The Weaponization of Ignorance: the West’s Go-To Experts

Uncle Volodya says, "The beast preaches contempt, for that's what arrogance says: that nothing is real but itself, and the bone and blood of another's being are insubstantial as breath.”

Uncle Volodya says, “The beast preaches contempt, for that’s what arrogance says: that nothing is real but itself, and the bone and blood of another’s being are insubstantial as breath.”

Brute Force and Ignorance,
Just hit town,
Looking like survivors,
From the Lost and Found.

Brute Force and Ignorance,
Have come to play,
A one-night stand at eight o’clock,
Then they’ll be on their way.

From, “Brute Force and Ignorance“, by Rory Gallagher

Whooo! Rory Gallagher – remember him? Don’t be surprised if you don’t, because he was probably the best blues guitarist you never heard of.  Born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal just before the nineteen-fifties and rock & roll took off like a scared cat, a teenage Rory Gallagher stayed up late to listen to Radio Luxembourg because he couldn’t afford records. He played entirely by ear, couldn’t read a note, but he could play anything that had strings on it. In 1971, influential British music magazine Melody Maker voted him International Guitarist of the Year, ahead of Eric Clapton, with whom he shared both influences (Big Bill Broonzy, Leadbelly, Muddy Waters) and a soulful blues style. In 1995 he was dead in a London hospital, of liver complications, when he was just 47.

Anyway, this post isn’t really about Rory Gallagher, except perhaps in the sense of what a prophet he was. Because we have entered – are firmly established, in fact – into an age in which a significant group of people in the English-speaking world are proud to be ignorant. George W. Bush was the first president who routinely cited his low academic standings – because he thought it made him sound folksy and one of the little people – and a startling proportion of the general public is now apparently quite happy to be misled by “experts” who don’t know what the hell they are talking about.

It’s still important to the decent, hardworking people who constitute The General Public that they support Doing The Right Thing. The deceitful and manipulative folks who run some of the world’s most powerful countries know this, and so The Things They Want To Do for their own reasons are pitched to The General Public as Doing The Right Thing. Since the world’s leaders only speak directly to the electorate when they’re looking for your vote and perhaps once a year for a State Of The Union Address, they use selected “experts” and analysts to softball-pitch their selected narrative to The General Public – which must be called deliberately ignorant to a large extent, because it unquestioningly accepts the narrative just as if it had never been lied to before, and never will be again. Doing The Right Thing makes them feel good, and they’re proud of it.

In order to be Doing The Right Thing, it is necessary for you to believe Russia is an isolated and reviled international pariah which has invaded its neighbour – Ukraine – with heavy armor, artillery and hundreds of thousands of uniformed soldiers in the country on state orders, and which shot down MH-17 so that it could blame it on innocent Ukraine (among other wild justifications). It is a country which makes nothing and is totally reliant on energy exports; backward, barbaric, uncultured and unlettered, deceitful and underhanded.

An excellent example to start off with is Forbes, featuring the clownish oaf Paul Roderick Gregory. Mr. Gregory was one of the first to latch on to the scoop that Russia had inadvertently published the figures of its dead in the “Eastern Ukrainian Campaign”, in a small, innocuous business newspaper called Delovaya Zhizn (Business Life). Then, the story goes, the government frantically deleted the information, but not before some sharp-eyed truthseekers had pounced on it and exposed it to the world. Yahoo – staunchly Russophobic in its news content – jumped on it as well. Social media dismembered it in hours and revealed it as a fake, while the purported representative of Business Life claimed the site had been hacked from a Kiev-registered IP on August 22nd, and the bogus data inserted long enough to be captured, then erased. The excitement the story caused in the media was something to see, and the Twitter storm – led by luminaries like Michael McFaul drawing attention to it for all they were worth – was furious while it lasted. Once it was exposed as a fake, the story just kind of…went away. Nobody said sorry.

No western news story on Russia or Ukraine is complete without the insertion of the phrase “Russian aggression” like a trademark, and an assertion that Russia has large numbers of military troops in Ukraine although it cynically denies it. News sites regularly claim there is “pretty overwhelming evidence” that Russia and Putin are lying, but none of them ever cite any, and the United States refuses to release any satellite imagery confirming the purported troop movements or transit of armored columns. It must be sensitive about Putin’s feelings, and is protecting him. Ha, ha.

Here’s another comical one – Amanda Taub, at Vox, says a video clip showing Putin and Medvedev working out together showcases Russia’s “fear and insecurity”, which compel Putin to reassure the nation that he is still physically at the top of his game. It includes a gratuitous swipe at Putin’s sweatpants as “unflattering”; Putin is 63, and Ms. Taub, a former human-rights lawyer who appears to have little to crow about in the unflattering department, looks to be about 30 years younger than that. One wonders what she will look like in sweatpants in 30 years. Putin’s popularity is “slipping”, Ms. Taub would have us know – yes, only 72% of Russians said they would vote for Putin in a current election (the poll was in August), and his approval rating is only 83%!! Thus the he-man stunts: Putin must show Russians that he’s still tough enough to bully people, and hopefully get his cratering ratings back on the upswing. To put that in perspective, Barack Obama’s approval rating for the same period was 46% , and David Cameron’s ratings as PM are about the same.

The EU Observer cites Pavel Felgenhauer as a “Russian military expert” who is dicing with death just speaking with a western magazine, since he could be construed as “aiding and abetting the enemy”. Pavel Felgenhauer, once a regular columnist at The Moscow Times, has thoroughly earned the low opinion in which he is held by other analysts, many of them skilled bullshitters themselves. His golden moment came when he successfully predicted the 2008 war in Georgia. Few remember that he also said that it might not happen until 2010, and that Georgia would win it. Outside this one shining moment of prescience, Pavel Felgenhauer is an affable idiot who loves attention, and what he knows about the Russian military you could put in your coffee without noticing any change in the flavour. In 2011, he argued that the MISTRAL assault carriers Russia was buying from France would be employed to guard the Sea of Okhotsk to keep it safe for nuclear submarine operations against the U.S. Pacific Fleet. He claimed to have learned this from “A high-ranking source in the General Staff”. Of the Angolan navy, perhaps – Russian staff officers know better than to discuss anything with Felgenhauer, who will only balls it up anyway. But all his sources are like that: “Oh, a little bird told me”, wink-wink, implying Cosmic Top Secret information, keep it under your hat, old man, when in fact it is pure fantasy. Felgenhauer simply thinks of something that would be an exciting development, and then pretends someone told him about it.

It is only and exclusively in the field of political analysis – with perhaps the occasional exception for “Does this suit make me look fat?” – that leaders will pay someone to tell them exactly what they want to hear, regardless of whether there’s any truth to it. Nobody would pay an auto mechanic to tell them whatever they wanted to hear: say, Sonny – if I put aluminum-alloy wheels on it, will it increase my horsepower? Absolutely, Mr. Obama. How about an accountant? I was wondering, Tiffany; if I withdraw $15,000.00 from my RRSP to gamble in Las Vegas, will it count toward my taxable income for this year? Certainly not, Mr. Cameron; you go on, now, dear, and have fun. As if.

