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Cold War II

Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization > Color revolutions

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

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

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

Key events of Cold War II

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

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

Sanction as official start of Cold War II

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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[Aug 18, 2018] The debate's been ongoing for over 2 years now: Is Trump part of the Deep State, or is he an outlier backed by a Deep State faction?

Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Aug 17, 2018 7:13:14 PM | 32

The debate's been ongoing for over 2 years now: Is Trump part of the Deep State, or is he an outlier backed by a Deep State faction?

Escobar answered the second clause's query in the positive as he admitted being fed info by a member of that faction. If one's an independent hitman and gets hired by the Mob, does that make you a member or do you remain just an affiliate? IMO, once employed, you become a member until you're no longer employed. Ergo, Trump's a member of the Deep State as he's employed by one or more of its factions.

What was/is the Deep State's stated goal? Full Spectrum Dominance of the planet and outer space. When was it explicitly stated? During WJ Clinton's second term when Clear Skies 2010 was published, which provided flesh to GHW Bush's announcement of the New World Order. Is that goal compatible with the 1787 US Constitution? No, in a host of ways, but most importantly it violates the UN Charter in wholesale fashion.

So, as one who pledged an oath to defend the US Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic , should the orders of POTUS Donald Trump be obeyed since we've just deduced he's a member of a domestic enemy cabal? No! He must be resisted.

But who do we deem not a domestic enemy, which is to ask: Who can/do we trust, or should we trust nobody? Of course, these questions are primarily for US citizens to ponder, specifically those of us who still stand by our Oath despite being discharged from service, and of course those actively serving or in reserve capacities.

Or maybe some person will shoot my logic full of holes.

[Aug 18, 2018] The funny thing is people still believe Putin wanted Trump, believing a poor translation

Aug 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

TS , August 15, 2018 at 7:17 am

> Do you also dismiss the global pattern of Russian interference on democratic elections by the same means and methods?

Yup! Since nobody has presented the slightest evidence of such a pattern (and even the German intelligence agencies have said it didn't happen )

> Didn't Putin say publicly that his country acted to assist Donald Trump?

Nope!

> Are the CEO's of FACEBOOK and Google and Twitter also spouting lie about Russian media interference in our elections's

As far as I know, they have been avoiding doing so (presumably because they know such lies would be exposed immediately).

> When the details come out about how Russia has funneled money throu the NRA, will you dismiss that as well?

The NRA is funded by Moscow gold! I like it that makes all its right-wing supporters in Congress agents of Moscow, right? Please launch a campaign to have them all impeached. (I won't hold my breath waiting, though.)

> Is Florida election systems not really under Russian military attack as I write this?

Well, no, it is not. And why should the Russians want to, in the first place? The existing office-holders do more harm than anything they could possibly arrange

jeff montanye , August 17, 2018 at 7:56 am

his name is seth rich. the dnc gave him a memorial bike rack.

Skip Scott , August 14, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Do you dismiss the global pattern of CIA interference in elections all around the world for decades, including Russia in 1996? Look at the amount and quality of this so-called interference by Russian citizens. It is miniscule. Facebook , google, and twitter know they have to play ball with our so-called "Intelligence Community" and Congress or else. Please provide a source for Putin saying publicly he helped Trump. I found nothing on a browser search.

You are drinking MSM Kool-aid by the bucketload. Try reading through the archives here for an education.

Rob , August 14, 2018 at 4:19 pm

I believe that Putin said that he hoped for Trump to win, not that he ordered Russian operatives to interfere in the U.S. election process. There is a big difference. If I am wrong about this, I would love to see the evidence.

Curious , August 15, 2018 at 1:40 am

Rob, there's is a lot of confusion about what Putin really said, and most of it is wrong. Again, the 'lost in translation' issues. Here is what was said by Putin, quoted in CGI and elsewhere:

CGI quote: What Putin actually called Trump in Russian is "ochen' yarkiy chelovek," which literally translates to "a very bright person." Unlike the English word "bright," the Russian yarkiy does not connote intelligence; rather, it means someone who is colorful, flashy, showy, an individual who makes himself stand out from the crowd.

The more colloquial translation is "a colorful character," a phrase that in the Russian carries a note of bemusement. Putin added that Trump is also "talented (talantlivyi), without a doubt." He then went on to say that "regarding [U.S.] internal politics and the turns of phrase [Trump] employs to boost his popularity, I repeat that it is not our business to assess that aspect of his performance." Taken as a whole, the statement suggests that Putin recognizes the theatrical component of Trump's campaign, and chose not to comment on the contentious impact that Trump and his statements have had on American politics.

Putin himself later explained this to the journalists at one of his end of the year Q&As he has.

Trump, naturally, heard a bad translation and this appealed to his self-aggrandizement. He gave the thumbs up thinking Putin was congratulating, and backing him. Unsurprisingly, people still misunderstand Putins' statement.

Translation issues often occur and I remember when Jimmy Carter went to Poland for his first trip abroad to Poland, and the translator said President Carter had a great "lust" for the people of Poland, whereas the word "lust", as in German, means "desire, fondness and affection" and not some sexual connotation at all in a formal context.. The funny thing is people still believe Putin wanted Trump, believing a poor translation. Foreign languages really should be taught in schools again.

rosemerry , August 14, 2018 at 4:21 pm

Didn't Putin say publicly that his country acted to assist Donald Trump? NO, he did not. The questioner joined several questions together. Putin agreed that he wanted a person to win who would try to mend relations with Russia. He said he did nothing to help the process.

You really believe the billionaire CEOs of those controlling businesses???

As for Florida- remember the 2000 election.

Paul P , August 14, 2018 at 4:35 pm

These are all quite easily addressed point by point. As the saying goes, that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

Where is this established pattern of interfering with the "same means and methods"? If the claim is essentially, "Russia obtained evidence of corruption in an unfavorable party and disseminated this evidence to swing a democratic foreign election against said party" please cite an example of another election where this can be proven as something that happened. It hasn't.

Did Putin publicly admit that Russia acted to help Donald Trump? The answer to that is no. You are likely misinterpreting or misrepresenting an interview in which Putin stated Trump's more conciliatory campaign rhetoric (vs Clinton's open hostility) seemed preferable. This is as far as the "admission" went and is miles from your assertion/interpretation.

FB and Twitter's definition of Russia-linked activity is purposefully misleading. For activity to be considered Russia-linked, only ONE (not all) of the following conditions must apply. 1. The account is set up from Russian IP. 2. The account is confirmed using number with a Russian phone carrier. 3. Any services purchased are paid for in Russian currency. 4. The user has ever logged in via a Russian network, even once. 5. The user posts primarily in Russian. 6. User has a screen name spelled in the Cyrillic alphabet.
None of these things can even guarantee that a user is even Russian national, much less acting at the behest of the Russian government. If you used the wifi at Sheremtyevo during a layover between Amsterdam and Beijing and used Twitter, they'd call that Russia-linked activity.

According to Bloomberg, "Russia funneling money through the NRA" amounts to a meager $2512 donated by 23 people with Russian addresses in 2015-2018 (laughably paltry for an organization with over $433,000,000 in annual revenue), the majority is in the form of membership dues and less than half in the form of individual donations. This is hardly indicative of some giant secret funding operation, especially as there is no proof the Russian government has anything to do with this. There are an estimated 300,000 American citizens at least temporarily residing in Russia, but it's inconceivable that among them might be 23 NRA members/donors?

As for Florida, to date there's been no evidence presented. If there's no evidence, then anyone believing this only does so because they want to.

keir , August 14, 2018 at 4:39 pm

I can only assume that:
"Are the CEO's of FACEBOOK Google and Twitter also spouting lie about Russian media intereference in our elections's"
-was meant to be ironic?
If not, then what do you think these unregulated public forums and their selective censoring are really for?
An exercise in freedom of speech?
(clearly not all speech)
They are literally designed to sway public opinion (at best) and circulate the lies that corporate media is spouting.

Russian Meddling?
Why this so funny to the majority of the rest of the world is because historically America not only meddles in elections, but illegally invades and overthrows democratically elected governments and installs dictatorships (think Iran, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Ukraine and the Honduras)
The real irony is that in the 1996 Russian election under Clinton the US made sure it was their man Yeltsin that got elected.
It is psychologically easy to attach to the hysteria of Russian fear mongering, because of the history of propaganda.
"Fear Communism!"
"They are infiltrating America through worker's unions!!"
Only now they are crony capitalists just like us.

Karelian , August 14, 2018 at 5:02 pm

Bream Lynch,

No, he didn't say that. And if some media claims so, then please avoid that media in the future, as it lies to you. He answered the first part of a two-piece question. He said that he hoped Trump to win, not that he ordered people to assist Trump.

And there is no "global pattern" of Russian interference. You may remember how NSA said they watched the Russians hack Macron's email? But do you remember how soon after that France said there were no "Russian hacking" of any sort. You might also remember how the media in Germany (and in US) told that Russia was ready to hack the German elections? Do you remember how after the elections German intelligence agency said that they didn't find any Russian activities at all?

The France case:
https://apnews.com/fc570e4b400f4c7db3b0d739e9dc5d4d

And how the "trusted" NSA claimed to "saw everything":
https://www.wired.com/2017/05/nsa-director-confirms-russia-hacked-french-election-infrastructure/

The German case (you might want to use google translator):
https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/geheimdienste-bnd-keine-beweise-fuer-desinformations-kampagne-putins-1.3365839

P.S. Sorry about my English. This is not my native language :)

backwardsevolution , August 15, 2018 at 5:12 am

Karelian -- excellent English. Good job.

GM , August 14, 2018 at 5:23 pm

"Didn't Putin say publicly that his country acted to assist Donald Trump?"
No, he did not, though media pundits pretended he did for a few days and then dropped it.

Gregory Herr , August 14, 2018 at 6:32 pm

When the details come out? That's the problem -- relentless accusations for 20 months with no evidence and little detail except absurd notions about the (non) effect of click-bait ads on social media that have nothing to do with Russian government activity. What is equally absurd is the idea that the Russian Federation gives a rat's petunia about who wins a contest between Bill Nelson or Rick Scott, two all-too-similar politicians in the American mold. And of course the Russian government has an idea of how to purge just the right voters to achieve a preference! What nonsense!

With all the "information" and "disinformation" coming from a myriad of quarters trying to sell one candidate over another during our protracted election seasons, people need to get a grip about terms such as "influence" and "interference" and perhaps arrive at the perspective that amidst all the chatter and influence-peddling lies the responsibility for individual voters to separate wheat from chaff and come to a personal voting decision.

CNN and MSNBC backed Clinton to the hilt so in my disagreement should I cry "untoward influence!"? well, that's touching on another subject and I'll leave it at that.

Jean , August 14, 2018 at 10:46 pm

The fact Putin would want Trump as opposed to the war criminal Hillary who threatened war with Russia and destabilize the Middle East in a proxy war is just sanity.

Why would you believe the very same people who lied us into Iraq and worse ?

Literally

willow , August 14, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Obama traveled to the UK to urge voters to vote against Brexit. The Saudi's funded 20 percent of Hillary's campaign. yada-yada-yada

Gregory Herr , August 14, 2018 at 11:25 pm

And Obama went to France to cheerlead for Macron the week of the election. But that's exceptional -- no indispensable -- advice.

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 1:08 am

Obama wiretapped Merkel's phone!

People should really think hard about that when tossing around these horse chit lies about Russia hacking the DNC.

alley cat , August 14, 2018 at 11:54 am

Looking over the comments on Lawrence's post, I wonder if we're losing sight of the bigger picture here. Exposing the truth about a presidential candidate, whoever did it (and all the credible evidence to date points toward Seth Rich) isn't meddling, it's a public service. The DNC leak didn't threaten democracy, it promoted it by providing crucial information to the U.S. electorate. Those who claim that revealing the truth about a political candidate is a crime are the ones who constitute the real threat to democracy.

Smears, hoaxes, fabrications, and psyops are standard operating procedure for U.S. intelligence agencies. You would have to be simple to believe that these agencies would hesitate to use these same tactics against the American public when it furthers their political agenda. Just like you would have to be simple to believe that the officials running these agencies don't have a political agenda.

Russia is an obstacle to U.S. global hegemony? Blow it up, after first subverting their economy with groundless sanctions and whipping the American public into a hysterical war frenzy. That's the grand strategy behind the Russiagate hoax, the Skripal hoax, the Douma hoax, and whatever hoax they dream up next.

If President Trump is foolish enough to get in the way, he's expendable, and he knows it now if he didn't before.

Skip Scott , August 15, 2018 at 8:22 am

alley cat-

I've thought the same myself. Even if it was the evil Vlad himself who snuck into the DNC, stole the files and personally handed them to Assange, how is bringing the truth about the collusion between team Hillary and the DNC to sabotage the Sanders' campaign an "attack" on our democracy? Actually it would be a service to our democracy, and an "attack" on an evil oligarchy that was trying to subvert our democracy.

This whole "evil Ruskies" thing is just ridiculous. Our democracy has been utterly corrupted from within, and providing the truth to the voting public can never be considered an "attack", no matter the source.

Al Pinto , August 14, 2018 at 11:49 am

Quote from the article:

"The intrusion into the Democratic National Committee mail was a local download -- wherever 'local' is."

"wherever" is a wide definition. While I certainly agree that 22.6MB/s, or ~180Mb/s, does seem a lot like USB 3.0 write speed, one cannot neglect the possibility of over the network transferring the same data with the same speed.

The DNC server certainly had the bandwidth available for this transfer rate, most hosting service providers do allow ramping up the transfer rate up to 1Gb/s. Verizon and other ISPs in the New York Metropolitan area had been providing fiber connection for businesses and home users for years, with transfer rates of up to 1Gb/s. For home users the most popular speed had been 200Mb/s for years.

Please keep in mind that 8 bits = 1 Byte Notice the capitalization of the letter "B"

The 200Mb/s speed has a maximum transfer rate of 25MB/s. Knowing that the network protocol overhead uses up about 10% of the nominal speed, then the 22.6MB/s transfer rate is easily achievable remotely. And yes, "wherever that local is".

Theoretically The Russians could have hacked a PC/server, with high speed Internet access within the New York Metropolitan, hacked the DNC server from the "Zombie" system, download the archived files to the "Zombie" system and download to possibly couple of other "Zombie" systems, prior to reaching the destination in Russia. At least that's how I would have done it

Even doing so, there should have been traces of these connections in the NSA data warehouse in UTAH, possibly even capturing the transfered archived file. It would not surprise me a bit, if that's the case. The fact in itself, that there has been no such verification/capture for this connection seems to indicate that the data transfer has taken place directly on the server, via the USB port. Unless of course the NSA does not want to disclose network traces of the connection, since it might implicate a friendly country, maybe the most friendly country for the US, that would also exonerate Russia.

As for the dates of the file It seems that these files had been generated just prior to downloading the .7z archived files. The default behavior for .7z is to preserve both the folder and file creation dates, while recording the current time for the archive folder in itself. Of course, this can be changed, both during and/or after archiving

JoeD , August 14, 2018 at 12:40 pm

Ok you're a troll right? Verizon has most certainly not provided fiber connections for home users in the New York Metropolitan area. They stopped their fiber roll out A LONG TIME AGO. So no, the infrastructure does not exist.

No you don't know much about network speeds if you believe that you can have those sustained speeds all the way through the connections. If you have ever done internet speed tests you will know that your speed depends a lot on the different nodes you pass through.

"You'd need a dedicated, leased, 400 -- megabit line all the way to Russia to achieve that result," Binney said in a recent interview. "

If you can shoe me that and you have something, otherwise, you're trolling.

Al Pinto , August 14, 2018 at 3:26 pm

If anyone, you don't know much about network speeds and Verizon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verizon_FiOS

https://www.verizon.com/home/fios-fastest-internet/

For businesses, that had been mentioned, Verizon started the fiber rollout even earlier

Show me where my numbers are incorrect?

Johnmichael2 , August 14, 2018 at 4:23 pm

trollling ? I don't think you understand internet data rates nor the capabilities of hackers .. he's talking about remote control of a PC local to the DNC server with good access not a direct high speed route out of the country.
Come on folks, the great US of A has been influencing electoral politics of other nations for years by many methods. Russians are not dumb some of the best virus detection and protection comes out of Kaspersky Labs. Look up the work of Russian and eastern country information science experts; the Chinese, Israelis and Indian practitioners are no dummies either.
Open your eyes Russian and other hacking is real and 'turn about is fair play' . we ain't the rulers of the world anymore in case you didn't notice.

Rob , August 14, 2018 at 4:28 pm

This comments section is a place where people are allowed to spout their own ideas and theories, but still, I am amused by commenters who presume to have knowledge about communications technology that is somehow unknown to the likes of William Binney and other genuine experts in the field. I know that this may sound like ad hominem thinking on my part, but some of the opinions regarding technology are so simplistic that they make me laugh.

willow , August 14, 2018 at 11:04 pm

It's all good because it leads to deeper understanding of subject and makes us better able to finesse/counter/debate disinformation on forums like the Washington Post or the NYT, where
opposing views are scant and we need to push back.

michael , August 15, 2018 at 6:59 am

If the evidence existed, it would have been released in redacted form by the NSA over a year ago (although by now you would think they would have fabricated something).

Diane Rejman , August 14, 2018 at 10:50 am

I believe much of this whole "Russiagate" thing started as a disgusting and pathetic attempt to give Hillary an excuse for losing, and is now out of control, with tentacles reaching throughout our country and the world. The DNC has admitted to being cheaters. THAT should be the bigger investigation. Our right to vote should be sacred, but the DNC took all legitimacy away from it. If they thought their "chosen one" couldn't win the primary without cheating and other assistance, why would they think she could win the main election? She was a horribly bad candidate, and they won't admit this. So instead -- they came up with this whole, "My dog ate my homework" type theory. And yes -- it is very scary to think this whole Russiagate conspiracy theory has gotten out of hand, and is now too big to fail. What a ridiculous reason to create trouble with Russia!

rosemerry , August 14, 2018 at 4:25 pm

I remember Obama in his "lame-duck" period expelling Russian diplomats, stealing their US properties, starting the whole landslide of Russia-hatred when he had spent 8 years helping to reduce the seats of the Democratic Party at all levels of government by his actions. Check out the figures- Democrats lost because of their own faults.

Elizabeth Burton , August 14, 2018 at 6:12 pm

The original intent, based on the rhetoric that followed right after the Russiagate narrative was first launched, seem to have been to have the election declared invalid so they could either do it over or have HRC declared the real winner by fiat. Apparently, at some point wiser heads pointed out that wasn't Constitutionally viable, so the story was toned down to its current level then repeated over and over, per Goebbels' Law, to ensure the bulk of the public accepted it as proven fact.

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 1:22 am

don't kid yourself.
They still have the fantasy of installing their queen.
Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman professor of law and leadership at Harvard Law School.
Postulates the fantasy that Democrats win the house in 2018.
A NY congressman/woman takes the dive and resigns so Hillary can be appointed to the seat by NY governor.
And, she is then elected Speaker of the house putting her in #3 for the presidency.
Then Pence resigns a- la Spirow Agnew.
And, Trump is impeached and removed by the Senate.
Voila Herself is president.

These F'n people have lost all grip on reality.
The only people buying the Russia Russia Russia hysteria is the same people pushing it.
They are delusional.
Completely unhinged and delusional.

Stephen P , August 14, 2018 at 10:22 am

Suzie Dawson and Chris Hedges discuss elite power five weeks ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zzcDELakRM

Jim other , August 14, 2018 at 1:07 pm

Thank you for this video!

jean , August 14, 2018 at 3:18 pm

Thank you, Stephen P!
I'll tweet it, to remind people of what Assange has done.

Peter Bowen , August 14, 2018 at 10:08 am

Your excellent discussion is only lacking the role of British intelligence. See "The fish stinks from the head down" by Barbara Boyd at LaRouchePAC.com.

anastasia , August 14, 2018 at 9:49 am

Guccifer is a manipulator and a fabricator, and time and location cannot be determined? Yet, Guccifer leaves fingerprints of the Russians, in Cyrillic letters. If Guccifer is a manipulator and a fabricator, deliberately leaving fingerprints of the Russians, one need only ask, who in the world would want to pin the blame on the Russians for election interference in the US, and for what reason would they want to do such a thing. When that question is answered, you narrow down who is behind it all.

xeno , August 14, 2018 at 9:47 am

The American public has been living in a cloud of mis- and dis- information for decades. This isn't new.

Since Trump came on the political scene a couple years ago and scared the big money and big power "elite", it has become more obvious and extreme.

Christian Chuba , August 14, 2018 at 8:10 am

If the hack narrative is ever refuted, the IC community will just fallback to 'Russians are still attacking our democracy with facebook posts', aren't we the fragile, hot house plants. Still I would love to see the truth come out someday, whatever that may be.

This other article makes a convincing case that the first set of Russians indicted by Mueller were just commercial scammers, not spy masters from the Kremlin http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html
I hate that he is an anonymous blogger who calls himself 'Moon of Alabama' but dang, he just writes so well.

The last set of accusations centers around hacking voter registration servers which is reported as 'Russians hacking state elections'.
I've wondered if this is just another commercial enterprise where hackers are just doing routine identity theft, not nice, but not a state enterprise.

I remember Putin wanting to have a treaty with the U.S. to clamp down on all international hacking but that would require reciprocity and this would prevent our infiltration of their systems. This never gets any mention in our MSM.

Chucky LeRoi , August 14, 2018 at 4:19 pm

Just a very small point Christian. The blogger at MOA is hardly anonymous. Click the "about this blog" link on the site. I even have his home address for donations

F. G. Sanford , August 14, 2018 at 7:58 am

Observations I have shared here in the past have had little impact on the grand scheme of things, so it is with little hope that I comment today. Arguments become complex and tortured, esoteric even to the point of grasping at philosophical abstractions which, in the end, bear no resemblance to the actual events.

We are asked to believe that Russian "insiders" fed information damaging to Candidate Trump to Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, who then concocted the "dossier". This would serve to subvert his electability, and failing that, would provide an "insurance policy" to insure that his Presidency would be nonviable. In the same breath, we are asked to believe that those same Russians who sabotaged Mr. Trump's credibility -- wait for it -- manipulated the election to insure that his opponent would lose. Either strategy would result in an outcome unfavorable to Russia. Either Pence would assume leadership after an engineered coup, or Clinton would have won. Neither outcome benefits the Russians. YOU SIMPLY CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. All of this ignores what I and others observed long before the election: Hillary Clinton was the most repugnant candidate the DNC could possibly have chosen. Gotta give it to COL Lawrence Wilkerson, who stated frankly: "I just don't think she's electable".

Without all the ontological baggage, "Fideism" simply refers to articles of religious faith. Religion cares not a wit for evidence. In fact, it relies on the rejection of common logic in favor of "faith", itself the polar opposite of empirical, evidence-based thinking.

When news outlets of the day smeared, fabricated, edited, misrepresented and outright lied about Jim Garrison's case regarding the JFK assassination, the affronts to his integrity became so egregious and so obvious that, under the "Fairness Doctrine", he was granted a thirty minute rebuttal on one of the major television networks. To paraphrase, he said, "The American public has been sold a children's fairytale. But we are not children, and as adults, the consequences of believing such nonsense will be devastating. We will eventually lose our democracy".

Garrison's prediction has come to pass. We now vehemently defend fairytales as reality collapses in front of our very eyes.

Bob Van Noy , August 14, 2018 at 8:52 am

Thanks F. G. Sanford for the very appropriate referral to Jim Garrison. It was his dedication in the face of near impossible odds that convinced me to dedicate myself to fighting the ongoing battle for honesty and justice with respect to JFK's Assassination. When I remember the lifelong dedication of Jim Garrison, Fletcher Prouty, and the many totally dedicated Journalists, Researchers, and Public Servants like William Binney, I'm encouraged that the Truth will yet win out

Bob H , August 14, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Somehow I think Christopher Steele is the link to all of Russiagate. He was the head of Mi6's Russia Desk and "held the hand" of the dying Alexander Litvinenko(the 1st alleged poison victim of Putin), he was still around for the mysterious suicide of Dr. Kelley, he was hired by Fusion GP3, first by the GOP, then by the Dems to dig up dirt on Trump. He was then hired by Crowdstrike to clean up the DNC server(denied to the FBI). His association with Portman Down might well connect him with the Skripal poisonings.

jdd , August 14, 2018 at 4:36 pm

You are on target. In fact there is speculation that Skripal may have been one of the infamous "sources" of Steele's salacious dossier. In any case, Skripal was recruited to MI6 by one Pablo Miller, during the time Steele was undercover in Moscow, and who in addition to living near Skripal, was employed by Orbis, Steele's Private Intelligence firm. Interestingly,according to the Telegraph, Miller's association with Orbis has since been removed from his linkedin profile.Steele also pops up in a key role in conjunction with State's Victoria Nuland and Jonathan Winer in the violent 2014 coup against the elected government of Ukraine. where he began surveillance of Paul Manafort, and was later involved,along with his boss richarad Dearlove of MI6, in the targeting of Mike Flynn, Carter Page and George Papadopolous, the intended entrapment of the last two occurring on British soil, and then fed into the FBI by John Brennan.

Bob Herrschaft , August 14, 2018 at 10:24 pm

jdd if you have a link for Steele's connection with the 2014 Ukraine coup, I would appreciate it if you would post it here thanks

rosemerry , August 14, 2018 at 4:28 pm

No wonder Reagan got rid of the "Fairness Doctrine". The US MSM could not survive it these days.

I wonder too how many people remember the McCarthy times, which seem to have returned with a vengeance without the commies!!

GM , August 14, 2018 at 5:32 pm

Re Wilkerson "I just don't think she's electable".
This might be a good time to remind readers that HRC has never won a contested election in her life.

David G , August 15, 2018 at 8:49 am

She was twice elected to the U.S. Senate with opponents on the ballot, and had to win contested primaries both times.

It doesn't speak very well of the people of New York that she won all those races, but in what sense were they not "contested elections", at least in the limited sense that applies to U.S. politics generally?

GKJames , August 14, 2018 at 7:02 am

(1) Does this set an impossibly high bar? Assuming one can navigate the technological intricacies -- the point about transfer speeds seems reasonable enough -- can't one equally conclude that there is compelling evidence of Russia's ongoing (over years) cyber-operations against a number of countries? Certainly, there is the counter-argument, Well, you've not proved anything. True enough, but in terms of crafting policies, we're never dealing with a proof-beyond-reasonable-doubt standard. And even if we agreed that DNC emails were leaked (by Americans) rather than hacked by Russians, that wouldn't be the end of the inquiry, would it?

(2) Reasonable people will agree that hysteria should not drive policy. But hasn't US policy -- especially in connection with the country's relationship with the rest of the world -- been driven by exactly that, more often than not, for eons? The Infotainment Complex recognized long ago that there are profits to be made by luring eyeballs. The particular flavor may vary with time (Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Mexico, etc.), but the hysteria itself is ever-present. Today's flavor happens to be Russia, a perennial best-seller that benefits a variety of domestic constituencies, not least the Threat Industry. Whether the public is being manipulated or simply getting what it wants is an open question. My own view is that, by and large, very little happens without the public's (even if only tacit) support.

(3) US foreign policy has always been an extension of domestic politics. Politicians taking sensible positions invariably would be flogged by power-seekers for being "soft" on some contrived evil. Reality, especially the nuanced kind, has rarely played much of a role. Nor has self-reflection. Neither Washington nor the public it ostensibly serves show a capacity for asking, What might explain Russia's position on, for instance, Crimea, Ukraine, and Georgia? The cavalier decision to expand NATO eastward to Russia's border as THE source of Moscow's resentment -- shared by a large proportion of the Russian public -- simply doesn't compute in American minds. That non-computation is bipartisan; it's simply how an empire does things.

(4) What remains strikingly elusive is a public exploration of how/why information on social media was found persuasive by American voters, irrespective of who planted the information. If it hadn't been Russians, would the November 2016 outcome have been different? Unlikely. A cursory look at the on-line world makes it obvious that ignorance is the coin of the realm, and that Americans do just fine in that regard all on their own.

All to say that the contentiousness among the world's powers will stay with us. As will the national myth-making. The best that can be hoped for is that there is enough self-restraint all around to keep in check the worst of the insanity.

mike k , August 14, 2018 at 8:02 am

GK -- Your comment can be summed up as: Nothing new here, get used to it -- there's nothing we can do about it. Really? The establishment would dearly love for all of us to adopt your ho hum attitude.

GKJames , August 14, 2018 at 9:08 am

Am suggesting that the problem facing what's left of the republic is far greater than a hack/leak case, "collusion", or even the Nov '16 outcome. The American mind needs re-wiring, something that Americans had better do themselves if they don't want a changing geopolitical landscape to do it for them. Sure, there are (always have been) people with a clue, but they tend to be outnumbered, now more than ever as widely cheered appeals to the visceral have taken over the ethos of government itself. Problem is, the opposition (at least at national leadership levels) to the current administration is mired in incoherence, obsessed to distraction with the obviously woeful personal qualities of the president, and devoid of imagination (the realistic kind). In other words, liberal democracy as we've known it since 1945 and imperfect as it's been, is under threat. And the threat doesn't come from Russia, but from half of a population no longer persuaded that it's the only viable way of sustaining the grand experiment. Concerns with anything less than that strike me as a matter of nibbling at the edges and avoiding what we really need to do: look at ourselves and stop pointing fingers at whatever "others" we can conjure as the source of our troubles.

Ray McGovern , August 14, 2018 at 10:56 am

Dear GK,

Thanks for both your comments and the wider perspective they offer.

Ray

JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 14, 2018 at 6:45 am

A further thought.

We have, of course, someone who can precisely and accurately answer any question in the matter.

Unfortunately, he is more or less imprisoned at the behest of your American government.

And should he be turned out of his current situation, he faces certain extradition to the US where he faces ugly treatment and a long prison term.

Such are the realities of American power in the world today.

By the way, his name is Julian Assange.

And the Democratic Party's own candidate, Ms Clinton, was quoted in her charming fashion, "Can't we just drone him or something?"

Of course, it was in line with many ugly statements by Clinton, as the one, after Qaddafi's assassination -- a man who did his best for his people and kept them in peace -- "We came, we saw, he died! Ha ha ha!"

It isn't just Trump who has a filthy mouth and constantly tells lies.

It is the whole American power establishment.

There is no easy solution, at least not in our time.

Powerful people who are determined to do terrible things will do them.

The total stakes for America's power establishment are too big for any argument or evidence to turn it around.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 14, 2018 at 6:28 am

But this is just the way American politicians have learned to deal with any adverse finding about almost anything, especially in foreign affairs.

They just ignore it.

"How far will we allow our government to escalate against others without proof of anything?" is a reader quote cited by the author.

But I ask, first, what the "allow" is doing in there?

Just what options, what real power, do average Americans have today? My best guess is that it is close to zero.

Yes, you're still free, at least for a little while, to write and speak words, words, and more words. But their net effect on the giant engine that is the American power establishment is close to zero also.

And perhaps before long -- given events like the Alex Jones creepy stunts -- you may not even be able to utter the words.

The stupid, endless stuff about Russia and hacks is just one small battle front of a huge multi-front war being waged by the American power establishment for world supremacy.

If you want to understand the engines driving all this, read:

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/

willow , August 14, 2018 at 11:29 pm

The censorship extends to the alternative commentators too. KPFA, Pacifica radio, which hosts Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, just removed a long running program, Guns & Butter hosted by Bonnie Falkner because she recently dared to discuss verboten subjects, i.e., Zionism.

Gregory Herr , August 15, 2018 at 12:10 am

I was hoping she was vacationing. I'll miss her interviews with people like William Pepper, William Engdahl, the Saker, and many others. What a disappointment.

exiled off mainstreet , August 15, 2018 at 2:53 am

They'd rather stick with establishment shills, which is what Amy Goodman has evolved into as a serial apologist for yankee war crimes in the middle east.

exiled off mainstreet , August 15, 2018 at 2:51 am

Great articles; great responses; great website. You've accurately described the true nature of the present day yankee imperium in your responses and articles.

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 4:22 am

Thank Dog our wonderful elites in the halls of power are spending millions; if not hundreds of millions of dollars on Russiafarce.
Instead of frittering it away on hardening the electrical grid to an EMP.

