Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)

NeoMcCartyism as a smoke screen to hide the crisis of neoliberalism

Election of Trump is the sign of crisis of neoliberal ideology and decadence of US elite; warmongering neocon Hillary was the establishment candidate that was rejected by votes and which represented a grave threat to the US national security

A case study of state-fuelled paranoia designed to provide a smoke screen over crisis of neoliberalism in the USA which led to Trump victory.

News Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Nation under attack meme Steele dossier Putin-did-it fiasco
Fake news hysteria in US MSM as a method of suppressing dissent against neoliberalism and militarism Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war Media as a weapon of mass deception MSM as fake news industry US and British media are servants of security apparatus Anti Trump Hysteria in MSM Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections? Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool
Pathological Russophobia of the US elite National Security State The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies How FBI swiped under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal Trump vs. Deep State Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Color revolutions "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship Brennan elections machinations Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy Frustrated underachievers
Conversion of Democratic Party into War Party and Hillary Clinton policy toward Russia History of American False Flag Operations Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism FBI Mayberry Machiavellians PeterStrzok and Strzok-gate Andrew McCabe James Comey role in preventing election of Sanders
Machiavellism Mayberry Machiavellians Neocons Credibility Scam Doublespeak Leo Straus as the godfather of neocons Demonization of Putin Cold War II Predator state Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Diplomacy by deception Obama: a yet another Neocon Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

Introduction

  It is impossible to overstate the stakes involved in the latest controversy over Russia. They involve trillions of dollars in warfare largess to the tens of thousands of bureaucratic warfare-state parasites who are sucking the lifeblood out of the American people.

Jacob G. Hornberger, December 15, 2016

We must remember that in time of war what is said on the enemy’s side of the front is always propaganda, and what is said on our side of the front is truth and righteousness, the cause of humanity and a crusade for peace.

Walter Lippmann

"Trump is somewhat less thrilled with tilting with Russia for the American empire which is as moral as Nero's Rome." And that annoys neocons, including a part of CIA, Pentagon, and a large part of State Department. Dumping Kristol's PNAC crowd will definitely strengthen the republic. But it is not an easy teas as all those national security parasites are well entrenched in Washington, DC. The classic question is "Who, whom ?" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who,_whom%3F

Economist's View   comment

"... The American public is now experiencing mass paranoia that is called Russia-gate. Obnoxious and dangerous as this officially encouraged madness may be, it is, alas, nothing new. As from 9/11, the same kind of group hypnosis was administered from the Nation's Capital on the body politic to serve the then agenda of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, turning back civil liberties that had accrued over generations without so much as a whimper from Congress, our political elites and the country at large. ..."

Gilbert Doctorow

 

While there might be better labels, we will call this new Anti-Russian hysteria neo-McCarthyism, because it is pretty diligent replication of "Red Scare" (which BTW lasted a decade)  in which Communist agents are replaced with "Russian agents" who are everywhere. It might well be a symptom of the USA society getting  a dangerous political auto-immune disease.

This new McCarthyism-style campaign against Russia symbolizes the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA.  A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug. When they start running scared and pretending that the level of dissent is the work of "foreign enemies", well, this is a sign of decadence of elite and profound weakness of neoliberal ideology.  As Professor Cohen noted this is a real threat to the USA national security:

This is unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous, potentially more so than even Joe McCarthy's search for "Communist" connections. It would suggest, for example, that scores of American corporations doing business in Russia today are engaged in criminal enterprise.

More to the point, advisers to U.S. policy-makers and even media commentators on Russia must have many and various contacts with Russia if they are to understand anything about the dynamics of Kremlin policy-making. I myself, to take an individual example, was an adviser to two (unsuccessful) presidential campaigns, which considered my wide-ranging and longstanding "contacts" with Russia to be an important credential, as did the one sitting president whom I advised.

To suggest that such contacts are in any way criminal is to slur hundreds of reputations and to leave U.S. policy-makers with advisers laden with ideology and no actual expertise. It is also to suggest that any quest for better relations with Russia, or détente, is somehow suspicious, illegitimate, or impossible, as expressed recently by Andrew Weiss in The Wall Street Journal and by The Washington Post , in an editorial . This is one reason why I have, in a previous commentary , argued that Russia-gate and its promoters have become the gravest threat to American national security.

This is  the sign the  US elite is losing the battle of ideas can't find solutions to the US problems. All that really stands between them and a social revolution is a thin veneer of 'authority' and status (as well as 18 intelligence agencies), and that's really not enough anymore. So fueling paranoia is a defensive  move, that allow to shift the focus to "external enemy" and rally the nation under the flag.

Samuel Johnson saying  "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. " can be modified to "McCarthyism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

That why the Russian threat argument is not only popular, but became one of the main "themes" within the MSM and the American political establishment. This witch  hunt is encouraged by foreign governments who, for reasons of self-interest, want to see Washington embroiled in the confrontation (Israel as well as Polish, Baltic and Ukrainian nationalists comes to mind). The result is the construction of the new peril, a process similar to re-construction (actually more realistic, as technology of propaganda improved since 50th) of Red Menace.

This process which  we will call neo-McCarthyism has its own logic and rules.  Red scare was actually greatly beneficial to the USA in 50th as along with crushing of dissent it helped to kept cannibalistic instinct of the US elite in check.  The fear of the USSR prevented looting of middle class  till 1980th. In other word the mere existence of the USSR on the world scene suppressed cannibalistic instinct of the US elite for more than a half the century. That why the post-war period as a the real gold-age period for the US middle class an population in general.  Cannibalistic instincts of the US elite returned only after the collapse of the USSR.  Fueled by ascendance of neoliberalism.

The analogy of "Russiagate" with McCarthy witch hunt in very strong indeed but is incomplete. Here in addition to the attempt to crush the opposition to neoliberal globalization painting tit as Russian stooges and suppress disappointment with neoliberalism by rallying that nation around the flag, there is a distinct smell of color revolution against President Trump.  There are several facts which suggest that employees of CIA, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the neoliberal/globalist wing of Democrat Party (Clinton wing), used the power of their offices and (with the assistance of foreign nationals) tried to influence the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, first to exonerate her and then obtain information to prevent the election of Donald Trump, to collect "insurance" -- compromising materials on him in case he win, and  after his surprise win, to provide a basis for his impeachment and removal from the Office by forcing on his  administration the Special Prosecutor.

Like in any color revolution the hysteria in MSM plays very important role in demonizing Russian and by extension the current administration. Similar to "Red Menace" witch hunt  opposing to neoliberalism ideas are perceived as a cancer spreading around the globe, undermining the legitimacy of Western values and political systems.  That's why we see frantic attempt to raise anti-Russian sentiments in the USA to this level of nation-wide paranoia ("Russians under  every bed" level) too. To fake it as the "battle of ideas (BTW Russia is just another neoliberal state; it just wants to be less dependent for Washington, not a pitiful vassal like Western Europeans countries) and make it "strategic" confrontation. Russian policies are distorted to the level which make them a caricature completely detached  from the reality. And the assumption the the US President can unilaterally change the USA foreign policy actually is an insult to intelligence.

Under the cover of this hysteria Washington is trying to adopt a long term diplomatic and military strategy of containing Russia; to forge new alliances which might slow down or prevent ascendance of the economic block of Russia and China (with Iran, turkey and India as possible members). And like in  in Orwell 1984 novel to prepare the American people for a never ending struggle of "good and evil".

Neo-McCarthyism undermines the USA security

The problem with the USA neoliberal elite  and neoliberal MSM is that the last thing US neoliberals are interested in  is how the world outside the bubble of "full spectrum dominance" they inhabit after 1980 operates, and their absolutely contempt for 'deplorables', be they Russian, British, Arab or American. This can lead to political misjudgements like invasion of Libya,  and support of jihadists to partition Syria. 

The whole situation with Russia, including but not limited her economy, history, military, culture etc., is not known to those people. And this represent a strong empirical evidence of a complete professional inadequacy of most people populating this neoliberal/neocon  "full spectrum dominance" bubble. Which makes them a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards selling the security of the USA and  balancing on the edge of nuclear war for 20 silver coins for themselves and their  families. Many of the them look like (and most probably are) little men, drunkards, henpecked husbands, or civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives or present to be a stong men in the yeys of thier  mistresses.  Do you think they sit like monks balancing right against wrong in such tricky subject as relations with Russia ? No. Thier approach is simplistick and wrong "Russia is an aurotirarisnce state" so  "Carnage should be destroyed." And they are playing this game for their petty and selfish motive.  Steele dossier attests that in the USA there is a fully formed and influences caste of "national security parasites." The caste that is deeply interested in keeping the heat in Russiagate as it brings them money, influence as well as personal security in their lucrative positions in State Department,  US papers or TV channels at the expense of security of the USA as a country.

The US and British neoliberal MSM now have fallen below any journalistic standard. It is prudent to view them as evil propaganda tools used by rogue elements in the US and British intelligence agencies. They do not have their own opinions. Puppets. All of them.  And as somebody aptly said those overzealous "journalists" like Rachel Madcow  or "analysts" like Max Boot "should be demoted to painting houses, instead of painting Russia black".

That might be just my old age problem, that  that's how I see it ;-)

And as far as I cal tell most of those people are badly educated  by  European standards (I am not talking about worthless formal degrees they hold), they are deeply provincial, and often clueless Mayberry Machiavellians. They actually enjoy their "confirmation bias"  toward Russia (which to me is a modern form of anti-Semitism, displacement of hatred to Jews if you wish, which is so common among Irish Catholics ;-). In a simple human terms I would call them ignorant snobs. That is why this neoliberal academic-political-media "environment" prefers openly anti-Russian "sources" because those "sources" reiterate to them what they want to hear to start with. Thus is classic "Chalabi Moment" reproduced with a quite different, nuclear armed  country and as such much more dangerous.

In case of Iraq it was and  still is a tragedy (that cost life of million or more of Iraqis), but at least the world is relatively safe. With Russia, as I stated many times for years -- they simply have no idea what they are dealing with.  Those guy know how to fight. But they are  briefed by "sources" such as Russian fugitives in London (who buy this way their non-extradition to Russia for their crimes) and are happy to get the confirmation of their biases.  Also they have information form fringe urban Russian fifth column, especially feminists and lesbians (Masha Gessen is a good example here; although even she has now reservations about Russiagate) 

Again, the level of "Russian Studies" in the Anglophone world in general and in the USA in particular is appalling. And this dismal level represents a  "clear and present danger"  since removes or misinterprets crucial information about the only nation in the world which can completely annihilate the USA. And dramatically increases the  danger of a disastrous military confrontation which can easily slide into full scale nuclear war. they are constantly baiting and humiliating Russia, which so far (to be fare to Putin) did not bite the bait. But a more stupid and more nationalistic person can come to power after Putin, kind of Russian Trump.   And then what ?

I would say that US military brass on average is much better aware of Russia and not only in purely military terms.  Current trends in the USA foreign policy (and they are not new) are so  worrisome that, paradoxically, the US military are my only hope.

Some notes on history of the present Neo-McCarthysim compaign

The key reason for this propaganda campaign is that Putin stance on international relations (multi-polar world) is in conflict that neoliberals/neocons idea of the USA full spectrum domination. Also the alliance of China  and Russia represents  geo-political thereat to the neoliberal empire led by USA. And Russia is a weaker link is this fledging alliance with stronger and more numerous fifth column (which in China is much weaker outside Hong Cong). Also Russia is less nationalistic then China and has traditionally strong pro-Europeian faction of the elite which can be used as the fifth column. So logically this is a country which can be attached first. 

Subduing, of better, dismembering of Russia, also cuts an important source of hydrocarbons to China and fully encircles China. And  the idea to appropriate Russian hydrocarbons was the idea fix of the Us neoliberal elite since Clinton. And during "Drunken Yeltsin" presidency they almost succeeded (Khodorkovsky was on the wedge of selling his holdings to the USA when he was arrested), but them this success was partially reversed with the ascendance of Putin. So this McCarthyism campaign and Putin demonization has a stamp on it "Nothing personal, only business."

The problem with such a policy which is consistent for all administration starting with Bush II (probably the first in a long string of former CIA operatives who became the USA presidents) is that Russia is a nuclear armed state and such tactics literally means balancing on the edge of nuclear war. 

The campaign started in late 2013 and early 2014 around the time of Sochi Olympics. After Maydan color revolution in Ukraine Russia was hit with sanctions for not obeying Washington dictat and geo-political interests. But that was only a start. At this time full scale campaign for demonization of President Putin and  successfully associating him with the word "thug" started . In three year this campaign brought pretty amazing result:  over 80% of population is now completely brainwashed and view Putin as evil kleptocrat, who should be deposed by all means possible. While in reality he is just a very moderate Russian nationalist and  pretty talented and reserved politician  who avoids open confrontation with the USA despite constant and un-relenting bating.  This demonization of Putin is one of the most visible successes of neo-McCarthyism campaign in the USA and GB (to lesser extent in France and Germany, as well) 

The next wave stated in 2016. First with the accusation that Kremlin  hacked Hillary Clinton bathroom  server and then it  reached full speed with the attempt to blame DNC hacks on Russians (which now looks like false flag operation by Crowdstrike to to present internal leak as a Russian hack)

The third wave which reached really hysterical pitch started with the election of Trump as "insurance policy" to prevent his cabinet from implementing any measure that can hurt neoliberal globalization and neocon foreign policy.

They are constantly developing new containment policies, new doctrines. The side effect of all this frantic activities is feeding of MIC as well as a group of people, who we call "national security parasites".  This new cadre of Russophobes are recruited mostly from neocons ( "dirty scoundrels of Washington" ) and neoliberal (Clinton) wing of Democratic  Party. There is also a large strata of politicians, who more than willing to exploit this opportunity to feed military industrial complex, such as Senator McCain.  In any case they now constitute the dominant faction of the US elite and dominate the USA foreign policy. So this is another iteration of "Carnage needs to be destroyed" hysteria with a specific for Washington set of cheerleaders and "experts."

Since around  late November 2017 there is some oppostion to this neo-McCarthyism wave. Opposition is much weaker and compaign still proceed at full speed, but certain  elements of Republican Party now oppose this witch hunt, if for purely partisan reasons. And that was clearly demonstrated by recent hearings of the Capitol Hill, especially Rosenstein testimony  before  House Judiciary Committee called over concern about possible bias of Mueller investigation (surprise, surprise).

Who was behind ne "Red Perl" hysteria

The central role in the creation of the new "Red  peril" is played by US intelligence agencies. They word using time tested patterns of war propaganda. Demonization of the enemy is the task number one in this  game. The fueling of this hysteria  usually starts with mysterious "sources" and unnamed "intelligence officials" who leak information, float trial balloons, and warn about the coming threat. Their information is then augmented by colorful intelligence reports that finger exotic cybersecurity threats and retired CIA brass like Michael Morell, John O. Brennan, supported by several other figures from the US intelligence community like old Cold War warrior James Clapper and  neocons in Pentagon such as Ashton Carter (neocons were extremely well represented in Obama administration, starting with Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State):

3 Dec 2014 18:41
Ashton Carter was one of the most extreme of the neocon hawks in the upper levels of the Bush Admin. His specific assignment was to ensure there could never be a "peer competitor" by throwing money at the bleeding cutting edge of weapons technology.

Along the way, he was one of only two senior people openly advocated for a pre-emptive attack on N. Korea. Even Bush thought that was too much, and even Cheney did not support it, but Carter pushed it. One can wonder how a neocon, wife of a leading neocon, came to be in charge in Ukraine, to declaim "f-the-EU" and boast of spending billions to promote this second color revolution, giving cookies to open Nazis along the way.

However, now with Carter we see that the neocons have captured the policy part of the Obama Admin -- it wasn't an accident, it was design that we did that, and now will go back into Iraq, attack Syria, and attack Iran.

Anti-Russia stories are instantly get the front coverage in NYT, WaPo and other prominent neoliberal publications as well as neoliberal channels sympathetic to Democrats (CNN, MSNBC, CBS). Journalists then search for the people named by those leaks. This part of media (which remains under control of 5 corporation and CIA) forms an informal coalition with the sources within the US intelligence agances and plays important role in fueling color revolution against President Trump.

This process actually was very similar to creation of Green Peril  after the collapse of the USSR, which proved to be self-fulfilling prophecy and culminated in 9/11 (see, for example, https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/green-peril-creating-islamic-fundamentalist-threat The "Green Peril": Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat By Leon T. Hadar August 27, 1992)

In addition, think tanks launch another "frontal propaganda attack" producing all kind of position papers, op-ed pieces, interviews, and such which adds momentum to the official spin. Their publication is followed by congressional hearings, policy conferences, and public press briefings. A governmental policy debate ensues, producing studies, working papers, and eventually doctrines and policies that become part of the media's spin. The new villain is now ready to be integrated into the popular culture to help to mobilize public support for a new crusade. In the case of the Russian threat this process has been under way for more then a year. The current anti-Russian witch hunt in the media was started by Hillary campaign in early 2016 as a smoke screen to shadow weakness of their candidate.

The Democratic Party nomenklatura is embarked on a massive media campaign to divert and reframe the election issues away from the economic and inequality concerns expressed by the Sanders campaign. No to "break up the banks", no to "free public college", no to "Medicare for all", no campaign funding reform. Now it reached the intensity of a new "Red Scare" hysteria of McCarthyism years. What is interesting is the propaganda behaves exactly like brainwashing in high demand cult -- they do not care if it is true of not -- they just force feed you with it until you internalize it (which is the definition of being brainwashed). 

MSM role in the witch hunt

Official narrative dominates MSM and is endlessly repeated (http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/13/why-ridiculous-official-propaganda-still-works/):

The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an “official narrative” that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between “the truth” as defined by the ruling classes and any other “truth” that contradicts their narrative.

The current “Russian hacking” hysteria is a perfect example of how this works. No one aside from total morons actually believes this official narrative (the substance of which is beyond ridiculous), not even the stooges selling it to us. This, however, is not a problem, because it isn’t intended to be believed … it is intended to be accepted and repeated, more or less like religious dogma.

If Russian hackers did not exist, it would be necessary for the CIA to invent them via some kind of false operation.  As long as the neoliberal empire's geopolitical agenda of putting Russia in its place is thereby advanced, the truth of the allegations is irrelevant. And they skillfully played the fact that nobody wants any foreign power influencing a US election. But along with Russia there were definitely other players with strong interest in particular outcome and wast capabilities in this area. For example, Israel, GB, KSA, Iran, China, Pakistan, and India. To name just a few. They probably should be investigated with the same vigor (How the Israel Lobby Works - The Unz Review):

norman ravitch June 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm GMT
The unholy alliance of Evangelicals and Zionists dominates our foreign policy in the Middle East. The first group has fantastic notions from the Books of Revelations and Daniel about the coming war between good and evil. The second group, whose ideology is based on integral nationalism which easily metasthesizes into Fascism, cares nothing about US interests.

It is not the first time that groups in American favor anti-American policies in favor of another country; think only of pro-IRA politicians in the Northeast, beginning with Congressman Peter King. But it is time to reject the irrationality of Evangelicals and Zionists and strive for an American foreign policy. Israel should be no more no less important to us than, say, Finland.

laurais says: June 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm GMT

We hear constantly of the power of the so-called Jewish Lobby, but no one ever explains how and why the Lobby has dome to have such power.

If this Lobby weren’t useful to interests that transcend and ultimately have little to do with Jewish/Israeli interests, few politicians would pay the Lobby any mind. Geopolitically, Israel is a useful tool of global elites. If the Israeli government were to make serious peace overtures to the Palestinian factions and if these factions were to respond favorably, any peace effort would be nipped in the bud by those who have a strong interest in keeping these entities from cooperating with one another. Many Israelis know this. In fact, their alternative media shout it from the rooftops.

How the Israel Lobby Works | Council for the National Interest says: June 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm GMT 

[…] The major organizations that comprise the Israel Lobby are well known: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and Christians United For Israel (CUFI). All are well known, benefiting from large budgets and staffs. They are extremely effective, having excellent access to politicians and the media to promote their points of view, and are, as a group, regular visitors to the White House. AIPAC is without doubt the most powerful lobby in the United States that is focused on a foreign policy issue. […] 

Painting Russia as the principal US enemy was a typical neoliberal elites trick that help them to push for the New World Order

Painting Russia as the principal US enemy was a typical neoliberal elites trick that help them to push for the New World Order (the US led global neoliberal empire, which is way resembles the dream of Trotsky about "World Revolution" which would create "World Communist State"). And it is not the first time they use intelligence agencies as their propaganda machine. The fake news chant is just an addition to the anti-Russian BS. The goal like with original McCarthyism is to delegitimize any voice other than neocon war mongers (original McCarthyism also probably served as a smoke screen to hide large influx of specialists from Nazi Germany in the US. switch the public attention to "communists infiltrators"; communism as an ideology was dead after 1945, when soviet solders saw the standard of living of common folks in "capitalist" Central and Western Europe; it took another 45 years for it to collapse this quasi-religious society aka theocrathy called the USSR ). 

Yellowcake was probably the most well know recent case of fake news propagated by US government, the company of mass disinformation of American people for nefarious ends.  If involved  a prominent US neocon Michael Ledeen (the author of Ledeen doctrine "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business"):

Yellowcake forgery allegations[edit]

Main article: Niger uranium forgeries

According to a September 2004 article by Joshua Micah Marshall, Laura Rozen, and Paul Glastris in Washington Monthly:[10]

"The first meeting occurred in Rome in December, 2001. It included Franklin, Rhode, and another American, the neoconservative writer and operative Michael Ledeen, who organized the meeting. (According to UPI, Ledeen was then working for Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith as a consultant.) Also in attendance was Ghorbanifar and a number of other Iranians."
... ... ...
Regarding the "pre-emptive" invasion of Iraq, in 2002 Ledeen criticized the views of former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, writing:[12]
He fears that if we attack Iraq "I think we could have an explosion in the Middle East. It could turn the whole region into a cauldron and destroy the War on Terror."
One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today. If we wage the war effectively, we will bring down the terror regimes in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, and either bring down the Saudi monarchy or force it to abandon its global assembly line to indoctrinate young terrorists.
That's our mission in the war against terror.

This whole "Russian hacking" storyline looks so infantile that it is demeaning to the dignity of the United States.  If would be especially funny if this Russiagate operation was hatched in CIA, or Israel or some other state, as a false flag. another question here is: "Is the United States the victim of an unprovoked cyber and media attack by Russia, or are the chickens coming home to roost after Washington’s own promotion of such activity worldwide?" What was the role of the USA in Russia presidential elections of 2011-2012 after which Ambassador McFaul left the country and NED was expelled?

Field Marshall Montgomery said that the first rule of war is "Don't march on Moscow". But those who rule America ignore the wise. Russia is a peaceful and friendly nation, but its elite does although converted to neoliberalism does not want vassal status (and Russia briefly was the vassal of the USA  under Yeltsin.)

We had the Russian hacking accusations for for over a year ( stemming mainly from Hillary campaign operatives),  but in 2017 they reached fervent pitch.  The globalists and Democratic Party nomenklatura launched massive media campaign to divert and reframe the election issues to save Clinton clan skin after election fiasco. This campaign is designed to distract the population and specifically democratic electorate away from the economic and inequality concerns expressed by the Sanders campaign and prevent shedding Clinton nomenklarura to the dustbin of history. Clinton clan want to preserver their power over Democratic Party at all costs, even war with Russia is a the right price for them. 

During Hillary campaign those accusations served as a shrewd deflection maneuver which helped to swipe her "private email server" and "DNC corruption scandal" under the carpet. "Look, its Russians, who brought you those news. They are evil. Dismiss them" was the message.

Now this is amplified by the reaction of neocon lobby and other "national security parasites" (the  fastest growing part of the US military industrial complex with annual budget over 66 billions) to the new, less comfortable for them, political reality. In which some of their current lucrative positions in national security establishment and as MIC lobbyists might no longer be available.  thee are jointed the gorwing part of the US elite which directly depends on the existence of global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  The fear (proved to be unfounded, like it was the case with Obama ;-) initially was that this "change we can believe in", if implemented by Trump, also signifies career end of many prominent neocons such as Victoria Nuland in State Department, or Ashton B. Carter  in Pentagon.

In both cases this is a smoke screen to distract voters from the real problems facing the neoliberalism in USA and the rejection of neoliberal globalization by the US population. The rejection of Hillary is tied to the fact that the American people are finally becoming sick and tired of rampant militarism (aka New American Militarism, as Professor Bacevich called it) with the costs in people lives and treasure.  In this sense for some in Washington, the new Cold War looks like a viable solution of problems that the USA faces now. Nothing personal, just business, Mr. Putin (The Unz Review):

In our recent history, however, the most dangerous moment of all may have been one of next to no fears, only of expectations for the glories of an all-American world. I’m thinking of the years TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich, author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, returns to today, the ones after the Berlin Wall was first breeched and the Soviet Union, that “evil empire” of Cold War fame, simply vanished, leaving behind only… well, us.

That was the moment when the political and intellectual elite who had fought the Cold War and the corporate elite, including the warrior corporations of the military-industrial complex who had risen to power and fortune inside it, were suddenly staggered to discover that there seemed to be no one left to oppose them, nothing to stop them from doing their damnedest.

They no longer support the neocon attempt to create global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  They want to solve domestic problems first and especially the problem of unemployment, which became rampant under neoliberalism. While "Obama recovery created some jobs", it produced mostly McJobs in the service sector as well as "perma-temp" --  contractor jobs without benefits and health insurance within the USA, while continuing shipping previous highly paid permanent jobs to other countries. this is how IT was outsourced (with disastrous results, which are swiped under the carpet as the top brass does not care about negative consequences,  as long as annual bonuses increase or at least stay the same). 

The USA needs to find the way out of the hole, which neoliberals dug for the majority of the US population

The real problem that the country faces is that neoliberalism (aka Trotskyism for the rich) after around 40 years of world dominance, like Bolshevism previously,  had run its course. Ideology was discredited by events of 2008 but neoliberal state is still strong (but without viable ideology it is like a zombie, equally bloodthirsty and dangerous).

The USA needs to find the way out of the hole, which neoliberals dug for the majority of the US population.  the election of Trump signifies among other thing, that people reject status quo.  May we need be to restore major parts of New Deal (neo New Deal).   After 2008, neoliberal rationality is suspect and there is a strong blowback against continuation of neoliberal globalization which demonstrated itself in Brexitelection of Trump, and Renzi defeat in Italian referendum, which is huge win for EuroSkeptics.  This disillusionment with the neoliberalism is very deep for at least lower 80% of the US population.

There is no realistic way to establish where hacks came from after the fact, unless NSA did it when the hack occurred due to multiple levels of indirection via zombie computers in various countries. There are botnets, which are definitely assessable to many hackers with thousands, if not millions of computers in them.

All those insinuations that are published are really low level rumors reflecting the agenda of interested parties, as well as attempts to deceive gullible public. They do not look convincing and many security professionals provided devastating critique of their content and implied methodology (mainly IP space based).

Unless you understand that there is a larger agenda behind all this propaganda campaign, this level of concentration of MSM hype on Russians looks strange,  as if other pretty capable players (including some agencies in the USA and Israel, the supposed countries of origin for Flame and Stuxnet).

Moreover Hillary (and, especially, Bill) did not inspire much love in a lot of people, including probably some people within NSA. 

Also the hypothesis that this is a hack, not a leak is rather weak and was refute by research by Intelligence  professionals for sanity.  The death of one of DNC staffer also was pretty suspicious and might be connected with the case. There was no open investigation whether the death was connected with the leaks of DNC emails to Wikileaks, but Seth Rich was definitely was in position to be a source the leak.

The fact the DNC computer security level (like Hillary personal email server) was dismal is well established -- they simply did not pay the necessary amount of money to people and for the equipment to create a secure (even by weak standards of NIST guidelines)  infrastructure for running the campaign. They were operating mostly as a regular non-profit IT-wise. And that's while spending over billion bucks on Hillary campaign. If someone is that stupid, he/she needs to face consequences.

And if you can't prove something it is better to shut up, not to incite anti-Russian hysteria to shade unpleasant facts revealed, Among them the fact that DNC was a part of Hillary campaign and essentially had thrown Sanders under the bus.

And BTW the US government did tried to interfere in Russian Presidential election in 2011-2012. At least one US NGO (National Endowment for Democracy - NED ) was kicked out the country after the elections exactly for this activity.

McCarthyism as political auto-immune disease

Each state has the right to defend itself from attempt to destabilize it, especially by external forces, which can guide internal fifth column (in case of neoliberal it is neoliberal fifth column and the type of government destabilization used is known as color revolutions). In a typical color revolution scenario their are set of efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the government.  The USA was one of the first recognizing this threat at time fascism was such a danger, with enacting Sedition act and Foreign Agents Registration Act.

But like with human body sometime immune system starts to dysfunction. That's why we have allergies and auto-immune diseases. In those case the immune system attacks and kills healthy cells.  I view McCarthyism as modern political auto-immune disease.  In no way a skeptical view of the US neoliberal society and critique of neoliberalism, even a sharp one,  is equivalent to pro-Russian propaganda. 

Also Russia as a target is suspect, unless we subscribe to neocon agenda.  Russia is just another Westernized neoliberal society.  They watch the same Hollywood junk and US citizens ;-).  Major western propaganda channels like BCC are freely available in Russia for anybody to view. They are not jammed, like in days of the USSR (which actually only increased their popularity).  Unlike KSA they do not behead over 100 people a year and prohibit woman to drive. And KSA is considered to be an ally. 

All it does is weakly resist attempts to convert it into Washington vassal. In no way it challenges neoliberalism as a social system. Putin brought Russia in WTO and Medvedev government is hell-bent of privatization of state assets. The fact that they do not want to feed NYC financial sharks is of secondary importance.

Rumors as improvised news and a symptom of loss of trust in establishment and official communication channels

Fake news is modern day rumors spread via Internet. The rise of rumors (aka "improvised news") signify a dramatic fall in the trust to the establishment and official channel of distribution of information. This phenomenon is well known for anybody who studying Brezhnev's rule in the USSR.   Tamotsu Shibutani pioneered the study of this sociological phenomenon in his book Improvised News A Sociological Study of Rumor - Tamotsu Shibutani (1966).  Here is the TOC:

1. ALTERNATIVE CONCEPTIONS OF RUMOR I

2. THE FAILURE OF FORMAL NEWS CHANNELS 31

3. PROBLEM-SOLVING THROUGH DELIBERATION 63

4. SUGGESTIBILITY AND BEHAVIORAL CONTAGION 95

5. THE FORMATION OF POPULAR BELIEFS

6. A SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY OF RUMOR

7. THE POLITICAL MANIPULATION OF RUMOR

Later this pioneering study was continued in a (much weaker) book The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration, and Trade Matter by By Gary Alan Fine, Bill Ellis (2010)

Far from mere idle tales, rumors are a valuable window into our anxieties and fears. Rumors let us talk as a community about some very inflammatory issues--issues that may be embarrassing or disturbing to discuss-allowing us to act as if we are talking about real events, not personal beliefs. We can air our hidden fears and desires without claiming these attitudes as our own.

Contemporary rumors can provide us with important information about the fears and pressures of globalization that the US population now experiences. According to Fine&Ellix there are several connected with neoliberal globalization themes that emerge over and over again:

I would add to it persistent rumors about sexual perversion of the elite, including pedophilia (for example, "pizzagate").  Rumors, which in view of existing conviction in "Lolita express" case, are not completely without substance.

Various rumors tell us how Americans react to perceived global threats, how much they trust their own government (9/11 and especially the sub-story of  "Collapse of Building 7" are pretty telling examples here), how they interpret covert CIA actions that became known (Operation Mockingbird, JFK assasination) and deception that cost the US so dearly (Iraq WMD scare). And most importantly how they interpret decimation of the "New Deal" and the new, much less charitable to lower 90% of population neoliberal society in which they are now forced to live. As "New Deal" society is almost completely dismantled with Medicare and Social Security being two major leftovers, which are under attack from neoliberals and constant attempts to privatize them.

In their book authors argue that rumors also reflect our anxieties and fears about contact with foreign cultures -- whether we believe foreign competition to be poisoning the domestic economy or that foreign immigration to be eroding American values. That's why immigration theme was so hot in the recent Presidential elections.

The dramatic collapse of Hillary Clinton campaign that had led to the election of Trump led to attempt to erect a post-election smokescreen of this historic defeat of neoliberal establishment candidate supported by the leadership both parties in Congress and all major MSM.  And instead of analyzing the problems facing the US society, the problems which led to the election of Trump, Democrats and Obama administration decided to play  "Russians are coming" smoke screen.  

With the concentration of DNC leak and Podesta email hack (the latter is due to the blunder, committed by Podesta  himself, who make a blunder and essentially provided his password to attackers on the plate. In reality, the real issue with DNC leaks is the fact that Sanders campaign was sabotaged by crooks in DNC. 

Those who wipe up anti-Russian hysteria should probably reread materials of Church commission and history of interference of the US intelligence agencies into the domestic politics. They might also and ask themselves a simple question:  "Do they have any moral right to to be sp indignant about supposed (not proved, but supposed)  foreign interference in the US elections, if such an interference is the cornerstone of the US foreign policy?"

Those who wipe up Russian hacking hysteria should probably reread materials of Church commission and history of interference of the US intelligence agencies into the domestic politics, including, but not limited to JFK assassination  

While Russia represents an obstacle on the path of establishing global neoliberal empire led by the USA, it is not a threat. Unlike the USSR it just another neoliberal society and Putin can be  viewed as "soft globalist", not as isolationalist. He does want to work with Western nation, but on more equal terms then the USA and EU prefer.  He does not want Russia to became EU protectorate, or the USA vassal (as it was under drunkard Yeltsin). The latter is unacceptable for the US neoliberal elite which is hell-bent on world domination.  Many positions in the Russian government  are occupied by staunch, even by the USA standard, neoliberals, determined to conduct the privatizing of government property and government companies, cutting social services to the bones, and generally adhering to the postulates of Washington consensus as much as Chicago boys in the past.

Relations with Russia deteriorated after the USA launched in best Trotskyites style of (World Communist Revolution) the "Great World Neoliberal Revolution", a series of  "color revolutions" (starting with attack on Serbia) initiating "regime change" for  "not neoliberal enough" governments of countries with natural resources, or of some geopolitical value. All this under the smoke screen promoting the democracy, as it it exist in the USA (which became a typical oligarchic republic (a democracy but only for the top 1% or 10%, who are the only one able to select the candidate from two major parties), with two party system undistinguishable in its major aspects from Soviet one party system; see  Two Party System as Polyarchy )   Also it is not clear why Russia would prefer Trump to Hillary. They definitely have a lot of dirt of Hillary, and, especially, Clinton Foundation,  probably much more then on Trump. Here is one post that addresses this issues (Economist's View What’s Behind a Rise in Ethnic Nationalism Maybe the Economy, Oct 14, 2016):

likbez -> pgl... , Friday, October 14, 2016 at 07:43 PM
Paradoxically Pravda in old times did have real insights into the US political system and for this reason was widely read by specialists. Especially materials published by the Institute of the USA and Canada -- a powerful Russian think tank somewhat similar to the Council on Foreign Relations.

As for your remark I think for many people in the USA Russophobia is just displaced Anti-Semitism.

JohnH remark is actually very apt and you should not "misunderestimate" the level of understanding of the US political system by Russians. They did learn a lot about machinations of the neoliberal foreign policy, especially about so called "color revolutions."

Hillary&Obama has had a bloody nose when they tried to stage a "color revolution" in 2011-2012 in Russia (so called "white revolution). A typical US citizen probably never heard about it or heard only about "Pussy riot", Navalny and couple of other minor figures. At the end poor ambassador Michael McFaul was recalled. NED was expelled. Of course Russia is just a pale shadow of the USSR power-wise, so Obama later put her on sanctions using MH17 incident as a pretext with no chances of retaliation. They also successfully implemented regime change in Ukraine -- blooding Putin nose in return.

But I actually disagree with JohnH. First of all Putin does not need to interfere in a way like the USA did [in Russian Presidential elections] in 2011-2012. It would be a waist of resources as both candidates are probably equally bad for Russia (and it is the "deep state" which actually dictate the US foreign policy, not POTUS.)

The US political system is already the can of worms and the deterioration of neoliberal society this time created almost revolutionary situation in Marxists terms, when Repug elite was not able to control the nomination. Democratic establishment still did OK and managed to squash the rebellion, but here the level of degeneration demonstrated itself in the selection of the candidate.

Taking into account the level of dysfunction of the US political system, I am not so sure the Trump is preferable to Hillary for Russians. I would say he is more unpredictable and more dangerous. The main danger of Hillary is Syria war escalation, but the same is true for Trump who can turn into the second John McCain on a dime.

Also the difference between two should not be exaggerated. Both are puppets of the forces the brought them to the current level and in their POTUS role will need to be subservient to the "deep state". Or at least to take into account its existence and power. And that makes them more of prisoners of the position they want so much.

Trump probably to lesser extent then Hillary, but he also can't ignore the deep state. Both require the support of Republican Congress for major legislative initiatives. And it would be very hostile to Hillary. Which is a major advantage for Russians, as this excludes the possibility of some very stupid moves.

Again, IMHO in no way any of them will control the US foreign policy. In this area the deep state is in charge since Allen Dulles and those who try to deviate too much might end as badly as JFK. I think Obama understood this very well and did not try to rock the boat. And there are people who will promptly explain this to Trump in a way that he understands.

In other words, neither of them will escape the limit on their power that "deep state" enforces. And that virtually guarantee the continuity of the foreign policy, with just slight tactical variations.

So why Russians should prefer one to another? You can elect a dog as POTUS and the foreign policy of the USA will be virtually the same as with Hillary or Trump.

In internal policy Trump looks more dangerous and more willing to experiment, while Hillary is definitely a "status quo" candidate. The last thing Russians needs is the US stock market crush. So from the point of internal economic policy Hillary is also preferable.

A lot of pundits stress the danger of war with Russia, and that might be true as women in high political position try to outdo men in hawkishness. But here Hillary jingoism probably will be tightly controlled by the "deep state". Hillary definitely tried to be "More Catholic then the Pope" in this area while being the Secretary of State. That did not end well for her and she might learn the lesson.

But if you think about the amount of "compromat" (Russian term ;-) on Hillary and Bill that Russians may well already collected, in "normal circumstances" she might be a preferable counterpart for Russians. As in "devil that we know". Both Lavrov and Putin met Hillary. Medvedev was burned by Hillary. Taking into account the level of greed Hillary displayed during her career, I would be worried what Russians have on her , as well as on Bill "transgressions" and RICO-style actions of Clinton Foundation.

And taking into account the level of disgust amount the government officials with Hillary (and this is not limited to Secret Service) , new leaks are quite possible, which might further complicate her position as POTUS.

In worst case, the first year (or two) leaks will continue. Especially if damaging DNC leaks were the work of some disgruntled person within the USA intelligence and not of some foreign hacker group. That might be a plus for Russians as such a constant distraction might limit her possibility to make some stupid move in Syria. Or not.

As you know personal emails boxes for all major Web mail providers are just one click away for NSA analysts. So "Snowden II" hypothesis might have the right to exist.

Also it is quite probably that impeachment process for Hillary will start soon after her election. In the House Republicans have enough votes to try it. That also might be a plus for s for both Russia and China. Trump is extremely jingoistic as for Iran, and that might be another area were Hillary is preferable to Russians and Chinese over Trump.

Also do not discount her health problems. She does have some serious neurological disease, which eventually might kill her. How fast she will deteriorate is not known but in a year or two the current symptoms might become more pronounced. If Bill have STD (and sometime he looks like a person with HIV; http://joeforamerica.com/2016/07/bill-clinton-aids/) that further complicates that picture (this is just a rumor, but he really looks bad).

I think that all those factors make her an equal, or even preferable candidate for such states as Russia and China.

This is the situation of "king is naked" -- the state that teaches other countries about democracy has a completely corrupted election process within each party, like a typical banana republic. That what  Wikileak revelations proved. In his post Is Russia our enemy?  Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets) aptly stated:

The Democratic Party convention and the media are full of the assumption that Russia is the enemy of the United States.  What is the basis for that assumption?

The Obama Administration is apparently committed to a pre-emptive assertion that Russia is a world class committed enemy of the United States. The Borgist media fully support that.

We should all sober up.

The anti-Russian theme has  been such an most important in Hillary presidential campaign that the subsequent full-scale anti-Russian hysteria after her defeat is not surprising. 
Hillary always preferred to join ranks with neocons, military-industrial complex and plain-vanilla Russophobes (katehon.com, Jul 28. 2016) and neocon are afraid of losing some power and lucrative, well paid positions. Look how easily Robert Kagan defected to Democratic Party. Several important US Departments such as Department of State, Department of Defense, and CIA are staffed mainly with neocons:. They will fight the idea of normalization of relations with Russia until better end:

Speaking at a press conference in Florida, Trump called on Russia to hand over the 30,000 emails "missing" from the Hillary Clinton's email server in the US. Their absence is a clear sign that Clinton destroyed evidence proving that she used her personal e-mail server to send sensitive information. Democrats immediately accused Trump of pandering to Russian hackers, although in reality the multi-billionaire rhetorically hinted that the data that Clinton hid from the American investigation is in the hands of foreign intelligence services. So, Clinton is a possible target for blackmail.

Trump's statement that he is ready to discuss the status of Crimea and the removal of anti-Russian sanctions caused even more noise. This view is not accepted either in the Democrat or in the Republican mainstream. Trump also said that Vladimir Putin does not respect Clinton and Obama, while Trump himself hopes to find a common language with him. Trump appreciates Putin's leadership and believes that the US must work together with Russia to deal with common threats, particularly against Islamic extremism.
Hide The establishment's tantrum

Both Democrats and Republicans are taking aim at Trump. The vice-presidential candidate, Mike Pence, made threats to Russia. The head of the Republican majority in Congress, Paul Ryan, became somewhat hysterical. He said that Putin is "a thug and should stay out of these elections."

It is Putin personally, and the Russian security services, who are accused of leaking correspondences of top employees of the National Committee of the Democratic Party. This unverified story united part of the Republicans and all of the Democrats, including the Clinton and Barack Obama themselves. Trump supporters note that the Russian threat is used to divert attention from the content of these letters. And these show the fraud carried out during the primaries which favored Hillary Clinton.
Hide The pro-American candidate

The "Russian scandal" demonstrates that on the one hand the thesis of the normalization of relations with Russia, despite the propaganda, is becoming popular in US society. It is unlikely that Donald Trump has made campaign statements that are not designed to gain the support of the public in this election. On the other hand - Trump - a hard realist, like Putin, is not pro-Russian, but a pro-American politician, and therefore the improvement of relations with Russia in his eyes corresponds to the US's national interests. Trump has never to date done anything that would not be to his advantage. Sometimes he even said he would order US fighter jets to engage with Russian ones, and declared he would have a hard stance in relations with Russia.

Another thing is that his understanding of US national interests is fundamentally different from the dominant American globalist elite consensus. For Trump, the US should not be the source of a global liberal remaking of the world, but a national power, which optimizes its position just as efficiently as any commercial project. And in terms of optimizing the position of the United States, he says there should be a normal American interaction with Putin and Russia in the field of combating terrorism and preventing the sliding of the two countries into a global war. He claims this is to be the priority instead of issues relating to the promotion of democracy and the so-called fight against "authoritarian regimes".
 

While Congress now is trying to create "ministry of Truth", the fearmonring that the US MSM are now propagating is a variation of the well known McCarthyism theme  "The Russians are Coming".  And can be legitimately called Neo-McCartyism.  Here is nice satire on the topic (washingtonsblog.com):

MC: President Putin, did the Russian government hack the DNC email server and then publically release those emails through Wikileaks the day before the Democratic convention?

Putin: Yes.

MC: Yes! Are you serious?

Putin: I’m quite serious.

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

Putin: Your question should be what took Russia so long. The US oligarchs and their minions surround us with military bases and nuclear missiles, damage our trade to Europe, and seek to destabilize our domestic politics.  These emails are nothing in the big picture. But they’re sort of funny, don’t you agree?

MC: I’m not sure that funny is the right word.  What do you mean by that?

Putin:   You’ve got Hillary Clinton running as a strong and independent woman. Of course, nobody would know who she is had she not married Bill Clinton. She’s not independent. Quite the contrary. She had to marry a philandering redneck to get to where she is. When it comes to strength, I can say only this. How strong can you be if you have to cheat and create a rigged game to win the nomination?

MC: Anything else about your leak to cheer us up?

Putin: This situation is the epitome of ironic humor. After the emails were released, the focus was all on DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That’s fine for now but what happens when people start asking why Wasserman-Schultz had the DNC screw Sanders and boost Hillary? Did she just wake up one day and decide this on her own?. Not likely. She was and remains Hillary’s agent.   It will take people a while to arrive that answer. When enough people hear about Wasserman-Schultz’s key role in the Clinton campaign, everything will be clear.   It’s adios Hillary. That inevitable conclusion, by the way, is the reason the DNC made such a big deal about Russia hacking the DNC.  That was diversion one right out of the gate.

DNC hack or DNC leak ?

As for DNC hack (or was it a leak ?) there is no realistic way to establish where hacks came from after the fact. All those insinuations that are published are really low level crap, attempts to deceive gullible public. I do not understand this level of concentration of MSM hype on Russians, as if other pretty capable players (including some in the USA) do not exist and do not have any motivation to look closely into DNC files. Hillary (and, especially, Bill) did not inspire much love in a lot of people.

Also the hypothesis that this is a hack, not a leak is rather weak. The death of one of DNC staffer was pretty suspicious and might be connected with the case.

likbez said in reply to im1dc... , December 18, 2016 at 07:15 PM

Can you please explain to me why you are thinking that this was a hack, not a leak by an insider?

One DNC staffer, 27-year-old Seth Rich, the DNC’s director of voter expansion, was killed around this time in pretty strange circumstances. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/07/12/democratic-national-committee-staffer-shot-and-killed-in-washington.html

Former British Ambassador and current Wikileaks operative Craig Murray recently said he has met the person who leaked DNC and Clinton campaign emails, and they aren’t Russian.

http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/bombshell-wikileaks-figure-says-insider-russia-hack/

Or it can come from a dissident within the US agency that did have access to all emails.

Do you remember such a person as Edward Snowden ? It might be very educational for you to read his opinion about this case:

While he is highly critical of Wikileaks, he suggests that without NSA coming forward with hard data obtained via special program that uncover multiple levels of indirection, those charges are just propaganda and insinuations. And BTW after the fact it is usually impossible to discover who obtained the information, as they use multiple levels of indirection and Russia might be just one of those indirection levels. Use of Russian IP-space or Russian IPS might be just an attempt to create a false trail and to implicate a wrong party.

As in any complex case you should not jump to conclusions so easily.

The fact the DNS computer security level (like Hillary personal email server) was dismal is well established -- they simply did not pay the necessary amount of money to people and for the equipment to created a viable (according to NIST guidelines) secure infrastructure for running the campaign. They were operating mostly as a non-profit IT-wise. And that's while spending  over billion bucks on Hillary campaign. If somebody is that stupid, he/she needs to face consequences.

And if you can't prove something it is better to shut up, not to incite anti-Russian hysteria to hide under this smokescreen very unpleasant facts revealed -- that DNC was a part of Hillary campaign and essentially had thrown Sanders under the bus.

And BTW the US government did tried to interfere in Russian Presidential election in 2011-2012. At least one US NGO was kicked out the country after the elections exactly for this.

DNC and Clinton pushed the Russian card very hard in anticipation of further stories and revelations of corruption, money laundering, etc.  See DNC emails leak

Technical analysis of this "hack" (which can well be, and probably is a "leak") provided by MSM is by-and-large idiotic, entry level nonsense. The fact that hacking case are complex and fuzzy makes them perfect smokescreen -- powerful tools for deflecting attention from a read content of messages revealed as well as the most plausible source to Russians. Such scapegoating achieve two goals: unite the population swiping important differences under the carpet and an accepting inferior candidate in the name of "unity" in the face of powerful and ruthless enemy, and deflecting unpleased questions revealed by email as enemy propaganda.

BTW stories about Russian codepage used, ec are very suspect. In such cases the originator might deside to use to provide a direct the investigation in the wrong direction. also many countries on the globe such as Germany, Israel, GB and USA has a large Russian speaking population, that is well represented in IT industry (and by extension in corresponding part of three letter agencies).

When the USA (or Israel) opened this can of worm with Stixnet (discovered around mid 2010) and Flame (discovered around 2012), they did not expect a powerful blowback. Now it start coming: those days it is simply impossible to secure "normal" Microsoft-based IT system against any sophisticated adversary.  Not very difficult, but impossible.

To say nothing about stock systems that DNC and Hillary used (as if they have not money to harden them to the level recommended by at least NIST guidelines). They also did not have adequate intrusion alarm system and restricted IP space for clients (client of such systems should exist only on VPN).

Remember that we live in the period when developed by NSA and probably their foreign "friends" Flame and Stixnet worm are part of the recorded history of malware.  And  technologies used in them are well studied by all major world three letter agencies. They means that  methods of this level of complexity became a part of their workbook.  And the response to their devilishness they generated even more devilish methods of attack of any IT infrastructure based on Microsoft technologies, to say nothing about such low hanging fruit as stock Microsoft software installation with semi-competent IT staff using Microsoft Exchange based email system on public network: (naked capitalism):

However, in this short post I want to focus on a much narrower question: Can we ever know who hacked the DNC email? Because if we can't, then clearly we can't know the Russians did. And so I want to hoist this by alert reader JacobiteInTraining from comments :

Yup, as a former server admin it is patently absurd to attribute a hack to anyone in particular until a substantial amount of forensic work has been done. (read, poring over multiple internal log files…gathering yet more log files of yet more internal devices, poring over them, then – once the request hops out of your org – requesting logfiles from remote entities, poring over *those* log files, requesting further log files from yet more upstream entities, wash rinse repeat ad infinitum).

For example, at its simplest, I would expect a middling-competency hacker to find an open wifi hub across town to connect to, then VPN to server in, say, Tonga, then VPN from there to another box in Sweden, then connect to a PC previously compromised in Iowa, then VPN to yet another anonymous cloud server in Latvia, and (assuming the mountain dew is running low, gotta get cracking) then RDP to the target server and grab as many docs as possible. RAR those up and encrypt them, FTP them to a compromised media server in South Korea, email them from there to someones gmail account previously hacked, xfer them to a P2P file sharing app, and then finally access them later from a completely different set of servers.

In many cases where I did this sort of analysis I still ended up with a complete dead end: some sysadmins at remote companies or orgs would be sympathetic and give me actual related log files. Others would be sympathetic but would not give files, and instead do their own analysis to give me tips. Many never responded, and most IPs ended up at unknown (compromised) personal PCs, or devices where the owner could not be found anyway.

If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence you might get lucky – but that demographic mostly points back to script kiddies and/or criminal dweebs – i.e., rather then just surreptitiously exfiltrating the goods they instead left messages or altered things that seemed to indicate their own backgrounds or prejudices, or left a message that was more easily 'traced'. If, of course, you took that evidence at face value and it was not itself an attempt at obfuscation.

Short of a state actor such as an NSA who captures it ALL anyway, and/or can access any log files at any public or private network at its own whim – its completely silly to attribute a hack to anyone at this point.

So, I guess I am reduced to LOL OMG WTF its fer the LULZ!!!!!

And :

Just to clarify on the "…If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence…" – this is basically what I have seen reported as 'evidence' pointing to Russia: the Cyrillic keyboard signature, the 'appeared to cease work on Russian holidays' stuff, and the association with 'known Russian hacking groups'.

That's great and all, but in past work I am sure my own 'research' could easily have gotten me 'associated' with known hacking groups. Presumably various 'sophisticated' methods and tools get you closer to possible suspects…but that kind of stuff is cycled and recycled throughout the community worldwide – as soon as anything like that is known and published, any reasonably competent hacker (or org of hackers) is learning how to do the same thing and incorporating such things into their own methods. (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery)

I guess I have a lot more respect for the kinds of people I expect to be getting a paycheck from foreign Intelligence agencies then to believe that they would leave such obvious clues behind 'accidentally'. But if we are going to be starting wars over this stuff w/Russia, or China, I guess I would hope the adults in the room don't go all apesh*t and start chanting COMMIES, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!, etc. before the ink is dry on the 'crime'.

The whole episode reminds me of the Sony hack , for which Obama also blamed a demonized foreign power. Interestingly - to beg the question here - the blaming was also based on a foreign character set in the data (though Hangul, not Korean). Look! A clue!

JacobiteInTraining's methodology also reminds me of NC's coverage of Grexit. Symbol manipulators - like those in the Democrat-leaning creative class - often believe that real economy systems are as easy to manipulate as symbol systems are. In Greece, for example, it really was a difficult technical challenge for Greece to reintroduce the drachma, especially given the time-frame, as contributor Clive remorselessly showed. Similarly, it's really not credible to hire a consultant and get a hacking report with a turnaround time of less than a week, even leaving aside the idea that the DNC just might have hired a consultant that would give them the result they wanted (because who among us, etc.) What JacobiteInTraining shows us is that computer forensics is laborious, takes time, and is very unlikely to yield results suitable for framing in the narratives proffered by the political class. Of course, that does confirm all my priors!