CNN’s “Banned! 10 Things You Won’t Find in Russia” is, unsurprisingly, horseshit. The law forbidding “gay propaganda” does not “mean anyone campaigning for LGBT rights or equating straight and gay relationships can be prosecuted. ” It is quite specific that it may not be pitched to minor children, but the United States has become so chuffed with itself over how gay-friendly it is that it seems to think nobody is too young to learn how to do it the gay way. How about three – is three too young, do you think? Thinking about sending your gender nonconforming three-year-old son to Crossdresser Camp? I wonder if the other boys in his class – when he’s, say 12 – are going to be as supportive? Gay adults can do as they please in Russia, as they always could, and homosexuality was legal in Russia ten years before the USA got around to saying it was okay to be gay.

Anonymous blogs are illegal – oh, dear. That should be of great concern to the civil libertarians who are sharing their phone conversations with the NSA, have been for some time before it was revealed, and the NSA refuses to stop, while the government refuses to make them. National security, you know. Think about that next time you’re discussing your hemorrhoids with your doctor on the telephone.

Western food is banned; quite a lot of it, anyway. Why is that, CNN, again? Because of sanctions imposed against Russia. Why? Well, because the Russians shot down MH-17, of course! And before anyone calls tit-for-tat sanctions “childish”, yes, they are. But you’re talking to the country that changed the name of the American street on which the Soviet Embassy was located to “Andrei Sakharov Street”, just for spite. The Wall Street Journal called it “simple but inspired“. They were half-right: it was simple. Stay tuned for the U.S. Embassy to be on “Edward Snowden Boulevard”.

Foul language is banned from films and television. Oh, no. How could anyone sit through a movie in America if it was not non-stop swearing from start to finish…kind of like conversation is in the USA. Ridden a city bus lately? Honestly, America has become the proverbial caricature of itself, so obsessed with slagging off the Russians in an attempt to humiliate them that it portrays being The Sopranos from sea to shining sea as some kind of virtue.

Drug related websites. The mind reels. Where is I gonna get my hit on, iffen I can’t fin’ my on-line dealer? CNN….man, I just don’t know. I used to think, when I still watched CNN, probably about 10 years ago, that Wolf Blitzer was the worst thing about it. But now you is on a ho’ notha level. Freedom…is drug-related websites.

Lacy underwear. Yes, that’s the money shot, isn’t it? Now the CNN “newsroom” guys can snigger and poke each other as they share jokes about neo-Soviet maidens in their CSMVPvoluminous bloomers.

In fact, lacy feminine undergarments are not banned at all. As the article points out, material that is next to the skin must be at least 6% cotton. Doesn’t mean it has to be all cotton, and the rest can be any material. You can get lingerie in Moscow. You just can’t get it in this size.  There…ummm… doesn’t seem to be any significant demand for it. Another benefit of banning western food.

The Independent (owned by a Russian oligarch – oops! “Tycoon”, I meant, which is how western newspapers sucked up to Poroshenko the Billionaire after he took over the presidency of Ukraine) reports, completely gratuitously, that Moscow is “the world’s unfriendliest city“; so designated by a survey conducted among the readers of Travel & Leisure Magazine! Which had a total circulation, in 2011, of just under 971,000. Ha, ha!! Jesus, listen to yourselves, will you? More than twice as many people read Rolling Stone, Bon Appetit and Golf Digest as read Travel & Leisure. Take a flying leap at a rolling doughnut, Travel & Leisure! Who gives a toss what you think? We’ll see all 971,000 of you in Galway, Ireland (rated the “friendliest” city), and you’d probably all fit.

Timothy Snyder, eminent historian and defender of the Maidan, tells whoever will listen that Kiev is the only bilingual capital in Europe. Mind you, he also says Ukraine is a country of 50 million people, when he’s actually spotting them about 10 million. Ukraine lost around 3 million people in 2014 – and you know where they went – and the population currently stands at just under 43 million according to the state statistics service. But what’s a couple of million more or less? We routinely hear how a million or two well-educated and talented people rush for the exits in Russia every year, but by some miracle the population is increasing! The babushkas must be knitting new Russians in the basement at night, like the Keebler elves.

There’s no need to dissect Snyder’s embarrassing knowledge deficit further – my colleague, Paul Robinson, does a wonderful job of that – but suffice it to say Kiev is far from the only bilingual capital in Europe. More importantly, Snyder is playing up the distinctive nature of Ukrainian as if being able to switch between Russian and Ukrainian is an accomplishment on a par with speaking French and English. Russian and Ukrainian are both East Slavic languages descended from a common root – the language of the medieval Kievan Rus – and are mutually intelligible; that is, the two have sufficient common elements that if you can speak one fluently, you will be able to understand much of the other.

Get the picture? Western leaders, through the western media, rely on feted “experts” who do not know if their ass is bored or punched, but who nonetheless blather whatever their paymasters want to hear – and what they want to hear, pretty consistently, is that Russia is barbaric, weak and surly, reeling from sanctions which are wringing its economy like a dishrag. They want to hear that its population is steadily declining, thanks to its increasingly unpopular and unstable president. Timothy Garton Ash regularly paints a bloodcurdling – if you’re a Russian – picture of a tottering giant about to topple. Edward Lucas, narcissistic British bonehead, rails against Putin’s non-existent determination to bring the Baltics under his dictatorial command. Craaazzzy Annie Applebaum, Mrs former-Polish-political-wunderkind, snaps at her own entrails in a Russophobic delirium. Julia Ioffe. Luke Harding. Shaun Walker and Roland Oliphant. Simon Ostrovsky of Vice News. Rainbow-Brite Hater Jamie Kirchik of The Daily Beast. Too many to name them all, each pumping out soporific smoke that reassures westerners of their ongoing moral superiority and perspicacious judgment. All of it totally manufactured nonsense, delivered with a straight face in an atmosphere in which nobody wishes to challenge their accuracy, because it just feels so good to let go and believe.

I’m not arguing this so the west will come to its senses and try to repair the damage it has done to international relationships, entirely owing to society’s own myopic stupidity and epic eagerness to be fooled. It’s much too late for that; Russia has reached the realization that it cannot be a partner to the west so long as Russia insists upon making its own decisions and following its own policies. Consequently, it is decisively turning away from the west and reordering its markets, its institutions and its partnerships. Some business relationships might recover, but the west will not be trusted again for a generation at least. Because you can’t trust someone who will not listen to reason.

I’m arguing it because the rest of the world is looking aghast at the west as if it had gotten drunk at their kids’ birthday party and made an ass of itself, and it’s embarrassing.


This entry was posted in Economy, Education, Europe, Government, Law and Order, Military, Politics, Religion, Russia, Slavic, Strategy, Trade, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2,207 Responses to The Weaponization of Ignorance: the West’s Go-To Experts

  1. Moscow Exile says:

    Bow ye down and tremble, terrorists!

    Denmark ready to fight with ISIS in Syria. At the opening session of “Volklinget” (the Danish Parliament) Statsminister (Prime Minister) Lars løkke said: “We’re not going to make that decision today… [but] I’m ready for such a development”.

    See: Трепещите террористы!

    You had better tremble before these blokes though:

    Из последних новостей стало известно, что десантные войска Чечни изъявили желание бороться с террористами ИГ…

    Latest news is that Chechnya paratroopers have expressed their desire to fight against ISIS

    • yalensis says:

      This is one of the ambiguities of the English language which always puzzled me. The word “with” in this context.
      When the Danes say they want to fight “with ISIS”, do they mean “against ISIS” or “alongside ISIS” ?

      • bolasete says:

        just in case anyone scrolls thru yesterday’s news here… pick a fight with someone just as dance with someone. i think the emphasis is on physical acts not intent, friendly or not.