I feel so represented and cared for by our illustrious elites

David G , August 14, 2018 at 3:12 am

Ok, here's my technical question, which is not calculated to make me very popular around here.

Suppose the following:

Somebody (the Russians, the Samoans, elves, whoever) did in fact hack the DNC computer for these emails, and this was done at the expected, relatively slow download rate. They then may or may not have manipulated the data or metadata in some fashion on their own machine. The somebody then uploaded these files onto a USB flash drive, and then re-downloaded them onto another computer at the high transfer rate noted by the VIPS. From this second computer they were sent on to Wikileaks (or some intermediary).

Does the VIPS analysis preclude this scenario? If not, is it possible that they are correct about the download rate, but still have not excluded the possibility that the initial taking of the emails from the DNC was done by hack?

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 3:54 am

The disseminator (wikileaks/Julian Assange) of those LEAKED emails has already answered the question.
He has unequivocally stated that the emails were leaked; Not hacked.
NOTHING Wikileaks has released or claimed has ever been found to be false.

Kim Dotcom also claims to have intimate knowledge of the leak.
Both have offered to give testimony in this entire farce investigation
Yet, the grand inquisitor, Mueller the 9/11 and Anthrax, coverup artist refuses to interview them.
That alone should tell you what is really going on.

David G , August 14, 2018 at 4:07 am

So you're saying there's nothing in the VIPS analysis that refutes the scenario I outlined? Just those unrelated statements, upon which VIPS did not rely?

I'd be surprised if that's the case, but I'm waiting to hear from someone with useful knowledge on the subject. That doesn't seem to be you.

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 1:40 pm

That "someone" with the most knowledge on the subject has already spoken. His name is Julian Assange and he flat out said it came from a leak not a hack.

Who else do you think is more qualified to make a statement on the hack than Julian himself?

gratification , August 14, 2018 at 4:56 am

So what you're saying is that these cunning Russians faked the metadata on the DNC download (or whatever it was) so as to obfuscate the fact that it was them but left other "Russian fingerprints" -- such as cyrillic text -- that pointed to them? Baldrickian cunning! It's beyond my simple mind.

https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/04/new-analysis-by-the-forensicator-examines-russian-fingerprints-left-by-guccifer-2-0/

David G , August 14, 2018 at 5:34 am

I'm not saying anything like that.

What I'm *asking* is how the VIPS analysis can tell that the download (or upload, whatever) speed that they are relying on was from the *beginning* of the data's journey to Wikileaks (i.e. the initial transfer from the DNC server), which is what is required to prove their thesis, rather than from some subsequent step along the way?

I'm not crediting myself with any genius in bringing up this point. It seems like a fairly obvious challenge to make to the VIPS analysis, and I'm sure it's been made elsewhere.

I imagine the VIPS have dealt with this question long ago somewhere or other, but I've never run across it and am hoping someone here has the technical chops to enlighten me.

In the mean time, how about everybody else stop trying to mischaracterize my question or throw irrelevant (to this specific issue) facts at me?

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 7:28 am

I am also no technocrat.
My understanding is that any hack or leak leaves "fingerprints" in the files.
Both the original and the target files.

Thus, in the case of the scenario you propose -- earlier hacks that were amalgamated and transformed into one large leak (I think this is your scenario) -- there would be fingerprints of the earlier hacks.

AFAIK no allegations or evidence have been put forth concerning earlier suspicious hacks that could have been transformed into one large, fast leak.

We need to look at the very strong possibility that the real purpose of Mueller's investigation is to hide something, not reveal something. That is the strong record of his CV.

Can someone tell me whether a person who has posted regularly in the past and who wants to post here must enter name and email address afresh with each and every post?

Or is it just me?

David G , August 14, 2018 at 7:44 am

Well, what you say may well be true, Litchfield, but it still seems to me to be external to the VIPS point about internet download-speed limitations, upon which -- based on Patrick Lawrence's article -- they seem to be hanging a great deal, especially since they now acknowledge that "[t]he conclusions initially drawn on time and location in VIPS50 are now subject to these recent discoveries" (i.e. have been brought into question).

So I think my question stands.

I too now have to re-enter name and email with each post, and I also was wondering whether it was just me. Guess not. Maybe an anti-spam thing?

Skip Scott , August 14, 2018 at 11:39 am

Litchfield-

The re-entry of your personal data started a couple weeks ago. I believe it is a safety precaution so that your personal email address is no longer stored by CN. I could be wrong.

Tom Welsh , August 14, 2018 at 8:41 am

As I understand your question, you are asking whether some information may not have been tracelessly stolen from the DNC server quite separately from the transfer to an external device described by VIPS.

My first reaction to this is that, obviously, any information could be copied from any computer at any time by any person -- but if the operation left no traces, nobody could know that it ever took place.

The only data that investigators have to go on are the files provided by Wikileaks and the logs and other records of the DNC server itself. As far as I know, those point only to one download -- that described by VIPS and this article.

Incidentally, you have reversed the usual meanings of "upload" and "download". Conventionally, one downloads data from a repository or database, and uploads to it.

Tom Welsh , August 14, 2018 at 8:50 am

Having had a look at https://disobedientmedia.com/2017/07/new-research-shows-guccifer-2-0-files-were-copied-locally-not-hacked/ which explains the forensic methods used to derive the download speeds, I admit that my first comment was inaccurate.

The files used were in fact not those provided by Wikileaks. The article linked to above states that,

'The Forensicator specifically discusses the data that was eventually published by Guccifer 2.0 under the title "NGP-VAN." This should not be confused with the separate publication of the DNC emails by Wikileaks'.

The file copy times were derived from a compressed archive containing all the files of interest. You can see a partial picture of the archive listing in the linked article.

David G , August 14, 2018 at 9:43 am

I appreciate your comments, Tom Welsh, but I feel I am just foundering deeper in confusion.

To be clear, I wasn't "asking whether some information may not have been tracelessly stolen from the DNC server quite separately from the transfer to an external device described by VIPS." At least, I didn't mean to ask that.

I want to know specifically why the VIPS are sure that the speedy download/upload rate they build their case on happened exactly when the data left the DNC server, and not at some later point in their history. The VIPS argument depends on the former being the case.

The article you link to in fact *does* speak to this point, which is great, but as you say it specificies that it is *not* about the DNC files that ended up at Wikileaks.

But this Patrick Lawrence article has William Binney "examin[ing] all the metadata associated with the files [Guccifer] 2.0 has made public" without making any distinction between that and the DNC/ Wikileaks files.

I guess I really don't have a handle on the essential details here.

While I like reading Patrick Lawrence's reflections on statecraft, I think he may have been out of his depth here. There's nothing here that clarifies these questions, and that's without even mentioning the passages that are confusing on their own, such as the paragraph about how "G-2.0" somehow "merged" two sets of data into two sets of data.

I realized my use of "download" (vs. "upload") was off after my initial comment, and have tried to avoid it in the later ones, but Binney himself is quoted using it in the "reversed" sense in the article, and I took my lead from that.

Skip Scott , August 14, 2018 at 11:37 am

David G-

Here is a good video of Bill Binney explaining the merged data sets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe1movhtIfA

As to your other question, it is my understanding that ALL transfer of files leaves metadata, and Bill Binney and the Forensicator have backtracked the metadata to the original download that was of a speed only possible (at that time and place) locally via a storage device.

David G , August 14, 2018 at 2:29 pm

Thanks, Skip Scott. That's helpful.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 8:23 pm

I thought that there were two incidents concerning hacks/leaks, which some people are conflating.

1. *Leak* of files from DNC computers. This info ended up being given to Wikileaks by a person w ho is known to both Craig Murray and Julian Assange
.
2. *Hack* of Hillary's private email server, including emails that should not have been on a private server. And that there is some speculation that the Chinese hacked into Hillary's private server.

Am I wrong about that?

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 4:23 am

"*Hack* of Hillary's private email server, including emails that should not have been on a private server. And that there is some speculation that the Chinese hacked into Hillary's private server.

Am I wrong about that?"

Not wrong.
Any intelligence agency and every intelligence agency, including 3rd world rate, were in and out of Hillary's paper MCSE server set up.
FFS Brian Pagliano was busted asking for help on how to delete files on Reddit.

Aaron Schwartz got the last laugh!
And, we all got a few more years of an unradiated planet.
Well, so long as you pretend like the MSM does that Fukushima is a mass fertilaztion event.

David G , August 15, 2018 at 9:04 am

Litchfield --

It's reasonable to assume that Clinton's home server was compromised by any number of intelligence agencies, but that's not connected to any of the emails that have been publicly released -- because they're spies and Wikileaks is journalism, no matter how much U.S. pols and their stooges want to pretend otherwise.

Part of the Russia-gate snow job is to confuse this matter, though -- for instance by pretending references by Trump on the campaign trail to "Hilary's emails" were actually about the DNC and Podesta leaks.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 8:12 pm

" other records of the DNC server itself"

I thought that no one had been able to get their hands on the DNC servers -- the DNC had not turned them over to law enforcement or the FBI -- to do forensics on them.
Am I wrong about that?

backwardsevolution , August 15, 2018 at 2:22 am

Litchfield -- no, you've got it right, the DNC servers have not been forensically examined by the FBI. They were given to Crowdstrike to examine, if you can believe it.

Desert Dave , August 14, 2018 at 11:48 am

One thing has been bugging me about Binney's argument. Yes, it is nearly impossible for someone in Russia to transfer the files that quickly. But who's to say the "hacker" was not much closer to the DNC server, somewhere near DC?

They then transported the files via thumb drive or (more likely) portable disk drive to Wikileaks.

Mind you, I desperately want Binney to be right, and for the whole charade to fall apart, but this seems to be a weakness in his forensic argument.

David G , August 14, 2018 at 2:57 pm

My understanding has been that the VIPS are saying any internet upload at the recorded rate would have been impossible under the applicable conditions, even a local one. Despite the Binney quote in this piece referring to a "dedicated, leased, 400 -- megabit line all the way to Russia", I hadn't thought that's really their argument. Am I wrong?

In any case, without any expertise myself, I'm inclined to trust them on that, at least provisionally, but it's true that at this point the VIPS seem to be resting their entire thesis on that one point -- there's not a lot of redundancy (in the good sense) there.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 8:15 pm

"Despite the Binney quote in this piece referring to a "dedicated, leased, 400 -- megabit line all the way to Russia", I hadn't thought that's really their argument. Am I wrong?"

I think you are right. That is my understanding. That any upload/download over the Internet would be much slower than a transfer to a flash drive.

I thought the mention of the 400-megabit line to Russia was a bit of hyperbole designed to show how ridiculous the upload over internet scenario is.

Curious , August 16, 2018 at 1:11 am

Litchfield,
Although you are not a 'techie' the bottom line is not proximity. One can be in the same room and not duplicate the speed of transfer. The internet is set up with limitations inherent in the technology available.
As a personal reference, doing the Olympics in Italy, we had our own 'home run fiber' with our fiber run to NY with copper as a backup. I do not have William Binneys' skills and tech savvy, but I do know as a different techie we could not create anywhere close to the speed this argument entails. And when on our 'home run' fiber from the US to Italy we had speed issues, not because of the fiber links, but the interfaces that terminate the ends of the fiber. This is important even for a non techie. If one doesn't have the latest and greatest fiber interface, or (god help us) copper pairs, the speed is dependent on the termination of the lines.
This hacking thing is as bogus as the world has seen, mainly because a lot of people don'y Know the difference between a hack and a leak, and would have to put down too many beers to learn.
Given what I know, I would trust Mr Binney to tell us what is possible, and again, it is not proximity, nor super copper pairs, fiber, not sat feeds. He, above others probably built what we now use randomly and he knows what is possible. This is just a suggestion to trust a man with his experience which is uncommon to those who have not built systems in their lives, and can only question without tech info.

Desert Dave , August 14, 2018 at 6:13 pm

Actually I think they underestimate some because to transmit a byte serially takes 10 bits total because there is overhead (start and stop bits). So 49.1 MBps is about 491 Mbps.

Was a 491 Mbps network connected to the DNC computer? Probably not (that's very fast) but it could be easily verified if the FBI or anybody else cared about the truth.

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 1:53 pm

What you don't seem to be able to grasp is that "manipulating" the "data" or "metadata" would leave fingerprints of the manipulation as well.
As was demonstrated by the VIPS being able to discern that the Guccifer 2.0 data was actually 2 seperate batches of data "manipulated" into one set.

I left any snark I have for you in my head and not on the keyboard.
I ask that you do the same in the future so we can have an adult conversation on the subject and not an emotionally filled rant.

nonsense like "I'd be surprised if that's the case, but I'm waiting to hear from someone with useful knowledge on the subject. That doesn't seem to be you." is petty and childish.

David G , August 14, 2018 at 2:40 pm

You should also consider leaving in your head aspersions such as telling people who are honestly seeking information that they are not "able to grasp" things.

Compare your aggressive approach to helpful attempts at addressing my question from Litchfield, Tom Welsh, and Skip Scott (so far).

You seem like a wants-the-last-word kind of person. Looking forward to reading it.

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 4:21 pm

I was quite polite to you in my first response.
You drew first blood.

Your question has been answered.
Any attempt to adjust the metadata would be traceable as was demonstrated by the 2 data sets being discovered as merged into 1 data set.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 8:25 pm

Why not be perfectly polite in all responses?
What is this "first blood" nonsense?
Grow up!!!

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 1:45 am

@Litchfield
"Why not be perfectly polite in all responses?"

Perhaps you could ask your buddy that same question.

"Grow up!!!"

Introspection
Learn it!
Live it!

backwardsevolution , August 15, 2018 at 3:12 am

Litchfield -- there are many people who come on sites like this, pretending to be novices, when their real objective is to place doubt in everybody's minds. That is their plan, to create confusion, obfuscate. Of course these people have the right to question what VIPS has discovered, but notice what they never ask for:

1) where are the DNC servers?

2) why haven't the DNC servers been handed over to the FBI?

3) why did the FBI accept Crowdstrike's analysis of the DNC servers?

4) why don't we allow VIPS access to these servers, along with the FBI, so that a complete analysis can be done?

5) why don't we allow VIPS access to NSA data in order to follow the evidence from beginning to end?

VIPS are doing the best job they can with what they have, but they are left with trying to piece a puzzle together. Let's get our hands on the real data.

We can't know whether David G is sincere in his questions or whether he's just trying to discredit VIPS (yes, that is the real objective of some people). I have my own opinion, but I'll keep that to myself.

David G , August 15, 2018 at 9:18 am

backwardsevolution --

I don't think you did a particularly good job about keeping your opinion about me to yourself here.

I didn't ask the questions you list because I was asking about something germane to this specific article which I wanted to learn more about.

If you equate that with a "plan, to create confusion, obfuscate", then how are you different from our members of Congress who are delegitimizing everybody who questions their preferred narrative?

Bluesugartribe , August 14, 2018 at 2:00 am

I couldn't agree more. Lockeed Martin and the numerous Political sellouts as well as the War merchants, including corporate media, need another Russian cold war to justify getting enormous government contracts that keep them glutinously feeding from the troth. This fake Russian narrative seems to tie the President's hands until the mid-terms
where they hope to flip the house and stop the investigation by the House Intel committee and politically damage him with impeachment and then to oust him in the 2020 election while setting the narrative to justify Cold War 2.0

alley cat , August 14, 2018 at 1:27 am

U.S. neoconservatism is just the latest permutation of imperialism that has plagued us since the dawn of human history. Thucydides documented the blind greed and pig-headedness that destroyed Greek civilization almost two and a half millennia ago in his History of the Peloponnesian War :

"What made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta."

And from Pericles' speech to the Athenians:

"And do not imagine that what we are fighting for is simply the question of freedom or slavery: there is also involved the loss of our empire and the dangers arising from the hatred which we have incurred in administering it. Nor is it any longer possible for you to give up this empire, though there may be some people who in a mood of sudden panic and in a spirit of political apathy actually think that this would be a fine and noble thing to do. Your empire is now like a tyranny: it may have been wrong to take it; it is certainly dangerous to let it go."

Add half a cup of Goebbels and Bernays sauce and a heaping tablespoon of hysteria to Pericles' recipe for Armageddon, and voila ! you have a deadly dish of yellow journalism like the one served up by the Washington Post editorial of Feb. 6, 2003:

"Irrefutable

After Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's presentation to the United Nations Security Council yesterday, it is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. . . .

. . . .Diplomats from these nations [e.g., France and Germany] do not dispute Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's assertion that "any country on the face of the Earth with an active intelligence program knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

. . . .None say Iraq has complied [with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441]. Until now, however, they have cynically argued that the inspectors must uncover evidence proving what they already know, or that it's too early to judge Saddam Hussein's cooperation. Mr. Powell's presentation stripped all credibility from that dodge."

All a perfect iteration of the law of the lynch mob: We don't need no stinkin' evidence, everyone knows they're guilty!

Ray McGovern , August 14, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Dear alley cat,

Good points, all. Thanks.

(I keep learning a whole lot from the many knowledgeable people who comment here. Please, nobody stop!)

Ray

alley cat , August 14, 2018 at 4:59 pm

Many thanks to you Ray for all you are doing and have done.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 8:26 pm

Dear Ray,

So many thanks for all you do. And for always showing a pleasant demeanor.

David G , August 15, 2018 at 9:33 am

"Bernays sauce" is good.

I watched Powell's U.N. presentation live. Even on its face -- before the specific falsehoods had been exposed -- it was so obviously feeble, yet the media unanimously praised it as irresistibly convincing. This left a lasting impression on me, and it came to mind a few weeks ago during the stupefying media meltdown following the Trump-Putin Helsinki summit.

[Aug 18, 2018] Is Russia an Adversary by Gary Leupp

Notable quotes:
"... The Russians were not pleased by U.S.-NATO involvements in the former Yugoslavia, a traditional Russian ally, in 1995 and 1999, and the expansion of NATO in the latter year (to include Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary) in violation of the agreement between Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 that in return for Russia's acceptance of German reunification NATO would not spread "one inch" towards Russia. They protested meekly. But Russia was not an adversary then. ..."
"... Nor was it an adversary when, in 2001, under its new president Vladimir Putin, it offered NATO a route through Russia to provision forces in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. The real change only came in 2004, when NATO suddenly expanded to include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. This brought alliances forces right to the Russian border. ..."
"... We are your adversary. ..."
"... Russia is an adversary. ..."
"... Russia is an adversary. ..."
"... He worked with our adversary to undermine our election. ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | dissidentvoice.org

Or, What's Wrong with Russian Collusion?

The question is finally being asked, by the president himself: what's wrong with collusion? Or at least his lawyer asks the question, while Trumps tweets:

Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn't matter because there was No Collusion.

The problem, of course, is that of collusion with an alleged adversary. Russia, we are constantly informed, is one such adversary, indeed the main state adversary, with Putin is its head.

Adversary is a very strong term. The Hebrew word for adversary is Satan. Satan is the ultimate symbol of evil in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Satan tempted Eve at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, causing her to eat the fruit, and so evil entered the world.

Just like some want you to think that evil entered the (good, pristine) U.S. electoral process due to this Russian adversary in 2016.

(Sometimes listening to TV pundits vilifying Putin I find Luther's famous hymn floating through my head:

For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe.
His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.

Luther's referring to Satan, of course. But the current mythology around Putin -- as someone who still , like Lenin and Stalin before him, and the tsars of old, wishes us harm; is an unbridled dictator with a powerful great nuclear arsenal; is the wealthiest man on earth; and hates democracy -- resembles the mythology around the Adversary in the Bible.)

But let us problematize this vilification. When did Russia become a U.S. adversary? Some might say 1917 when in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution Moscow became the center of the global communist movement. But surely that period ended in 1991 with the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.

Throughout the 1990s the U.S. cultivated Boris Yeltsin's Russia as a friend and even aided the drunken buffoon in winning the 1996 election. Bill Clinton and Yeltsin signed the Start II treaty. Harvard professors advised Moscow on economic reform.

The Russians were not pleased by U.S.-NATO involvements in the former Yugoslavia, a traditional Russian ally, in 1995 and 1999, and the expansion of NATO in the latter year (to include Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary) in violation of the agreement between Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 that in return for Russia's acceptance of German reunification NATO would not spread "one inch" towards Russia. They protested meekly. But Russia was not an adversary then.

Nor was it an adversary when, in 2001, under its new president Vladimir Putin, it offered NATO a route through Russia to provision forces in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. The real change only came in 2004, when NATO suddenly expanded to include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. This brought alliances forces right to the Russian border.

It was a clear statement by the U.S. to a friendly country: We are your adversary. But, of course, the Pentagon and State Department always pooh-poohed Russian concerns, denying that NATO targeted any particular country.

Four years later (2008) NATO announced intentions to draw Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance. Meanwhile the U.S. recognized Kosovo as an independent state. Kosovo, the historical heart of Serbian civilization, had been wrenched from Serbia in 1999 under the pretext of a "humanitarian" intervention that included the first bombing (by NATO) of a European capital city since 1945. The province had been converted into a vast NATO base.

Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, emboldened by the prospect of NATO membership and western backing, attacked the capital of the separatist republic of South Ossetia, provoking (as the Russians explain it) a proper punitive response: the Russo-Georgian War of August 7-16 . After this Moscow recognized South Ossetia and a second breakaway republic, Abkhazia, in a tit-for-tat response to Washington's recognition of Kosovo.

Now Russia was labelled an aggressive power -- by the power that had carved up Yugoslavia, and invaded and occupied Iraq on the basis of lies and killed half a million in the process. Plans to include Georgia in NATO had to be put on hold, in large part due to European allies' opposition (why provoke Russia?) but the U.S. intensified efforts to draw in Ukraine. That meant toppling the anti-NATO elected president Viktor Yanukovych.

The U.S. State Department devoted enormous resources to the Maidan coup in Kiev on February 23, 2014. Its agents helped topple the government, ostensibly for its failure to negotiate an agreement for Ukrainian associate membership in the EU, but really to bring pro-NATO forces to power and expel the Russian Fleet from the Crimean Peninsula where it has been based since 1783. Moscow's limited support for the Donbass ethnic-Russian separatists and re-annexation of Crimea were, of course, depicted by the U.S. as more aggression, more mischievous opposition to "U.S. global interests."

But from Moscow's point of view these moves have surely been defensive. The main problem is (obviously) NATO and its dangerous, unnecessary and provocative expansion. Throughout his presidential campaign Trump questioned the continued "relevance" of NATO. Characteristically he focused on budget issues and allies' failure to meet the goal figure of 2% if GDP for military expenses (misleadingly depicting investment shortfalls as a betrayal and rip-off of the victimized U.S.). But he did -- to the alarm of many, and probably to Moscow's delight -- express little enthusiasm for the alliance's historical purpose.

The most rational proposition Trump voiced before his election that the U.S. should "get along" with Russia. That is, get along with the so-called adversary. Trump as we all know had been in Russia on business, hosting the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013, and maintains interest in building a Trump Tower in the city. He has met and befriended Russian oligarchs. He quite possibly sees Russia as just another country, like Germany or France.

If "the French" had had dirt on Hillary, would it have been okay to "collude" with them to influence the election result? France is, of course, a NATO ally. Would that make it different? Now that the president and his layers are openly questioning whether "collusion", per se, is even illegal, the specific nature of the colluder becomes more relevant.

Russia is an adversary.

Russia is an adversary.

Putin in Helsinki acknowledged to a reporter that he had hoped Trump could win, because he had expressed hope for better relations. He might have added that he dreaded the prospect of a Hillary victory because of her warmongering and characterization of him as a Hitler. Naturally the Russian media favored Trump over Clinton at a certain point when he emerged as a credible candidate. So when Trump on July 27, 2016 called on Russia to release Hillary's missing emails ("if you've got 'em") the Russians probably felt invited to make contact through channels. And when informed that they had dirt, Don Jr. wrote: "If that's what you say, I love it." (Who can blame him?)

Let's say there was some collusion after the June 6 Trump Tower meeting. Trump has suddenly acknowledged that the meeting with the Russians was indeed to "seek political dirt." He adds that this is "totally legal," and this may be true. Some are now saying that Don Jr. may have violated a federal statute (52 USC 30121, 36 USC 5210) forbidding any foreign person to "make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.' and for anyone to knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by [this law]." But the language is vague. If a Canadian speechwriter works gratis for a U.S. political candidate, in order to help him or her win, is this not "a thing of value" intended to affect an election?

If Paul Manafort, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner had met with Canadian agents in Trump Tower I doubt there would have been any controversy. The fact is, Trump won the election and many of those stunned by that wish to undermine him using revived Cold War-type Russophobia. They insist: He worked with our adversary to undermine our election. And now they hope they've got him on this charge.

*****

Five years ago a young man named Edward Snowden (now living in forced exile in Russia) revealed to the world the extent of the U.S.'s global surveillance. He showed us how the NSA wiretaps EU meetings, popes' conversations, Angela Merkel's cell phone and maintains metadata on virtually all U.S. residents. He showed us what the contemporary advanced state can do in this respect. We should suppose that Moscow has, if not similar capacity, at least enough expertise to hack into the DNC emails or John Podesta's g-mail account. Is that surprising?

What none of the TV anchors is allowed to say needs to be said again: The U.S. interferes in foreign elections all the time, including Russian ones. It should surprise no one if Russian intelligence responds in kind. The point is not the provenance of the leaked emails but their content.

Those horrified by the leaked material complain that their release was designed to "undermine faith in our democratic system." Really? Don't the workings of the system itself undermine one's faith in it, once they are exposed? Was it adversarial of the leaker to inform us that the DNC had no intention of allowing Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic nomination, and thus that the process was rigged? Was it unfriendly to reveal that Podesta was hoping the media would hype Trump, as an easy target for his candidate?

The question that will no doubt be debated in the coming days is whether seeking dirt on a political opponent from any foreigner is indeed illegal, or whether there are specific legal ramifications of meeting with someone from an "adversary" country. But it seems to me that Russia has not been defined as such officially. So we may have a discussion less about legality than the politics of Russophobia.

I am happy to see Trump besieged, rattled, possibly facing impeachment. But to bring him down on the basis of "Russian collusion," on the assumption that Russia is an adversary, would only advantage the warmongers who want no-fly zones over Syria and military support for the Kiev regime against the Donbas separatists. Vice President Pence I believe favors both.

Trump has said that he cannot host Putin in Washington this year, or until the Russian Hoax witch hunt is over. But Putin has invited him to Moscow. One senses he wants some agreements with Trump before he is ousted by his gathering adversaries, including the press, courts, Democrats, select Republicans, turncoat aides and he himself sometimes in his unguarded tweets.

Gary Leupp is a Professor of History at Tufts University, and author of numerous works on Japanese history. He can be reached at: gleupp@granite.tufts.edu . Read other articles by Gary .

This article was posted on Monday, August 13th, 2018 at 10:30pm and is filed under (Ex-)Yugoslavia , Chancellor Angela Merkel , Donald Trump , Elections , Espionage/"Intelligence" , Hillary Clinton , Kosovo , Mike Pence , President Vladimir Putin , Russia , Serbia , Ukraine , United States , US Hypocrisy , US Lies .

[Aug 18, 2018] Manafort jury asks judge to leave early on second day of deliberations

Notable quotes:
"... If convicted on all counts, Mr Manafort could face a sentence of up to 305 years in prison based on the maximum for each count, with the most serious charge carrying up to 30 years. However, if convicted, he likely would be given between seven and 12 years, according to a range of estimates from three sentencing experts interviewed by Reuters. ..."
"... Meanwhile Mr Mueller recommended in a court filing on Friday that a judge sentence former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos to up to six months in prison for lying to agents investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.thenational.ae

Prosecutors accuse Mr Manafort of a complex effort to hide millions of dollars in income from Ukrainian politicians.

Mr Ellies earlier refused to release the names of jurors, saying he has received threats and fears for their safety as well.

The judge said he is currently under the protection of U.S. marshals. He declined to delve into specifics, but said he's been taken aback by the level of interest in the trial.

President Trump earlier said the case was "sad" and described Mr Manafort as a "good person."

If convicted on all counts, Mr Manafort could face a sentence of up to 305 years in prison based on the maximum for each count, with the most serious charge carrying up to 30 years. However, if convicted, he likely would be given between seven and 12 years, according to a range of estimates from three sentencing experts interviewed by Reuters.

Meanwhile Mr Mueller recommended in a court filing on Friday that a judge sentence former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos to up to six months in prison for lying to agents investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

"The government does not take a position with respect to a particular sentence to be imposed, but respectfully submits that a sentence of incarceration, within the applicable guidelines range of zero to six months imprisonment is appropriate and warranted," Mr Mueller said in the filing.

Mr Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October to lying to FBI agents investigating possible collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 7.

[Aug 17, 2018] The roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014, as was well covered here at Consortium News

Notable quotes:
"... I would say the first turning point was the imprisonment of Khodorkovsky and the restoration of Russian sovereignty in the energy sphere. Subsequent major inflection points have been: the 2008 war with Georgia, the 2014 events in Ukraine, and the post-2016- election manufactured anti-Russia hysteria/neo-McCarthyism. ..."
"... Kees van der Pijl fills in the details here (ignore the title of the piece): https://www.unz.com/article/why-was-malaysian-airlines-flight-mh17-shot-down/ ..."
"... the "Putin is a *thug*" meme has been successfully promulgated as shorthand that acts as a justification for anything done or said against both Putin and Russia. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the thugs are those in our Congress and executive branch and such as Mueller, who are pushing the country beyond its tolerance levels or, shall we say, ability to right itself after a knockdown (maritime metaphor is intended). ..."
"... I think the rollout of the new cold war actually began when Putin stopped the looting of his country that was occurring under Yeltsin. The evil empire only accepts vassals, not partners. Maximum capital must accrue to the one percent, and be free to flee the country to the tax haven of choice. Any world leader who tries to build an economy for the benefit of its nation's citizens becomes a target. ..."
"... I figure it was the Magnitsky ruse that got the ball rolling. It predates Ukraine and was grounds for the first round of sanctions. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

jaycee , August 13, 2018 at 9:51 pm

I would say the roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014, as was well covered here at Consortium News. The policy – isolate Russia as a pariah nation – was set before the Maidan events reached their resolution. Victoria Nuland's "f -- - the EU" rant was in response to efforts to mediate the situation and possibly spoil or derail the plans. IMHO, the Russian response to the violent coup was fully expected by the Americans to have been a tanks-in-the streets-Czechoslovakia-1968 scenario, and yet all they got was a Crimean referendum and a frozen stalemate in eastern Ukraine. Still, policy being policy, NATO reacted as if there had been a full invasion regardless.

Anecdotally, conversations I've had with intelligent, progressive, good-hearted persons suggests the election of Trump has in effect destabilized their critical thinking abilities. This has opened up the space in which the worst aspects of Cold War 2.0 have flourished. In their minds, the urgent need to remove Trump by any means, fair or foul, fully overwhelms any other priorities, including objective consideration of the current moment.

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 10:14 pm

I think you are right about Ukraine. I also recall that everything went downhill after Putin negotiated for Assad to give up all Syria's chemical weapons. Which gave cause to believe Putin was being punished for interfering in the Coalitions schemes. I think Robert Parry sighted that as well.

No matter jaycee I too believe that Ukraine was where the U.S. fired the first bullet. This New World Order the U.S. represents doesn't negotiate, no instead it's either our way or no way, is the mantra of the tribe. Joe

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 11:08 pm

I wrote a response jaycee that went to the wind . What I was saying was Putin got punished with the uprising in Ukraine after he pulled Assad out of the chemical weapons debate. Joe

Suggestion the Consortium needs to get this comment boards algorithm problem figured out.

Sibiriak , August 14, 2018 at 2:55 am

Jaycee:

"I would say the roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014 "
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

I would say the first turning point was the imprisonment of Khodorkovsky and the restoration of Russian sovereignty in the energy sphere. Subsequent major inflection points have been: the 2008 war with Georgia, the 2014 events in Ukraine, and the post-2016- election manufactured anti-Russia hysteria/neo-McCarthyism.

Kees van der Pijl fills in the details here (ignore the title of the piece): https://www.unz.com/article/why-was-malaysian-airlines-flight-mh17-shot-down/

OlyaPola , August 14, 2018 at 4:42 am

"I would say the roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014,"

As in statistics perceived trajectories are functions of framing including evaluation horizons.