Readers, thoughts?

Update Addition by Yves:

Another reader, Hacker, observed (emphasis original):

There is a problem with those who argue that these are sophisticated Nation State attackers and then point to the most basic circumstantial evidence to support their case. I'd bet that, among others, the Israelis have hacked some Russian servers to launch attacks from and have some of their workers on a Russian holiday schedule. Those things have been written about in attack analysis so much over the last 15-20 years that they'd be stupid not to.

Now, I'm not saying the Israelis did it. I'm saying that the evidence provided so far by those arguing it is Russia is so flaky as to prove that the Russia accusers are blinded or corrupted by their own political agenda.

Update [Yves, courtesy Richard Smith] 7:45 AM. Another Medium piece by Jeffrey Carr, Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train? who has been fact-checking this story and comes away Not Happy. For instance:

Thomas Rid wrote:

One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address - 176.31.112[.]10 - that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.

This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.

Problem #1: The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri , a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."

Mind you, he has two additional problems with that claim alone. This piece is a must read if you want to dig further into this topic.

NOTES

[1] More than a talking point but, really, less than a narrative. It's like we need a new word for these bite-sized, meme-ready, disposable, "throw 'em against the wall and see if they stick" stories; mini-narrative, or narrativelette, perhaps. "All the crunch of a real narrative, but none of the nutrition!"

[2] This post is not about today's Trump moral panic, where the political class is frothing and stamping about The Donald's humorous (or ballbusting, take your pick) statement that he "hoped" the Russians had hacked the 30,000 emails that Clinton supposedly deleted from the email server she privatized in her public capacity as Secretary of State before handing the whole flaming and steaming mess over to investigators. First, who cares? Those emails are all about yoga lessons and Chelsea's wedding. Right? Second, Clinton didn't secure the server for three months. What did she expect? Third, Trump's suggestion is just dumb; the NSA has to have that data, so just ask them? Finally, to be fair, Trump shouldn't have uttered the word "Russia." He should have said "Liechtenstein," or "Tonga," because it's hard to believe that there's a country too small to hack as fat a target as Clinton presented; Trump was being inflammatory. Points off. Bad show.

Pavel , July 28, 2016 at 4:01 am

For those interested, the excellent interviewer Scott Horton just spoke with Jeffrey Carr, an IT security expert about all this. It's about 30 mins:

Jeffrey Carr, a cyber intelligence expert and CEO of Taia Global, Inc., discusses his fact-checking of Josh Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo article that claims a close alliance between Trump and Putin; and why the individuals blaming Russia for the DNC email hack are more motivated by politics than solid evidence.

–The Scott Horton Show: 7/25/16 Jeffrey Carr

Carr makes the point that even supposed clues about Russian involvement ("the default language is Cyrillic!") are meaningless as all these could be spoofed by another party.

Separately it just shows again Team Clinton's (and DNC's) political deviousness and expertise how they –with the full support of the MSM of course –have managed to deflect the discussion to Trump and Russia from how the DNC subverted US democracy.

pretzelattack , July 28, 2016 at 4:15 am

and again, we see the cavalier attitude about national security from the clinton camp, aggravating the already tense relationship with russia over this bullshit, all to avoid some political disadvantage. clinton doesn't care if russia gets the nuclear launch codes seemingly, but impact her chances to win the race and it's all guns firing.

dk , July 28, 2016 at 4:59 am

"… all these could be spoofed by another party."

Well yeah, and I could be a bot, how do you know I'm not?

Absent any other evidence to work with, I can accept it as credible that a clumsy Russian or Baltic user posted viewed and saved docs instead of the originals; par for the course in public and private bureaucracies the world over. It would have been useful to see the original Properties metadata; instead we get crapped up copies. That only tells me the poster is something of a lightweight, and it at least somewhat suggests that these docs passed through multiple hands.

But that doesn't mean A) the original penetration occurred under state control (or even in Russia proper), much less B) that Putin Himself ordered the hack attempts, which is the searing retinal afterimage that the the media name-dropping and photo-illustrating conflation produces.

Unspoofed, the Cyrillic fingerprints still do not closely constrain conclusion to A, and even less to B.

Another name for the trick DNC used is "Catch a chief" -- a deflection of attention from their own criminal behaviour. But they should now be really afraid about what can come next from Wikileaks or elsewhere. I don't think Hillary was capable to understand how easy it is to find corruption, especially when there's a email trail.  And this lack of understanding is a typical feature of a sociopath (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/could-hillary-clinton-be-a-sociopath/ ). As Guardian reported (The Guardian) Clinton campaign also tried old "dog eat my homework" trick blaming everything on Putin and trying to ignore the content of them and the dirty laundry they expose:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying its hackers stole Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and released them to foment disunity in the party and aid Donald Trump.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on Sunday that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, [and are] releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump”.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails are being released on the eve of our convention here,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, alluding to the party’s four-day exercise in unification which is set to take place this week in Philadelphia.

“This isn’t my assertion,” Mook said. “This is what experts are telling us.”

In a statement, the Clinton campaign repeated the accusation: “This is further evidence the Russian government is trying to influence the outcome of the election.”

Classic scapegoating. As Guardian commenter noted "Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? "As life exceeds satire, one can Wikileaks later produced large parts of Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the appeal from Trump.

In any case a major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like behaviors like a Mafioso clan, and when caught red handed start to deflect attention via corrupt and subservant MSM, changing focus into Russia and Putin instead. Great journalism!" The Guardian

 atopic 

I find very I interesting that, somehow, the initial DNC leak story failed to make a headline position (a day late, at that) on the Guardian, but now that it's blown up on other channels, the DNC's ridiculous conspiracy theory/distraction attempt gets top billing here. Ridiculous.

Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? A major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like, and somehow we're talking about Putin instead. Great journalism.

 
Chanze Jennings ->  atopic

The Guardian has sunk to a new low and has entirely no shame. It's a sad day for journalism when Twitter has more integrity than most news outlets. And they wonder why newspapers are going the way of the Dodo. Remember when real journalists presented stories with little bias and tried hard to stick to the facts?

BTW there are some real experts on this and they have a different opinion. Check comments for the blog post: 

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/nsa-whistleblower-not-so-fast-on-claims-russia-behind-dnc-email-hack.html

Corrupt to the core MSM ignore the event and try to distract readers with scapegoating nonsense

ABC and CNN during this Presidential compaisn were essentially the DNC propaganda wing. They and most other MSM were trying to reshape this mess to reduce the amount of damage.  Stephanopolis worked for Bill Clinton. And donated $75,000 to Hillary's campaign. And now he is trying to paint Trump as having ties to the Putin regime.

They try do not touch Hillary connections with Saudi, revive email scandal, touch Clinton cash scandal,  etc. They really behave like they are part of Clinton campaign. And readers noticed that as is evident from comments (The 4 Most Damaging Emails From the DNC WikiLeaks Dump - ABC News):

Kintbury  -> Mr. Fusion 21 hours ago

You are going to have to do a heck of a lot better than that. A Saudi Prince has admitted to funding a large portion of Hillary's campaign. That is a tie. All the money she took from those countries while benefiting them as Secretary of State is a tie.

Know Mei > deanbob
"Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do," Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Oh, believe me, Debbie, the American people know what the Democratic Party and the Republican Party does. Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate. However, business as usual did not work well for the Republican Party elitists this primary season. Donald Trump beat the Republican Party elitists at their game. Bernie Sanders attempted to do the same to the Democratic Party.
Alti  -> ADLives 2 days ago

I think they are being short-sighted. Trump will in all likelihood win now and I don't see him sticking to the script. The media has completely betrayed the American public on this story. From Facebook and Twitter blocking and deleting stories re: same initially - to now with the non-articles we are getting from the big news agencies. Finding decent, honest news coverage shouldn't be so hard. see more

William Carr > Know Mei •

“Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate”

America needs international monitors to oversee our elections

In reality Wikileaks exposed the blatant corruption of the primary process for voters. The elephant was in the room, but the real situation with Democratic Party primary process is now  suppressed.

What the USA really needs is international observers on the next Presidential elections. Instead the US Congress adopted  S. 3274 “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act”  which essentially create the US variant of the USSR "Ministry of Propaganda and Agitation". As if NED, USAID, State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the Center for Independent Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity ("Solidarity Center") are not enough (Soft Power Democracy-Promotion and U.S. NGOs - Council on Foreign Relations)

That suggests that the US lawmakers at last realized that promoted by them color revolution techniques practiced by the USA on xUSSR and other countries may come home  to roost but reacted to this threat the way that bureaucracy typically react to such things -- creating a new organization (in this case the USSR style Ministry of Propaganda and Agitation)  that should address this issue:

114th CONGRESS
2d Session S. 3274

To counter foreign disinformation and propaganda, and for other purposes. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES July 14, 2016 Mr. Portman (for himself and Mr. Murphy) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations A BILL To counter foreign disinformation and propaganda, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,  

SECTION 1. Short title. 

This Act may be cited as the “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act”.

SEC. 2. Center for information analysis and response.

(a) Establishment.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response (in this section referred to as the “Center”). The purposes of the Center are— (1) to coordinate the sharing among government agencies of information on foreign government information warfare efforts, including information provided by recipients of information access fund grants awarded using funds made available under subsection (e) and from other sources, subject to the appropriate classification guidelines;

(2) to establish a process for integrating information on foreign propaganda and disinformation efforts into national strategy; and

(3) to develop, plan, and synchronize interagency activities to expose and counter foreign information operations directed against United States national security interests and advance narratives that support United States allies and interests.

(b) Functions.—The Center shall carry out the following functions:

(1) Integrating interagency efforts to track and evaluate counterfactual narratives abroad that threaten the national security interests of the United States and United States allies, subject to appropriate regulations governing the dissemination of classified information and programs.

(2) Analyzing relevant information from United States Government agencies, allied nations, think-tanks, academic institutions, civil society groups, and other nongovernmental organizations.

(3) Developing and disseminating thematic narratives and analysis to counter propaganda and disinformation directed at United States allies and partners in order to safeguard United States allies and interests.

(4) Identifying current and emerging trends in foreign propaganda and disinformation, including the use of print, broadcast, online and social media, support for third-party outlets such as think tanks, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations, in order to coordinate and shape the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures to expose and refute foreign misinformation and disinformation and proactively promote fact-based narratives and policies to audiences outside the United States.

(5) Facilitating the use of a wide range of information-related technologies and techniques to counter foreign disinformation by sharing expertise among agencies, seeking expertise from external sources, and implementing best practices.

(6) Identifying gaps in United States capabilities in areas relevant to the Center’s mission and recommending necessary enhancements or changes.

(7) Identifying the countries and populations most susceptible to foreign government propaganda and disinformation.

(8) Administering and expending funds made available pursuant to subsection (e).

(9) Coordinating with allied and partner nations, particularly those frequently targeted by foreign disinformation operations, and international organizations and entities such as the NATO Center of Excellence on Strategic Communications, the European Endowment for Democracy, and the European External Action Service Task Force on Strategic Communications, in order to amplify the Center’s efforts and avoid duplication.

(c) Interagency manager.— (1) IN GENERAL.—The President is authorized to designate an official of the United States Government to lead an interagency team and to manage the Center. The President shall delegate to the manager of the Center responsibility for and presumptive authority to direct and coordinate the activities and operations of all departments, agencies, and elements of the United States Government in so far as their support is required to ensure the successful implementation of a strategy approved by the President for accomplishing the mission. The official so designated shall be serving in a position in the executive branch by appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(2) INTERAGENCY STEERING COMMITTEE.—

(A) COMPOSITION.—The Interagency Manager shall establish a Steering Committee composed of senior representatives of agencies relevant to the Center’s mission to provide advice to the Manager on the operations and strategic orientation of the Center and to ensure adequate support for the Center. The Steering Committee shall include one senior representative designated by each of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors .

(B) MEETINGS.—The Interagency Steering Committee shall meet not less than every 3 months.

(C) PARTICIPATION AND INDEPENDENCE.—The Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall not compromise the journalistic freedom or integrity of relevant media organizations. Other Federal agencies may be invited to participate in the Center and Steering Committee at the discretion of the Interagency Manager.

(3) SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY AND AUTHORITY.—

(A) LIMITATION ON SCOPE.—The delegated responsibility and authority provided pursuant to paragraph (1) may not extend beyond the requirements for successful implementation of the mission and strategy described in that paragraph.

(B) APPEAL OF EXECUTION OF ACTIVITIES.—The head of any department, agency, or other element of the United States Government may appeal to the President a requirement or direction by the official designated pursuant to paragraph (1) for activities otherwise in support of the mission and strategy described in that paragraph if such head determines that there is a compelling case that executing such activities would do undue harm to other missions of national importance to the United States.

(4) TARGETED FOREIGN AUDIENCES.— (A) IN GENERAL.—The activities under this subsection of the Center described in paragraph (1) shall be done only with the intent to influence foreign audiences. No funds for the activities of the team under this section may be used with the intent to influence public opinion in the United States.

(B) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this subsection may be construed to prohibit the team described in paragraph (1) from engaging in any form of communication or medium, either directly or indirectly, or coordinating with any other department or agency of the United States Government, a State government, or any other public or private organization or institution because a United States domestic audience is or may be thereby exposed to activities or communications of the team under this subsection, or based on a presumption of such exposure.

(d) Staff.— (1) COMPENSATION.—The President may fix the compensation of the manager of the Center and other personnel without regard to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate of pay for the executive director and other personnel may not exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.

(2) DETAIL OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.—Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Center without reimbursement, and such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.

(3) PROCUREMENT OF TEMPORARY AND INTERMITTENT SERVICES.—The President may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals which do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.

(e) Funds.—Of amounts authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2017 for the Department of Defense and identified as undistributed fuel cost savings, up to $250,000,000 may be available for purposes of carrying out this section and the grant program established under section 3. Once obligated, such funds shall remain available for such purposes until expended.

SEC. 3. Information access funds.

(a) Grants and contracts of financial support.—The Center may provide grants or contracts of financial support to civil society groups, journalists, nongovernmental organizations, federally funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions for the following purposes: (1) To support local independent media who are best placed to refute foreign disinformation and manipulation in their own communities.

(2) To collect and store examples in print, online, and social media of disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda directed at the United States and its allies and partners.

(3) To analyze tactics, techniques, and procedures of foreign government information warfare with respect to disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda.

(4) To support efforts by the Center to counter efforts by foreign governments to use disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda to influence the policies and social and political stability of the United States and United States allies and partners.

(b) Funding availability and limitations.—All organizations that apply to receive funds under this section must undergo a vetting process in accordance with the relevant existing regulations to ensure their bona fides, capability, and experience, and their compatibility with United States interests and objectives.

SEC. 4. Inclusion in Department of State education and cultural exchange programs of foreign students and community leaders from countries and populations susceptible to foreign manipulation. The President shall ensure that when the Secretary of State is selecting participants for United States educational and cultural exchange programs, the Secretary of State gives special consideration to students and community leaders from populations and countries the Secretary deems vulnerable to foreign propaganda and disinformation campaigns.

SEC. 5. Reports.

(a) In general.—Not later than one year after the establishment of the Center, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report evaluating the success of the Center in fulfilling the purposes for which it was authorized and outlining steps to improve any areas of deficiency.

(b) Appropriate congressional committees defined.—In this section, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means— (1) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and

(2) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

SEC. 6. Termination of center and steering committee. The Center for Information Analysis and Response and the interagency team established under section 2(c) shall terminate 15 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 7. Rule of construction regarding relationship to intelligence authorities and activities. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as superseding or modifying any existing authorities governing the collection, sharing, and implementation of intelligence programs and activities or existing regulations governing the sharing of classified information and programs.


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

Home 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section

NeoMcCartyism 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014

[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.

me width=

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 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] For Republicans, the Mueller Probe Isn't Watergate It's Ken Starr in Reverse

Aug 14, 2018 | truthout.org

Throughout, Republicans in Congress were relentless in their pursuit. (If the recent Peter Strzok hearing shocked you, you didn't watch any of the dozens of Whitewater hearings.) Starr's office leaked like a sieve, making it clear that his mission had strayed far beyond normal law enforcement into being a political operation intended to bring down the president. The media ate it all up like little baby birds with their beaks open, eager to take whatever was fed to them. The atmosphere was febrile and intense.

Starr had finally decided to close up shop after years and years of chasing his tail had come up with no evidence of a crime. But that was when the Paula Jones civil suit opened the door for Linda Tripp to stab her friend Monica Lewinsky in the back, and right-wing lawyers set a perjury trap for the president. Clinton walked into it, lying under oath when asked if he'd engaged in an extramarital affair with Lewinsky. The rest is history.

Of course this kind of devious machination is what Republicans see happening with Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's campaign dealings with Russians.

[Aug 14, 2018] There was a news that in early July, Viktoria Skripal was invited by A Just Russia Party to run for a seat in Yaroslavl regional elections and she accepted.

Aug 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Aug 12, 2018 8:25:50 PM | 22

No idea though if the elections have been held and Viktoria won or lost.

https://en.crimerussia.com/gover/niece-of-skripal-runs-for-yaroslavl-regional-duma-deputy/

Viktoria Skripal spoke to her cousin Julia by phone twice in July: the first time on the 4th, when the two argued and Julia blamed Viktoria for the publicity over the poisoning; the second time towards the end of the month, when Julia apologised to Viktoria after getting Internet access and reading what had been reported in the media. In one of these phone calls, Julia revealed her father was still using a breathing tube.

https://www.theblogmire.com/if-yulia-skripal-now-understands-everything-what-did-they-tell-her-before/

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sergei-skripal-still-breathing-machine-12987411

[Aug 14, 2018] Skripals affair now looks like a prologue to Russian sanctions imposed by the USA. And that probably was by design like was Magnitsky afair.

Notable quotes:
"... The area of contest is now the rest of the world. America will try to convince the rest of the world to join its sanctions against Russia. Russia will try to convince them not to. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com

MarcS • 4 hours ago ,

Hello,
All of this revolves around the imminent fact that the "honest" British spooks are about to get exposed when Trump declassifies the hoax documents about Russian interference (lol) in elections.

I don't understand why Russian economists believe they have to belong to the corrupt, bankrupt us monopoly dollar system? stop all exports of gas, oil to the europe cowards, and any other country that continues to steal the wealth of the Russian resources from its people. A very sick bunch in DC and London.

Turn all of these resources inward to allow the Russian people to prosper, with energy infrastructure, farming techniques with heated greenhouses, etc... hey you have a lot of real farmers in Africa that could spawn new agricultural developments in the east Russian territory, about 15,000 farmers, unbelievable opportunity and resources for Russia to help people from a racially, evil to the core, government in Africa. Boycott all of Africa. There are real people getting killed there, no fake news .

commonsenseadvocate 4 hours ago ,

Does anyone know whether the Skripals are Jewish?

Guy 7 hours ago ,

This is exactly how the West operates ,especially the US and UK. There you have it , right out in open for everyone to see.They have been doing this for a long time , especially since the CIA , part of the shadow government , took control of the Western world. Now it is no longer covert ,it is right in our face. And why they had JFK assassinated ,because he saw what he was up against . Kennedy wanted to smash these covert and corrupted organizations into pieces.

hellen • 10 hours ago ,

Colluding with West for so many years to put down smaller countries is certainly not a quality of an angelic government and the country as Russia has been sometimes painted. Why do we forget tens of millions of Russians abused just across Russian borders, never mentioned by the government that seems only to care about wellbeing of the criminal oligarchs? Why do we forget the collusion against Serbian people that lasted for approximately 20 years and led to the destruction of that small nation? Why do we forget Russian support to numerous UN ( Western) sanctions against many nations around the world? Why do we forget betrayal of Cuba in such devious way by Mr. Putin? Why such contempt towards own nation and its heroes by honouring a Nazi-like figure like Netanyahu on the Victory Parade? Why strangulation of N. Korea? Why ,why.. I actually tend to believe that God is finally acting upon many curses cast on Russian government and is using the US as his chosen tool. Quite a justice.

Truth Teller 11 hours ago ,

I was excoriated and accused of being a liar on RI over the weekend because I quoted this article, originally published in Pravda. The point was made by the one who did this that no Russian or Russian sympathizer (such as the author of this article would want additional sanctions on Russia.

The comparison was that a small amounts of certain types of medicine can be beneficial, but in large doses can be fatal. The gist of the comment was that a small amount of sanctions can be good to bring more independence to the Russian economy, but additional sanctions would be harmful.

Well, now RI itself publishes the article from the idiot Hinchey in asking for more and more sanctions because of how wonderful they will be for Russia.

wimroffel 12 hours ago ,

The area of contest is now the rest of the world. America will try to convince the rest of the world to join its sanctions against Russia. Russia will try to convince them not to.

[Aug 14, 2018] US Intelligence Community is Tearing the Country Apart from the Inside by Dmitry Orlov

Highly recommended!
This is an interesting analysis shedding some light on how the US intelligence services have gone rogue...
Notable quotes:
"... Most recently, British "special services," which are a sort of Mini-Me to the to the Dr. Evil that is the US intelligence apparatus, saw it fit to interfere with one of their own spies, Sergei Skripal, a double agent whom they sprung from a Russian jail in a spy swap. They poisoned him using an exotic chemical and then tried to pin the blame on Russia based on no evidence. ..."
"... the Americans are doing their best to break the unwritten rule against dragging spies through the courts, but their best is nowhere near good enough. ..."
"... That said, there is no reason to believe that the Russian spies couldn't have hacked into the DNC mail server. It was probably running Microsoft Windows, and that operating system has more holes in it than a building in downtown Raqqa, Syria after the Americans got done bombing that city to rubble, lots of civilians included. When questioned about this alleged hacking by Fox News, Putin (who had worked as a spy in his previous career) had trouble keeping a straight face and clearly enjoyed the moment. ..."
"... He pointed out that the hacked/leaked emails showed a clear pattern of wrongdoing: DNC officials conspired to steal the electoral victory in the Democratic Primary from Bernie Sanders, and after this information had been leaked they were forced to resign. If the Russian hack did happen, then it was the Russians working to save American democracy from itself. So, where's the gratitude? Where's the love? Oh, and why are the DNC perps not in jail? ..."
"... The logic of US officials may be hard to follow, but only if we adhere to the traditional definitions of espionage and counterespionage -- "intelligence" in US parlance -- which is to provide validated information for the purpose of making informed decisions on best ways of defending the country. But it all makes perfect sense if we disabuse ourselves of such quaint notions and accept the reality of what we can actually observe: the purpose of US "intelligence" is not to come up with or to work with facts but to simply "make shit up." ..."
"... The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on. ..."
"... "What sort of idiot are you to ask me such a stupid question? Of course they are lying! They were caught lying more than once, and therefore they can never be trusted again. In order to claim that they are not currently lying, you have to determine when it was that they stopped lying, and that they haven't lied since. And that, based on the information that is available, is an impossible task." ..."
"... "The US intelligence agencies made an outrageous claim: that I colluded with Russia to rig the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The burden of proof is on them. They are yet to prove their case in a court of law, which is the only place where the matter can legitimately be settled, if it can be settled at all. Until that happens, we must treat their claim as conspiracy theory, not as fact." ..."
"... But no such reality-based, down-to-earth dialogue seems possible. All that we hear are fake answers to fake questions, and the outcome is a series of faulty decisions. Based on fake intelligence, the US has spent almost all of this century embroiled in very expensive and ultimately futile conflicts. ..."
"... Thanks to their efforts, Iran, Iraq and Syria have now formed a continuous crescent of religiously and geopolitically aligned states friendly toward Russia while in Afghanistan the Taliban is resurgent and battling ISIS -- an organization that came together thanks to American efforts in Iraq and Syria. ..."
"... Another hypothesis, and a far more plausible one, is that the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than "a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. ..."
Jul 28, 2018 | russia-insider.com
In today's United States, the term "espionage" doesn't get too much use outside of some specific contexts. There is still sporadic talk of industrial espionage, but with regard to Americans' own efforts to understand the world beyond their borders, they prefer the term "intelligence." This may be an intelligent choice, or not, depending on how you look at things.

First of all, US "intelligence" is only vaguely related to the game of espionage as it has been traditionally played, and as it is still being played by countries such as Russia and China. Espionage involves collecting and validating strategically vital information and conveying it to just the pertinent decision-makers on your side while keeping the fact that you are collecting and validating it hidden from everyone else.

In eras past, a spy, if discovered, would try to bite down on a cyanide capsule; these days torture is considered ungentlemanly, and spies that get caught patiently wait to be exchanged in a spy swap. An unwritten, commonsense rule about spy swaps is that they are done quietly and that those released are never interfered with again because doing so would complicate negotiating future spy swaps.

In recent years, the US intelligence agencies have decided that torturing prisoners is a good idea, but they have mostly been torturing innocent bystanders, not professional spies, sometimes forcing them to invent things, such as "Al Qaeda." There was no such thing before US intelligence popularized it as a brand among Islamic terrorists.

Most recently, British "special services," which are a sort of Mini-Me to the to the Dr. Evil that is the US intelligence apparatus, saw it fit to interfere with one of their own spies, Sergei Skripal, a double agent whom they sprung from a Russian jail in a spy swap. They poisoned him using an exotic chemical and then tried to pin the blame on Russia based on no evidence.

There are unlikely to be any more British spy swaps with Russia, and British spies working in Russia should probably be issued good old-fashioned cyanide capsules (since that supposedly super-powerful Novichok stuff the British keep at their "secret" lab in Porton Down doesn't work right and is only fatal 20% of the time).

There is another unwritten, commonsense rule about spying in general: whatever happens, it needs to be kept out of the courts, because the discovery process of any trial would force the prosecution to divulge sources and methods, making them part of the public record. An alternative is to hold secret tribunals, but since these cannot be independently verified to be following due process and rules of evidence, they don't add much value.

A different standard applies to traitors; here, sending them through the courts is acceptable and serves a high moral purpose, since here the source is the person on trial and the method -- treason -- can be divulged without harm. But this logic does not apply to proper, professional spies who are simply doing their jobs, even if they turn out to be double agents. In fact, when counterintelligence discovers a spy, the professional thing to do is to try to recruit him as a double agent or, failing that, to try to use the spy as a channel for injecting disinformation.

Americans have been doing their best to break this rule. Recently, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted a dozen Russian operatives working in Russia for hacking into the DNC mail server and sending the emails to Wikileaks. Meanwhile, said server is nowhere to be found (it's been misplaced) while the time stamps on the files that were published on Wikileaks show that they were obtained by copying to a thumb drive rather than sending them over the internet. Thus, this was a leak, not a hack, and couldn't have been done by anyone working remotely from Russia.

Furthermore, it is an exercise in futility for a US official to indict Russian citizens in Russia. They will never stand trial in a US court because of the following clause in the Russian Constitution: "61.1 A citizen of the Russian Federation may not be deported out of Russia or extradited to another state."

Mueller may summon a panel of constitutional scholars to interpret this sentence, or he can just read it and weep. Yes, the Americans are doing their best to break the unwritten rule against dragging spies through the courts, but their best is nowhere near good enough.

That said, there is no reason to believe that the Russian spies couldn't have hacked into the DNC mail server. It was probably running Microsoft Windows, and that operating system has more holes in it than a building in downtown Raqqa, Syria after the Americans got done bombing that city to rubble, lots of civilians included. When questioned about this alleged hacking by Fox News, Putin (who had worked as a spy in his previous career) had trouble keeping a straight face and clearly enjoyed the moment.

He pointed out that the hacked/leaked emails showed a clear pattern of wrongdoing: DNC officials conspired to steal the electoral victory in the Democratic Primary from Bernie Sanders, and after this information had been leaked they were forced to resign. If the Russian hack did happen, then it was the Russians working to save American democracy from itself. So, where's the gratitude? Where's the love? Oh, and why are the DNC perps not in jail?

Since there exists an agreement between the US and Russia to cooperate on criminal investigations, Putin offered to question the spies indicted by Mueller. He even offered to have Mueller sit in on the proceedings. But in return he wanted to question US officials who may have aided and abetted a convicted felon by the name of William Browder, who is due to begin serving a nine-year sentence in Russia any time now and who, by the way, donated copious amounts of his ill-gotten money to the Hillary Clinton election campaign.

In response, the US Senate passed a resolution to forbid Russians from questioning US officials. And instead of issuing a valid request to have the twelve Russian spies interviewed, at least one US official made the startlingly inane request to have them come to the US instead. Again, which part of 61.1 don't they understand?

The logic of US officials may be hard to follow, but only if we adhere to the traditional definitions of espionage and counterespionage -- "intelligence" in US parlance -- which is to provide validated information for the purpose of making informed decisions on best ways of defending the country. But it all makes perfect sense if we disabuse ourselves of such quaint notions and accept the reality of what we can actually observe: the purpose of US "intelligence" is not to come up with or to work with facts but to simply "make shit up."

The "intelligence" the US intelligence agencies provide can be anything but; in fact, the stupider it is the better, because its purpose is allow unintelligent people to make unintelligent decisions. In fact, they consider facts harmful -- be they about Syrian chemical weapons, or conspiring to steal the primary from Bernie Sanders, or Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, or the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden -- because facts require accuracy and rigor while they prefer to dwell in the realm of pure fantasy and whimsy. In this, their actual objective is easily discernible.

The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on.

One major advancement in their state of the art has been in moving from real false flag operations, à la 9/11, to fake false flag operations, à la fake East Gouta chemical attack in Syria (since fully discredited). The Russian election meddling story is perhaps the final step in this evolution: no New York skyscrapers or Syrian children were harmed in the process of concocting this fake narrative, and it can be kept alive seemingly forever purely through the furious effort of numerous flapping lips. It is now a pure confidence scam. If you are less then impressed with their invented narratives, then you are a conspiracy theorist or, in the latest revision, a traitor.

Trump was recently questioned as to whether he trusted US intelligence. He waffled. A light-hearted answer would have been:

"What sort of idiot are you to ask me such a stupid question? Of course they are lying! They were caught lying more than once, and therefore they can never be trusted again. In order to claim that they are not currently lying, you have to determine when it was that they stopped lying, and that they haven't lied since. And that, based on the information that is available, is an impossible task."

A more serious, matter-of-fact answer would have been:

"The US intelligence agencies made an outrageous claim: that I colluded with Russia to rig the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The burden of proof is on them. They are yet to prove their case in a court of law, which is the only place where the matter can legitimately be settled, if it can be settled at all. Until that happens, we must treat their claim as conspiracy theory, not as fact."

And a hardcore, deadpan answer would have been:

"The US intelligence services swore an oath to uphold the US Constitution, according to which I am their Commander in Chief. They report to me, not I to them. They must be loyal to me, not I to them. If they are disloyal to me, then that is sufficient reason for their dismissal."

But no such reality-based, down-to-earth dialogue seems possible. All that we hear are fake answers to fake questions, and the outcome is a series of faulty decisions. Based on fake intelligence, the US has spent almost all of this century embroiled in very expensive and ultimately futile conflicts.

Thanks to their efforts, Iran, Iraq and Syria have now formed a continuous crescent of religiously and geopolitically aligned states friendly toward Russia while in Afghanistan the Taliban is resurgent and battling ISIS -- an organization that came together thanks to American efforts in Iraq and Syria.

The total cost of wars so far this century for the US is reported to be $4,575,610,429,593. Divided by the 138,313,155 Americans who file tax returns (whether they actually pay any tax is too subtle a question), it works out to just over $33,000 per taxpayer. If you pay taxes in the US, that's your bill so far for the various US intelligence "oopsies."

The 16 US intelligence agencies have a combined budget of $66.8 billion, and that seems like a lot until you realize how supremely efficient they are: their "mistakes" have cost the country close to 70 times their budget. At a staffing level of over 200,000 employees, each of them has cost the US taxpayer close to $23 million, on average. That number is totally out of the ballpark! The energy sector has the highest earnings per employee, at around $1.8 million per. Valero Energy stands out at $7.6 million per. At $23 million per, the US intelligence community has been doing three times better than Valero. Hats off! This makes the US intelligence community by far the best, most efficient collapse driver imaginable.

There are two possible hypotheses for why this is so.

First, we might venture to guess that these 200,000 people are grossly incompetent and that the fiascos they precipitate are accidental. But it is hard to imagine a situation where grossly incompetent people nevertheless manage to funnel $23 million apiece, on average, toward an assortment of futile undertakings of their choosing. It is even harder to imagine that such incompetents would be allowed to blunder along decade after decade without being called out for their mistakes.

Another hypothesis, and a far more plausible one, is that the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than "a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars."

[Aug 14, 2018] Rand Paul Stands Up for Peace by Justin Raimondo

Please support antiwar.com -- a unique antiwar site in the climate of rabid militarism and jingoism...
Notable quotes:
"... "the unlikely, unholy alliance between Rand Paul and Donald Trump, one a libertarian iconoclast, the other the cancerous center of the Republican party" is upsetting to writer Tina Nguyen because the "far left and the far right" are "converging." Or something. Peace with nuclear-armed Russia? That qualifies the Senator as a "wacko bird" and "Putin's perfect stooge." ..."
"... Rand Paul has gone from being an overly cautious presidential candidate who seemed scared of his own noninterventionist shadow to a principled statesman unafraid to take a stand for peace. He is a living example of how people – yes, even politicians – learn and change. His trip to Russia to bring a message of peace and détente at a time when the wolves of the War Party are howling ever louder was an act of courage that should have every person of good will standing and applauding. Bravo, Senator! ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

Libertarians are largely lost in the wilderness of the present era: wandering without a compass, either moral or ideological, and without a clue as to how to get home, never mind reach their ultimate goal of "freedom in our time." Yes, that was the old slogan that we libertarians started out with: an optimistic battle-cry that, today, seems unrealistic, at best. But is it? And if it isn't, who can show us the way forward?

My answer is simple: look at what Sen. Rand Paul is doing, and take a lesson. Instead of weeping and wailing about the loss of a "libertarian moment" that never really happened, Sen. Paul is making a difference. As Politico reports :

" Rand Paul has the ear, and the affection, of the most important person in the White House: President Donald Trump.

"Once bitter rivals on the Republican campaign trail, the Kentucky senator and the commander-in-chief have bonded over a shared delight in thumbing their noses at experts the president likes to deride as 'foreign policy eggheads,' including those who work in his own administration."

When Trump appointed the hawkish John Bolton as his National Security Advisor, the usual suspects crowed that "the neocons have taken over the White House." Never mind that a) Bolton is no neocon, and b) Trump is known for encouraging vigorous debate among his policy advisors while not necessarily agreeing with one or the other – these people, mostly alleged non-interventionists, hate the President for other reasons, and merely seized on the appointment as a convenient talking point. However, this narrative is contradicted by the reports of Sen. Paul's increasing influence in the Oval Office:

"While Trump tolerates his hawkish advisers, the aide added, he shares a real bond with Paul: 'He actually at gut level has the same instincts as Rand Paul.'"

"Paul has quietly emerged as an influential sounding board and useful ally for the president, who frequently clashes with his top advisers on foreign policy. The Kentucky senator's relationship with Trump, developed via frequent cellphone calls and over rounds of golf at the president's Virginia country club, became publicly apparent for the first time on Wednesday when the senator announced he had hand-delivered a letter to the Kremlin on Trump's behalf."

While the Beltway apparatus put together by the Kochs has jumped on the NeverTrump bandwagon with both feet, publicly declaring war on the administration and announcing a de facto alliance with the Democrats, Sen. Paul has made a difference in a key area that the Koch machine has largely abandoned or reversed itself: foreign policy. Here's Politico again:

"Both Paul and Trump routinely rail against foreign entanglements, foreign wars, and foreign aid – positions characterized as isolationist by critics and as 'America first' by the president and his supporters. Even on points of where they disagree, Paul has extracted small victories."

That one area is Iran, and even there it looks like Sen. Paul has his finger in the dike:

"But Trump has stopped short of calling for regime change even though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Bolton support it, aligning with Paul instead, according to a GOP foreign policy expert in frequent contact with the White House. '

Rand Paul has persuaded the president that we are not for regime change in Iran,' this person said, because adopting that position would instigate another war in the Middle East."

As the President launches peace initiatives from the Korean peninsula to the steppes of Russia, the virtue-signalers among us pretend that none of that is happening and obsessively descry the decision to exit the Iran deal. Yet where has all their moaning and groaning gotten them? Sen. Paul is single-handedly doing more for peace than any of these bloviating nonentities could dream of.

The hysteria aimed at the President is now directed at Sen. Paul, with the New York Times in what is perhaps mistakenly presented as a "news" article describing the Senator's relationship with the White House in words that are clearly over the top:

"Suddenly, in the mind of the junior senator from Kentucky, Mr. Trump has soared from lower than that speck of dirt to high enough for Mount Rushmore."

One imagines the foam-flecked computer screen of the author was quite a mess well before she reached the end of her jeremiad. Hatred for the President blends and merges with hatred for Russia as the Fourth Estate becomes an instrument in the hands of the War Party. Vanity Fair – that bastion of foreign policy expertise – shrieks that

"the unlikely, unholy alliance between Rand Paul and Donald Trump, one a libertarian iconoclast, the other the cancerous center of the Republican party" is upsetting to writer Tina Nguyen because the "far left and the far right" are "converging." Or something. Peace with nuclear-armed Russia? That qualifies the Senator as a "wacko bird" and "Putin's perfect stooge."

Yeah, suuure it does, Tina: anything you say. Just like those who wanted to end the Vietnam war were "stooges" of Ho Chi Minh. Just like Ronald Reagan getting rid of a whole category of nukes made him a "stooge" of Gorbachev.

And to get down to the real intellectual heavyweight: S. E. Cupp, whose credentials seem to be phony glasses and blondness, vomits up her considered opinion that Sen. Paul is now Putin's "errand boy." Which is far better than being Max Boot's errand girl , but don't anyone tell Iraq war-supporting Ms. Cupp that she has blood on her hands. She feels no need to apologize.

Oh yes, the heavies are out in force, sliming Sen. Paul for defending the President's Helsinki peace initiative with nuclear-armed Russia. Vanity Fair , S. E. Cupp – who's next? Madonna? Women's Wear Daily ?

Rand Paul has gone from being an overly cautious presidential candidate who seemed scared of his own noninterventionist shadow to a principled statesman unafraid to take a stand for peace. He is a living example of how people – yes, even politicians – learn and change. His trip to Russia to bring a message of peace and détente at a time when the wolves of the War Party are howling ever louder was an act of courage that should have every person of good will standing and applauding. Bravo, Senator!

[Aug 14, 2018] Latest Sanctions Against Russia Show Trump Not in Control of His Administration by F. Michael Maloof

It could be the Trump was already deposed as a President by Pompeo.
I never understood appointment of Haley and appointment of Bolton if we assume that Trump is not a neocon and does not want to continue previous administration policies. Haley is kind of Sikh variant of Samantha Power. Bolton is probably as bad as Wolfowitz. Pompeo also can be viewed as Hillary 2.0.
Notable quotes:
"... In addition, the US has delivered an ultimatum, saying that if Russia does not give assurances within 90 days that it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow international inspectors to inspect its production facilities, further sanctions will be implemented. But Russia denies it used chemical weapons. Unlike the US, it destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile in accordance with international treaties. ..."
"... The legislation gave a 60-day window to begin implementation of sanctions after the Trump administration determined that the now-British citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a strain of the Novichok nerve-agent. The US came to that conclusion following an initial determination by the British government. ..."
"... However, the US administration missed the deadline by more than a month. That prompted Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, to write a letter to Trump some two weeks ago slamming the president for ignoring the deadline. ..."
"... Strangely, a government research facility at Porton Down in Amesbury, not far from Salisbury where the alleged March poisoning took place, examined the strain of Novichok. Porton Down lab does work for British Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, run by the Ministry of Defense, and the Public Health England. ..."
"... All of this makes makes the issue as to why Britain, and even the US, never wanted to share samples taken from the poisoning of the Skripals with Moscow more concerning. Yet, they all went ahead in lock-step to condemn Moscow for the poisoning, without any evidence, suggesting a more sinister reason for lobbying increased sanctions against Russia with the goal of further isolating the country. ..."
"... It reflects the need especially by the US to have a demon in an effort to justify its defense spending to bolster NATO up to the border of the Russian Federation in the form of a new containment policy that launched the Cold War in the first place. ..."
"... With even further sanctions against Russia in the recently passed Defense Department Authorization Bill about to go into effect, it is becoming apparent that the allegations against Russia are politically-motivated, false flag allegations to be used as an excuse for a greater geostrategic reason -- to contain Russia just as the Trump administration is increasingly finding its US-led unilateral world order being challenged more than ever. ..."
"... Trump talks about better relations with Russia, but the actions of his own administration in demonizing Moscow dictate otherwise. ..."
Aug 10, 2018 | russia-insider.com
Forget about running the Empire or the American state. Trump isn't even in control of his team US President Donald Trump is not in control of his own administration, as evidenced by the latest round of sanctions imposed against Russia for the alleged involvement in the poisoning of the Skripals in the UK in March.

The sanctions came the same day that US Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced on a trip to Moscow that he had handed over a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin from Trump calling for better relations between the two countries. For that reason, the timing appears to be suspect, suggesting strongly that Trump has his own foreign policy while the Trump administration, comprised mainly of bureaucrats referred to as the Deep State, have their own. Right now, they appear to be in control, not President Trump, over his own administration, and it is having the adverse effect of further alienating Washington and Moscow.

The neocons, led by National Security Advisor John Bolton, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, comprise the Trump " war cabinet " ostensibly aimed at directing a harder line toward Syria, North Korea, Iran but also Russia. Bolton, in particular, has been outspoken in calling for regime change in some of these countries. Trump not so much so. In fact, he has said just the opposite. Nevertheless, their anti-Russian flair in Washington has breathed new life into the neocons who, along with the Democrats, Deep State and much of the mainstream media, have pushed the false narrative of collusion between Russia and Trump.

This persistent anti-Russian rant and repeated sanctions which have been imposed have had the effect of leading to further threats of sanctions for questionable reasons, raising the potential prospect of suspension of diplomatic ties.

Even at the height of the Cold War, relations between the US and Russia never reached such low depths as they have now. The latest sanctions affect primarily dual-use technologies which are civilian products with potential military applications. They include gas turbine engines, electronics and integrated circuits which will now be denied. Previous sanctions going back to the Obama administration, however, already imposed bans on many of these dual-use technologies.

In addition, the US has delivered an ultimatum, saying that if Russia does not give assurances within 90 days that it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow international inspectors to inspect its production facilities, further sanctions will be implemented. But Russia denies it used chemical weapons. Unlike the US, it destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile in accordance with international treaties.

Implementation of the sanctions stem from provisions of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.

The legislation gave a 60-day window to begin implementation of sanctions after the Trump administration determined that the now-British citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a strain of the Novichok nerve-agent. The US came to that conclusion following an initial determination by the British government.

However, the US administration missed the deadline by more than a month. That prompted Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, to write a letter to Trump some two weeks ago slamming the president for ignoring the deadline.

Curiously, the British government hasn't implemented similar sanctions, although the US has. It may reflect the continued uncertainty among some British politicians and experts over the origin of the Novichok and concern with Britain's trade dependency on Russia. But since the Americans opted to implement sanctions due to existing legislation, there was apparently no objection from London even though it initially implemented sanctions by kicking out Russian diplomats from the country.

Moscow, however, vehemently denied that it was involved in the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter. Novichok was created by Russian scientists during the Cold War but never used on the battlefield. Russian officials asked Britain for evidence of Russian involvement and called for a joint investigation to be conducted by the Kremlin and British governments.

The British government repeatedly turned down the offer, as did other Western members of the United Nations Security Council, the US and France, when Moscow sought such a joint investigation.

The US claimed that the information linking the poison to Russia was " classified ."

Strangely, a government research facility at Porton Down in Amesbury, not far from Salisbury where the alleged March poisoning took place, examined the strain of Novichok. Porton Down lab does work for British Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, run by the Ministry of Defense, and the Public Health England.

Results from the examination confirmed the poison was a form of Novichok but – importantly – could not determine where the poison had been created or who had used it. This development created further confusion and prompted disputes among politicians.

It is known that samples of Novichok have been in the hands of many NATO countries for years after the German foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND, had reportedly obtained a sample from a Russian defector in the 1990s.

The formula was later shared with Britain, the US, France, Canada and the Netherlands, where small quantities of Novichok reportedly were produced in an effort to develop countermeasures. Porton Down labs similarly had received samples to study. Czech President Milos Zeman recently admitted that his country synthesized and tested a form of Novichok. Sweden and Slovakia also have the technical capability to produce the nerve agent, according to Russian officials.

All of this makes makes the issue as to why Britain, and even the US, never wanted to share samples taken from the poisoning of the Skripals with Moscow more concerning. Yet, they all went ahead in lock-step to condemn Moscow for the poisoning, without any evidence, suggesting a more sinister reason for lobbying increased sanctions against Russia with the goal of further isolating the country.

It reflects the need especially by the US to have a demon in an effort to justify its defense spending to bolster NATO up to the border of the Russian Federation in the form of a new containment policy that launched the Cold War in the first place.

With even further sanctions against Russia in the recently passed Defense Department Authorization Bill about to go into effect, it is becoming apparent that the allegations against Russia are politically-motivated, false flag allegations to be used as an excuse for a greater geostrategic reason -- to contain Russia just as the Trump administration is increasingly finding its US-led unilateral world order being challenged more than ever.

The reason, however, isn't due to anything that Moscow initiated but by Trump himself who isn't in control of his own administration, and maybe never has been. Many of his campaign promises such as dropping out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Iranian nuclear agreement, the threat of sanctions against any company that trades with Iran, his tariff war with US allies are in conflict with each other, leading to increased world instability. At the same time, Trump talks about better relations with Russia, but the actions of his own administration in demonizing Moscow dictate otherwise.

F. Michael Maloof is a former Pentagon security analyst.

[Aug 13, 2018] Sergey Lavrov SLAMS new US sanctions over Skripal case

Aug 13, 2018 | theduran.com

Sergey Lavrov SLAMS new US sanctions over Skripal case

Ruble continues to tank under the spectre of looming American sanctions imposed on the basis of circumstantial evidence and insinuation.

Published

9 hours ago

on

August 13, 2018 By

Seraphim Hanisch 1,639 Views ,

[Aug 13, 2018] Like Iran, the Russians know the USA. Is about as reliable as a third hand condom and just as classy.

Aug 13, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Beibdnn. , Aug 13, 2018 4:33:04 PM | 59

@spudski.

I believe Russia sees the sanctions for what they are. A crude attempt to provoke them into a hasty reaction. It is virtually certain they won't react in a childish or inconsidered way.

Paul Craig Roberts is well behind the curve when it comes to what is believed about the west in Russia politics.

A clue might be in the fact they have just reduced their $ reserves to 14 billion, down from nearly 200 4 or so years ago.

Like Iran, the Russians know the U.S.A. Is about as reliable as a third hand condom and just as classy.

[Aug 13, 2018] New US Sanctions vs. Russia by Anatoly Karlin

Notable quotes:
"... Proposed new "sanctions" on Russia essentially amount to a declaration of war. ..."
"... The US is spelling out the conditions that have no chance of being met. Let's hope that the result will be further Russian alignment with China, rather than nuclear war. I'd hate to be killed by Russian missiles hitting the US just because bought by MIC and paid for American "leadership" has gone completely insane. Hope springs eternal. ..."
"... They are constantly talking about the "hybrid warfare" and the Russian "attack" on America, but it means that the US (both its politicians and its population) get psychologically prepared for an actual war, and it is precisely their actions which keep drifting towards actual war. ..."
"... I don't think the Israel lobby alone should be blamed for these "sanctions". Insanity is more widespread in the US "leadership" than Jewish shekels. This looks like the death throes of the Empire. Let's hope it does not take the humanity with it to its grave. ..."
"... Interesting looks like the inevitable Turkish financial crisis has begun, Europe has reasonable exposure there, further disruption to economic ties to Russia would be seen as a hostile act by Europe. ..."
"... Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions. Who could be partners in such a system? Aside from the obvious candidate, China, perhaps even India. Modi has in recent months distanced himself from the US and warmed up to China again. ..."
"... Unless the EU finally shows some spine – which is very unlikely – then the Western system will be exposed to be at the mercy of whoever controls the US. Such a system is hegemonic and it will be in the best interest of not just the non-Western world but even for those of us in Europe to see a breakdown in that world order. ..."
"... Turkey's implicit bet was that it could continue to rely on Western money flows while pursuing an agenda contrary to Western interests has been conclusively shattered. When I say Western interests, I do not mean the propaganda about human rights, which the West manifestly doesn't give two hoots about. ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | www.unz.com

* NBC: Trump administration to hit Russia with new sanctions for Skripal poisoning

The Trump administration is hitting Russia with new sanctions punishing President Vladimir Putin's government for using a chemical weapon against an ex-spy in Britain, U.S. officials told NBC News Wednesday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed off on a determination that Russia violated international law by poisoning the former spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in March, officials said, a decision that was announced Wednesday afternoon by State Department.

The biggest impact from the initial sanctions is expected to come from a ban on granting licenses to export sensitive national security goods to Russia, which in the past have included items like electronic devices and components, along with test and calibration equipment for avionics. Prior to the sanctions, such exports were allowed on a case-by-case basis.

A second, more painful round kicks in three months later unless Russia provides "reliable assurances" that it won't use chemical weapons in the future and agrees to "on-site inspections" by the U.N. -- conditions unlikely to be met. The second round of sanctions could include downgrading diplomatic relations, suspending state airline Aeroflot's ability to fly to the U.S, and cutting off nearly all exports and imports.

The sanctions are directly based on H.R.3409 – Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 .

Section 7 covers the sanctions that are to be imposed, which consist of initial sanctions, and further sanctions to be imposed after 90 days if there is no compliance on the country's part.

Initial sanctions : Ban on foreign assistance, arms sales, denial of US credit, and exporting national security sensitive goods. (Most of this is already functionally in place with respect to Russia).

Further sanctions : Ban on multilateral bank assistance [e.g. IMF, World Bank, the EBRD, etc], ban on US bank loans, a near total export ban (except food and agricultural commodities) and import ban, downgrade or suspension of US diplomatic relations, revocation of landing rights to air carriers controlled by the government of the sanctioned country.

Reuters has a US State Department official saying that the sanctions would not apply to Aeroflot, which some commenters have qualified as backtracking. But I think that the official was merely talking of the initial sanctions.

How does Russia go about removing the sanctions? The President will need to "certify" to Congress that the country in question: (1) Has made "reliable assurances", and is not making preparations, to use chemical/biological weapons in violation of international law, or against its own citizens; (2) is willing to allow on-site inspections by UN observers to confirm the above; (3) is making restitutions to the victims of its chemical/biological weapons usage.

This would basically require Russia to admit guilt for the Skripal poisoning and subject itself to the inspections regimes that the US typically tries to force on "rogue states." In other words, it is out of the question.

Moreover, even in the theoretical possibility that this goes through, it's not like President Trump's "certification" will be worth anything amidst the Russiagate hysteria.

Another possibility to avoid the near cessation of trade between the US and Russia is to have the President "waiver" the application of individual sanctions, if he can determine and certify to Congress that doing so is necessary for the national security interests of the US; or that there has been "a fundamental change in the leadership and policies" of the sanctioned country. In either case, the President needs to provide a report to Congress explaining his detailed rationale for the waiver, and listing steps the sanctioned country is taking to satisfy the "removal of sanctions" clause.

This isn't near the end of it, though.

***

* Meduza: Russian newspaper leaks draft text of U.S. Senate's Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act

The newspaper Kommersant has published a full draft of the proposed "Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act," which demands a U.S. investigation into Vladimir Putin's personal wealth and whether Russia sponsors terrorism, and would impose a ban on U.S. citizens buying Russian sovereign debt, though the U.S. Treasury publicly opposed this idea in February, warning that it would disrupt the market broadly. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the initiative's sponsors, says one of the draft legislation's goals is to impose "crushing sanctions."

[Sanctions to include:]

* Banning the banks . The draft bill proposes banning Russia's biggest state banks -- Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Rosselkhozbank, Promsvyazbank, or Vnesheconombank -- from operating inside the United States, which would effectively prevent these institutions from conducting dollar settlements.

* Oil and gas . In the energy sector, the legislation would impose sanctions on investment in any projects by the Russian government or government-affiliated companies outside Russia worth more than $250 million. Businesses would also incur penalties for any participation (funding or supplying equipment or technology) in new oil projects inside Russia valued above $1 million.

* Lists and research . If the bill is submitted in its current form and adopted, the U.S. president would have 180 days to begin implementing its provisions; within 60 days of adoption, the White House would need to provide a new list of Russian individuals suspected of cyber-attacks against the United States; the Treasury Department would have 180 days to update its "Kremlin list" of Russian state officials and oligarchs; the director of national intelligence would be tasked with completing a "detailed report on the personal net worth and assets" of Vladimir Putin and his family; and the State Department would have 90 days to determine whether Russia should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.

