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Neoliberal war on reality

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false" ~ CIA Director William Casey (attributed)

"Empire of illusions": The  triumph of entertainment and fake  news under neoliberalism

News Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Recommended Links Media as a weapon of mass deception Lewis Powell Memo Deception as an art form
Groupthink Disciplined Minds Belief-coercion in high demand cults Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals
Neoliberal newspeak US and British media are servants of security apparatus British elite hypocrisy Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria Pathological Russophobia of the US elite
Corruption of the language Doublespeak Patterns of Propaganda Diplomacy by deception War propaganda Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Patterns of Propaganda Bullshit as MSM communication method Manipulation of the term "freedom of press" Identity politics as divide and conquer The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment
Color revolutions Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources What's the Matter with Kansas Understanding Mayberry Machiavellians  
Neo-fascism Nation under attack meme Nineteen Eighty-Four Manufactured consent Groupthink Big Uncle is Watching You
Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law
Soft propaganda Classic Papers Media Ownership Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

"The truth is that the newspaper is not a place for information to be given, rather it is just hollow content, or more than that, a provoker of content. If it prints lies about atrocities, real atrocities are the result."

Karl Kraus, 1914

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984

We are the world, we are exceptional, we cannot fail. The elite will lie, and the people will pretend to believe them. Heck about 20 percent of the American public will believe almost anything if it is wrapped with the right prejudice and appeal to passion. Have a pleasant evening.

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com, Feb 04, 2015


Introduction

In many respects, the media creates reality, so perhaps the most effective route toward changing reality runs through the media.  "Controlling the narrative" is the major form of neoliberal MSM war on reality. By providing "prepackaged" narrative for a particular world event and selectively suppressing alternative information channels that contraduct the official narrative, neoliberals control and channel emotions of people in the direction they want.  Often in the direction of yet another war for the expansion of the global neoliberal empire led from Washington, DC.

libezkova said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs...  January 29, 2017 at 08:31 AM  

Neoliberal MSM want to control the narrative. That's why "alternative facts" should be called an "alternative narrative". https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/09/controlling-the-narrative/?_r=0

== quote ==

Maybe this is the same kind of clinical detachment doctors have to cultivate, a way of distancing oneself from the subject, protecting yourself against a crippling empathy. I won’t say that writers or artists are more sensitive than other people, but it may be that they’re less able to handle their own emotions.

It may be that art, like drugs, is a way of dulling or controlling pain. Eloquently articulating a feeling is one way to avoid actually experiencing it.

Words are only symbols, noises or marks on paper, and turning the messy, ugly stuff of life into language renders it inert and manageable for the author, even as it intensifies it for the reader.

It’s a nerdy, sensitive kid’s way of turning suffering into something safely abstract, an object of contemplation.

I suspect most of the people who write all that furious invective on the Internet, professional polemicists and semiliterate commenters alike, are lashing out because they’ve been hurt — their sense of fairness or decency has been outraged, or they feel personally wounded or threatened.

It is hard to disagree with the notion which was put by several authors that American society is living  in a cocoon of illusion which conveniently isolates them from reality: entertainment and escapism infuse our society, economy, and political system with severe consequences. Among such authors are  Aldous Huxley. C. Wright Mills, Sheldon Wolin, Ralph Nader, Karl Polanyi, Jared Diamond, Paul Craig Roberts, Chris Hedge and several others. If we compare dystopias of Huxley and Orwell, and it clear that Huxley in his famous  New Brave World predicted the future much better:

"Huxley feared was that would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one... the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance."

The central idea here is that we now live as a society in which citizens become so distracted (and by extension detached) from reality that they lost any ability to influence their political or economic destiny. It is the same phenomenon that is described under the label of Inverted Totalitarism

This is one of the truly malevolent aspects of today's modern neoliberal world order and we need to confront it. It allows the old game of blaming the weak and the marginal, a staple of neo-fascist and despotic regimes; this illusion empower the dark undercurrents of sadism and violence in American society and deflect attention from the neoliberal financial vampires who have drained the blood of the country

"The tragedy is that we have become a screen culture, televisions, computers, phones, tablets, etc. Our electronic hallucinations have produced a society that has little time or patience for introspection or deep thinking. It reinforced my decision to maintain a television free life. For some, what Chris has to say may cut to close to the bone. But those with the courage to do so are usually the ones that care the most."

The biggest and most invisible elephant in the American psyche is this: our government has long since abandoned the goal of managing this nation as a nation. Instead, America as a nation is managed as a means to global empire.

For example the loss of the critical skills of literacy (seven million total illiterates, another 27 million unable to read well enough to complete a job application, and still another 50 million who read at a 4th-5th-grade level)  have led large part of the US population to become incapable of thinking for ourselves.

In fact they have become as malleable as children. 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a single book in a year.  Despite technology and internet access we are becoming a society of functionally ignorant and illiterate people.

For example there is widespread illusion of inclusion. This is the illusion that we are or will be included among the fortunate few because misfortune happens only to those who deserve it. There are plenty of people who understand that the corporate model is one in which there are squeezers and those who are to be squeezed. So the illusion of inclusion provides what can be called "a plantation morality" that exalts the insiders and denigrates the outsiders. Those content with this arrangement obviously view themselves as insiders even when they work for companies that are actively shedding employees. Many of these people are happy to be making good money for digging graves for others, never stopping to wonder if maybe someday one of those graves might be their own.

One of the first recorded metaphors which explained this phenomenon of substitution of reality with  illusion was Plato's tale about cave dwellers, who thought the shadows on the wall were the actual reality. Illusion can also serve as a deliberate distraction, isolation layer that protects form unpleasant reality. The point is that now it is illusions that dominate American life; both for those that succumb to them, and for those that promote and sustains them. It is the use of illusions in the US  society that become  prevalent today, converting like into the cinema or theater, where primary goal is entertainment.

Modern MSM are driven by postmodernism which includes among other things substitution of reality with artificial reality, fragmentation of history and push for historical amnesia, decentering of subject and juxtaposition of opposites. But the key feature is controlling the narrative.

Controlling the narrative means control and deliberate selection of the issues which can be discussed

The Journalist Udo Ulfkotte ashamed today that he spent 17 years in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. ...he reveals why opinion leaders produce tendentious reports and serve as the extended Arm of the NATO press office. ...the author also was admitted into the networks of American elite organizations, received in return for positive coverage in the US even a certificate of honorary citizenship.

In this book you will learn about industry lobby organisations. The author calls hundreds of names and looks behind the Scenes of those organizations, which exert bias into media, such as: Atlantic bridge, Trilateral Commission, the German Marshall Fund, American Council on Germany, American Academy, Aspen Institute, and the Institute for European politics. Also revealed are the intelligence backgrounds of those lobby groups, the methods and forms of propaganda and financing used, for example, by the US Embassy. Which funds  projects for the targeted influencing of public opinion in Germany 

...You realize how you are being manipulated - and you know from whom and why. At the end it becomes clear that diversity of opinion will now only be simulated. Because our "messages" are often pure brainwashing.

Gekaufte Journalisten - Medienwelt Enthüllungen Bücher - Kopp Verlag

Controlling the narrative means control and deliberate selection of the issues which can be discussed (and by extension which are not)  in MSM. It represents real war on reality.  Non-stop, 24 by 7 character of modern media help with this greatly (The Unending Anxiety of an ICYMI World - NYTimes.com):

We used to receive media cyclically. Newspapers were published once (or sometimes twice) a day, magazines weekly or monthly. Nightly news was broadcast, well, each night. Television programs were broadcast on one of the major networks one night a week at a specific time, never to return until a rerun or syndication. Movies were shown first in theaters and on video much later (or, before the advent of VCRs, not until a revival). There were not many interstices, just discrete units — and a smaller number of them.

Now we’re in the midst of the streaming era, when the news industry distributes material on a 24-hour cycle, entire seasons of TV shows are dumped on viewers instantaneously, most movies are available at any time and the flow of the Internet and social media is ceaseless. We are nearly all interstitial space, with comparatively few singularities.

Media became out windows to the world and this window is broken. The notion of 'controlling the narrative' points to dirty games played by PR gurus and spin merchants with event coverage (especially foreign event coverage) to ensure the rule of elite.  A good part of the White House budget and resources is spent on controlling the narrative. Creation of the narrative and "talking points" for MSM is the task of State Department. With State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, as a pretty telling "incarnation"  of the trend. 

And MSM are doing an exemplary job controlling the political narrative. This way they demonstrate their faithful service to the state and the ruling political class. Nowhere is more evident then in coverage of wars.

Only social media can smash the official version of events. And in some case that has happened. The USA MSM honchos are now scratching heads trying to understand  how to control their version of events despite Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

On Ukraine, despite the most coordinated propaganda offensive of Western MSMs, the Western elite failed to fully control the narrative:  a sizable number of Europeans are still clinging to the notion that this story had two sides. You can see this trend from analysis of Guardian comments (The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment ). More importantly the EU political establishment has failed to maintain a central lie inside official narrative -- that the EU is benign and a force for good / peace / prosperity. EU elite has shown its ugly face supporting Ukrainian far right.

Another example were initially MSM totally controlled the narrative (the first two-three weeks) and then when the narrative start slipping away they need to silence the subject  Shooting down Malaysian flight MH17

The thing is, once you've lost control of the narrative, as happened with coverage MH17 tragedy, there's no way back. Once Western MSM lost it, no-one any longer believed  a word they said about the tragedy.

And little can be done to win back that credibility on the particular subject. Moreover, due to this Europeans are becoming more and more receptive of a drip of alternative media stories that completely destroy official EU narrative. They came from a multitude of little sources, including this site and they collectively  cements the loss of trust to the EU elite. 

More subtle nuances of controlling the narrative: the role of the scapegoat

 There also more subtle nuances of controlling the narrative. Actually controlling the narrative does not mean that you need to suppress all the negative news (like propagandists in the USSR often did -- leading to complete discreditation of official propaganda in minds of the USSR people -- it simply became the subject of jokes). As John V. Walsh noted:

There is a simple rule that is followed scrupulously by U.S. commentators of every stripe on world affairs and war – with a very few notable exceptions, Paul Craig Roberts and Pepe Escobar among them.

This rule allows strong criticism of the U.S. But major official adversaries of the U.S., Iran, Russia and China, must never, ever be presented as better than the US in any significant way. The US may be depicted as equally bad (or better) than these enemies, but never worse.

In other words, any strong criticism of the US presuppose scapegoating and vicious propaganda campaign against  major official adversaries of the US such as Russia. It  must never, ever be presented in a better light then the US in any significant way. In selected cases, the US may be depicted as equally bad, but never worse.

The most recent incarnation of this rule was during Hillary Clinton campaign for POTUS in 2016.

Chris Hedge book Empire of Illusion

 
The informational function of the media would be this to help us forget, to serve as the very agents and mechanism for our historical amnesia.

But in that cast of two features of postmodernism on which I have dwelt here -- the transformation of reality into images, the fragmentation of 'me' into a series of perpetual presents -- are bother extraordinary consolant with this process.

... We have seen that there is a way in which postmodernism replicates or reproduces -- reinforces -- the logic of consumer capitalism.

Frederic Jameson “Postmodernism and Consumer Society

 

Chis Hedge Empire of Illusion  is a penetrating analysis of this effort of "entertainment society" and converting everything including politics into entertainment. It was published in 2010. Hedges discuss  complex issues and a clear, succinct way. You might agree with him, you might disagree with him but you will enjoy his brilliant prose. 

Those who manipulate  from the shadows our lives are the agents, publicists, marketing departments, promoters, script writers, television and movie producers, advertisers, video technicians, photographers, bodyguards, wardrobe consultants, fitness trainers, pollsters, public announcers, and television news personalities who create the vast stage for the Empire of Illusion. They are the puppet masters. No one achieves celebrity status, without the approval of cultural enablers and intermediaries. The sole object is to hold attention and satisfy an audience. These techniques of theater leeched into politics, religion, education, literature, news, commerce, warfare, and even crime. It converts that society into wrestling ring mesh with the ongoing dramas on television, in movies, and in the news, where "real-life" stories, especially those involving celebrities, allow news reports to become mini-dramas complete with a star, a villain, a supporting cast, a good-looking host, and a neat, if often unexpected, conclusion (p. 15-16).

The first big achievement of Empire of Illusion was "glorification of war" after WWIII. As the veterans of WW II saw with great surprise their bitter, brutal wartime experience were skillfully transformed into an illusion, the mythic narrative of heroism and patriotic glory sold to the public by the Pentagon's public relations machine and Hollywood. The extreme brutality and meaninglessness of war could not compete against the power of the illusion, the fantasy of war as a ticket to glory, honor, and manhood. It was what the government and the military wanted to promote. It worked because it had the power to simulate experience for most viewers who were never at Iwo Jima or in a war. Few people understood that this illusion was a lie. p. 21-22.

Media evolved into branch of entertainment. He gives great insight on American society. Several chapters should be a required read for all sociology, film, journalism students, or government leaders. Much like Paul Craig Robert's How America Was Lost you might feel unplugged from the matrix after reading this book. This is the book that corporate America, as well as the neoliberal elite, do not want you to read. It's a scathing indictment against everything that's wrong with the system and those that continue to perpetuate the lie in the name of the almighty dollar. In a way the USA as the rest of the world are amusing itself into a post apocalyptic state, without an apocalypse. It is simply cannibalizing itself.

That books also contains succinct, and damning condemnation of globalization (and, specifically, the USA's role in it). You can compare it with Klein's 'Shock Doctrine', but it cuts a wider swath. 

The discussion the follows was by-and-large adapted from  D. Benor  Amazon review of the book

We consume countless lies daily, false promises that if we buy this brand or that product, if we vote for this candidate, we will be respected, envied, powerful, loved, and protected. The flamboyant lives of celebrities and the outrageous characters on television, movies,  and sensational talk shows are peddled to us, promising to fill up the emptiness in our own lives. Celebrity culture encourages everyone to think of themselves as potential celebrities, as possession unique if unacknowledged gifts. p. 26-7. Celebrity is the vehicle used by a corporate society to sell us these branded commodities, most of which we do not need. Celebrities humanize commercial commodities. They present the familiar and comforting face of the corporate state. p. 37.

Reporters, especially those on television, no longer ask whether the message is true but rather whether the pseudo-event worked or did not work as political theater for supporting particular (usually State Department in case of foreign events) talking points.  Pseudo-events are judged on how effectively we have been manipulated by illusion. Those events that appear real are relished and lauded. Those that fail to create a believable illusion are deemed failures. Truth is irrelevant. Those who succeed in politics, as in most of the culture, are those who create the most convincing fantasies. This is the real danger of pseudo-events and why pseudo-events are far more pernicious than stereotypes. They do not explain reality, as stereotypes attempt to, but replace reality. Pseudo-events redefines reality by the parameters set by their creators. These creators, who make massive profits selling illusions, have a vested interest in maintaining the power structures they control. p. 50-1.

A couple quotes: "When a nation becomes unmoored from reality, it retreats into a world of magic. Facts are accepted or discarded according to the dictates of a preordained cosmology. The search for truth becomes irrelevant." (p. 50) "The specialized dialect and narrow education of doctors, academics, economists, social scientists, military officers, investment bankers, and government bureaucrats keeps each sector locked in its narrow role. The overarching structure of the corporate state and the idea of the common good are irrelevant to specialists. They exist to make the system work, not to examine it." (p. 98) I could go on and on citing terrific passages.

The flight into illusion sweeps away the core values of the open society. It corrodes the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense tell you something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to grasp historical facts, to advocate for change, and to acknowledge that there are other views, different ways, and structures of being that are morally and socially acceptable. A populace deprived of the ability to separate lies from truth, that has become hostage to the fictional semblance of reality put forth by pseudo-events, is no longer capable of sustaining a free society.

Those who slip into this illusion ignore the signs of impending disaster. The physical degradation of the planet, the cruelty of global capitalism, the looming oil crisis, the collapse of financial markets, and the danger of overpopulation rarely impinge to prick the illusions that warp our consciousness. The words, images, stories, and phrases used to describe the world in pseudo-events have no relation to what is happening around us. The advances of technology and science, rather than obliterating the world of myth, have enhanced its power to deceive. We live in imaginary, virtual worlds created by corporations that profit from our deception. Products and experiences - indeed, experience as a product - offered up for sale, sanctified by celebrities, are mirages. They promise us a new personality. They promise us success and fame. They promise to mend our brokenness. p. 52-3.

We have all seen the growth of a culture of lies and deception in politics, banking, commerce and education. Hodges points out how this has been facilitated by our abandoning the teaching of values and analysis in our schools.

The flight from the humanities has become a flight from conscience. It has created an elite class of experts who seldom look beyond their tasks and disciplines to put what they do in a wider, social context. And by absenting themselves from the moral and social questions raised by the humanities, they have opted to serve a corporate structure that has destroyed the culture around them.

Our elites - the ones in Congress, the ones on Wall Street, and the ones being produced at prestigious universities and business schools - do not have the capacity to fix our financial mess. Indeed, they will make it worse. They have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of how to replace a failed system with a new one. They are petty, timid, and uncreative bureaucrats superbly trained to carry our systems management. They see only piecemeal solutions that will satisfy the corporate structure. Their entire focus is numbers, profits, and personal advancement. They lack a moral and intellectual core. They are as able to deny gravely ill people medical coverage to increase company profits as they are to use taxpayer dollars to peddle costly weapons systems to blood-soaked dictatorships. The human consequences never figure into their balance sheets. The democratic system, they believe, is a secondary product of the free market - which they slavishly serve. p. 111.

I quote Hodges at some length because of his cogent, clear summaries of the problems leading us to self-destruction and to ways we might someday restructure society to be supportive and healing to the individual - rather than exploiting people and viewing them only as valuable as they can be manipulated into being gullible consumers.

This is one of the clearest and best focused discussions I have seen on the problems of modern society that are leading us to societal suicide

Hedges points out how a cycle sustains itself between elite educational institutions (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc.), the Government (think Congress in particular) and Corporations. Ivy league schools basically turn-out lackeys that do whatever is necessary to maintain their elite, self-absorbed status. The last chapter is entitled, "The Illusion of America," and this is where Hedges does a fantastic job of pulling together all the elements of this dysfunctional society. Other books touch the same themes, sometimes more forcefully but in this book most important elements of this picture put together.

Among the booksHedges cites:

Gekaufte Journalisten by Udo Ulfkotte

The book Gekaufte Journalisten by Udo Ulfkotte was a revelation. Of cause, we suspected many things he  described, but nwo we know detailed methods and mechanisms of suppressing alterative opinion in German society, methods that are probably more effective that anything propagandists in the DDR adn the USSR ever attempted.  One of the central concept here is the concept of "Noble Lie".

Guardian became neoliberal as soon as Tony Blaire became Prime minister. As any neoliberal publication is subscribes to the notion of "noble lie". The latter actually came from neocons playbook.   No they knowingly try to dumb down their reader substituting important topic with celebrity gossip and hate speech. Even political issue now are "served" to the public as dishes under heavy sauce of personalities involved, which is a perfect way to obscure the subject and distract the readers.

geronimo -> MurkyFogsFutureLogs 14 Mar 2015 12:31
Indeed...

Under the retiring editor, all politics seems to have been reduced to 'identity' politics. Forget about class, war, class war and so on... If it can't be reduced to Hillary's gender or Putin's, er... transcendental evil... then it's barely worth a comment above the line.

As I've said before, for the Guardian 'the personal is the political' - or rather, for the Guardian as for Hillary, the political reduces to the personal.

A marriage made, not so much in heaven, but somewhere in political-fashionista North London.

In reality most prominent journalists are on tight leash of "'deep state". As Udo Ulfkotte book attests this is a rule, not an exception. While this was known since Operation Mockingbird  was revealed, nothing changed. As revealed by Senator Frank Church investigations (Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) in 1975. In his Congress report published in 1976 the authors stated:

"The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets."

According to the "Family Jewels" report, released by the National Security Archive on June 26, 2007, during the period from March 12, 1963, and June 15, 1963, the CIA installed telephone taps on two Washington-based news reporters. Church argued that misinforming the world cost American taxpayers an estimated $265 million a year.[20]

In February 1976, George H. W. Bush, the recently appointed Director of the CIA, announced a new policy:

"Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station." He added that the CIA would continue to "welcome" the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists.[21]

But at this point only handlers and methods changed, not the policy. They are still all controlled by deep state. The most recent revelations of this fact were published by Udo Ulfkotte’s in his bestseller book  Bought Journalists. Here is one Amazon review of the book: 

Unicorns & Kittenson May 1, 2015

I've managed to read a bit of the German version ...
 
I've managed to read a bit of the German version and now I think I understand why this is still not available in English although it was supposed to be released in this and other languages seven months ago. I will be very surprised if this shocking and destabilizing book (which names names) is made available to Americans ... even though it's primarily about the abusive tactics of American intelligence agencies. Please keep asking why it isn't published - despite being a best-seller in Germany -- and how we can get it here on Kindle.

As one Amazon reviewer said "This book will change for ever the way you read and watch the mainstream media! " Here is some additional information from russia-insider:

... ... ...

Ironically, however, it’s likely that one of the biggest threats (especially in Europe) to Anglo-American media credibility about Ukraine and other issues is coming from a very old-fashioned medium – a book.

Udo Ulfkotte’s bestseller Bought Journalists has been a sensation in Germany since its publication last autumn. The journalist and former editor of one of Germany’s largest newspapers, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, revealed that he was for years secretly on the payroll of the CIA and was spinning the news to favour U.S. interests. Moreover he alleges that some major media are nothing more than propaganda outlets for international think-tanks, intelligence agencies, and corporate high-finance.

“We’re talking about puppets on a string,” he says, “journalists who write or say whatever their masters tell them to say or write. If you see how the mainstream media is reporting about the Ukraine conflict and if you know what’s really going on, you get the picture. The masters in the background are pushing for war with Russia and western journalists are putting on their helmets.” [8]

In another interview, Ulfkotte said:

“The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia. This is a point of no return, and I am going to stand up and say…it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do, and have done in the past, because they are bribed to betray the people not only in Germany, all over Europe.” [9]

... ... ...

Apparently, Pomeranzev has forgotten that important October 2004 article by Ron Suskind published in the New York Times Magazine during the second war in Iraq (which, like the first, was based on a widely disseminated lie). Suskind quoted one of George W. Bush’s aides (probably Karl Rove): “The aide said that guys like me [journalists, writers, historians] were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality…That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do’.” [12]

It’s a rather succinct description of Orwellian spin and secrecy in a media-saturated Empire, where discerning the truth becomes ever more difficult.

That is why people believe someone like Udo Ulfkotte, who is physically ill, says he has only a few years left to live, and told an interviewer,

 “I am very fearful of a new war in Europe, and I don’t like to have this situation again, because war is never coming from itself, there is always people who push for war, and this is not only politicians, it is journalists too… We have betrayed our readers, just to push for war…I don’t want this anymore, I’m fed up with this propaganda. We live in a banana republic and not in a democratic country where we have press freedom…” [13]

Recently, as Mike Whitney has pointed out in CounterPunch (March 10), Germany’s newsmagazine Der Spiegel dared to challenge the fabrications of NATO’s top commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, for spreading “dangerous propaganda” that is misleading the public about Russian “troop advances” and making “flat-out inaccurate statements” about Russian aggression.

Whitney asks, “Why this sudden willingness to share the truth? It’s because they no longer support Washington’s policy, that’s why. No one in Europe wants the US to arm and train the Ukrainian army. No wants them to deploy 600 paratroopers to Kiev and increase U.S. logistical support. No one wants further escalation, because no wants a war with Russia. It’s that simple.” [14] Whitney argued that “the real purpose of the Spiegel piece is to warn Washington that EU leaders will not support a policy of military confrontation with Moscow.”

So now we know the reason for the timing of the April 15 U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, “Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information.” Literally while U.S. paratroopers were en route to Kiev, the hawks in Washington (and London) knew it was time to crank up the rhetoric. The three witnesses were most eager to oblige.


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Old News ;-)

[Apr 24, 2018] Constant and persistent nudging generally results in an angry backlash. Somewhere around when a person realizes "This is not where I wanted to be." That's now very true for neoclassic economy courses. Many students understand the game and hate it

Notable quotes:
"... cognitive infiltration ..."
Apr 24, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves Smith, April 21, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Nudge was the title of a book by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein on how to manipulate people in their supposed best interest, like in cafeteria lines, to put whole fruit before desserts made with sugar.

See here for more detail:

blennylips , April 21, 2018 at 1:49 pm

If you liked Nudge , you'll love " cognitive infiltration ":

Conspiracy Theories
Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 08-03

Because those who hold conspiracy theories typically suffer from a crippled epistemology, in accordance with which it is rational to hold such theories, the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups. Various policy dilemmas, such as the question whether it is better for government to rebut conspiracy theories or to ignore them, are explored in this light.
Keywords: conspiracy theories, social networks, informational cascades, group polarization
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1084585

Is not this what discerning MIC's all do these days, via FBI FB?

Synoia , April 21, 2018 at 11:25 am

A nudge too far?

Constant and persistent nudging generally results in an angry backlash. Somewhere around when a person realizes "This is not where I wanted to be."

JTMcPhee , April 21, 2018 at 12:40 pm

And of course we mopes have been "nudged" into pretty much that blind serfdom alluded to. Back in the Cave, with not much chance of dispelling the belief in and subjection to the shadows projected on the wall we are forced to face

oaf , April 21, 2018 at 1:52 pm

manipulation is the sowing of a Karmic garden

Tom_Doak , April 21, 2018 at 6:09 pm

The classic nudge example is opting you into a 401(k) unless you opt out.

That's supposedly better for you but it is DEFINITELY better for the brokerage handling your account.

none , April 21, 2018 at 10:01 pm

I had to look it up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nudge_theory

I hadn't heard of it before.

Tyronius , April 22, 2018 at 12:21 am

I rather detest the notion of someone or entity 'nudging' me in the direction of some behavior, especially in a paternalistic mode where the assumption is that they know better than I what I 'should' be doing or thinking.

On one level, isn't that a working definition of advertising? On another, it smacks of authoritarianism. Don't we have enough of this kind of thing already? Worse, what's the first reaction one naturally has when they realize they're being manipulated? Seems to be a strategy fraught with risk of getting exactly the wrong response.

If I'm to be encouraged to behave in a given way, show me the respect of offering a conscious, intelligent argument to do so on the merits, or kindly go (family blog) yourself!

Anti-Schmoo , April 23, 2018 at 4:18 am

In economics, the single most important thing to understand is debt.
If you understand debt; you won't have any debt.
Debt and freedom are the antithisis of each other.
Without debt; nudges have no influence.

Anti-Schmoo , April 23, 2018 at 4:24 am

A follow up:
https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/money/a19181300/nassim-nicholas-taleb-money-advice/
A very frank discussion of debt and freedom.

[Apr 23, 2018] The Tony Blair Rule: The Truth Takes 15 Years to Come Out, Skripal Countdown Starts Now - Simonyan

Highly recommended!
Yes 15 years s about right for false flag operations.
Apr 23, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

I just posted a link to a Vesti clip at the end of the previous thread, because it seems so relevant to b's message about the western crackdown on free speech in this information war. This open thread is coming so close on the heels of that wonderful article, that I want to double-post here as well as there.

Margarita Simonyan of RT says how she's trying to talk, not to power but to common people, because there are those among the common people who do speak up and who really do shape public opinion - not governments. She cited Roger Waters as an example, who was speaking at a concert and telling the truth about the White Helmets.

She said, someone has to read in order to speak. And someone has to write so someone can read:


The Tony Blair Rule: The Truth Takes 15 Years to Come Out, Skripal Countdown Starts Now - Simonyan

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 22, 2018 9:53:58 PM | 54

[Apr 20, 2018] How neoliberal MSM twist facts

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Ruby4 , 13 Apr 2018 14:15

Labour calls for the attack on Douma to be "fully investigated". That sounds unarguable. But then what? Jeremy Corbyn issued the same call after the chemical attack that killed at least 74 at Khan Sheikhoun a year ago: demanding there be a "UN investigation and those responsible be held to account". The UN duly investigated and in October concluded unambiguously that the Assad regime had used sarin gas. But Corbyn greeted that verdict with silence.

The report that Mr Freedland provides a link to, actually says:

"5. While the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in the Syrian Arab Republic works to establish the facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals for hostile purposes in the country, it is not mandated to reach conclusions about attributing responsibility for chemical weapons use. 1 Following a determination by the FactFinding Mission that a specific incident in the Syrian Arab Republic involved or likely involved the use of chemicals as weapons, the Mechanism conducts an investigation to identify, to the greatest extent feasible, the perpetrators, organizers, sponsors or those otherwise involved. In conducting its investigation, the Mechanism relies on findings of the Fact-Finding Mission regarding the use of chemicals as weapons in each incident and pursues a rigorous independent examination of the available information surrounding such use so as to identify, to the greatest extent feasible, those responsible."

It doesn't appear to be claiming to be concluding "unambiguously that the Assad regime had used sarin gas." Am I missing something here?

Mr Freedland's allegation that "Corbyn greeted that verdict with silence" is highly suspect:

"RT:Today, Moscow says it has evidence that rebels have used sarin gas. Earlier Britain said that Assad forces were behind the chemical attack. But why didn't Britain and the US come forward with the same sort of hard evidence that Russia has come forward with?

JC: That's an interesting question. I can't speak for the British or the US governments, but they made these allegations about the use of chemical weapons – and there are apparently stocks of chemical weapons being held in Syria, which may well have fallen into opposition hands, or may still be in government hands, or maybe both – but the assertion was made that they had been used. But no hard evidence came up, and indeed, there was a great deal of skepticism surrounding the evidence that was never presented. And the Russian evidence today appears much stronger, and they said they were going to put that evidence in the hands of the United Nations - that has got to be a good thing. However, proving or not proving this doesn't end the crisis, there has to be the rapid resumption of talks by Geneva too, all parties must be involved – including Iran. If we're to bring about a settlement, there's got to be involvement of Iran, as well as all the different parties in Syria."

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/syria-chemical-weapons-evidence-926 /

[Apr 18, 2018] The Rape of Russia, an Interview with F. William Engdahl (Audio)

Notable quotes:
"... What the US Government under George Herbert Walker Bush, Bush Senior organised together with CIA, old boy networks of his, in terms of the breaking up of the Soviet Union and the looting of the assets, this open theft, the destruction of pensions, security, the health system and everything. The only appropriate word is the rape of Russia. They just pondered anything that they could. ..."
"... And the West, the Bush networks recruited a handful of KGB agents around Yeltsin who literally promoted Yeltsin to the top when they engineered the August 1991 fake coup. ..."
"... And through that the – this network, this corrupt network within the KGB that was working with the CIA, working with General Philip, Bob [unclear] is one of them, so called at that time the KGB brain. He was head of the KGB Fifth Directorate controlling to roll this in. ..."
"... They engineered a complete opening up of the assets of the Russian Federation which called today the Russian Federation, the largest part of the former Soviet Union and they made it such that the Russian Federation would assume all of the debts of Ukraine, of Kazakhstan and the other socialist republics of the Soviet and all the assets, all the crucial assets that were within the Russian Federation so the aluminium Rusal that's in the headlines yesterday, the nickel, the oil, the gas, just hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars' worth of assets that came into Yeltsin's control. ..."
"... Soros was very intermittently tied with Jeffrey Sachs and the whole Harvard to become a shock therapy group and working with Lawrence Summers team at the US Treasury under Clinton. ..."
"... So, Chubais was as an adviser to Yeltsin at that time and the key person on the economy arranged the secret meeting with George Soros. And Soros agreed to finance of course on behalf of Yeltsin, the referendum campaign. So he funnelled money over a million dollars by some accounts to offshore accounts set up to be used by Chubais to buy media. ..."
"... In 1989 President George H. W. Bush began the multi-billion dollar Project Hammer program using an investment strategy to bring about the economic destruction of the Soviet Union including the theft of the Soviet treasury, the destabilization of the ruble, funding a KGB coup against Gorbachev in August 1991 and the seizure of major energy and munitions industries in the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Given the depth of the fall, the rise (under Putin) has been remarkable. ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

The Rape of Russia (full transcript)

Lars Schall: Hello ladies and gentlemen. I am now connected with F. William Engdahl, who has written a new book, Manifest Destiny: Democracy as Cognitive Dissonance. Hi William.

F. William Engdahl: Hello, Lars. Good to be with you again.

LS: Great to have you with us. And first off, let me read something to you and our audience that was written by the economist Dean Baker earlier this month.

As a long-term columnist at the NYT, Thomas Friedman apparently never feels the need to know anything about the topics on which he writes. This explains his sarcastic speculation that Putin could be a CIA agent since he has done so much to hurt Russia.

For all his authoritarian tendencies, it is likely that most Russians think primarily about Putin's impact on the economy, just as is typically the case among voters in the United States. On that front, Putin has a very good record.

According to data from the IMF Russia's economy had plunged in the 1990s under the Yeltsin presidency. When Putin took over in 1998, per capita income in the country had shrunk by more than 40 percent from its 1990 level. This is a far sharper downturn than the United States saw in the Great Depression. Since Putin took power its per capita income has risen by more than 115 percent, an average annual growth rate of more than 3.9 percent.

While this growth has been very unequal, that was also the case even as Russia's economy was collapsing under Yeltsin. The typical Russian has done hugely better in the last two decades under Putin than they did in the period when Yeltsin was in power.

For this reason, there are probably few Russians who would have sympathy for Friedman's speculation about Putin's ties to the CIA. The same would not be the case for Boris Yeltsin.

Now, I think this is a good starting point for our discussion William because in your book, you have a chapter entitled The Rape of Russia, the CIA's Yeltsin Coup d'état. Why do you talk about rape related to Russia?

FWE: What the US Government under George Herbert Walker Bush, Bush Senior organised together with CIA, old boy networks of his, in terms of the breaking up of the Soviet Union and the looting of the assets, this open theft, the destruction of pensions, security, the health system and everything. The only appropriate word is the rape of Russia. They just pondered anything that they could.

And what you just read from Mr. Friedman is of course horse rubbish but the real CIA asset of this whole collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s was in fact Boris Yeltsin and the so called Yeltsin Family, the Yeltsin Mafia. And in my book, the Manifest Destiny book I document and detail at great lengths the relation of a handful of KGB very, very senior persons who worked with the Bush Senior old boys CIA networks in the West and their banks to create a group of oligarchs around Yeltsin, you know the famous Russian oligarchs, well, The New York Times and other Western Media portrayed them as Russian Mafia. They were kind of mafia but the real point was that they were a CIA-run mafia. They were run by the West. They betrayed their own country, their own people and literally stole billions and billions and billions of dollars of assets. And that's the reason for the title in that chapter.

LS: And Boris Yeltsin was very essential for this.

FWE: He was the key figure. He had been selected as a regional governor and brought into Moscow and a certain point Gorbachev saw him as a rising star and someone that could help with a little bit more liberal image as [unclear] was – the Russian economy was running into serious trouble in the '80s, the Star Wars of Reagan, the Nicaragua and above all the war in Afghanistan which is a CIA project with the Mujahideen, that took 10 years long that was bleeding the Soviet economy, the Soviet Union's Vietnam, as Brzezinski used to call it.

And the West, the Bush networks recruited a handful of KGB agents around Yeltsin who literally promoted Yeltsin to the top when they engineered the August 1991 fake coup. You remember, I'm sure many people remember the picture of Boris Yeltsin standing there courageously on top of a Soviet tank in front of the Russian White House or Soviet House, the Supreme Soviet building and reading a speech defying Gorbachev and so forth. Well, that was a KGB CIA-engineered coup d'état in June 1991. And through that the – this network, this corrupt network within the KGB that was working with the CIA, working with General Philip, Bob [unclear] is one of them, so called at that time the KGB brain. He was head of the KGB Fifth Directorate controlling to roll this in. And he later joined the [#inaudible 00:06:40-0#] oil and to this day he's still a member of the State Duma giving him prosecution immunity.

So, some of these people are still around after some 23, 25 years and incredibly enough but others of them have died off, have been killed, or murdered or whatever. But the operation that was done with Yeltsin, this corrupt KGB network working with the CIA financed Yeltsin's the silent seat of the presidency of the Russian Federation. And once they had their man in controlling the Russian Federation which is the largest of the former Soviet Union, the Socialist Republic, they were able to engineer through the international monetary fund that was mandated to oversee the transformation of the Soviet economy.

They engineered a complete opening up of the assets of the Russian Federation which called today the Russian Federation, the largest part of the former Soviet Union and they made it such that the Russian Federation would assume all of the debts of Ukraine, of Kazakhstan and the other socialist republics of the Soviet and all the assets, all the crucial assets that were within the Russian Federation so the aluminium Rusal that's in the headlines yesterday, the nickel, the oil, the gas, just hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars' worth of assets that came into Yeltsin's control.

LS: But those assets were sold to a price that was rather ridiculous.

FWE: Someone estimated that that gets into the whole coupon privatisation that was set up under Yeltsin in the '90s. The coupon privatisation issued one coupon to every single Russian man, woman and child 140 million in total. And the value of those coupons was such someone estimated that the totality of Russian Soviet's Fed assets or Russian Federation assets now was equal to the value of the stock at that point of General Electric Company on the New York Stock Exchange. I mean that's just laughable. Russia had financial bankruptcy because the shock therapy, the Jeffrey Sachs and others from Harvard and elsewhere brought in, George Soros and his pals. That created bankrupt companies that couldn't stand on their own and suddenly they had no, no resources. But the assets, the assets on the ground, the nickel, the aluminium, the uranium that Hillary Clinton knows more than a little bit about them, all of these were estimated to be in the trillions of dollars. And this is what the Bush operation aimed at. And they used NGOs, they used the National Endowment for Democracy, they used, George Soros' Open Society Foundation and so forth to bring this about.

LS: You've mentioned already the coup d'etat attempt of August 1991. Highly important for things to come was something that took place in early 1991 and that was the theft of the Soviet gold. Please tell us about this.

FWE: The, under the Soviet Union, this is a very crucial point about the transition that Washington forced on the Russian Federation because Yeltsin was, I think as long as he was well-supplied with vodka he didn't protest very much. But under the Soviet system and the Russian Federation took this over, there was a state bank, not a private central bank like the Federal Reserve or the European Central Bank today but a state bank that was an entity of the Russian State apparatus and that was called the Gosbank. And a man named Viktor Gerashchenko was the chairman of Gosbank at the time of Yeltsin's early start in 1991.

And Gerashchenko made a speech around that time in November of '91 to the Russian Duma or the parliament such as it was and said, "I have to report to you ladies and gentlemen that of perhaps 3,000 tons of Gosbank state-owned gold reserves, we have an estimated less than 400 tons that we can account for." And then he had to go to tell, shock members of parliament that he had no idea what happened to the missing gold, which of course was a lie. And Gerashchenko had created right after 1989 to prepare this coup d'etat coup, which was the CIA and Bush's old boys, he had created something called [unclear] on the Channel Islands in the Island of Jersey to handle the Russian foreign currency reserves.

And the Jersey was exempt from European supervision, so this was a perfect place to hide money, dirty money or stolen money and they managed something like $37 billion between 1993 and 1998. The Gerashchenko and the Gosbank even went to the lengths of hiring a New York Financial Detective firm called the Financial CIA back then called Jules Kroll Associate. And they were told to track the Soviet gold, find out what happened to it and something like $14 billion of communist party assets that were missing as well. And the Cruel which was tied with the CIA linked AIG Insurance Group Hank Greenberg whom you remember from the 2008 to the bail out of Henry Paulson.

LS: Yes.

FEW: The Kroll Associates after a few months announced that they had no results in the attempt to find the missing Soviet Gosbank gold. Then to add insult to injury, the IMF came in and rewrote the constitution of the Russian Federation under Yeltsin and took the power of money creation just like the Federal Reserve took the power of money creation from the congress in 1913. They took the power of money creation from the state and created the Russian Federation Central Bank, the Russian Central Bank and gave it a mandate for two things. One, to control inflation and the other to create currency stability.

Now, in Russia that day that meant stability of the ruble against the US dollar. So it effectively hammer-locked the Russian money creation into the US dollar. And unfortunately that constitution amendment holds until the present day. It's one of the difficulties that Vladimir Putin has been having to try to persuade the Independent Central Bank to lower interest rates more rapidly as inflation is simply managed as a problem in Russia in the last two years.

So, they looted the gold so that there would be no stability to the ruble. If you don't have any gold-backing, then western investors are going to lack confidence which is sort of what happened. And then they began working with very select western bankers to get their money out of Russia.

LS: And instrumental to get money out of Russia were Valmet and Riggs. Can you tell us please about some crucial personnel that was employed there at Valmet and Riggs?

FWE: Valmet Riggs was kind of a fusion of a Swiss bank and Riggs Bank of Washington D. C. And Riggs Bank, this is really quite a fascinating and very little discussed aspect of the reign of Russia back in the '90s.

So you have something called Riggs Bank in Washington and they were set up decades earlier since the 1960s CIA Bay of Pigs operation, they were known as the CIA tied bank. They invested the assets of people like Marcos of the Philippines until when he was close to the CIA. And there was a former NATO Ambassador named Alton Keel and in 1989 when the Soviet KGB generals and they had a group of protégés called the 'Kids' by George Bush Senior. The protégés were in their 30s and a couple of them were in their 40s but rather young. And they were the ones who were nominated to become the oligarchs, the frontal men for taking these state assets the aluminium, the oil assets and other things and looting the Russian Federation.

And Alton Keel just as the Russians were setting up men at a bank for the oligarchs to funnel their stolen assets, de facto stolen assets, Keel went from NATO and the National Security Council to become a head of international banking of Riggs Bank in Washington and its deputy chairman.

Now, it gets even more interesting because the international banking group of Riggs included a new entity that had been created called Riggs Valmet SA in Switzerland, and Riggs Valmet was set up by a man named Jonathan J. Bush, a private banker, who just happened to be the brother of George Herbert Walker Bush. So, Bush brother and Alton Keel set up Riggs Valmet, there was a money laundering apparatus in Geneva and Riggs then through their help bought the major share in Geneva Valmet to create Riggs Valmet.

So, you have the brother of the president of the United States up to his eyeballs in this whole Yeltsin CIA money laundering operation. And then Jonathan Bush was created CEO of something called Riggs Investment in Connecticut where he lived and at that point the looting and taking of the dollar assets out of Russia was just unstoppable. It was in the billions and tens of billions of dollars.

LS: William, there is one guy who was working closely with those people and he was working on Wall Street but later on he was personally recruited by George Tenet then the Director of CIA to become the number three at the CIA, and this is Alvin Bernard "Buzzy" Krongard.

FWE: Yes. We meet "Buzzy" Krongard at Bankers Trust, which bought up Alex Brown, and Krongard became vice chairman of Bankers Trust along with another charming character named Carter Beese. And at the time of the 1998 collapse of the ruble, Krongard was formally made, as you've pointed out, number three, the executive director at the CIA under George Tenet. So, it's a CIA network from beginning to end, from the banking side to you know the direct CIA side. You have Carter Beast, you have "Buzzy" Krongard, Jonathan Bush and Alton Keel and they were the ones working with Valmet as the Riggs Valmet Bank in Geneva to pull this money out through shell companies.

And the oligarchs, this is an interesting part of this whole thing that you know right now Theresa May and the foreign secretary Boris Johnson in the UK are accusing Putin of murdering almost everybody since the birth of Jesus Christ. And one of them was the person who had been the trusted bodyguard of one of the oligarchs living in London Boris Berezovsky.

And Berezovsky was one of the dirtiest of these oligarchs. He'd financed the Ukrainian Colour Revolution back in 2003, 2004 as a revenge against Putin because he at first thought Putin could be bought like Yeltsin and suddenly he realized that he was up against the faction of nationalists within of what had been the KGB but wanted to stabilise and preserve Russia as a functioning nation today. And so Mikhail Khodorkovskyi, Roman Abramovich, who is listed on the sanctions list yesterday, and Berezovsky were some of the leading oligarchs that were created by this Bush operation.

LS: And to jumpstart all of this, we have to talk about something that is well, that is stranger than fiction and that is something called for example "Yamashita's Gold". If our audience is interested in this, they could for example look for an article written by Chalmers Johnson, the famous Asian expert, The Looting of Asia, which was published at the London Review of Books on the 20 th of November of 2003 because then they can find something on this topic of Yamashita's gold on an instant basis in the internet ( https://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n22/chalmers-johnson/the-looting-of-asia ). I think this is just fair

FWE: Yeah.

LS: because no one really is aware of this whole story. Please tell us about this.

FWE: The Yamashita Gold story is one of the, as you've said really incredible stories of post-World War II. During the Second World War, the Japanese Imperial Family looted the gold of occupied Arch of China, they looted the gold of all the parts of Asia that they had conquered.

LS: Basically from 1895 to 1945.

FWE: Yeah, yeah. And because they had no guarantee that Japan was going to win the war, the emperor ordered the gold to be hidden away in, mostly in the Philippines as far as we know and literally untold tons of gold were buried so deep underground in tunnels around the Philippines and the people who dug the tunnels in many cases were later shot you know so that they couldn't tell. But Marcos who was a CIA asset initially, the dictator of the Philippines through much of the '70s and into the '80s, yeah through the '70, Ferdinand Marcos somehow came upon some of this gold. So, the Japanese looted war body was buried in the early '40s before the end of the war on orders of Emperor Hirohito should they lose the war.

And at some point in the 1970s, Marcos discovered some of the sites where Hirohito's soldiers had buried the gold and the gold was stolen from China, Korea, Philippines, Indonesia and other countries occupied by the Japanese forces. And Marcos, and I think this is the major reason the CIA dumped him, got a little bit greedy and took that gold and started selling it under the market through selective secret Swiss banks. But he used the CIA asset, the Saudi billionaire named Adnan Khashoggi to help them get the gold under the market. And what he didn't realise was that Khashoggi would double cross him. He got a better deal from Bush Senior and the old boys.

LS: We have to say Khashoggi is a figure who is involved for example in B.C.C.I. and in Iran-Contra.

FWE: Back in the '70s he was involved in everything dirty that Bush and the CIA were involved in. B.C.C.I. Bank, the money laundering bank of the CIA, the arms deals, Khashoggi was a huge arms dealer during the Iran and Iraq war the CIA was feeding. He was involved in almost every dirty thing the CIA was doing.

LS: He was aware of this gold.

FWE: Supposedly he was helping Marcos to sell the gold out of the market. So he was not only aware of it, he was right in the middle of it. But then once Marcos was tackled by the CIA Bush got rid of Marcos in 1986. Then someone named Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Armitage and Khashoggi began to work with someone in Canada to create something called – Peter Munk was his name, a rather dubious businessman there – to found something called Barrick Gold of Canada and later it went on to become the world's largest gold mining company.

But Barrick Gold, all available evidence is that buried gold was used to melt down the – I don't want to get too much into the details of this but basically to melt down the Emperor Hirohito's gold that had been discovered by Marcos in the Philippines, to melt it down and use that as collateral for derivatives that would be the collateral used to take over the Russian Federation assets.

LS: The money was basically transformed into bank loans into Russia so that the would-become oligarch people could buy up those assets

FWE: Yes, exactly. So, Yegor Gaidar, the economic privatisation adviser of Yeltsin and his sidekick Anatoly Chubais privatisation had kind of guided this whole process together with Jeffrey Sachs and a group from Harvard University. #00:28:37-8#

LS: Yeah. Let us talk about this. This is known as Harvard Shock Therapy.

FEW: Well, the Jeffrey Sachs Shock Therapy, but the Harvard shock therapy is – well, what happened, the next phase of this incredible story and it's important to keep all this in mind, this is one reason that I wrote the book because of what was clear after the CIA coup d'etat of 2014 in Ukraine and all the sanctions against Putin's Russia and so forth, that if you don't understand what really happened in the '90s, the deep-seated hatred there is on these neoconservatives around Washington and their think tanks as well as, the US political establishment for Putin's Russia and the nationalism behind group Russia. You can't make much sense out of what's going on today with all these incredible lies and accusations against Russia for every crime under the book.

So, what happened is the, as I mentioned the IMF, the International Monetary Fund which had done a beautiful job for Washington in terms of, and George Soros and others in terms of looting the assets of the dead economies of Latin America, Yugoslavia, Poland and others during the oil crisis in the 1970s. The IMF was used and a group of economists around Jeffrey Sachs, a young professor at Harvard University then to impose what Sachs called shock therapy.

And the idea was that Sachs convinced Yeltsin, let prices rise through western market prices and this will increase the supply of goods, you know the stores had a paucity of goods back in the Soviet Times and get rid of trade barriers so foreign commodities could flow in to fill the shelves of Russian stores. The problem was that was a lie. The shops had been full. Okay, you could say it wasn't Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Fried Perdue Chickens or whatever, but they were full of Russian food products until November of '91 when Yeltsin announced that the exact date on December 31 st of 1991, that price controls would be suddenly lifted. So, shop owners immediately hid their goods and waited for December 31 st . So, suddenly the shops were empty and rationing was imposed and so forth. It's just unbelievable.

So, into this, this was Jeffrey Sachs on shock therapy and a group of Harvard University under the auspices of the Harvard Institute for International Development, a group of, among other things later documented CIA agents set up shop in Moscow and worked with Yeltsin's economic team Gaidar and Yegor Gaidar and Anatoly Chubais and themselves got in on the thunder the Russian East Harvard economist working. Now we have a transition in '93 through the Clinton Administration and there former Harvard professor and former World Bank Chief Economist Lawrence Summers became the deputy secretary of treasury responsible for the looting of Russia, effective and responsible for the gold economic transition in the Russian Federation.

And all of the key actors were named by Summers and they were all involved in the privatisation of Russia. They were all from this Harvard Mafia. For example of David Lipton, a former consulting partner of the Jeffrey Sachs, became deputy assistant secretary of treasure for former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and Sachs himself was named Director of Harvard HIID that oversaw the looting of Russia through the voucher privatisation and so forth. And they got grants from the USAID, AID works very closely with the CIA in different parts of the world, this is documented. And so it was really a tight-knit cabal around Lawrence Summers that oversaw this complete theft through these pieces of paper called privatisation coupons.

And what you had was the economic situation under Yeltsin had become so severe I mean people literally they had no jobs because of the freeing up of prices, they could afford to buy little or nothing. So, most people, millions of Russians sold their privatisation vouchers on the street corners to the highest bidder. And of course the would-be oligarchs were the ones with hard currency dollars that they could buy these things up as you pointed out earlier when we talked about them. So, they had credits from their friends in the West, the Riggs Valmet and so forth to buy up these vouchers and therefore they were able when the cost came up, were able to simply steal the property titles, the ownership titles of some of the most valuable investor assets and mineral assets in the world.

LS: And we can talk about this as a classical case of leveraged buyout – even though it was a covered leveraged buyout, if it was?

FEW: Well, you could call it a leveraged buyout. I know Anne Williamson has used that term, the earlier descriptions of it. I think it was simply legalised theft, leveraged buyout gives it too much dignity. That was a term that was quite popular in the financial world back in the '80s and the early '90s. But whatever name you want to give it, it was certainly not a conventional leveraged buyout, it was bizarre in every sense of the word.

LS: An influential figure in this was mentioned by you already, George Soros. And in 1994, as you point out in your book, he was described with the following words from The Guardian in London, "Soros extraordinary role not only as the world's most successful investor but now possibly fantastically as the senior most powerful foreign influence in the whole of the former Soviet Empire, it tricks more suspicion than curiosity." What was he doing back then in Russia?

FWE: Soros was very intermittently tied with Jeffrey Sachs and the whole Harvard to become a shock therapy group and working with Lawrence Summers team at the US Treasury under Clinton. And in 1993 already the opposition inside what was left of Russia when the old communist party was in the Duma and so forth and the population generally was such that the opposition threatened to get out of hand and Yeltsin was forced to agree to hold a national referendum on the entire privatisation. So, this was in April of '93 and the referendum that was given to the population had four questions, yes or no. Do you support Yeltsin? Yes or no? Do you support Yeltsin's economic policy? Yes or no? Do you want early election for president? Yes or no? And do you want early elections for parliament? Yes or no?

So, Chubais was as an adviser to Yeltsin at that time and the key person on the economy arranged the secret meeting with George Soros. And Soros agreed to finance of course on behalf of Yeltsin, the referendum campaign. So he funnelled money over a million dollars by some accounts to offshore accounts set up to be used by Chubais to buy media. And so the media campaign and by this time most of the national media had been bought up by the oligarchs around Yeltsin so they were able to exercise undue influence. So they barely squeak through and got a yes to the privatisation scheme that Harvard, Jeffrey Sachs and George Soros and others had going on. And then of course Soros' company himself benefitted enormously from this privatisation just a little bit later when the auctions took place.

LS: A figure that connects yesterday with today is Vladimir Putin who came to international attention first in 1998, the same year when the ruble crisis took place.

FWE: This was 1999 and in August '98 you had the collapse of the ruble. This was part of the Bush "Operation Hammer's" original design. You had a huge scam going on in the GKO Russian Bond market where the interest rates were just unbelievably high. So, you had all sorts of hot money coming in, making profits and pulling it up including Soros Fund, quantum fund and so forth.

And finally, Yeltsin was getting near the end of his ability to hold this thing together. And he appointed in August '99, he appointed a young former KGB officer who served during the Cold War in East Germany named Vladimir Putin. And briefly Putin had been a deputy mayor in St. Petersburg and briefly had been the head of the successor to the KGB called FSB and the oligarchs around Putin, I've heard various Russian accounts have had this happen but Berezovsky, Brzezinski and other, the Yeltsin oligarchs thought they could take this young guy Putin and do business with him and you know that he was young and had no political base.

So, at that point Putin gave the ultimatum to Yeltsin, resign or face serious consequences and it turned out that Putin which has later been confirmed was the spokesperson for a nationalist faction within the intelligence community, a patriotic faction, call it what you want but Russian nationalist. And so Yeltsin was told, "If you resign and just get out of politics, we'll leave you alone." So he took the offer and ran. And before he did that he named Vladimir Putin as acting president until elections in March the following year.

So, Putin then came into power and called a meeting as it were of the most powerful oligarchs who had made staggering fortunes at the expense of Russia and he called them creators of a corrupt state through insider dealings and began criminal prosecution against oligarchs like Vladimir Gusinsky and Media-Most, a financial group led by Vladimir Potanin who is in the newspaper today and soon left an oil company controlled by a Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky. So, at that point Putin began the uphill battle of trying to stabilise Russia as a functioning economy. And the recent re-election of Putin indicates that the Russian people by and large support that effort of Putin's.

LS: Meanwhile he also had to react to something new that was taking place then and that was NATO was marching east.

FWE: The negotiations and this is, has been confirmed by former US Ambassador to Russia Jack Matlock and that was the negotiations between the Bush administration in 1991 Germany and Gorbachev included a solemn guarantee as Jack Matlock, Ambassador Matlock who was in Moscow in '87 until '91 in this period. He said that we gave a categorical assurance to Gorbachev when the Soviet Union still existed that if United Germany was able to stay in NATO, NATO would not move eastward. So, of course that pledge like so many pledges of Washington under Bush successor governance was honoured in the breach and the newly created National Endowment for Democracy that I write about quite a bit in the Manifest Destiny.

You had, Vin Weber was the chairman of the NED at that time and he took US taxpayer money through the NED to supposedly bring democracy into former communist states. Then Weber was also a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the neocon think tank which really shaped the personnel of George W. Bush in the year 2000 and 2001. And Vin Weber was also a lobbyist for the largest military industrial conglomerate of the US Lockheed Martin.

So, he was instrumental together with another military industrial Lockheed Martin, former Vice President for Strategy named Bruce Jackson, Bruce P. Jackson to promote back democracy in former communist countries including Russia. And they started the process of expanding NATO to the east in strict violation of the pledges that had been given back in the early '90s. So, by 2003, they had begun this whole expansion of NATO into Poland, into Hungary, all the former communist countries.

LS: And the countries at the Baltic Sea.

FWE: So, at the Baltic Sea right on the doorstep of the Russian Federation, and Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and so forth. And you began to see a very definite NATO encirclement of Russia. And then in 2003-2004, the National Endowment for Democracy, George Soros' Foundation, the whole arm of the fake democracy NGOs of Washington, began to create the so called Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and also the Rose Revolution in Georgia next door. And if you look at a map, if you bring a pro NATO government into power in Ukraine, this they did under Viktor Gerashchenko in 2004, then you're presenting a pretty formidable military threat to the national security of Russia.

Now, at that time 2003, Russia was in no shape to do much more than feebly protest as loud as they could but of course they were ignored. Then you had something quite dramatic in 2006, the end of 2006. The George W. Bush administration Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defence back then announced that they were installing ballistic missile defence now I'll get to that in a minute but it's anything but defensive. In Poland, in the Czech Republic and that those anti-missile defence installations which included missiles would be aimed at a rogue nuclear attack from Iran.

In early 2007, Vladimir Putin personally came as president of Russia Federation to the Munich Security Conference, the International Security Conference held here in Munich Germany and gave a speech which really defines the security position of Russia right up to the present date. He said of course this is not aimed at Iran or North Korea as Washington says. That's a lie. It's like taking your right arm to scratch your left ear we say in Russian. It's aimed at Russia. And we consider this intolerable as a threat to our national security and we will be forced to respond.