        • bolasete says:

          sorry for above idiocy; need to sit on my hands till after the first cuppa. of course, the inferred ambiguity of ‘with’ …. ya know maybe it’s intentional…dubya’s ‘you’re either with us or….’ probably calls for he-who-shall-not-be-named to split those hairs.

  2. marknesop says:

    Ummmm….Erdogan? Since you are being such a dick on Syria and so forth, let’s just cut back that capacity for Turkish Stream to…oh, I don’t know, let’s say…half. If we even build it at all. Germany is quite a bit more reliable as a gas hub, and nobody needs your shit attitude. See what you think about that. Be sure and tell your European friends, because the possibility of a disruption of service still exists, and so far as I’m aware they have not done anything on the Southern Gas Corridor yet except talk about how awesome it is going to be. Very much like Nabucco. Cue frantic blizzard of regulation from Brussels as it tries to halt North Stream II as well.

  3. marknesop says:

    Erdogan is actually starting to get a bit belligerent, and might need a good smack. He is talking like Brussels is pushing him into the ring, reminding everyone that Turkey is part of NATO and “an attack on Turkey is an attack on NATO“. That so, Recep? Looks to me like not enough of NATO is close enough to you to get there in time, if you keep on running your jacky mouth. Significantly, he appears to have Jens “Anything Close to Our Airspace is Our Airspace Too” Stoltenberg’s hand up the back of his shirt, moving his mouth. It makes me laugh, the way Jens is riding this airspace-violation pony for all it is worth when his string-pullers have been illegally in Syria for close to a year.

    A couple of great comments to that article, too:

    1. “How times have changed, the BBC has become such a propagandist tool, it’s like watching an old dog die.”

    2. “The old saying was, if you let a monkey in the office, it will drink ink; the new saying is if you let a monkey in the office, it will start World War III.”

    • et Al says:

      Pop quiz. Which of the following two is the biggest drama queen*


      * Spoiler – one of them isn’t alive.

      You have to admire the gall (or is that stupidity of Erdogan/Dovugulu). Piss off the EU, PIss off the Americans, Piss off the Israeli’s, Piss of the Kurds, Piss off the I-raninas, PIss off the Russians. WHO NEEDS FRIENDS?! What a talent.

  4. Warren says:

    Published on 6 Oct 2015
    Since Russia’s air campaign began in Syria, many western media outlets have been heavily relying on information from ‘the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’ that is run by one man – Rami Abdul Rahman.
    RT traces the elusive owner of this website the West uses to source and smear Moscow’s anti-Islamic State bombing campaign.

    • marknesop says:

      “Moarati, the Tajamu al-Izza spokesman, told the Post that the Russians were bombing the US-backed brigades in order to obliterate the moderates and fill the void with extremists.

      “They are doing this for two reasons. Firstly, because we are friends with the United States and they want to challenge the United States,” Moarati said. “And secondly, to vanquish the Free Syrian Army on the ground to show the world that only extremists are fighting Assad and that therefore he should survive.”

      Because what Russia wants in Syria is more extremists. Now we’re relying on quotes from some unknown militant and have only Washington’s word that he is not al Qaeda, or that he even exists at all and they have not invented some Arab-sounding delivery vehicle for their propaganda. That passage followed a bald declaration that Russia is avoiding ISIS and concentrating on bombing the moderates, as if it were already established fact; in fact, both the Business Insider stories contained the identical assurance that Russia is “avoiding ISIS strongholds”. Washington has its story, and it is sticking to it.

  5. Warren says:

  6. PaulR says:

    My latest, on the agreement in Paris and the cancellation of the Donbass elections:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Russia does share the blame for what has happened…”

      In what way? In what proportion?

      Should Russia not have “annexed” the Crimea?

      Were the citizens of the Crimea coerced, “at the barrel of a Kalishnikov” to quote Dave, into leaving the Ukraine?

      Did Russia encourage East Ukraine separatists?

      Is “Strelkov” a “Kremlin agent”?

      Did Russia arm and fund the separatists before the “punishment squads” entered Lugansk and Donetsk provinces in order to suppress the separatists or after?

      Did Russian troops gun down civilians on the streets of Mariupol?

      Were Russian operatives and agitators really in the Odessa Trade Union House?

      Did Russia encourage a referendum in the East or discourage one being held?

      In what way does Russia have to share for the blame as regards the loss of lives in Eastern Ukraine?

      Who has bombarded residential areas there – the Russian backed separatists or the NATO/USA/EU Ukrainian government forces?

      Russia shares a blame?

      Far from being accused of partly sharing the blame for the situation in the Ukraine, I should say that Russia rather be admired for its prudence and patience in dealing with mendacious, psychologically disturbed murderous Ukrainian maniacs of the Banderite persuasion and the pathologically power hungry and avaricious liars and policy makers in Washington, who believe that their state is “exceptional” in that all that it does is for the “good” (namely the increase of their personal power and wealth), together with their lickspittle acolytes in Europe, who beg for crumbs off their masters, like the servile curs they are, at the table of the Great Hegamon.

      • PaulR says:

        The annexation of Crimea (and yes I do use the word ‘annexation’) had the effect of encouraging rebellion in Donbass – some people there, and some who came and joined them, e.g. Strelkov, imagined that they could pull off the same trick: grab a few buildings, and the Russians would come. Although the rebellion was at first mainly local, the Russians did nothing to stop volunteers and supplies from coming over the border to join in, and later provided men and weapons of their own. So, yes, they have played a part in it.

        • kirill says:

          Your chronology is outright wrong. The rebellion started with in February of 2014 when US sponsored goons seized power in Kiev. There were “invasions” of Kharkov and other city administration buildings at the time which clearly predate any “annexation” of Crimea after the March 16 referendum. The Donbas held its own referendum in May of 2014.

          The militarization of the Donbas ***civil*** conflict occurred in response to Kiev’s deployment of the military and paramilitaries in April 2014. You really are trying to revise history and deny the Donbas people of their voice and are spewing NATO propaganda about how they are all Putin puppets. Pathetic.

        • kirill says:

          Massive protests in eastern Ukraine against the coup regime on March 1, 2014. I guess they must have been following Putin’s orders.

        • yalensis says:

          Kirill is right.
          The correct chronology is shown in the documentary “Crimea: Return to the Motherland”.
          I know, I know, it’s propagandistic, it has a point of view. But it’s GOOD propaganda, because it relies on documented facts, and it does not distort the chronology:

          • ucgsblog says:

            There’s no such thing as bad propaganda or good propaganda, since propaganda is merely a tool. It’s a good, (one could even argue, great,) documentary, since it clearly shows whose point of view it’s presenting, (75% of Crimeans who wanted to join with Russia,) and does a stellar job of it. And it even has English captions. Good find as usual Yalensis!

  7. Warren says:

    Published on 6 Oct 2015
    Recent violent protests in Kyiv during parliamentary debates about constitutional changes and autonomy for eastern Ukraine underscore the country’s daunting domestic challenges. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has launched a new initiative to monitor Ukraine’s reform process on an ongoing basis.

    Carnegie has assembled an independent team of Ukrainian scholars based in Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine to produce regular reform updates. The purpose of this undertaking is to provide an objective, rigorous assessment of the wide-ranging reforms being advanced by the Ukrainian government.

