too much war means your country is doing something wrong.

Kiwiantz , September 13, 2018 at 8:20 am

Spoiler Nation of America! You got that dead right! China builds infrastructure in other Countries & doesn't interfere with the citizens & their Sovereignty. Contrast that with the United Spoiler States of America, they run roughshod over overs & just bomb the hell out of Countries & leaves devastation & death wherever they go! And there is something seriously wrong & demented with the US mindset concerning, the attacks on 9/11? In Syria the US has ended up arming & supporting the very same organisation of Al QaedaTerrorists, morphed into ISIS, that hijacked planes & flew them into American targets! During 2017 & now in 2018, it defies belief how warped this US mentality is when ISIS can so easily & on demand, fake a chemical attack to suck in the stupid American Military & it's Airforce & get them to attack Syria, like lackeys taking orders from Terrorist's! The US Airforce is the airforce of Al Qaeda & ISIS! Why? Because the US can't stomach Russia, Syria & Iran winning & defeating Terrorism thus ending this Proxy War they started! Russia can't be allowed to win at any cost because the humiliation & loss of prestige that the US would suffer as a Unipolar Empire would signal the decline & end of this Hegemonic Empire so they must continue to act as a spoiler to put off that inevitable decline! America can't face reality that it's time in the sun as the last Empire, is over!

Sally Snyder , September 13, 2018 at 7:57 am

Here is what Americans really think about the rabid anti-Russia hysteria coming from Washington:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/08/americans-on-russia-will-of-people.html

Washington has completely lost touch with what Main Street America really believes.

Waynes World , September 13, 2018 at 7:37 am

Finally some words of truth about how we want our way not really democracy. A proper way to look at the world is what you said toward the end a desire to make people's lives better.

mike k , September 13, 2018 at 7:14 am

Simply put – the US is the world's biggest bully. This needs to stop. Fortunately the bully's intended victims are joining together to defeat it's crazy full spectrum dominance fantasies. Led by Russia and China, we can only hope for the success of the resistance to US aggression.

This political, economic, military struggle is not the only problem the world is facing now, but is has some priority due to the danger of nuclear war. Global pollution, climate disaster, ecological collapse and species extinction must also be urgently dealt with if we are to have a sustainable existence on Earth.

OlyaPola , September 13, 2018 at 4:39 am

Alpha : "America's three principal adversaries signify the shape of the world to come: a post-Western world of coexistence. But neoliberal and neocon ideology is unable to to accept global pluralism and multipolarity, argues Patrick Lawrence."

Omega: "Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability."

Framing is always a limiter of perception.

Among the consequences of the lateral trajectories from Alpha to Omega referenced above, is the "unintended consequence" of the increase of the principal opponents, their resolve and opportunities to facilitate the transcendence of arrangements based on coercion by arrangements based on co-operation.

Opening Pandora's box was/is only perceived as wholly a disadvantage for those seeking to deny lateral process.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , September 13, 2018 at 4:32 am

Yes, I certainly agree with author's view.

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/john-chuckman-comment-empire-corrupts-all-the-principles-of-economics-as-well-as-principles-of-ethics-and-good-government-there-is-nothing-good-to-say-about-empire-and-the-american-one-is-no-excep/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/john-chuckman-comment-how-american-politics-really-work-why-there-are-terrible-candidates-and-constant-wars-and-peoples-problems-are-ignored-why-heroes-like-julian-assange-are-persecuted-and-r/

HomoSapiensWannaBe , September 13, 2018 at 8:23 am

John Chuckman,

Wow. Thanks! I have just begun reading your commentaries this week and I am impressed with how clearly you analyze and summarize key points about many topics.

Thank you so much for writing what are often the equivalent of books, but condensed into easy to read and digest summaries.

I have ordered your book and look forward to reading that.

Cheers from Southeast USA!

[Sep 15, 2018] BBC is skanky state propaganda

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The myth of BBC being some standard for news reporting died with the advent of the availability of international and independent news in Western countries ..."
"... Ironic when the BBC has been ceaselessly pushing fake news for at least 15 years, with disastrous results. (Iraq; Libya; what caused the deficit and who should be forced to pay it down; Russia/Syria false flags; Corbyn A/S.) ..."
"... I find it impossible to watch BBC News, primarily because most of the editorial staff and senior correspondents seem to be working for MI5/6 and are more interested in disseminating Geo-political propaganda than upholding their journalistic responsibilities as defined in the BBC charter. ..."
"... The book is obviously part of a propaganda campaign. It seems hugely fortuitous that Mark Urban should have had "hours" of interviews with Skripal before the poisoning incident. ..."
"... Isn't it much more likely that the Urban "interviews" would have happened after the event? But Urban can't say that because that would lead to demands from other journalists or news bodies to have access to Skripal. ..."
"... I'm open to alternative hypotheses but right now I think the most likely explanation for Urban's pre-poisoning contact with Sergei Skripal is that, at the time, it was assumed the Orbis dossier would be a key component of the successful takedown of Trump and Urban was putting together a mutually flattering account by interviewing the main players. ..."
"... With regard to your tongue-in-cheek point. Urban could have interviewed Skripal anytime after Trump was gone, unless he believed Skripal might be unavailable (for some reason). The fact he interviewed Skripal before does indicate foresight. If Urban really did interview Skripal before the event then he would be wiser to pull the book and burn every copy in existence (as well as all his notes). ..."
"... Urban pretends to research a book exposing Russia and part of his research is to interview Skripal. His objective is to find dirt on Putin in order to swing the war in Syria in favour of USUKIS bombing Assad to smithereens, bayonets bums etc. ..."
"... Interestingly Mark Urbans' book on Sergei Skripal was available to purchase on Amazon in July. I added it to my Amazon wishlist on 28/7/18. I've just looked at my wishlist and was rather surprised to find it is no longer available. It has been pulled. ..."
"... Can't help thinking that the answer to all this lies in Estonia. Sergei went to Estonia in June 2016, Pablo was in Estonia, the Estonians passed on sigint about Trump-Russian collusion in the summer of 2016. A Guardian article of 13 April 2017 said: ..."
"... No doubt in my mind that the Skripal affair is a planned operation carried out by US/UK intelligence. What has actually taken place is still to be determined, but the propaganda operation itself is clear. ..."
"... I know about Ireland, and I agree, it was NOT a nerve agent. That said, I don't believe anyone was 'attacked', including the Skripals. ..."
"... All foreign correspondents of major newspapers too work with MI6. Nobody who is close to them has any kind of doubt about this. ..."
"... I despise everyone who says that free markets are the solution for the problems of the third world. What they mean is mass starvation and an enormous population cull. There are international "foundations" that pay academics and politicians large amounts of money to spout this obscene line. One of them is called the John Templeton Foundation. They have had their fangs in to British universities for a long time. ..."
"... When the Tories talk about 'free markets', they are talking about markets free from democracy. ..."
Aug 30, 2018 | craigmurray.org.uk

Dave , August 28, 2018 at 17:41

BBC is skanky state propaganda. The myth of BBC being some standard for news reporting died with the advent of the availability of international and independent news in Western countries. The main thing that BBC used to have which propped up the illusion of it being a respectable news source is that there was no competition or alternative to compare its narratives against. Since that time is over, so is BBC's masquerading as an impartial or accurate news source.

Xavi , August 28, 2018 at 18:40

Agree, Dave. That's what's informing the push to rubbish dissenting sites as fake news and eventually have them removed.

Ironic when the BBC has been ceaselessly pushing fake news for at least 15 years, with disastrous results. (Iraq; Libya; what caused the deficit and who should be forced to pay it down; Russia/Syria false flags; Corbyn A/S.)

Ken Kenn , August 28, 2018 at 21:49

Well I was convinced of fake BBC news during 9/11 and not for the reasons of building 7 coming down too early but the fact that the female journalist was facing a camera standing in front of a glass window and there was no reflection of her or the camera person from the glass. Not even a faint shadow.

That's when I knew the BBC were employing vampires and have been ever since.

Green Screen technology I discovered later. All the On the spot reporters are at it apparently. Or repeating Reuters or PA.

Deb O'Nair , August 28, 2018 at 00:52

I find it impossible to watch BBC News, primarily because most of the editorial staff and senior correspondents seem to be working for MI5/6 and are more interested in disseminating Geo-political propaganda than upholding their journalistic responsibilities as defined in the BBC charter. People should not only boycott the BBC but refuse to pay the license fee on the grounds that it's a compulsory political subscription.

frankywiggles , August 28, 2018 at 09:48

Careful, Craig

BBC world affairs editor 'fed up' with complaints directed at the corporation's news output

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/aug/28/bbc-news-is-not-biased-in-brexit-reporting-says-john-simpson

D_Majestic , August 28, 2018 at 14:35

Of course BBC News is not biased. Most of the time it is not even factual.

Brendan , August 28, 2018 at 10:34

Dear Mark,
In a BBC article on 4 July 2018, you wrote: "I have not felt ready until now to acknowledge explicitly that we had met, but do now that the book is nearing completion."

Could you please explain that comment? I do not see why your acknowledgement of your meetings with Sergei Skripal should be delayed until your book is nearing completion.

If you felt that it was right to reveal those meetings in July, then why was it not right to do so in March, soon after the poisoning occurred? What difference would it have made if you had done so four months earlier?

I cannot think of any negative consequences of an earlier acknowledgement of the meetings. In fact, disclosures of any possible conflict of interest are generally considered to be desirable in journalism, regardless of whether the conflict of interest is real.

ADHD , August 28, 2018 at 11:00

The book is obviously part of a propaganda campaign. It seems hugely fortuitous that Mark Urban should have had "hours" of interviews with Skripal before the poisoning incident.

Isn't it much more likely that the Urban "interviews" would have happened after the event? But Urban can't say that because that would lead to demands from other journalists or news bodies to have access to Skripal.

And that can't happen because either Skripal would be asked about what happened on the day of the poisoning, or can't be guaranteed to stick to the script, or is no longer alive. And that leads to a suspicion that whatever Skripal is supposed to have said in his interviews with Urban has really just been made up by the British security services.

Kay , August 28, 2018 at 14:42

I'm open to alternative hypotheses but right now I think the most likely explanation for Urban's pre-poisoning contact with Sergei Skripal is that, at the time, it was assumed the Orbis dossier would be a key component of the successful takedown of Trump and Urban was putting together a mutually flattering account by interviewing the main players.

Tongue in cheek, it'd be worth asking Urban if his decision to cover the Skripal poisoning in his new book was made before or after the Skripals were actually poisoned.

ADHD , August 28, 2018 at 15:59

The consensus seems to be that it was an anti-Russia book, but that doesn't conflict with what you say (there is overlap, your view is just more specific). But, I just find it hard to believe that Urban and the conspirators would waste their time "counting their chickens ". Not least because such a book would form a handy list of traitors (together with confessions) if Trump were to prevail and it fell into the right hands. This is "101 – How to Organise a Revolution" (secrecy / don't put anything in writing); surely British security services know that?

With regard to your tongue-in-cheek point. Urban could have interviewed Skripal anytime after Trump was gone, unless he believed Skripal might be unavailable (for some reason). The fact he interviewed Skripal before does indicate foresight. If Urban really did interview Skripal before the event then he would be wiser to pull the book and burn every copy in existence (as well as all his notes).

Regardless, it looks like the master of the universe are losing their ability to create reality.

Brendan , August 28, 2018 at 10:37

Last month, Mark Urban was promoting the reports that the Russian assassins had been identified from CCTV footage:

"There are now subjects of interest in the police Salisbury investigation. ( ) analytic and cyber techniques are now being exploited against the Salisbury suspects by people with a wealth of experience in complex investigations."
https://twitter.com/MarkUrban01/status/1020366761848385536

That story originated with a report by PA, which Security Minister Ben Wallace called "ill informed and wild speculation". https://mobile.twitter.com/BWallaceMP/status/1019906962786484225

Or as Craig Murray put it, "Unnamed source close to unnamed British police officers tells unnamed Press Association journalist Britain knows the unnamed Russian agents ".
https://twitter.com/CraigMurrayOrg/status/1019854966327005184

Even Urban's colleagues had to admit that "The BBC has not been able to independently confirm the story."
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44883803

Still, that didn't stop Mark Urban from reporting the story almost as fact.

Tom , August 28, 2018 at 10:38

The BBC relies on it's interpretation of the Act because it is held for the purposes of 'journalism, art or literature.' but this relies on a usually unrelated precedent and the opinions of a number of Judges which contradict this view. I'm in the process of challenging this with ICO but don't expect anything will change until another supreme court ruling:

https://medium.com/@tomcoady/bbc-foi-exemption-for-the-purposes-of-art-journalism-or-literature-c39e4fa3e36

Ian Fantom , August 28, 2018 at 10:41

I've put in a Freedom of Information request regarding meetings with Skripal other than any that were for the purpose of BBC news journalism. (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/mark_urbans_non_journalistic_mee )

Made By Dom , August 28, 2018 at 11:04

Can I play Devil's Advocate ?

I can see the value in asking writers, journalists and artists to pose exactly the same questions as Eccles' original letter but I'm not convinced about Craig's email.

A quick google shows me that a man named Mark Urban has written a book on the Skripals. Isn't it likely that Urban was keeping the interviews to himself in order to keep his book alive?

It wouldn't surprise me if Urban cares far more about his writing career than his job at the BBC. I'm sure most journalists would rather be authors. He's written a number of books on war and military intelligence. If his sources have nothing to do with the BBC then why should he answer to an on line mob?

craig Post author , August 28, 2018 at 11:18

" Isn't it likely that Urban was keeping the interviews to himself in order to keep his book alive?"
No, entirely unlikely. a chance to plug his forthcoming book and his Skripal contacts to a massive worldwide televion audience was eschewed.
The book is now about the Skripal attack. Presumably that was not the original subject he was researching, as it hadn't happened yet. The book will just be a rehash of the "noble defector – Putin revenge" line and none of the questions I asked about the genesis of his involvement will be answered in it.

SA , August 28, 2018 at 11:29

"Presumably that was not the original subject he was researching, as it hadn't happened yet." Or it was prescience ie that it was part of the planning for the incident?

Chris Hemmings , August 28, 2018 at 14:41

@BBC, Summer 2017, in an executive office:
"Hey Mark, why don't you go down to have a chat with this guy in Salisbury. I have a hunch that a story might be going to happen involving him, you know, as an ex-Soviet spy. Spend time with him, get to know him, be able to write in depth about him. Say it's for a book ."

giyane , August 28, 2018 at 11:46

Urban is never one-sided in his BBC reports on the Middle East. I would rather have him as Foreign Secretary than a bumbling idiot like Hubris Johnson or a Tory racketeer Hunt, because however clunky the formula of BBC balance Urban is at least pretending to be governed by normal rules. After Thatcher went anyone with half a brain left the Conservative party, leaving dolts like Johnson and nasties like May and Cameron to pick up the pieces after Blair and Brown.

There's money to be made from Russian billionaires and tory shit will follow the money like flies on d**t**d.

Urban pretends to research a book exposing Russia and part of his research is to interview Skripal. His objective is to find dirt on Putin in order to swing the war in Syria in favour of USUKIS bombing Assad to smithereens, bayonets bums etc.

Tory shit Hubris Johnson finds this political research floating around the Foreign Office and decides to twist it into Russia murders Skripal by Novichok. Unfortunately Johnson is already known to be a liar and gravy-trainer Tory and nobody believes him at all. Mrs May , realising that Johnson, Fox, Rees-Mogg and Hunt are completely bonkers, does Chequers her own way.

ZigZag Wanderer , August 28, 2018 at 12:26

Interestingly Mark Urbans' book on Sergei Skripal was available to purchase on Amazon in July. I added it to my Amazon wishlist on 28/7/18. I've just looked at my wishlist and was rather surprised to find it is no longer available. It has been pulled.

From memory the books description said that Mark had interviewed Skripal 'extensively' during 2017 and also mentioned the 'new' spying war now happening between Britain and Russia.

A quick search revealed a new version of the book ( with an altered title ) will be available in early October .. details here. https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/mark-urban/the-skripal-files

Oh dear . panic stations !

Sharp Ears , August 28, 2018 at 11:16

Salisbury poisoning: Skripals 'were under Russian surveillance'
Mark Urban Diplomatic and defence editor, Newsnight

4 July 2018

'My meetings with Sergei Skripal

I met Sergei on a few occasions last summer and found him to be a private character who did not, even under the circumstances then prevailing, wish to draw attention to himself.

He agreed to see me as a writer of history books rather than as a news journalist, since I was researching one on the post-Cold War espionage battle between Russia and the West.

Information gained in these interviews was fed into my Newsnight coverage during the early days after the poisoning. I have not felt ready until now to acknowledge explicitly that we had met, but do now that the book is nearing completion.

As a man, Sergei is proud of his achievements, both before and after joining his country's intelligence service.

He has a deadpan wit and is remarkably stoical given the reverses he's suffered in his life; from his imprisonment following conviction in 2006 on charges of spying for Britain, to the loss of his wife Liudmila to cancer in 2012, and the untimely death of his son Alexander (or Sasha) last summer.'

...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44717835

Agent Green , August 28, 2018 at 12:27

Laughable given that the whole world and virtually all heads of State were under US surveillance by the NSA – at least until Edward Snowden made all his revelations.

KEVIN GLENNIE , August 28, 2018 at 11:18

I have pasted and copied your Email regarding the above with a few slight alterations, it will be interesting to see the response I receive if any being just a concerned citizen of the U.

Niki Henry , August 28, 2018 at 11:21

Is this not a matter for the Police? (Even if you're not too sure if they'd do anything about it) These would be files that are to do with an attempted murder case. And definitely not Journalism if the story is fabricated.

Paul Baker , August 28, 2018 at 11:28

It feels as if you are moving in the right direction in linking Sergei to Steele. I'm intrigued by the very early media references to Sergei wanting to return home to see his elderly mother for perhaps the last time. He had apparently written to Putin making his request but again according to newspapers hadn't received a reply.

I would suggest Julia was bringing the answer via her own secret services contacts, her boyfriend and his mother, apparently Senior in the Russian Intelligence Agency. Perhaps a sentimental man Sergei was aware his mother couldn't travel so the plea to Putin was his best bet.

Such a request must have disturbed MI6 if Sergei had anything at all to do with the Steele dossier because inevitably if he returned to Russia he'd be debriefed by his old colleagues. But how can you rely on a mercenary double agent? If he decided he might want to stay in Russia with his family that might well have been attractive, away from the lonely existence in a Salisbury cul de sac with only spies for company. But the Steele dossier has great potential to turn sour on the British.

It's author was a Senior spy and Head of the Russian Desk for some years. It is – perhaps you'd agree? – inconceivable that he didn't require permission to prepare it, especially as much of it was based on his experience as a spy in Russia. Yet it's equally inconceivable that the Agency bosses didn't know the identity of the commissioners or the use to which it would be put in the US election – to boost Clinton's bid. If she'd won everything would have been fine but as it is any discussion of foreign interference in that election would have to include MI6 leading the list (they probably didn't tell any politician?) To have Sergei supporting and highlighting that embarrassment would be problematic for US-UK relations. Of course Sergei may have had other nuggets to expose as well as Steele.

Soon after Julia's arrival the pair fell ill. They both survived but are now locked away, presumably for life and never able to explain their side of the story.

It was a bodged job with a poor cover story from the start and could only be carried because of D Notices and media complicity. Is his mother still alive? Would he still like to see her before she dies? Would Russia allow it? Would MI6 allow it? I think that's 3 yeses and a resounding No.

Sharp Ears , August 28, 2018 at 11:39

Following the deaths of 55 Palestinians on the Gaza 'border' and the wounding of thousands, in this video, Urban asks the questions but the Israeli government spokesman, David Keyes, is allowed to spout all the usual propaganda against Hamas.

Gaza deaths: Who's to blame? – BBC Newsnight
Published on 15 May 2018
Subscribe 256K
Fresh protests against Israel are expected in the Palestinian territories, a day after Israeli troops killed 58 people in the Gaza Strip.
David Keyes is the spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mark Urban asked him whether it was appropriate for the US to open their embassy on the 70th anniversary of Israel's creation, a day that is hugely controversial for the Palestinian people.

Newsnight is the BBC's flagship news and current affairs TV programme – with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews.
Website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsnight
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1dec5XO53k

Mr Keyes' pronounced American accent was heard. The Occupation was not mentioned. A Palestinian voice was not heard.

This is another of his videos. On the same subject and on the opening of the Israeli Embassy in Jerusalem. This time, Jonathan Conricus spoke for the IDF.

Israel says. Same old. Same old. BBC. ZBC.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WdqoPKKkD8

Charles Bostock , August 28, 2018 at 15:58

"Urban asks the questions but the Israeli government spokesman, David Keyes, is allowed to spout all the usual propaganda against Hamas."

Yes indeed : Urban asked the questions and allowed the interviewee to answer. Perhaps you would have preferred him to interrupt the interviewee continually 'a la Today programme, or to have shouted at him similarly to the way I understand some people shout at customers inside or outside supermarkets?

Peter , August 28, 2018 at 11:39

This may or may not be relevant regarding Russia, chemical weapons and BBC/MSM bovine effluent:

"US Poised to Hit Syria Harder: The Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement on Aug. 25 stating that the Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham militants had brought eight containers of chlorine to Idlib in order to stage a false-flag attack with the help of UK intelligence agencies. A group of Tahrir al-Sham fighters trained to handle chemical warfare agents by the UK private military company Olive arrived in the suburbs of the city of Jisr ash-Shugur, Idlib, 20 km. from the Turkish border."

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/08/27/us-poised-to-hit-syria-harder.html

Jeremn , August 28, 2018 at 11:42

Can't help thinking that the answer to all this lies in Estonia. Sergei went to Estonia in June 2016, Pablo was in Estonia, the Estonians passed on sigint about Trump-Russian collusion in the summer of 2016. A Guardian article of 13 April 2017 said:

"Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump's inner circle and Russians, sources said. The European countries that passed on electronic intelligence – known as sigint – included Germany, Estonia and Poland."

Perhaps not the Dossier, as such, but some material on collusion?

Paul Greenwood , August 28, 2018 at 12:00

John Paul Jones also fought for the Russians and was a Rear-Admiral. He was buried in Paris 1792 and disinterred 1905 and relocated to USA

wonky , August 29, 2018 at 10:29

..then he met Jimmy Page in the 1960s and the rest is history..

Agent Green , August 28, 2018 at 12:11

No doubt in my mind that the Skripal affair is a planned operation carried out by US/UK intelligence. What has actually taken place is still to be determined, but the propaganda operation itself is clear.

Paul Carrom , August 28, 2018 at 12:12

Definitely done by the UK.

Doodlebug , August 28, 2018 at 14:53

What did the UK have against Dawn and Charlie? (Please don't say you subscribe to all that bottle-finding bullshit).

mark golding , August 28, 2018 at 17:40

Catch my last post Doodlebug, sadly MI6 diabolical elements can be traced back to Ireland in the 70's early 80's assassinations theRealTerror (theRealElvis) understands.

Doodlebug , August 28, 2018 at 18:06

I know about Ireland, and I agree, it was NOT a nerve agent. That said, I don't believe anyone was 'attacked', including the Skripals.

Jo , August 29, 2018 at 11:59

Being used as practice and to establish more "evidence"

N_ , August 28, 2018 at 12:24

Often it's been open. There was the BBC monitoring station at Caversham Park. The BBC's Foreign Broadcast Information Service split the world into two parts with the CIA.

All foreign correspondents of major newspapers too work with MI6. Nobody who is close to them has any kind of doubt about this.

N_ , August 28, 2018 at 12:20

Theresa May says a no deal Brexit "wouldn't be the end of the world".

  1. This is not a negotiating strategy. This is not a pantomime where one giant on the stage can wink to his supporters (using the British media) without his opponent (EU27) noticing.
  2. The subconscious doesn't work well with negation. Whatever you do, please DON'T imagine an elephant at this time.
  3. I would love to know what the preparations are at Trinity College, Cambridge, for food shortages. They own the port of Felixstowe, which handles more than 40% of Britain's containerised trade. They also own a 50% stake in a portfolio of Tesco stores. Soon food distribution will be what everyone is talking about. I am never going to stop making the point that the god of the Tory party is Thomas Malthus.
N_ , August 28, 2018 at 12:38

Oh dear.. Theresa May in Africa:

" As a Prime Minister who believes both in free markets and in nations and businesses acting in line with well-established rules and principles of conduct, I want to demonstrate to young Africans that their brightest future lies in a free and thriving private sector. "

I despise everyone who says that free markets are the solution for the problems of the third world. What they mean is mass starvation and an enormous population cull. There are international "foundations" that pay academics and politicians large amounts of money to spout this obscene line. One of them is called the John Templeton Foundation. They have had their fangs in to British universities for a long time.

They are keen on Prince Philip, the guy who said he wanted to come back as a virus so he could kill a large part of the population. Never trust anyone who has received a Templeton scholarship or prize or who has anything to do with these people or with the message that free markets and the private sector are the key to "development"

Nuno Strybes , August 28, 2018 at 12:43

When the Tories talk about 'free markets', they are talking about markets free from democracy.

May's rhetoric is laughable .basically all her speeches read : 'the sky is green, the snow is black etc etc' -- totally detached from reality and a spent political force, as their recent membership numbers showed, with more revenues from legacies left in wills than from actual living members.

Ros Thorpe , August 28, 2018 at 12:30

I agree with the Skripal relatives that Sergei is dead. He hasn't been seen or heard of and would have called his mother. Mind boggling deception at all levels and I struggle to believe any of it.

N_ , August 28, 2018 at 12:47

Sergei Skripal could be in US custody, either in the US itself or in a US facility somewhere.

If he is dead, then the rehospitalisation of Charlie Rowley may be to assist with the narrative. "Once you've had a drop of Novvy Chockk, you may recover but you can fall down ill at any time, and here's an Expert with a serious voice to confirm it."

Nuno Strybes , August 28, 2018 at 12:38

I follow this blog closely, particularly in relation to the Skripal case, but this is my first comment. I just watched Sky News piece on 'super recognisers' and couldn't help but wonder why, in an age of powerful facial recognition technology, the police and security services seem to have drawn such a blank. The surveillance state in the UK is known to be one of the most advanced in the world but when it comes to this highly important geopolitical crisis our technological infrastructure seems to be redundant to the point where 'human eyes' are deemed to be more accurate than the most powerful supercomputers available. Psychologically, all humans have an inherent facial recognition ability from a very young age, but the idea that some police officers have this ability developed to such an extent that they supercede computer recognition is, i feel, laughable. To me this announcement through the ever subservient Sky News reeks of desperation on the part of the ;official story'. Are we about to be shown suspects who, although facial recognition technology fails to identify them, a 'super recogniser' can testify that it actually is person A or person B and we are all supposed to accept that? Seems either a damning indictment of the judicial process, or a damning indictment of the £££££'s of taxpayers money that is spent on places like GCHQ etc whose technology is now apparently no better than a highly perceptive human brain. Give me a break !

Trowbridge H. Ford , August 28, 2018 at 13:08

Why no interest in how the Coopers died in Egypt? We will soon be told by HMG that the Russians somehow dd it too., thanks to Urban's research?

giyane , August 28, 2018 at 13:49

People do die Trowbridge. I know you haven't, but you have the motivation of outliving your persecutors. With Muckin about with Isis gone and covert operations isn't social work Kissinger looking as though he's on daily blood transfusions, you have rejected Trump for some reason. But Trump has undone much of John McCain's worst mischief in one year. If McCain was an example of a politician, we don't need politicians.

Trowbridge H. Ford , August 28, 2018 at 14:16

Give me an example, other than the Coopers. of a healthy couple one day that is found dying the next day like the Skripals.

And while i tried on another site to be generous about McCain. he got Navy Secretary John Lehman, Jr. to scare the Soviets for prevailing in the Vietnam War so much about what NATO was up to in the fallout from shooting Swedish PM Olof Palme that Moscow gave up the competition for fear that it would blow up the world, helping bring on the crappy one we have.

McCain was a continuing Cold Warrior who we don't need since we still have Trump who is just trying to do it another way.

Trowbridge H. Ford , August 28, 2018 at 15:03

Oh, I forget that couple in Amesbury. Looks like the Porton Down Plague is spread overseas.

Posting on this site in like playing bridge online – the cards are stacked against you.

Doodlebug , August 28, 2018 at 15:26

"Give me an example, other than the Coopers. of a healthy couple one day that is found dying the next day like the Skripals."

Will a 17 year old and his step-father do?

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6918378/brit-lad-17-in-a-coma-on-family-holiday-in-spain-may-have-been-poisoned-by-cockroach-pesticide/

They both survived, but one or other (quite possibly both) would have died without medical intervention.

[Sep 15, 2018] So now CNN is complicit in illegal leaking, disinformation laundering

Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Newly revealed text messages between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page reveal that Strzok wanted to use CNN's report on the infamous "Steele Dossier" to justify interviewing people in the Trump-Russia investigation, reports CNN .


911bodysnatchers322 ,

So now CNN is complicit in illegal leaking, (dis)information laundering, citizen targetting, conspiracy against rights, subversion, sedition and treason?

No wonder it's a nonstop Trump hate fest. They aren't just trying to get Trump impeached in the court of public opinion, they're desperate to get rid of him before he 100% destroys him

Well it's too late. Impeach away. But we'll still hold CNN for treason. The two things aren't related. You can't steal from a store just because Trump set the one next to it on fire

BGO ,

Fatigue is setting in with this charade. Soon the (((pundits))) will respond with the obligatory ***yawn*** troll to all future allegations.

If Trump cannot or is unable to respond to this non-sense in the harshest terms possible, he should not be president. It's amazing no one in this drama has met their maker Hitlery style. If that cunt was in charge and dealing with this shit, bodies would have already hit the floor.

J Mahoney ,

This whole situation has to piss off anyone that is even 10% objective. How could any elected representative or senator still spew shit like "Leave Mueller Alone"

BOTTOM LINE -- If we do not get to work quickly to elect non establishment republicans in the midterms NOTHING will EVER be done and Trump may be forced out if Dems make gains

apocalypticbrother ,

All old news. No one in jail except Manafort. It really seems like Trump is powerless against agencys. He must hate being a powerless president.

squid ,

If, and I do mean IF, the GOP holds onto both houses of congress.....

Everyone of these fucks has to be indited with sedition, PERIOD.

its slam dunk. And, if the elected houses ever wants to get hold of the CIA, FBI and NSA and gain some control over those rogue agencies 20-50 agents from each will have to go down to spend the rest of their lives in Leavenworth.

These uncollected asshats have tried to change the government of the United States.

The only person on the left that appears to understand this is Glen Greenwald.

Squid

Save_America1st ,

the problem is that in my opinion the majority of the GOP is also so fucking corrupt that I don't think most of them actually want to hold control of the House. They never even wanted Trump to win in the first place. On top of that, I would say many of those treasonous scumbags probably actually wanted Hitlery to win the fucking thing even if Trump wasn't going to be her opponent!

Look at all the resignations. Never seen before in history. Why? Two reasons...Trump is using the evidence to push many of them out or they end up in Guantanamo for life. And others in the beginning were quitting in order to give up part of the majority in order to flip the House to the even more evil, treasonous Demoscums so that it would restrict Trump's full majority.

Just look how "No Name" McStain acted when voting down against repealing O-Fuck-You-Care, right???

He was a traitor, plain and fucking simple. We all know it. Fuck their bullshit funeral. That was a cathedral full of traitors to this country. Psychopaths and sociopaths. Except for General Kelly and General Mattis keeping a close eye on that room full of demons.

... ... ...

[Sep 15, 2018] The cutting off of water supplies to the Crimea

Sep 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile September 13, 2018 at 11:54 pm

Further to the criminal act perpetrated by the Ukrainian government, namely the cutting off of water supplies to the Crimea, one has to admit that as regards this matter the foreign minister of the Ukraine, Pavel Klmkin, is one obnoxious little twat:

Це не Україна відрізала Крим від води, це зробила Росія, силою відрізавши Крим від України. Сама по собі окупація Криму є страхітливим порушенням міжнародного права і людських прав усіх кримчан.

It is not the Ukraine that has cut off the Crimea from water: Russia did it, by its cutting off of the Crimea from the Ukraine by force. In its own right, the occupation of the Crimea is a terrible violation of international law and the rights of all Crimeans.

James lake September 14, 2018 at 2:32 am
Do the Crimeans have water?

If they do – then it's not such a great victory for Ukraine

Moscow Exile September 14, 2018 at 4:08 am
Yes, and they have desalination plants. The water from the canal that runs from Kherson is chiefly for irrigation. When they first closed the sluice in the Ukraine, the Crimea harvest suffered. No doubt Crimea-Tatar farmers were very pleased about this.

Water Resources of the Crimea

Crimean water resources are limited, failing to fully meet the drinking and economic needs of the region. Over 50 years, the problems of water resources in Crimea were solved by using Dnieper water supplied through North-Crimean Canal; however, after the integration of Crimea into Russia, Ukraine suspended water supply. At the aggravation of political situation between Russia and Ukraine, the situation in the water-management sphere in the Republic of Crimea looks very complicated. The water-management problems of Crimea should be solved based on its own potential. Groundwater resources are the leading factor of sustainable development of Crimean Region at the present stage.

Jen September 14, 2018 at 4:36 am
My understanding is that in 2015, Russian geologists discovered three aquifers in Crimean territory so pipelines have been built to connect the aquifers to the North Crimean Canal and to supply water to people living in eastern Crimea near Kerch.
https://sputniknews.com/russia/201504041020474871/#ixzz3WNLsZ6sG
Mark Chapman September 14, 2018 at 8:57 am
Right. Indulging the will of the very great majority of Crimeans is a terrible violation of international law, and that same population consequently deserves to be without water even though the supply they depended upon comes from Ukraine. Pull the other one, Pavlo. Not even a day-one civil-rights lawyer would buy that argument. The west has never contested that the decision of Crimeans to sever their ties to Ukraine was that of the majority – not really, It has danced around with that voting-at-the-point-of-a-Kalashnikov bullshit, but the vote was not even close. If there were a do-over with the strictest supervision of western officials, and Kuh-yiv itself got to write the referendum question, Crimea would still vote to secede, and the west knows it. If it was such a loyal part of Ukraine before, why was it the autonomous republic of Crimea?

The Ukraine-Crimea affair should stand as a textbook example of how the country that lost territory did absolutely everything wrong in its attempts to get it back.

[Sep 15, 2018] No US Interests Are Served by Trump s Endless, Illegal War in Syria by Daniel Larison

This just demonstrates the level of capture of the USA by Israeli lobby. But there is also some geopolitical play for the USA in this region and in this sense Syria is just a continuation of Iraq and Libya.
The goal of dominance over middle East (which correlates with Israel goals) and its oil is probably one of the driving force of those wars.
Notable quotes:
"... The issue is not only whether U.S. interests are affected but whether they are affected enough to justify the participation of the U.S. military in a foreign war -- which should entail a higher standard. ..."
"... The Trump administration's Syria policy is just one of many parts of its foreign policy that make a mockery of the idea that Trump puts American interests first. ..."
"... A continued U.S. military presence in Syria has nothing to do with protecting Americans or the citizens of our treaty allies, and so it has nothing to do with self-defense or the defense of allies. There is no international mandate for a U.S. military mission in Syria, and our forces are in Syrian territory in defiance of the Syrian government's wishes. ..."
"... Congress has not voted for any of this, and the public is probably only vaguely aware that there are U.S. forces in Syria. Americans did not vote for any of this, they haven't consented to it, their representatives have never debated or authorized any of it. I doubt that most Americans would support it once they were made aware of it, but the point is that the question has never been put before the voters or their representatives. ..."
Sep 11, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

No U.S. Interests Are Served by Trump's Endless, Illegal War in Syria

Paul Pillar objects to the Trump administration's policy of committing the U.S. to oppose Iran's military presence in Syria, and he observes that this decision has been made without any debate or Congressional authorization:

That shift warrants much more scrutiny and debate than it is getting. U.S. service members are being dispatched to a foreign war for the purpose of somehow getting one Middle Eastern state that has had a longstanding security relationship with another Middle Eastern state to remove its personnel from that second state [bold mine-DL].

Exactly how are U.S. interests supposedly affected by whether those personnel stay or go? The only Americans who might be harmed under one scenario but not the other are the very soldiers who are being dispatched.

The Syrian-Iranian alliance has existed for decades, going back to when the two states shared an adversary in the form of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.

The issue is not only whether U.S. interests are affected but whether they are affected enough to justify the participation of the U.S. military in a foreign war -- which should entail a higher standard.

Pillar's description of the administration's policy shows us how absurd it is. It makes no difference to U.S. vital interests if Iran keeps some military personnel in Syria, and it certainly isn't something that we should be risking the lives of American soldiers to change. If Syria's hostile neighbors don't like that, it is not the responsibility of our government to fix it for them. The Trump administration's Syria policy is just one of many parts of its foreign policy that make a mockery of the idea that Trump puts American interests first.

No U.S. interests are served by an endless, illegal war in Syria , and by risking a larger conflict with the Syrian government and its patrons this policy poses a threat to U.S. and international security.

A continued U.S. military presence in Syria has nothing to do with protecting Americans or the citizens of our treaty allies, and so it has nothing to do with self-defense or the defense of allies. There is no international mandate for a U.S. military mission in Syria, and our forces are in Syrian territory in defiance of the Syrian government's wishes.