* A new Sanctions Office . In order to shore up the 2017 Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, the draft legislation would also create an "Office of Sanctions Coordination" within the State Department to coordinate work with the Treasury.

Here is the original Kommersant article: Комплекс мер по сдерживанию Дональда Трампа

Here is the text of the draft bill: https://www.kommersant.ru/docs/2018/_2018d140-Menendez-Russia-Sanctions-Bill.pdf

It contains many more interesting details.

(1) The bill's sponsors, which include Lindsey Graham, Robert Menendez, and Ben Cardin, preface their text with a call for President Trump to demand Russia stop interference in US "democratic processes", return Crimea to the Ukraine, stop supporting the separatists in East Ukraine, as well the "occupation and support of separatists" in the territories of Georgia and Moldova, and support for Bashar Assad, who continues to commit "war crimes."

(2) They note that the general drift of the document is towards a consolidation of separate anti-Russian sanctions, from the "Ukrainian" to the "cyber" ones, into a "single mechanism."

(3) Subject to a 2/3 vote in the Senate, the bill also includes a ban on financing "direct or indirect" steps, that have as their goal to support the attempts of "any US government official" to take the country out of NATO. Every 90 days, the US Secretary of State, in coordination with the Defense Minister, would be required to present a report to the relevant committees in Congress about "threats to NATO", which would include attempts to weaken US commitments to the alliance. Considering Trump's ambiguous feelings on NATO, this part is primarily aimed at Trump himself.

(4) There are calls to "pressure" Russia from interfering with UN and the OPCW attempts to investigate chemical weapons usage, as well as to "punish" Russia for producing and using chemical weapons. This directly syncs this sanctions bill to the previous one.

The report concludes that it's not yet clear how to interpret this. In the worse case, it could be a "preliminary application" for a UN campaign to exclude Russia from the Security Council; alternatively, it could just be a "pragmatic" run-up to merely invoking great sanctions, as with Iran in 1983.

***

I suppose we now also know why Russia has been selling Treasuries for the past three months, which plummeted from their typical level of $100 billion in March to just $15 billion from June (i.e. just enough to guarantee USD-denominated trade).

For comparison, the last time such a drawback happened (but which only lasted three weeks) was in the immediate aftermath of Crimea.

The last time Russia pulled such a large sum out of the U.S. was just after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, when the central bank withdrew about $115 billion from the New York Fed, Reuters reported last year, citing two former Fed officials. Most of that money was returned a few weeks later, after it became clear that the scope of initial U.S. sanctions would be narrower than the Kremlin expected, according to the news service.

But I suppose this drawdown would now be permanent, since it is increasingly evident that Iran-tier sanctions on Russia are now on the horizon.

These sanctions are either going to steadily creep in – or rush in like a tsunami if there is a Blue Wave in 90 days, or if Trump was to be removed.

However, as I have pointed out, the ultimate ability of the US to directly punish Russia is limited; it has twice as many people as Iran, after all, and many times the economic output. Trade between Russia and the US is very limited.

Moreover, as I have pointed out , Russia has plenty of surprising ways to hurt the US as well. For instance, banning Aeroflot from flying to the US has a simple response – banning US air carriers from overflying North Eurasia, period. It can resurrect a bill – first raised this May, since sunken in the legislature – to impose fines and prison time on individuals and entities who support Western sanctions by refusing to do business with Russian citizens or entities on America's SDN list. It can throw out the American-dominated copyrights regimen out of the window.

Some questions we should now be asking include:

1. Precisely how far is the US prepared to go? Cutting off its own trade with Russia is one thing – penalizing foreign companies that do business with Russia is something else. As Ben Aris notes , the US Treasury Department has been ratcheting back on its sanctions against Oleg Deripaska and Rusal, after the chaos it has caused in the international metals market. The ideological Russiagaters need to balance their PDS/TDS against the pecuniary practicalities of catering to finance and oil & gas interests and their lobbies.

2. To what extent will the EU join in, passively acquiesce to, or resist the US sanctions against Russia? The answer to this question will to a large extent determine precisely how deeply Russia falls into China's orbit in the next couple of decades.


reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 3:38 pm GMT

Putin and his regime are weak on the USA, but Uncle Sam seems intent on making even Medvedev-style weak comprador liberals enemies.

I think unrequited love often turns to hate, and so there's some chance that these weaklings become anti-American nationalists.

The Scalpel , Website August 10, 2018 at 3:40 pm GMT
This sounds very close to a declaration of war. USA is beginning to throw everything it has behind economic warfare and go "all in" forcing even its closest allies to either suffer serious sanctions for not joining the economic attacks or to inflict self-harm by limiting trade with Russia, Iran, and anyone else the US chooses to declare economic warfare upon.

I don't believe that this set of circumstances can continue indefinitely without a serious realignment or a degeneration into "kinetic" warfare.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 3:47 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Putin and his regime are weak on the USA, but Uncle Sam seems intent on making even Medvedev-style weak comprador liberals enemies.

Twit:

Maxim A. Suchkov @MSuchkov_ALM

Russia's PM @MedvedevRussiaE now: #Moscow to treat
:urther #US sanctions as an open declaration of economic war.
1:54 AM-Aug 10, 2018

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 3:48 pm GMT
Proposed new "sanctions" on Russia essentially amount to a declaration of war. Lunatic asylum is the most appropriate place for the whole American "leadership", down to the last man/woman/tranny. The only thing that stands between us and WWIII, which would be a suicide of humanity, is unbelievably cool and reasonable position of Putin and the rest of Russian leadership.

It is clear to anyone with a brain that the US "sanctions" on Russia have zero chance of changing Russia's stance on any international issues of consequence. Crimea is a good example: it will return to Ukraine the day after the Hell freezes over. On the same date Georgia gets South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and US-sponsored Islamic bandits win over Assad in Syria. Thus, The US is spelling out the conditions that have no chance of being met. Let's hope that the result will be further Russian alignment with China, rather than nuclear war. I'd hate to be killed by Russian missiles hitting the US just because bought by MIC and paid for American "leadership" has gone completely insane. Hope springs eternal.

reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 3:56 pm GMT
@The Scalpel

I agree. They are constantly talking about the "hybrid warfare" and the Russian "attack" on America, but it means that the US (both its politicians and its population) get psychologically prepared for an actual war, and it is precisely their actions which keep drifting towards actual war.

There is also a lot of projection going on here: the Americans obviously perceive their own election meddling as war by other means, and so they accuse their enemies with the very same thing.

reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 3:56 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Maybe we'll see unrequited love turning into hatred.

LondonBob , August 10, 2018 at 3:59 pm GMT
Russia is far too integrated in to the wider European economy, and Russia is too stronk for sanctions to do anything. See Nord Stream II. Ignore the Israel lobby sanctions, not even the corrupt congress critters could vote for those.

I have no idea why these new meaningless sanctions have been conjured up, maybe the Rand Paul letter has the answer, maybe not. I think we may have some answers after the midterms.

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 4:05 pm GMT
@LondonBob

I don't think the Israel lobby alone should be blamed for these "sanctions". Insanity is more widespread in the US "leadership" than Jewish shekels. This looks like the death throes of the Empire. Let's hope it does not take the humanity with it to its grave.

neutral , August 10, 2018 at 4:13 pm GMT
Now that it is within the realms of reasonable debate, if there were a nuclear war between the USA and Russia what targets would be hit? Would Russia hit puppet regimes such the UK, France or Poland? Would the USA hit Iran (because if they are going to hit Russia they might as well get Iran in there as well).

If say only Russian and USA were hit, how much of the nuclear fallout would affect Europe?

LondonBob , August 10, 2018 at 4:14 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

Why, if Putin threatened Netanyahu to call off his dogs, he would have to? Actions of AIPAC should be accountable.

Interesting looks like the inevitable Turkish financial crisis has begun, Europe has reasonable exposure there, further disruption to economic ties to Russia would be seen as a hostile act by Europe.

Polish Perspective , August 10, 2018 at 4:18 pm GMT
Russia today is in a much better position to withstand sanctions. Global oil investments have been lagging for half a decade due to low prices, and this will inevitably show up in the coming years. Russia in 2014 was battered by a twin storm, of which the oil price collapse was in fact far worse. That factor is now gone.

Furthermore, a planned VAT rise next year will mean that the break-even oil price for the Russian budget will fall to $50 after $60 this year and $67 last year, according to Alfa Bank's analysis . Steady, impressive improvement. So even in an event of an unexpected oil price decline, Russia is far more prepared this time around.

Additionally, over the last 4 years, Russia's economy has indigenised to a much greater extent than before. This is especially the case in the financial markets. Russia is simply a lot less reliant on foreign funding. Bershidsky wrote about how more and more Russian companies are leaving UK capital markets and returning to Russia. This process will continue but it has already yielded results. As a country with a large current account surplus, tamed inflation, an incredibly strong fiscal state, there is indeed very little that the US can do, which is probably why they are reaching with ever-greater desperation.

I think the ultimate endgame can only be to completely run a parallel system. Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions. Who could be partners in such a system? Aside from the obvious candidate, China, perhaps even India. Modi has in recent months distanced himself from the US and warmed up to China again.

India has always bristled at being treated as a close ally rather as a 'partner'. It has cherished it's non-aligned movement legacy and its historically close relations to Russia. It is unlikely to want to give up on that in order to become a subservient lapdog to US interests in the manner that the EU has degraded itself.

China's AIIB is a good start, but the full range of new institutions must bear fruit. Some of the BRICS ideas are good but ultimately both Brazil and South Africa are too unimportant. It should be borne by the big powers (Russia, India and China) together with an Asian coalition like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and others who are not in the US orbit yet have a bright future ahead of them.

Turning to Europe. Unless the EU finally shows some spine – which is very unlikely – then the Western system will be exposed to be at the mercy of whoever controls the US. Such a system is hegemonic and it will be in the best interest of not just the non-Western world but even for those of us in Europe to see a breakdown in that world order.

Dmitry , August 10, 2018 at 4:37 pm GMT
America now has a "good cop, bad cop" with Trump and Congress. Congress puts in more sanctions, but there is constraint responding too much because Trump seems friendly, and you don't want to alienate him. Trump himself doesn't care about the sanctions, because he thinks it is leverage that he can lift them later.

There was an article a few months ago that Trump is actually worse than Obama – even in Obama did not supply direct weapons to Ukraine.

I think Trump plans to remove the sanctions in the next year and improve the relations – but without any kind of timetable (his meeting with Putin is delayed already to next year).

Polish Perspective , August 10, 2018 at 4:43 pm GMT
OT: The Turkish lira is now the worst-performing currency this year, bar none.

Turkey's implicit bet was that it could continue to rely on Western money flows while pursuing an agenda contrary to Western interests has been conclusively shattered. When I say Western interests, I do not mean the propaganda about human rights, which the West manifestly doesn't give two hoots about.

Turkey was not entirely foolish to believe this strategy could work. Pakistan during the reign of Islamist military dictator Zia ul-Haq, used a similar strategy during the 1980s. He empowered the mullahs and moved Pakistan decidedly to the hard-right in religious/cultural terms while massively opening up the economy to speculative finance, thereby pleasing Washington. Saudi Arabia has used this policy for a long time. For those who knew this, the revelation that the US funded some of the most extremist "moderate" rebels in Syria came as no shock.

So perhaps it isn't the Islamism in of itself which is the problem in Erdogan's case. What could it be? Well, one clue is the case of Pastor Brunson. The good pastor, who under house arrest in Turkey, is accused to be close to the Gülen cult. The official line in the Western MSM is that Trump is trying to appease evangelicals before the midterms. I don't buy that. He has them in the bag regardless. Gülen himself, some of you might recall, still lives in the US despite repeated pleas from Turkey to give him back. Which is the unreliable ally here? Curiously, Gülen's religious bent is even more Islamist than Erdogan's. He's also even more of a neoliberal. Notice a pattern?

At any rate, the demand from the US has been for Turkey to release Brunson unconditionally. Erdogan's media has speculated that Brunson was slated to become CIA chief in Turkey had the 2016 coup come to pass. Obviously, Turkey does not want to release him unconditionally: it makes them look extremely weak. Well, they now got hit where it hurts. Indeed, Trump even tweeted out new sanctions news today even as Erdogan was delivering a speech. I don't happen to believe in coincidences. The result is that the lira lost close to a quarter of its value in a single day. I haven't even mentioned Turkey's apparent interest in the S-400 missile system among other matters. This, I think, is what truly irked D.C. rather than Erdogan's human rights record or "authoritarianism", which is just the pretext.

Make no mistake: the decline of the lira was structural from the beginning. Turkey's large CAD made it extremely vulnerable to financial speculation from the getgo. It has now paid that price. But this does not preclude the fact that countries which are overtly reliant on Western financial flows to fund large current account deficits should forgo the lesson that there is no free lunch. Erdogan made this cardinal error. Poland is not nearly as vulnerable, but we're also in the same orbit. This is why I always laugh at the Poland Stronk memes. It's also why I dismiss the criticism against Orban that he plays all sides, including taking money from the EU, as politically naïve. Very few countries in this world can reliably be called truly independent. Russia is in the process of becoming one. So is China. India is not quite there, but it has the potential. The rest of us will simply have to balance hegemons, while reminding ourselves of our inherent vulnerability. If we forget that, then we just had a textbook example of what happens when we overestimate our hand, playing out in front of our very eyes today.

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 4:46 pm GMT
@Polish Perspective

Good to hear something sensible from Polish Perspective (in every sense of this expression). I know some Poles, who tend to be reasonable people, so the policies of Polish government always amazed me. Then again, if Polish democracy is similar to the US, the opinions of the people don't matter at all.

There is still a long way to go before Russia, China, or any other country frees itself from the clutches of dollar-based financial system. However, an alternative might look parallel at the beginning, but it won't be parallel for long. Thing is, the US dollar and the US sovereign debt have become essentially Ponzi schemes. If Russia, China, and a few others create a "parallel" system, dollar-based Ponzi scheme folds, as the US does not have sufficient assets to support the dollar or pay off its debt. The fall of the Empire will likely be violent. The only thing we can hope for is that the humanity survives it.

As to EU, it missed every chance of becoming something with a spine. Too late now. In fact, what French president once said about Arafat (he never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity) applies to the EU with a vengeance.

Felix Keverich , August 10, 2018 at 4:47 pm GMT

I suppose we now also now why Russia has been selling Treasuries for the past three months, which plummeted from their typical level of $100 billion in March to just $15 billion from June (i.e. just enough to guarantee USD-denominated trade).

You're making the Kremlins look smarter than they actually are. They should have done this 4 years ago. What I want to know is what happened to the proceeds from the sale? CBR data shows that value of "foreign exchange" held by the CBR hasn't declined:

https://www.cbr.ru/eng/hd_base/mrrf/mrrf_m/

Did they convert the dollars into other currencies, or are they keeping it in cash on a bank account somewhere, where it could be easily "frozen"?

notanon , August 10, 2018 at 4:49 pm GMT
@LondonBob

Why, if Putin threatened Netanyahu to call off his dogs, he would have to? Actions of AIPAC should be accountable.

i don't this is just AIPAC driven – partly yes but the banking mafia have their own reasons for trying to bring Russia to heel.

Thorfinnsson , August 10, 2018 at 4:54 pm GMT
Great.

Now I can't use the Export-Import Bank insure the export of American-made products from a swing state to Russia. Really Making America Great Again! Can we please replace Pompeo with Rohrabacher already?

Felix Keverich , August 10, 2018 at 5:04 pm GMT
@Polish Perspective

Regarding India, they are asking America for a permission to keep buying Russian weapons. Asking for a sanctions "waiver" – this is just sad. India also agreed to reduce imports of Iranian oil. So, perhaps, not so independent anymore.

There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth. But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia's exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.

Cagey Beast , August 10, 2018 at 5:07 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Can we please replace Pompeo with Rohrabacher already?

Rohrabacher is a flake and blowhard as well. If he were in the running for Secretary of State, he could just as easily flip and become militantly anti-Russian in order to impress people in Washington. Appearing tough on foreigners in front of one's peers in Washington is their prime motive. They've been like this since before the Vietnam War era.

Kimppis , August 10, 2018 at 5:09 pm GMT
Anatoly, I read your Russian "Whitepill" article through Google Translate recently:

http://akarlin.ru/2018/08/whitepill/

Obviously a good read overall, but there was this one part that I found particularly well, interesting, and actually quite surprising:

"Moreover, the mid-2020s will also see a massive influx of electric vehicles into the global car fleet, which could lead to a final collapse in oil prices. There was practically no real diversification: the number of industrial robots per worker in Russia is at the level of Iran and India. Meanwhile, "effective managers" like Sechin turned out to be so effective that Rosneft's debts exceed the value of the company itself from this year. An acute economic crisis in a few years is almost inevitable. "

So I'm clearly not even entirely sure whether that translation is accurate, but it really seems like you're kind of suddenly much more pessimistic on the Russian economy. Or is that just the "best-case" scenario for Russian nationalists?

Didn't you rate Putin's "economic management" reasonably highly not a long time ago, just before the Presidential elections? Of course compared to the situation in 2000, but still.

You've also pointed out several times that Russia's oil dependency has been considerably exaggerated. Also, Russia's federal budget is already based on low oil prices. Then there's Jon Hellevig's research and numbers as well (GDP share of oil & gas, the consolidated budget, etc). And Polish Perspective's comment above.

So shouldn't the repeat of 2014 be kind of unlikely, if not impossible? At this rate, Russia's remaining oil dependency should already be considerably lower by the mid-20s, despite all those technological limitations.

You don't believe in an annual growth of 3% anymore? You seriously think there will be an "acute crisis" in a few years?

I actually just read that even the always (or atleast recently) conservative/pessimistic Russian authorities (in this case, the Economic Development Ministry) forecast a growth rate of atleast around 3% beginning from 2021, after the VAT hike, some other "reforms" and increasing spending.

Cagey Beast , August 10, 2018 at 5:23 pm GMT
At the same time, Trump his helping to push the Turkish economy off a cliff with his Twitter account. Russia and Turkey find themselves in the same boat. So?
Dmitry , August 10, 2018 at 5:40 pm GMT
@LondonBob

Israel and Netanyahu responsible for American sanctions on Russia, conspiracy makes less sense to me than the others I read here (Israel responsible for killing Kennedy, etc). Why do Israel want to impose American sanctions on Russia?

This week's sanctions mainly targeting Russian airlines. Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger.

In Israel, Aeroflot is the third airline, and Israeli government pays it direct subsidies to reduce the ticket prices for places like Eilat. They allow Aeroflot to put giant Aeroflot commercial posters along the roads and skyscrapers.

According to the news earlier in the year, Israel is negotiating to join a customs union with the Eurasian Economic Union. How will they reconcile their own actions, with being the one responsible for America to sanction Russia? It would be very competent 4 dimensional chess, from people who cannot even count their illegal immigrants or deport a single illegal immigrant, or coordinate their nationality policy with a few thousand druze. While making America sanction Russia has no benefit for them, deporting illegal immigrants, or coordinating with Druze has important benefits for them (yet supposedly they can do the former, but not the latter).

At the same time, they do the opposite of sanctioning themselves.

Also if this is the case, how in Russia, nobody in the expert community is aware Israel is responsible for the sanctions. Instead the media celebrate when it still wants to export carrots. And if any of the Kremlin top think relations with Israel are bad, then why is Israel allowed to operate freely in Russia.

If explanation is to do with Syria – it also does not fit. Intervention in Syria was presented as something which would encourage West to remove its sanctions.

For Israel, Russian-American alliance would improve the situation in the region. And also probably for Turkey and the Arabs.

Israel is terrified with an increase of Iran in Syria. The reality is that is that both Russia and America is going to reduce presence in Syria, and Iran is going to increase it. The problem of Russia in Syria for Israel, is that Russia's presence is only minimal, and will allow Iran on the ground to take over the same territories that Russia helps secure for Assad. In the current equation and stage of the war, they will be hoping Russia increases its presence and reduces the need for Iranian forces. Problem of Assad for them is his only to the extent of his relation with Iran, not with Russia.

Mikhail , Website August 10, 2018 at 5:43 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Before the Trump-Putin summit, the Mueller involved FBI indicted 12 Russians, knowing full well that they'd not be turned over to the US. This latest round of sanctions comes right after Rand Paul's trip to Moscow, for the purpose of seeking closer US-Russian relations.

As noted in this below piece, these sanctions are crock based: https://www.rt.com/news/435576-russia-us-sanctions-reactions/

On CNN, the establishment alternative academic Robert English hypothesized that elements in the Russian government might've poisoned the Skripals without Putin's prior knowledge. He leaves out another possibility, in line with US mass media restrictions. In the UK, there're Russian ex pats, who quarrel among themselves, in addition to not liking the Russian government. The poisoning of the Skripals could very well be a matter of trying to kill two birds (so to speak) in one shot.

Of course we don't know for sure. Likewise, with the bogus suggestion as fact that the Russian government poisoned the Skripals. Given the ongoing lack of UK government disclosure on this incident, there's very good reason to doubt the claim against the Russian government.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 5:51 pm GMT
@Polish Perspective

I think the ultimate endgame can only be to completely run a parallel system. Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions.

Seconded. Washington is too much in love with their sanctions.

It should be borne by the big powers (Russia, India and China) together with an Asian coalition like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and others who are not in the US orbit yet have a bright future ahead of them.

What about Turkey?

Dmitry , August 10, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT
@Kimppis

Also, Russia's federal budget is already based on low oil prices. Then there's

It's up to 50% of the federal budget in recent years, is funded by oil and gas revenue, although in low oil price years the proportion can fall (to lower 40s%).

When the proportion falls, then you are by definition financing a federal budget in other ways, which are usually less politically popular.

You can see unpopularity of announcements to raise VAT or pension age.

Raising pension age (as needs to often be repeated to people) is necessary and reasonable, but raising VAT is a bad thing as in most countries.

Karlin is probably too pessimistic about oil price demand peaking in 2020s (demand for oil probably peaking in the 2030s).

Either way, it's known there need to be economic reforms, reduction of size of government sector, increase in proportion of private sector in many areas, investment in education for future industries.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 6:05 pm GMT
@Dmitry

Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger.

Aeroflot should cancel the orders and buy the Airbus 320s Iran was supposed to get.

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 6:07 pm GMT
@Cagey Beast

But they fail to produce the next generation of consumer-citizens. Or is the Western elite so shortsighted? To the level of "après moi le déluge"?

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 6:09 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Agree. Aeroflot should not buy anything American. Neither should Iran or Syria. The most sensitive part of the US anatomy is the wallet.

Lars Porsena , August 10, 2018 at 6:48 pm GMT
Having Russia go pirate on US copy-rite laws could be interesting. Do you think the US would build a giant firewall and ban it's citizens from viewing Russian content, and could they actually enforce it, or would the internet be just like back in the good old 90′s days with Napsternik?

Russia might even make some headway with Pirate Party types. Information belongs to the people, comrades! Also Russia switching to Linux would probably lead to an increased development of Linux.

g2k , August 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Looks like these sanctions will force their hand: their new narrowbody airliner was going to have pratt and witney engines with the aviadvigatel ones only for government planes. Not sure what the exact reasons for this were: p&w ones have a slightly higher bypass ratio, it allows international buyers to utilise existing service infrastructure or aviadvigatel's ability to mass produce might be crap. If the us imposes a complete export ban they'll all have to have them.

Russia's current widebody airliner is pretty much obsolete though.

Dmitry , August 10, 2018 at 7:03 pm GMT
Aeroflot had benefited from collapse of Transaero. They're getting 35 planes (all Airbus and Boeing models) from the Transaero fleet and are putting them into Aeroflot fleet this year.

With Boeing, they also had an order of Dreamliners, which they cancelled a few years ago. Although that was just because there was a downturn in long-haul flights. New Boeing 737 orders are for building up their lowcoster "Pobeda".

AnonFromTN , August 10, 2018 at 7:03 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

For that, Russia needs to produce all types of civilian aircraft, like the USSR did. That's hard after the 1990s, when the traitors destroyed Russian aircraft industry. There are moves in the direction of restoring it, in cooperation with China. However, they both need to be able to build aircraft w/o any parts from the US and its vassals. That would take 5-10 years. In fact, US sanctions pushed Russia and China in the direction of self-sufficiency very hard. In Russian it is called "sawing off the bough you sit on". The West is really good at that lately.

reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 7:03 pm GMT
@g2k

These sanctions might be a net positive for Russia in the long term, forcing them to develop indigenous industries instead of just importing everything from the oil revenue.

reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 7:17 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

Probably working together with China is the easier way, and more feasible economically.

Daniel Chieh , August 10, 2018 at 7:23 pm GMT
@Lars Porsena

Do you think the US would build a giant firewall and ban it's citizens from viewing Russian content, and could they actually enforce it, or would the internet be just like back in the good old 90′s days with Napsternik?

The "free market" of Facebook, Apple, Google and Spotify will protect good Americans from fake news.

El Dato , August 10, 2018 at 7:24 pm GMT
@Lars Porsena

Also Russia switching to Linux would probably lead to an increased development of Linux.

I would finally have a good reason to learn me some Russian.

Thorfinnsson , August 10, 2018 at 7:31 pm GMT
@g2k

Presumably they can still source from Rolls Royce. The UK is a smaller economic power than America and presumably less interested in sabotaging one of its crown jewels (never rule it out with the UK ofc).

Russia's aerospace technology is inferior to the West, but that's irrelevant since Russia can simply force Russian carriers to purchase Russian aircraft. Higher operating costs relative to foreign carriers can be addressed with subsidies (or tariffs).

Prioritizing your own technology also creates the option of charting an independent technological course. For instance, instead of building swept-wing jets with low bypass turbofan engines optimized for transonic cruise, you could build straight-wing aircraft with propfans optimized for low fuel consumption. You can also build supersonic aircraft and experiment with different planforms than the boring one established by the Boeing 707.

Thorfinnsson , August 10, 2018 at 7:34 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

This is already in the works with the CRAIC CR929. Engineering in Moscow, assembly in Shanghai. Will be in service around a decade from now.

German_reader , August 10, 2018 at 7:38 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

It's kind of funny how many Americans feel threatened by Iran. Regarding Russia as a threat at least makes a certain sense given Russia's nuclear arsenal and ability to destroy the US.

Felix Keverich , August 10, 2018 at 7:45 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Every time Medvedev opens his mouth, he makes me cringe. Seriously, if you're going to proclaim an "economic war", against USA no less, then you better explain how Russia is going to fight back and win. Smart Russians will be heading to currency exchange ( обменный пункт ) after hearing this statement.

reiner Tor , August 10, 2018 at 7:58 pm GMT
@The Scalpel

More fuel consumption than is usual with modern aircraft, noisier passenger cabin, more external noise (also important for some airports with regulations restricting noisy aircraft), less safety, etc.

It's just not competitive to operate them. Airlines have very low margins anyway, you cannot make a profit with obsolete aircrafts.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 8:50 pm GMT
@German_reader

On the other hand, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ideologically far more committed to anti-Americanism than the RF.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 8:53 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

if you're going to proclaim an "economic war", against USA no less, then you better explain how Russia is going to fight back and win.

Sun Tzu would disagree. Why let the enemy know what you are planning to do?

Dmitry , August 10, 2018 at 9:50 pm GMT
@The Scalpel

There are a couple of new planes which Aeroflot is going to buy/buying for shorthaul – Superjet 100 and MC-21. Karlin was blogging about these planes a few weeks ago.

Airtickets are a freemarket, and most passengers don't want to fly in unsafe old planes like Tu-154

A single crash can be even fatal for an airline – crash of an An-148 has earlier this year, destroyed Saratov Airlines

As a customer, I don't think there is any disgrace in buying Boeing and Airbus. All major airlines now, and around the world, are using mainly Airbus and Boeing, and have now retired the Tu-154.

Gerard2 , August 10, 2018 at 9:52 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth

AND also Ukraine's, Moldova's, Georgia's, the Baltics and the friendly countries like Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan etcetera. If anything the US's moron, scumbag policy towards Russia ends up doing the exact opposite of what it intends to do Ukraine, Moldova, Gerogia and Baltics then become more financially interlinked and even dependent on Russia than they were before.

But in the circumstances ..is guaranteed 1% or 1.5% GDP growth per year for the next decade even that bad considering the circumstances? Every social/infrastructure element is improving in Russia

Felix Keverich , August 10, 2018 at 10:08 pm GMT
@Mitleser

The enemy is probably laughing his ass off at Medvedev. One simply should NOT be making such statements as a prime-minister of Russia. Here is another fool, who doesn't understand currency markets:

Gerard2 , August 10, 2018 at 10:13 pm GMT
@Dmitry

You can see unpopularity of announcements to raise VAT or pension age.

It's fake outrage and fake unpopularity on these two issues. 18% increased to 20% is a non-issue ( the budget is being spent significantly better than ever to offset this increase in VAT)

A lot of nonsense about "long overdue" get's said about pension reform but this is total BS. Yes Russia has 48 million out of 146 million as pensioners, but the most important thing is the unexpected , way above average increase in life expectancy . that has actually instigated this move by the authorities.

Those approaching retirement won't suddenly have to work 1-5 years longer they can still opt-in to the current arrangements in the overlapping period.. and with guarantees pension increased much further to corresponding inflation levels than now.

Either way, it's known there need to be economic reforms

Disagree with this .the same patterns that have been shown in the last 4 years need to continue, no radical "reform" is necessary. Small and medium sized business have gone from 10 million to 20 million people and should easily reach the target in afew years time that the President wished for in May,credit behavior and availability is becoming more and more western,

Instead of saying "reduction in size of government sector" you must specify exactly which areas of state control should be privatised .too often from liberasts their focus is solely on getting state control off critically important energy resources and distribution .nothing else.

Cyrano , August 10, 2018 at 10:45 pm GMT
Americans see the Russians as greatness deniers. Their European lackeys are their greatness-acknowledgers – even when it's detrimental to their own survival.

If the world was a theater, Americans see themselves as the only performers – the role of the rest of the world is to applaud their performance.

Russia is not a part of the audience, it's not even a heckler. It's a performer, it has always been, and a very talented one too. To try to demote them to the role of spectators, or to try to usher them out of the concert hall can be suicidal, they have enough musical instruments to put on a remarkable concert – even if afterwards no one is left to applaud.

Mitleser , August 10, 2018 at 10:58 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

One simply should NOT be making such statements as a prime-minister of Russia.

What statements should the PM make?

Anonymous [899] Disclaimer , August 10, 2018 at 11:12 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

Yes we can.

https://www.businessinsider.com/mouse-grown-from-its-mothers-skin-cells-2016-10

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2109305-eggs-made-from-skin-cells-in-lab-could-herald-end-of-infertility/

Daniel Chieh , August 10, 2018 at 11:31 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Mice and humans are quite different, results applying to mice apply to humans less than 50% of the time. The loss rates on this, at any rate, are insane:

Of the 1348 embryos they made, eight pups were born.

Anonymous [931] Disclaimer , August 11, 2018 at 12:16 am GMT
@Daniel Chieh

Every beginning is hard. Considering that all the cutting edge research in fertility/cloning/artificial wombs is done on shoestring budgets, the progress is amazing. Imagine what could be done with sufficient funding.

Our esteemed host have the right idea – the only chance for Russia to achieve its rightful number one place in the world is through new Manhattan project to develop better Russians.
The West is stymied by the "pro-lifers" of the right and "bioethicists" of the left, and this is Russia's chance. Unlike the origial M project, Russians can keep things secret, and even if the West will suspect something, what can they do? Impose sanctions?

In the thirties, ignorant Caucasian moustacheoid gangster picked the Lysenkoists over the scientifically correct Darwinist transhumanist eugenicists. Time to undo this mistake.

utu , August 11, 2018 at 12:37 am GMT
@Anonymous

Our esteemed host have the right idea – the only chance for Russia to achieve its rightful number one place in the world is through new Manhattan project to develop better Russians.

And it will have as much impact on the outcome of the looming confrontation as the Mengele's research had on the outcome of the WWII.

utu , August 11, 2018 at 2:01 am GMT
@Polish Perspective

He's also even more of a neoliberal. Notice a pattern?

The west has no qualms about using Islamist. Radical Islam has been used in 1950s against Nasser's regime in Egypt. Islamist were used against secular pro Soviet regime of Afghanistan and then against Assad's Syria, Hussain's Iraq and Gaddafi's Libya. The equation is complicate: on one side you have Israel's Yinon Plan and global neoliberal and Islamists and on the other side you have secular national countries that try to build greater sovereignty and stronger state.

Majority of Islamist are just useful idiots while some among the leadership are operatives of western security services. Sometimes they break off the leash like Hamas which it does not seem to be controlled by Mossad anymore but it still does everything from the wish list of Israel's hard-liners.

My pet theory is that Islamist of Iran who destroyed the fast growing and developing Iran of Shah were also used by some foreign interests in the west and/or Israel. Shah himself believed it was the British.

You should look at history of your own country in 19 and 20 century. To what extent all those patriots responsible for numerous and hopeless uprisings were useful idiots, dupes or operatives of foreign interests?

Mr. XYZ , August 11, 2018 at 2:09 am GMT
Question about the Skripal poisoning–if it wasn't the Russians, then who did it?

Also, it's interesting that Sergei Skripal's poisoning has resulted in much more Western action than Alexander Litvinenko's poisoning back in 2006 did.

Colin Wright , Website August 11, 2018 at 3:00 am GMT
' The biggest impact from the initial sanctions is expected to come from a ban on granting licenses to export sensitive national security goods to Russia, which in the past have included items like electronic devices and components, along with test and calibration equipment for avionics. Prior to the sanctions, such exports were allowed on a case-by-case basis. '

Now they'll have to pay the Israelis to get it for them. Does this count as aid to Israel?

Colin Wright , Website August 11, 2018 at 3:04 am GMT
If, without admitting guilt, Russia expressed her regret for the fact that Donald Trump won the election, would that open the door to a settlement?
Colin Wright , Website August 11, 2018 at 3:07 am GMT
@Felix Keverich

' Americans view Russia as a greater threat than Iran '

I can go along with that. Russia's a greater threat than Togo as well.

Anon [813] Disclaimer , August 11, 2018 at 3:39 am GMT
@German_reader

I am always puzzled to hear that lesbians require artificial insemination. I had a couple of friends who were a bit behind schedule, and were trying hard to conceive just before the last eggs would wither. Whatever they were doing, taking days off from work when the thermometer said so, shoving it at any price, and so on – it could not be described as pleasurable. So why would the lesbians not bear it if they so much need children?

On a more general note, I am puzzled as to how USSR survived between 1945 and 1989 without fainting at the thought that Americans would not recognize annexation of the Baltic jokes, that Russians would not be allowed to use dollars, or that Pokemon Go could be blocked in the Russian app store. Surely, if you have a population of idiots, like USSR circa 1989, who would think that it's their ow government blocking the dollar and Pikachu, it may gnaw at the roots of the state. But today's Russians can guess that with Putin or without him, with Crimea or without it, they are still seen as enemies of America, and will be treated accordingly.

utu , August 11, 2018 at 4:08 am GMT
@Anon

New state provision would cover fertility services for lower income women

https://nypost.com/2017/04/16/new-state-provision-would-cover-fertility-services-for-lower-income-women/

Conservatives pilloried the program, which sources said is a gift to an Orthodox Jewish community that has pressed for government-paid fertility services for 15 years.

Orthodox leaders called the budget measure a "significant victory" for women struggling to have kids in a community that traditionally values large families.

"This amendment will make it easier for women who would like to have children to do so," said Jeff Leb, a top lobbyist for Jewish nonprofits.

anonymous coward , August 11, 2018 at 7:25 am GMT
@Anonymous

scientifically correct Darwinist

Darwinism violates basic laws of probability theory and the observed fossil record.

It's a nice just-so story for the innumerate (most biologists are innumerate), but not in any way, shape or form science.

anonymous coward , August 11, 2018 at 7:28 am GMT
@Mr. XYZ

if it wasn't the Russians, then who did it?

Guilty until proven innocent? Don't open that Pandora's box. You're gleefully piling on the Russians now, but give a few years and the same gang might apply that principle to you in turn. Just because they hate Russians at this moment doesn't mean they hold any love for the rest of humanity.

Bukephalos , August 11, 2018 at 8:28 am GMT
@Polish Perspective

Brunson's captivity had dragged for quite long already, and we heard negotiations for his release made some progress before. However, Trump ramped up the rhetoric at a precise moment: when Turkey announced they would not only shirk new Iran sanctions (like they did in the past) but also were being vocal about this.

Seeing what ensued, again yes the S-400 was an irritant for a while already and certainly cumulate with other factors but the timeline is interesting. God forbid we conclude those who should not be named are ultimately setting the agenda here, not really the pastor's plight under islamist thugs.

Mikhail , Website August 11, 2018 at 8:45 am GMT
@Mr. XYZ

You could do a better job at reading this thread. See:

http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russia-sanctions/#comment-2458139

Excerpt –

On CNN, the establishment alternative academic Robert English hypothesized that elements in the Russian government might've poisoned the Skripals without Putin's prior knowledge. He leaves out another possibility, in line with US mass media restrictions. In the UK, there're Russian ex pats, who quarrel among themselves, in addition to not liking the Russian government. The poisoning of the Skripals could very well be a matter of trying to kill two birds (so to speak) in one shot.

Of course we don't know for sure. Likewise, with the bogus suggestion as fact that the Russian government poisoned the Skripals. Given the ongoing lack of UK government disclosure on this incident, there's very good reason to doubt the claim against the Russian government.

As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there's good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

reiner Tor , August 11, 2018 at 9:05 am GMT
@anonymous coward

That's wrong, except about the innumeracy of the majority of biologists. Evolutionary biologists are less innumerate than the rest, and in any event, enough of them are numerate (like Greg Cochran with a physics PhD).

anonymous coward , August 11, 2018 at 9:29 am GMT
@reiner Tor

[MORE]

That's wrong

It isn't. I'm a professional, trust me.

Evolutionary biologists are less innumerate than the rest, and in any event, enough of them are numerate (like Greg Cochran with a physics PhD).

Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.

(A theory that will never be formed, because Darwinism violates the very basic theorems of probability and computation.)

anon [170] Disclaimer , August 11, 2018 at 9:40 am GMT
Sanctions are more or less equivalent to Neo Mercantilism. Currency devalued, imports surpassed, etc.

Last round led to Russian agriculture boom.

The US would not tolerate a sanctions equivalent industrial policy, Nr would the Russian people.

Just call it better than tariffs,

Never before have unintended consequences been so obvious.

utu , August 11, 2018 at 9:49 am GMT
@anonymous coward

[MORE]

Could you give an example of some probabilities? How do you calculate them and with what assumptions?

At resent article by Fred Reed the commenter "j2″ produced some numbers but I was too lazy and not certain that his starting assumptions were correct to verify it.

The Scalpel , Website August 11, 2018 at 10:22 am GMT
@Mr. XYZ

If it wasn't the British, or ISIS, or the Martians, who did it?

Jaakko Raipala , August 11, 2018 at 10:55 am GMT
@anonymous coward

Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.

Such complete bullshit. Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory. You clearly know nothing beyond high school level physics (or anything else for that matter).

Some fields of modern physics like thermodynamics ARE basically just pure probability theory applied to physical phenomena. If you take a random sample of research physicists from your local university, they're much more likely to be doing statistical mechanics rather than trying to find analytical solutions for their n-body problem and some application of probability is usually the most important field of mathematics for working physicists.

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 11:11 am GMT
@Mikhail

You're right again about the Litvinenko conspiracy, Mickey. The notion that the Russian government would want to eliminate somebody who had betrayed its secret service, written books denouncing Vladimir Putin for giving the order to murder the likes of Boris Bereszvsky, Anna Polikovskaya and others, accused the secret service of being behind the bombings of the Russian apartment buildings, just doesn't add up or make any sense. The fact that Litvinenko, while lying on his death bed directly accused Putin for being responsible for his death also didn't lend any value that it was indeed Putin behind his poisoning. It just goes to show you the lengths to which the enemies of Russia and Vladimir Putin will go to try and besmearch Putin's honorable name. But they'll never be able to fool somebody with your veracity and skillul analysis – keep up the great 'independent foreign analysis'!

Anatoly Karlin , Website August 11, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT
@Jaakko Raipala

anonymous coward makes it a point of pride to be as consistently wrong as possible.

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 11:27 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.

I wasn't aware of this and am glad that you pointed this out. Another incredibly strong reason not to believe that the Russian government was behind the Litvinenko poisoning. Isn't it time that you wrote a book, Mickey? I know that other book authors regularly rely on your input to write their own monographs, isn't it time that you put it all together and shared more of your thoughts with the world? Perhaps, Karlin might let you write a chapter in his forthcoming book 'The Dark Lord of the Kremlin'?

APilgrim , August 11, 2018 at 11:33 am GMT
'Russia-Sanctions' are pitiful ' Double-Standards ', written by ' Frustrated Globalists '.
Felix Keverich , August 11, 2018 at 1:30 pm GMT
Anyone wants to comment on this bizarre diplomatic spat, that Greece and Russia are having?

The abrupt deterioration in relations between Greece and Russia has intensified after Athens publicly accused Moscow of attempting to bribe state officials and meddle in the country's internal affairs.

Athens also rejected requests for entry visas from Russian Orthodox clerics heading for northern Greece's all-male monastic republic of Mount Athos.

The community is alleged to be a "den of spies" , with reports that Moscow has turned the Holy Mount – widely seen as the spiritual centre of Orthodoxy – into an intelligence-gathering operation with extensive funding of monasteries across the peninsula.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/11/greece-accuses-russia-bribery-meddling-macedonia-deal

Personally, I'm not sure what to make of it. Greece could be trying to secure some debt relief by manufacturing a pointless row with Russia. Their PM Tsipras did come to Russia in 2015, asking for money. Left with nothing.

anonymous coward , August 11, 2018 at 1:59 pm GMT
@Jaakko Raipala

[MORE]

Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory.

Untighten your panties. That was my point, which you managed to miss by blindly charging to M'Lady Science's defense.

Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That's exactly the "abstract theory" you're deriding.

The practical stuff physicists are using for solving practical, well-defined problems is useless here.

anonymous coward , August 11, 2018 at 2:20 pm GMT
@utu

[MORE]

Some quick back-of-the-napkin calculations:

* Age of the universe is about 10^18 seconds.
* The "Planck time" gives us the smallest possible unit of time, about 10^-45 seconds.
* There are about 10^82 atoms in the Universe.

Now assume an ideal computer. Let each atom of the Universe be a CPU, operating as fast as physics allows.

That gives us an upper bound of 10^(18+45+82) = 10^145 CPU cycles for computation.

Now take Shakespeare's sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let's ignore punctuation.)

If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations.

So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so.

How much more complex is an E. Coli cell compared to a sonnet?

P.S. This is obvious, freshman-tier stuff unless you're blinded by ideology.

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 2:34 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

What' s to make of it? The article that you cite clearly explains what the row is all about:

Moscow announced the move weeks after Athens banned four Russian diplomats after accusing them of fomenting opposition to a landmark deal between Greece and macedonia, opening up the possibility of eventual Nato membership for Skopje.

Your own bizarre explanation betrays your own Russian reasoning:

Personally, I'm not sure what to make of it. Greece could be trying to secure some debt relief by manufacturing a pointless row with Russia. Their PM Tsipras did come to Russia in 2015, asking for money. Left with nothing.

Mitleser , August 11, 2018 at 2:51 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

My guess is that the Greek government wants to gain a powerful backer against Brüssel.

In Greece, he very often appears in public alongside Kammenos and spreads his political views on what is going on in the country via his Twitter account.

The influence goes so far that Pyatt unchallengedly criticizes the Greek judiciary and demands measures against anti-American demonstrators. Tsipras administration, arguing anti-Americanly itself at opposition times, on the other hand, fulfils every wish of the USA. While on the other side of the Bosphorus NATO partner Turkey is pushing its dispute with the US to the top, Greece's government is the most US-friendly since the overthrow of military rule in July 1974: NATO interests, gas pipelines and the regional influence of the North Atlantic defence alliance.

The coalition government of SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks agreed to the expansion of American military bases in Greece, including the stationing of nuclear weapons. This was not initially communicated to the public by the government, but only became known when the Secretary General of the Communist Party, Dimitris Koutsoubas, criticized it during public performances.

Secret diplomacy, as in the case of NATO, is also a characteristic of the Tsipras government in resolving the name dispute with northern Macedonia and in ongoing negotiations on border corrections with Albania. All negotiations are held in secrecy, with reference to the protection of state interests. There is no detailed information and no transparency regarding the reasons for the decision.

Athens is now providing NATO with the infrastructure for military bases in the event that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan withdraws his country from the North Atlantic Defence Alliance.

https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Russland-weist-griechische-Diplomaten-aus-4130628.html

Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator

Yes, that's is the infamous Pyatt who was ambassador in Kiev during the Maidan Coup.
He has been in Athen since 2016.

The case brings to the forefront the tension that seems to have been brewing between Athens and Moscow over the last two years, for reasons that have to do with regional security.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/230551/article/ekathimerini/news/greece-decides-to-expel-russian-diplomats

reiner Tor , August 11, 2018 at 3:04 pm GMT
@Mitleser

As late as this April Tsipras was still skeptical of the Skripal case.

But yes, probably they want America's friendship.

Sean , August 11, 2018 at 3:12 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

Yeltsin was president when the bombings happened. Putin was only prime minister for a couple of weeks before the tower block bombings happened. Boris Bereszvsky killed himself (exiles are often miserable, Skripal wanted to go back) after Litvinenko, they were a couple of losers. No, Putin is a proud man, he sent the anti terror police to arrest Gusinsky not because of investigation into the apartment massacres of hundreds, but because that puppet show Dolls of Gusinsky's NTV portrayed Putin in a way he hated.

Who wouldn't want to inflict a horrible death on someone who accused them of being a paedophile? Litvinenko accused Putin of being a child molester and so Putin immediately issued orders for him to be sadistically murdered and a month he was poisoned (like apartment bombings, these things take a while to set up).

Felix Keverich , August 11, 2018 at 3:30 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

This brings me back to my point about Hitler & weak, foolish Eastern Europeans. Greek government is only behaving this way because it sees no risks in antagonising Russians whatsoever. Slapping sanctions on Greece (by banning tourism for example) might get them thinking.

Anatoly Karlin , Website August 11, 2018 at 3:42 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

One thing I saw is that they dislike Russia's support for replacing Greeks with Palestinians in the Orthodox Church in Israel.

https://www.facebook.com/pakopov/posts/1975263482518921

Israel Shamir had an article on that, interestingly enough: http://www.unz.com/ishamir/the-greek-occupation/

Mitleser , August 11, 2018 at 3:44 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

No sanctions, just encourage the tourism branch to redirect Russian tourists to Turkey which can offer them more for less.

https://www.xe.com/de/currencycharts/?from=RUB&to=TRY&view=5Y

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 3:49 pm GMT
@Sean

Look, I'm not passing judgement on the veracity of these accusations, that Litvinenko made against Putler. I see that you've added another one to the list, that Litvinenko accused Putler of being a pedophile too. All I was pointing out was that there were many reasons why Litvinenko was a target for unfriendly Rusian actions, not like our resident 'Independent foreign Policy Analyst' Mike Averko who claims:

As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there's good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act.

Of course, he's a professional analytical type that always knows what he's talking about?

Sean , August 11, 2018 at 4:05 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Greece was told it had to join NATO to be allowed into the EU.

German_reader , August 11, 2018 at 4:11 pm GMT
@Sean

Greece has been a member of NATO since 1952, it joined the European Community in 1981.
It's odd though that a Greek leftist like Tsipras is pro-American, given the strong anti-American traditions of Greek left-wingers. But Tsipras seems to be an all-around scumbag anyway.

JudyBlumeSussman , August 11, 2018 at 4:19 pm GMT

how deeply Russia falls into China's orbit in the next couple of decades

Russia can start taking China's side on an ad hoc basis, e.g. sending ships to the disputed sea and hassling US ships and planes. Russia could hassle them on the Northern half and China on the Southern half, a nice division of labor and multiplication of hassle for the US Navy.

Dmitry , August 11, 2018 at 4:20 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

You can read statements of their foreign ministry.

His statements to do with paranoia about Russian-Turkey relations – statement from Greece was claiming Russia is a "comrade in arms with Turkey".

If Greece is angry about something, it is usually related to Turkey.

As Russia becomes friendly with Turkey – they will find an excuse to be angry, and vice-versa.

Think about Trump is this week criticizing Turkey – so he is probably now a hero in Greece this week.

Greeks are also angry because they think Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society is trying to de-Hellenize Middle Eastern patriarchates .

Philip Owen , August 11, 2018 at 4:22 pm GMT
Russia has enough chicken legs of its own now. They are not washed in chlorine.

Disengagement will simply remove what little influence the US has on Russia. Russia's exports are utterly dominated by primary production which is entirely fungible. The US exports little of high added to Russia and the EU and Switzerland, Korea and increasingly China can replace that. Japan probably won't. Russia has been trying to play a softer game with Japan but both sides true imperialist nature keeps on re-emerging. Like the US, Japan has remarkably low levels of trade with Russia given the size of its economy. Switzerland does a lot of high end complex electromechanical systems, like the Germans. The Germans are good; The Swiss are perfect.

Dmitry , August 11, 2018 at 4:59 pm GMT
@Mitleser

I'm not really sure how low prices for Turkey can become lower. It's already very cheap.

Maybe further devaluation can contribute to the tourist market diverging more between Greece and Turkey. More and more poorer people will go on holiday to Turkey, as it becomes almost as cheap to go on holiday in Turkey, as it is to stay at home.

Maybe Greece can focus more on middle segment of the tourist market.

Sean , August 11, 2018 at 5:07 pm GMT
@German_reader

Greece had withdrawn from the NATO military structure after the invasion of Cyprus by fellow member Turkey. If I remember rightly it was their own PM who told Greeks they had to go back into NATO to be allowed to join the EC.

Jaakko Raipala , August 11, 2018 at 5:24 pm GMT
@anonymous coward

Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That's exactly the "abstract theory" you're deriding.

Bullshit. I have a pretty good education in probability theory both from the theoretical physics and mathematics departments so feel free to explain whatever point you think you have in as technical terms and with as much abstract math as you like.

I'm just going to claim that you're trying an "it doesn't work because of fancy words X, Y, Z" bluff without any actual technical argument behind the big fancy words. Prove me wrong.

anon [170] Disclaimer , August 11, 2018 at 5:41 pm GMT
@anon

It will have a negative impact on domestic Russian consumption short term. It's stupid, short sighted, and hard to reverse. Sanctions work best when used least.

German_reader , August 11, 2018 at 5:44 pm GMT
@Sean

I hadn't known about Greece's withdrawal from NATO in the 1970s, interesting, thanks.

Jaakko Raipala , August 11, 2018 at 5:48 pm GMT
@anonymous coward

* Age of the universe is about 10^18 seconds.

"Age of the universe" is a pop sci concept. In the standard model of cosmology it is estimated that the universe has developed from a massively dense state to the current state in roughly 13 billion years. We can backtrack the development over that time with current theories of physics and then we hit a wall as matter is so dense that we'd need a quantum theory of gravity to go further back in time but we don't have that. We don't know how long the universe existed before that, actually we don't even know if time existed in the same manner. The earliest known state of the universe was NOT informationless (there were variations in mass distribution etc) so your assumption that patterns would emerge only in the following 13 billion years is false.

[MORE]

If you watch some pop sci documentary, they will explain all sorts of stuff about how the universe was at first some tiny point and there was a big explosion that spread it all over. This is all nonsense that was made up so that pop sci documentaries could have CGI graphics.

* The "Planck time" gives us the smallest possible unit of time, about 10^-45 seconds.

There is no such thing as the "smallest possible unit of time". This is complete nonsense. You seem to get your knowledge of physics from science fiction movies.

There is an expectation that current theories of physics are not accurate at very small time scales (which have not been reached by experiment). This is not the same thing as postulating that there is some "smallest possible unit of time". Current theories of physics simply do not include such a thing.

* There are about 10^82 atoms in the Universe.

We don't even know if the universe is finite or infinite. This is just a claim that you pulled out of your ass. There may even be an infinite number of atoms.

AnonFromTN , August 11, 2018 at 5:51 pm GMT
@Dmitry

Turks are a lot more orderly and competent than Greeks. In fact, I was surprised how much more organized Turks are: we rented a car in Ankara near railway station and returned it in another city near airport, and they delivered the car where we wanted it and then took it off my hands, without car rental agency at either point.

For Russians, there are two additional advantages: no visa is required (you just pay $20 at the airport, and they stick what they call "visa" in your passport), and the same services are cheaper than in Greece.

ploni almoni , August 11, 2018 at 6:10 pm GMT
@anonymous coward

"Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That's exactly the "abstract theory" you're deriding."

