How Much Of a Nobody Do You Have To Be, To Be Too Much Of a Nobody To Testify Before a Congressional Committee?

Uncle Volodya says, "If you like it, you'll find a way to justify it. If you don't, you'll find a way to falsify it."

Uncle Volodya says, “If you like it, you’ll find a way to justify it. If you don’t, you’ll find a way to falsify it.”

Liz Wahl is a proud American. So proud, in fact, that she will hear nothing against the USA, even if it’s true. My country right or wrong, baby. For those who do not know Liz Wahl, she was the news anchor for RT America who quit during a live broadcast, saying she could no longer in good conscience work for a network that “smeared America”. Well, that’s one of the reasons she gave. On occasion she says it is because Russia invaded Ukraine. In fact, neither of those is true, but we’ll get into that in a minute.

She decided “arbitrarily” that March 5th would be her last day; she had wanted to quit for months, but that just did it, the unconscionable way the network was whitewashing Putin’s dangerous invasion of Ukraine. So she went to the bathroom, a couple of hours before she quit, to compose some heartfelt notes – and called her good friend, Jamie Kirchik, the flaming Russophobe and longtime planner of gimmicky attacks against RT, to let him know she was about to put on a big show. She announced her resignation in an emotional speech on live TV.

In which she did not mention once, not a single time, her reason for quitting, which was – she just told you, how could you forget already – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. No, instead she blathered on about her family, glancing often at her notes as she recounted how her grandparents had escaped Hungary, fleeing before the Soviet forces in 1956. In fact, Grandpa was already in the USA for 10 years, having immigrated without his family at the close of the war. It was Grandma and some other family members who bribed the border guards and made a run for it in 1956, really stirring stuff.

Too bad, when Liz was interviewing Ron Paul, that she didn’t ask him about the 1956 Hungarian revolt. Because he would have told her it might have succeeded if it had gone the way the Hungarians were promised it would…by the United States. Radio Free Europe coaxed the Hungarians to rise up, promising them if they would only get the ball rolling, Uncle Sam would do the rest. The Hungarians believed them, and began large-scale public demonstrations on October 23rd, 1956.

Americans themselves did not learn what really happened until 1960, when Congressman Michael Feighan told a stunned audience in Buffalo, New York;

You will recall the revolution broke out on October 23, 1956, and that by October 28, the Hungarian patriots had rid their country of the Russian oppressors. A revolutionary regime took over and there was a political hiatus for five days.

Then the State Department, allegedly concerned about the delicate feelings of [Yugoslavia’s] Communist dictator Tito, sent him the following cable assurances of our national intentions in the late afternoon of Friday, November 2, 1956: “The Government of the United States does not look with favor upon governments unfriendly to the Soviet Union on the borders of the Soviet Union” (emphasis mine).

It was no accident or misjudgment of consequences which led the imperial Russian Army to reinvade Hungary at 4:00 AM on November 4, 1956. The cabled message to Tito was the go-ahead signal to the Russians because any American schoolboy knows that Tito is Moscow’s Trojan Horse.”

Oh, Eisenhower’s government made the expected protests, and said “the heart of America goes out to the people of Hungary,” boo hoo, adding that America would “do all within our peaceful power to help them.” When Spanish President Francisco Franco committed to sending the Hungarians weapons, and negotiated an agreement with German chancellor Konrad Adenauer to refuel his planes there, Eisenhower applied pressure and got it canceled. Bet you didn’t know that while you were grandstanding about how lucky you were to be American, did you, Liz? Sounds like the State Department was just as clueless then as it was toward the end of the first Gulf War, when the USA urged the Kurds to rise up against Saddam Hussein, and then left them hanging while Saddam rolled over them. Betrayal gets to be a habit.

Anyway, it looks to me like the Soviet forces were “just protecting their country”, in the new-age American Foreign Policy lexicon, so that was probably all a big fuss against nothing, and Granny and her associates were western-backed (sort of, in rhetorical terms only) separatist rebels that Hungary was far better off without.

It’s fairly clear that the whole resignation thing was staged; Ms. Wahl describes how she had “reached out” to Jamie Kirchik “a few months before” when he actually appeared on RT and made a great spectacle of himself over gay rights. A subject America dropped like a hot potato as soon as the Olympics in Sochi were over, incidentally, and the issue was no longer useful to beat Russia over the head; see anyone outside lately in rainbow lederhosen, pouring vodka into the gutter? That’s right – you don’t. Although she describes her decision to make a public show of her resignation as spontaneous, it was actually about as spontaneous as open heart surgery. She struck a deal with Kirchik when she first made contact with him, admitting she told him she was willing to “tell the truth about RT”.  She called Kirchik from the bathroom the day she resigned, and told him what she was going to do in plenty of time for him to prime other media sources for a PR coup – they were giggling like schoolboys about it on Twitter well in advance of the event.

But it’s only fair if a gal wants a little attention, isn’t it? She certainly would never have gotten it through her journalistic chops. Before her stint as a reporter on Saipan, where she covered local politics, she was an intern at several U.S. networks and freelanced local news at a station in Connecticut. When she was offered the RT job, she grabbed it because she knew if she did not, but wanted to work in the USA, she’d  probably have to “move to some Podunk town to cover rescued kittens and the Fourth of July parade.” Hardly sounds the role of a fireball reporter, what? She did show an early nose for a great story, though, bitching about RT’s coverage of the Occupy Movement because it “made America look terrible”. As well it should. As she described it herself, “Occupy was our lead story for weeks and then months, even as the number of protesters dwindled and tents cleared out. We sucked that story completely dry…Eventually, it was accepted that a revolution was not upon us.”

I guess they did suck that story completely dry, because RT was nominated for an Emmy by the international peer community for its coverage of the Occupy Movement in America. But Liz thought they should have devoted more attention to the ill-fated “White Revolution”, in which less than .10% of the population of Moscow staged a couple of weeks of protests while the USA talked it up as if the government of the Russian  Federation was about to fall. When liberal Russian celebrities Ksenya Sobchak and Alexei Kudrin took the stage, they were booed off by the Russian crowd. Alexey Navalny shouted that he had enough people to take the Kremlin, but he wasn’t quite sure enough to try it, more’s the pity. The opposition selected a “shadow government” from among its members, partly through internet voting, which held a couple of meetings, playacted at governing to see how it liked it, couldn’t stop quarreling, and disbanded. Sorry. I made it as exciting as I could. Eventually it was accepted that a revolution was not upon them.

Great instincts, Liz. I can’t understand why the New York Times isn’t beating down your door.

Putin supports dictators. Yes, I can see how that would prey upon the mind of a native of the country whose government propped up dictator Hosni Mubarak in Egypt for 30 years, during which time his own subjects tried 6 times to assassinate him, just to let him know how much they loved him. A country whose government was complicit in overthrowing the democratically-elected Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran – because he was going to nationalize Iranian oil assets, which would have been uncomfortable for the USA’s British friends – and foisted the dictator Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on the people of Iran for another 26 years. Or, more recently, backed and participated in the coup that deposed democratically-elected Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine and installed a self-appointed junta, which promptly banned opposition parties and brought to power candy king Petro Poroshenko, who has presided over the complete collapse of Ukraine while ignoring his campaign promise to divest himself of his personal business connections.

There is no evidence thus far that Russia has “invaded Ukraine”. None. Oh, Kiev sends the western media its talking points every week, and the western media dutifully reports that Russia invaded yet again, sometimes using photos of bearded cossacks from Georgia in 2008 or idling columns of Russian armor waiting on some road that is not even in Ukraine, or squeals that Russian forces are massing on the other side of the Ukrainian border – which just happens to be Russia, surely an odd place to find the Russian army. The United States Ambassador to Ukraine fires off satellite photographs from Digital Globe on Twitter, showing blurry holes in the ground which he claims were made by Russian artillery, and maybe you can tell a hole made by Russian-fired artillery from one made by Ukrainian-fired Russian artillery of the same caliber, but I’m damned if I can see how. The U.S. State Department claims to have tons of proof, but it can’t show it to the public because – sorry – it’s all classified. You should just believe them because of their track record for timely, accurate information. Ha, ha; sorry, I tried to say that without laughing, I really did, but I just couldn’t do it.  Associated Press reporter – a real reporter, Liz, take note – Matthew Lee regularly reduces State Department press conferences to comedy turns, as spokespersons run out of lies and have to just move on to another questioner.

So much for the claim that Russia invaded Ukraine as an excuse for quitting; let’s look at how RT  “smears” America. Does it? Does it really? Liz says it “makes America look bad”. By extrapolation, the allusion is that America really is doing well, while RT broadcasts a false vision of what’s happening. Let’s look.

Oh, dear; according to a study by the Center for Retirement Research, using Federal Reserve data, about half of American households will be unable to maintain their living standard in retirement. That could potentially affect about 160 million people; it sounds important.  The middle class is being wiped out as manufacturing steadily declines in the USA, and the income gap continues to widen. Nationally, the income gap between wealthiest and median-income households in the United States gained by 15.8 % over 20 years.  The proportion of the population aged 25-34 who have post-secondary education has fallen from first to sixteenth in the world, according to the OECD, because of tuition rates which have climbed up and up and up. What do you think the Occupy movement was about?

Well, thanks to the internet, we know what Liz thought. It was about “hippies who were camping out, barefoot and beating drums, [who] had jumped at the opportunity to come together in solidarity against The Man”. Those liars at RT. And the liars who nominated them for an Emmy for the coverage, which they say nobody else seemed particularly interested in supplying.  I daresay Putin would derive a great deal of satisfaction from seeing the decline in American manufacturing reverse, college admissions in the USA increase as tuition came down, and American living standards begin to climb again instead of dropping like a rock. That’d be just like him, the soulless bastard, and the slimy propaganda network that does his bidding.

So it was only natural that Liz, with her obviously comprehensive knowledge of the RT organization, should be called to testify before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The deep wellspring of experience who had to google RT two and a half years ago because she knew no more about the network than the night baker at Tim Horton Donuts does; who describes the management of RT as “all Russian guys” but does not appear to know who they are, referring to them even in Congressional testimony as “these people”.