    To mark the launch of the Ukraine Reform Monitor, Carnegie Europe hosted a discussion with Balázs Jarábik, visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and co-manager of the Ukraine Reform Monitor, Oksana Movchan, adviser to the administration of the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and Pierre Vimont, senior associate at Carnegie Europe. Jan Techau, director of Carnegie Europe, moderated.

  8. Warren says:

    Ex-U.K. Ambassador a Lonely Friend of Russia

    As the United Kingdom’s ambassador to Russia from 2004 to 2008, Anthony Brenton was one of the first Western diplomats to be systematically hounded by pro-Kremlin youth groups.

    But he said Russian officials told him not to take it personally — and he hasn’t.

    With relations between Russia and the West at a post-Cold War low because of the Ukraine crisis, Brenton has taken up an increasingly lonely position among Western experts, slamming the effectiveness of sanctions and urging negotiations with Moscow.

    Since retiring from the U.K. Foreign Office, Brenton, 65, has been appointed to a position at Oxford University and has become a prominent commentator on Russian affairs. He is writing two books on Russian history.

    In a recent interview with The Moscow Times, Brenton said that a pragmatic approach should be taken with the Kremlin over Syria, where Russia has recently launched a series of air strikes.

    Better Assad Than IS

    Russian officials have a real fear of the spread of militant Islam, according to Brenton, who said this could be a point of cooperation with the United States in Syria.

    Most Western countries have called on Moscow to halt its bombing campaign.

    “For Russia, Islamic terrorism is a real domestic threat in a way that the West does not appreciate,” said Brenton. “The Putin I met will take a certain wry pleasure in seizing the initiative on this one, but his reasoning is that the West has made a mess of it.”

    While President Vladimir Putin maintains Russia is targeting Islamic State positions in Syria, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that Russian aircraft are also attacking moderate Syrian insurgent groups to bolster the position of the Syrian army.

    Syrian President Bashar Assad is a close Russian ally in the region and said over the weekend that Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq had formed a coalition to fight rebels in the country.

    Brenton maintained that there is actually little love lost for Assad in Moscow.

    “I don’t think they particularly like Assad, talking privately to Russians they know exactly what he is and he’s a major embarrassment for them,” said Brenton.

    “The Russians have concluded that Assad may be bad, but that IS is worse.”

    Syrian Deal?

    Assad’s military is accused of using indiscriminate violence during Syria’s bloody four-year civil war that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and fueled the rise of Islamic State.

    Brenton, who worked at the Foreign Office for 30 years, admitted there are “hideous barriers” to a deal between Putin and the West involving a Russian-brokered power transition in Syria, but he said it might be possible.

    “One can imagine a process under which Assad, with his arm twisted up behind his back by the Russians, says that he will begin to talk to the opposition about some sort of broader political process in Syria leading to elections,” Brenton said. “It’s going to require an awful lot of suspension of disbelief on everyone’s part but stranger processes have worked diplomatically in the past.”

    While Brenton’s position on Syria may raise eyebrows among the circles of diplomats, experts and officials in which he moves, his views on the Ukraine crisis have been even more controversial.

    Failed Sanctions

    Brenton said U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s comparison of Putin with Hitler in September last year at the height of the Ukraine crisis was foolish, and added that there was a great deal of ignorance — and lack of interest — about Russia among the British political elite.

    His biggest bugbear, however, are the sanctions that Western countries imposed on Russia in three waves last year, beginning when Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.

    Putin has used Western sanctions to strengthen his domestic position and negate the political fallout from low oil prices by blaming the failing economy entirely on the West, according to Brenton.

    “They have had exactly the opposite effect from that they were intended to have,” said Brenton.

    “The West has imposed economic sanctions on Russia or the Soviet Union eight times since the end of World War II and they have never worked.”

    Brenton joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1975, and his first posting to Moscow was in 1994 as an economic, aid and scientific counselor. After leaving Moscow in 1998, he worked as the director of global affairs at the FCO before leaving for Washington in 2001 for a three-year posting as deputy head of the mission. He returned to Russia as ambassador in 2004.

    Brenton’s stint as ambassador in Moscow coincided with the London murder of former Russian intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko and a sharp deterioration in relations between the U.K. and Russia that included the expulsion of diplomats. He said that while sanctions against Russia were inevitable last year, the West should have restricted itself to more targeted measures.

    Who Wants Estonia?

    Brenton dismissed talk of a new Cold War, which he labeled a “wild and indefensible narrative,” and said Russia was more interested in peace in Ukraine than many Western diplomats believed.

    While Brenton said he supported a decision by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, to deploy new troops in Eastern Europe as a response to a Russian military assertiveness, he rejected as unfounded fears that Moscow has significant territorial aspirations in Eastern Europe.

    “One of the really depressing phenomena that the Ukrainian crisis has brought forward has been all these old Cold War warriors coming out of their cupboards,” Brenton said.

    “The story has been that the bear is on the prowl again: that they want to grab eastern Ukraine, which of course they don’t; they want to grab [the southern Ukrainian port city of] Mariupol, which of course they never did; they want to grab Estonia, but who wants Estonia?”

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Nashi has become a useful tool for crushing dissent. Nashi youths have infiltrated opposition movements, beat-en up activists and held massive demonstrations.

        Telegraph (above)

        I remember how one of Nemtsov’s minders beat a Nashi youth on Pushkin Square, where the “Leading Putin Foe” was signing a book containing his latest drivel.

        The about 6-stone wringing wet boy several times asked Nemtsov pertinent question as regards his recent meetings abroad with his US controllers, whereupon a goon viciously laid into the the youth whilst Nemtsov continued signing copies of his book presented to him by his worshipping admirers.

        All this was on You Tube.

        Can’t find it now.

        • Warren says:

          Actually it was Nemtsov doing the punching!

          The comments section is interesting.

        • marknesop says:

          You will find it if you have a rake through Sean’s Russia Blog; I remember he did a story on it when it happened, with photos and links. It looked for a short while there as if he and Kevin Rothrock were going to specialize in Nashi and Kremlin youth agencies, and they did a duo interview on the subject. I can’t figure Sean out; he has no time at all for Nashi and reckons they are every bit as bad as their worst detractors say they are. But he has nothing but amused contempt for Latynina and the Limousine Liberals and regularly mocks and excoriates them. Maybe he’s just more of a realist than I, or maybe I just don’t know very much about Nashi. It’s true the poor young lad was no match for Nemtsov and his “security”, but it’s also true they have harassed westerners and liberal figures in Russia whom they reckon are not sufficiently loyal to the government, sometimes throwing bleach or other liquids on them and interrupting their speeches with heckling and shouting. There’s no real need for that, is there? Russians are quite capable of recognizing bullshit when they hear it, the Russian kreakly liberals are mostly harmless, and Nashi would be best employed against aggressive regime-change NGO’s.

          As to The Telegraph‘s chittering, anyone who gets permission is allowed to hold massive demonstrations if they can get the numbers, and there is obviously no record of their ever having been successful at “crushing dissent” (a popular chestnut all the British media rags like to trot out, although several of them were most approving of the British government’s attempts to introduce a National ID Card and other vehicles of “crushing dissent). Nobody tries harder than the British government to infiltrate opposition movements as well as citizen activist groups, and if this is a badge of an authoritarian society, HM Government needs to step up and take a bow.

      • kirill says:

        When is the UK going to call on Kiev to recall its Right Sector goons terrorizing the whole of Ukraine? The UK can go and fuck itself.