From inception, and through declarations such as the Monroe doctrine, some in the misrepresentation "United States of America" have perceived others as simultaneously existential threats and existential opportunities.

These existential threats and opportunities have been facilitated and acted upon as functions of perceived needs and opportunities.

The targets and modes of activation of these perceived needs and opportunities have varied according to perceived needs and opportunities, sometimes using the tactics of "hot wars" and sometimes using the tactics of "cold wars".

Some in the misrepresentation "United States of America" have correctly perceived others as existential threats and opportunities to/for them given their socio-economic system and its perceived requirements – the functions of the "other" being multi-various – the definition of the "others" include but are not necessarily restricted to those of difference within and without the "United States of America".

Some in the Soviet Union in the early 1970's attempted to conflate "strategy" with "tactics" and decided to forget notions of existential threat and perceive only existential opportunity through conflation, thereby facilitating detente on the basis of spheres of influence.

War is not restricted to things that go bang but restricted to forms of coercion.

The misrepresentation "cold war", which was never cold but sometimes engaged through proxies, was/is a context specific tactic.

Some are of the view that the ends justify the means instead of understanding that means condition ends, and consequently some facilitate and rely upon increasing the conflation of strategy with tactics increasing the sum, motivations, and resolve of the "others", thereby conditioning strategy through accelerating, continuing and expanding existential threats.

Those who engage in such self-delusion were not/are not restricted to the misrepresentation "United States of America" but as Thucydides and others were aware, have been/are generally restricted to those who perceive others as existential opportunities and threats.

Some others correctly assess the misrepresentation "United States of America" to be more a land of opportunity than an existential threat.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 7:48 am

I agree with your comment. A good precis. And the "Putin is a *thug*" meme has been successfully promulgated as shorthand that acts as a justification for anything done or said against both Putin and Russia.

Meanwhile, the thugs are those in our Congress and executive branch and such as Mueller, who are pushing the country beyond its tolerance levels or, shall we say, ability to right itself after a knockdown (maritime metaphor is intended).

Skip Scott , August 14, 2018 at 11:47 am

jaycee-

I think the rollout of the new cold war actually began when Putin stopped the looting of his country that was occurring under Yeltsin. The evil empire only accepts vassals, not partners. Maximum capital must accrue to the one percent, and be free to flee the country to the tax haven of choice. Any world leader who tries to build an economy for the benefit of its nation's citizens becomes a target.

Aime Duclos , August 14, 2018 at 1:50 pm

Yes, Skip, when the West's pillaging and looting of Putin's country was stopped, the one percent was not amused. Add to that NATO's constant march up to Russia's borders, the threat to and actual placement of "defensive" missles on Russia's border.

The last straw was the US orchestrated coup in it's next NATO prize for acquisition Ukraine. Putin reacted as any leader would, and with restraint I might add.

Yet somehow all this proves Putin is a thug? It's been a calculated drive to this new Cold War. The MIC is having it's way.

GM , August 14, 2018 at 6:12 pm

I figure it was the Magnitsky ruse that got the ball rolling. It predates Ukraine and was grounds for the first round of sanctions.

[Aug 17, 2018] Lavrov Gives Tillerson a Brilliant History Lesson on US Interventionism

The same day one year ago...
Aug 17, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Ali Haider , 1 year ago (edited)

Russians are really brilliant...salute you Russia 

Phil Newmann , 1 year ago

Tillerson. What a high HYPOCRISY. The US has murdered more than 10 million people in the last 13 years and you say Assad is a war criminal for defending his own country?

Morbius1963 , 1 year ago

Tillerson makes no mention of the democratic wishes of the Syrian people.

Sangam Sangam , 9 months ago

Assad killed terrorist in Syria sent and trained by US.

tom parankewich , 1 year ago

He forgot to say they want pipelines to go through Syria pure and simple .

Ds Vic , 1 year ago

Lavrov is a beauty! Making illmericans look dumb as usual.

[Aug 17, 2018] Stephen F. Cohen Sanction mania versus Russia -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.net

Notable quotes:
"... For nearly 100 years, Russia has been under US sanctions, often to the detriment of American national security. ..."
"... Historically, such sanctions were not problem-solving measures advancing American national security but more akin to temper tantrums or road rage, making things even worse, than to real policymaking. ..."
"... US "core" interests "need" Russia's cooperation in many vital ways. ..."
"... Moscow could sell off its billions of dollars of US Treasury securities ..."
"... It could end titanium exports to the United States ..."
"... Nor have four other circumstances. ..."
"... turning away even more from the West and toward China and other non-Western partners, and by developing its own capacity to produce sanctioned imports. ..."
"... in an era when there is no "globalization," or international security, without Russia. ..."
"... with the apparently solitary exception of Rand Paul of Kentucky, ..."
"... is in response to Russia's alleged "attack on American democracy" during the 2016 presidential election . ..."
"... only the kind of "meddling" and "interference" in the other's domestic politics that both countries have practiced, almost ritualistically, for nearly a hundred years. ..."
"... to thwart and even punish President Donald Trump for his policy of "cooperation with Russia." And Putin too for having met and cooperated with Trump at their Helsinki summit in July. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.sott.net

For nearly 100 years, Russia has been under US sanctions, often to the detriment of American national security.

Cohen begins by putting the current bipartisan Senate campaign to impose new, "crushing" sanctions on Russia in historical context. Broadly understood, sanctions have been part of US policy toward Russia for much of the past 100 years. During the Russian civil war of 1918-20, President Woodrow Wilson sent American troops to fight against the emerging Soviet government. Though the "Reds" were clearly the established government of Soviet Russia by 1921, Washington continued to deny the USSR diplomatic recognition until President Franklin D. Roosevelt established formal relations in 1933. During much of the 40-year Cold War, the United States imposed various sanctions on its superpower rival, mainly related to technological and military exports, along with periodic expulsions of diplomats and "spies" on both sides.

Congress' major political contribution was the 1975 Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which denied Moscow privileged trading status with the United States, primarily because of Kremlin restrictions on Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union. Indicative of how mindlessly habitual US sanctions had become, Jackson-Vanik was nullified only in late 2012, long after the end of the Soviet Union and after any restrictions on Jews leaving (or returning to) Russia. Even more indicative, it was immediately replaced, in December 2012, by the Magnitsky Act, which purported to sanction individual Russian officials and "oligarchs" for "human-rights abuses." The Magnitsky Act remains law, supplemented by additional sanctions leveled against Russia as a result of the 2014 Ukrainian crisis and particularly Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

Looking back over this long history, there is no evidence that any US sanctions ever significantly altered Moscow's "behavior" in ways that were intended. Or that they adversely affected Russia's ruling political or financial elites. Any pain inflicted fell on ordinary citizens, who nonetheless rallied "patriotically" around the Kremlin leadership, most recently around Russian President Vladimir Putin. Historically, such sanctions were not problem-solving measures advancing American national security but more akin to temper tantrums or road rage, making things even worse, than to real policymaking.

Why, then, Washington's new bout of sanction mania against Moscow, especially considering the harsh official Russian reaction expressed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who called the Senate's proposed measures "a declaration of economic war" and promised that the Kremlin would retaliate?

One explanation is an underlying, astonishing assumption recently stated by Michael McFaul , the media-ubiquitous former US ambassador to Moscow and a longtime Russia scholar: "To advance almost all of our core national security and economic interests, the US does not need Russia." Such a statement by a former or current policymaker and intellectual is perhaps unprecedented in modern times - and manifestly wrong. US "core" interests "need" Russia's cooperation in many vital ways. They include avoiding nuclear war; preventing a new and more dangerous arms race; guarding against the proliferation of weapons and materials of mass destruction; coping with international terrorists (who are in pursuit of such materials); achieving lasting peace in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East; fostering prosperity and stability in Europe, of which Russia is a part; promoting better relations with the Islamic world, of which Russia is also a part; and avoiding a generation-long confrontation with a formidable new alliance that already includes Russia, China, Iran, and other non-NATO countries. If McFaul's assumption is widespread in Washington, as it seems to be, we are living in truly unwise and perilous times.

A second assumption is no less myopic and dangerous: that the Kremlin is weak and lacks countermeasures to adopt against the new sanctions being advocated in Washington. Consider, however, the following real possibilities. Moscow could sell off its billions of dollars of US Treasury securities and begin trading with friendly nations in non-dollar currencies, both of which it has already begun to do. It could restrict, otherwise undermine, or even shut down many large US corporations long doing profitable business in Russia, among them Citibank, Cisco Systems, Apple, Microsoft, PepsiCo, McDonald's, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Ford Motor Co., and even Boeing. It could end titanium exports to the United States , which are vital to American civilian and military aircraft manufacturers, including Boeing. And terminate the sale of rocket engines essential for NASA and US satellite operations. The world's largest territorial country, Russia could charge US airlines higher tariffs for their regular use of its air space or ban them altogether, making them uncompetitive against other national carriers. Politically, the Kremlin could end its own sanctions on Iran and North Korea, alleviating Washington's pressure on those governments. And it could end the Russian supply transit to US troops fighting in Afghanistan used since the early 1990s.

None of this seems to have been considered by Washington's sanction zealots. Nor have four other circumstances. Sanctions against Russia's "oligarchs" actually help Putin, whom the US political-media establishment so despises and constantly indicts. For years, he has been trying to persuade many of the richest oligarchs to repatriate their offshore wealth to Russia. Few did so. Now, fearful of having their assets abroad frozen or seized by US measures, more and more are complying. Second, new sanctions limiting Moscow's ability to borrow and finance investment at home will retard the country's still meager growth rate . But the Kremlin coped after the 2014 sanctions and will do so again by turning away even more from the West and toward China and other non-Western partners, and by developing its own capacity to produce sanctioned imports. (Russian agricultural production, for example, has surged in recent years, now becoming a major export industry.) Third, already unhappy with existing economic sanctions against Russia, European multinational corporations - and thus Europe itself - may tilt even farther away from their capricious "transatlantic partner" in Washington, who is diminishing their vast market in the East. And fourth, waging "economic war" is one impulsive step from breaking off all diplomatic relations with Russia, this too actually being discussed by Washington zealots. Such a rupture would turn the clock back many decades, but in an era when there is no "globalization," or international security, without Russia.

Finally, what reason do Washington extreme Cold Warriors themselves give for imposing new sanctions on Russia? Most of them are in the US Senate, historically a body with at least several independent-minded distinguished statesmen, but no longer, with the apparently solitary exception of Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has demonstrated considerable wisdom in regard to US-Russian relations. Their professed reasons are various and nonsensical. Some say Russia must be sanctioned for Ukraine, but those events happened four years ago and have already been "punished." Others say for "Russia's aggression in Syria," but it was Putin's military intervention that destroyed the Islamic State's terrorist occupation of much of the country and ended its threat to take Damascus, to the benefit of America and its allies, including Europe and Israel. Still others insist the Kremlin must be sanctioned for its "nerve agent" attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK several months ago. But the British government's case against the Kremlin has virtually fallen apart, as any attentive reader of articles in David Johnson's Russia List will understand.

Ultimately, though, the new bout of sanction mania is in response to Russia's alleged "attack on American democracy" during the 2016 presidential election . In reality, there was no "attack" - no Pearl Harbor, no 9/11, no Russian parachuters descending on Washington - only the kind of "meddling" and "interference" in the other's domestic politics that both countries have practiced, almost ritualistically, for nearly a hundred years. Indeed, whatever "meddling" Russian actors did in 2016 may well have been jaywalking compared to the Clinton administration's massive, highly intrusive political and financial intervention on behalf of the failing Russian President Boris Yeltsin's reelection campaign in 1996.

We are left, then, with the real reason behind the new anti-Russian sanctions effort: to thwart and even punish President Donald Trump for his policy of "cooperation with Russia." And Putin too for having met and cooperated with Trump at their Helsinki summit in July. This bizarre, also unprecedented, reality is more than a whisper. According to a New York Times "news analysis," as well as other published reports,

a "bipartisan group of senators, dismayed that Mr. Trump had not publicly confronted Mr. Putin over Russia's election meddling, released draft legislation" of new sanctions against Moscow. "Passage of such a bill would impose some of the most damaging sanctions yet."
Leave aside for now that it is not Russian "meddling" that is delegitimizing our elections but instead these fact-free allegations themselves that are doing so. (How many losing candidates in 2018 will claim their victory was snatched away by Putin?) Consider instead that for doing what every American president since Eisenhower has done - meet with the sitting Kremlin leader in order to avoid stumbling into a war between the nuclear superpowers - in effect both Trump and Putin are being condemned by the Washington establishment, including by members of Trump's own intelligence agencies.

If so, who will avert the prospect of war with Russia, a new Cuban missile-like crisis, conceivably in the Baltic region, Ukraine, or Syria? Certainly not any leading representative of the Democratic Party. Certainly not the current Russophobic "bipartisan" Senate. Certainly not the most influential media outlets, which amplify the warmongering folly almost daily. In this most existential regard, there is for now only, like it or not, President Donald Trump.

Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. Previous installments, now in their fifth year, are at TheNation.com .
Comment: As Cohen brilliantly points out - sanctions, for the US, are a dead end.

[Aug 17, 2018] It is quite interesting how many uninformed posters and/or trolls would love to find a way to show the Russiagate nonsense is somehow plausible in spite of the evidence

Notable quotes:
"... They're kind of like a five year old child who desperately wants to keep believing in Santa Claus, even though he just found dad's Santa costume in the closet and he's holding it in his own hands. ..."
"... Sorry, but two years into this we should be way beyond this kind of – "I can't believe Santa's not real"- denying, dissembling, rationalizing nonsense. Then again, this is America. ..."
"... America is after all a country in which half the population believe in the creation myth. ..."
"... "Two years after the Iraq War began, 70 per cent of Americans still believed Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks, according to a Washington Post survey." The Big Lie works, and since Obama gutted Smith-Mundt, the CIA/ State Department can legally keep Americans tracking on their propaganda narratives. ..."
"... I agree with Lawrences point that this is an issue of social psychology. Rational argument over the facts is simply over taken by some kind of mass hysteria. There certainly precedent for this kind of behavior. Indeed this was described in 'Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds' 180 years ago. In my lifetime I have witnessed two episodes of this kind of mass hysteria. The first was the red scare of the early 1950's (I not so much witnessed that as experienced it) and the second was the day care hysteria of satanic cults abusing our children that flared between the late 1980s and early 1990s. Now this is a third manifestation of mass hysteria. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Gary Weglarz August 14, 2018 at 4:37 pm

It is quite interesting how many uninformed posters and/or trolls would love to find a way to show the "Russiagate" nonsense is somehow plausible in spite of the evidence. They're kind of like a five year old child who desperately wants to keep believing in Santa Claus, even though he just found dad's Santa costume in the closet and he's holding it in his own hands.

I will say that the amount of mental gymnastics required to continue not believing evidence that is right in front of one's eyes is quite impressive – but I'd never underestimate the American people's creativity when they want to maintain their illusions/delusions. And I'd certainly never underestimate the Russiagate troll army's persistence.

At this rate I expect to soon encounter some version of the following "observation" in the comments section for this article: – "maybe space aliens hired by the Russians downloaded the files to a to a new fangled thig-a-ma-jig and then shape-shifted so Craig Murray would be fooled into thinking a real-like-human insider provided him the files on a flash drive." – "oh, oh, wait, maybe the aliens abducted Murray too, and then just made him "think" a fellow human gave him the drive in person." "yeah, yeah, and maybe Assange just says he didn't get the files from the Russians because "he's a space alien too." "Yeah, prove to me that it didn't happen this way – you can't – ha! there! I win!"

Sorry, but two years into this we should be way beyond this kind of – "I can't believe Santa's not real"- denying, dissembling, rationalizing nonsense. Then again, this is America.

Reply

GM , August 14, 2018 at 4:51 pm

America is after all a country in which half the population believe in the creation myth.

jeff montanye , August 17, 2018 at 7:11 am

but if i had to bet, the creationists are less likely to believe in Russiagate than the evolutionists.

Just Plain Scott , August 14, 2018 at 6:14 pm

Please don't give Rachel Maddow any more ideas.

michael , August 15, 2018 at 6:06 am

"Two years after the Iraq War began, 70 per cent of Americans still believed Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks, according to a Washington Post survey." The Big Lie works, and since Obama gutted Smith-Mundt, the CIA/ State Department can legally keep Americans tracking on their propaganda narratives.

ToivoS , August 14, 2018 at 4:26 pm

I agree with Lawrences point that this is an issue of social psychology. Rational argument over the facts is simply over taken by some kind of mass hysteria. There certainly precedent for this kind of behavior. Indeed this was described in 'Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds' 180 years ago. In my lifetime I have witnessed two episodes of this kind of mass hysteria. The first was the red scare of the early 1950's (I not so much witnessed that as experienced it) and the second was the day care hysteria of satanic cults abusing our children that flared between the late 1980s and early 1990s. Now this is a third manifestation of mass hysteria.

It all began with Hillary's shocking defeat. Many millions of her supporters knew that she was so good that she had to win. But then she lost. Those millions of Democrats could not accept that in fact their assessment of her talents were totally wrong and that she lost because she has to be one of the worst candidates in American history. That is a reality those people refused to accept. Instead they had to concoct some crazy conspiracy to explain their break with reality. This is a classic case of cognitive dissonance which often leads to mass hysteria.

GM , August 14, 2018 at 5:01 pm

People choose to believe what they feel that they most need to believe to assuage their insecurities fostered by what they perceive to be the dangerous and scary world in which they exist. The simple fact that we know that life is finite by the time we're three years old fosters the creation of such constructs as that of the myth of everlasting life in the kingdom of heaven complete with a mortgage-free condo and an extra parking space for all repentant sinners are mainstream beliefs.

Rob Roy , August 14, 2018 at 11:07 pm

ToivoS, you are right about Hillary. She simply couldn't accept her defeat. She was the one who began Russiagate by the lie, "17 intelligence agencies" said the Russians hacked the emails.
As for times of mass-swallowing of a lie in the 1930s every German thought that Poland was about to invade Germany and they were scared so much that they believed their leaders who "false flagged" them into invading Poland "first." Of course, Poland had no intention of invading Germany.
Notice every time the US attacks another sovereign country, there's a false flag waved for the citizens to follow?
Don't you appreciate that we have consortiumnews?

[Aug 17, 2018] The Russian meddling fraud Weapons of mass destruction revisited by Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore

Notable quotes:
"... There was only one problem with Powell's presentation: it was a lie from beginning to end. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Fifteen years ago, on February 5, 2003, against the backdrop of worldwide mass demonstrations in opposition to the impending invasion of Iraq, then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell argued before the United Nations that the government of Saddam Hussein was rapidly stockpiling "weapons of mass destruction," which Iraq, together with Al Qaeda, was planning to use against the United States.

In what was the climax of the Bush administration's campaign to justify war, Powell held up a model vial of anthrax, showed aerial photographs and presented detailed slides purporting to show the layout of Iraq's "mobile production facilities."

There was only one problem with Powell's presentation: it was a lie from beginning to end.

... ... ...

...War against Iraq, the WSWS wrote, was not about "weapons of mass destruction." Rather, "it is a war of colonial conquest, driven by a series of economic and geo-political aims that center on the seizure of Iraq's oil resources and the assertion of US global hegemony."

The response of the American media, and particularly its liberal wing, was very different. Powell's litany of lies was presented as the gospel truth, an unanswerable indictment of the Iraqi government.

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, who rushed off a column before he could have examined Powell's allegations, declared, "The evidence he presented to the United Nations -- some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail -- had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn't accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman -- could conclude otherwise."

The editorial board of the New York Times -- whose reporter Judith Miller was at the center of the Bush administration's campaign of lies -- declared one week later that there "is ample evidence that Iraq has produced highly toxic VX nerve gas and anthrax and has the capacity to produce a lot more. It has concealed these materials, lied about them, and more recently failed to account for them to the current inspectors."

Subsequent developments would prove who was lying. The Bush administration and its media accomplices conspired to drag the US into a war that led to the deaths of more than one million people -- a colossal crime for which no one has yet been held accountable.

Fifteen years later, the script has been pulled from the closet and dusted off. This time, instead of "weapons of mass destruction," it is "Russian meddling in the US elections." Once again, assertions by US intelligence agencies and operatives are treated as fact. Once again, the media is braying for war. Once again, the cynicism and hypocrisy of the American government -- which intervenes in the domestic politics of every state on the planet and has been relentlessly expanding its operations in Eastern Europe -- are ignored.

[Aug 17, 2018] Trump business deals problem

Notable quotes:
"... When I hear people talk about how vulnerable Trump is because of his allegedly dirty business deals, I wonder: if that's true, then why wasn't he charged long ago, since he's been active as a businessman for many years. ..."
"... My hunch is that seriously investigating these deals, if they do exist, would expose too many powerful people to scrutiny they don't want, so Trump gets a pass. ..."
"... I doubt it very much, Trump has any dirty deals in those Russian money laundering as some commentators write about, the money the corrupt Russian Oligarchs, mostly Jewish, who brought to London and other West's Financial Centers during the plundering of Russia in 1992 – 2004 period. And as you pointed out, if there is any, seriously investigating these deals will expose many powerful people, and the corruption and rot of London Financial Center along with many other West's Financial Centers. ..."
"... All the Oligarchs engage in some sort of corruption, Mitt Romney was no different with all his money stashed away in off shore financial safe heavens. Trump is singled out because he ran against that Swamp which he called it during his election campaign, and in their view, he is damaging the World Uni-polar System with U.S. as the Master and EU as vassal States. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

John Kirsch , August 15, 2018 at 7:10 am

When I hear people talk about how vulnerable Trump is because of his allegedly dirty business deals, I wonder: if that's true, then why wasn't he charged long ago, since he's been active as a businessman for many years.

My hunch is that seriously investigating these deals, if they do exist, would expose too many powerful people to scrutiny they don't want, so Trump gets a pass.

And yes, I agree, there is no public evidence of collusion, not surprising since it isn't a federal crime to begin with, except, potentially, in an anti-trust context that doesn't apply here.

Dave P. , August 15, 2018 at 2:56 pm

John Kirsch – Good comments. I agree.

I doubt it very much, Trump has any dirty deals in those Russian money laundering as some commentators write about, the money the corrupt Russian Oligarchs, mostly Jewish, who brought to London and other West's Financial Centers during the plundering of Russia in 1992 – 2004 period. And as you pointed out, if there is any, seriously investigating these deals will expose many powerful people, and the corruption and rot of London Financial Center along with many other West's Financial Centers.

All the Oligarchs engage in some sort of corruption, Mitt Romney was no different with all his money stashed away in off shore financial safe heavens. Trump is singled out because he ran against that Swamp which he called it during his election campaign, and in their view, he is damaging the World Uni-polar System with U.S. as the Master and EU as vassal States.

O Society , August 15, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Trump says he discovered the power of being shallow: "Whenever I am making a creative choice, I think back and remember my first shallow reaction. The day I realized it can be smart to be shallow, was for me, a deep experience.

I have no personal business dealings with Trump nor have I ever met the guy. Just reading information as everyone else does. No special knowledge of specific anything.

The allegation floating around is one very common to real estate. Laundering money.

Trump's business model is his "brand," which basically means Trump lends his names to building projects rather than actually owning said buildings himself. Sounds similar to franchising.

Not surprisingly, Trump has been involved in such shady scandals in the past. As someone else stated, "My hunch is that seriously investigating these deals, if they do exist, would expose too many powerful people to scrutiny they don't want, so Trump gets a pass."

Whether or not Trump gets convicted of these sorts of crimes depends on a cost/ benefit analysis the powers that be will have to make. Is nailing Trump worth enough to them to draw unwanted attention to how these money laundering/ not paying taxes/ globalism foreign investment/ corrupt crony capitalist scams work?

Trump Taj Mahal Settles Lawsuit Over Money Laundering Violations
Casino Pays $10 Million Unsecured Claim To Treasury Department

[Aug 17, 2018] The Ruling Establishment are accomplished in the art of manipulating the public into believing whatever they want them to believe in. In fact, they have world wide reach

Notable quotes:
"... The people behind advancing the Russiagate fraud are not concerned about the widening chaos it has engendered. On the contrary, it is playing out exactly as they hoped. ..."
"... Fast growing censorship of dissent, isolation of a major geopolitical competitor, providing an explanation for the rise of Trump and the precipitous decline in public faith in establishment institutions. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

GM , August 14, 2018 at 4:48 pm

The people behind advancing the Russiagate fraud are not concerned about the widening chaos it has engendered. On the contrary, it is playing out exactly as they hoped.

Fast growing censorship of dissent, isolation of a major geopolitical competitor, providing an explanation for the rise of Trump and the precipitous decline in public faith in establishment institutions.

Hell, it's even being leveraged to explain away racism. Win win win win. I'd say they are right where they want to be at this juncture.

Dave P. , August 14, 2018 at 6:21 pm

GM – Excellent observations. Very true.

I would add that they – the Ruling Establishment – are accomplished in the art of manipulating the public into believing whatever they want them to believe in. In fact, they have world wide reach.

[Aug 17, 2018] New York Times exploits Parkland tragedy to escalate anti-Russian campaign - World Socialist Web Site

Notable quotes:
"... But it is worth noting that, particularly in recent decades, and under the auspices of Editorial Page editor James Bennet, there has been a remarkable integration of the Times ..."
"... The logic of the Times ..."
"... Imperial Messenger ..."
Feb 21, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Less than four days after the Parkland school shooting, the New York Times has found a way to turn a national tragedy that claimed the lives of 17 high school students into an opportunity to escalate its unrelenting campaign of anti-Russian propaganda, involving the continuous bombardment of the public with reactionary lies and warmongering.

Against the backdrop of a major escalation of military tensions between the two countries, the Times seized upon the Justice Department indictment of Russian nationals over the weekend to claim that Russia is at "war" with the United States. Now, the Times has widened this claim into an argument that Russia somehow bears responsibility for social divisions over the latest mass shooting in America.

Its lead headline Tuesday morning blared: "SHOTS ARE FIRED, AND BOTS SWARM TO SOCIAL DIVIDES - Florida School Shooting Draws an Army Ready to Spread Discord"

According to the Times , Russian "bots," or automated social media accounts, sought "to widen the divide" on issues of gun control and mental illness, in order to "make compromise even more difficult." Russia sought to exploit "the issue of mental illness in the gun control debate," and "propagated the notion that Nikolas Cruz, the suspected gunman" was "mentally ill."

The absurd claim that Russia is responsible for the existence of social divisions in America is belied by the shooting itself, which is a testament to the fact that American society is riven by antagonisms that express themselves, in the absence of a progressive outlet, in outpourings of mass violence.

The aim of this campaign is to target anyone who would criticize the underlying social causes of the shooting -- the violence of American society, the nonexistence of mental health services, or even the social psychology that gives rise to mass shootings -- as a "Russian agent" seeking to "sow divisions" in American society. The Times lead is based entirely on a "dashboard" called Hamilton 68 created by the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy, whose lead spokesman is Clint Watts, the former US intelligence agent and censorship advocate who declared in November that social media companies must "silence" sources of "rebellion."

Without naming any of the accounts it follows, Hamilton 68 claims to track content tweeted by "Russian bots and trolls." But most of the trends leading the dashboard are news stories, many posted by Russia Today and Sputnik News , that are identical with the trending topics followed by any other news agency. Thus, Hamilton 68 provides an instant New York Times headline generator: Any major news story can be presented as the result of "Russian bots."

The New York Times is making its claims about "Russian meddling" with what is known in the law as "unclean hands." That is, the Times practices the very actions of which it accuses others.

Here is not the place to deal with the long and bloody history of American destabilization campaigns and their horrific consequences in Latin America and the Middle East, or to review the fact that many American journalists serving abroad had dual functions -- as reporters and as agents.

But it is worth noting that, particularly in recent decades, and under the auspices of Editorial Page editor James Bennet, there has been a remarkable integration of the Times with the major operations of the US intelligence agencies.

This is particularly true with regard to Russia, in regard to which the Times acts as an instrument of US foreign policy misinformation, practicing exactly what it accuse the Kremlin of.

Take, for example, the so-called political "dissident" Aleksei Navalny. This proponent of extreme nationalism and xenophobia, with deep ties to Russia's fascistic right, and extensive connections to US intelligence agencies, has been championed by the Times as the voice of social dissent in Russia. Despite his miniscule support within Russia, Navalny's activities generate front-page headlines in the Times , which has mentioned him in over 400 separate articles.

Another example is the Times ' promotion of the "feminist" rock band Pussy Riot, which makes a habit of getting themselves arrested by taking their clothes off in Russian Orthodox churches, and whose fate the Times holds up as a horrific example of Russian oppression. The very name "Pussy Riot," which in typical usage is not even translated into Russian, expresses the fact that this operation aims to influence American, and not Russian, public opinion.

In 2014, the Times met with members of Pussy Riot at their editorial offices, and have since extensively promoted the group, having mentioned it in over 400 articles. The term "anti-Putin opposition" is mentioned in another 600 articles.

The logic of the Times ' campaign was expressed most clearly by its columnist Thomas Friedman, the personification of the pundit as state intelligence mouthpiece whose career was aptly summed up in a biography titled Imperial Messenger . In a column published on February 18 ("Whatever Trump is Hiding is Hurting All of US Now"), Friedman declares a "code red" threat to the integrity of American democracy.

"At a time when the special prosecutor Robert Mueller -- leveraging several years of intelligence gathering by the F.B.I., C.I.A. and N.S.A. -- has brought indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups -- all linked in some way to the Kremlin -- for interfering with the 2016 U.S. elections," Friedman writes, "America needs a president who will lead our nation's defense against this attack on the integrity of our electoral democracy."

This "defense," according to Friedman, would include "bring[ing] together our intelligence and military experts to mount an effective offense against Putin -- the best defense of all." In other words, war.

The task of all war propaganda is to divert internal social tensions outwards, and the Times ' campaign is no different. Its aim is to take the anger that millions of people feel at a society riven by social inequality, mass alienation, police violence, and endless war, and pin it on some shady foreign adversary.

The New York Times ' claims of Russian "meddling" in the Parkland shooting set the tone for even more hysterical coverage in the broadcast evening news. NBC News cited Jonathan Morgan, another collaborator on the Hamilton 68 project, who declared that Russia is "really interested in sowing discord amongst Americans. That way we're not focused on putting a unified front out to foreign adversaries."

The goal of the ruling class and its media accomplices is to put on "a unified front" through the suppression of social opposition within the United States. Along these Lines, NBC added, "Researchers tell us it's not just Russia deploying these attacks on social media," adding "many small independent groups are trying to divide Americans and create chaos."

Who are these "small independent groups" seeking to "create chaos"? By this, they no doubt mean any news or political organization that dares question the official line that everything is fine in America, and that argues that the horrendous levels of violence that pervade American society are somehow related to social inequality and the wars supported and justified by the entire US political establishment

[Aug 17, 2018] Just like the establishment of long TSA lines pushing us travelers through airport security like inspected cattle, was an example of 911 reforms to our system, this Russia Gate Investigation and all its trappings are doing the same destruction to our liberties on the Internet

Notable quotes:
"... The erosion of the American society is on track, and its stay the course until this corporate owned government cannot govern no more. ..."
"... In a real rule of law world Jeff Sessions would take all this evidence the VIPS have produced and present it into the Mueller Investigation as just that evidence, or proof of lack there of. ..."
"... For a possibly useful parsing of what is actually going in the Mueller investigation, check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEt4kwAvNqU The delivery is a bit inelegant, but the main takeaway is that the Mueller investigation is meant to hide what really went down between the Dems and the Russians. ..."
"... Here you can read to how far the U.S. is willing to go with nothing but allegations. http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russia-sanctions/ This insanity has to end. ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Joe Tedesky, August 13, 2018 at 8:59 pm

Russia Gate has given us one thing for sure, and that it is now ravishing the internet of all of its corporate controlled First Amendment Rights. Just like the establishment of long TSA lines pushing us travelers through airport security like inspected cattle, was an example of 911 reforms to our system, this Russia Gate Investingation and all its trappings are doing the same destruction to our liberties.

What memories of a free and liberal society have we all seen swirl ever so slowly, but deliberately down the memory hole of our once civil liberties? The erosion of the American society is on track, and its stay the course until this corporate owned government cannot govern no more.