The Committee could have summoned someone from Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), who would have told them RT easily leads foreign broadcasters in the United States, with an audience more than 6.5 times as big as its next-closest competitor (Al Jazeera) at a time when FOX, MSNBC and CNN are hemorrhaging viewers. British reporter Oliver Bullough, dedicated Putin-hater, would have told them RT had passed other broadcasters in Britain in 2013 to be the third most-watched in the UK after the BBC And SKY. The BBC, incidentally, is funded entirely by the state and has been caught in lie after lie. Quoth Bullough; “RT does not lie, but it is selective about what facts it uses. Indeed, from its coverage of US politics, you might gain the impression that the only thing saving the Obama administration from collapse is police oppression of dissidents .” Bullough has nothing good to say about RT or about Putin, but he does say that RT doesn’t lie. Or the House Foreign Relations Committee could have summoned representation from the broadcast community which nominated RT for an Emmy.

But the U.S. government already knows RT is increasing viewership, and making inroads on public opinion. That’s why it has to be stopped, by whatever means necessary. At the same time America knows – and has acknowledged – that it is “losing the propaganda war. Therefore, in the interests of fair play, the appearance must be created that the USA is under attack and defending itself – hence the outlandish accusation  that Russia is “weaponizing information”, and that its insidious propaganda tentacles are everywhere. They are setting up to ban RT as a threat to national security. Because they can’t compete with it any other way. John Kerry mumbled something about the USA starting a news service in Russian to be aired in Russia, and thereby push the U.S. viewpoint, and I wish he would. It would get the same reception Al Hurra got in Iraq. But if you’ve got money to throw away…

Since the U.S. government has become almost exclusively an organization which solicits information only from sources it knows will tell it what it wants to hear, let me put it to you: would it be likely to want to hear from a source that will tell it it is losing its mind as it pursues ever-crazier fantasies of global economic and military domination? Or would it rather hear from Liz Wahl, who will tell it that RT is a cult of fringe nutjobs who are making up lies about the USA in order to unfairly tarnish its image?

No contest.

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1,321 Responses to How Much Of a Nobody Do You Have To Be, To Be Too Much Of a Nobody To Testify Before a Congressional Committee?

  1. Warren says:

    Kudos to the Austrian judge to that rejected the US extradition request, watch out for the US to petulantly retaliate against Austria for defying them:

  2. Oddlots says:

    Today, 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, 57 percent, or an absolute majority, of eastern Germans defend the former East Germany. “The GDR had more good sides than bad sides. There were some problems, but life was good there,” say 49 percent of those polled.

    And so the wheel turns. When capitalism, in a large region in one of the most successful countries in the West, has half the population thinking communism wasn’t so bad, something has gone off the rails. Triumphalism of the “we’ve won, so we don’t have to treat the population well” variety may well yet bite capitalists, and all of us, hard.

  3. Oddlots says:

    This is awesome:

    I’m reading a lot of crap about riots in my hometown. Fuck you all and your firehose of useless, self-serving, careerist punditry, your giant spotlight that cares not a whit about all the things it pretends to illuminate but will blather with equal earnestness and concern about the next thing tomorrow just like it did about the last thing yesterday and hope to get paid or praised for it all. Fuck me for adding to the noise, I barely have the stomach for it anymore.

    I don’t live in Baltimore now. I’m writing this from Silicon Valley. Does that even count as being alive? I feel like I’ve been uploaded into the singularity already. I never felt that way in Baltimore. Baltimore is inevitably described by lazy writers as “gritty”. Something like that.

    Anyway, I interrupt your punditry to tell you that all your commentary about riots is bullshit and confused and tendentious and fuck off. And that economists, God bless ‘em (no, not really), have a name for this.

    Politically motivated riots are a form of altruistic punishment. Look it up. Altruistic punishment is a “puzzle” to the sort of economist who thinks of homo economicus maximizing her utility, and a no-brainer to the game theorist who understands humans could never have survived if we actually were the kind of creature who succumbed to every prisoners’ dilemma. Altruistic punishment is behavior that imposes costs on third parties with no benefit to the punisher, often even at great cost to the punisher. To the idiot economist, it is a lose/lose situation, such a puzzle. For the record, I’m a fan of the phenomenon.

  4. Warren says:

    • kirill says:

      Is there some way in which Putin can be made to look bad from this incident.

      During the Sochi Olympics the blood libel factory western media was implanting the notion that gays were arrested on sight in Russia into the minds of western media consumers.

  5. Oddlots says:

    A couple of May Day musical “antidotes”:

  6. Warren says:

    The woman who shredded Red Ed: How marketing company boss used laser-like precision to lead audience attack on Labour leader
    Marketing boss Catherine Shuttleworth leads charge against Labour leader
    Miliband had the roughest ride from special Question Time audience
    Dismissed Labour’s 2010 note admitting ‘there is no money’ as a Tory prop
    He also faced the wrath of voters after denying Labour spent too much
    Leaving stage after difficult 30 minutes, Miliband tripped and almost fell

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    • marknesop says:

      I am suspicious of any PR moment that leaves that smug prick Dave coming out best. He is a disaster as leader and any election campaign that sees him get another term has to be rigged, since he is so clearly a privileged, cocky, full-of-himself jerk who projects an image of a Britain that is just like him, which it isn’t.

      All the western democracies suffer from the same malaise – there are two parties which dominate the nation’s leadership; Labour and Conservative, Democrat and Republican, Conservative and Liberal, and whichever party takes power does its best to govern just like the other party would have done while shouting about how different they are. This is particularly noticeable in the case of the United States, but merely because of its global influence and size and its impact on the world. Britain is pretty small potatoes these days in terms of global influence, Canada smaller yet, but both the preceding suffer from the same disease to varying degrees. There is simply no choice – you take this bastard or that bastard. And whichever wins, even when the result is clearly one in which the electorate “chose” the least horrible by its own estimation, the winner claims a mandate and says “the people have spoken”. Mmm….fewer and fewer of them all the time, as eligible voters continue to lose interest completely in the democratic electoral process. I wonder why?

      • Warren says:

        The lady in question has been revealed as a Conservative/Tory supporter and not an independent undecided person as she purported to be.

        Regarding, the UK General Election it seems inevitable there will be another hung Parliament. The Conservatives/Tories look like they will become the largest party in England, however they won’t have an overall majority in Parliament. Whereas, Labour is facing annihilation in Scotland, with the Scottish National Party (SNP) routing the “Red Tories” north of the border. Labour could conceivably govern the UK with the SNP in a coalition government. Nicola Sturgeon the leader of the SNP has expressed her desire to see another independence referendum within a few years. However, the Labour leader Edward “Ed” Miliband has ruled that out in the debate last night.

        UK politics has fragmented and become so unpredictable. This was always going to happen because the economic crisis, new radical parties and policies were always going to emerge.

        • marknesop says:

          Ha, ha – just like the phenomenon of Katie Abram in the U.S. Here she is, supposedly just a concerned young mother who is at pains to explain she has never before been even interested in politics, but now, by God and Sonny Jesus, she is fired up, so look out. She was an overnight sensation, and Republicans started talking right away in that mindless way they have of her maybe running for office, even though they just heard she was a young mother who had no previous interest – translates to zero experience – in politics. Here she is the next day, getting her ass handed to her by Lawrence O’Donnell on “Hardball”. Watch her pretend not to know how much her family income is, although she just said the Obama government wants her to pay more taxes.

          Nobody should have been surprised, then, when it was revealed she was a neoconservative organizer with failed rodeo clown Glenn Beck’s “9-12 Project”, and knee-deep in politics since at least the GOP’s congressional-elections rout in 2006.

    • Warren says:

  7. Warren says:

  8. Warren says:

    • rymlianin says:

      Oh, pu-lease, the Russians are yanking your chain for the fun of it. Stop your self-important horse shit .

  9. Warren says:

    • Drutten says:

      The “Russian aggression” meme really follows in the footsteps of the “WMD” meme.
      You can easily see how it works, from the invention of a few buzzwords and/or phrases that are then repeated in nauseam, to the obedient media quickly following suit.

      It strikes me as the highest level of irony that all the silly propaganda tactics they continously and loudly accuse Russia of (and Russia is surely guilty of some of them), they employ themselves – ten fold.

      It’s like that ongoing BS about RT, its funding and penetration. All the data’s there, and RT is simply dwarfed by its Western analogues, both in terms of finances and scale. Yet they keep raving about it, using bald-faced lies to support their tirades. Likewise, whatever bad journalism RT is guilty of (e.g. distorting events by omission to fit the agenda etc) they’re again ten times worse.

      And the big elephant in the room is Ukraine, a country highly relevant in this context as most of these things pertain to that particular crisis. Ukraine where things are so aggressive, oppressive and generally rotten that had it been any other country there’d be talk about some sorely needed B-52’s raining democracy bombs over Kiev by now.

      This kind of mindblowing hypocrisy, selective (deceptive) reporting and cynical agitation against whatever the “preferred target” happens to be today is nothing new, of course, but it never ceases to amaze me.

  10. Warren says:

  11. Warren says:

    • kat kan says:

      If they knew anything, they’d know the “separatists” NEVER EVER wear masks, and the Right Sector types ALWAYS wear masks.

      If you have a few hours spare, this is where everything about the massacre is collected, listed, analysed, victims identified etc
      check the subpages and talk pages.

      In the Guardian article, the guy in the photo with the pistol is very definitely NOT a pro-Russian; but we were never able to put a name to him.

    • Jen says:

      The Guardian trying to twist and distort facts by laying apparent equal blame on both sides and portraying what happened as rumours, always with the intention to present the “pro-Russian” side as more bestial than the “pro-Ukrainian” side wherever the opportunity presents. So both sides threw Molotov cocktails at one another. There is no mention of how so-called “soccer hooligans” forced pro-federalisation activists and onlookers into the Odessa Trade Union Building where extremist thugs were waiting to attack, torture and kill them, and then to cover up or obliterate the evidence of murder by setting the building ablaze.

      • yalensis says:

        Guardian obviously trying to obscure that it was a premeditated crime, with a “both sides acted badly” type defense.

        Black Catte has a completely different take obviously. That it was not only premeditated, but wanted the victims to know that it was premeditated. That “this is what happens and will happen” to “subversives”.

        “You defy us, you get burned alive” is the message that Right Sektor wanted to send.

  12. Warren says:

  13. Warren says:

    • marknesop says:

      Those who value Putin’s leadership need have no fear for his future so long as the opposition continues to rely on jelly-bellied turncoat perennial failures like Stas Belkovskiy. I wonder, though, how long such a political dissident would last in the brave new European Ukraine.

  14. Warren says:

  15. Warren says:

    i’m in two minds whether to post a tweet involving Charlie Hebdo-esque picture involving Kolomoisky, Nayyem and Poroshenko engaged in a menage e trois.

