Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Ukrainegate bulletin, 2019

Home 2099 2020 2019 2018 2017

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Dec 31, 2019] Skripals false flag and Russiagate are birds of the feather

Notable quotes:
"... If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS. ..."
Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Dec 29 2019 22:21 utc | 28

@Posted by: sleepy | Dec 29 2019 17:38 utc | 8

Thanks sleeply,

But underlying your comment is an assumption of *logic* in this world. If it ever existed it certainly does not apply any longer. Look how much mileage the MSM and the anti-Democracy Party got out of the nothingburger Russiagate.

The MSM doesn't even need to smell real blood, they will run with anything to continue the coup.

Anything negative that involves Edward Gallagher between now and election day could be magnified 1 million-fold and
repeated 1000 million times by the MSM and dropped in Trump's lap.

If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS.

[Dec 31, 2019] The US is now openly dismissive as a matter of law any ally or partner who engages in economic activity it disapproves by Tom Luongo

Dec 26, 2019 | astutenews.com

Europe is willing to defy the U.S. on Nordstream to the point of forcing the U.S. to openly and nakedly destroy its reputation with European contractors and governments to stop one pipeline in a place where multiple gas pipelines will be needed for future growth.

This is the diplomatic equivalent of the nuclear option. And the neocons in the Senate just pushed the button. Europe understands what this is really about, the U.S. retaining its imperial position as the policy setter for all the world. If it can set energy policy for Europe then it can set everything else.

And it's clear that the leadership in Europe is done with that status quo. The Trump administration from the beginning has used NATO as an excuse to mask its real intentions towards Europe, which is continued domination of its policies. Trump complains that the U.S. pays into NATO to protect Europe from Russia but then Europe buys its energy from Russia. That's unfair, Donald complains, like a little bitch, frankly, even though he right on the surface. But if the recent NATO summit is any indication, Europe is no longer interested in NATO performing that function. French President Emmanuel Macron wants NATO re-purposed to fight global terror, a terrible idea. NATO should just be ended.

But you'll notice how Trump doesn't talk about that anymore. He wants more billions pumped into NATO while the U.S. still sets its policies. This is not a boondoggle for the MIC as much as it's a Sword of Damocles to hold over Europe's head. The U.S.'s involvement in should be ended immediately, the troops brought home and the billions of dollars spent here as opposed to occupying most of Europe to point missiles at a Russia wholly uninterested in imperial ambitions no less harboring any of them.

And Trump also knows this but thinks stopping Nordstream 2 is the price Europe has to pay him for this privilege. It's insane. The time has come for Europe to act independently from the U.S. As much as I despise the EU, to untangle it from the U.S. on energy policy is the means by which for it to then deal with its problems internally. It can't do that while the U.S. is threatening it. Circling the wagons against the immediate threat, as it were.

And that means protecting its companies and citizens from the economic depredations of power-mad neoconservatives in the U.S. Senate like Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham.

Allseas, the Swiss company laying the pipe for Nordstream 2, has halted construction for now , awaiting instructions from the U.S. Gazprom will likely step in to finish the job and Germany will green light any of the necessary permits to get the pipeline done. Those people will be put out of work just in time for Christmas, turning thousands of people against the U.S. Commerce drives people together, politics drives them apart.

But, at the same time, the urgency to finish Nordstream 2 on time is wholly irrelevant now because Ukraine and Russia came to terms on a new five-year gas transit contract. This ensures Gazprom can meet its contractual deliveries to Europe that no one thought could be done on time. But when the Nazi threat to Zelensky meeting with Merkel, Macron and Putin in Paris failed to materialize, a gas deal was on the horizon.

And, guess what? U.S. LNG will still not have the marginal lever over Europe's energy policy because of that. Putin and Zelensky outmaneuvered Cruz, Graham and Trump on this. Because that's what this boils down to. By keeping Russian gas out of Europe, it was supposed to constrain not only Russia's growth but also Europe's. Because then the U.S. government can control who and how much energy can make it into European markets at critical junctures politically.

That was the Bolton Doctrine to National Security. And that doctrine brought nothing but misery to millions.

And if you look back over the past five years of U.S./EU relations you will see this gambit clearly for what it was, a way to continue European vassalage at the hands of the U.S. by forcing market share of U.S. providers into European markets.

Again, it gets back to Trump's ideas about Emergy Dominance and becoming the supplier of the marginal erg of energy to important economies around the world.

The smart play for the EU now that the gas transit deal is in place is to threaten counter-sanctions against the U.S. and bar all LNG shipments into Europe. Gas prices are at historic lows, gas supplies are overflowing thanks to fears of a deal not being in place.

So, a three to six month embargo of U.S. LNG into Europe to bleed off excess supply while Nordstream 2 is completed would be the right play politically.

But, in reality, they won't need to, because the U.S. won't be able to import much into Europe under current prices and market conditions. And once Nordstream 2 is complete, LNG sales to Europe should crater.

In the end, I guess it's too bad for Ted Cruz that economics and basic human ingenuity are more powerful than legislatures. Because Nordstream 2 will be completed. Turkstream's other trains into Europe will be built. Venezuela will continue rebuilding its energy sector with Russian and Chinese help.

There is no place for U.S. LNG in Europe outside of the Poles literally burning money virtue signaling their Russophobia. Nordstream 2 was a response to the revolt in Ukraine, to replace any potential losses in market share to Europe. Now Russia will have what it had before passing through Ukraine along with Nordstream 2. By 2024 there will be at least two trains from Turkstream coming into Europe.

Iran will keep expanding exports, settling its oil and gas trade through Russian banks. And the U.S. will continue to fulminate and make itself even more irrelevant over time. What men like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump refuse to understand is that when you go nuclear you can't ever go back. If you threaten the nuclear option, there's no fall back position.

And when those that you threaten with annihilation survive they are made all the stronger for passing through the eye of the needle. Looking at Gazprom's balance sheet right now, that's my take.


By Tom Luongo. Source: Gold Goats 'n Guns

[Dec 31, 2019] Skripals false flag and Russiagate are birds of the feather

Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Dec 29 2019 22:21 utc | 28

@Posted by: sleepy | Dec 29 2019 17:38 utc | 8

Thanks sleeply,
But underlying your comment is an assumption of *logic* in this world. If it ever existed it certainly does not
apply any longer. Look how much mileage the MSM and the anti-Democracy Party got out of the nothingburger Russiagate.
The MSM doesn't even need to smell real blood, they will run with anything to continue the coup.

Anything negative that involves Edward Gallagher between now and election day could be magnified 1 million-fold and
repeated 1000 million times by the MSM and dropped in Trump's lap.

If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS.

[Dec 31, 2019] Israel will not be supplying Germany gas any time soon.

Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bianca , Dec 30 2019 19:48 utc | 54

FYI

Being almost 100% sure that Israeli cornering East Mediterranean gas reserves was a done deal
and after Cyprus gerrymandered its EEZ under UNCLOS -- and Greece signing up
as pipeline terminus in Europe -- Trump put this cart before horse -- and sanctioned
Nord Stream. Europe was to get Israeli gas. Then Turkey and Libya declared EZZ,
and pipeline cannot go!
Also. there will be other claimants to reserves -- Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza.

Nice try -- but Israel will not be supplying Germany gas any time soon.

[Dec 30, 2019] Because You d Be In Jail! - The Real Reason Democrats Are Pushing Trump Impeachment by Robert Bridge

Dec 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In the time-honored tradition of Machiavellian statecraft, all of the charges being leveled against Donald Trump to remove him from office – namely, 'abuse of power' and 'obstruction of congress' –are essentially the same things the Democratic Party has been guilty of for nearly half a decade : abusing their powers in a non-stop attack on the executive branch. Is the reason because they desperately need a 'get out of jail free' card?

Due to the non-stop action in Washington of late, few believe that the present state of affairs between the Democrats and Donald Trump are exclusively due to a telephone call between the US leader and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That is only scratching the surface of a story that is practically boundless.

Back in April 2016, before Trump had become the Republican presidential nominee, talk of impeachment was already in the air.

"Donald Trump isn't even the Republican nominee yet," wrote Darren Samuelsohn in Politico.

Yet impeachment, he noted, is "already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress."

The timing of Samuelsohn's article is not a little astonishing given what the Department of Justice (DOJ) had discovered just one month earlier.

In March 2016, the DOJ found that "the FBI had been employing outside contractors who had access to raw Section 702 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) data, and retained that access after their work for the FBI was completed," as Jeff Carlson reported in The Epoch Times.

That sort of foreign access to sensitive data is highly improper and was the result of "deliberate decision-making," according to the findings of an April 2017 FISA court ruling ( footnote 69 ).

On April 18, 2016, then-National Security Agency (NSA) Director Adm. Mike Rogers directed the NSA's Office of Compliance to terminate all FBI outside-contractor access. Later, on Oct. 21, 2016, the FBI and the DOJ's National Security Division (NSD), and despite they were aware of Rogers's actions, moved ahead anyways with a request for a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The request was approved by the FISA court, which, apparently, was still in the dark about the violations.

On Oct. 26, following approval of the warrant against Page, Rogers went to the FISA court to inform them of the FBI's non-compliance with the rules. Was it just a coincidence that at exactly this time, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter were suddenly calling for Roger's removal? The request was eventually rejected. The next month, in mid-November 2016 Rogers, without first notifying his superiors, flew to New York where he had a private meeting with Trump at Trump Towers.

According to the New York Times, the meeting – the details of which were never publicly divulged, but may be guessed at – "caused consternation at senior levels of the administration."

Democratic obstruction of justice?

Then CIA Director John Brennan, dismayed about a few meetings Trump officials had with the Russians, helped to kick-start the FBI investigation over 'Russian collusion.' Notably, these Trump-Russia meetings occurred in December 2016, as the incoming administration was in the difficult transition period to enter the White House. The Democrats made sure they made that transition as ugly as possible.

Although it is perfectly normal for an incoming government to meet with foreign heads of state at this critical juncture, a meeting at Trump Tower between Michael Flynn, Trump's incoming national security adviser and former Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, was portrayed as some kind of cloak and dagger scene borrowed from a John le Carré thriller.

Brennan questioning the motives behind high-level meetings between the Trump team and some Russians is strange given that the lame duck Obama administration was in the process of redialing US-Russia relations back to the Cold War days, all based on the debunked claim that Moscow handed Trump the White House on a silver platter.

In late December 2016, after Trump had already won the election, Obama slapped Russia with punitive sanctions, expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed down two Russian facilities. Since part of Trump's campaign platform was to mend relations with Moscow, would it not seem logical that the incoming administration would be in damage-control, doing whatever necessary to prevent relations between the world's premier nuclear powers from degrading even more?

So if it wasn't 'Russian collusion' that motivated the Democrats into action, what was it?

From Benghazi to Seth Rich

Here we must pause and remind ourselves about the unenviable situation regarding Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, who was being grilled daily over her use of a private computer to communicate sensitive documents via email. In all likelihood, the incident would have dropped from the radar had it not been for the deadly 2012 Benghazi attacks on a US compound.

In the course of a House Select Committee investigation into the circumstances surrounding the attacks, which resulted in the death of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other US personnel, Clinton handed over some 30,000 emails, while reportedly deleting 32,000 deemed to be of a "personal nature". Those emails remain unaccounted for to this day.

I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.

-- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 5, 2015

By March 2015, even the traditionally tepid media was baring its baby fangs, relentlessly pursuing Clinton over the email question. Since Clinton never made a secret of her presidential ambitions, even political allies were piling on. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), for example, said it's time for Clinton "to step up" and explain herself, adding that "silence is going to hurt her."

On July 24, 2015, The New York Times published a front-page story with the headline "Criminal Inquiry Sought in Clinton's Use of Email." Later, Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post candidly summed up Clinton's rapidly deteriorating status with elections fast approaching: "Democrats still show no sign they are willing to abandon Clinton. Instead, they seem to be heading into the 2016 election with a deeply flawed candidate schlepping around plenty of baggage -- the details of which are not yet known."

Moving into 2016, things began to look increasingly complicated for the Democratic front-runner. On March 16, 2016, WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive for over 30 thousand emails and attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton's private email server while she was Secretary of State. The 50,547-page treasure trove spans the dates from June 30, 2010 to August 12, 2014.

In May, about one month after Clinton had officially announced her candidacy for the US presidency, the State Department's inspector general released an 83-page report that was highly critical of Clinton's email practices, concluding that Clinton failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private server.

"At a minimum," the report determined, "Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department's policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act."

The following month brought more bad news for Clinton and her presidential hopes after it was reported that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had a 30-minute tęte-ŕ-tęte with Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, whose department was leading the Clinton investigations, on the tarmac at Phoenix International Airport. Lynch said Clinton decided to pay her an impromptu visit where the two discussed "his grandchildren and his travels and things like that." Republicans, however, certainly weren't buying the story as the encounter came as the FBI was preparing to file its recommendation to the Justice Department.

The summer of 2016, however, was just heating up.

I take @LorettaLynch & @billclinton at their word that their convo in Phoenix didn't touch on probe. But foolish to create such optics.

-- David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) June 30, 2016
Hack versus Leak?

On the early morning of July 10, Seth Rich, the director of voter expansion for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), was gunned down on the street in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, DC. Rich's murder, said to be the result of a botched robbery, bucked the homicide trend in the area for that particular period; murders rates for the first six months of 2016 were down about 50 percent from the same period in the previous year.

In any case, the story gets much stranger. Just five days earlier, on July 5th, the computers at the DNC were compromised, purportedly by an online persona with the moniker "Guccifer 2.0" at the behest of Russian intelligence. This is where the story of "Russian hacking" first gained popularity. Not everyone, however, was buying the explanation.

In July 2017, a group of former U.S. intelligence officers, including NSA specialists, who call themselves Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) sent a memo to President Trump that challenged a January intelligence assessment that expressed "high confidence" that the Russians had organized an "influence campaign" to harm Hillary Clinton's "electability," as if she wasn't capable of that without Kremlin support.

"Forensic studies of 'Russian hacking' into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computer," the memo states (The memo's conclusions were based on analyses of metadata provided by the online persona Guccifer 2.0, who took credit for the alleged hack). "Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack."

In other words, according to VIPS, the compromise of the DNC computers was the result of an internal leak, not an external hack.

At this point, however, it needs mentioned that the VIPS memo has sparked dissenting views among its members. Several analysts within the group have spoken out against its findings, and that internal debate can be read here . Thus, it would seem there is no 'smoking gun,' as of yet, to prove that the DNC was not hacked by an external entity. At the same time, the murder of Seth Rich continues to remain an unsolved "botched robbery," according to investigators. Meanwhile, the one person who may hold the key to the mystery, Julian Assange, is said to be withering away Belmarsh Prison, a high-security London jail, where he is awaiting a February court hearing that will decide whether he will be extradited to the United States where he 18 charges.

Here is a question to ponder: If you were Julian Assange, and you knew you were going to be extradited to the United States, who would you rather be the sitting president in charge of your fate, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Think twice before answering.

"Because you'd be in jail"

On October 9, 2016, in the second televised presidential debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Trump accused his Democratic opponent of deleting 33,000 emails, while adding that he would get a "special prosecutor and we're going to look into it " To this, Clinton said "it's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country," to which Trump deadpanned, without missing a beat, "because you'd be in jail."

Now if that remark didn't get the attention of high-ranking Democratic officials, perhaps Trump's comments at a Virginia rally days later, when he promised to "drain the swamp," made folks sit up and take notice.

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

At this point the leaks, hacks and everything in between were already coming fast and furious. On October 7, John Podesta, Clinton's presidential campaign manager, had his personal Gmail account hacked, thereby releasing a torrent of inside secrets, including how Donna Brazile, then a CNN commentator, had fed Clinton debate questions. But of course the crimes did not matter to the mendacious media, only the identity of the alleged messenger, which of course was 'Russia.'

By now, the only thing more incredible than the dirt being produced on Clinton was the fact that she was still in the presidential race, and even slated to win by a wide margin. But perhaps her biggest setback came when authorities, investigating Anthony Weiner's abused laptop into illicit text messages he sent to a 15-year-old girl, stumbled upon thousands of email messages from Hillary Clinton.

BREAKING NEWS: @jasoninthehouse : @HillaryClinton email - "Case reopened." pic.twitter.com/feVlU2aNP9

-- Fox News (@FoxNews) October 28, 2016

Now Comey had to backpedal on his conclusion in July that although Clinton was "extremely careless" in her use of her electronic devices, no criminal charges would be forthcoming. He announced an 11th hour investigation, just days before the election. Although Clinton was also cleared in this case, observers never forgave Comey for his actions, arguing they cost Clinton the White House.

Now James Comey is back in the spotlight as one of the main characters in the Barr-Durham investigation, which is examining largely out of the spotlight the origins of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory that dogged the White House for four long years.

In early December, Justice Department's independent inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, released the 400-page IG report that revealed a long list of omissions, mistakes and inconsistencies in the FBI's applications for FISA warrants to conduct surveillance on Carter Page. Although the report was damning, both Barr and Durham noted it did not go far enough because Horowitz did not have the access that Durham has to intelligence agency sources, as well as overseas contacts that Barr provided to him.

With AG report due for release in early spring, needless to say some Democrats are very nervous as to its finding. So nervous, in fact, that they might just be willing to go to the extreme of removing a sitting president to avoid its conclusions.

Whatever the verdict, 2020 promises to be one very interesting year.

[Dec 30, 2019] Twitter Scrubs Viral Trump Retweet Of Alleged Hoaxblower s Name

Notable quotes:
"... Twitter blamed a computer glitch after President Trump's retweet of a post containing the name alleged whistleblower Eric Ciaramella mysteriously disappeared from his timeline. After 'fixing' the issue and restoring the retweet, the user was simply banned from the platform so that nobody could see the tweet, which quickly went viral. ..."
Dec 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Twitter blamed a computer glitch after President Trump's retweet of a post containing the name alleged whistleblower Eric Ciaramella mysteriously disappeared from his timeline. After 'fixing' the issue and restoring the retweet, the user was simply banned from the platform so that nobody could see the tweet, which quickly went viral.

" Rep. Ratliffe suggested Monday that the "whistleblower" Eric Ciaramella committed perjury by making false statements in his written forms filed with the ICIG and that Adam Schiff is hiding evidence of Ciaramella's crimes to protect him from criminal investigations," read the tweet made by by now-banned @surfermom77, which describes herself as living in California and a "100% Trump supporter."

Ciaramella has been outed in several outlets as the 'anonymous' CIA official whose whistleblower complaint over a July 25 phone call between Trump and with his Ukrainian counterpart is at the heart of Congressional impeachment proceedings.

Trump retweeted the post around midnight Friday. By Saturday morning, it was no longer visible in his Twitter feed.

When contacted by The Guardian 's Lois Beckett for explanation, Twitter blamed an "outage with one of our systems."

Some people reported earlier today that someone had deleted the alleged-whistleblower's name-retweet from Trump's timeline. Others of us still see *that tweet* on Trump's timeline. When asked for clarification, Twitter said this: https://t.co/Rftkg3nbus https://t.co/XREAvvxjhf

-- Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) December 29, 2019

By Sunday morning, the tweet had been restored to Trump's timeline - however hours later the user, @Surfermom77, was banned from the platform .

Running cover for Twitter is the Washington Post , which claims " The account shows some indications of automation , including an unusually high amount of activity and profile pictures featuring stock images from the internet."

Surfermom77 has displayed some hallmarks of a Twitter bot, an automated account. A recent profile picture on the account, for instance, is a stock photo of a woman in business attire that is available for use online.

Surfermom77 has also tweeted far more than typical users, more than 170,000 times since the account was activated in 2013. Surfermom77 has posted, on average, 72 tweets a day, according to Nir Hauser, chief technology officer at VineSight, a technology firm that tracks online misinformation. - WaPo

Meanwhile, Trump retweeted another Ciaramella reference on Thursday, after the @TrumpWarRoom responded to whistleblower attorney Mark Zaid's tweet calling for the resignation of Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) from the Senate Whistleblower Caucus after she made "hostile" comments - after she tweeted in November that "Vindictive Vindman is the "whistleblower's" handler (a reference to impeachment witness Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman.

It's pretty simple. The CIA "whistleblower" is not a real whistleblower! https://t.co/z6bjGaFCSH pic.twitter.com/RHhkY1BGei

-- FOLLOW Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) December 26, 2019

As the Washington Times notes, "This week, it was revealed that conservative organization Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request in November for the communications of Ciaramella, a 33-year-old CIA analyst who is alleged to be the whistleblower."

"The watchdog group requested conversations between Ciaramella and special counsel Robert Mueller, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and former FBI attorney Lisa Page."

[Dec 29, 2019] A Hawkish Impeachment by James Antle

Notable quotes:
"... Despite fond youthful memories of Bill Clinton/Kenneth Starr/Monica Lewinsky jokes on late-night television, my interest in the current impeachment saga can pretty much be summed up as follows: "Get back to me when they launch an impeachment inquiry over Yemen ." Watching the House vote along party lines to impeach President Donald Trump while barely stifling a yawn over the Afghanistan Papers does little to alter my skepticism about this constitutional crisis built for cable news. ..."
"... Progressive commentator Michael Tracey offered this apt summary of Washington's bizarre priorities: "This last week teaches us that temporarily freezing and then unfreezing future military aid to one of our many far-flung client states is [a] huge national emergency but the government systematically lying about every aspect of the longest war in U.S. history is a forgettable non-issue." ..."
Dec 29, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Despite fond youthful memories of Bill Clinton/Kenneth Starr/Monica Lewinsky jokes on late-night television, my interest in the current impeachment saga can pretty much be summed up as follows: "Get back to me when they launch an impeachment inquiry over Yemen ." Watching the House vote along party lines to impeach President Donald Trump while barely stifling a yawn over the Afghanistan Papers does little to alter my skepticism about this constitutional crisis built for cable news.

Progressive commentator Michael Tracey offered this apt summary of Washington's bizarre priorities: "This last week teaches us that temporarily freezing and then unfreezing future military aid to one of our many far-flung client states is [a] huge national emergency but the government systematically lying about every aspect of the longest war in U.S. history is a forgettable non-issue."

Nobody will be impeached for lying about Afghanistan. There will be no intelligence community whistleblower setting in motion an impeachment inquiry over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In fact, the same Nancy Pelosi who ultimately caved to the Resistance shut down antiwar Democrats who wanted such hearings into George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. But here John Bolton, an advocate of preventive presidential war during this very administration, may finally get his wish of being greeted as a liberator .

Even as Representative Adam Schiff led the drive to impeach Trump, the California Democrat voted for a defense bill that lavishes the executive branch with money without restraining presidential war powers. But this seeming inconsistency is practically the point -- the entire impeachment inquiry was wrapped in hawkish assumptions and rhetoric as liberal Democrats unthinkingly stumbled into a Cold War 2.0 mindset that few of them this side of Hillary Clinton would have willingly embraced absent frequently overhyped Trump-Russia headlines dating back to the 2016 campaign.

No, Trump isn't Jesus Christ being handed over by Pontius Pilate. His phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wasn't " perfect " and neither side of this partisan morality tale has exactly covered itself in glory. Rudy Giuliani's escapades seem particularly likely to end badly. One need not even necessarily defend Trump's conduct to oppose an impeachment inquiry largely predicated on threat inflation. Arm Ukraine, Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan testified, so they can "fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here." She could have been starring in a Democratic reboot of Red Dawn decades after the Soviet Union disintegrated.

There's no question Trump to some extent dangled a White House visit and congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine before Kyiv in pursuit of the talking point that Joe Biden was under investigation. The only matters in dispute are how determined the effort was, whether Trump's motives were at least partially publicly spirited, the degree of the Bidens' shadiness, and why the aid was ultimately disbursed (Byron York makes the case that it wasn't necessarily because of the whistleblower).

House Democrats began with a presumption of corrupt intent on all counts and a definition of foreign election interference elastic enough to include Trump utterances about WikiLeaks and Hillary's deleted emails but not Ukraine's (smaller, less systematic and arguably less effective than Russia's) 2016 influence campaign . And while not all investigations are created equal -- if Hunter Biden's business dealings are to be probed, it should not be as a favor to any president -- the impeachment inquiry itself is an investigation of a political rival, who was also investigated during his previous campaign .

If shortcuts were taken in the beginning of the Trump-Russia investigation, the origins of Trump-Ukraine resemble a template for undermining any seriously antiwar or civil libertarian president. Trump is not that president himself, of course -- his acquiescence to the Beltway blob on lethal military aid is precisely what increased his leverage over Ukraine -- but some plausible and even the occasional Republican could be. Trump's mild rhetorical dissents on foreign policy are clearly a factor in why he has reason to be suspicious of his own subordinates (it's also why it is disingenuous to suggest that replacing Trump with Mike Pence is no different than replacing Bill Clinton with ideologically identical Al Gore or that people who have worked for Bush, Cheney or John McCain would have no reason to oppose Trump).

Many Democrats sincerely believed they were impeaching Trump for the least of his crimes, like Al Capone and tax evasion, and that Robert Mueller let him escape last time. They are also making a case against Trump's ability to separate personal and national interests in a way that speaks to his fitness for the office, with Ukraine merely being their specific example. But in doing so, they are also ratifying a bipartisan foreign policy consensus that has failed the American people, and that's bigger than any one president.

W. James Antle III is the editor of The American Conservative.

[Dec 29, 2019] People you are voting for actually serve as representatives of MIC, not you: House Dems Unanimously Vote to Condemn Withdrawal From Syria

Dec 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

yaridanjo , 21 minutes ago link

Congress' constitutional duty is putting Israel first!

Reality_checkers , 18 minutes ago link

MIGA!

yaridanjo , 11 minutes ago link

You can find here who the warmongers in congress are:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/116-2019/h560

the warmongers voted 'yea' to get their bribes from the Rothschild Banking Cartel!

[Dec 29, 2019] Note on Washington's bizarre priorities by James Antle

Notable quotes:
"... ...Michael Tracey offered this apt summary of Washington's bizarre priorities: "This last week teaches us that temporarily freezing and then unfreezing future military aid to one of our many far-flung client states is [a] huge national emergency but the government systematically lying about every aspect of the longest war in U.S. history is a forgettable non-issue." ..."
Dec 29, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

...Michael Tracey offered this apt summary of Washington's bizarre priorities: "This last week teaches us that temporarily freezing and then unfreezing future military aid to one of our many far-flung client states is [a] huge national emergency but the government systematically lying about every aspect of the longest war in U.S. history is a forgettable non-issue."

[Dec 29, 2019] Lyle J. Goldstein The War in Ukraine Must End

Dec 29, 2019 | scotthorton.org

by Scott | Dec 27, 2019 | Interviews Lyle J. Goldstein talks about the need for Russia and Ukraine to get along better, and in general for Europe to handle more of its military and foreign affairs without the involvement of the U.S. Much has been made in certain American circles of supposed Russian aggression in Crimea and Syria, two major pillars of the narrative that Russia is a dangerous enemy that must be met with strength. But these claims present a very slanted narrative, and are mostly used by those who want to keep the U.S. military involved in policing the entire world.

Discussed on the show:

Lyle J. Goldstein is Research Professor in the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) at the United States Naval War College in Newport, RI. He is the author of Meeting China Halfway: How to Defuse the Emerging US-China Rivalry . Follow his work at The National Interest .

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT , by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State , by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com ; Tom Woods' Liberty Classroom ; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott ; Washinton Babylon ; Liberty Under Attack Publications ; Listen and Think Audio ; TheBumperSticker.com ; and LibertyStickers.com .

Donate to the show through Patreon , PayPal , or Bitcoin: 1Ct2FmcGrAGX56RnDtN9HncYghXfvF2GAh.

[Dec 29, 2019] Note on Ukrainian tribalism and Mechanisms of Russophobia in Ukraine

Dec 29, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

That makes default identity politics a "double or nothing" bet. If it's political successful, it's dragged further and further towards entrenched minority rule by members of the dominant racial or religous group, and typically towards some form of personal dictatorship. If it's unsuccessful, the divisions it creates risks a reversal of the previous order. Instead of being accepted as one element of a diverse community, the formerly dominant group becomes the object of hostility and derision. The signs of that are certainly evident, particularly in relation to the culture wars around religion.

Alex SL 12.27.19 at 10:32 am

I am not really sure where a formerly dominant group has ever become the object of hostility and derision, except maybe when colonial powers were expulsed? It seems the formerly dominant religions and the "real XYZians" are still treated with instinctive deference everywhere, even in societies that are now officially secular or multi-cultural, and regardless of how terrible their dominance was before it was broken.

Michael 12.27.19 at 3:45 pm (no link)

It's been pointed out more than once (e.g., Wendy Brown https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691136219/regulating-aversion ; Beth Povinelli https://www.dukeupress.edu/the-cunning-of-recognition ; etc.) that the expectation of deference is built into the very idea of acceptance. Whoever is doing the accepting is in effect granting a sort of favor; they are positioned as having the privilege to dispense acceptance. In this way, acceptance and domination are internally linked.

... Domination ends when no group feels entitled to grant acceptance to others.

Ray Vinmad 12.27.19 at 4:01 pm ( 9 )
...It is true that there is now orientation away from tolerance because tolerance depends on dominance.

Another way to look at this is that the more heated battles in identity politics (broadly defined) are occurring now because the dominant group is having difficulty with the shift from noblesse oblige 'granting' of equality to others to the insistence by these others on complete and total equality.

To oversimplify, when people in whatever oppressed identity group come to ask themselves 'why can't I be on a completely equal footing with those who do well/benefit from, etc. the current system?' they tend to lose patience with noblesse oblige, and are unwilling to behave with deference. Deference might seem too much like internalizing one's inferiority or the rightness of someone else's dominance.. This means that the groups are more likely to demand things from others rather than wait to receive them.

These things are necessary for full social equality but there will be a lot of hostility among some within dominant groups, and you're now seeing people commit to whatever version of social hierarchy they think works best for them. They ignore or are blind to whatever versions they'd be screwed by. They tend to make common cause on the naturalness of that social hierarchy, and the importance of social hierarchy generally.

This is one reason why affinities between oppressed identity groups aren't merely strategic. Having recognized the legitimacy of this type of demand for full equality for themselves, people with certain identities are probably more likely to recognize it for others. Certain subcultures within oppressed group develop a set of standard moral responses–and these types of demands for full equality for others will seem par for the course. They'll commit themselves to meeting them even for groups whose political interests aren't clearly aligned with their own. Often though, the political interests are broadly aligned but this process does create moral affinities, and general commitments to egalitarianism that the far right ridicules but which follow logically from a broad commitment for social equality.

Even so, there are fights among groups struggling for different types of social equality. Sometimes they are actually in one another's way or are viewed as competition for resources. Sometimes the concern seems more symbolic and maybe motivated by worries that there isn't enough equality to go around.

The interesting consequence is maybe the only power some people making claims for equality have is the power of moral suasion. They are depending on the broader acceptance of social equality, and the logical extension to themselves. So naturally a backlash tries to undermine their moral standing.

Peter Dorman 12.27.19 at 6:57 pm (no link)
The dynamic JQ describes does occur often, but it is not the whole story. I think two distinctions can help in separating where it works from where it doesn't.

The first is between symbolic and concrete relative positioning. JQ is describing a realm in which hierarchies are matters of symbolic exchange: do I relate to you as my inferior, equal or superior? A lot of social interaction is like this. But there are also concrete hierarchies in which people exercise power over others or gain relative advantage irrespective of how their actions are displayed symbolically. In its pure form, for instance, institutional racism is a hierarchy that is not visible at the individual level but shows up through the structural dynamics of the institutions people are embedded in. I think of the interaction between racial segregation in housing, unequal access to credit and the financing of public schools through local property taxes as an example of this. No single individual has to be racist in outlook or intent for the system as a whole to reproduce generation after generation of extreme injustice.

The second is between zero-sum and positive-sum redistributions. Some inequalities are largely zero-sum, in the sense that the benefits to those on the top are due to the deprivations of those on the bottom. An example is the gender division of labor in housework, where more chores for you means more freedom from them for me and vice versa. The Marxist view of profit works that way too (but not necessarily other views). And then there are inequalities in which the benefits of the better off group don't depend on the deprivation of others, such as the risk of being arbitrarily abused or killed by the police. I'm white and less likely to experience this abuse than someone who isn't, but ending this abuse for them doesn't put me at any greater risk.

I think identity politics has been excessively divisive (more precise: has engendered surplus divisiveness) because of the blurring of these two distinctions. Contests over symbolic status, as JQ points out, have an inherent zero sum aspect, especially as we move to the meta level of who should have the right to award respect in the first place. To some extent, these contests are an unavoidable part of social change, and we just have to roll with them. Unfortunately though, symbolic disputes have tended to crowd out concrete ones, where it is often possible to find (ahem) Pareto improvements.

Meanwhile, there is very little awareness of the difference between zero and positive sum situations, as shown by the tendency to call all relative advantages "privilege". A privilege is an unjust, unearned benefit, typically based on the exclusion of others. (Membership has its privileges because nonmembers don't get them.) Private equity billionaires who profit from exorbitant surprise medical bills that bankrupt ordinary people drip with privilege. But heterosexual couples who benefit from marriage laws did not gain at the expense of non-hetero couples that were excluded, and changing the laws to benefit the latter does not harm the former (except perhaps in the world of symbolic hierarchies).

We are awash in sloppy thinking about difference and hierarchy. (There's a lot more than what I've brought up here.) Why we're in this mess is an interesting question.

MisterMr 12.27.19 at 7:12 pm ( 12 )
I'm not sure that identity politics works this way.
This is the way identity politics would work if it was really a sort of philosophical argument about the merits of this or that identity.
But what I see is more a sort of tribalism, where for example here in Italy many conservative parties (especially the Lega) are big on how Italy is a Christian (catholic) country and Muslim immigrants are going to destroy our culture, but then when the Pope says we should welcome immigrants they say he should mind his own business, that is not what you would expect from a firebrand catholic.
SamChevre 12.28.19 at 1:20 am ( 25 )
the idea of tolerance implies the existence of a dominant group that does the tolerating

I'm not certain this is true; the history of religious tolerance seems to feature many cases where no group was a majority, and "we'll argue but not fight, and the government won't take sides" was designed to be the best available system when everyone was a minority. I'd say a very key feature of US politics since the 1960's is that the elite have been increasingly unwilling to tolerate, or provide equal protection of the law to, those who disagree with them–so principles like "free speech doesn't include malicious falsehoods" or "the government doesn't take sides between conceptions of the good" only last until they would protect a previously-normative group that the elite has turned on.

I also think you are missing a key point in the discussion of deference: a normative identity creates both a Schelling point and some incentive to assimilate, and so builds its own majority; think of "white" identity in the US.

Chetan Murthy 12.28.19 at 3:01 am ( 33 )
likbez @ 19:

To be sure, race, gender, culture, and other aspects of social life have always been important to politics. But neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity.

You quote from this guy, and others have written the same thing (e.g. Mark [spit] Lilla). Their argument, simply put, is that "identity politics" is a fracturing of society into smaller groups who don't/won't unite.

Peter T 12.28.19 at 5:50 am ( 38 )
Having/continually constructing/renewing identities is an inescapable part of being human. The issue is: what is to constitute the most salient identity? What bundle of markers are to make up being "American" or "British" or "European"? These things are always contested, but the pace of change is usually slow. We live in a time when the question is unusually prominent, so more heavily contested. If, as Chetan says, lots of groups just want to be "American", then by that want they change "American-ness". If they can't agree on some new definition, then the US fractures.

[Dec 29, 2019] CNN (Shockingly) Calls Out Chuck Schumer Over 1999 Impeachment Hypocrisy Zero Hedge

Dec 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

CNN blasted Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Friday over contradictory stances regarding the role of Senators during an impeachment.

In a recent floor speech , Schumer blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for describing himself as "not an impartial juror" when it comes to Trump's upcoming impeachment trial.

"Let the American people hear it loud and clear, the Republican leader said, proudly, 'I'm not an impartial juror. I'm not impartial about this at all.' That is an astonishing admission of partisanship," said Schumer.

Yet, as CNN 's Andrew Kaczynski and Em Steck note, Schumer said during Bill Clinton's 1998 - 1999 impeachment saga that the Senate was "not like a jury box," and that senators, who are not impartial, had previously formed their opinions heading into the trial .

Schumer had attacked his Senate opponent Al D'Mato for not taking a position on impeachment during their 1998 debate. D'Mato said he would not take a position until "the proof is presented" at the Senate trial – calling it "inappropriate." https://t.co/nPMyvjZE6V pic.twitter.com/tYAc6hkwzd

-- andrew kaczynski🤔 (@KFILE) December 27, 2019

In fact, as "KFile" notes, Schumer was elected to the Senate in 1998 on the promise that a vote for him would be a vote not to impeach Clinton .

We have a new story looking at past Chuck Schumer's comments on impeachment. Including repeatedly arguing the Senate was not a jury in 1999 and him campaigning that he would not support impeachment or convicting Clinton in 1998. https://t.co/nPMyvjZE6V https://t.co/LPr1BlfD4O pic.twitter.com/87q7hxKLks

-- andrew kaczynski🤔 (@KFILE) December 27, 2019

Speaking on CNN's "Larry King Live" in January 1999, Schumer said the trial in the Senate was not like a jury box.

" We have a pre-opinion ," Schumer said, citing himself and two newly-elected Republican senators who had voted on impeachment in 1998 as members of the House of Representatives who said they would vote in the Senate. " This is not a criminal trial, but this is something that the Founding Fathers decided to put in a body that was susceptible to the whims of politics ."

" So therefore, anybody taking an oath tomorrow can have a pre-opinion; it's not a jury box ," King asked Schumer.

"Many do," Schumer responded. "And then they change. In fact, it's also not like a jury box in the sense that people will call us and lobby us. You don't have jurors called and lobbied and things like that. I mean, it's quite different than a jury. And we're also the judge."

A day later, the Republican National Committee attacked Schumer in a press release for previous comments in the House saying there was no basis for impeachment. - CNN

Then-RNC chairman Jim Nicholson said of Schumer "No self-respecting jury would allow somebody who's already formed an opinion on the guilt or innocence of the accused," adding "but Chuck Schumer has loudly proclaimed that he's pre-judged the case. He's already announced that he's decided the President shouldn't be impeached , much less removed from office."

Schumer responded days later, telling NBC 's "Meet the Press": "The Founding Fathers -- whose wisdom just knocks my socks off every day, it really does -- set this process up to be in the Senate, not at the Supreme Court, not in some judicial body ."

"Every day, for instance, hundreds of people call us up and lobby us on one side and the other. You can't do that with a juror," he added. "The standard is different. It's supposed to be a little bit judicial and a little bit legislative-political. That's how it's been.

Meanwhile, Schumer said in a 1998 Op-Ed that he would be voting to acquit Clinton , and that he'd made up his mind that September.

"My decision will not come as a surprise," Schumer wrote . "I will be voting to acquit the president on both counts. I had to make my decision in September as a member of the Judiciary Committee in the House, and while I was in the middle of the campaign."

Responding to CNN 's recent report (yet failing to explain the 'impartial juror' hypocrisy), Schumer's office said that his statements came after the conclusion of the Starr investigation, "which included testimony from key witnesses including President Clinton, had concluded and been made public for months and as Sen. Schumer was in the anomalous position of having already voted on impeachment in both the House Judiciary Committee and on the House floor."

"As is reflected in these quotes, Schumer believed then and still believes now that all of the facts must be allowed to come out and then a decision can be made -- in stark contrast to the Republicans today in both the House and Senate who have worked to prevent all the facts and evidence from coming out." 43 minutes ago (Edited) CNN is a CIA / Ziocon loudspeaker. I think they are furiously backpedaling and trying to undo the Anti-Trump necromancy of the past few years. Why? because they realize that Orange Donald is really Zion Don, and that MAGA is being served up as a watery bone broth, meanwhile MIGA is prime rib and is being served up on a daily basis from the White House.

[Dec 29, 2019] Last Week's Russian-Ukrainian Gas Deal Took the World by Surprise by Andrew Korybko

Dec 29, 2019 | astutenews.com

Like it was earlier noted, the "New Detente" isn't perfect, as seen most recently by the US' decision to impose sanctions on the companies involved in Nord Stream II's construction, but once again, the state of relations in general are still comparatively better than their nadir in mid-2014 immediately after the EuroMaidan coup and Crimea's reunification with Russia. The US is still trying to "contain" Russia with mixed success, while Russia is undertaking its best efforts to break out of this "containment" noose and even "flip" some of the US' traditional partners such as Turkey, so the New Cold War probably won't end anytime soon. Nor, for that matter, did anybody reasonably expect that it would, but just like during the Old Cold War, there comes a time when the involved parties believe that it's in their best interests to proverbially take a break and enter into a period of detente. It seems as though that phase is only now just beginning but which has finally borne some fruit after Trump promised to pursue this outcome all throughout the 2016 campaign.

One can argue over why that hasn't already happened to the extent that he promised (or even if he was fully sincere in the first place), but the point to focus on in the here and now is that some tangible progress has finally been made concerning the future of Russia's trans-Ukrainian gas supplies to the EU. From the looks of it, all the relevant players -- Russia, Ukraine, the EU, and the US -- have concrete interests in seeing that this agreement is upheld. It's convenient for Russia to continue using existing pipelines, Ukraine wants to get paid for its transit role, the EU desires reliable but cheap gas imports, and the US recognizes that this outcome perpetuates the geostrategic role of its Ukrainian proxy that it could then leverage as a "bargaining chip" for reaching a more substantive "New Detente" with Russia sometime next year or the one afterwards. That said, while each player has their interests, they don't exactly trust one another for different reasons, which means that the "New Detente" might still be offset if any of them decides to play the spoiler or is undermined by their "deep states".

