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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 ;-)

[Feb 18, 2019] "After Putin" anxiety in Russia

Feb 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Grieved , Feb 16, 2019 8:16:54 PM | link


Grieved , Feb 16, 2019 8:52:46 PM | link

@33 Fiona Jenkins and others

I've read the article by Dugin now, and gone back to read Surkov. I probably need to read them both again, perhaps forever, because I think they illustrate the nation of Russia trying to find its way forward into "life beyond Putin", and both articles are of extreme importance as two sides of a dialog.

I think Dugin is correct when he says that Putin has fallen short of creating a new system of state that can itself endure. And that the oligarchs will naturally attempt, after Putin, to rule the state as in the old way. He is correct in saying that no alternative to Putin has come forth in all this time, and that this is a failing of the situation. He is also correct, as many friends of Russia here would agree, that the day of reckoning for the fifth column and the corrupt vested interests has not come under Putin, and that it remains yet to happen - if at all - after Putin.

And this is the crux. Will that day of reckoning come, or will evil gain in strength again when Putin is gone?

Dugin says that the Russian people have to have this fight and overthrow that privileged, non-patriotic, class of people. I personally would call it a class revolution of sorts that establishes a formal strain of socialism into the system - creating a hard-wired system that Dugin himself would trust to endure, regardless of leaders.

Surkov meanwhile is saying that the people are the source of all power, and that Putin's genius is that he is naturally plugged into that source. And that any successive leaders must follow the Putin model and be plugged into the people. Surkov seems to think that this will happen because it must, by force of the dynamic itself, and its imperative itself. Maybe this is so. And maybe it happens because of advocates like Surkov in attendance to its birth.

What I take from both these sides of the one argument - which is simply and purely how to envision a world beyond Putin - is that Putin has not left a changed system but he has left a spiritual benchmark for the goodness of the state, and it is intimately bound up with the well being of the people. This benchmark will endure, for a time, after Putin, but how the people rise to fill the void and create a more perfect system, I think remains to be seen, remains to happen. In this regard, I see no reason for despair or complacency.

karlof1 , Feb 16, 2019 9:06:26 PM | link
I humbly thank those thanking me. It's very gratifying!

Jose Garcia @59 distilled much into his short appraisal, to which I only endorse. I see the following caught b's eye and those of others:

"Russia ... returned to its natural and its only possible condition: that of a great and growing community of nations that gathers lands. It is not a humble role that world history has assigned to our country, and it does not allow us to exit the world stage or to remain silent among the community of nations; it does not promise us rest and it predetermines the difficult character of our governance."

Any open-minded, closely watching, student of Russian history would easily understand what's meant by the bolded text; although presently, the lands being gathered are those of its allies. And in those words, the author admits Russia remains an Empire, although diminished somewhat from its greatest extent. However, it's a Communal Empire, embracing over 100 different ethnic groups, numerous tongues, and every major religion. Yet, the "Nationality Question" that so intrigued Sovietologists as a possible way to implode the USSR provides the inner core of Russia's "deep nation," and on almost every public occasion I've seen Putin attend he shows a pride in Russia's diversity Trump and ilk are completely incapable of.

And what would be the state of the world today if not for Russia? What coalition would have been capable of stopping Napoleon if Russia hadn't sacrificed first? The Kaiser's racial war for dominance between Teutons and Slavs, which would've likely been a slam-dun repeat of 1870 if not for the need for two fronts. The 25+ Million Soviets and other nationalities that allied on the Eastern Front to defeat Hitler's Armies. And perhaps I'll go outside the box and allege that if not for the USSR, post-war USA would have colonized the planet as it still desires.

But what of "Putinism." We should return to Jose's sharp analysis and add: Putin insists on the dedicated involvement of his fellow citizens; that they work just as hard and diligently as he; and that they also play and enjoy life just as much. In return, he will be as honest and open with his fellows as possible--which is really rather amazing to observe and is of another universe from what we get "treated" to in the West. He wants feedback--positive and negative--he wants to hear about the problems he never gets to hear about--his humanism is startling, again, as it's so diametrically different. And he's almost always positive--even when he's being negative. If he errs, he owns up. Then there's the courage of his convictions and constancy of being morally, ethically, and legally correct--which in Russia means he's also politically correct. Does it really require someone special to have those traits? I don't think so, although there're personality types that would never be capable of performing as does Putin. I think it's all related to the basics: Parenting, schooling, mentoring, but also the overall context of growing up in what is truly a cosmopolitan nation that's accepting of Others--again, to be Russian means to embrace Russianness, which is unique amongst national cultures as noted above. In short, only a Russian is capable of emulating Putin.

But, the question's begged: Would Putin fit as head-of-state for a Western nation, or would that be impossible due to the vastly differing contexts?

veritas semper vincit , Feb 16, 2019 9:38:37 PM | link
This was one of your best articles, and there's no short supply here. Thank you, Mr. B.
Russia is fulfilling old prophecies.
The country is an enormous mass land, between East and West, and because of this and its history, I believe it is the world 's balancer.
Russia has been to Hell and back and in the process managed to learn from past mistakes( and we have to remember that some of those mistakes, like the Bolshevik revolution, were financed by the west: Trotsky( Bronshtein) and his 2 Bil in today's money from Kuhn and Loeb Bank, Jacob Schiff, Lenin with millions in gold from Germany).
What did not kill Russia, made her stronger. Russia witnessed the "superior" US system, liberalism, during Yeltsin's era, not only communism. And Russia chose neither.
She chose Mr. Putin, a real patriot, who took Russia from her knees and elevated her to the role she has today: a superpower.
I don't think the Russians wanted this role, but they didn't have a choice. Somebody has to fight the psychopaths.
As for US, the coup d'erat was incremental: the cornerstone was in 1913, with the creation of the private Federal Reserve, with its 9 big banks shareholders,the root of all evil .Money created as debt( credit) and loaned to people with interest. Fractional reserve banking later. Everything else is bribes and blackmails.
Then 1963, the removal of the only semi independent president, who would have put a stop to their NWO.
1970's with replacement of Bretton Woods with the petro-dollar deal and the subsequent wars .
And 2001 as the grand finale: total control.
Now US has to protect the petro-dollar, the only think giving it relevance; This explains our wars, enemies, allies( like KSA).
Some say that US was a FreeMason construct from the very beginning. And looking at all Masonic signs: dollar bill, Statue of Liberty, apotheosis of Washington , Washington DC plans, most founding fathers, etc. they may be right.

[Feb 18, 2019] The problem of unrealistic expectations and its role in the collapse of the USSR

Feb 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

wagelaborer , Feb 16, 2019 1:03:08 PM | link

I was listening to a podcast and one speaker asserted that Venezuelans would be grateful for their improved living conditions and remain loyal to Maduro, and the other speaker said that people tend to take their improvements for granted and demand more. https://cprnews.podbean.com/e/cpr-news-february-11-2019/
As I understand it, that is what happened in the USSR. The recovery of housing and food after the destruction of WW2 was completed by the 80s, and then people wanted more. The leaders started increasing meat production, leading to buying grain from the US, and then the US bribed top KGB officials and bureaucrats, and then Yeltsin and the bribed leaders of Ukraine and Belarus signed away the USSR, against the wishes of the vast majority of the population.

Only brainwashed westerners would announce that that the destruction of the Soviet Union was "bloodless". That ignores the bombing of the White House, the murders of opposition leaders and the mass die off of millions of people, referred to in the West as "life expectancy dropped dramatically" (because the west is the undisputed king of spin and propaganda).

The population of Russia is only now recovering to their 1990 level, but let us blather on and on about how wonderful the destruction of the USSR was.

It wasn't so great for the rest of the world, either. Our gloating leader, George H. W. Bush, flush with delight and greed, as Russia lay prostrate and ready for plundering, in 1991, announced "There is now a New World Order", meaning that the USA would rule the world. We can all see what that means for the rest of the world, and for the population of the US, now also stripped and looted, increasingly in the last 26 years. The US went on a worldwide killing spree, while at home, with no USSR as a good example, or to support rational left politics, we have lost our unions, our jobs, our houses and our damn common sense. Now they are telling us that men can be women and vice versa, in the final Big Brother control of reality and perception. War is Peace, check. Ignorance is Strength, check. It is possible to change your biological body with the power of your mind, check.
They have turned us into blithering idiots, fit only to bicker as the final looting commences.


[Feb 18, 2019] Who will lead Russia after Putin

Feb 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Scalpel , Feb 16, 2019 9:00:22 AM | link

This is a "big picture" article short on detail. Putin will go down as one of the great leaders of Russian (and world) history. Fine. What comes after him? What is the plan to transfer power to a subsequent COMPETENT leader? It is fine to trust Putin, power flowing from Putin outward, but what if after Putin Russia gets another Gorbachov? What then?


vk , Feb 16, 2019 9:16:13 AM | link

@ Mister Roboto | Feb 16, 2019 7:50:25 AM | 3

On the contrary: evidence shows us the military was the last resistance against the desintegration of the USSR. The thing here is that it didn't need to desintegrate to reform.

The main problem with the USSR is that it created a system where any reform could only be radical. It wasn't a question of "ideological rigidity": the Soviets knew their problems since at least the 1950s (and, even before that, when Lenin was still alive, after the Kronstadt tragedy, an event that triggered the NEP - the reforms which would, 58 years later, inspire the new Chinese socialist model).

DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , Feb 16, 2019 9:30:03 AM | link
One thing to add:
While Surkov writes that people in the west are losing faith in their politicians and now would be looking at Russia as a positive example of a political system:
The problem for the majority of people in the western country i live in (Germany) and IMHO for the most other so called western countrys is NOT that the demoocratic system itself would be the problem, but that this system has been corrupted by politicians, neoliberals, neocons, and anti democratic cancers like deep state elites and the like.
Here most people HATE e.g. the social democrats NOT because they are social democrats, but because the are now only social democrats by NAME ONLY.
The democratic system may be flawed, but it still is without any real alternative for the majority of non extremist people.
Scrapping that for toothless pseudo opposition like in Russia would not be in the interest for the majority of people.

This is IMHO a different story for every country. Russia IMHO needs to go its own way, and like Putin said himself, is not ready for a full democracy. It would lead directly back into the 90s, and the huge majority of Russians know that, and therefore vote for the much lesser "evil".
This may be hard to understand for a western person, but IMHO it is a sane and consious decision for the russians.

But again, every country is different. This is why the right for every people and country to develop in its own pace and values is to important, and why globalism is creating faliure for each and everyone exepct some rich SOBs.

Michael Droy , Feb 16, 2019 10:51:50 AM | link
The 'western' view of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the "long-lost meaningless war", is that it was the catastrophic for the Soviet Union and led to its demise (pdf). That view is wrong. The war was neither meaningless, nor lost.

I think that is the "western" view that justifies throwing money at Nazis or terrorists in order to create problems for US enemies.
John Dowser , Feb 16, 2019 11:27:46 AM | link
@Ellis "I get stuck understanding what gathering lands might mean in this context"

It would seem to refer to the traditional move to expand the sphere to what is believed by some in Russia to be their "natural" dimensions: to add by various means including annexation all the Russian territories, East Slavic lands, Belarus and the Ukrainian regions

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_III_of_Russia#Gathering_of_Rus%27_lands

In that light the Russian view of the conflict in Ukraine has to be understood: not just as reaction towards to expansion of EU and NATO but more as reaction against the EU/NATO's interference with Ukraine's direction of moving closer to the Russian sphere over time, seen as something inevitable unless countered with lots of effort, promises and energizing of radical movements or other nationalistic or young, pro-West groups.

In other words, some claims that the Kremlin desires to expand are not wholly unjustified. But as explained in the article some Russian leaders might see expansion as unavoidable and therefore deep down rational to pursue. One can counter this view with the remark that it's almost like some echo of the Soviet (and pseudo-Marxist) view of historical materialism. Ending at the time with transporting intellectuals who differed, to re-education camps as one concluded that something wrong "had to be wrong" with them, opposing the inevitable and rational! Search for the term "psycho-pathological mechanisms of dissent" to see how it might reflect some of the elite thinking in Russia still today!

Jackrabbit , Feb 16, 2019 11:47:39 AM | link
Surkov supports the 'Deep State' in Russia and elsewhere to the extent that he derides/undermines democratic process.

Surkov's viewpoint is aligned with that of the neocons. Neocons argue that democratic processes can not properly weigh matters that concern the 'Deep State'. Those that benefit from Deep State largess (MIC, intel agencies, oligarchs, and large corporations) naturally support that view.

The "Deep State" is ultimately class warfare. IMO the best that we can hope for (for now) is that 'Deep States' of the major powers will try to improve the lives of the ordinary people they govern as part of the State-to-State competition. A unilateral world order would have no such virtue. In such a world we would quickly feel the truth of: "We are all black, we are all Palestinian, we are all ... a plaything or a nuisance of the oligarchic in-group.

Hoarsewhisperer , Feb 16, 2019 12:14:10 PM | link Red Ryder , Feb 16, 2019 12:26:14 PM | link
There are a number of commenters here who, living up to their former ignorance on many topics, expose their lack of knowledge and understanding of things Russian.

Russia is a civilization. It's psyche is neither East nor West. It's vocabulary and syntax are not Western, either.

Surkov's work, even by ideologues of vast disparate differences is recognized as a political-literary work whose translation requires deft handling.
Think of de Tocqueville or some of Tom Paine.

And all Russian commenters at the highest level perceive exactly what his words and his construction means.

You might try reading Dmitri Orlov's translation. http://thesaker.is/putins-lasting-state-translated-by-dmitri-orlov/

You also, those of you who think you are more intelligent than Surkov, should want to read his article of last year. In that, he describes Russia's unique path forward. Use Yandex for a translation.

https://globalaffairs.ru/global-processes/Odinochestvo-polukrovki-14-19477

You will see the linkage from last year's article and this year's work. Surkov is a gifted "grey cardinal" whose intellect is valued by Putin.
When he speaks, and especially, when he writes, Sukov has the top echelon of Russia paying "deep attention".

If you fall for the word usage of Deep in this present work and equate it with our Western Deep State, you do not comprehend the Russian context.

Trailer Trash , Feb 16, 2019 12:38:36 PM | link
>The Deep State wants no competition, just obedience.
> Posted by: stonebird | Feb 16, 2019 8:33:39 AM | 10

This. This is the central organizing principle of Uncle Sam Land. Every interaction with the police and other state actors says: "Obey or Die". And they mean it, a thousand dead civilians a year. Every year.

Its not only black and brown people. I live in the whitest part of the whitest US state. It is rural, remote, and sparsely populated. White skin did not save my neighbor's brother who was gunned down in his own home. What really happened? Only the cops know, and they ain't sayin.

My conclusion is that the US police state is the inevitable result of imposing a top-down hierarchy on society. This is why skin color, clothes, education, religion, sex, income, etc. are so important: these characteristics and others are used to put everyone in their proper slot in the hierarchy, and to make sure everyone knows their place, and stays there.

Uncle Sam Land is a downwardly-mobile society. The fear of downward mobility keeps people passive, afraid, and easier to control. The lack of labor strife is a good example. After decades of failure, workers understand that most strikes and other job actions will end with less pay and worse working conditions.

The psychopathic scum at the top like it there and intend to stay, regardless of the cost to the peons, who only exist to serve the state. Therefore everyone is disposable. None of this is new, of course, but Bull-in-the-China-Shop Trump has done an excellent job of unintentionally shredding the facade of "freedom". It is now getting difficult even for establishment elites to ignore the nature of the machine they are dedicated to sustaining.

The Dear Leaders will not take a hint and step down, or work to create a more humane society where just being alive is good enough reason to get access to the Earth's bounty. Instead they will use even more violence to impose obedience. A near-monopoly on violence is what makes a nation-state, so violence is the only tactic it knows.

Can Russian really be a nation-state that is not based on hierarchy, violence and coercion? I'd like to think it could be possible, but I remain very, very skeptical.

Fiona Jenkins , Feb 16, 2019 1:01:10 PM | link
This is one of the few times I strongly disagree with (the brilliant political commentator) Moon of Alabama. A better perspective can be found here:

https://www.fort-russ.com/2019/02/its-time-for-super-putin-dugin-on-surkovs-putin-analysis/

And here is an excerpt:

I find that in the article of Surkov the main message is sincere and reflects the will of the current elites to self-preservation and to preserve the regime in an unchanged state and in the post-Putin period. So that Putin himself does not decide to change something by chance, he is reassured: everything is perfect. But sincerity does not mean truth. The solipsism of the ruling elite still cannot replace history and political logic. Therefore, Surkov's analysis of the state of the political regime in modern Russia is entirely and completely false in its very foundations.

Lohmann , Feb 16, 2019 1:10:09 PM | link Noirette , Feb 16, 2019 1:28:28 PM | link
Re. Surkov piece. http://thesaker.is/putins-lasting-state-translated-by-dmitri-orlov/

Any message that praises Russia and goes against demonising + slandering it is welcome to me. If it can prod some to re-think, I'm all for it.

The text is superficial, a straightforward 'bash others' and Laud the True Nation essay, close to school-boy-ish, grade 12.

The ability to hear and to understand the nation, to see all the way through it, through its entire depth, and to act accordingly -- that is the unique and most important virtue of Putin's government.

Is v. similar to the USA's mealy mouthed enshrining of demo-crassy, freee-dom and equality, etc. Putin may be doing a good job, is imho, but seeing into the entire depth etc. is hyperbole, .. OK, cultural standards differ.

It is adequate for the needs of the people, it follows the same course with it, and this means that it is not subject to destructive overloads from history's countercurrents. This makes it effective and long-lasting.

Many Kings Queens Despots Tyrants touted the same. Meaningless.

The various branches of government come together at the person of the leader and are considered valuable not in and of themselves but only to the extent to which they provide a connection with him. Aside from them, and acting around formal structures and elite groups, operate informal methods of communication.

Translation may be poor, styles of writing vary greatly in diff. cultures, etc. But what does it mean? Note the 'person of the leader'

Our state is not split up into deep and external; it is built as a whole, with all of its parts and its manifestations facing out.

Should be queried.

Missing is anything of substance, ex. method of Gvmt. of a large Federation (geographical, climate, cultural, variations..), which would be interesting to know about, put forward, for praise. E.g. health care, housing, transport, education - Relations with China, for ex.

Yes! I get it, that was not the point.

Puff Pieces don't address such practical matters.

Why is this article praised on MoA? One might write something very similar about Trump, Macron, Erdogan or Italy, etc.


vk , Feb 16, 2019 2:50:19 PM | link
I disagree with Surkov in the sense that, albeit it may have a political purpose for the specific historical time it was written, it doesn't have scientific value.

Modern Russia is a full-fledged capitalist country, therefore equally subject to the inner contradictions of the system. No, I don't think Russia is some kind of "third system". No, I don't think it is a stable society: it is full of inner contradictions. Yes, it has a different culture from the West. Yes, it is good Russia still exist. But let not kiss the cross: this Russia is not the future for humanity; unless it suddenly becomes socialist again, there's nothing there.

Jen , Feb 16, 2019 3:57:22 PM | link
The underlying message of Vladislav Surkov's essay is that the relationship between a leader and the nation he leads must be based on mutual trust, and that trust must be based on a system of governance that is transparent to all, and on foundations and values that a would-be leader must respect and with which s/he must align her/his own values and beliefs.

The foundations and values on which government relies and which the leader must always bear in mind (and heart as well) arise from the history or histories and the beliefs of the nation the leader governs.

The Chinese have a similar concept known as the Mandate of Heaven.

If the West ever had something similar to what Surkov is suggesting, it was embodied in the Social Contract.

The significant difference is that the West with its Roman Catholic / Protestant view of humans as having been born in sin and needing to be saved by belief in Jesus as their saviour (and the corollary that human nature essentially is incapable of moral and spiritual improvement, and can only be made perfect by being forced into the right spiritual path), has long been governed by a set of values that based on suspicion and mistrust of others. In a sense, much of European history (with its history of small states at constant war or rivalry against one another, which they later took beyond European bounds during the 15th century and after) and why it was so, compared to other parts of the world, might be explained as a result of societies based around a particular set of beliefs, values and view of the human condition.

The US Constitution with its checks and balances on the executive, legislative and judiciary functions of government reflects something of the view of humans as untrustworthy and essentially moral and spiritual infants, obsessed with their own immediate self-gratification and short-term interests. Much classical economics (with the belief in the free market and the idea that competing interests eventually reach a balance or equilibrium point) is based on this despairing view of humans; the neoliberal incarnation of classical economics exalts this view and portrays it as the ideal.

veritas semper vincit , Feb 16, 2019 9:38:37 PM | link
This was one of your best articles, and there's no short supply here. Thank you, Mr. B.
Russia is fulfilling old prophecies.
The country is an enormous mass land, between East and West, and because of this and its history, I believe it is the world 's balancer.
Russia has been to Hell and back and in the process managed to learn from past mistakes( and we have to remember that some of those mistakes, like the Bolshevik revolution, were financed by the west: Trotsky( Bronshtein) and his 2 Bil in today's money from Kuhn and Loeb Bank, Jacob Schiff, Lenin with millions in gold from Germany).
What did not kill Russia, made her stronger. Russia witnessed the "superior" US system, liberalism, during Yeltsin's era, not only communism. And Russia chose neither.
She chose Mr. Putin, a real patriot, who took Russia from her knees and elevated her to the role she has today: a superpower.
I don't think the Russians wanted this role, but they didn't have a choice. Somebody has to fight the psychopaths.
As for US, the coup d'erat was incremental: the cornerstone was in 1913, with the creation of the private Federal Reserve, with its 9 big banks shareholders,the root of all evil .Money created as debt( credit) and loaned to people with interest. Fractional reserve banking later. Everything else is bribes and blackmails.
Then 1963, the removal of the only semi independent president, who would have put a stop to their NWO.
1970's with replacement of Bretton Woods with the petro-dollar deal and the subsequent wars .
And 2001 as the grand finale: total control.
Now US has to protect the petro-dollar, the only think giving it relevance; This explains our wars, enemies, allies( like KSA).
Some say that US was a FreeMason construct from the very beginning. And looking at all Masonic signs: dollar bill, Statue of Liberty, apotheosis of Washington , Washington DC plans, most founding fathers, etc. they may be right.
Peter AU 1 , Feb 16, 2019 11:00:21 PM | link
psychohistorian "My thought is that Putin knows that the only way to limit the control of his internal oligarchs is to insure the fall of the private finance led Western system that they need to execute their perfidy."

I have watched a youtube video of Putin talking about the CIA victory parade in Moscow in the early nineties. I looked for this when I read Grieved's comment but could not find it. There was lot of anger - savagery perhaps a better word - in his voice.
When the US pulled out of the ABM treaty in, I think 2002, he initiated the research and development of deterrent that would bypass and make obsolete any US ABM system.
I think Putin will see out the US empire. Like the next gen weapons that were unveiled last year with the publication of Trump's Nuclear Posture Review, I believe Putin would have been working on the downfall of the US empire since the day he took office as president of the Russian federation.

Jackrabbit , Feb 16, 2019 11:30:35 PM | link
Jen, Grieved

The Mandate of Heaven is similar but IMO there are important differences.

1) Putinism is grounded in the people, not a heavenly authority.

2) It appears that Putinism has, or will have, specific mechanisms that are meant to keep the leader in tune with the people.

I wonder if the Orthodox church is part of that mechanism, given reporting by John Helmer:

PUTIN PROMOTES PATRIARCH'S PUTSCH


THE RUSSIAN COMMUNIST PARTY AND THE REVIVAL OF THE TSAR'S IDEOLOGY – ORTHODOXY, AUTOCRACY, NATIONALITY

3) Putinism is (by design?) transferable 0 it's being offered as a practical model that other countries can adopt / are adopting.

4) My sense is that Putinism transcends politics. There is a cultural aspect that rejects Western philosophy and theology.

The Western church has failed its moral mission. It was always compromised but now that "God is dead", Western political elites pay little heed to moral principle. Heartless neolibs and neocons meet with virtually no resistance as they comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted.

Coinciding with the moral decay, "checks and balances" have also failed. Western government debt has soared. Western political elites circumvent Constitutional rights and government oversight (by using cut-outs and foreign funding). Wealthy Westerners (the "people that matter") do not speak up - instead they keep tens of trillions "off-shore". And Western corporate presstitutes serve as a propaganda mouthpiece.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

As many details are yet unknown, it's difficult to access how robust the "Deep Putin" model of politics and governance may be.

Russia's delineating their own independent path is somewhat good news for the West. It means that they will not be subservient to China. But Western neocon asshats might muck that up by probing every possible way of undermining Russia.

Repeating what I've said before: countries don't have friend's, the have interests -BUT- if a country hopes to rule the world, those interests must include some sort of morality. The West is reaping what it sowed. Will they take that to heart, or succumb to neocon asshats that always seek to double-down?

Peter AU 1 , Feb 16, 2019 11:58:59 PM | link
The American reality of today is the the polar opposite of what is known as the American Dream.

Putinism and the American Dream.
https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2018/06/20/yes-putin-once-dreamed-the-american-dream/

Putin began laying a solid foundation for a fair democracy in Russia shortly after coming to office.

Kalen , Feb 17, 2019 12:42:34 AM | link
Deep state exists in any state officially under any political system democracy and autocracy. As for Tsar letters from 1917 who confirmed that his was abandoned and power was taken over by security apparatus, the same was in 2014 in Ukraine that his personal security unit mutined while he, his family and two security guard we saved due to Russian help as they were evacuated from Donbass where rhetoric fled. Electoral theater makes no difference to deep state that continues until real and bloody revolution occurs, to create new deep state protecting ruling elite interests same in Russia, same in the US as Mills noticed over a century ago.

As they posited, when men want to rule without seeming to do so, .. because they cannot [openly] lay claim to the required legitimacy, they will rule invisibly and "benignly," shielding themselves behind the rhetoric of popular rule.

Although "authority [in the US supposedly] formally resides 'in the people,' . . . the power of initiation is in fact held by small circles of men."[In hands of behind the scenes ruling oligarchic elite]. This is not to be known. There is the risk that power becomes identified by its true colors. "That is why the standard strategy of manipulation is to make it appear that the people . . . 'really made the decision'" (ibid., 317).

This is the idea behind allowing people or as Lippmann described them "meddlesome spectators" to go through in fact meaningless voting ritual.

[In the US we have,] .. to use Sheldon Wolin's terminology, .. a "managed democracy," political form in which governments are legitimated by elections that they have learned to control," form of government that attempts to keep alive appearance of democracy while simultaneously defeating democracy's primary purpose, self-government.

As quoted above both, Tocqueville and Mills, identified hidden menacing power structure of fused state and private tyranny [also called Deep State] and its rules of control that are hidden, subtle unutterable, unspoken about, power that denies itself as power under guise of false free choice and propaganda of democratic participation.

The mere existence or if necessary exertion of this hidden power is the key ingredient in fragmenting population, producing masses of "sheeple" who lack capacity of self-understanding or even recognizing that they are being directly controlled both individually and collectively, that acquire their irrational/self-defeating behavior within a political realm.

Peter AU 1 , Feb 17, 2019 1:22:43 AM | link
Deep Russia.

Yeltsin had a lot of faults. He also appointed and sacked many prime ministers. He appointed Putin prime minister, then appointed Putin president to serve out the remainder of his own term. For all Yeltsin's faults, in appointing and sacking pm's, he was looking for somebody who could lead Russia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVitEiKkRZ8

I have watched this speech several times. Now I would have to term it Deep Russia.

Steve D Keith , Feb 17, 2019 2:41:26 AM | link
Back to the Future
George Orwell was born in Bihar, India. The name Bihar comes from the root word, Vihar, which means temple. An auspicious place. A place where we can understand the idea of time; the past, present and future as one. Mr Orwell certainly achieved this feat; perhaps destined to by virtue of the circumstances of his birth. He was, or at least his writings were, prophetic. He could see the reality of how the world was, because of how the people were and consequently he could see how the future would unravel, logically. He was not wrong then and he is not wrong in these darkened days in which we are dying.

In his masterpiece, 1984, he introduces us to a dystopian reality that has encompassed the globe; three fascistic power blocs of the northern hemisphere, Oceania, Eurasia and East Asia fighting each other for the resources of the southern hemisphere. London was the capital of Airstrip One, an offshore island and part of the superstate of Oceania (North America and the British Isles). She was at endless war with her neighbours, rivals and enemies in the battle for global domination, Eurasia (Europe and Russia) and East Asia (China and the states that border her today).

The debacle which has enveloped the United Kingdom and the European Union over the former's decision to withdraw from the latter's club, has created the opportunity for two thirds of this fiction to become real facts, eventually and inevitably forcing the hand of the Peoples Republic to realise a historical belief and vision, espoused many years before on the BBC's Dateline London programme by a Chinese TV journalist (London correspondent, probably), that if it looks Chinese, then it is Chinese. Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos would return to the bosom of the motherland, as Austria, the Sudatenland etc was annexed to the German fatherland.

All this because Russia and the Europeans would have come together, probably quite naturally, in response to Great Britain and Ireland having joined as the fifty first, second, third and fifty fourth states, of the United States. These four ancient nations will find no other way to resolve the #Brexit conundrum and they will see this as the only logical option - an English speaking block, based on common free trade ideals, that guarantees their sovereignty. It would appeal to each of the four nations, the English, Scots, Welsh and Irish, perhaps for different reasons but they would be accepting because their national ego's will be satisfied with this international recognition of each of their sovereign rights.

There is a certain historical inevitability about the whole thing. As a man who spent the formative years of his life in India, he will be aware of the darkness of the age in which we live, an age that the Hindus know as the age of Kali, Kal Yug. An age of darkness and destruction, of deviance and distrust. It is an age that has come before and that will come again, just as the golden ages have come and in time must pass again, back into history. Each has their time and their place. The creatures born in such an age must accept it and refuse to capitulate to it's mesmerising illusions. Of course they won't - it is all too mesmeric, the illusion too beautiful. The illusion of self, of nation, of country, of power, of right and of wrong. It is the illusion of the physical, of the material, of the possibilities of each, that will drive nations together into the power structures from which there will be no escape until the Armageddon, that is theoretically believed in by many of the participants, will arrive and the age will turn, again.

Montreal , Feb 17, 2019 4:03:32 AM | link
"Glubina" also means the Russian countryside (an analogy would be "la France profonde") - everywhere outside the cities is the "glubina" for which the people have a mystical attachment.

Western sanctions have been a great boon to Russian agriculture, as well cementing national solidarity. The new sanctions being contemplated in Washington will, if they are confirmed, act as a spur for Russia to quarantine itself against the next western financial collapse. My impression has always been that VVP greatly values stability and a reacts to attacks from the outside only reluctantly and after great thought as to where Russia's fundamental interests lie.

QuietRebel , Feb 17, 2019 4:18:22 AM | link
@james 37

Do you also agree with donkeytale's glibe comparison of the Putin go ernment to the Nazi Hitler regime and the Trump administration?

mourning dove , Feb 17, 2019 4:32:08 AM | link
I think that imperialism has invaded the Western psyche to such an extent that many people, particularly in the 5Eyes countries, seem to believe that their first impressions are of such weight and credibility that thoughtful consideration of a subject is unnecessary. This is apparent in so many of the comments here which come off as edicts or proclamations from on high and which treat alternative viewpoints with derision and contempt.

Conversely, many of the comments are thoughtful and well reasoned, open to other's views, but these are often drowned out. I can't be the only one who's noticed that someone here is using numerous identities in order to dominate the discussion, create consensus, and to "gang up" on people. It creates a microcosm of imperialism which, to me, speaks louder than any position or ethic that this keyboard emperor(ess) professes.

somebody , Feb 17, 2019 4:37:44 AM | link
Posted by: Pft | Feb 16, 2019 5:01:40 PM | 60

Yep. It is a joke.

somebody , Feb 17, 2019 4:54:50 AM | link
Add: This is John Helmers unsentimental summary on the recent attempt to find an "official" justification for power.

The issue is not political. It is the economic success of the Chinese model (which is very different from the Russian one, but Russia might get closer to it, than it is to Western neoliberalism).

And China is the present technological leader.

Jen , Feb 17, 2019 5:51:29 AM | link
Jack Rabbit @ 76:

In the doctrine of the Mandate of Heaven, the concept of Heaven encompasses the order of the natural world where the ruler governs the people, and is not merely concerned with humanity's relations with the spiritual world. If the natural world is beset by drought, famine or other natural disasters, that is a sign that the ruler is not caring for the people and the people have the right to overthrow that ruler.

The effects of drought, famine, flooding and some other natural disasters can be prevented, minimised or alleviated, sometimes to the extent that life can even carry on as if the disaster had not happened, so in the past emperors did have reason to fear prolonged or repeated disasters from one year to the next - because those disasters could very well be consequences of past inaction or past actions that were wrong or corrupt.

The concept doesn't advise or tell leaders how to stay in touch with the people; they presumably must figure this out for themselves to be effective leaders.

Spike , Feb 17, 2019 9:08:07 AM | link
"Globalization" would be the diminishing of the strength of the nation-states with the corresponding increase in the strength of the trading entities, the corporations. That's easy to reject!

But when the nation-states fade away because the traders have faded away and there's no longer any need to control and regulate them, then you have the dreamed about condition.

One can formulate any philosophy of government one wants, but it is certainly better that one not see trade as being natural and eternal.

Piotr Berman , Feb 17, 2019 9:14:50 AM | link
Understanding of Russia perplexed Westerners of centuries (Chinese did not seem to care too much). Genuine curiosity can be detected in news sections not related to politics, as it can be witnessed by an article in Forbes, Food and Drink section. Title and a quote:

Want To Find A Rich Person In Russia? Look For The Lemons
Lizzy Saxe Contributor, "I write about the future of food, business, and culture." Food & Drink

Quote: Harold noticed that "Russians consume a lot more lemons per capita than many other parts of the world. I was wondering, is that because they drink a lot of vodka? Is it because they're big tea drinkers? Why are they using so many lemons?" He started to investigate. He discovered that the answer wasn't quite that universal.

Unsurprisingly, lemons don't grow in Russia. It's too cold to produce them, so you have to buy them from far, far away. That makes the sour yellow citrus expensive. So expensive, in fact, that, "wealthy Russians really like to incorporate lemons into their lifestyle. It communicates to people that they have the means to be able to afford them. They call it the bling of produce."

====

Someone sold simple-minded Lizzy a tall story, and Russians and Russophiles have a hilarious stream of twits today. For a journalist in a business publication that should know a thing or two about marketing, the fact that a product has high per capita consumption should suggest that it is not restricted to the rich, unless the country in question has reversed income pyramid, enormous percentage of status seeking rich folks. In fact, since long time, tea drinking was popular in Russia, perhaps because their Siberian holdings required them to sell furs, Chinese mandarins like to have fur hats and fur trimmed robes, and China had to offer products to pay for those furs, and that was tea. Russians got hooked on tea -- as were the Mongols, Tibetans, all nations of Central Asia, iran etc. Tea that trades well at long distances was black and bitter. However, even a relatively small amount of vitamin C reduces bitterness a lot as it reacts with tea tannins (the same holds for another bitter drink, mate, but coffee bitterness is not caused by tannins, so adding lemon to coffee was never popular). The result was that even peasant families would possess samovars for making hot water for tea and brew tea in a hot spot at the samovar top, and would add thin slices of lemons to tea.

As a product needed for the welfare of the working class, lemon supplies were one of Communist priorities, I kid you not. In my youth in Communist Poland, a kilo of bananas and oranges would cost 40, while a kilo of lemons mere 30. The communist blocks produced some lemons, and was getting the rest from barter agreements with India, Brazil etc. In the stores, bananas and oranges could appear and disappear, but lemons were always there.

Of course, a household where lemons are always present would find some other uses. For example, borsch is an ubiquitous dish and it is based on beets that should be fermented for several days to create a sour taste, but in an urban household, beets were sliced, a lemon was squeezed and a borsch would be cooked right away. Fish would always be garnished with lemon etc. In other words, every urban household would use lemons every day, and those slices could add up (I am not sure about villages, there are also forest berries with vitamin C and sour taste, and villagers would collect a lot of them).

As posted on Twitter, the current store price of lemons in Russia is 1 dollar per kilogram, apparently the authorities keep lemon prices low, a tradition inherited from the Communist predecessors. Allegedly, this is the same as average lemon price in the international trade, but (a) Russia has long standing import tradition with low cost producers like India (b) the markup on lemons is low.

That said, it is quite possible that the Russian rich display lemons on their table, but the reasons are not as Harold surmised. In eastern and central Europe there is a strong conviction that the traditional food is healthy, good for soul and body. When my family visited Poland (we lived in USA), it was striking that tourist dominated town sections would have lots of foreign cousines, while the business section would have predominantly traditional food, stuff that "every" household would cook at home.

Noirette , Feb 17, 2019 9:17:57 AM | link
Sasha posted, 50:

..for Surkov unveiling all the Russian policy, internal and external, and that is too much asking

Yes, but I couldn't read beyond it (= between the lines, underneath, etc.), as you say:

Being his personal style of writing most of the time kind of confusing and always sounding like including hided and double meanings/senses

Maybe some stuff went over my head. I failed to grasp a deeper / more intruiging, vital, novel meaning or message.

Jen 54 points out that Good-Gvmt. is based on Trust, sure, like satisfactory business dealings, happy families and solid marriages .. not flash news.

The Saker is potty about Putin and will post anything that idolises the Great Leader (say.)

I'm a 'fan', of Putin and Lavrov myself, and have nothing against Surkov, but going overboard on personalia vs. pol / economic systems, resources, geography etc. is a distraction.

If framed properly it is OK: Who is the nicer person, Ocasio-Cortez or Gabbard? Would Megan M. be a better Queen than Kate M.? Etc.

donkeytale , Feb 17, 2019 10:03:38 AM | link
@james 37

Do you also agree with donkeytale's glibe comparison of the Putin go ernment to the Nazi Hitler regime and the Trump administration?

Posted by: QuietRebel | Feb 17, 2019 4:18:22 AM | 83

Of course he doesn't agree with that "glib comparison."

Neither do I.

What I introduced was a simile to illustrate my implication that Surkov is hardly an objective observer of the Russian political system and thus not creditable in this instance.

But nice bit of of setting a trap for James to keep him captured within community standards of subjectivity. Lol

Also, y'know, if you have any issues with my comment you could, y'know, raise them with me directly.

I will state that Trump would of course enjoy the comparison with Putin, since he is on record as an admirer, would also love to jail his political opponents at election time (as Putin does), clearly enjoys using his political power to enrich himself (as Putin also does), and surely would love to find a way to circumvent term limits to remain President for life (as Putin does). This last may be necessary to keep himself, his family and flunkies out of prison.

In other notes, LMAO at all the high falutin rhetorical flights of fancy in this thread extolling the Godlike virtues of the Russian people and Putin, the Chinese "Mandate of Heaven" etc.

This is doubtlessly inspired by Surkov's own flight of fancy in his essay. Yes, the Russian people are to be commended for their centuries of struggle to overcome their historically sad socioeconomic plight and of course for defeating the Nazis (don't know how much credit I can give the Russian people for defeating Napoleon---that one seemed much more like a win for the czarist forces of oppression as opposed to liberation of the masses).

Putin is a great leader and statesman, easily the most accomplished on the world scene today. The problem lies not with him necessarily. The problem is with Surkov's fantasy as it infects the usual suspects in this thread, who should know well but will never admit (because their goal is to rhetorically reinforce a prevailing blog narrative rather than strive to attain the synthesis of truth--that is, the honest intellectual pursuit of knowledge through debate, point and counterpoint) that one man can never successfully embody the political system and the political system cannot adequately reflect the greatness of one man --- for more than the life of that one man --- because that one man is not a god and will eventually wither away and die.

Thus the system he embodies and animates with his greatness cannot be replicated indefinitely after he goes, if it can be sustained even with his immediate successor.

This is a lesson obtained from history, religious texts, legends, mythology. Man is weak, evil, greedy, all the seven sins. Someone mentioned the US Constitution was formulated as a defense mechanism against agains the perfidy of man and of course it was! Lol. Imperfect as it is look we can fight off Trump much better than the Russians will be able to fight off a future Trumpkov.

The Chinese could not reach their present level of capitalist/imperialist success until Mao was long gone, his cult of personality repudiated and replaced by a "communist" party from which succession is dependent more on bureaucrats than charismatic leaders.

Hatred of the Evil Empire doesn't automatically confer righteousness to its opponents no matter how flowery the oratory supporting such contention.

Especially when the so-called opponents aren't even truly ideological opponents but in fact erely represent differing spheres of influence and trading blocs, at worst.

Mike , Feb 17, 2019 11:33:10 AM | link
donkeytale | Feb 17, 2019 10:03:38 AM | 91

That's an awfully long way of just saying that Russia after Putin is very unlikely to be an improvement along commonly accepted metrics over Russia with Putin, or that whatever Putin has changed will guarantee a modicum of continuity past the next, say, two Russian leaders. Same type of thing for China, but for both you seem to amplify the effects of the few pro-Russia/pro-China posts into more than they are, including a narrative that you attribute to the owner of the blog (b)? And I don't see anyone making the argument that "hatred" of the "Evil Empire" automatically confers righteousness to the adversary(ies) other than perhaps that, given the history, it's nice to see there might actually be some adversaries who may not simply fold and fall in line. They still may, but unlikely.

I kinda wish someone would have talked about - or at least explicitly - the fact that all the praise being heaped on Putin is still just praise for a man and his accomplishments, which to my knowledge don't involve concrete changes to the Russian constitution (or equivalent - not much of a Russia scholar myself) that might serve to "guarantee" (insofar as it's ever possible) that future leaders in his position are constrained or empowered in such a fashion that they are most likely to govern in Putin-esque terms.

I dunno, maybe I should read the essay linked by b, but I can't muster much interest in reading propaganda no matter where it's coming from. To me it's sufficient to know that even if they're just different spheres of influence or competing trading blocs, it's nice that the world isn't necessarily doomed to unipolar US/UK dominance - again, given their sordid history, including the very recent. AND I think it's good that the other side is being presented in such a manner as to reach at least a small western audience given the way the corporate MSM has openly censored any such prose and banned any such thought.

I also happen to think that presenting the other side humanizes the Russians and even Putin and provides a bit of understanding into how they view themselves, all of which and all of the above being helpful in synthesizing a worldview on those matters as well as choosing an appropriate lens through which to view the one-sided, hysterical, often evidence-free, accusations of election tampering, utility grid hacking, and the supposed desire to see "western democracy" toppled, as you might expect to see from someone on NBC or from craigsummers.

QuietRebel , Feb 17, 2019 11:55:52 AM | link
@donkeytale
You blame me for misinterpting you comment, but you are the one who added the Nazi and Trump tropes. If you just wanted to make a point about propaganda you you have just posted the first part of your comment,but you went on. Putin is often seriously compared to Hitler,and you expect me to be able to read your mind when you make a comparison of Putin to Hitler. I stand by my original comment.
donkeytale , Feb 17, 2019 12:02:48 PM | link
Mike, I'm nothing if not longwinded....lol.

I also tend to add layers of digressions which lengthen my statements but don't help me necessarily because it gives more ammo to attack me on one of those instead of my main point.

I don't disagree with anything you say here. Also, as often happens after I post I notice Noirette has also posted a more concise, better made point right above mine.

Noirette rocks.

The Surkov essay is well worth reading, IMHO and shouldn't be dismissed because it's propaganda. It reads more liek self-justification to me but it has blatant logical/historical issues as Noirette points out.

As for the comments by others who drive in automatic extoll the virtues mode all the time, perhaps it is just a figment of my overheated imagination.

Montreal , Feb 17, 2019 12:09:23 PM | link
@93. "Putin enjoys using his political power to enrich himself." Now, you may be right, or you may be wrong, but I am damned if I know how you know. Over the years, the number of times I have been told that Putin secretly owns MTS, Surgutneft, etc etc, that his money is looked after in Zurich (and someone knows his fund managers!). The point being of course is to brand him as a greedy self-serving bandit like all the rest.

I would very much doubt that he keeps wealth outside Russia. Given the theme of this discussion, this is an important distinction. The Panama Papers showed, for example, that Poroshenko has stashed obscene sums of money, presumably looted from Ukraine, in the Caribbean (as have thousands of Russians), so when the time for looting is over, they can go and live the life of rich men in the West.

Putin lives and dies with Russia - there will be no comfortable retirement for him in Switzerland, assuming that he wanted it, which I am sure he doesn't. The Russians know this.

Constantine , Feb 17, 2019 12:15:26 PM | link
I would heartily recommend Dugin's respond to Surkov's essay. Whatever views one holds for Dugin's various works, this is a very somber analysis.

https://www.fort-russ.com/2019/02/its-time-for-super-putin-dugin-on-surkovs-putin-analysis/

donkeytale , Feb 17, 2019 12:16:41 PM | link
QR,

No worries, I'm not blaming you at all, and I'm not asking you to retract or anything. I disagree with you that I was making a glib comparison. In quickly searching for similes I came up with those 2, mainly because I thought they were funny.

Of course, Russia today doesn't compare with Nazi Germany. I apologise if I offended you even though a comparison was not my intent. In my way of seeing the blogosphere, it is always on the writer when the reader miscomprehends. I sought to clarify not blame you.

Quite frankly, the US, China and Russian systems all have much more in common than any of them do with Nazi Germany.

David , Feb 17, 2019 12:18:14 PM | link
It's important to note that the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan was not an invasion. The legitimate Afghan government requested Soviet military intervention, and the Soviets actually hesitated to send military assistance.

From this phone conversation between Taraki (President of Afghanistan) and Kosygin (Soviet Premier), Taraki says:

We ask you that you extend practical and technical assistance, involving people and arms.

In the phone conversation, Taraki begs for military aid from the Soviet Union, but is greeted with hesitation since "It is a very complex matter", as Kosygin put it.

Russia's cause in Afghanistan and Syria are the same -- fighting terrorism -- but only the former is dubbed an "invasion" when it was a perfectly legal police action (unlike the Yankee aggression against Vietnam) under international law.

juliania , Feb 17, 2019 12:28:47 PM | link
Grieved @67 and 68

I agree with your understandings but would take them further:

1)"...that inherent genius of Putin to identify with the ordinary people..."

Here I would expand the term to include all the people, the elites as well as the ordinary (supposing that to mean less well-off). It is important to remember that Putin did offer the wealthy a choice - either to leave or be prosecuted, or to use their wealth in service to the nation. Surov doesn't just mean 'deep nation' to be the earthy folk - he wants every stratum included, and that is what makes it such an all-encompassing enigmatic force. It would include Putin's political opposition as well as the old vestiges of the communist state. All of these are being given the opportunity to contribute, just as all ethnic communities do. And each will be at one point or another asked to sacrifice - as for instance seniors with respect to their pensions - when the need arises. The difference here is that they are not being 'told' this is what is going to happen, like it or lump it - they are given detailed explanations and apologies that this needs to happen for the short term to enable the long term to happen - how different this from what goes on in the US when it comes to state policy![to be continued]

Jackrabbit , Feb 17, 2019 12:29:38 PM | link
Jen

In MoH doctrine the people are an agent of Heaven. Surkov's Deep Putin(tm)/Putinism is an agent of the People. That's why I write @ "Les gens, c'est moi").

MoH Dynastic change includes war/foreign intrigue. That is dangerous in today's world. Under MoH, for example, a Color Revolution stoked by foreign interests becomes a divine manifestation.

Immediate context: It seems to me that there is still much resistance to the turn away from the West, despite it's being forced upon Russia. Many Russian elites could benefit greatly by a reversal. These elites form a competing 'Deep State'.

Piotr Berman , Feb 17, 2019 1:10:20 PM | link
"This unique Russian system makes it superior:

The contemporary model of the Russian state starts with trust and relies on trust. This is its main distinction from the Western model, which cultivates mistrust and criticism. And this is the source of its power."

This is propagandist picture, the reality is less bright for sure, but not THAT bleak. As we are all to well aware, trust is something that can be earn or inculcated by other means. However, it a government wants to be trusted, it helps to focus on what people want.

For example, after the oil prices declined from 90-100 range to 40-ties with subsequent oscillation -- now ca. 55 (Brent and Urals ca. 65), Putin responded with almost terrifying decisiveness. Rubble depreciated by factor 2 or more, in line with oil. Imports were slashed correspondingly. Positive balance of trade was maintained. A huge chunk of foreign reserves was pulled back and Russian debt was sharply reduced. Real incomes were allowed to drop, to meagerly rise afterwards. HOWEVER, as a commentator noted very briefly, the employment did not drop, and thus the number of people severely affected was small. There was a drop in construction, but a rise in agriculture and to lesser extend, manufacturing. Russia engaged in "import substitution". Russian lost growth of incomes but preserved stability, and the majority preferred it that way: oil crisis in an oil country must foster an economic crisis, so the choice was for some minority to loose a lot or everybody loosing a little.

These choices perplexed observers in Western media. Just because it is popular, Russia decreased free trade, competition and "mobility of labour" that The Economist tirelessly advocates. And forget about "free financial markets". But what about "necessary painful reforms"?

Actually, being a budget freak, Putin does have painful stuff on the agenda. Russia amassed reserves during "fat years", but with oil contributing much less to the budget, some taxes have to go up and some benefits have to go down. Road tolls were introduced and truckers rebelled. Retirement age was increased and the popularity of Putin dropped. However, in each case the government modulated the "reforms" with concessions, and of course, it keeps making the case why the reforms are needed, so truckers are still trucking, and the retirement reforms were not entirely abandoned. The popularity is still quite healthy, if not in the stratosphere.