Our forces have no legitimate reason to be there, and there is no legal basis for keeping them there. The Trump administration is risking war with as many as three governments in order to occupy part of someone else's country indefinitely for the sake of an unachievable goal that has no connection to U.S. security in the first place.

Congress has not voted for any of this, and the public is probably only vaguely aware that there are U.S. forces in Syria. Americans did not vote for any of this, they haven't consented to it, their representatives have never debated or authorized any of it. I doubt that most Americans would support it once they were made aware of it, but the point is that the question has never been put before the voters or their representatives.

Posted in foreign policy , politics . Tagged Russia , Iran , Syria , Paul Pillar , Donald Trump .

[Sep 15, 2018] Zakharova in extravagant dress claims on Russian talk show that US and UK are trying to "Iraq" Russia

Sep 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

kirill,

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

Nice interview with Zakharova over the Skripal frame job. The good part is at around 14 minutes where the loud yapping chihuahua, the UK, is put in its place.

It is not a global player by any measure and has nothing useful to contribute aside from riding Uncle Scumbag's coat-tails to bomb civilians in Syria.

Moscow Exile September 13, 2018 at 2:08 am

Here's Zakharova in a less extravagant rig out:

https://youtu.be/8MNKqJxPcHg

Repeatedly referred to as an "Old Hag" by a noisome visitor to the previous Stooge site.

Mark Chapman September 13, 2018 at 8:30 am

That's an unfortunate outfit; I prefer the business-dominatrix look for her.
Jen September 13, 2018 at 10:30 pm
Here's Zakharova striding along in her red power dress and her power shoes:
https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-moscow-russia-17th-aug-2017-russian-foreign-ministry-spokesperson-154195435.html
Moscow Exile September 13, 2018 at 11:17 pm
She is not displaying her thighs almost up to her crotch, though, as is Nauert often wont to do!
Mark Chapman September 13, 2018 at 11:42 pm
And I'm okay with that.
Moscow Exile September 13, 2018 at 11:58 pm
Get thee gone to a monastery, preferably a Russian Orthodox one, to purge thyself of thy wicked thoughts and deeds!

[Sep 15, 2018] Moscow is aware of who the people named as suspects in the Skripal case are, President Vladimir Putin said, adding that these people are civilians

Notable quotes:
"... The obvious thing for the British side to do would be to request Moscow to detain the two men so they could be interviewed as persons of interest. If this doesn't happen, it smacks of problems holding the official narrative together and I really can't see how the MSM could spin it away. Plus the surviving alleged victims or their families could have a case against the police for failing to investigate properly. ..."
"... They're already spinning it away by saying publicly that the responses they are getting from Russia are 'lies and obfuscation'. ..."
"... It will not make the slightest bit of difference in Britain; the British government will quickly announce, following any presentation of evidence by Russia, that it is all cleverly faked up, and remind people that these are professional intelligence agents, that's what they do, of course it looks convincing. All the more proof that they are what Britain says they are. ..."
Sep 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Warren September 12, 2018 at 12:41 pm

https://youtu.be/Rv7baKtUFAA

Fern September 12, 2018 at 3:44 pm

Moscow to London: Your move. This is an interesting development.

The obvious thing for the British side to do would be to request Moscow to detain the two men so they could be interviewed as persons of interest. If this doesn't happen, it smacks of problems holding the official narrative together and I really can't see how the MSM could spin it away. Plus the surviving alleged victims or their families could have a case against the police for failing to investigate properly.

Mark Chapman September 13, 2018 at 12:19 pm
They're already spinning it away by saying publicly that the responses they are getting from Russia are 'lies and obfuscation'.
Mark Chapman September 13, 2018 at 9:06 am
It will not make the slightest bit of difference in Britain; the British government will quickly announce, following any presentation of evidence by Russia, that it is all cleverly faked up, and remind people that these are professional intelligence agents, that's what they do, of course it looks convincing. All the more proof that they are what Britain says they are.

[Sep 15, 2018] On the meaning of the word "clearly"

Notable quotes:
"... 'Clearly' is an English term which is subject to national interpretations. In Canada – mostly English-speaking – it traditionally means, "supported by verifiable and compelling evidence", although I hasten to add that Canada cheerfully booted out 'Russian spies' to support its ally, Britain. ..."
"... But in England, 'clearly' might mean 'as required to serve in the cause of political necessity'. In this instance, if the passports/visas/whatever travel documents of the men concerned do not read "GRU Assassin Traveling on Business", then clearly there was an attempt to circumvent British checks. ..."
Sep 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile September 12, 2018 at 1:02 pm

Salisbury novichok attack: Russian spies smuggled chemical weapons through airport baggage checks, UK security minister admits

Two alleged Russian spies who launched the Salisbury attack smuggled novichok into the UK through Gatwick Airport, the security minister has confirmed.

I see! So now the disciplined and highly trained GRU assassins were spies as well.

Proper jack-of-all-trades!

Ben Wallace, who is currently Minister of State for Security and Economic Crime, " told the House of Commons there was 'clearly some form of attempt to create a legend to make sure that they circumvented our checks'.

'No doubt at the other end of that aeroplane journey [in Russia] there was some, I should think, the baggage checks weren't probably as good as they might be,' he added " -- because the Russians are all blithering incompetents stands ter reason, dunnit!

" Mr Wallace said requests for Russia to account for what happened in Salisbury had been met with 'obfuscation and lies', saying their response merely 'reinforces their guilt'. "

Of course it does! Why don't they just confess to what everyone knows they have done?

Jen September 12, 2018 at 8:18 pm
Were there no baggage checks by British customs officials at Gatwick International then?
Mark Chapman September 13, 2018 at 12:05 pm
'Clearly' is an English term which is subject to national interpretations. In Canada – mostly English-speaking – it traditionally means, "supported by verifiable and compelling evidence", although I hasten to add that Canada cheerfully booted out 'Russian spies' to support its ally, Britain.

But in England, 'clearly' might mean 'as required to serve in the cause of political necessity'. In this instance, if the passports/visas/whatever travel documents of the men concerned do not read "GRU Assassin Traveling on Business", then clearly there was an attempt to circumvent British checks.

[Sep 15, 2018] RT editor-in-chief's exclusive interview with Skripal case suspects Petrov Boshirov (TRANSCRIPT)

Notable quotes:
"... And the mockery from the Russophobes immediately kicks off in the British press! Travel all the way from Russia to visit Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge? What nonesense! Who are they trying to kid? That's because such a trip is barely imaginable for uncultured morons. ..."
Sep 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile September 13, 2018 at 5:11 am

RT editor-in-chief's exclusive interview with Skripal case suspects Petrov & Boshirov (TRANSCRIPT)
Published time: 13 Sep, 2018 11:32
Edited time: 13 Sep, 2018 12:29
James lake September 13, 2018 at 5:39 am
What a scoop! They don't look like the passport/ visa pictures which look like they were taken in bad light giving them a sinister air.

Scotland Yard should come over to interview them – they did say they were still investigating.

Moscow Exile September 13, 2018 at 6:16 am
And the mockery from the Russophobes immediately kicks off in the British press! Travel all the way from Russia to visit Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge? What nonesense! Who are they trying to kid? That's because such a trip is barely imaginable for uncultured morons.

When I last had the great misfortune to be in England with my family, and, to make matters worse, in London, my elder children begged and begged that we take a trip to Stonehenge. You see, they were fascinated by all that they had learnt about the place in their Russian schools.

We went on an excursion there, calling first at Windsor, then Salisbury, Stonehenge, and, finally, Bath for afternoon tea before heading off back to London.

Witness the moronity of some of my fellow countrymen in this comment published in today's Independent:

Well you can say a lot about our Russian friends: semi-educated, semi-civilised, pathological liars, undemocratic, authoritarian, crypto-fascist, mocked and despised the world over, but one thing we must concede is that they have a wonderful sense of humour.

So this delightful, oh-so intelligent looking couple flew all the way to Salisbury to have a look at the Cathedral clock, but the nasty inclement British weather (unlike tropical Moscow, of course) forced them to return with undue haste from whence they came.

May I suggest better acting classes and a credible script in future?

Doubtless the Indie's resident Putinite Mary Dejevsky, Comrade Corbyn and the brainless Prigozhin trolls infesting this site will try and sell it – because they are paid to, but anyone with an IQ higher than a daisy, ie. the rest of the sentient world, will shake their heads in disbelief at the knuckle-headed absurdity of this story.

Well, as regards the weather, moron, – for Russians, English snow is "inclement"', as it is wet shite. They were complaining of being wet to the knees. At the same time, in Russia it was minus 15C and there was plenty of deep, dry snow, which really would make Little Englanders like you whine.

Oh, and the person who owns that rag to which you wrote the above shite is owned by one of those "semi-educated, semi-civilised, pathological liars, undemocratic, authoritarian, crypto-fascist" Russians whom you so despise.

Moscow Exile September 13, 2018 at 6:29 am
Russians "semi-educated"?

In the years that I worked in England, in an English coal mine, I worked with quite a few fellow countrymen who were barely literate. I particularily remember one who often boasted that he had never read a book since he left school.

Fact :

Russia: The country with the highest literacy rate in Russia with almost 53% of the population has tertiary education. It is estimated that 95% of adults in Russia have higher secondary education and the country spends some 4.9% of GDP on education. 2.Jan 16, 2014

According to a study conducted in late April by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the U.S. can't read. That's 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can't read.Jul 7, 2017

Adult Litercy UK :
Around 15 per cent, or 5.1 million adults in England, can be described as 'functionally illiterate.' They would not pass an English GCSE and have literacy levels at or below those expected of an 11-year-old. They can understand short straightforward texts on familiar topics accurately and independently, and obtain information from everyday sources, but reading information from unfamiliar sources, or on unfamiliar topics, could cause problems.

Many adults are reluctant to admit to their literacy difficulties and ask for help. One of the most important aspects of supporting adults with low literacy levels is to increase their self-esteem and persuade them of the benefits of improving their reading and writing.

Cortes September 13, 2018 at 7:51 am
(Awaits gnashing of teeth and rending of garments)
Moscow Exile September 13, 2018 at 7:01 am
And the British Foreign Office has replied as follows:

"The government is clear these men are officers of the Russian military intelligence service – the GRU – who used a devastatingly toxic, illegal chemical weapon on the streets of our country."

"We have repeatedly asked Russia to account for what happened in Salisbury in March. Today – just as we have seen throughout – they have responded with obfuscation and lies."

No obfuscation and lies from the FO, though!

Anything but a confession of guilt is "obfuscation and lies", it seems.

"We have repeatedly asked Russia to account for what happened in Salisbury in March

I tell you what happened: nothing that the Russian state had anything to do with!

I suggest you ask your Yukie nazi pals for an account of what happened there, and your pals in Tel-Aviv as well.

From the MP for Salisbury:

James lake September 13, 2018 at 8:26 am
What's the next move going to be in this saga.

The UK say they used fake names

The two guys say that this is not true – they used there true passports

They gave a reason for being in Salisbury.

can the uk police show CCTV of those places ?

Where are the Skripals

Fern September 13, 2018 at 4:33 pm
Russia, cleverly, has thrown down the gauntlet. If the FCO claims that the story of Petrov and Boshirov is simply 'obfuscation and lies', then why not ask Russia to help make these guys available for interview and send a couple of detectives plus interpreter on the next flight to Moscow?

No matter how the FCO and British government huffs, puffs and tries to blow houses down, ultimately they will be unable to explain why they haven't sought to question these guys.

yalensis September 14, 2018 at 2:31 am
Agreed, Fern. This was a very clever move on the chess board. Odd as these 2 characters are, the latest gambit serves to take this whole matter out of the Harry Potter world of geo-political magick, and put down to the mundane world of a detective story and criminal procedures. It pushes the politicians aside to make room for the gumshoes. From this point onward, the story is a police procedural.

[Sep 15, 2018] In a nutshell: Krutikov's theory is that these 2 "gopniki" earn their daily bread by illegal (or semi-legal) trade in European vitamins and supplement. This is what brings them to Europe and what brought them to Salisbury, most likely (i.e., the purchase of supplements, for resale in Russia).

Notable quotes:
"... In a nutshell: Krutikov's theory is that these 2 "gopniki" earn their daily bread by illegal (or semi-legal) trade in European vitamins and supplement. This is what brings them to Europe and what brought them to Salisbury, most likely (i.e., the purchase of supplements, for resale in Russia). ..."
Sep 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

yalensis September 13, 2018 at 11:42 am

Krutikov has an interesting take on these guys. I think I will probably do this story tomorrow, in my blog, as a "breaking news".

In a nutshell: Krutikov's theory is that these 2 "gopniki" earn their daily bread by illegal (or semi-legal) trade in European vitamins and supplement. This is what brings them to Europe and what brought them to Salisbury, most likely (i.e., the purchase of supplements, for resale in Russia).

While in Salisbury they decided to have a look at the sights; that part rings true; might as well see some sights.

The semi-legal nature of their "business" accounts for their nervousness; while their status in the Russian criminal underworld accounts for their horror at Simonyan's assuming them to be gay. An allegation which they rejected more vehemently than the accusations of being poisoners!

Krutikov also points attention to another instance of Vladimir Putin's subtle humor. Recall that when Putin announced the existence of these guys to the world, a couple of days ago, he used a strange phrase: "There is nothing particularly criminal there."
As usual, Putin is one step ahead of everybody in this ludicrous chess game.

yalensis September 13, 2018 at 11:46 am
P.S. "никакого особого криминала" was the phrase used by Putin. At the time nobody paid much attention and it was translated as "There is nothing criminal there," but the actual phrase is "There is nothing particularly criminal there."
yalensis September 13, 2018 at 1:37 pm
Okay, I have to make a factual correction, Krutikov wass wrong about Putin's quote, and one of his commenters who questioned it, turned out to be correct. (Which is sort of sad for Krutikov, because he built his blogpost around the humor of Putin's supposedly implication that the duo are petty thieves.)

So, I found the actual vid of Putin making this utterance, it can be seen on this link:

https://iz.ru/788502/video/delo-skripalei-deviat-mostov-i-dziudo-vtoroi-den-vladimira-putina-na-vef
at around 1:48 minutes in. What Putin actually says is:

ничего там особенного и криминального нет which translates as:
"There is nothing extraordinary there, nor criminal."

Sort of different slant, no?

yalensis September 13, 2018 at 12:10 pm
Update: The currently reigning theory in the Russian blogosphere is that Petrov and Boshirov earn their living buying and selling anabolic steroids on the grey market. Simonjan herself noted that Petrov has the build of a body-builder.

The theory that they are a "gay pair" is also highly plausible. When Simonjan asked them about their relationship, they spazzed out and refused to answer. Blog commenters point out that this would be the moment when a man would indignantly mention that he had a wife and kids, or a girlfriend; but nothing like that ensued.

Other commenters have noted that Salisbury is well-known in the gay subculture for having a large number of rather excellent gay bars. Something that might have also drawn this couple there, in addition to seeing the cathedral spire!

In general, Russian press and blogosphere are having a field day with this story.

James lake September 13, 2018 at 1:30 pm
This is rather nasty – accused by the British of being assassins – then subjected to all this negative intrusion into their private life.

The RT media behave like the gutter tabloids in the UK.

They don't deserve this nasty speculation.

yalensis September 14, 2018 at 2:27 am
Agree with James on that one point, namely that the Russian press is becoming too tabloid-y and going after the sensationalism.
I feel sorry for this duo in that, if they are indeed gay and have now been outed due to what they call a "horrendous coincidence", then their lives in Russia will be miserable from this point onward.

Russian society is simply not accepting of two grown men living together in a relationship.

To add insult to injury, the gutter-commenters on the Russian blogs continue to call them "pedophiles". Even though (duh!) they are both grown men.

Not sure if they live in Moscow or not. If in Moscow, they might still be able to survive, as the city is so Western now. But if they live out there in the sticks -- forget it.

Meanwhile, I just thought of something else. If these guys were sophisticated enough to play the Westie system, then they could adopt a tone of utter outrage, that the British government is harassing them for being gay. The Brits would have to cave on that one and issue a humble apology.

Fern September 13, 2018 at 4:22 pm
I've been thinking along similar lines – that their apparent shiftiness and caginess about the nature of their work suggests they could be involved in something that's semi-legal or which walks a fine line between the legal and the not.

We've seen lots of CCTV footage of Petrov and Boshirov in Salisbury but nothing has been said of their movements in London; what they did there is probably the reason why they flew to the UK. Either that or the GRU is deficient in training its would-be assassins on the reliability (non-existent) of British rail services in bad weather.

Mark Chapman September 13, 2018 at 11:36 pm
Once again, Britain is stiff with CCTV. We know from previous discussions that there is CCTV coverage of the Skripals' street and even their house. Where is the CCTV video of the two GRU assassins on Skripal's street, or near his house? The British say they have this evidence and are happily building timelines around it, but where is the proof? If they have it, why don't they show it? It would shut Russian defenses right down. All we've seen is evidence of the two being in Salisbury. Apparently being Russian In Salisbury is now like Driving While Black. Both automatically presuppose you are a criminal.
kirill September 13, 2018 at 5:06 pm
If they are gay, then the UK is going to have really bad optics with its setup. Gay GRU agents? According the UK MSM Russian gays are all being arrested and thrown in jail.

[Sep 15, 2018] Excellent review of the interview by Craig Murray, Well worth reading

Notable quotes:
"... The Russian Embassy in London has been keeping a record of all the scenarios presented in the UK by the Govt/MSM and at the last count it was stated that there were 40 different, often contradictory, unproven scenarios. ..."
Sep 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

James lake September 13, 2018 at 1:44 pm

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/09/the-strange-russian-alibi/

Excellent review of the interview by Craig Murray, Well worth reading

I agree with his assessment that RT did a very poor interview.

Moscow Exile September 13, 2018 at 10:18 pm
" Even more strange is the idea that it is wildly improbable for Russian visitors to wish to visit Salisbury cathedral and Stonehenge. Salisbury Cathedral is one of the most breathtaking achievements of Norman architecture, one of the great cathedrals of Europe. It attracts a great many foreign visitors. Stonehenge is world famous and a world heritage site. I went on holiday this year and visited Wurzburg to see the Bishop's Palace, and then the winery cooperative at Sommerach. Because somebody does not choose to spend their leisure time on a beach in Benidorm does not make them a killer. Lots of people go to Salisbury Cathedral. "

I had exactly the same thoughts! Holidays for most British moronic Tweeters means Benidorm and boooze in "British Pubs" that arte emblazoned with "Fish & Chips" signs.

I mentioned above that before setting off for London in June, 2016, my two eldest insisted that we include Stonehenge in our itinerary.

We were only in London for 3 days, though, before we set off for England, heading north to the English lakeland national park.

Moscow Exile September 13, 2018 at 10:23 pm
And saying that the RT interview was "poor" has now become a meme.

The interview was a scoop and not given the usual razzamatazz shite presention so beloved by the Western news media, such as FOX TV.

Moscow Exile September 13, 2018 at 11:14 pm
The British Foreign Office almost immediately reacted to the RT scoop with its usual bluster: "Lies and obfuscation!"

Interesting accusation off HM government is that!

Since March 4 of this year, the British side has stated that:

Yulia Skripal brought "Novichok" in her suitcase.

The Skripals were poisoned with buckwheat.

The Skripals were poisoned with bouquet of flowers at the cemetery.

The Skripals were poisoned with an UAV drone.

The Skripals were poisoned through air conditioning in the car.

The Skripals were poisoned with an aerosol.

The Skripals were poisoned by Mikhail Savitskis (aka "Gordon") group, consisting of 6 killers.

The killer/s poured "Novichok"onto a door handle.

The Skripals were poisoned with "Novichok" in a form of a gel.

The Skripals were poisoned with a perfume bottle (so it seems "Novichok" is still liquid).

The killer/s poured "Novichok" in a public toilet.

The killer/s poured "Novichok" in a hotel room.

The Skripals were poisoned by 2 GRU* agents.

"Novichok" is a "5–8 times more lethal than VX nerve agent" and "the most deadly ever made", though it can't kill even 2 people.

*There has, in fact, been no such organization known as the GRU in Russia since 2010, when the official name of the unit was changed from ″GRU″ [ Главное разведывательное управление -- Glavnoye razvedyvatel'noye upravleniye ], namely "The Main intelligence Agency", to "The Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation", or ″GU″ [Главное управление Генерального штаба Вооружённых Сил Российской Федерации -- Glavnoye upravleniye General'nogo shtaba Vooruzhyonnykh Sil Rossiiskoi Federatsii ].

The Russian Embassy in London has been keeping a record of all the scenarios presented in the UK by the Govt/MSM and at the last count it was stated that there were 40 different, often contradictory, unproven scenarios.

Last week, the UK Ambassador to the UN, she who resembles a drag-queen well past his sell-by date, namely the inimitable Karen Pierce, attempted to take the piss out of Russia by stating at the UNSC that Russia had put forward 40 different accounts of what had happened, which ludicrous proposals simply proved how lacking in credibility the Russian government allegations are.

The reality was, however, that in presenting such accounts, Russia was taking the piss out of Her Majesty's Government and the sensationalist, Russophobic, warmongering British press and their more than 40 accounts of what happened in Salisbury last March.

The delectable Karen seemed unaware of this fact.

Recall, that Pierce is the woman, a high ranking British diplomat, no less, who believes that Russia (i.e. the Russian Federation that came into existence in 1991) was founded on many of Karl Marx's precepts.

[Sep 14, 2018] The origin of Wikileak

Notable quotes:
"... From the outset, Wikileaks' geopolitical focus on "oppressive regimes" in Eurasia and the Middle East was "appealing" to America's elites, i.e. it seemingly matched stated US foreign policy objectives. Moreover, the composition of the Wikileaks team (which included Chinese dissidents), not to mention the methodology of "exposing secrets" of foreign governments, were in tune with the practices of US covert operations geared towards triggering "regime change" and fostering "color revolutions" in different parts of the World." ..."
"... Wikileaks is not a typical alternative media initiative. The New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel are directly involved in the editing and selection of leaked documents. The London Economist has also played an important role. ..."
"... While the project and its editor Julian Assange reveal a commitment and concern for truth in media, the recent Wikileaks releases of embassy cables have been carefully "redacted" by the mainstream media in liaison with the US government. (See Interview with David E. Sanger, Fresh Air, PBS, December 8, 2010) ..."
"... This collaboration between Wikileaks and selected mainstream media is not fortuitous; it was part of an agreement between several major US and European newspapers and Wikileaks' editor Julian Assange" ..."
Aug 24, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

NORTHERN STAR August 22, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Hmmm ..When the limited hangout truth expose' is found to be MSM vetted lies:

"Wikileaks formulated its mandate on its website as follows:

"[Wikileaks will be] an uncensorable version of Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. Our primary interests are oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the west who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their own governments and corporations," CBC News – Website wants to take whistleblowing online, January 11, 2007, emphasis added).

This mandate was confirmed by Julian Assange in a June 2010 interview in The New Yorker:

******"Our primary targets are those highly oppressive regimes in China, Russia and Central Eurasia, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the West who wish to reveal illegal or immoral behavior in their own governments and corporations. (quoted in WikiLeaks and Julian Paul Assange : The New Yorker, June 7, 2010, emphasis added)*****

Assange also intimated that "exposing secrets" "could potentially bring down many administrations that rely on concealing reality -- including the US administration." (Ibid)

From the outset, Wikileaks' geopolitical focus on "oppressive regimes" in Eurasia and the Middle East was "appealing" to America's elites, i.e. it seemingly matched stated US foreign policy objectives. Moreover, the composition of the Wikileaks team (which included Chinese dissidents), not to mention the methodology of "exposing secrets" of foreign governments, were in tune with the practices of US covert operations geared towards triggering "regime change" and fostering "color revolutions" in different parts of the World."

"The Role of the Corporate Media: The Central Role of the New York Times

Wikileaks is not a typical alternative media initiative. The New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel are directly involved in the editing and selection of leaked documents. The London Economist has also played an important role.

While the project and its editor Julian Assange reveal a commitment and concern for truth in media, the recent Wikileaks releases of embassy cables have been carefully "redacted" by the mainstream media in liaison with the US government. (See Interview with David E. Sanger, Fresh Air, PBS, December 8, 2010)

This collaboration between Wikileaks and selected mainstream media is not fortuitous; it was part of an agreement between several major US and European newspapers and Wikileaks' editor Julian Assange"

https://www.globalresearch.ca/who-is-behind-wikileaks-2/22389

[Sep 14, 2018] British Are In Flight Forward, Frantic to Save the Empire

Sep 06, 2018 | larouchepac.com
Prime Minister Teresa May took to the floor of the Parliament today to report that the Crown Prosecution Service and Police had issued warrants for two Russian GRU officials who, they claim, had carried out the Skripal attacks last March. "We were right," she said with a stiff upper lip, "to say in March that the Russian State was responsible." Mugshots were released of two people whose names, she declared, were aliases (how they know they are GRU officials if they don't know their names was not explained). "This chemical weapon attack on our soil was part of a wider pattern of Russian behavior that persistently seeks to undermine our security and that of our allies around the world," she intoned.

At the same time, dire warnings have been issued to Syria and Russia that there will be a major military response if Syria uses chemical weapons in Idlib. This is despite the fact that Russia has presented the proof to the OPCW and to the UN that the British intelligence-linked Olive security outfit and the British-sponsored White Helmet terrorists have prepared a false flag chlorine attack in Idlib, to be blamed on the Syrian government, to trigger such a military atrocity by the US and the UK.

Also at the same time, in the US, Washington Post fraudster Bob Woodward released a book claiming that numerous Trump cabinet officials made wildly slanderous statements about Trump -- all third hand from anonymous sources, of course. Chief of Staff John Kelly called the claims "total BS," while Secretary of State Jim Mattis called it typical Washington DC fiction, adding that "the idea that I would show contempt for the elected Commander-in-Chief, President Trump, or tolerate disrespect to the office of the President from within our Department of Defense, is a product of someone's rich imagination."

Worse, the New York Times, apparently for the first time, printed an "anonymous" op-ed by someone claiming to be a "senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us," under the title: "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration -- I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations." Whether this person is or is not who they claim to be, it is clearly part of the British coup attempt, as proven in the op-ed itself. After calling Trump amoral, unhinged, and more, and claiming there is discussion within the Administration of using the 25th Amendment to remove him for mental incompetence, it then states: "Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations [read: the United Kingdom - ed.]. Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals. On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin's spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable."

And, while news about the British drive for war with Russia and their attempted coup against the government of the United States fills the airwaves and the press, not a single word -- repeat, not a single word -- has been reported in the US or British media about the truly historic conference which took place on Monday and Tuesday in Beijing, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAP). Helga Zepp-LaRouche declared this week that this event will be recognized in history as the end of the era of colonialism and neo-colonialism. Every African nation except one was represented at the conference in Beijing (the "one" was Swaziland, the last holdout on the African continent which still maintains diplomatic relations with Taiwan rather than Beijing).

All but six were represented their head of state. They reviewed the transformation taking place across Africa due to the Belt and Road Initiative since the last FOCAP meeting in 2015, and laid out plans for the even more rapid development over the next three years, and on to 2063 -- the target year for full modernization over 50 years, adopted by the African Union in 2013. One after another the leaders of the African nations described the actual liberation taking place, finally seeing in China the example that real development and the escape from poverty is possible. The program launched at the 1955 Asian-African Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, where the formerly colonized nations met for the first time without their colonial masters, has finally been realized.

But no one reading the western press would even know that this transformative event had taken place.

Rather, there is only the new McCarthyism, trying to demonize Russia and China, to revive the "enemy image" which should have been eliminated with the fall of the Soviet Union and the recognition of the People's Republic of China.

Trump threatens this new McCarthyism, insisting that America should be friends with Russia and China. No longer will the U.S. accept Lord Palmerston's imperial dictate for the Empire, that "nations have no permanent friends or allies, only permanent interests." The "special relationship" is to be no more.

This is the cause of Theresa May's hysterical rant today in the Parliament. Better war, led by the "dumb giant" America, than to see the Empire destroyed in a world united through a shared vision of universal development.

Britain's drive for war must be exposed and stopped, along with their Russiagate coup attempt in the US. A victory for the common aims of mankind is within our grasp, but the danger is great, and the time is short.

[Sep 14, 2018] Skripals might well be a warning to Russia do not try to eliminate terrorists in Idlib or we will sink you in dirt

Some interesting insights. Looks like high stake political poker
Notable quotes:
"... While Britain crumbled in compliments of the OPCW experts it had bought for the act, Russia dealt the most powerful bomb attack in Idlib, clearing the way for the Syrian army to destroy the last enclave of American suckers. And thus it struck a blow to the British political elite. After all, all the dances around the Skripals and the subsequent sanctions are designed to prevent what Russia is doing now in Idlib. Not prevented. And this is a demonstration of the weakness of the British ruling class, capable only of biting stealthily behind its heels. ..."
Sep 09, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
pogohere , Sep 8, 2018 3:00:08 AM | link

...

Russia's asymmetric response is very painful.

https://cont.ws/@alex-haldey/1054552

machine translated from the original Russian; excerpted:

The fact is that Russia pursues its policy without regard to their provocations. She defeated the Wahhabis trained by the West in the Caucasus, snatched Crimea from under the nose. The US scenario in Ukraine broke. Restores the EAEC. In Syria, Russia completely threw the Anglo-Saxon West off the pedestal, which he held there all the post-war 50 years. That is, with its bombing of head choppers, Russia has broken the rigid "Full Spectrum Dominance" situation created and maintained by the Americans since the dissolution of the USSR. This is a disaster, which the Anglo-Saxon world has nothing to answer nuclear to Russia.

While Britain crumbled in compliments of the OPCW experts it had bought for the act, Russia dealt the most powerful bomb attack in Idlib, clearing the way for the Syrian army to destroy the last enclave of American suckers. And thus it struck a blow to the British political elite. After all, all the dances around the Skripals and the subsequent sanctions are designed to prevent what Russia is doing now in Idlib. Not prevented. And this is a demonstration of the weakness of the British ruling class, capable only of biting stealthily behind its heels.

But worst of all, the actions in Idlib demonstrate the US weakness. Trump is completely beaten down - by his neocon rivals, not Russia. Russia has revealed the preparations for the provocation of the Khimatki in Idlib, which the US rep in the United Nations has announced to the whole world. With all the details, such number of barrels of chorine delivered to headchoppers and their color, as well the path of those barrels to Idlib and places of their secret storage. Now with those revelation it make much less sense to launch this operation.

But the operation will be. The match will take place in any weather. The United States has already outlined the places on which they will strike rocket-bomb strikes. The assault will be more decisive than the previous time. Preparation is as if the US is confident - the chlorine attack will take place. Then, when they decide in the US. Not in Damascus, but in Washington. That is, in general, all masks are dropped and the States openly prepare for aggression with provocation in a sovereign country where they are open in the status of an occupier. And even if there is no chemotherapy at all, the American blow will take place. Too much Russian was battered by bombs of American protégés. They are too close to defeat, for which the reason for finding Americans in Syria will disappear. How can this be allowed? The impact of prestige is necessary and it will be, even if the Sun falls to the ground and the Mississippi will flow backwards. Only prestige is not visible.

The USA are increasingly falling down replacing the strategy with tactics. The attack on Syria is necessary for Americans not because they will decide the outcome of the campaign. But because the US needs to introduce its ground forces to change the course of the war, with all possible negative consequences such as possible the death of the military personnel and the open clash with Iran, Syria and Russia. And even with Turkey. With China silently standing behind them the global consequences of this action are unpredictable. One possible consequence can well be the collapse of NATO. This "Second Vietnam" might crush not only the American president, but the US itself. The other scenario is that the USA just want to "score a goal of prestige" and leave the lost match. They will strike at Syria, where again Russian intelligence will reveal in advance the alleged targets of the strike, withdraw the critical assets from there, and then we have a firework of exploding Tomahawks intercepted by defenders.

Russia in Idlib is now in a very difficult position due to Turkey, not so much the USA. The repelling of the USA attach is one thing, but the main danger that it can't achieve too much on the ground de to Turkish interests in the area. Trump attack would be mainly for domestic consumption, the show created on the4 eve of the congressional elections. And even repelling the attack can be counterproductive -- Russia risks drowning Trump, instead of somehow supporting his formidable image and helping to win. Simply because Trump is beneficial to Russia - it's too cool he breaks everything on what the American power of the past decades was based. Helping his impeachment is not in the national interests of Russia. That means that Trump must come out of those stupid and counterproductive Tomahawks salvos without losing his face.

The US remains the world hegemon and want to remain as such for a long time. That's why it beats Russia with sanctions. But Russia does not need to oppose the USA. It just need to help to build a countervailing power. And Berlin, supported by Moscow's cheap gas, can be countervailing force for London in Europe.

The threat of losing global hegemony is very painful for both the British and Americans. It is so painful that they organized the collapse of the ruble and this false flag operation in Salisbury. And then OPSW were intimidated by British special services.

Russia should responds asymmetrically -- by continuing to build up its economy and prosperity of its citizens and ignore such insane and ineffective actions by London and Washington.

Russia already had shown Erdogan how easily caravans with oil are bombed, Russia does not want to allow its exports from Syria. And the US will have to withdraw from Syria there sooner or later. Still, Russia should give Trump the opportunity to finish his term without outright humiliation in Syria. The United States might not have the second such president, as Russia will not have a second Gorbachev.

[Sep 14, 2018] Renowned French security expert Paul Barril revaled the existence of Operation Beluga, a covert Western intelligence scheme intended to undermine Russia and its leaders

Notable quotes:
"... "Renowned French security expert Paul Barril has let loose a bombshell: the existence of Operation Beluga, a covert Western intelligence scheme intended to undermine Russia and its leaders." ..."
"... Renowned French security expert Paul Barril, in an interview, alleges that Berezovsky was working closely with MI6 and the CIA to discredit Russia and Putin, and that large sums from these agencies were passing through Berezovsky's hands to be paid to individuals to cooperate in these efforts. Barril says Litvinenko was one of Berezovsky's bag men, who passed funds on to others. ..."
"... "Russia has nothing to do with the murder of Litvinenko. The case was fabricated from the beginning. Polonium was chosen as the poison due to its production in Russia, it would implicate Russia. The objective of the whole operation was to discredit president Putin and the FSB. It was done because Russia is blocking US interests around the world, especially in Syria. It was an attempt to weaken Putin's hold on power, to destabilize Russia." ..."
Aug 19, 2018 | www.theblogmire.com

Miheila says: August 19, 2018 at 9:39 am

"Polonium was chosen as the poison due to its production in Russia, it would implicate Russia". Exactly. Just as 'Novichok' was allegedly used in Salisbury, due to it allegedly being developed in Russia (Mirzyanov) – even though it wasn't actually used against the Skripals at all. Maybe this element of the hoax was inspired by Beluga's use of polonium in the Litvinenko affair.
Anonymous says: August 20, 2018 at 8:06 am
Miheila, the polonium story always seems crazy to me. It relies on Litvinenko being too mean not to buy his own cup of tea. Hardly a foolproof assassination method.
Anonymous-1 says: August 19, 2018 at 5:20 am
PAGE 4 OF 4
This follows a similar pattern to Alexander Litvinenko. Walter Litvinenko, his father, believes Alex received a second dose of agent whilst in hospital. It was a Worlds Apart interview but is now the subject of an Ofcom complaint. Walter said his suspicions were raised by the secrecy of the British government and the fact that they wouldn't let him see any reports. So he made his own investigations, and from initially thinking it was Russia, he now believes it was the British government. He returned to Russia in fear of his life.

OPERATION BELUGA

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2018/03/15/operation-beluga-the-plot-to-demonise-putin/

"Renowned French security expert Paul Barril has let loose a bombshell: the existence of Operation Beluga, a covert Western intelligence scheme intended to undermine Russia and its leaders."

The https://www.opednews.com is wrong link, should be: http://mirastnews.com/2016/03/operation-beluga-a-us-uk-plot-to-discredit-putin-and-destabilize-the-russian-federation.html

Renowned French security expert Paul Barril, in an interview, alleges that Berezovsky was working closely with MI6 and the CIA to discredit Russia and Putin, and that large sums from these agencies were passing through Berezovsky's hands to be paid to individuals to cooperate in these efforts. Barril says Litvinenko was one of Berezovsky's bag men, who passed funds on to others.

"Russia has nothing to do with the murder of Litvinenko. The case was fabricated from the beginning. Polonium was chosen as the poison due to its production in Russia, it would implicate Russia. The objective of the whole operation was to discredit president Putin and the FSB. It was done because Russia is blocking US interests around the world, especially in Syria. It was an attempt to weaken Putin's hold on power, to destabilize Russia."

Barril mentions the outspoken Putin foe, financier William Browder, as being in close cooperation with Berezovsky in the discreditation efforts. He also says he is sure Berezovsky was murdered by his secret service handlers after they realized he was behaving erratically and had to be silenced so that he wouldn't give them away.

[Sep 13, 2018] Looks like the UK police manipulated the images, i.e. fabricated the evidence. Very interesting to have this confirmed directly....

