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Why did we get the collapse of the USSR so wrong ?

News Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Recommended Links The Rape of Russia Great Plunder of Russia after the dissolution of the USSR Brain Drain
Color revolutions Russian White Revolution of 2011-2012 Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Russian Ukrainian Gas Wars
Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Nulandgate Net hamsters Professor Steven Cohen Obama: a yet another Neocon
Neoliberal Compradors Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Khodorkovsky case Boris Berezovsky Magnitsky case Navalny's Saga
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Diplomacy by deception America and the Imperial Project Demonization of Putin Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Nemtsov assassination
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA The Rape of Russia, Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the House Banking Committee Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Cold War II Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine
Miraculous metamorphosis of Russian crooks on crossing Western border Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie America and the Imperial Project Most important anti-Russian propaganda campaigns The Deep State Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Russian foreign policy Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Pussi Riot Provocation American Exceptionalism "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage
Soft propaganda The Real War on Reality Economics of Peak Energy Russophobic quotes from famous Russian Liberasts Humor Etc

Collapse of the USSR was the part of triumphal march of neoliberal around the globe. Neoliberalism as Tristyism for the rick managed to displace Marxsim as the dominant ideology for almost 50 years (from approximately 1960 to 2008.

Amazingly bad timing of the collapse resulted in severe economic rape of Russia and post-soviet republics in best traditions of neocolonialism. The standard of living of Russian and Ukrainian population outside of top 10% dropped considerably and for Ukraine actually never recovered to pre-collapse level. For Russia briefly recovered and  exceeded Soviet level, but started to drop after 2008 and then collapse of oil price in 2014.  With the current exchange rate of 60 rubles per dollar average income of ordinary Russians is not impressive and Ukrainian population dropped to Central African level of poverty (less than $2 a day).  Actually for Russia it was simply a miracle that they managed to recover after such an economic rape at all.

And it is funny (and shows the power of neoliberal propaganda) how many Russians and Ukrainians are still convinced by the Hollywood movies that everybody in the US and Europe has opportunities to earn a decent living and lives a better life.  They never heard about Wal-mart single mom.

That means that collapse of the USSR was caused by the combination of several major factors qnd well as bad  timing of Gorbachov reforms and incompetence of Gorbachov as a politician. 

Among major factors (which have complex interplay with one another) we can mention:

  1. Rising neoliberalism as a new social system that displaced both New Deal capitalism (Scandinavian model) and Soviet bolshevism.
  2. Polishing the techniques of color revolutions and growing power and coordination of Western intelligence agencies. Especially in propaganda war area and well as bribing  certain circles of "intelligencia" and government officials.
  3. Discreditation of Bolshevism both as ideology and economic system. 
  4. Stagnations of soviet economy and inability even to maintain the standard of living of population which started sliding generating discontent. Which also demonstrated in stagnation of soviet science.  Many soviet scientific magazines deteriorated to junk level.  The key source of new technological and scentic information became western magazines.
  5. Bad  timing of Gorbachov reforms and incompetence of Gorbachov as a politician. 
  6. Growing influence of Western culture on the USSR which started with Elvis Presley and Beatles.  Especially Hollywood (and generally Western) films and pop music.
  7. Fossilization and degeneration of ruling elite (aka "nomenklatura")
  8. Growing effectiveness of Western sanctions and politics of economic isolation of the USSR with Nixon china  policy.  Which increased the level of stagnation of soviet economics and deprive the USSR of technological achievement of the West, which generated discontent of population.
  9. Saudi inspired oil price drop, which deprives the USSR of currency revenue.
  10. Formation of internal neoliberal "fifth-column with the in the USSR, including large part of KGB apparatus. Probably not without help of major intelligence agencies.
  11. PC and communications revolution. Proliferation of laser printers, Personal computers with modems and appearance of first network such as FIDOnet  (based on  regular phone lines), BBC and, gradually Internet (first in the form of UUCP)  that made maintenance of "hermetic" society like the USSR impossible.
  12. Excessive power of military-industrial complex in soviet nomenklatura resulting is excessive spending on defense and the maintenance of "Soviet block."

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Old News ;-)

[Jul 29, 2021] Yeltsin role in Russian history

Jul 29, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Max21c 12 hours ago (Edited) remove link

When has Russia not been ruled by an autocrat?

From Peter the Great to Catherine the Great to Alexander I, Nicholas I, Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicholas II in 1917, Romanov czars ruled Russia. After 1917 came Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin.

Pat was doing so well up until this set of sentences... when Pat Buchanan horribly erred in including the shifty and ne'er-do-well Boris Yeltsin as such person was an idiot & a crook so much more so than an autocrat... He was too dumb, crooked, naive, drunken, and out of touch with reality to be an autocrat... Yeltsin was just a fool, a lost fool, a forlorn fool, and a weakling... Much like the Czar that came under the spell of Rasputin... Yeltsin bought into all the Western Elites malarkey and foolishness about economic reforms that came close to ruining Russian civilization and destroying Russia as a society and a nation...

Thereafter God upon feeling guilty for having allowed the worthless Yeltsin onto power... then God sent the Angel St. Vladimir to save Russian civilization from destruction and to save the Russian people... and the Holy Putin worked his magic and Russia was not destroyed, the Russians were saved, and Russian civilization preserved for the future and spared its demise...

CovidBannedTard 12 hours ago (Edited) remove link

The CCP loving corporate western bankers who sold American manufacturing to the CCP almost had Russia on its knees with Yeltsin.They were asset stripping it.

Then Putin slammed their tally whackers in a door.

And booted them out.

The same CCP loving corporate bankers are still asset stripping America 21 years and counting since Putin kicked them out.

[May 09, 2021] Children from Parents Exposed to Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Show No Genetic Damage

May 09, 2021 | science.slashdot.org

(usnews.com) 80 There's no evidence of genetic damage in the children of parents who were exposed to radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, researchers say.

Several previous studies have examined the risks across generations of radiation exposure from events such as this, but have yielded inconclusive results. In this study, the investigators analyzed the genomes of 130 children and parents from families where one or both parents were exposed to radiation due to the Chernobyl accident, and where children were conceived afterward and born between 1987 and 2002.

There was no increase in gene changes in reproductive cells of study participants, and rates of new germline mutations were similar to those in the general population, according to a team led by Meredith Yeager of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, in Rockville, Md.

[Apr 19, 2021] Browder's grandfather is Earl Browder, General Secretary of the Communist Party USA. Now freely admitted that he held that post on the payroll of FBI and Office of Naval Intelligence. Bill merely continues the family business of damaging Russia by any means possible.

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

oldhippie , Apr 19 2021 18:42 utc | 19

Bill Browder is mentioned in b's top post.

Browder's grandfather is Earl Browder, General Secretary of the Communist Party USA. Now freely admitted that he held that post on the payroll of FBI and Office of Naval Intelligence. Bill merely continues the family business of damaging Russia by any means possible.

Yes, Russophobia is a very durable policy.

[Apr 19, 2021] Gorbachev and Yeltsin didn't want or wish for disasters due to the results they got (and maybe their tasks were impossible in their context). Clear mistakes were made and crimes "allowed", far too much was rushed and ill thought out

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sunny Runny Burger , Apr 19 2021 18:47 utc | 20

Don't make simple things complicated the irony of starting this way for this post lol :D (of course everything is complicated as well as simple, language betrays us all).

· The people of the Warsaw pact and then the Russians did what they did for themselves and not for others, and they did it by themselves. It went well as long as the people were in charge (ie. the initial actions) but the politicians then soon messed it up as politicians anywhere are bound to do.

Gorbachev and Yeltsin didn't want or wish for disasters due to the results they got (and maybe their tasks were impossible in their context). Clear mistakes were made and crimes "allowed", far too much was rushed and ill thought out. The politicians had no way of being prepared any more than they would be in the US right now.

· The US is out-competed, dysfunctional, and trapped in a cycle of excuses in order to shoehorn their labyrinth of lies into their current reality. All people lie despite this clear lesson as to why no one should, it is the lies one tells without realizing they are lies that are the worst. This is much like the USSR was but easily even worse.

Will people in Europe and the US manage to duplicate the fall of the Warsaw pact and the USSR? Right now it looks unlikely but remember or be aware that no one predicted the fall of the Iron Curtain or the Politburo and most if not all outsiders in "the west" had trouble believing it and understanding it when it happened or even now (and especially people on both/all sides that are running on ideological biases as fuel).

(Our systems and models do not capture reality and can not, not even theoretically, a different bigger discussion which boils down to the Shannon limit in the end (but I notice thermodynamics is contentious among some so why would I invite that much work?)).

A repeat of history is not necessary nor automatic; the US isn't doing anything to stop its own ongoing fall, at least not anything that I have noticed.

Because b is right.

(I really hope the CPC has a better grasp on this than that article vk posted hints at because I want a stable prosperous China and that includes/demands the continuation of the CPC and the way they have shaped and structured the Chinese system which is noticeable for not taking the USSR approach that worked itself into a blind alley despite decades of repeated attempts at reform (hell even Stalin tried)).

[Apr 14, 2021] Apparently, Yuri Andropov had a contingency plan on the event of the disintegration of the USSR - and yes, it included the partition of the Ukraine into two ("east bank Ukraine" and "west bank Ukraine"

Apr 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Apr 10 2021 21:41 utc | 54

Interesting interview. Apparently, Yuri Andropov had a contingency plan on the event of the disintegration of the USSR - and yes, it included the partition of the Ukraine into two ("east bank Ukraine" and "west bank Ukraine" - probably West of the Dnieper, East of the Dnieper). It's in Russian, so maybe inconsistencies with automatic translation may exist:

Петр Авен: "У Гайдара было вполне имперское сознание"

The interview is with Russian neoliberal banker (of the circle of Yeltsin and Gaidar, St. Petersburg intelligentsia) Viktor Loshak, from "Alfa-Bank group" (machine translation). He was a working under Shatalin in the 1980s, so he's allegedly an eye witness (primary source) of the alleged plans.

He also claims that the St. Petersburg neoliberals never intended to end the Union, and that what really happened in the 1990s wasn't intended. Smells like revisionism to me, but ok, the St. Petersburg circle was never known for their intellectual prowess, so it's possible.

--//--

@ Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Apr 10 2021 21:07 utc | 51

It has in the sense that the Ukraine wants to restore its entire territory, not just some part of it. There is no scenario where, it being able to reconquer LPR-DPR, it would leave Crimea with Russia.

vk , Apr 10 2021 22:22 utc | 57

ERRATA: @ 53, I said the interviewed was Viktor Loshak. Loshak is the interviewer. The interviewee (the Alfa-Bank banker) is Petr Aven.

[Apr 03, 2021] Is that you Bill Browder?

Apr 03, 2021 | www.unz.com
Anon [367] Disclaimer , says: April 1, 2021 at 3:19 am GMT • 2.7 days ago

ugghhhh the propaganda channel – thesaker – continues unabated

"Putin single-handedly "resurrected" Russia in an amazingly short time"

just LOL @ single-handedly

" Putin turned Russia into the strongest military power on the planet and he completely reshaped the Russian perception of themselves and of Russia"

strongest? zvezda channel posting youtube videos doesn't make you the strongest military power

completely reshaped? so much that still all the young Russians want to emigrate

"the country which created the best vaccine on the planet "

the best vaccine? only 4% of Russians got vaccinated, that's 6 million out of 144 millions
so much about Russians trusting Putin, LOL

-- -- -

Andrei Raevsky, do you even re-read what BS you write?!
you aren't fooling anyone but a handful of braindead followers you got there on your blog
in the real world – no one gives a shyt about Putin

the West doesn't hate Putin, they just want to loot Russia or get a cut from the loot of Russia.
Russian oligarchs want to loot Russia for themselves without giving a cut/tribute to Western oligarchs.
Putin is a non-issue, a nobody, he just follows orders of the Russian oligarchs.

But there is a real hate @ Putin – that because he is a fake, only a carefully prepared media
image. And you Andrei Raevsky are part of that propaganda effort. Putin is no savior, Putin
is not working for the betterment of Russians or humanity as a whole. He is just a facade for
Russian oligarchs. And that is what we hate . And the more you and the likes of you push
that fake image of Putin, the more the pushback and hate from us.
So go on – continue.

I was a believer in Putin. Then I saw the light. Now I would have no quarrel putting a bullet in
Putin's head. Analyze this!

[Mar 26, 2021] The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

Mar 26, 2021 | www.youtube.com

1/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

2/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

3/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

4/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

5/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

6/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

7/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

[Mar 06, 2021] The difference between Soviet and China political leadership

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Mar 4 2021 23:27 utc | 45

Mao Cheng Ji @ 39:

Soviet leaders were of the people as you say, yes, but when you drill into the details of their careers before they became General Secretaries of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, you find they had careers as political administrators and propagandists. Only Leonid Brezhnev had a technical background. They were the early equivalents of people like former UK Prime Minister David Cameron who went straight into the British Conservative Party after leaving Oxford University with typical graduate qualifications for a career party hack and who for a time worked for a media communications company; or like current Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison who worked in marketing executive roles in which his most outstanding qualities were his sheer ineptitude and flouting procurement guidelines.

From Nikita Khrushchev onwards, all General Secretaries with the exceptions of Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko (neither of whom lasted long as leaders) had some personal or family connection with the Ukrainian SSR. This may not have been coincidence: it may suggest that there was a network of individuals selecting future leaders for promotion based on close personal career connections.

Until recently most people in the most senior levels of the Communist Party of China , from whom China's leaders are drawn, had technical, engineering or scientific backgrounds. Current members are now drawn from most walks of life though several of them have worked in factories or done manual labour at some point in their working lives.

[Mar 06, 2021] Some still think that the collapse of the USSR was a tragedy

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Smith , Mar 6 2021 0:02 utc | 54

As a south east asian myself, I do think the east asians really aren't the way forward, not until Korea is united, Vietnam and China rid themselves of "to be rich is to be glorious" Dengists, Japan free of LDP and American sock puppetry. I'm also VERY wary of chinese reactionaries who speak of Confucianism.

Maybe the grass is always greener on the other side, but I look favorably to the slavs and their culture, and of course the shining beacon that was the USSR and the 2nd world until 1991 fucks everything up.


Smith , Mar 6 2021 0:18 utc | 58

@ james

Taoism nowadays is basically superstitions. The historical taoist practiced by the ancient and medieval chinese political class is basically free market libertarianism "just let the market regulates itself bruh".

There's a reason that most of the greatest chinese emperors practice legalism (Qin Shi Huang, Liu Bang, Han Wudi), which is direct government intervention in all matters, especially in market and infrastructure, while the Taoist-leaned dynasty (i.e. the Song) resulted in mysticism and the take-over of China by the khitdan and then mongols.

In the West, "Taoism" and "Buddhism" are rebranded as some kind of new age exotic philosophies, but in Asia proper, Taoism is kookery and Buddhism is militarist/nationalist state religion, see Myanmar and Thailand.

karlof1 , Mar 6 2021 0:27 utc | 61

james @55--

I see you qualify your comment by specifying Hong Kong Chinese. They most certainly are not Mainlanders and have a culture polluted by British Imperialism that's closer to the Gangsterism of Chiang Kai-shek than Mao's Collectivism.

You may recall the book and video Affluenza that does a good job of explaining how traditional conservative mores are assaulted and trampled by affluent modernity. Such outcomes aren't restricted to North America but are global thanks to human similarity.

If one were to develop a moral equivalency chart evaluating all global cultures and major sub-cultures, you'd see a majestic hodge-podge with very little uniformity, which also relates to the very uneven state of human development in all its facets. The great task of humanity over the next several centuries is to peacefully level out those disparities. But as I wrote on the Shia thread, the remaining Imperialist nations are a very large impediment in attaining that goal and need to be removed so humanity can evolve.

LurkingDragon , Mar 6 2021 1:17 utc | 66

There is no reason to speculate. Chinese culture, history, stories, have the answers.

The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, for example, has:

3 brothers who are put forwards as "godly". There is a celebrated image of the three of them making the vow of brotherhood in an orchard. The leader, Liu Bei, is a prince of the declining dynasty. He basically constantly virtue signals, but basically mostly does as the rest, which is fight, kill, and grab other people's territories. His two other brothers include a psycho drunk and a supremely self satisfied other. They look good next to a character like Cao Cao;

the intelligentsia are basically bunch of self satisfied gurus of varying degrees of competence that compete with devising deception schemes against other kingdoms.

the military is hardcore, brutal. also stuck on formations, aesthetics, which can be a weakness.

the general population are docile cattle.

What the world hasn't seen for 2 centuries is the famous Chinese arrogance that was their reputation until they truly pooped the pooch of their country with the arrival of Jews and Europeans.

A certain fragrance of superstition and sentimentality also is always present, at various degrees.

Obsequious to superiors, inhuman to inferiors. This is what you can expect from a world order with Chinese characteristics.

Carl Denis Stephan , Mar 6 2021 1:32 utc | 68

Lurking Dragon 66
Obsequious to superiors, inhuman to inferiors. This is what you can expect from a world order with Chinese characteristics.

Well, this is what we are seeing from our western "partners" as was bestowed upon the globe by so many self righteous defenders of human rights, democracy and the "white man's burden"

See for an example Halliburton's mercenaries, ISIS and other creepy creatures invented and bestowed upon civilisation by people that believe that if you are not jewish, you are not human and, therefore, can be dispensed at will if of no use to the chosen ones.

Smith , Mar 6 2021 1:32 utc | 69

@ james

Yes, the western hippie generation is very fueled by drugs and new age philosophies. But note that these rebranded exotic religions do not resemble the native ones.

For example in Asia proper, you have actual deities to worship in Taoism, and it's not just a philosophy waxing about the Dao like in the west.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daode_Tianzun

And Taoist priests are still an actual thing, and you can hire them to check Feng Shui and even exorcism.

Still, it's superstitions and money making schemes, and I wouldn't put much trust in them.

Bemildred , Mar 6 2021 1:36 utc | 70

Obsequious to superiors, inhuman to inferiors. This is what you can expect from a world order with Chinese characteristics.

Posted by: LurkingDragon | Mar 6 2021 1:17 utc | 66

That sounds pretty much like every job I have had here in the USA all of my life. (Except the union jobs.) There is a reason they hate unions, especially ones that have not been domesticated yet.)

Jen , Mar 6 2021 4:15 utc | 77

James @ 55:

Hong Kong culture is very different from the culture of Mainland China, thanks in no small part to HK having once been a link between China and the rest of the world for a long time and becoming very wealthy as a manufacturing and financial services centre as a result. HK people are very materialistic and status-conscious, and look down on other Chinese (to say nothing of what they think of other Asians and other non-white people) who do not speak HK Cantonese. The only people HK people respect are English-speaking white British and Americans.

My parents visited HK back in the 1990s and my mother tried speaking Taishanese (our native language: it is related to Cantonese and is spoken just west of the Pearl River delta not far from Macau, in Guangdong province) to shop assistants. They ignored her and it was only when she switched to English that their attitude changed dramatically and fell over one another to help.

Before the 1980s, huge numbers of Cantonese people living in English-speaking countries were actually Taishanese speakers. My parents visited San Francisco's Chinatown in 1988 and nearly everyone they came across spoke Taishanese. It was the dominant language there.

Jason , Mar 6 2021 5:41 utc | 80

My dad's second (and current) wife is Chinese. He met her online in the late 90's, and she moved with her young son to Wisconsin and married him around 2000.

I think my dad was looking for a docile women after his previous marriage and girlfriends, and on the surface, Xue Lin seemed docile...in reality she is not docile, but subtle, a characteristic I found true of her, her son and the Chinese people I have met thru them. Nobody ever got my dad to work as hard or be as frugal as she!

They came over with money and bailed my dad out of a tax mess. She still owns apartment buildings in China. Both are very hard working, smart and frugal, but not materialistic.

Jake (her son) and I ended up being pretty close. He received an MBA from the University of Wisconsin and worked in the natural gas business in Texas before moving back to China where I've had the pleasure of visiting him.

My impression of China and the Chinese is largely positive, the extreme work ethic can be a bother given I am a pothead hippy slacker. There is a lot of optimism and energy there, it makes the USA feel like a barbaric backwater country whose best days are past.

Jason , Mar 6 2021 5:52 utc | 81

@66
Sounds like projection. You have nicely described my experience in the USA! Aside from my union jobs, it has been kiss up and kick down...even self-employed.

"A certain fragrance of superstition and sentimentality also is always present, at various degrees." Growing up in a small, conservative religious town, this is a great description of my experience.

I will say, the general American population isn't docile, but are herded about like cattle none the less. I'd also say the Chinese aren't so much docile as they are subtle, which I believe is far more effective than rowdy but dumb.

vk , Mar 6 2021 15:52 utc | 98

... ... ...

The stereotype of the Chinese as the greedy merchant in SE Asia comes from the colonial era. Western colonization of China created a Chinese comprador elite who was allowed many commercial privileges within the Mainland (as middlemen) but also in the SE Asian region. As every Latin American well know, comprador elites are the worst of the worst. No wonder the peoples of Indonesia, Philippines etc. etc. see the Chinese as a negative force in their countries.

The same is true for the stereotype of the Chinese as a mafioso in Latin America: the Chinese who emigrated to Latin America are mainly triad and hyper-capitalists from Taiwan or pre-communist China (who may or may not have indirectly come from Taiwan in later decades).

The same is true for the stereotype of the Chinese as the arrogant, pro-laissez faire upper middle class individualist in Canada, USA, Australia and Western Europe in the modern times. They are most tourists and/or a selected bunch of upper middle class Chinese who are lured into real estate schemes in those countries (Australia, Vancouver etc.).

As we can see, peoples make up stereotypes of other peoples based on small and heavily skewed samples. That's why we have statistics, and they tell us the Chinese are one of the most if not the most down-to-Earth, non-religious, socialist and tolerant peoples of the world today.

[Feb 15, 2021] EU - Russia Conflict Deepens

Feb 15, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Virgile , Feb 12 2021 17:38 utc | 2

Last week. during a visit by the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov slapped down the EU's sanctimonious interference in Russia's internal policies.

Back in Brussels, Borrell, who was criticized by some EU hardliners for not directly rebuffing Lavrov's talk, set down to write a blog post in which again attacked Russia over the latest Navalny stunt:

I have just returned from a very complicated visit to Moscow, on which I had embarked to discuss the fraught state of EU-Russia relations. They have been low for a number of years, and deteriorated even further after recent developments linked to the poisoning, arrest, and sentencing of Alexei Navalny as well as the related mass arrests of thousands of demonstrators. The purpose of this mission was to express directly the EU's strong condemnation of these events and to address, through principled diplomacy, the process of a rapid worsening of our relationship with Russia, and to help prepare the forthcoming European Council discussions on EU-Russia relations.

Borrell is delusional. Hardly anyone in Russia believes the nonsensical poisoning story for which the 'west' could provide exactly zero evidence:

Brett Harris @BrettHar123 - 18:41 UTC · Feb 7, 2021

Only 15% in Russia believe the Navalny poisoning was the Govt trying to eliminate an opponent, and the 15% based this opinion from Telegram and the Internet and were mostly 18-24. The rest think it was staged, a Western false flag, personal or opposition: https://levada.ru/2020/12/24/...

The whole Navalny poisoning was obviously some secret service operation to bash Russia. His lavish living in in a 5 bed room luxurious apartment in Germany after he was released from hospital was paid by the libertarian oligarch Evgeny Chichvarkin . Chichvarkin, who lives in London, is probably an MI6 cutout. It is still not known who paid the multimillion production costs for the fake 'Putin palace' video. The studio renting for the video was requested by a company in Los Angeles. Some U.S. involvement is thereby assured.

Poland and other NATO countries are now openly pressing Navalny and other traitors like him to continue their regime change attempts:

Cont. reading: EU - Russia Conflict Deepens

Posted by b at 17:14 UTC | Comments (120)

This confrontation was predictable. There is a limit to what Russia can accept. Even after the russophobic UK departure from the EU, the mood is the same.
Therefore a frank confrontation may either be a wake-up call for Europe that they may lose totally Russia as a partner or in the contrary bring them more apart.
What the EU fails to realize is that without Russia , it may end up become the puppet of the USA and the UK
Time will tell



james , Feb 12 2021 17:39 utc | 3

thanks b.... you're correct borrell is delusional and a perfect representative for a delusional europe.... i am glad lavrov said what he did.. i just wish russia would throw the shit back at them by making a parallel with the wests treatment of assange... it really highlights the outrageous-ness of the west at this point...

and someone on the open thread posted about mh17 and trying to access more info contained in boxes on the rear part of the plain that might lead to a different conclusion... as i see it mh17, skripal, navalny and etc. etc - are all frame ups to take down russia... it has reached a level of insanity and borrell is the perfect delusional character to represent it all here..

throw the shit back at them russia... call the west out on their endless bullshit... the time for diplomacy is long gone and this appears to be the conclusion that russia is indeed coming to, however slowly....

jayc , Feb 12 2021 18:02 utc | 6
Borrell - "The strategic choices we make now will determine international power dynamics in the 21st century, and notably whether we will advance towards more cooperative or more polarised models, based on closed or on freer societies."

He answers his own question - the EU (and "partners") will advance towards a more polarized international model, based on their own self-serving definitions of "closed" or "freer" societies. This self-generated dichotomy will be used to mask the true nature of this perceived crossroad: "they" can live with us, but "we" can't live with them.

Beibdnn , Feb 12 2021 18:07 utc | 7
In a video posted earlier today, 12/02/2021 Alexander Mercuoris of The Duran analysed the reaction of Germany's politicians to Lavrov's comments.
Basically even Heiko Maas the anti-Russian foreign minister shit his pants at the though of Russia abandoning Europe and therefore jeapordizing Germany a significant percentage of it's energy supply.
When all is said and done, the E.U. will suffer far worse than Russia if Moscow abandons Europe.
The technocrats know this. However the level of maturity required to overcome their hubris is patently lacking and to re-orientate themselves idealogically will be viery difficult as can be seen by the reaction of 70 mental retards who pose as M.E.P.s in a letter they signed calling for Borrell's resignation and a tougher stance on Russia.

Interesting times ahead.

Carlos , Feb 12 2021 18:11 utc | 8

Until a few years ago, Russia did not have an alternative for purchases of many items other than from the West. It now has China to supply most needs. When China finally solves the problems caused by the US sanctions to semiconductor factories (it will take roughly a decade to develop its own photolithography and design, the most critical tools of advanced semiconductor processing), China will be able to provide everything that Russia needs except for warm climate fruits and vegetables (maybe Turkey?). This new paradigm seems to be behind Russia's new assertiveness. Europe should make peace with Russia before it fully tilts towards the East.

AriusArmenian , Feb 12 2021 18:14 utc | 9

In 1990 at the what I then thought end of Cold War there seemed an opening to the coalescing of a northern hemisphere zone of peace - but that vision has come to nothing. What an idiot I was! How could I ever have thought that the best of the inheritance of Western civilization would lead in the West. The plowing, plundering, grasping, murdering and scheming for profit psychos in the West stabbed that vision in the heart. I am sure now another opening will not come in my lifetime - the West will make sure of that.

If I was younger I would leave the US but now can only hunker down and stay out of the way of the juggernaut of rampaging psychos lurching from one failure to another. The only relief from the deepest moments of despair is looking to the East and others that are building and working together to build a new world. Obviously Russia and China, along with Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and others. It is a strange world for me turned upside down when I even include North Korean resistance to the US Empire of Mendacity as contributing to the building of that new world.

Hoyeru , Feb 12 2021 19:56 utc | 14

the Reality is NOT quite right the way b has present it. EU together with US, Canada CAN and WILL hurt Russia deeply if they slap severe economic sanctions on Russia's energy sector. And Russia knows that and EU knows that Russia knows it.
The West's game is very simple: cut Russia from the Western world, by denying it access to any type of new tech, economic loans and any type of ties with the West. (this worked quite well with the Soviet Union, so it WILL work again) And this WILL hurt Russia deeply economically, no question about it. And before you tell me about China and the supposed Russia-China's ties, let me inform you that the ties are merely economic and both still don't trust each other. The Russians are well aware of CHina's claims over Siberia. They don't really work together, most of those ties are imaginary and dont really exist.
Putin has made several mistakes, and he is too dependent on the Rich Russian millionaires. The threat of sanctions made him freeze when the West went after Ukraine and Putin didn't act to save it. Russia will cry bloody tears over this in the very near future. This is only the overture of things to come. There will be another fake false flag even in the Azov sea after which USA will demand Russia be boycotted. Ys that will hurt EU also, but the Eu are masochists who love getting their asses fucked by US.
Russia better get prepared and get their supply ass grease ready, they will be getting serious ass fucking very very soon. And they wont be able to do anything about it. Good going, Putin!

karlof1 , Feb 12 2021 19:58 utc | 15

AriusArmenian @9--

I commiserate as we're in the same boat. I watch like a hawk because forewarned is forearmed!

/////

Published at the right moment given events is this Strategic-Culture Editorial : "NATO's Road To Perdition With Ukraine." It omits the Borrell incident to focus on the recent meeting between NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg hosted Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shymhal at the organization's headquarters in Brussels:

"At a joint press conference, both men were upbeat about Ukraine joining NATO. Stoltenberg admitted that the former Soviet Republic has been eyed for membership of the alliance since 2008, a timescale which puts more recent conflict over the past nearly seven years in perspective. He also confirmed that NATO forces have been building up their presence in the Black Sea in coordination with Ukrainian counterparts. In recent weeks, three US warships have been training with Ukrainian naval vessels in order to counter what Stoltenberg says is 'Russian aggression'."

So, there's much more in the stew than it appears:

"It is interesting to speculate why Stoltenberg – a former Norwegian premier and nominal civilian head of NATO – this week appeared to give new impetus to Ukraine's ambitions. Could it be related to the change of administration in the United States? Senior members of the Biden administration have publicly stated during Senate hearings a willingness to increase military support for the Kiev government in its conflict with pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine. American and European envoys at the UN Security Council this week reiterated strident accusations against Russia claiming that Moscow was responsible for prolonging the conflict in Ukraine . Russia's envoy Vassily Nebenzia countered that it was the Kiev regime and its Western allies who have not implemented the previously agreed Minsk peace accord signed in 2015." [My Emphasis]

Bald-faced lies in public forums that began with Clinton/Gore have steadily escalated and clearly aren't a product of any one administration but a continuity of the War Party's attempt at Full Spectrum Domination that keeps slipping further away from any possibility of occurring, thus its desperation. Yesterday, I provided this link to The Saker's latest analysis and called it a Must Read. Within he links to several reports from Russian media and military sources that those watching closely need to read. Yesterday, Putin met with his Security Council ostensibly about arms control but I think the conversation went well beyond that, although I have no confirmation. The Solovyov-Lavrov transcript isn't complete yet, but what's there is incredible! As Lavrov said, "Well, this is some kind of a kingdom of crooked mirrors." If what Lavrov said of Borrell's position, we should have some pity for him being put into such an impossible position--but then, he's well paid to do his duty.

Brendan , Feb 12 2021 20:22 utc | 18

Patrick Armstrong wrote yesterday about the consequences of the Navalny brothers' scam in 2012 against Yves Rocher:

NAVALNIY. The story continues. The theory that he's being fitted up for a treason charge was given a boost when Zakharova said he should be called an "agent of influence" rather than a politician. His suspended sentence for fraud was lifted and he's off to prison. Read Yves Rocher's statement; sounds to me as if the company believes he did swindle them. The fact that there's now a campaign against the company suggests my deduction is correct.
https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2021/02/11/russian-federation-sitrep-11-february-2021/
That contains a couple of links giving more details of the case.

Armstrong also links to this tweet by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs of a video showing many examples of police brutality in the West and also violence by protesters against police in Russian (the opposite of what is shown in Western media).
https://twitter.com/mfa_russia/status/1356674233464729609

karlof1 , Feb 12 2021 20:23 utc | 19

Stonebird @12--

Several days ago on the 10th, I posted this link and commented about what I deemed the notable words spoken by Lavrov on Diplomats' Day. IMO, it's a martial pep-talk given his peroration followed by this paragraph:

"Russia's attempts to become an independent state, to uphold its right to an independent foreign policy and to protect international law are coming against increasingly harsh resistance of our Western colleagues, who would like to teach 'obedience' to us. They would like us to accept the highly questionable interpretation of common human values, an interpretation that contradicts Russia's cultural and civilisational traditions. They would like Russia to become a 'convenient' territory for promoting their own security, economic, social and political interests. We can see that these are becoming ever more aggressive with every passing day. We must actively apply our efforts, knowledge and experience, based on the wisdom of our predecessors, to consistently promote the foreign policy course formulated by President Vladimir Putin."

How else do you prepare your diplomatic corp for war?

If you've followed Lavrov closely for many months as I have, the change in his demeanor is quite marked; yet as Paco notes, he still maintains his professionalism. Lavrov's perplexity about how consensus is supposed to function was well put--we know several nations disagree with the policy yet go along with it--WHY?--the united front undercuts your own interests. In Putin's latest conversation with his Energy Minister, there was no mention of Nord Stream 2's situation. Given all the sanctions and lack of pushback by the EU nations most dependent on it, IMO Russia is willing to sacrifice it as it didn't bear all the costs and has plenty of potential customers for its hydrocarbons. So, I wouldn't at all be surprised if Russia stopped short of finishing, said it would fulfill its existing contracts, but no more would be negotiated until conditions drastically change. Hardball is just that--Hardball.

alaff , Feb 12 2021 21:14 utc | 24
Only 15% in Russia believe the Navalny poisoning was the Govt trying to eliminate an opponent, and the 15% based this opinion from Telegram and the Internet and were mostly 18-24. The rest think it was staged, a Western false flag, personal or opposition:
https://levada.ru/2020/12/24/chto-rossiyane-dumayut-ob-otravlenii-alekseya-navalnogo/

Levada is considered a [pro-]Western sociological service (there are links with Soros) in Russia and the results of its polls, let's say, cause a certain skepticism. 15% of those who believe in "poisoning"... I would say figures of 5-8 (maximum 10) percent look much more realistic.
It is still not known who paid the multimillion production costs for the fake 'Putin palace' video.

Well, I would look for sources in names like Khodorkovsky or/and Browder .
Both scammers are longtime haters of Russia.

The Kremlin later said that some media misrepresented Lavrov's remarks but essentially confirmed his stand

According to Russian legislation, the country's foreign policy is determined directly by the president. The Foreign Ministry is essentially just a repeater, although of course it introduces its own peculiarities. Therefore, there is no doubt that Lavrov's words were coordinated with (and approved by) Putin. Peskov, as usual, in his own manner, tried to somewhat "smooth out"/"embellish" Lavrov's directness and rigidity, which, however, does not negate the essence of the statements themselves.

Today Navalny was back in court for publicly insulting a World War II veteran. The EU will certainly make remarks about that. But only a few days ago police in Scotland arrested someone because he typed a mean tweet about a British veteran of that war.

Here I can only support the British, who massively stood up for the offended veteran Sir Thomas Moore.
Citizens wrote mass appeals, statements to the police demanding to bring to justice the degenerate who insulted the memory of the war hero.

Unfortunately, Russian society often lacks such civic initiative. Yes, the authorities will do their job, and a piece of shit named Navalny, who slandered the war veteran, will be punished. But besides the actions of the authorities, it would be nice to see also the "demand of the people", you know.

Stonebird , Feb 12 2021 21:18 utc | 25

karlof1 | Feb 12 2021 20:23 utc | 19

And I have been following you, following Lavrov.....

The Nordstream II is a question mark. It is being finished by the Russians, with their own ships. The Germans have also realised that their own interests are tied up there. The "Threatening situation" (from the west) does not come from either one.

My conclusion is that EU policy is being dictated from outside , the secondary question is "by whom". Unfortunately I suspect that the main driving force is the same one that "enabled" Biden, Enabled the ousting of socialist candidates in many countries. (Corbyn, and in S. America generally), and generally assume they are the top of the top.

Is this force based on "nationality" or on "interests", call them Religious nuts, Extreme militarists OR Financial Fascists? Alternatively are they a mixture of all three***.

One explanation for Lavrov's coldness is that IF the EU was an independent representative body (which it isn't) then certain actions to improve the lot of the populace would have been taken. That they are not means that they lack the ability to deviate from what they have been ordered. By way of an explanation, the Media will lie, because they cannot do otherwise having been "bought" in some way. Lavrov has certainly changed. Because he probably knows what is "supposed" to happen, and the EU miasma do not understand that they too will be in the forefront of any battleground. (Since that includes me, I am not too happy about the situation either).

Aside; *** They could be mixture of all three tendencies. ie. 9/11 had operatives from the Saudis, Israel, and the Pentagon, with three different motivations. Religious (Saudis), Suprematist (Israel) and monetary (Pentagon and it's "lost" trillions, and profitability by insiders).

uncle tungsten , Feb 12 2021 21:20 utc | 26

The stalker zone has a good take on it:

As the head of the Soviet intelligence service, Leonid Shebarshin, an extremely well-informed man, once said: "The west wants only one thing from Russia -- that it does not exist".
karlof1 , Feb 12 2021 22:24 utc | 30

Stonebird @25--

Thanks for your reply! You wrote:

"One explanation for Lavrov's coldness is that IF the EU was an independent representative body (which it isn't) then certain actions to improve the lot of the populace would have been taken ." [My Emphasis]

Now what current ideology supports such a policy--that the lot of the masses isn't supposed to be improved; rather, they are to have their wealth wrung out, then be tossed aside and used as manure. Hint: It was famously announced as Trickle-down Economics, which was lambasted as Voodoo Economics.

If you read Hudson, then you know where the power center lies within the Outlaw US Empire and its network of vassals--The privately held Central Banks and those that control them and many other key corporations thanks to interlocking boards of directors--the same basic cabal that failed to assassinate FDR and oust him via a coup but succeeded with JFK, RFK, MLK, and so many others: millions when adding in their terrorists and their Death Squads.

To rid Europe of its Central Bank, the EU would need to be disbanded. But to gain complete sovereignty, NATO would need to die also. Currently, Europe is essentially occupied by a force every bit as immoral as the Nazis. It's not by accident that Lavrov, Putin and others invoke the Great Patriotic War and the events that led to it as recurring.

I would not be surprised to see Russia actually perform the deeds it's accused of, like actually invade and subdue Ukraine. It it did so, realistically what would change? Nuland famously gave the answer Russia would now echo--Fuck the EU. As with the Republic's Trade Federation secretly aligning with the Sith, the EU will come to regret playing dummy to the Outlaw US Empire as it gets barred from gaining any benefits from being in the Eurasian Bloc and China's BRI Combo.

_K_C_ , Feb 12 2021 22:45 utc | 31

I don't really follow the Navalny situation anymore because as soon as I see Russia mentioned in any Western media I assume it's an "intelligence community" psyop or just plain old propaganda. But something piqued my curiosity regarding this alleged mansion of Putin's.

Strategic culture provided two links to YouTube videos in their articles, one of which to my knowledge isn't subtitled so I don't know what was being said in Russian. In this video a group of guys made the trip to the site of this mansion compound and showed the place in disrepair, looking like exterior had aged quite a bit.

The other is to Navalny's own video which alleges to explain that the reason for the current state of the project is that the original design/construction were faulty and that a serious mold problem, as well as leaking roofs, had caused them to strip out the entire interior ostensibly to rebuild from scratch (and allegedly tossing "billions" of rubles worth of marble and other fancy construction materials). He also says that the original photos and video which show the place in pristine condition, were from 6 years ago before the teardown.

Leaving aside the obvious fake photos (like the one in Moscow times which was a photoshopped Putin swimming in his new mansion, lol) and the situation in general (i.e., whether Putin has anything to do with this structure at all), can anyone square this circle for me? Is it disproven that the place was indeed built a while back and later stripped down due to the leaking roofs and mold? If so is there a source in the English language that explains the situation?

Thanks to anyone who can help.

Kiza , Feb 12 2021 22:52 utc | 32

There is a strong whiff of desperation of the EuroCrapsters and their US masters to grab what Russia has (resources) and thus delay own economic collapse. All these crapsters are freezing their asses off right now whilst dreaming of profits from pillaged Russian energy. The most precarious is the Western pension system, which with ZIRP and NIRP interest rates has stopped existing. There is no source of funding in this World that could feed that hungry monster with ageing population. The Western printing presses are overheating and this is only a delaying solution for the deeply debalanced system. Absolutely the only way out for the West is to bring down Russian government and pillage. If Russia did not have nuclear weapons this would have happened a while ago. The Russians understand this perfectly.

Will the sick West run into a desperate confrontation against a bee with a big sting? It must be unusually frustrating for the AngloAmerican crapsters not to be able to just take what they want and need from the World as they have been doing over the past couple if centuries. They have the big sting but their mark has an even bigger (hypersonic) sting. What a profound change in world affairs - pillaging from now on to come at the huge cost. And Putin appears prepared to prevent pillaging of not only Russia.

The calculation is fairly clear - either they will feed, cloth and keep warm the Western elderly and others using Russian resources or there will be no pensioners after a nuclear Holocaust. Either way problem solved.

JB , Feb 13 2021 0:58 utc | 41
would like to know, in concrete terms, what is the benefit from constant denigration and provocation of Russia, and who benefits, in precisely what ways. I do know, however, who does not benefit. The vast majority of Europeans, the Russians and generally the majority of humanity.
-Pushing Russia around and away is counter productive for the EU and Europe as whole. It is a big, peaceful, neighbouring country willing to cooperate on the basis of mutual respect and interest. Russia has put foreward many constructive proposals, all of which have been rejected
- There is no rational basis for the long-lasting and escalating pressure on Russia. If that is correct, the goals and actions of the West, and the the EU in particular, are irrational from the perspective of the real life interests of the majority of European citizens and welfare and wellbeing of the majority of people in the world.
- I hope that Russia does not abandon its orientation towards Europe, because it is a European state. It should be part of European integration projects, albeit not on the present model of the EU. That does not clash, but accords, with its Asian relations and projects.
- The EU should radically change its policies towards Russia, and welcome it as an important partner in all fields.
- The qeustion is - who is going to stop the race into the abys that the European leaders are accelarating? I don't see anyone or anything on the European scene considering, capable of and willing to put an end to this utter madness. I do see who is paying the price and who will pay even more dearly in the future. The majority of European citizens.Deeply depressing and very scary.
J W , Feb 13 2021 0:59 utc | 42
Truest words that has ever been spoken at the EU.
S.P. Korolev , Feb 13 2021 4:57 utc | 54

AntiSpin @33, gm @39

The Bulletin article doesn't really delve into the issues around the US' new low-yield 'tactical' nukes, it concentrates on a new big 'strategic' ICBM system, the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD). It seems to be basically an attempt to resurrect the capabilities of the Reagan era MX 'Peacekeeper' that was scrapped under the START treaties as it was optimised to carry a large number of warheads and the US preferred to keep a larger number of Minuteman III missiles with single warheads.

Although it probably won't be quite as large as the MX, it will be better suited than the Minuteman for carrying multiple hypersonic glide vehicles like the Russian 'Avangard' system. The Russians have an initial operating capability on their SS-19/UR-100N ICBM (similar in payload to the Minuteman) but will soon deploy their much larger RS-28 Sarmat which will allow multiple hypersonic gliders to be carried.

The article describes a typically corrupt US procurement process, with the big three arms companies (Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman) fighting it out for the mountain of $. Northrop Grumman managed to win out by buying up the only manufacturer of the large solid rocket motors that the contract required the contractors to use. Solid rocket motors were one of the only aspects of space technologies where the US was unequivocally in the lead, with 4 or 5 companies producing them. By the time of the GBSD contract only one company remained after the orgy of mergers and buyouts, Orbital ATK. ATK was the successor to Thiokol Corp, whose product doomed the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger (being basically a big 'light it and stand the f*** back' firework solid motors are not a great option for crewed spaceflight, but well suited to ICBMs).

By buying up ATK, Northrop Grumman threatened to massively cut into the profits of any other company bidding, ensuring a clear run to the contract for itself. Many analysts had suspected that Boeing would be given the GBSD contract to compensate for their losses on the 737Max, but Northrop's maneuvers and Boeing's terrible recent track record in space made that impossible. Boeings SLS moon rocket failed its crucial static-fire test in Jan 2021 and is 5 years behind schedule despite it being basically a Space Shuttle tank with Shuttle engines bolted to the bottom (early 70s tech). Its Starliner Space Station ferry also failed its uncrewed flight test last year due to a plethora of software errors, one of which was discovered with minutes to spare and would have killed a crew by crashing the service module into the crew module moments after the modules seperated for reentry into the atmosphere.

With all that in mind I don't think the Russians are too troubled by the US's prowess in space or financial technology. Whatever Frankenstein's Rocket emerges from the GBSD program will be most unlikely to rival the RS-28 (known to NATO as 'Son of Satan'), and by that time the 'Grandson of Satan' will probably be flying.

Gravel Rash , Feb 13 2021 12:19 utc | 70

The problem with armchair strategists is of course they don't know all the facts, those at hand to the actual players. Some leaks into the real world but far too much is hidden.

All we know is that Russia appears to have stopped its subservient position and have started with the EU, not the US. Is that because they believe they are now finally powerful enough for a military conflict? Or perhaps as they believe one is coming anyway? Or are there other hidden factors in play?

One thing of interest is that it hasn't taken long for the NATO/Russian situation to escalate quickly since Trumps removal, anyone still doubt he was removed? Also of note the US general now stating nuclear war is possible, more fear to add or just introducing the idea to us as something that may "have" to be done to save the world for democracy?

How much does one believe in coincidence? Karmically there is no such thing. Many big issues going on in the world now from covid with its fascist responses to Big Resets, massive world debt, and now increasing military tension with Russia and perhaps China as well soon. All interlinked?

Eighthman , Feb 13 2021 15:14 utc | 83

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/vladimir-putin-real-lessons-75th-anniversary-world-war-ii-162982

Putin created a document about lessons from WW2. Even if you disagree with him or just hate him, ask yourself if Trump, Biden, Pelosi or any other elderly US leaders could reason at this level or offer this depth of thought. That's my take away...

pretzelattack , Feb 13 2021 16:02 utc | 88

navalny is apparently the ramon guaido of russia, the designated front man for a us coup operation.

bevin , Feb 13 2021 18:22 utc | 97

The problem with Navalny is not that he is a 'traitor' to Russia but that he is an agent of the Empire, on the payrolls of the Five Eyes security complex. Which makes him a traitor to humanity.

[Jan 25, 2021] An American neoliberal ideological project

Jan 25, 2021 | www.rt.com

McFaul cautions against what he refers to as "Putin's ideological project" as a threat to the neoliberal international order. Yet he is reluctant to recognize that the neoliberal international order is an American ideological project for the post-Cold War era.

With no sign of US returning to fold, Russia is preparing to withdraw from 'Open Skies' treaty - Foreign Ministry READ MORE: With no sign of US returning to fold, Russia is preparing to withdraw from 'Open Skies' treaty - Foreign Ministry

After the Cold War, neoliberal ideologues advanced what was seemingly a benign proposition – suggesting that neoliberal democracy should be at the center of security strategies. However, by linking neoliberal norms to US leadership, neoliberalism became both a constitutional principle and an international hegemonic norm.

NATO is presented as a community of neoliberal values – without mentioning that its second largest member, Turkey, is more conservative and authoritarian than Russia – and Moscow does not, therefore, have any legitimate reasons to oppose expansionism unless it fears democracy. If Russia reacts negatively to military encirclement, it is condemned as an enemy of democracy, and NATO has a moral responsibility to revert to its original mission as a military bloc containing Russia.

Case in point: there was nobody in Moscow advocating for the reunification with Crimea until the West supported the coup in Ukraine. Yet, as Western "fact checkers" and McFaul inform us, there was a "democratic revolution" and not a coup. Committed to his ideological prism, McFaul suggests that Russia acted out of a fear of having a democracy on its borders, as it would give hope to Russians and thus threaten the Kremlin. McFaul's ideological lens masks conflicting national security interests, and it fails to explain why Russia does not mind democratic neighbors in the east, such as South Korea and Japan, with whom it enjoys good relations.

Defending the peoples

States aspiring for global hegemony have systemic incentives to embrace ideologies that endow them with the right to defend other peoples. The French National Convention declared in 1792 that France would "come to the aid of all peoples who are seeking to recover their liberty," and the Bolsheviks proclaimed in 1917 "the duty to render assistance, armed, if necessary, to the fighting proletariat of the other countries."

The American neoliberal international order similarly aims to liberate the people of the world with "democracy promotion" and "humanitarian interventionism" when it conveniently advances US primacy. The American ideological project infers that democracy is advanced by US interference in the domestic affairs of Russia, while democracy is under attack if Russia interferes in the domestic affairs of US. The neoliberal international system is one of sovereign inequality to advance global primacy.

READ MORE Putin says American presence in Afghanistan is beneficial to Moscow's interests, rubbishes claims of 'Russian bounties to Taliban' Putin says American presence in Afghanistan is beneficial to Moscow's interests, rubbishes claims of 'Russian bounties to Taliban'

McFaul does not consider himself a Russophobe, as believes his attacks against Russia are merely motivated by the objective of liberating Russians from their government, which is why he advocates that Biden "distinguish between Russia and Russians – between Putin and the Russian people." This has been the modus operandi for regime change since the end of the Cold War – the US supposedly does not attack countries to advance its interests, it only altruistically assists foreign peoples in rival states against their leaders such as Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin etc.

McFaul and other neoliberal ideologues still refer to NATO as a "defensive alliance," which does not make much sense after the attacks on Yugoslavia in 1999 or Libya in 2011. However, under the auspices of neoliberal internationalism, NATO is defensive, as it defends the people of the world. Russia, therefore, doesn't have rational reasons for opposing the neoliberal international order.

McFaul condemns alleged efforts by Russia to interfere in the domestic affairs of the US, before outlining his strategies for interfering in the domestic affairs of Russia. McFaul blames Russian paranoia for shutting down American "non-governmental organizations" that are funded by the US government and staffed by people linked to the US security apparatus. He goes on to explain that the US government must counter this by establishing new "non-government organizations" to educate the Russian public about the evils of their government.

The dangerous appeal of ideologues

Ideologues have always been dangerous to international security. Ideologies of human freedom tend to promise perpetual peace. Yet, instead of transcending power politics, the ideals of human freedom are linked directly to hegemonic power by the self-proclaimed defender of the ideology. When ideologues firmly believe that the difference between the current volatile world and utopia can be bridged by defeating its opponents, it legitimizes radical power politics.

Consequently, there is no sense of irony among the McFauls of the world as US security strategy is committed to global dominance, while berating Russia for "revisionism." Raymond Aaron once wrote: "Idealistic diplomacy slips too often into fanaticism; it divides states into good and evil, into peace-loving and bellicose. It envisions a permanent peace by the punishment of the latter and the triumph of the former. The idealist, believing he has broken with power politics, exaggerates its crimes."

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


Ghanima223 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 09:36 AM

In short, the tables have turned since the end of the Cold War. It is no longer communist ideologues that try to export revolution and chaos while the western world would promote stability and free markets. Now it's western ideologues that are trying to export revolutions and chaos while clamping down on free markets with Russia, as ironically as it sounds, being a force for stability and a strong proponent for the free exchange of goods and services around the world. The west will lose just as the USSR has lost.
US_did_911 Ghanima223 1 day ago 23 Jan, 2021 01:01 AM
The Dollar is the only fake reason that still keeps US afloat. The moment that goes, it loss will be a lot worse then of USSR.
US_did_911 Ghanima223 1 day ago 23 Jan, 2021 12:58 AM
That happened not exactly after the end of the cold war. It was about even for a decade after that. The real u-turn happened after the 9/11 false flag disaster.
Amvet 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 10:00 AM
Foreign dangers are necessary to keep the attention of the American people away from the 20 ton elephant in the room--the fact that 9/11 was not a foreign attack. Should any of the main stream media suddenly turn honest and report this in detail, things will get interesting.
King_Penda 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 09:11 AM
I wouldn't worry too much. At the same time Biden will be purging the US military of any men of capability and replacing them trans and political appointments. The traditional areas where the military recruited it's grunts are falling as they are waking up to the hostility of the state to their culture and way of life. The US military will end up a rump of queerss, off work due to stress or perceived persecution and fat doughballs sat in warehouses performing drone strikes on goats.
Fjack1415 King_Penda 1 day ago 23 Jan, 2021 01:20 PM
Yes, you point to a paradox. While the globalists are using the US as their military arm for global domination, they are at the same time destroying the country that supports that military. Perhaps the US military will be maintained by dint of its being the only employer for millions of unemployed young men in the American heartland, doughballs or not.
Ghanima223 King_Penda 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 09:39 AM
Ideologues will always be more concerned with having political reliable military leadership as opposed to actually qualified leaders. It took the Russians 2 decades to purge their own military of this filth of incompetent 'yes' men within their military.
UKCitizen 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 09:09 AM
'The Liberal International Order' - yes, that seems a fair description. Led by what might be termed 'liberal fundamentalists'.
far_cough 1 day ago 23 Jan, 2021 07:01 AM
the military industrial complex and the various deep state agencies along with the major corporations need russia as an adversary so that they can milk the american people and the people of the western world of their money, rights, freedoms, etc etc...
roby007 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 09:54 AM
I'm sure Biden will pursue "peaceful, productive coexistence" just as his friend Obama did, with drones and bombs.
Paul Citro 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 09:16 AM
I hope that Russian leaders fully realize that they are dealing with a country that is the equivalent of psychotic.
Fjack1415 Paul Citro 1 day ago 23 Jan, 2021 01:26 PM
True, the ruling party and MSM mouthpieces and their readers and followers are now truly INSANE. Beyond redemption. Staggering in the depth and power of the subversion of so many people, including many with high IQs (like my ex girlfriend and housemate in the US).
Anastasia Deko 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 10:57 AM
US security strategy is committed to global dominance
Absolutely. Biden has filled up his admin with "progressive realists," which when it comes to foreign policy, is just a euphuism for neocons and their lust for world empire. So expect an unleashing of forces in the coming two years that will finally humble America's war machine.
tyke2939 Anastasia Deko 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 01:07 PM
They are desperate for a war with someone but it must be someone they can beat convincingly. It certainly will not be Russia or China and I suspect Iran will be a huge battle even with Israel s backing. More than likely they will invade some country like Venezuela as Syria has Russia covering its back. What a dilemma who to fight.
9/11 Truther Anastasia Deko 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 11:24 AM
The "American war machine" has been humbled from Saigon, Vietnam 1975 to Kabul, Afghanistan.
Salmigoni 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 09:25 AM
They are not really liberals. They are blood thirsty parasitic neoconservative fascist war mongers working for the Pentagon contractors. General Eisenhower warned us about these evil people. A lot of Americans still do not get it.

[Jan 25, 2021] Politically Navalny is zero. May be even less then zero. And he understands that.

Notable quotes:
"... many of the demonstrators are paid one way on another by the West ..."
Jan 25, 2021 | www.unz.com

Beckow , says: Next New Comment January 24, 2021 at 4:32 pm GMT • 6.4 hours ago

@annamaria or wish it well – and everyone knows that.

He must know this. He must also know that his electoral prospects are nil – even if he was allowed to compete and given access. Short of a revolution he is done, and revolution is not coming, too soon. That is not a good place to be. He is in theory protected by his sponsors, but that may not amount to much if things get hot. At best he would get exchanged. Or he can quietly slip away after a few years if he is lucky.

Mulatto did his job, now mulatto can go. A single-use politician who is endlessly promoted, celebrated, and then discarded and forgotten, only to be listed on a sad list of names to demonise the enemy. That enemy is his own country, is that really heroism?

Robjil , says: January 24, 2021 at 5:52 pm GMT • 5.1 hours ago
@annamaria by them.

He is a nationalist like the Maiden. Maiden in power promoted with violence anti-Russian hysteria. This action created a civil war since a large part of Ukraine are Russian speakers.

Navalny, if in power, would do something similar as in Ukraine. Act as a Nationalist of only the Russians in the Russian Federation. Get all the other peoples of the Russian Federation to break away or stir up a civil war.

Within a few years, put in place Zion/USA puppets like Poroshenko and Zelensky. Look at the recent Ukrainegate Impeachment trial, almost everyone supporting Ukrainegate trial was Jewish, even the Ukrainians in this sham trial. .

TheIdiot , says: Next New Comment January 24, 2021 at 6:36 pm GMT • 4.3 hours ago

This is not about bringing down Putin but about dismembering Russia and ending its sovereignty

The easiest proxy here is the 1990s campaign against Milosevic (the campaign) as a tool to dismember Yugoslavia

Russia is too rich, too week and is refusing to surrender, hence it will be divided between and

Absorbed on one side by China and on the other side/s by USA and EUSA

The initial planning for disintegration of Russia was drafted in the NSC directive in 1948

West of Russia to Urals will be absorbed by EU/(Germany)
East of Russia to Yenisei will be controlled by US/(Japan)
China will take over hte greatest price – everything between Urals and Yenisei

Putin with his United Russia/One Russia Party is a major obstacle to the master plan and
will therefore
be eliminated
whether one likes it or not

annamaria , says: Next New Comment January 24, 2021 at 7:03 pm GMT • 3.9 hours ago
@Beckow s.
After being a popular dissident for some time, Mr. Khdorkovsky is finally looked upon as a crook and murderer. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-khodorkovsky-arrest/russia-wants-khodorkovsky-arrested-abroad-on-murder-charges-idUSKBN0U60PO20151223 .
Mr. Khodorkovsky, a very wealthy Jewish man, is accused of crimes committed during the lawless years of Yeltsin's regime. By supporting Mr. Navalny and Mr. Khodorskovsky, the western presstituting apparatus reminds the world about the fate of Julian Assange, imprisoned by the western injustice system for honest journalism.
Beckow , says: Next New Comment January 24, 2021 at 9:52 pm GMT • 1.1 hours ago
@annamaria from his sponsors are of little use in his current situation.

I find the Western coverage of this affair absurdly propagandistic. A few things are never mentioned:

– what was Navalny convicted off – fraud

– that he is not by any stretch of imagination the "opposition" leader – his party has not reached even 5% required to be represented in the parliament

There is also an omission of why Russia claims "interference" – because US Embassy published the routes for the demos. And many of the demonstrators are paid one way on another by the West – if the situation was reversed, liberals would call for a war (as they basically did with Trump's allegations).

Assange for Navalny would be a win-win.

[Jan 11, 2021] Clinton broke Reagan's promise and expanded NATO eastwards, he dismantled the Glass Steagall act which led to a malignant hypergrowth of the banking sector, and he was the who introduced the telecommunications act in 1996 which allowed for the concentration of corporate media in the hands of the few.

Notable quotes:
"... Clinton hollowed out his own country in order to completely remove all constraints (financial, mediatic, military). He doesn't get called out for it nearly enough in my opinion. ..."
"... Clinton was a particular type of low-class, sybaritic evil but he didn't have a strong USSR to contend with. Instead he had the drunken traitor Yeltsin dance for him like a bedraggled starving bear. ..."
Jan 11, 2021 | thesaker.is

Serbian girl on January 08, 2021 , · at 7:42 am EST/EDT

"So when was this golden age? Under Reagan? Well, this is when the dismantling of the inner core of the empire began."

