Shoshana Bryen Has a Chip on Her Shoulder. Perhaps it Came From Her Head.

Uncle Volodya says,”Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”

August, overall, was good to us. Here on the Kremlin Stooge, we had our second-best month ever in terms of hits, and sometime a couple of days ago we rolled quietly past a quarter-million – we now sit at 256,093. That’s not much compared with, say, Alexei Navalny and his million hits a day, but it’s not bad for a small blog. The weather here where I live finally turned for the better, and we got payback in spades for the lousy start to summer we saw in June and the first half of July. Best of all – for me – the last two posts were guest efforts which did extremely well, so I just coasted and racked up the hits with absolutely zero work; Kovane’s “Russia At The WTO Gate” drew 3,143 hits as of today, and 547 comments, while Yalensis’ “The KirovLes Case and the Navalny/Ofitserov Email Trail” pulled in 2,600 hits and elicited 494 comments. Great job, guys. Hopefully your tour-de-force performances will inspire some of those slackers out there.

Then, just when the genteel golden dying of summer in all its splendor brought tears to the eyes of the poets…the 3:10 from Ignorance pulled out of the station, with Shoshana Bryen shoveling on the coal (thanks to Mike Averko for the link). Figuratively speaking, of course; the only coal-fired steam trains left in the United States are novelties.

Is everyone familiar with the phrase, “to have a chip on one’s shoulder”? It is believed to originate from boys placing a small chip of wood on their shoulder, daring anyone to knock it off, whereupon there would be a fight. Shoshana Bryen’s ignorant blather is as full of casual and deliberate insult as a peapod is full of peas – I wonder who she’s challenging? Let’s see.

Well, she’s right that the Polish government did beg for a missile shield to protect it against Russian missiles. And that’s unfortunate, for a couple of reasons, from the western standpoint. One, it exposed the soothing official explanation that the missile shield was purpose-built to protect Eastern Europe from an attack by rogue missiles from Iran as the high-octane horseshit it is. Oh, no, said Brigadier-General John Hesterman of the Joint Staff; radars could be re-oriented and the missile shield could be adapted to thwart missiles coming from elsewhere. Precisely what the U.S. government said all along it could not do, or that it had no intention ever of doing. Other options which were eagerly discussed by the Polish government were a revolving deployment of  American F-16 fighters and a small support element – doubtless to guard against rogue fighter elements of Iranian aircraft which managed somehow to fly nearly 2,500 miles when the combat radius of the average fighter is a little better than a tenth of that – C-130 Hercules rotations from Ramstein AFB in Germany (perhaps to airlift Polish troops to meet a rogue element of the Republican Guard that had just run 2,500 miles with fixed bayonets to rape Polish girls and spear Polish babies), or a Naval Special Warfare unit to be stationed at Gdansk or Gdynia (to protect Poland from attack by rogue units of the Iranian navy who had sailed around Siberia to…well, you get the picture). Obviously, the pre-chewed nonsense about the missile shield being oriented against Iran was always specious, and the shield was specifically designed to weaken Russia’s nuclear deterrent capability. Which would hardly provide a direct benefit to Poland, by the way, as it is within easy reach of conventional forces it would not have a hope of stopping. Weakening the Russian nuclear deterrent would give the USA and UK more bargaining power, however.

Oh; and two, the installation of a missile shield in Poland has always been a government pet project that has been consistently opposed by a majority of the Polish electorate. Not that something like the public being opposed to it is going to deter a neoconservative Likudnik like Bryen. Still, it does make it difficult to sell the notion that America is all about spreading democracy and the religion of one man, one vote, don’t you think?

She also avers that Russia has “staked its position as the guardian and defender of Syria”. I understand why that might upset her if it were true, because there is nothing the United States could do to more clearly stake its position as the guardian and defender of Israel that would suit her – you could move the entire U.S. Armed Forces to Israel and she would still cluck with worry that Israel’s ambitions and activities were not sufficiently secure, while Syria is an objector to those selfsame ambitions and activities as well as being directly confrontational over the ownership of the Golan Heights. But where did Russia state its willingness to go to war on Syria’s behalf? I mean, there’s no shortage of such bellicose rhetoric on America’s part where Israel is concerned, is there? Prominent American media sources say President Obama not only expressed “rock-solid resolution” on the question of Israel’s security, he and the American people paid for and installed Israel’s Iron Dome short range anti-rocket system. Did President Putin ever express such guarantees on Syria’s behalf prior to American-led western efforts to topple the Syrian government using proxy forces which include international terrorists al Qaeda? Show me. Did Russia design, build and install a defensive missile system for Syria courtesy of the Russian taxpayer? Sure, most of Syria’s military equipment was supplied by Russia – all contracted for and paid for by the Syrian government. I hope we’re not going to imply some degree of equivalency there, considering the United States is the world’s biggest arms dealer by a wide margin, and you couldn’t swing a cat by the tail in Saudi Arabia without hitting an F-15 Eagle or an M1-A2 Abrams tank, despite Saudi Arabia’s rejection of the Camp David Accords, support for a peaceful solution to Palestinian sovereignty aspirations and absence of diplomatic relations with Israel. It is also, according to Freedom House, among the world’s 20 most repressive regimes.