Notable quotes:
"... So they went through the same corridor just like I demonstrated in https://postimg.cc/image/pw7t667ch/ . This means the UK police manipulated the images, i.e. fabricated the evidence. Very interesting to have this confirmed directly.... ..."
Sep 13, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Norwegian , Sep 13, 2018 7:15:14 AM | link

@40 sejomoje:

"I'm with you Norwegian. Same tunnel, different times."

Yes, and now we have proof that this interpretation is correct. See their interview now on RT: https://www.rt.com/news/438350-petrov-boshirov-interview-simonyan/

I added bold in the quote below:
---
The RT editor-in-chief also touched upon the most puzzling picture of the two, the photo from the Gatwick airport.

"Here is the picture that puzzled the whole world, Gatwick airport, you are leaving through a gate literally in the same times, almost the same second. How did it happen?" she asked.

" We always go together through the same corridor and the same custom service officer or a policeman. One goes, the other waits. We went through the corridor together, we always [do it] together .

How did it happen? It's better to ask them [UK police]," Boshirov replied.
---

So they went through the same corridor just like I demonstrated in https://postimg.cc/image/pw7t667ch/ . This means the UK police manipulated the images, i.e. fabricated the evidence. Very interesting to have this confirmed directly....

[Sep 12, 2018] Since we've rarely been in such situations as Trump created in Syria, we don't really know what the margin of error is, nor what could lead to the use of nuclear weapons.

Sep 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

reiner Tor , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 4:48 pm GMT

@Anonymous

Absolutely. Trump is being led by the nose into WW3. It's only a matter of time, unfortunately. The issue is that, while most likely there will be no ww3 after this newest crisis, just as there was no nuclear war after the April crisis, we never know exactly how close we are to a nuclear war, because previously both parties tried to stay clear of such situations. How many times can the US illegally strike at Syrian targets without it leading to some Russian response which would in turn lead to some US response and so on, until we'll face some kind of situation where the sweating, nervous and sleep-deprived leadership of one of these nuclear superpowers will in an underground bunker rightly or wrongly contemplate the possibility that if they don't use their nukes in 20 minutes, they'll lose most of them..? Since we've rarely been in such situations, we don't really know what the margin of error is, nor what could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. We have no idea.

Tom Welsh , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 7:41 pm GMT
"It would be desirable, one presumes, to avoid an open conflict with Russia, which would be unpredictable "

Quite wrong, and very dangerous. In fact an "open conflict" (or, as we say in English, a war) against Russia would – very predictably indeed – have one of two possible outcomes:

1. A catastrophic and decisive defeat for the USA;

or

2. The destruction of all human life.

[Sep 12, 2018] George Galloway made a couple of very interesting points, especially about the time stamp on the photo. He said the Skripals left the house in the morning, never to return. The "Russian agents" could not have arrived in Salisbury until noon or thereabouts

Sep 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

m , Sep 12, 2018 3:04:05 PM | link

To add to Norwegian@3, George Galloway made a couple of very interesting points, especially about the time stamp on the photo. He said the Skripals left the house in the morning, never to return. The "Russian agents" could not have arrived in Salisbury until noon or thereabouts...hmmmm...and they would have had to paint the doorknob with this deadliest of poisons in full view of everyone. Perhaps the Russians have learned to time travel or warp time. I wouldn't put it past them http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50231.htm

[Sep 12, 2018] UK Launches New Wave of Anti-Russia Hysteria to Pursue Its Own Hidden Agenda by Arkady SAVITSKY

Notable quotes:
"... "the full range of tools from across our national security apparatus." ..."
"... "We have heard or seen two names, these names mean nothing to me personally," ..."
"... "I don't understand why this was done and what sort of signal the British side is sending." ..."
"... "The US and UK stand firmly together in holding Russia accountable for its act of aggression on UK soil." ..."
Sep 08, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

Prime Minister Theresa May made a statement to accuse Russia of being behind the Skripal poisoning case . She went to address the parliament right after prosecutors accused two Russian men, allegedly military intelligence officers, to perpetrate the assassination attempt. These are the first criminal charges in the case that has spoiled the West-Russian relations so much. The British government has issued EU arrest warrants and Interpol red notices to have the two individuals arrested by police in any country should they leave Russia's territory.

According to the PM, Great Britain and its friends must step up collective efforts against Russia. Its military intelligence service (the GRU) is to be specifically targeted employing "the full range of tools from across our national security apparatus." Before making the speech that sounded hostile toward Moscow, the PM had talked the matter over with US President Trump and other friendly world leaders. Ms May is expected to raise the issue at the UN General Assembly later this month. No doubt, London will ask the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate the case. The UK will probably impose sanctions of its own and call on others to join. As usual, media "leaks" will pour more fuel on the fire. Anti-Russia forces in the West will get the second wind.

Ben Wallace, Minister of State for Security at the Home Office, attributed direct blame on Russian President Vladimir, something Ms. May avoided to do. He said the Russian leader bears responsibility for the nerve agent attack.

The photos of two men that have visited the UK are not evidence to support the PM' claims. "We have heard or seen two names, these names mean nothing to me personally," Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters in Moscow. "I don't understand why this was done and what sort of signal the British side is sending." But one thing is curtain – the British government wants as much noise and publicity as possible. It raises hue and cry in an evident attempt to further deteriorate the West-Russia relations and it does it on purpose. Why now? Because this is the right time to pursue the hidden agenda.

US Ambassador to Britain Woody Johnson said on Twitter: "The US and UK stand firmly together in holding Russia accountable for its act of aggression on UK soil." He was quick to react. Evidently, Mr Johnson wasted no time on waiting for instructions. It had all been known, discussed and decided before.

By spearheading the anti-Russia campaign in the West, London increases its political weight before Brexit takes place. With its unity in peril, the West needs something to keep it together and the Russia's bogey comes in handy.

The second round of US sanctions imposed to punish Russia for the alleged, but never proven, use of nerve agents, is much tougher than the first one in force since August. It is to take effect in November – the same month US midterm elections take place.

The "Skripal sanctions" are not introduced by Congress but the State Department. It's up to the president to impose them or not. If President Trump's party keeps the majority in both houses, the pressure to prove he is tough on Russia will ease. The president may soften the sanctions or not impose them at all. The reinvigoration of "Skripal poisoning" campaign will make it much harder to do. Donald Trump as well as EU leaders will be under constant pressure to do more to counter Russia.

True, the EU is not interested in whipping up tensions in its relationship with Russia amid the sanctions war and other things to deteriorate its relationship with the United States. But on the other hand, Eurosceptics, who are friendly to Moscow, are predicted to win big in the European parliament election in May. They may get every third vote and have enough seats to stymie the functioning of the "unreformed" EU as we know it today. It will put into jeopardy the very survival of the bloc. Many of Eurosceptics want the relations with Russia normalized and the sanctions lifted. Be it Skripal or something else, an anti-Russia campaign is needed to attack them. They'll be painted as "useful idiots" or "traitors" promoting Russia's evil plans to destroy the West. Here again, the imaginary "Russia threat" serves the purpose perfectly.

The events in Syria are distorted to denigrate Russia but that's happening far away. Spreading around the stories about Moscow using chemical weapons in Europe may have the desired effect to keep voters away from throwing their support behind those who can change the European political landscape.

There is actually nothing new in what the British PM stated. It's not so important what exactly she said. It's timing that matters. The moment is right for anti-Russia hysteria to be given a fresh impetus. Will this tactics work? The November elections in the US and the European elections in May will show. The closer is the vote, the more concocted stories about the nefarious Russia's activities will come into the spotlight.

[Sep 12, 2018] We know who people named as suspects in Skripal case are, they are civilians Putin -- RT World News

Notable quotes:
"... "nothing criminal" ..."
"... "I want to address them [the suspects]... [I hope] they contact the media. I hope they appear and tell everything about themselves," ..."
"... "Neither Russia's top leadership nor those with lower ranks, and [Russian] officials, have had anything to do with the events in Salisbury," ..."
"... "It seems very strange that these people have absolutely left what seems to be a very reckless and clear trail of evidence, which almost seems to be designed, or at least would almost inevitably lead to, the conclusions that the police and the authorities have come to today, in other words that Russia were to blame," ..."
"... "bits of evidence that may look pretty compelling but will never be tested in a real court of law." ..."
"... "perfect cover for smuggling the weapon into the country and a perfect delivery method for the attack against the Skripal's front door." ..."
Sep 12, 2018 | www.rt.com

Home World News We know who people named as suspects in Skripal case are, they are civilians – Putin Published time: 12 Sep, 2018 06:56 Edited time: 12 Sep, 2018 12:57 Get short URL We know who people named as suspects in Skripal case are, they are civilians – Putin 'Alexander Petrov' and 'Ruslan Boshirov' are seen in an image handed out by the Metropolitan Police in London, Britain / Reuters Moscow is aware of who the people named as suspects in the Skripal case are, President Vladimir Putin said, adding that these people are civilians. Saying that there is "nothing criminal" about the two, Putin also hopes that the people in question will eventually come forward and talk to the media.

"I want to address them [the suspects]... [I hope] they contact the media. I hope they appear and tell everything about themselves," he said, addressing the audience during the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in the Russian city of Vladivostok.

Read more 'Alexander Petrov' and 'Ruslan Boshirov', are seen in an image handed out by the Metropolitan Police in London, Britain September 5, 2018 British prosecutors name the 2 Russians suspected of poisoning the Skripals

Earlier in September, UK prosecutors named two Russians they suspect of poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury this March. According to London, their names are Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov. Russia denies any involvement and accuses Britain of spinning the case to stir anti-Russian sentiment.

Beyond identifying them as Russian nationals, the prosecutors gave no indication as to who the men are.

After London again blamed Russia, implying that officials at the highest levels of power could be responsible for the poisoning, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rebuffed the allegations.

"Neither Russia's top leadership nor those with lower ranks, and [Russian] officials, have had anything to do with the events in Salisbury," he said at that time.

The Kremlin spokesman added that Putin didn't personally speak to the two individuals identified by the British authorities as suspects in the case. Russian law enforcement has not made any moves to prosecute them, Peskov said.

According to the investigators, the suspects who arrived in Britain from Moscow left traces of the poison used in the attack in the hotel room they stayed in. They were also caught on CCTV cameras in Salisbury twice, including on the day of the attack, and traveled back directly to the Russian capital.

READ MORE: Skripal saga aimed to stir anti-Russia sentiment of Cold War - Ken Livingstone to RT

This trail of evidence from the supposedly highly-trained perpetrators casts doubt over Moscow's involvement, according to a number of security experts. "It seems very strange that these people have absolutely left what seems to be a very reckless and clear trail of evidence, which almost seems to be designed, or at least would almost inevitably lead to, the conclusions that the police and the authorities have come to today, in other words that Russia were to blame," Charles Shoebridge, a security expert and former British military officer, told RT. Annie Machon, a former MI5 intelligence officer, said the inquiry into the case has effectively turned into a trial by media, based on "bits of evidence that may look pretty compelling but will never be tested in a real court of law."

London also insists that a counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume box was used as container and delivery device for the chemical used in the poisoning. It was later found by Charlie Rowley in the town of Amesbury, not far from Salisbury. They also claim that the noxious agent was in a bottle that had been altered to make it "perfect cover for smuggling the weapon into the country and a perfect delivery method for the attack against the Skripal's front door."

Reacting to the prosecutors' statement, Russian envoy to the UN Vasily Nebenzya joked that the nerve agent attack has so far had only one benefactor – Nina Ricci.

[Sep 12, 2018] Explosive Skripal allegations may blow up in Syria by George Galloway

Sep 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

tac , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 4:51 pm GMT

@annamaria

... ... ...

Today's latest offering is that the 'Russians' in the 'mugshots' released last week are 'already dead' having been 'executed by Putin' to stop them talking, forever. Which neatly avoids the British state asking Russia for help in identifying them. London's failure to do so was already arousing suspicion amongst a cynical public. There is now no point, the would-be assassins are now six-feet below the permafrost of Anglo-Russian relations.

The media here have completely ignored the statement of the head of the anti-terrorist squad of Scotland Yard that he had "No" evidence of Russian state involvement in the crime in Salisbury, preferring instead the cheap barroom brawling of the British prime minister on the floor of the House of Commons cheered on by the vulgar popular press and their more refined elder sisters in the upmarket papers and on the BBC.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/438157-skripal-syria-allegations-russia/

annamaria , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 6:09 pm GMT
@tac

FSB arrests ISIS member 'who planned murder of a Donbass leader on behalf of Ukraine'

The Russian security service, the FSB, says it has arrested an Islamic State operative who was planning to murder one of the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) on behalf of the Ukrainian authorities.
The suspected terrorist was identified as Mejid Magomedov, who was born in 1988 in Russia's southern Dagestan republic. He was arrested on Sunday in Russia's Smolensk region in the west of the country.
https://www.rt.com/news/438028-fsb-isis-member-ukraine/


Explosive Skripal allegations may blow up in Syria - George Galloway

Today's latest offering is that the 'Russians' in the 'mugshots' released last week are 'already dead' having been 'executed by Putin' to stop them talking, forever. Which neatly avoids the British state asking Russia for help in identifying them. London's failure to do so was already arousing suspicion amongst a cynical public. There is now no point, the would-be assassins are now six-feet below the permafrost of Anglo-Russian relations.

The media here have completely ignored the statement of the head of the anti-terrorist squad of Scotland Yard that he had "No" evidence of Russian state involvement in the crime in Salisbury, preferring instead the cheap barroom brawling of the British prime minister on the floor of the House of Commons cheered on by the vulgar popular press and their more refined elder sisters in the upmarket papers and on the BBC.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/438157-skripal-syria-allegations-russia/

"the statement of the head of the anti-terrorist squad of Scotland Yard that he had "No" evidence of Russian state involvement in the crime in Salisbury "

Yes. The UK government has lost its marbles in the pursuit of power & money. They suffer the same disease as their Israeli and US counterparts -- the loss of the life-saving integrity and intelligence and the triumph of the life-threatening stupidity.
The western governments have become incompetent due to the lack of the populace' supervision. For any living organism, no feedback means no protective actions ensuring the survival of the organism.
The Cheneys and Bibis and Blairs of the world are not intelligent enough even to envision the future for their immediate progeny, nevermind grandkids. These stupid elders are covered in the blood of the innocent.

[Sep 10, 2018] It's amazing that so much crisp, instantly-recognizable footage exists of the hit men, almost as if they were laying out an easily-reconstructable route for observers

Notable quotes:
"... In fact, the quality of British evidence seems to go up markedly as soon as the preceding exhibits are the object of public derision. ..."
Sep 10, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile September 9, 2018 at 9:13 pm

Two Russian GRU hit men who apparently spent a considerable amount of their small amount of time whilst on a mission of death in Merry England mugging in front of CCTV cameras.

And they only killed one person, and not their intended target at that: a junky, drug pushing bum's alcoholic womanfriend, who unfortunatly was accidently contaminated with the deadliest nerve poison known to man.

As a Scotland counter-terrorist chief plod said, these were trained professionals in the killing trade, and as Prime Minister May said, they belong to a tightly disciplined organization whose orders come directly from the top, meaning the Dark Lord no less.

Simply sickening and despicable!

Good job Russians are a bunch of dickheads, otherwise the whole population of Salisbury might have been poisoned – or the South of England, even.

Who knows what these vile Russians will do next?.

Mark Chapman September 10, 2018 at 2:42 am
It's amazing that so much crisp, instantly-recognizable footage exists of the hit men, almost as if they were laying out an easily-reconstructable route for observers; at least, as contrasted with the blurry and ambiguous photo evidence of the Skripals, which seems to rely on happy snaps by friends as much as government resources. Until they get Yulia on camera to make her post-Novichok debut, of course – then, it's theatre-quality. In fact, the quality of British evidence seems to go up markedly as soon as the preceding exhibits are the object of public derision.
Moscow Exile September 10, 2018 at 4:06 am
This laying of a trail directly back to the Kremlin is a regular feature of Russian incompetents!

Harding, in his account of the Litvinenko poisoning , wrote:

The poison was polonium-210, a rare radioactive isotope, tiny, invisible, undetectable. Ingested, it was fatal. The polonium had originated at a nuclear reactor in the Urals and a production line in the Russian town of Sarov. A secret FSB laboratory, the agency's "research institute", then converted it into a dinkily portable weapon.

Lugovoi and Kovtun, however, were rubbish assassins. The quality of Moscow's hired killers had slipped since the glory days of the KGB.

It's because they're idiots, see!

Although Russians are a direct to Western civilization and against whom we must be ever on guard, they are also all congenital dickheads, doomed to failure -- always.

All of them!

Warren September 9, 2018 at 12:54 pm

[Sep 10, 2018] Metadata for the uk police photos show the airport pix used micro$oft photo editing app back on may 3rd

Sep 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

photofour , Sep 9, 2018 9:02:55 PM | link

< b,>

metadata for the uk police photos show the airport pix used micro$oft photo editing app back on may 3rd. check the direct download buttons at the police site pages and ignore the html embed.

cctv1 cctv2

fotoforensics site just pulled them directly from those download links (copied from fotoforensics)

cctv1
Creator Tool Windows Photo Editor 10.0.10011.16384
Create Date 2018:05:03 18:43:50.00
Date/Time Original 2018:05:03 18:43:50.00
Image Size 695x363
Megapixels 0.252

cctv2
Creator Tool Windows Photo Editor 10.0.10011.16384
Create Date 2018:05:03 13:46:30.00
Date/Time Original 2018:05:03 13:46:30.00
Image Size 692x366
Megapixels 0.253

full report at fotoforensics on cctv1
full report at fotoforensics on cctv2

i still don't buy the simultaneous timestamp explanation.

[Sep 09, 2018] The McCain Death Extravaganza

Notable quotes:
"... McCain was a protégé of neo-Conservative founder Senator Henry Scoop Jackson, a crazy servant of the British imperial agenda who constantly sought military confrontation with Russia. ..."
"... The British were so enamored of Jackson's views that they have dedicated an entire society of British intelligence spooks to him, the Henry Jackson Society. The former incarnation of this group was the Committee on Present Danger and the Project for a New American Century in the United States. ..."
"... Leading members of both groups hastily retreated to British mother ship after they led the mobilization for the failed and disastrous Iraq War here in the U.S. Sir Richard Dearlove, who has shepherded Christopher Steele and other British aspects of the coup against Donald Trump, is a leading member of this group. ..."
"... He was uniquely ruthless when it comes to advancing imperial goals, barnstorming from one conflict zone to another to personally recruit far right fanatics as American proxies ..."
"... He backed the installation of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood to govern Egypt, another failed and insane project. More than $5.6 trillion was spent chasing John McCain's idyll of democracy in Southwest Asia. Six thousand seven hundred Americans died, more than 50,000 were wounded, entire countries were reduced to rubble with accompanying genocide against their populations, the largest mass human migration ever was sent into Europe resembling something akin to the desperate mass flights of the Middle Ages. ..."
Sep 09, 2018 | larouchepac.com

John McCain died and deserved a decent funeral based on his war record and his long, if destructive, public service. McCain and others in Washington's arrogant and narcissistic elite decided before his death, however, to use McCain's demise to advance the coup against the President, and to make claims about the late Senator and themselves which are totally and utterly false and delusional. The funeral was a national media extravaganza achieving a status normally only enjoyed by former Presidents. It was, according to New Yorker Magazine , also the "biggest resistance meeting yet." President Donald Trump was not invited so that the cowards in the funeral crowd, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush, could freely take potshots at the President. McCain picked these leaders of the country's descent into hell deliberately, to romanticize his death, and to trash talk the current President, albeit, in eloquent and lofty language and knowing allusions. In effect, they wrapped the murderous crimes of empire in the American flag.

McCain was a protégé of neo-Conservative founder Senator Henry Scoop Jackson, a crazy servant of the British imperial agenda who constantly sought military confrontation with Russia.

The British were so enamored of Jackson's views that they have dedicated an entire society of British intelligence spooks to him, the Henry Jackson Society. The former incarnation of this group was the Committee on Present Danger and the Project for a New American Century in the United States.

Leading members of both groups hastily retreated to British mother ship after they led the mobilization for the failed and disastrous Iraq War here in the U.S. Sir Richard Dearlove, who has shepherded Christopher Steele and other British aspects of the coup against Donald Trump, is a leading member of this group.

Funding for McCain's political adventures came from his second wife, whose brewing company fortune was completely mixed up in Arizona mob and mob funding during its earlier years.

With respect to McCain's activities, Max Blumenthal characterized them accurately in the August 27th Consortium News:

"McCain did not simply thunder for every major intervention in the post-Cold War era from the Senate floor. . .

He was uniquely ruthless when it comes to advancing imperial goals, barnstorming from one conflict zone to another to personally recruit far right fanatics as American proxies . . .

In Libya and Syria, he cultivated affiliates of Al-Qaeda as allies, and in Ukraine, McCain recruited actual sig-heiling neo-Nazis. . .

Following the NATO orchestrated murder of Libya's leader, McCain tweeted: "Qaddafi on his way out, Bashar Al Assad is next."

He backed the installation of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood to govern Egypt, another failed and insane project. More than $5.6 trillion was spent chasing John McCain's idyll of democracy in Southwest Asia. Six thousand seven hundred Americans died, more than 50,000 were wounded, entire countries were reduced to rubble with accompanying genocide against their populations, the largest mass human migration ever was sent into Europe resembling something akin to the desperate mass flights of the Middle Ages.

It is these horrific actions by McCain, not the myth peddled at his funeral, which is the source of the conflict between Trump and John McCain, and between Trump and George Bush and Barack Obama. Trump promised to end the imperial policy of endless religious and population wars and Wall Street bailouts, and the voters responded resoundingly by electing him President.

[Sep 09, 2018] Nina Ricci the only party to gain anything from Skripal poisoning case Russian envoy to UN

Notable quotes:
"... "There were plenty of baseless allegations against Moscow and concrete sanctions based on them. Apparently, the only winner in this continued theatre of absurdity is Nina Ricci, the product of which got some free ad as a container for the toxic chemical," ..."
Sep 09, 2018 | www.rt.com

The nerve agent attack in Salisbury has so far had only one benefactor – Nina Ricci, which got free advertising due to a disguise apparently used by the perpetrators to hide the poison, the Russian envoy to the UN joked. The British investigators said a counterfeit Nina Ricci bottle was used as a container and delivery device for the chemical used in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March. The same container was found by a struggling couple from Amesbury, who got poisoned themselves. Read more

UK accusation of Russians in Skripal case 'cocktail of lies' timed with Idlib false flag op – Moscow

Speaking at a UN Security Council session on Thursday, Russian envoy Vasily Nebenzya, denounced Britain for accusing Russia of the crimes, saying that the allegations are not base on any hard evidence.

"There were plenty of baseless allegations against Moscow and concrete sanctions based on them. Apparently, the only winner in this continued theatre of absurdity is Nina Ricci, the product of which got some free ad as a container for the toxic chemical," he said.

Britain says two Russian military intelligence agents tried to kill Skripal with a weapons-grade chemical weapon, claiming the identification was made by the British intelligence. Russia denies any involvement and accuses Britain of spinning the case to stir anti-Russian sentiment.

[Sep 09, 2018] Skripal saga aimed to stir anti-Russia sentiment of Cold War by Ken Livingstone

Notable quotes:
"... The UK has stirred up the Skripal saga for the sake of waging a broader campaign to kowtow to the anti-Russian rhetoric inside the British government, ex-London mayor Ken Livingstone has told RT. ..."
"... "military intelligence agents" ..."
"... "What struck me over last couple of years seem to me ratcheting up of anti-Russian sentiment almost trying to recreate a Cold War," ..."
"... "a hidden political agenda here as part of broader anti-Russian campaign" ..."
Sep 09, 2018 | www.rt.com

The UK has stirred up the Skripal saga for the sake of waging a broader campaign to kowtow to the anti-Russian rhetoric inside the British government, ex-London mayor Ken Livingstone has told RT. The latest smoking gun of allegations against Russia fired by London, with the British Prime Minister Theresa May claiming that Russian "military intelligence agents" attempted to murder former spy Sergei Skripal, leaves too many questions and doubts, Livingstone believes.

"What struck me over last couple of years seem to me ratcheting up of anti-Russian sentiment almost trying to recreate a Cold War," the former mayor told RT. He stressed that London's turning its back to Moscow's constant readiness to cooperate and failure to present to the public a shred of evidence – if there is any – might be a sign of "a hidden political agenda here as part of broader anti-Russian campaign" inside the British government.

Livingstone is not the only one who doubts the narrative. Independent political analyst Dan Glazebrook, who also shared his views with RT, pointed how clumsy the alleged agents should have been – from taking a train to reach their target to allowing themselves to be caught on CCTV.

[Sep 09, 2018] Talking of neoliberal globalists 5th column, lest forget the solid one in the UK and Skripal's affair is thier work

Sep 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

Iris , says: September 5, 2018 at 10:12 pm GMT

Talking of 5th column, lest forget the solid one in the UK.

Deep State's mouthpiece "The Telegraph" had dedicated several articles to the identification of alleged Skripal Novichok poisoners, named as two Russian nationals who briefly entered the UK under the aliases Petrov and Beshorov.

http://www.crawleynews24.co.uk/shock-as-police-reveal-novichok-suspects-passed-through-gatwick/

Sycophantic PM Theresa May has gone as far as stating that the suspects are GRU agents, and pointing the finger at President Putin.

Jeremy Corbyn is being hounded because he is very reserved about the Novichok story.

The UK government is fully embedded with Zionist Israel. This cock-and-bull story, which details have been nonetheless very well presented, is a very alarming hint that something is in preparation against Russia, either directly in Syrian, or less directly in the Ukraine.

Iris , says: September 5, 2018 at 10:58 pm GMT
@Iris Talking of 5th column, lest forget the solid one in the UK.

Deep State's mouthpiece "The Telegraph" had dedicated several articles to the identification of alleged Skripal Novichok poisoners, named as two Russian nationals who briefly entered the UK under the aliases Petrov and Beshorov.

http://www.crawleynews24.co.uk/shock-as-police-reveal-novichok-suspects-passed-through-gatwick/

Sycophantic PM Theresa May has gone as far as stating that the suspects are GRU agents, and pointing the finger at President Putin.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1VqSJCa7RA

Jeremy Corbyn is being hounded because he is very reserved about the Novichok story.

The UK government is fully embedded with Zionist Israel. This cock-and-bull story, which details have been nonetheless very well presented, is a very alarming hint that something is in preparation against Russia, either directly in Syrian, or less directly in the Ukraine. Novichock poisoning false flag (Continued).

A possible explanation of the Novichok story being spun at the moment in the UK is that a Western/Israeli military attack on Syria is in preparation to stop the Arab Syrian Army from entering Idlib, the last terrorist stronghold.

Such Western intervention requires the pretext of a chemical attack, that will be staged in the field by the proxy White Helmets, while UK public opinion will be subdued with terrorising stories of weapons of mass destruction.

This same pretext was used for the April 2018 Western bombing of Syria. This bombing was aimed at hitting key Syrian targets, but its scale was finally limited by the intervention of General Mattis, who dreaded reciprocated actions against the 3000 US servicemen present in Syria.

"The White Helmets (and an alleged chemical attack) are the last hope for regime change in Syria"

Very interesting interview of former UK Ambassador Ford by SyrianGirl:

Iris , says: September 6, 2018 at 11:00 pm GMT
One day after Theresa May's Novichok show at the British Parliament , France's Chief of Military Staff Francois Lecointre has declared that France is ready to strike Syria should she dare a "chemical attack" on Idlib.

https://www.lopinion.fr/edition/international/france-prete-a-frapper-en-syrie-en-cas-d-usage-d-arme-chimique-161248

Both poodles each side of the Channel are barking in synchronism; Israel is pulling on the leashes and something bad is in preparation.

Here is Francois Lecointre in his brown uniform. Unknown to us stupid plebeians, France must be surrounded by steppes and deserts for brown to have been chosen as camouflage colour.

[Sep 09, 2018] A country where an immigrant Sikh girl can become a neocon ambassador

Notable quotes:
"... We Americans are totally subject to ziocon propaganda when it comes to Middle East affairs. Anyone that disagrees with that viewpoint is immediately labeled anti-semitic and now banned from social media and of course from the TV talk shows. ..."
"... Jack posed an interesting question, how does someone like Putin respond to an irrational US who in their delusions can easily escalate military conflict if their ego gets bruised when it is shown that they don't have the unilateral power of a hegemon? ..."
"... Always thought that Nikki Haley was the price Donald Trump had to pay to get Sheldon Adelson's large campaign contributions in 2016. Adelson was Trump's second biggest contributor. So was recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Sheldon got his money's worth. https://www.investopedia.co... ..."
"... Nikki Haley's Sikh origins may have something to do with her anti-Muslim feelings. ..."
"... it is hypocritical in the extreme for the U.S. to be criticising anyone for killing people anywhere after what they have been doing in the Middle East. According to Professor Gideon Polya the total avoidable deaths in Afghanstan alone since 2001 under ongoing war and occupation-imposed deprivation amount to around three million people, about 900,000 of whom are infants under the age of five (see Professor Gideon Polya at La Trobe University in Melbourne book, 'Body Count: Global Avoidable Mortality Since 1950' and Washington DC-based Physicians for Social Responsibility study: http://www.psr.org/assets/p... . ..."
"... Is it in our DNA that we can't learn lessons from our interventionist experience in the Middle East? Looks like Iraq is spinning out of control once again. I'm sure many including the Shia may reminisce favorably to the Sadam years despite his tyranny. https://ejmagnier.com/2018/... ..."
"... We are indoctrinated with the idea that all people are basically the same. In fact this is only true at the level of basics like shelter, food, sex, etc. We refuse to really believe in the reality of widely varying cultures. It makes us incapable, as a group, of understanding people who do not share our outlook. i have been dealing with this all my life as a delegated "ambassador" to the "others." ..."
"... In this context, if you were Vladimir Putin and knowing that President Trump is completely ignorant when it comes to history and policy details and has surrounded himself with neocons as far as foreign policy is concerned and Bibi has him eating out of his hands, how would you deal with him if he starts to get belligerent in Syria and Ukraine? ..."
"... Did the Syrians get upset by General Sherman's destructive march through South Carolina? No. It was a mistake for the US ever getting involved in Syria, with forming, equipping and training foreign armies and shadow governments including replacement prime ministers, all in violation of the UN Charter. ..."
"... Trump is more savagely and ignorantly aggressive. ..."
"... Trump, Nikki and Bolton have been tweeting warnings about the Idlib offensive and already accusing Assad if there are any chemical attacks. Wonder why? Lavrov has also made comments that he expects a chemical use false flag. Not sure about this post on Zerohedge, but if it has any credibility then it would appear that the US military is getting ready for some kind of provocation. ..."
Sep 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"In her statement during the UN Security Council briefing, Haley said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its "enablers," Russia and Iran have a playbook for the war in Syria. First, they surround a civilian area. Next, they make the "preposterous claim that everyone in the area is a terrorist," thus making all civilians targets. That is followed by a "starve and surrender" campaign, during which Syrian security forces keep attacking until the people no longer have food, clean water, or shelter. "It's a playbook of death. The Assad regime has spent the last seven years refining it with Russia and Iran's help."

According to her it has happened many times before, in July 2018 it happened in Dara'a and the southwest of Syria, where Syrian forces "trapped and besieged civilians." In February 2018, it was Ghouta. In 2017 it was Aleppo, and prior to that places like Madaya and Hama.

According to her, Assad's government has left the country in ruins. "The atrocities committed by Assad will be a permanent stain on history and a black mark for this Council -- which was blocked over and over by Russia from taking action to help," Nikki Haley said." SF

------------

Well, strictly speaking, her parents were immigrants, not she. She was born in Bamberg, South Carolina, a little town in the Piedmont that is majority Black. Her parents were professional people at Amritsar in the Punjab. Haley is the surname of her husband. Nikki is a nickname by which she has long been known. As governor, she was in favor of flying the Confederate flag on the Statehouse grounds before the Charleston massacre of Black Christians at a Bible study session. They were killed by an unstable white teen aged misfit whom they had invited to join their worship. After that Nikki discovered that the Confederate flag was a bad and disruptive symbol. It was a popular position across the country and Nikki became an instant "hit," the flavor of the month so to speak.

I suppose that she was supposed to be an interesting and decorative figure as UN ambassador. She is quite pretty and the South Carolina accent adds to the effect.

The positions she has taken at the UN with regard to the ME are similar to those expressed by her boss, President Trump. They are largely reflections of images projected by the popular and mass media operating as Zionist propaganda machines. I don't believe that the State Department's INR analytic bureau believes the crapola that she spouts with such hysteric fervor. I don't believe that my former friend David Satterfield believes the crapola. So, where does she get ideas like the ones quoted above? IMO she is trying to out-Trump Trump. DJT is a remarkably ignorant man concerning the geo-politics of just about everything in the ME. He appears to have once seen the film, "Exodus" and to have decided on the basis of Paul Newman's performance as Begin that the situation was and is quite simple - Israel good! Everyone else bad! Nikki's depth of knowledge appears to be just about the same.

She also appears to me to be in receipt of a stream of opinion from various Zionist and anti-Muslim groups probably related to the anti-Muslim ravings of Maronite and other Christian ME extremists.

These groups cannot seem to understand that alliances shift as does policy. They don't seem to understand that Israel's policy in Syria is no longer regime change. They never seem to have understood that the Syrian government is the protector of the religious minorities against Sunni jihadi fanatics.

They don't seem to understand that the Syrian government has no choice but to recover Idlib Province, a piece of Syria's heartland. pl

https://southfront.org/us-ambassador-to-un-goes-wild-claims-russia-syria-iran-seek-to-kill-civilians-destroy-schools-and-hospitals-in-idlib/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikki_Haley

Posted at 10:31 AM in As The Borg Turns , government , Iran , Middle East , Politics , Russia , Syria , Turkey | Permalink | 2 Comments


Don Bacon , 19 hours ago

Haley's "playbook" is used by the US but not by Russia & Iran as she claims, with all civilians being targeted. Instead, Russia & Iran have taken warfare to a higher and better level, allowing the armed factions to surrender their arms and get on a bus or be killed, and many of them took the bus to preserve their lives until the final offensive. A third option, which many of them took, was to join the SAA and fight against their former comrades. All of this statecraft was revolutionary, and was not at all as Haley described, including the crocodile tears over Syrian lives which has never been honest especially considering the level of support Assad has within Syria.
Jaime -> Don Bacon , 16 hours ago
I agree it is revolutionary, at least in modern times in the western world. I wonder if it will set a "trend": a more humane way to wage war. I am sure it will be studied in war colleges.
Jonathan A. Goff , a day ago
Pat,

One observation I had while thinking about the Ambassador Haley quote you provided (which I think supports the point you were making in your post):

When the US was in a somewhat similar situation during the occupation of Iraq, where Sunni militants were in open rebellion and controlling towns like Fallujah, our response wasn't wildly different to the Syrian government's response. The US gov't at the time typically labeled any armed resistance "terrorists", and while they might acknowledge that there were civilians in those territories in addition to terrorists, they were just "human shields" and "regrettable collateral damage". Did the US try a little harder, and have a bit better of technology, training, etc, and do a little bit better of trying to limit damage to civilians when crushing those uprisings? Yes. But we're mostly talking modest quantitative differences in response, not fundamentally morally superior qualitative differences. I bet you if you took pictures of towns like Fallujah, Sadr City, etc, after US counter-insurgency operations, and mixed them in with pictures of trashed Syrian towns that had just been liberated from rebel groups, and showed them to Nikki Haley, or frankly any neocon, they'd have a hard time telling the difference.

~Jon

Biggee Mikeee -> Jonathan A. Goff , 21 hours ago
As I was reading this topic Raqqa and Fallujah came to mind. In the case of Fallujah I don't recall if the civilians were given an opportunity to evacuate. They were not in ISIS controlled Raqqa. In any event Haley's blather at the UN is for the consumption of the rubes.
O rly -> Biggee Mikeee , 18 hours ago
as far as i recall in the battle for fallujah, only women and children were permitted to leave during the siege.and during the siege of Mosul they were dropping leaflets telling people not to try and leave.
Jonathan A. Goff -> Biggee Mikeee , 19 hours ago
And giving civilians a chance to evacuate doesn't help as much as one would think if the insurgents/rebels really do want to use them as human shields.

~Jon

stevenwithavee -> Jonathan A. Goff , 16 hours ago
Speaking to young marines in the aftermath of the second assault on Fallujah I learned that although women and children were allowed to pass the checkpoints but men of fighting age (also known as the father, brother or husband who was driving the families out of the city) were sent back into the city.
jdledell , 16 hours ago
In talking with people here in the U.S. about Syria there is the total lack of understanding of Assad's Alawite government. There are a couple million Christians in Syria and it is Assad's government that protects them from the Saudi sponsored Sunni headchoppers who would like to eliminate Christians, Jews, and Shia from the Middle East. Perhaps, the Alawites being an offshoot of Shia makes them sensitive to minority religions. However, mentioning Assad evokes strong negative reaction among U.S. Christians, similar to Trumps "lets kill them all". On my one visit to Damascus, traveling on my U.S. Passport rather than my Israeli one, The Christians I met were uniformly positive about Assad and the need for Assad to control the ENTIRE country.
blue peacock -> jdledell , 15 hours ago
Thank you for providing your direct experience of the views of Christian Syrians you met there.