Beg to differ. Reagan understood how to administer the US empire. He knew the risks of overstretching it. He made the promise to the Soviets not to encroach on their sphere of influence. He defended the high interest rates which strengthened the USD and which kept the banking sector in check.

All of that went to hell with Bill Clinton:
He broke Reagan's promise and expanded NATO eastwards, he dismantled the Glass Steagall act which led to a malignant hypergrowth of the banking sector, and he was the who introduced the telecommunications act in 1996 which allowed for the concentration of corporate media in the hands of the few.

Bill Clinton basically turned the empire into a rapacious and uncontrollable animal. (Funny how noone here is talking about imprisoning him )

There is a silver lining to Bill C's blood-soaked administration. It was while he was in power, that the Russians finally awoke from their 1990s stupor. They began to understand the mortal danger they were facing, and they patriotically chose Putin to lead them in 1999.

Ken Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 8:05 am EST/EDT

– Reagan was a disgusting Russophobe and Serbophobe who proclaimed 10th April (the founding of the Independent State of Croatia) a national holiday in California as governor. Not surprising given that his was the most RC government ever – he also colluded with the Polish anti-Christ to destroy the USSR. In the process he encouraged the German Nazis (see visit to Bitburg) who then destroyed Yugoslavia.

– He brought the world to the brink of a nuclear holocaust that was prevented by a vigilant Russian officer (in 1983?).

– He turbo-charged the power of corporations and decimated social structures and the rights of the working class (the Americans are paying for this now).

This is not to say that the scumbag Clinton was good – after all he was trained at Georgetown – that seminary for American murderers.

Serbian girl on January 08, 2021 , · at 9:33 am EST/EDT

Thanks for this Ken. Good to know who Reagan really was!

To get back to your point about the "dismantling of the empire" Reagan, for all his personal awfulness and recklessness (and subversiveness) was still more restrained than Clinton. Clinton hollowed out his own country in order to completely remove all constraints (financial, mediatic, military). He doesn't get called out for it nearly enough in my opinion. I guess it's personal, after what he did to us.

Ken Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 11:07 am EST/EDT

Oh, I have nothing but hatred and contempt for that criminal, trust me.

Ken Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 11:49 am EST/EDT

Clinton was a particular type of low-class, sybaritic evil but he didn't have a strong USSR to contend with. Instead he had the drunken traitor Yeltsin dance for him like a bedraggled starving bear. Never again!

[Jan 09, 2021] The US henchmen in the Kingdom in Riyadh pitched in to break the Soviet economy by destroying the Soviet capacity to obtain foreign exchange.

Jan 09, 2021 | www.unz.com

Dutch Boy , says: January 8, 2021 at 8:36 pm GMT • 2.8 hours ago

@Priss Factor

The "patriotism" of the previous establishment was bound up with their economic interests. Once the USA dropped protectionism, the allure of cheap foreign labor (via immigration or outsourcing) became too much for them and they abandoned the interests of their fellow Americans to follow the profits.

Rufus Clyde , says: January 8, 2021 at 8:43 pm GMT • 2.7 hours ago
@Richard B

Thanks for the Tralfamidor perspective. Those of us here on earth know that the US was never a democracy and always existed as a mechanism for exploitation of everyone else by an oligarchy.
The USSR was collapsed by traitors as a function of the US imperial drive to destroy them economically, not because the people were enraged at the "hostile elite". The US henchmen in the Kingdom in Riyadh pitched in to break the Soviet economy by destroying the Soviet capacity to obtain foreign exchange.

[Jan 08, 2021] I am always shocked to see the Michail Gorbachov is still alive and not hanging by some lamppost for high treason.

Jan 08, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jan 8 2021 12:51 utc | 1

You know you reached rock bottom when even Mikhail frickin' Gorbachev takes a jab on you:

Gorbachev, once America's greatest friend in Moscow, believes Capitol invasion calls into question stability of US as a state


Abe , Jan 8 2021 12:58 utc | 2

vk @1

I am always shocked to see he is still alive and not hanging by some lamppost for high treason.

Den lille abe , Jan 8 2021 13:28 utc | 3
@nr2 Abe

High treason, where, what? Did I miss something then ? I think not. The Soviet Union was doomed,
virtually bankrupt, its population queuing for almost everything, DDR likewise and Poland too, I have seen it in all three places. Oh, you could get everything if you had dollars!
Poland 1975: 1 kg of Russian Caviar and 4 bottles of the best Crimean Champagne :$10 !
Russia: Brand new Makarow, 9 mm, and 100 shots $20 including nice shoulder holster too in leather $30
But ordinary people did not have $, only the nomenclature had $. A totally corrupt and failed system in all the Eastern block. I was there then, saw it, and I have not forgotten.
So it was high time for change, and yes it would be tough, but the eastern people are tough people ( and hospitable, very indeed)so they stood it out.
Abe, take a trip to Russia and speak to some older people, so you may stop posting nonsense!

Abe , Jan 8 2021 13:54 utc | 6
@3 @4

Him and his underlings, along with its successor Yeltsin (died too soon, unfortunately) are directly responsible for millions of dead and destroyed lives in Russia in the `90-ties. But I sense you are from countries that now grow unhealthy and pathological hate towards Russian people, so as far you are concerned, it was great period, right?

oglalla , Jan 8 2021 13:56 utc | 7
Blame the Soviets for the economy of places ravaged by war and sabotaged by the West? Remember the Eastern Front suffered the majority of action. Russia itself suffered the worst and had to rebuild more than anybody, whereas USA factories easily re-supplied Western Europe.

Eastern Europeans better guard against being played by the West into fighting Russia again. They allied with Western-financed Hitler the last time. So, I'm a little worried they'll be conned again.

alaff , Jan 8 2021 15:43 utc | 25
It is curious that in one of the articles MoA wrote that, in his opinion (which I share), there are now two superpowers - the United States and Russia, while China is only on the way to this.

But Chinese journalists think differently - for example, in this article (very controversial, btw) the author asks the question "Russia has the potential to become a superpower, what are the factors preventing it from doing this?" At the same time, apparently, the journalist believes that the current superpowers are China and the United States, while "something prevents" Russia from becoming such.
Funny.

Just one quote from the article:


The distance between Russia and the superpower is still very large, and not only because of the country's "internal problems" - the United States is also constraining and restraining Russia by all means. It is not easy to become a superpower.
Kabobyak , Jan 8 2021 15:55 utc | 26
Paco @11

"If you talk to older people in Russia they'll tell you how deeply they despise the "marked one" as they call him."

I know there are multiple perspectives when assessing Gorbachev's legacy, but I also encountered that reaction often during my time there by old and young alike. It was a surprise to me as I had assumed he would be universally accepted in a positive light as he is in the west.

Asking them why they felt that way, a common response was that he had been too trusting of the US promises, which ushered in the looting and manipulation of the 90's. Many mentioned Baker's promise to Gorbachev that if East Germany went to the west, NATO would not move "one inch to the east", and Gorbachev's failure to get that in writing. (Not to say the US would have honored it even then, of course, but at least some proof to show the west's duplicity).

steven t johnson , Jan 8 2021 15:58 utc | 27
vk@8 "The USSR could've reformed and opened up like China did, and would be in a much better situation than what really happened (Yeltsin's neoliberal genocide)."

This is nonsense. That's exactly what Gorbachev did. The relative stagnation of the USSR turned into an economic catastrophe under Gorbachev who dismantled a still-functional economy. Yeltsin's neoliberalism was a continuation of Gorbachev's economics. Yeltsin's revolution was not to impose a new policy but to smash the opposition to the new policy, to carry it out ruthlessly, to concentrate the theft of public property in Great Russian hands. China's opening up was deliberately fostered by the western powers as a way of separating the socialist powers. There was never going to be any such opening up with Europe, not for the USSR. There wasn't in NEP in the Twenties. This absurd counterfactual misreads what happened with the capitalist roaders in China.

There also seems to be some nonsense lurking about how the Cultural Revolution was a gigantic catastrophe. Of course, though no one cares to notice, if this was true, then India would have had all those years to race ahead of China, not being cursed with such a nightmare. In truth, the Cultural Revolution brought many benefits to the countryside in particular, and still progressed the economy as a whole. Then after the murderous Deng took over, there wasn't any magical Great Leap Forward on IOUs to Imperialism as he promised. For years and years, the wonders of reform and opening up delivered not much faster (at all?) than the previous system. Not even the notorious Southern Tour was so miraculous. The failure to deliver on his overblown promises is why the students at Tien An Men square were so worried about getting good jobs commensurate with their higher elite status, reaffirmed by Deng. Only after decades did the economic conjuncture finally lead to rapid growth...but at a tremendous social cost still denied by too many. The iron rice bowl was broken long before the privilege of working for a capitalist firm started to really pay.

[Jan 06, 2021] How Trump 'Appeased' Russia

Jan 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao Cheng Ji , Jan 6 2021 18:18 utc | 1

Two years ago we have written about the Trump's relation with Russia:

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

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

There followed 34 headlines and links to stories about Trump actions, from closing Russian consulates to U.S. attacks on Russian troops, that were hostile to Russia.

In fact no other U.S. administration since the cold war has been more aggressive towards Russia than Trump's.

But some U.S. media continue to claim that Trump's behavior towards Russia has not been hostile at all. Consider this line in Politico about anti-Russian hawks in the incoming Biden administration:

Nuland and Sherman, who entered academia and the think tank world after leaving the Obama administration, have been outspoken critics of President Donald Trump's foreign policy -- particularly his appeasement of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Where please has Trump 'appeased' Vladimir Putin?

Here are a number of headlines which appeared in U.S. media since we published our first list two years ago. Which of the described actions were designed to 'appease' Putin or Russia?

U.S. to withdraw from nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, raising fears of a new arms race - Washington Post, Feb 1 2019

Putin says U.S.-Russia relations are getting 'worse and worse' - Reuters, Jun 13 2019

Green Berets train Polish, Latvian resistance units in West Virginia - Army Times, Jul 8 2019

Trump Adds to Sanctions on Russia Over Skripals - NYT, Aug 1 2019

INF nuclear treaty: US pulls out of Cold War-era pact with Russia - BBC, Aug 2 2019

US Slaps New Sanctions on Russia for 2018 Nerve Agent Attack - Daily Signal, Aug 2 2019

1000 U.S.Troops Are Headed to Poland - National Interest, Sep 29 2019

U.S. sanctions Russians over attempted interference in 2018 elections - CBS News, Sep 30 2019

US formally withdraws from Open Skies Treaty that bolstered European security - CNN, Nov 22 2020

Nord Stream 2: Trump approves sanctions on Russia gas pipeline - BBC, Dec 21 2019

Trump sanctions Rosneft, Russia's largest oil company, for aiding Maduro in Venezuela - MSN, Feb 19 2020

Russia Says New U.S. Weapon Threatens Nuclear War - Newsweek, Mar 7 2020

Trump Continues to Be Exceedingly Tough on Russia - Townhall, Jul 25 2020

U.S.-Russia Military Tensions Intensify in the Air and on the Ground Worldwide - NYT, Sep 1 2020

White House rejects Putin's proposal to extend last U.S.-Russia nuclear arms treaty - LA Times, Oct 16 2020

U.S., Russian Navies Involved In Brief Confrontation At Sea - NPR, Nov 24 2020

US sanctions NATO ally Turkey over Russian missile defense - AP, Dec 14 2020

Pompeo accuses Russia of sowing 'chaos' in the Mediterranean - Rawstory, Dec 15 2020

Exclusive: U.S. preparing new sanctions to impede Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline - Reuters, Dec 23 2020

As we have written before :

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

Not.

Posted by b at 18:01 UTC | Comments (3)

Why, you certainly could view most (if not all) of those actions as favors.

People feel attacked, unite, rally around the flag. Internal problems are blamed on the external enemy. The sanctions, the sort the West likes to impose, help develop domestic industries. Etc. Yeah, favors.


arby , Jan 6 2021 18:24 utc | 2

n one of the comments that I read yesterday some Russian told another one who is sanctioned by the US that that is a badge of honour.

Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 , Jan 6 2021 18:43 utc | 3

Point on! Trump was never 'the Russians' bitch'. He was the whore of the Russian émigré mafia that had relocated to the US in south Queens in New York City. A major difference!

Abe , Jan 6 2021 18:51 utc | 4

Well, the logic is to destroy or ad least severely weaken Russia. Yet damn Russia is getting stronger and stronger, hence what ever happened under Trump's watch must have been a favor to Russia.

Competent government would look itself in the mirror and admit it is their own fault and stupidity, but that ship sailed long time ago for US.

[Jan 02, 2021] That's what neoliberals do to the countries that refuse to surrender. They destroy them slowly and make them suffer for refusing to be debt slaves

Jan 02, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

LibertarianMenace 21 minutes ago (Edited)

Remember what Benzion Mileikowsky said:

"If we get caught they will just replace us with persons of the same cloth. So it does not matter what you do, America is a golden calf and we will suck it dry, chop it up, and sell it off piece by piece until there is nothing left but the world's biggest welfare state that we will create and control. Why? Because it is the will of God and America is big enough to take the hit so we can do it again and again and again. This is what we do to countries that we hate. We destroy them very slowly and make them suffer for refusing to be our slaves."

Herdee 9 minutes ago remove link

This is the philosophy that both the CIA and Pompeo used on Trump in order to help destroy him. It actually sounds like something very similar or left over from the Nazi German era from WW2:

https://www.rt.com/russia/511378-american-exceptionalism-foreign-ministry/

[Jan 02, 2021] Russia ready to 'fight off' Western attempts to seize its assets in $50bn battle with oligarchs over collapsed Yukos oil empi

Jan 02, 2021 | www.rt.com

Russia ready to 'fight off' Western attempts to seize its assets in $50bn battle with oligarchs over collapsed Yukos oil empire 29 Dec, 2020 12:43 Get short URL Russia ready to 'fight off' Western attempts to seize its assets in $50bn battle with oligarchs over collapsed Yukos oil empire FILE PHOTO. © Getty Images / serggn 86 147 Follow RT on RT Any hope of a quiet 2021 for Russia has been dashed as one of the country's top officials warns it faces a series of court battles that risk confrontation with the West, including a fight over the world's largest legal bill.

In an interview published by Moscow news agency Interfax on Tuesday, Deputy Justice Minister Mikhail Galperin said that litigation over the collapsed Yukos oil empire and fallout from Russia's 2014 reabsorption of Crimea means that "a tough year" is on the cards.

The long-running dispute over Yukos, once among Russia's leading energy firms and one of the most valuable companies in the world, has been raging for years. However, it now appears to be coming to a head as the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, which claims it has jurisdiction in the case, prepares to hear an appeal from Russia's lawyers. A legal settlement of more than $50 billion, thought to be the largest in history, hangs in the balance.

'It will be a challenging year': Russia's minister of justice talks to RT about legal battle with 'Yukos oligarchs' & 2021 outlook READ MORE: 'It will be a challenging year': Russia's minister of justice talks to RT about legal battle with 'Yukos oligarchs' & 2021 outlook

"Of course, we're not sitting idly, waiting for the Supreme Court's decision," said Galperin. "Every day, we're defending our national interests in this case in different ways. Legal battles related to the Yukos case are taking place not only in the Netherlands, but in other jurisdictions as well."

Those who lost money in the collapse of the Yukos empire insist that the arrest of its CEO on fraud charges and a colossal bill in back-taxes amounted to state appropriation.

Russian authorities argue that previous rulings in foreign courts on the side of the claimants failed to take into account Russia's anti-corruption laws, and claim that the investors weren't "bona fide." Moscow also insists that only Russia's courts have jurisdiction, as the Energy Charter Treaty under which the case is being brought was signed but never ratified.

Galperin added that the country's "main legal argument is that Russia never agreed for the case to be heard by an international court of arbitration, which means that the judges had no mandate to consider the lawsuit Yukos ex-shareholders filed against Russia."

ALSO ON RT.COM Russia can refuse to pay $50 billion bill to Yukos oligarchs, country's top court rules, as international legal battle rages on

Last week, one of Russia's highest judicial authorities ruled that the country should disregard any judgement coming from overseas tribunals. They state that, while the government of the day took steps to join the Energy Charter Treaty in 1994, they did not have the authority to make national laws subject to international agreements, or to "challenge the competence" of Russian courts. Therefore, the jurists conclude, adhering to the Dutch court's demands would be "unconstitutional."

However, if the verdict goes in favor of Yukos' former shareholders, refusing to pay the bill could have substantial repercussions for Russia, with the claimants already calling for the confiscation of the country's assets overseas as collateral.

ALSO ON RT.COM Netherlands rejects Russia's request to suspend enforcement of record-breaking $50 billion awarded in Yukos case

Galperin, however, is confident that Russia could avoid cash and property falling into the hands of the oligarchs who have brought the case. "Since 2014," he said, "they have made multiple unscrupulous attempts to seize not only state property, but also assets that belong to Russian companies in Western Europe. We have successfully repelled all these assaults."

Moscow claims win after US court rejects oligarchs' demand for seizure of Russian assets in $50bn Yukos legal battle READ MORE: Moscow claims win after US court rejects oligarchs' demand for seizure of Russian assets in $50bn Yukos legal battle

"While we can't rule out that in 2021 YUKOS ex-shareholders will continue their legal battle in a number of countries, I can tell you without unnecessary bravado that we are fully prepared to fight off any attempts to seize our property in any country of the world."

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands is expected to hear the case in February next year, while simultaneous battles have also been fought in US and British courts. The row comes at a time when tensions between Russia and the West are growing, with Moscow's diplomats arguing that verdicts against the country have been "politically motivated." In December, Justice Minister Konstantin Chuychenko told journalists that the case is part of a "legal war that has been declared on Russia."

As well as the Yukos case potentially reaching a dramatic climax, Galperin expects that his ministry will have their hands full next year with at least two other international disputes. As early as January, the European Court of Human Rights is expected to announce a decision on a legal fight between Moscow and Kiev over disputed Crimea. There is a further $8 billion claim from a Ukrainian energy firm that insists it lost its assets when the peninsula was reabsorbed into Russia. The same court will also rule on a case brought by Georgia over events in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008.

[Jan 01, 2021] Russia vs the Biden Administration by The Saker

Jan 01, 2021 | www.unz.com

It sure looks like Biden will take over the White House one way or another, and while Trump and his supporters might still try a few things, the political correlation of forces inside the US ruling classes is clearly against Trump. As for the "deplorables" – they have been neutralized by stealing the election. Which means that Russia will soon face the most rabidly russophobic gang of messianic Neocons in history. So what can the world expect next?

The Dems are not meaningfully different from the Republicans. True, the Dems blame Russia for everything, while the Republicans blame China. Not much of a difference here: it is all about hate and scapegoating. And both of these factions of the oligarchic Uniparty like to blame Iran for, well, being located in the "wrong" part of the world, the Middle-East, which all US politicians (and not to mention their Israeli masters) want to control. As for the Israel Lobby, it has been trying to trigger a US attack on Iran for many decades. Recent US moves of key personnel and bombers might indicate that discussions of an attack on Iran are still very much taking place.

I don't believe that these fundamental directions in US foreign policy will change much.

Why?

Primarily because the AngloZionist Empire and even the US as we knew them are basically dead, which means that irrespective of who is in control of the US, the objective means/capabilities of the Empire and the US will remain the same . In other words, when Biden promises to show Russia how tough and mighty he will be, he will not have any more capabilities to threaten Russia with than Trump had.

So the first thing we can expect is simply "more of the same".

Now, in the Empire of Illusions which the United States has become, appearances matter much more than facts . US politicians have two quasi-reflexive reactions to any problem: use violence or throw money at it. Of course, using violence against Russia (or China and Iran) would be extremely dangerous. So throwing money at a problem is the way chosen by the US political elites (see here for the, rather boring, details).

A lot of that money will also be spent on ideological nonsense like supporting trans-gender rights in Africa, woke-awareness in the Baltic, "critical race theory" in Japan (good luck with that!), "Holocaust studies" in Poland and the like.

What will happen next is that this money will be spread amongst a pretty large US and EU bureaucracy (and its subcontractors) to all sorts of political PR actions aimed at presenting modern Russia as "Putin's Mordor" whose "Nazguls" (scary GRU and/or SVR and/or FSB agents) run around the planet looking for more targets to infect with the totally ineffective, but still scary, "Novichok". In the past, much of that money was spent inside Russia by all sorts of CIA-run NGOs and much of it was also spent on various propaganda efforts outside Russia. Again, this will not change, if anything, expect even more money poured into what are in reality strategic PSYOP operations.

The sad truth is that US politicians know very little about Russia, a country which they hate and fear, but not a country they even begin to understand. In this case, what US politicians will not realize is that Russia herself has changed a great deal in the past years: many new laws and regulation (see machine translated example here ) were adopted which, in essence, "plugged" many political "holes" in the Russian legislation which allowed AngloZionist organizations to have a great deal of influence in Russia. As a result of these reforms, it has become far more difficult for western run NGOs to influence the Russian political scene.

As a direct result of these new rules, I expect that a higher ratio of money will stay allocated to activities situated in the West and less for Russian-based activities. In plain English, this means that more US printed money will be spent on completely useless activities. The only people benefitting from this will be the entire class of pseudo "Russia experts" whose only true expertise is on how to secure grant money. They will produce even more conferences and papers which nobody will care about, but which will allow the US Neocons and their deep state to show how "Biden is firm with Russia". The typical US cocktail of waste, mismanagement and fraud (and let's not forget good old corruption!).

Russia's response to that will also be "more of the same": Russian politicians will continue to express their disgust with their western "partners" (FYI – when Russians speak of "partners" it is understood by all that they mean this only sarcastically). Foreign Minister Lavrov and one of his deputies have recently made statements basically indicating that Russia will not seek any (!) form of dialog with the West, because, frankly, it is pretty clear to them that this is a total waste of time: Russia has nobody in the West to speak to: the only country with real agency (albeit severely limited by its subordination to Israel) would be the US, all the other countries of the West are really colonies and/or protectorates with no sovereignty at all.

What about all the many military provocations the Empire is organizing all around Russia? Do they concern Russia leaders or not?

Well, no and yes.

In purely military terms, US/NATO military capabilities are no real threat to Russia whose military is much smaller, but also much more capable than the western ones. Why? Simply because building a truly powerful military has been a core strategic priority for the Kremlin who needed a military actually capable of a) deterring the West from attacking Russia and b) defeating the West should deterrence fail. In sharp contrast, western militaries have not been training for real wars for decades already: most of what the US/NATO do is using western militaries for all sorts of propaganda purposes (like "sending messages" or "showing determination" etc.) and for counter-insurgency operations, not for fighting a real, major, wars.

Right now the Russian military is much more modern (about 80% of new gear on average across all military branches and services!) and much better trained for real combat operations. In sharp contrast, the US MIC is heavy on hot air (Space Force! Hypersonic missiles! Artificial Intelligence!) and short on any actually deployed and engageable weapon systems. Away from the propaganda machine (aka "corporate legacy ziomedia"), the reality is that the West is about 1.5-2 decades behind Russia in most critical military technologies.

Last, but not least, wars are not won by machines, computers or fancy engineering: they are won by soldiers, real men, who know what they are defending and why. The contrast between the typical Russian soldier (in any service or branch of the military) and his western counterpart could not be greater than it is today. Simply put: no western country can boast that it has soldiers like Russia has and, again, I don't mean the "super dooper" elite Spetsnaz operators, I am talking about your very average, garden variety, infantry soldier, like the ones who saved Russia in the Chechen conflict in spite of operating in truly horrible and totally chaotic circumstances. These guys might not look like much, but as soldiers they are the kind every commander dreams about.

All this is to say that Russians have nothing to fear from all the western sabre-rattling, except maybe one thing: the rogue officer, on either side, who would suddenly decide to open fire (for whatever reason) thereby creating a situation which could escalate into a full-scale war very rapidly.

The other thing which is objectively bad for Russia is the number of key treaties the US has now withdrawn from: these treaties are most needed, especially as confidence building measures. Right now there are very few treaties left and that means that the US is desperate to try to suck Russia into an arms race.

This won't work.

Why?

Putin himself explained it very well when he recently said that while the West throws huge sums of money at any problem, Russia allocates brains, not money. According to Putin, it is the use of brains, rather than wasting money, which allowed Russia to develop all the weapon systems mentioned by Putin for the first time in 2018. This made it possible for Russia to get ahead by a decade or more, while using only a small fraction of the kind of money the US, and other western countries, are allocating on "defense" (while not being threatened by anybody!). In the competition between the US money printing press and the Russian brains, you can be sure that the latter one will always prevail.

The bottom line is this: the US can spend many hundred billion dollars on " countering Russian (or Chinese) influence ", but this will do absolutely nothing to help the objective circumstances and capabilities of the Empire or the US.

So the real question is what will change on the level below direct military confrontation.

In a recent press conference, Putin mentioned something very interesting about the outgoing Trump administration. He said:

"The current administration introduced new sanctions against Russia 46 times – against our legal entities and economic operators. Forty-six times – this has never ever happened before. But at the same time, bilateral trade grew by 30 percent over the previous year, oddly enough, even despite those restrictions."

So if the putatively pro-Russian Trump Administration sanctioned Russia 46 times, it is normal for the Russians to look at Biden with equanimity or even a resigned fatalism: " the West has always hated us, the West still hates us and the West will always hate us " – this truism is all but unanimously accepted amongst Russian politicians.

Still, we can count on Biden and Harris to try to show how "tough" they are on Russia and Putin: they will show their prowess mostly by demanding that their NATO/EU colonies and protectorates continue "send messages" to Russia and show their "unity" and "solidarity" with each other, mostly by parroting self-evidently nonsensical Anglo and German propaganda. Will the bilateral trade between Russia and the US continue to grow? Probably not as the list of corporations and agencies the US declares to be under sanctions will only grow further. But never say never, especially with the comprehensively hypocritical Dems

How about the kind of self-evidently ridiculous stories about Russians using (a clearly ineffective) combat biological agent like the so-called "Novichok", trying to kill irrelevant bloggers and failing to do so, or some variation on "animal Assad" "poisoning his own people"? Will that nonsense also continue? Probably, mainly simply because this is something which the Empire has demonstratively proved that it has the ability to do. So why not continue, especially with a press corps willing to parrot even the most ridiculous nonsense.

The bottom line is this: to get a sense of what any actor could do next, one always has to multiply intentions by capabilities. If there is one thing which the outgoing Maga Administration has shown, is that its declared intentions and actual capabilities are not at all commensurate: hence the long list of countries Trump threatened, but never meaningfully attacked. "Biden" (and I use this term very loosely, meaning "Biden and his real handlers") will inherit the very same geostrategic toolkit Trump had at his disposal for four years and which did not make it possible for him to effectively flex muscles, not even against weak and nearby Venezuela! We can be pretty sure that the rhetoric about Russia will get even more hate-filled and paranoid. Petty harassment (such as arrest of nationals, closures of offices, expulsion from various international events, etc.) will also continue, not so much because they work, but because a lot of people depend on these for their salary.

How likely is a shooting war? In my personal opinion, not very likely at all. I think that the folks at the Pentagon are mostly aware of the real world out there, and they probably recognize that the US armed forces are in no condition to fight any halfway capable opponent.

How likely is it that the US will use a protectorate like the Ukraine or Georgia to reignite another local war? It is not impossible, especially since the US did support SBU infiltration of terrorists into Russia. Keep in mind that the sole goal of such (a, frankly, suicidal) attack would be to provoke Russia into a military response, not to actually achieve anything else. The main problem here is that the regular armed forces of the Ukraine and Georgia are in no condition to fight, and that the (US letter soup controlled) Ukrainian and Georgian special services have already tried this many times, and so far without success, mainly because, unlike all the western countries, Russia has the actual means to lock her borders when needed.

What about the reported plan to destabilize Russia by creating conflicts all along her periphery?

It would take way too long for me here to describe what is taking place in each of these countries right now, but I will offer just the following bullet points:

Southern Military District or the 58th Combined Arms Army in the region). Those who believe that Turkey strengthened its position in the region simply do not understand the outcome of the recent war (especially the very interesting drone war which showed that while Armenia could not deal with them, Russian EW literally destroyed Turkish drones in mid-air (this also happened in Syria, by the way). Central Asia is an inherently unstable region, mainly because these countries never succeeded in effectively transitioning from the Soviet period to full independence. And yes, the US has a great deal of influence in this region. But only Russia can provide effective security guarantees to the leaders of Central Asia, they all know that. Finally, Kazakhstan plays an important "buffer" role for Russia, putting distance between her and her chronically unstable southern neighbors . In the Far East, Russia and China are enjoying a long honeymoon in which their already very deep relationship only gets deeper and their collaboration stronger (in spite of western PSYOPs trying to scare Russians about how China wants to take Siberia, and other silly fairy tales). Russia is now even supplying key strategic defense technologies to China. Last, but most certainly not least, Russia has total superiority in the Arctic, where the West is many decades behind Russia. In fact, Russia is massively expanding her capabilities (civilian and military) in the Russian north, which will give her even more weight on our planet's very rich north.

Now ask yourself: do you see any of that changing in the next 4 years, even assuming a rabidly hostile Biden Administration? I sure don't.

Conclusion:

Yes, the political atmosphere between Russia and the Empire will get worse. Most of the "action" will take place in the public media space. The quasi simultaneous collapse of the Anglo-Zionist Empire and the United States (at least as we knew them before the election steal) will not give much time or energy to western leaders to pursue policies which have already failed in the past and for which they simply do not have the means.

Trump or Biden was never a meaningful choice for Russia (only the Russian court jester Zhirinovskii thought otherwise). It's not much of a choice today either. The most likely consequence of these collapses will be that the world will split in roughly two sections: "Section A" which will include all the countries of the "collective West" and which will be busy trying to survive a crisis which has only begun and "Section B": the rest of the world, which will try hard to decouple itself from the sinking West and try to develop itself in this rather unstable environment.

Also, many Russians remember the gerontocracy which ruled in the last years of the USSR and they know how such gerontocracies act (make no difference if the country is ruled by a Chernenko or a Biden – such rulers are always weak and clueless).

Biden or Trump – no real difference for Russia.

This is why most Russians don't care either way.


Notsofast , says: December 30, 2020 at 3:18 am GMT • 23.6 hours ago

i remember the late 80's when ronald reagan was declared a genius for single handedly spending the ussr into oblivion. when the reagan administration took over (with a little help from daddy bush working a deal with the iranians to hold on to the hostages until after the election) the national debt was $900,000,000,000. when he left office he had tripled that, a small price to pay for taking down the evil empire, they told me. in the 90's clinton and his best friend newt gingrich magically balanced the budget (by raiding the social security trust fund and leaving a rubber iou behind). when the skull and bones division of the neocons seized power the debt was $6,000,000,000,000. twenty years and several wars later we were at $23,000,000,000,000. we are about to reach $30,000,000,000,000 after a bad flu season this year. our military is exhausted, our equipment is so out dated and worn it isn't worth bringing back, (if we ever leave the middle east), the russians and chinese are decades ahead in technological terms. now tell me, who spent who into oblivion?

Felix Keverich , says: December 30, 2020 at 5:03 am GMT • 21.8 hours ago

Russia remains vulnerable to Western efforts at political subversion. And Democrats excel at this. Remember, it was during the presidency of Barack Obama when Putin faced toughest challenge to his rule. I'm talking, of course, about Bolotnaya protests.

These days millions of Russian kids watch political videos, promoted by Youtube, where they are being taught, that their country sucks and there is no hope for their lives whatsoever unless they overthrow Putin. Russian politicians do not use the internet and appear completely oblivious to this danger. They're a bit like Saker to be honest: obsessed with their tank divisions and rockets, dinosaurs preparing for yesterday's war. They risk finding themselves in Lukashenka's position.

Carlton Meyer , says: Website December 30, 2020 at 5:45 am GMT • 21.1 hours ago

Excellent article. Even the US Marine Corps is cutting infantry battalions to fund "information groups". A new video addresses this anti-Russian propaganda:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/WqBU8EyPSh8?feature=oembed

mike99588 , says: December 30, 2020 at 6:11 am GMT • 20.7 hours ago

Russia doesn't have the working bodies to be a world hegemon.
CCP China does.
The Russian workers (Moscow, Cyprus) I've seen were indolent compared to Chinese.

Infiltration? Even here, the CCP leaning faction is large.
China appears to be Biden's highest bidder, and largest "investor", so far

Either Trump drops the hammer before Jan 20, or we're fucked on China.
Probably so's Russia, on a longer schedule.

GomezAdddams , says: December 30, 2020 at 6:18 am GMT • 20.6 hours ago

Warsaw Pact was canclled –but NATO grew and grew and grew after Bush stating " We will never expand–honest" and then 911 arrived and Firechief exclaimng "We decided to PULL IT !" but othing had struck it and of course WMD in Iraq -- –

anonymous [400] Disclaimer , says: December 30, 2020 at 6:38 am GMT • 20.2 hours ago

It's improbable that there would be any direct military clash somewhere even though there's always the possibility of a mistake leading to a crisis. The US uses color revolutions, proxy wars, subversion, bribery, economic warfare, sanctions and varying forms of sabotage. It's been pretty successful so far with this all over the world but Russia is too big and self-sufficient to be forced to capitulate.

rhetoric about Russia will get even more hate-filled and paranoid

The US propaganda system always needs a boogeyman to scare the public with. Promotion of fear is an inherent part of the American system of engineering consent.

far more difficult for western run NGOs to influence the Russian political scene.

Big tech collusion in enforcing censorship here in the US has become heavy-handed and omnipresent. But one supposes there'll be complaints about lack of free speech in Russia.
Trump was verbally belligerent but stopped short of starting any new wars, placating the establishment with imposing sanctions, assassinating Soleimani, etc. Biden is a stupid, reckless incompetent who could easily stumble us into conflicts we can't handle. But then, it would be his handlers who actually pull the strings and they seem to be as cretinous as him.

Weston Waroda , says: December 30, 2020 at 6:52 am GMT • 20.0 hours ago

As for the "deplorables" – they have been neutralized by stealing the election.

Neutralized? No way José, the deplorables are mad as hornets about the stolen election and are just getting started. And they have their Second Amendment assets, and it's not even January 20th yet.

Seraphim , says: December 30, 2020 at 7:21 am GMT • 19.5 hours ago
@Felix Keverich

Do you see the 'YouTube' kids starting a revolution, storming the Kremlin, and the 'organs' watching them with arms crossed from the side? Wouldn't they rather send them to develop the Arctic?

goldgettin , says: December 30, 2020 at 7:46 am GMT • 19.1 hours ago
@Felix Keverich

You appear to assume a lot Got a horse in this race?
Curious about your qualifications as well.
Tell us more or, are you a ?

Priss Factor , says: Website December 30, 2020 at 8:45 am GMT • 18.1 hours ago

More kids? Destroy pop culture and hang the pimps & whores.

https://russia-insider.com/en/start-making-babies-or-youll-be-cleaning-chinese-boots-top-russian-priest-smirnov-dying-nation-video

Carlos22 , says: December 30, 2020 at 8:53 am GMT • 18.0 hours ago
@Felix Keverich

Unlike the 80s there is no official ideological differences except that Russia's ideology of national sovereignty, family and strength is in assendence while the US Marxist one of globo homo anti white hate thyself BLM is openly ridiculed by the quiet majority.

It is about the US that people openly talk about being on the verge of civil war not Russia these days.

Most Russians know it's a fight against subjugation there is no other way, defend itself or get eaten.

Besides under the Harris presidency in a year or two it will be white Americans who will be told officially they suck.

Dumbo , says: December 30, 2020 at 9:15 am GMT • 17.6 hours ago

These days millions of Russian kids watch political videos, promoted by Youtube, where they are being taught, that their country sucks and there is no hope for their lives whatsoever unless they overthrow Putin

The cleverest trick the Devil ever invented was to convince young (white) people that Globohomo, Blacks Lives Matter and Immigration are somehow a benefit to them and that they should fight for their own displacement

Ilya G Poimandres , says: December 30, 2020 at 9:24 am GMT • 17.5 hours ago

Biden has a lot of compromat and Harris is basically akin to a wigger in a black gang, who will need to prove her devotion when she takes the reigns after Biden.

Both will be like putty in their handler's hands.

Politicians start wars to make the public look away from domestic or personal crises. Biden already has his corruption probe, and whilst Trump made many errors, he did not fall for the trap of starting a major foreign policy disaster for personal political gain.

Both Biden and Harris would do that in a heartbeat. So whether that would be Iran or Ukraine, or pushing Taiwan too far, I'm pretty confident a war will start.

I always said with Trump the odd's are 80% civil war, 10% world war, 10% peace, whilst Biden is around 50% civil war, 45% world war, 5% peace.

Mikael_ , says: December 30, 2020 at 9:34 am GMT • 17.3 hours ago
@Felix Keverich

Nice display of your brainwashedness, from western propaganda.
You didn't follow Saker's link to the machine translated example , did you?

One would need a bit more than broad, completely unsubstantiated claims by you that Russian kids in large numbers actually believe those YT lies and similar.
And Lukashenko isn't doing so bad, currently.

Let it be... , says: December 30, 2020 at 11:07 am GMT • 15.8 hours ago
@Felix Keverich ng "dusty, dirty" -- a term used in 2nd-millennium BCE texts throughout the Fertile Crescent for people variously described as rebels, outlaws, raiders, mercenaries, bowmen, servants, slaves, and laborers"(Wikipedia).

The 2001 paper "Who are the Hîabiru of the Amarna Letters?" by retired professor (Andrews University) S. Douglas Waterhouse (2001) joined a lot of dots for me. A good stumble on, thanks, Guyénot and others who posted relevant comments etc. (A copy can be found here: https://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/jats/vol12/iss1/3/ )

John Hagan , says: Website December 30, 2020 at 11:53 am GMT • 15.0 hours ago
@Carlos22 ashion. Yet that is what the US empire wants. It is hard to imagine the opportunity for satire could be greater.
Here is some preliminary ideas

https://www.youtube.com/embed/noIWQFMskG0?feature=oembed
I also did a satire on Bellingcat called Bellingbat that examines some of the same issues. Of course there is a fair amount of nudity involved as that is the US way when considering if powerful females can be trusted. Unlike Lautrec I was never allowed into the ballerina's dressing rooms even though I was a recognized well respected painter and would seek death should I betray a slack breast or two.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8Z9pggzVJ68?feature=oembed
Cheers all and have a happy new year.

Schuetze , says: December 30, 2020 at 12:13 pm GMT • 14.7 hours ago

"Last, but not least, wars are not won by machines, computers or fancy engineering: they are won by soldiers, real men, who know what they are defending and why."

Azerbaijan just ate Putin's lunch by crushing Armenia's entire AA systems and their piece by piece destruction of hundreds of T90's and all the Armenian artillery. Azerbaijan accomplished this through Israeli military technology, likely including remote drone piloting services.

Saker wants to pretend that it is the US that has Israel on a leash, but it is clearly the other way around. Israel has already hoovered up all of the US electronics and military patents and clearly any other patents that would be useful in a war, especially a war for Eretz Israel.

Azerbaijan took out all the Armenian armor and air defenses with Israeli drones like the Hovering Artillery Drones and Suicide drones. The amount of live film is staggering, and the T90's were picked off like sparrows sitting on an electric wire. Some of the drones Azerbaijan used were Turkish, but we can be certain that the technology is either licensed from Israel or Israel's gollum the JEWSA.

Added to this complete mastery of the traditional battlespace is the complete Heeb control over the bio-warfare space. Whether Putin allowed Russia to be circumcised while he played along to the Rabbi's Covid rituals, or whether Putin is playing it safe and vaccinating and closing its borders pre-emtively is irrellevant. Russia is being bullied like a lone teenage Swedish boy at muslim majority high school in Malmo.

And of course, Russia still has a Rothschild controlled Central Bank too.

So Putin, just like Biden, is going to do exactly what his Chabad Lubbovitz Rabbi's tell him he has to do. Both are Israel's Shabbez Bitches.

Moi , says: December 30, 2020 at 12:29 pm GMT • 14.4 hours ago
@mike99588

I pray to sweet Lord Jesus for the rise of China.

Tsigantes , says: December 30, 2020 at 12:31 pm GMT • 14.4 hours ago
@Felix Keverich everyone knows that the US and England hate Russia and Putin, thus whatever these 2 countries claim about either is dismissed with a laugh. As for Skripal (where are they now? dead?), Navalny, novichok, Assad gassing his own people ..a child can see through this stuff. Sorry!

Young people in Russia watching US propaganda against their country you honestly think they are going to agree with the country (USA) that has targeted them with missiles and nuclear bombs for 70 years? Do you think we can't see the corruption and stupidity?

But I'm wasting my time here. Facts, logic, is lost on a person so naive and brainwashedas yourself.

yurivku , says: December 30, 2020 at 12:53 pm GMT • 14.0 hours ago
@goldgettin

Tell us more or, are you a ?

he's pretending to be Russian intelligent, which I doubt – not his name nor his thoughts seem to be Russian.
He's right only in one thing – there's quite a big part of our society who think that Putin (despite his obvious achievements) has to go. And those aren't liberasts, but patriots. Putin is very deep in oligarchy swamp and he achieved max he could, i'm afraid.
Now he's just trying to keep the status quo.

Trickster , says: December 30, 2020 at 1:26 pm GMT • 13.4 hours ago
@Felix Keverich

I believe you have a serious problem. When the stork brought you, it must have dropped you on your head. Your comment is sheer nonsense. Do you really believe the shit you have written or do you have a vulgar desire for "replies".

You are either an idiot or an ass wash douche troll. Comment intelligently or not at all and for heavens sake, seek medical attention for the lump on your head ( and the one inside it as well)

Larchmonter420 , says: December 30, 2020 at 1:29 pm GMT • 13.4 hours ago
@John Hagan actors

And, my paraphrase of the above quote:

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

Best regards,

Mohamed

Trickster , says: December 30, 2020 at 1:32 pm GMT • 13.3 hours ago
@Tsigantes

Dont be so hard on Felix the cat. He has been hiding under his mother;s bed surrounded by rolls of toilet paper and wearing a mask since March 2020. Self imposed solitary confinement does things to a person more so one who was retarded at birth.

Once he has his operation to remove his head from his ass his IQ should increase by 100% .from 2 to 4 !

[Jan 01, 2021] Weaponized courts- The $50 bn Yukos case may be the final straw for Russia, ending its cooperation with Western 'justice' -- R

Jan 01, 2021 | www.rt.com

Weaponized courts: The $50 bn Yukos case may be the final straw for Russia, ending its cooperation with Western 'justice' 17 Nov, 2020 11:24 Get short URL Weaponized courts: The $50 bn Yukos case may be the final straw for Russia, ending its cooperation with Western 'justice' FILE PHOTOS. © Getty Images / artisteer; © Wikipedia 38 1 Follow RT on RT

Patrick Armstrong spent 30 years as an analyst for the Canadian government, specializing in first the USSR and then Russia. He was a Political Counselor in the Canadian Embassy in Moscow from 1993 to 1996. Given the torrent of anti-Russian sentiment in the West, it's unlikely Moscow would get a fair hearing in legal proceedings overseen by Western courts. And recent hints suggest three decades of engagement may be coming to an end.

A Dutch court has just reversed another earlier Dutch court ruling that reversed an even earlier Dutch court ruling. Russia had been sued by a company representing the shareholders of erstwhile oil giant Yukos. The latest iteration, reversing the reversal and taking us back to the original judgment, demands that Russia pay $50 billion to its shareholders. Yukos was nationalized in the early 2000s, on the grounds of failure to pay tax arrears after the arrest of its CEO for tax evasion.

So, what should Moscow do? It has appealed, but perhaps it should think about whether it still wants to play the game.

Let's look at the behavior of other Dutch courts. In 2001, Slobodan Milošević appeared at the Hague charged with crimes against humanity, genocide – the full package. And, quite rightly, said most Westerners, because had not their media already named him the "butcher of the Balkans" ?

ALSO ON RT.COM Yukos case: Netherlands prepares for hearing in $50 billion plus legal battle over disgraced ex-oligarch's former oil empire

In 2016, the International Court of Justice ruled that maybe he hadn't been as guilty as first assumed. But it was too late: Milošević had died in his prison cell 10 years before, with the trial still rolling on.

The Netherlands is also in charge of the investigation into the destruction of the MH-17 flight over Ukraine in 2014. Again, we had immediate Western news assertions that Putin and Russia were responsible, and the personal assurance of former Secretary of State John Kerry that US intelligence resources had watched the whole thing unfold. And it's been a fact-free Gish gallop ever since.

After several investigations, suspiciously dependent on Ukrainian intelligence sources, social media, and the US-government funded agency Bellingcat, with no one asking where the "we saw it" was, the trial of four individuals began in March 2020 and has been proceeding at the same comfortable pace as the Milošević trial.
In 2018, Ukraine, without the least suspicion of a chain of evidence, produced some parts it claimed were from the surface-to-air missile said to have shot the plane down. The parts had numbers, numbers can be traced, and the missile factory traced them. They were parts of a missile shipped to an anti-aircraft unit in the west of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in December 1986.

ALSO ON RT.COM Investigation launched into claims that employees of ex-oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky's media group took part in 2014 gang rape

The judges decided that the documents were irrelevant because they "may say something about where the missile was between [19]86 and 91, but they say nothing about where the missile was in July 2014." Presumably, a daring raid from Donetsk to an ammo dump in Western Ukraine had happened, which nobody noticed. So, one might ask what Russia can expect from any trial held in the Netherlands except an interminable process until the defendant dies.

Russians might then turn their attention to the practice of the rule of law in other Western countries today. Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, is approaching her third year of house arrest in Canada. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been in a British prison with one of the most severe regimes for the past 18 months and is approaching the second year of his extradition hearing. Maria Butina, convicted in 2018 of acting as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia, was in a US prison for five months, often in solitary confinement, on very questionable charges. Senior French executive Frédéric Pierucci arrested in 2013 and later imprisoned in a US maximum-security facility for unwittingly breaching American bribery laws. Or the US's open-ended Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act – a federal law that, in 2017, imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. Or the huge fine imposed on Russia's Gazprom energy corporation in a Polish court just last month over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Or they might consider that Venezuela stored its national gold reserves in London for safekeeping but can't have it back (although that judgment has recently been reversed – for now). Or that the European Union extended its sanctions on Russia because it couldn't prove its innocence of the latest accusation over Ukraine. Russian observers might be forgiven if they regarded this as not rule of law but war of law – lawfare.

ALSO ON RT.COM Netherlands to take Russia to European Court of Human Rights over 'role' in MH17 crash

Moscow has generally played the game and accepted Western court rulings and, sometimes, they've gone its way: for example, the European Court of Human Rights' ruling of 2011 that the case against Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky had not been politically motivated. But, given the relentless cascade of accusations – redoubled in the past five years – perhaps Moscow should reconsider, on the grounds that Western 'justice' will never give it a fair shake.

Will it do so? Well, there have been some hints. At a conference of the Valdai Discussion Club think tank last month, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia no longer looked to Western Europe as an example and was not going to be its vassal. The constitution was recently amended to make Russian law primary. These would appear to be clues that Moscow is at least pondering the conclusion that Western courts are not an arbiter, but a weapon.

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[Jan 01, 2021] Russia can refuse to pay $50 billion bill to Yukos oligarchs, country's top court rules, as international legal battle rages

Jan 01, 2021 | www.rt.com

Moscow is set for a showdown with Western judges and 1990s Russian oligarchs, over a new ruling enabling the country to refuse to pay what is considered to be the biggest legal settlement in history, over a collapsed oil empire.

The Constitutional Court, one of Russia's highest judicial authorities, ruled on Friday that the decision of an international tribunal in the long-running dispute over the now-dissolved energy giant Yukos is incompatible with Russian law. The case has been heard by a court in The Hague, which claims jurisdiction under the terms of the Energy Charter Treaty, and awarded the company's former shareholders a $50-billion payout from the Russian government earlier this year. Moscow claimed a win in November on the other side of the Atlantic, when a US court, which had been hearing the case simultaneously, decided to throw it out.

However, as Russia signed but never ratified the Treaty, which hands powers to international tribunals, the Constitutional Court has now determined it is not bound by the terms of The Hague judgement. The ruling states that, while the country's government of the day began the process of signing up to the pact in 1994, they did not have the authority to make national laws inferior to international agreements, or to "challenge the competence" of Russian courts. Therefore, the jurists conclude, adhering to the Dutch court's demands would be "unconstitutional."

ALSO ON RT.COM New twist in $50bn Yukos battle as US court sides with Russia over oligarchs & suspends controversial case

The claimants in the case are oligarchs who lost cash when Yukos, once among Europe's largest firms, collapsed. They say that a multi-billion dollar tax bill and the arrest of its CEO and founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, on fraud charges amounted to state 'appropriation' of its assets. However, Russian authorities insist that the shareholders cannot be considered "legitimate," and that the Dutch judges had steamrolled over the country's laws against corruption and fraud when ruling in their favour.

As far back as July 2014, The Hague ordered Moscow to cough up $50 billion to compensate the plaintiffs. After exhausting the appeals process in February this year, Russia's lawyers asked the Dutch Supreme Court to consider the case and overrule the decision. However, at the start of December, it similarly backed the oligarchs.

Russia has insisted that the judgements are "politically motivated," and in December the country's Justice Minister, Konstantin Chuychenko, told journalists that the case was part of a "legal war that has been declared on Russia." He added that "Russia must adequately defend itself and, sometimes, even attack back."

Now standing at around $50 billion, around the same ballpark as Russia's annual military budget, the colossal settlement is thought to be the largest award in history. If the country now rejects the bill, it would spark one of the most serious impasses in international legal history, and leave Western states deciding whether to respect Russia's constitutional ruling, or to enforce the demands by confiscating assets.

ALSO ON RT.COM Russian justice minister claims $50 billion Yukos case shows West waging 'legal war' on Moscow & says it should fight back

Yukos' former shareholders have already sought to have Western governments take control of Russian property overseas as an insurance policy in case Moscow refuses to pay up. However, in November, a judge in the simultaneous hearing in the US refused that request, saying that "the Russian Federation is a sovereign country with economic tendrils that cross the globe, not an insecure potential debtor that must be required to post security lest there be no assets to seize at a later date."

Not all countries have taken the same approach, however, and in 2015 Russia's diplomats slammed France and Belgium for confiscating state cash in overseas banks, and even buildings, to be held as collateral in the case. Moscow again rejected the court's authority and said their move was "an openly hostile act." Tim Osborne, a British lawyer representing the former shareholders, said at the time that such seizures were necessary because Russia "has no regard for international law or the rule of law."

READ MORE Yukos case: Netherlands prepares for hearing in $50 billion plus legal battle over disgraced ex-oligarch's former oil empire Yukos case: Netherlands prepares for hearing in $50 billion plus legal battle over disgraced ex-oligarch's former oil empire

At its height, Yukos produced 20 per cent of Russia's oil, placing it firmly among the ranks of the world's most valuable enterprises. It had been formed by the privatization of former state assets after the fall of the Soviet Union, with Khodorkovsky acquiring the assets for a fraction of their worth at an auction that one economist, Andrey Illarionov, called "the swindle of the century."

Khodorkovsky claims his arrest on fraud charges and the subsequent collapse of Yukos was tied to his political activism and his personal animosity towards Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin, however, claims that the oligarch, once said to be Russia's wealthiest man, had admitted his guilt to him privately in exchange for a pardon in 2013.

Khodorkovsky insists that he has renounced any claims to his former empire and that, should a settlement be reached in the Yukos case, he would not stand to benefit. However, Russian authorities are said to suspect that a number of claimants have close financial ties to the former oil magnate.

[Dec 28, 2020] Unipolar Vs Multipolar- The Death Of McKinley The Loss Of America's Soul - ZeroHedge

Dec 28, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Unipolar Vs Multipolar: The Death Of McKinley & The Loss Of America's Soul BY TYLER DURDEN SATURDAY, DEC 26, 2020 - 23:30

Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Saker blog,

On December 17, 2020, a new US Maritime strategy was unveiled putting into practice the regressive concepts first outlined in the early National Defense Strategy 2020 doctrine which target China and Russia as the primary enemies of the USA and demanding that the USA be capable to " defeat our adversaries while we accelerate development of a modernized integrated all-domain naval force of the future".

The Pentagon's Advantages at Sea: Prevailing with Integrated All-Domain Naval Power continued by saying "China's and Russia's revisionist approaches in the maritime environment threaten US interests, undermine alliances and partnerships and degrade the free and open international order moreover, China's and Russia's aggressive naval growth and modernization are eroding US institutional advantages."

The document continued to describe that "we must operate more assertively to prevail in day-to-day competition as we uphold the rules-based order and deter our competitors from pursuing armed aggression ready, forward-deployed naval forces will adopt a more assertive posture in day to day operations"

For anyone who has been paying attention to the vast growth of the Pentagon's Full Spectrum containment policy around China's perimeter begun with Obama's Asia Pivot, it may appear as though these words are not new, but just a continuation of American unipolar agenda, Pacific war games, and psychological projection onto perceived enemies, that have been underway for years. While this is certainly true, it must be noted that they are occurring at a time that NATO 2030 has enshrined an anti-China military posture into the Trans Atlantic security doctrine which had formerly channeled most of its hate purely onto Russia.

The fact is those unipolar zombies programmed to think in no other terms but global post-nation state dominance are deathly afraid of the Russia-China bond of survival which has created a uniquely viable foundation for an alternative economic/security architecture for the world. This model is based on a system of finance that defines money not in speculative but rather long-term development of the real economic foundations of life. It also features a strong emphasis on win-win cooperation as opposed to Hobbesian zero-sum logic dominant among western powers, and it also finds itself driven by OPEN system economic practices shaped by unbounded scientific and technological progress that once upon a time guided America's better traditions.

With the obvious threat of nuclear war breaking out between a collapsing unipolar order in the west and an emergent Multipolar alliance, it is important to review what possible latent policy traditions may yet be revived within America's history which certain forces have worked very hard to scrub out of the historical record and memory. This study will take us to the incredible fights that arose over America's identity at the turn of the 20th century during the period of President William McKinley and the treasonous anglophile President of vice, Theodore Roosevelt.

Munroe Doctrine or Empire?

As Martin Sieff eloquently laid out in his recent article , President McKinley himself was an peacemaker, anti-imperialist of a higher order than most people realize. McKinley was also a strong supporter of two complementary policies: 1) Internally, he was a defender of Lincoln's "American system" of protectionism, internal improvements and black suffrage and 2) Externally, he was a defender of the Munroe Doctrine that defined America's anti-imperial foreign policy since 1823.

The Munroe Doctrine's architect John Quincy Adams laid out this principle eloquently on July 4, 1821:

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"After fifty years the United States has, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations, while asserting and maintaining her own.

That the United States does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

That by involving itself in the internal affairs of other nations, the United States would destroy its own reason of existence; the fundamental maxims of her policy would become, then, no different than the empire America's revolution defeated. It would be, then, no longer the ruler of itself, but the dictator of the world."

America's march is the march of mind, not of conquest.

Colonial establishments are engines of wrong, and that in the progress of social improvement it will be the duty of the human family to abolish them".

It was an aging John Quincy Adams whom a young Abraham Lincoln collaborated with in ending the imperial Mexican-American war under Wall Street stooge James Polk in 1846. When Adams died in 1848, Lincoln picked up the torch he left behind as the London-directed "proto deep state" of the 19th century worked to dissolve the republic from within. The foreign policy conception laid out by Adams ensured that America's only concern was "staying out of foreign imperial entanglements" as Washington had earlier warned and keeping foreign imperial interests out of the Americas. The idea of projecting power onto the weak or subduing other cultures was anathema to this genuinely American principle.

A major battle which has been intentionally obscured from history books took place in the wake of Lincoln's murder and the re-ascension of the City of London-backed slave power during the decades after the Union victory of 1865. On the one hand America's role in the emerging global family of nations was being shaped by followers of Lincoln who wished to usher in an age of win-win cooperation. Such an anti-Darwinian system which Adams called " a community of principle " asserted that each nation had the right to sovereign banking controls over private finance, productive credit emissions tied to internal improvements with a focus on continental (rail/road) development, industrial progress and full spectrum economies. Adherents of this program included Russia's Sergei Witte and Alexander II, Germany's Otto von Bismarck, France's Sadi Carnot, and leading figures within Japan's Meiji Restoration.

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On the other hand, "eastern establishment families" of the USA more loyal to the gods of money, hereditary institutions and the vast international empire of Britain saw America's destiny tied to an imperial global partnership with the Mother country. These two opposing paradigms within America have defined two opposing views of "progress", "value", "self-interest" and "law" which have continued to shape the world over 150 years later.

William Gilpin vs Alfred Mahan: Two Paradigms Clash

A champion of the former traditionally American outlook who rose to the international scene was William Gilpin (1813-1894). Gilpin hailed from a patriotic family of nation builders whose patriarch Thomas Gilpin was a close ally of Benjamin Franklin and leading member of Franklin's Philosophical Society. William Gilpin was famous for his advocacy of America's trans continental railway whose construction he proselytized as early as 1845 (it was finally begun by Lincoln during the Civil War and completed in 1869 as I outlined in my previous paper How to Save a Dying Republic ).

In his thousands of speeches and writings, Gilpin made it known that he understood America's destiny to be inextricably tied to the ancient civilization of China- not to impose opium as the British and their American lackies were want to do, but to learn from and even emulate!

In 1852, Gilpin stated:

"Salvation must come to America from China, and this consists in the introduction of the "Chinese constitution" viz. the "patriarchal democracy of the Celestial Empire". The political life of the United States is through European influences, in a state of complete demoralization, and the Chinese Constitution alone contains elements of regeneration. For this reason, a railroad to the Pacific is of such vast importance, since by its means the Chinese trade will be conducted straight across the North American continent. This trade must bring in its train Chinese civilization. All that is usually alleged against China is mere calumny spread purposefully, just like those calumnies which are circulated in Europe about the United States".

With Lincoln's 1861 presidential victory, Gilpin became Lincoln's bodyguard and ensured the president survived his first assassination attempt en route to Washington from Illinois. During the Civil War, Gilpin was made Colorado's first Governor where he successfully stopped the southern power from opening up a western front during the war of secession (applying Lincoln's greenback system to finance his army on a state level) and winning the " Battle of Glorieta Pass ", thus saving the union.

After the war Gilpin became a leading advocate of the internationalization of the "American system of political economy" which Lincoln applied vigorously during his short-lived presidency. Citing the success of Lincoln's system, Gilpin said:

"No amount of argument will make America adopt old world theories To rely upon herself, to develop her own resources, to manufacture everything that can possibly be manufactured within her territory- this is and has been the policy of the USA from the time of Alexander Hamilton to that of Henry Clay and thence to our own days".