What Russia – and China, as well – did was insist on adherence to international law, which prohibits initiating wars of aggression. The world had the example of  Libya to sample as a blueprint, and believe me, this would be exactly the same, extending even to the same actors – Abdelhakim Belhadj, a Libyan high in the ranks of al Qaeda, who was instrumental in the NATO-backed overthrow of the Gaddafi government in Libya, currently commands the “rebels” known as the Free Syrian Army, together with some 600 “volunteers” from al Qaeda in Libya.

What else you got, Shoshana? Oh, here we go – Putin is jailing rock singers for “hooliganism”, jailing businessmen (spelt “K-h-o-d-o-r-k-o-v-s-k-y”) for “corruption”, murdering journalists and dissidents, stealing elections and eviscerating civil and contract law which was just fine until he messed with it.

It’s difficult to describe how tiresome this is getting. Pussy Riot are not rock singers. They are not singers of any description, and have never released a record – although their special front-girl, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, did participate with the “art collective” Voina in an impromptu performance in a Moscow courtroom (during a trial); an “action” they titled “Cock In The Ass”, featuring a song called “All Cops Are Bastards”. Nice. Want them for neighbours? They claim to be opposed to salaried employment, and live by stealing food and drink from stores. This enthusiastic review of the performance artists, by Forrest Muelrath, burbles on about “artistic cleverness” which is “breaking through the barriers of liberalism”: Americans love them – provided they stay in Russia, making trouble. I somehow can’t imagine the residents of Jesus Korners, USA welcoming their shenanigans with open arms, especially if they knew the “art collective” was planning on settling in the community. Hello, Steve? Yeah, listen; why don’t you and Shoshana come on over – a few of us are getting together in the back yard, and Pussy Riot’s going to come by later! Right; hey, maybe they’ll do “Cock In The Ass!!” Or paint a six-foot dick on our garage door; you just never know with those zany artists, do you? Bring the grandkids!! Oh, and don’t mention that you have a job, it makes the girls a little twitchy.

Any number of legitimate rock acts have played Russia, with no more problems than anywhere else – Monsters of Rock (AC/DC, Metallica, Pantera, Queensryche, Motley Crue and The Black Crowes) played Tushino airfield in 1991 in front of a half-million people, when Russia was still fresh from being the core of the Soviet Union. The vocalist from Pantera wore a full-face devil mask. Nobody freaked out, or suggested he should be jailed. Mind you, he didn’t do it in a church. Modern international rock acts play Moscow every year, without a murmur of protest from the public or the ROC.

And once again, the conversation turns to Mikhail Khodorkovsky, wrongfully-jailed businessman extraordinaire, political football in the cut and thrust of gutter politics in Russia. Say, did you know that after he was found guilty the second time and sentenced, he appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)? You’d sort of expect, you know, because they have “Human Rights” in their title, that if they could have found even the slightest pretext to rule in Khodorkovsky’s favour – given that he became overnight like one of those pictures of the little dog with the huge, sad eyes, and everyone just wanted to take him home and love him and give him all their money – they would have done so; take that, Putin, you lousy political fixer. Did you happen to catch the verdict? The EHCR ruled that Khodorkovsky had failed to prove his arrest and subsequent trial were politically motivated. They didn’t say they weren’t politically motivated – just that Khodorkovsky with his platoon of lawyers and the most sympathetic judicial ear this side of Samuel Alito had been unable to convince the court. I don’t know why we have to keep going over and over this. Khodorkovsky is in jail for “corruption” because his conviction for corrupt practices was upheld by an international court comprised of countries strongly biased in favour of the defendant.