Phony Baloney.

Mikhail , Website August 11, 2018 at 6:18 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

Empty calories sarcasm on your part.

The US went thru a period of noticeable politically motivated violence (in one form or another), that among other things included the murders of the Kennedy brothers, King, X, black children in a church, fatal Kent State shootings and the Manson involved murders.

There was absolutely no need for the Russian government to orchestrate the Moscow apartment bombings. The evidence is non-existent, with the so-called evidence being a put mildly creative stretch. On par with the idea that the US government sought and was involved in planning 9/11. Terrorism from Chechnya was a clear reality before the Moscow apartment bombings.

Mikhail , Website August 11, 2018 at 6:28 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

A disingenuous cherry pick on your part, along with empty calories sarcasm. It wasn't only his (as has been said) sympathy for Chechen separatism, but a combination of factors, in conjunction with that aspect.

What I said in full on this matter:

As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there's good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

Mikhail , Website August 11, 2018 at 6:33 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise faulty impression.

In comparison, there's better reason to be critical of the Kiev regime's stunt with Babchenko.

Spisarevski , August 11, 2018 at 6:39 pm GMT
It's a pity that the good things Macedonia is doing (like fixing its relations with Bulgaria and Greece and starting to slowly accept the real history as opposed to the shit made up by the Serbs, the communists and Tito) are all done for such a shitty reason like entering the EU and NATO.
Simpleguest , August 11, 2018 at 6:42 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

"Turks are a lot more orderly and competent than Greeks."

Hear, hear.

Mitleser , August 11, 2018 at 6:46 pm GMT
@Dmitry

Greece has an inferior tourist industry and plenty of great European competition (Spain, Italy, Croatia etc.)
Thanks to Cyprus, you don't even to travel to Greece if you want to be on vacation in a Greek-speaking country.

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 7:40 pm GMT
@Mikhail

'Svido cherry picking'?

Stick to the facts and do not reply back with your monotonous drum of often recited BS when you don't have a credible reply, Mickey!

I was specifically pointing out the paucity of information that you provided regarding your alternative suggestion that somebody other than Russian backed was responsible for Livinenko's demise. As I've already pointed out, I do not pass judgments on any of the aspersions that Litvinenko made against Putler, only that the smoking gun clearly points towards Moscow. If you've got something better, then present it I'd try something more clever than indicating that Litvinenko was in favor of Chechen separatists.

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 7:52 pm GMT
@Mikhail

Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise faulty impression.

Whoa, what do we have here? Another genuine ' Averkoism '??

You indicate that I ' include mis-informative cherry picks' to spin an otherwise faulty impression. Why yes, I guess that's what I can be contrued doing. Most impressions that you make are faulty' ' and deserve to be rebuked, don't you think? I think that what you meant to say was that:

Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise accurate impression.

Mickey, you don't really want to be remembered for making 'faulty impressions ' now do you?

Cyrano , August 11, 2018 at 8:37 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

I have to agree with Mikhail here. I think that Litvinenko affair was like a dress-rehearsal for the most famous, daring and successful spy operation in history – the Babchenko affair.

You see, such a stunning operation like that takes years to perfect and for the Ukrainians Litvinenko was just a guinea pig on whom they tested their secret intelligence (OK, intelligence might be a stretch) operations skills.

And Litvinenko was an easy choice, the Ukrainians were sure that because of his background – it will be blamed on the Russians.

Nevertheless, this doesn't take anything away from the professionalism and mastery that Ukrainians displayed when they designed the Babchenko hoax. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Babchenko success story launches a new series of spy novels – maybe about agent 008 – where 008 is the IQ of the agent.

ThreeCranes , August 11, 2018 at 8:49 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

My take too rT. Economic warfare will not play out against Russia today as it did against Japan and Germany in the 1930′s; because while they were energy dependent, Russia has an abundance of oil and can and will–as you say–bootstrap its own industries inso far as they are able. They don't have to develop a surplus to trade since, like the USA 100 years ago, their population is sufficiently large to support a robust internal market.

Also, this entire analysis (and the Saker's discussions of weapons as well) ignores Russia's bigger concern, 1.2 billion Chinese wielding state of the art weaponry, who would love to bite off some big chunks of a weakened Russia for lebensraum.

Felix Keverich , August 11, 2018 at 9:59 pm GMT
@Dmitry

You can read statements of their foreign ministry.

His statements to do with paranoia about Russian-Turkey relations – statement from Greece was claiming Russia is a "comrade in arms with Turkey".

As Russia becomes friendly with Turkey – they will find an excuse to be angry, and vice-versa.

I feel that this is one of those situations, when you need to read between the lines. Turkey, religion and "meddling" ARE excuses for Greece. Trying to please Greece's creditors is the real issue here. It's a literal crackwhore of a nation, living from one tranche to another.

Hyperborean , August 11, 2018 at 10:02 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

Also, this entire analysis (and the Saker's discussions of weapons as well) ignores Russia's bigger concern, 1.2 billion Chinese wielding state of the art weaponry, who would love to bite off some big chunks of a weakened Russia for lebensraum.

This is implausible, for reasons that have been discussed multiple times here, including recently.

Thorfinnsson , August 11, 2018 at 10:03 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

China isn't a threat to Russia at present for many reasons.

See my comment on this: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/kissinger-sees-sense-but-its-far-too-late/#comment-2456313

The idea that the Chinese will move to seize Siberia is a ridiculous fantasy.

China and Russia already in the 1990s peacefully resolved all of their outstanding border issues.

China suffers from below replacement fertility and solved its food security issues in the 1980s, so the era of "Yellow Peril" population pressure belongs to the distant past. And in any case the Russian Far East is useless for agricultural purposes.

There are indeed some minerals in Siberia, but let's review some economic facts about China:

#1 exporter
#1 forex reserve holder
#2 creditor nation
#6 gold reserve holder

China can buy all the resources it needs. The main threat to China's economic security are the naval and air forces of the United States and Japan, and to a lesser extent the US Treasury and Commerce Departments. Expanding into Siberia does exactly zero to counter any of these threats, unless you think the Port of Vladivostok somehow enables the PLA-N to break out into the open Pacific.

Instead it multiplies these threats by pointlessly adding Russia to its enemies and eliminating the possibility of overland trade substituting for seaborne trade.

China is a security threat to Siberia only once the following are true:

1 – USA abandons Western Pacific in favor of hemispheric security
2 – China secures dominance over Second Island Chain
3 – China replaces USA as lynch pin of global financial (as opposed to just economic) system

And given China's cautious attitude, that might not be enough. For instance, a USA focused on hemispheric security would still be viewed as potentially dangerous by China owing to its blue water navy and dominance of the "Third Island Chain".

If China displaces the USA as the world's preeminent power, then there might be some cause for concern. But even then I'm not so sure–Russia would be Canada to China's America. The USA and Canada have had very good relations since the 1930s.

Lebensraum with Chinese Characteristics is not going to happen.

That's not to say everything will be hunky dory in Russian-Chinese relations. There are areas of friction like:

• Influence in Central Asia
• Chinese IP theft
• North Korea
• Japan
• Near Abroad
• Competition for defense and nuclear exports

The CRAIC CR929 project looks great for now, but the gist of it is that while it's designed in Russia it will be made in China. Once China matches Russia in aerospace technology, what is Russia's role in this partnership? Seems like the most likely outcome is that Russian industry is reduced from producing aircraft to merely being a Tier One supplier and, perhaps, an engine supplier.

Will Russia be happy with that? I don't know. The UK decided to accept being reduced to this status after the commercial failure of its innovative but flawed postwar airliners cheerfully enough I suppose. Japan considered but decided against developing a complete aerospace-industrial base, though this may be changing (MHI Regional Jet, Kawasaki P1, MHI X-2 Shinden).

Mikhail , Website August 11, 2018 at 10:05 pm GMT
@Cyrano

He's a svido troll as evidenced by his ongoing distortions and omissions, which include not having a good comeback to the following:

As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there's good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there're effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 10:08 pm GMT
@Cyrano

So, do you have even one shred of any evidence linking the poisoning of Litvinenko with the Ukrainian secret service? If not, I wouldn't spend too much time writing your novel about 008 and Babchenko, unless you intend it for an audience of only one gullible reader, Michael Averko!

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 10:19 pm GMT
@Mikhail

His ' Italian friend '? Were they fishing buddies where somebody got jealous of their 'friendship' and decided to take the Italian out? Could've been another Russian job too?

Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.

Now, this is really stupid, I think that even you'll have to admit Mickey. Are we to believe that because Litvinenko was sympathetic to Chechen separatism, that this somehow made him impervious to any sort of Russian assault? Please explain this one to me!

Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there're effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest? If Russia wasn't full of fools, why are they circumvented by the world community with unnecessary and embarrasing sanctions, anyway? Besides, as I've already pointed out, there were many reasons why the Kremlin wanted Litvinenko gone.

Mikhail , Website August 11, 2018 at 10:37 pm GMT

Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest?

Why Litvinenko himself, albeit (if true) in a possible unintended way. No proof that the Rusisan government did him in. No need to reply anymore to your rehashed trolling tripe.

Still no good answer to:

As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there's good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

Dmitry , August 11, 2018 at 10:42 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Theory that it is to do with creditors, doesn't make much sense.

Creditors (troika) are European fund – mainly Germany, France and Italy, in order. Followed by IMF and ECB.

Criteria for release of funds is economic criteria, that imply they might one day get their money back.

Greece's foreign policy is not of interest to anyone much (Turkey care about them), especially not accountants.

-

Reason for tensions with Greece, are the new relations with Turkey.

An alternative world, with a solvent Greece, they would be more angry, than currently weak, insolvent one – considering sale of S-400 to Turkey, construction of Akkuyu for Turkey, and recent decision for Turkstream.

Turkstream was always supposed to go to Greece, but two months ago, finally announced it's going to Bulgaria (with no mention of Greece).

https://www.reuters.com/article/russia-gas-bulgaria/update-1-bulgaria-says-will-be-entry-point-for-russian-turkstream-gas-link-idUSL5N1T16DI

For Turkstream it's now option if it needs to go to Greece at all – it could also reach Italy, via the Balkans.

In a Northern option that gets to Hungary and Italy over Serbia. (With no need of Greece).

At the same time, Israel, Cyprus and Greece are probably building a rival pipeline (probably not very economically rational), after Cyprus has discovered a gas field.

https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/cyprus-israel-greece-push-east-med-gas-pipeline-to-europe

Dmitry , August 11, 2018 at 11:02 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

Well orderliness is not the only reason for holiday choice.

And Schengen visa is not a big deal for middle class tourists (35 euros).

Greece already has almost "too many" tourists (from around the world), for size of the country.

Greece receives 32 million tourists this year (while Turkey receives around 40 million a year tourism – and is six times larger than Greece in land area).

Perhaps Greece can even raise prices and market more for middle class tourists?

Mr. Hack , August 11, 2018 at 11:03 pm GMT
@Mikhail

You missed my reply in #143 with plenty of decent replies. I don't mind reprinting them for you, I know how prone you are to missing information that is contrary to your myopic belief system:

His 'Italian friend' ? Were they fishing buddies where somebody got jealous of their 'friendship' and decided to take the Italian out? Could've been another Russian job too?

Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.

Now, this is really stupid, I think that even you'll have to admit Mickey. Are we to believe that because Litvinenko was sympathetic to Chechen separatism, that this somehow made him impervious to any sort of Russian assault? Please explain this one to me!

Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there're effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest? If Russia wasn't full of fools, why are they circumvented by the world community with unnecessary and embarrasing sanctions, anyway? Besides, as I've already pointed out, there were many reasons why the Kremlin wanted Litvinenko gone.

Anatoly Karlin , Website August 11, 2018 at 11:18 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

Has been discussed to death on this blog, both in general, and recently.

Anatoly Karlin , Website August 11, 2018 at 11:30 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

• Influence in Central Asia

I believe Russia's loss of influence there is inevitable. China has $$$; Turkey/Islamic world has ethno/religious draw; USA has its hegemonic culture.

Russia has some fading sovok relicts, such as old political ties and the Victory Day cult.

However, China is displacing it gently, as opposed to batting it away as the US and EU are wont to do. This naturally makes Russia much better disposed than it otherwise would be.

• Chinese IP theft

Will become less of an issue as China converges with and overtakes Russia in many technological areas. For instance, the realization that China's MIC is progressing far faster than expected – without significant Russian tech transfer – has contributed to Russia dropping its inhibitions on selling the S-400 and advanced fighters to China in recent years. (An HBD realist could have told them as much, earlier).

• North Korea
• Japan
• Near Abroad

The equitable arrangement would be for Russia to defer to China on North Korea and the Far East in general (though economic relations with Japan should be broadened), and to require that China do the same for Russia wrt to its Near Abroad.

But certainly a much more dominant China may no longer feel the need to honor such an arrangement.

• Competition for defense and nuclear exports

This will certainly be an issue.

Russia's nuclear technology is much further advanced than China's (the gap is much bigger than the rapidly dwindling one in the military sphere), and it doesn't appear to me that China is making a major R&D push in that area. I think Russia will continue to dominate global nuclear tech exports for at least 2-3 more decades.

AaronB , August 11, 2018 at 11:55 pm GMT
@Dmitry

Lol, NYC received 62.8 million visitors last year. One city.

Thorfinnsson , August 12, 2018 at 12:07 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

Russia's current dominance of global nuclear exports is something of a fluke.

The West crippled its nuclear industry owing to pathological atomophobia. Design expertise didn't atrophy, but construction experience did. Result was massive cost overruns and endless delays on the few Western Gen III reactor projects. Now effectively priced out of the world market.

Japan suffered from the double whammy of Fukushima and Toshiba getting dragged down by the collapse of Westinghouse. Even though it's somewhat unfair, no one will now order Japanese reactors in the near future. The Japanese elite, once truly impressive in its atomophilia and determination to resist popular atomophobia, is no longer united on the issue either. Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koisumi has for instance called for Japan to shut down all nuclear power plants.

Emerging competitor is South Korea. The Koreans successfully won the project in the United Arab Emirates, and within South Korea they have an excellent record of efficient construction. Fortunately for Russia, the very weak President Moon is a disgraceful atomophobe.

ThreeCranes , August 12, 2018 at 12:11 am GMT
@ThreeCranes

Thanks for your comments. I really wasn't referring to today, more to a tomorrow when China is the world's leading economy and the USA is struggling to enforce dollar supremacy.

Daniel Chieh , August 12, 2018 at 12:55 am GMT
@ThreeCranes

It's a big world to the south without powers with nuclear weapons.

Cyrano , August 12, 2018 at 12:59 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

You are looking at it from a wrong perspective, pal. I was simply expressing pride and admiration for the competence of the Ukrainian Secret Services. Why can't a fellow – even though admittedly phony – Slav like me feel proud of the accomplishments of a Slavic country that I look upon to for inspiration and guidance?

utu , August 12, 2018 at 1:10 am GMT
@anonymous coward

[MORE]

Interesting argument but it hinges on something that is not a part of it, i.e, what is special about the 458 letter sonnet? Your argument only demonstrates that if another world began 10^18 seconds ago it most likely would not produce the same 458 letter sonnet but it would produce some other sonnet which could have a meaning in this different world.

You could create similarly fallacious argument 'proving' that you cannot possibly exist. Assign probabilities p<<1 of an event that two of your ancestors met and procreated. What was a chance that your parent met and then go back to grandparents and so on. And soon you will obtain cumulative probability close to zero stating exactly what? That your life could not have happened?

I think it is east to be confused and tricked by probabilities. And this happens when we are sloppy in defining the space of events on which the probability function must be defined. When you are heating up water at some point there will me one molecule of H2O that will break free and evaporate. If this molecule asked the Nancy Kerrigan's question "Why me?" and began calculating the probability of this event soon it would have to conclude the even was impossible. The problem is with the question "Why me?"

Mr. Hack , August 12, 2018 at 1:38 am GMT
@Cyrano

Sounds like you're making some real progress – keep it up!

Cyrano , August 12, 2018 at 2:26 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

Thanks man, I am really trying. If I may confide in you, you know what I find the most admiring about the Ukrainians? Your keen sense of democracy.

I mean, it took you what – barely 4 years to figure out that Yanukovych was not democratic enough – and then boom – revolution. I mean you guys are sharp. Look at the Russians, they have been electing Putin since 2000 and they still haven't figured out that he is not democratic enough. You are way ahead of the game.

You know what I think? I think that one good coup is worth at least 5-6 regular elections. So if you guys were to stage another coup within – let's say the next couple of years – it's like you've gone through 12 regular elections of 4 years each. You know what – if I was you I wouldn't even bother with elections, elections are for dummies, just stick with coups and soon you'll overtake even Western Europe – democracy and economic development wise, so you won't even need their stinking EU.

Mikhail , Website August 12, 2018 at 2:32 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

You're still shooting blanks to this:

As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there's good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there're effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

I can't help it if you don't know the specifics about Litrvinenko's aforementioned Italian friend. Stupid people have a way of babbling on because they don't realize just how stupid they are. Then again, part of you might recognize that, seeing your cowardly anonymous empty calories insults.

Opposite to your shooting blanks is this precision reply:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/29/an-unhealthy-trump-putin-summit-fallout.html

Mikhail , Website August 12, 2018 at 2:35 am GMT
@Cyrano

In case you missed it:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/10/cold-war-in-the-sauna-notes-from-a-russian-american/

Thek ind of Russian-American views not getting propped in US mass media. Similar to the PC Ukrainian views getting the nod over Ukrainians thinking differently.

Mr. Hack , August 12, 2018 at 3:00 am GMT
@Cyrano

You're on the right track, buddy! I don't know why AP tries to continually put you in place by pointing out that you're not really a Slav, but some sort of Balkanized Turk. Who cares? Your last two comments indicate that you're capable of evolving your thinking patterns much higher that the typical 97 or 98. Heck, I'd guess that you're a solid 99! Keep it up!

Mr. Hack , August 12, 2018 at 3:08 am GMT
@Mikhail

[MORE]

Stupid people have a way of babbling on because they don't realize just how stupid they are.

I see that you're still babbling on Mickey. Isn't it time for you to do a few rounds of kumbaya in front of your icon of Herr Putler and go to sleep yet?

As La Russophobe imagines it, Averko then sits down in the lotus position, the room lit by a single candle beneath a large photo of Stalin, and intones his mantra several thousand times: "I am a journalist I am a journalist I am a journalist " until he falls asleep. When he wakes up, he heads out to his day job flipping hamburgers at Wendy's

Chainsaw1 , August 12, 2018 at 5:05 am GMT
@anonymous coward

[MORE]

"Now take Shakespeare's sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let's ignore punctuation.) If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations. So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so."

The above just shows that the author is just completely ignorant of scientific, statistics and computing principles.

First in English the occurance of letters do not have random frequencies, the frequencies range from 0.074% for letter z to 12.702% for letter e. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_frequency

Next the letters are not combined randomly, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabetic_principle Next there are pattern the letters are used to form phonetics. The English language only has 40 sounds (English orthography) the combination of which form the words. Then there is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonemic_orthography

Incidentally sonnet 27 only has 80 unique words, many of which are not random but closely related, e.g. blind, old, sight, tired, sightless, see, ghastly, shadow, darkness, expired, eyelids, drooping, weary, bed, toil, view, night, etc. A task simple enough for markov text sonnet generators,

http://www.devjason.com/2010/12/28/shakespeare-sonnet-sourced-markov-text-generation/

https://www.prism.gatech.edu/~bnichols8/projects/markovchains/main.shtml "Shakespeare Sonnets Training Set"

and the more sophisticated that the word frequency will be generated from the 154 Shakespeare sonnets and will preserve the classic ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme of the sonnets, https://medium.com/@SherlockHumus/creating-markov-chain-based-sonnets-9609d77a2635

By trying to shuffle 26^458 random letters by brute force into sonnet showed that the author is only good at shuffling shits.

utu , August 12, 2018 at 5:19 am GMT
@Chainsaw1

[MORE]

After showing off that you know statistics of character string in English language try to explain what is your point.

RadicalCenter , August 12, 2018 at 5:41 am GMT
@Mr. XYZ

If it wasn't a setup by formerly-great formerly-Britain, who was it?

Mikhail , Website August 12, 2018 at 5:57 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

[MORE]

Your uncritically citing LR is indicative of one stupid anonymous coward referencing another.

anonymous coward , August 12, 2018 at 6:24 am GMT
@Jaakko Raipala

[MORE]

I'm just going to claim that you're trying an "it doesn't work because of fancy words X, Y, Z" bluff without any actual technical argument behind the big fancy words. Prove me wrong.

What's the "it" in your post, exactly? Darwinism? The problem with Darwinism is that it's not a scientific theory. It's not even formulated correctly. The problem itself is framed by biologists in handwavey terms on a "monkeys and typewriters" level.

When one tries putting some sort of numbers to the idea, the whole thing falls apart. See my post above, for example, where it turns out you need a Universe about 10^300 larger than ours to make random selection work.

And before you charge to M'Lady Science's defense: note this isn't a "disproof", it's just a demonstration that nobody bothered to frame the question properly yet. There's nothing there that can be proved or disproved.

anonymous coward , August 12, 2018 at 6:34 am GMT
@Jaakko Raipala

[MORE]

Congratulations, you missed the point again.

The actual point is that biologists framed a problem in a way that doesn't match the scale of our Universe as we observe it.

Feel free to correct the numbers I made; maybe the correct factor is 10^100 instead of 10^300. So what? The processes biologists postulate are so asymptotic that they require an infinite Universe, which doesn't exist in real life.

There is an expectation that current theories of physics are not accurate at very small time scales (which have not been reached by experiment).

We don't even know if the universe is finite or infinite. This is just a claim that you pulled out of your ass. There may even be an infinite number of atoms.

Good point, but no. You missed the point again.

Any theory that requires time or space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics isn't Darwinism. It wouldn't even be biology, because biologists don't (and can't) deal with stuff like that.

anonymous coward , August 12, 2018 at 6:39 am GMT
@utu

[MORE]

I never assigned any special meaning to a sonnet. I merely demonstrated that the size of the probability spaces we're traversing are unimaginable orders of magnitude larger than the Universe we observe.

Formulating the probability spaces and functions should be step one of any biological theory of evolution. Only then we can start talking about meanings and other philosophy.

anonymous coward , August 12, 2018 at 6:43 am GMT
@Chainsaw1

[MORE]

Good point, but unfortunately Markov chains (and evolutionary algorithms) are intelligent design, not random evolution.

They are tools for getting an answer when you know the result you want, but don't know the steps to get it. The better you understand the result you want, the faster you arrive at a solution.

That's a framework postulated by 'intelligent design' proponents, and rejected by conventional Darwinist biologists.

utu , August 12, 2018 at 7:38 am GMT
@anonymous coward

[MORE]

I never assigned any special meaning to a sonnet.

OK, so what is the big deal about generating random string of 458 letters? Any such string can be easily generated with the same probability from a bag full of letters. Each string is equivalent.

utu , August 12, 2018 at 8:20 am GMT
Important speech of Victor Orban

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's speech at the 29th Bálványos Summer Open University and Student Camp

http://www.kormany.hu/en/the-prime-minister/the-prime-minister-s-speeches/prime-minister-viktor-orban-s-speech-at-the-29th-balvanyos-summer-open-university-and-student-camp

AquariusAnon , August 12, 2018 at 8:42 am GMT
Continuing on AKarlin's conclusion how Russia's future economic and foreign policy orientation lies on the EU's response to the US's inevitable Iran-style sanctions against Russia, I'll walk through some situations, and also state that once sanctions and adversaries with unfriendly relations escalate to embargo and enemies with no relations on the US side, the EU's decision at that point will be able to determine its fate for a long time to come.

1. EU caves in, and like a good vassal state with no independent policy of its own whatsoever, follows US policy. This is more likely to happen if the US threatens third party trade ties with Russia. This means that EU imposes Iran-style sanctions, and gradually turns to more expensive US LNG for energy. This would put the EU under incredible strain, and a large amount of state coffers would be shaved off due to these purchases; the citizens disposable income would plunge too. On the other hand, Europe won't really collapse if the US agrees to subsidize gas sales to the EU in exchange for joining the ideological crusade against Russia.

In the Kissinger thread where I mentioned how a blackpilled possibility of Russia's future lies as a vassal state, or junior partner, of China, while I may have exaggerated a little regarding permanent PLA bases on Russia soil, it still is a slight possibility if the oligarchs become more powerful again and also get a little desperate. However, PLA bases aside, if the EU joins in the US on an embargo against Russia, Russia would still be cut off from trade and other ties to its west, and inevitably having to completely rely on its east for trade and political ties. Since even Japan/Korea trade can be a little difficult due to their strong US ties and India doesn't really offer Russia much, except as a place to export some goods, this leaves us with China, rendering Russia's future as China's largest and most important vassal state.

This would also enable the EU branch of neoliberalism.txt to show their true colors as an American vassal. Outside of Poland and the Baltics, attitudes towards Russia vary directly on how neoliberal they feel, so in order to prevent the people from voting in non-neoliberal parties, some "checks and balances" aka non-democracy has to be implemented to make sure neoliberalism.txt stays via "voting". In this case, shave off a good at least 10% to EU's white percentage in the long run also; while its unlikely for Britain and France to ever dip below 60% white but stabilize around that point instead, a quasi-neoliberal dictatorship would mean Eastern and Southern Europe bearing a lot of this brunt, e.g. ghettos in Warsaw might go from a fear to actual reality. And expect the EU's economic growth to be highly stagnant, and China, with Russia as not just a friendly state but a vassal state, would take advantage of this to end up becoming the other pole in a bipolar world along with the US.

Unless China changes the way it conducts trade and foreign policy, this means that Russia will likely get taken advantage of and not get too much in return, especially with non-patriotic and greedy oligarchs still having significant power. In this case, Russia-China relations will resemble a more predatory version of UK/Canada-US relations and Russia will find itself to be a largely China-oriented, with Chinese tourism, businesses, language, and other ties etc. having a very broad, visible, and dominating presence.

Chance of this happening? 30% given Europe's rhetoric on Iran. China will gladly take advantage of the situation.

2. The EU doesn't cave in and continues to maintain trade and political ties with Russia. This is the better result for not just Russia, but also the entire world. A Europe that's able to stand up to American foreign policy, especially if its more ideological hysteria than based on realpolitik in the case with Russia, is one that would have taken its first step towards significantly reasserting their sovereignties. This would've also been a huge blow to the American establishment, if not THE nail in the coffin ending American unipolarity. And China also needs more competitors instead of a bipolar world with just China and America.

2a). Europe continues to be ruled by neoliberalism.txt as America enforces the embargo. Sanctions won't be lifted and the status quo remains. As China gets more powerful and European relations still cold, Russia and China will end up in a full-blown alliance, but its status quo trade and personal ties with Europe would ensure that Russia can continue to maintain a somewhat multi-vectored approach instead of complete subservience to Beijing. And Russia won't be as much of a "hot potato" if not embargoed by the EU, ties with countries like Japan and South Korea will continue unabated if not upgraded. In this case, the EU can still be a more sovereign entity, albeit just ruled by the neoliberalism.txt ideology; demographically, slightly better than, but no significant differences from the EU caving to US embargo case. In this case, Russia-China relations will resemble Japan-US relations, albeit without the military bases.

Chance of this happening? 40%.

2b). Europe undergoing a right-wing wave as America enforces the embargo. Europe in this case will lift sanctions against Russia and ties likely even upgrade to a strategic partnership. While Russia will not become enemies with China since it is in its best interest to not pick a fight with the world's #1 or #2 power, its relationship will stabilize as non-adversarial but non-aligned, a renewed strategic partnership with Europe can stimulate Russia's economy and will ensure a multipolar world emerges in the 21st century, with Russia as a powerful 3rd or 4th most powerful country on good terms with everybody (minus the US and parts of Eastern Europe). Such close ties to Russia will also be a boon for Europe's economy, and the possibility to regain their sovereignties after a century-long occupation post-WW2. America becomes more isolated and loses its unipolarity in this case.

An unrelated side effect of this tactic is that the nonwhite percentages of Europe will probably stabilize at or just above or below (in the case of southern Europe) current values.

In this case, Russia-China relations won't be any special, with close trade relations, some military cooperation, and neutral détente but inevitable minor beefs that spring up every once in a while, like a closer and better version US-China relations pre-Trump. Russia in this case will truly be one of the smaller poles in a multipolar world.

Chance of this happening? 30%, but this is by far the best outcome for the entire world.

Mitleser , August 12, 2018 at 9:24 am GMT
@Dmitry

Perhaps Greece can even raise prices and market more for middle class tourists?

And encourage tourists to travel to other countries?

anonymous coward , August 12, 2018 at 9:36 am GMT
@utu

[MORE]

Good point. If 1/2 of all random strings of letters are sonnets, then the probability of generating one is 50%. Let's test that hypothesis.

Take a dictionary of English words: https://github.com/dwyl/english-words

* There are 27 words of one letter and 26 letters.
* There are 635 words of two letters and 676 two-letter combinations.
* There are 4710 words of three letters and 17576 three-letter combinations.
* There are 11169 four-letter words and 456976 four-letter combinations.
* There are 22950 words of five letters and 11 million five-letter combinations. (Oops.)

* There are 61018 words of 8 letters, but 208 billion 8-letter combinations.

Now, these are words, not texts, but you get the idea. Letter combinations grow as c^n, while the number of English texts clearly doesn't.

Mitleser , August 12, 2018 at 9:41 am GMT
@AquariusAnon

1. EU caves in, and like a good vassal state with no independent policy of its own whatsoever, follows US policy.

Chance of this happening? 30% given Europe's rhetoric on Iran.

Eh, what? It is not EUropean rhetoric that suggests that, but the gap between their rhetoric and reality.
Europeans talk about defending JCPOA yet European big business ditches Iran and European banks stab Iran in the back.

In recent weeks, U.S. and European intelligence agencies flagged a European-Iranian Trade Bank request to withdraw 300 million euros from the Deutsche Bundesbank. Iran claimed the cash is necessary so that Iranian citizens can use foreign currency when they travel, but Western governments warned that the cash would be used to fund Iran's terrorist proxies.

Fearing repercussions from the U.S. Treasury, the German bank decided last week to introduce the new rules to prevent the withdrawal. This move was likely coordinated with the German government.

In recent months, the E.U. has said that it will try to salvage the Iranian nuclear deal, despite the U.S. withdrawal and renewed sanctions.

Initially, the E.U. explored the possibility of compensating European firms that would be affected by the new sanctions, using the European Investment Bank.

This effort was torpedoed by the EIB, which said it might be blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury of it was part of a scheme to offset the sanctions. EIB President Werner Hoyer said two weeks ago that "doing business in Iran is something that we cannot be actively engaged in."

https://www.jns.org/wary-of-repercussions-eu-unlikely-to-defy-us-sanctions-on-iran/

AquariusAnon , August 12, 2018 at 9:47 am GMT
@Mitleser

Didn't know that. I'll keep that as a note.

So my 3 predictions are essentially, Iran-style western embargo, status quo with embargo only on US side, and normalization of relations with Europe. How would you recalibrate the likelihoods?

Felix Keverich , August 12, 2018 at 10:21 am GMT
@Dmitry

Theory that it is to do with creditors, doesn't make much sense.

Creditors (troika) are European fund – mainly Germany, France and Italy, in order. Followed by IMF and ECB.

Criteria for release of funds is economic criteria, that imply they might one day get their money back.

Greece's foreign policy is not of interest to anyone much (Turkey care about them), especially not accountants.

You assume that Greece is the rational actor in this situation. It's a stupid crackwhore, desperate for a bit of debt relief.

It is also fair to say that Western decisions on financial aid are not made by accountants, ultimately they are made by politicians, who do consider geopolitics.

Surely Greece can see that IMF is dumping billions of dollars into the Ukraine for no other reason than geopolitics. Ukrainian regime also got a nice debt relief a couple of years back – to better resist "Russian aggression".

utu , August 12, 2018 at 10:25 am GMT
@anonymous coward

[MORE]

So it comes down to the meaning after all. You look for words that have meaning. But why? Every word out of 208 billions may have a mining in some other language that you do not know of. Why you insist that the disproof of evolution or the random Universe must be based on what has meaning in English language? There are some believers in the intelligent design like yourself in Pentecostal church who speak all kind of tongues nobody heard of them but to them they have some meaning. There are patients in psychiatric wards who write 458 letter sonnets that have meaning only to them. So why did you pick up this particular Shakespeare sonnet to calculate a number that suppose to prove something?

Do you begin to understand where is the flaw in your argument?

utu , August 12, 2018 at 10:29 am GMT
@Mitleser

Interesting. It looks really bad.

Miro23 , August 12, 2018 at 10:57 am GMT

2. To what extent will the EU join in, passively acquiesce to, or resist the US sanctions against Russia? The answer to this question will to a large extent determine precisely how deeply Russia falls into China's orbit in the next couple of decades.

This looks like a fine opportunity for the EU to 1) develop its own international settlements system based on a Euro reserve currency 2) redirect trade and investment towards the ROW (rest of the world), if necessary, excluding the US 3) become a reliable non-political trade partner to these countries 4) make a unilateral decision to terminate NATO and detach itself from US lies, subversion and military adventurism.

The place to start would be the termination of NATO, but it would be better to implement the policies simultaneously. It would initially be very costly to European corporations, but ultimately worth it, with new more predictable international relationships.

AquariusAnon , August 12, 2018 at 11:23 am GMT
@Miro23

This is exactly what I meant by my response. Not only will EU's response to the upcoming US embargo be instrumental in writing Russia's role and development in the 21st century world, but also if the EU ever wants to transform from a neoliberalism.txt US vassal experiment to either an independent "Great Power" quasi-federation (essentially USSR 2.0 after the revolutionary phase died down, Communism replaced by neoliberalism.txt), or to break up as wholly sovereign states, a continuation if not strengthening of relations with Russia will be a pivotal first step for that to happen.

Jaakko Raipala , August 12, 2018 at 11:35 am GMT
@anonymous coward

Feel free to correct the numbers I made;

There is no reason to look at any further steps in your calculations when you begin with false premises.

[MORE]

Again, you are under the false impression that the universe "began" 13 billion years ago as some informationless entity and that all patterns and complexity emerged after it. No. The earliest known state of the universe had patterns and complexity. Even if you somehow managed to argue that the complexity of life on earth is too high to emerge in 13 billion years, it would still be of no consequence to Darwinism since we don't need it to emerge in that time – 13 billion years ago is not some patternless zero state of complexity.

In fact, for all we know the emergence of life on earth could have already been determined in the earlier state of the universe 13 billion years ago. That's implausible to me but a lot of people believe in an intelligent creator and you can easily just postulate that he baked the emergence of man in the design of the early universe and then you're in no contradiction with modern science whatsoever.

Where did the patterns and complexity in the early universe come from? We don't know since the current theories of physics can't probe that far. In fact, as I said before, the whole "age of the universe" thing is a false notion that unfortunately some physicists peddle as a simplification of cosmology. What we can do is trace back the development of the universe from this point in time and we can go back 13 billion years and conclude that the universe back then was a very different place, in a very dense state that gradually "expanded" into the current one.

However in this process we run into a dead end as to study such dense states we'd need to make the theories of gravity and quantum mechanics work together and we can't do that currently. Hence, everything "earlier" than that is pure speculation, in fact we don't even know for sure whether there was a "before". This state beyond current theories has been dubbed the "big bang", "the beginning" and such but that's all just popularization. This has the unfortunate side effect that some people now believe physics to somehow have proven that the universe emerged from "nothing" 13 billion years ago and that's just not true.

And an "understanding of time and space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics" is definitely required for cosmology like claims that "universe is X seconds old". You are the one who began with assumptions that require physics well beyond Newtonian mechanics.

Mitleser , August 12, 2018 at 11:38 am GMT
@AquariusAnon

Most likely is "status quo with embargo only on US side" with limited shift towards "Iran-style western embargo". EUropean elites do not show much willingness to oppose Russophobia, but on the other hand Russia is much more integrated in the EU economy than the Iran.

For instance, the value of the trade in 2017 between Russia and Germany was 57,3 billion Euro (rank 14th), the number for the Iran-Germany trade was only 3,4 billion Euro (rank 58th).

https://www.destatis.de/DE/ZahlenFakten/GesamtwirtschaftUmwelt/Aussenhandel/Tabellen/RangfolgeHandelspartner.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

That reduces their willingness to follow American sanctions.

Mitleser , August 12, 2018 at 12:01 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Don't bash Greece so much.

They are still making right decisions.

From 2009 to 2011, Syria supplied almost a fifth of EU imports of phosphate, but those sales collapsed during the war.

Official EU import data shows that phosphate shipments to Europe -- heading almost exclusively to Greece -- are resuming and more than tripled between December 2017 to April 2018. The volumes remain small compared to the pre-war heyday, but Syria is making a clear push to return to the EU market and its giant farm sector.

Syrian data show that total phosphate exports were more than $200 million in 2010.

Three people either working in the phosphate industry or involved with trading the commodity said Syria is able to export again because Russian investors have resurrected the Palmyra mines, which Islamic State militia captured in 2015. Assad awarded these reserves to the Russians last year after Moscow helped him turn the tide against ISIS.

anonymous coward , August 12, 2018 at 12:54 pm GMT
@utu

[MORE]

So it comes down to the meaning after all.

No, it actually doesn't. The probabilities grow as c^n, while the Universe doesn't. No matter how big it is, it's still a fixed size due to the laws of conservation of mass and energy.

Every word out of 208 billions may have a mining in some other language that you do not know of.

Even if every atom in the observable Universe had its own language, the number of possible letter combinations would still be vastly bigger.

Why you insist that the disproof of evolution or the random Universe must be based on what has meaning in English language?

I'm not "disproving" anything. I'm demonstrating that the "monkeys and typewriters" argument used by biologists (and its variants "the universe is really big" and "the Earth is really old" arguments) violate basic mathematical logic.

The Universe isn't really big. In fact, it is infinitesimal compared to the probabilities we're dealing with here.

Once biologists acknowledge this obvious fact, then we can formulate some sort of theory, and maybe then there will be something to prove or disprove.

Do you begin to understand where is the flaw in your argument

Do you? The point is that we're traversing probability spaces here that grow exponentially, and yet nothing in nature can be exponential indefinitely. Somewhere in your assumptions is a grave error.

Mr. Hack , August 12, 2018 at 1:21 pm GMT
@Mikhail

[MORE]

What do you mean uncritically? I think that the citation is very critical of you. If you're looking for something even more critical, just let me know?

anonymous coward , August 12, 2018 at 1:25 pm GMT
@Jaakko Raipala

[MORE]

Again, you are under the false impression that the universe "began" 13 billion years ago as some informationless entity and that all patterns and complexity emerged after it. No. The earliest known state of the universe had patterns and complexity.

Very good point, and one I agree with. However, this is a variant of the Intelligent Design hypothesis, and is considered to be pseudoscience by biologists.

Like I said, I'm not "disproving" anything, merely pointing out that the way Darwinian evolution is framed by biologists is not science.

Maybe it can be reformulated in a way that makes sense, but don't hold your breath -- the biologists don't even understand the objections and fall back to the "Earth is, like, really old" argument.

And an "understanding of time and space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics" is definitely required for cosmology like claims that "universe is X seconds old".

Again, the actual figure is irrelevant. The point is that we've posited an exponentially exploding probability space, and yet nothing in nature is infinite and exponential. (I know about the cosmology arguments about the finite/infinite universe, spare me. In any case, the observable Universe is definitely finite, and science only deals with the observable.)

AquariusAnon , August 12, 2018 at 1:26 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Now that Syria has all but won the war, I wonder when will rebuilding and eventually re-emerging as a stable country good enough for FDI and tourism will start. By then, I also wonder how it will be sanctioned.

My guess is that it will rebuild under Iran-style conditions back to more or less where it was in the early 2000s politically, economically, socially, and sanctions-wise starting around 2020 or so.

Anon [536] Disclaimer , August 12, 2018 at 1:34 pm GMT
"For instance, banning Aeroflot from flying to the US has a simple response – banning US air carriers from overflying North Eurasia, period. It can resurrect a bill – first raised this May, since sunken in the legislature – to impose fines and prison time on individuals and entities who support Western sanctions by refusing to do business with Russian citizens or entities on America's SDN list. It can throw out the American-dominated copyrights regimen out of the window."

As an American, I think Russia should do this and for good reason: the people who run this country are idiots; if this is allowed to stand, they'll continue to push this until we get a war. Best to head it off now by making the US Ruling Class pay the price. I especially like the last part. Russia should just host all Hollywood movies, books, and video games on a server accessible to American pirates (hey, Red States won't have problem with this these scum just voted to remove Trump's star on the walk of fame anyway).

Anon [360] Disclaimer , August 12, 2018 at 1:52 pm GMT
"This looks like a fine opportunity for the EU to make a unilateral decision to terminate NATO and detach itself from US lies, subversion and military adventurism."

Not going to happen for a variety of reasons. NATO is a good way to keep an incompetent, belligerent U.S. bogged down so that it doesn't cause any serious trouble for advanced nations. Take Germany for instance. The number of US troops there is quite small in an absolute sense, not enough to cause trouble, but combined with troops all over the place, the all-volunteer US military can't really marshall the numbers necessary to invade anyone without support from Europe. NATO is actually a clever way to control the aggressive tendencies of the United States; without it, there is no telling what the U.S. could do.

Europe also gets high-tech weapon systems in the process – and sold at a premium considering the enormous R&D costs involved. That's why German industrialists were stupid to provoke Trump and go around telling Europeans to not buy American weapons (those weapons are in some cases FAR superior to what the Europeans have and someone is definitely going to buy them considering the cost spent to develop them, either you or a potential enemy so it might as well be you). In all, it's good deal for them. They aren't going to chunk that for anything.

The real key here is for Russia to strike back in a way that doesn't galvanize the American public against them. My suggestion: cancel all American copyright protections and start hosting American movies and television programs. Conservative republicans won't oppose this as these programs are made in Trump-hating California – a place that just voted to remove Trump's star on the walk of fame.

Uebersetzer , August 12, 2018 at 1:53 pm GMT
@German_reader

In fact, his "conservative" predecessor Samaras was more pro-German than pro-American. Tsipras is pro-American. He is leftist like Tony Blair is leftist.

Hyperborean , August 12, 2018 at 2:00 pm GMT
@Anon

Europe also gets high-tech weapon systems in the process – and sold at a premium considering the enormous R&D costs involved.

Right, which is why Denmark bought the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising.

Buying American weaponry is often a combination of tribute, corruption and paying protection money.

dfordoom , Website August 12, 2018 at 2:28 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia's exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.

It still makes Russia look pathetically weak. The U.S. actions are essentially an act of war. If Russia just rolls over allows itself to get kicked then the U.S. is just going to keep on kicking. Cowardice is rarely a good policy.

reiner Tor , August 12, 2018 at 2:46 pm GMT
@Hyperborean

the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising.

I bought into much of the criticism, and probably a somewhat better plane could've been made cheaper, but all in all I think it'll be a fine enough weapon, and probably better than any currently deployed Russian fighters. The Su-57 is not yet ready (and it's recently got questioned if it ever will), so you cannot meaningfully compare it to it.

Altogether if you want the very best fighter jet available in the market, then you should choose it, unless the costs are prohibitive for you. It's actually no longer much more expensive than 4+ generation planes. I think Boeing is trying to market the F-15X, which would be a newly produced version of the F-15 with all possible technologies (except stealth which is impossible for this frame), and it's not going to be meaningfully cheaper than the latest (and cheapest) F-35.

If buying Russian is politically possible for you, then the Su-35 might be a good cheaper alternative, though countries which are allowed to buy it are usually not sold the F-35. Maybe India (and perhaps soon Turkey?) is the only country where both could even be considered.

If the Su-57 were ready, then maybe we could talk about whether it was better than the F-35 (the answer would probably depend on a number of issues, e.g. the rest of the equipment used by the military in question, and of course politics, which is to say, if there was a chance of a political conflict with the supplier, because if yes, then obviously you'd need to buy from the other).

For most (but not all) roles the F-35 is at least as good as any other American fighter jet (except maybe the F-22, and maybe not even that).

Mitleser , August 12, 2018 at 3:18 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Altogether if you want the very best fighter jet available in the market, then you should choose it, unless the costs are prohibitive for you.

Or you do not want Lockheed use your combat jets to spy on you.

reiner Tor , August 12, 2018 at 3:25 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Yes, that's another risk.

Maybe that's why Israel uses its own software? (At least they rewrote part of the software, or so I read.)

Anyway, I don't think it's a bad fighter jet for the job of fighting America's enemies. Probably even against neutrals. It might be useless against America's friends, or America itself, but no one buys it for that. And actually it's probably useful against America, too, or else why is the US so reluctant to sell it to Turkey?

And probably the American idea that the Russians might use their S-400 to spy on other Turkish weapon systems (including the F-35), when in fact it's the Americans who use weapons they sell to do that. The Russians are probably too afraid to lose their reputations.

reiner Tor , August 12, 2018 at 3:32 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Interestingly, when I searched for it, besides RT, I only found an Israeli and an Australian site. It's not a widely reported news.

Thorfinnsson , August 12, 2018 at 3:37 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

F-35 has inferior kinematic performance to most, if not all, of the Generation 4 fighters it's supposed to replace or oppose. Lack of a bubble canopy is also a major step backwards. Quite a dubious distinction for a new aircraft.

That leaves its stealth and its supposedly wiz-bang sensors.

Stealth is nice, but it drives up operating costs and reduces sortie rates. And on a small aircraft, you can't carry large war loads without sacrificing your stealth. F-35 stealth is in the frontal area only, optimized for the X-band. It will be easily detected by long wavelength radars. In air to air combat it would rely upon detecting intercepting aircraft and firing AMRAAMs before they can lock on or, heaven forbid, close to visual range (where the F-35 will be dogmeat).

The Air Force has long said that the F-35 isn't optimized for air combat. I suppose the idea was that F-22s and legacy fighters would handle air superiority missions. F-35s, with frontal stealth, would be able to get close to targets and attack them with PGMs.

As for its allegedly wonderful sensors, I am skeptical. Lots of air forces continuously modernize old designs with AESA radars, glass cockpits, etc. Why exactly is a new airframe needed for any of this?

That said it's not like the F-35 is awful , and as usual pilot skill and other factors can overcome inappropriate technology.

The F-35 also now costs less to buy than the Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale, which is an important advantage. Gripen is much cheaper, but Sweden has no geopolitical clout and has a very bad habit of finding moralistic reasons not to export armaments.

If you have to buy from Western suppliers, a mix of F-15X and Gripen NGs seems ideal. If you can't afford two classes of fighter, the Rafale is a very good compromise. France is also a reliable supplier. Worst choice is the Super Hornet. The F-16, while now quite an old design, is still a very capable aircraft at a reasonable price as well.

Japan now has a stealth fighter technology demonstrator in the MHI X-2 Shinden. They somehow built it, including with indigenous turbofans, for $360m. The airframe is very interesting in that it's built of new materials which eliminate the need for RAM, which should keep operating costs down and increase sortie rates. But this is only a technology demonstrator at this time, probably as proof-of-concept for the new materials and an indigenous low-bypass afterburning turbofan engine.

As for the Su-57, it's somewhat like the F-35 in its limited stealth. But it's also like the Su-27 family in having superb kinematic performance. Russia's official reason for delaying entry into service is that the Su-35 is adequate for existing threats, which is probably true.

Who knows what the real reason is. Budgetary pressures perhaps? Russia wants to double capital spending in rouble terms in 2024, and to do so without increasing debt. At the same time it's continuing its import substitution efforts, and there are no moves to soaking the rich. So the money has to come from somewhere, and presumably that makes mass production of the Su-57 and T-14 Armata less attractive.

Mitleser , August 12, 2018 at 3:44 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

And actually it's probably useful against America, too, or else why is the US so reluctant to sell it to Turkey?

>study F-35 and its data
> get better at detecting/fighting F-35

It is probably one of the main reasons why the RoC (Taiwan) won't get this jet despite needing more than most. The risk that pro-PRC agents would have access to the F-35 is not small.

Felix Keverich , August 12, 2018 at 3:46 pm GMT
@dfordoom

Cowardice is rarely a good policy.

I agree. However, let's not forget that Russia and USA have very different weight and role in the international economy. USA effectively owns the system of international finance. That is to say "international finance" is but an extention of US financial system. They can exclude Russia, we can't exclude them (from the system they created and own).

If Russia is going to impose meaningful costs on the US, I think it can only be done through non-economic means. Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia? Arm the Central American drug cartels?

Thorfinnsson , August 12, 2018 at 3:51 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Using your own software is common for technologically advanced powers concerned about their sovereignty and their own military-industrial capabilities. Japan for instance (after being bullied out of building its own indigenous fighter in the 80s) built its own upgraded version of the F-16 which, among other things, included Japanese software. Like Israel, Japan also fields its own air-to-air missiles which on paper are in the first rank.

The UK took a different route of becoming a Level 1 Partner on the F-35 program, so they received privileged access to the source code which is not available to other powers.

The F-35 is not very useful for fighting Russia or China, but fine for fighting most anyone else. It actually could have some utility against America since America lags Russia and China in low-frequency radar and infrared search and track, but probably the real reluctance is safeguarding technology. In particular materials (e.g. the new RAM panels instead of finicky coatings) and the engines.

anon [356] Disclaimer , August 12, 2018 at 4:38 pm GMT
LOL. Not only the usual Russo-Ukro shitstorm that takes over every thread longer than 100 replies, but evolution-creation debate is there too.

This thread is officially over. RIP.

LondonBob , August 12, 2018 at 4:50 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Sun Tzu say avoid combat with superior force, bide time and wait till you are stronger. Of course doesn't take Sun Tzu to work that out, even if he did say it.

Dmitry , August 12, 2018 at 5:14 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

IMF funded by a lot of countries though – Russia now one of the top ten important creditors and more influential owners of the IMF (although it's proportion of ownership is still multiples times smaller compared to US).

Russia is 8th largest shareholder of the IMF (out of 189 countries). US is largest share-holder, and then Japan and China.

Decisions are based on member voting which is based on share in the organization, so Russia has 8th largest vote in IMF, but behind USA, Japan, China, etc.

Part of the Greek debt is owned by Russia through the IMF, probably relative to Russian ownership of IMF and the debt relief packages partly also funded from Russian loans.

Fortunately, IMF ownership of Greek debt is several times smaller than the eurozone countries. But Russia's government share of Greece debt will probably be some billions of dollars. That's how Greece can basically continue receiving money – so many countries are owed money on their debt.

Felix Keverich , August 12, 2018 at 5:31 pm GMT
@LondonBob

Not really applicable in Russia's situation. We are already at war, it's entirely one-way for now, but that doesn't make it less of a war.

Cyrano , August 12, 2018 at 5:37 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

Thanks man, that's what I have been craving all my life – an approval from a Ukrainian hick. You keep it up too buddy, your encouragement means the world to me.

Dmitry , August 12, 2018 at 6:50 pm GMT
@Gerard2

VAT is not a "non-issue". When you raise from 18% to 20%, then you are taking significantly more money from the whole population (including poor people) who want to buy things in private sector, and transferring this money to state sector, where not all extra money (to be "polite") is going to be used "wisely".

At the same time, a problem now is to have up to 50% of the federal budget from oil/gas revenues – which is a volatile priced resource.

So it's typical dilemma with neither option looking good.

Of course, the solution to both, is to reduce unnecessary government expenditure, which continues to grow all the time in many useless areas, to the extent that you can see expressed in even unhidden ways of the luxurious buildings being constructed for all kinds of different government offices who could really do their job just as well (or incompetently) in a warehouse or a polyester and nylon tent.

Mikhail , Website August 12, 2018 at 6:53 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

[MORE]

Your reading comprehension sucks.

You uncritically referenced an anonymous, lying coward (not too much different from yourself BTW), who ducked a live one hours BBC World Service radio panel discussion, much unlike the person who you've an obsession with.

Mikhail , Website August 12, 2018 at 7:15 pm GMT
@Mikhail

[MORE]

That's: a live one hour .

Thorfinnsson , August 12, 2018 at 7:34 pm GMT
@Dmitry

Increasing taxation reduces private consumption, but I'm skeptical that it creates a long-term output gap (short term is a different matter). The OECD has prosperous economies with taxation at a share of GDP ranging from about one-third to three-fifths. Such a wide divergence suggests that high taxes and prosperity are not incompatible. Money spent by the state is still spent, and even if it's spent dubiously it continues to circulate.

Russia's official economic plan (besides import substitution) is to increase capital spending. It intends to do with while retaining fiscal discipline and limiting offshore borrowing. If you are unable or unwilling to borrow to finance investment, you must suppress consumption.

Suppressing consumption to finance investment has a track record of success in East Asia and for that matter Russia itself (~1928-1970).

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-12/putin-s-wealth-shift-takes-aim-at-russian-economy-s-idled-engine

The intent is to increase capital spending from one-fifth of GDP to one-quarter. A reasonable goal.