    • marknesop says:

      If the rest of Britons were not such flaming Russophobes, Brenton would look like one himself – as it is, he looks like a reasonable moderate although he maintains Assad is an indiscriminately-violent butcher who uses gratuitous violence to hold on to power. He maintains this, together with an unsubstantiated conviction that Moscow does not much care for Assad when there is no reason for the two not to have a mutually respectful relationship, in the face of the unspoken fact that Assad is not up against a people’s army of bakers and waiters and schoolteachers, but a bloody band of the most savage animals on the planet, who regularly behead killed and captured Syrian army soldiers and treat their bodies with the grossest disrespect. The Americans did their fucking nut when militants in Fallujah killed four American Blackwater contractors and hung their bodies from a bridge; that is tame compared to the inventiveness and murderous hatred of Assad’s enemies.

      It’s unclear whether the statement that Russia is attacking moderate groups to bolster the Syrian army is just some more Moscow Time editorializing or attributed to Brenton. But either way, it has been pointed out to the thick-skulled west several times that the best force for defeating ISIS is the Syrian army, an air campaign alone is not going to make them go away, and the Syrian army cannot engage ISIS if it is kept busy fighting so-called “moderates” who are actually al Qaeda. Russia is not going to get into the habit of asking the United States who it should bomb.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Brenton lied through his teeth about the “spy rock” in Moscow at a time when HM Embassy in Moscow staff were helping finance NGOs here.

        UK spied on Russians with fake rock

        The Russians chose their time carefully and it was politically very damaging”, Brenton said. “It was unfortunate that one of the people involved was also dealing with our relations with Russian non-governmental organizations and therefore the Russians were able to use the rock incident to launch accusations against the support we were giving to Russian non-governmental organizations.

        See: British admit to Cold War-style espionage using ‘fake rock’

        Note how LAT uses the term “regime” when referring to the Russian government, how the BBC omits details about British NGO funding and how Brenton describes the involvement of the British embassy bagman for Russian NGO funding with the “spy rock” incident was “unfortunate”.

  9. Drutten says:


    From out of nowhere, all kinds of media outlets today decided to “resurface” a story from 2014 about people in Moldova trying to sell various radioactive materials that could potentially be used for dirty bombs. Now they put the story out there with some additional details that I’m sure they’ve been holding onto for quite a while waiting for the right moment, for instance that some of these criminals tried to pitch these radioactive materials as being a fabulous thing for ISIS. I saw this old story suddenly popping up in various large Swedish outlets today, and sure enough it’s all over the web now.

    One of the key figures in this, a certain “Alexander Agheenco” (Romanian/Moldovan version of the Ukrainian surname Ageyenko, I take it) is said to have both Ukrainian and Russian citizenship, goes by the nickname “the colonel” and used to be working in the local KGB branch in Moldova/Transdnestr back during the days of the Moldovan SSR.

    Boom, there you have it – “Russian FSB colonel sells uranium to ISIS” – I’m not even joking.

    No mention of the fact that having been in the KGB of some former Soviet state at some point doesn’t mean that you’re automatically in the Russian FSB now. No mention of the fact that Russian police assisted the Moldovan investigators in identifying and arresting the suspects (that was in the original story from last year, but curiously omitted now), no mention of the fact that they’re first and foremost Ukrainians and that other Ukrainians have been arrested trying to smuggle radioactive materials out of Ukraine in that very area for the very same reasons (selling to the highest bidder). See these for instance:

    Two Ukrainian citizens try to smuggle radioactive materials into Romania – PGO

    Ukraine Embassy Worker Arrested for Radioactive Smuggling

    The information war that Zakharova spoke about is definitely on. Things are being carefully spun to insinuate the worst conceivable things about Russia all the time.

  10. BlackCatte says:

    This is wonderful!

  11. et Al says:

    Independent: Russia in Syria: Russia launches missiles against Isis from Caspian Sea after Turkish PM says only 2 out of 57 Russian airstrikes hit Isis

    …The Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told Russian media 26 missile strikes were launched this morning from four warships, destroying all 11 intended targets.

    Mr Shoigu said no strikes were targeted at civilian areas…

    …the missiles flew approximately 1,500km before reaching their targets, reports Russia Today.

    Woo hoo! This is a hardcore cruise missile strike, the kind that the USN loves to do. They certainly had permission from Iran and Iraq for the overflight.

    As for Davutoğlu, what is he actually going to do apart from squeaking like a broken trumpet? Just like the Americans who for two years couldn’t tell the difference between ‘extremists’ and ‘moderates’, suddenly they know exactly which are which.

    • kirill says:

      I will take Russian claims over NATO puppet squawking any day.

    • marknesop says:

      “Just like the Americans who for two years couldn’t tell the difference between ‘extremists’ and ‘moderates’, suddenly they know exactly which are which.”

      Not to mention the former country which relies on Google Earth slides that are four years old and social media clips to substantiate its propaganda suddenly has smoking-hot battlefield intelligence which informs it what targets have been hit and who has been killed before the dust has had time to settle. Russia must not back down, but it must be very cautious and substantiate all of its points aggressively with irrefutable evidence, because this is a full-court propaganda press and the west has gone full whacko on Russia’s participation in Syria, as if it is actually itching to widen the regional war to a global conflict. Why have we not heard from Assad? Why is he not on national and international TV ordering all NATO forces out of his country? The Americans invited themselves in and made a shitshow out of attacking ISIS for almost a year, and gradually other NATO countries began to sign on, but the lot of them did less damage in all that time to ISIS than Russia did in a week. Yet all the story is that Russia is “avoiding ISIS strongholds” in favour of murdering civilians and attacking those nice indigenous rebel groups made up of ordinary people just like you and me. This is the “Syrian rebels” (graphic). And this (graphic). And this (graphic). The “Free Syrian Army” never existed, and these people have not brought their wives and kiddies along to settle down in a quiet little religious town in Syria. They live for war and violence, and they are animals.

  12. et Al says:

    The Aviationist: U.S. F-16s came within 20 miles from Russian Su-34s in Syria

    …but according to Lt. Gen. Brown, the Russians have come even closer than that to his unmanned drones…


    The ‘article’ is mostly the usual hot breath bs, but in the comments (my extra empasis):

    Jan Schmidt • 20 hours ago

    there is info on the net, that turkish IADS locked on to russian aircraft inside syrian airspace and the repeated “gestures” of airspace violations by the russian airforce returns the favor, it means a kind of nofly zone is in effect. russia needs kurdish, syrian and iranian ground troops to free syria from islamists. turkey, saudi, kuwaiti, katari, and usa (nato) policies in syria have repeatedly backfired. half of nato says unofficially they will kick out turkey from nato if they do not dial it down. i quote “do not provoke the russian bear” … is there any proof s-300 have been deployed by russia in syria?

  13. et Al says: blog: Brzezinski Urges US to ‘Retaliate’ Against Russian Forces in Syria

    Jason Ditz, October 06, 2015

    In a newly published op-ed for the Financial Times*, former official in the Johnson and Carter Administrations Zbigniew Brzezinski urged that US to use “strategic boldness” in confronting Russia, potentially militarily, over their involvement in Syria.

    Brzezinski presented Russian airstrikes against Syrian rebel factions as at best a display of “Russian military incompetence” and at worst a “dangerous desire to highlight American political impotence,” saying America’s credibility is at stake from allowing Russia to strike the rebels the US previously armed, terming them “American assets.”