Throughout his speeches Gilpin emphasizes the role of a U.S.-Russia alliance:

"It is a simple and plain proposition that Russia and the United States, each having broad, uninhabited areas and limitless undeveloped resources, would by the expenditure of 2 or 3 hundred millions apiece for a highway of the nations threw their now waste places, add a hundredfold to their wealth and power and influence"

And seeing in China's potential the means to re-enliven the world- including the decadent and corrupt culture of Europe:

"In Asia a civilization resting on a basis of remote antiquity has had, indeed, a long pause, but a certain civilization- although hitherto hermetically sealed up has continued to exist. The ancient Asiatic colossus, in a certain sense, needed only to be awakened to new life and European culture finds a basis there on which it can build future reforms."

In opposition to the outdated British controls of "chock points" on the seas which kept the world under the clutches of the might of London, Gilpin advocated loudly for a system of internal improvements, rail development, and growth of the innate goodness of all cultures and people through scientific and technological progress. Once a global system of mutual development of rail were established, Gilpin stated "in the shipment of many kinds of raw and manufactured goods, it will largely supersede the ocean traffic of Great Britain, in whose hands is now carrying the trade of the world."

Gilpin's vision was most clearly laid out in his 1890 magnum opus "The Cosmopolitan Railway" which featured designs for development corridors across all continents united by a "community of principle".

Echoing the win-win philosophy of Xi Jinping's New Silk Road today, Gilpin stated:

"The cosmopolitan railway will make the whole world one community. It will reduce the separate nations to families of our great nation From extended intercommunication will arise a wider intercourse of human ideas and as the result, logical and philosophical reciprocities, which will become the germs for innumerable new developments; for in the track of intercommunication, enterprise and invention invariably follow and whatever facilitates one stimulates every other agency of progress."

Mahan Derails America's Anti-Imperial Identity

Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914) represented an opposing paradigm which true American statesmen like Lincoln, Secretary of State James Blaine, William Seward, President Grant, William Garfield, and McKinley detested. Sadly, with McKinley's murder ( run by an anarchist ring with ties to British Intelligence ) and the rise of Teddy Roosevelt in 1901, it was not Gilpin's but rather Mahan's worldview which became the dominant foreign policy doctrine for the next 120 years (despite a few brief respites under FDR and JFK).

Mahan is commonly credited for being a co-founder of modern geopolitics and an inspiration for Halford Mackinder. Having graduated from West Point's naval academy in 1859, Mahan soon became renowned as a total failure in actual combat having crashed warships repeatedly into moving and stationary objects during the Civil War. Since reality was not his forte, Mahan focused his post-war career on Ivory tower theorizing gushing over maps of the world and fawning over Britain's power as a force of world history.

His "Influence of Sea Power Upon History 1660-1783 published in the same year that Gilpin published his Cosmopolitan Railway (1890) was a total break from the spirit of win-win cooperation that defined America's foreign policy. According to the Diplomat , this book soon "became the bible for many navies around the world" with the Kaiser of Germany (now released from the influence of the great rail-loving statesman Otto von Bismarck whom he fired in 1890) demanding all of his offers read. Later Teddy Roosevelt ordered copies for every member of Congress. In Mahan's book, the geopolitician continuously asserts his belief that it is America's destiny to succeed the British Empire.

Taking the British imperial definition of "commerce" which uses free trade as a cover for the military dominance of weak nations (open borders and turning off protectionism simply makes a people easier to rob), Mahan attempts to argue that America need not continue to adhere to "outdated" habits like the Munroe doctrine since the new order of world empires demands America stay relevant in a world of sea power and empire. Mahan writes : "The advance of Russia in Asia, in the division of Africa, in the colonial ambitions of France and in the British idea of Imperial Federation, now fast assuming concrete shape in practical combined action in South Africa" demands that the USA act accordingly.

Attempting to refute the "outdated habits" of rail development which consume so many foolish statesmen around the globe, Mahan states: "a railway competes in vain with a river because more facile and copious, water traffic is for equal distances much cheaper and because cheaper, more useful". Like those attacking today's Belt and Road Initiative, the power of railways is that their returns are not measurable by simple monetary terms, but are rather QUALITATIVE. The long-term construction of rail systems not only unite divided people, increase manufacturing and industrial corridors but also induce closer powers of association and interchange between agriculture and urban producers. These processes uplift national productive powers building full spectrum economies and also a culture's capacity for creative thought.

The attempt made to justify sea traffic merely because "larger amounts of goods can be shipped" is purely quantitative and monetaristic sophistry devoid of any science of real value.

While Gilpin celebrates the successful awakening of China and other great nations of the world, in the Problem of Asia (1901) Mahan says:

"It is scarcely desirable that so vast a proportion of mankind as the Chinese constitute should be animated by but one spirit". Should China "burst her barriers eastward, it would be impossible to exaggerate the momentous issues dependant upon a firm hold of the Hawaiian islands by a great civilized maritime power."

Mahan's adherence to social Darwinism is present throughout his works as he defines the political differences of the 3 primary branches of humanity (Teutonic, Slavic and Asiatic) as purely rooted in the intrinsic inferiority or superiority of their race saying: "There are well recognized racial divergencies which find concrete expression in differences equally marked of political institution, of social progress and of individual development. These differences are deep seated in the racial constitution and partly the result of the environment". Mahan goes onto restate his belief that unlike the superior Teutonics "the Oriental, whether national or individual does not change" and "the East does not progress".

Calling China a carcass to be devoured by an American eagle, Mahan writes: "If life departs, a carcass can be utilized only by dissection or for food; the gathering to it of the eagles is a natural law, of which it is bootless to complain the onward movement of the world has to be accepted as a fact."

Championing an Anglo American alliance needed to subdue and "civilize" China as part of the post-Boxer Rebellion, Mahan says " of all the nations we shall meet in the East, Great Britain is the one with which we have by far the most in common in the nature of our interests there and in our standards of law and justice".

In case there was any doubt in the minds of Mahan's readers as to the MEANS which America should assert its dominance onto China, Mahan makes clear his belief that progress is caused by 1) force and 2) war:

"That such a process should be underlain by force on the part of outside influences, force of opposition among the latter themselves [speaking of the colonial European monarchies racing to carve up China in 1901 -ed] may be regrettable, but it is only a repetition of all history Every step forward in the march that has opened in China to trade has been gained by pressure; the most important have been the result of actual war."

A Last Anti-Imperial Push

The chaos induced by the anti-foreigner Boxer Rebellion of 1899 which spread quickly across China resulted a heated battle between imperial and anti-imperial forces in both Russia and the USA. Where Transport Minister Sergei Witte who spearheaded the development of the Trans Siberian rail line (1890-1905) tried to avoid military entanglement, McKinley was busy doing the same.

The boxers soon attacked the Manchurian rail connecting Russia to China by land and Witte succumbed to pressure to finally send in troops. The reformers of China who attempted to modernize with American and Russian assistance under Emperor Kuang Hsu and Li Hung Chang fell from power as total anarchy reigned. The outcome of the Boxer chaos involved the imperial powers of France, Germany and England demanding immense financial reparations, ownership of Chinese territory and mass executions of the Boxers.

While McKinley is often blamed for America's imperial turn, the reality is just the opposite.

The Spanish-American war begun in 1898 was actually launched unilaterally by Anglophilic racist Theodore Roosevelt who used the 4 hour window he had while Undersecretary of the Navy (while the actual Secretary was out of Washington) to send orders to Captain Dewey of the Pacific fleet to engage in a fight with the Spanish over their Philippine territories. McKinley had resisted the war hawks until that point but found himself finally bending to the momentum. In China, McKinley, like Witte worked desperately to reject taking territory resulting in great fears from the British oligarchy that a U.S.-Russia alliance led by McKinley and Witte was immanent.

The assassination of McKinley on September 18, 1901 catapulted Mahan-loving Vice President Teddy Roosevelt into high office, who enmeshed America into a new epoch of Anglo-American imperialism abroad, a growth of eugenics and segregation at home and the creation of an independent police state agency called the FBI .

As Sieff writes :

"Roosevelt devoted his next eight years in the presidency and the rest of his life to integrating the United States and the British Empire into a seamless web of racial imperialist oppression that dominated Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia and that destroyed the cultural history and heritage of the Native North American nations."

In Russia, the 1902 Anglo-Japan Treaty led to the disastrous Japan-Russo war of 1905 which devastated the Russian navy, ended the political career of Sergei Witte and threw Russia into chaos leading to the fall of the Romanovs (Czar Nicholas II was the last statesman occupying high office that this author is aware of to have actively promoted the Bering Strait Tunnel rail connection in 1906 . It wasn't until FDR's Vice President Henry Wallace met with Foreign Minister Molotov in 1942 that the idea resurfaced once more ).

In his Two Peoples One Friendship , Wallace described his discussions with Foreign Minister Molotov in 1942 saying:

" Of all nations, Russia has the most powerful combination of a rapidly increasing population, great natural resources and immediate expansion in technological skills. Siberia and China will furnish the greatest frontier of tomorrow When Molotov [Russia's Foreign Minister] was in Washington in the spring of 1942 I spoke to him about the combined highway and airway which I hope someday will link Chicago and Moscow via Canada, Alaska and Siberia. Molotov, after observing that no one nation could do this job by itself, said that he and I would live to see the day of its accomplishment. It would mean much to the peace of the future if there could be some tangible link of this sort between the pioneer spirit of our own West and the frontier spirit of the Russian East."

While the "open door" rape of the China was attempted by the Anglo-Americans, a fortunate rear guard maneuver orchestrated by another follower of Abraham Lincoln named Sun Yat-sen resulted in a surprise overthrow of the Manchu dynasty in 1911 and the institution of the Republic of China with Sun Yat-sen as the acting President. While Sun Yat-sen sided with Gilpin and Lincoln in opposition to the Mahanists on the issue of rail and industrial development (illustrated in his extraordinary 1920 International Development of China program which called for 160 000 km of rail, water diversion projects, ports and 1.5 million km of paved roads- illustrated below), the intrigues that sank the world into World War I made any hopes of this early development of China impossible in Sun Yat-sen's lifetime.

Expressing his own deep understanding of these top down tactics of world history (and the recognition that the same British imperial forces that orchestrated the US Civil War were planning to do the same to China), Sun Yat-sen wrote in 1912:

"We understand too well that there are certain men of power -- not to include for the present, certain nations -- who would view with a greater or lesser satisfaction an internal rupture in the new Republic [of China]. They would welcome, as a move toward the accomplishment of their own ends and designs, a civil war between the provinces of the North and the South; just as, 50 years ago, there was applause in secret (in certain quarters) over the terrible civil strife in the United States.

Americans of today who were alive in those dark days of the great republic will remember the feelings in the hearts of the people -- the bitter and painful thoughts that arose from the knowledge that foreigners were hoping and praying for the destruction of the American Union.

Had the war been successful from the South's standpoint, and had two separate republics been established, is it not likely that perhaps half a dozen or more weak nations would have eventually been established? I believe that such would have been the result; and I further believe that with the one great nation divided politically and commercially, outsiders would have stepped in sooner or later and made of America their own. I do not believe that I am stating this too forcibly. If so, I have not read history nor studied men and nations intelligently.

And I feel that we have such enemies abroad as the American republic had; and that at certain capitals the most welcome announcement that would be made would be that of a rebellion in China against the constituted authorities.

This is a hard statement to make; but I believe in speaking the truth so that all the world may know and recognize it."

Today's Belt and Road Initiative , and strategic friendship established between Russia and China has re-awoken the forgotten vision of William Gilpin for a world of cooperating sovereign nation states. Does the USA have the moral ability to avoid disintegration by accepting a Russia-U.S.-China alliance needed to revive McKinley's American System or will we slip into a new Great Reset and World War?

[Dec 24, 2020] America is now ruled by people older than the 'gerontocracy' of Soviet Union's twilight days by Nebojsa Malic

Dec 24, 2020 | www.rt.com

Nebojsa Malic

is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic 22 Dec, 2020 12:08 Joe Biden, set to be the oldest-ever US president, is actually on the younger side of people currently running the American political establishment, who show no sign of wanting to ever step aside for another generation.

It is often overlooked that Donald Trump currently holds the distinction of being the oldest-ever US president, being 70 at the time of his inauguration. Biden will take that trophy as well if he's inaugurated in January 2021, having turned 78 last month. Even so, he is actually younger than the current leaders of the House and the Senate!

Though all major power brokers in Washington are older than the "gerontocracy" that ruled the Soviet Union in the 1970s and the 1980s, you won't hear the US mainstream media make the comparison, as it wouldn't fit their Narrative.

ALSO ON RT.COM 'What about Biden?' Conservatives ask after New Yorker breaks story on Sen. Dianne Feinstein's 'COGNITIVE DECLINE'

Sure, there has been some carefully calibrated talk about the "cognitive decline" of Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is 87. But Feinstein is from an overwhelmingly Democrat state and she can be easily replaced at the same time as Kamala Harris, Biden's running mate who still hasn't resigned her Senate seat.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) is 80, and has raised eyebrows herself with the whole "Good Morning. Sunday Morning" glitch-in-the-Matrix behavior during a TV appearance in September.

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Way back in 2018 , Pelosi insisted that any talk about wanting someone younger in the leadership position was "sexist," and went on to ruthlessly crush any opposition to her getting the gavel – and the power that went with it – inside the party. In the same interview, Pelosi blanked out on the name of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), calling him "whatshisname."

Born several months ahead of Biden in 1942, McConnell is 78 himself. He had a bout with polio when very young, and though successfully treated, he's had difficulty climbing stairs all his life. While he hasn't shown any signs of cognitive decline, his political choices as of late have certainly caused some Republicans to wonder if he's truly the legislative genius his supporters make him out to be.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is "only" 70, but has actually been in Congress longer than McConnell, if one counts his 18 years in the House before he got elected to the Senate in 1998.

Only House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 55, technically qualifies as a member of 'Generation X' rather than a Baby Boomer. Nor does he have any Cold War political baggage like the rest, having been in the House since only 2006. If the Republicans somehow win the House majority in 2022, he might gain more influence – but that's speculation at this point, on both counts.

Meanwhile, the young activist House members who came in with 2018's "Blue Wave," such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), are being kept in check by the old guard. Just last week, AOC was denied a spot on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, thwarting her plans to push for her "Green New Deal" proposal.

ALSO ON RT.COM We gotta talk about Joe Biden's cognitive decline because his US media cheerleaders won't it's so like the sad fate of Brezhnev

Compare this state of US politics with the notorious "gerontocracy" of the Soviet Union. Three aging Soviet leaders died in quick succession between 1982 and 1985, prompting then-US president Ronald Reagan to say "How am I supposed to get anyplace with the Russians if they keep dying on me?" Yet Reagan was 74 at the time, older than all three.

Leonid Brezhnev was 54 when he took over the Communist Party in 1964. For the sake of political stability, he remained a figurehead after his 1975 stroke and "ruled" the USSR until his death in 1982, as no one in the party could agree on who ought to succeed him. His 18-year tenure was later dubbed the "Brezhnev stagnation."

Former KGB chief Yuri Andropov, part of a triumvirate running things for the better part of Brezhnev's latter years, died himself at the age of 70 in 1984. He had led the Soviet Union for less than 16 months. Konstantin Chernenko, 73, took over from Andropov – and died in March 1985, after only 13 months in charge. His successor, Mikhail Gorbachev, was 54 at the time, two years younger than Kamala Harris is now.

ALSO ON RT.COM Forget Joe Biden The big news is Kamala Harris, who is clearly being groomed to take over as president in 2024

In one of those strange intricacies of the American political system, Harris went from getting zero delegates in the Democrats' nomination process and dropping out before the first primary to being widely expected to take over from Biden sooner rather than later. One might say her relative youth and being a 'Woman Of Color' – an identity politics feature increasingly important to the Democrats – might spell the end of the Boomer dominance.

The thing to keep in mind, however, is that the "young reformer" Gorbachev managed to run the Soviet Union into the ground within five short years. In 1991, the old guard tried a military coup against him. Though Gorbachev survived the coup, the Soviet Union didn't. By the end of that year, the USSR had "dissolved," breaking up along Communist-drawn boundaries into independent and quasi-independent states.

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UKCitizen 1 day ago 22 Dec, 2020 08:34 AM

Not only American politics but much of USA public life too. I believe one facet of rule by a gerontocracy is maintenance of the status quo; another is less control over younger and more vigorous members of society. The two come together in the rise of Silicon Valley and dominance of USA affairs by corporate interests. But nothing lasts forever and there are long cycles too. Little will change in the short term but I predict at least four years of more serious decline in America. The turning point will be final disillusionment with liberal-left politics (see K/r theory) and the arrival of some younger leaders, not yet known. Liberal-leftism will fail eventually for the simple reason it is founded in utopian like fantasies, disconnection with the real life (however harsh,and probably because it is harsh) but above all an attempt to spread finite resources veneer thin and remove any effort to get them (free everything and equality for all). America will come round eventually but it will be painful and will require it to revise much of its political structure to becoming a true democracy, which even I have realised it isn't, and probably only has been fleetingly since its founding. K/r theory is magnificently expounded in the 'The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics' and long cycles in 'Biohistory'. The former rings true on just about every page.
KarlthePoet UKCitizen 1 day ago 22 Dec, 2020 11:35 AM
America is collapsing because its foundation is solidly built on lies. The US government and Wall Street are ultimately being controlled by the Jewish Banking Cartel. It cannot be denied. Take the Federal Reserve away and America collapses overnight. Trillions upon Trillions of dollars that are being printed out of thin air are keeping the failed system afloat, for now. A massive global economic collapse is imminent. Just watch. Happy Holidays
Thomas74 17 hours ago 23 Dec, 2020 03:46 AM
There are clear parallels between the USSR and USA. The question is whether the leadership in the USA's leader class has the same self-awareness that arose at the top of the USSR in its last years. Also whether the American people will tolerate the economic hardship that the former Soviet peoples endured in the transition. Is this what we're seeing now with the coronavirus situation? A gradual taking down of expectations in the West behind the smokescreen of a virus?
Anubis64 1 day ago 22 Dec, 2020 12:24 PM
Dear Nebojsa, So what? Andropov would have made a first-class statesman (give or take his infatuation with technocracy). Brezhnev was not only a hero but a capable statesman whose era is remembered with nostalgia. Let us focus on the fact that Russia's responses to the blows coming hard and fast are rather passive and lacking any historical vision. It is not age but will that matters.
Anubis64 Anubis64 1 day ago 22 Dec, 2020 12:53 PM
Then, a young scoundrel was brought in by the shady Yakovlev character and destroyed the greatest country in the world in less than a decade. May the same happen to the insufferable Americans.
Krieger 1 hour ago 23 Dec, 2020 08:34 PM
I think this is mostly apples and oranges. In the USSR, the "old guard" were patriots who wanted to preserve their country. The "young reformers" were traitors who wanted to destroy their own country to benefit their Western masters and personally enrich themselves. In the USA, on the other hand, both the young and old politicians are totally corrupt and want to maintain the status quo, which is slowly destroying the country from within.
Mira Golub 1 day ago 22 Dec, 2020 10:17 AM
America is ruled by mobster clans, the puppets are indeed resemble walking dead. Russian imbecile liberal pro Western 2% 'opposition' though are getting their jollies by calling Putin who is 68 'grandpa'. Bunch of degenerates.
Marek Weglinski 1 day ago 22 Dec, 2020 08:25 AM
Maybe it's a telltale that the Soviet-like demise for the US is near. Hopefully the American empire will not come to a SUPERNOVA-like ending (inflicting great damage to the rest of the world), before turning itself into a dwarf.
Ohhho Marek Weglinski 1 day ago 22 Dec, 2020 11:37 AM
The Evil empire will implode and take the rest of the world down with it, that's the problem! USSR had it's own economic system pretty much isolated from the Western world, and when that system collapsed the effect was felt all around the satellite countries for years!

[Dec 17, 2020] The deep state just cannot get over losing Russia to Putin and nationalism after they had turned it into their playground in the 1990s. They are hot to trot to take out Russia and make it bend the knee, whatever the risks are.

Highly recommended!
Dec 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoyeru , Dec 16 2020 19:24 utc | 1

Since when has USA needed evidence? They blamed Saddam for years that he had "weapons of mass distraction". And back in 1990, they created the famous "Iraq solders took babies out fo incubators " lies. Some of us have lived longer than 30 years and we remember all the lies USA has said.

All part of the plan to cut Russia from the SWIFT in 2021. Once Biden becomes a president, he will call on all "democracies" to stand up to Russia. He and other "Western democracies" will hold a joint meeting sometime in 2021 where they will "condemn Russia for all the malign things Russia has done" and will press Belgium to cut Russia fro the SWIFT.

Whats wore, instead of doing anything, Russia is just sitting and watching them instead of warming Europe that this will mean Europe will freeze their collective asses next winter when they won't be able to get Russia gas. Even Iran is warning Russia that they will be cut off from the SWIFT...

Roger , Dec 16 2020 19:39 utc | 3

@Hoyeru,

I have to agree with you, the deep state just cannot get over losing Russia to Putin and nationalism after the thought that they had turned it into their playground in the 1990s. They are hot to trot to take out Russia and make it bend the knee, whatever the risks are. Would not put it past them to pull the SWIFT option, although that would have huge implications for the Europeans who buy so much oil and gas from Russia.

It could end up as an own goal, as the Europeans join the Russian payments network and start paying in Euros convertible directly into Rubles (especially with Nordstream 2 in place). The Indians and Chinese are already setup for payments in local currencies. Right now China needs Russia as an ally, so they would also probably re-source oil imports to take more from Russia.

Russia has already made itself self sufficient in food etc., and has been working on payments in local currencies. They are not stupid, and see such a move coming.

[Dec 10, 2020] The end of Ostpolitik- Dream of Europe 'whole free' over as Russian-German friendship fades Moscow pivots to Asia

Dec 10, 2020 | www.rt.com

By Fyodor Lukyanov , the editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs, chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and research director of the Valdai International Discussion Club. This Monday marked 50 years since one of the 20th century's most iconic moments, when German Chancellor Willy Brandt fell to his knees in Warsaw, emotionally apologizing for the horrors the Nazis had unleashed on Eastern Europe.

It was one of the milestones of the Neue Ostpolitik – Bonn's policy aimed at normalizing relations with the USSR and its East European satellites. On the day of this anniversary, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wrote the following: "Unlike Brandt, we no longer have to go via Moscow to talk to our eastern neighbors nowadays. Many partners in Eastern and Central Europe now view Russia very critically – and German foreign policy must take our neighbors' concerns seriously. In addition to offers of dialogue, clear German positions vis-à-vis Moscow are therefore important for maintaining trust in Eastern Europe."

A clear testimony to the fact that, compared to other Eastern European states, Russia is now of secondary importance to Berlin. This is perhaps the first time it's been stated so explicitly.

ALSO ON RT.COM EXCLUSIVE: West working to 'deprive Russia of right to determine its future' & is pushing for 'regime change,' Lavrov tells RT

A day later, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made several important statements about relations between Russia and the EU, including the EU's locomotive, Germany. At the annual meeting of the Russian International Affairs Council, Lavrov pointed out that "apparently, the European Union has given up any attempts to become one of the centers in the emerging multipolar world order and is now simply taking its cues from the US. Germany's policy on a number of issues tells us that this is the course Berlin has chosen, as it reaffirms its intention to preserve Germany's undisputed leadership within the EU. France's position is somewhat different. The prevailing notion is that the European Union is now giving up any ambitions of becoming a center of power in a multipolar world. And if France itself decides to compete for this role well, we'll see how it goes."

Lavrov also mentioned the concept of a "sham multiculturalism that the Germans and the French concocted," which they "are promoting, presenting the EU's policies and initiatives to the world as beyond reproach, a shining example for everyone to see."

Right after that, Russia's top diplomat headed to a meeting with members of the Alternative for Germany parliamentary party. Lavrov sent a clear message, basically saying that this visit was his response to the political steps taken by official Berlin. "As for us, we don't have any objections when German politicians communicate with the Russian opposition, and we never get in the way of such contacts. Interestingly, Berlin officials prefer meetings with opposition activists who work outside the system and do not represent parliamentary parties " Obviously, a nod to the red carpet welcome that Alexey Navalny, a comparatively marginal opposition figure back home, received in Germany.

While the meeting with a right-wing German party was more of a symbolic gesture, the Foreign Minister's statement about the EU giving up its independent voice and Germany being the main driver in this process reflected Moscow's official stance. The Kremlin has decided that it no longer has any special relations with Berlin.

There is little hope that this connection will be restored in the foreseeable future, since Angela Merkel's potential successors are even less likely to promote these special ties. The Navalny case was just the last straw, with the Kremlin astonished by the irrational nature of Berlin's actions.

ALSO ON RT.COM EXCLUSIVE: West working to 'deprive Russia of right to determine its future' & is pushing for 'regime change,' Lavrov tells RT

Viewed from Russia, it seemed absolutely unnecessary to go against the pragmatic interests that both countries seemed to have shared in the past. However, the Moscow-Berlin axis, once viewed as something special, began to deteriorate a long time ago. Now it's over, along with Russia's dreams about continental Europe changing its allegiances in the new world order and moving away from its Transatlantic identity towards a more independent role.

And Germany has become the main obstacle for this hypothetical emancipation. That's why France was mentioned, although the remark was also somewhat sarcastic.

Two months ago, Sergey Lavrov said that Russia was prepared to suspend its dialogue with the EU, because it wasn't yielding any results. But he was talking about European institutions, not the continent itself. Now relations with separate European countries are being revised, based on their stance towards Russia and their role within the European Union. This concludes a very important phase in Russia's foreign policy that began after the collapse of the Soviet Union (or, to some degree, even before that) and signifies a transition to a different, probably a lot less Eurocentric, approach.

The dialogue between Russia and the West, with Germany being a major participant, has now reached a dead end – there is nothing of substance left to discuss. All the talk about common values, which has been a focal point ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, has accomplished nothing. Back then it was believed that the whole of Europe, including Russia, was a space of shared values that rested on the foundation of Western liberalism.

Since the 1990s, Russia has been publicly accused of departing from these values, which was interpreted as evidence that Russia is, overall, unprepared for meaningful cooperation with the rest of Europe. There are various assessments of the changes Russian politics has undergone in this period, but it is apparent that it has moved away from the ideological commitments of 30 years ago. And Russia will not go back to them: not just because its own evolution as a state has made this impossible, but because the old value system is growing obsolete and is no longer perceived as universal.

The world has entered a new era, where pluralism of morals and values is becoming the new normal, no matter how the European Union feels about it. International relations can no longer be based on countries demanding their partners to conform to a certain set of values.

In this respect, Russia would gladly return to the time when internal political mechanisms of individual states were not brought up as talking points in negotiations with their foreign partners. Ideally, Russia would want to go back to the start of the Ostpolitik era – the first half of the 1970s, before the Helsinki Accords and its "third basket" provisions, which made respecting human rights and freedoms an integral part of all international discussions. Back then, it was unthinkable for an expensive and strategically important project, such as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, to be jeopardized because of the personal history of a single political figure – no matter how well regarded he is by Western leaders.

ALSO ON RT.COM US & NATO preparing for 'invasion' of Crimea, warns local parliamentarian, as US-Russia tensions in Black Sea region soar

For 30 years after the end of the Cold War, relations between Russia and the West have been determined (to a lesser and lesser extent with every passing year) by the principles established during the confrontation period – principles that were to be transformed into a new form of international cooperation. However, this project has been abandoned, as have been all attempts to adapt international institutions created in the second half of the 20th century to the realities of the 21st century.

Stability and cooperation in the late Cold War period were dictated primarily by the need to strengthen global security and prevent open confrontation. This was perceived as an absolute priority. Today, Russia and the West no longer attach such importance to their relations (although the perception persisted for a time, on both sides, even after the Cold War).

The EU is now busy dealing with its own issues. The United States also has problems to tend to at home, on top of its efforts to contain China. Thus, Russia needs to redefine its priorities and work out a proper new model of international relations – one that would have Asia at the center and China as Russia's new key partner.

Simplified, the model of Russian-German relations in 2020 looks like this: Germany, as the de-facto leader of the EU, no longer views promoting the 'European model' eastward as a priority. And Russia, which had long viewed its relationship with Western Europe as intrinsically valuable, has ceased to do so and is seeking closer cooperation with the nations of Asia.

So, the specific circumstances that brought about the current crisis are just the trigger, not the underlying causes of the change. Russia and the West are growing increasingly apart in terms of their priorities. This is happening for objective reasons, but is also compounded by subjective perceptions.

All of this does not mean, however, that the trend cannot be reversed. Russia, as the largest country in Eurasia and a bearer of European culture, and Germany, as the strongest European economy and a country that will have to redefine its identity in the coming years, will have need of each other again, some day. But this cannot happen until a new world order is fully formed – one that has little in common with the ways of the last century. The notion of Ostpolitik was an integral part of the old model, and as one faded away into the past, the other followed.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Nov 23, 2020] Administrations change but Full Spectrum Dominance Doctine and the desire to portect and emand global neoliberal empire controlled from Washinton is intact. It will eventually banrupt the country much like was the case with the British Empire

Highly recommended!
Neocons still dominate both the State Department and NSC. That's bad.
Nov 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Top Biden Advisors Flournoy & Blinken Promise More Secretive 'Permanent War' Policy - Zero Hedge

Authored by Dan Cohen via TheGrayZone.com,

Throughout his campaign, Joe Biden railed against Donald Trump's 'America First' foreign policy, claiming it weakened the United States and left the world in disarray. "Donald Trump's brand of America First has too often led to America alone," Biden proclaimed.

He pledged to reverse this decline and recover the damage Trump did to America's reputation. While Donald Trump called for making America Great Again, Biden seeks to Make the American Empire Great Again .

Joe Biden: "Tonight, the whole world is watching America. And I believe at our best, America is a beacon for the globe. We will lead not only by the example of our power, but by the power of our example."

Among the president-elect's pledges is to end the so-called forever wars – the decades-long imperial projects in Afghanistan and Iraq that began under the Bush administration.

"It's long past time we end the forever wars which have cost us untold blood and treasure," Biden has said.

Yet Biden – a fervent supporter of those wars – will delegate that duty to the most neoconservative elements of the Democratic Party and ideologues of permanent war .

Michele Flournoy and Tony Blinken sit atop Biden's thousands-strong foreign policy brain trust and have played central roles in every U.S. war dating back to the Bill Clinton administration.

During the Trump era, they've cashed in through WestExec Advisors – a corporate consulting firm that has become home for Obama administration officials awaiting a return to government.

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Flournoy is Biden's leading pick for Secretary of Defense and Blinken is expected to be the president's National Security Advisor.

Biden's foxes guard the henhouse

Since the 1990s, Flournoy and Blinken have steadily risen through the ranks of the military-industrial complex, shuffling back and forth between the Pentagon and hawkish think-tanks funded by the U.S. government, weapons companies, and oil giants.

Under Bill Clinton, Flournoy was the principal author of the 1996 Quadrinellial Defense Review, the document that outlined the U.S. military's doctrine of permanent war – what it called "full spectrum dominance."

Flournoy called for "unilateral use of military power" to ensure "uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ivFFZ95EQvY

This video report was originally published at Behind The Headlines . Support the independent journalism initiative here .

As Bush administration officials lied to the world about Saddam Hussein's supposed WMD's, Flournoy remarked that "In some cases, preemptive strikes against an adversary's [weapons of mass destruction] capabilities may be the best or only option we have to avert a catastrophic attack against the United States."

Tony Blinken was a top advisor to then-Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Joe Biden, who played a key role in shoring up support among the Democrat-controlled Senate for Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq.

During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, Biden declared, "In my judgment, President Bush is right to be concerned about Saddam Hussein's relentless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction."

As Iraq was plunged into chaos and bloodshed, Flournoy was among the authors of a paper titled "Progressive Internationalism" that called for a "smarter and better" style of permanent war . The paper chastised the anti-war left and stated that "Democrats will maintain the world's most capable and technologically advanced military, and we will not flinch from using it to defend our interests anywhere in the world."

With Bush winning a second term, Flournoy advocated for more troop deployments from the sidelines.

In 2005, Flournoy signed onto a letter from the neoconservative think tank Project for a New American Century, asking Congress to "increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps (by) at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years."

In 2007, she leveraged her Pentagon experience and contacts to found what would become one of the premier Washington think tanks advocating endless war across the globe: the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). CNAS is funded by the U.S. government, arms manufacturers, oil giants, Silicon Valley tech giants, billionaire-funded foundations, and big banks.

Flournoy joined the Obama administration and was appointed as under secretary of defense for policy, the position considered the "brains" of the Pentagon. She was keenly aware that the public was wary of more quagmires. In the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, she crafted a new concept of warfare that would expand the permanent war state while giving the appearance of a drawdown.

Flournoy wrote that "unmanned systems hold great promise" – a reference to the CIA's drone assassination program. This was the Obama-era military doctrine of hybrid war. It called for the U.S. to be able to simultaneously wage war on numerous fronts through secret warfare, clandestine weapons transfers to proxies, drone strikes, and cyber-attacks – all buttressed with propaganda campaigns targeting the American public through the internet and corporate news media.

Architects of America's Hybrid wars

Flournoy continued to champion the endless wars that began in the Bush-era and was a key architect of Obama's disastrous troop surge in Afghanistan. As U.S. soldiers returned in body bags and insurgent attacks and suicide bombings increased some 65% from 2009 and 2010, she deceived the Senate Armed Services Committee, claiming that the U.S. was beginning to turn the tide against the Taliban: "We are beginning to regain the initiative and the insurgency is beginning to lose momentum."

Even with her lie that the U.S. and Afghan government were starting to beat the Taliban back, Flournoy assured the senate that the U.S. would have to remain in Afghanistan long into the future: "We are not leaving any time soon even though the nature and the complexion of the commitment may change over time."

Ten years later – as the Afghan death toll passed 150,000 – Flournoy continued to argue against a U.S. withdrawal: "I would certainly not advocate a US or NATO departure short of a political settlement being in place."

That's the person Joe Biden has tasked with ending the forever war in Afghanistan. But in Biden's own words, he'll "bring the vast majority of our troops home from Afghanistan" implying some number of American troops will remain, and the forever war will be just that. Michele Flournoy explained that even if a political settlement were reached, the U.S. would maintain a presence.

Michele Flournoy: "If we are fortunate enough to see a political settlement reached, it doesn't mean that the US role or the international community is over. Afghanistan without outside investment is not a society that is going to survive and thrive. In no case are we going to be able to wash our hands of Afghanistan and walk away nor should we want to. This is something where we're going to have to continue to be engaged, just the form of engagement may change."

In 2011, the Obama-era doctrine of smart and sophisticated warfare was unveiled in the NATO regime-change war on Libya.

Moammar Gaddafi – the former adversary who sought warm relations with the U.S. and had given up his nuclear weapons program – was deposed and sodomized with a bayonet.

Flournoy, Hillary Clinton's State Department, and corporate media were in lockstep as they waged an elaborate propaganda campaign to deceive the U.S. public that Gadaffi's soldiers were on a Viagra-fueled rape and murder spree that demanded a U.S. intervention.

Fox News: "Susan Rice reportedly told a security council meeting that Libyan troops are being given viagra and are engaging in sexual violence."

MSNBC jumped on the propaganda bandwagon, claiming: "New reports emerge that the LIbyan dictator gave soldiers viagra-type pills to rape women who are opposed to the government."

So did CNN.

As the Libyan ambassador to the US alleged "raping, killing, mass graves," ICC Chief Prosecutor Manuel Ocampo claimed: "It's like a machete. Viagra is a tool of massive rapes."

All of this was based on a report from Al Jazeera – the media outlet owned by the Qatari monarchy that was arming extremist militias in Libya to overthrow the government.

Yet an investigation by the United Nations called the rape claims "hysteria." Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch found no credible evidence of even a single rape.

Even after Libya was descended into strife and the deception of Gadaffi's forces committing rape was debunked, Michele Flournoy stood by her support for the war: "I supported the intervention in Libya on humanitarian grounds. I think we were right to do it."

Tony Blinken, then Obama's deputy national security advisor, also pushed for regime change in Libya. He became Obama's point man on Syria, pushed to arm the so-called "moderate rebels" that fought alongside al-Qaeda and ISIS, and designed the red line strategy to trigger a full-on U.S. intervention. Syria, he told the public, wasn't anything like the other wars the U.S. had waging for more than a decade.

Tony Blinken: "We are doing this in a very different way than in the past. We're not sending in hundreds of thousands of American troops. We're not spending trillions of American dollars. We're being smart about this. This is a sustainable way to get at the terrorists and it's also a more effective way."

Blinken added: "This is not open-ended, this is not boots on the ground, this is not Iraq, it's not Afghanistan, it's not even Libya. The more people understand that, the more they'll understand the need for us to take this limited but effective action ."

Despite Blinken's promises that it would be a short affair, the war on Syria is now in its ninth year. An estimated half a million people have been killed as a result and the country is facing famine.

Largely thanks to the policy of using "wheat to apply pressure" – a recommendation of Flournoy and Blinken's CNAS think tank.

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When the Trump administration launched airstrikes on Syria based on mere accusations of a chemical attack, Tony Blinken praised the bombing, claiming Assad had used the weapon of mass destruction sarin. Yet there was no evidence for this claim, something even then-secretary of Defense James Mattis admitted: "So I can not tell you that we had evidence even though we had a lot of media and social media indicators that either chlorine or sarin were used ."

While jihadist mercenaries armed with U..S-supplied weapons took over large swaths of Syria, Tony Blinken played a central role in a coup d'etat in Ukraine that saw a pro-Russia government overthrown in a U.S.-orchestrated color revolution with neo-fascist elements agitating on the ground.

At the time, he was ambivalent about sending lethal weapons to Ukraine, instead opting for economic pressure.

Tony Blinken: "We're working, as I said, to make sure that there's a cost exacted of Russia and indeed that it feels the pressure. That's what we're working on. And when it comes to military assistance, we're looking at it. The facts are these: Even if assistance were to go to Ukraine that would be very unlikely to change Russia's calculus or prevent an invasion."

Since then, fascist militias have been incorporated into Ukraine's armed forces. And Tony Blinken urged Trump to send them deadly weapons – something Obama had declined to do.

But Trump obliged.

The Third Offset

While the U.S. fueled wars in Syria and Ukraine, the Pentagon announced a major shift called the Third Offset strategy – a reference to the cold war era strategies the U.S. used to maintain its military supremacy over the Soviet Union.

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The Third Offset strategy shifted the focus from counterinsurgency and the war on terror to great power competition against China and Russia. It called for a technological revolution in warfighting capabilities, development of futuristic and autonomous weapons, swarms of undersea and airborne drones, hypersonic weapons, cyber warfare, machine-enhanced soldiers, and artificial intelligence making unimaginably complex battlefield decisions at speeds incomprehensible to the human mind. All of this would be predicated on the Pentagon deepening its relationship with Silicon Valley giants that it birthed decades before: Google and Facebook.

The author of the Third Offset, former undersecretary of defense Robert Work, is a partner of Flournoy and Blinken's at WestExec Advisors. And Flournoy has been a leading proponent of this dangerous new escalation .

In June, Flournoy published a lengthy commentary laying out her strategy called " Sharpening the U.S. Military's Edge: Critical Steps for the Next Administration ."

She warned that the United States is losing its military technological advantage and reversing that must be the Pentagon's priority. Without it, Flournoy warned that the U.S. might not be able to defeat China in Asia: "That technological investment is still very important for the United States to be able to offset what will be quantitative advantages and home theater advantages for a country like China if we ever had to deal with a conflict in Asia, in their backyard."

While Flournoy has called for ramping up U.S. military presence and exercises with allied forces in the region, she went so far as to call for the U.S. to increase its destructive capabilities so much that it could launch a blitzkrieg style-attack that would wipe out the entire Chinese navy and all civilian merchant ships in the South China Sea . Not only a blatant war crime but a direct attack on a nuclear power that would spell the third world war.

At the same time, Biden has announced he'll take an even more aggressive and confrontational stance against Russia , a position Flournoy shares: "We need to invest to ensure that we maintain the military edge that we will need in certain critical areas like cyber and electronic warfare and precision strike, to again underwrite deterrence, to make sure Vladimir Putin does not miscalculate and think that he can cross a border into Europe or cross a border and threaten us militarily."

As for ending the forever wars, Tony Blinken says not so fast: "Large scale, open-ended deployment of large standing US forces in conflict zones with no clear strategy should end and will end under his watch . But we also need to distinguish between, for example, these endless wars with the large scale open ended deployment of US forces with, for example, discreet, small-scale sustainable operations, maybe led by special forces, to support local actors In ending the endless wars I think we have to be careful to not paint with too broad a brush stroke."

The end of forever wars?

So Biden will end the forever wars, but not really end them. Secret wars that the public doesn't even know the U.S. is involved in – those are here to stay.

In fact, leaving teams of special forces in place throughout the Middle East is part and parcel of the Pentagon's shift away from counterinsurgency and towards great power competition.

The 2018 National Defense Strategy explains that, "Long-term strategic competitions with China and Russia are the principal priorities" and the U.S. will "consolidate gains in Iraq and Afghanistan while moving to a more resource-sustainable approach."

As for the catastrophic war on Yemen, Biden has said he'll end U.S. support; but in 2019, Michele Flournoy argued against ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia .

Biden pledged he will rejoin the Iran deal as a starting point for new negotiations. However, Trump's withdrawal from the deal discredited the Iranian reformists who seek engagement with the west and empowered the principlists who see the JCPOA as a deal with the devil.

In Latin America, Biden will revive the so-called anti-corruption campaigns that were used as a cover to oust the popular social democrat Brazilian president Lula da Silva.

His Venezuela policy appears little different from Trump's – sanctions and regime change.

In Central America, Biden has presided over a four billion dollar package to support corrupt right-wing governments and neoliberal privatization projects, fueling destabilization and sending vulnerable masses fleeing north to the United States.

Behind their rhetoric, Biden, Flournoy, and Blinken will seek nothing less than global supremacy , escalating a new and even more dangerous arms race that risks the destruction of humanity. That's what Joe Biden calls "decency" and "normalcy."

naughty.boy , 14 hours ago

deep state will bankrupt the USA with forever wars.

Distant_Star , 14 hours ago

Yes. As a bonus neither of these Deep State wretches has even seen a shot fired in anger. They are too "important" to be at risk.

[Nov 08, 2020] How Foreign Nations View the 2020 Election - The National Interest

Nov 08, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

Russia has consistently stressed its willingness to work with either candidate -- late last month, the Kremlin's press secretary Dmitri Peskov rebuffed suggestions that Moscow prefers the incumbent: "it would be wrong to say that Trump is more attractive to us."

But Russia's political commentary sphere has proven more polarized. Some cite Biden's readiness to extend the New START treaty without additional conditions as evidence that Biden is someone that the Kremlin can do business with; others have expressed concern over the Democratic candidate's "Russophobic" cabinet picks and predict that, under a Biden presidency, Washington's policy of rollback will escalate to an unprecedented level. But there is also an overarching belief that Washington's Russia policy is so deeply embedded across U.S. institutions that not much is likely to change in U.S.-Russian relations.

As Peskov put it, "there is a fixed place on the altar of US domestic policy for hatred of Russia and a Russophobic approach to bilateral relations with Moscow." Still other commentators are interested in the process as much as the outcome, drawing attention to ongoing mass unrest and allegations of electoral misconduct in order to argue that Washington has forfeited its moral authority to lecture others on proper democratic procedure and the orderly transition of power.

[Nov 06, 2020] The EU bureaucracy and individual member states are using any, even the most absurd, reasons to enhance something they call 'containment' of Russia.

Nov 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Nov 5 2020 18:43 utc | 127

In Lavrov's interview with Kommersant which was mostly about the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, he was asked about the US Election and then about the dire state of relations with the EU. Lavrov reiterates Russia's position:

"I repeat once again that Russia will respect the choice of the American people, and that we are ready to establish constructive cooperation with the winner of the race for the White House, regardless of his party affiliation. However, considering the current circumstances, we realistically assess the prospects of bilateral cooperation and do not expect too much. Anyhow, let's wait for the voting results. We don't have long to wait."

Yes, the interview was done prior to the vote counting anarchy. IMO, we can substitute the Outlaw US Empire for the EU in Lavrov's answer about the current crisis in relations:

"Russia's relations with the European Union are in crisis – and it is not our fault. The EU bureaucracy and individual member states are using any, even the most absurd, reasons to enhance something they call 'containment' of Russia.

"New sanctions, illegitimate from the international law perspective, are being imposed. Considering the number of sanctions imposed on our citizens under far-fetched pretexts, the EU is second only to the United States. The European media continue a broad anti-Russia campaign. In trade and economy, the Brussels bureaucracy is stepping up various protectionist policies, violating WTO rules and introducing its openly politicised rules of the game as they go.

"At the same time, we are being told that Russia can "earn" the right to have normal relations with the EU by changing its behaviour. This cynicism is absolutely off the scale."

Lavrov repeats it's up to the EU to alter its behavior:

"[O]ur European colleagues must clearly understand that any interaction is only possible on an honest and equal basis and respect for each other's interests. We will not allow any one-sided games here. There will be no unilateral goodwill gestures on our part. We still hope that a rational approach and common sense will prevail, both in Brussels and in member capitals. We are ready to wait for that as well."

IMO, that wait will last months.

[Nov 03, 2020] Weaponising Human Rights- Can the Magnitsky Act deny due process- – Arena

Nov 03, 2020 | arena.org.au

WEAPONISING HUMAN RIGHTS: CAN THE MAGNITSKY ACT DENY DUE PROCESS?

William Browder at US senate hearing (screenshot from video)

ARENA ONLINE

LUCY KOMISAR

29 OCT 2020

The Australian parliament seems about to approve a 'human rights' law that would establish the ability to exert arbitrary state power over individuals in other countries who have been accused of human rights violations. Ironically, this law gives the accused no day in court, and no chance to see charges or evidence, confront accusers, present a defence or have a ruling made by an authority other than the prosecution.

The law is called a Magnitsky Act. Kimberley Kitching, a Labor senator from Victoria, has given notice that she will introduce the bill in December. If it's like the other Magnitsky Acts introduced in half a dozen countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, it will itself violate human rights when it is weaponised to target international adversaries. How did Australia come to consider a law that violates human rights? And how does it weaponise 'human rights' to target international adversaries? How come it isn't being critically questioned by the media? How come it enjoys bipartisan support ? Here is the backstory Australians don't know. I call it the Browder Hoax.

In 1998 William Browder, an American investor, gave up his passport to become British, which put him on the US Internal Revenue Service list of ' tax expatriates ', as the United Kingdom, unlike the United States, doesn't tax profits on offshore holdings. This was convenient because from the mid-1990s he invested in Russian shares, becoming, he says, the largest foreign holder of Russian stocks. The shares were moved offshore to tax-free British Virgin Island shells .

In a 2007 scam involving collusive lawsuits ('You cheated me, you must pay'; 'Yes, I agree, I will pay'), Browder's shell companies claimed to the Russian Treasury that they had to pay out all their 2006 profits and requested refunds of all taxes paid in 2006: $230 million. This was known as the tax-refund fraud.

The victim of the scam was the Russian Treasury, though Browder first lied to the Financial Times that his companies had been targeted by crooked Russian officials who were after the companies' assets. This, however, was rather unlikely, as the companies themselves were participants in the scam, and Browder later admitted in a US federal court deposition that his companies had no assets to go after.

Browder would then claim that the shells were stolen by an unrelated criminal operation, but evidence raises questions about that. His trustee, HSBC (as confirmed by the HSBC comptroller in US federal court) , said in July 2007 that it needed $7 million for legal fees to recover stolen companies, but Browder wrote in his book he didn't know that they were stolen till October of that year.

Browder declares that his 'lawyer' Sergei Magnitsky, hired in 2007 (and really his accountant since 1997), discovered the scam and was jailed because of it, and then beaten to death when he wouldn't recant. However, Browder never provided evidence of this, and neither do Magnitsky's pre-arrest testimon i es , which list him as an auditor. In fact, the scam was first revealed in April 2008 by a Russian, Rimma Starova , the figurehead director of a shell company that took over the companies, and reported in July by the New York Times and the Russian paper Vedomosti . Magnitsky didn't allude to it in testimony until October.

Magnitsky was named as a fraud collaborator by the scam's operative, Viktor Markelov, in the Russian trial that sent Markelov to prison.

In fact, the whole Magnitsky hoax was invented two years after the accountant's 2009 death (due to terrible prison medical care) when Browder needed to block the Russians from using Interpol to arrest him and return him for trial over $100,000 in tax evasion (he falsely claimed that he hired the disabled and invested locally) and illicit stock buys of Gazprom, the energy conglomerate whose share sales in Russia were then restricted to Russian citizens (he used cut-out companies with nominee owners). Browder admitted the 'disabled' ruse in his US court deposition.

Browder's public statements to Chatham House , London, and University of San Diego Law School in the two years after Magnitsky's death said nothing about his being beaten. Browder invented the story that Magnitsky was beaten to death by eight riot guards to promote the Magnitsky Act in the United States to block the Russians' tax-evasion pursuit. The Physicians for Human Rights in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to whom he gave all his evidence, contradicts the beating claim, but the 'attack' is nevertheless cited in the US law.

Thus the 2012 US 'Magnitsky Act', formally known as the Russia and Moldova Jackson–Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act 2012, sanctioned dozens of Russians that Browder said, without evidence, were responsible for the death of his claimed 'lawyer' -- that is, his accountant, Magnitsky. They were low-level officials, tax investigators, court officers, and medical and prison staff. It was a stretch to say that investigators looking into tax evasion overseen by an accountant were responsible for his death in detention.

In fact, the European Court of Human Rights ruled last year that, 'The Russians had good reason to arrest Sergei Magnitsky for Hermitage tax evasion'. It said: 'The accusations were based on documentary evidence relating to the payment of taxes by those companies and statements by several disabled persons who had confessed to sham work for the two companies. One of them testified that he had been in contact with Mr Magnitskiy, had received money from him and had assisted him in finding other sham employees. He also said that Mr Magnitskiy had told him what to say if questioned by the authorities and had asked him to participate in a tax dispute as a witness'.

None of the targeted people were given a chance to answer the charges. When former Interior Ministry tax investigator Pavel Karpov brought a defamation case in London against Browder for accusing him of the murder of Magnitsky, the judge ruled that he didn't have standing, because he didn't have a UK reputation to defend. However, the judge said there was no justification for the charge. He said, 'nothing in this judgment is intended to suggest that, if the Defendants were to continue to publish unjustified defamatory material about the Claimant, the Court would be powerless to act'. It was the only time any of the targets had anything close to due process in a court of law.

The US act was expanded to sanction human rights violators in any country of the world. Browder has had it passed in half a dozen countries, and is lobbying for an Australian version. Putting Magnitsky's name on a law builds his wall against Russian justice. But the so-called 'human rights' law has dangerous implications for the civil societies of democratic countries.

It violates due process of the law. People accused of crimes in Australia have the right to hear the charges against them, to have evidence presented in court, to challenge or refute the evidence and if found guilty to be punished according to law. Should people accused of crimes in countries other than Australia be charged here while being denied those rights?

Michael McFaul, US ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014 and a friend of Browder's, writes in his book From Cold War to Hot Peace that before the Magnitsky Act the United States had already put Russians on a sanctions list. 'I was the one that ran that decision-making process in the government. And we did that. And we don't need the Magnitsky Act to deny people visas to come to the United States of America.' But, he said, Browder wanted a more public action: 'He said that wasn't good enough -- we needed to do this publicly' -- with Magnitsky's name on the bill. McFaul went on:

'Bill and I had a philosophical disagreement. I did not believe that the U.S. government should be able to seize individuals' private property without due process. They should have the right to defend themselves in a court of law. Bill disagreed. He vowed to push on with his campaign in Congress. I wished him luck'.

In fact, the Magnitsky Act is not about human rights, which might have made the due-process issue salient. It is the weaponisation of human rights not only to benefit Browder but to attack declared adversaries. The Magnitsky Acts are now added to an arsenal of sanctions that includes economic sanctions against a country for 'crimes' attributed to their governments, though the crimes are not adjudicated by any international tribunals, which would provide due process. Though the Magnitsky Act was devised by Browder to attack Russia, Australian parliamentarians appear to be aiming it at China, which follows the United States' escalating campaign against that nation. Most of the 160 witness statements filed with the foreign affairs subcommittee considering the law came from invited witnesses attacking Beijing. Browder was one of a handful invited to give live testimony. Critics of the bill were not. Later, former senior diplomat Tony Kevin was given a chance to oppose the law in a statement and a hearing . In fact, the Australian parliament did its best to prevent critics of the proposed law from expressing their views even in print. I filed an extensive comment exposing Browder's falsehoods that was largely redacted , with links to documents blocked .

After I responded to a direct attack on me by Browder, the subcommittee refused to post my response.

One must be careful about the models one constructs. This law is aimed only at people in other countries, since Australian law guarantees due process to anyone charged in Australia. How can Australia claim jurisdiction over crimes in other countries? Would it accept other countries claiming jurisdiction over crimes alleged in Australia? This law would deprive people charged in other countries of rights enjoyed in Australia. That challenges Australia's claims to be a country that honours the rule of law. In effect, the proposed law is not aimed at people because they are human rights violators (such as some police in the United States or France) but because they are political enemies (officials in Russia and Iran). This damages the legitimate worldwide human rights movement by allowing targeted governments to dismiss charges as politically motivated. And in many cases, they would be right.

Beyond that, there may be another harmful effect. Authoritarian right-wing political movements are growing in the world. Imagine what any of their governments could do with a Star Chamber law bereft of due process that accuses and punishes political targets. They could say that they are just copying the West. The precedent is poor. Back in 2001, George W. Bush's government pushed the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution requiring all member states to pass anti-terror laws, and this rapidly became an open invitation for various regimes to bring in oppressive laws, with far-reaching consequences. The Magnitsky Act risks giving more tools to authoritarian regimes.

For more about the Browder hoax, see the 100Reporters investigative website .

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Lucy Komisar is an investigative journalist who writes about the secret underbelly of the global financial system -- offshore banking and corporate secrecy -- and its links to corporate crime; tax evasion by the corporations and the very rich; empowerment of dictators and oligarchs; bribery and corruption; drug and arms trafficking; and terrorism. She was the winner in 2010 of the Gerald Loeb, National Press Club, Sigma Delta Chi, and National Headliner awards in the United States for her exposé of Ponzi-schemer Allen Stanford, which was printed by the Miami Herald . The Loeb award is America's the United States' most prestigious prize for financial journalism. @lucykomisar

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ADD COMMENT

[Oct 26, 2020] as for what happened in Russia during the breaking up of the USSR and the transition of Russia during the 1990's - one could argue the agenda of the Harvard plan for Russia was to exploit russia for it's resource rich territory and install people like yeltsin who would happily go along with this madness

There are now much stronger arguments to believe that both Harvard mafia players and Browder were puppets of certain intelligence agencies.
Notable quotes:
"... Just how much this changed is partly witnessed in the life of bill browder - a person well known to most here... so, clearly russia made changes to try to protect itself from the encouraged kleptocracy that was in full swing in the early 1990s ..."
"... You mention Bill Browder. He is the grandson of Earl Browder, General Secretary of the Communist Party USA from 1930-1945. It is now freely admitted that Earl was always in the employ of the FBI. Bill simply continues the family business, which is Get Russia. The odds that Bill is an independent actor and is not working for .gov are same as odds that Easter Bunny is real. ..."
Oct 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Oct 25 2020 0:16 utc | 35

@ 26 eric... thanks... unfortunately it seems michael hudson hasn't really commented on russia in any significant way unless one goes back 5 years or so... i wonder how things have changed since?? here is a link to the articles that top up using russia as the search term - https://michael-hudson.com/?s=russia

i enjoyed the paul craig roberts - michael hudson article from 2019 on pcr's website... again, i am not informed enough to make an informed comment on pcr's conclusions from march of 2019... he and however much of the article hudson contributed - might be exactly right, especially in the conclusions of the 3rd to last paragraph in the article.. i don't know... thanks for the ongoing conversation..

@ Jen | Oct 24 2020 23:04 utc | 29 / 31.. thanks jen.. i haven't been to marks website in a long time! i recall moscow exile.. is he still posting their?? regarding central banks and nabiullina the head of russias central bank... i am not sure how many know this but the position of being the head of a central bank in any country is not a position that is decided upon by the country itself, or at least not in any democratic way... and the country is supposed to not get involved in the politics of it either as i understand it... instead these people are suggested in some other way - not elected - and while they do have to work with the political leadership - they can't be gotten rid of easily as i understand it.. i think a lot of this has to do with the way the international institutions work and how if a country wants to be a part of this same international system of money, they need to accept the structure as it is opaquely set up as... thus the central banks are under specific guidelines that they have to follow that comes from somewhere outside the actual country.... i would love someone to correct me on all this, but it is my present understanding of how this particular system works... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_bank

As for what happened in Russia during the breaking up of the USSR and the transition of Russia during the 1990's - one could argue the agenda of the Harvard plan for Russia was to exploit russia for it's resource rich territory and install people like Yletsin who would happily go along with this madness..

Just how much this changed is partly witnessed in the life of bill browder - a person well known to most here... so, clearly russia made changes to try to protect itself from the encouraged kleptocracy that was in full swing in the early 1990s ... just how much they have managed to ween themselves off private finance - i have no idea... it sounds like they are in the same boat as the rest of the planet in being beholden to private finance....

Of course private verses public finance is a confusing topic that keeps on getting revisited here at moa and for good reason... i don't really know how all this interfaces with everything else.. i appreciate erics particular vantage and am curious to hear of others viewpoint as well.. thanks jen.. i have some other comments to read now on this topic from H.Schmatz @ 28

oldhippie , Oct 25 2020 3:49 utc | 49
James @ 35

You mention Bill Browder. He is the grandson of Earl Browder, General Secretary of the Communist Party USA from 1930-1945. It is now freely admitted that Earl was always in the employ of the FBI. Bill simply continues the family business, which is Get Russia. The odds that Bill is an independent actor and is not working for .gov are same as odds that Easter Bunny is real.

james , Oct 25 2020 4:42 utc | 51
... ... ..

@ old hippie... yes, i was aware of that - thanks.. if you haven't seen it yet - the movie the Russian guy made on Browder is quite good - worth the watch, but i think you have to pay for it now.. there was a time where you could watch it for free... yes indeed, the son worked or works for the same folks as the father did...here is a link to the movie.. http://magnitskyact.com/

here is an interesting link that i found just looking for a link to the movie... if you haven't watched the movie, this is a good start and covers it from a particular angle..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOx78CBq0Ck

Earl Browder was an interesting dude who led an interesting life..

H.Schmatz , Oct 25 2020 11:33 utc | 63
I have not yet read the whole transcript of Putin´s long intervention in the Valdai Discussion Club, and thus, I do not know how deep he went about last frenzy on "regime change" intends in the post-Soviet space, but in case he did not put it clear enough, background of the recent explosions of regime change intends in countries surrounding Russia ( Spoiler: it was all there in a 2019 Reand Corporation file...)