In other words, Putin's government is very cautious and strategic about "necessary painful" stuff that Western politicians dish quite freely. What insanity overtook them to keep pushing for "ever more free trade"? Or foreign interventions -- where are the crowds of Britons of France being jubilant that a few countries got destroyed and refugees are flooding in, documenting the superiority of the economic/political system, voting with their legs?

But what about Putin's own interventions? Again, we can see strategic and careful approach. In the case of Crimea, ca. 80% are glad that it was absorbed by Russia, and in Crimea itself the percentage may be higher. In the case of Syria, Russia made a huge effort to keep costs down, both in treasure and blood, and effects up, Syrians being trained to do the bulk of heavy lifting, and ACTUALLY doing that -- unlike hapless Afghan army etc.

Lastly, the deep state. In Russian there is a newish word "siloviki" = "people of strength/power", and they are definitely a material phenomenon rather than a myth. The main difference is that in the West, the smart people work for financial services, or big pharma etc., and intellectually, the "deep state" is very, very mediocre, the casting of The Ministry of Silly Walks.

Jackrabbit , Feb 17, 2019 1:27:24 PM | link
Putinism sounds a lot like Erdogan's MB-infused nationalism. Erdogan propagandists/apologists conflate the people's interests and Erdogan's policies/actions to the point that they are essentially the same. Erdogan thus embodies the people and critics are perceived as traitors.

Kurov hints at an institutional mechanism(s) that:

1) ensures Putinism remains connected to the people/people's interests, and

2) is able to be adoptable by other countries.


Looking forward to details of this mechanism that might elevate Kurov's Deep Putin(tm) from propaganda to political model.
Piotr Berman , Feb 17, 2019 3:29:35 PM | link
Piotr Berman @107

So you're saying that Putinism is a philosophical approach to governance that doesn't have (or has no need for) institutional mechanism(s) for correctness and longevity? Jackrabbit | Feb 17, 2019 1:42:39 PM

I am not a great believer in "philosophical approaches". More precisely, you can design a mechanism that will surely work badly, but you cannot assure good outcomes with a "mechanism". US constitution is pretty good, but if the Congress members, President etc. choose to be beholden to special interests and the population tolerates it, then hard to see how it could be improved with, say, proportional representation, ban on moving from key political and administrative position to lucrative posts in private sector etc.

=============

Someone compared Putin to Erdogan. One big difference is that Putin is very careful, plans long term and gets approval from a decisive majority, using "dirty tricks" like actually paying attention to what people want. Erdogan gets 50% of popular support and when in doubt, increases repressions, censorship etc. If you compare with Turkey, China, etc., the hand of the state in Russia is pretty light, opposition minded people may have newspapers, websites, if demonstrations are "illegal" the demonstrators are released quickly etc. If you are a policeman or a prison guard in Russia who killed a person, the chances of getting seriously sentenced are much higher than in USA where those professions enjoy considerable impunity -- which is used.

brian , Feb 17, 2019 3:46:11 PM | link
'Why Russia no longer regrets its invasion of Afghanistan'

FYI russia nver 'invaded' afghanistan! it was asked to help by the legit govt in Kabul

james , Feb 17, 2019 4:24:34 PM | link Blooming Barricade , Feb 17, 2019 4:26:54 PM | link
It's a shame that they "apologised" to begin with. They were wrong to have ever done so. The recent dialogue over this war by the US media laughing at Trump and telling him off for calling the Mujahideen terrorists (which they were) as opposed to "freedom fighters" has amazingly been phrased as "Trump's comments aren't in line with what the US believed at the time," as opposed to citing actual opinion, ie the US's opinion is "reality" on every given event regardless of the facts. By far the worst part of this is that I don't even think that the individual journos are purposefully propagandising the public, they actually believe that the US tells the truth. Similarly, the New York Times intelligence editors wrote that they learn the most from the official DNI presentation meetings. Aren't reporters supposed to go beyond what the government tells them? Sad, so sad....
Grieved , Feb 17, 2019 5:51:12 PM | link
Not only were the Russians invited - even beseeched - into Afghanistan, the locals still remember them with great fondness and respect. Andre Vltchek took a drive through that country in 2017 and reported that very fact:

Andre Vltchek: On the road in Afghanistan - Lies, legends and myths

karlof1 , Feb 17, 2019 7:03:33 PM | link
Grieved @126--

Yes, the last chapter in the Anti-Communist Crusade consists of the massive Big Lie about the USSR and Afghanistan--many within the Outlaw US Empire think Rambo-3 was based on fact, particularly the Soviet Sadism. The Truth is almost the exact opposite of the West's propaganda as was even clear at the time for those of us who relied on different print sources and already knew not to believe the false narrative generated by the Crusade.

hopehely , Feb 17, 2019 8:31:02 PM | link
Posted by: vk | Feb 17, 2019 5:34:14 PM | 124
Even Russian banks still bow the Americans:
Russia's Gazprombank freezes accounts of Venezuela's PDVSA: source

PDVSA denies it.

donkeytale , Feb 17, 2019 9:10:39 PM | link
vk, james, pft, et al

One would have to be incredibly naive on the order of say a 3 year old or maybe Forrest Gump to believe Putin isn't a very wealthy man who will never want for anything as long as he has billionaire cronies indebted to him politically in one way or the other.

Of course, some people must cling to their illusions, er I mean their idealism, of others no matter what. Dog knows why.

Thomas Piketty :

More generally, the Soviet disaster led to the abandon of any ambition of redistribution. Since 2001, income tax is 13%, whether your income be 1,000 roubles or 100 billion roubles. Even Reagan and Trump have not gone as far in the destruction of progressive taxation. There is no tax on inheritance in Russia, nor in the People's Republic of China. If you want to pass on your fortune in peace in Asia, it is better to die in the ex-Communist countries and definitely not in the capitalist countries such as Taiwan, South Korea or Japan where the tax rate on inheritance on the highest estates has just risen from 50% to 55%.

But while China has succeeded in conserving a degree of control on capital outflows and private accumulation, the characteristic of Putin's Russia is an unbounded drift into kleptocracy. Between 1993 and 2018, Russia had massive trade surpluses: approximately 10% of GDP per annum on average for 25 years, or a total in the rage of 250% of GDP (two and a half years of national production). In principle that should have enabled the accumulation of the equivalent in financial reserves. This is almost the size of the sovereign public fund accumulated by Norway under the watchful gaze of the voters. The official Russian reserves are ten times lower – barely 25% of GDP.

Where has the money gone? According to our estimates, the offshore assets alone held by wealthy Russians exceed one year of GDP, or the equivalent of the entirety of the official financial assets held by Russian households. In other words, the natural wealth of the country, (which, let it be said in passing, would have done better to remain in the ground to limit global warming) has been massively exported abroad to sustain opaque structures enabling a minority to hold huge Russian and international financial assets. These rich Russians live between London, Monaco and Moscow: some have never left Russia and control their country via offshore entities. Numerous intermediaries and Western firms have also recouped large crumbs on the way and continue to do so today in sport and the media (sometimes this is referred to as philanthropy). The extent of the misappropriation of funds has no equal in history.


evilempire , Feb 17, 2019 10:03:14 PM | link
It might be that russia has invested its surplus into massive internal
investment, like the military with projects such as the technopolis and
rebuilding its industrial base and technical expertise. I've read that
russia was acutely consciousness of the demonic game empire was playing
and maybe that accounts for the concentration on the military. Russia is again
a military superpower and that requires enormous expenditure and investment. For
the well-nigh impossible task of simultaneously being a servant of the people
and a servant of the supreme being, putin seems to be doing as admirable a job
as any human being is capable. He is certainly supremely intelligent, maybe a
political genius, and a decent person, but as the article points out he is
just the tip of the iceberg of the deep russian culture and spirit, honed by
centuries of suffering. Didn't dostoevsky say that suffering was the beginning of
consciousness? This is where russia has the decadent west beaten, because obscene
wealth corrupts obscenely. Italy also seems to have found decent leadership.
Grieved , Feb 17, 2019 10:16:17 PM | link
There's a great clip at Vesti News right now, with Karen Shakhnazarov on Vladimir Soloviev's show. It's 12 minutes but I highly recommend it. He talks around the 6 minute mark about how Russia has not developed an economic model, and needs to get one. The US has one, China has one, Russia needs one.

This evolves into the concept that a nation has to have an IDEA of what it's doing and where it's going, something that it believes in. Soloviev joins in at the end with some excellent commentary too.

Russia is looking for its way forward, and the debate is open and intense throughout the country.

The clip also has the usual matter-of-fact, clear-eyed perspective on the US - hence the title of the clip by the headline-lovin' gang at Vesti - but in the end it's about the crucial survival value of meaning in a nation's life, with lives being lived meaningfully, from the soul.

Top Russian Expert: American Elites Too Busy Swindling Their Own People to Fight Russo-Sino Alliance

evilempire , Feb 18, 2019 12:41:36 AM | link
There is an article over at russia insider that debunks the picketty report;
https://russia-insider.com/en/business/west-attacks-russia-pickettys-
overblown-claims-abour-oligarch-wealth/ri24927
pogohere , Feb 18, 2019 1:34:24 AM | link
somebody @86

A very useful interview of John Helmer, an Australian journalist who began reporting from Russia in 1989.

2-14-19

John Helmer and a special, Gorilla Radio double-yolker, getting to know too much about Russia.

~52 min

As the first cracks of the Soviet Empire's eroding iron facade opened, Australian-born author, political essayist, professor of political science, and policy advisor to presidents and prime ministers, John Helmer headed for Moscow, determined to establish what was to become the longest continuously operating foreign press bureau in the capital.

From his position as an independent of single-national, or commercial sponsorship reporter, he ventured into the country's unpredictable, and often precarious economic transition period; a time that would see coup attempts, the undoing of international political superstar, Mikhail Gorbachev, and fall of Russia's communist system itself. It would too usher in the tempestuous Age of the Oligarchs.

Some of John Helmer's book titles include: 'The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society', 'Drugs and Minority Oppression', (with Claudia Wright) 'The Jackal's Wedding – American Power, Arab Revolt', 'Grand Strategy for Small Countries, Case Studies in Transforming Weakness into Power,' (and with Ajay Goyal) 'Uncovering Russia'. His latest book is the newly out political and personal memoir, 'The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia'.


pogohere , Feb 18, 2019 1:34:24 AM | link pogohere , Feb 18, 2019 2:04:52 AM | link
evilempire @ 141

Awara link to RI article

THE CASE AGAINST THOMAS PIKETTY. LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND STATISTICS. THE TRUE LEVEL OF INCOME AND WEALTH INEQUALITY IN RUSSIA.

evilempire , Feb 18, 2019 4:06:20 AM | link
For the real scoop on russia read Andrei Martyanov
at his Reminiscence of the Future blog:

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com

Peter AU 1 , Feb 18, 2019 5:02:41 AM | link
The "Deep Nation of Russia". An apt title.
Earlier in the thread I put up a link to Yeltsin's speech. Putin when asked in interviews about some of the things that happened in the 90's is exceptionally angry, yet when asked of his views on Gorbachev and Yeltsin, he says that everybody knew Russia, or the Soviet Union at that time, had to change, but nobody knew how.
Russia like China cannot be looked at in the same perspective as so called western nations, who's politics and outlook derives from westminster.
China is east. Russia is where east meets west.
vk , Feb 18, 2019 7:28:37 AM | link
PDVSA has just denied the Reuters story:

Pdvsa desmiente falsa noticia sobre bloqueo de banco ruso

But I think my point in general stands: Russia is still vulnerable to American sanctions in the financial sector. Otherwise, it wouldn't be working on another system and buying gold.

[Feb 13, 2019] MoA - Russiagate Is Finished

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... You can take this to the bank. Hardcore Russiagaters will never give up their belief in collusion and Russian influence in the 2016 campaign -- never. Congress and Mueller will be accused of engaging in a coverup. ..."
"... Thus, even if the Mueller report is underwhelming, I think that the Democrats and TDS-saturated Trump opponents will attempt to rehabilitate it by pretending that it contains important loose ends that need to be pursued. In other words, to perpetuate the Mueller-driven political Russophobia by all other available means. ..."
"... Russiagate has exposed the great degree of corruption within the Justice Department bureaucracy, particularly within FBI, and within the entire Democrat Party. ..."
"... Since this is obviously not going to be allowed to happen, and since these people get away with everything, expect this to never end, despite all evidence to the contrary. It doesn't matter if they've been exposed as CIA propagandists or Integrity Initiative stooges, the game goes on...and on.... the job security of these disgraced columnists is the greatest in the Western world. ..."
"... Stephen Cohen discusses how rational viewpoints are banned from the mainstream media, and how several features of US life today resemble some of the worst features of the Soviet system. https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/12/stephen-cohen-on-war-with-russia-and-soviet-style-censorship-in-the-us/ ..."
"... The US needs an enemy, how else can they ask NATO members to cough up 2% of GDP [just for one example Germany's GDP is nearly 4 Trillion dollars [2017] for defence spending, what a crazy sum all NATO members must fork out to please the US, but then most of that money must be spent on the US MIC 'interoperability' of course. ..."
"... Another great damage of Russiagate was the instigating of a nuclear arms race directed primarily at Russia, and ideologically justified by its diabolical policies. ..."
"... Russiagate was very successful. You just have to understand the objectives. It was a great distraction. Diverting peoples attention from the continued fleecing of the "real people" which are the bottom 90% by the "Corporate People" and their Government Lackeys. ..."
"... It provided an excuse for the acting CEO (a figurehead) of the Corporate Empire to go back on many of the promises made that got him elected, and to fill the swamp with Neocon and Koch Brother creatures with the excuse the Deep State made him do it. More proof that there is no deception that is too ridiculous to be believed so long as you have enough pundits claiming it to be so ..."
"... If you've done just a cursory look into Seth Rich, you'd be very suspicious about the story of his life and death. IMO Assange/Wikilleaks were set up. And Flynn was set up too. What they are doing is Orwellian: White Helmets, election manipulation, propaganda, McCarthism, etc. If you're not angry, you're not paying attention. ..."
"... See also this primer on Mueller's MO. ..."
"... The button pushers behind the Trump collusion and Russia election hacking false narratives got what they wanted: to walk the democrats and republicans straight into Cold War v2; to start their campaign to suppress alternative voices on the internet; to increase military spending; and more, more, more war. ..."
"... Russiagate was very successful <=pls read, re-read Pft @ 46.. he listed many things. divide and conquer accomplished. a nation state is defined as an armed rule making structure, designed by those who control a territory, and constructed by the lawyers, military, and wealthy and run by the persons the designers appoint, for the appointed are called politicians. ..."
"... At the beginnng of Russiagate, I wrote on Robert Parry's Consirtium News that Russiagate is Idiocracy piggy-backing on decades and literally billions of dollars of anti-Soviet and anti-Russian propaganda. How hard would it be to brainwash an already brainwashed population? ..."
"... The purveyors of Russiagate will re-compose themselves, brush off all reports and continue on. One just cannot get away from one's nature, even when that nature is pure idiocy. ..."
"... Russiagate will not go away unfortunately because it has evolved in the "Russiagate Industry". As mentioned by others, the Russiagate Industry has been very profitable for many industries and people. Russiagate has generated an entire cottage industry of companies around censorship and "find us a Russian". Dow Jones should have an index on the Russiagate Industry. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

For more than two years U.S. politicians, the media and some bloggers hyped a conspiracy theory. They claimed that Russia had somehow colluded with the Trump campaign to get him elected.

An obviously fake 'Dirty Dossier' about Trump, commissioned by the Clinton campaign, was presented as evidence. Regular business contacts between Trump flunkies and people in Ukraine or Russia were claimed to be proof for nefarious deals. A Russian click-bait company was accused of manipulating the U.S. electorate by posting puppy pictures and crazy memes on social media. Huge investigations were launched. Every rumor or irrelevant detail coming from them was declared to be - finally - the evidence that would put Trump into the slammer. Every month the walls were closing in on Trump.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/qjUvfZj-Fm0

At the same time the very real Trump actions that hurt Russia were ignored.

Finally the conspiracy theory has run out of steam. Russiagate is finished :

After two years and 200 interviews, the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.
...
Democrats and other Trump opponents have long believed that special counsel Robert Mueller and Congressional investigators would unearth new and more explosive evidence of Trump campaign coordination with Russians. Mueller may yet do so, although Justice Department and Congressional sources say they believe that he, too, is close to wrapping up his investigation.

Nothing, zero, nada was found to support the conspiracy theory. The Trump campaign did not collude with Russia. A few flunkies were indicted for unrelated tax issues and for lying to the investigators about some minor details. But nothing at all supports the dramatic claims of collusion made since the beginning of the affair.

In a recent statement House leader Nancy Pelosi was reduced to accuse Trump campaign officials of doing their job:

"The indictment of Roger Stone makes clear that there was a deliberate, coordinated attempt by top Trump campaign officials to influence the 2016 election and subvert the will of the American people. ...

No one called her out for spouting such nonsense.

Russiagate created a lot of damage.

The alleged Russian influence campaign that never happened was used to install censorship on social media. It was used to undermine the election of progressive Democrats. The weapon salesmen used it to push for more NATO aggression against Russia. Maria Butina, an innocent Russian woman interested in good relation with the United States, was held in solitary confinement (recommended) until she signed a paper which claims that she was involved in a conspiracy.

In a just world the people who for more then two years hyped the conspiracy theory and caused so much damage would be pushed out of their public positions. Unfortunately that is not going to happen. They will jump onto the next conspiracy train continue from there.

Posted by b on February 12, 2019 at 01:38 PM | Permalink

Comments next page " Legally, Maria Butina was suborned into signing a false declaration. If there were the rule of law, such party or parties that suborned her would be in gaol. Considering Mueller's involvement with Lockerbie, I am not holding my breath. FWIW the Swiss company that made the timers allegedly involved in Lockerbie have some comments of its own .


james , Feb 12, 2019 2:00:14 PM | link

thanks b..

I will be really glad when this 'get Russia' craziness is over, but I suspect even if the Mueller investigation has nothing, all the same creeps will be pulling out the stops to generate something... Skripal, Integrity Initiative, and etc. etc. stuff like this just doesn't go away overnight or with the end of this 'investigation'... folks are looking for red meat i tell ya!

as for Maria Butina - i look forward to reading the article.. that was a travesty of justice but the machine moves on, mowing down anyone in it's way... she was on the receiving end of all the paranoia that i have come to associate with the western msm at this point...

Zanon , Feb 12, 2019 2:03:26 PM | link
Considering Mueller hasn't produced its report nor the House dito, its way to early to say Russia gate is "finished".
Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 2:11:44 PM | link
And Russiagate was used ...
... by Hillary to justify her loss to Trump

Hillary's loss is actually best explained as her throwing the election to Trump . The Deep State wanted a nationalist to win as that would best help meet the challenge from Russia and China - a challenge that they had been slow to recognize.

=
... to smear Wikileaks as a Russian agent

The DNC leak is best explained as a CIA false flag.

=
... to remove and smear Michael Flynn

Trump said that he fired Flynn for lying to VP Pence but Flynn's conversations with the Russian Ambassador after Obama threw them out for "meddling" in the US election was an embarrassment to the Administration as Putin's Putin's decision not to respond was portrayed as favoritism toward the Trump Administration.

Rob , Feb 12, 2019 2:28:50 PM | link
You can take this to the bank. Hardcore Russiagaters will never give up their belief in collusion and Russian influence in the 2016 campaign -- never. Congress and Mueller will be accused of engaging in a coverup. This is typical behavior for conspiracy theorists.
bj , Feb 12, 2019 2:30:41 PM | link
Jimmy Dore on same: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgBxfHdb4OU Enjoy!
Ort , Feb 12, 2019 2:34:14 PM | link
I hope that Russiagate is indeed "finished", but I think it needs to be draped with garlic-clove necklaces, shot up with silver bullets, sprinkled with holy water, and a wooden stake driven through its black heart just to make sure.

I don't dispute the logical argument B. presents, but it may be too dispassionately rational. I know that the Russiagate proponents and enthralled supporters of the concept are too invested psychologically in this surrealistic fantasy to let go, even if the official outcome reluctantly admits that there's no "there" there.

The Democratic Party, one of the major partners mounting the Russophobic psy-op, has already resolved to turn Democratic committee chairmen loose to dog the Trump administration with hearings aggressively flogging any and all matters that discredit and undermine Trump-- his business connections, social liaisons, etc.

They may hope to find the Holy Grail: the elusive "bombshell" that "demands" impeachment, i.e., some crime or illicit conduct so heinous that the public will stand for another farcical impeachment proceeding. But I reckon that the Dems prefer the "soft" impeachment of harassing Trump with hostile hearings in hopes of destroying his 2020 electability with the death of a thousand innuendoes and guilt-by-association.

Thus, even if the Mueller report is underwhelming, I think that the Democrats and TDS-saturated Trump opponents will attempt to rehabilitate it by pretending that it contains important loose ends that need to be pursued. In other words, to perpetuate the Mueller-driven political Russophobia by all other available means.

Put more succinctly, I fear that Russiagate won't be finished until Rachel Maddow says it's finished. ;)

worldblee , Feb 12, 2019 2:38:17 PM | link
Once a hypothesis is fixed in people's minds, whether true or not, it's hard to get them to let go of it. And let's not forget how many times the narrative changed (and this is true in the Skripal case as well), with all past facts vanishing to accommodate a new narrative.

So I, like others, expect the fake scandal to continue while many, many other real crimes (the US attempted coup in Venezuela and the genocidal war in Yemen, for instance) continue unabated.

karlof1 , Feb 12, 2019 2:43:34 PM | link
Putin solicits public input for essential national policy goals . If ever there was a template to follow for an actual MAGAgenda, Putin's Russia provides one. While US politicos argue over what is essentially Bantha Pudu, Russians are hard at work improving their nation which includes restructuring their economy.

Russiagate has exposed the great degree of corruption within the Justice Department bureaucracy, particularly within FBI, and within the entire Democrat Party.

BlunderOn , Feb 12, 2019 2:48:51 PM | link
mmm...

I very much doubt it it is over. Trump is corrupt and has links to corrupt Russians. Collusion, maybe not, but several stinking individuals are in the frame for, guess what - ...bring it on... The fact that Hilary was arguably even worse (a point made ad-nauseum on here) is frankly irrelevant. The vilification of Trump will not affect the warmongers efforts. He is a useful idiot

james , Feb 12, 2019 2:52:33 PM | link
for a take on the alternative reality some are living in emptywheel has an article up on the nbc link b provides and the article on butina is discussed in the comments section... as i said - they are looking for red meat and will not be happy until they get some... they are completely zonkers...
Blooming Barricade , Feb 12, 2019 2:55:18 PM | link
Now that this racket has been admitted as such, I expect all of the media outlets that devoted banner headlines, hundreds of thousands of hours of cable TV time, thousands of trees, and free speech online to immediately fire all of their journalists and appoint Glenn Greenwald as the publisher of the New York Times, Michael Tracey at the Post, Aaron Matte at the Guardian, and Max Blumenthal at the Daily Beast.

Since this is obviously not going to be allowed to happen, and since these people get away with everything, expect this to never end, despite all evidence to the contrary. It doesn't matter if they've been exposed as CIA propagandists or Integrity Initiative stooges, the game goes on...and on.... the job security of these disgraced columnists is the greatest in the Western world.

jayc , Feb 12, 2019 3:03:51 PM | link
Stephen Cohen discusses how rational viewpoints are banned from the mainstream media, and how several features of US life today resemble some of the worst features of the Soviet system. https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/12/stephen-cohen-on-war-with-russia-and-soviet-style-censorship-in-the-us/
Heath , Feb 12, 2019 3:18:29 PM | link
It turned out getting rid of the Clintons has been a long term project.
Harry Law , Feb 12, 2019 3:21:58 PM | link
The US needs an enemy, how else can they ask NATO members to cough up 2% of GDP [just for one example Germany's GDP is nearly 4 Trillion dollars [2017] for defence spending, what a crazy sum all NATO members must fork out to please the US, but then most of that money must be spent on the US MIC 'interoperability' of course.

Then of course Russia has to be surrounded by NATO should they try and take over Europe by surging through the Fulda gap./s

Then of course there are the professional pundits who have built careers on anti Russian propaganda, Rachel Maddow for instance who earns 30,000$ per day to spew anti Russian nonsense.

folktruther , Feb 12, 2019 3:27:32 PM | link
Another great damage of Russiagate was the instigating of a nuclear arms race directed primarily at Russia, and ideologically justified by its diabolical policies.

I'm sorry b is so down on Conspiracy Theories, since they reveal quite real staged homicidal false flag operations of US power. Feeding into the stigmatizing of the truth about reality is not in the interests of the earth's people.

frances , Feb 12, 2019 3:31:11 PM | link
somehow I see this "revelation: tied to Barr's approaching tenure. I think they (FBI/DOJ) didn't want his involvement in their noodle soup of an investigation and the best way to accomplish that was to end it themselves. I also suspect that a deal has been made with Trump, possibly in exchange for leaving his family alone.

So we will see no investigation of Hillary, her 650,000 emails or the many crimes they detailed (according to NYPD investigation of Weiner's laptop) and the US will continue to be at war all day, every day. Team Swamp rules.

Ash , Feb 12, 2019 3:35:06 PM | link
Meanwhile, MSM is prepping its readers for the possibility that the Mueller report will never be released to us proles. If that's the case, I'm sure nobody will try to use innuendo to suggest it actually contains explosive revelations after all...
Heath , Feb 12, 2019 3:38:37 PM | link
@16

Harry, its vitally important as the US desperately wants to keep Europe under its thumb and to stop this European army which means Europe lead by Paris and Berlin becomes a world power. Trump's attempts to make nice with Russia is to keep it out of the EU bloc.

Anne Jaclard , Feb 12, 2019 3:54:47 PM | link
Well, the liberal conspiracy car crash ensured downmarket Mussolini a second term, it appears...Hard Brexit Tories also look likely to win thanks to centrist sabatoge of the left. You reap what you sow, corporate presstitutes!
wagelaborer , Feb 12, 2019 4:05:25 PM | link
Sane people have predicted the end of Russiagate almost as many times as insane people have predicted that the "smoking gun that will get rid of Trump" has been found. And yet the Mighty Wurlitzer grinds on, while social media is more and more censored.

I expect it all to continue until the 2020 election circus winds up into full-throated mode, and no one talks about anything but the next puppet to be appointed. Oops, I mean "elected".

Jen , Feb 12, 2019 4:15:57 PM | link
Ort @ 7:

You also need to behead the corpse, stuff the mouth with a lemon and then place the head down in the coffin with the body in supine (facing up) position. Weight the coffin with stones and wild roses and toss it into a fast-flowing river.

Russiagate won't be finished until a wall is built around Capitol Hill and all its inhabitants and worker bees declared insane by a properly functioning court of law.

Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 4:16:59 PM | link
frances @18:
I also suspect that a deal has been made with Trump, possibly in exchange for leaving his family alone. So we will see no investigation of Hillary ...
Underlying your perspective is the assumption that USA is a democracy where a populist "outsider" could be elected President, Yet you also believe that Hillary and the Deep State have the power to manipulate government and the intelligence agencies and propose a "conspiracy theory" based on that power.

Isn't it more likely that Trump made it clear (behind closed doors, of course) that he was amenable to the goals of the Deep State and that the bogus investigation was merely done to: 1) cover their own election meddling; 2) eliminate threats like Flynn and Assange/Wikileaks; 3) anti-Russian propaganda?

Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 4:33:16 PM | link
Jen

Steven Cohen once lamented that there were no "wise men" left in foreign policy. All the independent realists were shut out.

Michael McNulty , Feb 12, 2019 4:49:32 PM | link
US anti-Russian hysteria is moving into that grey area beyond McCarthyism approaching Nazism.
Circe , Feb 12, 2019 4:58:40 PM | link
Dowd, Trump's former lawyer on Russiagate stated there may not even be a report. If this is the case then the Zionist rulers have gotten to Mueller who no doubt figured out that the election collusion breadcrumbs don't lead to Putin, they lead to Netanyahu and Zionist billionaire friends! So Mueller may have to come up with a nothing burger to hide the truth.
Danny , Feb 12, 2019 5:02:34 PM | link
B is the only alternative media blogger I've followed for a significant amount of time without becoming disenfranchised. Not because he has no blind spot - his is just one I can deal with... optimism.

hopehely , Feb 12, 2019 5:14:49 PM | link

I will believe Russiagate is finished when expelled Russian staff gets back, when the US returns the seized Russian properties, when the consulate is Seattle reopens and when USA issues formal apology to Russia.

Posted by: hopehely | Feb 12, 2019 5:14:49 PM | link

bevin , Feb 12, 2019 5:16:18 PM | link
Nobody has ever advanced the tiniest shred of credible evidence that 'Russia' or its government at any level was in any way implicated either in Wikileaks' acquisition of the DNC and Podesta emails or in any form of interference with the Presidential election.

This has been going on for three years and not once has anything like evidence surfaced.

On the other hand there has been an abundance of evidence that those alleging Russian involvement consistently refused to listen to explore the facts.

Incredibly, the DNC computers were never examined by the FBI or any other agency resembling an official police agency. Instead the notorious Crowdstrike professionally russophobic and caught red handed faking data for the Ukrainians against Russia were commissioned to produce a 'report.'

Nobody with any sense would have credited anything about Russiagate after that happened.

Thgen there was the proof, from VIPS and Bill Binney (?) that the computers were not hacked at all but that the information was taken by thumbdrive. A theory which not only Wikileaks but several witnesses have offered to prove.

Not one of them has been contacted by the FBI, Mueller or anyone else "investigating."

In reality the charges from the first were ludicrous on their face. There is, as b has proved and every new day's news attests, not the slightest reason why anyone in the Russian government should have preferred Trump over Clinton. And that is saying something because they are pretty well indistinguishable. And neither has the morals or brains of an adolescent groundhog.

Russiagate is over, alright, The Nothingburger is empty. But that means nothing in this 'civilisation': it will be recorded in the history books, still to be written, by historians still in diapers, that "The 2016 Presidential election, which ended in the controversial defeat of Hillary Clinton, was heavily influenced by Russian agents who hacked ..etc etc"

What will not be remembered is that every single email released was authentic. And that within those troves of correspondence there was enough evidence of criminality by Clinton and her campaign to fill a prison camp.

Another thing that will not be recalled is that there was once a young enthusiastic man, working for the DNC, who was mugged one evening after work and killed.

Baron , Feb 12, 2019 5:16:49 PM | link
The 'no collusion' result will only spur the 'beginning of the end' baboons to shout even more, they'll never stop until they die in their beds or the plebs of the Republic made them adore the street lamp posts, you'll see. The former is by far more likely, the unwashed of American have never had a penchant for foreign affairs except for the few spasms like Vietnam.
Circe , Feb 12, 2019 5:20:11 PM | link
There was collusion alright but the only Russians who helped Trump get elected and were in on the collusion are citizens of ISRAEL FIRST, likewise for the American billionaires who put Trump in the power perch. ISRAEL FIRST.

That's why Trump is on giant billboards in Israel shaking hands with the Yahoo. Trump is higher in the polls in Israel than in the U.S. If it weren't that the Zionist upper crust need Trump doing their dirty work in America, like trying today get rid of Rep. Omar Ilhan, then Trump would win the elections in Ziolandia or Ziostan by a landslide cause he's been better for the Joowish state than all preceding Presidents put together. Mazel tov to them bullshet for the rest of us servile mass in the vassal West and Palestinians the most shafted class ever. Down with Venezuela and Iran, up with oil and gas. The billionare shysters' and Trump's payola is getting closer. Onward AZ Empire!

Les , Feb 12, 2019 5:24:36 PM | link
He proved himself so easy to troll during the election. It wouldn't surprise me if aim of the domestic intelligence agencies all along was to get him elected and have a candidate they could manipulate.
Zachary Smith , Feb 12, 2019 5:38:03 PM | link
@ Harry Law #16

At least Germany has the good sense not to throw taxpayer money at the F-35. German F-35 decision sacrifices NATO capability for Franco-German industrial cooperation I don't know what they have in mind with a proposed airplane purchase. If they need fighters, buy or lease Sweden's Gripen. If attack airplanes are what they're after, go to Boeing and get some brand new F-15X models. If the prickly French are agreeable to build a 6th generation aircraft, that would be worth a try.

Regarding Rachel Maddow, I recently had an encounter with a relative who told me 1) I visited too many oddball sites and 2) he considered Rachel M. to be the most reliable news person in existence. I think we're talking "true believer" here. :)

Zachary Smith , Feb 12, 2019 5:43:19 PM | link
@ Les @42
It wouldn't surprise me if aim of the domestic intelligence agencies all along was to get him elected and have a candidate they could manipulate.

Considering how those "intelligence agencies" are hard pressed to find their own tails, even if you allow them to use both hands, it would surprise me.

That Trump would turn out to be a tub of jello in more than just a physical way has been a surprise to an awful lot of us.

Pft , Feb 12, 2019 5:44:54 PM | link

Russiagate was very successful. You just have to understand the objectives. It was a great distraction. Diverting peoples attention from the continued fleecing of the "real people" which are the bottom 90% by the "Corporate People" and their Government Lackeys.

It provided an excuse for the acting CEO (a figurehead) of the Corporate Empire to go back on many of the promises made that got him elected, and to fill the swamp with Neocon and Koch Brother creatures with the excuse the Deep State made him do it. More proof that there is no deception that is too ridiculous to be believed so long as you have enough pundits claiming it to be so

Allowed the bipartisan support for the clamp down on alt media with censorship by social media (Deep State Tools) and funded by the Ministry of Truth set up by Obama in his last days in office to under the false pretense of protecting us from foreign governments interference in elections (except Israel of course) . Similar agencies have been set up or planned to be in other countries followig the US example such as UK, France, Russia, etc.

Did anyone really expect Mr "Cover It Up " Mueller to find anything? Mueller is Deep State all the way and Trump is as well, not withstanding the "Fake Wrestling " drama that they are bitter enemies. All the surveillance done over the past 2-3 decades would have so much dirt on the Trumpet they could silence him forever . Trump knew that going in and I sometimes wonder if he was pressured to run as a condition to avoid prosecution. Pretty sure every President since Carter has been "Kompromat"

Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 6:29:51 PM | link
james, bevin

If you've done just a cursory look into Seth Rich, you'd be very suspicious about the story of his life and death. IMO Assange/Wikilleaks were set up. And Flynn was set up too. What they are doing is Orwellian: White Helmets, election manipulation, propaganda, McCarthism, etc. If you're not angry, you're not paying attention.

stevelaudig , Feb 12, 2019 6:34:12 PM | link
Russians and likely at the behest of the Russian state interfered and it was fair payback for Yeltsin's election. It is time to move on but not in feigned ignorance of what was done. Was it "outcome" affecting, possibly, but not clearly and if the US electoral college and electoral system generally is so decrepit that a second level power in the world can influence then its the US's fault.

It's not like the 2000 election wasn't a warning shot about the rottenness of system and a system that doesn't understand a warning shot deserves pretty much what it gets. But there's enough non-hype evidence of acts and intent to say yes, the Russians tried and may have succeeded. They certainly are acting guilty enough. but still close the book move and move on to Trump's 'real' crimes which were done without a Russian assist.

spudski , Feb 12, 2019 6:52:50 PM | link
@38 bevin @47 james

I seem to recall former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray saying that it was not a hack and that he had been handed a thumb drive in a field near American University by a disgruntled Democrat whistleblower. Further, I seem to recall William Binney, former NSA Technical Leader for intelligence, conducting an experiment to show that internet speeds at the time would not allow the information to be hacked - they knew the size of the files and the period over which they were downloaded. Plus, Seth Rich. So why does anyone even believe it was a hack, @32 THN?

Johan Meyer , Feb 12, 2019 6:55:54 PM | link
Just another comment re Mueller. There is a great documentary by (Dutch, not Israeli---different person) Gideon Levy, Lockerbie Revisited. The narration is in Dutch, but the interviews are in English, and there is a small segment of a German broadcast. The documentary ends abruptly where one set of FBI personnel contradict statements by another set of FBI personnel. See also this primer on Mueller's MO.
frances , Feb 12, 2019 7:11:07 PM | link
reply to Les 42
"It wouldn't surprise me if aim of the domestic intelligence agencies all along was to get him elected and have a candidate they could manipulate."

Not the intelligence agencies, the Military IMO. They knew HC for what she was; horrifically corrupt and,again IMO,they know she is insane.

They saw and I think still see Trump as someone they could work with, remember Rogers (Navy) of the NSA going to him immediately once he was elected? That was the Military protecting him as best they could.

They IMO have kept him alive and as long as he doesn't send any troops into "real" wars, they will keep on keeping him alive.
This doesn't mean Trump hasn't gone over to the Dark Side, just that no military action will take place that the military command doesn't fully support.

Again, I could be wrong, he could be backed by fiends from Patagonia for all I really know:)

AriusArmenian , Feb 12, 2019 8:44:27 PM | link
The button pushers behind the Trump collusion and Russia election hacking false narratives got what they wanted: to walk the democrats and republicans straight into Cold War v2; to start their campaign to suppress alternative voices on the internet; to increase military spending; and more, more, more war.
james , Feb 12, 2019 9:34:59 PM | link
ot - further to @65 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK5YFos56ZU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK5YFos56ZU

as jr says - welcome to the rabbit hole..

ben , Feb 12, 2019 10:11:05 PM | link
Hope you're right b. Maybe now we can get on with some real truths.
  1. That there is really only one party with real influence, the party of $.
  2. That most of the Dems belong to that club, and virtually all the Repubs.
  3. That the U$A is not a real democracy, but an Oligarchy.
  4. That the corporate empire is the greatest purveyor of evil the world has ever known.

And these are just a few truths. Thanks for the therapy b, hope you feel better...

Circe , Feb 12, 2019 10:52:22 PM | link
Boy, I hope Jackrabbit sees this. Everyone knows I believe Trump is the anointed chosen of the Zionist 1%. There was no Russia collusion; it was Zionist collusion with a Russian twist...
Circe , Feb 12, 2019 11:11:17 PM | link
Oh yeah! Forgot to mention the latest. Trump is asking Kim to provide a list of his nuclear scientists! Before Kim acts on this request, he should call up the Iranian government for advise 'cause they have lots of experience and can warn Kim of what will happen to each of those scientists. They'll be put on a kill-list and will be extrajudicially wacked as in executed. Can you believe the chutzpah? Trump must think Kim is really stupid to fall for that one!

Aye! The thought of six more years of Zionist pandering Trump. Barf-inducing prospect is too tame.

PHC , Feb 13, 2019 2:25:44 AM | link

Russiagate is finished. So, now is the time to create Chinagate. But how ??

V , Feb 13, 2019 2:25:48 AM | link
The view from the hermitage is, we are in the age of distractions. Russiagate will be replaced with one of a litany of distractions, purely designed to keep us off target. The target being, corruption, vote rigging, illegal wars, war crimes, overthrowing sovereign governments, and political assasinations, both at home and abroad. Those so distracted, will focus on sillyness; not the genuine danger afoot around the planet. Get used to it; it's become the new normal.
Circe , Feb 13, 2019 3:53:19 AM | link
@76Hw
I have yet to read anything more delusional, nay, utterly preposterous. Methinks you over-project too much. Even Trump would have a belly-ache laugh reading that sheeple spiel. You're the type that sees the giant billboard of Zionist Trump and Yahoo shaking hands and drones on and on that our lying eyes deceive us and it's really Trump playing 4-D chess. I suppose when he tried to pressure Omar Ilhan into resigning her seat in Congress yesterday, that too was reverse psychology?

Trump instagramed the billboard pic, he tweeted it, he probably pasted it on his wall; maybe with your kind of wacky, Trump infatuation, you should too!

Starring role

Circe , Feb 13, 2019 4:15:37 AM | link
Russiagate is finished because Mueller discovered an embarrassing fact: The collusion was and always will be with Israel. Here's Trump professing his endless love for Zionism: Trump Resign
snake , Feb 13, 2019 5:13:14 AM | link

Russiagate was very successful <=pls read, re-read Pft @ 46.. he listed many things. divide and conquer accomplished.
a nation state is defined as an armed rule making structure, designed by those who control a territory, and constructed by the lawyers, military, and wealthy and run by the persons the designers appoint, for the appointed are called politicians.

Most designs of armed nation states provide the designers with information feedback and the designers use that information to appoint more obedient politicians and generals to run things, and to improve the design to better serve the designers. The armed rule making structure is designed to give the designers complete control over those targeted to be the governed. Why so stupid the governed? ; always they allow themselves to be manipulated like sheep.

When 10 angry folks approach you with two pieces of ropes: one to throw over the tree branch under which your horse will be supporting you while they tie the noose around your neck and the other shorter piece of rope to tie your hands behind ..your back you need at that point to make your words count , if five of the people are black and five are white. all you need do is say how smart the blacks are, and how stupid the whites are, as the two groups fight each other you manage your escape. democrat vs republican= divide to conquer. gun, no gun = divide to conquer, HRC vs DJT = divide to conquer, abortion, no abortion = divide to conquer, Trump is a Russian planted in a high level USA position of power = divide to conquer, They were all in on it together,, Muller was in the white house to keep the media supplied with XXX, to keep the law enforcement agencies in the loop, and to advise trump so things would not get out of hand ( its called Manipulation and the adherents to the economic system called Zionism
For the record, Zionism is not related to race, religion or intelligence. Zionism is a system of economics that take's no captives, its adherents must own everything, must destroy and decimate all actual or imaginary competition, for Zionist are the owners and masters of everything? Zionism is about power, absolute power, monopoly ownership and using governments everywhere to abuse the governed. Zionism has many adherents, whites, blacks, browns, Christians, Jews, Islamist, Indians, you name it among each class of person and walk of life can be found persons who subscribe to the idea that they, and only they, should own everything, and when those of us, that are content to be the governed let them, before the kill and murder us, they usually end up owning everything.

snake , Feb 13, 2019 6:08:16 AM | link
Here might the subject matter that Russia Gate sought to camouflage https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/02/13/588433/US-Saudi-Arabia-nuclear-deal-nuclear-weapons 'This comes as US Energy Secretary Rick Perry has been holding secret talks with Saudi officials on sharing US nuclear technology.'

Finally, a hypothesis to explain

1. why the Joint non nuclear agreement with Iran and the other nuclear power nations, that prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons, was trashed? Someone needs to be able to say Iran is developing ..., at the right time.

2. Why Netanyohu made public a video that claimed Iran was developing nuclear stuff in violation of the Iran non nuclear agreement, and everybody laughed,

3. Why the nuclear non proliferation agreement with Russia, that terminated the costly useless arms race a decade ago, has been recently terminated, to reestablish the nuclear arms race, no apparent reason was given the implication might be Russia could be a target, but

4. why it might make sense to give nukes to Saudi Arabia or some other rogue nation, and

5. why no one is allowed to have nuclear weapons except the Zionist owned and controlled nation states.

Statement: Zionism is an economic system that requires the elimination of all competition of whatever kind. It is a winner get's all, takes no prisoners, targets all who would threaten or be a challenge or a threat; does not matter if the threat is in in oil and gas, technology or weapons as soon as a possibility exist, the principles of Zionism would require that it be taken out, decimated, and destroyed and made where never again it could even remotely be a threat to the Empire, that Zionism demands..

Hypothesis: A claim that another is developing nuclear weapon capabilities is sufficient to take that other out?

Kiza , Feb 13, 2019 8:26:29 AM | link
I am glad that most commenters understand that Russiagate will not go away. But the majority appear to miss the real reason. Russiagate is not an accusation, it is the state of mind.

At the beginnng of Russiagate, I wrote on Robert Parry's Consirtium News that Russiagate is Idiocracy piggy-backing on decades and literally billions of dollars of anti-Soviet and anti-Russian propaganda. How hard would it be to brainwash an already brainwashed population?

The purveyors of Russiagate will re-compose themselves, brush off all reports and continue on. One just cannot get away from one's nature, even when that nature is pure idiocy. Of course, the most ironic in the affair is that it is the so called US "intellectuals", academics and other assorted cretins who are the most fervent proponents. If you were wondering how Russia can make such amazing defensive weapons that US can only deny exist and wet dream of having, there is your answer. It is the state of mind. The whole of US establishment are legends in their on lunch time and totally delusional about the reality surrounding them - both Russiagate and MAGA cretins, no report can help the Russiagate nation.

Finally, I am thinking of that crazy and ugly professor bitch from the British Cambridge University who gives her lectures naked to protest something or other. I am so lucky that I do not have to go to a Western university ever again. What a catastrophic decline! No Brexit can help the Skripal nation.

NemesisCalling , Feb 13, 2019 8:46:48 AM | link
Russiagate is finished, but is DJT also among the rubble?

Hardly any money for the border wall and still lingering in the ME?

If Hoarsewhisperer proves to be correct above re: DJT, he will really have to knock our socks off before election 2020. To do this he will have to unequivocally and unceremoniously withdraw from the MENA and Afghanistan and possibly declare a National Emergency for more money for the wall.

The problem is, when he does this, he will look impulsively dangerous and this may harm his mystique to the lemmings who need a president to be more "presidential."

My money is on status quo all the way to 2020 and the rethugz hoping the Dems will eat their own in an orgy of warring identities.

I would love to be proven wrong.

morongobill , Feb 13, 2019 9:52:25 AM | link
Rush Limbaugh has been on a roll with his analysis of Russiagate, in fact, his analysis is in line with the writer/editor here at MOA.
Bart Hansen , Feb 13, 2019 10:52:12 AM | link
The collusion story may be faltering, but the blame for Russia poisoning the Skripals lives on. The other night on The News Hour, "Judy" led off the program with this: "It has been almost a year since Kremlin intelligence officers attempted to kill a Russian defector in the British city of Salisbury by poisoning him with a nerve agent. That attack, and the subsequent death of a British woman, scared away tourists and shoppers, but authorities and residents are working to get the town's economy back on track. Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports."
Erelis , Feb 13, 2019 12:15:48 PM | link

Russiagate will not go away unfortunately because it has evolved in the "Russiagate Industry". As mentioned by others, the Russiagate Industry has been very profitable for many industries and people. Russiagate has generated an entire cottage industry of companies around censorship and "find us a Russian". Dow Jones should have an index on the Russiagate Industry.

Here is one recent example. You know the measles outbreak in the US Pacific Northwest. Yup, the Russians. How do we know. A government funded research grant. The study found that 899 tweets caused people to doubt vaccines. Looks like money is to be had even by academics for the right results.

Measles outbreak: Anti-vaccination misinformation fueled by Russian propagandists, study finds
https://www.oregonlive.com/clark-county/2019/02/measles-outbreak-anti-vaccination-misinformation-fueled-by-russian-propagandists-study-finds.html

[Feb 13, 2019] Stephen Cohen on War with Russia and Soviet-style Censorship in the US by Russell Mokhiber

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... War with Russia. ..."
"... Cohen said the censorship that he has faced in recent years is similar to the censorship imposed on dissidents in the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "Katrina and I had a joint signed op-ed piece in the New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "The alternatives have been excluded from both. I would welcome an opportunity to debate these issues in the mainstream media, where you can reach more people. And remember, being in these pages, for better or for worse, makes you Kosher. This is the way it works. If you have been on these pages, you are cited approvingly. You are legitimate. You are within the parameters of the debate." ..."
"... "When I lived off and on in the Soviet Union, I saw how Soviet media treated dissident voices. And they didn't have to arrest them. They just wouldn't ever mention them. Sometimes they did that (arrest them). But they just wouldn't ever mention them in the media." ..."
"... "And something like that has descended here. And it's really alarming, along with some other Soviet-style practices in this country that nobody seems to care about – like keeping people in prison until they break, that is plea, without right to bail, even though they haven't been convicted of anything." ..."
"... "That's what they did in the Soviet Union. They kept people in prison until people said – I want to go home. Tell me what to say – and I'll go home. That's what we are doing here. And we shouldn't be doing that." ..."
"... Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter.. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

On stage at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C. this past week was Princeton University Professor Emeritus Stephen Cohen, author of the new book, War with Russia: From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate.

Cohen has largely been banished from mainstream media.

"I had been arguing for years -- very much against the American political media grain -- that a new US/Russian Cold War was unfolding -- driven primarily by politics in Washington, not Moscow," Cohen writes in War with Russia. "For this perspective, I had been largely excluded from influential print, broadcast and cable outlets where I had been previously welcomed."

On the stage at Busboys and Poets with Cohen was Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor of The Nation magazine, and Robert Borosage, co-founder of the Campaign for America's Future.

During question time, Cohen was asked about the extent of the censorship in the context of other Americans who had been banished from mainstream American media, including Ralph Nader, whom the liberal Democratic establishment, including Borosage and Vanden Heuvel, stiff armed when he crashed the corporate political parties in the electoral arena in 2004 and 2008.

Cohen said the censorship that he has faced in recent years is similar to the censorship imposed on dissidents in the Soviet Union.

"Until some period of time before Trump, on the question of what America's policy toward Putin's Kremlin should be, there was a reasonable facsimile of a debate on those venues that had these discussions," Cohen said. "Are we allowed to mention the former Charlie Rose for example? On the long interview form, Charlie would have on a person who would argue for a very hard policy toward Putin. And then somebody like myself who thought it wasn't a good idea."

"Occasionally that got on CNN too. MSNBC not so much. And you could get an op-ed piece published, with effort, in the New York Times or Washington Post ."

"Katrina and I had a joint signed op-ed piece in the New York Times six or seven years ago. But then it stopped. And to me, that's the fundamental difference between this Cold War and the preceding Cold War."