[Dec 28, 2019] An American Oligarch's Dirty Tale Of Corruption by William Engdahl

Notable quotes:
"... Splitting Naftogaz into separate companies could allow Soros to take control of one of the new branches and essentially privatize its profits. He already suggested that he indirectly brought in US consulting company, McKinsey, to advise Naftogaz on the privatization " big bang ." ..."
"... The totality of what is revealed in the three hacked documents show that Soros is effectively the puppet-master pulling most of the strings in Kiev. Soros Foundation's Ukraine branch, International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) has been involved in Ukraine since 1989. His IRF doled out more than $100 million to Ukrainian NGOs two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, creating the preconditions for Ukraine's independence from Russia in 1991. Soros also admitted to financing the 2013-2014 Maidan Square protests that brought the current government into power. ..."
"... Soros' foundations were also deeply involved in the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought the corrupt but pro-NATO Viktor Yushchenko into power with his American wife who had been in the US State Department ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by William Engdahl via LewRockwell.com,

Rarely does the world get a true look inside the corrupt world of Western oligarchs and the brazen manipulations they use to enhance their fortunes at the expense of the public good.

The following comes from correspondence of the Hungarian-born billionaire, now naturalized American speculator, George Soros. The hacker group CyberBerkut has published online letters allegedly written by Soros that reveal him not only as puppet master of the US-backed Ukraine regime .

They also reveal his machinations with the US Government and the officials of the European Union in a scheme where, if he succeeds, he could win billions in the plunder of Ukraine assets. All, of course, would be at the expense of Ukrainian citizens and of EU taxpayers.

What the three hacked documents reveal is a degree of behind-the-scene manipulation of the most minute details of the Kiev regime by the New York billionaire.

In the longest memo, dated March 15, 2015 and marked "Confidential" Soros outlines a detailed map of actions for the Ukraine regime. Titled, "A short and medium term comprehensive strategy for the new Ukraine," the memo from Soros calls for steps to "restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement." To do the restoring, Soros blithely notes that "General Wesley Clark, Polish General Skrzypczak and a few specialists under the auspices of the Atlantic Council [emphasis added -- f.w.e.] will advise President Poroshenko how to restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement ."

Soros also calls for supplying lethal arms to Ukraine and secretly training Ukrainian army personnel in Romania to avoid direct NATO presence in Ukraine . The Atlantic Council is a leading Washington pro-NATO think tank .

Notably, Wesley Clark is also a business associate of Soros in BNK Petroleum which does business in Poland.

Clark, some might recall, was the mentally-unstable NATO General in charge of the 1999 bombing of Serbia who ordered NATO soldiers to fire on Russian soldiers guarding the Pristina International Airport. The Russians were there as a part of an agreed joint NATO–Russia peacekeeping operation supposed to police Kosovo. The British Commander, General Mike Jackson refused Clark, retorting, "I'm not going to start the Third World War for you ." Now Clark apparently decided to come out of retirement for the chance to go at Russia directly.

Naked asset grab

In his March 2015 memo Soros further writes that Ukrainian President Poroshenko's "first priority must be to regain control of financial markets," which he assures Poroshenko that Soros would be ready to assist in: "I am ready to call Jack Lew of the US Treasury to sound him out about the swap agreement."

He also calls on the EU to give Ukraine an annual aid sum of €11 billion via a special EU borrowing facility. Soros proposes in effect using the EU's "AAA" top credit rating to provide a risk insurance for investment into Ukraine.

Whose risk would the EU insure?

Soros details, "I am prepared to invest up to €1 billion in Ukrainian businesses. This is likely to attract the interest of the investment community. As stated above, Ukraine must become an attractive investment destination."

Not to leave any doubt, Soros continues, "The investments will be for-profit but I will pledge to contribute the profits to my foundations. This should allay suspicions that I am advocating policies in search of personal gain. "

For anyone familiar with the history of the Soros Open Society Foundations in Eastern Europe and around the world since the late 1980's, will know that his supposedly philanthropic "democracy-building" projects in Poland, Russia, or Ukraine in the 1990's allowed Soros the businessman to literally plunder the former communist countries using Harvard University's "shock therapy" messiah, and Soros associate, Jeffrey Sachs, to convince the post-Soviet governments to privatize and open to a "free market" at once, rather than gradually.

The example of Soros in Liberia is instructive for understanding the seemingly seamless interplay between Soros the shrewd businessman and Soros the philanthropist. In West Africa George Soros backed a former Open Society employee of his, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, giving her international publicity and through his influence, even arranging a Nobel Peace Prize for her in 2011, insuring her election as president. Before her presidency she had been well-indoctrinated into the Western free market game, studying economics at Harvard and working for the US-controlled World Bank in Washington and the Rockefeller Citibank in Nairobi. Before becoming Liberia's President, she worked for Soros directly as chair of his Open Society Initiative for West Africa ( OSIWA ).

Once in office, President Sirleaf opened the doors for Soros to take over major Liberian gold and base metals assets along with his partner, Nathaniel Rothschild. One of her first acts as President was to also invite the Pentagon's new Africa Command, AFRICOM, into Liberia whose purpose as a Liberian investigation revealed, was to "protect George Soros and Rothschild mining operations in West Africa rather than champion stability and human rights ."

Naftogaz the target

The Soros memo makes clear he has his eyes on the Ukrainian state gas and energy monopoly, Naftogaz. He writes, "The centerpiece of economic reforms will be the reorganization of Naftogaz and the introduction of market pricing for all forms of energy, replacing hidden subsidies "

In an earlier letter Soros wrote in December 2014 to both President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, Soros openly called for his Shock Therapy:

"I want to appeal to you to unite behind the reformers in your government and give your wholehearted support to a radical, 'big bang' type of approach. That is to say, administrative controls would be removed and the economy would move to market prices rapidly rather than gradually Naftogaz needs to be reorganized with a big bang replacing the hidden subsidies "

Splitting Naftogaz into separate companies could allow Soros to take control of one of the new branches and essentially privatize its profits. He already suggested that he indirectly brought in US consulting company, McKinsey, to advise Naftogaz on the privatization " big bang ."

The Puppet-Master?

The totality of what is revealed in the three hacked documents show that Soros is effectively the puppet-master pulling most of the strings in Kiev. Soros Foundation's Ukraine branch, International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) has been involved in Ukraine since 1989. His IRF doled out more than $100 million to Ukrainian NGOs two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, creating the preconditions for Ukraine's independence from Russia in 1991. Soros also admitted to financing the 2013-2014 Maidan Square protests that brought the current government into power.

Soros' foundations were also deeply involved in the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought the corrupt but pro-NATO Viktor Yushchenko into power with his American wife who had been in the US State Department . In 2004 just weeks after Soros' International Renaissance Foundation had succeeded in getting Viktor Yushchenko as President of Ukraine, Michael McFaul wrote an OpEd for the Washington Post. McFaul, a specialist in organizing color revolutions, who later became US Ambassador to Russia, revealed:

Did Americans meddle in the internal affairs of Ukraine? Yes. The American agents of influence would prefer different language to describe their activities -- democratic assistance, democracy promotion, civil society support, etc. -- but their work, however labeled, seeks to influence political change in Ukraine. The U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy and a few other foundations sponsored certain U.S. organizations, including Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the Solidarity Center, the Eurasia Foundation, Internews and several others to provide small grants and technical assistance to Ukrainian civil society. The European Union, individual European countries and the Soros-funded International Renaissance Foundation did the same .

Soros shapes 'New Ukraine'

Today the CyberBerkut hacked papers show that Soros' IRF money is behind creation of a National Reform Council, a body organized by presidential decree from Poroshenko which allows the Ukrainian president to push bills through Ukraine's legislature. Soros writes,

"The framework for bringing the various branches of government together has also emerged. The National Reform Council (NRC) brings together the presidential administration, the cabinet of ministers, the Rada and its committees and civil society. The International Renaissance Foundation which is the Ukrainian branch of the Soros Foundations was the sole financial supporter of the NRC until now "

Soros' NRC in effect is the vehicle to allow the President to override parliamentary debate to push through "reforms," with the declared first priority being privatization of Naftogaz and raising gas prices drastically to Ukrainian industry and households, something the bankrupt country can hardly afford .

In his letter to Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk, Soros hints that he played a key role in selection of three key non-Ukrainian ministers -- Natalia Jaresko, an American ex- State Department official as Finance Minister; Aivras Abromavicius of Lithuania as Economics Minister, and a health minister from Georgia. Soros in his December 2014 letter, referring to his proposal for a "big bank" privatization of Naftogaz and price rise, states,

"You are fortunate to have appointed three 'new Ukrainian' ministers and several natives (sic) who are committed to this approach ."

Elsewhere Soros speaks about de facto creating the impression within the EU that the current government of Yatsenyuk is finally cleaning out the notorious corruption that has dominated every Kiev regime since 1991. Creating that temporary reform illusion, he remarks, will convince the EU to cough up the €11 billion annual investment insurance fund. His March 2015 paper says that, "It is essential for the government to produce a visible demonstration (sic) during the next three months in order to change the widely prevailing image of Ukraine as an utterly corrupt country." That he states will open the EU to make the €11 billion insurance guarantee investment fund .

While saying that it is important to show Ukraine as a country that is not corrupt, Soros reveals he has little concern when transparency and proper procedures block his agenda. Talking about his proposals to reform Ukraine's constitution to enable privatizations and other Soros-friendly moves, he complains,

"The process has been slowed down by the insistence of the newly elected Rada on proper procedures and total transparency ."

Soros suggests that he intends to create this "visible demonstration" through his initiatives, such as using the Soros-funded National Reform Council, a body organized by presidential decree which allows the Ukrainian president to push bills through Ukraine's legislature.

George Soros is also using his new European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank to lobby his Ukraine strategy, with his council members such as Alexander Graf Lambsdorff or Joschka Fischer or Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, not to mention former ECB head, Jean-Claude Trichet no doubt laying a subtle role.

George Soros, now 84, was born in Hungary as a Jew, George Sorosz. Soros once boasted in a TV interview that he posed during the war as a gentile with forged papers, assisting the Horthy government to seize property of other Hungarian Jews who were being shipped to the Nazi death camps. Soros told the TV moderator, "There was no sense that I shouldn't be there, because that was–well, actually, in a funny way, it's just like in markets–that if I weren't there–of course, I wasn't doing it, but somebody else would."

This is the same morality apparently behind Soros' activities in Ukraine today. It seems again to matter not to him that the Ukrainian government he helped bring to power in February 2014 US coup d'etat is riddled with explicit anti-semites and self-proclaimed neo-Nazis from the Svoboda Party and Pravy Sektor. George Soros is clearly a devotee of "public-private-partnership." Only here the public gets fleeced to enrich private investors like Mr. Soros and friends. Cynically, Soros signs his Ukraine strategy memo, "George Soros–A self-appointed advocate of the new Ukraine, March 12, 2015."


youshallnotkill , 1 minute ago link

Funny how the Soros Open Society Foundations is still operational while the Trump Foundation was closed by court order because it among other things stole from veterans, and Trump was fined $2M for his foundation's maleficence.

Kendle C , 1 hour ago link

I believe the author is wrong about his original name. Wasn't it Gyorgi Schwarz?

Lore , 1 hour ago link

This is amazing -- should be the feature article for the coming week.

Just when you think things couldn't get more corrupt, something like this surfaces, and we're shown new depths of evil.

This guy Soros seems like the devil incarnate.

SummerSausage , 1 hour ago link

And now we learn that our own State Department was filling Soros coffers with our taxpayer money to use against us and destroy our republic.

Whenever Democrats scream about cuts in foreign aid, know that they are squealing because their "cut" of the laundered funds is in jeopardy and they have to answer to Soros for the rest.

Lord Raglan , 3 hours ago link

He's contributed a lot of money to the Dem Party to be so insulated from not only prosecution but from criticism. If and when he gets criticized in a publication or article, he screams "Anti-Semitism!" He's become good at making everything a win-win for himself. Preaches socialism out of one side of his mouth to "virtue signal" to the world and then loots the objects thereof out of the other side of his mouth for the benefit of his alleged foundations. Why we can't prosecute him for interfering in our elections with his stolen money is something hard to understand.

CatInTheHat , 5 hours ago link

Ukraine is *** infested. I would like to know Soros ties to Igor Kolomoisky.

"Once in office, President Sirleaf opened the doors for Soros to take over major Liberian gold and base metals assets along with his partner, Nathaniel Rothschild. One of her first acts as President was to also invite the Pentagon's new Africa Command, AFRICOM, into Liberia whose purpose as a Liberian investigation revealed, was to "protect George Soros and Rothschild mining operations in West Africa rather than champion stability and human rights ."

Wherever there are wealthy *** Zionist fascist oligarch sociopaths there is trouble...

Both parties support this ****.

[Dec 28, 2019] In many cases of ethnic/cultural nationalism this looks more like a competition for resources with the smoke screen of noble intentions/human rights/past oppression/ humiliations/etc

Dec 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.28.19 at 9:17 am

Peter T 12.28.19 at 5:50 am @38

I'm finding it hard to think of examples where the formerly norm-giving group becomes derided or humiliated.

You can probably try to look at the situation in (now independent) republics of the former USSR. Simplifying previously oppressed group, given a lucky chance, most often strive for dominance and oppression of other groups including and especially former dominant group. This is an eternal damnation of ethno/cultural nationalism.

And not only it (look at Mutual Help and The State in Shantytowns.) In them ethnic comminutes often own protection markets, offer services that hire people and replace the state, pay off gang leaders. they also provide some community support for particular ethnic group, enforce the rules of trade within themselves, etc. In GB the abuse of children by ethnic gangs was sickening ( https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/sep/30/abuse-children-asian-communities )

In many cases of ethnic/cultural nationalism this looks more like a competition for resources with the smoke screen of noble intentions/human rights/past oppression/ humiliations/etc

Or you can look at the language policy in the USA and the actual situation in some areas/institutions of Florida and California and how English speakers feel in those areas/institutions. Or in some areas of Quebec in Canada.

That actually suggests another meaning of famous Randolph Bourne quote " War is the health of the state " (said in the midst of the First World War.) It bring the unity unachievable in peace time or by any other methods, albeit temporarily (from Ch 14. Howard Zinn book A People's History of the United States ):

the governments flourished, patriotism bloomed, class struggle was stilled, and young men died in frightful numbers on the battlefields-often for a hundred yards of land, a line of trenches.

In the United States, not yet in the war, there was worry about the health of the state. Socialism was growing. The IWW seemed to be everywhere. Class conflict was intense. In the summer of 1916, during a Preparedness Day parade in San Francisco, a bomb exploded, killing nine people; two local radicals, Tom Mooney and Warren Billings, were arrested and would spend twenty years in prison. Shortly after that Senator James Wadsworth of New York suggested compulsory military training for all males to avert the danger that "these people of ours shall be divided into classes." Rather: "We must let our young men know that they owe some responsibility to this country."

The supreme fulfillment of that responsibility was taking place in Europe. Ten million were to die on the battlefield; 20 million were to die of hunger and disease related to the war. And no one since that day has been able to show that the war brought any gain for humanity that would be worth one human life. The rhetoric of the socialists, that it was an "imperialist war," now seems moderate and hardly arguable. The advanced capitalist countries of Europe were fighting over boundaries, colonies, spheres of influence; they were competing for Alsace-Lorraine, the Balkans, Africa, the Middle East.

Neo-McCarthyism now serves a somewhat similar purpose in the USA. Among other thing (like absolving Hillary from her fiasco to "deux ex machine" trick instead of real reason -- the crisis and rejection of neoliberalism by the sizable strata of the USA population) it is an attempt to unify the nation after 2016.

[Dec 28, 2019] Washington's Unmasked Imperialism Towards Europe And Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Sorry to burst your bubble, but since the end of the Soviet System (with Western criminal thieving BILLIONAIRES who rushed in to plunder Russia (Yeltsin Years) ---- Russians now live longer than the degraded, and impoverished Americans with what the Junk Food Nation serves in the US of A. ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4777 Washington's Unmasked Imperialism Towards Europe And Russia by Tyler Durden Sat, 12/28/2019 - 07:00 0 SHARES

Via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Washington must think the rest of the world is as stupid as many of its own politicians are. Its passing into law – signed by President Trump this week – of sanctions to halt the Nord Stream-2 and Turk Stream gas supply projects is a naked imperialist move to bludgeon the European energy market for its own economic advantage.

US sanctions are planned to hit European companies involved with Russia's Gazprom in the construction of the 1,225-kilometer pipeline under the Baltic Sea which will deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany and elsewhere across the European Union. The €9.5 billion ($11bn) project is 80 per cent complete and is due to be finished early next year.

It is quite clear – because US politicians have openly acknowledged it – that Washington's aim is to oust Russia as the main natural gas exporter to the giant EU market, and to replace with more expensive American-produced gas.

What's hilarious is the way American politicians, diplomats and news media are portraying this US assault on market principles and the sovereignty of nations as an act of chivalry.

Washington claims that the sanctions are "pro-European" because they are "saving Europe from dependency on Russia for its energy". The American hypocrisy crescendoes with the further claim that by stopping Russia earning lucrative export revenues, then Moscow will be constrained from "interfering" in European nations. As if Washington's own actions are not interference on a massive scale.

European politicians and businesses are not buying this American claptrap. The vast overstepping by Washington into European affairs has prompted EU governments to question the nature of the trans-Atlantic relation. About time too. Thus, Washington's hubris and bullying are undermining its objective of dominating Europe for its own selfish interests.

Russia, Germany and others have defiantly told Washington its weaponizing of economic sanctions will not halt the Nord Stream nor the Turk Stream projects.

As German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said earlier this month, "it is unacceptable" for the US to brazenly interfere in European and Russian energy trade. The American pretext of supposedly "protecting" the national security of its purported European allies is frankly laughable.

The American agenda is a blatantly imperialistic reordering of the energy market to benefit US economic interests. To pull off this audacious scam, Washington, by necessity, has to demonize and isolate Russia, while also trampling roughshod over its European allies. Europe has partly aided this American stitch-up of its own interests because it has foolishly indulged in the US antagonism towards Russia with sanctions due to the Ukraine conflict, Crimea and other anti-Russia smears.

The legislation being whistled through the American Congress by both Republicans and Democrats (collectively dubbed the War Party) is recklessly fueling tensions between the US and Russia. In trying to gain economic advantages over Europe's energy, Washington is wantonly ramping up animus towards Moscow.

Apart from the sanctions against Russian and European companies partnering on Nord Stream, the US Congress passed separate legislation which seeks to boost American oil and gas production in the East Mediterranean.

A Radio Free Europe report this week was headlined: 'Congress Passes More Legislation Aimed At Curbing Russia's Energy Grip On Europe'.

The headline should more accurately have been worded: 'Congress Passes More Legislation Aimed At Bolstering America's Energy Grip On Europe'.

The RFE report states: "The bipartisan Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act, which was approved on December 19, is the latest piece of US legislation passed this year that aims to diversify [sic] Europe's energy sources away from Kremlin-controlled companies."

Again, the American double-think is jaw-dropping. Such is the arrogance of a flailing, delusional empire when it can publicly justify with a straight face an energy-market-grab with a veneer of virtue.

US oil and gas giants are moving into the East Mediterranean. Exxon Mobil announced the discovery of a major natural gas field off Cyprus in February this year. American firms are also partnering with Israeli companies to begin gas production in the Leviathan Field located off the coast at Haifa.

There is no doubt that the US sanctions targeting Nord Stream and Turk Stream are part of a bigger concerted pincer movement by Washington to corner the EU energy market of 500 million consumers (more than double the US population).

Colin Cavell, a US professor of political science, commented to Strategic Culture Foundation: "What should be hammered down in this continuing debate over which country will be able to deliver oil and natural gas to Europe is the fact that neither the United States nor, and especially, the Republican Party, stand for so-called free trade."

Free-trade capitalism is supposed to be an ideological pillar of the US. In this ideology, governments should not interfere with market supply and demand. But paradoxically as far as US-imposed sanctions on Russian-European energy companies are concerned the American Congress is "quintessentially anti-free market", notes Cavell.

In its shameless profiteering, Washington is acting aggressively towards Russia and Europe while flouting its own supposed economic principles and relying on brute force to win its arguments. America's imperialist agenda towards Europe and Russia is how world wars are instigated.


radbug , 51 minutes ago link

In passing this legislation, the Washington elite have crossed a Rubicon. They can't go back. WW2 in Europe has finally ended.

Scipio Africanuz , 2 hours ago link

The Teutons, the critical component in Europe, have begun grafting titanium onto their spine..

Once the grafting is complete, GOLD ascends, and takes its rightful place, along with plentiful, accessible, and friendly energy..

The focus is now fully East and Central, and why?

Because as always, the rising of the sun starts in the East..

Cheers...

hayits grass , 2 hours ago link

Pretty good. Europe is a great continent. No more sucking the teat of USA.

cheoll , 2 hours ago link

Every EMPIRE has its Achilles's heel.

America is NO different.

ReturnOfDaMac , 2 hours ago link

"You will buy our more expensive, less efficient, non-market solution, you will pay for it with King Dollars, and by gawd, YOU WILL LIKE IT, now shuddup, Vassals!" -- Uncle Scam and the Reloonicans

CrazzeTimes4all , 3 hours ago link

If the US is seeking another world war, then they can host this one.

KingFiat , 3 hours ago link

I live in Denmark, a country Nord Stream 2 is going through. We are (used to be?) one of the strongest allies to the US. But recent developments have alienated a lot of danes to the US.

First Trump publicly announced he wanted to buy the isle of Greenland from Denmark. Greenland is the largest isle in the world and of strategic importance. But you don't just buy a part of another country, and this offer was firmly refused. As response to the refusal Trump cancelled a previously planned official visit to Denmark. This was seen by most danes as an insult.

Denmark was the last country holding out on permissions needed to build Nord Stream 2, but after this incident we allowed the project to go forward. I believe the Greenland incident caused the change making Denmark approve Nord Stream 2.

After this we have had other incidents. One is on the Faroe Islands (a part of Denmark), where both US and Chinese ambassadors interfered in our internal affairs trying to influence if Huawei could be used for 5G in this self-governing part of our country. Another is a follow-up to the Greenland incident mentioned, where the US now wants to open a diplomatic mission on the island, probably in an attempt to influence the local government to accept that the US buys the island.

During the last year I have seen sentiment among my fellow citizens going from "the US is great, let us support and follow them" to "we have to be careful of these guys, they interfere in our internal affairs and try to break up our country".

I believe the US government is underestimating how much they are alienating the Europeans with this line of foreing policy.

Versengetorix , 2 hours ago link

You are correct, but please understand that this is not our foreign policy. It is Israel's and they run America- have for several decades now.

CogitoMan , 1 hour ago link

Its a guess but I think there are other hidden issues here nobody wants to talk about. Of course, Trump idea of buying the island was stupid but I believe it arouse out of frustration. You see, US wants to build huge military base there. Danes won't permit that. The reason US wants to do it is because sea between Iceland and England/Norway is a chokepoint aimed against Russian subs. This is the only place where they can be reasonably stopped. It is nothing new, the same thing happened during WWII war at so called "war of Atlantic" where the most of the fighting happened between German U-boats and alliance marines.

NickelthroweR , 44 minutes ago link

You most certainly can buy land from other countries. Thomas Jefferson purchased the entire center of N. America from the French and for pennies. We also purchased Alaska from the Russians for next to nothing as well. Both land masses are much larger than all of Europe.

You guys don't need Greenland so give it to us for pennies.

Aussiestirrer , 3 hours ago link

USA = World's Terrorist Superpower....nothing more

RDouglas , 4 hours ago link

Russia has the largest proven reserves of easily recoverable oil and natural gas on Earth. The US has about a decade to choke Russia to death. Economic sanctions, regime change, cyber attacks...whatever it takes. If the US doesn't utterly break Russia soon, Russia will become the next, (and last) empire on Earth. NeoConThink.

CogitoMan , 2 hours ago link

Quote...

"The US has about a decade to choke Russia to death. "

Actually you are absolutely wrong on this. It is the other way around. Russia has to get out of US chokefold NOW or it will likely disintegrate.

Why? In short, economy, geogaphy and even more importantly demographics.

Today there are about 110 million native Russians there. Next to them are about 40 million muslims living there. Muslims have about twice as big reproduction rate as Russians do. It is estimated that in 30 years if current trends stand it will be 50/50. Worse, in ten years there will be only about 90 million Russians living there.

There are other issues as well. About 25 percent of Russian men die before the age of 55. The reason? Alcoholism and drug abuse. Have you ever heard about cheap Rusian drug called Krokodil?

It kills you slowly first then fast. Your body just ROTS AWAY and falls off. Literally! Like you have bare bones instead of feet. No kidding. Just check on you tube.

Another problem is soldier materiel. It is estimated that only about 30 percent of males between the age of 18-25 are healthy enough to join military. As of today it is barely sufficient to fill the ranks. In 10 years Russian military will have to shrink by 20 percent. From that perspective it is do or die for Russia right now. This is most likely the peak of their military power, then it will slowly deteriorate. Putin knows that, hence he lashes out at its neighbours, most notably Poland. Economy shrinks, military is on vane, hence he needs an enemy to rally his people around. Or else!

Then there is China. Make your best bet what they will do in the far east when Russia lies prostate.Remember, Russia took over a lot of Chinese territory in late XIX century there. Yep, the area around Vladivostok and other nearby territories, the size close to that of today's France..There are millions of Chinese already living there.In the Asian south Chinese already took controll of the former Russian stans. They rule there, not Putin. You didn't know that?

Makes me wonder why....

Rubicon727 , 1 hour ago link

"There are other issues as well. About 25 percent of Russian men die before the age of 55. The reason? Alcoholism and drug abuse. Have you ever heard about cheap Rusian drug called Krokodil?

It kills you slowly first then fast. Your body just ROTS AWAY and falls off. Literally! Like you have bare bones instead of feet. No kidding. Just check on you tube."

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

Sorry to burst your bubble, but since the end of the Soviet System (with Western criminal thieving BILLIONAIRES who rushed in to plunder Russia (Yeltsin Years) ---- Russians now live longer than the degraded, and impoverished Americans with what the Junk Food Nation serves in the US of A.

Gonzogal , 47 minutes ago link

here is some news for you.... Russians' Alcohol Consumption Drops 80% in 7 Years

Mustafa Kemal , 4 hours ago link

" Washington must think the rest of the world is as stupid as many of its own politicians are"

No, washington thinks no such thing. It doesnt really understand how stupid its own politicians are. Nor DOES IT CARE!.

Did anyone watch the impeachment proceedings? Now, THAT was stupid, stupid for the whole world to watch. And then there is the chocoate cake diplomacy of Trump, the elegance and sophistication of Pompeo, Bolton, and the digniity of Nikki Haley. Putting Raytheon to run our Pentagon is a magical touch.

LOL, the US clownshow is way past stupid.

vasilievich , 4 hours ago link

Comment from a friend of mine concerning the statement below. He has excellent security credentials:

"Our President has made the world far more dangerous by withdrawing from treaties without attempting to negotiate new ones. No country is well served by this. The situation is very destabilizing."

vasilievich , 4 hours ago link

September 22 of this year :

The Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Sergey Shoigu:

- I hope that a full-scale war is not a question today. And all the risks and consequences that such a full-scale war entails are obvious to everyone.

Regarding the third world war, there are a very large number of different statements. The most accurate and adequate of them seems to me: "I do not know exactly what the third world war will be. But I know for sure that she will be the last. "

However, if we talk about the number of threats to our country, then they do not become less. The United States has already withdrawn from two important nuclear arms control treaties. So far, the START-3 treaty remains, which is also under discussion in the USA: to renew it or not to renew it?

As a result of this approach, the world is becoming more unpredictable and less secure. At the current level of informatization and automation, there is a high probability of errors in the weapons control system.

That is why recently issues of ensuring information security have come to the fore. When you are aware of your vulnerability and are interested in maintaining balance and universal equal security, it makes you turn on your head.

And when you think how the United States continues to believe by inertia that a balance of power has developed in your favor, a variety of ideas may come to your head, including not the most reasonable ones. It is in this situation that I see the main threat now, and not only for Russia, "the minister replied.

Obamaroid Ointment , 4 hours ago link

U.N. Approves China-Backed Internet Convention, Alarming Rights Advocates

Josef Stalin , 5 hours ago link

Washington must think the rest of the world is as stupid as many of its own politicians are

CDN_Rebel , 5 hours ago link

It's good cop/bad cop nonsense. Europe is occupied territory, and American huffing and puffing at Russia is just meant to get Europe "better deals" for their projects with Russia. The only ones who don't get it are spooks and Neo-Libs/Cons

What is not expected is rational discussion on what I have described here. But since facts contrary to my expose here are missing I doubt it will happen.

Mustafa Kemal , 4 hours ago link

" But remember also that todays Russia is ruled by a Tsar named Putin"

Im amazed at how long this silly meme can be maintained.

Putin is NOT and autocrat, he has to struggle with a delicate balance. between the Atlantic integrationists and Eurasiaon soveriigntists. The oligarchy installed by the US is still strong in Russian. They have not won their soveriignty yet.

IronForge , 6 hours ago link

Because Oligopoly, Economic Slavery, and Vassaldom is Freedom!

BlueLightning , 6 hours ago link

When your only industry left is the MIC what else can you do but sanctions or war.

[Dec 25, 2019] Washington s sanctions are own goal

Notable quotes:
"... Time and time again Washington has tightened Russian sanctions in an effort to crush the Russian economy. When virtually every legal outlet had been sanctioned, Washington has turned to sanctioning third parties that cooperate with Russia. ..."
"... North American investors, led fully by Wall Street, account for over half of the foreign capital flowing into Russian stocks, according to the Moscow Exchange. By comparison, Russia's next door neighbors in Europe account for only 26%. ..."
"... Speaking on German TV, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said the sanctions were an infringement of sovereignty... The US sanctions have also angered Russia and the European Union, which says it should be able to decide its own energy policies. ..."
"... "As a matter of principle, the EU opposes the imposition of sanctions against EU companies conducting legitimate business," a spokesman for the trading bloc told AFP news agency on Saturday. ..."
"... According to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, the American sanctions amount to "interference in autonomous decisions taken in Europe." ..."
"... Iran, Malaysia, Turkey and Qatar are considering trading among themselves in gold and through a barter system as a hedge against any future economic sanctions on them, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Saturday. ..."
"... They have their own undersea pipe-laying equipment and experience. These sanctions will only delay the completion date for a few more months. Russia under Putin is very patient, resolute and not prone to rash decisions. They play the long game and will win out in the end. ..."
"... The Great Gas Game: Vesti Presents a New Documentary Film About Pipelines and Power youtube.com ..."
"... Nord Stream 2 is financed by leading energy companies from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Austria, ENGIE, OMV, Shell, Uniper and Wintershall Dea. A multi-billion Euro investment in European industry and services, the project involves more than 200 companies from 17 countries worldwide. ..."
"... Well, congratulations Congress and Trump. This will drive a wedge between the US and Europe. Can you just imagine how those investing in NS2 feel about the US. The US is saying in effect - lose all of your investment because we have determined that the project is against our geopolitical/economic interests. And to make matters worse the pipeline will be completed, probably only 2 months behind schedule. So the financial backers will get hit, but will eventually see returns due to Russian efforts. Russia could have built the entire pipeline themselves, but preferred to have European partners. ..."
"... to Europe at the start of the 1980's, the US had just gone through the Oil Shock of 1978–79 . The US has not been a net exporter of oil for well over 75 years. It is only this year that this has changed through the extensive use of fracking. ..."
Dec 25, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 12:18pm

own goal noun: (in soccer) a goal scored inadvertently when the ball is struck into the goal by a player on the defensive team.

Time and time again Washington has tightened Russian sanctions in an effort to crush the Russian economy. When virtually every legal outlet had been sanctioned, Washington has turned to sanctioning third parties that cooperate with Russia.

So what is the net effect of all of these sanctions?

The Russian stock market has reached record highs this year but still has room to climb further in coming months before paring gains towards the end of 2020, a Reuters poll of market experts found...
The rouble-based MOEX index has reached an all-time high of 3,009.1 in November, taking its year-to-date gain to over 25%, and is seen finishing this year at 3,000.

That's not exactly what Washington had in mind. However the real kicker is this .

North American investors, led fully by Wall Street, account for over half of the foreign capital flowing into Russian stocks, according to the Moscow Exchange. By comparison, Russia's next door neighbors in Europe account for only 26%.

So what is happening is that Washington is punishing Europe for cooperating with Russia, while turning a blind eye to when their Wall Street donors cooperate with Russia. As you may have guessed, this has created some hard feelings .

Speaking on German TV, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said the sanctions were an infringement of sovereignty... The US sanctions have also angered Russia and the European Union, which says it should be able to decide its own energy policies.

"As a matter of principle, the EU opposes the imposition of sanctions against EU companies conducting legitimate business," a spokesman for the trading bloc told AFP news agency on Saturday.

Imagine that: countries making their own policy decisions that don't align with Washington's interests? What's the world coming to?

Allseas, a Dutch-Swiss private company, is going to be significantly harmed by the newest sanctions, and it will delay the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (but it will only delay it). However, there is a bright side to all of this.

While it costs Moscow hundreds of millions in lost income and additional investments, the country is benefitting on a geostrategic and political level.

For a mere $9.5 billion, NS2's price tag, Moscow has unintentionally managed to drive another wedge between key Western allies. Berlin is furious about the sanctions and its already fraught relations with Washington are set to escalate even further. According to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, the American sanctions amount to "interference in autonomous decisions taken in Europe."

What is certain is that NS2 will be completed eventually. Most of the work on the 1,230 kilometer or 765 mile long pipeline has already been finished. Also, the vast majority of the $9.5 billion in investments have already been spent.

Much like our GWOT, we've reached a point in sanctions where staying the course just makes things worse. It isn't just Russia. The Muslim world is looking for an alternative trading system to avoid sanctions that Washington hasn't even threatened yet.

Iran, Malaysia, Turkey and Qatar are considering trading among themselves in gold and through a barter system as a hedge against any future economic sanctions on them, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Saturday.

..."I have suggested that we re-visit the idea of trading using the gold dinar and barter trade among us," Mahathir said, referring to the Islamic medieval gold coin.

"We are seriously looking into this and we hope that we will be able to find a mechanism to put it into effect."
The leaders agreed they needed do more business among themselves and trade in each other's currencies.

You know that you are using sanctions too much when other nations expect to be sanctioned by you before you even consider doing it.
As for the gold dinar, this is what was proposed by Libya's former leader Gaddafi, and also what got him eventually killed .

The most recent batch of Clinton emails reveals perhaps the most bizarre morsel of Blumenthal-baked intelligence to date. An April 2, 2011 memo titled "France's client/Q's gold" quotes "knowledgeable individuals" with insider information about French President Nicolas Sarkozy's motivation for bombing Libya. The military campaign, the anonymous sources say, was designed to quash plans by Gaddafi to use $7 billion in secret gold and silver to prop up a new African currency. The French worried the move would undercut the currency guaranteed by the French treasury, known as CFA franc, that's widely used in West Africa and acts as a strong link between France and many of its former African colonies. After French intelligence officials got wind of this secret plan, the Blumenthal memo reports, Sarkozy freaked out: "This was one of the factors that influenced [his] decision to commit France to the attack on Libya."
The Voice In th... on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 12:52pm
Kruschev Many remember the quote "We will bury you". I think he was quoting someone else. Lenin? But they forget the second sentence. "And the capitalists will sell us the shovel."

Greed is indeed a sickness, a mental illness. Not ordinary greed, but Scrooge McDuck greed. The need to have more more more, when it cannot possibly make any difference in your life.

Not like the guys I worked with that volunteered for every Holiday, every overtime opportunity. The money did make a difference there, although one can question whether it is worth it. But pursuing an extra billion when you already have tens of billions? How much is enough? How high is up.

EDIT:

I'm reminded of the old sitcom "Mama's Family". Dim bulb son, Vinton, hears of a new larger lottery jackpot and says, "Wow! Imagine how many lottery tickets you could buy with that much money!"

EDIT2:

Like an alcoholic that just drinks more and more until he passes out.

Roy Blakeley on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 9:08pm
Yes but the real problem is...

@entrepreneur that capitalism selects for people with this mental illness. A person with a healthy view of life will never be selected as fortune 500 CEO.

excessive are the mountains of paper they accumulate are still stimulated by acquiring more.
#1
And whether it be newspapers solidly packing every room in their homes to a depth of 6 feet, leaving barely a 12" crawl space between the top of the stacks and the ceiling, or be it a pile of money, more than they and their extended family and descendants can spend in 100 years, it is hoarding, a mental illness.

CB on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 12:55pm
The US will not stop Nord Stream 2

They have their own undersea pipe-laying equipment and experience. These sanctions will only delay the completion date for a few more months. Russia under Putin is very patient, resolute and not prone to rash decisions. They play the long game and will win out in the end.

//www.youtube.com/embed/jiGh1wSIt5c?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

gjohnsit on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 2:20pm
Worth 10 minutes of your time

https://www.youtube.com/embed/w1TYkGq0BM4

CB on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 4:46pm
The US has been playing at this game for over 5 decades, originally with US supplied coal but recently revived with US LNG. Fascinating historical backgrounder to the current US sanctions against Russian gas pipelines.

The Great Gas Game: Vesti Presents a New Documentary Film About Pipelines and Power youtube.com

The Wizard on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 5:33pm
Yes, own goal

Nord Stream 2 is financed by leading energy companies from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Austria, ENGIE, OMV, Shell, Uniper and Wintershall Dea. A multi-billion Euro investment in European industry and services, the project involves more than 200 companies from 17 countries worldwide.

Well, congratulations Congress and Trump. This will drive a wedge between the US and Europe. Can you just imagine how those investing in NS2 feel about the US. The US is saying in effect - lose all of your investment because we have determined that the project is against our geopolitical/economic interests. And to make matters worse the pipeline will be completed, probably only 2 months behind schedule. So the financial backers will get hit, but will eventually see returns due to Russian efforts. Russia could have built the entire pipeline themselves, but preferred to have European partners.

At the end of WWII most of Europe used coal for energy. The US had a goal to convert Europe to oil, since the US was the major world exporter of oil. One of the stated reasons was to make Europe dependent on US oil and give the US political leverage over European countries. So this whole thing is about the US projecting their geopolitical dominance schemes to Russia. As it has turned out, for more than 70 years Russia and previously the USSR has never done that as a policy. The reason being that once you do that you lose trust as a trade partner. But this is even worse as the US is interfering in trading among European partners that has nothing to do directly with the US.

CB on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 6:31pm
When the USSR started building gas pipelines

@The Wizard

to Europe at the start of the 1980's, the US had just gone through the Oil Shock of 1978–79 . The US has not been a net exporter of oil for well over 75 years. It is only this year that this has changed through the extensive use of fracking.

The oil shortage of the 1970's brought about the end of power generation using oil. The US, a major exporter of coal, was pushing the use of American coal for energy security in Europe since WWII.

CB on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 8:47pm
Just came across this report on US coal

@CB

Trump Makes American Coal Great Again -- Overseas
U.S. coal exports have exploded. Can that continue?
April 4, 2018
...
The export boom is the one part of Trump's pledge to help the coal sector that is coming true.

Production ticked up a bit last year after a disastrous 2016 but is still at the lowest level since 1978. And despite plenty of promises to bring back jobs to coal country, coal mining employment only grew by some 1,100 jobs last year; mining employment is down about 40 percent since 2012. Meanwhile, closures of coal-fired power plants continue apace, with more than two dozen plants shutting down early last year alone, which means less domestic demand for coal.
...
And the Trump administration's other policies don't look like they'll end up helping coal much either. The push to increase exports of natural gas to Europe, Asia, and Latin America undermines the overseas market for U.S. coal, since both can be used to generate electricity. And as U.S. coal is shipped abroad, its price at home tends to rise slightly -- making coal even less attractive as a power source there.

"Unfortunately, most of the policies the Trump administration is pursuing inside and outside of energy do not help domestic coal production," Book says.

[Dec 25, 2019] Trump Impeachment as Dems dirty election campaign move

Trump can be impeached as a war criminal just for his false flag Douma attack (along with members of his administration). But Neoliberal Dems and frst of all Pelosi are war criminals too, with Pelosi aiding and abetting war criminal Bush.
So this is a variation of the theme of Lavrentiy Beria most famous quote: "Show me a man and I will find you a crime"
I think tose neolib Dems who supported impeachment disqualified themselves from the running. That includes Warren, who proved to be a very weak, easily swayed politician. It is quote probably that they increased (may be considerably) chances of Trump reelection, but pushing independents who were ready to abandon him, back into Trump camp. Now Trump is able to present himself as a victim of neoliberal Dems/neocons witch hunt.
Notable quotes:
"... Faithless Execution ..."
Dec 25, 2019 | www.nationalreview.com

The only real check left is impeachment. It is rarely invoked and (until very recently) has atrophied as a credible threat. But that doesn't make it any less indispensable.