Unfortunately none of those views ever make it to either to our print or broadcast media. We Americans are totally subject to ziocon propaganda when it comes to Middle East affairs. Anyone that disagrees with that viewpoint is immediately labeled anti-semitic and now banned from social media and of course from the TV talk shows.

Jack posed an interesting question, how does someone like Putin respond to an irrational US who in their delusions can easily escalate military conflict if their ego gets bruised when it is shown that they don't have the unilateral power of a hegemon?

Bag Man , 17 hours ago
Always thought that Nikki Haley was the price Donald Trump had to pay to get Sheldon Adelson's large campaign contributions in 2016. Adelson was Trump's second biggest contributor. So was recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Sheldon got his money's worth. https://www.investopedia.co...
Pat Lang Mod , 20 hours ago
Somebody said that Nikki's nonsense is for "the rubes." Nah, you town people are just as gullible.
ex-PFC Chuck , 17 hours ago
There's a disturbing piece up today at WaPo by Karen De Young asserting the USA is doubling down in Syria. From the piece, emphasis by ex-PFC Chuck:
"We've started using new language," [James] Jeffrey said, referring to previous warnings against the use of chemical weapons. Now, he said, the United States will not tolerate "an attack. Period." "Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation" he said. "You add to that, if you use chemical weapons, or create refu­gee flows or attack innocent civilians," and "the consequences of that are that we will shift our positions and use all of our tools to make it clear that we'll have to find ways to achieve our goals that are less reliant on the goodwill of the Russians."

Jeffrey is said to be Pompeo's point person on Syria. Do any of you with ears closer to the ground than those of us in flyover land know anything about this change of tune?

Biggee Mikeee , 19 hours ago
.Iraq PM urged to quit as key ally deserts him over unrest.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi faced calls to resign yesterday as his alliance with a populist cleric who won May elections crumbled over deadly unrest shaking the country's south. The two leading groups in parliament called on Abadi to step down, after lawmakers held an emergency meeting on the public anger boiling over in the southern city of Basra.,...

The Conquest Alliance of pro-Iranian former paramilitary fighters was "on the same wavelength" as Sadr's Marching Towards Reform list and they would work together to form a new government, Assadi said. Abadi, whose grouping came third in the May polls, defended his record in parliament, describig the unrest as "political sabotage" and saying the crisis over public services was being exploited for political ends. http://news.kuwaittimes.net...

Has McGurk been outmaneuvered by the Iranians?

The Beaver -> Biggee Mikeee , 18 hours ago
According to Elijah Magnier :
Soleimani 1- Brett McGurk 0
Matina Zia , 20 hours ago
Nikki Haley's Sikh origins may have something to do with her anti-Muslim feelings. According to J. D Cunningham, author of 'History of the Sikhs (Appendix XX)' included among the injunctions ordained by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru, 'a Khalsa (true Sikh) proves himself if he mounts a warhorse; is always waging war; kills a Khan (Muslim) and slays the Turks (Muslims).'

Aside from this, it is hypocritical in the extreme for the U.S. to be criticising anyone for killing people anywhere after what they have been doing in the Middle East. According to Professor Gideon Polya the total avoidable deaths in Afghanstan alone since 2001
under ongoing war and occupation-imposed deprivation amount to around three million people, about 900,000 of whom are infants under the age of five (see Professor Gideon Polya at La Trobe University in Melbourne book, 'Body Count: Global Avoidable Mortality Since 1950' and Washington DC-based Physicians for Social Responsibility study: http://www.psr.org/assets/p... .

Pat Lang Mod -> Matina Zia , 20 hours ago
I really doubt your numbers. What is your stake in this discussion?
Fred -> Matina Zia , 12 hours ago
Your good professor sounds like a great piece of work. "Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950" Perhaps we should have stopped all that foreign aid in the '50s.
stevenwithavee -> Matina Zia , 15 hours ago
The under five mortality figures from Afghanistan (1 in 5) are a problem that preceded our involvement by many years. However, the failure of the international community to make any significant progress over the last 17 years would be a legitimate criticism.
Jack , 20 hours ago
Sir

Is it in our DNA that we can't learn lessons from our interventionist experience in the Middle East? Looks like Iraq is spinning out of control once again. I'm sure many including the Shia may reminisce favorably to the Sadam years despite his tyranny. https://ejmagnier.com/2018/...

Pat Lang Mod -> Jack , 19 hours ago
We are indoctrinated with the idea that all people are basically the same. In fact this is only true at the level of basics like shelter, food, sex, etc. We refuse to really believe in the reality of widely varying cultures. It makes us incapable, as a group, of understanding people who do not share our outlook. i have been dealing with this all my life as a delegated "ambassador" to the "others."
Jack -> Pat Lang , 19 hours ago
Thank you, Sir. It makes perfect sense with the End if History and all those beliefs.

In this context, if you were Vladimir Putin and knowing that President Trump is completely ignorant when it comes to history and policy details and has surrounded himself with neocons as far as foreign policy is concerned and Bibi has him eating out of his hands, how would you deal with him if he starts to get belligerent in Syria and Ukraine?

Barbara Ann -> Jack , 4 hours ago
Jack

You may be interested in a recent article in Unz by SST's own 'smoothieX12' in response to Paul Craig Roberts asking how long Russia should continue to turn the other cheek: http://www.unz.com/article/...

Biggee Mikeee -> Jack , 19 hours ago
Earlier today, the two leading groups in Parliament called on Abadi to step down. http://news.kuwaittimes.net...
Don Bacon , 21 hours ago
Did the Syrians get upset by General Sherman's destructive march through South Carolina? No. It was a mistake for the US ever getting involved in Syria, with forming, equipping and training foreign armies and shadow governments including replacement prime ministers, all in violation of the UN Charter.

A new PM was at the top of H.Clinton's to-do list as Secretary of State. My favorite Assad replacement candidate was Ghassan Hitto from Murphy Texas, but he only lasted a couple months. here

GreenZoneCafe , 21 hours ago
I don't trust converts except for the adjustment from Protestant to Catholic or vice versa. I suppose shifts from one madhab to another, or between Buddhist schools are also ok.

Sad that in a moment of crisis,so many of the rising political stars of both parties are so hollow to the point of dangerousness.

blue peacock , 21 hours ago
Col. Lang

Has anything really changed much with our policies in the ME in the past 50+ years? Haven't we been deeply influenced/controlled by Israeli interests in this period, maybe even beyond if the attacks on USS Liberty are taken into account? Is the Trump administration just following in the traditions of Reagan, Bush Père et fils, Clinton and Obama, or is there a qualitative difference?

Pat Lang Mod -> blue peacock , 21 hours ago
Trump is more savagely and ignorantly aggressive.
GreenZoneCafe -> Pat Lang , 20 hours ago
Trump talks tough but has an aversion to military action. Is that real aggression, or just bullshit for the Bubbas?

North Korea, Syria are examples. He's left the door open to talking to Iran.

Trump won the Republican primaries calling out the Iraq war as a mistake!

Relative to others, dovishness is a Trump virtue. The Tucker Carlson line.

Contrast with Obama, who bombed Libya and pumped weapons into Syria. We'd probably be at war with Russia in Syria and Ukraine if Hillary had won.

blue peacock -> GreenZoneCafe , 19 hours ago
Trump, Nikki and Bolton have been tweeting warnings about the Idlib offensive and already accusing Assad if there are any chemical attacks. Wonder why? Lavrov has also made comments that he expects a chemical use false flag. Not sure about this post on Zerohedge, but if it has any credibility then it would appear that the US military is getting ready for some kind of provocation.

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

Maybe this is all just "positioning" and "messaging" but maybe not. With Bibi, Nikki, Bolton and Pompeo as THE advisors, does anyone have a clue what Trump decides, when, not if, the jihadi White Helmets stage their chemical event in Idlib?

GreenZoneCafe -> blue peacock , 17 hours ago
We'll see. The most I expect is another cruise missile attack to the same empty coordinate.
Pat Lang Mod -> GreenZoneCafe , 17 hours ago
That will be true if trump sees Nikki and her real bosses for what they are.
Biggee Mikeee , a day ago
I think they understand. I think they view this as a temporary setback.

[Sep 08, 2018] The untold truth about Obama's former CIA director, John Brennan

Was Brennan Saudi protégé from the very beginning of his career, promoted by the power of foreign interests?
Sep 08, 2018 | theduran.com

Yet under four years later, just after the then Soviet Union invaded, just weeks before, Afghanistan and months after the tumultuous Iranian revolution of 1979, which at the time many thought the Soviet Union had a hand in, Brennan was accepted into the CIA as a junior analyst.

At that time, John Brennan should have never got into the CIA, or any Western Intelligence agency given his communist background.

Think on that carefully as you continue to read this.

Also reflect on the fact that Brennan, later in his CIA career, was surprisingly elevated from junior analyst to the prestigious position of Station Chief in Saudi Arabia where he spent a few years.

Its said he was appointed purely for 'political' reasons, alleged to have been at the direct request of Bill Clinton and other Democrats not because of a recommendation or merit from within the Agency.

Its further said that the Saudis liked Brennan because he became very quickly 'their man' so to speak. Some reports, unsubstantiated, even allege Brennan became a Muslim while there to ingratiate himself with the Saudis.

Important to read is an NBC news article entitled 'Former Spooks Criticize CIA Director John Brennan for Spying Comments' by Ken Dilanian dated March 2nd, 2016.

The article contains many revealing facts and evidence, while giving a flavour, of the feelings of many in the CIA who felt that Brennan was totally unsuitable and unqualified to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

(This is the link to the above referenced article: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/ us-news/brennan-joking-when- he-says-cia-spies-doesn-t- steal-n529426 . )

A final controversy is the little known fact of Brennan's near four year departure from the CIA into the commercial world, having been 'left out in the cold' from the CIA, from November 2005 to January 2009 when he was CEO of a private company called 'The Analysis Corporation'.

So why was he then reinstated into the CIA, to the surprise of CIA's senior management, by newly elected President Obama, to head the CIA? No answer is available as to why he left the CIA in 2005.

(An important link that gives background to his experience in the commercial world can be read here: https://www.thedailybeast.com/ cia-slammed-brennans- disingenuous-contract-bid- wikileaks-show)

Lastly let's not forget Brennan's many failures as CIA head in recent years, one most notable is the Benghazi debacle and the death of a US Ambassador and others there. Something else to ponder.

Back to the present an the issue of security clearances.

In early August, on the well known American TV Rachel Maddow Show, Brennan back tracked on his Trump traitor claim by saying "I didn't mean he (Trump) committed treason. I meant what he has done is nothing short of treasonous." Rachel Maddow responded correctly "If we diagram the sentence, 'nothing short of treason' means it's treasonous?"

A simple question follows. Since he is no longer in the CIA, why does he need a security clearance other than to commercially exploit it?

Tucker Carlson explains succinctly here:

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

Last month what can be described as 200+ 'friends of Brennan', former CIA officials of varying rank, responded against the removal of former CIA Director Brennan's security clearances, in support of him.

These men and women too most likely will have their clearances revoked.

And why not?

Since the only purpose they retain it is to make money as civilians?

A potentially more serious issue than 'the Brennan controversies' is that the US intelligence community has around 5 million people with security clearances as a whole includes approximately 1.4m people holding top secret clearances. It is patently a ridiculously high number and makes a mockery of the word secret.

Former CIA veteran Sam Faddis is one of the few people brave enough and with the integrity required, that has stood up and told some of the real truths about Brennan in an 'Open Letter', yet this letter's contents have hardly at all been reported in the media.

Generally by nature, CIA Officers sense of service and honour to their Country, their professionalism and humility, and disdain for publicity has dissuaded most of them to enter the current very public Brennan controversy; but for how much longer?

As stated earlier, former CIA professional Sam Faddis explains what's wrong with Brennan in his revealing letter, abbreviated for space below. A link to the complete letter is: http://thepoliticsforums.com/ threads/107849-Scathing-Open- Letter-to-Mr-Brennan-by-Retired-CIA-Case-Officer:

Dear Mr. Brennan,

I implore you to cease and desist from continuing to attempt to portray yourself in the public media as some sort of impartial critic concerned only with the fate of the republic. I beg you to stop attempting to portray yourself as some sort of wise, all-knowing intelligence professional with deep knowledge of national security issues and no political inclinations whatsoever.

None of this is true.

You were never a spy. You were never a case officer. You never ran operations or recruited sources or worked the streets abroad. You have no idea whatsoever of the true nature of the business of human intelligence. You have never been in harm's way. You have never heard a shot fired in anger.

You were for a short while an intelligence analyst. In that capacity, it was your job to produce finished intelligence based on information provided to you by others. The work of intelligence analysts is important, however in truth you never truly mastered this trade either.

In your capacity as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, while still a junior officer, you were designated to brief the President of the United States who was at that time Bill Clinton. As the presidential briefer, it was your job to read to the president each morning finished intelligence written by others based on intelligence collected by yet other individuals. Period.

While serving as presidential briefer you established a personal relationship with then President Bill Clinton. End of story.

Everything that has transpired in your professional career since has been based on your personal relationship with the former president, his wife Hillary and their key associates. Your connection to President Obama was, in fact, based on you having established yourself by the time he came to office as a reliable, highly political Democratic Party functionary.

All of your commentary in the public sphere is on behalf of your political patrons. It is no more impartial analysis then would be the comments of a paid press spokesman or attorney. You are speaking each and every time directly on behalf of political forces hostile to this president. You are, in fact, currently on the payroll of both NBC and MSNBC, two of the networks most vocally opposed to President Trump and his agenda.

There is no impartiality in your comments. Your assessments are not based on some sober judgment of what is best for this nation. They are based exclusively on what you believe to be in the best interests of the politicians with whom you long since allied yourself.

It should be noted that not only are you most decidedly not apolitical but that you have been associated during your career with some of the greatest foreign policy disasters in recent American history.

Ever since this President was elected, there has been a concerted effort to delegitimize him and destabilize him led by you. This has been an unprecedented; to undermine the stability of the republic and the office of the Presidency, for solely partisan political reasons. You and your patrons have been complicit in this effort and at its very heart.

You abandoned any hope of being a true intelligence professional decades ago and became a political hack. Say so.

Sam Faddis

[Sep 08, 2018] Ayatollah Khamenei: Iran, Russia can cooperate to contain US-Trump

Sep 08, 2018 | www.veteranstoday.com

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the developments in Syria and the US defeat in the Arab country show that Washington can be contained.

The Leader made the remarks in a Friday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who traveled to Tehran to participate in a key trilateral summit on Syria, hosted by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and also attended by Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"Cooperation between Iran and Russia on the Syrian issue is a prominent example and a very good experience of bilateral cooperation," the Leader said.

Ayatollah Khamenei added that the two countries can expand cooperation on global issues, saying, "One of the cases that the two sides can cooperate with each other is to contain the US, because it is a danger to humanity and it is possible to contain it."

The Leader stated that the Americans suffered a real defeat in Syria and failed to achieve their goals.

Ayatollah Khamenei also said sanctions imposed by the US on Iran, Russia and Turkey are a very strong common ground for strengthening cooperation, and urged Tehran and Moscow to develop political and economic relations and follow up on the agreements of the summit in Tehran.

The Leader stressed the importance of pursuing non-dollar transactions in trade.

Europeans did not fulfill JCPOA commitments: Ayatollah Khamenei

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran has so far remained committed to a multilateral nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.

"But the Europeans did not carry out their duties, and it is not acceptable that we completely fulfill our commitments within the JCPOA while they don't," the Leader pointed out.

The Leader praised the Russian president's approach to the nuclear deal, adding that the Islamic Republic would adopt a stance on the JCPOA which would meet its national interests.

Although the US now raises Iran's missile program and regional developments, their problem with the Islamic Republic relates to issues beyond them, Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The Leader added that the US has been seeking to topple the Islamic Republic over the past 40 years, but Iran has managed to make substantial advancements during this period.

"The resistance of the Islamic Republic and its advances are another successful example that the US can be contained," Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The Leader also pointed to the deplorable situation of the Yemeni people and their killing at the hands of Saudi Arabia, adding, "The Saudis will definitely fail to achieve a result in Yemen and will not be able to bring the resilient Yemeni people to their knees."

During the meeting, which was also attended by Iranian First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri, the Russian president said he held very fruitful and good negotiations with President Rouhani on mutual issues of interest, including the situation in Syria.

Iran and Russia discussed the expansion of relations in all fields, particularly in the economic and trade sectors, Putin added.

He said the US is putting obstacles, including banking restrictions, in the way of the development of Tehran-Moscow relations, and added that Washington is making a strategic mistake by limiting financial transactions.

The Russian president expressed regret that the remaining sides to the JCPOA failed to fulfill their commitments under the deal after the US withdrawal.

He said although the Europeans announce that they are seeking ways to keep the nuclear accord alive, they are following the US due to their dependence on Washington.

[Sep 08, 2018] DNC Hacks Unproven by Gordon M. Hahn

Aug 14, 2018 | gordonhahn.com

Regarding the hacking of Democrats computers, nothing has been proven even on the margins or circumstantially on any of these counts. Moreover, the FBI failed to examine the affected computers, and we now know that FBI deputy head and other FBI top officials were scheming to undermine Trump in support of Hillary Clinton's election and that Clinton's campaign had colluded with the Russians to produce the Steele dossier, for which the FBI also paid for. Moreover still, independent research has demonstrated that the hack is most likely to have occurred from inside DNC headquarters.

Even if Russia did hack the DNC – and I am sure it has at least tried to hack US government computer systems as well – one needs to be beyond naïve to believe that US intelligence has not hacked Russian government computers. Indeed, the NSA has hacked the government computers of such close US allies as Germany and France (www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/04/us-nsa-gerhard-schroeder-surveillance and http://www.bbc.com/news/33248484 ). It is clear that much of the material in the recent indictment of 13 Russians was garnered by U.S. intelligence accessing Russian computer systems, perhaps some governmental systems. For example, the indictment references an intercepted email. One can be sure that some of the compromising materials on Russian officials that appear in American and perhaps even Russian media come from NSA hacking. Russian hacking is a drop in the bucket compared with the scale and scope of methods the West has used to target Russia and its allies in the former USSR since the end of the first cold war.

State Hacks Never Happened

All or most of the charges that the Kremlin hacked state voting systems have been retracted. Even if it did, ditto the previous paragraph.

Russia-Trump 'Collusion'

The Russia-Trump collusion charges have fallen flat on their face. The only semi-maningful result of former FBi Director Robert Mueller's 'counter-intelligence investigation' is that a one-time campaign advisor Paul Manafort was indicted for corrupt collusion with Ukraine's corrupt Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions that occurred before Manafort was on Trump's campaign staff. Furthermore, contrary to the Western view, Yanukovych was anything but a 'Putin puppet.' This fact is well-illustrated by then Ukrainian president's willingness to sign the EU Association Agreement in November 2013, a signing which was only aborted by an exorbitant offer by Putin of $15 billion in loans and natural gas price reductions on the background of Ukraine being on the verge of bankruptcy and the EU offering far less.

Russia's Troll Farm – An Inconsequential Spontaneous Experiment

The newest sensation in the 'hunt for Red October' is the Kremlin-tied troll farm. Assuming that Putin's close associate and cook is indeed tied to this small effort, then the US government has finally found an incident of 'Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election' in the United States. Unfortunately, the effort was minimal and nothing to write home about or worth a multi-million government investigation. It is more on the level of a research report farmed out to one of the government-oriented and often-funded DC think tanks with a small $5-10,000 grant attached. Indeed, RFERL already had written about the very same operation as did an Internet news site based, in all places, in 'Putin's Russia.' The 13 indictments were handed down not for the troll activity under an operation called 'Lakhta' – 99 percent of which was merely posting advertisements and comments on the Internet from "around" May 2014 to several months after the US presidential campaign – but for other crimes such as money-laundering. To be sure, the effort to pit American against American by calling opposing radical groups to the same location for potentially explosive counter-demonstrations is nasty stuff. But such cases amounted to less than a handful.

Ultimately, operation Lakhta appears to have been a rather inconsequential experiment, since prior to the US presidential campaign it had focused almost exclusively on trolling Russian politics, expanding to foreign issues like Ukraine and then to the US. The FBI indictment sites the budget of 'Lakhta' was several million dollars per year. Elsewhere the indictment states that by September 2016 'Lakhta' had a monthly budget of $1.3 million ( www.justice.gov/file/1035477/download , pp. 5 and 7). Again, this is a drop in the bucket compared to Western disinformation operations in general and the US political campaign expenditures. This is equivalent to about 10 percent of the cost of congressional campaign, about 1 percent of the the amount Trump and Clinton spent on Internet activity (much of which was similar trolling with ads and comments), and a fraction of a percent of the billions of dollars the two candidates paid on their campaigns. Moreover, this tactical campaign amounts to far less than the routine, much more strategic disinformation communications carried out by the US government and allied media on a continuing basis since the first cold war's end (see, for example, https://gordonhahn.com/2015/09/19/putin-is-crazy-and-sick-the-lows-of-american-rusology/ and https://gordonhahn.com/2015/11/11/the-myth-of-an-imminent-anti-putin-coup-rusological-fail-or-stratcomm/ ).

Opposition-Promotion

In imitation and exacting revenge against past Western support for democratic and other opposition organizations and individuals in Russia and elsewhere under various and sundry democracy-promotion programs and much else, Russia has turned to cooperating with nationalist and populist opposition parties in the West. However, that effort is, again, very limited and gravely overstated by Western pundits and politicians. It amounts almost entirely to an alleged one-time contribution to Marie Le Pen's nationalist-populist National Front party in France. Some in the US are making much noise about a forum of legal European nationalist and populist parties hosted in 2015 in St. Petersburg, Russia (www.kommersant.ru/doc/2683403 and www.interpretermag.com/the-far-right-international-russian-conservative-forum-to-take-place-in-russia/ ). A second conference is scheduled there on 8 April 2018 ( http://realpatriot.ru/en/ ). Presumably, these conferences could be held elsewhere. Is it crucial that they are hosted by Russia? Does it matter where such conferences are held? As a US presidential candidate once said: "Where's the beef?" Does it matter more than US-government RFERL whitewashing jihadi Caucasus terrorists who killed thousands of Russians over some six years or falsifying the reality of the 20 February 2014 Maidan snipers' massacre in Kiev? Does it matter more than the fact that Europeans have produced such parties and why they have produced them? Should Europeans be absolved of their agency, so blame can be redirected onto Russia? Moreover, one researcher has convincingly demonstrated that Russia's cooperation with such parties has more to do with an overlap or "confluence" of interests and ideology between some in Moscow and the Western far-right rather than the former's influence on the latter (www.ponarseurasia.org/memo/russian-and-american-far-right-connections-confluence-not-influence).

Moreover, the radical jihadist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, regarded by almost all terrorism experts as a precursor and recruitment organization for jihdism and jihadi groups, holds an annual convention and several other events in the United States every year ( https://hizb-america.org/events/ ), with similar operations across the West. Weeks ago one of America's leading conservative political organizations, the Conservative Political Action Committee or CPAC, had Marie Le Pen's daughter Marion Marechal`-Le Pen, the United Kingdom's Independent Party's populist firebrand and former leader Nigel Farage, among other European populists speak at their annual convention.

Russia may move into more threatening territory, if it begins to support rising ethno-national separatism in places in Europe or the West more generally like Catalonia. The foreign ministry of South Ossetiya, the Russian-backed breakaway region of Georgia, opened up a "representative office" in Catalonia in October (www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/41274/). This could be even more dangerous territory for Moscow's 'me-two-ism' to tread on. On the other hand, the West violated its own UN-sponsored resolution on Kosovo committing to Yugoslavia's territorial integrity.

Conclusion

Russia is using the tools of the West, those the latter has deployed against Russia since the collapse of the Berlin wall, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the dawn of the new world order and a 'united Europe from Vancouver to Vladivostok.' The West moved first to back anti-Russian parties in the former USSR and opposition parties in Russia, so Russia has now begun to back anti-American parties and opposition parties in the West. The West first used the Internet against Russia and its allies, and Russia followed suit using it against the West. The West interfered in Russian presidential campaigns and other aspects of Russia's internal political life and that of its allies, and Russia is responding in kind. The West has backed revolutions (a priori facto and ex post facto) and separatism, including jihadism, against Russia and its allies, and Russia began to do the same (minus the support for jihadists) against the West.

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

About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., Expert Analyst at Corr Analytics, http://www.canalyt.com and a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, San Jose, California, www.cetisresearch.org .

Dr. Hahn is the author of Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the 'New Cold War (McFarland Publishers, 2017) and three previously and well-received books: Russia's Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction Publishers, 2002); Russia's Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007); and The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia's North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland Publishers, 2014).He has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media and has served as a consultant and provided expert testimony to the U.S. government.

Dr. Hahn also has taught at Boston, American, Stanford, San Jose State, and San Francisco State Universities and as a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia. He has been a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Kennan Institute in Washington DC as well as the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

[Sep 08, 2018] Latest Skripal development is rocket fuel to existing anti-Russia fever in London by John Wight

Notable quotes:
"... working hypothesis ..."
"... The inkslingers of the jingo press ..."
"... The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that no past or future agreement with him was possible. ..."
Sep 05, 2018 | www.rt.com

John Wight has written for a variety of newspapers and websites, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. The recent development in the Skripals poisoning case is guaranteed to plunge already dire relations between Moscow and London through the floor. At a set-piece press conference in London, Neil Basu, head of the London Met's counter-terrorism police force, positively identified two Russian suspects in the case. He produced CCTV images of the two individuals along with their names and details of their movements from Russia to the UK and back again. He also alleged that according to a " working hypothesis " the suspects smuggled the Novichok substance used in the attempt on the lives of former Russia intelligence office and British spy Sergei Skripal, and daughter Yulia, into the country with them from Russia. Read more A handout picture allegedly taken in Salisbury, on March 4, 2018, and released by the British Metropolitan Police purportedly shows Alexander Petrov (R) and Ruslan Boshirov, September 5, 2018 © AFP Names of 'Russian suspects' in Skripal case published by UK don't mean anything to us – Moscow

The rocket fuel this very significant and very serious development adds to the already seething anti-Russia sentiment and feeling that dominates the minds of the British political and media establishment is self-evident. At a time of multiple crises involving Moscow and London – crises yet to be resolved around the conflict in Syria, tensions over Ukraine, the presence of NATO troops and military assets close to Russia's western border, sanctions, etc. – it is extraordinarily worrying that relations between both countries have now plunged to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.

That the Russian state is capable of carrying out an attack of this nature is not in doubt. All states are capable of carrying out such attacks, and all states, including Britain, have carried them out at various points in their history. But the timing of this particular attack is key, given that it took place just a few months prior to the start of the World Cup in Russia, and at a time when the Russian government was extending itself in attempting to repair relations with the West with a view to achieving normalization.

Then, too, the motive remains impossible to discern. Sergei Skripal had been living openly under his own name in Salisbury, England, where the attack took place, for some time, so clearly did not believe that he was in any danger.

The international damage to Russia's reputation as a consequence of being behind such an attack is likewise not in any doubt.

These points are not, of course, made as infallible proof that the Russian government or intelligence was not responsible. But they are pertinent in of themselves, given the context.

Read more Two men accused of poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, are seen on CCTV at Salisbury Station. © Metroplitan Police handout British PM says two suspects in Skripals poisoning case are Russian military intelligence officers

Another point worth raising is the sheer crudity of two supposed Russian agents taking a direct flight to and from the UK to carry out the attack and travelling together both ways. Such amateurish planning is the stuff of your average Hollywood spy spoof movie rather anything you would associate with a serious intelligence agency.

Significantly, during his press conference and presentation, Mr Basu did not go as far as alleging Russian state involvement. Such restraint, however, has long been a foreign land where the prime minister is concerned.

In her statement to the Commons on this latest development, Theresa May wasted no time in unleashing a rhetorical artillery barrage against the Kremlin, buoyed by a feral chorus of MPs who almost to a man and woman had already embraced Russia as the officially designated enemy of all that is holy and good in the world.

Either the prime minister knows something that the head of the Met's counter-terrorism police force does not, or we have entered an age when blaming Russia for everything is an unofficial requirement of the duties of high political office in Westminster.

To be fair to the prime minister though, she's been blaming the Kremlin for this crime almost since the very day it took place, gleefully riding the wave of anti-Russia hysteria that had already been whipped up by a mainstream media whose denizens one James Connolly was once minded to describe as " The inkslingers of the jingo press ."

Read more Russian Oligarch Boris Berezovsky speaking to the media Aug. 31, 2012 - London © Ben Cawthra 'No cause for further investigation' into 14 deaths of people linked to Russia – May

With her leadership mired in crisis over Brexit, and with her errant former foreign secretary and putative prime minister, Boris Johnson, currently breathing down her neck with a looming challenge to her leadership, for the prime minister the timing of this development could not, politically, be more convenient. For at such moments she is able to give free rein to the appearance of the kind of strong and robust leadership qualities that are, in truth, grievously absent.

Going forward, this will only add more grist to the mill of a neocon firmament whose very existence is predicated on maintaining Russia in the role of existential threat to Western civilization. A frog's chorus of calls and demands for ever more stringent trade, financial and economic sanctions against Moscow will reach a crescendo, buttressed by an uptick in the deployment of troops and military assets to eastern Europe in a futile effort to intimidate and cow the Kremlin into accepting its prescribed status as a vassal of Washington and its allies.

Worryingly, in 2018 we have reached the stage that George Orwell described in his classic novel, 1984: " The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that no past or future agreement with him was possible. "

Western ideologues should take a moment to consider that Orwell wrote his classic work as a warning not a blueprint.

[Sep 08, 2018] British Assassination Campaign Targeting Russian Exiles by Finian CUNNINGHAM

Notable quotes:
"... Over the past decade or so, a disturbing number of Russian nationals living in Britain have met untimely deaths. The victims – at least 14 – have been high-profile individuals, such as oligarch businessman Boris Berezovsky or former Kremlin security agent Alexander Litvinenko. All were living in Britain as exiles, and all were viewed as opponents of President Vladimir Putin's government. ..."
"... Invariably, British politicians and news media refer to the deaths of Russian émigrés as "proof" of Russian state "malign activity". Putin in particular is accused of ordering "the hits" as some kind of vendetta against critics and traitors. ..."
"... The claims of Russian state skulduggery have been reported over and over without question in the British media as well as US media. It has become an article-of-faith espoused by British and American politicians alike. "Putin is a killer," they say with seeming certainty. There is simply no question about it in their assertions. ..."
Jul 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

Over the past decade or so, a disturbing number of Russian nationals living in Britain have met untimely deaths. The victims – at least 14 – have been high-profile individuals, such as oligarch businessman Boris Berezovsky or former Kremlin security agent Alexander Litvinenko. All were living in Britain as exiles, and all were viewed as opponents of President Vladimir Putin's government.

Invariably, British politicians and news media refer to the deaths of Russian émigrés as "proof" of Russian state "malign activity". Putin in particular is accused of ordering "the hits" as some kind of vendetta against critics and traitors.

The claims of Russian state skulduggery have been reported over and over without question in the British media as well as US media. It has become an article-of-faith espoused by British and American politicians alike. "Putin is a killer," they say with seeming certainty. There is simply no question about it in their assertions.

The claims have also been given a quasi-legal veracity, with a British government-appointed inquiry in the case of Alexander Litvinenko making a conclusion that his death in 2006 was "highly likely" the result of a Kremlin plot to assassinate. Putin was personally implicated in the death of Litvinenko by the official British inquiry. The victim was said to have been poisoned with radioactive polonium. Deathbed images of a bald-headed Litvinenko conjure up a haunting image of alleged Kremlin evil-doing.

Once the notion of Russian evil-doing is inculcated the public mind, then subsequent events can be easily invoked as "more proof" of what has already been "established". Namely, so it goes, that the Russian state is carrying out assassinations on British territory.

Read also: The Real Danger Behind The U.K. Elections

Thus, we see this "corroborating" effect with the alleged poisoning of a former Russian double-agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in Salisbury back in March this year.

Read more at https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/20/british-assassination-campaign-targeting-russian-exiles.html

[Sep 07, 2018] But all those crazy US neocons still managed to imposed on Russia sanctions because of its interference in the elections. That tells us something about the US congress by Kononenko

Slightly edited Google translation
Notable quotes:
"... I am interested in another, a very simple question: why? Why would Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea interfere in the US midterm elections? What they want to achieve. All right, let's drop all the others, let's just talk about us, Russians. ..."
"... The same hackers who broke into the DNC and stole Hillary Clinton emails now will steal midterm elections. But from whom? Do you understand anything? Personally, I don't understand anymore. Which Party we support? Who is the target of our effort to interfere in the USA elections. Are we promoting Repubs or DemoRats ? ..."
"... Perhaps the head of the US national intelligence Daniel Coates is right when he declared that "their goal is to divide and undermine our democratic values." Well, let's suppose that we really are against those sacred values. ..."
"... But the midterm elections will still be held, despite any interference. And one of candidates will win, while the other will lose. If we see no difference in candidates why we should interfere? ..."
"... Looks like Daniel Coats think that the world government is us. No, I'd certainly like the idea, even if this requires smoking something really strong (let's use Musk as a lodestar ;-). But I'm afraid we're not capable to serve in this role. After economic rape of 1991 we are too poor. And to serve the role of world government you better be rich. ..."
"... why we Russians should interfere in already completely messed up US elections, which typically equal to a force choice between two equally unacceptable candidates, already chosen and vetted by neoliberal elite. Like Trump vs. Hillary. why we should play this game of "the lesser evil." It's plain vanilla stupidity. ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | kononenkome.livejournal.com

According to popular belief, the cold war ended with the victory of the United States of America. And, accordingly, the demice of the Soviet Union. However, what exactly represent such a victory is not that easy to understand. Instead of one conservative, and therefore predictable player, the United States received a half dozen countries, of which only three or four are loyal, with other living by "the laws of jungles" (sorry free market). The number of aimed at American cities Intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads remained approximately the same as before the infamous "victory." And strategic atomic submarines remained, and strategic bombers. There are less of them, for sure, but they are more modern and more dngerous with more sophisticated weaponry. In any ccase remaining are still enough to make the winner to feel like a loser after b=neclear apolaipsys. And the idfea of victory is that the victor is the master (in this case the master of the plant). Am I missing something ?

Of course, another inquisitive observer will tell us about the controlled chaos, about the growing influence and plans for the establishing of the world neoliberal government. I was impressed by the recent revelation of Senator John Tester, who said that Putin is promoting communism in America. As the idea that this senator is a complete idiot who does not understand the Russia rejected communism as a dead-born system is pretty absurd. I would venture to assume that it might be that Russia did something that can with some stretch be qualifies as an attempt to influence the USA election, but, alas, Putin has no strategic plan, not the intention. First of all this would be pretty idiotic idea as two candidates were equally bad for Russia and it was completely unclear who is worse.

But all those crazy US neocons still managed to imposed on Russia sanctions because of its "interference in the elections." That tells us something about the US congress. I do not want to write about the lack of evidence and absurdity of the arguments again. I've already written a lot about it. No, let's stop talking about the past and try to look into the future.

The US President's national security adviser John Bolton (who theoretically should be a sanest person in the administration) recently said that the US is concerned about the potential for interference in the midterm elections to the Congress of four countries. Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. "I will not go into details of what I saw or didn't see, but I tell you that in the 2018 elections, these four countries raise the greatest fears," proclaim this highly placed Presidential adviser.

Theoretically it make some sense. Any man with a knife has a potential to kill. Any country with nuclear weapons has the potential to strike at the US. Any country with developed IT has a potential opportunity to interfere in elections with the help of cyber attacks. For example, Israel. But it is not a good idea to scare the American voter with Israel. No, he/she should be confused, and he/she should be afraid of potential menace. And this external enemy should unite fragmented by neoliberal excesses country (for this purpose those good-for nothing people grazing in State Department and Spaso House (The US embassy in Moscow) should constantly accuse the Russian authorities of all sorts nefarious activities. So there is nothing new here: Great Britain uses similar dirty tricks against Russia for centuries. I am interested in another, a very simple question: why? Why would Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea interfere in the US midterm elections? What they want to achieve. All right, let's drop all the others, let's just talk about us, Russians.

What do we want? Let's say we want the midterms to be won by the Republicans. Then explain to me why Republican John Bolton fears this. If there's anything John Bolton should be afraid of, it's that Russia will intervene in the midterms in order to win the Democrats. But The Washington Post writes that "the leaders of the Democratic party of the United States fear the potential interference of Russia and start to increase its presence in anticipation of the interim election cycle on such platforms as Facebook and Twitter." President Trump writes on Twitter that Russia will" make a lot of effort " to intervene in the midterm elections on the side of the Democrats. Microsoft claims that Russian hackers created fake websites of Republican organizations in order to collect information about Republicans. The same hackers who broke into the DNC and stole Hillary Clinton emails now will steal midterm elections. But from whom? Do you understand anything? Personally, I don't understand anymore. Which Party we support? Who is the target of our effort to interfere in the USA elections. Are we promoting Repubs or DemoRats ?

Perhaps the head of the US national intelligence Daniel Coates is right when he declared that "their goal is to divide and undermine our democratic values." Well, let's suppose that we really are against those sacred values.