LS: And it is aimed at Russia as a first strike possibility.

FWE: Yeah. Well, the point about the missile defence is I – in connection with the book, I interviewed, in an earlier book I wrote, I interviewed Colonel Robert Bowman who had been briefly the head of Ronald Reagan's Star Wars or missile defence programme. And became a very, very severe critic of the Bush administration's reckless policies withdrawing from the antiballistic missile ABM Treaty and so forth, said that missile defence is the missing link to Nuclear Primacy. First strike capability.

And that's something that Pentagon planners had been opting for since the 1950s. And he said, "If you can block the counterattack from your opponent and you then have this possibility to make a first strike and wipe them out because they can't simultaneously fire an effective counterstrike." So, that in a nutshell destroys the whole cold war doctrine of mutual and sure destruction that kept nuclear options off the table up until that time. And the Russians understand military strategy rather well I would say. And said, "This is simply intolerable. We have to respond and we will respond but in our own way and you will see."

LS: And the Russians have reacted.

B: The Russians have reacted, and if we can go for a minute up until the present

LS: Please

FEW: On March 1st Putin gave an address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow televised to the nation. The beginning part of the speech, his annual speech there, was about the Russian economy and plans for the future. This was shortly before the Russian elections that overwhelmingly gave him a new term. But the crucial part of that speech to the Federal Assembly was Russia's military technologies and this is as he put it. He referred to that 2007 speech in Munich and he said, "We said at that time that Russia would have to reply and since the expansion of NATO to the east which really to be honest that's – see there is no reason after 1991 or certainly after 2000 for the existence of NATO other than the reason given when NATO was created by the first secretary general of NATO to keep the Russians out the Germans down and the Americans in."

But Putin's speech talked about nuclear primacy and the Russian response and he outlined the military are the developments that they had quietly brought online since Washington tore up, unilaterally tore up the ABM Treaty in 2002/2003. So he outlined an awesome array of missiles, hypersonic low flying stealth missiles carrying nuclear warheads, unpredictable trajectories, invisible against perspective missile defence and air defence systems, unmanned submersible vehicles to great depth that could go many times higher than the speed of submarines cutting edge torpedoes just and commentators in the West like CNN. They said, "Oh, this is just bluff and so forth."

People who know Russian military technology and the intensity of the kind of research and development that's focused on defending the nation confirm that this is no joke. Hypersonic aircraft five times the speed of sound, that's hypersonic and they have something called the [unclear] which goes 10 times mark 10 and as Putin described it, "This missile flying 10 times faster than sound can manoeuvre in all phases of the flight trajectory, overcome all prospective and aircraft county missile defences in a range of 2000 kilometres."

He outlined about six or seven of these I would call them not even cutting edge, bleeding edge military technology and as The Saker commented in his blogpost after the speech, it's indeed set marching game over for the empire. There's no more military option against Russia.

This all is to make a point that the entire history up until now, these fake accusations of Putin would have an interest or Russia would have an interest to meddle with the US elections when you have a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to accuse Putin and Russia of international violations of law by allowing a referendum to take place in Crimea after the CIA coup d'etat in Kiev and now it's come out from actual mercenary snipers that were brought in from Georgia under [#inaudible 00:55:08-0#] umbrella that they were paid by the CIA or promised to be paid by cut outs to the CIA to create the Maidan Square February 2014 chaos that led to the collapse of the government and the coup d'etat.

So, you know, this is not Russia is the arch Evel Knievel looking for a fight every corner of the world. It's not Russia doing bad things in Syria. It's Russia trying to stop a NATO and Saudi and other embedded destruction of the Middle East and create some kind of peace and stability. And anyone modest to take the slightest bit of care and follow this, they can read a running commentary on my website williamengdahl.com but not only there, it's all over the place. You realise that the fake media is the media that dominates and is guided by NATO public relations strategy in the West and it's not the so called critical media that's being sanctioned and censored right now.

LS: Let's talk further about the present, William, by closing one circle of our interview. As we've discussed the Russian gold vaults were empty since the early 1990s. This has changed since basically the financial crisis broke out in 2007, 2008, 2009. Since then the Russian Central Bank is buying gold like basically no other nation in a very rapid tempo.

FWE: Since the financial crisis and especially since the opposition of sanctions after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, it's been the policy of the Russian Central Bank and the Russian Federation to buy as much gold for reserves of the ruble as they can get their hands on. And they are now I think number five or number six in the world in terms of gold reserves and correct me if I'm wrong but just slightly behind the people's republic of China which has also been vigorously adding gold towards Central Bank reserves for the yuan.

So, what Russia is doing is creating a buffer gold, by the way in my view has never ceased being an object of value to stand behind currencies. If you have currencies like the dollar after all this 1971 when Nixon took the dollar off the bread and wood, gold exchange [unclear], then if you have a military you might or manipulate the oil price petrodollar and so forth, you can create money if you have the reserve currency you can create money without them. So what the Russia is doing is creating a security in terms of its currency and now that security is probably going to be tested by the economic warfare division of the US Treasury in these new sanctions.

But Russia is merging together with China. Interestingly enough after 2014 when the CIA coup d'etat Ukraine took place, Putin responded not by getting bogged down in the destructive war inside the Eastern Ukraine but he responded by turning east, strengthening his relationships with China, with the new president of China then Xi Jinping bringing the Asian economic Union which Russia is the leading economy in, together with Belarus and Kazakhstan, Armenia and others, bringing that in a coherence with Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative One Belt, One Road to link the infrastructure, the energy pipelines, the high-speed rail networks, the deep water ports and so forth to create a Eurasian, some people call it the land bridge but it's an economic space in Eurasia that would have the majority of the world's population, would have every raw material resource that the world needs including rare earth metals that China is world's leading supplier of at the moment.

And Russia has vast oil and gas reserves and military technology, civilian technology, an educated labour force that is probably one of the finest in the world and scientific country and so forth. And independent of the bankrupt economies of Britain and the United States and very rapidly of the European Union where this banking crisis has, since the crisis of 2008 has just been swept under the rug but it's ready to explode on a moment's notice. So, you have a depth loaded western NATO world. Let's call it a NATO world, a world of the NATO member countries and you have Russia together, which by the way, Russia has unbelievably small

LS: Debt.

FWE: National debt.

LS: Yes.

FWE: Something like 13 to 17% of the gross domestic product.

LS: And now they have this huge stock of gold relative to very little sovereign debt. It's almost ideal.

FWE: Yes, and that's by design. That is by Putin's intention to create this independence. And one thing, I am very often in Russia, have a very, very dear special friends in Russia over the years, the first time I was there was 1994. That was a vastly different, that was in the middle of the Yeltsin and the insanity. The Russians are very not only proud people but they are very determined and they protect their existence and have done that I would say for well over 1000 years going back to the great schism between the Western church in Rome and the Eastern Church in 1054. I think that was a pivotal date in modern history, the division there.

But certainly the Russians have gone through two World Wars and the rape of Russia under Yeltsin, unbelievable trials and tribulations and they are not shying away from defending their existence. That's something I think the west or certainly Washington with these neocons really doesn't have a sense of.

LS: One thing that I would like to ask you about as my final question is the following. You are a renowned expert for the geopolitics and the history of oil. And since this month we have a future's contract in Shanghai, denominated in yuan for oil and we also hear that the Chinese are planning to price oil that they import in yuan which is safe for this buying of oil internationally via yuan, Russia would be the candidate number one as the exporter?

FWE: Definitely. Most definitely and Russia and China are connecting their financial markets ever closer. The Russian government is the in the process sometime this year of issuing Russian bonds denominated new Chinese yuan. The announcing of the petrol yuan, the oil futures contracts being sold in Shanghai, ultimately it won't happen overnight but it's certainly off to a positive start in the marketing acceptance. That has the basis for taking oil sales.

Let's step back a moment to the 1970s and I document this at length in two of my books, Myths, Lies and Oil Wars and A Century of War. In the early 1970s when Nixon took the dollar off of gold, the dollar relative to the German mark and the Japanese yen dropped like a stone, something like 40% over a period of five or six months. And in order to stop that because the New York Banks were hurting quite a bit from that, there was a oil price shock that was orchestrated. I won't go into the details it's documented quite extensively in those two books of mine.

LS: And Sheikh Yamani had said something about this, too.

FWE: Yes. He invited me after reading my book to his annual energy retreat in London in 2000, September 2000. And then called me to a private dinner discussion at his home outside of London to talk about what I wrote about in the book. And he later went on CNN on an interview and mentioned my book by name. In the written transcript it's in there and in the television version they spliced it out so that you couldn't realise that it'd been in there. But Sheikh Yamani told me you are the first journalist or the first person outside of myself that writes correctly what happened with that oil shock. And that was manipulated by among others Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State and by a group in the Atlantic establishment called the Bilderberg meeting in Saltsjöbaden, Sweden back in May of that period before the Yom Kippur War.

In any case, the US circles around Rockefeller, who at that point was the chairman of the board of USA Incorporated, I would say. They had engineered a 400% price rise in oil and to make sure that Germany and Japan and other countries wouldn't make deals to buy oil in German mark but keep the dollar demand high and the dollar value high. They send a delegation from the US Treasury to sign an agreement with the Saudi Arabian monetary agency for a new relationship taking surplus Saudi petrodollars or OPEC petrodollars and buying US government debt.

LS: Yeah, and outside of the normal auction to privileged conditions.

FWE: Yes. In return, Washington agreed to give the Saudis tens and billions of dollars of defence equipment.

LS: Yeah, and Saudi Arabia would use its status as a swing producer in OPEC that it would only accept dollars as a pricing for oil.

FEW: And the quid pro quo was after 1975, this was formalised that Saudis would as swing producer in OPEC guarantee that OPEC sold its oil only in dollars and that held up until the time of Saddam Hussein during the sanctions shortly before the US invasion and Saddam Hussein began buying oil through a French bank denominated in Euros and not in dollars.

LS: And he made a plus, he made a net plus because he did sell his oil in Euro.

FWE: Yeah, yeah. And so this, what that has done up until the present is prop up the US dollars despite the fact that the internal industrial economy import activity of the United States went down the tubes over the past 40 years since the taking the dollar off of gold and the, putting of English dollars for the world economy. So, the idea than China and Russia would trade in energy and that other economies would begin to sell oil to China, Iran for example is a prime candidate in the petro yuan not in petrodollars, this began slowly like acid drops begins to erode the reserve currency status of the US dollar. And if that goes, it's end game for the US as a financial global power.

LS: We have to make clear to our audience. The fact that you have to buy oil in dollar makes sure that you need dollar, that you acquire dollar in order to buy oil.

FWE: Yeah.

LS: And so if this mechanism goes, well then the US has a problem because the dollars that are floating around internationally would find their way back into the homeland of the US.

FWE: Well, the other thing is that in order to sell now you have under this wonderful Trumponomics as I call it, you have projections that the US annual government deficit, shortage of tax income from tax outgo, spending outgo will by 2020 exceed one trillion dollars a year for every year as far as the eye can see. And by end of 2020, 2028 I think was figured by the congressional budget office, the US public debt is estimated to be well over $33 trillion, it's 20 now, 38 maybe, it's just out of control. So, if the ability of the US dollar to command use in the world economy is severely undermined, you're going to have to raise interest rates so high to sell this debt and it just becomes dysfunctional.

LS: Yes, but you have already in the last few years interest rates payments on this already existing that of per annum $400 billion.

FWE: Yeah.

LS: And if interest rates go up

FWE: Yeah and that was under zero interest rates, but now, you know, if they have to put up interest rates to five, six, seven, 8% like it was in the 1980s. the whole thing just blows up sky high.

LS: And so coming back to gold, gold has the advantage relative to bonds or shares or the US dollar or other Fiat currencies that there is no counterparty risk. If you have the gold in physical form, there is no counterparty risk.

FWE: Right.

LS: So would you say that gold will be one of the ultimate winners of the ongoing financial crisis when it goes into full gear?

FWE: Well, it's documented that J. P. Morgan, Chase and other select banks with this collusion of the Federal Reserve have been artificially depressing the price of gold for years. Every time there's a new financial crisis, they intervene and keep gold within a very tight range. At a certain point that's not going to work anymore and then some people estimate to follow the gold markets much more than I do but it could quickly go up to $10,000 an ounce or even beyond that.

Be that as it may, gold as you point out has no counterparty risk and it's a historic store of value. It's one of the beautiful commodities out there and it has a special – the other just being special significance economically and historically, the other thing is that China is the number one mining producer of gold in the world today, not South Africa. South Africa has fallen far behind

LS: Yeah, and Russia is number three.

FWE: Russia is number three.

LS: And a lot of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation are producers or are buying gold.

FWE: At the rail connections of the circle of the China Belt Road Initiative in part are aiming to go in the areas where there are known gold reserves but no infrastructure during the Soviet era to bring that gold down to market. So, we have an extremely fascinating prospect, not just for China and Russia, for the world really to build up instead of tear down, destroy and burn and bankrupt which is the only policy that Washington seems able to follow these days.

LS: Yeah. To sum it up with a famous Chinese proverb. "May you live in interesting times" – you and all the others.

FWE: We certainly do.

LS: Okay. great. Thank you very much, William, for this interview.

FWE: Thank you, Lars.


Omega a day ago ,

Two things:

1. Operation Hammer:

In 1989 President George H. W. Bush began the multi-billion dollar Project Hammer program using an investment strategy to bring about the economic destruction of the Soviet Union including the theft of the Soviet treasury, the destabilization of the ruble, funding a KGB coup against Gorbachev in August 1991 and the seizure of major energy and munitions industries in the Soviet Union.

Those resources would subsequently be turned over to international bankers and corporations. On November 1, 2001, the second operative in the Bush regime, President George W. Bush, issued Executive Order 13233 on the basis of "national security" and concealed the records of past presidents, especially his father's spurious activities during 1990 and 1991.

http://www.conspiracyarchiv...

2. Why can't Putin touch Yeltsinist oligarchs:

Yeltsin's oligarchs remained as rich as they were; Yeltsin's family still possesses immense riches. And Putin does not dare to touch them. He goes hat in hand to open a Yeltsin's Memorial Centre; he is courteous with Yeltsin's widow and daughter. Putin's establishment cautiously avoided celebration, or even mention of the Revolution centenary, in keeping with Yeltsin's anticommunism. This is the Deal.

https://www.unz.com/ishamir...

Fraser a day ago ,

Given the depth of the fall, the rise (under Putin) has been remarkable.

Guy Fraser a day ago ,

The rise has been astounding and all because they have a leader that can't be bought , not corrupt and loves his country. That is why he literally was swept in in the last election. The Western leaders will not admit it but I am sure they are terribly envious .

Tommy Jensen a day ago ,

Very good article to bring to RI also.

It open eyes on how the West political elite are a criminal rotten cancer syndicate and Georg Bush Sr. shows up to be even worse than the disgusting profile he already has in media and Georg Soros bad reputation gets confirmed.

No police or court are available to take this out. We only have John Connor or The One to count on.
Choice is the problem now. We will have to make a choice.

Play Hide
Nicole Temple a day ago ,

The photo of Yeltsin and Clinton that accompanies this article should remind readers of this story:

https://viableopposition.bl...

There is something rotten in Washington and it has been in existence for decades.

Guy a day ago ,

Great interview .William Engdahl is a very knowledgeable person. I have read a few of his books. Superb in my view.

Jimi Thompson a day ago ,

Quite a few unknown tidbits for me in all of this... very eye-opening even for someone that is aware of the games being played at the higher levels.

To imagine all of what remains unknown, including many of the players, leaves much to the imagination.

[Apr 18, 2018] Macron Napoleonic complex

Apr 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

In the space of a few days Macron has:

Inadequacy much? How needy for recognition is this guy?

CHUCKMAN 9 hours ago ,

France used to produce some pretty fine leaders, but lately, it's like a different place.

Hollande was the most ridiculous, gutless thing we ever saw. He was laughably pompous and ineffective and dishonest and even cowardly, vis a vis the US.

Macron probably ranks second worst. He's making a mess of France, he's blubbering all kinds of nonsense about the EU, he's busy putting troops in Syria against all international law, he is not liked by the people, and he is virtually a French doormat for America.

Sarkozy showed the odd bit of promise, but he was largely talk with no worthy efforts. And he was immensely corrupt. Imagine taking 20 million euros from Qaddafi and then participating in the scheme to kill him? Or the case of the senile woman who was France's wealthiest woman, from whom he took many millions for his campaigns, doing so in private without other members of the family or strict legal supervision.

Hard to see the same country we saw in de Gaulle's time and that of his immediate successors.

Muriel Kuri 8 hours ago ,

'I am an equal of Putin' - well, he's right in a way - they're both leaders of a country. Beyond that, there is NO comparison. Maybe he admires Putin - which is good, if he tries to emulate him, even better because Putin, after all, is one of the few great current leaders of the world. Macron has a very long way to go, but with many years experience, if he gets the chance, MAY become a better leader than some, but never will be the match of Putin.

[Apr 18, 2018] Obama vs Trump: That is how the political mechanism of faux populism works.

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit | Apr 18, 2018 11:42:04 AM | 142

Don Bacon

Trump's actions have not matched his election rhetoric. Just like faux populist Obama. Obama also "caved" to pressure, and even set himself up for failure by emphasing "bipartisanship".

That is how the political mechanism of faux populism works.

Obama: Change you can believe in
Trump: Make America Great Again

Obama: Most transparent administration ever
Trump: Drain the Swamp

Obama: Deceiver: "Man of Peace" engaging in covert ops
Trump: Distractor: twitter, personal vendettas

Weakened by claims of unpatriotic inclinations:
Obama: Birthers (led by Trump who was close to Clinton's) - "Muslim socialist"!
Trump: Russia influence (pushed by 'NeverTrump' Clinton loyalists) - Putin's bitch!

There's more but I won't belabor the point.

[Apr 18, 2018] The disinformation is so deep, thick and pervasive that there is no way to discern fact from fiction. This is the fruit of Operation Mockingbird and its continuation and addendums

Notable quotes:
"... "Interesting that the PTB cannot keep and maintain a coherent storyline. There is no penalty for backtracking, lying, recanting, revisions." ..."
"... All that is required for the defeat of propaganda is historical memory. Hence, one purpose of the media--particularly the so-called news-cycle -- is to destroy historical memory. This is done in several ways. ..."
"... This destruction is then effected in the minds of the media audience as the inevitable cognitive result of their daily exposure to its "news." People who watch the news are people being daily reindoctrinated into a present that is cut off from and independent of anything that happened in the past--whether fifty years ago, ten years ago, or even yesterday. ..."
"... wonder why suicides and military suicides in particular are at unprecedented levels? ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

fastfreddy | Apr 17, 2018 11:27:33 AM | 108

The disinformation is so deep, thick and pervasive that there is no way to discern fact from fiction. This is the fruit of Operation Mockingbird and its continuation and addendums.

Interesting that the PTB cannot keep and maintain a coherent storyline. There is no penalty for backtracking, lying, recanting, revisions...

Just move on to the next event.

Karl Rove was correct (was it 15 years ago?)

"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

WJ , Apr 17, 2018 12:24:48 PM | 115

@106,

"Interesting that the PTB cannot keep and maintain a coherent storyline. There is no penalty for backtracking, lying, recanting, revisions."

All that is required for the defeat of propaganda is historical memory. Hence, one purpose of the media--particularly the so-called news-cycle -- is to destroy historical memory. This is done in several ways.

1. The destruction of historical memory is "performed" by the media itself. This is what the Guardian does when it publishes six breathless Skripal stories on six successive days no one of which is consistent with the details of any other, but all of which tell us "Russia did it, Russia did it, Russia did it."

2. This destruction is then effected in the minds of the media audience as the inevitable cognitive result of their daily exposure to its "news." People who watch the news are people being daily reindoctrinated into a present that is cut off from and independent of anything that happened in the past--whether fifty years ago, ten years ago, or even yesterday.

3. This is why, for example, the media and its audience, while being able to acknowledge that the intelligence agencies lied in 2001-2003 for the sake of a predetermined war, are unable or unwilling to accede that this truth is relevant to our situation *today*. Because "today" is somehow always self-standing and unique. The truth of "today" is never related to the recent and more distant historical past as its complex analogue and consequence.

4. Because propaganda is not about truth but about current state-corporate interests it requires the destruction of any historical memory strong enough to test today's propaganda against the measure of the past so as to arrive at a true (or more nearly true) understanding of present politics.

john , Apr 17, 2018 1:08:09 PM | 122
fastfreddy says:

Interesting that the PTB cannot keep and maintain a coherent storyline

they don't have to. the psychosis of the state, its unwritten manifestos, its bent cultural inculcations, is running at full tide, unrestrained and seemingly immune to resistance, of which there is very little anyway. wonder why suicides and military suicides in particular are at unprecedented levels? ...

[Apr 17, 2018] the unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens Ed Schultz I was fired from MSNBC because I supported Bernie Sanders

Apr 17, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

Ed Schultz: I was fired from MSNBC because I supported Bernie Sanders The former anchor claims the network was in the tank for Hillary Clinton

MSNBC anchor-turned-Russia Today host, Ed Schultz, told National Review Monday that he believes he was fired from the left-leaning cable news network because he openly supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary. The network, he claims, was in the tank for Hillary Clinton.

The interview itself is fascinating and a shocking look at the inner workings of MSNBC, even if Schultz isn't exactly a reliable narrator. Schultz claims that MSNBC took a heavy hand in dictating what went on air, and that he was often pushed in the direction of a story by higher-ups, even if he felt his audience wouldn't be interested.

Schultz says his trouble at MSNBC started when he informed his bosses that he planned to cover Bernie Sanders' campaign announcement live from Vermont, and that he would be airing the first, exclusive, cable network interview with the progressive presidential candidate. They objected, and even went so far as to tell Schultz to drop the story.

He refused. And was forced to cover a boring news story in Texas, he says.

Schultz is clear on whom he blames: Hillary Clinton.

" I think the Clintons were connected to [NBC's] Andy Lack, connected at the hip, " Schultz told NRO host Jamie Weinstein. " I think that they didn't want anybody in their primetime or anywhere in their lineup supporting Bernie Sanders. I think that they were in the tank for Hillary Clinton, and I think that it was managed, and 45 days later I was out at MSNBC. "

Schultz's stint at MSNBC came to a screeching halt in July 2015, just as the Democratic primaries were heating up. That same week, the network also axed other underperforming shows, but Schultz maintains that he was given the boot because they didn't want him speaking out against Clinton in the heat of the primaries.

Source: https://www.dailywire.com/news/29531/ed-schultz-i-was-fired-msnbc-because-i-supported-emily-zanotti

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9PIOD4YwOwA

system failure due to insufficient evolution? at

[Apr 11, 2018] It's surreal to watch such staggering levels of dishonest incompetence among our globalist "elites".

Apr 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [280] Disclaimer , April 10, 2018 at 5:33 am GMT

It's surreal to watch such staggering levels of dishonest incompetence among our globalist "elites".

This is worrying. Nobody is that stupid so it's more like they don't care about credibility going forward. Like it won't matter.

Kiza , April 10, 2018 at 5:40 am GMT
We have moved way beyond the Skripals case now. Simply put, if US shoots in Syria, Russia will shoot back this time, yes back at US. USS Donald Duck has been placed as a bait to be sent to the bottom of Mediterrenain sea by the Russians, similar to Arizona et al at Pearl Harbour.

Many dissenter websites are currently under attack by the cyber forces of the Western regimes and Israel, one of them being this one. Another site under attack is my favorite johnhelmer.com. In addition to saying that he is under attack, the current message from John is:
WHEN THE RULE OF LAW WAS DESTROYED IN SALISBURY, LONDON AND THE HAGUE, AND THE RULE OF FRAUD DECLARED IN WASHINGTON, THAT LEAVES ONLY THE RULE OF FORCE IN THE WORLD. THE STAVKA MET IN MOSCOW ON GOOD FRIDAY AND IS READY. THE FOREIGN MINISTRY ANNOUNCED ON SUNDAY "THE GRAVEST CONSEQUENCES". THIS MEANS ONE AMERICAN SHOT AT A RUSSIAN SOLDIER, THEN WE ARE AT WAR. NOT INFOWAR, NOT CYBERWAR, NOT ECONOMIC WAR, NOT PROXY WAR. WORLD WAR.

The West is utterly bankrupt, morally as well as financially and we are experiencing the Western remedial plan and actions – war!

annamaria , April 10, 2018 at 5:52 am GMT
"In 2016 an official British government inquiry determined that Bush and Blair had indeed together rushed to war. The Global Establishment has nevertheless rewarded Tony Blair for his loyalty with Clintonesque generosity. He has enjoyed a number of well-paid sinecures and is now worth in excess of $100 million."

– The character of Blair and the Establishment is well established: Blair is a major war criminal supported by the major war profiteers. His children and grandchildren are a progeny of a horrible criminal.

What is truly amazing is the complacency of the Roman Catholic Church that still has not excommunicated and anathematized the mass murderer. Blair should be haunted and hunted for his crimes against humanity.

With age, Blair's face has become expressively evil. His wife Theresa Cara "Cherie" Blair shows the same acute ugliness coming from her rotten soul of a war profiteer.

Blanco Watts , April 10, 2018 at 6:34 am GMT
The UK is governed by the same Neo-liberal psychotic cabal that runs the US, Israel and France.
JR , April 10, 2018 at 7:06 am GMT
Keep in mind how long ago all this is:
Skripal was recruited around 1990 and arrested in 2004. Guess that the Russian attitude towards Skripal took the chaos of the 90′s as mitigating circumstances into account.
Skripal served his sentence of only 13 years till 2010 when he was pardoned and given the option to leave. Russia did not revoke Skripal's citizenship. The UK issued Skripal a passport too. On arrival in the UK Skripak was extensively debriefed by UK intelligence services. Skripal has lived for 8 years in the UK now.

And now out of the blue this incident nicely dovetailing with May ratcheted up anti Russia language only a few months before this false flag incident and the rapidly failing traction of the Steele/Orbis/MI6 instigated Russia collusion story on the basis of that fake Trump Dossier. By the way Orbis affiliated Steele and Miller have been among Skripal's handlers.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 10, 2018 at 8:43 am GMT
From the Steele dossier lies falling apart to the Skripal lies falling apart to the 'Assad did it' lies falling apart:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/04/08/open-letter-to-die-linke/

^

Paul Craig Roberts is correct when quoting The Saker:

"The Russian view is simple: the West is ruled by a gang of thugs supported by an infinitely lying and hypocritical media while the general public in the West has been hopelessly zombified." -- The Saker

I expect that makes the Russians right

[Apr 11, 2018] Unfortuntely, even among friends and aquaintances, the story about evil Assad killing Children is often readily believed

White Helmets was the greatest war propaganda invention since Goebbels "big lie"
The sheeple might realize that they were duped only when it's too late... It's all very darwinian: Elite is too nasty and common people are too stupid and too busy with surviving in economic uncertanty to decipher lies
Notable quotes:
"... "the West is ruled by a gang of thugs" ..."
"... It is depressing to see that there are very few people in the MSM speaking out for reason. One of the few ones is Tucker Carlson. ..."
"... The US, British etc. taxpayer funded propaganda arm of Islamists, the media trained "white helmets" are delivering videos that look almost as real as Hollywood products and most of the sheeple in the western world don't question their propaganda narrative. ..."
"... Well here you go Dutti. Both Glen Greenwald and Amy Goodman are out there in media land championing the 'truth' for good old Isramerika. ..."
Apr 11, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Stuck on Zero -> IridiumRebel Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:16 Permalink

No other nation will go to war with the U.S. They are too smart. All they have to do is wait till we burn ourselves out and fight amongst ourselves.

IridiumRebel -> Stuck on Zero Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:18 Permalink

This is my hope.....

beepbop -> IridiumRebel Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:23 Permalink

"the West is ruled by a gang of thugs"

Those THUGS are Jewish Neocons/Zionists/Bolsheviks. They've got the USG in their pockets. They're the HIDDEN HAND .

Let's tell it like it is.

Dutti -> DownWithYogaPants Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:38 Permalink

It is depressing to see that there are very few people in the MSM speaking out for reason. One of the few ones is Tucker Carlson.

Unfortunately, even among friends and acquaintances, the story about "evil Assad killing Children" is often readily believed.

The US, British etc. taxpayer funded propaganda arm of Islamists, the media trained "white helmets" are delivering videos that look almost as real as Hollywood products and most of the sheeple in the western world don't question their propaganda narrative.

Very sad and disheartening.

FBaggins -> Dutti Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:45 Permalink

Well here you go Dutti. Both Glen Greenwald and Amy Goodman are out there in media land championing the 'truth' for good old Isramerika.

http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=168513

[Apr 09, 2018] In my opinion, the forces that push for war know they are lying and don't care if a small percentage are on to them. They have the microphone and we do not.

Notable quotes:
"... Without sufficient domain knowledge, you have no immunity from MSM narratives. And, to acquire that knowledge you need to read non-MSM sources (or know people with first-hand experience). ..."
Apr 09, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Babak Makkinejad -> Prince Monolulu , 4 hours ago

Reasonably intelligent people? Like this Iranian woman (in US) whose postings during the war for Aleppo was full of righteous indignation for the rebels. when I told her that the people whose fate she was bemoaning would do many evil things to her as a Shia Iranian woman; she would not hear of it.
ceasley7 -> Babak Makkinejad , 2 hours ago
Couldn't agree with you more Babak. My dad is a 78 year old Orthopedic physician here in the US. He would be considered intelligent by most people. And he is. Except when it comes to Geopolitics. He believes everything the MSM parrots and I gave up long ago in voicing my opinion to him. It's hopeless. And consider the vast majority of the citizens of my country are far less intelligent than him. In my opinion, the forces that push for war know they are lying and don't care if a small percentage are on to them. They have the microphone and we do not.
Prince Monolulu -> Babak Makkinejad , 4 hours ago
Yes, people like that. Without sufficient domain knowledge, you have no immunity from MSM narratives. And, to acquire that knowledge you need to read non-MSM sources (or know people with first-hand experience).

[Apr 09, 2018] Hi, I am from the government. I am here to lie to you

The Brits blinked and did not punish the criminal liar Blair. Since then, the war profiteering based on false flag operations has become a national British pastime.
Notable quotes:
"... The problem for governments using false flag operations like this is many more people are no longer trusting their own governments and quite rightly so. ..."
Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

are we there yet -> DuneCreature Sun, 04/08/2018 - 17:56 Permalink

Hi, I am from the government. I am here to lie to you. I have so many lies on top of other lies that sometimes they are true. Even the government has lost track. I am not sure if even MIC or Israel knows anymore.

GreatUncle Sun, 04/08/2018 - 10:51 Permalink

The problem for governments using false flag operations like this is many more people are no longer trusting their own governments and quite rightly so. Human minds are reinforcing the concept of untrustworthy governments that actually lasts far longer than the elected period of time of those who purport to represent the population we now know to be a deceit.

As example, take Blair ex-UK prime minister who concocted the whole Iraq dodgy dossier in the UK who most people I know now call him a war criminal but nobody will put on trial in the Hague. He has not been PM since 2007 but nobody forgets the criminal acts he instigated and supported and will be remembered for a long time for this. So how do you make Blair appear human again to the population?

You can apply this concept to so many elected criminals in the west ... join it up those that rule us are in fact criminals not ordinary people. The psychos rule over us and to them we are no more than dead meat.

[Apr 08, 2018] Do brighter minds incline to honesty by James Thompson

Apr 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

Simon Gächter & Jonathan F. Schulz. Intrinsic honesty and the prevalence of rule violations across societies. Nature, Letter doi:10.1038/nature17160

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3c4TxciNeJZS0JfOGZQNnBhVkE/view?usp=sharing

The authors argued thus:

Good institutions that limit cheating and rule violations, such as corruption, tax evasion and political fraud are crucial for prosperity and development. Yet, even very strong institutions cannot control all situations that may allow for cheating. Well-functioning societies also require the intrinsic honesty of citizens. Cultural characteristics, such as whether people see themselves as independent or part of a larger collective, that is, how individualist or collectivist a society is, might also influence the prevalence of rule violations due to differences in the perceived scope of moral responsibilities, which is larger in more individualist cultures.

If cheating is pervasive in society and goes often unpunished, then people might view dishonesty in certain everyday affairs as justifiable without jeopardising their self-concept of being honest. Experiencing frequent unfairness, an inevitable by-product of cheating, can also increase dishonesty. Economic systems, institutions and business cultures shape people's ethical values, and can likewise impact individual honesty.

I described Gachter and Schultz's work in April 2016, and thought I could immediately see a problem with the interpretation that the authors placed on the results. Putting forward a different perspective took a few days. Getting that new approach published has taken 2 years. For how long will researchers put up with these absurd delays which impede the prompt assessment of arguments?

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/honestly

The authors of this very interesting study, having revealed the cheats, interpreted the national differences as being due to cultural factors, particularly whether there were institutions in each society which encouraged honesty. Of course, this leaves open why one society would have such institutions and another would not. Culture must come from somewhere. A reasonable hypothesis is that the institutions of a county are built by the people who live there. Here is our reply:

Honesty, rule violation and cognitive ability: A reply to Gächter and Schulz
Heiner Rindermann, David Becker, James Thompson.
Intelligence, Volume 68, May–June 2018, Pages 66–69.

https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1Wl5h_3fG8aUwo

Our argument is that both institutions and honesty are determined by the intelligence of people, and that bright people can see the long-term benefits of honesty and of institutions that support honest behaviour. Any institution with a code of conduct leads its members toward probity, and shows prospective applicants what standards are expected of them. However, those institution do not arise randomnly.

Gächter & Schulz assumed that institutional rules affect individual honesty.
We added cognitive ability as further factor explaining national differences.
Stronger effect of IQ (total 0.55) than of rule violation (total −0.34) on honesty.
Stronger effect of IQ (total −0.68) than of honesty (total −0.26) on rule violation.
________________________________________
Abstract
Gächter and Schulz (2016) assumed an effect of institutional rule violation on individual honesty within societies. In this reply we challenge this approach by including a nation's cognitive ability as a further factor for cross-national variations in the prevalence of rule violations and intrinsic honesty. Theoretical considerations, correlational and path analyses show that a nation's cognitive ability level (on average β = |.62|) better explains and predicts honesty and rule violation. While institutional and cultural factors are not unimportant, cognitive factors are more relevant.

The paper argues that there is a causal link between intellectual development and moral awareness: the individual process of development represents an advance from cognitive egocentrism to de-centered thinking, from ethical egocentrism to the consideration of the interests and rights of others.

Cognitive ability seems to have the strongest causal effect on the honesty of a society:

The same pattern holds true if you assume that social levels of honesty intermediate individual levels of honesty as shown by rule violation.

Either way, it seems that intelligence explains whether some societies cheat at games and cheat in real life.


KA , March 23, 2018 at 2:15 pm GMT

Society rots from top and doesn't matter who is at the top. It still remains valid even when the so called least intellectually developed honest poor people get shafted for hundred of years by so called high IQ nations who bring cheating,dishonesty,and violations of existing laws and destruction of existing institutions without replacing them nationwide. Often these newly created institutions are nothing but vehicle to whitewash the corrupting and corrupted new system.

Public moral status has a lot to do with corruption at the top -both local and international in these days of neoliberalism and post -colonization. It sounds painful and hurtful though.

res , March 23, 2018 at 3:18 pm GMT
Interesting work! I am amazed academics have the patience to deal with such a long lag time for letting arguments play out.

Is there any chance of you publishing a scatter plot matrix of the variables you used and/or the data itself?

Do you have the correlation matrix for your variables? By any chance did you try single and multiple variable models to try to predict rule violation from the other variables? It would be interesting to see how much variance an assortment of those models explained.

Has anyone explored the idea of "cheater fraction" (analogous to smart fraction) to explain dishonesty in societies?

James Thompson , Website March 23, 2018 at 5:28 pm GMT
@res

Cheater fraction sounds interesting. I assume that if it is higher than 16% then the society in question is worth avoiding, if at all possible.

Santoculto , March 23, 2018 at 8:17 pm GMT
Honesty can be anything, it's look like obedience to authority instead true or pure honesty
Santoculto , March 23, 2018 at 8:34 pm GMT
@Santoculto

I mean, based on proto-concept used.

Santoculto , March 23, 2018 at 8:37 pm GMT
So ashekl jews [on very avg or not] are the exception in collective terms **
Miro23 , March 23, 2018 at 11:59 pm GMT
It's an interesting question. Some years ago The Economist did a "European Honest Test " leaving a wallet with a fair amount of cash in it (but also including clear contact details of the owner), in capital cities around Europe.

The test was to see how many wallets were returned – and they found that the Scandinavians returned almost all of them, and the Italians returned almost none – with a clear North/South gradient in the results.

By coincidence, at about the same time, I found a wallet beside some rubbish bins with € 400 in it and some credit cards (one from my own bank). So on my next visit, I told them about it and soon got a call from the owner ( a Spanish carpenter working in Germany). His reaction was 1) to check that the money was still in the wallet 2) say that not many people would return a wallet with € 400 in it 3) leave 2 bottles of wine at my front gate.

I checked this reaction with my secretary at the time, and asked her what she would have done, with the answer that it would be a "Regalo de Dios" (Gift of God), i.e. it was not going to be returned to the owner, so there seems to be some anecdotal evidence for the result.

Godfree Roberts , Website March 24, 2018 at 12:31 am GMT
China's position on the Intrinsic Honesty chart is puzzling both at the macro level (remarkably honest, competent policy-makers) and at the individual level (above average IQ).

The Edelman Corporation, which has a lock on international surveys of personal and institutional honesty has consistently found the Chinese to be among the most trusting people on earth, as have World Values Surveys in their own, independent polls of the Chinese.

The source of the discrepancy appears to be the source of the data: "a n indicator of political rights by Freedom House that measures the democratic quality of a country's political practices; the size of a country's shadow economy as a proxy for tax evasion; and corruption as measured by the World Bank's Control of Corruption Index (Supplementary Methods)".

Relying on George Soros' Freedom House for information about China is akin to relying on the neighborhood fox to keep an eye on your chickens while you go on vacation. Garbage in, garbage out

https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSwBCAPkkvGYMGa-7qn79nTF-eX-EnPauQYK8a_NqIAxY7nO7gwjp-m4u9BpRpcOOGZXnkrfe65MOaz/pub .

James Thompson , Website March 24, 2018 at 8:19 am GMT
@Miro23

Regalado.

Anonymous [388] Disclaimer , March 24, 2018 at 10:30 am GMT
I would rate Japan pretty high for getting things returned, but this ethic has eroded over the past three or four decades.

Also, in the past you'd see adult males scolding unrelated misbehaving teens in public, who'd slink away with their tails between their legs. This you do not currently see: men are less masculine and assertive and some teens at least are more beligerant.

Dieter Kief , March 24, 2018 at 11:38 am GMT
I think, David Perkins' findings about high IQ-people being also very tribal would make for a nice addendum here, to better understand how IQ and honesty are related.

I refer to Jonathan Haidt's argument, that he bases explicitly on Perkins' findings, that because of the tendency of high IQ-people to be even more tribal than the lower IQ ranks, ist is so crucial, to understand with J. S. Mill's On Liberty (and I add: with Kant and – – the Kantian Habermas' "Theory of Communicative Action"), that the core achievement of modernity is the institutionalization of disconformation in the democratic/liberal rational discourse and liberal public sphere (universities, the media, etc.).

Here's Jonathan Haidt, referring to Perkins and Mill to make clear, how important the institutionalization of disconformation actually is:

Ilya G Poimandres , March 24, 2018 at 12:12 pm GMT
Correlation≠causation. Maybe honesty leads to brighter minds. Is it your knowing the right answer that makes you follow it, or is it you looking at the situation, as it is, considering evidence and proof, and getting the right answer through correct deductive reasoning, which is then to be followed? You can't be honest and act ideologically, because by definition you follow your observations of the world, not your ideas of the world. An honest person is bound to direct observation, an intelligent person is not. Honesty is probably primary to an accurate understanding of the world.
Wizard of Oz , March 24, 2018 at 1:57 pm GMT
@James Thompson

I think that 16 per cent is a bit arbitrary. In a class or caste dominated society you might, if of a class which can choose to avoid countries, decide that it really doesn't matter if your butler and housekeeper have to terrify the lower orders to stop them ripping you off (and the butler and housekeeper have enough relations they want to place in employment to keep them to the rules as to how much they cheat you).

Wizard of Oz , March 24, 2018 at 2:12 pm GMT
@Miro23

I recently lost my wallet for a short time in a supermarket-plus-other-shops complex as I wheeled my trolley to the car park. I thought my pocket had been picked so went to a nearby poluce station to see if they could accelerate access to CCTV. Mr Plod was useless and unhelpful. (Fortunately I didn't start cancelling credit cards immediately as he pretty well demanded). Back in the shopping centre I was directed to a caretaker's office where a 30 ish man of Pakistani origin had my wallet that had fallen out of my pocket as I went up a ramp. He had taken the trouble to count the cash and wrap it separately with a note on it that the amount was $915 or whatever. I never bothered to count it myself or even unwrap it for several days. What does that say about the standard of civilisation in one of Australia's biggest cities?

Wizard of Oz , March 24, 2018 at 2:41 pm GMT
As anyone who has seen how inadequate religion is today to form moral young people may have thought, the obvious starting point is to ask oneself how I bring up my children and what moral rules I rub in (preferably by example as well as preaching). One knows children are not going to be cunning ruthless sophisticates by nature – unless psychopaths – and will not benefit from being taught to think immediately how they can get away with some theft or lie. So you bring them up with rules which will help to make sure they are both trusted and trustworthy – seeing you return the small amount of change over paid for exsmple to rub in the message about rules they should still be obeying without thought when they have children. Morality is about the customs of the tribe, its mores, and children are rarely done any sort of favour by not being trained to be strictly moral (even if taught Christian forgiveness, especially for the "poor in spirit"). However ..

It occurs to me that the place of intelligence in this may extend to what hss been called Divergent Thinking (does this overlap with Lateral Thinking? Or imagination?)
A quick imaginative laterally thinking brain may think of several ways some dishonest subterfuge may go wrong almost st the moment temptation arises. So honesty for him he quickly concludes is the best policy. And so down the speculative path on which little evidence is to be found. After all what is one to make of the arrogant lawyer that one reads about in the big tax case who thought arrogantly he could get away with something and the Mr Plods of the tax office would never sus him out and prove his wrongdoing to a court?

James Thompson , Website March 24, 2018 at 4:19 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

I was guided by my recollection of the modelling of neighbourhood crime risk, but it is a sliding scale, I agree. I assumed, years ago, that at the 16-20% level one would begin to notice a difference from base rate. See, in this particular example, Fig 2 and Fig 3

http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/hood.htm

Miro23 , March 24, 2018 at 8:06 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

What does that say about the standard of civilization in one of Australia's biggest cities?

It doesn't really say anything. You need some standardized parameters and a reasonable sample size. Then you can draw some conclusions and assess the level of accuracy – like The Economist did with their wallet test – quite a good experiment.

However , at the individual level, a continuing positive outcome would be the wallet owner saying thank you, and being more inclined to return the favor one day.

Wizard of Oz , March 25, 2018 at 1:52 am GMT
Yep. Fair enough. (All of it).
Wizard of Oz , March 25, 2018 at 2:08 am GMT
@James Thompson

It occurs to me that 5 per cent might be a horrible worrying prospect if you, as a lawyer or doctor, thought it applied to the five or ten thousand you might come across as fellow professionals in your city or state. But then it could be that you rarely gossip about others and only regard as liars and cheats those who have done it to you (apart from the few who have been busted for insurance fraud). Maybe 16 per cent sometimes fudge or fiddle something but you don't know so you remain happily (and honestly) complacent, and proud of your profession.

Jonathan Mason , March 25, 2018 at 3:24 am GMT
More intelligent people may be more adept at calculating the possible negative consequences of personal dishonesty and they are likely to have more to lose. However, put them in a corporate situation and no doubt they will be as gung-ho as anyone to figure out ways to rip off customers.
Drapetomaniac , March 25, 2018 at 4:13 am GMT
@Miro23

I only look at the lost wallet in one light: it's not my property.

One of the factors I consider when looking at whether a person is a member of mankind or humankind – property.

szopen , March 25, 2018 at 8:57 am GMT
@Miro23

I've lost a wallet once and then I was visited home by shop owner, who carefuly tracked where I could live by using data from the wallet. She wanted nothing in exchange.

On university, I also was also given back a wallet once; I got back also a cellphone (which was quite expansive at the time) I left somewhere few years ago.

OTOH once I left a wallet with cash at university and it was not returned.

So, here you are my anecdotal evidence from Poland: three wallets and one cellphone, one time not returned, two plus one times returned.

szopen , March 25, 2018 at 9:07 am GMT
@James Thompson

"my recollection", " _I_ assumed, years ago" ??? Does that mean La Griffe du Lion is you?!?

Svigor , March 25, 2018 at 9:28 am GMT

More intelligent people may be more adept at calculating the possible negative consequences of personal dishonesty and they are likely to have more to lose. However, put them in a corporate situation and no doubt they will be as gung-ho as anyone to figure out ways to rip off customers.

The purpose of the institution in question is to "figure out ways to rip off customers." It's neither dishonesty nor cheating. The trick is not to have a culture that puts corporate/employer concerns first.

Obviously smarter people are going to tend to be more moral; you need to know what the fuck morality and ethics even are, and assess the circumstances, before you can make your decisions. Retards can't even get to the point of making a decision. Stupid people are great at missing the moral implications of their behavior. Smart people are the ones who need to come up with rationalizations.

animalogic , March 25, 2018 at 9:54 am GMT
All "honesty" begins with the self. Lying to your self, about your self is the basis of delusion and
in-authenticity. How can you know reality when reality is constantly reinterpreted to fit the needs of a run-away ego ?
The general point, that intelligence is linked to long term thinking seems sound to me. Dishonestly is often about immediate gratification: a question of gaining or avoiding immediate pleasure/displeasure. Honesty is a strategy that "pays off" over the long term.
Honesty, or truth telling (in so far as one can) is also a factor in an Honour culture. The liar is a "base" person, a person who has no sense (or no care about) their own social (self conscious) standing. Honesty also has a close correlation with such things as "loyalty", "promising" etc.
animalogic , March 25, 2018 at 10:02 am GMT
@Jonathan Mason

Oh yes !
That's the joy of the corporate structure: no one is responsible. EVERYONE acts because they "owe" obligations to another. (Executives to higher executives; Higher executives to the Board; the Board to Shareholders) Personal, moral responsibility becomes entirely lost in this deliberately confected ethical melange. The Large organisation is the perfect environment for crafting crimes safe from individual consequence.

animalogic , March 25, 2018 at 10:06 am GMT
@Wizard of Oz

It says you are damn lucky. If I had $ 915 in my wallet I'd super-glue the damn thing to my chest. Rather lose a couple layers of skin than that kind of dosh.

animalogic , March 25, 2018 at 10:25 am GMT
@Ilya G Poimandres

Self honesty is a long tortuous process.
Ideology is a relief: it removes the constant anxiety of needing to "question".
Science is -- should be -- the strictest form of public honesty.
Its frightening how many reports we so often get now about the systemic "dishonesty" in the scientific realm. (Dishonesty driven usually (not exclusively) by the demands of corporate profits)

m___ , March 25, 2018 at 10:46 am GMT
Sublime opportunism, entwined inside collective incentives, converges into supreme ethics, moral behaviour.
Sadly, the convergence is beyond the gradients of our elites.
The why of hard-wired human elites as are, cannot transcend to long term survival strategies, and society resembles a chicken coop.

To add another factor randomly, embedded into the above, it does not matter, how intelligence plays out between individuals, because individual opportunity feeds back into a pool of extended family, group, tribe, waves of culture and ad-hocs, lastingly and durably not encased in cognitive ambition, itself a consequence of cognitive genetic effort. Colleges and universities worldwide are a better example of petty games.

The "truth" and other concepts of "honesty" are a psychological, relative variant, depending on context. The agnostic concept of real and it's pursuit is unknown to our archaic, analogue brain without the preposition of a limited context, opportune in the now.

EliteCommInc. , March 25, 2018 at 1:35 pm GMT
I would be interested in how honesty was explicated. And the valuation of cross cultural rules that note the value of said rule equally across cultures. Now perhaps, these are fully layed out in the study, but I was unable to access the sight provided.

I would also be interested how the study rated honesty as a national value. Thus far the model looks to be applied by survey data. As I was reading I kept thinking of the multiple national scandals in which dishonesty played a central role. Once one figures out the definition and meaning of what constitutes honesty among individuals and or societal groups as agreed upon by those groups, then a model of measuring said honesty is built. This is essential because the article indicates that the difference in variable is largely cultural. So I have to conclude that a standard was established that recognizes what honesty is across cultures.

Because even withing culture, honesty varies. If intelligence is the key demarcation than one would expect those groupings with supposedly higher intelligence to have a higher degree of honesty. But again, even withing culture an agreed upon understanding of honesty is required.
Assuming intelligence matters to some set post of morality, in this case honesty -- could the model replicate supposed intelligence to honesty withing a given system in which the rules are more readily identifiable and agreed upon. Assuming that the students at the US military academies rank higher in intelligence than say the students at any comparable sized university would the students among the military academies rank higher or lower as to the being or practicing honesty. Considering the value placed on meritocratic institutions such as Harvard when measuring that intelligence grouping demonstrate a higher degree of honesty than a comparable public university.

Assuming we agree what the rules are,

"The paper argues that there is a causal link between intellectual development and moral awareness: the individual process of development represents an advance from cognitive egocentrism to de-centered thinking, from ethical egocentrism to the consideration of the interests and rights of others"

it could be interesting whether said tested data is measuring awareness verses adherence.

Here are a bare list of some developed nation's honesty issues regarding rule adherence.

http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Scientific-misconduct

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheating (rare use of Wikipedia)

https://phys.org/news/2014-11-business-culture-banking-industry-favors.html

Again assuming that the players agree on what the rules are across countries or cultures a comparison of honesty across varying fields as to scandals and or practices might tell us something regarding the impact of intelligence to honesty across said cultures.

Found the article interesting and just expressed to thoughts on the read.

James Thompson , Website March 25, 2018 at 1:57 pm GMT
@szopen

No, someone else.

ThreeCranes , March 26, 2018 at 1:25 am GMT
Well, I'll speak (honestly) from the other perspective.

I used to ride my bike of a Sunday morning on a scenic route that boasted a few first class restaurants. Twice I found wallets lying on the pavement just downstream from these establishments. Apparently, the owners, a little tipsy, had set their wallets on top of their cars while they fumbled for their keys and then drove off.

The first I took to the local police station. The second I took home and called the owner (who lived in Canada) using their credit card number to pay for the call and left a message reassuring her that her wallet (and money) was safe and sound, not to worry (because I knew she would, having lost it outside her home country). I didn't want to take it to the police because I figured they'd begin to suspect me of stealing the wallets if I kept showing up with them.

She and her husband drove down to a prearranged place to meet me for the return. She was very grateful.

The owner of the first lost wallet called me and asked if they could donate $100 in my name to my favorite charity.

Another time I found a perfectly nice fleece-lined, leather aviation jacket lying in the road just outside a golf course. Luckily there was a receipt from his fee for 18 holes in the pocket. I called him and arranged to return the coat. We met. He treated me as though I had stolen the jacket from his car. Not so much as a thank you.

I don't know if I'm inclined to honesty because I'm bright, it's just that I've lost my wallet in the past and it's such a pain in the butt that I feel sorry for anyone who shares that fate. Credit cards, ID etc. the money is the least of it.

Mishra , March 26, 2018 at 7:14 am GMT
Honesty and trust are just two more archaic notions to be discarded along the way toward our new third-world future.
The Alarmist , March 26, 2018 at 11:08 am GMT

"Good institutions that limit cheating and rule violations, such as corruption, tax evasion and political fraud are crucial for prosperity and development."

I'd argue that these institutions derive from a well-functioning, high-trust society and are rarely a catalyst for more honesty in other societies.

As for the connection to intelligence, look at India and China to test your hypothesis.

JackOH , March 26, 2018 at 12:20 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

"Another time I found a perfectly nice fleece-lined, leather aviation jacket lying in the road just outside a golf course. Luckily there was a receipt from his fee for 18 holes in the pocket. I called him and arranged to return the coat. We met. He treated me as though I had stolen the jacket from his car. Not so much as a thank you."

TC, yep. I found a wallet stuffed with cash and credit cards on the campus of our local state university. A campus policeman was nearby so I turned the wallet over to him. He cautioned me that people who recover lost or abandoned property are sometimes blamed by the owners of that property for any real or imagined loss, damage, or inconvenience to the owners.

My rough rule of thumb is that if the property can be readily linked to an owner, I return it. If not, and the property has trivial value, say under USD $100, it's a judgment call. Found a few bottles of liquor, seals unbroken, in a trash can. Kept them. Found an untagged but well-kept dog once, which I judged to have strong sentimental value to its owner, so I placed an ad in a local newspaper, got a response, and returned the dog. His children were very grateful.

Santoculto , March 26, 2018 at 10:53 pm GMT
@Mishra

Most of corruption in third world countries came back from the top of social hierarchy, i mean, higher IQ.

dux.ie , March 27, 2018 at 7:38 am GMT
The Gachter experiment on rule violation is based on die throwing in sterile experimental conditions where the financial incentives are trivial and more seriously there are no competition between the participants and there are no mechanism to identify specific individual cheating and no resulting blemish to ones' reputation. So how much of that are relevant to real life situations?

Real life cheating data where there are great advantage to be gained and also with consequences that might affect ones future are more appropriate to be studied. One aspect of the OECD TALIS project dealt with real life cheating in 8645 schools and over 100K? teachers globally,

"TALIS 2013 Results: An International Perspective on Teaching and Learning – © OECD 2014″

http://www.oecd.org/education/talis/

Table 2.20.Web. School climate – Frequency of student-related factors (cheating)
Percentage of lower secondary education teachers whose school principal reports that the following student behaviours occurred 1 Never, 2 Rarely, 3 Monthly, 4 Weekly, 5 Daily in their schools.

Answers 3, 4 and 5 are considered to be serious indicator of cheating in schools. With the intention to mash the TALIS data with the PISA 2012 data, the primary school data were excluded.

Many popular pre-conceived ideas about cheating in schools were not proven by the data. In fact considerable efforts were needed to find any significant statistical trend. For example at the national levels cheating were not correlated to the average PISA scores, fraction of top or bottom PISA scores, teachers' practice of spliting the class to teach and to test part of the class differently, etc.

The factor that show statistical significance is the proxy factor for competition or meritocracy. Countries have adopted various shades of "no child left behind" policy and that is reflected in the age profile of the class. In country that practice strict "no child left behind", the students are automatically promoted to the next grade in the next academic year regardless of the ability of the students with the results that the student will be exclusive of the same 'academic age'. When meritocracy is practiced, poorly performing students might have to repeat the same grade one or more times resulting in 'academic age' distribution in class. Since the PISA project has data of percentage of 15 yo for that grade, the idea can be tested. To be polite, the marked datapoints are not labelled. Two countries separated by a narrow channel can have drastically different cheating levels.

Q32CheatRpt = -0.404*PctGrade +56.76; #n=32; Rsq=0.1891; p=0.01287 *

http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=axb52h&s=9

The school cheating levels is statistically significant to be linearly dependent on the percent of the 15 yo in class. The levels of cheating is dependent on the level of meritocracy practiced. With automatic promotion to the next academic grade there is little need for the students to cheat. The governments are doing the cheating instead. The out-criers of cheating in other countries do not realized that they are in countries with lesser meritocracy.

Peter Frost , Website March 27, 2018 at 1:37 pm GMT
The paper argues that there is a causal link between intellectual development and moral awareness: the individual process of development represents an advance from cognitive egocentrism to de-centered thinking, from ethical egocentrism to the consideration of the interests and rights of others.

This is what Jean Piaget concluded from his studies of Swiss children. He believed that empathy was an integral part of a child's intellectual development. It doesn't follow, however, that there is some kind of genetic linkage between intellectual capacity and the capacity for empathy. These are two different mental traits. It's more likely that the same selection pressure that favored an increase in intellectual capacity also favored an increase in the capacity for empathy.

It's impossible to build an advanced society unless most of its members have a high capacity for both intelligence and empathy. On an individual level, however, high intelligence can co-exist with low empathy. There have been many cases of ruthless sociopaths who are very intelligent and yet totally self-centered. Such people can be very successful as long as they aren't too numerous. Otherwise, they'll destroy the very society that makes their existence possible.

An advanced society requires a combination of high intelligence and high empathy, although this may come about in different ways. In northwest Europeans, a high intellectual capacity co-exists with high capacities for guilt proneness and affective empathy. In East Asians, a high intellectual capacity co-exists with high capacities for cognitive empathy and pro-social behavior. In other words, there is more emphasis in East Asian societies on learning correct moral rules.