The problem was exacerbated by the Clinton impeachment fiasco, which history has proved foolhardy. (I supported it at the time, but I was a government lawyer then, not a public commentator.) Republicans were sufficiently spooked by the experience that they seemed to regard impeachment as obsolete. Faithless Execution countered that this was the wrong lesson to take from the affair. Clinton's impeachment was a mistake because (a) his conduct, though disgraceful and indicative of unfitness, did not implicate the core responsibilities of the presidency; and more significantly, (b) the public, though appalled by the behavior, strongly opposed Clinton's removal. The right lesson was that impeachment must be reserved for grave misconduct that involves the president's essential Article II duties; and that because impeachment is so deeply divisive, it should never be launched in the absence of a public consensus that transcends partisan lines.

This is why, unlike many opponents of President Trump's impeachment, I have never questioned the legitimacy of the Democratic-controlled House's investigations of misconduct allegations against the president. I believe the House must act as a body (investigations should not be partisan attacks under the guise of House inquiries), and it must respect the lawful and essential privileges of the executive branch; but within those parameters, Congress has the authority and responsibility to expose executive misconduct.

Moreover, while egregious misconduct will usually be easy to spot and grasp, that will not always be the case. When members of Congress claim to see it, they should have a fair opportunity to expose and explain it. To my mind, President Obama was the kind of chief executive that the Framers feared, but this was not obvious because he was not committing felonies. Instead, he was consciously undermining our constitutional order. He usurped the right to dictate law rather than execute it. His extravagant theory of executive discretion to "waive" the enforcement of laws he opposed flouted his basic constitutional duty to execute the laws faithfully. He and his underlings willfully and serially deceived Congress and the public on such major matters as Obamacare and the Benghazi massacre. They misled Congress on, and obstructed its investigation of, the outrageous Fast and Furious "gun-walking" operation, in connection with which a border patrol agent was murdered. With his Iran deal, the president flouted the Constitution's treaty process and colluded with a hostile foreign power to withhold information from Congress, in an arrangement that empowered (and paid cash ransom to) the world's leading sponsor of anti-American terrorism.

My critics fairly noted that I opposed Obama politically, and therefore contended that I was masquerading as a constitutional objection what was really a series of policy disputes. I don't think that is right, though, for two reasons.

First, my impeachment argument was not that Obama was pursuing policies I deeply opposed. I was very clear that elections have consequences, and the president had every right to press his agenda. My objection was that he was imposing his agenda lawlessly, breaking the limitations within which the Framers cabined executive power, precisely to prevent presidents from becoming tyrants. If allowed to stand, Obama precedents would permanently alter our governing framework. Impeachment is there to protect our governing framework.

Second, I argued that, my objections notwithstanding, Obama should not be impeached in the absence of a public consensus for his removal. Yes, Republicans should try to build that case, try to edify the public about why the president's actions threatened the Constitution and its separation of powers. But they should not seek to file articles of impeachment simply because they could -- i.e., because control of the House theoretically gave them the numbers to do it. The House is not obliged to file impeachment articles just because there may be impeachable conduct. Because impeachment is so divisive, the Framers feared that it could be triggered on partisan rather than serious grounds. The two-thirds supermajority requirement for Senate conviction guards against that: The House should not impeach unless there is a reasonable possibility that the Senate would remove -- which, in Obama's case, there was not.

I also tried to focus on incentives. If impeachment were a credible threat, and Congress began investigating and publicly exposing abuses, a sensible president would desist in the misconduct, making it unnecessary to proceed with impeachment. On the other hand, a failed impeachment effort would likely embolden a rogue president to continue abusing power. If your real concern is executive lawlessness, then impeaching heedlessly and against public opinion would be counterproductive.

I've taken the same tack with President Trump.

The objections to Trump are very different from those to Obama. He is breaking not laws but norms of presidential behavior and decorum. For the most part, I object to this. There are lots of things about our government that need disruption, but even disruptive presidents should be mindful that they hold the office of Washington and Lincoln and aspire to their dignity, even if their greatness is out of reach.

That said, impeachment is about serious abuse of the presidency's core powers, not behavior that is intemperate or gauche. Critics must be mindful that the People, not the pundits, are sovereign, and they elected Donald Trump well aware of his flaws. That he turns out to be as president exactly what he appeared to be as a candidate is not a rationale for impeaching him.

The president's misconduct on Ukraine is small potatoes. Democrats were right to expose it, and we would be dealing with a more serious situation if the defense aid appropriated by Congress had actually been denied, rather than inconsequentially delayed. If Democrats had wanted to make a point about discouraging foreign interference in American politics (notwithstanding their long record of encouraging it), that would have been fine. They could have called for the president's censure, which would have put Republicans on the defensive. Ukraine could have been incorporated as part of their 2020 campaign that Trump should be defeated, despite a surging economy and relative peace.

Conducting an impeachment inquiry is one thing, but for the House to take the drastic step of impeaching the president is abusive on this record. Yes, it was foolish of Trump to mention the Bidens to President Zelensky and to seek Ukraine's help in investigating the Bidens. There may well be corruption worth probing, but the president ought to leave that to researchers in his campaign. If there is something that a government should be looking into, leave that to the Justice Department, which can (and routinely does) seek foreign assistance when necessary. The president, however, should have stayed out of it. Still, it is absurd to posit, as Democrats do, that, by not staying out of it, the president threatened election integrity and U.S. national security. Such outlandish arguments may make Ukraine more of a black eye for Democrats than for the president.

But whoever ultimately bears the brunt of the impeachment push, I have to ask myself a hard question: Is this the world I was asking for when I wrote a book contending that, for our system to work as designed, impeachment has to be a credible threat? I don't think so . . . but I do worry about it.

Back to the Clinton impeachment. I tried to make the point that that impeachment effort -- against public opinion, and based on misconduct that, while dreadful, was not central to the presidency -- has contributed significantly to the poisonous politics we have today. Democrats have been looking for payback ever since, and now they have it -- in a way that is very likely to make impeachment more routine in the future.

I don't see how our constitutional system can work without a viable impeachment remedy. But I may have been wrong to believe that we could be trusted to invoke the remedy responsibly. I used to poke fun at pols who would rather hide under their desks than utter the dreaded I-word. Turns out they knew something I didn't.

[Dec 25, 2019] Trump understands perfectly well that impeachment the Neoliberal Dems dirty election strategy trick and he fights back

This dirty trick worked for Pelosi in 2018 with Mueller, now she is hoping to unseat Trump in 2020 using similar strategy
Dec 25, 2019 | twitter.com

Donald J. Trump ‏ 7:12 PM - 25 Dec 2019

...& overwhelming," but this Scam Impeachment was neither. Also, very unfair with no Due Process, proper representation, or witnesses. Now Pelosi is demanding everything the Republicans weren't allowed to have in the House. Dems want to run majority Republican Senate. Hypocrites!

Donald J. Trump ‏ 7:12 PM - 25 Dec 2019

Why should Crazy Nancy Pelosi, just because she has a slight majority in the House, be allowed to Impeach the President of the United States? Got ZERO Republican votes, there was no crime, the call with Ukraine was perfect, with "no pressure." She said it must be "bipartisan...

Trish Regan ‏ Dec 23

The # Dems ' war on democracy ratcheting up as they refuse to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a proper trial. GOP Congressman @ RepMarkGreen says ' # NancyPelosi is a tyrannical person OUT OF CONTROL!' # TrishRegan

[Dec 25, 2019] Escobar You Say You Want A (Russian) Revolution by Pepe Escobar

Dec 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Pepe Escobar via ConsortiumNews.com,

O nce in a blue moon an indispensable book comes out making a clear case for sanity in what is now a post-MAD world. That's the responsibility carried by " The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs ," by Andrei Martyanov (Clarity Press), arguably the most important book of 2019.

Martyanov is the total package -- and he comes with extra special attributes as a top-flight Russian military analyst, born in Baku in those Back in the U.S.S.R. days, living and working in the U.S., and writing and blogging in English.

Right from the start, Martyanov wastes no time destroying not only Fukuyama's and Huntington's ravings but especially Graham Allison's childish and meaningless Thucydides Trap argument -- as if the power equation between the U.S. and China in the 21stcentury could be easily interpreted in parallel to Athens and Sparta slouching towards the Peloponnesian War over 2,400 years ago. What next? Xi Jinping as the new Genghis Khan?

(By the way, the best current essay on Thucydides is in Italian, by Luciano Canfora (" Tucidide: La Menzogna, La Colpa, L'Esilio" ). No Trap. Martyanov visibly relishes defining the Trap as a "figment of the imagination" of people who "have a very vague understanding of real warfare in the 21st century." No wonder Xi explicitly said the Trap does not exist.)

Martyanov had already detailed in his splendid, previous book, "Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning," how "American lack of historic experience with continental warfare" ended up "planting the seeds of the ultimate destruction of the American military mythology of the 20thand 21stcenturies which is foundational to the American decline, due to hubris and detachment of reality." Throughout the book, he unceasingly provides solid evidence about the kind of lethality waiting for U.S. forces in a possible, future war against real armies (not the Taliban or Saddam Hussein's), air forces, air defenses and naval power.

Do the Math

One of the key takeaways is the failure of U.S. mathematical models: and readers of the book do need to digest quite a few mathematical equations. The key point is that this failure led the U.S. "on a continuous downward spiral of diminishing military capabilities against the nation [Russia] she thought she defeated in the Cold War."

In the U.S., Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) was introduced by the late Andrew Marshall, a.k.a. Yoda, the former head of Net Assessment at the Pentagon and the de facto inventor of the "pivot to Asia" concept. Yet Martyanov tells us that RMA actually started as MTR (Military-Technological Revolution), introduced by Soviet military theoreticians back in the 1970s.

One of the staples of RMA concerns nations capable of producing land-attack cruise missiles, a.k.a. TLAMs. As it stands, only the U.S., Russia, China and France can do it. And there are only two global systems providing satellite guidance to cruise missiles: the American GPS and the Russian GLONASS. Neither China's BeiDou nor the European Galileo qualify – yet – as global GPS systems.

Then there's Net-Centric Warfare (NCW). The term itself was coined by the late Admiral Arthur Cebrowski in 1998 in an article he co-wrote with John Garstka's titled, "Network-Centric Warfare – Its Origin and Future."

Deploying his mathematical equations, Martyanov soon tells us that "the era of subsonic anti-shipping missiles is over." NATO, that brain-dead organism (copyright Emmanuel Macron) now has to face the supersonic Russian P-800 Onyx and the Kalibr-class M54 in a "highly hostile Electronic Warfare environment." Every developed modern military today applies Net-Centric Warfare (NCW), developed by the Pentagon in the 1990s.

Rendering of a future combat systems network. (soldiersmediacenter/Flickr, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Martyanov mentions in his new book something that I learned on my visit to Donbass in March 2015: how NCW principles, "based on Russia's C4ISR capabilities made available by the Russian military to numerically inferior armed forces of the Donbass Republics (LDNR), were used to devastating effect both at the battles of Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo, when attacking the cumbersome Soviet-era Ukrainian Armed Forces military."

No Escape From the Kinzhal

Martyanov provides ample information on Russia's latest missile – the hypersonic Mach-10 aero-ballistic Kinzhal, recently tested in the Arctic.

Crucially, as he explains, "no existing anti-missile defense in the U.S. Navy is capable of shooting [it] down even in the case of the detection of this missile." Kinzhal has a range of 2,000 km, which leaves its carriers, MiG-31K and TU-22M3M, "invulnerable to the only defense a U.S. Carrier Battle Group, a main pillar of U.S. naval power, can mount – carrier fighter aircraft." These fighters simply don't have the range.

The Kinzhal was one of the weapons announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin's game-changing March 1, 2018 speech at the Federal Assembly. That's the day, Martyanov stresses, when the real RMA arrived, and "changed completely the face of peer-peer warfare, competition and global power balance dramatically."

Top Pentagon officials such as General John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, have admitted on the record there are "no existing countermeasures" against, for instance, the hypersonic, Mach 27 glide vehicle Avangard (which renders anti-ballistic missile systems useless), telling the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee the only way out would be "a nuclear deterrent." There are also no existing counter-measures against anti-shipping missiles such as the Zircon and Kinzhal.

Any military analyst knows very well how the Kinzhal destroyed a land target the size of a Toyota Corolla in Syria after being launched 1,000 km away in adverse weather conditions. The corollary is the stuff of NATO nightmares: NATO's command and control installations in Europe are de facto indefensible.

Martyanov gets straight to the point: "The introduction of hypersonic weapons surely pours some serious cold water on the American obsession with securing the North American continent from retaliatory strikes."

Kh-47M2 Kinzhal; 2018 Moscow Victory Day Parade. (Kremilin via Wikimedia Commons)

Martyanov is thus unforgiving on U.S. policymakers who "lack the necessary tool-kit for grasping the unfolding geostrategic reality in which the real revolution in military affairs had dramatically downgraded the always inflated American military capabilities and continues to redefine U.S. geopolitical status away from its self-declared hegemony."

And it gets worse: "Such weapons ensure a guaranteed retaliation [Martyanov's italics] on the U.S. proper." Even the existing Russian nuclear deterrents – and to a lesser degree Chinese, as paraded recently -- "are capable of overcoming the existing U.S. anti-ballistic systems and destroying the United States," no matter what crude propaganda the Pentagon is peddling.

In February 2019, Moscow announced the completion of tests of a nuclear-powered engine for the Petrel cruise missile. This is a subsonic cruise missile with nuclear propulsion that can remain in air for quite a long time, covering intercontinental distances, and able to attack from the most unexpected directions. Martyanov mischievously characterizes the Petrel as "a vengeance weapon in case some among American decision-makers who may help precipitate a new world war might try to hide from the effects of what they have unleashed in the relative safety of the Southern Hemisphere."

Hybrid War Gone Berserk

A section of the book expands on China's military progress, and the fruits of the Russia-China strategic partnership, such as Beijing buying $3 billion-worth of S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missiles -- "ideally suited to deal with the exact type of strike assets the United States would use in case of a conventional conflict with China."

Beijing parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic, October 2019. (YouTube screenshot)

Because of the timing, the analysis does not even take into consideration the arsenal presented in early October at the Beijing parade celebrating the 70thanniversary of the People's Republic.

That includes, among other things, the "carrier-killer" DF-21D, designed to hit warships at sea at a range of up to 1,500 km; the intermediate range "Guam Killer" DF-26; the DF-17 hypersonic missile; and the long-range submarine-launched and ship-launched YJ-18A anti-ship cruise missiles. Not to mention the DF-41 ICBM – the backbone of China's nuclear deterrent, capable of reaching the U.S. mainland carrying multiple warheads.

Martyanov could not escape addressing the RAND Corporation, whose reason to exist is to relentlessly push for more money for the Pentagon – blaming Russia for "hybrid war" (an American invention) even as it moans about the U.S.'s incapacity of defeating Russia in each and every war game. RAND's war games pitting the U.S. and allies against Russia and China invariably ended in a "catastrophe" for the "finest fighting force in the world."

Martyanov also addresses the S-500s, capable of reaching AWACS planes and possibly even capable of intercepting hypersonic non-ballistic targets. The S-500 and its latest middle-range state of the art air-defense system S-350 Vityaz will be operational in 2020.

His key takeway: "There is no parity between Russia and the United States in such fields as air-defense, hypersonic weapons and, in general, missile development, to name just a few fields – the United States lags behind in these fields, not just in years but in generations [italics mine]."

All across the Global South, scores of nations are very much aware that the U.S. economic "order" – rather disorder – is on the brink of collapse. In contrast, a cooperative, connected, rule-based, foreign relations between sovereign nations model is being advanced in Eurasia – symbolized by the merging of the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the NDB (the BRICS bank).

The key guarantors of the new model are Russia and China. And Beijing and Moscow harbor no illusion whatsoever about the toxic dynamics in Washington. My recent conversations with top analysts in Kazakhstan last month and in Moscow last week once again stressed the futility of negotiating with people described – with overlapping shades of sarcasm – as exceptionalist fanatics. Russia, China and many corners of Eurasia have figured out there are no possible, meaningful deals with a nation bent on breaking every deal.

Indispensable? No: Vulnerable

Martyanov cannot but evoke Putin's speech to the Federal Assembly in February 2019, after the unilateral Washington abandonment of the INF treaty, clearing the way for U.S. deployment of intermediate and close range missiles stationed in Europe and pointed at Russia:

"Russia will be forced to create and deploy those types of weapons against those regions from where we will face a direct threat, but also against those regions hosting the centers where decisions are taken on using those missile systems threatening us."

Translation: American Invulnerability is over – for good.

In the short term, things can always get worse. At his traditional, year-end presser in Moscow, lasting almost four and a half hours, Putin stated that Russia is more than ready to "simply renew the existing New START agreement", which is bound to expire in early 2021: "They [the U.S.] can send us the agreement tomorrow, or we can sign and send it to Washington." And yet, "so far our proposals have been left unanswered. If the New START ceases to exist, nothing in the world will hold back an arms race. I believe this is bad."

"Bad" is quite the euphemism. Martyanov prefers to stress how "most of the American elites, at least for now, still reside in a state of Orwellian cognitive dissonance" even as the real RMA "blew the myth of American conventional invincibility out of the water."

Martyanov is one of the very few analysts – always from different parts of Eurasia -- who have warned about the danger of the U.S. "accidentally stumbling" into a war against Russia, China, or both which is impossible to be won conventionally, "let alone through the nightmare of a global nuclear catastrophe."

Is that enough to instill at least a modicum of sense into those who lord over that massive cash cow, the industrial-military-security complex? Don't count on it.

* * *

Pepe Escobar, a veteran Brazilian journalist, is the correspondent-at-large for Hong Kong-based Asia Times . His latest book is " 2030 ." Follow him on Facebook .

[Dec 25, 2019] A new incarnation of the fundamental question "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" Democrats Debate Whether Trump Has Been Impeached

This is like the debate about the fundamental question "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"
Notable quotes:
"... has President Trump been impeached, or did the House vote merely represent an authorization or intention to impeach -- which becomes an actual impeachment only when the articles are transmitted? ..."
Dec 25, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Alan Dershowitz via The Gatestone Institute,

Speaker Pelosi's unconstitutional decision to delay transmission of the articles of impeachment to the Senate in order to gain partisan advantage raises the following question: has President Trump been impeached, or did the House vote merely represent an authorization or intention to impeach -- which becomes an actual impeachment only when the articles are transmitted? This highly technical constitutional issue is being debated by two of my former Harvard Law School colleagues -- Professors Laurence Tribe and Noah Feldman -- both liberal Democrats who support President Trump's impeachment.

Tribe believes that Trump has been impeached and that it would be perfectly proper to leave it at that : by declining to transmit the articles of impeachment, the Democrats get a win-win. President Trump remains impeached but he gets no opportunity to be tried and acquitted by the Senate. This cynical, partisan ploy is acceptable to Tribe because it brings about the partisan result he prefers: Trump bears forever the stigma of impeachment without having the opportunity to challenge that stigma by a Senate acquittal. Under the Tribe scenario, the House Democrats get to "obstruct" the Senate and "abuse" their power (to borrow terms from the articles of impeachment).

Feldman disagrees with Tribe, arguing -- quite correctly -- that impeachment and a removal trial go together. If a president is impeached, he must be tried. Impeachment, in his view, is not merely a vote; it is the first step in a constitutionally mandated two-step process. He goes so far as to say that if the articles of impeachment are not forwarded to the Senate for trial, there has been no valid impeachment.

[Dec 25, 2019] Professor Stephen Cohen on impeachment

Dec 25, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star December 24, 2019 at 5:20 pm

Cohen on impeachment

https://www.youtube.com/embed/pQK7M7_GMDc?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

[Dec 25, 2019] Freedom gas

Dec 25, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al December 24, 2019 at 2:35 am

Euractiv: How a EURACTIV journalist inadvertently coined the 'Worst Phrase of the Year' 2019
https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/how-a-euractiv-journalist-inadvertently-coined-the-worst-phrase-of-the-year-2019/

It's official: "Freedom gas" is the Worst Phrase of the Year, according to the Plain English Foundation. But where does the expression come from? EURACTIV did not have to look far to get the answer

So where does the whole story come from?

On 1 May, EURACTIV's energy and climate reporter Frédéric Simon attended a briefing with US energy secretary Rick Perry in Brussels. He recalls the events below.

The four journalists in the room had spent about an hour asking Perry a basic question: why would Europeans choose to pay for expensive LNG imported from the US when they have access to cheap Russian gas?

"But my surprise soon turned to dismay when Perry suddenly took a grave face and started talking about the Normandy landings during WWII for which commemorations were planned days after."

Here's what Perry went on to say: Seventy-five years after liberating Europe from Nazi Germany occupation, "the United States is again delivering a form of freedom to the European continent," the US energy secretary told reporters that day.

"And rather than in the form of young American soldiers, it's in the form of liquefied natural gas," he added. "So yes, I think you may be correct in your observation," he said in reference to Fred's suggestion about 'Freedom gas' .
####

Quite instructive about the mindset (f/king nuts) they are over in the States. They really do live in their own universe where no-one picks up their dogs' (and their own) crap. They neither notice the smell nor link to the slipperyness underfoot to their own actions. They don't care either.

Moscow Exile December 24, 2019 at 4:35 am
They like to talk about the European "blood-debt" to the USA.

I don't know what they think a large number of unfortunate young men were doing on Gold, Juno and Sword beaches in June, 1944, or indeed that there were such beaches. Even moreso, they are apparently unaware of the over 22 million Soviet citizens who died 1941-1945 during what is known as "The Great Patriotic War for the Fatherland, 1941-1945"..

The what???

[Dec 25, 2019] Analysts have identified a way to increase the export of Gazprom to bypass the Ukraine The Eugal pipeline built to deliver gas from "Nord Stream-2 " to end users, will be operating in 2020, despite US sanctions

Dec 24, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile December 24, 2019 at 10:47 am Аналитики назвали способ нарастить экспорт "Газпрома" в обход Украины

Analysts have identified a way to increase the export of Gazprom to bypass the Ukraine The Eugal pipeline built to deliver gas from "Nord Stream-2 " to end users, will be operating in 2020, despite US sanctions. "Gazprom" will redirect gas to this pipeline from "Northern stream-1", experts say

The capacity of the Eugal onshore gas pipeline, built specifically for delivering gas from the Nord Stream-2 offshore gas pipeline to end users, may allow Gazprom to increase supplies to Europe bypassing the Ukraine, despite the fact that the United States has imposed sanctions against laying the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline. , said experts interviewed by RBC.

The Gascade Gastransport operator, controlled by Gazprom and the German Wintershall Dea , will commission the first of two Eugal pipelines with a capacity of 30.9 billion cubic metres per year from January 1, 2020 (total pipe capacity should be 55 billion cubic metres), which will go from German Greifswald on the Baltic Sea to the south to the border with the Czech Republic, the Eugal press service said on December 20. And the next day it became known that the European pipe-laying company Allseas had suspended the construction of Nord Stream-2 (which should pump 55 billion cubic meters per year) in the Baltic Sea.

Eugal will lay another 36 billion cubic metre capacity OPAL landline, built to pump gas from the first Baltic gas pipeline of Gazprom and partners, Nord Stream-1, which achieved at full capacity 55 billion cubic metres per year back in October 2012. Since 2013, Gazprom could only use 50% of OPAL capacity because of restrictions, and in 2016, the company received permission to connect to 90% of the pipeline capacity. However, in September 2019, Gazprom was forced to reduce gas pumping through OPAL, and then through Nord Stream-1, because of a decision of the European Court of Justice, which, in lawsuit filed by Poland, limited supply by almost half – from 90 to 50% of capacity , or up to 18 billion cubic metres per year.

"The launch of Eugal will ensure a full load of Nord Stream-1. About 20 billion cubic metres of gas per year can be delivered via a new land gas pipeline, which volume was lost because of restrictions imposed as a result of Poland's victory in court", said Mikhail Korchemkin, director of East European Gas Analysis, to RBC. The remaining 17–20 billion cubic metre Gazprom can pump through a second branch from the offshore gas pipeline NEL , which runs only through Germany to the west of Greifswald, so Poland could not achieve restrictions on its capacity.

At the peak of capacity, OPAL pumped up to 103 million cubic metres of gas per day owing to a decision of the European Court to decrease transit to 50 million cubic metre. Last week, it fell to 12 million cubic metres per day. This is due to an increase of 115 million cubic metres per day in supplies to the NEL gas pipeline, as well as an increase in transit to Europe through the territory of the Ukraine, Korchemkin points out.

"Now most of the gas from Nord Stream-1, which continues to operate at its design capacity, is sent to the markets of northwestern Europe through NEL, that is, the limitation of the use of OPAL by the decision of the European Court has practically had no affect on the load of Nord Stream", added Deputy General Director of the National Energy Policy Fund, Alexey Grivach. According to him, after the introduction of Eugal, part of the gas can go to Central Europe through a new onshore gas pipeline, depending on the current market needs and the optimization of Gazprom's export portfolio.

Despite the impending U.S. sanctions, the possibility of using Eugal to pump Gazprom's gas was recognized in November by Arno Bux, chief commercial officer of gas transmission operator Fluxys, which is a minority shareholder in Gascade. According to him, since 2020, from 80 to 90% of the Eugal capacity has already been booked for 20 years at auctions. "Since the transportation facilities are reserved on a ship-or-pay basis (" transport or pay "), the potential delays of the Nord Stream-2 project do not affect Eugal's revenues", he told Interfax, noting that the flows from the gas pipeline Nord Stream 1 can be routed through Eugal.

"We cannot predict the volumes that will be transported through Eugal, because it depends on requests from transport customers", Gascade spokesman Georg Wustner told RBC on December 23, declining to specify whether gas supplies from Nord Stream-1 will begin on January 1 through a new onshore pipeline. A representative of Gazprom Export declined to comment; the press service of Nord Stream AG (operator of the Nord Stream-1 project) did not respond to a request from RBC.

[Dec 25, 2019] US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo want to expand trade with Russia, but the US Congress continues sanctions

Dec 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Dec 24 2019 18:12 utc | 106

Lavrov on the 22nd appeared on what looks to be an interesting program on Russia's Channel One-- "The Great Game Show" with a transcript at the link. Most of the questions deal with Lavrov's recent trip to the Outlaw US Empire and his meetings with Trump and Pompeo. I found Lavrov's remarks about Congress most revealing as they're very similar to what he says about the tiny Russophobic nations other NATO nations seem to feel they can't break with the overall consensus despite its being idiotic. His response is related to the illegal sanctions laid against the construction of Nord Stream 2:

"They are threatening it. I said it will be built, no matter what, despite all these threats. First, I am convinced that the Europeans understand their commercial interest. Second, this implies an interest in the context of maintaining long-term energy security. Third, they were, of course, humiliated. The statements were, nevertheless, made, including those from Berlin which shows that our European partners still retain a sense of dignity.

"I am confident that, just like the TurkStream project, Nord Stream 2 will be implemented, and TurkStream will start operating some two or three weeks from now.

"US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo want to expand trade, but the US Congress continues to bombard our relations with sanctions. A situation that has now shaped up in the United States shows that, in their striving to revise election results and the will of the American people, these Congressmen are ready to do anything, including absolutely reckless things that, I would say, are not worthy of serious politicians."

As you read the transcript, you'll realize that this is a very serious program where the truth of the overall situation is being revealed and remarked upon in a manner that would be unimaginable here within the Outlaw US Empire, and I presume the program is viewed by a majority of Russians. It should certainly be read in relation to what Putin said at his presser on the topics covered and at the Informal CIS Summit .

Many are busy with their plans for the holidays, and the combined transcripts will take 4-6 hours to read, so perhaps bookmark them to read before New Year when more time's available.

[Dec 25, 2019] https://off-guardian.org/2019/12/24/sanctions-security-and-the-nord-stream-2-pipeline/

Notable quotes:
"... It would have been simpler and much cheaper to supply the gas through land pipelines via Ukraine, the Baltics and Poland. But the undersea pipelines had to be built because the Levantine dual nationals parachuted in by the State Department to rule over Ukraine and the Baltics on Washington's behalf have shown themselves to be totally unreliable economic partners. Ukraine refused to pay for gas that was supplied and stole gas intended for European countries. The rabid Levantines in the Baltics and Poland were equally hostile. They could have made billions in transit fees, but they always insisted on cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Bulgaria blocked South Stream on Washington's instructions and lost a reliable source of cheap gas and $400 million a year in transit fees. A lot of money and a lot of jobs for a poor country. US satellites pay a high price to kowtow to Uncle Sam. Russia developed its own port facilities in the Baltic and Riga is now a ghost town. ..."
"... Its surprising how history repeats itself. In the first decade of the nineteenth century, Napoleon achieved dominance over continental Europe. Only Britain stood against him. Napoleon tried to bring Britain to heel through economic warfare, the Continental System, ordering European countries not to trade with his sole remaining enemy. His orders were ignored all the way from Spain to Russia, and this lucrative trade continued. The invasion of Russia and the debacle at Moscow were an attempt to enforce the Continental System. In a similar fashion, Washington's hubris and unbridled arrogance are now alienating even its most abject, cringing, servile satraps like Macron, Merkel, and Erdogan. With the same result. ..."
"... Uncle Sam sees Nord-2 as an energy superpower challenge to energy supremacy which equates to American supremacy & hegemonic supremacy writ large across the world. If the pinko commie bastards in the Russian Federation make inroads by unilaterally making massive energy deals with the entire EU we will see American interests clamoring for market inroads & market share so that the pinko commie bastards in the Russian Federation don't make a dime. ..."
"... Uncle Sam is in actuality a waning ex-superpower thug that is yesterday's man but can't stand being taken out of the limelight being the narcissist nation it is. ..."
"... Zackarova is bang on in that the USA is wholly incompetent to govern their own business interests let alone other sovereign interests. Nord-2 is necessary infrastructure that the USA wants to thwart for their own monetary benefit. ..."
"... Stepping aside from the geopolitics for a moment. In terms of economics the US is attempting to push Russia out of natural gas markets. ..."
"... Greenpeace is yet another "NGO" that is heavily influenced by the National Endowment for Democracy a CIA front that supports US Imperialism. ..."
"... One wonders if the invertebrates of the EU will ever tire of being bullied by the Global Bullying Thug in Chief? The clerico-fascists of priest-ridden Poland one can understand, and the phony 'greens' of Greenpeace the sell-out specialists, but the others are just like mongrel dogs-the more you kick them, the more they lick your boots. ..."
Dec 25, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Jen ,

What would Dr Kampmark consider to be an ecologically cleaner alternative to Nordstream I and 2? The US proposal to supply LNG via an endless conga line of tankers across the North Atlantic would be an ecological nightmare, to say nothing of the specialised port facilities that need to be built to accommodate the tankers, the extra pipelines needed to pipe the gas to areas of Europe away from the Atlantic and the potential for accidents and disasters during annual hurricane season. Europe needs the best energy supply solution possible from a sustainability POV and other POVs and while Nordstream I and 2 may not be perfect, other solutions are either worse, more expensive or less certain and stable in the long term.

RobG ,

Shale gas is also poop. Only someone totally corrupt or totally insane would buy such junk from the USA.

The collapse of an empire brings up such interesting stuff.

I am of course a Russian troll for stating the obvious, so a merry Christmas from the Kremlin.

Let nuclear bombers fly, baby. Who wants another Christmas. The majority of the present American government (including Trump) are evangelical Christians who believe in the Rapture . You wouldn't put such people in charge of a car park, let alone put them in charge of the biggest nuclear weapons arsenal on the planet.

But that's where we are at the moment.

The Presstitutes will never tell you any of this.

RobG ,

I find this a bit of a strange piece, for reasons that many others have pointed out here in the comments. With regard to the environmental angle, I should perhaps point out that by far the biggest polluter on the planet is the US military.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

The US Military pollutes everything under the sun far past Internet & the over 900 worldwide bases it occupies. Heck, the US MIC pollutes all sports venues with their propagandistic parades of adherence to state & flag military shows.

In the USA they make you stand in honour of the military at sports events.

I'm glad I don't go down to the USA for the USA Grand National Drag Racing events just because of the MIC pollution at events. Their propaganda pollution is all over the Internet and that is toxic waste that we all have to sift through on our way to real news aside from institutional American killing of the third world.

GI-Joe turned out to be anything but a good hippie in my book.

MOU

ttshasta ,

The article mentions Rex Tillerson, yet fails to mention Qatar. Exxon Mobil & Exxon Mobil Qatar, that Tillerson worked for, want to run an LP pipeline from the Norths Pars gas field, the worlds largest, and Qatar owns 2/3 of,through Saudi Arabia, through Jordan, Syria, through Alleppo then through Turkey on to Europe. Thus Qatar, S.A. and Turkey have sponsored the foreign invasion of Syria that the the dolts at NPR to this day call a civil war. The US's Al Udeid air base in Qatar is the largest in the region, Cheney has been to Qatar many times as have Barack and Michele Obama, John Ashcroft was paid $2.5 million to defend Qatar from post 911 terrorism charges.

Does it seem the article misses the elephant in the room? US Qatari investments must profit?

Never forget the Clintons, Qatar donates to Clinton Foundation, State Dpt. sells weapons to Qatar (diverted to Syria?), candidate Clinton to declare no fly zone over Syria as POTUS.

In 2016 Thierry Messan's Voltairenet dot org translated an article from Petra the official Jordanian press paper that S.A. financed 20% of Clinton's campaign, which is illegal under US law. Subsequently, and conveniently, Saudi Prince M.B.S. declared Petra had been hacked and the report was false. I rely on Thierry's translations, and his voluminous site.

https://www.voltairenet.org/article193378.html

Jen ,

Excellent comment. As always, one should follow the money trail.

paul ,

I've never understood the argument that buying Russian gas is a threat to the security of European countries. Russia doesn't supply the gas out of altruism, it does so because it wants their money. They are dependent on Russian gas. Russia is dependent on their money. Mutual dependence, mutual gain.

During the Cold War, Russia always supplied every last gallon of oil and every cubic foot of gas that contracts obliged it to deliver. It did so, again because it wanted their money. Simple as that.

It would have been simpler and much cheaper to supply the gas through land pipelines via Ukraine, the Baltics and Poland. But the undersea pipelines had to be built because the Levantine dual nationals parachuted in by the State Department to rule over Ukraine and the Baltics on Washington's behalf have shown themselves to be totally unreliable economic partners. Ukraine refused to pay for gas that was supplied and stole gas intended for European countries. The rabid Levantines in the Baltics and Poland were equally hostile. They could have made billions in transit fees, but they always insisted on cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Bulgaria blocked South Stream on Washington's instructions and lost a reliable source of cheap gas and $400 million a year in transit fees. A lot of money and a lot of jobs for a poor country. US satellites pay a high price to kowtow to Uncle Sam. Russia developed its own port facilities in the Baltic and Riga is now a ghost town.

Uncle Sam is now waging economic warfare and imposing sanctions on its previously most loyal and obedient satellites, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Turkey.

Its surprising how history repeats itself. In the first decade of the nineteenth century, Napoleon achieved dominance over continental Europe. Only Britain stood against him. Napoleon tried to bring Britain to heel through economic warfare, the Continental System, ordering European countries not to trade with his sole remaining enemy. His orders were ignored all the way from Spain to Russia, and this lucrative trade continued. The invasion of Russia and the debacle at Moscow were an attempt to enforce the Continental System. In a similar fashion, Washington's hubris and unbridled arrogance are now alienating even its most abject, cringing, servile satraps like Macron, Merkel, and Erdogan. With the same result.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

Uncle Sam sees Nord-2 as an energy superpower challenge to energy supremacy which equates to American supremacy & hegemonic supremacy writ large across the world. If the pinko commie bastards in the Russian Federation make inroads by unilaterally making massive energy deals with the entire EU we will see American interests clamoring for market inroads & market share so that the pinko commie bastards in the Russian Federation don't make a dime.

Uncle Sam is in actuality a waning ex-superpower thug that is yesterday's man but can't stand being taken out of the limelight being the narcissist nation it is.

MOU

john ward ,

So many sources one cannot trust ..Russian Greenpeace, NATO, the Merkel Bundesrepublik, the European Commission, the Texan oil business, the Saudis and the Pentagon. How on Earth is anyone on Earth supposed to make an informed decision based on such a truth-strangulating tangle of hegemonic propaganda? From The Slog archives:
https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/analysis-the-factors-that-make-pompeo-russiaphobia-oil-pipelines-water-supply-and-brexit-inseparable/

pàul_m ,

Can you imagine being dependent on the usa for anything never mind fracked gas at twice the price.no doubt brave new worlder boris will go for it.gb inc looks over and done with.

Guy ,

"Can you imagine being dependent on the usa for anything" Yes I can .I live in Canada and they basically own our country, for all intent and purposes .
They did not conquer us militarily but they so corporately.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

Zackarova is bang on in that the USA is wholly incompetent to govern their own business interests let alone other sovereign interests. Nord-2 is necessary infrastructure that the USA wants to thwart for their own monetary benefit.

The USA is anachronism, insolvent, and lacks common sense as well as entrepreneurial spirit & business acumen.

MOU

padre ,

How very concerned about environment we are, when somebody else is "destroying" it!

paul ,

The US certainly showed how concerned it was about the environment with the North Dakota pipeline.

Francis Lee ,

Stepping aside from the geopolitics for a moment. In terms of economics the US is attempting to push Russia out of natural gas markets. If a company did this it would be attempting to construct a monopoly and be subject to anti-competitive laws. If the US becomes the sole supplier in Europe then it has a stranglehold, both economic and political, on Europe. That's the strategy, and it seems blatantly obvious.

But the construction being put on this sordid little play by the Anglo-American MSM is that the US frackers – who never make a profit – are doing Europe a really big favour by enabling them not to become dependent on Russian gas. The Europeans should there for be grateful for US LNG since it will enable to diversify away from Russian gas.

The reality is, however, that once you become dependent on a single overseas crucial energy source you have been unceremoniously grabbed by the short and curlies.

Antonym ,

Simply connect more European harbors to the existing gas pipeline network and choose the LNG supplier you want. Not rocket science but Dutch PM Rutte was sold on abolishing natural gas because of CO2, while trees from North America for burning in power plants was fine.

Neighbour PM Merkel Germany wants gas but not nuclear (a scientist!). France wants nuclear but rely on a new unproven expensive design.
Political inmates are running the EU madhouse.

John Deehan ,

In this article, it misses the whole point of why the USA wants to impose sanctions, rather late in the day, on companies involved in its construction. Namely, the continued attempts by it to isolate The Russian Federation and its its long term strategy of preparations for war. Moreover, the omission of the reasons why Russia built the gas pipeline could not be more striking. The coup in the Ukraine made the transit of Russian gas to western Europe via its territory open to pressure from the USA. Hence why the Russians built the pipeline in the first place. It's the same reasons why the USA is attempting to prevent other Russian gas/oil pipelines in other parts of the world.

Francis Lee ,

If anything illustrates the reality of the EU-NATO 'alliance' it is this. The US to Germany – and by extension the rest of the EU – 'You will take expensive US LNG gas and like it' Me Tarzan you Jane. This brazen realpolitik illustrates the true nature of the vassalised EU. And of course Poland, Romania – please station your inter-mediate range missiles here – and the Baltic uber-Petainist elites come chiming in 'America the Beautiful.' More than anything this explodes the idea of the EU as a third geopolitical bloc. It is an occupied region always has been and is composed of countries which can't actually defend their own interests whilst privileging the US.

Gutless and spineless!

George Cornell ,

Indeed. And as reluctant as I am to entertain it, the Brutish ( spellcheck wants it to be British, no irony there) US is forcing any vertebrate in the EU to crave armed forces. Why poor EU countries buy the bollocks that is the relentless pressure or requirement from NATO to buy American and Israeli arms is beyond me. They should be much more frightened of the Americans than the imaginary bogeymen to the East.

Gezzah Potts ,

You mean like the Azov Battalion, Right Sector and C-14? Those bogeymen Tim? Some of whom are now in Hong Kong helping Joseph Wong and his mates fight for 'freedom and democracy' with some help from people in, er, Langley Virginia. Oh, and Nancy Pelosi.

Tim Drayton ,

Well, I support the right of all peoples to self-determination as a universal right and oppose imperialism/neo-imperialism regardless of who does it, so your false dichotomy does not apply to me.

Gezzah Potts ,

I thought you were referring to the neo nazi thugs in Ukraine that sprung up like weeds after rain following the overthrow of Yanukovych by you know who. No, it wasn't Putin. And no, I'm not a fan either. All bullshit pushed by Mr Hopey Changey that has put the world in grave peril.

In fact the changes of nuclear war are greater than any time in history. And what happened when the Berlin Wall came down Tim? Bush solemnly promised Gorbachev that NATO would not move one inch eastward. And where are NATO now?

paul ,

Then no doubt you support the right of the Crimea and Donbas to self determination from the CIA installed Fascist Coup Regime.

George Cornell ,

Oh for Chrissake! And where were you about Gitmo? And Iraq, and Yemen, and Syria, and Libya? And the lithium in Afghanistan makes it morally justified? Put the photo of Kissinger on a bearskin rug in your drawer and tell me about how the 95% of Crimeans who wanted to be part of Russia invalidates what happened there.