In a real rule of law world Jeff Sessions would take all this evidence the VIPS have produced and present it into the Mueller Investigation as just that evidence, or proof of lack there of.

Good to hear Patrick Lawrence get down with it, that's what we need more of. At the rate the internet is going, say it now, or forever hold your peace, is now in force.

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 10:26 pm

Here is a link to something that at first seems a little unrelated, but after reading it ask yourself, is it? Moon Jae in of S Korea may just have the answer for the way of dealing with past government malpractices.

https://journal-neo.org/2018/08/13/military-plot-in-south-korea-mayhem-in-defense-intelligence-agency/

Hey want to drain the swamp? call Moon Jae in ASAP.

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 10:40 pm

Read this, it will piss you off.

https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/armstrongeconomics101/regulation/senator-mark-warner-proposes-the-end-of-free-speech-the-revenge-of-hillary/

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 7:53 am

For a possibly useful parsing of what is actually going in the Mueller investigation, check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEt4kwAvNqU The delivery is a bit inelegant, but the main takeaway is that the Mueller investigation is meant to hide what really went down between the Dems and the Russians.

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 11:06 pm

Here you can read to how far the U.S. is willing to go with nothing but allegations. http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russia-sanctions/ This insanity has to end.

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 11:27 pm

I can't help myself, you need to read Caitlin Johnston's take on how it's okay to run with scissors in your hand . just brilliant. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50024.htm

Dave P. , August 14, 2018 at 1:29 am

Excellent observations, Joe. I hope this – Russia gate – does not lead to a much more dangerous zone as it appears to be heading to with these sanctions against Russia slated to go into effect in November. There was this rather very disquieting article the other day in Strategic Culture by Finnian Cunningham.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/08/11/us-sanctions-pushing-russia-war.html

As you said this insanity must end or else. . .

[Aug 17, 2018] The Russia-gate narrative has become "too big to fail

If this is true it is hard to see Russiagate collapsing...
Notable quotes:
"... The ruling establishment has pushed all their chips onto the table in a do-or-die effort to make this allegation stick. ..."
"... How many times has the U.S. "national security" establishment brazenly deceived the country and the world, at incalculable cost, without being held to account in a way that seriously discomfited the perpetrators? ..."
"... From the bomber gap, to the missile gap, through Vietnam from beginning to end, to Iran-Contra, to Iraqi WMDs, and so much more. ..."
"... It's hard to see Russia-gate collapsing in a way that would force its architects and proponents to acknowledge its fictitiousness: it is too much of an irrational miasma to actually be falsifiable in the sort of concrete way that led to even such perfunctory admissions of error as we got when Saddam's "WMDs" failed to exist. ..."
"... Bush Jr. was able to make a White House Correspondents Dinner joke about those derned elusive WMDs – and get laughs – *one year* after the invasion of Iraq. Why would this time be any different? ..."
"... People often wonder why psychopathic sadists enjoy torturing their victims, when presumably they have enough cognitive empathy to appreciate how terrible the suffering is. ..."
"... But that is WHY the sadists enjoy their activities so much. What they do to their victims is so unendurable, yet someone is having to endure it – and that somebody is not the perpetrator. ..."
"... It's hard to know if the American people will ever see a full explanation of this, Church Committee or FOIA style, ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Maxwell Quest August 13, 2018 at 9:38 pm Excellent article! I was particularly jolted by the reference that the Russia-gate narrative has become "too big to fail." So true!

The ruling establishment has pushed all their chips onto the table in a do-or-die effort to make this allegation stick.

They have passed the point of no return; there is no walking it back now. If it fails heads will roll, but most importantly these trusted institutions will have flushed their last vestiges of credibility down the drain. Then what? Reply


David G , August 14, 2018 at 2:45 am

Or, as Patrick Lawrence puts it: "The risk of self-inflicted damage these institutions assume, should the truth of the Russia-gate events emerge -- as one day it surely will -- is nearly incalculable."

However, I disagree with both Mr. Lawrence and you, Maxwell Quest. I think that assessment is actually too optimistic.

How many times has the U.S. "national security" establishment brazenly deceived the country and the world, at incalculable cost, without being held to account in a way that seriously discomfited the perpetrators?

From the bomber gap, to the missile gap, through Vietnam from beginning to end, to Iran-Contra, to Iraqi WMDs, and so much more.

It's hard to see Russia-gate collapsing in a way that would force its architects and proponents to acknowledge its fictitiousness: it is too much of an irrational miasma to actually be falsifiable in the sort of concrete way that led to even such perfunctory admissions of error as we got when Saddam's "WMDs" failed to exist.

But even if that somehow does happen, and the whole Beltway official and media establishment has to suck it up and emit a feeble "my bad" about Russia-gate, what makes you think it will have any lasting consequences in terms of the dispensation of power and privilege among the U.S. elites?

Bush Jr. was able to make a White House Correspondents Dinner joke about those derned elusive WMDs – and get laughs – *one year* after the invasion of Iraq. Why would this time be any different?

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 4:07 am

"Bush Jr. was able to make a White House Correspondents Dinner joke about those derned elusive WMDs – and get laughs" – *one year* after the invasion of Iraq. Why would this time be any different?

Yup, got lots of laughs from his fellow members of the club that were coconspirators.

Had he tried that joke around veterans and the families of casualties of that whole criminal adventure I doubt he would have made it out alive.

Tom Welsh , August 14, 2018 at 8:57 am

Had he tried that joke around any of the millions of victims of his criminal aggression or their familes and friends, I am sure he would not have made it out alive.

But if you have ever managed to think yourself into the criminal mind, you will understand that it is precisely the fact that he was NOT subject to any comeback that made the whole thing such fun.

People often wonder why psychopathic sadists enjoy torturing their victims, when presumably they have enough cognitive empathy to appreciate how terrible the suffering is.

But that is WHY the sadists enjoy their activities so much. What they do to their victims is so unendurable, yet someone is having to endure it – and that somebody is not the perpetrator.

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 4:51 am

I've never tried to think myself into the criminal mind. And, I thank you for the insight. I have had someone try to kill me. Someone that has killed at least one person before by his own admission. It changes you forever.

Anne Jaclard , August 14, 2018 at 10:33 am

Agreed. The American corporate press has been running what are essentially press releases and "dossiers" of evidence for a year now, mostly from shady private firms (Twitter trolls "discovered" by Graphika, Fusion GPS's "Dirty Dossier," CrowdStrike's initial investigation of the DNC).

Many of these firms aren't neutral parties either, head of CrowdStrike is rabidly anti-Russia and just put together another package of "research" that was debunked on Ukraine.

It's hard to know if the American people will ever see a full explanation of this, Church Committee or FOIA style, given that these are companies with no public obligations .not good.

Jeff Harrison , August 13, 2018 at 8:51 pm

Well, Patrick, I"m glad to see that you're writing for a reputable organization for a change. I don't have a hell of a lot to add to what you've said but I'll say this. I saw an article about the DefCon in Las Vegas this AM or yesterday. I don't remember where and I can't find it again but the gist of it is – they had like 39 kid volunteers who they told to go hack the election systems in some number of "battleground" states. The upshot? 35 of the 39 kids successfully hacked several election systems. The champ was an 11 yo girl who broke in in 10 minutes. If our election systems are so poorly designed that kids can break into them in just a few minutes, I'm sure it's just a walk in the park for an actual pro.

Jeff Harrison , August 13, 2018 at 10:45 pm

Hah! I found it. It was on RT, of course. Here's the link -https://www.rt.com/usa/435824-us-midterms-hacking-children/

Jessika , August 13, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Good comments to this very good article. I agree with Gary that the US is in decline, perhaps terminal, and that rising Eurasia led by China and Russia is the reason for the Deep State's frantic need to try to focus the people on Russia, and now the biggie, China, to avoid the reality of the social decay within from not addressing the people's needs for well over 30 years. However, i also don't think as many Americans are swallowing this lie as MSM and politicos would have us believe. What we now call the "alt-left", perhaps, may take it seriously. It was Mme Clinton herself who is at the top of chain of this manufactured story.

But I don't think we'll see this fixation around for the next 20-30 years, as Mr. Lawrence speculates, because I don't think we'll have that much time for such political nonsense as we are confronted by massive Earth changes, not all human-caused, that are now manifesting.

Tom Kath , August 13, 2018 at 8:28 pm

The correction of "illusions" often has the appearance of being too horrendous to contemplate. Be it the delusion that we can get wealthy on debt, or the delusion that we are invincible. These are all able to be traced back to a fundamental belief which has long been proven to be inconsistent with reality.

mike k , August 13, 2018 at 7:29 pm

How did we get here? The stupefication of the American people was well advanced before the pilgrims landed. The idea that this continent only really began when we "discovered" it was the beginning of our idiocy. That this land was waiting for the blessing of our special role in "civilizing' it was a continuation of our delusional thinking.

[Aug 17, 2018] Teleology means to view things by the purpose they serve rather than by postulated causes . If we are to look at Russiagate from a teleological perspective we can see eight puposes of Russiagate

Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Ian Brown, August 13, 2018 at 7:20 pm

In philosophy there is a concept called Teleology which means to view things "by the purpose they serve rather than by postulated causes". If we are to look at Russiagate from a teleological perspective, and indeed we should, as the evidentiary and proportional justification is severely lacking, we see a distinct organism with a broad purpose. So let's examine, what purposes are being served by Russiagate, what agendas being driven, and interests being advanced?

  1. Control of information by imperial, establishment and corporate interests
  2. Control of discourse and dissent being stigmatized
  3. Restriction of democracy by third parties and anti-establishment candidates being smeared as "Kremlin supported'
  4. The enlargement of the military industrial complex
  5. The ideological alignment of the nominal left and center with authoritarianism
  6. The justification of imperialism and aggressive foreign policy
  7. The deflection from widespread issues of discontent
  8. The projection of issues in the 2016 election, particularly primary rigging, voting irregularities, voter suppression, candidate funded troll operations like Correct the Record, widespread collusion between candidates and the mainstream media, and outsized influence of Israeli, Saudi and Ukrainian lobbies

Considering how much of an impact Russiagate has had towards these ends, in comparison how meagerly it has tackled these phantom Russian meddlers and "active measures", I think it's fair to say that Russiagate has NOTHING to do with it's stated cause. If Russiagate can be described by what it does, and not what allegedly caused it, what it is is an authoritarian push to broadly increase control of society by establishment elites, and to advance their imperialistic ambitions. In this way, it does not look dissimilar to the way previous societies have succumbed to authoritarian and imperialist rule, nor do the flavors of propaganda, censorship and nationalism differ greatly. The 2016 election represented the ruling Establishment losing control of the narrative, and to a lesser degree, not getting their preferred candidate. And in response the velvet glove is slipping. Reply

mike k , August 13, 2018 at 7:33 pm

Excellent analysis!

Dunderhead , August 13, 2018 at 9:12 pm

You nailed that one man, Kudos

Maxwell Quest , August 13, 2018 at 9:32 pm

9. The delegitimization of Trump's presidency, and a false justification for removing him from office, or in the very least crippling his ability to function as the executive.

O Society , August 14, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Ian Brown ~

Indeed. The Shit Snowball keeps gaining size and momentum because so many groups get various benefits from propagating the Russiagate narrative.

I xeroxed your list of 8 – as well as an excerpt from Patrick Lawrence's original article – then added references and artwork to set it off in a classy way.

Please let me know what the two of you think of the results:

Russiagate: Too Big to Fail

exiled off mainstreet , August 15, 2018 at 3:00 am

This analysis is spot on.

Kevin Huxford , August 13, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Duncan Campbell's article is embarrassing, especially in that it took him so long to even slightly correct his misrepresentation of Binney's position on the matter.

Dunderhead , August 13, 2018 at 7:00 pm

This article touches on such a fundamental truth which is the new paradigm of US disunity, the fracturing of both US political parties and a greater General dysfunction of the American body politic not to mention the US's Image of itself.

Gary Weglarz , August 13, 2018 at 6:41 pm

A truly excellent and very important post! Thank you.

"To doubt the hollowed-out myth of American innocence is a grave sin against the faith." – author

Absolutely! The current "Russiagate" lunacy renders anyone a "heretic" who might engage in such "doubt"
– or who engages in any independent critical thinking on this matter. I've never seen the political class, the deep state psychopaths, and the MSM more irrational, nor more out of touch with and more contemptuous of – simple basic verifiable physical "reality" – than at this historical moment. The current state of affairs suggests the American empire may not simply be in decline, but is instead perhaps in free fall with the hard ground of reality rapidly approaching. The current level of absolute public lunacy also suggests the landing will be neither graceful nor pleasant, and may actually come as a shock to the true believers.

O Society , August 13, 2018 at 5:42 pm

Terrific article, Patrick Lawrence. Too Big Too Fail is exactly correct. Just as the banks in the 2008 mortgage crisis got bailed out, so the Russiagate narrative is cultivated by the US government. Both are insults to the American people.

As you know, there has been some recent discussion of this leak vs. hack topic. To wit:

There is a response by William Binney in video form at the end of this article:

How to Understand this Russian Hacking Thing

To a recent challenge of the VIPS "leak" evidence presented in this article in Computer Weekly:

Duncan Campbell alleges Bill Binney changes mind about the leak

[Aug 17, 2018] Young Americans have soured on capitalism, and that's what got Trump elected Slavoj i ek

That's incorrect. They have soured on neoliberalism, and, especially, neoliberal globalization. Many want a return of New Deal capitalism in some form.
Neoliberal ideology is now discredited and the process of de-legitimization of the ruling neoliberal elite started when voters rejected Hillary.
15 Aug, 2018
Notable quotes:
"... "The roots of this disappointment can be easily identified" he told RT. "The working class, but also the middle class feels betrayed. Generally, there's widespread awareness that the American system doesn't function the way people expected it to function." ..."
"... "The message is very hopeful," ..."
"... a large part of the US population "no longer identifies with the American dream." He described the drop in support for Capitalism as the "beginning of the end of what in learned terms we call ideological hegemony." ..."
"... With more Americans feeling left behind, the only candidate who capitalized on this dissatisfaction in 2016 was Donald Trump. However, Zizek doesn't see Trump as the solution to America's problems. Even as the economic good times roll, recovery has not touched everyone equally. 40 million US citizens still live in poverty, and five million of these live in "third world conditions," according to a UN report released this June. ..."
"... "The only thing that can save the US is a stronger, more radical left," ..."
"... "should look at their own Democratic Party, how they totally ignored a clear, more leftist, anti-capitalist signal from Bernie Sanders and his movement." ..."
"... "failed the expectations of the American people" ..."
"... "I would ask her to remember how long I had to wait to get here," ..."
"... "I don't think that even those who spread this fear, that they take it seriously," ..."
"... "That's pure fear-mongering" ..."
"... "panicky reaction" ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.rt.com
Get short URL Anti-capitalist protesters in Washington DC © David S. Holloway / AFP Support for capitalism among younger voters has dropped drastically, a new Gallup poll reveals. The US establishment's refusal to see this shift has resulted in Trump's election, philosopher Slavoj Zizek tells RT. According to the poll , 57 percent of Democrats view socialism positively. Only 47 percent view capitalism positively, down from 56 percent in 2010.

Across political lines, young Americans (aged 18-29) in general are split on capitalism and socialism. 51 percent of Americans aged 18-29 view socialism positively, while 45 percent view capitalism positively, down 12 points in just two years.

Slavoj Zizek sees the shift as a realization that for some, the American Dream just isn't real.

"The roots of this disappointment can be easily identified" he told RT. "The working class, but also the middle class feels betrayed. Generally, there's widespread awareness that the American system doesn't function the way people expected it to function."

Curiously, the drop in satisfaction comes at a time when the US economy is booming. Unemployment is at its lowest point in half a century at just over three percent, wages are increasing, and if President Trump is to be believed, all manner of companies are clamoring to bring their manufacturing operations back to the USA from overseas.

In 2010, when more Democrats still trusted capitalism, things were objectively worse. Unemployment stood at a dismal nine percent, wages had stagnated since the great recession, and recovery was still a distant glimmer.

"The message is very hopeful," Zizek said about the poll, which he said shows that quite a large part of the US population "no longer identifies with the American dream." He described the drop in support for Capitalism as the "beginning of the end of what in learned terms we call ideological hegemony."

TV Anchor: It is inexplicable that so many voters have a problem with capitalism considering that for so many Americans

[pauses to check stats]

housing is unaffordable, student debt is skyrocketing & you need a GoFundMe page to afford medical care https://t.co/JxIIZYZ2Du

-- David Sirota (@davidsirota) August 13, 2018

With more Americans feeling left behind, the only candidate who capitalized on this dissatisfaction in 2016 was Donald Trump. However, Zizek doesn't see Trump as the solution to America's problems. Even as the economic good times roll, recovery has not touched everyone equally. 40 million US citizens still live in poverty, and five million of these live in "third world conditions," according to a UN report released this June.

"The only thing that can save the US is a stronger, more radical left," Zizek claims.

Where is the left?

The radical left Zizek talks about exists, but has been muscled out by the Democratic party's more centrist establishment. The establishment, he argues, "should look at their own Democratic Party, how they totally ignored a clear, more leftist, anti-capitalist signal from Bernie Sanders and his movement."

Sanders was a popular figure, particularly with young voters. By running Hillary Clinton instead, the centrist establishment "failed the expectations of the American people"

However, since Clinton's miserable performance in 2016, the 'progressive' movement championed by Sanders has slowly seeped into the mainstream. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the Bronx this June, when self-professed 'democratic socialist' Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez snatched a stunning primary victory, ousting ten-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, a more centrist, suit-and-tie Democrat.

Ocasio-Cortez ran on a platform that includes Medicare for all, free college tuition, a $15 minimum wage, and abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement – some of these points the Clinton camp of the Democrat party would have considered anathema.

Ocasio-Cortez' victory appeared to lay out a clear roadmap for Democrats in the Trump age: embrace the public's demand for a more radical left and win elections, or continue to blame Russia and continue to lose. The Democratic establishment didn't listen however, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (California) playing down her victory, reminding voters that it happened in "one district" and warning people not to get "carried away" with progressive ideas.

Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (South Carolina) embodied the establishment mentality when he said in an interview that Ocasio-Cortez needs to wait her turn before joining the Democratic party's leadership.

"I would ask her to remember how long I had to wait to get here," the 78-year-old Congressman said.

After her victory, Ocasio-Cortez jetted around the country to drum up support for like-minded progressive candidates ahead of primary elections. Her stumping fell short however, as four out of the six candidates endorsed by the socialist upstart lost their elections.

Some critics put this failure down to an inbuilt 'fear of socialism' among Americans. Zizek disagrees emphatically.

"I don't think that even those who spread this fear, that they take it seriously," he said, adding that the US is unlikely to turn into Venezuela any time soon. "That's pure fear-mongering" and "panicky reaction" at the newfound popularity of socialism, he said.

If the trend revealed by the latest Gallup poll is correct, embracing a socialist message could soon be the Democratic party's only means of survival.

Subscribe to RT newsletter to get stories the mainstream media won't tell you.

[Aug 17, 2018] What if Russiagate is the New WMDs

In both cases CIA and neocons run the show. But there is new powerful factor: emergence of CIA democrats like Brennan and the conversion of intelligence agencies into political tool, the Cerberus that safeguard the castle of neoliberalism in the USA. The USA people (bottom 90%) be damned.
Notable quotes:
"... Trump's guilt in " Russiagate " is now assumed by much of the American left, and reaches greater levels of fervor with every passing day. ..."
"... Coulter was confident and she wasn't alone. Virtually the entire mainstream American right -- from pundits like Coulter and Sean Hannity to President George W. Bush and the Republican Congress -- was deeply invested in the notion that Hussein possessed WMDs and that the Iraq war was justified based on that unshakeable premise. This belief was so ingrained for so long that many excitedly rushed to pretend that chemical weapons discovered in Iraq as reported by the New York Times ..."
"... Now, "Russian collusion" could be becoming the new WMDs. ..."
"... New York Magazine ..."
"... Weekly Standard ..."
Aug 16, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
declared liberal celebrity activist Rosie O'Donnell at a protest in front of the White House last week. "We see it, he can't lie about it," she added. "He is going down and so will all of his administration." "The charge is treason," O'Donnell declared. Protesters held held large letters that spelled it out: " T-R-E-A-S-O-N ."

O'Donnell is by no means alone in her sentiments. Trump's guilt in " Russiagate " is now assumed by much of the American left, and reaches greater levels of fervor with every passing day.

This kind of partisan religiosity is not new.

In the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, conservative pundit Ann Coulter accused war opponents of " treason " and insisted of Saddam Hussein, "We know he had weapons of mass destruction."

Coulter was confident and she wasn't alone. Virtually the entire mainstream American right -- from pundits like Coulter and Sean Hannity to President George W. Bush and the Republican Congress -- was deeply invested in the notion that Hussein possessed WMDs and that the Iraq war was justified based on that unshakeable premise. This belief was so ingrained for so long that many excitedly rushed to pretend that chemical weapons discovered in Iraq as reported by the New York Times in 2014 were somehow the same thing as the " mushroom cloud " the Bush administration said Saddam was capable of.

Unfortunately for the right (and America, and the world), that premise turned out to be false. There were no WMDs. Today, only a minority of delusional, face-saving hawks and unreconstructed neoconservatives still parrot that lie .

And far from being "traitors," Iraq war opponents today are considered to have been on the right side of history .

John Brennan: Melting Down and Covering Up The Iraq War's Age of Madness

Now, "Russian collusion" could be becoming the new WMDs.

The post-2016 left's most dominant narrative is arguably their deeply held belief -- with all the ferocity and piety of yesterday's pro-war conservatives -- that Russia colluded with Trump's campaign to undermine the presidential election. Many believe that the president and anyone who supports his diplomatic efforts like Senator Rand Paul are in the pocket of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I will meet not just with our friends, but with our enemies," said Barack Obama in 2008, and he did just that with Putin, as has every other president in recent times .

But Trump-Russia relations have been spun into far-fetched conspiracy theories on the left. New York Magazine 's Jonathan Chait recently went so far as to speculate that Trump has been a Russian agent since 1987 , a cockamamie idea on par with the Weekly Standard 's Stephen Hayes' discredited conspiracy theory that Saddam and Osama bin Laden were in cahoots .

It really was plausible that Iraq had WMDs in 2003 based on what our intelligence agencies knew, or purported to know. Today, it is feasible that American democracy really has Putin's fingerprints on it based on things revealed by U.S. intelligence.

But isn't it also possible that the left is reading far too much into Russiagate?

The Nation 's Aaron Maté believes liberals are overreaching, and that's putting it mildly:

From the outset, Russiagate proponents have exhibited a blind faith in the unverified claims of US government officials and other sources, most of them unnamed. The reaction to special counsel Robert Mueller's recent indictment of 12 Russian military-intelligence officers for hacking of Democratic party servers and voter databases is no exception. Mueller's indictment is certainly detailed. Most significantly, it marks the first time anyone has been charged for offenses related to Russiagate's underlying crime.

But while it is a major step forward in the investigation, we have yet to see the basis for the allegations that Mueller has lodged. As with any criminal case, from a petty offense to a cybercrime charge against a foreign government, a verdict cannot be formed in the absence of this evidence.

Then the irony kicks in. Maté continues, "The record of US intelligence, replete with lies and errors, underscores the need for caution. Mueller was a player in one of this century's most disastrous follies when, in congressional testimony, he endorsed claims about Iraqi WMDs and warned that Saddam Hussein 'may supply' chemical and biological material to 'terrorists.'"

Noting Mueller's 2003 WMD testimony is not an attempt to undermine him or his investigation, something Maté also makes clear. But it does serve as an important reminder that "intelligence" can be flat-out wrong. It reminds us how these scenarios, which so much of Washington and the elite class fully endorse, can be looked back on as lapses of reason years later.

Mass psychology is real. Political classes and parties are not immune.

"Suppose, however, that all of the claims about Russian meddling turn out to be true," Maté asks. "Hacking e-mails and voter databases is certainly a crime, and seeking to influence another country's election can never be justified."

He continues, "But the procession of elite voices falling over themselves to declare that stealing e-mails and running juvenile social-media ads amount to an 'attack,' even an 'act of war,' are escalating a panic when a sober assessment is what is most needed."

The U.S. could have certainly used less hyperbole and more sobriety in 2002 and 2003.

And there's good chance that when the history books are written about American politics circa 2018, much of Russiagate will be dismissed as more Red Scare than Red Dawn .

With Russia, as with WMDs, left and right have elevated slivers of legitimate security concerns to the level of existential threat based mostly on their own partisanship. That kind of thinking has already proven to be dangerous.

We don't know what evidence of collusion between the Trump camp and Russia might yet come forth, but it's easy to see how, even if this narrative eventually falls flat, 15 years from now some liberals will still be clinging to Russiagate not as a matter of fact, but political identity. Russia-obsessed liberals, too, could end up on the wrong side of history.

No one can know the future. Republicans would be wise to prepare for new, potentially damaging information about Trump and Russia that may yet emerge.

Democrats should consider that Russiagate may be just as imaginary as Republicans' Iraq fantasy.

Jack Hunter is the former political editor of Rare.us and co-authored the 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington with Senator Rand Paul.

JLF August 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm

All this may be as Hunter would have it. Yet there is the nagging doubt that Trump, who could only find major financing for his enterprises following his last bankruptcy through Putin-controlled banks, could be free of any entangling ties or obligations. And if those doubts prove true, what then?
MM , , August 16, 2018 at 1:42 pm
From the Nation: "From the outset, Russiagate proponents have exhibited a blind faith in the unverified claims of U.S. government officials and other sources, most of them unnamed."

This is a key point, because now Democrats and the most of the Left are ready to embrace a guy like Brennan a.k.a. Mr. Torture, merely because they hate Trump.

I'll also admit to not knowing what's coming in the future, but as of now there's a strong circumstantial case to be made that this reactions to Russian election meddling, which when all was said and done amounted to providing the voting public with the truth about the DNC and its own election-fixing operation, that this reaction is only about losing the 2016 presidential election to a guy who was only given a 1% chance of winning by almost everyone.

Clyde Schechter , , August 16, 2018 at 2:20 pm
This is the most sensible commentary on "Russiagate" I have seen anywhere in a long time.

At present, there is some suggestive evidence in the public arena, but nothing conclusive.

What we probably need, actually, is a moratorium on commentary about this until the investigation reaches its conclusion. That can take a long time. But until then, the endless partisanship-motivated speculation we hear daily is, frankly tiresome.

Thank you, Mr. Hunter, for your temperate perspective on this. I wish this would be the last word on the subject until the investigation ends.

b. , , August 16, 2018 at 3:01 pm
'"Russian collusion" could be becoming the new WMDs.'

I suspect I agree with the author's sentiment, but it is not easy to tell.

Who stands accused? Trump? Russia? Both?

The claim that Trump is colluding with Russia is not the same as the claim that Iraq War opponents were colluding with Saddam Hussein.

The manufactured "Russia!" hysteria campaign orchestrated by the Obama/Clinton Democratic Party leadership, as deplorable and dubious as it might be, has nothing in common with the "5th column" smears Sullivan et.al. were peddling in 2002-2003 and beyond.

The claim that Trump committed "treason" would be legally incorrect on the worst case. Without a formal Congressional declaration of war, we are not at war with Russia, and Russia is not the enemy, no matter how much irresponsible mouthbreathing is broadcast from the biparty Congress members. However corrupt and corrupted Trump may be, corruption does not qualify as treason. If corruption were treason, Congress, in support of Israel and Saudi Arabia at the expense of the US (and certainly not in support of Russia) would be a house of traitors.

In comparison, the claim that opponents of the Iraq war were traitors was not just idiotic, but morally inexcusable. If anybody violated their oath, it was Bush himself, his appointees, and the ranking officers of the US military, for issuing illegal orders and/or following them.

"Russian election meddling" is the new WMD only the extent it is used as a pretext for war against Russia. It is the new "stained dress" in the attempt to challenge the ballot and paralyze an inconvenient President. I have no doubt that the Clintons are corrupt, and the GOP has engaged in many a Congressional effort to "investigate". The Clinton campaign adopted this playbook, and the damage to the Republic done by all is growing every day.

The real corruption here is the pretense that Congress is any better than Trump, that Russian oligarchs have more impact on the eroding Republic than Israeli-American, Saudi and UAE oligarchs, and that the biggest threat to the integrity of our elections and the franchise is Russia, and not the Roberts Court, Democrat apparatchiks like Sunstein, or Republican frauds like Kobach. Both parties are actively conspiring and plotting to make sure our votes are meaningless and cannot harm incumbents and the war profiteering classes, and where there used to be an opposition to illegal war and to oligarchs and plutocrats, there is now willing participation in manufactured hysteria to extend the 2016 campaign indefinitely.

WMDs? The very concept is a scam -- there is nukes, and nothing else. Nuclear arsenals outsized to end us all, and trillion dollar waste to expand them, are the tie that binds the US and Russia, and I suspect that Russia would be a lot more rational about reducing those arsenals than the US. If the author wants to worry about ending up on the wrong side of history, he should stop worrying about partisan points and focus. Politics is not a team sports, and anybody who picks a favorite is a failure as a citizen. Nobody who wants power is suitable for it.

b. , , August 16, 2018 at 3:07 pm
Ask yourself, if Saddam Hussein had had "WMD" -- say, some of those chemical and biological stocks Reagan envoy Rumsfeld helpfully provided to Saddam Hussein -- would that have made the Iraq invasion legal, right just, necessary, successful? Or if Powell's little phials and mobile weapons labs actually existed?

Heck, let's say Saddam managed to make actual nukes out of tubes that weren't and yellowcake that wasn't. North Korea has nukes. Does that make invasion and aggressive war legal, right, just necessary, successful?

WMD or not was a lie wrapped within a deception inside a fraud. That's the one thing that it has in common with "Russiagate". Every layer, every aspect of it is a lie, a distraction, and everybody -- Trump included -- is perpetuating the hysteria for their own benefit. The stupidity of it is only barely rivaled by the mendacity.

Stavros , , August 16, 2018 at 3:17 pm
Trump is proving to be the Republican Alger Hiss. The partisanship of 1948 quickly crystallized into pro- and anti-Hiss camps in which the then limited evidence was trumped by ideology. It was not until the Verona tapes were released in the early 1990s that Hiss was proven to be guilty. Had Nixon and his allies called for a special prosecutor in 1948 and the facts both open and classified been examined intensely, Hiss would never have become the progressive Victim that he was to be for over thirty years. Ditto with Trump. Absent Mueller's investigation, these accusations against Trump (and I believe them to have serious weight and substance as well as potential for policy changes to prevent election fraud) would be mere ideological shrapnel to be argued over for another thirty years. Let the investigations proceed unimpeded and a final accounting be published at the very least for the sanity and integrity of the Republic. Don't let Trump become the Right's Alger Hiss.
b. , , August 16, 2018 at 3:18 pm
In other words, let's imagine that Putin has really tried to change election results. Let's imagine that Trump really has been bribed by Russian oligarchs.

Is that why we are at this juncture? Is that why Congress has not served the People and upheld the Constitution in decades? Is that why citizens and voters lose trust in our institutions, and doubt election results?

Really?

We cannot even own up to our own mistakes, our own greed, our own malignancy. We have to blame it not on our "business partners" and "allies" and their hundreds of billions of dollars of arms purchases, we will blame it on Russia.

How small we have become.

It is not just Trump, it is Congress. It is not just this administration and this Congress, it is the previous ones, and the ones before it, and so on.

The point is not whether or not the "Russia!" hysteria and the allegations against Trump are accurate or not. The point is that, in comparison to everything else, it would just be more of the same, and we brought it upon ourselves.

Regime change begins at home.

Sisera , , August 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm
@Collin-
Isn't it extremely Orwellian to say that 'information isn't really information/should be censored or disregarded if it comes from a subversive (Russia) source'?

Naturally, it allows for a very easy way to control and censor information.

Now, as far as pure security threats, aside from information that should've been public anyway, experts deem that the DNC information came from on site:

https://www.thenation.com/article/a-new-report-raises-big-questions-about-last-years-dnc-hack/

Now this is also an appeal to authority, but VIPs has a better track record and I've seen them actually elaborate on their claims, not just assert them.