US plans to remove Russia from post-Soviet space

[Oct 19, 2020] The endpoint is to weaken Russia and sabotaging its economy. Less income through oil and gas exports means less money for weapons, which affects Russia's operations beyond its borders, less money for hospitals, education, welfare etc. increasing domestic instability etc.

Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Et Tu , Oct 18 2020 10:48 utc | 111

"As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?"

The endpoint is to weaken Russia and sabotaging its economy. Less income through oil and gas exports means less money for weapons, which affects Russia's operations beyond its borders, less money for hospitals, education, welfare etc. increasing domestic instability etc.
Diplomatically Russia is also weakened by having its reputation tarnished, regardless of whether it deserves it or not.

In order to get to the King, the pieces standing in front of it must be either taken out or moved out of the way. Sanctions, informational and economic warfare are the only available pieces on the chess board, short of direct military confrontation.

[Sep 28, 2020] The Empire still refuses to deal with Russia in any other way except insults, bullying, threats, accusations, sanctions, and constant sabre-rattling by The Saker

Sep 28, 2020 | www.unz.com

Oh, but it gets better.

NATO seems to be trying to frighten Russia with maneuvers in Poland and B-52 flights over the Ukraine and the Black Sea ( see here for a full analysis). As for the Poles and Ukronazis, they apparently believe that the Russian bear covered himself in poop and ran away at full speed.

What I am going to say next is not a secret, every military person who looked into this issue knows and understands this: NATO, and I mean the combined power of all NATO member states, simply does not have the hardware needed to wage a war against Russia in Europe. What NATO does have is only sufficient to trigger a serious incident which might result in a shooting war. But once this war starts, the chances of victory for NATO are exactly zero. Why?

Well, for one thing, while coalitions of countries might give a thin veneer of political legitimacy to a military action (in reality, only a UNSC resolution would), in purely military terms you are much better off having a single national military. Not only that, but coalitions are nothing but the expression of an often held delusion: the delusion that the little guy can hide behind the back of the big guy. Poland's entire history can be summarized in this simple principle: strike the weak and bootlick (or even worse !) the powerful. In contrast, real military powers don't count on some other guy doing the heavy lifting for them. They simply fight until they win.

Yes, the Europeans, being the cowards that they are, do believe that there is safety in numbers. But each time these midgets gang up on Russia and start barking (or, to use Putin's expression, start oinking ) all together, the Russians clearly see that the Europeans are afraid. Otherwise, they would not constantly seek somebody to protect them (even against a non-existing threat).

As a direct result of this delusion, NATO simply does not have the equivalent of the First Guard Tank Army in spite of the fact that NATO has a bigger population and much bigger budgets than Russia. Such a tank Army is what it would take to fight a real war in Europe, Russia has such an Army. NATO does not.

The other thing NATO does not have is a real integrated multi-layered air defense system. Russia does.

Lastly, NATO has no hypersonic weapons. Russia does.

(According to President Trump, the US does have super-dooper " hydrosonic " weapons, but nobody really knows what that is supposed to mean).

I would even argue that the comparatively smaller Belarusian military could make hamburger meat of the roughly three times larger Polish armed forces in a very short time (unlike the Poles, the Belarusian are excellent soldiers and they know that they are surrounded by hostile countries on three sides).

As for the "armed forces" of the Baltic statelets, they are just a sad joke.

One more example: the Empire is now sending ships into the Black Sea as some kind of "show of force". Yet, every military analyst out there knows that the Black Sea is a "Russian lake" and that no matter how many ships the US or NATO sends into the Black Sea, their life expectancy in case of a conflict would be measured in minutes.

There is a popular expression in Russia which, I submit, beautifully sums up the current US/NATO doctrine: пугать ежа голой задницей , which can be translated as " trying to scare a hedgehog with your naked bottom ".

The truth is that NATO military forces currently are all in very bad shape – all of them, including the US – and that their only advantage over Russia is in numbers. But as soon as you factor in training, command and control, the ability to operate with severely degraded C3I capabilities, the average age of military hardware or morale – the Russian armed forces are far ahead of the West.

Does anybody sincerely believe that a few B-52s and a few thousand soldiers from different countries playing war in Poland will really scare the Russian generals?

But if not – why the threats?

My explanation is simple: the rulers of the Empire simply hope that the people in the West will never find out how bad their current military posture really is, and they also know that Russia will never attack first – so they simply pretend like they are still big, mighty and relevant. This is made even easier by the fact that the Russians always downplay their real capabilities (in sharp contrast to the West which always brags about "the best XYZ in the world"). That, and the fact that nobody in the Western ruling classes wants to admit that the game is over and that the Empire has collapsed.

... the Empire still refuses to deal with Russia in any other way except insults, bullying, threats, accusations, sanctions, and constant sabre-rattling. This has never, and I mean never, worked in the past, and it won't work in the future. But, apparently, NATO generals simply cannot comprehend that insanity can be defined as " doing the same thing over and over again, while hoping to achieve different results ".

Finally, I will conclude with a short mention of US politicians.

First, Trump. He now declares that the Russians stole the secret of hypersonic weapons from Obama. This reminds me of how the Brits declared that Russia stole their vaccine against the sars-cov-2 virus. But, if the Russians stole all that, why is it that ONLY Russia has deployed hypersonic weapons (not the US) and ONLY Russia has both two vaccines and 2 actual treatments (and not the UK)? For a good laugh, check out Andrei Martyanov's great column " Russia Steal Everything ".

And then there is Nancy Pelosi who, apparently, is considering, yes, you guessed it – yet another impeachment attempt against Trump? The charge this time? Exercising this Presidential prerogative to nominate a successor to Ruth Ginsburg. Okay, Pelosi might be senile, but she also is in deep denial if she thinks impeaching Trump is still a viable project. Frankly? I think that she lost it.

In fact, I think that all the Dems have gone absolutely insane: they are now considering packing both the Supreme Court and the Senate. The fact that doing so will destroy the US political system does not seem to bother them in the least.

Conclusion: quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat !

We live in a world where facts or logic have simply become irrelevant and nobody cares about such clearly outdated categories. We have elevated " doubleplusgoodthinking " into an art form. We have also done away with the concepts of "proof" or "evidence" which we have replaced with variations on the "highly likely" theme. We have also, for all practical purpose, jettisoned the entire corpus of international law and replaced it with " rules-based international order ". In fact, I can only agree with Chris Hedges who, in his superb book the " Empire of illusions " and of the "triumph of spectacle". He is absolutely correct: not only is this a triumph of appearance over substance, and of ideology over reality, it is even the triumph of self-destruction over self-preservation.

There is not big "master plan", no complex international conspiracy, no 5D chess. All we have is yet another empire committing suicide and, like so many before this one, this suicide is executed by this empire's ruling classes.

Lawofkarma , says: September 26, 2020 at 1:34 am GMT

According to the updated Russian military doctrine, any missile fired at Russia would be considered tipped with Nuclear war head. If so, with available Hypersonic weapons, a significant portions of the Empire, including EU would be potentially turned to Radioactive ash within 20 minutes. Does this register at the highest levels of the Empire? I surely hope so.

[Sep 19, 2020] The Twilight of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization - CounterPunch.org

Sep 19, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

SEPTEMBER 2, 2020 The Twilight of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization by MELVIN GOODMAN Facebook Twitter Reddit Email

Photograph Source: Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-P098967 – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

It is time for the United States to debate the downsizing, if not the dissolution, of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). U.S. national security would be strengthened by the demise of NATO because Washington would no longer have to guarantee the security of 14 Central and East European nations, including the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. European defense coordination and integration would be more manageable without the participation of authoritarian governments in Poland and Hungary. Key West European nations presumably would favor getting out from under the use of U.S. military power in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia, which has made them feel as if they were "tins of shoe polish for American boots."

Russia would obviously be a geopolitical winner in any weakening -- let alone the demise -- of NATO, but the fears of Russian military intervention outside of the Slavic community are exaggerated. The East European and Baltic states would protest any weakening of NATO, but it would be an incentive for them to increase their own security cooperation.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was created seven decades ago as a political and military alliance to "keep the United States in Europe; the Soviet Union out of Europe; and Germany down in Europe." The collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989; the Warsaw Pact and the East European communist governments in 1990; and the Soviet Union in 1991 marked the high water mark for the alliance.

For the past three decades, however, the United States has weakened NATO by forcing a hurried and awkward expansion on the alliance. Most recently in 2020, North Macedonia was admitted as its 30th member, further weakening the integrity of the alliance. Did President Donald Trump actually believe that the presence of North Macedonia as well as 13 other Central European states would strengthen U.S. security?

The enlargement of NATO demonstrated the strategic mishandling of Russia, which now finds the United States and Russia in a rivalry reminiscent of the Cold War. President Bill Clinton was responsible for bringing former members of the Warsaw Pact into NATO, starting in the late-1990s; President George W. Bush introduced former republics of the Soviet Union in his first term. German Chancellor Angela Merkel deserves credit for dissuading Bush from seeking membership for Ukraine and Georgia.

The United States justified the expansion of NATO as a way to create more liberal, democratic members, but this has not been the case for the East European members. Russia, moreover, views the expansion as a return to containment and a threat to its national security. Russia was angered by the expansion from the outset, particularly since President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker assured Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze that the United States wouldn't "leap frog" over Germany if the Soviets pulled their 380,000 troops out of East Germany.

NATO's success from 1949 to 1991 was marked by a common perception of the Soviet threat, which is the key to solidarity in any alliance framework. In 2020, however, the 30 members of NATO no longer share a common perception of the Russian threat in Europe. The United States has one view of Russia; the key nations of West Europe have a more benign view; and the East Europeans perceive a dire threat that the others do not share. The United States has always expressed some dissatisfaction with the asymmetric burden sharing and risk sharing within the alliance, and the Trump administration has threatened to withdraw from NATO over the burden sharing issue.

Turkey has rapidly become the outlier within NATO, and there have been a series of confrontations in the eastern Mediterranean that threaten the integrity of the alliance. Greek and Turkish warships collided in August, creating the first such confrontation between the two navies since 1996, when the Clinton administration mediated the problem. The United States no longer acts in such diplomatic capacities, so French President Emmanuel Macron has stepped into the breach by sending jet aircraft to the Greek island of Crete as well as warships to exercise with the antiquated Greek navy. Greece and Turkey, which joined NATO together in 1952, are rivals over economic zones in the Mediterranean where there are important deposits of oil and natural gas. Greece and Turkey have squabbled since 1974 over the divided island of Cyprus.

Turkey and France have additional differences over Turkey's violations of the UN arms embargo on Libya. The two NATO allies had a confrontation in the Mediterranean when a French warship tried to inspect a Turkish vessel. Last week, France joined military exercises with Greece and Italy in the eastern Mediterranean following a Turkish maritime violation of contested waters. Paris backs Athens in the conflicting claims with Ankara over rights to potential hydrocarbon resources on the continental shelf in the Mediterranean.

President Macron took a particularly tough line in stating that he was setting "red lines" in the Mediterranean because the "Turks only consider and respect a red-line policy," adding that he "did it in Syria" as well. Macron's tough stance is somewhat surprising in view of the concern of France and other European NATO countries regarding Turkey's ability to turn on the refugee spigot, which would cause economic problems in southern Europe. Turkey has been using the refugee issue as leverage since 2015, when huge numbers of refugees in West Europe led to a rightward shift in European politics.

There is also the problem of Turkey's purchase of the most sophisticated Russian air defense system, the S-400, which was developed to counter the world's most sophisticated jet fighter, the U.S. F-35. As a result of the purchase of the S-400 system, the United States reneged on the sale of eight F-35s to Turkey at a loss of $862 million, creating additional problems between Trump and Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey had planned to buy 100 F-35s over the next several years, and had begun pilot training in the United States.

Trump's constant harangues about burden sharing have created more friction within NATO. Trump falsely takes credit for increased European defense spending, but it was the Obama administration that successfully arranged greater Canadian and European defense spending in 2014 in the wake of Russia's seizure of Crimea. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg panders regularly to Trump on the issue of increased defense spending, ignoring Trump's false claims that NATO spending will increase by $400 billion annually. The $400 billion is in fact the increased spending over an eight-year period.

With Trump's drift toward isolationism and unilateralism ("America First"), there is incentive for the European Community to take control of its own "autonomous" defense policy. The Europeans have reason to believe that a second presidential term for Trump could lead to a sudden U.S. withdrawal from NATO. The unilateralist character of U.S. foreign and defense policy strengthens the case for building European defense cooperation along side of an undetermined transatlantic relationship with the United States.

Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University. A former CIA analyst, Goodman is the author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism . and A Whistleblower at the CIA . His most recent book is "American Carnage: The Wars of Donald Trump" (Opus Publishing), and he is the author of the forthcoming "The Dangerous National Security State" (2020)." Goodman is the national security columnist for counterpunch.org .

[Sep 18, 2020] West wanted Moscow to open up to international media 30 years ago, now it's discriminating against Russian outlets - FM Lavrov -- RT Russia Former Soviet Union

Sep 18, 2020 | www.rt.com

West wanted Moscow to open up to international media 30 years ago, now it's discriminating against Russian outlets - FM Lavrov 18 Sep, 2020 15:35 Get short URL West wanted Moscow to open up to international media 30 years ago, now it's discriminating against Russian outlets - FM Lavrov FILE PHOTO © REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer 10 Follow RT on RT The West encouraged Russia to launch a new era of transparency during 'perestroika,' yet the very same democracy lecturers are today stigmatizing RT and Sputnik for "state funding" – which its own foreign media outlets rely on.

That's according to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who pointed out that US broadcaster RFE/RL, which is openly state-run, and British outlet BBC are also financed from public funds.

Two of Russia's broadcasters are facing open discrimination across their countries of accreditation, Lavrov told Sputnik.

RT has been forced to register with the US Justice Department under the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Its correspondents have also been barred from attending events hosted by the French president; likewise, RT and Sputnik have faced enormous difficulties while reporting from Baltic nations.

ALSO ON RT.COM Twitter labels RT & Sputnik but NOT BBC, NPR & VOA as it launches blitz on state media staff & govt officials

"We are being presented with the argument that there is state funding [for RT and Sputnik]," Lavrov commented. Nevertheless, there are is media in the West – the BBC and Radio Liberty being prime examples – that also receive government donations and "are considered beacons of democracy."

They also rely on state funding, but for some reason no restrictive measures are being taken against them, including through the internet, where censorship is now openly introduced.

This comes as audiences of both broadcasters are growing and their popularity is on the rise. "I saw the statistics; I can only assume that this is another sign of the fear of competition on the side of those who dominated the global information market until recently," the foreign minister said.

The pressure Western nations pile on Russian media is one reason to wonder if they actually practice what they preach. Lavrov recalled that the West demanded Russia "open up to the world" during the period of perestroika – including by allowing full access "to any kind of information, whether it was based on domestic sources or came from abroad."

Thirty years later, the West is "already even embarrassed" to stick to the same principles when Russia asks "that access to information be respected, including in France with respect to Sputnik and RT," Lavrov stated. France has its own state-funded outlets, such as AFP, Radio France International and France 24.

Double standards, hypocrisy – unfortunately, these are the words to describe their position.

Russia will take these matters to the upcoming ministerial summit of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) this December. "These questions will not disappear anywhere from the agenda, our Western colleagues will have a lot to answer," Lavrov vowed.

Speaking about the pressure put on Russia in general – and often initiated by the media and not among political circles – Lavrov described the current times as "the age of social media, disinformation and fake news." It is fairly easy "to throw any invention into the media domain" and get away with it, he said, adding, "and then no one will read the rebuttal."

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[Sep 11, 2020] Will the alleged Alexey Navalny poisoning sink the Nord Stream 2 pipeline- It might, but it shouldn t -- RT Op-ed

Sep 11, 2020 | www.rt.com

Will the alleged Alexey Navalny poisoning sink the Nord Stream 2 pipeline? It might, but it shouldn't 11 Sep, 2020 17:39 / Updated 4 hours ago Get short URL © REUTERS/Stine Jacobsen/File Photo; © AFP/Vasily MAXIMOV 11 Follow RT on RT

By Dr. Karin Kneissl , who works as an energy analyst and book author. She served as the Austrian minister of foreign affairs from 2017-2019. In June, she published her book on diplomacy 'Diplomatie Macht Geschichte' in Germany through Olms, and in early September her book 'Die Mobilitätswende', or 'Mobility in Transition', was released in Vienna by Braumüller. The cacophony of noise generated in the wake of the attack on the Russian opposition figure is drowning out the reality. As Angela Merkel has always maintained, the German-Russian gas deal is purely a commercial project.

Nord Stream has always had the ingredients to drive sober-minded Germans emotional. I remember energy conferences in Germany back in 2006 when already the idea of such a gas pipeline as a direct connection from Russia to Germany provoked deep political rows, not just in Berlin but across the EU.

Conservatives disliked it for the simple reason that it was a "Schröder thing," the legacy of social democrat Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who lost the election of September 2005 to Angela Merkel. Schröder had negotiated the project with his good friend, President Vladimir Putin, and then chaired the company in charge of implementing it.

READ MORE Nord Stream 2 must be completed: Don't politicize Russian energy project over Navalny situation – Merkel Party politics and pipelines

Around that time, I was invited to an energy conference in Munich by the conservative think tank, the Hanns Seidel Foundation, managed by the Bavarian party CSU, the traditional junior partner of the ruling CDU in the government. The bottom-line of the debate on Nord Stream was negative, with the consensus being that the German-Russian pipeline would lead to the implosion of a European common foreign policy and damage the EU's energy ambitions.

I attended many other such events across Germany, from parliament to universities, and listened carefully to all the arguments. The feelings towards Nord Stream were much more benign at meetings held under the auspices of the SPD.

But over the years, the rift between different political parties evaporated, and a consensus emerged which supported enhanced energy cooperation between Berlin and Moscow. Politicians of all shades defended the first pipeline, Nord Stream 1, after it went operational in 2011, bringing Russian gas directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

They also enthusiastically supported the creation of the second, Nord Stream 2, better known by its acronym NS2. This $11bn (£8.4bn) 1,200km pipeline is almost finished and was due to go online next year.

But now, in the very final stage of construction, everything has been thrown in limbo thanks to the alleged poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny.

NS2 has always been controversial. Critics, such as the US and Poland, have argued that it makes Germany too reliant on energy from a politically unreliable partner. President Trump last year signed a law imposing sanctions on any firm that helps Russia's state-owned gas company, Gazprom, finish it. The White House fears NS2 will tighten Russia's grip over Europe's energy supply and reduce its own share of the lucrative European market for American liquefied natural gas.

These sanctions have caused delays to the project. A special ship owned by a Swiss company menaced with sanctions had to be replaced. And prior to that, various legal provisions were brought up by the European Commission that had to be fulfilled by the companies in retrospect.

Now the case of Navalny, currently being treated at a Berlin clinic after being awoken from a medically induced coma, has thrown everything up in the air again. It has triggered a political cacophony that threatens relations between Germany, the EU, Russia, and Washington. And at the center is the pipeline.

READ MORE 'Fraught with consequences for Russian-German relations': Moscow furious with Berlin over lack of cooperation on Navalny

Various German sources, among them laboratories of the armed forces, have alleged that Navalny had been poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) stated in an interview published on Sunday by Bild: " I hope the Russians don't force us to change our stance on Nord Stream 2 – we have high expectations of the Russian government that it will solve this serious crime ." He claimed to have seen " a lot of evidence " that the Russian state was behind the attack. " The deadly chemical weapon with which Navalny was poisoned was in the past in the possession of Russian authorities ," he insisted.

He conceded that stopping the almost-completed pipeline would harm German and broader European business interests, pointing out that the gas pipeline's construction involves "over 100 companies from 12 European countries, and about half of them come from Germany." Maas also threatened the Kremlin with broader EU sanctions if it did not help clarify what happened "in the coming days." Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded by labeling the accusations "groundless" and Moscow has staunchly denied any involvement in the affair.

The whole matter is complicated by domestic political considerations in Germany. CDU politician Norbert Röttgen, who heads up foreign affairs within the ruling party and has demanded that the pipeline should be stopped, is among those conservatives vying to lead the CDU in the run-up to Chancellor Angela Merkel's retirement next year. Meanwhile, Merkel is still trying to strike a balance between the country's legal commitments, her well-known mantra that NS2 is a " purely commercial project, " and what is now a major foreign policy crisis.

The chancellor had always focused on the business dimension. But most large energy projects also have a geopolitical dimension, and that certainly holds true with Nord Stream.

When I was Austria's foreign minister, I saw first-hand the recurring and very harsh criticism of the project by US politicians and officials. I remember the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, in a speech at the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2018 that focused solely on NS2. I replied by pointing out to him that pipelines are not built to annoy others, but because there is demand. One thing was certain – the US opposition to Nord Stream would not wane and now the Navalny case has given it new impetus. What we are witnessing is a tremendous politicization of the pipeline with a wide range of people all shouting very loudly.

ALSO ON RT.COM Craig Murray: Opposition figure Navalny may possibly have been targeted by Russian state, but Western narrative doesn't add up Diplomatic confrontation instead of solution

So here we are, in a very poisoned atmosphere where it might be difficult to revise positions without losing face. The social democrat Maas, just like the conservative Röttgen and many others, have taken to the media for different reasons. In my observation, it might have to do with their respective desires to take a strong position in order to also mark their upcoming emancipation from the political giant Merkel (she is due to step down next year).

Due to her professional and empathetic handling of the pandemic, she is today much more popular than before the crisis. That makes it difficult for a junior partner, represented by Foreign Minister Maas, and for all those who wish to challenge her inside the party.

What is needed is to get the topic out of the media and out of the to-and-fro of daily petty politics. Noisy statements might serve some, but not the overall interests involved. And there are many at stake. It is not only about energy security in times of transition, namely moving away from nuclear, but much wider matters.

As a legal scholar, I deem the loss of trust in contracts. Vertragstreue, as we call it in German – loyalty to the contract – will be the biggest collateral damage if the pipeline is abandoned for political reasons. This fundamental principle of every civilization was coined as pacta sunt servanda by the Romans – agreements must be kept. Our legal system is based on this. Who would still conclude contracts of such volumes with German companies if politics can change the terms of trade overnight?

ALSO ON RT.COM German FM links Nord Stream 2 to Navalny, threatens sanctions as Moscow accuses Berlin of dragging feet on alleged poisoning probe Remember South Stream

In June 2014, construction sites on the coasts of the Black sea, both in Russia and Bulgaria, were ready for starting the gas pipeline South Stream. After pressure from the European Commission, the work never started. The political reason was the dispute on Ukraine – in particular, the annexation of the Crimea. However, the legal argument was that the tenders for the contracts were in contradiction with EU regulations on competition. Tens of thousands of work permits, which had been issued from Bulgaria to Serbia etc., were withdrawn. The economic consequence was the rise of China's influence in the region. South Stream was redirected to Turkey.

So here we are in the midst of a diplomatic standoff. It is a genuine dilemma, but it could also turn into a watershed. Will contracts be respected or will we move into a further cycle of uncertainty on all levels? Germany is built on contracts, norms (probably much too many) and not on arbitrariness.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

silvermoon 5 hours ago

All these weeks have passed and Germany has still not shown shared actual evidence of their Navalny tests with Russia though. That is the same as saying we found the gun with your finger prints on it but never showing it.

Count_Cash silvermoon 3 hours ago

Correct, Germany has only since 10th September (if confirmed) shared any 'evidence'. That is sufficient intervening time to concoct any test result and associated materials that they want - another Diesel scandal. Indeed people will ask why when you had the patient on 22nd of august, it took you so long to send samples to the OPCW, despite almost immediately yelling Poison!

gainwmn silvermoon 5 hours ago

U stupid sheep: Germany did show it to the OPCW, i.e. the organization RF is the member of, and therefore the latter gets the full access to all the data provided by Germany, as well as any other of 192 members. Kremlin lies and demands in this regard is more than ridiculous, they completely destroy any shred of trust left to all RF governmental structures and regime itself.

Teodor Nitu gainwmn 3 hours ago

Riiight!...Those Russians...not only their chemical weapons are no longer working, but they are no longer capable to choose the proper time to use them, or so the story goes. Think about it; they 'used' novichok to kill the Skripals and they are still alive and well (supposedly), now they (Russians) 'used' novichok again to kill Navalny and he is alive and getting better.

Besides, they chose the absolutely wrong time to do it. With Skripals it was just before the opening of the World Cup in Russia and now, just before the finishing of the North Stream 2 pipeline.

It sounds that they are sabotaging their own interests, aren't they? Are they (Russians) that stup!d? Some 'smart' posters here seem to believe it. But lets get real, one has to be able to see beyond the length of his nose, in order to understand what is really going on.

silvermoon Teodor Nitu 2 hours ago

Russia had all their chemical weapons legally destroyed. Along with hundreds of countries. The US, UK and Israel never did. Navalny the innocent anti Putin. Can't win one way try another.

Pro_RussiaPole gainwmn 2 hours ago

So why is Russia still asking for it? Clearly, something is being withheld. As for the OPCW, their credibility has been shot for years with all their fake Syrian chem weapon attack reports.

seawolf 6 hours ago

Even if there was not Navalny's story, they could invent another to stop the project.

Abraxas79 seawolf 4 hours ago

Exactly. I hope Russia is the one that abandons it. Let Germany be the one that decides to cancel it and go along with it. Concentrate on supplying China and other Asian nations and internal consumption. Forget about Europe. You don't have to turn off the current supply, just charge more for it when the market allows. Looks like the next German leader according to this article is quite the Russophobe, which means relations will only get worse.

Pro_RussiaPole Abraxas79 2 hours ago

If this navalny farce does end up cancelling the NS2 project, Russia should stop all gas transit to western Europe through Poland and Ukraine by spring of next year. Tell those countries that will be cut off that Russia can either sell them LNG, or that they will have to connect to other sources of gas. Because if certain countries are so against Russian gas, then why are they not doing anything against Russian gas going through Poland and Ukraine, and why isn't Trump threatening sanctions on these countries for doing so?

Blue8ball713 RTjackanory 3 hours ago

Its a far longer list and it have the fingerprints of GB secret services all over it.

Reply Gabriel Delpino seawolf 46 seconds ago It is not in the interest of Germany to stop de project. Reply

magicmirror 6 hours ago

Europe should have nothing to do with the USA ....... proved time and time again they cannot be trusted. All they want is markets, resources and consumers. They lie, they cheat, they steal...... (quoting mr Pompeo, I think). A big opportunity to win Europe's independence.

SmellLaRata 5 hours ago

All due respect for Mr. Navalny but since when does an individual fate of one person dictates the fate for millions ? And c' mon Germany. Your hypocrisy is so utterly laughable. You ignore the Assange and Snowden cases, the slaughter of Kashoggi, the brutal beating of yellow vests, the brutal actions against the Catalans ... but Navalni. Not even a hint of a proof of government involvemen. But it fits the agenda, does it? The agenda which is dictated by the deep state agitators who so much flourished under Obama.

gainwmn SmellLaRata 4 hours ago

Even being not a fan (to say the least) of the US foreign and some of the domestic policy, I have to point out that tried by U analogy is largely out of balance: first, the issue in Navalny (as well as in Scripals' and others cases acted on with poisons) case is not so much the assassination attempt on a person's life, as the banned use of chemical weapons, the ban RF's signature has been under since 1993. And that conclusion (Russia's guilt) has not been made by the UK or Germany or any other country alone, but the OPCW - the organization not only RF is the member of, but also 191(!) other countries, out of which not a single country (except RF) rejected that conclusion!; second, the US did not made attempt on either Snowden's or Assange's life, with any kind of weapon, not already mentioning the weapons banned by the international agreements American government(s) signed. This is a large - I would say - decisive difference! As far as Kashoggi's case or other cases sited by U, RF did not react with sanctions against the respective perpetrators either, thus demonstrating the same disregard for the law and order as the US did... therefore making all lies about innocent RF and evil US, foolish, at the least.

Pro_RussiaPole gainwmn 2 hours ago

The US and its lackeys are killing Assange. They are doing it slowly. And many voices going along with a lie does not make the lie true. Because these poisoning allegations are lies. The accused were never allowed to see the evidence or challenge it. And there is the whole issue of politicized reports coming out of the OPCW that contradicted evidence and reality.

Nathi Sibbs 4 hours ago

After completing the pipe and it start running Russia must turn off all Ukraine pipes. No more gas for free from Russia, Ukraine must start importing LNG from thier reliable partner USA. I think imports from USA will be good for Ukrainian Nazi people

Abraxas79 Nathi Sibbs 4 hours ago

How are they going to pay for it? Ukraine's only exports these days are its women to various brothels across Europe and North America.

Hilarous 5 hours ago

The German leaders know very well that the case of Navalny will never be resolved and exists for no other reason than to seize a pretext to demonize Russia and to end Nord Stream 2 in exchange for US freedom gas

magicmirror Hilarous 4 hours ago

freedom gas and handsome presents .....

SandythePole 3 hours ago

This is an excellent account by Dr Karin Kneissl. It is a genuine dilemma for 'occupied' Europe. Its occupying master does NOT want NS2 and will do anything to stop it. Russia suffers sanctions upon sanctions, but still gallantly tries to maintain friendly and honourable business relations with its implacable neighbours. For how much longer is this to continue? Surely there must be some limit to the endless provocations of occupied Europe and its Western master. Perhaps it is time to shut off the oil and gas and leave Germany to sail under its own wind.

dunkie56 3 hours ago

Perhaps Russia should disengage with Germany/EU totally and forge ahead in partnership with China and India and whoever wants to do business. let the EU tie it's ship to the sinking US ship and drown along with it's protection racket partner! Then Russia should build a new iron curtain between itself and all countries who want to align with the EU..in the long run Russia has tried to forge a partnership with the West but it just has not born any fruit and even as pragmatic as Russia is they must be coming to the conclusion they are flogging a dead horse!

Blue8ball713 dunkie56 2 hours ago With 146 million citizen Russia is too small to be a real partner to anyone like China or India. Best fit is the EU, but the EU is controlled or better said occupied by the USA. Its part of their hegemonial system. So Russia is left out in the rain..

micktaketo 5 hours ago

I am not sure if it is the right thing to do but I think Russia should sue the German authorities if this deal is withdrawn and if it is have nothing to do with Germany again along with other corrupt countries that cannot prove or at the least bring forth their evidence to be seen, to be transparent to all even Russia the first, because Russia is the one being accused. These countries must think we the people are all completely stupid and Russia more so. This corruption stinks to high heaven and is obvious to all sane people who love fairness. You cannot trust an entity that believes in getting what they want by hook or by crook. Russia learn your lesson ! So you countries that love whats good for you and your people do not cheat them for they voted for you to help them. Germany do not kick yourself, it will hurt your people. Saying, There is more than one way to skin a cat, they say.

Mutlu Ozer 3 hours ago

There is a simple concept to investigate a crime to find the criminals: Just look at whose benefit the crime is? EU politicians are certainly smart people to know this basic concept of criminal investigation. However, now they are playing a new strategy about how to domesticate(!) not only Russia China as well... Germans are the main actors in the stage of the WW-I and WW-II. I surely claim that Germans would be the main architect of the last war, WW-III.

[Sep 01, 2020] How Democrats and Republicans made deals to pass Magnitsky Act by Lucy Komisar

Highly recommended!
The foreign policy elite dislikes Russia, always has, and will do anything to keep this "adversary" front and center because their prospects for prestige, power and position depend upon the presence of an enemy. As an example see Strobe Talbot and Michael McFaul.
Notable quotes:
"... Ben Cardin agreed to be the cosponsor of a Magnitsky Act in the Senate. He sought a Republican cosponsor, John McCain, a Russophobic senator who never met a war he didn't like. ..."
"... It wasn't the first time McCain helped a fraudster. McCain was one of the corrupt "Keating Five" senators who improperly intervened in 1987 on behalf of Charles H. Keating, Jr., corrupt chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which collapsed in 1989 at a cost of $3.4 billion to the federal government (and thus taxpayers). Many investors lost their life savings. ..."
"... To get to McCain and others, Browder hired lobbyist Juleanna Glover, who had been Vice President Dick Cheney's press secretary and then Attorney General John Ashcroft's senior policy adviser. She went with Ashcroft when he left government to run the Washington office of his law firm, the Ashcroft Group. ..."
"... She got Browder a meeting with McCain who agreed to sponsor the Magnitsky Act. It fit with his Russophobia and friendship with fraudsters. ..."
"... On September 29, 2010, Senators Ben Cardin, John McCain, Roger Wicker (Republican of Mississippi) and Joe Lieberman (Democrat of Connecticut) introduced the bill in the Senate. Anyone involved in the false arrest, torture or death of Sergei Magnitsky, or the crimes he uncovered, would be publicly named, banned from entering the United States, and have their U.S. assets frozen. ..."
"... Remember again that a few months later Browder would tell the San Diego law school he didn't know how Magnitsky died. ..."
"... How the Browder-Magnitsky hoax law got passed in a trade deal ..."
"... Browder got Senator Joe Lieberman, conservative Democrat from Connecticut, to agree to block Jackson-Vanik repeal unless the administration stopped blocking his Magnitsky Act. ..."
"... Lieberman and the other cosponsors of the Magnitsky Act sent a letter to Montana Democratic Senator Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. The letter said, "In the absence of the passage of the Magnitsky leg­islation, we will strongly oppose the lifting of Jackson-Vanik." ..."
"... The final count December 6, 2012 was 92-4. Levin and three other Democrats – Bernie Sanders as well as Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, both of Rhode Island – were the only Senators to vote against it. Elizabeth Warren was not yet in the Senate. ..."
"... It was signed by Obama a week later. Read Title IV of the law to see how it is based on the fake claims the chief sponsors would not, could not prove. Including "he was beaten by 8 guards with rubber batons on the last day of his life" based on zero evidence, just Browder's lies. (I also wrote to Cardin's office and got no reply.) ..."
Aug 19, 2020 | www.thekomisarscoop.com

As the Democratic Convention is in progress, it is fitting to look at how Democrats in Congress and the White House, with Republican collaboration, were responsible for the Magnitsky Act , the law that protects tax fraudster William Browder and his henchman Mikhail Khodorkovsky by erecting a wall against their having to face justice for their financial crimes. And ramps up hostility against Russia.

The fraudster William Browder .

This is a half-hour interview about this I did today on this subject for Fault Lines . And a 15-minute interview for The Critical Hour . Here is an expanded version of what I said.

William Browder in the mid-1990s became manager of the Hermitage Fund, set up with $25 million from Lebanese-Brazilian banker Edmond Safra and Israeli mining investor Beny Steinmez to buy shares in Russian companies.

He says he started the fund, but that is a lie. He was brought in to manage other people's money. But after some years, when the two investors either died or confronted major financial problems, Browder gained control.

Browder doesn't like paying taxes.

Browder was an American who traded his citizenship for a UK passport in 1998 so he could avoid paying U.S. taxes on his stock profits. ( CBS called him a tax expatriate.)

He didn't like paying Russian taxes either. In an early rip-off, he and his partners billionaire Kenneth Dart of Dart cups and New York investor Francis Baker bought a majority of Avisma, a titanium company, that produces material used in airplanes. They cheated minority investors and the Russian tax collector of profits by using transfer pricing.

Corrupt Russian "oligarch" Mikhail Khodorkovsky, photo Lucy Komisar.

You sell your production to a fake company at a low price, then your fake company sells it at the world price. You book lower dividends to cheat minority shareholders, report lower taxes to cheat the Russian people.

Browder and partners bought Avisma from infamous oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky on the basis of continuing his transfer pricing scam. It was revealed by documents in a lawsuit when Browder and partners sued another infamous guy, Peter Bond, the Isle of man crook handling the rake-offs for not passing on the full amount of the skim. (No honor among thieves!) The legal documents where Browder admits to the scam are linked in this story .

Browder cheats bigtime on Russia taxes

Browder's next corruption was to cheat the Russians of taxes from his stock buys in Russia, to the tune of about $100million. That included claiming as deductions disabled workers who didn't work for him, local investments he never made, profits from stock buys of Gazprom the Russian energy conglomerate that non-Russians were not allowed to buy in Russia.

Investigations started in the early 2000s for $40 mil in evaded takes and led to legal judgments in 2004. When he refused to pay, in November 2005 he was denied a Russian visa and in 2006 he moved all his assets out of Russia. But the Russian tax evasion investigations continued.

Browder's accountant Sergei Magnitsky was arrested for investigation of the tax evasion in 2008, and the European Commission on Human Rights ruled last year that was correct because of the evidence and because he was a flight risk. Browder's fake narrative was that Magnitsky, who he lied was his lawyer , had been arrested because he blew the whistle on a scheme by Russian officials to embezzle money from the Russian Treasury. In his own U.S. federal court deposition , Browder admits Magnitsky didn't go to law school or have a law license. See his brief video on that.

Browder gives speeches that he didn't know how Magnitsky died

Then Magnitsky died of heart failure exacerbated by stomach disease which forensic reports say was not properly treated. Browder first said (in talks at the British foreign policy association Chatham House , London, a month after he died, and San Diego Law School -- video at minute 6:20 -- a year later) he didn't know how Magnitsky died, but after a few years he invented a story that he had been beaten to death.

Jonathan Winer, who helped Browder with his scam.

That story was developed by Jonathan Winer, a former assistant to Senator John Kerry and then a State Department official. Winer was working for APCO, an international public relations company one of whose major clients was the same Mikhail Khodorkovsky. They correctly assumed the western media would do no research. Or at least would not be allowed to report it. And the mainstream media never did, except much later Der Spiegel in Germany, which the rest of the western press ignored.

The plan was to get a U.S. law that would in effect block the Russians from going after certain Americans who had cheated on taxes. They would be Browder and Khodorkovsky, who is actually named in the law.

Khodorkovsky would spend several hundred thousand dollars to buy Congressional support for the Magnitsky Act, clearly money well spent. He duly reported it as lobbying expenses.

Here is how the Democrats and Republicans colluded in the Browder Magnitsky hoax. Much of this comes from Browder's own writings in his mostly fake book "Red Notice." Note the corruption of both parties.

Magnitsky died in November 2009. Only four months later in March 2010, Browder was plotting his Magnitsky hoax, attacking Russians he would claim were responsible for Magnitsky's death. But the bizarre part of the story is that he continued throughout 2010 to say he didn't know how Magnitsky died, including in a videoed Dec 2010 San Diego law school talk. He obviously assumed U.S. media and politicians would not notice or care about the contradictions.

Ben Cardin, senator who signed on to Browder hoax.

Browder got Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin to send a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in March 2010 urging her to ban visas for 60 people Browder had listed (without evidence) as complicit in Magnitsky's death. (Remember 9 months later in a videoed talk at San Diego Law School Browder says he didn't know how Magnitsky died.)

The letter to Hillary Clinton, written (Browder says in his book) by Browder acolyte Kyle Parker, a staffer at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said, I "urge you to immediately cancel and permanently withdraw the U.S. visa privileges of all those involved in this crime, along with their dependents and family members." Immediately? No due process, not even for children and grandparents? Cousins?

Attached to the letter was the list of the sixty officials Browder accused, without evidence, of involvement in Magnitsky's death and a tax fraud against the Treasury.

Browder's fake tax refund fraud

The tax refund fraud was a scheme in which shell companies were set up to sue Browder's Hermitage companies claiming contract violations and damages of $1billion. The Hermitage companies immediately agreed to pay (no evidence of actual bank transfers), then demanded the Treasury pay a tax refund of $230million because they now had zero profits.

Viktor Markelov, tried and jailed for the scam, said he worked with a Sergei Leonidovich, which is Magnitsky's name and patronymic. Other evidence, including an inexplicable delay of months between Browder learning about the his companies being re-registered in other names and him reporting that as "theft," indicates he was part of the scam too.

Note this: Hermitage trustee HSBC filed a financial document in July 2007 saying it was putting aside $7 million for legal costs that might be required to get back the companies. This was five months before the tax refund fraud occurred. Albert Dabbah, chief financial controller for HSBC, confirmed the document's authenticity in U.S. federal court. But Browder and Magnitsky (in his testimony ) said they didn't learn about the "theft" till October 2007.

Theft of his companies? The best defense is a good offense. Accuse others of the crime you committed.

Senator Cardin was requesting that all sixty of Browder's accused have their U.S. travel privileges permanently revoked.

But Hillary didn't buy it. Then House staffer Parker arranged for Browder to testify about the Magnitsky case May 6 th at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, not an official House body but a pressure group set up in the name of a Russophobic former congressman from Hungary.

Congressman Jim McGovern would not send the evidence he promised, because he couldn't. There wasn't any.

The commission chairman was Massachusetts Democratic congressman Jim McGovern, who runs liberal but is a Russophobe who pretends to be a human rights advocate.

Now what is really interesting is that seven months after this May 6 testimony, on December 6, 2010, Browder was telling the San Diego law school (video 6:20 in) that "they put him in a straight jacket, put him in an isolation room and waited outside the door until he died." Nothing about torture or killing. Had Browder forgotten his dramatic beating story?

McGovern at the Lantos Commission hearing asked for no evidence. He said he would introduce legislation, put the 60 names Browder cited in it, move it to the committee and make a formal recommendation from Congress, then pass it on the floor.

McGovern lies about sending evidence

Kimberly Stanton, who runs a propaganda operation and refused to provide evidence.

In July 2019, almost a decade later, I saw McGovern when he spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations. I asked if he would send me evidence backing the claim that Magnitsky was tortured and killed. He agreed and introduced me to an aide. The aide referred me to Kimberly Stanton, director of the Lantos Commission, who refused in an email to provide any information. And said evidence against targeted people is not required!

I also wrote McGovern's press secretary Matt Bonaccorsi and legislative director Cindy Buhl. They ignored repeated requests, never sent me anything. I conclude that Jim McGovern, who pretends to be a liberal civil rights promoter, is a fake and a fraud.

McGovern introduces a Magnitsky bill in the House.

John McCain, he loved fraudsters and wars.

Ben Cardin agreed to be the cosponsor of a Magnitsky Act in the Senate. He sought a Republican cosponsor, John McCain, a Russophobic senator who never met a war he didn't like.

It wasn't the first time McCain helped a fraudster. McCain was one of the corrupt "Keating Five" senators who improperly intervened in 1987 on behalf of Charles H. Keating, Jr., corrupt chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which collapsed in 1989 at a cost of $3.4 billion to the federal government (and thus taxpayers). Many investors lost their life savings.

Keating was the target of a regulatory investigation. With powerful senators like McCain advocating his cause, the regulator backed off taking action against Lincoln. Though Keating went to jail. McCain was cited only for exercising "poor judgment." Helping a crook doesn't get you thrown out of the Senate.

To get to McCain and others, Browder hired lobbyist Juleanna Glover, who had been Vice President Dick Cheney's press secretary and then Attorney General John Ashcroft's senior policy adviser. She went with Ashcroft when he left government to run the Washington office of his law firm, the Ashcroft Group.

Juleanna Glover, former aide to Dick Cheney. She can buy you a bill .

She got Browder a meeting with McCain who agreed to sponsor the Magnitsky Act. It fit with his Russophobia and friendship with fraudsters.

On September 29, 2010, Senators Ben Cardin, John McCain, Roger Wicker (Republican of Mississippi) and Joe Lieberman (Democrat of Connecticut) introduced the bill in the Senate. Anyone involved in the false arrest, torture or death of Sergei Magnitsky, or the crimes he uncovered, would be publicly named, banned from entering the United States, and have their U.S. assets frozen.

Remember again that a few months later Browder would tell the San Diego law school he didn't know how Magnitsky died.

Now here is how the law got passed. The Jackson-Vanick amendment put in place in the mid-1970s imposed trade sanctions on the Soviet Union to punish it for not allowing Soviet Jews to emigrate. Well, nobody could emigrate. Eventually 1.5 million Jews were allowed to leave the country.

How the Browder-Magnitsky hoax law got passed in a trade deal

Thirty-seven years later the Soviet Union no longer existed, and everybody could emigrate, but Jackson-Vanik was still on the books. It blocked American corporations from enjoying the same trade benefits with Russia as the world's other WTO members.

So, the U.S. business community said Jackson-Vanik had to go, and the Obama administration agreed. So did John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. They needed an act of Congress.

Meanwhile, Kerry opposed the Magnitsky Act which he considered untoward interference in Russia (is that like saying meddling?) and had been delaying bringing it to vote in committee.

Browder got Senator Joe Lieberman, conservative Democrat from Connecticut, to agree to block Jackson-Vanik repeal unless the administration stopped blocking his Magnitsky Act.

Lieberman and the other cosponsors of the Magnitsky Act sent a letter to Montana Democratic Senator Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. The letter said, "In the absence of the passage of the Magnitsky leg­islation, we will strongly oppose the lifting of Jackson-Vanik."

John Kerry had good instincts, forced to make bad compromise.

So, Kerry stopped his opposition to the Magnitsky Act.

The two bills were combined. First the bill would be brought up at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to pass Magnitsky, then it would go before the Finance Committee to repeal Jackson-Vanik, and then, it would go before the full Senate for a vote.

Kerry called for a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in June 2012, with the purpose of approving the Magnitsky Act.

At the hearing, Kerry said that America was not a perfect country, and that the people in that room should be "very mindful of the need for the United States not to always be pointing fingers and lecturing and to be somewhat introspective as we think about these things." (Such nuance would obviously not be allowed today.)

He was "worried about the unintended consequences of requiring that kind of detailed reporting that implicates a broader range of intelligence." He didn't have to worry. Reporting? Intelligence? Actual evidence would never be required! The U.S. was setting up a kangaroo court and calling it a human rights tribunal!

The bill passed the House 365 to 43 on November 16, 2012. Voting "No" were 37 Democrats and 6 Republicans. Among them Maxine Waters and Ron Paul. And surprisingly New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler who since then became a Russophobe. Tulsi Gabbard had not yet been elected.

Kyle Parker told Browder, "There are a number of senators who are insisting on keeping Magnitsky global instead of Russia-only." One was Cardin, but also Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan – a political giant who spent many years fighting, holding hearings, about offshore tax evasion and must have known very well how Browder was a poster child for offshore tax-evading crooks. Also Jon Kyl, Republican from Arizona. Of course, Browder wanted "Russia only," because the purpose of the law was to attack Russia, not to promote global human rights. Cardin withdrew his objection, and the bill was "Russia only."

The Senate vote

The final count December 6, 2012 was 92-4. Levin and three other Democrats – Bernie Sanders as well as Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, both of Rhode Island – were the only Senators to vote against it. Elizabeth Warren was not yet in the Senate.

It was signed by Obama a week later. Read Title IV of the law to see how it is based on the fake claims the chief sponsors would not, could not prove. Including "he was beaten by 8 guards with rubber batons on the last day of his life" based on zero evidence, just Browder's lies. (I also wrote to Cardin's office and got no reply.)

It was the first pillar of Russiagate, where Cold Warrior Democrats joined forces with Cold Warrior Republicans. The result would be to build a wall against Russia bringing Browder to justice, including getting Interpol to refuse to issue a red notice that would require other countries to arrest him. He would name his book Red Notice as a jab at the Russians.

And the crooks Browder and Khodorkovsky, protected from the rule of law, laughed all the way to their offshore banks. Here's the link to Browder's Mossack Fonseca (on Panama Papers fame) bank.

(Speaking of the rule of law, it doesn't apply to offshore banks, with secret owners of companies and accounts. They are largely run by western banks that make big profits from laundering the money of the world's crooks. Note on any SEC filing where banks have their subsidiaries: Caymans, Isle of Man, Guernsey, BVI, etc. No local clients, just financial fakery: letterbox companies, tax evasion. It's okay. When there's corruption, only the little people go to jail. In the offshore system, the corrupt financial oligarchy rules.)

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[Aug 19, 2020] Washington's Supposed Gift to President Putin

Aug 19, 2020 | ronpaulinstitute.org

< Older Washington's Supposed Gift to President Putin written by brian cloughley tuesday august 18, 2020
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One of the comments made following Trump's decision to relocate some 12,000 troops from Germany was made by retired Admiral James ('Zorba') Stavridis, who in 2009-2013 was US Supreme Allied Commander Europe (the military commander of Nato). He declared that the action, among other things, "hurts NATO solidarity and is a gift to Putin." This was a most serious pronouncement, which was echoed by Republican Senator Mitt Romney, a rich Republican and Mormon cleric, who said the redeployment was a "gift to Russia." These sentiments were well-reported and endorsed by US media outlets which continue to be relentlessly anti-Russia.

Stavridis is the man who wrote that the seven-month bombing and rocketing of Libya by the US-Nato military grouping in 2011 "has rightly been hailed as a model intervention. The alliance responded rapidly to a deteriorating situation that threatened hundreds of thousands of civilians rebelling against an oppressive regime. It succeeded in protecting those civilians and, ultimately, in providing the time and space necessary for local forces to overthrow Muammar al-Gaddafi."

On June 22 Human Rights Watch noted that "over the past years" in Libya their investigators have "documented systematic and gross human rights and humanitarian law violations by armed groups on all sides, including torture and ill-treatment, rape and other acts of sexual violence, arbitrary arrests and detention, forced displacement, unlawful killings and enforced disappearances ." Amnesty International's current Report also details the chaos in the shattered country where Nato conducted its "model intervention."

The Libya catastrophe illustrates the desperation of Nato in its continuing search for international situations in which it might be able to intervene, to try to provide some sort of justification for its existence. And the calibre of its leadership can be judged from the pronouncements of such as Stavridis, who was unsurprisingly considered a possibility for the post of Secretary of State by Donald Trump.

It is not explained how relocation of US troops from Germany could hurt Nato's "solidarity" but Defence Secretary Esper was more revealing about the situation as he sees it, when interviewed by balanced and objective Fox News on August 9. He declared "we basically are moving troops further east, closer to Russia's border to deter them. Most of the allies I've either spoken to, heard from or my staff has spoken to, see this as a good move. It will accomplish all of those objectives that have been laid out. And frankly, look, we still have 24,000 plus troops in Germany, so it will still be the largest recipient of US troops. The bottom line is the border has shifted as the alliance has grown." (It is intriguing that this important policy statement was not covered by US mainstream media and cannot be found on the Pentagon's Newsroom website -- the "one-stop shop for Defense Department news and information.")

No matter the spin from the Pentagon and what is now appearing in the US media, Trump's July 29 decision to move troops from Germany had no basis in strategy. It was not the result of a reappraisal of the regional or wider international situation. And it was not discussed with any of Washington's allies, causing Nato Secretary General Stoltenberg to say plaintively that it was "not yet decided how and when this decision will be implemented."

The BBC reported that "President Donald Trump said the move was a response to Germany failing to meet Nato targets on defence spending." Trump was quoted as telling reporters that "We don't want to be the suckers anymore. We're reducing the force because they're not paying their bills; it's very simple." It could not have been made clearer than that. The whole charade is the result of Trumpian petulance and has nothing to do with military strategy, no matter what is belatedly claimed by the Pentagon's Esper.

The German government was not consulted before Trump's contemptuous announcement, and defence minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer criticised Washington, saying "Nato is not a trade organisation, and security is not a commodity." But so far as Trump is concerned, security is indeed a commodity that can be traded as he sees fit, irrespective of relevance to national policy or anything other than his ego.

In trying to pick up the pieces following Trump's candid explanation of his orders to "reduce the force" in Germany, the Pentagon has conjured up a jumbled but confrontational plan intended to convince those who are interested (who do not include the German public), that it is all part of a grand scheme to extend the power of the US-Nato alliance. To this end, Esper announced he is "confident that the alliance will be all the better and stronger for it," because the redeployment involves reinforcement of the US military in Poland. He is moving 200 staff of the army's 5 corps to Krakow where, as reported by Military.com on August 5, "In a ceremony Army Chief of Staff General James McConville promoted John Kolasheski, the Army's V Corps commander, to the rank of lieutenant general and officially unfurled the headquarters' flag for the first time on Polish soil."

In addition to Washington's move of the advance HQ of V Corps to Krakow, there is a agreement that Poland will engage in what the Military Times reports as "a host of construction projects designed to support more US troops in that country" and Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Tom Campbell said that the Warsaw government "has agreed to fund infrastructure and logistical support to US forces," which should please the White House.

These initiatives are part of the US-Poland Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement completed on August 3, which Esper stated "will enhance deterrence against Russia, strengthen NATO, reassure our Allies, and our forward presence in Poland on NATO's eastern flank will improve our strategic and operational flexibility." Then on August 15 Secretary of State Pompeo visited Poland to formally ink the accord which was warmly welcomed by Polish President Duda who recently visited Trump in Washington.

Duda's declaration that "our soldiers are going to stand arm-in-arm" is consistent with the existing situation in Poland, where the Pentagon has other elements already deployed, including in Redzikowo, where a base is being built for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence systems, and the Air Force's 52nd Fighter Wing detachments at Polish Air Force bases at Lask and Miroslawiec, where there is a unit operating MQ-9 attack drones.

Defence Secretary Esper has emphasised that "the border has shifted as the alliance has grown" -- and the border to which he refers is that of US-Nato as it moves more menacingly eastwards. That's the gift that Trump has given Russia.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation .

[Aug 18, 2020] Biden's election will show that the Western alliance is no more - Telegraph

Notable quotes:
"... IMO NATO should have ended with the fall of the USSR. It now "confronts" a largely imaginary threat, concocted for the purpose of maintaining the status quo in US government expenditures for defense and supporting the imperial dreams of the neocons. ..."
"... Does anyone really think Russia is going to invade the Baltics? Really? ..."
"... The kind of symmetrical disinterest described in Timothy's article will encourage the end of Atlanticism ..."
Aug 17, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/16/bidens-election-will-show-western-alliance-no/

"There are, then, two ways in which a Biden presidency will remove the Europeans' veil of smug superiority. First, he will follow some Trump-era objectives, because that is what American interests demand, thus showing that Trump was no extremist on China . And second, where he does change approach, he will expose European indifference to the Western Alliance as driven, not by distaste for Trump's policies, but by Europe's own cynicism, short-termism and willingness to freeload off US military budgets.

In both respects, Biden's election will reveal Europe's dirty secret. It was never Donald Trump who stopped the Europeans being their better selves, taking responsibility for the security of their own citizens, and protecting long-term Western interests. It was always Europe itself." Nick Timothy in The Telegraph.

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

I was struck earlier today by English Outsider's admonition (on SST) directed to ConfusedPonderer (archetype of the Teutons) in which EO said that it was vainglorious and vacuous to bitterly claim that the US "occupies" Germany as it did in 1945 while at the same time relying on US funding of Germany's defense through the USA's enormous military expenditures.

IMO NATO should have ended with the fall of the USSR. It now "confronts" a largely imaginary threat, concocted for the purpose of maintaining the status quo in US government expenditures for defense and supporting the imperial dreams of the neocons.

Does anyone really think Russia is going to invade the Baltics? Really?

The US faces a rapidly escalating political crisis. The losing party in November will undoubtedly go to the federal courts to claim that their opponents cheated in the process. These charges will eventually reach SCOTUS. In this environment US interest in European affairs will decline radically.

The kind of symmetrical disinterest described in Timothy's article will encourage the end of Atlanticism. pl

[Aug 03, 2020] Nationalism and the collapse of the USSR

Nearly all these erstwhile Marxists turned neo-liberal after the fall of the wall of Berlin
Aug 03, 2020 | www.unz.com

Curmudgeon , says: August 1, 2020 at 7:15 pm GMT

@onebornfree w.britannica.com/topic/commonwealth-political-science">https://www.britannica.com/topic/commonwealth-political-science
What is labelled socialism today is nowhere near what the original socialists would consider socialism, which is closer to the co-operative movement and anarchy than communism.

On the other hand, Marxism (communism) is about complete state control and was international in scope. One (of many) reason for the breakdown of the USSR, was that it was, in fact, becoming socialistic in many countries, starting with Hungary in 1956 then Czechoslovakia in 1968 becoming nationalist. Even Russia was becoming more nationalistic.

Miro23 , says: August 2, 2020 at 2:30 am GMT
@Druid unknown in Russia 1917. It wasn't really understood. In contrast Neo-Bolshevism USA 2020 has the prior example of Bolshevism Russia 1917 to learn from and check the mechanism.

– The Russian population 1917 held some arms (which were immediately made illegal – retention carrying the death penalty). But nothing at all like the vast armoury presently held by the US public.

– The Bolsheviks successful subverted the demoralized and badly organized Russian Imperial Army (at least in Petrograd where it mattered). The US military is in a much better state, and is maybe not so attracted by SJW/BLM/Antifa (middle and lower ranks).

[Aug 02, 2020] Nationalism and the collpase of the USSR

Aug 02, 2020 | www.unz.com

Curmudgeon , says: August 1, 2020 at 7:15 pm GMT

@onebornfree w.britannica.com/topic/commonwealth-political-science">https://www.britannica.com/topic/commonwealth-political-science
What is labelled socialism today is nowhere near what the original socialists would consider socialism, which is closer to the co-operative movement and anarchy than communism.

On the other hand, Marxism (communism) is about complete state control and was international in scope. One (of many) reason for the breakdown of the USSR, was that it was, in fact, becoming socialistic in many countries, starting with Hungary in 1956 then Czechoslovakia in 1968 becoming nationalist. Even Russia was becoming more nationalistic.

Miro23 , says: August 2, 2020 at 2:30 am GMT
@Druid unknown in Russia 1917. It wasn't really understood. In contrast Neo-Bolshevism USA 2020 has the prior example of Bolshevism Russia 1917 to learn from and check the mechanism.

– The Russian population 1917 held some arms (which were immediately made illegal – retention carrying the death penalty). But nothing at all like the vast armoury presently held by the US public.

– The Bolsheviks successful subverted the demoralized and badly organized Russian Imperial Army (at least in Petrograd where it mattered). The US military is in a much better state, and is maybe not so attracted by SJW/BLM/Antifa (middle and lower ranks).

[Jul 23, 2020] Egypt approves Libya deployment, risking clash with Turkey - HoustonChronicle.com

Jul 23, 2020 | www.houstonchronicle.com

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's parliament on Monday authorized the deployment of troops outside the country, a move that could escalate the spiraling war in Libya after the president threatened military action against Turkish-backed forces in the oil-rich country.

A troop deployment in Libya could bring Egypt and Turkey, close U.S. allies that support rival sides in the conflict, into direct confrontation.