    He called for the US to openly demand Russia unconditionally halt all such moves, saying Russian warplanes in Syria are “vulnerable, isolated geographically from their homeland” and could be “disarmed” by force if the Russians don’t comply with US demands.

    Perhaps most bizarrely, Brzezinski closes with talk of calling for Russia to coordinate with the US in the war against ISIS, even though Russia has been openly offering this for weeks over US objections. He further suggests coaxing China into joining the war against ISIS as well, saying China would likely be interested in “increasing its own regional influence.”

    Ultimately, the long-time policy adviser’s position seems, like so many of his recent missives, to center around deliberately antagonizing Russia. He advocates taking enormous risks of a large military confrontation with Russia, and his end-game goal is something Russia is already offering at any rate, and which the Obama Administration keeps spurning.


    Brzezinski really does put the fruit, in the cake!

    • marknesop says:

      I think coaxing China into joining the war against ISIS as well is the only good idea out of the whole bouquet of lunacy. They could operate from Latakia as well. And the USA would bitterly regret having asked, inside a week. Because China would not be part of any “make-believe” bombing which really only hindered the Syrian government while it enabled rebel territorial gains. But in the end it is down to the Syrians, and so far only Russia is invited. But I would like to see Assad make a public statement that U.S. military assets were not welcome in Syria. That might put a bit of a crimp in the current “USA must confront Russia” meme, because it would stress that the USA has no business even being in Syria, never mind trying to control the battle and who is allowed to participate in it. I can only guess he avoids this because he is nervous that it might provoke a direct clash between the U.S. Air Force and the Russian Air Force.

  14. et Al says:

    In the ‘I don’t need you but you need me. Please!’ drama, I have two items to enter in to evidence (both via

    Neuters: U.S. to Russia: break silence on air-to-air rules of conduct

    …”We are waiting for the Russians. They owe us a response,” Mr. Carter told reporters as he visited Moron Air Base in Spain.

    “They should come in and do it right now.”

    The discussions on ways to keep the U.S. and Russian aircraft from clashing have gained urgency after the United States and NATO denounced Russia on Monday for violating Turkish airspace. Turkey, a NATO ally, threatened to respond, raising the prospect of direct confrontation.

    Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said Moscow would welcome a Turkish Defence Ministry delegation to discuss avoiding any “misunderstandings” in Syria.

    The U.S. proposal includes basic safety protocols, such as maintaining a safe distance between U.S. and Russian aircraft and using common radio frequencies for distress calls, officials say, adding they would be similar to civil aviation…

    Isn’t this classic passive-aggressive behavior? A lovely response to the Turks from the Russians with a touch of trolling. Ash Carter speaking from ‘Moron’ should be the headline though.

    & 2

    Neuters: Russian ministry: Turkey suggests joint working group over Syria ops

    Turkey’s defense ministry suggested to Russia on Tuesday that the two sides should consider creating a joint working group to coordinate actions related to Russia’s air strikes in Syria, a Russian Defense Ministry official said.

    Igor Konashenkov told Russian news agencies the Turkish ministry had made the suggestion to a Russian military official attached to the Russian embassy in Istanbul.


    • marknesop says:

      No, no, no!! This is just Washington trying to control the battlespace through the Turks. Washington wants enough advance notice of Russian strikes that it can warn its rebel pets and keep them out of harm’s way, as well as a peek at patrol patterns to see where the Russians will not be when, so the rebels can get up to mischief. “They owe us a response,” Mr. Carter told reporters as he visited Moron Air Base in Spain” – just fuck off, Carter; whose idea was it to break off all military contacts between NATO and Russia? Not Russia’s. You made your bed – roll around in it a little, see how you like it.

      Once again, deconfliction between the two air forces would not be necessary if the one that is uninvited and should not even be in the country would get out. Syria plainly does not need any American “help” with ISIS, and to listen to the Turks you would think the whole thing was going on in Turkey instead of Syria.

  15. Patient Observer says:

    And this is what Russia thinks of NATO warnings regarding air strikes:
    For me it was a surprising military action (using cruise missiles) but why not? Also, the cooperation shown by Iraq and Iran (granting permission for the missile overflights) was also significant. Seems like they are all-in on working with Russia.

    • kirill says:

      This is indeed a message to Washington. Its minions in Syria have a short expiry date and there is nothing Washington can do about. Looks like Washington has lost control of Iraq as well. But that is to be expected since Iraqi Shi’ites can see that Washington is backing the Sunni Salafis across the Middle East and South Asia.

      By now it should be clear that Washington is trying to ignite a Sunni Salafi caliphate frenzy that will extend into the former USSR and into Russia as well. ISIS was already preparing for a fresh new wave of North Caucuses jihadi warfare and Russia is doing its duty to suppress these aggressors. Washington’s attempts to stir Islamic militancy in Russia and the CIS is ongoing.

      • et Al says:

        Moon of Alabama calls it: Syria, Iraq: Russia Shows Its Cards And Wins

        • Patient Observer says:

          The likely missile is:

          “3M-14 – DOD designation SS-N-30A. An Inertial guidance land attack variant deployed by the Russian Navy. The submarine-launched weapon has a basic length of 6.2 m (20 ft), with a 450 kg (990 lb) warhead. Its range is 1,500–2,500 km (930–1,550 mi). Its subsonic terminal speed is Mach 0.8.”

          They call it a “domestic” version however 26 units were “exported” to Syria with door to door delivery. That is what I call service!

        • marknesop says:

          Aaaaand there goes the ground invasion, laydees and gentlemen. The Syrian army, Iran and Hezbollah step off to re-take ground lost to the peaceful flower-waving rebels. And not before time.

          Ummm…where did you say the Free Syrian Army was these days, Ashton? Because according to the New York Times;

          “The TOW missiles were provided to some groups in a covert CIA program meant to strengthen relatively moderate, relatively secular forces. But it has suffered setbacks, and the groups have primarily found that they must either fight alongside Nusra or have its weapons seized by the group.

          That has put the United States in the uncomfortable position of having groups it has supported using their TOW missiles to help the advances by larger, more powerful Islamist groups, including the Nusra Front, listed as a terrorist group. On the one hand, the groups are serving their purpose, fighting Mr. Assad’s army, and the commanders say they must stay in the game or lose all hope of influence; on the other hand much of the credit and spoils of victory go to Nusra.”

          Speaking of where the terrorists are as opposed to the peaceful flower-wavers who just wish everyone could get along, Russia has grown tired of the American rhetoric on the subject, and invited the USA to provide it with a list of moderate rebel groups who do not deserve to be bombed, and why not.

          “Russian diplomats, a senior Foreign Ministry official said, have asked the United States to identify armed groups other than units of the Syrian Army that are fighting the Islamic State and that should be avoided in airstrikes, but the official said the Russians had not yet received an answer.

          “If there are some forces that also have weapons in their hands and are on the ground fighting, as the coalition says, with the Islamic State, and they should not be touched, then wonderful,” the official said. “Give the list, give the call signs of these people. Tell us where are they located, explain why they shouldn’t be touched. Indeed, this information is not provided.”