  16. Warren says:

    Finnish military preparing 900,000 reservists for ‘crisis situation’

    The Finnish Defence Forces are to send letters to all 900,000 of the country’s reservists at the beginning of this month, informing them what their role would be in a “crisis situation”, in a move that some analysts have dismissed as a stunt by the military, designed to influence the political debate and secure higher defence spending.

    Finland, with its population of 5.2 million, has a small professional army of 16,000. Yet in the event of mobilisation, Finland could call on its former conscripts to fight. Finland’s wartime military strength is 230,000.

    • kirill says:

      Propaganda designed to scare the Finnish public. Big bad Russia wants to invade and oppress them. Just like Ukraine!


      They forget that Russia =/= USSR and that Finland was a full blown military ally of Nazi Germany. (Not the token “ally” of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact which was more about trade and delaying tactics than anything else).

      • Drutten says:

        It’s pretty funny.

        Pre-1809, Finland was a part of Sweden, and had been for hundreds of years. During this time it was subject to relentless Swedification. The ruling elite was entirely composed of Swedes, or sufficiently Swedified Finns. The rest of the Finnish poplace was essentially regarded as cheap labor, and every now and then cheap cannon fodder that Stockholm called up whenever Sweden had gotten itself into yet another war with somebody.

        One of these wars ended up with Russia taking the entirety of Finland from Sweden, and by 1809 we kissed Finland good bye for good. Now, under Russian rule Finland was naturally subject to waves of on-and-off Russification instead, but was still more autonomous than before.

        Then, Finland broke free in the wake of the Russian revolution and the later USSR didn’t bother about it until WW2. After the clashes during WW2 and the subsequent territorial changes, things calmed down again. When Finland decided to kick out Nazi Germany, the USSR was even fighting alongside it in the so-called “Lapland War” of 1944-1945 to get rid of the Germans up north. The USSR stopped there and withdrew, just like they did from northern Norway after having driven the Germans out of there.

        In the following decades Finland, even though they did play it rather safe not to annoy the big bad Soviet bear (Finlandization as they call that particular approach of careful appeasement), remained sovereign and the USSR gradually eased its geopolitical pressure on it. Now post-USSR it’s blatantly obvious that Russia has zero interest in Finland, but it is naturally opposed to NATO being present there (duh, if you ask me). This opposition is “Russian aggression” though, as we all know.

      • Warren says:

        Yes, Finland did attack the USSR along with Nazi Germany during the Continuation War 1941-44. Finns attempted and failed to regain territories lost in the Winter War 1939/40. Nevertheless the Finns say they never actively participated in the siege of Leningrad.

        Here two documentaries on the Winter War.

        1. Very biased, very pro-Finn.

        2. More balanced, focuses on the Winter War in the first part and in the second part the war in Scandinavia as a whole.

        • kirill says:

          They can say whatever the want. The Mannerheim line tells me otherwise. I visited the Karelian isthmus often when I was small including the destroyed reinforced concrete bunkers with very thick walls.

          It is routine WWII revisionism to claim that Stalin seized this and that just for the hell of it. He was securing territory for defense. And he was bloody right to do it. All this whinging from Nazi bootlicks is nauseating. Their rabid loyalty to the Nazis cannot be explained by the actions of Stalin.

  17. rymlianin says:

    Liz Wahl has been upstaged by the French military commander who acknowledged that there are no Russian troops in Ukraine.
    Liz was, of course aware of this, but failed to make it known . Old Mexican saying “Calladita te vez más bonita.” You look prettier with your mouth shut.

  18. Warren says:

    • kirill says:

      Putin is going to invade Romania from Transnistria?

      The invaders are bitching about invasion.

      • Warren says:

        Yes, Russian forces are stationed in Transnistria. Besides, the Russian threat will give Romania an excuse to annex its lost province of Moldavia. Romanians have never forgiven Russia for annexing Bessarabia in 1812.

        Romanians are by and large very anti-Russian, apparently despite being part of the Western alliance and institutions such as NATO and EU, Romania is not respected as much as they would like to be. Same goes with Bulgaria.

        • kirill says:

          The problem with this historical butthurt is that Transnistria was *never* part of Bessarabia and was inhabited by Slavs and not Romanians. It’s yet another gift from the Soviets to various “republics” the contrived. Tito messed up Serbia in the same way, by creating all sorts of internal borders that should have never existed.

        • rymlianin says:

          If they want to provoke the Russians, be my guest.Let’s see how they feel about it when the Russian Army occupies Bucharest.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      While screwing around with How Old .com, I tried a few pictures of various Austrian cousins. The site repeatedly failed to detect the faces – confirming, as I have long suspected, that Germans aren’t human but a species of vampire.

      All of which is to say, if somebody were to drive a stake through fraulein Theiner’s heart, I don’t think you could legally classify it as murder.

      (and el-oh-el at the idea of the Romanian army fighting anybody – their best MBT is a juiced-up T-55).

    • spartacus says:

      Hey Warren, thanks for the good laugh before bedtime! As I was reading Theiner’s article (part one and two), I couldn’t stop thinking that the guy who wrote them must be from another planet. Us, invading Ukraine to fight Russia? Using what? Balls of polenta? Even if our political leadership would be crazy enough to do that, Mr. Theiner must surely know that, theoretically, NATO is a defensive alliance and if Romania was to go on the offensive it would be deemed as an aggressor and would kiss Article 5 good bye. Plus, I think I can safely say that to do this would be same as committing suicide. There are some people in the media who foster nationalistic views and make attempts to build up what could be called “a bellicose disposition”, but they are just pathetic, isolated voices. I think I could say that even if Russia would decide to outright invade Moldova, we would not start a war, unless instructed otherwise by NATO. The Romanian political leadership is firmly in the grip of Uncle Sam, NATO and the EU.

      You are right, the majority of Romanians are anti-Russia, precisely because of the Bessarabia annexation and also because of the matter with the Romanian Treasure, but support for a hypothetical war with Russia is practically non-existent. By the way, nobody I know considers Transnistria as part of Bessarabia.

      As for me, from what I can make from various polls conducted in the Republic of Moldova, support for a union with Romania is pretty low, so I wouldn’t hold my breath for that happening any time soon.

    • Tim Owen says:

      They do seem in disarray. Have they actually left the base yet or are they just in disagreement over where the front gate is?

  19. Warren says:

  20. Warren says:

    National stereotyping is always fun:

    • Jen says:

      That guide isn’t quite right … for Australia, replace the barbecue with a picture of an ostrich with its head in the sand.

      BTW where’s Japan?

  21. yalensis says:

    Speaking of gays, here are some gays of a different persuasion.

    Navigator reports that a group of about 50 “anarchists and lesbians” were brave enough to march in downtown Kiev on 1 May carrying red banners that read “NO to war between the peoples, NO to peace between the classes!” [yalensis: based on the slogan, I would say they are more likely to be Trotskyists than anarchists.]

    The complete slogan, which must have been a mouthful to chant was this:
    “NO- to the continuation of war, to the raise in taxes, to the raising of pension age, to the new Labour Law, to having to pay for medical care and education. YES – to national reconciliation, to the expropriation of the oligarchs, to writing off the IMF debt!”

    Says that the march was organization by “pro-European left” movements and LGBT activists.
    Marchers paused on Ivan Franko square to listen to speeches.
    One of the leader, Vitaly Dudin, who is an activist of the so-called “Left Opposition” deliered the following speech:

    “Our country is moving towards catastrophe. They are trying to convince us, that the only way out is to tighten our belts and endure. This is a lie. We came today, not just to protest against such ‘reforms’ as the changes to the Labour Codex, raising of the age of pension eligibility, raising of taxes, etc., but also to declare that there is an alternative, namely that we need to arm ourselves with the socialist ideology which has the tools to change life for the better; above all – we need to force the oligarchs to pay their share of taxes and shut down their offshores, we need a progressive tax rate. We think that we the people deserve to live in Europe, and not the oligarchs. We want access to medicine, education, housing and transport.”

    Also taking part in the demonstration were Vladimir Chemeris and one of the leaders of the Trotskyist movement in France, Alain Krivine.

  22. Warren says:

  23. marknesop says:

    I will be away for a couple of days, going to see Al DiMeola in Seattle. Be good to one another while I’m gone, et Al can be moderator. A largely symbolic title, but get ready for a reign of terror nonetheless.

    • james says:

      have fun mark! i saw him play at the queen e in vancouver back in late 70’s or early 80’s with chick corea’s ‘return to forever’… where is he at? jazz alley? enjoy!

      • marknesop says:

        Yes, he’s at Jazz Alley. We saw him here around three years ago; he was part of JazzFest, and played at the Royal Theatre. That was an acoustic show, though; this one is electric.

        • james says:

          it’ll be great! enjoy!

        • yalensis says:

          Seattle is a fantastic city, with lots of stuff to do, I hope you get to enjoy some sights while there.

          • marknesop says:

            I’ve been there lots of times, but this will be a first for Sveta. We’re not there long enough to do much, back Sunday, but if she likes it we may go back for a little longer. I love Seattle, although the climate is very similar to here and it rains a lot. An eye-opener for me was being there a few years ago with HMCS REGINA, and seeing a large school of salmon in the harbour – you could see them just for a second as they turned together and presented their silver sides. Their harbour, despite how built-up it is, is obviously quite a bit cleaner than ours. Our hotel is direct line of sight to the Space Needle, right downtown, and hopefully walking distance to the venue.

            • james says:

              it you are between the needle and pioneer square – that is where dimitris is..

              • james says:

                meant to say pike place market.. pioneer square is further down the hill..

                lol max… that is very true, but got to love how the americans come to canada and take it for granted we will take their money automatically… more of that exceptionalism rearing it’s head? maybe, maybe not..

              • marknesop says:

                We’re at the Warwick; it’s only a block and a half down 4th. We were hoping to have dinner with the percussionist (Gumbi Ortiz) but they added a second show so are playing two back to back. He and Sveta are Facebook friends, he was with Al DiMeola at Jazzfest. She was a fan of DiMeola for quite a long time because he often accompanies Leonid Agutin, who is probably Sveta’s favourite artist. He said not to get tickets and we could be his guests, which was extremely nice of him, but we already had tickets. We hope to meet up for a drink or two afterward. Not with Al DiMeola – that would be too much to hope for – but with Ortiz.

                • james says:

                  very nice! people are people.. al dimeola could go for a drink with you if he felt like it.. he might be tied up with other plans or want to chill out..