But the midterm elections will still be held, despite any interference. And one of candidates will win, while the other will lose. If we see no difference in candidates why we should interfere? If the net result for us anyway will be the same: more sanctions? Here we should go back to the idea of "controlled chaos" and world government. Looks like Daniel Coats think that the world government is us. No, I'd certainly like the idea, even if this requires smoking something really strong (let's use Musk as a lodestar ;-). But I'm afraid we're not capable to serve in this role. After economic rape of 1991 we are too poor. And to serve the role of world government you better be rich.

Again the question arise, why we should interfere in he USA elections. Only if we are out for revenge, "eye for eye" principle as they interfered in ours. There's no other reasonable answer. But even in this case, why we Russians should interfere in already completely messed up US elections, which typically equal to a force choice between two equally unacceptable candidates, already chosen and vetted by neoliberal elite. Like Trump vs. Hillary. why we should play this game of "the lesser evil." It's plain vanilla stupidity.

And before we get the answer to this fundamental question "Why?" there can be no further questions. None. Moreover, no other questions are needed. So let them just explain to us why we should interfere and how we can benefit from such an interference, and we will try our best. Before that, let's just watch.

And when they explain this to us, we can communicate the answer to China, Iran and North Korea free of charge.

[Sep 07, 2018] New York Times Undermining Peace Efforts by Sowing Suspicion by Diana Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The letter by Mister or Ms Anonymous is very well written. By someone like, say, Thomas Friedman. That is, someone on the NYT staff. It is very cleverly composed to achieve quite obvious calculated aims. It is a masterpiece of treacherous deception. ..."
"... This anonymous enemy of amorality claims to approve of all the most extreme right-wing measures of the Trump administration as "bright spots": deregulation, tax reform, a more robust military, "and more" – cleverly omitting mention of Trump's immigration policy which could unduly shock the New York Times' liberal readers. The late Senator John McCain, the model of bipartisan bellicosity, is cited as the example to follow. ..."
"... The "resistance" proclaimed is solely against the facets of Trump's foreign policy which White House insiders are said to be working diligently to undermine: peaceful relations with Russian and North Korea. ..."
"... Trump's desire to avoid war is transformed into "a preference for autocrats and dictators". (Trump gets no credit for his warlike rhetoric against Iran and close relations with Netanyahu, even though they must please Anonymous.) ..."
"... The purpose of this is stunningly obvious. The New York Times has already done yeoman service in rounding up liberal Democrats and left-leaning independents in the anti-Trump lynch mob. But now the ploy is to rally conservative Republicans to the same cause of overthrowing the elected President. The letter amounts to an endorsement of future President Pence. ..."
"... This is the Iago ploy. Shakespeare's villain destroyed Othello by causing him to distrust those closest to him, his wife and closest associates. Like Trump in Washington, Othello, the "Moor" of Venice, was an outsider, that much easier to deceive and betray. ..."
"... The New York Times is playing Iago, whispering that Putin in the Kremlin is surrounded by secret "informants", and that Trump in the White House is surrounded by people systematically undermining his presidency. Putin is not likely to be impressed, but the trick might work with Trump, who is truly the target of open and covert enemies and whose position is much more insecure. There is certainly some undermining going on. ..."
"... Was the New York Times oped written by the paper's own writers or by the CIA? It hardly matters since they are so closely entwined. ..."
"... The military-industrial-congressional-deep state-media complex is holding its breath to breathe that great sigh of relief. The intruder is gone. Hurrah! Now we can go right on teaching the public to hate and fear the Russian enemy, so that arms contracts continue to blossom and NATO builds up its aggressive forces around Russia in hopes that this may frighten the Russians into dumping Putin in favor of a new Boris Yeltsin, ready to let the United States pursue the Clintonian plan of breaking up the Russian Federation into pieces, like the former Yugoslavia, in order to take them over one by one, with all their great natural resources. ..."
"... When dialogue is impossible, all that is left is force and violence. That is what is being promoted by the most influential media in the United States. ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

The New York Times continues to outdo itself in the production of fake news. There is no more reliable source of fake news than the intelligence services, which regularly provide their pet outlets (NYT and WaPo) with sensational stories that are as unverifiable as their sources are anonymous. A prize example was the August 24 report that US intelligence agencies don't know anything about Russia's plans to mess up our November elections because "informants close to Putin and in the Kremlin" aren't saying anything. Not knowing anything about something for which there is no evidence is a rare scoop.

A story like that is not designed to "inform the public" since there is no information in it. It has other purposes: to keep the "Russia is undermining our democracy" story on front pages, with the extra twist in this case of trying to make Putin distrustful of his entourage. The Russian president is supposed to wonder, who are those informants in my entourage?

But that was nothing compared to the whopper produced by the "newpaper of record" on September 5. (By the way, the "record" is stuck in the same groove: Trump bad, Putin bad – bad bad bad.) This was the sensational oped headlined "I am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration", signed by nobody.

The letter by Mister or Ms Anonymous is very well written. By someone like, say, Thomas Friedman. That is, someone on the NYT staff. It is very cleverly composed to achieve quite obvious calculated aims. It is a masterpiece of treacherous deception.

The fictional author presents itself as a right-wing conservative shocked by Trump's "amorality" – a category that outside the Washington swamp might include betraying the trust of one's superior.

This anonymous enemy of amorality claims to approve of all the most extreme right-wing measures of the Trump administration as "bright spots": deregulation, tax reform, a more robust military, "and more" – cleverly omitting mention of Trump's immigration policy which could unduly shock the New York Times' liberal readers. The late Senator John McCain, the model of bipartisan bellicosity, is cited as the example to follow.

The "resistance" proclaimed is solely against the facets of Trump's foreign policy which White House insiders are said to be working diligently to undermine: peaceful relations with Russian and North Korea.

Trump's desire to avoid war is transformed into "a preference for autocrats and dictators". (Trump gets no credit for his warlike rhetoric against Iran and close relations with Netanyahu, even though they must please Anonymous.)

The purpose of this is stunningly obvious. The New York Times has already done yeoman service in rounding up liberal Democrats and left-leaning independents in the anti-Trump lynch mob. But now the ploy is to rally conservative Republicans to the same cause of overthrowing the elected President. The letter amounts to an endorsement of future President Pence. Just get rid of Trump and you'll have a nice, neat, ultra-right-wing Republican as President.

The Democrats may not like Pence, but they are so demented by hatred of Trump that they are visibly ready to accept the Devil himself to get rid of the sinister clown who dared defeat Hillary Clinton. Down with democracy; the votes of deplorables shouldn't count.

That is treacherous enough, but even more despicable is the insidious design to destabilize the presidency by sowing distrust. Speaking of Trump, Mr and/or Ms Anonymous declare: "The dilemma – which he does not fully grasp – is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations" (meaning peace with Russia).

This is the Iago ploy. Shakespeare's villain destroyed Othello by causing him to distrust those closest to him, his wife and closest associates. Like Trump in Washington, Othello, the "Moor" of Venice, was an outsider, that much easier to deceive and betray.

The New York Times is playing Iago, whispering that Putin in the Kremlin is surrounded by secret "informants", and that Trump in the White House is surrounded by people systematically undermining his presidency. Putin is not likely to be impressed, but the trick might work with Trump, who is truly the target of open and covert enemies and whose position is much more insecure. There is certainly some undermining going on.

Was the New York Times oped written by the paper's own writers or by the CIA? It hardly matters since they are so closely entwined.

No trick is too low for those who consider Trump an intolerable intruder on THEIR power territory. The New York Times "news" that Trump is surrounded by traitors is taken up by other media who indirectly confirm the story by speculating on "who is it?" The Boston Globe (among others) eagerly rushed in, asking:

"So who's the author of the op-ed? It's a question that has many people poking through the text, looking for clues. Meanwhile, the denials have come thick and fast. Here's a brief look at some of the highest-level officials in the administration who might have a motive to write the letter."

Isn't it obvious that all this is designed to make Trump distrust everyone around him? Isn't that a way to drive him toward that "crazy" where they say he already is, and which is fallback grounds for impeachment when the Mueller investigation fails to come up with nothing more serious than the fact that Russian intelligent agents are intelligent agents?

The White House insider (or insiders, or whatever) use terms like "erratic behavior" and "instability" to contribute to the "Trump is insane" narrative. Insanity is the alternative pretext to the Mueller wild goose chase for divesting Trump of the powers of the presidency. If Trump responds by accusing the traitors of being traitors, that will be final proof of his mental instability. The oped claims to provide evidence that Trump is being betrayed, but if he says so, that will be taken as a sign of mental derangement. To save our exemplary democracy from itself, the elected president must be thrown out.

The military-industrial-congressional-deep state-media complex is holding its breath to breathe that great sigh of relief. The intruder is gone. Hurrah! Now we can go right on teaching the public to hate and fear the Russian enemy, so that arms contracts continue to blossom and NATO builds up its aggressive forces around Russia in hopes that this may frighten the Russians into dumping Putin in favor of a new Boris Yeltsin, ready to let the United States pursue the Clintonian plan of breaking up the Russian Federation into pieces, like the former Yugoslavia, in order to take them over one by one, with all their great natural resources.

And when this fails, as it has been failing, and will continue to fail, the United States has all those brand new first strike nuclear weapons being stationed in European NATO countries, aimed at the Kremlin. And the Russian military are not just sitting there with their own nuclear weapons, waiting to be wiped out. When nobody, not even the President of the United States, has the right to meet and talk with Russian leaders, there is only one remaining form of exchange. When dialogue is impossible, all that is left is force and violence. That is what is being promoted by the most influential media in the United States.

[Sep 07, 2018] The Coup Against Trump by CURT MILLS

Notable quotes:
"... Taken together, the two are the equivalent of a stiff left jab followed by a roundhouse right. The president has been left reeling, staring into the political abyss. ..."
"... The president is betrayed, openly, in the pages of America's paper of record and, according to the activist, "the senior people in the [administration] do nothing about it." ..."
"... A report of mine in the National Interest last year relayed the hiring procedures, or lack thereof, of Trump appointees on the campaign and in the administration; prospective employees were rarely asked about their policy preferences. Said Scott McConnell , founding editor of TAC , on Wednesday: "Trump's biggest weakness is lacking knowledge of the policy people who might have helped him with a realist/populist agenda. But he never evinced any interest in finding smart realists to staff his administration." ..."
"... "We're Watching an Antidemocratic Coup Unfold," says David Graham in The Atlantic . "How the 'resistance' in the White House threatens American democracy . ..."
"... There's more than one path to authoritarianism," posits Damon Linker in The Week. ..."
"... But it's also true that Trump openly ran on detente . Should actual voters' preferences just be tossed aside in the name of, as the author suggests, the preservation of democracy? "So let's see: Trump ran on closer relations with Russia," Fox News host Tucker Carlson opined on Wednesday night. "Voters agreed with that. And so they elected him president of the United States. And yet, the tiny and incompetent Washington foreign policy establishment -- the very same people who brought you Iraq and Libya -- do not agree with that. So they subvert his views, which are also the views of voters." ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Coup Against Trump One of his advisors tells TAC a plot is afoot. How far will the president go to ensure his political survival?

... ... ...

Donald Trump rose from pariah to president through politics, and now may be on the brink of being returned by the same means, the result of Bob Woodward's searing testimonial in Fear and a scathing New York Times op-ed from someone in his own ranks.

Taken together, the two are the equivalent of a stiff left jab followed by a roundhouse right. The president has been left reeling, staring into the political abyss.

A former senior administration official tells me that Wednesday's op-ed in the New York Times , by an anonymous senior administration official, is nothing short of an attempt at a "coup" against Trump himself. A veteran conservative activist who is close to the White House says the story here is one insiders have been identifying since the early days of the Trump administration (and that I've reported on ad nauseum ): personnel.

The president is betrayed, openly, in the pages of America's paper of record and, according to the activist, "the senior people in the [administration] do nothing about it."

Something tantamount to a national game of "Clue" is underway. It was Mike Pence, with an email to the Times , in the Naval Observatory. It was Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Jr., with the phone, in the bathroom of his Moscow apartment. This reporter is loathe to delve into conjecture, but the author of the op-ed seems clearly to be, first, interested in national security, and second, a traditional conservative. A preponderance of my sources argue that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. "[National Security Advisor John] Bolton would shock me," a State Department veteran says.

The op-ed author writes: "This isn't the work of the so-called deep state. It's the work of the steady state." He (or she) maligns the president as "amoral" and devoid of "first principles." A veteran watcher of Secretary of Defense James Mattis tells me that "'steady' is a favorite Mattis word. I think the McCain funeral hit Mattis hard." Yet even if the president suspected his defense chief, he would be loathe to quickly dispatch him -- and anyway Mattis may leave on his own after the midterms.

♦♦♦

A case of seismic duplicity -- or needed patriotism, depending on who you talk to -- is, of course, only half the story.

The other half is one that has been recurrent throughout this administration: the president and his apparatchiks expended little initial capital on staffing the White House with genuine loyalists, or true believers. They appointed neither longtime personal friends of the president nor policy hands faithful to anything resembling a populist-nationalist agenda. News reports abound of the president's surprising and depressing paucity of genuine friends.

As I relayed last week in TAC : "A former senior Department of Defense official [being considered] for top administration positions recalls meeting Jeff Sessions after the election. After hitting it off, the future AG asked the candidate: ' Where have you been? '"

A report of mine in the National Interest last year relayed the hiring procedures, or lack thereof, of Trump appointees on the campaign and in the administration; prospective employees were rarely asked about their policy preferences. Said Scott McConnell , founding editor of TAC , on Wednesday: "Trump's biggest weakness is lacking knowledge of the policy people who might have helped him with a realist/populist agenda. But he never evinced any interest in finding smart realists to staff his administration."

Donald Trump is Not the Manchurian Candidate 'Far From the Endgame' on Donald Trump's NAFTA Overhaul

The president suggested that the op-ed was perhaps "TREASON?" He routinely conflates national interest and personal interest, and thus now demands that the Times betray its source. In doing so, he denigrates a founding ideal of the republic, prepared to erode civic support for the First Amendment to dull the pain of an atrocious but largely self-inflicted news cycle.

The personal nature of the president's complaint convulses the persuasive authority of the arguments against his opposition. Since the publishing of the op-ed, there has been a steady trickle of concern, particularly among left-liberal writers, about the precedent being set. "We're Watching an Antidemocratic Coup Unfold," says David Graham in The Atlantic . "How the 'resistance' in the White House threatens American democracy . There's more than one path to authoritarianism," posits Damon Linker in The Week.

And indeed there are parts of the op-ed that are cause for genuine concern:

On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin's spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior.

Treating Russia as the adversarial power that it is and proportionately punishing its malign behavior smacks of sound policy. But it's also true that Trump openly ran on detente . Should actual voters' preferences just be tossed aside in the name of, as the author suggests, the preservation of democracy? "So let's see: Trump ran on closer relations with Russia," Fox News host Tucker Carlson opined on Wednesday night. "Voters agreed with that. And so they elected him president of the United States. And yet, the tiny and incompetent Washington foreign policy establishment -- the very same people who brought you Iraq and Libya -- do not agree with that. So they subvert his views, which are also the views of voters."

Beyond the substantive criticisms from both sides, of Trump and of his critics, is the diagnostic nature of the conspiracy -- and it is a conspiracy -- against the president. First and foremost, Trump, they say, is unwell or unfit. The case for invocation of the 25th Amendment is being made plainly in the pages of the United States' most-read newspapers.

What's truly remarkable is that, to a certain extent, the U.S. is already functioning as though the 25th Amendment has been invoked -- at least if the reporting of Bob Woodward, the premier journalist of his generation, is to be believed. In spring of 2017, after Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad reportedly murdered citizens in rebel-held territory with chemical weapons, Trump, according to Woodward, told Defense Secretary Mattis: "Let's f**ing kill him! Let's go in. Let's kill the f**king lot of them." Mattis replied, "We're not going to do any of that." (Mattis denies Woodward's accounts.) As the author of the op-ed gloats, this is "is a two-track presidency. Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly."

The debate, then, isn't about policy. It isn't as though Trump is trying to decimate the civil service, or staff the State Department with "realists" on Russia, or halve legal immigration. If he leaves office, his legacy will be tax cuts and (likely) two conservative Supreme Court justices; on policy, it's unlikely that a President Cruz or Rubio would have done much differently. But the paranoid style that Trump has mainstreamed is, of course, a separate matter and not a small one. Neither is the fealty, or at least feigned fidelity, to a populist-nationalism that is now likely a prerequisite to becoming the Republican presidential nominee for the foreseeable future. That's even though, at their core, the president's protestations of "treason" and a "deep state" are about personal survival, not the implementation of a nationalist revolution.

For his supporters, Trump's continued occupancy of the White House is more about cultural grievance -- a middle finger to a failed establishment -- than about a knock-down, drag-out fight over real political change.

As Steve Bannon told the Weekly Standard after his ouster last year: "The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over."

Curt Mills is the foreign affairs reporter at The National Interest, where he covers the State Department, National Security Council, and the Trump presidency.

[Sep 07, 2018] Harding book is an indirect proof the UK government did it

Sep 07, 2018 | off-guardian.org

Originally from: Skripal Case Luke Harding's latest work of fiction OffGuardian

uke Harding likes writing books about things that he wasn't really involved in and doesn't really understand. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, that covers pretty much everything. His book about Snowden, for example, was beautifully taken down by Julian Assange – a person who was actually there.

He's priming the traumatised public for another of his works, this time about Sergei Skripal. This one will probably be out by Christmas, unless he can find someone else's work to plagiarise , in which case he might get it done sooner.

It will have a snide and not especially clever title, perhaps a sort of pun – something like "A Poison by Any Other Name: How Russian assassins contaminated the heart of rural England" . It will relate, in jarring sub-sub-le Carre prose, a story of Russian malfeasance and evil beyond imagining, whilst depicting the whole cast as bumbling caricatures, always held up for ridicule by the author and his smug readership.

There's an extract in The Guardian today. It's not listed as one, but trust me, it will be in the book. It's title, as predicted above, is sort of a pun (and will probably be a chapter heading):

Planes, trains and fake names: the trail left by Skripal suspects

You see? Like that film? I don't really get it either but until someone else comes up with something clever he can copy, Luke is left to his own rather meagre devices.

It starts off surprisingly strong, waiting three whole sentences before lurching violently into totally unsupported conjecture:

The two men were dressed inconspicuously in jeans, fleece jackets and trainers as they boarded the flight from Moscow to Gatwick. Their names, according to their Russian passports, were Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov. Both were around 40 years old. Neither looked suspicious.

This is, as far as we know so far, true.

The plane trundled down the icy runway. In Moscow the temperatures had fallen below -10C, not unusual for early March. In Britain it had been snowing.

and so is this. In fact, in googling "Moscow weather March 2018" Harding has displayed an uncharacteristically thorough approach to research that was rarely (if ever) evidenced in his previous works.

They had also packed a bottle of what appeared to be the Nina Ricci perfume Premier Jour. The box it came in was prettily decorated with flowers, it listed ingredients including alcohol and it bore the words "Made in France".

This is where truth ends and guesses take over: there is no evidence, at all, that these two men had anything to do with the "perfume bottle" allegedly found by Charlie Rowley on June 27th and allegedly containing a powerful nerve agent. There is (as far as we know) no fingerprint or DNA evidence on the bottle, nobody saw them with the bottle, and there's no released CCTV footage of them holding or carrying the bottle. Saying "it's in their backpack" is meaningless without any evidence to back it up.

According to the Metropolitan police, the bottle in fact contained novichok, a lethal nerve agent developed in the late Soviet Union. The bottle had been specially made to be leakproof and had a customised applicator.

Note he doesn't feel the need to examine, question or even verify the words of the Metropolitan Police. This is a recurring theme in Harding's works – there are people who tell the truth (US) and people who lie (RUSSIANS). Evidence is a complication you can live without.

Moscow's notorious poisons factory run by the KGB made similar devices throughout the cold war.

Did they? Because he doesn't show any evidence this is true. One thing you can be sure of, if there had ever been even a whisper about a "modified perfume bottle" in any Soviet archive or from any "whistleblower currently living in the United States", it would be on the front page in big black letters.

Petrov and Boshirov were aliases, detectives believe. Both men are suspected to be career officers with the GRU, Russia's powerful and highly secretive military intelligence service.

Note use of the word "believe", it makes regular appearances alongside it's buddies: "suspect" and "probably".

And yes, they "believe" they are aliases because IF they were assassins then obviously they used aliases. There's no evidence taken from their (currently totally theoretical) visa applications that point to forgery, nobody at the time questioned their passports. As of today, we have been given no reason to think they were aliases, except reasoning backwards from assumed guilt which isn't how deduction works.

In fact, there's more than enough reason to assume they aren't aliases – Firstly, they passed the visa check, secondly their passports were never questioned, thirdly they've used them before (see below), and finally just WHY would a Russian spy-come-assassin use a fake Russian name and a fake Russian passport? That's ridiculous.

The officers' assignment was covert. They were coming to Britain not as tourists but as assassins.

[citation needed]

Their target was Sergei Skripal, a former GRU officer who spied for British intelligence, got caught and was freed in a spy exchange in 2010. They were heading for his home in provincial Salisbury.

Luke doesn't feel the need to dig down into the nitty gritty here – motive is a trifle, to be added in the footnotes or made up on the spur of the moment when asked at a book signing. I'm a bit more fussy than that – I feel the need to ask "Why did they release him in 2010 and then try to kill him in 2018?" If they had wanted to kill him, why not just do it when he was in prison in Russia between 2006 and 2010? If they wanted to kill him why do it just weeks before the World Cup? What could they possibly have to gain?

Luke doesn't know, and neither do I.

Their Aeroflot flight SU2588 touched down at 3pm on Friday 2 March. They were recorded on CCTV going through passport control, Boshirov with dark hair and a goatee beard, Petrov unshaven and wearing a blue gingham shirt. Both were carrying satchels slung casually over the shoulder.

This is all true, and completely unnecessary. It's what we in the industry call "filler" or "padding". Totally meaningless and useless words that do nothing but take up space. Without it, a lot of Luke's books would only be about 700 words long.

According to police, the pair had visited the UK before.

Way to bury the lead there, Luke.

This is actually quite important isn't it? I mean, when did they visit the UK before? Did they visit Salisbury then too? Did they have any contact with Sergei Skripal? Were they travelling under the same names? Were these visits linked with other intelligence work? Were they just holidays? What kind of assassins would use the SAME FAKE IDS ON TWO DIFFERENT OCCASIONS?

These are all very important questions, but Luke doesn't ask them. Because Luke is a modern journalist, and they don't interrogate the claims of the state, just report them. To Guardian reporters a question mark is just that funny squiggle next to the shift key.

From Gatwick they caught the train to London Victoria station and then the tube to east London, where they checked in to the City Stay hotel in Bow. It was a low-profile choice of accommodation. The red-brick Victorian building is next to a branch of Barclays bank, a busy train line and a wall daubed with graffiti. Across the road is a car pound and a Texaco garage.

This just more filler. Totally meaningless packaging material. The prose equivalent of All-Bran.

On hostile territory, Boshirov and Petrov operated in the manner of classic intelligence operatives.

In this instance "the manner of classic intelligence operatives" means, flying direct to London from Moscow, using Russian names and Russian passports (which you've used before), checking into a hotel with a CCTV camera on the front door, going straight to the hometown of an ex-double agent, leaving a Russian poison his front door even though he's already gone out, dumping your unused poison in a charity bin on the high street, going back to your hotel, smearing poison around that too even though you already dumped it, and then flying directly back to Moscow without even waiting to see if the plan worked and the target is dead.

This, in Luke's head, is ace intelligence work.

On the day of the hit, according to detectives, the pair made a similar journey, taking the 8.05am train from Waterloo to Salisbury and arriving at 11.48am.

Yes, they arrived at 11.48, making it absolutely pointless to put poison on the Skripal's door, as they had already gone out.

The perfume bottle was probably concealed in a light grey backpack carried by Petrov.

It was "probably concealed" in that backpack because, as I said above, there's no evidence either of those men ever knew the perfume bottle existed. You never see it in their possession.

Oh, and the backpack would have to contain TWO bottles of perfume – because the police aren't sure the bottle Rowley found 3 months later was the same bottle, and Rowley reported it was unopened and wrapped in cellophane. Perhaps Luke should have read the details of the case instead of trolling IMDB looking for movie titles with "plane" in them or googling "insouciant" to see if he was using it right.

From Salisbury station the two men set off on foot. It was a short walk of about a mile to Skripal's semi-detached home in Christie Miller Road.

which doesn't matter, because the Skripals weren't there. They left at 9.15 and there is no evidence they ever returned.

At Skripal's house the Russians smeared or sprayed novichok on to the front door handle, police say.

which doesn't matter, because the Skripals weren't there. They left at 9.15 and there is no evidence they ever returned.

It doesn't matter if Borishov and Petrov re-tiled the bathroom with novichok grouting or hid novichok in the battery compartment of Sergei's TV remote or replaced all his lightbulbs with novichok bombs that explode when you use the clapper .according to everything we've been told so far Sergei and Julia were literally never in that house again.

Luke seems to write a lot about this case, considering he is barely acquainted with the most basic facts of it.

The moment went unobserved

True. There is not a single piece of footage, photograph or eyewitness placing these men within a hundred feet of the Skripals, or their house. The "moment went unobserved" is an incredibly dishonest way of phrasing this, "the moment is entirely theoretical" is rather fairer. Or, if you want to be honest "it's possible none of this happened".

At some point on their walk back they must have tossed away the bottle, which at this point was too dangerous to try to smuggle back through customs.

It's all falling into place perfectly isn't it?

At some point the two men, who we never see holding or carrying the bottle, must have thrown it away because three months later someone else found it.

They took it through customs once but couldn't a second time, because reasons.

Also one of them was smiling a sort of "I just poisoned somebody" smile:

At 1.05pm the men were recorded in Fisherton Street on their way back to the station. They appeared more relaxed, Petrov grinning even.

Those evil bastards.

By the time Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were found collapsed on a park bench in the centre of Salisbury later that afternoon, the poisoners were gone.

No Luke: By the time Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were found collapsed on a park bench in the centre of Salisbury later that afternoon, the ALLEGED poisoners were gone.

Alleged is an important word for example, there is a marked difference between being an ALLEGED plagiarist, and being a plagiarist .

The visitors were captured on CCTV one more time, at Heathrow airport. It was 7.28pm and both men were going through security, Petrov first, wheeling a small black case. In his right hand was a shiny red object, his Russian passport. Police believe the passport was genuine, his name not. In other words, that it was a sophisticated espionage operation carried out by a state or state entities.

You see? Nobody thought the passport was fake, which means it was a really good fake . So the Russian state must have been in on it. This is known as an unfalsifiable hypothesis. If the passport did look fake, that would be evidence that the men were spies and therefore the Russian state was in on it.

Harding has created a narrative where there is literally no development that could ever challenge his conclusions.

Seemingly, the GRU plan – executed two weeks before Russia's presidential election – had worked perfectly.

This is an example of the cum hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy – two things happen at the same time, therefore they happen for the same reason. It's a maneuver we at OffG refer to as "the Harding", where you state two separate assertions or facts one after the other in such a way as to imply a relationship, without ever making a solid statement. I'll give you an example:

Luke Harding was born in 1968, mere weeks before the brutal assassination of Robert Kennedy.

Harding is suggesting some sort of connection between the election and the poisoning. He can't STATE it, because then he has to explain his reasoning – and there isn't any. Putin, and Russia as a whole, had nothing to gain from poisoning an ex-spy they had released nearly a decade earlier, especially on the eve of a Presidential election and mere weeks before the World Cup. There's no argument to be made, so he doesn't attempt to make one, he just makes a snide and baseless insinuation.

In his defense, Luke might genuinely believe it, cum hoc ergo propter hoc is a favorite amongst paranoid personalities , of which Luke is definitely a prime example .

Vladimir Putin, the man whom a public inquiry found in 2016 had "probably" signed off on the operation to kill Litvinenko. The UK security services say a "body of evidence" points to the GRU.

"Probably" is also a big word. For example, there's a marked difference between "probably being a plagiarist" and "being a plagiarist" .

It seems clear that Moscow continues to view Britain as a playground for undercover operations and is relatively insouciant about the consequences, diplomatic and political. The Skripal attack may have misfired. But the message, mingling contempt and arrogance, is there for all to see: we can smite our enemies whenever and wherever we want, and there is nothing you can do about it.

This is the second time Luke has used the word "insouciant" in two days, which means that word of the day calendar was a probably sound investment, but he forgot to flip it over this morning.

Other than that, this final paragraph is nothing but paranoia.

The Russians were TRYING to make it obvious, to send a message. But were also lazy and arrogant. And yet also left no solid evidence because they are experts at espionage. They had no motive except being mean, and couldn't even be bothered to make sure they did it right. They want us all to know they did it, but will never admit it.

The actual truth of the situation can be summed up in a few bullet points. Currently:

There is no evidence these men were using forged documents. There is no evidence these men were travelling under aliases or assumed names. There is no evidence these men ever had any contact with Sergei Skripal's house. There is no evidence these men ever had any contact with Sergei Skripal or his daughter. There is no evidence these men were Russian intelligence assets or had any military training. There is no evidence these men ever possessed or had any contact with the perfume bottle found by Charlie Rowley on June 27th. They have visited the UK before, not on intelligence business (as far as we know). Their movements don't align with the timeline of Skripal's illness.

The entire narrative is created around half a dozen screen caps of two (allegedly) Russian men, not behaving in any way illegally or even suspiciously. All the rest is fiction, created by a hack to service an agenda. This isn't one of those "You couldn't make it up" stories, it's not that incredible. It's just insulting and stupid.

You could make it up, and he did.

[Sep 07, 2018] UK "identifies" Russian agents in attempted Skripal assassination by Robert Stevens

Theresa May demonstrated traits of a psychopath who cling to power using all available to her means, including criminal. Looks like British version of Hillary.
Notable quotes:
"... despite hysterical news broadcasts and front-page headlines regarding "Russian assassins," the public know nothing more substantively about the events of Sunday, March 4, than they did more than six months ago. ..."
"... May did not detail the intelligence she was supposedly acting on. Instead she singled out Russia as the main enemy of the West that had to confronted, declaring, "This chemical weapons attack on our soil was part of a wider pattern of Russian behaviour that persistently seeks to undermine our security and that of our allies around the world." ..."
"... "Back in March, Russia sought to sow doubt and uncertainty about the evidence we presented to this House -- and some were minded to believe them," May told parliament. "Today's announcement shows that we were right." Except that it doesn't. The new narrative is that "Petrov" and "Boshirov" flew into Gatwick airport on Friday, March 2. CCTV footage purportedly verifies this. They checked into a budget hotel in Bow, east London, and the next day, according to police, travelled to Salisbury, staying in the area for several hours, before returning to London. ..."
"... The pair then returned to Salisbury on Sunday, March 4. Police claim they are shown on CCTV at 11:58 a.m., on Wilton Road, "moments before the attack" on Sergei Skripal. ..."
"... Former UK ambassador Craig Murray asked: "1. Why did two alleged GRU agents travel under false names and fake passports, but still use Russian ..."
"... Murray retweeted a statement from a freelance journalist, Neil Clark, pointing out: "If the two men were identified coming through Gatwick, it is impossible that the police do not know what kind of visa they were travelling on. Something is very wrong here -- ties in with the fact that the photos released [showing grainy images of the men's faces on dark backgrounds] are not UK visa standard photos." ..."
"... at precisely the same second ..."
"... Murray points out that the Skripals left their home at 9:15 a.m. on March 4 and were assumed not to have returned home, before they were found collapsed. "But the Metropolitan Police state that Boshirov and Petrov did not arrive in Salisbury until 11.48 on the day of the poisoning. That means that they could not have applied a nerve agent to the Skripals' doorknob before noon at the earliest." ..."
"... An article on the Off Guardian website noted that the police said the Bow Hotel was "contaminated" with novichok, but no one has been reported ill in six months at the hotel. ..."
"... The government's narrative cannot be taken at face value, especially as it is supplied by the same security services that faked "evidence" of Iraq having "weapons of mass destruction" to justify pre-emptive war against Iraq. ..."
"... Moreover, the timing of the government's latest disclosure is highly suspect. Yesterday, the UK raised its new allegations against Moscow at the United Nations Security Council, after which the US, France, Germany and Canada issued a joint statement that the Russian government "almost certainly" approved the poisoning of the Skripals. ..."
"... The same day the European Union announced it was extending, for a further six months, the sanctions it had imposed on around 150 Russian individuals and 50 companies following the right-wing Western-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014. Complaints of Russian aggression in Crimea have been used to carry through a massive NATO build-up on Russia's borders. ..."
"... These measures unfold as the US renews threats over the operation by forces loyal to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad against Al Qaeda affiliates that control the northwestern province of Idlib. Denouncing the "threat of an imminent Assad regime attack, backed by Russia and Iran," the White House stated that, in the event of a chemical weapons attack, "the United States and its Allies will respond swiftly and appropriately." ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.wsws.org

The UK government and media have doubled down on their anti-Russian campaign following Wednesday's announcement by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that two men have been named as suspects in the poisoning of former Russian/British double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

The police released passport photos and CCTV images of two men in various locations, including Gatwick Airport and Salisbury. But despite hysterical news broadcasts and front-page headlines regarding "Russian assassins," the public know nothing more substantively about the events of Sunday, March 4, than they did more than six months ago.

CPS Director of Legal Services Sue Hemming said that evidence from counter-terrorism police meant "it is clearly in the public interest to charge Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, who are Russian nationals," with the attempted murder of Sergei, Yulia and police officer Nick Bailey.

Prime Minister Theresa May then told parliament that, in addition to the police investigation, the security and intelligence agencies had conducted their own investigation and, "based on a body of intelligence, the Government has concluded that the two individuals named by the police and CPS are officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU."

She added: "So this was not a rogue operation. It was almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state."

The Russian Foreign Ministry has categorically rejected the UK's claims, stating the names of the two men "do not mean anything to us."

May did not detail the intelligence she was supposedly acting on. Instead she singled out Russia as the main enemy of the West that had to confronted, declaring, "This chemical weapons attack on our soil was part of a wider pattern of Russian behaviour that persistently seeks to undermine our security and that of our allies around the world."

"Back in March, Russia sought to sow doubt and uncertainty about the evidence we presented to this House -- and some were minded to believe them," May told parliament. "Today's announcement shows that we were right." Except that it doesn't. The new narrative is that "Petrov" and "Boshirov" flew into Gatwick airport on Friday, March 2. CCTV footage purportedly verifies this. They checked into a budget hotel in Bow, east London, and the next day, according to police, travelled to Salisbury, staying in the area for several hours, before returning to London.

The pair then returned to Salisbury on Sunday, March 4. Police claim they are shown on CCTV at 11:58 a.m., on Wilton Road, "moments before the attack" on Sergei Skripal.

The police say two more images show the "suspects at Salisbury train station at 13.50 on Sunday, 4 March, as they embark on their journey back to London." Another image shows the "suspects passing through passport control at London Heathrow at 19.28 on Sunday evening (4 March) -- in the image, 'Petrov' is at the front and 'Boshirov' at the back."

May's definitive assertion of Russian authorship was contradicted by Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, National Lead for Counter-Terrorism Policing. Asked by the press if he had any evidence that the two men were Russian State operatives, he said, "No." Basu said in his statement that "it is likely that they were travelling under aliases and that these are not their real names."

BBC Security Correspondent Gordon Corera reported that he understood the authorities identified the pair "a while back" and "may also know their real names." But if so, why are they not being made public?

Former UK ambassador Craig Murray asked: "1. Why did two alleged GRU agents travel under false names and fake passports, but still use Russian names and Russian passports? If they had used EU passports -- say from Lithuania or Estonia for example -- they wouldn't have needed a visa, thanks to EU freedom of movement agreements, and could still have spoken Russian without raising suspicion."

Murray retweeted a statement from a freelance journalist, Neil Clark, pointing out: "If the two men were identified coming through Gatwick, it is impossible that the police do not know what kind of visa they were travelling on. Something is very wrong here -- ties in with the fact that the photos released [showing grainy images of the men's faces on dark backgrounds] are not UK visa standard photos."

Among the glaring oddities in the new account is that the two photos released of "Petrov" and "Boshirov" shows them both in what appears to be the same space at Gatwick airport at precisely the same second (16:22:43 on March 2, 2018.) Raising the physically impossibility, Murray suggests the CCTV images may have been doctored . The police are now claiming that the two are in different but similar places passing CCTV cameras at exactly the same time.

The government's latest narrative fails to correspond with claims it has maintained for months that the Skripals were poisoned by "novichok" being applied to the front door knob of Sergei's house.

Murray points out that the Skripals left their home at 9:15 a.m. on March 4 and were assumed not to have returned home, before they were found collapsed. "But the Metropolitan Police state that Boshirov and Petrov did not arrive in Salisbury until 11.48 on the day of the poisoning. That means that they could not have applied a nerve agent to the Skripals' doorknob before noon at the earliest."

An article on the Off Guardian website noted that the police said the Bow Hotel was "contaminated" with novichok, but no one has been reported ill in six months at the hotel. Moreover, to contaminate the room "the suspects would have to physically apply the poison to it, and since they allegedly left [sic] country on March 4th -- the same day as the alleged attack -- the contamination must have happened BEFORE Sergei Skripal was poisoned."

Also, previously the Metropolitan Police said that it was connecting the poisoning of the Skripals with that of Dawn Sturgess and her partner Charley Rowley. Dawn died in hospital after being exposed to what was described as a novichok on July 8. Rowley is now seriously ill with reported meningitis.