          Crickets, so far. Well, except for Ashton Carter moaning and wringing his hands about Assad “killing his own people”. I’ve noticed the U.S. government believes that “killing his own people” charge is some kind of powerful mojo – they used it against Gaddafi and Hussein as well. Here’s a picture of the Obamas making nice with Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, dictatorial leader of Equatorial Guinea. TONM, as I’ll call him rather than fret about which of his names should have the “Mister” in front of it, claims to commune regularly with God and can consequently kill anyone he wants. The country almost snuffed the U.S. Ambassador back in the 90’s, because he was believed to be practicing witchcraft. The U.S. State Department has recorded “unlawful killings by security forces; government-sanctioned kidnappings; systematic torture of prisoners and detainees by security forces; life threatening conditions in prisons and detention facilities; impunity; arbitrary arrest, detention, and incommunicado detention.” Did I mention that in 2008 the USA imported $3 Billion worth of oil from Equatorial Guinea?

  16. et Al says:

    euractiv: EU starts military operation against ‘mafia of the sea’


    YAWN! Finding ISIS/ISIL/DAESH/whatever was far too hard for them so here is a little bit of light house work that should be suitable. Unless they f/k that up as well. Probably.

    Does anyone here think that ‘stopping the traffikers’ is a better solution than stopping the war in Syria?

    It’s just occurred to me that NATO doesn’t have an anthem or song, so may I propose:

    What a bunch of epic, gobshite, failures NATO is. Stool-ten-borg would make the perfect Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

  17. Warren says:

    Russian footage ‘shows missile attack on IS in Syria’

      • Patient Observer says:

        That is a very informative video. The salvos were fired quickly and the size/power of the ships was surprising considering that the Caspian is sea land-locked and relatively small.

        • kirill says:

          The updated Russian war ships are designed for the missile era. Most of what we have seen in the past and is still afloat was designed for the gun era. Missiles make a frigate into a battle cruiser.

          • marknesop says:

            They do, but you still need a gun. The British found that out when they designed the Type 22 “BROADSWORD” Class as an all-missile frigate. Missiles are very expensive and even with a little dinky one like the Sea Wolf, you can only carry so many and would run out in about a day if asked to fight a modern naval battle within gun range. However, the point that these were very small ships to be striking targets so far away is a valid one.

  18. Moscow Exile says:

    Flawed Reasoning

    Today is the ninth anniversary of St. Anna Politkovskaya’s murder.

    SHE was killed on HIS birthday; pure coincidence is not credible.

    The blog whence the above picture has come describes the “martyr” as a “renowned journalist”.

    She was anything but – at least, not when she was alive.

    • marknesop says:

      Renowned at Novaya Gazeta, where they have preserved her desk just as she left it, as a shrine; western observers have described being in its presence as an overwhelming experience.

    • kirill says:

      That’s right, Putin’s enemies obviously chose the date for a reason to stage this psyop.

      Not quite what the one-note Johnny liberast retards would want everyone to think.

    • Special_sauce says:

      I believed the hype too. But what is the real story?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        She upset some Chechen warlords in much that she wrote. She not only pointed her finger at the evil Russian regime but at those who yearned for a Caucasus caliphate.

        To make matters worse, I suspect, was also the fact that she was one of those lesser mortals created by Allah called “woman”.

        I became acquainted with a Moscow journalist a few years ago who was very critical of her and who told me that Politkovskaya was not much liked by many of his colleagues. The reason for this, he said, was that she often put peoples’ lives in danger in order to get good “copy”.

        Many often do not recall or do not know that St. Anna was also a US citizen. There are quite a few around, I think, masquerading as Russians (she had dual nationality), such as that geriatric Lyudmila Alekseeva.

        Here’s Politkovskaya’s account of her involvement at the Nord-Ost siege as published by some of her greatest worshippers,and fellow scribes at the Grauniad:

        I tried and failed

        The scene of that atrocity is not far from where I live. What is forgotten now, or perhaps even unknown in the West, is that another woman entered that theatre before St. Anna did in order to parley with the terrorists. Having returned home from work and found out what was happening across the road from the block where she lived, that woman was so infuriated that she walked across to the theatre and entered its foyer, demanding to speak to the terrorist leader. He duly appeared. She asked him what he thought he was doing to innocents, whereupon he pulled out a pistol and shot her dead point blank in the face. For several days that girl’s body – she was 21, I think – lay in the foyer where it fell.

        After the tragic end of the siege, St. Anna was one of the first to jump onto the bandwagon in order to accuse the city authorities and the powers-that-be of being responsible for the deaths of many of the hostages. She also had a lot to say as regards alleged mishandling of the enquiry after the event and compensation to relatives of the victims.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          My children have told me that the local kids don’t like playing around the “Nord-Ost” theatre after dark. They say there be spooks there. Weird! Just like St. Anna’s shrine.

  19. et Al says:

    Groaning Man: Doctors Without Borders: we received no advance warning of US airstrike


    The US’ ‘let’s just move on’ is not going to wash here. Bombing the f/k out of anything with gay abandon is not an option for much longer

  20. et Al says:

    The Nation: Syria beyond imperial smokescreens

    Desperate mouthpieces of the empire have gone into a propaganda overdrive, blowing as many smokescreens around the war in Syria as they possibly can. The more enthusiastic of them would like to turn reality completely on its head and portray Russia and Putin as villains of world peace. And then there are those who, in the name of objectivity, would like to reduce a clearly moral war between good and evil to a power tussle fought for geo-strategic dominance.

    So is it really as simple and boring as a duel between the ‘sole superpower’ and a ‘wannabe’ world power? Is Russia just an ‘envious has-been’ empire nostalgic about its lost glory or is it fighting for principles that guarantee world peace and order? Are there no good and bad sides in this war? Is it childish to pick sides and believe in heroes in this day and age? Well, sometimes it is not.

    All evidence suggests that Putin is not an ambitious villain but a knight in shining armour, here at last to rescue our world from the claws of US unilateralism. He is clearly poised to heal the Middle East, and the world. What is happening in Syria today will define the emerging world order. It might not be the utopia that we had waited for, but it promises to be better than the unchallenged US-led reign of terror….

  21. dany8538 says:

    It has been casually mentioned today but we all know it is The Event of the Year!!!!!
    The birthday of one that has many names: The Dark One, Sauron, etc. but these days he is known primarily as God of the Khokhli.
    Happy Birthday Vladimir Vladimirovich. In your honor, I present you all with a great cartoon.

    Best Cartoon shorts of Putin I have ever seen. Hilarious. Although its in russian but I think you guys will get the gist 🙂

    • Jen says:

      Happy Birthday to Vladimir Vladimirovich!

      Pictures from the Putin Universe Exhibition showing concurrently (?) in London and Moscow:

      This painting isn’t part of the exhibition but it’s pretty funny:

      • marknesop says:

        I’m surprised you missed the famous two-penis Putin painting – which, to be fair, is quite heavily penis-influenced, so Putin’s presence in it might be only coincidental and secondary to the overall message. Available in convenient wallet-size. Quite Christmasy, as well, with the red and green phalli.

        • yalensis says:

          Those penises are WAY too circumsized looking.
          I don’t know about Obama, if he truly WAS born in Hawaii, then he is probably circumcized.
          But I am thinking that VVP, born in Russia, is most likely un-cut.
          I could be wrong.

          • marknesop says:

            I normally do not show that picture to ladies. Managing expectations and all that, you know.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Highly likely untrimmed. I remember once hearing some women students from the USA twittering away about how they had recently been to a mixed banya event and how “gross” it was that the Russian males in their presence had all been uncircumsized. They were unabashed about what they spoke in my presence because they thought I was some dumb muzhik having no knowledge of their garbled Valley Girl jabbering.