                • marknesop says:

                  It was a great show, and those who wish to see DiMeola on the electric would be wise to catch him now, because the Elegant Gipsy Plus tour will be the last; at least, according to DiMeola. The persussion section was screened off by plexiglas panels so that the drummer and percussionist were separated from the guitar, bass and keyboards group because DiMeola’s tinnitus has become such a problem he cannot tolerate being next to the drums or having them behind him in a traditional arrangement. He will probably continue to tour as an acoustic artist for as long as he is able, but this will likely be the final electric tour.

                  We had a blast, and were treated like royalty; as soon as we handed over our reservation, the receptionist said “Oh, yes, the Chapmans; the percussionist asked us to take good care of you” and showed us to our table. Gumbi came over before the show started and introduced himself, and later he sent us dessert. When the show was over we went next door to the Palace Kitchen with Gumbi and drummer Joel Taylor and drank until it closed, and the road manager picked up the tab. Fabulous, so much fun. As if that were not enough, we had perfect weather going down and returning.

            • yalensis says:

              When I was there with a friend, we did the harbor tour, it was really interesting going through the canal locks.
              Also did space needle – very fine restaurant, best seafood I ever ate.

              On an earlier trip – took a ferry way out to some island, for a native-American dinner theater.

          • Max says:

            But don’t try to use Canucktian money, even pennies, they can be very snooty about that.

    • et Al says:

      A great honor! First up, who wants some liquorice?

  24. marknesop says:

    Forget that piffling $30 Billion Ukraine said it needs to rebuild its shattered economy – now it needs somewhere between $60 Billion and $100 Billion, says the Poison Professor, Alexander Motyl (the same guy who says Hitler was Moscow’s fault). Whoops! That’s not dollars, it’s Euros. Easy-peasy, says Motyl; the USA and EU sunk about 100 Billion Euros into Afghanistan over the last 10 years.

    The west is not going to have that kind of time. Ukrainians are not going to put up with a shit economy for 10 years. They’re much worse off now than they were under Yanukovych, and let’s not forget, without access to the Russian markets they are going to need to live on expensive handouts every year. Motyl is a pretty funny guy sometimes; he likes to make everything sound so easy. Just give us 100 Billion Euros, and we’ll be fine. Oh, and massive transfers of lethal weaponry – we’ll be safe with it, you can trust us.

  25. james says:

    Harf: Pres Carter, Crimea & Minsk agreement. 30 April 2015 dig matt lee’s questions at the end of the video and harf’s, halfhearted response, while ignoring the history earlier in the video – is this an american specialty? meanwhile here is carters comments via fort russ article.. maybe read the article first, or what the video.. i guess it doesn’t matter..

  26. Moscow Exile says:

    With English subtitles:

    Odessa paying the high price that was necessary in order to curb the activities of Russia-backed separatist terrorists?

  27. yalensis says:

    The Odessa fire memorial is taking place in Odessa right now (as of 14:00 Kiev time).
    I found this live feed to watch it .
    Be aware that when you click on the live feed, they make you choose an ad, and you have to watch the ad first. People are just starting to gather and make speeches…

    • yalensis says:

      P.S. – just praying fervently that there will be no violence today.
      Otherwise, I will have watched violence that was sponsored by a Luv’s diaper commercial.

      I remember, back when Gaddafi was killed, in order to watch his gruesome murder on youtube, I had to first watch an ad for Roche chocolates.
      There is something not right about that. (In addition to violence not being right, in and of itself.)

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Violence on the memorial day itself… that would surprise me. It would risk attracting outside attention, putting the massacre back in people’s minds, while the Maidan regime would prefer that the whole affair be forgotten. Organisers and participants should watch their backs in the days, weeks and months after today though.

  28. yalensis says:

    In Slavonic Orthographic news:
    At the entrance to the city of Donetsk, the new Separatist government modified the city sign from Ukrainian spelling to Russian.
    In the Ukrainian orthography, the town is spelled :Донецьк, with a “soft sign” letter (“m’akh’ki znak”) between the letters ц (ts) and к (k). Russian spelling is Донецк, without the soft sign. In fact, in Russian dialect, the letter ц is pronounced as a hard consonant, without the tongue touching the upper palate.

    To fix this toponym to Russian spelling, the construction workers removed the letter ь and then moved the к one over, to the left.

    Passing motorists saw what the workers were doing, and honked their approval.

    • kat kan says:

      In the image I saw, they left the soft sign character under the sign, to underscore that it had been removed. I hope they leave it there.

      • yalensis says:

        The trained linguist in me says that spelling doesn’t matter.
        Nor does language or dialect – “what’s in a name?” as Shakespeare quoth.
        But I do get why they did it. And if I were there, I would have removed the ь myself, with my own hands.
        That’s what this has come to.

        • Jen says:

          I wonder how Kiev would react to such an outrage as changing the spelling of Donetsk to reflect Russian spelling and pronunciation – perhaps Porky Pig is considering passing a law outlawing the use of the Cyrillic alphabet and everybody having to convert to using the Roman alphabet to write Ukrainian.

  29. kat kan says:

    So far it’s all gone peacefully. Starting to collect videos from all over on Memorial page on Saker

  30. Erika says:

    English version of the documentary “President”

    Please note, only episode 1 – 3 have been translated by VPE. There are 8 episodes to this translations by VPE. I believe VPE is translating the rest. I hope he/she is.

    episode 1:

    episode 2:

    episode 3:

  31. Erika says:

    It looks like Russia is joining China’s AIIB as an ‘Asian’ member

    • Warren says:

      Why not? Russia joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is an excellent idea, Russia is a Eurasian power, that means it part of Europe and Asia. Russia is already a member of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Russia’s territory extends into Siberia, Sakhalin and Kamchatka.

    • ucgsblog says:

      Not surprised. European countries have a choice, integrate with Eurasia or continue to decline. Russia joining as an ‘Asian’ member sends a clear message.

  32. Warren says:

    The rape of Berlin

    The USSR’s role in the defeat of Nazi Germany World War Two 70 years ago is seen as the nation’s most glorious moment. But there is another story – of mass rapes by Soviet soldiers of German women in the dying days of the war.

    Some readers may find this story disturbing.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Who the fuck cares?

      Execute BBC paedophiles.

      • Warren says:

        Beeb never misses any opportunity to smear and denigrate Russia. Beeb is also running a story alleging the Night Wolves use make up.

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          Didn’t the BBC pretend to be a news organisation at one point?

        • marknesop says:

          Of course now this is just those lovable, irrepressible Ukrainians “poking fun”; anyone who does not have a hearty belly laugh at this is just a sourpuss. Before Sochi, anyone who made a joke about a man having feminine tendencies would be set upon by a mob of western gay-rights activists and pilloried mercilessly in the press until he or she either apologized abjectly or was fired from his/her job. But now we’re back to normal, “poking fun” at the fags. Game on.

          But that’s the BBC and the Ukrainians for you. Neither misses an opportunity to make another enemy for their country.

    • kirill says:

      So, no rape and murder?

      This is a key question. Rape is not about orgasm it is about domination. Killing the victim is the actual orgasm for most serial rapists.

      Note how the claims of Nazi doctors are treated as Gospel truth by the proponents of these claims. The same doctors that were sending people to the death camps.

      No offense, but NATO is the 4th Reich.

    • kat kan says:

      What war where and when never had any rapes? the Germans never raped anybody? the story says they set up brothels, to avoid venereal diseases. Where did they get the women for those? everywhere they passed through just happened to have a few thousand village women whose life dream had been to become prostitutes?

      Also not true about the Russian soldiers being full of lice. They had their heads shaved to avoid this, and could be shot if lice were found on them.

      Also not true…. just about anything Beeb writes these days.

    • ucgsblog says:

      It’s not like London firebombed Dresden to get vengeance for Coventry, oh wait, I forgot, it’s ok when London does it! Or perhaps Channel One should do a story on British atrocities in the Raj every time BBC runs bullshit like that story; one’s real, one’s b/s, so let’s see how the World reacts to that.

      “Stalin’s troops assaulted an uncounted number of women as they fought their way to the German capital, though this was rarely mentioned after the war in Germany – West or East – and is a taboo subject in Russia even today.”

      Let’s do a percentage wise comparison, percentage of women raped by British troops versus those raped by Russian/Soviet troops, especially taking the History of the British Raj into account. Rape is a sad part of war that’s going to occur in an all out war, no matter how good or bad the armed forces are.

      “Vladimir Gelfand, a young Jewish lieutenant from central Ukraine, wrote with extraordinary frankness from 1941 through to the end of the war, despite the Soviet military’s ban on diaries, which were seen as a security risk.”

      What the actual fuck? Is Lucy Ash smoking crack or what? Citation needed. I’ve done actual research on this, and I’ve read numerous diaries of Soviet soldiers during the Great Patriotic War. Perhaps there was an official ban, somewhere, but it sure wasn’t fucking enforced. Claiming that it’s hard to find a diary because of a ban is like claiming that no one under 18 ever joined the Red Armed Forces, or no one under 21 drinks in the US. It’s stupidity on a phenomenal scale. Who the fuck is Lucy Ash?

      “The so far unpublished manuscript paints a picture of disarray in the regular battalions – miserable rations, lice, routine anti-Semitism and theft, with men even stealing their comrades’ boots.”

      Really? I haven’t seen much routine anti-Semitism and theft in the soldiers’ writings that I’ve read. Yes, they had miserable rations, kind of happens when Nazis burn your crops, and yes, there were lice, which happens when you have a lot of wounded men, (due to Nazi airstrikes,) in close vicinity. That’s not exactly a state secret.

      “The Rape of Berlin is on BBC World Service on Saturday 2 May at 18.06 BST and Sunday 3 May at 11.06 BST, or listen on iPlayer”

      Would the BBC be ok with Channel One running a story on Rape in the British Raj?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        From Komsomolskaya Pravda, 8 May 2013:

        Interview with leading researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Russian History, Professor Elena Sinyavskaya, Doctor of Historical Sciences:

        Миф об «изнасилованной Германии» сочинил Геббельс

        The Rape of Germany Myth was Invented by Goebbels

        For translation of the above, see: Exposing Myths about Russia

        In recent years, Victory Day has unfortunately acquired a not very pleasant tradition: the closer the holiday comes, the more do all sorts of “researchers” begin to broadcast the myth of “raped Germany.”

        In this way, over the years the number of German maidens, allegedly victims of the Red Army, simply grows. But for whom is it necessary that the Russian soldier remain in the national memory not as a liberator and protector, but as a rapist and a robber?