J.Ross , Website March 27, 2018 at 11:48 pm GMT
@Peter Frost

I am not following the credit gift of empathy to East Asians, or the connection of morality and intelligence to the obeying of complex rules, because of the stolen oranges in the Book of Rites and the counterfeit antiques that impressed the Emperor. The Chinese literally explain how to lie in their moral teachings. "Lying" is right there among the morality-guaranteeing complex rules. There are examples in the Talmud I will not specify, or regard as unreasonable, but I will note that nobody saw the Talmud as less than a downright complex system of rules. Some African tribes have rules so stringent (eg, no wet dreams) that nobody could possibly obey them. If anything I would expect that systems of compelled obedience to complex rules guarantee dishonesty. The only alternative is Billy Budd getting the captain to take his side.
What I would start with is power. In China, even in periods of decay or civil war, power is always centralized to a degree only approached in Europe by a few temporarily competent monarchs, and with an effectiveness that has never been accomplished in Europe. I think this and not math scores or cheap shoes is the basis of the elite adoration of the Han. The man who observes that a cow is not a nightingale, or that two and two are four, when the opposite is being claimed by an officer of the government (be it communist, imperial, or partisan) is an idiot. He, and probably his family, maybe his hamlet, will be exterminated with efficiency the European Enlightened Despots could only dream of. Truth, insofar as it is objective, is the hair of Liberty. It cannot exist at all except in the empty space left by the rolling back of power. The trick here is embracing negativism instead of falling into the positivistic trap. We in the West accidentally stumbled across Liberty and Truth and Science, not because we are good, objectively not because we are smarter, but because we just couldn't get that mandate of heaven thing together, despite the unambiguous desires of numerous monarchs. I predict that this will be an unpopular answer but it will not go away.
(but the Japanese are massively more ethical than the Chinese. Yeah. And they are also all but European, especially in a lot of their political history. They dreamed of imitating Chinese centralization but never came close.)
Also, how soon can we expect an update to that graph, now plotting IQ (or PISA, or tetris scores, etc) against something like the Transparency Index? Apologies if this has already been done and I missed it.

James Thompson , Website March 28, 2018 at 9:27 am GMT
@dux.ie

thanks for this interesting additional measure of cheating.

Steve Sailer , Website March 30, 2018 at 6:27 am GMT
Personally, I have a hard time understanding scams. I would make a terrible white collar criminal.
Wally , March 30, 2018 at 7:03 am GMT
@Jonathan Mason

Got examples?

Biff , March 30, 2018 at 7:31 am GMT
Those studies are bunk because everybody lies:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jul/09/everybody-lies-how-google-reveals-darkest-secrets-seth-stephens-davidowitz

What can we learn about ourselves from the things we ask online? US data scientist Seth Stephens‑Davidowitz analysed anonymous Google search results, uncovering disturbing truths about our desires, beliefs and prejudices

Tbbh , March 30, 2018 at 8:19 am GMT
@Santoculto

I almost thought I had found a thread on unz where somebody didn't mention joos. Thanks for not disappointing me.

jilles dykstra , March 30, 2018 at 11:47 am GMT
Have no idea where the data come from, but scandals with Dutch politicians seem to increase all the time, most with Rutte's VVD.

Condemned politicians for fraud etc., a novelty.
But until now just one behind bars.

But about honesty, our prime minister Rutte is nicknamed Pinocchio for his lies.
The VVD quickly rid itself of the chairman Keiser, who manipulated himself into possession of the crematoria of the organisation he advised.
The Dutch tax authority presented him with a claim of € 12 million, our FIOD, the authority for fiscal crimes is investigating him.

Condemned business men for fraud, more than we like.
Even the former Philips CEO Boonstra was condemned for trade with foreknowledge.
Solicitors also are not above suspicion any more.

At the recent municipality elections measures were applied to prevent criminals being elected.

Unreliable policemen, also a novelty, the first serious conviction was a short time ago, he sold information from police data bases to criminals.
How he was not discovered earlier, unbelievable, police salaries are insufficient for driving Porsches.

Wizard of Oz , March 30, 2018 at 12:39 pm GMT
Your last paragraph is ill timed and at best insensitive in the opinion of this Australian who once got some pleasure from the game of cricket
anarchyst , March 30, 2018 at 12:48 pm GMT
Catholic bishop Fulton J. Sheen said it best: "It is much easier for an educated person to rationalize evil".
All one has to do is look at abortion supporters who insist that abortion merely removes "a clump of cells", when they damn well know better, that it is HUMAN LIFE that they are destroying.
The old "ends justifies the means" excuse also comes into play, which is used by communist societies to purge millions of those who oppose them, not unlike the purges in the old Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and other communist "paradises".
I would state that it is easier for an educated person to rationalize evil–this including dishonesty
ANON [436] Disclaimer , March 30, 2018 at 1:01 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

Do I detect a matter of class? The golfer seems not to have been a gentleman belonging to a golf club where proper behaviour was de rigeur, very likely passed from father, uncle and club pro to son. The sort of chap who pays green fees could be a wannabe upwardly mobile agent for subdivided swamp land

ANON [436] Disclaimer , March 30, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

PS I gave up golf after my father died 20+ years ago. Not so much that I couldn't match his ethical standards but that after two heart attacks and hip replacements he was still a scratch golfer and all I could do was occasionally outdrive him if my slice or pull allowed.

TG , March 30, 2018 at 1:12 pm GMT
Interesting post. Some additional thoughts.

1. Perhaps smart people are just better at not getting caught?

2. Overall, there is one major factor in the honesty of a society, and that is poverty. When an overpopulated third-world society is crushed into misery, when people cannot earn a half-way decent living – or indeed, any living – through honest effort, eventually they come to cheat. This has been demonstrated in all cultures and all races.

Does integrity promote prosperity? Surely. But the reverse is if anything more powerful: poverty promotes corruption and nepotism. For people to behave honorably, yes there must be a culture of this, but it must also be the case that behaving honorably is not cutting your own throat. Because few people are saints.

Cindy , March 30, 2018 at 2:37 pm GMT
@JackOH

"Found a few bottles of liquor, seals unbroken, in a trash can. "

Dumpster-diving is a different thing than keeping lost goods. I think you're *morally* in the clear, there, even if sorely lacking in judgement. This doesn't seem very wise. Did it not occur to you that they were probably in the TRASH for a reason? Probably not poisonous or anything, since the seals were on. Probably some alcoholic decided to quit drinking. But do you want to take the chance that this wasn't a bootleg batch full of lead? Obviously the answer was yes. Your butt, I reckon

Anonymous [739] Disclaimer , March 30, 2018 at 3:13 pm GMT
We have been flooded here at the University of Chicago by Mainland/Communist Chinese students. There are lots of accusations that the Chinese Communist government assists these students by cheating, getting other English language proficient students to take the English part of the SAT tests.

There appear to be lots and lots of Mainland Chinese/Communist China students here who supposedly aced the English SAT test but can't seem to speak English.

Twodees Partain , March 30, 2018 at 3:23 pm GMT
@Miro23

"like The Economist did with their wallet test – quite a good experiment."

But, The Economist is hardly a bastion of truth. I would tend to dismiss their entire story of the wallet experiment as a fabrication, having caught their writers in so many lies.

Willem , March 30, 2018 at 4:06 pm GMT
I interpreted the Simon Gächter graph as follows: the more money a country has, the more honest the citizens are.

Perhaps one should do an experiment and make countries like Tanzania as rich as e.g. The Netherlands, and then do the comparisons.

Same applies to IQ.

jacques sheete , March 30, 2018 at 5:05 pm GMT

Do Brighter Minds Incline to Honesty?

Possibly.

But certainly that accounts for the fact that politicians are dull, ignorant, dissemblers at best.

In many governments the candidates for the highest stations are above the law; and, if they can attain the object of their ambition, they have no fear of being called to account for the means by which they acquired it. They often endeavour, therefore, not only by fraud and falsehood, the ordinary and vulgar arts of intrigue and cabal; but sometimes by the perpetration of the most enormous crimes, by murder and assassination, by rebellion and civil war, to supplant and destroy those who oppose or stand in the way of their greatness.

Adam Smith, Essays Pt I, Sec III, Chap III. ed. Joseph Black and James Hutton (London: Alex. Murray & Son, 1869). 3/30/2018. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2721#Smith_Essays1649_206

denk , March 30, 2018 at 5:36 pm GMT
Uk, the perpetrator of Iraq WMD and the current Russiagate, a more 'ethical' country than China ?

What a joke !

jilles dykstra , March 30, 2018 at 5:50 pm GMT
@Willem

Honesty to me seems a cultural phenomenon.
Once people get away with dishonesty, others think 'why not me ?'.

The Dutch erosion, in my recollection, already began in the seventies, with leftist people, at the time social democrats.
It was said then 'thinking left, filling pockets at the right'.
People as my father, life long socialists, left the party in great numbers.
It took a long time for THE socialist party, PvdA, to disappear, until the last parliamentary elections.
The self destruction had much to do with EU support, socialism is at odds with globalisation, even within the EU.

Few in the USA will have followed all the French scandals before the last presidential elections.
Even Macron was accused of not declaring all his possessions.
And indeed, I also cannot understand how he spent or lost the millions he got while working for the Rothschild bank.

Another well known politician, presidential candidate, cannot now remember the name, disappeared after gifts for suits for some € 50.000 were published, there was also a very expensive watch, the job his wife had, what she in fact did, nobody understands, and the temporary jobs for his children.
When one sees the small castle where the family lives one understands that he could not buy his suits himself.

Now at last there seems to be sufficient proof against Sarkozy.

Now many French presidents were persecuted after their immunity ended, when they no longer were president.
But the frauds etc. they seem to have perpetrated seem worse and worse, in the Sarko case, intimidating a judge, among other things.
When Hollande will be persecuted, I wonder.
He had a reputation for sacking editors in chief.

jilles dykstra , March 30, 2018 at 5:53 pm GMT
@denk

Ask Ghandi, alas he does not live, when Britain was an ethical country.
Just a few years ago, in BBCW Hard Talk, I saw an Indian minister getting quite angry 'the British did not have to teach the Indians anything'.

JackOH , March 30, 2018 at 6:01 pm GMT
@Cindy

Cindy, both gut and butt survived my "rescue" hooch. I did some due diligence: examined the bottles, carefully tasted the contents, etc. My guess was a domestic quarrel in the parking garage over the high-end vodka and liqueurs, perhaps over someone's drinking problem, and the quarrel was settled by chucking the booze.

" . . . [S]orely lacking in judgment." Not really. My judgment turned out to be okay, because I was informed by the totality of the circumstances and then made my call. Had the booze been low-end stuff found in an unfamiliar location, etc., I might have judged differently.

BTW-I didn't dumpster-dive. The booze was clearly visible at the top of the trash can.

denk , March 30, 2018 at 6:19 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

How did they measure such 'honesty index' ?
Placing 100 wallets in a park and observe how many are returned to the owners ?

But when the anglos lie, they always lie big time !

Goebel famously oberved .

The English follow the principle that when one lies, it should be a big lie, and one should stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous

Waging wars by false pretexts surely is the highest form of duplicity ?
They dont call them perfidious albions for nuthin you know !

Another Realist , March 30, 2018 at 6:24 pm GMT
How does the author explain the link between the supposed highest IQ group – the Jews, and their reputation for utmost dishonesty, greed and lust throughout history? Same goes for the Chinese.

Propensity for Honesty is the biggest reason why we need to restrict immigration from low trust cultures, i.e. all 3rd world countries. It's why they're 3rd world, because they are low trust, everyone is dishonest from the top down, the few honest ones are called "stupid" and get ripped off left and right. The more we import from these cultures, the more dishonest our society will become, this includes all of Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Southern & Eastern Europe esp. Russia. The only truly honest people in the world are Northwestern Protestant Europeans, and maybe the Japanese. All other groups are dishonest.

Joe Wong , March 30, 2018 at 8:18 pm GMT
@res

Interesting work? This article is a pure misuse of statistics, a fabrication and a classic work of evil minded Eurocentrist attempting to give a new lease of life to their declining rotten Eurocentrism in facing of the rising progressive, peaceful, and pragmatic East.

Look at the graph, its racist Eurocentrism is glaring, all the Western nations are on the good side while rest of the world on the bad side. History has shown all those on the good side are liars, cheaters, murderers, bandits, and pirates, while those on the bad side are the victims of those perpetrators on the good side. The missing of the USA in the chart makes this article an unapologetic white supremacy lie.

To study the link between brightness and honesty, it should pull data from the same pool of population who are in the same environment, i.e. within a nation, then we even can study whether cognitive ability, intellectual development, moral awareness, culture factor, and institutions have any effect on honesty and their relationships.

Besides in spite of being bright, and having cognitive ability, intellectual development, moral awareness, culture factor and strong institutions, the West still bombs, kills and waterboards others on the fabricated phantom allegations as humanitarian intervention without showing remorse; and recently the West lied about the poisoning episode in UK, and brought the world to the edge of anther world war crisis, those evidences prove the Western societies are not honest despite the qualities they processed as prerequisite for honesty, it seems it proves the West is either hypocritical or innate psychopathic.

jacques sheete , March 30, 2018 at 9:18 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

Ask Ghandi, alas he does not live, when Britain was an ethical country.

Exactly. What a pack of criminals. They were much worse and for a longer period of time, than what they accused the Nazis of doing.

Churchill refused to divert supplies away from already well-supplied British troops at the same time he allegedly blocked American and Canadian ships from delivering aid to India either. Nor would he allow the Indians to help themselves: the colonial government forbade the country from using its own ships or currency reserves to help the starving masses. Meanwhile, London pushed up the price of grain with hugely inflated purchases, making it unaffordable for the dying and destitute. Most-chillingly of all, when the government of Delhi telegrammed to tell him people were dying, Churchill allegedly only replied to ask why Gandhi hadn't died yet.

If all this is true -- and documents support it -- then Winston Churchill may well have starved to death as many innocent people as Stalin did in the Ukrainian genocide. Could the man who held out against Hitler really be capable of such an atrocity? Judging by the rest of this list, it wouldn't be surprising.

https://listverse.com/2014/02/04/10-evil-crimes-of-the-british-empire/

jacques sheete , March 30, 2018 at 9:39 pm GMT
The honest and bright Brits are responsible for starvation in prison camps decades before the Nazis were supposed to have done their thing.:

Picture of Brit camp victim (Boer War) according to the article linked above.:

lavoisier , Website March 30, 2018 at 9:56 pm GMT
@ANON

I cannot play golf without committing a certain amount of larceny. In my mind a mulligan is a reasonable option to excuse a particularly poorly played shot. And I have been known to sweeten my lie on the not rare occasion, which, of course, is a form of lying.

I have often wondered if my ease at dishonesty on the links might suggest a propensity towards darker deeds?

And don't even ask me about gimme putts. That for sure must reflect a lower intelligence!

Joe Wong , March 30, 2018 at 10:33 pm GMT
@James Thompson

Who decides who cheats or being dishonesty? Is misleading advertising cheating? Is empty campaign promises cheating? Is abusing legal loopholes cheating? Is putting one's self-interest ahead of the ones they supposed to serve cheating? Is price fixing cheating? Are cartels of all kind cheating? Are selective reporting, wrongful labelling, and spreading ideology cheating? . . .

Mind you, the people involved in the above activities are all bright, well educated, intelligent, having strong institutions, within well-functioning societies, and a sense of moral responsibilities too, would they be more than 16% in the western societes?

Sollipsist , March 30, 2018 at 11:08 pm GMT
The assumptions behind this are so fragile and unsupportable.

Honesty, as with most of the Judeo-Christian values, largely serves to keep the compliant majority self-correcting while the predatory and parasitic top and bottom of society maintain a more productive relativistic approach – long term dishonesty for the elites, short term dishonesty for the undesirables. In-group honesty is always far more valued than universal honesty – whether you're talking about stockbrokers or Romani.

The most intelligent in any class or group are far more likely to utilize dishonesty when it best serves their needs. To do otherwise would be a clear sign of lack of intelligence.

The idea that intelligent people are more likely to see the purpose of honesty in the long term is not only an unsupportable assumption, it's also ignoring the countless undeniable historical instances of intelligent leaders deploying adaptive fictions to achieve positive social goals (anything from religion to the concept of inalienable rights).

Anyone who uses the phrase "speaking truth to power" can absolutely be counted upon to be utterly dishonest when that power comes knocking.

Art , March 30, 2018 at 11:48 pm GMT
As a boy I had the privilege to attend a Catholic grade school. Part of the education was to go to confession. Admitting to a third party your wrongs, is very powerful. Forgiving the past frees one. Being truthful builds character, and getting over the past is a blessing. It was a struggle to be totally truthful all the time. As a mid to late teen, I fell away from Catholicism.

In my early twenties I came back to believing that truthfulness is the best policy. I attribute that to the Catholic culture and the confessional. I would not say that it was my intelligence that led me.

Think Peace -- Art

Joe Wong , March 31, 2018 at 1:17 am GMT
@Art

Confession has nothing to do with honesty; it breeds psychopath, unrepentance, irresponsibility and repeat offending. The churches use confession to cleanse perpetrators' sins, so the perpetrators can repeat their crimes without moral burden; this is not hypothesis, history bear witness of such fact. This is the trait of the Western culture, it reflects in all aspects of the westerners' behaviour. Most common expression of such morally defunct mentality is that the western governments and officials have no trouble to apologize the wrongs they have done, but they keep on doing the same wrong over and over again after apologizing. The Native Americans are the most abused victim of such morally defunct practice.

The churches use confession to recruit and dominate its members (mentally colonized serfs), expand their domains. Confession is one of the most effective mechanisms that corrupt the basic decency of humanity.

denk , March 31, 2018 at 1:39 am GMT
@jacques sheete

Here's another ROFLLMAO,

China much more aggressive than UK ,
WTF !

How did they deduce that ,
Comparing how many people jump queue in UK and China ?

Lies, damn lies and statistics

Coming from those who hog the top 100 hoax of the century chart.

hehehhehe

utu , March 31, 2018 at 2:13 am GMT
@Joe Wong

Perhaps going to confession or a dose of Christianity would be good for Chinese.

Twodees Partain , March 31, 2018 at 2:20 am GMT
@jacques sheete

Adam Smith apparently had their number when he was alive. It seems that little has changed in the quality of politicians between the 19th and 21st centuries. If anything, today's politicians are even more dimwitted and venal. The average Congress member is a moron, and nearly inarticulate in unscripted speaking.

I really enjoyed reading Henry Mencken's observations on political campaigns of the early 20th century. He also seemed to enjoy making those observations as well. It comes through in the way he describes the candidates.

Twodees Partain , March 31, 2018 at 2:26 am GMT
@denk

The government of the UK seems completely unconcerned with ethics, in the same way the US government is. Most members of both governments seem, to me, to be morally retarded.

Malcolm Y , March 31, 2018 at 2:54 am GMT
Since this is statistics there are no counterexamples. But there is one giant "counterexample"
denk , March 31, 2018 at 3:27 am GMT
@Twodees Partain

which begs the question .

How did these two 'ethical' countries keep churning out world class psychopaths as leaders .since 1600 ?

dux.ie , March 31, 2018 at 5:45 am GMT
Flash! Flash! Flash! Stop the press. This is not yet 1st April.

Currently there are a lot of news about cheating in sports, e.g. cricket. Out of a whim the relationship of sports with academic cheating is tested. The OECD PISA project has data on the percentage of students who exercise before or after school PctExercise, and

PctCheatRpt=+1.044*PctExercise-46.25; #n=29; Rsq=0.234; p=0.007889 ** (V Sig)

It is very statistically significant that PctExercise is positively highly correlated to academic cheating. The effect is more than double that for the other percentage variables whether they are statistically significant or not. If students spend too much time on tracks and fields and little time at home studying the results can easily be inferred. Now you know those loud mouths screaming about cheating in another countries and that the students there spend too much time studying, they are on average themselves doing most of the academic cheatings and they might be trying to divert attention away from them.

To be fair, the situation for the nerds should also be checked. The OECD PISA has data on the percentage of students who have more than 4 hours per week of off-school maths tuition PctMathTuitGt4hr,

PctCheatRpt=-0.835*PctMathTuitGt4hr+31.81; #n=28; Rsq=0.0552; p=0.2287 (NotSig)

It is statisticaly not significant. What about those academically very competitive, the percentage who wanted to be the best PctWantBest,

PctCheatRpt=-0.445*PctWantBest+54.07; #n=29; Rsq=0.222; p=0.009944 ** (V Sig)

It is statistically very significant that PctWantBest negatively correlated with cheating, i.e, on average the more academically competitive they are the lesser they will cheat.

It is intuitively that most self-confident students will not cheat. The OECD data can be transformed and normalized into confident quotient CQ similar to the IQ scale where CQ ≥ 115 is considered to be over-confident. However,

PctCheatRpt = -0.362*ConfidantQuotient +61.62; #n=29; Rsq=0.1289; p=0.05581 (NotSig)

Two datapoints are far from the rest and are on opposite sides of the regression line, by excluding them,

PctCheatRpt = -0.473*ConfidentQuotient2 +73.25; #n=27; Rsq=0.1653; p=0.03535 * (SIg)

CQ is negatively correlated to cheating rate as expected.

The summary of the results,

http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=10pvbyt&s=9

jacques sheete , March 31, 2018 at 10:42 am GMT
@Joe Wong

Most common expression of such morally defunct mentality is that the western governments and officials have no trouble to apologize the wrongs they have done, but they keep on doing the same wrong over and over again after apologizing.

Amen!

What's even worse is the goofy idea that one is automatically "forgiven" if s/he's a "believer." It's the works vs faith idea. Some of those people feel free to break every rule in the book (even the 10 supposedly written in stone) with complete impunity.

Those people routinely engage in behavior that's as disgusting as those from the the tribe who think they're "chosen."

G-wd's special ones, goy and non-goy, are forgiven in advance I guess.

jacques sheete , March 31, 2018 at 11:05 am GMT
@Twodees Partain

If anything, today's politicians are even more dimwitted and venal. The average Congress member is a moron, and nearly inarticulate in unscripted speaking.

True.

I think much the same could be said for all hierarchical systems and that includes religious as well as academic ones. I've always been as much amused as amazed at how dimwitted and venal priests and professors usually are.

Frauds-R-Us.

jilles dykstra , March 31, 2018 at 11:19 am GMT
@Joe Wong

Rereading this reaction comes to mind
Edward W. Said & Christopher Hitchens, ed., Blaming the Victims, Spurious scholarship and the Palestinian question', 1988, London

Anonymous [184] Disclaimer , March 31, 2018 at 11:29 am GMT
@JackOH

"[S]orely lacking in judgment." Not really. My judgment turned out to be okay"

No, it was a bad call regardless of how it turned out. The risk-reward ratio was off the chart.

jacques sheete , March 31, 2018 at 11:30 am GMT
@denk

which begs the question .

How did these two 'ethical' countries keep churning out world class psychopaths as leaders .since 1600 ?

Beg no longer, fine sir! This dude may have an answer.

Henceforth, Britain will do the bidding of her real masters ; she has
become the tool of the schemers against all she holds dear, namely, her
faith, her patriotism, traditions, civilisation. She grants the " returned "
aliens equality of civil rights ; they may and do become mayors over
Christian population, and within a short time Britain is ruled by a
Jewish Prime Minister, Disraeli, first and foremost a Jew and the
flunkey of the powerful Rothschild financiers.

One of the consequences of this disastrous political mistake is the
transformation of the national attitude of Great Britain and her
colonies into that of the British Empire. Disraeli who inspired it
knew what he was scheming for, the British people did not. But with
him, Zionism is carried up to the very heights of the British Throne, a
Zionist World Empire is on the high road to realisation.

-Leslie Fry, "the Jews and the British Empire," 1935

https://archive.org/stream/FryLeslieTheJewsAndTheBritishEmpire/Fry_Leslie_-_The_jews_and_the_British_Empire_djvu.txt

He musta been a kunspirasee theerist er an antee-Semite er sumpin. Prolly lo IQ and jellis too.

Dieter Kief , March 31, 2018 at 11:37 am GMT
@Dieter Kief

In the light of what Jonathan Haidt in the above linked video says with regards to David Perkin's findings, I tend to say this question of yours

Do Brighter Minds Incline to Honesty?

has to be answered: "Yes. But ."

The But has to do with the the history of the term "honesty".

People might say wrong things, while being (and feeling!) honest, because honesty is not necessarily rooted in speaking the truth.

Honesty is a social category alltogether (with close ties to knighthood, chivalry and the like). It therefor is a category, which in it's very core hints at obedience and fellowship, and that's at times what keeps people away from speaking the truth – cf. David Perkins and Jonathan Haidt above (ok – full circle).

Joe Wong , March 31, 2018 at 12:42 pm GMT
@utu

Hit-and-run is common all over the world not just in China, it is a sign of moral decay, confusion, and irresponsibility. Those perpetrators must be denounced.

But if one follows the West or the unrepentant war criminal Japanese, it is easy to white wash those hit-and-run crimes by saying the percentage of such crime in China is way lower than in the US though the absolute number might be higher, so Chinese is more honest than average in the world.

On the other hand killing people with car faces less consequences in the West, most perpetrators in the West get slap on the wrist for such crime, such as suspension of driving license, insurance company paid compensation, short term imprisonment, or get way free by claiming medical conditions, but in China the perpetrators may have to pay their lives for their crimes. It seems the West does not have a balanced morality, harsh on the victims and lenient on the criminals.

denk , March 31, 2018 at 2:18 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

In the honesty index graph,
Germany is higher than China, OK, thats fair.

As for the five eyes lies , their rightful place is right at the bottom.

UK [half of fukus] the ethical country ?
hehehehhe

Web Of Deceit: Britain's Real Foreign Policy
by Mark Curtis

In his explosive new book, Mark Curtis reveals a new picture of Britain's role in the world since 1945 and in the 'war against terrorism' by offering a comprehensive critique of the Blair government's foreign policy. Curtis argues that Britain is an 'outlaw state', often a violator of international law and ally of many repressive regimes. He reasons not only that Britain's foreign policies are generally unethical but that they are also making the world more dangerous and unequal.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1128541.Web_Of_Deceit

denk , March 31, 2018 at 2:21 pm GMT
@utu

kid,

You believe in gawd ?
I pray to the all mighty every day to stop the great satan,
a fat lot of good it does tho !

so how ?

denk , March 31, 2018 at 2:30 pm GMT
@Joe Wong

that utu kid oughtta go out more .

He spend all day in the basement and he thought he knows the world by watching some dubious youtube videos, forchrissake !

hehehhe

Anonymous [184] Disclaimer , March 31, 2018 at 2:59 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

Interesting. Reverse Midas Touch can be a very real phenomenon, apparently.

So who chose them and what were they chosen for?

Anon [436] Disclaimer , March 31, 2018 at 5:03 pm GMT
@anarchyst

Why do you condemn over 100,000 years of homo sapiens behaviour. Destroying human lives has been continuously the most effective natural way to achieve important utilitarian ends tight up to today. And given the ancient Hebrew enthusiasm for genocide is it surprising that God's Ten Commandments not only said nothing about abortion but assumed that limiting killing was about the best that could be hoped for.

utu , March 31, 2018 at 6:16 pm GMT
@denk

Quality is also an aspect of honesty: both individual and institutional.

denk , March 31, 2018 at 6:54 pm GMT
Did I mention the top 100 hoaxes of the century chart, kid ?

Here's a partial list,

Iraq WMD
IRAQ babies incubators
Racak 'massacre'
RUSSIAGATE,
Chinagate,
Indo./China war 1962
Indon genocide 1965
GCHQ fake foto
Tibet fake foto,
Tibet genocide,
Libya
Syria
Sinking of the Maine,
Gulf of Tonkin,
911
War OF terror,
R2p[lunder]
TAM 'massacre'
Tibet 2008
Xinjiang 2009

100 reasons why fukus should be at the bottom of the 'honesty' chart !

utu , March 31, 2018 at 8:13 pm GMT
Chinese the most dishonest, Japanese and British the least, study finds

http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/article/1879850/chinese-most-dishonest-japanese-and-british-least-study-finds

Why do Chinese students think it's OK to cheat?

http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1974986/why-do-chinese-students-think-its-ok-cheat

99% OF PUBG'S BANNED CHEATERS ARE FROM CHINA

http://www.ign.com/articles/2018/02/16/99-of-pubgs-banned-cheaters-are-from-china

utu , March 31, 2018 at 8:19 pm GMT
@Joe Wong

those hit-and-run crimes

These are not just hit and run. In China you do not run until you make sure the victim is dead. And if the victim is not dead you hit them second time to make sure he/she is dead and then you run. This is very pragmatic and congruent with all Chinese philosophical systems. That's why I suggested to your compatriot (denk) here that a bit of Christian mercy and compassion would do Chinese some good.

Philip Owen , March 31, 2018 at 8:22 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

As Amryata Sen has pointed out. The problem in Bengal was not a lack of food but the lack of purchasing power by the poorest peasants. Hoarding by merchants is a traditional driver of famine in India. The Punjab actually had a good harvest but Bengal ate rice. Churchill's nvolvement was ncidental. India was governed com India, often by Indians. Churchill was an outrageous racist but by no means representative of the British of the time. He lost the post war election.

Philip Owen , March 31, 2018 at 8:24 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

WYes. Grotesque incompetence rather than the intended result but morally wrong just the same.

Wizard of Oz , April 1, 2018 at 1:39 am GMT
@utu

I am surprised that you posted that first link. Its 1500 tested people (selected how?) from 15 countries simply reminded me that the "Climategate" emails also belonged to the University of East Anglia.

I didn't take the time to understand WTF PUBG was all about (third link).

As to the second link it is indeed interesting to learn of what appears to be a formal recognition by the Chinese Communist Party that part of what contributed to the earlier economic success of the West was trust and comparative honesty (as Amy Wax might point out).

Joe Wong , April 1, 2018 at 1:58 am GMT
@utu

First of all Christians have no mercy, and they only have crusade and conversion. Christians are cult. The Christians have been committing crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and war crimes using evil and sadist inquisition methods for a very very long time. Their forte is racial and culture genocide. Before Columbus time they only did their carnage between themselves and Muslims within the European continent and ME. After Columbus they spread their plague all over the world.

The most unfortunate victims are the Americans (from North to South). Christian not only took the American's land, and killed them into nearly extinct, they also burnt all books of South Americans, so that there is no indigenous South American civilization left to tell their history and to refute what the Christian casted them as savages.

In China during the late Qing time, the Christians treated Chinese culture and traditions as witchcraft, backed by their governments' guns they used extraterritorial right to expand their control of people and land with organized violence and insidious crimes. Their unscrupulous activities forced Chinese to resist thru Boxer movement because Qing Court was incompetent. The West labelled Boxer as terrorists and crashed them with Eight Nations Alliance armed intervention, Christian was a major force that caused China Century Humiliation.

Since WWII all wars were led by the Christians, their false Christian mercy calls paved the way for the Western governments and war mongers to bomb, kill and waterboard on moral high ground just like their barbaric Christian forebears who have done to the native South Americans and rest of the world.

That kind of morally defunct drivers are not unique to China, they appeare in the West too. In some incidences the driver in the West made sure nobody survives in the other car by pushing the car over the road side, so they have better chance not to be convicted due to no witness.

While guys using assault rifles mowing down tens of school kids for no reasons and claim it is their constitution rights to do so, and tens of millions of killed, tortured and maimed by the NATO false flag wars, why don't you suggest your compatriots in the USA and other NATO nations that a bit of Christian mercy and compassion would do their souls some good? Is it because Christian mercy is myth, fantasy and snakeoil?

Joe Wong , April 1, 2018 at 2:37 am GMT
@utu

You are being racist, propagating the pink skin pigs' trashes in HK irresponsibly. You should know those noxious racist trolls in the SCMP are posted by the pink skin pigs and their mentally colonized wannabes in HK out of resentment and frustration, because they lost their colonial privileges in HK and they are being rejected as uneducated unscrupulous colonials back home. They fell from master caste to the bottom of the society and become worthless trash.

Japanese are unrepentant war criminals, their whole society are liars and they have been lying since WWII about their war crimes, their past, their present and their future, they even are lying about the massive toxic nuclear leaking in the Fukushima cripple nuclear power plants that are causing millions of people died of cancer and extinction of marine creatures. While the British is the mentor of the Japanese.

Britain was a ruthless global tyrant and liar, but you seem to believe that all the crimes against humanity and peace and war crimes British committed around the world can be forgiven and glossed over by claiming Britain a democracy; what a lie and morally defunct double think evil psychopathic expression. People said British imitates the Romans and the American is born out of the British, no wonder the American is adopting the same double think logic to white wash and gloss over the war crimes, crimes against humanity and peace they have been committing around the world.

Winston Churchill was a classic imperialist with no moral bearing, he believed for the empire everything goes. WWII is nothing but a dog-eat-dog play rough over the monopoly to plunder the rest of the world; they squandered all the wealth they obtained thru stealing, looting and murdering hundreds of millions of people all over the world in that scrabbling.

About cheating in the exams you must have never seen what the Greeks and Indian are capable of. PUBG is sour grape, they cannot beat the Chinese so they banned Chinese on the fabricated allegation, just like the Opium Wars, the British could not beat Chinese manufactured goods, so they used Opium and wars to steal and cheat Chinese wealth.

lavoisier , Website April 1, 2018 at 2:44 am GMT
@denk

Death should be knocking on Iran's door and wearing a Star of David effacing the American flag.

Wizard of Oz , April 1, 2018 at 2:50 am GMT
@denk

Why do you waste time displaying your prejudices without even acknowledging what question was asked? Your English is up to it – just – so you have no excuse.

lavoisier , Website April 1, 2018 at 2:57 am GMT
@Joe Wong

Your diatribe is a bit on the simplistic side.

All Utu was pointing out is that deliberately killing someone with a car to escape prosecution is pretty heinous behavior and does suggest something really wrong with the Chinese culture at a fundamental level.

And the treatment of animals in China is generally deplorable compared with Western standards with little concern for their well being. How does this obvious cruelty fit on the ethical plane?

Ethical behavior among human beings is probably more unusual than we would like to believe and we can all be better people. The Chinese are no exception to that rule. If Christian ethics or Buddhist ethics can advance that cause, I support this.

Wizard of Oz , April 1, 2018 at 2:57 am GMT
@jacques sheete

I was intrigued to find on the listverse.com site some readable and/or intriguing stuff, e.g. on Charles Darwin, but your particular, well debunked, choice of anachronistic and inaccurate story to believe and post suggests to me that anyone whose intellectual standards allow them to rely on one of those list (usually of 10) sites should not pollute UR. Are you aware that people are paid $100 (with possibility of bonuses) for those lists?

Joe Wong , April 1, 2018 at 2:57 am GMT
@utu

You are wrong, not everybody demands the same quality, and Chinese provides different quality for different needs in the market. Besides you get what you paid for, it is fundamental principle of capitalism if you don't count the first principle of capitalism which is monopoly which is charge as much as you can bear and cost is irrelevant, that is not only cheating and it is also blackmailing and looting.

The video just claims but shows no proof what the guy claims. Chinese machinery and parts are taking more markets around the world, this simply fact proves the video is made out of bad faith, and pure propaganda.

Coins can stand up on Chinese High Speed Rail running more than 300km/hr, no German, Japanese or any other nation can do that, it proves the bearing quality in China HSR is unprecedented, it further proves the guys in the video is a troll out of jealous, resentful and fear Chinese achievements.

denk , April 1, 2018 at 3:33 am GMT
@utu

hey kiddie,

Spare me all those China videos' [1]

In case you still havent noticed,
Im not here to defend China.
I allow its position below Germany is quite fair.

But,
Can you give me one good reason why UK , that agent provocateur extraordinaire , is so high up that honesty chart ?

denk , April 1, 2018 at 3:41 am GMT
@utu

In China you do not run until you make sure the victim is dead.

cuz you watch some videos from youtube,
forchrissake !

Can you give me some credible statistics , the percentage of such alleged crimes in China ?

How does such alleged crimes stack up against fukus state terrorism like double tapping , sniping at women and chidlren, obliterating the whole neighborhood of a suspect hideout just to make sure, ?

And .
How does this elevate fukus from its rightful position at the bottom of that honesty chart,
thats all I wanna know ?

denk , April 1, 2018 at 3:44 am GMT
@Wizard of Oz

To think that I recently commended you for some improvement on your comprehension !
, now you go back to my bozo file,

Anonymous [216] Disclaimer , April 1, 2018 at 8:03 am GMT
@Joe Wong

It is propaganda. People tell me that the same stories were circulated when Japan was becoming a tech powerhouse. It will probably take another 5-10 years before it dissipates.

Wizard of Oz , April 1, 2018 at 10:01 am GMT
@denk

Don't avoid the issue. How do you justify your use of the word "aggressive"?

Joe Wong , April 1, 2018 at 11:42 am GMT
@lavoisier

I merely point out the misconception about Christians supported by historical facts. Indian treats animals even worse while China has humane protection laws, it seems you are as impartial as utu.

Joe Wong , April 1, 2018 at 11:58 am GMT
@Anonymous

Chinese is not Japanese. Japanese only steals, their forte is made refinement on the stolen.

A lot of the American and British have been saying China will collapse 30 years already, you are one of them.

Wizard of Oz , April 1, 2018 at 2:52 pm GMT
Your first paragraph comes over as so silly that perhaps it shouldn't surprise that your second paragraph is, to say the least, extremely puzzling. Where did Anonymous [216] say or suggest that China eould collapse? The post you are replying to implies no such thing.
utu , April 1, 2018 at 3:32 pm GMT
@Joe Wong

After every of your visit by you at unz.com I keep wondering to what degree your primitive chauvinism is representative of China. How many millions primitive and hateful Joe Wongs are there? Then I wonder that perhaps you are not Chinese. That you are employed by enemies of China. That Chinese are too smart to show their cards that early in the game. If they really hate they would not show it because only fools show hate.

You, see I carry a positive stereotype of Chinese which is supported by my personal experience with them but you and your sidekick deng do everything possible to undermine it and change it into: Yes, Chinese can be really stupid and thus more dangerous than we thought. Watch, out for stupid and dangerous Chinese. Go to the Plan B: Poke NK and the Rocket Man more to the point that Japan get so paranoid that it starts arming itself with nukes. If there is to be a war let it start with the yellow races killing each other. They hate each other anyway. Ask Joe Wong if you have any doubts.

So what is it? Are you Chinese or an agent of revanchist militarist unreformed Chinese hating interests of Japanese imperialism? And then, if you are Chinese, how many more stupid ones like you are there?

denk , April 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm GMT
@utu

I carry a positive stereotype of Chinese which is supported by my personal experience

sic !

your sidekick deng

Ad hominem is the last resort of the scoundrel.

Why dont you try answering my questions kid ?

*How do you propose to get rid of that plague of the 21C ?

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/do-brighter-minds-incline-to-honesty/#comment-2267831

Why are you evading the issue but indulge in China bashing ?
Are you a diversion agent ?

*Do you agree that UK should be right at the bottom of that honesty chart ?

lavoisier , Website April 1, 2018 at 5:45 pm GMT
@Joe Wong

No. I am unimpressed with the morality of most humans and suspicious of attempts to paint ourselves as more virtuous than we are.

But there are certainly aspects of Christian morality that can serve as a framework to guide human behavior–wherever one lives or whoever you are.

Your diatribe blaming Christians for all the evil of the world is incredibly dishonest and naive.

Anonymous [442] Disclaimer , Website April 1, 2018 at 6:14 pm GMT
What is the difference in per capita income between southern europeans and scandinavians? I think this also plays a role.
Joe Wong , April 2, 2018 at 1:25 am GMT
@lavoisier

It seems your only defense for the Christians is denying historical facts, and stating something that Christians are not.

Naïve? Are you saying the crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and war crimes committed by the Christians were carefully planned, deeply thought through, determined and maturely decided like holocaust?

Bible is zero-sum based narrative, the fundamental dogma of Christianity is "you are either with us or you are with the devil" therefore all Christians have a mission to convert everyone else into "one of us" on the moral high ground with whatever means necessary, Christians believe whatever the Christians do it is necessary with good intention, even bombing, killing and waterboarding on the fabricated allegations is humanitarian intervention.

Christianity assumes humans are primitive and born evil, they need divine force to threaten (go to hell) them not to do harm, and it is tribal. While some other civilizations believe humans are sane, rational, intelligent and compassionate, humans do not need divine force to tell them how to behave properly in order to achieve peace, harmony, cooperation, development and mutual benefits, just logical explanation and some directions will be suffice.

If the past can be any reference, the crimes have been committed against humanity in the name of Christianity, it is doubtful that Christians have any morality, mind you it does not mean the Bible does not have good points in it, there are other way better ways and means to serve as a framework to guide human behaviour for the good.

Joe Wong , April 2, 2018 at 2:25 am GMT
@utu

Chauvinism is someone claims what he is not and based that false claim to demonize others what they are not on the moral high ground, this is what the West has been doing since 1492.

Stating facts does not involve emotion, so please refrain yourself from sensationalize any topic unnecessary that makes dialog on difficult issues impossible, Theresa May and Nikki Haley are not your role model to follow.

For over seventy years the US has dominated Asia, ravaging the continent with two major wars in Korea and Indo-China with millions of casualties, and multiple counter-insurgency interventions in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Timor, Myanmar, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The strategic goal has been to expand its military and political power, exploit the economies and resources.

Before WWII, the American is just one of the Western imperialists ravaged and wreaked havoc of Asia with barbaric wars, illicit drugs like Opium, slavery, stealing, robbing, looting, plundering, murdering, torturing, exploiting, polluting, culture genocide, 'pious' fanaticism, unmatchable greed and extreme brutality. In fact it is hard to tell the difference between the American and the unrepentant war criminal Japanese who is more lethal and barbaric to Asians until the Pearl Harbour incident.

James Thompson , Website April 2, 2018 at 11:27 am GMT
@utu

instructive comparison

lavoisier , Website April 2, 2018 at 3:57 pm GMT
@Joe Wong

If the past can be any reference, the crimes have been committed against humanity in the name of Christianity, it is doubtful that Christians have any morality

Do you really believe this???? No morality in any Christians?

You are even more locked into hate and racism than I thought possible.

Have you attended any of the lectures by the anti-racist Tim Wise??

You might get some talking points from him that can help you in your future postings.

And keep up the good work, you have a bright future in any number of our MSM outlets.

Daniel Chieh , April 2, 2018 at 4:23 pm GMT
@utu

And you have not even met the hardcore commies, who would like to explain that the only thing that Mao did wrong, terribly wrong was that he did not kill nearly enough people.

And the answer to your question is that there are idiots in every country and race, though in China they are mostly excluded from political positions(because insanity is not welcome), so they troll online message boards within and without China.

Like various other fanatics and crazies, they can be entertaining in the appropriate context. If you've been to Finland, he's the equivalent of the old drunk men yelling propositions at girls in some train stations of the small towns. Entertaining in small doses.

utu , April 2, 2018 at 7:57 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

Entertaining in small doses.

I think I reached my limit dose of Joe Wong and deng already.

denk , April 3, 2018 at 4:46 am GMT
@utu

So you couldnt even give one good reason why UK should be on top of that 'honesty chart' eh ?

well I can give you 100 why UK should be right at the bottom,

Perfidious albions
exhibit one

How to ethnic cleanse an entire island ?
Declare the residents as tresspassers !

'What the files also reveal is an imperious attitude of brutality. In August 1966, Sir Paul Gore-Booth, permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office, wrote: "We must surely be very tough about this. The object of the exercise was to get some rocks that will remain ours.

There will be no indigenous population except seagulls." At the end of this is a handwritten note by DH Greenhill, later Baron Greenhill:

"Along with the Birds go some Tarzans or Men Fridays " Under the heading, "Maintaining the fiction", another official urges his colleagues to reclassify the islanders as "a floating population" and to "make up the rules as we go along".

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2004/oct/02/foreignpolicy.comment

Perfidious albions at its best !

heheheheheh

I think I reached my limit dose of Joe Wong and deng already.

yEAH,
Scurry away with tail between your legs and declare victory,

that'd be
perfidious albions exhibit 2

hehehhehe

Chris2345 , April 3, 2018 at 7:16 pm GMT
@joe Wong You are a foolish, ignorant person. At least in regard to Christianity. The perpetrators of the holocaust and genocide are Christians? You absolutely have no clue about Christianity. Yes, they came from a Christian based culture but Nazis (and American war criminals) have nothing in common with Christianity. The best countries in the world are ones based on Protestant Christianity, meaning Christianity that is the closest to the Biblical teachings. I admire Chinese culture and history (especially the technology which benefited the West) but you need the ability to admit the faults of your culture which has some serious problems.
JackOH , April 4, 2018 at 9:53 am GMT
@Anonymous

Thanks for the concern, but the risk of harm to me was near zero. Numeracy and all that.

Vojkan , April 5, 2018 at 6:13 am GMT
Though I am convinced that honesty is more rational in the long term than lying, I definitely don't believe that people with high IQ are more honest than those more modestly gifted with intellectual talent. Smart people just know better to juggle with fallacies so they are more likely to get away with it than dummies, that's all.
Logic does say that truth is lower maintenance, as it exists per se and is always consistent, and lies so they are not exposed need to be cared of constantly, as they are always intrinsically inconsistent with reality, but people are people, driven by the seven sins, of which greed and vanity are possibly the worst, with the former being more evenly distributed while the latter tends to affect the bright rather than the dim.
Logic and ethics are different categories. Equating them is a sign of, well, vanity.
TT , April 7, 2018 at 2:57 pm GMT
@utu

Only a moron equate honesty = quality using ball bearing as example. There are countries may be very honest like Bhutan, yet they don't produce high quality product.

The US top elites are very intelligent, are producing lots of quality products like Boeing plane & precision weapons for murdering everywhere, yet their politicians & bankers are known habitual liars, with British & French close behind, and Germans reluctantly.

Japanese is producing high quality products, look how frequently their politicians are caught outright lying, corrupted & nepotism, and researchers are now caught recently in their published papers using fake data, with big corporates like Toshiba, Nissan, Steel factories caught cheating systematically for long period.

Its true Germany make top notch quality, undisputed, better than Japan imo.

But look at the chart, beside Germany, who else is producing better ball bearings than China, or precision tools that run aerospace, manned space craft, rockets, 5th gen J20, satellites, nuclear plants(light water pebble), nuclear sub, FSR, a long list to go yet they are rated more honest than China.

Fyi, only 2 countries are able to produce precision steel ball bearings for tiny ball point pen tip, Germany & Japan. So China is importing billion of them for its ball point pen production annually.

Why can't China factory produce it? There was some uproar in China media over this last year. Guess what? Within a mth, some factory is churning out perfect ball bearings, but in better material – ceramic that is cheaper & longer lasting. And the producer explained, its not economical worth the effort & machining to produce those bearings as they cost only $200K p. a. to import. But for national pride, they do it.

And i highly suspect you are either from HK or Taiwan with some bad memory of old China that you simply like to smear China without taking a fairer stand that, out of 1.4B Chinese how many % is doing those crimes, vs 400M murkans more serious crimes.

The new generation Chinese should not be continuously viewed through old communist color lens & West propaganda, they are not responsible for the history but the future. Pres Xi is a good example, he is leading China to their peaceful rise now. He suffered in culture revolution, do you want to blame him for those history?

TT , April 7, 2018 at 4:15 pm GMT
This chart simply look so questionable. Why not include US, France, Oz, Canada, Bhutan, India, Brazil, Agentina, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, HK, Japan, Korea, HK, Taiwan, to give a wider comparison. And how the author do his samplings to derive this graph is very much questionable.

And to say brighter mind = honesty, just look at how honest are most world politicians that are generally top intellectuals of their cohort. I would say more wise = more honesty.

To use wallets returning as a test of honesty is also overly simplified. When a country is poor, these are godsend present unless they are true perfect communist.

As a country get wealthier, their people generally get better education & well off, become indoctrine with social norm of what is so called good behavior(persuaded by praise & blame). They are more inclined to return a wallet found with money that aren't so attractive to them compare to poor. But that can never be equate to genuine honest, im sure most US Pres & UK PM will return wallets.

Take UK as the most glaring example, with its brightest in parliament are consistently been outright shameless liars, such as Blairs lies for Iraq WMD war, and now May's lies of Skripal case, which all getting near unanimous support from their parliament members speak great volumes.

There is a Unz article written on how UK has been the mecca of paedophiles, global capital in grooming children for sexual exploitation, with systematic covered up over decades by their politicians because they & those powerful elites were all involved.

http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/the-telford-child-sex-scandal-and-the-end-of-england/

Their police chief even suggested not to criminalize Britons watching/owned child porno as so high a proportion of their nation are doing will overwhelm their prisons & judicial system.

So what honesty are we talking about here, UK as over 60% honest? Even their moral value is highly questionable if you ask most UK white people.

And Malaysia getting 3rd highest honesty of near 80% is a great joke just shy from UK. Its one of well known highest crimes & corruption that the West themselves criticized much, even Spore ex-PM LKY openly condemn as violent crime infested. I never know violent criminal is honest, may be yes for the author country when compared to their politicians.

[Apr 06, 2018] It is now beyond any reasonable doubt that the claims of the Conservative government of Theresa May charging Russia with responsibility for the poisoning of the Skripals are fabrications

After the Skripal affair, is any more proof required that nothingin neoliberal MSM can be taken at face value? Looks like their motto is "if at first you don't succeed, lie, lie again."
Notable quotes:
"... So politically devastating is the exposure of Britain's lies that yesterday the Foreign Office deleted a text it sent out on March 22 declaring that the "analysis by world-leading experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down made clear that this was a military-grade novichok nerve agent produced in Russia." ..."
"... The emergency session of the OPCW called at Russia's request received no answers to the serious questions Moscow insisted Britain had to address. Instead, the UK's representative said Russia could not take part in a joint investigation with Britain into the Skripal affair, as it was "a likely perpetrator." This was given unqualified backing by an EU spokesperson, who demanded that Russia respond to the UK's "legitimate questions" about its alleged continued production of novichoks. ..."
"... No less implicated in this criminal affair is the corporate media, especially the New York Times, which has spent the past month disseminating the raw propaganda issued by London and Washington and baying for Moscow's punishment. At no point did the Times raise a single question about the reliability of the claims of the May government. And now its response to the refutation of the lies is to ignore and bury Aitkenhead's statement. The role of the corporate media in the Skripal provocation confirms the political purpose of the hysterical campaign it has been leading against "fake news," and its insistence that social media be regulated, restricted and monitored. ..."
Apr 05, 2018 | www.wsws.org
The lies of the imperialist powers over the Skripal affair unravel by Robert Stevens

... ... ...

On Tuesday, Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of the UK's chemical weapons facility, the Porton Down Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, told Sky News that scientists had "not verified the precise source" of the material used in the attack in Salisbury on March 4. Aitkenhead's statement came on the eve of the convening at Moscow's request of the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) at The Hague, which would have exposed the UK government's case. But this resort to damage control only underscores the monstrous hoax perpetrated by the British and American governments and their European allies.

May told parliament on March 12 that Porton Down was "absolutely categorical" that the "nerve agent" used on the Skripals had come from Russia. "Based on the positive identification of this chemical agent by world-leading experts at Porton Down," she said, "the government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible" for an "attempted murder" on British soil.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle on March 20 that "the people from Porton Down" were "absolutely categorical" that the source of the nerve agent used against the Skripals was Russia. "I asked the guy myself," he said, "and he said 'there's no doubt.'"

So politically devastating is the exposure of Britain's lies that yesterday the Foreign Office deleted a text it sent out on March 22 declaring that the "analysis by world-leading experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down made clear that this was a military-grade novichok nerve agent produced in Russia."

... ... ...

The emergency session of the OPCW called at Russia's request received no answers to the serious questions Moscow insisted Britain had to address. Instead, the UK's representative said Russia could not take part in a joint investigation with Britain into the Skripal affair, as it was "a likely perpetrator." This was given unqualified backing by an EU spokesperson, who demanded that Russia respond to the UK's "legitimate questions" about its alleged continued production of novichoks.

No less implicated in this criminal affair is the corporate media, especially the New York Times, which has spent the past month disseminating the raw propaganda issued by London and Washington and baying for Moscow's punishment. At no point did the Times raise a single question about the reliability of the claims of the May government. And now its response to the refutation of the lies is to ignore and bury Aitkenhead's statement. The role of the corporate media in the Skripal provocation confirms the political purpose of the hysterical campaign it has been leading against "fake news," and its insistence that social media be regulated, restricted and monitored.

... ... ...

[Apr 05, 2018] Couldn't May government come up with a better fake story?

Apr 05, 2018 | sputniknews.com

"Boris Johnson continues to convince everyone the British side supposedly sent Russia a list of questions to which it still hasn't received any answers. Everything in fact is completely the opposite. As I said, we never received any list of questions and I turn to the British side, if you have such a list of questions, please tell us, please list those questions," he said.

Regarding the UK's insistence that Moscow coordinated the attack, he asked, "Couldn't you come up with a better fake story?"

The UK is engaged in a propaganda war against Russia, Nebenzya asserted, aiming to discredit the country globally. But even propaganda wars are dangerous.

[Apr 05, 2018] Accuse the other side of what you are doing

Apr 05, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com


serotonindumptruck -> strannick Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:25 Permalink

One of the scientists at Porton Down, Gary Aitkenhead, should probably take out additional life insurance policies.

https://www.therussophile.org/porton-down-unable-to-link-novichok-to-ru

HowdyDoody -> serotonindumptruck Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:40 Permalink

Gary Aitkenhead is not a scientist. He is the head of Porton Down. He used to be an EO in Motorola communications division.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prHoy-BP5W4

Frito -> serotonindumptruck Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:42 Permalink

If he fails to keep his mouth shut I wouldn't be surprised to learn in the tabloids in the near future of his (sadly fatal) penchant for auto-erotic asphyxiation.

FBaggins -> Sy Kloine Bee Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:09 Permalink

""Johnson also said that "none of us have forgotten" about the "barbaric" chemical weapons attack in Syria a year ago.""

Translation: "none of us have forgotten" about the "barbaric" chemical weapons attack in Syria a year ago "which was done by our Al Qaeda and ISIS proxies with the help of our special forces stationed in Syria."

Omen IV -> FBaggins Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:51 Permalink

"to obscure the truth and confuse the public," Johnson said"

to add to your comment - this would be standard issue Clinton speak - accuse the other side of what you are doing in real time !

the disease of bullshit spreads world wide as Democracy is gamed to the nine's

Dickweed Wang -> FBaggins Wed, 04/04/2018 - 20:10 Permalink

<--- I'm sick and tired of the west's lying bullshit

<--- My government would never lie about something so serious

Killdo -> FBaggins Wed, 04/04/2018 - 20:32 Permalink

that's all they learn in boarding schools - how to lie and lie and be good psychopaths: charming, fake, easy to bribe and natural traitors, obsessed with money and status.

And above all how to develop that exhagarated catatonic accent so valued by Anglosheeple

I know many of these Public school boys - from Malborough, Harrow etc

Jack Oliver -> Sy Kloine Bee Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:18 Permalink

If Russia has any 'novichok' -well - it should send it straight to BORIS !!

holgerdanske -> Sy Kloine Bee Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:47 Permalink

Boris+May=political poison, unnerving agents, they must go

JRobby Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:02 Permalink

The wallpaper and whitewash won't stick if they are in on it.

johnnycanuck Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:02 Permalink

Goebbels wouldn't have allowed anyone to interfere with his propaganda either.

The Big Lie works seamlessly if you control the media barkers.

serotonindumptruck -> johnnycanuck Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:08 Permalink

Is it any wonder why TPTB want total control and dominion over the internet?

johnnycanuck -> serotonindumptruck Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:17 Permalink

Nope, and if you look closely, TPTB are mostly Corporations or support mechanisms now.

Swamp Monsters.

Kefeer -> johnnycanuck Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:46 Permalink

Look no further than you local electric and gas suppliers who are likely publicly traded with a monopoly on the most traded commodities in the world. Why does a human necessity have a monopoly - follow the money.

RagnarRedux -> johnnycanuck Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:18 Permalink

The NS's were describing "The Big Lie" technique as the Modus Operandi of Jewry, not advocating using it themselves!

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v02/v02p-35_Brandon.html

https://www.historiography-project.com/misc/biglie.php

manofthenorth Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:02 Permalink

"All your evidence belongs to us"

serotonindumptruck Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:06 Permalink

Boris Johnson is a colossal joke.

He declares Russia guilty as charged with absolutely no evidence, no legitimate investigation, and no due process of law.

dirty fingernails -> serotonindumptruck Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:17 Permalink

This means there will be a bigger false flag soon. Gotta get eyes off of this mess

Brazen Heist -> dirty fingernails Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:20 Permalink

Lol....that's what I think, from my experience with dealing with retarded psychopaths. They just don't back down until you directly address them and call them out on their bullshit, or just plain fucking slam them against the wall.

So err...is it going to be an "accidental" nuclear launch or dirty bomb, or I don't know.....a Russian ISIS attack? The possibilities are endless with these slimey limey cunts. They're barely out of the European Union, yet are already faltering like a mule loaded with lead.

dirty fingernails -> Brazen Heist Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:34 Permalink

Agreed, and some just go nuts when called out. It's worse than just the Brits. Trump is clearly somewhat on board, and Macron seems to want a distraction, too.