The real issue here of course is that the intent is for this increase in investment to come from the state and state-controlled companies, whose track records are dubious.

Still, perhaps something good could be done. Russia's nuclear industry is one bright spot, and shifting to a more nuclear power mix would allow for more hydrocarbon exports and improve public health. Russia is a growing agricultural exporter, and somehow I doubt Russia has the ubiquitous farm roads like we have here in the American Midwest.

Perhaps it would be wiser to reduce Rouble borrowing costs for the business sector by suppressing consumer credit and promoting higher household savings. Household savings rate in Russia is only 8%. China is 38%.

Anon [204] Disclaimer , August 12, 2018 at 7:44 pm GMT
"F-35 has inferior kinematic performance to most, if not all, of the Generation 4 fighters it's supposed to replace or oppose. Lack of a bubble canopy is also a major step backwards. Quite a dubious distinction for a new aircraft."

The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it. The bubble canopy is really only useful in dogfights; the F-35, scheduled to be built by the thousands, likely won't get into one-on-one engagements without serious air support. The bubble canopy reduces stealth, so it was removed. That was the right decision.

"That leaves its stealth and its supposedly wiz-bang sensors."

Its sensors have already been tested against the F-22 – a proven aircraft – and are almost certainly far and away superior to anything fielded by the Russians. There is no "supposedly" here as the US has already built aircraft with similarly impressive sensor suites. There is no reason to believe the F-35′s sensors won't be just as good, and probably far superior, to what it has already been able to produce. Any belief to the contrary is wishful thinking.

"Stealth is nice, but it drives up operating costs and reduces sortie rates."

The US can easily afford it.

"And on a small aircraft, you can't carry large war loads without sacrificing your stealth."

Doesn't matter. The F-35 will be operating with many other F-35s. Combined, it will be a formidable foe.

"F-35 stealth is in the frontal area only, optimized for the X-band."

No, it's not. The F-35 is simply more stealthy frontal but still stealthy over all. Further, X-band is the frequency required for a weapons lock. All stealth aircraft are specialized for this radar band.

"It will be easily detected by long wavelength radars."

Radars not capable of generating a weapon's grade lock, so they're useless in combat. Further, long wavelength radars – weather radars, basically – can already detect stealth aircraft; that's always been true. Didn't do Iraq any good back in the 90s.

"In air to air combat it would rely upon detecting intercepting aircraft and firing AMRAAMs before they can lock on or, heaven forbid, close to visual range (where the F-35 will be dogmeat)."

Which they will do very effectively. 100 F-35s vs. 100 Russian Su-27s, both closing on each other = 100 piles of wreckage and 100 F-35s.

"The Air Force has long said that the F-35 isn't optimized for air combat. I suppose the idea was that F-22s and legacy fighters would handle air superiority missions. F-35s, with frontal stealth, would be able to get close to targets and attack them with PGMs."

F-35 + F-22 is a potent combination. Even a squadron of F-35s alone would crush anything the Russians have. If necessary, the air force will likely just dogpile a large number of F-35s to make up for any perceived weakness. Considering the numbers scheduled to be produced, that should work fine.

"As for its allegedly wonderful sensors, I am skeptical."

You have no reason to be skeptical. The US has continually fielded next generation weapons that have worked quite well in combat. There is no reason to believe this will be any different. Further, your qualifications seem to be essentially nill in this area as you have displayed very limited knowledge of the subject. Your skepticism doesn't seem to be based on anything concrete, just wishful thinking.

"Lots of air forces continuously modernize old designs with AESA radars, glass cockpits, etc. Why exactly is a new airframe needed for any of this?"

This one statement qualifies you as an amateur that should be ignored.

"That said it's not like the F-35 is awful, and as usual pilot skill and other factors can overcome inappropriate technology."

The technology on the F-35 will crush its competition.

"If you have to buy from Western suppliers, a mix of F-15X and Gripen NGs seems ideal. If you can't afford two classes of fighter, the Rafale is a very good compromise."

Sure, if you're poor and want to lose against countries fielding 5th generation fighter aircraft.

"As for the Su-57, it's somewhat like the F-35 in its limited stealth. But it's also like the Su-27 family in having superb kinematic performance."

Having superb kinematic performance doesn't count for much if your opponent is flying in an aircraft that can shoot you down long before you close to within visual range.

"Russia's official reason for delaying entry into service is that the Su-35 is adequate for existing threats, which is probably true."

Russia is delaying because 1. they can't afford to buy the aircraft 2. they are having trouble constructing the aircraft as designed and in the quantity required 3. it probably isn't as good as the F-35 anyway, so they don't see a point in building it.

Sean , August 12, 2018 at 7:53 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

The F-35 is for transferring US technology to Israel

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/israels-air-force-might-have-the-ultimate-weapon-custom-25983
Lockheed-Martin has mostly refused to allow major country-specific modifications to the F-35, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars foreign F-35 operators contributed to the aircraft's development. Israel, however, managed to carve out an exception. Though not an investor in the F-35's development, Tel Aviv was nonetheless quick to sign on to the program with an initial order of fifty. It also negotiated a favorable deal in which billions of dollars worth of F-35 wings and sophisticated helmet sets would be manufactured in Israel, paid for with U.S. military aid. Furthermore, depot-level maintenance will occur in a facility operated by Israeli Aeronautics Industries rather than at a Lockheed facility abroad.

The Lightning's sophisticated flight computer and ground-based logistics system has become a matter of contention with many F-35 operators. Foreign air forces would like to have greater access to the F-35's computer source codes to upgrade and modify them as they see fit without needing to involve external parties -- but Lockheed doesn't want to hand over full access for both commercial and security-based reasons. Israeli F-35Is uniquely will have an overriding Israeli-built C4 program that runs "on top" of Lockheed's operating system.

Anon [121] Disclaimer , August 12, 2018 at 7:56 pm GMT
"Right, which is why Denmark bought the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising. Buying American weaponry is often a combination of tribute, corruption and paying protection money."

Please. They bought the F-35 because it is the best aircraft they could get, and they don't trust the Russians. If they wanted to offer tribute, they'd just write a check and buy another aircraft.

Further, much of the so-called criticism of the F-35 came from non-experts in the subject or older guys who worked with the now-outdated F-14. The F-35 has made enough progress for me to believe that it will likely crush anything the Russians have now or in the future. Even if the Russians could build the Su-57, the F-35 would still win in most contests because 1. its sensor suite and over the horizon A2A capability + electronic warfare capability will be appreciably superior 2. it will be built in far larger numbers.

"The F-35 is not very useful for fighting Russia or China, but fine for fighting most anyone else."

The F-35 will be quite effective against any aircraft those countries currently field. Any belief to the contrary is either ignorance or delusion. The US isn't spending a trillion dollars on this thing to fight Trinidad and Tobago.

Thorfinnsson , August 12, 2018 at 8:25 pm GMT
@Anon

The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it. The bubble canopy is really only useful in dogfights; the F-35, scheduled to be built by the thousands, likely won't get into one-on-one engagements without serious air support. The bubble canopy reduces stealth, so it was removed. That was the right decision.

"Over-the-horizon A2A capability" has existed for half a century. Previously structuring our airpower around this concept resulted in high losses in Vietnam.

The real reason for the bubble canopy's elimination (note that the stealthier F-22 and YF-23 both have bubble canopies) is the ridiculous insistence on the same platform being used for a STOVL aircraft with a lift fan placed right in the middle of the fuselage.

If your goal is to maximize stealth and only fight BVR engagements, the F-35′s design is entirely inappropriate. After all, its stealth is in the front area only and it can't carry a large missile load.

Optimizing exclusively for BVR combat would entail a large tailless aircraft (perhaps a flying wing) with all-aspect stealth, large internal volumes of missiles, and far more powerful radar.

The F-35′s design is based on political and economic considerations, not military ones.

Its sensors have already been tested against the F-22 – a proven aircraft – and are almost certainly far and away superior to anything fielded by the Russians. There is no "supposedly" here as the US has already built aircraft with similarly impressive sensor suites. There is no reason to believe the F-35′s sensors won't be just as good, and probably far superior, to what it has already been able to produce. Any belief to the contrary is wishful thinking.

I have no doubt in the capability to produce and field top-class avionics. What I do doubt is the idea that we produce (and always will produce) superior avionics to anyone else. Europe, Russia, China, Japan, and even tiny Israel all produce AESA radars. The US lagged Russia (and Europe) in IRST for decades. The US is far behind on low-frequency radar.

The US can easily afford it.

You'll note that this was originally about F-35 exports . A solution with high operating costs and low sortie rates is problematic for anyone, but especially undesirable for a small power.

Radars not capable of generating a weapon's grade lock, so they're useless in combat. Further, long wavelength radars – weather radars, basically – can already detect stealth aircraft; that's always been true. Didn't do Iraq any good back in the 90s.

Detection is not useless. It allows you to vector interceptors until they get close enough for a radar lock or can identify the target with IRST or visual tracking.

Incompetent Arabalonians. Norman Scwhartzkopf stated that if you'd reversed the weapons on each side but kept the personnel and training the same, the Allied coalition would've still handily won. Serbia incidentally did successfully shoot down an F-117, which largely owed itself to the skill of the operator in question and poor tactics on the part of NATO.

Which they will do very effectively. 100 F-35s vs. 100 Russian Su-27s, both closing on each other = 100 piles of wreckage and 100 F-35s.

The RAND Corporation disagreed and projected one Su-35 lost for each 2.4 F-35s.

F-35 + F-22 is a potent combination. Even a squadron of F-35s alone would crush anything the Russians have. If necessary, the air force will likely just dogpile a large number of F-35s to make up for any perceived weakness. Considering the numbers scheduled to be produced, that should work fine.

F-22 production capped at 187 units, and none were exported to other countries (despite persistent requests from Japan).

You have no reason to be skeptical. The US has continually fielded next generation weapons that have worked quite well in combat. There is no reason to believe this will be any different. Further, your qualifications seem to be essentially nill in this area as you have displayed very limited knowledge of the subject. Your skepticism doesn't seem to be based on anything concrete, just wishful thinking.
[...]
This one statement qualifies you as an amateur that should be ignored.
[...]
The technology on the F-35 will crush its competition.

This is what is known as projection. Identifying in others the sins that you yourself are guilty of.

Sure, if you're poor and want to lose against countries fielding 5th generation fighter aircraft.

Many countries are poor. Others are small or have limited defense budgets. Though I contend thee aircraft in question are in fact superior to the F-35 which makes this moot.

Having superb kinematic performance doesn't count for much if your opponent is flying in an aircraft that can shoot you down long before you close to within visual range.

Superb kinematic performance enables earlier missile shots, makes it easier to defeat incoming missile shots, allows for faster transit in and out of combat zones, and gives a decisive edge in WVR combat.

The F-35 program developed a first-class powerplant and avionics, but then mated then to an inferior airframe in order to fulfill a commonality fantasy driven by a silly Marine Corps STOVL requirement.

Sean , August 12, 2018 at 8:49 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

The Kremlin would have killed the organ grinder (Boris Abramovich Berezovsky) not the monkey. Litvinenko virtually committed suicide. People become depressed when they are exiles.. Litvinenko publicly accused Putin of the apartment bombings by Chechens that killed hundreds of Russians so he must have had some inkling that Putin could be dangerous.

If you publicly call someone a child molester they will at least fantasize about killing you, and if they have the means and opportunity then it is not the biggest surprise in the world if you give them the motive and you are killed by a method that is as good as a signed confession they did it. Putin wanted Litvinenko to know who had put an end to him. That was the whole point of using alpha radiation; nice and slow all the while knowing who did it. Putin is very like another famous Vlad.

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/vampirediaries/images/0/08/Vlad-The-Impaler-dracula-untold-37680708-854-347.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20141217165742

reiner Tor , August 12, 2018 at 9:27 pm GMT
@Sean

If you publicly call someone a child molester they will at least fantasize about killing you

I have fantasized about killing people who had seriously harmed me or the public. But I have never fantasized about killing a clown, nor can I ever imagine fantasizing about it. I cannot imagine anyone who is not a psychopath fantasizing about killing a clown. By accusing Putin of the house explosions and converting to Islam etc. Litvinenko totally jumped the shark. He was a clown, a tool used by others.

Now it's not impossible that Putin nevertheless wanted to murder Litvinenko, but you have just assumed how Putin would think and then proceeded to jump to a conclusion based on that assumption.

Litvinenko was a poor devil, incapable of harming Putin. If anyone harmed Putin, it's Berezovsky or the western media which gave a platform to poor devils like Litvinenko. Do you think Putin is so stupid that he hates the tools instead of the powerful people wielding them?

Mr. Hack , August 12, 2018 at 10:05 pm GMT
@Mikhail

[MORE]

That is pretty incredible, however, because of your reputation perhaps she was afraid of some sort of retribution for being critical of you? I notice that you often like to taunt me on by calling me a 'coward' for using a moniker instead of presenting you with my true identity. Whether deserved or not, many feel that you're some sort of a Kremlin Stooge nutcase, Mickey. From Srebrenica Genocide Denier to this:

friend of mike averko | April 12, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Reply
I have known mike averko for a very long time and wish to warn all of you who feel safe mocking him and his rants this is not someone you want to get angry . HE IS INSANE!!! I have seen how this man lives and it is not that of a healthy person, it is that of someone insane. Make your comments but don't ever let this man into yuour life in any way or you will end up being sorry.

This is why I choose to shield my true identity from you, Mickey. Who needs any grief from a Kremlin Stooge wacko?

utu , August 12, 2018 at 10:12 pm GMT
@anonymous coward

[MORE]

So it comes down to the meaning after all.

No, it actually doesn't.

No, it does.

The machine that draws the numbers for a lottery manages to pick 7 winning numbers every week. It never fails to pick the winning numbers. Is this an amazing feat? The numbers it picks are the winning numbers while millions of lottery players have great difficulty to pick the winning numbers and spend millions of dollar on it while the cost to the machine is just few bucks.

Shakespeare picked 458 'winning' letters but if you would try to reproduce them in the same sequence by random selections it becomes probabilistically impossible task.

Finding a winning sonnet by Shakespeare for the Universe was not a probabilistic feat just as it is not for the lottery machine to pick the winning numbers. It all comes down to the meaning and when that meaning is assigned. You assigned a special meaning to this particular sequence of 458 letters just like lottery players assign special meaning to 7 numbers picked by a machine.

Mr. Hack , August 12, 2018 at 10:13 pm GMT
@Cyrano

Although you show a lot of promise, unfortunately there are still a few rough edges. Don't concentrate so much on your less than honorable pedigree, but work on improving your emotional dilemmas. AP is a medical doctor, and has diagnosed some of your ailments. Listen to him, for he's a pure blood Slav. And you know how great the Slavic race is. (I know that you can overcome!).

g2k , August 12, 2018 at 10:31 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

On the subject of of agriculture, it should be noted that Rostelmash has done ok for a big sovok behemoth and has had at least some success exporting west. It's combines are competitive with the American makes but not Claas, they've also been able to buy up varsatile. This is quite surprising given the fact that rostov has a reputation for being a rough and corrupt place. Ak, any thoughts?

APilgrim , August 12, 2018 at 10:33 pm GMT
The US Congress, has popularity & confidence levels in the toilet.

Congress, in defiance of public opinion has MANDATED 'Russia-Sanctions', in the law.

Congress has done this overwhelmingly & repeatedly, without VISIBLE public support.

There is no evidence available to the American Public which justifies 'Russia-Sanctions'.

Sadly, the USA Public regards Vladimir Putin more highly than they regard congress.

Vladimir Putin has consistently high favorable ratings with the US Public.

Congress is rated below treatable venereal diseases, but above Ebola.

APilgrim , August 12, 2018 at 10:41 pm GMT
Sadly, the USA Public regards Vladimir Putin more highly than they regard congress.

Vladimir Putin has consistently high favorable ratings with the US Public.

Congress is rated below treatable venereal diseases, but above Ebola.

Cyrano , August 12, 2018 at 11:08 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

You make it sound like being a Slav is like being a member of an exclusive club. How exclusive can it be if you – the Ukrainians are in it? I would say that that is setting the standards pretty low. Don't worry about my "emotional" dilemmas. I am happy with who I am, which can't be said about you people. You seem quite torn between your Western European heritage and your humble Slavic origin that gets in the way of being recognized as one of the nations that are pillars of western civilization which everybody agrees that you are.

Thorfinnsson , August 12, 2018 at 11:20 pm GMT
@g2k

USSR engaged in intensive agricultural motorization earlier than any country other than the USA and Canada. It was also fairly early to intensive chemicalization, mainly beaten out by Germany and America.

In the postwar period the share of capital investment devoted to agriculture varied from 11.8% in 1946-1950 to a peak of 20.1% in 1971-1975.

Not surprising there is something of a positive legacy. Main failures of postwar Soviet agriculture were distribution and processing. Not enough roads or trucks, inadequate cold chain, too few food processing plants, etc.

Belarus also has a successful agricultural machinery sector as well.

Heavy transportation machinery was generally a Soviet success story, probably because not only are they producer goods but they also require routine replacement. Thus unlike other capital goods in centrally-planned economies they weren't kept in service long past the time they ceased to be efficient. The irrational "development" of Siberia also increased the size of this sector and the quality of its output.

Lastly, worth noting Rostelmash has been privately owned since 2000.

utu , August 12, 2018 at 11:24 pm GMT
@Anon

The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it.

If this is the case then obviously its 'kinematic performance' is secondary. If you can see the enemy before it can see you and you have weapons to engage the enemy then obviously your top speed and acceleration are not that important. The missile you launch is faster than your top speed and your enemy's top speed.

But there are doubts. How much the stealth technology is a hype? Is information about radar cross sections of various planes credible?

Sean , August 12, 2018 at 11:25 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

I thought like you before Skripal, but after the second in a row I understood this was either Western intelligence or Putin's orders. Western intelligence simply would not dare frame Putin because the Russians would become too jumpy. Yeltsin almost started WW3 in 1995, there is no telling what could happen if the West was framing Putin repeatedly and he responded by putting Russian forces on red alert, then something like the Black Brant scare occurred.

Litvinenko was a poor devil.

I don't think he was a happy man.

Now it's not impossible that Putin nevertheless wanted to murder Litvinenko, but you have just assumed how Putin would think and then proceeded to jump to a conclusion based on that assumption.

I happen to believe that Putin is deliberately trying to alienate the West with these assassinations because he wants Russia to remain proudly independent after he is gone. Yet he has to justify that policy to his close associates many of whom who love the Western lifestyle and making money. It is like Hitler having to explain his attack on the USSR to his generals and Goebbels by saying it was necessary to remove that threat from the east before moving against Britain. Obviously Hitler really longed to conquer Russia, and it seems likely to me that Putin wants to initiate schismogenesis with the West. He probably is not telling his cronies that though, there will be some security pretext.

Do you think Putin is so stupid that he hates the tools instead of the powerful people wielding them?

Putin has more power than anyone else on Earth, I should have thought that was obvious by now. He wants to exert control when he is no longer there, and that means setting Russia on a course that cannot be altered, and consulting/implicating the entire future leadership cadre.

Philip Owen , August 12, 2018 at 11:27 pm GMT
@g2k

John Deere does very well in Russia because they own a local factory. They seem to be the combine of choice because they have faster parts distribution than Class. Rostelmash does better than it used to but the really big commercial farms and associated contractors buy the best machines. The operators on the ex cooperatives, usually farmed under (corrupt) rental arrangements tend to use Rostelmash, insofar as they buy new.

Mikhail , Website August 12, 2018 at 11:41 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

[MORE]

No, you're a cowardly anonymous troll, who uncritically references such people. Much different from yours truly.

Thorfinnsson , August 13, 2018 at 12:13 am GMT
@utu

In BVR combat kinematic performance is indeed secondary to the performance of sensors, electronic warfare equipment, and missiles.

But not irrelevant. Higher top speed allows for longer-ranged missile shots. Faster acceleration (and, for that matter, turning performance) allows for faster escape from the combat zone.

Note how BVR optimized interceptors like the F-102/106, MiG-25/31, F-4, F-111B, English Electric Lightning, and so forth had great top speeds and excellent acceleration. They were however lacking in maneuverability as it was not intended for them to dogfight (hence the bad air combat performance over North Vietnam).

China's Chengdu J-20 is a modern stealth aircraft designed for this role. The F-35 is not. It's basically a tactical strike fighter. Historical analogues would be the F-100, F-105, SEPECAT Jaguar, Su-24, and so forth.

Tactical strike fighters of the classic style are dubious today since multi-mode radars and PGMs have made fighters very capable of ground attack.

Stealth isn't hype unless you believe the maximalist fanboy nonsense from the 1990s.

utu , August 13, 2018 at 1:24 am GMT
@Thorfinnsson

If indeed F-22 and F-35 have several orders of magnitude smaller cross-sections (RCS) than other jet fighters then obviously it is a huge advantage that if utilized will render small differences (±10%) in speed and acceleration completely unimportant.

F-22 RCS=0.0001 sqm
F-35 RCS=0.005 sqm

F16 RCS= 5 sqm
SU-35s RCS= 1-3 sqm
PAK-FA (T-50) RCS=0.5 sqm

Providing that one can trust this blogger:

http://mil-embedded.com/guest-blogs/radar-cross-section-the-measure-of-stealth/

Mr. Hack , August 13, 2018 at 1:28 am GMT
@Cyrano

being recognized as one of the nations that are pillars of western civilization which everybody agrees that you are.

Like I said, you're showing some progress. It's hard an takes some time, don't get discouraged.

Mr. Hack , August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am GMT
@Mikhail

Much different from yours truly.

You're right about that, and I'm glad to be different from you. At least people aren't leaving messages about me at blogs warning them that I might be dangerous to deal with. 'Sbrebrenica Genocide Denier' is nothing to be proud about, Mickey.

dfordoom , Website August 13, 2018 at 1:38 am GMT
@Felix Keverich

Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia? Arm the Central American drug cartels?

I quite like that idea!

Provide sophisticated arms to everybody (no matter how crazy) with an ability to cause grief to the U.S.

The U.S. objective is not to punish Russia or weaken Russia. The U.S. objective is to destroy Russia as a sovereign nation. This is war to the death. There can be no negotiation with the U.S. The only hope of forcing the Americans to adopt a sane policy is to make the costs of their current policy catastrophically high.

The U.S. is obviously stronger but a strong man will usually back down if faced with someone crazy and unpredictable. Putin needs to be crazy and unpredictable.

And Russia needs to target America's lapdogs, like the British. Perhaps let them know that if it ever came to nuclear war London would be a priority target.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 1:39 am GMT
@Mikhail

[MORE]

Svidomism is a mental disorder, incurable like the rest of them. You are violating the first rule of psychiatry: never argue with patients.

Parbes , August 13, 2018 at 2:28 am GMT
@Felix Keverich

U.S. "public opinion" is literally the collective opinion of dumbed-down, amoral idiots. In fact, the word "opinion" is too dignified for this – "braindead recantation of MSM-fed government propaganda" would be a better description.

Thorfinnsson , August 13, 2018 at 2:41 am GMT
@utu

Stealth is definitely an advantage.

But it's not an invisibility cloak.

It's optimized for certain wavelengths and expected receiver locations.

Thus stealth aircraft can for instance be readily detected by low frequency radars. Stealth is still useful as low frequency radars are too bulky to fly, and they indicate a general location rather than a precise location.

Stealth aircraft can also be detected visually, acoustically, through their own electronic emissions, and through their heat signatures. Employment of weapons, obviously, compromises stealth as well.

There are also degrees of stealth. The F-22 for instance is considered an all-aspect stealth design, at least in the higher frequency bands. The Have Blue, MBB Lampyridae, F-117, B-2, and YF-23 were as well.

The F-35 however is not–it's only stealth optimized in the frontal area. This of course reflects the fact that it was never intended to be an air superiority fighter, but incompetent American force planning is now pressing it into that role.

Lastly, while stealth is obviously a good capability (hence why everyone is following America's lead on it), it's not without trade-offs. Stealth is lost if weapons are carried externally. Radar absorbing materials are costly and maintenance intensive (though the Japanese may have solved this problem). Because stealth requires precision shaping of the airframe, it is difficult to modify the airframe for future requirements.

Mikhail , Website August 13, 2018 at 3:00 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

[MORE]

A few cranks out of many more thinking quite differently.

You of course can take pride in being a cowardly anonymous troll.

Mikhail , Website August 13, 2018 at 3:02 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

[MORE]

Yes, I've been told that.

utu , August 13, 2018 at 3:20 am GMT
@Thorfinnsson

"But it's not an invisibility cloak." – Nobody talks about invisibility. RCS matters. You detect enemy plane before it detects you. Period.

"The F-35 however is not–it's only stealth optimized in the frontal area. " – Presumably it will show its rear to its enemy only when the enemy will be already falling down after being hit.

"Stealth aircraft can also be detected visually " – Nobody argues invisibility.

"it was never intended to be an air superiority fighter". – It all depend on superiority over whom. Anyway this is a vague and pompous term.

"Stealth is lost if weapons are carried externally." – What good are those weapons for if you are shot before you see your stealthy enemy?

"Radar absorbing materials are costly and maintenance intensive". – Yes. That's why Russians do not have it.

Listen. I do not really care about this issue and I do not know much about it. I just responded to your arguments which are mostly rhetorical in nature among at diminishing importance of the orders of magnitude lower RCS of F-22 and F-35 comparing to that of their potential opponents.

Mr. Hack , August 13, 2018 at 3:36 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

[MORE]

Do you remember Ukraine? remember your Ukrainian mother? you're a sorry excuse for a human being, a modern day janissary.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 3:44 am GMT
@Sean

I thought like you before Skripal, but after the second in a row I understood this was either Western intelligence or Putin's orders.

Or something else neither of us thought of. It's a false dichotomy when we have no information at all about the whole thing, the only thing we know is that the British are lying.

Western intelligence simply would not dare frame Putin because the Russians would become too jumpy.

But that's just your model. Maybe they wouldn't become jumpy, or maybe the Western intelligence services would dare frame him anyway.

By the way it's interesting that you managed to draw a psychological profile of Putin based on just two cases a decade apart, and Putin only did it twice in his whole reign. Sure if he enjoyed torturing his critics he'd do it more, wouldn't he?

Yeltsin almost started WW3 in 1995, there is no telling what could happen if the West was framing Putin repeatedly and he responded by putting Russian forces on red alert, then something like the Black Brant scare occurred.

Risk management is my job. People don't think about risks that way. They assign a very low probability to events like the Black Brant scare, and anyway probably Putin would just realize it was only one rocket. There's no reason to believe he'd be any more likely to launch than Yeltsin.

Daniel Chieh , August 13, 2018 at 4:26 am GMT
@utu

Stealth is of limited use in an air-to-air role to take down enemy fighters(air superiority fighter) since missiles are not "stealth" and their guidance systems very, very obviously telegraph their intentions: thus "missile lock" warning. The longer range just telegraphs their intentions earlier, which gives the targeted plane more options to employ countermeasures.

However, ground sites lack many countermeasures against incoming missile launches and cannot lock onto low-visibility planes from the front, so even if its general location is known, there's not much that a SAM site can do to it in theory. Thus, it has a very effective, but limited role.

This is of questionable utility against a peer competitor since they will not be using ground to air systems in isolation, although it probably means that the US can destroy any number of third world countries.

Mikhail , Website August 13, 2018 at 4:27 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

[MORE]

On your warped world, cranks like La Russophobe and pro-Bosnian Muslim extremists are okay.

Mr. Hack , August 13, 2018 at 4:34 am GMT
@Mikhail

[MORE]

Nah, not really. In my world, only cranks like you are special. Don't worry, your status as #1 Kremlin Stooge remains intact.

Cyrano , August 13, 2018 at 4:37 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

Like I said, you're showing some progress

I wish I could say the same thing about the Ukrainians. You are showing nothing but regress since 1991, but I don't expect that you'll agree with that. It's one of the side effects of having a thick head.

You know how the Ukrainians got their name? It's from the Latin Cranium for scull. Basically, what it means is that when any new idea (or old one for that matter) tries to penetrate the thick Ukrainian sculls – it has to make a U turn when it reaches their fortified cranial structures – U Cranium – therefore Ukraine. Get it? It's pretty discouraging actually.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 4:55 am GMT
@utu

A good case could be made that we don't know how these jets would perform under the conditions of a real world war. But I think it's always the best bet that it will be the American weapons which perform the best. That's simply the way to bet.

It's possible that many of their weapons systems wouldn't perform as advertised. Some would perform better than thought or for roles they weren't designed for.

It's a very safe decision to buy the F-35, which is now not even that expensive. It's possible that it won't be worth much in a real war against comparable opponents, but this could be true of any other platform: these weapons are only tried out against vastly inferior opponents.

You detect enemy plane before it detects you. Period.

He will usually have a vague idea where you are. Currently it's not possible to launch a missile based on that vague knowledge, but will it stay like that forever? A lot depends on other systems like air defense and AWACS.

Anyway, my original point was that probably buying the F-35 is not based on politics, it's a safe decision for those with deep enough pockets to buy the best available fighter jet. Even if under the circumstances of a real war it turned out to be bad: it could happen to a number of other weapons systems anyway, and you cannot really tell in advance which ones.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 5:12 am GMT
@Daniel Chieh

The longer range just telegraphs their intentions earlier

But wouldn't the idea be that you get closer to the enemy without being detected? Your argument might work against BVR combat in general, but more against non-stealth BVR combat than against stealth: stealthy planes will probably employ their BVR weapons from closer range than non-stealthy planes.

If BVR air-to-air missiles work at all, they work much better with stealthy planes. Regardless of whether against peer or non-peer opponents.

utu , August 13, 2018 at 5:13 am GMT
@Daniel Chieh

Stealth is of limited use in an air-to-air role to take down enemy fighters(air superiority fighter) since missiles are not "stealth" and their guidance systems very, very obviously telegraph their intentions: thus "missile lock" warning. The longer range just telegraphs their intentions earlier, which gives the targeted plane more options to employ countermeasures.

If your argument states that it is actually bad to deploy weapons far away (which I do not understand) I would say that the stealth will allow you to get much closer to the enemy w/o being detected and makes it possible to launch the missile when there will be not less time for the enemy to deploy countermeasures.

I realize this is a complex game with many possible strategies and tactics with many parameters involved. For each strategy there are decision regions where the different parameters dominate what will be the optimal tactic. Furthermore we really do not know how effective various countermeasures are but I suspect that they might be decisive. But if they fail and planes get close to each other within the visual range then obvious completely different parameters might be decisive including the human factor.

I won't argue with you on this subject because I know you were raised by video games so you now better at least in the realm of video games model. I would not argue with Mowgli about the purpose and efficacy of howling at the moon. Perhaps it was a sophisticated countermeasure.

utu , August 13, 2018 at 5:16 am GMT
@reiner Tor

Exactly!

Daniel Chieh , August 13, 2018 at 6:39 am GMT
@utu

I actually have never played a flight simulator within recent memory. As far as I'm aware, none of them really calculate the issues of missile flight with any degree of accuracy and treat guidance systems like some sort of magic. My comments are actually speculations from conversations with military pilots.

If your argument states that it is actually bad to deploy weapons far away (which I do not understand)

Missiles have extremely limited flight times and their flight characteristics degrade after launch. Disrupting either their guidance or their flight negates the kill chain.

I would say that the stealth will allow you to get much closer to the enemy w/o being detected and makes it possible to launch the missile when there will be not less time for the enemy to deploy countermeasures.

This is possible, but ever-increasingly decreases the window of attack that is beyond visual range. Its possible that this is the idea, coupled with the Block III Sidewinders which are designed against a number of countermeasures, but that seems to have been cancelled for some reason.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 6:42 am GMT
@utu

Though the first comment there:

If you don't know the composite materials used, you can not give a correct RCS, and you can not tell just by looking, the physics don't work like that!

So at least we have the word of the US Air Force and Lockheed regarding the stealthiness of their planes (these are probably not outright lies, but might differ from reality in either direction: they might be modest to hide their true capabilities, or, more likely, exaggerate and give a number only true under ideal conditions for a specific type of radar etc. ), but regarding the supposedly 5th generation Chinese or Russian jets we have just very rough estimates based on the shape and some assumptions about their coating.

Imperial Menopause , August 13, 2018 at 7:29 am GMT
How hard is Imperial Menopause

Nowadays USA is Sactionistan ,sanctions !! sanctions !! sanctions !!

I read that the USA is considering sanctions to Russia because she thinks Russia insulted Mickey Mouse .

Kairos , August 13, 2018 at 7:47 am GMT
So many US sanctions and interdictions , to friends and foes alike , will end up isolating the US .

The US pressure to the EU not to trade with Russia , Iran and other countries has provoked a deep resentment in the EU and has turned the US into a very unreliable partner , and even a dangerous " friend " .

The Alarmist , August 13, 2018 at 8:13 am GMT
The better part of four decades ago, President Reagan made a joke about outlawing the Soviet Union and the press and the left went apeshit. Now Congress seriously proposes legislation that would essentially outlaw Russia, and the press and the left are all for it.
reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 8:42 am GMT
@Daniel Chieh

ever-increasingly decreases the window of attack that is beyond visual range

How many seconds will the stealth pilot have to identify the target and fire its missiles? Sixty? Hundred-twenty? Thirty? Even thirty seconds must be enough for a well enough trained pilot.

There might be issues with how to leave the scene after having killed an opponent, if other enemies are still there, because it's less stealthy from other angles. I guess we're not the first to think about it, so probably there's some solution. At the very least, I wouldn't expect them to perform worse than the 4th gen planes.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 8:47 am GMT
@Thorfinnsson

I think even the production of the F-16 is about to end.

Yes, the Gripen is a good and cheap alternative, but it's not the best available in the western ecosystem. The F-35 would probably destroy an equal number of Gripens, though that's not saying much, considering the price differential.

Hungary also has Gripens, though we didn't fully equip them until recently, and I don't think we spend enough on training the pilots.

Anonymous [333] Disclaimer , August 13, 2018 at 8:57 am GMT
@reiner Tor

These demands on Russia are about as sincere and plausible as the ultimata given to Serbia after Sarajevo. They are not credible but meant only as a prelude to war. The whole slow-motion drama, with all its attendant false flags (MH17, the Skripals, gassings in Syria, etc), numerous rounds of sanctions and specious rhetoric including accusations of "stealing the election" from Hillary, since Putin checked Obama's attempt to seize Russia's Crimean base and recruit another hostile NATO member on that country's frontier has been meant to convince the American public that Russia is our country's blood enemy, that it is run by an insane dictator the equal of Hitler, and that the consequent world war will have been all Putin's fault in spite of America bending over backwards to make peace with those vicious mongrels from the steppes.

As a commentor above said, I'd hate to be killed by a Russian nuke directed at my city only because of an insane American leadership, but I'd equally hate for tens of millions of Russians (and others) to be exterminated by our weapons simply to further an agenda being promoted by the likes of Jeff Bezos, Sheldon Adelson and the other plutocrats who really pull all the strings in Washington to benefit themselves plus their Saudi and Israeli co-conspirators in some great game to rule the world. I'd say that Washington is about poised to commit the greatest crime in the history of the human race, and chances are good that it will be the last.

Anon [332] Disclaimer , August 13, 2018 at 9:42 am GMT
"Stealth is of limited use in an air-to-air role to take down enemy fighters(air superiority fighter) since missiles are not "stealth" and their guidance systems very, very obviously telegraph their intentions: thus "missile lock" warning. The longer range just telegraphs their intentions earlier, which gives the targeted plane more options to employ countermeasures."

That's not quite true. The ability to shoot a barrage of sophisticated missiles at an opponent that can't shoot back beyond visual range should be quite useful in combat; these missiles will also close the gap much sooner than you would think, so it's not like an enemy is going to have all day to deal with incoming threats. Further, electronic countermeasures won't be perfect as most A2A missiles fielded by the US will have systems designed to defeat them. The F-35 will also be fielded in large enough numbers such that they'll just overwhelm opponents with their stealth ability. Combine the F-35 with the F-18 or F-22, and you'll have a very effective air dominance force.

"This is of questionable utility against a peer competitor since they will not be using ground to air systems in isolation, although it probably means that the US can destroy any number of third world countries."

I expect the F-35 to do quite well against both Russia and China in helping to establish air dominance. The F-35 will additionally have utility against surface S2A units. The navy could overwhelm Russian and Chinese air defenses – even assuming they are quite effective – by coordinating strikes with F-22s and F-35s. Those air defenses will go active, and the F-35 will then be able to hit many of them with a degree of survivability + coordinate with surface ships to smoke them out, mobile or not.

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 9:46 am GMT
George Soros (AKA György Schwartz) is a bigger threat to the USA, than Vladimir Putin.
APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 9:47 am GMT
Ex-Pat William Felix Browder is a bigger threat to the USA, than Vladimir Putin.
APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 9:48 am GMT
The lying MSM is a bigger threat to the USA, than Vladimir Putin.
APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 9:49 am GMT
The ChiCOMS are a bigger threat to the USA, than Vladimir Putin.
APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 9:49 am GMT
Muhammadans are a bigger threat to the USA, than Vladimir Putin.
APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 9:51 am GMT
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a bigger threat, than Vladimir Putin.
reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 9:53 am GMT
@Anonymous

These demands on Russia are about as sincere and plausible as the ultimata given to Serbia after Sarajevo. They are not credible but meant only as a prelude to war.

That's the most frightening part.

utu , August 13, 2018 at 9:53 am GMT
@Daniel Chieh

I have never put much thought into these issues. But now after reading comments and some articles I realized that this is a fascinating topic and that there are many people somewhere who study it, write simulations and developed optimal algorithms for all possible situations where they have input data on all plane and missile characteristics except with only partial knowledge of enemy characteristics and efficacy of countermeasures. So I think that everything has been already calculated. When and what to shoot and when and where to turn and when to retreat and so on. And as new data are flowing in with the outcome of the first missile or the arrival of another enemy plane the master program is just bringing in pre-calculated solutions for each new situations. And then every geometric configuration must have been analyzed and optimal actions has been found. Furthermore optimal configuration were found about how to fly , in what formations, with what speeds and so on. Mathematically this problem might not be harder than a chess game on multiple boards and thus I think a completely autonomous AI system must exist where pilot is really not needed. The only big unknown are countermeasures. You do not have them in chess. Can pilot be better in making some decisions in the present of countermeasure than computer? I doubt it.

Now the question is who is better in this game? Russians or Americans? It all comes down to money. How many good mathematicians, computer programmers and physicists I can employ? In USSR at secret sites like Arzamas-16 they had departments where 1000 or so PhDs in math (many, many women) worked. In Yeltsin times and probably before they mostly drank tea and coffee, organized birthday celebrations and send designated ones to stand in lines to do shopping. And it all fell apart. But in the US DARPA and Aerospace R&D continued w/o a break. So I would not hesitate to bet on Americans that they have significantly better systems. Another question is about spying. Jews are not as numerous as they were in R&D and no longer enamored with the Soviet Union, so it is more likely that India and China has know more about it and obviously Israel but through more official channels. But the fact that F-22 was not donated to Israel yet may suggest that there are still some boundaries within American MIC that are off limits even to our beloved Jews.

No future , August 13, 2018 at 9:57 am GMT
@Anon

Sounds like you want a war of the US against Russia and China , do you really ?

And even sounds that you think that the US could win it , and the atomic long range missiles ?

Mitleser , August 13, 2018 at 10:01 am GMT
@reiner Tor

Yes, the Gripen is a good and cheap alternative, but it's not the best available in the western ecosystem. The F-35 would probably destroy an equal number of Gripens, though that's not saying much, considering the price differential.

You don't ask for the "best", you ask for the right system.
Unless you need a stealth strike fighter (and don't mind Lockheed's involvement), the F-35 does not have to be the right one.
In Hungary's case, it is more important to have enough jets for air patrol duty.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 10:12 am GMT
@utu

Can pilot be better in making some decisions in the present of countermeasure than computer? I doubt it.

I doubt it. It's open ended, and the number of variations practically infinite. The computer can do most things way better than a human, but then could succumb to stupidity in some unknown situation, like the Tesla charging at full speed into the firetruck. Is the Tesla autopilot better than a well trained professional human, like a rally race driver? I don't think so, especially in unexpected (for the computer) situations, where the human would just do the easy and sensible thing, but not the computer.

Anyway, the US warplanes are still flown by human pilots. Of course, most things which could be automated are automated, and the logical conclusion is fully autonomous drones flying without much input from their handlers in underground bunkers.

Jews are not as numerous as they were in R&D and no longer enamored with the Soviet Union, so it is more likely that India and China has know more about it and obviously Israel but through more official channels.

Do you think that one of the things Israel pays Putin for being so friendly to him is US military tech? They did sell Russia some drones back in the Medvedev days, but nothing more recent can be found. But I'd be surprised if Putin didn't think about it. I also think it's not above Netanyahu to sell Russia American secrets. They gave such secrets to the USSR, and they also helped China more recently. I'm sure that if there's anything going on, the MSM wouldn't be reporting much on it. They also rarely wrote about the extent of the Israel-South Africa arms trade, and things only got worse recently.

But maybe it's not happening.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 10:13 am GMT
@Mitleser

The F-35 would cost so much that we couldn't operate it. We can at least operate the Gripens. Having Gripens is better than having nothing.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 10:16 am GMT
@No future

I think you can write about American military tech being better than Russian military tech without wanting a war between the two.

utu , August 13, 2018 at 10:33 am GMT
@reiner Tor

Whatever is going on within the triangle Trump-Netnayahu-Putin is the most puzzling and the most interesting.

Anon [123] Disclaimer , August 13, 2018 at 10:37 am GMT
"The RAND Corporation disagreed and projected one Su-35 lost for each 2.4 F-35s."

I believe that study was conducted under the assumption of within visual range, which artificially presented a situation where the F-35 was at a disadvantage from the get go. In a real world situation, the Su-35 would probably be shot down before it knew what hit it, especially considering that American pilots tend to be among the best in the world.

"F-22 production capped at 187 units, and none were exported to other countries (despite persistent requests from Japan)."

That's irrelevant for three reasons:

1) 187 is still a number far greater than the number of Su-57s the Russians wanted to produce in the near term.

2) the F-22 is often stationed at bases around the world, so the US does not need to sell the aircraft to anyone to bring it to a theater of combat.

3) the F-22 would dominate any Russian or Chinese aircraft currently fielded; an appreciable number of F-22s (or any US fourth generation aircraft) along with the F-35 should be a potent combination. US pilots are also very well trained, easily matching any other country save perhaps Israel.

"This is what is known as projection. Identifying in others the sins that you yourself are guilty of."

Please. Extrapolation from a set of known facts and historical precedent is hardly projection. What you've done is classic deflection.

"Many countries are poor. Others are small or have limited defense budgets. Though I contend thee aircraft in question are in fact superior to the F-35 which makes this moot."

The aircraft you quoted are certainly not superior, so the issue is hardly moot.

"Superb kinematic performance enables earlier missile shots, makes it easier to defeat incoming missile shots, allows for faster transit in and out of combat zones, and gives a decisive edge in WVR combat."

Kinematic performance doesn't cont for much when you are overwhelmed by aircraft that you can't shoot back at effectively while they are shooting at you from a distance. Kinematic performance isn't nothing, but it isn't everything either. The F-35 will have a decisive advantage over all Russian aircraft fielded now and over the next decade, and any issues with the design will be made up for by fielding large numbers of them to overwhelm opponents + combining the aircraft with the F-22 or F-18.

"The F-35 program developed a first-class powerplant and avionics, but then mated then to an inferior airframe in order to fulfill a commonality fantasy driven by a silly Marine Corps STOVL requirement."

That's not really the right way to phrase it. "Inferior" in this case only means "less than what the US could have otherwise done but still quite good compared to most other aircraft."

Further, the philosophy you quoted will allow the US to field huge numbers of these craft – thousands – at an affordable price, so I'm not so sure it was a bad idea after all. That's much better than the SU-57, which is a dumpster fire of a program.

I'm also not sold on the idea that the B model was a bad idea for the Asian theater. In any conflict, the Chinese will attempt to destroy our bases and landing strips. Having a larger number of fighters capable of short vertical takeoffs might prove to be quite the asset in organizing a counter offensive/stationing the craft in various locations that are hard to hit or detect.

"If your goal is to maximize stealth and only fight BVR engagements, the F-35′s design is entirely inappropriate. After all, its stealth is in the front area "

That's not correct. The F-35 will have a reduced radar cross section across much of the craft compared with any other non-stealth aircraft. Nearly the entire surface is covered in radar absorbent material and the engine itself is designed to reflect away radar waves. It also has IR reduction measures.

"Small number of missiles."

Made up for by building 2000+ F-35s. How many SU-57s is Russia making?

"Optimizing exclusively for BVR combat would entail a large tailless aircraft (perhaps a flying wing) with all-aspect stealth, large internal volumes of missiles, and far more powerful radar."

No, it wouldn't. Something doesn't have to be theoretically perfect for it to work quite well in the real world. The F-35 will perform BVR combat much better than any non-American aircraft.

"Flying wing."

1. We already have that. It's called the B2 and we are also working on a flying wing stealth drone that does exactly that already: shoot a barrage of missiles at BVR in coordination with the F-35.

2. Wrong. Just wrong. There are huge disadvantages to your flying wing idea. Stability and maneuverability being just two, so they wouldn't be much use in visual range combat or in a variety of other missions for which the F-35 was designed; the F-35 is a multi-role fighter. It will do BVR just fine.

"The F-35′s design is based on political and economic considerations, not military ones."

The military design of the F-35 is pretty good. You're trying to cover this up by pointing out an irrelevant fact – that there were economic considerations when building the craft which applies to every military project ever conceived.

Felix Keverich , August 13, 2018 at 10:39 am GMT
@dfordoom

There can be no negotiation with the U.S.

You don't need to convince me. You'll need to convince Russian kleptocrats, who've been sending their kids to live in the West since 1991, and who have kept their (stolen) money in the West.

And reiner Tor , you are a funny guy, liking these militant comments from dfordoom, but getting your panties in a bunch, when I suggest occupying the Ukraine. I wonder why?

The fact is asserting dominance in Eastern Europe will be a lot easier for Russia to accomplish, than confronting USA directly, and it is something I would probably do before I started threatening New York and London with nuclear devastation. You gotta make your threats credible you know. Credibility doesn't come from making scary faces and shouting loudly, it's earned.

Mitleser , August 13, 2018 at 10:41 am GMT
@reiner Tor

Your Croatian neighbors are still operating Mig-21 and will get second-hand ((((F-16)))).
And your Austrian neighbors are unhappy with their Eurofighters.
Gripens are better than alternatives and nothing.

Anon [123] Disclaimer , August 13, 2018 at 10:45 am GMT
"Sounds like you want a war "

No, I don't. In fact, I think the American Deep State is nuts. I have great respect for Russians and their military. I am simply pointing out facts: the F-35 isn't the chump some think it is; do not believe any random internet poster when he says this thing won't work. I've seen enough to know that it will and that you should be afraid of what it can do in large numbers.

As I said earlier, the Russians should just dump all Hollywood movies and video games onto a server and call it MegaUpload 2. Hurt an industry most Trump voters despise anyway and you might be able to turn republicans against their warmongering representatives in congress who are pushing for sanctions, etc.

Non Future , August 13, 2018 at 10:46 am GMT
@reiner Tor

Reiner Tor = Pure Door in german , not so pure , the door opens to wars .

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 10:56 am GMT
Hillary Clinton is an existential threat to The: Republic & Constitutional Rule of Law.

Obama is an existential threat to The: Republic & Constitutional Rule of Law.

Michael Anthony McFaul may be a greater threat to America, than Vladimir Putin.

Samantha Jane (Sunstein) Power may be a greater USA threat, than Vladimir Putin.

Robert Mueller may be a greater USA threat than Vladimir Putin.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 10:58 am GMT
@Non Future

Actually, it means "pure fool," "reines Tor" would be "pure gate" (not door), and it comes from the Wagner opera Parsifal, where the protagonist is a pure fool, enlightened by compassion. I'd probably choose a funnier handle today, but ultimately it doesn't matter.

I.M , August 13, 2018 at 11:00 am GMT
@reiner Tor

This point of false dichotomy is very important. Everything at this point, points to the fact that there was no nerve agent employed against the Skripals and that they were simply knocked out by some chloroform like substance. The fact that they survived, and recovered without any problems, is irrefutable proof of this.

Therefore a false dichotomy is employed in order to, we can say mentally sodomise people into believing that the only option is that the Kremlin did it.

I see people stating in comments sections in British newspapers that the official story is bullshit but that they simply can't believe that their own government would disperse CWs throughout their country, however this is a mute point as it has been disproven that CWs were used at all and that the obvious conclusion is that they were simply drugged and held against their will while their oh so benevolent government spun an endlessly shifting fairytale, growing ever more convoluted and self contradictory by the day.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 11:07 am GMT
@Mitleser

Even if both NATO and the EU collapsed, and a war broke out with one or some of our neighbors, neither Austria nor Croatia would be likely enemies. Of our NATO allies, both Romania and Slovakia were more likely enemies. I hope it won't happen, because both are seriously stronger than us.

The F-16 is no longer in production (though maybe a restart is planned?), but most operators are happy enough with it.

utu , August 13, 2018 at 11:13 am GMT
@I.M

mentally sodomise people into believing

Here, locally, I find it interesting that the commenter "Sean" got sodomized himself or is just trying to sodomize us. There is one recurring almost below the radar theme in his comments: war with Iran and the opportunity of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians it will bring. He might be right about it though I still hope this will be prevented while he seems to be welcoming it. And for some reason he seems to need Putin dead or compromised for this scenario to happen.

Felix Keverich , August 13, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT
@Parbes

Public opinion in Russia is a lot like this actually. It seems that state-tv interrupted its anti-Western programming during World Cup, which caused approval of both US and EU to spike into positive territory for the first time since 2014.

Tom Van Meurs , Website August 13, 2018 at 11:23 am GMT
America is gradually isolating itself from the rest of the world. A beast driven into a corner is a dangerous one.
APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 11:25 am GMT
Somebody SHOULD investigate: Michael McFaul, Samantha Power, Robert Mueller, Peter Strzok, George Soros, William Browder, Hillary Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal, Christopher Steele, John Podesta, Barack Obama, and John Brennan.

Congress has done a SHlTTY Job of it. Perhaps Vladimir Putin SHOULD be allowed to publicly question these traitors, in the USA.

We would probably learn a LOT!

Contraviews , Website August 13, 2018 at 11:28 am GMT
America is isolating itself increasingly more from the rest of the world, A beast driven into a corner is a dangerous beast.
Mitleser , August 13, 2018 at 11:29 am GMT

Of our NATO allies, both Romania and Slovakia were more likely enemies. I hope it won't happen, because both are seriously stronger than us.

They are?

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 11:30 am GMT
@Felix Keverich

And reiner Tor, you are a funny guy, liking these militant comments from dfordoom, but getting your panties in a bunch, when I suggest occupying the Ukraine. I wonder why?

I don't fear it much, it'd simply be a stupid policy. I also don't like ethnic cleansing and mass deportations and the like. Which would be a requirement if you were to occupy Ukraine.

The predictable result would be a state of emergency in Central Europe and a strong mobilization against Russia. Military expenditures would quickly rise to 5% of GDP in Central Europe, but it'd rise around Europe.

But actually some kind of military action in Ukraine as a direct response to American sanctions might make sense. Just don't expect Ukrainians or neighboring peoples to greet you with flowers. So you might bomb some military targets recently installed by the Americans.

But before that, you'd need to make the anti-sanctions law. Actually, you'd need to make it pretty strong. Until you cannot even do that, you shouldn't even fantasize about conquest.

There are several steps you could take before starting an actual war of conquest. Which you wouldn't even be able to finish.

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 11:42 am GMT
The notion of modern WVR 'Dogfighting' is as hokey as this photo.
APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 11:56 am GMT
AK: In the future, please unite your multiple low effort one-sentence posts into one. Since they aren't very high quality, fill up valuable screen real estate, and splicing them together takes too much time on my part, I will otherwise have to just start deleting them.

Captain Albert Ball, VC, DSO & Two Bars, MC (14 August 1896 – 7 May 1917) was an English fighter pilot during the First World War. At the time of his death he was the United Kingdom's leading flying ace, with 44 victories.

Those days are gone.

Forrestal , August 13, 2018 at 12:02 pm GMT
@APilgrim

and Mc Cain ??? , he hero of the Isis desert , pardon the hero of Vietnam , Victoria Nuland the F the EU " lady " .. Geoffrey Pyatt .

neutral , August 13, 2018 at 12:24 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

That's the most frightening part.

The thing is that if say Serbia, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, etc had nuclear weapons in 1914 then WW1 would likely not have broken out.