Come back to me about the sandbars in the South China Sea. Now there's a place to increase your debt.!

lundiel ,

Russia isn't occupying any of Ukraine. There are Russian volunteers and Russia is giving them some weapons and no doubt finance but the Russian army isn't at war with Ukraine.

Jay ,

If they were, the war would have been on Kiev's doorstep.

Francis Lee ,

The only people 'taking' seven percent of the Ukraine are those who already live in the Donbass and Crimea are the Russian-speaking inhabitants who have lived there for generations and who are defending their homeland against the Ukie Army and its Waffen SS look-alikes in the Azov Battalion and various other neo-nazi outfits like Praviy Sektor, and the Tornado Battalion and Dnipro1 and other charming little outfits such as 'Patriots of the Ukraine' – backed by right-wing fanatics in the Ukrainian Rada namely Biletsky and Parubiy.

These people are the direct descendants of the scum of the murderous Banderist pro-Nazis who were responsible for mass extermination of Russians, Jew, and above all, Poles in Volhynia in the far west of the Ukraine between 1943-45. The Ukrainian Insurgent army (UPA – led by Shukeviych) was the military wing of Bandera's OUN-B (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists). Unfortunately for for Mr B, he had an unfortunate rendezvous with a KGB hit-man in Munich in 1955. RIP.

Long live the heroic resistance of the Peoples Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Frank Speaker ,

Exactly Francis. Some of my family were massacred by these bastard who were their neighbours: a woman cut upon at the front, a woman with a wooden stake driven through her head, two children thrown down a well. That NATO aided and abetted these same evil scum to overthrow a democratically elected government and re-start their murderous ways – this time around upon the ethnic Russians in the wast of the country – I cannot forgive my political leaders who have done this.

That our MSM completely ignore this situation, I cannot forgive them, and that's why I am here.If there's a place called hell, I hope there's a special place reserved for our leaders and media owners who have done this.

eddie ,

They are occupying Jacque Schitt, but their 93rd aid convoy to the Donbas in November, consisting of 45 trucks, was not imaginary.

Gall ,

Greenpeace is yet another "NGO" that is heavily influenced by the National Endowment for Democracy a CIA front that supports US Imperialism.

I'm ambivalent on the issue of pipelines ( see Keystone XL Pipeline being driven through Indian Land in total violation of the Laramie Treaty) since they are environmentally destructive but the fact is that this is all about politics and has nothing to do with protecting the environment.

If "Russia's" Greenpeace was so concerned about the environment they'd worry about their backyard first such as the network of pipelines being run through Siberia.

richard le sarc ,

One wonders if the invertebrates of the EU will ever tire of being bullied by the Global Bullying Thug in Chief? The clerico-fascists of priest-ridden Poland one can understand, and the phony 'greens' of Greenpeace the sell-out specialists, but the others are just like mongrel dogs-the more you kick them, the more they lick your boots.

Tutisicecream ,

Boats of LNG floating across the Atlantic to Poland is not energy security. Whatever the politics of Nord Stream 2 we may be assured the US has not got our back in Europe on this.

We may also be in need of energy sooner than we think, as professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University suggests. Unlike the Guardian her catastrophe theory goes in the other direction where in the next few years Earth will enter into a cooling phase. That will set off a series of events leading to a mini ice age as happened with the Maunder Minimum of the 17th Century.

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/ice-age-astrophysicists-climate-change/

[Dec 25, 2019] Gazprom has purchased a pipe-laying ship which would allow the company to build undersea pipelines despite sanctions

Dec 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yeah, Right , Dec 23 2019 23:27 utc | 61

@4 Annie "Gazprom does not have the expertise"...

https://sputniknews.com/business/201605211040013151-gazprom-new-ship-sanctions/

"Gazprom has purchased a pipe-laying ship which would allow the company to build undersea pipelines despite sanctions. The new vessel may be used to build the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline to Europe."

Apparently the Russians think several steps ahead of the Americans.


karlof1 , Dec 24 2019 0:38 utc | 67

Yeah, Right @61--

This article has all one needs to know about Russia/Gazprom's ability to finish the job abandoned by the Swiss cowards, although their ships are apparently still on station. Yes, there'll be a delay, but that won't matter much. Pissing off the Germans was the absolute wrong move!

Yeah, Right , Dec 24 2019 9:02 utc | 88
@80 Jen It is much too late for the Danes to step in and stop Nord Stream 2.

Their permission was required because the pipe enters their economic zone, but once that permission was given then the pipelaying started on the basis of "good faith". If the Danes attempted to renege then I would imagine that it would be Russia and Germany who would tie up Denmark in legal red-tape, not the other way around, and by the time this got to court the pipeline would be completed and the gas would be flowing.

The USA's only hope now is that its sanctions scare off companies like Allseas, but that hope relies on the western conceit that Russia is too technologically backward to be able to take over and finish the job.

But the Russians are very capable, and extremely wily: if you look at my original post you will see a link from 2016 where the Russians are already spelling out exactly what they intend to do.

They acquired a suitable pipeline-laying ship at last three years. They admitted at the time that they acquired it that it made no economic sense for them to acquire such a ship.

Economics be damned. They bought it because they had to consider the possibility that the USA is run by a bunch of duplicitous shits.

Pretty astute reasoning, as it turns out.

mk , Dec 24 2019 10:03 utc | 89
@ Nord Stream 2

As I'm following the case closely, a few supplements.

The problem with the high tech Russian pipelaying vessel is that it is deployed in the Far East and would need months to get to the scene. The Russian Fortuna lacks the technical permission from the Danes to work in their waters, but it is suspiciously idling at the German Coast. NorthStream 2 could ask Denmark to get a special allowance for the Fortuna to work, and that is not so far-fetched as it seems because Denmark has a new government since last June.

The Fortuna will at least finish the German part of the pipeline. A German court yesterday has turned down a complaint by environmentalists who are worried about wintering birds.

The sanctions are a huge strategical blunder of the USA. Yes, the Germans are pissed off, from the bosses of the chemical industry to the "ordinary people". You can almost hear the tectonic subterranean crack that moves Germany away from the Anglosphere towards Russia.

In German politics, the Transatlanticians are now in the defensive. The most powerful transatlantic institutions are IMO the various intelligence services, BND, BfV and so on. They have certainly initiated the "scandal" about the murdered Georgian djihadist (you remember, two Russian diplomats were expelled immediately) in order to sabotage the Normandy talks and NordStream 2 and push Merkel to distance herself from Russia. This has failed, obviously. Stupid white men.


[Dec 25, 2019] Germans angry at US for Nord Stream meddling

Dec 25, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star December 24, 2019 at 4:43 pm

An excellent show from last week. However still relevant with some reminders from the 80s that are quintessential irony. Sanchez's journalistic delivery is impressive.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/6nSAhjsYx-w?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

[Dec 25, 2019] Rapoza in his review for Forbesof the Russia/Ukraine gas deal suggests that Russia did not really have to give up very much, it would be to Ukraine's advantage to stop fucking around and concentrate now on the issues,

Dec 25, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman December 23, 2019 at 5:11 pm

Rapoza's latest effort, for Forbes, is his review of the Russia/Ukraine gas deal that everyone is talking about. His take, in summary, is that Russia did not really have to give up very much, it would be to Ukraine's advantage to stop fucking around and concentrate now on the issues, that Ukraine dropped a very large amount in claims in return for not very much money (although he does not say how likely Ukraine would have been to win them in court, and my personal opinion is not very), that Nord Stream II will be completed with not a significant amount of delay, and that Russia can implement the same no-gas-through-Ukraine in five years if it does not like the way things are going.

[Dec 25, 2019] https://www.stalkerzone.org/the-gas-war-has-retreated-but-the-most-interesting-thing-is-yet-to-come/

Dec 25, 2019 | www.stalkerzone.org

The Gas War Has Retreated, but the Most Interesting Thing Is Yet to Come December 22, 2019 Stalker Zone

As usual, the range of interpretations of gas agreements is wide and full of water. Most of them have hidden recognition of groundlessness, because even a simple reading of the document requires above average schooling.

Here is this document, where it is written in black and almost white that the parties agreed on such and such conditions:

All talk about a Ukrainian victory or a Russian victory should be left to politicians for domestic consumption, although, to be fair, it is worth noting: Ukrainian functionaries immediately claimed it is a victory for Ukraine. This sounded against the background of the absence of fanfare in Russia, which, in the face of the most difficult negotiations, would be extremely inappropriate.

Why?

Because Gazprom is Gazprom, not Russia. Confusion in concepts is a very characteristic phenomenon for immature structures and individuals on both sides. So talk of Russia allegedly forgiving Ukraine $3 billion in credit has nothing to do with the topic at all. There is no word in the document about this, which is natural, because, I will repeat: Russia is not Gazprom.

However, the Naftogaz fanfare coming from Vitrenko's mouth is also understandable on the other hand: the board (8 people) will not have to return millions of dollars already distributed to their pockets as part of the prize according to the results of the Stockholm Arbitration . Moreover, now, if Gazprom pays the claim amount, the premium will increase significantly.

As for the amount Gazprom has pledged to pay – about $3 billion – it is less than 1% of the assets of the Russian gas giant (not to be confused with capitalisation). Few will notice this drop in the ocean. And for Naftogaz? In the absence of up-to-date information about the assets of this structure, I believe that the figure is comparable to all assets, especially since, according to the current reform, the Ukrainian gas transit system, the market value of which is no more than $1.5 billion (according to the Chairman of the Board Kobolev ), leaves from under Naftogaz in general.

Conclusion: tactically Naftogaz and its board benefited from a contract with Gazprom. Strategically, as it seems, Gazprom at least did not lose, firstly, significantly reducing the term of the contract and the volume of pumping on the gas transit system of Ukraine, taking into account the forthcoming and inevitable implementation of " Nord Stream-2 " and, secondly, leaving itself the right to disagree with transit tariffs, which remain the subject of negotiations:

Point 2.2.3 The organising company [Naftogaz] will contact LLC "Operator of gas transit system of Ukraine" for the reservation of capacities of the gas transit system of Ukraine

Point 3.2 The Ukrainian side will take all necessary measures (create all necessary conditions) by 29.12.19:

What went on behind the scenes went almost unnoticed:

1. Ukraine's demand for imported gas, which is still falling due to the decline in production capacity, will be covered from the volumes approved by the agreement (65 billion m3 in 2020 and 40 billion m3 in the following 4 years). The volume of imports according to various estimates remains at about 20 billion m3 per year. Tariffs will not be applied on all the Russian gas that Ukraine will consume from pumping on the gas transit system and will be implemented on the territory of Ukraine at its own expense. The volume subject to a transit tariff will be determined by the difference between the entrance to the Ukrainian gas transit system and the exit to Europe.

2. All preliminary talk about gas discounts for Ukraine was not included in the agreement. Thus, the price of gas remains the subject of bargaining and is inevitably dependent on the transit tariff: the higher the price of transit – the higher the price of gas and, accordingly, vice versa.

3. In fact, the issue of direct gas supplies to Ukraine is not worth discussing at all. I.e., in the event of a non-agreement on the price, all gas will come to Europe, Ukraine will earn from transit, but these earnings will be offset by the increased price of gas on the reverse. Thus, even in the event of pumping all gas to Europe, earnings from transit, according to experts, will not even cover the cost of servicing the Ukrainian gas transit system.

Lastly, Gazprom – which is not Russia, but behind whose back Russia certainly stands, and was opposed by both Ukraine and the European Union, represented by the European Commission, as well as the United States with its global interests – managed, at a minimum, to minimise its tactical losses and preserve strategic Russian interests.

The gas war appears to have retreated, but the most interesting thing is yet to come.


Aleksandr Dubrovsky

[Dec 25, 2019] In return for that $3 billion, which will be pocketed by many Yukitard bastards, I am sure, Gazprom's never ending altercations with the Yukie gas outfit over compensation and claims and counter-claims have had a line drawn under them.

Dec 25, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile December 23, 2019 at 10:12 pm

I linked a Russian newspaper article above which analysed the deal and in which it was pointed out that the $3 billion that Gazprom coughed up is 1% of the annual turnover of that company. And another thing that the article pointed out was that the deal is between Gazprom and Naftogaz not Russia and the Ukraine. In return for that $3 billion, which will be pocketed by many Yukitard bastards, I am sure, Gazprom's never ending altercations with the Yukie gas outfit over compensation and claims and counter-claims have had a line drawn under them. I suppose that's really why the Porky bloc in the rada is taking action against the deal: they fear that their nice little earner is being stifled, in that penalties imposed by arbitration courts against Gazprom have seemingly ended.
Moscow Exile December 23, 2019 at 10:40 pm
$3 billion that Gazprom coughed up is 1% of the annual turnover of that company.

No!

The source that I linked to previously: The Gas War Has Retreated, but the Most Interesting Thing Is Yet to Come .

To reiterate:

All talk about a Ukrainian victory or a Russian victory should be left to politicians for domestic consumption, although, to be fair, it is worth noting: Ukrainian functionaries immediately claimed it is a victory for Ukraine. This sounded against the background of the absence of fanfare in Russia, which, in the face of the most difficult negotiations, would be extremely inappropriate.

Why?

Because Gazprom is Gazprom, not Russia. Confusion in concepts is a very characteristic phenomenon for immature structures and individuals on both sides. So talk of Russia allegedly forgiving Ukraine $3 billion in credit has nothing to do with the topic at all. There is no word in the document about this, which is natural, because, I will repeat: Russia is not Gazprom.

However, the Naftogaz fanfare coming from Vitrenko's mouth is also understandable on the other hand: the [Naftogaz] board (8 people) will not have to return millions of dollars already distributed to their pockets as part of the prize according to the results of the Stockholm Arbitration. Moreover, now, if Gazprom pays the claim amount, the premium will increase significantly.

As for the amount Gazprom has pledged to pay – about $3 billion – it is less than 1% of the assets of the Russian gas giant (not to be confused with capitalisation). Few will notice this drop in the ocean. And for Naftogaz? In the absence of up-to-date information about the assets of this structure, I believe that the figure is comparable to all assets, especially since, according to the current reform, the Ukrainian gas transit system, the market value of which is no more than $1.5 billion (according to the Chairman of the Board Kobolev), leaves from under Naftogaz in general.

Conclusion: tactically Naftogaz and its board benefited from a contract with Gazprom. Strategically, as it seems, Gazprom at least did not lose, firstly, significantly reducing the term of the contract and the volume of pumping on the gas transit system of Ukraine, taking into account the forthcoming and inevitable implementation of "Nord Stream-2" and, secondly, leaving itself the right to disagree with transit tariffs, which remain the subject of negotiations

My stress.

[Dec 24, 2019] Only Tulsi had the sense to see impeachment for what it is, a farce that only helps Trump

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ggm , December 24, 2019 at 2:06 am

[Dec 24, 2019] The Lies That Are Used for Denying the Legitimacy of Crimea's Breakaway by Eric Zuesse

Dec 23, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Crimea's breakaway from Ukraine and rejoining Russia is treated in the US-and-allied world as being justification for the explosive re-emergence in 2014 of America's Cold War NATO alliance as being a restored war against Russia; and, so, whether or not that 'justification' is truthful is the paramount geopolitical issue in our era; and it will therefore be discussed and (via the links here) documented in this article.

Though international law is generally an unenforced mess that is interpretable far more by partisanship than by any clearly applicable principles, the US Government does quite blatantly violate it on a routine basis, by means of coups and invasions against countries that never invaded nor threatened to invade the US; but, if anything at all is clear in international law, it is that Crimea's breaking away from Ukraine and rejoining Russia in 2014 was entirely legitimate, as will be documented here, by exposing the lies that are adduced on the US side, in order to allege that it's not legitimate.

First, however, will be a bit of essential historical background, which is commonly ignored in arguments by the pro-US-regime liars on this matter: From 1783 to 1954, Crimea was part of Russia. Crimea was arbitrarily transferred from Russia to Ukraine in 1954 by the dictator of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khruschev, who was a Ukrainian and didn't consult the residents of Crimea about this handover of them to Ukraine. Crimeans were so opposed to being ruled from the foreign-language-speaking and largely pro-Nazi (and anti-Semitic and anti-Russian) Ukrainians to their north, so that as soon as the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, the only way that Crimeans would tolerate any continuation of their formal association with Ukraine was by being declared Ukraine's "autonomous republic" (the only one) in Ukraine.

This situation of partial Crimean independence continued until Ukraine was conquered (via coup) by the US regime, in order to be handed over first to the European Union, and then, after the EU would accept Ukraine, to NATO, which military alliance with the US was extremely unpopular in Ukraine until the American conquest and the immediately subsequent takeover of Ukraine by pro-US oligarchs, who were eager to buy more privatized and formerly Soviet state-owned properties, in basically insider deals with the now US-controlled Ukrainian Government.

Those oligarchs' 'news'-media successfully propagandized most Ukrainians to switch from being anti-NATO to pro-NATO. However, right at the time of the coup, Crimeans demonstrated in Kiev against the CIA-organized Maidan demostrations, and on the day of the coup, February 20th, those Crimeans in Kiev were forced by the US-supported nazis to flee there, but the eight buses carrrying them were blocked en-route, and an unknown number of the fleeing Crimeans were killed . Many of the surviving ones were permanently injured .

Crimeans were terrified and some of them wrote to friends in the West regarding the terror and their fears . All of this information is ignored by the proponents of the illegality of Crimea's separation from Ukraine, because, clearly, the basic human rights of Crimeans were then under very palpable and severe threat by the US-imposed forces; and, so, any 'legal' argument for forcing Crimeans to remain Ukrainians was and is fake. But, still, legal arguments for forcing Crimeans to be Ukrainians again are presented; and, so, here is a quick intoroduction to those frauds.

The least politicized of the pro-Western (i.e., pro-US-regime) articles regarding the relevant international laws on this topic concern the cases of Kurdistan and Catalonia, because in the US-and-allied international dictatorship (that is, the countries that are ruled by billionares who are allied with US billionaires), no unanimity exists regarding those two breakaway-movements (Kurds and Catalonians); so, the legal principles aren't such a threat to the US-and-allied lies about Russia. Here are highlights from this article, and I boldface what I consider key statements there:

--

https://www.asil.org/insights/volume/22/issue/1/self-determination-and-secession-under-international-law-cases-kurdistan

"Self-Determination and Secession Under International Law: The Cases of Kurdistan and Catalonia"

ASIL [American Society of International Law] Insights , v. 22, issue 1

Milena Sterio, 5 January 2018

The theory of self-determination, as justifying the secession of a people from its existing mother state as a matter of last resort only, in situations where the people is oppressed or where the mother state's government does not legitimately represent the people's interests, has remained constant throughout the 20th century development of international law. Two United Nations' declarations, in addition to the United Nations Charter itself, have addressed the issue of self-determination.

Both declarations envisioned self-determination leading to secession as a matter of last resort only within the decolonization paradigm: here, both conditions for a right to self-determination were met insofar as colonized peoples were oppressed and their colonial governments did not adequately represent their interests. Both declarations also confirmed the importance of the principle of territorial integrity of existing states, [8] and thus embraced the idea that self-determination could lead to the territorial disruption of existing states only in extreme instances of oppression or colonization .

Peoples who are oppressed or colonized , however, have the right to external self-determination, which they may exercise through secession from their mother state.[9] This view of self-determination was confirmed in 1998, in the Canadian Supreme Court opinion regarding the proposed secession of Quebec from Canada, where the Court held that all peoples are entitled to various modes of internal self-determination, but that only some peoples, such as those subjected to conquest, colonization, and perhaps oppression, may acquire the right to external self-determination through remedial secession.[10] Today, it may be concluded that international law bestows on all peoples the right to self-determination, but that the right to external self-determination, exercised through remedial secession, only applies in extreme circumstances, to colonized and severely persecuted peoples.

While international law embraces the principle of self-determination, it does not contain a right of secession.[11] It may be argued that international law merely tolerates secession in instances of external self-determination, where a people is colonized or oppressed (like in the case of Kosovo). In addition, secession is prohibited under international law if the secessionist entity is attempting to separate by violating another fundamental norm of international law, such as the prohibition on the use of force (like in the case of Northern Cyprus).[12] In other instances of attempted secession, where the relevant people is not oppressed, as in Quebec or Scotland, international law is neutral on secession -- it does not support a right to secession nor does it prohibit secession. Instead, the secessionist dispute is left to the realm of domestic law and to political negotiations between the mother state and the secessionist entity.[13]

--

Following are two influential articles reaffirming the US regime's view, that the breakaway was and is illegitimate. In the first , the lie is simply presumed true that the overthrow of the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, during 20-26 February 2014, was a domestic democratic revolution, instead of a foreign-imposed coup. In the second , international law, as was just summarized above here, is simply ignored.

--

#1:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40802-015-0043-9

Netherlands International Law Review
December 2015, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 329–363| Cite as
"Crimea's Separation from Ukraine: An Analysis of the Right to Self-Determination and (Remedial) Secession in International Law"

Simone F. van den Driest [whose 404-page 2013 Ph.D dissertation, at Netherlands' Tilburg University, was "Remedial Secession" ], First Online: 30 November 2015

16k Downloads

Abstract

This article considers the (il)legality of Crimea's unilateral secession from Ukraine from the perspective of public international law. It examines whether the right to self-determination or an alleged right to (remedial) secession could serve as a legal basis for the separation of the Crimean Peninsula, as the Crimean authorities and the Russian Federation seem to have argued. The article explains that beyond the context of decolonization, the right to self-determination does not encompass a general right to unilateral secession and demonstrates that contemporary international law does not acknowledge a right to remedial secession. With respect to the case of Crimea, it argues that even when assuming that such a right does exist, the threshold in this regard is not met. In the absence of a legal entitlement, the article subsequently turns to the question whether Crimea's unilateral secession was prohibited under international law. It contends that while the principle of territorial integrity discourages unilateral secession, it does not actually prohibit it. Nonetheless, there are situations in which an attempt at unilateral secession is considered to be illegal in view of the circumstances. It is argued that it is precisely this exception that is relevant in the case of Crimea.

[Text now:] The Russian Federation (implicitly) relied on the doctrine of remedial secession, which is seen to encompass a right to unilateral secession in case of serious injustices suffered by a people. [which were unquestionably present] President Putin advanced remedial arguments in his speech of 18 March, contending that
those who opposed the coup were immediately threatened with repression. Naturally, the first in line here was Crimea, the Russian-speaking Crimea. In view of this, the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol turned to Russia for help in defending their rights and lives [ ]. [N]aturally, we could not leave this plea unheeded; we could not abandon Crimea and its residents in distress .7
To the same effect, the Russian Federation claimed in the Security Council that there had been 'threats of violence by ultranationalists against the security, lives and legitimate interests of Russians and all Russian-speaking peoples' in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine and that 'the issue is one of defending our citizens and compatriots, as well as the most import[ant] human right -- the right to life'.8

The accuracy of these views presented, however, is highly questionable under contemporary international law [and all the rest of the article discusses none of the allegations that Putin asserted there , but only internnational law. Not even once in this article is anything like the word "coup" used in relation to the overthrow of Yanukovych -- the overthrow that had sparked Crimeans to demand restoration to Russia. Instead the article simply assumes that there was no coup whatsoever: "The Ukrainian Revolution of 2014, which was initiated by the Euromaidan movement in the capital of Kiev, had significant effects in Crimea." That's all. However, that statement was false: It was no "revolution," and it clearly was a coup . Furthermore: even if it had been a "revolution," it was not "initiated by the Euromaidan movement in the capital of Kiev -- it was initiated by the Barack Obama Administration in the summer of 2011, and started to be implemented inside the US Embassy in Kiev on 1 March 2013 . The Euromaidan movement started on 21 November 2013 . So, this author is merely assuming that "the Euromaidan movement" wasn't part of a coup-operation by the US regime.]

CONCLUSION

All in all, it should be concluded that the arguments involving an alleged right to self-determination and (remedial) secession as advanced by the Crimean and Russian authorities in attempting to justify the events on the Crimean Peninsula cannot be upheld. On the contrary: Crimea's unilateral secession from Ukraine clearly was illegal under international law.

#2:

https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/lasr/14/1/article-p11.xml

"The Annexation of Crimea and Attempts to Justify It in the Context of International Law"

Lithuanian Annual Strategic Review , 2015-2016, v. 14 [published by General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania]

Erika Leonaitė & Dainius Žalimas, both of Vilnius University

it is essential to point out that a coup d'etat and the issues of constitutionality in general are matters of national rather than international law. In terms of international law, importance falls not on the constitutionality of the government, but on its effectiveness, i.e. its capability to efficiently control the territory of the state and to ensure compliance with international commitments. [In other words: any national government that can suppress and crush a secession movement is adhering to international law, according to these writers.] Even where the government is unable to carry out effective control (in political science, the concept of a "failed state" is used to refer to these cases), relations with such a state must be continued based on the principles of sovereign equality, the prohibition of the use of force [the writers mean "use of force" by any foreign govertnment, not "use of force" by the given nation's government in order to suppress and crush any secession movement], respect for territorial integrity, and other fundamental international legal principles; other states are not released from the obligations with respect to this state [in other words: foreign nations must never side with nor support a secession movement within a country. Blatantly false allegations like that are publishable by General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania.]

--

US President Barack Obama restored in full the Cold War that his predecessor George Herbert Walker Bush had only secretly extended into the future on the American side covertly on 24 February 1990 , and he did this in two main steps. In 2012, he pushed and signed into law the Magnitsky Act which was based on the fraud by Bill Browder, who functioned in coordination with George Soros, another billionaire who leads in ingtensifying America's war against Russia . Then, in June 2011 at the latest, he started the planning for the February 2014 Ukrainian coup .

Furthermore: Part of Obama's plan for taking Ukraine was his plan to grab Russia's main navy base, which is in Crimea, and to transform it into another NATO navy base -- against Russia :

In June 2013 (well before the 'democratic revolution' in Ukraine started), NAVFAC, the US Naval Facilities Engineering Command, published on its website, a "Project Description" for "Renovation of School#5, Sevastopol, Ukraine," under the euphemistic title "EUCOM Humanitarian Assistance Program" . EUCOM is the US European Command -- it is purely military, not "humanitarian," at all. The 124-page request for proposals (RFP) showed extensive photos of the existing school, and also of the toilets, floor-boards, and other US-made products, that the US regime was requiring to be used in the renovation (by some American corporation, yet to be determined) of that then-Ukrainian school in Crimea, which at that time was a Ukrainian Government property, not at all American-owned or operated. So: why were US taxpayers supposed to fund this 'humanitarian' operation, by the U.S. military? Eric Zuesse December 23, 2019 | History The Lies That Are Used for Denying the Legitimacy of Crimea's Breakaway Crimea's breakaway from Ukraine and rejoining Russia is treated in the US-and-allied world as being justification for the explosive re-emergence in 2014 of America's Cold War NATO alliance as being a restored war against Russia; and, so, whether or not that 'justification' is truthful is the paramount geopolitical issue in our era; and it will therefore be discussed and (via the links here) documented in this article.

Though international law is generally an unenforced mess that is interpretable far more by partisanship than by any clearly applicable principles, the US Government does quite blatantly violate it on a routine basis, by means of coups and invasions against countries that never invaded nor threatened to invade the US; but, if anything at all is clear in international law, it is that Crimea's breaking away from Ukraine and rejoining Russia in 2014 was entirely legitimate, as will be documented here, by exposing the lies that are adduced on the US side, in order to allege that it's not legitimate.

First, however, will be a bit of essential historical background, which is commonly ignored in arguments by the pro-US-regime liars on this matter: From 1783 to 1954, Crimea was part of Russia. Crimea was arbitrarily transferred from Russia to Ukraine in 1954 by the dictator of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khruschev, who was a Ukrainian and didn't consult the residents of Crimea about this handover of them to Ukraine. Crimeans were so opposed to being ruled from the foreign-language-speaking and largely pro-Nazi (and anti-Semitic and anti-Russian) Ukrainians to their north, so that as soon as the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, the only way that Crimeans would tolerate any continuation of their formal association with Ukraine was by being declared Ukraine's "autonomous republic" (the only one) in Ukraine. This situation of partial Crimean independence continued until Ukraine was conquered (via coup) by the US regime, in order to be handed over first to the European Union, and then, after the EU would accept Ukraine, to NATO, which military alliance with the US was extremely unpopular in Ukraine until the American conquest and the immediately subsequent takeover of Ukraine by pro-US oligarchs, who were eager to buy more privatized and formerly Soviet state-owned properties, in basically insider deals with the now US-controlled Ukrainian Government. Those oligarchs' 'news'-media successfully propagandized most Ukrainians to switch from being anti-NATO to pro-NATO. However, right at the time of the coup, Crimeans demonstrated in Kiev against the CIA-organized Maidan demostrations, and on the day of the coup, February 20th, those Crimeans in Kiev were forced by the US-supported nazis to flee there, but the eight buses carrrying them were blocked en-route, and an unknown number of the fleeing Crimeans were killed . Many of the surviving ones were permanently injured . Crimeans were terrified and some of them wrote to friends in the West regarding the terror and their fears . All of this information is ignored by the proponents of the illegality of Crimea's separation from Ukraine, because, clearly, the basic human rights of Crimeans were then under very palpable and severe threat by the US-imposed forces; and, so, any 'legal' argument for forcing Crimeans to remain Ukrainians was and is fake. But, still, legal arguments for forcing Crimeans to be Ukrainians again are presented; and, so, here is a quick intoroduction to those frauds.

The least politicized of the pro-Western (i.e., pro-US-regime) articles regarding the relevant international laws on this topic concern the cases of Kurdistan and Catalonia, because in the US-and-allied international dictatorship (that is, the countries that are ruled by billionares who are allied with US billionaires), no unanimity exists regarding those two breakaway-movements (Kurds and Catalonians); so, the legal principles aren't such a threat to the US-and-allied lies about Russia. Here are highlights from this article, and I boldface what I consider key statements there:

--

https://www.asil.org/insights/volume/22/issue/1/self-determination-and-secession-under-international-law-cases-kurdistan

"Self-Determination and Secession Under International Law: The Cases of Kurdistan and Catalonia"

ASIL [American Society of International Law] Insights , v. 22, issue 1

Milena Sterio, 5 January 2018

The theory of self-determination, as justifying the secession of a people from its existing mother state as a matter of last resort only, in situations where the people is oppressed or where the mother state's government does not legitimately represent the people's interests, has remained constant throughout the 20th century development of international law. Two United Nations' declarations, in addition to the United Nations Charter itself, have addressed the issue of self-determination.

Both declarations envisioned self-determination leading to secession as a matter of last resort only within the decolonization paradigm: here, both conditions for a right to self-determination were met insofar as colonized peoples were oppressed and their colonial governments did not adequately represent their interests. Both declarations also confirmed the importance of the principle of territorial integrity of existing states, [8] and thus embraced the idea that self-determination could lead to the territorial disruption of existing states only in extreme instances of oppression or colonization .

Peoples who are oppressed or colonized , however, have the right to external self-determination, which they may exercise through secession from their mother state.[9] This view of self-determination was confirmed in 1998, in the Canadian Supreme Court opinion regarding the proposed secession of Quebec from Canada, where the Court held that all peoples are entitled to various modes of internal self-determination, but that only some peoples, such as those subjected to conquest, colonization, and perhaps oppression, may acquire the right to external self-determination through remedial secession.[10] Today, it may be concluded that international law bestows on all peoples the right to self-determination, but that the right to external self-determination, exercised through remedial secession, only applies in extreme circumstances, to colonized and severely persecuted peoples.

While international law embraces the principle of self-determination, it does not contain a right of secession.[11] It may be argued that international law merely tolerates secession in instances of external self-determination, where a people is colonized or oppressed (like in the case of Kosovo). In addition, secession is prohibited under international law if the secessionist entity is attempting to separate by violating another fundamental norm of international law, such as the prohibition on the use of force (like in the case of Northern Cyprus).[12] In other instances of attempted secession, where the relevant people is not oppressed, as in Quebec or Scotland, international law is neutral on secession -- it does not support a right to secession nor does it prohibit secession. Instead, the secessionist dispute is left to the realm of domestic law and to political negotiations between the mother state and the secessionist entity.[13]

--

Following are two influential articles reaffirming the US regime's view, that the breakaway was and is illegitimate. In the first , the lie is simply presumed true that the overthrow of the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, during 20-26 February 2014, was a domestic democratic revolution, instead of a foreign-imposed coup. In the second , international law, as was just summarized above here, is simply ignored.

--

#1:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40802-015-0043-9

Netherlands International Law Review
December 2015, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 329–363| Cite as
"Crimea's Separation from Ukraine: An Analysis of the Right to Self-Determination and (Remedial) Secession in International Law"

Simone F. van den Driest [whose 404-page 2013 Ph.D dissertation, at Netherlands' Tilburg University, was "Remedial Secession" ], First Online: 30 November 2015

16k Downloads

Abstract

This article considers the (il)legality of Crimea's unilateral secession from Ukraine from the perspective of public international law. It examines whether the right to self-determination or an alleged right to (remedial) secession could serve as a legal basis for the separation of the Crimean Peninsula, as the Crimean authorities and the Russian Federation seem to have argued. The article explains that beyond the context of decolonization, the right to self-determination does not encompass a general right to unilateral secession and demonstrates that contemporary international law does not acknowledge a right to remedial secession. With respect to the case of Crimea, it argues that even when assuming that such a right does exist, the threshold in this regard is not met. In the absence of a legal entitlement, the article subsequently turns to the question whether Crimea's unilateral secession was prohibited under international law. It contends that while the principle of territorial integrity discourages unilateral secession, it does not actually prohibit it. Nonetheless, there are situations in which an attempt at unilateral secession is considered to be illegal in view of the circumstances. It is argued that it is precisely this exception that is relevant in the case of Crimea.

[Text now:] The Russian Federation (implicitly) relied on the doctrine of remedial secession, which is seen to encompass a right to unilateral secession in case of serious injustices suffered by a people. [which were unquestionably present] President Putin advanced remedial arguments in his speech of 18 March, contending that
those who opposed the coup were immediately threatened with repression. Naturally, the first in line here was Crimea, the Russian-speaking Crimea. In view of this, the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol turned to Russia for help in defending their rights and lives [ ]. [N]aturally, we could not leave this plea unheeded; we could not abandon Crimea and its residents in distress .7
To the same effect, the Russian Federation claimed in the Security Council that there had been 'threats of violence by ultranationalists against the security, lives and legitimate interests of Russians and all Russian-speaking peoples' in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine and that 'the issue is one of defending our citizens and compatriots, as well as the most import[ant] human right -- the right to life'.8

The accuracy of these views presented, however, is highly questionable under contemporary international law [and all the rest of the article discusses none of the allegations that Putin asserted there , but only internnational law. Not even once in this article is anything like the word "coup" used in relation to the overthrow of Yanukovych -- the overthrow that had sparked Crimeans to demand restoration to Russia. Instead the article simply assumes that there was no coup whatsoever: "The Ukrainian Revolution of 2014, which was initiated by the Euromaidan movement in the capital of Kiev, had significant effects in Crimea." That's all. However, that statement was false: It was no "revolution," and it clearly was a coup . Furthermore: even if it had been a "revolution," it was not "initiated by the Euromaidan movement in the capital of Kiev -- it was initiated by the Barack Obama Administration in the summer of 2011, and started to be implemented inside the US Embassy in Kiev on 1 March 2013 . The Euromaidan movement started on 21 November 2013 . So, this author is merely assuming that "the Euromaidan movement" wasn't part of a coup-operation by the US regime.]

CONCLUSION

All in all, it should be concluded that the arguments involving an alleged right to self-determination and (remedial) secession as advanced by the Crimean and Russian authorities in attempting to justify the events on the Crimean Peninsula cannot be upheld. On the contrary: Crimea's unilateral secession from Ukraine clearly was illegal under international law.

#2:

https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/lasr/14/1/article-p11.xml

"The Annexation of Crimea and Attempts to Justify It in the Context of International Law"

Lithuanian Annual Strategic Review , 2015-2016, v. 14 [published by General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania]

Erika Leonaitė & Dainius Žalimas, both of Vilnius University

it is essential to point out that a coup d'etat and the issues of constitutionality in general are matters of national rather than international law. In terms of international law, importance falls not on the constitutionality of the government, but on its effectiveness, i.e. its capability to efficiently control the territory of the state and to ensure compliance with international commitments. [In other words: any national government that can suppress and crush a secession movement is adhering to international law, according to these writers.] Even where the government is unable to carry out effective control (in political science, the concept of a "failed state" is used to refer to these cases), relations with such a state must be continued based on the principles of sovereign equality, the prohibition of the use of force [the writers mean "use of force" by any foreign govertnment, not "use of force" by the given nation's government in order to suppress and crush any secession movement], respect for territorial integrity, and other fundamental international legal principles; other states are not released from the obligations with respect to this state [in other words: foreign nations must never side with nor support a secession movement within a country. Blatantly false allegations like that are publishable by General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania.]

--

US President Barack Obama restored in full the Cold War that his predecessor George Herbert Walker Bush had only secretly extended into the future on the American side covertly on 24 February 1990 , and he did this in two main steps. In 2012, he pushed and signed into law the Magnitsky Act which was based on the fraud by Bill Browder, who functioned in coordination with George Soros, another billionaire who leads in ingtensifying America's war against Russia . Then, in June 2011 at the latest, he started the planning for the February 2014 Ukrainian coup .

Furthermore: Part of Obama's plan for taking Ukraine was his plan to grab Russia's main navy base, which is in Crimea, and to transform it into another NATO navy base -- against Russia :

In June 2013 (well before the 'democratic revolution' in Ukraine started), NAVFAC, the US Naval Facilities Engineering Command, published on its website, a "Project Description" for "Renovation of School#5, Sevastopol, Ukraine," under the euphemistic title "EUCOM Humanitarian Assistance Program" . EUCOM is the US European Command -- it is purely military, not "humanitarian," at all. The 124-page request for proposals (RFP) showed extensive photos of the existing school, and also of the toilets, floor-boards, and other US-made products, that the US regime was requiring to be used in the renovation (by some American corporation, yet to be determined) of that then-Ukrainian school in Crimea, which at that time was a Ukrainian Government property, not at all American-owned or operated. So: why were US taxpayers supposed to fund this 'humanitarian' operation, by the U.S. military?

© 2010 - 2019 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org . The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Crimea's breakaway from Ukraine and rejoining Russia is treated in the US-and-allied world as being justification for the explosive re-emergence in 2014 of America's Cold War NATO alliance as being a restored war against Russia; and, so, whether or not that 'justification' is truthful is the paramount geopolitical issue in our era; and it will therefore be discussed and (via the links here) documented in this article.

Though international law is generally an unenforced mess that is interpretable far more by partisanship than by any clearly applicable principles, the US Government does quite blatantly violate it on a routine basis, by means of coups and invasions against countries that never invaded nor threatened to invade the US; but, if anything at all is clear in international law, it is that Crimea's breaking away from Ukraine and rejoining Russia in 2014 was entirely legitimate, as will be documented here, by exposing the lies that are adduced on the US side, in order to allege that it's not legitimate.

First, however, will be a bit of essential historical background, which is commonly ignored in arguments by the pro-US-regime liars on this matter: From 1783 to 1954, Crimea was part of Russia. Crimea was arbitrarily transferred from Russia to Ukraine in 1954 by the dictator of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khruschev, who was a Ukrainian and didn't consult the residents of Crimea about this handover of them to Ukraine. Crimeans were so opposed to being ruled from the foreign-language-speaking and largely pro-Nazi (and anti-Semitic and anti-Russian) Ukrainians to their north, so that as soon as the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, the only way that Crimeans would tolerate any continuation of their formal association with Ukraine was by being declared Ukraine's "autonomous republic" (the only one) in Ukraine. This situation of partial Crimean independence continued until Ukraine was conquered (via coup) by the US regime, in order to be handed over first to the European Union, and then, after the EU would accept Ukraine, to NATO, which military alliance with the US was extremely unpopular in Ukraine until the American conquest and the immediately subsequent takeover of Ukraine by pro-US oligarchs, who were eager to buy more privatized and formerly Soviet state-owned properties, in basically insider deals with the now US-controlled Ukrainian Government. Those oligarchs' 'news'-media successfully propagandized most Ukrainians to switch from being anti-NATO to pro-NATO. However, right at the time of the coup, Crimeans demonstrated in Kiev against the CIA-organized Maidan demostrations, and on the day of the coup, February 20th, those Crimeans in Kiev were forced by the US-supported nazis to flee there, but the eight buses carrrying them were blocked en-route, and an unknown number of the fleeing Crimeans were killed . Many of the surviving ones were permanently injured . Crimeans were terrified and some of them wrote to friends in the West regarding the terror and their fears . All of this information is ignored by the proponents of the illegality of Crimea's separation from Ukraine, because, clearly, the basic human rights of Crimeans were then under very palpable and severe threat by the US-imposed forces; and, so, any 'legal' argument for forcing Crimeans to remain Ukrainians was and is fake. But, still, legal arguments for forcing Crimeans to be Ukrainians again are presented; and, so, here is a quick intoroduction to those frauds.