Brazen Heist -> dirty fingernails Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:45 Permalink

Trump is in love with himself, Macron is in love with a granny, and Boris Johnson belongs to the fucking zoo with the gorillas.

What a world we live in, when the voices of reason are coming from Russia, China and Iran, and the irrational tantrum turd throwing is coming from the West.

Delusions of grandeur comes to mind.

Jack Oliver -> dirty fingernails Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:23 Permalink

Yes - Something BIG before the World Cup in June !!

I'm waiting for the FUCKING riots when Britain - Brazil - France - Germany etc - tell their people that they won't be going to the World Cup !

Viva 'La Revolution' !

I doubt they have factored in the 'People Power' response !

These nations live and breath soccer !

johnnycanuck -> serotonindumptruck Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:26 Permalink

May I remind you of 59 cruise missiles, and the Chocolate Cake saga.

And of course Ivanka, the latest replacement for the daughter of the Ambassador from Kuwait. Of Hill and Knowlton fame.

" no evidence, no legitimate investigation, and no due process of law . "

serotonindumptruck -> johnnycanuck Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:42 Permalink

I concur.

I might also politely remind you and others of Russia's ability to disable the US Aegis missile system, including the Raytheon Tomahawk missile using a highly advanced electronic warfare suite known as Khibiny.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s4sKAMgYsU

GreatUncle -> serotonindumptruck Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:38 Permalink

You do not need due process to hang him now neither :-) Ain't that cute when the process of law finally breaks down. Happens when you support banksters operating a ponzi scheme to rob people...

man of Wool -> serotonindumptruck Wed, 04/04/2018 - 20:25 Permalink

Stupid cunt is a better description. He is supposed to be the number 1 diplomat but he is a classic attention seeking snowflake who wants to be PM.

He blamed Russia immediately. Then tells everyone not to be Russiaphobic and then the stupid cunt compares attending the WC the same as Hitler's 1936 Olympics.

Guy is out of his depth and making Britain look stupid.

francis scott -> man of Wool Wed, 04/04/2018 - 20:36 Permalink

Boris was just reading his lines in the script.

No one is making Britain look stupid. Britain

does that all by itself.

Obamanism666 Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:06 Permalink

Portland Down say they do not know where the nerve agent was manufactured (Portland down would have the records of OPCW to check). Maybe Russia would have the data relating the nerve agent to a NATO stockpile. Note: If the nerve agent was so deadly how come the person delivering it; is not ill?

Escapedgoat -> Obamanism666 Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:38 Permalink

It is PORTON DOWN not "Portland" Down

crazzziecanuck -> Obamanism666 Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:38 Permalink

Given this talk about "military-grade", it sounds more like something an American MIC manufacturer would make. Overpriced and ineffective when used.

Three people affected. Hours after contact. Yet all three survived, in spite of the lack of antidote, as the BBC has reported. Doesn't sound pretty "military-grade" to me. And if it is "military grade", should we even be shitting our pants at the constant fearmongering over WMDs? If this is what military grade is capable of for terrorism, we're clearly spending way to much money for this particular threat, now aren't we?

HowdyDoody -> crazzziecanuck Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:47 Permalink

I don't buy the 'no antidote' business. Nerve agents work by blocking receptors in the nervous system. Atropine breaks this block restoring normal nervous system action. The cop who was affected was talking within days yet the Skirpals were unconscious for weeks, until Julia Skirpal made a 'miraculous' recovery. Did the cop get atropine?

FlKeysFisherman Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:34 Permalink

This propaganda campaign is embarrassing. These goofy bastards can't even pull this off without looking completely incompetent.

It's no wonder the Tribe has complete control of these losers.

[Apr 04, 2018] Russia Denied Request To Join OPCW Investigation Into Skripal Poisoning

Looks like projection but in reality this is a false flag. Projection implies an unawareness of one's own self. They know they did it.
The UK government has effectively repudiated the OPCW treaty by refusing to follow the reporting and investigation procedures set out in the treaty.
Apr 04, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Fifteen countries voted against Russia's bid, while six voted for it and 17 abstained.

"Unfortunately, we haven't been able to have two-thirds of the votes in support of that decision. A qualified majority was needed," Russian ambassador Alexander Shulgin told reporters, adding " Russia as well as other states that are members of the Executive Committee have been pushed aside from this investigation ."

UK's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson brushed aside Russia's request, calling it a "ludicrous proposal" designed to "undermine" the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigation.

"Russia has had one goal in mind since the attempted murders on UK soil through the use of a military-grade chemical weapon - to obscure the truth and confuse the public," Johnson said. " The international community has yet again seen through these tactics and robustly defeated Russia's attempts today to derail the proper international process ." Johnson also said that "none of us have forgotten" about the "barbaric" chemical weapons attack in Syria a year ago.

"After the OPCW-UN investigation found that the Syrian regime was responsible, Russia blocked that body from doing any more work," he said.

Russia wants to discuss a letter sent by UK Prime Minister Theresa May to the UN Security Council which says it's "highly likely" that Moscow was behind last month's nerve agent attack.

Meanwhile , as we reported yesterday , the chief scientist from the UK's Porton Down military laboratory facility, Gary Aitkenhead, told Sky News that they had been unable to prove that the novichok nerve agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal came from Russia.

"We were able to identify it as novichok, to identify that it was military-grade nerve agent," Aitkenhead said. " We have not identified the precise source, but we have provided the scientific info to government who have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions you have come to. "

**PAGING COLIN POWELL. IS THERE A MR. POWELL IN THE BUILDING?**

The Porton Down chief scientist said that establishing the Novichok's origin required "other inputs," some of which are intelligence based and which only the government has access to.

Aitkenhead added: " It is our job to provide the scientific evidence of what this particular nerve agent is, we identified that it is from this particular family and that it is a military grade, but it is not our job to say where it was manufactured ."

So whose job is it to determine where the Novichok was manufactured?

That said, it was also noted that the nerve agent involved required "extremely sophisticated methods to create, something only in the capabilities of a state actor," and that there is no known antidote to Novichok - nor was any administered to either of the Skripals.

Aitkenhead would not say whether the Porton Down facility had manufactured or maintained stocks of Novichok - long rumored to be the case.

" There is no way anything like that could have come from us or left the four walls of our facility ," said the chief.

Boris Johnson has come under fire since the Porton Down chief's statement, as Johnson lied, saying in an interview two weeks ago that Porton Down officials told him there was "no doubt" that the nerge agent came from Russia .

The Foreign Office told Sky News that Johnson "misspoke," which is apparently UK officialspeak for "he totally lied, but nobody will hold him accountable for it."

Perhaps Johnson "misspoke" in his rush to locate a hairbrush?


Sy Kloine Bee Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:02 Permalink

Nobody believes them anymore, and they know it. They just lie because they have to tell you something.

Got The Wrong No -> Sy Kloine Bee Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:07 Permalink

The British version of the Mueller investigation

Lost in translation -> Got The Wrong No Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:09 Permalink

Russia should wash its hands of OPCW - quit and never return.

Slack Jack -> Pol Pot Wed, 04/04/2018 - 20:31 Permalink

The evil people, Theresa May, Stoltenberg, Trump and the rest, are damming Russia with obvious lies.

The Novichok nerve agents probably don't even exist.

HERE IS THE PROOF:

The Novichok nerve agents are supposedly much more toxic than the nerve gases VX or Sarin.

Mirzayanov's book, published in 2008, contains the formulas he alleges can be used to create Novichoks. In 1995, he explained that "the chemical components or precursors" of Novichok are "ordinary organophosphates that can be made at commercial chemical companies that manufacture such products as fertilizers and pesticides."

https://www.amazon.com/State-Secrets-Insiders-Chronicle-Chemical/dp/143

Basically, Mirzayanov claims that it is relatively easy to make the Novichok nerve agents.

So, some enterprising Arabs could buy a few chemists to make a few tons of it and then spray it all over the little Satan.

Do you really think that the Jews who run the United States would allow the publication of information that could lead to thousands of deaths in Israel?

Do you really think they would protect the publisher of such information by giving him residence in the United States?

Remember, Mirzayanov was given residence in the United States after he was kicked out of Russia.

There are also a number of "people who should know" that have stated that there is zero solid evidence for the existence of the Novichok nerve agents. For example: Robin Black in Development, Historical Use and Properties of Chemical Warfare Agents (2016):

"In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, 'Novichoks' (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970s as part of the 'Foliant' programme, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures. Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published."

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/the-novichok-story-is-i

And, Alexander Shulgin, Russia's representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (2018):

"There has never been a 'Novichok' research project conducted in Russia,... But in the West, some countries carried out such research, which they called 'Novichok,' for some reason."

CONCLUSION: The Novichok nerve agents don't even exist.

philipat -> EuroPox Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:45 Permalink

The use of the "projection" technique (essentially accusing your opponents of doing the very things you yourself are doing) in official circles has become widespread. It's biggest proponent is, of course, Shitlery who, as an example, recently accused Trump of using his position to enrich himself and his family (Um....?). Now BoJo has the chutzpah to accuse Russia of obfuscation and lies. Same technique. Specifically:

" Russia has had one goal in mind since the attempted murders on UK soil through the use of a military-grade chemical weapon - to obscure the truth and confuse the public," Johnson said. " The international community has yet again seen through these tactics and robustly defeated Russia's attempts today to derail the proper international process ."

And, of course, psychopaths actually believe their projections which allows them to speak with a straight face. And the MSM, naturally, just blindly "reports" what they say. The internet is the only source of real information and the true investigative journalism of any integrity. Which is, of course, why they are trying so hard to censor and close the sources of truth.

Killdo -> philipat Wed, 04/04/2018 - 20:22 Permalink

you can see here their modus operandi - one of the first NSA leaks by Snowden/Greenwald. There is a slide there called the Gambits For Deception - all the tricks are there - how to never admit when caught lying, how to cover the small move by the big one - basically all the BS this fat ugly clown is using are there:

https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

scroll down and look for slides from 5 Eye meetings

JohnFrodo -> philipat Wed, 04/04/2018 - 20:24 Permalink

projection is everything. America banned the Huwawie Chinese cell phone because they thought it was a threat. What are all those Apples in China? Not even to speak about domestic use.

[Mar 27, 2018] You will gain a better understanding of Vladimir Putin if you study his career as a sportsman, 3rd degree blackbelt Judoka than by sifting through his career as an ex-spy.

Mar 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

ThreeCranes , March 27, 2018 at 1:23 pm GMT

You will gain a better understanding of Vladimir Putin if you study his career as a sportsman, 3rd degree blackbelt Judoka than by sifting through his career as an ex-spy.

First of all, Judo is a sport. It's not a "martial art". It's not meant to maim or injure–though of course, people do get injured because they get thrown. Every particular technique that could inevitably result in injury has been culled from the sport. You don't "practice" Judo, you "play" it–literally, that's what they say when talking about participation.

Practice sessions are democratic. Everyone practices against everyone else. Of course, this results in mismatches as rank beginners will at some point be paired up with advanced players. But this mismatch doesn't result in humiliation because the advanced take special pains to play cleanly, pull their throws i.e. execute them perfectly so the person thrown can land without injury to themselves and it also is an opportunity for every good Judoka to teach the novices.

There are some people who come to Judo who don't fit in. They standout because they can be seen really playing rough with those who are lower in rank than them. But this doesn't go unnoticed. As people cycle through opponents during the practice session, the bully will eventually be paired up with someone who is better than they are. And they will be taught a lesson. Either they learn and conform to the rules or they never show up again. Judo weeds out opportunistic bullies.

Now I hope the above helps people better understand Putin. To sum up: he is competitive but will try to win fairly, within the prescribed rules. He won't tolerate bullying by the stronger over the weaker, will, in fact, come to the aid of the weaker. Has a strong sense of tradition, of belonging to a school of thought and action that is greater than himself and that is worth preserving for its own sake, believes and more importantly, knows through experience, that belonging to such a school improves individual character. He is competent. I've seen film of him in practice and his technique is quite good. His third degree black belt was honestly earned, it wasn't an honorary award.

From the above it can be seen why he would have little respect for the current crop of weak, cowardly, politicians who rule America, lacking as they are in discipline, integrity and dedication to a larger, noble cause. He would, in fact, find it hard not to hold them in contempt but, keeping his eyes on the long-term goals of what's good for his country, masters his emotions when dealing with them face to face.

[Mar 27, 2018] Integrity Has Vanished From The West by Paul Craig Roberts,

Mar 27, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored Among Western political leaders there is not an ounce of integrity or morality . The Western print and TV media is dishonest and corrupt beyond repair. Yet the Russian government persists in its fantasy of "working with Russia's Western partners." The only way Russia can work with crooks is to become a crook. Is that what the Russian government wants?

Finian Cunningham notes the absurdity in the political and media uproar over Trump (belatedly) telephoning Putin to congratulate him on his reelection with 77 percent of the vote, a show of public approval that no Western political leader could possibly attain. The crazed US senator from Arizona called the person with the largest majority vote of our time "a dictator." Yet a real blood-soaked dictator from Saudi Arabia is feted at the White House and fawned over by the president of the United States.

The Western politicians and presstitutes are morally outraged over an alleged poisoning, unsupported by any evidence, of a former spy of no consequence on orders by the president of Russia himself. These kind of insane insults thrown at the leader of the world's most powerful military nation -- and Russia is a nation, unlike the mongrel Western countries -- raise the chances of nuclear Armageddon beyond the risks during the 20th century's Cold War. The insane fools making these unsupported accusations show total disregard for all life on earth. Yet they regard themselves as the salt of the earth and as "exceptional, indispensable" people.

Think about the alleged poisoning of Skirpal by Russia. What can this be other than an orchestrated effort to demonize the president of Russia? How can the West be so outraged over the death of a former double-agent, that is, a deceptive person, and completely indifferent to the millions of peoples destroyed by the West in the 21st century alone. Where is the outrage among Western peoples over the massive deaths for which the West, acting through its Saudi agent, is responsible in Yemen? Where is the Western outrage among Western peoples over the deaths in Syria? The deaths in Libya, in Somalia, Pakistan, Ukraine, Afghanistan? Where is the outrage in the West over the constant Western interference in the internal affairs of other countries? How many times has Washington overthrown a democratically-elected government in Honduras and reinstalled a Washington puppet?

The corruption in the West extends beyond politicians, presstitutes, and an insouciant public to experts. When the ridiculous Condi Rice, national security adviser to president George W. Bush, spoke of Saddam Hussein's non-existent weapons of mass destruction sending up a nuclear cloud over an American city, experts did not laugh her out of court. The chance of any such event was precisely zero and every expert knew it, but the corrupt experts held their tongues. If they spoke the truth, they knew that they would not get on TV, would not get a government grant, would be out of the running for a government appointment. So they accepted the absurd lie designed to justify an American invasion that destroyed a country.

This is the West. There is nothing but lies and indifference to the deaths of others. The only outrage is orchestrated and directed against a target: the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Iran, Assad, Russia and Putin, and against reformist leaders in Latin America. The targets for Western outrage are always those who act independently of Washington or who are no longer useful to Washington's purposes.

The quality of people in Western governments has collapsed to the very bottom of the barrel. The British actually have a person, Boris Johnson, as Foreign Secretary, who is so low-down that a former British ambassador has no compunction in calling him a categorical liar. The British lab Porton Down, contrary to Johnson's claim, has not identified the agent associated with the attack on Skirpal as a Russian novichok agent. Note also that if the British lab is able to identify a novichok agent, it also has the capability of producing it, a capability that many countries have as the formulas were published years ago in a book.

That the novichok poisoning of Skirpal is an orchestration is obvious. The minute the event occurred the story was ready. With no evidence in hand, the British government and presstitute media were screaming "the Russians did it." Not content with that, Boris Johnson screamed "Putin did it." In order to institutionalize fear and hatred of Russia into British consciousness, British school children are being taught that Putin is like Hitler.

Orchestrations this blatant demonstrate that Western governments have no respect for the intelligence of their peoples. That Western governments get away with these fantastic lies indicates that the governments are immune to accountability. Even if accountability were possible, there is no sign that Western peoples are capable of holding their governments accountable. As Washington drives the world to nuclear war, where are the protests? The only protest is brainwashed school children protesting the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment.

Western democracy is a hoax. Consider Catalonia. The people voted for independence and were denounced for doing so by European politicians. The Spanish government invaded Catalonia alleging that the popular referendum, in which people expressed their opinion about their own future, was illegal. Catalonian leaders are in prison awaiting trial, except for Carles Puigdemont who escaped to Belgium. Now Germany has captured him on his return to Belgium from Finland where he lectured at the University of Hesinki and is holding him in jail for a Spanish government that bears more resemblance to Francisco Franco than to democracy. The European Union itself is a conspiracy against democracy.

The success of Western propaganda in creating non-existent virtues for itself is the greatest public relations success in history. Tags Politics

[Mar 26, 2018] US expulsion of Russian diplomats is declaration of war by George Galloway

Notable quotes:
"... "vassal states," ..."
"... made a fairly desultory expulsion of a diplomat or two or three, but the United States' act is a kind of declaration of war, all the more surprising given that according to the deep state, and the liberal confluence in the United States, President Trump is Russia's man ..."
"... "precursor to a very sharp deterioration of relations" ..."
"... deep state opponents" ..."
"... "If it were me who was making the decision, I certainly wouldn't proceed on the assumption that being soft will in any way satiate the ravenous beasts that are baying for Russia's blood at this point in time," ..."
"... "As far as I can see there is no investigation, ..."
"... "The verdict was declared before the investigation began and I think there's no investigation because the results of any serious scientific analytical investigation would show that the allegations against Russia are baseless." ..."
"... "I don't believe that Russia is responsible for this act. And the good news is that most of the British public tend to agree," ..."
Mar 26, 2018 | www.rt.com

British politician, broadcaster, and writer George Galloway has slammed Donald Trump's decision to expel 60 Russian diplomats and close the Russian consulate in Seattle. Galloway regards it as tantamount to a "declaration of war." Galloway contrasted the US' actions with those of EU member states. Those EU countries who rushed to follow the lead of Britain and the US in response to the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal are simply acting as "vassal states," doing what they are told.

European states have " made a fairly desultory expulsion of a diplomat or two or three, but the United States' act is a kind of declaration of war, all the more surprising given that according to the deep state, and the liberal confluence in the United States, President Trump is Russia's man ," Galloway told RT.

The former British MP said the decision to leave just 40 Russian diplomats to do their jobs in the US was either a "precursor to a very sharp deterioration of relations" -- or alternatively a "charade " designed to make Trump's " deep state opponents" lay off him over not being tough enough on Russia.

Galloway said Russia should not assume that being soft in response to Trump's action will have any desirable effect.

"If it were me who was making the decision, I certainly wouldn't proceed on the assumption that being soft will in any way satiate the ravenous beasts that are baying for Russia's blood at this point in time," he said.

According to Galloway, the UK has not conducted a serious and unbiased investigation into the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter.

"As far as I can see there is no investigation, " he said. "The verdict was declared before the investigation began and I think there's no investigation because the results of any serious scientific analytical investigation would show that the allegations against Russia are baseless."

Galloway said there are still many questions which have been left unanswered in the Skripal case.

"I don't believe that Russia is responsible for this act. And the good news is that most of the British public tend to agree," he said.

[Mar 23, 2018] http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2018/4512_poisoning_brit_desperate.html

Notable quotes:
"... [ Print version of this article ] ..."
"... A short statement of the reasons why the British are now staging the Skripal provocation can be found in a March 14 London Daily Telegraph call to arms by Allister Heath, who rants: "We need a new world order to take on totalitarian capitalists in Russia and China. Such an alliance would dramatically shift the global balance of power, and allow the liberal democracies finally to fight back. It would endow the world with the sorts of robust institutions that are required to contain Russia and China. Britain needs a new role in the world; building such a network would be our perfect mission." Across the pond, as they say, a similar foundational statement was made by 68 former Obama Administration officials who have formed a group called National Security Action, aimed at securing Trump's impeachment and attacking Russia and China. ..."
"... China's "Belt and Road Initiative" now encompasses more than 140 nations in the largest infrastructure-building project ever undertaken in human history. This project is a true economic engine for the future. At the same time, the neo-liberal economies of the trans-Atlantic region continue to see their productive potentials sucked dry by the massive piles of debt they have created since the 2008 financial collapse. ..."
"... Just look at the events of February and March from this standpoint. It is no accident that Christopher Steele turns up, smack dab in the middle of the Skripal poisoning hoax. ..."
"... None of the true facts about the actual motive for, and sponsors of, the DOJ applications involving Carter Page were revealed to the FISA Court in the filings made by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former FBI Director James Comey, or current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. ..."
"... Since Steele has been discredited in the United States, a huge fawning publicity campaign has been undertaken on his behalf. The campaign involves journalists who have collaborated directly with Steele in his smear job against Trump. Books by Luke Harding and Michael Isikoff seek to rebuild Steele's reputation. ..."
"... A fawning piece by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker, as implausible as it is long, has been foisted on the public for the same reason. ..."
"... Steele described his business to Luke Harding as primarily providing research and reports to competing and feuding Russian oligarchs, many of whom use London as a base of operations. This is obviously a perfect cover for intelligence operations. It is also a very violent theater of operations. The oligarchs intersect both Western intelligence operations and Russian organized crime. They engage in deadly gang warfare. ..."
"... Steele and his partners are mentored by Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6 and a critical player in the infamous "sexing up" and fabrication of the claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, ..."
"... Steele had been tasked to claim that Russia was interfering in Western elections during the entire post-Ukraine coup time-frame, when this black propaganda line began to be circulated widely. ..."
"... The background to Porton Down's reluctance, is of course former Prime Minister Blair's phony dossier on Iraqi WMD, which Lyndon LaRouche fought, alongside the late British arms expert David Kelly, who exposed the "dodgy dossier," at the time. ..."
"... Thus, after being disclosed by a dissident Russian chemist living in the United States, novichoks have been widely copied by other countries, according to the press accounts. ..."
"... The insane McCarthyite reactions to Corbyn's simple statements of fact show that he hit the nail on the head. If you want to find Skripal's poisoners, then, like Edgar Allen Poe, you must take in the whole picture first. The field of play involves the British intelligence services and the anti-Putin Russian oligarchs, each of which services the other, acting on behalf of British strategic objectives. It is no accident that the coup against Donald Trump and the latest British intelligence fraud, putting the entire world in peril, absolutely intersect one another. ..."
Mar 23, 2018 | www.larouchepub.com

Skripal Poisoning a Desperate British Attempt To Resurrect Their American Coup

by Barbara Boyd

[ Print version of this article ]

March 18 -- In this report, we will explore the strategic significance of major events in the world starting in February 2018. Our goal is to precisely situate British Prime Minister Theresa May's March 12-14 mad effort to manufacture a new "weapons of mass destruction" hoax based on the alleged Skripal poisoning, using the same people (the MI6 intelligence grouping around Sir Richard Dearlove) and script (an intelligence fraud concerning weapons of mass destruction) which were used to draw the United States into the disastrous Iraq War.

The Skripal poisoning fraud also directly involves British agent Christopher Steele, the central figure in the ongoing coup against Donald Trump. This time the British information warfare operation is aimed at directly provoking Russia, while maintaining the targeting of the U.S. population and President Trump.

As the fevered, war-like media coverage and hysteria surrounding the case make clear, a certain section of the British elite seems prepared to risk everything on behalf of its dying imperial system. Despite the hype, economic warfare and sanctions appear to be the British weapons of choice -- Vladimir Putin, as we shall see, recently called the West's nuclear bluff. With the British "Russiagate" coup against Donald Trump fizzling, exposing British agent Christopher Steele and a slew of his American friends to criminal prosecution, a new tool was desperately needed to back the President of the United States into the British geopolitical corner shared by most of the American establishment. The tool they are using to do this is an intelligence hoax, a tried-and-true British product.

According to the British spy tale, a former Russian military intelligence colonel, Sergei Skripal, who spied for Great Britain in Russia from the early 1990s until 2004, was poisoned, along with his daughter, on March 4 in Salisbury, England, using a nerve agent "of a type developed by Russia." In 2010, Skripal had been exchanged in a spy swap between the United States and Russia. He had served six years in a Russian prison for spying for Britain. He had been living in the open in Britain for the last eight years. Skripal's MI6 recruiter and handler, Pablo Miller, listed himself as a consultant to Orbis Business Intelligence, Christopher Steele's British company, on his LinkedIn profile. When the London Daily Telegraph called attention to the Orbis reference, it was removed from the profile. Steele, who worked on the Trump dossier through his company Orbis, has denied that Miller worked directly on that dossier.

Theresa May and her foreign minister, Boris Johnson, insist there is only one person who could be responsible for the poisoning -- described as an act of war -- and that person is Vladimir Putin. No evidence has been offered to support this claim. No plausible motive has been provided as to why Putin would order such a provocative murder now, ahead of the World Cup, when the Russiagate coup in the United States has lost all momentum. Rather than following the protocols of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which require that evidence of the alleged agent be presented to Russia, the eccentric and unpopular May instead delivered an ultimatum to Russia, and whipped up war fever throughout the UK. She now seeks to pull Donald Trump and NATO into ever more aggressive moves against Russia.

Thus, as with Christopher Steele's dirty dossier against Donald Trump, the British claims against Putin are an evidence-free exercise of raw power. The Anglo-American establishment instructs us: "trust this, ignore the stinky factless content presented in this dossier -- just note that it is backed by very important intelligence agencies which could cook your goose if you object."

A short statement of the reasons why the British are now staging the Skripal provocation can be found in a March 14 London Daily Telegraph call to arms by Allister Heath, who rants: "We need a new world order to take on totalitarian capitalists in Russia and China. Such an alliance would dramatically shift the global balance of power, and allow the liberal democracies finally to fight back. It would endow the world with the sorts of robust institutions that are required to contain Russia and China. Britain needs a new role in the world; building such a network would be our perfect mission." Across the pond, as they say, a similar foundational statement was made by 68 former Obama Administration officials who have formed a group called National Security Action, aimed at securing Trump's impeachment and attacking Russia and China.

Russia and China have embarked on a massive infrastructure building project in Eurasia, the center of all British geopolitical fantasies since the time of Halford Mackinder. China's "Belt and Road Initiative" now encompasses more than 140 nations in the largest infrastructure-building project ever undertaken in human history. This project is a true economic engine for the future. At the same time, the neo-liberal economies of the trans-Atlantic region continue to see their productive potentials sucked dry by the massive piles of debt they have created since the 2008 financial collapse. This debt is now on a hair trigger for implosion. It is estimated by banking insiders that the City of London is sitting on a derivatives powderkeg of $700 trillion, with over-the-counter derivatives accounting for another $570 trillion. The City of London will bear the major impact of the coming derivatives collapse.

In this strategic geometry, President Trump's support for peaceful collaboration with Russia during the campaign, and his personal friendship with China's President Xi Jinping, have marked him for the relentless coup-drive waged by the British and their U.S. friends.

On top of that, President Putin delivered a mammoth strategic shock on March 1, showing new Russian weapons systems based on new physical principles, which render present U.S. ABM systems and much of current U.S. war-fighting doctrine obsolete, together with the vaunted first strike capacity with which NATO has surrounded Russia. Not only is the West sitting on a new financial collapse, its vaunted military superiority has just been flanked.

It is very clear that a strategic choice now confronts the human race. In 1984, Lyndon LaRouche wrote a very profound document, " Draft Memorandum of Agreement Between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. " In it, he developed the concrete basis for peace between the two superpowers at the moment when the United States had adopted the LaRouche/Reagan doctrine of strategic defense. Both Reagan and LaRouche had proposed that the Russians and the United States cooperate in building and developing strategic defense against offensive nuclear weapons, based on new physical principles, thereby eliminating the threat of nuclear annihilation.

According to the LaRouche Doctrine, "The political foundation for durable peace must be: a) the unconditional sovereignty of each and all nation states, and b) cooperation among sovereign states to the effect of promoting unlimited opportunities to participate in the benefits of technological progress, to the mutual benefit of each and all."

Both China, in President Xi's October Address to the Party Congress, and Russia, in Putin's March 1 address to the Federal Assembly, have set a course to produce technological progress capable of being shared in by all. They both outline major infrastructure projects and dedicating massive funding to exploring the frontiers of science, technology, and space exploration. Donald Trump, in both his campaign and his presidency, has embraced similar views. The British and their American friends, however, are devotees of a completely different and failing economic system, a system soundly rejected in Brexit, in the election of Donald Trump, and most recently in the Italian elections.

Just look at the events of February and March from this standpoint. It is no accident that Christopher Steele turns up, smack dab in the middle of the Skripal poisoning hoax.

Exposure of British as U.S. Election Meddlers Weakens Anti-Trump Coup

On Feb. 2, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a memo demonstrating that the Obama Justice Department and FBI committed an outright fraud on the FISA court in obtaining surveillance warrants on Carter Page, a volunteer for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. The bogus warrant applications relied heavily on the dirty British dossier authored by MI6's "former" Russian intelligence chief, Christopher Steele, who had been paid by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee to paint Donald Trump as a Manchurian candidate -- as a pawn of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to the House Intelligence memo and other aspects of its investigation, Steele confided to Bruce Ohr, a high official in the DOJ, that he, Steele, hated Trump with a passion and would do "anything" to prevent Trump's election. Steele was using the fact of an FBI investigation of his allegations as part of a "full spectrum" British information warfare campaign conducted against candidate Trump with the full complicity of Obama's intelligence chiefs. (See Peter Van Buren, " Christopher Steele: The Real Foreign Influence in the 2016 U.S. Election? " The American Conservative, February 15, 2018.) None of the true facts about the actual motive for, and sponsors of, the DOJ applications involving Carter Page were revealed to the FISA Court in the filings made by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former FBI Director James Comey, or current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The House Intelligence Committee memo was quickly followed by a declassified letter on Feb. 5, in which Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsay Graham referred Christopher Steele to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for criminal prosecution, based on false statements he made to the FBI about his contacts with the news media. No doubt the criminal referral sent chills down the spines not only of Christopher Steele and his British colleagues, but also of those former Obama officials conspiring against Trump.

In the same week, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes announced that he would be conducting investigations into the role of the Obama State Department and intelligence chiefs in the circulation and use of Christopher Steele's dirty dossier. These investigations have been widely reported to focus on John Brennan and James Clapper -- Brennan for widely promoting the dirty British work product, and Clapper for leaks associated with BuzzFeed's publication and legitimization of the dirty British work product. Remind yourself every time you hear media explosions against Trump by either Clapper (congressional perjurer and proponent of the theory that the Russians are genetically predisposed to screw the United States) or Brennan (gopher for George Tenet's perpetual war and torture regime and Grand Inquisitor for Barack Obama's serial
assassinations by baseball card). They are next in the barrel, so to speak.

The January 11, 2017 BuzzFeed publication of the Steele dossier was meant to permanently poison Trump's incoming administration, and is the subject of libel suits both in Florida and London. In the London case, the British are ready to invoke the Official Secrets Act to protect Christopher Steele. In the Florida case, Steele has been ordered to sit for deposition despite numerous delays and stalling tactics.

The Congressional investigation of the State Department is focused on John Kerry, Kerry's aide Jonathan Winer, Victoria Nuland, and Clinton operative Cody Shearer. Nuland utilized Christopher Steele as a primary intelligence source while running the U.S. regime change operations in Ukraine in alliance with neo-Nazis. She greenlighted Steele's initial meetings with the FBI about Donald Trump. Winer deployed himself to vouch for Steele to various news publications collaborating with British agent Steele and his U.S. employer, Fusion GPS, in Steele's media warfare operations against Trump.

Horowitz's report on the Clinton investigations -- which have already unearthed the texts between former Russiagate lead case agent Peter Strzok and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, proclaiming their hatred of Donald Trump and the need for an "insurance policy" against his election -- is expected to be released very soon. According to the House Intelligence Committee, the Strzok/Page texts also reveal that Strzok was a close friend of U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras. Contreras sits on the FISA court, took Michael Flynn's guilty plea, and then promptly recused himself from Michael Flynn's case for reasons which remain undisclosed.

Despite its exoneration of the President and thorough discrediting of the British Steele operation, the House Intelligence Committee dangerously accepts the myth that the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the emails of Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta, and then provided the hacked information to WikiLeaks for publication. Its final report states, however, that Putin's intervention was not in support of Donald Trump, as previously claimed by Obama's intelligence chiefs. The Senators seeking a new Special Counsel also salute this dangerous fraud.

As we have previously reported, the myth that Putin hacked the Democrats and provided the hacked emails to WikiLeaks, has been substantively refuted by the investigations of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). In summary, the evidence points to a leak rather than a hack in the case of the DNC. Further, the NSA would have the evidence of any such hack or hacks, according to former NSA technical director Bill Binney, and would have provided it, even if in a classified setting. It is clear that the NSA has no such evidence. It is also clear that the United States and the British have cyber warfare capabilities fully capable of creating "false flag" cyber war incidents.

North Korea Talks Planned, While Russia and China Continue to Create the Conditions for a New Human Renaissance

In addition to the fizzling of the coup, the Western elites suffered through February and March for additional reasons. To the shock of the entire, smug Davos crowd, Donald Trump, working with Russia, China, and South Korea, appears to have gotten Kim Jong-un to the negotiating table concerning denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Substantive talks have been scheduled for May. The breakthrough was announced by President Trump and South Korea on March 8.

On March 1, President Putin gave his historic two-hour address to the Russian Federal Assembly and the Russian people. Like President Xi's address to the Chinese Party Congress in October 2017, Putin focused on the goal of deeply reducing poverty in Russian society. Xi vowed in October to eliminate poverty from Chinese society altogether by 2020. In addition, Putin emphasized that Russia would undertake a huge city-building project across its vast rural frontiers and dramatically expand its modern infrastructure, including Russia's digital infrastructure. He put major emphasis on directing funds to basic scientific and technological progress. He emphasized that harnessing and stimulating the creative powers of individual human beings is the true driver of all economic progress.

China's Belt and Road Initiative also continued to advance. Great infrastructure projects are popping up throughout the world, including most specifically in Africa, which had been consigned to be a permanent, primitive looting-ground for Western interests. Among the recent breakthroughs is the great project to refill Lake Chad, a project known as "Transaqua," involving the Italian engineering firm Bonifica, the Chinese engineering and construction firm PowerChina, and the Lake Chad Basin Commission, which represents the African countries directly benefiting from the project. But the biggest strategic news of the last six weeks was contained in the last part of President Putin's speech. He showed various weapons, developed by Russian scientists in the wake of the U.S. abrogation of the ABM treaty and the Anglo-American campaign of color revolutions and NATO base-building in the former Soviet bloc. These weapons, based on new physical principles, render U.S. ABM defenses obsolete, together with many U.S. utopian war-fighting doctrines developed under the reigns of Obama and Bush. Putin emphasized that the economic and "defense" aspects of his speech were not separate. Rather, the scientific breakthroughs were based on an in-depth economic mobilization of the physical economy. He stressed that Russia's survival was dependent upon marshalling continuous creative breakthroughs in basic science and the high-technology spinoffs which result, and their propagation through the entire population. He stressed that such breakthroughs are the product of providing an actually human existence to the entire society.

Compare what Russia and China have set out to accomplish with respect to the physical economy of the Earth, with the second and third paragraphs of Lyndon LaRouche's prescription for a durable peace in the LaRouche Doctrine:

The most crucial feature of present implementation of such a policy of durable peace is a profound change in the monetary, economic, and political relations between dominant powers and those relatively subordinated nations often classed as "developing nations." Unless the inequities lingering in the aftermath of modern colonialism are progressively remedied, there can be no durable peace on this planet.

Insofar as the United States and the Soviet Union acknowledge the progress of the productive powers of labor throughout the planet to be in the vital strategic interests of each and both, the two powers are bound to that degree and in that way by a common interest. This is the kernel of the political and economic policies of practice indispensable to the fostering of a durable peace between those two powers.

This is the perspective which has the British terrified and acting-out, insanely. Were Trump, Putin, and Xi to enter into negotiations based on the LaRouche Doctrine, a breakthrough will have occurred for all of mankind, a breakthrough to a permanent and durable peace. No neo-liberal, post-industrial, unipolar order can match this, no matter how much Allister Heath, Ms. May, or Boris Johnson rant and rave about it.

Christopher Steele's British Playground

As is well known by now, Christopher Steele was a long-time MI6 agent before "retiring" to form his own extremely lucrative private intelligence firm. The firm is said to have earned $200 million since its formation. Steele was an MI6 agent in Moscow around the time Skripal was recruited. He also later ran the MI6 Russia desk and would have known everything there was to know about Skripal. Pablo Miller, who recruited Skripal, worked for Steele's firm according to Miller's LinkedIn profile, and lived in the same town as Skripal.

Since Steele has been discredited in the United States, a huge fawning publicity campaign has been undertaken on his behalf. The campaign involves journalists who have collaborated directly with Steele in his smear job against Trump. Books by Luke Harding and Michael Isikoff seek to rebuild Steele's reputation.

A fawning piece by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker, as implausible as it is long, has been foisted on the public for the same reason.

There are some fascinating facts, however, in all this fawning prose:

Leaving aside Sergei Skripal's relationship with the central figure in the British-led coup against Donald Trump, it is clear that the May government's claim that he and his daughter were poisoned by a "novichok" nerve-agent, even if it is true, by no means makes a case that Putin's government was responsible. (It is of interest that as we were going to press on March 19, the foreign ministers of the European Union, after a briefing by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson that indicted Putin as responsible, issued a statement which condemned the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter, but pointedly failed to blame Putin or Russia.)

Craig Murray, a former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan who maintains contacts in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, wrote March 16 that Britain's chemical-warfare scientists at Porton Down, "are not able to identify the nerve agent as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation of a type developed by Russia, after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation. The Russians were allegedly researching, in the novichok program, a generation of nerve agents which could be produced from commercially available precursors such as insecticides and fertilizers. This substance is a novichok in that sense. It is of that type. Just as I am typing on a laptop of a type developed by the United States, though this one was made in China."

The background to Porton Down's reluctance, is of course former Prime Minister Blair's phony dossier on Iraqi WMD, which Lyndon LaRouche fought, alongside the late British arms expert David Kelly, who exposed the "dodgy dossier," at the time.

"To anybody with a Whitehall background this has been obvious for several days," Murray continues. "The government has never said the nerve agent was made in Russia, or that it can only be made in Russia. The exact formulation of a type developed by Russia was used by Theresa May in Parliament, used by the U.K. at the UN Security Council, used by Boris Johnson on the BBC yesterday and, most tellingly of all, 'of a type developed by Russia,' is the precise phrase used in the joint communique‚ issued by the U.K., U.S.A., France, and Germany yesterday."

The main account of the chemical weapons cited by Theresa May was written by a Soviet dissident chemist named Vil Mirzayanov who now lives in the United States and published a book about his work at the Soviets' Uzbekistan chemical-warfare laboratory. In his much-publicized book, Mirzayanov sets out the formulas for the claimed substances. According to the March 16 Wall Street Journal, that publicity led to the novichoks' chemical structure being leaked, making them readily available for reproduction elsewhere. Ralf Trapp, a France-based consultant and expert on the control of chemical and biological weapons, told the Journal, "The chemical formula has been publicized and we know from publications from then-Czechoslovakia that they had worked on similar agents for defense in the 1980s. I'm sure other countries with developed programs would have as well."

But it does not seem that those "other countries" include Russia. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the independent agency charged by treaty with investigating claims like those just made by the British government, certified in September 2017 that the Russian government had destroyed its entire chemical weapons program, inclusive of its nerve agent production capabilities. In addition to Trapp's account, Seamus Martin, writing in the March 14 Irish Times, posits, based on personal knowledge, that novichoks were widely expropriated by East Bloc oligarchs and criminal elements in the Russian economic chaos of the 1990s.

Thus, after being disclosed by a dissident Russian chemist living in the United States, novichoks have been widely copied by other countries, according to the press accounts.

Further trouble for May's attempted hoax is found in the condition of the Skripals and of a police officer who went to their home. All were made critically ill, although they are still alive. Yet the emergency personnel who treated the Skripals, allegedly the victims of a deadly and absolutely lethal nerve poison, suffered no ill effects whatsoever.

The Skripal poisoning is being compared in the British press to the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. The former KGB and FSB officer was granted asylum in London and worked for the infamous anti-Putin British-intelligence-directed oligarch Boris Berezovsky in information warfare and other attacks on the Russian state, inclusive of McCarthyite accusations against any European politician seeking sane relations with Putin.

Litvinenko's case officer was none other than Christopher Steele, and Christopher Steele conducted MI6's investigation of the case, which, of course, found Putin himself culpable. Berezovsky's use of the disgraced British PR firm Bell, Pottinger is also credited with a significant role in public acceptance of this result. Berezovsky was a prime suspect in organizing the murder of American journalist Paul Klebnikov. Many believe that Berezovsky arranged Litvinenko's demise. Berezovsky himself died in Britain in mysterious circumstances following the loss of a major court case to another Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich.

In the parliamentary debate in which Theresa May issued her provocation, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn cautioned against a rush to judgment and pointed to the bloody playing field of Russian oligarchs and Russian organized crime as alternative areas for investigation. Had Corbyn added to that mix, "Western intelligence agencies," he would have been entirely on the right track. Corbyn also pointed out that these oligarchs had contributed millions to May's Conservative Party. The reaction by the British media, May's Conservatives, and Tony Blair's faction of the Labour Party was to paint Corbyn as a Putin dupe, including photoshopped images of the Labour leader in a Russian winter hat in front of the Kremlin.

The insane McCarthyite reactions to Corbyn's simple statements of fact show that he hit the nail on the head. If you want to find Skripal's poisoners, then, like Edgar Allen Poe, you must take in the whole picture first. The field of play involves the British intelligence services and the anti-Putin Russian oligarchs, each of which services the other, acting on behalf of British strategic objectives. It is no accident that the coup against Donald Trump and the latest British intelligence fraud, putting the entire world in peril, absolutely intersect one another.

[Mar 23, 2018] Megyn Kelly behaves like a rabid dog attacking Putin. Did not work well.

What is interesting that as there are 3.4K dislikes and only 1.2K likes. Looks like people start to decipher the NBC propaganda machine and neoliberal propaganda machine in general (NBC is not an outlier in this respect; this is run of mill neoliberal outlet)
Looks like Putin really has steel nerves. Megyn Kelly was really disgusting pushing her talking points like there is not tomorrow. Such a shill... . She also was organically able to listen. she has her prejudices can't shake them and actually does not want to shake them (may be this is connected with her job security ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... Confronting? The job of a real journalist is to ask questions, not to confront. Want to see the actual interview go watch Russian Insider is there in its totality. ..."
"... the moment i heard "American Democracy Under Attack" i stopped watching the video. ..."
"... Wtf NBC, this is ridiculously badly edited to fit an agenda. This is not journalism. ..."
"... It's not a debate if she keeps interrupting him, very disappointed in the way NBC took this golden opportunity to have a proper conversation with one of the super powers of the world and wasted it in "I tell you, you did this" and childish reaction from Megyn part. ..."
"... I am American and I am fully of aware how evil and deceptive this country is. I understand Putin is trying to do the right thing. But it seems as if almost 90-95% of people in this country still don't get it. ..."
"... How many governments in the world have been overthrown by the American CIA? How often does evil USA interfere in other states' elections? The USA government is pure evil. ..."
"... "American democracy, under attack".... by putting $46,000 worth of ads on Facebook, most of which were posted AFTER the election. Come on people, don't be foolish. ..."
"... "You believe that America meddled in your elections?" No Megyn Kelly, that's a historical fact, look up the "Harvard Boys" sponsored by USAID, look at the cover of the July 15, 1996 issue of Time Magazine entitled "Yanks to the Rescue", celebrating America's role in hijacking the Russian political system. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.youtube.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1pPkAOZI50


rayochapin , 1 week ago

Confronting? The job of a real journalist is to ask questions, not to confront. Want to see the actual interview go watch Russian Insider is there in its totality.

Sa yan , 1 week ago

the moment i heard "American Democracy Under Attack" i stopped watching the video.

Rumata , 1 week ago

Mr. Putin, did you intervene in the US elections? No But did you intervene? No And when you intervened, did you intervene? No Have you intervened with the oligarchs? No Did you help them intervene? No And in the US say you intervened you did it? No But you did not interfere, huh? Yes Interfered? No

spasev , 1 week ago (edited)

Where is the full interview? I had to go to a Russian government TV channel so I can watch the full interview. And you label the Russian media as state propaganda. Shame on you.

Games4us , 1 week ago

FYI, this interview is 1,5 hour long in original. here it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mhi_AyQAyw&t=977s

Mr. Ben , 1 week ago

"Cut and paste" the interview with an agenda of bashing Russia, using "some people say" or "some American experts say" as the sources without any solid proof and evidence is shameful.

namodicha , 1 week ago

Please, please, please, any US citizen who is watching this, go watch the full interview, just in order to get an idea of what your media is worth. Listen to the words, also pay attention to how it is filmed and presented.You really need to know how much you are bullshitted to.

Linera Y , 1 week ago (edited)

When he talked about principles, why didn't she believe? Please, know that there are many people in the world with principles, who are not necessarily running and dying for capitalist money, brands, silly talentless pointless half-naked pop-stars, yachts or florida-like beaches, etc. There are many people who are fine to live without all these but with principles and other values , which are not that bad even they don't run around money!

John A , 1 week ago

Her first and fatal mistake was underestimating his intelligence, thinking she could trip him up with her aggressive tone. Putin has forgotten more about politics than Kelly has yet to learn. It's easy to see why NBC hacked the interview to pieces - she was pathetic and out of her league, just another brainwashed, deluded American shill.

Johnny Bucknell , 1 week ago

Putin is my hero!! Love Putin from New Zealand, NBC is part of fake news!!

James Medina , 1 week ago

What a fake news BS story... Still desperately trying to find an excuse as to why Crooked Hillary lost.

Mark Hauser , 1 week ago

After listening to the whole interview. This short clip looks like fake news!!!! How the cut the phrase and questions, out of context. Looks pathetic

dimirsen , 1 week ago

why did you decide to create this Frankenstein interview consisting of small snippets? Will the next interview be in a format of a 10 sec coub?

somfplease , 1 week ago

I watched the FULL unedited version of this before hand. Holyshit the editing is dishonest.

Kyle Witcher , 1 week ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2MtKS1O8Ds THIS IS THE TRUE INTERVIEW, UNEDITED AND TRANSLATED Please share the TRUE interview. Megyn Kelly got destroyed.

Toye Adeniran , 1 week ago

Wtf NBC, this is ridiculously badly edited to fit an agenda. This is not journalism. I wasn't a fan of Russia before this, but you might be changing my mind by showing this edited crap. You're making things between the US and Russia worse not better by showing this edited crap.

Вован , 1 week ago

Wow, i am a Russian and i have to say you guys went too far with your propaganda. This is cut and edited beyond reason. Why you do this? Stop making our president look like the ultimate villain. Honestly, it was such a pleasure to listen to Vladimir Putin's reasonable approach. WTF NBC?

Zavier Brewer , 1 week ago

It's not a debate if she keeps interrupting him, very disappointed in the way NBC took this golden opportunity to have a proper conversation with one of the super powers of the world and wasted it in "I tell you, you did this" and childish reaction from Megyn part.

Che , 1 week ago

In America, Our political & Media Elite managed to collude Our foreign policy with Democracy promotion.We use Democracy promotion to achieved our foreign policy agenda.. In Libya we Used democracy promotion to achieve our foreign policy goal of getting ride of Gadhafi, following the fall of Gadhafi we abandon Libya on moved on to OUR NEXT TARGET, SYRIA.... IN SYRIA, we formed an alliance with non Democratic ARAB REGIMES to Overthrow A Circular government of ASSAD. when RUSSIA & IRAN INTERVEIN @ THE REQUEST OF THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT, we have an issue with that.. OUR FOREIGN POLICY is INCONSISTENT AND UNDERMINES OUR NATIONAL INTEREST/Democracy. & Corporate Media is a SCAM... HAD WE HAD alternative NEWS SOURCE LIKE(social media) WE DO TODAY, WE WOULDN'T HAVE INVADED IRAQ ON FAKE EVIDENCE /INTELLIGENCE God Bless America

somtitious , 1 week ago

National Bias Corporation (NBC) I have watched the full interview and as usual, he flawed the beautiful but empty headed Kelly!

Joey Yared , 1 week ago

NBC is the reason why the US and Russia will never be allies. They seem to want war. Putin is probably laughing at the hysteria of the US media. Make no mistake, the MEDIA is getting in the way of peace with Russia. Putin is no saint, but keep in mind they have more nuclear weapons than us. Wouldn't hurt to mend the relationship...

Shantanu Nair , 1 week ago

This is American propaganda in its purest most undiluted form. The interpreter is putting words into Putin's mouth making him sound arrogant and brash. Its is Megyn Kelly who is the arrogant one just like the rest of the American mainstream media. I admire Putin for his patience, one must have the mental stability of a yogi to tolerate the half literate moronic deluge that radiates from Megyn's mouth. She was going too far, by interrupting Putin at every turn while Putin still has the decency to politely respond. If she is so democratic, I would advise her to pay a visit to her government's Saudi "allies.

Abe Jackson , 4 days ago

Putin is too smart for Megyn. Do you really think he's gonna tell you what you think when an American journalist asks you such questions? I don't like Putin either but he's got balls. I bet he knows English too but he knows that speaking a foreign language will put him at an disadvantage. Smart move by hiring an interpreter. By the way the US government throughout has done things far worse than rigging election.

DJKLY242 , 1 week ago (edited)

This isnt an interview more less the ' pressing' of 'false allegations & speculation'. Every response Putin gives is reasonable. Putin didnt have to agree with doing this. She sounds like a failed lawyer & wanna be politician. America is not Perfect, Russia is not perfect, I wish she would sit down with people in her own country & do the same but she doesnt. She acts as if she is asking these questions on behalf of Americans when really it is based on 'her' own views and for the sake of 'her' interview. This interview is flawed.

Big Money , 1 week ago

a new film about Putin, very interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RK2xmLVkDI

Pete Daltry , 1 week ago

Fake news

DazzaWebb , 1 week ago

America = The greatest threat to humanity since Nazi Germany.

Abz , 1 week ago

Don't spread lies NBC news. People should not believe this fake news! Glad to see there's more dislikes than likes, people are starting to know the truth.

Derek Robert , 1 week ago

NBC shilling for war as usual.

London England , 1 week ago (edited)

How disingenuous can NBC get? Actual quote from the interview: "Maybe, although they were Russian, they work for some American company. Maybe one of them worked with one of the candidates. I have no idea about this. These are not my problems" And in the headlines: "Putin on alleged US election interference: I don't care".

Henri Alanko , 1 week ago

It's been over a year and you've managed to find 13 Russian Twitter trolls. What a horrifying conspiracy. Worse than Pearl Harbor!

HeliOs AsclepiUs , 1 week ago

American Democracy is run by plutocrats Itching for war against Russia and China and Iran.. USA is a warmonger doing the bidding for Israel.. As if Russia had Trump elected.. What a joke.. American mainstream media is trying to manufacture consent from its people to go to war.. Watch and see..

VendPrekmurec , 1 week ago

A very russophobic primitive propaganda

zonkus culture , 1 week ago (edited)

United state have been interfering in African election forcing us to there evil democracy, killing Gaddafi for no reason. Look at what you guys did in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries that don't want to do your evil democracy. After lying to the shameless United nations security council about Saddam's building of weapons of mass destruction, Who fight you about that?.

Love Animals-6 , 1 week ago

This is quite possibly the WORST interview ever conducted. This one is NOT a journalist. If you want to be a respectable broadcaster, fire this moron immediately. Horrendously non-factual, terribly edited - this interview is America in a nutshell. The world has awoken in this age and won't stand still.

Tony Stark , 1 week ago

This is the full 90 mins unedited version with English Subs, see the truth for yourselves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mhi_AyQAyw

ImperialLion , 1 week ago

Remember that United States interferes in the affairs of other nations ALL THE TIME. The U.S. attempted to influence the elections of foreign countries as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000. Since 2000, the U.S. has attempted to sway elections in Ukraine, Kenya, Lebanon, and Afghanistan.

Adam Koester , 1 week ago

I am American and I am fully of aware how evil and deceptive this country is. I understand Putin is trying to do the right thing. But it seems as if almost 90-95% of people in this country still don't get it. They actually are repulsed and angry by the idea that we could be the bad guys. It has turned my family and friends against me. I am all alone...

FahadMHassan , 1 week ago

Megyn Kelly? Pressure Putin? Should I cry or laugh! It's like watching Ahmedinajad destroying King! Even your questions has no concrete clue to any Russian government connection! None!!!!! Are you really a journalist? Guys seriously if you wanna do tv then do it right! You can't pressure Putin by saying they are Russians if you don't have any any any any clues on government connection! You should really consider your questions next time!

Patanjali Kumar.P , 1 week ago

Certain Americans are just pompous arrogant idiots and letting them represent America makes the world look at all Americans as that pompous person.

Korven Griffin , 1 week ago

What an absolute farce. Megan is nothing but a sassy mouthed fool. Funny as f##@

Janihoy Berhan , 1 week ago (edited)

There's no "Russian Connection". This is a lie. This whole "Russian interference in US elections" is a political sham invented by the corrupt American system infiltrated by Zionists and Anti-Christian lobbyists.

Bulat Nurmukhanov , 5 days ago

Poor work by the journalist. She is supposed to have a dialogue, she is supposed to listen to the interviewee. Instead, it was just a bunch of questions and it looked quite awkward.

Richard Mulder , 1 week ago

How many governments in the world have been overthrown by the American CIA? How often does evil USA interfere in other states' elections? The USA government is pure evil.

Richard Rider , 1 week ago

God, is President Putin PATIENT to put up with her...Why does he put up with her?

paul david , 1 week ago

"American democracy, under attack".... by putting $46,000 worth of ads on Facebook, most of which were posted AFTER the election. Come on people, don't be foolish.

Wavanova , 1 week ago

"You believe that America meddled in your elections?" No Megyn Kelly, that's a historical fact, look up the "Harvard Boys" sponsored by USAID, look at the cover of the July 15, 1996 issue of Time Magazine entitled "Yanks to the Rescue", celebrating America's role in hijacking the Russian political system.

[Mar 23, 2018] Putin and neoliberaism in Russia: What they told us about socialism was a pack of lies, but what they told us about capitalism turned out to be perfectly true

Notable quotes:
"... After the disastrous Yeltsin rule (which came on the heels of disastrous rule by Gorbachev) Putin and his team rescued Russia economically, politically, and militarily. ..."
"... As far as Western "democracies" are concerned, the author hit the nail on the head. Yet there are lots of problems in Russia that the author does not mention. I think current Russian take on Soviet propaganda summarizes everything nicely: "what they told us about socialism was a pack of lies, but what they told us about capitalism turned out to be perfectly true". ..."
Mar 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anon [147] • Disclaimer says: March 22, 2018 at 7:23 pm GMT • 500 Words

Anon from TN

The author is painting Putin as larger-than-life figure, which he isn't. He is a normal man, capable and intelligent, but he is not by any means that superhuman leader and savior. He looks much greater than he is because you subconsciously compare him with pathetic nonentities that the Western world sees as leaders now. In fact, the leadership of the US Empire and all its vassal countries visibly degenerated in the last decades. Just compare De Gaulle with sad excuses La Belle France had for presidents lately. Or compare Nixon (he might have been a nasty person, but he was a great President of the country) with various clintons, bushes, obamas, and trumps. Or compare Chancellor Kohl with that poor excuse for a chancellor that Germany has today. You get the drift.

Just like the Soviet Union was not defeated by the US, but actually collapsed due to internal problems, regime change rampage is over largely because the United States pushed their luck and overextended themselves, and not just thanks to Putin. Throughout history, all dominant empires lose their grip and eventually crumble (remember Roman or British), and now it's the turn of the US Empire. Fortunately or unfortunately, the next will be the Chinese Empire, not Russian.

After the disastrous Yeltsin rule (which came on the heels of disastrous rule by Gorbachev) Putin and his team rescued Russia economically, politically, and militarily.

However, the US played a huge role in increasing Putin's popularity inside Russia, more than his propaganda machine ever could. Before the US-sponsored coup in Ukraine in 2014, Putin's approval hovered at about 45%. Nazi takeover in Ukraine and his decisive move to take Crimea back (it was transferred to Ukraine from Russia by Khruschev in 1956, illegally even by vague Soviet law; Crimea tried to get away from Ukraine ever since the breakup of the USSR in 1991; polls by Gallup and German company GfK showed that 80%+ Crimean residents wanted to join Russia, rather than remain in the madhouse that Ukraine became after the coup) resulted in his approval soaring above 70%.

Ill-advised sanctions added even more. Now he did not need to rig elections, he got genuine 70%+ vote, a level of support Western politicians can't even dream of (e.g., Trump was elected by 26% of eligible voters; Merkel's party in Germany got even less).

As far as Western "democracies" are concerned, the author hit the nail on the head. Yet there are lots of problems in Russia that the author does not mention. I think current Russian take on Soviet propaganda summarizes everything nicely: "what they told us about socialism was a pack of lies, but what they told us about capitalism turned out to be perfectly true".