[Jul 22, 2020] The west is so fixed on 'getting' Russia that it must simply make things up when it cannot find real reasons for its hatred. Here hired gunds like Browder comes handy

Notable quotes:
"... I seem to recall William "Bill" Browder, AKA "Putin's Number-One Enemy" was briefly detained in Spain on an Interpol warrant or something. ..."
"... And courtesy of today's Independent, the words of that most noble and trustworthy lying cnut Browder as regards "Russian Meddling" in the affairs of my pathetic Motherland: ..."
"... Spoken by a person who changed his citizenship so as to dodge paying tax. What a slimy toad Browder is! ..."
"... Of course, though, Browder is not an oligarch himself. He's an 'investment firm boss'. And naturally he does not himself engage 'basically in intelligence and influence work'. He only single-handedly managed to get the Magnitsky Act on the books, where it will stay forever although the German press is belatedly owning up that Magnitsky was not the pink-faced legal cherub Browder portrayed. If that's not influence, I don't know what is. ..."
"... The west is so fixed on 'getting' Russia that it must simply make things up when it cannot find real reasons for its hatred. You could say that the USA with its marble-this-and-that secret algorithms is making up online traffic and attributing it to Russia, but I'm pretty sure other western countries are not complete oafs themselves in the computer world, and if you know what you're looking for I'm sure that their analysts can separate fantasy-land gifts like 'Kremlin Assassination Plan for American Soldiers' from actual Russian plans. ..."
Jul 22, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL July 21, 2020 at 4:38 am

I think the only Spanish connection it is a convenient location for whatever they were up to off-shore. We are expected to trust the intelligence services word that Litvinenko/Skripal/whomever were investigating the 'Russian Mafia' in Spain, so in reality it could be anything.

What we do know is that Spain signed an updated SOFA (Status Of Forces Agreement) with the United States in 2012 (Second Amendment) and 2015 (Third Amendment). Why should this be linked to UK Russian assets like Litvinenko & Skripal? Because we know that when the United States wants to do something off the books , i.e. that is techincally illegal for their citizens to do on their soil, the UK more than happy to oblige (sic. the choice of Steele's Orbis company in the UK to peddle lies for the Democrats to say that they only lost the US election because of someone else. Everybody else's fault but not theirs.

MARK CHAPMAN July 21, 2020 at 11:54 am

Also, I seem to recall William "Bill" Browder, AKA "Putin's Number-One Enemy" was briefly detained in Spain on an Interpol warrant or something.

Why, yes; yes, he was, 'way back in the mists of 2018. According to the screeching British press, he was let go because the warrant was expired.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5786099/British-financier-Putin-critic-William-Browder-arrested-Spain-Russias-request.html

I daresay these international japes add spice to his life and put a spring in his step.

MOSCOWEXILE July 20, 2020 at 11:32 pm

And guess who arrives in London today to have discussions with Johnson and Raab?

None other than fat twat bully boy Pompeo!

TROND July 21, 2020 at 9:28 am

Next he is going to Denmark .

To bully them about NS2 .? An inform them that Greenland belongs to Uncle Sam.

MOSCOWEXILE July 21, 2020 at 1:34 am

And courtesy of today's Independent, the words of that most noble and trustworthy lying cnut Browder as regards "Russian Meddling" in the affairs of my pathetic Motherland:

Will the Russia report 'follow the money'?

Russia is operating in the UK through "oligarchs" who "spend their money on highly placed people", according to British investment firm boss Bill Browder.

Browder, the CEO of Hermitage Capital, who gave evidence for the report, told the BBC said these figures "would basically do intelligence and influence work".

How far will the report delve into the influence of Russian money in British politics? Although this morning's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) 50-page document is expected to cover political donations from wealthy Russians, reports suggest it won't actually name any names.

Spoken by a person who changed his citizenship so as to dodge paying tax. What a slimy toad Browder is!

I shouldn't have said that: toads are very useful creatures.

See -- or better: do not, see unless you have a vomit bag near at hand:

UK politics news live: Latest updates as long-awaited Russia report to be released today | The Independent

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/uk-politics-news-live-russia-china-hong-kong-dominic-cummings-a9629521.html

MARK CHAPMAN July 21, 2020 at 8:20 am

Of course, though, Browder is not an oligarch himself. He's an 'investment firm boss'. And naturally he does not himself engage 'basically in intelligence and influence work'. He only single-handedly managed to get the Magnitsky Act on the books, where it will stay forever although the German press is belatedly owning up that Magnitsky was not the pink-faced legal cherub Browder portrayed. If that's not influence, I don't know what is.

The west is so fixed on 'getting' Russia that it must simply make things up when it cannot find real reasons for its hatred. You could say that the USA with its marble-this-and-that secret algorithms is making up online traffic and attributing it to Russia, but I'm pretty sure other western countries are not complete oafs themselves in the computer world, and if you know what you're looking for I'm sure that their analysts can separate fantasy-land gifts like 'Kremlin Assassination Plan for American Soldiers' from actual Russian plans.

But they pretend to be fooled. And the best they can come up with is that Russia is behind upsets like the Black Lives Matter movement which are tearing the USA apart. If Russia always had such a mysterious weapon, why did it wait so long to use it when the USA and UK spit in its face every day?

[Jul 16, 2020] The UK says Magnitsky was a crackerjack tax lawyer and whistleblower who exposed a gigantic tax fraud by the Russian government. The Russian government says Magnitsky was a crooked accountant who masterminded a tax-cheat scheme to help a western crook set up tax shelters and buy Gazprom stock at the price accorded to nationals only.

Jul 16, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL July 6, 2020 at 2:20 am

And here to make it even more farcical.

al-Beeb s'Allah: UK sanctions regime to target human rights abuser
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-53303100

The UK will later impose sanctions independently for the first time on dozens of individuals accused of human rights abuses around the world.

Dominic Raab will name the first violators to have their assets frozen as part of a new post-Brexit regime.

These are expected to include Russian officials thought to be implicated in the death of Sergei Magnitsky in 2009.

The whistleblower's maltreatment while in custody has been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights.

In the past, the UK has almost always imposed sanctions collectively as a member of the United Nations or European Union but, after its departure from the EU in January, a new framework is being put in place in UK law .
####

MARK CHAPMAN July 6, 2020 at 8:16 am

The UK is sanctimonious to a fault. The UK says Magnitsky was a crackerjack tax lawyer and whistleblower who exposed a gigantic tax fraud by the Russian government. The Russian government says Magnitsky was a crooked accountant who masterminded a tax-cheat scheme to help a western crook set up tax shelters and buy Gazprom stock at the price accorded to nationals only. The UK has been caught in lie after lie after lie, and the scenarios it has constructed for wrongdoing by Russia on its own soil will barely withstand critical thinking by alcoholics and farmyard animals. Who's got form here?

[Jul 15, 2020] The real Bill Browder story (part one)- What US-UK media won t tell you about billionaire lobbyist s dubious narrative by John Ryan

Bill is the primary suspect for killing Magnitsky. He has incentive, methods and means.
Jul 15, 2020 | www.rt.com

By John Ryan, Ph.D . – Retired Professor of Geography and Senior Scholar, University of Winnipeg, Canada

If anyone has proven the adage that "a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on it shoes," it's Bill Browder. The mega-rich vulture capitalist has been spinning a yarn for years.

Intriguingly, after Germany's leading news magazine kiboshed his fake narrative, Anglo-American media ignored the revelations.

Browder's narrative suits the US/UK establishment as it provides a convenient excuse to sanction Russia, but the story has more holes than Swiss cheese.

The billionaire vulture capitalist has been a figure of some prominence on the world scene for the past decade. A few months back, Der Spiegel published a major exposé on him and the case of Sergei Magnitsky, but the US/UK mainstream media failed to follow it up and so, aside from Germany, few people are aware of Browder's background.

Browder had gone to Moscow in 1996 to take advantage of the privatization of state companies by then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Browder founded Hermitage Capital Management, a Moscow investment firm registered in offshore Guernsey in the Channel Islands. For a time, it was the largest foreign investor in Russian securities. Hermitage Capital Management was rated as extremely successful after earning almost 3,000 percent in its operations between 1996 and December 2007.

During the corrupt Boris Yeltsin years, with his business partner's US$25 million, Browder amassed a fortune. Profiting from the large-scale privatizations in Russia from 1996 to 2006, his Hermitage firm eventually grew to $4.5 billion.

When Browder encountered financial difficulties with Russian authorities, he portrayed himself as an anti-corruption activist and became the driving force behind the Magnitsky Act, which resulted in economic sanctions aimed at Russian officials. However, an examination of Browder's record in Russia and his testimony in court cases reveal contradictions with his statements to the public and Congress, and raises questions about his motives in attacking corruption in Russia.

ALSO ON RT.COM Russia to impose reciprocal sanctions on UK following publication of 'Magnitsky List'

Although he has claimed that he was an 'activist shareholder' and campaigned for Russian companies to adopt Western-style governance, it has been reported that he cleverly destabilized companies he was targeting for takeover. Canadian blogger Mark Chapman has revealed that after Browder would buy a minority share in a company, he would resort to lawsuits against this company through shell companies he controlled. This would destabilize the company with charges of corruption and insolvency. To prevent its collapse, the Russian government would intervene by injecting capital into it, causing its stock to rise -- with the result that Browder's profits would rise exponentially.

Later, through Browder's Russian-registered subsidiaries, his accountant Magnitsky acquired extra shares in Russian gas companies such as Surgutneftegaz, Rosneft and Gazprom. This procedure enabled Browder's companies to pay the residential tax rate of 5.5 percent instead of the 35 percent that foreigners would have to pay.

However, the procedure to bypass the Russian presidential decree that banned foreign companies and citizens from purchasing equities in Gazprom was an illegal act. Because of this and other suspected transgressions, Magnitsky was interrogated in 2006 and later in 2008. Initially he was interviewed as a suspect and then as an accused. He was then arrested and charged by Russian prosecutors with two counts of aggravated tax evasion committed in conspiracy with Bill Browder in respect of Dalnyaya Step and Saturn, two of Browder's shell companies to hold shares that he bought. Unfortunately, in 2009, Magnitsky died in pre-trial detention because of a failure by prison officials to provide prompt medical assistance.

Browder has challenged this account and for years he has maintained that Magnitsky's arrest and death were a targeted act of revenge by Russian authorities against a heroic anti-corruption activist.

It's only recently that Browder's position was challenged by the European Court of Human Rights, which in its ruling on August 27, 2019 concluded that Magnitsky's "arrest was not arbitrary, and that it was based on reasonable suspicion of his having committed a criminal offence." And as such, "The Russians had good reason to arrest Sergei Magnitsky for Hermitage tax evasion."

"The Court observes that the inquiry into alleged tax evasion, resulting in the criminal proceedings against Mr Magnitskiy, started in 2004, long before he complained that prosecuting officials had been involved in fraudulent acts."

Prior to Magnitsky's arrest, because of what Russia considered to be questionable activities, Browder had been refused entry to Russia in 2005. However, he did not take lightly his rebuff by the post-Yeltsin Russian government under Vladimir Putin. As succinctly expressed by Professor Halyna Mokrushyna at the University of Ottawa:

[Browder] began to engage in a worldwide campaign against the Russian authorities, accusing them of corruption and violation of human rights. The death of his accountant and auditor Sergei Magnitsky while in prison became the occasion for Browder to launch an international campaign presenting the death as a ruthless silencing of an anti-corruption whistleblower. But the case of Magnitsky is anything but.

Despite Browder's claims that Magnitsky died as a result of torture and beatings, authentic documents and testimonies show that Magnitsky died because of medical neglect – he was not provided adequate treatment for a gallstone condition. It was negligence typical at that time of prison bureaucracy, not a premeditated killing. Because of the resulting investigation, many high-level functionaries in the prison system were fired or demoted.

For the past 10 years, Browder has maintained that Magnitsky was tortured and murdered by prison guards. Without any verifiable evidence he has asserted that Magnitsky was beaten to death by eight riot guards over 1 hour and 18 minutes. This was never corroborated by anybody, including by autopsy reports. It was even denied by Magnitsky's mother in a video interview.

Nevertheless, on the basis of his questionable beliefs, he has carried on a campaign to discredit and vilify Russia and its government and leaders.

In addition to the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, Browder's basic underlying beliefs and assumptions are being seriously challenged. Very recently, on May 5, 2020, an American investigative journalist, Lucy Komisar, published an article with the heading Forensic photos of Magnitsky show no marks on torso :

On Fault Lines today I revealed that I have obtained never published forensic photos of the body of Sergei Magnitsky, William Browder's accountant, that show not a mark on his torso. Browder claims he was beaten to death by prison guards. Magnitsky died at 9:30pm Nov 16, 2009, and the photos were taken the next day.

READ MORE UK sanctions head of Russian investigative committee, following US lead

Later in her report she states:

I noted on the broadcast that though the photos and documents are solid, several dozen U.S. media – both allegedly progressive and mainstream -- have refused to publish this information. And if that McCarthyite censorship continues, the result of rampant fear-inducing Russophobia, I will publish it and the evidence on this website.

Despite evidence such as this, till this day Browder maintains that Sergei Magnitsky was beaten to death with rubber batons. It's this narrative that has attracted the attention of the US Congress, members of parliament, diplomats and human rights activists. To further refute his account, a 2011 analysis by the Physicians for Human Rights International Forensics Program of documents provided by Browder found no evidence he was beaten to death.

In his writings, as supposed evidence, Browder provides links to two untranslated Russian documents. They were compiled immediately after Magnitsky died on November 16, 2009. Recent investigative research has revealed that one of these appears to be a forgery. The first document, D309, states that shortly before Magnitsky's death: "Handcuffs were used in connection with the threat of committing an act of self-mutilation and suicide, and that the handcuffs were removed after thirty minutes." To further support this, a forensic review states that while in the prison hospital, "Magnitsky exhibited behavior diagnosed as 'acute psychosis' by Dr. A. V. Gaus at which point the doctor ordered Mr. Magnitsky to be restrained with handcuffs."

The second document, D310, is identically worded to D309 except for a change in part of the preceding sentence. The sentence in D309 has the phrase "special means were" is changed in D310 to "a rubber baton was."

As such, while D309 is perfectly coherent, in D310 the reference to a rubber baton makes no sense whatsoever, given the title and text it shares with D309. This and other inconsistencies, including signatures on these documents, make it apparent that D310 was copied from D309 and that D310 is a forgery. Furthermore, there is no logical reason for two almost identical reports to have been created, with only a slight difference in one sentence. There is no way of knowing who forged it and when, but this forged document forms a major basis for Browder's claim that Magnitsky was clubbed to death.

The fact that there is no credible evidence to indicate that Magnitsky was subjected to a baton attack, combined with forensic photos of Magnitsky's body shortly after death that show no marks on it, provides evidence that appears to repudiate Browder's decade-long assertions that Magnitsky was viciously murdered while in jail.

With evidence such as this, it repeatedly becomes clear that Browder's narrative contains mistakes and inconsistencies that distort the overall view of the events leading to Magnitsky's death.

Despite Magnitsky's death, the case against him continued in Russia and he was found guilty of corruption in a posthumous trial. Actually, the trial's main purpose was to investigate alleged fraud by Bill Browder, but to proceed with this they had to include the accountant Magnitsky as well. The Russian court found both of them guilty of fraud. Afterwards, the case against Magnitsky was closed because of his death.

After Browder was refused entry to Russia in November of 2005, he launched a campaign insisting that his departure from Russia resulted from his anti-corruption activities. However, the real reason for the cancellation of his visa that he never mentions is that in 2003, a Russian provincial court had convicted Browder of evading $40 million in taxes. In addition, his illegal purchases of shares in Gazprom through the use of offshore shell companies were reportedly valued at another $30 million, bringing the total figure of tax evasion to $70 million.

ALSO ON RT.COM Bill Browder points finger at Bernie Sanders on Magnitsky Act vote, but the real story is his own corruption

It's after this that the Russian federal government next took up the case and initially went after Magnitsky, the accountant who carried out Browder's schemes.

But back in the US, Browder portrayed himself as the ultimate truth-teller, and embellished his tale by asserting that Sergei Magnitsky was a whistleblowing "tax lawyer," rather than one of Browder's accountants implicated in tax fraud. As his case got more involved, he presented a convoluted explanation that he was not responsible for bogus claims made by his companies. This is indeed an extremely complicated matter and as such only a summary of some of this will be presented.

The essence of the case is that in 2007, three shell companies that had once been owned by Browder were used to claim a $232 million tax refund based on trumped-up financial loses. Browder has stated that the companies were stolen from him, and that in a murky operation organized by a convicted fraudster, they were re-registered in the names of others. There is evidence, however, that Magnitsky and Browder may have been part of this convoluted scheme.

Browder's main company in Russia was Hermitage Capital Management, and associated with this firm were a large number of shell companies, some in the Russian republic of Kalmykia and some in the British Virgin Islands. A law firm in Moscow, Firestone Duncan, owned by Americans, did the legal work for Browder's Hermitage. Sergei Magnitsky was one of the accountants for Firestone Duncan and was assigned to work for Hermitage.

An accountant colleague of Magnitsky's at Firestone Duncan, Konstantin Ponomarev, was interviewed in 2017 by Komisar, who said:

According to Ponomarev, the firm – and Magnitsky -- set up an offshore structure that Russian investigators would later say was used for tax evasion and illegal share purchases by Hermitage the structure helped Browder execute tax-evasion and illegal share purchase schemes.

He said the holdings were layered to conceal ownership: The companies were 'owned' by Cyprus shells Glendora and Kone, which, in turn, were 'owned' by an HSBC Private Bank Guernsey Ltd trust. Ponomarev said the real owner was Browder's Hermitage Fund. He said the structure allowed money to move through Cyprus to Guernsey with little or no taxes paid along the way. Profits could get cashed out in Guernsey by investors of the Hermitage Fund and HSBC.

Ponomarev said that in 1996, the firm developed for Browder 'a strategy of how to buy Gazprom shares in the local market, which was restricted for foreign investors.'

READ MORE Anti-Russian sanctions based on fraudster's tales? Spiegel finds Magnitsky narrative fed to West by Browder is riddled with lies

In the course of their investigation, on June 2, 2007, Russian tax investigators raided the offices of Hermitage and Firestone Duncan. They seized Hermitage company documents, computers and corporate stamps and seals. They were looking for evidence to support Russian charges of tax evasion and illegal purchase of shares of Gazprom.

In a statement to US senators on July 27, 2017, Browder stated that Russian Interior Ministry officials "seized all the corporate documents connected to the investment holding companies of the funds that I advised. I didn't know the purpose of these raids so I hired the smartest Russian lawyer I knew, a 35-year-old named Sergei Magnitsky. I asked Sergei to investigate the purpose of the raids and try to stop whatever illegal plans these officials had."

Contrary to what Browder claims, Magnitsky had been his accountant for a decade. He had never acted as a lawyer, nor did he have the qualifications to do so. In fact, in 2006, when questioned by Russian investigators, Magnitsky said he was an auditor on contract with Firestone Duncan. In Browder's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017, he claimed Magnitsky was his lawyer, but in 2015, in his testimony under oath in the US government's Prevezon case, Browder told a different story, as will now be related.

On Browder's initiative, in December 2012, he presented documents to the New York District Attorney alleging that a Russian company, Prevezon, had "benefitted from part of the $230 million dollar theft uncovered by Magnitsky and used those funds to buy a number of luxury apartments in Manhattan." In September 2013, the New York District Attorney's office filed money-laundering charges against Prevezon. The company hired high-profile New York-based lawyers to defend themselves against the accusations.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=true&id=1018928646755581952&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Frussia%2F494802-browder-story-what-uk-wont-tell%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

As reported by Der Spiegel, Browder would not voluntarily agree to testify in court, so Prevezon's lawyers sent process servers to present him with a subpoena, which he refused to accept and was caught on video literally running away. In March 2015, the judge in the Prevezon case ruled that Browder would have to give testimony as part of pre-trial discovery. Later, while in court and under oath and confronted with numerous documents, Browder was totally evasive. Lawyer Mark Cymrot spent six hours examining him, beginning with the following exchange:

ALSO ON RT.COM Russian court orders arrest of UK investor Bill Browder over organization of criminal network

Cymrot asked: Was Magnitsky a lawyer or a tax expert?

He was "acting in court representing me," Browder replied.

And he had a law degree in Russia?

"I'm not aware he did."

Did he go to law school?

"No."

How many times have you said Mr. Magnitsky is a lawyer? Fifty? A hundred? Two hundred?

"I don't know."

Have you ever told anybody that he didn't go to law school and didn't have a law degree?

"No."

Critically important, during the court case, the responsible US investigator admitted during questioning that his findings were based exclusively on statements and documents from Browder and his team. Under oath, Browder was unable to explain how he and his people managed to track the flow of money and make the accusation against Prevezon. In his 2012 letter that launched the court case, Browder referred to "corrupt schemes" used by Prevezon, but when questioned under oath, he admitted he didn't know of any. In fact, to almost every question put forth by Mark Cymrot, Browder replied that he didn't know or didn't remember.

(Read the next part of The Real Bill Browder story on Thursday, here on RT)

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

[Jul 13, 2020] Those weapons aren't going to sell themselves!

Jul 13, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL July 6, 2020 at 9:47 am

Sky Nudes:

https://news.sky.com/story/suspected-killers-of-jamal-khashoggi-and-sergei-magnitsky-included-on-new-uk-sanctions-list-12022458

.They include:

20 Saudi nationals involved in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi;

25 Russian nationals involved in the mistreatment and death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who uncovered widespread corruption;

two high-ranking Myanmar generals involved in violence against Rohingya people and other ethnic minorities

Two organisations involved in forced labour, torture and murder in North Korea's gulags have also been listed

The new autonomous regime will allow the UK to work independently with allies such as the US, Canada, Australia and the EU

####

But not Mohammed Bin Salman, obvs. Those weapons aren't going to sell themselves!

Can the UK government put itself on the list for arbitary detention and expulsion of Brits born in Jamaica but resident in the UK for decades and asked to come to the UK due to the shortage of national labor, aka the Windrush scandal? The latest news on that is there is no automatic redress for those screwed over by Theresa May+. They have to prove they that they had been unfairly targeted!

Anger As Windrush Victims Told To Prove Case 'Beyond Reasonable Doubt' To Get Compensation
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/windrush-compensation-beyond-reasonable-doubt_uk_5efcaf12c5b612083c55c7cf

MARK CHAPMAN July 6, 2020 at 12:53 pm

'Suspected' killers. That's good enough for sanctions these days. Hopefully the rest of the EU will take Brexit as an opportunity to break with the Russophobic policies of the loony UK and its crackpot big brother, and re-orient its economy on a separate trajectory from theirs. We're already going to end up with two distinct trading blocs who operate largely outside one another, to the detriment of both but much more so to the United States. We don't need three. I'm watching in appalled fascination to see what happens to the American airliner market when it doesn't get any more Chinese orders. Once I would have said it was impossible that Boeing would go under, but now I'm not so sure.

Speaking of Boeing, no more 747's will be built after the current order backlog is completed, about 13 more planes. That'll be it for four-engine airliners – too expensive to run. Twin-engine planes can achieve almost the same range for less outlay. And economy is going to have to be the watchword of the aviation industry for awhile if it is to survive: air travel in the USA is down about 80% in the past week. Of course Boeing stock rose, though, because the investor class lives in a different reality.

I can't help noting that this will mean Boeing will rely even more heavily on the 737.

https://www.barrons.com/articles/us-regulators-complete-test-flights-on-boeing-737-max-01593642305

[Jul 09, 2020] U.S. UK intensify campaign against Russia; UK harks back to first pillar of new Cold War, the Magnitsky hoax – The Komisar Scoop

Notable quotes:
"... Browder testimony to Senate Judiciary Committee ..."
"... claimed that Magnitsky was beaten to death by 8 riot guards ..."
"... Browder's Hermitage Fund in 2009 put out press release noting Starova's complaint to police. See last graph. Browder deleted it when his narrative changed, but the Wayback Machine preserved it. ..."
"... She says there has been a violation of Article 165 of the criminal code. ..."
"... Browder translates that into Starova accusing his companies of the theft of state funds. She talks about involvement of Viktor Markelov, who organized the fraud. In his testimony , Markelov said he got documents from a "Sergei Leonidovich." Magnitsky's full name was Sergei Leonidovich Magnitsky. ..."
"... Magnitsky's body on a cot in the hospital ward. ..."
"... Script: The position of the corpse of Mr. S. L. Magnitsky. ..."
"... Script: The situation in the [hospital] ward, viewed towards the door. ..."
"... Magnitsky face shoulders on hospital-bed ..."
"... Script: Chest image of Mr. S. L. Magnitsky. ..."
"... Browder doctored report claims a section illegible, third line. ..."
"... Russian document shows nothing is illegible. ..."
"... Dr. Robert Bux ..."
"... They do exist, but Browder did not give them to PHR. ..."
"... Forensic photos of bruises on Magnitsky's hands and knee ..."
"... Forensic schematic drawings showing marks of injuries show no injuries. ..."
"... closed craniocerebral injury ..."
"... No signs of a violent death detected." ..."
"... Magnitsky death certificate – no signs of a violent death detected ..."
Jul 09, 2020 | www.thekomisarscoop.com

U.S. & UK intensify campaign against Russia; UK harks back to first pillar of new Cold War, the Magnitsky hoax

By Lucy Komisar
July 6, 2020, Committee for an East-West Accord .

Browder testimony to Senate Judiciary Committee
claimed that Magnitsky was beaten to death by 8 riot guards .

The U.S. and UK are intensifying their collaborative Cold War against Russia. In Washington, calls for sanctions are based on the fake "bountygate," and the UK has sanctioned selected Russians based on William Browder's Magnitsky hoax.

The "bountygate" charge that Russia paid militants to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan is unproved by U.S. intelligence agencies and even discounted by the international wire-tapping National Security Agency (NSA). The UK sanctions against 25 Russians, judges and court officials, tax investigators, and prison doctors, are based on disproved claims by billionaire investor William Browder that they were responsible for the death of his accountant Sergei Magnitsky.

Browder's Magnitsky story is a pillar of America's Russiagate, which has five. Before bountygate, there was the 2019 Mueller Report which found no evidence that President Trump had colluded with the Russians, the Jan 2017 intelligence agencies' charge of Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election which concludes with the admission that they had no proof; and the 2016 accusation that Russians had stolen Democratic National Committee emails, made by the private security group CrowdStrike, later walked back by CrowdStrike's president Shawn Henry at a secret House hearing in Dec 2017, but not revealed till this May.

With the UK, we return to the first pillar of the U.S. Russiagate story, the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which targeted many on the U.S. list. The Magnitsky Act is recognized as the beginning of the deterioration of U.S.-Russian relations. It is based on a hoax invented by Browder and easily disproved by documentary evidence, if governments cared about that.

The European Court of Human Rights on Magnitsky's arrest

First, a few of the obvious fake charges. Three judges are accused of detaining Magnitsky, which the UK says "facilitated" his mistreatment and denial of medical care. However, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in August 2019, "The Russians had good reason to arrest Sergei Magnitsky for Hermitage tax evasion." The Court said: "The accusations were based on documentary evidence relating to the payment of taxes by those companies and statements by several disabled persons who had confessed to sham work for the two companies."

The decision to arrest him was made after "investigating authorities noted that during a tax inquiry which had preceded the criminal investigation, Mr Magnitskiy had influenced witnesses, and that he had been preparing to flee abroad. In particular, he had applied for an entry visa to the United Kingdom and had booked a flight to Kyiv." He was a flight risk.

Several of the UK targets were said to have "facilitated" mistreatment of Magnitsky because they had been involved in a fraud he exposed. The reference is to a $230-million tax refund scam against the Russian Treasury.

Back to the ECHR: "The Court observe[d] that the inquiry into alleged tax evasion, resulting in the criminal proceedings against Mr Magnitskiy, started in 2004, long before he complained that prosecuting officials had been involved in fraudulent acts." The taxes were the real story; the fraud narrative was a cover-up.

The fake fraud story

Magnitsky did not uncover a massive fraud. That was the tax refund fraud in which companies engaged in collusive lawsuits, "lost" the suits, and "agreed" to pay damages equal to their entire year's profits. They then requested a full refund of taxes paid on the now zero gains. The fake lawsuits and payouts were first revealed to police by Russian shell company director Rimma Starova April 9 and July 10, 2008. (Russian originals April and July .)

With investigators on the trail, Browder's Hermitage Fund director Paul Wrench filed a complaint about the fraud, and Browder gave the story to The NYTimes and the Russian paper Vedomosti , which published it July 24, 2008, long before Magnitsky mentioned it in October 2008. His testimony did not accuse any officials.

Browder's Hermitage Fund in 2009 put out press release noting Starova's complaint to police. See last graph. Browder deleted it when his narrative changed, but the Wayback Machine preserved it. She says there has been a violation of Article 165 of the criminal code. Browder translates that into Starova accusing his companies of the theft of state funds. She talks about involvement of Viktor Markelov, who organized the fraud. In his testimony , Markelov said he got documents from a "Sergei Leonidovich." Magnitsky's full name was Sergei Leonidovich Magnitsky.

The main story at the center of the Magnitsky Acts in the U.S. and UK are not that he was mistreated or failed to get good medical care, which is what is mostly alleged here. That would put dozens of U.S. prison officials in the crosshairs, including recently those running state prison systems in Alabama and Mississippi . It is that he was murdered. In the only reference to beating, the head of the Matrosskaya detention center is accused of "ordering the handcuffing and beating" of Magnitsky before he died.

The U.S. Act, on which the British version is modeled, says that in detention Magnitsky "was beaten by 8 guards with rubber batons on the last day of his life." But the alleged assailants' names are not on the list. A key argument made by sponsors Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md) and Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass) was that the people targeted – tax investigators, court officials, hospital workers -- played a role in this claimed murder of Magnitsky. (Cardin and McGovern haven't responded to my requests to comment on contradictory evidence.)

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab takes the same line, declaring, "You cannot set foot in this country, and we will seize your blood-drenched ill-gotten gains if you try," as he announced the new sanctions. Blood-drenched? No evidence supplied for the sanctioned Russians.

For Browder, the purpose of the Magnitsky Acts he promotes in the West is as a political tool to build a wall against Russia's attempt to have him answer for documented financial frauds totaling at least $100 million, and with new evidence as much as $400 million.

The death hoax: Forensic photos tell the truth

Here is the story of Magnitsky death hoax, with links to evidence, including how Browder forged and falsified documents.

Browder had the Russian forensic reports and photos that were made after Magnitsky's death but suppressed what did not support his arguments. The photos in this forensic report show that Magnitsky, allegedly beaten to death, didn't have a life-threatening mark on his body.

Magnitsky's body on a cot in the hospital ward. Script: The position of the corpse of Mr. S. L. Magnitsky.

Script: The situation in the [hospital] ward, viewed towards the door.

Magnitsky face shoulders on hospital-bed . Script: Chest image of Mr. S. L. Magnitsky.

Browder doctored part of another forensic report provided in translation to the Physicians for Human Rights, Cambridge, Mass., for its analysis of Magnitsky's death. It notes as "illegible" words that show there were no beating marks on Magnitsky's body and that there was no scalp damage. The deleted parts of the true translation are underlined.

"The cadaverous spots are abundant, bluish-violet, diffuse, located on the back surface of the neck, trunk, upper and lower extremities, with pressure on them with a finger disappear and restore their original color after 8 minutes. Damage not found on the scalp."

The doctored line reads, "The cadaverous spots are abundant, bluish-violet, diffuse, located on the back surface of the neck, trunk, upper and lower extremities, (illegible) not found on the scalp."

Here in the report that Browder gave PHR:

Browder doctored report claims a section illegible, third line.

The paragraph in the Russian document shows nothing is illegible.

Russian document shows nothing is illegible.

The Russian words omitted in the doctored English document are "при надавливании на них пальцем исчезают и восстанавливают свою первоначальную окраску через 8 минут. Повреждений на волосистой части головы не обнаружено."

The full Russian text can be translated online: Трупные пятна обильные, синюшно-фиолетовые, разлитые, располагающиеся на задней поверхности шеи, туловища, верхних и нижних конечностей, при надавливании на них пальцем исчезают и восстанавливают свою первоначальную окраску через 8 минут. Повреждений на волосистой части головы не обнаружено. Кости лицевого скелета, хрящи носа на ощупь целы. Глаза закрыты.

What the American pathologist who analyzed Browder's documents said

Dr. Robert Bux

Dr. Robert C. Bux, then coroner/chief medical examiner for the El Paso County Coroner's Office in Colorado Springs, was the forensic expert on the team that wrote the PHR report . Bux told me, "I do not think that these spots are contusions. Contusions will not go away and can be demonstrated by incising or cutting into the tissues under the skin. These are reportedly all on the posterior aspect of the neck, body and limbs and may represent postmortem lividity when the body was viewed by the prosecutor of the autopsy."

Dr. Bux said, "If this is lividity (red purple coloration of the skin) it is not yet fixed and will blanch to a pale skin color and red purple coloration will disappear. If the body is then placed face up i.e. supine then after a few minutes then it will appear again. This is simply due to blood settling in the small blood vessels and a function of gravity."

It's not what a layman reading Browder's forged "illegible" might think.

Dr. Bux added, "Having said all of this, I have never seen any autopsy photographs demonstrating this, and while photographs should have been taken to document all skin abnormalities as well as all surfaces of the body to document the presence or absence of trauma, I do not know if photographs were taken and withheld or never taken ."

PHR said, "A full and independent review of the cause of death of S.L. Magnitsky is not possible given the documentation presented and available to PHR." The document list is at its report pages 2-3 .

The PHR autopsy protocol claims that there are "photo tables on 2 sheets" and "schematic representation of injuries on 1 sheet. However, if they exist, they were not available for the present review."

They do exist, but Browder did not give them to PHR.

Browder posted and widely distributed this composite of photos of bruises on Magnitsky's hand and knee taken November 17 th , 2009, the day after the accountant's death.

Forensic photos of bruises on Magnitsky's hands and knee

He got them from Russian forensic Report 2052. Katie Fisher , doing public relations for Hermitage, posted them, but not the text, to Google Cloud.

The report cited "circular abrasions in the wrist area," a "bluish-violet bruise" and "multiple strip-like horizontally located abrasions."

It said, "A bruise located on the inner surface of the right lower limb in the projection of the ankle joint appeared 3-6 days before the time death."

It concluded, "[T]hese injuries in living persons do not entail a temporary disability or a significant permanent loss of general disability and are not regarded as harm to health, they are not in a cause and effect relationship with death."

The forensic reports attribute bruises to Magnitsky wearing handcuffs and kicking and hitting against cell doors. Magnitsky's lawyer Dmitri Kharitonov told filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov, "I think he was simply banging on the door with all his force trying to make them let him out and none paid attention."

No other injuries found

The same report includes schematic drawings of Magnitsky's body on which to note other relevant marks or injuries.

The report said, "There were no marks or injuries noted on his head or torso No other injuries were found on the corpse " Browder didn't send PHR these drawings or make them public.

Forensic schematic drawings showing marks of injuries show no injuries.

Asked if there was evidence that Magnitsky was "beaten to death by riot guards," Dr. Bux told me, "I have no evidence to suggest that this occurred." For the record, PHR said Magnitsky's death was from untreated serious illness. Even without the body photos, its experts didn't claim a beating. Forensic analysts never have.

Manipulating the death certificate

To promote his fabrication, Browder posted a deceptive PowerPoint of the death certificate that indicated a " closed craniocerebral injury ?" circled in red, with the other text too small to read.

The true document told a different story: " No signs of a violent death detected." That url is at the bottom of Browder's own PowerPoint.

Magnitsky death certificate – no signs of a violent death detected

"Closed" meant "past." Several forensic documents include an interview with Magnitsky's mother Natalya Magnitskaya. She told investigators, "In 1993 – I can't say a more accurate date, S.L Magnitsky had a craniocerebral injury. He slipped on the street and as a result hit his head, after which he had headaches for some time."

Investigators obtained full medical records including this on page 29 of Report 555-10 in English, which Browder gave PHR: " On February 4, 1993, at about 08:40 a.m.., in his house entrance he slipped and fell down hitting his head, lost consciousness for a short time, vomited, attended for emergency help by an ambulance which took him to the City Clinic Hospital (GKB). Was examined by the neurosurgeon in the reception ward, craniogram without pathema. Diagnosis: brain concussion, recommended treatment to be taken on an out-patient clinic basis."

Browder's assertion that the "closed craniocerebral injury" came from a beating was a lie.

Browder's changing stories on the death of Magnitsky

Browder did not initially claim Magnitsky had been murdered. He said Magnitsky, left alone uncared for in a room, had simply died. After a few years, pushing the Magnitsky Act, he declared Magnitsky had been tied up and beaten by rubber baton-wielding thugs until dead.

Graphic by Michael Thau.

Browder December 2009 tells Chatham House , London, "I don't know what they were thinking. I don't know whether they killed him deliberately on the night of the 16th, or if he died of neglect."

"They put him in a straight-jacket, put him in an isolation room and waited 1 hour and 18 minutes until he died." December 2010, San Diego Law School .

Then, promoting the Magnitsky Act, "They put him in an isolation cell, tied him to a bed, then allowed eight guards guards beat him with rubber batons for 118 min until he was dead." December 2011, University of Cambridge Judge Business School.

" .they put him in an isolation cell, chained him to a bed, and eight riot guards came in and beat him with rubber batons. That night he was found dead on the cell floor." July 2017, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee .

What the Moscow Public Oversight Commission says really happened

The Public Oversight Commission , an independent Russian NGO, reports Magnitsky's final day differently. November 16, 2009:

7:00pm. The patient behaves inadequately. Talks to a "voice," looks disorientated, and shouts that someone wants to kill him. His condition is diagnosed as psychosis. The emergency doctor was called. There are no body damages apart from traces of handcuffs on the wrists.

7:30pm. He was left unattended without medical support.

8:48pm. Emergency team arrived. When emergency doctors entered the special cell, Sergei was sitting on the cot, with his eyes unfocused.

9:15pm. The patient was surveyed again as his condition deteriorated. He lost consciousness. The reanimation procedure was started (indirect heart massage and ventilation of lungs using the Ambu pillow). The patient was transferred to the special room where he received an artificial ventilation of lungs and a hormones injection.

9:50pm. The patient died."

The commission reported no evidence of beating. The Russian forensic and medical experts' conclusion was that Magnitsky had heart disease (arteriosclerosis), diabetes, hepatitis, and pancreatitis, some illnesses predating arrest. They wrote detailed criticism of the doctors' treatment, saying that it wasn't timely or adequate and that "the shortcomings in the provision of the medical assistance to S.L. Magnitsky" caused his death.

But it's not the riot squad beating Browder, with no evidence, sold to the U.S. Congress, the State Department, the UK Parliament, the Foreign Office and the media. Or that U.S. or UK authorities or media ever attempted to prove. Because like the Tonkin Gulf "incident" and Iraq's WMD, the weaponized Russiagate stories have a foreign/military policy goal. Truth is quite irrelevant.

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7 Responses to " U.S. & UK intensify campaign against Russia; UK harks back to first pillar of new Cold War, the Magnitsky hoax "
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  7. matsb Jul 9, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Very good article. Thank you!

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[Jul 03, 2020] Russians to the USA embassy: 1993. It was yours; 2020. It will be ours!

Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ashino , Jul 3 2020 11:20 utc | 129

The Russian Constitution Was Projected Onto the US Embassy Building in Moscow

https://www.youtube.com/watchtime_continue=1&v=J1Bk11INPNI&feature=emb_logo

The organisers projected an image of the cover of the Russian Constitution against the background of Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin, and the inscription "1993. It was yours " Then there is an image of the Russian people and the message "2020. It will be ours!", followed by a call to come to vote, was projected on the building of the US Embassy. The light projection was organised by the art group "Re:Venge".
https://www.stalkerzone.org/the-russian-constitution-was-projected-onto-the-us-embassy-building-in-moscow/

Ha, I really like this one ! Would have loved to watch 'das dumme Gesicht' (something like >>stupid face<< but stronger. like the Germans say) of the latest Trump's edition of silly ambassadors, lol !!!

[Jul 03, 2020] FUCKUS banned Russia from the Olympics on a bogus state sponsored steroid scam, no reinstatement on horizon. FUCKUS kicked Russia out of the now G7 and imposed a trade embargo that destroyed a large commercial relationship w/Germany.

Notable quotes:
"... Some countries like Italy (maybe Germany) are warming to Russia a little bit but Russia has a long way to go just to get back to their pre-2014 status with Europe. That is 'tightening their grip?'. I know, this is how propagandists speak. ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Christian J. Chuba , Jul 3 2020 16:13 utc | 162

VK, re: Russia's grip on Europe is gradually tightening from the U.K.'s INDEPENDENT

It's behind a paywall but I read just enough to be curious as to how someone could possibly justify a clickbait title like that.

I suspect that the rest of the article is just going to recap Russia's alleged sins in order to fan hatred but how can someone objectively say that Russia is tightening its grip on Europe?

  1. FUCKUS banned Russia from the Olympics on a bogus state sponsored steroid scam, no reinstatement on horizon.
  2. FUCKUS kicked Russia out of the now G7 and imposed a trade embargo that destroyed a large commercial relationship w/Germany.

What is the 'overwhelming' evidence that the Russians poisoned the Skripal's, Novichok can be made by just about anyone.

Some countries like Italy (maybe Germany) are warming to Russia a little bit but Russia has a long way to go just to get back to their pre-2014 status with Europe. That is 'tightening their grip?'. I know, this is how propagandists speak.

[Jul 02, 2020] Browder connections timeline

Jul 02, 2020 | www.unz.com

Pft , says: Show Comment July 3, 2020 at 12:02 am GMT

Browder connection timeline

Interesting history Browder has. I suspect he has a history with Putin before Putin became President , but its hard to find anything on a connection. Anyways lots of interesting connections, meaningful or not, I cant say.

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1985 - bugged version of PROMIS was sold for Soviet government use, with the media mogul Robert Maxwell as a conduit.

1990 - just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Browder found himself on assignment in Poland for Boston Consulting Group. The government had begun privatizing state-owned companies and selling their shares at ridiculously low valuations.

1991 - Anatoly Sobchak, a former law professor of Putin's at Leningrad State, became mayor of Leningrad.* Sobchak hired Vladimir Putin, whom he had known when Putin worked at Leningrad State. Putin was still on active reserve with the KGB.

Putin's tenure in Sobchak's office was so rife with scandal that it led to a host of investigations into illegal assignment of licenses and contracts . Putin was head of the Committee for Foreign Liaison; collaborated with criminal gangs in regulating gambling; a money-laundering operation by the St. Petersburg Real Estate Holding Company, where Kumarin was involved and Putin served on the advisory board; Putin's role in providing a monopoly for the Petersburg Fuel Company, then controlled by the Tambov criminal organization; and much, much more -- virtually all of which was whitewashed. While he was in St. Petersburg in the nineties, Putin signed many hundreds of contracts doling out funds to his cronies.

1991 - November 5, Robert Maxwell, allegedly drowned after falling off his yacht in the Canary Islands near the northwest coast of Africa. Billions were missing from his pension funds

Maxwell's investment bankers included Salomon Brothers. Eventually, the pension funds were replenished with monies from investment banks Shearson Lehman and Goldman Sachs, as well as the British government.

It was March 1991 when William Browder went to work for British billionaire Robert Maxwell as his "investment manager". Just how deep into the investment decisions of Maxwell did Browder participate as an investment manager?

1991 November 10, Maxwell's funeral took place on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the resting place for the nation's most revered heroes. Prime Minister Shamir eulogized: "He has done more Israel than can today be said."

1992 - Interestingly, after Maxwell died, Bill Browder went to work for the Salomon Brothers in the middle of their own scandal. Browder was put in charge of the Russian proprietary investments desk at Salomon Brothers. He was given 25 million to invest and used it by paying cash for vouchers in Russian companies the government had issued to citizens , and used them to buy shared at public auction. In a short period he turned that into 125 million

The scandal at Salomon Brothers was the manipulation of the US Treasury auctions back then.After that scandal where the government was threatening to shut down Salomon Brothers who was the biggest bond dealer in the USA for manipulating markets, all of a sudden, people from Goldman Sachs started taking posts in government.

1996-Browder left Salomon Brothers and with Edmond Safra founded Hermitage Capital Management for the purpose of investing initial seed capital of $25 million in Russia during the period of the mass privatization after the fall of the Soviet Union. Beny Steinmetz was another of the original investors in Hermitage, the Israeli diamond billionaire.

Cyprus is a favorite place for Russian to launder money. Thats probably why Browder and his accounting advisor Jamison Firestone chose it to launder Browder's Russian profits.

Browder from about 1997 to the mid-2000s used Cyprus shell companies to move money out of Russia to cheat the country of multi-millions of dollars in taxes. He used the Russian shells to invest in shares, including Gazprom shares that were illegal for foreigners to buy in Russia, then moved the shares to Cyprus shells

1996 article entitled, "The Money Plane," published by New York Magazine detailed how the "Russian mob gets a shipment of up to a billion dollars in fresh $100 bills," Edmond Safra's bank, Republic National, was directly implicated.

Guess we know where Browder got the cash money to pay for the vouchers

1998 - If Salomon had not been merged with Travelers Group in 1997 (which owned retail brokerage, Smith Barney), no doubt Salomon Brothers would have collapsed in the 1998 Long-Term Capital Management debacle created by one of their own – Salomons John Meriwether.

Safra lost $1 billion in Russia during the 1998 Long-Term Capital Management crisis over Russian bonds and investments which was why he put his bank, Republic National Bank, up for sale to HSBC in 1999.

1999 - Following the Russian financial crisis of 1998, despite significant outflows from the fund, Hermitage became a prominent shareholder in the Russian oil and gas. It was in 1999 when VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation (Russian: ВСМПО-АВИСМА) – the world's largest titanium producer - filed a RICO lawsuit against Browder and other Avisma investors including Kenneth Dart, alleging they illegally siphoned company assets into offshore accounts and then transferred the funds to U.S. accounts at Barclays.

Browder and his co-defendants settled with Avisma in 2000; they sold their Avisma shares as part of the confidential settlement agreement.

1999 - Republican National Bank was owned by Safra . On May 11, HSBC, announced a $10.3 billion deal to purchase Edmond Safra's holdings including the Republic National Bank of New York and Safra's shares in Bill Browder's firm, Hermitage Capital. The announcement came only nine months after Russia's economy collapsed and Browder's clients, lost over $900 million. It was also nine months after $4.8 billion in IMF funds was deposited in an undisclosed account at Safra's bank and well before the public became aware that that same money was dispersed and stolen through the Bank of New York, off-shore companies, and foreign financial institutions.

HSBC then became Browders partner of the Heritage Fund . Browder's shell companies were registered in Cyprus but owned by HSBC (Guernsey) as the trustee for his Hermitage Capital Management.

Cypriot shells Glendora and Kone were part of his offshore network "owned" by an HSBC Private Bank Guernsey Ltd trust. The real owner was Browder's Hermitage Fund. Assets (stocks and money) went from Russia to Cyprus and then to parts unknown.

Republic International Trust, registered by Mossack Fonseca of Panama Papers fame and listed on the Glendora document, was in the offshore network of Republic National Bank owner Edmond Safra, an early investor who then held 51% of Hermitage Fund shares.

1999 December 3 - Safra was killed in suspicious fire that broke out in his Monte Carlo home. Although some believe that Safra was killed by the Russian mafia, Lurie reported that a Swiss prosecutor investigating the missing IMF money believed that Safra was killed "because of his revelations to the FBI and the Swiss Prosecutor's Office investigating the disappearance and laundering of $4.8 billion of the IMF stablilization loan." One of the more interesting things to note here is that the prosecutor implied that Safra not only spoke with the FBI about the missing IMF funds but with Swiss authorities as well.

Funny how Browders bosses/partners get killed

1999 - the bombings that killed nearly three hundred innocent Russians were likely the product of a "false flag" operation that enabled Putin to consolidate power.

Putin promised to stop the plundering of the Russian state by rich oligarchs. But very few Russians knew that Putin had been a primary actor in the same kind of activity in St. Petersburg. And as for cleaning up corruption, one of Putin's first acts as president was to pardon Boris Yeltsin, thereby guaranteeing immunity from prosecution to the outgoing president.-

Putin recruited two oligarchs who were among his closest confidants, Roman Abramovich and Lev Leviev, to undertake the highly unlikely mission of creating a new religious organization called the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia under the leadership of Rabbi Berel Lazar, a leader in the Hasidic movement called Chabad-Lubavitch.

Founded in the late eighteenth century, the tiny, Brooklyn-based Chabad-Lubavitcher movement is a fundamentalist Hasidic sect centered on the teaching of the late Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, who is sometimes referred to as a messiah -- moshiach -- a savior and liberator of the Jewish people. It is antiabortion, views homosexuality as a perversion, and often aligns itself politically with other fundamentalist groups on the right.

Its biggest donors included Leviev, an Israeli billionaire who was an Uzbek native and was known as the "King of Diamonds" thanks to his success in the diamond trade, and Charles Kushner, an American real estate developer who was later jailed for illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering. Kushner is also the father of Jared Kushner, who married Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, and later became a senior adviser to President Trump. Leviev's friendship with Lazar dates back to 1992 and, according to Haaretz, made Leviev "the most influential, most active and most connected person in the Jewish community of Russia and made Lazar the country's chief rabbi."

Roman Abramovich, controlled the trading arm of one of Russia's largest oil companies through an Isle of Man company that had figured in the Bank of New York affair. Mr. Abramovich ran the Siberian oil giant Sibneft, which sold its oil through a company called Runicom.

His name emerged after speculation that Swiss investigators were looking into the role of Runicom as part of the widening investigation into the laundering of up to $15 billion of Russian money through American banks. Runicom is owned by at least two offshore companies set up by the Valmet Group, a financial services concern partly owned by Menatep, a failed Russian bank that used the Bank of New York."

2001- Salomon Brothers Building (WTC 7) collapses. Tenants include the Department of Defense, the Secret Service, the IRS, and the Securities and Exchange Commission

2005 - Steinmetz of Browders Heritage Fund teamed up with another diamond magnate, Putins buddy Lev Leviev, to purchase the top ten floors of Israel's Diamond Tower which also houses the Israeli Diamond Exchange. Haaretz.com reported that "the buyers intend to build a connector from the 10 floors – the top 10 floors of the building – to the diamond exchange itself in order to benefit from the security regime of the other offices within the exchange." And benefit they did.

According to one website reporting on a Channel 10 (Israel) news story, from 2005 – 2011, an "underground" bank was set up to provide "loans to firms using money taken from other companies while pretending it was legally buying and selling diamonds." The bank apparently washed over $100 million in illicit funds over the course of six years and both Steinmetz and Leviev were directly implicated as "customers" of the bank but Neither of them were charged in the case.

Then there's HSBC's involvement in the diamond industry and Leviev's ties not only to arms dealer Arcadi Gaydamak via Africa-Israeli Investments but Roman Abramovich and Kushner

2007 - Browders Hermitage Capital Management, was raided by Russian interior ministry officers, who confiscated stamps and documents. These were then used to file bogus tax returns to the Russian Treasury, which were paid out to bank accounts controlled by Klyuev and his associates, according to the U.S. government.

Browder claimed Organized crime carried out the tax refund fraud against the Russian Treasury under which criminals used collusive lawsuits to fake damages and get refunds of company taxes. The tax refund fraud using Browder's companies netted $230 million.

2008 - HSBC (Guersey) director Paul Wrench filed a complaint about the tax refund fraud in July on behalf of Hermitage (after Starova's complaints) .

Maginitsky was arrested for being the accountant (not a lawyer) of Browder's tax evasion schemes.

2008 - A lawsuit alleged Bayrock's projected profits were "to be laundered, untaxed through a sham Delaware entity" to the FL Group, Iceland's largest private investment fund, the first major firm to collapse in 2008 when Iceland's financial bubble burst, and a favored financial instrument for loans to Russia-connected oligarchs who were, court papers claim, in favor with Vladimir Putin. According to Bloomberg, Eva Joly, who assisted Iceland's special prosecutor in the investigation of the financial collapse, said, "There was a huge amount of money that came into these banks that wasn't entirely explained by central bank lending. Only Mafia-like groups fill a gap like that."

Another significant Bayrock partner, the Sapir Organization, had, through its principal, Tamir Sapir, a long business relationship with Semyon Kislin, the commodities trader who was tied to the Chernoy brothers and, according to the FBI, to Vyacheslav Ivankov's gang in Brighton Beach.

In addition to being wired into the Kremlin, Sapir's son-in-law, Rotem Rosen, was a supporter of Chabad along with Sater, Sapir, and others at Bayrock, and, as a result, was part of an extraordinarily powerful channel between Trump and Putin. After all, the ascent of Chabad in Russia had been part of Putin's plan to replace older Jewish institutions in Russia with corresponding organizations that were loyal to him.

The biggest contributor to Chabad in the world was Leviev, the billionaire "King of Diamonds" who had a direct line to Rabbi Berel Lazar, aka "Putin's rabbi," to Donald Trump, and to Putin himself dating back to the Russian leader's early days in St. Petersburg.

Indeed, one of the biggest contributors to Chabad of Port Washington, Long Island, was Bayrock founder Tevfik Arif, a Kazakh-born Turk with a Muslim name who was not Jewish, but nonetheless won entry into its Chai Circle as a top donor.

2013-The Hermitage Fund, an HSBC-backed vehicle that invested in Russia and became embroiled in a diplomatic war with the Kremlin over the death of one of its accountants, closes down..

2014, Vekselberg's Renova Group became a partner with Wilbur Ross in the takeover of the Bank of Cyprus, which had held billions in deposits from wealthy Russians.

Back in early 90's Trump found himself in financial trouble when his three casinos in Atlantic City were under foreclosure threat from lenders. He was bailed-out by senior managing director of N.M. Rothschild & Sons, Wilbur Ross, who Trump would later appoint as Secretary of Commerce. Ross, who is known as the "King of Bankruptcy," specializes in leveraged buyouts of distressed businesses.

Along with Blackstones Carl Icahn, Ross convinced bondholders to strike a deal with Trump that allowed Trump to keep control of the casinos.

By the mid-1990s, Ross was a prominent figure in New York Democratic Party politics and had caught the attention President Bill Clinton who appointed him to lead the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund.

2015 - Donald Trump, after emerging from a decade of litigation, multiple bankruptcies, and $ 4 billion in debt, had risen from the near-dead with the help of Bayrock and its alleged ties to Russian intelligence and the Russian Mafia. "They saved his bacon," said Kenneth McCallion, a former federal prosecutor

2015 - Kushner paid $295 million for some of the floors in the old New York Times building, purchased in 2015 from the US branch of Israeli-Russian oligarch Leviev's company, Africa Israel Investments (AFI), and partner, Five Mile Capital.

Kushner later borrowed $285 million from the German financial company Deutsche Bank, which has also been linked to Russian money laundering,

Jared and Ivanka were also close to another of Putins oligarchs, Roman Abramovich and his wife, Dasha Zhukova.

2015-While Wilbur Ross served as vice-chairman of the Bank of Cyprus, the bank's Russia-based businesses were sold to a Russian banker and consultant, Artem Avetisyan, who had ties to both the Russian president and Russia's largest bank, Sberbank. At the time, Sberbank was under US and EU sanctions following Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Avetisyan had earlier been selected by Putin to head a new business branch of the Russian president's strategic initiative agency, which was tasked with improving business and government ties.

Avetisyan's business partner, Oleg Gref, is the son of Herman Gref, Sberbank's chief executive officer, and their consultancy has served as a "partner" to Sberbank, according to their website. Ross had described the Russian businesses – including 120 bank branches in Russia – as being worth "hundreds of millions of euros" in 2014 but they were sold with other assets to Avetisyan for €7m (£6m).

Ross resigned from the Bank of Cyprus board after he was confirmed as commerce secretary in 2017

2018 - Cyprus suspended cooperation with Russia, which had been seeking assistance from the government in Moscow's alleged case of tax evasion against Hermitage Capital Founder Bill Browder.

[Jul 02, 2020] Bill Browder, a Billionaire accused of being a Fraud and Liar by John Ryan

Jul 02, 2020 | www.unz.com

William "Bill" Browder has been a figure of some prominence on the world scene for the past decade. A few months back, Der Spiegel published a major exposé on him and the case of Sergei Magnitsky but the mainstream media completely ignored this report and so aside from Germany few people are aware of Browder's background and the Magnitsky issue which resulted in sanctions on Russia.

Browder had gone to Moscow in 1996 to take advantage of the privatization of state companies by Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Browder founded Hermitage Capital Management, a Moscow investment firm registered in offshore Guernsey in the Channel Islands. For a time, it was the largest foreign investor in Russian securities. Hermitage Capital Management was rated as extremely successful after earning almost 3,000 percent in its operations between 1996 and December 2007.

During the corrupt Yeltsin years, with his business partner's US $25 million, Browder amassed a fortune . Profiting from the large-scale privatizations in Russia from 1996 to 2006 his Hermitage firm eventually grew to $4.5 billion .

When Browder encountered financial difficulties with Russian authorities he portrayed himself as an anti-corruption activist and became the driving force behind the Magnitsky Act, which resulted in economic sanctions aimed at Russian officials. However, an examination of Browder's record in Russia and his testimony in court cases reveals contradictions with his statements to the public and Congress, and raises questions about his motives in attacking corruption in Russia.

Although he has claimed that he was an 'activist shareholder' and campaigned for Russian companies to adopt Western-style governance, it has been reported that he cleverly destabilized companies he was targeting for takeover. Canadian blogger Mark Chapman has revealed that after Browder would buy a minority share in a company he would resort to lawsuits against this company through shell companies he controlled. This would destabilize the company with charges of corruption and insolvency. To prevent its collapse the Russian government would intervene by injecting capital into it, causing its stock market to rise -- with the result that Browder's profits would rise exponentially.

Later, through Browder's Russian-registered subsidiaries, his accountant Magnitsky acquired extra shares in Russian gas companies such as Surgutneftegaz, Rosneft and Gazprom. This procedure enabled Browder's companies to pay the residential tax rate of 5.5% instead of the 35% that foreigners would have to pay.

However, the procedure to bypass the Russian presidential decree that banned foreign companies and citizens from purchasing equities in Gazprom was an illegal act. Because of this and other suspected transgressions, Magnitsky was interrogated in 2006 and later in 2008. Initially he was interviewed as a suspect and then as an accused. He was then arrested and charged by Russian prosecutors with two counts of aggravated tax evasion committed in conspiracy with Bill Browder in respect of Dalnyaya Step and Saturn, two of Browder's shell companies to hold shares that he bought. Unfortunately, in 2009 Magnitsky died in pre-trial detention because of a failure by prison officials to provide prompt medical assistance.

Browder has challenged this account and for years he has maintained that Magnitsky's arrest and death were a targeted act of revenge by Russian authorities against a heroic anti-corruption activist.

It's only recently that Browder's position was challenged by the European Court of Human Rights who in its ruling on August 27, 2019 concluded that Magnitsky's "arrest was not arbitrary, and that it was based on reasonable suspicion of his having committed a criminal offence." And as such "The Russians had good reason to arrest Sergei Magnitsky for Hermitage tax evasion."

"The Court observes that the inquiry into alleged tax evasion, resulting in the criminal proceedings against Mr Magnitskiy, started in 2004, long before he complained that prosecuting officials had been involved in fraudulent acts."

Prior to Magnitsky's arrest, because of what Russia considered to be questionable activities, Browder had been refused entry to Russia in 2005. However, he did not take lightly his rebuff by the post-Yeltsin Russian government under Vladimir Putin. As succinctly expressed by Professor Halyna Mokrushyna at the University of Ottawa:

[Browder] began to engage in a worldwide campaign against the Russian authorities, accusing them of corruption and violation of human rights. The death of his accountant and auditor Sergei Magnitsky while in prison became the occasion for Browder to launch an international campaign presenting the death as a ruthless silencing of an anti-corruption whistleblower. But the case of Magnitsky is anything but.