"I will tell you off the record – no, I'm not going to do it," Cohen said. "Two exceedingly imminent Americans, who most op-ed pages would die to get a piece by, just to say they were on the page, submitted such articles to the New York Times , and they were rejected the same day. They didn't even debate it. They didn't even come back and say – could you tone it down? They just didn't want it."

"Now is that censorship? In Italy, where each political party has its own newspaper, you would say – okay fair enough. I will go to a newspaper that wants me. But here, we are used to these newspapers."

"Remember how it works. I was in TV for 18 years being paid by CBS. So, I know how these things work. TV doesn't generate its own news anymore. Their actual reporting has been de-budgeted. They do video versions of what is in the newspapers."

"Look at the cable talk shows. You see it in the New York Times and Washington Post in the morning, you turn on the TV at night and there is the video version. That's just the way the news business works now."

"The alternatives have been excluded from both. I would welcome an opportunity to debate these issues in the mainstream media, where you can reach more people. And remember, being in these pages, for better or for worse, makes you Kosher. This is the way it works. If you have been on these pages, you are cited approvingly. You are legitimate. You are within the parameters of the debate."

"If you are not, then you struggle to create your own alternative media. It's new in my lifetime. I know these imminent Americans I mentioned were shocked when they were just told no. It's a lockdown. And it is a form of censorship."

"When I lived off and on in the Soviet Union, I saw how Soviet media treated dissident voices. And they didn't have to arrest them. They just wouldn't ever mention them. Sometimes they did that (arrest them). But they just wouldn't ever mention them in the media."

"Dissidents created what is known as samizdat – that's typescript that you circulate by hand. Gorbachev, before he came to power, did read some samizdat. But it's no match for newspapers published with five, six, seven million copies a day. Or the three television networks which were the only television networks Soviet citizens had access to."

"And something like that has descended here. And it's really alarming, along with some other Soviet-style practices in this country that nobody seems to care about – like keeping people in prison until they break, that is plea, without right to bail, even though they haven't been convicted of anything."

"That's what they did in the Soviet Union. They kept people in prison until people said – I want to go home. Tell me what to say – and I'll go home. That's what we are doing here. And we shouldn't be doing that."

Cohen appears periodically on Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News. And that rankled one person in the audience at Busboys and Poets, who said he worried that Cohen's perspective on Russia can be "appropriated by the right."

"Trump can take that and run on a nationalistic platform – to hell with NATO, to hell with fighting these endless wars, to do what he did in 2016 and get the votes of people who are very concerned about the deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Russia," the man said.

Cohen says that on a personal level, he likes Tucker Carlson "and I don't find him to be a racist or a nationalist."

"Nationalism is on the rise around the world everywhere," Cohen said. "There are different kinds of nationalism. We always called it patriotism in this country, but we have always been a nationalistic country."

"Fox has about three to four million viewers at that hour," Cohen said. "If I am not permitted to give my take on American/Russian relations on any other mass media, and by the way, possibly talk directly to Trump, who seems to like his show, and say – Trump is making a mistake, he should do this or do that instead -- I don't get many opportunities – and I can't see why I shouldn't do it."

"I get three and a half to four minutes," Cohen said. "I don't see it as consistent with my mission, if that's the right word, to say no. These articles I write for The Nation , which ended up in my book, are posted on some of the most God awful websites in the world. I had to look them up to find out how bad they really are. But what can I do about it?"

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Russell Mokhiber

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..

[Feb 09, 2019] Putin General Wesley Clark on destruction of the Middle East - YouTube

Feb 09, 2019 | www.youtube.com

4TruthBeTrue 9 months ago Putin is the most articulate leader I have seen. He demonstrates clear understanding of the issues and causes at the core of the situation. Very intelligent. The world needs more leaders of this calibre. The USA have stuck there beak in and stirred up a hornets nest, and now there is unrest and instability in the land that has caused scores of people to perish or be dislocated. And the repercussions a still being felt today. Obscure Shadow 2 years ago Putin speaks with the common sense & diplomacy of a true statesman. Compared to him, US speak like a bunch of immature imbeciles. Many blessings & protection to him. 100+% support to him & Russia from this American. I wish we could clone him here...

[Feb 08, 2019] Is Putin a Russian Nationalist ?

Feb 08, 2019 | angrybearblog.com
  1. Barkley Rosser , February 8, 2019 2:15 am

    While China is clearly a concern, the main beneficiaries of the INF treaty were neither US nor USSR/Russia. It was European nations, especially the western ones on the continent. So iit should be no surprise that they opposed ending the treaty, even as Russia was violating it, and Trump withdrew from it unilaterally with Russia immediately following.

    Putin is not already a "hard core nationalist"? Compared to Putin, Trump looks very much like a soft core one. Has he pulled anything remotely as hard core nationslist as annexing Crimea?

likbez , February 8, 2019 3:14 pm

Barkley,

You should probably read more Professor Stephen F. Cohen on Russia, not NYT or WaPo.

Of course, as you do not know the language, it is difficult for you to access the situation on the ground. And in this sense reading Stephen F. Cohen might be very helpful as he operates with Russian language sources, nor NYT or WaPo propaganda. Also traveling to Moscow on vacations might help to access the situation in a more rational style ;-)

> Putin is not already a "hardcore nationalist"? Compared to Putin, Trump looks very much like a softcore one.

FYI Putin a "soft neoliberal," and as such he can't be the hardcore nationalist. For those, you need to look at Ukraine's political scene. At best he can be "cultural nationalist," but I doubt even that. He is a Philo-German politician, I think.

I think the main countervailing force that prevents Russians from jailing Yeltsin close circle of neoliberal reformers (like Chubais, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatoly_Chubais , aka the most hated man in Russia) is Putin.

The only guy who IMHO might qualify as a hardcore nationalist I think is Zhirinovsky ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Zhirinovsky ). But I do not know much about Russia anyway, so there might be more. In any case, it looks like nationalism is on the upswing in Russia like in most European countries. Especially after Euromaidan, when pro-Western neoliberals in Russia were decimated and lost all political influence.

Putin also keeps Medvedev as the Prime minister and recently appointed Kudrin to an important office. Both are neoliberals, proponents of "free markets" and privatization. Both might well be jailed without Putin.

Trump also is a neoliberal politician (his tax cuts were clearly a neoliberal act), but his main and defining features are incompetence and impulsivity.

He betrayed all his key promises to the electorate and thus can be called Republican Obama.

To qualify for a far-right politician, you need to adhere to key points of NSDAP program of 1920:

7. We demand that the state is charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.

8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.

9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.

10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:

11.Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.

12.In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

13.We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).

14.We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

15.We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

16.We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

17.We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.

18.We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.

21.The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.

[Jan 29, 2019] Overall, the country is controlled by Putin, military intelligence (siloviki). Neoliberals still have strong influence over economy/finance/education/culture, but are increasingly contested by industrialist economists as well as historians who are fighting neoliberal myths about Russian/Soviet history

Notable quotes:
"... Yet another group of billionaires are the heads of large state companies, also loyal to Putin. Putin-era billionaires build roads, bridges, stadiums in Russia, invest in Russian defense, aerospace, car industries, while Yeltsin-era billionaires move profits out of the country and buy English Premier League clubs. ..."
"... ....The oligarchs have been destroyed in the early 00s ..."
"... I'm inclined to agree. And this is why there is so much anger against Putin, in particular, in the 'west': the Russian oligarchs wield enormous power through the media which is at the service of anyone with money. Bill Browder being a prime example. ..."
"... The oligarchs were the tools that the City of London and Wall St employed to plunder Russia's socialised wealth and resources. ..."
"... I don't understand the people here who write that VVPutin is in thrall to the Zionists, the Oligarchs, or that he's lining his own pocket etc etc. IMHO his strategy has always been clear and direct, since the beginning. He values first of all stability - time for Russia to rebuild herself. Secondly, he performs a clever balancing act between the competing centres of power in Russia. ..."
"... His mistake, however, when he became president, was to believe quite sincerely that the West - and particularly Washington (the important one) - shared a desire for peaceful partnership with Russia. Doubts emerged in 2011 - he realised that he was being played - and the doubts became certainties in 2014, since when some fairly radical reorganisations has been taking place. Russia is - again, IMHO - now ready to take its real place in the international order. ..."
Dec 27, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

S , Dec 26, 2018 7:47:01 PM | link

Putin is not "controlled by oligarchs". The oligarchs have been destroyed in the early 00s: Gusinsky (the media oligarch), Berezovsky (the political broker oligarch), Khodorkovsky (the oil oligarch). These people were real oligarchs, i.e. they were using their wealth to control political processes through black media propaganda, having their own MPs/Ministers/Governors, etc.

After the destruction of Gusinsky and Berezovsky, the oligarchs were invited to a meeting with Putin and told to drop any meddling in politics (including media) and focus on purely economic activities. They were also told to assume more social responsibility. In return, they were given a guarantee that the results of the privatization won't be rolled back.

Khodorkovsky was the only one who rebelled against the deal and hence was also destroyed. As a result of this deal, the oligarchs stopped being oligarchs, now they're simply billionaires.

They are allowed some influence over the economic policies of the government, but no influence over ideology, budget, military, foreign affairs, etc. In other words, the word "oligarch" as applied to Yeltsin-era billionaires is another lie about modern Russia.

Putin-era billionaires (Timchenko, Rothenberg brothers, Kovalchuk) were created by Putin to provide counter-balance to Yeltsin-era billionaires; their whole legitimacy is based on loyalty to Putin, who is himself dedicated to strengthening Russia.

Yet another group of billionaires are the heads of large state companies, also loyal to Putin. Putin-era billionaires build roads, bridges, stadiums in Russia, invest in Russian defense, aerospace, car industries, while Yeltsin-era billionaires move profits out of the country and buy English Premier League clubs.

It is only recently that some of the Yeltsin-era billionaires have "seen the light" (as a result of the sanctions) and started to bring some of their capital back to Russia.

Overall, the country is controlled by Putin, military & intelligence (siloviki). Neoliberals still have strong influence over economy/finance/education/culture, but are increasingly contested by industrialist economists as well as historians who are fighting neoliberal myths about Russian/Soviet history.

S , Dec 26, 2018 10:28:24 PM | link
@Pft #89

Israel does not control Russia.

The Chief Rabbi of Russia is of the Chabad sect simply because most of Russian orthodox Jewish communities are of the Chabad sect. He is actually from Milan; he moved to New Jersey in his teenage years, then to Brooklyn, New York, then to Moscow.

The "Putin's Rabbi" is a stupid moniker invented by Western "journalists"; he is neither Putin's creation, nor Putin's puppet.

It is true that Putin has good relationship with the Chief Rabbi, just as he has good relationships with the Patriarch, the Old Believer Patriarch, the Chief Mufti, the Chief Lama, and lesser religious figures.

Sometimes he meets all of them together (google some photos, it's quite a sight), sometimes he has one-on-one meetings. The strongest relationship is with the Patriarch. There is also an "alternative Chief Rabbi of Russia" who represents orthodox Jewish communities that refuse to be governed by a Chabad rabbi.

Russian billionaires with Israeli passports are all Yeltsin-era billionaires (ex-oligarchs) and are not "Putin's supporters". In fact, Friedman and his gang who own Russia's largest private bank, Alfa-bank, were caught several times trying to sponsor pro-US opposition.

Most recently, they tried to do it through a high-ranked Alfa-bank employee, Vladimir Ashurkov, who was funneling money to Alexey Navalny.

After the Presidential Administration called them out on that, they immediately fired and disavowed Ashurkov, who is now living in London and is a member of Integrity Initiative's UK cluster.

Alfa-bank is also the only Russian bank that does not have any problems with its Ukrainian branch. These people are not Putin's supporters, they are Putin's enemies. Putin tolerates them because he keeps his end of the bargain (see my post #85).

S , Dec 27, 2018 8:27:42 AM | link
@Pft #111

1. I still insist we use the word "billionaire" to refer to Russian ultra-rich. Some of them may turn into oligarchs in the future, but currently they are not oligarchs, as they are not making decisions regarding the strategy of the country. The strategy is chosen by Putin based on data provided by the intelligence services, the military, and the government/the central bank.

I'll give you one example. The billionaires were not consulted on the return of Crimea. When they learned about the decision from the news, almost all of them were against it. Timchenko, one of "Putin's billionaires", straight up refused to build the Crimean bridge. (In the end, after much deliberation, Rothenberg brothers agreed to take up the job.) If Russian billionaires really did control Putin, Crimea would not have returned to Russia.

Compare this to Ukraine, where the oligarchs do exist. Most of them decided it would be better for Ukraine to join the EU. Economic calculations showed the opposite, but it did not matter. The oligarchs owned all TV channels, radio stations, news websites, as well as politicians, and they pushed pro-Maidan propaganda 24/7. You know the result.

2. Putin did not "boot out one faction of oligarchs", he booted out all of them. First, he demanded that all large media companies are transferred to state ownership (hence the war on Gusinsky and Berezovsky who initially refused to do that). Then, a few years later, he demanded that the billionaires abstain from any political activity, including sponsorship of political parties (hence the war on Khodorkovsky who not only refused to do that, but planned to sell Yukos to Americans and use the money to buy all MPs and become President himself). You say "money buys influence". Well, it's not easy to do that when all large media companies are owned by the state and you can't sponsor political parties (unless asked to do so by the Presidential Administration).

Putin was not "supported by a competing faction who benefit from less competition". The "competing faction" did not exist when he came to power. Timchenko, Kovalchuk, and others were nobodies in the 90s. Putin made them billionaires through various schemes. They did not create Putin; Putin created them.

3. Russia does have large income/wealth inequality and it's toxic to society. There seems to be a threshold in income above which rich people start losing empathy for ordinary people. The economic inequality isn't just an ethical problem, but also an economic one: ordinary people simply do not have enough money to buy goods and services. Personally, I believe it's the biggest impediment to Russia's economic growth. Of course, it's connected to corruption/nepotism.

4. I did not say "most Russian Jews are Chabad", I said most Russian orthodox Jewish communities ("parishes") are Chabad. At least according to the figures I saw. Please note that 28 years have passed since 1990. Also note that Chabad is extremely active in engaging non-religious Jews. So it's plausible that they have grown their numbers to become the biggest orthodox Jewish sect in Russia.

vk , Dec 27, 2018 8:38:35 AM | link
@ Posted by: S | Dec 27, 2018 8:27:42 AM | 123

That's why nostalgia for the USSR has grown to the highest levels in 20 years, even among the young:

Back to USSR: Record number of Russians regret collapse of Soviet Union

According to this article, what triggered this upswing was the pension reforms Putin and co. did during the FIFA World Cup (june-july 2018).

William Bowles , Dec 27, 2018 8:57:39 AM | link
vk | Dec 27, 2018 8:38:35 AM | 125

I read somewhere that 70% of the population regret the collapse of the USSR and given the chaos that followed, it's not surprising. But the Russian Communist Party seems as clueless as all the other communist parties, none can offer a viable alternative to the present madness.

bevin , Dec 27, 2018 10:21:32 AM | link
" ....The oligarchs have been destroyed in the early 00s: Gusinsky (the media oligarch), Berezovsky (the political broker oligarch), Khodorkovsky (the oil oligarch). These people were real oligarchs, i.e. they were using their wealth to control political processes through black media propaganda, having their own MPs/Ministers/Governors, etc..." @85

I'm inclined to agree. And this is why there is so much anger against Putin, in particular, in the 'west': the Russian oligarchs wield enormous power through the media which is at the service of anyone with money. Bill Browder being a prime example.

The oligarchs were the tools that the City of London and Wall St employed to plunder Russia's socialised wealth and resources.

The hate campaign against Putin, who is in many ways a very conservative economist pursuing the sort of neo-liberal policies that capitalist financiers approve of, is inexplicable unless we understand that the end game is a return to the looting that took place under the Empire's anointed, Boris Yeltsin.

Circe , Dec 27, 2018 12:47:12 PM | link
In my post @112 I'm addressing @35 not 34.

For the others who don't believe Putin is compromised especially 's' who makes some strong points.

Okay, so let's say Putin is not compromised by the Oligarchy and he created the Russian oligarchy instead of the other way around, i.e. that they are the kingmakers. The oligarchy he created that are in his debt because they get to keep their wealth and corporate power will never be completely loyal to someone, Putin, who keeps them in check, under his thumb and expects them to finance big projects when the state needs funds.

They are like hostages who will always lie in wait of the opportunity to escape control dethrone him and seize power. They may be stockholmed for now, but they're always lying in wait.

Therefore Putin who understands this, is compromised by the fact that he must give on the Zionist issue which reprsents the biggest threat to his power because Zionists wield power globally, and could present those oligarchs with just that opportunity.

Zionist Russians with dual citizenship will never be as loyal to Russia and Putin as sovereignists are, as Zionists have one loyalty above all others, and in turn Putin can never be completely loyal to sovereignists and their anti-Western vision of strength for Russia because he knows that the authority he exerts over the Oligarchy he created is dependent on how he deals with Zionism abroad. In a sense, by trying to please both sides he thinks he can have his cake and eat it too, but by caving or even placating the demands of Zionists he Putin is walking a fine line and I think he'll get to a point where he has to throw one side under the bus.

Sovereignists tolerate Putin for as long as he keeps Zionist power in check, and in turn Zionists don't mount a campaign to dethrone Putin for as long as he doesn't check their power outside Russia, and Russia will never achieve the power and greatness it needs to check the Empire's domination and stop its expansion by caving to Zionist power. Putin is in a catch-22, he is compromised, no matter how you look at it.

Maybe he's trying to buy time, but if he allows the Empire to take down Iran by any means and contain China then he will make Russia a vassal of the Empire, because even Russia cannot compete alone against the Empire without alliances strategically in opposition to the Empire's domination. This time is a crossroads for Putin and he's going to have to make a choice soon and stop straddling both sides or he'll lose the gains Russia has achieved.

I don't trust Putin when he pals around with the Empire's proxy, the Saudis, or placates the lunatic Zionist state.

arby , Dec 27, 2018 12:49:09 PM | link
Little video of Putin dealing with some oligarchs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjrlTMvirVo
Montreal , Dec 27, 2018 2:01:23 PM | link
I don't understand the people here who write that VVPutin is in thrall to the Zionists, the Oligarchs, or that he's lining his own pocket etc etc. IMHO his strategy has always been clear and direct, since the beginning. He values first of all stability - time for Russia to rebuild herself. Secondly, he performs a clever balancing act between the competing centres of power in Russia.

His mistake, however, when he became president, was to believe quite sincerely that the West - and particularly Washington (the important one) - shared a desire for peaceful partnership with Russia. Doubts emerged in 2011 - he realised that he was being played - and the doubts became certainties in 2014, since when some fairly radical reorganisations has been taking place. Russia is - again, IMHO - now ready to take its real place in the international order.

I take great pleasure in reading and listening to his - and Sergei Lavrov's - words, at the same time regretting the low standard of our own representatives.

Many thanks to b and all of you who continue always to inform me and sometimes enchant me.

[Jan 29, 2019] The disinformation campaign behind the allegations of Russian disinformation by Andre Damon

Images removed
Notable quotes:
"... Throughout the day, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Google News all led with breathless stories about Russian efforts to "sway American opinion and divide the country" (in the words of the Times). The propaganda barrage was based on a set of reports submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee by organizations with close ties to the US state and intelligence apparatus. ..."
"... Like countless other stories about alleged Russian "disinformation," Monday's media blast followed a script. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... The first of two reports submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee, "The Tactics & Tropes of the Internet Research Agency," was published by an organization known as New Knowledge, which purports to be a cybersecurity company, but whose primary public presence consists in advocacy for internet censorship. ..."
"... Ryan Fox, the co-founder of New Knowledge and a co-author of the report, worked for the National Security Agency (NSA) for 15 years. New Knowledge's website notes that "prior to his civilian roles as a Counter Terrorism Fellow and NSA Representative European SIGINT partners, he served under US Joint Special Operation Command (JSOC) as a CNO Analyst for the US Army." His partner, the company's CEO, is Jonathon Morgan, who has published for the state-connected Brookings Institution and worked as a special advisor to the State Department. ..."
"... The second report, "The IRA and Political Polarization in the United States," published under the imprimatur of Oxford University's Computational Propaganda Project, in collaboration with the social media analysis firm Graphika, was likewise authored by figures with deep connections to the state and the military. Graphika staffer Camille Francois, a co-author, served as chief technical officer to the French prime minister and worked at the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). ..."
"... Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, like Warner a member of the Intelligence Committee, appeared on the Public Broadcasting evening news program to chastise Facebook and demand that it be more "aggressive" in shutting down "disinformation." ..."
"... Commenting on the New Knowledge report, the New York Times ..."
"... The orchestrated hysteria over "disinformation" is itself a gigantic disinformation campaign, and the narrative about the sinister spread of "fake news" is an example of real "fake news." ..."
"... First all the anti Russian hysteria is concentrated in MSM media, completely absent from grassroots political discourse across kitchen table as it is dominated by economy-stupid daily struggle reality ( as Dems internal pols showed) , and is methodically debunked by most of alternative media except for blatant political hacks who fuel the nonsense on internet. ..."
"... The major reason for all they prefapaos and war mongering is as WSWS numerous times documented is because oligarchic policies of mass pauperization of population resulted in skyrocketing of class struggle and they just pull old worn down card of nationalism and war, Luxemburg warned over hundred years ago. ..."
"... "The new "proof" of Russian subversion is then used to demand even more sweeping measures to censor the internet, in the name of securing "our democracy." With each successive wave of stories, foreign "disinformation" is more directly identified with opposition to social inequality, police brutality and the capitalist system." ..."
"... It's the "War on Terrorism" brought to a whole new level . But it's the same class (in the service of the same class interests) bringing it. ..."
"... "It is highly significant that the posts cited by the reports as responsible for manipulating public opinion and undermining American democracy are predominantly left-wing in character." Against the same material interests of the working class. "These left-wing pages expressed "antiwar opposition" and "objections to US involvement in another country's affairs." ..."
"... The more things change, the more they stay the same: "The Black Panther party, without question, remains the greatest threat to the internal security of the country." -- J. Edgar Hoover, 1969 ..."
"... All Russia is doing ( if it even is Russia) is holding up a big mirror to the US, and big military industrial recipients like Mark Warner hate it. The criteria should be truth itself not the source of the truth. ..."
"... I simply call it NeoMcCarthyism propaganda. What they as me being disinformed, lol, then they would have had to start on me when I was in grammar school in the early to mid 1960s, and I don't recall there being a social media way back then. I formed own opinion way back then when, on my own I decided what I was getting the 6o'clock news was B.S. ..."
"... The USA is a hopeless war mongering terrorist state. It should, and must be, coming to an end. And, there are signs that the USA with all its weapons and lies is creeping toward that situation. ..."
"... The fact that Russia and China are starting to get rid of the worthless USA dollar is a major blow to the USA. The latest appointments of the neocon Bolton, and the CIA blowhard Pompous Pompeo is an indication that the only thing USA has to offer to the world is threats of war by these, and all their filthy war dogs! ..."
"... America survival is dependent upon its lies and misinformation it delivers each day through cable news and sports which also fetishsize militarism. The only situation that lies on the horizon is more of the same. ..."
"... America doesn't have "defense" spending. We have offense spending. ..."
Dec 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Amid new exposures of Wall Street criminality, the White House's mass imprisonment of immigrant children, and growing demands by US workers for decent wages, the US media was preoccupied Monday with the supposed efforts of Russian President Vladimir Putin to make people believe that life in America is not a paradise.

Throughout the day, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Google News all led with breathless stories about Russian efforts to "sway American opinion and divide the country" (in the words of the Times). The propaganda barrage was based on a set of reports submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee by organizations with close ties to the US state and intelligence apparatus.

Like countless other stories about alleged Russian "disinformation," Monday's media blast followed a script. Reports and testimony from nominally independent organizations, which are, in reality, mouthpieces for the intelligence agencies, are commissioned by Congress. They are "leaked" to the New York Times, which publishes a front-page article promoting them as "independent," scientific and authoritative, without, however, presenting any serious analysis of the actual evidence or the social and political forces behind the studies. The reports in the Times (or the Washington Post) are then cited by countless media outlets and politicians as new and irrefutable "evidence" of Russian "meddling" and "fake news."

The new "proof" of Russian subversion is then used to demand even more sweeping measures to censor the internet, in the name of securing "our democracy." With each successive wave of stories, foreign "disinformation" is more directly identified with opposition to social inequality, police brutality and the capitalist system.

The first of two reports submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee, "The Tactics & Tropes of the Internet Research Agency," was published by an organization known as New Knowledge, which purports to be a cybersecurity company, but whose primary public presence consists in advocacy for internet censorship.

Ryan Fox, the co-founder of New Knowledge and a co-author of the report, worked for the National Security Agency (NSA) for 15 years. New Knowledge's website notes that "prior to his civilian roles as a Counter Terrorism Fellow and NSA Representative European SIGINT partners, he served under US Joint Special Operation Command (JSOC) as a CNO Analyst for the US Army." His partner, the company's CEO, is Jonathon Morgan, who has published for the state-connected Brookings Institution and worked as a special advisor to the State Department.

New Knowledge was established with a $1.9 million grant from Moonshots Capital. Moonshots' founders are Kelly Perdew, who, according to the biography on the company's website, "served in the US Army as a military intelligence officer," and Craig Cummings, who "spent 17 years in the Army, most of that time as an intelligence officer serving in support of the National Security Agency."

The second report, "The IRA and Political Polarization in the United States," published under the imprimatur of Oxford University's Computational Propaganda Project, in collaboration with the social media analysis firm Graphika, was likewise authored by figures with deep connections to the state and the military. Graphika staffer Camille Francois, a co-author, served as chief technical officer to the French prime minister and worked at the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

In line with the by now well-established playbook, Democratic Senator Mark Warner, the leading advocate of internet censorship in the US Senate, took to the airwaves to proclaim that these "independent" reports were a "wake up call." He continued: "These attacks against our country were much more comprehensive, calculating and widespread than previously revealed." He added that "addressing this challenge" was "going to require some much-needed and long-overdue guardrails when it comes to social media."

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, like Warner a member of the Intelligence Committee, appeared on the Public Broadcasting evening news program to chastise Facebook and demand that it be more "aggressive" in shutting down "disinformation."

In regard to their content, both reports are highly dubious and clearly politically motivated. The raw data is based on information turned over to the Senate Intelligence Committee last year by Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. After initially rejecting as "crazy" claims that "Russian meddling" helped swing the election to Trump, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, together with the leaders of other major technology companies, provided a list of accounts that they asserted-without providing any details on how this conclusion was reached-were controlled by Russian operatives.

Even if one were to assume that this data and the content of the reports were accurate, whatever Russia may or may not have done pales in comparison to the operations of US intelligence agencies all over the world, including within the United States itself, not to mention the billions of dollars spent by the corporate and financial elite to manipulate US elections and determine their outcome.

The claim, moreover, that Russian Twitter and Facebook posts are responsible for social discontent in the United States-the most unequal country in the world-is beyond ludicrous.

It is highly significant that the posts cited by the reports as responsible for manipulating public opinion and undermining American democracy are predominantly left-wing in character.

The New Knowledge report attempts to muddle this reality by categorizing content opposing police brutality as neither left-wing or right-wing, but "Black." It states that of 62 Facebook pages allegedly tied to Russia, "Overall, 30 targeted Black audiences and amassed 1,187,810 followers; 25 targeted the Right and amassed 1,446,588 followers, and 7 targeted the Left and amassed 689,045 followers."

The content of the accounts labeled by New Knowledge as targeting "Black audiences" is made clear in a subsequent section dealing with the video streaming service YouTube. Of 1,063 videos turned over to the committee, the majority "related to the police and focused on police abuses."

Commenting on the New Knowledge report, the New York Times declared that the Russian government's "tactics echo Soviet propaganda efforts from decades ago that often highlighted racism and racial conflict in the United States."

Here, the Timesdemonstrates the utterly reactionary pedigree of the campaign against "Russian meddling." During the American civil rights movement, Southern segregationists claimed that African American workers were being stirred up by "communists" and "outside agitators." The strivings of African Americans for equal rights were denounced as a Soviet plot.

Now, too, the deeply-felt hatred by American workers and youth of all races for police brutality and the epidemic of police murders is presented as a "Russian" plot to "sow division" among "Black audiences."

"Left-leaning [Russian-inspired] pages," the report states, "criticized mainstream, established Democratic leaders as corporatists or too close to neo-cons, and promoted Green Party and Democratic Socialist themes." These left-wing pages expressed "antiwar opposition" and "objections to US involvement in another country's affairs."

The clear intent of the campaign by Warner and his co-thinkers is to de-legitimize such views as the product of "foreign meddling," and to effectively criminalize them. Their concern is not with Russia, but with the American working class.

As the year 2018 concludes, the intensification of the global economic crisis and heightening of war preparations are accompanied by a renewed upsurge of the class struggle throughout the world.

The American ruling elite has made clear its intention to respond to this growing movement of the working class with censorship and repression. Writing about the recent "yellow vest" protests in France, the New York Timeswarned that "the power of social media to quickly mobilize mass anger, without any mechanism for dialogue or restraint, is a danger to which a liberal democracy cannot succumb." The implication of such statements is clear: the campaign to censor the internet must be intensified.

The orchestrated hysteria over "disinformation" is itself a gigantic disinformation campaign, and the narrative about the sinister spread of "fake news" is an example of real "fake news."

The ruling class and the corporate media are frustrated that their claims have had little impact on popular consciousness, and very few people really believe that Russia is responsible for social discontent in the United States. But this only intensifies their efforts to uphold and strengthen the grip of the "guardians" of information-that is, themselves.

The growth of working class opposition provides the means to counter these efforts to censor the internet. As workers enter into struggle, they must take up the fight to defend freedom of expression on the internet as inseparable from the fight for social equality.


Vivek Jain2 days ago

see the brilliant Margaret Kimberley's article (and give some love to the BAR by subscribing and supporting the BAR): US and UK Psy-op collusion https://blackagendareport.c...
Kalen3 days ago
Another great report but I would like to push back on myth not necessarily proliferated in this report but widely present in the media including alternative media about the McCarthyite anti Russian propaganda.

One of myths is that still too many Americans believe the MSM blatant lies even without any shred of evidence.

First all the anti Russian hysteria is concentrated in MSM media, completely absent from grassroots political discourse across kitchen table as it is dominated by economy-stupid daily struggle reality ( as Dems internal pols showed) , and is methodically debunked by most of alternative media except for blatant political hacks who fuel the nonsense on internet.

It is the very independent media which in some part like WSWS became in fact media of record diligently analyzing not as much lies themselves, although they do, easily debunking them but to analyzing context of that public mostly black propaganda campaign and what all those tabloid like productions including #metoo aim to obfuscate which is mostly preprogrammed economic collapse of working class as well as peddling and funding fascism under guise of all used up trick of threat of foreign enemy and unity under flag of nationalism.

In fact this lack of true conviction one way or another among Americans is simply due to, already observed by Mills, Tocqueville referenced by Marx and in last three decades formulated by Chomsky, deep despotic totalitarian culture that underlies seemingly open society of US as many Americans are conditioned to believe what they are told to believe without any intellectual curiosity of what it is they must believe in today as they truly believe in money and power only, associated with whatever political or religious mumbo jumbo like Russia Gate they do not bother to remember as long as their service to rulers paychecks arrive regularity.

Many understand it as simple confession of state religion of Americanism and (similarly to exceptionalism of Orthodox Jews or Hegel or Hitler) exceptionalism of American Nation, itself nothing but state religion nonentity used to stir up internal divisions between those called by rulers Americans and others called by rullers un-American.

Such a curious division not existing in any other country founded on inclusive nationalism, is simply because there is no reality or premise of American nation beyond those fantasies described in lying school textbooks.

And hence it is that totalitarian culture that MSM peddles as a primary counterrevolutionary measure of $billion a day propaganda aimed at suppression of class struggle that itself repudiated that culture of submission to ruling elites for culture of unity among all working class in US and elsewhere rejecting nationalism and exceptionalism and embracing internationalism devoid of foreign enemies instead.

By the same token another myth that such belligerent anti Russia and anti Chinese propaganda by the West in any way weakens grip of local rulers of global oligarchy (what ISO peddles) is also repudiated as their very political legitimacy is founded on nationalism as a tool against class struggle and socialist revolution that would dispose of their power and political base of saviors of nations via its inherent creed of internationalism.

In fact in spite of normal family infighting none of members of global oligarchy seems to be even slightly hurt so far and even they appreciate such US belligerence as incentive to consolidate their local powers around nationalist fervent of suppose siege while for example exports of China, Russia and even Iran to US increased since 2014 and oligarchy of those countries while inconvenied are well compensated by loss of their visible roles in western corporates while they maintain control by

The major reason for all they prefapaos and war mongering is as WSWS numerous times documented is because oligarchic policies of mass pauperization of population resulted in skyrocketing of class struggle and they just pull old worn down card of nationalism and war, Luxemburg warned over hundred years ago.

Let's no fall for that bogus foreign boogeyman threats as this is all about vicious and brutal class war waged over working class by global oligarchy. And for real boogyman mask we should check Buffet, Soros, Gates, Bezos, Brin, Cook Ellison or Musk or Trump lower drawer of their executive desks, not abroad as other bogeymen in Russia China and EU will be taken care of by our working class brothers and sisters when socialist revolution comes, very shortly.

Greg3 days ago
"The new "proof" of Russian subversion is then used to demand even more sweeping measures to censor the internet, in the name of securing "our democracy." With each successive wave of stories, foreign "disinformation" is more directly identified with opposition to social inequality, police brutality and the capitalist system."

It's the "War on Terrorism" brought to a whole new level . But it's the same class (in the service of the same class interests) bringing it.

"It is highly significant that the posts cited by the reports as responsible for manipulating public opinion and undermining American democracy are predominantly left-wing in character." Against the same material interests of the working class. "These left-wing pages expressed "antiwar opposition" and "objections to US involvement in another country's affairs."

jet16853 days ago
"The content of the accounts labeled by New Knowledge as targeting 'Black audiences' is made clear in a subsequent section dealing with the video streaming service YouTube. Of 1,063 videos turned over to the committee, the majority 'related to the police and focused on police abuses.'

Commenting on the New Knowledge report, the New York Times declared that the Russian government's 'tactics echo Soviet propaganda efforts from decades ago that often highlighted racism and racial conflict in the United States.' "

The more things change, the more they stay the same: "The Black Panther party, without question, remains the greatest threat to the internal security of the country." -- J. Edgar Hoover, 1969

Elliott Vernon jet16853 days ago
and of course the NAACP drinks the Kool-Aid: https://www.buzzfeednews.co...
Jim Bergren3 days ago
The American Public's reaction to the lying disinformation campaign of the capitalist "press" should be as "The Dude's" reaction to Sam Elliot's. Question in the great American classic film, "The Big Lebowski": Sam: "Tell me Dude; do you really have to use that bad language?" The Dude: " WTF are you talking about?"
Me at home3 days ago
Who even believes their nonsense?

Let's just picket the HQ of this New Knowledge and demand that they shut down or retract their lies. Those who can't attend, spam their FB or corporate contact page with a Photoshop of their logo and have it read something like "Old Lies, paid for by the CIA". Or, register similar domain names and create a similar looking websites to theirs, but with the modified logos exposing their leaders as cronies, containing links to the news they try to censor and then link the copycat sites to all your friends. Best bet is if we can hack them and replace everything with our stuff every now and then. Force Google's algorithm to ban their own ally or admit that our copycat sites have more popularity.

Zalamander3 days ago
All Russia is doing ( if it even is Russia) is holding up a big mirror to the US, and big military industrial recipients like Mark Warner hate it. The criteria should be truth itself not the source of the truth.
Ort3 days ago
To add to Vivek Jain's welcome recommendations of "Moon of Alabama"'s ongoing incisive analysis of the massive Western anti-Russian propaganda campaign, here's still another MOA post:

"How Putin's Russia Weaponizes X"

MOA commendably complements WSWS's continuing coverage of this calculated, rabid capitalist-government Russophobia-inducing Big Lie orgy.

Sebouh803 days ago
The rising social discontent in America is against both Capitalism and to the oligarchical class that controls and funds both parties.
Kathy Gray4 days ago
I simply call it NeoMcCarthyism propaganda. What they as me being disinformed, lol, then they would have had to start on me when I was in grammar school in the early to mid 1960s, and I don't recall there being a social media way back then. I formed own opinion way back then when, on my own I decided what I was getting the 6o'clock news was B.S.
Trevor4 days ago
Here's a list of the top things I would absolutely love if not for those evil Russians whispering in my ear:
  1. Stagnant wages. I have been working for the same crap pay for over 10 years.
  2. Ever-increasing rent. Unlike my wages, my rent increases every single year.
  3. Health care with a $6500 deductible.

4) The constant warning threats from the spokespeople of the ruling-class that Social Security will soon run out of money. Funny how they never issue warning threats that the military will soon run out of money.

5) Never-ending war. Oh man, I love death and destruction so much! We all do!

6) $1.5 trillion tax cuts for the super-rich. They are so deserving.

7) Our lord and savior Hillary Clinton and her love for the super-rich, imperialist wars, savage killing, and our military killing machine.

8) Doing absolutely nothing about climate change as utter catastrophe draws ever closer. I don't want to save humanity. I just want our richest capitalists to keep raking in huge yearly incomes.

9) The fact that in our beloved democracy, every major policy passed is always a boon for the super-rich 1% and a total screwing up the backside for the 99%. Now THAT'S true democracy. We don't want those evil Russians getting in the way of that.

10) The prison industrial complex and the fact that capitalists have found brilliant ways to get rich off of war, killing people, and putting millions of people in prison for decades. In fact, I read an article yesterday that points out that capitalists are already busy investigating genius ways to get rich off of climate change and the potential deaths of billions of people.

11) The fact that I have no pension; that even as I've worked a labor job for the same company for 20 years, I'm classified as an "independent contractor", which basically means that when they don't need me, I sit home and don't get paid while receiving no benefits. Hey, who wants to survive retirement anyway? What lazy, greedy worker wants vacation pay? I sure don't. I just want to leave this world knowing that rich people got a lot richer from my having been here.

Indeed, if not for evil Russians, I would be totally oblivious to all of the screwing up the ass I get from our universally-beloved American capitalist daddies. That's right! None of that would have ever occurred to me. Nope. Damn you Russia! Damn you all to hell!

jb4 days ago
Oh yes and the Yellow Vest protests are now being attributed to Russian control/influence. So yes the left is being targeted, to be blamed overall, down the line. Because we all know Russia is still run by the Bolsheviks!
Elliott Vernon4 days ago
You'll notice that New Knowledge -- about as Orwellian a name as can be -- brags about its connections to the military-intelligence apparatus as though it were a good thing. We're supposed to think that makes them credible. Scary.
lee le brigand Elliott Vernon19 hours ago
it's a good thing for them, isn't it ? but for us continue the horrors of war and lack of rent money : a psychological projection from the obtuse neo-fascist elites, but also the propaganda they're trained in, the elites all believe in, and it will be effective with us because we are stupid, we are the vietnam peasant again ,reveling in the primitve of past centuries, and so we will believe ! we must believe for we are not them --
and good comment : the word 'Scary' at the end resonates
Charlotte Ruse Elliott Vernon3 days ago
The other Orwellian aspect is that the intelligence agencies are the Democratic Party's new best friend. Back in the 70's the Church Committee investigated the unlawful infiltration of the CIA in the mainstream media. Now it's welcomed with open arms. We've come along way baby into a reactionary right-wing political system which is no longer even a duopoly. It's a a one party system controlled by the military/ security/ surveillance state.
Eve Elliott Vernon4 days ago
As is the theme of the upper middle class liberal TDS, a sudden, unthinking, blind loyalty to and worship of the intelligence agencies and characters with blood soaked hands from the depths of the swamp like Muller and Hayden and Bush. Anything, anyone to desperately cling to, to protect them from owning up to true nature of their beloved status quo, and the shadowy sources of their class privilege. Such are the lengths one goes to to justify the unjustifiable and defend the indefensible when the other choice is self reflection and responsibility.
Charles4 days ago
So important that WSWS is doing the work of exposing this propaganda attempt to create a moral panic about Russian meddling, as a means to justify the censorship of the internet. One thing I'm sure of: academics will be buying the New York Times' and Democratic Party's claims lock, stock, and barrel and will be further amplifying them. And any attempt to argue with this within the universities will lead to one being oneself labeled as a peddler of Russian influence. It's a total closed loop.
anation61 Charles3 days ago
Yes...but consider this: the fact that ruling class front people (like Mark Warner) are reduced to making such transparently unsound arguments-based on such completely relativist notions of truth-betrays just how afraid and weak they are becoming.
Yes, they keep running the same circular scam -- running the same weak data from the intelligence community through this or that shiny new think-tank, thence to the media, culminating in proposed legislation by some co-opted politicians -- it's a strategy of diminishing returns.
At this point, they merely reflect ever-greater light back upon their own intellectual and political bankruptcy.
And, meanwhile, revolutionary social forces continue to grow.
Viva la revolucion!
lee le brigand anation613 days ago
yeah ! and Mark Warner ? what is he, some kind of nano-robot, a creature whipped up in nano-technology labs, some AI fabricated to be a moron, whose only purpose is devotion to the intelligence agencies and to Capital ? if he had to, can he tie his own shoelaces in the mornings ? on his athletic shoes ? i look at him and think : major trauma there -- and he murders us and all those caught in our Imperialist wars !
Peter L.4 days ago
Excellent antidote to mainstream corporate propaganda. Would suggest supplement with : "Racist 'Russians' Targeted African-Americans; in 2016 election ploy, report claims" @https:// www.rt.com (Also, just as an editing note, WSWS might want to clarify the notation "CNO"; according to the rt article it stands for "Computer Network Officer".)
Skip4 days ago
The only people that they are fooling is themselves.... and most likely not even that....

They haven't come and said the posts are not true...they just say that you should not believe them because they are propaganda. That's really a bad strategy.

You know what would help the capitalist cause? Making life in America more equal. But that's not on your plate .

Charlotte Ruse4 days ago
'Reports and testimony from nominally independent organizations, which are, in reality, mouthpieces for the intelligence agencies, are commissioned by Congress. They are "leaked" to the New York Times, which publishes a front-page article promoting them as "independent," scientific and authoritative, without, however, presenting any serious analysis of the actual evidence or the social and political forces behind the studies. The reports in the Times (or the Washington Post) are then cited by countless media outlets and politicians as new and irrefutable "evidence" of Russian "meddling" and "fake news."

This is the method that's always used to demonize political figures or a leader of a sovereign country which the intelligence agencies have targeted for elimination. It's an insidious but clever way to influence public opinion. All mainstream media news proliferates the same nonstop propaganda using each other as sources to substantiate a CIA fable.

All these efforts will intensify prior to the Dems taking control of the House in January. It's like watching the last phase of a fireworks display as the pyrotechnic crescendo reaches it apex. Trump's impeachment might be imminent, but internet censorship will have a greater and longer lasting impact on the remaining vestiges of our democracy.

Who D. Who4 days ago
Thank you, Mr. Damon, for showing us what proper journalism looks like. Unfortunately not enough people will read this excellent exposé, and will simply assume that all the fuss has some basis in reality, while our right to the truth suffers further erosion.

I am endlessly amazed at how many of my friends and colleagues are blinded by their Dem partisanship and unwilling to see how dangerous this conscious and blatant manipulation of the facts is to our chances of preserving a relatively open society.

I will post this piece everywhere I can and hope for the best.

lee le brigand Who D. Who3 days ago
For me, this theme, this Russian propaganda theme, is infantile, and nothing of this is of interest to those who work for a living, as opposed to the elites: in all my life riding close to politics in Washington DC, never has the elite class presented to our country such an immature and juvenile thesis, such an outrageous and laughable spectacle of projection, such a certitude of vision in which the vision is absurd, irrelevant, with the seeming simple logic of a child in her belief that some bear speaks to her, but these are adults ! do we laugh ? do we scorn ? do we hate ? yes, all 3, but do these elite politicians and editors at the Times, do they really believe in talking bears ? fascists wallow in their propaganda --
blessthebeasts lee le brigand2 days ago
I don't think they actually believe this BS but they believe that the public will believe it! As you said, it is ridiculous and infantile but they obviously think the power of propaganda will prevail. They don't realize they are becoming more irrelevant and ludicrous with each new "bombshell." People have more important things on their minds. Like survival.
Ed Hightower4 days ago
Very interesting and important analysis. This perspective really unravels the rationales behind this aggressive censorship drive.
Jack4134 days ago
Thanks for this important anaylisis of what the ruling class is thinking though what amazes me is that "Russian Interference" is the only argument these highly educated people can come up with. With the fall of the Soviet Union the Capitalists were in a position to further advance their cause which they did brutally and without mercy. They were like kids taking over a candy store repeatedly gorging themselves and sharing none of it. In fact the Oligarchs began an assault on the working class all over the world and the crisis of inequality is seething and bubbling over to open revolt.

That they used the fight against fascism by Captain America as an example of Russian interference shows the true nature of these Rulers,corrupt,incompetent and total reactionaries.

I can't stand to read any of those papers but I'm glad someone does. The reporters for WSWS who read the NYT are like that guy Mike on the show "Dirty Jobs" where he takes on the nastiest jobs in America. To immerse yourself in their caldron of lies is truly a Dirty Job and you folks should get a Purple Heart for the wounds you've incurred.

After reading about the attack on the tune"Baby it's cold outside" and similar articles may I suggest the WSWS start a new section "Socialist News of the Weird" as the maneuvers of the bourgeois though dangerous empty and delusional are truly weird.

Charlotte Ruse Jack4133 days ago
A special holiday gift just for you. https://www.youtube.com/wat...
Ron Ruggieri Jack4134 days ago
An excerpt from a World Socialist Web Site 2010 obituary tribute to Howard Zinn, author of " A People's History of the United States " ( by Tom Eley ) :

" People's History grew out of, and in turn contributed to, a growing skepticism of the democratic pretensions of the American ruling class -- particularly among the youth. These characteristics of Zinn's work earned him the hatred of those who wish to see college and high school curriculum more tightly controlled; after Zinn's death, right-wing ex-radicals David Horowitz and Ronald Radosh penned columns attacking him for exposing truths about the US government to a mass audience ".

I read that presently David Horowitz is glorifying President Donald Trump in his latest " kick-liberal-ass " book. The Tom Eley article on Howard Zinn was fair minded and excellent.

Ron Ruggieri Jack4134 days ago
"With the fall of the Soviet Union the Capitalists were in a position to further advance their cause which they did brutally and without mercy "
And they got moral support from not a few ( I guess ) ex-Stalinists. I recall reading one David Horowitz's book :" The Destructive Generation " - a bitter denunciation of his own past. Never being devoted to Stalinism, I thought that Horowitz and hundreds like him were spitting in public on the very IDEA and IDEAL of socialism. To be sure , the Trotskyists do not have the blood of the Stalinist counter-revolution on their hands.

The last time I checked David Horowitz had evolved into a far right belligerent Zionist interviewed on many radio and TV programs. At last he found found true freedom in Apartheid Israel == not quite a " workers' paradise ".

In order to survive what else can the world plutocracy do but play divide and conquer games ? Today the sentencing of the " treasonous " American general, Michael Flynn, will tell us how much Imperial America needs an " evil " enemy. In a universe where everything changes only the military and the police are forever ?

denis ross4 days ago
Welcome to "Nineteen Eighty Four".
Carolyn Zaremba denis ross3 days ago
It's deja vu all over again.
Raycomeau4 days ago
The USA is a hopeless war mongering terrorist state. It should, and must be, coming to an end. And, there are signs that the USA with all its weapons and lies is creeping toward that situation.

The fact that Russia and China are starting to get rid of the worthless USA dollar is a major blow to the USA. The latest appointments of the neocon Bolton, and the CIA blowhard Pompous Pompeo is an indication that the only thing USA has to offer to the world is threats of war by these, and all their filthy war dogs!

The Democratic Party has lost its way, and sanity, by living with the burned out one trick pony diatribe that Russia interfered and meddled into the USA election. CNN should be censured and fined millions for promoting this deceit every hour of every day. It is amazing to watch the stunned budgies (would be newscasters) on CNN trying to outdo each other in front of their masters Wolf Blitzer et al as they revel in babbling the lies about Russia and China while praising the lies of the USA in its march to WW111.

Marla Raycomeau4 days ago
"The USA is a hopeless war mongering terrorist state. It should, and must be, coming to an end. And, there are signs that the USA with all its weapons and lies is creeping toward that situation."

Nice platitude but what signs are those? Appears to me this current administration and the Democrats have given more money to defense wasting er, I mean spending than ever before and both parties are itching for a war with Iran. So what signs?

America survival is dependent upon its lies and misinformation it delivers each day through cable news and sports which also fetishsize militarism. The only situation that lies on the horizon is more of the same.

Trevor Marla3 days ago
America doesn't have "defense" spending. We have offense spending.
Vivek Jain4 days ago
see also: Newly Released 'Integrity Initiative' Papers Include Proposal For Large Disinformation Campaigns https://www.moonofalabama.o...

[Jan 24, 2019] Putin is routinely described as a murderer and a thug in the western MSM. With no evidence is provided to support this. Ditto the claims he has billions syphoned away in some offshore haven.