[Mar 23, 2018] Russia has several significant problems with growth of Muslim population and the fact that this is last term for Putin, which might signify the end of the period of political stability

Mar 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

likbez says: March 23, 2018 at 8:22 am GMT 900 Words

This is way too rosy account. Russia has several significant problems with growth of Muslim population and the fact that this is last term for Putin, which might signify the end of the period of political stability.

Also economic rape by local and Western neoliberals of Russia in 1991-2000 was so successful that the country still can't fully recover. Hundreds of billions were stolen and transferred to the West. The "problem of neoliberal oligarchs" as "fifth column" still remains and is a threat to the future of the country. Too much depends of Putin personally. In this sense China is in a better position.

Moreover, Putin was forced into new arm race (by the USA) and military spending now are high and that creates another set of problems including growing influence of internal military industrial complex. Add to this the cost of Syria war and related set of external and internal problems, such as almost complete absence of allies (neither China not Iraq are reliable allies; most post-Soviet republics, even Kazakhstan, are now hostile to Russia)

And Russia does not have too many degrees of freedom yet, as it still depends on the West for many technologies and complex machinery. West dominates high technology area. Add to this brain drain and export of capital from Russia.

Technological dependence means that really crippling sanction are always a possibility. Availability of some of those technologies in China makes this problem less acute than in the past, but still in no way Russia can pursue completely independent policy.

Add to this dependence on dollar and the fact that Russian national bank, which remain a neoliberal institution, controlled by neoliberal Nabibulina ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvira_Nabiullina , who is close to Gref ) who like any "good" neoliberal keeps natural sovereign fund invested in US Treasuries. In this sense she is not that different from Kudrin.

And that means that those money can be confiscated anytime, like the USA did with Iran in the past. Also oligarchs money are now in danger due to clear desire of London to improve its financial standing at Russian oligarchs expense.

What is true is that neoliberalism as a political system entered deep crisis after 2008. In the USA political system became dysfunctional and there is some kind of "virtual" civil war between two factions of neoliberal oligarchy -- classic neoliberals and bastard neoliberals (aka economic nationalists). Add to this "strange" relations with Israel, which sometimes suggest that the tail wags the dog and I do not see why the USA can't experience something similar to processes that took place in Britain after the WWII.

But there is still no alternative social system on the horizon and return to "New deal capitalism" is impossible as the social alliance of management caste changed.

So Russia remains a neoliberal country which hates neoliberalism (in which by definition the power belongs to the financial oligarchy) and which tries to fight Western neoliberal imperialism in ofreign policy including attempts to make is a vassal and appropriate its natural resources (and Russia was a vassal of the West under Yeltsin) while remaining a neoliberal country and promoting neoliberalism externally. that's a recipe for a color revolution in the future, more successfully then 2012 "White" color revolution run by Moscow comprador class. Which in Moscow might well represent probably one third of the population (programmers, doctors, accountants, employees of foreign companies, part of "integrated with West" artistic cicles, writers, journalists, etc.). They were politically decimated by events in Ukraine and then by Russiagate hysteria in the USA. So "neoliberal compradors" class was not a player in the current elections. But that situation might eventually change and they can restore part of their political power.

So, in a way, Putin is some kind of Don Quixote which fight neoliberalism (and neoliberal globalization) externally, while allowing it to exist and even flourish internally (Medvedev, BTW looks like classic neoliberal, a Trojan horse in Putin's administration).

And internally neoliberalism naturally produces high level of corruption, which is amplified by "New Economic Policy" elements on the current Russia political regime (which allowed free operation of small and medium business, but tried to cut/decimate political power of large business -- a very difficult, if not impossible undertaking)

I think Professor Brovkin forgot the classic Lenin work "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism". That's sad...

Moreover, former pro-Putin people who are now CEO of large government companies are not longer Pro-Putin people. Because their position influences their political orientation. In a sense, people like Gref and Sechin are dangerous strata of Putin-created "nova riches", who can betray him any moment, especially if their money will be under the treat of confiscation by the West.

It might well be that Putin was an anomaly and Russian will enter "Maidan" period or some other form of political crisis after Putin relinquishes his power.

BTW Ukrainians were successfully deceived by the West twice, so I do not see why Russians can't repeat this trick and step of the same rake again by electing some variation of Yeltsin who will promise them immediate bright future and jump in the standard of living (which for the last three year deteriorated due to low oil prices and a huge depreciation of ruble). For Ukrainians around 20 year was enough to forget all lessons.

My impression is that Russia might experience yet another serious of political cataclysm in the near future, when "Putinism" will disappear with Putin.

[Mar 22, 2018] As far as I can tell, blatant lies of Western propaganda achieved among the people with brains the same result as the Soviet propaganda: even if they state something truthful for a change, people would doubt that.

Mar 22, 2018 | www.unz.com

RobinG , Next New Comment March 21, 2018 at 9:34 pm GMT

@Anon

You are in a tiny bubble, and just because your small, smart sample seems "woke," don't imagine IQ is any barometer for resistance to group-think and propaganda.

Furthermore, don't assume that humans, high IQ or otherwise, are capable of extrapolation. My lunch group was composed of Christian activists who have [each] spent decades advocating for Palestinians. They are intimately aware of how propaganda has biased Americans for Israel. They have seen the film, Occupation of the American Mind . They know that only by persistent clever marketing, the Zionists sold the fraudulent "noble little Israel" myth.

And yet, they accept unquestioningly the MSM fake news about ANY OTHER SUBJECT. I find this particularly galling, but I believe it's a form of denial they use because the cognitive dissonance would be just too much to bear.

Twodees Partain , Next New Comment March 21, 2018 at 11:27 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

Alas, I stayed with USA friends, well educated middle class, where CNN was the only 'news' source.
Three other USA acquaintances I visited in their homes, cannot remember having seen a newspaper other than a local one about marriages and funerals.

The USA reminded me of the Peking court, that, when British warships were reported on the coast, responded with 'there had been so many pirates already'.

In the Badlands, in a very small café, I identified myself as Dutch, from Holland, Netherlands. When all this did not ring bell I mentioned Europe, the first time in my life. This was understood.

Jilles, maybe your American friends are simply ignorant and easily fooled. That is the type of people who make CNN their sole source of news. This doesn't make them average Americans, just CNN fans.

If I came to visit a friend in Holland, and based my opinion of all Nederlanders on that friend and three others like him that I met while there, would you agree with me if I said that the average person in the Netherlands thought like my friend and his three friends?

[Mar 21, 2018] Putin drew Macron attention to the lack of evidence behind accusations against Russia and reiterated its readiness to conduct joint investigation into the incident

Mar 21, 2018 | en.farsnews.com

"The sides also touched upon the incident in Salisbury," the Kremlin stressed, underlining that "The Russian side drew attention to the lack of evidence behind accusations against Russia and reiterated its readiness to conduct joint investigation into the incident", TASS reported.

"The two presidents discussed in detail issue of the Syrian settlement in the context of the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2401 and the crisis in Ukraine in the light of the importance of the implementation of the Minsk agreements," the Kremlin stated.

The telephone conversation was initiated by the French Leader who called to congratulate Putin on his victory at Sunday's presidential polls in Russia, according to the Kremlin.

Macron spoke in favor of continuing joint work to promote comprehensive bilateral cooperation, including between civil societies within the Trianon Dialogue.

"It was agreed to continue to exchange views on the matters raised during the conversation at various levels," the press service added.

On March 4, Skripal and his daughter Yulia were exposed to a nerve agent in the city of Salisbury. They were found unconscious on a bench near a shopping center in Salisbury. Both are currently in the hospital in critical condition.

British Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of "an unlawful use of force" against her country. Subsequently, she announced that London would expel 23 Russian diplomats and would suspend high-level bilateral contacts.

Russia has vehemently denied its alleged involvement in the incident and said retaliatory measures would follow soon.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that 23 British diplomats had been declared personae non grata to be expelled from Russia in a week's period.

It also said the UK's consulate general in St. Petersburg would be closed and the British Council would stop its activities.

Apart from that, according to the Ministry, the Russian side reserved the right to take other measures "should further unfriendly steps are taken against Russia."

[Mar 21, 2018] If Putin was a happy accident, then Russia has a huge problem when he is gove -- which means in six years by Dmitry Orlov

Mar 21, 2018 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

... ... ...

And what does a vote for Putin actually mean, in terms of choice? Who picked him to begin with? Well, it turns out that Putin is a happy accident. Boris Yeltsin named him as his successor, and you could quite reasonably joke that Yeltsin was drunk at the time and didn't remember why he did that. But you could also surmise that Putin was picked for his renowned savvy in money-laundering and offshoring the ill-gotten gains of Russian oligarchs (his previous job back in St. Petersburg) and for his clever use of his KGB connections (from his job before that) to "settle questions." Remember, this was a time when the endlessly clever people who get paid to sit around and drink coffee over at the Pentagon imagined that "Russian mafia" was an emerging global threat. The oligarchs must have liked Putin, and Yeltsin, in keeping with his "leave no oligarch behind" program, did whatever they wanted him to do.

What they got instead was a pig in a poke. The oligarchs thought that they had recruited another faithful servant who, just like Yeltsin, would keep the state weak and facilitate their shameless plunder. Instead they got a steel-willed technocrat and a true Russian patriot who quickly manifested an awesome power to conjure up creative new ideologies. Instead of subservience, the oligarchs got his "doctrine of equidistance," according to which money≠power. (An oil baron by the name of Mikhail Khodorkovsky ran afoul of it, thinking that he could parlay his wealth into political power, and ended up cooling his heels in prison.) Instead of somebody who would look the other way while they ran roughshod over Russian society, they got his "dictatorship of the law," a significantly strengthened Russian state, and the once fearsome Russian mafia melted away like hoarfrost after sunrise. And the Russian oligarchy's plan to seamlessly meld into Western elite society using their expropriated wealth, leaving Russia behind as a withered husk, ran headlong into Putin's plan to reestablish "multipolarity" and to force other nations, even the United States, to treat Russia as an equal. This resulted in Western sanctions, which sent many oligarchs scurrying back to Russia and repatriating their funds under an amnesty program, lest they be frozen.

And so Putin, for Russia, is just a happy accident. Given that happy accidents are in general far less frequent than unhappy ones, a question arises: How can Russia reliably produce another Putin when the time comes? It is definitely a good thing that Russia has six years to answer this question, because this last presidential election, as well as all the previous ones, has conclusively demonstrated that Russian electoral politics are not the answer -- at least not yet. Let's look at Putin's "competition" (in quotes because, judging from the results, it was more of an exhibition).

The one who garnered the most votes was Pavel Grudinin, nominated by the Communists (although he wasn't a member) instead of their perennial presidential candidate and leader Gennady Zyuganov, who is getting rather long in the tooth. Grudinin failed to disclose his foreign bank accounts, or the fact that his son resides abroad, disqualifying him from holding the top secret clearance required of a Russian president. Nevertheless, he managed to get 15% or so of the vote.

Next in line was the nationalist perennial presidential candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who is quite formidable, very entertaining, but also rather frightening because he is forever threatening to rain fire and brimstone on Russia's enemies both foreign and domestic. Nevertheless, he is definitely qualified to serve as president -- or to serve on your firing squad, because he is also a good shot, and you can be sure that he won't accidentally miss all of your vital organs and leave you writhing in pain while you bleed out slowly. You can regard him as Russia's presidential insurance, giving Russia's enemies an excellent reason to wish for Putin's good health, because Zhirinovsky is standing by, ready to make them say "ouch!" a lot.

And then we have a sort of winner, but not of the presidential sort: Xenia Sobchak. She is the daughter of Anatoly Sobchak, who was the first democratically elected mayor of St. Petersburg, co-author of Russia's constitution, and Putin's friend and mentor. She is a fully paid-up member of Russia's "golden youth" and pretty much does whatever she wants -- like run for president. Don't laugh, she got over 1% of the vote! She has dabbled in reality television, the fashion industry, this and that, is married to an actor, has a year-and-a-half-old son and is rumored to be pregnant.

She made me laugh because she lost Crimea even before she got her name on the ballot by declaring that she does not approve of Crimea being part of Russia. Recall that Crimea has been part of Russia since 1783, was "gifted" to the Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 in violation of the Soviet constitution, and then voted to rejoin Russia in 2014 after the Ukraine's government was overthrown in violation of the Ukrainian constitution: a rare instance of two constitutional violations canceling each other out.

Her slogan was "against all": she saw herself as a one-person alternative to the entire Russian political system. Neither she nor her supporters saw the obvious logical flaw with this platform: if she were truly "against all" then, to be consistent, she would have to campaign for people to vote against all -- including her. What she meant, of course, was "against all except me." Now that would have been a wonderful slogan, had she managed to explain what it was that made her so uniquely magic. Instead, she complained bitterly about everyone else. I believe that her presidential campaign was actually a clever merchandising operation. Maybe it had something to do with marketing eyeglass frames: she appeared to switch eyeglasses more often than most women change panties. There were some other kinds of "product placement" going on too.

Everybody else got less than 1%, but I will give them honorable mention anyway. There was the perennial liberal candidate Yavlinsky, who gave his rationale for running again this time (a hopeless cause given Russians' overwhelmingly unfavorable view of liberalism) as "I just really wanted to talk to some voters." Then, in no particular order (because I don't care) came the über-capitalist Titov, the über-Soviet Suraikin and the über-Russian Baburin. Titov ran on a pathetically hilarious slogan of "So, what about Titov?"

All of the candidates save Putin (who intelligently stayed above the fray) participated in several interminable rounds of "debates" whose format precluded all intelligent discussion. All candidates were given a few minutes to spout their programmatic gibberish while others tried to shout them down. At one point they ganged up on poor Xenia so hard that they made her cry. The only time they got to talk to Putin was after the election, when they were all invited to a sort of "thank you for playing" meeting at the Kremlin, and where they all appeared dignified, conciliatory and grateful.

This was all good, clean fun (except for making Xenia cry; that was mean) but it doesn't answer the essential question, which is: How can Russia find another Putin to elect president in six years? One of the most important reasons why the Soviet Union failed was the inability of its political elites to recruit and promote talent, causing it to degenerate into a dour, ossified, senile gerontocracy. This fact is currently very well understood in Russia, and a serious effort is underway to appoint young, promising governors and to put young people with leadership potential into positions of ministerial responsibility. Whether these efforts produce the intended result will become clear six years from now. A lot can happen in the intervening years -- both good and bad -- but at the moment the project to "make Russia great again" appears to be firing on all cylinders.

This article was originally published by " Club Orlov " -


shane · 4 hours ago

Orlov is a brilliant and patriotic Russian and is obviously pleased with the stability that Putin's reelection brings to his country in this time of crisis. However he is also strangely begrudging to President Putin here and in other articles I have read, casually throwing out a rather nasty and unsubstantiated slur that Putin during his early career in St Petersburg behaved as a low-life corrupt official, helping oligarchs off-shore their stolen riches. I would challenge Mr Orlov to produce not just hearsay but 'real' evidence of this. It seems to contradict the strongest features of Putin's character during his years as president, honesty and consistency. No one suggests that Putin must have a perfect record in all things, but such a serious accusation surely needs backup, or at least clarification as to what exactly Orlov means.
Pablo · 2 hours ago
As I only received this a couple of hours ago, I am pasting again my comments upon yesterday's Peter Koenigh's article:
Regret to have to say that all you people are squabbling over minor incidents, compared to the overall planned agenda. Craig Thomas is right, Paul Craig Roberts is right, Peter Koenigh is right, everybody who writes for ICH is right and Tom Feeley is a giant.
However, you are all missing the end goal of the universal plan. Defence industry, big pharma, oil industry, Monsanto, Bayer, Dupont, Nestlee, P&G, Goldman Sachs, Banks, the BIS, the Cheneys, Rockfellers, Bushes, Morgans, Rothchilds, Kissingers, Soros and Rumsfelds plus more, all belong to one single group that is known as the "establishment" that promotes globalisation. They have an agenda. It is not financial gluttony that drives them, but power. They already control the World's finances, and are aiming to soon also control the food chain and water supply. The purpose is simple logic. (Wish George Orwell were still alive). Their intent is to reduce the whole World's population to functioning "servants" with barely enough to survive upon, so that they be so encased within the efforts on their own survival in each one's little world, so that they be totally deprived of any stamina to check, object and criticize anything that the rulers of the "establishment" do or enact. The media belongs to them, and most of the reporters therein have already turned into the "servants" mentioned, evidently for their own survival. Hence the necessary brainwashing of the masses is secured. Any dissident that could endanger the agenda, has to be dealt with. One of those is Putin. (according to me, despite some of his misgivings, is the only leader in the Western World that deserves the position he holds). All the rest are plain buffoons. It is "we the people", "the brainwashed people" who have put them in office. However, there still may be some hope. Was Nostradamus right? What about China. A president for life? And what would be the consequences for the rest of us. Personal experience has taught me that the Chinese, as many too of the far Eastern peoples, know of little empathy within their culture. So what would be the future of the rest of us if they were to prevail globally? Should we not all embrace the Russians and Indians and hope for them to be our lifesaver buffer? Food for thought ladies and gentlemen !!!
Elliot · 1 hour ago
I hope the planet survives long enough to see who follows Putin as President of Russia.

[Mar 21, 2018] RT Chief, Margarita Simonyan: Why We Don't Respect the West Anymore

Notable quotes:
"... We don't want to live like you live, anymore. For fifty years, secretly and openly, we wanted to live like you, but not any longer. We have no more respect for you, and for those amongst us that you support, and for all those people who support you. That's how this 5% came to be. ..."
"... For that you only have yourself to blame. And also your Western politicians and analysts, newsmakers and scouts. Our people are capable to forgive a lot. But we don't forgive arrogance, and no normal nation would. Your only remaining Empire would be wise to learn history of its allies, all of them are former empires. To learn the ways they lost their empires. Only because of their arrogance. ..."
"... (in English in the original text -- trans. ..."
"... Neo-Liberalism is the worst because under this pseudo science they consider all things including the land, the air, the water, the human beings and the same life (all nature) as their rightful commodities. ..."
"... Unfortunately in this case Karl Rove is only making reference to what has been decided in political circles in Washington at that time. This habit of "defining new realities" is what all MSM and most Western politicians work after today. At any time at any case the MSM and the West system can change one reality perception to another without being held responsible for the factual truth. ..."
Mar 20, 2018 | russia-insider.com

And that's your fault, my Western friends. It was you who pushed us into "Russians never surrender" mode.

I've been telling you for a long time to find normal advisers on Russia. Sack all those parasites. With their short-sighted sanctions, heartless humiliation of our athletes (including athletes with disabilities ), with their "skripals" and ostentatious disregard of the most basic liberal values, like a presumption of innocence, that they manage to hypocritically combined with forcible imposition of ultra-liberal ideas in their own countries, their epileptic mass hysteria, causing in a healthy person a sigh of relief that he lives in Russia, and not in Hollywood, with their post-electoral mess in the United States, in Germany, and in the Brexit-zone;

with their attacks on RT, which they cannot forgive for taking advantage of the freedom of speech and showing to the world how to use it, and it turned out that the freedom of speech never was intended to be used for good, but was invented as an object of beauty, like some sort of crystal mop that shines from afar, but is not suitable to clean your stables, with all your injustice and cruelty, inquisitorial hypocrisy and lies you forced us to stop respecting you. You and your so called "values."

We don't want to live like you live, anymore. For fifty years, secretly and openly, we wanted to live like you, but not any longer. We have no more respect for you, and for those amongst us that you support, and for all those people who support you. That's how this 5% came to be.

For that you only have yourself to blame. And also your Western politicians and analysts, newsmakers and scouts. Our people are capable to forgive a lot. But we don't forgive arrogance, and no normal nation would. Your only remaining Empire would be wise to learn history of its allies, all of them are former empires. To learn the ways they lost their empires. Only because of their arrogance.

(in English in the original text -- trans. )

But the only Empire, you have left, ignores history, it doesn't teach it and refuses to learn it, meaning that it all will end the way it always does, in such cases.

In meantime, you've pushed us to rally around your enemy. Immediately, after you declared him an enemy, we united around him.

Before, he was just our President, who could be reelected. Now, he has become our Leader. We won't let you change this. And it was you, who created this situation.

It was you who imposed an opposition between patriotism and liberalism. Although, they shouldn't be mutually exclusive notions. This false dilemma, created by you, made us to chose patriotism.

Even though, many of us are really liberals, myself included.

Get cleaned up, now. You don't have much time left.


Muriel Kuri 13 hours ago ,

I agree with you, Margarita, and I am American! I remember as a child, being taught about that horrid USSR - to be so feared, ready at any moment to bomb us into oblivion! I remember the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. - not knowing the full details, but being told that Kennedy saved us all from WWIII. As time went on, we'd watch humorous shows detailing the large percentage of Russians in USSR wanting to AND defecting to America. We were shown Russians lined up around city blocks to buy toilet paper, shoes (any size, any color would do). Russians naivety was always made fun of, casting the majority of you as either clowns or criminals capable of all heinous crimes. Then came the 90s. I watched Yeltsin tottering around drunk, watched in horror as the USSR collapsed, wondering what had happened to you. Then came Putin - this young man being handed the reins of your collapsed, ruined country. Suddenly it seemed, we saw more and more of him. I remember watching his face when he had to explain to the tearful, waiting parents and friends of the mariners from the Kursk. His remark that if he could go down there himself and rescue them he would! I knew then, that this was a man to be watched, because I admired him at that moment. Over the years, after one successful term after another, I saw Russia rising like a Phoenix from the ashes of the USSR. I saw the pride returning to the Russian faces, saw smiles returning to their faces, watched you regaining your honor, your sovereignty as we started losing ours. Watching and listening, in horror and fear as more and more of our rights were taken away after 9/11. Discovering that it was a false flag (one of many, it seems), that took the lives of ordinary Americans and used their deaths to start killing more people in Iraq, which had nothing to do with the attack. More time going by, more rights taken away here, yet for you, rising ever more to greater economy, more business friendly environments in Russia, more world trade with an increasing number of trading partners.

Then started the demonization again - not of USSR, but of Russia - same story, different name. Putin - guilty of all crimes of mankind, blamed for everything under the sun, capable and willing to kill people around the globe with impunity, using chemicals and all other nefarious things! I watched the crimes committed in Ukraine, which deposed the legally elected president, and that tried to kill him after a coup that put Nazis in his place. I watched Crimea hold it's referendum, saw the fireworks display afterwards with all the happy faces. Russia was demonized even more and sanctioned greatly for that. Now to 2017 - I prayed that Putin would run again - (he waited a long time before stating he would run.) I knew that Russia sorely needed him to remain at the reins, guiding Russia (and the world, it seems) around the icebergs of hate, crimes against humanity, local wars, demise of any empathetic feelings towards others as we are all dragged along to the next, last war. Putin has been the one who has prevented it from happening in several situations, where it could have been started. But the demonization continues - little wonder America has lost it's appeal to most of you!

The deep state has us in thrall - (no Kennedy here now to protect us). I pray daily that all of us will survive to realize our hopes - yours and ours, but feel on a deep level that this time it won't happen. It seems that some people here truly want a war - feel they could survive the strike and retaliate to ruin your country, but that ours would remain mainly untouched. They think their bunkers will protect them - their expansive underground cities built for the richest and 'best' of America, while the rest of us are collateral damage. I am not rich - have no real savings, so am definitely not one of those to be saved - like so others around me. I'm sure many of you are in the same position, have the same fears and dreams as I do. I offer all of you my best wishes for a happy, healthy, free and safe world. Maybe your Putin actually does have a rabbit in his hat, or that silver bullet - the magic needed to save us all! I truly hope so.

wdg Muriel Kuri 5 hours ago ,

As a Canadian, thank you for your excellent summary of what I have concluded for some time. Sadly, the US is no longer a Constitutional Republic as established by the founders; it is not even a representative democracy. What the US has become is an Evil American Empire that is the greatest threat to peace and prosperity in the US and throughout the entire world. The good news is that a growing number of people in the US and the Western World realize this and are working very hard to return America to its founding ideals. The first stage in this process is the exposure of powerful members of the Deep State who have infiltrated and corrupted the essential institutions of government, freedom and justice.

TiredOfBsToo 13 hours ago ,

I used to be liberal before liberalism became a symbol of stupidity, war mongering and affiliated with the Deep State and it's rush to rule the world by destroying every society whose people chose to live life as they saw fit. The translation mechanism for understanding US leadership is projection. If the mouthpieces ramble on about their values, the meaning is that they are stating the values of their opponent or target country. If they're accusing a country of terrorism, they're talking about their own support for terrorism for geopolitical gains. If they're accusing a country of using chemical weapons, they're really talking about their own use of chemical weapons to launch another war and destroy yet another country's society. So one can easily see the true meaning of these psychopaths rantings and rhetoric by merely using the simple mechanism of projection to determine the truth.

Maria Angelica Brunell Solar Gerry Hiles 8 hours ago ,

Many times I am completely confused by the use that Americans make of traditional political or economic terms. "Socialism", for example, applied to Democrats? Calling "Liberals" those who like to defy society's traditional customs? "Marxism" is no longer a theory about the conflict of classes, or a dialectical understanding of society! Many political discussions are due to the different interpretations that people give to the same words. The US political science vocabulary is in chaos- along with many other US things!

tomo stojanovic Maria Angelica Brunell Solar an hour ago ,

Americans are keen on Orwellian renaming

wdg Maria Angelica Brunell Solar 5 hours ago ,

Seventy years ago, George Orwell wrote the prophetic essay, "Politics
and the English Language," in which he noted that politicians,
journalists and academics were increasingly using meaningless words and
euphemisms to make "lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and...
give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." Source: https://www.alternet.org/el...

Rafael Gerry Hiles 6 hours ago ,

Totally agree. Fundamental or Philosophical Liberalism has to be with the human being and his liberties and rights.
Economic Liberalism has to be with the commodities trade and physical money, financial money, and their privileges put over the human beings, of course this is a euphemism because whom are really self conceded such privileges are the owners of those goods i.e. International Usurers.
Economic Liberalism morphed into the worst; into Neo-(Economic)-Liberalism (They call it only "liberalism" in order to confuse their enemies, all the people).
Neo-Liberalism is the worst because under this pseudo science they consider all things including the land, the air, the water, the human beings and the same life (all nature) as their rightful commodities.

Tommy Jensen TiredOfBsToo 13 hours ago ,

Double speak, double thinking, defining realities, part of the same s..t.

TiredOfBsToo Tommy Jensen 13 hours ago ,

You're absolutely correct! We've had the worst of the worst running and influencing those that run the country and this man was a psycho, but we have more, too many!

Gerry Hiles Tommy Jensen 12 hours ago ,

And Dubya called him "Turd Blossom". Apt. Perhaps relating to mutual dehumanisation in Skull & Bones?

Peter Jennings Tommy Jensen 5 hours ago ,

The arrogance of the man. I do hope he lives long enough to see the fruits of his labor whilst the economy collapses around him. I guess when that happens he and his other hapless miscreants will keep their heads down and rely on security to protect them from the karma hurtling towards them.

Nothing this man has done has benefited the American people.

Tommy Jensen Peter Jennings 3 hours ago ,

Unfortunately in this case Karl Rove is only making reference to what has been decided in political circles in Washington at that time. This habit of "defining new realities" is what all MSM and most Western politicians work after today. At any time at any case the MSM and the West system can change one reality perception to another without being held responsible for the factual truth.

[Mar 21, 2018] Washington's Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen

Highly recommended!
Mar 21, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

March 20 marks a major anniversary. You'd be forgiven for not knowing it. Fifteen years after we invaded Iraq, few in the US are addressing our legacy there. But it's worth recalling we shattered that country.

We made it a terrorist hotspot, as expected. US and British intelligence, in the months preceding the invasion, expected Bush's planned assault would invigorate Al-Qaeda. The group " would see an opportunity to accelerate its operational tempo and increase terrorist attacks," particularly " in the US and UK ," assessments warned. Due course for the War on Terror.

Follow-up reports confirmed these predictions. "The Iraq conflict has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement," Washington analysts explained in 2006.

Fawaz Gerges lists two groups this milieu produced: Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), "a creature of the 2003 US-led invasion," and ISIS, "an extension of AQI."

There were good reasons for anyone -- not just jihadists -- to resent US involvement. Consider sectarianism. "The most serious sectarian and ethnic tensions in Iraq's modern history followed the 2003 US-led occupation," Sami Ramadani affirmed . Nabil Al-Tikriti concurs , citing US policies that "led to a progressive, incessant increase in sectarian tensions." The Shia death squads " organized by U.S. operatives" were one such decision.

The extent to which these squads succeeded is, in part, what scholars debate when they tally the war deaths. Low estimates, like Iraq Body Count's, put civilians killed at just over 200,000. One research team determined some "half million deaths in Iraq could be attributable to the war." Physicians for Social Responsibility concluded "that the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq," plus 300,000 more in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Iraqis surviving the inferno confronted a range of nightmares. The UN " reported that over 4.4 million Iraqis were internally displaced, and an additional 264,100 were refugees abroad," for example. US forces dealt with Iraqi prisoners -- 70-90% of whom were " arrested by mistake " -- by "arranging naked detainees in a pile and then jumping on them;" "breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees;" and "forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves," to list some of the ways we imparted , with the approval of top Bush administration officials, democratic principles.

Then there are the generations of future Iraqis in bomb-battered cities: Fallujah, Basra. In the former, "the reported increases in cancer and infant mortality are alarmingly high" -- perhaps " worse than Hiroshima " -- while "birth defects reached in 2010 unprecedented numbers." In the same vein, "a pattern of increase in congenital birth defects" plagues Basra, and "many suspect that pollution created by the bombardment of Iraqi cities has caused the current birth defect crisis in that country."

This bombardment began decades before 2003, it's crucial to clarify. We can recall UN Under-Secretary-General Martti Ahtisaari's mission to Baghdad after Operation Desert Storm. He and his team were familiar with the literature on the bombings, he wrote in March 1991, "fully conversant with media reports regarding the situation in Iraq," but realized upon arrival "that nothing that we had seen or read had quite prepared us for the particular form of devastation" -- "near-apocalyptic" -- "which has now befallen the country," condemning it "to a pre-industrial age" for the foreseeable future. This was the scale of ruin when the UN Security Council imposed sanctions. The measures were "at every turn shaped by the United States," whose "consistent policy " was "to inflict the most extreme economic damage possible on Iraq."

The policy was, in this respect, a ripping success. The UN estimated in 1995 that the sanctions had murdered over a half-million children -- " worth it ," Madeleine Albright said -- one factor prompting two successive UN Humanitarian Coordinators in Iraq to resign. Denis Halliday thought the sanctions "criminally flawed and genocidal;" Hans von Sponeck agreed , citing evidence of "conscious violation of human rights and humanitarian law on the part of governments represented in the Security Council, first and foremost those of the United States and the United Kingdom."

Eliminating hundreds of thousands of starving children was just the prequel to the occupation -- "the biggest cultural disaster since the descendants of Genghis Khan destroyed Baghdad in 1258," in one writer's judgment . But try to find more than a handful of commentators reflecting on any of these issues on this dark anniversary. Instead, silence shows the deep US capacity for forgetting.

Nick Alexandrov lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He can be reached at: nicholas.alexandrov@gmail.com

[Mar 21, 2018] Whataboutism Is A Nonsensical Propaganda Term Used To Defend The Failed Status Quo by Mike Krieger

Highly recommended!
The classic question " Who is judging the judges"
Western journalists, with a very small exception (real outliers), are experts at presenting one-sided arguments, whatever the facts and evidence. Look at Meagan Kelly interviews for the inspiration. They know how to wear down any dissident who does not buy into government talking points
Mar 20, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

If you spend any time on Twitter, you'll probably be familiar with the latest pathetic attempt to defend and insulate the U.S. status quo from criticism. It centers around the usage of an infantile and meaningless term, "whataboutism."

Let's begin with one particularly absurd accusation of "whataboutism" promoted by NPR last year:

When O'Reilly countered that "Putin is a killer," Trump responded, "There are a lot of killers. You got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?"

This particular brand of changing the subject is called "whataboutism" -- a simple rhetorical tactic heavily used by the Soviet Union and, later, Russia. And its use in Russia helps illustrate how it could be such a useful tool now, in America. As Russian political experts told NPR, it's an attractive tactic for populists in particular, allowing them to be vague but appear straight-talking at the same time.

The idea behind whataboutism is simple: Party A accuses Party B of doing something bad. Party B responds by changing the subject and pointing out one of Party A's faults -- "Yeah? Well what about that bad thing you did?" (Hence the name.)

It's not exactly a complicated tactic -- any grade-schooler can master the "yeah-well-you-suck-too-so-there" defense. But it came to be associated with the USSR because of the Soviet Union's heavy reliance upon whataboutism throughout the Cold War and afterward, as Russia.

This is a really embarrassing take by NPR .

First, the author tries to associate a tactic that's been around since humans first wandered into caves -- deflecting attention away from yourself by pointing out the flaws in others -- into some uniquely nefarious Russian propaganda tool. Second, that's not even what Trump did in this example.

In his response to O'Reilly, Trump wasn't using "whataboutism" to deflect away from his own sins. Rather, he offered a rare moment of self-reflection about the true role played by the U.S. government around the world. This isn't "whataboutism," it's questioning the hypocrisy and abuse of power of one's own government. It's an attempt to take responsibility for stuff he might actually be able to change as President. It's the most ethical and honest response to that question in light of the amount of violence the U.S. government engages in abroad. If our leaders did this more often, we might stop repeatedly jumping from one insane and destructive war to the next.

Had O'Reilly's question been about the U.S. government's ongoing support of Saudi Arabia's war crimes in Yemen and Trump shifted the conversation to Russian atrocities, he could then be fairly accused of changing the subject to avoid accountability. In that case, you could condemn Trump for "whataboutism" because he intentionally deflected attention away from his own government's sins to the sins of another. This sort of thing is indeed very dangerous, especially when done by someone in a position of power.

But here's the thing. You don't need some catchy, infantile term like "whataboutism" to point out that someone in power's deflecting attention from their own transgressions. I agree wholeheartedly with Adam Johnson when he states:

He's absolutely right. One should never rely on the lazy use of a cutesy, catchy term like "whataboutism" as a retort to someone who points out a glaring contradiction. If you do, you're either a propagandist with no counterargument or a fool who mindlessly adopts the jingoistic cues of others. Responding to someone by saying "that's just whataboutism" isn't an argument, it's an assault on one's logical faculties. It's attempt to provide people with a way to shut down debate and conversation by simply blurting out a clever sounding fake-word. Here's an example of how I've seen it used on Twitter.

One U.S. citizen (likely a card carrying member of "the resistance") will regurgitate some standard intel agency line on Syria or Russia. Another U.S. citizen will then draw attention to the fact that their own government plays an active role in egregious war crimes in Yemen on behalf of the Saudis. This person will proceed to advocate for skepticism with regard to U.S. government and intelligence agency war promotion considering how badly the public was deceived in the run up to the Iraq war. For this offense, they'll be accused of "whataboutism."

The problem with this accusation is that this person isn't switching the subject to bring up another's transgression to deflect from scrutiny of his or her behavior. In contrast, the person is putting the conversation in its rightful place, which is to question the behavior of one's own country. When it comes to issues such as nation-state violence, the primary duty of a citizen is not to obsess all day about the violence perpetrated by foreign governments, but to hold one's own government accountable. This is as true for an American citizen in American as it is for a Russian citizen in Russia.

NPR explained how the Russian government used "whataboutism" to deflect away from it's own crimes, but Trump actually did the opposite in his interview with O'Reilly. He wasn't deflecting away from his own country's crimes, he was pointing out that they exist. That's precisely what you're supposed to do as a citizen.

The problem arises when governments deflect attention away from their own crimes for which they are actually responsible, by pointing out the crimes of a foreign government. This is indeed propaganda and an evasion of responsibility. Calling out your own government's hypocrisy in matters of state sanctioned murder abroad is the exact opposite sort of thing.

Noam Chomsky put it better than I ever could. Here's what he said in a 2003 interview :

QUESTION: When you talk about the role of intellectuals, you say that the first duty is to concentrate on your own country. Could you explain this assertion?

CHOMSKY: One of the most elementary moral truisms is that you are responsible for the anticipated consequences of your own actions. It is fine to talk about the crimes of Genghis Khan, but there isn't much that you can do about them. If Soviet intellectuals chose to devote their energies to crimes of the U.S., which they could do nothing about, that is their business. We honor those who recognized that the first duty is to concentrate on your own country. And it is interesting that no one ever asks for an explanation, because in the case of official enemies, truisms are indeed truisms. It is when truisms are applied to ourselves that they become contentious, or even outrageous. But they remain truisms. In fact, the truisms hold far more for us than they did for Soviet dissidents, for the simple reason that we are in free societies, do not face repression, and can have a substantial influence on government policy. So if we adopt truisms, that is where we will focus most of our energy and commitment. The explanation is even more obvious than in the case of official enemies.

Naturally, truisms are hated when applied to oneself. You can see it dramatically in the case of terrorism. In fact one of the reasons why I am considered "public enemy number one" among a large sector of intellectuals in the U.S. is that I mention that the U.S. is one of the major terrorist states in the world and this assertion, though plainly true, is unacceptable for many intellectuals, including left-liberal intellectuals, because if we faced such truths we could do something about the terrorist acts for which we are responsible, accepting elementary moral responsibilities instead of lauding ourselves for denouncing the crimes official enemies, about which we can often do very little.

Elementary honesty is often uncomfortable, in personal life as well, and there are people who make great efforts to evade it. For intellectuals, throughout history, it has often come close to being their vocation. Intellectuals are commonly integrated into dominant institutions. Their privilege and prestige derives from adapting to the interests of power concentrations, often taking a critical look but in very limited ways. For example, one may criticize the war in Vietnam as a "mistake" that began with "benign intentions". But it goes too far to say that the war is not "a mistake" but was "fundamentally wrong and immoral". the position of about 70 percent of the public by the late 1960s, persisting until today, but of only a margin of intellectuals. The same is true of terrorism. In acceptable discourse, as can easily be demonstrated, the term is used to refer to terrorist acts that THEY carry out against US, not those that WE carry out against THEM. That is probably close to a historical universal. And there are innumerable other examples.

For saying the above, Noam Chomsky would surely be labeled the godfather of "whataboutism" by Twitter's resistance army, but he's actually advocating the most ethical, logical and courageous path of citizenship. U.S. taxpayers aren't paying for Russia's military operations, but they are paying for the U.S. government's. The idea that U.S. citizens emphasizing U.S. violence are committing the thought-crime of "whataboutism" when it comes to foreign policy is absurd. Our primary responsibility as citizens is our own aggressive and violent foreign policy, not that of other countries.

Naturally, this isn't how neocon/neoliberal and intelligence agency imperialists want you to think. Proponents of the American empire need the public to ignore the atrocities of the U.S. government and its allies for obvious reasons, while constantly obsessing over the atrocities of the empire's official enemies. This is the only way to continue to exert force abroad without domestic pushback, and it's critical in order to keep the imperial gravy train going for those it benefits so significantly. How do you shut down vibrant foreign policy debate on social media that exposes imperial hypocrisy? Accuse people of "whataboutism."

That's what I see going on. I see the weaponization of a cutesy, catchy term on social media in order to prevent people from questioning their own government. It's completely logical and ethical for U.S. citizens to push back against those arguing for more regime change wars by pointing out the evils of our own foreign policy.

In fact, the unethical position is the one espoused by those who claim the U.S. can do no wrong, but when an adversary country does what we permit ourselves to do, they must be bombed into oblivion. These people know they have no argument, so they run around condemning those trying to hold their own government accountable of "whataboutism." It's a nonsensical term with no real meaning or purpose other than to defend imperial talking points.

Accusations of "whataboutism" amount to a cynical, sleazy attempt to stifle debate without actually engaging in argument. It's also the sort of desperate and childish propaganda tactic you'd expect during late-stage imperial decline.

* * *

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[Mar 21, 2018] How They Sold the Iraq War by Jeffrey St. Clair

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Americans were the victims of an elaborate con job, pelted with a daily barrage of threat inflation, distortions, deceptions and lies, not about tactics or strategy or war plans, but about justifications for war. The lies were aimed not at confusing Saddam's regime, but the American people. By the start of the war, 66 per cent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and 79 per cent thought he was close to having a nuclear weapon. ..."
"... This charade wouldn't have worked without a gullible or a complicit press corps. Victoria Clarke, who developed the Pentagon plan for embedded reports, put it succinctly a few weeks before the war began: "Media coverage of any future operation will to a large extent shape public perception." ..."
"... During the Vietnam War, TV images of maimed GIs and napalmed villages suburbanized opposition to the war and helped hasten the U.S. withdrawal. The Bush gang meant to turn the Vietnam phenomenon on its head by using TV as a force to propel the U.S.A. into a war that no one really wanted. ..."
"... When the Pentagon needed a heroic story, the press obliged. Jessica Lynch became the war's first instant celebrity. Here was a neo-gothic tale of a steely young woman wounded in a fierce battle, captured and tortured by ruthless enemies, and dramatically saved from certain death by a team of selfless rescuers, knights in camo and night-vision goggles. ..."
"... Back in 1988, the Post felt much differently about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. When reports trickled out about the gassing of Iranian troops, the Washington Post's editorial page shrugged off the massacres, calling the mass poisonings "a quirk of war." ..."
"... The Bush team displayed a similar amnesia. When Iraq used chemical weapons in grisly attacks on Iran, the U.S. government not only didn't object, it encouraged Saddam. ..."
"... Nothing sums up this unctuous approach more brazenly than MSNBC's firing of liberal talk show host Phil Donahue on the eve of the war. The network replaced the Donahue Show with a running segment called Countdown: Iraq, featuring the usual nightly coterie of retired generals, security flacks, and other cheerleaders for invasion. ..."
Mar 20, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

The war on Iraq won't be remembered for how it was waged so much as for how it was sold. It was a propaganda war, a war of perception management, where loaded phrases, such as "weapons of mass destruction" and "rogue state" were hurled like precision weapons at the target audience: us.

To understand the Iraq war you don't need to consult generals, but the spin doctors and PR flacks who stage-managed the countdown to war from the murky corridors of Washington where politics, corporate spin and psy-ops spooks cohabit.

Consider the picaresque journey of Tony Blair's plagiarized dossier on Iraq, from a grad student's website to a cut-and-paste job in the prime minister's bombastic speech to the House of Commons. Blair, stubborn and verbose, paid a price for his grandiose puffery. Bush, who looted whole passages from Blair's speech for his own clumsy presentations, has skated freely through the tempest. Why?

Unlike Blair, the Bush team never wanted to present a legal case for war. They had no interest in making any of their allegations about Iraq hold up to a standard of proof. The real effort was aimed at amping up the mood for war by using the psychology of fear.

Facts were never important to the Bush team. They were disposable nuggets that could be discarded at will and replaced by whatever new rationale that played favorably with their polls and focus groups. The war was about weapons of mass destruction one week, al-Qaeda the next. When neither allegation could be substantiated on the ground, the fall back position became the mass graves (many from the Iran/Iraq war where the U.S.A. backed Iraq) proving that Saddam was an evil thug who deserved to be toppled. The motto of the Bush PR machine was: Move on. Don't explain. Say anything to conceal the perfidy behind the real motives for war. Never look back. Accuse the questioners of harboring unpatriotic sensibilities. Eventually, even the cagey Wolfowitz admitted that the official case for war was made mainly to make the invasion palatable, not to justify it.

The Bush claque of neocon hawks viewed the Iraq war as a product and, just like a new pair of Nikes, it required a roll-out campaign to soften up the consumers. The same techniques (and often the same PR gurus) that have been used to hawk cigarettes, SUVs and nuclear waste dumps were deployed to retail the Iraq war. To peddle the invasion, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell and company recruited public relations gurus into top-level jobs at the Pentagon and the State Department. These spinmeisters soon had more say over how the rationale for war on Iraq should be presented than intelligence agencies and career diplomats. If the intelligence didn't fit the script, it was shaded, retooled or junked.

Take Charlotte Beers whom Powell picked as undersecretary of state in the post-9/11 world. Beers wasn't a diplomat. She wasn't even a politician. She was a grand diva of spin, known on the business and gossip pages as "the queen of Madison Avenue." On the strength of two advertising campaigns, one for Uncle Ben's Rice and another for Head and Shoulder's dandruff shampoo, Beers rocketed to the top of the heap in the PR world, heading two giant PR houses: Ogilvy and Mathers as well as J. Walter Thompson.

At the State Department Beers, who had met Powell in 1995 when they both served on the board of Gulf Airstream, worked at, in Powell's words, "the branding of U.S. foreign policy." She extracted more than $500 million from Congress for her Brand America campaign, which largely focused on beaming U.S. propaganda into the Muslim world, much of it directed at teens.

"Public diplomacy is a vital new arm in what will combat terrorism over time," said Beers. "All of a sudden we are in this position of redefining who America is, not only for ourselves, but for the outside world." Note the rapt attention Beers pays to the manipulation of perception, as opposed, say, to alterations of U.S. policy.

Old-fashioned diplomacy involves direct communication between representatives of nations, a conversational give and take, often fraught with deception (see April Glaspie), but an exchange nonetheless. Public diplomacy, as defined by Beers, is something else entirely. It's a one-way street, a unilateral broadcast of American propaganda directly to the public, domestic and international, a kind of informational carpet-bombing.

The themes of her campaigns were as simplistic and flimsy as a Bush press conference. The American incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq were all about bringing the balm of "freedom" to oppressed peoples. Hence, the title of the U.S. war: Operation Iraqi Freedom, where cruise missiles were depicted as instruments of liberation. Bush himself distilled the Beers equation to its bizarre essence: "This war is about peace."

Beers quietly resigned her post a few weeks before the first volley of tomahawk missiles battered Baghdad. From her point of view, the war itself was already won, the fireworks of shock and awe were all after play.

Over at the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld drafted Victoria "Torie" Clarke as his director of public affairs. Clarke knew the ropes inside the Beltway. Before becoming Rumsfeld's mouthpiece, she had commanded one of the world's great parlors for powerbrokers: Hill and Knowlton's D.C. office.

Almost immediately upon taking up her new gig, Clarke convened regular meetings with a select group of Washington's top private PR specialists and lobbyists to develop a marketing plan for the Pentagon's forthcoming terror wars. The group was filled with heavy-hitters and was strikingly bipartisan in composition. She called it the Rumsfeld Group and it included PR executive Sheila Tate, columnist Rich Lowry, and Republican political consultant Rich Galen.

The brain trust also boasted top Democratic fixer Tommy Boggs, brother of NPR's Cokie Roberts and son of the late Congressman Hale Boggs of Louisiana. At the very time Boggs was conferring with top Pentagon brass on how to frame the war on terror, he was also working feverishly for the royal family of Saudi Arabia. In 2002 alone, the Saudis paid his Qorvis PR firm $20.2 million to protect its interests in Washington. In the wake of hostile press coverage following the exposure of Saudi links to the 9/11 hijackers, the royal family needed all the well-placed help it could buy. They seem to have gotten their money's worth. Boggs' felicitous influence-peddling may help to explain why the references to Saudi funding of al-Qaeda were dropped from the recent congressional report on the investigation into intelligence failures and 9/11.

According to the trade publication PR Week, the Rumsfeld Group sent "messaging advice" to the Pentagon. The group told Clarke and Rumsfeld that in order to get the American public to buy into the war on terrorism, they needed to suggest a link to nation states, not just nebulous groups such as al-Qaeda. In other words, there needed to be a fixed target for the military campaigns, some distant place to drop cruise missiles and cluster bombs. They suggested the notion (already embedded in Rumsfeld's mind) of playing up the notion of so-called rogue states as the real masters of terrorism. Thus was born the Axis of Evil, which, of course, wasn't an "axis" at all, since two of the states, Iran and Iraq, hated each other, and neither had anything at all to do with the third, North Korea.

Tens of millions in federal money were poured into private public relations and media firms working to craft and broadcast the Bush dictat that Saddam had to be taken out before the Iraqi dictator blew up the world by dropping chemical and nuclear bombs from long-range drones. Many of these PR executives and image consultants were old friends of the high priests in the Bush inner sanctum. Indeed, they were veterans, like Cheney and Powell, of the previous war against Iraq, another engagement that was more spin than combat .

At the top of the list was John Rendon, head of the D.C. firm, the Rendon Group. Rendon is one of Washington's heaviest hitters, a Beltway fixer who never let political affiliation stand in the way of an assignment. Rendon served as a media consultant for Michael Dukakis and Jimmy Carter, as well as Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Whenever the Pentagon wanted to go to war, he offered his services at a price. During Desert Storm, Rendon pulled in $100,000 a month from the Kuwaiti royal family. He followed this up with a $23 million contract from the CIA to produce anti-Saddam propaganda in the region.

As part of this CIA project, Rendon created and named the Iraqi National Congress and tapped his friend Ahmed Chalabi, the shady financier, to head the organization.

Shortly after 9/11, the Pentagon handed the Rendon Group another big assignment: public relations for the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan. Rendon was also deeply involved in the planning and public relations for the pre-emptive war on Iraq, though both Rendon and the Pentagon refuse to disclose the details of the group's work there.

But it's not hard to detect the manipulative hand of Rendon behind many of the Iraq war's signature events, including the toppling of the Saddam statue (by U.S. troops and Chalabi associates) and videotape of jubilant Iraqis waving American flags as the Third Infantry rolled by them. Rendon had pulled off the same stunt in the first Gulf War, handing out American flags to Kuwaitis and herding the media to the orchestrated demonstration. "Where do you think they got those American flags?" clucked Rendon in 1991. "That was my assignment."

The Rendon Group may also have had played a role in pushing the phony intelligence that has now come back to haunt the Bush administration. In December of 2002, Robert Dreyfuss reported that the inner circle of the Bush White House preferred the intelligence coming from Chalabi and his associates to that being proffered by analysts at the CIA.

So Rendon and his circle represented a new kind of off-the-shelf PSYOPs , the privatization of official propaganda. "I am not a national security strategist or a military tactician," said Rendon. "I am a politician, and a person who uses communication to meet public policy or corporate policy objectives. In fact, I am an information warrior and a perception manager."

What exactly, is perception management? The Pentagon defines it this way: "actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives and objective reasoning." In other words, lying about the intentions of the U.S. government. In a rare display of public frankness, the Pentagon actually let slip its plan (developed by Rendon) to establish a high-level den inside the Department Defense for perception management. They called it the Office of Strategic Influence and among its many missions was to plant false stories in the press.

Nothing stirs the corporate media into outbursts of pious outrage like an official government memo bragging about how the media are manipulated for political objectives. So the New York Times and Washington Post threw indignant fits about the Office of Strategic Influence; the Pentagon shut down the operation, and the press gloated with satisfaction on its victory. Yet, Rumsfeld told the Pentagon press corps that while he was killing the office, the same devious work would continue. "You can have the corpse," said Rumsfeld. "You can have the name. But I'm going to keep doing every single thing that needs to be done. And I have."

At a diplomatic level, despite the hired guns and the planted stories, this image war was lost. It failed to convince even America's most fervent allies and dependent client states that Iraq posed much of a threat. It failed to win the blessing of the U.N. and even NATO, a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington. At the end of the day, the vaunted coalition of the willing consisted of Britain, Spain, Italy, Australia, and a cohort of former Soviet bloc nations. Even so, the citizens of the nations that cast their lot with the U.S.A. overwhelmingly opposed the war.

Domestically, it was a different story. A population traumatized by terror threats and shattered economy became easy prey for the saturation bombing of the Bush message that Iraq was a terrorist state linked to al-Qaeda that was only minutes away from launching attacks on America with weapons of mass destruction.

Americans were the victims of an elaborate con job, pelted with a daily barrage of threat inflation, distortions, deceptions and lies, not about tactics or strategy or war plans, but about justifications for war. The lies were aimed not at confusing Saddam's regime, but the American people. By the start of the war, 66 per cent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and 79 per cent thought he was close to having a nuclear weapon.

Of course, the closest Saddam came to possessing a nuke was a rusting gas centrifuge buried for 13 years in the garden of Mahdi Obeidi, a retired Iraqi scientist. Iraq didn't have any functional chemical or biological weapons. In fact, it didn't even possess any SCUD missiles, despite erroneous reports fed by Pentagon PR flacks alleging that it had fired SCUDs into Kuwait.

This charade wouldn't have worked without a gullible or a complicit press corps. Victoria Clarke, who developed the Pentagon plan for embedded reports, put it succinctly a few weeks before the war began: "Media coverage of any future operation will to a large extent shape public perception."

During the Vietnam War, TV images of maimed GIs and napalmed villages suburbanized opposition to the war and helped hasten the U.S. withdrawal. The Bush gang meant to turn the Vietnam phenomenon on its head by using TV as a force to propel the U.S.A. into a war that no one really wanted.

What the Pentagon sought was a new kind of living room war, where instead of photos of mangled soldiers and dead Iraqi kids, they could control the images Americans viewed and to a large extent the content of the stories. By embedding reporters inside selected divisions, Clarke believed the Pentagon could count on the reporters to build relationships with the troops and to feel dependent on them for their own safety. It worked, naturally. One reporter for a national network trembled on camera that the U.S. Army functioned as "our protectors." The late David Bloom of NBC confessed on the air that he was willing to do "anything and everything they can ask of us."

When the Pentagon needed a heroic story, the press obliged. Jessica Lynch became the war's first instant celebrity. Here was a neo-gothic tale of a steely young woman wounded in a fierce battle, captured and tortured by ruthless enemies, and dramatically saved from certain death by a team of selfless rescuers, knights in camo and night-vision goggles. Of course, nearly every detail of her heroic adventure proved to be as fictive and maudlin as any made-for-TV-movie. But the ordeal of Private Lynch, which dominated the news for more than a week, served its purpose: to distract attention from a stalled campaign that was beginning to look at lot riskier than the American public had been hoodwinked into believing.

The Lynch story was fed to the eager press by a Pentagon operation called Combat Camera, the Army network of photographers, videographers and editors that sends 800 photos and 25 video clips a day to the media. The editors at Combat Camera carefully culled the footage to present the Pentagon's montage of the war, eliding such unsettling images as collateral damage, cluster bombs, dead children and U.S. soldiers, napalm strikes and disgruntled troops.

"A lot of our imagery will have a big impact on world opinion," predicted Lt. Jane Larogue, director of Combat Camera in Iraq. She was right. But as the hot war turned into an even hotter occupation, the Pentagon, despite airy rhetoric from occupation supremo Paul Bremer about installing democratic institutions such as a free press, moved to tighten its monopoly on the flow images out of Iraq. First, it tried to shut down Al Jazeera, the Arab news channel. Then the Pentagon intimated that it would like to see all foreign TV news crews banished from Baghdad.

Few newspapers fanned the hysteria about the threat posed by Saddam's weapons of mass destruction as sedulously as did the Washington Post. In the months leading up to the war, the Post's pro-war op-eds outnumbered the anti-war columns by a 3-to-1 margin.

Back in 1988, the Post felt much differently about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. When reports trickled out about the gassing of Iranian troops, the Washington Post's editorial page shrugged off the massacres, calling the mass poisonings "a quirk of war."

The Bush team displayed a similar amnesia. When Iraq used chemical weapons in grisly attacks on Iran, the U.S. government not only didn't object, it encouraged Saddam. Anything to punish Iran was the message coming from the White House. Donald Rumsfeld himself was sent as President Ronald Reagan's personal envoy to Baghdad. Rumsfeld conveyed the bold message than an Iraq defeat would be viewed as a "strategic setback for the United States." This sleazy alliance was sealed with a handshake caught on videotape. When CNN reporter Jamie McIntyre replayed the footage for Rumsfeld in the spring of 2003, the secretary of defense snapped, "Where'd you get that? Iraqi television?"

The current crop of Iraq hawks also saw Saddam much differently then. Take the writer Laura Mylroie, sometime colleague of the New York Times' Judy Miller, who persists in peddling the ludicrous conspiracy that Iraq was behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

How times have changed! In 1987, Mylroie felt downright cuddly toward Saddam. She wrote an article for the New Republic titled "Back Iraq: Time for a U.S. Tilt in the Mideast," arguing that the U.S. should publicly embrace Saddam's secular regime as a bulwark against the Islamic fundamentalists in Iran. The co-author of this mesmerizing weave of wonkery was none other than Daniel Pipes, perhaps the nation's most bellicose Islamophobe. "The American weapons that Iraq could make good use of include remotely scatterable and anti-personnel mines and counterartillery radar," wrote Mylroie and Pipes. "The United States might also consider upgrading intelligence it is supplying Baghdad."

In the rollout for the war, Mylroie seemed to be everywhere hawking the invasion of Iraq. She would often appear on two or three different networks in the same day. How did the reporter manage this feat? She had help in the form of Eleana Benador, the media placement guru who runs Benador Associates. Born in Peru, Benador parlayed her skills as a linguist into a lucrative career as media relations whiz for the Washington foreign policy elite. She also oversees the Middle East Forum, a fanatically pro-Zionist white paper mill. Her clients include some of the nation's most fervid hawks, including Michael Ledeen, Charles Krauthammer, Al Haig, Max Boot, Daniel Pipes, Richard Perle, and Judy Miller. During the Iraq war, Benador's assignment was to embed this squadron of pro-war zealots into the national media, on talk shows, and op-ed pages.