Ilyana_Rozumova , August 13, 2018 at 12:33 pm GMT
These sanctions are complex, well thought out, most probably not by Goyim.
Now We can see that Scripal affair was definitely false flag.
These sanctions are obviously not a punishment.
..
These sanctions are telling Mother Russia to get on her knees, or die.
.
These are not really sanctions. This is Ultimatum.
.
Everybody should understand that.
Sean , August 13, 2018 at 12:50 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Putin cannot be read like a book, but we can be confident that he is capable of deceiving even his closest confidants, for he got his current job by completely fooling Yeltsin .

There's no reason to believe he'd be any more likely to launch than Yeltsin.

All other things being equal, but Yeltsin was never framed for murder by the West even once, so he never had Russian forces on red alert; never had the safety catches off . Yet in the Black Brant scare Yeltsin actually activated the nuclear keys , something that never happened even in the Cuban Missile crisis. In circumstances where there was already a hair trigger because of some misunderstanding and Yeltsin had a too much of a hangover to think clearly and recognize bad advice, he might well have launched. Putin would never knowingly launch first, but the opening of move of a nuclear first strike would be a high altitude air burst to blind the victim's radar so waiting for the first nuclear detonation would not be an option.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/how-nato-military-exercise-freaked-out-russia-nearly-started-25864?page=0%2C2
As these reports filtered in to Western intelligence agencies, there initially was little alarm. Analysts and experts who examined the information simply could not believe that the Soviets seriously thought that NATO was preparing a nuclear first strike. At this point, the West did not have any real clue just how dangerous the situation had become.

If he and his country had been framed for murder twice in a row, Putin would take the some of the safeties off of the Russian nuclear deterrent because it was not working at the normal settings. All it would then take is someone, possibly at a low level, to get careless and we are in the danger zone. The Russians do not think America is likely to attack them out of the blue, but they do not rule out the possibility (Reagan said that was what most surprised him about the Soviet leadership once he came to know them).

Wealthy Russians put their money in offshore British accounts, you seriously think anyone in their right mind would do that if the British Deep State was capable of deliberately framing Russia for assassinations. Dirty money from all over the world comes to offshore British accounts because Britain has the rule of law and the ill gotten gains are safe. It simply would not pay Britain to behave like a banana republic in the way you are suggesting. What you are suggesting is like MI5 & 6 stealing the gold out of the Bank of England, except it would be more plausible because there would be something in it for them. South Korean had the death penalty for capital flight. Putin is less crude, he is using the British sanctions against his circle (and you must be associated with circle to get rich in Russia) to force dodgy Russians and their money to stay put .

Putin's long term objective is to nullify foreign influences, which boils down to Western soft power and money. The Russian and Western elite were growing together before he started the high profile assassinations, now the divergence is gaining a momentum of its own. The more the West retaliates the better Putin likes it, hence arrest of Maria Butina and the heavy boots of the bots are grist to Putin's mill, the more amateurish the espionage against the West, the better. That is why the OPSEC–oblivious GRU suit his purpose so much

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/06/the-gru-the-russian-intelligence-agency-behind-the-headlines
"The GRU regards itself as a war-fighting instrument. Yes, it gathers conventional intelligence but its culture is much more military," said Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian security issues and the country's intelligence agencies. "Although only a minority of GRU officers are Spetsnaz, it has an impact when part of your service are commandos."

Putin sacked the vast majority of the old GRU; the new commander Sergun was low ranking (although he was to be promoted to Colonel General after he designed the Donbass uprising) and was keen on contacts with the US, but died mysteriously in 2016, and the ones left know better than to ask questions about the ultimate purpose or ulterior motive of goading the US. Anyway, Putins's objectives in all this are not to get away with anything, he wants the bad public relations, he wants the West to reject Russia and all its works, all the better to keep Russian away from Western influence. I just think the idea of the West deliberately pushing a proud nuclear armed power into confusion such as Andropov was in during Able Archer would be foolhardy beyond belief.

Mr. Hack , August 13, 2018 at 12:54 pm GMT
@Cyrano

Ukrainian = U Cranium

Brilliant. And I like how you are able to weave in your almost non-existent knowledge of Latin too! This definitely proves that your IQ is in the 99* range. Like I say, you're showing real progress each and every day. Soon, I suspect that readers of this blog will be giving you 'agreements' each and every time you write something here, like your buddy Janissary !

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 12:55 pm GMT
@neutral

Probably.

On the other hand, the more such crises there will be between nuclear armed states, the more likely that one of those will result in a nuclear war. Humans (or machines, for that matter) will inevitably miscalculate once in a while, and those might result in one side believing it's about to be obliterated, so that it can "use it or lose it." All kinds of stupid (or seemingly stupid) factors might get into this, like sleep deprivation, extreme stress, fear of shame or loss of face, etc. People have committed murder-suicide under all kinds of circumstances, starting a nuclear war as an act of final desperation is certainly not out of the realm of possibilities.

So while nuclear weapons greatly diminish the likelihood of a world war, it certainly doesn't make it impossible, and, on a long enough timeline, its likelihood will approach 1.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 1:03 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Their armies are certainly much stronger, in terms of artillery or armored forces for example. Their air forces are not, but with the very low number of planes, it wouldn't be decisive anyway. And they're both in the process of buying F-16s, unless I'm mistaken. I think once these are over, the Slovakian Air Force will be roughly as strong as the Hungarian one, or somewhat stronger, while the Romanian will be multiple times stronger.

The Slovak military is somewhat smaller on paper (in terms of troop numbers) than the Hungarian, but even that might be just a paper advantage. At least Slovakia is a smaller country (roughly half the size of Hungary), but Romania is vastly bigger, and its military is even larger than would be proportional.

Anyway, I don't think any Hungarian government would have the appetite to wage war against either of these.

reiner Tor , August 13, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT
@Sean

Cool story, but where's the evidence that you read Putin's mind correctly?

Michael Kenny , August 13, 2018 at 1:09 pm GMT
This is probably the consequence of Trump's blunder in grovelling in front of Putin (and the world's TV cameras!). He now has to inflict a defeat on Putin so unequivocal that even Putin's American supporters cannot hype it into a victory. I don't see EU Member States raising any objection to further sanctions. Quite the contrary, in fact. The EU is the principal victim of Putin's actions and is therefore the principal beneficiary of sanctions. Don't forget that the fight with Putin began over an attempt by him to prevent Ukraine signing an association agreement with the EU. The idea that the EU Member States are just dying to resume trade with Russia is a US internet myth (like so much else about Europe!).
Sean , August 13, 2018 at 1:27 pm GMT
@I.M

OK the GRU did not use deadly nerve gas on the traitor Skripal because he survived, but by the same token the GRU did not use knockout gas in the Dubrovka Theater because they killed hundreds of innocent Russian hostages. At least we can agree GRU did use flamethrowers and heavy machine guns in the Beslan school, because they shot and burned hundreds of Ossetian children to death.

Mitleser , August 13, 2018 at 1:38 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

The EU is the principal victim of Putin's actions and is therefore the principal beneficiary of sanctions.

What? How are we the "principal benficiary of sanctions"?
It is our trade that suffers.

It is the Anglophone world that is obsessed with "fighting" the guy who is soon going to visit Berlin.

neutral , August 13, 2018 at 1:38 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

This is probably the consequence of Trump's blunder in grovelling in front of Putin (and the world's TV cameras!). He now has to inflict a defeat on Putin so unequivocal that even Putin's American supporters cannot hype it into a victory.

Look I know you are another dim witted Ukrainian pretending to be an Anglo Saxon, but even for you this logic is beyond ridiculous.

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 1:42 pm GMT
The best idea out there, for exploring a better relationship with the Russian Federation.

'Michael McFaul and the Astonishment of American Life Under Trump', By David Remnick, News Desk, July 19, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/michael-mcfaul-and-the-astonishment-of-american-life-under-trump

President Trump has not dismissed the idea that Russian investigators meet with, and question, the former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. President Trump has said that Vladimir Putin tendered him an "incredible offer": that, in exchange for letting Robert Mueller's team question the twelve indicted Russian intelligence officers thought to have participated in the cyber-meddling in the 2016 election, Russian counterparts would get the chance to question McFaul, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia during the Obama years. Rather than dismiss this idea out of hand, Trump, according to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is "going to work with his team, and we'll let you know if there's an announcement on this front."

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 1:44 pm GMT
Why should the crimes & tyrannies of Obama, Hillary, Soros, & McFall remain secret?
pyrrhus , August 13, 2018 at 1:45 pm GMT
@Mitleser

This economic "war", if implemented, will cause an economic collapse in Europe, and subsequently in North America These Senators are lunatics

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 1:47 pm GMT
The USA, UK & USSR tried, convicted & hanged NAZI War Criminals.

'What you need to know about Michael McFaul, the ex-U.S. envoy drawn into the center of another Trump-Russia flap', By LAURA KING and SABRA AYRES, WASHINGTON, WORLD, JUL 19, 2018 | 3:15 PM, http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-russia-mcfaul-20180719-story.html

At a summit in Helsinki, Finland, with President Trump, Putin floated the idea of inviting U.S. special counsel investigators to Russia for the questioning of a dozen Russian intelligence officials indicted last week as part of the special counsel's inquiry into Kremlin interference in the 2016 election. In return, Putin wanted Russian authorities to be allowed to interrogate a roughly equal number of Americans, including McFaul, for supposed illicit activities. At Monday's post-summit news conference with Putin at his side, Trump -- sounding intrigued rather than indignant -- called that an "incredible" offer.

What is the problem with a joint investigation of Michael McFALL, on American Soil.

Sean , August 13, 2018 at 1:49 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

I have no idea what is going on in Putin's mind, but I can see what he is doing and if he wants closer relations with the West, his way of showing it seems odd. Do I need to read Dostoevsky to understand Putin?

Felix Keverich , August 13, 2018 at 1:52 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

But before that, you'd need to make the anti-sanctions law. Actually, you'd need to make it pretty strong. Until you cannot even do that, you shouldn't even fantasize about conquest.

There are several steps you could take before starting an actual war of conquest. Which you wouldn't even be able to finish.

But the sanctions are happening anyway. We'll need an anti-sanctions law regardless of whether or not we are going to invade. Actually, as an economist, I don't think we need a law. What we need is to make sure that the vital sectors of the economy do not rely on US financial system, by converting oil trade into non-dollar currencies for example.

Eastern Europeans will never mobilise. What would mass mobilisation even look like in a country like Hungary? Instead, they'll petition USA to station more of its troops in Eastern Europe. A lot more, like hundreds of thousands more. Doing so will impose costs on the USA. Actually, this is one of the few ways Russia could impose tangible costs on USA: by stoking tensions in Eastern Europe.

And if USA suddenly grows a brain and declines to play along, Eastern NATO members will begin re-orienting their foreign relations towards appeasement of Russia instead. That's what weak people do.

I also don't like ethnic cleansing and mass deportations and the like. Which would be a requirement if you were to occupy Ukraine.

Mass deportations is the best part about occupying the Ukraine! I would drive Galicia population into Poland and other neighboring countries. There would be millions of refugees. This by itself will seriously destabilise NATO's "Eastern flank". There could be Russian agents among the refugees, allowing us to seamlessly move from the invasion of the Ukraine to a campaign of hybrid warfare against Eastern NATO members.

NATO will react to invasion of the Ukraine by positioning to support an insurgency in the Western part of the country. Instead they would have to contend with an insurgency in Eastern Poland – wouldn't that be fun?

utu , August 13, 2018 at 2:03 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Czechs if I remember correctly did everything to not blow money on any jet fighters while being pressured.

neutral , August 13, 2018 at 2:04 pm GMT
@Sean

Do I need to read Dostoevsky to understand Putin?

Probably better than trying to understand things by reading comic books (Hollywood movies are the same), which is pretty much what the US establishment uses for their thinking.

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 2:05 pm GMT
Congress did not do their job, when Barack Hussein Obama drone-killed Americans.

Hell no, we don't trust the traitors in congress.

Why would we, trust those Oath-Breaking POS?

anon [374] Disclaimer , August 13, 2018 at 2:23 pm GMT
@Sean

for he got his current job by completely fooling Yeltsin "

Doesn't that apply to Obama? Will that not apply to future presidents? Doesn't it apply to the sitting US senators and congress ? Doesn't this "fooling" apply every time US senators and congress apply more sanction on Iran and justify their earlier "fooling" when they failed to stop Trump get out of JCPOA?
It does because majority of Americans supported the deal and wanted to keep the deal.

"fooling" is a little more complex in America that it is in Papua NewGuinea . But fooling it is.

It is like cries against "fake news ' charges leveled against Facebook infowar or intercept or antiwar or common dreams by WaPo and NYT and FOX/CNN – being bad because those lead to violences.

The violences perpetrated against Iraq ,Libya, Somalia, and Syria are based on lies and been made possible by Fake News of CNN NYT . The latest servile and sinsiter attempt by NYT to start talking of banned CW use by Syrians to kill more Syrians is nothing but 'fooling and lying" fakery of news what they accuse Putin and Russian bot of but without proof.

APilgrim , August 13, 2018 at 2:27 pm GMT
Congress did not do their job when the CIA, DOJ & FBI ILLEGALLY:

Surveiled citizens.
Investigated the Trump Presidential Campaign.
Paid Christopher Steele to fabricate a pack of God Damned Lies.
Told the FISA Court a pack of God Damned Lies.
Obstructed a congressional investigation, into that pack of God Damned Lies.
Fabricated ANOTHER pack of lies about Civil-Wars in Georgia & Ukraine.
Fabricated YET ANOTHER pack of lies about the Syrian Civil War & ISIS.
Fabricated STILL ANOTHER pack of lies about Russia President Putin.

So, there's that.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 2:29 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

Even though I am not a psychiatrist, I had enough MD/PhD students to respect the first rule of psychiatry: never argue with patients.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 2:32 pm GMT
@Cyrano

Don't confuse Ukrainians with Ukies. Ukrainians are humans, with their stronger and weaker points, like all humans, whereas Ukies are the scum of the Earth.

Z-man , August 13, 2018 at 2:35 pm GMT
Trump has to thread a fine line with the Neocons and outright JOO firsters in his cabinet who HATE Putin and the Russians. Push back against these vermin would be good but he probably wont do it until after the mid terms, we shall see.
Thorfinnsson , August 13, 2018 at 2:38 pm GMT
@Anon

I believe that study was conducted under the assumption of within visual range, which artificially presented a situation where the F-35 was at a disadvantage from the get go. In a real world situation, the Su-35 would probably be shot down before it knew what hit it, especially considering that American pilots tend to be among the best in the world.

Here's a discussion of the matter in the Australian parliament: http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/verbatim/4/133273/f_35-fares-worse-in-rand-wargame.html

The basic assumption is that over the horizon UHF radar (like Australia's Jindalee system) detects the F-35, allowing Flankers to use their IRST.

Of course some have disputed the study, as well they should. A major problem with IRST is its very limited field of view, though pairing this with low frequency radar mitigates that.

In a real world situation the Su-35 would detect the AMRAAMs before impact rather than be surprised. Whether or not the AMRAAMs destroy the Su-35 would depend on many factors such as:

• Number of AMRAAMs fired
• Distance from which AMRAAMs are fired
• Quality of Su-35 countermeasures
• Pilot skill (duh)

Should also be pointed out that the Russians are now fielding L-band AESA radars embedded in wingtips specifically for counter-VLO purposes. See here: http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2009-06.html

That's irrelevant for three reasons:

1) 187 is still a number far greater than the number of Su-57s the Russians wanted to produce in the near term.

2) the F-22 is often stationed at bases around the world, so the US does not need to sell the aircraft to anyone to bring it to a theater of combat.

3) the F-22 would dominate any Russian or Chinese aircraft currently fielded; an appreciable number of F-22s (or any US fourth generation aircraft) along with the F-35 should be a potent combination. US pilots are also very well trained, easily matching any other country save perhaps Israel.

Chengdu J-20 and J-31 units will most certainly not be capped at 187 units. Fifth generation fighters will almost certainly proliferate beyond China and Russia as well.

No, the US didn't "need" to sell the F-22 to Japan. But the sale would've strengthened Allied forces in the Pacific theater, kept the F-22 production line open and cut unit costs, reduced the American trade deficit, and provided jobs and profits to Americans. The F-22 export ban was an own goal.

Kinematic performance doesn't cont for much when you are overwhelmed by aircraft that you can't shoot back at effectively while they are shooting at you from a distance. Kinematic performance isn't nothing, but it isn't everything either. The F-35 will have a decisive advantage over all Russian aircraft fielded now and over the next decade, and any issues with the design will be made up for by fielding large numbers of them to overwhelm opponents + combining the aircraft with the F-22 or F-18.

This decisive advantage depends on two assumptions:

• Counter-VLO sensors will not be effective (or fielded in adequate numbers), or at least won't be enough to vector interceptors (whether aircraft or missiles) to the target
• Kill probability of BVR missile shots has improved by two orders of magnitude since the last air war against a near peer

Obviously, overwhelming the opponent with numbers is always a war winning strategy. NATO can thus be expected to prevail in any air war against Russia, though not without a bloody nose.

That's not really the right way to phrase it. "Inferior" in this case only means "less than what the US could have otherwise done but still quite good compared to most other aircraft."

Further, the philosophy you quoted will allow the US to field huge numbers of these craft – thousands – at an affordable price, so I'm not so sure it was a bad idea after all. That's much better than the SU-57, which is a dumpster fire of a program.

I'm also not sold on the idea that the B model was a bad idea for the Asian theater. In any conflict, the Chinese will attempt to destroy our bases and landing strips. Having a larger number of fighters capable of short vertical takeoffs might prove to be quite the asset in organizing a counter offensive/stationing the craft in various locations that are hard to hit or detect.

The airframe is inferior to what the US could have done otherwise, and is inferior to contemporary aircraft. This inferiority was not driven by the stealth does requirement and thus counts as an own goal.

The B model stems from the Marine Corps remember some battle in the Pacific War where Navy air support didn't show up. Therefore they must have their own fighters, a logic which strangely wouldn't apply to the Army.

If our doctrine or experience dictates that a STOVL aircraft is desirable, fine. But given the limitations of STOVL aircraft, it ought to be a separate design.

Dealing with Chinese strikes at Pacific bases is probably better dealt with by buying more heavy equipment and training more Seabees. You can patch holes pretty quickly.

That's not correct. The F-35 will have a reduced radar cross section across much of the craft compared with any other non-stealth aircraft. Nearly the entire surface is covered in radar absorbent material and the engine itself is designed to reflect away radar waves. It also has IR reduction measures.

Here's a thermal image of an F-35 from a modern IR camera:

No IR reduction in the world is going to disguise 45,000 pounds of thrust from a single nozzle.

Yes, the F-35 has substantially reduced RCS compared to non-VLO aircraft. News at 11. It has, however, inferior stealth compared to the F-22 (let alone the YF-23).

RAM is useful, but the largest reductions in RCS come from airframe shaping. F-35 is not optimized in the lower or aft areas. The original X-35 is quite decent here, but this was changed for the F-35 in order to increase internal weapons load out. Given the original intention of employing it as a tactical strike fighter, this wasn't unreasonable.

Made up for by building 2000+ F-35s. How many SU-57s is Russia making?

This originally concerned exports. Any damn fool can tell you that numerical superiority is very powerful.

No, it wouldn't. Something doesn't have to be theoretically perfect for it to work quite well in the real world. The F-35 will perform BVR combat much better than any non-American aircraft.

In a 1v1 engagement with no supporting elements where the rival fighters approach each other head on, I agree. But this isn't reflective of actual combat.

1. We already have that. It's called the B2 and we are also working on a flying wing stealth drone that does exactly that already: shoot a barrage of missiles at BVR in coordination with the F-35.

B-2 is unsuitable for this role owing to the location of its radar:

That said it has been proposed to use the B-1 for this role, which I think is a good idea.

Drone idea is worth trying, though I'm skeptical of the ability to retain datalinks in an electromagnetically challenged environment. And drones autonomously launching missiles could be dubious–but this could be solved by wargaming (if its proven autonomous drones ID targets better than human pilots, have at it).

2. Wrong. Just wrong. There are huge disadvantages to your flying wing idea. Stability and maneuverability being just two, so they wouldn't be much use in visual range combat or in a variety of other missions for which the F-35 was designed; the F-35 is a multi-role fighter. It will do BVR just fine.

Stability not a concern with fly-by-wire and thrust vectoring (which the B-2 doesn't have incidentally, yet is a stable bombing platform).

There is incidentally a trade-off between stability and maneuverability, hence why fighters from the F-16 on have been designed to be inherently unstable.

But in any case you've been pooh poohing maneuverability here, citing the superiority of BVR combat. If BVR is your goal, then you want a larger missile load, more powerful/sensitive sensors, and increased stealth. A flying wing eliminates the issue with resonant effects (if a vertical surface is less than eight times the size of a radar wavelength, it produces a resonant effect).

The military design of the F-35 is pretty good. You're trying to cover this up by pointing out an irrelevant fact – that there were economic considerations when building the craft which applies to every military project ever conceived.

Well I suppose that's true, but whole JSF program would've been better if:

1 – STOVL had been left out
2 – Kinematic performance had been considered important

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 2:38 pm GMT
@APilgrim

Have to agree with you: Soros, Browder, MSM owners, Pentagon contractors, and all other sorts of scum are much bigger threat to the US than Putin, Un, Iranian Ayatollahs, Assad, and many others. The enemy within is always more dangerous. Especially when that enemy has only one loyalty: to his/her/its money.

Z-man , August 13, 2018 at 2:40 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Interesting, a few years ago Algeria had to have Russia redo the electronics in the Su 30′s that it bought because there was some Izraeli electronics in it.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 2:42 pm GMT
@utu

You are forgetting thievery and corruption that provides cover for that thievery. Out of every dollar spent in the U on "defense", at least 90 cents are stolen, some of the money is used to buy "patriotic" politicians who pretend not to see the thievery.

anon [374] Disclaimer , August 13, 2018 at 2:45 pm GMT
@neutral

No they don't pluck books off shelf . They watch the snippet cribbed from some internet site on Fox TV /CNN and use it as evidence. That were the sources of evidences they offered on Syrian using sarin gas.

Thorfinnsson , August 13, 2018 at 2:47 pm GMT
@APilgrim

Last air war between near peers was Vietnam. BVR combat was a total failure.

Radars and missiles have improved a lot since then of course, but so have countermeasures.

There were BVR kills in Operation Mole Cricket 19 and Desert Storm, but fighting incompetent Arabalonians doesn't count as near peer. And there were still WVR kills in those campaigns.

Depending on ROE in a conflict or confused airspace, there will be a need to visually ID targets on occasion.

The main thing that's changed about dogfighting is that heat seeking missiles can now lock onto an aircraft from any angle (instead of just behind) and launch from high off boresight. This makes instantaneous turning performance more importance than sustained turning performance.

But like I said, if BVR missiles are now truly as miraculous as you think, then the F-35 is an improper design. In fact, so is the F-22 and more or less all other existing fighters. The idea "fighter" of existing aircraft would be the Airbus A380 launching thousands of missiles at once

BVR missiles also work just as well from the ground as the air (with some kinematic disadvantages, and of course can't deal with attackers on the deck). Magical BVR missiles suggest we should be building a lot more SAM systems.

I bring you the air superiority force of the future:

anon [317] Disclaimer , August 13, 2018 at 2:48 pm GMT
@Mr. XYZ

who did it.. answered right here go no further

https://www.rt.com/usa/435824-us-midterms-hacking-children/

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 2:49 pm GMT
@pyrrhus

These senators may or may not be lunatics themselves. This does not change the fact that they are bought and paid for puppets of lunatics, the US moneyed elites that dangerously degenerated after 1991. The US used to be a decent country. Not anymore.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 2:52 pm GMT
@utu

There was a joke about Czechoslovakia in the USSR: Czechoslovakia is the most peaceful country on Earth, it does not interfere even in its own internal affairs. Puppet masters change (Hitler, USSR, the US), but the policy stands.

dryhole dutton , August 13, 2018 at 3:09 pm GMT
i lived in the russian federation for several years (yuzhno sakhalinsk, 2011-2012). i don't claim to be a russian expert, however, i did not detect any virulent comintern intent amongst the russians with whom i was privileged to interact. for the most part, they seemed like everyone else i have come across in my travels on this pitiable orb; they were simply trying to get by, and were as capitalistic as any crony capitalist in america.

maybe someone with more foreign relations erudition, and experience than i could pen an expositive on why there exists such animosity betwixt our nations, other than the all to well known need for a bogeyman so as to facilitate u.s. world hegemony.

for a country which is broke, and which depends upon martial, and venal, intimidation to achieve/sustain its aims, the impending comeuppance could be very humbling, and decisive.

Okechukwu , August 13, 2018 at 3:11 pm GMT

As Ben Aris notes, the US Treasury Department has been ratcheting back on its sanctions against Oleg Deripaska and Rusal, after the chaos it has caused in the international metals market.

Aluminum has a unique market dynamic which other products with more fungible supply chains don't share. Sanctions are a work in progress. Treasury has learned from the Rusal matter. Henceforth it can collapse even bigger Russian companies like Gazprom, Rosneft and Lukoil without much fear of a concomitant contagion. Oil and gas are the ultimate fungible commodities.

However, as I have pointed out, the ultimate ability of the US to directly punish Russia is limited; it has twice as many people as Iran, after all, and many times the economic output

This is delusional. Russia is vastly more exposed than Iran, as it is more tightly wound up in the western financial structures that the US created and controls. Russia's economic output, measured in GDP, is the same size as New York City's. It has always been a question of how far the US was willing to go to punish Russia. There are nuclear options in the US quiver that can pretty much destroy the Russian economy. But so far the US has been applying relatively trivial sanctions in the hopes that Russia would reform its conduct (I'm not making a value judgement). But the perception that Trump has somehow been captured by Russian intelligence has ratcheted things up.

Trade between Russia and the US is very limited.

It's not a question of trade between Russian and the US. It's a question of trade between Russia and the world since the US controls the global economy.

Maudits , August 13, 2018 at 3:32 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

[MORE]

Mr Fack , your ukraruina , your jojolistan , is the black hole of Europe , you want to set Europe on ( atomic ) fire fot the benefit of the usa , and of your corrupted oligarcs .

No real country in Europe respects ukraruina , a very inmoral and stupid pseudocountry . Ukraruina could have been a golden bridge between the EU and Russia ,and choosed instead to be a blood trench for the benefit of the oligarcs of the usa . You are a cursed land .

Daniel Chieh , August 13, 2018 at 3:36 pm GMT
@Anon

Swarms of missiles? What? With the F-35 capacity of 4 AMRAAM? The ones that haven't been upgraded, have been unreliable since at least 2016, and would be vulnerable to manuever anyway? The twenty five plus year old missiles?

Stealth is only stealth to high fidelity radar, as in versus missile locks. That's great, but low frequency radar will still reveal the location of aircraft for the purpose of general location. So it's not really a "bolt from blue," which is much more of a ground to air concept since IR missiles don't telegraph themselves like radar locks do.

Gerard2 , August 13, 2018 at 3:50 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

[MORE]

Goodness, you are one thick POS.
As I have said before Cyrano is a serious intellectual .you on the other hand are a serious cretin.

Seeing as it's that part of your menstruation cycle, I thought I would add another proof of how fake "Ukrainian" history and language is. From a company yet again threatening the collapse of Ukrainian infrastructure due to an oligarchic dispute:

Russian version:

http://www.azot.com.ua/ru/company/activity/

Ukrop version

http://www.azot.com.ua/uk/company/activity/

As you can see the Ukrainian version is a waste of time, when the Russian version exists ..the whole fake language is a fabrication by lowlife scum Banderite tossers who escaped bestiality charges in the 1940′s/50′s and fled to America/Canada

Virgile , August 13, 2018 at 3:55 pm GMT
If Putin wants to retaliate by creating a destabilizing crisis in the USA, he could simply admit that he has proofs that Trump COLLUDED with Russians operatives to affect the election.
Trump will be removed and Mike Pence will take over throwing the USA in a deeper crisis.
Is Trump aware of this Damocles sword if he does not stop the Congress for escalating sanctions?
Daniel Chieh , August 13, 2018 at 3:57 pm GMT
@utu

There are theories, but the mass bueaucracy made some really strange results. In Vietnam, ROE required visual confirmation of targets to use beyond visual range weapons. Weapons that homed into flares because they produced "heat."

Well, that worked about as well as could be expected.

awry , August 13, 2018 at 4:03 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Well, no, Austria-Hungary gave an ultimatum: "do these in 48 hours or we'll go to war". These demands are also unrealistic, but they are just pretext for new sanctions. It is very unlikely that the US will take any military action against Russia. Russia responding to more sanctions/economic warfare with attacking the West with nukes is also very unlikely.
It is also very unlikely that the people pulling the strings want WW3 with Russia. They just found a convenient scapegoat and want to ramp up tensions with Russia not independently of the game to bring down Trump for "colluding with Russia".
Face it, Russia is bound to lose an economic war, they cannot really retaliate without hurting themselves. They could close the gas taps, but then they lose a lot of money. They could close Russian airspace, but then they lose a lot of money too. They could deny Soyuz seats to American astronauts, but the US has other options (not ready yet but they could get them ready if really needed) etc. Russia is not a big economic player and never was one.
Regarding the sanctions the question is whether the EU will follow the US, probably yes, EU companies are going to lose a lot of money, but they would lose much more if they are punished by the US govt.
The US hawks think that they can bankrupt Russia like they did with the Soviet Union. The question is how viable is Russian economy if mostly cut from the world economy including finance and how tolerant will be the Russian people with the hardships. Looking at Iran, if they could manage then Russia should be able to, but more hardships must be expected. Also the government may do away with democratic pretensions and go full autocracy in the case of popular unrest. And of course Russia will be dependent on China more than now. Why is it good for the US if Russia becomes China's little bitch instead of a strategic ally against Chinese expansion is another question. Rationally thinking China is the future geopolitical rival of America and not Russia. But the people pulling the strings want to screw Russia bad, that is their first goal, obviously, they feel ideologically fueled hatred for Russia beyond strategic calculations.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 4:16 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

Somehow a lot of comments here were deflected into a discussion of F-35 vs other fighters, including Russian. I am not a technical expert, so I can comment only in general terms. Overall, the technology in the US is more advanced. However, there is one huge difference between Russian and American weapons: Russian ones are designed for the battlefield, whereas American ones are design to maximize manufacturers' profits. To what extent does this difference cancel technological potential in fighter planes, I don't know.

I do know, though, that the engine of the super-modern destroyer Zumwalt, for which the US taxpayers paid more than $4.4 billion, broke down on its first voyage. To add insult to injury, this happened in the Panama canal, of all places ( https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/23/us-navys-most-expensive-destroyer-breaks-down-in-panama-canal ). What's more, presumably super-modern Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan had the same problem and was towed back to port ( https://navaltoday.com/2016/11/24/royal-navy-destroyer-towed-back-to-port-after-engine-breakdown/ ). All this sounds pretty much like Ukraine, where thievery has no bounds.

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 4:19 pm GMT
@Virgile

Why would Russia do that? The US is destroying itself more efficiently than any of its enemies could ever achieve. Reminds me of a dark joke "if you see your enemy committing suicide, do not interfere".

AnonFromTN , August 13, 2018 at 4:23 pm GMT
@awry

As a matter of fact, the USSR was not bankrupted. It was destroyed because the Party elites wanted to steal a lot more than the Soviet system allowed. They succeeded, now they are oligarchs, whereas the great majority of the population got screwed.

awry , August 13, 2018 at 4:26 pm GMT
@Okechukwu

This is delusional. Russia is vastly more exposed than Iran, as it is more tightly wound up in the western financial structures that the US created and controls

For now yes, but if forced to, it could leave those structures and survive without them. Of course it wouldn't be pretty especially the transitional period.

But so far the US has been applying relatively trivial sanctions in the hopes that Russia would reform its conduct (I'm not making a value judgement).

The idea that Russia would i.e. abandon the Crimea if sanctioned hard enough and such "hopes" are delusional. A country that still sees itself as a great power and has a lot of national pride is not going to make such concessions to the US. If Putin looks a wuss to the Russian people he will fall more quickly than because of any sanctions. But I doubt that there were even such hopes for real. The aim was always just to ratchet the hostility up with Russia more and more, until a full blown cold war.

Daniel Chieh , August 13, 2018 at 4:27 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

Sadly, it often seems the case of comparing not which competing MIC is smarter, but which one is slightly less corrupt.

LondonBob , August 13, 2018 at 4:32 pm GMT
@Art

Exactly it is AIPAC driving this and the sooner the Russians start to squeeze Israel, which is so vulnerable, the better.

[Aug 13, 2018] FBI Reveals Maria Butina Traded Sex In Exchange For All 62,984,828 Votes Trump Received In 2016

Jul 19, 2018 | politics.theonion.com
WASHINGTON -- Saying that their investigation indicated her involvement in election interference went deeper than previously believed, the FBI revealed Thursday that Russian agent Maria Butina traded sex in exchange for all 62,984,828 votes Donald Trump received for president in 2016. "Our inquiry into Ms. Butina

[Aug 13, 2018] Mueller Scrambling After Accidentally Spilling Whole Big Gulp All Over Russia Evidence

Aug 13, 2018 | politics.theonion.com

WASHINGTON -- Suffering yet another unexpected setback during his ongoing investigation into foreign collusion with the Trump campaign, Special Counsel Robert Mueller scrambled Friday to contain the damage to his documents after spilling an entire Grape Crush Big Gulp all over his Russia evidence. "No, no, no! No! Aw,

[Aug 13, 2018] Cold War in the Sauna Notes From a Russian American by Pavel Kozhevnikov

Aug 13, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

I had just finished exercising and went to the sauna. The gym I go to is a modern facility with new equipment and is very popular in our city.

My favorite parts are the sauna and the steamer. Both remind me of my old country – Russia. Though, to be politically and geographically correct – I never lived in Russia: I was born and raised in one of the fifteen republics of the former USSR – the republic of Kazakhstan.

So, I am a Russian from Kazakhstan. It's kind of confusing for Americans, and when twenty-six years ago my American wife brought me here, the customs official gave me an alien card where my nationality was stated not Russian but Kazakh. My friends make fun of me, because Russians and Kazakhs are like apples and oranges. We look different

In 1992, when I arrived in America, the relationship between the two cold war rivals was excellent: Americans traveled to Russia, opening McDonalds, KFC's, Burger Kings, and other businesses, and Russians were opening not only their hearts but even the secrets of the overthrown KGB. Millions of Russians and Americans enjoyed such a "romance" between the two most powerful nuclear countries in the world.

Not anymore! Every morning I wake up to the words, "Russia is terrible," and go to sleep with the humiliating jokes of the "night-show-clowns" about "the dictator" Putin and "barbaric" Russians, whose 13 hackers changed the electoral minds of millions of naïve Americans. Wow! What a powerful "gasoline station country"- Russia, as Senator McCain calls it.

If in 1992 the people in my city who heard my accent were very nice to me and to Russia, now the usual reaction is to stare at me like a goat at the newly painted gates. One of my neighbors even yelled at me when I answered his question about my recent trip to Russia. I told him: "Russians like Putin because he saved their country from collapse. I saw with my own eyes how Russia has changed since my last trip there. I didn't see the impact of Obama's sanctions, Russians have better roads, than we have in Colorado; the shops, are filled with all kinds of products; the churches are restored "

My neighbor who didn't like Trump yelled at me: "If you like Russia go back to your country!" My answer was: "I love Russia but I am American – like your immigrant wife, like you. I love America for a lot of reasons, one of them – the right to speak! Nobody should privatize this right." He ran away, later coming to apologize

My wife, knowing my hard-tempered character asks me not to talk about policy – Putin-Trump anymore. And I don't, to a certain degree. However, when someone asks me about Russia or Putin I usually answer, giving my point of view; I just cannot be silent. I was silent for 40+ years living in the USSR, not anymore! Of course, not everyone likes my answers, like the man I am going to tell you about.

So, I went into the sauna; a stout man was sitting on the upper bench. He was the same age as I. Many of the older men in America call ourselves "old farts." The name is not offensive to us, because we really do not care about our image, and because we like to make jokes about everything, mostly about ourselves. Usually, we old farts are nice, we love to talk, even in the sauna. Young people nowadays do not talk. They turn on their phones even in the sauna – I bet they do not know how to talk with other people. They cover their "secrets" in towels while we do not – we do not have any secrets anymore.

Anyway, the man said hello to me, I answered, and he caught my slight accent.

"Where are you from?" It's a question I am usually asked.

"From here." I answered.

He was a little confused. I knew what usually followed if I had said – "from Kazakhstan." Usually, there would be an exchange of this type: "Where is it?" – "Between Russia and China," – "How do you like it here?" The silly film "Borat" helped me for a short period of time. People were smiling, as if they met Sasha Cohen, and I was happy that at least they knew some geography, though the film was silly and the geography in it was completely mistaken.

"No, I mean originally where are you from?" The guy, let's call him Tony, found the right question.

I decided not to check his geography skills and said that I came from Russia. The dialog that followed was remarkable. Here it is.

"Welcome to America! Your English is pretty good!"

"Yours, too." He didn't get my humor. "Just joking," I said, "As for welcoming, it's a little late: I have lived here for 25 years."

"Have you been in Russia lately?" He asked.

"Yes, I go there every year."

"Wow. So, what do you think about that crazy guy , Pyutin?"

"Sorry, honey," – I apologized to my wife in my thoughts and picked up the gauntlet. "You mean Putin? He is not crazy. Actually, he is one of the smartest rulers Russia ever had." I said.

Tony's eyes nearly leaped from their sockets. "But he is a dictator and kills people!"

"I wouldn't call him a dictator – he was just last week elected by nearly 67% of Russians. I would call him an authoritarian, strong ruler; but a weak ruler in Russia wouldn't survive a day. Besides, there were seven people opposed him in the election!"

Tony smiled. "You call it an election? He chose the opponents himself from his friends. The whole world knows that elections in Russia are a sham!"

"Who told you this nonsense, Tony? Did you listen to the debates? Did you hear how these people yelled at each other and cursed Putin, asking people to vote for them not for Putin. They really were as tough as Hillary to Donald! And besides, there were a lot of observers from 110 countries. They claimed the election was legitimate."

"No, I do not believe you."

"You may not believe me but I am citing the international organizations reports. You may check their reports on the Internet yourself. You may even sue these organizations if you wish."

Tony was silent for a minute, then turned his head to me and asked: "You know that Pyutin is evil even to his own people?"

"You mean Putin? Who told you? How many Russians share your opinion?"

"McCain."

"Is he Russian?"

"No, but he knows that Pyutin is KGB."

"His name is Putin!" I tried to correct at least this in his mind. "So, you do not believe me, a Russian, who just returned from Russia, but you believe this Senator, who hates Putin and Russia? Besides, there are no KGB anymore."

"But he used to be KGB?"

"Yes, and Bush H. was also a CIA agent. So, what? After the collapse of the Soviet Union there were no people who didn't work for government in that country, we all worked for government! Putin is good for Russia, he is the brightest politician nowadays. He is like a great Chess-master, and he is a dangerous player. We must be careful with him. Some Congressmen are underestimating Russia, calling it "a gasoline station with nukes," but I was there this summer and saw with my own eyes how much people love Putin, and how much he is doing to make that country great again."

"Yeh, yeh, yeh " Tony didn't know what to say. Then he recalled something and turned his red face to me. "Well, he invaded Crimea, and Ukraine!"

"No, he did not. Crimea was a harbor for the Russian navy, and according to the treaty between Ukraine and Russia there were sixteen thousand Russian troops stationed there on a permanent base. There were about twenty-three thousand Ukrainian troops there, too. So, when the thugs in Kiev took power, illegally kicking out president Yanukovych and killing the political opponents, the Crimean people decided to organize a referendum. Ninety-six percent decided to reunite with Russia, as they were Russians for nearly 400 years before the Communist dictator Khrushchev gave that peninsula to Ukraine as a present to his native land."

"But they had no right to secede from the main land of Ukraine!"

"Yes, they did. International law gives the right for self-determination to people. Remember, we split from the British Empire."

"But it was so long ago!"

"Okay, what about East and West Germany or Kosovo? The people in these countries also exercised their right of self-determination, but they didn't have any referendum as far as I know."

Tony looked at me attentively. "I don't believe you."

"You have the right not to believe me. You asked, I answered."

Tony was silent for a while. Then he threw out his last argument. "I hope you wouldn't deny that Putin killed British citizens recently, using KGB gas!"

Wow, he pronounced "Putin" correctly! I smiled. The nice face of my American wife appeared in my head again, and she was not happy! I kissed her in my thoughts and finished the conversation with my last knockout blow:

"I wouldn't deny it if the poisoning by Russians had been proved!"

"But it was proved by Teresa May!"

"Really? What did she say?"

"She said that it was Putin who poisoned the British citizens!"

"Not really, my friend. She said that it was "highly likely" that Russia did it! Besides, only Mr. Skripal is a British citizen, his daughter is a Russian citizen"

"Does it make any difference?"

"You mean, "highly likely" is proof to punish somebody? What about one of the main pillars of democracy – innocent until proven guilty?"

"But we believe our allies, not the Russians!"

That statement made me laugh. "You believe not facts but political statements without any facts? Wow! What kind of democracy is that?"

Tony's face became so red that I was afraid it would melt. He stood up from the bench and without looking at me firmly said:

"Russians are our enemies, and democracy does not apply to them."

He left, leaving me with a sudden fear of approaching nuclear war.

At night I prayed for peace. I prayed for American and Russian people-in-power who could easily destroy this fragile planet. If people refuse to understand each other, they fight. Kennedy and Khrushchev fortunately understood this. Will Putin and Trump understand?

Pavel Kozhevnikov was born in Kazakhstan. In 1992 he married an American woman and relocated to Colorado, USA, where he worked in a variety of business ventures and taught various subjects including Russian at Mitchell High School as well as at Pikes Peak Community College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Pavel continues to enjoy teaching Russian at the local community college and university and devotes his free time to writing. He has published four books of stories and poems as well as numerous articles for newspapers and journals in Russia, Germany, Kazakhstan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

[Aug 11, 2018] Looks like Session was the insurance about which Strzok texted

Aug 11, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump attacked former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, the man at the center of the Trump dossier scandal, who had extensive contacts with the Department of Justice's former #4 ranked official, before and after the FBI opened its Trump-Russia probe in the summer of 2016, according to new emails recently turned over to Congressional investigators.

That official, Bruce Ohr, was demoted twice after the DOJ's Inspector General discovered that he lied about his involvement with opposition research firm Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson - who employed Steele. Ohr's CIA-linked wife, Nellie, was also employed by Fusion as part of the firm's anti-Trump efforts, and had ongoing communications with the ex-UK spy, Christopher Steele as well, suggesting that Steele was much closer to the Obama administration than previously disclosed, and his DOJ contact Bruce Ohr reported directly to Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates - who approved at least one of the FISA warrants to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

"The big story that the Fake News Media refuses to report is lowlife Christopher Steele's many meetings with Deputy A.G. Bruce Ohr and his beautiful wife, Nelly. It was Fusion GPS that hired Steele to write the phony & discredited Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary & the DNC.... " Trump tweeted.

"...Do you believe Nelly worked for Fusion and her husband STILL WORKS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF "JUSTICE." I have never seen anything so Rigged in my life. Our A.G. is scared stiff and Missing in Action. It is all starting to be revealed - not pretty. IG Report soon? Witch Hunt!"

me title=

me title=

Trump's latest broadside on Steel and Ohr was likely prompted by speculation that the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is preparping subpoenas for people connected to the controversial Steele dossier. As The Hill reported earlier this week , Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is said to be preparing subpoenas for Bruce Ohr, his wife Nellie Ohr and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.

By escalating his all too public demands on AG Sessions, Trump is risking further scrutiny by Robert Mueller, who is already poring over Trump's tweets to solidify his Obstruction of justice case, while inviting a whole new set of contradictory statements by his newest attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who most recently said that Trump would be willing to sit down with Mueller if two specifics topics are not discussed:

  1. Why Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
  2. What Trump said to Comey about the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Of course, by continuing his periodic twitter attacks on Sessions, Trump makes it prohibitively difficult for Mueller to agree to those terms. Tags Multiline Utilities - NEC

Comments Vote up! 26 Vote down! 5

DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:34 Permalink

It's hard to say what's really going on behind the scenes but you'd think at some point soon that a huge and undeniable truth-bomb is revealed.

Here's a sick thought...is Session's position as Trump's AG the "insurance policy" (((they))) had in place?

If Session's isn't part of Trump's plan then he'll be gone soon enough. If Trump endlessly tolerates Session's inactivity and merely berates him periodically (just for optics) then we'll know Sessions is clandestinely working behind the scenes (w/HUBER) and this movie starts to finally get interesting.

Obama, Hillary & Co. will pay for their attempted/failed treason. But will Session's be the AG that see's it through?

#WWG1WGA

FireBrander -> Kidbuck Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:53 Permalink

Would like to hear Trump explain why Sessions still works for HIM!

The Attorney General may be removed at will by the President under the Supreme Court decision Myers v. United States ,

DingleBarryObummer -> FireBrander Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:57 Permalink

He's just trying to mess with your head and make you confused. That's what he does.

"Hit it from every angle. Open multiple fronts on your enemy. He must be confused, and feel besieged on every side."- Roger Stone's Rules (the guy who got trump elected.)

What you don't realize is WE the people are his "enemy" in that tactic above. It's gaslighting.

Here's another Stone rule

"Always praise 'em before you hit 'em."

"Politics isn't theater. It's performance art. Sometimes, for its own sake."

"Unless you can fake sincerity, you'll get nowhere in this business"

sound familiar?

Algo Rhythm -> Kidbuck Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:58 Permalink

He reads just fine but he reads what the zio-bankers and israhell gives him to read. The Administration has become such a fucking dissapointment.

loveyajimbo -> brushhog Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:49 Permalink

What does that make Trump... knowing Sessions is a disgrace and useless... but refusing to fire him? No nut-sack?

DingleBarryObummer -> Ajax-1 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:17 Permalink

https://imgur.com/a/ZQSNEBb

Prehuman Insight -> brushhog Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:53 Permalink

MetaMussolini Our golfing warthog president has picked a cabinet of semi-human dirty people who are intellectually corrupt gangsters. Trump makes worse the sorrows of the middle class.

UmbilicalMosqu -> Ajax-1 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:11 Permalink

Myers v. United States ,

Adolfsteinbergovitch -> DingleBarryObummer Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:46 Permalink

One name: Skripal.

fauxhammer -> DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:37 Permalink

Jeeesus...get on with it already. Stop your tweeting and start arresting criminals you fucking blowhard.

DingleBarryObummer -> fauxhammer Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:40 Permalink

Stop your tweeting and start arresting criminals

I guarantee you no one will go to real jail because this is not real beef. Just kabuki.

Baron von Bud -> fauxhammer Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:45 Permalink

This confirms what we've been hearing on the alt news. Sessions isn't doing his job and the criminals will get a pass. Mr. Sessions, you may not agree with the President and may feel you're acting honorably but that's a problem. You were put there to round up the criminals (your former esteemed colleagues) and didn't follow through on your duties. Step aside and let someone step up who isn't timid and let's git 'er done. Of course, that's assuming any of this was real to begin with and I have serious doubts.

the artist -> Baron von Bud Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:12 Permalink

If Hill-Obama crew are influencing AG or obstruction in other ways then that extends any statute of limitations.

Push -> DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:46 Permalink

So, do you think that Hillary and Obama are influencing mi5 and mi6 to run their operation against Trump? Or do you think it's the other way around?

brushhog -> Push Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:50 Permalink

I think it goes a lot deeper than Hillary, Obama, or any intel agencies. All the way up to the globalist western oligarchs who are scared shitless of losing control and allowing a populist movement to fuck up their racketts.

Orders come down the pike from the oligarchs through the politicans [ who's campaigns cannot be funded without the oligarchs, and who nod is needed to be accepted by either of the two parties ] and their appointed intelligentce agents, down through the media, through the special interest groups to the idiot at home watching CNN.

Miggy -> DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:48 Permalink

Very curious the MIA of Sessions and even more so the relative quiet from the Trump administration about it.

Kidbuck -> Miggy Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:52 Permalink

Who has the better home videos of Denny Hastert's last Christmas party, Trump or Sessions?

DingleBarryObummer -> DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:53 Permalink

If Session's isn't part of Trump's plan then he'll be gone soon enough. If Trump endlessly tolerates Session's inactivity and merely berates him periodically (just for optics) then we'll know Sessions is clandestinely working behind the scenes (w/HUBER) and this movie starts to finally get interesting.

We are 568 days into the presidency. THIS Is What President Trump Can Do RIGHT NOW To Fix The System. By Gregory Mannarino - YouTube

KuriousKat -> DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:13 Permalink

bingo..sessions was the insurance


PrintCash -> Omen IV Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:00 Permalink

Do you think that there are a lot of public servants in Washington DC who practice rule of law, hold themselves to higher ideals, are interested in promoting and spreading liberty? Tell me about them. Most Reps are just talking heads, that's all they do, appear before cameras looking like they are accomplishing shit. Same with Sessions, except now he's in a appointed position, where there's actual things to be accomplished besides finding the next donor to sell out to. But it's not called the swamp for nothing. These law abiding freedom loving so called conservatives we've been voting for are a joke, no significant gains, only slightly less aggressive rate of deterioration into a bigger state. And Session fits into that club nicely. The conservative club is the joke. I'm merely pointing it out. I'd like to be wrong, but I see no evidence of it. We're way past the tipping point, too many of us are in on the take, in one way or another, to go back, and by design.

Miggy -> PrintCash Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:50 Permalink

Nothing personal but this is wrong. Sessions is an insider and sharp as a rats tooth.

My guess is they have something on him.

chunga -> DingleBarryObummer Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:11 Permalink

Sure. It's a possibility. But then I wonder why the Awan guy walked right out the front door.

Pollygotacracker Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:38 Permalink

What has Sessions been doing? The man is A.W.O.L. They guy needs to get to work or find another job.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 -> Pollygotacracker Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:42 Permalink

Amen! I heard a sound clip of Sessions giving a speech on XM 125 a few days ago. The man can barely talk and when he does talk he sounds like a moron. A real life Forest Gump. He sounds retarded. Bad choice on the part of Trump.

It was this speech. Jeez, the lefties and fags are freaking out and saying Sessions visited a hate group. At least he slammed SPLC! https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/08/08/sessions-calls-out-southern-pove

ADF: Alliance Defending Freedom and is made of Christians. Because of that it is a hate group. The fucking commies will never stop. This PC crap that everything is hate speech and everything is racist is nonsense. I'm sick of it, quite frankly. Want to be racist? Go ahead. Want to say something hateful or stupid? Go ahead. Let the leftists freak out. I have had enough of their caterwauling!

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:40 Permalink

This is awesome: "lowlife Christopher Steele's many meetings with Deputy A.G. Bruce Ohr and his beautiful wife, Nelly." If you have seen pics of Nelly, well, she isn't beautiful. Her being married to Ohr is weird. Beyond weird. These two things do not go together!

Too funny to see Trump trolling! He's good!

Chupacabra-322 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:42 Permalink

Bongino just broke that suddenly Mark Warner who sits the the Senate Intelligence Committee wants to meet with Julian Assange behind closed doors.

KuriousKat -> Chupacabra-322 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:28 Permalink

Thats interesting because waldman inserted himself with assange and did nine visits..the purpuse of that was to establish a mythical Russian bridge to Assange that would be used against him by Mueller who was exposed workin on Oleg Matter with the FBI . Oleg powed 25 M of own money..and never got his visa. Chris steele was working to Get Oleg his visa..Walman represented steele assange and Oleg...

He completed his mission..on assange then sold him down the river turning the immunity deal over to Warner...

Knowing full well Warner Comey and deepstate would trash it.

Warner is King of the Snakes..Adam was just doing what was best for his mafioso boss Olegs business. Oleg and FBI are joined at the hip.

KuriousKat Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:13 Permalink

Sessions was the insurance. He screened everyone during the transition including halper, who was then pushed aggressively by Navarro... Its ironic that when paige , the patsy, went to the Cambridge meeting paid by Halpers connection.. Paige took it cuz no body wanted to go so he volunteered.. the guest speakers were Madelinne Albright of the Atlantic Council and Vin Weber disgraced congressman whose PR firm was scrutinized by Mueller.

Albright went to emphasize what a threat Trump and the populist movement was and how important it was to get on the transition team. No telling how many others Sessions let thru. Make no mistake.. he will be implicated in this. Trump knows what a betrayal this really was.