Jan 24, 2019 | off-guardian.org

grandstand says Jan, 16, 2019

Whatever the truth, and I become daily more distrustful of the media that regularly attack Putin in this way, I doubt very much if his crimes in this regard come anywhere near those of Bush, Cheney, Blair, Cameron, Obama, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.
mark says Jan, 16, 2019
This is just routinely parroted by the MSM and equally routinely expanded upon by them. Organs like the Guardian/ BBC casually announce that Putin has stolen £40 billion (sometimes this is casually raised to £200 billion, which would make him the richest man on the planet and people like Gates/ Buffett poor as church mice by comparison.)Occasionally someone does ask for details, like bank transfers, property holdings or whatever.

Nothing is ever forthcoming. All they come up with is that he has some nice Italian suits and a nice gold watch that cost him $1,200.

Apart from that, these allegations must be true because some financial fraudster mate of Khordokovsky who sought refuge in the US said so. Sounds pretty convincing to us here in the MSM – what more evidence do you need? Of course Putin is just a kleptocratic thug and James Bond cartoon villain who has people murdered purely for the fun of it.

George cornel l says Jan, 16, 2019
Very late in the game I finally saw the documentary Icarus recently. I had passed it up because I thought I could predict that it would be rampantly dishonest, and an exercise in propaganda. It having received an Academy award seemed to be an independent confirmation of my prejudice.

Well, I was right for once. It was disgraceful, and the most common image in it was of Putin, accompanied by feeble ad hominem claims, without any counterpoints of any kind. So the core issue, cheating at the Olympics, turned out to be presented with no context at all, for the anti-Russian smear job. No mention of Balco, Carl Lewis, Marion Jones, and just a few seconds of an unidentified Lance Armstrong.

So now we see awards for propaganda. The Americans don't do fairness or integrity, but now they don't even pretend.

mark says Jan, 17, 2019
They gave an Integrity in Journalism award to the Ukraine journalist who faked his own death.
Fair dinkum says Jan, 16, 2019
Tolkien also comes to mind here.
Us 'hobbits' are treated as inferior beings by the 'Saurons', 'Nazguls' and 'Gollums' of this world.
Gandalf ?
We're waiting
Francis Lee says Jan, 16, 2019
Comments were true and apposite enough, but it's all been said really. But given that this is largely an information war the truth needs continuously asserting.

Our opponents – the Guardian (minitru on thames) the New York Post (Pravda on the Hudson) the Washington Post (Izvestia on the Potomac) – sole tactic is constant repetition, this should be our tactic also but with evidence to back it up.

We need to constantly expand our readership and challenge the lunatic narrative of the PTB. We are now in a pivotal historical moment. If we fail it will be Hunger Games.

Loverat says Jan, 16, 2019
Francis Lee

I agree about the repetition but do you want to know what I think? I think you need to play MSM and others a little bit at their own game. They don't back anything up with evidence. They write short pieces of fiction as statements of fact. Yet they are believed.

The thing is all 'our' evidence is already out there just by taking a look. (e.g White Helmets will take you 15 minutes to doubt that narrative) You have an army of researchers/journalists (e.g Kit Klarenberg, Vanessa Beeley etc) posting detailed evidence out there. A lot of the independent/academic articles I read are well backed up with evidence but the problem is to someone not up to speed, is less inclined to read a long article backed up by detailed reasoning and evidence within it.

I think this article is clear and credible and prompts those new to independent thought to look at different sources of information.

So perhaps more independent writing, which is creative setting out the facts in an intelligent way as above and invite (through links) the reader to look at the evidence which is plentiful, at their leisure.

Humour is another good way of spreading the message. The CJ Hopkins piece a few days ago very effective.

[Jan 22, 2019] War with Russia From Putin Ukraine to Trump Russiagate

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Professor Cohen is indeed a patriot of the highest order. The American and "Globalists" elites, particularly the dysfunctional United Kingdom, are engaging in a war of nerves with Russia. This war, which could turn nuclear for reasons discussed in this important book, is of no benefit to any person or nation. ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | www.amazon.com

P. Philips 5.0 out of 5 stars December 6, 2018

"In a Time of Universal Deceit -- Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act"

"In a Time of Universal Deceit -- Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act" is a well known quotation (but probably not of George Orwell). And in telling the truth about Russia and that the current "war of nerves" is not in the interests of either the American People or national security, Professor Cohen in this book has in fact done a revolutionary act.

Like a denizen of Plato's cave, or being in the film the Matrix, most people have no idea what the truth is. And the questions raised by Professor Cohen are a great service in the cause of the truth. As Professor Cohen writes in his introduction To His Readers:

"My scholarly work -- my biography of Nikolai Bukharin and essays collected in Rethinking the Soviet Experience and Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives, for example -- has always been controversial because it has been what scholars term "revisionist" -- reconsiderations, based on new research and perspectives, of prevailing interpretations of Soviet and post-Soviet Russian history. But the "controversy" surrounding me since 2014, mostly in reaction to the contents of this book, has been different -- inspired by usually vacuous, defamatory assaults on me as "Putin's No. 1 American Apologist," "Best Friend," and the like. I never respond specifically to these slurs because they offer no truly substantive criticism of my arguments, only ad hominem attacks. Instead, I argue, as readers will see in the first section, that I am a patriot of American national security, that the orthodox policies my assailants promote are gravely endangering our security, and that therefore we -- I and others they assail -- are patriotic heretics. Here too readers can judge."

Cohen, Stephen F.. War with Russia (Kindle Locations 131-139). Hot Books. Kindle Edition.

Professor Cohen is indeed a patriot of the highest order. The American and "Globalists" elites, particularly the dysfunctional United Kingdom, are engaging in a war of nerves with Russia. This war, which could turn nuclear for reasons discussed in this important book, is of no benefit to any person or nation.

Indeed, with the hysteria on "climate change" isn't it odd that other than Professor Cohen's voice, there are no prominent figures warning of the devastation that nuclear war would bring?

If you are a viewer of one of the legacy media outlets, be it Cable Television networks, with the exception of Tucker Carlson on Fox who has Professor Cohen as a frequent guest, or newspapers such as The New York Times, you have been exposed to falsehoods by remarkably ignorant individuals; ignorant of history, of the true nature of Russia (which defeated the Nazis in Europe at a loss of millions of lives) and most important, of actual military experience. America is neither an invincible or exceptional nation. And for those familiar with terminology of ancient history, it appears the so-called elites are suffering from hubris.

I cannot recommend Professor Cohen's work with sufficient superlatives; his arguments are erudite, clearly stated, supported by the facts and ultimately irrefutable. If enough people find Professor Cohen's work and raise their voices to their oblivious politicians and profiteers from war to stop further confrontation between Russia and America, then this book has served a noble purpose.

If nothing else, educate yourself by reading this work to discover what the *truth* is. And the truth is something sacred.

America and the world owe Professor Cohen a great debt. "Blessed are the peace makers..."

jn 5.0 out of 5 stars January 18, 2019

This book examines the senseless and dangerous demonizing of Russia and Putin

This is a compelling book that documents and examines the senseless and dangerous demonizing of Russia and Putin. Unfortunately, the elites in Washington and mass media are not likely to read this book. Their minds are closed. I read this book because I was hoping for an explanation about the cause of the new cold war with Russia. Although the root cause of the new cold war is beyond the scope of this book, the book documents baseless accusations that grew in frequency and intensity until all opposition was silenced. The book documents the dangerous triumph of group think.

skeptic

"On my planet, the evidence linking Putin to the assassination of Litvinecko, Nemtsov, and Politkovskaya and the attempt on the Skripals is strong and consistent with spending his formative years in the KGB. The naive view from Cohen's planet is presented on p 6 and 170."

Ukrainian history. That's evident to any attentive reader. I just want to state that Ukrainian EuroMaydan was a color revolution which exploited the anger of population against the corrupt neoliberal government of Yanukovich (with Biden as the best friend, and Paul Manafort as the election advisor) to install even more neoliberal and more corrupt government of Poroshenko and cut Ukraine from Russia. The process that was probably inevitable in the long run (so called Baltic path), but that was forcefully accelerated. Everything was taken from the Gene Sharp textbook. And Ukrainians suffered greatly as a result, with the standard of living dropping to around $2 a day level -- essentially Central Africa level.

The fact is that the EU acted as a predator trying to get into Ukraine markets and displace Russia. While the USA neocons (Nuland and Co) staged the coup using Ukrainian nationalists as a ram, ignoring the fact that Yanukovich would be voted out in six months anyway (his popularity was in single digits, like popularity of Poroshenko those days ;-). The fact that Obama administration desperately wanted to weaken Russia at the expense of Ukrainians eludes you. I would blame Nuland for the loss of Crimea and the civil war in Donbass.

Poor Ukrainians again became the victim of geopolitical games by big powers. No that they are completely blameless, but still...

It looks like you inhabit a very cold populated exclusively with neocons planet called "Russiagate." So Professor Cohen really lives on another planet. And probably you should drink less American exceptionalism Kool-Aid.

[Jan 20, 2019] Buzzfeed, Question Time the purpose of Fake News by Kit Knightly

Notable quotes:
"... The point of this practice is to propagate lies into the public consciousness. It's a method that can be used to distract and disseminate and divide. The accuracy of the statement is immaterial. ..."
"... The point is, once it has been said it cannot be unsaid. There are countless examples: "Assange was working for Russia", "Trump ordered Cohen to lie to Congress", "Russia hacked the US election", "Donald Trump worked for the KGB", "Assad gassed his own people", "Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite". The list goes on and on and on. None these have been proven. All were asserted without evidence, fiercely defended as facts, and then discretely qualified. ..."
"... The lie was told, the audience laughed, the reality was created. "Labour are behind in the polls, anybody who says otherwise is a laughingstock" . The lie goes around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on. That's why fake news is so important to them, and so dangerous us. ..."
Jan 20, 2019 | off-guardian.org

... ... ...

Trump has been a disappointment to his base and is yet to implement half the policies he discussed on the campaign trail, but he's not fully and totally being controlled by the warhawking Deep State yet, either. His policy of peace with North Korea and decisions to pull out of Syria and Afghanistan show that there is a tug-of-war ongoing inside the administration. It's probably no coincidence that this latest of many "bombshells" comes so quickly on the heels of Trump's announcement of the Syria withdrawal. Careful "leaks", planted stories and social media witch-hunts remind Trump how precarious his position is, whilst simultaneously distracting the public – both pro-Trump and anti-Trump – from real issues.

The case-specific "why?" doesn't matter so much as the general aim of this type of manipulation. The important question is: Why does the media tell lies if they know they will be revealed as such? Clearly, the lies serve a purpose, regardless of their retraction or qualification. Telling a lie loudly and then taking it back quietly is an old propaganda trick – it allows the paper to maintain a facade of "accountability".

The point of this practice is to propagate lies into the public consciousness. It's a method that can be used to distract and disseminate and divide. The accuracy of the statement is immaterial.

The point is, once it has been said it cannot be unsaid. There are countless examples: "Assange was working for Russia", "Trump ordered Cohen to lie to Congress", "Russia hacked the US election", "Donald Trump worked for the KGB", "Assad gassed his own people", "Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite". The list goes on and on and on. None these have been proven. All were asserted without evidence, fiercely defended as facts, and then discretely qualified.

That is the purpose of "fake news", to forge the Empire's "created reality" , and force us all to live in it. These are world-shaping, policy-informing, news-dominating narratives and are nothing but feathers in the wind .

A perfect exemplar of this occurred just two days ago on the BBC's flagship Political debate show Question Time : me title= The (notionally impartial) host not only sided with right-wing author Isabel Oakeshott in criticising Labour's polling, but then joined in mocking the Labour MP Diane Abbott for attempting to correct the record. Both Oakeshott and Fiona Bruce, the host, were factually incorrect – as shown a hundred times over since. But that doesn't matter.

The lie was told, the audience laughed, the reality was created. "Labour are behind in the polls, anybody who says otherwise is a laughingstock" . The lie goes around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on. That's why fake news is so important to them, and so dangerous us.

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

[Jan 20, 2019] Doctor, nurse, Chief Nursing Officer of the Army, whatever.

Highly recommended!
Now it looks like all this scene was staged by British government and is connected to the Integrity initiative... Poor cat and guinea pigs ...
See also The desperate efforts of the Western neoliberal establishment to build a new propaganda machine by globinfo freexchange
Jan 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
PavewayIV , Jan 20, 2019 11:15:51 AM | 1 ">link

And, one last bit from the BBC report on March 8, 2018:

"...Meanwhile, a doctor who was one of the first people at the scene has described how she found Ms Skripal slumped unconscious on a bench, vomiting and fitting. She had also lost control of her bodily functions.

The woman, who asked not to be named, told the BBC 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, but added that she "feels fine"

Doctor, nurse, Chief Nursing Officer of the Army, whatever...

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43326734

[Jan 19, 2019] Putin and Skripals: Neither Putin personally nor the Russian government in general have ever shown themselves to be so petty as to kill a triator, who was elready exchanged for another spy. On the contrary, one of the notable qualities of Putin's is that he believes, as we Russians put it, "the crown would not fall off his head if he bows"

Jan 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

EugeneGur , says: April 10, 2018 at 2:55 pm GMT

@Zogby

It's also untrue that he "shot himself in the foot", as the event, if anything, strengthened his image for the election.

What strengthened his image was an insane hysterics by the UK and the West in general. The Russians do tend to consolidate when perceive themselves under external threat.

the pettiness of going after apparent pipsqueaks

Neither Putin personally nor the Russian government in general have ever shown themselves to be petty. On the contrary, one of the notable qualities of Putin's is that he believes, as we Russians put it, "the crown would not fall off his head if he bows". Apparently, he feels strong, so he is not afraid to be magnanimous and make concessions. This quality is much appreciated by some but drives other people crazy.

None of that however proves Putin did it. It's just a possibility.

Theoretically, it's a possibility that the Martians did it. However, given the behavior of the UK authorities, there is no reason to believe anything even remotely like the picture described happened in reality. There is a scientific impossibility to identify the agent, first, as fast as it was supposedly done, and, second, unless they had a sample and/or detailed information in their possession. It's scientifically impossible to establish provenance unless the UK had samples of both the agent used and a comparison sample. Multiple comparison samples, I should say, since there are many such compounds. But if they did, the whole premise "only Russia could have done it" goes out of the window.

Add here the inconsistency of the symptoms and the outcome with the "military grade" nerve agent poisoning – and here you have a complete a story of a very clumsy false flag operation.

anonymous [397] Disclaimer , says: April 10, 2018 at 3:13 pm GMT
Like a gullible person I at first accepted that there was indeed some event that involved the Skripals. Now I wonder if the entire thing was a scripted hoax, that nothing had hit them, that it's all fake. It wouldn't be surprising. We seem to be in an age of rule by sociopaths whose only compass is that of power and riches. The populations of our countries are being hustled along for the benefit of the few. This can't have a happy ending for the majority of people. The much vaunted democracy of the west looks like just a fixed shell game.

[Jan 19, 2019] Putin Asks And Trump Delivers - A List Of All The Good Things Trump Did For Russia

Way too any pleasured for Putin from Trump administration... Just look at this perma-pleasing face of Pompeo.
Jan 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Putin Asks And Trump Delivers - A List Of All The Good Things Trump Did For Russia

Slate's Fred Kaplan writes :

The Washington Post's Greg Miller reported Sunday that President Donald Trump's confiscation of the translator's notes from a one-on-one conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2017 was "unusual." This is incorrect. It was unprecedented. There is nothing like it in the annals of presidential history.

Not really. Other U.S. leaders held long private meetings with their counterparts without notes being taken.

When Richard Nixon met Leonid Brezhnev he did not even bring his own interpreter:

George Szamuely @GeorgeSzamuely - 20:57 utc - 14 Jan 2019

Nixon would meet Brezhnev alone, the only other person in attendance being Viktor Sukhodrev, the Soviet interpreter. "Our first meeting in the Oval Office was private, except for Viktor Sukhodrev, who, as in 1972, acted as translator." Nixon on Brezhnev's 1973 visit. RN, p.878 . Therefore, the only "notes" that would exist would be those of the Soviet interpreter. Not sure he would have time to make notes and translate and, even if he did so, whether those notes would be housed in any US archive.

Nixon's White House office was bugged. There are probably tape recordings of the talks. There might also be recordings of the Trump-Putin talks.

At their 1986 Reykjavik summit Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev talked without their notetakers :

Mr. Reagan and Mr. Gorbachev began their second day of talks with a private meeting that had been scheduled to last 15 minutes but ran for nearly 70 minutes, with only interpreters present . They met in a small room in the Soviet Mission , with the Soviet leader seated in a small armchair and Mr. Reagan on a sofa.

In the afternoon, they meet alone for a little over 20 minutes and then again for 90 minutes. All told, the two leaders have spent 4 hours and 51 minutes alone , except for interpreters, over the two days here.

The archives of the Reykjavik talks do not include any notes of those private talks.

But, who knows, maybe Nixon and Reagan where also on the Russian payroll, just like Donald Trump is today.


bigger

Only that Trump is controlled by Putin can explain why the FBI opened a counter-intelligence investigation against Trump (see section three).

That the FBI agents involved in the decision were avid haters of Russia and of Trump has surely nothing to do with it. That the opening of a counter-intelligence investigation gave them the legal ability under Obama's EO12333 to use NSA signal intelligence against Trump is surely irrelevant.

What the FBI people really were concerned about is Trump's public record of favoring Russia at each and every corner.

Trump obviously wants better diplomatic relations with Russia. He is reluctant to counter its military might. He is doing his best to make it richer. Just consider the headlines below. With all those good things Trump did for Putin, intense suspicions of Russian influence over him is surely justified.

Trump obviously wants better diplomatic relations with Russia. He is reluctant to counter its military might. He is doing his best to make it richer. Just consider the headlines below. With all those good things Trump did for Putin, intense suspicions of Russian influence over him is surely justified.

When one adds up all those actions one can only find that Trump cares more about Russia, than about the U.S. and its NATO allies. Only with Trump being under Putin's influence, knowingly or unwittingly, could he end up doing Russia so many favors.

Not.

Posted by b at 02:12 PM | Comments (121)

[Jan 19, 2019] The Mockingbird Media lies and equivocates about everything. Insofar as the deep state spider's web of hegemony spreads all over the world and becomes more odious, the lies become more copious and more predictable, and their acceptance more and more relies upon the lever of public credulity and Neoliberal Newspeak

Jan 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

Mulegino1 , says: April 10, 2018 at 4:49 am GMT

A great man once wrote that the "big lie" had a force of credulity among the broad masses, as the latter were wont to engage in lying about minor quotidian matters of little or no significance while the big lies were engaged in by the mainstream press, dominated by the usual tribal suspects.

It was the case with blaming General Ludendorff for Germany's defeat, and it is the same case today, 100 years after the fact.

The Mockingbird Media lies and equivocates about everything. Insofar as the deep state spider's web of hegemony spreads all over the world and becomes more odious, the lies become more copious and more predictable, and their acceptance relies upon the lever of public credulity and kosher Newspeak.

What the unconditional and incorrigible Trumpetistas do not realize is that those of us- a very large plurality of of Trump supporters- voted for him because he was not Hillary Clinton and had pledged to keep us out of foreign wars. We will neither support, nor abet, foreign wars for the sake of Israel, whether they are started by Trump or anyone else. Intervention in Syria against the Assad regime is a no go. Trump cannot hope to compare himself to Assad, since the latter has formed a real and effective alliance against the Christian hating head choppers with Russia and Iran. Trump is totally clueless with respect to geopolitics. He is a rank amateur.

Jon Baptist , says: April 10, 2018 at 5:27 am GMT
It makes complete sense if one simply looks at the British Establishment's prior behavior of intentionally starting world wars at the order of the Society of the Elect. It's all in the CFR's archives. Their guilt in starting WW1 is emphatically admitted and documented in roughly the first 200 pages of the following book. http://www.carrollquigley.net/pdf/Tragedy_and_Hope.pdf

Who is in the Society of the Elect? Read the back pages of http://www.carrollquigley.net/pdf/The_Anglo-American_Establishment.pdf

Anonymous [280] Disclaimer , says: 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.

annamaria , says: 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 , says: 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.
quasi_verbatim , says: April 10, 2018 at 7:01 am GMT
The Skripals are to be disappeared. Their home, the pub and the restaurant are to be demolished. This is a Tarantino cleanup. Move on
JR , says: 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.

Realist , says: April 10, 2018 at 7:49 am GMT
Why anyone would believe anything Western governments say is beyond me.
animalogic , says: April 10, 2018 at 8:28 am GMT
Good article.
The Skipnal affair has been an utter disgrace from day one. May & Boris are a shame on the UK fully reminesent of that utter dog, Blair.
The fact that the msm still babbles on about Russia & Skipnal is indicative of their monumental contempt for the public & factual balanced reporting .well what's new, I guess ?
Ronald Thomas West , says: 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

OMG , says: April 10, 2018 at 10:35 am GMT
These ridiculous, suicidal gas attacks by Assad seem to coincide not only with battleground victories against the head-choppers, but co-incidentally with Israel's murderous attacks on unarmed Palestinians "throwing stones".

What nobody seems to have picked up is the emphasis – and red lines – on Gas; gas, gas attacks. Why is gas so much worse than being dismembered, disembowelled, and mutilated by high explosives? Certainly I would favour unconsciousness and death by gas before being smashed to pieces by depleted uranium.

These relentlessly repeated claims are an exercise with the dual purpose of providing a subliminal message about the greatest tragedy in human history, repeated ad nauseam. The massive 'gassing' of European Jews some 65 years ago. Lest we forget.

Anonymous [249] Disclaimer , says: April 10, 2018 at 10:43 am GMT
What makes you think the Skripals are still alive? The entire British charade stinks to high heaven.
Escher , says: April 10, 2018 at 11:06 am GMT
What is surprising is how the MSM is able to lead along so many supposedly educated people, with at least some critical thinking skills.
All we like sheep , says: April 10, 2018 at 11:13 am GMT
Compared with the Litvinenko umbrella attack with its tip having been dipped in an Amazonian Indians' style curare variant of Polonium the intelligence level of the MI6 & CIA seems to have hit the ground with the twofold miracle of the dead being raised. Now the miracles are posing a big problem for the demonizers of Russia & President Putin: how to spirit these two living & talking people away, who have returned from the dead, where they were supposed to be so safe and well for all truth-loving investigators. This whole story seems to unfold like a Jesus Christ Superstar sequel with James Bond appetizers having been added. At present the roles have been reversed: the Russians being the champions of free will and the Western intelligence services being the Joker.
Greg Bacon , says: Website April 10, 2018 at 11:14 am GMT
Until some kind of sanity returns to this planet and war mongering gangsters like the Bush and Clinton Mobs, Blair, Obama and a host of Pentagon generals, along with their boot-licking MSM are indicted, tried for crimes against humanity and war crimes, found guilty and sentences carried out, there will be no peace on Earth, just an endless series of False Flags, hysterical reactions by the ones who were behind the False Flags and more wars.
Simon in London , says: April 10, 2018 at 11:25 am GMT
It does look rather like those Syrian chemical weapon attacks that happen whenever the rebels are about to be defeated.

I am pretty sure that it was not ordered within the British government and that most of the British government don't know where it came from, but are willing to believe it was Russia.

While the CIA does have plenty of form on assassinations, the risk if they were found to be assassinating in Britain seems quite high due to the close CIA links with the UK intelligence sector. But CIA agents could have paid someone else to do it.

Mossad is the one group that can act freely in the UK, has a record of assassinating scientists, engineers etc here, and unlike CIA, can take the risk of being caught. So it's a possibility – OTOH Israel has shown a lot less anti-Russian hatred than the US Deep State has.

Normally I'd assume it was indeed Russia – I thought there was plenty of evidence the Polonium poisoning was Russia – and it still seems possible, but US or Mossad must be at least equally likely in this case. It's just possible it could have been British initiated but I doubt it.

I do think it's most likely the person who actually poisoned them was not an employee of any agency.

Jake , says: April 10, 2018 at 11:38 am GMT
Theresa May as more evil than Bill Clinton? That will sound odd to some, but I think it is true. Hillary is the pure evil half of the Clinton marriage. Bill is simply charming and filled with a desire to amass enough power to have a group adore him as he finds new panties to explore.

May is English, and she has the very long line of Brit Empire secret service evil at her disposal. And her move is a bold one. What it means is that she is signaling that at least if she is PM, the UK could replace the US as Fearless Leader of the actual New World Order, which is the WASP Empire with Israel and worldwide Jewry as Junior Partner #1 and Saudi Arabia elevated to Junior Partner #2 in an insane attempt to make Israel secure forever.

The English have never been happy that the lowly Americans leaped them as A-#1 of the WASP Empire, and being English they have no permanent alliances, no permanent allies, not even kin (perhaps especially kin – which type and degree of ruthlessness impresses all Semites).

This alliance was sealed by none other than the very epitome of WASP culture: Mr. Archetypal WASP himself, Oliver Cromwell. The Anglo-Saxon alliance with Jews precisely to wage wars against non-WASP white Christians was the logical (and inevitable if WASP culture were to acquire large scale political power) .

By the Victorian era, virtually all Elite Brit WASPs were knowing philoSemites. The new twist was that a growing number of them were becoming obsessed with Arabs and/or Islam. decades before the Balfour Declaration, the Brit WASP Elites were wrangling among themselves over how best to use the largest and wealthiest Empire in world history to express its philoSemtism.

The solution recently agreed upon was to elevate the Saudis. The assumption is that as the Saudis control the actual land of Mohammed, if they are elevated to suzerainty over not merely all Arabs but the entire Islamic Middle East, then the entire Islamic world can be controlled, including to allow Israel to exist in 'peace.'

And that means all that oil is under the indirect, but very firm, control of the WASP Empire, or as The Saker calls it: the Anglo-Zionist Empire.

Of course, the Saudi royal family is the most amorally vicious power party in the Middle East. They would slaughter half the Sunni Arabs in order to become unrivaled suzerain over the entire Islamic world. Such monstrousness makes the House of Saud exactly the type partner that those who control the WASP Empire want as partners.

The Russians are in the way of that beautiful plan of world domination. Russians have common sense and, much worse, they express it, even publicly. Russians know that Sunni Islam is a much worse threat to the world than is Shiite Islam. The Russians know that the Iranians are much more honorable and moral than are the Saudis. The Russians know that as bad as the Turks are, they are more honorable and trustworthy than the Saudis.

And the Russians also know that the Anglo-Zionist Empire would be tickled pink to make all non-WASP Elite whites – all in the world – a permanent serf class, treated the way Cromwell treated the Irish, the way the Israelis treat the Palestinians.

Randal , says: April 10, 2018 at 11:48 am GMT
@Corvinus Corvinus, George Galloway has a message addressed directly to you:

It's harsh, but one has to concede it is also a fair assessment.

Giuseppe , says: April 10, 2018 at 12:10 pm GMT
I challenge anyone to name a modern war prosecuted by the US government and its allies that did not involve at its root the direct fabrication of blatant lies on enormous levels, both as a casus belli and also to manipulate public opinion in favor of hostilities.

The clandestine activity represented by these *provocations* isn't even good spycraft. The Skripal case and the latest use of chlorine gas in Syria are risible, clumsy, amateur attempts to wangle the empire into war that the callowest rube could see through. And yet, it's working its magic on the media. The politicians, suborned by the war machine, give unanimous bipartisan assent.

What the hell is going on?

JoaoAlfaiate , says: April 10, 2018 at 12:35 pm GMT
@Giuseppe Saddam's WMD, Gulf of Tonkin, etc., etc. And now a ridiculous false flag attack in Syria. Did it take place at all? But the narrative is all. The press in the USA is more effectively controlled and conformist than in Germany in the late 1930s and nobody goes around beating up journalists or sending them to a KZ. The Syrian Gov't is winning the civil war, things are going well but what Assad really needs is to have the crap bombed out of his military by Uncle Sam. What transparent bullshit.
tjm , says: April 10, 2018 at 1:08 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX Agreed to all you said, but I would include the assassination of JFK and his brother, and likely Martin Luther King Jr.

And each time they took out a great American, they used that assassination to push a destructive narrative: With the killing of MLK they pinned the killing on a white southern man, thus pushing their white hate narrative.

With 9/11 is was all about stoking hate of Muslims

These creatures lie as easily as breath, and they have all the money in the world to push their lies.

JoaoAlfaiate , says: April 10, 2018 at 2:40 pm GMT
@jacques sheete The intent of my post was to show that the MSM here is conformist and doesn't like to stray far from what the USG is claiming and what other journalists are writing. Rather than explore the topics you raise, as worthy of exploration as they might be, I thought I'd offer what newspapers around the USA were saying about Saddam's WMD after Powell's UNSC speech; seems a bit more germane.

The Powell evidence will be persuasive to anyone who is still persuadable.

The Wall Street Journal

Piling fact upon fact, photo upon photo Wednesday, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell methodically demonstrated why Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein remains dangerous to his own people, Iraq's neighbors

The Los Angeles Times

On Wednesday, America's most reluctant warrior, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, presented succinct and damning evidence of Saddam's enormous threat to world peace.

Arizona Republic

Saddam Hussein's illicit arsenal of biological and chemical weapons, as well as the equally illicit means that he possesses to deliver them, poses a tangible and urgent danger to U.S. and world security. Millions of innocent lives are at risk.

Dallas Morning News

At some point, the world chooses to believe President George W. Bush and Secretary Powell or the international community chooses to side with Saddam Hussein and those who broadcast his lies to the world. Powell has painstakingly presented a strong case against Iraq.

Greenville News/South Carolina

Iraq is busted. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell laid out the case clearly. No one hearing Powell's presentation to the United Nations Security Council could doubt Iraq's actions and intentions.

Jacksonville Times-Union/Florida

The threat is real and at our door. Sept. 11, 2001, stripped away the belief that the United States can peacefully coexist with evil. Prove it, they said. Powell has.

Charleston Daily Mail/West Virginia

We are a country always loath to fight unless provoked. The reluctance of Americans to initiate a war needlessly does the nation credit. But this is not a needless war, nor is it unprovoked. Powell laid out the need, and explained the provocation, in step-by-step fashion that cannot be refuted without resorting to fantasy.

Chicago Sun-Times

The Dispatch repeatedly has called on the Bush administration to make a compelling case that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is developing weapons of mass destruction and hiding these efforts from U.N. inspectors. Yesterday, Secretary of State Colin Powell made that case before the Security Council.

Columbus Dispatch

Powell has methodically proved Iraq's failure to comply with U.N. mandates. With each passing day, Iraq's own choices move it closer to a war that full compliance would prevent.

Indianapolis Star

Secretary of State Colin Powell's 90-minute presentation to the U.N. Security Council, buttressed with surveillance photographs and recorded phone conversations, should remove all doubt that Iraq's Saddam Hussein has developed and hides weapons of mass destruction, in violation of U.N. resolutions.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Powell's speech to the U.N. Security Council presented not just one 'smoking gun' but a battery of them, more than sufficient to dispel any lingering doubt about the threat the Iraqi dictator poses.

Denver Post

The United States has made a compelling case that Iraq has failed to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction. This failure violates the U.N. Security Council resolution of late last year which ordered Iraq to disarm. As a consequence and it is a grave one, the Security Council must act now to disarm Iraq by force.

Salt Lake City Tribune

Powell has connected enough dots to tie Iraq to al-Qaeda and show that this alliance is a threat to all of Europe as well as the United States.

Manchester Union Leader

In fact, the speech provided proof that Saddam continues to refuse to obey U.N. resolutions. Any amount of time he has now to comply fully and openly with U.N. demands should be measured in days or a few weeks – and no longer.

Portland Press-Herald/Maine

[Jan 19, 2019] Oh, nothing new; extortion, perjury, forty per cent, face-grinding.

Jan 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

Mike Sylwester says: Website April 10, 2018 at 12:43 pm GMT The Moon of Alabama website has been doing great work criticizing the Skripal yarn.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/04/the-best-explanation-for-the-skripal-drama-is-food-poisoning.html#more

jacques sheete , says: April 10, 2018 at 12:50 pm GMT

@Giuseppe

What the hell is going on?

Nothing new. Same ol same ol.

But how are things going up here? what is Athens about?

Phi. Oh, nothing new; extortion, perjury, forty per cent, face-grinding.

-Lucian of Samosata, MENIPPUS, A NECROMANTIC EXPERIMENT, ~150 AD
http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/luc/wl1/wl176.htm

[Jan 17, 2019] We are disenfranchised by what the elites are saying because the elites control the narrative in a way that makes sure the power will always reside with them.

One of the main power weapons of the elite is the control over the information flows
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Albert Ravey , 29 Nov 2018 10:45

Some highlights from this thread (no names, no pack drill):

Populism is a kickback and correction to the forty years of political correctness where the white masses of Europe and America were forbidden by the liberal establishment to be their real selves

People are fed up with the elite consensus because of the failures of the elites.

Perhaps the reason that "populism" is thriving is that the liberal elites who ruled us in the entire post war period became complacent out of touch with those they were meant to represent.

there are millions of others whose voices have been ignored or silenced by the mainstream news

We are disenfranchised by what the elites are saying because the elites control the narrative in a way that makes sure the power will always reside with them.

The MSM has always been biased-

Why is democracy booming the article asks.
Well because the lies and bullshit of the liberal elite are there for all to see.

Take a look at what the MSM refuses to report, or what it deliberately distorts,

You can see the problem. It's like they are all reading from the same limited script which has been handed to them. Given the freedom to express our opinions, we are regurgitating what someone else has told us to say.

Maybe we should not be too pessimistic. The levels of opportunity for expression that the internet and social media have given us might currently have exceeded our ability to think critically about whatever bullshit we are being fed, but future generations may be better. After all, it's only a small step from doubting whatever mainstream thought tells you, to starting to wonder who is telling you to doubt those things and why and then to actually go back and think for yourself about the issues.

TheBorderGuard -> SomlanderBrit , 29 Nov 2018 10:44

... the white masses of Europe and America were forbidden by the liberal establishment to be their real selves.

Lifted straight from the pages of the Völkischer Beobachter , I suspect.

TheBorderGuard , 29 Nov 2018 10:43
Some people are more attracted to certainties than subtleties -- and I suspect such people are ideologues in general and populists in particular.
DanInTheDesert , 29 Nov 2018 09:46
Sigh.

So Corbyn and Trump are the same because they both have shirts. Well, color me convinced!

Like so many of these articles -- including the long but uninformative 'long read' on the same topic -- there is no mention of the failures of the elites.

Clinton sold us a false bill of goods. The Washington Consensus on economics would make the country richer and, after some 'pain', would benefit the working class. Sure you wouldn't be making cars but after some retraining you would work in tech.

This was a broken promise -- de industrialization has devastated the upper midwest. The goods are made in China and the money goes to Bezos. People are rightly upset.

The Washington Consensus on war sold us a false bill of goods. Instead of peace through strength we have seen a century of endless conflict. We have been caught in state of constant killing since 2001 and we are no safer for it. Indeed the conflicts have created new enemies and the only solution on offer is a hair of the dog solution.

People are fed up with the elite consensus because of the failures of the elites. Nowhere are the repeated failures of the elites, the decades of broken promises mentioned in the articles. Instead, those of us who prefer Sanders to Clinton, Corbyn to Blair are mesmerized by emotional appeals and seduced by simplistic appeals to complex problems. And they wonder why we don't accept their analyses . . .

TL;DR -- clickbait didn't get us here. The broken promises of the Washington consensus did.

[Jan 14, 2019] Russia Sure Behaves Strangely for a Country Bent on Conquest

Even elementary things are difficult for the US congress to understand. Being hell--bent of building global neoliberal empire rules from Washington does not help and reuqres demonization of Russia and its Leaders. Despite recent setbacks Washington policies represent a real danger for the mankind...
Notable quotes:
"... Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at ..."
"... is the author of 12 books and more than 750 articles on international affairs. His latest book is ..."
Jan 14, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

...there is no evidence that Moscow harbors expansionist ambitions remotely comparable to those of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Indeed, the Kremlin's actions suggest a much more limited, perhaps even defensive, agenda. As professors Andrei Shleifer and Daniel Treisman observed in Foreign Affairs , "To many in the West, Russia's 2008 invasion of Georgia seemed to prove the Kremlin's land hunger." But such a conclusion reflects poor logic: "Kremlin leaders bent on expansion would surely have ordered troops all the way to Tbilisi to depose [Georgia President Mikheil] Saakashvili. At the least, Russian forces would have taken control of the oil and gas pipelines that cross Georgia. Instead, the Russians left those pipelines alone and quickly withdrew to the mountains."

Shleifer and Treisman raise a very important point. If Putin is a rogue leader with massive expansionist objectives, why would he relinquish territory that Russian forces had occupied? Indeed, with very little additional effort, Russia could have captured Tbilisi and the rest of Georgia. Yet it did not attempt to do so. Hitler never willingly gave up any of his conquests, and until the collapse of the Eastern European satellite empire in 1989-1991, the USSR disgorged only one occupied area: the portion of Austria it controlled at the end of World War II. Even that modest retreat took place only after laborious negotiations for a treaty guaranteeing Austria's strict neutrality. If Putin truly harbors malignantly expansionist ambitions comparable to those of Hitler and Stalin, declining to conquer and absorb all of Georgia when that achievement was easily within reach showed curious restraint. His decision merely to perpetuate and consolidate Moscow's treatment of Georgia's two secessionist regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as Russian protectorates suggests much more limited ambitions.

Another aspect of Russia's behavior is decidedly inconsistent with a rogue expansionist power: its military spending is modest and declining, not robust and surging. True, Putin has sought to rebuild and modernize Russia's military, and he has achieved some success in doing so. Russia's navy once again deploys modern vessels, and its air force is now flying modern, even cutting-edge aircraft. Putin's regime has also focused on developing and deploying long-range, precision-guided weapons, and is pursuing military research and development efforts with respect to hypersonic aircraft and missiles.

NATO Partisans Started a New Cold War With Russia Russia Gives Up on Trump and the West

Even those developments must be put into perspective, however. The restoration and modernization follows a decade of military decline and decay during the 1990s under Boris Yeltsin. Moscow's military budget is still a very modest $66.3 billion. Not only does the gargantuan U.S. budget of $716 billion dwarf that amount, it is far less than China's $174.5 billion and only slightly more than the budgets of countries such as France and India . Moreover, in contrast to the sizable annual increases in U.S. spending levels, Russia's military spending is declining, not rising . The 2017 budget was $69.2 billion, some $2.9 billion greater than the current budget. That is an odd trend for a government that supposedly harbors vast offensive ambitions.

The only undiminished source of Russian clout is Moscow's large nuclear arsenal. But as various scholars have shown, while nuclear weapons may be the ultimate deterrent, they are not very useful for power projection or war fighting , except in the highly improbable event that a country's political leadership is eager to risk national and personal suicide. And there is no evidence whatsoever that Putin and his oligarch backers are suicidal. Quite the contrary, they seem wedded to accumulating ever greater wealth and perks.

Too many Americans act as though we are still confronting the Soviet Union at the height of its power and ambitions. It will be the ultimate tragic irony if, having avoided war with a messianic, totalitarian global adversary, we now stumble into war because of an out-of-date image of, and policy toward, a conventional, regional power. Yet unless U.S. leaders change both their mindsets and their policies toward Russia, that outcome is a real danger.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at , is the author of 12 books and more than 750 articles on international affairs. His latest book is Gullible Superpower: U.S. Support for Bogus Foreign Democratic Movements (2019).

[Jan 11, 2019] Facts does not matter in the current propoganda environment, the narrative is everything

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Look at Russiagate. An excellent recent article by Ray McGovern for Consortium News titled "A Look Back at Clapper's Jan. 2017 'Assessment' on Russia-gate" reminds us on the two-year anniversary of the infamous ODNI assessment that the entire establishment Russia narrative is built upon nothing but the say-so of a couple dozen intelligence analysts hand-picked and guided by a man who helped deceive the world into Iraq, a man who is so virulently Russophobic that he's said on more than one occasion that Russians are genetically predisposed to subversive behavior. ..."
"... That January 2017 intelligence assessment has formed the foundation underlying every breathless, conspiratorial Russia story you see in western news media to this very day, and it's completely empty. The idea that Russia interfered in the US election in any meaningful way is based on an assessment crafted by a known liar , from which countless relevant analysts were excluded, which makes no claims of certainty, and contains no publicly available evidence. It's pure narrative from top to bottom, and therefore the "collusion" story is as well since Trump could only have colluded with an actual thing that actually happened, and there's no evidence that it did. ..."
"... So now you've got Trump being painted as a Putin lackey based on a completely fabricated election interference story, despite the fact that Trump has actually been far more hawkish towards Russia than any administration since the fall of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... The narrative matrix of America's political/media landscape is a confusing labyrinth of smoke and funhouse mirrors distorting and manipulating the public consciousness at every turn. It's psychologically torturous, which is largely why people who are deeply immersed in politics are so on-edge all the time regardless of where they're at on the political spectrum. The only potentially good thing I can see about this forceful brutalization of the public psyche is that it might push people over the edge and shatter the illusion altogether. ..."
"... Trust in the mass media is already at an all-time low while our ability to network and share information that casts doubt on official narratives is at an all-time high, which is why the establishment propaganda machine is acting so weird as it scrambles to control the narrative, and why efforts to censor the internet are getting more and more severe. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump tweeted the following:

"Endless Wars, especially those which are fought out of judgement mistakes that were made many years ago, & those where we are getting little financial or military help from the rich countries that so greatly benefit from what we are doing, will eventually come to a glorious end!"

The tweet was warmly received and celebrated by Trump's supporters, despite the fact that it says essentially nothing since "eventually" could mean anything.

Indeed, it's looking increasingly possible that nothing will come of the president's stated agenda to withdraw troops from Syria other than a bunch of words which allow his anti-interventionist base to feel nice feelings inside. Yet everyone laps it up, on both ends of the political aisle, just like they always do:

How are such wildly different pictures being painted about the same non-event? By the fact that both sides of the Trump-Syria debate have thus far been reacting solely to narrative.

This has consistently been the story throughout Trump's presidency: a heavy emphasis on words and narratives and a disinterest in facts and actions. A rude tweet can dominate headlines for days, while the actual behaviors of this administration can go almost completely ignored. Trump continues to more or less advance the same warmongering Orwellian globalist policies and agendas as his predecessors along more or less the same trajectory, but frantic mass media narratives are churned out every day painting him as some unprecedented deviation from the norm. Trump himself, seemingly aware that he's interacting entirely with perceptions and narratives instead of facts and reality, routinely makes things up whole cloth and often claims he's "never said" things he most certainly has said. And why not? Facts don't matter in this media environment, only narrative does.

Look at Russiagate. An excellent recent article by Ray McGovern for Consortium News titled "A Look Back at Clapper's Jan. 2017 'Assessment' on Russia-gate" reminds us on the two-year anniversary of the infamous ODNI assessment that the entire establishment Russia narrative is built upon nothing but the say-so of a couple dozen intelligence analysts hand-picked and guided by a man who helped deceive the world into Iraq, a man who is so virulently Russophobic that he's said on more than one occasion that Russians are genetically predisposed to subversive behavior.

That January 2017 intelligence assessment has formed the foundation underlying every breathless, conspiratorial Russia story you see in western news media to this very day, and it's completely empty. The idea that Russia interfered in the US election in any meaningful way is based on an assessment crafted by a known liar , from which countless relevant analysts were excluded, which makes no claims of certainty, and contains no publicly available evidence. It's pure narrative from top to bottom, and therefore the "collusion" story is as well since Trump could only have colluded with an actual thing that actually happened, and there's no evidence that it did.

So now you've got Trump being painted as a Putin lackey based on a completely fabricated election interference story, despite the fact that Trump has actually been far more hawkish towards Russia than any administration since the fall of the Soviet Union. With the nuclear brinkmanship this administration has been playing with its only nuclear rival on the planet, it would be so incredibly easy for Trump's opposition to attack him on his insanely hawkish escalation of a conflict which could easily end all life on earth if any little thing goes wrong, but they don't. Because this is all about narrative and not facts, Democrats have been paced into supporting even more sanctioning, proxy conflicts and nuclear posturing while loudly objecting to any sign of communication between the two nuclear superpowers, while Republicans are happy to see Trump increase tensions with Moscow because it combats the collusion narrative. Now both parties are supporting an anti-Russia agenda which existed in secretive US government agencies long before the 2016 election .

And this to me is the most significant thing about Trump's presidency. Not any of the things people tell me I'm supposed to care about, but the fact that the age of Trump has been highlighting in a very clear way how we're all being manipulated by manufactured narratives all the time.

Humanity lives in a world of mental narrative . We have a deeply conditioned societal habit of heaping a massive overlay of mental labels and stories on top of the raw data we take in through our senses, and those labels and stories tend to consume far more interest and attention than the actual data itself. We use labels and stories for a reason: without them it would be impossible to share abstract ideas and information with each other about what's going on in our world. But those labels and stories get imbued with an intense amount of belief and identification; we form tight, rigid belief structures about our world, our society, and our very selves that can generate a lot of fear, hatred and suffering. Which is why it feels so nice to go out into nature and relax in an environment that isn't shaped by human mental narrative.

This problem is exponentially exacerbated by the fact that these stories and labels are wildly subjective and very easily manipulated. Powerful people have learned that they can control the way everyone else thinks, acts and votes by controlling the stories they tell themselves about what's going on in the world using mass media control and financial political influence, allowing ostensible democracies to be conducted in a way which serves power far more efficiently than any dictatorship.

So now America has a president who is escalating a dangerous cold war against Russia , who is working to prosecute Julian Assange and shut down WikiLeaks , who is expanding the same war on whistleblowers and Orwellian surveillance network that was expanded by Bush and Obama before him, who has expanded existing wars and made no tangible move as yet to scale them back, who is advancing the longstanding neocon agenda of regime change in Iran with starvation sanctions and CIA covert ops , and yet the two prevailing narratives about him are that he's either (A) a swamp-draining, establishment-fighting hero of peace or that he's (B) a treasonous Putin lackey who isn't nearly hawkish enough toward Russia.

See how both A and B herd the public away from opposing the dangerous pro-establishment agendas being advanced by this administration? The dominant narratives could not possibly be more different from what's actually going on, and the only reason they're the dominant narratives is because an alliance of plutocrats and secretive government agencies exerts an immense amount of influence over the stories that are told by the political/media class.

The narrative matrix of America's political/media landscape is a confusing labyrinth of smoke and funhouse mirrors distorting and manipulating the public consciousness at every turn. It's psychologically torturous, which is largely why people who are deeply immersed in politics are so on-edge all the time regardless of where they're at on the political spectrum. The only potentially good thing I can see about this forceful brutalization of the public psyche is that it might push people over the edge and shatter the illusion altogether.

Trust in the mass media is already at an all-time low while our ability to network and share information that casts doubt on official narratives is at an all-time high, which is why the establishment propaganda machine is acting so weird as it scrambles to control the narrative, and why efforts to censor the internet are getting more and more severe. It is possible that this is what it looks like when a thinking species evolves into a sane and healthy relationship with thought. Perhaps the cracks that are appearing all over official narratives today are like the first cracks appearing in an eggshell as a bird begins to hatch into the world.

* * *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet new merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

[Jan 06, 2019] Anything that hurts neoliberal elites, after all, is swiftly identified as part of Putin's dastardly arsenal. Funny but this is how propaganda works...

Jan 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Blooming Barricade , Dec 18, 2018 12:24:14 AM | link

There are several logical questions to be asked from all this "weapon" talk. Namely, when is information, culture, the economy, infrastructure, sex or what have you not "weaponised?" It seems to me that Putin's alleged weapons - anti-fracking, anti-TTIP, no to NATO, socialist parties, radical activism, left wing pages - turn out to be double edged swords that always for some strange reason always seem to upset the elites. Anything that hurts them, after all, is swiftly identified as part of his dastardly arsenal. Funny how that works...
Hoarsewhisperer , Dec 18, 2018 2:27:31 AM | link
It's hard to believe that the West's movers and shakers genuinely crave a hot with Russia and/or China. So there's got to be a logical-ish explanation for all the infantile drivel.

Greedy people don't care how 'colourful' they may seem if there's a Pot Of Gold at the End of the Rainbow. And the greediest and most mendacious of the Greedy & Mendacious are probably over-represented among the Owners/Shareholders in the Military-Security Gravy Train (M-S GT).

AmeriKKKa's doofus Military has 'eliminated' most of the pissant Imaginary Threats to 'security' and those adventures cost taxpayers at least 3 times more than they cost the M-S GT to accomplish. So, having decided that it's time to tackle some big Imaginary Threats it almost goes without saying that the M-S GT's budget will need to be increased to 'unpredictable' levels.

Because North Korea can "Manhattan" Manhattan anytime the Yanks get uppity, it's no longer a pissant threat. China & Russia on the other hand are only interested in Peace, Development & Prosperity for All, making them the Perfect (safe) New Boogeymen.
......
In his first TV interview after the election Trump said on 60 Minutes "I think politicians for a long period of time have let people down. They've let them down on the job front... they've even let 'em down in terms of the War front. You know, we've been fighting this war in the ME for 15 years .. we've spent 6 Trillion dollars in the ME... 6 Trillion. We could have rebuilt this country twice. It's unfair what's happened to the people in this country and we're gonna put a stop to it."

In my not so humble opinion he's smart enough to pull it off.