[Aug 16, 2018] An authorised version of Nekrasov's movie is available on Vimeo now

Aug 16, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

MAGNITSKIY MOVIE. An authorised version is available on Vimeo here. I urge you to watch it: not only does it complete destroy Browder's case, it is an interesting detective process as the film-maker gradually perceives the inconsistencies and manipulations. Browder's story has been extremely important at setting up the anti-Russia dancing mania : if it's a lie, then what?

[Aug 16, 2018] 'Bill Browder Should Be in Jail' Says Philip Giraldi, Widely Respected Pundit and Retired CIA Officer

Aug 16, 2018 | russia-insider.com

'Bill Browder Should Be in Jail' Says Philip Giraldi, Widely Respected Pundit and Retired CIA Officer The Browder story keeps getting more and more airplay, and it is not complimentary to him. Patrick Fleming 10 min ago | 29 13 Giraldi, one of the most popular writers on the conservative Unz.com , is one of the superstars of the alt-media landscape. He has been outspoken about the pernicious effects of Israel and wealthy pro-Israeli American Jews on American politics. You can see many of his articles on RI here .

This was from a radio interview with Lee Stranahan, formerly of Breitbart, now with Sputnik, the Russian state-owned news agency.

You can listen to the whole thing here. Key quotes below:

Listen to "Connecting the Dots on Bill Browder and Mikhail Khodorkovsky" on Spreaker.

"He's basically been the one who appears on the networks, appears before Congress," "

"He is someone that they've [US officials] decided has to be the spokesperson in terms of what's going on in Russia, and yet he has a hidden agenda as a potential criminal."

"I think the story is growing; I'm seeing more and more references to Browder in a negative way."

"The problem is that we have to get this at a level where Browder is doing his damage, and that's in the mainstream media, places like The New York Times, and also to have some people in Congress begin to speak up and say, 'Hey, what about the Magnitsky Act and everything that we did to provoke a crisis with Russia based on what Browder was telling us?'".

"Once you understand that, you realize that Browder, if anything, should be in jail."


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[Aug 16, 2018] America's deep-seated Russophobia is bringing US-Russia relations to the brink of ultimate disaster by Robert Bridge

Notable quotes:
"... wandering European filmmaker ..."
"... In the fifties, the most effective sanction was terror. Almost any publicity from HUAC meant the 'blacklist'. Without a chance to clear his name, a witness would suddenly find himself without friends and without a job ..."
"... clear this whole Russian thing up ..."
"... best democracy money can buy ..."
"... tough on Russia ..."
"... @Robert_Bridge ..."
"... Think your friends would be interested? Share this story! ..."
Aug 16, 2018 | www.rt.com

Starting around WWI, the US has experienced at least three waves of anti-Russia sentiment. What is unique about today's Russophobia is that it's not based on ideological differences, but rather raw political brinkmanship. When viewing particular chapters of American history, it becomes evident that US leaders have a tendency to believe, or feign to believe, that Americans are totally incapable of acting and thinking for themselves. We the ignorant sheeple are simply unqualified to act as independent agents in times of crisis. Instead, the American people are being manipulated like marionettes at the hands of some foreign puppet master, which, as we have been reminded of late on numerous occasions, is Russia.

Russophobia in the US has deep roots. In 1919, coming just after WWI and the Russian Revolution, an imagined Bolshevik bogeyman was seen as the force behind a series of domestic upheavals, like the Seattle General Strike when 65,000 workers walked off their jobs for five days, and the Boston Police Strike, which saw officers protesting for better wages and conditions.

The rationale to explain those past social seizures sounds strikingly familiar today: any American who dares speak out on some domestic issue must be under the subtle influence of a Kremlin indoctrination campaign.

The mythical beast from the east raised its head again in the 1950s as Senator Joseph McCarthy launched a political witch hunt against suspected communist sympathizers in various fields, including government, education and labor. In a sign of repressive times to come, Americans were subjected to show trials conducted by the 'House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC),' a public spectacle that systematically ruined the lives of hundreds of citizens under specious claims.

In Hollywood alone, an estimated 300 industry names, including Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles, were placed on blacklists. Chaplin, eventually ostracized from Hollywood, was forced to flee the country for Switzerland; Welles, under similar duress, also fled to Europe, becoming a " wandering European filmmaker ."

An article in the Harvard Crimson summed up the 'reign of terror' then gripping the nation: " In the fifties, the most effective sanction was terror. Almost any publicity from HUAC meant the 'blacklist'. Without a chance to clear his name, a witness would suddenly find himself without friends and without a job ."

Today, 'McCarthyism' is a synonym for leveling accusations of subversive activities or even treason without providing any sort of evidence. Yet it seems Americans have discarded that part of their history, much to the dismay of US-Russia relations.

This leads us to a bit of modern insanity known as Russiagate, a political show trial whose leading instigators make Joseph McCarthy look like a levelheaded statesman by comparison. After all, there were some grounds for suspicion on both sides of the US-Soviet ideological divide that makes McCarthyism somewhat understandable. Indeed, it must have certainly discomfited the Washington elite that some Americans were becoming increasingly attracted to communism as the ugly side of capitalism – magnified by the earlier deprivations of the Great Depression - was being revealed.

Compared to previous American 'Red Scares,' Russiagate lacks any ideological mat where one may lay the blame for the bilateral breakdown. Instead, it is a dangerous game of political brinkmanship between the two main - I would argue only - US political parties in a desperate bid for seizing the ultimate reins of power. In fact, Russia is an innocent bystander caught in a domestic crackup. This is proven by the fact that the accusers have failed to produce any physical evidence to substantiate the claim that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

One way for the grand inquisitors to quickly wrap up their Russiagate probe is to have WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange - who has previously declared his desire to " clear this whole Russian thing up " – safely provide testimony before US lawmakers. And 'safely' is the key word here. Although the US Senate Intelligence Committee has sent a formal request for Assange to appear before them in person, the likelihood of such a public spectacle – which would certainly be the media event of the year – seems highly unlikely. After all, one of the main reasons the WikiLeaks editor is holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London is that he believes the British authorities will extradite him to the US, where yet another group of US lawmakers have vowed to prosecute him for publishing hundreds of thousands of classified US military and diplomatic documents. Meanwhile, testifying via video conference also seems unrealistic since the Ecuadorian government of President Lenín Moreno has terminated Assange's internet access. So much for getting to the bottom of Russiagate.

BREAKING: US Senate Intelligence Committee calls editor @JulianAssange to testify. Letter delivered via US embassy in London. WikiLeaks' legal team say they are "considering the offer but testimony must conform to a high ethical standard". Also: https://t.co/pPf0GTjTlp pic.twitter.com/TrDKkCKVBx

-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 8, 2018

What this means is that the US political system, not 'Russian hackers,' is the ultimate source of our current malaise. Since there is no real third party to challenge the status quo, Donald Trump himself represented this crucial missing link of the US political system. And since he promised on the campaign trail to do some very radical things, such as scale back America's global military footprint and end hostilities with Russia, two of the biggest money-making rackets on the planet, the Establishment was forced to act.

After all, there is simply too much money and power at stake in the US political system - the " best democracy money can buy ," as the journalist Greg Palast described it - to allow a renegade real estate developer and TV personality to just walk in and destroy it overnight. Thus, once it became apparent that Trump would most likely win the 2016 election (it is my personal opinion that the likelihood of a Trump victory was known well in advance, despite, or precisely because of, what the mainstream media polls predicted in one uniform voice), the elite rolled out 'Red Scare III' in a desperate bid to bury the Republican powerhouse and keep control of the US political machinery.

So, what we have here is the US political system, suffering the malignancy of its own internal contradictions, essentially feeding off its own tail in order to survive just the short term. The remedies that the maverick Donald Trump - a 'third-party candidate' who was clever enough to outmaneuver the most ruthless political gamesters in the business - was willing to impose in order to return some normalcy to US foreign policy were rejected, much to the detriment of global peace and security.

The problem with the US 'Deep State' exerting pressure on the White House over Russia is obvious: it has forced Donald Trump, who is certainly mindful of approaching Midterm elections, to go to dangerous extremes to demonstrate that he is " tough on Russia ." Just this week he announced new sanctions against Russia over the British 'Skripal affair,' which involved the miraculous recovery and subsequent disappearance of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter after allegedly being exposed to the Novichok nerve agent, yet another groundless smear job against Russia.

Although Russia certainly understands that it is being used as a convenient scapegoat in a bitter battle between two entrenched US political parties that threatens United States' very survival, it will have no choice but to respond in some manner to such aggressive actions.

To say that is an unfortunate turn of events, when Trump had initially promised a new day in US-Russia relations on the campaign trail, would be the understatement of the century.

@Robert_Bridge

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[Aug 15, 2018] The US Must Engage With Russia by Rand Paul

Looks like the US politics of the first decapitating shrike now is under review. Encirclement of Russian meanwhile continues unabated.
Aug 15, 2018 | www.theatlantic.com

Over the years, though, agreements with Russia to reduce nuclear arms have not followed a straight path of success. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush announced his intention to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Russian President Vladimir Putin responded by announcing that the INF Treaty might no longer be in Russia's interests. Russia had ratified START II in 2000 but pulled out of the treaty after the U.S. withdrew from the ABM Treaty.

Most recently, New START took effect in 2011. In addition to placing a cap of 1,550 on deployed strategic nuclear warheads, a nearly three-quarters drop from START, New START also cut in half the allowable number of strategic nuclear-delivery vehicles, such as missile launchers and heavy bombers.

New START expires in 2021. If either side allows it to simply sunset, it will be the first time in several decades that a nuclear-arms-reduction treaty between the U.S. and Russia lapses.

... ... ...

Rand Paul is the junior United States Senator from Kentucky.

[Aug 15, 2018] Deciphering The New Caspian Agreemen

Aug 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Viktor Katona via Oilprice.com,

It took more than 20 years for littoral states of the Caspian Sea to reach an agreement that would lay the legal foundations for the full utilization of the region's resources. The Fifth Caspian Summit in Aktau, Kazakhstan, brought the long-sought breakthrough after leaders of Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Iran signed the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea – a remarkable feat considering that heretofore, barring bilateral deals, the Caspian has been governed by an obsolete 1940 convention between the Soviet Union (of which four current littoral states were a part) and Iran.

As the current Convention incorporates a plethora of tradeoffs between countries, let's look at them in greater detail so as to grasp the implications of the deal.

The Convention stipulates that relations between littoral states shall be based on principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity, equality among members, non-use of threat of force (it was only 17 years ago that Azerbaijan and Iran almost started a full-blown naval war over contested fields) and non-intervention.

The military-related clauses of the document can be considered a net diplomatic success for the Russian Federation as it prohibits the physical presence of any third-party armed forces, along with banning the provision of a member state's territory to acts of aggression against any other littoral state. Since Russia is by far the most power nation in terms of both general military clout and military presence around the Caspian, this will placate Russian fears about any potential US (or other) encroachment in the area.

Then there's energy... Although the Convention establishes a general legal framework for territorial disputes to be solved, it refrains from any particularities. Therefore prolonged negotiations are to be expected with regard to many disputed oilfields, stemming predominantly from Irani and Azerbaijani claims . Iran advocated throughout the entire negotiation process an egalitarian approach to delimiting the seabed (each nation would get 20% of the coast), running counter the other countries' aspirations. The things is that when Russia concluded its seabed delimitation agreements with Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan in 2001 and 2003, respectively, the parties split their parts using the median line. Point 8.1. effectively keeps the delimitation task in the hands of relevant governments, thereby providing a very modest boost to the demarcation of the Southern Caspian (the Northern part is fully delimited).

There are two main territorial conflicts to be settled – the Irani-Azerbaijani and the Azerbaijani-Turkmen disputes. The row between Baku and Teheran revolves around the Araz-Alov-Sharg field (discovered in 1985-1987 by Soviet geologists), the reserves of which are estimated at 300 million tons of oil and 395 BCm of natural gas. Even though the field is only 90 kilometers away from Baku and should seemingly be under Azerbaijan's grip, if one is to draw a straight line from the Azerbaijani-Irani border most of the field ought to be allotted to Iran (the median would keep most of it in Azerbaijan). As those old enough to remember the 2001 naval ship hostilities would attest, it does matter at what angle the final line is drawn.

The Serdar/Kapaz field (estimated to contain 50 million tons of oil) is the bone of contention between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Considered to be an extension of Azerbaijan's main oil-producing unit, the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field, Baku sees it as an indispensable element in its quest to mitigate decreasing oil output numbers. Geographically, Serdar/Kapaz is closer to Turkmenistan, yet here too Azerbaijan might come out the ultimate winner. The Apsheron peninsula stretches out some 60km into the Caspian Sea, in effect extending Azerbaijan's geographical reach. Absent previous demarcation agreements between Baku and Ashgabat, the settlement will once again boil down to getting the angles right, as in the case of Araz-Alov-Sharg. However, it must be said that a resolution might come about as a by-product of new gas endeavors.

Clause 14, dealing with laying subsea pipelines and cables, is the one most coveted by energy analysts , since it has the potential to significantly alter Europe's gas supply options.

According to point 14.2., all parties have the right to construct subsea pipelines given that they comply with environmental standards (which are particularly strict in the Caspian Sea). With no further caveat included, some analysts might be tempted to think that Russia will inevitably use the "environmental protection" card when trying to stop the construction of the Trans-Caspian pipeline (TCP) from Turkmenistan, a pipeline it spent many years to halt . Under current circumstances, when US-Russian relations falling ever deeper into an insurmountable ditch, Moscow's decision to allow for the construction of the mightily Washington-backed TCP to take place might be perceived as a massive omission.

Since the Turkmen gas is unlikely to find demand in Azerbaijan or Turkey, it would need to take the whole route via the South Caucasus Pipeline, TANAP and TAP. Merely the transportation tariffs from these pipelines would render any transportation economically unviable unless European gas prices rise substantially to levels above $300/MCm. Moreover, the estimated cost of building the subsea TCP of $2 billion is a disabling burden for either Türkmengaz or SOCAR. Thus, allowing the construction of Trans Caspian gas pipelines might be a brilliant ruse from the Russians – cognizant of all the deficiencies above, they can wield it as a sign of good will in their never-ending negotiations with the European the economics for supplying gas to Europe via the Southern Gas Corridor are far from being Union.

This being said, there are natural impediments to see the TCP implemented anytime soon. Azerbaijan might be interested in getting transit fees for Turkmen natural gas, yet it lacks the required infrastructure to include the above volumes in its traditional conduit via Turkey.

All in all, the Caspian convention is a good basis for further negotiations, even though it falls short of being an all-encompassing legal framework. Territorial disputes will most likely remain frozen for quite some time and no new gas pipeline projects will see the light of day unless market conditions change.

[Aug 15, 2018] Human cost of anti-Putin propaganda

Notable quotes:
"... But .but they criticized Putin!!! That's a common link, surely? ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Drutten August 10, 2018 at 6:23 am

This is old news, but I decided to take a closer look at it. You may remember this viral tidbit:

Yup, that's 54,000 retweets and 65,000 "likes" right there. Good lord

Most of the actual names aren't visible, but the ones that can be read go as follows (I added some background information on them as well):


Funny, ain't it?

Mark Chapman August 10, 2018 at 7:20 am
But .but they criticized Putin!!! That's a common link, surely?
Drutten August 10, 2018 at 8:11 am
Out of all those that can be easily identified in the photograph above, I think it's safe to say only two of them even knew about Putin. The rest died when Putin was a nobody, save for Pralnikov, but he had been hospitalized on and off for a decade before he finally passed away in 1997.

When you dig deeper into it, the trail of dead journalists, business competitors and local officials in the wake of Boris Berezovsky's and Mikhail Khodorkovsky's 1990's escapades is the most striking one by far. That was under Yeltsin's watch, needless to say, and we all know what became of those two gentlemen when they finally ditched Russia for Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Among the journalists that have died since 2000, nearly all of which are attributed to Putin in one way or another these days by lazy pundits (and politicians, and human rights organizations etc), several curiously also probed Berezovsky. Then, you have a big bunch of deaths that are routinely and grossly misrepresented e.g:
https://fkriuk.blogspot.com/2008/02/audit-of-committee-to-protect.html

All in all, summing it up it's all a steaming pile of fake news.

[Aug 15, 2018] Mastercard and Visa can be hit by Russian sanctions; the US financial sector can be eliminated in Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Regarding the Russian characterization of America as their "friend", I believe that Russia is simply playing with us. The US wants Russia to come across as an angry, belligerent and shoe-waving peasant. The intent is to keep alive the Cold War image of Russia as uncivilized and crass. The best response is to do exactly what they are doing. It makes the US look like the petulant bully that it is. Call it judo-politics . ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman August 10, 2018 at 7:58 am

It's time for everyone to come off Twitter – it is like writing your message on your buttocks with a black sharpie and dropping your trousers. Tweets are the kind of stupid thing you send out at the end of work after you've had a bastard of a day, and something you read or hear pushes you over the edge. People in diplomatic posts should not be allowed to use Twitter at all, and should be punished for doing so – reporters now avidly follow the Twitter feed of anyone who is anyone, and pounce on anything that has not been thought through before it can be deleted: an attempt to delete it is just the icing on the cake, an admission that you shouldn't have said it.

Time was, diplomats ran everything they said in writing in an official capacity through a review before it was released, it was parsed six ways from Sunday to see how it might be spun, twisted or misinterpreted. Diplomats speaking in a live interview were careful to remain vague and say nothing which might not have meant several different things. You did not get countries straining to get at one another because of something the minister of agriculture said. But now everybody feels they can speak for the government on Twitter. It's hard to imagine how the various countries of the world could come to be represented by their stupidest citizens.

I hope America does formally sanction the Russian finance and banking sector. They're already doing it under the radar, and going formal would give Russia an excuse to dump SWIFT and stop using it, as well as the US dollar. Mastercard and Visa would be gonzo, taillights, possibly in China as well. America sanctioning the Russian financial sector would remove its last ability to keep an eye on it easily.

Patient Observer August 10, 2018 at 3:29 am
Regarding the Russian characterization of America as their "friend", I believe that Russia is simply playing with us. The US wants Russia to come across as an angry, belligerent and shoe-waving peasant. The intent is to keep alive the Cold War image of Russia as uncivilized and crass. The best response is to do exactly what they are doing. It makes the US look like the petulant bully that it is. Call it judo-politics .
Mark Chapman August 10, 2018 at 7:42 am
It's just diplo-speak, to mark the speaker as a civilized man and not a thug. That is beginning to become a bit of a sore point – is there anyone left who actually believes that because Russian diplomats say "our American friends" or "our American colleagues", that they labour under a delusion that this is just a temporary spat and under it all they still have brotherly connections? If so, let me disabuse all those people of that notion; the Russian government and all its operatives are well aware that America is a self-declared and thus committed enemy. But saying, "the Americans, our enemies" would make for tiresome commentary in the western papers, in which ideologues would assess that this practice proved the Russians are the aggressors while westerners are just trying to work it out. Alternatively, they could lower themselves to the vernacular and instruct, "Listen up, motherfuckers".

Russia understands that America is an enemy and not a friend of any description, just as it understands the United Nations is an American-dominated body and that it is next to useless to expect the UN to back any Russian initiative. It continues to go through the motions in both cases, merely to underline who is following the rules and protocols set up by a better and more aware global civilization than currently prevails, and who is just kicking sand in the other's face and trying to get him to swing for the chin.

Moscow Exile August 13, 2018 at 12:41 am
I feel that I should add that by saying that Americans are not Russia's friends, I mean "deep-state" Americans and others of like mind.

I am sure that most American citizens just want to live their lives in peace and do not feel threatened by "Vlad" and his Evil Empire.

Not long back from the country and head off there again this afternoon for the rest of the week.

And no, I am not building my nuclear fall-out bunker there!

Patient Observer August 13, 2018 at 1:16 pm
Very true. Poll after poll fails to show any concern by American citizens over Russian "meddling" or Russian "assertiveness". Sure, questions can be posed such as "Should the US resist the Russian invasion of xxxxx?". Naturally, the answer would likely be yes. But when asked, without prompting, what concerns them, Russia does not register as a concern at any level. I find this remarkable as anti-Russian news is often the lead on every network evening news show. I can not recall a news broadcast for many months that did not include a Russian-bashing story. The tipping point on media credibility may have been reached

[Aug 15, 2018] Sanctions that Russia can implement

Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Patient Observer says: August 12, 2018 at 6:23 pm

https://www.rt.com/business/435760-russia-response-us-sanctions/

In short:

  1. Cut off titanium metals and fabrications to the West – Boeing shutdowns as well as many other US aerospace operations;
  2. Close off air space or charge much higher tariffs to US carriers using Russian airspace. US airlines become non-competitive in many Asian and European markets;
  3. Stop exporting LNG and other energy products to the US;
  4. Raise taxes or shutdown US companies in Russia;
  5. Stop exports of the RD-180 and 181 rocket engines.

Action 1 would have a devastating impact on US aerospace manufacturing. The US has little ability to replace with domestic or foreign supplies. This action should be reserved in the event of extremely aggressive US actions such as a direct military attack on Syria;

Perhaps the sequence should be 2, 3, 5, 4, 1.

Cortes says: August 12, 2018 at 10:44 pm I propose a 6.

Call a presser at the UN and have the Ambassador confirm that Obama and HRC are wholly paid-up RF assets and watch Civil War II unfold.

[Aug 15, 2018] Countermove in Caspian see: no NATO allowed

Notable quotes:
"... It looks as if Zuckerman's 'nightmare situation' has come about. I don't know that these were ever proven reserves, and in fact I have the impression that the supposed energy bounty of the Caspian did not turn out quite as imagined, but Washington once thought – not long ago, either – that it was imperative America controlled the Caspian region because it was about 'America's energy security'. Which is another way of saying 'America must have control over and access to every oil-producing region on the planet.' ..."
"... Richardson was correct, though, that Russia 'does not share America's values'. In fact, Americans do not share America's values, in the sense that most Americans by far would not support the actions of the Saudi military in Yemen, the clever false-flag operations of the White Helmets in Syria, the deliberate destabilization of Venezuela, regime-change operations to the right and left in order to obtain governments who will facilitate American commercial and political control, and many other things that official America considers just important tools in the American Global Dominance Toolbox. ..."
"... Washington has long nurtured the dream of being Europe's primary, if not only, energy supplier, and owning the Caspian (had the reserves expectations played out) would have brought them closer to their dream. ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

yalensis August 13, 2018 at 2:06 am

Apologies if somebody already posted, the legal partitioning of the Caspian Sea is finally complete and constitutes good news for Russia:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-says-deal-to-settle-status-of-caspian-sea-reached-a8486311.html

yalensis August 13, 2018 at 2:10 am
The other backstory being that NATO wanted to stick its nose in the Caspian Sea, but has been pushed out. Not sure exactly what the pretext was. I have a piece in VZGLIAD that explains the whole thing, but I haven't worked through it yet, will probably do a piece on my own blog in the near future. But I have a couple of other projects in the queue first.
Mark Chapman August 13, 2018 at 8:39 am
Dick Cheney, among others, was convinced that the Caspian Basin holds massive deposits of oil and gas and is strategically significant for that reason.

http://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/issue46/articles/real_reasons_quotes.htm

"Central Asian resources may revert back to the control of Russia or to a Russian led alliance. This would be a nightmare situation. We had better wake up to the dangers or one day the certainties on which we base our prosperity will be certainties no more. The potential prize in oil and gas riches in the Caspian sea, valued up to $4 trillion, would give Russia both wealth and strategic dominance. The potential economic rewards of Caspian energy will draw in their train Western military forces to protect our investment if necessary."

Mortimer Zuckerman
Editor, U.S. News and World Report

"This is about America's energy security. Its also about preventing strategic inroads by those who don't share our values. We are trying to move these newly independent countries toward the West. We would like to see them reliant on Western commercial and political interests. We've made a substantial political investment in the Caspian and it's important that both the pipeline map and the politics come out right."

Bill Richardson
Then-U.S. Secretary Energy (1998-2000)

It looks as if Zuckerman's 'nightmare situation' has come about. I don't know that these were ever proven reserves, and in fact I have the impression that the supposed energy bounty of the Caspian did not turn out quite as imagined, but Washington once thought – not long ago, either – that it was imperative America controlled the Caspian region because it was about 'America's energy security'. Which is another way of saying 'America must have control over and access to every oil-producing region on the planet.'

Richardson was correct, though, that Russia 'does not share America's values'. In fact, Americans do not share America's values, in the sense that most Americans by far would not support the actions of the Saudi military in Yemen, the clever false-flag operations of the White Helmets in Syria, the deliberate destabilization of Venezuela, regime-change operations to the right and left in order to obtain governments who will facilitate American commercial and political control, and many other things that official America considers just important tools in the American Global Dominance Toolbox.

Washington has long nurtured the dream of being Europe's primary, if not only, energy supplier, and owning the Caspian (had the reserves expectations played out) would have brought them closer to their dream. A pipeline network would have carried Caspian oil and gas to Europe. Agreement among the Caspian nations was most definitely not in American interests, and if you dig you will probably find American interventions to prevent that from coming about.

[Aug 15, 2018] Russia need to preserve normalcy for its own population despite US sanctions, so overreacting might be counterproductive as some goods produced by West can't be easily replaced

Notable quotes:
"... Russia is simply trying to preserve an impression of normalcy for its own population, and trade is normal – Russia replaces those goods it cannot buy from the west with those from other markets, but completely shutting off the purchase of all western goods would subject Russians to unnecessary privations for the sake of pride. ..."
"... Russia has many arrows in its quiver. Best not to use them until needed. Big ones like turning off the gas to the EU would only makes sense if there is imminent war which is clearly not the case. In fact, it would be in Russia's best strategic interest to continue to the the main supplier of energy to the EU as it inhibits them from doing things that are potentially stupid dangerous. ..."
"... I would like to see Russian stop supply of the RD-180 and 181 as it is ultra-high tech which would be a nice reminder to the West regarding Russia's science and technology edge as well as delivering a serious blow to the US presence in space – military and civilian. Trump's "Space Force" would be DOA. ..."
"... Western sanctions have done Russia enormous good. It provided an escape from WTO restrictions and unfair trade practices. Good that they are taking full advantage of this opportunity. I suppose that Paul Craig Roberts means well but he needs to take a step back and see the bigger picture ..."
"... I agree that Russia should start cutting the United States off from things it needs from Russia – like the RD-180 and titanium – which would be expensive for the USA to get elsewhere. ..."
"... The implemented economic measures may have a seemingly abstract or sterile quality about them: banning electronic exports to Russia, rattling financial markets, stock prices falling. But the material consequence is that American officials are intending to inflict physical damage on Russian society and Russian people. ..."
"... It's economic warfare on a sliding scale to military warfare, as the Prussian General Karl von Clausewitz would no doubt appreciate. ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman August 12, 2018 at 10:43 am

Russia is simply trying to preserve an impression of normalcy for its own population, and trade is normal – Russia replaces those goods it cannot buy from the west with those from other markets, but completely shutting off the purchase of all western goods would subject Russians to unnecessary privations for the sake of pride.

Mr. Putin's popularity with the Russian people rests largely on their confidence that he is looking out for them, and always carefully balancing risk with reward. If Russia were run by somebody like Erdogan, the west would have succeeded in overthrowing him ages ago.

Russia is in a good position to resist sanctions, because Washington dares not impose restrictions on its trade in oil and gas. While it would be wrong to assume Russia has nothing else, these are core industries and in the other sectors where Russia is strong, the west does not buy much from it anyway except for steel and raw materials. Russia can easily replace those markets. But western brands who spent decades building up their market in Russia slowly and carefully have lost it almost overnight. And they will be a long, long time getting it back.

Jen August 12, 2018 at 3:20 pm
PCR's sources of information probably focus too much on the doings of the Central Bank of Russia and not enough on other sources of advice that the Russian government might rely on. You wonder whether PCR or his researchers are aware that the Russians and the Chinese might be mocking the US in the statements and policies they choose to make public.
Patient Observer August 12, 2018 at 4:41 pm
Russia has many arrows in its quiver. Best not to use them until needed. Big ones like turning off the gas to the EU would only makes sense if there is imminent war which is clearly not the case. In fact, it would be in Russia's best strategic interest to continue to the the main supplier of energy to the EU as it inhibits them from doing things that are potentially stupid dangerous.

I would like to see Russian stop supply of the RD-180 and 181 as it is ultra-high tech which would be a nice reminder to the West regarding Russia's science and technology edge as well as delivering a serious blow to the US presence in space – military and civilian. Trump's "Space Force" would be DOA.

Western sanctions have done Russia enormous good. It provided an escape from WTO restrictions and unfair trade practices. Good that they are taking full advantage of this opportunity. I suppose that Paul Craig Roberts means well but he needs to take a step back and see the bigger picture.

Mark Chapman August 12, 2018 at 10:23 pm
I agree that Russia should start cutting the United States off from things it needs from Russia – like the RD-180 and titanium – which would be expensive for the USA to get elsewhere.

I also agree Russia should keep on supplying the EU with energy, for a couple of reasons. One, any interruption in the supply is just what Washington and its Atlanticist Eurobuddies are looking for so they can label Russia an unreliable partner, and start that whole alternative-sources conversation again: it's why they want to keep Ukraine in the loop – to initiate disruptions and promote uncertainty about the reliability of Russian gas.

Two, Russia has a good chance of splitting factions in Europe off from the USA, as the latter is more and more perceived to be trying to boss the European energy market so as to secure a captive customer for its own exports. The last thing Russia needs is to create the impression that Washington is saving Europe instead of dicking it around.

James lake August 12, 2018 at 7:16 am
https://www.strategic-culture.org/authors/finian-cunningham.html

US Sanctions Are Pushing Russia to War

"The new round of sanctions this week unleashed by the United States on Russia has only one meaning: the US rulers want to crush Russia's economy. By any definition, Washington is, in effect, declaring war on Russia.

The implemented economic measures may have a seemingly abstract or sterile quality about them: banning electronic exports to Russia, rattling financial markets, stock prices falling. But the material consequence is that American officials are intending to inflict physical damage on Russian society and Russian people.

It's economic warfare on a sliding scale to military warfare, as the Prussian General Karl von Clausewitz would no doubt appreciate."

kirill August 12, 2018 at 10:14 am
All these articles are hysterical pap. The events after 2014 have demonstrated that Russia is immune to western sanctions and actually massively benefits from them. It has also shown that it can rapidly react to changing financial conditions as seen in the offloading of $230 billion in foreign debt in 2015. The current round of "the mother of all sanctions" trash talk from Washington is desperate and pathetic failure.

Russia has no reason or incentive for war. It is NATzO that wants to take Russia out. Russia will adjust to the new sanctions by become fully independent of any western financial or economic links. Russia has the critical economic mass to by an autarchy. But it does not need to be since it will keep on trading with most of the planet. NATzO accounts for 11% of the global population (but thinks it is 100%). The congenital retards who run NATzO are helping China to become the next premier financial power. The Yuan will replace the dollar by necessity if not by choice.

I want to see the writers of this scaremongering garbage list the actual economic impacts on Russia. Starting with the financial ones. Russia does not depend on foreign currencies. It also does not depend on foreign loans like some banana republic. The current claims by the chimps in Congress that they will bring Russia's economy to its knees are the same BS as during the post Banderite Kiev coup sanctions which Obama was sure were going to cut Russia down.

Enough already!

davidt August 12, 2018 at 3:49 pm
There is some truth in what you say but nevertheless I think you quite underestimate the threat of US sanctions. One doesn't have to be an unabashed fan of Ben Aris to accept some of the points that he makes in the following article.
http://www.intellinews.com/moscow-blog-us-declares-economic-war-on-russia-146707/?source=blogs
In any case, I am a fan of Eric Kraus and he has serious concerns- check out some of his comments here, say, for example, 7 minutes in.
kirill August 12, 2018 at 4:29 pm
Eric Kraus apparently thinks that Russian enterprises need to borrow dollars or euro from the west. He is dead wrong. Russia can get all the dollars and euro it needs via the exports of oil and gas, minerals, military equipment, nuclear power plants and assorted other exports over $400 billion US per year. That was the point of my post: Uncle Scumbag's sanctions on financial transactions do not cut Russia off, they cut the US and the EU off from the Russian market. We are back to 2014 and these new "mother of all sanctions" will be as useless as the previous round.