Yet Basu commented, "We don't yet know where the suspects disposed of the Novichok they used to attack the door, where Dawn and Charlie got the bottle that poisoned them, or if it is the same bottle used in both poisonings."

The government's narrative cannot be taken at face value, especially as it is supplied by the same security services that faked "evidence" of Iraq having "weapons of mass destruction" to justify pre-emptive war against Iraq.

Moreover, the timing of the government's latest disclosure is highly suspect. Yesterday, the UK raised its new allegations against Moscow at the United Nations Security Council, after which the US, France, Germany and Canada issued a joint statement that the Russian government "almost certainly" approved the poisoning of the Skripals.

The same day the European Union announced it was extending, for a further six months, the sanctions it had imposed on around 150 Russian individuals and 50 companies following the right-wing Western-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014. Complaints of Russian aggression in Crimea have been used to carry through a massive NATO build-up on Russia's borders.

May wants the EU to go further and follow the US, which imposed additional sanctions from August 27 on the basis that Russia had used "chemical weapons in violation of international law or lethal chemical weapons against its own nationals." This include terminating aid, except on urgent humanitarian grounds, restricting access to US credit, ending aspects of financing and prohibiting exports to Russia of "restricted goods or technology." Russia has 90 days to allow inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to verify it does not have chemical weapons, or Washington will impose a far more severe set of sanctions.

These measures unfold as the US renews threats over the operation by forces loyal to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad against Al Qaeda affiliates that control the northwestern province of Idlib. Denouncing the "threat of an imminent Assad regime attack, backed by Russia and Iran," the White House stated that, in the event of a chemical weapons attack, "the United States and its Allies will respond swiftly and appropriately."

Washington and London are not responding out of humanitarian concerns. They have backed the Al Qaeda-affiliated terror groups in Syria as part of their regime-change operations in the Middle East, and broader geostrategic objectives against Russia and Iran. As in previous instances -- Douma in April for example -- Washington's threats amount to an invitation to the Al Qaeda forces to stage an incident to justify military intervention by the US and its allies.


Ricky Kagayame2 hours ago

On the one hand, the ruling class want us to believe that Russian operations are highly sophisticated, that we should all live in suspense of when the next incident will occur, that we should hunger for vengeance, and yet when the media and government provide their "evidence" it shows that the so-called Russian operatives are incredibly inept. Of course, what else could be expected from manufactured narratives.
Skip3 hours ago
The British ruling class and it's security forces are cold blooded killers for hundreds of years. There is nothing too savage below them. Nothing they say can be taken at face value.

This whole affair has been a set up from the beginning. As we see know, it is used once again when needed. Russia is about to make a final push in Syria. This means, if they are victorious, America and Britain will have been stopped in the Middle East.

England has nothing left to lose. Nothing is off the table for their survival.

Jsut to assume tat two secret agents sent on an assassination plot from the Russian government would leave such obvious traces is absurd. Using Russian passports, needing a visa to enter, flying from Russia direct to London and then back... The British want us to think that the Russian secret service does not know about all the CCTV cameras in London, or England in general. Or the advanced level of security at Gatwick.

лидия4 hours ago
Anti-NATO Russians joke about this "new proof", I have read a funny short poem about it, and my favorite joke was - looks like there is not even Lestrade in Scotland Yard anymore.

[Sep 07, 2018] At some point you start to notice how DemoRats and neocons flood social media and every forum with their trash propaganda

Sep 07, 2018 | politics.slashdot.org
Anonymous Coward , Friday September 07, 2018 @11:46AM ( #57269458 )
Fake News ( Score: 1 )

Russians want a weak and divided US. Putin couldn't care less about who is running the nation.

Did they interfere with our election? Maybe.

Did illegals criminally vote in our elections after Obama asked them to? Did the Clintons and the DNC pay millions for the so-called research that led to Russia dossier? Yes. Did Clinton have her billionaire foreign friends funding her campaign? Yes.

But I guess direct foreign interference doesn't count if the Democrats were behind it. I think Democrats need to understand that people are starting to notice all the BS they are preaching.

You can't have it both ways....unless your a Democrat. People got tired of that and elected a clown over a corrupt political cult of blatant liars and criminals. Normal people don't like SJW types, hypocrites and habitually outraged race baiters.

At some point you start to notice how they flood social media and every forum with their trash propaganda. Even slashdot seems to get hit constantly.

[Sep 07, 2018] Are We Being Played by Caitlin Johnstone

Looks like this Iago-style false flag operation by NYT: the anonymous author does not exists and the the plot is to saw discord and mutual suspicion
Notable quotes:
"... The more I study US politics, the less useful I find it to think of it in political terms. The two-headed one party system exists to give Americans the illusion of choice while advancing the agendas of the plutocratic class which owns and operates both parties, yes, but even more importantly it's a mechanism of narrative control. ..."
"... If you belonged to a ruling class, obviously your goal would be to ensure your subjects' continued support for you. In a corporatist oligarchy, the rulers are secret and the subjects don't know they're ruled, and power is held in place with manipulation and with money. As such a ruler your goal would be to find a way to manipulate the masses into supporting your agendas, and, since people are different, you'd need to use different narratives to manipulate them. You'd have to divide them, tell them different stories, turn them against each other, play them off one another, suck them in to the tales you are spinning with the theater of enmity and heroism. ..."
"... As a result of the New York Times op-ed, if this administration engages in yet another of its many, many establishment capitulations (let's say by attacking the Syrian government again ), Trump's supporters won't see it as his fault; it will be blamed on the deep state insiders in his administration who have been working to thwart his agendas of peace and harmony. ..."
"... Would a billionaire WWE Hall of Famer and United States President understand the theater of staged conflict for the advancement of plutocratic interests, and willingly participate in it? I'm going to say probably. ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

If any evidence existed to be found that Donald Trump had illegally colluded with the Russian government to rig the 2016 presidential election, that evidence would have been picked up by the sprawling surveillance networks of the US and its allies and leaked to the Washington Post before Obama left office.

Russiagate is like a mirage. From a distance it looks like a solid, tangible thing, but when you actually move in to examine it critically you find nothing but gaping plot holes, insinuation, innuendo, conflicting narratives, bizarre mental contortions to avoid acknowledging contradictory information, a few arrests for corruption and process crimes, and a lot of hot air. The whole thing has been held together by nothing but the confident-sounding assertions of pundits and politicians and sheer, mindless repetition. And, as we approach the two year mark since this president's election, we have not seen one iota of movement toward removing him from office. The whole thing's a lie, and the smart movers and shakers behind it are aware that it is a lie.

And yet they keep beating on it. Day after day after day after day it's been Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia. Instead of attacking this president for his many, many real problems in a way that will do actual damage, they attack this fake blow-up doll standing next to him in a way that never goes anywhere and never will, like a pro wrestler theatrically stomping on the canvass next to his downed foe.

What's up with that?

... ... ....

As you doubtless already know by now, the New York Times has made the wildly controversial decision to publish an anonymous op-ed reportedly authored by "a senior official in the Trump administration." The op-ed's author claims to be part of a secret coalition of patriots who dislike Trump and are "working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations." These "worst inclinations" according to the author include trying to make peace with Moscow and Pyongyang, being rude to longtime US allies, saying mean things about the media, being "anti-trade", and being "erratic". The possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment is briefly mentioned but dismissed. The final paragraphs are spent gushing about John McCain for no apparent reason.

I strongly encourage you to read the piece in its entirety, because for all the talk and drama it's generating, it doesn't actually make any sense. While you are reading it, I encourage you to keep the following question in mind: what could anyone possibly gain by authoring this and giving it to the New York Times ?

Seriously, what could be gained? The op-ed says essentially nothing, other than to tell readers to relax and trust in anonymous administration insiders who are working against the bad guys on behalf of the people (which is interestingly the exact same message of the right-wing 8chan conspiracy phenomenon QAnon, just with the white hats and black hats reversed). Why would any senior official risk everything to publish something so utterly pointless? Why risk getting fired (or risk losing all political currency in the party if NYTAnon is Mike Pence, as has been theorized ) just to communicate something to the public that doesn't change or accomplish anything? Why publicly announce your undercover conspiracy to undermine the president in a major news outlet at all?

What are the results of this viral op-ed everyone's talking about? So far it's a bunch of Democratic partisans making a lot of excited whooping noises, and Trump loyalists feeling completely vindicated in the belief that all of their conspiracy theories have been proven correct. Many rank-and-file Trump haters are feeling a little more relaxed and complacent knowing that there are a bunch of McCain-loving "adults in the room" taking care of everything, and many rank-and-file Trump supporters are more convinced than ever that Donald Trump is a brave populist hero leading a covert 4-D chess insurgency against the Deep State. In other words, everyone's been herded into their respective partisan stables and trusting the narratives that they are being fed there.

And, well, I just think that's odd.

Did you know that Donald Trump is in the WWE Hall of Fame ? He was inducted in 2013, and he's been enthusiastically involved in pro wrestling for many years, both as a fan and as a performer . He's made more of a study on how to draw a crowd in to the theatrics of a choreographed fight scene than anyone this side of the McMahon family (a member of whom happens to be part of the Trump administration currently).

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZBl6cL9GYs0

You don't have to get into any deep conspiratorial rabbit hole to consider the possibility that all this drama and conflict is staged from top to bottom. Commentators on all sides routinely crack jokes about how the mainstream media pretends to attack Trump but secretly loves him because he brings them amazing ratings. Anyone with their eyes even part way open already knows that America's two mainstream parties feign intense hatred for one another while working together to pace their respective bases into accepting more and more neoliberal exploitation at home and more and more neoconservative bloodshed abroad. They spit and snarl and shake their fists at each other, then cuddle up and share candy when it's time for a public gathering. Why should this administration be any different?

I believe that a senior Trump administration official probably did write that anonymous op-ed. I do not believe that they were moved to write it out of compassion for the poor Americans who are feeling emotionally stressed about the president. I believe it was written and published for the same reason many other things are written and published in mainstream media: because we are all being played.

The more I study US politics, the less useful I find it to think of it in political terms. The two-headed one party system exists to give Americans the illusion of choice while advancing the agendas of the plutocratic class which owns and operates both parties, yes, but even more importantly it's a mechanism of narrative control. If you can separate the masses into two groups based on extremely broad ideological characteristics, you can then funnel streamlined "us vs them" narratives into each of the two stables, with the white hats and black hats reversed in each case. Now you've got Republicans cheering for the president and Democrats cheering for the CIA, for the FBI, and now for a platoon of covert John McCains alleged to be operating on the inside of Trump's own administration. Everyone's cheering for one aspect of the US power establishment or another.

Whom does this dynamic serve? Not you.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Yw0qkvvSE7s

If you belonged to a ruling class, obviously your goal would be to ensure your subjects' continued support for you. In a corporatist oligarchy, the rulers are secret and the subjects don't know they're ruled, and power is held in place with manipulation and with money. As such a ruler your goal would be to find a way to manipulate the masses into supporting your agendas, and, since people are different, you'd need to use different narratives to manipulate them. You'd have to divide them, tell them different stories, turn them against each other, play them off one another, suck them in to the tales you are spinning with the theater of enmity and heroism.

As a result of the New York Times op-ed, if this administration engages in yet another of its many, many establishment capitulations (let's say by attacking the Syrian government again ), Trump's supporters won't see it as his fault; it will be blamed on the deep state insiders in his administration who have been working to thwart his agendas of peace and harmony. Meanwhile those who see Trump as a heel won't experience any cognitive dissonance if any of the establishment agendas they support are carried out, because they can give the credit to the secret hero squad in the White House.

Would a billionaire WWE Hall of Famer and United States President understand the theater of staged conflict for the advancement of plutocratic interests, and willingly participate in it? I'm going to say probably.

* * *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , checking out my podcast , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , or buying my book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

[Sep 07, 2018] Guardian cheerleading of the NYT "resistance" op-ed by Richard Wolffe

What is interesting is that Wolffe links the op-ed and publishing Bob Woodward's latest book: "Woodward has cornered the panicked Trump rats into screeching about all the ways they prevented World War Three , or a massive trade war, by ignoring the ranting boss or snatching papers off his desk."
Notable quotes:
"... Nothing proved, unnamed sources, claims about this, claims about that. Until someone is prepared to step forward and reveal themselves this is a non story. Still, it gives the Trump haters comfort. ..."
"... Personally, I am not surprised or impressed by this White House insider's account. Nothing he or she has said should be a real revelation to anyone who has cast a critical eye on the Trump presidency. And whoever it is, this person is so enamored with tax cuts, deregulation, ramping up military spending and the usual Republican horse shit that he or she does not seem prepared to risk further discrediting the administration by identifying him/herself and resigning publicly. ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

The madness is pouring out of the White House now, for all to see Richard Wolffe

... ... ...

If you really believe your boss is a threat to the constitution which you've taken an oath to protect, perhaps you should consider quitting or going public. As in: going on Capitol Hill to hold a press conference to urge impeachment.

In this regard, and only in this regard, our anonymous whistleblower has handed the crazy boss a degree of righteous indignation.

"If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist," tweeted the madman in the attic, "the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!"

Donald, we feel your pain, albeit briefly. Your internal enemies are indeed gutless, and if you feel better putting that in ALL CAPS, that's fine. Let it out.

But that bit about turning people over to you for national security reasons is kind of the point here. If you'll allow us to summarize the GUTLESS person's arguments: you are fundamentally a threat to democracy and national security yourself. You are indeed, as your lawyers have pointed out repeatedly, your own worst witness.

This much we know from this week's other bombshell in the shape of Bob Woodward's latest book. Woodward has cornered the panicked Trump rats into screeching about all the ways they prevented World War Three , or a massive trade war, by ignoring the ranting boss or snatching papers off his desk.

... ... ...

Mr or Ms GUTLESS describes Trump's decisions as "half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless", while chief of staff John Kelly says Trump is "an idiot" living in a place called "Crazytown". This revelation led to the priceless statement from Kelly where he had to deny calling the president an idiot.

Somewhere in Texas, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson is swirling a glass of bourbon muttering that he lost his job for calling Trump a moron.

Second, Trump's staffers are enabling the very horrors they claim to hate, while grandiosely pretending to be doing the opposite.

Mr or Ms GUTLESS says there were "early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th amendment" in what he imagines is a clear sign they can distinguish reality from reality TV.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Trump cabinet: please know that you will not be accepted into the next edition of Profiles in Courage for your early whispers. If you truly believe the president is incapacitated, you should perhaps consider raising your voice to at least conversational level, if you're not inclined to bellow from the mountaintops. Library rules are inoperative at this point.

Given the weight of evidence, even the most diehard Trump defenders are now conceding the obvious, by signing up to the GUTLESS gang's self-promotion. Brit Hume, a Fox News veteran, let the cat out of the bag when he tweeted that it was a "good thing" they were restraining Trump "from his most reckless impulses".

This is how the pirate ship Trump eventually sinks to the ocean's floor. You can fool some of Fox News's viewers all of the time, and you can fool all of them some of the time.

But no fool wants to drown with the captain we all know is plain crazy.

Richard Wolffe is a Guardian US columnist

MoonlightTiger -> MoonlightTiger , 6 Sep 2018 10:02

It's someone high up that makes policy decisions, brags about everything they have done to help America despite Cheetos interfering. Why now? Pence wants it known that he is running the government not useless trump whom has passed nothing. Pence will come out as the author when Don is removed from office. Which could be nearing since this OPED is likely to expose him. Maybe he planned it that way.

Brutus is close now.

Carl123 -> MuttPretty , 6 Sep 2018 10:00

What's most remarkable to me is how closely the Michael Wolff's White House, Omarosa's White House, Bob Woodward's Whitehouse, and Anonymous Staffer's White House reflect each other.

Clearly a massive conspiracy. And one which Trump is helpfully participating in by constantly saying and doing stuff which accords with the pictures they're all painting.

MuttPretty , 6 Sep 2018 09:58
What's most remarkable to me is how closely the Michael Wolff's White House, Omarosa's White House, Bob Woodward's Whitehouse, and Anonymous Staffer's White House reflect each other. All these sources come together to display a rather coherent image of a chaotic White House led by a man who's not bright enough to realize he's in over his head.
Alun Jones , 6 Sep 2018 09:53
The New York Times attack piece was anonymous. It is therefore completely unverifiable and could have been written by anyone, including any of the politically biased NYT editorial team, or by Bob Woodward to publicize his new book. It's junk news.
OrangeLagoon -> JozzaBoy , 6 Sep 2018 09:49
I'm firmly convinced that when it's all said and done we'll be able to represent his presidency as an MMO boss fight. This is the bit where everyone concentrates fire on the glowy spot until the enrage mechanic kicks in. In fact it looks like the mad flailing has started and now everyone will try not to stand in the AoE as they DPS him down.
moranet , 6 Sep 2018 09:43
Mussolini was in power for twenty years before his functionaries deposed him to keep the regime intact while removing its newly-a-liability head. Mussolini was the legal (if abhorrent) premier of a coalition government in a liberal-democratic (both words with a pinch of salt) regime for his first two years, until winning a parliamentary majority of his own; indeed, after the leader of the Socialist Party was killed by his supporters, his coalition partners almost pulled out of government: that's not a totalitarian dictatorship, but what was then called "pre-fascism", and today we'd call it an 'illiberal democracy'. The dictatorship was informal (result of a supportive majority) until the constitional reform of 1928 - five years into his government.

Thinking that all will turn out fine because American democracy is under strain but generally intact, is a dangerous complacency. All interwar autocrats went through a transition of first governing under the old constitution, slowly undermining opposition, then installing a new organic law. Perhaps all will turn out well in the US, and Trump will leave office with the old 'rules of the game' untouched - but that can't be assumed, and we won't know until after he is gone.

Carl123 -> Finisterre , 6 Sep 2018 09:40

Pepperoni Pizza is absolutely correct. We DON'T know his staff are going behind his back - we have this anonymous bollocks as the totality of our evidence.

Truckloads of "anonymous bollocks" reported by credible, highly respected journalists with excellent reasons to protect their sources.

"Anonymous" bollocks" which syncs perfectly with events and pronouncements by the president himself - including numerous firings of so many of the "best people" he hired.

"Anonymous bollocks" confirmed in evidence/testimony presented publicly and under oath in court.

Otherwise, great point.

JozzaBoy , 6 Sep 2018 09:40
this is desperate stuff. Is this the thing that is finally going to bring down Trump?

The media cycle wrt Trump;

1. Trump is Crazy
2. Trump is Hitler
3. Trump is Losing
4. Go To Line 1.

babyboomer63 , 6 Sep 2018 09:38
Nothing proved, unnamed sources, claims about this, claims about that. Until someone is prepared to step forward and reveal themselves this is a non story. Still, it gives the Trump haters comfort.
imperious -> BLACKCAT66 , 6 Sep 2018 09:36
There is a segment of this country that is willfully ignorant because a con man told them to be. We really need to ignore this shrinking number of fuck-nuts and just out vote them.
We live in a democracy. If you choose to use facebook as your only source of news about the world, it is not because a con man told you to, it is because you are just too plain stupid to go looking elsewhere.
Cascais99 , 6 Sep 2018 09:36
I'm surprised that no one has compared the author of the anonymous article in the New York Times with "Deep Throat", who anonymously met Bernstein and Woodward in an underground parking garage in Washington to spill the beans about Watergate. Deep Throat turned out to be Mark Felt, a high-ranking official in the FBI who kept working against Nixon under cover and whose name was revealed only a few years ago.
FeliciorAugusto , 6 Sep 2018 09:31
Personally, I am not surprised or impressed by this White House insider's account. Nothing he or she has said should be a real revelation to anyone who has cast a critical eye on the Trump presidency. And whoever it is, this person is so enamored with tax cuts, deregulation, ramping up military spending and the usual Republican horse shit that he or she does not seem prepared to risk further discrediting the administration by identifying him/herself and resigning publicly.

Screw whoever it is, they are obviously no hero to the American people.

James Steel , 6 Sep 2018 09:31
Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo have denied writing the op-ed -- but that's exacta guilty person would say :)

[Sep 07, 2018] Now we Know 'The Resistance' is The Establishment by Brendan O'Neill

Notable quotes:
"... bête noire ..."
Sep 03, 2018 | www.sott.net

So now we know what 'the resistance' really is. It's the establishment. It's the old political order. It's that late 20th-century political set, those out-of-touch managerial elites, who still cannot believe the electorate rejected them. That is the take-home message of the bizarre political spectacle that was the burial of John McCain, where this neocon in life has been transformed into a resistance leader in death: that while the anti-Trump movement might doll itself up as rebellious, and even borrow its name from those who resisted fascism in Europe in the mid 20th-century, in truth it is primarily about restoring the apparently cool, expert-driven rule of the old elites over what is viewed as the chaos of the populist Trump / Brexit era.

The response to McCain's death has bordered on the surreal. The strangest aspect has been the self-conscious rebranding of McCain as a searing rebel. In death, this key establishment figure in the Republican Party, this military officer, senator, presidential candidate and enthusiastic backer of the exercise of US military power overseas, has been reimagined as a plucky battler for all that is good against a wicked, overbearing political machine. 'John McCain's funeral was the biggest resistance meeting yet', said a headline in the New Yorker , alongside a photo of George W Bush, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and soldiers from the US Army, the most powerful military machine on Earth. This is 'the resistance' now: the former holders of extraordinary power, the invaders of foreign nations, the Washington establishment.

The New Yorker piece, like so much of the McCain commentary, praises to the heavens the anti-Trump theme of McCain's funeral. McCain famously said Trump couldn't attend his funeral. And that in itself was enough to win him the posthumous love of a liberal commentariat that now views everything through the binary moral framework of pro-Trump (evil, ill-informed, occasionally fascistic) and anti-Trump (decent, moral, on a par with the warriors against Nazism). Even better, though, was the fact that orators at the funeral, including McCain's daughter Meghan and both Bush and Obama, used the church service to slam Trumpism, without explicitly mentioning it, and in the process to big-up what came before Trumpism, which of course was their rule, their politics, their establishment. The Washington political and media set might seem bitterly bipartisan, said the New Yorker writer, but it is also 'more united' in one important sense - 'in its hatred of Donald Trump'.

Hatred of Trump has become the moral glue of the bruised elites who have been either pushed aside or at least dramatically called into question by the populist surge taking hold in the West. And so motored are these people by the shallow moralism of Anti-Trumpism that they are happy to marshal even a life as complex and interesting and flawed as McCain's to the service of hurting Trump. A former Al Gore adviser, Carter Eskew, wrote in the Washington Post: 'In death, John McCain is about to exact revenge on Donald Trump.' Unwittingly revealing the Old Testament streak to the new elite religion of Hating Trump, Eskew said that as 'McCain ascends to heaven on an updraft of praise, Trump's political hell on Earth will burn hotter'. On why it suddenly started to rain when McCain's coffin was brought into the Capitol, a CNN journalist said: 'The angels were crying.' What century is this?

The religious allusions, the talk of vengeance against Trump, the misremembering of McCain's life so that it becomes a moral exemplar against the alleged crimes of Trumpism, exposes the infantile moralism of the so-called resistance. Albert Burneko, assessing some of the madder McCain commentary, says there is now a 'condition' that he calls 'Resistance Brain', where people display an 'urge to grab and cling on to anything that seems, even a little bit, like it might be the thing that Finally Defeats Donald Trump'. Even if the thing they're grabbing on to is actually a bad thing. Like a seemingly endless FBI investigation into the elected presidency. Or George W Bush, whose moral rehabilitation on the back of Anti-Trumpism has been extraordinary. Or neoconservatism: this was the scourge of liberal activists a decade ago, yet now its architects are praised because they subscribe to the religion of Anti-Trumpism. Being against Trump washes away all sins.

Some on the left have criticised the moral rehabilitation of McCain. 'Let's not forget that he wanted war with Iran and lots of other places too!', they cry. Yet the truth is they paved the way for his posthumous rebranding as one of the great Americans of the late 20th century. Since 2016 they have talked about Trump as a uniquely wicked president, a shocking aberration, the closest thing to Hitler since the 1930s. Their anti-Trump hyperbole, driven by their own political disorientation and increasing sense of distance from the electorate, has allowed any politician who is not Trump to mend their reputations and gloss over their own destructive behaviour. The transformation of Trump into the bête noire of all right-minded people, a pillar of unrivalled wickedness that we all have a duty to protest against in our pussy hats and orange wigs, has been a boon to the wounded pre-Trump political class keen both to whitewash its own crimes and to prepare for its return to the position of power it enjoyed before the electorate was corrupted by 'post-truth' hysteria.

'The resistance' is the fightback of the establishment against the people. As it is in Britain, too, where the rich and influential people fuelling the war on Brexit - the largest act of democracy in British history - like to refer to themselves as 'insurgents'. It is the height of Orwellianism for these acts of elitist reaction against democratic dissent to dress themselves up as forms of resistance. But it is not surprising. From the get-go, the so-called resistance has been more a pining for the old establishment, for Hillary's rule and for the continued domination of Britain by the EU, than it has been any kind of daring strike for a new politics. Look closely at the funereal elitism of McCain's burial and you will see one of the saddest and most striking political developments of our time: how self-styled radicals preferred to throw their lot in with the old establishment under the umbrella of 'the resistance' rather than heed ordinary people who were saying: 'Let's tear up the old order.'

Brendan O'Neill is editor of spiked. Find him on Instagram: @burntoakboy

[Sep 07, 2018] "Fake it till you make it" is the slogan they clutch tight to their heart the consequences however are far far reaching. My only hope is that should any of them leave here - they will get found out in a week.

Sep 07, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Red1729 -> mattblack81 , 6 Sep 2018 09:16

Nice post and well put.
I am currently sitting in an office where 30% are blaggers of the highest order. They talk and kiss ass - but ultimately - deep down - know they cannot do they do not know the job. The responsibiltiy they have will make you shudder. I have told friends and they are visibly shaken that this can happen. But I think it is the way of the world at the moment. They dare not argue with me for full knowledge they will be sent packing, they already have been but on "minor" non work related items.

"Fake it til you make it" is the slogan they clutch tight to their heart the consequences however are far far reaching. My only hope is that should any of them leave here - they will get found out in a week.

Yes the likes of Trump are a reflection of just that.

The mad thing is - I now am of the belief that I could do that job ie President of the US. That is madness.

MonsieurPumpernickel -> teppictoo , 6 Sep 2018 09:16

to foil the wishes of the elected members of government.

No. Just one member. And that one member isn't a supreme leader. You need to look elsewhere for those types of leaders - they're usually standing next to Trump while he fawns over them.

Personally I'm grateful for a bureaucracy that frustrates bad ideas - wherever they come
from. That's part of their role.

HiramsMaxim -> SolentBound , 6 Sep 2018 09:16
"If the author of the Op-Ed piece is telling the truth,"

Ay, there's the rub. But, still no existential threat.

HiramsMaxim -> aussieinjapan , 6 Sep 2018 09:15
Yes, I do read The Guardian, and I never watch Fox (cut the cable years ago)
Gojettgo , 6 Sep 2018 09:15
Everything, with the exception of Steve Bannon in Michael Wolf's book, has been anonymous. These people write things, attribute them to, say, John Kelly, then Kelly says I NEVER SAID THAT and we're left to believe whom?

If there is genuine resistance inside the White House to Trump- If it is at all like anybody says- then I would imagine that a genuine top level appointee would go on camera, throw themselves on their sword, and speak to the American people. Until such a time I question what is Woodward's agenda? Do I trust Omarosa? Is Michael Wolf credible? What are their goals? I'm not blind but I want to see more than anonymous. And until then... I don't believe it.

Daniel Ferris -> bonhiver , 6 Sep 2018 09:15
When the crowd screams, just join them. It's tremendous fun!
MoonlightTiger , 6 Sep 2018 09:15
Its Pence and trump can't fire him
imperious -> Nialler , 6 Sep 2018 09:15
I'm not going to attempt to defend Trump.

I agree, I'd hate to defend him either, but you can't help thinking he has a point by calling this person gutless. Either stand up in public and say it or, if s/he really is working in the background to save us from Trump's excesses, then surely you're better off (and the country as a whole) staying there and not alerting him?

CaptainHogwash , 6 Sep 2018 09:14
In any functioning household the adults would have sent Trump to his (preferably padded) room
KevinFinn -> Nepochtitelnikov , 6 Sep 2018 09:14
"Maybe electing a big stupid toddler as president was a bad idea after all you guys"

Still better than the alternative!!

Take a look at how the donations to the Clinton Foundation have dried up since they no longer have any influence to peddle.

AbFalsoQuodLibet -> John Edwin , 6 Sep 2018 09:13
It's the New York Times, and no, they certainly haven't been against Trump since his election.

Their lead White House correspondent, Maggie Haberman, still writes extremely understanding pieces of Trump. And she's been covering the man for almost 15 years, so one would think she had the measure of the man long ago.

More importantly, the NYT threw the election for Trump by first exonerating Trump of any Russian collusion - which was false - and by covering the last-minute Comey statements on the Clinton emails in the worst negative light possible for the Democratic candidate. The NYT turned out to be wrong, but the damage was done.

The NYT even tried to put new faces on their opinion staff with close connections to actual American neo-Nazis (!) and only failed when old tweets came to light.

I'm not quite sure what the NYT is playing at - I guess it's easy to play the devil's advocate in artsy-fartsy, liberal New York - but they most certainly have not been against Trump from January 2017 at all.

charlieblue -> John Edwin , 6 Sep 2018 09:13
Does that tinfoil hat pinch?

Trump is not a freedom fighter, he is not your Great White Messiah, he's not an advocate for blue collar American citizens. Trump is a stupid, vulgar, greedy old fat racist who conned his way into the White House. There has been a lot of talk in all mediums about his unsuitability for the office, and his obvious ties to the Kremlin, but there has been no organized effort to remove him from office, no matter what you might have read on Qanon.

Daniel Ferris -> bonhiver , 6 Sep 2018 09:13
His deregulation tendencies clinch it. No one could deregulate like Hitler!
Sixp__ -> teppictoo , 6 Sep 2018 09:12
Garbage.

Treason is defined as "The betrayal of one's own country by waging war against it or by consciously or purposely acting to aid its enemies".

Mueller should be considering indicting Trump for treason.

cacaMBa -> ctdahle , 6 Sep 2018 09:12
You think the entire population is incapable of thinking about serious issues because there's some tittle-tattle on twitter? When did that happen? No-one would work because there's always fluffy kittens on YouTube.
Pushk1n , 6 Sep 2018 09:12
Its Probably Donald himself, he has form on spoofing , pretending to be someone else.

The giveaway is the bit where it says a lot of good stuff has been done.

It could also be Giuliano creating a myth that Donald is such a muddle head he could not possibly have conspired with anyone about anything .

PaulBowyer -> Graeme48 , 6 Sep 2018 09:12
But not when Russia (who back Assad) retaliated.

And Putin has the nuts on Trump.

[Sep 07, 2018] The Strange Timestamp In The New Novichok 'Evidence'

The plot now turned into smuggling operation run by older Skripal, possibly with some participation of this daughter. There were similar hypothesis about Litvinenko death -- that he was involved n polonium smuggling operation.
The behaviour of two people involved is unprofessional -- they took public transport so they were strictly bounded by train schedule. But that's logical if they were mules -- used for smuggling some substance to GB.
Notable quotes:
"... As with the fraudulent "Mueller investigation" in the US, despite the united efforts of government officials and a colluding, servile mass-media insisting that there's a (sinister Russian) "there" there, I foolishly thought that the overall absence of actual evidence, or even a plausible rationale connecting the dubious dots, was an overreach that would rapidly reach a fatal point of diminishing returns. ..."
"... But I underestimated the staying power of Big Lies, and the Big Liars who tell them ..."
"... Another oddity, the hotel the men stayed at, which was supposedly contaminated by Novichok as discovered on May the 4th - I did a news search for this hotel for the period March - September 4th and couldn't find a single reference to it being cordoned off or investigated by the police. Did they let people continue to use the hotel without telling them it could be contaminated? ..."
"... EVERYONE knows it's all BS. BUT, everyone talking about it gives it traction. I find this no different than the USA scoundrels worried about Syrian citizens in Idlib. ..."
"... The most worrying angle, as far as I am concerned, is the utter unbelievability of these stories. Exactly in line with 9/11 (three buildings knocked down by two planes), the Boston Marathon bombing, countless supposed multiple murders in the USA that do not seem to have taken place as officially described, MH17, and the Syrian "chemical weapons" attacks. ..."
"... So we had Bolton clearly stating in the media time and time again --- if chemical weapons are found in Idlib it would be a game changer to US policy in Syria, thus prompting those desperate cornered brutal rebels, offering a last way out of there situation. Now we have the prime minister. UK giving a statement about new evidence re Salisbury, chemical Russia. I would put a weeks wage on there being a chemical attack in Syria Idlib enytime now ! This is the UK prime minster aiding a massive brutal crime. ..."
"... It is obvious this whole novichok thing is a false flag op. The only question is why did the UK government did this. ..."
"... UK agencies have a long track record back to before WW2 running operations to get the US into a war. Their recent false flag operations inside the UK are to soften up the US/UK public in advance of the UK managed chemical weapon false flag attack in Syria they are clearly threatening in advance. ..."
"... There are times of the day when 2 passengers could arrive at an empty passport control, enter two different tunnels at the same time and arrive at exactly the same second at equivalent gates. Not many times, because it means that there is no queue at either tunnel. And 16:22 is not one of these times. ..."
"... You think that two members of a highly trained hit squad are going to walk through Heathrow together? You've got to be dreaming. Have you no concept of Operational Security? Dear oh dear... ..."
"... Historian and political analyst Vladimir Kornilov wrote an article for RIA Novosti comparing the famous 1924 SIS forgery, "Zinoviev letter", to the ongoing Skripal affair: https://ria.ru/analytics/20180905/1527822792.html ( machine translation ; the translation is good, except that "the Violins" should read as "the Skripals"). ..."
"... And with all due respect to b I don't think the airport pictures prove much. Who were these two? Why did they go to Salisbury? It looks too sloppy to be GRU. Russian Mafia contract killers is my guess. Unless the whole story is an elaborate MI6 concoction and all the CCTV photos are fake. ..."
"... A beautiful story, this Skripal affair...designed and timed to draw the public into emotional judgments, against reason and logic, immediately prior to the Russian pummeling of jihadi scum. One wonders what sort of blowback arises from such psychological conditioning. Hmmm... ..."
"... As I wrote before, the case reeks of planted evidence. A normal logic of investigation would be to inspect "probable leads" ASAP, and to perform tests ASAP. Instead, the famous door knob was tested with one month delay, and the hotel room, with two month delay. But planting evidence in an improvised mode requires planning and debates how to do it. The logistics of planting evidence are the most plausible explanation why it was done at the place where Skripals lived rather than close to the place where they together lost consciousness. Planting evidence in the hotel is simplicity itself, because it is very easy to do it in a secret lab. ..."
"... Two men (traveling together on Russian passports) are seen leaving a flight from Moscow and (in the most heavily CCTV monitored country in the world), immediately take public transport directly to and from the scene of the crime. ..."
"... Its very hard to imagine that any intelligence agency would be so sloppy as to use their own nationals, own passports, travel together, take direct flights from their own capital, use public transport, make no effort to avoid CCTV, casually dispose of vital evidence where it was certain to be found (a deadly poison left in a brandname perfume box at a charity donation bin? someone was going to open it eventually), etc. There are many more flaws but there are also more significant questions. ..."
"... Is there any strong reason to believe that US or UK intelligence were less likely to poison Skripal than Russia? Did he perhaps have evidence regarding the Steele Dossier they wanted to silence? If so, is there any reason we should not suspect the men in the picture of working for non-Russian intelligence who are deliberately trying to point the finger of blame at Russia? ..."
"... Personally, I think relity is much more mundane: the UK, given its objective reality post-Brexit, simply decided to (re)synchronize (update) its geopolitical position with the USA's. When the USA decided to jump into the madness of Russophobia after Trump's victory, the UK simply had to jump after because it is so dependent on the Americans they kinda didn't have a choice. ..."
"... They need something to try to put pressure on Russia. What tools do they have? "Skripal case", "Russian meddling in elections" (aka "Russian hackers"), "Russian doping", situation in Donbass, illegal detentions/abductions of Russian citizens (Ukraine did it with Kirill Vyshinsky in May, the US did it with Maria Butina recently etc.), cheap provocations with chemical weapons in Syria to accuse Assad/Russia. ..."
"... I would pick three directions - the "Skripal case", fake "chemical attacks" in Syria and deliberate aggravation of the situation in Donbass (terrorist act against DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko is just the beginning) are, apparently (in their opinion), the most effective measures to influence Russia to change its policy in Syria. These tools will be used. Simultaneously, or in a particular order. ..."
"... The key proposition that the police are asserting is that the Skripals were poisoned by 'delayed reaction'. The alleged suspects were out of Salisbury 3 hours before the Skripals exhibited signs of poisoning, nerve agents, however, act immediately. If the 'door handle theory' is not physically possible, which it is not, then that leaves out the assassin hypothesis. Most likely, as I have always said, is that this is about Sergei's skulduggery, he took delivery of the agent from these guys for eventual passing over to the White Helmets via their MI6 handlers. All went pear shaped because of a leaky bottle. Sergei realised something was wrong so hurried his meal so he could check it out, reached the park bench with Julia and the saw that the bottle was leaking and began to feel ill, Julia through the thing away and went down herself. ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Ort , Sep 5, 2018 2:41:45 PM | link
FYI, Craig Murray has a new post on the same subject: "The Impossible Photo" .