[Jan 06, 2019] Putin's take on rap, drugs, sex protest: Don't ban rappers, it's the drugs we should worry about

Notable quotes:
"... While this Russia weaponizes everything stuff is good for a laugh for some of us, it is also as Putin has indicated above, a serious business. The repeated and repeated and repeated connection of the word 'weaponized' to Russia and Putin is intended to cultivate/encourage western hatred and fear and suspicion. ..."
"... And for some element of the population, it works. ..."
Jan 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU 1 , Dec 17, 2018 1:11:25 PM | link

"So what's the big problem with rap music in Russia, and how does Mr Putin plan to control it? Here's what we know." https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-17/vladimir-putin-wants-the-kremlin-to-take-control-of-rap-music/10625876
dh , Dec 17, 2018 1:27:59 PM | link
@33 Probably the best way to handle rappers is to shower them with flashy cars and bling. Timati for instance is very friendly with Putin.

https://russiainyourface.com/2015/12/08/russian-rapper-timati-releases-new-hit-single-about-putin/comment-page-1/

Grieved , Dec 17, 2018 7:29:00 PM | link
@33 Peter AU 1

I know you know how inadequate that ABC report was about Putin and rap. A much more nuanced report comes from RT:
Putin's take on rap, drugs, sex & protest: Don't ban rappers, it's the drugs we should worry about

The Russian president on Saturday warned against attempts to ban and prosecute rappers, describing such measures as "the least effective, the worst ones anyone could come up with."

"The effect of them would be opposite to the desired one," Putin said.

Putin correctly focused on the drugs as the true harm to a society:

"If they like that stuff abroad – God help them, they can do anything they want. We here should reflect on how to organize our work to prevent this."

As we have seen in countless theaters from China to the US - and now writ large in the motivations of terrorists, who are very much fueled by drugs - drugs have been weaponized for a long time.

Robert Snefjella , Dec 17, 2018 10:50:34 PM | link
While this Russia weaponizes everything stuff is good for a laugh for some of us, it is also as Putin has indicated above, a serious business. The repeated and repeated and repeated connection of the word 'weaponized' to Russia and Putin is intended to cultivate/encourage western hatred and fear and suspicion.

And for some element of the population, it works.

A fellow connected to the federal bureaucracy - lowly position but rubbing shoulders with more influential people - offered that "You have to admit that Putin's kind of weird." Didn't say it with any passion. My answer, Why do you say that? Turned out he knew nothing substantial about Putin. Maybe he saw a picture of him riding a bear or something. But he had been injected by a knee jerk casual negative impression.

Another person of my acquaintance - school teacher - had so imbibed casual propaganda re Putin and Russia that it was a traumatic, startling experience to hear good things said about Russia and Putin. This person had no great political interest, but regularly watched conventional 'news' programming.

[Jan 02, 2019] Russian bots - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Atlantic Council ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy. ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy ..."
"... That's pretty rich, coming from a country and from people who actually genuinely, and in proven ways, have subverted democracy in Europe since the late 1940s - Italy being one of the clearest cases. ..."
"... For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia. I can't believe it has to do with the economy. There's got to be a far better nefarious reason. Even during the real cold war we tried to avoid conflict. Absolute insanity. ..."
"... American media has graduated from simply repeating the lies of "unnamed government sources" to repeating the lies of any organization unofficially blessed by the powers that be. ..."
"... In that The Narrative is tightly controlled in the corporate media, not matter how strong the proofs or arguments about the falsity of these propaganda campaigns are, little or no circulation of those proofs or arguments wlll reach the general public. ..."
"... The thing that bothers me, is the fact that the MIC Globalists don't care what we think or how poor their deceptions are. ..."
"... The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing. ..."
"... I've always put it down to the Washington Establishment having a severe case of psychological projection. ..."
"... The warmongering is not intended to make any sense - not many people are trained in critical thinking and logic, and even when they are, they can be swamped by their own emotions or other people's emotions. ..."
"... Propaganda is intended to appeal to people's emotions and fears. You can try reading works by Edward Bernays - "Crystallizing Public Opinion" (1923) and "Propaganda" (1928) - to see how he uses his uncle Sigmund Freud's theories of the mind to create strategies for manipulating public opinion. ..."
"... The American Security State needs enemies to exist, otherwise there's no need for the "security" which translates into big bucks for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Media Complex. They can't agree on the ranking of the enemies: North Korea is a threat to the world! Iran is....! Russia is...! China is....! But the threats are there, and they are pure evil (TPTB contend). ..."
"... Sad but definitely correct. The first casualty of war is the truth. It's dead in the USA and allies. Therefore, they're at war with Russia and China. If Russia is down, China will be dealt with. ..."
"... Some years ago, I noticed the American media and politicians were sort of going soft (actually mushy) in the brain department, but I was told not to be so judgemental. As the months went by, I saw more and more people saying "they have gone nuts". So, it turns out I am not alone after all. ..."
"... That madness comes from having no behavioural limits, no references outside of your own opinion but groupthink, and manipulating the language to suit your ambitions (the Orwellism of the US media has been repeatedly pointed at). Simply put, you don't know anymore what's what outside of the narrative your group pushes, you go nuts. The manipulators ends up caught in their lies. All the more when they makes money out of it, which would be the case of all those think tanks and media. ..."
"... Honestly, the story of democracy (by capitalist/liberal class) is a grand BS, to be modest. The only thing what was truthful, paradoxically, is who is "lesser evil" of two. Or the Bigger one in unrestrained capitalism, savage and monopoly, predatory and a fascists one. ..."
"... War or the threat of war is needed to distract attention from rapidly devolving societal bonds and immense economic inequality. ..."
"... The US is progressing toward a fascist police state; therefore, Russia is said to be a horrible dictatorship run by Putin. The US traditionally meddles in elections around the world, including Russia; therefore, the Russians are said to meddle in US elections. The US is the most aggressive country on the planet, occupying and bombing dozens of countries; therefore, the Russians are accused of "aggression." And so on ..."
"... The US actually spends $75 billion per year---more than Russia's entire $69 billion defense budget---spying on and meddling in the politics of virtually every nation on earth. An outfit within NSA called Tailored Access Operations (TAO) has a multi-billion annual budget and does nothing put troll the global internet and does so with highly educated, highly paid professionals, not $4 per hour keyboard jockeys." ..."
"... Zbignew Brzezenski explained in his 1997 book "The Grand Chessboard" why global hegemony required taking control over Russia (and how to do it, which boils down to taking the other chess pieces off the board (Iraq/Ukraine/etc. and then pulling off a "color revolution," coup or military conquest). ..."
"... Msm, bellingcat and other think tanks - they push their anti Russian racism too far making a large section of westerners just tired of their hysteria. Exposing their own racism and paranoia. ..."
"... Globalization . . . is a program to create private corporate rights to trade, invest, lend or borrow money and buy and own property anywhere in the world without much hindrance by national governments. It would bar governments from most of the common methods of helping or protecting their national industries and employment. It is a winners' program promoted chiefly by some business interests, governments and neoclassical economists in Europe and the United States. ..."
"... One of its purposes is to intensify international competition for jobs. Together with other Right policies it is likely to maintain some unemployment in the rich countries and reduce the wage rates of their lower-paid workers, and reduce the proportion of secure employment. Hugh Stretton, Economics: A New Introduction ..."
"... The anti-russian think tanks, msm, bellingcat etc push this too much, making them look stupid. ..."
"... Assange: "Regardless of whether IRA's activities were audience building through pandering to communities or whether a hare-brained Russian government plan to "heighten the differences" existed, its activities are clearly strategically insignificant compared to the other forces at play." ..."
Feb 20, 2018J | www.moonofalabama.org

The U.S. mainstream media are going nuts. They now make up and report stories based on the uncritical acceptance of an algorithm they do not want to understand and which is known to produce fake results.

See for example these three stories:

From the last link:

SAN FRANCISCO -- One hour after news broke about the school shooting in Florida last week, Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia released hundreds of posts taking up the gun control debate.

The accounts addressed the news with the speed of a cable news network. Some adopted the hashtag #guncontrolnow. Others used #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting. Earlier on Wednesday, before the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., many of those accounts had been focused on the investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In other words - the "Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia" were following the current news just as cable news networks do. When a new sensational event happened they immediately jumped onto it. But the NYT authors go to length to claim that there is some nefarious Russian scheme behind this that uses automated accounts to spread divisive issues.

Those claims are based on this propaganda project:

Last year, the Alliance for Securing Democracy, in conjunction with the German Marshall Fund, a public policy research group in Washington, created a website that tracks hundreds of Twitter accounts of human users and suspected bots that they have linked to a Russian influence campaign.

The "Alliance for Securing Democracy" is run by military lobbyists, CIA minions and neo-conservative propagandists. Its claimed task is:

... to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.

There is no evidence that Vladimir Putin ever made or makes such efforts.

The ASD "Hamilton 68" website shows graphics with rankings of "top items" and "trending items" allegedly used by Russian bots or influence agents. There is nothing complicate behind it. It simply tracks the tweets of 600 Twitter users and aggregates the hashtags they use. It does not say which Twitter accounts its algorithms follows. It claims that the 600 were selected by one of three criteria: 1. People who often tweet news that also appears on RT (Russia Today) and Sputnik News, two general news sites sponsored by the Russian government; 2. People who "openly profess to be pro-Russian"; 3. accounts that "appear to use automation" to boost the same themes that people in group 1 and 2 tweet about.

Nowhere does the group say how many of the 600 accounts it claims to track belong to which group. Are their 10 assumed bots or 590 in the surveyed 600 accounts? And how please does one "openly profess" to be pro-Russian? We don't know and the ASD won't say.

On December 25 2017 the "Russian influence" agents or bots who - according to NYT - want to sow divisiveness and subvert democracy, wished everyone a #MerryChristmas.


bigger

The real method the Hamilton 68 group used to select the 600 accounts it tracks is unknown. The group does not say or show how it made it up. Despite that the NYT reporters, Sheera Frenkel and Daisuke Wakabayashi, continue with the false assumptions that most or all of these accounts are automated, have something to do with Russia and are presumably nefarious:

Russian-linked bots have rallied around other divisive issues, often ones that President Trump has tweeted about. They promoted Twitter hashtags like #boycottnfl, #standforouranthem and #takeaknee after some National Football League players started kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

The automated Twitter accounts helped popularize the #releasethememo hashtag , ...

The Daily Beast reported earlier that the last claim is definitely false :

Twitter's internal analysis has thus far found that authentic American accounts, and not Russian imposters or automated bots, are driving #ReleaseTheMemo . There are no preliminary indications that the Twitter activity either driving the hashtag or engaging with it is either predominantly Russian.

The same is presumably true for the other hashtags.

The Dutch IT expert and blogger Marcel van den Berg was wondering how Dutch keywords and hashtags showed up on the Hamilton 68 "Russian bots" dashboard. He found ( Dutch , English auto translation) that the dashboard is a total fraud:

In recent weeks, I have been keeping a close eye on Hamilton 68. Every time a Dutch hashtag was shown on the website, I made a screenshot. Then I noted what was playing at that moment and I watched the Tweets with this hashtag. Again I could not find any Tweet that seemed to be from a Russian troll.

In all cases, the hash tags that Hamilton 68 reported were trending topics in the Netherlands . In all cases there was much to do around the subject of the hashtag in the Netherlands. Many people were angry or shared their opinion on the subject on Twitter. And even if there were a few tweets with Russian connections between them, the effect is zero. Because they do not stand out among the many other, authentic Tweets.

Van den Berg lists a dozen examples he analyzed in depth.

The anti-Russian Bellingcat group around couch blogger Eliot Higgins is sponsored by the NATO propaganda shop Atlantic Council . It sniffs through open source stuff to blame Russia or Syria wherever possible. Bellingcat was recently a victim of the "Russian bots" - or rather of the ASD website. On February 10 the hashtag #bellingcat trended to rank 2 of the dashboard.


bigger

Bellingcat was thus, according to the Hamilton 68 claims, under assault by hordes of nefarious Russian government sponsored bots.

The Bellingcat folks looked into the issue and found that only six people on Twitter, none of them an automated account , had used the #bellingcat hashtag in the last 48 hours. Some of the six may have opinions that may be "pro-Russian", but as Higgins himself says :

[I]n my opinion, it's extremely unlikely the people listed are Russian agents

The pro-NATO propaganda shop Bellingcat thus debunked the pro-NATO propaganda shop Alliance for Securing Democracy.

The fraudsters who created the Hamilton 68 crap seem to have filled their database with rather normal people from all over the world who's opinions they personally dislike. Those then are the "Russian bots" who spread "Russian influence" and divisiveness.

Moreover - what is the value of its information when six normal people out of millions of active Twitter users can push a hashtag with a handful of tweets to the top of the dashboard?

But the U.S. media writes long gushing stories about the dashboard and how it somehow shows automated Russian propaganda. They go to length to explain that this shows "Russian influence" and a "Russian" attempt to sow "divisiveness" into people's minds.

This is nuts.

Last August, when the Hamilton 68 project was first released, the Nation was the only site critical of it. It predicted :

The import of GMF's project is clear: Reporting on anything that might put the US in a bad light is now tantamount to spreading Russian propaganda.

It is now even worse than that. The top ranking of the #merrychristmas hashtag shows that the algorithm does not even care about good or bad news. The tracked twitter accounts are normal people.

The whole project is just a means to push fake stories about alleged "Russian influence" into U.S. media. Whenever some issue creeps up on its dashboard that somehow fits its false "Russian bots" and "divisiveness" narrative the Alliance for Securing Democracy contacts the media to spread its poison. The U.S. media, - CNN, Wired, the New York Times - are by now obviously devoid of thinking journalists and fact checkers. They simple re-package the venom and spread it to the public.

How long will it take until people die from it?

Posted by b on February 20, 2018 at 03:15 PM | Permalink

Comments next page " It's all too reminiscent of Duck Soup:


Clueless Joe , Feb 20, 2018 3:45:14 PM | link

"to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe."

That's pretty rich, coming from a country and from people who actually genuinely, and in proven ways, have subverted democracy in Europe since the late 1940s - Italy being one of the clearest cases.

ken , Feb 20, 2018 3:46:05 PM | link
For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia. I can't believe it has to do with the economy. There's got to be a far better nefarious reason. Even during the real cold war we tried to avoid conflict. Absolute insanity.
xor , Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | link
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.
karlof1 , Feb 20, 2018 4:30:11 PM | link
Gee, what could go wrong formulating policy founded upon a series of Big Lies? Kim Dotcom says he has important info the FBI refuses to hear. At the Munich Security Conference , neocon Nicholas Burns, former US Ambassador to NATO, details my assertion's factual basis that current policy is being formed on a series of Big Lies: "Will NATO strengthen itself to contain Russian power in Eastern Europe giving what Russian [sic] has done illegally in Crimea, in the Donbass, and in Georgia ?" [Bolded text are the Big Lies.]

Clearly, this entire psyop was premeditated and its design was hastily done contemporaneously with Russia's Syria intervention. NSA/CIA/FBI knew of HRC's security breeches and rightly assumed their contents would find their way into the election, so the general plan was ready to go prior to WikiLeaks publications. b has uncovered much, and I hope he's planning to publish a book about the entire affair.

Jen , Feb 20, 2018 4:54:59 PM | link
Ken @ 4: There doesn't necessarily need to be One Major Reason for going to war. There may be several reasons all feeding and reinforcing one another and creating a psychological climate in which Going To War is seen as the only solution and is inevitable. The reasons are not just economic and political but cultural and historical.

In some countries allied with the US, the politicians in power are the ideological descendants of those who collaborated with Nazi Germany - so in a sense they are committed to "correcting" what they see as wrong. In the case of current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he is the grandson of a former prime minister who once served in General Tojo's World War II cabinet.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/12/26/national/formed-in-childhood-roots-of-abes-conservatism-go-deep/#.WoyZCG9uaUk

That's why pinning down the reason for wanting a war against Russia is so difficult.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 5:06:58 PM | link
The whole piece is just hilarious and I laughed out loud all time while reading it.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/16/nyts-really-weird-russiagate-story/

Since the FBI never inspected the DNC's computers first-hand, the only evidence comes from an Irvine, California, cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike whose chief technical officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, a well-known Putin-phobe, is a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank that is also vehemently anti-Russian as well as a close Hillary Clinton ally.

Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing! Since then, a small army of internet critics has chipped away at CrowdStrike for praising the hackers as among the best in the business yet declaring in the same breath that they gave themselves away by uploading a document in the name of "Felix Edmundovich," i.e. Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police.

As noted cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr observed with regard to Russia's two main intelligence agencies: "Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix's name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor."

james , Feb 20, 2018 5:17:19 PM | link
thanks b!

muddy waters.. paid for propaganda.... look at all the russian bots, lol... cold war 2 / mccarthyism 2 is in effect... the historic parallels are marked. thank you neo cons! it's working... the ordinary person in the usa can't be this stupid can they?

when does ww3 kick in? is that really what these idiots want? or is it just to prolong the huge defense budget?

Mike Maloney , Feb 20, 2018 5:24:03 PM | link
This is about conditioning voters in Europe and the United States for a long war with Russia and China. In other words, a return to the 1950s. It is not working and becoming increasingly hysterical because societies are not nearly as cohesive as they once were, and the mainstream political parties, while better funded and more top-down organized, are basically hollow. The collapse is coming. Four years or ten, take your pick.
dh , Feb 20, 2018 5:32:10 PM | link
@4 "For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia."

Most Americans probably don't. Just the chosen few with the deepest fall-out shelters. The idea is to keep piling the pressure on to countries like Iran and Russia in the hope that their populations will rise up and demand the freedoms that we enjoy in the West....things like uncensored wardrobe malfunctions and transgender washrooms.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 6:02:58 PM | link
"Most Americans probably don't."

not true.

let's imagine that we have the pyramid of evilness, by which we measure bestiality of one regime and its constituency. my firm belief is that us would be on the top of that pyramid. Only dilemma would be between Zionist entity and the US.

"How could the masses be made to desire their own repression?" was the question Wilhelm Reich famously asked in the wake of the Reichstagsbrandverordnung (Reichstag Fire Decree, February 28, 1933), which suspended the civil rights protections afforded by the Weimar Republic's democratic constitution.

Hitler had been appointed chancellor on January 30, 1933 and Reich was trying to grapple with the fact that the German people had apparently chosen the authoritarian politics promoted by National Socialism against their own political interests.

Ever since, the question of fascism, or rather the question of why might people vote for their own oppression, has never ceased to haunt political philosophy.2 With Trump openly campaigning for less democracy in America -- and with the continued electoral success of far-right antiliberal movements across Europe -- this question has again become a pressing one.

An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime.

CarlD , Feb 20, 2018 6:06:06 PM | link
Remember the "USS MAINE"! Media have long agitated for War in US History. Nothing sells newspapers like a good ole war! Demonizing is a way to achieve it. What is sure is that this is a one way street. Once over the cliff, there is no turning back.

How do you tell people that, at the flick of your magic switch, Putin is in fact a swell guy and wonderful human being? Once love is gone who goes back to the filthy, abhorrent and estranged spouse?

Surely the US establishment is playing with fire thinking they will successfully ride out any conflict and come out on top secure in their newly reestablished hegemony on the smoldering ruins of Humanity.

Make no mistake, we are all on the road to hell. Better enjoy todays peace as tomorrow word will be filled with the sweet music of cemeteries.

"Freedom of speech"...

dh , Feb 20, 2018 6:14:14 PM | link
@15 "An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime."

I'm not so sure. I think there are many Americans who deeply distrust their government. But of course they don't want to appear unpatriotic. There are also many who are apathetic and many simply don't know how to change things.

SteveK9 , Feb 20, 2018 6:35:58 PM | link
It's horrible I know to quote a Nazi, but Goring had this right:

Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

WorldBLee , Feb 20, 2018 6:36:51 PM | link
American media has graduated from simply repeating the lies of "unnamed government sources" to repeating the lies of any organization unofficially blessed by the powers that be. The skills required to repeat the text verbatim serve them well in both cases. Skepticism is only reserved to anyone who tries to introduce logic or facts into the equation--such as when Jill Stein was interviewed on MSNBC recently. How dare Ms. Stein try to bring FACTS into the discussion!
chet380 , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:04 PM | link
In that The Narrative is tightly controlled in the corporate media, not matter how strong the proofs or arguments about the falsity of these propaganda campaigns are, little or no circulation of those proofs or arguments wlll reach the general public.
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:57 PM | link
See info on US 'Twitter' manipulation campaign
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:44:16 PM | link
Sorry, link here
ken , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:01 PM | link
Thanks Jen. It still makes no sense. As a veteran of the Vietnam fiasco, I was pretty much government oriented until McNamara outed the whole thing whining about haw sorry he was. 59,000 dead and he's sorry. They were able to hide the Gulf of Tonkin BS until then. After that I researched the reasons for each war/conflict the USA started and could find no logical reasons except hunger for power. But the little sandbox wars won't destroy the world like a major war/conflict with Russia and it goes nuclear. Almost every politician, and major news organizations are pushing for a war/conflict with Russia. This is insanity as no one will win a war like this and I am sure they know that,,, but they keep the war drums beating anyhow. It simply doesn't make sense. But Thanks again.

Same for dh, #14. Things are soooo stupid, your joking may be closer to the truth than you know. :-)

Skip , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:35 PM | link
@SteveK9 #19

Thank you for the post. I will save it and use it liberally, with proper attributions. When one challenges the tribe on places like Twitter, it is hard to tell who is a real idiot and who is a bot. How do you know? Maybe that the bots go away fairly quickly and the idiots hang around to argue ad infinitum.

oldenyoung , Feb 20, 2018 7:06:23 PM | link
The thing that bothers me, is the fact that the MIC Globalists don't care what we think or how poor their deceptions are. The public perception that "russia did it!!" continues to rise. I wonder what the public acceptance level needs to be for them to execute a MAJOR false flag event. They seem to think they are still on target, and its just a short matter or time...

They are going to do this when the perception management is complete... We really do not need another one of their disasters

Grieved , Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | link
The bully pushes and pushes until stopped by the first serious push back. The dynamic of the west and the neocon/Zionists at the core is essentially that of the bully. Nations like Venezuela and the Philippines have started to push back, and I hope and feel fairly confident that they will both survive the rage of the US. In some part, they have begun to show the actual powerlessness of the bully.

But the really killer nations - Russia and China - are holding their water as they strengthen their force. I believe that one very serious push back from either of them in the right circumstances will stop the bully. And yet, as they bide their time, we see a curious phenomenon wherein the US is destroying itself from the inside.

It's as if all of the forces that exist to control the country - the lockstep media, the fully rigged markets, the hysterical military, the bought legislature and the crooked courts - are all acting far more strongly than should be necessary. The entire system is over-reacting, over-reaching, over-boiling. And in the course of this, the US is actually shedding power, and at an amazing rate. But not from the action of Russia but from its non-action, the empty space that that allows the bully's dynamic to over-reach, all the way to complete failure.

Is it possible that deep in the security states of Russia and China there's even a study and a model for this? Is the collapse of the US actually being gamed by Russia and China - and through the totally counter-intuitive action of non-action?

Just a thought.

Ghost Ship , Feb 20, 2018 7:51:03 PM | link
>>>> xor | Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | 6
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.

I've always put it down to the Washington Establishment having a severe case of psychological projection.

WG , Feb 20, 2018 7:52:38 PM | link
Hey b,
Just wanted to let you know that Joe Lauria mentioned your blog and the article you wrote on the indictment of the 13 Russians. He was on Loud and Clear (Sputnik Radio, Washington DC) today and brought you up at the start of the program.
Glad to see you get some recognition for all the great work you've been doing :)
Mike , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:24 PM | link
Meanwhile, back in 2010:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/11/when-campaigns-manipulate-social-media/66351/
Jen , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:43 PM | link
Ken @ 24: The warmongering is not intended to make any sense - not many people are trained in critical thinking and logic, and even when they are, they can be swamped by their own emotions or other people's emotions.

Propaganda is intended to appeal to people's emotions and fears. You can try reading works by Edward Bernays - "Crystallizing Public Opinion" (1923) and "Propaganda" (1928) - to see how he uses his uncle Sigmund Freud's theories of the mind to create strategies for manipulating public opinion. https://archive.org/details/EdwardL.BernaysPropaganda

Bernays' books influenced Nazi and Soviet propaganda and Bernays himself was hired by the US government to justify in the public mind the 1954 US invasion of Guatemala.

You may be aware that Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation which owns the Wall Street Journal, FOX News and 20th Century Fox studios, is also on the Board of Directors of Genie Energy which owns a subsidiary firm that was granted a licence by an Israeli court to explore and drill for oil and natural gas in Syria's (and Israeli-occupied) Golan Heights.

simjam , Feb 20, 2018 7:59:21 PM | link
The national media speaks as one -with one consistent melody day after day. Who is the conductor? When will one representative of the mainstream media sing solo? There must be a Ray McGovern somewhere among the flock.
V. Arnold , Feb 20, 2018 8:05:33 PM | link
Grieved | Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | 27

Many of my thoughts as well. The U.S.'s greatest fault is its tacit misunderstanding of just what russia is in fact. They utterly fail to understand the Russian character; forged over 800 years culminating with the defeat of Nazi Germany, absorbing horrific losses; the U.S. fails to understand the effect upon the then Soviets, become todays Russians. Even the god's have abandoned the west...

Debsisdead , Feb 20, 2018 8:53:42 PM | link
I watched bbc news this am in the hope that I would get to see the most awful creature at the 2018 olympics cry her croc tears (long story - a speed skater who cuts off the opposition but has been found out so now when she swoops in front of the others they either skate over her leading to tearful whines from perp about having been 'pushed', or gets disqualified for barging. Last night she got disqualified so as part of my study on whether types like this believe their own bullshit I thought I'd tune in but didn't get that far into the beebs lies)

The bulk of the bulletin was devoted to a 'lets hate Russia' session which featured a quisling who works for the russian arm of BBC (prolly just like cold war days staffed exclusively by MI6/SIS types). This chap, using almost unintelligible english, claimed he had proof at least 50 Russian Mercenaries (question - why are amerikan guns for hire called contractors [remember the Fallujah massacre of 100,000 civilians because amerikan contractors were stupid] yet Russian contractors are called mercenaries by the media?) had been killed in Syria last week. The bloke had evidence of one contractor's death not 50 - the proof was a letter from the Russian government to the guy's mother telling her he didn't qualify for any honours because he wasn't in the Russian military.

The quisling (likely a Ukranian I would say) went on to rabbit about the bloke having also fought in Donbass under contract - to which the 'interviewer (don't ya love it when media 'interview' their own journos - a sure sign that a snippet of toxic nonsense is being delivered) led about how the deceitful Russians had claimed the only Russians fighting in Donbass were contractors - yeah well this bloke was a contractor surely that proves the Russians were telling the truth.

It's not what these propagandists say; they adopt a tone and the audience is meant to hate based on that even when the facts as stated conflict with the media outlet's point of view. Remember the childhood trick of saying "bad dog" ter yer mutt in loving tones - the dog comes to ya tail wagging & licks yer hand. This is that.

The next item was more Syria lies - white helmets footage (altho the beeb is now mostly giving them an alternative name to dodge the facts about white helmets) of bandaged children with flour tipped on their heads.

The evil Syrians and Russians are bombarding Gouta - nary a word about the continuous artillery barrage Gouta has subjected the citizens of Damascus to for the past 4 years, or that the Syrians have repeatedly offered truces and safe passage for civilians. Any injured children need to ask their parents why they weren't allowed to take advantage of the frequent offers of transport out. Maybe the parents are worried 'the resistance' will do its usual and blow up the busloads of children after luring them over with candy.

Anyway I switched off after that so never did learn if little miss cheat had a cry.

ben , Feb 20, 2018 9:17:54 PM | link
Reposting from TRNN: http://therealnews.com/t2/story:21178:Why-is-a-Russian-Troll-Farm-Being-Compared-to-911%3F
integer , Feb 20, 2018 9:23:42 PM | link
Thank you for reporting on this. The people behind the so-called Alliance for Securing Democracy need to be exposed for the warmongering frauds that they are. Regardless of what one thinks of him, Trump was correct when he said that NATO is obsolete.
Don Bacon , Feb 20, 2018 10:12:52 PM | link
The American Security State needs enemies to exist, otherwise there's no need for the "security" which translates into big bucks for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Media Complex. They can't agree on the ranking of the enemies: North Korea is a threat to the world! Iran is....! Russia is...! China is....! But the threats are there, and they are pure evil (TPTB contend).

So the whole scenario makes perfect sense from that standpoint.

Petri Krohn , Feb 20, 2018 10:17:36 PM | link
The news stories become far easier to understand if you replace the word " Russia " with the word " truth ".
bevin , Feb 20, 2018 11:45:45 PM | link
re Felix E. Dzerzhinsky: Ukrainian fascists have a particular hatred of Felix because he was both a Bolshevik and a Pole.

I hate to do this but I just posted this elsewhere, at Off Guardian, where the Guardian is back into its highest gears promoting war.

"The wardrums are beating in a way not heard since 1914-there is no reason for war except the best reason of all: an imperial ruling class sees its grip slipping and will chance everything rather than endure the humiliation of adjusting to reality.

"China is in the position that the US was in 1914-it can prevent the war or wait until the combatants are too exhausted to defend their paltry gains.

Given the realities of nuclear warfare-which seem not to have sunk in among the Americans, perhaps because they mistake a bubble for a bomb shelter- the wise option is to prevent war by publicly warning against it. In the hope that brought face to face with reality the masses will besiege their governments, as we can easily do, and prevent war.'

See also http://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/02/20/the-coming-wars-to-end-all-wars/

V. Arnold , Feb 21, 2018 12:32:43 AM | link
Debsisdead | Feb 20, 2018 8:53:42 PM | 35

I have no idea who you are talking about; care to say?

Jeff Kaye , Feb 21, 2018 12:36:59 AM | link
Great analysis! Can't imagine how you continue to put out quality work day after day! Your question at the close speaks to stakes involved in this.
foo , Feb 21, 2018 1:53:45 AM | link
@ 10 - 4

Resources boils down to money. Of course. I don't think any power would lose from tapping a source of resource.

DidierF , Feb 21, 2018 2:03:08 AM | link
Sad but definitely correct. The first casualty of war is the truth. It's dead in the USA and allies. Therefore, they're at war with Russia and China. If Russia is down, China will be dealt with.

The horrible thing with the US attitude is that you do a white thing, you're attacking them and if you do a black thing, you're attacking them too. This attitude is building hostility against Russia. It's like programming a pet to be afraid of something. The western people are being programmed into hating Russia, dehumanizing her people, cutting every tie with Russia and transforming any information from Russia into life threatening propaganda. A war for our hearts is running. The US population is being coerced into believing that war against Russia is a vital necessity.

It will be a war of choice from the US "elites". Clinton announced it and the population had chosen Trump for that reason.

You're wondering why they're doing it. I suppose that their narrative is losing its grip on the western populations. They're also conscious of it. If they lose it, they'll have to face very angry mobs and face the void of their lives. Everything they did was either useless or poisonous. It means to be in a very bad spot. They're are therefore under an existential threat.

Russia proved time and again that it's possible to get out of their narrative. Remember their situation when Eltsin was reelected with the western help.

The Chicago boys were telling the Russian authorities how to run the economy and they made out of the word democrat a synonym of thief. They were in the narrative and the result was a disaster. Then, they woke up and started to clean the house. I remember the "hero" of democracy whose name was "Khodorovsky (?)". In the west he was a freedom fighter and in Russia he stole something like Rosneft. This guy and others of the same sort were described in the west as heroes, pionniers and so on. They were put back into submission to the law. The western silence about their stealings, lies and cheating is still deafening me.

It was the first Russian crime. The second one was to survive the first batch of sanctions against them (I forgot the reason of the sanctions). They not only survived they thrived. It was against the western leading economic ideology. A third crime was to push back Saakachvili and his troops with success.

The fourth was to put back into order the Tchechen. Russia was back into the world politics and history. They were not following the script written for them in Washington and Brussels. They were having a political system putting limits to the big companies. And, worst of it, it works.
Everybody in the west who can read and listen would have noticed that they are making it.

More, with RT and Sputnik giving info outside the allowed ones or asking annoying questions (western journalists lost that habit with their new formation in the schools of journalism - remember the revolution in their education was criticised and I missed why - very curious to discover why), they were exposing weaknesses of the western narrative. On the other side their narrative became so poor and so limited that any regular reader would feel bored reading the same things time and again and being asked to pay for it at a time his salary was decreased in the name of competitivity. The threat to their narrative was ready. They had to fight it.

It's becoming a crime to think outside their marks. It's becoming a crime to read outside their marks. I don't even talk about any act outside their marks. Now, it's going to be a crime of treason to them in war time.

I do feel sadness because many will die from their fear of losing their grip on our minds. I do feel sadness because they have lost and are in denial about it. I do feel sadness because those death aren't necessary. I do feel sadness because those people can't face the consequences of their actions. They don't have the necessary spine. Their lives were useless and even toxic. They could start repairing or mitigating their damages but it would need a very different worldview, a complete conversion to another meaning of life outside the immediate and maximal profit.

V. Arnold , Feb 21, 2018 2:13:54 AM | link
DidierF | Feb 21, 2018 2:03:08 AM | 46

You have aptly described the most dangerous country on this planet. That country must not be appeased, at any cost, because it would surely end us forever...

Fran , Feb 21, 2018 2:53:24 AM | link
I wonder if this is true: STUNNING: Mueller Patched Together Much of His Indictment from 2015 Radio Free Europe Article I wouldn't be surprised if it is true. It would give the entire story a whole new touch. I wanted to write a new smell, but it would be rather stink.
Partisan , Feb 21, 2018 3:38:27 AM | link
https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/

Conclusion regarding IP address data: What we're seeing in this IP data is a wide range of countries and hosting providers. 15% of the IP addresses are Tor exit nodes. These exit nodes are used by anyone who wants to be anonymous online, including malicious actors.

Overall Conclusion: The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don't appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.

The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website.

fairleft , Feb 21, 2018 5:28:09 AM | link
Partisan @15: "With Trump openly campaigning for less democracy in America -- and with the continued electoral success of far-right antiliberal movements across Europe -- this question has again become a pressing one."

The above is entirely backwards. The bottom 2/3rds is frustrated by the LACK of democracy in the US and that's a major reason many voted against the (in fact anti-democratic) elite's desired candidate, Hillary.

70% of the voting age public was dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with both candidates, and 40% of Americans didn't vote, so that means whichever of Clinton/Trump won, she/he would win with approval of only 10% of the electorate. That's the best example possible of our anti-democratic reality (it's not a worry or a threat, it's already here).

In the case of both Europe and the US, many people are generally very dissatisfied with the anti-democratic response by the elite to 'the will of the people' that there be much less immigration into countries with high unemployment and 'race to the bottom' labor conditions. That's nearly the entire basis of what the corporate media calls 'the move right'... When in fact restricting immigration is a pro-labor and therefore 'left' policy ... Except in the confused and deliberately stupid political discourse the elite media pushes so hard.

Lea , Feb 21, 2018 6:16:53 AM | link
Some years ago, I noticed the American media and politicians were sort of going soft (actually mushy) in the brain department, but I was told not to be so judgemental. As the months went by, I saw more and more people saying "they have gone nuts". So, it turns out I am not alone after all.

That madness comes from having no behavioural limits, no references outside of your own opinion but groupthink, and manipulating the language to suit your ambitions (the Orwellism of the US media has been repeatedly pointed at). Simply put, you don't know anymore what's what outside of the narrative your group pushes, you go nuts. The manipulators ends up caught in their lies. All the more when they makes money out of it, which would be the case of all those think tanks and media.

One could argue that they are not going mad, that they know full well they are lying, but I beg to differ: they don't see anymore how ridiculous or how dumb or smart their arguments are. That would be congruent with a real loss of touch with reality. One wonders what they see when they look at themselves in a mirror, a garden variety propagandist or a fearless anti-Putin crusader?

Another example of the narrative gone mad: they are sending CNN journos to meet pro-Trump folks who "have been influenced by Russian trolls on social media". https://twitter.com/yashalevine/status/966177091875168256

Partisan , Feb 21, 2018 6:20:19 AM | link
"The above is entirely backwards."

Well, it is not...if you are believer in "democracy". Honestly, the story of democracy (by capitalist/liberal class) is a grand BS, to be modest. The only thing what was truthful, paradoxically, is who is "lesser evil" of two. Or the Bigger one in unrestrained capitalism, savage and monopoly, predatory and a fascists one.

One way or other result is the same, it is: Barbarism.

ralphieboy , Feb 21, 2018 6:27:23 AM | link
When "trending on Twitter" became a news item in and of itself, I began to despair for the future of reporting, political discourse and ultimately, democracy in America. Twitter and FB are at best a source of information for news reporting, but not a source of news in themselves.

We made ourselves vulnerable to any and every sort of pernicious manipulation and in the end, we just about deserve everything we get.

WJ , Feb 21, 2018 6:38:11 AM | link
War or the threat of war is needed to distract attention from rapidly devolving societal bonds and immense economic inequality.
Partisan , Feb 21, 2018 6:41:09 AM | link
there is something illogical in your comment.

but one should never forget:

The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships.

Karl Marx

Ger , Feb 21, 2018 7:52:44 AM | link
Dan @ 4

It is partially tied direct to the economy of the warmongers as trillions of dollars of new cold war slop is laying on the ground awaiting the MICC hogs. American hegemony is primarily about stealing the natural resources of helpless countries. Now in control of all the weak ones, it is time to move to the really big prize: The massive resources of Russia. They (US and their European Lackeys) thought this was a slam dunk when Yeltsin, in his drunken stupors, was literally giving Russia to invading capitalist. Enter Putin, stopped the looting .........connect the dots.

Anon , Feb 21, 2018 8:08:35 AM | link
Media and its politicians have lost it completely, and if you criticize them, well then of course you are a... "russian bot". Unfortunately 90% of westerners buy this western MSM influence propaganda campaign, WW3 with Russia will come easy.
Florin , Feb 21, 2018 9:00:03 AM | link
News "Meet The Cabal That Are Framing Domestic American Activism As "Russian Influence" and "Fake News"
https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/01/meet-the-cabal-that-are-framing-domestic-american-activism-as-russian-influence-and-fake-news/

At risk of being censored and/or convicted of Thought Crime - it is *remarkable* how very highly disproportionate the number of Jewish Zionists is who are in the media and in Congress and in ThinkTankistan and shouting about Russian meddling, 'aggression,' and the like.

It's too bad it is forbidden to examine this phenomena as one part of the matrix of power and lies leading the US into conflict with Russia, no?

I don't think Bill Kristol and David Frum and Jeff Goldberg are either honest nor primarily concerned with American national security, nor the lives of MENA civilians. I think they care only about using American blood and treasure to facilitate Israeli lebensraum, however bloody and expensive.

Trump survives only if he dances for the Deep State *and* Likud.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/12/us-caught-faking-it-in-syria/

ex-SA , Feb 21, 2018 9:17:53 AM | link
Chris Hedges has an article on the similar situation in Germany almost 100 years ago. "In 1923 the radical socialist and feminist Clara Zetkin gave a report at the Communist International about the emergence of a political movement called fascism. ...." https://www.truthdig.com/articles/how-we-fight-fascism/
fairleft , Feb 21, 2018 10:26:45 AM | link
Partisan @54: The facts contradict the statement in the quote that Trump was "openly campaigning for less democracy." He wasn't. He in fact campaigned in part as a populist who would oust (or at least repeatedly ridicule) an anti-democratic elite. If you've overlooked that and believe more or less the opposite, you can't understand the 2016 election or the elite's virulently anti-democratic reaction to it.
Oui , Feb 21, 2018 11:18:34 AM | link
NEW CENSORSHIP - HAMILTON68 DASHBOARD

From the website of Hamilton68 :: Tracking Russian influence operations on Twitter

So easy to signal this group as a fraud, I wrote an article recently

G W F and McCarthyism In A Digital Age - Part 2

[G W F – German Marshall Fund]

Earlier I wrote about the following relationship: Khodorkovsky - The Interpreter - Henry Jackson Society (UK) .

With Bush and the Iraq War, Dutch PM Balkenende and FM de Hoop Scheffer were seen as the poodle of the White House. In recent years PM Mark Rutte [of MH-17 crash fame] can be considered its puppy. Perhaps a parrot would suit better.

I noticed a former journalist Hubert Smeets hs partnered with some people to found a "knowledge center" Window on Russia [Raam op Rusland]. Laughable, funded by the Dutch Foreign Ministry and a Dutch-Russia cultural exchange Fund. Preposturous in its simplicity and harm for honest reporting.

Noirette , Feb 21, 2018 11:38:52 AM | link
US media has gone bonkers. The original claim was Russian meddling and Russian interference in the election. Then, a sort of bridging meme showed up (see also b above), undermining democracy or subverting it. This in turn then morphed into promoting divisive issues which is new (circa 2018, not before?)

Imho. US pols make it their business to create divisive issues, diviusses (neologism), to the point of inventing rubbish ones. Part of the US public embraces that sh*t as well, > tribalism and religious economics in lieu of policy politics. So such actions should be viewed as gloriously democratic, ;) - ok easy to make fun.

The emphasis on 'divisive' is curious, it signals that some managers are calling for 'union' - 'cohesion' - 'group soldering' facing the outside enemy, threat.

Russia has really become the all-purpose épouvantail scarecrow, specter of doom, etc. An awareness of the high costs of divisiveness if uncontrolled -> massive social unrest, at extreme, civil war -- and that these are to be avoided, is evidenced.

Heh, or the whole storm is just fluff that distracts, occupies the pixels, airwaves, a jamboree of knee-jerk reactions irrelevant to the present World Situation, with practically no important body - faction of the PTB, Trump, the MIC, lame outsiders like the EU, etc. having any clue.

james , Feb 21, 2018 1:03:45 PM | link
i got a kick out of cluborlov's post from yesterday.. -
http://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2018/02/make-russia-great-again-through.html

The accusation is a lot like accusing somebody of despoiling an outhouse by crapping in it, along with everyone else, but the outhouse in question had a sign on its door that read "No Russians!" and the 13 Russians just ignored it and crapped in it anyway.

The reason the Outhouse of American Democracy is posted "No Russians!" is because Russia is the enemy. There aren't any compelling reasons why it should be the enemy, and treating it as such is incredibly foolish and dangerous, but that's beside the point. Painting Russia as the enemy serves a psychological need rather than a rational one: Americans desperately need some entity onto which they can project their own faults.

The US is progressing toward a fascist police state; therefore, Russia is said to be a horrible dictatorship run by Putin. The US traditionally meddles in elections around the world, including Russia; therefore, the Russians are said to meddle in US elections. The US is the most aggressive country on the planet, occupying and bombing dozens of countries; therefore, the Russians are accused of "aggression." And so on

Don Bacon , Feb 21, 2018 6:35:10 PM | link
@Noirette 70
Yes, claiming that Russians are promoting polical division is silly -- the divisions were already there.
gizmodo , Jun 12, 2014:
It's Been 150 Years Since the U.S. Was This Politically Polarized

Nevertheless, now in WIRED magazine: Their [Agency] goal was to enflame "political intensity through supporting radical groups, users dissatisfied with [the] social and economic situation, and oppositional social movements."

OJS , Feb 21, 2018 8:27:10 PM | link

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-21/they-had-more-information-us-sanders-blames-clinton-not-exposing-russian-meddling

"They Had More Information Than Us" - Sanders Blames Clinton For Not Exposing Russian Meddling

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=WRnBPKFcAKo

Bernie Sanders said he on Wednesday, "felt compelled to address Russian interference during the US election. Sunday.... he was not aware and believes Russian bot promoting him and went as far to said WikiLeaks published Hillary's email stolen by the Russia....."

Can you really trust that lying basted? I'm probably one of the few MoA refused to believe and trust Bernie Sanders and the fuckup Democrats .

ben , Feb 21, 2018 9:24:01 PM | link
Anti-Russia Think Tanks in US: Who Funds Them? By Bryan MacDonald http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48755.htm
daffyDuct , Feb 21, 2018 9:46:49 PM | link
Excellent article summarizing much of what B has posted and more.

"Finally, and as long was we are on the topic, here is what a real troll farm looks like. [Picture of NSA] Yet this vast suite of offices in Fort Meade, Maryland, where 20,000 SIGINT spies and technicians work for the NSA, is only the tip of the iceberg.

The US actually spends $75 billion per year---more than Russia's entire $69 billion defense budget---spying on and meddling in the politics of virtually every nation on earth. An outfit within NSA called Tailored Access Operations (TAO) has a multi-billion annual budget and does nothing put troll the global internet and does so with highly educated, highly paid professionals, not $4 per hour keyboard jockeys."

http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/muellers-comic-book-indictment-how-to-prosecute-a-great-big-nothingburger/

Daniel , Feb 22, 2018 12:47:29 AM | link
Great article. Great comments. I LOVE MoA! And it's great to see b getting recognition.

james wrote: "There aren't any compelling reasons why it should be the enemy"

You know the following; I think you're just too decent a human being to understand how psychopaths operate. Russia is a huge area with enormous natural resources as well as a large, educated populace. Zbignew Brzezenski explained in his 1997 book "The Grand Chessboard" why global hegemony required taking control over Russia (and how to do it, which boils down to taking the other chess pieces off the board (Iraq/Ukraine/etc. and then pulling off a "color revolution," coup or military conquest).

Ziggy also noted that once Russia was incorporated, China is the next, and largely last target.

Jen: NICE JOB putting together a big picture, from Bernays' control of the masses all the way to Genie Energy. Add in Oded Yinon and PNAC and the "foreign policy blunders" that led to the present situation in MENA look like a carefully-constructed, long-game being played "by the book."

Fairleft. Any leftist/socialist movement which is not global is doomed to failure. This has always been true, but with "offshoring" of manufacturing jobs and the internet untethering many "white collar" jobs from any given geological location(s), workers must see ourselves as a global entity rather than national or regional players - because that is certainly how the 0.01% see us (and themselves).

"Workers of the world UNITE" is more true today than a century and a half ago.

Ghost Ship , Feb 22, 2018 5:28:36 AM | link
Did the Titanic just sink Bild ?
Partisan , Feb 22, 2018 6:20:18 AM | link
https://youtu.be/GN-tf3HM9ao New Yorker Reporter Debunks Russia Twitter Panic
ralphieboy , Feb 22, 2018 7:31:36 AM | link
@fairleft 85

nations that do not have to face costs arising from environmental, health or safety legislation will almost always prevail in the world market over those that have some concern for the environment and the workers.

That is the main issue I have with globalization.

Competing on wages is one thing; that can be a great impetus to become more efficient and productive, but if we do nothing to force other countries to clean up their act, they will have no impetus to do so and we will continue to lose jobs to the international competition, no matter how efficiently we work.

test , Feb 22, 2018 7:32:53 AM | link
Msm, bellingcat and other think tanks - they push their anti Russian racism too far making a large section of westerners just tired of their hysteria. Exposing their own racism and paranoia.
Partisan , Feb 22, 2018 9:02:22 AM | link
"....borderless globalization has been a catastrophe for most of the underdeveloped world's businesses and workers."

it is always annoying when I see the 'globalization" argument is used whether from the right or left. The globalization has started by the moment when us humans begin to roaming on this planet. there are millions of examples yet somehow globalization is of recent phenomenon. Lapis Lazuli mineral used in making blue color and paint is found on clay pottery in Mesopotamia's ancient city of Ur. That city is also place where many legend originated which were taken by major religion and can be found in their holy books. See even the myth are globalizied from very early on.

Most of the people do not even know what it is, not those who are writing about it.

Globalization . . . is a program to create private corporate rights to trade, invest, lend or borrow money and buy and own property anywhere in the world without much hindrance by national governments. It would bar governments from most of the common methods of helping or protecting their national industries and employment. It is a winners' program promoted chiefly by some business interests, governments and neoclassical economists in Europe and the United States.

One of its purposes is to intensify international competition for jobs. Together with other Right policies it is likely to maintain some unemployment in the rich countries and reduce the wage rates of their lower-paid workers, and reduce the proportion of secure employment.

Hugh Stretton, Economics: A New Introduction

test , Feb 22, 2018 10:02:35 AM | link
The anti-russian think tanks, msm, bellingcat etc push this too much, making them look stupid.
john , Feb 22, 2018 10:30:32 AM | link
Tannenhouser

the observable and demonstrable attempts are clearly futile, and have been pretty much reduced to spasms and tantrums, largely devoid of cognizance, not to mention legality, but certainly dangerous nonetheless.

no sir ree bob, we get our multipolar world or we scavenge a dead landscape of Alamogordo glass .

Tannenhouser , Feb 22, 2018 11:23:44 AM | link
John@96. We are on the same page then. I see it more like this. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1991370.The_Cool_War
karlof1 , Feb 22, 2018 4:18:56 PM | link
Really enjoyed Julian Assange's explanation of Mueller's nothingburger.

Assange: "Regardless of whether IRA's activities were audience building through pandering to communities or whether a hare-brained Russian government plan to "heighten the differences" existed, its activities are clearly strategically insignificant compared to the other forces at play."

[Dec 29, 2018] Two More Spiegel Employees Out After Fake News Scandal Expands -

Is not "Greed is good" a neoliberal slogan
Dec 29, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Relotius, meanwhile, has "gone underground," according to the Guardian, returning several awards for his work while being stripped of others, such as CNN's two Journalist of the Year awards. A German publication also stripped the journalist of a similar accolade.

At least 14 articles by Relotius for Der Spiegel were falsified , according to Steffen Klusmann, its editor-in-chief. They include an award-winning piece about a Syrian boy called Mouwiya who believed his anti-government graffiti had triggered the civil war. Relotius alleged he had interviewed the boy via WhatsApp .

The magazine – a prestigious weekly – is investigating if the interview took place and whether the boy exists. Relotius won his fourth German reporter prize this month with a story headlined "Child's Play".