Benador not only got them the gigs, she also crafted the theme and made sure they all stayed on message. "There are some things, you just have to state them in a different way, in a slightly different way," said Benador. "If not, people get scared." Scared of intentions of their own government.

It could have been different. All of the holes in the Bush administration's gossamer case for war were right there for the mainstream press to expose. Instead, the U.S. press, just like the oil companies, sought to commercialize the Iraq war and profit from the invasions. They didn't want to deal with uncomfortable facts or present voices of dissent.

Nothing sums up this unctuous approach more brazenly than MSNBC's firing of liberal talk show host Phil Donahue on the eve of the war. The network replaced the Donahue Show with a running segment called Countdown: Iraq, featuring the usual nightly coterie of retired generals, security flacks, and other cheerleaders for invasion. The network's executives blamed the cancellation on sagging ratings. In fact, during its run Donahue's show attracted more viewers than any other program on the network. The real reason for the pre-emptive strike on Donahue was spelled out in an internal memo from anxious executives at NBC. Donahue, the memo said, offered "a difficult face for NBC in a time of war. He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration's motives."

The memo warned that Donahue's show risked tarring MSNBC as an unpatriotic network, "a home for liberal anti-war agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity." So, with scarcely a second thought, the honchos at MSNBC gave Donahue the boot and hoisted the battle flag.

It's war that sells.

There's a helluva caveat, of course. Once you buy it, the merchants of war accept no returns.

This essay is adapted from Grand Theft Pentagon.

[Mar 20, 2018] We read that Vladimir Putin's passport was found three days later at the Scripaal's poisoning scene.

Notable quotes:
"... Just like MH17, or the alleged (but fake) poison gas attacks in Syria, the policy has been to launch an initial barrage of accusations completely unsupported by the slightest shred of evidence – and then drop the matter abruptly, leaving the public with a strong impression of "Russian wickedness" although nothing has actually been proved. ..."
"... Skripal and daughter cheap, convenient, collateral damage for the warmongers. A person trained to handle organic nerve material introduces it into Skripal's car, they go for a morning drive and stop to have a pizza. After pizza, they begin to feel a little queasy. Go sit on a park bench. A passing citizen sees them, calls for medical assistance. Doctor says probably poisoned by toxic agent. Doctor knows it was not highly refined military grade. ..."
"... Car is lifted by straps so as not poison others and hauled to Potent Downs or whatever the Nerve Agent Factory is called. Now it can be doctored to fit the crime and I don't mean the Russians. How am I doing? Got a better tale? ..."
"... Now, I do understand that you – and most Brits – think that you are special. That there is one set of rules for you, and another for the ' others '. You have been conditioned by propaganda to assert this without any shame and to demonise Russia based on decades of half-witted stories (most taken out of context and exaggerated). Why would anyone take you seriously? ..."
"... People who walk around saying that they are exceptional, meaning they are 'Gods', or that they talk 'to God', are generally ignored or kept in an institution. Claiming that you are 'exceptional and special' is the same as claiming that you are divine – that's what it has meant historically. ..."
Mar 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

remo , Website Next New Comment March 20, 2018 at 8:36 am GMT

"Sir, Further to your report ("Poison exposure leaves almost 40 needing treatment", TIMES Mar 14)' may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning. Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed. None has had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved."
Stephen Davies. Consultant in emergency medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.

Meanwhile, a doctor who was one of the first people at the scene has described how she found Ms Skripal..She said she treated her for almost 30 minutes, saying "there was no sign of any chemical agent on Ms Skripals face or body."

The woman, who asked not to be named, told the NNC she moved Ms Skripal into the recovery position and opened her airway, as others tended to her father.

she said she treated her for almost 30 minutes, saying there was no sign of any chemical agent on Ms Skripal's face or body.

The doctor said she had been worried she would be affected by the nerve agent, hut added that she "feels fine".

Some nerve agent. We read that Vladimir Putin's passport was found three days later at the scene.

Tom Welsh , Next New Comment March 20, 2018 at 8:53 am GMT
One wonders how the Skripals are right now. Have they recovered completely, or partially? Are they still deathly ill? Has one or both of them died?

In any case, why have there been no public announcements of these important facts? It is useless to cite privacy, when the government hastened to trumpet the case – and its own dubious conclusions – as publicly as possible.

Just like MH17, or the alleged (but fake) poison gas attacks in Syria, the policy has been to launch an initial barrage of accusations completely unsupported by the slightest shred of evidence – and then drop the matter abruptly, leaving the public with a strong impression of "Russian wickedness" although nothing has actually been proved.

Incidentally, I wonder where the Skripals are and why. Apparently the Russian government applied for consular access to Yulia (who is a Russian citizen) but this was bluntly refused – against all norms of international law and civilized behaviour.

Ger , Next New Comment March 20, 2018 at 6:17 pm GMT
Skripal and daughter cheap, convenient, collateral damage for the warmongers. A person trained to handle organic nerve material introduces it into Skripal's car, they go for a morning drive and stop to have a pizza. After pizza, they begin to feel a little queasy. Go sit on a park bench. A passing citizen sees them, calls for medical assistance. Doctor says probably poisoned by toxic agent. Doctor knows it was not highly refined military grade.

How does the doctor know this: He is just down the street from the British Nerve Agent Factory and has been trained to recognize and treat real exposures to potent nerve agents. A policeman ends up in same hospital as Skripal because he sees car parked overtime or illegally, opens door to check for ownership gets zapped by toxic agent. Car is lifted by straps so as not poison others and hauled to Potent Downs or whatever the Nerve Agent Factory is called. Now it can be doctored to fit the crime and I don't mean the Russians. How am I doing? Got a better tale?

Beckow , March 20, 2018 at 5:03 pm GMT

We understand we are not being taken seriously

Good, understanding that you are a joke is the first step on the road to possible recovery.

Try for once to imagine a reverse scenario: an Englishman dies under suspicious circumstances in a provincial town in Russia. (Or 3-4 of them over 15-20 years.) He was considered a 'traitor' by UK for whatever reason. Immediately Russia declares that it was an ' unacceptable attack on Russia's sovereignty, that Britain did it, and that it is 'highly likely' that Teresa May ordered it herself' . Russian government also says that they will not disclose any details, show no evidence and will not even allow basis diplomatic protocol for UK embassy. Why? For reasons of ' state security '. Wouldn't any rational outsider consider that a joke?

Now, I do understand that you – and most Brits – think that you are special. That there is one set of rules for you, and another for the ' others '. You have been conditioned by propaganda to assert this without any shame and to demonise Russia based on decades of half-witted stories (most taken out of context and exaggerated). Why would anyone take you seriously?

People who walk around saying that they are exceptional, meaning they are 'Gods', or that they talk 'to God', are generally ignored or kept in an institution. Claiming that you are 'exceptional and special' is the same as claiming that you are divine – that's what it has meant historically.

This 'joke' is not that funny any more. Grow up.

[Mar 20, 2018] The fact that the MSM is so silent makes me think the MSM wants Votel's statements to die in silence under the MSM Cone of Silence

Notable quotes:
"... "There would be some concern (in the region), I think, about how we intended to address that particular threat if it was not being addressed through the JCPOA. ... Right now, I think it is in our interest" ..."
"... "I don't know that that's our particular policy at this particular point. Our focus remains on the defeat of ISIS," ..."
Mar 20, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Tillerson had joined Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in pressing a skeptical Trump to stick with the agreement with Iran.

"There would be some concern (in the region), I think, about how we intended to address that particular threat if it was not being addressed through the JCPOA. ... Right now, I think it is in our interest" to stay in the deal, Votel said.

When a lawmaker asked whether he agreed with Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford's position on the deal,Votel said: "Yes, I share their position."

Mattis said late last year that the United States should consider staying in the Iran nuclear deal unless it was proven Tehran was not complying or that the agreement was not in the U.S. national interest.

A collapse of the Iran nuclear deal would be a "great loss," the United Nations atomic watchdog's chief warned Trump recently, giving a wide-ranging defense of the accord.

Iran has stayed within the deal's restrictions since Trump took office but has fired diplomatic warning shots at Washington in recent weeks. It said on Monday that it could rapidly enrich uranium to a higher degree of purity if the deal collapsed.

Syria

Votel also discussed the situation in Syria at the hearing.

During the Syrian army's offensive in eastern Ghouta, more than 1,100 civilians have died. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, backed by Russia and Iran, say they are targeting "terrorist" groups shelling the capital.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned on Monday that Washington "remains prepared to act if we must," if the U.N. Security Council failed to act on Syria.

Votel said the best way to deter Russia, which backs Assad, was through political and diplomatic channels.

"Certainly if there are other things that are considered, you know, we will do what we are told. ... (But) I don't recommend that at this particular point," Votel said, in an apparent to reference to military options.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham asked whether it was too strong to say that with Russia and Iran's help, Assad had "won" the civil war in Syria.

"I do not think that is too strong of a statement," Votel said.

Graham also asked if the United States' policy on Syria was still to seek the removal of Assad from power.

"I don't know that that's our particular policy at this particular point. Our focus remains on the defeat of ISIS," Votel said, using an acronym for Islamic State. " Zerohedge

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-18/us-centcom-chief-comes-clean-generals-three-stunning-admissions-mid-east

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

Votel would never say anything like this if he were not in agreement with Mattis and Dunford. This is illustrative of a weakening of Israeli/AIPAC/Saudi influence in US Middle East policy. It will be interesting to see if Votel is rebuked for these statements. pl catherine , 19 March 2018 at 05:03 PM

After an hour of searches have not found a single major media outlet or press has quoted anything Votel said in the hearing about the Iran deal.
Instead they have headlines and coverage/quotes only about Russia's meddling in Syria.

Therefore the public will not know that those like Tillerson, Mattis and JCS Dunford all agree on keeping the Iran deal...they will only read bad Russia.

different clue , 19 March 2018 at 05:45 PM
Catherine notes that the MSM has said zero about what Votel, Mattis and Dunford have said or thought about Iran and Syria. Even if our host had not made his confirming statement about Votel's true commitment to his statements, I would have offered the secondary supposition that Votel's commitment to these statements is true.

I would say that because of the MSM silence on them that Catherine has noted. If Votel was making these statements as false-fog noise to hide the movement of men and materiel to use against Iran and Syria, as WillyBilly theorizes, the MSM would be broadcasting and highlighting the false-fog in order to keep the buildup hidden and keep Syria and Iran off guard.

The fact that the MSM is so silent makes me think the MSM wants Votel's statements to die in silence under the MSM Cone of Silence.

Meaning the MSM and its masters reject these statements but can only hope to starve them of attention because the MSM couldn't prevent Votel from making them.

[Mar 19, 2018] NBC's Clueless Boost for Putin by Ray McGovern

Notable quotes:
"... Reviewing the original Russian tape of the interviews, it became clear that the tête-à-tête showed a Putin looking patiently but supremely presidential to Russian viewers who could see the whole interviews, not just the selective selected excerpts aired by NBC and "interpreted" by Russophobe-de-jour Richard Haas. (A close adviser to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Haas was among those who told him it was a swell idea to invade Iraq. When the anticipated "cakewalk" turned rather bloody, with no WMD to be found, Haas quit in July 2003 and became President of the Council on Foreign Relations where he is now well into his 15th year.) ..."
"... For some reason best known to Kelly and NBC, Kelly tried repeatedly to make the case that the U.S. decision to scrap the ABM treaty was a result of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, when, she said, "the United States was reassessing its security posture." ..."
"... "Complete nonsense," was Putin's reply ("polniy chush" in Russian -- chush ringing with onomatopoeia and a polite rendering of "B.S."). Putin explained that "9/11 and the missile defense system are completely unrelated," adding that even "housewives" are able to understand that. He found occasion to use "polniy chush" (or simply "chush) several times during the interview. ..."
"... During the back-and-forth on chemical weapons, Putin not only called the accusations against Russia a lie, but saw fit to refer to Colin Powell's misbegotten speech at the UN just six weeks before the U.S./UK attack on Iraq: "It is a lie just as the vial with the white substance that allegedly proved that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, which the CIA gave to the Secretary of State." ..."
"... For good measure, Putin threw in "Why did you encourage the government coup in Ukraine?" ..."
Mar 19, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

As I watched NBC's special, " Confronting Putin ," Friday evening, I asked myself -- naively -- what possessed President Putin to subject himself again to what NBC calls a Megan Kelly "grilling," replete with supercilious questions and less-than-polite interruptions, just nine months after his first such "grilling." It then hit me that "grilling" is in the eye of the beholder.

Reviewing the original Russian tape of the interviews, it became clear that the tête-à-tête showed a Putin looking patiently but supremely presidential to Russian viewers who could see the whole interviews, not just the selective selected excerpts aired by NBC and "interpreted" by Russophobe-de-jour Richard Haas. (A close adviser to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Haas was among those who told him it was a swell idea to invade Iraq. When the anticipated "cakewalk" turned rather bloody, with no WMD to be found, Haas quit in July 2003 and became President of the Council on Foreign Relations where he is now well into his 15th year.)

Back to the Kelly-Putin pas de deux: At the March 1 interview the Russian President came out swinging. When Kelly asked the first time whether there is "a new arms race right now" after Putin's announcement of Russia's new strategic weapons, Putin reminded her that it was the U.S. that withdrew in 2002 from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972. He added that he had repeatedly warned the Bush/Cheney administration that Russia would be forced to respond to the dangerous upset of the strategic equilibrium.

For some reason best known to Kelly and NBC, Kelly tried repeatedly to make the case that the U.S. decision to scrap the ABM treaty was a result of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, when, she said, "the United States was reassessing its security posture."

"Complete nonsense," was Putin's reply ("polniy chush" in Russian -- chush ringing with onomatopoeia and a polite rendering of "B.S."). Putin explained that "9/11 and the missile defense system are completely unrelated," adding that even "housewives" are able to understand that. He found occasion to use "polniy chush" (or simply "chush) several times during the interview.

Russian "Interference"

It was no surprise that Kelly was armed with an array of questions about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and at the start of the March 2 interview asked "can we have that discussion now?" Putin said, "I think we must discuss this issue if it keeps bothering you." And they were off on a feckless exchange with Putin replying calming to Kelly's hectoring.

After one interruption, Putin said, "You keep interrupting me; this is impolite." Kelly apologized, but dutifully went on to cover what seemed to be the remainder of her accusatory talking points. These included repeated insistence that Putin punish the click-bait farmers indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for violating U.S. law.

No doubt fully briefed on the fact that Kelly sports a law degree, Putin asked, "Do you have people with legal training? We cannot even launch an investigation without cause. Give us at least an official inquiry with a statement of facts; send us an official paper."

Kelly: "Isn't it enough that U.S. intelligence agencies and now a Special Prosecutor (sic) with a criminal indictment -- is that not enough for you to look into it?" Putin: "Absolutely not. If you do not have legal training, I can assure you that an inquiry is required for this." Kelly: "I do." Putin: "Then you should understand that a corresponding official inquiry should be sent to the Prosecutor-General's Office of the Russian Federation."

The interview got testier toward the end, as Kelly tried to fit in all her questions, including the unsupported accusation that Syrian government forces are using chemical weapons and that Russia bears some responsibility for this.

During the back-and-forth on chemical weapons, Putin not only called the accusations against Russia a lie, but saw fit to refer to Colin Powell's misbegotten speech at the UN just six weeks before the U.S./UK attack on Iraq: "It is a lie just as the vial with the white substance that allegedly proved that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, which the CIA gave to the Secretary of State."

For good measure, Putin threw in "Why did you encourage the government coup in Ukraine?"

Once again for the record, President Putin finished on a familiar note: "Russia and the U.S. should sit down and talk in order to get things straight. I have the impression that this is what the current President wants, but he is prevented from it by some forces. We are ready to discuss any matter, be it missile-related issues, cyberspace, or counterterrorism efforts. But the U.S. must also be ready."

... ... ...

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington. During his 27-year career as a CIA analyst, he was Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and later conducted the morning briefings of The President's Daily Brief to President Ronald Reagan's most senior national security advisers.

[Mar 17, 2018] Most people react to an emotional message and only much smaller number to a rational message. In other words, if you want to promote anything, appeal to the emotional or even animal part of the human nature. This is exactly what the Western propaganda is doing

Mar 17, 2018 | www.unz.com

Kiza , March 16, 2018 at 6:26 am GMT

Everything that Saker wrote is true, but he also makes it read a little bit complicated.

Things are much simpler. During my career as a market researcher in a Western country, I once slipped in into some commercial research that I was doing a test of what kind of message do people react to. The results were really shocking (to me): in rounded figures, 91% of people reacted to an emotional message and only 9% reacted to a rational message. In other words, if you want to promote almost anything, appeal to the emotional or even animal part of the human nature not to the ratio. This is exactly what the Western propaganda is doing and this is why it works.

Think for a moment about the implications of the fact that 91% of people are prone to being emotionally manipulated (including hysterics):
1) on democracy,
2) on drive towards war and so on.
Again, if you want to manipulate people forget about facts and just employ words and images that can elicit emotions and a large (democratic) majority will follow you even off the cliff .

If you have not been feeling depressed already, maybe this post of mine will do it for you. That is how I feel as well.

Kiza , March 17, 2018 at 2:06 am GMT @Seraphim
It took a long time for you to discover (in a 'commercial research') what was known for a much longer time, the application of these principles in advertising and propaganda 'discovered' by Edward Bernays and exposed in his 'influential book' "Propaganda" 1928. One of the techniques of propaganda is to make the recipients believe that the ideas instilled in their heads were their own discovery.
It did not take me as long as you think. As a marketing and advertising professional (with appropriate qualifications) I was always aware that emotional works better than rational, but I never had an idea by how much. My most extreme supposition was 2/3 to 1/3. To end up 10:1, I never expected that.

It appears that such high proportion enables the government's/manipulators to silence the rational fraction who oppose the dragging into a war. Without any firm evidence I do feel that if the proportion was 2/3 to 1/3 then such manipulation, leading subjects often to mass suicide, would not be possible.

Therefore, I posit that the human society consists of three strata:

What a good show the Scripal affair is to watch

Kiza , March 16, 2018 at 11:16 pm GMT

@Kiza

But you succeeded in creating a diversion – we are discussing your stupidity instead of an important inclination in the human nature. Virtually all of the "democratic" system manipulations, especially the dragging of a nation into a war is based on emotional manipulations such as the Germans bayoneting the Belgian babies, the Iraqis throwing babies out of incubators onto the cold floor, and so on and so on. Around 91% swallow the regime's emotional crap, the remaining 9% are denounced as traitors and threatened wth sedition laws.

"The first terrorist attack with chemical weapon on a territory of a NATO nation by a rogue state."

This is how it works, always!

Corvinus , March 17, 2018 at 12:59 am GMT
@Kiza

"Virtually all of the "democratic" system manipulations, especially the dragging of a nation into a war is based on emotional manipulations such as the Germans bayoneting the Belgian babies, the Iraqis throwing babies out of incubators onto the cold floor, and so on and so on."

If you are going to make this claim, then you are going to have to offer specific research studies, along with their methodologies and sources, i.e. past studies they based their research on. Because what one person calls "emotional manipulations", another person calls "facts".

"Around 91% swallow the regime's emotional crap, the remaining 9% are denounced as traitors and threatened wth sedition laws."

Doubling down I see without the requisite verification. Was your own "study" even replicated? You do realize that studies need to be replicated as to offer further evidence of your conclusions. Can you even name one such study?

[Mar 17, 2018] "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life: In November 2017 British TV 6th session episode 5 of 'Strike Back" Novichok was used

Mar 17, 2018 | www.unz.com

Art , March 16, 2018 at 6:51 am GMT

George Orwell sure can write beautiful words.

"To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it ( ) To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality"

Think Peace -- Art

Seraphim , March 16, 2018 at 7:18 am GMT
In an essay "The Decay of Lying" (1889), Oscar Wilde launched that famous sentence: "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life".

In November 2017 British TV presented the 6th session episode 5 of 'Strike Back", a British/American action-adventure/spy-drama television series based on a novel of the same name by novelist and former Special Air Service (SAS) soldier Chris Ryan. In it the Section 20 ("a secretive unit of British military intelligence, a team of special operations personnel conducting several high risk missions across the globe") foiled a terrorist attack with the gas Novichok made by Karim Markov, a Russian scientist who allegedly killed his colleagues who invented the gas. The team duly trace the labs where Markov continues to produce more Novichok, in Ukraine and Belarus. The cast is full with the assorted jihadis, Russian Mafia bosses with their cruel henchmen, Hungarian white supremacists and nasty Serbians.
You find summaries of the episodes @https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strike_Back:_Retribution

Melotte22 , March 16, 2018 at 8:40 am GMT
Anyone heard of 'Strike Back', TV Drama:

"It is strange that a British-American intelligence TV drama Strike Back had several episodes featuring Novichok nerve agent and Evil Russkies last year. Someone orchestrating political theater in the UK watches a lot of TV, or is advised by its producers."

Check episodes 50&51

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strike_Back:_Retribution

Seraphim , March 16, 2018 at 8:49 am GMT
Nobody will miss the fact that the countries which emitted the 'Joint statement' blaming Russia's aggression are the countries which repeatedly aggressed and invaded Russia or allied themselves with Russia's enemies. None of them were ever invaded by Russia but in pursuit of the repelled invaders. None of them were ever threatened by a Russian invasion.

[Mar 16, 2018] NATO to display common front in Skripal case

Highly recommended!
France previously stated that they do not react to British "Fantasy politics". French president Emmanuel Macron wants more evidence Vladimir Putin was involved and his spokesman accused Britain of "fantasy politics" -- Theresa May accused of punishing Russia too SOON by France who demand more evidence .
Later Macron was forced to change the tune
Notable quotes:
"... Russian Envoy to the UN #Nebenzya: Curious fact. Although Russia stopped all its CW programmes in 1992, the UK & the US received specialists/defectors & documentation on these projects incl. so-called Novichok in mid-1990s, continued researching CW as evidenced by open sources ..."
"... .@RussiaUN: in 1992 Russia closed all Soviet chemical weapons programmes. Some of the scientists were flown to the West (incl UK) where they continued research. To identify a substance, formula and samples are needed – means UK has capacity to produce suspected nerve agent. ..."
"... Craig Murray's excellent essay's been heavily attacked, and he's written a stimulating and educational response that further bolsters the initial essay. Quite interesting the so-called journalists supporting May's propaganda. ..."
"... Oh dear, in sacred Europe!! How about the West using nerve agents on a grand scale against its enemy Iran in the Middle East (since the Second World War)? Twenty thousand Iranians were killed on the spot by nerve gas, according to reports, with thousands of people hospitalized. According to Iraqi documents, assistance in the development of chemical weapons was obtained from firms in many countries, including the United States, West Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and France. A report stated that Dutch, Australian, Italian, French and both West and East German companies were involved in the export of raw materials to Iraqi chemical weapons factories. ..."
"... This is the same sort of "highly likely" language that has worked so well with the false-flag attacks in Syria. It's obviously "highly likely" that there is no actual evidence. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon , Mar 15, 2018 11:17:24 AM | 90

In joint statement, world leaders agree Russia behind nerve agent attack on former spy
This is the joint statement of the whirled leaders:
We, the leaders of France, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom, abhor the attack that took place against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, UK, on 4 March 2018. A British police officer who was also exposed in the attack remains seriously ill, and the lives of many innocent British citizens have been threatened. We express our sympathies to them all, and our admiration for the UK police and emergency services for their courageous response.

This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War. It is an assault on UK sovereignty and any such use by a State party is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and a breach of international law. It threatens the security of us all.

The United Kingdom briefed thoroughly its allies that it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for the attack. We share the UK assessment that there is no plausible alternative explanation, and note that Russia´s failure to address the legitimate request by the UK government further underlines its responsibility. We call on Russia to address all questions related to the attack in Salisbury. Russia should in particular provide full and complete disclosure of the Novichok programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Our concerns are also heightened against the background of a pattern of earlier irresponsible Russian behaviour. We call on Russia to live up to its responsibilities as a member of the UN Security Council to uphold international peace and security. . . here

b , Mar 15, 2018 11:35:19 AM | 92
Russian Embassy, UK @RussianEmbassy
Russian Envoy to the UN #Nebenzya: Russia destroyed all of its chemical weapons arsenals by 2017, a fact attested by @OPCW. No research, development or manufacturing of projects codenamed Novichok has ever been carried out in Russia, all CW programmes were stopped back in 1991-92

-

Russian Envoy to the UN #Nebenzya: Curious fact. Although Russia stopped all its CW programmes in 1992, the UK & the US received specialists/defectors & documentation on these projects incl. so-called Novichok in mid-1990s, continued researching CW as evidenced by open sources

-

later:

-

.@RussiaUN: in 1992 Russia closed all Soviet chemical weapons programmes. Some of the scientists were flown to the West (incl UK) where they continued research. To identify a substance, formula and samples are needed – means UK has capacity to produce suspected nerve agent.

source:
karlof1 , Mar 15, 2018 11:44:05 AM | 94
Craig Murray's excellent essay's been heavily attacked, and he's written a stimulating and educational response that further bolsters the initial essay. Quite interesting the so-called journalists supporting May's propaganda.
Don Bacon , Mar 15, 2018 11:51:02 AM | 96
from the Joint Statement:
. . . the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War
Oh dear, in sacred Europe!! How about the West using nerve agents on a grand scale against its enemy Iran in the Middle East (since the Second World War)? Twenty thousand Iranians were killed on the spot by nerve gas, according to reports, with thousands of people hospitalized. According to Iraqi documents, assistance in the development of chemical weapons was obtained from firms in many countries, including the United States, West Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and France. A report stated that Dutch, Australian, Italian, French and both West and East German companies were involved in the export of raw materials to Iraqi chemical weapons factories.
Don Bacon , Mar 15, 2018 11:55:15 AM | 97
from the Joint Statement:
. . . it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for the attack
This is the same sort of "highly likely" language that has worked so well with the false-flag attacks in Syria. It's obviously "highly likely" that there is no actual evidence.

[Mar 16, 2018] Does Western civilization now reject real, objective truth emulating the USSR

Mar 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

Liza , March 16, 2018 at 2:56 pm GMT

With "principles" such as the end justifies the means and the wholesale violation of the Ten Commandants all "for the greater glory of God" the western civilization got cozy with the idea that there was no real, objective truth

Excuse me? What about western civilization before the ten commandments? Was it better or worse in your eyes? What's so damn special about your ten commandments that their (forced) acceptance by westerners should mark some sort of magical beginning of the true western civilization? So we had no morality of any kind before this?

I can think of other civilizations that have nothing – and I mean nothing – to be proud of. They make us look like amateurs in the rejection of real, objective truth.

[Mar 16, 2018] The method attributed to poisoning of Skripal is the best indication of the false flag operation. Looks more and more like a recycled WMD hoax to justify attack on Syria

Notable quotes:
"... Ask this, "who is pathologically obsessed with execution by gas?" Who is spearheading the "Russia is Evil" propaganda campaign? ..."
"... If Russian leadership wanted KGB/FSB/GRU/SVR to kill him, they'd done it while the man was in Russia in their custody. He would have never left the Russian prison alive, and nobody would be wiser. ..."
"... He is just not that important, that is why he was let out in a swap after spending only a few years in jail. The orchestrated hysterics and the oversize overreaction by the NATO gang is clear tell that they are the one who did it. ..."
"... Do you remember the Wikileaks about CIA having hacking tools whereby they could spoof cyber attacks form their computers yet have the signature they came from Russia (or some other country)? ..."
"... There is nothing uniquely Russian about the poison. There are no unique poisons or nerve agents. Everybody has the same things. All is being said is that the nerve agent is military grade. And England is refusing to give samples to Russia for analysis, so we don't know what it is. ..."
"... why wouldn't FSB off him by simply clubbing him to death and making it look like a mugging gone wrong: why use a military grade nerve agent of all things. Ridiculous that _anyone_ believes Russians did it. ..."
"... Boris Johnson confirmed widespread suspicions that the attack on Skripal was part of a recycled WMD hoax to justify another U.S. war of aggression, this time in Syria instead of Iraq. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

Stan d Mute , March 16, 2018 at 11:47 am GMT

@Mark James

Because of the poison involved, they (Rus/Putin) almost certainly did it. Just because something like this is stupid doesn't mean it should be written off. Stupid things happen.

As I constantly iterate, never attribute to complex conspiracy what can be easily explained by gross stupidity. Look at the Billion plus followers of the lunatic ramblings of a desert cave dwelling freak, or the State of Utah and Planet Kolob. But your Occam's Razor analysis also fails the smell test.

If I want to assassinate someone, using a gas, in public, is about the dumbest way to go about it. Russia may well have wanted to send a message "for the encouragement of others" not to betray mother Russia, but why a gas rather than oral or injected poison? Why not the old favorite of defenestration? Or a simple GSW using Russian manufactured firearm/ammo?

Ask this, "who is pathologically obsessed with execution by gas?" Who is spearheading the "Russia is Evil" propaganda campaign?

Avery , March 16, 2018 at 12:32 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer

Answer: none of the above.

If Russian leadership wanted KGB/FSB/GRU/SVR to kill him, they'd done it while the man was in Russia in their custody. He would have never left the Russian prison alive, and nobody would be wiser.

He is just not that important, that is why he was let out in a swap after spending only a few years in jail. The orchestrated hysterics and the oversize overreaction by the NATO gang is clear tell that they are the one who did it.

Avery , March 16, 2018 at 12:43 pm GMT
@Mark James

{Do I think Russia is involved with the Skripal hit? Of course.}

Based on what?

{Because of the poison involved, they (Rus/Putin) almost certainly did it.}

Really?

Do you remember the Wikileaks about CIA having hacking tools whereby they could spoof cyber attacks form their computers yet have the signature they came from Russia (or some other country)?

There is nothing uniquely Russian about the poison. There are no unique poisons or nerve agents. Everybody has the same things. All is being said is that the nerve agent is military grade. And England is refusing to give samples to Russia for analysis, so we don't know what it is.

{Just because something like this is stupid doesn't mean it should be written off. Stupid things happen}

Well, yeah: stupid things happen, and smart individuals sometimes do stupid things – but almost always for a reason, even if their actions are stupid. This should be written off, for a very simple reason: what is the Russian motivation? This guy was released in 2010. He was arrested in 2004: whatever damage he caused was very long ago. Why would Russian leadership risk almost certain exposure? for what?

And as poster [Meyer] posits above in #23, why wouldn't FSB off him by simply clubbing him to death and making it look like a mugging gone wrong: why use a military grade nerve agent of all things. Ridiculous that _anyone_ believes Russians did it.

alley cat , March 16, 2018 at 12:56 pm GMT
Speaking of "great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies," in an article in the Washington Post on Wednesday, Boris Johnson confirmed widespread suspicions that the attack on Skripal was part of a recycled WMD hoax to justify another U.S. war of aggression, this time in Syria instead of Iraq.

The fact that Prime Minister May has produced no evidence that Russia was behind the attack on Skripal, and that Secretary of Defense Mattis admits he has no evidence the Syrian government used sarin against its own people, doesn't deter Boris Johnson from blaming Russia for chemical attacks in both England and Syria.

From Johnson's article:

How much easier does it become for a state [Russia] to deploy chemical weapons when its government has already tolerated and sought to hide their use by others? I would draw a connection between Putin's indulgence of Assad's atrocities in Syria and the Russian state's evident willingness to employ a chemical weapon on British soil.

So a neocon-orchestrated Russiagate hoax merges with a neocon-orchestrated WMD hoax in Syria. It's all coming together.

The neocon strategy of "regime change by jihadi" in Syria has failed, and they're now forced to dust off the bogus WMD script that wreaked so much havoc on Iraq. Unfortunately for the neocons, Vladimir Putin has decided that Russia has nothing to lose, and probably much to gain, by taking a stand against imperialism now, in Syria, instead of later in Iran.

Now the world is both hostage and spectator to a game of nuclear chicken. If neither player swerves in time, planet Earth dies.

If Trump orders a climb down, the neocons will impeach him for losing Syria. But more appeasement by Putin would only embolden the neocons to further acts of aggression.

So Putin asks: "why do we need a world if Russia ceases to exist?" He is right to frame the showdown in Syria as a fight for Russia's existence, and Trump knows it.

Trump will have to take his chances with Mueller and the neocon crazies. Maybe the neocons will overplay their hand and bring about their own downfall, a happy outcome for all of humanity.

[Mar 16, 2018] George Orwell sure can write this quote

Notable quotes:
"... the fact that freedom of speech is under threat shows that the rise of mere emotive speech is still a long way from dominant. Facts and logic can still be heard and make a difference. This is why the political media elite cannot tolerate reasoned evidenced argument and is so concerned to censor dissenting voices. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

Art , March 16, 2018 at 6:51 am GMT

George Orwell sure can write beautiful words.

"To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it ( )

To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality"

Think Peace -- Art

Steve Hayes , March 16, 2018 at 12:15 pm GMT
Whilst there is much to be said in favour of the argument, the fact that freedom of speech is under threat shows that the rise of mere emotive speech is still a long way from dominant. Facts and logic can still be heard and make a difference. This is why the political media elite cannot tolerate reasoned evidenced argument and is so concerned to censor dissenting voices.

http://viewsandstories.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/knowing-without-finding-out.html

[Mar 16, 2018] Up until now, I was in favor of Putin trying to keep cool demeanor and be reasonable. Time works in favor of Russia, so simply trying to wait the Western collapse out is not unreasonable strategy. But with the West starting to resort to something as extreme as poisoning its own lapdogs and blaming Russia for it without presenting a single shred of evidence, it might be a good time to reconsider and join the escalation train in earnest.

Mar 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

alec bell , March 15, 2018 at 11:46 pm GMT

Up until now, I was in favor of Putin trying to keep cool demeanor and be reasonable. Time works in favor of Russia, so simply trying to wait the Western collapse out is not unreasonable strategy. But with the West starting to resort to something as extreme as poisoning its own lapdogs and blaming Russia for it without presenting a single shred of evidence, it might be a good time to reconsider and join the escalation train in earnest.

If we are in the age of ultimatums, then Moscow may want to start issuing a few of its own. One would be to warn the West about its intention to abandon START framework within a year and ultimately rearm to Soviet levels – 20000 strategic warheads at a minimum. Another would be to ask Syrian government to outsource its air-defense to Russia, then issue blanket no-flight order to all aircraft not authorized by Damascus.

Third, start arming insurgencies around the world that struggle against NATO/US presence. Fourth, eliminate USD and GBP from its trade completely. Fifth, consider formalizing military alliance with Iran.

There are many more steps that Russia can undertake. But whatever it chooses to do, the somnolent posture it maintained until yesterday is no more feasible.

[Mar 16, 2018] Truth vs half-truth vs lie

Mar 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

VICB3 , March 15, 2018 at 5:55 pm GMT

@yurivku

Respectfully, I think what he means is something that I've learned to do in the last few years in a rather automatic fashion. Namely, it's to realise that, in the immediate aftermath of any event, it's best to just sit back and wait a bit before you come to any sort of conclusion about blame. In the very short term, the water, the stream is very muddy and clouded as anybody and everybody who has – or think that they have – an interest in the event du jour tries to spin it to their own advantage.

The truth will reveal itself inasmuch as the Internet is the World's best fact checker. The initial story will *always* be shown to have a good deal of exaggerations, contradictions, anomalies and omissions. But those revelations take a (usually relatively short) bit of time. So better to look at whatever the immediate story might be with a good deal of patient skepticism and not immediately fly off the rails in a fit of hand-waving, eye-rolling and pearl-clutching hysterics.

Do this consistently, and I think you'll discover that:

-The truth of the matter is usually gray, with plenty of blame to go around.

-And/or you're being fed a line of pandering BS by people who think that you're a naive and trusting idiot.

In short, act like an adult and not a dimwitted child. Use your brain and not your emotions.

Hope this helps.

Just a thought.

VicB3

P.S. A pithy thought from Mike Rivero:

If it doesn't affect you directly, then it's either advertising or propaganda.

Anders , March 15, 2018 at 8:38 pm GMT
Re: "Almost from day one, the early western civilization began by, shall we say, taking liberties with the truth, which it could bend, adapt, massage and repackage to serve the ideological agenda of the day. It was not quite the full-blown and unapologetic relativism of the 19th century yet, but it was an important first step. With "principles" such as the end justifies the means and the wholesale violation of the Ten Commandants all "for the greater glory of God" the western civilization got cozy with the idea that there was no real, objective truth, only the subjective perception or even representation each person might have thereof."
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- –
Saker is a good military analyst, but as a historian he is a laughable dilettante. He is a very self-righteous, touchy Orthodox Christian ideologue and moralist.

[Mar 15, 2018] The timing is once again highly suspicious with the fifa world cup around the corner

Mar 15, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

DisappointeDinTRUMP

The timing is once again highly suspicious with the fifa world cup around the corner. The Empire does not want Russia on center stage with the whole world watching. Trust me, we can expect much more to come regarding this world cup. Boycotting, sanctions and more underhanded tactics happening are what the next month has in store for us.

I wonder just how much more Russia is able to take before it decides not to turn the other cheek. Eventually Russia will start saying that "hold on a second, we are being judged and punished continuously so why dont we start doing some things to at least warrant all this punishment?"

[Mar 15, 2018] This is just another entry in a long list of false flag events carefully crafted to turn Russia, and Putin in particular, into an international pariah

Mar 15, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Bob In Portland

Also, the poison, Novichok, was stored by the Soviets in states on its borders, like Georgia and Ukraine, and Baltic states, so after those republics broke off from the USSR during its collapse the poison fell into the hands of anti-Russian countries. It is inconceivable that western intelligence at the collapse of the USSR would not have swooped in and grabbed what it could in those stockpiles. In fact, in 1999 American agents spent six million dollars in decommissioning a plant that produced Novichok in the Uzbek city of Nukus. If you don't think that they took a little for a false flag in the future you don't know our intelligence services.

Finally, the chemical formula is available here on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/State-Secrets-Insiders-Chronicle-Chemical/dp/1432725661/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520920301&sr=8-1&keywords=vil+mirzayanov

Holmes , March 14, 2018 at 7:04 pm

100% False Flag.

andrew , March 14, 2018 at 8:14 pm

I believe the culprits are ukraine SBU.

This week poroshenko has been trying to convince the EU to designate Russia as the Aggressor nation and to attempt to end Minsk obligations.

Chumpsky , March 14, 2018 at 10:04 pm

The Russian presidential election is coming up on Sunday. A great opportunity now for the CIA / MI6 / Mossad backed candidate to make some noise over Putin's near-guaranteed, shoe-in victory by planting an illegitimate narrative.

The gassing, using Novichok (an open-source formula), is just another in a long list of false flag events carefully crafted to turn Russia, and Putin in particular, into an international pariah and bogeyman in particular. Such an event is an attempt to throw cold water on Trump's thawing of relations by discrediting him now that Steele has been exposed as a fraud.

Who's meddling in whose election now?

[Mar 15, 2018] All those elaborate deception schemes and false flags that we now know of are just another set of deceptive methods of Socializing The Costs, while Privatizing The Profits.

Notable quotes:
"... nd, on June 26, 2006, The Washington Post reported that "the CIA acknowledged that Curveball was a con artist who drove a taxi in Iraq and spun his engineering knowledge into a fantastic but plausible tale about secret bioweapons factories on wheels." ..."
Mar 15, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

cmp , March 13, 2018 at 2:03 pm

Venal Visors. And the all too easy convenience of Socializing The Costs, while Privatizing The Profits.

Oliver North, while under oath during the IranContra Hearings: "..We didn't lose the Vietnam war over there, we lost that war, in this city."

(..take your pick..) .. Too BIG to jail?

On April 8, 2005, CIA Director Porter Goss ordered an internal review of the CIA in order to determine why doubts about Curveball's reliability were not forwarded to policy makers. Former CIA Director George Tenet and his former deputy, John E. McLaughlin, announced that they were not aware of doubts about Curveball's veracity before the war. However, Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA's European division, told the Los Angeles Times that "everyone in the chain of command knew exactly what was happening." .. A nd, on June 26, 2006, The Washington Post reported that "the CIA acknowledged that Curveball was a con artist who drove a taxi in Iraq and spun his engineering knowledge into a fantastic but plausible tale about secret bioweapons factories on wheels."

(..take your pick..) .. Too BIG to jail?

While Mueller Was Head Of The FBI -- Hillary's email firm was run from a loft apartment in Denver with its servers in the bathroom, which of course, should raise some questions over security of sensitive messages (the public's property) that she held.

(..take your pick..) .. Too BIG to jail?

And, is there a softer side -- to actively engaging in war?? .. James Le Mesurier, the creator of the White Helmets, who just happens to be a British private security specialist and a former British military intelligence officer, he has said very recently, "who would you trust more than the fire brigade or a first response NGO?" And, as reported by Vanessa Beeley in a recent Corbett Report interview: "James Le Mesurier, he is now recruiting in Brazil. We know that the White Helmets have appeared in Malaysia and in Venezuela, and in the Philippines."

.. Too BIG to jail?

Venal Visors -- gone viral.. ..Socialize. ..Privatize. .. Feed the beast..

~ Rep. Luther Johnson (D.-Texas), in the debate that preceded the Radio Act of 1927
"American thought and American politics will be largely at the mercy of those who operate these stations, for publicity is the most powerful weapon that can be wielded in a republic. And when such a weapon is placed in the hands of one person, or a single selfish group is permitted to either tacitly or otherwise acquire ownership or dominate these broadcasting stations throughout the country, then woe be to those who dare to differ with them. It will be impossible to compete with them in reaching the ears of the American people."

[Mar 12, 2018] State Department's War on Political Dissent

Highly recommended!
Mar 12, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

The US State Department is spending millions of dollars spreading its own disinformation and propping up NGOs to destroy any individual or organization that does not toe the official US government line on the US global military empire. Through its "Global Engagement Center" the State Department establishes in fact -- in the open -- what it accuses the Russian government of doing without any evidence. Social media companies are colluding with the US government to make organizations who oppose the US global military empire disappear.

RPI's Daniel McAdams joins the Corbett Report to discuss the neocon/Washington war on dissent in America:

Inside the State Department's Troll Farm - Daniel McAdams on The Corbett Report - YouTube

[Mar 11, 2018] The danger lies in Washington, plus the other allied capitals within the Empire. It appears these people are beginning to truly believe their own propaganda, to the point reality no longer matters.

Notable quotes:
"... The danger lies in Washington, plus the other allied capitals within the Empire. It appears these people are beginning to truly believe their own propaganda, to the point reality no longer matters. The goal may have been to get the public to believe in the lies, however it doesn't matter what the public believes (including who was behind 9/11) because in all western countries the public has abstained from participating in decision making. Thus the brainwashers have succeeded in brainwashing themselves. This explains why it is no longer possible to make deals with the Americans. ..."
"... Yet I do not believe Washington's goal is WW3 or even world domination. It's mostly short term power tripping and money making. This explains why US allies -- who one might have thought would have some sense == are part of the problem. Kowtow to Washington and you get to stay in power, plus remain an insider on all the money making racketeering that all western governments have evolved into. ..."
"... It is all part of the collapse of ethical values in the West. Not just those in power or their lying apologists in the media but also the millions of citizens and their moral disconnect. ..."
"... Personally I don't think the dynamic is going to change until China and Russia crash the global economy (assuming they can do it on their own). Even that runs the risk of Washington lashing out in the most outrageous ways. But if you could bankrupt the West before we blow everything up then maybe there'd be reason to hope. ..."
"... Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen are all failed states. America needs to be the next failed state. If the English speaking world and the EU are collateral damage then that's probably poetic justice. ..."
Mar 11, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

EoinW , March 11, 2018 at 11:33 am

The danger lies in Washington, plus the other allied capitals within the Empire. It appears these people are beginning to truly believe their own propaganda, to the point reality no longer matters. The goal may have been to get the public to believe in the lies, however it doesn't matter what the public believes (including who was behind 9/11) because in all western countries the public has abstained from participating in decision making. Thus the brainwashers have succeeded in brainwashing themselves. This explains why it is no longer possible to make deals with the Americans.

Yet I do not believe Washington's goal is WW3 or even world domination. It's mostly short term power tripping and money making. This explains why US allies -- who one might have thought would have some sense == are part of the problem. Kowtow to Washington and you get to stay in power, plus remain an insider on all the money making racketeering that all western governments have evolved into.

It is all part of the collapse of ethical values in the West. Not just those in power or their lying apologists in the media but also the millions of citizens and their moral disconnect. What the Asians must think of all this! The Russians, Chinese and Iranians must feel they are juggling live explosives. Give them credit for managing so well, so far. Will Washington toss more explosives at them to juggle? So many it's impossible to keep it up? I can only guess that Putin's speech was an attempt to warn Washington to stop.

Personally I don't think the dynamic is going to change until China and Russia crash the global economy (assuming they can do it on their own). Even that runs the risk of Washington lashing out in the most outrageous ways. But if you could bankrupt the West before we blow everything up then maybe there'd be reason to hope.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen are all failed states. America needs to be the next failed state. If the English speaking world and the EU are collateral damage then that's probably poetic justice.

[Mar 02, 2018] Review 'Breaking Point' Finds Fake News and Real Violence in Ukraine

Yes, in a slightly modified form this is a very true statement: "Disinformation destroys reality. The USA is master of this -- they have built a parallel reality."
Mar 02, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Just as disturbing is an analysis of Russia's worldwide fake news campaign , which spreads contradictory reports and Kremlin-friendly propaganda.

"The Russians understand Western media far better than the Western media understands itself," one interviewee says. "And they play to the Western media's short attention span."

Another says: "Disinformation destroys reality. The Russians are masters of this -- they have built a parallel reality."

[Feb 26, 2018] State Department Troll Farm Receives Huge Cash Infusion

Notable quotes:
"... "This funding is critical to ensuring that we continue an aggressive response to malign influence and disinformation and that we can leverage deeper partnerships with our allies, Silicon Valley, and other partners in this fight," said Under Secretary Goldstein. "It is not merely a defensive posture that we should take, we also need to be on the offensive. ..."
"... Israel is long known for such information operations in which its paid trolls not only comment on issues on social media but actively manipulate Wikipedia entries. Such astroturfing has since become a common tool in commercial marketing campaigns. ..."
"... With regard to the larger issue, it seems that the US is getting more and more like its allies Ukraine (drives out any press concerned with printing the truth, relies on a bombastic and entirely false narrative to try and convince its hapless citizens that all is great and everything is Russia's fault) and Israel (an early leader in manipulating online info as b states). ..."
"... If it sounds like a PR monkey banging away on a regurgitated theme, it probably is. For example, the endless repetition in US media about "Syrian chemical weapons attacks" with no on-the-ground supporting evidence is typical of a Rendon Group disinformation campaign; so then they hire a hundred trolls to post outraged comments about 'Syrian chemical weapons use' in comment sections and on twitter; then they hire some State Department intern to write a book about the horrors of the Assad regime, and at the end they collect their $10 million paycheck. ..."
"... The hypocrisy of the U$A continues to be staggering.. If the collective IQ's of the general public approached double digits, the disinformation and propaganda afoot, couldn't gain much traction. As comedian Richard Pryor once said, " Who you gonna' believe, the propagandists, or your lying eyes." ..."
"... money for propaganda... that was back in 1984 - we have progressed from Orwell's version of reality to a new one where reality is what you make of it... meanwhile there will be more dead people that the sponsors of these troll farms, could care less about... although they will frame it - 180% of that... ..."
Feb 26, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

The U.S. State Department will increase its online trolling capabilities and up its support for meddling in other countries. The Hill reports :

The State Department is launching a $40 million initiative to crack down on foreign propaganda and disinformation amid widespread concerns about future Russian efforts to interfere in elections.

The department announced Monday that it signed a deal with the Pentagon to transfer $40 million from the Defense Department's coffers to bolster the Global Engagement Center, an office set up at State during the Obama years to expose and counter foreign propaganda and disinformation.

The professed reason for the new funding is the alleged but unproven "Russian meddling" in the U.S. election campaign. U.S. Special Counsel Mueller indicted 13 Russians for what is claimed to be interference but which is likely mere commercial activity.

The announcement by the State Department explains that this new money will not only be used for measures against foreign trolling but to actively meddle in countries abroad:

Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steve Goldstein said the transfer of funds announced today reiterates the United States' commitment to the fight.

"This funding is critical to ensuring that we continue an aggressive response to malign influence and disinformation and that we can leverage deeper partnerships with our allies, Silicon Valley, and other partners in this fight," said Under Secretary Goldstein. "It is not merely a defensive posture that we should take, we also need to be on the offensive. "

The mentioning of Silicon Valley is of interest. The big Silicon Valley companies Google, Facebook and Twitter were heavily involved in the U.S. election campaign. The companies embedded people within the campaigns to advise them how to reach a maximum trolling effect:

While the companies call it standard practice to work hand-in-hand with high-spending advertisers like political campaigns, the new research details how the staffers assigned to the 2016 candidates frequently acted more like political operatives, doing things like suggesting methods to target difficult-to-reach voters online, helping to tee up responses to likely lines of attack during debates, and scanning candidate calendars to recommend ad pushes around upcoming speeches.

In May 2016 the Hillary Clinton campaign even set up her own troll farm :

Hillary Clinton's well-heeled backers have opened a new frontier in digital campaigning, one that seems to have been inspired by some of the Internet's worst instincts. Correct the Record, a super PAC coordinating with Clinton's campaign, is spending some $1 million to find and confront social media users who post unflattering messages about the Democratic front-runner.

In effect, the effort aims to spend a large sum of money to increase the amount of trolling that already exists online.

Clinton is quite experienced in such issues. In 2009, during protests in Iran, then Secretary of State Clinton pushed Twitter to defer maintenance of its system to "help" the protesters. In 2010 USAid, under the State Department set up a Twitter-like service to meddle in Cuba.

The foreign policy advisor of Hillery Clinton's campaign, Laura Rosenberger, initiated and runs the Hamilton68 project which falsely explains any mentioning of issues disliked by its neo-conservative backers as the result of nefarious "Russian meddling".

The State Department can build on that and other experience.

Since at least 2011 the U.S. military is manipulating social media via sock puppets and trolls:

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.
...
The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations "without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries".

It was then wisely predicted that other countries would follow up:

The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as "sock puppets" – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

Israel is long known for such information operations in which its paid trolls not only comment on issues on social media but actively manipulate Wikipedia entries. Such astroturfing has since become a common tool in commercial marketing campaigns.

With the new money the State Department will expand its Global Engagement Center (GEC) which is running "public diplomacy", aka propaganda, abroad:

The Fund will be a key part of the GEC's partnerships with local civil society organizations, NGOs, media providers, and content creators to counter propaganda and disinformation. The Fund will also drive the use of innovative messaging and data science techniques.

Separately, the GEC will initiate a series of pilot projects developed with the Department of Defense that are designed to counter propaganda and disinformation. Those projects will be supported by Department of Defense funding.

This money will be in addition to the large funds the CIA traditionally spends on manipulating foreign media:

"We've been doing this kind of thing since the C.I.A. was created in 1947," said Mr. Johnson, now at the University of Georgia. "We've used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners -- you name it. We've planted false information in foreign newspapers. We've used what the British call 'King George's cavalry': suitcases of cash."
...
C.I.A. officials told Mr. Johnson in the late 1980s that "insertions" of information into foreign news media, mostly accurate but sometimes false, were running at 70 to 80 a day.

Part of the new State Department money will be used to provide grants. If online trolling or sock puppetry is your thing, you may want to apply now.

Posted by b on February 26, 2018 at 02:02 PM | Permalink

Comments


nhs , Feb 26, 2018 2:34:39 PM | 1

The US propaganda machine has just confirmed what establishment's worst nightmare would be
Peter AU 1 , Feb 26, 2018 2:40:29 PM | 2
"to find and confront social media users who post unflattering messages about the Democratic front-runner"

I call these social media watchers rather than trolls. Rather than simply trying to disrupt any and all social media threads they don't like, social media watchers look for comments or comment threads that are disparaging or damaging to their employer.

WorldBLee , Feb 26, 2018 2:49:32 PM | 3
#2 @Peter AU 1 - I would say the language "to find and CONFRONT" sounds pretty much like troll behavior.

With regard to the larger issue, it seems that the US is getting more and more like its allies Ukraine (drives out any press concerned with printing the truth, relies on a bombastic and entirely false narrative to try and convince its hapless citizens that all is great and everything is Russia's fault) and Israel (an early leader in manipulating online info as b states).

Don Bacon , Feb 26, 2018 2:51:50 PM | 4
That $40 million will probably be pissed away on a couple sweetheart contracts to Tillerson friends and nobody will see a difference. US State Department propaganda programs, labeled as "public diplomacy" and other monikers, have been around for a long time but haven't been executed very well.

From the State Dept. historian office, 2013: . .(excerpt):

Public Diplomacy Is Still in Its Adolescent Stage in the State Department , etc.

. . . The process of convergence has been evolutionary. Secretary Powell grasped the power of the information revolution, reallocated positions and resources from traditional diplomatic posting to new areas and recognized the power of satellite television to move publics and constrain governments even in authoritarian regimes. Secretary Rice forwarded this reconceptualization under the rubric of "Transformational Diplomacy," which sought to help people transform their own lives and the relationship between state and society. Secretary Clinton continued the theme under the concept of "Smart Power." "Person-to-person diplomacy in today's work is as important as what we do in official meetings in national capitals across the globe," Clinton said in 2010.The work done by PD officials in Arab Spring countries beginning in 2011 was as much about capacity-building as advocating U.S. policies or directly trying to explain American culture. . . here

notlurking , Feb 26, 2018 2:55:14 PM | 5
I am retired and can use some extra change....just kidding!!!....
nonsense factory , Feb 26, 2018 3:18:15 PM | 6
Prior efforts were targeted more at traditional news outlets, this is just an expansion into social media along the lines of previous work, example A being the Rendon Group in Iraq, etc. https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Rendon_Group

If it sounds like a PR monkey banging away on a regurgitated theme, it probably is. For example, the endless repetition in US media about "Syrian chemical weapons attacks" with no on-the-ground supporting evidence is typical of a Rendon Group disinformation campaign; so then they hire a hundred trolls to post outraged comments about 'Syrian chemical weapons use' in comment sections and on twitter; then they hire some State Department intern to write a book about the horrors of the Assad regime, and at the end they collect their $10 million paycheck.

Tediousness, defined.

Peter AU 1 , Feb 26, 2018 3:19:30 PM | 7
WorldBLee 2

Media watchers target specific comments or comment threads, in the case stated by b, those disparaging or damaging to Clinton.

What I term trolls target blogs or social media accounts that are considered targets, no matter the content of a particular article or comment thread. Social media media watchers are a little more specialized than trolls and look for specific content.

nonsense factory , Feb 26, 2018 3:23:52 PM | 8
P.S. it's funny that you can find out what these clowns are up to by looking for job listings and salary reports:

The Rendon Group Social Media Specialist Salary | Glassdoor

Average [monthly] salaries for The Rendon Group Social Media Specialist: $2,520. The Rendon Group salary trends based on salaries posted anonymously by The Rendon Group employees.

Talk about a soul-destroying job. Right up there with Wikipedia page editor.

Peter AU 1 , Feb 26, 2018 3:27:48 PM | 9
nonsense factory 8. Money looks good. Plenty of people that dont give a shit about their soul will take it up.
la Cariatide , Feb 26, 2018 3:40:19 PM | 11
http://www.voltairenet.org/article194715.html
NemesisCalling , Feb 26, 2018 4:08:38 PM | 12
@7 peter

I see what you are alluding to, but the only problem with it is that, irrespective of the differing definitions, at heart, these infiltrators are a disrupting force on the message boards, whether paid to be or not. Their medium is disruption and obfuscation. I tried to wade into the neoliberal viper's den at slate.com un the past to post "alt-right" stuff and was quickly attacked by multiple avatars.

In essence, one troll disrupts because he has a need for recognition, and the latter disrupts for money. Both are netgain for the troll and loss for the rest of us.

ben , Feb 26, 2018 4:09:30 PM | 13
The hypocrisy of the U$A continues to be staggering.. If the collective IQ's of the general public approached double digits, the disinformation and propaganda afoot, couldn't gain much traction. As comedian Richard Pryor once said, " Who you gonna' believe, the propagandists, or your lying eyes."

Turn off your I phones, and think a little.

james , Feb 26, 2018 4:19:32 PM | 14
thanks b... troll farms looks like a good name for it... farming for the empire.. they could call it that too.. russia as trend setter, lol.. i don't think so!

speaking of troll farms, i see max Blumenthal came out with some 'about time' comments on the sad kettle of fish called 'democracy now'... here is his tweet - "If @democracynow is going to push the neocon project of regime change in Syria so relentlessly and without debate, it should drop the high minded literary NPR aesthetic and just host Nikki Haley for a friendly one-on-one #EstablishmentNow https://twitter.com/democracynow/status/967123918237655041
7:07 AM - Feb 25, 2018 "

money for propaganda... that was back in 1984 - we have progressed from Orwell's version of reality to a new one where reality is what you make of it... meanwhile there will be more dead people that the sponsors of these troll farms, could care less about... although they will frame it - 180% of that...