        See also:

        Western Propaganda and Doctor Goebbels

        During the past 15-20 years, reports about mass rapes in Germany committed by Soviet soldiers have moved from the pages of the yellow press to respectable newspapers or books claiming to be scientific. Books written by Antony James Beevor (including “Berlin: the Downfall 1945”) and Joachim Hoffmann: “Stalins Vernichtungskrieg 1941-1945” (Stalin’s War of Extermination 1941-1945) are in demand. The latter has gone through several editions in Germany alone. The average man believes what he reads, and some are immune to brainwashing.

        “When the Soldiers Came – Post War Rape” by Miriam Gebhardt, a renowned historian in Germany who tracked down some victims in order to interview them about their ordeal at the hands of British and American soldiers, is hailed as the definitive account of the treatment meted out to the defeated women of Nazi Germany, about which they remained silent for decades because of their shame and humiliation. She also analyzed information provided by Bavarian monks. According to her, US soldiers raped 190 thousand German women. The testimony provided by the monks was declassified only in 2014. Why should Germany have kept this secret if it had no relation to its people? The answer is because they did not want to smear the NATO allies.

        [Cited above extract edited by ME]

        See also Der Spiegel:

        Postwar Rape: Were Americans As Bad as the Soviets?

        [Note the classic begging of the question with the use of the phrase “as bad as the Soviets”.]

        Gebhardt believes that members of the US military raped as many as 190,000 German women by the time West Germany regained sovereignty in 1955, with most of the assaults taking place in the months immediately following the US invasion of Nazi Germany.

        The author bases her claims in large part on reports kept by Bavarian priests in the summer of 1945. The Archbishop of Munich and Freising had asked Catholic clergy to keep records on the allied advance and the Archdiocese published excerpts from its archive a few years ago.

        Word is getting out about this, it seems, although very slowly.

        From as recently as 5 March this year in a German online news site in English:

        Allies raped almost 1m Germans: academic

        The article linked immediately above appeared one week following the publication of Gebhart’s book, the cover of which is shown below:

        Its title is:

        When the Soldiers Came
        The rape of German women at the end of World War II

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Flirt oder Zwang? Die amerikanische Führung hatte zwar ein Fraternisierungsverbot erlassen. Aber vor allem beim Einmarsch 1945 hielten sich viele GIs nicht daran

          [Flirting or forcing? True, the American authorities had issued a ban on fraternization, but especially after having marched into Germany in 1945, many GIs did not stick to it.]

          From Die Welt:

          Auch US-Truppen verübten brutale Vergewaltigungen

          [US troops undertook brutal rapes as well]

          The article is about Gebhart’s book, but states that her figures are not convincing.

          Gebhardt estimates that as a minimum figure there were 860,000 rapes of German women in 1944/45, and in all the occupation zones.

          It is worth while remembering two things: The number of rapes by the Red Army as compared to previous assumptions has been significantly reduced to “only” a good half-Million.

          Even more explosive seems to be the author’s second hypothesis: almost a quarter of the 860,000 sexually motivated crimes, at least 190,000 of them, were committed by American soldiers. So of those men, about whom is firmly anchored the collective memory of their being liberators who gave children chocolate and who, despite the no fraternization order, swarmed over the “Frolleins” [German word Fräulein spelt this way to imitate its pronunciation buy US servicemen ME], this aspect of their behaviour had been was previously concealed?

          • Moscow Exile says:

            The difference was,I suspect, that GIs gave the German women a pack of “Luckies” as payment, so in their case it wasn’t rape.

            • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

              Just compulsory purchase.

            • Warren says:

              That is similar to the argument the Japanese use to reject accusations of raping “comfort women”. The Japanese argue that they did not commit rape, because the “comfort women” were paid for their services.

          • Warren says:

            From the BBC 5th June 2009:

            Revisionists challenge D-Day story

            A revisionist theme seems to have settled on this year’s 65th anniversary commemoration of the Normandy landings.

            The tone was set in Antony’s Beevor’s new book, D-Day, which tries to debunk certain received ideas about the Allied campaign.

            Far from being an unmitigated success, Mr Beevor found, the landings came very close to going horribly wrong.

            And far from being universally welcomed as liberators, many troops had a distinctly surly reception from the people of Normandy.

            The reason for this was simple. Many Normandy towns and villages had been literally obliterated by Allied bombing.

            The bombardment of Caen, Mr Beevor said, could almost be considered a war-crime (though he later retracted the comment).

            Many historians will retort that there is nothing new in Mr Beevor’s account.

            Harrowing experience

            After all, the scale of destruction is already well-established.

            Some 20,000 French civilians were killed in the two-and-a-half months from D-Day, 3,000 of them during the actual landings.

            In some areas – like the Falaise pocket where the Germans were pounded into oblivion at the end of the campaign – barely a building was left standing and soldiers had to walk over banks of human corpses.


            • Moscow Exile says:

              More French civilians died in the Normandy campaign, largely as a result of allied “strategic” bombing and massive artillery bombardments from both land and sea, than did British civilians throughout the whole duration of WWII hostilities.

        • kirill says:

          Thanks for the links. So we have Beevor’s BS about 2 million rapes by the Soviets based on Nazi doctor “evidence” going to 860,000 including 190,000 rapes by Americans based on more objective sources.

          One detail not mentioned here is that the Soviets imposed discipline on the troops rather brutally. Mass rape would be associated with VD and hence degraded fighting capacity. So there would be no reason to encourage or turn a blind eye to this sort of behaviour.

          American soldiers were not afraid of being shot for disobedience. So in my view they were much more likely to commit rape and even had little gifts to “buy” the woman. I would increase the US number to be higher than the Soviet number. The fact that rapes by US soldiers were being hidden for decades clearly indicates a motive to downplay them. The 190,000 figure is tainted with this agenda and I will not accept it at face value. In contrast, there is NATO incentive to exaggerate Soviet “barbarity” so any figure produced for Soviet rapes is more than likely too high. As good start, I would invert the US and Soviet rape numbers.

        • Warren says:

          From the Sunday Express 18th August 2013:

          D-Day GIs ‘raped and killed their French allies while US army generals turned a blind eye’

          FROM The Longest Day to Saving Private Ryan, the D-Day landings cornered the market in cinematic heroics with “might and right” rolling the Nazis back to Berlin.

        • ucgsblog says:

          Thank you for that!

      • yalensis says:

        I have advocated in the past, that every time Western state media (such as BBC) presents one of these propaganda spectacles, then Russian state media (such as RT) needs to respond in a tit-for-tat exercise. Presenting only true and verified facts, documentary style, but in a lurid manner, to make the Brits look as rotten as humanly possible.

        “Rape in the British Raj” is a great concept and would be a perfect way to get even for the WWII rape stories, IMHO.

        If Russians do this enough times, then Western media will get the message, that their salvos against Russia do not go unrequited.

        • kirill says:

          I think it better for RT to do a piece exposing the BS behind the rape claims. Beevor and his Nazi doctor sources should be raked over the coals. Other sources, such as linked by Moscow Exile should be given exposure.

          By attacking some NATO state for other crimes an implicit admission is made that the accusations by vermin like Beevor are valid. So this just a “you bad, no you bad” shcool yard exchange.

        • Jen says:

          I agree with Kirill, and I would think Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman would also agree, that such tit-4-tat whataboutery will serve to imply that such accusations as Beevor and the BBC make against the Soviet army have substance. In their media model, Chomsky and Herman point out that US media propaganda plays up other states’ supposed crimes in order to deflect attention away from the US government’s own crimes. Should Russia stoop to the same level as the US does, the US will see Russia’s actions as mirroring its own and assume Moscow really is trying to cover up something heinous.

        • Warren says:

          The British were indifferent to famines they exacerbated in India.

          Bengal Famine Of 1943 – A Man-Made Holocaust

          When British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed regret this week for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919 in Amritsar (in which at least 400 unarmed Indian men, women and children were massacred by British soldiers), he omitted any reference to Britain’s role in a far greater tragedy of colonial India: the Bengal famine of 1943.

          Seventy years ago, at least 3 million people died from starvation and malnutrition during a famine in the Indian province of Bengal — a partly man-made disaster that has been largely forgotten by the world beyond northeastern India.

          The Bengal Famine: How the British engineered the worst genocide in human history for profit

          • Moscow Exile says:

            They were massacred by British Indian Army soldiers – 25 Gurkhas of 1st/9th Gurkha Rifles, 25 Pathans and Baluch, 54th Sikhs and 59th Sindh Rifles, all armed with .303 Lee-Enfield rifles, as a matter of fact – under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer. Those under Dyer’s command at Armritsar fired into the unarmed crowd assembled there until their supply of 1,650 rounds of ammunition was almost exhausted.

            • Warren says:

              Those Sepoys were all under Dyer’s command and obeyed his orders. Irony about Amritsar massacre, is that the Sikhs were the most loyal to the British Raj. Nepal from where the Gurkhas emanate from was a British protectorate at the time.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                My father served in the 4th Indian Division of the British 8th Army in Eritrea, Abyssinia, the Western Desert and Italy. He had nothing but the greatest respect for British Indian Army soldiery, most especially for the Sikhs (because they went into action without a tin-hat as he use to say of them in admiration) and Ghurkas, and because none of them were conscripts: each and every one was a volunteer who was not fighting for his own country, unlike my father, who believed he was.

                • Warren says:

                  Not all Indians served faithfully to the Crown and British Raj. Subhas Chandra Bose was able to recruit Indian POWs form Malaya and Singapore to form his Indian National Army to fight alongside the Japanese against the British.

                  Bose’s Azad Hind/Free India provisional government was “recognised” by the Japanese.

                  Bose has now become a national hero to many right wing and nationalist Indians, redolent to what Bandera is to many Ukrainians.


                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Subhas Chandra Bose’s alleged wife, Emilie Schenkl, was an Austrian. German and Austrian Nazis apparently turned conveniently blind eyes to the relationship. Bose claimed he had wed her, but many thought otherwise. In 1943 Bose left Schenkl and their child and set off for southeast Asia by means of a German submarine, later transferring to a Japanese one.

                  The Boses’ only child, Anita Schenkl Pfaff, is a German economist, a former professor at the University of Augsburg and politician.

                  Schenkl never visited India and died in 1996. Her daughter is married to Professor Martin Pfaff, formerly a German Social Democratic Party member of the Bundestag.

          • Jen says:

            Even before the Bengal famine, from the 1600s on, the British East India Company and then the British government slowly throttled the textile-making industry in northern India by placing restrictions on who the Indians could deal with, how much they could produce, the prices they could sell the cotton at and to whom (mostly English merchants, not to local weavers), and the combined effect of the various quotas and trade restrictions led to the collapse of the industry during the 1800s, with the result that textile weavers themselves, many of whom came from families that specialised in weaving, were made destitute and were forced to become farm labourers. The Indian textiles industry had originally been based in the northern and north-eastern parts of India (areas like Bihar and Bengal) and these are still among the poorest parts of India. You could even say that one cause of the 1943 Bengal famine was in this impoverishment of the Bengali economy by past British trade restrictions.