Klusmann admitted the publication still had no idea how many articles were affected. On Thursday it was revealed that parts of an interview with a 95-year-old Nazi resistance fighter in the US were fabricated. - The Guardian

According to Relotius' Der Spiegel colleague Juan Moreno - who busted Relotius after conducting his own research after his bosses failed to listen to his doubts , released a video in which he attempted to describe how Relotius got away with his fabrications.

"He was the superstar of German journalism if one's honest, and if his stories had been true, that would have been fully justified to say so, but they were not," said Moreno. "At the start it was the small mistakes, things that seemed too hard to believe that made me suspicious."

In addition to having several awards stripped from him, the 33-year-old Relotius now faces embezzlement charges for allegedly soliciting donations for Syrian orphans from readers "with any proceeds going to his personal account," according to the BBC . On Thursday, Relotius denied the accusations.

[Dec 29, 2018] Why western neoliberal hape neolinel Putin: they want the return to the looting that took place under the Empire's anointed, Boris Yeltsin.

Dec 29, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Montreal , Dec 27, 2018 2:01:23 PM | link

bevin , Dec 27, 2018 10:21:32 AM | link

" ....The oligarchs have been destroyed in the early 00s: Gusinsky (the media oligarch), Berezovsky (the political broker oligarch), Khodorkovsky (the oil oligarch). These people were real oligarchs, i.e. they were using their wealth to control political processes through black media propaganda, having their own MPs/Ministers/Governors, etc..." @85

I'm inclined to agree. And this is why there is so much anger against Putin, in particular, in the 'west': the Russian oligarchs wield enormous power through the media which is at the service of anyone with money. Bill Browder being a prime example.
The oligarchs were the tools that the City of London and Wall St employed to plunder Russia's socialised wealth and resources.
The hate campaign against Putin, who is in many ways a very conservative economist pursuing the sort of neo-liberal policies that capitalist financiers approve of, is inexplicable unless we understand that the end game is a return to the looting that took place under the Empire's anointed, Boris Yeltsin.

I don't understand the people here who write that VVPutin is in thrall to the Zionists, the Oligarchs, or that he's lining his own pocket etc etc. IMHO his strategy has always been clear and direct, since the beginning. He values first of all stability - time for Russia to rebuild herself. Secondly, he performs a clever balancing act between the competing centres of power in Russia.

His mistake, however, when he became president, was to believe quite sincerely that the West - and particularly Washington (the important one) - shared a desire for peaceful partnership with Russia. Doubts emerged in 2011 - he realised that he was being played - and the doubts became certainties in 2014, since when some fairly radical reorganisations has been taking place. Russia is - again, IMHO - now ready to take its real place in the international order.

I take great pleasure in reading and listening to his - and Sergei Lavrov's - words, at the same time regretting the low standard of our own representatives.

Many thanks to b and all of you who continue always to inform me and sometimes enchant me.

[Dec 22, 2018] Check out the RTL coverage: the "reporter" is standing on a street that is filled shoulder to shoulder as far as the lens can see with yellow vests, and states "there are about 50, maybe a hundred people here..."

Dec 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

NotBob , Dec 22, 2018 2:07:21 PM | link

While not specifically labeled, this look like an open thread. So....

The French MSM (and the BBC) are doing the usual underreporting of the numbers involved in todays GJ activities. If interested, check out the RTL coverage: the "reporter" is standing on a street that is filled shoulder to shoulder as far as the lens can see with yellow vests, and states "there are about 50, maybe a hundred people here..."

The police concentrated their manpower around Versailles, and the GJ are everywhere but there, so no gas, no violence. The infiltrators/casseurs didn't get the memo.

Speaking of the gas, one of the men seen bathing in the stuff these past weekends has put out (FB? Twitter? This is being passed along from my French family members) that he has been diagnosed with cyanide poisoning. I am not a chemist, but I don't think this is a usual component of "tear gas ". Probably the Russians tampering with the gendarmes CS supply.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

[Dec 08, 2018] Putin wants to normalize relations with the west but, inexplicably, he provokes and alienates the West just prior to every scheduled meeting with Trump. These events only makes sense if the provocations are coming from agents in the West who wish to derail any rapprochement between the US and Russia

Dec 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

Mike from Jersey , says: December 4, 2018 at 6:21 pm GMT

Good article. You wrote:

There also has to be some consideration the encounter with the Russians on the Kerch Strait was contrived by Poroshenko with the assistance of a gaggle of American neoconservative and Israeli advisers who have been actively engaged with the Ukrainian government for the past several years. The timing was good for Poroshenko for his own domestic political reasons but it was also an opportunity for the neocons warmongers that surround Trump and proliferate inside the Beltway to scuttle any possible meeting between a vulnerable Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the G20 gathering in Argentina.

I came to the exact same conclusion.

Putin wants to normalize relations with the west but, inexplicably, he provokes and alienates the West just prior to every scheduled meeting with Trump. Of course, that doesn't make any sense. These events only makes sense if the provocations are coming from agents in the West who wish to derail any rapprochement between the US and Russia. Then it makes sense.

If this is true (as it appears to be) one can reasonably predict that any time Trump and Putin are about to meet, that a Skripal/Ukraine or other Russia-is-evil event will be staged to derail the meeting.

Let's watch in 2019 and see if this prediction comes true.

If it does, we will know that someone, behind the scenes, is staging these events.

APilgrim , says: December 5, 2018 at 4:42 am GMT
The ongoing campaign to vilify Vladimir Putin & the Russian Federation, is a complete failure, with conservatives, evangelicals, and republicans.

The globalists continue to waste their time & our money, with this shit.

JLK , says: December 5, 2018 at 5:09 am GMT
@APilgrim

The ongoing campaign to vilify Vladimir Putin & the Russian Federation, is a complete failure, with conservatives, evangelicals, and republicans.

I'll keep an open mind until Mueller's report is released, but Cohen's connections are allegedly with the mainly Jewish Russian mob. It is unclear what their agenda may have been, but Trump has been a lot nicer to Israel than to Russia.

[Dec 05, 2018] Manufacturing Official Narrative by C.J. Hopkins

Guardian is just a propaganda outlet. That sad fact does not exclude the possibility of publishing really good articles, thouth. That still happens occasionally.
The fact that they follow MI6 and Foreign Office talking points in all foreign events coverage a is just a testament the GB is a "national security state". Nothing more, nothing less.
Notable quotes:
"... I'm not going to debunk the Guardian article here. It has been debunked by better debunkers than I (e.g., Jonathan Cook , Craig Murray , Glenn Greenwald , Moon of Alabama , and many others). ..."
"... The short version is, The Guardian 's Luke Harding, a shameless hack who will affix his name to any propaganda an intelligence agency feeds him, alleged that Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, secretly met with Julian Assange (and unnamed "Russians") on numerous occasions from 2013 to 2016, presumably to conspire to collude to brainwash Americans into not voting for Clinton. Harding's earth-shaking allegations, which The Guardian prominently featured and flogged, were based on well, absolutely nothing, except the usual anonymous "intelligence sources." After actual journalists pointed this out, The Guardian quietly revised the piece ( employing the subjunctive mood rather liberally ), buried it in the back pages of its website, and otherwise pretended like they had never published it. ..."
"... By that time, of course, its purpose had been served. The story had been picked up and disseminated by other "respectable," "authoritative" outlets, and it was making the rounds on social media. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, in an attempt to counter the above-mentioned debunkers (and dispel the doubts of anyone else still capable of any kind of critical thinking), Politico posted this ass-covering piece speculating that, if it somehow turned out The Guardian 's story was just propaganda designed to tarnish Assange and Trump well, probably, it had been planted by the Russians to make Luke Harding look like a moron. This ass-covering piece of speculative fiction, which was written by a former CIA agent, was immediately disseminated by liberals and "leftists" who are eagerly looking forward to the arrest, rendition, and public crucifixion of Assange. ..."
"... And this is why The Guardian will not be punished for publishing a blatantly fabricated story. Nor will Luke Harding be penalized for writing it. Luke Harding will be rewarded for writing it, as he has been handsomely rewarded throughout his career for loyally serving the ruling classes. Greenwald, on the other hand, is on thin ice. It will be instructive to see how far he pushes his confrontation with The Guardian regarding this story. ..."
"... It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it. ..."
"... Those who are conforming to [official truth] are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so. ..."
"... The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative. ..."
"... It is important to realize that "the truth" is not going to "rouse the masses from their slumber" and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly "wake up," "see the truth" and start "the revolution." ..."
"... The distinction is simple. We can't know the truth about distant and complex events like 9/11 or JFK unless we were directly involved, and those people are all dead. For big events we have to rely on, or ignore, the official accounts. ..."
"... Given all this, still, we can approach an approximation of truth that some can agree on. Here is where the trouble starts . ..."
Dec 03, 2018 | www.unz.com

...First, let's look at a concrete example of our system manufacturing official narrative (aka "official truth" or "truth" -- note quotes ). I'm going to use The Guardian 's most recent blatantly fabricated article (" Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy ") as an example, but I could just as well have chosen any of a host of other fabricated stories disseminated by "respectable" outlets over the course of the last two years. The " Russian Propaganda Peddlers " story. The " Russia Might Have Poisoned Hillary Clinton " story. The " Russians Hacked the Vermont Power Grid " story. The " Golden Showers Russian Pee-Tape " story. The " Novichok Assassins " story. The " Bana Alabed Speaks Out " story. The " Trump's Secret Russian Server " story. The " Labour Anti-Semitism Crisis " story. The " Russians Orchestrated Brexit " story. The " Russia is Going to Hack the Midterms " story. The " Twitter Bots " story. And the list goes on.

I'm not going to debunk the Guardian article here. It has been debunked by better debunkers than I (e.g., Jonathan Cook , Craig Murray , Glenn Greenwald , Moon of Alabama , and many others).

The short version is, The Guardian 's Luke Harding, a shameless hack who will affix his name to any propaganda an intelligence agency feeds him, alleged that Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, secretly met with Julian Assange (and unnamed "Russians") on numerous occasions from 2013 to 2016, presumably to conspire to collude to brainwash Americans into not voting for Clinton. Harding's earth-shaking allegations, which The Guardian prominently featured and flogged, were based on well, absolutely nothing, except the usual anonymous "intelligence sources." After actual journalists pointed this out, The Guardian quietly revised the piece ( employing the subjunctive mood rather liberally ), buried it in the back pages of its website, and otherwise pretended like they had never published it.

By that time, of course, its purpose had been served. The story had been picked up and disseminated by other "respectable," "authoritative" outlets, and it was making the rounds on social media. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, in an attempt to counter the above-mentioned debunkers (and dispel the doubts of anyone else still capable of any kind of critical thinking), Politico posted this ass-covering piece speculating that, if it somehow turned out The Guardian 's story was just propaganda designed to tarnish Assange and Trump well, probably, it had been planted by the Russians to make Luke Harding look like a moron. This ass-covering piece of speculative fiction, which was written by a former CIA agent, was immediately disseminated by liberals and "leftists" who are eagerly looking forward to the arrest, rendition, and public crucifixion of Assange.

At this point, I imagine you're probably wondering what this has to do with manufacturing "truth." Because, clearly, this Guardian story was a lie a lie The Guardian got caught telling. I wish the "truth" thing was as simple as that (i.e., exposing and debunking the ruling classes' lies). Unfortunately, it isn't. Here is why.

Much as most people would like there to be one (and behave and speak as if there were one), there is no Transcendental Arbiter of Truth. The truth is what whoever has the power to say it is says it is. If we do not agree that that "truth" is the truth, there is no higher court to appeal to. We can argue until we are blue in the face. It will not make the slightest difference. No evidence we produce will make the slightest difference. The truth will remain whatever those with the power to say it is say it is.

Nor are there many "truths" (i.e., your truth and my truth). There is only one "truth" the "official truth". The "truth" according to those in power. This is the whole purpose of the concept of truth. It is the reason the concept of "truth" was invented (i.e., to render any other "truths" lies). It is how those in power control reality and impose their ideology on the masses (or their employees, or their students, or their children). Yes, I know, we very badly want there to be some "objective truth" (i.e., what actually happened, when whatever happened, JFK, 9-11, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Schrödinger's dead cat, the Big Bang, or whatever). There isn't. The truth is just a story a story that is never our story.

The "truth" is a story that power gets to tell, and that the powerless do not get to tell, unless they tell the story of those in power, which is always someone else's story. The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative. They either parrot the "truth" of the ruling classes or they utter heresies of one type or another. Naturally, the powerless do not regard themselves as heretics. They do not regard their "truth" as heresy. They regard their "truth" as the truth, which is heresy. The truth of the powerless is always heresy.

For example, while it may be personally comforting for some of us to tell ourselves that we know the truth about certain subjects (e.g., Russiagate, 9-11, et cetera), and to share our knowledge with others who agree with us, and even to expose the lies of the corporate media on Twitter, Facebook, and our blogs, or in some leftist webzine (or "fearless adversarial" outlet bankrolled by a beneficent oligarch), the ruling classes do not give a shit, because ours is merely the raving of heretics, and does not warrant a serious response.

Or all right, they give a bit of a shit, enough to try to cover their asses when a journalist of the stature of Glenn Greenwald (who won a Pulitzer and is frequently on television) very carefully and very respectfully almost directly accuses them of lying. But they give enough of a shit to do this because Greenwald has the power to hurt them, not because of any regard for the truth. This is also why Greenwald has to be so careful and respectful when directly confronting The Guardian , or any other corporate media outlet, and state that their blatantly fabricated stories could, theoretically, turn out to be true. He can't afford to cross the line and end up getting branded a heretic and consigned to Outer Mainstream Darkness, like Robert Fisk, Sy Hersh, Jonathan Cook, John Pilger, Assange, and other such heretics.

Look, I'm not trying to argue that it isn't important to expose the fabrications of the corporate media and the ruling classes. It is terribly important. It is mostly what I do (albeit usually in a more satirical fashion). At the same time, it is important to realize that "the truth" is not going to "rouse the masses from their slumber" and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly "wake up," "see the truth" and start "the revolution." People already know the truth the official truth, which is the only truth there is. Those who are conforming to it are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.

And this is why The Guardian will not be punished for publishing a blatantly fabricated story. Nor will Luke Harding be penalized for writing it. Luke Harding will be rewarded for writing it, as he has been handsomely rewarded throughout his career for loyally serving the ruling classes. Greenwald, on the other hand, is on thin ice. It will be instructive to see how far he pushes his confrontation with The Guardian regarding this story.

As for Julian Assange, I'm afraid he is done for. The ruling classes really have no choice but to go ahead and do him at this point. He hasn't left them any other option. Much as they are loathe to create another martyr, they can't have heretics of Assange's notoriety running around punching holes in their "truth" and brazenly defying their authority. That kind of stuff unsettles the normals, and it sets a bad example for the rest of us heretics.

#

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

Manufacturing Truth

James Forrestal , says: December 3, 2018 at 6:26 pm GMT

Good piece. I think there's another layer, though.

The truth or falsehood of individual facts about the physical world can often be determined with near-certainty. But when it comes to history, or "news" about current events/ politics, reality is much too complex to address directly. Too many individual facts to be comprehensible, let alone useful.

We must pick, choose, emphasize, or ignore particular elements, and arrange them into some kind of structure, in order to form a useful narrative. Or in the case of "news," the legacy media oligarchy largely performs this function for us -- we simply passively accept/ adopt their narrative. Or, in many cases, "choose" between the closely-related variants of that narrative offered by the "liberal" vs. "conservative" press.

This process of abstraction, simplification, and organization inevitably involves data loss. So no narrative is "true" in the same sense that individual facts about the real world are true. But some narratives incorporate large amounts of "facts" that are demonstrably false, and some are more useful/ descriptive/ predictive than others. No one engaged in this process is "objective." They -- or we -- are all in some way part of the story. It should be self-evident that some narratives are more useful to the perceived interests of owners of major media outlets than others, and that these will assume a much more prominent place in their coverage than ones that are deleterious to those interests.

Ideally, most people would take these factors into account when evaluating the "news," and maintain a much more skeptical attitude than they typically do. But there are several factors that prevent this.

One is simply time/ efficiency. These individual narratives, taken together, support -- and are supported by -- our overall worldview. There aren't enough hours in the day to be constantly skeptical about everything, especially since the major tools of distortion involved in constructing mainstream narratives tend to be selection bias/ memory-holing, with obvious lies about known facts (like the Guardian story referenced here) used only sparingly. It's simply not practical to to constantly consider potentially "better" narratives, and to reevaluate one's worldview based on these.

And which narrative we believe often has more to do with perceived social pressure/ social acceptability than with "truth." As you put it,

Those who are conforming to it are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.

Mass media pushing a common narrative creates an artificial perception of social consensus. Creating, or even finding, alternative narratives means fighting the inertia of this perceived consensus, and potentially suffering social costs for believing in the "wrong" one. The social role of narratives is largely independent of their "truth" -- if what you're "supposed" to believe is highly implausible, that actually gives it higher value as a signal of loyalty to the establishment.

It's probably best to maintain a resolutely agnostic attitude toward most "news" items, unless one is particularly interested in that particular event. " Why are they pushing this particular story?" "Why now ?" and " What are they trying to accomplish here?" are often more useful questions than "Is it true?"

It's not a new issue -- only exacerbated by the advent of mass visual media:
"Propaganda" -- Edward Bernays (1928)
"The Free Press"– Hilaire Belloc (1918)

Kratoklastes , says: December 3, 2018 at 11:17 pm GMT
I get what Hopkins is trying to do here, but redefining terms (i.e., "truth") doesn't do what he thinks it does.

The truth is not ' what most people think '; it's not ' what we are told to believe '; it's not ' the official narrative '.

There is a useful cautionary tale embedded in Hopkins' piece, but he doesn't tease it out properly.

Take this excerpt:

The truth is what whoever has the power to say it is says it is. If we do not agree that that "truth" is the truth, there is no higher court to appeal to. We can argue until we are blue in the face. It will not make the slightest difference. No evidence we produce will make the slightest difference. The truth will remain whatever those with the power to say it is say it is.

With significant caveats, it is a reasonable description of the way the political world works: if the political class decides that its interests are best served by declaring that a specific narrative X is 'true', it will obtain immediate compliance from about half the livestock, and can then rely on force (peer pressure; subsidy or taxation; state coercion) to get an absolute majority of the herd to declare that they accept the 'truth' of X .

If X is objectively false, too bad.

Try to run a legal argument based on the objective falsity of a thing that the political class has deemed to be true: you'll be shit outta luck.

This is highly relevant where I am sitting: here are two examples – one really obvious, one a bit less so (but far more important because of its radical implications).

Obvious Example: Drug Dogs

Recent research has shown that drug sniffing dogs give false positive signals between 60% and 80% of the time – i.e., in terms of identifying people who are in actual physical possession of drugs at any point in time, drug sniffing dogs perform worse than a coin toss.

Note that this is before considering that the dog's handler is often pointing the dog at a target that the handler thinks is likely to be carrying drugs. (Although in reality, drug dogs are paraded around at concerts and in public spaces, sniffing every passer-by).

However there is an Act of Parliament (capitalise all the magic words) that asserts that a signal from a drug sniffing dog is sufficient to qualify as what Americans call "probable cause" – i.e., reasonable suspicion for a search.

Does anyone think that evidence should be admissible if it results from a search conducted based on 'probable cause' derived from a method that produces worse outcomes than tossing a coin?

Judges will tie themselves into absolute epistemological knots to get that evidence admitted – and they will refuse to permit defence Counsel from adducing evidence about drug dog inaccuracy because since the defendant actually did have drugs in their possession, the dog didn't signal falsely.

In other words, the judge conflates posterior probability with prior probability; the prior probability that the dog is correct, is 10%-40%; this should not suffice to generate probable cause (or 'reasonable suspicion).

More Interesting Example: 'Representative' Democracy

In general, Western governments assert that their legitimacy stems from two primary sources: some founding set of principles (usually a constitution – written or otherwise), and 'representativeness' (including ratification of the constitution by a representative mechanism, for those places with written foundational documents).

The Arrow Impossibility Theorem [1,2] and the Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem [3,4], both show that there is no way of accurately determining group preferences using an ordinal voting mechanism.

What this boils down to, is that representativeness is a lie – and it's a lie before any consideration of voting outcomes ; it's a meta -problem (the problem that ordinal voting cannot do what it is claimed to do – viz ., accurately identify the 'will of the people'/'social preferences'/'what the people want').

Beyond the meta-problem, there is also the actual counting problem: no government has ever been elected having obtained the votes of an outright bare majority, i.e., 50%-plus-1 of the entire eligible franchise. (It's more like 25-35% for most parliamentary systems – for US presidential elections in the full-franchise period, the winner is voted for by 29% of the eligible population; you would be horrified to look at US Senate results).

So when the new unhappy lords (and their Little Eichmann bureaucrat enablers) promulgate laws based on assertions of legitimacy because of a constitutional Grundnorm and/or the representative nature of government both of those things are pretty obvious furphies; they are objectively not 'truth' and no amount of heel-clicking and wishing will make it so.

Which brings us to a key legal aphorism that has a jurisprudential history going back four centuries: Ratio legis est anima legis, et mutata legis ratione, mutatur ex lex – which dates from Milborn's case ( Coke 7a KB [1609]).

The reason for a law is the soul of the law, and if the reason for a law has changed, the law is changed .

What this means – explicitly – is that " no law can survive the [extinction of the] reasons on which it is founded ".

American courts re-expressed this as " cessante ratione legis, cessat ipsa lex " (the reason for a law having ceased, the law itself ceases) – e.g., in Funk v. United States , 290 US 371 (1933) in which Justice Sutherland opined –

This means that no law can survive the reasons on which it is founded. It needs no statute to change it; it abrogates itself . If the reasons on which a law rests are overborne by opposing reasons, which in the progress of society gain a controlling force, the old law, though still good as an abstract principle, and good in its application to some circumstances, must cease to apply as a controlling principle to the new circumstances.

(Emphasis mine)

Again: try running this argument in a court: " The asserted basis for all laws promulgated by the government, is provably false. Under a doctrine with a 4-century jurisprudential provenance, the law itself is void ."

See how far you get.

So Hopkins makes a good-but-obvious point – power does not respect either rights or truth; as such it does you no good whatsoever to have the actual truth on your side. He should have made the point better.

References (links are to PDFs of each paper)

[1] Arrow (1950). " A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare " Journal of Political Economy 58 (4): 328–346

[2] Geanakoplos, John (2005). " Three Brief Proofs of Arrow's Impossibility Theorem " Economic Theory 26 (1): 211–215

[3] Gibbard (1973). " Manipulation of voting schemes: a general result " Econometrica 41 (4): 587–601.

[4] Satterthwaite (April 1975). " Strategy-proofness and Arrow's Conditions: Existence and Correspondence Theorems for Voting Procedures and Social Welfare Functions " Journal of Economic Theory 10: 187–217.

Brabantian , says: December 3, 2018 at 11:18 pm GMT
C J Hopkins, despite some good quotes and insights above, regrettably falls into the trap of peddling Derrida-tier relativistic nonsense, playing a word game about 'truth', as if 'truth' was not real merely because most people have strong incentives to avoid being devoted to it

Where you stand depends upon where you sit, etc., Karl Marx's dictums about economic and power positions shaping consciousness, and of course the century-old classic:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

from Upton Sinclair (1878-1968). Hopkins more or less repeats Sinclair when he says

Those who are conforming to [official truth] are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.

Despite selling-out truth to the relativism devil in some passages, Hopkins nevertheless creates some quotable, including the particularly insightful:

The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative.

The following notion of Hopkins is seen now and then in the alt-sphere, but always bears repeating

It is important to realize that "the truth" is not going to "rouse the masses from their slumber" and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly "wake up," "see the truth" and start "the revolution."

... ... ...

Kratoklastes , says: December 3, 2018 at 11:28 pm GMT
@Tulip

The coin of truth is iron and blood.

That's absolutely, 100% wrong.

Iron and blood are the tools used to force people to accept what isn't true. (Another way to tell: it was uttered by a fucking politician – a cunt who wanted to live in palaces paid for by the sweat of other people's brows).

Truth does not need violence to propagate itself: in a completely-peaceful system of free exchange, bad ideas (of which lies are a subset) will get driven out of the market place because they will fail to conform to ground truth.

Falsehood requires violence (arguably it is a form of violence: fraud is 'violent' because it causes its victims to misallocate their resources or to deform their preferences and expectations).

In a very real sense, truth does not need friends: all it requires is an absence of powerful enemies.

RobinG , says: December 4, 2018 at 12:21 am GMT
@James Forrestal

Occupation of the American Mind: Israel's Public Relations War in the United States

https://www.occupationmovie.org/

This film shows a great example of propaganda in action. Free to watch now and this link also includes a short version and a trailer.

Jett Rucker , says: Website December 4, 2018 at 3:04 am GMT
When I tell any Truth, it is not for the sake of Convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those who Do.

~ William Blake, 1810

polistra , says: December 4, 2018 at 7:33 am GMT
The distinction is simple. We can't know the truth about distant and complex events like 9/11 or JFK unless we were directly involved, and those people are all dead. For big events we have to rely on, or ignore, the official accounts.

But we CAN know the truth about our own situation, our own neighborhood, and our own families. The current riots in France are a concrete ASSERTION of local truth against the blatant and condescending official lies. The majority of France is getting poorer and suffering more from migrant crime. Macron insists that starvation is necessary to serve Gaia, and crime is necessary to serve Juncker. The people would prefer to have a leader that serves France.

The scalpel , says: Website December 4, 2018 at 1:07 pm GMT
@FB Scientific truth is limited by two factors – assumptions, and hidden variables. For example, we might drop a brick in a vacuum and believe that it falls at 9.8 m/s squared. Here, we make the assumption that the force of gravity is constant. And for most of history we were unaware of the hidden variable of relativity to the speed of light.

So, assuming (LOL) that we are able to eliminate all assumptions and account for all hidden variables, there is a scientific truth. That is ASSUMING we are not just a simulation in someone elses computer!

Given all this, still, we can approach an approximation of truth that some can agree on. Here is where the trouble starts .

DFH , says: December 4, 2018 at 4:05 pm GMT
What is truth? – John 18:38
FB , says: December 4, 2018 at 4:26 pm GMT
@The scalpel LOL and then there is the 'observer effect' also especially in good old quantum mechanics in the end scientific truth does boil down to what 'some can agree on'
Tulip , says: December 4, 2018 at 5:40 pm GMT
@Kratoklastes Strength is the production of force over distance. That is to say, force is a quantifiable, physical phenomenon that, deconstruct it as much as you want, will hit you like a tsunami whether you believe it or not.

Force only works because there is a real world that transcends philosophical bullshit and marketing.

The subjective piece is will: victory is attained when the enemies will to resist is crushed. Through the repeated use of physical force, eventually any enemy can be worn down and vanquished.

The world is finite, desire is infinite, and for every desire and appetite, there is a will. As multiple wills will that they attain their infinite desires in a finite world, there will always be a conflict of will, which will always ultimately be resolved by force. Which means ultimately, despite the rich imaginations and appetites of humans, and their related striving, physical force will ultimately rule the day, and conquer, condition, and constrain the mental life of mankind.

Of course, desire and appetite will not take no for an answer, and in their frustration, they will imagine, fantasize, and conceptualize rationales for why this is not so. This is the nature of our desires, and in good times of prosperity and peace, they may even bend our reason in the direction of these appetites and fantasies, until the instincts for self preservation and endurance rust, and are even forgotten. But like the moon revealed by a passing cloud, the perpetual war of human existence will inevitably reassert itself, and those that have prepared for the inevitable will vanquish those who were content to daydream when they should have been preparing.

TimothyPMadden , says: December 4, 2018 at 8:52 pm GMT
What is truth ?

Truth is a word .

After reading the article and the aggregate comments, I am strengthened in my belief that the physics analogy of Schrödinger's cat is among the most useful (and notwithstanding the otherwise valid criticism of it in the comments). In the same way that the Oxford English Dictionary, for example, does not purport to define a given word, per se , but rather gives a detailed description of how the word has in fact been used over the years and centuries.

I refer to my version of Schrödinger's cat as counter-sense words or oscillating-contradictions .

Oscillating contradictions and cogno-linguistic manipulation

The primary means by which corporate supremacy, for example, is achieved and maintained in practice is via the maintenance and use of a small arsenal of about two dozen critical counter-sense or yo-yo -like words/terms that are asserted or claimed to mean either "X" or "Minus-X" at the option of the decision-maker.

Among the most important and sui generis (in a class of its own) is the word person which is held to mean a living, breathing being of conscience (literally a being of equity) with the rights, powers and privileges of such being ("X"), or else it can mean a corporate entity which is a notional/inanimate item of property to be bought and sold and otherwise traded for profit in the stock and financial markets ("Minus-X").

By way of example/demonstration of the ongoing cognitive manipulation process, if someone had managed to hit the judges of the U.S. Supreme Court with a blast of truth-ray just before they announced their decision in Citizens United, here is what we may have got instead:

[MORE]

We here at the Supreme Court are part of what can be fairly and broadly referred to as an arm of the entrenched-money-power.

At certain times and under certain circumstances it is to our enormous advantage over you the masses that corporations be natural-persons-in-law with the rights, powers and privileges of a natural person or living being of conscience.

At other times and other circumstances it is to our enormous advantage over you the masses that corporations be items of property that can be actively bought and sold and traded for profit in the stock and financial markets.

Your laughable naiveté is manifest in your expectation that you are going to receive a definitive answer from this Court, or even that it is possible for us to give you one. Among the foundational purposes of this Court is to actively prevent that question from being answered definitively at all. The instant we give a definitive answer, the game is over.

Whatever answer we give you must perpetuate the systematized delusion that the same concept (corporate personhood) can mean either X (a living being of conscience), or minus-X (an item of property), depending on the ever-changing needs of the decider.

So our current answer is that a corporation is a natural-person-in-law with the rights, powers and privileges of a natural person, except when it isn't. We'll let you know next time whether that situation has changed in the meantime.

Essentially all counter-sense words/terms follow that same template .

Notwithstanding that the respective concepts are logically and objectively mutually exclusive , the judges of the Courts (and the broadly-defined financial-world/social-control-structure) maintain that it can be either or both , and we'll let you know if and when it becomes important.

So a corporate person has a right of free speech when giving money to influence political parties, but not to object to itself being sold as a piece of property in the stock and financial markets or when it is acquired in a merger or takeover financed by its own assets. If a corporation has the legal capacity and rights of a natural person, then how can it be owned as the legal property of another? The purpose of the Courts is to ensure that that question is never presented in that way.

After person , the remaining most significant counter-sense or yo-yo -like words are (surprise surprise) essentially all money-and-finance-based, and the most important among these is the word principal and its role in facilitating illegal front-loading or ex-temporal fraud (interest illegally and unlawfully compounded in advance).

Is the amount of principal the actual or net amount advanced by the creditor and received by the debtor for their own use and control?

Or is it the amount that the debtor agrees that they owe regardless of the amount received?

Is the amount of principal a question of fact ? Or of the agreement of parties ?

[Here is the premise / offer that is referenced immediately below:]

Lender (e.g., typical second-mortgage lender): "I will loan you $10,000 at 20% per annum provided that you sign and give to me a marketable security that claims or otherwise purports to evidence that I have loaned you $15,000 at 10% per annum, plus an undisclosed and unregistered side-agreement and cheque (check) back to me for a bonus or loan fee of $5,000 as a payment from the nominal proceeds."

In the process example used above, what is the principal amount of the loan? Is it $10,000 because that is the factual net amount invested by the creditor and received by the debtor for their own use? Or is it $15,000 because that is the amount that the debtor is required to falsely agree that they have received and owe as a condition of the loan? Or is it $20,000 because that is the total cash-equivalent/money assets ($15,000 mortgage + $5,000 cheque) that the debtor has to give to the creditor?

Is it a noun/fact ? Or is it an adjective/opinion merely pretending to be a noun? All debt and therefore money in the world today depends on the answer to that question that theoretically cannot exist.

Principal is a special type (and most significant form) of counter-sense word or oscillating contradiction where dictionaries normally only give one sense, while commercial practice defines the contrary. It would be very difficult to put the Whatever-the-debtor-agrees-that-they-owe sense into a dictionary, because the fraud against meaning (as well as the criminal law) is manifest in spelling it out, and ever more so in more specialized financial dictionaries.

So virtually every legal, financial, accounting, and ordinary English dictionary and/or regulation defines it to the effect "The actual amount invested, loaned or advanced to the debtor/borrower net of any interest, discount, premium or fees", while virtually every financial security in the real world at least implicitly incorporates the fraudulent alternative/contrary meaning.

This in turn allows the academic world to function on the rational/factual definition, while the markets maintain a wholly contradictory deemed or pretended reality, while both remain oblivious to the contradiction.

Thus principal means the nominal creditor's actual and net investment, unless it doesn't .

With this class of counter-sense word where there is a necessary and definitive answer, the real job of the judges of the Courts becomes to make certain that the question is never officially asked, and under no circumstances is it to be definitively answered.

With just one of these words you can theoretically steal the Earth . With a financial system that is relatively saturated with them, such becomes child's play . With these rules a group of competently-trained chimpanzees otherwise pulling levers at random could do as well as the so-called wizards of Wall Street .

And significantly, these oscillating contradictions enable the judges to be self-righteous in the extreme on behalf of the entrenched-money-power, while looting the little people of the product of their labour.

As in: You have received the principal amount ($10,000) and you are going to pay back the principal amount ($15,000) plus the ever-accumulating (and super-leveraged) interest upon it according to your contract, while the meaning of the word oscillates between fact and opinion – between a noun and an adjective – according to what the judge needs it to mean (or accommodate) at any given instant in time.

It seems impossibly obvious in this simple example, but with several of them orchestrated simultaneously or sequentially, anything can truly be made to mean anything .

A partial list of the most critical oscillating-contradicitions includes: loan, credit, discount, interest, rate-of-interest, agreement, contract, security, repay, restitution, etc., all of which mean either "X" or its conceptual opposite "Minus-X" at the option of the entrenched-money-power whose vast financial fortunes are founded on such cogno-linguistic arbitrage .

Here are what I believe to be four essential tools needed to triangulate reality via congo-linguistic parallax . The first two are mine, and the last two are from the American and English Courts, respectively.

1. Humans are highly cogno-linguistic . We perceive reality very largely as a function of the language that we use to describe it. Most everyone inherently believes and presumes that you have to be able to think something before you can say it. The greater reality is that, above a certain base level of perception and communication, you have to have the words and language by which to say something before you can think it .

2. The world is ever-increasingly controlled and administered by people who genuinely believe whatever is necessary for the answer they need. Administrative agents of the entrenched-money-power have solved the criminal-law enigma of mens rea or guilty mind by evolving or devolving (take your pick) into professional schizophrenics who genuinely believe whatever they need to believe for the answer they need, and who communicate among themselves subconsciously by how they name things. They suffer a cogno-linguistically-induced diminished capacity that renders them incapable of perceiving reality beyond labels .

3. Their core business model or modus operandi is the systematized delusion :

"A "systematized delusion" is one based on a false premise, pursued by a logical process of reasoning to an insane conclusion ; there being one central delusion, around which other aberrations of the mind converge." Taylor v. McClintock, 112 S.W. 405, 412, 87 Ark. 243. (West's Judicial Words and Phrases (1914)).

4.

One must not confuse the object of a conspiracy [to defraud] with the means by which it is intended to be carried out. Scott v. Metropolitan Police Commissioner [1974] 60 Cr. App. R. 124 H.L.

I have long since abandoned my search for truth, per se, since I came to realize that the best I can ever do is to constantly strive to move closer to it. With apologies to the physicists, Truth is the Limit of Infinite Good Faith .

The Scalpel , says: Website December 5, 2018 at 12:34 am GMT
@Tulip " which will always ultimately be resolved by force."

Right there is where you lost the plot. That statement is just your opinion and it cannot be proven true. The rest of your argument falls victim to this logical error.

" and those that have prepared for the inevitable will vanquish those who were content to daydream when they should have been preparing."

Also, just your opinion. For example, the "dreamer" might die still comforted by his/her dreams, while the "prepper" might waste his life witing for the "inevitable' that never arrives.

redmudhooch , says: December 5, 2018 at 2:15 am GMT
Truth shall set you free.

For the First Time Since 9/11, Federal Gov't Takes Steps to Prosecute the Use of Explosives to Destroy WTCs

https://thefreethoughtproject.com/911-lawyers-petition-grand-jury-explosives/

In what can be described as a monumental step forward in the relentless pursuit of 9/11 truth, a United States Attorney has agreed to comply with federal law requiring submission to a Special Grand Jury of evidence that explosives were used to bring down the World Trade Centers.

The Lawyers' Committee for 9/11 Inquiry successfully submitted a petition to the federal government demanding that the U.S. Attorney present to a Special Grand Jury extensive evidence of yet-to-be-prosecuted federal crimes relating to the destruction of three World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 (WTC1, WTC2 and WTC7).

After waiting months for the reply, the U.S. Attorney responded in a letter, noting that they will comply with the law.

Some good documentary films here to watch for free:

http://metanoia-films.org/psywar/

Heres a couple more. Occupation of the American Mind is very good. All of John Pilgers films are great.

James Forrestal , says: December 5, 2018 at 3:58 am GMT

@Wizard of Oz

My question/quibble relates to your objection to the use of sniffer dogs to establish probable cause for search because it is no better than a coin toss. That seems fallacious if, according to your figures, the dogs sniff 500 people and get excited by 10 of them of which 3 are correctly identified and 7 are false positives.

Yeah. The concepts of sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value might be very helpful in assessing this.

[Dec 04, 2018] Professor Carroll Quigley - Last Lectures, The Western Tradition, Fall of the American Republic

Notable quotes:
"... The reality of the last two hundred years of the history of the history of Western Civilization, including the history of our own country, is not reflected in the general brainwashing you have received, in the political mythology you have been hearing, or in the historiography of the period as it exists today. ..."
Dec 04, 2018 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

These quotations excerpted below are all taken from Public Authority and the State in the Western Tradition by Carroll Quigley. It was the three part Oscar Iden Lecture at Georgetown University in 1978, a few months before he died.

Quigley is perhaps most well known for being the author of Tragedy and Hope .

Later this week I intend to publish a very nice essay and summary of these thoughts in this last lecture by Christopher Quigley.

Needless to say I do not necessarily agree with everything that Professor Quigley states in his writings. But I do find them extraordinarily well informed and interesting. Given that they were written in the 1970s his forecasting, although not perfect, was quite prescient.

He does state that after Nixon it is unlikely that another President will be impeached, because of the manner in which the impeachment process has become 'lawyerized.' How ironic then that we have seen the impeachment of William J. Clinton, who himself was a student of Quigley and who publicly thanked and acknowledged him as a mentor.

Related: Carroll Quigley on Tragedy and Hope

"And since what we get in history is never what any one individual or group is struggling for, but is the resultant of diverse groups struggling, the area of political action will be increasingly reduced to an arena where the individual, detached from any sustaining community, is faced by gigantic and irresponsible corporations."

Prof Carroll Quigley, Part 1 The State of Communities , Georgetown University 1978

"The reality of the last two hundred years of the history of the history of Western Civilization, including the history of our own country, is not reflected in the general brainwashing you have received, in the political mythology you have been hearing, or in the historiography of the period as it exists today.

Persons, personalities if you wish, can be made only in communities. A community is made up of intimate relationships among diverse types of individuals--a kinship group, a local group, a neighbourhood, a village, a large family. Without communities, no infant will be sufficiently socialized. He may grow up to be forty years old, he may have made an extremely good living, he may have engendered half a dozen children, but he is still an infant unless he has been properly socialized and that occurs in the first four or five years of life. In our society today, we have attempted to throw the whole burden of socializing out population upon the school system, to which the individual arrives only at the age of four or five.

Human needs are the basis of power. The state, as I said, is a power structure on a territorial basis, and the state will survive only if it has sufficient ability to satisfy enough of these needs. It is not enough for it to have organized force, and when a politician says, "Elect me President and I will establish law and order," he means organized force or power of other kinds. I won't analyze this level; it's too complex and we don't have time. I will simply say that the object of the political level is to legitimise power: that is, to get people, in their minds, to recognize and accept the actual power relationship in their society.

We no longer have intellectually satisfying arrangements in our educational system, in our arts, humanities or anything else; instead we have slogans and ideologies. An ideology is a religious or emotional expression; it is not an intellectual expression. So when a society is reaching its end, in the last couple of centuries you have what I call misplacement of satisfactions. You find your emotional satisfaction in making a lot of money, or in being elected to the White House in 1972, or in proving to the poor, half-naked people of Southeast Asia that you can kill them in large numbers.

And then, as the society continues and does not reform, you get increased militarisation. You can certainly see that process in Western Civilization and in the history of the United States. In the last forty years our society has been drastically militarized. It isn't yet as militarized as other societies and other periods have been; we still have a long way to go in this direction. Our civilization has a couple of centuries to go, I would guess. Things are moving faster than they did in any civilization I ever knew before this one, but we probably will have another century or two.

As this process goes on, you get certain other things. I've hinted at a number of them. One is misplacement of satisfactions. You find your satisfactions--your emotional satisfaction, your social satisfaction-- not in moment to moment relationships with nature or other people, but with power, or with wealth, or even with organized force--sadism, in some cases: Go out and murder a lot of people in a war, a just war, naturally.

The second thing that occurs as this goes on is increasing remoteness of desires from needs. I've mentioned this. The next thing is an increasing confusion between means and ends. The ends are the human needs, but if I asked people what these needs are, they can hardly tell me. Instead they want the means they have been brainwashed to accept, that they think will satisfy their needs. But it's perfectly obvious that the methods that we have been using are not working. Never was any society
in human history as rich and as powerful as Western Civilization and the United States, and it is not a happy society.

In its final stages, the civilization becomes a dualism of almost totalitarian imperial power and an amorphous mass culture of atomized individuals.

Freedom is freedom from restraints. We're always under restraints. The difference between a stable society and an unstable one is that the restraints in an unstable one are external. In a stable society, government ultimately becomes unnecessary ; the restraints on people's actions are internal, there're self disciplined, they are the restraints you have accepted because they make it possible for you to satisfy all your needs to the degree that is good for you.

Communities and societies must rest upon cooperation and not on competition. Anyone who says that society can be run on the basis of everyone's trying to maximise his own greed is talking total nonsense. All the history of human society shows that it's nonsense. And to teach it in schools, and to go on television and call it the
American way of life still doesn't make it true. Competition and envy cannot become the basis of any society or any community.

The fundamental, all pervasive cause of world instability today is the destruction of communities by the commercialisation of all human relationships and the resulting neuroses and psychoses. The technological acceleration of transportation, communication and weapons systems is now creating power areas wider than existing political structures. We still have at least half a dozen political structures in Europe, but our technology and the power system of Western Civilization today are such that most of Europe should be a single power system. This creates instability.

Another cause of today's instability is that we now have a society in America, Europe and much of the world which is totally dominated by the two elements of sovereignty that are not included in the state structure: control of credit and banking and the corporation. These are free of political controls and social responsibility, and they have largely monopolized power in Western Civilization and in American society.

They are ruthlessly going forward to eliminate land, labour, entrepreneurial-managerial skills, and everything else the economists once told us were the chief elements of production. The only element of production they are concerned with is the one they can control: capital.

So now everything is capital intensive, including medicine, and it hasn't worked. ['financialised' is a more current term - J.]

Secrecy in government exists for only one reason: to prevent the American people from knowing what's going on. It is nonsense to believe that anything our government does is not known to the Russians at about the moment it happens.

To me, the most ominous flaw in our constitutional set-up is the fact that the federal government does not have control over of money and credit and does not have control of corporations. It is therefore not really sovereign. And it is not really responsible, because it is now controlled by these two groups, corporations, and those who control the flows of money.

The administrative system and elections are dominated today by the private power of money flows and corporation activities.

Certain thin regulations were established in the United States regarding corporations: restricted purpose and activities especially by banks and insurance companies; prohibition on one corporation's holding the stock of another without specific statutory grant; limits on the span of the life of the corporation, requiring recurrent legislative scrutiny; limits on total assets; limits on new issues of capital, so that the proportion of control of existing stockholders could be maintained; limits on the votes allowed to any stockholder, regardless of the size of his holding; and so forth.

By 1890 all of these had been destroyed by judicial interpretation which extended to corporations -- fictitious persons -- those constitutional rights guaranteed, especially by the Fifteenth Amendment, to living persons.

Now I want to say good night. Do not be pessimistic. Life goes on; life is fun. And if a civilization crashes, it deserves to. When Rome fell, the Christian answer was, 'Create our own communities.'"

Prof Carroll Quigley, The State of Individuals , Georgetown University 1978

[Dec 02, 2018] Nobody would dispute the fact that sanctification of truth is an essential foundation for a free society

Dec 02, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Lore , 6 hours ago link

Nobody would dispute the fact that sanctification of truth is an essential foundation for a free society. The full extent of perversion and depravity of psychopaths in power is held in check to some extent by their need to pay lip service to civility and rule of law in the public eye -- until **** hits the fan. The full extent of pathocracy is about to become obvious in the Reset. It's going to stun the general public.

I don't know if there is a general formula for describing this, but in my experience, organizations with psychopaths at the top tend to disintegrate on their own, but they do one hell of a lot of damage on the way down, since the psychopaths never cede their power and make moral decisions willingly. Things are essentially guaranteed to get worse as long as they retain power. It's hard to imagine any remedy to this situation that doesn't involve some kind of violence, starting of course with manipulation of different groups on the street. The trouble with any scenario fitting the description of Civil War is that it tends to center around proxy groups, while those ultimately responsible get away.


We have anecdotes about 'white hat' groups like the so-called White Dragons. They, like the CIA, appear to operate in the shadows. Do they really exist, and are they really working to make a positive difference? Will we know them by their works?

I have no faith in Trump as some kind of solo superhero, because thus far all the talk about him appears to have been nothing but wishful thinking. The man seems like a human pinball, utterly inconsistent and unpredictable. That's helpful in some ways, not in others. Something else needs to happen / someone else needs to rise in the role of a statesman and genuine, meaningful reformer.

[Dec 01, 2018] Whataboutism charge is a change of a thought crime, a dirty US propaganda trick. In reality truth can be understood only in the historica context

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It's not what aboutism it's called having consistency and principles. It's like Jack the Ripper calling Ted Kennedy a murderer. It matters if both sides are doing deals with Russia and only one has proved collusion with Russia government officials ..."
"... Your new Mcarthyism isn't working but nice try since it's all you have to offer ..."
"... Whataboutism is a call out for hypocrisy. It wasn't invented by the Russians. It was in use by a carpenter over two-thousand years ago: "Why do you call out for a dust mote in my eye when there is a log in yours?" ..."
"... Nothing new under the sun. ..."
"... Kind of like What about Russian interference in our Elections? Whatabout that, as a clear and dangerous deflection from Hillary taking blame for her incompetent and corrupt 2016 campaigns? ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

O Society , August 14, 2018 at 8:26 pm

"What about Clinton?" is an example of Whataboutism, which is a classic Russian propaganda technique used to divert attention away from the relevant subject, statement, argument, etc at hand with an accusation of hypocrisy.

It takes the form, "What about _______?"

Whataboutism is a type of psychological projection. It uses blame shifting to attribute wrong doing or some character defect to someone else with a goal of sabotaging the conversation by steering the speaker to become defensive.

On the playground, the kids call it "I know you are, but what am I?"

I have no idea whether any of this Russiagate stuff is real. We have seen no evidence, so I remain skeptical until someone shows actual evidence of Trump-Putin collusion.

However, I do know where Donald Trump got a bunch of his money, and where he and his followers got Whataboutism.

A Guide to Russian Propaganda

Gregory Herr , August 14, 2018 at 8:43 pm

Shouldn't that be "A Guide to Ukrainian Propaganda"?

Gregory Herr , August 14, 2018 at 9:20 pm

It seems to me that jean agreed with your characterisation of Trump and in no way was trying to sabotage the conversation. jean referenced some facts about characters relevant to the broader topic.

I would contend that every time I've heard the cry of "well, that's just whataboutism", the purpose of that claim has been to avoid addressing the points made–thus sabotaging further engagement or conversation.

So now, after all this time, you still "have no idea" whether Russiagate nonsense is real–what a fine fence-straddler you are. And then to suggest that "whataboutism" is made in Russia and slyly connect that to "Trump and his followers" -- well, you just lost me brother.

Jean , August 14, 2018 at 10:05 pm

lol

It's not what aboutism it's called having consistency and principles. It's like Jack the Ripper calling Ted Kennedy a murderer. It matters if both sides are doing deals with Russia and only one has proved collusion with Russia government officials

That would be Hillary

I understand why you would want to deflect from that but it won't change the facts

Your new Mcarthyism isn't working but nice try since it's all you have to offer

zendeviant , August 15, 2018 at 5:30 am

Whataboutism is a call out for hypocrisy. It wasn't invented by the Russians. It was in use by a carpenter over two-thousand years ago: "Why do you call out for a dust mote in my eye when there is a log in yours?"

Nothing new under the sun.

michael , August 15, 2018 at 5:33 am

Kind of like What about Russian interference in our Elections? Whatabout that, as a clear and dangerous deflection from Hillary taking blame for her incompetent and corrupt 2016 campaigns?

jeff montanye , August 17, 2018 at 6:38 am

and her incompetent and corrupt tenure as secretary of state which gave so many people a really good idea of what her presidency would look like.

Nop , August 15, 2018 at 10:06 pm

The accusation "whataboutism" just a childish way of trying to deny the point of view of rival interests. Like plugging your ears and chanting "la la la".