The least politicized of the pro-Western (i.e., pro-US-regime) articles regarding the relevant international laws on this topic concern the cases of Kurdistan and Catalonia, because in the US-and-allied international dictatorship (that is, the countries that are ruled by billionares who are allied with US billionaires), no unanimity exists regarding those two breakaway-movements (Kurds and Catalonians); so, the legal principles aren't such a threat to the US-and-allied lies about Russia. Here are highlights from this article, and I boldface what I consider key statements there:

--

https://www.asil.org/insights/volume/22/issue/1/self-determination-and-secession-under-international-law-cases-kurdistan

"Self-Determination and Secession Under International Law: The Cases of Kurdistan and Catalonia"

ASIL [American Society of International Law] Insights , v. 22, issue 1

Milena Sterio, 5 January 2018

The theory of self-determination, as justifying the secession of a people from its existing mother state as a matter of last resort only, in situations where the people is oppressed or where the mother state's government does not legitimately represent the people's interests, has remained constant throughout the 20th century development of international law. Two United Nations' declarations, in addition to the United Nations Charter itself, have addressed the issue of self-determination.

Both declarations envisioned self-determination leading to secession as a matter of last resort only within the decolonization paradigm: here, both conditions for a right to self-determination were met insofar as colonized peoples were oppressed and their colonial governments did not adequately represent their interests. Both declarations also confirmed the importance of the principle of territorial integrity of existing states, [8] and thus embraced the idea that self-determination could lead to the territorial disruption of existing states only in extreme instances of oppression or colonization .

Peoples who are oppressed or colonized , however, have the right to external self-determination, which they may exercise through secession from their mother state.[9] This view of self-determination was confirmed in 1998, in the Canadian Supreme Court opinion regarding the proposed secession of Quebec from Canada, where the Court held that all peoples are entitled to various modes of internal self-determination, but that only some peoples, such as those subjected to conquest, colonization, and perhaps oppression, may acquire the right to external self-determination through remedial secession.[10] Today, it may be concluded that international law bestows on all peoples the right to self-determination, but that the right to external self-determination, exercised through remedial secession, only applies in extreme circumstances, to colonized and severely persecuted peoples.

While international law embraces the principle of self-determination, it does not contain a right of secession.[11] It may be argued that international law merely tolerates secession in instances of external self-determination, where a people is colonized or oppressed (like in the case of Kosovo). In addition, secession is prohibited under international law if the secessionist entity is attempting to separate by violating another fundamental norm of international law, such as the prohibition on the use of force (like in the case of Northern Cyprus).[12] In other instances of attempted secession, where the relevant people is not oppressed, as in Quebec or Scotland, international law is neutral on secession -- it does not support a right to secession nor does it prohibit secession. Instead, the secessionist dispute is left to the realm of domestic law and to political negotiations between the mother state and the secessionist entity.[13]

--

Following are two influential articles reaffirming the US regime's view, that the breakaway was and is illegitimate. In the first , the lie is simply presumed true that the overthrow of the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, during 20-26 February 2014, was a domestic democratic revolution, instead of a foreign-imposed coup. In the second , international law, as was just summarized above here, is simply ignored.

--

#1:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40802-015-0043-9

Netherlands International Law Review
December 2015, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 329–363| Cite as
"Crimea's Separation from Ukraine: An Analysis of the Right to Self-Determination and (Remedial) Secession in International Law"

Simone F. van den Driest [whose 404-page 2013 Ph.D dissertation, at Netherlands' Tilburg University, was "Remedial Secession" ], First Online: 30 November 2015

16k Downloads

Abstract

This article considers the (il)legality of Crimea's unilateral secession from Ukraine from the perspective of public international law. It examines whether the right to self-determination or an alleged right to (remedial) secession could serve as a legal basis for the separation of the Crimean Peninsula, as the Crimean authorities and the Russian Federation seem to have argued. The article explains that beyond the context of decolonization, the right to self-determination does not encompass a general right to unilateral secession and demonstrates that contemporary international law does not acknowledge a right to remedial secession. With respect to the case of Crimea, it argues that even when assuming that such a right does exist, the threshold in this regard is not met. In the absence of a legal entitlement, the article subsequently turns to the question whether Crimea's unilateral secession was prohibited under international law. It contends that while the principle of territorial integrity discourages unilateral secession, it does not actually prohibit it. Nonetheless, there are situations in which an attempt at unilateral secession is considered to be illegal in view of the circumstances. It is argued that it is precisely this exception that is relevant in the case of Crimea.

[Text now:] The Russian Federation (implicitly) relied on the doctrine of remedial secession, which is seen to encompass a right to unilateral secession in case of serious injustices suffered by a people. [which were unquestionably present] President Putin advanced remedial arguments in his speech of 18 March, contending that
those who opposed the coup were immediately threatened with repression. Naturally, the first in line here was Crimea, the Russian-speaking Crimea. In view of this, the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol turned to Russia for help in defending their rights and lives [ ]. [N]aturally, we could not leave this plea unheeded; we could not abandon Crimea and its residents in distress .7
To the same effect, the Russian Federation claimed in the Security Council that there had been 'threats of violence by ultranationalists against the security, lives and legitimate interests of Russians and all Russian-speaking peoples' in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine and that 'the issue is one of defending our citizens and compatriots, as well as the most import[ant] human right -- the right to life'.8

The accuracy of these views presented, however, is highly questionable under contemporary international law [and all the rest of the article discusses none of the allegations that Putin asserted there , but only internnational law. Not even once in this article is anything like the word "coup" used in relation to the overthrow of Yanukovych -- the overthrow that had sparked Crimeans to demand restoration to Russia. Instead the article simply assumes that there was no coup whatsoever: "The Ukrainian Revolution of 2014, which was initiated by the Euromaidan movement in the capital of Kiev, had significant effects in Crimea." That's all. However, that statement was false: It was no "revolution," and it clearly was a coup . Furthermore: even if it had been a "revolution," it was not "initiated by the Euromaidan movement in the capital of Kiev -- it was initiated by the Barack Obama Administration in the summer of 2011, and started to be implemented inside the US Embassy in Kiev on 1 March 2013 . The Euromaidan movement started on 21 November 2013 . So, this author is merely assuming that "the Euromaidan movement" wasn't part of a coup-operation by the US regime.]

CONCLUSION

All in all, it should be concluded that the arguments involving an alleged right to self-determination and (remedial) secession as advanced by the Crimean and Russian authorities in attempting to justify the events on the Crimean Peninsula cannot be upheld. On the contrary: Crimea's unilateral secession from Ukraine clearly was illegal under international law.

#2:

https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/lasr/14/1/article-p11.xml

"The Annexation of Crimea and Attempts to Justify It in the Context of International Law"

Lithuanian Annual Strategic Review , 2015-2016, v. 14 [published by General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania]

Erika Leonaitė & Dainius Žalimas, both of Vilnius University

it is essential to point out that a coup d'etat and the issues of constitutionality in general are matters of national rather than international law. In terms of international law, importance falls not on the constitutionality of the government, but on its effectiveness, i.e. its capability to efficiently control the territory of the state and to ensure compliance with international commitments. [In other words: any national government that can suppress and crush a secession movement is adhering to international law, according to these writers.] Even where the government is unable to carry out effective control (in political science, the concept of a "failed state" is used to refer to these cases), relations with such a state must be continued based on the principles of sovereign equality, the prohibition of the use of force [the writers mean "use of force" by any foreign govertnment, not "use of force" by the given nation's government in order to suppress and crush any secession movement], respect for territorial integrity, and other fundamental international legal principles; other states are not released from the obligations with respect to this state [in other words: foreign nations must never side with nor support a secession movement within a country. Blatantly false allegations like that are publishable by General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania.]

--

US President Barack Obama restored in full the Cold War that his predecessor George Herbert Walker Bush had only secretly extended into the future on the American side covertly on 24 February 1990 , and he did this in two main steps. In 2012, he pushed and signed into law the Magnitsky Act which was based on the fraud by Bill Browder, who functioned in coordination with George Soros, another billionaire who leads in ingtensifying America's war against Russia . Then, in June 2011 at the latest, he started the planning for the February 2014 Ukrainian coup .

Furthermore: Part of Obama's plan for taking Ukraine was his plan to grab Russia's main navy base, which is in Crimea, and to transform it into another NATO navy base -- against Russia :

In June 2013 (well before the 'democratic revolution' in Ukraine started), NAVFAC, the US Naval Facilities Engineering Command, published on its website, a "Project Description" for "Renovation of School#5, Sevastopol, Ukraine," under the euphemistic title "EUCOM Humanitarian Assistance Program" . EUCOM is the US European Command -- it is purely military, not "humanitarian," at all. The 124-page request for proposals (RFP) showed extensive photos of the existing school, and also of the toilets, floor-boards, and other US-made products, that the US regime was requiring to be used in the renovation (by some American corporation, yet to be determined) of that then-Ukrainian school in Crimea, which at that time was a Ukrainian Government property, not at all American-owned or operated. So: why were US taxpayers supposed to fund this 'humanitarian' operation, by the U.S. military? The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Tags: Coup Crimea International Law Russia Ukraine United States Print this article See also September 17, 2019 Crimea and Kashmir Viewed Through a Western Prism of Hypocrisy June 27, 2017 Crimea, Afghanistan and Libya June 3, 2018 How and Why the US Government Perpetrated the 2014 Coup in Ukraine March 19, 2019 US Duplicity over Golan Demolishes Posturing on Crimea November 18, 2018 UN Vote on Crimea: Some Thoughts on the Issue December 11, 2019 The 1508 League of Cambrai and BRICS Today: How Not to Repeat History December 10, 2019 Why the Results of the Normandy Four Summit Were Predetermined Almost November 27, 2019 Ukraine, Trump, Biden -- The Real Story Behind 'Ukrainegate' November 11, 2019 Federations No Longer a Fad December 23, 2019 US Making Outer Space the Next Battle Zone – Karl Grossman December 22, 2019 The Fake Impeachment: Pelosi's Botched Ploy Helps Trump Towards Victory December 22, 2019 One and a Half Cheers for Tulsi Gabbard December 21, 2019 We Live in Hysteric Times: What Trump's Impeachment Really Means December 21, 2019 Capra's Battle With the Deep State and Hollywood's Role in the Cold War Era December 18, 2019 Hidden Evidence Regarding Ukrainegate December 16, 2019 The Post-War 'Consensus' is Over – 'Either We Reinvent Bretton Woods, or It Risks Losing Relevance' December 15, 2019 Fires Rage in Canada as Professor Attacks the Myth of Holodomor December 15, 2019 Ukraine Peace Hostage to Washington's Russophobia December 13, 2019 Sore Sports: Russia Barred From Olympics for Thwarting Washington's Geopolitical Game Plan? December 10, 2019 Trade and Peaceful Cooperation Will Beat the Warmongers December 4, 2019 Bolivia's Lithium Is Fair Game in a World Ruled by Spheres of Influence December 1, 2019 Why a Second American Revolution Is Necessary for the Entire World November 30, 2019 Will the ICC Prosecute Perpetrators of the 'War on Terror'? November 28, 2019 Bolivian Coup and Indian Wars on Thanksgiving November 15, 2019 Bolivia: More Lessons From a Noble Experiment Gone Awry Also by this author Eric Zuesse American writer and investigative historian Hidden Evidence Regarding Ukrainegate Why America's Founders Would Be Waging War Against Today's America Why a Second American Revolution Is Necessary for the Entire World Ukraine, Trump, Biden -- The Real Story Behind 'Ukrainegate' Americans Usually Support Ethnic Cleansing When Their Government Does Sign up for the Strategic Culture Foundation Newsletter Subscribe See also September 17, 2019 Crimea and Kashmir Viewed Through a Western Prism of Hypocrisy June 27, 2017 Crimea, Afghanistan and Libya June 3, 2018 How and Why the US Government Perpetrated the 2014 Coup in Ukraine March 19, 2019 US Duplicity over Golan Demolishes Posturing on Crimea November 18, 2018 UN Vote on Crimea: Some Thoughts on the Issue December 11, 2019 The 1508 League of Cambrai and BRICS Today: How Not to Repeat History December 10, 2019 Why the Results of the Normandy Four Summit Were Predetermined Almost November 27, 2019 Ukraine, Trump, Biden -- The Real Story Behind 'Ukrainegate' November 11, 2019 Federations No Longer a Fad December 23, 2019 US Making Outer Space the Next Battle Zone – Karl Grossman December 22, 2019 The Fake Impeachment: Pelosi's Botched Ploy Helps Trump Towards Victory December 22, 2019 One and a Half Cheers for Tulsi Gabbard December 21, 2019 We Live in Hysteric Times: What Trump's Impeachment Really Means December 21, 2019 Capra's Battle With the Deep State and Hollywood's Role in the Cold War Era December 18, 2019 Hidden Evidence Regarding Ukrainegate December 16, 2019 The Post-War 'Consensus' is Over – 'Either We Reinvent Bretton Woods, or It Risks Losing Relevance' December 15, 2019 Fires Rage in Canada as Professor Attacks the Myth of Holodomor December 15, 2019 Ukraine Peace Hostage to Washington's Russophobia December 13, 2019 Sore Sports: Russia Barred From Olympics for Thwarting Washington's Geopolitical Game Plan? December 10, 2019 Trade and Peaceful Cooperation Will Beat the Warmongers December 4, 2019 Bolivia's Lithium Is Fair Game in a World Ruled by Spheres of Influence December 1, 2019 Why a Second American Revolution Is Necessary for the Entire World November 30, 2019 Will the ICC Prosecute Perpetrators of the 'War on Terror'? November 28, 2019 Bolivian Coup and Indian Wars on Thanksgiving November 15, 2019 Bolivia: More Lessons From a Noble Experiment Gone Awry The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Tags: Coup Crimea International Law Russia Ukraine United States Print this article Sign up for the Strategic Culture Foundation Newsletter Subscribe


To the top
© 2010 - 2019 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org . The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. <div><img src="https://mc.yandex.ru/watch/10970266" alt=""/></div>

[Dec 24, 2019] The Fake Impeachment Pelosi's Botched Ploy Helps Trump Towards Victory by Joaquin Flores

It would be impossible for Trump to re-energize his base in any other way. Pelosi acts as covert agent for Trump re-election? Peloci calculation that she can repar "Mueller effect" of 2018 with this impeachment proved to be gross miscalculation.
Warren who stupidly and enthusiastically jumped into this bandwagon will be hurt. She is such a weak politician that now it looks like she does not belong to the club. Still in comparison with Trump she might well be an improvement as she has Trump-like economic program, which Trump betrayed and neutered. And her foreign policy can't be worse then Trump foreign policy. It is just impossible.
I am convinced that the Dems are not actually interested or focused on defeating Trump, or they would adopt an effective strategy. The question I keep wrestling with is, what is the point to the strategy that is so ineffective?
Notable quotes:
"... The fact that the impeachment is dead in the water, by Pelosi's own admission , is evident in Trump's being adamant that indeed it must be sent to the Senate – where he knows he'll be exonerated. But even if it doesn't go to the Senate, what we're left with still appears as a loss for Democrats. Both places are his briar patch. This makes all of this a win-win for team Trump. ..."
"... fake impeachment procedure ..."
"... For in a constitutional republic like the United States, what makes an impeachment possible is when the representatives and the voters are in communion over the matter. This would normally be reflected in a mid-term election, like say for example the mid-term Senatorial race in 2018 where Democrats failed to take control. Control of the Senate would reflect a change of sentiment in the republic, which in turn and not coincidentally, would be what makes for a successful impeachment. ..."
"... Nancy Pelosi is evidently extraordinarily cynical. Her politics appears to be 'they deserve whatever they believe'. ..."
"... little else can explain the reasoning behind her claim that she will 'send the impeachment to the Senate' as soon as she 'has assurances and knows how the Senate will conduct the impeachment', except that it came from the same person who told the public regarding Obamacare that we have to 'We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.". ..."
"... "We have been attacked. We are at war. Imagine this movie script: A former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge – taking advantage of the chaos, he works his way up through the ranks of a post-soviet Russia and becomes president. ..."
"... He establishes an authoritarian regime, then he sets his sights on his sworn enemy – the United States. And like the KGB spy that he is, he secretly uses cyber warfare to attack democracies around the world. Using social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political processes, even their neighbors. And he wins." ..."
"... We'll say we impeached him, because we did, and we'll say he was impeached. We'll declare victory, and go home. This will make him unelectable because of the stigma of impeachment. ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
And so it came to pass, that in the deep state's frenzy of electoral desperation, the 'impeachment' card was played. The hammer has fallen. Nearly the entirety of the legacy media news cycle has been dedicated to the details, and not really pertinent details, but the sorts of details which presume the validity of the charges against Trump in the first place. Yes, they all beg the question. What's forgotten here is that the use of this process along clearly partisan lines, and more – towards clearly partisan aims – is a very serious symptom of the larger undoing of any semblance of stability in the US government.

The fact that the impeachment is dead in the water, by Pelosi's own admission , is evident in Trump's being adamant that indeed it must be sent to the Senate – where he knows he'll be exonerated. But even if it doesn't go to the Senate, what we're left with still appears as a loss for Democrats. Both places are his briar patch. This makes all of this a win-win for team Trump.

Only in a country that produces so much fake news at the official level, could there be a fake impeachment procedure made purely for media consumption, with no real or tangible possible victory in sight.

For in a constitutional republic like the United States, what makes an impeachment possible is when the representatives and the voters are in communion over the matter. This would normally be reflected in a mid-term election, like say for example the mid-term Senatorial race in 2018 where Democrats failed to take control. Control of the Senate would reflect a change of sentiment in the republic, which in turn and not coincidentally, would be what makes for a successful impeachment.

Don't forget, this impeachment is fake

Nancy Pelosi is evidently extraordinarily cynical. Her politics appears to be 'they deserve whatever they believe'. And her aim appears to be the one who makes them believe things so that they deserve what she gives them. For little else can explain the reasoning behind her claim that she will 'send the impeachment to the Senate' as soon as she 'has assurances and knows how the Senate will conduct the impeachment', except that it came from the same person who told the public regarding Obamacare that we have to 'We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.".

In both cases, reality is turned on its head – for rather we will know how the Senate intends to conduct its procedure as soon as it has the details, which substantively includes the impeachment documents themselves, in front of them, and likewise, legislators ought to know what's in a major piece of legislation before they vote either way on it. Pelosi's assault on reason, however, isn't without an ever growing tide of resentment from within the progressive base of the party itself.

We have quickly entered into a new era which increasingly resembles the broken political processes which have struck many a country, but none in living memory a country like the US. Now elected officials push judges to prosecute their political opponents, constitutional crises are manufactured to pursue personal or political vendettas, death threats and rumors of coups coming from media and celebrities being fed talking points by big and important players from powerful institutions.

This 'impeachment' show really takes the cake, does it not? We will recall shortly after Trump was elected, narrator for hire Morgan Freeman made a shocking public service announcement. It was for all intents and purposes, a PSA notifying the public that a military coup to remove Trump would be legitimate and in order. Speaking about this PSA, and recounting what was said, would in any event read as an exaggeration, or some allegorical paraphrasing made to prove a point. Jogging our memories then, Freeman spoke to tens of millions of viewers on television and YouTube saying :

"We have been attacked. We are at war. Imagine this movie script: A former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge – taking advantage of the chaos, he works his way up through the ranks of a post-soviet Russia and becomes president.

He establishes an authoritarian regime, then he sets his sights on his sworn enemy – the United States. And like the KGB spy that he is, he secretly uses cyber warfare to attack democracies around the world. Using social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political processes, even their neighbors. And he wins."

This really set the tone for the coming years, which have culminated in this manufactured 'impeachment' crisis, really befitting a banana republic.

It would be the height of dishonesty to approach this abuse of the impeachment procedure as if until this moment, the US's own political culture and processes were in good shape. Now isn't the time for the laundry list of eroded constitutional provisions, which go in a thousand and one unique directions. The US political system is surely broken, but as is the case with such large institutions several hundreds of years old, its meltdown appears to happen in slow motion to us mere mortals. And so what we are seeing today is the next phase of this break-down, and really ought to be understood as monumental in this sense. Once again revealed is the poor judgment of the Democratic Party and their agents, tools, warlords, and strategists, the same gang who sunk Hillary Clinton's campaign on the rocks of hubris.

Nancy Pelosi also has poor judgment, and these short-sighted and self-interested moves on her part stand a strong chance of backfiring. Her role in this charade is duly noted. This isn't said because of any disagreement over her aims, but rather that in purely objective terms it just so happens that her aims and her actions are out of synch – that is unless she wants to see Trump re-elected. Her aims are her aims, our intention is to connect these to their probable results, without moral judgments.

The real problem for the Democrats, the DNC, and any hopes for the White House in 2020, is that this all has the odor of a massive backfire, and something that Trump has been counting on happening. When one's opponent knows what is probable, and when they have a track record for preparing very well for such, it is only a question of what Trump's strategy is and how this falls into it, not whether there is one.

Imagine being a fly on the wall of the meeting with Pelosi where it was decided to go forward with impeachment in the House of Representatives, despite not having either sufficient traction in the Senate or any way to control the process that the Senate uses.

It probably went like this: ' We'll say we impeached him, because we did, and we'll say he was impeached. We'll declare victory, and go home. This will make him unelectable because of the stigma of impeachment. '

Informed citizens are aware that whatever their views towards Trump, nothing he has done reaches beyond the established precedent set by past presidents. Confused citizens on the other hand, are believing the manufactured talking points thrown their way, and the idea that a US president loosely reference a quid pro quo in trying to sort a corruption scandal in dealings with the president of a foreign country, is some crazy, new, never-before-done and highly-illegal thing. It is none of those things though.

Unfortunately, not needless to say, the entirety of the direct, physical evidence against Trump solely consists of the now infamous transcript of the phone call which he had with Ukrainian president Zelensky. The rest is hearsay, a conspiracy narrative, and entirely circumstantial. As this author has noted in numerous pieces, Biden's entire candidacy rests precisely upon his need to be a candidate so that any normal investigation into the wrongdoings of himself or his son in Ukraine, suddenly become the targeted persecution of a political opponent of Trump.

Other than this, it is evident that Biden stands little chance – the same polling institutions which give him a double-digit lead were those which foretold a Clinton electoral victory. Neither their methods nor those paying and publishing them, have substantively changed. Biden's candidacy, like the impeachment, is essentially fake. The real contenders for the party's base are Sanders and Gabbard.

The Democratic Party Activist Base Despises Pelosi as much as Clinton

The Democratic Party has two bases, one controlled by the DNC and the Clintons, and one which consists of its energized rank-and-file activists who are clearer in their populism, anti-establishment and ant-corporate agenda. Candidates like Gabbard and Sanders are closest to them politically, though far from perfect fits. Their renegade status is confirmed by the difficulties they have with visibility – they are the new silent majority of the party. The DNC base, on the other hand, relies on Rachel Maddow, Wolf Blitzer, and the likes for their default talking points, where they have free and pervasive access to legacy media. In the context of increased censorship online, this is not insignificant.

Among the important reasons this 'impeachment' strategy will lose is that it will not energize the second and larger base. Even though this more progressive and populist base is also more motivated, they have faced – as has the so-called alt-light – an extraordinarily high degree of censorship on social media. Despite all the censorship, the Democrats' silent majority are rather well-informed people, highly motivated, and tend to be vocal in their communities and places of work. Their ideas move organically and virally among the populace.

This silent majority has a very good memory, and they know very well who Nancy Pelosi is, and who she isn't.

The silent majority remembers that after years of the public backlash against Bush's war crimes, crimes against humanity, destruction of remaining civil liberties with the Patriot Act, torture, warrantless search – and the list goes on and on – Democrats managed to retake the lower house in 2006. If there was a legitimate reason for an impeachment, it would have been championed by Pelosi against Bush for going to war using false, falsified, manufactured evidence about WMD in Iraq. At the time, Pelosi squashed the hopes of her own electorate, reasoning that such moves would be divisive, that they would distract from the Democrats' momentum to take the White House in '08, that Bush had recently (?) won his last election, and so on. Of course these were real crimes, and the reasons not to prosecute may have as much to do with Pelosi's own role in the war industry. Pelosi couldn't really push against Bush over torture, etc. because she had been on an elite congressional committee – the House Intelligence Committee – during the Bush years in office which starting in 2003 was dedicated to making sure that torture could and would become normalized and entirely legal.

It seems Pelosi can't even go anywhere with this impeachment on Trump today, and therefore doesn't even really plan to submit it to the Senate for the next stage . The political stunt was pulled, a fireworks show consisting of one lonely rocket that sort of fizzled off out of sight.

Trump emerges unscathed, and more to the point, we are closer to the election and his base is even more energized. Pelosi spent the better part of three years inoculating the public against any significance being attached to any impeachment procedure. Pelosi cried wolf so many times, and Trump has made good on the opportunities handed to him to get his talking points in order and to condition his base to receive and process the scandals in such and such way. This wouldn't have been possible without Pelosi's help. Thanks in part to Pelosi and the DNC, Trump appears primed for re-election.

Trump energizes his base, and the DNC suppresses and disappoints theirs. That's where the election will be won or lost.

[Dec 24, 2019] Trumpian Rhetoric The Case of His Letter to Pelosi (and Foreshadowing 2020)

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

This may be a good time to pull on my yellow waters, and take a look at Trump's letter to Pelosi, since his letter is simultaneously a parting shot as the House votes impeachement, and -- assuming impeachment doesn't die in the House -- the opening gun not only for his trial in the Senate but for election 2020. Here is the letter ; if you have time, it's worth reading it to form your own opinions.

One tip to make reading Trump more tolerable is to hear him as a borscht belt comedian like Rodney Dangerfield or Henny Youngman. Clifford A. Rieders , who grew up with enduring memories of the borscht belt, commented in 2016:

The humorists spanned the spectrum from Yiddish-speaking Brooklynites to Midwestern Protestants. Each comedian had a shtick. What exactly is a shtick? A "shtick" was an approach, an act, a way of relating to people that could be funny, serious, entertaining or crass, but always memorable in some way. Donald Trump is surging in the polls because he has a shtick. He is very much like a borscht belt entertainer, memorable because of how he speaks and the way he presents himself, rather than his content. The experts will have to parse the substance of Trump's message, if any, but his entertainment value should not be underestimated. He is making people sit up and take notice, whether he is hated, loved, or whether he just makes people shrug their shoulders and giggle.

... ... ...

Even more amazingly, the Times leaves this passage, which occurs immediately before the passage they corrected, uncorrected:

Before the Impeachment Hoax, it was the Russian Witch Hunt. Against all evidence, and regardless of the truth, you and your deputies claimed that my campaign colluded with the Russians -- a grave, malicious, and slanderous lie, a falsehood like no other.

One must assume that the Times does not correct what it believes to be true. Therefore, RussiaGate -- which the Times assiduously propagated, to its great profit -- is "a grave, malicious, and slanderous lie"? Alrighty then.

Similarly:

What the Times is looking at is a blueprint for Trump's case to the voters in 2020. And yet the Times can find only two corrections to make? If I were a liberal Democrat, I would be very, very worried about 2020.

I'm not going to make an armchair diagnosis of Trump's mental state, or shoot fish in a barrel with factchecking. Rather, I'm going to look at Trump's letter through the lens of his schtick , or, using the seventy five-cent word, his rhetoric. (I will be the first to say that Trump is not a superb technician; for an analysis of an orator who is, see NC here on Julia Gillard .) First, I will show that Trump's letter falls naturally into two parts: His defense against the indictment, and his 2020 case against the fitness of Democrats to govern). Given that the text has such a structure, it's simply not tenable to call it an " unhinged rant ," which disposes of the first mainstream response. Nor it is especially useful to fact-check it, especially when the facts are so disputed[1], which disposes of the second. Unfortunately, I cannot annotate the entire six-page letter, but I will comment on the rhetoric used in each part. Now let's look at the two parts.

Here is the division point between the two parts. Using direct address (" inter se pugnantia "), Trump writes:

There is nothing I would rather do than stop referring to your party as the Do-Nothing Democrats. Unfortunately, I don't know that you will ever give me a chance to do so.

There are two reasons this paragraph marks a division. First, it's the first and only joke ( irony ). Second, it's the first use of one of Trump's favorite figures: paralipsis , here saying something while pretending that one does not wish to say it ("unfortunately," my sweet Aunt Fanny).

So, let us turn to the first part, Trump's defense. After some hyperbole about the Constitution , Trump addresses each claim in the House indictment in turn. On (1) "Abuse of Power," Trump responds that (A) "I had a totally innocent conversation with the President of Ukraine," (B) "You are turning a policy disagreement between two branches of government into an impeachable offense", (C) "you are trying to impeach me by falsely accusing me of doing what Joe Biden has admitted he actually did," and (D) "President Zelensky has repeatedly declared that I did nothing wrong." On (2), "Obstruction of Congress," Trump responds, (A) "if you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power," (B) "you have spent three straight years attempting to overturn the will of the American people and nullify their votes," (C) "Congressman Adam Schiff cheated and lied all the way up to the present day", and (D) "You and your party are desperate to distract," followed by the accomplishedments listed in the second Times "correction" above." I've lettered and numbered the responses because the structure is perfectly clear to those who are willing to look for it. (There is a minor Twitter controversy over whether Trump wrote the letter himself, but I would say he, like any President, has people for that. I think that Trump, for whatever reason, had a lot more input into part two, for reasons I will show.)

A second feature of the first part is that it's virtually devoid of rhetorical devices: Tricolon and anaphora are the only ones used frequently ("[1] no crimes, [2] no misdemeanors, and [3] no offenses"; "[1] you are violating your oaths of office, [2] you are breaking your allegiance to the Constitution, and [3] you are declaring open war on American Democracy"; "[1]misquoted, [2]mischaracterized, and [3]fraudulently misrepresented").

Now let's turn to the second part. Unlike the first part, it can't be represented with an outline structure. Indeed, it might be considered to be grist for Trump's improvisations and A/B testing on the trail. From my post describing Trump's visit to Bangor :

I want to focus on how [Trump] made [his] points: He didn't just emit them in bulleted-list form. Rather, he treated them as waypoints. He'd state the point, clearly and loudly, and then begin to move away from it in ever-widening circles, riffing jazzily on anecdotes, making jokes, introducing other talking points ("We're gonna build the wall"), introducing additional anecdotes, until finally popping the topical stack and circling back to the next waypoint, which he would then state, clearly and loudly; rinse, repeat. The political class considers or at least claims Trump's speeches are random and disorganized, but they aren't; any speech and debate person who's done improvisation knows what's going on.

You can just see Trump cutting up bits of part two, revising some, discarding others, re-arranging them, and so on.

The primary rhetorical device in the second part is tu quoque , colloquially "The pot calling the kettle black." Here it is combined with anaphora (and a dash of tricolon and alliteration ):

You are the ones interfering in America's elections. You are the ones subverting America's Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish [1] p ersonal, [2] p olitical, and [3]p p artisan gain.

And here Trump combines tu quoque with straight up [A] ad hominem plus [B] mesarchia , [C] tricolon, [D] hyperbole , and [E] ad populum . (I have to change the notating system for this one because the devices are so numerous and interlocked.)

Perhaps most insulting of all is [A]your false display of solemnity. You apparently have so little respect for the American People that you expect them to believe that [B] you are approaching this impeachment [C]somberly, reservedly, and reluctantly. [D]No intelligent person believes what you are saying. Since the moment I won the election, the Democrat Party has been possessed by Impeachment Fever. There is no reticence. This is not a somber affair. [B] You are making a mockery of impeachment and you are scarcely concealing [C]your hatred of me, of the Republican Party, and tens of millions of patriotic Americans. [E]The voters are wise, and they are seeing straight through this [C]empty, hollow, and dangerous game you are playing.

Now, tu quoque is indeed a logical fallacy with respect to claims . But is it a fallacy with respect to the right to govern, which is one way for Trump to structure the 2020 campaign?[1]

...A rhetorical analysis of Trump's letter shows that he will be a formidable opponent in 2020, and that he's crazy like a fox. Trump has form. His schtick has worked, and may well work again.


richard , December 23, 2019 at 6:49 pm

It will come as a great shock to the dem establishment, a shock i tell you, that the reporting they ignored coming from aaron mate and the other tinny (to their ears) voices to their left was the
revealed truth
and could be wielded like a mighty club against them by trump
only not in the people's interest, because of course not, he's a republican
but anyway, who could have known? /s

dcblogger , December 23, 2019 at 7:02 pm

as to Trump's charge of Do Nothing Democrats, the Democratic House has passed an entire agenda of good things that the Senate has not acted upon. Also, is there ANY evidence to suggest that African American unemployment is at an all time low? A favorite Trump technique is to issue an obviously false statement as if it were true.

KLG , December 23, 2019 at 7:57 pm

Uh huh.

As Sundance said to Butch, repeatedly: "You just keep thinkin' Butch. That's what you're good at."

marym , December 23, 2019 at 8:42 pm

Overall rate, and rates by ethnicity have been declining since 2011, so record or near record lows are recorded during the Trump years. YMMV as to how much Trump economic policies have contributed to and/or not impeded the trend.

Chart for 2003-2019:
https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/unemployment-rate-was-3-point-6-percent-in-october-2019.htm

dcblogger , December 23, 2019 at 9:03 pm

thanks

dcrane , December 23, 2019 at 9:11 pm

They have passed a few interesting bills. But how much time have they spent talking about those bills, and other issues on which they want to move ahead for the people? Compared to the media time sucked up by TrumpRussia, Impeachment, and the rest of the sh*tshow. I don't watch any TV news, but to judge from headlines and other coverage I'll guess very little.

Fred , December 23, 2019 at 7:05 pm

What a great idea for a fake video. Rodney Dangerfield doing Trump.

Synoia , December 23, 2019 at 8:33 pm

Better to have Homer Simpson's father do Trump.

martell , December 23, 2019 at 8:45 pm

Thanks for the analysis. I'm not sure that the bit about the false display of solemnity is an ad hominem. It seems to me that it would count as a fallacy if he were arguing that the case against him is flawed for the reason that those making that case are bad people (people who feign solemnity). But that's not how I read it.

I read it as an attempt to work up anger against his accusers. At one point in the Rhetoric, Aristotle claims that people become angry with someone when they think they have been slighted by that person. One way of slighting people is to take them for fools. This is an insult. If Trump were right and Democrats really were feigning solemnity while gleefully engaged in a narrowly self-interested effort to overturn an election, then Democrats would be taking voters for fools. Many voters would find this insulting. Also, Aristotle thought that angry people are moved to take revenge. This amounts to a desire to bring the insulting party low. Bringing low, in this case, would surely involve voting against Democrats, punishing them by keeping them out or throwing them out of high office.

I suppose, then, that this particular passage looks to me like good rhetoric as opposed to fallacious argument. Or at least partly good. He seems to know what he's doing where pathos is concerned.

TroyIA , December 23, 2019 at 9:01 pm

Lambert describes President Trump's style as schtick but another way is to consider it as a wrestling character named "President Trump." Remember President Trump was involved with the WWE and had the owners wife Linda McMahon in his cabinet and she is now running a pro-Trump super PAC.

Having grown up watching professional wrestling President Trump's campaign rallies are exactly like a wrestling show. He is playing a character and has to be quick thinking and able to ad-lib to manipulate the crowd's emotions. The crowd also has to become part of the show as well and overreact to signal to the performer (in this case who happens to be the President) they are engaged with the show. The baby face (Trump) is cheered loudly and the heels (Democrats/media) are booed in an exaggerated manner.

This character development and ad-libbing/a b testing is then always in use when dealing with the media and when tweeting. Since the President is a caricature his followers aren't bothered by his incorrect statements and when the Democrats/media point out his mis-statements it doesn't register because everyone knows wrestling is fake.

A rhetorical analysis of Trump's letter shows that he will be a formidable opponent in 2020, and that he's crazy like a fox.

Make America Great Again. Trump trademarked that saying 1 week after the 2012 election. He isn't crazy he's sly like a fox.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-patent-maga-2012/

chuck roast , December 23, 2019 at 9:30 pm

I've been around for a while and my attitude is that all of these "prexies", with the exception maybe of Ike, have been lying sacks of shit. Now while they all facilitated mass thievery by their friends and associates (as the mob would say), they could have at least had the good form to be funny. But no! They were all so earnest and sanctimonious. Kind of like my parish priest handing out the wafers.
I probably spent way too many hours warming various bar-stools next to a variety of knuckleheads, so I'm going to give Trump his due, OK? The guy has given me more chuckles, laughs, guffaws and all around hilarity than six decades worth of well dressed socio-paths. And as a bonus, a big bonus, he has greatly discomforted all of the smartest grifters in the room. Whenever I see the guy, Im in the Catskills.

Pym of Nantucket , December 23, 2019 at 9:31 pm

I am convinced that the Dems are not actually interested or focused on defeating Trump, or they would adopt an effective strategy. The question I keep wrestling with is, what is the point to the strategy that is so ineffective?

They are perhaps infiltrated by malicious actors, or positioning for something bigger? The clarity of the critique mentioned above by Aaron Mate to me isn't mysterious or difficult to find.

How about this:they are preparing for election 2024? I'm not joking.

David in Santa Cruz , December 23, 2019 at 10:41 pm

Rodney Dangerfield? Don Rickles? Our political culture has truly been debased by popular culture into a stand-up competition. Trump's base knows that he's channeling New Wave/Punk comedians Sam Kinison and Bobcat Goldthwait.

Whose schtick eventually erased Kinison and the Bobcat's out-of-control nihilism from the popular culture? The laid-back Jerry Seinfeld as written by Larry David -- yet another reason to support Bernie Sanders over the other wooden Dem contenders. Did you see the "debate" on SNL last weekend? Get them on a stage together and Bernie's schtick will slay Trump's

[Dec 23, 2019] How 2 Soviet migr s Fueled the Trump Impeachment Flames - The New York Times

Dec 23, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

... ... ...

Over a dinner of the "Presidential Cheeseburger" and wedge salad, Mr. Parnas relayed a rumor that Marie L. Yovanovitch, then the American ambassador to Ukraine, was bad-mouthing the president -- an unsubstantiated claim that Ms. Yovanovitch has denied, according to two people with knowledge of the dinner.

The exchange foreshadowed the role that Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman would come to play in Mr. Trump's Ukrainian campaign.

Less than two weeks later, Mr. Parnas met with another critic of Ms. Yovanovitch, Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, in his Washington congressional office. Mr. Parnas, who had recently met Mr. Sessions at a fund-raiser, showed him a map of a crucial pipeline related to their gas venture, a photo shows.

By the end of the meeting, though, the topic had shifted to Ms. Yovanovitch, and Mr. Parnas reiterated what he had heard, a person briefed on the meeting said. After the meeting, Mr. Sessions sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying that Ms. Yovanovitch had spoken disdainfully of the Trump administration, and suggesting her removal. Mr. Sessions, who lost his re-election bid last year, has previously said he wrote the letter independently of Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman, after speaking to congressional colleagues.

Federal prosecutors contend in the indictment against Mr. Parnas that he was not just making small talk but sought to oust Ms. Yovanovitch "at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials," which could be a violation of federal laws that require Americans to register with the Justice Department when lobbying for foreign political interests. The indictment did not name any Ukrainian officials.

The men have not been charged with anything related to Ms. Yovanovitch, but prosecutors have said that additional charges are likely, at least for Mr. Parnas .

... ... ...

[Dec 23, 2019] Making the World Less Safe

Notable quotes:
"... Currently the United States is assisting Ukraine against Russia by providing some non-lethal military equipment as well as limited training for Kiev's army. It has balked at getting more involved in the conflict, rightly so. ..."
"... The Ukrainians were not buying any of that. Their point of view is that Russia is seeking to revive the Soviet Union and will inevitably turn on the Baltic States and Poland, so it is necessary to stop evil dictator Vladimir Putin now. They inevitably produced the Hitler analogy, citing the example of 1938 and Munich as well as the subsequent partition of Poland in 1939 to make their case. When I asked what the United States would gain by intervening they responded that in return for military assistance, Washington will have a good and democratic friend in Ukraine which will serve as a bulwark against further Russian expansion. ..."
"... But Obama chose to stay home as punishment for Putin, which I think was a bad choice suggesting that he is being strongly influenced by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the other neocons who seem to have retained considerable power in his administration. ..."
"... Obama told a crowd gathered outside the Nike footwear company in Oregon that the deal is necessary because "if we don't write the rules, China will " ..."
"... Obama takes as a given that he will be able to "write the rules." This is American hubris writ large and I am certain that many who are thereby designated to follow Washington's lead are as offended by it as I am. Bad move Barack. ..."
"... Asharq al-Awsat ..."
May 21, 2015 | The Unz Review
Currently the United States is assisting Ukraine against Russia by providing some non-lethal military equipment as well as limited training for Kiev's army. It has balked at getting more involved in the conflict, rightly so. With that in mind, I had a meeting with a delegation of Ukrainian parliamentarians and government officials a couple of weeks ago. I tried to explain to them why many Americans are wary of helping them by providing lethal, potentially game changing military assistance in what Kiev sees as a struggle to regain control of Crimea and other parts of their country from militias that are clearly linked to Moscow. I argued that while Washington should be sympathetic to Ukraine's aspirations it has no actual horse in the race, that the imperative for bilateral relations with Russia, which is the only nation on earth that can attack and destroy the United States, is that they be stable and that all channels for communication remain open.