Some commenters there who claim to be familiar with the airport have already noted that the men were surely exiting from parallel walkways ("channels"), and/or that the CCTV clock was simply malfunctioning.

Even if both claims are true, it doesn't explain away the remarkable congruence between the men's supposedly separate and independent progress through the walkways. Again, some commenters who purport to be personally familiar with the location assert that there are visible differences in the "two" walkways shown in the photos-- but to me they look identical.

This is still another dodgy, ambiguous piece of "evidence" to prop up the ongoing Big Lie. In the weeks following the Skripal event, the UK officials began making such ludicrous and incredible assertions that I naïvely expected that their colossal deceit would blow up in their faces sooner than later.

As with the fraudulent "Mueller investigation" in the US, despite the united efforts of government officials and a colluding, servile mass-media insisting that there's a (sinister Russian) "there" there, I foolishly thought that the overall absence of actual evidence, or even a plausible rationale connecting the dubious dots, was an overreach that would rapidly reach a fatal point of diminishing returns.

But I underestimated the staying power of Big Lies, and the Big Liars who tell them.

Teganjovnka , Sep 5, 2018 2:42:29 PM | link

Another oddity, the hotel the men stayed at, which was supposedly contaminated by Novichok as discovered on May the 4th - I did a news search for this hotel for the period March - September 4th and couldn't find a single reference to it being cordoned off or investigated by the police. Did they let people continue to use the hotel without telling them it could be contaminated? Did nobody notice police and men in hazmat suits there? Or was the name of the hotel d noticed?
ken , Sep 5, 2018 2:42:47 PM | link
Everyone,,, EVERYONE knows it's all BS. BUT, everyone talking about it gives it traction. I find this no different than the USA scoundrels worried about Syrian citizens in Idlib. Anything the West says or does is USDA Grade AAA horse hockey.
james , Sep 5, 2018 2:51:56 PM | link
and the timing for this now is?? c'mon..
Tom Welsh , Sep 5, 2018 2:58:07 PM | link
As to the UK government being able to fake the involvement of GRU agents - remember that Sergei Skripal himself was a British spy while working for the GRU. Why not others?

The most worrying angle, as far as I am concerned, is the utter unbelievability of these stories. Exactly in line with 9/11 (three buildings knocked down by two planes), the Boston Marathon bombing, countless supposed multiple murders in the USA that do not seem to have taken place as officially described, MH17, and the Syrian "chemical weapons" attacks.

The official explanations of all those stories are so weak and inconsistent that they would be rejected as plot lines for Dr Who or CSI. So what is their little game? I can think of two unpleasant possibilities.

  1. They are trying to calibrate exactly how grotesque a set of lies they can pass off without any public protest or outcry.
  2. They are compiling a list of the few people who are both intelligent and bold enough to point out the obvious discrepancies in public.
rndmdude , Sep 5, 2018 3:16:12 PM | link
Clearly those timestamps are planted on the pictures taken from screen.. Well maybe they thought that they only need 24 hours or something.
Hermius , Sep 5, 2018 3:37:26 PM | link
How do the British know they were false name?
Mark2 , Sep 5, 2018 3:45:06 PM | link
So we had Bolton clearly stating in the media time and time again --- if chemical weapons are found in Idlib it would be a game changer to US policy in Syria, thus prompting those desperate cornered brutal rebels, offering a last way out of there situation. Now we have the prime minister. UK giving a statement about new evidence re Salisbury, chemical Russia. I would put a weeks wage on there being a chemical attack in Syria Idlib enytime now ! This is the UK prime minster aiding a massive brutal crime.

This prime minister got in to power by a slim margine on the back of 3 false flag terror attacks 2 in London one in Manchester persuading the public to go for the get tough vote . Are we gulable or what ?

vk , Sep 5, 2018 3:56:16 PM | link
It is obvious this whole novichok thing is a false flag op. The only question is why did the UK government did this.
AriusArmenian , Sep 5, 2018 4:00:47 PM | link
UK agencies have a long track record back to before WW2 running operations to get the US into a war. Their recent false flag operations inside the UK are to soften up the US/UK public in advance of the UK managed chemical weapon false flag attack in Syria they are clearly threatening in advance.

This is beyond ridiculous that the dried out husk of the UK is beating its chest for war with Russia. I almost wish that they would get their war and be beaten flat.

Anonymous , Sep 5, 2018 4:04:48 PM | link
Just yesterday the Russian embassy in the UK released this statement: Today marks exactly six months since the Russian citizens Sergei and Yulia Skripal were taken to Salisbury District Hospital under obscure circumstances...
mdroy , Sep 5, 2018 4:06:42 PM | link
There are times of the day when 2 passengers could arrive at an empty passport control, enter two different tunnels at the same time and arrive at exactly the same second at equivalent gates. Not many times, because it means that there is no queue at either tunnel. And 16:22 is not one of these times.
TJ , Sep 5, 2018 4:07:41 PM | link
Putin's Novichok assassins identified. Pictured smiling, walking UK streets -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBaVe19amhU
Circe , Sep 5, 2018 4:12:03 PM | link
@16

My experience through those boarding bridges is that when boarding people walk normal pace and when exiting they do so at a faster pace down the bridge. I guess they want get to their luggage quickly.

Deltaeus , Sep 5, 2018 4:16:44 PM | link
Køn @ 14 "In fact anyone insisting that this timestamp is some gotcha loses a lot of credibility in my eyes."

Don't be a gallah, Køn! You think that two members of a highly trained hit squad are going to walk through Heathrow together? You've got to be dreaming. Have you no concept of Operational Security? Dear oh dear...

Lochearn , Sep 5, 2018 4:30:37 PM | link
The two strong-looking men take it in turns to carry what looks like a light backpack which is kind of odd in itself. If nerve gas had either been sprayed or smeared, one or both would have to have used a full protective suit, which consists of a bulky gas mask, jacket, trousers and substantial boots, which would have called for a much bigger backpack.
eyespy , Sep 5, 2018 4:33:10 PM | link
These photos show the same time but different locations. These are the security barriers between passport control and the baggage reclaim hall, there are a number of parallel gates that open automatically and are monitored by CCTV. The high resolution photos on the Met website show a different camera angles: The Petrov photo shows a white flat surface with a thin red stripe in the lower right corner and the top of the wall panels on the upper left. The Boshirov picture show a much wider red stripe (and no white surface) and the top of the panels is not visible. So you have two different gates entered at the same time.
Circe , Sep 5, 2018 4:44:50 PM | link
I'm no expert but allow me to play devil's advocate. What if they have two cameras on different angles with separate receivers in case one goes offline and their clock is not in sync so the second camera stamps same time when it's one second later on first. It just seems that if there was Photoshop involved they would think of changing the timestamp and inserting person in precisely same angle. Of course it doesn't explain why they would take pictures from two different cameras, but maybe face appeared clearer?
Norwegian , Sep 5, 2018 4:46:24 PM | link
One of the images may have been flipped: https://postimg.cc/image/n0oijez53/
rac , Sep 5, 2018 4:46:28 PM | link
Which airports have parallel disimabarkation tunnels then? I've been through 4 airports in 3 different countries in the past two months and each time it was a single tunnel. The only time I've seen two tunnels was when I was on a flight witha first class and even then it sort of branched off, near the door of the plane.
Pictorex , Sep 5, 2018 4:58:53 PM | link
Could it be the same corridor at two different locations at the same moment? This would explain the different angles of the cameras, which maybe were placed at a similar location to the railings etc.
Circe , Sep 5, 2018 4:59:23 PM | link
The door of the plane only accommodates one boarding bridge. Whoever has been through that airport can clear this up.
Circe , Sep 5, 2018 5:03:10 PM | link
@ 37

And how would they manage to pass at the exact same time through two different corridors?

S , Sep 5, 2018 5:10:46 PM | link
Historian and political analyst Vladimir Kornilov wrote an article for RIA Novosti comparing the famous 1924 SIS forgery, "Zinoviev letter", to the ongoing Skripal affair: https://ria.ru/analytics/20180905/1527822792.html ( machine translation ; the translation is good, except that "the Violins" should read as "the Skripals").
Køn , Sep 5, 2018 5:16:47 PM | link
Deltaeus... kindly please desist from insulting me in anitpodean. I make no assertions about trained or untrained hit squads or how they might behave. I am merely saying that anyone who thinks these timestamps represent anything suspicious or out of the ordinary is chasing their own tails.

The UK authorities present pictures of two men that travelled together on a flight from Moscow to London Gatwick. They went through parallel security sluices at the same time as they were walking together. At which point they were automatically photographed. It could just as easily have been that the time stamp was 1 second apart or even 2 seconds, or as is in fact the case, less than 1 second apart. NOTE: They may have triggered the automatic camera 999ms apart and still had the same timestamp so it is not strictly accurate to say that they were pictured at exactly the same time. The sluice appears to be about 4 metres long up to the point where the camera is triggered. I can walk 4 metres in less than 2 seconds. Which does not give a large time frame in which the walking pace of these two men can diverge.

There is so much more suspicious and contentious in todays UK announcement that it is ridiculous and counter productive to waste time on an easily explained time stamp.

james , Sep 5, 2018 5:18:44 PM | link
interesting article in russia on this ..it goes into the 2 men and what they know of them.. i ran it thru google translate..
Occidentosis , Sep 5, 2018 5:24:45 PM | link
They are not even trying anymore. I wonder if it has a direct correlation to the gullibility and intelligence of the West's public.
Norwegian , Sep 5, 2018 5:29:46 PM | link
This is an obvious fabrication of evidence. What they did was to take 2 photos from the same tunnel using the same camera at different times, but with the camera rotated about 20 degrees between them (notice the slightly different fish-eye lens distortions). Afterwards they flipped one of the images horizontally and added time-stamps to the images, but forgot to change the times between them.

I reversed the above process, aligned the images and made a GIF animation to prove it, see https://postimg.cc/image/x1ixk7r4x/

These people are stupid.

Alaric , Sep 5, 2018 5:36:15 PM | link
The timing is interesting. This is an attempt to buttress a future claim that Assad used chem weapons in Idlib. Lame. Who believes this stuff?

Good catch on the time stamp B.

karlof1 , Sep 5, 2018 5:52:02 PM | link
Gatwick not Heathrow. I highly suggest reading the comments to Craig Murray's blog post. Yes, as here there're some repetitive comments, but many good points are also raised. Perhaps the best is the lack of a "tag" identifying the camera location as at the security station you have many CCTV images that are very similar: Something like Jetway2 Customs4, or some such. IMO, the photos and story are contrived just as the rest of the hoax is--except for the fact that at least one person has died and likely the Skripals most certainly--she wanted to return to Russia and take Sergei with her.
uncle tungsten , Sep 5, 2018 6:00:03 PM | link
Well done UK comrades! So now you will release all the cctv from the original Salisbury incident so we can see every detail of the cunning ruskies eh! including the entire street videos, Mill pub and park videos too; and in high resolution this time please. Plus as the case is solved would you be so kind as to release the complete OPCW reports and the Porton Down reports too.

Can't have enough open government in the worlds foremost democracy now, can we?

Bart Hansen , Sep 5, 2018 6:03:11 PM | link
Sy Hersch blames the poisoning of Skripals on the Russian mafia who found out he was working with MI6 to reveal their European operations.

Could these two guys be of the Russian mafia? Them being not of the Russian IC might explain how the poison was less than lethal for all who came in contact.

dh , Sep 5, 2018 6:17:48 PM | link
@49 Sorry Sy but your theory doesn't hold up. Teresa May has said they were from the GRU. Here are her exact words...

"Based on this work, I can today tell the House that, based on a body of intelligence, the Government has concluded that the two individuals named by the police and CPS are officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU.

The GRU is a highly disciplined organisation with a well-established chain of command. So this was not a rogue operation. It was almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state."

Please try harder.

Laguerre , Sep 5, 2018 6:23:59 PM | link
dh
Sorry Sy but your theory doesn't hold up. Teresa May has said they were from the GRU.
Incredible. You believe that what May said is true, because she said it!
Angry Panda , Sep 5, 2018 6:27:41 PM | link
Here is an interesting side note, relating to the statement made by "Sue Hemming, the CPS director of legal services" (e.g. as in this Guardian piece .

We will not be applying to Russia for the extradition of these men as the Russian constitution does not permit extradition of its own nationals. Russia has made this clear following requests for extradition in other cases. Should this position change then an extradition request would be made.

This is a blatant lie. Russia's Constitution (available here in Russian states the following in Article 63, Section 2:

В Российской Федерации не допускается выдача другим государствам лиц, преследуемых за политические убеждения, а также за действия (или бездействие), не признаваемые в Российской Федерации преступлением. Выдача лиц, обвиняемых в совершении преступления, а также передача осужденных для отбывания наказания в других государствах осуществляются на основе федерального закона или международного договора Российской Федерации.

Which means (my own translation, but Google Translate is your friend if you do not believe me):

In the Russian Federation it is not permitted to extradite to other states individuals who are persecuted for their political beliefs, as well as for actions (or inaction) that are not deemed criminal in the Russian Federation. Extradition of individuals accused of committing a crime, as well as transfer of convicts to serve their sentences in other states, is performed on the basis of federal law or international agreements of the Russian Federation.

I must confess that I am not up on the most current version of Russian criminal law, but I believe "attempted murder utilizing a banned chemical weapon" does still qualify as a crime over there, and, moreover, is not considered "political beliefs". But, of course, an official extradition requests would entail also handing over the Crown's evidence against the accused, which...well, clearly there is so much of it that the Crown just doesn't wish to share any.

Anyhow, something to ponder.

Norwegian , Sep 5, 2018 6:28:15 PM | link
@47 karlof1
Perhaps the best is the lack of a "tag" identifying the camera location as at the security station you have many CCTV images that are very similar: Something like Jetway2 Customs4, or some such.
Se my post @45 (animation link). The camera location is the same in both images, they just rotated the camera, and flipped one image horizontally. If you download the MET "originals" and repeat what I did you find the match to be 100%. With identical time stamps, you know this is fabricated evidence. There is really no other plausible or (even possible) explanation.

It is virtually a confession from the police.

james , Sep 5, 2018 6:28:20 PM | link
i think dh is being sarcastic!
lysias , Sep 5, 2018 6:29:40 PM | link
It isn't the GRU (Glavnoye Razdevyvatel'noye Upravleniye, Main Intelligence Directorate) any more. In 2010, the name was changed to GU (Glavnoye Upravleniye, Main Directorate).
sejomoje , Sep 5, 2018 6:44:10 PM | link
"Norwegian" is correct. These pics have been tampered with bigly. "Kon" points out that one has a "red line" while one has a more solid looking red area. That is explained by the picture flipping and tilting. The red line is a framelike border of something. In one pic we see that part that's further from the camera and it looks like a slim red line. In the other pic we see the part of it which is closer to the camera, and is ALSO the corner of the line, so it appears to be something completely different when it's actually just 2 parts of the same puzzle.

My bet is that they were taken at different times of day, those tunnels always let natural light in. Unless a filter was intentionally applied(to further suggest two tunnels). There has been some photoshop fussing with the other identifying blobs - like the dirt on the camera lense and on the floors have been erased or blurred in the flipped pic! It's mad obvious.

Thanks Norwegian, I am posting that gif all over the place.

karlof1 , Sep 5, 2018 6:46:54 PM | link
Norwegian @53--

Thanks for your reply! Another comment mentioned the ability of such digital cameras to self-crop as both pics are cropped as someone provided the pixel dimensions. IMO, this is just more BigLie piled atop the preceding BigLies--doubling-down is the Neocon way after all. All timed with Idlib, no doubt. My question along with many others: Where are the other passengers having to travel through the same portals?

My explanation: Human images were added to an image(s) of an empty portal(s).

sejomoje , Sep 5, 2018 6:47:28 PM | link
"It is virtually a confession from the police". Yes, one doesn't know whether to be hopeful of a whistleblower, or just devastated at the incompetence of the so-called intelligence agencies behind these fabrications. It's hardly ever the former unfortunately.
Norwegian , Sep 5, 2018 6:49:18 PM | link
@57 sejomoje

Thanks. Please share far and wide.

Bart Hansen , Sep 5, 2018 6:52:04 PM | link
James, I agree about the sarcasm. But when May brings her "resolute" voice to bear, one bows before her gravitas.

After all, it is "highly likely" that Putin decided to queer the time-honored rule not to mess with a spy swap.

MadMax2 , Sep 5, 2018 7:02:05 PM | link
@Norwegian

Nice work with the gif, it appears exactly how you describe it... just amazing fuckery. Re: the timestamp, its so sloppy it pretty much a taunt: 'none of you sheep give a toss cos there's not a critical thought amongst ya'

sejomoje , Sep 5, 2018 7:06:07 PM | link
I agree Madmax, so much taunting in these things. This seems ahole 'nother level though. A virtual middle finger to the "conspiracy theorists".
dh , Sep 5, 2018 7:06:08 PM | link
@54 Thank you james. Obviously I am going to have to work harder on my sarcasm mode. Or maybe just quit posting.
Virgile , Sep 5, 2018 7:07:18 PM | link
How can May be so sure they belong to the GRU if they do not know the real identity of the two guys?
somebody , Sep 5, 2018 7:09:59 PM | link
Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 5, 2018 6:46:54 PM | 58

That is what it looked like to me (I work with photoshop), but then, why would they do this?

Russian journalists did find the corresponding flight bookings

Only reason would be that the people on the airport CCTV looked different from the people on CCTV in Salisbury.

So the departing image would have to be fake , too. Or it is real but of people who did not arrive the Friday before.

dh , Sep 5, 2018 7:22:25 PM | link
@65 Good question. And with all due respect to b I don't think the airport pictures prove much. Who were these two? Why did they go to Salisbury? It looks too sloppy to be GRU. Russian Mafia contract killers is my guess. Unless the whole story is an elaborate MI6 concoction and all the CCTV photos are fake.
jayc , Sep 5, 2018 7:27:59 PM | link
It may be the release of this material was scheduled to coincide with the US sanctions announced a few weeks ago, as those were said to be motivated by the Skripal case, but then held back for domestic political reasons, as May's position has weakened just the past two weeks. The bonus gratuitous finger-pointing at Corbyn would serve its purpose today or back in August.
Kane , Sep 5, 2018 7:33:18 PM | link
It all relies ultimately on" a body of evidence gathered by intelligence" and we know from recent past experiences of anglo/ ameriocan Intelligence that that cannot be trusted to be either valid or reliable .
cdvision , Sep 5, 2018 7:41:25 PM | link
dh @50 the Met policeman in charges of the investigation was asked at a press conference if he has any evidence the 2 in the images were GRU. He said NO. https://www.rt.com/op-ed/437729-skripal-poisoning-suspects-russia/
dh , Sep 5, 2018 7:57:09 PM | link
@69 Very honest of him. As with the original Skripal 'poisoning' it looks like another case of blaming Russia, i.e Putin, on flimsy evidence.
corkie , Sep 5, 2018 8:10:40 PM | link
Please people these photos were taken in exactly the same place. Nothing has been rotated. Notice on the right hand side there is a a small piece of a red security notice in the two photos. You will need to see the original police photos to see this. In only one of the four lanes is that possible. The one on the right as viewed from the exit. notice that this is the only lane where the steel handrail on the right extends so far on the white panel. Two different photos of the same lane with the same timestamp. ???? I'd say in both images are fake.
https://www.google.com/maps/@51.1570429,-0.1626642,2a,89.7y,192.36h,83.5t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s5aRAGxER5MlF-9kpw8ZyRQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
gully , Sep 5, 2018 8:16:00 PM | link
@norwegian
there are four staggered gateways. almost identical and with almost identical camera positions.

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.1570157,-0.1626565,2a,90y,182.51h,64.06t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1svV47ixbwSQnbQjlwIUFvnQ!2e0!3e2!7i13312!8i6656

so i am not 100% convinced by your theory.

MadMax2 , Sep 5, 2018 8:18:32 PM | link
Ort 17
Yes, it appears, like me, you are enjoying our latest visit to Wonderland where a great many things are possible... all you need to do is believe. Christopher Steele has done a smackdown job of reinvigorating the Non Fiction shelves at my library. Who knew high treason and golden showers could ever work together.

A beautiful story, this Skripal affair...designed and timed to draw the public into emotional judgments, against reason and logic, immediately prior to the Russian pummeling of jihadi scum. One wonders what sort of blowback arises from such psychological conditioning. Hmmm...

Julian , Sep 5, 2018 8:21:13 PM | link
I wouldn't say these images prove anything either way. Perhaps they are doctored, but what if they were from customs entry points side-by-side? The two men have been walking together so presumably they'd go through the customs walkways at exactly the same time. These are not photos from the walkway off the plane - that much is clear.

On the spectrum of what is going on you have to go from one end (all this evidence is completely fabricated - these might be images of 'dead men' so no one can step forward to personally refute them) all the way over to the Brits are telling the truth.

Most likely, it's somewhere in the middle, but impossible to say exactly where.

Pft , Sep 5, 2018 8:25:58 PM | link
Even without the time stamp discrepancy I am at loss to understand what the photos prove. Absolutely nothing. I suppose they just want to keep the story in the publics mind in preparation for the next "Russia did it " false flag. Coming soon to a theater near you. Ever notice September-November makes for the most exciting times? No wonder many season premiers start in winter/spring now
Panopticon , Sep 5, 2018 8:28:57 PM | link
Why now, when the CCTV 'evidence' must have been available for months? Just like the Douma pantomime and subsequent bombing of Syria, this is clearly setting the scene for a western assault on Idlib, possibly this weekend.

https://syrianobservatoryforhumanwrongs.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/an-idiots-guide-to-the-skripal-affair/

Yeah, Right , Sep 5, 2018 8:39:00 PM | link
@71 Nice theory, except that the security notice in those police photos appear to be mounted far too low to correspond with their location in that google maps image, even on the one lane that you nominate. You can see that best in the "Boshirov" photo where the top-left of the notice can be seen.

In the google maps image the signs are at head-height, so a line drawn from the ccd to a "pretend eyeline" in Google Maps would suggest that the security camera would be recording the bottom-left of that sign, not the top-left corner.

That walk-though was recorded in September 2017.
The security footage was filmed in March 2018.

It isn't a stretch to believe that between these two dates the signs were moved lower and closer to the guardrail.

Anyone in Ol' Blighty want to walk up to those gates at Gatwick and tell us?

Julian , Sep 5, 2018 8:41:03 PM | link
Re: Posted by: Bob | Sep 5, 2018 2:13:08 PM | 7

Presumably they were on the same flight? If they have identified the flights - presumably the Russians would be able to ID these guys at the other end - in some way at least.

gully , Sep 5, 2018 8:46:19 PM | link
@77
different but pretty similar gateway @gatwick airport with lower mounted signs. imo this is where the pictures were taken:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.1611377,-0.1773794,2a,75y,163.05h,72.21t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sVwMbNKWSg8PjuWKakaOeaA!2e0!3e2!7i13312!8i6656

Brian , Sep 5, 2018 8:46:30 PM | link
Russia needs to do more to get back their national Yulia Skripal . She's been brazenly abducted by UK regime. If Brit Sh disappear na Russian imagine the fate of Julian Assange if he steps out of that embassy
Jen , Sep 5, 2018 8:47:26 PM | link
Corkie @ 71, Gully @ 72:

If you compare the photos you posted with the photos in Bernhard's post, you will notice something missing from the photos in Bernhard's post.

Where are the security doors with the white-barred red circles on the glass in Bernhard's photos?

Yeah, Right , Sep 5, 2018 8:51:35 PM | link
@71 Just to be clear about what I am saying, because my previous post may be confusing: if you look at the two security shots and note the top-left corner ("Boshirov") and left-flank ("Petrov") of those signs then both suggest that the bottom-left corner of that security notice will be just above (as in almost but not quite level-with) the top of the guardrail.

Yet if you look here:
https://www.google.com/maps/@51.1570429,-0.1626642,2a,75y,198.05h,91.84t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s5aRAGxER5MlF-9kpw8ZyRQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
you can see that the bottom-left of the security sign is nearly a metre above the level of the guardrail.

Unless there is massive foreshortening and distortion in those security camera feeds then I would suggest that those signs have been moved between September 2017 and March 2018.

In which case, of course, your observation is not going to be valid.

Brian , Sep 5, 2018 8:52:13 PM | link
Two Russian nationals . Brits decide they are Russian assassins . Were they seem committing an assassination ? Imagine any Russian tourist now could be labelled an assassin and abducted like Yulia Skripal and held incommunicado . Russia should take Britain to court over this behaviour
Piotr Berman , Sep 5, 2018 8:54:10 PM | link
As I wrote before, the case reeks of planted evidence. A normal logic of investigation would be to inspect "probable leads" ASAP, and to perform tests ASAP. Instead, the famous door knob was tested with one month delay, and the hotel room, with two month delay. But planting evidence in an improvised mode requires planning and debates how to do it. The logistics of planting evidence are the most plausible explanation why it was done at the place where Skripals lived rather than close to the place where they together lost consciousness. Planting evidence in the hotel is simplicity itself, because it is very easy to do it in a secret lab.

OTH, pictures have semi-plausible explanation and Ruslan Boshirov is not a frequent name, probably Muslim (Boshir/Bashir is an Arabic name, ev/ov is a Russian ending).

Bran , Sep 5, 2018 9:08:08 PM | link
Two men (traveling together on Russian passports) are seen leaving a flight from Moscow and (in the most heavily CCTV monitored country in the world), immediately take public transport directly to and from the scene of the crime.

Its very hard to imagine that any intelligence agency would be so sloppy as to use their own nationals, own passports, travel together, take direct flights from their own capital, use public transport, make no effort to avoid CCTV, casually dispose of vital evidence where it was certain to be found (a deadly poison left in a brandname perfume box at a charity donation bin? someone was going to open it eventually), etc. There are many more flaws but there are also more significant questions.

Is there any strong reason to believe that US or UK intelligence were less likely to poison Skripal than Russia? Did he perhaps have evidence regarding the Steele Dossier they wanted to silence? If so, is there any reason we should not suspect the men in the picture of working for non-Russian intelligence who are deliberately trying to point the finger of blame at Russia?

Leaving that aside, is there any reason not to think the men n the picture may have been members of organized crime for some reason upset with Skripal? This might explain the lack of professional tradecraft.

In short, even if we accept that the people in the photographs were responsible for the poisonings, there has been no evidence presented to link them to the Russian government other than the fact that they travelled directly from Moscow on Russian passports, a fact that should actually be seen as making it less likely they were Russian agents.

MadMax2 , Sep 5, 2018 9:17:42 PM | link
Fyi, there are 2 terminals at Gatwick, north and south. Though, as Pft, Julian and others have said, what do these pictures really say at this stage...? Only guilty by the logic of highly likely.
Jen , Sep 5, 2018 9:27:29 PM | link
Piotr Berman @ 84:

"Ruslan Boshirov" is supposed to be Tajik. I noticed the last name "Boshirov" too ("Boshir" = Tajik rendering of "Bashir" or "Bashar").

Bashar / Bashir is a common boys' name and surname in some Muslim countries (but maybe not Iran). Also a common surname among Christian communities in Lebanon. A former governor of New South Wales had that surname. Both her parents were of Lebanese background.

Ruslan is a common boys' name in Russia and countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union. It is derived from the Turkic name Arslan. As Tajiks are an Iranian-speaking people, I am not sure if the name is popular with them. From what I have been able to find out online, Tajiks seem to prefer Persian names.

Hmm, someone in Britain didn't do their homework terribly well.

Dr. Wellington Yueh , Sep 5, 2018 9:36:16 PM | link
Heh...it seems to be working. We're now talking about this instead of the Idlib campaign.
vk , Sep 5, 2018 9:41:30 PM | link
@ Posted by: Bart Hansen | Sep 5, 2018 6:03:11 PM | 49

Well, if Hersh has the evidence for this, I won't be doubting him. I'm sincerely open to any good theory -- the only thing I'm certain is that it wasn't the Kremlin: there's simply no gain for Russia in this.

Personally, I think relity is much more mundane: the UK, given its objective reality post-Brexit, simply decided to (re)synchronize (update) its geopolitical position with the USA's. When the USA decided to jump into the madness of Russophobia after Trump's victory, the UK simply had to jump after because it is so dependent on the Americans they kinda didn't have a choice.

Maybe, in a parallel universe, if Corbyn had won the 2017 snap election, we could visualize a different position from the British. But that door is definitely close now -- and even if he had won, we have to face the fact the UK is simply the natural ally of the USA in the European Peninsula (the most stable one -- of course there are valuable American satrapies in Poland, the ex-Yugoslavian republics not-named Serbia, the Baltic States and the new, desintegrated, nazi-Ukraine; but they are of the military outpost-type, nearer the "danger").

alaff , Sep 5, 2018 9:41:50 PM | link
This is nothing more but an endless conglomeration of lies. Not just mistakes or fallacies, but a deliberate lies. It is clear for all adequate people who have brains.

Why it is now the British authorities decided to shake off the dust from the forgotten "Skripal case" and to revive it? Well, Syria is the answer, of course. In particular, upcoming (in fact, already started) Idlib liberation.

They need something to try to put pressure on Russia. What tools do they have? "Skripal case", "Russian meddling in elections" (aka "Russian hackers"), "Russian doping", situation in Donbass, illegal detentions/abductions of Russian citizens (Ukraine did it with Kirill Vyshinsky in May, the US did it with Maria Butina recently etc.), cheap provocations with chemical weapons in Syria to accuse Assad/Russia.

I would pick three directions - the "Skripal case", fake "chemical attacks" in Syria and deliberate aggravation of the situation in Donbass (terrorist act against DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko is just the beginning) are, apparently (in their opinion), the most effective measures to influence Russia to change its policy in Syria. These tools will be used. Simultaneously, or in a particular order.

By the way, one must not exclude possible chemical provocations in Ukraine. Ukrainian terrorist regime has not used it yet, but all is possible. Especially now, after "Skripal case" is revived and some fake "chemical attacks" are definitely will happen in Idlib (giving FUKUS a "legitimate reason" to launch aggression on Syria again). The CyberBerkut hacker team (a kind of Fancy Bears) recently reported that chemical provocations in Ukraine (in Donbass) are in preparation stage, and that American instructors participate in organizing of this provocation. Not a fact that this will happen, of course, but still this possibility must not be ruled out.

As for these two men, "discovered" a half of a year after the incident... For any sane person, the proposal to believe that these two are GRU agents is an insult to his intellectual abilities. "GRU agents", who flew direct(!) Flight from Moscow, and flew back the same direct(!) Flight. "GRU agents", who in general did not even tried to disguise themselves, and, as if specifically, tried to be caught by all surveillance cameras in the UK. "GRU agents", who used their passports(!) instead of coming to the UK secretly (for example, through Ireland). "GRU agents", who left the "Novichok" traces wherever possible, and then carelessly threw the bottle on the street. "GRU agents", who for some reason decided to use such a strange, dangerous and uncomfortable method as "poisoning the victim with a chemical warfare agent(!)" instead of easily and unnoticeably shoot a victim from a gun with a silencer (or strangle the victim at home). "GRU agents", who did not notice anything for eight(!) years, and then suddenly woke up and realized that they released Skripal from Russia "without punishment"...

I can continue this endlessly. The longer the list of lies becomes, the longer the list of disproof.

james , Sep 5, 2018 9:43:49 PM | link
@48 uncle tungsten.. lol.. so true!

@65 virgile.. that is what some of us have concluded from the start.. phony passports or phony characters - hard to know what one is looking at here, isn't it?

@83 brian.. it is the court of public opinion, brought to us via the western msm... guess who is winning? msm with ignoramus's in tow, or not? - i agree with your comments @85.. no evidence whatsoever, but that doesn't stop the russian smearing, which may be the main motive here on the part of the uk..

@84 piotr.. i agree - planted and long after the fact..

@87 jen.. that is what i got from someone sharing a russian story via translation - which i shared @42..


from my link at 42 which is a translation from a russian news outlet.. see the link @42 for more..

"According to official data, Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov flew on March 2, 2018 from Sheremetyevo to London Gatwick Airport. According to Fontanka, 150 passengers were registered for the flight of Aeroflot SU2588.

The suspects bought tickets on foreign passports of the "65" series, the document numbers differ by the last digit: ... 1297 and ... 1294.

Apparently, in the hands of Boshirov and Petrov already had return tickets, and for two consecutive flights from Heathrow to Sheremetyevo - evening on March 4 and night 5-th. The British authorities believe that the suspects used the first.

There are almost no open sources of information about Boshirov. According to the "Fontanka", he was born on April 12, 1978 in Dushanbe, was registered in Moscow in a 25-storey house on Bolshaya Naberezhnaya street.

In 2015, he was brought into two executive proceedings for automobile fines received with a difference of three days, on July 20 and 23. The oddity is that the production numbers are not in order. The first assigned 433048, the second - 432322, although they were issued by one unit - the interdistrict department of bailiffs to collect administrative fines number 1 in Moscow. On the portal of the magistrates of the capital there are no cases of administrative violations against Ruslan Boshirov. Also it is not in the database of executive production.

"Fontanka" phoned long-term residents of the "Boshiro" house on the Great Embankment. They live on the same stairwell. "In the apartment you named, only an elderly woman lives," the correspondent replied. "We carry her money, she collects for cleaning the cleaner." A man was never seen in the apartment and was not seen at the entrance. We can only assume that this is the son of the hostess, who is registered at the address, but who has never lived here. "

Boshirov's network activity is no different either. The pages created under this name and last name in 2014 are empty. On Facebook, Boshirova has one friend registered, a girl from Ukraine. The profile "VKontakte" contains information that Boshirov graduated in 2004 from the geography department of Moscow State University in the direction "Hydrology of the land".

jayc , Sep 5, 2018 9:52:40 PM | link
The shoulder bags held by the two "suspects", as seen in the CCTV stills from the two airports, are not seen in the Salisbury CCTV footage from the Sunday. Instead, in Salisbury, the suspect in the black jacket wears a light-coloured backpack on arrival at the train station, and the suspect in the blue jacket wears what appears to be that same backpack in the stills from an hour later as they return to the Salisbury train station. Presumably the backpack carried the applicator and then was later ditched.... but looking at the applicator itself it is hard to fathom how it would not leak, either in flight or in the backpack, even inside its alleged box. The Met police report claims that the bottle allegedly discovered later "contained a significant amount of Novichok."

On the Sunday morning in question, the suspects allegedly walked directly to the Skripal household from the train station (approximately 25 minutes), poisoned the Skripal door within minutes of arrival, then immediately returned to the train station. This operation was allegedly facilitated by a 90 minute "reconnaissance" mission the previous day, although there are no CCTV images from this mission. Why and how the men knew they would not be seen at the doorway on Sunday is not explained.

According to the Met Police report, swabs at the suspect's hotel room were done on May 4. Porton Down alone confirmed the presence of Novichok from these swabs. The Met report adds: "Two swabs showed contamination of Novichok at levels below that which would cause concern for public health." ???? As far as I am aware, that Russian suspects may have flown in and out of Britain on that weekend has been discussed since March, but a positive ID of "Novichok" in a suspect's London hotel room is new information - strangely never referred to before. The otherwise entirely circumstantial case depends on the presence of the chemical in the hotel room, as there is otherwise no direct connection of these men to "Novichuk", perfume bottles, or the Skripal house (the CCTV footage can only place them in the "vicinity").

This case retains its improvised nature. Something seems to have been botched somewhere in the original March events, and the proclamation of Russian guilt was announced too soon and too unequivocally to back down from. The Novichok in the perfume bottle and now the two alleged suspects with the alleged trace Novichok in the hotel room appear to be semi-clumsy additions to the evidence designed to buttress the faulty story after the fact.

blues , Sep 5, 2018 9:53:01 PM | link
This is simply another fine example of the Theory of Tells. The Dark Agents NEVER allow the strange evidence that they release to the public to be totally coherent or rational. They always insert impossible artifacts. If the narratives they create were reasonably coherent, they would never have the proper effect of causing profound cognitive dissonance in the mind of the public, they could therefor never achieve the necessary degree of fear, uncertainty and doubt.

That would invite people to ask pertinent questions. There must always be a few strategic red herrings. So they always leave strategic tells.

Burt , Sep 5, 2018 10:24:20 PM | link
They are different photographs a few seconds apart as can be seen by the figures at the very back of the jetway who move a tiny bit closer to the camera after the first suspect passes.

However, the timestamps are then fake and represent a mistake on the part of the person *creating* the evidence. He fucked up and put the same stamp on both pictures.

These pictures were taken a short time apart, but not at the time stamped... i.e. boarding a different flight. A different flight. The timeline is hokum . They did not fly in and out at the times stated or on the flights stated.

It is even conceivable that the person cooking the books wanted to include something that would show it was hokum, that he or she wasn't completely on board. I wonder who it was?

Circe , Sep 5, 2018 10:43:32 PM | link
@81

The doors that have those "Do not enter" symbols facing us or the greeting area are open in b's pictures because the individuals have just passed thru them. Therefore you only faintly see the grey back of the symbols.