Despite Brower's claims that Magnitsky died as a result of torture and beatings, authentic documents and testimonies show that Magnitsky died because of medical neglect – he was not provided adequate treatment for a gallstone condition. It was negligence typical at that time of prison bureaucracy, not a premeditated killing. Because of the resulting investigation, many high level functionaries in the prison system were fired or demoted.

For the past ten years Browder has maintained that Magnitsky was tortured and murdered by prison guards. Without any verifiable evidence he has asserted that Magnitsky was beaten to death by eight riot guards over 1 hour and 18 minutes. This was never corroborated by anybody, including by autopsy reports. It was even denied by Magnitsky's mother in a video interview.

Nevertheless, on the basis of his questionable beliefs, he has carried on a campaign to discredit and vilify Russia and its government and leaders.

In addition to the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, Browder's basic underlying beliefs and assumptions are being seriously challenged. Very recently, on May 5, 2020, an American investigative journalist, Lucy Komisar, published an article with the heading Forensic photos of Magnitsky show no marks on torso :

On Fault Lines today I revealed that I have obtained never published forensic photos of the body of Sergei Magnitsky, William Browder's accountant, that show not a mark on his torso. Browder claims he was beaten to death by prison guards. Magnitsky died at 9:30pm Nov 16, 2009, and the photos were taken the next day.

Later in her report she states:

I noted on the broadcast that though the photos and documents are solid, several dozen U.S. media – both allegedly progressive and mainstream -- have refused to publish this information. And if that McCarthyite censorship continues, the result of rampant fear-inducing Russophobia, I will publish it and the evidence on this website.

Despite evidence such as this, till this day Browder maintains that Sergei Magnitsky was beaten to death with rubber batons. It's this narrative that has attracted the attention of the US Congress, members of parliament, diplomats and human rights activists. To further refute his account, a 2011 analysis by the Physicians for Human Rights International Forensics Program of documents provided by Browder found no evidence he was beaten to death.

In his writings, as supposed evidence, Browder provides links to two untranslated Russian documents. They were compiled immediately after Magnitsky died on November 16, 2009. Recent investigative research has revealed that one of these appears to be a forgery. The first document D309 states that shortly before Magnitsky's death: "Handcuffs were used in connection with the threat of committing an act of self-mutilation and suicide, and that the handcuffs were removed after thirty minutes." To further support this, a forensic review states that while in the prison hospital "Magnitsky exhibited behavior diagnosed as "acute psychosis" by Dr. A. V. Gaus at which point the doctor ordered Mr. Magnitsky to be restrained with handcuffs."

The second document D310 is identically worded to D309 except for a change in part of the preceding sentence. The sentence in D309 has the phrase " special means were" is changed in D310 to " a rubber baton was."

As such, while D309 is perfectly coherent, in D310 the reference to a rubber baton makes no sense whatsoever, given the title and text it shares with D309. This and other inconsistences, including signatures on these documents, make it apparent that D310 was copied from D309 and that D310 is a forgery. Furthermore, there is no logical reason for two almost identical reports to have been created, with only a slight difference in one sentence. There is no way of knowing who forged it and when, but this forged document forms a major basis for Browder's claim that Magnitsky was clubbed to death.

The fact that there is no credible evidence to indicate that Magnitsky was subjected to a baton attack, combined with forensic photos of Magnitsky's body shortly after death that show no marks on it, provides evidence that appears to repudiate Browder's decade-long assertions that Magnitsky was viciously murdered while in jail.

With evidence such as this, it repeatedly becomes clear that Browder's narrative contains mistakes and inconsistencies that distort the overall view of the events leading to Magnitsky's death.

Despite Magnitsky's death the case against him continued in Russia and he was found guilty of corruption in a posthumous trial. Actually, the trial's main purpose was to investigate alleged fraud by Bill Browder, but to proceed with this they had to include the accountant Magnitsky as well. The Russian court found both of them guilty of fraud. Afterwards, the case against Magnitsky was closed because of his death.

After Browder was refused entry to Russia in November of 2005, he launched a campaign insisting that his departure from Russia resulted from his anti-corruption activities. However, the real reason for the cancellation of his visa that he never mentions is that in 2003 a Russian provincial court had convicted Browder of evading $40 million in taxes. In addition, his illegal purchases of shares in Gazprom through the use of offshore shell companies were reportedly valued at another $30 million, bringing the total figure of tax evasion to $70 million.

It's after this that the Russian federal government next took up the case and initially went after Magnitsky, the accountant who carried out Browder's schemes.

But back in the USA Browder portrayed himself as the ultimate truth-teller, and embellished his tale by asserting that Sergei Magnitsky was a whistleblowing "tax lawyer," rather than one of Browder's accountants implicated in tax fraud. As his case got more involved, he presented a convoluted explanation that he was not responsible for bogus claims made by his companies. This is indeed an extremely complicated matter and as such only a summary of some of this will be presented.

The essence of the case is that in 2007 three shell companies that had once been owned by Browder were used to claim a $232 million tax refund based on trumped-up financial loses. Browder has stated that the companies were stolen from him, and that in a murky operation organized by a convicted fraudster, they were re-registered in the names of others. There is evidence however that Magnitsky and Browder may have been part of this convoluted scheme.

Browder's main company in Russia was Hermitage Capital Management, and associated with this firm were a large number of shell companies, some in the Russian republic of Kalmykia and some in the British Virgin Islands. A law firm in Moscow, Firestone Duncan, owned by Americans, did the legal work for Browder's Hermitage. Sergei Magnitsky was one of the accountants for Firestone Duncan and was assigned to work for Hermitage.

An accountant colleague of Magnitsky's at Firestone Duncan, Konstantin Ponomarev, was interviewed in 2017 by Lucy Komisar, an investigative journalist, who was doing research on Browder's operations in Russia. In the ensuing report on this , Komisar states:

"According to Ponomarev, the firm – and Magnitsky -- set up an offshore structure that Russian investigators would later say was used for tax evasion and illegal share purchases by Hermitage. . .

the structure helped Browder execute tax-evasion and illegal share purchase schemes.

"He said the holdings were layered to conceal ownership: The companies were "owned" by Cyprus shells Glendora and Kone, which, in turn, were "owned" by an HSBC Private Bank Guernsey Ltd trust. Ponomarev said the real owner was Browder's Hermitage Fund. He said the structure allowed money to move through Cyprus to Guernsey with little or no taxes paid along the way. Profits could get cashed out in Guernsey by investors of the Hermitage Fund and HSBC.

"Ponomarev said that in 1996, the firm developed for Browder 'a strategy of how to buy Gazprom shares in the local market, which was restricted for foreign investors.'"

In the course of their investigation, on June 2, 2007, Russian tax investigators raided the offices of Hermitage and Firestone Duncan. They seized Hermitage company documents, computers and corporate stamps and seals. They were looking for evidence to support Russian charges of tax evasion and illegal purchase of shares of Gazprom.

In a statement to US senators on July 27, 2017, Browder stated that Russian interior ministry officials "seized all the corporate documents connected to the investment holding companies of the funds that I advised. I didn't know the purpose of these raids so I hired the smartest Russian lawyer I knew, a 35-year-old named Sergei Magnitsky. I asked Sergei to investigate the purpose of the raids and try to stop whatever illegal plans these officials had."

Contrary to what Browder claims, Magnitsky had been his accountant for a decade. He had never acted as a lawyer, nor did he have the qualifications to do so. In fact in 2006 when questioned by Russian investigators, Magnitsky said he was an auditor on contract with Firestone Duncan. In Browder's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017 he claimed Magnitsky was his lawyer, but in 2015 in his testimony under oath in the US government's Prevezon case, Browder told a different story, as will now be related.

On Browder's initiative , in December 2012 he presented documents to the New York District Attorney alleging that a Russian company Prevezon had "benefitted from part of the $230 million dollar theft uncovered by Magnitsky and used those funds to buy a number of luxury apartments in Manhattan." In September 2013, the New York District Attorney's office filed money-laundering charges against Prevezon. The company hired high-profile New York-based lawyers to defend themselves against the accusations.

As reported by Der Spiegel , Browder would not voluntarily agree to testify in court so Prevezon's lawyers sent process servers to present him with a subpoena, which he refused to accept and was caught on video literally running away. In March 2015, the judge in the Prevezon case ruled that Browder would have to give testimony as part of pre-trial discovery. Later while in court and under oath and confronted with numerous documents, Browder was totally evasive. Lawyer Mark Cymrot spent six hours examining him, beginning with the following exchange:

Cymrot asked: Was Magnitsky a lawyer or a tax expert?

He was "acting in court representing me," Browder replied.

And he had a law degree in Russia?

"I'm not aware he did."

Did he go to law school?

"No."

How many times have you said Mr. Magnitsky is a lawyer? Fifty? A hundred? Two hundred?

"I don't know."

Have you ever told anybody that he didn't go to law school and didn't have a law degree?

"No."

Critically important, during the court case, the responsible U.S. investigator admitted during questioning that his findings were based exclusively on statements and documents from Browder and his team. Under oath, Browder was unable to explain how he and his people managed to track the flow of money and make the accusation against Prevezon. In his 2012 letter that launched the court case, Browder referred to "corrupt schemes" used by Prevezon, but when questioned under oath he admitted he didn't know of any. In fact, to almost every question put forth by Mark Cymrot, Browder replied that he didn't know or didn't remember.

The case finally ended in May 2017 when the two sides reached a settlement. Denis Katsyv, the company's sole shareholder, on a related matter agreed to pay nearly six million dollars to the US government, but would not have to admit any wrongdoing. Also the settlement contained an explicit mention that neither Katsyv nor his company Prevezon had anything to do with the Magnitsky case. Afterwards, one of Katsyv's, lawyers, Natalia Veselnitskaya, exclaimed: "For the first time, the U.S. recognized that the Russians were in the right!"

A major exposé of the Browder-Russia story is presented in a film that came out in June 2016 The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes by the well-known independent filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov . Reference to this film will be made later but to provide a summary of the Browder tax evasion case some critical information can be obtained from a report by Eric Zuesse , an investigative historian, who managed to get a private viewing of the film by the film's Production Manager.

In the film Nekrasov proceeds to unravel Browder's story, which was designed to conceal his own corporate responsibility for the criminal theft of the money. As Browder's widely accepted story collapses, Magnitsky is revealed not to be a whistleblower but a likely abettor to the fraud who died in prison not from an official assassination but from banal neglect of his medical condition. The film cleverly allows William Browder to self-destruct under the weight of his own lies and the contradictions in his story-telling at various times.

Following the raid by tax officials on the Moscow Hermitage office on June 2, 2007, nothing further on these matters was reported until April 9, 2008 when Ms Rimma Starlova, the figurehead director of the three supposedly stolen Browder shell companies, filed a criminal complaint with the Russian Interior Ministry in Kazan accusing representatives of Browder companies of the theft of state funds, i.e., $232 million in a tax-rebate fraud. Although Hermitage was aware of this report they kept quiet about it because they claimed it as a false accusation against themselves.

On September 23, 2008, there was a news report about a theft of USD 232 million from the Russian state treasury, and the police probe into it. On October 7, 2008, Magnitsky was questioned by tax investigators about the $232 million fraud because he was the accountant for Browder's companies.

The central issue was that during September of 2007 three of Browder's shell companies had changed owners and that afterwards fraud against Russian treasury had been conducted by the new owners of these companies.

According to Magnitsky the way that ownership changed was through powers of attorney. This is a matter that Browder never mentioned. The Nekrasov film shows a document: "Purchase agreement based on this power of attorney, Gasanov represents Glendora Holdings Ltd." Glendora Holdings is another shell company owned by Browder. This shows that Gasanov, the middleman, had the power of attorney connecting the new nominees to the real beneficiaries. However, Gasanov could not be questioned on whose orders he was doing this because shortly afterwards, he mysteriously died. No one proved that it was murder, but if that death was a coincidence, it wasn't the only one.

During September 2007 the three Hermitage shell companies, Rilend, Parfenion and Mahaon, were re-registered by Gasanov to a company called Pluton that was registered in Kazan, and owned by Viktor Markelov, a Russian citizen with a criminal record. Markelov through a series of sham arbitration judgments conducted fake lawsuits that demanded damages for alleged contract violations. Once the damages were paid, in December 2007 the companies filed for tax refunds that came to $232 million. These were taxes that had been paid by these companies in 2006.

On February 5, 2008 the Investigative Committee of the Russian General Prosecutor's Office opened a criminal case to investigate the fraud committed by Markelov and other individuals.

Markelov had hired a Moscow lawyer, Andrey Pavlov, to conduct these complex operations. Afterwards Pavlov was questioned by Russian authorities and revealed what had happened. Markelov was convicted and sentenced to five years for the scam . At his trial Markelov testified that he was not in possession of the $232 million tax refund and that he did not know the identity of the client who would benefit from the refund scheme. And till this day no one knows! However, Russian tax authorities suspect it is William Browder.

At his trial, Markelov testified that one of the people he worked with to secure the fraudulent tax refund was Sergei Leonidovich. Magnitsky's full name was Sergei Leonidovich Magnitsky. Also when questioned by the police, Markelov named Browder's associates Khairetdinov and Kleiner as people involved in the company's re-registration.

So this provides evidence that Magnitsky and Browder's other officials were involved in the re-registration scheme – which Browder later called theft. In his film Nekrasov states that Browder's team had set things up to look as if outsiders -- not Browder's team -- had transferred the assets.

According to Nekrasov's film documentation, Russian courts have established that it was the representatives of the Hermitage investment fund who had themselves voluntarily re-registered the Makhaon, Parfenion and Rilend companies in the name of other individuals, a fact that Mr Browder is seeking to conceal by shifting the blame, without any foundation, onto the law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation.

Indeed there is cause to be skeptical of the Browder narrative, and that the fraud was in fact concocted by Browder and his accountant Magnitsky. A Russian court has supported that alternative narrative, ruling in late December 2013 that Browder had deliberately bankrupted his company and engaged in tax evasion. On the basis of this he was sentenced to nine years prison in absentia.

In the meantime, over all these years, Browder has maintained and convinced the public at large that the $232 million fraud against the Russian treasury had been perpetrated by Magnitsky's interrogators and Russian police. With respect to the "theft" of his three companies (or "vehicles as he refers to them) on September 16, 2008 he stated on his Hermitage website : "The theft of the vehicles was only possible using the vehicles' original corporate documents seized by the Moscow Interior Ministry in its raid on Hermitage's law firm in Moscow on 4 June 2007."

As such, Browder is accusing Russian tax authorities and police for conducting this entire fraudulent operation.

In his film Nekrasov says that the Browder version is: "Yes, the crime took place [$232 million fraud against the public treasury but, according to Browder, actually against Browder's firm], but somebody else did it -- the police did it."

In this convoluted tale, it should be recalled that the fraud against the Russian treasury had first been reported to the police by Rimma Starlova on April 9, 2008. This had been recorded on the Hermitage website. In preparing the material for his film, Nekrasov noted that

"In March 2009, Starlova's report disappeared from Hermitage's website. . . . This is the same time that Magnitsky started to be treated as an analyst . . . who discovered the $232 million fraud. Thus the Magnitsky-the-whistleblower story was born, almost a year after the matter had been reported to the police."

Nekrasov's film also undermines the basis of Browder's case that Magnitsky had been killed by the police because he had accused two police officials, Karpov and Kuznetsov, but this is questionable since documents show Magnitsky had not accused anyone. As Nekrasov states in the film: "The problem is, he [Magnitsky] made no accusations. In that testimony, its record contains no accusations. Mr. Magnitsky did not actually testify against the two officers [Karpov and Kuznetsov]." So this factual evidence should destroy Browder's accusations.

It should be noted Magnitsky's original interview with authorities was as a suspect, not a whistleblower. Also contradicting Browder's claims, Nekrasov notes that Magnitsky does not even mention the names of the police officers in a key statement to authorities.

In his film Nekrasov includes an interview that he had with Browder regarding the issues about Magnitsky. Nekrasov confronts Browder with the core contradictions of his story. Incensed, Browder rises up and threatens the filmmaker:

" Anybody who says that Sergei Magnitsky didn't expose the crime before he was arrested is just trying to whitewash the Russian Government. Are you trying to say that Pavel Karpov is innocent? I'd really be careful about your going out and saying that Magnitsky wasn't a whistleblower. That's not going to do well for your credibility." Browder then walks off in a huff.

Nekrasov claims to be especially struck that the basis of Browder's case -- that Magnitsky had been killed by the police because he had accused two police officials, Karpov and Kuznetsov -- is a lie because there is documentary evidence that Magnitsky had not accused anyone.

Because of Browder's accusations, Nekrasov interviewed Pavel Karpov, the police officer who Browder accused of being involved in Magnitsky's alleged murder, despite the fact that Karpov was not on duty the day Magnitsky died.

Karpov presents Nekrasov with documents that Browder's case was built on. These original documents are actually fundamentally different from the way Browder had described them. This documentary evidence further exposes Browder's story for what it is.

Nekrasov asks Karpov why Browder wants to demonize him. Karpov explains that he had pursued Browder in 2004 for tax evasion, so that seems to be the reason why Browder smears him. And then Karpov says, "Having made billions here, Browder forgot to tell how he did it. So it suits him to pose as a victim. He is wanted here, but Interpol is not looking for him."

Afterwards in 2013, Karpov had tried to sue Browder for libel in a London court, but was not able to on the basis of procedural grounds since he was a resident of Russia and not the UK. However at the conclusion of the case, set out in his Judgment the presiding judge, Justice Simon, made some interesting comments.

"The causal link which one would expect from such a serious charge is wholly lacking; and nothing is said about torture or murder. In my view these are inadequate particulars to justify the charge that the Claimant was a primary or secondary party to Sergei Magnitsky's torture and murder, and that he would continue to commit or 'cause' murder, as pleaded in §60 of the Defence.

The Defendants have not come close to pleading facts which, if proved, would justify the sting of the libel."

In other words – in plain English – in the judge's view, Karpov was not in any sense party to Magnitsky's death, and Browder's claim that he was is not valid.

On the basis of the evidence that has been presented, it is undeniable that Browder's case appears to be a total misrepresentation, not only of Magnitsky's statements, but of just about everything else that's important in the case .

On a separate matter, on April 15, 2015 in a New York court case involving the US government and a Russian company, Previzon Holdings, Bill Browder had been ordered by a judge to give a deposition to Prevezon's lawyers.

Throughout this deposition, Browder (now under oath) contradicted virtually every aspect of his Magnitsky narrative and stated "I don't recall" when pressed about key portions of his narrative that he had previously repeated unabashedly in his testimonies to Congress and interviews with Western media. Browder "remembered nothing" and could not even deny asking Magnitsky to take responsibility for his (Browder's) crimes.

As a further example of Browder's dishonesty, in one of his publications, he shows a photo of an alleged employee of Browder's law firm, Firestone Duncan, named "Victor Poryugin" with vicious facial wounds from allegedly being tortured and beaten by police. However, the person shown was never with Browder's firm. Instead, this is a photo of "an American human rights campaigner beaten up during a street protest in 1961." It was Jim Zwerg, civil-rights demonstrator, during the 1960s, in the American South. Nekrasov was appalled and found it almost unimaginable that Browder would switch photos like that to demonize Russia and its police.

Browder was arrested by the Spanish police in June 2018. Even though Russia has on six occasions requested Browder's arrest through Interpol for tax fraud, the Spanish national police determined that Browder had been detained in error because the international warrant was no longer valid and released him.

A further matter that reflects on his character, William Browder, the American-born co-founder of Hermitage Capital Management is now a British citizen. The US taxes offshore earnings, but the UK does not. Highly likely because of this, in 1998 he gave up his American citizenship and became a British citizen and thereby has avoided paying US taxes on foreign investments. Nevertheless, he still has his family home in Princeton, NJ and also owns a $11 million dollar vacation home in Aspen, Colorado.

To put this in political context, Browder's narrative served a strong geopolitical purpose to demonize Russia at the dawn of the New Cold War. As such, Browder played a major role in this. In fact, the late celebrated American journalist Robert Parry thought that Browder single-handedly deserves much of the credit for the new Cold War.

Browder's campaign was so effective that in December 2012 he exploited Congressional willingness to demonize Russia, and as a result the US Congress passed a bipartisan bill, the Magnitsky Act, which was then signed by President Obama. U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and John McCain were instrumental in pushing through the Magnitsky Act, based on Browder's presentations.

However, key parts of the argument that passed into law in this act have been shown to be based on fraud and fabrication of 'evidence.' This bill blacklisted Russian officials who were accused of being involved in human-rights abuses.

In her analysis of the Magnitsky Act, Lucy Komisar, an investigative journalist, reveals a little known fact :

"A problem with the Magnitsky Act is that there is no due process. The targets are not told the evidence against them, they cannot challenge accusations or evidence in a court of law in order to get off the list. This "human rights law" violates the rule of law. There is an International Court with judges and lawyers to deal with human rights violators, but the US has not ratified its jurisdiction. Because it does not want to be subject to the rules it applies to others."

In 2017, Congress passed the Global Magnitsky Act, which enables the U.S. to impose sanctions against Russia for human rights violations worldwide.

In a move that history will show to be ill-advised, on October 18, 2017 Canada's Parliament and Senate unanimously approved Bill 226, a 'Magnitsky Act.' It mimics the US counterpart and targets Russia for further economic sanctions. Russia immediately denounced Canada's actions as being counter-productive, pointless and reprehensible. Actually an act of this type had been opposed by Stéphane Dion while he was Canada's minister of foreign affairs because he viewed it as a needless provocation against Russia. Dion also stated that adoption of a 'Magnitsky Act' would hurt the interests of Canadian businesses dealing with Russia and would thwart Canada's attempt's to normalize relations with Russia. However, Dion was replaced by Chrystia Freeland who immediately pushed this through. This is not surprising considering her well-documented Nazi family background and who is persona non grata in Russia.

A version of the Magnitsky Act was enacted in the UK and the Baltic republics in 1917.

In early 2020 a proposal to enact a version of the Magnitsky Act was presented to the Australian parliament and it is still under consideration. There has been considerable opposition to it including a detailed report by their Citizens Party, which exposes the full extent of Browder's fraud and chicanery.

The investigation into Browder's business activities in Russia is still an ongoing endeavour. On October 24, 2017 the

Russian Prosecutor General , Yuri Chaika, requested the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to launch a probe into alleged tax evasion by Bill Browder, who in 2013 had already been sentenced in absentia to 9 years in prison in Russia for a similar crime.

Browder at that time was still being tried in Russia for suspected large-scale money laundering, also in absentia. Chaika added that Russian law enforcement possesses information that over $1 billion was illegally transferred from the country into structures connected with Bill Browder.

The Prosecutor General also asked Sessions to reconsider the Magnitsky Act. As he put it,

" from our standpoint, the act was adopted for no actual reason, while it was lobbied by people who had committed crimes in Russia. In our view, there are grounds to claim that this law lacks real foundation and that its passing was prompted by criminals' actions."

It's not known if Sessions ever responded to the Russian Prosecutor General. In any event, President Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions on November 7, 2018. As such it's evident that Russia's concerns about Browder's dishonest activities are stymied.

Extensive reference has already been made to the film that came out in June 2016 The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes by the independent filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov . When Nekrasov started the film he had fully believed Browder's story but as he delved into what really happened, to his surprise, he discovered that the case documents and other incontrovertible facts revealed Browder to be a fraud and a liar. The ensuing film presents a powerful deconstruction of the Magnitsky myth, but because of Browder's political connections and threats of lawsuits, the film has been blacklisted in the entire "free world." So much for the "free world's" freedom of the press and media. This film is not available on YouTube.

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/oJsWUlkjN6Gf/

The documentary was set for a premiere at the European Parliament in Brussels in April 2016, but at the last moment – faced with Browder's legal threats – the parliamentarians cancelled the showing.

There were hopes to show the documentary to members of Congress but the offer was rebuffed. Despite the frantic attempts by Browder's lawyers to block this documentary film from being shown anywhere, Washington's Newseum, to its credit, had a one-time showing on June 13, 2016, including a question-and-answer session with Andrei Nekrasov, moderated by journalist Seymour Hersh. Except for that audience, the public of the United States and Europe has been essentially shielded from the documentary's discoveries, all the better for the Magnitsky myth to retain its power as a seminal propaganda moment of the New Cold War.

Nekrasov's powerful deconstruction of the Magnitsky myth – and the film's subsequent blacklisting throughout the "free world" – recall other instances in which the West's propaganda lines don't stand up to scrutiny, so censorship and ad hominem attacks become the weapons of choice to defend " perception management ."

Other than the New York Times that had a lukewarm review , the mainstream media condemned the film and its showing. As such, with the exception of that one audience, the public in the USA, Canada and Europe has been shielded from the documentary's discoveries. The censorship of this film has made it a good example of how political and legal pressure can effectively black out what we used to call "the other side of the story."

Andrei Nekrasov is still prepared to go to court to defend the findings of his film, but Bill Browder has refused to do this and simply keeps maligning the film and Mr. Nekrasov.

Recent Developments

Although for almost the past ten years Browder's self-serving story had been accepted almost worldwide and served to help vilify Russia, in the past few months there has been an awakening to the true state of affairs about Browder.

The first such article "The Case of Sergei Magnitsky: Questions Cloud Story Behind U.S. Sanctions" written by Benjamin Bidder, a German journalist, appeared on November 26, 2019 in Der Spiegel. At the outset Bidder states:

"Ten years after his death, inconsistencies in Magnitsky's story suggest he may not have been the hero many people -- and Western governments -- believed him to be. Did the perfidious conspiracy to murder Magnitsky ever really take place? Or is Browder a charlatan whose story the West was too eager to believe? The certainty surrounding the Magnitsky affair becomes muddled in the documents, particularly the clear division between good and evil. The Russian authorities' take is questionable, but so is everyone else's -- including Bill Browder's.

But with the Magnitsky sanctions, it could be that the activist Browder used a noble cause to manipulate Western governments."

In summation, the article raises serious questions about many aspects of Browder's account. It concluded that his narrative was riddled with lies and said Western nations have fallen for a "convenient" story made up by a "fraudster. "

The report provoked Browder's fury, and he swiftly filed a complaint against Der Spiegel with the German Press Council as well as a complaint to the editor of Der Spiegel .

On December 17, 2019 Der Spiegel responded : " Why DER SPIEGEL Stands Behind Its Magnitsky Reporting." In a lengthy detailed response the journal rejects all aspects of Browder's complaint. They point out the inconsistencies in Browder's version of events and demonstrate that he is unable to present sufficient proof for his claims. They state: We believe his complaint has no basis and would like to review why we have considerable doubts about Browder's story and why we felt it necessary to present those doubts publicly."

Their report is highly enlightening and will have long-term consequences. It is one of the best refutations of Browder's falsified accounts that led to the Magnitsky Act. It exposes Browder as a fraud and his Magnitsky story as a fake. Despite all this, this exposé was ignored in the mainstream media so most people are unaware of these revelations. A good review of it is presented by Lucy Komisar in her article The Der Spiegel exposé of Bill Browder, December 6, 2019.

The German Press Council rejected Browder's complaint against Der Spiegel in January 2020 but Browder did not disclose this so it became known only in early May. Lucy Komisar reported this on May 12 and the main points of the Council's rejection are presented in her account. Browder had complained that the article had serious factual errors. The Press Council stated that Browder's position lacks proof and there could be no objection to Der Spiegel's examination of events leading to Magnitsky's death. All other Browder objections were rejected as well. In summation the Council stated: "Overall, we could not find a violation of journalistic principles."

But the action of the press council has not been reported in the Canadian, U.S. or UK media. Nor was the November Der Spiegel report.

The German Press Council ruling follows a December 2019 Danish Press Board ruling against another Browder complaint over an article by a Danish financial news outlet, Finans.dk, on his tax evasion and invented Magnitsky story. Significantly, both the Danish and German cases involve mainstream media, which usually toe the US-UK-NATO strategic line against Russia, which Browder's story serves. And these press complaint rulings follow a September 2019 European Court of Human Rights ruling that there was credible evidence that Magnitsky and Browder were engaged in a conspiracy to commit tax fraud and that Magnitsky was rightfully charged.

In summation, for ten years or more, no one in the West ever seriously challenged Bill Browder's account of what happened to his "lawyer" Sergei Magnitsky and his stories of corruption and malfeasance in Russia. This is what allowed him to get such influence that the Magnitsky Act was passed, despite Russia's attempts to clarify matters.

But when pressure was exerted on Germany to install a Magnitsky Act, one of their most influential journals Der Spiegel published an investigative bombshell picking apart Browder's story about his auditor Sergei Magnitsky's death. Browder immediately lashed out at Der Spiegel , accusing it of "misrepresenting the facts." However, his outraged objections backfired and resulted in a further even more damaging Der Spiegel article and a rebuke from the German Press Council.

At long last, thanks to Der Spiegel , its investigative reports have effectively rejected and discredited Browder's claim that Magnitsky was a courageous whistleblower who exposed corruption in Russia and was mercilessly killed by authorities out of revenge.

Despite this important and significant course of events, because of its imbedded Russophobia, the mainstream media have completely ignored the Der Spiegel exposé and almost nowhere has this been reported. To some extent this is because Browder has used his fortune to threaten lawsuits for anyone who challenges his version of events, effectively silencing many critics. Hence aside from people in Germany, this has been a non-event and the Browder hoax still prevails. Given this, it is important for us to publicize this revelation as best we can.

John Ryan, Ph.D. is a Retired Professor of Geography and Senior Scholar, University of Winnipeg The Untouchable Mr. Browder? The Browder affair is a heady upper-class Jewish cocktail of money, spies, politicians and international crime. Israel Shamir Is Bill Browder the Most Dangerous Man in the World? The darling of the war party needs to answer some questions Philip Giraldi


Vuki , says: Show Comment July 1, 2020 at 10:44 pm GMT

John, great article but we know that what you call "large-scale privatizations in Russia " was a large scale robbery. Even Magnitsky's mother stated that Browder is a fraud. Mr. Nekrasov whose film has been banned in many countries due to Browder's legal challenges has a reputation as a Putin critic -- After interviewing Mr. Browder in 2010 Nekrasov says he set out to make a "Magnitsky the hero" film. But as filming proceeded he "began to have doubts". More accurate would be that he smelled a rat. John, I have read many of your articles you never disappoint with your research and evidence.
Neo-Socratic , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 5:26 am GMT
Outstanding article sir. I remember when Browder popped up in the news a couple of years ago and made TV appearances on all three big networks in the same day. I was astonished that this lowlife wielded such influence in America.

Total and absolute corruption just like Weimer.

TheTrumanShow , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 5:49 am GMT
" smelled a rat "

Indeed – and very likely more than one! It should be obvious that the ease with which Browder (a complete nonentity) was able to get away with what he got away with in Russia and remain a virtually untouchable, protected free man to this day, in spite of the very significant evidence against him, would very much seem to indicate that he, much like Paul Bremer later in Iraq, was a tool of higher powers.

No Friend Of The Devil , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 6:53 am GMT
Excellent article. There is a misperception that these pathological liars are believed, since their critics are silenced. It has been my experience that that is not the case. The pathological liars are not believed. They just keep lying, sabotaging, fining, legal system stalking, shouting down their oppenents, black listing those who doubt or know that they are lying as conspiracy theorists. I've been witnessing this for far to long. It is obviously not limited to the Magnitsky Act. This country is really nothing more than a sick joke at this point. These individuals do not behave like people. They behave like mercury poisoned monsters. Maybe they are. There is no logical excuse for this insanity. However, if they were mercury poisoned monsters, they would not all always have the same insane delusions. They are extremely corrupt sadistic terrorist criminal psychopaths that have destroyed America and the rest of the world too.

They are not The Resistance, they are The Persistence! Something has to be done about them. Freedom of the press does not give people the freedom to deliberately lie. You may doubt that, however, slander, libel, and defamation of charcter suits will prove you to be wrong, in addition to providing false information that endangers human life and national security, in the case of a non person like covid that is being used to deprive people of every liberty and rights that exists, including life. They are terrorists. They cannot claim to be news journalists or investigative reporters if they simply say whatever their advertisers or the government tells them to say. If they are unable to get to the bottom of the story, when so many in the alternative media are, then they are either unqualified to do their jobs, or are simply full of shit.

I really believe that the primary intention of covid and the response to it is to get people to voluntarily give up cell phones, particularly since 5-G is so hazardous. That way, the industries will never have to admit any wrong doing about the health hazards related to cell phones and Wi-Fi.That
is what I believe. Also, you can be damn sure that the government and corporations do not like the fact that they can be embarrassed by people that they cannot prevent from embarrassing them without being accused of human rights abuses like vault7 technology.

"Did they expect us to treat them with any respect?!" – Pink Floyd Fletcher Memorial Home For Incurable Tyants

Knowing them, they probably did!

Anon [268] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 7:23 am GMT
@Vuki I had at one time a copy of a book titled "The murder of Bill Browder" by an Eastern European journalist which I have, unfortunately, misplaced. As well as being an exposè of the nefarious Mr Browder it also exposes far more serious wrongdoing against him. This book has vanished from the Google search engine (I wonder why?) so if anyone can tell me where to get a copy i would really value it
FlintWheel4 , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 7:41 am GMT
An aptly titled must read:

https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/harvard-boys-do-russia/

While most American's were distracted by the emerging World Wide Web, our elite were raping Russia. I'll say it again, America's "elite" raped Russia. In internet time twenty five years past puts you in prehistoric times. This is critical history that most of us missed, or more accurately wasn't available -- to the majority of us.

This was the Clinton era -- with just that you know this story can't be good. With Slick Willie's taste for skanks in a period where there is a story of beautiful impoverished young Russian women (teens likely) forming a line for one of our "elite" who was peeling off Benjamins for blowjobs in a club frequented by their foreign "advisors." Yep, I'm sure this was of no interest to William Jefferson Blythe III.

Harvard University was given a significant role in this "helping" of Russia (pardon the pun), due to the prestige of this institution, long-gone and unbeknownst to Russian elite, but hey they weren't "connected" yet. Geez, sorry about your luck. The Harvard you got was the Harvard we've been getting also, a race privileged hot bed for educating global "rapists" (or was that Brandeis University I'm thinking of?). Six of one

William Browder is a highly educated Jew (not certain about either) who's grandfather was Earl Browder, the former General Secretary of the CPUSA (that's the "Communist Party of the United States of America" for those of you who didn't know we had one). Bill Browder crowed about the irony in his grandfather being an activist for communism here in the U.S., while HE was an activist for capitalism in Russia! No, he was doing to Russia what Jews did to Russia when they hijacked the real Russian's revolution -- fucking them.

Billy Browder's book, "Red Notice," seems at first heartfelt story from a genuine American do-gooder. Oops! I missed the "A true story " tip-off. It's a self engrandizing fairy tale of a rapist's plea of innocence because "she didn't say NO."

There is MUCH more to this most interesting, world impacting historical event, that I believe is the most understated and least understood of the twentieth century, but that said, who fucked up? Certainly Yeltsin with his alcohol addled brain (likely rooted for by Russian Jews, who are the MOST notorious criminals world-wide) in trusting and believing America would help Russia! More significantly I feel America did, big-time, for acting so damn un-American. Unfortunately the America I'm dreaming of is as long-gone as Harvard and now, like Harvard has a Zionist occupied governance (if you didn't know what "ZOG" stood for). Come to think of it, we're acting much like Israel. God save America!

I can tell you one person who did not, Vladimir Ilyich Putin. Yeltsin threw Russia's doors open to the west and Putin slammed them shut. You can quibble about how he got and keeps his office, or how he enriched himself through the process, but he had a job to do and he did it well -- he saved Russia from what the west was going to continue doing to it. You may not agree with his ideology, but he is the most formidable leader the world has. I pray he leaves Russia and Russians in a better place than we're headed.

So, here we are today, where Trump is currently in the position to decide whether Russia should be invited to the next G-whatever summit:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/30/us/politics/trump-g7-russia.html

I say we're damn lucky it isn't Putin deciding whether to include Trump and the U.S., as some day it very well may be.

P.S. This is a rant of mine burning a long time for a window. Thank you John Ryan. Thank you Billy Browder. Most of all, Thank YOU Mr. Unz!

UNZ has provided a platform for authors, journalists and "knowers" from all over the world. All converging on the same theme -- there is a "they" and there is a plan. This seeming runaway train has awakened plain folks with uncommon sense and giants of intellect alike. Kudos, Ron Unz.

GMC , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 8:48 am GMT
" The western Governments are easily moved or manipulated" and have been Gang Banged – time and time again by the corrupt mafia corporations, Zionists inc., and a dozen other international gangs that are in charge of things – today. Not to mention the corrupt, treasonist nationals that work for the Western Governments. Browder's Hermitage scam just shows how easily the US Gov and others are bought and paid for – that's why the true Magnitsky lie , has to be covered up , from the public. PS – notice all the tax money Browder skimmed off the US – very visible to anyone that can smell a Rat.
jsigur , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 9:24 am GMT
I became aware of the Browder case when known controlled asset, Brandon Martinez, used his claims as a refutation of Putin which he seemed unbelievably obsessed about.
As I perused you-tube for videos on Browder, I saw that he was welcomed into all approved western media to make his case with the questioners rarely going into the material to dispute his claims. I determined at that time that Browder was part of a deep state campaign to demonize Russia under Putin leadership.
It surprises me not to hear no MSM News organization will print these latest findings since in 2012 I realized the free world and press are anything but free and lie as much or more than the most demonized communist outlets.
Not mentioned in the article that I recall is the fact that Browder's dad was the head of the Communist party in the USA before and during WWII which should be enough by itself for a legitimate news outlet to scrutinize with great vigor any claims made by the man but then we know WWII was really a war against any country willing to exercise goyim rule independent of Jewish advisors and that the US was on the side of Jewish power in that war as much as all the other wars it has engaged in.
(Its interesting that my spell check keeps telling me that there is no such word as "goyem")
Parsnipitous , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 10:09 am GMT
"But when pressure was exerted on Germany to install a Magnitsky Act, one of their most influential journals "

Der Spiegel is known as a craven Atlanticist rag. Somebody high up – possibly as a snub to the Trump admin – must have provided ass cover for it to be upheld.

Chet Roman , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 11:40 am GMT
@Anon https://dxczjjuegupb.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/TheKillingOfWilliamBrowder_PrintLayout_6x9-1.pdf
Saggy , says: Website Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 12:27 pm GMT
@Vuki You can see the film here


https://www.bitchute.com/embed/oJsWUlkjN6Gf/

That Browder is a crook is not surprising, the revelation is the extent to which he is supported by the establishment.

annamaria , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 12:52 pm GMT
Bill Browder has been heavily supported by Ben Cardin, a prominent zionist in the US Congress.

Browder is a mega thief (he was also involved in several deaths-on-order) who owes everything to Cardin and other zionists from the Mega Group like Lex Wexner and similar criminals:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Cardin
https://www.mintpressnews.com/mega-group-maxwells-mossad-spy-story-jeffrey-epstein-scandal/261172/
https://www.globalresearch.ca/bill-browder-escapes-again/5642767

It is the same old story of subversion of the state by the moneyed and powerful Israel-firsters.

vot tak , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 2:39 pm GMT
Useful summary of browder's scam. The man managered to wield a great amount of influence in american/uk media and government, yet is only a minor player by western oligarch standards. For that he must have substantial backing. By whom?

Well he definitely is closely defended by these sources:

British Jewish businessman who challenged Putin is put on Interpol wanted list

https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/british-jewish-businessman-who-challenged-putin-is-put-on-interpol-wanted-list-1.446467

Be careful of Putin, he is a true enemy of Jews

https://www.thejc.com/culture/books/be-careful-of-putin-he-is-a-true-enemy-of-jews-1.61745

Who has the power to control media and western governments to such a tight degree?

AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 3:18 pm GMT
Bill Browder is a thief, a typical representative of a flock of Western vultures that landed in 1990s Russia to steal state assets. When his thievery was curbed by Putin, he got angry and vengeful, like a scorned lover. He manufactured and spread lies to whip up an anti-Putin campaign in the West. His "narrative" was eagerly supported by the neocons and other scum, as it was in line with their "narrative". Naturally, the first things about Browder any honest investigator or journalist would unearth were lies and fraud. Just as naturally, the scum and scum-controlled Western MSM keep spreading lies supporting their "narrative", and ignoring numerous facts that contradict it.
Alfred , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 3:31 pm GMT
There is an interesting connection between Bill Bowder, Robert Maxwell, Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell and others. They are all members of "CLUB"

There are many more revealing articles on Martin Armstrong's blog. Browder is one of the biggest scumbags to ever walk on this earth. He is trying to start a war against Russia – because they took away some of the things he had stolen. An absolute arsehole.

Ghislaine Maxwell Arrested – Clinton's & Epstein's Lover | Armstrong Economics

Really No Shit , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 3:55 pm GMT
Ben Cardin must feel like a schmuck given Ben Bidder's exposé in the Der Spiegel but having suborned the late drama queen Johnny McCain in supporting him in his efforts to protect a fellow tribesman, the noodge won't make any effort to rescind the illicit bill now that's the power of corruption!

[Jul 02, 2020] There is an interesting connection between Bill Bowder, Robert Maxwell, Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell and others. They are all members of "CLUB"

Jul 02, 2020 | www.unz.com

Alfred , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 3:31 pm GMT

There is an interesting connection between Bill Bowder, Robert Maxwell, Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell and others. They are all members of "CLUB"

There are many more revealing articles on Martin Armstrong's blog. Browder is one of the biggest scumbags to ever walk on this earth. He is trying to start a war against Russia – because they took away some of the things he had stolen. An absolute arsehole.

Ghislaine Maxwell Arrested – Clinton's & Epstein's Lover | Armstrong Economics

Really No Shit , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 3:55 pm GMT
Ben Cardin must feel like a schmuck given Ben Bidder's exposé in the Der Spiegel but having suborned the late drama queen Johnny McCain in supporting him in his efforts to protect a fellow tribesman, the noodge won't make any effort to rescind the illicit bill now that's the power of corruption!
Bombercommand , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 4:54 pm GMT
@Saggy Many thanks for posting this. Halfway through the film I began to suspect that Browder had Magnitsky killed: "Dead Men Tell No Tales", and an accountant can tell very important tales for the procecution. I had no idea that several guys connected with Browder shell companies convienently turned up dead. Looks like the "cleanup" scenes in Scorcese's "Casino".
Craig Nelsen , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 5:34 pm GMT
The Nekrasov film is absolutely devastating. Bowder comes off looking like the rat-faced vermin he is.
geokat62 , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 9:32 pm GMT
Here's a link to all 6 parts of Browder's deposition in the Previzon case

https://www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PLNR-zS4HKxC3_GPQM39JKcsDWk7PiAbnh

[Jul 01, 2020] Operation Cyclone - Wikipedia

Jul 01, 2020 | en.wikipedia.org

Operation Cyclone was the code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program to arm and finance the mujahideen (jihadists) in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989, prior to and during the military intervention by the USSR in support of its client, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. The mujahideen were also supported by Britain's MI6, who conducted separate covert actions. The program leaned heavily towards supporting militant Islamic groups that were favored by the regime of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in neighboring Pakistan, rather than other, less ideological Afghan resistance groups that had also been fighting the Marxist-oriented Democratic Republic of Afghanistan regime since before the Soviet intervention.[1]

Operation Cyclone was one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever undertaken.[2] Funding officially began with $695,000 in 1979,[3][4] was increased dramatically to $20–$30 million per year in 1980, and rose to $630 million per year in 1987,[1][5][6] described as the "biggest bequest to any Third World insurgency."[7] Funding continued (albeit reduced) after the 1989 Soviet withdrawal as the mujahideen continued to battle the forces of President Mohammad Najibullah's army during the Afghan Civil War (1989–1992).[8]

[Jun 30, 2020] 29 June 2020 at 11:00 PM

Jun 30, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
div One of distinctive features, the hallmark of neocons who dominate the USA foreign policy establishment is rabid, often paranoid Russophobia which includes active, unapologetic support of separatist movements within Russia.
And what is your evidence for claiming that the EU and USA want to break up Russia into 'smaller statelets'? That smells a bit fishy. It would make the world a more dangerous place.
One of distinctive features, the hallmark of neocons who dominate the USA foreign policy establishment is rabid, often paranoid Russophobia which includes active, unapologetic support of separatist movements within Russia.

The same is true about GB.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/03/06/the-long-roots-of-our-russophobia/

I think the evidence of the USA and EU (especially GB, but also Poland, Sweden, and Germany) multi-level (PR, MSM, financial, diplomatic and sometimes military) support of Islamic separatists in Russia is well known: support of separatist movements in Russia is just a continuation of the support of separatist movement within the USSR, which actually helped to blow up the USSR from within (along the key role of KGB changing sides along with a part of Politburo who deciding to privatize Russia's economy)

See

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32487081

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_separatist_movements_in_Europe#Russia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_separatist_movements_in_Asia#Russia

Here is old but still relevant list of "who is who" in the USA foreign policy establishment in promoting separatism in Russia. You will see many prominent neocons in the list.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Committee_for_Peace_in_Chechnya#ACPC_members

The foreign policy of the USA toward Russia to a considerable extent is driven by emigres from Eastern Europe and people who were accepted to the USA before and, especially, after WWII from filtration camps. This "diaspora lobby" includes older generation of emigrants such as late Brzezinski, Madeline Allbright, as well as more recent such as Farkas, Chalupa, Appelebaum, etc. The same is true for Canada (Freeland). All of them are rabid, sometimes paranoid (Brzezinski) Russophobs. They consistently use the USA as a leverage to settle the "ancient hatred".

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/diaspora-communities-influencing-us-foreign-policy

[Jun 24, 2020] Why do our 'foreign interventionists,' our 'permanent war for globalist perpetual peace' crusaders, our Neocons, hate Russia so thoroughly and so centrally to their very beings?

Notable quotes:
"... First, our imperialists are the direct descendants intellectually, spiritually, and morally of the first WASP Empire, the first Anglo-Zionist Empire: the British Empire. And they have used their high IQs that are focused on grasping the One Ring to Rule Them All to locate where the Brit WASP Empire failed to achieve its goals, which allowed the collapse starting with World War 1. They are obsessed with that because they believe that if they can achieve what the Brit WASPs failed to achieve, then they can make the Anglo-Zionist Empire 2.0 as permanent as the Roman Empire – a Thousand Year Reich. ..."
"... And that is spiritually what all WASP imperialism, all Anglo-Zionist imperialism back to at least the Anglo-Saxon Puritans, is about: replacing the Roman Empire, which means replacing that which culturally led to, and was absolutely indispensable to, Christendom. ..."
"... Our 'foreign interventionists' have seen Russia under Putin rise from the ashes, and they intend to destroy Russia once and for all, so they then can reduce China and win The Great Game. And thus make Anglo-Zionist Empire greater than Roman Empire. ..."
"... The "foreign interventionists" want two things: Russia's mineral riches and its good gene pool (how do you think Middle Eastern Semites became blonde hair-blue eyed people who can easily blend into the West to undermine it from within in the first place to begin with?) ..."
Jun 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Jake , says: Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2020 at 12:18 pm GMT

Why do our 'foreign interventionists,' our 'permanent war for globalist perpetual peace' crusaders, our Neocons, hate Russia so thoroughly and so centrally to their very beings?

First, our imperialists are the direct descendants intellectually, spiritually, and morally of the first WASP Empire, the first Anglo-Zionist Empire: the British Empire. And they have used their high IQs that are focused on grasping the One Ring to Rule Them All to locate where the Brit WASP Empire failed to achieve its goals, which allowed the collapse starting with World War 1. They are obsessed with that because they believe that if they can achieve what the Brit WASPs failed to achieve, then they can make the Anglo-Zionist Empire 2.0 as permanent as the Roman Empire – a Thousand Year Reich.

And that is spiritually what all WASP imperialism, all Anglo-Zionist imperialism back to at least the Anglo-Saxon Puritans, is about: replacing the Roman Empire, which means replacing that which culturally led to, and was absolutely indispensable to, Christendom.

What they wish to redo and achieve that the Brit WASPs failed in is winning The Great Game: becoming total master of Eur-Asia. And that requires taking out Russia and China. In the 19th century, China was sicker than even the Ottoman Turkish Empire. To play the long game to destroy Russia, the Brit WASPs allied with the Turks to prevent Russia acting to push the Ottomans out of Europe. Brit WASP secret service in eastern Europe was focused on reducing Russia significantly right through the Bolshevik Revolution, even with Russia naively, stupidly allied with the British Empire in World War 1.

Our 'foreign interventionists' have seen Russia under Putin rise from the ashes, and they intend to destroy Russia once and for all, so they then can reduce China and win The Great Game. And thus make Anglo-Zionist Empire greater than Roman Empire.

Second, our Neocons are the spiritual and intellectual descendants not just of Trotskyites, but of all Russia-hating Jews with ties to Central and/or Eastern Europe. For them, Russia always is the evil that must be destroyed for the good of Jews.

Everything at its bedrock is about theology, is about the choice between Christ and Christendom or the Chaos of anti-Christendom.

Really No Shit , says: Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2020 at 1:13 pm GMT
The "foreign interventionists" want two things: Russia's mineral riches and its good gene pool (how do you think Middle Eastern Semites became blonde hair-blue eyed people who can easily blend into the West to undermine it from within in the first place to begin with?)

And they won't stop until they get what they want, by hook or crook!

[May 25, 2020] The extent of the incompetence involved in the USA accessment of the USSR just befor the collapse

May 25, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com
  1. davidhabakkuk says: May 25, 2020 at 12:22 pm The kind of view of the end of the Cold War which underpins Billingslea's notion that the United States can spend Russia and China into 'oblivion' is that championed by people who totally failed to anticipate what happened in the Soviet Union in the 'Eighties, and have not seen this fact as reason for rethinking the assumptions that caused them to get things so radically wrong.

    The extent of the incompetence involved is vividly apparent in the collection of documents from the American and Soviet sides published by the 'National Security Archive' in January 2017, under the title 'The Last Superpower Summits.'

    (See https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2017-01-23/last-superpower-summits

    Particularly revealing, to my mind, is Document 12, the transcript of the closed-door testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee by the top three CIA analysts of the Soviet Union, Doug MacEachin, Robert Blackwell, and Paul Ericson, at the precise moment, in December 1988, when Gorbachev announced his 500,000 troop cut at the U.N.

    The editors comment:

    'And MacEachin offers a true confession in an extraordinary passage that demonstrates how prior assumptions about Soviet behavior, rather than actual intelligence data points, actually drove intelligence findings: "Now, we spend megadollars studying political instability in various places around the world, but we never really looked at the Soviet Union as a political entity in which there were factors building which could lead to the kind of – at least the initiation of political transformation that we seem to see. It does not exist to my knowledge. Moreover, had it existed inside the government, we never would have been able to publish it anyway, quite frankly. And had we done so, people would have been calling for my head. And I wouldn't have published it. In all honesty, had we said a week ago that Gorbachev might come to the UN and offer a unilateral cut of 500,000 in the military, we would have been told we were crazy. We had a difficult enough time getting air space for the prospect of some unilateral cuts of 50 to 60,000."

    Actually, it was quite possible to do much better, without spending 'megadollars', if one simply went to the Chatham House Library and/or the London Library and looked at what competent analysts, like those working for the Foreign Policy Studies Program then run by the late, great John Steinbruner at Brookings – a very different place then from now.

    Among those he employed were two of the best former intelligence analysts of Soviet military strategy: Ambassador Raymond Garthoff and Commander Michael MccGwire, R.N., to give them their titles when in government service.

    These has devoted a great deal of effort to explaining that Professor Richard Pipes of Harvard, a key influence in creating the 'groupthink' MacEachin described, had missed a crucial transition away from nuclear war planning to conventional 'deep operations' in the late 'Sixties and 'Seventies.

    Inturn, this led Garthoff and MccGwire to grasp that the Gorbachev-era 'new thinkers' had decided that the conventional 'deep operations' posture in turn needed to be abandoned. For a summary of the latter's arguments, see article entitled 'Rethinking War: The Soviets and European Security', published in the Spring 1988 edition of the 'Brookings Review', available on the 'Unz Review' site.

    (See https://www.unz.com/print/BrookingsRev-1988q2-00003/ .)

    Also associated with Brookings at the time was the Duke University Sovietologist Jerry Hough, who had read his way through the writings of academics in the institutes associated with the Academy of Sciences on development economics, and talked extensively to many of their authors.

    In the 'Conclusion' to his 1986 study, 'The Struggle for the Third World: Soviet Debates and American Options', Hough wrote:

    'Or what is one to say about the argument – now very widely accepted – among Soviet economists – that countries with "capitalist-oriented" economies in the third world have a natural tendency to grow more rapidly than countries with a "socialist orientation" because well-rounded development seems to be dependent on foreign investment and integration into the world market? A quarter of a century ago, let alone in the Stalin period, it was just as widely accepted that integration into the capitalist world economy doomed a third world country to slow, deformed growth and that foreign investment exploited a local economy.'

    One thing one could say is that this recognition that fundamental premises of the Marxist-Leninist view of the world had turned out wrong was simple an acknowledgement of the ways that the world had changed. And that view of the world had defined the political framework in which Soviet contingency planning for war had developed.

    Central to this had been the premise of a 'natural' teleology of history towards socialism, with the risk of war in the international system arising from the attempts of the 'imperialist' powers to resist this.

    So there were profound pressures, which really were not simply created by the Reagan military build-up and SDI, for radical changes in the Soviet security posture. Questions were obviously raised, however, as to whether these – together with radical domestic reform – would defuse Western hostility.

    Fascinating here is Document 11, a memo to Gorbachev from a key advisor, Georgy Arbatov, the director of the 'Institute for U.S.A. and Canada' from the previous June. This sets the plan for the 500,000 troop reduction in the context both of the wider conception of liquidating the capability for large-scale offensive operations described MccGwire, and also of the perceived importance of breaking the 'image of the enemy' in the West.

    While both Gorbachev, and Arbatov, were widely perceived in the West as engaged in a particularly dangerous 'active measures' campaign, it is striking how closely the thinking set out in the memo echoes that the latter had articulated the previous December in a letter to the 'New York Times', in response to a column by William Safire.

    (See https://www.nytimes.com/1987/12/08/opinion/l-it-takes-two-to-make-a-cold-war-963287.html .)

    Headlined 'It Takes Two to Make a Cold War', it expresses key assumptions underlying the 'new thinking.' Two crucial paragraphs:

    'If the Soviet Union should accept the proposed rules of the game and devotedly continue the cold war, then, of course, sooner or later, the whole thing would end in a calamity. But at least Mr. Safire's plan would work. The only problem I see here is that the Soviet Union will not pick up the challenge and accept the proposed rules of the game. And then Americans would find themselves in exactly the same position Mr. Safire and his ilk, as he himself writes, are finding themselves in now: history would pass them by, and years from now they would be "regarded as foot-draggers and sourpusses," because almost no one in the world is willing to play the games of the American right. Least of all, the Soviet Union.

    'And here we have a "secret weapon" that will work almost regardless of the American response e would deprive America of The Enemy. And how would you justify without it the military expenditures that bleed the American economy white, a policy that draws America into dangerous adventures overseas and drives wedges between the United States and its allies, not to mention the loss of American influence on neutral countries? Wouldn't such a policy in the absence of The Enemy put America in the position of an outcast in the international community?'

    There was however another question which was raised by the patent bankrupcy of Marxism-Leninism, which bore very directly upon what Arbatov, in his memorandum to Gorbachev.

    If one accepted that Soviet-style economics had led to a dead end, and that integration into the U.S. dominated global economic order was the road to successful development, questions obviously arose about not simply about how far, and how rapidly, one should attempt to dismantle not simply the command economy.

    But they also arose about whether it was prudent to dismantle the authoritarian political system with which it was associated, at the same time.

    In a lecture given in 2010, entitled 'The Cold War: A View from Russia', the historian Vladimir O. Pechatnov, himself a product of Arbatov's institute, would provide a vivid picture of the disillusion felt by 'liberalising' intellectuals within the Soviet apparatus, like himself.

    (See http://jhss-khazar.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/01.pdf .)

    However, he also made the – rather interesting – suggestion that, had logic of central arguments by George F. Kennan, the figure generally, if in my own view somewhat misleadingly, regarded as the principal architect of post-war American strategy, actually pointed rather decisively away from the assumption that a rapid dismantling of the authoritarian system was wise.

    And Pechatnov pointed to the very ambivalent implications of the view of the latent instability of Soviet society expressed in Kennan's famous July 1947 'X-article':

    'So, if Communist Party is incapacitated, the Soviet Russia, I quote, "would almost overnight turn from one of the mightiest into one of the weakest and miserable nations of the world "). Had Gorbachev read Kennan and realized this causal connection (as Deng and his colleagues most definitely had), he might have thought twice before abruptly terminating the Communist monopoly on power.'

    What is involved here is a rather fundamental fact – that in their more optimistic assumptions, people like Arbatov and Gorbachev turned out to be simply wrong.

    Crucially, rather than marginalising people like Pipes, and Safire, and Billingslea, an effect of the retreat and collapse of Soviet power was to convince a very substantial part of what had been the 'Peace Movement' coalition that their erstwhile opponents had been vindicated.

    However, the enthusiasm of people like Billingslea for a retry of the supposed successful 'Reagan recipe' brings another irony.

    As to SDI, it was well-known at the time that it could easily be countered, at relatively low cost, with 'asymetric' measures.

    This is well brought out in Garthoff's discussion in his 2001 Memoir 'A Journey through the Cold War: A Memoir of Containment and Coexistence' (see p. 356.) For a more recent discussion, in the light of declassified materials, which reaches the same conclusion, see a piece in the 'Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' by Pavel Podvig from April 2013, entitled 'Shooting down the Star Wars myth' at

    https://thebulletin.org/2013/04/shooting-down-the-star-wars-myth-2/

    And if one bothers to follow the way that arguments have been developing outside the 'bubble' in which most inhabitants of Washington D.C., and London exist, it is evident that people in Moscow, and Beijing, have thought about the lessons of this history. Those who think that they are going to be suckered into an arms race that the United States can win are quite patently delusional.