I also observed that the negative perception of Washington-driven democracy promotion around the world has been in part shaped by the actual record on interventions since 2001, which has not been positive. Each exercise of the military option has wound up creating new problems, like the mistaken policies in Libya, Iraq and Syria, all of which have produced instability and a surge in terrorism. I noted that the U.S. does not need to bring about a new Cold War by trying to impose democratic norms in Eastern Europe but should instead be doing all in its power to encourage a reasonable rapprochement between Moscow and Kiev. Providing weapons or other military support to Ukraine would only cause the situation to escalate, leading to a new war by proxies in Eastern Europe that could rapidly spread to other regions.

The Ukrainians were not buying any of that. Their point of view is that Russia is seeking to revive the Soviet Union and will inevitably turn on the Baltic States and Poland, so it is necessary to stop evil dictator Vladimir Putin now. They inevitably produced the Hitler analogy, citing the example of 1938 and Munich as well as the subsequent partition of Poland in 1939 to make their case. When I asked what the United States would gain by intervening they responded that in return for military assistance, Washington will have a good and democratic friend in Ukraine which will serve as a bulwark against further Russian expansion.

I explained that Russia does not have the economic or military resources to dominate Eastern Europe and its ambitions appear to be limited to establishing a sphere of influence that includes "protection" for some adjacent areas that are traditionally Russian and inhabited by ethnic Russians. Crimea is, unfortunately, one such region that was actually directly governed by Moscow between 1783 and 1954 and it is also militarily vitally important to Moscow as it is the home of the Black Sea Fleet. I did not point that out to excuse Russian behavior but only to suggest that Moscow does have an argument to make, particularly as the United States has been meddling in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine where it has "invested" $5 billion, since the Clinton Administration.

I argued that if resurgent Russian nationalism actually endangered the United States there would be a case to be made for constricting Moscow by creating an alliance of neighbors that would be able to help contain any expansion, but even the hawks in the U.S. Congress are neither prepared nor able to demonstrate a genuine threat. Fear of the expansionistic Soviet Union after 1945 was indeed the original motivation for creating NATO. But the reality is that Russia is only dangerous if the U.S. succeeds in backing it into a corner where it will begin to consider the kind of disruption that was the norm during the Cold War or even some kind of nuclear response or demonstration. If one is focused on U.S. interests globally Russia has actually been a responsible player, helping in the Middle East and also against international terrorism.

So there was little to agree on apart from the fact that the Ukrainians have a right to have a government they choose for themselves and also to defend themselves. And we Americans have in the Ukrainians yet another potential client state that wants our help. In return we would have yet another dependency whose concerns have to be regarded when formulating our foreign policy. One can sympathize with the plight of the Ukrainians but it is not up to Washington to fix the world or to go around promoting democracy as a potential solution to pervasive regional political instability.

Obviously a discussion based on what are essentially conflicting interests will ultimately go nowhere and so it did in this case, but it did raise the issue of why Washington's relationship with Moscow is so troubled, particularly as it need not be so. Regarding Ukraine and associated issues, Washington's approach has been stick-and-carrot with the emphasis on the stick through the imposition of painful sanctions and meaningless though demeaning travel bans. I would think that reversing that formulation to emphasize rewards would actually work better as today's Russia is actually a relatively new nation in terms of its institutions and suffers from insecurity about its place in the world and the respect that it believes it is entitled to receive.

Russia recently celebrated the 70 th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe. The celebration was boycotted by the United States and by many Western European nations in protest over Russian interference in Ukraine. I don't know to what extent Obama has any knowledge of recent history, but the Russians were the ones who were most instrumental in the defeat of Nazi Germany, losing 27 million citizens in the process. It would have been respectful for President Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry to travel to Moscow for the commemoration and it would likely have produced a positive result both for Ukraine and also to mitigate the concern that a new Cold War might be developing. But Obama chose to stay home as punishment for Putin, which I think was a bad choice suggesting that he is being strongly influenced by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the other neocons who seem to have retained considerable power in his administration.

And I also would note a couple of other bad choices made during the past several weeks. The Trans-Pacific multilateral trade agreement that is currently working its way through Congress and is being aggressively promoted by the White House might be great for business though it may or may not be good for the American worker, which, based on previous agreements, is a reasonable concern. But what really disturbs me is the Obama explanation of why the pact is important. Obama told a crowd gathered outside the Nike footwear company in Oregon that the deal is necessary because "if we don't write the rules, China will "

Fear of the Yellow Peril might indeed be legitimate but it would be difficult to make the case that an internally troubled China is seeking to dominate the Pacific. If it attempts to do so, it would face strong resistance from the Japanese, Vietnamese, Filipinos and Koreans among others. But what is bothersome to me and probably also to many in the Asian audience is that Obama takes as a given that he will be able to "write the rules." This is American hubris writ large and I am certain that many who are thereby designated to follow Washington's lead are as offended by it as I am. Bad move Barack.

And finally there is Iran as an alleged state sponsor of terrorism. President Obama claims that he is working hard to achieve a peaceful settlement of the alleged threat posed by Iran's nuclear program. But if that is so why does he throw obstacles irrelevant to an agreement out to make the Iranian government more uncomfortable and therefore unwilling or unable to compromise? In an interview with Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat Obama called Tehran a terrorism supporter, stating that "it [Iran] props up the Assad regime in Syria. It supports Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It aids the Houthi rebels in Yemen so countries in the region are rights to be deeply concerned " I understand that the interview was designed to reassure America's friends in the Gulf that the United States shares their concerns and will continue to support them but the timing would appear to be particularly unfortunate.

The handling of Russia, China and Iran all exemplify the essential dysfunction in American foreign policy. The United States should have a mutually respectful relationship with Russia, ought to accept that China is an adversary but not necessarily an enemy unless we make it so and it should also finally realize that an agreement with Iran is within its grasp as long as Washington does not overreach. It is not clear that any of that is well understood and one has to wonder precisely what kind of advice Obama is receiving when fails to understand the importance of Russia, insists on "writing the rules" for Asia, and persists in throwing around the terrorist label. If the past fifteen years have taught us anything it is that the "Washington as the international arbiter model" is not working. Obama should wake up to that reality before Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush arrives on the scene to make everything worse.

Tom Welsh, May 19, 2015 at 7:02 am GMT • 100 Words

All of this misses the point, IMHO. There is really no need to explain that Russia has no plans to conquer Europe, China has no plans to take over the Pacific, etc. Anyone with a little historical knowledge and some common sense can see that plainly. What is happening is that the USA has overweening aspirations to control (and then suck dry) the entire world – and Europe, Russia and China are next on its hit list.

So it naturally accuses those nations of aspiring to what it plans to do. Standard operating procedure.

The Priss Factor, May 19, 2015 at 7:19 am GMT • 100 Words

"The Ukrainians were not buying any of that. Their point of view is that Russia is seeking to revive the Soviet Union and will inevitably turn on the Baltic States and Poland, so it is necessary to stop evil dictator Vladimir Putin now."

I can understand Ukrainian animus against Russia due to history and ethnic tensions.

But that is ridiculous. They can't possibly believe it. I think they're repeating Neocon talking points to persuade American that the fate of the world is at stake.
It's really just a local affair.

And Crimea would still belong to Ukraine if the crazies in Ukraine hadn't conspired with Neocons like Nuland to subvert and overthrow the regime.

[Dec 23, 2019] Adam Schiff Has 'No Sympathy' For FBI Victim Carter Page; Page Responds

Dec 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Adam Schiff Has 'No Sympathy' For FBI Victim Carter Page; Page Responds by Tyler Durden Sun, 12/22/2019 - 13:00 0 SHARES

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) says it's hard to feel sympathetic for former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, despite the fact that he was spied on by the FBI after the agency fabricated evidence to obtain a surveillance warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court.

After the FISA court denied their request, FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith fabricated evidence to exclude the fact that Page was a CIA source, with "positive assessment," despite the fact that the CIA informed Clinesmith of Page's prior work for the agency.

Schiff, however, has no love for Page despite DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz finding 16 significant 'errors' in the FBI's FISA applications used to surveil Page.

"I have to say, you know, Carter Page came before our Committee and for hours of his testimony, denied things that we knew were true, later had to admit them during his testimony ," Schiff told PBS News ' Margaret Hoover. " It's hard to be sympathetic to someone who isn't honest with you when he comes and testifies under oath . It's also hard to be sympathetic when you have someone who has admitted to being an adviser to the Kremlin ."

Hoover countered, noting "But then was also informing the CIA," to which Schiff replies "Yes, yes."

"Which we didn't know about," replied Hoover.

" Who was both targeted by the KGB but also talking to the United States and its agencies and that should have been included , made clear, and it wasn't, according to the inspector general," Schiff responded.

. @RepAdamSchiff is unsympathetic to Carter Page, telling @FiringLineShow that Page "denied things that we knew were true" in testimony, admitted to being an advisor to the Kremlin & "was apparently both targeted by the KGB, but also talking to the United States and its agencies." pic.twitter.com/GkjdGQZWLV

-- Firing Line with Margaret Hoover (@FiringLineShow) December 20, 2019

After Schiff's comments were published, Page responded on Twitter: "There have been various allegations of dishonesty regarding FBI lawyer Clinesmith. On information, belief and firsthand experience since 2017, I have actually found @RepAdamSchiff to be even more untrustworthy and dangerous with his misuse of @DNC lies. "

There have been various allegations of dishonesty regarding FBI lawyer Clinesmith. On information, belief and firsthand experience since 2017, I have actually found @RepAdamSchiff to be even more untrustworthy and dangerous with his misuse of @DNC lies: https://t.co/kMkRYFceGs

-- Carter Page, Ph.D. (@carterwpage) December 21, 2019

Greenwald weighs in:

If you don't feel sympathy for someone who was wrongly smeared for years as being a traitor, and who was spied on by his own government due to FBI lying & subterfuge, then you're not only unqualified to wield power but probably also a sociopath.

In other words: Adam Schiff. https://t.co/HGoroBIWv8

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 22, 2019

[Dec 23, 2019] The Afghanistan Papers - TTG - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Dec 23, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The President of the USofA has no power to turn this ship around. The seat of power is no longer residing in the hands of civilian/political actors prime ministers or presidents though they may be.

Candidate Trump indicated very early on that he intended to withdraw from Afghanistan. Unfortunately, he soon succumbed to his advisors and generals advice of increasing troop strength in 2017 as part of a surge strategy. This makes him no better or worse than his two predecessors who succumbed to the same kind of advice.

However Trump has recently restarted negotiations with the Taliban and has renewed his pledged to remove several thousand troops. "We're going down to 8,600 [from the 12,000 and 13,000 US troops now there] and then we make a determination from there as to what happens," Trump told Fox last August. "We're bringing it down." Of course the drawdown will be seen by the neocons as a unilateral concession to the Taliban. That shouldn't phase Trump. I think he plans to reannounce this withdrawal next month. DoD officials have said that the smaller US military presence will be largely focused on counterterrorism operations against groups like al Qaeda and IS, and that the military's ability to train and advise local Afghan forces will be reduced considerably. Sounds like they're still looking for a reason to stay.

Trump can break the cycle. He holds no ideological conviction for staying in Afghanistan. If he could get over his BDS (Bezos derangement syndrome), he could seize this Washington Post series, or at least the SIGAR lessons learned reports, and trumpet them through his twitter feed and helicopter talks. I believe he alone can generate a public cry for getting the hell out of Afghanistan and carry through with that action no matter how much his generals scream about it. But without a loud public outcry, especially from his base, Trump has no incentive to break the cycle. So all you deplorables better start hootin' and hollerin'. Hopefully enough SJWs will join you to pump up the volume.

TTG

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-confidential-documents/


Mathias Alexander , 23 December 2019 at 04:37 AM

If someone wanted to destabilize China,Russia and Central Asia the parts of Afghanistan America controls might be usefull for that.
JMH , 23 December 2019 at 07:11 AM
Excellent, right up to the last sentence. SJWs are mere tools of people like George Soros and have zero anti-war agenda nor do they care about America's manufacturing base ect.. In fact, many are chomping at the bit to join, what was once termed in the SST comments, the LGBTQ-C4ISR sect. I refer you to mayor Pete's exchange with Tulsi on the matter; he even invoked our sacred honor as a reason to stay the course in Afghanistan.
Eric Newhill -> The Twisted Genius ... , 23 December 2019 at 03:38 PM
TTG,
It's a shrinking cohort. For some of these types, their TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) is actually causing them to side with the CIA and military. Enemy of my enemy.....and since there's no draft, they have no skin in that game.
Serge , 23 December 2019 at 07:35 AM
For the past 2-3 years many generals and politicians have been using the threat of ISKP as the new bogeyman for staying in Afghanistan. This threat is not wholly unfounded, a disproportionately large number of US airstrikes since 2015-2016 have been against ISKP in Nangarhar(remember the MOAB?) rather than against the Taliban. If my memory serves me correctly ISKP was responsible for every single US casualty in 2016-2017. In the past two months however ISKP has been collapsing in its erstwhile stronghold of Nangarhar, surrendering to the ANA rather than fall into the hands of the Taliba,à la Jowzjan in summer 2018. I was very surprised by the number of foreign fighters and their families to come out of there. We have the Taliban to thank for these two collapses.
turcopolier , 23 December 2019 at 11:59 AM
TTG

IMO American "exceptionalism" doomed our effort in Afghanistan Very few of us are set up mentally to accept the notion that other peoples are legitimately different from us and that they don't want to be like us and do things our way. I attribute this deformation on our part to the puritan heritage that you much admire. In your case your recent immigrant past seems to have immunized you from this deformation. As SF men we rightly fear and dread the attitudes of The Big Army, but, truth be told, it is we who are the outlier freaks in the context of American culture with its steamroller approach to just about everything.

The Twisted Genius -> turcopolier ... , 23 December 2019 at 01:40 PM
Ah yes, all that shining city on the hill stuff biting us in the ass once again. Like the Puritans, we seem to believe we alone are His chosen people and are utterly shocked that all others don't see this. In truth, Jesus probably sees our self righteous selves and our pilgrim forefathers much as he saw the Pharisees... a bunch of douche nozzles.

[Dec 23, 2019] Love but not from the first sight

Dec 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

onwisconsinbadger , 35 minutes ago link

In May 2016, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, famously proclaimed that, "If we [Republicans] nominate Trump, we will get destroyed and we will deserve it." Since then, Graham has become one of President Donald Trump's staunchest defenders, making Graham the target of critics who paint him as a hypocrite for repeatedly contradicting his previously expressed stances.

In 2015, for example, Graham called Donald Trump a "race-baiting xenophobic bigot," but by 2018 he was claiming that he had "never heard [Trump] make a single racist statement." And in 1999, during impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton (a Democrat), Graham asserted that an impeachable offense "doesn't even have to be a crime," but then in 2019 Graham challenged those calling for the impeachment of Trump to "show me something that is a crime"

[Dec 23, 2019] Kabuki theate drama continues: The Senate will decide how we dispose of this sham created by the house by the house ," Graham tweeted, referring to the impasse created by Pelosi - who is refusing to transmit two articles of impeachment against President Trump until the Senate agrees to her terms.

Dec 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

If this continues into 2020, the Senate needs to strike back, standing up for our rights and ending this debacle.

-- Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 23, 2019

President Trump also had words for Pelosi on Monday after the Speaker called for "fairness" in a Senate trial.

"Pelosi gives us the most unfair trial in the history of the U.S. Congress, and now she is crying for fairness in the Senate, and breaking all rules while doing so," Trump tweeted, adding "She lost Congress once, she will do it again!"

Pelosi gives us the most unfair trial in the history of the U.S. Congress, and now she is crying for fairness in the Senate, and breaking all rules while doing so. She lost Congress once, she will do it again!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2019

Pelosi says she will only transmit the impeachment articles to the Senate after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announces the process they will use for Trump's trial.

[Dec 23, 2019] McConnell Pelosi will cave on her impeachment demands - WND

Dec 23, 2019 | www.wnd.com

The U.S. Senate trial for the Democratic Party's impeachment of President Donald Trump is in limbo.

It's because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, pressing the Senate to comply with her demands, has withheld the articles voted on by House Democrats.

Advertisement - story continues below

Some scholars, including a witness for the Democrats, believe the unprecedented move is unconstitutional.

After all, that Constitution states: "The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present."

TRENDING: Biden confirms he'll sacrifice thousands of blue-collar jobs for greener economy if needed

The Founders inserted no clause giving the House speaker authority to make such demands.

It's why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell believes Pelosi eventually will give up her power play.

Advertisement - story continues below

Fox News reported McConnell believes Pelosi "seems to think she can dictate the rules of a Senate impeachment trial."

McConnell, a Republican senator from Kentucky, said on "Fox & Friends," "She apparently believes she can tell us how to run the trial."

But that is "absurd," he said, saying she'll back down "sooner or later."

"We can't do anything until the speaker sends the papers over, so everybody enjoy the holidays," McConnell said.

The Fox report explained Pelosi was trying "to pressure the Senate to agree to certain terms for a trial."

Advertisement - story continues below

"She indicated the House would eventually send the articles over to the upper chamber but insisted it is up to the Senate to determine how the process develops going forward," the report said.

She doubled down on Monday, Fox News reported.

"The House cannot choose our impeachment managers until we know what sort of trial the Senate will conduct," Pelosi said. "President Trump blocked his own witnesses and documents from the House, and from the American people, on phony complaints about the House process. What is his excuse now?"

Pelosi was referring to the contempt of Congress article of impeachment. The White House argues it has the right to dispute any subpoenas for witnesses or documents and that such disputes should be resolved in court.

Advertisement - story continues below

McConnell has argued for following the precedent of the Clinton impeachment.

"You listen to the opening arguments, you have a written question period, and at that point, in the Clinton trial, we had a decision about which witnesses to call and, as you can imagine, that was a pretty partisan exercise, but we didn't let the partisan part of it keep us from getting started so all I'm doing is saying what was good for President Clinton is good for President Trump," McConnell said.

President Trump has been mocking Pelosi's delay in presenting the articles of impeachment to the Senate. He said the Senate can invalidate the articles if they're not delivered by a certain date.

The president said on Twitter: "Pelosi feels her phony impeachment HOAX is so pathetic she is afraid to present it to the Senate, which can set a date and put this whole SCAM into default if they refuse to show up! The Do Nothings are so bad for our Country!"

Advertisement - story continues below

McConnell previously dismissed claims by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has been lobbying for impeachment for months, that the senators overseeing the trial should be "impartial."

"Do you think Chuck Schumer is impartial? Do you think Elizabeth Warren is impartial? Bernie Sanders is impartial?" McConnell said.

"So let's quit the charade. This is a political exercise. All I'm asking of Schumer is that we treat Trump the same way we treated Clinton."

Schumer, contradicting himself, has claimed he could be an impartial juror in the Senate even though he's already claimed Trump is guilty.

[Dec 23, 2019] Two gangs are not that different: Bruce Fein, a former senior official in the Department of Justice and a constitutional scholar, has identified 12 impeachable offenses committed by Donald Trump. But, as he notes, many of these constitutional violations are not unique to the Trump administration. They have been normalized by Democratic and Republican administrations

Dec 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Dec 22 2019 4:41 utc | 40

Article from Chris Hedges on https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-end-of-the-rule-of-law/;

An excerpt;


"Bruce Fein, a former senior official in the Department of Justice and a constitutional scholar, has identified 12 impeachable offenses committed by Donald Trump. But, as he notes, many of these constitutional violations are not unique to the Trump administration. They have been normalized by Democratic and Republican administrations."


ben , Dec 22 2019 4:44 utc | 41

Bio on Bruce Fein;

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

uncle tungsten , Dec 22 2019 6:14 utc | 46
Impeachment blues: Can you believe the empire cant even manage a decent impeachment. There is a broad debate going on in the crazed land of U$A and it turns on this contradiction .

THIS empire is a lethal threat to our planet and they cock up all they touch. Can you believe they held an impeachment hearing in the House of Representatives and didn't have the accused present? They relied on a whistleblower that was prohibited to attend because he may be revealed yet everyone knew Ciaramella was the leaker (whistleblower) relying on hearsay evidence. There are no rules of natural justice in the U$A empire. Mendacity uber alles.

[Dec 23, 2019] Durham Is Scrutinizing Ex-C.I.A. Director's Role in Russian Interference Findings - The New York Times

Please note that NYT was a part of coupe d'état against Trump...
Will Brannan and Comey be arrested for stage coup d'état ?
Dec 23, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

John H. Durham, the United States attorney leading the investigation, has requested Mr. Brennan's emails, call logs and other documents from the C.I.A., according to a person briefed on his inquiry. He wants to learn what Mr. Brennan told other officials, including the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, about his and the C.I.A.'s views of a notorious dossier of assertions about Russia and Trump associates.

... ... ...

Mr. Durham is also examining whether Mr. Brennan privately contradicted his public comments, including May 2017 testimony to Congress , about both the dossier and about any debate among the intelligence agencies over their conclusions on Russia's interference, the people said.

... ... ..

"The president bore the burden of probably one of the greatest conspiracy theories -- baseless conspiracy theories -- in American political history," Mr. Barr told Fox News. He has long expressed skepticism that the F.B.I. had enough information to begin its inquiry in 2016, publicly criticizing an inspector general report released last week that affirmed that the bureau did.

Mr. Barr has long been interested in the conclusion about Mr. Putin ordering intervention on Mr. Trump's behalf, perhaps the intelligence report's most explosive assertion. The C.I.A. and the F.B.I. reported high confidence in the conclusion, while the N.S.A., which conducts electronic surveillance, had a moderate degree of confidence.

... ... ...

Critics of the intelligence assessment, like Representative Chris Stewart, Republican of Utah, said the C.I.A.'s sourcing failed to justify the high level of confidence about Moscow's intervention on behalf of Mr. Trump.

"I don't agree with the conclusion, particularly that it's such a high level of confidence," Mr. Stewart said, citing raw intelligence that he said he reviewed.

"I just think there should've been allowances made for some of the ambiguity in that and especially for those who didn't also share in the conclusion that it was a high degree of confidence," he added.

Mr. Durham's investigators also want to know more about the discussions that prompted intelligence community leaders to include Mr. Steele's allegations in the appendix of their assessment.

Mr. Brennan has repeatedly said, including in his 2017 congressional testimony, that the C.I.A. did not rely on the dossier when it helped develop the assessment, and the former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has also testified before lawmakers that the same was true for the intelligence agencies more broadly. But Mr. Trump's allies have long asked pointed questions about the dossier, including how it was used in the intelligence agency's assessment.

Some C.I.A. analysts and officials insisted that the dossier be left out of the assessment, while some F.B.I. leaders wanted to include it and bristled at its relegation to the appendix. Their disagreements were captured in the highly anticipated report released last week by Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general, examining aspects of the F.B.I.'s Russia investigation.

Mr. Steele's information "was a topic of significant discussion within the F.B.I. and with the other agencies participating in drafting" the declassified intelligence assessment about Russia interference, Mr. Horowitz wrote. The F.B.I. shared Mr. Steele's information with the team of officials from multiple agencies drafting the assessment.

Mr. Comey also briefed Mr. Brennan and other top Obama administration intelligence officials including the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, and Mr. Clapper about the bureau's efforts to assess the information in the dossier, Mr. Comey told the inspector general. He said that analysts had found it to be "credible on its face."

... ... ...

Andrew G. McCabe, then the deputy director of the F.B.I., pushed back, according to the inspector general report, accusing the intelligence chiefs of trying to minimize Mr. Steele's information.

Ultimately the two sides compromised by placing Mr. Steele's material in the appendix. After BuzzFeed News published the dossier in January 2017, days after the intelligence assessment about Russia's election sabotage was released, Mr. Comey complained to Mr. Clapper about his decision to publicly state that the intelligence community "has not made any judgment" about the document's reliability.

Mr. Comey said that the F.B.I. had concluded that Mr. Steele was reliable, according to the inspector general report. Mr. Clapper ignored Mr. Comey, the report said.

[Dec 23, 2019] Bannon Trump Impeachment Will Be Trial Of The Century

Notable quotes:
"... Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon pulled no punches in an interview with Fox Business Network's Trish Regan saying that the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will be the "trial of the century." ..."
"... Bannon said Republicans ought to "turn the tables" on Democrats and demand a full trial that will force it to go into the Democratic presidential primary. ..."
"... "I think you ought to demand a full trial, where to get witnesses -- and, hey, if it takes too long, it's the Democrats to force this constitutional crisis over the Christmas holidays. If this trial goes on for a month or two into the Democratic primary, that's a tough break for them. They're the ones that forced this. One of the reasons they forced it is their field is so weak going in there. Nobody cares. Like I said, witness protection program. Nobody cares about their debate. They're the ones that force this. " ..."
"... "... this is the managed decline of the United States. This is about the Washington consensus. The Washington Post published the Afghanistan papers last week. Two trillion dollars. 2,400 dead. Tens of thousands wounded. What's that? That's the inter-agency consensus in 18 years that betrayed our country. That's what betrayed our countries. With Brennan, that's what betrayed our country, not Donald Trump. Donald Trump has stood up. The reasons people cheer for him, it's their sons and daughters that have died in Afghanistan. It's their lives, their kids' lives being thrown away, and their tax dollars. " ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Having blasted the liberal elites earlier in the week for "not giving a f**k" about the average joe in America:

"Look, this is what drives me nuts about the left. All immigration is to flood the zone with cheap labour, and the reason is because the elites don't give a fuck about African Americans and the Hispanic working class . They don't care about the white working class either. You're just a commodity" .

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon pulled no punches in an interview with Fox Business Network's Trish Regan saying that the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will be the "trial of the century."

" I think this trial is going to be the trial of the century, a nd the mainstream media is going to be all over it," Bannon said.

"That's why I think it's so important not just for his legacy, but for his presidency and his second term. He's got to engage in this. He's got to take them on. He's got to have the whistleblower; we have to have the Bidens in front of the nation and the world. They're going to have to stand and deliver under oath. And we're going to get to the bottom of this . And I think that's going to lead to an exoneration, not just an acquittal, but an exoneration of President Trump."

Bannon said Republicans ought to "turn the tables" on Democrats and demand a full trial that will force it to go into the Democratic presidential primary.

"I think you ought to demand a full trial, where to get witnesses -- and, hey, if it takes too long, it's the Democrats to force this constitutional crisis over the Christmas holidays. If this trial goes on for a month or two into the Democratic primary, that's a tough break for them. They're the ones that forced this. One of the reasons they forced it is their field is so weak going in there. Nobody cares. Like I said, witness protection program. Nobody cares about their debate. They're the ones that force this. "

Bannon went on to reiterate his belief that Hillary Clinton will "inevitably" be the Democratic Presidential nominee... but will lose... again:

" Hillary Clinton comes in at the moment that she feels that she can step in to save the Democratic Party and try to convince people that a rematch with President Trump is the best way that they have to try to defeat President Trump," Bannon said.

"They won't beat him. Right now, there's nobody, including Hillary Clinton out there, that can beat Donald Trump. But they're going to get desperate here because look at tonight. Nobody cares about this debate, this debate's in Los Angeles."

Finally, the former strategist raged against "the Washington Consensus":

"... this is the managed decline of the United States. This is about the Washington consensus. The Washington Post published the Afghanistan papers last week. Two trillion dollars. 2,400 dead. Tens of thousands wounded. What's that? That's the inter-agency consensus in 18 years that betrayed our country. That's what betrayed our countries. With Brennan, that's what betrayed our country, not Donald Trump. Donald Trump has stood up. The reasons people cheer for him, it's their sons and daughters that have died in Afghanistan. It's their lives, their kids' lives being thrown away, and their tax dollars. "

And that, Bannon exclaimed, is why we need a trial in the Senate to expose the swamp.

"And they understand that Donald Trump is fighting that. That's why we need a trial, a real trial and Senate with witnesses. So, before the world, Donald Trump could get his day in court. "

https://www.youtube.com/embed/WLCaPOea-fE

Full Transcript:

Trish Regan: I do believe the president heard that she wants to run again from this show, from none other than Mr. Stephen Bannon here on set with me, who talked about Hillary Clinton getting back in potentially again. And also, you called Bloomberg as well. So, Bloomberg's in, is Hillary going to join?

Steve Bannon: I think it's inevitable. They had a poll out today that showed Biden at like 28, Bernie 21, Elizabeth Warren in the high teens. It looks like something that's going to get to a -- particularly with Super Tuesday, when Biden drops the nuclear weapon of his money on these in these big states. It's going to lead to a brokered convention. Hillary Clinton, I think, is going to come in when it's evident that none of the radical left of the Democratic Party can beat the President Trump --

[cross talk]

Steve Bannon: -- A brokered convention. I think Hillary Clinton comes in at the moment that she feels that she can step in to save the Democratic Party and try to convince people that a rematch with President Trump is the best way that they have to try to defeat President Trump. They won't beat him. Right now, there's nobody, including Hillary Clinton out there, that can beat Donald Trump. But they're going to get desperate here because look at tonight. Nobody cares about this debate, this debate's in Los Angeles.

Trish Regan : They should be watching you.

Steve Bannon: Well, I'm talking about on MSNBC and CNN and their networks. They're not they're not running around saying, this thing is great. They understand these people, not just are boring, it's not just about their star quality, it's what they're talking about is so off the mainstream, it's not connecting with people. And they're going to start getting desperate. Remember, their number one thing is that Donald Trump is an existential threat to the Democratic Party, to the established order and to the mainstream media, and they will do anything to take him down and destroy him. In particular, you saw last night what he's talking about to the people; hey, they're trying to come after you, they're trying to come after me to get to you. We are in this together. And he saw people respond to that. That response of that audience last night for two hours, that stood out for hours in, what, 15- or 17-degree cold is quite remarkable.

Trish Regan: What I find remarkable and, you know, we can say this is a couple Irishmen -- or Irishman and an Irishwoman. You think about traditional Democrats, right? And I think about my family and how my dad's family was, historically, big Irish Catholic family and you were a Democrat like you're Catholic. Like, it was part of your religion, right? And, you know, my -- and if you were lucky enough, you got a job in the union. And so, there was a feeling that you always voted blue, and that has changed.

Steve Bannon: Last night you saw that. He's connected with working class -- listen to this. It's the reason he won Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa. States they never thought we'd win again. And altogether because he went and he got, you know, Democrats, blue collar Democrats to vote for it and they believe in it. And they're seeing -- here's the thing they're seeing, the manifestation of his actions are making their lives better. You know, the Zogby poll today said that 53 percent of Democrats think that their party is spending too much time on impeachment instead of getting things done legislatively. It is so --

Trish Regan: And they got that right. And it's not just, you know, we talk about Irish Americans. I mean, I look at the African American population right now and you look at some of the poll numbers there. And he's doing extremely well in a way that you wouldn't really think he would with that particular population, given the media.

Steve Bannon: Well that's what the immigration policy -- remember everything was to make sure that wasn't more labor pressure on African Americans and Hispanics. That's why you seen the approval rate -- I think it's 34 percent of African Americans approve now by Pew, and 36 percent of Hispanics. Because you're seeing wages starting to rise. People -- unemployment's at historic lows, wages starting to rise. That's why I think it's so important, since they've smeared him in this process. He didn't get to call any witnesses in this trial. And I think this trial will be -- it's going to be the trial of the century, and the mainstream media is going to be all over it. That's why I think it's so important not just for his legacy, but for his presidency and his second term. He's got to engage in this. He's got to take them on. He's got to have the whistleblower; we have to have the Bidens in front of the nation and the world. They're going to have to stand and deliver under oath. And we're going to get to the bottom of this. And I think that's going to lead to an exoneration, not just an acquittal, but an exoneration of President Trump.

Trish Regan: The trial of the century. Wow. You know, a lot of people are worried, well, you get John Bolton. What is he going to do? What is John Bolton going to say? And what is this one going to say? What is that one going to say? What do you say to those concerns?

Steve Bannon: The president -- the call was perfect. He looked at everything that led up to it. This is why the American people heard him. And you just saw the bureaucrats that were in it that were testified. This is because that is the managed decline of the United States. This is about the Washington consensus. The Washington Post published the Afghanistan papers last week. Two trillion dollars. 2,400 dead. Tens of thousands wounded. What's that? That's the inter-agency consensus in 18 years that betrayed our country. That's what betrayed our countries. With Brennan, that's what betrayed our country, not Donald Trump. Donald Trump has stood up. The reasons people cheer for him, it's their sons and daughters that have died in Afghanistan. It's their lives, their kids' lives being thrown away, and their tax dollars. And they understand that Donald Trump is fighting that. That's why we need a trial, a real trial and Senate with witnesses. So, before the world, Donald Trump could get his day in court.

Trish Regan: And you call them all. Disruption, right? It is the decade of disruption, and you're one of the main disruptors there, according to The Wall Street Journal. In fact, one of the most powerful people here in Washington, the power players. Can we see that? So, you're in some pretty significant company, there Mr. Bannon.

Steve Bannon: Well, I got the disrupt look on President Trump. As President Trump says, I'm his top student and that's where the top student got for being the top student. I got my slot.

Trish Regan: Well, listen, we appreciate you being here tonight for that.

Steve Bannon: Thank you for having me, Trish.

Trish Regan: Very interesting insight, as always, Steve Bannon. I do want to point out to everyone they can listen to you every day. You can tune into a syndicated radio show and podcast on iTunes, War Room: Impeachment. Well, that's aptly named. It airs seven days a week. Forgive me, I was thinking weekdays. Seven days a week, you're on the case.

Steve Bannon: Got to do it. Thank you so much for having me.


Obi-jonKenobi , 2 hours ago link

Speaking of Steve Bannon, here's what he had to say about Trump and conspiracy theories he (Bannon) cooked up to distract the rubes and yahoos. From a review of Michael Wolff's book, Siege: Trump Under Fire:

" . . . Wolff’s guide, the major-domo of Trump’s 2016 campaign who became a White House adviser until he wasn’t, enjoys tweaking his former boss. Bannon volunteers that he helped concoct the story that the Mueller investigation was the demon spawn of the “deep state”, and says there was never much substance to it.

As Wolff tells it, “among the nimblest conspiracy provocateurs of the Trump age, Bannon spelled out the … narrative in powerful detail”. But then Bannon’s voice pierces his own self-generated din: “You do realize … that none of this is true.” Allow that one to sink in.

Wolff also has Bannon calling the Trump Organization a criminal enterprise and predicting its downfall : “This is where it isn’t a witch-hunt – even for the hardcore, this is where he turns into just a crooked business guy … Not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag.” Allow that to sink in, too.

Expect Bannon to be quoted by Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Nadler, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the eventual Democratic candidate. Also look for the Democratic National Committee to send chocolates to Bannon, once head of Breitbart and a partner in Cambridge Analytica, next Easter."

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/02/siege-review-michael-wolff-trump-fire-and-fury

Md4 , 2 hours ago link

Prog left power and ideology are what it’s all about:

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/12/22/study-immigration-redistribute-26-congressional-seats-blue-states-2020-election/

And this is a primary use of that power when they get it:

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/12/22/red-state-democrat-governors-approve-more-refugees-states/

Do we now see why removing them from all political power is existentially critical?

Idleproc , 3 hours ago link

Bannon is trying to save the now compromised and degenerated system throughout the West by reversing the trend line, the social basis for determining a self-reform is there but the opposing forces are those that manage real power.

[Dec 22, 2019] Ukraine games and the Democrats. There is much in this article I have not heard before. Many very specific and therefore potentially testable allegations.

Dec 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Dave , Dec 21 2019 23:43 utc | 28

Re: Ukraine games and the Democrats. There is much in this article I have not heard before. Many very specific and therefore potentially testable allegations.

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/plundering-ukraine-corrupt-american-democrats

[Dec 22, 2019] Key House Dem Raskin urges Pelosi to stand her ground against a 'farce' Senate trial by Michael Isikoff

Isikoff is a part of conspiracy to depose Trump. and it shows.
OK. Let's assume that will drag the trial all the January. Then what ?
If we believe polls it is amazing how brainwashed US public is: to assume that marionette government has any say in what to do is the upper level of naivety: " Removing Trump from office (a step beyond impeachment) had the support of just under half (49 percent) of registered voters in the Yahoo News/YouGov poll . On the factual basis for the two articles of impeachment, 53 percent of registered voters said Trump abused his power in demanding help from Ukraine; only 40 percent said he did not. Fifty-one percent said the president obstructed Congress; again, only 40 percent said he did not."
Notable quotes:
"... Michael Isikoff was involved with Clinton and the Russian Dossier. ..."
Dec 21, 2019 | news.yahoo.com

A House Democrat who played a key role in the impeachment of President Trump says the House should not "roll over" and quickly present the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a trial that would amount to a "farce."

"We're not going to participate in a process that makes a mockery out of the Constitution," said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a member of the House Judiciary Committee, who presented the panel's case for impeachment to the House Rules Committee. Raskin has been widely mentioned as a candidate to be one of the House managers to prosecute the case in an impeachment trial in the Senate. "We are not gonna roll over and say, yeah, you can give us some drive-through justice with one afternoon where everything is dealt with on a motion to dismiss and no evidence is heard.

"My position is that, so long as they do not make the most minimal provisions for a fair trial, then we should not participate in a farce."

Although Raskin emphasized he was speaking for himself, his comments on the Yahoo News "Skullduggery" podcast illustrate the competing pressures House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is under from her own caucus in the aftermath of the historic vote to impeach the president, which was supported by virtually all House Democrats -- and not a single Republican. Public opinion among registered voters shows a narrow (50-45) plurality favoring impeachment , according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.

After the passage of the two articles of impeachment on Wednesday evening -- one for abuse of power, the other for obstruction of Congress -- Pelosi has held off presenting them to the Senate, citing doubts that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will permit a "fair" trial. McConnell has said he will coordinate his efforts with the White House and has made up his mind not to vote for conviction. Removal of the president requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate, which Republicans control by a 53-47 margin.

Democrats led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are seeking testimony from key witnesses with firsthand knowledge of Trump's efforts to pressure the Ukrainian president to conduct investigations that could help him politically. Former national security adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney are among those he has said he would like to call.

Pelosi's move -- as the House adjourned for a two-week holiday break on Thursday -- has created a new layer of uncertainty over when, or even if, the Senate will actually try the president. Republicans have already jumped over Pelosi's tactics, accusing her of political gamesmanship that undermines the solemnity with which Democrats presented the case against the president.

But Raskin, one of the House's more progressive members, says it is McConnell's own comments -- vowing to work with White House lawyers to ensure the acquittal of the president -- that have made a mockery of impeachment.

"To say that you're not going to look at the evidence or the facts would get you disqualified from every jury pool in the United States of America," Raskin said. "If you were in a voir dire and the judge said to you, 'Will you pay attention to the facts? Will you pay attention to the evidence? Will you pay attention to the law?' and you say, 'No. I've already made up my mind,' you would be dismissed immediately."

Bolton, Mulvaney and Pompeo were blocked from appearing before the House during its impeachment hearings by a White House claim that any conversations they had with the president were shielded by executive privilege. Trump's defenders say the House could have tried to compel their testimony by subpoena. But the certainty that White House lawyers would have fought those subpoenas all the way up to the Supreme Court would have put off action until well into next year, Raskin said.

"It just takes a very long time."

Raskin acknowledged that impeachment by its nature is both a judicial and political process -- and that Pelosi's maneuvering is intended at least in part to put public heat on McConnell to accede to the demand for witnesses.

"We want the country to put serious pressure on the Senate to conduct the trial with seriousness," Raskin said. "And the polls show, for example, on the question of witnesses, that even though I think only 51 percent or 52 percent of the people are declaring themselves right now in favor of impeachment and removal, like 70 percent of the people are saying, 'Yes, the president should make all witnesses available.'"

Removing Trump from office (a step beyond impeachment) had the support of just under half (49 percent) of registered voters in the Yahoo News/YouGov poll . On the factual basis for the two articles of impeachment, 53 percent of registered voters said Trump abused his power in demanding help from Ukraine; only 40 percent said he did not. Fifty-one percent said the president obstructed Congress; again, only 40 percent said he did not.

How effective Pelosi's strategy will be is far from clear. While President Trump is seeking a quick Senate trial in January so he can proclaim vindication as he runs for reelection, McConnell has suggested he is happy to forget the whole thing. "Do you think this is leverage, to not send us something we'd rather not do?" he said to reporters this week. And with those words, noted New York Times reporter Carl Hulse, the Senate majority leader " cracked a broad smile outside the Senate chamber in a departure from his usual dour expression."

yesterday

Michael Isikoff was involved with Clinton and the Russian Dossier. ThisSkullduggeryGroup is another TokyoRoseYellowJournalistic attempt at presenting propagandist commentaries as news articles.

Isekoff has replaced Marrissa Mayer at Yawho News that's all.

There are many fake posters on the message boards. They are not really fellow U.S.Citizens and can easily be recognized by their one line insults that have nothing to do with debate and only to do with creating a hostile environment between so called liberals and so called conservatives who I prefer to call U.S.Citizens. Our differences are not that far apart but there are Globalist, Anarchist, and other forces in this country and outside of this country that would love to see our country collapse and that we also discard our Constitution and our freedoms protected under that document.

Cass Sunstein

ObolaCzar proposed government 'infiltrate' social network sitesCassSunstein wants agents to 'undermine' talk in chat rooms, message boards.