            • marknesop says:

              All such men want to hope they never need to have the operation done when they are an adult; it’s not much fun compared to what it’s like when you’re an infant and don’t remember anything. My stepfather had to have it done when he was in his late 40’s, if I recall correctly, because the skin was growing together. I don’t know why; just one of those medical mysteries. We got a great kick out of trying to make him laugh in the hospital, because it hurt to laugh. We loved him, but kids are cruel.

  22. et Al says:

    AP via Seattle Pi: Pentagon: US warplane rerouted over Syria to avoid Russians

    The Pentagon says at least one U.S. military aircraft changed its route over Syria recently to avoid coming dangerously close to Russian warplanes.

    A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, says he could not provide details, including the number of times this has happened.

    He says U.S. aircraft are still flying attack and other missions daily over Syria. But he acknowledges that the air operations have had to be adjusted since the Russians began flying.

    Davis says this highlights the Pentagon’s interest in talking further to Russian officials about ways to avoid accidents and potential unintended conflict in the sky over Syria.

    One round of talks was held Oct. 1. No second session is scheduled.

    Facts in the air and facts on the ground. It’s not easy being green… I mean the US:

  23. et Al says:

    Just watching BBC World nudes report on Syria.*

    They showed ‘FSA’ videos hitting Syrian tanks and APCs with US supplied TOWs, each time shouting “ALLUH AKBAR” each time the make a hit and showing them celebrating not ‘”losing ground to being attacked from four sides”.

    So let’s get this straight. The BBC (Quentin Somerville) is now showing terrorist’s youtube videos prominently in their reports and saying they are FSA despite all the Allu Akbar shouting. They then go on to repeat the West’s claim that “Russia is not hitting ISIS” as fact. There is no qualification or questioning of this.

    William Taylor of the US Institute of Peace says “It is never clear what Russia is up to” and they “acting on impulse”. He’s also talking about a ‘No-fly zone’..

    It doesn’t even fulfill the basic tenets of journalism which is to question more and be critical. The Interviewer just pitched soft ball questions and simply accepted the answers. If this is the best democracy has to offer, then it is *£&$%^”.
    About USIP

    The United States Institute of Peace works to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict around the world. USIP does this by engaging directly in conflict zones and by providing analysis, education, and resources to those working for peace. Created by Congress in 1984 as an independent, nonpartisan, federally funded organization, USIP’s more than 300 staff work at the Institute’s D.C. headquarters, and on the ground in the world’s most dangerous regions



    • et Al says:

      Sorry, I wasn’t clear. The BBC news anchor (lady) was interviewing William Taylor from USIP, feeding him lines. J. F. C.!

  24. Norther Star says:

    “twenty-two people were killed including both staff and patients, some of whom burned to death in their beds.”

    I wonder how many of the robot vermin who flew that sortie will receive medals of commendation for their combat valor…..Perhaps a Fifth Avenue ticker tape parade of Welcome Back valiant heroes..

    Will the First Family of Nazis in- blackface- be standing at the head of the White House Gala reception line….smartly clicking of Sieg Heil salutes to the war weary vets….???

    BTW..Last night Cohen really went off on Ashton Carter,,,said he was “demented” and should resign…

  25. Lyttenburgh says:

    And now for something completely different.

    There is a Russian LJ/VK/FB community “Legatus Pretor” which using esopian language comments and describes some of the most important events in the world in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Also, the community publishes articles about the Ancient Roman history and they were also involves in some Ancient-World re-enactment (“reconstruction”) events.

    I’ve been reading it for a while, but decided to introduce people at large to it via my (less than perfect) translation. I present to you the recent report by legatus Preator Gaius Anonomymus:

    Moras in the Parthian palaces

    Savory news came from Parthia, where one of the eunuchs owned by the local rich man Tramparamp, known for his scandalous behavior, has decided to publish the scrolls about the customs and morals that existed in the palace of the Parthian kings during the reign of Clint, a very lecherous monarch who became famous for his amorous adventures.

    Clint the King was married to the priestess Illariya, who first served in the Parthian temple of the Golden Toad, and only much later, during the reign of the Nubian Abamarak, by intrigues and bribery had been appointed as a chief eunuch. And do not ask how it happened, in Parthia it happens all the time – for example, most recently the Master (Mistress?) of all the servants and slaves of the White Palace became a matron, who had been transformed from a man into a woman by some unknown and terrifying spells, and no one really knows now what it is hiding in it’s pants now, and whether the spell was successful at all …

    Now, it is known that king Clint could not spare a single young maid from his attention, and that he copulated with some very young priestess called Levinia straight on the throne in the main ceremonial hall of the White Palace. Given that the Parthians hypocritically proclaim freedoms of moral for the rest of the people, but as soon as rumors of debauchery concern them and immediately turn into a virtuous guardians of the sacred hearth of the family, it is not surprising that Illariya immediately showed her unfaithful husband her angry and fierce temper! Clint began appearing at festivals and banquets with a black eye, or with bruises or with hair partially pulled out of his head, and one day he appeared before the court with a wound on his neck, and explained that by the negligence of the barber (whose punishment has already been sent to the land of the wild Pashtuns to fight for Parthia) but actually distraught by jealousy Illariya had lurched the ill-fated battle-ax at the king and Clint just miraculously survived!

    Bribed palace guards told the author of the scandalous scroll that Illariya didn’t limited herself to just axe-throwing, that she threw at the her lecher of the husband a variety of objects – from the jade phalluses and gold state seal, to full plates of dates and scrolls with obscene drawings of the Greeks, while shouting black curses and profane words, upon hearing which even the most experienced donkey-driver would turn crimson with shame! No less wildly did the raging priestess dispensed with servants and bodyguards, she tore the hair from slave-girls heads and sometimes she even put on chairs of Clint’s advisers a bull-sacks filled a mixture of honey and pig manure, from which it was impossible to wash the rich vestments of Parthian nobles! In short, she have proved to be a true satrap and a home tyrant.

    And this violent matron now lays her claim to the throne of Parthia, as the Nubian Abamarak will soon had to abdicated – “what will happened then?” ask Quirites on the Forum. Would Illariya at the Council of the Hundred Kings start throwing in rex Ollandiks of Gauls, the High Priestess of all Germans Mertseliya, and even in Caesar Augustus himself dried sheep pellets or she might shake the air with her loud cries ?!

    An old Judean money-changed from the market in Tiburtin gave Quirites one good advice: let each of them to give a thousand sesterces and buy as a present for Illariya a powerful Nubian slave with outstanding… qualities, so that such a slave would continuously… console the violent matron and she won’t have a time for her disgraceful antics …

    • yalensis says:

      Ho hum, just another day at the American office.

    • Cortes says:

      A bit heavy handed for me.

      The US establishment appears to see itself as an Olympian family perhaps deriving from too many viewings of Jason and the Argonauts.

      And it’s Praetor., as in praetor urbanus and praetor peregrinus.

  26. ucgsblog says:

    Mexican gangster offers 100 million dollar bounty on Republican presidential front runner:

    • Ali Cat says:

      A waste of money in my opinion, Chapo is not concerned over the imigration reform, he couldnt care less. And Trump is an idiot so why bother, nature will do it for free in some point, thank God.

  27. Jen says:

    I guess Americans have to stop laughing at David Cameron and Miss Piggy now, this piece of news suddenly hove onto my radar screen:

    The rest of us in the Anglosphere can carry on as usual … until someone comes up with a shaggy sheep story.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s