[May 20, 2020] The American Mission and the Evil Empire The Crusade for a Free Russia Since 1881 by Foglesong

Highly recommended!
Paperback: 364 pages Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (October 15, 2007)
"Foglesong's book provides a panoramic view of American popular attitudes toward Russia, one that is illustrated with many arresting cartoons and magazine covers. It should provoke a wider debate about the rationality of evaluating Russia with reference to an idealized view of the United States, as well as the deeper sources of this tendency." -Deborah Welch Larson, H-Diplo
"In the 21st century, the American debate on the prospects of modernizing Russia and on the Americans' role in this process is still going strong even though it began more than a century ago. This is why David Foglesong's book aimed at elucidating the mechanisms of misrepresentations which threaten both Russian-American relations and the world security as a whole is of equal importance for the academic community and for the policy makers in both Russia and the United States."
-Victoria Zhuravleva, H-Diplo
"Foglesong demonstrates that powerful Americans have again and again seen the possibility, even necessity, of spreading the word to Russia, and then, when Russia fails to transform itself into something resembling the US, have recoiled and condemned Russia's perfidious national character or its leaders-most recently Putin. The author's singular achievement is to show that well before the cold war, Russia served as America's dark double, an object of wishful thinking, condescension and self-righteousness in a quest for American purpose-without much to show for such efforts inside Russia. The author thereby places in context the cold war, when pamphleteers like William F Buckley Jr and politicians like Ronald Reagan pushed a crusade to revitalise the American spirit. Russia then was a threat but also a means to America's end (some fixed on a rollback of the alleged Soviet "spawn" inside the US-the welfare state-while others, after the Vietnam debacle, wanted to restore "faith in the United States as a virtuous nation with a unique historical mission"). Foglesong's exposé of Americans' "heady sense of their country's unique blessings" helps make sense of the giddiness, followed by rank disillusionment, vis-...-vis the post-Soviet Russia of the 1990s and 2000s." -Stephen Kotkin, Prospect Magazine -Stephen Kotkin, Prospect Magazine
Notable quotes:
"... For example, Foglesong argued that "a vital factor in the revival of the crusade in the 1970s was the need to expunge doubts about American virtue instilled by the Vietnam War, revelations about CIA covert actions, and the Watergate scandal." ..."
"... By tracing American representations of Russia over the last 130 years, Foglesong illuminated three of the strongest notions that have informed American attitudes toward Russia: (1) a messianic faith that America could inspire sweeping overnight transformation from autocracy to democracy; (2) a notion that despite historic differences, Russia and America are very much akin, so that Russia, more than any other country, is America's "dark double;" (3) an extreme antipathy to "evil" leaders who Americans blame for thwarting what they believe to be the natural triumph of the American mission. These expectations and emotions continue to effect how American journalists and politicians write and talk about Russia. "My hope," Foglesong concluded, "is that by seeing how these attitudes have distorted American views of Russia for more than a century, we may begin to be able to escape their grip." ..."
"... The usefulness of Russia as bogeyman for all that is wrong in the world - a contrasting foil to the virtues of "us" - has defined this relationship ever since the first democratic stirrings in Russia following the Emancipation of '61. In this it followed Britain, who'd long demonized Russia since imperial rivalries over the Crimea. ..."
"... This trope was also successful for reactionaries in blocking progressive legislation at home. Ronald Reagan was perhaps the most successful in this linkmanship: "socialized medicine" was the first step to the gulags. ..."
"... T he flak over Pus*y Riot following this book's publication - while ignoring the crucifixion of the Dixie Chicks - demonstrates the double standard is too convenient to be allowed to wither. The empire must always be evil, precisely because it reflects our own image like a Buddhist truth mirror. ..."
May 20, 2020 | www.amazon.com

"By 1905," Foglesong stated, "this fundamental reorientation of American views of Russia had set up a historical pattern in which missionary zeal and messianic euphoria would be followed by disenchantment and embittered denunciation of Russia's evil and oppressive rulers." The first cycle, according to Foglesong, culminated in 1905, when the October Manifesto, perceived initially by Americans as a transformation to democracy, gave way to a violent socialist revolt. Foglesong observed similar cycles of euphoria to despair during the collapse of the tsarist government in 1917, during the partial religious revival of World War II, and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s

Crucial to Foglesong's analysis was how these cycles coincided with a contemporaneous need to deflect attention away from America's own blemishes and enhance America's claim to its global mission.

For example, Foglesong argued that "a vital factor in the revival of the crusade in the 1970s was the need to expunge doubts about American virtue instilled by the Vietnam War, revelations about CIA covert actions, and the Watergate scandal."

By tracing American representations of Russia over the last 130 years, Foglesong illuminated three of the strongest notions that have informed American attitudes toward Russia: (1) a messianic faith that America could inspire sweeping overnight transformation from autocracy to democracy; (2) a notion that despite historic differences, Russia and America are very much akin, so that Russia, more than any other country, is America's "dark double;" (3) an extreme antipathy to "evil" leaders who Americans blame for thwarting what they believe to be the natural triumph of the American mission. These expectations and emotions continue to effect how American journalists and politicians write and talk about Russia. "My hope," Foglesong concluded, "is that by seeing how these attitudes have distorted American views of Russia for more than a century, we may begin to be able to escape their grip."

The Adventures of Straw Man Reviewed in the United States on September 27, 2013 This has been the essential function of US Russia policy, as David Foglesong shows in his century-long tour.

The usefulness of Russia as bogeyman for all that is wrong in the world - a contrasting foil to the virtues of "us" - has defined this relationship ever since the first democratic stirrings in Russia following the Emancipation of '61. In this it followed Britain, who'd long demonized Russia since imperial rivalries over the Crimea.

This trope was also successful for reactionaries in blocking progressive legislation at home. Ronald Reagan was perhaps the most successful in this linkmanship: "socialized medicine" was the first step to the gulags.

The crusade against US civil rights - of which Reagan was also a part in his early career - as Communist-inspired tinkering with the Constitution was much less successful. His support for free trade unions in the Soviet Bloc while crushing them at home underscored the irony.

But Foglesong is much too generous in evaluating Reagan's human decency as a policy motive. Reagan pursued his grand rollback strategy by any means necessary, mixing hard tactics (contras, death-squad funding, mujahadin, Star Wars) with soft (democracy-enhancement, human rights, meeting with Gorbachev). Solidarity activists in Poland might remember his crusading fondly; survivors of the Salvadoran civil war will not.

The "crisis" with the Putin regime currently empowered shows the missionary impulse yet alive: projecting one's reforming instincts upon others rather than at home. T he flak over Pus*y Riot following this book's publication - while ignoring the crucifixion of the Dixie Chicks - demonstrates the double standard is too convenient to be allowed to wither. The empire must always be evil, precisely because it reflects our own image like a Buddhist truth mirror.

I do find it puzzling that Foglesong made no mention of Maurice Hindus, the prolific popular "explainer" of Russia in over a dozen mid-century books; and the notorious defector Victor Kravchenko and his best-selling memoir of the 1940s (ghost-written by Eugene Lyons, another popular anti-Soviet scribe). Both were much more influential in the public and political mind than many of the more obscure missionary authors Foglesong does cite. Nevertheless, Foglesong has offered a generous helping of cultural/political history that shows no signs of growing stale.

>

indah nuritasari , Reviewed in the United States on October 24, 2012

A Good Book About America and The Cold War

This book tells a fascinating story of American efforts to liberate and remake Russia since the 1880s. It starts with the story of Tsar Alexander II's asasination on March 1, 1881 and how James William Buel, a Missoury Journalist wrote it in his book "Russian Nihilism and Exile Life in Siberia."

The story continues until The Reagan era and "the Evil Empire," 1981-1989.

This book is very interesting and useful for history lovers, students, journalists, or general public. Here you can find all the "dark and exciting stuff" about the cold war, including the involvement of the journalists, political activists, diplomats, and even engineers.

It is really helpful for me as a new immigrant in the US to help me understand the US position and role in the Cold War Era. The language used in this book, though, is " kind of dry". A little editing for the next edition could be really helpful!!

[May 15, 2020] Browder story takes another hit

May 15, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

BROWDER. His story takes another hit – as it always does when someone takes a real look at it. The German press council rejected his complaint against Der Spiegel saying his narrative lacked proof.

et Al May 12, 2020 at 4:24 am

RT.com: German media watchdog rejects Browder's complaint against Spiegel over Magnitsky story report, says his own narrative lacks proof
https://www.rt.com/news/488395-german-media-watchdog-browder-spiegel/

Bill Browder's complaint against Der Spiegel for questioning the story he used to push for anti-Russian sanctions has backfired, with Germany's Press Council concluding his own position is far from being an "indisputable fact."

"We cannot agree with your analysis, in which you criticize the allegations made by the author," the German Press Council – a monitoring organization formed by major German publishers and journalistic associations – said in its response to Browder's team, as it rejected the complaint against one of Germany's major news media outlets

What's the world come to when the world's most influential ex-American-vulture-capitalist-turned-British-human-rights-crusader can't crush free speech in every NATO country, only some NATO countries? A blow to all the London-DC human rights apparatchiks on Browder's payroll. https://t.co/774OihXK8T

-- Mark Ames (@MarkAmesExiled) May 11, 2020

[Apr 08, 2020] About neoliberalization of China and Russia

Apr 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

King Lear , Apr 8 2020 19:14 utc | 56

VK #2
Yet you are fooled by the phony Socialism of "Red" China, which is really Neoliberalism in disguise (I highly doubt Marx, Lenin, Stalin, or even the confused, Pro-U$ Mao would believe Sweatshops, Stock Exchanges, and Billionaires represents the Socialist model of production). I agree with you that Bernie Sanders is a gutless fraud and faux Socialist (he's merely a Centre-Left Social Democrat yet he portrayed his movement as some sort of "Revolution", LOL), who sadly represents the best you would ever get in the White House, in the sense that at least he wouldn't have started any new wars, wouldn't have given any tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy, and wouldn't have outsourced any more jobs in new free trade agreements (these are the reasons I would have held my nose and voted for him if he had been nominated, despite my much more Leftist beliefs).

However, I believe it smells of intense hypocrisy to call out Bernie Sanders as faux Socialism (he is), while simultaneously bowing at the alter of Xi Jinping thought, which along with being yet another form of faux Socialism like Bernies Social Democracy, isn't just due to the naivety of believing that the phony Liberal Democratic process (in Marxist terms the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie), can actually achieve meaningful reforms for the Working class and not just pacify them. In reality, it represents something much more devious, a country that had a Communist Revolution and established a Planned Socialist economic system, yet decided to sell out its citizens for an alliance with the U$ and massive wealth for the Communist Party leadership, who proceeded to turn their formerly Socialist country into a Neoliberal, Neocolonial, Sweatshop, that by giving 15 Trillion dollars in surplus value to Wall Street is one of the biggest sponsors of U$ Imperialism (remember, according to Lenin Imperialism is not just launching Wars against small countries, but includes when Western Corporation exploit third world populations for massive super profits through resource extraction and cheap labor sweatshops). In reality their are only two countries today (Cuba and North Korea) that are in the Socialist mode of production according to the Marxist-Leninist definition, sadly their used to be many more (the USSR, the other Eastern Bloc countries, Maoist China, etc.) which all succumb to Capitalist counterrevolution (the USSR and the other Eastern Bloc countries etc.), or the ruling Communist Party embracing such extreme revisionism that over time they basically restored the Capitalist mode of production and Dictatorship of the Proletariat, in all but name only. The reason for both of these tragic events was the fact that due to a long-term revisionist trend after the death of Stalin and Maos ridiculous Sino-Soviet split, the leadership of these countries became corrupted by the desire for the U$-style "Good life" of mass consumerism and hedonistic materialism (not Dialectical Materialism), thus proving that the real threat to Socialism is the Neoliberal culture of decedent consumerism which corrupt the leadership and enchants the masses of nations around the world.

[Mar 10, 2020] The American conference in Bratislava in the Slovak Republic in April 2000 made the American goal for Europe clear: An Iron Curtain between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, with hopefully Russia be eventually divided or broken up into smaller states

Mar 10, 2020 | www.unz.com

Malbrough , says: Show Comment March 10, 2020 at 2:50 am GMT

In an op-ed in the Financial Times on March 4th, he [Soros] urged that "Europe must stand with Turkey over Putin's war crimes in Syria," an astonishing misreading of the situation in the region as Turkey is the aggressor while Russia is fighting to eliminate the last major terrorist enclave in Idlibt.

" Defender 2020" is a "maneuvre of shame"
by Willy Wimmer
former State Secretary at the German Ministry of Defence

"The German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel, is breaking a taboo by allowing German soldiers to participate in the biggest NATO manoeuvre since the end of the Cold War against Russia .

It is therefore no wonder that the German Federal Government in May 2019 did not commemorate the "Versailles" of one hundred years ago, nor did the German President do so in a commemoration ceremony for which he can be held accountable. Versailles does not only mean "the demon of revenge", but also a deliberate inability to strive for peace.

This way of thinking is expressed once again in the NATO major manoeuvre, deliberately planned for the 9 May, the day the war ended in 1945. As if the fact had needed further proof that the "NATO West" cannot make peace, it can only make war, be that war cold or hot.

The American conference in Bratislava in the Slovak Republic in April 2000 made the American goal for Europe clear: An Iron Curtain between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, Russia can stay anywhichwhere, and be divided or broken up into smaller states. The NATO manoeuvre called "Defender 2020" is a "manoeuvre of shame" that only serves the warmongers . "

[Mar 09, 2020] Defender of Europe 2020: a Dangerous Provocation on Russia's Border

Mar 09, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org
by Ellen Taylor At this very moment thousands of US soldiers are disembarking from troop transports in six European countries and rushing toward prepositioned munitions around Europe, to deploy weapons as swiftly as possible.

This excitement marks the beginning of "Defender Europe 2020", the largest military exercises to be staged in Europe in over 25 years. Strategists will record how swiftly our forces can reach the Russian border, and test our NATO allies.

There has already been a massive US build-up in the countries bordering Russia.

In the words of Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, "The last 18 years of conflict built muscle memory in counterinsurgency, but with this came atrophy in other areas. We are now engaging these other muscle groups."

General Tod Wolters, Commander of US forces in Europe and of NATO, has stated, "I'm in favor of a flexible first-use (nuclear weapon) policy."

The US has withdrawn from the INF treaty.

Most diabolical and chilling of all: the exercises will come to a climax in June, which is the 75 th anniversary of Operation Barbarossa, Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, which killed 27 million people. Russians born in 1930 turn 90 this year. They remember. The heart and soul of Russia remembers as well.

Russian Chief General Gerasimov is convinced the US is preparing for war. All it would take for an attack is one false-flag operation.

The people of the world lie in helpless ignorance. And the Doomsday clock moves 20 seconds closer to midnight.

[Feb 24, 2020] Bush Family s Project Hammer

Notable quotes:
"... Deanna Spingola's articles are copyrighted but may be republished, reposted, or emailed. However, the person or organization must not charge for subscriptions or advertising. The article must be copied intact and full credit given. Deanna's web site address must also be included. ..."
Dec 15, 2019 | www.spingola.com

The Bush Family's Project Hammer
By Deanna Spingola
Edited by Ken Freeland
February 7, 2010

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Hammering the USSR's Economy

In 1989 President George H. W. Bush began the multi-billion dollar Project Hammer program using an investment strategy to bring about the economic destruction of the Soviet Union including the theft of the Soviet treasury, the destabilization of the ruble, funding a KGB coup against Gorbachev in August 1991 and the seizure of major energy and munitions industries in the Soviet Union. Those resources would subsequently be turned over to international bankers and corporations. On November 1, 2001, the second operative in the Bush regime, President George W. Bush, issued Executive Order 13233 on the basis of "national security" and concealed the records of past presidents, especially his father's spurious activities during 1990 and 1991. Consequently, those records are no longer accessible to the public. [1] The Russian coup plot was discussed in June 1991 when Yeltsin visited with Bush in conjunction with his visit to the United States. On that same visit, Yeltsin met discreetly with Gerald Corrigan, the chairman of the New York Federal Reserve. [2]

Because of numerous Presidential Executive Orders, the ethically questionable Project Hammer was deemed legal. Many of Reagan's executive orders were actually authored by Vice President Bush or his legal associates, and it is possible that Project Hammer was created by Reagan's CIA Director, William Casey, who had directed OSS operations through Alan Dulles in Europe during World War II. Prior to his OSS affiliation, Casey worked for the Board of Economic Warfare which allegedly targeted "Hitler's economic jugular." [3] Allen Dulles, brother of John Foster Dulles, was the Director of the CIA (1953-1961). He was a senior partner at the Wall Street firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, which represented the Rockefeller Empire and other mammoth trusts, corporations and cartels.

Project Hammer was staffed with CIA operatives and others associated with the National Security apparatus. Covert channels were already in place as a result of other illegal Bush activities. Thus, it was a given (1) that the project would use secret, illegal funds for unapproved covert operations, and (2) that the American public and Congress would not be informed about the illegal actions perpetrated in foreign countries. The first objective was allegedly to crush Communism, a growing political philosophy and social movement that was initially funded by the usual group of international bankers who now supported their demise. To this end, the "Vulcans," under George H. W. Bush, waged war against the Soviet Union. [4]

The Return of the Vulcans

In their reincarnation in the administration of George W. Bush, the Vulcans functioned as a supposedly benign group, led by Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) member Condoleezza Rice, who attempted to augment and compensate for the Bush's lack of experience and education concerning foreign policy during his presidential campaign. Rice had been President George H. W. Bush's Soviet and East European Affairs Advisor in the National Security Council during the Soviet Union's dissolution and during the German reunification (July 1, 1990). The resurrected Vulcan group included Richard Armitage, Robert Blackwill, Stephen Hadley, Richard Perle, Rabbi Dov S. Zakheim, Robert Zoellick and Paul Wolfowitz. Other key campaign figures included Dick Cheney, George P. Shultz and Colin Powell, all influential but not actually a part of the Vulcan Group. All of these people, associated with the George H. W. Bush administration, returned to powerful, strategic positions in George W. Bush's administration.

Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz have been accused of being agents for the Israeli government. Investigations by Congress and the FBI have substantiated those allegations. Zakheim and his family were heavily involved in Yeshivat Sha'alvim, an educational organization in which students are taught to render absolute commitment to the State of Israel. [5]

Many of these individuals were also members of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) which was established in the spring of 1997 with the intention of promoting American Global leadership at any cost. The chairman and co-founder was William Kristol, son of Irving Kristol (CFR), considered the godfather of neo-conservatism which promotes the ideas of Max Shachtman and Leo Strauss, a noted Zionist and professor of political science at the University of Chicago. Kristol's co-founder was Robert W. Kagan (CFR). Kristol is also the editor and co-founder, along with John Podhoretz, of the Weekly Standard Magazine , established September 17, 1995 and owned by Rupert Murdoch until August 2009. This "conservative" magazine is edited by William Kristol and Fred Barnes and promotes Middle East warfare and a huge military budget, a mentality that infects the most popular "conservative" talk show radio hosts. Kristol is a trustee for the Manhattan Institute which was founded by CIA Director William Casey and was staffed with former CIA officers.

The Vulcans had almost limitless financing from a cache known by several names – the Black Eagle Trust, the Marcos gold, Yamashita's Gold, the Golden Lily Treasure, or the Durham Trust. Japan, under Emperor Hirohito, appointed a brother, Prince Chichibu, to head Golden Lily, established in November 1937 before Japan's infamous Rape of Nanking , to accompany and follow the military. The Golden Lily operation carried out massive plunder throughout Asia and included an army of jewelers, financial experts and smelters. [6] The Japanese were allegedly very organized and methodical. After the Allied blockade, Golden Lily headquarters were moved from Singapore to Manila where 175 storage sites were built by slave laborers and POWs. Billions of dollars worth of gold and other plundered treasures were stockpiled in these underground caverns, some of which were dis covered by the notorious Cold Warrior, Edward G. Lansdale who directed the recovery of some of the vaults. Truman and subsequent presidents, without congressional knowledge, have used those resources to finance the CIA's chaotic clandestine activities throughout the world. Much of the Middle East chaos is financed by those pillaged funds. A tiny portion of that treasure was the source of Ferdinand Marcos' vast wealth. Marcos worked with the CIA for decades using Golden Lily funds to bribe nations to support the Vietnam War. In return, Marcos was allowed to sell over $1 trillion in gold through Australian brokers. [7]

In July 1944, the leaders of forty-four nations met at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to plan the post-war economy and to discuss organizing a global political action fund which would use the Black Eagle Trust ostensibly to fight communism, bribe political leaders, enhance the treasuries of U.S. allies, and manipulate elections in foreign countries and other unconstitutional covert operations. Certainly, those politicos who managed the funds also received financial benefits. This trust was headed by Secretary of War Henry Stimson, assisted by John J. McCloy (later head of the World Bank) and Robert Lovett (later Secretary of Defense) and consultant Robert B. Anderson (later Secretary of the Treasury). [8] Anderson later operated the Commercial Exchange Bank of Anguilla in the British West Indies and was convicted of running illegal offshore banking operations and tax evasion. Investors lost about $4.4 million. Consequently, he was sent to prison for a token amount of time, one month. He was also under house arrest for five years. He could have received a ten-year sentence but Judge Palmieri considered Anderson's "distinguished service" to the country in the "top levels of Government." [9]

Between 1945 and 1947 huge quantities of gold and platinum were deposited in prominent banks throughout the world. These deposits came to be known as the Black Eagle Trust. Swiss banks, because of their neutrality, were pivotal in maintaining these funds. These funds were allocated to fighting communism and paying bribes and fixing elections in places like Italy, Greece, and Japan. [10] Stimson and McCloy, both retired from government service, continued their involvement in the management of the Black Eagle Trust. Robert B. Anderson, who toured the treasure sites with Douglas MacArthur, set up the Black Eagle Trust and later became a member of Eisenhower's cabinet. [11] In order to maintain secrecy about the Trust, Washington officials insisted that the Japanese did not plunder the countries they invaded. Japanese officials who wanted to divulge the facts were imprisoned or murdered in a way that made it look like suicide, a common CIA tactic. [12] The Germans paid reparations to thousands of victims while the Japanese paid next to nothing. Military leaders who opposed foreign policies that embraced exploitation of third world countries were suicided or died from mysterious causes, which includes individuals such as George S. Patton, Smedley D. Butler and James V. Forrestal.

The Vulcan's effort to crush Communism and end the Cold War was largely funded by that Japanese plunder. The Vulcans were resurrected when George W. Bush was installed as president in 2000, facilitated by election maneuvers, probably lots of payoffs, and Jeb Bush's purge of Florida voters. They conducted other illegal operations, like securities fraud and money laundering. This entailed murder and false imprisonment to prevent penitent participants from divulging the activities of the group. During the process of accomplishing the main objective of destroying the Soviet Union, the operatives made massive profits. In September 1991, George H. W. Bush and Alan Greenspan, both Pilgrims Society members, financed $240 billion in illegal bonds to economically decimate the Soviet Union and bring Soviet oil and gas resources under the control of Western investors, backed by the Black Eagle Trust and supported later by Putin who for the right price purged certain oligarchs. The $240 billion in illegal bonds were apparently replaced with Treasury notes backed by U.S. taxpayers. [13] To conceal the clearance of $240 billion in securities, the Federal Reserve, within two months, increased the money supply to pre-9/11 numbers which resulted in the American taxpayer refinancing the $240 billion. [14]

The Takeover of Russia's Oil Industry

BP Amoco became the largest foreign direct investor in Russia in 1997 when it paid a half-billion dollars to buy a 10 percent stake in the Russian oil conglomerate Sidanko. Then in 1999, Tyumen Oil bought Sidanko's prize unit, Chernogorneft which allegedly made BP Amoco's investment worthless. Tyumen offered to cooperate with BP Amoco on the development of Chernogorneft but BP Amoco was not interested. [15] In October 1998, Halliburton Energy Services had entered into an agreement with Moscow-based Tyumen Oil Company (TNK). Their efforts were focused on the four western Siberia fields, the first one being the Samotlorskoye field. [16] TNK has proven oil reserves of 4.3 billion barrels and possibly as many as 6.1 billion barrels, with crude oil production and refining capabilities of 420,000 barrels/day and 230,000 barrels/day, respectively. TNK markets gasoline through 400 retail outlets. [17] In 2002 Halliburton and Sibneft, Russia's fifth largest crude oil producer, signed an agreement. Sibneft will use Halliburton's new technologies to improve well construction and processing while Halliburton directs all project management. [18]

Tyumenskaya Neftyanaya Kompaniya (Tyumen Oil Company) was established in 1995 by government decree. It is now TNK-BP, the leading Russian oil company and ranks among the top ten privately owned oil companies worldwide in terms of crude oil production. The company, formed in 2003, resulted from the merger of BP's Russian oil and gas assets and the oil and gas assets of Alfa, Access/Renova group (AAR). BP and AAR each own fifty percent of TNK-BP. The shareholders of TNK-BP own almost fifty percent of Slavneft, a vertically integrated Russian oil company. [19] This transaction was the biggest in Russian corporate history and was managed by Vladimir Lechtman, the Moscow partner for Jones Day, a global law firm with thirty offices and 2,200 lawyers worldwide. TNK-BP, Russia's second-largest oil company employs almost 100,000 people and operates in Samotlor. [20]

Reportedly, Putin was financially rewarded by the collaborators and was happy to purge some annoying industrialists who stood in the way. Mikhail Khodorkovsky was the manager of Yukos, the company that he built into Russia's second-largest oil company after acquiring it for $168 million when his Bank MENATEP, the first privately owned but notoriously corrupt bank since 1917 and wiped out in August 1998, purchased it through a controversial government privatization auction in 1995. MENATEP was named as a defendant in the Avisma lawsuit which was filed on August 19, 1999. [21] The bank may have facilitated the large-scale theft of Soviet Treasury funds before and following the USSR's collapse in 1991. [22] His company had borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars from western banks. [23] He was arrested on October 25, 2003 and sentenced in June 2005 to eight years on fraud and tax evasion charges. He was allegedly targeted as a political enemy by President Vladimir Putin who went after other big business owners who apparently made money by acquiring states assets. Yukos was sold piecemeal to pay off $28 billion in back tax charges. Yukos was seized and given to Rosneft. [24]

When Khodorkovsky was arrested, his secretive business arrangement with the Rothschild family was exposed as Jacob Rothschild assumed Khodorkovsky's 26% control of Yukos while Khodorkovsky's directorial seat on the Yukos board went to Edgar Ortiz, a former Halliburton vice president during Dick Cheney's reign as CEO at Halliburton. Cheney, as President and CEO of Halliburton, automatically had an association with the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) . [25] In November 1997, Dick Cheney, in anticipation of imminent events, had appointed Edgar Ortiz as president of Halliburton Energy Services, their global division. [26]

The Yukos Oil Company merged with the smaller Sibneft Oil Company on October 3, 2003 which created Russia's largest oil and gas business and the world's fourth-largest private oil company. [27] On May 11, 2007 Halliburton announced they had made an agreement with the Tyumen State Oil and Gas University to open a new employee-training center in Russia to grow their business in that country and in the surrounding region. They are currently training students from five countries, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia and the United Kingdom. [28] Halliburton was awarded a $33 million contract by TNK-BP to provide oil field services to develop the Ust-Vakh field in Western Siberia. [29]

September 11 – Black Op Cover-up

Three top securities brokers had offices in the World Trade Center, Cantor Fitzgerald, Euro Brokers and Garbon Inter Capital. Flight 11 struck just under the floors where Cantor Fitzgerald was located. Cantor Fitzgerald, with possible connections to the U.S. Intelligence apparatus, was America's biggest securities broker and apparently the main target. Within minutes, an explosion in the North Tower's vacant 23 rd floor, right under the offices of the FBI and Garbon Inter Capital on the 25 th floor caused a huge fire from the 22 nd through the 25 th floors. At the same time, there was an explosion in the basement of the North Tower. [30] A vault in the North Tower basement held less than $1 billion in gold, much of which was reportedly moved before 9/11. However, the government had hundreds of billions of dollars of securities which were summarily destroyed. The Federal Reserve, untouched by the crisis at its downtown offices (as they had everything backed up to a remote location), assumed emergency powers that afternoon. The $240 billion in securities were electronically cleared. [31] Then, at 9:03, Flight 175 slammed into the 78 th floor of the South Tower just below the 84 th floor where Euro Brokers were located. [32] Brian Clark, the manager at Euro Brokers, heard numerous explosions, apparently unrelated to what he referred to as the oxygen-starved fire caused by the plane crash.

The September 11 attacks related to the financial improprieties during the preceding ten years which spurred at least nine federal investigations which were initiated in 1997-1998, about the same time that Osama bin Laden, after twenty years as a CIA asset, announced a fatwa against the U.S. The records of many of those investigations were held in the Buildings Six and Seven and on the 23 rd floor of the North Tower. Those investigations were sure to reveal the black Eagle Trust shenanigans. [33] Building Seven, not hit by a plane, collapsed at 5:20:33 p.m. but was vacated as early as 9:00 when evacuees claimed to see dead bodies and sporadic fires within the building.

By 2008 and even earlier the covert securities were worth trillions. The securities used to decimate the Soviets and end the Cold War were stored in certain broker's vaults in the World Trade Center where they were destroyed on September 11, 2001. They would have come due for settlement and clearing on September 12, 2001. [34] The federal agency investigating these bonds, the Office of Naval Intelligence was in the section of the Pentagon that was destroyed on September 11. Renovations at the Pentagon were due to be completed on September 16, 2001. However, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the entity that often monitors war games, was hurriedly moved. If they were monitoring the simultaneous war games that morning, they would have realized that the games were used as a distraction from the actual assault. Whatever hit the pentagon struck the Navy Command Center and the offices of the Chief of Naval Operations Intelligence Plot (CNO-IP). [35] There were 125 fatalities in the Pentagon, thirty-one percent of them were people who worked in the Naval Command Center, the location of the Office of Naval Intelligence. Thirty-nine of the forty people who worked in the Office of Naval Intelligence died . [36]

On September 10, 2001 Rumsfeld announced that the Pentagon couldn't account for $2.3 trillion, "We are, as they say, tangled in our anchor chain. Our financial systems are decades old. According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. We cannot share information from floor to floor in this building because it's stored on dozens of technological systems that are inaccessible or incompatible." [37] It was forgotten the following morning. Accountants, bookkeepers and budget analysts who were in the section of the Pentagon being renovated met their unexpected deaths. The destruction of accounting facts and figures will prevent discovery of where that money went. I am quite certain someone knows where it is. Certainly this is not merely gross incompetence but private seizure of public funds. [38] At the time Rabbi Dov Zakheim was chief-financial officer for the Department of Defense. [39] In 1993, Zakheim worked for SPS International, part of System Planning Corporation, a defense contractor. His firm's subsidiary, Tridata Corporation directed the investigation of the first "terrorist" attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. [40]

Certain National Security officials who had participated in the Cold War victory in 1991 thus comprised the collateral damage of the Cold War. They, along with hundreds of innocent people were in the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. Their deaths were presumably required to conceal the existence of the Black Eagle Trust, along with the numerous illegal activities it had funded for over 50 years. This massive destruction, and the lost lives, constitutes a massive cover-up and continued lawlessness by the brotherhood of death, Skull and Bones, and their accomplices, the Enterprise. [41] The Enterprise was established in the 1980s as a covert fascist Cold Warriors faction working with other groups like Halliburton's private security forces and the Moonies. Citibank is connected to the Enterprise, along with all the CIA front banks, Nugen Hand and BCCI.

Double Dipping

Alvin B. "Buzzy" Krongard was elected Chief Executive Officer of Alexander Brown and Sons in 1991 and Chairman of the Board in 1994. Bankers Trust purchased Alexander Brown and Sons in 1997 to form BT Alex Brown. Krongard relinquished his investments in Alex Brown to Banker's Trust as part of the merger. He became Vice Chairman of Banker's Trust where he personally interacted with wealthy clients who were intimately linked to drug money laundering. After a year of possible networking, Krongard joined (or as Michael Ruppert suggests, rejoined ) the CIA in 1998 where his friend, Director George Tenet, concentrated his skills on private banking ventures within the elite moneyed community. Senate investigations verify that private banking firms frequently engage in money laundering from illicit drugs and corporate crime operations. [42] On January 28, 2000 the Reginald Howe and GATA Lawsuit was filed which accused certain U.S. bullion banks of illegally dumping U.S. Treasury gold on the market. The lawsuit named Deutsche bank Alex Brown, the U.S. Treasury, Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve, and Citibank, Chase, as defendants. Gerald Corrigan was accused of having private knowledge of the scheme. [43] Krongard became the Executive Director of the CIA, essentially the Chief Operating Officer, and the number three man on March 16, 2001. Krongard, while at the CIA, arranged for Blackwater's Erik Prince to get his first contract with the U.S. government, and later joined its board.

Richard Wagner, a data retrieval expert, estimated that more than $100 million in illegal transactions appeared to have rushed through the WTC computers before and during the disaster on September 11, 2001. A Deutsche Bank employee verified that approximately five minutes before the first plane hit the tower that the Deutsche Bank computer system in their WTC office was seized by an outside, unknown entity. Every single file was swiftly uploaded to an unidentified locality. This employee escaped from the building, but lost many of his friends. He knew, from his position in the company, that Alex Brown, the Deutsche Bank subsidiary participated in insider trading. Senator Carl Levin claimed that Alex Brown was just one of twenty prominent U.S. banks associated with money laundering. [44]

Andreas von Bülow, a Social Democratic Party member of the German parliament (1969-1994), was on the parliamentary committee on intelligence services, a group that has access to classified information. Von Bülow was also a member of the Schalck-Golodkowski investigation committee which investigates white-collar crime. He has estimated that inside trader profits surrounding 9/11 totaled approximately $15 billion. Von Bülow told The Daily Telegraph "If what I say is right, the whole US government should end up behind bars." Further, he said, "They have hidden behind a veil of secrecy and destroyed the evidence they invented the story of 19 Muslims working within Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda in order to hide the truth of their own covert operation." He also said, "I'm convinced that the US apparatus must have played a role and my theory is backed up by the [Washington] government's refusal to present any proof whatsoever of what happened." [45]

On September 26, CBS reported that the amount was more than $100 million and that seven countries were investigating the irregular trades. Two newspapers, Reuters and the New York Times, and other mainstream media reported that the CIA regularly monitors extraordinary trades and economic irregularities to ascertain possible criminal activities or financial assaults. In fact, the CIA uses specialized software, PROMIS, to scrutinize trades. [46]

Numerous researchers believe, with justification, that the transactions in the financial markets are indicative of foreknowledge of the events of 9/11, the attacks on the twin towers and the pentagon. One of the trades, for $2.5 million, a pittance compared to the total, went unclaimed. Alex Brown, once managed by Krongard, was the firm that placed the put options on United Airlines stock. President Bush awarded Krongard by appointing him as CIA Executive Director in 2004. [47]

Between September 6 and 7, 2001, the Chicago Board Options Exchange received purchases of 4,744 put options on United Airlines and only 396 call options. If 4,000 of those options were purchased by people with foreknowledge, they would have accrued about $5 million. On September 10, the Chicago exchange received 4,516 put options on American Airlines compared to 748 calls. The implications are that some insiders might profit by about $4 million. These two incidents were wholly irregular and at least six times higher than normal. [48]

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Company, who occupied floors 43-46, 56, 59-74 of the World Trade Center, Tower 2, saw 2,157 of its October $45 put options bought in the three trading days before Black Tuesday. This compares to an average of 27 contracts per day before September 6. Morgan Stanley's share price fell from $48.90 to $42.50 in the aftermath of the attacks. Assuming that 2,000 of these options contracts were bought based upon knowledge of the approaching attacks, their purchasers could have profited by at least $1.2 million. The U.S. government never again mentioned the trade irregularities after October 12, 2001. [49] Catastrophic events serve two purposes for the top criminal element in society – the perpetrators seize resources while their legislative accomplices impose burdensome restrictions on the citizens to make them more submissive and silent.


[1] Collateral Damage: U.S. Covert Operations and the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 by E.P. Heidner, pp. 4-5
[2] Ibid, p. 20
[3] Ibid, pp. 4-5
[4] Ibid
[5] September 11 Commission Report by E. P. Heidner, 2008, p. 108
[6] Gold Warriors, America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold by Sterling and Peggy Seagrave, Verso Publishing, 2003, pp. 32-43
[7] Ibid, pp. 318
[8] Ibid, pp. 14-15
[9] Ex-Treasury Chief Gets 1-Month Term in Bank Fraud Case by Frank J. Prial, New York Times, June 28, 1987
[10] Gold Warriors, America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold by Sterling and Peggy Seagrave, Verso Publishing, 2003, p. 5
[11] Ibid, p. 98
[12] Ibid, p. 102
[13] Collateral Damage: U.S. Covert Operations and the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 by E. P. Heidner, pp. 4-6
[14] Ibid, p. 29
[15] Tyumen Oil of Russia Seeks Links to Old Foes After Winning Fight By Neela Banerjee, New York Times, December 2, 1999
[16] Halliburton Energy Services Enters Into Alliance Agreement With Tyumen Oil Company, Press Release, October 15, 1998, http://www.halliburton.com/news/archive/1998/hesnws_101598.jsp
[17] Ibid
[18] Halliburton Press Release, Halliburton And Russian Oil Company Sibneft Sign Framework Agreement, February 7, 2002, http://www.halliburton.com/news/archive/2002/corpnws_020702.jsp
[19] TNK-BP, Our company, http://www.tnk-bp.com/company/
[20] Russia's largest field is far from depleted By Jerome R. Corsi, Word Net Daily, November 04, 2005, http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=47219
[21] Collateral Damage: U.S. Covert Operations and the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 by E.P. Heidner, p. 28
[22] Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, Source Watch, http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Mikhail_B._Khodorkovsky
[23] Russia's Ruling Robbers by Mark Ames, Consortium News, March 11, 1999, http://www.consortiumnews.com/1999/c031199a.html
[24] "Sovest" Group Campaign for Granting Political Prisoner Status to Mikhail Khodorkovsky, February 7, 2008
[25] Halliburton Man to Sub for Khodorkovsky, Simon Ostrovsky, Moscow Times, April 30, 2004 as noted in the September 11 Commission Report, p. 233; See also Arrested Oil Tycoon Passed Shares to Banker, Washington Times, November 2, 2003
[26] Halliburton Press Release, Ortiz Named President Of Halliburton Energy Services, November 19, 1997, http://www.halliburton.com/news/archive/1997/hesnws_111997.jsp
[27] Russia: Yukos-Sibneft union forms world's No. 4 oil producer, Global Finance, Jun 2003, http://mikhail_khodorkovsky_society.blogspot.com/
[28] Halliburton Opens Russia Training Center, International Business Times, May 11, 2007, http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/20070511/halliburton-training.htm
[29] Halliburton gets Russia work, Oil Daily, January 26, 2006, http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0199-5579583_ITM
[30] Collateral Damage: U.S. Covert Operations and the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 by E. P. Heidner, p. 2
[31] Ibid, p. 29
[32] Ibid, pp. 2
[33] Ibid, p. 28-29
[34] "Sioux City, Iowa, July 25, 2005 TomFlocco.com , According to leaked documents from an intelligence file obtained through a military source in the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), on or about September 12, 1991 non-performing and unauthorized gold-backed debt instruments were used to purchase ten-year "Brady" bonds. The bonds in turn were illegally employed as collateral to borrow $240 billion--120 in Japanese Yen and 120 in
Deutsch Marks--exchanged for U.S. currency under false pretenses; or counterfeit and unlawful conversion of collateral against which an unlimited amount of money could be created in derivatives and debt instruments " from Cash payoffs, bonds and murder linked to White House 9/11 finance, Tom Flocco, tomflocco.com
[35] Collateral Damage: U.S. Covert Operations and the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 by E.P. Heidner, p. 45
[36] Ibid, p. 2
[37] Rumsfeld's comments were on the Department of defense web site but have been understandably removed, http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/2001/s20010910-secdef.ht
[38] The War On Waste Defense Department Cannot Account For 25% Of Funds -- $2.3 Trillion, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/29/eveningnews/main325985.shtml
[39] September 11 Commission Report by E. P. Heidner, 2008, p. 108
[40] Following Zakheim and Pentagon Trillions to Israel and 9-11By Jerry Mazza, July 31, 2006, http://www.rense.com/general75/latest.htm
[41] Collateral Damage: U.S. Covert Operations and the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 by E. P. Heidner, p. 6
[42] Crossing the Rubicon, the Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil by Michael C. Ruppert, New Society Publishers, Canada, 2004, p. 56
[43] Collateral Damage: U.S. Covert Operations and the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 by E. P. Heidner, p. 28
[44] Crossing the Rubicon, the Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil by Michael C. Ruppert, New Society Publishers, Canada, 2004, pp. 243-247
[45] USA staged 9/11 Attacks, German best-seller by Kate Connolly, National Post & London Telegraph, November 20, 2003
[46] Crossing the Rubicon, the Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil by Michael C. Ruppert, New Society Publishers, Canada, 2004, pp. 243-247
[47] Ibid, pp. 243-247
[48] Ibid, pp. 243-247
[49] Ibid, pp. 243-247

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[Feb 22, 2020] Trump Should Get Out of NATO Now, But Nicely by Ivan Eland

Notable quotes:
"... The NATO alliance was established to protect war-devastated Western European nations against a possible Soviet threat until they got on their feet economically again. Dwight Eisenhower even said that if American troops remained in Europe too long, NATO would have failed. Yet long after the European economic miracle -- amazing prosperity achieved during a robust recovery in the decade or so after the war -- and long after the Soviet Union collapsed, NATO, instead of going away, has expanded its territory and mission. The American military remains in Europe to guarantee the security of nations that have a combined GDP greater than that of the United States. Meanwhile, Russia, the successor "threat" to the Soviet Union, has a GDP equivalent to that of Spain. The overextended United States also has a staggering national debt of $23 trillion and eye-popping unfunded government mandates at all levels that amount to between $150 and $200 trillion. ..."
Feb 21, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Bossing, bullying, and nickel-and-diming won't make for an easy divorce. Donald Trump at NATO Summit, Brussels, in 2018

According to Politico , the American delegation to the illustrious Munich Security Conference -- the security counterpart to the elite World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland -- was apparently "dumbfounded" by the hostile reaction they received from European speakers, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Steinmeier even took aim at the Trump administration's hallowed "Make America Great Again" slogan, accusing the United States of "rejecting the idea of the international community." Steinmeier characterized Trump's position this way: "Every country should fend for itself and put its own interests over all others 'great again' -- even at the expense of neighbors and partners."

Ironically, Steinmeier's acerbic comments seem to conclude that if the United States becomes uncomfortable with continuing to effectively subsidize the defense of wealthy European states, which have long been capable of being at least the first line of defense for themselves, it is inflicting suffering on its allies and doesn't even believe in the "international community." Steinmeier's grumbling is akin to that of an entitled young adult still living at home after being told by his parents to get a job.

The NATO alliance was established to protect war-devastated Western European nations against a possible Soviet threat until they got on their feet economically again. Dwight Eisenhower even said that if American troops remained in Europe too long, NATO would have failed. Yet long after the European economic miracle -- amazing prosperity achieved during a robust recovery in the decade or so after the war -- and long after the Soviet Union collapsed, NATO, instead of going away, has expanded its territory and mission. The American military remains in Europe to guarantee the security of nations that have a combined GDP greater than that of the United States. Meanwhile, Russia, the successor "threat" to the Soviet Union, has a GDP equivalent to that of Spain. The overextended United States also has a staggering national debt of $23 trillion and eye-popping unfunded government mandates at all levels that amount to between $150 and $200 trillion.

One might conclude from this that Trump's policy of angrily haranguing and belittling his NATO allies into coughing up a few more dollars for their own defense is the right one. Trump crudely understands the problem but has come up with the wrong solution. The many Eurocentric analysts, who dominated the American foreign policy elite during the Cold War and are now trying to hang on to relevance, keep hyping the general Russia threat by excessively demonizing its president, Vladimir Putin, who is really just another tin-pot dictator.

A third way is still possible, one that avoids both placating the hand-wringing Eurocentric establishment and the nickel-and-diming of NATO allies that Trump desires.

The worst fear of the Eurocentrics is that Trump will, before leaving office, withdraw from the NATO alliance, much as he did with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, the international agreement on climate change, and the Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty. Yet this is the proper, though radical, approach. It needs to be done immediately, so that it can't be reversed by the next president. The problem is that Trump has been rude and obnoxious enough to the Europeans that the divorce might very well make Britain's exit from the European Union look like a walk in the park. The ideal would have been to have had a previously cordial relationship with Europe, followed by a U.S. statement that the European economic miracle has allowed them to withstand a stagnant Russia and they need to finally take primary responsibility for their own defense.

This would have allowed the United States rebuild its dissipated power by reducing government spending and debt and reallocating the remaining military forces to the Pacific to hedge against a rising China. Such a change is critical, and it remains to be seen whether it can be achieved.

Ivan Eland is a senior fellow at the Independent Institute and director of the Independent Institute's Center on Peace & Liberty. His new book, War and the Rogue Presidency: Restoring the Republic After Congressional Failure, was released in May 2019.


joeo a day ago • edited

"Trump Should Get Out Of NATO Now, But Nicely" is spot on. The Obama Administration pivot to the Pacific could have be continued in a cordial fashion but that is not the Donald way. The US needs to make a treaty with Russia and leave Europe with the possible exception of Ramstein AFB.
Bjorn Andresen a day ago • edited
"Vladimir Putin is a tin pot dictator"

"Russia is stagnant"

These goofy neocon statements won't buy you anything. Stop giving legitimacy to the establishment's false narrative, it won't make the foreign policy elites accept you, you can't oppose the elite and at the same time work within the confines of the paradigm they created. Not only are such statements untrue, it's self defeating.

Selvar Bjorn Andresen a day ago • edited
Is it really false to say that Russia is stagnant though? After all, Russia has a falling population (population peaked in the early 1990s), a relatively low life-expectancy, an economy that is smaller than that of Italy's in terms of nominal GDP, and a conventional military capability that is a mere shadow of what it once was in Soviet times. Other countries (China, the U.S. etc..) may have a low fertility rate as well, but China has a massive population to start with, and the U.S. can attract immigrants fairly well. Note: I am not saying that immigration is necessarily a good thing when it is used as a means of demographic replacement to make up for a low fertility rate, but it is one way to cope with the geopolitical and economic implications of a low birth rate, at least for a time.

Certainly, Russia is not doing too badly by Third World standards, and,to be fair, I do think Putin has utilized a fundamentally weak geopolitical hand rather well. It's also pretty clear that Putin played a significant role in bringing Russia back from the brink economically and culturally following the degradation it suffered in the 1990s. For that matter, I think his popularity is likely genuine among many people in Russia, even if he is a dictator of sorts. Still, if you look at the fundamental, long-term economic, demographic, and military trends, it's hard to escape the conclusion that Russia is a declining power. Over a long enough time frame, it almost certainly is.

Sid Finster Selvar a day ago
Russia has not had a falling population for some time now.

Economic statistics are based on official numbers, which ignore the gray market economy that a lot of Russian people live on.

Selvar Sid Finster 21 hours ago
Given the fact that Russia has not had an above replacement fertility rate since the fall of the USSR, and given that it's ability to attract immigrants is rather limited (how many third world immigrants would choose Russia, over, say, Germany?), I don't see how a falling population is not inevitable for Russia in the long term. This is especially a problem for Russia given the vastness of its eastern regions, as well as how few people live in those regions to begin with.

A consistent theme of Pat Buchanan's columns about Russia is that-- given the vast population disparities involved--China is likely to start slowly colonizing Siberia at some point, at least in an implicit, economic sort of way. I do wonder if this is a likely outcome.

kouroi Selvar a day ago
Russia third world? A certain head needs to be pulled from a certain something, to put it bluntly.
Selvar kouroi 21 hours ago • edited
I said that it's doing well by Third World standards, not that it necessarily is itself a Third World nation. Historically, Russia was considered a Second World country, which makes sense.
kouroi Selvar 4 hours ago
Have a look at this second world country: https://halfreeman.wordpres...

While the US pretends to be a first world country...

Mandrake Selvar 3 hours ago
Russia has an excellent education system, its medical services are good, it has a high literacy rate, it is white and Christian, with conservative values, and it has few gun massacres.

Leaving NATO is a no-brainer. The US and Russia have a common foe - the Chicoms.

Don Quijote a day ago
The problem with disbanding NATO is that no one knows what will follow.
Would Europe go back to the intra power politics of the early 20th Century? In which case the US will likely sucked into their next war.
Or would the EU integrate it's defense and foreign policy and create a Federal Europe? And if they did, how long would it take Europe to be a peer competitor to the US?
Sid Finster Don Quijote a day ago
How many European countries have territorial claims on each other? Few to none.
How many European countries are in competition for colonies? Few to none.
Don Quijote Sid Finster a day ago
You don't need territorial issues for war, the US had no territorial issues with Iraq nor Afghanistan in 2001, it didn't prevent the US from invading both countries.

I can easily see something like social dumping starting a cascade that takes Europe to war. That is the main European fear about BREXIT.

=marco01= Sid Finster a day ago
Russia
MPC =marco01= a day ago
I think Russia is more worried about its southern flank than its western one in the long term especially once the US and its ambition is gone. Russia badly needs to get closer to Europe.
ericsiverson MPC 8 minutes ago
Russia is in Europe
ericsiverson Don Quijote 10 minutes ago
Germany will rule the E.U. just as they would have If Hitler had won the 2cd World war It will be national socialist which the Muslims will like .. The remaining Jews will have to leave or die
SatirevFlesti a day ago
NATO should have been mothballed after the fall of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. But the vested interests of the military-industrial-financial complex have kept it expanding, antagonizing Russia in its sphere of influence, seeking out new monsters (such as the unjust and illegal war on Serbia), and it mainly exists now to enrich arms producers and to support bureaucrats in Brussels with sinecures in their fancy headquarters building.
Sceptical Gorilla a day ago
>The American military remains in Europe to guarantee the security of nations that have a combined GDP greater than that of the United States

I don't believe this is true anymore. The US passed the EU in nominal GDP in roughly 2018.

K squared a day ago
Trump nicely=hyper oxymoron
Wally a day ago • edited
As an anti-war lefty, I just love this destruction of the intelligence community and hope Trump really does abandon NATO... right before we drag him out of White House in shackles... or some such thing.

It's curious the complaint about debt in this post... didn't everyone just agree to increase the defense budget last year... again?

Personan0ngrata a day ago
Trump Should Get Out of NATO Now, But Nicely

Agreed.

This would have allowed the United States rebuild its dissipated power by reducing government spending and debt and reallocating the remaining military forces to the Pacific to hedge against a rising China.

Why must the US hedge against a rising China in the Pacific ?

How is this a realistic plan of action?

China's rise has been through voluntary economic endeavors with other nations not through force of arms. Asian issues must be solved via Asian nations engaging in dialectical dialogue not US government gun-boat diplomacy.

The same logic that allows for a reduced US role in NATO (ie defending Europe) clearly shows that America's allies in the Pacific (eg Japan, S.Korea, Indonesia, etc) have more than recovered (eg Japan world's 3rd largest economy, S.Korea 12th largest, Indonesia 16th largest) from the devastation of WWII and the Korea War and are quite capable of defending themselves.

To paraphrase George Washington - trade with all entangling alliances with none.

https://www.investopedia.co...

The US has been running trillion dollar yearly deficits for over a decade with an acknowledged 23 trillion dollar debt (as of 2020) along with hundreds of trillions of dollars in unfunded future liabilities and deteriorating national infrastructure in need of over 3 trillion dollars in upgrades.

https://www.justfacts.com/n...

https://www.forbes.com/site...

https://www.maritime-execut...

In order to meet these pressing issues the US government needs to stop garrisoning (ie empire) the world under the tissue paper thin veneer of providing global stability and security (of which it can not even provide in Baltimore Md 50 miles from DC) and return it's myopic/megalomaniacal gaze to America.

kouroi a day ago
The US doesn't want outside Europe and will be pushed out kicking and screaming. Of course the Poles will cry bloody murder... Never a smart polity...
Brigadier V Mahalingam 19 hours ago
I don't think Trump is really interested in leaving NATO. US has a stable & a dependable market in Europe. US' presence in Europe prevents China & Russia spreading their wings there. It will also assist US in containing these major powers along side its efforts in South China Sea & the Info-Pacific. Internationally US gets the support of 27 Countries in all international fora. To my mind, the very reason why US continually keeps projecting Russia as an enemy is to ensure that the European countries remain tied to US.

Even if US is unwilling to let go Europe from the alliance, it is time EU abandons US & takes responsibility for itself. Europe has the potential to become an important & a powerful pole in a Multipolar world.

peter mcloughlin 14 hours ago
Russia presents more of a danger today than during the height of the Cold War: then the Kremlin had a proper buffer zone, today it has not. There is the existential threat: the reason nations to war.
https://www.ghostsofhistory...
Rossbach an hour ago
While I agree that NATO is now irrelevant and a significant waste of US tax dollars, shifting that expenditure to fight China might be an even bigger mistake. The US should withdraw its military forces from the Western Pacific for the same reason we should leave NATO. Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines should be made responsible for making their own accommodations with China.

[Feb 15, 2020] Many People In NATO Countries Say No To Supporting A NATO Ally In Military Conflict With Russia

Feb 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Many People In NATO Countries Say "No" To Supporting A NATO Ally In Military Conflict With Russia by Tyler Durden Sat, 02/15/2020 - 07:00 Authored by Adam Dick via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

NATO is marketed as providing each member nation with the benefit that the other member nations are committed to coming to its aid militarily in the event of an attack by another nation, especially Russia .

However, Pew Research Center poll results released Sunday indicate that the majority or plurality of people in 11 of 16 NATO countries where individuals were questioned oppose their respective governments meeting this commitment, at least if the military adversary were Russia.

These poll results indicate that serious thought should be given to disbanding NATO , an organization with a primary objective that appears to be at odds with public opinion in many NATO countries.

When asked if their respective countries' governments should use military force to defend a NATO ally country neighboring Russia with which "Russia got into a serious military conflict," people living in the 16 NATO countries tended to answer in the negative.

"No" was the answer for the majority of polled individuals in eight countries -- France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Turkey.

In three more NATO countries -- the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland -- a plurality rejected military intervention.

Only in five countries -- the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Lithuania -- did more people (a majority in each case) support such military intervention than reject it.

[Jan 27, 2020] Russia had long been the butt of jokes by other Europeans about its backwardness, "Asiatic" crudeness and atavistic religiosity and when news of the Japanese victory over the Russians in 1905 reached Europe they expressed openly their schadenfreude and glee for Russia's distress in hard times, especially for "dishonouring" European arms for being defeated by an Asiatic nation

Notable quotes:
"... How did they do it? Reading the reports and contemporary press (1924), plus the "Western" governments plots now with the Germans also part of the gang, everyone predicted the Soviets' experiment – who could not run a chicken raffle, let alone a huge country – would collapse by itself and the Russian wealthy emigres in Paris were preparing their return home on the back of the Great Powers armies under the command of Gen. Hoffmann. ..."
"... How did they do it? Perhaps the answer is revealed if we ask: what is different now? And the answer is that the Russian people were building a new country from the ruins of the old for themselves. In the process they were building Socialism. For the many detractors of the USSR here, that is the greatest sin. In their view, people should work as slaves for their masters: the capitalist class, coincidentally mostly Jewish, to rub salt into the wound. ..."
Jan 27, 2020 | www.unz.com

Parfois1 , says: Show Comment January 27, 2020 at 12:34 pm GMT

@FB What I find most surprising (and revolting) is the virulent rancour of many commenters towards the Revolutionary and WWII Russians for (and I can't see any other plausible explanation) having deposed Tsarism and Nazism respectively and, subsequently, constructing a successful competitor to the economic orthodoxy of Capitalism.

All that done from scratch within a short span of time on their own by their own efforts, a feat unequal in human history.

How they did it? After all, Russia had long been the butt of jokes by other Europeans about its backwardness, "Asiatic" crudeness and atavistic religiosity and when news of the Japanese victory over the Russians in 1905 reached Europe they expressed openly their schadenfreude and glee for Russia's distress in hard times, especially for "dishonouring" European arms for being defeated by an Asiatic nation. Not only that, by 1917 Russia was literally on its knees, the people starving, the soldiers at the front neglected, the countryside devastated, the German armies outside Petrograd and the Kerensky government making plans to leave the capital. Then the foreign invasions at Murmansk, Archangel, Baku, Manchuria and Vladivostok by Entente powers, Finland, Poland, US and Japan all ganged up in support of the Whites in the civil war that further devastated the countryside to the point that it ceased to function as a country without money and the economy ran on "war Communism" (the state had to provided all the basic needs to everyone). Famine ensued.

From that disaster that Russia was, gradually emerged a nation licking its wounds and grieving its ten million plus dead (perhaps then the greatest calamity visiting a nation ever) by putting its back to the wall and rebuilding itself, on their own and facing the hostility of all the Great Powers through sanctions and blockades.

How did they do it? Reading the reports and contemporary press (1924), plus the "Western" governments plots now with the Germans also part of the gang, everyone predicted the Soviets' experiment – who could not run a chicken raffle, let alone a huge country – would collapse by itself and the Russian wealthy emigres in Paris were preparing their return home on the back of the Great Powers armies under the command of Gen. Hoffmann.

How did they do it? Perhaps the answer is revealed if we ask: what is different now? And the answer is that the Russian people were building a new country from the ruins of the old for themselves. In the process they were building Socialism. For the many detractors of the USSR here, that is the greatest sin. In their view, people should work as slaves for their masters: the capitalist class, coincidentally mostly Jewish, to rub salt into the wound.

[Jan 19, 2020] In Europe the prime objective for the US is to prevent Russia and Germany coupling up, keeping the two tribes separate is the goal, at whatever cost.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Baron , Jan 17 2020 23:35 utc | 60

@ wagelaborer | Jan 17 2020 19:04 utc

Read wagelaborer (3)

Read wagelaborer (3)

Read wagelaborer (3) because what he says is the core to the understanding US Foreign policy, everything else is unimportant, a side dish, a noise. One possible thing missing is that in Europe the prime objective for the US is to prevent Russia and Germany coupling up, keeping the two tribes separate is the goal, at whatever cost.

The pricing of oil (and oil derivatives) in dollars is a replacement for the gold-backed dollar scrapped by Nixon in early 70s. The pricing is a must, losing it would undermine the dollar as a reserve currency. Each year, those who need to buy oil plus oil derivates have to find trillions for the buy the black gold.

Consider: Each day some 100ml barrels are produced, that's 36bn barrels a year, at a cost of $75 per barrel it's some $2.7tr needed to buy the stuff. And that's just the crude. Add the derivatives (per barrel more expensive than crude), and one's talking some $5-7tr to be found. That's what allows the US to print either IOU's i.e. the Treasuries or actual cash without any worry whatever the IOU's will ever be brought back to the mainland US in haunting inflation.

The time the pricing of oil in dollars goes, the US hegemony gets a fatal knock, from which it would be near impossible to recover bar staring a war.

Cynica , Jan 17 2020 23:49 utc | 63

It's clear that Trump does not understand - or has not understood until recently - the true goals of US foreign policy (maintaining the dollar hegemony first, promoting US business interests second). His notion of winning a war is apparently being able to send the troops home. This is at odds with the "deep state", which has no problem spending money that it sees as coming from others, as long as that money keeps coming in and it's being spent in the furtherance of geopolitical goals. Hence the continued US military presence in Afghanistan must be furthering, if not fulfilling, one or more geopolitical goals. Those goals most likely do not include "defeating terrorism". Trump may well not be aware of what the goals are.

