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.


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

  1. et Al says:

    Useless Russians Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko just messing about waiting for the USA to come and show them how to do it right:

  2. ucgsblog says:

    Great article Mark, and the previous one written by Lytburger was cool too! You start off with a nice takedown of Paul Roderick Gregory.

    “Nobody said sorry.” – and that’s why they’ll be sorry. The Russo-Chinese media, (yup, the Chinese are now joining in,) will play this up as a fine example of US media ignorance. Remember when China was afraid of the West’s soft power? Now they’re laughing at it, and it hasn’t even been a decade, thanks to “journalists” like Mr. Gregory.

    “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%!!”

    Ahhh! The Liberal Coup is coming! They just have to sextuple their numbers. I’m assuming that’s where Ms. Taub thinks that Pussy Riot comes in.

    “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.”

    Mark, you didn’t have to tell me that was Felgenhauer. I could’ve figured that out by the stupidity of the assertion. Nuke subs’ job is to get away after launch and sail under the water, in order to avoid detection. Having two detectable carriers tends to dampen one’s stealth capabilities. But that’s Felgenhauer. I’d compare him to Baghdad Bob, but I wouldn’t want to insult Baghdad Bob.

    “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.”

    I will not eat when reading Mark’s articles.
    I will not eat when reading Mark’s articles.
    I will not eat when reading Mark’s articles.
    I will not eat when reading Mark’s articles.
    I will not eat when reading Mark’s articles.

    “Timothy Snyder, eminent historian and defender of the Maidan, tells whoever will listen that Kiev is the only bilingual capital in Europe.”

    Of course. Most other capitals are multilingual.

    “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… All of it totally manufactured nonsense”

    And that’s why the West will lose to China and Russia. It’s much easier to respond and analyze when you have the facts on your side.

    “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.”

    Speaking of that:

    You know the NY Post is a bit butthurt when the editorial board talks about Genocide. Yep, by supporting Assad against ISIS, Putin is supporting Genocide in Syria. Of course the Post doesn’t actually have any proof of said Genocide, and doesn’t care that throwing around the term actually diminishes the significance, thus pissing off actual survivors of Genocide, (mostly Slavs,) but NY Post doesn’t care about that. Nor do they care that Russian media can use said article to discredit them, or that Chinese press could use it to show their population how stupid the “mighty” Western soft power has become. To quote those brainiacs:

    “Despite Team Obama’s repeated warnings, Russia is flying sophisticated military equipment and personnel to Syria in order to bolster strongman Bashar al-Assad in his genocidal civil war.”

    Actually there was Genocide, in Tawargha, Libya, as a result of the war that NY Post gleefully cheered for. But those are facts. Unnecessary. Of course the NY Post’s editorial board ends their article in such a manner, as to remove all doubt of their “radiant” minds:

    “And Obama, determined to go down in history as the president “who ended two wars,” refuses to get involved. Indeed, the White House may actually pretend Moscow is a new partner against ISIS — whose record of atrocities is more than matched by Assad’s. President Theodore Roosevelt famously enacted a foreign policy of “speak softly but carry a bg stick.” President Obama continues to do just the reverse.”

    Question: if President Obama doesn’t have a big stick, how can he use it?

    So according to NY Post’s editorial board, if Obama doesn’t use that, which he doesn’t have, in order to stop that, which is not occurring, Obama is condoning Genocide by the transitive property of Putin through Assad. Got it?

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks, UCG!! I never think these articles are particularly funny until you say they are, but you make them sound way funnier. It’s like trying to make yourself laugh, I guess, although sometimes I do that.

      The New York Post is another of Rupert Murdoch and News Corp’s acquisitions, and strongly reflects the hardcore conservative Republican mindset – Russia is laughing at Obama, and normally that would make us mad because We Are Americans and it will be a cold day in hell before we ever agree with Russians on anything. However, we do concede just a tiny bit that they have a point here, because Obama is an incompetent femozoid who just will not step up and be a man, and arm everyone we like with shiny new American arms which are good for business, good for World Peace, and cholesterol-free.

      It’s funny to see an article like this, because the Post is going swively-eyed trying to balance out its hatred of Obama with its hatred of Russia.

  3. Moscow Exile says:

    So brave and daring of them!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      But not at the front, I see!

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        The front? They’re on lunch hour – the public toilets on the Arbat won’t scrub themselves.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Remember, where they are making their little demonstration is, according to Porky and Co. together with his EU and USA backers, situated in the very heart of enemy territory, in that land that is waging war against their mother country, in that state that is an authoritarian, fascist dictatorship and a menace to the whole of Europe and its “values”.