Did Putin steal the presidential election? Well, of course the west would like to think so, and does think so. But this pretty much sums it up: “Monitors Say Vote Skewed For Putin“. You don’t say. The vote was skewed in favour of the winner. Hey, wouldn’t it be embarrassing if the vote was skewed in favour of the loser? Think you’ll ever see that? There were all kinds of allegations of fraud, like there always are, but there didn’t seem to be any stomach for pursuing them once it was established that they were not going to make the public rise up in wrath and chuck Putin out on his ear. Every time western “monitors” see a bus with people in it on voting day, they yell, “carousel voting” and “Putin is busing in supporters”. Nobody seemed to think it strange that the whole area to one side of Bolotnaya Ploshchad was shoulder-to-shoulder with empty city buses on the day of the “massive public demonstration”, so apparently it’s okay to “bus in supporters” as long as they are carrying anti-Putin signs. Nobody ever provided any real proof of carousel voting, and any allegations of ballot-stuffing were promptly dealt with by junking the whole box. But the real story is down at the bottom, under “in other developments” :

  • The UK acknowledged the Russian presidential election had delivered “a decisive result” in favour of Vladimir Putin despite “some problems”
  • French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said: “Despite some criticism… the re-election of President Putin is not in doubt”.

That would seem to be at odds with the title “Monitors Say Vote Skewed For Putin”, wouldn’t it? Unless that’s British for “Putin Won, Damn It”. What a spiteful bunch of nancies.

Winding up this broadside of bullshit, yet another “fact” that is unsubstantiated by anything – “The rise of the Orthodox Church – and its popularity with young people – is striking.”

Does “striking” mean “totally fabricated”? Yes, as so often happens when some Russophobe just pulls the information from their hindquarters, the opposite is true. Or is probably true – nobody could know for certain, because the Russian Orthodox Church keeps no membership rolls or parish registers. But Nationmaster – sourced from the World Values Survey – puts all church attendance in Russia at 2%: less than one-tenth the weighted average, bottom of the list at number 53 of 53 countries surveyed and less than one-twentieth the total of United States church attendance. If the rise in the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church is striking, what are we to make of those buggy-eyed zealots who are twenty times more in thrall to the church’s power?

This is nothing more than Shoshana Bryen slapping another coat of booga-booga scary nonsense on her conservative agenda. When I referred to her as a Likudnik, I wasn’t kidding. Her husband was a co-founder of the neo-conservative Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), and Shoshana Bryen succeeded him as Director for 10 years, from 1981 to 1991. When she was forced out of there (fired, actually; apparently there is such a thing as too conservative for JINSA) earlier this year, she took the helm at the Jewish Policy Institute.  She characterizes the notion that America’s one-sided support for Israel is harmful to national interests as “a fraud of the highest order”, although it has cost the USA the moral high ground it once owned, time and again. An aim of JINSA is assuring strategic cooperation between the U.S. and Israel, pushing U.S. – Israeli weapons contracts, nurturing military-to-military relations and pushing a hard line on Middle East peace negotiations. “JINSA”, writes journalist Jason Vest “relishes denouncing virtually any type of contact between the U.S. government and Syria and finding new ways to demonize the Palestinians.”

And, if you needed reminding, Shoshana Bryen is too conservative for JINSA. This is just more of Shoshana, unfortunately, being Shoshana.

This entry was posted in Corruption, Education, Government, Khodorkovsky, Middle East, Politics, Russia, Vladimir Putin and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

712 Responses to Shoshana Bryen Has a Chip on Her Shoulder. Perhaps it Came From Her Head.

  1. Misha says:

    Some might inaccurately depict this news item for anti-Russian propaganda sake:

  2. Misha says:

    On the level of Anderson Cooper, I just saw this segment on Pussy Riot:

    Good propaganda study.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      And I’ve just seen this on Femen:


      Journalist Reveals How Much It Costs Femen To Get Undressed

      A channel “1 +1” employee of has gone on an experiment and forged her way into the very heart of the scandalous movement and found out how it operates.

      In Femen there are always basically four girls operating.. They receive a salary of not less than $1000 a month. “On tour”, each of them spends $1,000 a day – for flights, accommodation and revealing outfits for their events.

      This was related by a channel “1 +1” reporter for the programme “Money”, who at the time had signed up for The attractive young girl went in and said: “Well, being a journalist is fine, but I’d like more fame and to have more money for myself”. The interview turned out to be not too difficult. Their only wish was that you had to satisfactorily prove the seriousness of your intent – and that included getting undressed, playing with your bare breasts and showing them on a mobile telephone to the movement leader, Anna Gutsol,.

      “So that I understand that you’re ready to strip off during rallies, and that when we are going somewhere together I don’t suddenly find out that you’re “not well, I won’t go”, said activist Alexander Shevchenko.