As for Japan, it is a useless comparison. Pearl Harbour was triggered by the US trying to cut Japan off from vital resources. Non financial ones. Nobody can cut Russia either from natural resources or the financing it needs. But Russia can f*ck the EU over big time by cutting off natural gas exports. As the rabid mutt in Washington tries to go for broke, Russia should keep diverting natural gas eastward. Let Uncle Scumbag save the EU with the spare LNG he doesn't have.

Patient Observer August 12, 2018 at 5:20 pm
Yes, the analogy between prewar Japan and Russia is false. It can be argued that it is exactly the opposite. Russia has the resources that the West needs and if Russia were to cut those off, the West could be induced to launch a war of desperation as Japan did. If Russia is "walking on eggs" that is why.
Mark Chapman August 12, 2018 at 10:15 pm
Russia also can borrow whatever money it needs to from China. China probably has more than enough to lend of its own, but if it does not, it is under no restrictions against borrowing from western banks, and those banks have no control over how that money is reallocated.
davidt August 13, 2018 at 2:19 pm
I commented on the Pearl Harbour episode simply to make the point that the proposed sanctions are a very aggressive move- this is clearly how the Russian government sees them, and rightly so. If these sanctions clip a percent or so of Russian GDP growth for the foreseeable future then they are very damaging for the country. Frankly, I would not be very sanguine about Russia's long term future if it were not for China, and I continue to back Kraus's opinion over Kirill's This earlier article by Aris sets the stage reasonably well- it's obvious weakness is that the role of China is not taken into account
. http://www.intellinews.com/moscow-blog-russio-delenda-est-140787/?source=blogs
A further point. No matter how creative Russia's scientists and engineers might be, it beggars belief to imagine that any country can compete technologically long term if largely isolated by the rest of the World. Again, this further emphasizes how critical China is likely to be for Russia's well being.
Patient Observer August 13, 2018 at 3:01 pm
Russia needs China and China needs Russia if it wants to remain a sovereign nation.

I would add that the US is in a very fragile state burdened by a stagnate economy despite massive deficit spending in addition to a crumbling global empire. Russia may simply need to ride out the storm and let nature takes it course relative to the US.

kirill August 13, 2018 at 6:24 pm
The chimps in Congress can't see past their own noses and think that borrowing and debt is what sustains the Russian economy. Their bubble of delusion has no bearing on Russian reality. They are currently engaged in "the definition of insanity is to repeat the same failed approach over and over and expect a different result". You can't cut Russia off from western banks more than once and there is obviously no cumulative impact from such sanctions.
kirill August 13, 2018 at 6:20 pm
On what basis do you estimate 1% GDP growth reduction (or contraction?) for the foreseeable future? Kraus needs to make a case and not just engage in proof by assertion. How can we have the same restrictions to banking access that were imposed in 2014 all of the sudden starting to matter now? That is just ludicrous. Cutting off access to NATzO banks in 2014 was the limit of what NATzO could do. It can't go into Russia and shut down Russian banks to prevent Russian companies from financing themselves there or from the Russian government.

Anyway, too much obscure mush and utter lack of details. These "mother of all sanctions" are a joke because the 2014 sanctions did most of the "damage".

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/12/russia-sanctions-us-eu-banks-sberbank-oil-gazprom

LOL.

Mark Chapman August 13, 2018 at 11:18 pm
But for how long can the rest of the world (meaning, I suppose, the United States and western Europe, which seem together to think they are The World) keep it up? Long enough to bring Russia down? I frankly doubt it. America needs trade for its corporations to flourish and expand market share, and it is not achieving that through sanctions and tariffs. The USA is not just taking on Russia; it is making enemies everywhere. The global economy is so interwoven now that it is very difficult to sanction a country to death unless you can block all its major moneymakers. And Washington can't do that (to Russia) without hurting Europe.

The present sanctions are lame and do not really do anything but get journalists excited and use up paper. The sting is in the ones set to automatically go into effect in three months, because to avoid them Russia must admit that it has a secret chemical-weapons program, agree to shut it down and allow UN inspectors into the country to verify it has been done. Perhaps Trump and his cabal gamble that Russia will cop to something it actually doesn't have, just to avoid sanctions, as Gadaffi did. But Russia will not, while the American attempt to bring more inconvenience and problems to the Russian people in an effort to use them to bludgeon the government into doing Washington's bidding is about as shitty a thing as America has ever done without involving weapons, since it offers no proof at all of its conclusions. It is simply imposing collective punishment in order to get ts own way, and would be the first to squeal if Russia did it.

Northern Star August 14, 2018 at 3:06 pm
"The global economy is so interwoven now that it is very difficult to sanction a country to death unless you can block all its major moneymakers. And Washington can't do that (to Russia) without hurting Europe."

The entire sanctions discussion in a nutshell.

Northern Star August 14, 2018 at 3:48 pm
From the Ben Aris link:

"Like the Romans, the US has built a military-industrial economy that can massively out-resource all its opponents' and so is impossible to defeat – a legacy of the rapid militarisation during WWII when it simply out produced first the Nazis and then the Soviet Union, the only other country on the planet at the time with any chance of matching the US's industrial might"

Unlike the Reich the USA industrial base wasn't hampered by round the clock bombing from the Eighth AirForce and the RAF , which also involved the diversion on billions of Reichsmarks for thousands of planes and the Luftwaffe manpower in an attempt to stop or at least mitigate the air attacks.

Likewise the USA industrial base was not hampered by having to -in a massive undertaking-uproot its core manufacturing facilities and move them thousands of kilometers to where they could be reassembled and resume production of machinery , armor and weaponry in general.

Furthermore:

These are just a couple reasons for the fall of Rome, but what is perhaps most terrifying about the fall are the corollaries to today. The Unites States of America has a Gini coefficient of .45, and 40% of the wealth is controlled by the top 1% of the population.[5] By every metric, the United States is even more divided and unfair than Rome before its fall. The effects are perfectly evident as well as there is increasing inclination from the rich to build fallout bunkers and withdraw from civilization and politics just as the roman elites did centuries before. Worsening matters is the evidence of extreme racism towards migrant workers who like slaves in Rome "take the labor from the hardworking middle class". Increasingly the middle class shrinks as social unrest and bigotry grows. It is a scary combination that, if we aren't careful, could spell the end of civilization as we know it, just like it did for the Romans centuries before.

https://pages.vassar.edu/realarchaeology/2017/11/05/how-socialincome-inequality-and-the-fall-of-rome-is-relevant-today/
AND the five links therein.

Therefore the Aris notion that USA can simply bide its time and wait for Russia to collapse is suspect. If anything there may well be be a collapse but not Russia.

Patient Observer August 14, 2018 at 4:58 pm
Agree with the sentiment but the Soviet Union outproduced the US in every industrial category that mattered. Its military was much stronger than the US on land and in the air. On the sea, the US probably had the edge.

The Soviet Union fell because its ideology provided no means to deal with psychos and sociopaths. Religion, with all of its shortcomings, at least tried to address sociopathic behaviors with such terms as sin, evil, etc. When religion left the building, there was nothing left to stop the psychos and its kissing cousins, the Randites.

The West is immune from such dangers as it embraces sociopathyy. Russia, I believe, is seeking a society that can withstand such assaults without heavy handed purges which only provide temporary relief. The Orthodox Church ascendancy in modern Russia is helping to provide that moral anchor to keep socciopathy from becoming the dominant world view. I think even atheists can agree on the importance of its role in providing a stable and humane society.

[Aug 15, 2018] Russia is one of only 7 nation states to have verifiably dismantled and destroyed their chemical weapon stockpiles as ratified by the OPCW and in compliance to the CWC. After Skripal false flag they probably have a second thought.

Notable quotes:
"... What can I say – perhaps now Russia will batten down the hatches and stop all this pandering to western partners. ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

James lake August 8, 2018 at 12:21 pm

Breaking news here in the UK.

USA say that Russia did poison the Skripals in Salisbury.

"The US blamed the attack on Vladimir Putin and said they would be issuing fresh sanctions in response to the deadly attack.

The state department says Wednesday the sanctions will be imposed on Russia because it used a chemical weapon in violation of international law.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said: "The United States determined under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) that the government of the Russian Federation has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law, or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals."

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, in the British town of Salisbury in March."

What can I say – perhaps now Russia will batten down the hatches and stop all this pandering to western partners.

kirill August 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm
No need to batten down the hatches. Just ignore the yapping NATzO chihuahuas. We have not even had a proper trial to determine guilt. The US leadership is not some ultimate judicial body. They can make as many political judgements as they want, but that will do Jack to Russia.

At this point all the hysterical US-driven sanctions against Russia are totally self defeating. The monkeys in Washington clearly think that Russia is a banana republic and that it needs to have access to foreign money and technology to function. They are cleared fucked in the head.

Patient Observer August 8, 2018 at 3:56 pm
More on the above per RT:

It would reportedly include more drastic measures, such as downgrading diplomatic relations, banning the Russian airline Aeroflot from flying to the US and cutting off nearly all exports and imports.

So, are we talking about RD-180 rocket engines and Americans traveling to the ISS on Russian rockets? Are we talking about titanium fabrications that Boeing needs for its aircraft manufacturing?

This Russian hysteria is masking something, something big. My one-track mind suggests fixated on the idea of an approaching economic collapse and subsequent imposition of martial law and/or massive levels of censorship; all to be blamed on Russia. The increasingly frenetic pace of Russian hysteria suggests a near-term sh!t-storm is on the way.

James lake August 8, 2018 at 4:18 pm
The Russian hysteria is scary as so many citizens over there believe in the Russiagate nonsense and have been manipulated to feel they have been attacked.

It means therefore that conditions have been created whereby the USA has the support to attack back.

Putin should never have gone to Helsinki as that escalated the madness.

Trump is emasculated just as obama was and has no power to do anything to block this pathway to outright confrontation

The Europeans will sit by and watch – Russia has no allies there.,

Patient Observer August 8, 2018 at 5:27 pm
Europe will stay on the porch and let the big boys duke it out. In the red corner, we have Vlad – the Terminator. In the other corner, we have Donald – the Orange Haystack. In another corner we have Bruce – the Red Dragon.

Haystack lumbers out of his corner before the bell rings, makes some nasty gestures and starts his victory dance. The Terminator stands in his corner, muscular arms folded across his chest with a wry smile across his face. The Red Dragon is closely studying Haystack with an inscrutable stare. Haystack exhausts himself and collapses mid-ring. The Terminator and Red Dragon leave the arena as the Haystack fans seek their autographs. Something like that.

Mark Chapman August 8, 2018 at 4:41 pm
Perhaps a boxed piano will fall from a ninth-floor balcony and crush Nauert to a rectangular pizza. I'd pay to see that.

Define 'pandering'. Can you name some concessions the United States has wrung from Russia in the last two years? I seem to recall the British investigators said there was no proof that anyone in the Russian government was involved – they simply speculated that because Novichok could only be made in a state facility, there must be state involvement. Does the USA have some evidence that the British have not seen yet? Perhaps they found it in the same place they filed their satellite photography of the Buk missile taking out MH17.

Murdock August 9, 2018 at 1:05 pm
You mean the same Russia that is one of only 7 nation states to have verifiably dismantled and destroyed their chemical weapon stockpiles as ratified by the OPCW and in compliance to the CWC? That Russia?

I can't wait for this determination to be made public along with the coinciding evidence as released by an official judiciary body wielding the requisite jurisdiction and authority under official auspices of the UN. That's what is meant by determined right? Pretty unambiguous terminology there.

This entire charade has gone so far beyond farce it's not even comical anymore, just depressing.

Mark Chapman August 9, 2018 at 3:51 pm
That's an interesting point, because a likely consequence of the continued hysterical hostility from the west will be opacity where there once was transparency; ie: if the United States wants to know something about Russian unconventional weapons programs, it will have to go to extensive and complicated labour to insert a deep-cover spy or persuade an asset that it can trust to find out the information, never knowing if it is being fed disinformation deliberately by a double agent, where once it could simply have asked and been invited to verify the truth itself. International organizations controlled by Washington will be less and less likely to have a free pass to come in and poke about as they see fit.

[Aug 15, 2018] Medvedev: if they introduce something like a ban on banking operations or the use of any currency, we will treat it as a declaration of economic war. And we'll have to respond to it accordingly economically, politically, or in any other way, if required

Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile August 10, 2018 at 12:38 am

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has warned the US that any sanctions targeting Russian banking operations and currency trade will be treated as a declaration of economic war and retaliated against by any means necessary.
" If they introduce something like a ban on banking operations or the use of any currency, we will treat it as a declaration of economic war. And we'll have to respond to it accordingly – economically, politically, or in any other way, if required ," Medvedev said during a trip to the Kamchatka region.

" Our American friends should make no mistake about it ," he emphasized.

Source RT: Russia to treat further US sanctions as an open declaration of economic war – PM
Published time: 10 Aug, 2018 04:42
Edited time: 10 Aug, 2018 08:25

Why does that prick of a Russian PM speak about "our American friends"?

I wish Medvedev would just fuck off out of it.

FFS! They are not your friends, idiot!!!!!

James lake August 10, 2018 at 2:39 am
Why is Medvedev even discussing the areas that would cause Russia harm in public?

It is like pointing a big arrow at the banking and finance sector with "Sanction this"" written on it in big red letters

There is a time for silence. And he needs to come off twitter as well.

[Aug 15, 2018] Trump policies are all over the place first the hard-ass who will never back off, then conciliatory and talking international unity

Notable quotes:
"... Interestingly, the USA is increasingly going it alone in such actions, and the EU – remarkably, for such a spineless outfit – has actually imposed a 'blocking statute' which allegedly will protect European companies from being sanctioned by the USA, while Brussels has taken the unprecedented step of instructing European firms not to comply with demands by the White House that they cease doing business with Iran. Even more astonishing, if that were possible, EU companies who opt to pull out of business with Iranian contacts must first obtain authorization from the European Commission to do so. Without such authorization, they may be sued by EU member states, while a mechanism has been created to allow EU businesses impacted by the sanctions to sue the US administration in the national courts of member states. Who could have forecast that would happen, as recently as a year ago? ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman August 6, 2018 at 5:21 pm

I suppose few were under any apprehension that Trump would not sign the sanctions bill reimposing American sanctions on Iran. Consequently, most will be unsurprised that he did so.

http://www.intellinews.com/trump-triggers-iran-sanctions-eu-unveils-updated-blocking-statute-146376/?source=iran

Interestingly, the USA is increasingly going it alone in such actions, and the EU – remarkably, for such a spineless outfit – has actually imposed a 'blocking statute' which allegedly will protect European companies from being sanctioned by the USA, while Brussels has taken the unprecedented step of instructing European firms not to comply with demands by the White House that they cease doing business with Iran. Even more astonishing, if that were possible, EU companies who opt to pull out of business with Iranian contacts must first obtain authorization from the European Commission to do so. Without such authorization, they may be sued by EU member states, while a mechanism has been created to allow EU businesses impacted by the sanctions to sue the US administration in the national courts of member states. Who could have forecast that would happen, as recently as a year ago?

I need hardly draw attention to the unmitigated and brazen arrogance of the stated US aim: to "force the Iranians to the table for a renegotiation of their role in the Middle East". They fucking live there, for God's sake, but the intent of the sanctions is to force them to bow to American will, and accept the plans for them of a state which is more than 6,000 miles away – yet insists on its right to direct and order regional affairs to its own strategic and economic benefit.

Once upon a time, America's meddling in the Middle East could count on the support of all the major western powers. For the time being, that practice is in abeyance, as the major western allies try to bring about American failure. Goodwill toward the United States has more or less evaporated completely, and America is increasingly regarded as an enemy by former allies. I can't see any possibility of it prevailing, unless it starts a major war and drags everyone into it. I can, however, see irreparable economic damage being inflicted on the American economy.

Patient Observer August 6, 2018 at 5:56 pm
If the EU will actually protect European companies from US enforcement/retaliation and compel European companies to honor contracts with Iranian companies or government, that is big. But why would they do such?

I speculate the US plan is to take Iranian oil off the market thereby driving up crude prices. The downside is that it helps Russia (perhaps not a major concern for Trump) and hurts China but it will be a boon for US oil frackers to the point of avoiding mass default of loans and collapse of major US operations. If Nord Stream II can be stopped, US LNG may surge as well assuming gas frackers can ramp up. And when Iran capitulates (in US dreams) US companies will be granted special concessions to soak up Iranian oil revenues and the EU left of the sidelines.

So the above could be some of the reasons for the EU's stiffening. Putin is probably breaking out the popcorn.

Mark Chapman August 6, 2018 at 7:06 pm
The US has suddenly recollected that if it wants to take on China, it will actually need the support of its traditional allies, and is supposedly launching a make-up effort, especially where Europe is concerned.

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2018/08/02/the-associated-press-us-mends-ties-with-allies-prepares-for-trade-war-with-china.html

Trump is such a boob; his policies are all over the place – first the hard-ass who will never back off, then conciliatory and talking international unity. Anyone who would willingly help that country achieve its goals needs their head examined, as it clearly will turn on its traditional friends the instant it is unhappy with the relationship. Trump brags that trade hardball is 'his thing', but that's just more of his stupid ego, and he appears to not grasp many of its implications.

American farmers understand, though, all too well. It does not take a genius to figure that a $12 Billion bailout fund suggests an assessment of a potential $12 Billion in damage to the sector, which seems like a lot of money. But as agricultural economists correctly deduce, the real damage is to long-term trade relationships, as customers repelled by America's thug tactics turn to other suppliers. I already mentioned the new prominence in Canadian supermarkets of identifying symbols to highlight Canadian products, and Canada is the biggest export market by a considerable margin for American agricultural products. Canada could not win in a trade war against the USA, but it could inflict serious damage on the agricultural sector. Much of Canada is farm country just like south of the border, and all the USA really has going for it in the way of growing-season advantage is California and Florida. Products from there which are out of season in Canada can be purchased from Mexico. Otherwise, pretty much anything you can grow in the USA, you can grow in Canada.

https://theconversation.com/american-farmers-want-trade-partners-not-handouts-an-agricultural-economist-explains-100795

[Aug 15, 2018] After everything Germany has done to our country, I think, they should not talk on the issue for another two hundred years

Notable quotes:
"... When Germany starts up talking again about 'negotiating from a position of strength', it should be slapped down as if it had said 'lebensraum'. ..."
"... Washington wants it, because Washington sees the world as existing to support the comfort and entertainment of Americans, but America cannot do it on its own, so von der Leyen is just doing America's bidding with the tough talk – the whole barnyard of European political elites needs to be cleaned out before there can be any hope of better relations, as they are all committed Atlanticists. ..."
"... But when NATO speaks of 'dealing from a position of strength', it means 'you know what will happen if your offer is not as expected'. In the NATO lexicon, there is no such situation as both sides dealing from a position of strength. ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Patient Observer August 11, 2018 at 7:39 pm
Lovin' it:
the recent call by the German Defense Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, to engage in dialogue with Moscow only from a "position of unity and strength," Shoigu reminded his counterpart that, while Russia seeks peace, it will not tolerate being coerced.

"After everything Germany has done to our country, I think, they should not talk on the issue for another two hundred years," Shoigu said. "Ask your grandparents about their experience of talking to Russia from the position of strength. They will probably be able to tell you."

Shoigu was to the point.

Mark Chapman August 12, 2018 at 9:23 am
Exactly; it seems it was almost instantly impolite to remind the Germans of their Nazi past, along with their aspiration to achieve their goals through military force. When Germany starts up talking again about 'negotiating from a position of strength', it should be slapped down as if it had said 'lebensraum'.

The EU has to know that it is not frightening Russia with tough talk, and so it may as well cut it out. Russia by itself would squash the EU like a bug if they could not go running to Uncle Sam, and NATO as a whole would have a tough time with China and Russia – it's hard to say who would win, because military victory depends on a lot of things and you can't plan for them all, but the scale of global casualties would be so horrific it would be difficult to call any outcome 'victory'.

Washington wants it, because Washington sees the world as existing to support the comfort and entertainment of Americans, but America cannot do it on its own, so von der Leyen is just doing America's bidding with the tough talk – the whole barnyard of European political elites needs to be cleaned out before there can be any hope of better relations, as they are all committed Atlanticists.

If I were Shoigu, although I cannot fault his actual response, I would have said, "I see nothing constructive will be accomplished here today, so I will leave you to it, for I have drills to conduct and work to do. I'll see you next time".

There's nothing wrong in dealing from a position of strength so long as you are prepared to be reasonable; it merely signifies that you do not have to accept any terms that are offered. But when NATO speaks of 'dealing from a position of strength', it means 'you know what will happen if your offer is not as expected'. In the NATO lexicon, there is no such situation as both sides dealing from a position of strength.

[Aug 15, 2018] Mueller's Digging Exposes Culture of Foreign Lobbying and Its Big Paydays

Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Cortes August 2, 2018 at 1:57 am

Mueller tries to pull off the old

"See: I'm not biased against the POTUS and never have been, cos I'm investigating the Dems, too. So I need to continue my impartial work forever" scam:

Mark Chapman August 2, 2018 at 4:33 am
" anything he unearths about Russian election interference.." Future tense, as in not yet accomplished as of this date. Mueller landed himself a good gig, but you can bet he has discovered a great deal about 'foreign money flowing into Washington' which will never be told, because it's not good politics, and has nothing to do with Russia. I daresay a significant amount flows out of Washington as well, for intrigues and influence-peddling abroad.

[Aug 15, 2018] Legendary journalist Seymour Hersh on novichok, Russian links to Donald Trump and 9/11

Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al August 4, 2018 at 12:15 pm

From three days ago.

Independent: Legendary journalist Seymour Hersh on novichok, Russian links to Donald Trump and 9/11
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/seymour-hersh-interview-novichok-russian-hacking-9-11-nerve-agent-attack-a8459596.html

In a rare interview, veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh talks about his illustrious career and how he believes the official versions of some the biggest news stories of our time just don't add up

Youssef El-Gingihy

[Aug 15, 2018] Curious thing also is that police officers were initially posted outside the front door there were quite a few photos of the two women police officers (one chubby, the other not so chubby) standing near the driveway for some time without being affected by any fumes, until the doorknob story became prominent.

Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman August 10, 2018 at 12:11 pm

Here's quite a good collection of references and commentary on the Skripal 'poisoning'. Every time I read over one of these summaries – and I by no means read this one over in detail, just skimmed it – some new incongruity jumps out that sailed right past me on the initial run-through. In this instance, Nick Bailey. The Skripals were supposedly poisoned by Novichok daubed on the doorknob of their front door, and Bailey was supposedly affected by the same vector. Yet the Skripals lived it up for about four hours before they showed any symptoms, while Bailey was affected almost immediately.

http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Corporatism/National_security_state/Intelligence_services/False_flag_operations/False_flag_poisonings/scripal_poisoning.shtml

Jen August 10, 2018 at 2:06 pm
Curious thing also is that police officers were initially posted outside the front door – there were quite a few photos of the two women police officers (one chubby, the other not so chubby) standing near the driveway – for some time without being affected by any fumes, until the doorknob story became prominent.

One of the more sinister aspects of the "poisoning" is that all major evidence – the Zizzi restaurant table, the park bench, the pet animals that starved – has been or is being destroyed by the British authorities. Even Dawn Sturgess was cremated without anything in the press about whether her body had been autopsied. If someone blames somebody else for a murder or some other serious crime, and then covers up or gets rid of important evidence, what does such behaviour suggest?

Mark Chapman August 10, 2018 at 2:19 pm
Too true, blue. Although the police officers might have stood there until the clap of doom and not been affected if the agent was present as a gel, and slathered on the doorknob. But that story always sounded like a crock, because both of them likely would not have touched the doorknob on the way out, probably only one of them, and the supposed Russian assassins would not have known if it might have been Yulia. Good assassination plots, as we have been told the Russians have practiced for decades, ensure that the target is taken out. They're not particularly squeamish about collateral damage, but in this instance only Yulia might have succumbed. But assuming it was a gel and it was on the doorknob, much of it might be assumed to have been removed by the target on the way out, and still Bailey was overcome in less than half the time of the Skripals, both of whom appear to have been simultaneously afflicted around four hours after leaving the house.

It's kind of comical, the stubborn and progressive destruction of evidence by the British authorities, the buying of Skripal's and Bailey's houses at taxpayers' expense, and so on – it's as if after a brief blink of bewilderment that the official narrative is not being accepted at face value, the British government is trying to get a do-over.

Fern August 10, 2018 at 3:56 pm
My God, what has Salisbury done to the Dark Lord? When will his fearful shadow be lifted from this unhappy city? There has been an explosion in a 'military factory' (not sure what that means) in Salisbury which has killed at least one person. The MSM has not yet announced the Russian connection but Luke Harding/The Guardian/The Independent/the Foreign Office/the entire US State Department/ are, no doubt, manufacturing one as we speak.

Maybe the Russian agents who poisoned the Skripals by smearing a non-lethal fatal nerve agent on a door handle after pumping it through a car ventilation system after sneaking it into Yulia's luggage and who then high-tailed it back to Moscow but not before decanting some of it into a gift-wrapped bottle which they left in a local park where it could be recovered in a pristine state after four months and used to poison a couple of dumpster-foragers, made a hitherto unknown deviation from the Kremlin's master plan and hid the remaining nerve agent in a factory along with a time-controlled detonator so all evidence of their evil doing was destroyed.

Hey, I've just written Harding's copy for him .

Cortes August 10, 2018 at 7:02 pm
Beat me to it, Fern:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-45151856

I blame Cubby Broccoli: only a shape-shifting shuper Shoviet shpy could be behind thish latesht Shalishbury outrage.

Jen August 11, 2018 at 3:31 am
Now the authorities will be telling people that Novichok is highly inflammable and children should not be allowed to play with Novichok and matches or cigarette lighters.
Mark Chapman August 11, 2018 at 7:10 am
The Russians engineered it to be that way – a fatal nerve agent that seldom kills, persistent for months if wrapped in cellophane, explosive and flammable, eats dreams and makes you lose your job.
et Al August 11, 2018 at 5:23 am
My God, what has Salisbury done to the Dark Lord?

Does Stonehenge count? Maybe Putin used a time machine.

[Aug 15, 2018] Some suggestions about contra sanctions that Russia can implement

Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Cortes says: August 12, 2018 at 10:44 pm

...Call a presser at the UN and have the Ambassador confirm that Obama and HRC are wholly paid-up RF assets and watch Civil War II unfold.

[Aug 14, 2018] Habakkuk on Russia Delusion Syndrome (RDS)

Aug 14, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

One rather material element in delusions about Russia, alike in my country as in yours, is that people still appear to have difficulty realising that Putin is not a communist, and, where they can get this far, find it utterly impossible to make sense of what he actually is.

Among the more extreme instances was provided by our Ambassador to the UN, Karen Pierce, in the exchanges in April as the Western powers were trying to cover up yet another 'false flag' chemical weapons attack. She explained: "In respect of Karl Marx, I think he must be turning in his grave to see what the country that was founded on many of his precepts is doing in the name of supporting Syria by condoning the use of chemical weapons on Syrian territory."

(See https://www.rt.com/uk/42384... .)

This problem might have been avoided had our then Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, summoned his Eton and Oxford contemporary Paul Robinson back from Ottawa, where he now teaches. Ironically, it was when Johnson was editing the 'Spectator' that, in January 2004, he published an article by Robinson, headlined 'Putin's might is White', which had a shaping influence on my view of contemporary Russian realities.

(See http://archive.spectator.c o... .)

Only later did I learn that, after leaving university, its author had served for five years in Army Intelligence, and, when he chose to do a doctorate, opted to excavate some forgotten figures from Trotsky's 'dustbin of history', writing on the White Russian Army in exile.

As a result, at a time when so many who had opted for 'relevant' subjects quite patently had no idea what was happening, Robinson could see, clearly, that what goes into the 'dustbin' does not necessarily stay there: that Putin was, in essence, a grandchild of the Rev olution who had come to believe that some of those who had opposed it had been completely justified. (As it were, Trotsky should have been in the 'dustbin', not Denikin.)

Moreover, having described the new Russian President as a 'typical Soviet radish – red on the outside but white at the core', Robinson went on to put into context the complexities of his relationship towards 'liberal' ideas:

'Probably the most fundamental tension in Russian politics is that between the concepts of gosudarstvennost' and its rival obshchestvennost'. The nuances of the latter are difficult to translate, but the term refers to civil society and, roughly speaking, means "public opinion". Liberal commentators regard the state in Russia with suspicion. At the start of the 20th century, they longed for the state to surrender its power to "public opinion". They still do. But supporters of gosudatstvennosr view supporters of obshchestvennost' with equal suspicion. They see them as the self-interested representatives of the chattering classes, who, if put into positions of power, will immediately plunge Russia into a state of anarchy in which their beloved liberties will be of no use to them or anybody else. This, the Whites argued, was what the liberals of the provisional government had done in 1917, and this, many now claim, is what free-market democrats such as Yegor Gaidar did to Russia in the early 1990s.


A.Trophimovsky , an hour ago

What about the historical, by the ammount of millions, military budget Trump signed yesterday at that military base, destined mainly to counter Russia and China?

Is he suffering of RDS too already?

How do you see it?

It includes an increase in military personel wages of 2.5%...this would translate into pensions as well, I guess, thus, added to the tax cut, it would seem that for some people Trump is the hen of the golden eggs...

Pat Lang Mod -> A.Trophimovsky , an hour ago
IMO DJT is firmly in the grip of RDS.
VietnamVet , 2 hours ago
Excellent. The past isn't even past.

The Reagan/Thatcher revolution was a restoration of a new Victorian Gilded Age. The USA is a plutocracy with two ideologies (globalism and nationalism) at war. Donald Trump represents the old national myths. Peter Strzok is a courtier of the Clinton globalists. The little people, under stress from austerity, are reverting to their old myths and religions. American globalists cannot face the reality of the defeat of Hillary Clinton. Instead they project themselves on to others. It is the evil Vladimir Putin who is doing the dirty deeds. As with all scapegoats, the truth about Russia does not matter.

This is very scary. The weaponizing of sanctions and tariffs plus the possibility of the 17 year old Middle East Holy War spreading into Turkey and involving NATO troops in Turkey, Syria and Iraq; make the ignition of Russia's 1,960 strategic nuclear weapons a real possibility.

richardstevenhack , 4 hours ago

It is only under the shelter of a state strong enough to protect its subjects from crime or external assault, to create and enforce laws to regulate commerce and industry, and to encourage the arts, education and other social benefits, that a society can prosper, and that the conditions for individual liberty can ever hope to exist.'

This is the quintessential state delusion. History proves the exact opposite, nowhere better than the United States whose founding was based on minimizing state power as much as possible consistent with there being a state. Clearly it was not enough... "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile."

'In that story, America is placed at the vanguard of the great human march of progress. America is the grateful inheritor of other people's gifts. It has a spiritual connection to all people in all places, but also an exceptional role. America culminates history. It advances a way of life and a democratic model that will provide people everywhere with dignity. The things Americans do are not for themselves only, but for all mankind.

'This historical story was America's true myth '

How people can write this sort of nonsense is beyond me. Truly delusional and divorced from any notion of reality. Nothing but a propaganda piece by Brooks. A pure example of "America Delusion Syndrome."

Ishmael Zechariah -> richardstevenhack , 10 minutes ago
re: "How people can write this sort of nonsense is beyond me."

Perhaps the current propaganda is analogous to that described by Auden in "The Shield of Achilles" ( https://www.poets.org/poets... )

"... She looked over his shoulder
For vines and olive trees,
Marble well-governed cities
And ships upon untamed seas,
But there on the shining metal
His hands had put instead
An artificial wilderness
And a sky like lead.

A plain without a feature, bare and brown,
No blade of grass, no sign of neighborhood,
Nothing to eat and nowhere to sit down,
Yet, congregated on its blankness, stood
An unintelligible multitude,
A million eyes, a million boots in line,
Without expression, waiting for a sign.

Out of the air a voice without a face
Proved by statistics that some cause was just
In tones as dry and level as the place:
No one was cheered and nothing was discussed;
Column by column in a cloud of dust
They marched away enduring a belief
Whose logic brought them, somewhere else, to grief..."