            Some of the laws the British passed that helped to ruin Indian textiles production:
            1685 – 10% import tariff on Indian goods;
            1690 – tariff doubled to 20%;
            1701 – First Calico Act, legislation banning imports of dyed, painted or printed fabric;
            1707 – British textiles manufacturers obtained further tariffs on Indian textiles;
            1721 – Second Calico Act, which further banned imports of Indian textiles.

            In addition, “British producers asked for and obtained tariff increases on Indian cottons on 7 separate occasions in the years from 1797–1819”.

            Ironically free trade advocates in Britain noticed and complained about how the British government and textile makers alike crushed the Indian textile manufacturing industry to the extent that a British parliamentary enquiry into the situations was opened in 1840. From the same link immediately above:
            “… ‘[Before a British Parliamentary Committee in 1840] [Robert] Montgomery Martin stated that he . . . was convinced that an outrage had been committed ‘by reason of the outcry for free trade on the part of England without permitting India a free trade herself.’ After supplying statistical data of Indian textile exports to Great Britain, he pointed out that between 1815–1832 prohibitive duties ranging from 10 to 20, 30, 50, 100 and 1,000 per cent were levied on articles from India. … ‘Had this not been the case,’ wrote Horace Wilson in his 1826 History of British India, ‘the mills of Paisley and Manchester would have been stopped in their outset, and could scarcely have been again set in motion, even by the power of steam. They were created by the sacrifice of Indian manufacture. Had India been independent, she could have retaliated, would have imposed prohibitive duties on British goods and thus have preserved her own productive industry from annihilation. This act of self-defence was not permitted her’” (Clairmonte 1960: 86-87) …”

    • Fern says:

      This BBC piece is part of the revisionism currently going on about WW2/The Great Patriotic War whereby the Soviet Union’s crucial role in the defeat of Nazi Germany has to be undermined. The non-attendance of most of Europe’s so-called ‘leaders’ at Moscow’s Victory Day celebrations are part of this – the excuse that it’s about Ukraine is absurd, implying as it does that an internal conflict is on par with one of the greatest events of the 20th century – the end of the Third Reich. Revisionism was also served by the decision of, I think the European Parliament a year or so back, to give parity to the crimes of Nazism and those of Communism.

      Vitaly Churkin has said that, privately, a number of his European ‘colleagues’ have expressed great concern to him that all of this and, particularly, the uncritical western reception to everything Kiev does and supports, is empowering fascist elements in their own countries but, publicly, they keep silent. In the simplified world the media excels at creating, if the Soviets become the bad guys, don’t the Nazis start to look, well, if not exactly good then perhaps no worse than those who defeated them?

  33. yalensis says:

    Valentina Lisitsa posted this tweet .
    Some Ukrainian psycho named Alexander Melanchenko had tweeted the following, celebrating the Odessa massacre anniversay and mocking the victims as burned meat:

    “Dear comrades. Happy Shish-kabob day! I wish you lots of fried meat and red wine. And of course the best company. Shashlyk. Wine. May.”

    That isn’t the newsworthy part.
    The newsworthy part is that Arsen Avakov, a paid official of Ukrainian government (Minister of Internal Affairs), saw that tweet, and gave it a “like” on his Facebook page.

    I cannot imagine even Goering or Goebbels officially and publicly celebrating the burning of people alive, as Avakov does. In fact, the Nazis took some care to conceal their crimes.
    Whereas Ukrainian government officials have descended to the level of brain-dead mad dogs, or cartoonish Hollywood serial killers who strut in the public square and boast of their own gory crimes.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      What’s that insignia in Melanchenko’s avatar? It looks like some variation on the ‘Couch force’ meme.

      Ah, it is too:

      • yalensis says:

        “Couch force”
        Better translation = “armchair warriors”

      • Jen says:

        With a few small modifications – a forked tongue instead of the trident, let’s say, and rippling dole cheques on either side of the tongue – that would be a good insignia for Bellingcat.

    • kirill says:

      The Nazis had some IQ. The Ukr Bandera lovers don’t.

      • Tim Owen says:

        … but both were or are morally depraved monsters.

        Finishing your thought…

        • yalensis says:

          They both believed in the same overall principle, which is that one race of people (defined by genetic criteria) has the right to dominate another, up to and including extermination.
          Which philosophy leads to monstrous moral depravity.

          Differing only, as Pavlo says, in the IQ scores of their leaders.

  34. Warren says:

    • marknesop says:

      I meant to mention it much earlier, but Val Lisitsa is playing Ontario after all – she was invited to play two charity concerts in Oakville. Hope she gets lots of support.

      • Tim Owen says:

        Tried to buy tickets but Ticketmaster shows them as not available and the second night as cancelled.

        I’ll keep at it.

        Anyone nearby joining in?

        Invite a biker.

        • marknesop says:

          I’m sure the diaspora Ukrainian activists will do what they can to ruin it – they approve of Kiev regulating what the world can see and what is art and what is garbage. It remains to be seen if Canada is a slave to Kiev and its Nazis.

          • yalensis says:

            Uneven battlefield:
            One little Val Lisitsa armed with nothing but piano keys and tweets
            vs. entire Canadian diaspora, backed by Canuck govt plus Uncle Sam and NATO.

            And Lisitsa is winning the battle.
            Glory to the hero!

            • james says:

              yalensis. thanks for sharing the toronto star article pointing this out.. fortunately some of canucks do want to challenge this special interest bullshit that seeks to create more war and hardship instead of less.. so does lisitsa for sharing what she has about the fanatical leadership in kiev that our same leader harper is happy to support.. it sucks.. kudos to the cat who set this up and for her to helping to make it happen.. shows not all canucks are a bunch of cowed sheep..

            • marknesop says:

              Geroyim Slava!

              She will win the battle if the concert/concerts is/are heavily attended. But I imagine the diaspora Ukrainians will work hard to conflate showing up at the concert with supporting terrorism in Ukraine and backing Russia against the west; a vote for Lisitsa is a vote for authoritarianism and a vote against freedom and democracy. They’ve had lots of practice with bleeding-heart messaging. We’ll see – I’ll be watching with interest for news of how it goes.

              • james says:

                how do you think they are going to tar folks who won’t vote harper or trudeau for the same single issue topic?

                • marknesop says:

                  I imagine they will be tarred, as usual, as “unpatriotic”, and “freeloaders who benefit from democracy, yet refuse to contribute to its strength, which is one man, one vote”. There you go, boys; your ad campaign is done for you – you’re welcome. This is why – except for brief spikes when an extremely popular, unpopular or polarizing candidate is running – the percentage that turns out for the vote is dropping steadily. If you can’t offer people any real choice but for a couple of different faces which all represent the same identical policy subset, you can only fool them for so long. I personally do not like Harper, because he has made it his life”s work to see Canada and the United States inseparable partners on almost all issues and certainly in all matters of foreign policy. But I don’t see Justin Trudeau as a palatable alternative, and he has chosen to define himself in terms of domestic issues while he parrots the same conservative line on Ukraine and stipulates to “Russian aggression” just as if he could not read or gets all his news from the same place as Stephen Harper does. Therefore I will not be voting.

  35. ucgsblog says:

    Excellent article Mark, and it nicely summarizes how Putin is able to defeat Washington/Brussels every single time: “Since the U.S. government has become almost exclusively an organization which solicits information only from sources it knows will tell it what it wants to hear”

    And there’s the crux of the matter. Moscow listens to all sides, not just the side that tells the stories that Kremlin loves. As for Liz Wahl, if she’s going to end up being a footnote as a result of your article, I’m going to be laughing.

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks, UCG! It is indeed true that Moscow sets itself up for success by testing each theory to see if it will bear the weight of testimony, rather than simply assuming its gullible followers will buy it. I guess the essence of it is that Moscow is playing to a global audience, while the west is playing to its own peanut gallery, and considers its efforts as success if it is able to convince them.

      Liz Wahl has planted the seed that she is a turncoat, and a turncoat will betray anyone if she has what she perceives to be a better offer.

      • et Al says:

        …I guess the essence of it is that Moscow is playing to a global audience, while the west is playing to its own peanut gallery, ..

        That’s exactly it.

        The ‘American Dream’ is now being replaced by the ‘American Scream’ and it is on show regularly, most recently in Baltimore.

        • ucgsblog says:

          The American Dream is open to those who can afford quality education. One of the biggest fights in California right now is against tuition hikes.

          “Affordable education is the last avenue by which the American Dream can survive!”
          “Awesome, let’s raise tuition and shut it down!”

          Putin isn’t the one threatening the American Dream.

          1960 – Californians don’t have to pay tuition
          1968 – Tuition set at $300/yr
          1970 – Tuition set at $450/yr
          1976 – Tuition set at $630/yr
          1986 – Tuition set at $1,296/yr
          1996 – Tuition set at $4,354/yr
          2006 – Tuition set at $7,434/yr; free for illegal immigrants
          2012 – Tuition set at $14,460/yr despite protests; still free for illegal immigrants
          2020 – Tuition planned at $18,455/yr

          Yes, those aren’t adjusted for inflation, but still…

          Tuition needed to graduate in 1968, adjusted for 2012 inflation: $7,916
          Tuition needed to graduate today, adjusted for 2012 inflation: $57,840

  36. yalensis says:

    Anyone heard from colliemum recently? I am worried about her.
    A few days back, I tried to lure her out of her lair with that story about the fox who made a sandwich. But she didn’t take the bait. I hope she is okay.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      She’s alright. Commented on a Breitbart London article a couple of days back:

      • yalensis says:

        Good to know. I guess she is busy with the UKIP campaign.
        Still deeply hurt that she didn’t react to my “sandwich-making fox” story.

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          Lay it in store. In a month or two it’ll be fresh again.

        • Jen says:

          There is a general election in the UK on 7 May 2015 so she might be very busy over the next several days.

          • yalensis says:

            I know, but I can’t see that any stupid boring election is more important than a fox who makes salami sandwiches.

            As Samuel Johnson might have said:
            “The surprising thing is not that a fox can make sandwiches WELL, but that he makes them at all.”

    • marknesop says:

      Perhaps she’s out tramping the moors. But admittedly the fox making the sandwich was good bait – they’re amazingly clever creatures.