      The journalist had a topless shot taken and a test of stamina and aggressiveness . As a result, she was invited to become the fifth Femen member.

      The main thing that she became convinced of when looking at the life and work of the girls was that without the financial support of activists, they really would be left without clothes and shelter.

      “The Femen premises in Kiev cost 20 thousand hryvnas a month, plus a monthly salary of not less than a thousand dollars”, the journalist was assured.

      Plus, there is , of course, a great amount of expenditure on “performances” in other countries. For example, her initiation into the femenists happened in Paris at an event in front of the Islamic Centre. By the way, the new Paris office of Femen is also worth thousands of euros per month. Who the sponsor of Femen is nobody knows, though some say it’s a millionaire, others say it’s someone else.

      End of translation

      They should apply to Mrs. Lennon for a grant.

  3. yalensis says:

    In other news, a heck of a lot of stuff has been going on in Gruzia this past week, with zero coverage in Western MSM.
    We’re talking massive street demos, government resignations, and a scandal rocking the foundations of the Saakashvili regime. Not a whisper of any of this in Western MSM.
    Basically, what happened in this: When Saakashvili came to power he set up a “model” (i.e., Potemkin) prison system with clean beds, and so on, to impress the Europeans. European inspectors were impressed and gave him a gold star.
    Then, this past week, someone leaked videos showing systematic torture and abuse going on in these clean prisoners. Most victimized are the political prisoners who opposed Saak, they are tortured, sodomized with broomsticks, horrible stuff. But even regular prisoners are also routinely tortured, apparently just for the amusement of the guards.
    The ex-prison warden who leaked the videos fled to Belgium, forced to leave his family behind in Gruzia, but bringing the video proof with him. Europeans promised him they would be discrete (for the sake of his family), but then betrayed him and warned Saakashvili what was up.
    According to the Gruzian whistle-blower, his boss, who is a powerful Saak crony, ordered him to make the videos of prisoner abuse so they could be shown to Saak for his private entertainment. (Apparently that Caligula wannabe gets his rocks off watching torture porn, except in this case these are not actors, these are real people being tortured and sodomized.)
    In any case, the videos were shown on Gruzian TV, and the country erupted in protests.

    • Leos Tomicek says:

      I have recently been to Tbilisi and Saakashvili seems to have completely taken the myth about Potemkin villages to heart. The city is a one huge Potemkin village. The main streets are mostly repaired, or being repaired, but walk 30 meters away from a main street, (sometimes less than that) and you enter ruins and slums.

      His much publicised reform of the police also appears a bit superficial. It is mostly seen in new police stations, and new Skodas and Toyotas for the police. An interesting picture of the country emerges, everything in the vicinity of one kilometre can look like it hasn’t been renovated since the days of the Tsars, but the police will have a shiny new station. I wonder how much all that cost?

    • cartman says:

      So no Magnitsky sanctions for Georgian officials?

    • marknesop says:

      And yet, when Saakashvili “officially” found out about (meaning when it could no longer be kept quiet), it was promptly blamed on Ivanishvili. Saakashvili says the video was commissioned by Inavishvili’s father in order to discredit the government and whip up public unrest. That guy is so transparent; every time he gets caught doing something un-western (or so westerners would have you believe), his immediate impulse is to blame it on either the Russian government or the Georgian opposition. I hope people are beginning to see through it.

  4. yalensis says:

    In religious news: claims that Jesus was married:

    However, I am not buying this, because if you read the ancient manuscript carefully, you can see that this was simply Jesus’ notes for his stand-up routine, the one he did at that party where he turned water into wine. Jesus’ actual words were:

    “παράλαβε γυναῖκά μὴν — ἐὰν θέλῃς”

    Translation: “Take my wife … please!”

    • Leos Tomicek says:

      At first glance, it looks like a later Gnostic text…

    • marknesop says:

      Ha, ha!!! Can’t you be serious, even for a second? Maybe you will be driving on our fossil-hunting expedition, because I can’t see you and Peter and Giuseppe lasting in the back seat for more than a couple of miles. Even keeping Giuseppe in the middle so you and Peter can’t swat each other in the head might not be enough.

      • Actually what Yalensis’s Greek text actually says is: “Take my wife – if you want to!”. I would add that in Greek it comes across as a lot more alarming than it does in English. Proof then that Jesus was a swinger.