At this rate many may come to grief due to the corruption of bloviating megaphones.
'Tis a pity.
Ishmael Zechariah

[Aug 14, 2018] Book: RAND DECEPTION: The TRUTH ABOUT BILL BROWDER, the MAGNITSKY ACT, and ANTI-RUSSIAN SANCTIONS

Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

RobinG , August 14, 2018 at 4:25 am GMT

Re. RUSSIAGATE: the 2nd edition of Alex Krainer's book is now available, with new title.

GRAND DECEPTION: The TRUTH ABOUT BILL BROWDER, the MAGNITSKY ACT, and ANTI-RUSSIAN SANCTIONS https://www.redpillpress.com/shop/grand-deception-bill-browder-magnitsky-act-russian-sanctions/

In 2015, Bill Browder published Red Notice – purportedly a true story about his experience in Russia between 1996 and 2005. Upon closer scrutiny however, his story doesn't add up and demonstrably fails to stand up in a court of law. Nonetheless, on the dubious strength of that story, Browder has been able to lobby the U.S. Congress to pass the Magnitsky Act in 2012 which needlessly damaged the relations between the U.S. and Russia. Where he failed in courts of law, however, his campaign of relentless demonization of Russia and of Vladimir Putin has been successful in the court of public opinion in the West. As humanity finds itself on the precipice of yet another great war, what we need are bridges of mutual understanding and constructive engagement, not demonization.

[Aug 14, 2018] Is not it ironic that the neocon and MI6 corrected Browder is a grandson of two KGB agents?

Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

annamaria , August 14, 2018 at 1:24 am GMT

@Sean

" and so Putin immediately issued orders for him to be sadistically murdered "
What an amazing consistency in supporting the Browder/Steele line "Putin did it." Which is understandable, considering the efforts and investment made into the MSM memes. You made a very strong impression that the presstituting MSM is your main source of information.
Here are some excerpts from the honest sources.

"Poisoned Russian spy was close to Christopher Steele consultant:" http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/poisoned-russian-spy-close-steele-consultant-report-article-1.3862516
"Jonathan Winer was not only a point man for the Steele "dossier" at the State Department in 2016 (and Steele dossiers of yore), he was also a father of the Magnitsky Act in 2012. Yes, longtime Senate staffer Winer is the "old friend" Browder credits with envisioning the legislative strategy that culminated in passage of the law. (More recently, Winer is serving as Browder's bulldog-lawyer -- story here.)
"Cardin knew there were problems with Browder's story about Magnitsky's death and yet brought him into Congress to testify to secure the vote. That's suborning perjury:" https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-04/magnitsky-trio-pushes-war-russia-new-sanctions

"Litvinenko's circle also included Boris Berezovsky, Alexander Goldfarb, Vyacheslav Zharko, and Akhmed Zakayev, most of whom have received asylum in the U.K. In the 1990s, Boris Berezovsky worked with Mikhail Khodorkovsky and George Soros' International Science Foundation which was headed by Alexander Goldfarb for almost ten years. He was also involved in money laundering millions of dollars through the Bank of New York and the Republic Bank of New York which was owned by Bill Browder's now deceased partner, Edmond Safra:" https://jimmysllama.com/2018/05/07/11191/

– Is not interesting, how so many Browder's connections met an untimely death yet Browder the Scoundrel is well supported and protected by the "deciders." -- See the fate of a DOCUMENTARY about Browder, Magnitsky, and a bloody trail of the dead former employees of Browder whom he used for his very profitable if criminal enterprise.
Alexander Perepelichny" was the key witness who could potentially destroy the scam with highest political stakes on Magnitsky dossier. As Browder responds with "I do not recall" and "I do not know" on any substantial inquiry in the court, the US judiciary could be very interested in hearing Perepelichny. This menace to Magnitsky Act was eliminated one week before the bill passed the US House: on Nov 10, 2012 Alexander Perepelichny was found dead outside his mansion in London."

[Aug 14, 2018] Maybe The US congress truly believe they can decapitate Russia with very little risk or damage to NATO countries, but from publicly available data it doesn't look like that.

Notable quotes:
"... Why are they pushing a propaganda war which awfully looks like psychological preparation for a real hot war, when they must know that there cannot ever be a real hot war? ..."
"... How will they prevent escalation if they themselves seem to slowly drink their own Kool-Aid and believe that Russia is "waging hybrid warfare" with them, and therefore that any military action against Russia counts as self-defense, moreover, that it'd be insane not to wage an actual war against Russia? ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 7:26 pm GMT

@Mitleser

Exactly. It's a bit frightening because I don't quite get what their endgame is here.

Maybe they truly believe they can decapitate Russia with very little risk or damage to NATO countries, but from publicly available data it doesn't look like that.

Why are they pushing a propaganda war which awfully looks like psychological preparation for a real hot war, when they must know that there cannot ever be a real hot war?

How will they prevent escalation if they themselves seem to slowly drink their own Kool-Aid and believe that Russia is "waging hybrid warfare" with them, and therefore that any military action against Russia counts as self-defense, moreover, that it'd be insane not to wage an actual war against Russia?

[Aug 14, 2018] Trump has repeatedly stressed that Russia and the US are the two biggest nuclear powers in the world, with their combined nuclear arsenal accounting for 90 percent of world's total, and thus the US must live in peace with Russia.

Notable quotes:
"... Russia's economy is weak. Its GDP did not make the world's top 10, yet its military, especially its nuclear power, has sustained its status as one of the most influential nations in the world. Russia and the US have serious geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East and Europe, but Trump suddenly reversed the hardline US stance and showed a low-key response to Putin. That's probably because, as Trump said, Russia is a nuclear power. ..."
"... Yet Trump's respect toward Russia is worth mentioning. Trump is a man who values strength, and he attaches great importance to military strength, especially nuclear strength. ..."
"... China is different from Russia. China has a robust economy and has many tools at its disposal, which is an advantage. Yet China's relatively weak military, especially its nuclear power, which lags behind the US, is a major strategic sore point. ..."
"... Just by looking at the US' aggressive attitude in the South China Sea and the Taiwan question, we know that China's nuclear strength is "far from sufficient." Part of the US' strategic arrogance may come from its absolute nuclear advantage. We are concerned that maybe one day, Washington will turn this arrogance into military provocation, whereby China will face very grave challenges. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Thorfinnsson , August 13, 2018 at 9:04 pm GMT

@Okechukwu

From Chinese state media: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1111711.shtml

Amid the lingering fury from the US media over US President Donald Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, the White House announced Thursday that Trump invited Putin to visit Washington this fall. Trump's attitude has been firm on improving US-Russia relations. Despite staunch opposition, it is quite likely that US-Russia relations will halt its slide during Trump's presidency.

Trump has repeatedly stressed that Russia and the US are the two biggest nuclear powers in the world, with their combined nuclear arsenal accounting for 90 percent of world's total, and thus the US must live in peace with Russia. On US-Russia relations, Trump is clearheaded.

Russia's economy is weak. Its GDP did not make the world's top 10, yet its military, especially its nuclear power, has sustained its status as one of the most influential nations in the world. Russia and the US have serious geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East and Europe, but Trump suddenly reversed the hardline US stance and showed a low-key response to Putin. That's probably because, as Trump said, Russia is a nuclear power.

We know US-Russia relations cannot be improved overnight because it is difficult for the two countries to make strategic compromises in Europe and the Middle East. Even if their relations improve, other frictions may emerge, causing new rifts in bilateral ties.

Yet Trump's respect toward Russia is worth mentioning. Trump is a man who values strength, and he attaches great importance to military strength, especially nuclear strength.

The US has defined China as its strategic competitor and is exerting more pressure. The trade war may be just the beginning. Tensions between the two nations may spread to other areas. We believe that during this process, the White House will continue to evaluate, including a look at China's nuclear arsenal.

China is different from Russia. China has a robust economy and has many tools at its disposal, which is an advantage. Yet China's relatively weak military, especially its nuclear power, which lags behind the US, is a major strategic sore point.

A popular view among Chinese strategists is that we need only a sufficient number of nuclear weapons. Too many nuclear weapons cost more and may trigger outside alarm, leading to strategic uncertainty. Those who hold this view believe China does not need to increase its strategic nuclear weapons and should instead focus on modernizing its nuclear weapons to secure the country's capability for a second nuclear strike. We believe this view is a serious misinterpretation of the major countries' nuclear situation.

China is no small country that needs only a few nuclear weapons to scare off an intimidator at a critical moment. China has grown into a global influence, facing greater risks and pressure than smaller countries do. We must reconsider what constitutes "sufficient" in terms of nuclear weapons.

China's nuclear weapons have to not only secure a second strike but also play the role of cornerstone in forming a strong deterrence so that outside powers dare not intimidate China militarily. Once major countries are engaged in military conflicts, each side must evaluate the determination of the other side to see the conflict through. Nuclear power is the pillar of that determination. One of the major reasons that the US used a "salami-slicing" method to push for NATO's eastward expansion but refused to engage in open conflict in Ukraine and Syria with Russia is probably because it was concerned about what Moscow might do with its huge nuclear arsenal.

Just by looking at the US' aggressive attitude in the South China Sea and the Taiwan question, we know that China's nuclear strength is "far from sufficient." Part of the US' strategic arrogance may come from its absolute nuclear advantage. We are concerned that maybe one day, Washington will turn this arrogance into military provocation, whereby China will face very grave challenges.

China must speed up its process of developing strategic nuclear power. Advanced missiles such as the Dongfeng-41 should materialize as soon as possible. Not only should we possess a strong nuclear arsenal, but we must also let the outside world know that China is determined to defend its core national interests with nuclear power.

Of course, we do not believe nuclear power development should override all the other work or its development should come at the expense of other major developmental interests. But this work must be made a top priority. We must recognize the urgent need for China to strengthen its nuclear prowess.

[Aug 14, 2018] If a nuclear war starts, it is only logical for the initial combatants to target ALL powers at once, as this may be their last chance to reduce their neighbors' ability to loot and conquer after the war.

Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

ZZZ , August 13, 2018 at 10:30 pm GMT

@neutral

If a nuclear war starts, it is only logical for the initial combatants to target ALL powers at once, as this may be their last chance to reduce their neighbors' ability to loot and conquer after the war. So expect Europe & China to be hit. China will in turn target Japan, India, Korea, etc. The US do not trust Canada or Mexico, so these may well become targets too. Pakistan and Israel may want to make their move at this point. Pretty soon it would become clear that no major industrial or population center should be spared. So within a couple of hours, the world's entire nuclear stockpile would be launched.

After these events, the country with the most extensive tunnel system will emerge as the new world leader.

[Aug 14, 2018] A blockade is an act of war. A much more lively August than any of us expected. The devil is never idle.

Aug 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Uncoy , Aug 12, 2018 5:33:18 PM | 21

A very busy week indeed. It looks like the world is dividing into two alliances: those who will follow the dictates on Iran and Russian sanctions and those who won't. We're in the prelude to a long winter of a cold war or a very hot one, depending on how the USA chooses to enforce those sanctions. Effectively at this point the upcoming sanctions would serve as the equivalent of a blockade. A blockade is an act of war. A much more lively August than any of us expected. The devil is never idle.

Miserable fat scheming twats like Karl Rove have nothing to look forward to on vacation and so delight in poisoning everyone else's. There's a whole warren of similar rats in the Trump administration and over at Langley which is why I mention Rove. While he's not in the current administration, he's a very visceral representation of what the world is up against until we put the neocons and PNACers out of business for good.

PS. I see nhs continues to post tracking links instead of direct links @7. b, I'd really appreciate it (and the rest of the tech savvy audience here would too) if you'd ban tracking links or more positively insist on direct links. Technically speaking all of nhs's posts should be held as he's a serial offender. You can either clean his links for him (sounds like as much fun as fixing his toilet for free) or just delete the comments which contain URL shorteners (tracking links). The latter would make encourage him to clean up his act fast. You'd be surprised how quickly inconsiderate, spying, spamming types like nhs would learn how to post direct links.

[Aug 14, 2018] Russia of today is in a comparatively much weaker position overall than the USSR due to powerful fifth column

Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Parbes , August 14, 2018 at 1:45 am GMT

@reiner Tor

" I don't quite get what their endgame is here .Why are they pushing a propaganda war which awfully looks like psychological preparation for a real hot war, when they must know that there cannot ever be a real hot war?"

Most probably, because they are calculating that under various forms of psychological and economic pressure Russia will crumble from within and surrender, just like in the times of Gorbachev-Yeltsin, without having to fight a real, risk-filled war. Surrender and subjugation without firing a shot – THAT'S their imagined endgame. "Why wouldn't what worked within living memory, a mere 30 years ago, work again now in updated form?", they think – especially since the Russia of today is in a comparatively much weaker position overall than the USSR of back then and the Russian rulers and society are not really too much different psychologically from what they were back then, and are even mostly COMPOSED OF THE SAME INDIVIDUALS? Is it really surprising that they think that way, given the continued existence and thriving inside Russia of a powerful, openly seditious Fifth Column which is not seriously combatted by either the Putin government or the stupid mass of the Russian populace (who stand to lose the most, suffer terribly, and be reduced to colonized virtual serfs or exterminated if the Fifth Columnists and their foreign masters succeed in crashing Russia)?

Of course, IF this is a miscalculation (and I'm not sure that it is, given the current weak, appeasing mentality of the Russian government and population), and the psychopathic Western ruling elites don't manage to get a hold of their oversized lunatic egos and rein in their arrogant hubristic belligerence – well, then the whole situation could devolve pretty quick into a massive, WW I/WW II/Iraq/Serbia combination-type hot war scenario. Except, this time, with the real probability of stepwise escalation from conventional hostilities to Thermonuclear Holocaust.

Vidi , August 14, 2018 at 1:14 am GMT
@Felix Keverich

Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia?

Russia may have struck a heavy blow already, when she dumped her holdings of U.S. treasuries. The relatively small amount ($100 to $200 billion) may not have been significant, but as a signal to the rest of the world it may have been loud. The new sanctions may be an attempt to punish Russia for that. They won't work, of course, but the noise they generate may help to obscure the import of Russia's recent action.

Si1ver1ock , August 14, 2018 at 12:57 am GMT
What I don't understand is why the US thinks Russia and China will continue to sanction North Korea. It seems like the US is handing out straight razors to everybody and asking them to slit each others throats. Except for Erdogan, they all seem to be saying, "Sure why not?"

Maybe they are simply accustomed to taking orders.

[Aug 14, 2018] I think one of Mueller s deeply embedded character flaw is that once he decides on burying someone he becomes possessed

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Mueller, WE NEED TO FIND SOMETHING... Or this president might appoint a honest AG that looks into our HSBC and 911 whitewash!! ..."
"... he can't stop digging and will eventually dig his own grave because this is out in the open, prying eyes like Sheryl Atkinson, internet sleuths and many others. ..."
"... The Witch Hunt, Learn about the enemy, " Nevermind the CFR has this in hand..." https://www.cfr.org/about ~ Smart Cookies Kan! ..."
"... Mueller's entire probe is to protect and cover up the crimes/FISA abuse of the Obama administration! ..."
"... What is the premise for all this investigative crap? Where is the proof that Wikileaks had any contact with Russia to begin with? Why hasn't Mueller asked to talk to Julian Assange himself ??? The supposed agent of Russia??? WTF is going on here? What kind of BS investigation would omit to interview the very person at the nexus of the supposed "Russian interference in the 2016 election"? ..."
"... Why hasn't muller subpoenaed the DNC's server to see how the information was downloaded or uploaded and to whom or by whom? That's the question. ..."
"... The investigation is all cover for Obama, Brennan, Klapper, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarret, Comey, McCabe, both Ohrs, Stzrok, Liza Page and Mueller himself, plus all their little footsoldiers. ..."
"... As the author notes if there was any collusion none of this makes sense....all of this is after the fact and these two are nothing but publicity seeking dogs...what a waste of time and space. ..."
Aug 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kan Thu, 08/09/2018 - 22:23 Permalink

Mueller, WE NEED TO FIND SOMETHING... Or this president might appoint a honest AG that looks into our HSBC and 911 whitewash!!

Nevermind the CFR has this in hand...

booboo -> Kan Thu, 08/09/2018 - 22:41 Permalink

I think one of Mueller's deeply embedded character flaws is that once he decides on burying someone he becomes possessed. Much like the awful dealings with Whitey Bulger, sending men to prison for crimes they did not commit, in federal custody where they could keep them quiet and under the threat of death if they were to talk.

He did this to protect the corruption surrounding that case, he is Mr. Wolf, sent in to clean up the fucking mess. He has gotten away with this tact of ruthlessness for so long that he can't stop digging and will eventually dig his own grave because this is out in the open, prying eyes like Sheryl Atkinson, internet sleuths and many others.

This will be his downfall, like Captain Ahab chasing Moby Dick the White whale, caught in the harpoon tethers and wrapped around the great whale as he takes him deep into the abyss.

BankSurfyMan -> Kan Thu, 08/09/2018 - 22:52 Permalink

The Witch Hunt, Learn about the enemy, " Nevermind the CFR has this in hand..." https://www.cfr.org/about ~ Smart Cookies Kan!

lester1 Thu, 08/09/2018 - 22:36 Permalink

Mueller hasn't even interviewed Don Jr yet. If he were going after Trump that would be a big deal. I tell this to my liberal friends this info and they're like wtf is Mueller even doing?

Mueller's entire probe is to protect and cover up the crimes/FISA abuse of the Obama administration!

Bernard_2011 Thu, 08/09/2018 - 23:32 Permalink

What is the premise for all this investigative crap? Where is the proof that Wikileaks had any contact with Russia to begin with? Why hasn't Mueller asked to talk to Julian Assange himself ??? The supposed agent of Russia??? WTF is going on here? What kind of BS investigation would omit to interview the very person at the nexus of the supposed "Russian interference in the 2016 election"?

Lord Raglan -> Bernard_2011 Fri, 08/10/2018 - 00:08 Permalink

Why hasn't muller subpoenaed the DNC's server to see how the information was downloaded or uploaded and to whom or by whom? That's the question.

The investigation is all cover for Obama, Brennan, Klapper, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarret, Comey, McCabe, both Ohrs, Stzrok, Liza Page and Mueller himself, plus all their little footsoldiers.

Lord Raglan Fri, 08/10/2018 - 00:05 Permalink

You wonder what Mueller and his team do with "exculpatory evidence" they discover. It must go in that deep, dark recess where Obama's birth cert and college and law school records go.......

MuffDiver69 Fri, 08/10/2018 - 00:14 Permalink

As the author notes if there was any collusion none of this makes sense....all of this is after the fact and these two are nothing but publicity seeking dogs...what a waste of time and space.

[Aug 14, 2018] Republicans call Justice Department's Bruce Ohr to testify, but where is British Spy Steele (Video)

Notable quotes:
"... "DOJ official Bruce Ohr will come before Congress on August 28 to answer why he had 60+ contacts with dossier author Chris Steele, as far back as January 2016. He owes the American public the full truth." ..."
"... So here you have information flowing from the Clinton campaign from the Russians, likely -- I believe was handed directly from Russian propaganda arms to the Clinton campaign, fed into the top levels of the FBI and Department of Justice to open up a counter-intelligence investigation into a political campaign that has now polluted nearly every top official at the DOJ and FBI over the course of the last couple years. It is absolutely amazing, ..."
"... Emails handed over to Congress by the Justice Department show that Ohr, Steele, and Simpson communicated throughout 2016, as Steele and Simpson were being paid by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to dig up dirt on Trump. ..."
"... why the most central of figures in the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, British spy for hire Christopher Steele, is not sitting before Congress, testifying to the real election collusion between the UK, the Obama White House, the FBI and the DOJ. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | theduran.com

Representative Mark Meadows tweeted Friday

"DOJ official Bruce Ohr will come before Congress on August 28 to answer why he had 60+ contacts with dossier author Chris Steele, as far back as January 2016. He owes the American public the full truth."

DOJ official Bruce Ohr will come before Congress on August 28 to answer why he had 60+ contacts with dossier author, Chris Steele, as far back as January 2016.

He owes the American public the full truth.

-- Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) August 10, 2018

Lawmakers believe former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr is a central figure to finding out how the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid PR smear firm Fusion GPS and British spy Christopher Steele to fuel a conspiracy of Trump campaign collusion with Russians at the top levels of the Justice Department and the FBI.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) said Sunday to Fox News' Maria Bartiromo

So here you have information flowing from the Clinton campaign from the Russians, likely -- I believe was handed directly from Russian propaganda arms to the Clinton campaign, fed into the top levels of the FBI and Department of Justice to open up a counter-intelligence investigation into a political campaign that has now polluted nearly every top official at the DOJ and FBI over the course of the last couple years. It is absolutely amazing,

According to Breitbart , during the 2016 election, Ohr served as associate deputy attorney general, and as an assistant to former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and to then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. His office was four doors down from Rosenstein on the fourth floor. He was also dual-hatted as the director of the DOJ's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Ohr's contacts with Steele, an ex-British spy, are said to date back more than a decade. Steele is a former FBI informant who had helped the FBI prosecute corruption by FIFA officials. But it is Ohr and Steele's communications in 2016 that lawmakers are most interested in.

Emails handed over to Congress by the Justice Department show that Ohr, Steele, and Simpson communicated throughout 2016, as Steele and Simpson were being paid by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to dig up dirt on Trump.

The Duran's Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the role Bruce Ohr played in Hillary Clinton's Deep State attack against the Presidency of Donald Trump, and why the most central of figures in the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, British spy for hire Christopher Steele, is not sitting before Congress, testifying to the real election collusion between the UK, the Obama White House, the FBI and the DOJ.

[Aug 14, 2018] Why Did 51 American State Department Officials 'Dissent' Against Obama and Call for Bombing Syria?

Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

renfro , August 14, 2018 at 7:25 pm GMT

@Colin Wright

Yea it was suppose to be Hillary. Under her 51 US State Dept. officials demanded Obama bomb Syria.

Why Did 51 American State Department Officials 'Dissent' Against Obama and Call for Bombing Syria?

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/06/why-did-51-american-state-department-officials-dissent-against-obama-and-call-for-bombing-syria.html

51 U.S. diplomats who still haven't grasped the negative outcomes of the disastrous wars launched since 2002, the solution is to bomb the world into America's image. In an internal dissent cable addressed to Barack Obama, seasoned diplomats have urged airstrikes on the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Chas Freeman, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War, told me he found the cable "unusual" in two respects. First, it garnered a large number of signatures. Most of those who signed the cable, a State Department official told me, were "rank and file" diplomats, such as a deputy to U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford and a secretary in the Near East Bureau. They had a good understanding of the current situation in the region. The second reason this cable is unusual, said Ambassador Freeman, is that the signatories "are arguing for rather than against the use of force." Over the past 40 years, diplomats have used the "dissent channel" to caution against a rush to war. Now these diplomats are asking for an intensification of war.

A former ambassador told me that many of the diplomats have great fealty to Hillary Clinton. Could they have leaked this cable to boost Clinton's narrative that she wanted a more robust attack on Damascus as early as 2012? Is this a campaign advertisement for Clinton, and a preparation for her likely Middle East policy when she takes power in 2017? Clinton certainly advocated tougher military action in Syria. She joined CIA chief David Petraeus to push for a U.S.-backed rebel army in 2012, and she argued for air strikes when there was no appetite for this in the White House.

[Aug 14, 2018] Our Despicable, Indefensible Policy in Yemen by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... So will a good Christian like Mike Pompeo reconcile these obvious falsehoods, self deception. With every letter, he will be denying the very God he professes to believe in. ..."
"... Trump and his administration are the reveal of the true nature of modern American political Christianity. This is what it always was ..."
"... But The People are not exactly conscientious objector on the issue of Yemen and the crimes committed in our name either. The Republic might rot from the head, but the rot has certainly spread far and wide. ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The pathetic U.S. response to last week's massacre of students in Yemen continues :

A senior general urged Saudi officials to conduct a thorough investigation into an airstrike that killed at least 40 children in Yemen, the Pentagon said Monday, an indication of U.S. concern about allied nations' air operations against Houthi militants.

The general's request actually shows how little concern the U.S. has for how the Saudi coalition conducts its war effort. If the U.S. were concerned with how the war was being fought, our officials wouldn't be asking the perpetrators of atrocities to investigate their own crimes. It is pointless to urge the Saudis to conduct an investigation into their own war crime when we already know that they will find that they did nothing wrong. As the Post article notes later on, the coalition's investigations predictably excuse their actions:

According to Andrea Prasow, deputy Washington director for Human Rights Watch, Saudi investigators had cleared coalition military officials of legal responsibility in virtually all investigations the JIAT had conducted.

The pattern of Saudi coalition conduct over the last three years is clear. Their forces commit numerous documented war crimes, and then when they "investigate" those crimes they determine that their forces are guilty of nothing. It would have been laughable to ask the Saudis to investigate themselves back in 2015, and to do the same over three years later is inexcusable. It is an invitation to whitewashing heinous, illegal acts. The U.S. will not honestly call out the coalition members for their crimes against Yemeni civilians because our government is deeply complicit in those crimes, and so we are treated to this pantomime farce where we send officers to call for investigations whose results have been predetermined even before the crimes were committed. The entire policy is a disgrace, and it brings dishonor on everyone ordered to participate in it.

There needs to be an independent, international inquiry into war crimes committed by all sides in Yemen. All parties to the conflict are assuredly guilty of war crimes, and all parties should be held accountable for what they have done to Yemen's civilians. As long as the U.S. enables Saudi coalition crimes and then shields them from scrutiny, our government is implicated in both the crime and the cover-up. Congress could put a stop to this if they were willing to do their jobs and assume their proper responsibilities, but for more than three years they have shirked their duties and acquiesced in a despicable and indefensible policy in Yemen.


Other Costs August 14, 2018 at 1:34 am

"The entire policy is a disgrace, and it brings dishonor on everyone ordered to participate in it."

For all that they're doing it at the order of even more disgusting civilians, this has got a be a low point in the history of the American military. The word "Yemen" on a resume or CV will make military people stink for the rest of their lives. Like "My Lai" or "Dishonorable Discharge".

Christian Chuba , says: August 14, 2018 at 7:41 am
We are getting a preview of the letters Mike Pompeo will be signing off on to Congress.

So will a good Christian like Mike Pompeo reconcile these obvious falsehoods, self deception. With every letter, he will be denying the very God he professes to believe in.

rayray , says: August 14, 2018 at 10:33 am
@Christian Chuba
Trump and his administration are the reveal of the true nature of modern American political Christianity. This is what it always was
b. , says: August 14, 2018 at 3:39 pm
"The entire policy is a disgrace, and it brings dishonor on everyone ordered to participate in it."

Conduct unbecoming.

The higher the rank of the officers involving themselves in this – in following unconstitutional orders to participate in an illegal campaign of aggressive war and collective punishment – the worse it gets. It would be a heroic act for a private – or even the officer piloting a refueling tanker – to speak out against this, a general has much less of a claim to honor and acquiescence both.

If The People really supported those who serve, they would rally to every conscientious objector – even the misguided ones – because anybody who has the honor and integrity to question orders is preferable to those that pay no heed to the meaning of their oath.

But The People are not exactly conscientious objector on the issue of Yemen and the crimes committed in our name either. The Republic might rot from the head, but the rot has certainly spread far and wide.

[Aug 14, 2018] Trump's Trade War with China Undermining China's Dependence on Neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... Trump in fact was not the consensus candidate of the American capitalist class back to the 2016 election. So with respect to these economic policies, especially about his trade protectionist measures, these new tariffs imposed on the Chinese goods, let's put it this way: These are not, certainly not the traditional kind of neoliberal economic policy as we know it. So some sections of the American manufacturing sector [capitalists] may be happy about this. But I would say the majority of the American capitalists probably would not approve this kind of trade war against China. ..."
"... So on the Chinese part, ironically, China very much depends on these overall what Martin Wolf called liberal global order, which might better be called the model of global neoliberal capitalism. So China actually much more depends on that. ..."
"... despite whatever happened to the U.S., China would still be committed to the model of openness, committed to privatization and the financial liberalization. The Chinese government has declared new measures to open up a few economic sectors to foreign investment. ..."
"... for China to rearrange towards this kind of domestic consumption-led model of economic development, the necessary condition is that you have income, wealth redistribution towards the workers, towards poor people. And that is something that the Chinese capitalists will resist. And so that is why and so far China has not succeeded in transforming itself away from this export-led model based on exploitation of cheap labor. ..."
"... first of all, China is not socialist at all today. So income of economic sector, the [space] sector accounts for a small number, a small fraction of the overall economy, by various measurements. ..."
"... And so it's expected China will also become the world's largest importer of natural gas by the year 2019. So you are going to have China to be simultaneously the largest importer of oil, natural gas, and coal. ..."
"... let's say the Chinese government right now, even though is led by the so-called Communist Party, is actually much more committed to the neoliberal global order that the Trump administration in the U.S. ..."
"... The Trump administration of this trade protectionist policy, although not justified, it reflects fundamental social conflicts within the U.S. itself, and that probably cannot be sorted out by the Americans' current political system. ..."
"... So the overall neoliberal regime has become much more unstable. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | therealnews.com

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.

The Financial Times chief economic columnist Martin Wolf has called Trump's trade wars with Europe and Canada, but obviously the big target is China, he's called this a war on the liberal world order. Well, what does this mean for China? China's strategy, the distinct road to socialism which seems to take a course through various forms of state hypercapitalism. What does this mean for China? The Chinese strategy was developed in what they thought would be a liberal world order. Now it may not be that at all.

Now joining us to discuss what the trade war means for China, and to have a broader conversation on just what is the Chinese model of state capitalism is Minqi Li, who now joins us from Utah. Minqi is the professor, is a professor of economics at the University of Utah. He's the author of The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World Economy, and the editor of Red China website. Thanks for joining us again, Minqi.

MINQI LI: Thank you, Paul.

PAUL JAY: So I don't think anyone, including the Chinese, was expecting President Trump to be president Trump. But once he was elected, it was pretty clear that Trump and Bannon and the various cabal around Trump, the plan was twofold. One, regime change in Iran, which also has consequences for China. And trade war with China. It was declared that they were going to take on China and change in a fundamental way the economic relationship with China and the United States. And aimed, to a large extent, trying to deal with the rise of China as an equal, or becoming equal, economy, and perhaps someday in the not-too-distant future an equal global power, certainly as seen through the eyes of not just Trumpians in Washington, but much of the Washington political and economic elites.

So what does this mean for China's strategy now? Xi Jinping is now the leader of the party, leader of the government, put at a level virtually equal to Mao Tse-tung. But his plan for development of the Chinese economy did not, I don't think, factor in a serious trade war with the United States.

MINQI LI: OK. As you said, Trump was not expected. Which meant that Trump in fact was not the consensus candidate of the American capitalist class back to the 2016 election. So with respect to these economic policies, especially about his trade protectionist measures, these new tariffs imposed on the Chinese goods, let's put it this way: These are not, certainly not the traditional kind of neoliberal economic policy as we know it. So some sections of the American manufacturing sector [capitalists] may be happy about this. But I would say the majority of the American capitalists probably would not approve this kind of trade war against China.

Now, on the Chinese part, and we know that China has been on these parts, there was capitalist development, and moreover it has been based on export-led economic growth model and with exploitation of cheap labor. So on the Chinese part, ironically, China very much depends on these overall what Martin Wolf called liberal global order, which might better be called the model of global neoliberal capitalism. So China actually much more depends on that.

And so you have, indeed there are serious trade conflicts between China and U.S. that will, of course, undermine China's economic model. And so far China has responded to these new threats of trade war by promising that China, despite whatever happened to the U.S., China would still be committed to the model of openness, committed to privatization and the financial liberalization. The Chinese government has declared new measures to open up a few economic sectors to foreign investment.

Now, with respect to the trade itself, at the moment the U.S. has imposed tariffs on, 25 percent tariffs on the worth of $34 billion of Chinese goods. And then Trump has threatened to impose new tariffs on the additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. But this amount at the moment is still a small part of China's economy, about 3 percent of the Chinese GDP. So the impact at the moment is limited, but certainly has created a lot of uncertainty for the global and the Chinese business community.