Published: 01/12/2012 at 10:56 PM

Just prior to his appointment as President Obama's so-called regulatory czar,CassSunstein wrote a lengthy academic paper suggesting the government should "infiltrate" social network websites, chat rooms and message boards.Such "cognitive infiltration,"Sunstein argued, should be used to enforce a U.S. government ban on "conspiracy theorizing."

Major Obama donor and former Google executive Marissa Mayer will take the helm at Yahoo! as the company's new CEO Tuesday In May, Neilsen listed theYahooABC NewsNetwork as the leading news site on the Web in the U.S., makingMayer the head of the largest news site on the Web.

She is also a major donor to both PresidentBarackObama and the DemocraticParty.According to the Center for ResponsivePolitics; in April 2011Mayer donated two separate amounts of $2,500 dollars to Obama, and one large sum of $30,800 to the Democratic National committee.

Data from political data firm Aristotle, as reported by the HuffingtonPost, reveals that, in the second quarter of 2011,Mayer also contributed $35,800 to Obama Victory Fund 2012.

Asked whether Mayer's political leanings would not affect the editorial direction ofYahoo!, Yahoo nor Mayer returned The DC's request for comment by the time of publication. [Full Disclosure:TheDCandYahoo! have an editorial partnership.]

[Dec 22, 2019] Autopsy of the Minsk agreements

Notable quotes:
"... Are the security forces loyal to him to the extent that he could realistically counted on them to carry out a crackdown on the "Nazis"? ..."
"... I am sympathetic to a lot of what Putin has felt it necessary to do, but I must say, I don't buy the incessant use of the term "Ukronazi." Sounds propagandistic. ..."
"... What about the Ukrainian people? A large majority of them voted for some sort of reconciliation with the separatists and Russia. They did so twice: once for Zelenskii, and once again for his party. Does that count for nothing? ..."
"... I think the plan is to wait until Russia collapses from Western sanctions, and then invade Crimea and Donbass. They didn't give up on the territory by any means, which is why I don't think that any ceasefire in Donbass will hold. It is going to remain a slow-burning conflict, the regime will continue to complain about "Russian invasion" and international investors will continue to avoid the Ukraine. ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

The recent Paris summit and the few days following the summit have brought a lot of clarity about the future of the Minsk Agreements. Short version: Kiev has officially rejected them (by rejecting both the sequence of steps and several crucial steps). For those interested, let's look a little further.

First, what just happened

First, here are the key excerpts from the Paris Conference and from statements made by "Ze" and his superior, Arsen Avakov right after their return to Kiev:

Paris Conference statement: source

The Minsk agreements (Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014, Minsk Memorandum of 19 September 2014 and the Minsk Package of Measures of 12 February 2015) continue to be the basis of the work of the Normandy format whose member states are committed to their full implementation ( ) The sides express interest in agreeing within the Normandy format (N4) and the Trilateral Contact Group on all the legal aspects of the Special Order of Local Self-Government – special status – of Certain Areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions – as outlined in the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements from 2015 – in order to ensure its functioning on a permanent basis .They consider it necessary to incorporate the "Steinmeier formula" into the Ukrainian legislation, in accordance with the version agreed upon within the N4 and the Trilateral Contact Group.

President 'Ze' statement on Ukrainian TV: (unofficial, in-house, translation) source

" The most difficult question is the question of the transfer of the border control to Ukraine. It's very funny, because its our border and the transfer of the control to us. But, it's a weak sport, the Achilles' heel of the Minsk Agreement." "It's what was signed by us, unfortunately. We can discuss this for a very long time. Possibly, the conditions were as such." "But we signed that we will get the control over our border only after the elections on the temporarily occupied territories." "We dedicated a very long time to this question, we discussed it in details, we have a very different positions with the president of Russia ." "But this is the Minsk position, we have to understand this. I only like one thing, that we started talking about this. We agreed that we will continue talking about this in details and with the different variations during our next meeting." "This is also a victory, because we will have a meeting in four months."

Q. What do you think, is it possible to change the Minsk Agreement? source

" This will be very difficult to do, but we have to do it. We have to change it . First, we have to understand that it's been over four years since the Minsk Agreement was signed. Everything changes in our life. We have to understand that it wasn't my team that signed the Minsk Agreement, but we as a power have to fulfill the conditions that our power at the time agreed back then. But? I am sure that some things we will be able to change. We will be changing them." "Because the transfer of the Ukraine's border after our control only after the elections, – it's not our position. I said about this don't know how many times, but this is the final decision ."

Arsen Avakov's statement on Ukrainian TV: (unofficial, in-house, translation):

" The philosophy of the border control the part of the border that we don't have control over is 408 kilometers. It's not that easy to take it over, to equip it, even to get there across the enemy territories. It's a procedure. As a compromise, we offered the following scheme: we will start taking the border under our control stating with the New Year, little by little, reducing the length of the border that is not controlled by us, and a day before the local election we will close the border, we will close this bottleneck. And this way will get the control over the border. Why isn't this a good compromise? Considering, that at the same time according to the Steinmeier Formula, they have to disarm all the illegal armed formations of this pseudo-state DNR. This is how we see the compromise."

In other words, both the official President and real President of the Ukraine agree: the Ukraine will not implement the Minsk Agreements as written, made law by the UNSC and clarified by the so-called Steinmeier Formula.

Ukrainian propagandists on Russian TV (yes, Urkonazi and hardline nationalist propagandists do get air time on Russian TV on a daily basis – for an explanation why, see here and here ) went into damage control mode and explained it all away by saying " these are only words, what matters is what Zelenskii signed in Paris ". They are wrong. First of all, statements made in their official capacity by the President or the Minister of Internal Affairs do represent OFFICIAL policy statements. Second, this explanation completely overlooks the reason why Ze and Avakov said these things. That reason is very simple: Ze caved in to the Urkonazis, completely. He now uses EXACTLY the same rhetoric as Poroshenko did, in spite of the fact that the only reason he was elected is that he presented himself as the ultimate anti-Poroshenko. Now all we see is Poroshenko 2.0.

So in the behind-the-scenes (but very real) struggle between the Zionist camp (Kolomoiskii and Zelenskii) and the Urkonazi camp (Avakov and Poroshenko), the latter have successfully taken control of the former and now the chances for saving a unitary Ukraine are down to, maybe not quite zero, but to something like 0.0000001% (I leave that one under the heading "never say never" and because I have been wrong in the past).

So what happens next?

That is the interesting question. In theory, the Normandy Four will meet again in 4 months. But that assumes that some progress was made. Well, it is possible that in a few sections of the line of contact there will be an OSCE supervised withdrawal of forces. But, let's be honest here, the people have seen many, many such promised withdrawals, and they all turned out to be fake. Either the Ukronazis return to the neutral zone (claiming huge victories over the (sic) "Russian armed force"), or they resume bombing civilians, or they never even bother to change position. Any withdrawal is a good thing if it can save a single life! But no amount of withdrawals will settle anything in this conflict.

Second, there are A LOT of Ukrainian politicians who now say that the citizens of the LDNR have to "return" to Russia if they don't like the Urkonazi coup or its ideology. They either don't realize, or don't care, that there are very few Russian volunteers in Novorussia and that the vast majority of the men and women who compose the LDNR forces are locals. These locals, by the way, get the Ukie message loud and clear: you better get away while you can, because when we show up you will all be prosecuted for terrorism and aiding terrorists, that is ALSO something the Urkonazis like to repeat day after day. By the way, while in Banderastan all Russian TV channels are censored, and while they also try to censor the Russian language Internet, in Novorussia all the Ukrainian (and Russian) TV stations are freely available. So as soon as some Nazi freak comes out and says something crazy like "we will create filtration camps" (aka concentration camps) this news is instantly repeated all over Novorussia, which only strengthens the resolve of the people of the LDNR to fight to their death rather than accept a Nazi occupation..

I said it many times, Zelenskii's ONLY chance was to crackdown on the Nazis as soon as he was elected. He either did not have the courage to do so, or his U.S. bosses told him to leave them unmolested. Whatever the case may be, it's now over, we are back to square one.

The most likely scenario is a "slow freezing" of the conflict meaning now that Kiev has officially and overtly rejected the Minsk Agreements, there will be some minor, pretend-negotiations, maybe, but that fundamentally the conflict will be frozen.

That will be the last nail in the coffin of the pro-EU, pro-NATO so-called "Independent Ukraine", since the most important condition to try to salvage the Ukrainian economy, namely peace, is now gone. Furthermore, the political climate in the Ukraine will further deteriorate (the hated Nazi minority + an even worse economic crisis are a perfect recipe for disaster).

For the Novorussians, it's now clear: the rump-Ukraine* does not want them, nor will Kiev ever agree to the Minsk Agreement. That means that the LDNR will separate from the rump-Ukraine and, on time, rejoin Russia. Good bye Banderites and Urkonazis!

The rump-Ukraine will eventually break-up further: Crimea truly was the "jewel of the Black Sea" and its future appears to be extremely bright while the Donbass was the biggest source of raw materials, energy, industry, high-tech, etc. etc. etc.). What is left of the Ukraine is either poor and under-developed (the West) or needs to reopen economic ties with Russia (the South).

Besides, Zelenskii and his party are now trying to rush a new law through the Rada which will allow the sale of Ukrainian land to private interests (aka foreign interests + a local frontman). As a result, there is now a new "maidan" brewing, pitting Iulia Timoshenko and other nationalist leaders against Zelenskii and his party. This could become a major crisis very fast, especially now that is appears that Zelenskii will also renege on this promise to call for a national referendum on the issue of the sale/privatization of land .

As for the Russians, they already realize that Ze is a joke, unsurprisingly so since he is a comic by trade, and that the Ukrainians are "not agreement capable". They will treat him like they did Poroshenko in the last years: completely ignore him and not even take his telephone calls. Right now, there is just a tiny bit of good will left in Moscow, but it is drying up so fast that it will soon totally disappear. Besides, the Russians really don't care that much anymore: the sanctions turned out to be a blessing, time is on Russia's side, the Ukronazis are destroying their own state and, finally, the important stuff for Russia is happening in Asia, not the West.

The Europeans will take a long time to come to terms with two simple facts:

Russia was never a party to this conflict (if she had, it would have been over long ago). The Ukronazis are the ones who won't implement the Minsk Agreements

This means that the politicians who were behind the EU's backing of the Euromaidan (Merkel) will have to go before their successors can say that, oops, we got our colors confused, and white is actually black and black turned out to be white. That's okay, politicians are pretty good at that. The honeymoon between Kiev and Warsaw on the one hand and Berlin on the other will soon end as bad times are ahead.

Macron looks much better, and he will probably pursue his efforts to restore semi-normal relations with Russia, for France's sake first, but also eventually the rest of the EU. The Poles and the Balts will accuse him of "treason" and he will just ignore them.

As for Trump, he will most likely make small steps towards Russia, but most of his energy will be directed either inwards (impeachment) or outwards (Israel), but not towards the Ukrainian conflict. Good.

Conclusion

It's over. Crimea and the Donbass are gone forever, the first is de jure , the latter merely de facto . The rump-Ukraine is completely unconformable (barring some kind of coup followed by a government of national unity supported Moscow – I consider this hypothesis as highly unlikely).

If you live in the West, don't expect your national media to report on any of this. They will be the LAST ones to actually admit it (journos have a longer shelf life than politicians, it is harder for them to make a 180).

PS: to get a feeling for the kind of silly stunts the "Ze team" is now busying itself with, just check this one: they actually tried to falsify the Ukrainian version of the Paris Communique. For details, see Scott's report here: https://thesaker.is/kiev-attempted-to-change-the-letter-and-meaning-of-paris-summit-communique/ . If the Ukraine was a Kindergarten, then "Ze" would be a perfect classroom teacher or visiting entertainer. But for a country fighting for its survival, such stunts are a very, very bad sign indeed!

(*rump-Ukraine: In broad terms, a "rump" state is what remains of a state when a portion is carved away. Expanding on the "butcher" metaphor, the rump is what is left when the higher-value cuts such as rib roast and loin have been removed.)


Oscar Peterson , says: December 18, 2019 at 7:55 pm GMT

I said it many times, Zelenskii's ONLY chance was to crackdown on the Nazis as soon as he was elected. He either did not have the courage to do so, or his U.S. bosses told him to leave them unmolested.

Are the security forces loyal to him to the extent that he could realistically counted on them to carry out a crackdown on the "Nazis"?

For the Novorussians, it's now clear: the rump-Ukraine* does not want them, nor will Kiev ever agree to the Minsk Agreement.

So what is the Ukrainian thinking here -- that they are better off simply cutting bait on the east and letting Russia deal with the headache of the Donbass's antiquated infrastructure? And that a truncated Ukraine would at least be mostly free of internal pro-Russian sentiment?

I am sympathetic to a lot of what Putin has felt it necessary to do, but I must say, I don't buy the incessant use of the term "Ukronazi." Sounds propagandistic.

bob sykes , says: December 18, 2019 at 11:48 pm GMT
What about the Ukrainian people? A large majority of them voted for some sort of reconciliation with the separatists and Russia. They did so twice: once for Zelenskii, and once again for his party. Does that count for nothing?
Felix Keverich , says: December 19, 2019 at 12:51 am GMT
@Oscar Peterson

So what is the Ukrainian thinking here

I think the plan is to wait until Russia collapses from Western sanctions, and then invade Crimea and Donbass. They didn't give up on the territory by any means, which is why I don't think that any ceasefire in Donbass will hold. It is going to remain a slow-burning conflict, the regime will continue to complain about "Russian invasion" and international investors will continue to avoid the Ukraine.

Anonymous [176] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 1:21 am GMT
"Russia collapses from Western sanctions" If that is the plan, then Russia has already won. And, of course, she has.
vot tak , says: December 19, 2019 at 1:20 pm GMT
"That reason is very simple: Ze caved in to the Ukronazis, completely. He now uses EXACTLY the same rhetoric as Poroshenko did, in spite of the fact that the only reason he was elected is that he presented himself as the ultimate anti-Poroshenko. Now all we see is Poroshenko 2.0."

This is interesting. It implies z actually meant what he said in order to gain votes to get elected. In fact, he is very similar to trump in this respect. Lied about desiring an end to the conflict (conflicts in the case of trump), but once in office continued the aggressive policies (and expanded them in the case of trump). Actually, if one considers poroshenko as the ukraine version of obama/clinton and zelinsky as trump, it looks like the ukrainian regime is following in the footsteps of the american regime.

Tsar Nicholas , says: December 21, 2019 at 1:09 pm GMT
It's not just Minsk that has been abandoned by the Kiev junta. Kiev itself has been abandoned by the EU, which now looks to Nordstream-2 for its energy supplies from Russia, thus bypassing the thieves in Ukraine. Even sanctions from the Supreme Sanctioner in DC is not going to persuade the Germans to shiver in the winter.

[Dec 22, 2019] Warren, AOL, Pelosi and the Kabuki theater of Trump impeachment

Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Joe Well , December 21, 2019 at 11:03 am

Where is AOC in all this? She was the prime mover on impeachment, specifically impeachment over a phone call rather than concentration camps and genocide.

And now with impeachment she gave Pelosi cover to sell the country out again.

I was wondering why many libreral centrists were expreasing admiration for her, a socialist. Maybe they recognized something?

Yves Smith Post author , December 21, 2019 at 4:02 pm

"Prime mover"? What planet are you from? They were Schiff, Nadler, and Pelosi. Did you miss that Russiagate was in motion while AOC was still tending bar? AOC isn't even on any of the key committees (Judiciary and Intel).

Joe Well , December 21, 2019 at 4:47 pm

I shouldn't have said THE prime mover, but ONE OF the prime movers in the House in actually pushing it over the line against Pelosi's opposition. It seems like the House Dem consensus ever since Russiagate was just to tease their base with it and milk the suspense for all it was worth, until AOC, among others, rallied the base.

AOC is one of the highest-profile members of Congress and she blasted Pelosi for resisting impeachment since May. In September, she tweeted, " At this point, the bigger national scandal isn't the president's lawbreaking behavior – it is the Democratic Party's refusal to impeach him for it​. " "Lawbreaking behavior" is nice and vague, but in this case it seems like she is talking about the Ukraine phone call.

There were other reps who pushed for impeachment, but AOC has one of the biggest platforms and crucially, expanded popular support for impeachment outside the MSNBC crowd. So yes, a key figure in the political/PR effort to move from conspiracy theories to actual impeachment.

Geo , December 21, 2019 at 6:09 pm

"AOC is one of the highest-profile members of Congress and she blasted Pelosi for resisting impeachment since May."

Liz Warren is the one who made it a part of her campaign before anyone else. Rashida Tlaib was the one who made t-shirt with her "impeach the mf'er" quote on it. A lot of them were "blasting" Pelosi for dithering. AOC also "blasted" her for giving ICE more money and a lot of their things .

Your central focus on AOC for the impeachment fiasco while ignoring her active role in spotlighting so many other issues of importance which no one else speaks about is interesting. Did you catch any of her speaking at the Sanders rally in LA today? Any other "high profile" Dems pushing such important issues and campaigns?

Carey , December 21, 2019 at 7:13 pm

Thanks for this comment. I don't trust *any of them* except Sanders, but AOC has been making more good noises than bad, and to claim that it was she who's been driving Pelosi to impeachment is quite a stretch. Poor, helpless/hapless Rep. Pelosi sure.

Yves Smith Post author , December 21, 2019 at 9:15 pm

Pelosi has repeatedly stared down the progressives in the House. The overwhelming majority of the freshmen reps are what used to be called Blue Dogs, as in corporate Dems. AOC making noise on this issue would not move Pelosi any more than it has on other issues.

IMHO Pelosi didn't try to tamp down Russiagate, and that created expectations that Something Big would happen. Plus she lives in the California/blue cities bubble.

What Dem donors think matters to her way more than what AOC tweets about. If anything, Pelosi (secondarily, I sincerely doubt this would be a big issue in her calculus) would view impeachment as a way to reduce the attention recently given to progressive issues like single payer and student debt forgiveness.

[Dec 22, 2019] Gussifer 2.0 released nothing remotely damaging to the DNC and is arguably US based (timestamps), and is either CIA or Crowdstrike.

Dec 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Ed Snack , 21 December 2019 at 01:41 PM

Other points to note:

1.

Ed Snack , 20 December 2019 at 10:56 PM
Other points to note:

1. G2 released nothing remotely damaging to the DNC, the first document was even the DNC's oppo file on DJT
2. G2 did some copying and compress/decompress on files. Imbedded timestamps strongly suggest a US Timezone location
3. G2 released some files claiming to be from the DNC, but which demonstrably came from John Podesta's account
4. G2 did not claim to be involved with the Podesta account, which was phished and not hacked as such
5. As an aside, both the Fancy and Cosy Bear packages had been available for third parties to obtain since 2013-4 or so. So their use is not proof of Russian involvement. One or other has been used in bank exploits before 2016.

I believe that G2 is arguably US based (the timestamps are reasonably conclusive), and is either CIA or Crowdstrike. The existence of G2 is a diversionary one to strengthen the case for blaming the Russians. It may be connected to wanting to divert attention from Seth Rich and his subsequent murder, but may not be - that is Seth Rich's death may be just an unfortunate coincidence, we have inadequate information to conclude either way.

[Dec 22, 2019] So US intelligence tipped off the DNC that their emails were about to be leaked to Wikileaks. That's when the stratagem of attributing the impending Wikileaks release to a Russian hack was born -- distracting from the incriminating content of the emails, while vilifying the Deep State's favorite enemies, Assange and Russia, all in one neat scam

Highly recommended!
Looks like Brennan ears are all over this false flag operation...
Dec 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Mark McCarty , 21 December 2019 at 02:34 PM

Here's a key point - on June 12, Assange announces that Wikileaks will soon be releasing info pertinent to Hillary. HE DOES NOT SAY THAT HE WILL BE RELEASING DNC EMAILS.

And yet, on June 14, Crowdstrike reports a Russian hack of the DNC servers - and a day later, Guccifer 2.0 emerges and proclaims himself to be the hacker, takes credit for the upcoming Wikileaks DNC releases, publishes the Trump oppo research which Crowdstrike claimed he had taken, and intentionally adds "Russian footprints" to his metadata.

So how did Crowdstrike and G2.0 know that DNC EMAILS would be released?

Because, as Larry postulates, the US intelligence community had intercepted communications between Seth Rich and Wikileaks in which Seth had offered the DNC emails (consistent with the report of Sy Hersh's source within the FBI).

So US intelligence tipped off the DNC that their emails were about to be leaked to Wikileaks.

That's when the stratagem of attributing the impending Wikileaks release to a Russian hack was born - distracting from the incriminating content of the emails, while vilifying the Deep State's favorite enemies, Assange and Russia, all in one neat scam.

[Dec 22, 2019] We Live In Hysteric Times What Trump's Impeachment Really Means by James George Jatras

Uneven, but pretty biting satire...
Notable quotes:
"... It is noteworthy that not a single House Republican dared or even cared to question Schiff's framing of the issue, which was bolstered by witnesses from the permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic establishment, including Trump's appointees. ..."
"... Nor is any Republican Senator likely to point out the inconvenient truth that we have no defense treaty with Ukraine, which thus is not really our "ally." ..."
"... The sole retort from Trump's establishment defenders : He released the aid to Ukraine, including the Javelin missiles Obama denied them! He's every bit the warmonger you want him to be! So there! ..."
"... Senate Demaggotic Leader Chuck Schumer gave the game away when he demanded that the World Greatest Deliberative Body receive testimony from cashiered National Security Adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney but not from the man at the center of the whole Ukraine "drug deal" (as Bolton described it): Rudy Giuliani. ..."
Dec 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

"America is a corpse being consumed by maggots. Liberals are rooting for the maggots. Conservatives are rooting for the corpse."

- @Vendee_Rising

For a century and a half American political life has been the exclusive preserve of the duopoly of Democrats and Republicans, also known as the Evil Party and the Stupid Party . (If something is both Evil and Stupid, we call that "Bipartisan.") But the familiar Evil-Stupid dichotomy doesn't even begin to describe the descent into national dysfunction and galloping irrationality that characterizes the Trump impeachment hysteria.

Media chatter now centers on the nuts-and-bolts questions of "what's next?" Will House Speaker Nancy Pelosi send the articles of impeachment over to the Senate? (Yes. Even one of the legal "scholars" enrolled in the impeachment lynch mob avers that Trump isn't actually impeached until the Senate receives the articles .) Who will be the trial managers? (Who cares.) Will there be a "real trial," with witnesses? (It hardly matters.) Will Trump be removed? (Unlikely unless some bolt from the blue flips 20 GOP Senators.) Will impeachment be the Democrats' albatross going into November 2020? (Most polls show independents are turned off, but there's still almost a year to go.)

None of these questions, which are meaningful only in a mental universe of the Evils and the Stupids shadowboxing over a partisan allocation of political spoils, touch upon the grim – and occasionally sardonic – symptoms of America's seemingly unstoppable terminal slide.

With Trump's impeachment it's time to say goodbye to yesteryear's Team Evil and Team Stupid. Say hello in 2020 to Team Maggot and Team Corpse!

Even though Trump has not turned out to be the transformative and restorative president that many of his supporters might have hoped for, he certainly will be (assuming he survives impeachment, which he probably will) the lesser of evils in November 2020 compared to whoever ends up as the Maggot Party nominee. Worse from his opponents' point of view, he remains a toxic avatar of the old America they thought would be well and truly laid to rest for ever and ever, amen, when Hillary Clinton came into her kingdom. That having misfired in 2016, partisans of that legacy America's marginalization, displacement, and eventual extinction can't breathe easy while Trump remains in office lest he, however unlikely in view of his failures of performance, serve as a catalyst for revival of the historic American nation facing loss of its birthright : an organic, uncontrived, living ethnos characterized by European, mainly British origin (a/k/a, "white"); Christian, mainly Protestant; and English-speaking, as augmented by members of other groups who have totally or partially assimilated to it. The certified victim classes standing on the threshold of the permanent, total power that eluded them three years ago are haunted by the knowledge that there's still lots of them Muricans in red MAGA hats rallying to Trump out there in Flyover Country .

In short, Democrats hate Trump not so much for what he's done (which, contrary to what his passionate supporters think based on his Tweets, isn't much) but as an expression of an amorphous dread that by some mysterious populist alchemy he might still breathe life back into the Corpse Party's deplorable base.

With that in mind, here are a few things to note as we cruise on into Bizarro World :

" What do you mean 'we,' white man? "

As the impeachment spectacle unfolded in the House, one could not fail to be touched by the hushed, heartfelt reverence with which Democrat after Democrat cited the sage words of the Founding Fathers: Madison especially, but also Jefferson and Washington. No doubt they can hardly wait for this spectacle to be over so they can go back to denouncing the Founders as dead, racist, Christian, patriarchal, " Anglo ," and (presumably) heterosexual slaveholders in wigs and knee-breeches whose memory should be expunged from the historical record . It's instructive to glance at the members of the House Judiciary Committee who – solemnly, reluctantly, and prayerfully, they assure us! – voted out articles of impeachment in the name of "the American people." But which "people" might that be? Of the 23 Democrats who voted, only four even arguably fit the heritage American, male profile of the Founding Fathers. The " gender balance " (as it's ungrammatically called nowadays) on the voting majority side of the Committee is 12-11. That's not quite up to Barack Obama's exhortation that "every nation on earth" should be "run by women ," but it's progress in that direction! (Just imagine how much more serene the world would be if all countries were ruled by peaceniks like Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Condi Rice, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Michèle Flournoy, Evelyn Farkas, etc., plus a bevy of Deep State Democrats now installed in Congress .) By contrast, the 17 Republicans on the Committee have approximately the same demographic composition they'd have had in 1950 – and aside from the inclusion of two women, that of the First Congress seated in 1789.

In short, in the Congressional Maggot Caucus the approaching Dictatorship of Victims defined by race, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, language, religion, migratory status, etc., is already becoming a reality, and they voted to get rid of Trump. Members of the Corpse Caucus defending him still belong demographically and morally to the declining legacy America, though they'd never, ever admit it. Impeachment is thus more than just the latest iteration of the years-long anti-constitutional coup to overturn a presidential election, though it is that too . Even more fundamentally, it's a coup against the people whose identity, traditions, and values the Constitution was intended to ensure for themselves and their posterity.

Foreign interference in our deMOCKracy.

Even more absurd than Democrats' presumption in lip-synching the venerable principles of an American constitutional tradition they despise almost as much as they loathe the ethnos that ordained and established it is their feigned horror – horror! – that Trump's phone chat with Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky realized the Founders' worst fears of foreign influence over American domestic politics. Leaving aside the fact that Ukraine under Zelensky's predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, did try to queer the 2016 election in favor of Hillary, and that Hunter and Joe Biden are crooks, the Maggoteers' ability to maintain a straight face of shocked indignation smack in the middle of a souk, a flea market, a bazaar where both domestic and foreign interests buy, sell, and trade favors like vintage baseball cards is nothing less than heroic.

While the bipartisan leadership has not yet taken up the helpful suggestion that barcodes be affixed to legislators' foreheads so that interested persons and organizations can conveniently scan prices and self-checkout , they have provided a helpful guide to what are called " Congressional Member Organizations (CMOs )," also called coalitions, study groups, task forces, or working groups. Memberships in many but not all CMOs serve as virtual barcodes for potential (mostly legal) campaign donors, including, in the case of "friends of" this or that foreign country, contributions from ethnic compatriots who are US citizens, or at least are supposed to be. Here's a partial selection:

Argentina Caucus, Armenian Issues Caucus, Azerbaijan Caucus, Bangladesh Caucus, Bosnia Caucus, Brazil Caucus, Cambodia Caucus, Central America Caucus, Colombia Caucus, Congressional Caucus on Bulgaria, Croatian Caucus, Czech Caucus, Ethiopian-American Caucus, Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka, EU Caucus, Friends of Australia Caucus, Friends of Denmark Caucus, Friends of Egypt Caucus, Friends of Finland Caucus, Friends of Ireland Caucus, Friends of Liechtenstein Caucus, Friends of New Zealand Caucus, Friends of Norway Caucus, Friends of Scotland Caucus, Friends of Spain Caucus, Friends of Sweden Caucus, Friends of the Dominican Republic Caucus, Friends of Wales Caucus, Georgia Caucus, Hellenic Caucus, Hellenic Israel Alliance Caucus, House Baltic Caucus, Hungarian Caucus, India and Indian Americans Caucus, Iraq Caucus, Israel Allies Caucus, Israel Victory Caucus, Kingdom of Netherlands Caucus, Korea Caucus, Kyrgyzstan Caucus, Macedonia and Macedonian-American Caucus, Moldova Caucus, Mongolia Caucus, Montenegro Caucus, Morocco Caucus, Nigeria Caucus, Pakistan Caucus, Peru Caucus, Poland Caucus, Portuguese Caucus, Qatari-American Strategic Relationships Caucus, Republican Israel Caucus, Romania Caucus, Serbian Caucus, Slovak Caucus, Sri Lanka Caucus, Taiwan Caucus, UK Caucus, Ukraine Caucus, U.S.-Bermuda Friendship Caucus, U.S.-China Working Group, U.S.-Japan Caucus, U.S.-Kazakhstan Caucus, U.S.-Lebanon Friendship Caucus, U.S.-Philippines Friendship Caucus, U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish American, Uzbekistan Caucus, Venezuela Democracy Caucus

Recalling Your Working Boy 's years at the State Department – where there still exists no "American Interests Section" – the reader can search the above in vain for anything that looks remotely like "Friends of the United States of America."

Russia! Russia! Russia!

In fact, the Democrats' core impeachment narrative – Russia bad, Ukraine good – is itself an example to which American policy is in the grip of foreign antipathies and attachments against which the Father of Our Country warned us in his 1796 farewell address :

"[N]othing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest."

In his closing statement before the impeachment vote House Judiciary Chairmaggot Adam "Captain Ahab" Schiff , in his frenzied hunt for the Great Orange Whale , provided a textbook example of what Washington feared:

"[W]e should care about our allies. We should care about Ukraine. We should care about a country struggling to be free and a Democracy. We used to care about Democracy. We used to care about our allies. We used to stand up to Putin and Russia. We used to. I know the party of Ronald Reagan used to. 'Why should we care about Ukraine?' But of course it's about more than Ukraine. It's about us. It's about our national security. Their fight is our fight. Their defense is our defense. When Russia remakes the map of Europe for the first time since World War II by dint of military force [ JGJ : Well, there was Kosovo, but never mind ] and Ukraine fights back, it is our fight too."

Indeed, one wonders how hysterical Democrats missed accusing Trump outright of treason , which actually is specified as grounds for impeachment in Article II, Section 4 . After all, as described by Schiff, didn't Trump's actions constitute (under Article III, Section 3 ) "adhering" to our evil enemies the Russians, and "giving them aid and comfort"? It's an open and shut case of a capital crime – and the House Majority Whip is ready to get the rope ! (Really, how did the Democrats miss this? Maybe GOP stupidity has migrated to the other side of the aisle )

It is noteworthy that not a single House Republican dared or even cared to question Schiff's framing of the issue, which was bolstered by witnesses from the permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic establishment, including Trump's appointees.

Nor is any Republican Senator likely to point out the inconvenient truth that we have no defense treaty with Ukraine, which thus is not really our "ally." Partisanship is the variable; Russophobia is the constant. The sole retort from Trump's establishment defenders : He released the aid to Ukraine, including the Javelin missiles Obama denied them! He's every bit the warmonger you want him to be! So there!

Thus, even with Trump's almost (at this point) certain survival of a Senate impeachment trial, the relevant foreign inveterate antipathies and passionate attachments will remain entrenched. (Not just in the case of Ukraine/Russia but with respect to the rest of the world our habitual hatreds and fondnesses remain firmly in place and are unlikely to change for the balance of Trump's presidency, if ever. Trump's Korea initiative is on life support. Israel/Iran is a flashpoint that could explode at any time : "Israel, even less than the US, cannot take casualties. A couple of bull's eyes, a lot of Israelis go back to Brooklyn. The 82 million people in Iran have no place else to go.")

Senate Demaggotic Leader Chuck Schumer gave the game away when he demanded that the World Greatest Deliberative Body receive testimony from cashiered National Security Adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney but not from the man at the center of the whole Ukraine "drug deal" (as Bolton described it): Rudy Giuliani. Why wouldn't the assembled Maggotrats jump at the chance to grill him under oath? Because he'd dole out the real dirt on Ukraine and its legendary corruption that would make a Nigerian prince blush. For the same reason, Corpsublicans won't want to hear from him either, any more than they're interested in whether the "sub-sources" of the Steele Dossier – whose identity the US Justice Department knows and who were available to the IG's investigators – really had anything to do with the Russian government . We wouldn't want to debunk all that yammering about " fake Kremlin dirt ," would we.

Meanwhile, back in what remains of America, regardless of how impeachment turns out, the lines of irreconcilable division deepen . Whether or not Trump is reelected (the politics look good for him, the demographics don't ) he will eventually be gone, whether in 2020, 2021, or 2025. He will almost certainly be the last Republican president, depending on when Texas goes the way of Virginia . One way or the other, we'll soon see whether the corpse has any fight left in it .

[Dec 22, 2019] Dirty Nancy

Dec 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

blue peacock said in reply to vig... , 21 December 2019 at 11:53 AM

If there was anyone who should have been impeached, it was George Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and George Tenet, who was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom, for assisting Cheney in the Iraq WMD lies.

But...what did Nancy say then?

Nancy Pelosi: I Knew Bush Jr Was Lying About WMD To Start War, But Didn't See It As Impeachable

https://newspunch.com/nancy-pelosi-knew-bush-jr-lying-about-wmd-war-didnt-see-it-impeachable/

[Dec 22, 2019] The idea to delay Senate trial is too clever by half: Withholding the articles would allow the Senate to evade its constitutional duty

Pelosi procrastination means that the earliest plausible starting time for Donald Trump's Senate trial would be the second half of January.
Dec 22, 2019 | newrepublic.com

But there are multiple reasons not to delay a Senate trial past that window. The most common argument in favor of this tactic is that it would give Democrats some sort of leverage as the process moves beyond their control. "As a tactical matter, it could strengthen Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer's (D-N.Y.) hand in bargaining over trial rules with McConnell because of McConnell's and Trump's urgent desire to get this whole business behind them," Tribe argued earlier this week. House Democratic leaders have made similar suggestions in recent days.

The last three years suggest that the majority leader would be more than happy to keep running the Senate as a judicial-confirmation factory and a legislative graveyard.

This is unpersuasive for two reasons. First, it assumes that McConnell actually wants the Senate to hold an impeachment trial for Trump. The last three years suggest that the majority leader would be more than happy to keep running the Senate as a judicial-confirmation factory and a legislative graveyard. It's doubtful that any other Republican senators are thrilled about the prospect of acting as the president's jurors, either. Given the choice between holding a trial that could force vulnerable members of his caucus to make uncomfortable votes and not holding a trial at all, it seems more likely that McConnell would choose the latter. Second, it assumes that Trump also wants to, in Tribe's words, "get this whole business behind [him]." There's a certain logic to the proposition that Trump is eager to tell his supporters that he was acquitted in a Senate trial. But I doubt that eagerness outweighs his desire not to undermine his own case in said trial. After all, if Mulvaney or Bolton could give testimony that would exculpate Trump in the Ukraine scandal, the president would have frog-marched them to the House Intelligence Committee himself last month. (The idea that Trump truly cares about the separation of powers, as his lawyers argued when blocking those witnesses from testifying, is contradicted by the rest of his presidency.)

The other half of Tribe's argument is also unconvincing. In making the case for withholding the articles, he argues that it would vindicate higher civic and democratic ideals. "On a substantive level, [the House] would be justified to withhold going forward with a Senate trial," Tribe wrote. "Under the current circumstances, such a proceeding would fail to render a meaningful verdict of acquittal. It would also fail to inform the public, which has the right to know the truth about the conduct of its president."

[Dec 22, 2019] Nancy Pelosi's vineyard makes her fourth-richest Californian in congress.

Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Danny , December 21, 2019 at 9:38 pm

https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-richest-nancy-pelosi-vineyard-story.html

Nancy Pelosi's vineyard makes her fourth-richest Californian in congress.

And, it's a tax avoidance scam on top of that

[Dec 22, 2019] Right now, it's Schrodinger's impeachment

Notable quotes:
"... My paranoid fear is that Pelosi or McConnell might try to time the proceedings so as to take Bernie and Warren off the campaign trail at a crucial moment, helping Biden. ..."
"... Amfortas the hippie , December 21, 2019 at 5:40 pm ..."
"... that, and sucking the air out of the room for the primaries. When's super tuesday, again? surely they can engineer it so that their "high drama" coincides. ..."
"... "let's talk about universal material benefits" " ok, Vlad trying to distract us from whats really important " ..."
"... Hepativore , December 21, 2019 at 6:49 pm ..."
"... Happy winter Solstice, everyone! ..."
"... Anyway, the funny thing is, that Biden himself has said that he only wants to be a one-term president. It makes me wonder if he knows that he has neither the energy or presence of mind to hold the office, and that he is merely doing so because of establishment pressure to stop Sanders at all costs. ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves Smith Post author , December 21, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Please bone up on US procedure. It's not good to have you confuse readers.

The Senate can't do anything until the House passes a motion referring the impeachment to the Senate. The House ALSO needs to designate managers as part of that process.

Darthbobber , December 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm

Right now, it's Schrodinger's impeachment.

Joe Well , December 21, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Michael Tracey argued that it's only Senate rules that require that the House formally transmit the impeachment verdict. The Constitution says that the Senate has to try an impeached president, and the Constitution trumps the Senate's rules. Logically, then, the Senate could just modify its rules to try the president.

But the whole delay is weird and impeachment has only been done twice before, so not a lot of precedent.

My paranoid fear is that Pelosi or McConnell might try to time the proceedings so as to take Bernie and Warren off the campaign trail at a crucial moment, helping Biden.

Amfortas the hippie , December 21, 2019 at 5:40 pm

that, and sucking the air out of the room for the primaries. When's super tuesday, again? surely they can engineer it so that their "high drama" coincides.

"let's talk about universal material benefits" " ok, Vlad trying to distract us from whats really important "

Hepativore , December 21, 2019 at 6:49 pm

Happy winter Solstice, everyone!

Anyway, the funny thing is, that Biden himself has said that he only wants to be a one-term president. It makes me wonder if he knows that he has neither the energy or presence of mind to hold the office, and that he is merely doing so because of establishment pressure to stop Sanders at all costs. Plus, if the Democrats get the brokered convention they are after, he can bow out, satisfied that he helped the DNC protect the donor class from the Sanders threat.

https://invidio.us/watch?v=dpBEaFtkziY

[Dec 22, 2019] The impeachment reflects the level of panic in the part of the establishment reposible for Russiagate, as it is unlear how Barr will play this game and who will be hurt

Impeachment if a counterattack of Russiagater against Barr investigation...
Dec 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

rtb61 , 2 hours ago link

The impeachment, what it means, panic in the establishment, as justice continues to creep ever closer, biting at their heels. They can feel the heat of the reformation is closing in on them, real justice, real trials and real convictions. They have good reason to fear and panic, the deep state is apparently quite shallow at the end of the day, those seeking justice for outweighing the corrupt political appointees and their falsely promoted minions and they will pursue the shadow government for the chaos, loss of life, loss of wealth and for the coming collapse as a result of shallow pathetic insatiable greed.

[Dec 21, 2019] Democrats just gave Trump the greatest gift of all

Notable quotes:
"... If the impeachment in the House of Representatives was such a brilliant piece of work, why is Nancy Pelosi now reluctant to forward the articles of impeachment to the Senate? ..."
Dec 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

ScouseJohnny -> WTobiasJr , 19 Dec 2019 07:16

No. You have nailed it.

There are lots of dismal reasons why Trump will be elected, but the Democrats just gave him the greatest gift of all: the only thing he does well in the morbid circus that his administration/political life is campaign. He's useless at everything else. And he campaigns best when he's railing against something, and better still when he is campaigning as the victim of some perceived injustice, which he as a remarkable knack of convincing the audience is an injustice vested on them, too.

He'll romp home in November 2020.

HiramsMaxim , 19 Dec 2019 08:13
It feels like nothing because it is nothing. Democrats have been talking impeachment since the election. They have now accomplished that, in a strict Party line vote. (The previous two impeachments were not party-line votes.)

So, what will be the result?

In my opinion, this puts Trump in a better position running up to the Election. In the Spring, we will see the Republican party-line rejection of conviction in the Senate. And, they get the opportunity to call witnesses. Any one think they will not drag Biden up to the Hill to question?

Trump gets to claim martyrdom (the Right loves to be martyrs, just as the Left loves to be victims.) He gets to point at all this, and just as with the Mueller Report, crow that all the investigations turned up nothing illegal.

But, IMO, the big story is that Democrats just emptied their cannon. They have nothing left. And they wasted the shot.

There is no way that Donald Trump, a New York City real estate developer, has not broken multiple laws. I am a bit offended by the laziness of the Democrats, in that they did not do any work to investigate and accuse Trump of actual codified crimes. They impeached him over rather minor and confusing matters of opinion. And now Trump can claim that all those investigations yielded no actual law breaking.