[Aug 11, 2018] Trumpism Has Dealt a Mortal Blow to Orthodox Economics and 'Social Science'

Notable quotes:
"... By Sanjay Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website ..."
"... Finally, interpretations of politics were too restrictive, conceptualizing citizens' political choices as based on instrumental and usually economic calculations, while indulging in a wishful account of their actual conditions -- for instance, focusing on low measured unemployment, but ignoring measures of distress and insecurity, or the indignity of living in hollowed-out communities. ..."
"... Welcome to the "New World Economic Order;" which looks suspiciously like Dickensian Predatory Capitalism. ..."
"... Just one caveat: Neoliberalism is not really market-fetishism, unless fetishism is understood as fake devotion. Neoliberalism is a State ideology of the economy, its central tenet being that the State must directly help the rich, the poor will be better off as a by-product. ..."
"... The Academy are direct and indirect employees of the State. The Ivy League are direct and indirect employees of plutocrats (thru the university endowment). The State officials are plutocrats or more commonly indirect employees of the plutocrats. What is not to like? How can the Academy be reformed, when it has been oligarchic since Plato (an oligarch) invented it the first Rand Corporation ..."
"... Steve Keen said similarly in Forbes – that once you offshore an industry it is too expensive to reinstall, and that some old factory for making furnaces cannot be retooled to make textiles, etc. even tho' you might have a comparative advantage for doing textiles – sounds like corporate raiding and big time looting more and more because once you devastate an industry you really cannot do anything economically with those facilities and those workers. ..."
"... Another factor in maintaining manufacturing in the USA is what is referred to as furthering the "next bench syndrome". This is where one is made aware of a manufacturing problem to solve due to proximity to the factory floor, and the solution leads to new profitiable products that can be used both inside/outside the original factory. ..."
"... Financialization leads to asset bubbles and deindustrialization. It hollows out industries. When money/credit are created in ever increasing quantity, the makeup of how we "work" shifts from goods producing to "finance". ..."
"... Get ready for real kleptocracy. Breitbart obscurantism + Trump/Bannon misdirection = turkeys vote for thanksgiving. ..."
"... TINA was definitely an ideology – an idea backed by interest. They were making fun of Thatcherism last nite on France 24 because it had been so devastating and now one of the candidates in France is talking her old trash again. ..."
"... "The Anti-Corn Law League was a successful political movement in Great Britain aimed at the abolition of the unpopular Corn Laws, which protected landowners' interests by levying taxes on imported wheat, thus raising the price of bread at a time when factory-owners were trying to cut wages to be internationally competitive." ..."
Nov 26, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Sanjay Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website

Grappling with the shock of Donald Trump's election victory, most analysts focus on his appeal to those in the United States who feel left behind, wish to retrieve a lost social order, and sought to rebuke establishment politicians who do not serve their interests. In this respect, the recent American revolt echoes the shock of the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, but it is of far greater significance because it promises to reshape the entire global order, and the complaisant forms of thought that accompanied it.

Ideas played an important role in creating the conditions that produced Brexit and Trump. The 'social sciences' -- especially economics -- legitimated a set of ideas about the economy that were aggressively peddled and became the conventional wisdom in the policies of mainstream political parties, to the extent that the central theme of the age came to be that there was no alternative. The victory of these ideas in politics in turn strengthened the iron-handed enforcers of the same ideas in academic orthodoxy.

It is never clear whether ideas or interests are the prime mover in shaping historical events, but only ideas and interests together can sustain a ruling consensus for a lengthy interval, such as the historic period of financialization and globalization running over the last 35 years. The role of economics in furnishing the now-rebuked narratives that have reigned for decades in mainstream political parties can be seen in three areas.

  1. First, there is globalization as we knew it. Mainstream economics championed corporate-friendly trade and investment agreements to increase prosperity, and provided the intellectual framework for multilateral trade agreements. Economics made the case for such agreements, generally rejecting concerns over labor and environmental standards and giving short shrift to the effects of globalization in weakening the bargaining power of workers or altogether displacing them; to the need for compensatory measures to aid those displaced; and more generally to measures to ensure that the benefits of growth were shared. For the most part, economists casually waved aside such concerns, both in their theories and in their policy recommendations, treating these matters as either insignificant or as being in the jurisdiction of politicians. Still less attention was paid to crafting an alternate form of globalization, or to identifying bases for national economic policies taking a less passive view of comparative advantage and instead aiming to create it.
  2. Second, there is financialization, which led to increasing disconnection between stock market performance and the real economy, with large rewards going to firms that undertook asset stripping, outsourcing, and offshoring. The combination of globalization and financialization produced a new plutocratic class of owners, managers and those who serviced them in global cities, alongside gentrification of those cities, proleterianization and lumpenization of suburbs, and growing insecurity and casualization of employment for the bulk of the middle and working class.

    Financialization also led to the near-abandonment of the 'national' industrial economy in favor of global sourcing and sales, and a handsome financial rentier economy built on top of it. Meanwhile, automation trends led to shedding of jobs everywhere, and threaten far more.

  3. All of this was hardly noticed by the discipline charged with studying the economy. Indeed, it actively provided rationales for financialization, in the form of the efficient-markets hypothesis and related ideas; for concentration of capital through mergers and acquisitions in the form of contestable-markets theory; for the gentrification of the city through attacks on rent control and other urban policies; for remaking of labor markets through the idea that unemployment was primarily a reflection of voluntary leisure preferences, etc. The mainstream political parties, including those historically representing the working and middle classes, in thrall to the 'scientific' sheen of market fetishism, gambled that they could redistribute a share of the promised gains and thus embraced policies the effect of which was ultimately to abandon and to antagonize a large section of their electorate.
  4. Third, there is the push for austerity, a recurrent trope of the 'neoliberal' era which, although not favored by all, has played an important role in creating conditions for the rise of popular movements demanding a more expansionary fiscal stance (though they can paradoxically simultaneously disdain taxation, as with Trumpism). The often faulty intellectual case made by many mainstream economists for central bank independence, inflation targeting, debt sustainability thresholds, the distortive character of taxation and the superiority of private provision of services including for health, education and welfare, have helped to support antagonism to governmental activity. Within this perspective, there is limited room for fiscal or even monetary stimulus, or for any direct governmental role in service provision, even in the form of productivity-enhancing investments. It is only the failure fully to overcome the shipwreck of 2008 that has caused some cracks in the edifice.

The dominant economic ideas taken together created a framework in which deviation from declared orthodoxy would be punished by dynamics unleashed by globalization and financialization. The system depended not merely on actors having the specific interests attributed to them, but in believing in the theory that said that they did. [This is one of the reasons that Trumpism has generated confusion among economic actors, even as his victory produced an early bout of stock-market euphoria. It does not rebuke neoliberalism so much as replace it with its own heretical version, bastard neoliberalism, an orientation without a theory, whose tale has yet to be written.]

Finally, interpretations of politics were too restrictive, conceptualizing citizens' political choices as based on instrumental and usually economic calculations, while indulging in a wishful account of their actual conditions -- for instance, focusing on low measured unemployment, but ignoring measures of distress and insecurity, or the indignity of living in hollowed-out communities.

Mainstream accounts of politics recognized the role of identities in the form of wooden theories of group mobilization or of demands for representation. However, the psychological and charismatic elements, which can give rise to moments of 'phase transition' in politics, were altogether neglected, and the role of social media and other new methods in politics hardly registered. As new political movements (such as the Tea Party and Trumpism in the U.S.) emerged across the world, these were deemed 'populist' -- both an admission of the analysts' lack of explanation, and a token of disdain. The essential feature of such movements -- the obscurantism that allows them to offer many things to many people, inconsistently and unaccountably, while serving some interests more than others -- was little explored. The failures can be piled one upon the other. No amount of quantitative data provided by polling, 'big data', or other techniques comprehended what might be captured through open-eyed experiential narratives. It is evident that there is a need for forms of understanding that can comprehend the currents within the human person, and go beyond shallow empiricism. Mainstream social science has offered few if any resources to understand, let alone challenge, illiberal majoritarianism, now a world-remaking phenomenon.

Trumpism is a crisis for the most prestigious methods of understanding economic and social life, ennobled and enthroned by the metropolitan academy of the last third of a century. It has caused mainstream 'social science' to fall like a house of cards. It can only save itself through comprehensive reinvention, from the ground up.


ambrit , November 26, 2016 at 4:39 pm

You are onto something here. I always wondered if the suppression of wages would lead to a decline in the population of people even willing to learn a task due to a perceived lack of incentive to make the effort. This would work alongside a seldom mentioned fact; the limits to the supply of appropriately skilled "foreigners" to perform a task.

The resultant mix must be generating an industry of active recruiters in foreign lands for in demand, for less, skill sets. I would lay money on the bet that eventually, things will reach the point where criminal activities make more sense than the miserable jobs on offer.

watermelonpunch , November 27, 2016 at 12:59 am

"I always wondered if the suppression of wages would lead to a decline in the population of people even willing to learn a task due to a perceived lack of incentive to make the effort."

Just from what I've seen & heard I'm pretty sure that's already happened with CNC machinists, and it's happening with CDLs, and starting to happen with CNAs.

ambrit , November 27, 2016 at 8:30 am

"I'm pretty sure that's happened with CNC machinists." One of my neighbours is a CNC machinist. He is presently working "free lance" because the company he was associated with was bought by a Taiwanese concern and all the skilled labour, previously in house, was out sourced. After a couple of years of near disasterous "production," the company re-shored the more technical work, but as sub contract labour.

Now Jack receives regularly spaced "jobs" from the company to do what was previously done in house. Naturally, now Jack and his fellow "free tradesmen" have to supply all the incidental work involved, such as quarterly taxes, insurance if any, self supplied "workers comp," of a sort, and most importantly, the actual machinery to do the work. Even a used CNC machine is a pretty big investment for an individual.

Jack's CNC machine is almost as big as a Volkswagen Beetle. Jack was "lucky" insofar as he was already trained to do this work. Others needs rely on the support of small businesses in this "Engineering Trade," or go into debt to learn the process at a technical college. Then, as Jack has remarked, there is no set schedule nor guaranteed contract. The ultimate "craps shoot."

Welcome to the "New World Economic Order;" which looks suspiciously like Dickensian Predatory Capitalism.

RepubAnon , November 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm

Sounds like a classic supply/demand curve: the lower the price, the lower the supply and the greater the demand. As many have noted – perhaps higher wages would increase the number of job applicants.

However, skilled workers aren't widgets – they need to be trained. Companies don't want to invest in training, and students don't want to take out all those student loans without some assurance that there'll be a job which pays enough to pay off the loans and still have enough left over to put food on the table and have a roof over their heads. Thus, it takes time to bring more skilled workers on-line, and by then, the demand may have evaporated.

Public schools investing in training workers would help – but that would mean raising taxes to pay for them – and Grover would get angry.

Procopius , November 27, 2016 at 10:24 am

I think some states are seeing a shortage of teachers because of the way they've demonized the teaching profession and cut wages for the last fifteen years.

bmeisen , November 27, 2016 at 3:32 am

That was front page on the Wall St Journal Europe a couple days ago – a jaw-drop moment. The voice of business effectively calling for a larger pool of voiceless dirt-cheap laborers to dismantle the social contract. Clearly the management class has no fear of suffering consequences, like maybe even higher crime rates (their native victims not the illegals the perps), dystopic civics, encapsulation, culture = branding. are those undocumented roofers in code with that left over sealing? you bet! management has got them by the cajones.

The Cleaner , November 26, 2016 at 8:01 pm

I don't think these were considered "immigrant proof" as much as "outsourcing proof" which makes sense if you think about it.

Sandy , November 26, 2016 at 10:12 am

Important to note there's quite a lot of Europeans who stay illegally in the US by entering on the visa waiver program as tourists and simply overstaying. Irish and Eastern Europeans especially. If you're in the Northeast it's common to see Irishmen working maintenance jobs at buildings here, or as bartenders or other cash jobs – 90% are going to be out of status. But this issue gets almost zero media attention.

bmeisen , November 27, 2016 at 3:45 am

Citizen registration (cr) would effectively end illegal immigration in the US. Once you get past the immigration control at the airport you are in. access to relevant services is possible without having to prove citizenship/legality. It is insane and/or perversely clever that illegals can get drivers licenses, ss#s, use dumps, open bank accounts, receive water and electrical services, even pay taxes without having to out themselves.

The only barrier is at the border and Trump is gonna make it really big! hahaha.

To receive any municipal service, including registering to vote, it should be necessary to be registered at city hall, anytime you change address you have to renew your registration, standard practice in eur social democracies.

Boris , November 27, 2016 at 1:46 pm

The thing to do is try to push the actual numbers of people trying to immigrate here down, by ceasing to ruin their home countries. No one's ever even tried that.

You are on the right path Tim.

Any of you notice this shift in economic possibilities from Russia?

Excerpt:

The Stolypin Group

The third group represented was the one most Western observers ridiculed and dismissed, with the US Pentagon-linked Stratfor referring to them as a "strange collective." I have personally met and talked with them and they are hardly strange to anyone with a clear moral mind.

This is the group which after two months has emerged with the mandate from Vladimir Putin to lay out their plans to boost growth again in Russia.

The group is in essence followers of what the great almost-forgotten 19th Century German economist, Friedrich List, would call "national economy" strategies. List's national economy historical-based approach was in direct counter-position to the then-dominant British Adam Smith free trade school.

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/putin-nyet-neo-liberals-da-nationa

Friedrich List happens to be a contemporary of an economist I like, our homegrown American economist, Henry George. They share this website

http://www.truefreetrade.org/list.htm (LIST)

http://www.truefreetrade.org/pftindex.htm (GEORGE)

Overview http://www.truefreetrade.org/amap.htm

And now this.

http://russia-insider.com/en/putin-finally-purging-medvedev-government/r

Can we find some common ground in this demographic driven trade problem?

De`tante (Steady State) trade, lack of traditional "growth" yet more abundance and sanity? Can we defeat demographic trends with a better monetary system? There is plenty of need, is that not unfulfilled demand?

We see massive malinvestment and over capacity right now, so some common sense like List and George sounds good to me.

http://www.truefreetrade.org/

Forward Comrades ;-)

oh , November 27, 2016 at 9:17 am

I thought it's not possible to get a driver's license without a green card or US citizenship since they changed the laws after 9/11. If this is true, one cannot get a SS No., open a bank a/c etc. Mexicans and others who cross the border w/o papers are unable to open a bank a/c and therefore pay big fees to Amex for money orders.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this.

Bill H , November 27, 2016 at 11:18 am

Not all states adopted the OpenID law which requires this, and the federal government cannot impose it since it imposes a financial cost on the states without compensating benefit. There are federal punishments for not adopting it, but states are fighting it.

Watermelon , November 28, 2016 at 12:44 am

In my state you need legal presence docs and proof of residence in the state, at least a student visa for example, to get a drivers license. And then the info is checked against the federal govt Save request.

I think the post office and drug stores sell money orders without id? Certainly without perm res status.

I think bank accounts can be opened at least at some banks with a foreign passport and maybe an itin number.

Dignan , November 26, 2016 at 2:38 pm

I'm told by my father that in Berkely Springs, West Virginia, men can get haircuts for as little as $1.75. Perhaps these are eastern European barbers? More likely it is simply a product of the crushing desperation we see in our broken economy. But hey, unemployment is under 5% so everything's fine, right? The dismal science indeed.

Ruben , November 26, 2016 at 6:20 am

Neoliberalism -> c(Globalization, Financialization, Austerity)

Just one caveat: Neoliberalism is not really market-fetishism, unless fetishism is understood as fake devotion. Neoliberalism is a State ideology of the economy, its central tenet being that the State must directly help the rich, the poor will be better off as a by-product.

So if the push of the populace is strong enough, a new State ideology of the economy (aka mainstream economic dogma) would develop around the concepts of Self-suficiency (as opposed to Globalization), Industrialism (as opposed to Financialization), and Stimulus (as opposed to Austerity). Probably MMT has something to say about the latter, but what about Self-sufficiency and Industrialism?

BecauseTradition , November 26, 2016 at 10:26 am

its central tenet being that the State must directly help the rich, the poor will be better off as a by-product. Ruben

Yes, government-subsidized* private credit creation being a (the?) prime example of this.

*e.g. forcing the poorer to lend (a deposit is legally a loan) to banks to lower the borrowing costs of the more so-called creditworthy, the richer, or else be limited to dealing with unsafe, inconvenient physical fiat, cash.

animalogic , November 28, 2016 at 12:08 am

The old refrain -- Welfare for the 1%, the "free market" for the rest

Disturbed Voter , November 26, 2016 at 8:33 am

The Academy are direct and indirect employees of the State. The Ivy League are direct and indirect employees of plutocrats (thru the university endowment). The State officials are plutocrats or more commonly indirect employees of the plutocrats. What is not to like? How can the Academy be reformed, when it has been oligarchic since Plato (an oligarch) invented it the first Rand Corporation

cocomaan , November 26, 2016 at 8:47 am

Remember, though, that neoliberal social sciences now insists that everything is "post fact". "Post fact" society. "Anti intellectualism". And so on.

Synoia , November 26, 2016 at 11:30 am

We can look forward to too post-neoliberslism . -- which would be liberalism, as the post and neo cancel out.

Damian , November 26, 2016 at 9:27 am

Tell me where you want to go and I'll provide the selective facts and the subjective interpretation of those facts to reach the desired conclusions = Economists

-- - or merely arbitrarily change the cell definitions in excel as Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff.

As early as 1967 Greenspan was well known as an academic whore and a Rockefeller Puppet which now is a vast army of dial up opinions.

fresno dan , November 26, 2016 at 9:31 am

From the article:

"Ideas played an important role in creating the conditions that produced Brexit and Trump. The 'social sciences' -- especially economics -- legitimated a set of ideas about the economy that were aggressively peddled and became the conventional wisdom in the policies of mainstream political parties, to the extent that the central theme of the age came to be that there was no alternative. The victory of these ideas in politics in turn strengthened the iron-handed enforcers of the same ideas in academic orthodoxy."

Yesterday I posted a link from Krugman saying that manufacturing CANNOT be restored in the US.

Not that laws, rules, trade agreements make it difficult, but that something akin to the "arrow of time" or entropy prevents it – " that there was no alternative." Which is why I so vehemently disagree with the man. 1st, economics is not a physical science. 2nd, the loss of manufacturing in this country is due to man made conventions. Men made the rules, men can unmake the rules.

Just like prohibition was thought to be a good idea, but with the passage of time, it was revealed that whatever benefits arise of not drinking, it is more than offset by the setbacks.

I used to believe in "free trade" – but a thing called reality whacked me upside the head and disabused me of the notion. Whether GDP is going up fast enough or not, there is overwhelming evidence that the vast majority of GDP is not distributed to the 90% of the members of society.

Like a lot of things, we did the experiment – it doesn't work, but a few who gain advantage by that state of affairs want it to continue. The emperor has been exposed as having no clothes, and once you see the nakedness, you can't unsee it.

vlade , November 26, 2016 at 12:45 pm

of course you could institute that all manufacturng used 1960s technology – or maybe even 1860s, that would generate even more jobs.
short of doing that, todays higly automated factory will use about tenth of blue collar workforce than in 1960s with the same productivity but creating much more complex products.

I've seen reshoring happen (into compartively high labour cost country) and it created a thousand jobs or so. the previus offshoring costed close to five or six thousands iirc.

edr , November 27, 2016 at 9:26 pm

Because 'selective facts' and 'neoliberal narrative' and 'corporate funding' blinded him maybe

vlade , November 28, 2016 at 6:13 pm

I doubt that you'd wish for the US workers to have 10k or less annual salary – because that is what the Chinese get (10k is about the average salary for a worker at one of the plants making Apple gadgets, and that involves almost continuous overtime. IIRC, the hourly rate is something like $1.80. Oh, and there's no health or social insurance).

I suggest you investigate why the UK was the birthplace of industrial revolution and the Continent wasn't (hint – the UK labour costs were order(s) of magnitude higher than say in France or Germany. It just didn't make sense to invest in up-front expensive capital goods when you could get reams of very cheap labour instead).

And, in fact, the QE and ZIRP made it even worse, because before that you'd to cost the capital at much more than labour, while now you can get money for literally nothing (assuming you want to use it for something, like capital goods). At the same time, the companies run locally optimal, but globally bad strategy of holding on the money, failing to recognise that for people to spend, they have to earn first. The supply economic mantra "if you make it cheap enough, someone will buy" fails to recognise that shopping basket of most people is very much skewed towards food, energy and housing, leaving limited buffer for other goods – so the "cheap enough" may have to be "free" or "near free" in the environment of falling real wages.

But I'd be happy for you to provide examples of re-shored operations where the number of jobs created were the same (assuming the same quality of jobs) or comparable to the number of jobs lost by offshoring before.

I don't have US numbers, but I can give you UK ones. In 1970s, UK car manufacturing industry employed about 500k people. That number has been steadily dropping and today it's about 140k total between all manufacturers (you may see some sources use number as high as 750k – but that generally includes anyone who has anything to do with cars, like car salesmen, garage staff etc. – not just car manufacturers. I don't have a reliable comparable number for 1970, so use manufacturers only).

In 1970, UK manufactured about 2m cars, in 2014 it was about 1.6m. The loss of 400k is almost entirely covered by the loss of commercial vehicles capacity – personal cars are at the same level.

So, the UK car industry lost about 70% of its jobs, but only 20% of its output. And the cars it manufactures today are mostly driveable unlike say Austin Allegro.

The situation is not that much different elsewhere. Yves run an article on Trump making US coal "great again" – and the conclusion was the same – it will never employ the same number of people at the same salaries.

John Wright , November 26, 2016 at 1:07 pm

I work in the electronics industry and had a minor observation point for some of the outsourcing of electronics manufacturing from the USA to, primarily, Asia, starting in the late 1980's. At first USA employees were told not to worry as only excess capacity would be built overseas. But, that was proven to be an optimistic(?) statement, as even the managers making these statements also disappeared.

If one looks at the value of raw electronic "ingredients" produced in Asia, for example, Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), one can see how much capacity has been built up overseas.

Here are some numbers pulled from report I have access to:

So Asia produces 18.55 x as much dollar volume of PCBs than North America (Canada + USA)

In my simple minded labor model, when a country allows very free migration of capital overseas, importation of foreign workers by migration or temporary visas and outsourcing of labor by computer networks to overseas workers, it seems implausible one would argue that USA wages would not tend lower in response.

But we have Obama and numerous economists, pushing the Free Trade mantra, via TPP, as good for American workers.

And a further factor is the US military and State Department strive to make it safer for American businesses to function anywhere in the world, lowering business risk while pitching increased national security to the USA population (who bears the military cost).

It will be difficult to bring American manufacturing back, especially when the alleged high paying white collar college jobs are pushed as the solution to USA wage stagnation.

susan the other , November 26, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Steve Keen said similarly in Forbes – that once you offshore an industry it is too expensive to reinstall, and that some old factory for making furnaces cannot be retooled to make textiles, etc. even tho' you might have a comparative advantage for doing textiles – sounds like corporate raiding and big time looting more and more because once you devastate an industry you really cannot do anything economically with those facilities and those workers.

Which explains why after clever men like Mitt Romney finish with your corporation's takeover nobody dashes in to re-up something new. Like pulling a tree out by its roots and then expecting it to grow into some kinda shrub.

a different chris , November 26, 2016 at 9:09 pm

Well I like Steve Keen but he and PK are finally on the same page, where neither knows not what the f he is talking about.

A lot of "offshoring" of the steel industry happened as the US plants themselves were passing the "invest or wind down" point in their life. Since the US labor force was considered intractable and foreign governments had much newer facilities the TPTB in steel just punted on US manufacturing.

I am going to try to find a link, but there was a lot of debate between the union and US Steel (? one of them? ) about building a continuous caster plant in the 70's. Foreign companies had them, we didn't. I think they didn't, but the point is the, all other things being equal, any plants of any type of manufacturing go thru the same technological vs ageing cycle, and the US is as likely to gain "back" -- quotes because like continuous casting, it's steelmaking but not the same as before -- an industry as it is to have lost it in the first place. Factories like to be located where they make sense.

And what is all this about "well they don't need anybody in manufacturing, it's all gonna be machines now". Yeah, right. Been on a manufacturing floor lately? People have yet to be born that are going to be working in something called "manufacturing". And if the machines cut the work need by 10x, we may well need 10x as much stuff as long as it is the right stuff.

Well, if we had universal heathcare and Germanic trade education, but that would require elections not between carrot-heads and Queen Wannabes.

nothing but the truth , November 26, 2016 at 9:26 pm

hang on. why can manufacturing work in germany but not in the US?

Octopii , November 27, 2016 at 12:06 am

Because they have a skilled trade education track, and manufacturing is a respected occupation that one can raise a family doing. Because of the high-skill labor base, Germany can make high-margin products that the rest of the world wants to import.

From very early, all German kids are encouraged to build things and take things apart, and they are given this opportunity even in urban areas at special "building playgrounds" that have hammers, nails, and wood. How is a poor American kid in a housing project going to do this? He's not, and even if he does have a clue what to do with a tool someone hands him on the job, he won't have the deep fundamental background to use it well without a long period of training and screwups -- the kind of period he would have already gotten through while growing up.

American small businesses that require skilled technicians are desperate for them. We literally cannot grow our businesses because of labor constraints.

Procopius , November 27, 2016 at 11:02 am

Since I am not an economist nor a historian probably I should restrain myself, but if you look at the history of labor relations in Germany you might notice that Bismark, not exactly a bleeding heart, believed that it was in the nation's interest to have a healthy, well-fed, well-educated populace. They not only made better workers, they made better soldiers. Then from the 1890s onward Socialism was much better regarded in Germany than it ever has been in the U.S. I speculate that there is a desire for fairness that has deeper roots in German culture than in American culture -- which is not particularly homogenous anyway.

PlutoniumKun , November 27, 2016 at 6:01 am

Even more than Germany, Switzerland, with its very strong currency and high labour costs still has a huge and growing manufacturing sector.

Anonymous , November 27, 2016 at 2:28 pm

Nobody wants to hear this, but manufacturing profit margins, according to Bruce Greenwald of Columbia Business School, are plummeting around the world. Globalization has hit its peak without our recognizing the fact and without our help. Fifty years from now, most of the things we buy will be made within fifty miles of our homes. In twenty years, we won't be admiring the German system.

http://blog.supplysideliberal.com/post/122394899914/bruce-greenwald-the-death-of-manufacturing-the

likbez , November 26, 2016 at 10:37 pm

I used to respect Krugman during Bush II presidency. His columns at this time looked like on target for me. No more.

Now I view him as yet another despicable neoliberal shill. I stopped reading his columns long ago and kind of always suspect his views as insincere and unscientific. In this particular case the key question is about maintaining the standard of living which can be done only if manufacturing even in robotic variant is onshored and profits from it re-distributed in New Deal fashion. Technology is just a tool. There can be exception for it but generally attempts to produce everything outside the US and then sell it in the USA lead to proliferation of McJobs and lower standard of living. Creating robotic factories in the USA might not completely reverse the damage, but might be a step in the right direction. The nations can't exist by just flipping hamburgers for each other.

Actually there is a term that explains well behavior of people like Krugman and it has certain predictive value as for the set of behaviors we observe from them. It is called Lysenkoism and it is about political control of science.

See, for example:

Yves in her book also touched this theme of political control of science. It might be a good time to reread it. The key ideas of "ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism " are still current.

John Wright , November 27, 2016 at 9:34 am

Another factor in maintaining manufacturing in the USA is what is referred to as furthering the "next bench syndrome". This is where one is made aware of a manufacturing problem to solve due to proximity to the factory floor, and the solution leads to new profitiable products that can be used both inside/outside the original factory.

This might be an improved process or an improvement in manufacturing tooling that had not been anticipated before.

New products will be created with their profits/knowledge flowing to the country hosting the manufacturing plants.

The USA seems to be on a path of "we can create dollars and buy anything we want from people anywhere in the world".

Manufacturing dollars and credit rather than real goods might prove very short sighted if dollars are no longer prized.

Perhaps the TPP, with its ISDS provisions, indicates that powerful people understand this is coming and want additional wealth extraction methods from foreign countries.

Boris , November 27, 2016 at 4:44 pm

We got ECONned all right. It goes back to the late 1800's.

Actus Purus , November 26, 2016 at 10:35 am

The author mentions globalization and financialization. But what seems to be always left out (and given a pass) in these discussions is the role of central banks and monetary policy.

Central banking policy (always creating more money/credit) lies at the nexus of almost all that is wrong with modern capitalism and is the lubricant and fuel that enables financialization's endless growth.

Financialization leads to asset bubbles and deindustrialization. It hollows out industries. When money/credit are created in ever increasing quantity, the makeup of how we "work" shifts from goods producing to "finance".

Then through globalization, what we lack in goods, foreigners who accept our paper, seem to provide. At least for now. In a closed system, financialization has its natural limits. But enabled by cross-border trade, it metastasizes.

In the short run, it appears to be a virtuous circle. We print paper. They make real stuff. They take our paper. We take their stuff. We feel very clever.

But over time, wealth inequality grows. Industries are hollowed out. The banking sector dominates.

And then we get a populist uprising because people realize "something is wrong".

But mistakenly, they think it's globalization. Or free trade. Or capitalism. When all along, it's just central banking. Central banks are the problem. Central bankers are the culprits.

BecauseTradition , November 26, 2016 at 4:56 pm

Central banks are the problem. Actus Purus

Yes, insofar as they create fiat for the private sector since that is obviously violation of equal protection under the law in favor of the banks and the rich.

Otoh, all citizens, their businesses, etc. should be allowed to deal directly in their nation's fiat in the form of account balances at the central bank or equivalent and not be limited to unsafe, inconvenient physical fiat, a.k.a. cash.

IDG , November 27, 2016 at 4:12 am

Central banks are part of the problem, but not because any of the things you say. Abandon monetarism, is just wrong, on everything.

CB's do not control the rates effectively during the upturns (they are just procyclical as they add to savings though higher rates).

CB's "creating money" would mean loanable funds theory is right, but as it has been demonstrated over and over it's horribly wrong. Banks suffice themselves to expand credit on upturns, and CB'ers can do nothing about it. On downturns they cna try, and fail, because the appetite for credit is just not there. Credit expansion and contraction is endogenous and apart of of what CB's do, not to speak about all the forms of shadow money which are the real outliers and trouble makers.

What CB's do, in practice, is to prevent capitalism from collapsing on crisis, making "bad money" good, by stabilising asset prices. All their tools are reactive, not pro-active, so they cannot create any condition, because they react to conditions. They neither set the rates in reality, nor "create money" that enters the real economy in any meaningful way.

The religion of "central bankism" is part of the problem, but as it is the religion of "monetarism" (which are the same) on which many of those ideas are based.

BecauseTradition , November 27, 2016 at 9:40 am

Banks suffice themselves to expand credit on upturns, and CB'ers can do nothing about it IDG

Yes, "loans create deposits" but only largely virtual liabilities wrt to the non-bank private sector. We should fix that by allowing the non-bank private sector to deal with reserves too then it would be much more dangerous for banks to create liabilities since bank runs would be as easy and convenient as writing a check to one's cb account or equivalent. Of course, government provided deposit insurance could then be abolished too since accounts at the cb or equivalent are inherently risk-free.

Our system is a dangerous mess because of privileges for depository institutions – completely unnecessary privileges given modern computers and communications.

Actus Purus , November 27, 2016 at 9:42 am

In other words, another "pass" for central banks. It's not their fault. It's just the economy. It's how "markets" work.

stefan , November 26, 2016 at 10:38 am

Get ready for real kleptocracy. Breitbart obscurantism + Trump/Bannon misdirection = turkeys vote for thanksgiving.

Welcome to government of the billionaires, by the billionaires, for the billionaires.

btw, if Giuliani is appointed to a cabinet post, he will have to explain his foreknowledge of the NY FBI→Kallstrom→Comey connection→to Congress under oath (if they aren't too afraid to ask).

a different chris , November 26, 2016 at 9:15 pm

I worry along with you, but again: When somebody Ms DeVos opens her mouth people just naturally recoil. Trump doesn't seem to have grasped the only thing that mattered in his election – you want your enemies to suck. His appointees are people that suck. Hillary would have appointed smooth-talkers who could effortlessly move between "private and public" positions.

PS: Paul Ryan is a good counterexample – people fall for his BS because he isn't quite a stupid as, say Guiliani. Of course he was elected, not picked by Trump.

Robert Dannin , November 26, 2016 at 10:41 am

mr reddy solves the riddle of the Great Refusal but doesn't far enough: certainly mainstream economists were wrong to act as cheerleaders for the kleptocracy, yet they were also complicit in a material sense by furnishing all the necessary algorithms to boost the derivatives industry into the realm of corporate cyber-theft. that genie isn't going back into bottle. what's in store for us then? economic apartheid. just read what the new team has been saying about walls, guns, police, military and terrorism. the bannon plan is for heavily policed gated communities monopolizing vital resources; high surveillance, rights abatement zones for the proletariat; and a free-fire wilderness of lumpen gangsters, gun-toting vigilantes, survivalist cults, etc. competing for subsistence. mad max, only run by people worse than mel gibson. close to what we already have but once legislated into existence impossible to reverse without a violent revolution. once again mr. reddy is correct: hobbes' leviathan is the negation of social science.

Waldenpond , November 26, 2016 at 11:39 am

hmmmm .. Trump said quite a few contradictory things during his campaign and it would seem an error to believe anything a candidate says on either side of an issue. Have the Koch brothers (who are involved w/Trump) been particularly unhappy with the numerous billions they've accumulated under Obama? I expect this regime to be more along the 'different globalization' side (more a shuffling of the deck chairs on the Titanic). Manufacturing will be back in relation to the degree – penalties are eliminated on 'repatriated' funds, land is eminent domained on behalf of oligarchs, private profit is granted primacy over pollution, then build their factories with public money and abolish the minimum wage. Austerity will continue but the new con will be private/public partnerships. Don't you want to buy you friend/family member/neighbor a job? Don't you?

The elite, including the Trump's, are going to continue their actions until they've taken it all.

Wendell Fitzgerald , November 26, 2016 at 1:06 pm

Since you mention land you might be interested in the idea of land value taxation a way to take the land back from the oligarchs an idea that has been around for a long time assiduously ignored by folks like Naked Capitalism.

JEHR , November 26, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Mr. Fitzgerald, if you search in NC for "land value taxation" you will see many articles, especially from Mr. Hudson. NC has thoroughly covered a lot of territory regarding this topic.

a different chris , November 26, 2016 at 9:24 pm

Yes you could probably catch us restlessly muttering "Henry George" in our sleep half the time.

The problem is it's a really, really hard sell. It just sounds funny. Pittsburgh actually had it until a few years ago when it was "discovered" and before there was even a discussion the Democratic mayor and City Council who should have known better had rescinded it before anybody got a chance to say anything.

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

" during 2001 after years of underassessment, and the system was abandoned in favor of the traditional single-rate property tax. The tax on land in Pittsburgh was about 5.77 times the tax on improvements."

To be good Russian plants, we do actually need to know things about Amerika

Anyway, here's the problem: people just voted for a billionaire how you gonna get this type of taxation approved given the Pittsburgh example?

Allegorio , November 26, 2016 at 11:24 pm

It seems to be forgotten that this was a vote against Clinton and not a vote for Trump. If Trump goes back on his progressive platform, jobs jobs jobs there will be a backlash so fast that it will give everyone, especially the billionaires whiplash. Let them touch one hair on Social Security's head or privatize Medicare, there will be another big surprise in the mid-term elections. When the good people of the rust belt find out about the plans to put rentier tolls on all that public infrastructure, trust me the pitchforks will come out from their corners quick as you blink The best laid plans of billionaires and their lackeys often go awry. The curtain has been lifted. If Trump thinks he can satisfy the working class by giving another huge tax break to the .01%, he better think again. They do not have enough rubber bullets nor pepper spray.

Michael , November 27, 2016 at 3:38 am

Nah, as long as Trump keeps blaming folks of color, he's got a good six years. You overestimate the people of Flyover. Yes, they got hosed by Obama, but they've been electing Republicans to flog them for 30 years.

Lambert Strether , November 27, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Speaking of blaming

I love the Democrat attitude that "Democrats can never fail. They can only be failed," in this case by approximately 50% of the population.

Anonymous , November 27, 2016 at 2:53 pm

It's a hard sell for good reason. Many Americans are land rich and cash poor. The idea that they'd have to sell property to pay such a tax offends even the simplest conception of sound land planning. If a lot more property came on the market at once, as it would have to under the land tax scheme, we'd be Japan all over again.

BecauseTradition , November 27, 2016 at 11:41 am

Taxes should be unavoidable to avoid violating equal protection under the law and land taxes are certainly unavoidable in that land can't be hidden as income, for example, can be.

Another unavoidable tax, except for the existence of physical fiat* (notes and coins), would be a tax on fiat, i.e. negative interest.

*Yet these can be taxed when bought and sold to the central bank with/for "reserves"**
**Just another name for fiat account balances at the central bank when the account owners are depository institutions.

animalogic , November 28, 2016 at 1:11 am

Here's a few old fashioned & long derided ideas for taxes:

I'm sure we could add a couple dozen more tax ideas to the list. (The idea is not surpluses, but to reduce inequality )

BecauseTradition , November 28, 2016 at 9:17 am

but to reduce inequality ) animalogic

The goal should be to reduce injustice – preferably at its source. And the source of much injustice is surely government privileges for private credit creation and other welfare for the rich such as positive interest paying sovereign debt.

Still, there's previous injustice to deal with so asset redistribution should be on the table too and that could include taxing the rich to give to the poor – certainly not to run a surplus (or even a balanced budget) as you say.

Altandmain , November 26, 2016 at 11:47 am

Mainstream analysts don't want to recognize the real problem. They failed the people have lost their legitimacy to govern.

Not saying Trump is the solution (I'm hoping for a solution from the left and think that Trump could enable his cronies, but nothing else), but the Establishment is unworthy to govern.

Wendell Fitzgerald , November 26, 2016 at 1:24 pm

A solution that most people would consider being from the left but which is the radical center (taking valid ideas from both left and right) is land value taxation the wedge issue to tax the various sources of unearned income (estimated at 40+% of GNP however you determine it) thus allowing for the elimination of taxation of earned income from wages and profit from the investment of real capital in the real economy. Taxing community created land value and making the distinction between earned and unearned income has been assiduously ignored and avoided by mainstream economists, most of our vaunted/sainted public intellectuals and sources like naked capitalism but since all of that has failed there is nothing to lose by considering what this author, Sanjay Reddy, says is necessary: "It [social science] can only save itself through comprehensive reinvention, from the ground up." I suggest that the this has already been done literally from the ground up by the analysis that has been around for a very long time that takes land, how its value is created, who owns it and what happen when you tax its value into account. Happy day.

Rosario , November 26, 2016 at 12:45 pm

We finally made it to the post-modern wasteland. It is pretty weird to see the post-modern methods used by social scientists for decades to dissect culture actually manifest in practiced culture.

susan the other , November 26, 2016 at 1:14 pm

TINA was definitely an ideology – an idea backed by interest. They were making fun of Thatcherism last nite on France 24 because it had been so devastating and now one of the candidates in France is talking her old trash again. Humor is effective against ideology when all else fails but it takes a while. But as defined above, we actually do have an alternative – our current alternative is "illiberal majoritarianism". Sounds a tad negative. We should just use the word "democracy".

pzoellner , November 26, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Excellent thinking. Thanks to all

Sound of the Suburbs , November 26, 2016 at 2:39 pm

The problem with free trade, a historical lesson:

"The Anti-Corn Law League was a successful political movement in Great Britain aimed at the abolition of the unpopular Corn Laws, which protected landowners' interests by levying taxes on imported wheat, thus raising the price of bread at a time when factory-owners were trying to cut wages to be internationally competitive."

The landowners wanted to increase their profit by charging a higher price for corn, but this posed a barrier to international free trade in making UK wage labour uncompetitive by raising the cost of living for workers.

In a free trade world the cost of living needs to be the same in West and East as this sets the wage levels.

The US has probably been the most successful in making its labour force internationally uncompetitive with soaring costs of housing, healthcare and student loan repayments.

These costs all have to be covered by wages and US businesses are now squealing about the high minimum wage.

US labour can never compete with Eastern labour and will have to be protected by tariffs.

Free trade has requirements and you must meet them before you can engage in free trade.

The cost of living needs to be the same in West and East.

BecauseTradition , November 27, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Assume, for the sake of argument, that all assets in the West were equally owned by its citizens? Then wouldn't free trade with the East be a universal blessing for the citizens of the West and not a curse for some (actually many) of them?

So the problem is unjust asset distribution? But how could that occur if our economic system is just? Except it isn't just since government subsidies for private credit creation are obviously unjust in that the poor are forced to lend (a deposit is legally a loan) to banks for the benefit of the rich.

Oregoncharles , November 27, 2016 at 1:31 pm

A technical note, to avoid possible confusion: "corn" in British means wheat and other small grains – a "corn" is a kernel. Maize was not a big factor in Britain; too far north.

Otherwise, good point.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 26, 2016 at 2:43 pm

There are two certainties in life – death and taxes.

There are two certainties about new versions of capitalism; they work well for a couple of decades before failing miserably.

Capitalism mark 1 – Unfettered Capitalism

Crashed and burned in 1929 with a global recession in the 1930s.
The New Deal and Keynesian ideas promised a bright new world.

Capitalism mark 2 – Keynesian Capitalism

Ended with stagflation in the 1970s.
Market led Capitalism ideas promised a bright new world.

Capitalism mark 3 – Unfettered Capitalism – Part 2 (Market led Capitalism)

Crashed and burned in 2008 with a global recession in the 2010s.

We are missing the vital ingredient.

When the first version of capitalism failed, Keynes was ready with a new version.

When the second version of capitalism failed, Milton Freidman was waiting in the wings with his new version of capitalism.

Elites will always flounder around trying to stick with what they know, it takes someone with creativity and imagination to show the new way when the old way has failed.

Today we are missing that person with creativity and imagination to lead us out of the wilderness and
stagnation we have been experiencing since 2008.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 26, 2016 at 2:45 pm

What is missing from today's economics?

1) The work of the Classical Economists and the distinction between "earned" and "unearned" income, also "land" and "capital" need to be separated again (conflated in neoclassical economics)

Reading Michael Hudson's "Killing the Host" is a very good start

2) How money and debt really work. Money's creation and destruction on bank balance sheets.

3) The work of Irving Fisher, Hyman Minsky and Steve Keen on debt inflated asset bubbles

4) The work of Richard Koo on dealing with balance sheet recessions
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTyJzmiHGk

5) The realisation that markets have two modes of operation:

a) Price discovery
b) Bigger fool mode, where everyone rides the bubble for capital gains

There may be more

The Euro was designed with today's defective economics.
Oh dear, no wonder it's going wrong.

a different chris , November 26, 2016 at 9:29 pm

>The Euro was designed with today's defective economics.

Man I didn't think of that. What comically lousy timing. I do like this post because it similar to sigh, ok it asserts my belief but still don't think I'm in an echo chamber here, I actually want people to know what I think so they can reinforce the good and whittle out the bad anyway, asserts my belief that "economics" isn't a science but when used in the best way is a toolkit, here we need an hammer (austerity), here we need a screwdriver (some tweaking). It isn't one tool for all jobs for all time.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 27, 2016 at 1:24 pm

American's are brainwashed from birth about capitalism and Milton Freidman may have been as susceptible as the next man.

He may not have realised he was building on a base that had already been corrupted, the core of neoclassical economics.

The neoclassical economists of the late 19th century buried the difference between "earned" and "unearned" income.

These economists also conflated "land" and "capital" to cause further problems that were clear to the Classical Economists looking out on a world of small state, raw capitalism.

Thorstein Veblen wrote an essay in 1898 "Why is economics not an evolutionary science?".

Real sciences are evolutionary and old theory is replaced as new theory comes along and proves the old ideas wrong.

Economics needs a scientific, evolutionary rebuild from the work of the classical economists.

Most of the UK now dreams of giving up work and living off the "unearned" income from a BTL portfolio, extracting the "earned" income of generation rent.

The UK dream is to be like the idle rich, rentier, living off "unearned" income and doing nothing productive.

This is what happens when stuff goes missing from economics.

Keynes realised wage income was just as important as profit.
Wage income looks after the demand side of the equation and profit the supply side.
I think we will find he was right, this knowledge has just gone missing at the moment.

Keynes studied the Great Depression and noted monetary stimulus lead to a "liquidity trap".
Businesses and investors will not invest without the demand there to ensure their investment will be worthwhile.
The money gets horded by investors and on company balance sheets as they won't invest.
Cutting wages to increase profit just makes the demand side of the equation worse and leads you into debt deflation.
Central Banks today talk about the "savings glut" not realising this is probably Keynes's "liquidity trap".
It's more missing stuff.

When Keynes was involved in Bretton Woods after the Second World War they put in mechanisms for recycling the surplus, to keep the whole thing running.

The assumption today is that capitalism will just reach stable equilibriums by itself.

The Euro is based on this idea, but Greece has just reached max. debt and collapsed, it never did reach that stable equilibrium.

Recycling the surplus would probably have worked better.

Science is evolutionary for a reason.

Michael , November 27, 2016 at 3:40 am

Energy and true scarcity in the form of the biosphere are still missing from today's economics.

BecauseTradition , November 27, 2016 at 2:37 pm

Ethical fiat and credit creation are missing and have been for centuries.

UserFriendly , November 26, 2016 at 8:09 pm

I disagree that we don't have a ready to go replacement. MMT. We just have TPTB throwing $$$ around to make sure no one hears about it, much less does anything.

Barry disch , November 26, 2016 at 5:16 pm

Well written concentrated synopsis of how our economy has evolved over the last 35 years.

JEHR , November 26, 2016 at 5:39 pm

I believe that our way out of this morass is to start by buying locally. There are always people who make things and they need to be supported. We may not get the cheap products, but we can build our communities up gradually over time. Our standard of living will be different but we will have our dignity and the means for creating prosperous communities.

Arizona Slim , November 26, 2016 at 6:29 pm

I have been a member of a localist group here in AZ. Said group does a great job of appealing to people from across the political spectrum. And that is a good example to follow.

Ulysses , November 27, 2016 at 7:06 am

"I believe that our way out of this morass is to start by buying locally."

I very much like the localist movement, and I try very hard to support it in upstate NY, among other places. The problem with this approach is that there are simply way too many people for us to painlessly revert back to an artisanal, agrarian 18th c. lifestyle.

To put this in Empire State terms: we might just be able to accommodate hundreds of thousands of people who used to work for Kodak, I.B.M, or Xerox upstate– in new jobs making craft beer or high-quality string instruments, etc. Yet what do we do with the many millions of people, who live downstate, who currently work in jobs very dependent on a globalized economy?

Greg , November 26, 2016 at 11:25 pm

We've seen a few economists posting lately to say that all social sciences got it wrong, and especially economics. What's curious to me is that non of the examples given apply to any social science except economics.

Is this the same discipline that refuses to acknowledge the value of other disciplines and cross-discipline research, ducking for cover behind the very disciplines it's been snobbing?
'All social sciences' indeed.

John k , November 27, 2016 at 12:53 am

The election was less about trump gaining voters in the rust belt than Clinton losing hers. Romney lost with exactly as many votes as trump got because 6 million that voted for black Obama preferred to stay home rather than vote for white Clinton.
All the dems need to do is to run a candidate willing to spend quality time in the swing states, somebody not totally corrupt and not verbally advocating confrontation with Russia would also be a big help, though this already rules out most dem elites.

Of course if trump manages to get a lot of infra built, and gets a lot of decent jobs, his support in 2020 will grow, maybe to the point only a strong progressive could beat him.
But today's dem elites will fight tooth and nail to keep real progressives from controlling the party, as instructed by their corp overlords remember, bankers might go to jail if the wrong person gets AG. First indication is Keith on dec 1 can/will big o keep him out?

LifeIsLikeABeanstalk , November 27, 2016 at 2:17 am

I liked this 'take' by Prof. Reddy a lot in terms of looking at what happened to bring us to a Trump Presidency (with an observation that Orange Duce hasn't YET been sworn in).

But if he thinks that a Tea Party shaped Republican House and Senate and soon to be skewed Supreme Court aren't about to launch a season of Rent Taking and Austerity to levels previously only attained in Arthur Laffer's wet dreams he needs his otherwise rational head examined.

Schofield , November 27, 2016 at 9:22 am

Don't go so excited the "Trump Revolution" like the "Obama Revolution" will likely end up as "hopeless" for ordinary folk. So for starters Trump's tax breaks will save the 1% fifteen percent and the rest of us 2 percent! Already the msm including my local paper are already grinding out the counter-propaganda against raising tariff barriers for China. The majority of the electorate are too ignorant to figure much of it out and come 2024 will be voting Ivanka Trump in as president!

GregoryA , November 28, 2016 at 12:44 am

If Trump raises MORE(notice that word son) tariffs against China, he will get a nice uppercut across the forehead when China cancels contracts one after another and jobs start being lost in the next NBER recession. His ego can't take that.

He was the Mercers introduction to the elite, nothing more or less. If anything, the Republicans are more Jewy than ever.

Oregoncharles , November 27, 2016 at 1:09 pm

"The dominant economic ideas taken together created a framework in which deviation from declared orthodoxy would be punished by dynamics unleashed by globalization and financialization."

IOW, it isn't science; it's political ideology.

The environmental economist Herman Daley traces that back to the very beginning of the field; he says the earliest economists essentially chose sides in the contest then raging between landowners (resource based) and merchants (trade based). That made them propagandists, not referees. And it's the reason economics, from the beginning, suppressed the distinction between natural resources, like land, water, and minerals, and human-created capital. It recognized only two "production factors," when in reality there are at least three. Marx picked up the same self-serving :"error."

Oregoncharles , November 27, 2016 at 1:20 pm

" illiberal majoritarianism"
That's an unfortunate word choice, considering that Trump lost the election by nearly 2 million votes. It was an extraordinary demonstration of the defective Electoral College system. Maybe now we'll get some action on the Popular Vote initiative.

It's important to remember that the rebellion is "illiberal" mainly because the "liberal" parties refuse to offer a "liberal" populism, aka the New Deal. You could call it an old, proven idea. Some of us see that as weak tea, but even that isn't on offer outside the marginalized Left. (This is the essential point of Thomas Franks' "What's the Matter with Kansas.")

Of course, that's just a further illustration of the author's point.

Paul Hirschman , November 27, 2016 at 1:57 pm

One of the most insightful chapters in Karl Polanyi's THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION is about something Karl calls "the discovery of society." It is the story of how those who wrestled with the fundamental falsehoods of the "self-regulating market" [our Libertarian friends' dreamworld] had to begin thinking about how people in their everyday lives actually, really, incompletely, made a life for themselves in a world defined by trickle-down economics. It was never a pretty sight, but the lesson was that the "self-regulating market" was going to be regulated somehow by non-economic actors with non-economic considerations foremost in mind, like it or not, or face destruction by human beings whose lives were distorted beyond what would be tolerated by ordinary people. Most people put up with neoliberal BS for a generation because that's what most people do, most of the time, even when they know they're being sold a bunch of horsecr*p. But the limit of what people will tolerate in a society defined by the false gods of market capitalism is reached periodically. Trump's victory tells us that one of these limits has been reached. The question now is, "What are we going to "discover" about ourselves and about the society we want to live in–and will we find a way to create it, assuming it's something good?" (Or flee from, if it turns sour.)

TINA folks will repeat, over and over, that "there is no alternative," but that bugaboo has just been smashed. Clinton, Summers, Obama, Rubin, Schumer, and the many, many lesser lights of Neo-Liberalism have become "old hat" almost overnight. Let's hope our discovery of society includes a stronger dose of Reason and Solidarity than would seem to exist in Trumpworld.

Phil , November 28, 2016 at 3:33 am

Here's the deal:
Automation is hallowing out work *at all levels*. Don't believe me? Read this.
http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf
Summary:
http://www.eng.ox.ac.uk/about/news/new-study-shows-nearly-half-of-us-jobs-at-risk-of-computerisation

Add to the above:
Projected population increases, worldwide -including some demographic vertical projections
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/03/10-projections-for-the-global-population-in-2050/

ergo: Less work (at all levels) + increasing population (which includes some explosive variables, like a large increase of older persons who will require economic support from fewer younger workers) = a massive increase in tension re: the struggle for available necessities.

Technology innovation will help with some of this, but the great, looming problem is: how are billions of idle people with nothing to do going to be motivated to remain non-disruptive? I can see a massive surveillance state controlling the "idles"; perhaps new technologies that permit people to jack their brains into the network for diversion (but how long before people become desensitized to that?). Will there be a "spiritual" revolution that is not attached to current dogmatic religions, that values having less, sharing more, cooperating with others, etc.? Hard to say.

Anyway, it's coming, yet very few policy makers are talking about it. I'll bet the Pentagon is planning for this scenario, among others.

In twenty years – maybe a few more – we should be able to begin to migrate away from earth. It will probably be a LONG time before extra-earth settlements are feasible and sustainable. That said, we here on earth are going to have our hands full.

Can humanity somehow find ways to overcome its wired propensity for status reflected by material wealth, and somehow change that status-seeking to a sharing model that is not top-down?

I've been pondering this for a while. People much smarter than I will hopefully lead the way. We have our work cut out for us.