Also, note how in one Google photo the steel guardrails are on paneling right beside the security signs while in the other Google photos it shows the guardrail separated from the security signs with an empty panel except for the corridor furthest to the right. So the correct photo is the former one and the individuals went through two exactly similar side-by-side corridors simultaneously, which means the photos might be legit. Also, there are at least two or more cameras on the ceiling facing corridors which explains the different angles. It looks like photos are authentic.

TheBAG , Sep 5, 2018 10:52:08 PM | link
Dr. Wellington Yueh @88

Great observation! Lot of stuff going on in Idlib being reported in Al Masdar News...

Circe , Sep 5, 2018 10:55:10 PM | link
@86 Well that explains why in one photo there's an extra glass panel and in the other the panel with the guardrail is beside the panel with the security signs! There are two sets of corridors in the airport.

The photos in the article are Therefore most likely authentic.

Phillip O'Reilly , Sep 5, 2018 11:28:16 PM | link
The key proposition that the police are asserting is that the Skripals were poisoned by 'delayed reaction'. The alleged suspects were out of Salisbury 3 hours before the Skripals exhibited signs of poisoning, nerve agents, however, act immediately. If the 'door handle theory' is not physically possible, which it is not, then that leaves out the assassin hypothesis. Most likely, as I have always said, is that this is about Sergei's skulduggery, he took delivery of the agent from these guys for eventual passing over to the White Helmets via their MI6 handlers. All went pear shaped because of a leaky bottle. Sergei realised something was wrong so hurried his meal so he could check it out, reached the park bench with Julia and the saw that the bottle was leaking and began to feel ill, Julia through the thing away and went down herself.
Phillip O'Reilly , Sep 5, 2018 11:56:02 PM | link
Interesting that Theresa May brought up and then dismissed the possibility of a rogue operation. This tells me she is determined to pin the blame on Putin no matter what. I am sure that the smarter elements of British security have a pretty good idea of what has occurred. They will say nothing and they would be quite happy to keep Theresa Mays narrative out in the public domain. Cooperation from Sergei is guaranteed, he has been caught once again in a betrayal, as he always does because he is one of lifes losers.

[Sep 06, 2018] How Obama and Netanyahu Overplayed Their Hand in The Arab Spring

Notable quotes:
"... While Syria's long serving President Hafez al-Assad was criticised by Iraq for his apparent eagerness to enter into an armistice with Israel in 1974 and while Hafez appeared to be on the verge of recognising Israel in the mid-1990s, recent revelations brought to the world's attention by former US Secretary of State John Kerry indicate that his son and current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad drafted a letter to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking to enter into discussions regarding Israel's withdrawal from the occupied Golan Heights in exchange for Syria entering into a Jordanian style peace agreement with Tel Aviv. ..."
"... A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, ..."
"... As such, Russia looks to balance the ambitious of each of these players against one another in order to attain a regional equilibrium in which Moscow plays the role of both benign power broker and economic partner. ..."
"... the so-called Arab Spring was supposed to pave the way for a future Greater Israel, that too is now dead as Russia would not let Tel Aviv threaten the long term territorial integrity of Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon or any other Middle East state. ..."
"... When viewed with the benefit of hindsight, the gamble that Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu took in 2011 to forfeit good relations with politically stagnant, diplomatically compromised and generally malleable Arab Nationalist leaders in order to attempt and fracture the political structures and territorial unity of multiple Arab states has backfired in extraordinary fashion. ..."
"... While in 2010 Russia was scarcely a major factor in the region and while Iran did not have much influence in the Arab world outside of southern Iraq and parts of southern Lebanon, today the opposite is very much the case. As a result, while a combination of Israeli-US pressure and internal pettiness helped render many once proud Arab Nationalist states impotent, the omnipresence of Russia as the only regional power with a desire and ability to balance Iranian, Turkish, Arab and Israeli interests means that while Israel's existence is now guaranteed, its expansionist aims are permanently dead. In this sense, the Arab Spring was in reality, an Israeli winter. ..."
Sep 06, 2018 | www.eurasiafuture.com

At the beginning of 2011 while Iraq was still on its knees following the illegal 2003 US/UK invasion, the rest of the Arab world was generally calm, domestic politics was predictable and most importantly from the American and Israeli perspective, the revolutionary fervour that underpinned the Arab Nationalist revolutions of the mid-20th century had largely given way to pragmatic and at times self-effacing secular Arab regimes that posed no serious military or diplomatic challenge to America's desired pro-Israel status quo in the region. At the beginning of 2011, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak looked and acted unsinkable. Crucially, this included his unsinkable loyalty to the United States and Israel. The same was true in Jordan's monarchy while in Libya, Muammar Gaddafi had given up on the Arab Nationalist cause in order to pursue what he believed was a more tangible and potentially more rewarding Pan-African cause. Crucially, not long after trading Arab Nationalism for Pan-Africanism, Gaddafi established normal relations with the United States and its traditional partners in 2003.

While Syria's long serving President Hafez al-Assad was criticised by Iraq for his apparent eagerness to enter into an armistice with Israel in 1974 and while Hafez appeared to be on the verge of recognising Israel in the mid-1990s, recent revelations brought to the world's attention by former US Secretary of State John Kerry indicate that his son and current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad drafted a letter to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking to enter into discussions regarding Israel's withdrawal from the occupied Golan Heights in exchange for Syria entering into a Jordanian style peace agreement with Tel Aviv.

In a rational environment, Netanyahu and Obama should have been utterly contented with the fact that an Arab world which was once united behind the cause of Palestinian justice had gradually capitulated while even Arab Nationalist hold out Syria was on the verge of doing much the same. But rather than being content with getting concessions from the Arab world that as comparatively recently as the mid-1970s would have sounded fantastical, Washington with Israel's clear consent and cooperation instead decided to light a fuse beneath the Arab world.

The so-called Arab Spring began with "protests" in Tunisia in December of 2011. But the real coming out party for America and Israel's new policy of 'lead from behind regime change' in the Arab world was in Egypt. It was in Cairo on the 25th of January that a combination of genuine demonstrators, paid agitators and terrorists took to Tahrir Square to protest government policies. The protests eventually lead to the downfall of President Mubarak who had governed the country since 1981.

Mubarak had many genuine home grown opponents to be sure and this is before one accounts for opposition from proscribed terror groups including and especially the Muslim Brotherhood. And yet it was only when the United States officially withdrew support for Mubarak that a full regime change came to pass which itself paved the way for a highly unstable Muslim Brotherhood regime led by Muhammad Morsi.

Unable to facilitate the kinds of lead from behind protests in Libya that were rather easy to foment in an Egyptian society where a great deal of genuine discontent served to cover the true intentions of the Obama administration in the Arab world, the US decided to accuse Libya's government of crimes against the Libyan people including an accusation of mass rape committed by soldiers that turned out to be as fake as the 2002 allegation that Iraq maintained stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. While most Libyans were too busy enjoying the benefits of Africa's most generous welfare state to protest, the US began preparing for a full scale military attack on Libya while France and Britain became the public face of America's biggest war on an Arab state since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

It was around the same time in early 2011 that provocations against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad were staged near the Jordanian border in the city of Daraa. Unlike in Libya there was a measure of discontent in Syria due to a five year long drought which severely impacted domestic agriculture. Likewise, in spite of modest economic reforms, the economy was largely stagnant. Be that as it may, genuine discontent in Syria was not only less than in Libya but less than in Egypt. From the US perspective this became all the more reason to fan the flames of long latent sectarian divisions and likewise it became the private excuse for offering arms and funds to individuals who later formed anti-government militias and terror groups.

The results of this so-called Arab Spring have led to instability in Egypt under Muslim Brotherhood rule which itself led to the politically and economically stagnant government of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. In LIbya what was once Africa's most stable and prosperous nation, a failed state peppered with terrorist training camps and slave auctions has developed which itself has led to the worst migrant crisis in the modern history of Afro-European relations. In Syria, the war which began in 2011 is still being fought and while an end is in sight, Syria is still a long way away from peace.

The mutual desire of the United States and Israel to weaken Arab Nationalist governments and retard the advancement of progressive Arab unity long predates the tragic events of 2011. But while 1996 saw arch-neocon Richard Perle draft A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, a radical anti-Arab foreign policy paper presented to Benjamin Netanyahu as a kind of gift, by 2010, many of the goals contained in A Clean Break had already been achieved through co-opting Arab states into a policy of submission which supplanted the radicalism of previous decades.

What had not been achieved by 2010 however was the realisation of anything approximating the Yinon Plan , a controversial policy proposal advocating for the creation of a so-called "greater Israel" that was first published in 1982 in the Israel journal Kivunim. The Yinon Plan called for the aggressive expansion of Israeli territory into Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

While the Yinon Plan was based partly on modern far-right notions of political expansionism and in other parts based on the most extreme interpretations of Zionist mythology, the idea of intentionally weakening once powerful Arab Nationalist states in the region was clearly an attempt to begin the early stages of what could have become expanded political influence and territorial domination throughout the Middle East for Israel.

Today however, it would appear that the plan has backfired for two largely unrelated reasons. First of all, the agitations of Iraq's Shi'a majority population in Iraq combined with the phenomenon of a Shi'a Islamic Resistance spreading to Syria as a means of countering extremist Sunni Takfiri groups including Daesh, along with the increased influence of Hezbollah in Lebanon has made a once isolated Islamic Republic of Iran a major player in much of the northern half of the Arab world. Thus, as Arab Nationalist states and political movements in the northern half of the Arab world have weakened a militarily resurgent Iran has only become stronger and as such is something of a bulwark against Yinon's map of a Greater Israel.

But the rise of Iran has also led to another major development, the long term importance of which is still being overlooked as much in the Arab world as in the west. Russia has returned to the Middle East as a major player only unlike during the Cold War, Russia is now on exceptionally good terms with every major player in the region including multiple rivalling Arab states, Turkey, Iran and crucially both Palestine and Israel.

As such, Russia looks to balance the ambitious of each of these players against one another in order to attain a regional equilibrium in which Moscow plays the role of both benign power broker and economic partner. As a result, the old Arab Nationalist dream of liberating Palestine is virtually dead as Russia views the importance of safeguarding Israel's territory as on-par with that of all of its neighbors. That being said, while the so-called Arab Spring was supposed to pave the way for a future Greater Israel, that too is now dead as Russia would not let Tel Aviv threaten the long term territorial integrity of Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon or any other Middle East state.

When viewed with the benefit of hindsight, the gamble that Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu took in 2011 to forfeit good relations with politically stagnant, diplomatically compromised and generally malleable Arab Nationalist leaders in order to attempt and fracture the political structures and territorial unity of multiple Arab states has backfired in extraordinary fashion.

While in 2010 Russia was scarcely a major factor in the region and while Iran did not have much influence in the Arab world outside of southern Iraq and parts of southern Lebanon, today the opposite is very much the case. As a result, while a combination of Israeli-US pressure and internal pettiness helped render many once proud Arab Nationalist states impotent, the omnipresence of Russia as the only regional power with a desire and ability to balance Iranian, Turkish, Arab and Israeli interests means that while Israel's existence is now guaranteed, its expansionist aims are permanently dead. In this sense, the Arab Spring was in reality, an Israeli winter.

[Sep 06, 2018] Breaking!! Trump Treated as Mental Patient, Staff Steals-Hides Papers "Out of Patriotism"

Notable quotes:
"... WARNING: This story contains graphic language. ..."
Sep 06, 2018 | www.veteranstoday.com

Even "Bad Dog" Mattis says he's nutzo

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor - September 4, 2018 25 2633

By Jeremy Herb , Jamie Gangel and Dan Merica , CNN

"He's an idiot. It's pointless to try to convince him of anything. He's gone off the rails. We're in crazytown," Kelly is quoted as saying at a staff meeting in his office. "I don't even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I've ever had."

(CNN) WARNING: This story contains graphic language.

President Donald Trump 's closest aides have taken extraordinary measures in the White House to try to stop what they saw as his most dangerous impulses, going so far as to swipe and hide papers from his desk so he wouldn't sign them, according to a new book from legendary journalist Bob Woodward.

Woodward's 448-page book, " Fear: Trump in the White House, " provides an unprecedented inside-the-room look through the eyes of the President's inner circle. From the Oval Office to the Situation Room to the White House residence, Woodward uses confidential background interviews to illustrate how some of the President's top advisers view him as a danger to national security and have sought to circumvent the commander in chief.

Many of the feuds and daily clashes have been well documented, but the picture painted by Trump's confidants, senior staff and Cabinet officials reveal that many of them see an even more alarming situation -- worse than previously known or understood. Woodward offers a devastating portrait of a dysfunctional Trump White House, detailing how senior aides -- both current and former Trump administration officials -- grew exasperated with the President and increasingly worried about his erratic behavior, ignorance and penchant for lying.

Chief of staff John Kelly describes Trump as an "idiot" and "unhinged," Woodward reports. Defense Secretary James Mattis describes Trump as having the understanding of "a fifth or sixth grader." And Trump's former personal lawyer John Dowd describes the President as "a fucking liar," telling Trump he would end up in an "orange jump suit" if he testified to special counsel Robert Mueller.

[Sep 06, 2018] Sounds like a palace coup to me: first, news of the forthcoming Woodward book (and excepts); then-coincidentally-today's "anonymous" and 'Gutless' article in the Times

NYT practices digital lynching...
Sep 06, 2018 | theguardian.com

Michronics42, 6 Sep 2018 06:46

Sounds like a palace coup to me: first, news of the forthcoming Woodward book (and excepts); then-coincidentally-today's "anonymous" and 'Gutless' article in the Times.

As far as I'm concerned, this entire hellish administration is sheer "madness" and a very clear indication that this country is in its agonizing twilight.

Each and every senior official in this administration is an enabler of this "shithole" human being and current president, so there is no such thing as bravery here, just covering one's tail if a coup were to occur.

Not once, as has been mentioned here and elsewhere, has this 'Gutless' wonder decried the immorality of family separation, employing white racists as policy makers, shredding the social safety net for millions of this nation's most vulnerable; an outlandish Pentagon budget and etcetera.

What is solidly on display in this unfolding miasma is a firmly entrenched kleptocracy, enabled and supported by U.S. corporations and the death of democracy.

TheChillZone , 6 Sep 2018 06:36
The Woodward book seems to me just more kiss and tell stories of the Michael Wolff ilk (remember him?). The juiciest quotes - Trump being called an idiot by Kelly - is denied by Kelly himself and most of the others are ex-employees.

A better - more objective - book would get past the unconventional, apparent chaos of the Whitehouse and perhaps investigate whether Trumps methods have or will bear fruit.

That perhaps, as David Lynch said, traditional politicians can't take the country or the world forward - they can't get things done anymore because they are afraid of political consequences or media backlash. Trump and his ego doesn't seem to care about that - is that a good thing or a bad thing? Trump has turned everything on it's head and liberals find themselves allying with establishment politicians and business groups. It is a fascinating period of political change and time - and better journalism - will eventually judge Trump more objectively.

SolentBound -> uncleike , 6 Sep 2018 08:26
"The point of the op-ed is to continue to build popular support for removal of Trump by confirming the more detailed account of Woodward."

It was submitted to the Times before info on Woodward's book came out.

TezB -> HippoMan , 6 Sep 2018 08:22

'Pence... not a dangerous, mentally ill megalomaniac'

Pence is more dangerous – make that outright terrifying – than Trump. Yes. Trump is a senile vulgarian oaf – but he doesn't really believe in anything and is motivated only by his greed and pathological need for self-aggrandizement. He's mentally incompetent in a very obvious way, which renders him laughably inept at trying to bring his more odious policy objectives to fruition (in fact, inept at everything, pretty much).

Pence is far more sinister, because he's a dementedly fanatical believer in a fundamentalist and authoritarian mutation of religion – a crazed zealot. While sometimes able to imitate the superficial demeanour of a person of sound mind, he is in truth utterly deranged.

While Trump lies and denies obvious specific facts almost as a reflex, he doesn't really sustain his warped world view consistently or with conviction that lasts longer than it takes to play his next round of golf.

Pence vehemently espouses a whole alternative reality based upon his religious fantasies, and believes he has a mission to impose his delusional ideas in a punitive and repressive manner on his country's entire population, permanently. He may have the cunning to be chillingly effective at realising his most ghastly ambitions.

Trump represents a temporary aberration; a collective brain fart. Pence could be the instigator of a new dark age for the USA

Meerkatz , 6 Sep 2018 08:17
Having seen this type of character assassination visited on Bill and Hillary Clinton, character assassination before any reported crimes have been proven against them or for that matter any sexual misdemeanors as president are proven, what exactly is going on here?

I totally disagree with this type of thing even if the person is someone I don't understand much. The world has come to a dangerous place where digital lynching without reference to law seems to be the prevailing modus operandi.

Jessp , 6 Sep 2018 08:13
A little word of warning. Be careful what you wish for. If Don can be removed prior to the next election, (and I don't believe that would happen), then Mike Pence takes the reins. He has just as many crazy notions as his current boss, but is an experienced politician who knows the ins and outs of Congress. He may get more of the programme through than little Don can. And that would not be good.
BritinNormandy -> NameIcallme , 6 Sep 2018 08:12
He's done it before. Lots of times. Example: one of his posts back in April: "Trump is a genius. Nobody can take him down, the man is a fighter, you punch him and he'll punch you back 10 times harder. The FBI, Democrats and MSM have tried to take him down since he decided to run for president, yet he's standing tall and with a 50% approval rating."

There's no point in engaging in discussion with folks like that ...

malibudebumbum , 6 Sep 2018 08:09
Welcome to postmodernist politics folks. It will continue to degenerate until, in despair, people turn toward an orderly system of politics; the Chinese system, the Russian system or even a coherent religious system. Counsellors will be on hand for those who feel hurt or upset by the return to authoritarianism -- they will be able to get great treatment in re-education centres. Just a matter of time before our current system just crumbles from within.
sl0thp0pe -> littlepump , 6 Sep 2018 08:08
Yeah they're sucking it direct from Ayn Rand's teat. Bunch of sociopaths. And I think most political scientists are well aware that citizens united was the death of American democracy as a representative political system. The illusion of functionality has collapsed under the weight of corruption. Trump is really just a symptom of that. A giant orange enema of the state.
ID3866144 -> stuart255 , 6 Sep 2018 07:51
LOL. The west is about to collapse. There is no more money to finance the Ponzy Scheme of the everlasting growth you seem to think is natural. while everyone is distracted in this dualistic BS, the planet is slowly shutting down her ressources.

The Russia after years of sanctions have developed an economy that make them less dependant on other countries. So They will probably less affected by what is coming.

Unless you live in you own bubble, maybe you noticed that Occidental countries have become empty shells...gutted from their skills at making stuff. It is all virtual production now...all banking stuff, numbers insurance...most skilled stuff are either in Germany or in Asia...what is going on?

stuart255 -> HippoMan , 6 Sep 2018 07:47
Trump is a megalomaniac I agree, but he is not dangerous and is not mentally ill. Mental illness is a real thing and you shouldn't casually trivialize it in this way.

Finally anyone who runs for office as President of the USA is by very definition a pretty extreme megalomaniac. So you have two points that are not real and/or could be considered erroneous discrimination and one point that is a prerequisite for any POTUS candidate.

Looking for a reason to impeach him is a ridiculous back to front thing to do and is itself proof that any impeachment will fail. To impeach someone you must first start with a very obvious reason.

It's simply not possible to impeach a president because you don't like their politics or their personality. This whole searching for a reason to impeach is itself evidence that any impeachment is politically motivated and the very optics of this serve only to strengthen Trump's own political support in direct opposition.

Trump is President because the DNC was captured by very stupid and deeply corrupt people.

[Sep 06, 2018] Use of rather uncommon "lodestart" trace can be a false flag operation similar to Russian traces in DNC hack

I think people attributing the letter to Pence are confused as for which side the rogue CIA operatives are on :-)
Sep 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

j. von Hettlingen , 6 Sep 2018 07:16

Many say Mike Pence could have been the one behind the op-ed, because the unidentified author singled out the late John McCain as "a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue." The word isn't that commonly used. But Pence has used the word with some regularity. Yet the word could have been a ploy to divert attention from the real author, who claimed to support many of the GOP policies – "effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more."
No doubt the current crisis works for Pence: "Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president." Of course he and the GOP didn't want to "precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until -- one way or another -- it's over." But they don't want Trump to finish his term and hope that he'll soon be gone.
Finisterre -> Carl123 , 6 Sep 2018 06:53
Pepperoni Pizza is absolutely correct. We DON'T know his staff are going behind his back - we have this anonymous bollocks as the totality of our evidence.

This op-ed is going to absolutely confirm, in the eyes of Trump supporters, all his whines about being thwarted by the Deep State. It's going to increase his support among the crazies, and it's also useful for the Republicans who want to ditch him in favour of Mike Pence.

The whole thing stinks to high heaven and for the Democrats or the 'resistance' to see it as some kind of bonus is insane. Even if you take it at face value it's a disgusting piece of authoritarian, we-know-best hypocrisy. If you look at its actual effects, the net result is not likely to benefit the forces of sanity in any way.

The media's complacency about all of this, and their failure to actually report on the Republican trajectory and the bigger picture, is criminal. Instead we get YET ANOTHER bit of 'oh look the wheels are just about to come off the bus!', and all the while the Republicans are gerrymandering and purging voter rolls like crazt before the midterms, and of course refusing to change their unaccountable electronic voting machines and - did you read THIS one in the news? - blocking a bill which would have audited the election results.

Tl;dr: The US, and by extension the planet via environmental destruction and possibly war on top, is utterly fucked.

CharlieApples -> solarights , 6 Sep 2018 06:48
I think you've confused whose side the CIA are on :-)

[Sep 06, 2018] What is wrong with you American people ? Why such level of jingoism and fake national security concerns is possible ?

Notable quotes:
"... Mr anonymous also concedes that the administration has done some good things .. like .. a robust military. Now call me old fashioned, but having a military with twice(three times .. four times) the capability of the rest of the world put together and spending enough yearly to run the whole of Africa .. probably India too, just on a means of killing .. and this even before the US military became .. robust?.. ..."
Sep 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Blenheim , 6 Sep 2018 06:10

Mr anonymous also concedes that the administration has done some good things .. like .. a robust military. Now call me old fashioned, but having a military with twice(three times .. four times) the capability of the rest of the world put together and spending enough yearly to run the whole of Africa .. probably India too, just on a means of killing .. and this even before the US military became .. robust?..

What is wrong with you people .. national security?.. Laughable .. when is your security ever, ever, ever threatened! And yet people starve, people don't have clean water to drink ..
Perhaps were the US to help lift the basic burdens of millions who have bugger all, then there wouldn't be so many suposed 'enemies'. I do believe film maker Michael Moore has voiced this very same thing .. but then, what purpose all those shiny new expensive killing machines?..
Something is seriously wrong in America .. and it ain't just Trump!

CosmoCrawley , 6 Sep 2018 05:56
This is a very poor op-ed piece. Simply calling the President "a crazy loon " isn't political analysis, or at least not the sort of political analysis I would be willing to pay for. Nor do I think the thesis that certain members of the administration are busy trying to shore up their reputations in the face of a sinking presidency holds water. Firstly, unless the current investigations provide incontrovertible evidence that the President was engaged in criminal activity I don't think there is any change that he will be impeached. Secondly, if you wanted to protect your reputation surely the thing to do would be to resign and maintain a dignified silence while you are writing your memoirs. Or if you really were part of a secret clique protecting the American constitution against a reckless President you would keep quiet and get on with your important business. It seems to me that this anonymous piece was either a clumsy attempt to further damage the President or a sophisticated attempt to galvanise his support base by "proving" that the President is being undermined by unelected traitors. Or something else completely might be going on. That's why I would like to read a thoughtful opinion piece by an informed observer.
StGeorge , 6 Sep 2018 05:51
Sounds like there's a treasonous public servant there, doing their best to subvert the will of the people. And of course loudly supported by the squealing hard left guardian mob. Looking at the type of far left fascists crawling‭ out of the woodwork, I would say Trump is provoking utter derangement in all the right people.
Densher -> kent_rules , 6 Sep 2018 05:45
"the corrupt metropolitan elites have swindled them again"
-Who appointed these 'corrupt metropolitan elites' if it was not Trump himself? Who are these people-Betsy DeVos, Wilbur Ross and Steve Mnuchin- quite apart from Jeff Sessions and the now disgraced Michael Flynn? Trump appointed them, they weren't forced on him by the "corrupt metropolitan elites". Is Trump to be given a free pass for his own mistakes?
Throwawaythekey , 6 Sep 2018 05:44
What many commentators here seem to fail to recognise, because of their political bias I suppose, is that there is a ground swell of dissatisfaction with the political consensus that has seen the working class and lower middle class disenfranchised or at least their perceived interests ignored. As a result, populist ideologies, as espoused by Steven Bannon, and others, and exemplified by leaders like Donald Trump have thrown away the rule book with all its aims to support the extremely wealthy and have reached out to those that want jobs before green policies, law and order before gender diversity programs and so on.
I doubt that many of the readers here will receive the message but we are witnessing a revolution that I see as significant as the rise of the sans-culottes in the early part of the French Revolution. That didn't end well for the sans-culottes or their aims but we can hardly blame them for trying. Today the retrenched car worker in the US can hardly be blamed for being unhappy that the CEO of a car company receives a huge pay rise and bail outs from the government and similar stories in other areas.
Vive la revolution.
Stone Jones , 6 Sep 2018 05:43
Some of this stuff is clearly nonsense. Example: the insider claimed Trump is an admirer of dictators:

"In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And yet the forthcoming Bob Woodward book claims Trump told his defence secretary he wanted to kill Assad:

Donald Trump ordered his defence secretary to assassinate Syria's president Bashar al-Assad and "kill the f****** lot of them" in the leader's regime, in the wake of a chemical attack against civilians, according to a new book.

Defence secretary James Mattis is said to have told the president during a phone call he would "get right on it" before hanging up the phone and instead telling an aide: "We're not going to do any of that. We're going to be much more measured." In the wake of the chemical attack in April 2017, the president's national security team developed options that included the more conventional airstrike that Mr Trump eventually ordered.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The anti-Trump lot can't have it both ways. He can't be a fan of dictators but also want to kill them! It's clear there is lying or exaggeration on both sides. The people out to impeach Trump (or sell books!) will lie too.

[Sep 06, 2018] Was John McCain The Senior Official in The Trump Administration Who Wrote The Infamous Letter by Adam Garrie

This is plausible as McCain was involved in Steele dossier saga
Notable quotes:
"... In this sense, the author may well have felt the need to plant the red herring in question in this very part of the letter so as to create the 'Pence diversion' in the very place that one might otherwise being looking for someone associated with John McCain. ..."
"... The next logical question would then be: how did he do it? The answer to this is quite simple. Just as he meticulously arranged his own funeral prior to his death, apparently down to the seating arrangements for guests, McCain could have easily handed the letter to a highly trusted associate or family member who would then present the letter to an ideological ally at the infamously anti-Trump New York Times. ..."
"... It is therefore not beyond the realm of the possible to consider that the infamous letter was not actually drafted by a Trump White House official but instead was drafted by John McCain as the final salvo in his long war against Donald Trump. Stranger things have happened and this without a doubt is a strange era in American political life. ..."
Jan 01, 2018 | www.eurasiafuture.com
Not only was John McCain never in the Trump administration but at the time when the infamous anonymous New York Times op-ed from a reportedly disgruntled senior Trump White House official was published, John McCain had been dead for eleven days. Therefore to suggest that McCain wrote the letter isn't to suggest a belief in time travel or the supernatural. Instead it is to suggest a calculated scheme from beyond the grave by a man who famously choreographed every detail of his own funeral during his final weeks or possibly months of life.

Whoever wrote the letter was clever enough to include in the text a red herring designed to convince the public and possibly Donald Trump himself that the letter's author was none other than Vice President Mike Pence. But as Andrew Kroybko rightly illustrates in his piece on the subject in Eurasia Future, Pence would never be so foolish as to include in the letter the word "lodestar" as the highly obscure word is frequently used by Pence while not being a part of the daily vocabulary of most English speakers anywhere in world. Such an obvious giveaway could have only been planted by design considering that whoever did write the letter most likely penned the most important epistle in his or her life.

Making matters more curious, the word "lodestar" appears in the ed-op in the paragraph where the author negatively compares Trump with John McCain. This itself is an indication that McCain and his much anticipated death were clear sources of inspiration for the content of the letter and the timing of its publication. The paragraph in question reads as follows:

"We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example -- a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them".

In this sense, the author may well have felt the need to plant the red herring in question in this very part of the letter so as to create the 'Pence diversion' in the very place that one might otherwise being looking for someone associated with John McCain.

While not casting judgment on the reality that John McCain was indeed a surviving prisoner of war, it is factually true that unlike many prisoners of war, McCain tended to publicly revel in his status as a survivor and even used the fame derived from his harrowing experience to launch a long political career. Because of this, it is not by any means unreasonable to think that the kind of egotism one associates with McCain might have led him to devise such a 'parting shot' at his powerful and more politically successful rival. This was after all the man who flew to all corners of the earth even in old age to rally various armed rebellions of one sort or another from Georgia and Ukraine to Syria and Iraq. It is also instructive to realise that McCain is the man who without a second thought handed the hoax Steele dossier to then FBI Director James Comey and later said the following about his actions:

"I discharged that obligation, and I would do it again. Anyone who doesn't like it can go to hell".

The next logical question would then be: how did he do it? The answer to this is quite simple. Just as he meticulously arranged his own funeral prior to his death, apparently down to the seating arrangements for guests, McCain could have easily handed the letter to a highly trusted associate or family member who would then present the letter to an ideological ally at the infamously anti-Trump New York Times.

While Donald Trump has suggested that he will use legal pressure to force the New York Times to divulge the source of the letter, such a matter could take years of back and forth in the courts, by which time the relevance of the letter would have been greatly reduced by the passage of time. In any case, as the drafting of the letter may well be a seditious or treasonous act, unlike an actual member of the Trump White House staff, McCain is currently in a place where no judge, jury or executioner can reach him.

It is therefore not beyond the realm of the possible to consider that the infamous letter was not actually drafted by a Trump White House official but instead was drafted by John McCain as the final salvo in his long war against Donald Trump. Stranger things have happened and this without a doubt is a strange era in American political life.

[Sep 06, 2018] The "Deep State" Planted A Red Herring To Set Up A Showdown Between Trump Pence

Notable quotes:
"... The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution. ..."
Sep 06, 2018 | www.eurasiafuture.com

The Mainstream Media's latest reports that internet sleuths think that Vice President Pence probably wrote yesterday's "Resistance" op-ed in the New York Times because of the anonymous writer's use of the word "lodestar" is nothing more than a red herring by the "deep state" to provoke a showdown between Trump & Pence ahead of this November's midterms and possibly even push the President to trigger a constitutional crisis by trying to fire him.

Everyone in the world is wondering which high-level official in the Trump Administration penned yesterday's "Resistance" op-ed in the New York Times, but the Mainstream Media is running with the story that internet sleuths think that it's Vice President Pence because of the anonymous writer's use of the word "lodestar", which he's publicly used on at least five separate occasions before. He probably wasn't behind the piece, however, but his idiosyncratic use of a relatively uncommon word was likely picked up by the "deep state" well in advance and deliberately inserted into the preplanned infowar provocation that was just published in order to pin the blame on him as part of a larger scheme to sow discord in the White House.

The "deep state" wants to provoke Trump to unleash one of his famously scathing and unscripted tweets against Pence, which would irreparably ruin their professional relationship but also throw the President into a constitutional conundrum because he can't legally fire his Vice President no matter how much the two might come to hate each other as a result of this devious psy-op. Running with this scenario for a moment, whether Trump tries to fire a publicly insulted Pence or seethes with rage because he can't, the resultant turmoil that would play out in the Mainstream Media would be enough to seemingly confirm all of the accusations of chaos that Bob Woodward alleged in his upcoming book, therefore potentially tipping the midterm electoral scales to the Democrats' favor.

Reviewing the fast-moving developments of the past couple of days, it's inarguable that The Establishment planned for all of this to happen far in advance as part of their plot to undermine Trump ahead of the midterms, with the phased escalation of their infowar campaign so far moving from Woodward's book to the anonymous "Resistance" op-ed and finally to the claims that Pence is somehow involved because the unknown author cleverly inserted a very uncommon word that he's known to occasionally use. While Trump will probably display more common sense that he's regularly given credit for and likely won't fall for the trap of jumping the gun and publicly condemning Pence, he's in a dilemma when it comes to identifying who's behind the scandalous op-ed.

Trump has no choice but to order an immediate investigation on national security grounds after it was revealed that a high-ranking official in his administration is supposedly conspiring with others to sabotage the policies of the democratically elected and legitimate President of the United States, but this is predictably being framed by the Mainstream Media as a "witch hunt" that they'll soon try to compare to a "Stalinist purge" (if they haven't done so already). Actually, they seem to secretly hope that Trump becomes paranoid to the point of overreacting and punishes or publicly embarrasses innocent members of his staff in order to counterproductively create an internal "Resistance" where there might not have even really been one to begin with.

Whatever ends up happening, and the latest "deep state" coup attempt against Trump has only just begun, this much is certain, and it's that the inclusion of the word "lodestar" was a red herring designed to manipulate the President's mind after he finds out that the Mainstream Media is promoting internet sleuths who apparently "discovered" that Pence used this uncommon word on several occasions. The whole point at this stage is to provoke Trump, who they mistakenly believe to be an unhinged maniac incapable of controlling his actions and prone to lashing out at whoever and whenever at the slightest hint of an affront, to publicly attack Pence and then trigger a constitutional crisis by trying to fire him, all of which would be taking place in front of the entire nation ahead of the upcoming midterms.

Trump's much too clever to fall for this trap, and the fact that something so blatantly obvious has been attempted speaks to just how much his opponents underestimate him, but he nevertheless needs to be careful that he doesn't take action against any innocent members of his administration who might get caught up in the current investigation to find the traitor and their ilk, if they even exist. This means that he has to trust whoever it is that he's dispatched to dig up evidence on this issue and won't doubt the findings that they present to him, after which he'll have to determine whether they're also being set up just like Pence is or if they're actually guilty as charged. Trump's toughest tests are therefore ahead of him and could make or break his presidency in the coming days.

DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.

[Sep 06, 2018] Is there is anything to admire in Trump record?

Sep 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

pretzelattack -> Densher , 6 Sep 2018 05:38

he reversed the war in afghanistan? drones? did he prosecute bankers? does he favor increasing offshore drilling? now it looks like he's renegotiating clinton's nafta and pushing for some version of obama's trade treaties. trump is the invading python, and the democrats and establishment republicans are the alligators; whichever wins, the small furry animals get eaten. i just hope they don't start world war 3 while they're settling things--trump looks to be doubling down on obama's syria policy too, and support of the current ukrainian government.
Bazster -> ImMovedToAdd , 6 Sep 2018 05:33
'Fraid so. Every new generation of neocons regurgitates the same discredited lies from the previous generation, and suckers believe them all over again. Even the title "neocon" or "neoliberal" is a lie: there's nothing new about them.
Densher -> simonsaint , 6 Sep 2018 05:25
Trump was not only openly attacked during the nomination process, the Republican Party nominee who was selected to fight Obama in 2012 -Mitt Romney- delivered a savage attack in which he described Trump as a con-man and a chronic liar -yet the same people who could, there and then have told Trump to get lost backed him. Trump has been attacked from the start and every time and all of the time said to his attackers: so what? I dare you to remove me from the nomination, I dare you to remove me from the Office of President. This is a man who is challenging the governance of the US in a manner no other President has done before, and so far, he is still winning. That is the scary part.
Freedom4UK2019 -> Jessie Welsh , 6 Sep 2018 05:24
Well of course you could list other benefits in addition to some I listed like. "transform the economy, get people back in work.

Peace on the Korean peninsula, end of US involvement in SYRIA etc...

" You could get a nice big house like Obama got. Or $500K for doing speeches for Russian companies like Bill Clinton did.

RichWoods -> raindancer68 , 6 Sep 2018 05:24
Trump is threatening Deep State corruption by placing his own family members in positions of power and profiting from charging the nation for his and his staff's repeated use of Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago? That's a bizarre way of draining the swamp.
ID6314850 -> raindancer68 , 6 Sep 2018 05:19
The US political system has many flaws, not least that the President can be elected on an apparent electoral college landslide while losing the popular vote. But then again no country's political system is perfect, human nature being what it is.
However, Trump is clearly not up to the job. Not by intellect, understanding of world affairs, honesty, temperament, respect for the law, nor constitution. The list goes on frankly.
The system has gone bad. Trump hasn't "drained the swamp", he's made it far deeper. That said, "the system" such as it is should work in the hands of honest men and women of integrity. The trouble is they're few and far between in the GOP as it wilfully ignores issues in which they would be clamouring for a Democrat president to be impeached.
I sincerely hope the GOP get a thrashing in the mid-terms which may, just may, give them pause for thought. A Democrat Congress might also actually hold Trump to account. The only danger there is that he lashes out with even less self control.
Dangerous times.

[Sep 06, 2018] I Know Who the "Senior Official" Is Who Wrote the NY Times Op-Ed by Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... Dear Readers: Your website needs your support. It cannot exist without it. ..."
"... When you read my column below, you will read wh