It may be useful to draw a comparison between the US military presence in Afghanistan and its presence in Vietnam. Like Afghanistan, Vietnam seems to have been a near-pointless expenditure of resources and people - on the surface. From the "deep state's" point of view, however, Vietnam served as a bulwark against encroachment by the non-dollar-aligned part of the world. Vietnam was only abandoned once a much bigger prize became available - China. Given Afghanistan's location, it stands to reason that it too is serving as a bulwark and that its importance in the "deep state's" eyes will diminish (if not disappear) once Iran and/or Russia experiences a "change of heart".

[Jan 18, 2020] Once private ownership is banned people stop caring. Motivation to work hard is gone If you are deprived of the possibility to make money and own private property.

Jan 18, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

karl1haushofer January 15, 2020 at 11:17 am

Yalensis, earlier you said that Russia should restore communism to remove poverty.

How did that work the last time in 1917-1991? The Soviet Union collapsed and historical Russia was split into many different parts.

I expect that if Russia would experiment communism the second time the outcome would be another split of Russia. This time it would be the North Caucasus, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and possible Siberia and the Far East breaking away from Moscow.

And why is that? Because communism doesn't work, period. It has been tried several times in many different parts of the world, and it has always failed.

The basics are simple. Once private ownership is banned people stop caring. Motivation to work hard is gone If you are deprived of the possibility to make money and own private property.

Say what you want about America but there is a good reason why basically all the greatest companies in the world are American, or at least from countries that have practiced capitalism for centuries: Microsoft, Apple, Exxon, Shell, Amazon, Intel, Ford, Mercedez Benz, Toyota, Samsung etc.

You can compare how a middle class American and a middle class Soviet citizen lived in the 1980s. While a typical middle class American lived in a big house in a suburb with two cars in the household, a typical Soviet middle class citizen lived in a "kommunalka" apartment where many families had to share the same bathroom and kitchen and a Soviet citizen had to work a certain amount of years before being allowed a right to own his or her own car, usually a Soviet made Lada. Most of the Soviet citizens never had a chance to get their own car but instead of to rely on public transport.

I know you are going to say that China is a good example that communism can work. But there is one problem: China is not really a communist country anymore. Actually the rise of China began at the same moment when Deng Xiaoping allowed private property and private enterprise. The horrendous communist policies of Mao Tse Tung killed tens of millions of Chinese people before that. Allowing people to work for their own well being was that made China what it is today (China is still a poor country compared to the West, but at least hundreds of millions of people are not starving anymore as was the case during Mao's rule).

If Russia ever restored communism again it would be the end of Russia.

Moscow Exile January 15, 2020 at 11:40 am
a typical Soviet middle class citizen lived in a "kommunalka" apartment

Really?

I lived in a modern, built in the 1970s block in Voronezh in 1989.: 3 large rooms, largish kitchen, bathroom and toilet, 2 balconies , 11th floor.

I live in a similar flat now, but on the 3rd floor, built 1976, central Administrative District, Taganskiy precinct, Moskva.

The only thing communal about those 2 dwellings is the central heating, which is turned on in October and turned off in May.

In England, during my childhood I lived in a slum street built in the 1850s: no central heating, no hot water, no bathroom, no toilet. The toilet was in the yard at the back. The dewelling had 2 downstairs rooms and 2 upstairs room, a so-called "two-up, two-down". I lived there until 1960.


Wilson St. in my home town, 1969

My hometown is situated in the first capitalist country in the world.

James lake January 15, 2020 at 12:04 pm
God that picture brings back memories – we lived in similar property in Birmingham until 1978. My family came over from Ireland in the 1960s and these type of houses were common place for working class families.

You can still find them in the midlands and the north, although they have been modernised to include bathrooms.

Northern Star January 15, 2020 at 12:49 pm
Capitalism and economic Nirvana are known to be one in the same in the minds of morons.

"Indications of this failure of capitalism are everywhere. Stagnation of investment punctuated by bubbles of financial expansion, which then inevitably burst, now characterizes the so-called free market.4 Soaring inequality in income and wealth has its counterpart in the declining material circumstances of a majority of the population. Real wages for most workers in the United States have barely budged in forty years despite steadily rising productivity.5 Work intensity has increased, while work and safety protections on the job have been systematically jettisoned. Unemployment data has become more and more meaningless due to a new institutionalized underemployment in the form of contract labor in the gig economy.6 Unions have been reduced to mere shadows of their former glory as capitalism has asserted totalitarian control over workplaces. With the demise of Soviet-type societies, social democracy in Europe has perished in the new atmosphere of "liberated capitalism."7

The capture of the surplus value produced by overexploited populations in the poorest regions of the world, via the global labor arbitrage instituted by multinational corporations, is leading to an unprecedented amassing of financial wealth at the center of the world economy and relative poverty in the periphery.8 Around $21 trillion of offshore funds are currently lodged in tax havens on islands mostly in the Caribbean, constituting "the fortified refuge of Big Finance."9 Technologically driven monopolies resulting from the global-communications revolution, together with the rise to dominance of Wall Street-based financial capital geared to speculative asset creation, have further contributed to the riches of today's "1 percent." Forty-two billionaires now enjoy as much wealth as half the world's population, while the three richest men in the United States -- Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett -- have more wealth than half the U.S. population.10 In every region of the world, inequality has increased sharply in recent decades.11 The gap in per capita income and wealth between the richest and poorest nations, which has been the dominant trend for centuries, is rapidly widening once again.12 More than 60 percent of the world's employed population, some two billion people, now work in the impoverished informal sector, forming a massive global proletariat. The global reserve army of labor is some 70 percent larger than the active labor army of formally employed workers.

Adequate health care, housing, education, and clean water and air are increasingly out of reach for large sections of the population, even in wealthy countries in North America and Europe, while transportation is becoming more difficult in the United States and many other countries due to irrationally high levels of dependency on the automobile and disinvestment in public transportation. Urban structures are more and more characterized by gentrification and segregation, with cities becoming the playthings of the well-to-do while marginalized populations are shunted aside. About half a million people, most of them children, are homeless on any given night in the United States.14 New York City is experiencing a major rat infestation, attributed to warming temperatures, mirroring trends around the world."

Like Like

Patient Observer January 15, 2020 at 5:14 pm
Comrade Karl, the vast majority of poverty in this world is in capitalist countries. Latin America and Africa will toss your silly assertions in the trash bin of history.

And saying China is not communist is equivalent to saying the US is not capitalist. I leave it to your to figure out what the foregoing means.

[Jan 16, 2020] There is a silver lining to that. If another term of Trump inspires the Europeans to abrogate NATO and put an end to that alliance and create their own NEATO ( North East Atlantic Treaty Organization)

Jan 16, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

drumlin woodchuckles , , January 14, 2020 at 7:29 pm

There is a silver lining to that. If another term of Trump inspires the Europeans to abrogate NATO and put an end to that alliance and create their own NEATO ( North East Atlantic Treaty Organization) withOUT America and withOUT Canada and maybe withOUT some of those no-great-bargain East European countries; then NEATO Europe could reach its own Separate Peace with Russia and lower that tension point.

And America could bring its hundred thousand hostages ( "soldiers") back home from not-NATO-anymore Europe.

[Jan 16, 2020] US Attack on Soleimani is a Signal to Russia-Iran-China Triumvirate to Cease Cooperation by Ekaterina Blinova

Jan 07, 2020 | sputniknews.com

The US is trying to stop Eurasia's economic and political integration in order to delay its own demise, say international observers, explaining what message the US sent to the Russia-China-Iran "triumvirate" by killing Quds Commander Qasem Soleimani. The assassination of Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and commander of the Quds Force, in a targeted US air strike on 3 January came on the heels of joint naval exercise launched by Russia, Iran and China in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.

The "growing Russia-China-Iran trilateral convergence", as The Diplomat dubbed it in late December, is seemingly hitting a raw nerve in Washington : speaking to Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on 2 January, Rear Admiral Khanzadi, the Iranian navy commander, said that Washington and its allies had held an emergency meeting aimed at disrupting the drills.

US Opposes Rapprochement of Russia, China and Iran Amid Policy of 'Maximum Pressure'
"Recent violent US attacks against Iranian allies in Iraq and Syria, culminating in the killing of Iran's Major General Qasem Soleimani, are, in the wider geopolitical sense, meant to send signals to the building Eurasian triumvirate to cease their collaborative activities, let alone longer-term strategic and Belt and Road Initiative-linked designs," says Pye Ian, an American economic analyst and private equity executive.

According to Ian, the US decision to step up pressure on Tehran might be stemming from Washington's apparent belief that Iran is "the 'weakest link' in the strengthening Eurasian alliance".

However, "Russia, China and Iran cannot be attacked overtly, let alone invaded, occupied or 'regime changed'," the economic analyst highlights.

Christopher C. Black, a Toronto-based international criminal lawyer with 20 years of experience in war crimes and international relations, echoes the American economist.

"It is in response to the close relationship between Russia, Iran and China and it is no coincidence that this murder took place just as the joint naval exercises in the Persian Gulf came to an end," he said. "Further, it is a threat to Russian strategic interests in Syria and to Syria itself."

Apart from this, the move indicates that "one of the reasons for US pressure on Iran is to control the oil supply to China in order to cripple China's development," Black suggests.

Russia and its military successes in the region have become yet another irritant for Washington, according to Max Parry, an independent American journalist and geopolitical analyst.

"The US likely feels the need to re-assert itself as a hegemonic power in the region, considering it is Moscow that emerged as the new honest peace broker in the Middle East with the Syrian conflict," Parry notes. "Russia completely outmanoeuvred Washington and by the end of the war, Turkey was practically in Moscow's camp. Trump has reset US foreign policy with the withdrawal from Syria and the targeting of Iran."

By killing Soleimani, the US "has completely overplayed its hand and this could be the beginning of the end for Washington because a war with Iran would be no cakewalk", he emphasises.

© AFP 2019 / ALY SONG / POOL Russian President Vladimir Putin (L), Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani attend the Expo Center before the opening ceremony at the Expo Center at the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit in Shanghai on May 21, 2014 Eurasian 'Triumvirate' is Moving Away From the US Dollar

According to Ian, in addition to being a thorn in Washington's flesh, Moscow, Beijing and Tehran have something else in common: the three nations have increasingly been drifting away from the US dollar.

The trend followed the Trump administration's:

· unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions (JCPOA) in May 2018;

· trade war waged against the People's Republic of China by Washington since March 2018;

· series of anti-Russian sanctions imposed against Moscow under the pretext of the latter's interference in the US 2016 presidential elections, something that Russia resolutely denies.

The economic analyst explains that "the dollar's universal confidence trick requires uniform adherence, by natural adoption or by force". While the US allies remain obedient to the dollar- dominated system, those who resisted it such as Iraq under Saddam, Libya under Gaddafi and Venezuela under Chavez "triggered some Atlanticist force, either overtly or clandestinely, in order to try and put those nations back on a compliant page."

However, "the current state of dollar printing by the US Fed ad infinitum cannot last forever," Ian stresses.

"The global East and South are already ahead of Transatlantic banking, in a sense, by shifting further out of the dollar and Treasury securities into their own, or bilateral, currency exchanges, gold, and/or domestic or collaborative cryptocurrency endeavours," he says.

Russia, China, Iran, as well as India and some other Eurasian nations are switching to trading in local currencies and continuing to amass gold at a steady pace . Thus, for instance, Russia produced over 185.1 tonnes of gold in the first six months of 2019; the country's bullion reserves reached 72.7 million troy ounces (2,261 tonnes) as of 1 December 2019. For its part, the People's Bank of China (PBoC) has accumulated 1,948.3 tonnes of the precious metal as of December 2019, according to World Gold Council.

Ian foresees that if the world's nations continue to shift out of US Treasury obligations and choose alternative currencies for energy pricing, trading and reserves recycling, it may "cause US interest rates to fly higher, cratering consumer, institutional and public debt obligations and re-importing an obscene level of inflation back into the US".

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

[Jan 15, 2020] Macron's Great Leap East Revives the Spirit of De Gaulle

Dec 07, 2019 | canadianpatriot.org
Macron is a going through a crisis.

On the one hand he is a creature of the technocratic neo-liberal order which is committed to unilateralism and "post-nation-statism". On the other hand he is a creature of France – a nation with strong (though easily forgotten) nationalist traditions stretching back to King Louis XI, the founder of the first modern nation state, Cardinal Mazarin who organized the Peace of Westphalia that established modern thoughts on nation states, Jean-Baptiste Colbert who's economic theories gave meaning to economic sovereignty in the modern era, to Sadi Carnot who's application of Colbertist economics and resistance to British manipulation got him killed in 1895, to Charles de Gaulle, who established the 5 th Republic and devoted his life to resisting the Deep State on the basis of peaceful relations with Russia and China.

Then there is the populist rage of the French which dates back to the colorful days of the French revolution which established a unique tradition of mass revolts against the established order when it becomes abusive of the people this provides a "bottom up" factor which any politician desirous of keeping their heads attached to their necks must keep in mind.

For these two reasons (top down traditions of statecraft and bottom up traditions of freeing corrupt leaders' of their heads from their bodies), Macron has found himself joining President Trump's call to re-introduce Russia back into the G8, and has made major maneuvers to re-orient France towards a pro-China policy becoming the guest of honor at China's International Expo where $15 billion of deals were signed on energy, aerospace and agricultural initiatives.

Macron has even enraged Europe's technocratic elite by questioning the foundations of the European Union's viability while at the same time aptly criticizing NATO of 'brain death' . The crisis caused by the unravelling of the globalist vision of a post-nation state world order has resulted in an emergency conference in London to figure out how NATO can be saved from its total irrelevance. Faced with the anti-NATO sentiment expressed by Macron and Trump in recent months, and the emergence of the new multipolar order which is attracting ever more nation states (including NATO members) into its sphere of influence, Jens Stoltenberg made the desperate assertion that China must be made a target of the military alliance saying that China "is coming closer to us, investing heavily in infrastructure. We see them in Africa, we see them in the Arctic, we see them in cyber space and China now has the second-largest defense budget in the world."

The NATO Disorder and the Economic Meltdown

Today, after decades of neoliberal practices have undermined the once powerful agro-industrial capacities of France under the "post-industrial" Euro, it has become evident that austerity and increased taxes are the only solutions which the technocrats running the European Central Bank will permit. Since Euro membership forbids any nation to create a debt which is greater than 3% of GDP, the means to generate sufficient state credit to build large scale projects needed for an economic recovery do not exist.

In other words, from the standpoint of the Trans-Atlantic rules of the game, the situation is hopeless.

For all of his problems, Macron isn't blind to this fact and can see that Russia and China have successfully transformed the international order with the advent of the Belt and Road Initiative. He can see that this system uniquely offers western leaders (who wish to keep their heads in the face of the oncoming economic collapse), the only viable means to provide jobs, security and long term economic growth to their people since it is rooted in long term, open system thinking which is not connected to Hobbesian closed system geopolitics. De Gaulle would be happy to see this shift.

The Revival of de Gaulle

Charles de Gaulle was among a network of leaders who fought valiantly against the cancerous deep state that had formerly supported fascism in WWII. While Franklin Roosevelt had to do battle with such pro-fascist organizations such as the JP Morgan-funded Liberty League and Council on Foreign Relations from 1933-1945, President De Gaulle had to contend with the pro-Nazi Petain government whose agents immediately took over controls of France in the wake of WWII, and didn't go away upon the General's ascension to the Presidency during the near collapse of the 5 th republic in 1959.

De Gaulle strategically fought tooth and nail against the pro-NATO fascists led by General Challe who attempted two coup attempts against De Gaulle in 1960 and 1961 and later worked with MI6 and the CIA using private contractors like Permindex to arrange over 30 assassination attempts from 1961-1969.

De Gaulle was not only successful at taking France out of the NATO cage in 1966 , but he had organized to ensure Algeria's independence against the will of the entire deep state of France who often worked with Dulles' State Department to preserve France's colonial possessions. De Gaulle also recognized the importance of breaking the bipolar rules of the Cold War by reaching out to Russia calling for a renewed Europe " from the Atlantic to the Urals " and also an alliance with China with the intent of resolving the fires lit by western arsonists in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam whose independence he was committed to guaranteeing. De Gaulle wrote of his plan in his Memoires:

"My aim, then, was to disengage France, not from the Atlantic Alliance, which I intended to maintain by way of ultimate precaution, but from the integration carried out by NATO under American command; to establish relations with each of the states of the East bloc, first and foremost Russia, with the object of bringing about a détente, followed by understanding and cooperation; to do likewise, when the time was ripe, with China"

After arranging a treaty with China's Prime Minister Zhou Enlai, India's Prime Minster Nehru and the leadership of Cambodia in 1963 to create a China led block to resolve the crisis in Southeast Asia with France's help, De Gaulle became the first western head of state to recognize China and establish diplomatic relations with the Mainland on January 31, 1964. He saw that China's growth would become a driving force of world development and saw a friendship based on scientific and technological progress to be a source of France's renewal. Attacking the false dichotomy of "Free liberal capitalism" vs "totalitarian communism", De Gaulle expressed the Colbertist traditions of "dirigisme" which have historically driven France's progress since the 17 th century when he said "We are not going to commit ourselves to the empire of liberal capitalism, and nobody can believe that we are ever going to submit to the crushing totalitarianism of communism."

The De Gaulle-Kennedy Alliance

De Gaulle had great hopes to find like-minded anti-colonialist leaders and collaborators who were fighting against the deep state in other countries. In America he was inspired by the fresh leadership of the young John F. Kennedy whom he first met in Paris in May 1961. Of Kennedy he wrote "The new President was determined to devote himself to the cause of freedom, justice, and progress. It is true that, persuaded that it was the duty of the United States and himself to redress wrongs, he would be drawn into ill-advised interventions. But the experience of the statesman would no doubt have gradually restrained the impulsiveness of the idealist. John Kennedy had the ability, and had it not been for the crime which killed him, might have had the time to leave his mark on our age."

De Gaulle's advice to Kennedy was instrumental in the young President's decision to stay out of a land war in Vietnam and led to Kennedy's National Security Action Memorandum 263 to begin a phase out of American military from Vietnam on October 2, 1963. Kenney and De Gaulle both shared the view (alongside Italian industrialist Enrico Mattei with whom both collaborated) that Africa, Asia and South America needed advanced scientific and technological progress, energy sovereignty and sanitation in order to be fully liberated by the colonial structures of Europe. All three fought openly for this vision and all three fell in the line of battle (one to a plane crash in 1961, another to several shooters in Dallas in 1963 and the last to a staged "colour revolution" in 1969.) [1]

If De Gaulle, Kennedy and Mattei were alive today, it is guaranteed they would recognize in the Belt and Road Initiative and broader Eurasian alliance, the only viable pathway to a future worth living in and the only means to save the souls of their own nations. The question is: Will Macron continue on this Gaullist path and will other nations grow the balls to follow suite, or will those imperial fascists who overthrew De Gaulle's vision in 1969 succeed once more?

Footnote

[1] It is noteworthy that the same Montreal-based Permindex Corporation which was expelled from France for having orchestrated at least two attempts on De Gaulle's life was found by New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison to be at the heart of the November 22, 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy.

*The author can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com

[Jan 14, 2020] Impeachment Of President Trump An Imperial War Game by By Barbara Boyd

Highly recommended!
Barbara Boyd correctly called Kent testimony "obsine" becase it was one grad neocon gallisination, which has nothing to do with real facts on the ground.
She attributed those dirty games not only to the USA but also to London.
Nov 22, 2019 | futurefastforward.com

If you want to stop the coup against the President, you must understand how Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton's State Department carried out a coup against the democratically elected government of Ukraine in 2014.

In a November 16 webcast, LaRouche PAC's Barbara Boyd presented the real story behind the present impeachment farce: how the very forces running the attack on President Trump, used thugs as their enforcers, in order to turn Ukraine into a pawn in the British geopolitical war drive against Russia.

https://youtu.be/uBg3vLjWePI

[Jan 08, 2020] Big, bad Putin attacked by slimy rat Browder.

Jan 08, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Is there a chorus of politicians singing in there about how lazy they are, and how they never bothered to verify Browder' story? The story is indeed remarkable, but not in the way that first appears.

Stephen Fry / @stephenfry

You may or may not know the remarkable story of @Billbrowder and the #MagnitskyAct - find out the startling truth by listening to
#MagnitskytheMusical by the wondrous @JohnnyFlynnHQ & @roberthudson - @BBCRadio3 7.30 Sun 12th Jan

Magnitsky the Musical

Book and lyrics by Robert Hudson
Music and lyrics by Johnny Flynn

12 January 2020
О 1 hour, 34 minutes

Johnny Flynn and Robert Hudson bring us a musical based on the
incredible story of an American venture capitalist, a Russian tax
advisor, a crazy heist, the Trump Tower meeting and the very rule of
law.

Blending music and satire, the story explores the truths and fictions
surrounding the origins and aftershocks of the Magnitsky Act; global
legislation which allows governments to sanction those who they see
as offenders of human rights.

It tells the story of a tax adviser's struggle to uncover a huge tax
fraud, his imprisonment by the very authorities he is investigating,
and the American financier's crusade for justice.

Johnny Flynn, Paul Chahidi and members of the cast perform songs in
a epic story that explores democracy, corruption, and how we
undervalue the law at our peril.

Bill Paul Chahidi Sergei Johnny Flynn Jamie Fenella Woolgar Natalia Ellie Kendrick Kuznetsov Gus Brown Guard Clive Hayward Silchenko Ian Conningham Jared Will Kirk Fisherman Neil McCaul Judge Jessica Turner

Additional singing by Sinead Maclnnes, Laura Christy, Scarlett
Courtney and Lucy Reynolds.

The cellist is Joe Zeitlin. Sound is by Peter Ringrose. Directed by Sasha Yevtushenko.

[Dec 25, 2019] The USSR was no workers' paradise. For all its formal allegiance to Marx and Engels, it was a militantly hierarchical class society ruled by a tyrannical state

Dec 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

John Doe , Dec 24 2019 12:47 utc | 93

The USSR was no workers' paradise. For all its formal allegiance to Marx and Engels, it was a militantly hierarchical class society ruled by a tyrannical state. After World War Two, it held brutal military power over Eastern Europe and East Germany. Still, Soviet-era Russia created an urban and industrialized society with real civilizational accomplishments (including cradle-to-grave health-care, housing, and food security and an impressive educational system and cultural apparatus) outside capitalism. It pursued an independent path to modernity without a capitalist class, devoid of a bourgeoisie, in the name of socialism. It therefore posed a political and ideological challenge to U.S-led Western capitalism – and to Washington's related plans for the Third World periphery, which was supposed to subordinate its developmental path to the needs of the rich nations (the U.S., Western Europe, and honorarily white Japan) of the world-capitalist core.

Honest U.S. Cold Warriors knew that it was the political threat of "communism" – its appeal to poor nations and people (including the lower and working classes within rich/core states) – and not any serious military danger that constituted the true "Soviet menace." Contrary to U.S. "containment" doctrine after World War II, the ruling Soviet bureaucracy was concerned above all with keeping an iron grip on its internal and regional empire, not global expansion and "world revolution." It did, however "deter the worst of Western violence" (Noam Chomsky) by providing military and other assistance to Third World targets of U.S. and Western attack (including China, Korea, Indonesia, Egypt, Syria, Cuba, Vietnam, and Laos). Along the way, it provided an example of independent development outside and against the capitalist world system advanced by the superpower headquartered in Washington.

To make matters worse from Washington's "Open Door" perspective, the Soviet Empire kept a vast swath of the world's natural and human resources walled off from profitable exploitation by global capital.

All of this was more than enough to mark the Soviet Union as global public enemy number one for the post-WWII U.S. power elite, which had truly planet-wide imperial ambitions, unlike Moscow.

The Soviet deterrent and alternative to U.S.-led capitalism-imperialism collapsed once and for all in the early 1990s. Washington celebrated with unchallenged invasions of Panama and Iraq. The blood-drenched U.S. President George H.W. Bush exulted that "what we say goes" in a newly unipolar, post-Soviet world. Russia reverted to not-so "free market" capitalism under U.S.-led Western financial supervision and in accord with the savage austerity and inequality imposed by the neoliberal "Washington consensus." Chomsky got it right in 1991. "With the collapse of Soviet tyranny," he wrote, "much of the region can be expected to return to its traditional [subordinate] status, with the former high echelons of the bureaucracy playing the role of the Third World elites that enrich themselves while serving the interests of foreign investors." The consequences were disastrous for many millions of ordinary Russians.

Source:

How Russia Became "Our Adversary" Again
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/19/how-russia-became-our-adversary-again/


Joost , Dec 24 2019 13:22 utc | 94

@Kevin #18
"Can anyone recommend a good book on the privatization of state assets of the former USSR? Particularly one that focuses on how mid-level technocrats, often of a persecuted minority, were able to get the capital to purchase these assets."

PUTIN from Chris Hutchins is a good read that also describes the rise of the oligarchs and how Putin dealt with them. Like one oligarch made a small fortune selling the first western cars in the country and how they bought up cheap shares from the Yeltsin privatisation scheme. Privatized companies changed ownership under threats or even at gunpoint. The oligarchs were simple mobsters at the time. That is about what i vaguely remember reading the book a few years back but there is a lot more detail.

Madderhatter67 , Dec 24 2019 14:35 utc | 100
TG #29
Replacement level fertility" is the total fertility rate -- the average number of children born per woman -- at which a population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next, without migration. This rate is roughly 2.1 children per woman for most countries, although it may modestly vary with mortality rates'

Russia 1.61 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Canada 1.6 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Japan 1.42 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Italy 1.45 children born/woman (2018 est.)
France 2.06 children born/woman (2018 est.)

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/356.html

c1ue , Dec 24 2019 15:50 utc | 104
@Kevin #18
I would suggest looking at articles in the Exile: www.exile.ru
Unfortunately, these are no longer free.
The short story: the most successful "privatizations" involved getting control of a bank, then using the bank's deposits to buy up companies.
The most successful scheme was getting control of a bank which was partly used by the Russian government for payments; I recall one example where one bank was used to clear funds paid for state enterprises - so the "privatizers" were literally pushing money out for assets and getting them back.
Further down the scale - there was all manner of chicanery including kidnapping, extortion, murder and what not.
The problem with books published in English is that you're almost guaranteed to run into thinly disguised agitprop ranging from the usual American and British academics taking the national security dime, to Khodorkovsky and the other O.G. Jewish oligarchs attempting to whitewash history: Gusinski, Berezofsky, etc.
pogohere , Dec 24 2019 18:17 utc | 107
Kevin @ 18

Try this: Wheel of Fortune: The Battle for Oil and Power in Russia – May 15, 2017

by Thane Gustafson


A review @ Amazon:

Thane masterfully succeeded in uncovering the fundamental drivers of the Russian oil industry and its interdependency with the political complex through a comprehensive and convincing historical analysis, with plenty of meaningful insights and endearing anecdotes. Rooted in Soviet legacy and having gone through the 90s bust-boom roller coaster and 2000s state reconsolidation the industry is a unique globally isolated eco system, and, with Russia as a whole, is at a crossroads. A must read for any decision maker in the O&G business.

I've read it and this review is a good summary.

[Dec 25, 2019] Gorbachev actions were a betrayal of Russian values and a historical mistake of immense proportions. Russia is learning to how to minimize the core values of the West greed, deception and narcissism.

Dec 25, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Patient Observer December 24, 2019 at 4:41 am

Just a quick take, the separation of the Russian government/ruling elites from Russian culture suggests foreign influence as in Russia's elites looking to the West and aping Western ideas – think of Peter the Great or Gorbachev. That was a betrayal of Russian values and a historical mistake of immense proportions. Russia is learning to how to minimize the core values of the West – greed, deception and narcissism.

China has done a better job than Russia in that regard but on the other hand it has a vastly different history and enjoyed more isolation from Western meddling if not outright invasions.

yalensis December 24, 2019 at 10:44 am
I would make a distinction here. Mastering Western technology is not necessarily the same thing as "aping Western ideas". Also would distinguish between Peter the Great who won some remarkable geopolitical victories for Russia (think Poltava); vs Gorbachov, who completely betrayed Russia. To the extent he even left Russia vulnerable to American nuclear attack for a window of 2 whole hours, or more.
As I showed in this old post .

Gorby in phone conversation to George W. Bush Daddy:
"And now concerning Russia – this is the second most important theme of our conversations. In front of me, on the table, lies the Decree of the President of the USSR, concerning my resignation. I am hereby also relieving myself of the duties of the Commander-in-Chief and handing over my responsibilities for employing nuclear weapons , to the President of the Russian Federation. In other words, I continue to manage these affairs right up until the completion of the constitutional process. I can assure you, that everything is under strict control. The moment I announce my resignation, these orders will become effective. There will not be any kind of dispute about this. You can spend your Christmas evening in complete peace of mind."

In other words, Gorby not only left the Soviet Union completely vulnerable to nuclear attack for a period of 2 hours or so; but even announced that fact to their greatest enemy. What kind of national leader does something like that? The only reason any Russians are even around today, is because George Bush Daddy was either too kind, or too dull-witted to take advantage of that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

[Dec 25, 2019] Khruschov's granddaugher turned to be a regular neocon prostitute and bash Russia on pages on NYT

Notable quotes:
"... To use Krushchev's granddaugher as a source was also a very low blow: she's herself an op-ed "journalist" coopted by the western MSM (I remember reading her pieces when she worked for the Asia Times, and she's for sure not a specialist/expert). ..."
"... It's also false when the NYT stated Russia is some kind of last refuge for oligarchs, mafiosos and terrorists in the world. No, this refuge's name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. ..."
"... The USA is also the last refuge of Latin American dictators. More than 3,000 enemies of the State from Latin American countries live in Florida under officially recognized political asylum. Many of them are ex-generals and bankers. ..."
"... There's also a macabre message in the headline of the NYT article: that it is weird, from the American point of view, that Russia was somehow able to survive the absolute destruction that should have happened with its Shock Therapy during the Yeltsin era. ..."
"... The author indeed seems genuinely puzzled as to why didn't Russia degenerate to a Third World banana republic after the capitalist charge on the newly founded nation sponsored by the USA; after all, it worked in Latin America and many other countries. I've already discussed it here many times, and I stand by my hypothesis: Russia is still able to rest on the laurels of the good ol' Soviet Union. That windfall will soon end, so Putin must think a viable succession scheme and viabilize the five-year plans. ..."
Dec 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 23 2019 18:08 utc | 25

The worst thing about the NYT piece is that it is not in the "Opinion" section, but right in the Front Page, as if it were genuine investigative journalism.

To use Krushchev's granddaugher as a source was also a very low blow: she's herself an op-ed "journalist" coopted by the western MSM (I remember reading her pieces when she worked for the Asia Times, and she's for sure not a specialist/expert).

I disagree with b about the "hidden economy" thing. Every capitalist country has a hidden economy; the USA, for example, has by far the largest shadow banking system in the world, which could easily rise its GDP by 50%. Italy recently considered including the mafia business in the GDP calculation so they could officially get out of recession. Having 20-30% of your economy "hidden", therefore, is not an excuse for the Russian Federation for the dire state of its own people.

The NYT is also wrong when it infers Yeltsin was "fixing" the Soviet economy by making it take the bitter pill. The Soviet economy begun to unravel precisely because of Gorbachev's Perestroika - which was the policy designed precisely to reform the system in the first place. Yeltsin made things even worse - far worse than a linear extrapolation even from the Gorbachev era. Indeed, that's why he was toppled in the first place.

It's also false when the NYT stated Russia is some kind of last refuge for oligarchs, mafiosos and terrorists in the world. No, this refuge's name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Thanks to its inumerous tax havens (of which the Cayman Islands are, by far, the largest), many traffickers, terrorists and oligarchs are able to roam freely around the world, with their money laundered. Many of them even buy residence in London and a British Green Card, so they can also enjoy the protections the Crown gives to its subjects. In their free time, they also buy some English football clubs, but that's another story. Switzerland also enjoy many of the perks of being a tax haven.

The USA is also the last refuge of Latin American dictators. More than 3,000 enemies of the State from Latin American countries live in Florida under officially recognized political asylum. Many of them are ex-generals and bankers.

Indeed, Russia is considered a "not free" nation precisely because this kind of financial promiscuity doesn't exist on a systemic-cultural level. Freedom, for the liberals, is nothing more nothing less than being able to freely purchase and use the commodities you bought on the free market with a certain amount of money. Russia (but mainly China) doesn't allow the western oligarchs to do that, so it is kind of a disappointment to the "vital center".

There's also a macabre message in the headline of the NYT article: that it is weird, from the American point of view, that Russia was somehow able to survive the absolute destruction that should have happened with its Shock Therapy during the Yeltsin era.

The author indeed seems genuinely puzzled as to why didn't Russia degenerate to a Third World banana republic after the capitalist charge on the newly founded nation sponsored by the USA; after all, it worked in Latin America and many other countries. I've already discussed it here many times, and I stand by my hypothesis: Russia is still able to rest on the laurels of the good ol' Soviet Union. That windfall will soon end, so Putin must think a viable succession scheme and viabilize the five-year plans.


casey , Dec 23 2019 18:12 utc | 28

@FSD:
Agreed, but I think we are seeing a strange form of mass psychogenic illness in the West ( https://quillette.com/2018/11/02/trigger-warnings-and-mass-psychogenic-illness/), and in the EU and US in particular. I strongly suspect that the farther an farther the mass media push the willingly ignorant bulk of people out into a fictional and counterfactual mental reservation, the more and more people crave distraction that, like a junkie's fix, needs to always get bigger to reach the same effect. I turned on the TV the other day and happened on a show called Masked Singer, which struck me as so insanely manic in its subject and its presentation -- loud music, flashing lights, cartoonish hosts, junkie-like pacing -- that I wondered that anyone can function anymore inside this pin-ball machine world. It's like the entire West is having, especially in its so-called cultural nodes, a collective manic episode with very real danger of self-harm.
TG , Dec 23 2019 18:21 utc | 29
Indeed. But here is yet another angle:

Because Russia's population is relatively stable, every small uptick in economic growth is pure profit. With a stable population, even 1% annual growth, compounded every year, can result in substantial prosperity before too long.

But in the United States, with open-borders cheap-labor immigration pushing the population ever higher, the numbers are different. When a population ir forced upwards, the economic demands are even higher than the population growth itself. That's because you need to not just grow the ongoing population, but provide massive investments in new infrastructure. Russia is like a person who's paid off his mortgage, and can devote all income to living and making progress. The United States is like a homeowner with a massive mortgage and who also has to pay massive taxes to pay for more sewers and roads and energy conservation etc.

So 1% annual sustained economic growth in Russia means Russia is making progress, while even 3% annual economic growth in the United States means it is falling behind.

Don't believe me? From 1950 to the present, immigration increased California's population from 10 million to about 40 million. On paper the economy boomed, but the average person is much worse off, the quality of life has tanked, roads are choked, rents are sky-high while wages are stagnant, air quality is down even with massive spending on pollution controls, poverty is the worst in the nation, homelessness is booming, etc.

joetv , Dec 23 2019 18:46 utc | 31

It's my guess Putin doesn't waste time reading the NYTs. Why should he, and for that matter why should anyone? The Times and the other Oligarch rags should be ignored by all. Break the chains. Focusing on God and family a young couple may try homesteading. Ignore the rest.

ak74 , Dec 24 2019 4:19 utc | 78
The imperial lie machine sure is disgruntled that the 1990s attempt to economically and biologically crush Russia once and for all was a failure and Russia has since been reasserting itself. It wasn't "the end of history" after all.

That was the source of the underlying current of Russia Derangement among the US elite classes (political, economic, media, academia, professional etc.), the many provocations, and then the total meltdown beginning in late 2016.

Since it really seems to be a collective mental illness (I mean that literally) afflicting a power group which is already psychotic and violent, and since it coincides with the accelerating erosion of the US imperial position, it's looking more and more likely that this must eventually lead to all-out war. I just can't imagine the US stepping back, any more than I could imagine Hitler doing so.

America's obsessive bashing of Russia (and now China) is suggestive of a deep psychological disorder.

Though the Americans and their allied apologists will insist that it is sincerely motivated by a humanitarian concern for Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights(TM), that is quite laughable given America's concentration camps for undocumented immigrants; its incarceration of immigrant children in cages; or the US Prison Industrial Complex in general, which has been called America's new Jim Crow in that it imprisons millions of African Americans and other minorities and relegates them to a new racist caste system.

No, cut through the barrage of American Moral Supremacism and other delusions, the United States is enraged that, despite its attempt to economically rape Russia in the 1990s through American-promoted Free Market reforms and Neoliberal "shock therapy," Russia is still standing and indeed resurgent.

THAT is what enrages the Americans and triggers them in rug-chewing fits of frenzy.

[Dec 20, 2019] It looks like it was Browder who killed Magnitsky, so that he can't spill the beans. And then in an act of ultimate chutzpah played the victim and promoted Magnitsky act.

Dec 20, 2019 | www.unz.com

Anon [515] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 12:31 pm GMT

Have any of you read Bill Browder's book Red Notice?

It's a great read.

The grandson of the General Secretary of the United States Communist Party, whose great auntie worked for the NKVD. His brother, Lev, is a great mathematician.

Browder worked with Robert Maxwell as an intern. That's the father of Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's facilitator.

Browder went on to Salomen Brothers and ended up being one of the largest capitalists in Eastern Europe.

For some reason the Russians believed that Browder was using front companies to aquire stakes in Russian strategic assets, then remove billions without paying taxes, apparently worth in excess of 4 billion. If Russian 'propaganda' is to be believed.

They must have wrong because Browder was able to achieve the Magnitsky Act in response.

It seemed the Russians unfairly seized shares from Browder he acquired in Gazprom, Surgutneftegaz, Unified Energy Systems, and Sidanco.

In July 2017, Browder testified to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

As everyone knows, this claim about Russian collusion by Trump is 100% true, and supports the veracity of all his other claims. As the number one capitalist in Russia following the fall of the Soviet Union.

And he was a hero too. Speaking out about how Jewish Oligarchs defenestrated Russia with Yeltsin in the early 2000s and late 90s. He spoke out against his fellow Jews in what most regard as conspiracy theories. Putin even praised him for assisting in liberation from the Oligarchs.

What the Russians did was terrifying. They established a precedent where Jewish international assets and capital could be seized for interference with affairs of state.

Of course what they apparently did was steal $230m off of Browder's fund shareholders.

Russia is of course very corrupt. And Browder's testimony against Trump for alleged Russia collusion given what everyone knows speaks for his utmost veracity.

I came out of that book with the utmost admiration for Bill Browder. He did his best in Poland with depressed assets, and he had a grand adventure. He's clearly amazingly good at finance.

UncommonGround , says: December 19, 2019 at 2:50 pm GMT
@Anon

I came out of that book with the utmost admiration for Bill Browder.

You don't seem to be serious, if I understood what you want to say. Even Der Spiegel has published a critical article in English about Browder, Browder is the one who pushed for sanctions against Russia because of the case Magnitsky:

Questions Cloud Story Behind U.S. Sanctions

The story of Sergei Magnitsky has come to symbolize the brutal persecution of whistleblowers in Russia. Ten years after his death, inconsistencies in Magnitsky's story suggest he may not have been the hero many people -- and Western governments -- believed him to be.

https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-case-of-sergei-magnitsky-anti-corruption-champion-or-corrupt-anti-hero-a-1297796.html

Thomasina , says: December 20, 2019 at 5:31 am GMT
@Anon You've read "Red Notice", but that is only Browder's side. To get the other side, read these articles from Consortium News:

https://consortiumnews.com/tag/william-browder/

likbez , says: December 20, 2019 at 5:50 pm GMT
@Anon After reading the book of this MI6 asset (and potential killer) who tried to fleece Russia, you probably can benefit from watching a movie by Nekrasov about him. See references in:

http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Fighting_russophobia/Propaganda_as_creation_of_artificial_reality/Browder/index.shtml

It looks like it was Browder who killed Magnitsky, so that he can't spill the beans. And then in an act of ultimate chutzpah played the victim and promoted Magnitsky act.

[Dec 17, 2019] Building trust between U.S. and Russia by Edward Lozansky

Notable quotes:
"... After a Western-backed coup overthrew the legitimate Ukrainian president in February 2014, it brought to power a government largely picked by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. People in the Donbass region did not accept the new government and made two conditions for remaining a part of Ukraine: special autonomy status and two state languages. This is exactly what Canada provides for its large French-speaking minority. ..."
"... Those with even rudimentary knowledge of Ukrainian history and its huge ethnic Russian population would agree that these demands are not unreasonable, but the post-coup government called the separatist forces terrorists, sent aviation and tanks, and started a civil war that has been raging for five years. Washington, which was in total control of the Ukrainian political class, could have resolved this crisis easily by telling the new government to accept these modest conditions. Instead, the U.S. supported Kyiv with money, weapons, military training and political support. ..."
Dec 17, 2019 | www.washingtontimes.com

At a time of one of the greatest political upheavals in American history that could spill over into foreign affairs, especially U.S.-Russian relations with unpredictable and devastating results, I thought Christmas might offer a chance for all of us to take a pause and search for an exit from the megacrisis.

Many people believe miracles do happen at Christmastime. However, it looks like we need President Trump , Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to perform at least three of them.

Those who wonder why Mr. Zelensky is on this list should recall that the Trump impeachment process started because of his phone call with this guy whose country the Democrats and their pathetic witnesses deem no less than vital to America's national security.

Let us start with Mr. Putin because someone has to take the first difficult step and he is the only one in a clear position to do it.

Dear Mr. Putin, please make a public statement that Russia pledges not to interfere in the next and future American elections. It would be good if the two chambers of the Russian parliament, the Duma and Federation Council, ratify this pledge as well. Please do it unilaterally without asking Mr. Trump and the U.S. Congress to respond in kind.

Dear Mr. Trump , please return to your earlier thinking about NATO as an obsolete organization that lost its purpose in 1991 after the collapse of the USSR and the Warsaw military bloc. Since then, it has been searching desperately for new missions and enemies to justify its existence.

Recall that NATO's continuous expansion drive is the major factor that squandered the exceptional opportunity for U.S.-Russian rapprochement that all Russian leaders, starting with Mikhail Gorbachev, kept proposing. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York Democrat, and 18 other senators voted against President Clinton's first round of NATO expansion. "We'll be back on a hair-trigger. We're talking about nuclear war," they said.

At the same time, NATO has failed to counter international terrorism -- the real threat to European and American security. It is NATO that boosted the jihadi peril by overthrowing Libya's government, allowing that prosperous country to morph into a terrorist playground and staging point for millions of unvetted migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe.

Is NATO making America and our allies more secure? During the Cold War, when NATO allowed the West to stand firm against Soviet communist designs on Europe, the answer was an easy yes, but today, with NATO's reckless poking of the Russian bear, the answer is a resounding no.

A rebuilt NATO or a new organization, IATO -- International Anti-Terrorist Organization -- specifically targeting global jihad, would have a future with new partners including Russia, for which terrorism represents a major security threat. Georgia and Ukraine could join IATO as well, thus taking the first step toward reconciliation with Russia that NATO's insatiable expansion drive helped destroy.
French President Emmanuel Macron is the first Western leader who agrees with this point of view and is not afraid to say that "NATO's brain is dead." However, the U.S. president must take the lead to move past legacy NATO.

Dear Mr. Zelensky , I believe that you sincerely want to end the war in your country. It is not an easy job since you face a strong and vocal radical nationalistic opposition with strong neo-Nazi overtones that declares that any compromise on your side will be met with the violent resistance and another "Maidan revolution" that may lead to your overthrow. The leader of this opposition is former President Petro Poroshenko, whom Washington supported all these years and who was given a rare privilege to speak at a joint session of Congress, where members greeted him with numerous standing ovations. At the same time, Ukrainian people hated him so much that they decided to replace him with a Jewish comic actor with no political experience.

Mr. Zelensky , I wonder if you have read the book "Shooting Stars" by Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig, which describes some important episodes in which fate gave an individual a chance at a historical turning point. Zweig says fate usually chooses for this purpose a strong personality, but sometimes it falls to mediocrities who fail miserably.

You are in a position to decide which you will be, and the pass to historical Olympus is obvious.

After a Western-backed coup overthrew the legitimate Ukrainian president in February 2014, it brought to power a government largely picked by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. People in the Donbass region did not accept the new government and made two conditions for remaining a part of Ukraine: special autonomy status and two state languages. This is exactly what Canada provides for its large French-speaking minority.

Those with even rudimentary knowledge of Ukrainian history and its huge ethnic Russian population would agree that these demands are not unreasonable, but the post-coup government called the separatist forces terrorists, sent aviation and tanks, and started a civil war that has been raging for five years. Washington, which was in total control of the Ukrainian political class, could have resolved this crisis easily by telling the new government to accept these modest conditions. Instead, the U.S. supported Kyiv with money, weapons, military training and political support.

Mr. Zelensky , nowadays you and your country are used as pawns in the attempts to impeach Mr. Trump , but your prime responsibility is before Ukrainian people who dismissed the party of war and placed the fate of your country and its people in your hands. They expect you to make the right decision by choosing the road to peace.

While waiting for these miracles to materialize, I wish all a merry Christmas , happy Hanukkah and peace on earth in 2020.

Edward Lozansky is president of American University in Moscow.

[Dec 17, 2019] Investor Bill Browder's allegations –Why Spiegel is sticking to Magnitsky research – The Komisar Scoop

Dec 17, 2019 | www.thekomisarscoop.com

Investor Bill Browder's allegations –Why Spiegel is sticking to Magnitsky research By Lucy Komisar
Dec 15, 2019

This is German news magazine Der Spiegel's response to a complaint by William Browder to its editor and to the German Press Commission about its exposé that proved he was a fraudster and his Magnitsky story a fabrication. Key parts are marked in bold. The text and documents show the Spiegel story to be correct and Browder to be a conman.

The German text is linked below; here is the English translation . And the original story in German and English .

Former major investor Bill Browder accuses SPIEGEL of misrepresenting the circumstances surrounding the death of Russian Sergei Magnitsky. SPIEGEL rejects this – and lists the arguments and facts.

Bill Browder, founder of Hermitage Capital Management, photo Luke MacGregor / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Friday, 13.12.2019 8:21 p.m.

SPIEGEL reported on the background of the so-called Magnitsky sanctions on November 23. These punitive measures, which were imposed on Russian officials by the United States, are mainly based on the account of the former major investor Bill Browder and relate to the fate of his colleague Sergei Magnitsky.

Magnitsky died in a prison in Moscow in 2009 in circumstances that were not fully understood. Browder claims Magnitsky was murdered for uncovering a tax scandal. The SPIEGEL report describes the contradictions in Browder's statements and states that he cannot provide sufficient evidence for his thesis.

Browder has now made a complaint against the text public, in the form of a letter to the editor-in-chief and a complaint to the German Press Council. In his letter, he accuses SPIEGEL of distorting the facts.

We consider the complaint to be unfounded and therefore want to make it clear once again where our considerable doubts about Brudder's story come from and why we consider it necessary to discuss it publicly. We have also made the text freely available to all SPIEGEL readers ( you can find the text here ). In this statement, we also link some of the sources to which we referred in our research.

The Magnitsky case How true is the story on which US sanctions against Russia are based?

We have corrected an error in the English version of the SPIEGEL report. There we had the information that a rubber truncheon was used, wrongly assigned to a report from 2009. In fact, it only appears in another report from 2011. The German version was correct from the start.

NOTE FROM LK: That is Der Spiegel's only mistake. The claim that a rubber truncheon was used is a Browder forgery. See this by reporter Michael Thau with whom I collaborated on exposing this very complex Browder fakery , which included inventing a form that doesn't exist and tracing a signature.

No doubt Magnitsky died a terrible death. As it was said in the SPIEGEL report, "horrible injustice" happened to him. In our view, it is also appropriate to speak of a "mercilessly omitted assistance". The "use of a rubber stick" is also indisputable . At no point in the SPIEGEL report is the issue of exonerating the Russian state from guilt for Magnitsky's death. It is about showing the inconsistencies, contradictions, and unsubstantiated claims in the story that Browder has been coming and going to Western governments for years – and which have become the basis for Western sanctions against Russian officials.

Browder's account of what happened to Sergei Magnitsky's death consists of several key elements:

How it all started: According to Browder, tax inquiries were launched in Moscow in 2007, which he described as clearly "criminal and politically motivated". The proceedings were fictitious, initiated only for the purpose of confiscating important documents from some of his letterbox companies during a search. On June 4, 2007, searches were conducted in Moscow. Numerous company documents were confiscated.

Magnitsky becomes a whistleblower: Browder claims that he entrusted Magnitsky with the investigation in 2007: three mailbox companies were hijacked after the search. According to Browder, Magnitsky reported these events to the State Investigation Committee on June 5 and October 7, 2008, and explicitly accused two police officers of the crime, Artyom Kuznetsov and Pavel Karpov. According to Browder, this advertisement gives a clear motive for the later arrest and murder of Magnitsky.

Arrest and death : A trial against Magnitsky will open in autumn 2008. The allegation is tax evasion. Magnitsky was arrested in November 2008. He died in Russian custody on November 16, 2009. Browder repeatedly describes the death as a targeted murder plot.

Browder's presentation of the exact events varied . The campaign videos that he published on Youtube are exemplary.

Among other things, it states:

"?? After Sergei Magnitsky testified against the same criminal group for an even larger crime, the same officers arrested, tortured and eventually killed Sergei to hide their crime."

"Instead of supporting Sergei Magnitsky and recognizing him as a hero, the government allowed interior ministry officers, Kuznetsov, Karpov to arrest, torture and kill him."

At every stage of this presentation, numerous points do not stand up to scrutiny. A London court came to the conclusion that Browder did not even begin to substantiate his allegations against Karpov (the full court order can be viewed here )

Again and again it becomes clear that Browder's story contains errors and inconsistencies that distort the overall picture of the events surrounding Magnitsky's death.

1. The tax investigation

The investigation started much earlier than Browder claims. While he has repeatedly stressed that he first heard the name of the investigator Artyom Kuznetsov in 2007, the opposite is well documented. Kusnezov's name is already on a letter from the tax investigator from June 2006, which went to Browder's companies.

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Letter from the Russian tax investigation 2006 PDF size: 44 kB

That Browder's team was aware of the process also results from Magnitsky's statement of June 5, 2008. There he describes that Kusnetzov requested company and bank documents at the end of May 2006. This mid-2006 investigation is also mentioned in complaints that Browder's people sent to the authorities in December 2007.

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English translation of Magnitsky's statement on June 5, 2008 PDF size: 3 MB

In addition, Magnitsky himself was questioned by the authorities in 2006 about tax inquiries. Investigations into tax evasion by mailbox companies in the vicinity of Browder, including the company "Saturn Investment", which Magnitsky was concerned with, also date from before 2004.

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English translation of Magnitsky's statement in October 2006 PDF size: 531 kB

Several court rulings were brought against Browder's companies, then the proceedings were closed, but reopened in 2008.

SPIEGEL does not adopt the views of the Russian judiciary. A final clarification on whether the allegations of tax evasion were valid would be up to an independent court, in a fair trial. It becomes clear, however, that the investigation did not suddenly start in 2007 as Browder claims, apparently recognizable without any basis. The investigation has a well-documented history. The European Court of Human Rights concluded in its judgment on the case that Magnitsky was not "arbitrarily" detained:

" The Court observes that the inquiry into alleged tax evasion, resulting in the criminal proceedings against Mr Magnitskyy, started in 2004, long before he complained that prosecuting officials had been involved in fraudulent acts."
(
Find the verdict here )

2. Magnitsky's role as a crucial whistleblower:

In Browder's account, Magnitsky's statement to investigators is the motive for his imprisonment and later targeted murder: a corrupt clique team silenced the man who was dangerous to it. This is the core of the story spread by Browder.

Browder describes Magnitsky as a decisive whistleblower. But this is a retrospective construction. Several people from Browder's team have made the same or very similar allegations against the Russian authorities, some of them earlier than Magnitsky:

The media had already reported the events. The business service Bloomberg , the "Financial Times" and the "Wall Street Journal" reported in early April 2008.

The New York Times also made public the $ 230 million fraud on July 24, 2008 (link to article ). Magnitsky, in turn, did not speak to the authorities until his statement on October 7, 2008.

This chronological sequence is one reason why observers have doubts as to whether Magnitsky was actually murdered so that the charges against the police officers are no longer raised. The allegations against the Russian police were worldwide, regardless of Magnitsky's testimony.

Human rights activist Soya Svetova, who dealt with the case from the beginning, put it this way in conversation with SPIEGEL last summer.

SPIEGEL : What about the version that was specifically targeted for being killed? Is there evidence of this?

Svetova : No. There is no evidence of this. What was the point of killing him? No sense.

SPIEGEL : Because he knew about a $ 230 million fraud.

Svetova : Yes, but not only did he know about this fraud, the entire management and colleagues also knew about it. It was written about in newspapers. He didn't reveal a secret.

SPIEGEL : But your report mentions that pressure may have been put on him while in custody.

Svetova : When he was in custody, people wanted statements from him against Bill Browder. But he didn't do any. And probably he would never have made such a statement. But killing him would have been completely pointless for them.

Svetova agreed to the interview and its recording in July 2019. In previous years, she had taken the position that there was no evidence of a targeted murder. In 2014, for example, she wrote that she could not imagine that someone had caused Magnitsky's death in a targeted manner ("Well, after five years have passed, I think this killing was not intentional" – original in Russian ).

Shortly before the publication of the SPIEGEL report in November, she said that although that was her words, she had meanwhile changed her mind and believed that targeted murder was possible. Svetova's change of heart is transparently documented in the SPIEGEL.

3. The motive for Magnitsky's arrest

Browder claims that Magnitsky was arrested to force him to withdraw his statements against the police. He was therefore tortured and murdered. Magnitsky's attorney at the time presented the situation differently right from the start. Dmitrij Kharitonov told SPIEGEL in autumn 2009 that his client was only a hostage, and that the authorities actually wanted to put pressure on Bill Browder (click here for the article ).

Kharitonov has used the phrase "hostage" more often. In an interview with the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, he reported that Magnitsky said about himself in court: "Your honor, I was actually taken hostage. My person hardly interests anyone, everyone is interested in the person of the Hermitage chiefs."( Russian text ).

Human rights activist Soya Svetova also argued in a similar fashion in an interview with SPIEGEL this summer.

Svetova : The figure Magnitsky combines the two greatest grievances in the Russian judiciary and the Russian investigative system. If a lawsuit is opened against a company and it is not possible to arrest its boss, then they take his assistant or his deputy or simply a colleague hostage. We see that in many cases: It was the same with Mikhail Khodorkovsky's group Yukos (??). First, they take hostages. Magnitsky was also a hostage. He was of no interest to anyone, they wanted Browder.

SPIEGEL : Although the Russian authorities had just thrown Browder out of the country.

Svetova : You wanted Magnitsky to tell you what terrible things Browder did. They wanted him to discredit him, that he was a fraud and tax evader. Even though they stole his companies from him.

Svetova has represented this position several times, in 2014, for example, " Radio Liberty ".

In the 2009 text report co-authored by Svetova, evidence is given that investigators, together with the prison authorities, put pressure on Magnitsky. The report also contains a corresponding quote from Magnitsky. His conditions of detention had deteriorated in coordination with the investigator of the case against him, Oleg Siltschenko. Their goal is "that I accept false accusations, burden myself and others". There is no mention of Browder's claim that Magnitsky should have revoked his statements.

The Russian original of the report is available on Browder's website ( PDF ). While the Russian text does not contain the name of the investigator Kuznetsov, the English translation also published on Browder's website expressly refers to him ( PDF ).

[LK: Browder posted the version with his forged paragraph at the top of page 3 to his website and distributed it to media, including to the Wall Street Journal , which has it on its website. The translation filed in U.S. federal court in the Prevezon case does not have that paragraph.]

4. The alleged evidence of a targeted murder plot

As alleged evidence of his thesis of targeted murder, Browder cites photos of hematomas on the dead man's hands. Some may have been handcuffed, others may have been from Magnitsky's desperate punches on a door. A fatal injury cannot be seen in the pictures .

This does not preclude Magnitsky from being killed by external violence, but there is no evidence of a targeted murder by beating eight prison guards over an hour and 18 minutes, as Browder has variously claimed.

The contradicting information about the cause of death of the Russian authorities is disturbing, it is not sufficient evidence for a targeted murder. The use of a rubber stick was also mentioned in the SPIEGEL text. [LK: Again, that is incorrect, there is no evidence of use of a truncheon. And consider, do American police who beat up prisoners write that in reports?]

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Browder's letter to SPIEGEL PDF size: 814 kB

5. Magnitsky's alleged statements against police officers Karpov and Kusnezov

Browder accuses SPIEGEL of embezzling the true content of Sergei Magnitsky's statements. That in fact, Magnitsky clearly named police officers Kuznetsov and Karpov as guilty in the statements before his arrest.

Nowhere in the two documents does Magnitsky raise a direct personal accusation against Karpov and Kusnezov.

6. The role of the police officer Karpov in the Magnitsky case

Browder accuses SPIEGEL of spreading Pavel Karpov's claim that it has nothing to do with Magnitsky's death and tax fraud. However, it is part of the journalistic due diligence to give people who have been charged with serious crimes the opportunity to comment. This also applies to Karpov.

Magnitsky's lawyer Dmitry Kharitonov has emphasized several times (for example here in conversation with the Russian radio station Echo Moscow) that Pavel Karpov played no role in the prosecution of his client. Kharitonov repeated this statement to SPIEGEL twice. Human rights activist Soja Svetova also said in the summer of 2019 with a view to Karpov: "But there is no evidence that Karpov put pressure on him (Magnitsky)."

In addition, the London High Court has also found that Browder's allegations against Karpov are insufficiently substantiated.

7. The question of money

The SPIEGEL report does not go any further into the course of the $230 million fraud, of which Browder complains. He refers to the findings of US investigators in the New York trial ( PDF ).

LK: The Justice Department acted as Browder's proxy lawyer. Its chief investigator admitted under oath that he got all his information from Browder and "the internet." The complaint filed by U.S. attorney Preet Bharara is full of fabrications and should not be believed.

However, this case is less clear than Browder claims. The responsible US investigator had to admit in a survey that his findings are based solely on statements and documents from Browder and his team. The process ended with a compromise. The Russian Kazyv clan – accused by Browder of profiting from tax fraud – has enforced the express written note that it has nothing to do with the Magnitsky case.

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Compromise between the Kazyvs and the USA PDF size: 2 MB

Browder has been interviewed in the case. Under oath, he is unable to explain how he and his people followed the cash flows. Video recordings of the statement have landed on Youtube, the transcript is available on Pacer.gov, an electronic database for documents from US proceedings.

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Protocol from Browder's survey in the US proceedings (2015) PDF size: 761 kB

Browder was able to take a compr