I don't have any answers

[Aug 11, 2018] Rudy Giuliani declares that Russiagate probe will blow up in Mueller's own face (VIDEO)

Aug 11, 2018 | theduran.com

This segment is interesting theatre, especially considering that Mr. Giuliani is acting as President Trump's attorney on the Russiagate matter, and that he is going public about anything at all having to do with the investigation and its case, in full knowledge that anything he says publicly will be noted. Nevertheless, "America's Mayor" made several very strong assertions:

These and other points are included in Mr. Giuliani's responses in his discussion with Sean Hannity.

The question that would logically arise with such a set of claims is "why would this investigation even be happening in the first place, if it is only guaranteed to lose?"

And this question is what gives lie to the massive conspiracy of the Deep State and various powerful figures such as Bill Browder , the neo-con establishment, and secular humanist liberals, all banded together to stop President Trump at any cost from changing America's headlong plunge into the darkness of the soft tyranny of modern-day liberalism. Russia stands as the one great power in the world that declares with great strength that this group of people is wrong, and therefore, Russia, and anyone who wishes to grant her legitimacy – must be stopped.

A speculative question that next arises is this:

What happens when President Trump gets vindicated?

There is a massive power play in motion here, and the stakes are much higher than anyone cares to admit.

[Aug 11, 2018] President Trump the most important achivement

Highly recommended!
The FAKE NEWS media (failing @ nytimes , @ NBCNews , @ ABC , @ CBS , @ CNN ) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People! ~ Donald Trump
On Thursday, Mr. Trump expressed his distaste for journalists in more populist terms, saying, "much of the media in Washington, D.C., along with New York, Los Angeles in particular, speaks not for the people, but for the special interests."
"The public doesn't believe you people anymore," Mr. Trump added. "Now, maybe I had something to do with that. I don't know. But they don't believe you."
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC ..."
Aug 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

President Trump has denounced and exposed the repeated deceits and ongoing fabrications of the mass media. Never before has a President so forcefully identified the lies of the leading print and TV outlets. The NY Times , Washington Post , the Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC and CBS have been thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the larger public. They have lost legitimacy and trust. Where progressives have failed, a war monger billionaire has accomplished, speaking a truth to serve many injustices.

[Aug 11, 2018] US State Dept sanctions against Russia aimed at 'undercutting' Trump, analysts say

Aug 11, 2018 | www.legitgov.org

US State Dept sanctions against Russia aimed at 'undercutting' Trump, analysts say | 09 Aug 2018 | The US State Department decision to blame Russia for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal without any evidence amounts to "flicking matches in a gasoline-filled room," former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT.

The announcement of sanctions on Wednesday came despite the fact that the US is entirely aware that Russia was not responsible for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, UK in March, he said.

"This is a political demand... this is designed to undercut the overtures from the Trump administration for President Trump directly and also Senator Rand Paul - now in Moscow - to warm relations with Russia." Former Pentagon official Michael Maloof echoed that sentiment, telling RT that "you have Donald Trump's foreign policy and you now have the Trump administration's foreign policy."

He added that the sanctions are being orchestrated by the deep state to "make the president look bad and basically to corner him."

[ Exactly. Poisoning was likely executed by MI6 or CIA, to sabotage the US relationship with Russia at the behest of the Deep State .]

[Aug 10, 2018] Russia blasts new US sanctions as 'theatre of the absurd'

Aug 10, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

Russian officials reacted with outrage and markets slumped on Thursday morning following the announcement of tough new US sanctions over Russia's alleged use of a nerve agent in the Salisbury attack.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the sanctions were "absolutely unlawful and don't conform to international law", as politicians vowed to respond with countermeasures, which could include bans on the exports of rockets or resources for manufacturing.

"The theatre of the absurd continues," tweeted Dmitry Polyanskiy, first deputy permanent representative of Russia to the UN. "No proofs, no clues, no logic, no presumption of innocence, just highly-likelies. Only one rule: blame everything on Russia, no matter how absurd and fake it is. Let us welcome the United Sanctions of America!"

One senior Russian MP called the US a "police state".

A member of the Duma's foreign affairs committee, Leonid Slutsky, said Russia could block exports of RD-180 rocket engines to the US as a potential countermeasure, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The United States announced on Wednesday that it would impose restrictions on the export of sensitive technology to Russia because of its use of a nerve agent in the attempted murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain.

The State Department said the new sanctions would come into effect on 22 August and would be followed by much more sweeping measures, such as suspending diplomatic relations and revoking Aeroflot landing rights, if Russia did not take "remedial" action within 90 days.

Moscow is not expected to agree to the response required by US legislation, which includes opening up Russian scientific and security facilities to international inspections to assess whether it is producing chemical and biological weapons in violation of international law.

"Certainly it is really up to Russia to make that decision, whether they meet this criteria," a senior administration official said. "The second round of sanctions are in general more draconian than the first round."

Another senior state department official said the US received in March "persuasive information" from the UK that Russia was behind the attack. It made its own determination last weekend and was now acting on the basis of "objective facts" and "legal requirements".

Russian markets took the news poorly. Stocks in Aeroflot, the country's national carrier, fell by 12% in trading before lunchtime on Thursday over concerns that its direct flights between Russia and the US could be halted entirely.

Russia's currency, the rouble, fell to below 66 to the US dollar, a 4% slide from Wednesday morning that began with the leak of a separate draft sanctions bill that could see Russia named a state sponsor of terror.

The US has already expelled 60 suspected Russian spies as part of a global response to the March attack in Salisbury against Sergei Skripal , a former colonel in Russian military intelligence, and his daughter, Yulia , in which a rare and potent Russian-made nerve agent, novichok, was found to have been used.

[Aug 10, 2018] Russian Ruble Leads World Currency Losses on New U.S. Sanctions

Notable quotes:
"... Earlier, Russia's Kommersant newspaper posted the draft introduced last week by a bipartisan group of legislators. The bill includes proposals to sanction new sovereign debt and block dollar transactions of the nation's biggest lenders. The bill includes proposals to sanction new sovereign debt and block dollar transactions of the nation's biggest lenders. ..."
"... Traders are particularly concerned by a clause that calls for prohibiting "all transactions in all property and interests in property" of some of the country's largest lenders. Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Promsvyazbank, Rosselkhozbank and Vnesheconombank are listed. ..."
"... The bill also seeks penalties on energy projects and a survey of President Vladimir Putin's net worth. It follows reports of Russia's ongoing efforts to sway U.S. elections, new efforts to hack U.S. senators, and intelligence agencies' conclusion that Russia sought to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. ..."
Aug 10, 2018 | www.bloomberg.com

Earlier, Russia's Kommersant newspaper posted the draft introduced last week by a bipartisan group of legislators. The bill includes proposals to sanction new sovereign debt and block dollar transactions of the nation's biggest lenders. The bill includes proposals to sanction new sovereign debt and block dollar transactions of the nation's biggest lenders.

"The Kommersant publication was the straw that broke the camel's back," said Denis Davydov, an analyst at Nordea Bank in Moscow. "It's important to be able to read and assess the actual bill."

Market Jitters

No action will be taken on the draft until the House is back from summer recess in September, leaving room for more market jitters through the end of the month. But with President Donald Trump calling for closer ties with Russia, and the U.S. Treasury warning earlier this year against sanctioning the sovereign debt market, it's uncertain the bill will make it into law.

Traders are particularly concerned by a clause that calls for prohibiting "all transactions in all property and interests in property" of some of the country's largest lenders. Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Promsvyazbank, Rosselkhozbank and Vnesheconombank are listed.

The draft also includes Bank of Moscow, which was merged into VTB in 2016, while Vnesheconombank is listed twice in the text, without explanation.

'Crushing Russia'

"If you start crushing Russia by causing the banking system to collapse as a result of sanctions, it could actually lead to worse political outcomes than what you have right now," Khan said. "The key rule of sanctions is that you want to keep some in reserve because if you use your worst sanctions then what do you follow it up with?"

The bill also seeks penalties on energy projects and a survey of President Vladimir Putin's net worth. It follows reports of Russia's ongoing efforts to sway U.S. elections, new efforts to hack U.S. senators, and intelligence agencies' conclusion that Russia sought to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

Lawmakers from both parties have also been sharply critical of President Donald Trump's meeting with Putin in Helsinki last month, saying Trump hasn't done enough to hold Russia accountable.

[Aug 10, 2018] US slanders Russia with new sanctions over Skripal poisoning hoax

This is attack on ruble. Kind of Magnitsky II set of moves. Strange if view of Trump supposed attempt to split Russia and China in Helsinki. You should chose a single target in such cases.
Sanctions weaken the effect of Iranian sanctions. While the goal is to undermine the Russian economy -- the effect of negative expectations is always stronger than a onetime action -- 90 days allow to avoid big financial losses for major banks. The requirement of inspection of Russia objects is from Iraq war textbook.
Notable quotes:
"... Russian Ruble has fallen to a new 2018 low against the American dollar. Trading went over 66 rubles to the dollar. ..."
"... This marks almost a 20% devaluation in the currency since April of this year, and the worst valuation since mid-November, 2016. ..."
"... For our part, we reiterated our principle [sic] stands on the events in the UK, which the Embassy had been outlining in corresponding letters to the State Department. We confirmed that we continue to strongly stand for an open and transparent investigation of the crime committed in Salisbury and for bringing the culprits to justice , ..."
"... This pattern of throwing out destructive slander while refusing to provide opportunity for a real answer has permeated American policy towards the Russian Federation with increasing intensity since 2013. ..."
Aug 10, 2018 | theduran.com
sanctions was apparently enough to create jitters on the Russian stock exchanges, and the Russian Ruble has fallen to a new 2018 low against the American dollar. Trading went over 66 rubles to the dollar.

This marks almost a 20% devaluation in the currency since April of this year, and the worst valuation since mid-November, 2016.

This incident has not gone unanswered in Moscow. The Russian Embassy in the United States called for documentation about the source and reasoning behind these new sanctions, as reported by TASS:

The Russian embassy in the United States has called on the US Department of State to publish correspondence on the introduction of new sanctions on Moscow over the Skripal incident, the embassy said in a statement.

" For our part, we reiterated our principle [sic] stands on the events in the UK, which the Embassy had been outlining in corresponding letters to the State Department. We confirmed that we continue to strongly stand for an open and transparent investigation of the crime committed in Salisbury and for bringing the culprits to justice , " the statement reads.

"We suggested publishing our correspondence on this issue. No answer has followed so far," the Russian embassy added.

This pattern of throwing out destructive slander while refusing to provide opportunity for a real answer has permeated American policy towards the Russian Federation with increasing intensity since 2013. It reveals the machinations of a very divided American government, with the "deep State" or establishment politicians and foreign policy makers completely unwilling to even give Russia a fair shake at representing itself. This policy is shared by the United Kingdom, as this piece by The Duran's Editor in Chief, Alexander Mercouris shows, with this summary of violations of due process the British authorities are committing with regard to Russia:

(1) The British government is interfering in the conduct of a criminal investigation, with Prime Minister Theresa May and especially Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pointing fingers at who they say is guilty (Russia) whilst the criminal investigation is still underway;

(2) The British government has said that unless Russia proves itself innocent within a specific time the British government will conclude that it is guilty. As I have explained previously this reverses the burden of proof : in a criminal case it is the prosecution which is supposed to prove the defendant's guilt, not the defendant who must prove his innocence;

(3) The British government refuses to share with Russia -- the party it says is guilty -- the 'evidence' upon which it says it has concluded that Russia is guilty, the evidence in this case being a sample of the chemical with which it says Sergey and Yulia Skripal was poisoned.

This violates the fundamental principle that the defendant must be provided with all the evidence against him so that he can properly prepare his defence;

(4) The British government is not following the procedure set out in Article IX (2) of the Chemical Weapons Convention to which both Britain and Russia are parties. This reads as follows

States Parties should, whenever possible, first make every effort to clarify and resolve, through exchange of information and consultations among themselves, any matter which may cause doubt about compliance with this Convention, or which gives rise to concerns about a related matter which may be considered ambiguous. A State Party which receives a request from another State Party for clarification of any matter which the requesting State Party believes causes such a doubt or concern shall provide the requesting State Party as soon as possible, but in any case not later than ten days after the request, with information sufficient to answer the doubt or concern raised along with an explanation of how the information provided resolves the matter.

(5) The British authorities are denying the Russians consular access to Yulia Skripal, though she is a Russian citizen who the British authorities say was subjected to a criminal assault on their territory.

This is a potentially serious matter since by preventing consular access to Yulia Skripal the British authorities are not only violating the interstate consular arrangements which exist between Britain and Russia, but they are preventing the Russian authorities from learning more about the condition of one of their citizens who has been hospitalised following a violent criminal assault, and are preventing the Russian authorities from carrying out their own investigation into the assault on one of their citizens which the British authorities say has taken place.

I would add that this obstruction of Russian consular access to Yulia Skripal has gone almost entirely unreported in the British and Western media.

The Americans are playing the same game here, and, regrettably, President Trump's overtures towards repairing this relationship are almost sure to be torn out from under him by the actions of this virulent group of people. It is quite possible that this is the very reason for these new sanctions.

The perspective of the American government as one divided, with a rabid force in favor of continuing to isolate and vilify a great power in the world for no good reason, is sure to have repercussions. However, given the gradual realignment of Russia and China to be in closer and closer partnership, and Russia's increasing prominence in Asian and Eastern Hemisphere affairs, the end result of this behavior is likely to damage the United States and its standing in the world over the long run.

Shadow1275 Thu, 08/09/2018 - 23:21 Permalink

The National Socialist Workers Party:

1. Implemented Health care

2. Outlawed firearms

3. Froze Wages

4. Focused on government work projects

5. Implemented controls on Free Speech

6. Focused on violence through brownshirt stormtroopers who beat up any who disagreed

7. Had an intelligence service which focused on crushing dissent and spying on its own people

8. Placed more power in the central government and state then any Nation before it.

All of the above are things proposed or carried out by leftists. It is almost as if the true parties espoused by people are those who support individualism and those who support collectivism. Spoiler alert for the Leftist retards: Power corrupts and Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Your Statist Sanders Utopia will never come to fruition. The "Kind Socialist Politicians" will sell you out to the elite in a heartbeat.

All you are doing is focusing the power of your society into one single glass for the Elite to sip as they assfuck you into oblivion, Death toll of all of these Statist Nations, IE Imperial Japan, Soviet Union, Communist China, the People's "Republic" of Korea, etc is over 200,000,000 and counting.

How is it that the acronym NAZI Literally has the word SOCIALIST in it and people still think they were right wing??? Why is this such a hard concept to grasp for the average individual?

.....And how is Trump like Hitler exactly???????

[Aug 10, 2018] I think one of Mueller s deeply embedded character flaws is that once he decides on burying someone he becomes possessed

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 10, 2018] Butina Case Neo-McCarthyism Engulfs America

Several US lobbing organizations leadership should probably also be arrested if the same criteria is applied...
Aug 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Phillip Giraldi via The Stratgeic Culture Foundation,

The United States Department of Justice would apparently have you believe that the Kremlin sought to subvert the five-million-member strong National Rifle Association (NRA) by having two Russian citizens take out life memberships in the organization with the intention of corrupting it and turning it into a mouthpiece for President Vladimir Putin.

Both of the Russians – Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin – have, by the way, long well documented histories as advocates for gun ownership and were founders of Right to Bear Arms, which is not an intelligence front organization of some kind and is rather a genuine lobbying group with an active membership and agenda.

Contrary to what has been reported in the mainstream media, Russians can own guns but the licensing and registration procedures are long and complicated, which Right to Bear Arms, modeling itself on the NRA, is seeking to change.

Maria Butina, a graduate student at American University, is now in solitary confinement in a federal prison, having been charged with collusion with Torshin and failure to register as an agent of the Russian Federation. It is unusual to arrest and confine someone who has failed to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, but she has not been granted bail because, as a Russian citizen, she is considered to be a "flight risk," likely to try to flee the US and return home. It is to be presumed that she is being pressured to identify others involved in her alleged scheme to overthrow American democracy through NRA membership.

Indeed, in any event, it would be difficult to imagine why anyone would consider the NRA to be a legitimate intelligence target. It only flexes its admitted powerful legislative muscles over issues relating to gun ownership, not regarding policy on Russia. In short, Butina and by extension Torshin appear to have done nothing wrong. Both are energetic advocates for their country and guns rights, which they appear to believe in, and Butina's aggressive networking has broken no law except not registering, which in itself assumes that she is a Russian government agent, something that has not been demonstrated. To put the shoe on the other foot, will every American who now travels to Russia and engages in political conversations with local people be suspected of acting as an agent of the US government? Once you open the door, it swings both ways.

One might dismiss the entire Affair Butina as little more than a reflection of the anti-Russia hysteria that has been sweeping the United States since Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election, but that would be unfair to those remaining honest FBI agents who may have investigated Butina and Torshin and come up with what they believed to be a plausible case for an indictment . There were possibly suspicious money transfers as well as email intercepts that might be interpreted as incriminating.

But two important elements are clearly missing.

The first is motive. Did the Kremlin seriously believe that it could get anything substantial out of having a gun totin' attractive young Russian woman as a life member in the NRA? What did the presumed puppet masters in Moscow expect to obtain apart from the sorts of group photos including Butina that one gets while posing with politicians at the annual NRA convention? Sure, the photo might even evolve into a cup of coffee together, but what is the end game?

Second is the lack of any of the hallmarks of an intelligence operation, which is referred to in the business as tradecraft. Spies meet secretly or at least outside the public eye with prospective agents whereas Maria operated completely in the open and she made no effort to conceal her love for her country and her desire that Washington and Moscow normalize relations. Spies also communicate securely, which means that they use encrypted systems or various cut-outs, i.e. mis-directions, when maintaining contact with those who are running them. Again, Maria did none of that, which is why the FBI has her emails. Also spies work under what is referred to as an "operating directive" in CIA-speak where they have very specific information that they seek to obtain from their contacts. There is no indication that Maria Butina in any way sought classified information or intelligence that would relate either to the security of the United States or to America's political system. And finally, Maria made no attempt to recruit anyone and turn them into an actual controlled Russian agent, which is what spies eventually seek to do.

It has come down to this: if you are a Russian and you are caught talking to anyone in any way influential, there is potentially hell to pay because the FBI will be watching you. You are automatically assumed to be part of a conspiracy. Once "evidence" is collected, you will be indicted and sent to prison, mostly to send a message to Moscow.

It is the ultimate irony that how the old Soviet Union's judiciary used to function is now becoming standing operating procedure in the United States.

[Aug 09, 2018] Pompeo Slaps On Major Russia Sanctions...Over Unproven UK Poisoning!

Aug 09, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Aug. 9 - Is Pompeo launching a coup against his boss? By kicking in sanctions on Russia - invoking a 1991 US law on chemical weapons - the US State Department is further poisoning President Trump's efforts to improve relations with his Russian counterpart. If President Trump refuses to enforce the sanctions, he will hand a political gift to Democrats who believe their election fortunes in November rest on endlessly screaming "Russia, Russia, Russia." And what are these new sanctions all about? The totally unproven, full-of-holes claims that the Russian government was behind the Skripal "poisoning" in the UK in March. We untangle some of this madness in today's Liberty Report:

[Aug 09, 2018] 'No surprise if Moscow recalls ambassador' Russia will lash out against new sanctions, say experts

Notable quotes:
"... "When will you finally stop beating your wife?" ..."
"... "Russia can't admit what it hasn't done. It's as if the US is asking Russia, 'Show us your Yeti' and if you don't we will punish you. There are literally no facilities to even show," ..."
"... "The very way that the conditions of dropping the sanctions are posed by the US –we will abandon them if you confess your sins and repent– is so humiliating and unacceptable that any response will have to be very firm," ..."
"... "Historically, under the current leadership Russia can never do two things. It can never move from officially stated positions on certain international issues and incidents – for example, on Skripal. Russia is not going to turn around and say 'Sorry, we actually did poison him,'" ..."
"... "And secondly, Vladimir Putin will never agree to any unilateral concessions. Any previous offers Moscow has made are always on a quid-pro-quo basis," ..."
"... "This is an attempt to make a statement from the US establishment – to show who is boss in international politics. Over the last two or three years the role of the US as the commander-in-chief of world affairs has been cast into doubt, and Russia has been chosen as the whipping boy as Washington tries to reassert control," ..."
"... "looking strong on Russia" ..."
"... "The people putting these sanctions forward aren't aware of the international consequences. First and foremost, they are driven by a desire to play to their domestic audience, particularly with the midterms coming up. Showing you are not beholden to Russia is a campaign move," ..."
"... "As the saying goes, when you don't know what to do, do what you know. The international situation is such that no side can expect to back down without losses. Everyone knows that sanctions don't work. But it is a simple tool, easy to understand, and one that has been widely used before by the US. It is almost a reflex reaction by now." ..."
"... "It is clear that if it wasn't going to be the Skripals, it would be something else. Sanctions have become a tool in economic and trade wars, and no one is bothering to hide this," ..."
Aug 09, 2018 | www.rt.com

Washington's latest sanctions have left no room for a constructive response from Moscow, analysts explain, but opinions differ widely on how much the measures will affect relations between the two countries. All interviewed by RT railed against the framing of the sanctions, nominally prompted by the alleged use of chemical weapons against the Skripals in the UK back in March. Russia will be punished with a first set of measures from August 22, and is given 90 days to assure Washington that it will no longer deploy chemical weapons, and to open up its chemical production facilities to international inspectors.

One problem: Russia denies that it has used chemical weapons in the first place and says that it had already disposed of its stockpile in accordance with international treaties. So, to use the proverbial example, the US is asking Russia: "When will you finally stop beating your wife?"

READ MORE: Sanctioning Russia for false link to UK poisonings 'unacceptable & unlawful' – Kremlin

"Russia can't admit what it hasn't done. It's as if the US is asking Russia, 'Show us your Yeti' and if you don't we will punish you. There are literally no facilities to even show," Vladimir Kornilov, a political analyst for RIA news agency, told RT.

Read more US State Dept sanctions against Russia aimed at 'undercutting' Trump, analysts say

"The very way that the conditions of dropping the sanctions are posed by the US –we will abandon them if you confess your sins and repent– is so humiliating and unacceptable that any response will have to be very firm," said Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council.

Leonid Polyakov, from the Higher School of Economics, says that Washington must be aware that the Kremlin would never agree to its conditions, so setting them in the first place is a cheap pretense at diplomacy.

"Historically, under the current leadership Russia can never do two things. It can never move from officially stated positions on certain international issues and incidents – for example, on Skripal. Russia is not going to turn around and say 'Sorry, we actually did poison him,'" he told RT.

"And secondly, Vladimir Putin will never agree to any unilateral concessions. Any previous offers Moscow has made are always on a quid-pro-quo basis," Polyakov pointed out, citing the recent offer by the Russian president to allow the questioning of its citizens involved in alleged election-meddling, but only in exchange for William Browder and others being interviewed by Moscow's investigators.

US 'showing who's boss' or playing to home audience?

All three experts agreed that not only will the sanctions be rejected, but they are unlikely to have any indirect effect on Russia's international policies, or its economic outlook.

So, why implement them at all?

Read more © Regis Duvignau Russia to retaliate if Washington bans Aeroflot flights to US

Kortunov says this is an attempt to claw back international prestige, particularly in the wake of the US failure to impose its will in Syria, fraying relations with Europe and China, and Donald Trump's perceived softness in negotiating with Putin in Helsinki last month.

"This is an attempt to make a statement from the US establishment – to show who is boss in international politics. Over the last two or three years the role of the US as the commander-in-chief of world affairs has been cast into doubt, and Russia has been chosen as the whipping boy as Washington tries to reassert control," Kortunov said.

For Polyakov, this is all about "looking strong on Russia" ahead of October's mid-term elections.

"The people putting these sanctions forward aren't aware of the international consequences. First and foremost, they are driven by a desire to play to their domestic audience, particularly with the midterms coming up. Showing you are not beholden to Russia is a campaign move," he said to RT.

The professor of political science adds that a lack of ideas over how to corral a feisty Russia is pushing American officials to press the sanctions button again and again.

"As the saying goes, when you don't know what to do, do what you know. The international situation is such that no side can expect to back down without losses. Everyone knows that sanctions don't work. But it is a simple tool, easy to understand, and one that has been widely used before by the US. It is almost a reflex reaction by now."

Yet Kornilov believes that sanctions are not just a shield for a beleaguered establishment, but an offensive weapon.

"It is clear that if it wasn't going to be the Skripals, it would be something else. Sanctions have become a tool in economic and trade wars, and no one is bothering to hide this," he said.

Can things get worse?

Since hostility between Moscow and Washington is at a post-war high as it is, Polyakov believes it will be impractical for the two nuclear powers to escalate tensions still further, beyond the headlines.

[Aug 08, 2018] Ten Bombshell Revelations From Seymour Hersh's New Autobiography

Highly recommended!
Aug 08, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Here are ten bombshell revelations and fascinating new details to lately come out of both Sy Hersh's new book, Reporter , as well as interviews he's given since publication...

1) On a leaked Bush-era intelligence memo outlining the neocon plan to remake the Middle East

(Note: though previously alluded to only anecdotally by General Wesley Clark in his memoir and in a 2007 speech , the below passage from Seymour Hersh is to our knowledge the first time this highly classified memo has been quoted . Hersh's account appears to corroborate now retired Gen. Clark's assertion that days after 9/11 a classified memo outlining plans to foster regime change in "7 countries in 5 years" was being circulated among intelligence officials.)

From Reporter: A Memoir pg. 306 -- A few months after the invasion of Iraq, during an interview overseas with a general who was director of a foreign intelligence service, I was provided with a copy of a Republican neocon plan for American dominance in the Middle East. The general was an American ally, but one who was very rattled by the Bush/Cheney aggression. I was told that the document leaked to me initially had been obtained by someone in the local CIA station. There was reason to be rattled: The document declared that the war to reshape the Middle East had to begin "with the assault on Iraq. The fundamental reason for this... is that the war will start making the U.S. the hegemon of the Middle East. The correlative reason is to make the region feel in its bones, as it were, the seriousness of American intent and determination." Victory in Iraq would lead to an ultimatum to Damascus, the "defanging" of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization, and other anti-Israeli groups. America's enemies must understand that "they are fighting for their life: Pax Americana is on its way, which implies their annihilation." I and the foreign general agreed that America's neocons were a menace to civilization.

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

* * *

2) On early regime change plans in Syria

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 306-307 -- Donald Rumsfeld was also infected with neocon fantasy. Turkey had refused to permit America's Fourth Division to join the attack of Iraq from its territory, and the division, with its twenty-five thousand men and women, did not arrive in force inside Iraq until mid-April, when the initial fighting was essentially over. I learned then that Rumsfeld had asked the American military command in Stuttgart, Germany, which had responsibility for monitoring Europe, including Syria and Lebanon, to begin drawing up an operational plan for an invasion of Syria. A young general assigned to the task refused to do so, thereby winning applause from my friends on the inside and risking his career. The plan was seen by those I knew as especially bizarre because Bashar Assad, the ruler of secular Syria, had responded to 9/11 by sharing with the CIA hundreds of his country's most sensitive intelligence files on the Muslim Brotherhood in Hamburg, where much of the planning for 9/11 was carried out... Rumsfeld eventually came to his senses and back down, I was told...

3) On the Neocon deep state which seized power after 9/11

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 305-306 -- I began to comprehend that eight or nine neoconservatives who were political outsiders in the Clinton years had essentially overthrown the government of the United States -- with ease . It was stunning to realize how fragile our Constitution was. The intellectual leaders of that group -- Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle -- had not hidden their ideology and their belief in the power of the executive but depicted themselves in public with a great calmness and a self-assurance that masked their radicalism . I had spent many hours after 9/11 in conversations with Perle that, luckily for me, helped me understand what was coming. (Perle and I had been chatting about policy since the early 1980s, but he broke off relations in 1993 over an article I did for The New Yorker linking him, a fervent supporter of Israel, to a series of meetings with Saudi businessmen in an attempt to land a multibillion-dollar contract from Saudi Arabia . Perle responded by publicly threatening to sue me and characterizing me as a newspaper terrorist. He did not sue.

Meanwhile, Cheney had emerged as a leader of the neocon pack. From 9/11 on he did all he could to undermine congressional oversight. I learned a great deal from the inside about his primacy in the White House , but once again I was limited in what I would write for fear of betraying my sources...

I came to understand that Cheney's goal was to run his most important military and intelligence operations with as little congressional knowledge, and interference, as possible. I was fascinating and important to learn what I did about Cheney's constant accumulation of power and authority as vice president , but it was impossible to even begin to verify the information without running the risk that Cheney would learn of my questioning and have a good idea from whom I was getting the information.

4) On Russian meddling in the US election

From the recent Independent interview based on his autobiography -- Hersh has vociferously strong opinions on the subject and smells a rat. He states that there is "a great deal of animosity towards Russia. All of that stuff about Russia hacking the election appears to be preposterous." He has been researching the subject but is not ready to go public yet.

Hersh quips that the last time he heard the US defense establishment have high confidence, it was regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He points out that the NSA only has moderate confidence in Russian hacking. It is a point that has been made before; there has been no national intelligence estimate in which all 17 US intelligence agencies would have to sign off. "When the intel community wants to say something they say it High confidence effectively means that they don't know."

5) On the Novichok poisoning

From the recent Independent interview -- Hersh is also on the record as stating that the official version of the Skripal poisoning does not stand up to scrutiny. He tells me: "The story of novichok poisoning has not held up very well. He [Skripal] was most likely talking to British intelligence services about Russian organised crime." The unfortunate turn of events with the contamination of other victims is suggestive, according to Hersh, of organised crime elements rather than state-sponsored actions –though this files in the face of the UK government's position.

Hersh modestly points out that these are just his opinions. Opinions or not, he is scathing on Obama – "a trimmer articulate [but] far from a radical a middleman". During his Goldsmiths talk, he remarks that liberal critics underestimate Trump at their peril.

He ends the Goldsmiths talk with an anecdote about having lunch with his sources in the wake of 9/11 . He vents his anger at the agencies for not sharing information. One of his CIA sources fires back: "Sy you still don't get it after all these years – the FBI catches bank robbers, the CIA robs banks." It is a delicious, if cryptic aphorism.

* * *

6) On the Bush-era 'Redirection' policy of arming Sunni radicals to counter Shia Iran, which in a 2007 New Yorker article Hersh accurately predicted would set off war in Syria

From the Independent interview : [Hersh] tells me it is "amazing how many times that story has been reprinted" . I ask about his argument that US policy was designed to neutralize the Shia sphere extending from Iran to Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon and hence redraw the Sykes-Picot boundaries for the 21st century.

He goes on to say that Bush and Cheney "had it in for Iran", although he denies the idea that Iran was heavily involved in Iraq: "They were providing intel, collecting intel The US did many cross-border hunts to kill ops [with] much more aggression than Iran"...

He believes that the Trump administration has no memory of this approach. I'm sure though that the military-industrial complex has a longer memory...

I press him on the RAND and Stratfor reports including one authored by Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz in which they envisage deliberate ethno-sectarian partitioning of Iraq . Hersh ruefully states that: "The day after 9/11 we should have gone to Russia. We did the one thing that George Kennan warned us never to do – to expand NATO too far."

* * *

7) On the official 9/11 narrative

From the Independent interview : We end up ruminating about 9/11, perhaps because it is another narrative ripe for deconstruction by sceptics. Polling shows that a significant proportion of the American public believes there is more to the truth. These doubts have been reinforced by the declassification of the suppressed 28 pages of the 9/11 commission report last year undermining the version that a group of terrorists acting independently managed to pull off the attacks. The implication is that they may well have been state-sponsored with the Saudis potentially involved.

Hersh tells me: "I don't necessarily buy the story that Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. We really don't have an ending to the story. I've known people in the [intelligence] community. We don't know anything empirical about who did what" . He continues: "The guy was living in a cave. He really didn't know much English. He was pretty bright and he had a lot of hatred for the US. We respond by attacking the Taliban. Eighteen years later How's it going guys?"

8) On the media and the morality of the powerful

From a recent The Intercept interview and book review -- If Hersh were a superhero, this would be his origin story. Two hundred and seventy-four pages after the Chicago anecdote, he describes his coverage of a massive slaughter of Iraqi troops and civilians by the U.S. in 1991 after a ceasefire had ended the Persian Gulf War. America's indifference to this massacre was, Hersh writes, "a reminder of the Vietnam War's MGR, for Mere Gook Rule: If it's a murdered or raped gook, there is no crime." It was also, he adds, a reminder of something else: "I had learned a domestic version of that rule decades earlier" in Chicago. "Reporter" demonstrates that Hersh has derived three simple lessons from that rule:

  1. The powerful prey mercilessly upon the powerless, up to and including mass murder.
  2. The powerful lie constantly about their predations.
  3. The natural instinct of the media is to let the powerful get away with it.

* * *

... ... ...

[Aug 08, 2018] The Utility of the RussiaGate Conspiracy

Images deleted...
Notable quotes:
"... The election of Donald Trump came as a shock to many ( Independent , 11/5/16 ). ..."
"... The Washington Post ( 11/24/16 ) was one of the first media outlets to blame the election results on Russian "fake news." ..."
"... Thomas Friedman ( Morning Joe , 2/14/18 ) pointedly compared email hacking to events that the US responded to with major wars. ..."
"... Outlets like Slate ( 5/11/18 ) warned of a sinister connection between Black Lives Matter and Russia. ..."
"... "We are at war," Morgan Freeman assures us on behalf of the Committee to Investigate Russia. ..."
Jul 27, 2018 | fair.org

New McCarthyism allows corporate media to tighten grip, Democrats to ignore their own failings Alan MacLeod

The election of Donald Trump came as a shock to many ( Independent , 11/5/16 ).

To the shock of many, Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential elections, becoming the 45th president of the United States. Not least shocked were corporate media, and the political establishment more generally; the Princeton Election Consortium confidently predicted an over 99 percent chance of a Clinton victory, while MSNBC 's Rachel Maddow ( 10/17/16 ) said it could be a "Goldwater-style landslide."

Indeed, Hillary Clinton and her team actively attempted to secure a Trump primary victory, assured that he would be the easiest candidate to beat. The Podesta emails show that her team considered even before the primaries that associating Trump with Vladimir Putin and Russia would be a winning strategy and employed the tactic throughout 2016 and beyond.

With Clinton claiming , "Putin would rather have a puppet as president," Russia was by far the most discussed topic during the presidential debates ( FAIR.org , 10/13/16 ), easily eclipsing healthcare, terrorism, poverty and inequality. Media seized upon the theme, with Paul Krugman ( New York Times , 7/22/16 ) asserting Trump would be a " Siberian candidate," while ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden ( Washington Post , 5/16/16 ) claimed Trump would be Russia's "useful fool."

The day after the election, Jonathan Allen's book Shattered detailed, Clinton's team decided that the proliferation of Russian-sponsored "fake news" online was the primary reason for their loss.

Within weeks, the Washington Post ( 11/24/16 ) was publicizing the website PropOrNot.com , which purports to help users differentiate sources as fake or genuine, as an invaluable tool in the battle against fake news ( FAIR.org , 12/1/16 , 12/8/16 ). The website soberly informs its readers that you see news sources critiquing the "mainstream media," the EU, NATO, Obama, Clinton, Angela Merkel or other centrists are a telltale sign of Russian propaganda. It also claims that when news sources argue against foreign intervention and war with Russia, that's evidence that you are reading Kremlin-penned fake news.

The Washington Post ( 11/24/16 ) was one of the first media outlets to blame the election results on Russian "fake news."

PropOrNot claims it has identified over 200 popular websites that "routinely peddle Russian propaganda." Included in the list were Wikileaks , Trump-supporting right-wing websites like InfoWars and the Drudge Report , libertarian outlets like the Ron Paul Institute and Antiwar.com , and award-winning anti-Trump (but also Clinton-critical) left-wing sites like TruthDig and Naked Capitalism . Thus it was uniquely news sources that did not lie in the fairway between Clinton Democrats and moderate Republicans that were tarred as propaganda.

PropOrNot calls for an FBI investigation into the news sources listed. Even its creators see the resemblance to a new McCarthyism, as it appears as a frequently asked question on their website. (They say it is not McCarthyism, because "we are not accusing anyone of lawbreaking, treason, or 'being a member of the Communist Party.'") However, this new McCarthyism does not stem from the conservative right like before, but from the establishment center.

That the list is so evidently flawed and its creators refuse to reveal their identities or funding did not stop the issue becoming one of the most discussed in mainstream circles. Media talk of fake news sparked organizations like Google , Facebook , Bing and YouTube to change their algorithms, ostensibly to combat it.

However, one major effect of the change has been to hammer progressive outlets that challenge the status quo. The Intercept reported a 19 percent reduction in Google search traffic, AlterNet 63 percent and Democracy Now! 36 percent. Reddit and Twitter deleted thousands of accounts, while in what came to be called the "AdPocalypse," YouTube began demonetizing videos from independent creators like Majority Report and the Jimmy Dore Show on controversial political topics like environmental protests, war and mass shootings. (In contrast, corporate outlets like CNN did not have their content on those subjects demonetized.) Journalists that questioned aspects of the Russia narrative, like Glenn Greenwald and Aaron Maté, were accused of being agents of the Kremlin ( Shadowproof , 7/9/18 ).

The effect has been to pull away the financial underpinnings of alternative media that question the corporate state and capitalism in general, and to reassert corporate control over communication, something that had been loosened during the election in particular. It also impels liberal journalists to prove their loyalty by employing sufficiently bellicose and anti-Russian rhetoric, lest they also be tarred as Kremlin agents.

Thomas Friedman ( Morning Joe , 2/14/18 ) pointedly compared email hacking to events that the US responded to with major wars.

When it was reported in February that 13 Russian trolls had been indicted by a US grand jury for sharing and promoting pro-Trump and anti-Clinton memes on Facebook , the response was a general uproar. Multiple senior political figures declared it an "act of war." Clinton herself described Russian interference as a " cyber 9/11 ," while Thomas Friedman said that it was a " Pearl Harbor–scale event ." Morgan Freeman's viral video, produced by Rob Reiner's Committee to Investigate Russia, summed up the outrage: "We have been attacked," the actor declared ; "We are at war with Russia." Liberals declared Trump's refusal to react in a sufficiently aggressive manner further proof he was Putin's puppet.

The McCarthyist wave swept over other politicians that challenged the liberal center. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein refused to endorse the Russia narrative, leading mainstream figures like Rachel Maddow to insinuate she was a Kremlin stooge as well. After news broke that Stein's connection to Russia was being officially investigated, top Clinton staffer Zac Petkanas announced :

"Commentary" that succinctly summed up the political atmosphere.

In contrast, Bernie Sanders has consistently and explicitly endorsed the RussiaGate theory, claiming it is "clear to everyone (except Donald Trump) that Russia was deeply involved in the 2016 election and intends to be involved in 2018." Despite his stance, Sanders has also been constantly presented as another Russian agent, with the Washington Post ( 11/12/17 ) asking its readers, "When Russia interferes with the 2020 election on behalf of Democratic nominee Bernie Sanders, how will liberals respond?" The message is clear: The progressive wave rising across America is and will be a consequence of Russia, not of the failures of the system, nor of the Democrats.

Outlets like Slate ( 5/11/18 ) warned of a sinister connection between Black Lives Matter and Russia.

It is not just politicians who have been smeared as Russian agents, witting or unwitting; virtually every major progressive movement challenging the system is increasingly dismissed in the same way. Multiple media outlets, including CNN ( 6/29/18 ), Slate ( 5/11/18 ), Vox ( 4/11/18 ) and the New York Times ( 2/16/18 ), have produced articles linking Black Lives Matter to the Kremlin, insinuating the outrage over racist police brutality is another Russian psyop. Others claimed Russia funded the riots in Ferguson and that Russian trolls promoted the Standing Rock environmental protests.

Meanwhile, Democratic insider Neera Tanden retweeted a description of Chelsea Manning as a "Russian stooge," writing off her campaign for the Senate as "the Kremlin paying the extreme left to swing elections. Remember that." Thus corporate media are promoting the idea that any challenge to the establishment is likely a Kremlin-funded astroturf effort.

The tactic has spread to Europe as well. After the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, the UK government immediately blamed Russia and imposed sanctions (without publicly presenting evidence). Jeremy Corbyn, the pacifist, leftist leader of the Labour Party, was uncharacteristically bellicose, asserting , "The Russian authorities must be held to account on the basis of the evidence and our response must be both decisive and proportionate."

The British press was outraged -- at Corbyn's insufficient jingoism. The Sun 's front page ( 3/15/18 ) attacked him as "Putin's Puppet," while the Daily Mail ( 3/15/18 ) went with "Corbyn the Kremlin Stooge." As with Sanders, the fact that Corbyn endorsed the official narrative didn't keep him from being attacked, showing that the conspiratorial mindset seeing Russia behind everything has little to do with evidence-based reality, and is increasingly a tool to demonize the establishment's political enemies.

The Atlantic Council published a report claiming Greek political parties Syriza and Golden Dawn were not expressions of popular frustration and disillusionment, but "the Kremlin's Trojan horses," undermining democracy in its birthplace. Providing scant evidence, the report went on to link virtually every major European political party challenging the center, from right or left, to Putin. From Britian's UKIP to Spain's Podemos to Italy's Five Star Movement, all are charged with being under one man's control. It is this council that Facebook announced it was partnering with to help promote "trustworthy" news and weed out "untrustworthy" sources ( FAIR.org , 5/21/18 ), as its CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with representatives from some of the largest corporate outlets, like the New York Times , CNN and News Corp , to help develop a system to control what content we see on the website.

"We are at war," Morgan Freeman assures us on behalf of the Committee to Investigate Russia.

The utility of this wave of suspicion is captured in Freeman's aforementioned video . After asserting that "for 241 years, our democracy has been a shining example to the world of what we can all aspire to" -- a tally that would count nearly a century of chattel slavery and almost another hundred years of de jure racial disenfranchisement -- the actor explains that "Putin uses social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political process."

The obvious implication is that the political process and media ought to be trusted, and would be trusted were it not for Putin's propaganda. It was not the failures of capitalism and the deep inequalities it created that led to widespread popular resentment and movements on both left and right pressing for radical change across Europe and America, but Vladimir Putin himself. In other words, "America is already great."

For the Democrats, Russiagate allows them to ignore calls for change and not scrutinize why they lost to the most unpopular presidential candidate in history. Since Russia hacked the election, there is no need for introspection, and certainly no need to accommodate the Sanders wing or to engage with progressive challenges from activists on the left, who are Putin's puppets anyway. The party can continue on the same course, painting over the deep cracks in American society. Similarly, for centrists in Europe, under threat from both left and right, the Russia narrative allows them to sow distrust among the public for any movement challenging the dominant order.

For the state, Russiagate has encouraged liberals to forego their faculties and develop a state-worshiping, conspiratorial mindset in the face of a common, manufactured enemy. Liberal trust in institutions like the FBI has markedly increased since 2016, while liberals also now espouse a neocon foreign policy in Syria, Ukraine and other regions, with many supporting the vast increases in the US military budget and attacking Trump from the right.

For corporate media, too, the disciplining effect of the Russia narrative is highly useful, allowing them to reassert control over the means of communication under the guise of preventing a Russian "fake news" infiltration. News sources that challenge the establishment are censored, defunded or deranked, as corporate sources stoke mistrust of them. Meanwhile, it allows them to portray themselves as arbiters of truth. This strategy has had some success, with Democrats' trust in media increasing since the election.

None of this is to say that Russia does not strive to influence other countries' elections, a tactic that the United States has employed even more frequently ( NPR , 12/22/16 ). Yet the extent to which the story has dominated the US media to the detriment of other issues is a remarkable testament to its utility for those in power.

[Aug 08, 2018] Is Russia Facilitating Trump's Strangulation of Iran

Bloomberg article cited in Russia To Propose Rolling Back 1.8 Million Bpd Of Oil Cuts OilPrice.com is a rumor. Russians clearly understand that it was the USA who orchestrated 2014-2018 oil price slump which hurt Russia pretty severely with standard of living still not recovered to 2014 levels. There no trump toward the USA left. for russia the USA with its neocon foreign policy is now in a way "Great Satan" as it is for Iran.
Aug 08, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
put forward a proposal to OPEC to increase production by 1.8million barrels per day (bpd) – and, unusually, proposed that these increases were to start kicking in within weeks. In the end, a pact to increase production by 1 million barrels per day – spearheaded by Russia and Saudi Arabia – was agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC countries in late June. The rise was opposed by Iran, Iraq, Venezuela and Algeria, with Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh commenting ahead of the meeting that "OPEC is not the organization to receive instruction from President Trump OPEC is not part of the Department of Energy of the United States".

Within days of the adoption of the Russian-led production increase, the Trump administration announced its plans to "reduce Iranian oil exports to zero" by November 4th. Questioned on whether such a policy might cause disruption as countries scrambled to replace supplies, State Department policy director Brian Hooks remarked that "we are confident there is sufficient global spare oil capacity." Russia's push for increased production had, in effect, smoothed the path for the next round of Trump's strangulation of Iran. It was precisely this deal which lay behind Trump's brazen claim that world oil supplies would plug the gap created by the loss of Iranian crude; without the end to Russian-Saudi production limits, this would have been unthinkable. As things stand, however, all the pieces are in place for Trump to apply serious pressure on all importers of Iranian oil. Whilst the Russian-Saudi deal offers alternative sources of supply, the trade war now underway demonstrates Trump's willingness to use tariffs against those who do not bend to his geopolitical will. Whilst Trump has openly threatened sanctions against those who do not heed his call to end their dealings with Iran, it is quite possible that those who do heed it will be rewarded with tariff exemptions. China, in particular – Iran's biggest trading partner, and now threatened with tariffs on all $500bilion of their exports to the US – will be particularly under pressure.

On the surface, then, Russia's actions appear self-defeating. The end to the, hugely successful, production quotas of the previous 18 months immediately triggered a drop in oil prices – Russia's main export commodity – whilst facilitating the escalation of US economic warfare against key Russian ally Iran. Yet there are several reasons Russia may be supporting Trump's moves.

Most obviously, Iran is a major competitor with Russia for oil export markets – especially in Europe. European hopes to reduce dependence on Russian energy supplies are likely to be seriously dashed if they can no longer turn to Iran as an alternative supplier. Quite simply, Russia will sell more oil without Iranian competition.

More than this, however, even Trump's use of tariffs as leverage to push countries away from Iran could be to Russia's benefit. If Trump does indeed make tariff-free access to the US market conditional on cutting investment and trade with Iran, China would face a major dilemma.

China has for some years been not only Iran's major trading partner, but investment financier as well. In 2011, China signed a $20 billion agreement to boost bilateral cooperation in Iran's industrial and mining sectors. Today, China is poised to take over development of the massive South Pars oil and gas field should the French company TOTAL pull out, as they are widely expected to do, whilst a $3billion deal was recently signed giving SINOPEC the right to expand the Abadan oil refinery in Khuzestan Province. Meanwhile, reports Fox News , "With the U.S. Treasury putting pressure on Western banks to not make any deals with Iran, the Chinese state-owned CITIC bank is extending lines of credit worth $10 billion for Iranian banks. This funding will finance water, energy and transport projects. To bypass U.S. sanctions, the lines of credit will use euros and yuan currencies".

But most significant for Russia is the 2017 $1.5 billion deal made by the Chinese Export-Import Bank to finance a high-speed railway between Tehran and Mashhad. The railway is envisioned to become part of China's 'Belt and Road Initiative' , creating a high-speed transit route between central Asia and Europe that will shave weeks off current travel times.

This May – in a clear act of defiance to the US – China opened a new train line between China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Tehran, shortening travel time by 20 days compared to cargo ship. Once the full vision of a Chinese built high-tech, high-speed rail network across central Asia is realised, however, the current 'Northern route' through Russia is likely to be rendered all but redundant.

Could it be, then, that Russia sees it as in its own interests to facilitate Trump's quest to chase Chinese investment out of Iran in order to preserve its trade routes and access to European oil markets?

If so, it is likely to be disappointed. For Iran is central not only to the Belt and Road Initiative – China's multi-trillion, multi-decade long 'geoeconomic' programme – but also to its defence strategy. As correctly observed in a recent piece published by The Diplomat, "Iran constitutes [China's] true priority. China has nurtured bilateral relations with Tehran for decades, leveraging a common resentment toward Western dominance . This partnership has great geostrategic importance to both nations. Thanks to its oil and gas reserves, Iran could help Beijing withstand a U.S. attack on its SLOCs (Sea Lines of Communication)."

For China, much as it naturally seeks to avoid further punishment from the US, Iran is simply too important to be bargained away. Unfortunately not so, it seems, for Moscow. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Dan Glazebrook

[Aug 08, 2018] US addiction to sanctions knows no bounds – Iranian foreign minister

Notable quotes:
"... "[The] US' unlawful sanctions against two Turkish ministers – from an allied country – illustrates not just [the] US administration's policy of pressure and extortion in lieu of statecraft, but that its addiction to sanctions knows no bounds," ..."
"... "a victim of unfair and unjust detention" ..."
"... "an absence of evidence." ..."
"... "a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being." ..."
"... "any property, or interest in property" ..."
"... "US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them." ..."
"... "psychological warfare" ..."
"... "a strong and sincere ally." ..."
"... "won't be left without retaliation." ..."
Aug 02, 2018 | www.rt.com
The "addiction" of Washington to sanctions "knows no bounds," Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said. It comes after Washington slapped two top officials from major ally Turkey with restrictions. "[The] US' unlawful sanctions against two Turkish ministers – from an allied country – illustrates not just [the] US administration's policy of pressure and extortion in lieu of statecraft, but that its addiction to sanctions knows no bounds," Zarif tweeted.

US' unlawful sanctions against two Turkish ministers - from an allied country - illustrates not just US administration's policy of pressure and extortion in lieu of statecraft, but that its addiction to sanctions knows no bounds.

-- Javad Zarif (@JZarif) August 2, 2018

In a heightening of tensions between the two allies, the US Treasury Department on Wednesday announced restrictions against Turkish Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu over the continued detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Brunson is being held by Turkey on charges of espionage and assisting the plotters of an unsuccessful 2016 military coup attempt.

The US says Brunson is "a victim of unfair and unjust detention" by the Turkish government, adding that he was accused with "an absence of evidence." US President Donald Trump has called the pastor "a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being."
The Treasury Department announced that "any property, or interest in property" of both Gul and Soylu within US jurisdiction is blocked and "US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them."

Brunson's case has long been a stumbling block in already strained relations between Washington and Ankara. Days before the US Treasury announced its decision, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused his American counterpart of waging "psychological warfare" against Turkey over the pastor and warned that the US may lose "a strong and sincere ally."

Responding to the restrictions, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted that they "won't be left without retaliation."

US relations with Turkey have not been smooth in recent months. Among other things, Ankara and Washington are locking horns over Turkey's decision to buy Russian S-400 missile systems. Erdogan's government is also adamant on pushing ahead with the purchase of American F-35 jets, which US lawmakers are trying to block due to Ankara's S-400 deal.

Read more:

[Aug 08, 2018] George Stephanopoulos is trying to criminalize any contacts with Russia

Notable quotes:
"... STEPHANOPOULOS: And I gave you a chance to explain all the irregularities you thought you saw in the investigation. I asked you about that. You said no collusion. At first the White House said that there were no contacts with Russians. We now know there were at least 80 contacts. If the White House or anyone connected to the Trump campaign accepted information from the Russians, that could potentially be collusion. That would be -- that could be considered collusion, could be considered participating with a conspiracy. ..."
Aug 08, 2018 | crooksandliars.com

STEPHANOPOULOS: And I gave you a chance to explain all the irregularities you thought you saw in the investigation. I asked you about that. You said no collusion. At first the White House said that there were no contacts with Russians. We now know there were at least 80 contacts. If the White House or anyone connected to the Trump campaign accepted information from the Russians, that could potentially be collusion. That would be -- that could be considered collusion, could be considered participating with a conspiracy.

So that's also -- that's also the possibility of a legal violation there as well. But I do want to ask you about --

(CROSSTALK)

SEKULOW: -- in that allegation, though, you'd have to -- the -- the so-called collusion, which by the way is not a legal term, that's now what results in a -- a-- a issue of criminality. I mean, that's just one theory (ph). And by the way, you know, the phrasing here, especially at this late date is very important. So everyone is still talking about this collusion concept. And when Rudy Giuliani said collusion's not a crime, that was again rather unremarkable.

What was the fact? I mean what was the fact? Well the facts that we know is what is the violation or what violation has anybody put forward of an actual federal statute that's been violated by the – by the president of the United States?

And we've yet to seen (ph) it, and as I said, we've seen an awful lot of it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well that's one of the things that Robert Mueller's investigating. I agree with you on that.

[Aug 08, 2018] Exclusive Iran, then Turkey, as the Hot War Gains Ground in Washington

Notable quotes:
"... The recent hyperbolic exchange of threats between US President Donald Trump and his equal Iranian rank Hassan Rouhani, despite the obvious bad taste, has revealed an absolute truth: a potential new conflict against Iran could really have devastating outcomes not only for the Middle Eastern region but a