[Nov 30, 2018] Is Putin the Provocateur in the Kerch Crisis, by Pat Buchanan

Crimea was a variation of Kosovo. As the USA destroyed post WWII order, as its position weakens, real chaos can occurs. because Might is right can work not only for the USA anymore. And in this theater the USA has no advantages, other then their geopolitical weight. It is too fat from US mainland.
The USA speed up events probably by 20 years or so and coursed considerable suffering of the Ukrainian population. Ukraine was gradually detaching itself from Russia anyway (which is a natural process for any xUSSR republic after the independence.). Essentially the USA raped the Ukraine using Ukrainian nationalist as a fifth column of neoliberal globalization.
The net result of the premature and by-and-large successful attempt to break Ukraine from Russia and play Baltic's scenario (which was possible due to existence of Western Ukrainian nationalists) was drastic impoverishing (already very poor after chaos and neoliberal economic plunder of 1990th) of the bottom 99% of Ukrainian population which now is the poorest population of Europe.
Ukrainian nationalists now are finding the hard way that bordering with Russia created some problems for their agenda... The good analogy is Canada and the USA.
In a way, incorporation of Western Ukraine into the USSR looks now like Stalin's geopolitical mistake. Now attempts to colonize Eastern Ukraine by Western Ukrainian nationalists will face resistance and it already led to civil war in Donbass.
Things became way too complex and unpredictable in this region. Of course, neocons still are pushing their usual might is right policy, not they might face considerable setbacks in the future. Like they did in Iraq. Which still did not affect much their paychecks.
Notable quotes:
"... Russian warships fired at the Ukrainian vessels and rammed the tug. Three Ukrainian sailors were wounded, and 24 crew taken into custody. Russia's refusal to release the sailors was given by President Trump as the reason for canceling his Putin meeting. Moscow contends that Ukraine deliberately violated the new rules of transit that Kiev had previously observed, to create an incident. ..."
"... For his part, Putin has sought to play the matter down, calling it a "border incident, nothing more." "The incident in the Black Sea was a provocation organized by the authorities and maybe the president himself. (Poroshenko's) rating is falling so he needed to do something." Maxim Eristavi, a fellow at the Atlantic Council, seems to concur: "Poroshenko wants to get a head start in his election campaign. He is playing the card of commander in chief, flying around in military uniform, trying to project that he is in control." ..."
"... Predictably, our interventionists decried Russian "aggression" and demanded we back up our Ukrainian "ally" and send military aid. Why was Poroshenko's ordering of gunboats into the Sea of Azov, while ignoring rules Russia set down for passage, provocative? Because Poroshenko, whose warships had previously transited the strait, had to know the risk that he was taking and that Russia might resist. ..."
"... Why would he provoke the Russians? Because, with his poll numbers sinking badly, Poroshenko realizes that unless he does something dramatic, his party stands little chance in next March's elections. ..."
"... Some Westerners want even more in the way of confronting Putin. Adrian Karatnycky of the Atlantic Council urges us to build up U.S. naval forces in the Black Sea, send anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles to Ukraine, ratchet up sanctions on Russia, threaten to expel her from the SWIFT system of international bank transactions, and pressure Europe to cancel the Russians' Nord Stream 2 and South Stream oil pipelines into Europe. ..."
"... If Ukraine had a right to break free of Russia in 1991, why do not Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk have the right to break free of Kiev? ..."
Nov 30, 2018 | www.unz.com

On departure for the G-20 gathering in Buenos Aires, President Donald Trump canceled his planned weekend meeting with Vladimir Putin, citing as his reason the Russian military's seizure and holding of three Ukrainian ships and 24 sailors.

But was Putin really the provocateur in Sunday's naval clash outside Kerch Strait, the Black Sea gateway to the Sea of Azov?

Or was the provocateur Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko?

First, a bit of history.

In 2014, after the pro-Russian regime in Kiev was ousted in a coup, and a pro-NATO regime installed with U.S. backing, Putin detached and annexed Crimea, for centuries the homeport of Russia's Black Sea fleet.

With the return of Crimea, Russia now occupied both sides of Kerch Strait. And this year, Russia completed a 12-mile bridge over the strait and Putin drove the first truck across.

The Sea of Azov became a virtual Russian lake, access to which was controlled by Russia, just as access to the Black Sea is controlled by Turkey.

While the world refused to recognize the new reality, Russia began to impose rules for ships transiting the strait, including 48 hours notice to get permission.

Ukrainian vessels, including warships, would have to notify Russian authorities before passing beneath the Kerch Strait Bridge into the Sea of Azov to reach their major port of Mariupol.

Sunday, two Ukrainian artillery ships and a tug, which had sailed out of Odessa in western Ukraine, passed through what Russia now regards as its territorial waters off Crimea and the Kerch Peninsula. Destination: Mariupol.

The Ukrainian vessels refused to obey Russian directives to halt.

Russian warships fired at the Ukrainian vessels and rammed the tug. Three Ukrainian sailors were wounded, and 24 crew taken into custody. Russia's refusal to release the sailors was given by President Trump as the reason for canceling his Putin meeting. Moscow contends that Ukraine deliberately violated the new rules of transit that Kiev had previously observed, to create an incident.

For his part, Putin has sought to play the matter down, calling it a "border incident, nothing more." "The incident in the Black Sea was a provocation organized by the authorities and maybe the president himself. (Poroshenko's) rating is falling so he needed to do something." Maxim Eristavi, a fellow at the Atlantic Council, seems to concur: "Poroshenko wants to get a head start in his election campaign. He is playing the card of commander in chief, flying around in military uniform, trying to project that he is in control."

Our U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, however, accused Russia of "outlaw actions" against the Ukrainian vessels and "an arrogant act the international community will never accept."

Predictably, our interventionists decried Russian "aggression" and demanded we back up our Ukrainian "ally" and send military aid. Why was Poroshenko's ordering of gunboats into the Sea of Azov, while ignoring rules Russia set down for passage, provocative? Because Poroshenko, whose warships had previously transited the strait, had to know the risk that he was taking and that Russia might resist.

Why would he provoke the Russians? Because, with his poll numbers sinking badly, Poroshenko realizes that unless he does something dramatic, his party stands little chance in next March's elections.

Immediately after the clash, Poroshenko imposed martial law in all provinces bordering Russia and the Black Sea, declared an invasion might be imminent, demanded new Western sanctions on Moscow, called on the U.S. to stand with him, and began visiting army units in battle fatigues.

Some Westerners want even more in the way of confronting Putin. Adrian Karatnycky of the Atlantic Council urges us to build up U.S. naval forces in the Black Sea, send anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles to Ukraine, ratchet up sanctions on Russia, threaten to expel her from the SWIFT system of international bank transactions, and pressure Europe to cancel the Russians' Nord Stream 2 and South Stream oil pipelines into Europe.

But there is a larger issue here. Why is control of the Kerch Strait any of our business? Why is this our quarrel, to the point that U.S. strategists want us to confront Russia over a Crimean Peninsula that houses the Livadia Palace that was the last summer residence of Czar Nicholas II?

If Ukraine had a right to break free of Russia in 1991, why do not Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk have the right to break free of Kiev?

Why are we letting ourselves be dragged into everyone's quarrels -- from who owns the islets in the South China Sea, to who owns the Senkaku and Southern Kurils; and from whether Transnistria had a right to secede from Moldova, to whether South Ossetia and Abkhazia had the right to break free of Georgia, when Georgia broke free of Russia?

Do the American people care a fig for these places? Are we really willing to risk war with Russia or China over who holds title to them?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

[Nov 29, 2018] Putin On Washington Asking For Russian Help Americans Are Interesting Folks

Nov 29, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Red onyx , 11 months ago

Maaan , Putin is really smart guy...

Maria Kuzali , 11 months ago

He is something else. He has the right answer for everything, and a lots of sense of humer!!!!

Johnny Aingel , 11 months ago (edited)

Asking for help after all the crap they did to Russia unbelievable but...

Dawud Yasin , 11 months ago

I'm British and I trust Putin more than any other leader in the world. He's a good politician and has been at the top longer than any of today's leaders his down to earth approach is something that reaches out to the masses. There's a new sheriff in town and he's Russian...

[Nov 29, 2018] Putin Shocked St. Petersburg Forum Participants with Frankness

Nov 29, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Paul van Dijck , 1 year ago

I am a Dutchman, but when I listen to Wladimir Putin, I can only conclude ANY western politician is a small child compared to him.

Maria Jordan , 1 year ago

Putin is brilliant intellectually and politically! He is strong and independent but not in a proud way, but with a strength coming directly from his heart for his Russia! I am originally Polish and I wish we would have had such a leader in our country. So, many mistakes in our history could have been avoided! Bravo Putin! American leaders look impressive but most of them have a plastic personalities

Susie Gladwell , 1 year ago

I love the forthrightness of President Putin; he is kind in his choice of words, patient as ever and manages to add his wonderful humor. A sheer joy to listen to.

joshron99 , 1 year ago

What an amazing human being is Putin. His command of the issues, their histories, the big picture as well as minute details, his ability to express himself, his steeliness and his humor must impact everyone who meets him and foreign leaders drawn to him who, with this generation of Russians seem to have a "rendezvous with destiny."

joshron99 , 1 year ago

What an amazing human being is Putin. His command of the issues, their histories, the big picture as well as minute details, his ability to express himself, his steeliness and his humor must impact everyone who meets him and foreign leaders drawn to him who, with this generation of Russians seem to have a "rendezvous with destiny."

zpetar , 1 year ago

These days all media is talking is about Russia hacking US elections. Why nobody is talking about NSA hacked Angela Merkel's phone? Maybe because that's old news not worth mentioning any more? Or maybe because its because US is democratic country so it doesn't count. This is quote from The Guardian "Germany has closed its investigation into a report that the US National Security Agency had hacked Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone, a move that appears to be aimed at ending transatlantic friction that threatened intelligence cooperation between the two countries." Who cares about democracy and truth when higher interests are threatened.

Lia Spring , 1 year ago

Putin is a true PEACE MAKER !! May God be with Russia and its PRESIDENT!

ecocivilian , 1 year ago

Putin is just the baddest man on the planet jeez he really rocks like a superstar on stage such a diplomat but deadly like a stinging bee when you dont treat him seriously how can you not like this man

[Nov 28, 2018] Dr. Edward L. Bernays, the "father of public relations", credited with getting women to smoke helping United Fruit overthrow Guatemalan President Arbenz

Nov 28, 2018 | peakoilbarrel.com

Survivalist x Ignored says: 11/22/2018 at 11:11 am

https://m.phys.org/news/2018-11-greenhouse-gas-atmosphere-high.html

With regards to all the smart people deciding to soon do the right thing I highly doubt it.

Hightrekker x Ignored says: 11/22/2018 at 2:06 pm
1891 -- Dr. Edward L. Bernays, lives, Wien, the "father of public relations" credited with getting women to smoke & helping United Fruit overthrow Guatemalan President Arbenz; A lovely piece of humanity: "with Bernays there is no consistency, no character, no integrity, no conscience, no bravery, no truth." A nephew of Sigmund Freud (his sister Anna's son).

Would be perfect for the current 'Potemkin village' .

[Nov 28, 2018] Leaked Transcript Proves Russiagaters Have Been Right All Along (Spoiler Not Really)

Nov 28, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

A transcript of exchanges between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin has been leaked to National News Conglomerate by an anonymous source within the Kremlin . We here at NNC have confirmed the authenticity of this document using the same rigorous verification process we've been using to authenticate the evidence for all our other reporting on Russia's involvement in the 2016 US elections over the last two years. These verification methods include hunches, gut intuitions, and an introspective assessment of the way our feelings feel. The following exchanges revealed in this transcript provide the clearest evidence yet that the President of the United States has been in collusion with the Russian government for years.

This introduction has been authored by the editorial board of the National News Conglomerate. Obey.

11/9/2016

Trump: I have done as you commanded, my dominant and all-powerful lord. I have conspired with your hackers to steal the election, and now I'm going to be president! I want to thank you for not releasing that video footage of those Russian prostitutes I hired to urinate on a bed the Obamas once slept in. If that had come out it would have offended and alienated a lot of people, which is something I never normally do.

Putin: Yes that is an old KGB tactic called kompromat, a word which only extremely intelligent people know about. Keep this line of communication open. As long as you do as I command, your pee pee tape will remain secret.

Trump: One thing I'm curious about though my lord, if you don't mind my asking. If you already had an army of hackers targeting Democratic Party emails, why did you need my help? Couldn't you just have hacked the emails and published them on your own? Why did you need me to interact with them at all?

Putin: Moral support, mainly. We don't need to get into specifics.

Trump: Oh okay.

~

1/20/2017

Trump: I'm in! Whew! I was really worried that leaked dossier would be the end of me! What are my instructions, my lord?

Putin: Begin introducing racism and division to the United States. America has never experienced these things before, and it will shock and disorient them. With the US divided against itself, your nation will be far too weak to stand against my plans of total world domination.

Trump: That's a really tall order! America has always been a harmonious place where everyone gets along up until today. I'll try my best though. Anything else?

Putin: Yes, make them distrust your nation's large media outlets and convince them that the US intelligence community is often dishonest.

Trump: That will be really hard because those institutions have always been trusted for their unparalleled integrity. But your wish is my command, oh lord.

~

4/7/2017

Putin: Bomb a Syrian airbase.

Trump: What? Really? Aren't they, like, your allies?

Putin: Exactly. This will throw inquisitive minds off the scent. We can't have them finding out about that pee tape.

Trump: Are you sure? Some people are saying that chemical attack looks like it could have been perpetrated by the many terrorist factions in Syria and not the government.

Putin: Who cares? Have you seen how relentless they've been in exposing us?? Have you never watched Rachel Maddow? That woman is a psychic bloodhound, masterfully sniffing out the truth at every turn! We can't afford to take chances. Do as I say.

Trump: Yes sir.

Putin: And see if you can arrest that WikiLeaks guy.

6/28/17

Trump: Hey do you want me to do anything about Montenegro's addition to NATO?

Putin: No. NATO expansion is good.

Trump: Uhhh okay.

~

6/28/17

Trump: Who do you want tapped for Ukraine envoy?

Putin: Kurt Volker.

Trump: Volker? He hates you! He's like the biggest Russia hawk ever.

Putin: We still need to throw the Russiagaters off the scent. We're playing 3-D chess here. This is high-level disinformation, or dezinformatsiya as very smart people call it. I want as many Russia hawks in your administration as possible.

Trump: 3-D chess? Alright. I guess you know what you're doing.

~

8/30/17

Putin: Shut down the Russian consulate in San Francisco and throw out a bunch of diplomats. That will confuse the hell out of them.

~

11/21/17

Putin: Now approve the sale of arms to Ukraine. Not even Obama would do that. This will throw them off the trail for sure.

~

1/1/18

Putin: Happy new year. Force RT and Sputnik to register as foreign agents.

~

1/29/18

Putin: Make sure your Nuclear Posture Review greatly escalates its aggressive posture toward Russia.

~

2/14/18

Putin: Happy Valentine's Day. Don't worry about those Russians your guys killed in Syria.

~

2/19/18

Putin: Send a fleet of war ships to the Black Sea.

~

3/25/18

Putin: Better expel a few dozen diplomats over the Skripal thing.

~

4/5/18

Putin: Sanction a bunch of Russian oligarchs.

~

4/10/18

Putin: Bomb Syria.

Trump: What?? Again?

Putin: Yes.

Trump: What the hell, man? Why'd you even recruit me if you're just going to have me do everything all the Russia hawks want?

Putin: Well, you know how I told you we were playing 3-D chess against the Russiagate investigation?

Trump: Yeah?

Putin: Well that wasn't enough. Now we're playing 4-D chess.

Trump: Fine, whatever, I don't care. Just don't release my pee tape.

~

7/17/18

Trump: Oh man. They're really making a major fuss about that summit. What should I do?

Putin: Play it cool. Don't let them know about our secret diabolical plot.

Trump: Right. Remind me what that was again?

Putin: Make Jim Acosta feel really, really sad.

~

9/2/18

Putin: Have you arrested Julian Assange yet?

Trump: Working on it.

~

10/20/18

Putin: I like John Bolton's idea. Pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

~

11/25/18

Putin: Make sure your administration loudly and aggressively backs Ukraine in our Kerch Strait spat.

Trump: OMFG this is getting too weird. Are you just trolling me? What the hell is this?

Trump: Hello?

Trump: Are you there?

Trump: Answer me!

Putin: 5-D chess.

* * *

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

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The little voice inside my head , 18 minutes ago link

Just encountered a Denzel Washington interview from last year, how true it's become, like the Guardian and Wikileaks "story"

Doesn't matter if it's true or not, just be the first , sell it!

DisorderlyConduct , 1 hour ago link

LOL.

...bomb a Syrian airbase...

This is awesome.

francis scott falseflag , 1 hour ago link

Hey, that's where I stopped reading. Did I miss anything?

The little voice inside my head , 13 minutes ago link

Not to sound like a Russian misinformation dude, but I was watching some of Putin's interviews and the dude speaks in common sense terms.

ABC asks Putin about meddling in the elections.

And the one with Megyn Kelly:

Was this interview ever broadcasted in full in the US?

Element , 1 hour ago link

NNC logo?

bfellow , 1 hour ago link

Really Element? Does Keyser have to add a /s at the end to realize he was being sarcastic?

cbxer55 , 1 hour ago link

CNN backwards. LOL!!!!

[Nov 26, 2018] Ten Good Reasons to Hate Putin by Patrick Armstrong

Nov 26, 2018 | russia-insider.com
  1. He's macho. When he takes his photographer along in his "private" moments, it's to show him wrestling tigers, petting leopards, landing large fish, wearing tough guy headgear, hurling people around the judo mat. What do our leaders do in their photographed "private" moments? Golf.
  2. Even the false rumours about him are macho. Affairs with beautiful young women, not pedophilia or secret homosexuality.
  3. He's got a real army. With air defences, fighter planes, modern tanks, tough special forces. So a fun little air campaign won't be possible. Besides, Russia hasn't lost many wars, has it? And they never give up; just ask the Mongols.
  4. Nukes. Russia has them; they work: Bulava , Topol and Sineva . Meanwhile, in the USA not so much.
  5. He's Russian. And Russians are all horrible. Except for Pussy Riot .
  6. He's smarter than our team. Well... doesn't he prove this every day?
  7. You can't bully him. Ditto.
  8. He's not going anywhere. He's staying right there in Russia. And that, for the geographically challenged, is a great big country not very far from anywhere.
  9. And one bonus reason. He knows gold is a better investment than US Treasuries .
  10. And just one more. Russian babes say they like him . Imagine the campaign "Babes for (insert the name of your wearisome leader)". Didn't think you could imagine it without feeling a bit nauseous. Well, OK, there was Obamagirl . But that was fake .

[Nov 26, 2018] Orwell's story is an allegory of modern Western politics and social commentary, where so many essential but inconvenient facts are "silently dropped" from analysis.

Notable quotes:
"... Homage to Catalonia ..."
"... Homage to Catalonia ..."
"... typhlophthalmism ..."
Nov 26, 2018 | www.unz.com

In Homage to Catalonia (1938), his memoir of the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell describes how his wife was rudely woken by a police-raid on the hotel room she was occupying in Barcelona:

In the small hours of the morning there was a pounding on the door, and six men marched in, switched on the light, and immediately took up various positions about the room, obviously agreed upon beforehand. They then searched both rooms (there was a bathroom attached) with inconceivable thoroughness. They sounded the walls, took up the mats, examined the floor, felt the curtains, probed under the bath and the radiator, emptied every drawer and suitcase and felt every garment and held it up to the light. ( Homage to Catalonia , ch. 14)

The police conducted this search "in the recognized OGPU [then the Russian communist secret-police] or Gestapo style for nearly two hours," Orwell says. He then notes that in "all this time they never searched the bed." His wife was still in it, you see, and although the police "were probably Communist Party members they were also Spaniards, and to turn a woman out of bed was a little too much for them. This part of the job was silently dropped, making the whole search meaningless."

Orwell's story suggests a new word to me: typhlophthalmism , meaning "the practice of turning a blind eye to essential but inconvenient facts" (from Greek typhlos , "blind," + ophthalmos , "eye"). But it's a long word, so let's call it typhlism for short. Shorter is better, because the term could be used so often today. Orwell's story is an allegory of modern Western politics and social commentary, where so many essential but inconvenient facts are "silently dropped" from analysis.

[Nov 24, 2018] Anonymous Exposes UK-Led Psyop To Battle Russian Propaganda

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Operating on a budget of £1.9 million (US$2.4 million), the secretive Integrity Initiative consists of "clusters" of local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists and academics. The team is dedicated to searching for and publishing "evidence" of Russian interference in European affairs , while themselves influencing leadership behind the scenes, the documents claim. ..."
"... The Integrity Initiative "clusters" currently operate out of Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, Norway, Lithuania and the netherlands. According to the leak by Anonymous, the Integrity Initiative is working to aggressively expand its sphere of influence throughout eastern Europe, as well as the US, Canada and the MENA region ..."
"... The work done by the Initiative - which claims it is not a government body, is done under "absolute secrecy via concealed contacts embedded throughout British embassies," according to the leak. It does, however, admit to working with unnamed British "government agencies." ..."
Nov 23, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The hacking collective known as "Anonymous" published a trove of documents on November 5 which it claims exposes a UK-based psyop to create a " large-scale information secret service " in Europe in order to combat "Russian propaganda" - which has been blamed for everything from Brexit to US President Trump winning the 2016 US election.

The primary objective of the " Integrity Initiative " - established in 2015 by the Institute for Statecraft - is "to provide a coordinated Western response to Russian disinformation and other elements of hybrid warfare."

And while the notion of Russian disinformation has become the West's favorite new bogeyman to excuse things such as Hillary Clinton's historic loss to Donald Trump, we note that "Anonymous" was called out by WikiLeaks in October 2016 as an FBI cutout, while the report on the Integrity Initiative that Anonymous exposed comes from Russian state-owned network RT - so it's anyone's guess whose 400lb hackers are at work here.

Operating on a budget of £1.9 million (US$2.4 million), the secretive Integrity Initiative consists of "clusters" of local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists and academics. The team is dedicated to searching for and publishing "evidence" of Russian interference in European affairs , while themselves influencing leadership behind the scenes, the documents claim.

The UK establishment appears to be conducting the very activities of which it and its allies have long-accused the Kremlin, with little or no corroborating evidence. The program also aims to "change attitudes in Russia itself" as well as influencing Russian speakers in the EU and North America, one of the leaked documents states. - RT

The Integrity Initiative "clusters" currently operate out of Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, Norway, Lithuania and the netherlands. According to the leak by Anonymous, the Integrity Initiative is working to aggressively expand its sphere of influence throughout eastern Europe, as well as the US, Canada and the MENA region .

The work done by the Initiative - which claims it is not a government body, is done under "absolute secrecy via concealed contacts embedded throughout British embassies," according to the leak. It does, however, admit to working with unnamed British "government agencies."

The initiative has received £168,000 in funding from HQ NATO Public Diplomacy and £250,000 from the US State Department , the documents allege.

Some of its purported members include British MPs and high-profile " independent" journalists with a penchant for anti-Russian sentiment in their collective online oeuvre, as showcased by a brief glance at their Twitter feeds. - RT

Noted examples of "inedependent" anti-Russia journalists:

Spanish "Op"

In one example of the group's activities, a "Moncloa Campaign" was successfully conducted by the group's Spanish cluster to block the appointment of Colonel Pedro Banos as the director of Spain's Department of Homeland Security. It took just seven-and-a-half hours to accomplish, brags the group in the documents .

"The [Spanish] government is preparing to appoint Colonel Banos, known for his pro-Russian and pro-Putin positions in the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts, as Director of the Department of Homeland Security, a key body located at the Moncloa," begins Nacho Torreblanca in a seven-part tweetstorm describing what happened.

Others joined in. Among them – according to the leaks – academic Miguel Ángel Quintana Paz, who wrote that "Mr. Banos is to geopolitics as a homeopath is to medicine." Appointing such a figure would be "a shame." - RT

The operation was reported in Spanish media, while Banos was labeled "pro-Putin" by UK MP Bob Seely.

In short, expect anything counter to predominant "open-border" narratives to be the Kremlin's fault - and not a natural populist reflex to the destruction of borders, language and culture.

[Nov 24, 2018] British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It lists Bellingcat and the Atlantic Council as "partner organisations" ..."
"... "The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation. ... much of the espionage performed on the Trump campaign was conducted on UK soil throughout 2016." ..."
"... "Gregory R. Copley, editor and publisher of Defense & Foreign Affairs, posited that Sergei Skripal is the unnamed Russian intelligence source in the Steele dossier. ... In Skripal's pseudo-country-gentleman retirement, the ex-GRU-MI6 double agent was selling custom-made "Russian intelligence"; he had fabricated "material" that went into the Steele dossier..." ..."
"... this movement in the west by gov'ts to pay for generating lies, hate and propaganda towards russia is really sick... it is perfect for the military industrial complex corporations though and they seem to be calling the shots in the west, much more so then the voice of the ordinary person who is not interested in war ..."
"... Seems to me that this shows the primacy of the City of London, with its offshore network of illicit capital accumulation, within Britain. It is a state within a state or even a financial empire within a state, which, for deep historical reasons isn't subject to the same laws as the rest of the UK. ..."
"... The UK's pathological obsession with Russia only makes sense to me as the city's insistence on continued 90s style appropriation of Russia's wealth ..."
"... British hypocrisy publicly called out. How this all unravels is one to watch. Extra large popcorn and soda for me ..."
"... It seems to me that the UK has far more to lose from doxxing than Russia does. The interference in sovereign allied states to 'manage' who the UK thinks they should appoint does not bode well for such relations ..."
"... A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times and Neil Buckley from the FT." Subcluster. Love it. Just how crap do you have to be to fail to make it to membership of a full cluster of smear merchants? ..."
"... I doubt very seriously that the British launched this operation without the CIA's implicit and explicit support. This has all the markings of a John Brennan operation that has been launched stealthily to prevent anyone from knowing its real origins. ..."
"... The Brits don't act alone, and a project of this magnitude did not begin without Langley's explicit approval. ..."
"... Now check out the wording in the above document: "Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow." Think about that. What would have blocked the flow of USG support for this project?? Why, the allegations of collusion against Trump, of course. Naturally, the Republicans are not going to provide money to an operation that threatens to destroy the head of their own party. So, there has been no bipartisan agreement on funding for anti-Russia propaganda ..."
"... This mob was created in the autumn of 2015, according to their site. That would have been about the time -- probably just after -- the Russians intervened in Syria. The Brits had plans for an invasion of Syria in 2009, according to their fave Guardian fish wrap. ..."
"... Pat Lang posted a report that strongly implies that charges of Russian influence on Trump are a deliberate falsification ..."
"... It seems quite possible that what is alleged as "Russian meddling" is actually CIA-MI6 meddling ..."
"... As I have said before, MAGA is a POLICY RESPONSE to the challenge from Russia and China. The election of a Republican faux populist was necessary and Trump, despite his many flaws, was the best candidate for the job. ..."
"... The Integrity Initiative's goal is to defend democracy against the truth about Russia. All this is so Orwellian. When will we get the Ministry of Love? ..."
"... They shot at an elephant and failed to kill it. So yes, out of the combo of frustration, resentment, and fear they hate the resurgent Russia and prefer Cold War II, and if necessary WWIII, to peaceful co-existence. Of course the usual corporate imperative (in this case weapons profiteering) reinforces the mass psychological pathology among the elites. ..."
"... The ironic thing is that Putin doesn't prefer to challenge the neoliberal globalist "order" at all, but would happily see Russia take a prominent place within it. It's the US and its UK poodle who are insisting on confrontation. ..."
"... Great article! It reminded me of what I read in George Orwell's novella "1984." He summed it all up brilliantly in nine words: "War is Peace"; "Freedom is Slavery"; "Ignorance is Strength." The three pillars of political power. ..."
"... Since UK has always blocked the "European Intelligence" initiative, on the basis of his pertenence to the "Five Eyes", and as UK is leaving the European Union, where it has always been the Troyan Horse of the US, one would think that all these people belonging to the so called "clusters" should register themselves as "foreign agents" working for UK government. ..."
"... William Browder ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns Steveg , Nov 24, 2018 11:43:44 AM | link

In 2015 the government of Britain launched a secret operation to insert anti-Russia propaganda into the western media stream.

We have already seen many consequences of this and similar programs which are designed to smear anyone who does not follow the anti-Russian government lines. The 'Russian collusion' smear campaign against Donald Trump based on the Steele dossier was also a largely British operation but seems to be part of a different project.

The ' Integrity Initiative ' builds 'cluster' or contact groups of trusted journalists, military personal, academics and lobbyists within foreign countries. These people get alerts via social media to take action when the British center perceives a need.

On June 7 it took the the Spanish cluster only a few hours to derail the appointment of Perto Banos as the Director of the National Security Department in Spain. The cluster determined that he had a too positive view of Russia and launched a coordinated social media smear campaign (pdf) against him.


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The Initiative and its operations were unveiled when someone liberated some of its documents, including its budget applications to the British Foreign Office, and posted them under the 'Anonymous' label at cyberguerrilla.org .

The Initiative is nominally run under the (government financed) non-government-organisation The Institute For Statecraft . Its internal handbook (pdf) describes its purpose:

The Integrity Initiative was set up in autumn 2015 by The Institute for Statecraft in cooperation with the Free University of Brussels (VUB) to bring to the attention of politicians, policy-makers, opinion leaders and other interested parties the threat posed by Russia to democratic institutions in the United Kingdom, across Europe and North America.

It lists Bellingcat and the Atlantic Council as "partner organisations" and promises that:

Cluster members will be sent to educational sessions abroad to improve the technical competence of the cluster to deal with disinformation and strengthen bonds in the cluster community. [...] (Events with DFR Digital Sherlocks, Bellingcat, EuVsDisinfo, Buzzfeed, Irex, Detector Media, Stopfake, LT MOD Stratcom – add more names and propose cluster participants as you desire).

The Initiatives Orwellian slogan is 'Defending Democracy Against Disinformation'. It covers European countries, the UK, the U.S. and Canada and seems to want to expand to the Middle East.

On its About page it claims: "We are not a government body but we do work with government departments and agencies who share our aims." The now published budget plans show that more than 95% of the Initiative's funding is coming directly from the British government, NATO and the U.S. State Department. All the 'contact persons' for creating 'clusters' in foreign countries are British embassy officers. It amounts to a foreign influence campaign by the British government that hides behind a 'civil society' NGO.

The organisation is led by one Chris N. Donnelly who receives (pdf) £8,100 per month for creating the smear campaign network.


Chris Donnelly - Pic via Euromaidanpress

From its 2017/18 budget application (pdf) we learn how the Initiative works:

To counter Russian disinformation and malign influence in Europe by: expanding the knowledge base; harnessing existing expertise, and; establishing a network of networks of experts, opinion formers and policy makers, to educate national audiences in the threat and to help build national capacities to counter it .

The Initiative has a black and white view that is based on a "we are the good ones" illusion. When "we" 'educate the public' it is legitimate work. When others do similar, it its disinformation. That is of course not the reality. The Initiative's existence itself, created to secretly manipulate the public, is proof that such a view is wrong.

If its work were as legit as it wants to be seen, why would the Foreign Office run it from behind the curtain as an NGO? The Initiative is not the only such operation. It's applications seek funding from a larger "Russian Language Strategic Communication Programme" run by the Foreign Office.

The 2017/18 budget application sought FCO funding of £480,635. It received £102,000 in co-funding from NATO and the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense. The 2018/19 budget application shows a planned spending (pdf) of £1,961,000.00. The co-sponsors this year are again NATO and the Lithuanian MoD, but also include (pdf) the U.S. State Department with £250,000 and Facebook with £100,000. The budget lays out a strong cooperation with the local military of each country. It notes that NATO is also generous in financing the local clusters.

One of the liberated papers of the Initiative is a talking points memo labeled Top 3 Deliverable for FCO (pdf):

  • Developing and proving the cluster concept and methodology, setting up clusters in a range of countries with different circumstances
  • Making people (in Government, think tanks, military, journalists) see the big picture, making people acknowledge that we are under concerted, deliberate hybrid attack by Russia
  • Increasing the speed of response, mobilising the network to activism in pursuit of the "golden minute"

Under top 1, setting up clusters, a subitem reads:

- Connects media with academia with policy makers with practitioners in a country to impact on policy and society: ( Jelena Milic silencing pro-kremlin voices on Serbian TV )

Defending Democracy by silencing certain voices on public TV seems to be a self-contradicting concept.

Another subitem notes how the Initiative secretly influences foreign governments:

We engage only very discreetly with governments, based entirely on trusted personal contacts, specifically to ensure that they do not come to see our work as a problem, and to try to influence them gently, as befits an independent NGO operation like ours, viz;
- Germany, via the Zentrum Liberale Moderne to the Chancellor's Office and MOD
- Netherlands, via the HCSS to the MOD
- Poland and Romania, at desk level into their MFAs via their NATO Reps
- Spain, via special advisers, into the MOD and PM's office (NB this may change very soon with the new Government)
- Norway, via personal contacts into the MOD
- HQ NATO, via the Policy Planning Unit into the Sec Gen's office.
We have latent contacts into other governments which we will activate as needs be as the clusters develop.

A look at the 'clusters' set up in U.S. and UK shows some prominent names.


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Members of the Atlantic Council, which has a contract to censor Facebook posts , appear on several cluster lists. The UK core cluster also includes some prominent names like tax fraudster William Browder , the daft Atlantic Council shill Ben Nimmo and the neo-conservative Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum. One person of interest is Andrew Wood who handed the Steele 'dirty dossier' to Senator John McCain to smear Donald Trump over alleged relations with Russia. A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times, Neil Buckley from the FT and Jonathan Marcus of the BBC.


bigger - bigger

A ' Cluster Roundup ' (pdf) from July 2018 details its activities in at least 35 countries. Another file reveals (pdf) the local partnering institutions and individuals involved in the programs.

The Initiatives Guide to Countering Russian Information (pdf) is a rather funny read. It lists the downing of flight MH 17 by a Ukranian BUK missile, the fake chemical incident in Khan Sheikhoun and the Skripal Affair as examples for "Russian disinformation". But at least two of these events, Khan Sheikun via the UK run White Helmets and the Skripal affair, are evidently products of British intelligence disinformation operations.

The probably most interesting papers of the whole stash is the 'Project Plan' laid out at pages 7-40 of the 2018 budget application v2 (pdf). Under 'Sustainability' it notes:

The programme is proposed to run until at least March 2019, to ensure that the clusters established in each country have sufficient time to take root, find funding, and demonstrate their effectiveness. FCO funding for Phase 2 will enable the activities to be expanded in scale, reach and scope. As clusters have established themselves, they have begun to access local sources of funding. But this is a slow process and harder in some countries than others. HQ NATO PDD [Public Diplomacy Division] has proved a reliable source of funding for national clusters. The ATA [Atlantic Treaty Association] promises to be the same, giving access to other pots of money within NATO and member nations. Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow.

The programme has begun to create a critical mass of individuals from a cross society (think tanks, academia, politics, the media, government and the military) whose work is proving to be mutually reinforcing . Creating the network of networks has given each national group local coherence, credibility and reach, as well as good international access. Together, these conditions, plus the growing awareness within governments of the need for this work, should guarantee the continuity of the work under various auspices and in various forms.

The third part of the budget application (pdf) list the various activities, their output and outcome. The budget plan includes a section that describes 'Risks' to the initiative. These include hacking of the Initiatives IT as well as:

Adverse publicity generated by Russia or by supporters of Russia in target countries, or by political and interest groups affected by the work of the programme, aimed at discrediting the programme or its participants, or to create political embarrassment.

We hope that this piece contributes to such embarrassment.

Posted by b on November 24, 2018 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

Comments Perfidious ALbion!

When will we learn?


pretzelattack , Nov 24, 2018 11:44:00 AM | link

Coincidentally, or not, i just saw this article at the guardian; https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/23/robert-mueller-profile-donald-trump-russia-investigation.
Anya , Nov 24, 2018 11:57:00 AM | link
The British government has been running a serious meddling into the US affairs:
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-23/mi6-scrambling-stop-trump-releasing-classified-docs-russia-probe

"The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation. ... much of the espionage performed on the Trump campaign was conducted on UK soil throughout 2016."

A Steele & Skrupal's anti-Russian / anti-Trump saga: https://spectator.org/big-dots-do-they-connect/

"Gregory R. Copley, editor and publisher of Defense & Foreign Affairs, posited that Sergei Skripal is the unnamed Russian intelligence source in the Steele dossier. ... In Skripal's pseudo-country-gentleman retirement, the ex-GRU-MI6 double agent was selling custom-made "Russian intelligence"; he had fabricated "material" that went into the Steele dossier..."

For M16 to expose this level of stupidity is stunning.

james , Nov 24, 2018 11:58:02 AM | link
thanks b....

this movement in the west by gov'ts to pay for generating lies, hate and propaganda towards russia is really sick... it is perfect for the military industrial complex corporations though and they seem to be calling the shots in the west, much more so then the voice of the ordinary person who is not interested in war.. i guess the idea is to get the ordinary people to think in terms of hating another country based on lies and that this would be a good thing... it is very sad what uk / usa leadership in the past century has come down to here.... i can only hope that info releases like this will hasten it's demise...

Ingrian , Nov 24, 2018 12:03:55 PM | link
Seems to me that this shows the primacy of the City of London, with its offshore network of illicit capital accumulation, within Britain. It is a state within a state or even a financial empire within a state, which, for deep historical reasons isn't subject to the same laws as the rest of the UK.

The UK's pathological obsession with Russia only makes sense to me as the city's insistence on continued 90s style appropriation of Russia's wealth

james , Nov 24, 2018 12:15:31 PM | link
@6 ingrian... things didn't go as planned for the expropriation of Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.. it seems the west is still hurting from not being able to exploit Russia fully, as they'd intended...
et Al , Nov 24, 2018 12:20:09 PM | link

Let the Doxx wars begin! Sure, Anonymous is not Russian but it will surely now be targeted and smeared as such which would show that it has hit a nerve. British hypocrisy publicly called out. How this all unravels is one to watch. Extra large popcorn and soda for me.

I think we've all noticed the euro-asslantic press (and friends) on behalf of, willingly and in cooperation with the British intelligence et al 'calling out' numerous Russians as G(R)U/spies/whatever for a while now yet providing less than a shred of credible evidence.

It seems to me that the UK has far more to lose from doxxing than Russia does. The interference in sovereign allied states to 'manage' who the UK thinks they should appoint does not bode well for such relations.

Meanwhile in Brussels they are having their cake and eating it, i.e. bemoaning Europe's 'weak response' to Russian propaganda:

https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/experts-lament-underfunding-of-eu-task-force-countering-russian-disinformation/

BTW, did anyone read Wired UK's current advertorial (nov 14) by Carl Miller for Brigade 77?

Forthestate , Nov 24, 2018 12:26:09 PM | link
"A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times and Neil Buckley from the FT." Subcluster. Love it. Just how crap do you have to be to fail to make it to membership of a full cluster of smear merchants?
worldblee , Nov 24, 2018 12:33:05 PM | link
Yet another example of the pot calling the kettle black when in fact the kettle may not be black at all; it's just the pot making up things. "These Russian criminals are using propaganda to show (truths) like the fact the DNC and Clinton campaigns colluded to prevent Sanders from being nominated, so we need to establish a clandestine propaganda network to establish that the Russians are running propaganda!"
psychohistorian , Nov 24, 2018 12:34:32 PM | link

....full cluster of smear merchants". May all the clusters of smear merchants be exposed to the public as the acolytes of evil they are.

plantman , Nov 24, 2018 12:36:48 PM | link
"In 2015 the government of Britain launched a secret operation to insert anti-Russia propaganda into the western media stream."

I doubt very seriously that the British launched this operation without the CIA's implicit and explicit support. This has all the markings of a John Brennan operation that has been launched stealthily to prevent anyone from knowing its real origins.

The Brits don't act alone, and a project of this magnitude did not begin without Langley's explicit approval.

Now check out the wording in the above document: "Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow." Think about that. What would have blocked the flow of USG support for this project?? Why, the allegations of collusion against Trump, of course. Naturally, the Republicans are not going to provide money to an operation that threatens to destroy the head of their own party. So, there has been no bipartisan agreement on funding for anti-Russia propaganda

BUT...the author assures us that the "deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow" Huh?? In other words, the fix is in. Mueller will pardon Trump on collusion charges but the propaganda campaign against Russia will continue...with the full support of both parties. I could be wrong, but that's how I see it...

m , Nov 24, 2018 12:40:07 PM | link
This mob was created in the autumn of 2015, according to their site. That would have been about the time -- probably just after -- the Russians intervened in Syria. The Brits had plans for an invasion of Syria in 2009, according to their fave Guardian fish wrap.

A lot of sour grapes with this so-called 'integrity initiative', IMO. BP was behind a lot of this, I would also think. When Assad pulled the plug on the pipeline through the Levant in 2009, the Brits hacked up a fur ball. It's gone downhill for them ever since. Couldn't happen to a nicer lot. If you can't invade or beat them with proxies, you can at least call them names.

Jackrabbit , Nov 24, 2018 12:40:58 PM | link
Anya

Pat Lang posted a report that strongly implies that charges of Russian influence on Trump are a deliberate falsification: THE CHIMERA OF DONALD TRUMP, RUSSIAN MONEY LAUNDERER :

If Trump was taking dirty money or engaged in criminal activity with Russians then he was doing it with Felix Sater, who was under the control of the FBI... And who was in charge of the FBI during all of the time that Sater was a signed up FBI snitch? You got it -- Robert Mueller (2001 thru 2013) ...

It seems quite possible that what is alleged as "Russian meddling" is actually CIA-MI6 meddling, including:

Steele dossier: To create suspicion in government, media, and later the public

Leaking of DNC emails to Wikileaks (but calling it a "hack"): To help with election of Trump and link Wikileaks (as agent) to Russian election meddling

Cambridge Analytica: To provide necessary reasoning for Trump's (certain) win of the electoral college.

Note: We later found that dozens of firms had undue access to Facebook data. Why did the campaign turn to a British firm instead of an American firm? Well, it had to be a British firm if MI6 was running the (supposed) Facebook targeting for CIA.

As I have said before, MAGA is a POLICY RESPONSE to the challenge from Russia and China. The election of a Republican faux populist was necessary and Trump, despite his many flaws, was the best candidate for the job.
Cyril , Nov 24, 2018 1:10:13 PM | link
The Integrity Initiative's goal is to defend democracy against the truth about Russia. All this is so Orwellian. When will we get the Ministry of Love?
Russ , Nov 24, 2018 1:16:21 PM | link
Posted by: james | Nov 24, 2018 12:15:31 PM | 7

"things didn't go as planned for the expropriation of russia after the fall of the soviet union.. it seems the west is still hurting from not being able to exploit russia fully, as they'd intended..."

They shot at an elephant and failed to kill it. So yes, out of the combo of frustration, resentment, and fear they hate the resurgent Russia and prefer Cold War II, and if necessary WWIII, to peaceful co-existence. Of course the usual corporate imperative (in this case weapons profiteering) reinforces the mass psychological pathology among the elites.

The ironic thing is that Putin doesn't prefer to challenge the neoliberal globalist "order" at all, but would happily see Russia take a prominent place within it. It's the US and its UK poodle who are insisting on confrontation.

GeorgeV , Nov 24, 2018 1:34:08 PM | link
Great article! It reminded me of what I read in George Orwell's novella "1984." He summed it all up brilliantly in nine words: "War is Peace"; "Freedom is Slavery"; "Ignorance is Strength." The three pillars of political power.
Sasha , Nov 24, 2018 1:38:39 PM | link
Since UK has always blocked the "European Intelligence" initiative, on the basis of his pertenence to the "Five Eyes", and as UK is leaving the European Union, where it has always been the Troyan Horse of the US, one would think that all these people belonging to the so called "clusters" should register themselves as "foreign agents" working for UK government...and in this context, new empowerished sovereign governemts into the EU should consider the possibility expelling these traitors as spies of the UK....

http://www.voltairenet.org/article204051.html

Some of the "clusters" unmasked here....some, like Ignacio Torreblanca in Spain, are related to the CFR....

https://www.rt.com/news/444737-uk-funded-campaign-russia-leaks/

Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 2:12:45 PM | link
Country list of agents of influence according to the leak:
Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 2:13:28 PM | link
cresty , Nov 24, 2018 2:18:30 PM | link
Thank you very much for going through all the files, b. Will share far and wide

[Nov 24, 2018] The Iran Obsession and 'Useful Fictions'

Notable quotes:
"... Trump doesn't understand too f***ing much about the Middle East. And what's with the ridiculous assumptions that 1) Iran is "rising", or, even assuming that were true, that it needs to be "countered"? If the Saudis and Israelis want to fight Iran, go ahead. Let them knock themselves out. They're welcome to fight Iran without any US support whatsoever for, say, seventeen years. Like Israel and Saudi Arabia watched us fight all over the Middle East for seventeen years without lifting a finger to help. ..."
"... "Doran and Badran" The NY Times never gives up, does it? We'll never get from A to B, never end these terrible messes in the Middle East, until people like this are hounded out of the public square. ..."
"... What is the NY Times thinking, publishing a piece by a discredited academic, author of one of the most smugly stupid and wrong pieces ever written about the Middle East, and his co-author, a murky sort of "research fellow" employed by a well-known Israeli propaganda outlet? ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Mike Doran and Tony Badran offer up a predictable rationalization of the president's piece of pro-Saudi propaganda :

But Mr. Trump understands the centrality of Riyadh in the effort to counter a rising Iran and he is rightly unwilling to allow the murder of Mr. Khashoggi to imperil that strategy.

To call Trump's Iran obsession a "strategy" is already far too generous, but this does sum up the ends-justify-the-means reasoning behind the administration's indefensible embrace of the Saudis and their allies throughout the region. Trump shrugs every off Saudi crime and blunder because it supposedly serves a greater goal of combating Iran, and yet each time the U.S. looks the other way or assists the Saudis in their wrongdoing (as we continue to do in Yemen) it makes things easier for Iran's government. The Khashoggi murder by itself is an awful crime in itself, but it is because it forms part of a pattern of reckless, monstrous behavior on the part of the Saudi government that it has had such a powerful effect on the way many people in the U.S. and the West view the Saudi government and the crown prince in particular. It is that pattern of behavior that proves how useless the Saudis have become to "the effort to counter a rising Iran," and it makes the administration's continued support for the kingdom and for Mohammed bin Salman seem even more obnoxious than it already would.

Yemen receives only one mention in Doran and Badran's piece, and they have nothing to say about the president's lies about the war or the Saudi coalition's responsibility for creating famine conditions throughout much of the country. Only professional Iran hawks are foolish enough to buy into the idea that Yemen could become a "base" for Iran, and that is the only time they see fit to mention the world's worst humanitarian crisis created by the Saudi coalition with U.S. support. The president's statement was especially destructive because it confirmed that the administration won't be putting much pressure on the Saudis to end the war, and Trump's lie that the Saudis would "gladly withdraw" from Yemen will help make it easier for them to keep fighting. The authors assert that presidents "routinely advance useful fictions," but the only interests served by the fiction that Iran is responsible for the war on Yemen are those of the Saudi and Emirati governments and their hirelings here in the U.S. It isn't "useful" for ending the war in Yemen to lie about who started it, and covering for the Saudis and Emiratis isn't "useful" for combating what could end up being one of the worst modern famines. Lying about the causes of the war on Yemen is useful only to those that want the war to continue at the expense of millions of innocent lives.


TheSnark November 23, 2018 at 11:16 am

To summarize Mr Larison's article: we are supporting Saudi Arabia (a brutal, incompetent medieval dictatorship that spreads terrorism around the globe) in order to counter Iran (a brutal, semi-competent, medieval semi-dictatorship that spread terrorism around the globe).

On that analysis, if we have to support anyone, Iran seems to be a better bet. At least they are not incompetent.

SDS , says: November 23, 2018 at 2:25 pm
..just asking ..how many Americans have been killed by Iranian terrorists in the last 20 years?
John Mann , says: November 23, 2018 at 6:47 pm
Never mind the number of Americans killed by Iranian terrorists (or Iranian sponsored terrorists) in the last 20 years.

How about taking the number of women and children from any nation killed by Iranian and Iranian sponsored terrorists in the past 20 years, and then comparing that with the number of women and children killed by the American military, and American assisted and sponsored groups in the Middle East over the past 20 years? When you add together Iraq, Yemen, and Syria, the U.S. is responsible for tens of thousands of dead women and children.

By comparison with Bush, Obama, and Trump, a guy like Rouhani looks like a credible candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Wanted: US Soldiers To Defend America's Own Borders , says: November 23, 2018 at 9:38 pm
"Mike Doran and Tony Badran [say] "Mr. Trump understands the centrality of Riyadh in the effort to counter a rising Iran "

Trump doesn't understand too f***ing much about the Middle East. And what's with the ridiculous assumptions that 1) Iran is "rising", or, even assuming that were true, that it needs to be "countered"? If the Saudis and Israelis want to fight Iran, go ahead. Let them knock themselves out. They're welcome to fight Iran without any US support whatsoever for, say, seventeen years. Like Israel and Saudi Arabia watched us fight all over the Middle East for seventeen years without lifting a finger to help.

Metatarsalist , says: November 23, 2018 at 11:20 pm
"Doran and Badran" The NY Times never gives up, does it? We'll never get from A to B, never end these terrible messes in the Middle East, until people like this are hounded out of the public square.

What is the NY Times thinking, publishing a piece by a discredited academic, author of one of the most smugly stupid and wrong pieces ever written about the Middle East, and his co-author, a murky sort of "research fellow" employed by a well-known Israeli propaganda outlet?