      • yalensis says:

        Not to mention altruistically good parents.
        A regular dog would have just gobbled up all the bread and sausages on the spot.
        The fox/vixen clearly was trying to figure out a way to get ALL the food back in one piece to his/her den. To feed the family, obviously.
        Too bad they couldn’t have put together a sort of doggie-bag for it to carry the food away.

  37. yalensis says:

    This is pretty good, in lead-up to May 9 celebrations.

    Caption has Hitler saying, “What? THOSE guys defeated us too?”
    When he learned that he lost the war to Stepan Bandera and UPA.

    Back story:
    According to Colonel Cassad, it was ridiculous enough when victorious allies included France in the list of victor nations. When Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel signed the unconditional surrender on behalf of Germany, he was said to exclaim with pathetic misery: “What? The French defeated us too?”
    To which the Soviet representatives replied ironically: “Yep. Them too.”

    And now, according to Ukrainian rewriting of history, Stepan Bandera and UPA also fought against, and defeated, Nazi Germany.

    Which was a very long setup to a funny punchline.

    • kirill says:

      I have been hearing this BS that Stepan Bandera’s goons were fighting both the Nazis and the Soviets ever since I came to Canada. It is obvious revisionism designed to launder these butchers. How do they explain their actions against Polish, Jewish and Russian civilians? Were all those civilians like Hitler and Stalin? What puke.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        The French also have an annual military parade on July 14, “Bastille Day”, but nobody comments about this, whereas the Victory Parade on May 9 in Moscow is criticized yearly by the “International Community” as being a tasteless and belligerent display of Russian military might and something that civilized, democratic states never do: it’s so vulgar, don’t you know – like brandishing one’s cock in public.

        Allons enfants de la Patrie and all that crap mes braves!

        Pity they can’t roll their two new Mistral-class ships that they now have down l’Avenue des Champs-Élysées .

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          They ought to parade with their hands up.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            I should add that the Frogs have a certain je ne sais quoi when it comes to haute couture – even for the military:

            Just love those capes!

            Such cute pom-poms!

            Will you just take a look at those great floppy berets!

            A bientôt, my little cabbages!

            • Jen says:

              Mon Dieu, Messieurs les Grenouilles, you don’t say!
              ” … The Legionnaire is proud of his uniform ; he always wears it with panache …”

              But why do they need the axes and the leather aprons … are they better protection against the intestinal disorders?

              • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

                The beards, aprons and axes are the attire of Napoleonic army sappers. Sappers were allowed to grow beards because of the particular danger in their work, and they march in front because as sappers they ‘lead the way’ for the rest of the army.

                The Foreign Legion preserves many traditions that have fallen by the wayside elsewhere.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Farriers in British Household Cavalry brigade have big choppers as well:

                  Farriers traditionally combined veterinary knowledge with blacksmiths’ skills. They were responsible for hoof trimming and fitting horseshoes to horses. They also dealt with the “humane dispatch of wounded and sick horses,” accomplished with the large spike on the end of their axes. Then they used the sharp blade of the axe to chop off the deceased animal’s hoof, which was marked with its regimental number. This assisted in keeping track of animals killed in action – Wiki.

                • marknesop says:

                  Interesting. You learn something new every day, if you can shut up long enough.

          • et Al says:

            They ought to parade with their hands up.

            Backwards, like their tanks? 😉

            The French military is much tougher than back then. They also have a full nuclear triad of sea, silo and air launched nuclear missiles that they can launch without agreement from the US (though I’m sure the UK has a way around that). Unlike the mighty UK who’s nukes and (leased) missiles are American and doesn’t either carry a full compliment. Even their new SSN Astute class subs have an interesting bulge in the rear because they decided they could not afford a new generation of compact nuclear reactor and went on to use the old Vanguard SSBN class design! You couldn’t make it up.

            The UK talks big on defense, but both big parties penny pinch with the best of them. That reminds me of the retarded LibDems defense policy of only buying three new SSBNs. Normally the minimum is four, with one on patrol, one on standby, one undergoing refitting and one in reserve, but the LibDims apparently don’t think a ‘reserve’ is needed. It’s quite simple, either spend the money properly on deterrence or give up your nukes. Or, as the American’s have promised, they can upgrade the old boats for a few billion to last another 30 odd years.

          • yalensis says:

            Oh, you guys are so mean!
            Now don’t y’all be hatin’ on the French!

            • Jen says:

              OK, let’s beat up on the Italians and their military parades with the marching nuns and the fighter jets pumping out green, white and red smoke:

              • yalensis says:

                Wow, those marching nuns are really pretty!

                • yalensis says:

                  (I’m not kidding, you only see them for a second, but those are some good-looking women. What a waste, to lock them away in a convent!)

              • marknesop says:

                Cool; I didn’t even know Italy had ninjas. Are the women nuns? I thought that was the nursing corps.

                • Jen says:

                  Yes they were the nursing corps, the red cross was on the front of the nun’s-habit headdresses. For a moment I thought the Italians even had their own Cossack unit riding after the nuns but you see the backs of the riders’ black hats very briefly before the film cuts away.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              But he was a German, n’est-ce pas?

              • yalensis says:

                Who? Offenbach?

                Sure, he was a German Jew, but he lived in Paris, and to my mind at least, his music embodies the essence of French life and culture of that time.

                In fact, his opera “Orphée aux enfers” was a detailed satire of French politics of the time, and it is so specific that it doesn’t even play well now, because nobody gets the specific allusions to the people involved. But audiences of the time knew exactly who was who, in the story. So now, when they stage it, all they can do is just try to get as silly and decadent as possible. Which would be just fine with Offenbach, I imagine, he was a pretty cool guy. Basically, God took the brain of a musical genius and placed it in the body of a vaudevillian:

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  It’s funny, though, how the musical compositions of a foreign-born French national, such as Offenbach was, epitomizes what for many, including the French themselves, “French” music is.

                  Likewise, what for very many are classical pieces of “Spanish” music, compositions that are immediately recognized as “Spanish”, were written by Frenchmen: I have in mind particular works of Ravel and Bizet.

                • Jen says:

                  One of Spain’s greatest painters and probably the one who epitomises Spanish Renaissance art and religious art for most people is El Greco who as his nickname indicates was Greek. His real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulos and he was originally from Crete.

                • yalensis says:

                  It just goes to show, that what we call “European” culture is a diverse, but single, organism.

              • yalensis says:

                P.S. – my favorite scene in Orphée is when Jupiter metamorphoses into a fly, in order to seduce Euridice. It’s so funny, I can never watch it without laughing, and this production with Natalie Dessay is still the best one ever:

        • Jen says:

          If having military parades in your own country is the height (or depth) of tastelessness, what about the US army sending a parade of Stryker army vehicles and other tanks on long trips from Estonia, Poland and the Czech Republic to Germany, and inviting children to sit in and on tanks during stop-overs along the way? How decadent was that?

        • Ali Cat says:

          the Victory Parade on May 9 in Moscow is criticized yearly by the “International Community” as being a tasteless and belligerent display of Russian military might and something that civilized, democratic states never do: it’s so vulgar, don’t you know – like brandishing one’s cock in public.

          Ive never heard the international community thinks that about my country, we also have a military parade on September 16th for the celebration of our independence, from the spanish cuz we will never be independent from the americans. Sad but true.

        • ucgsblog says:

          Those who criticize the Victory Day Parade can Crimea River!

      • Jen says:

        I suppose that that clip from “Downfall” of Bruno Ganz as Hitler ranting at his generals will soon get a new soundtrack on Youtube in which one of the generals admits that the OUN have just cut off the Wehrmacht in Bohemia somewhere so Hitler sends everyone out into the corridor (yet again!) and then starts screaming about his general’s incompetence against the Ukrainians and how the Ukrainians were much better at killing Poles and Jews in the camps.

  38. Terje says:

    I find this article highly interesting re MH17:

    A combatant spots something amongst the debris. He bends down to pick it up. What he has retrieved is a 30mm bullet that was in the fallen material.
    The bullet is in view only for 3 seconds; from 1′ 36″ to 1′ 39″.

    I am not a military buff, but that item sure looks like a bullet to me. Or could it be some part of the aircraft?

    • Terje says:

      The background footage is from CNN whilst the Youtube commentator is talking about something else. The commentator is not aware of the significance of the footage.

      • kirill says:

        Thanks for posting this. The cockpit damage was already convincing and this nails it shut. But I don’t expect the kangaroo investigation to even find “any” evidence for gun fire damage.

      • kat kan says:

        FAKE FAKE FAKE..
        That is not the MH17 crash. Wrong background, wrong sky, fire too small, no bodies, wreckage too small; final shot of a wing section with an armaments pod — MH17 left wing sections were scattered far away and right wing mostly never found.

        • kirill says:

          OK, strike one up for the CNN.

        • kirill says:

          It’s the crash site of one of the regime SU-25s. I should have been more critical watching the footage. My bad.

          • Terje says:

            It’s my fault for linking it. When I first saw the footage I thouht it was direct from the MH 17 site, not some older crash site. . As such it is not a fake, just a misreading of the place the picture was takenst CNN was showing the only footage they had whilst the blog I linked to presumed it was the MH 17 wreckage.

            • james says:

              thanks for clearing that up kat kan and terje..

            • kat kan says:

              NO I bet it was not CNN mistake at all………. the CNN strip at the bottom “Developing story etc” … was left on quite a few image changes, the guys faking the video did that. It was quoting Gordon Duff (VeteransToday) who openly admits faking AT LEAST 25% of the stuff he writes.
              If it were real people would have noticed it in the first 2 days.

              • marknesop says:

                But it’s a shitty fake that will be used to discredit anyone who picks it up and broadcasts it and they will thereby do significant damage to their credibility.

          • marknesop says:

            That would account for the 30mm round in the wreckage. It must have been separated from its cartridge rather than having been fired, but that’s quite believable.

        • marknesop says:

          I’m sure you’re right; I didn’t have time to watch the clip and made my comments based only on the still photo.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The map of the Ukraine is accurate.

    • marknesop says:

      It looks about the right size for a 30mm – I posted a picture of the complete round in a previous article. But the Ukies will just say he had it in his pocket and palmed it, or alternatively, one of their political defense-related figures – I forget who exactly, now – covered that angle right after the crash by complaining that the battle continued to rage in and around the wreckage, right after the crash. So sorry, it must have been hit by ground-fired 30mm light artillery; all the fault of the rebels, naturally.