PAUL JAY: So given that this trade war could, one, get a lot bigger and a lot more serious, and/or even if they kind of patch it up for now, there's a lot of forces within the United States, both for economic and geopolitical reasons. Economic being the discussion about China taking American intellectual property rights, becoming the new tech sector hub of the world, even overpassing the American tech sector, which then has geopolitical implications; especially when it comes to the military. If China becomes more advanced the United States in artificial intelligence as applied to the military, that starts to, at least in American geopolitical eyes, threaten American hegemony around the world.

There are a lot of reasons building up, and it's certainly not new, and it's not just Trump. For various ways, the Americans want to restrain China. Does this start to make the Chinese think that they need to speed up the process of becoming more dependent on their own domestic market and less interested in exporting cheap labor? But for that to happen Chinese wages have to go up a lot more significantly, which butts into the interests of the Chinese billionaire class.

MINQI LI: I think you are right. And so for China to rearrange towards this kind of domestic consumption-led model of economic development, the necessary condition is that you have income, wealth redistribution towards the workers, towards poor people. And that is something that the Chinese capitalists will resist. And so that is why and so far China has not succeeded in transforming itself away from this export-led model based on exploitation of cheap labor.

PAUL JAY: You know, there's some sections of the left in various parts of the world that do see the Chinese model as a more rational version of capitalism, and do see this because they've maintained the control of the Chinese Communist Party over the politics, and over economic planning, that do see this idea that this is somehow leading China towards a kind of socialism. If nothing else, a more rational planned kind of capitalism. Is that, is there truth to this?

MINQI LI: Well, first of all, China is not socialist at all today. So income of economic sector, the [space] sector accounts for a small number, a small fraction of the overall economy, by various measurements.

And then regarding the rationality of China's economic model, you might put it this way: The Chinese capitalists might be more rational than the American capitalists in the sense that they still use most of their profits for investment, instead of just financial speculation. So that might be rational from the capitalist perspective. But on the other hand, regarding the exploitation of workers- and the Chinese workers still have to work under sweatshop conditions- and regarding the damage to the environment, the Chinese model is not rational at all.

PAUL JAY: My understanding of people that think this model works better, at least, than some of the other capitalist models is that there's a need to go through this phase of Chinese workers, yes, working in sweatshop conditions, and yes, wages relatively low. But overall, the Chinese economy has grown by leaps and bounds, and China's position in the world is more and more powerful. And this creates the situation, as more wealth accumulates, China is better positioned to address some of the critical issues facing China and the world. And then, as bad as pollution is, and such, China does appear to be out front in terms of developing green technologies, solar, sustainable technology.

MINQI LI: OK. Now, Chinese economy has indeed been growing rapidly. It used to grow like double-digit growth rate before 2010. But now China's growth rate has slowed down just under 7 percent in recent years, according to the official statistics. And moreover, a significant part of China's growth these days derives rom the real estate sector development. And so there has been this discussion about this growing housing market bubble. And it used to be that this housing price inflation was limited to a few big cities. But for the first half of 2018, according to the latest data, the national average housing price has grown by 11 percent compared to the same period last year. And that translates into a pace of doubling every six years.

And so that has generated lots of social resentment. And so not only the working class these days are priced out of the housing market. Moreover, even the middle class is increasingly priced out of the housing market. So that is the major concern. And in the long run, I think that China's current model of accumulation will also face the challenge of growing social conflicts. Worker protests. As well as resources constrained and environmental damage. And regarding the issue of China's investment in renewable energy, it is true. China is the largest investor in renewable energy development, in the solar panels. And although China is of all the largest investor in about everything.

And so China is still the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, accounting for almost 30 percent of the total carbon dioxide emissions in the world every year. And then China's own oil production in decline, but China's oil consumption is still rising. So as a result, China has become the world's largest oil importer. That could make the Chinese economy vulnerable to the next major oil price shock.

PAUL JAY: And how seriously is climate change science taken in China? If one takes the science seriously, one sees the need for urgent transformation to green technology. An urgent reduction of carbon emission. Not gradual, not incremental, but urgent. Did the Chinese- I mean, it's not, it's so not taken seriously in the United States that a climate denier can get elected president. But did the Chinese take this more seriously? Because you don't get the same, any sense of urgency about their policy, either.

MINQI LI: Well, yeah. So like many other governments, the Chinese government also pays lip service to the obligation of climate stabilization. But unfortunately, with respect to policy, with respect to mainstream media, it's not taken very seriously within China. And so although China's carbon dioxide emissions actually stabilized somewhat over the past few years, but is starting to grow again in 2017, and I expect it will continue to grow in the coming year.

PAUL JAY: I mean, I can understand why, for example, Russia is not in any hurry to buy into climate change science. Its whole economy depends on oil. Canada also mostly pays lip service because the Alberta tar sands is so important to the Canadian economy. Shale oil is so important to the American economy, as well as the American oil companies own oil under the ground all over the world. But China is not an oil country. You know, they're not dependent on oil income. You'd think it'd be in China's interest to be far more aggressive, not only in terms of how good it looks to the world that China would be the real leader in mitigating, reducing, eliminating the use of carbon-based fuels, but still they're not. I mean, not at the rate scientists say needs to be done.

MINQI LI: Not at all. Although China does not depend on all on oil for income, but China depends on coal a lot. And the coal is still something like 60 percent of China's overall energy consumption. And so it's still very important for China's energy.

PAUL JAY: What- Minqi, where does the coal mostly come from? Don't they import a lot of that coal?

MINQI LI: Mostly from China itself. Even though, you know, China is the world's largest coal producer, on top of that China is either the largest or the second-largest coal importer in the world market as well. And then on top of that, China is also consuming an increasing amount of oil and natural gas, especially natural gas. And so although natural gas is not as polluting as coal, it's still polluting. And so it's expected China will also become the world's largest importer of natural gas by the year 2019. So you are going to have China to be simultaneously the largest importer of oil, natural gas, and coal.

PAUL JAY: The Chinese party, just to get back to the trade war issue and to end up with, the idea of this Chinese nation standing up, Chinese sovereignty, Chinese nationalism, it's a powerful theme within this new Chinese discourse. I'm not saying Chinese nationalism is new, but it's got a whole new burst of energy. How does China, if necessary to reach some kind of compromise with the United States on the trade war, how does China do that without looking like it's backing down to Trump?

MINQI LI: Well, yes, difficult task for the Chinese party to balance. What they have been right now is that on the one hand they promise to the domestic audience they are not going to make concessions towards the U.S., while in fact they are probably making concessions. And then on the other hand the outside world, and they make announcement that they will not change from the reform and openness policy, which in practice means that they will not change from the neoliberal direction of China's development, and they will continue down the path towards financial liberalization. And so that is what they are trying to balance right now.

PAUL JAY: I said finally, but this is finally. Do the Americans have a case? Does the Trump argument have a legitimate case that the Chinese, on the one hand, want a liberal world order in terms of trade, and open markets, and such? On the other hand are not following intellectual property law, property rights and law, the way other advanced capitalist countries supposedly do. Is there something to that case?

MINQI LI: Well, you know, let's say the Chinese government right now, even though is led by the so-called Communist Party, is actually much more committed to the neoliberal global order that the Trump administration in the U.S. - but I don't want to make justifications for the neoliberal global order. But let's put it this way: The Trump administration of this trade protectionist policy, although not justified, it reflects fundamental social conflicts within the U.S. itself, and that probably cannot be sorted out by the Americans' current political system.

PAUL JAY: So the crisis- you know, when you look at the American side and the Chinese side, including the deep debt bomb people talk about in China, there really is no sorting out of this crisis.

MINQI LI: So the overall neoliberal regime has become much more unstable.

PAUL JAY: All right. Thanks for joining us, Minqi. I hope we can pick this up again soon.

MINQI LI: OK. Thank you.

PAUL JAY: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

[Aug 14, 2018] Trump feuds with former 'apprentice' Omarosa in White House drama fit for reality TV

Notable quotes:
"... "Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on The Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok," ..."
"... "People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard really bad things. Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work." ..."
"... "The Apprentice" ..."
"... "No, I don't think he's fit." ..."
"... "He's being puppeted, and that's very dangerous for this nation," ..."
"... "Omarosa? Omarosa what's going on? I just saw on the news that you're thinking about leaving? What happened?" ..."
"... "You know they run a big operation, but I didn't know it. I didn't know that. I don't love you leaving at all." ..."
"... "Unhinged: An Insider Account of the Trump White House." ..."
"... "The Apprentice." ..."
"... "Lowlife. She's a lowlife." ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.rt.com

13 Aug, 2018 Get short URL Trump feuds with former 'apprentice' Omarosa in White House drama fit for reality TV © Carlo Allegri / Reuters Donald Trump has taken time out of his busy presidential schedule to tweet insults at ex-White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, amid a rapidly-escalating feud between the two estranged reality television prima donnas. "Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on The Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok," Trump tweeted on Monday. "People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard really bad things. Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work."

Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on the Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok. People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard....

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2018

...really bad things. Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work. When Gen. Kelly came on board he told me she was a loser & nothing but problems. I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me - until she got fired!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2018

While I know it's "not presidential" to take on a lowlife like Omarosa, and while I would rather not be doing so, this is a modern day form of communication and I know the Fake News Media will be working overtime to make even Wacky Omarosa look legitimate as possible. Sorry!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2018

The tweet comes hours after Newman, who starred in Trump's reality television series "The Apprentice" before joining the White House, told NBC's "Today" show that Trump was a puppet who was unfit to hold the nation's highest office.

When asked by Today host Savannah Guthrie if she thought Trump had the mental faculties needed to be president, Newman answered: "No, I don't think he's fit." She added that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly – who allegedly fired her without Trump's knowledge – was "running" the White House while Trump remained clueless about daily operations. "He's being puppeted, and that's very dangerous for this nation," Newman said.

"John Kelly is running this White House, and Donald Trump has no clue what's going on. He's being puppeted, and that's very dangerous for this nation." - @OMAROSA pic.twitter.com/tYfDkMF19y

-- TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 13, 2018

In an audio recording provided by Newman, Trump appears to be unaware that the former combative "Apprentice" contestant had been fired.

Read more Omarosa Onee Manigault-Newman © Drew Angerer Omarosa's tape from inside the Situation Room fuels massive freakout over security

"Omarosa? Omarosa what's going on? I just saw on the news that you're thinking about leaving? What happened?" Trump says in the recording, which Newman claims was made a day after she lost her job at the White House in December 2017.

After Newman tells the president that Kelly had fired her, Trump insists that nobody ever told him about it, adding: "You know they run a big operation, but I didn't know it. I didn't know that. I don't love you leaving at all."

Her appearance on the morning program is part of a press tour for her new book, "Unhinged: An Insider Account of the Trump White House." In it, Newman accuses Trump of regularly dropping N-bombs during tapings of the "The Apprentice." She also claims she was offered hush money in exchange for her silence about her tenure at the White House.

When asked over the weekend by a report if he felt betrayed by Newman, Trump shot back: "Lowlife. She's a lowlife."

[Aug 14, 2018] Israel not Russia is the one foreign country that can interfere with impunity with the political processes in the United States yet it is immune from criticism.

Notable quotes:
"... Israel – not Russia – is the one foreign country that can interfere with impunity with the political processes in the United States yet it is immune from criticism. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Sean , August 14, 2018 at 6:38 pm GMT

By all means confront Israel if that is your thing, but don't pretend that there is any possibility of besting them.

Israel – not Russia – is the one foreign country that can interfere with impunity with the political processes in the United States yet it is immune from criticism.

Yes. And that is why only Israel can tame American Jews.

[Aug 14, 2018] Does mere accusation now stand for "truth" in this inmates-running-the-asylum charade USA is putting on?

Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

skopros , August 13, 2018 at 6:46 pm GMT

Has anybody in comments noted how far we have swung from absence of actual PROOF Russia did the Skripal "poisonings" (or even Litvenenko for that matter?!) to what seems like complete acceptance of "guilt," even as major international bodies (OPCW, etc., even Porton Down) have not been able to tie Russia/Putin to these alleged acts of terror or isolate the "novichoks" genre of nerve agent ? The Red Queen triumphs.

Does mere accusation now stand for "truth" in this inmates-running-the-asylum charade USA is putting on? If the "big lie" (Lenin, BTW not Goebbels, originally) works this easily, we are indeed down the chute & over the brink. Orwell is spinning in his grave (gnashing his teeth).

Mitleser , August 13, 2018 at 7:05 pm GMT

Does mere accusation now stand for "truth" in this inmates-running-the-asylum charade USA is putting on?

It was the same when the Iraq was the enemy.

[Aug 14, 2018] Litvinenko affair now looks like a dressed rehearsal of Skripals

Notable quotes:
"... Therefore, we have to deal with facts in the matter. Among the facts, I'd like to point out to the behavior of the investigating party, i.e. the British authorities. "We have proof but won't show them to you, because they are secret" attitude; bypassing normal investigative and judicial channels; unreasonable demands towards Russia they knew full well won't be met and total refusal to cooperate on realistic terms – we saw it for the first time in the Litvinenko affaire. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

EugeneGur , August 13, 2018 at 7:25 pm GMT

@Mr. Hack

All I was pointing out was that there were many reasons why Litvinenko was a target for unfriendly Russian actions

I am pretty sure Litvinenko wasn't particularly loved in Russia: he was a traitor, after all, and, judging by his actions, a pretty miserable human being. However, building a case on motive alone is not possible, if for no other reason than because a motive is by definition subjective. You could analyze until your face turns blue how Putin felt about Litvinenko's accusations but you'd never come to any firm conclusion, for only Putin can possibly know that.

Therefore, we have to deal with facts in the matter. Among the facts, I'd like to point out to the behavior of the investigating party, i.e. the British authorities. "We have proof but won't show them to you, because they are secret" attitude; bypassing normal investigative and judicial channels; unreasonable demands towards Russia they knew full well won't be met and total refusal to cooperate on realistic terms – we saw it for the first time in the Litvinenko affaire.

The same patters was repeated exactly in the Skripal case. This tells you who is the "highly likely" culprit, doesn't it? These two scenarios are so much alike, the have the same author – not necessarily the same person, but definitely the same office.

[Aug 14, 2018] Iran s Supreme Leader No War Nor Negotiations Ever With This White House

Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

In near simultaneous statements addressed to the Iranian public in a speech aired on state TV, the supreme leader who has the final word over all affairs in the Islamic republic, issued the directive: "I ban holding any talks with America... America never remains loyal to its promises in talks."

"America's withdrawal from the nuclear deal is a clear proof that America cannot be trusted," state TV quoted Khamenei further.

As part of his series of tweets, some of which mocked Trump's policy in the Middle East, Khamenei published an infographic presenting his position on ratcheting tensions with the U.S.

He also slammed the idea that this was the first such offer of talks, saying that Iran has proudly resisted unfair and imbalanced U.S. offers of negotiations for decades, and even cited President Ronald Reagan's sending his national security advisor, Robert McFarlane to Tehran for failed negotiations.

Notably, he appeared to troll Trump personally as well as his cabinet in the following:

A stupid man tells the Iranian nation that 'your government spends your money on Syria'. This is while his boss-- the U.S. president-- has admitted he spent 7 trillion dollars in the Middle East without gaining anything in return!

The top Iranian cleric also briefly referenced Iran's domestic crisis, which has included sporadic protests and clashes with the police throughout the summer in response to a plummeting rial and inability of people to access imported goods, stating "Today's livelihood problems do not emerge from outside; they are internal."

He urged the country to resist sanctions and erect "prudent" ways shielding from their effects.

It will be interesting to see if Trump responds to this directly in a tweet, or if any official reaction will be forthcoming from the White House.

But in the meantime it appears the possibility of any renegotiation after Trump's official pullout of the JCPOA last May has just had to the door slammed on it.


truthseeker47 -> vvaleria692 Mon, 08/13/2018 - 13:41 Permalink

Of course Iranian leaders do not want to negotiate with Trump, they know they cannot walk all over him like they did with Obummer.

peddling-fiction -> truthseeker47 Mon, 08/13/2018 - 13:50 Permalink

No war? Chuckle.

TBT or not TBT -> peddling-fiction Mon, 08/13/2018 - 13:57 Permalink

The mullahs are going to be quite the whiny bitches for a while. The anti-American pro Islam President Obama, Commie CIA director, for sale Sec of State, gay agenda Pentagon director and Ben Rhodes and ValJar, Rice and their ill will not be returning. Islamic socialism will be performing the economic wonders you can expect, putting a strong clamp on you their foreign subversion and domestic payrolls too. Meanwhile, they've got a middle class that hates them and views Islam as foreign dirty Arabs' inhuman sect. Good luck with that.

[Aug 14, 2018] Putin to Western Elites Playtime is Over by Dmitry Orlov

Notable quotes:
"... A longer version of this article originally appeared at the ClubOrlov blog . ..."
Mar 17, 2016 | russia-insider.com
An excellent blogger about Russia distills Putin's Sochi speech into 10 simple points A longer version of this article originally appeared at the ClubOrlov blog .

Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin's speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those who have heard of the speech didn't get a chance to read it, and missed its importance.

Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don't think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion) this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech of March 5, 1946.

In this speech, Putin abruptly changed the rules of the game. Previously, the game of international politics was played as follows: politicians made public pronouncements, for the sake of maintaining a pleasant fiction of national sovereignty, but they were strictly for show and had nothing to do with the substance of international politics; in the meantime, they engaged in secret back-room negotiations, in which the actual deals were hammered out.

Previously, Putin tried to play this game, expecting only that Russia be treated as an equal. But these hopes have been dashed, and at this conference he declared the game to be over, explicitly violating Western taboo by speaking directly to the people over the heads of elite clans and political leaders.

  1. Russia will no longer play games and engage in back-room negotiations over trifles . But Russia is prepared for serious conversations and agreements, if these are conducive to collective security, are based on fairness and take into account the interests of each side.
  2. All systems of global collective security now lie in ruins . There are no longer any international security guarantees at all. And the entity that destroyed them has a name: The United States of America.
  3. The builders of the New World Order have failed , having built a sand castle. Whether or not a new world order of any sort is to be built is not just Russia's decision, but it is a decision that will not be made without Russia.
  4. Russia favors a conservative approach to introducing innovations into the social order, but is not opposed to investigating and discussing such innovations, to see if introducing any of them might be justified.
  5. Russia has no intention of going fishing in the murky waters created by America's ever-expanding "empire of chaos ," and has no interest in building a new empire of her own (this is unnecessary; Russia's challenges lie in developing her already vast territory). Neither is Russia willing to act as a savior of the world, as she had in the past.
  6. Russia will not attempt to reformat the world in her own image , but neither will she allow anyone to reformat her in their image. Russia will not close herself off from the world, but anyone who tries to close her off from the world will be sure to reap a whirlwind.
  7. Russia does not wish for the chaos to spread, does not want war, and has no intention of starting one. However, today Russia sees the outbreak of global war as almost inevitable , is prepared for it, and is continuing to prepare for it. Russia does not war -- nor does she fear it.
  8. Russia does not intend to take an active role in thwarting those who are still attempting to construct their New World Order -- until their efforts start to impinge on Russia's key interests. Russia would prefer to stand by and watch them give themselves as many lumps as their poor heads can take. But those who manage to drag Russia into this process, through disregard for her interests , will be taught the true meaning of pain .
  9. In her external, and, even more so, internal politics, Russia's power will rely not on the elites and their back-room dealing, but on the will of the people.

To these nine points I would like to add a tenth:

10. There is still a chance to construct a new world order that will avoid a world war . This new world order must of necessity include the United States -- but can only do so on the same terms as everyone else: subject to international law and international agreements; refraining from all unilateral action; in full respect of the sovereignty of other nations.

To sum it all up: play-time is over. Children, put away your toys. Now is the time for the adults to make decisions. Russia is ready for this; is the world?

[Aug 14, 2018] Paradoxically it is not in best inteersts of Russia to rock the boat of international economy despite sanctions

Aug 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com

All attempt to limit their effectiveness are OK. Attempts to undermine the USA economy or dollar status as the reserve currency are not.

[Aug 14, 2018] New US Sanctions. Bring Them on and Let's See Whose Side God Is On!

Russia pays the [huge] cost of remaining a nation, a civilization and a state ~Vladimir Putin.
Putin Slams US: "The Biggest Mistake Russia Ever Made Was To Trust You"
This is a clear attempt top abuse the dominant position of the USA in the world. For Russian this is powerful blow in the torso, Will it be knockdown remains to be seen. Also as a weaker party Russia can's afford a powerful counterstrike.
Notable quotes:
"... "Skulduggery instead of diplomacy, lies instead of truth, hairdresser-saloon hearsay against facts and truth, anything goes in the attempt to derail the one nation with the guts, gumption, grit and wherewithal to counter the evil hegemonistic plans of Washington and its chihuahuas" ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com
"Skulduggery instead of diplomacy, lies instead of truth, hairdresser-saloon hearsay against facts and truth, anything goes in the attempt to derail the one nation with the guts, gumption, grit and wherewithal to counter the evil hegemonistic plans of Washington and its chihuahuas" Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey 14 hours ago | 2,909 85 More sanctions from the USA using the Skripal affair as an excuse without a shred of evidence, based on hype, hysteria and hearsay. Back-door economic warfare.

Surprise, surprise. The USA invokes a law from the 1990s claiming that it has to impose sanctions when a country crosses a chemical or biological line, in this case an invisible one with no proof, no law case, no due legal process, just an allegation from wonderful British intelligence that the Kremlin was involved in the Skripal case. Proof? None actually...none at all. Just a vague blanket statement along the lines of "They have done it before and they have said they will take out traitors and in the absence of any plausible alternative, they must be guilty". For Washington, after months of vacillating, stating the obvious that it is very complicated to apportion the blame when nobody knows which novichok was used, where it was produced and in the total absence of any trail linking it to the Kremlin, we get the idea that we are looking yet again at the wonderful British intelligence of the type that Colin Powell used to justify the USA's illegal and murderous act of butchery against Iraq. The type of intelligence which resembles a decade-old doctoral thesis copied and pasted from the net and sexed up by Downing Street.

And here they are again, the dynamic duo. Skulduggery instead of diplomacy, lies instead of truth, hairdresser-saloon hearsay against facts and truth, anything goes in the attempt to derail the one nation with the guts, gumption, grit and wherewithal to counter the evil hegemonistic plans of Washington and its chihuahuas.

Drawing the time line at the beginning, let us analyze what is happening and let us see the movie developing from a distance. The political system in vogue at present is the corporatist model controlled by the $inister $ix $isters which control the policies of Washington and its chihuahuas, namely the BARFFS (Banking, Arms, eneRgy, Finance, Food, Pharma/DrugS Lobbies). The BARFFS live off resources and as history has shown us when they have none themselves, they invade countries and steal them. Ask Africa, the victim of a silent Holocaust which claimed seventy million lives.

Russia for them is kosher when it is ruled by something that bends over when told to and allows foreigners to steal the country's resources. Russia for them is not kosher when someone like Putin comes along, slams his fist on the table and says loud and clear that Russian resources are for Russians, managed by Russians. What the BARFFS want is to see Russia divided up into, say, one hundred micro-states each one with a BARFFS-friendly government allowing foreigners to syphon off the vast resources of this country.

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The game starts with promises made to the then-USSR about friendly relations, about NATO not encroaching eastwards, about a new world order based on partnership. It then quickly morphs out of control with the help of the media, using buzz-words and expressions such as "collapse of the Soviet Union" (absolute nonsense, it did not collapse, it transformed from the Union to the Commonwealth as per the terms of the Third Soviet Constitution, without consulting the people, or has everyone forgotten that?). There then ensued acts of provocation in the Balkans, and then in Russia itself (Chechnya), then on Russia's frontiers.

Before Georgia in 2008 we had a spectacular example of war crimes and an illegal invasion of Iraq to test the waters, where military hardware was deployed against civilian structures, where fields of cereals were strafed by NATO aircraft to starve families, where Depleted Uranium was deployed leaving swathes of territory poisonous; beforte this we had the illegal interference in the Republic of Serbia, backing terrorists (Ushtria Çlirimtare ë Kosovës, UÇK or KLA) and the illegal act of kidnapping and subsequent manslaughter/murder of Slobodan Milosevich, who died in custody while being held illegally and without being found guilty of any of the crimes leveled against him.

With Georgia we had another act of provocation in which Georgian forces attacked Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia and were building up to do the same in Abkhazia, territories which under the Soviet Constitution had necessarily to have status referendums on which way the people wanted to go and into which Republic they should integrate. Georgia refused to hold these referendums.

And since Georgia we had Libya, a shocking act of barbarity in which NATO interfered in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, sending the country with the highest Human Development Index back into the dark ages, fragmented and crawling with terrorists. Not to mention Afghanistan, started in 2001 and ongoing, where "allied" troops are photographed guarding opium fields, where opium production has risen and where Talebaan fighters are seen escorting NATO convoys, paid, like WTF?... and not to mention Syria, in which the same side once again allied itself with terrorists as it did in Libya, terrorists which raped little girls before and after they were beheaded, which raped nuns savagely in every orifice of their bodies, which impaled little boys on stakes and which ripped the hearts out of Syrian soldiers and bit into them.

So we see what we are up against. And if all that were not enough today we have the idiotic acts of provocation in the Baltic where a handful of NATO soldiers are cavorting around like toy soldiers claiming to keep their countries safe. From what? Jupiter? Ah and yes, we have Ukraine as the latest act of provocation.

It started off well before the so-called protests in Independence Square, Kiev with subversion and organization of protesters who took to the streets in November 2013 and in late February 2014, shots were fired from the sixth floor of Hotel Ukraine on the protesters in the square below to create a "cause", the democratically elected President was ousted in an illegal coup, massacres were perpetrated against Russian-speaking Ukrainians (this story seems to have disappeared from the Western media) and Fascists shouted slogans such as "Death to Russians and Jews". As a reaction, Russian-speaking Ukrainians defended themselves in South-East Ukraine and in the absence of the due legal force in the Republic of Crimea, the Legislative Assembly, now the organism with due legal force, organized a referendum on status and over ninety per cent of the population (Russians) voted to reintegrate Russia. It's called Democracy. Maybe Washington and its chihuahuas should try it some time.

What the BARFFS wanted Russia to do was to roll over, drop its pants and say "sock it to me, babe". With another leader, that might have happened. Not with Putin. So now we have instead, economic warfare with sanctions, more sanctions and increased sanctions, trying to tie a knot around Russia's throat and tightening it, now linking Crimea to Abkhazia to South Ossetia, to state-sponsored terrorism without a shred of respect for the law and the facts. It is by now crystal clear what the West wants.

It wants to strangle the Russian economy to create unrest in Russia and create political movements against Putin. It then wants to instal a west-friendly government which will see Russia fragmented, sooner or later, into a myriad of republics, each one with their resources controlled by foreigners.

That is what the sanctions are about. Let us see whose side God is on.


Source: Pravda.ru

[Aug 14, 2018] Trump s Creative Vision for a New, Sensible, RealPolitik American Foreign Policy

Notable quotes:
"... Financial Times ..."
"... raison d'état ..."
"... balance of power ..."
"... Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book, "Does the United States Have a Future?" was published on 12 October 2017. Both paperback and e-book versions are available for purchase on http://www.amazon.com and all affiliated Amazon websites worldwide. See the recent professional review http://theduran.com/does-the-united-states-have-a-future-a-new-book-by-gilbert-doctorow-review/ For a video of the book presentation made at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. on 7 December 2017 see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciW4yod8upg ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Tharoor quotes from New York Times columnist David Brooks who concluded that Trump's behavior was that "of a man who wants the alliance to fail." He quotes extensively from Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister and leader of the Liberal political fraction in the European Parliament fighting for a much more integrated EU, who sees Trump as the enemy of liberal internationalism and ally of his own alt right enemies in Europe.

Tharoor also brings into play Martin Wolf of the Financial Times , who delivered a scathing attack on Trump for his rejection of the West: " today the U.S. president appears hostile to core American values of democracy, freedom and the rule of law; he feels no loyalty to allies; he rejects open markets; and he despises international institutions."

In the 23 July issue of "Today's World View," Tharoor takes advantage of the time gone by since Helsinki to refine the conclusions. He offers a pithy commentary from Susan Glasser of The New Yorker : "We are witnessing nothing less than the breakdown of American foreign policy."

In the same issue, Tharoor notes that public reaction to Trump in Helsinki is less pronounced than one might suppose from reading the pundits. He offers the following remarks of colleagues on the results of a recent poll: "Most Americans do not feel Trump went 'too far' in supporting Puitn, and while more Americans say U.S. leadership has gotten weaker than stronger under Trump, his ratings on this question are slightly improved from last fall."

If we go back in time to the days following Trump's visit to the NATO gathering in Brussels, we find in the headlines of the 11 July issue another take on what Trump is doing:

"Trump's NATO trip shows 'America First' is 'America Alone.'"

Here we read about Trump's insistence that America "stop footing Europe's bill" for its defense, namely his demand that all NATO allies pay up 2% of GDP at once, not in the remote future; and that they prepare to double that to 4% very quickly. By intentional abrasiveness, these moves by Trump are, Tharoor tells us, "undercutting the post-World War II order in pursuit of short-term, and likely illusory, wins."

All of these comments address the question of what Trump opposes. However, Tharoor is unable to say what, if anything, Trump stands for. There are only hints: continued US hegemony but without the ideological cover; might makes right; nationalism and the disputes that lead to war.

Does this make sense? Or is it just another way of saying that Trump's foreign policy stance is an inconsistent patchwork, illogical and doomed to fail while causing much pain and destruction along the way?

I fully agree with the proposition that Donald Trump is ripping up the post-Cold War international order and is seeking to end NATO and the rest of the alliance system by which the United States has maintained its global hegemony for decades. But I believe this destructive side is guided by a creative vision of where he wants to take US foreign policy.

This new foreign policy of Donald Trump is based on an uncompromising reading of the teachings of the Realist School of international affairs, such as we have not seen since the days of President Teddy Roosevelt, who was its greatest practitioner in US history.

This is not isolationism, because Trump is acting to defend what he sees as US national interests in foreign trade everywhere and in geopolitics in one or another part of the world. However, it is a world in which the US is cut free from the obligations of its alliances which entail maintenance of overseas bases everywhere at the cost of more than half its defense budget. He wants to end the risks of being embroiled in regional wars that serve our proxies, not core US national interests. And he is persuaded that by a further build-up of military might at home, by adding new hi-tech materiel the US can secure its interests abroad best of all.

I reach these conclusions from the snippets of Trump remarks which appear in the newspapers of daily record but are intentionally left as unrelated and anecdotal, whereas when slotted together they establish the rudiments of an integrated worldview and policy.

For example, I take his isolated remark that the United States should not be prepared to go to war to defend Montenegro, which recently passed NATO accession, because Montenegro had been a trouble-maker in the past. That remark underwent virtually no analysis in the media, though it could be made only by someone who understood, remarkably, the role of Montenegro at the Russian imperial court of Nicholas II precisely as "troublemaker," whose dynastic family aided in their own small way the onset of WWI.

Donald Trump is not a public speaker. He is not an intellectual. We cannot expect him to issue some "Trump Doctrine" setting out his Realist conception of the geopolitical landscape. All we get is Tweets. This inarticulate side of Trump has been used by his enemies to argue he has no policy.

In fact, Trump is the only Realist on the landscape.

Going back to 2016, I thought he was being guided by Henry Kissinger during the campaign and then in the first months of his presidency, I misjudged entirely. Trump is true to the underlying principles of Realism without compromise, whereas Henry K. made his peace with the prevailing Wilsonian Idealism of the American Establishment a couple of decades ago in order to remain welcome in the Oval Office and not to be entirely marginalized.

Trump's vision of Realism draws from the source in the Treaty of Westphalia, 1648 with its guiding concept of sovereign nation-states that do not intervene in others' domestic affairs. It further draws on the notions of raison d'état or national interest developed by the French court of Louis XIV and then taken further by "perfidious Albion" in the eighteenth century, with temporary and ever changing combinations of states in balance of power realignments of competitors. The history of the Realist School was set out magnificently by Kissinger in his 1994 work Diplomacy . It is a pity that the master himself strayed from true and narrow.

In all of this, you have the formula for Trump's respect, even admiration for Putin, since that also is now Vladimir Vladimirovich's concept of Russia's way forward: as a strong sovereign state that sets its own course without the