[Nov 24, 2018] When you are paid a lot of money to come up with plots psyops, you tend to come up with plots for psyops . The word entrapment comes to mind. Probably self-serving also.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... When you are paid a lot of money to come up with plots "psyops", you tend to come up with plots for "psyops". The word "entrapment" comes to mind. Probably "self-serving" also. ..."
"... Anti-Russian is just a code word for Globalist, Internationalist. ..."
"... This is such BS. Since when does Russia have the resources to pull all this off? They have such a complex program that they need the coordinated efforts of all the resources of the WEST? This is nuts. ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

HowdyDoody , 7 hours ago link

One of the documents lists a series of propaganda weapons to be used against Russia. One is use of the church as a weapon. That has already been started in Ukraine with Poroshenko buying off regligious leader to split Ukraine Orthodoxy from Russian Orthodoxy. It also explicitly states that the Skripal incident is a 'Dirty Trick' against Russia.

activisor , 10 hours ago link

The British political system is on the verge of collapse. BREXIT has finally demonstrated that the Government/ Opposition parties are clearly aligned against the interests of the people. The EU is nothing more than an arm of the Globalist agenda of world domination.

The US has shown its true colours - sanctioning every country that stands for independent sovereignty is not a good foreign policy, and is destined to turn the tide of public opinion firmly against global hegemony, endless wars, and wealth inequity.

The old Empire is in its death throes. A new paradigm awaits which will exclude all those who have exploited the many, in order to sit at the top of the pyramid. They cannot escape Karma.

smacker , 11 hours ago link

The Western world needs to come to terms with the collapse of the Soviet Union and its aftermath. Today, Russia is led by Putin and he obviously has objectives as any national leader has.

Western "leaders" need to decide whether Putin:

  1. Is trying to create Soviet Union 2.0, to have a 2nd attempt at ruling the world thru communism and to do this by holding the world to ransom over oil/gas supplies. OR
  2. Is wanting Russia to become a member of the family of nations and of a multi-polar world to improve the lives of Russian people, but is being blocked at every twist and turn by manufactured events like Russia-gate and the Skripal affair and now this latest revelation of anti-Russian propaganda campaigns being coordinated and run out of London.

Both of the above cannot be true because there are too many contradictions. Which is it??

Lokiban , 13 hours ago link

Yes because imagine that that we lived in 1940 without any means to inform ourselves and that media was still in control over the information that reaches us. We would already be in a fullblown war with Russia because of it but now with the Internet and information going around freely only a whimpy 10% of we the people stand behind their desperately wanted war. Imagine that, an informed sheople.
Can't have that, they cannot do their usual stuff anymore.... good riddance.

LOL123 , 14 hours ago link

"250,000 from the US State Department , the documents allege."....... Interesting.

"During the third Democratic debate on Saturday night, Hillary Clinton called for a "Manhattan-like project" to break encrypted terrorist communications. The project would "bring the government and the tech communities together" to find a way to give law enforcement access to encrypted messages, she said. It's something that some politicians and intelligence officials have wanted for awhile,"........

***wasn't the Manhatten project a secret venture?????? Hummmmm"

Hillary Clinton has all of our encryption keys, including the FBI's . "Encryption keys" is a general reference to several encryption functions hijacked by Hillary and her surrogate ENTRUST. They include hash functions (used to indicate whether the contents have been altered in transit), PKI public/private key infrastructure, SSL (secure socket layer), TLS (transport layer security), the Dual_EC_DRBG NSA algorithm and certificate authorities.

The convoluted structure managed by the "Federal Common Policy" group has ceded to companies like ENTRUST INC the ability to sublicense their authority to third parties who in turn manage entire other networks in a Gordian knot of relationships clearly designed to fool the public to hide their devilish criminality. All roads lead back to Hillary and the Rose Law Firm."- patriots4truth

artistant , 14 hours ago link

But, but some people keep getting away with it.

hooligan2009 , 15 hours ago link

When you are paid a lot of money to come up with plots "psyops", you tend to come up with plots for "psyops". The word "entrapment" comes to mind. Probably "self-serving" also.

larryriedel , 15 hours ago link

FBI/Anonymous can use this story to support a narrative that social media bots posting memes is a problem for everybody, and it's not a partisan issue. The idea is that fake news and unrestricted social media are inherently dangerous, and both the West and Russia are exploiting that, so governments need to agree to restrict the ability to use those platforms for political speech, especially without using True Names.

Baron Samedi , 15 hours ago link

Oilygawkies in the UK and USSA seem to be letting their spooks have a good-humored (rating here on the absurd transparency of these ops) contest to see who can come up with the most surreal propaganda psy-ops.

But they probably also serve as LHO distractions from something genuinely sleazy.

headless blogger , 15 hours ago link

Anti-Russian is just a code word for Globalist, Internationalist. Anything that is remotely like Nationalism is the true enemy of these Globalist/Internationalists, which is what the Top-Ape Bolshevik promoted: see Vladimir Lenin and his quotes on how he believed fully in "internationalism" for a world without borders. Ironic how they Love the butchers of the Soviet Union but hate Russia. It is ALL ABOUT IDEOLOGY to these people and "the means justify the ends".

They are frightening people.

Push , 15 hours ago link

Basically, if one acquires factual information from an internet source, which leads to overturning the propaganda to which we're all subjected, then it MUST have come from Putin. This is the direction they're headed. Anyone speaking out against the official story is obviously a Russian spy.

Xena fobe , 15 hours ago link

"Instutute for Statecraft"? Seriously?

OverTheHedge , 11 hours ago link

"Substitute for Statecraft"

Fify ;-)

koan , 16 hours ago link

The UK is waging psyop against their own people using the Russians as an excuse to further oppress the population, especially the white population.

FIFY.

East Indian , 16 hours ago link

Never thought Putin would be the symbol of free speech! The totalitarian EU and Deep State can come out of closet and denounce their predecessors.

brewing_it , 17 hours ago link

If you call ******** on the whole Russia cyberscare, you will be labeled a puppet of Putin.

The establishment is afraid of free thinking men and women that can call ******** when they see and hear it.

AriusArmenian , 17 hours ago link

Better to call it the Anti-Integrity Initiative. UK cretins up to their usual dirty tricks - let them choke on their poison. The judgement of history will eventually catch up with them.

Mike Rotsch , 17 hours ago link

A good 'ole economic collapse will give western countries a chance to purge their crazy leaders before they involve us all in a thermonuclear war. Short everything with your entire accounts.

RealistDuJour , 17 hours ago link

This is such BS. Since when does Russia have the resources to pull all this off? They have such a complex program that they need the coordinated efforts of all the resources of the WEST? This is nuts.

Isn't it just as likely someone in the WEST planted this cache, intending Anonymous to find it?

HRClinton , 18 hours ago link

When two sides fight - especially white v white - the hidden 3rd party (((instigator))) wins.

How dumb and mallaleable can these goys be? Pretty dumb and mallaleable, it seems.

J S Bach , 18 hours ago link

Any propaganda coming from the UK or US is strictly zionist. EVERYTHING they put out is to the benefit of Israel and the "lobby". Russia isn't perfect, but if they're an enemy of the latter, then they should NOT be considered a foe to all thinking and conscientious people.

OverTheHedge , 11 hours ago link

Yesterday, the BBC had a thing on Thai workers in Israel, and how they keep dying of accidents, their general level of slavery etc. Very odd to have a negative Israel story, so I wonder who upset whom, and what the ongoing status will be.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-middle-east-46311922/thai-labourers-in-israel-tell-of-harrowing-conditions

Thai labourers in Israel tell of harrowing conditions

A year-long BBC investigation has discovered widespread abuse of Thai nationals living and working in Israel - under a scheme organized by the two governments.

Many are subjected to unsafe working practices and squalid, unsanitary living conditions. Some are overworked, others underpaid and there are dozens of unexplained deaths.

Herdee , 18 hours ago link

England and the U.S. don't like their very poor and rotten social conditions put out for the public to see. Both countries have severely deteriorating problems on their streets because of bankrupt governments printing money for foreign wars.

Quadruple_Rainbow , 18 hours ago link

More of the same fraudulent duality while alleged so called but not money etc continues to flow (everything is criminal) and the cesspool of a hierarchy pretends it's business as usual.

This isn't about maintaining balance in a lie this is about disclosing the truth and agendas (Agenda 21 now Agenda 2030 = The New Age Religion is Never Going To Be Saturnism). The layers of the hierarchy are a lie so unless the alleged so called leaders of those layers are publicly providing testimony and confession then everything that is being spoon fed to the pablum puking public through all sources is a lie.

Herdee , 18 hours ago link

They're afraid of stories like this: https://www.rt.com/news/444737-uk-funded-campaign-russia-leaks/

HRClinton , 17 hours ago link

Operating on a budget of £1.9 million (US$2.4 million), the secretive Integrity Initiative consists of "clusters" of (((local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists and academics))).

The (((team))) is dedicated to searching for and publishing "evidence" of Russian interference in European affairs, while themselves influencing leadership behind the scenes, the documents claim.

gatorengineer , 18 hours ago link

Do Neocons get time and half for Overtime, they sure have been putting in a bunch lately.

[Nov 16, 2018] The Meaning Of A Multipolar World

Nov 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The Meaning Of A Multipolar World

by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/16/2018 - 00:05 4 SHARES Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Saker Blog,

Right now, we live in a monopolar world.

Here is how U.S. President Barack Obama proudly, even imperially, described it when delivering the Commencement address to America's future generals, at West Point Military Academy, on 28 May 2014 :

The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation . [Every other nation is therefore 'dispensable'; we therefore now have "Amerika, Amerika über alles, über alles in der Welt".] That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. America must always lead on the world stage. If we don't, no one else will...

Russia's aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China's economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us. [He was here telling these future U.S. military leaders that they are to fight for the U.S. aristocracy, to help them defeat any nation that resists.] ...

In Ukraine, Russia's recent actions recall the days when Soviet tanks rolled into Eastern Europe. But this isn't the Cold War. Our ability to shape world opinion helped isolate Russia right away. [He was proud of the U.S. Government's effectiveness at propaganda, just as Hitler was proud of the German Government's propaganda-effectiveness under Joseph Goebbels.] Because of American leadership, the world immediately condemned Russian actions; Europe and the G7 joined us to impose sanctions; NATO reinforced our commitment to Eastern European allies; the IMF is helping to stabilize Ukraine's economy; OSCE monitors brought the eyes of the world to unstable parts of Ukraine.

Actually, his - Obama's - regime, had conquered Ukraine in February 2014 by a very bloody coup , and installed a racist-fascist anti-Russian Government there next door to Russia, a stooge-regime to this day, which instituted a racial-cleansing campaign to eliminate enough pro-Russia voters so as to be able to hold onto power there. It has destroyed Ukraine and so alienated the regions of Ukraine that had voted more than 75% for the democratically elected Ukrainian President whom Obama overthrew, so that those pro-Russia regions quit Ukraine. What remains of Ukraine after the U.S. conquest is a nazi mess and a destroyed nation in hock to Western taxpayers and banks .

Furthermore, Obama insisted upon (to use Bush's term about Saddam Hussein) "regime-change" in Syria. Twice in one day the Secretary General of the U.N. asserted that only the Syrian people have any right to do that, no outside nation has any right to impose it. Obama ignored him and kept on trying. Obama actually protected Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate against bombing by Syria's Government and by Syria's ally Russia, while the U.S. bombed Syria's army , which was trying to prevent those jihadists from overthrowing the Government. Obama bombed Libya in order to "regime-change" Muammar Gaddafi, and he bombed Syria in order to "regime-change" Bashar al-Assad; and, so, while the "U.S. Drops Bombs; EU Gets Refugees & Blame. This Is Insane." And Obama's successor Trump continues Obama's policies in this regard. And, of course, the U.S. and its ally UK invaded Iraq in 2003, likewise on the basis of lies to the effect that Iraq was the aggressor . (Even Germany called Poland the aggressor when invading Poland in 1939.)

No other nation regularly invades other nations that never had invaded it. This is international aggression. It is the international crime of "War of Aggression" ; and the only nations which do it nowadays are America and its allies, such as the Sauds, Israel, France, and UK, which often join in America's aggressions (or, in the case of the Sauds' invasion of Yemen, the ally initiates an invasion, which the U.S. then joins). America's generals are taught this aggression, and not only by Obama. Ever since at least George W. Bush, it has been solid U.S. policy. (Bush even kicked out the U.N.'s weapons-inspectors, so as to bomb Iraq in 2003.)

In other words: a mono-polar world is a world in which one nation stands above international law, and that nation's participation in an invasion immunizes also each of its allies who join in the invasion, protecting it too from prosecution, so that a mono-polar world is one in which the United Nations can't even possibly impose international law impartially, but can impose it only against nations that aren't allied with the mono-polar power, which in this case is the United States. Furthermore, because the U.S. regime reigns supreme over the entire world, as it does, any nations -- such as Russia, China, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Ecuador -- that the U.S. regime (which has itself been scientifically proven to be a dictatorship ) chooses to treat as an enemy, is especially disadvantaged internationally. Russia and China, however, are among the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and therefore possess a degree of international protection that America's other chosen enemies do not. And the people who choose which nations to identify as America's 'enemies' are America's super-rich and not the entire American population, because the U.S. Government is controlled by the super-rich and not by the public .

So, that's the existing mono-polar world: it is a world that's controlled by one nation, and this one nation is, in turn, controlled by its aristocracy, its super-rich .

If one of the five permanent members of the Security Council would table at the U.N. a proposal to eliminate the immunity that the U.S. regime has, from investigation and prosecution for any future War of Aggression that it might perpetrate, then, of course, the U.S. and any of its allies on the Security Council would veto that, but if the proposing nation would then constantly call to the international public's attention that the U.S. and its allies had blocked passage of such a crucially needed "procedure to amend the UN charter" , and that this fact means that the U.S. and its allies constitute fascist regimes as was understood and applied against Germany's fascist regime, at the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1945, then possibly some members of the U.S.-led gang (the NATO portion of it, at least) would quit that gang, and the U.S. global dictatorship might end, so that there would then become a multi-polar world, in which democracy could actually thrive.

Democracy can only shrivel in a mono-polar world, because all other nations then are simply vassal nations, which accept Obama's often-repeated dictum that all other nations are "dispensable" and that only the U.S. is not. Even the UK would actually gain in freedom, and in democracy, by breaking away from the U.S., because it would no longer be under the U.S. thumb -- the thumb of the global aggressor-nation.

Only one global poll has ever been taken of the question "Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?" and it found that, overwhelmingly, by a three-to-one ratio above the second-most-often named country, the United States was identified as being precisely that, the top threat to world-peace . But then, a few years later, another (though less-comprehensive) poll was taken on a similar question, and it produced similar results . Apparently, despite the effectiveness of America's propagandists, people in other lands recognize quite well that today's America is a more successful and longer-reigning version of Hitler's Germany. Although modern America's propaganda-operation is far more sophisticated than Nazi Germany's was, it's not entirely successful. America's invasions are now too common, all based on lies, just like Hitler's were.

On November 9th, Russian Television headlined "'Very insulting': Trump bashes Macron's idea of European army for protection from Russia, China & US" and reported that "US President Donald Trump has unloaded on his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, calling the French president's idea of a 'real European army,' independent from Washington, an insult." On the one hand, Trump constantly criticizes France and other European nations for allegedly not paying enough for America's NATO military alliance, but he now is denigrating France for proposing to other NATO members a decreasing reliance upon NATO, and increasing reliance, instead, upon the Permanent Structured Cooperation (or PESCO) European military alliance , which was begun on 11 December 2017, and which currently has "25 EU Member States participating: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden." Those are the European nations that are now on the path to eventually quitting NATO.

Once NATO is ended, the U.S. regime will find far more difficult any invasions such as of Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, Syria 2012-, Yemen 2016-, and maybe even such as America's bloody coup that overthrew the democratically elected Government of Ukraine and installed a racist-fascist or nazi anti-Russian regime there in 2014 . All of these U.S. invasions (and coup) brought to Europe millions of refugees and enormously increased burdens upon European taxpayers. Plus, America's economic sanctions against both Russia and Iran have hurt European companies (and the U.S. does almost no business with either country, so is immune to that, also). Consequently, today's America is clearly Europe's actual main enemy. The continuation of NATO is actually toxic to the peoples of Europe. Communism and the Soviet Union and its NATO-mirroring Warsaw Pact military alliance, all ended peacefully in 1991, but the U.S. regime has secretly continued the Cold War, now against Russia , and is increasingly focusing its "regime-change" propaganda against Russia's popular democratic leader, Vladimir Putin, even though this U.S. aggression against Russia could mean a world-annihilating nuclear war.

On November 11th, RT bannered "'Good for multipolar world': Putin positive on Macron's 'European army' plan bashed by Trump (VIDEO)" , and opened:

Europe's desire to create its own army and stop relying on Washington for defense is not only understandable, but would be "positive" for the multipolar world, Vladimir Putin said days after Donald Trump ripped into it.

" Europe is a powerful economic union and it is only natural that they want to be independent and sovereign in the field of defense and security," Putin told RT in Paris where world leader gathered to mark the centenary of the end of WWI.

He also described the potential creation of a European army "a positive process," adding that it would "strengthen the multipolar world." The Russian leader even expressed his support to French President Emmanuel Macron, who recently championed this idea by saying that Russia's stance on the issue "is aligned with that of France" to some extent.

Macron recently revived the ambitious plans of creating a combined EU military force by saying that it is essential for the security of Europe. He also said that the EU must become independent from its key ally on the other side of the Atlantic, provoking an angry reaction from Washington.

Once NATO has shrunk to include only the pro-aggression and outright nazi European nations, such as Ukraine (after the U.S. gang accepts Ukraine into NATO, as it almost certainly then would do), the EU will have a degree of freedom and of democracy that it can only dream of today, and there will then be a multi-polar world, in which the leaders of the U.S. will no longer enjoy the type of immunity from investigation and possible prosecution, for their invasions, that they do today. The result of this will, however, be catastrophic for the top 100 U.S. 'defense' contractors , such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Raytheon, because then all of those firms' foreign sales except to the Sauds, Israel and a few other feudal and fascist regimes, will greatly decline. Donald Trump is doing everything he can to keep the Sauds to the agreements he reached with them back in 2017 to buy $404 billion of U.S. weaponry over the following 10 years . If, in addition, those firms lose some of their European sales, then the U.S. economic boom thus far in Trump's Presidency will be seriously endangered. So, the U.S. regime, which is run by the owners of its 'defense'-contractors , will do all it can to prevent this from happening.

* * *

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

[Nov 12, 2018] The Democratic Party long ago earned the designation graveyard of social protest movements, and for good reason

Highly recommended!
The Democrats are politically responsible for the rise of Trump.
Notable quotes:
"... As Obama said following Trump's election, the Democrats and Republicans are "on the same team" and their differences amount to an "intramural scrimmage." They are on the team of, and owned lock stock and barrel by, the American corporate-financial oligarchy, personified by Trump. ..."
"... The Democrats are, moreover, politically responsible for the rise of Trump. The Obama administration paved the way for Trump by implementing the pro-corporate (Wall Street bailout), pro-war (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, drone killings) and anti-democratic (mass surveillance, persecution of Snowden, Assange, Manning) policies that Trump is continuing and intensifying. And by breaking all his election promises and carrying out austerity policies against the working class, Obama enabled the billionaire gangster Trump to make an appeal to sections of workers devastated by deindustrialization, presenting himself as the anti-establishment spokesman for the "forgotten man." ..."
"... This was compounded by the right-wing Clinton candidacy, which exuded contempt for the working class and appealed for support to the military and CIA and wealthy middle-class layers obsessed with identity politics. Sanders' endorsement of Clinton gave Trump an open field to exploit discontent among impoverished social layers. ..."
Nov 02, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Pelosi's deputy in the House, Steny Hoyer, sums up the right-wing policies of the Democrats, declaring: "His [Trump's] objectives are objectives that we share. If he really means that, then there is an opening for us to work together."

So much for the moral imperative of voting for the Democrats to stop Trump! As Obama said following Trump's election, the Democrats and Republicans are "on the same team" and their differences amount to an "intramural scrimmage." They are on the team of, and owned lock stock and barrel by, the American corporate-financial oligarchy, personified by Trump.

The Democrats are, moreover, politically responsible for the rise of Trump. The Obama administration paved the way for Trump by implementing the pro-corporate (Wall Street bailout), pro-war (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, drone killings) and anti-democratic (mass surveillance, persecution of Snowden, Assange, Manning) policies that Trump is continuing and intensifying. And by breaking all his election promises and carrying out austerity policies against the working class, Obama enabled the billionaire gangster Trump to make an appeal to sections of workers devastated by deindustrialization, presenting himself as the anti-establishment spokesman for the "forgotten man."

This was compounded by the right-wing Clinton candidacy, which exuded contempt for the working class and appealed for support to the military and CIA and wealthy middle-class layers obsessed with identity politics. Sanders' endorsement of Clinton gave Trump an open field to exploit discontent among impoverished social layers.

The same process is taking place internationally. While strikes and other expressions of working class opposition are growing and broad masses are moving to the left, the right-wing policies of supposedly "left" establishment parties are enabling far-right and neo-fascist forces to gain influence and power in countries ranging from Germany, Italy, Hungary and Poland to Brazil.

As for Gay's injunction to vote "pragmatically," this is a crude promotion of the bankrupt politics that are brought forward in every election to keep workers tied to the capitalist two-party system. "You have only two choices. That is the reality, whether you like it or not." And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war.

The Democratic Party long ago earned the designation "graveyard of social protest movements," and for good reason. From the Populist movement of the late 19th century, to the semi-insurrectional industrial union movement of the 1930s, to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, to the mass anti-war protest movements of the 1960s and the eruption of international protests against the Iraq War in the early 2000s -- every movement against the depredations of American capitalism has been aborted and strangled by being channeled behind the Democratic Party.

[Nov 02, 2018] Moscow Shocked by French Cabinet Spokesman's Remarks Regarding RT

This is a typical projection. France is a member of "dirty four". Macron government is a typical neoliberal cabinet, not that different from Merkel government. As such it is controlled by the USA.
Nov 02, 2018 | sputniknews.com

"Honestly, to say that we were surprised or upset is to say nothing. I think this condition could be better described as 'shock' when we heard the spokesman for the French government, Mr. Griveaux, just recently said the following. I quote: there are two media outlets that I refuse to see in the press room of the Elysee Palace, they are RT and Sputnik because I do not consider them to be media, they are not journalists, they are engaged in propaganda," Zakharova said at a weekly news briefing.

According to Zakharova, such an approach is the result of "the unwillingness of the French authorities to hear alternative sources of information."

Last month, two French government's think tanks issued a report, which recommended the country's authorities to abstain from accrediting journalists of the RT broadcaster and the Sputnik news agency.

Last year, RT reporters were denied entry to the headquarters of then-French presidential candidate Macron twice in April, and in May, a Sputnik reporter was not allowed to enter the square in front of Paris' Louvre museum where Macron and his supporters were celebrating the victory in the presidential run-off. After Macron became French president, he accused RT and Sputnik of "spreading false information and slander."

READ MORE: US Homeland Security Recommends Public to 'Be Aware' of RT, Sputnik

The situation around RT and Sputnik in France is not unique for the European Union: in 2016, the European Parliament adopted a resolution claiming that Russia was waging information warfare and singled out RT and Sputnik. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the resolution proved that Western democracy was failing, but expressed hope that common sense would prevail and Russian media outlets would be able to work abroad without restrictions.

[Nov 02, 2018] Even Hans Christian Andersen couldn't invent Fairy Tales like that.

Nov 02, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Terry Lawrence michaelroloff8 months ago

"The perpetrators and their conspiracy is not a theory since it has been proved."

By "proved" I assume you are referring to "proofs" such as the fantastical claim that Mohammed Atta's passport was allegedly and fortuitously "found" when it supposedly survived the 600 mph impact of the 767 he was supposedly piloting with a huge steel and concrete building, survived the huge fireball it was supposedly in the middle of unscorched, and conveniently fluttered to the ground intact to land at the feet of an FBI agent who immediately realized it must have belonged to one of the hijackers!

Even Hans Christian Andersen couldn't invent Fairy Tales like that.

[Nov 02, 2018] A Nation Addled by Conspiracy Theories

Notable quotes:
"... The cartoonishly constructed "pipebombs" made for an extremely weird story, and it's not surprising that many people found it all very hard to believe. ..."
"... The Mainstream Media has no business complaining about "conspiracy theorists" while they regularly present lies as truth and relentlessly push moronic narratives like "Russiagate" and so on, and so on, ad nauseam. ..."
"... If you ask if we should believe in men in dark overcoats meeting to hatch a plot in a country tavern on a dark and stormy night, then no, that's silly. But if you ask, do powerful people meet and confidentially agree mutually advantageous strategies that go against the public interest, then yes of course, that's so common that it's generally referred to as doing 'lunch'. ..."
"... Perhaps it's partly the competition from social media. If you're worried & worked up about issues, you'll watch more hours of programming. There's always a money trail. And advertising drives it. ..."
"... When you think about most conspiracy theories, you quickly realized that the amount of planning, secrecy, and organization involved to pull them off is far beyond the capabilities of anybody outside of a Hollywood script writer. ..."
"... This is not new. The late, great Tom Wolfe was working at the NY Herald Tribune on Dec. 22, 1963. His editor sent him out to do a "man on the street" reaction story to JFK's assassination. Wolfe came back and wrote what he learned: every political and ethnic group was blaming its favorite enemy for the murder of the President. The Trib spiked the story, said Wolfe. ..."
"... The problem is that the media has been caught in too many lies, so now the public is naturally distrustful. Pushing things like WMDs in Iraq and babies being thrown from incubators creates a level of mistrust that makes people question official narratives. ..."
"... The media, corporate executives, politicians, and essentially all figures of authority routinely lie or lie by omission, how is that conspiratorial? To believe that all facts are shared in all cases is naive and it not unreasonable to believe that there is "more to the story" than being told. Does that mean that there is a conspiracy? No, but it does mean that there are pieces of the story that were never shared and likely never will be. ..."
"... You were expecting a normal balanced set of people to be sending pipe bombs? You thought, perhaps, that a bunch of affluent DNC types sat around thinking of a clever fake terrorist attack to swing the election? That would have been "normal"? ..."
"... I think sending pipe bombs to members of your own party, hoping you won't get caught, ranks pretty high up there on the implausibility scale. You had to want to believe this to take it seriously. ..."
"... I think it is good that people question their lying politicians and these lying, partisan so-called news pundits. If that means you are going to try to slander the people as "conspiracy theorists" then so be it. I would rather be a conspiracy theorist than take anything CNN or FOX says as gospel or take anything a politician says as gospel. Skepticism is good. These people don't deserve our trust. ..."
Nov 02, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

JimDandy October 31, 2018 at 12:27 am

Meh. In the last few years, how often have we seen, say, college "hate crimes" turn out to be pathetic hoaxes? Hate to break it to you, but those were false flags. Many conspiracy theories turn out to be conspiracy facts. I'll admit, though, that it was truly terrible when those three brutes wearing MAGA hats attacked that poor Muslim girl Yasmin Seweid on the New York subway, calling her a "terrorist" and telling her "get out of this country" and to "get the f****** hijab off your head!". The media was right to report as fact that they tried to tear off her headscarf and that no bystanders intervened while one of the men grabbed her bag, breaking the strap. Except that it was ALL MADE UP. The media sure loved shoving the lie down our throat, though. When the facts came out–that she was lying, and that her father shaved her head for dating a Christian kid–the media basically buried the story.

The cartoonishly constructed "pipebombs" made for an extremely weird story, and it's not surprising that many people found it all very hard to believe. This turned out to be because the guy who sent them is an EXTREMELY weird person. But people have every reason to be dubious and reserve judgement until all the facts come out.

The Mainstream Media has no business complaining about "conspiracy theorists" while they regularly present lies as truth and relentlessly push moronic narratives like "Russiagate" and so on, and so on, ad nauseam.

Anonymous , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:39 am
The author misstates Ockham's razor, which is that "plurality should not be posited without necessity." The right-wing nuts who posit that everything is the Jews' fault do seem to be in accordance with Ockham's maxim, after a fashion.
Werd , says: October 31, 2018 at 6:52 am
We're the wealthiest, loneliest nation that's ever existed. I think that's the best and only explanation needed.
Henry , says: October 31, 2018 at 9:00 am
I think the person who puts it best is Peter Hitchens.

If you ask if we should believe in men in dark overcoats meeting to hatch a plot in a country tavern on a dark and stormy night, then no, that's silly. But if you ask, do powerful people meet and confidentially agree mutually advantageous strategies that go against the public interest, then yes of course, that's so common that it's generally referred to as doing 'lunch'.

Whether or not you call that believing in conspiracies is your choice.

mrscracker , says: October 31, 2018 at 10:34 am
"But this does not explain why so many Americans choose to watch Fox News and why we have become so fearful and paranoid as a nation. "
***************
You don't think that MSNBC or CNN foment the same kind of stuff? Or every other media outlet to some extent? Goodness, even the BBC reads like a tabloid these days. BBC storylines sound like the National Enquirer.

Perhaps it's partly the competition from social media. If you're worried & worked up about issues, you'll watch more hours of programming. There's always a money trail. And advertising drives it.

Byron , says: October 31, 2018 at 11:40 am
"Conspiratorial thinking isn't really thinking at all. It's laziness that jumps to conclusions before examining the facts."

And who gets to determine what is and is not a fact? I was under the seemingly mistaken impression that individuals had not just the freedom, but the duty to form their own beliefs and pursue what what they understand to be the truth. Americans are not united via dogmas, but in shared values, such as the the value to think freely. The reality is conspiracy theorists are more inquisitive, more skeptical, and are, frankly, brave enough to fight the cognitive dissonance of an epistemological battle, and to withstand the ensuing ridicule and ostracism spewing forth from dogmatic conformists and demagogues, such as the author of this piece. To qoute Plato, "When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser."

TheSnark , says: October 31, 2018 at 11:43 am
Rick Steven D has it right: at least 9 times out of 10 when things go wrong it's due to incompetence. Somebody might come out ahead because of it, but it's not due to some clever conspiracy, it's due to somebody else screwing up.

When you think about most conspiracy theories, you quickly realized that the amount of planning, secrecy, and organization involved to pull them off is far beyond the capabilities of anybody outside of a Hollywood script writer.

Marcus Webb , says: October 31, 2018 at 11:47 am
This is not new. The late, great Tom Wolfe was working at the NY Herald Tribune on Dec. 22, 1963. His editor sent him out to do a "man on the street" reaction story to JFK's assassination. Wolfe came back and wrote what he learned: every political and ethnic group was blaming its favorite enemy for the murder of the President. The Trib spiked the story, said Wolfe.
K. , says: October 31, 2018 at 11:54 am
Well, the proximate reason for all this conspiracy theorizing is that the President and his associates are promulgating them. Do you believe Barack Obama is a secret muslim terrorist who isn't an American citizen? Well, Don did, and he promoted the idea forcefully. He's been at this a long time. Belief being the operative term here: it's not so much that these things are believed as that they are a means to manipulate the masses.

Also, please find better examples of Democrat conspiracy. A junior DC councilman VS POTUS? Sounds like your party may be the one with the problem here, I am just saying

Jeff Curtis , says: October 31, 2018 at 11:55 am
The problem is that the media has been caught in too many lies, so now the public is naturally distrustful. Pushing things like WMDs in Iraq and babies being thrown from incubators creates a level of mistrust that makes people question official narratives.
Paco , says: October 31, 2018 at 11:59 am
The federal government has embraced secrecy for its highest levels and ultimate transparency for the rest of us. At the same time they have demonstrated over and over again that rich and powerful actors will not be held accountable for their actions while the rest of us are made to live in a police/prison/surveillance state. There is a massive increase in wealth concentration.

If there was a return to government transparency, if the powerful held their own accountable, if we did not have a culture of security clearances and secrets, if there was rule of law, not rule of men, we might not be so conspiracy minded. But all of what I just described is indeed a big conspiracy to wrest the right of self-determination from the masses and put it in the hands of a few powerful actors – banks, the very rich, and countries that the U.S. happens to approve of at a given time (S.A., Israel, etc. are above international law while Russia, Iran, etc. are constantly being sanctioned and punished for doing what the former nations do every day with impunity).

callmecrazy , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:02 pm
The media, corporate executives, politicians, and essentially all figures of authority routinely lie or lie by omission, how is that conspiratorial? To believe that all facts are shared in all cases is naive and it not unreasonable to believe that there is "more to the story" than being told. Does that mean that there is a conspiracy? No, but it does mean that there are pieces of the story that were never shared and likely never will be.
Donald , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:09 pm
"This turned out to be because the guy who sent them is an EXTREMELY weird person."

You were expecting a normal balanced set of people to be sending pipe bombs? You thought, perhaps, that a bunch of affluent DNC types sat around thinking of a clever fake terrorist attack to swing the election? That would have been "normal"?

I have no problem believing that the DNC or the RNC or just about anybody in politics might do something sleazy, as the DNC did during the 2016 primaries, but I think sending pipe bombs to members of your own party, hoping you won't get caught, ranks pretty high up there on the implausibility scale. You had to want to believe this to take it seriously.

I don't reject conspiracy theories out of hand, like some of the other people in this thread, because the phrase is meaningless. The fact is that everybody is a conspiracy theorist these days and some conspiracies are true. There was a conspiracy to sell the Iraq War based on flimsy evidence, for instance, and most of our glorious press corps was useless in pointing this out.

The important thing is to be able to tell the differences between conspiracy theories with evidence, conspiracy theories with little evidence which might still be possible, and conspiracy theories that are so dumb no sensible person would support them unless blinded by their stupid ideology.

Donald , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:13 pm
"I don't reject conspiracy theories out of hand, like some of the other people in this thread,"

Poorly phrased. I meant I agree with some of the other people in the thread who pointed out that some conspiracy theories turn out to be true. While correcting myself, I will add that centrist liberals seem to have gone a little nuts in the conspiratorial department regarding Russiagate. I am agnostic about what happened with Russia during 2016, but it was startling to see so many Democrats and liberals morphing into members of the John Birch society, willing to believe virtually anything and everything about Russia and Trump or just Russia. And I despise Trump. I don't doubt for a second he could be bought by anyone for the right price. But some liberals have gone a little nuts on that subject.

Neo-Marxist , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:17 pm
We have a conspiratorial society because the press has lost all credibility and no one trusts the corrupt, lying politicians either.

I think it is good that people question their lying politicians and these lying, partisan so-called news pundits. If that means you are going to try to slander the people as "conspiracy theorists" then so be it. I would rather be a conspiracy theorist than take anything CNN or FOX says as gospel or take anything a politician says as gospel. Skepticism is good. These people don't deserve our trust.

Craig Brown , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:33 pm
For 50 years we've been told that there is no absolute truth, only our own opinions; no standard, only our own desires; no purpose, only our own passions. We've been told that the perpetrator of the crime is always the person we're supposed to trust. We've been told that the only way to move forward as a nation is to abandon every value we've ever held dear. In such an environment, is it any surprise that our people mill about in the thrall of their own fantasies and fear?
Alicia McHugh , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:33 pm
The things that tuned my conspiracy theory radar were Eric Holder being found in contempt of Congress, and Hillary saying the maker of that video would be brought to justice.
billstu , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:42 pm
After witnessing the FBI and DOJ plant spies in a Presidential candidates campaign then try a soft coup to over throw said President There is no conspiracy theroy to wild or unbelievable
Alan C , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:48 pm
Conspiracy theorist/n.
One who questions the statements of known liars.
Paul , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:54 pm
Well, the JFK assassination now has a deathbed confession (Hunt), so not sure how that factors in with all this. That's the one 'conspiracy' I know of regarding which I assume there being some actual conspiracy behind the events.

For most of them, though, probably just a product of a digitally deranged nation. And if that's right, it will only get worse, because the internet and all its communications capability isn't going away anytime soon. Mass media used to be controlled by relatively intelligent and educated people, who could filter out a lot of the crazy. Now, even the crazy can have a platform. And there seems to be a lot more crazy than reasonable out there in the digital landscape.

Joseph Panacone , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:10 pm
Does Ms. Boland think that all those conservatives who thought that the Deep State was real, that there was a conspiracy among high ranking Justice Dept. and FBI personnel to Destroy Trump, does she think they were crazy conspiracy lunatics?

Does Ms. Boland think that way also about the conspiracy to
Cover Up and Protect Hillary from her clearly dangerous and illegal Email activity?

And does she think The IRS and others on the left did not conspire to cover up the clear and admitted improper behavior
towards Conservative Tea Party Groups?

And did they not conspire on the left to Cover Up Secretary of State Hillary Clintons irresponsible behavior with regard to the
Benghazi Attack?

I could go on and on!

The point is NOT what certain private individuals think about certain issues in the news, ie: The Bombs, but the REAL POINT is how People In Power Actually Do Conspire to manipulate the public.

ADStryker , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:29 pm
" this does not explain why so many Americans choose to watch Fox News and why we have become so fearful and paranoid as a nation " There's probably not a single reason, but I think the hyper-partisan left-wing fake-news narratives that we've been seeing for several decades now have both driven many people to distrust the "mainstream" media and have fed irrational fear and paranoia in others.
One Guy , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:34 pm
Virtually every Conspiracy Theorist I know personally, is a nutjob. Every one. This includes a family member who I love. I've never met a normal, level-headed Conspiracy Theorist.
Kevin V , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:38 pm
Some people see conspiracies everywhere, fair enough. The problem is, there are conspiracies. We find out about them all the time. For example, some people think 9/11 was an inside job or the Jews did it that's hand-waved away as a "conspiracy theory" but the answer we have ie that 19 or 20 men plotted and worked together to enter the US, obtain training in piloting aircraft, then planned and executed an nearly simultaneous attack on 4 airplanes IS a conspiracy. So the 9/11 truther explanation is just an ALTERNATIVE conspiracy theory. It's probably not true, that's not my point my point is THERE ARE conspiracies, proven ones.
Add to that, only a very small minority of Americans trust either the government or the media and the stage is set
Sean Hammond , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:47 pm
The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.
Yes. This is true.
But one cannot make judgements in an event vacuum.
If you are foolish enough to state that a person connecting similar events, which occur in a close time frame, and involve the same people, if you are foolish enough to call these people fools, then you sir or madam, are a fool.
Put on your tinfoil hat and dance for us.
Gardner Waterberry , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:52 pm
I agree with the author insofar as there seems to be a proliferation of "conspiracy theories" out there in the public domain, but I disagree with the subtle pejorative tone the author uses, and the reasons for the proliferation.

Yes, conspiracy theories not rooted in fact are easy to dismiss. BUT, there are other "conspiracy theories" which are ultimately vindicated by subsequent discovery of substantiating facts. Journalists and citizens alike should [sometimes] be skeptical because our government, businesses and media have proven records of deceit.

Finally -- with respect to the reason for the proliferation: it's simple, the Internet has made information sharing and research exponentially easier. People are no longer limited by what they see on the nightly news or are told by politicians as the lone reference point for current events. Everyone should think [critically] for themselves

P.S. What I see as the bigger [societal] problem is the blurring between fact & fiction which makes analysis difficult.

Max Bouknecht , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:59 pm
Not mentioned by the author is the growing mound of evidence that there is, in fact, some form of an Obama or Democratic Party deep state shadow government in the federal bureaucracy, particularly in the Department of Justice. Because mainstream media refuses to report on this growing mound of evidence, instead spending their energy on the Mueller effort to oust the President, it's easy to understand why the nation is so sharply divided, which in turn, will lead to never ending conspiracy theories.
C. W. Lyon , says: October 31, 2018 at 2:24 pm
The author of this article, and some of its respondents, cause the question to arise: do you read history? Do you not realize the importance of balance? People believe in conspiracies because many have proven real. Others ignore conspiracies because many have proven to be false. To deride the "plebs" for "wacky" beliefs is to ignore criminal stupidity.

Clinton wasn't being malicious, she simply acted in a CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT manner. She still committed at least one provable felony. There are many instances in history when such negligent behavior is absolved, only to become the pebble which rippled the pond.

Meanwhile, Bomber Man may have been a legitimate Trump supporter. He is still perfect evidence of the willful ignorance of our yellow journalists, and the damage they have caused. Every day, and often every hour, our "media" generate stories about the "horrors" of eating fresh fruit or taking antibiotics. They follow drama, writing about the dozens of people who have been attacked or victimized by vandalism. The stories range from long-term potential danger to immediate threats.

And soon after, sometimes the next day, these same journalists, yellow as a bumble bee, write new stories that contradict the old stories. Many stories are not written as a correction, but instead as if the previous stories were not written. What's worse is that they purposely ignore new FACTS, and choose not to correct stories that are eventually exposed as hoaxes and frauds.

And now we have the conspiracies. We know why they exist, and we know that a lack of personal responsibility is to blame. And should that day come when Trump goes out to the street and shoots someone, he'll have a good 33% of America behind him. Occam's overused platitude shows that it isn't the fault of the 33%, but instead of the ignorance of a few thousand people who continue to push horse feces as information.

Soxtory , says: October 31, 2018 at 2:26 pm
Maybe a conspiracy will emerge as to why it took the police 78 minutes to get to the synagogue. All the while the shooter roamed, taking his time killing people.
Mike Hunt , says: October 31, 2018 at 2:27 pm
The US was built on conspiracy theories. They are signs of a healthy, curious, mind. Maybe the media should do a better job of laying out political realities, you know with history, instead of trying to push narratives every second of every day.
Mike Hunt , says: October 31, 2018 at 2:27 pm
"And who gets to determine what is and is not a fact?"

Juries

WideAwake , says: October 31, 2018 at 2:40 pm
Too often, those who dismiss conspiracy theories also believe every public statement by the government. This is so naïve. They don't wear a tin foil hat but instead a dunce cap. So many government lies go unchallenged at the time yet people barely notice when the gov't admits the lie years later. Eg. USS Liberty attacked by Israeli air force, Gulf of Tonkin clash, Iraq's WMD, the Lusitania in WW1, US goading Japan into war, etc.
Ryder , says: October 31, 2018 at 3:10 pm
The author has their brain in neutral, it seems, criticizing Trump out of the gates (talk about a hobby!).

"Upon learning about the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday morning in Pittsburgh, President Donald Trump claimed that armed guards might have prevented the tragedy. He did so even though we didn't yet know how many casualties there were or that four (presumably armed) police officers had been wounded in responding to the attack"

On what planet does an accurate accounting of caualties or wounded law enforcement workers NULLIFY IN ANY WAY, the idea that armed security might work to prevent tragedy?

It's like Ms. Boland, our esteemed author, lacks the basic building blocks of reason.

PLEASE, be sure your authors can juggle more than one concept at a time before you publish them.

What Trump is "guilty" of here is not being wrong, fact free, or conspiracy bent which I thought was the thrust of the article but instead is preemptively managing an assault on the 2nd amendment, which is knows will in fact come.

For those unfamiliar with the job of the Presidency, (Ms. Boland), he is tasked with DEFENDING THE CONSTITUTION.

This is the picture of a President actually doing his job.

Obama, on the other hand, would have used this situation to actually ATTACK the constitutions Second Amendment, in raw violantion of his oath.

Journalists: More effort on understanding the topics you are writing about, please.

cdugga , says: October 31, 2018 at 3:19 pm
I was thinking that if hats were still fashionable for men to wear, would I line mine with foil. Then I thought that I might still be watching FOX if wmd's had been found. But I always fall back on, the conspiracy from hell does exist. Like, part of the conspiracy from hell would be to foment the conspiracy theories so many on the right subscribe to. And I suspect that here at TAC, most would be ambivalent about the possible conspiracies out there because conspiracy, especially government conspiracy, works towards the demonization of government and works towards the stated mantra of starving the beast. We do not need to subscribe to the conspiracy, but it does seem to work in our favor?
Also, what are we to do anyway? We are not going to vote against our interests no matter how many people are slaughtered? We are not ever going to admit being mistaken about the candidates we elected because that admission might mean we were wrong about other stuff and policy. Tinkle down has not worked because taxes have not been cut enough. We could have won in vietnam. It is not us getting slaughtered after all. Like the invasion of iraq. It was not our kids coming home in body bags, so we subscribe to the fight for freedom and liberty bs shoved in our face by the ignorant and uninformed republican ends justify the means base. Then our kid comes home in a coffin and we begin to ask why we are there. Must be some government conspiracy. I don't know, but the conspiracy from hell is plain, including the very powerful tool of cognitive dissonance used by evil.
But TAC readers may not be up on how out there many of the trump constituents really are. Or how racist many republicans are. Chem trails and deep state blackocrat government operatives conjured a hurricane to keep florida republicans from being able to vote. So yes, something is making us wacky and if hats were in style, mine would be lined with foil.
Trumpfatigue , says: October 31, 2018 at 3:47 pm
This is a weak effort at "bothsiderism". https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/29/opinion/hate-is-on-the-ballot-next-week.html
The young democrat serving on the DC City Council who made the ridiculous claim about climate control immediately apologized, and took down the statement. No one was fooled.
On the Russian collusion "scandal," well, a lot of folks have already plead guilty to felonies, and others have been indicted–that investigation is ongoing, and has in no way been shown to be a manufactured conspiracy theory.
What the commentator on the Pittsburg massacre actually said was: "And a word to my fellow American Jews: This president makes this possible. Here. Where you live. I hope the embassy move over there, where you don't live was worth it."
As for the vicious Adelson rumor, that started on 4chan, not exactly a hot-bed of the left.
Lastly, Clinton said, in SEPTEMBER OF 2017, that she "would not rule out" questioning the election, if new information surfaced in the Russia investigation, but also recognized that there was no "mechanism" to do that.
Sadie Slays , says: October 31, 2018 at 3:59 pm
The media has nobody to blame but themselves for fostering this skepticism. It was proven in the Podesta emails that the Democratic Party colludes with the mainstream media to push certain agendas, make certain candidates look better, and even rigs political debates (Donna Brazile lost her CNN job over this). There is no reason to take anything they report at face value anymore.
WhiteSage , says: October 31, 2018 at 4:11 pm
I'd say Byron is right on the money, in a general sense, not so much for Rick D's narrower point of view. Real conspiracies do in fact abound in all directions, and I'd say the worst ones involve corporate manipulation. This country and its mainstream foreign owned media DOES NOT enable people to develop a healthy skepticism based on critical thought and fully exposed facts. But it does pretend to.

For instance, how can we ignore all the bs that is legislated upon us, thanks to lobbying efforts of greedy corporations? Does that not exist? Are the worst of those manipulations revealed upfront for what they are? Wake up already! We ARE awash in fake/poisonous foods, rigged politics, rigged banking, fomented wars, fake WMDs, fake clouds, outta control inflation/interest/taxes, better health thru pill technology or surgeries instead of nutrition(?), etc. And 'astute' Americans want to presume all of this is on the up and up to our collective benefit?

You anti-conspiracy guys are beyond ignorant to dismiss all such theories. Either that, or possibly your minds are not flexible enough to fathom the scope of deep sh*t we are actually entrenched in due to decades of predatory monopolization – can you not see the obvious? We've got multiple gov. agencies that work like protection rackets and hide health critical truths. Health is wealth people. There are soo many examples. Our enemies plot and succeed to destabilize the social fabric of USA through social media, education, news, etc., at their own admission, and you all deny that there isn't concerted effort behind that? Do you really think Fox and CNN cover all this, fair and balanced? Admit already, you just don't care to know, you'd rather make fun of smarter people because you are likely weak of mind and spirit.

Ball , says: October 31, 2018 at 4:20 pm
Well, gee, maybe if the "news" reported the news

Also. the bombs were clearly non-functional. The 'timer' was a clock for crying out loud. The FBI refuses to say what was inside the PVC pipe, instead opting to use the weasel words "energetic material". If that doesn't fuel conspiracy theories, nothing else will.

We can't trust the "news", we can't trust the FBI, and we can't trust "platforms" not to edit timelines. What the hell do you expect?!?!

Rick Steven D. , says: October 31, 2018 at 5:12 pm
Regarding Fox News:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/politics/fox-news-viewers-tend-to-be-less-informed-says-new-study/article/433762

Like Rod Serling used to say, submitted for your approval

John , says: October 31, 2018 at 5:13 pm
Who would ever believe that a political candidate would conspire with her party to effectively bypass the democratic process of nomination?
However, it happened.
Who would ever believe that a member of the news media would conspire with a candidate before a debate?
However, it happened.
Who would ever believe that members of the judiciary committee would hide information until the last minute in order to hijack a supreme court nomination?
However, it happened.

With current Democrats, no low is too low.

EliteCommInc. , says: October 31, 2018 at 5:50 pm
Here's something to consider about conspiracies. Ad while I opposed this executives policy agenda, aside from two crucial areas. I keep hoping the opening quotation in the article is inaccurate.

http://www.unz.com/mhudson/rescuing-the-banks-instead-of-the-economy/#comment-2601832

_________________________________
"Juries"

Uhh not really, the final word. Juries get facts wrong all the time -- they decide guilt or innocence which doesn't have to be based on anything at save their judgement regardless of the facts.

In fact, judges and prosecutors have greater impact on what constitutes a facts. Jury instructions on evidence evaluation, what is or is not allowed as to argument -- -

In fact the best jury decisions in my view are those that actually nullify state accusations. Those juries are are sincerely engaged in critically evaluating not only the issues, the data, but whether whatever the accused did should have been considered illegal in the first – despite the facts.