NemesisCalling , Feb 26, 2018 4:19:33 PM | 15
The silver lining here is that the state dept. is in a sense admitting that there is nothing "in the pipe" relating to outright censorship whether through nefarious agreements between ISP providers and the IC via the repeal of net neutrality.

$40 mil is a lot for liberal college graduates however.

Jen , Feb 26, 2018 4:20:59 PM | 16
Nonsense Factory @ 8, Peter AU 1 @ 9: There are plenty of communities in rural Australia who'd be glad to have troll farms paying that sort of money (even as Australian dollars - 1 Australian dollar being worth about US$0.76 at this time of posting) a month. Real farmers could do trolling on the side during slow seasons of the year and make some money.
karlof1 , Feb 26, 2018 4:26:45 PM | 17
What we need are some Mole Trolls, or maybe that's Troll Moles--double agents if you will that work for 6-12 months recording 100% of all they do then reveal it all in an expose.
Ian , Feb 26, 2018 5:21:58 PM | 18
Getting ready for mid-terms. It's going to be interesting to see if the Democrats get wiped off the map. They should be able to hire quite a few people for $40 million. Don't be surprised if they deploy AI in the first wave, then follow up with a real person.

ben @13:

Turn off your I phones, and think a little.

ROFL After wandering aimlessly in the mall with Her Majesty over the weekend, I'm not sure if that's even possible now.

Piotr Berman , Feb 26, 2018 5:23:20 PM | 19
Hillary Clinton sat on a wall,
Hillary Clinton had a great fall;
All the DNC stooges and all her trolls
Couldn't put her campaign again on the roll.

[department of lame rhymes]

Piotr Berman , Feb 26, 2018 5:29:18 PM | 20
I am retired and can use some extra change....just kidding!!!....

Posted by: notlurking | Feb 26, 2018 2:55:14 PM | 5

Foolish human, who needs the likes of you! Regards, Chief Bot

pantaraxia , Feb 26, 2018 6:42:36 PM | 21
"The big Silicon Valley companies Google, Facebook and Twitter were heavily involved in the U.S. election campaign. The companies embedded people within the campaigns to advise them how to reach a maximum trolling effect:"

It went much further than that . Google actually tweaked its algorithms to alter search recommendations in favor of the Clinton campaign. A comparative analysis of search engines Google, Bing and Yahoo showed that Google differed significantly from the other two in producing search recommendations relevant to Clinton.

Google Manipulates Search Results To Favor Hillary Clinton - Jimmy Dore
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MICXf6viakc

But , but, but...Russia!!!

Nothing to see her folks. Carry on.

che , Feb 26, 2018 6:47:53 PM | 22
The entire U.S. MSM is a F'ing troll farm, disinformation, Orwellian world on steroids. The U.S. public is fed a constant never ending stream of complete Bull sh**, self serving crap. How to stop it is the only question, to stop the impunity with which these criminals like Bush and Trump and Obama and Mattis et.al. lie with their pants on fire and .....they all suck .01% dick.
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 8:19:04 PM | 23
@8 Nonsense Factory

Ahmed Nafeez exposed The Rendon Group and the Pentagon's Highlands Forum a few years ago.

And then there's today's nonsense.

Are You a Russian Troll?

Curtis , Feb 26, 2018 8:44:21 PM | 24
It's surprising to see the NYT admit the US does it, too. The alt media has been all over this including Corbett's recent video with the Woolsey interview with Fox News where he laughs it off and then says it was for a good cause.
Curtis , Feb 26, 2018 8:47:09 PM | 25
Hillary's Troll Farm = Lipstick on a pig.
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 8:51:55 PM | 26
From Nafeez Ahmed :
Two days before 9/11, Condoleeza Rice received the draft of a formal National Security Presidential Directive that Bush was expected to sign immediately. The directive contained a comprehensive plan to launch a global war on al-Qaeda , including an "imminent" invasion of Afghanistan to topple the Taliban. The directive was approved by the highest levels of the White House and officials of the National Security Council, including of course Rice and Rumsfeld. The same NSC officials were simultaneously running the Dhabol Working Group to secure the Indian power plant deal for Enron's Trans-Afghan pipeline project. The next day, one day before 9/11, the Bush administration formally agreed on the plan to attack the Taliban.
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 9:01:10 PM | 27
From Nafeez Ahmed :

The Highlands Forum has thus played a leading role in defining the Pentagon's entire conceptualization of the 'war on terror.' Irving Wladawsky-Berger, a retired IMB vice president who co-chaired the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee from 1997 to 2001, described his experience of one 2007 Forum meeting in telling terms:

"Then there is the War on Terror, which DoD has started to refer to as the Long War, a term that I first heard at the Forum. It seems very appropriate to describe the overall conflict in which we now find ourselves. This is a truly global conflict the conflicts we are now in have much more of the feel of a battle of civilizations or cultures trying to destroy our very way of life and impose their own."
Debsisdead , Feb 26, 2018 9:01:42 PM | 28
Posted by: Fec | Feb 26, 2018 8:19:04 PM | 23

Yeah well since the writer of the 'quiz' exposes themself as bein a troll of the worst sort there is nothing to be said. I'm currently attempting to ingest only those newstories where the publisher provides space for feedback from readers since if a story is truthful it should be able to withstand challenge. yeah riight cos that means there's bugger all out there anymore. The biggest 'win' populism has had this far is in driving all feedback off all sites with a readership of more than a few hundred. Many of those that do allow feedback only permit humans with credentialed facebook or google accounts to indulge and the comments are only visible to similarly logged in types. That tells us a lot about the lack of faith the corporate media actually have in the nonsense they publish.

Of course 'trolls' are the ones held to be the guilty for causing this but if you actually watch what happens in a feedback column such as the rare occasions when the graun still permits CIF comments it isn't the deliberately offensive arseholes spouting the usual cliches who get deleted, it is those who put forward a considered argument which details why the original writer has reached a faulty conclusion.

We all know this yet it seems as though none of us are prepared to confront it properly as the censorship it is.
IMO media outlets which continually lie or at least distort the truth to advance a particular agenda need to be called to account.
Massed pickets outside newsrooms would be a good way cos as much as media hate us loudmouths who won't swallow their bromides, they like their competition even less. A decently organised picket of NYT, WaPo or the Graun would be news in every other spineless, propagandising & slug-featured media entity.

Lozion , Feb 26, 2018 9:09:10 PM | 29
Cant wait to see the big new shiny gold GEC logo, AMC & GMC anyone? ;)
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 9:17:57 PM | 30
@ 28 Debsisdead

Said troll was published in Richmond and God only knows who else picked it up. I refuted it in the comments as best I could, also excerpting MOA. Regardless:

From Ahmed Nafeez :

Among Rendon's activities was the creation of Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress (INC) on behalf of the CIA, a group of Iraqi exiles tasked with disseminating propaganda, including much of the false intelligence about WMD . That process had begun concertedly under the administration of George H W. Bush, then rumbled along under Clinton with little fanfare, before escalating after 9/11 under George W. Bush. Rendon thus played a large role in the manufacture of inaccurate and false news stories relating to Iraq under lucrative CIA and Pentagon contracts  --  and he did so in the period running up to the 2003 invasion as an advisor to Bush's National Security Council: the same NSC, of course, that planned the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, achieved with input from Enron executives who were simultaneously engaging the Pentagon Highlands Forum.

https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/why-google-made-the-nsa-2a80584c9c1
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 9:26:22 PM | 31
From Ahmed Nafeez :
Mass surveillance and data-mining also now has a distinctive operational purpose in assisting with the lethal execution of special operations, selecting targets for the CIA's drone strike kill lists via dubious algorithms, for instance, along with providing geospatial and other information for combatant commanders on land, air and sea, among many other functions. A single social media post on Twitter or Facebook is enough to trigger being placed on secret terrorism watch-lists solely due to a vaguely defined hunch or suspicion; and can potentially even land a suspect on a kill list.
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 9:40:37 PM | 32
From Ahmed Nafeez :
In 2011, the Forum hosted two DARPA-funded scientists, Antonio and Hanna Damasio, who are principal investigators in the 'Neurobiology of Narrative Framing' project at the University of Southern California. Evoking Zalman's emphasis on the need for Pentagon psychological operations to deploy "empathetic influence," the new DARPA-backed project aims to investigate how narratives often appeal "to strong, sacred values in order to evoke an emotional response," but in different ways across different cultures

This goes a long way toward explaining what is occurring in Hollywood and Nashville.

[Jan 28, 2018] Russiagate Isn t About Trump, And It Isn t Even Ultimately About Russia by Caitlyn Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Truth is the first victim of war. This is also true about the Cold War II with Russia.
Notable quotes:
"... MSNBC's Chris Hayes recently asked a question of his Twitter following that was so heavily loaded it wouldn't be permitted on most interstate highways: "Aside from genuine cranks, is there anyone left denying it was the Russians that committed criminal sabotage in the American election?" ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... You can begin finding your way toward the answer to that question by envisioning the following hypothetical scenario. Imagine what would happen if, instead of promoting the Russiagate narrative, the faces of the consent-manufacturing machine known as the mass media began telling mainstream America that in order to ensure that the US will remain capable of dominating the other countries on this planet, there's going to have to be an aggressive campaign to re-inflame the Cold War with the goal of disrupting and undermining China and its allies ..."
"... This is what Russiagate is ultimately about. Democrats think it's about impeaching Trump and protecting the world from a nigh-omnipotent supervillain in Vladimir Putin, Trump's supporters think it's a "deep state coup" to try and oust their president, but in reality this has nothing to do with Trump, and ultimately not a whole lot to do with Russia either. When all is said and done, Russiagate is about China. ..."
"... In an essay titled "Russia-China Tandem Changes the World", US-Russia relations analyst Gilbert Doctorow explains how the surging economic power China depends upon Russia's willingness to go head-to-head with America and its extensive experience with US attempts to undermine the USSR during the Cold War. Alone both nations are very vulnerable, but together their strengths are complimentary in a way that poses a direct threat to America's self-appointed role as world leader ..."
"... So the strategic value of taking Russia out of the equation is clear, and that's exactly what the US power establishment is attempting to do. California Representative Eric Swalwell, one of the lead congressional promoters of both anti-Russia sentiment and the Trump-Russia "collusion" narrative, admitted last year that he'd like to see tougher sanctions stacked up until they "isolate Russia from the rest of the world" ..."
"... The US oligarchs, the oligarch-owned media outlets, and the oligarch-aligned intelligence/defense agencies can't just come right out and say "Hey America, we need to ensure our power structures remain unrivalled for the foreseeable future, so we're going to have to try and shut down Russia's influence using ever-tightening economic sanctions, NATO expansionism, proxy wars and troops along Russia's border to squeeze them until they lose the capacity to interfere with our ability to crush China. We'll also need a vastly inflated military budget to help facilitate our geopolitical agendas and prepare for a possible world war, please." A few Americans might consent to it, but by and large the US public would rather see those resources spent on making their lives better. ..."
"... So they lie. They use America's deliberately constructed partisan enmity and culture wars to fan the flames of mass hysteria about a new president so that enough Americans will permit continuous escalations with Russia under the mistaken impression that they are helping to resist Trump. ..."
Jan 28, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Russiagate Isn't About Trump, And It Isn't Even Ultimately About Russia Written by Caitlin Johnstone Sunday January 28, 2018

MSNBC's Chris Hayes recently asked a question of his Twitter following that was so heavily loaded it wouldn't be permitted on most interstate highways: "Aside from genuine cranks, is there anyone left denying it was the Russians that committed criminal sabotage in the American election?"

Hayes asked this fake question because he works for MSNBC and it is therefore his job, and he asked it in response to a report first made viral by deranged espionage LARPer Eric Garland that a Dutch intelligence agency had been observing Russian hackers attacking US political parties in advance of the 2016 election. Like all "bombshell" Russiagate reports, this one roared through social media like wildfire carried on the wings of liberal hysteria about the current administration, only to be exposed as being riddled with gaping plot holes as documented here by independent journalist Suzie Dawson. The report revolves around an allegedly Russian cyber threat now known in the west as "Cozy Bear," which as Real News ' Max Blumenthal notes is not a network of hackers but "a Russian-sounding name the for-profit firm Crowdstrike assigned to an APT to market its findings to gullible reporters desperate for Russiagate scoops."

This "bombshell" overlapped with another as it was reported by the New York Times that at one point many months ago Trump had wanted to fire Robert Mueller, but then didn't.

*Cough.*

Why does this keep happening? Why does the public keep getting sold a mountain of suspicion with zero substance? Over and over and over again these "bombshell" stories come out about Trump and Russia, Russia and Trump, only to be debunked , retracted , or erased from the spotlight after people start actually reading the allegations and thinking critically about them and see they're not the shocking bombshells they purport to be? These allegations are all premised upon claims made the US intelligence community, which has an extensive and well-documented history of lying to advance its agendas, as well as porous claims made by an extremely shady and insanely profitable private cyber security company, and yet all we're ever shown is smoke and mirrors with no actual fire.

Why is that?

You can begin finding your way toward the answer to that question by envisioning the following hypothetical scenario. Imagine what would happen if, instead of promoting the Russiagate narrative, the faces of the consent-manufacturing machine known as the mass media began telling mainstream America that in order to ensure that the US will remain capable of dominating the other countries on this planet, there's going to have to be an aggressive campaign to re-inflame the Cold War with the goal of disrupting and undermining China and its allies.

That would be a very different narrative with a very different effect, wouldn't it? But that's exactly what's going on here, and if the US power establishment and its propaganda machine were in the business of telling people the truth, that's precisely what they'd say.

It's not a secret that China has been working to surpass the United States as the world's leading superpower as quickly as possible. Hell, Xi Jinping flat-out said so during a three and a half hour address last October, and many experts think it might happen a lot sooner than Xi's 30-year deadline. An editorial from China's state press agency about the Davos World Economic Forum asserts that the time has come for the world to choose between the "Xi-style collaborative approach" and Trump's "self-centred America First policy (which) has led his country away from multiple multilateral pacts and infused anxiety into both allies and the broader world." China has been collaborating with Russia to end the hegemony of the US dollar , to shore up control of the Arctic as new resources become available, and just generally build up its own power and influence instead of working to remain in Washington's good graces as most western nations have chosen to do.

Preventing this is the single most important goal of the US power establishment, not just its elected government but the unelected plutocrats, defense and intelligence agencies which control the nation's affairs behind the scenes. This agenda is so important that in a letter to his successor the outgoing President Barack Obama made the "indispensable" nature of American planetary leadership his sole concrete piece of advice, and pro-establishment influence firms like Project for a New American Century have made preventing the rise of a rival superpower their stated primary goal .

This is what Russiagate is ultimately about. Democrats think it's about impeaching Trump and protecting the world from a nigh-omnipotent supervillain in Vladimir Putin, Trump's supporters think it's a "deep state coup" to try and oust their president, but in reality this has nothing to do with Trump, and ultimately not a whole lot to do with Russia either. When all is said and done, Russiagate is about China.

In an essay titled "Russia-China Tandem Changes the World", US-Russia relations analyst Gilbert Doctorow explains how the surging economic power China depends upon Russia's willingness to go head-to-head with America and its extensive experience with US attempts to undermine the USSR during the Cold War. Alone both nations are very vulnerable, but together their strengths are complimentary in a way that poses a direct threat to America's self-appointed role as world leader .

"Russia is essential to China because of Moscow's long experience managing global relations going back to the period of the Cold War and because of its willingness and ability today to stand up directly to the American hegemon," writes Doctorow, "whereas China, with its heavy dependence on its vast exports to the U.S., cannot do so without endangering vital interests. Moreover, since the Western establishment sees China as the long-term challenge to its supremacy, it is best for Beijing to exercise its influence through another power, which today is Russia."

So the strategic value of taking Russia out of the equation is clear, and that's exactly what the US power establishment is attempting to do. California Representative Eric Swalwell, one of the lead congressional promoters of both anti-Russia sentiment and the Trump-Russia "collusion" narrative, admitted last year that he'd like to see tougher sanctions stacked up until they "isolate Russia from the rest of the world" after much badgering from Fox's Tucker Carlson about his incendiary claims that the alleged cyberattacks constituted an "act of war." It is worth noting here that despite Swalwell's repeated hysterical claims about Trump and Russia, he recently voted to renew the treasonous Kremlin-colluding president's godlike surveillance powers anyway.

Establishment muppets like Swalwell and the unelected elites who own them don't care about Trump, they care about crippling China's right arm Russia so that they can set about sabotaging the agendas of a potential rival superpower unimpeded by the skilful opposition of a nuclear superpower. But, getting back to the hypothetical situation I asked you to envision earlier, they can't just come right out and say that.

They can't. The US oligarchs, the oligarch-owned media outlets, and the oligarch-aligned intelligence/defense agencies can't just come right out and say "Hey America, we need to ensure our power structures remain unrivalled for the foreseeable future, so we're going to have to try and shut down Russia's influence using ever-tightening economic sanctions, NATO expansionism, proxy wars and troops along Russia's border to squeeze them until they lose the capacity to interfere with our ability to crush China. We'll also need a vastly inflated military budget to help facilitate our geopolitical agendas and prepare for a possible world war, please." A few Americans might consent to it, but by and large the US public would rather see those resources spent on making their lives better.

Just as importantly, the rest of the world would recoil in revulsion.

So they lie. They use America's deliberately constructed partisan enmity and culture wars to fan the flames of mass hysteria about a new president so that enough Americans will permit continuous escalations with Russia under the mistaken impression that they are helping to resist Trump. They think they're lying to you for your own good, because you can't understand how important it is that they do what they're trying to do. That's why there are so many gaping plot holes and none of this ever quite adds up; they're lying to you like a parent telling a child he needs to eat his broccoli if he doesn't want a lump of coal for Christmas. Except instead of eating broccoli it's consenting to dangerous escalations and military expansionism, and instead of a parent it's a class of elitist sociopaths, and you're always going to get coal.

And sure, an argument can be made that the world is better off under the watchful domination of the US power establishment than it would be with multipolar power arrangements, and I encounter many establishment loyalists who make precisely that argument. Personally I would argue that the death, destruction and mayhem caused by the intrinsically evil things the US establishment must do in order to maintain dominance completely invalidate that argument, but it's a debate that people deserve to have, and they can't have it when they're being lied to about what's really going on.

Insist on the truth. Keep pushing back against this pernicious psyop. Spread the word.

Support Caitlyn Johnstone's work on Patreon or Paypal . Reprinted with author's permission from her website .

[Jan 06, 2018] Russia-gate Breeds Establishment McCarthyism by Robert Parry

Highly recommended!
I wish Robert Parry quick and full recovery after his minor stoke. He is a magnificent journalist !
Notable quotes:
"... In the past, America has witnessed "McCarthyism" from the Right and even complaints from the Right about "McCarthyism of the Left." But what we are witnessing now amid the Russia-gate frenzy is what might be called "Establishment McCarthyism, " traditional media/political powers demonizing and silencing dissent that questions mainstream narratives. ..."
"... This extraordinary assault on civil liberties is cloaked in fright-filled stories about "Russian propaganda" and wildly exaggerated tales of the Kremlin's "hordes of Twitter bots," but its underlying goal is to enforce Washington's "groupthinks" by creating a permanent system that shuts down or marginalizes dissident opinions and labels contrary information – no matter how reasonable and well-researched – as "disputed" or "rated false" by mainstream "fact-checking" organizations like PolitiFact. ..."
"... For instance, PolitiFact still rates as "true" Hillary Clinton's false claim that "all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies" agreed that Russia was behind the release of Democratic emails last year. Even the Times and The Associated Press belatedly ran corrections after President Obama's intelligence chiefs admitted that the assessment came from what Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called "hand-picked" analysts from only three agencies: CIA, FBI and NSA. ..."
"... And, the larger truth was that these "hand-picked" analysts were sequestered away from other analysts even from their own agencies and produced "stove-piped intelligence," i.e., analysis that escapes the back-and-forth that should occur inside the intelligence community. ..."
"... And this was not a stand-alone story. Previously, the Times has run favorable articles about plans to deploy aggressive algorithms to hunt down and then remove or marginalize information that the Times and other mainstream outlets deem false. ..."
"... Congress has authorized $160 million to combat alleged Russian "propaganda and disinformation," a gilded invitation for "scholars" and "experts" to gear up "studies" that will continue to prove what is supposed to be proved – "Russia bad" – with credulous mainstream reporters eagerly gobbling up the latest "evidence" of Russian perfidy. ..."
"... And, given the risk of thermo-nuclear war with Russia, why aren't liberals and progressives demanding at least a critical examination of what's coming from the U.S. intelligence agencies and the mainstream press? ..."
"... So, as we have moved into this dangerous New Cold War, we are living in what could be called "Establishment McCarthyism," a hysterical but methodical strategy for silencing dissent and making sure that future mainstream groupthinks don't get challenged. ..."
Oct 27, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org
In the past, America has witnessed "McCarthyism" from the Right and even complaints from the Right about "McCarthyism of the Left." But what we are witnessing now amid the Russia-gate frenzy is what might be called "Establishment McCarthyism, " traditional media/political powers demonizing and silencing dissent that questions mainstream narratives.

This extraordinary assault on civil liberties is cloaked in fright-filled stories about "Russian propaganda" and wildly exaggerated tales of the Kremlin's "hordes of Twitter bots," but its underlying goal is to enforce Washington's "groupthinks" by creating a permanent system that shuts down or marginalizes dissident opinions and labels contrary information – no matter how reasonable and well-researched – as "disputed" or "rated false" by mainstream "fact-checking" organizations like PolitiFact.

It doesn't seem to matter that the paragons of this new structure – such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and, indeed, PolitiFact – have a checkered record of getting facts straight.

For instance, PolitiFact still rates as "true" Hillary Clinton's false claim that "all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies" agreed that Russia was behind the release of Democratic emails last year. Even the Times and The Associated Press belatedly ran corrections after President Obama's intelligence chiefs admitted that the assessment came from what Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called "hand-picked" analysts from only three agencies: CIA, FBI and NSA.

And, the larger truth was that these "hand-picked" analysts were sequestered away from other analysts even from their own agencies and produced "stove-piped intelligence," i.e., analysis that escapes the back-and-forth that should occur inside the intelligence community.

Even then, what these analysts published last Jan. 6 was an "assessment," which they specifically warned was "not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact." In other words, they didn't have any conclusive proof of Russian "hacking."

Yet, the Times and other leading newspaper routinely treat these findings as flat fact or the unassailable "consensus" of the "intelligence community." Contrary information, including WikiLeaks' denials of a Russian role in supplying the emails, and contrary judgments from former senior U.S. intelligence officials are ignored.

The Jan. 6 report also tacked on a seven-page addendum smearing the Russian television network, RT, for such offenses as sponsoring a 2012 debate among U.S. third-party presidential candidates who had been excluded from the Republican-Democratic debates. RT also was slammed for reporting on the Occupy Wall Street protests and the environmental dangers from "fracking."

How the idea of giving Americans access to divergent political opinions and information about valid issues such as income inequality and environmental dangers constitutes threats to American "democracy" is hard to comprehend.

However, rather than address the Jan. 6 report's admitted uncertainties about Russian "hacking" and the troubling implications of its attacks on RT, the Times and other U.S. mainstream publications treat the report as some kind of holy scripture that can't be questioned or challenged.

Silencing RT

For instance, on Tuesday, the Times published a front-page story entitled " YouTube Gave Russians Outlet Portal Into U.S ." that essentially cried out for the purging of RT from YouTube. The article began by holding YouTube's vice president Robert Kynci up to ridicule and opprobrium for his praising "RT for bonding with viewers by providing 'authentic' content instead of 'agendas or propaganda.'"

The article by Daisuke Wakabayashi and Nicholas Confessore swallowed whole the Jan. 6 report's conclusion that RT is "the Kremlin's 'principal international propaganda outlet' and a key player in Russia's information warfare operations around the world." In other words, the Times portrayed Kynci as essentially a "useful idiot."

Yet, the article doesn't actually dissect any RT article that could be labeled false or propagandistic. It simply alludes generally to news items that contained information critical of Hillary Clinton as if any negative reporting on the Democratic presidential contender – no matter how accurate or how similar to stories appearing in the U.S. press – was somehow proof of "information warfare."

As Daniel Lazare wrote at Consortiumnews.com on Wednesday, "The web version [of the Times article] links to an RT interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that ran shortly before the 2016 election. The topic is a September 2014 email obtained by Wikileaks in which Clinton acknowledges that 'the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.'"

In other words, the Times cited a documented and newsworthy RT story as its evidence that RT was a propaganda shop threatening American democracy and deserving ostracism if not removal from YouTube.

A Dangerous Pattern

Not to say that I share every news judgment of RT – or for that matter The New York Times – but there is a grave issue of press freedom when the Times essentially calls for the shutting down of access to a news organization that may highlight or report on stories that the Times and other mainstream outlets downplay or ignore.

And this was not a stand-alone story. Previously, the Times has run favorable articles about plans to deploy aggressive algorithms to hunt down and then remove or marginalize information that the Times and other mainstream outlets deem false.

Nor is it just the Times. Last Thanksgiving, The Washington Post ran a fawning front-page article about an anonymous group PropOrNot that had created a blacklist of 200 Internet sites, including Consortiumnews.com and other independent news sources, that were deemed guilty of dispensing "Russian propaganda," which basically amounted to our showing any skepticism toward the State Department's narratives on the crises in Syria or Ukraine.

So, if any media outlet dares to question the U.S. government's version of events – once that storyline has been embraced by the big media – the dissidents risk being awarded the media equivalent of a yellow star and having their readership dramatically reduced by getting downgraded on search engines and punished on social media.

Meanwhile, Congress has authorized $160 million to combat alleged Russian "propaganda and disinformation," a gilded invitation for "scholars" and "experts" to gear up "studies" that will continue to prove what is supposed to be proved – "Russia bad" – with credulous mainstream reporters eagerly gobbling up the latest "evidence" of Russian perfidy.

There is also a more coercive element to what's going on. RT is facing demands from the Justice Department that it register as a "foreign agent" or face prosecution. Clearly, the point is to chill the journalism done by RT's American reporters, hosts and staff who now fear being stigmatized as something akin to traitors.

You might wonder: where are the defenders of press freedom and civil liberties? Doesn't anyone in the mainstream media or national politics recognize the danger to a democracy coming from enforced groupthinks? Is American democracy so fragile that letting Americans hear "another side of the story" must be prevented?

A Dangerous 'Cure'

I agree that there is a limited problem with jerks who knowingly make up fake stories or who disseminate crazy conspiracy theories – and no one finds such behavior more offensive than I do. But does no one recall the lies about Iraq's WMD and other U.S. government falsehoods and deceptions over the years?

Often, it is the few dissenters who alert the American people to the truth, even as the Times, Post, CNN and other big outlets are serving as the real propaganda agents, accepting what the "important people" say and showing little or no professional skepticism.

And, given the risk of thermo-nuclear war with Russia, why aren't liberals and progressives demanding at least a critical examination of what's coming from the U.S. intelligence agencies and the mainstream press?

The answer seems to be that many liberals and progressives are so blinded by their fury over Donald Trump's election that they don't care what lines are crossed to destroy or neutralize him. Plus, for some liberal entities, there's lots of money to be made.

For instance, the American Civil Liberties Union has made its "resistance" to the Trump administration an important part of its fundraising. So, the ACLU is doing nothing to defend the rights of news organizations and journalists under attack. When I asked ACLU about the Justice Department's move against RT and other encroachments on press freedom, I was told by ACLU spokesman Thomas Dresslar: "Thanks for reaching out to us. Unfortunately, I've been informed that we do not have anyone able to speak to you about this."

Meanwhile, the Times and other traditional "defenders of a free press" are now part of the attack machine against a free press. While much of this attitude comes from the big media's high-profile leadership of the anti-Trump Resistance and anger at any resistors to the Resistance, mainstream news outlets have chafed for years over the Internet undermining their privileged role as the gatekeepers of what Americans get to see and hear.

For a long time, the big media has wanted an excuse to rein in the Internet and break the small news outlets that have challenged the power – and the profitability – of the Times, Post, CNN, etc. Russia-gate and Trump have become the cover for that restoration of mainstream authority.

So, as we have moved into this dangerous New Cold War, we are living in what could be called "Establishment McCarthyism," a hysterical but methodical strategy for silencing dissent and making sure that future mainstream groupthinks don't get challenged.

Reprinted with permission from ConsortiumNews.com .


Related

[Jan 02, 2018] What We Don t Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking by Jackson Lears

Highly recommended!
It you need to read a singe article analyzing current anti-Russian hysteria in the USA this in the one you should read. This is an excellent article Simply great !!! And as of December 2017 it represents the perfect summary of Russiagate, Hillary defeat and, Neo-McCarthyism campaign launched as a method of hiding the crisis of neoliberalism revealed by Presidential elections. It also suggest that growing jingoism of both Parties (return to Madeleine Albright's 'indispensable nation' bulling. Both Trump and Albright assume that the United States should be able to do as it pleases in the international arena) and loss of the confidence and paranoia of the US neoliberal elite.
It contain many important observation which in my view perfectly catch the complexity of the current Us political landscape.
Bravo to Jackson Lears !!!
Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberals celebrate market utility as the sole criterion of worth; interventionists exalt military adventure abroad as a means of fighting evil in order to secure global progress ..."
"... Sanders is a social democrat and Trump a demagogic mountebank, but their campaigns underscored a widespread repudiation of the Washington consensus. For about a week after the election, pundits discussed the possibility of a more capacious Democratic strategy. It appeared that the party might learn something from Clinton's defeat. Then everything changed. ..."
"... A story that had circulated during the campaign without much effect resurfaced: it involved the charge that Russian operatives had hacked into the servers of the Democratic National Committee, revealing embarrassing emails that damaged Clinton's chances. With stunning speed, a new centrist-liberal orthodoxy came into being, enveloping the major media and the bipartisan Washington establishment. This secular religion has attracted hordes of converts in the first year of the Trump presidency. In its capacity to exclude dissent, it is like no other formation of mass opinion in my adult life, though it recalls a few dim childhood memories of anti-communist hysteria during the early 1950s. ..."
"... The centrepiece of the faith, based on the hacking charge, is the belief that Vladimir Putin orchestrated an attack on American democracy by ordering his minions to interfere in the election on behalf of Trump. The story became gospel with breathtaking suddenness and completeness. Doubters are perceived as heretics and as apologists for Trump and Putin, the evil twins and co-conspirators behind this attack on American democracy. ..."
"... Like any orthodoxy worth its salt, the religion of the Russian hack depends not on evidence but on ex cathedra pronouncements on the part of authoritative institutions and their overlords. Its scriptural foundation is a confused and largely fact-free 'assessment' produced last January by a small number of 'hand-picked' analysts – as James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, described them – from the CIA, the FBI and the NSA. ..."
"... It is not the first time the intelligence agencies have played this role. When I hear the Intelligence Community Assessment cited as a reliable source, I always recall the part played by the New York Times in legitimating CIA reports of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's putative weapons of mass destruction, not to mention the long history of disinformation (a.k.a. 'fake news') as a tactic for advancing one administration or another's political agenda. Once again, the established press is legitimating pronouncements made by the Church Fathers of the national security state. Clapper is among the most vigorous of these. He perjured himself before Congress in 2013, when he denied that the NSA had 'wittingly' spied on Americans – a lie for which he has never been held to account. ..."
"... In May 2017, he told NBC's Chuck Todd that the Russians were highly likely to have colluded with Trump's campaign because they are 'almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favour, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique'. The current orthodoxy exempts the Church Fathers from standards imposed on ordinary people, and condemns Russians – above all Putin – as uniquely, 'almost genetically' diabolical. ..."
"... It's hard for me to understand how the Democratic Party, which once felt scepticism towards the intelligence agencies, can now embrace the CIA and the FBI as sources of incontrovertible truth. One possible explanation is that Trump's election has created a permanent emergency in the liberal imagination, based on the belief that the threat he poses is unique and unprecedented. It's true that Trump's menace is viscerally real. But the menace posed by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney was equally real. ..."
"... Trump is committed to continuing his predecessors' lavish funding of the already bloated Defence Department, and his Fortress America is a blustering, undisciplined version of Madeleine Albright's 'indispensable nation'. Both Trump and Albright assume that the United States should be able to do as it pleases in the international arena: Trump because it's the greatest country in the world, Albright because it's an exceptional force for global good. ..."
"... Besides Trump's supposed uniqueness, there are two other assumptions behind the furore in Washington: the first is that the Russian hack unquestionably occurred, and the second is that the Russians are our implacable enemies. ..."
"... So far, after months of 'bombshells' that turn out to be duds, there is still no actual evidence for the claim that the Kremlin ordered interference in the American election. Meanwhile serious doubts have surfaced about the technical basis for the hacking claims. Independent observers have argued it is more likely that the emails were leaked from inside, not hacked from outside. On this front, the most persuasive case was made by a group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, former employees of the US intelligence agencies who distinguished themselves in 2003 by debunking Colin Powell's claim that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, hours after Powell had presented his pseudo-evidence at the UN. ..."
"... The crucial issue here and elsewhere is the exclusion from public discussion of any critical perspectives on the orthodox narrative, even the perspectives of people with professional credentials and a solid track record. ..."
"... Sceptical voices, such as those of the VIPS, have been drowned out by a din of disinformation. Flagrantly false stories, like the Washington Post report that the Russians had hacked into the Vermont electrical grid, are published, then retracted 24 hours later. Sometimes – like the stories about Russian interference in the French and German elections – they are not retracted even after they have been discredited. These stories have been thoroughly debunked by French and German intelligence services but continue to hover, poisoning the atmosphere, confusing debate. ..."
"... The consequence is a spreading confusion that envelops everything. Epistemological nihilism looms, but some people and institutions have more power than others to define what constitutes an agreed-on reality. ..."
"... More genuine insurgencies are in the making, which confront corporate power and connect domestic with foreign policy, but they face an uphill battle against the entrenched money and power of the Democratic leadership – the likes of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, the Clintons and the DNC. Russiagate offers Democratic elites a way to promote party unity against Trump-Putin, while the DNC purges Sanders's supporters. ..."
"... Fusion GPS eventually produced the trash, a lurid account written by the former British MI6 intelligence agent Christopher Steele, based on hearsay purchased from anonymous Russian sources. Amid prostitutes and golden showers, a story emerged: the Russian government had been blackmailing and bribing Donald Trump for years, on the assumption that he would become president some day and serve the Kremlin's interests. In this fantastic tale, Putin becomes a preternaturally prescient schemer. Like other accusations of collusion, this one has become vaguer over time, adding to the murky atmosphere without ever providing any evidence. ..."
"... Yet the FBI apparently took the Steele dossier seriously enough to include a summary of it in a secret appendix to the Intelligence Community Assessment. Two weeks before the inauguration, James Comey, the director of the FBI, described the dossier to Trump. After Comey's briefing was leaked to the press, the website Buzzfeed published the dossier in full, producing hilarity and hysteria in the Washington establishment. ..."
"... The Steele dossier inhabits a shadowy realm where ideology and intelligence, disinformation and revelation overlap. It is the antechamber to the wider system of epistemological nihilism created by various rival factions in the intelligence community: the 'tree of smoke' that, for the novelist Denis Johnson, symbolised CIA operations in Vietnam. ..."
"... Yet the Democratic Party has now embarked on a full-scale rehabilitation of the intelligence community – or at least the part of it that supports the notion of Russian hacking. (We can be sure there is disagreement behind the scenes.) And it is not only the Democratic establishment that is embracing the deep state. Some of the party's base, believing Trump and Putin to be joined at the hip, has taken to ranting about 'treason' like a reconstituted John Birch Society. ..."
"... The Democratic Party has now developed a new outlook on the world, a more ambitious partnership between liberal humanitarian interventionists and neoconservative militarists than existed under the cautious Obama. This may be the most disastrous consequence for the Democratic Party of the new anti-Russian orthodoxy: the loss of the opportunity to formulate a more humane and coherent foreign policy. The obsession with Putin has erased any possibility of complexity from the Democratic world picture, creating a void quickly filled by the monochrome fantasies of Hillary Clinton and her exceptionalist allies. ..."
"... For people like Max Boot and Robert Kagan, war is a desirable state of affairs, especially when viewed from the comfort of their keyboards, and the rest of the world – apart from a few bad guys – is filled with populations who want to build societies just like ours: pluralistic, democratic and open for business. This view is difficult to challenge when it cloaks itself in humanitarian sentiment. There is horrific suffering in the world; the US has abundant resources to help relieve it; the moral imperative is clear. There are endless forms of international engagement that do not involve military intervention. But it is the path taken by US policy often enough that one may suspect humanitarian rhetoric is nothing more than window-dressing for a more mundane geopolitics – one that defines the national interest as global and virtually limitless. ..."
"... The prospect of impeaching Trump and removing him from office by convicting him of collusion with Russia has created an atmosphere of almost giddy anticipation among leading Democrats, allowing them to forget that the rest of the Republican Party is composed of many politicians far more skilful in Washington's ways than their president will ever be. ..."
"... They are posing an overdue challenge to the long con of neoliberalism, and the technocratic arrogance that led to Clinton's defeat in Rust Belt states. Recognising that the current leadership will not bring about significant change, they are seeking funding from outside the DNC. ..."
"... Democrat leaders have persuaded themselves (and much of their base) that all the republic needs is a restoration of the status quo ante Trump. They remain oblivious to popular impatience with familiar formulas. ..."
"... Democratic insurgents are also developing a populist critique of the imperial hubris that has sponsored multiple failed crusades, extorted disproportionate sacrifice from the working class and provoked support for Trump, who presented himself (however misleadingly) as an opponent of open-ended interventionism. On foreign policy, the insurgents face an even more entrenched opposition than on domestic policy: a bipartisan consensus aflame with outrage at the threat to democracy supposedly posed by Russian hacking. Still, they may have found a tactical way forward, by focusing on the unequal burden borne by the poor and working class in the promotion and maintenance of American empire. ..."
"... This approach animates Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis, a 33-page document whose authors include Norman Solomon, founder of the web-based insurgent lobby RootsAction.org. 'The Democratic Party's claims of fighting for "working families" have been undermined by its refusal to directly challenge corporate power, enabling Trump to masquerade as a champion of the people,' Autopsy announces. ..."
"... Clinton's record of uncritical commitment to military intervention allowed Trump to have it both ways, playing to jingoist resentment while posing as an opponent of protracted and pointless war. ..."
"... If the insurgent movements within the Democratic Party begin to formulate an intelligent foreign policy critique, a re-examination may finally occur. And the world may come into sharper focus as a place where American power, like American virtue, is limited. For this Democrat, that is an outcome devoutly to be wished. It's a long shot, but there is something happening out there. ..."
Jan 04, 2018 | lrb.co.uk

American politics have rarely presented a more disheartening spectacle. The repellent and dangerous antics of Donald Trump are troubling enough, but so is the Democratic Party leadership's failure to take in the significance of the 2016 election campaign. Bernie Sanders's challenge to Hillary Clinton, combined with Trump's triumph, revealed the breadth of popular anger at politics as usual – the blend of neoliberal domestic policy and interventionist foreign policy that constitutes consensus in Washington. Neoliberals celebrate market utility as the sole criterion of worth; interventionists exalt military adventure abroad as a means of fighting evil in order to secure global progress . Both agendas have proved calamitous for most Americans. Many registered their disaffection in 2016. Sanders is a social democrat and Trump a demagogic mountebank, but their campaigns underscored a widespread repudiation of the Washington consensus. For about a week after the election, pundits discussed the possibility of a more capacious Democratic strategy. It appeared that the party might learn something from Clinton's defeat. Then everything changed.

... ... ...

[Dec 31, 2017] Anti-Populism Ideology of the Ruling Class by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... ' Anti-populism' is the simple ruling class formula for covering-up their real agenda, which is pro-militarist, pro-imperialist (globalization), pro-'rebels' (i.e. mercenary terrorists working for regime change), pro crisis makers and pro-financial swindlers. ..."
"... The economic origins of ' anti-populism' are rooted in the deep and repeated crises of capitalism and the need to deflect and discredit mass discontent and demoralize the popular classes in struggle. By demonizing ' populism', the elites seek to undermine the rising tide of anger over the elite-imposed wage cuts, the rise of low-paid temporary jobs and the massive increase in the reserve army of cheap immigrant labor to compete with displaced native workers. ..."
"... Demonization of independent popular movements ignores the fundamental programmatic differences and class politics of genuine populist struggles compared with the contemporary right-wing capitalist political scarecrows and clowns. ..."
"... The anti-populist ideologues label President Trump a 'populist' when his policies and proposals are the exact opposite. Trump champions the repeal of all pro-labor and work safety regulation, as well as the slashing of public health insurance programs while reducing corporate taxes for the ultra-elite. ..."
"... The media's ' anti-populists' ideologues denounce pro-business rightwing racists as ' populists' . In Italy, Finland, Holland, Austria, Germany and France anti-working class parties are called ' populist' for attacking immigrants instead of bankers and militarists. ..."
"... In other words, the key to understanding contemporary ' anti-populism' is to see its role in preempting and undermining the emergence of authentic populist movements while convincing middle class voters to continue to vote for crisis-prone, austerity-imposing neo-liberal regimes. ' Anti-populism' has become the opium (or OxyContin) of frightened middle class voters. ..."
Jul 07, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Throughout the US and European corporate and state media, right and left, we are told that ' populism' has become the overarching threat to democracy, freedom and . . . free markets. The media's ' anti-populism' campaign has been used and abused by ruling elites and their academic and intellectual camp followers as the principal weapon to distract, discredit and destroy the rising tide of mass discontent with ruling class-imposed austerity programs, the accelerating concentration of wealth and the deepening inequalities.

We will begin by examining the conceptual manipulation of ' populism' and its multiple usages. Then we will turn to the historic economic origins of populism and anti-populism. Finally, we will critically analyze the contemporary movements and parties dubbed ' populist' by the ideologues of ' anti-populism' .

Conceptual Manipulation

In order to understand the current ideological manipulation accompanying ' anti-populism ' it is necessary to examine the historical roots of populism as a popular movement.

Populism emerged during the 19 th and 20 th century as an ideology, movement and government in opposition to autocracy, feudalism, capitalism, imperialism and socialism. In the United States, populist leaders led agrarian struggles backed by millions of small farmers in opposition to bankers, railroad magnates and land speculators. Opposing monopolistic practices of the 'robber barons', the populist movement supported broad-based commercial agriculture, access to low interest farm credit and reduced transport costs.

In all cases, the populist governments in Latin America were based on a coalition of nationalist capitalists, urban workers and the rural poor. In some notable cases, nationalist military officers brought populist governments to power. What they had in common was their opposition to foreign capital and its local supporters and exporters ('compradores'), bankers and their elite military collaborators. Populists promoted 'third way' politics by opposing imperialism on the right, and socialism and communism on the left. The populists supported the redistribution of wealth but not the expropriation of property. They sought to reconcile national capitalists and urban workers. They opposed class struggle but supported state intervention in the economy and import-substitution as a development strategy.

Imperialist powers were the leading anti-populists of that period. They defended property privileges and condemned nationalism as 'authoritarian' and undemocratic. They demonized the mass support for populism as 'a threat to Western Christian civilization'. Not infrequently, the anti-populists ideologues would label the national-populists as 'fascists' . . . even as they won numerous elections at different times and in a variety of countries.

The historical experience of populism, in theory and practice, has nothing to do with what today's ' anti-populists' in the media are calling ' populism' . In reality, current anti-populism is still a continuation of anti-communism , a political weapon to disarm working class and popular movements. It advances the class interest of the ruling class. Both 'anti's' have been orchestrated by ruling class ideologues seeking to blur the real nature of their 'pro-capitalist' privileged agenda and practice. Presenting your program as 'pro-capitalist', pro-inequalities, pro-tax evasion and pro-state subsidies for the elite is more difficult to defend at the ballot box than to claim to be ' anti-populist' .

' Anti-populism' is the simple ruling class formula for covering-up their real agenda, which is pro-militarist, pro-imperialist (globalization), pro-'rebels' (i.e. mercenary terrorists working for regime change), pro crisis makers and pro-financial swindlers.

The economic origins of ' anti-populism' are rooted in the deep and repeated crises of capitalism and the need to deflect and discredit mass discontent and demoralize the popular classes in struggle. By demonizing ' populism', the elites seek to undermine the rising tide of anger over the elite-imposed wage cuts, the rise of low-paid temporary jobs and the massive increase in the reserve army of cheap immigrant labor to compete with displaced native workers.

Historic 'anti-populism' has its roots in the inability of capitalism to secure popular consent via elections. It reflects their anger and frustration at their failure to grow the economy, to conquer and exploit independent countries and to finance growing fiscal deficits.

The Amalgamation of Historical Populism with the Contemporary Fabricated Populism

What the current anti-populists ideologues label ' populism' has little to do with the historical movements.

Unlike all of the past populist governments, which sought to nationalize strategic industries, none of the current movements and parties, denounced as 'populist' by the media, are anti-imperialists. In fact, the current ' populists' attack the lowest classes and defend the imperialist-allied capitalist elites. The so-called current ' populists' support imperialist wars and bank swindlers, unlike the historical populists who were anti-war and anti-bankers.

Ruling class ideologues simplistically conflate a motley collection of rightwing capitalist parties and organizations with the pro-welfare state, pro-worker and pro-farmer parties of the past in order to discredit and undermine the burgeoning popular multi-class movements and regimes.

Demonization of independent popular movements ignores the fundamental programmatic differences and class politics of genuine populist struggles compared with the contemporary right-wing capitalist political scarecrows and clowns.

One has only to compare the currently demonized ' populist' Donald Trump with the truly populist US President Franklin Roosevelt, who promoted social welfare, unionization, labor rights, increased taxes on the rich, income redistribution, and genuine health and workplace safety legislation within a multi-class coalition to see how absurd the current media campaign has become.

The anti-populist ideologues label President Trump a 'populist' when his policies and proposals are the exact opposite. Trump champions the repeal of all pro-labor and work safety regulation, as well as the slashing of public health insurance programs while reducing corporate taxes for the ultra-elite.

The media's ' anti-populists' ideologues denounce pro-business rightwing racists as ' populists' . In Italy, Finland, Holland, Austria, Germany and France anti-working class parties are called ' populist' for attacking immigrants instead of bankers and militarists.

In other words, the key to understanding contemporary ' anti-populism' is to see its role in preempting and undermining the emergence of authentic populist movements while convincing middle class voters to continue to vote for crisis-prone, austerity-imposing neo-liberal regimes. ' Anti-populism' has become the opium (or OxyContin) of frightened middle class voters.

The anti-populism of the ruling class serves to confuse the 'right' with the 'left'; to sidelight the latter and promote the former; to amalgamate rightwing 'rallies' with working class strikes; and to conflate rightwing demagogues with popular mass leaders.

Unfortunately, too many leftist academics and pundits are loudly chanting in the 'anti-populist' chorus. They have failed to see themselves among the shock troops of the right. The left ideologues join the ruling class in condemning the corporate populists in the name of 'anti-fascism'. Leftwing writers, claiming to 'combat the far-right enemies of the people' , overlook the fact that they are 'fellow-travelling' with an anti-populist ruling class, which has imposed savage cuts in living standards, spread imperial wars of aggression resulting in millions of desperate refugees- not immigrants –and concentrated immense wealth.

The bankruptcy of today's ' anti-populist' left will leave them sitting in their coffee shops, scratching at fleas, as the mass popular movements take to the streets!

[Dec 28, 2017] From Snowden To Russia-gate - The CIA And The Media

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The promotion of the alleged Russian election hacking in certain media may have grown from the successful attempts of U.S. intelligence services to limit the publication of the NSA files obtained by Edward Snowden. ..."
"... In May 2013 Edward Snowden fled to Hongkong and handed internal documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) to four journalists, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill of the Guardian and separately to Barton Gellman who worked for the Washington Post . ..."
"... In July 2013 the Guardian was forced by the British government to destroy its copy of the Snowden archive. ..."
"... In August 2013 Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post for some $250 million. In 2012 Bezos, the founder, largest share holder and CEO of Amazon, had already a cooperation with the CIA. Together they invested in a Canadian quantum computing company. In March 2013 Amazon signed a $600 million deal to provide computing services for the CIA. ..."
"... The motivation for the Bezos and Omidyar to do this is not clear. Bezos is estimated to own a shameful $90 billion. The Washington Post buy is chump-change for him. Omidyar has a net worth of some $9.3 billion. But the use of billionaires to mask what are in fact intelligence operations is not new. The Ford Foundation has for decades been a CIA front , George Soros' Open Society foundation is one of the premier "regime change" operations, well versed in instigating "color revolutions" ..."
"... It would have been reasonable if the cooperation between those billionaires and the intelligence agencies had stopped after the NSA leaks were secured. But it seems that strong cooperation of the Bezos and Omidyar outlets with the CIA and others continue. ..."
"... The Washington Post , which has a much bigger reach, is the prime outlet for "Russia-gate", the false claims by parts of the U.S. intelligence community and the Clinton campaign, that Russia attempted to influence U.S. elections or even "colluded" with Trump. ..."
"... The revelation that the sole Russiagate "evidence" was the so-called Steele Dossier - i.e. opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign - which was used by the intelligence community to not only begin the public assertions of Trump's perfidy but to then initiate FISA approved surveillance on the Trump campaign, that is truly astonishing. Instructive then that the NY Times, Washington Post, etc have yet to acknowledge these facts to their readers, and instead have effectively doubled down on the story, insisting that the Russiagate allegations are established fact and constitute "objective reality." That suggests this fake news story will continue indefinitely. ..."
"... What we see here is these bastions of establishment thinking in the USA promoting "objective reality" as partisan - i.e. there is a Clinton reality versus a Trump reality, or a Russian reality versus a "Western" reality, facts and documentation be damned. This divorce from objectivity is a symptom of the overall decline of American institutions, an indicate a future hard, rather than soft, landing near the end of the road. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The promotion of the alleged Russian election hacking in certain media may have grown from the successful attempts of U.S. intelligence services to limit the publication of the NSA files obtained by Edward Snowden.

In May 2013 Edward Snowden fled to Hongkong and handed internal documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) to four journalists, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill of the Guardian and separately to Barton Gellman who worked for the Washington Post . Some of those documents were published by Glenn Greenwald in the Guardian , others by Barton Gellman in the Washington Post . Several other international news site published additional material though the mass of NSA papers that Snowden allegedly acquired never saw public daylight.

In July 2013 the Guardian was forced by the British government to destroy its copy of the Snowden archive.

In August 2013 Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post for some $250 million. In 2012 Bezos, the founder, largest share holder and CEO of Amazon, had already a cooperation with the CIA. Together they invested in a Canadian quantum computing company. In March 2013 Amazon signed a $600 million deal to provide computing services for the CIA.

In October 2013 Pierre Omidyar, the owner of Ebay, founded First Look Media and hired Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. The total planned investment was said to be $250 million. It took up to February 2014 until the new organization launched its first site, the Intercept . Only a few NSA stories appeared on it. The Intercept is a rather mediocre site. Its management is said to be chaotic . It publishes few stories of interests and one might ask if it ever was meant to be a serious outlet. Omidyar has worked, together with the U.S. government, to force regime change onto Ukraine. He had strong ties with the Obama administration.

Snowden had copies of some 20,000 to 58,000 NSA files . Only 1,182 have been published . Bezos and Omidyar obviously helped the NSA to keep more than 95% of the Snowden archive away from the public. The Snowden papers were practically privatized into trusted hands of Silicon Valley billionaires with ties to the various secret services and the Obama administration.

The motivation for the Bezos and Omidyar to do this is not clear. Bezos is estimated to own a shameful $90 billion. The Washington Post buy is chump-change for him. Omidyar has a net worth of some $9.3 billion. But the use of billionaires to mask what are in fact intelligence operations is not new. The Ford Foundation has for decades been a CIA front , George Soros' Open Society foundation is one of the premier "regime change" operations, well versed in instigating "color revolutions".

It would have been reasonable if the cooperation between those billionaires and the intelligence agencies had stopped after the NSA leaks were secured. But it seems that strong cooperation of the Bezos and Omidyar outlets with the CIA and others continue.

The Intercept burned a intelligence leaker, Realty Winner, who had trusted its journalists to keep her protected. It smeared the President of Syria as neo-nazi based on an (intentional?) mistranslation of one of his speeches. It additionally hired a Syrian supporter of the CIA's "regime change by Jihadis" in Syria. Despite its pretense of "fearless, adversarial journalism" it hardly deviates from U.S. policies.

The Washington Post , which has a much bigger reach, is the prime outlet for "Russia-gate", the false claims by parts of the U.S. intelligence community and the Clinton campaign, that Russia attempted to influence U.S. elections or even "colluded" with Trump.

Just today it provides two stories and one op-ed that lack any factual evidence for the anti-Russian claims made in them.

In Kremlin trolls burned across the Internet as Washington debated options the writers insinuate that some anonymous writer who published a few pieces on Counterpunch and elsewhere was part of a Russian operation. They provide zero evidence to back that claim up. Whatever that writer wrote (see list at end) was run of the mill stuff that had little to do with the U.S. election. The piece then dives into various cyber-operations against Russia that the Obama and Trump administration have discussed.

A second story in the paper today is based on "a classified GRU report obtained by The Washington Post." It claims that the Russian military intelligence service GRU started a social media operation one day after the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was illegally removed from his office in a U.S. regime change operation . What the story lists as alleged GRU puppet postings reads like normal internet talk of people opposed to the fascist regime change in Kiev. The Washington Post leaves completely unexplained who handed it an alleged GRU report from 2014, who classified it and how, if at all, it verified its veracity. To me the piece and the assertions therein have a strong odor of bovine excrement.

An op-ed in the very same Washington Post has a similar smell. It is written by the intelligence flunkies Michael Morell and Mike Rogers. Morell had hoped to become CIA boss under a President Hillary Clinton. The op-ed (which includes a serious misunderstanding of "deterrence") asserts that Russia never stopped its cyberattacks on the United States :

Russia's information operations tactics since the election are more numerous than can be listed here . But to get a sense of the breadth of Russian activity, consider the messaging spread by Kremlin-oriented accounts on Twitter, which cybersecurity and disinformation experts have tracked as part of the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy.

The author link to this page which claims to list Twitter hashtags that are currently used by Russian influence agents. Apparently the top issue Russia's influence agents currently promote is "#merrychristmas".


bigger

When the authors claim Russian operations are "more numerous than can be listed here" they practically admit that they have not even one plausible operation they could cite. Its simply obfuscation to justify their call for more political and military measures against Russia. This again to distract from the real reasons Clinton lost the election and to introduce a new Cold War for the benefit of weapon producers and U.S. influence in Europe.

Cont. reading: From Snowden To Russia-gate - The CIA And The Media

11:53 AM | Comments (137)

G , Dec 26, 2017 12:10:03 PM | 1

If what you allege is true about Greenwald and the Intercept, then why hasn't Snowden spoken out about it yet? Surely he would have said something about the Intercept and Greenwald keeping important stories buried by now. Yet, as far as I can tell, he has a good relationship with Greenwald. I find it hard to believe hat a man who literally gave up everything he had in life to leak important docs would remain silent for so long about a publishing cover up. I don't really like the Intercept and I think your analysis of its content is accurate, but I do find it hard to believe that the NSA docs were "bought" back by the CIA.
Ort , Dec 26, 2017 1:41:21 PM | 16
@G | 1

If what you allege is true about Greenwald and the Intercept, then why hasn't Snowden spoken out about it yet?
_____________________________________________________

My understanding is that early on, Snowden placed his trove of documents in the exclusive care of Glenn Greenwald and his associates. Although Snowden has since become a public figure in his own right, and his opinions on state-security events and issues are solicited, as far as I know Snowden has no direct responsibility for managing the material he downloaded.

I haven't followed Snowden closely enough to know how familiar he may be with the contents of the reported "20,000 to 58,000 NSA files" turned over to GG/Omidyar. Snowden presumably took pains to acquire items of interest in his cache as he accumulated classified material, but even if he has extraordinary powers of recall he may not remember precisely what remains unreleased.

FWIW, I was troubled from the first by one of the mainstays of GG's defense, or rationale, when it became clear that he was the principal, and perhaps sole, executive "curator" of the Snowden material. In order to reassure and placate nervous "patriots"-- and GG calls himself a "patriot"-- he repeatedly emphasized that great care was being taken to vet the leaked information before releasing it.

GG's role as whistleblower Snowden's enabler and facilitator was generally hailed uncritically by progressive-liberals and civil-liberties advocates, to a point where public statements that should've raised skeptical doubts and questions were generally passively accepted by complacent admirers.

Specifically, my crap detectors signaled "red alert" early on, when Greenwald (still affiliated with "The Guardian", IIRC) took great pains to announce that his team was working closely with the US/UK governments to vet and screen Snowden's material before releasing any of it; GG repeatedly asserted that he was reviewing the material with the relevant state-security agencies to ensure that none of the released material would compromise or jeopardize government operatives and/or national security.