Its a farce. A purely political, poorly directed farce. And, I am now almost certain that they have guaranteed us another 4 years of Donald Effing Trump.

cmouse , 19 Dec 2019 08:00
Its a bad mistake. Impeachment will be used exactly in the same way as Brexit was used as a means to gametheory Johnson back into 10 Downing St. You will be regarded as friend or foe, as the nation is utterly divided down the middle. Expect Trump and the Republicans to steamroller the next Presidential Election as the Democrats will be painted as dangerous, undemocratic , totally Anti American. What a truly depressing world we live in.
Fred Smith -> Kalumba , 19 Dec 2019 07:35
If the impeachment in the House of Representatives was such a brilliant piece of work, why is Nancy Pelosi now reluctant to forward the articles of impeachment to the Senate?

It appears that she has little confidence in the work and despite claiming that it was urgent that the process proceed as rapidly as possible, she is now dragging her feet. The American public was expressing reduced enthusiasm for impeachment as it progressed and now the Democrats won't even send the articles to the Senate. The will be hell to pay for this malfeasance at the voting booth in less than a year.

[Dec 21, 2019] Trump would wear such as badge of honour--in the sense he was attacked non-stop by what he calls "The Deep State" and survived.

Dec 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Truthdotcom -> Upjors , 19 Dec 2019 08:59

But it was totally partisan based what constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley called "non-crimes". Trump would wear such as badge of honour--in the sense he was attacked non-stop by what he calls "The Deep State" and survived.

He would also claim that the elitist bureaucracy in Washington tried to destroy a President who was for "We the People"--whom the elitist classes call "deplorables" and whom can even be smelt at Walmart.

OpenSociety , 19 Dec 2019 08:59
I was against the impeachment of Bill Clinton. At that time democrat supporters made pantomime protests by dressing as puritans and Mrs Clinton referred to the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy". The case for Trump impeachment is even weaker and unlike with Clinton there has been a lack of due process and no bipartisan support. Impeachment has now become the pursuit of politics by other means which is a bad precedent for the future.

But if you want to re-energise Trump's base, this is a good move.

Truthdotcom -> Kalumba , 19 Dec 2019 08:52
In the U.S. Schiff is seen as dishonest, a parody make-up trickster, a liar, etc. Pelosi is seen as intellectually feeble and somewhat ditzy. She was pushed onto the impeachment path by the hard Left of the Democratic party. An example of that is the words used by Democrat Rashida Tlaib to refer to Trump--a very vulgar "Impeach the mfer[abbreviation".
AndreiK -> Jonathan Stromberg , 19 Dec 2019 08:49
No they don't - I paste this from a CNN article:

'a new Gallup poll released Wednesday morning, before the House vote, which shows two things happening since House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, opened up a formal impeachment inquiry in October:

1) Trump's job approval rating has gone from 39% to 45%
2) Support for Trump's impeachment and removal has dipped from 52% to 46%.'

SolentBound , 19 Dec 2019 08:47
Tulsi Gabbard on Twitter a few minutes ago, explaining her refusal to vote:

"A house divided cannot stand. And today we are divided. Fragmentation and polarity are ripping our country apart. Today, I come before you to make a stand for the center, to appeal to all of you to bridge our differences and stand up for the American people. #StandWithTulsi"

According to the latest polls her support is about 2% nationally but higher in Iowa and New Hampshire. Will her supporters stick with her? If not, where do they go? Sanders?

stratplaya , 19 Dec 2019 08:39
It feels anti-climatic because it was purely political. Democrats have set a terrible precedent here. With no votes from the opposition party and cheers afterwards from the majority party, they proved the impeachment was just a laborious exercise in bold faced politics.

Now impeachment can be used whenever the roles are reversed and one party simply hates the president from the other party.

HarryFlashman -> tobiastertius , 19 Dec 2019 08:38
So it's ok to have half of the court made up of people who have stated from before he was elected they would impeach him, but wrong for him to have people in the court who are prepared to defend him?

You want a show trial in which only the prosecutors get to make their case?

Lost_Keys , 19 Dec 2019 08:34
This impeachment is at best a symbolic act of defiance with no consequences.

At worst, it's a cynical ploy by establishment Dems to keeps Sanders and Warren tied up in pointless Senate hearings, making it difficult for them to campaign for the election, and giving Grandpa Joe an easy ride. Might Sound a bit tinfoil-hatty, but they'll do just about anything to prevent meaningful change.

That being said, I also don't believe in the strange notion that this has somehow handed Trump reelection. Why? The only people enraged by this are his cult, and they'll show up anyway.

Sithan , 19 Dec 2019 08:16
Nahh... We Brazilians have additional reasons to celebrate Trump's Fake Impeachment because Dilma Rousseff was the victim of a Fake Impeachment sponsored by US Embassy in Brazil.
The self-destruction of the American political system sounds like music in my ears, as the motherfucker Americans helped a handful of bandits tear my vote. Fuck US very much.

And now the poor Jair Bolsonaro is crying for his ass. Each politician mourns the loss of his protector through his hole that it misses him, as we all say in Brazil.

PhilSophia , 19 Dec 2019 08:15
This will likely backfire. Regardless of the rights and wrongs.
It will entrench most of his supporters and it will turn some waverers agains the Democrats.
PaulieneM -> BaronVonAmericano , 19 Dec 2019 08:15
That's a different debate. And one in which everything is viewed trough a short term opportunistic myoptic lens. In some occasions that might be -accidentally - successful. But mostly short term opportunistic behaviour is strategically (long term) stupid.

I agree that it was not very smart for Trump and later republicans to focus on the Biden/Ukraine episode :-). I remember this cartoon with the one person covered in lots and lots of spots pointing at another person who had just the one small spot while crying out: 'look: you have a spot'. Whatever you think about rich offspring getting into high end schools and getting board positions (not a fan): the problem is a lot bigger on the republican side.

[Dec 21, 2019] Trump thinks that Pelosi after her death might not be accepted even to hell due to all her crimes

Two days ago, the President sent a fuck-you letter to Pelosi. And she deserved it. Dems have nothing to offer to electorate so they engages in those witch hunts. They derailed Tulsi, now they might face another four years of Trump.
Pelosi sponsored war of terror "completely democratized" more more then a million people and nobody was impeached for that.
Torquemada's subjects never endured such inhumane treatment as Trump in the hands of Pelosi ;-) But we should not forget that Pelosi sponsored war of terror "completely democratized" more more then a million people and nobody was impeached for that.
This Kabuki theater became more interesting: On 10th December 2019, Senator Mich McConnell (Republican Kentucky) publicly declared, &"I'm not impartial about this at all. I'm not an impartial juror. This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision."
Dec 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Smacht , 19 Dec 2019 09:04

America is a write-off. It was a terrible idea from the beginning. An empire? Now? Really? Not learning anything from the history books, eh? Ye need an American Union, asap, before ye destroy us all.

[Dec 21, 2019] 'Christianity Today' anti-Trump editorial is a sign of things to come - CNN

Dec 21, 2019 | www.cnn.com

... ... ...

Mark Galli, its current editor (who is leaving the publication in two weeks) takes on Trump directly -- a courageous move on his part, as his magazine has largely been apolitical. "The facts in this instance are unambiguous: the president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president's political opponents," Galli writes. He draws the obvious conclusion for Christians: "That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral." Galli goes further, digging into the behavior of the man in the Oval Office, noting that Trump "has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration." He gets specific: "He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals." As if that wasn't enough, Galli adds, "He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone -- with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders -- is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused." Galli's warning to Christians is clear. "To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: remember who you are and whom you serve," Galli writes. "Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump's immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don't reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come?" Galli also acknowledged Friday in an interview on CNN's "New Day" that his stand is unlikely to shake loose Trump's strong hold on this voter segment, a crucial portion of his political base. Galli's move is even more admirable when you consider that he published his editorial even knowing that, as he said in his interview, he's not optimistic that his editorial will alter Trump's support among white evangelicals. It's not a stretch to say that white evangelicals put Trump into office in 2016. About 80% of them voted for him. They did so because of the abortion issue, mostly. They wanted pro-life judges throughout the justice system. But this was a devil's bargain, at best. Faith could bring us together. But too often it divides us <img alt="Faith could bring us together. But too often it divides us" src="//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191121180252-20191121-fractured-states-religious-leaders-large-169.jpg"> Faith could bring us together. But too often it divides us Younger evangelicals, those under 45, have been slowly but steadily moving away from Trump during the past two years or so, unhappy about his example. A key topic that has driven them away is immigration. Loving your neighbor as yourself has always been a bedrock Christian value. And Trump's stance on immigrants (especially those of color) has upset the younger generation of evangelicals, with two-thirds of them saying in surveys that immigrants strengthen our country, bringing their work ethic and talents with them from Mexico or Central America or Syria. Climate change is another issue that has caught the imagination of younger evangelicals. "I can't love my neighbor if I'm not protecting the earth that sustains them and defending their rights to clean water, clean air, and a stable climate," Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, a national organizer for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, told Grist . Needless to say, Trump's contempt on this subject grates badly on these young Christians. Perhaps naively, Americans have always looked to the presidency for exemplary moral behavior, and when there are obvious personal or moral failures, as with Nixon and Clinton, there is disappointment, even anger. But if you're a Christian -- and I lay claim to this for myself -- you understand that it's human to fail at perfect behavior. There is always forgiveness. And, as T.S. Eliot wrote, "Humility is endless."

Humility lies at the heart of Christian behavior. As does honesty. In these, Trump has set a terrible example, and he's now been taken down for this by an important Christian voice. If only another 10 percent of evangelicals take this seriously, and I suspect they will, Donald J. Trump's presidency is destined for the ash heap of history.

[Dec 21, 2019] The debate reminds us that the only way to remove Trump from office is at the ballot box - The Washington Post

Dec 21, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

Delaying the Senate trial erodes the Democrats' argument that impeachment was so urgent that they could not wait for the courts to act on Trump's aggressive claims of privilege.

Seven Democratic presidential candidates who gathered on a debate stage in Los Angeles on Thursday represent another argument for moving beyond impeachment.

... ... ...

Washington is fixated on the daily turns of the impeachment saga, but polls indicate that most Americans are not. Business executive Andrew Yang pointed out that, even when the current president is gone, the struggles of many people will remain, particularly in parts of the country that helped elect Trump in 2016.

"We blasted away 4 million manufacturing jobs that were primarily based in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri. I just left Iowa -- we blasted 40,000 manufacturing jobs there," Yang said. "The more we act like Donald Trump is the cause of all our problems, the more Americans lose trust that we can actually see what's going on in our communities and solve those problems."

That is what voters are waiting to hear, and the sooner the better for Democrats.

[Dec 21, 2019] To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin there are going to be three things in life that are certain. Death, taxes and the impeachment of a US President when the House is held by a different party

Dec 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

KedarB , 19 Dec 2019 08:42

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin there are going to be three things in life that are certain. Death, taxes and the impeachment of a US President when the House is held by a different party. American politics is going to get a whole lot nastier now than what it has been.

This Punch and Judy show has achieved nothing. The House impeached him and the Senate won't convict him. Trump now will be playing the victim card. Come November the key thing that will matter is the economy. If it as successful as it is now then he will get a second term. If it is in a recession then advantage Democratic candidate.

[Dec 21, 2019] Impeachment is Already Backfiring on the Democrats

Dec 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has called for the Senate to subpoena four new witnesses that the House never heard. Nancy Pelosi signaled Wednesday night that she might not send over to the Senate the articles of impeachment the House had just approved.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor both Wednesday night and Thursday morning. To have the Senate, which is judge and jury of the impeachment charges, start calling witnesses whom House prosecutors failed to pursue "could set a nightmarish precedent."

Said McConnell, Schumer "would apparently like our chamber to do House Democrats' homework for them."

Schumer's plea for new witnesses is an admission that the House's case for impeaching Trump is inadequate and deficient and could prove wholly noncredible to the American people. After all, if you need more witnesses, you probably do not have the smoking gun.

The message sent by Pelosi's call for more time before the trial, and Schumer's call for more witnesses, is one of fear that not only could the House's case for impeachment fail, it could be laughed out of the Senate. And the American people might be fine with that.

The Democratic Party has bet the ranch on the impeachment and removal of Trump for imperiling our "national security." But are Schumer and Pelosi behaving as though the republic is in mortal peril?

Schumer's call for new witnesses also underscores the thinness of Article I of the impeachment, Trump's alleged "Abuse of Power."

Beneath Article I, there is not a single crime listed -- no treason, no bribery, no extortion, no high crimes.

What kind of impeachment is this, with not one crime from the list the Founding Fathers designated as impeachable acts?

Why did the Democratic House not impeach Trump for conspiring with Russia to steal the 2016 election? Answer: Congress could no more prove this charge than could Robert Mueller after two years.

Other events are breaking Trump's way.

The James Comey-FBI investigation Mueller inherited has begun to take on the aspect of a "deep state" conspiracy.

According to the Justice Department's IG Michael Horowitz, the FISA court warrants used to justify FBI spying were the products not only of incompetence but also of mendacity and possible criminality.

The "essential" evidence used by the FBI to get the FISA judge to approve warrants for surveillance was the Steele dossier.

An ex-British spy, Christopher Steele was working in mid-2016 for a dirt-diving operation commissioned by the DNC and Clinton campaign to go after Trump. His altarpiece, the dossier, we learn from Horowitz, was a farrago of fabrications, rumors, and lies fed to Steele by a Russian "sub-source."

In the four FBI submissions to the FISA courts for warrants to spy on Carter Page, there were "at least 17 significant errors or omissions."

And all 17 went against Team Trump.

Moreover, the discrediting of the Comey investigation has just begun. U.S. Attorney John Durham will report this spring or summer on his deeper and wider investigation into its roots.

As IG of Justice, Horowitz's investigation was confined to his department and the FBI. But Durham is looking into the involvement of U.S. and foreign intelligence in the first days of the FBI investigation.

Attorney General Bill Barr and Durham have both said that they do not share Horowitz's view that there was no political bias at the beginning of the investigation of the Trump campaign. Durham's writ is far wider than Horowitz's and he has the power to impanel grand juries and bring criminal indictments.

Among the fields Durham is plowing are reports that agents and assets of the FBI and CIA may have "set up" Trump foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos. Possible purpose: to feed him intel about Russia having dirt on Hillary Clinton, and then entrap him, put him in legal jeopardy, and turn him into an investigative instrument to be used against Trump.

With the Horowitz report confirming what the Trumpers have been reporting and saying about Comey's investigation for years, and the newly proven manipulation of the FISA courts, the media hooting about "right-wing conspiracy theories" seems to have been toned down.

Carter Page, once considered a dupe of the Russians, is now seen as a patriot who assisted his country's intelligence services only to be made a victim of injustice who saw his civil rights trampled upon by his own government.

The cards appear to be falling Trump's way.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

[Dec 21, 2019] Trump claim he has been subjected to worse treatment than that endured by people accused of witchcraft in the 17th century.

Dec 21, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

On Tuesday, Donald Trump showed that it is not only through the spoken word or his Twitter account that he is able to raise eyebrows, when he sent an angry and frequently bizarre letter to House speaker Nancy Pelosi .

The six-page missive was remarkable for a number of reasons, not least for Trump's claim he has been subjected to worse treatment than that endured by people accused of witchcraft in the 17th century.

Here are five highlights, or otherwise, from Trump's dispatch. 1) 'More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.'

Fourteen women and five men were hanged in colonial Massachusetts the late 1690s, for supposedly engaging in witchcraft. "Spectral evidence" was admissible in the trials – evidence where a witness had a dream, or apparition, which featured the alleged witch engaged in dark deeds. Spectral evidence is yet to feature in Trump's impeachment hearings.

2) 'You [Nancy Pelosi] are offending Americans of faith by continually saying: "I pray for the president," when you know this statement is not true, unless it is meant in a negative sense. It is a terrible thing you are doing, but you will have to live with it, not I!'

Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly said she prays for Donald Trump. In October, the House speaker said she was praying for his "health", after Trump had what she described as a "meltdown" during a meeting with Democratic leaders. It's not the first time she has claimed to be appealing to a higher power on Trump's behalf. It seems Trump doesn't like it. Or believe it.

3) 'There are not many people who could have taken the punishment inflicted during this period of time, and yet done so much for the success of America and its citizens.'

Trump's claims that he alone could withstand such rough treatment from his opponents rather fall down here – located as they are in a six-page ode to self-pity.

4) 'You view democracy as your enemy!'

This exclamation comes midway through the letter, after Trump claims the Democrats have developed "Trump Derangement Syndrome". Trump is not confident of the odds Democrats will recover from the malady: "You will never get over it!" he writes.

5) 'I write this letter to you for the purpose of history and to put my thoughts on a permanent and indelible record. 100 years from now, when people look back at this affair, I want them to understand it, and learn from it, so that it can never happen to another president again.'

There's a slightly self-satisfied air to the final paragraph of the letter, as if Trump feels he has delivered a piece of soaring oratory which will be pored over by scholars in years to come. At least here, in a sense, Trump is correct. People are unlikely to forget "this affair" – his presidency – for a long, long time and historians of the future will certainly examine this letter: just perhaps not in the way Trump would want them to.

[Dec 21, 2019] The impeachment in name only in suspended animation will be used as the Same Mullergate style main stream narrative to sway weak minded Americans and Voter fraud to get Trump in 2020

Dec 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Peter Smithhhh , 18 minutes ago link

Muellergate and biased MSM overcame weak minded Americans and apparently caused Pu$$y hatted evangelicals not to vote conservative in the 2018 Midterms. (If you believe there was no ballot, voting machine or illegal voter fraud.).....

On to 2019, where the impeachment in name only in suspended animation will be used as the Same Mullergate style main stream narrative to sway weak minded Americans and Voter fraud to get Trump in 2020.

You had better hope Trump wins, because all your republican gun registered names are on Google Databases. What do you think Hillary who invited NATO in during Bill's dalliance as President was for, A Tea Party ?

[Dec 21, 2019] Totally partisan impeachment based what constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley called "non-crimes as well as Schiff incompetence created huge problems for Pelosi: she can't send article impeachment to senate, and she can't sit on them indefinitely.

Essentially Pelosi wants to convert impeachment into second Mueller investigation, which brought her back to power inthe house.
Dec 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Truthdotcom -> Upjors , 19 Dec 2019 08:59

But it was totally partisan based what constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley called "non-crimes". Trump would wear such as badge of honour--in the sense he was attacked non-stop by what he calls "The Deep State" and survived.

He would also claim that the elitist bureaucracy in Washington tried to destroy a President who was for "We the People"--whom the elitist classes call "deplorables" and whom can even be smelt at Walmart.

[Dec 21, 2019] There is a difference between impeaching the President and removeing the President due to impeachment

Dec 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Adriana Pena 2 days ago

Like it or not, impeaching a President is a very significant moment. It only happened twice before, and came close a third. It IS an imporant occasion. And the principle is NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW. This is why the Founding Fathers put it in the Constitution. And the occasion impinged on one thing that the Founding Fathers dreaded most: a foreign nation involving itself in our electoral process. IT IS THAT SERIOUS
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Adriana Pena 2 days ago
Removing a president is a very significant moment, which isn't going to happen. Impeaching a president is just another TV show, which will be forgotten by the general public in a couple of years or so. Bubba's situation is only remembered in America and abroad due to Monica's salacious role. Ask the first person on the street what the actual accusations against Bubba were. Most won't even coherently explain what Donnie's current situation is about. And in neither case it will be their fault, because it is politicians who are to be fully blamed - Democrats are as inarticulate now as Republicans were then.

Regarding foreign ivolvements - you're a "little" bit too late to become concerned about that. Saudi and Israeli interests have already attained a permanent residency within America's political system, elections included.

Mike Haas Adriana Pena 2 days ago
Not anymore. If these silly Articles go forward, impeachment will go from a once-in-a generation crisis to a regular part of the partisan tool kit.

[Dec 21, 2019] Congress Isn't as Neutered as Democrats Want You to Think

Dec 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

... ... ...

But back in 2007, when Fein was working on impeaching President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, Pelosi said that impeachment was off the table completely.

So "long as they think their party has a chance to get the White House back they're eager to take Trump's usurpations and imitate them with executive orders of their own," Fein said.

Ultimately, according to Fein, both parties in Congress "have no concept of the separation of powers. It's all about loyalty to party. None of the Democrats did anything about Obama going to war illegally, the Snowden revelations, DACA. Democrats didn't complain at all about that. Republicans are exactly the same. There's no longer any loyalty to the oath of office. That's why the country's institutions are collapsing."

Nancy Pelosi is worried that impeachment will cost the Democrats their 2016 purple gains, and with it, her speaker's gavel.

Yet in the end, her political calculation may prove shortsighted. After all, her limp and rushed use of the House impeachment inquiry has unified Trump supporters, calcified executive overreach, and played directly into Trump's hands.

Kent TheSnark 4 days ago

Hence why impeachment is so rare. If evidence isn't so obvious that you have to rely on the President's own supporters to get at it, you probably shouldn't be trying to impeach in the first place. That's a political choice you have to make carefully.

I tend to think this is going to be a disaster for Democrats. The GOP-controlled Senate will spend all of its time asking questions about Biden and his son and then fully acquit, GOP voters will come out in force and rally around the President, and Democratic voters will be disillusioned and stay home.

I'd be happy to see Trump impeached for leaving our troops in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and the rest. But then I would have impeached Bush and Obama for the same.

[Dec 21, 2019] The Trump Campaign Promises Monitor has posted a month-by-month timeline of the impeachment inquiry, from the day Congress approved Ukrainian military aid to yesterday's impeachment vote.

Dec 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Raygiles 2 days ago

The Trump Campaign Promises Monitor has posted a month-by-month timeline of the impeachment inquiry, from the day Congress approved Ukrainian military aid to yesterday's impeachment vote. See Promise #50: Drain the Swamp/Topic #14 - Impeachment Inquiry @ http://trumpcampaignpromise...
Raygiles 4 days ago
With the House set to vote on two impeachment articles Wednesday, President Trump has broken his 2016 campaign promise to "drain the swamp." For a list of the 15 different ways President Trump has, in fact, failed to drain the swamp, see Promise #50 at the Trump Campaign Promises Monitor @ http://trumpcampaignpromise...

[Dec 21, 2019] If the plan was to sabotage Trump's second-term campaign, it seems to have backfired spectacularly

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "growing evidence that the public impeachment proceedings in the House against Trump may actually be helping him politically." ..."
"... "open war on American Democracy." ..."
"... the end of his six-page letter shows that he is fully aware of the Democrats' gambit, bringing it out in the open: he wrote it not because he expected them to see reason but "for the purpose of history" and to create a "permanent and indelible record." ..."
"... It is said that history is written by the winners. That's almost true. It is made by the winners, but written by the loud. Trump is a real-estate developer and reality TV star who talked his way into the White House against two major political dynasties – Clinton and Bush – and both the Republican and Democrat establishments; through a gauntlet of US intelligence agencies, as it turns out; and in the face of near-unanimous opposition from the media. ..."
"... So his impeachment is indeed a historic moment – just not in the way his enemies think. ..."
Dec 21, 2019 | astutenews.com

...If the plan was to sabotage Trump's second-term campaign, it seems to have backfired spectacularly. With every hearing before the Intelligence or Judiciary Committee, the public support for impeachment actually decreased. Even CNN was forced to admit the existence of "growing evidence that the public impeachment proceedings in the House against Trump may actually be helping him politically."

Indeed, what better way for Trump to solidify his bona fides as the populist outsider than to be impeached by the coastal elites and the Washington Swamp, in what amounted to a nakedly partisan process?

Definition of Impeachment (modern): A process by which the party out of power shows the world how they got that way. Happens most commonly right before a landslide reelection.

-- Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) December 18, 2019

...Trump never gets tired of pointing out the accomplishments of his administration: jobs, stock market growth, trade deals, etc. He did so again, in a scathing letter to Pelosi on Impeachment Eve, contrasting that to her party's "open war on American Democracy." However, the end of his six-page letter shows that he is fully aware of the Democrats' gambit, bringing it out in the open: he wrote it not because he expected them to see reason but "for the purpose of history" and to create a "permanent and indelible record."

It is said that history is written by the winners. That's almost true. It is made by the winners, but written by the loud. Trump is a real-estate developer and reality TV star who talked his way into the White House against two major political dynasties – Clinton and Bush – and both the Republican and Democrat establishments; through a gauntlet of US intelligence agencies, as it turns out; and in the face of near-unanimous opposition from the media.

So his impeachment is indeed a historic moment – just not in the way his enemies think.


By Nebojsa Malic
Source: RT

[Dec 21, 2019] America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil.

Notable quotes:
"... Why have we supported Nguema, Karimov, and Kagame but not the ones who are thorns in our sides? The reasons are obvious. It's not the lives of their citizens - it's power for the elite class. We intervene abroad because we want to further the interest of the wealthy. ..."
"... America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil. We denounce ethnic cleansing and then fund it. We call for free elections and then support Pinochet, Stroessner, and Videla. ..."
"... Opposing war is a noble and courageous act, and there will always be smears. Opposing war isn't supporting dictators; it's opposing death and destruction in the service of the wealthy. Never believe what they tell you about why they're sending your kids to die. Never. ..."
Apr 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Idealistic Realist , Apr 27, 2019 1:24:45 PM | link

Best analysis by a candidate for POTUS ever:

American foreign policy is not a failure. To comfort themselves, observers often say that our leaders -- presidents, advisors, generals -- don't know what they're doing. They do know. Their agenda just isn't what we like to imagine it is.

To quote Michael Parenti: "US policy is not filled with contradictions and inconsistencies. It has performed brilliantly and steadily in the service of those who own most of the world and who want to own all of it."

The vision of our leaders as bunglers, while more accurate than the image of them as valiant public servants, is less accurate and more rose-tinted than the closest approximation of the truth, which is that they are servants of their class interest. That is why we go to war.

Those who buy the elite class's foreign policy BS, about the Emmanuel Goldsteins they conjure up every three years, are fools. Obviously Hussein and Milošević were bad; but "government bad" does not mean we must invade. Wars occur for economic, not humanitarian, reasons.

  • Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the president of Equatorial Guinea, is a kleptocrat, murderer, and alleged cannibal. This is him and his wife with Barack and Michelle Obama.
  • Islam Karimov, the president of Uzbekistan, was said to have boiled political prisoners to death, massacred hundreds of prisoners, and made torture an institution. This is him with John Kerry.
  • Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, has been involved in the assassination of political opponents, perpetrated obvious election fraud, and had his term extended until 2034. This is him with Barack and Michelle Obama.

Why have we supported Nguema, Karimov, and Kagame but not the ones who are thorns in our sides? The reasons are obvious. It's not the lives of their citizens - it's power for the elite class. We intervene abroad because we want to further the interest of the wealthy.

America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil. We denounce ethnic cleansing and then fund it. We call for free elections and then support Pinochet, Stroessner, and Videla.

Opposing war is a noble and courageous act, and there will always be smears. Opposing war isn't supporting dictators; it's opposing death and destruction in the service of the wealthy. Never believe what they tell you about why they're sending your kids to die. Never.

Mike Gravel

[Dec 21, 2019] Time to Terminate Washington's Defense Welfare

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... While I admire America's democratic society, I hate how America brought wars and chaos to the world in guise of "freedom and liberation". ..."
"... Was it necessary to bomb civilians of Ossetia for Georgia to get rid of Russia? Was it necessary to provoke a coup d'état against fully legitimate and democratically elected government in Ukraine? Life isn't fair indeed : not only they will never enter in NATO (even less EU) and no one will protect them, but they can say farewell to the land they lost. People in Georgia and Ukraine are less and less gullible and Pro Russians sentiment is gaining ground btw. Ask yourself why ? ..."
"... Sphere of influence, the same reason why Cuba and Venezuela will pay for their insolence against the hegemon. The world is never a fair place. ..."
Sep 01, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

opaw , August 30, 2017 8:29 PM

While I admire America's democratic society, I hate how America brought wars and chaos to the world in guise of "freedom and liberation".

I hate how America exploit the weak. president moon should offer an olive branch to fatty Kim by sending back the thaad to America and pulling out American base and troops. he should convince fatty Kim that should he really like to proliferate his nuclear missile development as deterrence, aim it only to America and America only. there is no need for Koreans to kill fellow Koreans.

Try Harder , August 31, 2017 2:45 AM

Very good idea, after having pushed Ukraine and Georgia to a war lost in advance, lets hope US will abandon South Korea and Japan because they were helpless in demilitarizing one of the poorest countries in the world....

Try Harder Guest , August 31, 2017 4:16 PM

Was it necessary to bomb civilians of Ossetia for Georgia to get rid of Russia? Was it necessary to provoke a coup d'état against fully legitimate and democratically elected government in Ukraine? Life isn't fair indeed : not only they will never enter in NATO (even less EU) and no one will protect them, but they can say farewell to the land they lost. People in Georgia and Ukraine are less and less gullible and Pro Russians sentiment is gaining ground btw. Ask yourself why ?

Zsari Maxim Guest , August 31, 2017 11:50 AM

Sphere of influence, the same reason why Cuba and Venezuela will pay for their insolence against the hegemon. The world is never a fair place.

Thomas Fung , August 31, 2017 5:04 PM

In this person's opinion, the article raises a good point with regards to US defense subsidies. However, its examples are dissimilar. Japan spends approximately 1% of its GDP on defense; South Korea spends roughly 2.5% of its GDP defense.

In fact, it seems to this person that a better example of US Defense Welfare would be direct subsidies granted to the state of Israel.

[Dec 21, 2019] Since the turn of the century, the US has dumped trillions of dollars into wars

Notable quotes:
"... It is understandable why so many are angry at the leaders of America's institutions, including businesses, schools and governments," Dimon, 61, summarized. "This can understandably lead to disenchantment with trade, globalization and even our free enterprise system, which for so many people seems not to have worked. ..."
Apr 06, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
im1dc, April 05, 2017 at 10:16 AM
"Dimon Warns 'Something Is Wrong' With the U.S."

Do you agree with Jamie Dimon assessment of the USA?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-04/dimon-still-optimistic-warns-something-is-wrong-with-u-s

"Dimon Warns 'Something Is Wrong' With the U.S."

by Laura J Keller...April 4, 2017

"JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has two big pronouncements as the Trump administration starts reshaping the government: "The United States of America is truly an exceptional country," and "it is clear that something is wrong."

Dimon, leader of world's most valuable bank and a counselor to the new president, used his 45-page annual letter to shareholders on Tuesday to list ways America is stronger than ever -- before jumping into a much longer list of self-inflicted problems that he said was "upsetting" to write.

Here's the start: Since the turn of the century, the U.S. has dumped trillions of dollars into wars, piled huge debt onto students, forced legions of foreigners to leave after getting advanced degrees, driven millions of Americans out of the workplace with felonies for sometimes minor offenses and hobbled the housing market with hastily crafted layers of rules.

Dimon, who sits on Donald Trump's business forum aimed at boosting job growth, is renowned for his optimism and has been voicing support this year for parts of the president's business agenda. In February, Dimon predicted the U.S. would have a bright economic future if the new administration carries out plans to overhaul taxes, rein in rules and boost infrastructure investment. In an interview last month, he credited Trump with boosting consumer and business confidence in growth, and reawakening "animal spirits."

But on Tuesday, reasons for concern kept coming. Labor market participation is low, Dimon wrote. Inner-city schools are failing poor kids. High schools and vocational schools aren't providing skills to get decent jobs. Infrastructure planning and spending is so anemic that the U.S. hasn't built a major airport in more than 20 years. Corporate taxes are so onerous it's driving capital and brains overseas. Regulation is excessive.

" It is understandable why so many are angry at the leaders of America's institutions, including businesses, schools and governments," Dimon, 61, summarized. "This can understandably lead to disenchantment with trade, globalization and even our free enterprise system, which for so many people seems not to have worked. "...

pgl -> im1dc... , April 05, 2017 at 10:16 AM
I meant my last comment to be a reply. No - there is a lot that Dimon said that I cannot agree with.
pgl , April 05, 2017 at 10:49 AM
"Inner-city schools are failing poor kids. High schools and vocational schools aren't providing skills to get decent jobs. Infrastructure planning and spending is so anemic that the U.S. hasn't built a major airport in more than 20 years. Corporate taxes are so onerous it's driving capital and brains overseas. Regulation is excessive."

Let's unpack his list. The 4th (last) sentence is his hope that his bank can back to the unregulated regime that brought us the Great Recession. His 3rd sentence is a call for more tax cuts for the rich.

We may like his first 2 sentences here but who is going to pay for this? Not Jamie Dimon. See sentence #3.

DrDick -> pgl... , April 05, 2017 at 11:18 AM
He also seems to falsely imply that the people associated with capital actually have functioning brains.

[Dec 21, 2019] The ruthless neo-colonialists of 21st century

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The destruction of Syria and Libya created massive refugee flows which have proved that the European Union was totally unprepared to deal with such a major issue. On top of that, the latest years, we have witnessed a rapid rise of various terrorist attacks in Western soil, also as a result of the devastating wars in Syria and Libya. ..."
"... Whenever they wanted to blame someone for some serious terrorist attacks, they had a scapegoat ready for them, even if they had evidence that Libya was not behind these attacks. When Gaddafi falsely admitted that he had weapons of mass destruction in order to gain some relief from the Western sanctions, they presented him as a responsible leader who, was ready to cooperate. Of course, his last role was to play again the 'bad guy' who had to be removed. ..."
"... Despite the rise of Donald Trump in power, the neoliberal forces will push further for the expansion of the neoliberal doctrine in the rival field of the Sino-Russian alliance. ..."
"... We see, however, that the Western alliances are entering a period of severe crisis. The US has failed to control the situation in Middle East and Libya. The ruthless neo-colonialists will not hesitate to confront Russia and China directly, if they see that they continue to lose control in the global geopolitical arena. The accumulation of military presence of NATO next to the Russian borders, as well as, the accumulation of military presence of the US in Asia-Pacific, show that this is an undeniable fact. ..."
Apr 09, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

The start of current decade revealed the most ruthless face of a global neo-colonialism. From Syria and Libya to Europe and Latin America, the old colonial powers of the West tried to rebound against an oncoming rival bloc led by Russia and China, which starts to threaten their global domination.

Inside a multi-polar, complex terrain of geopolitical games, the big players start to abandon the old-fashioned, inefficient direct wars. They use today other, various methods like brutal proxy wars , economic wars, financial and constitutional coups, provocative operations, 'color revolutions', etc. In this highly complex and unstable situation, when even traditional allies turn against each other as the global balances change rapidly, the forces unleashed are absolutely destructive. Inevitably, the results are more than evident.

Proxy Wars - Syria/Libya

After the US invasion in Iraq, the gates of hell had opened in the Middle East. Obama continued the Bush legacy of US endless interventions, but he had to change tactics because a direct war would be inefficient, costly and extremely unpopular to the American people and the rest of the world.
The result, however, appeared to be equally (if not more) devastating with the failed US invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US had lost total control of the armed groups directly linked with the ISIS terrorists, failed to topple Assad, and, moreover, instead of eliminating the Russian and Iranian influence in the region, actually managed to increase it. As a result, the US and its allies failed to secure their geopolitical interests around the various pipeline games.

In addition, the US sees Turkey, one of its most important ally, changing direction dangerously, away from the Western bloc. Probably the strongest indication for this, is that Turkey, Iran and Russia decided very recently to proceed in an agreement on Syria without the presence of the US.

Yet, the list of US failures does not end here. The destruction of Syria and Libya created massive refugee flows which have proved that the European Union was totally unprepared to deal with such a major issue. On top of that, the latest years, we have witnessed a rapid rise of various terrorist attacks in Western soil, also as a result of the devastating wars in Syria and Libya.

Evidence from WikiLeaks has shown that the old colonial powers have started a new round of ruthless competition on Libya's resources. The usual story propagated by the Western media, about another tyrant who had to be removed, has now completely collapsed. They don't care neither to topple an 'authoritarian' regime, nor to spread Democracy. All they care about is to secure each country's resources for their big companies.
The Gaddafi case is quite interesting because it shows that the Western hypocrites were using him according to their interests .

Whenever they wanted to blame someone for some serious terrorist attacks, they had a scapegoat ready for them, even if they had evidence that Libya was not behind these attacks. When Gaddafi falsely admitted that he had weapons of mass destruction in order to gain some relief from the Western sanctions, they presented him as a responsible leader who, was ready to cooperate. Of course, his last role was to play again the 'bad guy' who had to be removed.

Economic Wars, Financial Coups – Greece/Eurozone

It would be unthinkable for the neo-colonialists to conduct proxy wars inside European soil, especially against countries which belong to Western institutions like NATO, EU, eurozone, etc. The wave of the US-made major economic crisis hit Greece and Europe at the start of the decade, almost simultaneously with the eruption of the Arab Spring revolutionary wave and the subsequent disaster in Middle East and Libya.

Greece was the easy victim for the global neoliberal dictatorship to impose catastrophic measures in favor of the plutocracy. The Greek experiment enters its seventh year and the plan is to be used as a model for the whole eurozone. Greece has become also the model for the looting of public property, as happened in the past with the East Germany and the Treuhand Operation after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

While Greece was the major victim of an economic war, Germany used its economic power and control of the European Central Bank to impose unprecedented austerity, sado-monetarism and neoliberal destruction through silent financial coups in Ireland , Italy and Cyprus . The Greek political establishment collapsed with the rise of SYRIZA in power, and the ECB was forced to proceed in an open financial coup against Greece when the current PM, Alexis Tsipras, decided to conduct a referendum on the catastrophic measures imposed by the ECB, IMF and the European Commission, through which the Greek people clearly rejected these measures, despite the propaganda of terror inside and outside Greece. Due to the direct threat from Mario Draghi and the ECB, who actually threatened to cut liquidity sinking Greece into a financial chaos, Tsipras finally forced to retreat, signing another catastrophic memorandum.

Through similar financial and political pressure, the Brussels bureaufascists and the German sado-monetarists along with the IMF economic hitmen, imposed neoliberal disaster to other eurozone countries like Portugal, Spain etc. It is remarkable that even the second eurozone economy, France, rushed to impose anti-labor measures midst terrorist attacks, succumbing to a - pre-designed by the elites - neo-Feudalism, under the 'Socialist' François Hollande, despite the intense protests in many French cities.

Germany would never let the United States to lead the neo-colonization in Europe, as it tries (again) to become a major power with its own sphere of influence, expanding throughout eurozone and beyond. As the situation in Europe becomes more and more critical with the ongoing economic and refugee crisis and the rise of the Far-Right and the nationalists, the economic war mostly between the US and the German big capital, creates an even more complicated situation.

The decline of the US-German relations has been exposed initially with the NSA interceptions scandal , yet, progressively, the big picture came on surface, revealing a transatlantic economic war between banking and corporate giants. In times of huge multilevel crises, the big capital always intensifies its efforts to eliminate competitors too. As a consequence, the US has seen another key ally, Germany, trying to gain a certain degree of independence in order to form its own agenda, separate from the US interests.

Note that, both Germany and Turkey are medium powers that, historically, always trying to expand and create their own spheres of influence, seeking independence from the traditional big powers.

Economic Wars, Constitutional Coups, Provocative Operations – Argentina/Brazil/Venezuela

A wave of neoliberal onslaught shakes currently Latin America. While in Argentina, Mauricio Macri allegedly took the power normally, the constitutional coup against Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, as well as, the usual actions of the Right opposition in Venezuela against Nicolás Maduro with the help of the US finger, are far more obvious.
The special weight of these three countries in Latin America is extremely important for the US imperialism to regain ground in the global geopolitical arena. Especially the last ten to fifteen years, each of them developed increasingly autonomous policies away from the US close custody, under Leftist governments, and this was something that alarmed the US imperialism components.

Brazil appears to be the most important among the three, not only due to its size, but also as a member of the BRICS, the team of fast growing economies who threaten the US and generally the Western global dominance. The constitutional coup against Rousseff was rather a sloppy action and reveals the anxiety of the US establishment to regain control through puppet regimes. This is a well-known situation from the past through which the establishment attempts to secure absolute dominance in the US backyard.

The importance of Venezuela due to its oil reserves is also significant. When Maduro tried to approach Russia in order to strengthen the economic cooperation between the two countries, he must had set the alarm for the neocons in the US. Venezuela could find an alternative in Russia and BRICS, in order to breathe from the multiple economic war that was set off by the US. It is characteristic that the economic war against Russia by the US and the Saudis, by keeping the oil prices in historically low levels, had significant impact on the Venezuelan economy too. It is also known that the US organizations are funding the opposition since Chávez era, in order to proceed in provocative operations that could overthrow the Leftist governments.

The case of Venezuela is really interesting. The US imperialists were fiercely trying to overthrow the Leftist governments since Chávez administration. They found now a weaker president, Nicolás Maduro - who certainly does not have the strength and personality of Hugo Chávez - to achieve their goal.

The Western media mouthpieces are doing their job, which is propaganda as usual. The recipe is known. You present the half truth, with a big overdose of exaggeration. The establishment parrots are demonizing Socialism , but they won't ever tell you about the money that the US is spending, feeding the Right-Wing groups and opposition to proceed in provocative operations, in order to create instability. They won't tell you about the financial war conducted through the oil prices, manipulated by the Saudis, the close US ally.

Regarding Argentina, former president, Cristina Kirchner, had also made some important moves towards the stronger cooperation with Russia, which was something unacceptable for Washington's hawks. Not only for geopolitical