      I still think it is very likely MH-17 was shot down by another aircraft, and that cannon fire was used to deliberately attack the cockpit with the intent of killing the pilot and flight crew. It could be done despite the suspect aircraft’s (SU-25) speed limitations, by careful positioning. But “could be” is enough to introduce reasonable doubt, and the Ukies will be ready – primed by continuous leaks of whatever investigators have found – with their own reasonable doubt about what happened.

      • kirill says:

        The holes in the cockpit section clearly show strafing. Equidistant linear penetrations with the 30 mm diameter as one would expect. But we live in a world where words are more important than physical evidence. So when the Dutch release their BS “report” everyone will “know” the Russians did it.

  39. Tim Owen says:

    Merkel’s false outrage:

    For Merkel, it is a dizzying reversal of roles and fortunes. In 2013 she was arguably the most high-profile victim of NSA surveillance when it was revealed that the NSA had targeted her cellphone. When confronted with Edward Snowden’s allegations of US National Security Agency mass surveillance of European citizens, Merkel famously said that “spying on friends is just not on.” According to official accounts, she even placed a “strongly worded phone call” to US President Barack Obama.

    At the time the scandal was a political boon for Merkel, with 62% of Germans approving of her “harsh reaction”, according to a survey by polling institute YouGov. Now the tables have turned. If Merkel’s government is found to have had prior knowledge of the BND’s spying on the French government, citizens, and companies, its behavior in the wake of the phone-tapping revelations will be cast in a starkly different light. The phrase “shameless hypocrisy” comes to mind.

  40. Tim Owen says:

    How the world works:

    “A recent example that highlights how well this system functions was in Riga, during the recent Eurogroup meeting. On April 23, Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis participated in a dinner with his colleagues, in order to prepare the issues for the forthcoming meeting. Everything proceeded normally. But the following day, the media ‘revealed’ highly aggressive rhetoric against Varoufakis from his colleagues during the Eurogroup meeting itself.

    The alien

    That same senior official of the European Commission, moments after the conclusion of the Eurogroup meeting, invited eight journalists for the ‘established’ daily informal press conference. “There was a lot of anger towards the Greek delegation,” a Brussels-based journalist, who asked to remain anonymous, told us. “When we asked about Mr Varoufakis’ position in the meeting, the official said ‘The guy lives on another planet’, and made derogatory gestures. This isn’t something we’ve seen before – neither from EU officials nor this particular person.”

    An identical ‘update’ was given by two further EU officials, one working for the Eurogroup and one from a diplomatic mission of a Southern European country. “They were equally aggressive; trying to present Mr Varoufakis as an ‘alien’”, said the journalist, who was present during these discussions. “When we got to the heart of the matter concerning the Greek economy, the ‘sources’ refused to say any more. They just blamed Varoufakis.” These briefings were followed by tough statements from various ministers, echoing the German government’s point of view.

    This specific information about the events of the Eurogroup meeting in Riga was published in all three aforementioned major media outlets, giving the impression of a war-like atmosphere at the meeting and breaking the unwritten rule of maintaining a professional distance from harsh words. Following these events, the Greek delegation decided for Varoufakis to not attend the planned dinner on the evening of April 24, to express his displeasure with the way his colleagues treated him and Greece. However, the ‘aggression’ from ministers, EU officials and the media did not subside. On the contrary, Reuters presented Varoufakis as “isolated”, simply because he did not attend the dinner, without asking for a statement from the Greek side. They also commented on Varoufakis’ decision not to wear a tie.”

  41. Tim Owen says:

    This is a challenging article that is both quite forthright and yet – to my mind – a bit hampered by the abstract language so beloved of academics.

    I think he’s absolutely on the money re. the middle-east wars. It is no coincidence to my mind that the most equitable and resilient regimes / societies have been targeted first and foremost. Cuz that’s where the loot is: industries that are providing essentials to vast populations but have not been monetized. (One could go on and on about the phenomenon but I remember listening to some American economist commenting on Syria and saying how it had experienced almost no effect from the 2008 GFC. It struck me as hilarious. His intent was to indicate how “backward” the country was and, of course, the interviewer passed over it. I think this is actually a great example of the kind of “life-denying” ideology in economics described by the professor above that is so perverse to me. Would it not occur to this guy that “resilience” might have value?)

    I’d be interested to know what McMurtry thinks of Russian initiatives like, say, the effort to build alternatives to the IMF. Is THAT entirely undone by the fact that this will benefit private firms in Russia and the rest of the BRICS? If not, why?

    In other words I am a skeptic of radical programs and generally think that capitalism – private holding and management of the majority of industry – is fine as long as it’s heavily ring-fenced by state regulation that, in turn, rests on a popular mandate and a set of basic assumptions about the essentials of life that should not be up for auction: basic infrastructure, health care, education and minimum income. Probably most importantly: tax should fall first and foremost on activities that amount to economic “rent” – such as real estate development, development of natural resources -while simultaneously being lifted from labour and firms (think employee / employer funded retirement schemes) to promote full employment. Otherwise you end up with a massive war-chest of “looted” gains which will inevitably pervert the political process entirely, as in the States.

    Of course the drone of neo-liberal platitudes that has been like the wallpaper of my entire adult life has been arguing virulently AGAINST my “modest proposal” above. Ironically I would probably find more to agree with in speaking with a Reagan republican of the 80s than a Clinton democrat of today. Ditto Labour in Britain. (Surely this is the dumbest post-war generation-in-power so far. Picture the face of that smirking chimp Blair.)

    Anyway, squinting hard, I’d say this is the perceived threat “Putinism” and its allies the world over really represent: democratic small c capitalism.

    • Warren says:

      McMurtry is incredibly verbose, and the interview was incredibly dense. Russia and China are a geopolitical threat to the US and the West in general. Russia’s nukes and China’s economic potential is a threat the US cannot ignore and unsure how to counter.

    • james says:

      thanks tim.. i think part of the problem is it was an interview, as opposed to him writing an article.. for an example of another interview, that i thought was quite good and that i read last year see here.

      i liked what he articulated in the interview..i related to his comments on harper especially. and i especially liked what his response was to the question here “SS/CC: You emphasize the ‘ad adversarium fallacy’ as the dominant “track-switch of people’s thought” which always diverts their attention away from humanity’s underlying real problems.

      JM: A simple example would be accusing me of being “a communist” or “an unbeliever” or “a conspiracy theorist” for what I say above. The topic is diverted to a familiar hate-object of the audience. Corporate mass media and politicians do this as their stock in trade. It gets attention and usually sells. This blame-the-enemy diversion dominates across cultures, but is almost never named. It runs so deep into the group psyche that not even logicians, psychologists and cognitive scientists define it.

      Once diverted to the hate-object of the group – say “Saddam” or “Putin” or “state socialist” or “terrorist” – most people block out disproving facts so as to remain acceptable to the surrounding group. Challenge by evidence or reason is derailed onto blaming a known enemy of the audience.”

    • kirill says:

      Nice patriotic music. I am sure liberasts will sneer. But Russians deserve some boosting of morale after being pissed on by their “partners” and the fellow travelers of those “partners”.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Вперед Россия!
      Так было в России с далеких времен.
      Чем выше давление, тем крепче бетон.
      И если опасность державе грозит, становится Родина, как монолит.
      В корниле победы сегодня как старь,
      Опять закаляется Родины сталь.

      Россия, Россия – в этом слове огонь и сила.
      В этом слове победы пламя.
      Поднимаем России знамя.
      Россия, Россия – в этом слове огонь и сила.
      В этом слове победы пламя.
      Поднимаем России знамя.
      Пусть время нас бурным потоком несет,
      За нами Россия, за нами народ.
      Традиции святы и тысячи лет продолжится летопись наших побед.
      А если врагов налетит варанье их снова отечество встретит мое.

      Россия, Россия-в этом слове огонь и сила.
      В этом слове победы пламя.
      Поднимаем России знамя.

      Россия, Россия – в этом слове огонь и сила.
      В этом слове победы пламя.
      Поднимаем России знамя.

      Вперед Россия!
      Вперед Россия!
      Вперед Россия!
      Вперед Россия!
      Вперед Россия!
      Вперед Россия!
      Вперед Россия!
      Вперед Россия!

      В этом слове источник силы.
      Повторяем – Вперед Россия!

      Россия, Россия – в этом слове огонь и сила.
      В этом слове победы пламя.
      Поднимаем России знамя.

      Россия, Россия – в этом слове огонь и сила.
      В этом слове победы пламя.
      Поднимаем России знамя!

      Forward Russia!
      So has it been in Russia since time long gone by,
      The higher the pressure, the stronger the concrete.
      And if the the state is threatened with danger,
      Our Motherland stands as a monolith.
      Forged in victory today as of old,
      Tempered again is the Motherland steel.

      Russia, Russia – in this word is fire and strength.
      In this word is the flame of victory.
      The Russian flag we raise.
      Let time bear us as does a raging torrent,
      Russia is for us, for her nation.
      Holy tradition and thousands of years
      Has continued to chronicle our victories.
      And our enemies will be in mess
      If their countries again come up against my Fatherland.

      Russia, Russia – in this word is fire and strength.
      In this word is the flame of victory.
      The Russian flag we raise.

      Forward Russia!
      Forward Russia!
      Forward Russia!
      Forward Russia!
      Forward Russia!
      Forward Russia!
      Forward Russia!
      Forward Russia!

      This word is a source of strength.
      We say it again: Forward Russia!

      Russia, Russia – in this word the fire and strength.
      In this word is the flame of victory.
      The Russian flag we raise.

      Russia, Russia – in this word the fire and strength.
      In this word is the flame of victory.
      The Russian flag we raise!

      [Rough translation]

      • yalensis says:

        Correction to translation:

        Пусть время нас бурным потоком несет,
        За нами Россия, за нами народ.
        Традиции святы и тысячи лет продолжится летопись наших побед.
        А если врагов налетит варанье их снова отечество встретит мое.

        Let time carry us like a raging current.
        Behind us is Russia; behind us – the people.
        Traditions are sacred, and the chronicle of our victories will continue for thousands of years.
        And if the reptilian (horde) of enemies should come at us again, my fatherland will meet them (appropriately) once again.

    • marknesop says:

      That’s a magnificent production, heavy with symbolism but still overall with a very positive don’t-fuck-with-me-but-if-you-want-to-be-friends message. Is that the monument that the west recently panned as tasteless? All their taste is in their mouth. It’s fabulous.

      By way of contrast, check out the Boston 9-11 Memorial (#5 on this list). Now that’s tasteless, whether you “get” art or not.

  42. Moscow Exile says:

    Believe me, Peter, in your situation, suicide is not a sin.

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