        PS: Actually I agree with Leos. The document if genuine (which it may not be) is almost certainly Gnostic. Most of the supposed Christian documents that turn up from time to time from the early centuries of Christianity are Gnostic. Such texts are interesting in showing some of the things that were being said in the Middle East in the early years of Christianity but as sources for Jesus’s life they are worthless.

  5. Misha says:

    RFE/RL goes to the movies:

    The review on the (FRRO) Macedonian film appears more objective than the one on “Horde”. It has been my understanding that the excerpted from the first linked film is correct:

    “Bulgaria has often been praised for refusing to deport its Jews to its ally Germany in World War II. Nonetheless, it did deport Macedonian Jews after it occupied the region following the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1941.

    According to, only 2 percent of Jews from Macedonia survived the Holocaust and some historians have intimated that Bulgaria handed them over to appease the Germans for protecting their own Jewish population from the Nazis.”


    As for the review of the other film, refer to the comments section below the review and:

  6. Misha says:

    On the matter of mainstreaming for the elites:

    Hisham Melhem made it a point to glory an American role in the Middle East, saying that the Europeans have an indecisive side to them, with Putin’s Russia not being a better model for the Arab world.

    Such is the simplistic world view that suggestively expects countries to quickly leap frog from one system of governance and economic planning to a noticeably different one.

    Melhem added the broadly flippant and inaccurate “genocide” bit on former Yugoslavia.

    A different take:

    I’ve some disagreement with this one, while finding the comments on Libya to be well reasoned.

    • yalensis says:

      Thanks for the counterpunch link, Atwood makes a lot of good points about what is going on in post-Gaddafi Libya. People were wondering what would be the American response to the brazen attack on their Benghazi embassy. Yesterday Obama scored a couple of tactical victories: Apparently Americans sent some special ops to wrest control over three Islamist militias bases in Benghazi. Faced with superior firepower, the Al Qaeda militias were forced to abandon the bases and leave a lot of ammo behind, but did not incur casualties and appear to have made a reasonably orderly retreat farther east. But as usual, instead of giving full credit to their Navy seals and other brave boys, the Americans lied and pretended that the militias had been driven away by unarmed Libyan “democracy” demonstrators carrying signs (in English, of course) such as “We really really love you Americans, we are so sorry for any inconvenience you may have experienced while liberating us…”
      Western MSM must think their readers are stupid, to believe that an unarmed crowd of flip-flop wearing English-speaking teenagers could peacefully march into a nest of hardened Al Qaeda militias, braving rockets and machine gun fire, and send these brutal Islamists fleeing away and sobbing like little girls. For all we know, the “demonstration” was filmed in Al Jazeera’s sound studio in Qatar and the footage pasted on later, after the American Navy Seals had done the actual work of conquering these three bases.
      And speaking of which, it must be tough to be an American Seal. You do all that hard, dirty fighting, maybe even get wounded or killed, and when you are successful in battle, your victory is covered up, and somebody else is given the credit for all your hard work…. Imagine if Homer had been forced to write a different Iliad in which, “Fleet-footed Achilles was a brave man, to be sure, but he had nothing to do with killing Hector, that was accomplished by an group of demos-loving peasants who faced Hector down with their poignant placards…”
      In summary: Tactical success for Americans: three Al Qaeda militia bases cleared out and handed over to the “legitimate” Libyan government, which consists of a different set of militias. Three down, thousands to go….
      As Atwood notes, there are a minimum of 100,000 militants of various factions, all armed with the latest and greatest NATO technology. It will take more than a few PR operations for the Americans to defeat this whack-a-mole army. And they will have to defeat it, if they hope to keep all that light sweet Benghazi oil that they have stolen.

      • marknesop says:

        “And they will have to defeat it, if they hope to keep all that light sweet Benghazi oil that they have stolen.”

        Not to mention all Libya’s gold, which somehow became misplaced in all the festivities, although I doubt that’s still in Libya like the oil.

      • Misha says:

        Atwood presents a different assessment/emphasis from what the likes of Fouad Ajami and Hisham Melhem say before neolib-neocon leaning gatherings.

        The latter two weren’t always like that. Did they simply change their mindset without consideration of what the establishment prefers? A question that has brought to mind what has been suggested of some others.

  7. Evgeny says:

    On a completely unrelated note, there’s a very interesting recent article about possible scenarios for a world government. However, it is behind a paywall and, until now I haven’t happened to see it online. It’s definitely interesting to have a look.

    “Recent C­onsideration of­ World Governme­nt in the IR Li­terature: A Cri­tical Appraisal­”
    Author: James ­A. Yunker

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