WTF? Bad enough that Greenwald was requiring the world to exclusively trust his judgment in deciding what should be released and what shouldn't. He was also making it clear that he wasn't exactly committed to disclosing "the worst" of the material "though the heavens fall".

In effect, as GG was telling the world that he could be trusted to manage the leaked information responsibly, he was also telling the world that it simply had to trust his judgment in this crucial role.

To me, there was clearly a subliminal message for both Western authorities and the public: don't worry, we're conscientious, patriotic leak-masters. We're not going to irresponsibly disclose anything too radical, or politically/socially destabilizing.

GG and the Omidyar Group have set themselves up as an independent "brand" in the new field of whistleblower/hacker impresario and leak-broker.

Like only buying NFL-approved merchandise, or fox-approved eggs, the public is being encouraged to only buy (into) Intercept-approved Snowden Leaks™. It's a going concern, which lends itself much more to the "modified limited hangout" approach than freely tossing all the biggest eggs out of the basket.

GG found an opportunity to augment his rising career as a self-made investigative journalist and civil-liberties advocate. Now he's sitting pretty, the celebrity point man for a lucrative modified limited hangout enterprise. What is wrong with this picture?

Bart Hansen , Dec 26, 2017 1:51:59 PM | 17
#1: I suspect that Snowden needs Glenn and Laura as liaisons to the outside world.
G , Dec 26, 2017 2:05:23 PM | 18
@16 I just see no evidence of that aside from fitting the narrative of people who are convinced of a cover up in leaked docs. Moreover, there is no way Russia would continue to offer Snowden asylum if he was gov agent. I'm sure Russian intelligence did a very thorough background check on him.

@17 that's simply not true. He regularly tweets, gives online talks and publishes on his own. He has not used either Poitras or Greenwald as a means of communication for years. And he has never dropped a single hint of being disappointed or frustrated with how documents and info was published.

It just seems so implausible given the total lack of any sign of Snowden's dissatisfaction.

jayc , Dec 26, 2017 2:31:15 PM | 22
The revelation that the sole Russiagate "evidence" was the so-called Steele Dossier - i.e. opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign - which was used by the intelligence community to not only begin the public assertions of Trump's perfidy but to then initiate FISA approved surveillance on the Trump campaign, that is truly astonishing. Instructive then that the NY Times, Washington Post, etc have yet to acknowledge these facts to their readers, and instead have effectively doubled down on the story, insisting that the Russiagate allegations are established fact and constitute "objective reality." That suggests this fake news story will continue indefinitely.

What we see here is these bastions of establishment thinking in the USA promoting "objective reality" as partisan - i.e. there is a Clinton reality versus a Trump reality, or a Russian reality versus a "Western" reality, facts and documentation be damned. This divorce from objectivity is a symptom of the overall decline of American institutions, an indicate a future hard, rather than soft, landing near the end of the road.

Jen , Dec 26, 2017 2:50:16 PM | 25
G @ 1 and 18: My understanding is that Edward Snowden has been advised (warned?) by the Russian government or his lawyer in Moscow not to reveal any more than he has said so far. The asylum Moscow has offered him may be dependent on his keeping discreet. That may include not saying much about The Intercept, in case his communications are followed by the NSA or any other of the various US intel agencies which could lead to their tracking his physical movements in Russia and enable any US-connected agent or agency (including one based in Russia) to trace him, arrest him or kill him, and cover up and frame the seizure or murder in such a way as to place suspicion or blame on the Russian government or on local criminal elements in Russia.

I believe that Snowden does have a job in Russia and possibly this job does not permit him the time to say any more than what he currently tweets or says online.

There is nothing in MoA's article to suggest that Glenn Greenwald is deliberately burying stories in The Intercept. B has said that its management is chaotic which could suggest among other things that Greenwald himself is dissatisfied with its current operation.

G , Dec 26, 2017 2:57:40 PM | 26
@21 I'm not disputing that moneyed interests might have been leaned on by the CIA to stop publishing sensitive info. What I'm disputing is the idea that people like Greenwald have deliberately with-held information that is in the public interest. I doubt that, regardless of the strength of the Intercept as a publication.

@25 What interest would the Russian gov have in helping protect NSA? I assume Russia loves the idea of the US Intel agencies being embarrassed. Snowden speaks his mind about plenty of domestic and international events in US. I have never seen him act like he's being censored.

Jen , Dec 26, 2017 3:46:44 PM | 31
G @ 25: Moscow would have no interest in helping protect the NSA or any other US intel agency. The Russians would have advised Snowden not to say more than he has said so far, not because they are interested in helping the NSA but because they can only protect him as long as he is discreet and does not try to say or publish any more that would jeopardise his safety or give Washington an excuse to pressure Moscow to extradite him back to the US. That would include placing more sanctions on Russia until Snowden is given up.

There is the possibility also that Snowden trusts (or trusted) Greenwald to know what to do with the NSA documents. Perhaps that trust was naively placed - we do not know.

Red Ryder , Dec 26, 2017 3:48:47 PM | 33
b, a big exposition of facts, rich in links to more facts.

This is important material for all to understand.

Snowden is "the squirrel over there!" A distraction turned into a hope.
Compared to Assange, who is being slow-martyred in captivity, Snowden is a boy playing with gadgets.

Why did not Snowden make certain a copy of his theft went to Wikileaks? That would have been insurance.
Since he did not, it all could be just a distraction.

What is known about the Snowden affair is we received proof of what we knew. Not much else. For those who didn't know, they received news.
And ever since, the shape of things from the Deep State/Shadow Government/IC has been lies and warmongering against American freedoms and world cooperation among nations.

Fascism is corporate + the police state. The US government is a pure fascist tyranny that also protects the Empire and Global Hegemony.

We connect the dots and it's always the same picture. It was this way in the 60s,70s,80s,90s, 00s, and this forlorn decade.
Fascism more bold each decade. Billionaires and millionaires have always been in the mix.

[Dec 28, 2017] On your surmise that Putin prefers Trump to Hillary and would thus have incentive to influence the election, I beg to differ. Putin is one smart statesman; he knows very well it makes no difference which candidates gets elected in US elections.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I accept your point that the Democrats and the Republicans are two sides of the same coin, but it's important to understand that Putin is deeply conservative and very risk averse. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton may be a threat to Russia but she knows the "rules" and is very predictable, while Trump doesn't know the rules and appears to act on a whim ..."
"... However, given the problems that Hillary Clinton had to overcome to get elected, backing her against Trump would be risky. So the highly risk averse Putin would logically stay out of the election entirely and all the claims of Russia hacking the election are fake news. ..."
"... As for the alleged media campaign, my response is "so what!". Western media, including state-owned media, interferes around the world all the time so complaining about Russian state-owned media doing the same is pure hypocrisy and should be ignored. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ghost Ship , Dec 27, 2017 10:17:37 AM | 92

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Dec 26, 2017 3:56:16 PM | 35
On your surmise that Putin prefers Trump to Hillary and would thus have incentive to influence the election, I beg to differ. Putin is one smart statesman; he knows very well it makes no difference which candidates gets elected in US elections.

I accept your point that the Democrats and the Republicans are two sides of the same coin, but it's important to understand that Putin is deeply conservative and very risk averse.

Hillary Clinton may be a threat to Russia but she knows the "rules" and is very predictable, while Trump doesn't know the rules and appears to act on a whim , so if Putin were to have interfered in the 2016 presidential election, logic would suggest that he would do so on Hillary Clinton's side. However, given the problems that Hillary Clinton had to overcome to get elected, backing her against Trump would be risky. So the highly risk averse Putin would logically stay out of the election entirely and all the claims of Russia hacking the election are fake news.

As for the alleged media campaign, my response is "so what!". Western media, including state-owned media, interferes around the world all the time so complaining about Russian state-owned media doing the same is pure hypocrisy and should be ignored.

[Dec 19, 2017] The Great Twitter Purge -- Corporate Cultural Marxists Overplay Hand by James Kirkpatrick

Notable quotes:
"... Since Twitter is an enabler (part of the muscle) of the Deep State, the purges are no surprise. ..."
"... ... My point is merely to note, that the current vulgar, naked, gutless censorship by Twitter & other MSM establishment DOGS is ultimately aimed at ALL anti-consensus, anti-elite views, whether left or right. Internet search engines now consistently suppress search results for such sites as the World Socialist Website. ..."
"... What really terrifies the elites is the possibility of a revival of the actual Left (as distinct from the Fake Left). They're terrified that people might notice that the elites are waging a vicious class war against the non-elite classes. So anyone with genuine leftwing views can expect to be purged. ..."
"... The elites aren't really worried by the alt-right, a tiny and politically entirely insignificant group. In fact they love the alt-right. The alt-right serves the Emmanuel Goldstein role admirably. Their real targets will be traitors on the Left. And that means anyone who is genuinely leftist. ..."
"... An interesting aspect of the recent censorship is that you might think good capitalism requires serving every customer and hiring on merit, and that those who discriminate are only shooting themselves in the foot. I used to make this argument myself, but it's apparently faulty. The threat of angering powerful customers outweighs the benefit of tolerating weak and despised customers. ..."
Dec 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

Realist , December 19, 2017 at 8:51 am GMT

Since Twitter is an enabler (part of the muscle) of the Deep State, the purges are no surprise.
animalogic , December 19, 2017 at 9:12 am GMT
... My point is merely to note, that the current vulgar, naked, gutless censorship by Twitter & other MSM establishment DOGS is ultimately aimed at ALL anti-consensus, anti-elite views, whether left or right. Internet search engines now consistently suppress search results for such sites as the World Socialist Website.

You may wish to argue whether they are a bit more/bit less active against one side or the other. Fine, but don't forget: elites are less & less fearful of being caught censoring or suppressing freedom of expression. The attack on net neutrality is a major thrust in this campaign. This knife cuts BOTH ways: know your real enemy.

anony-mouse , December 19, 2017 at 5:27 pm GMT
But apparently not a single Unz.com columnist. There's two ways to look at it. Unz.com columnists are too powerful and well-known to be censored. Or nobody important knows who they are.
dfordoom , Website December 19, 2017 at 10:37 pm GMT
@animalogic

My point is merely to note, that the current vulgar, naked, gutless censorship by Twitter & other MSM establishment DOGS is ultimately aimed at ALL anti-consensus, anti-elite views, whether left or right.

What really terrifies the elites is the possibility of a revival of the actual Left (as distinct from the Fake Left). They're terrified that people might notice that the elites are waging a vicious class war against the non-elite classes. So anyone with genuine leftwing views can expect to be purged.

The elites aren't really worried by the alt-right, a tiny and politically entirely insignificant group. In fact they love the alt-right. The alt-right serves the Emmanuel Goldstein role admirably. Their real targets will be traitors on the Left. And that means anyone who is genuinely leftist.

jack daniels , December 19, 2017 at 11:13 pm GMT
An interesting aspect of the recent censorship is that you might think good capitalism requires serving every customer and hiring on merit, and that those who discriminate are only shooting themselves in the foot. I used to make this argument myself, but it's apparently faulty. The threat of angering powerful customers outweighs the benefit of tolerating weak and despised customers.

Now that censorship has been established as a normal business option we can expect venues who do not censor to be targets of suspicion. So it may be that we are going to need the government to step in and require information channels not to discriminate, just as UPS doesn't care whether a package was sent by a racist or fascist, at least not in peacetime.

[Dec 16, 2017] Any time you hear or read a Russian conspiracy theory in the MSM or elsewhere, substitute the words "Jews" for "Russians" and the words "International Jewry" for "Russia". Then re-read the sentence.

Dec 16, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Sid Finster , , December 15, 2017 at 11:16 am

Any time you hear or read a Russian conspiracy theory in the MSM or elsewhere, substitute the words "Jews" for "Russians" and the words "International Jewry" for "Russia". Then re-read the sentence.

See how ugly that sentence now looks?

So why should we rightfully decry such racism against Jews or others, but applaud the same sort of racism when it is directed against Russians?

[Dec 16, 2017] The Real Crimes of Russiagate by Patrick J. Buchanan

In five month is is clear how wrong Pat Buchanan was. I expected from him a much better analysis with less prejudies. But he is absolutely right about leaks. Actually now it is clear that one of the requests from Trump team to Russian ambassador was about help Israel in UN, so this not a Russiagate. There is also suspection that Strzok was the person who had thrown Flynn under the bus and propagated Steele dossier within FBI. May be acting as Brennan agent inside FBI.
Notable quotes:
"... Just days into Trump's presidency, a rifle-shot intel community leak of a December meeting between Trump national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn and Russia's ambassador forced the firing of Flynn. ..."
"... Is it not monumental hypocrisy to denounce Russia's hacking of the computers of Democratic political leaders and institutions, while splashing the contents of the theft all over Page 1 ..."
"... Not only do our Beltway media traffic in stolen secrets and stolen goods, but the knowledge that they will publish secrets and protect those who leak them is an incentive for bureaucratic disloyalty and criminality. ..."
"... Our mainstream media are like the fellow who avoids the risk of stealing cars, but wants to fence them once stolen and repainted. ..."
"... Do the American people not have a "right to know" who are the leakers within the government who are daily spilling secrets to destroy their president? Are the identities of the saboteurs not a legitimate subject of investigation? Ought they not be exposed and rooted out? ..."
"... Where is the special prosecutor to investigate the collusion between bureaucrats and members of the press who traffic in the stolen secrets of the republic? ..."
"... Bottom line: Trump is facing a stacked deck. ..."
"... People inside the executive branch are daily providing fresh meat to feed the scandal. Anti-Trump media are transfixed by it. It is the Watergate of their generation. They can smell the blood in the water. The Pulitzers are calling. And they love it, for they loathe Donald Trump both for who he is and what he stands for. ..."
"... Sure, the media today are more deranged than ever. Media are also more cynical and in the control of globalists. But they got nothing on Russia. They have the cry of Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, but unless they can provide solid evidence, this is nothing. ..."
"... Pat Buchanan does his best – but apparently he just can't bring himself to doubt the integrity of America's "intelligence" services – even after their epic failure &/or deception when it came to Iraq's non-existent WMD's. "Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks." What reason do we have to believe this, other than the worthless word of these perpetually lying creeps? ..."
"... No it's not. The Republic died a long time ago: The Empire is in that rough middle period where the Praetorians choose the leader who suits them most, but occasionally have an unsuitable one slip past them. This ends with the barbarians moving in to assume all the trappings of being a Roman but lead the empire to a final crushing defeat at the hands of worse barbarians. ..."
"... There's still no need, unless Buchanan knows something a lot more significant than what he covers here, to give any credence whatsoever to the "Russia influencing the US election" black propaganda campaign. It should still be laughed at, rather than given the slightest credibility, whilst, as Buchanan does indeed do repeatedly, turning the issue upon the true criminals – those in US government circles leaking US security information to try to influence US politics. ..."
"... If there was any attempt by Russia to "influence" the US election it was trivial, and should be put into context whenever it is mentioned. That context includes the longstanding and ongoing efforts by the US to interfere massively in other countries' (including Russia's) elections and governments, and the routine acceptance of foreign interference in US politics by Israel in particular. ..."
"... If Trump and his backers really wanted to put a halt to this laughable nonsense about foreign influence, he should start a high profile investigation of the nefarious "influencing" of US politics by foreign "agents of influence" in general, specifically including Israel and staffed by men who are not sympathetic to that country. ..."
Jul 18, 2017 | www.unz.com

For a year, the big question of Russiagate has boiled down to this: Did Donald Trump's campaign collude with the Russians in hacking the DNC? And until last week, the answer was "no."

As ex-CIA director Mike Morell said in March, "On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. There's no little campfire, there's no little candle, there's no spark."

Well, last week, it appeared there had been a fire in Trump Tower. On June 9, 2016, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with Russians -- in anticipation of promised dirt on Hillary Clinton's campaign. While not a crime, this was a blunder. For Donald Jr. had long insisted there had been no collusion with the Russians. Caught in flagrante, he went full Pinocchio for four days.

And as the details of that June 9 meeting spilled out, Trump defenders were left with egg on their faces, while anti-Trump media were able to keep the spotlight laser-focused on where they want it -- Russiagate.

This reality underscores a truth of our time. In the 19th century, power meant control of the means of production; today, power lies in control of the means of communication.

Who controls the media spotlight controls what people talk about and think about. And mainstream media are determined to keep that spotlight on Trump-Russia, and as far away as possible from their agenda -- breaking the Trump presidency and bringing him down.

Almost daily, there are leaks from the investigative and security arms of the U.S. government designed to damage this president.

Just days into Trump's presidency, a rifle-shot intel community leak of a December meeting between Trump national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn and Russia's ambassador forced the firing of Flynn.

An Oval Office meeting with the Russian foreign minister in which Trump disclosed that Israeli intelligence had ferreted out evidence that ISIS was developing computer bombs to explode on airliners was leaked. This alerted ISIS, damaged the president, and imperiled Israeli intelligence sources and methods.

Some of the leaks from national security and investigative agencies are felonies, not only violations of the leaker's solemn oath to protect secrets, but of federal law.

Yet the press is happy to collude with these leakers and to pay them in the coin they seek. First, by publishing the secrets the leakers want revealed. Second, by protecting them from exposure to arrest and prosecution for the crimes they are committing.

The mutual agendas of the deep-state leakers and the mainstream media mesh perfectly.

Consider the original Russiagate offense.

Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks. And who was the third and indispensable party in this "Tinker to Evers to Chance" double-play combination?

The media itself. While deploring Russian hacking as an "act of war" against "our democracy," the media published the fruits of the hacking. It was the media that revealed what Podesta wrote and how the DNC tilted the tables against Bernie Sanders.

If the media believed Russian hacking was a crime against our democracy, why did they publish the fruits of that crime?

Is it not monumental hypocrisy to denounce Russia's hacking of the computers of Democratic political leaders and institutions, while splashing the contents of the theft all over Page 1?

Not only do our Beltway media traffic in stolen secrets and stolen goods, but the knowledge that they will publish secrets and protect those who leak them is an incentive for bureaucratic disloyalty and criminality.

Our mainstream media are like the fellow who avoids the risk of stealing cars, but wants to fence them once stolen and repainted.

Some journalists know exactly who is leaking against Trump, but they are as protective of their colleagues' "sources" as of their own. Thus, the public is left in the dark as to what the real agenda is here, and who is sabotaging a president in whom they placed so much hope.

And thus does democracy die in darkness.

Do the American people not have a "right to know" who are the leakers within the government who are daily spilling secrets to destroy their president? Are the identities of the saboteurs not a legitimate subject of investigation? Ought they not be exposed and rooted out?

Where is the special prosecutor to investigate the collusion between bureaucrats and members of the press who traffic in the stolen secrets of the republic?

Bottom line: Trump is facing a stacked deck.

People inside the executive branch are daily providing fresh meat to feed the scandal. Anti-Trump media are transfixed by it. It is the Watergate of their generation. They can smell the blood in the water. The Pulitzers are calling. And they love it, for they loathe Donald Trump both for who he is and what he stands for.

It is hard to see when this ends, or how it ends well for the country.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

Copyright 2017 Creators.com. ← Russia Baiters and Putin Haters Category: Ideology Tags: American Media , Donald Trump , Russia

NoseytheDuke , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 5:27 am GMT

Pat, you are again presenting yourself to be a disinformation asset and are truly undermining your credibility here. The DNC and Podesta emails were leaked not hacked. Please write this out in full a hundred times on the blackboard or whiteboard of your choice. Maybe then it will sink in.
Priss Factor , Website Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 5:57 am GMT
There is nothing there. Let the media cry Russia Russia Russia forever. Trump can do other things. People will lose interest in this. This is different from Watergate because there really was a burglary and a coverup. There's nothing remotely like this here.

1. If Russians really did it, they did it on their own. Trump team had nothing to do with it.

2. If Russians didn't do it, this is just the media wasting its resources and energy on nothing.

Let the media keep digging and digging and digging where they is no gold. Let them be distracted by Trump does something real. Because Buchanan lived through Watergate, I think he's over-thinking this. It's like dejavu to him. Sure, the media today are more deranged than ever. Media are also more cynical and in the control of globalists. But they got nothing on Russia. They have the cry of Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, but unless they can provide solid evidence, this is nothing.

vinteuil , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 8:43 am GMT
Pat Buchanan does his best – but apparently he just can't bring himself to doubt the integrity of America's "intelligence" services – even after their epic failure &/or deception when it came to Iraq's non-existent WMD's. "Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks." What reason do we have to believe this, other than the worthless word of these perpetually lying creeps?
The Alarmist , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 9:37 am GMT

It is hard to see when this ends, or how it ends well for the country.

No it's not. The Republic died a long time ago: The Empire is in that rough middle period where the Praetorians choose the leader who suits them most, but occasionally have an unsuitable one slip past them. This ends with the barbarians moving in to assume all the trappings of being a Roman but lead the empire to a final crushing defeat at the hands of worse barbarians.

Randal , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 11:37 am GMT
Buchanan still being too reasonable towards the enemies of US democracy (the Democrats and their neocon Republican allies trying to undermine and overthrow the elected US President), imo.

There's still no need, unless Buchanan knows something a lot more significant than what he covers here, to give any credence whatsoever to the "Russia influencing the US election" black propaganda campaign. It should still be laughed at, rather than given the slightest credibility, whilst, as Buchanan does indeed do repeatedly, turning the issue upon the true criminals – those in US government circles leaking US security information to try to influence US politics.

Did Donald Trump's campaign collude with the Russians in hacking the DNC?

Clearly not, as far as anybody knows based upon information in the public domain. There's no evidence Russia's government hacked anything anyway. A meeting by campaign representatives with Russians claiming to have dirt on Trump's rival is not evidence of collusion in hacking.

Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks.

Again, Buchanan seems to be needlessly conceding ground to known liars and deluded zealots.

If there was any attempt by Russia to "influence" the US election it was trivial, and should be put into context whenever it is mentioned. That context includes the longstanding and ongoing efforts by the US to interfere massively in other countries' (including Russia's) elections and governments, and the routine acceptance of foreign interference in US politics by Israel in particular.

If Trump and his backers really wanted to put a halt to this laughable nonsense about foreign influence, he should start a high profile investigation of the nefarious "influencing" of US politics by foreign "agents of influence" in general, specifically including Israel and staffed by men who are not sympathetic to that country.

That would quickly result in the shutting down of mainstream media complaints about foreign influence.

Gg Mo , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 12:59 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke

Yup, His name was Seth Rich . (and let us never forget Michael Hastings and the Smith Mundt Modernization Act put in place for a Hillary win/steal.)

Gg Mo , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 1:05 pm GMT
Yipes -- What is the matter with Buchanan? Is he taking weird prescription drugs for Alzheimers ?

He seems to be a bit of an apologist for KNOWN liars and he doesn't seem to understand that the MSM is absolutely the mouthpiece for these agencies, populated with agents like Cooper and Mika etc etc etc

Andrei Martyanov , Website Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 1:45 pm GMT

It is hard to see when this ends, or how it ends well for the country.

It already didn't end well and it pains me to say this. What it may become only is worse. At this stage I don's see any "better" scenarios. The truth has been revealed.

[Dec 12, 2017] The Acceleration of Censorship in America by Joe Lauria

Notable quotes:
"... BuzzFeed , of course, is the sensationalist outlet that irresponsibly published the Steele dossier in full, even though the accusations – not just about Donald Trump but also many other individuals – weren't verified. Then on Nov. 14, BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold wrote one of the most ludicrous of a long line of fantastic Russia-gate stories, reporting that the Russian foreign ministry had sent money to Russian consulates in the U.S. "to finance the election campaign of 2016." The scoop generated some screaming headlines before it became clear that the money was to pay for Russian citizens in the U.S. to vote in the 2016 Duma election. ..."
"... A lesson of the 2016 campaign was that growing numbers of Americans are fed up with three decades of neoliberal policies that have fabulously enriched the top tier of Americans and debased a huge majority of everyone else. The population has likewise grown tired of the elite's senseless wars to expand their own interests, which they to conflate with the entire country's interests. ..."
"... Careerist journalists readily acquiesce in this suppression of news to maintain their jobs, their status and their lifestyles. Meanwhile, a growing body of poorly paid freelancers compete for the few remaining decent-paying gigs for which they must report from the viewpoint of the mainstream news organizations and their wealthy owners. ..."
"... Their solution has been to brand the content of the Russian television network, RT, as "propaganda" since it presents facts and viewpoints that most Americans have been kept from hearing. ..."
"... Now, these American transgressions are projected exclusively onto Moscow. There's also a measure of self-reverence in this for "successful" people, like some journalists, with a stake in an establishment that underpins the elite, demonstrating how wonderfully democratic they are compared to those ogres in Russia. ..."
"... The Jan. 6 intelligence assessment on alleged Russian election meddling is a good example of this. A third of its content is an attack on RT for "undermining American democracy" by reporting on Occupy Wall Street, the protest over the Dakota pipeline and, of all things, holding a "third party candidate debates," at a time when 71% of American millennials say they want a third party. ..."
"... According to the Jan. 6 assessment, RT's offenses include reporting that "the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a 'sham.'" RT also "highlights criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties." In other words, reporting newsworthy events and giving third-party candidates a voice undermines democracy. ..."
"... The assessment also says all this amounts to "a Kremlin-directed campaign to undermine faith in the US Government and fuel political protest," but those protests by are against privileges of the wealthy and the well-connected, a status quo that the intelligence agencies were in essence created to protect. ..."
"... There are also deeper reasons why Russia is being targeted. The Russia-gate story fits neatly into a geopolitical strategy that long predates the 2016 election. Since Wall Street and the U.S. government lost the dominant position in Russia that existed under the pliable President Boris Yeltsin, the strategy has been to put pressure on getting rid of Putin to restore a U.S. friendly leader in Moscow. There is substance to Russia's concerns about American designs for "regime change" in the Kremlin. ..."
"... But the "deranking" isn't only aimed at Russian sites; Google algorithms also are taking aim at independent news sites that don't follow the mainstream herd – and thus are accused of spreading Russian or other "propaganda" if they question the dominant Western narratives on, say, the Ukraine crisis or the war in Syria. A number of alternative websites have begun reporting a sharp fall-off of traffic directed to their sites from Google's search engines. ..."
"... the European Union is spending €3.8 million to counter Russian "propaganda." It is targeting Eurosceptic politicians who repeat what they hear on Russian media. ..."
"... Less prominent figures are targeted too. John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent who blew the whistle on torture and was jailed for it, was kicked off a panel in Europe on Nov. 10 by a Bernie Sanders supporter who refused to appear with Kiriakou because he co-hosts a show on Radio Sputnik . ..."
"... At the end of November, Reporters Without Borders, an organization supposedly devoted to press freedom, tried to kick journalist Vanessa Beeley off a panel in Geneva to prevent her from presenting evidence that the White Helmets, a group that sells itself as a rescue organization inside rebel-controlled territory in Syria, has ties to Al Qaeda. The Swiss Press Club, which hosted the event, resisted the pressure and let Beeley speak. ..."
"... Much of this spreading mania and intensifying censorship traces back to Russia-gate. Yet, it remains remarkable that the corporate media has failed so far to prove any significant Russian interference in the U.S. election at all. Nor have the intelligence agencies, Congressional investigations and special prosecutor Robert Mueller. His criminal charges so far have been for financial crimes and lying to federal authorities on topics unrelated to any "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russians to "hack" Democratic emails ..."
"... As journalist Yasha Levine tweeted: "So the country that influenced US policy through Michael Flynn is Israel, not Russia. But Flynn did try to influence Russia, not the other way around. Ha-ha. This is the smoking gun? What a farce." ..."
"... There's also the question of how significant the release of those emails was anyway. They did provide evidence that the DNC tilted the primary campaign in favor of Clinton over Sanders; they exposed the contents of Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street, which she was trying to hide from the voters; and they revealed some pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation and its foreign donations. But – even if the Russians were involved in providing that information to the American people – those issues were not considered decisive in the campaign. ..."
"... As for vaguer concerns about some Russian group "probably" buying $100,000 in ads, mostly after Americans had voted, as a factor in swaying a $6 billion election, it is too silly to contemplate. ..."
"... RT and Sputnik 's reach in the U.S. is minuscule compared to Fox News , which slammed Clinton throughout the campaign, or for that matter, MSNBC, CNN and other mainstream news outlets, which often expressed open disdain for Republican Donald Trump but also gave extensive coverage to issues such as the security concerns about Clinton's private email server. ..."
"... Without convincing evidence, I remain a Russia-gate skeptic. I am not defending Russia. Russia can defend itself. However, amid the growing censorship and the dangerous new McCarthyism, I am trying to defend America -- from itself. ..."
"... Lauria's article is an excellent review of the hydra-headed MSM perversion of political journalism in this era of the PATRIOT Act, with special focus on 2016-2017. With one small exception that still is worth noting. Namely the inclusion of "North Koreans" along with Palestinians, Russians and Iranians as those whose viewpoints are never represented in the Western media. ..."
"... Without factual support James calls Putin an organized criminal. US NGO staff who have actually dealt with Putin characterize him as a strict legalist. In fact, Putin's incorruptibility is what drives CIA up the wall. Ask any upper-echelon spook. Putin's cupidity deficit short-circuits CIA's go-to subversion method, massive bribes. Putin has an uneasy relationship with the kleptocrats CIA installed while their puppet Yeltsin staggered around blind drunk. But Putin has materially curbed kleptocratic corruption and subversion. Russians appreciate that. ..."
"... It seems to be the same in Germany. The German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, he died maybe a year ago, he worked long for the prestigious newspaper FAZ, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, wrote a book about bought journalism. His explanation for the disappearence of discussion sites with newspapers is that the journalists discovered that the reactions got far more attention than the articles. Very annoying, of course. With us here, Follow The Money, and The Post Online behave as childish as German newspapers. ..."
"... And if that same central bank would give out loans -- that never get repaid -- to the same ethnic gangsters that would then would use those loans to buy up over 90% of the host nations MSM outlets to forever ensure that a steady drip, drip, drip of propaganda went into the host nation's residents, ever so slowly turning them into mindless sheep always bleating for more wars to help the ethnic gangsters steal their way to an Eretz state? ..."
"... Reminds me of a contemporary Russian joke: "Everything communists told us about socialism turned out to be a lie. However, everything they told us about capitalism is perfectly true". ..."
Dec 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

Under increasing pressure from a population angry about endless wars and the transfer of wealth to the one percent, American plutocrats are defending themselves by suppressing critical news in the corporate media they own. But as that news emerges on RT and dissident websites, they've resorted to the brazen move of censorship, which is rapidly spreading in the U.S. and Europe. I know because I was a victim of it.

At the end of October, I wrote an article for Consortium News about the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign paying for unvetted opposition research that became the basis for much of the disputed story about Russia allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

The piece showed that the Democrats' two paid-for sources that have engendered belief in Russia-gate are at best shaky. First was former British spy Christopher Steele's largely unverified dossier of second- and third-hand opposition research portraying Donald Trump as something of a Russian Manchurian candidate.

And the second was CrowdStrike, an anti-Putin private company, examining the DNC's computer server to dubiously claim discovery of a Russian "hack." CrowdStrike, it was later discovered, had used faulty software it was later forced to rewrite . The company was hired after the DNC refused to allow the FBI to look at the server.

My piece also described the dangerous consequences of partisan Democratic faith in Russia-gate: a sharp increase in geopolitical tensions between nuclear-armed Russia and the U.S., and a New McCarthyism that is spreading fear -- especially in academia, journalism and civil rights organizations -- about questioning the enforced orthodoxy of Russia's alleged guilt.

After the article appeared at Consortium News , I tried to penetrate the mainstream by then publishing a version of the article on the HuffPost, which was rebranded from the Huffington Post in April this year by new management. As a contributor to the site since February 2006, I am trusted by HuffPost editors to post my stories directly online. However, within 24 hours of publication on Nov. 4, HuffPost editors retracted the article without any explanation.

.... ... ...

Support from Independent Media

Like the word "fascism," "censorship" is an over-used and mis-used accusation, and I usually avoid using it. But without any explanation, I could only conclude that the decision to retract was political, not editorial.

I am non-partisan as I oppose both major parties for failing to represent millions of Americans' interests. I follow facts where they lead. In this case, the facts led to an understanding that the Jan. 6 FBI/NSA/CIA intelligence "assessment" on alleged Russian election interference, prepared by what then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called "hand-picked" analysts, was based substantially on unvetted opposition research and speculation, not serious intelligence work.

The assessment even made the point that the analysts were not asserting that the alleged Russian interference was a fact. The report contained this disclaimer: "Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents."

Under deadline pressure on Jan. 6, Scott Shane of The New York Times instinctively wrote what many readers of the report must have been thinking: "What is missing from the public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies' claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to 'trust us.'"

Yet, after the Jan. 6 report was published, leading Democrats asserted falsely that the "assessment" represented the consensus judgment of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies – not just the views of "hand-picked" analysts from three – and much of the U.S. mainstream media began treating the allegations of Russian "hacking" as fact, not as an uncertain conclusion denied by both the Russian government and WikiLeaks, which insists that it did not get the two batches of Democratic emails from the Russian government.

Yet, because of the oft-repeated "17 intelligence agencies" canard and the mainstream media's over-hyped reporting, the public impression has built up that the accusations against Russia are indisputable. If you ask a Russia-gate believer today what their faith is based on, they will invariably point to the Jan. 6 assessment and mock anyone who still expresses any doubt.

For instance, an unnamed former CIA officer told The Intercept last month, "You've got all these intelligence agencies saying the Russians did the hack. To deny that is like coming out with the theory that the Japanese didn't bomb Pearl Harbor."

That the supposedly dissident Intercept would use this quote is instructive about how unbalanced the media's reporting on Russia-gate has been. We have film of Japanese planes attacking Pearl Harbor and American ships burning – and we have eyewitness accounts of thousands of U.S. soldiers and sailors. Yet, on Russia-gate, we have only the opinions of "hand-picked" intelligence officials who themselves admit their opinions aren't fact. No serious editor would allow a self-interested and unnamed source to equate Russia-gate and Pearl Harbor in print.

In this atmosphere, it was easy for HuffPost editors to hear complaints from readers and blithely ban my story. But before it was pulled, 125 people had shared it. Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst, then took up my cause, being the first to write about the HuffPost censorship on his blog. McGovern included a link to a .pdf file that I captured of the censored HuffPost story. It has since been republished on numerous other websites.

Journalist Max Blumenthal tweeted about it. British filmmaker and writer Tariq Ali posted it on his Facebook page. Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams interviewed me at length about the censorship on their TV program. ZeroHedge wrote a widely shared piece and someone actually took the time, 27 minutes and 13 seconds to be exact, to read the entire article on YouTube. I began a petition to HuffPost 's Polgreen to either explain the retraction or restore the article. It has gained more than 2,000 signatures so far. If a serious fact-check analysis was made of my article, it must exist and can and should be produced.

Watchdogs & Media Defending Censorship

Despite this support from independent media, a senior official at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, I learned, declined to take up my cause because he believes in the Russia-gate story. I also learned that a senior officer at the American Civil Liberties Union rejected my case because he too believes in Russia-gate. Both of these serious organizations were set up precisely to defend individuals in such situations on principle, not preference.

In terms of their responsibilities for defending journalism and protecting civil liberties, their personal opinions about whether Russia-gate is real or not are irrelevant. The point is whether a journalist has the right to publish an article skeptical of it. I worry that amid the irrational fear spreading about Russia that concerns about careers and funding are behind these decisions.

One online publication decidedly took the HuffPost's side. Steven Perlberg, a media reporter for BuzzFeed, asked the HuffPost why they retracted my article. While ignoring me, the editors issued a statement to BuzzFeed saying that "Mr. Lauria's self-published" piece was "later flagged by readers, and after deciding that the post contained multiple factually inaccurate or misleading claims, our editors removed the post per our contributor terms of use." Those terms include retraction for "any reason," including, apparently, censorship.

Perlberg posted the HuffPost statement on Twitter. I asked him if he inquired of the editors what those "multiple" errors and "misleading claims" were. I asked him to contact me to get my side of the story. Perlberg totally ignored me. He wrote nothing about the matter. He apparently believed the HuffPost and that was that. In this way, he acquiesced with the censorship.

BuzzFeed , of course, is the sensationalist outlet that irresponsibly published the Steele dossier in full, even though the accusations – not just about Donald Trump but also many other individuals – weren't verified. Then on Nov. 14, BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold wrote one of the most ludicrous of a long line of fantastic Russia-gate stories, reporting that the Russian foreign ministry had sent money to Russian consulates in the U.S. "to finance the election campaign of 2016." The scoop generated some screaming headlines before it became clear that the money was to pay for Russian citizens in the U.S. to vote in the 2016 Duma election.

That Russia-gate has reached this point, based on faith and not fact, was further illustrated by a Facebook exchange I had with Gary Sick, an academic who served on the Ford and Carter national security staffs. When I pressed Sick for evidence of Russian interference, he eventually replied: "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck " When I told him that was a very low-bar for such serious accusations, he angrily cut off debate.

When belief in a story becomes faith-based or is driven by intense self-interest, honest skeptics are pushed aside and trampled. True-believers disdain facts that force them to think about what they believe. They won't waste time making a painstaking examination of the facts or engage in a detailed debate even on something as important and dangerous as a new Cold War with Russia.

This is the most likely explanation for the HuffPost 's censorship: a visceral reaction to having their Russia-gate faith challenged.

Why Critical News is Suppressed

But the HuffPos t's action is hardly isolated. It is part of a rapidly growing landscape of censorship of news critical of American corporate and political leaders who are trying to defend themselves from an increasingly angry population. It's a story as old as civilization: a wealthy and powerful elite fending off popular unrest by trying to contain knowledge of how the elite gain at the others' expense, at home and abroad.

A lesson of the 2016 campaign was that growing numbers of Americans are fed up with three decades of neoliberal policies that have fabulously enriched the top tier of Americans and debased a huge majority of everyone else. The population has likewise grown tired of the elite's senseless wars to expand their own interests, which they to conflate with the entire country's interests.

America's bipartisan rulers are threatened by popular discontent from both left and right. They were alarmed by the Bernie Sanders insurgency and by Donald Trump's victory, even if Trump is now betraying the discontented masses who voted for him by advancing tax and health insurance plans designed to further crush them and benefit the rich.

Trump's false campaign promises will only make the rulers' problem of controlling a restless population more difficult. Americans are subjected to economic inequality greater than in the first Gilded Age. They are also subjected today to more war than in the first Gilded Age, which led to the launch of American overseas empire. Today American rulers are engaged in multiple conflicts following decades of post-World War II invasions and coups to expand their global interests.

People with wealth and power always seem to be nervous about losing both. So plutocrats use the concentrated media they own to suppress news critical of their wars and domestic repression. For example, almost nothing was reported about militarized police forces until the story broke out into the open in the Ferguson protests and now the story has been buried again.

Careerist journalists readily acquiesce in this suppression of news to maintain their jobs, their status and their lifestyles. Meanwhile, a growing body of poorly paid freelancers compete for the few remaining decent-paying gigs for which they must report from the viewpoint of the mainstream news organizations and their wealthy owners.

To operate in this media structure, most journalists know to excise out the historical context of America's wars of domination. They know to uncritically accept American officials' bromides about spreading democracy, while hiding the real war aims.

Examples abound: America's role in the Ukraine coup was denied or downplayed; a British parliamentary report exposing American lies that led to the destruction of Libya was suppressed ; and most infamously, the media promoted the WMD hoax and the fable of "bringing democracy" to Iraq, leading to the illegal invasion and devastation of that country. A recent example from November is a 60 Minutes report on the Saudi destruction of Yemen, conspicuously failing to mention America's crucial role in the carnage.

I've pitched numerous news stories critical of U.S. foreign policy to a major American newspaper that were rejected or changed in the editorial process. One example is the declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document of August 2012 that accurately predicted the rise of the Islamic State two years later.

The document, which I confirmed with a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. and its Turkish, European and Gulf Arab allies, were supporting the establishment of a Salafist principality in eastern Syria to put pressure on the Syrian government, but the document warned that this Salafist base could turn into an "Islamic State."

But such a story would undermine the U.S. government's "war on terrorism" narrative by revealing that the U.S.-backed strategy actually was risking the expansion of jihadist-held territory in Syria. The story was twice rejected by my editors and to my knowledge has never appeared in corporate media.

Another story rejected in June 2012, just a year into the Syrian war, was about Russia's motives in Syria being guided by a desire to defeat the growing jihadist threat there. Corporate media wanted to keep the myth of Russia's "imperial" aims in Syria alive. I had to publish the article outside the U.S., in a South African daily newspaper.

In September 2015 at the U.N. General Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed my story about Russia's motives in Syria to stop jihadists from taking over. Putin invited the U.S. to join this effort as Moscow was about to launch its military intervention at the invitation of the Syrian government. The Obama administration, still insisting on "regime change" in Syria, refused. And the U.S. corporate media continued promoting the myth that Russia intervened to recapture its "imperial glory."

It was much easier to promote the "imperial" narrative than report Putin's clear explanation to French TV channel TF1, which was not picked up by American media.

"Remember what Libya or Iraq looked like before these countries and their organizations were destroyed as states by our Western partners' forces?" Putin said. "These states showed no signs of terrorism. They were not a threat for Paris, for the Cote d'Azur, for Belgium, for Russia, or for the United States. Now, they are the source of terrorist threats. Our goal is to prevent the same from happening in Syria."

But don't take Putin's word for it. Then Secretary of State John Kerry knew why Russia intervened. In a leaked audio conversation with Syrian opposition figures in September 2016, Kerry said: "The reason Russia came in is because ISIL was getting stronger, Daesh was threatening the pos­sibility of going to Damascus, and that's why Russia came in because they didn't want a Daesh government and they supported Assad."

Kerry admitted that rather than seriously fight the Islamic State in Syria, the U.S. was ready to use its growing strength to pressure Assad to resign, just as the DIA document that I was unable to report said it would. "We know that this was growing, we were watching, we saw that Daesh was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened. We thought, how­ever, we could probably manage that Assad might then negotiate, but instead of negotiating he got Putin to support him." Kerry's com­ment suggests that the U.S. was willing to risk the Islamic State and its jihadist allies gaining power in order to force out Assad.

Why Russia Is Targeted

Where are independent-minded Western journalists to turn if their stories critical of the U.S. government and corporations are suppressed? The imperative is to get these stories out – and Russian media has provided an opening. But this has presented a new problem for the plutocracy. The suppression of critical news in their corporate-owned media is no longer working if it's seeping out in Russian media and through dissident Western news sites.

Their solution has been to brand the content of the Russian television network, RT, as "propaganda" since it presents facts and viewpoints that most Americans have been kept from hearing.

As a Russian-government-financed English-language news channel, RT also gives a Russian perspective on the news, the way CNN and The New York Times give an American perspective and the BBC a British one. American mainstream journalists, from my experience, arrogantly deny suppressing news and believe they present a universal perspective, rather than a narrow American view of the world.

The viewpoints of Iranians, Palestinians, Russians, North Koreans and others are never fully reported in the Western media although the supposed mission of journalism is to help citizens understand a frighteningly complex world from multiple points of view. It's impossible to do so without those voices included. Routinely or systematically shutting them out also dehumanizes people in those countries, making it easier to gain popular support to go to war against them.

Russia is scapegoated by charging that RT or Sputnik are sowing divisions in the U.S. by focusing on issues like homelessness, racism, or out-of-control militarized police forces, as if these divisive issues didn't already exist. The U.S. mainstream media also seems to forget that the U.S. government has engaged in at least 70 years of interference in other countries' elections, foreign invasions, coups, planting stories in foreign media and cyber-warfare, which Russian media crucially points out.

Now, these American transgressions are projected exclusively onto Moscow. There's also a measure of self-reverence in this for "successful" people, like some journalists, with a stake in an establishment that underpins the elite, demonstrating how wonderfully democratic they are compared to those ogres in Russia.

The overriding point about the "Russian propaganda" complaint is that when America's democratic institutions, including the press and the electoral process, are crumbling under the weight of corruption that the American elites have created or maintained, someone else needs to be blamed.

The Jan. 6 intelligence assessment on alleged Russian election meddling is a good example of this. A third of its content is an attack on RT for "undermining American democracy" by reporting on Occupy Wall Street, the protest over the Dakota pipeline and, of all things, holding a "third party candidate debates," at a time when 71% of American millennials say they want a third party.

According to the Jan. 6 assessment, RT's offenses include reporting that "the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a 'sham.'" RT also "highlights criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties." In other words, reporting newsworthy events and giving third-party candidates a voice undermines democracy.

The assessment also says all this amounts to "a Kremlin-directed campaign to undermine faith in the US Government and fuel political protest," but those protests by are against privileges of the wealthy and the well-connected, a status quo that the intelligence agencies were in essence created to protect.

There are also deeper reasons why Russia is being targeted. The Russia-gate story fits neatly into a geopolitical strategy that long predates the 2016 election. Since Wall Street and the U.S. government lost the dominant position in Russia that existed under the pliable President Boris Yeltsin, the strategy has been to put pressure on getting rid of Putin to restore a U.S. friendly leader in Moscow. There is substance to Russia's concerns about American designs for "regime change" in the Kremlin.

Moscow sees an aggressive America expanding NATO and putting 30,000 NATO troops on its borders; trying to overthrow a secular ally in Syria with terrorists who threaten Russia itself; backing a coup in Ukraine as a possible prelude to moves against Russia; and using American NGOs to foment unrest inside Russia before they were forced to register as foreign agents.

Accelerated Censorship in the Private Sector

The Constitution prohibits government from prior-restraint, or censorship, though such tactics were imposed, largely unchallenged, during the two world wars. American newspapers voluntarily agreed to censor themselves in the Second World War before the government dictated it.

In the Korean War, General Douglas MacArthur said he didn't "desire to reestablish wartime censorship" and instead asked the press for self-censorship. He largely got it until the papers began reporting American battlefield losses. On July 25, 1950, "the army ordered that reporters were not allowed to publish 'unwarranted' criticism of command decisions, and that the army would be 'the sole judge and jury' on what 'unwarranted' criticism entailed," according to a Yale University study on military censorship.

After excellent on-the-ground reporting from Vietnam brought the war home to America, the military reacted by instituting, initially in the first Gulf War, serious control of the press by "embedding" reporters from private media companies. They accepted the arrangement, much as World War II newspapers censored themselves.

It is important to realize that the First Amendment does not apply to private companies, including the media. It is not illegal for them to practice censorship. I never made a First Amendment argument against the HuffPost , for instance. However, under pressure from Washington, even in peacetime, media companies can do the government's dirty work to censor or limit free speech for the government.

In the past few weeks, we've seen an acceleration of attempts by corporations to inhibit Russian media in the U.S. Both Google and Facebook, which dominate the Web with more than 50 percent of ad revenue, were at first resistant to government pressure to censor "Russian propaganda." But they are coming around.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, Google's parent company, said on Nov. 18 that Google would "derank" articles from RT and Sputnik in the Google searches, making the stories harder for readers to find. The billionaire Schmidt claimed Russian information can be "repetitive, exploitative, false, [or] likely to have been weaponized," he said. That is how factual news critical of U.S. corporate and political leadership is seen by them: as a weapon threatening their rule.

"My own view is that these patterns can be detected, and that they can be taken down or deprioritized," Schmidt said. Though Google would essentially be hiding news produced by RT and Sputnik , Schmidt is sensitive to the charge of censorship, even though there's nothing legally to stop him. "We don't want to ban the sites. That's not how we operate," Schmidt said cynically. "I am strongly not in favor of censorship. I am very strongly in favor of ranking. It's what we do."

But the "deranking" isn't only aimed at Russian sites; Google algorithms also are taking aim at independent news sites that don't follow the mainstream herd – and thus are accused of spreading Russian or other "propaganda" if they question the dominant Western narratives on, say, the Ukraine crisis or the war in Syria. A number of alternative websites have begun reporting a sharp fall-off of traffic directed to their sites from Google's search engines.

Responding to a deadline from Congress to act, Facebook on Nov. 22 announced that it would inform users if they have been "targeted" by Russian "propaganda." Facebook's help center will tell users if they liked or shared ads allegedly from the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, which supposedly bought $100,000 in ads over a two-year period, with more than half these ads coming after the 2016 U.S. election and many not related to politics.

The $100,000 sum over two years compares to Facebook's $27 billion in annual revenue. Plus, Facebook only says it "believes" or it's "likely" that the ads came from that firm, whose links to the Kremlin also have yet to be proved.

Facebook described the move as "part of our ongoing effort to protect our platforms and the people who use them from bad actors who try to undermine our democracy." Congress wants more from Facebook, so it will not be surprising if users will eventually be alerted to Russian media reports as "propaganda" in the future.

While the government can't openly shut down a news site, the Federal Communications Commission's upcoming vote on whether to deregulate the Internet by ending net neutrality will free private Internet companies in the U.S. to further marginalize Russian and dissident websites by slowing them down and thus discouraging readers from viewing them.

Likewise, as the U.S. government doesn't want to be openly seen shutting down RT operations, it is working around the edges to accomplish that.

After the Department of Justice forced, under threat of arrest, RT to register its employees as foreign agents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act , State Department spokeswoman Heather Nuaert said that "FARA does not police the content of information disseminated, does not limit the publication of information or advocacy materials, and does not restrict an organization's ability to operate." She'd earlier said that registering would not "impact or affect the ability of them to report news and information. We just have them register. It's as simple as that."

The day after Nuaert spoke the Congressional press office stripped RT correspondents of their Capitol Hill press passes, citing the FARA registration. "The rules of the Galleries state clearly that news credentials may not be issued to any applicant employed 'by any foreign government or representative thereof.' Upon its registration as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), RT Network became ineligible to hold news credentials," read the letter to RT.

But Russia-gate faithful ignore these aggressive moves and issue calls for even harsher action. After forcing RT to register, Keir Giles, a Chatham House senior consulting fellow, acted as though it never happened. He said in a Council on Foreign Relations Cyber Brief on Nov. 27: "Although the Trump administration seems unlikely to pursue action against Russian information operations, there are steps the U.S. Congress and other governments should consider."

I commented on this development on RT America. It would also have been good to have the State Department's Nuaert answer for this discrepancy about the claim that forced FARA registrations would not affect news gathering when it already has. My criticism of RT is that they should be interviewing U.S. decision-makers to hold them accountable, rather than mostly guests outside the power structure. The decision-makers could be called out on air if they refuse to appear.

Growing McCarthyite Attacks

Western rulers' wariness about popular unrest can be seen in the extraordinary and scurrilous attack on the Canadian website globalresearch.ca . It began with a chilling study by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into the relatively obscure website, followed by a vicious hit piece on Nov. 18 by the Globe and Mail, Canada's largest newspaper. The headline was: "How a Canadian website is being used to amplify the Kremlin's view of the world."

"What once appeared to be a relatively harmless online refuge for conspiracy theorists is now seen by NATO's information warfare specialists as a link in a concerted effort to undermine the credibility of mainstream Western media – as well as the North American and European public's trust in government and public institutions," the Globe and Mail reported.

"Global Research is viewed by NATO's Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence – or StratCom – as playing a key accelerant role in helping popularize articles with little basis in fact that also happen to fit the narratives being pushed by the Kremlin, in particular, and the Assad regime." The website never knew it had such powers. I've not agreed with everything I've read on the site. But it is a useful clearinghouse for alternative media. Numerous Consortium News articles are republished there, including a handful of mine. But the site's typical sharing and reposting on the Internet is seen by NATO as a plot to undermine the Free World.

"It uses that reach to push not only its own opinion pieces, but 'news' reports from little-known websites that regularly carry dubious or false information," the he Globe and Mail reported. " At times, the site's regular variety of international-affairs stories is replaced with a flurry of items that bolster dubious reportage with a series of opinion pieces, promoted on social media and retweeted and shared by active bots."

The newspaper continued, "'That way, they increase the Google ranking of the story and create the illusion of multi-source verification,' said Donara Barojan, who does digital forensic research for [StratCom]. But she said she did not yet have proof that Global Research is connected to any government."

This sort of smear is nothing more than a blatant attack on free speech by the most powerful military alliance in the world, based on the unfounded conviction that Russia is a fundamental force for evil and that anyone who has contacts with Russia or shares even a part of its multilateral world view is suspect.

Such tactics are spreading to Europe. La Repubblica newspaper in Italy wrote a similar hit piece against L'Antidiplomatico, a dissident website. And the European Union is spending €3.8 million to counter Russian "propaganda." It is targeting Eurosceptic politicians who repeat what they hear on Russian media.

High-profile individuals in the U.S. are also now in the crosshairs of the neo-McCarthyite witch hunt. On Nov. 25 The Washington Post ran a nasty hit piece on Washington Capitals' hockey player Alex Ovechkin, one of the most revered sports figures in the Washington area, simply because he, like 86 percent of other Russians , supports his president.

"Alex Ovechkin is one of Putin's biggest fans. The question is, why?" ran the headline. The story insidiously implied that Ovechkin was a dupe of his own president, being used to set up a media campaign to support Putin, who is under fierce and relentless attack in the United States where Ovechkin plays professional ice hockey.

"He has given an unwavering endorsement to a man who U.S. intelligence agencies say sanctioned Russian meddling in last year's presidential election," write the Post reporters, once again showing their gullibility to U.S. intelligence agencies that have provided no proof for their assertions (and even admit that they are not asserting their opinion as fact).

Less prominent figures are targeted too. John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent who blew the whistle on torture and was jailed for it, was kicked off a panel in Europe on Nov. 10 by a Bernie Sanders supporter who refused to appear with Kiriakou because he co-hosts a show on Radio Sputnik .

At the end of November, Reporters Without Borders, an organization supposedly devoted to press freedom, tried to kick journalist Vanessa Beeley off a panel in Geneva to prevent her from presenting evidence that the White Helmets, a group that sells itself as a rescue organization inside rebel-controlled territory in Syria, has ties to Al Qaeda. The Swiss Press Club, which hosted the event, resisted the pressure and let Beeley speak.

But as a consequence the club director said its funding was slashed from the Swiss government.

Russia-gate's Hurdles

Much of this spreading mania and intensifying censorship traces back to Russia-gate. Yet, it remains remarkable that the corporate media has failed so far to prove any significant Russian interference in the U.S. election at all. Nor have the intelligence agencies, Congressional investigations and special prosecutor Robert Mueller. His criminal charges so far have been for financial crimes and lying to federal authorities on topics unrelated to any "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russians to "hack" Democratic emails.

There will likely be more indictments from Mueller, even perhaps a complaint about Trump committing obstruction of justice because he said on TV that he fired Comey, in part, because of the "Russia thing." But Trump's clumsy reaction to the "scandal," which he calls "fake news" and a "witch hunt," still is not proof that Putin and the Russians interfered in the U.S. election to achieve the unlikely outcome of Trump's victory.

The Russia-gate faithful assured us to wait for the indictment of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, briefly Trump's national security adviser. But again there was nothing about pre-election "collusion," only charges that Flynn had lied to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador regarding policy matters during the presidential transition, i.e., after the election.

One of Flynn's conversations was about trying unsuccessfully to comply with an Israeli request to get Russia to block a United Nations resolution censuring Israel's settlements on Palestinian land.

As journalist Yasha Levine tweeted: "So the country that influenced US policy through Michael Flynn is Israel, not Russia. But Flynn did try to influence Russia, not the other way around. Ha-ha. This is the smoking gun? What a farce."

The media is becoming a victim of its own mania. In its zeal to push this story reporters are making a huge number of amateurish mistakes on stories that are later corrected. Brian Ross of ABC News was suspended for erroneously reporting that Trump had told Flynn to contact the Russians before the election, and not after.

There remain a number of key hurdles to prove the Russia-gate story. First, convincing evidence is needed that the Russian government indeed did "hack" the Democratic emails, both those of the DNC and Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta – and gave them to WikiLeaks. Then it must be linked somehow to the Trump campaign. If it were a Russian hack it would have been an intelligence operation on a need-to-know basis, and no one in the Trump team needed to know. It's not clear how any campaign member could have even helped with an overseas hack or could have been an intermediary to WikiLeaks.

There's also the question of how significant the release of those emails was anyway. They did provide evidence that the DNC tilted the primary campaign in favor of Clinton over Sanders; they exposed the contents of Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street, which she was trying to hide from the voters; and they revealed some pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation and its foreign donations. But – even if the Russians were involved in providing that information to the American people – those issues were not considered decisive in the campaign.

Clinton principally pinned her loss on FBI Director James Comey for closing and then reopening the investigation into her improper use of a private email server while Secretary of State. She also spread the blame to Russia (repeating the canard about "seventeen [U.S. intelligence] agencies, all in agreement"), Bernie Sanders, the inept DNC and other factors.

As for vaguer concerns about some Russian group "probably" buying $100,000 in ads, mostly after Americans had voted, as a factor in swaying a $6 billion election, it is too silly to contemplate.

That RT and Sputnik ran pieces critical of Hillary Clinton was their right, and they were hardly alone. RT and Sputnik 's reach in the U.S. is minuscule co