          Can you imagine British or US protestors standing in front of the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin in 1941, in Germany, displaying their respective patriotic flags in their enemy state of that time; in a state that was most definitely authoritarian and Nazi by definition, to say nothing of the impossibility they would have had as enemy aliens of the Third Reich in entering Nazi German territory? Long before they had reached Berlin, they would have been arrested and interned.

          So why didn’t that happen to those people in the picture above when they attempted to enter the “aggressor state” Russia that has been waging war against the Ukraine for nearly 2 years?

          • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

            Mykola, Taras, and Pavlo were at their local, bragging of their patriotic exploits.

            Taras went first: “I went to Yanukovych’s house and spray-painted ‘Slava Ukraini’ on the walls fifty times!”.

            Pavlo scoffed: “That’s nothing, I planted the Ukrainian flag on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro!”.

            Mykola smiled and shook his head. “Amateurs, both of you!” he said with a chuckle. “I went to Moscow and took a crap in the Lenin Mausoleum!”.

            Now this was really something – Taras and Pavlo were awestruck.

            “How the hell did you manage it? How could you pull that off without getting the rest of your shit kicked out of you?”

            Grinning like a Cheshire cat, Mykola answered: “It’s easy – the trick is to keep your pants on when you do it”.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          He in the picture most likely works in the public toulits: his two companions, however, probably work behind of them.

  4. Warren says:

    Russia trolls David Cameron over Jeremy Corbyn ‘security threat’ message

  5. Warren says:

  6. Warren says:

    • marknesop says:

      It’s important to note that Glazyev’s report is just that – a report, a series of recommendations. Some of them make a lot of sense, some of them are a bit edgy, and some must be balanced for their effectiveness againast the propaganda bonus Washinton would reap if they were employed. But the government does not have to do any of them. Leberal screechers are invited to submit their proposals, and show their work.

      • Oddlots says:

        The reaction to the proposals me of Mrs Havoc-Jones contribution below:

        Graham Chapman: I think all righthtinking people in this country are sick and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired.

        All: Yes, yes…

        Graham Chapman: I’m certainly not! And I’m sick and tired of being told that I am.

        Not Sure?: Mrs. Havoc-Jones.

        Mrs. Havoc-Jones: Well, I meet a lot of people and I’m convinced that the vast majority of wrongthinking people are right.

        Not Sure?: There seems like a consensus there. Could we have the next question, please?

        Woman: I would like to ask the team what changes they would make if they were Hitler?

        Graham Chapman: Well, speaking personally, I would annex the Sudetenland.

        Not Sure?: Norman?

        Norman: I think I’d pay some Dutchmen to set fire to Lord Snowdon.


        Take capital controls. They are viewed as something akin to original sin yet does it really make sense to allow hot money to flow in and out of your economy at will with no restrictions. According to the orthodoxy yes but I wonder what those countries who suffered through the Asian crisis would advise. Beyond that why is it that China can impose all sorts of like-minded restrictions without being called out on it. Oh, I see! With respect to China these are more like “deal points”. Funny that. Could it be they are just to big to do this to:

    • Jen says:

      ” … Controversially, the program proposes to use Central Bank resources to provide targeted lending for businesses and industries by providing them with low interest rates between 1-4 percent, made possible by quantitative easing to the tune of 20 trillion rubles over a five year period. The program also suggests that the state support private business through the creation of “reciprocal obligations” for the purchase of products and services at agreed-upon prices …”

      Excuse me but this is the sort of thing we in the West used to do for newly established businesses and industries deemed to be in the national interest. China probably still does this. Hardly controversial.

      ” … A section of the report on “stabilizing the ruble’s exchange rate, the termination of capital flight and the de-dollarization of the economy” offers yet more controversial suggestions, proposing that the state “stop the speculative vortex” in the currency market via what effectively amounts to the introduction of capital controls, something which Russia’s leadership has vehemently resisted even considering. The proposed measures include restrictions on companies’ purchase of foreign currency for reasons other than transactions with foreign entities, along with a “temporary tax” on conversation operations, as well as restrictions on companies’ export of capital, requiring firms to offer “reasoned justifications” for their activities in the transfer of capital abroad …”

      In some other countries, such restrictions would be hailed as reforms to clean out practices like some forms of transfer pricing done for the purpose of minimising tax obligations and earning undeserved tax rebates. So these suggestions are hardly controversial either.

      Just goes to show how much of the one-dimensional neoliberal Kool Aid has been drunk by those economists criticising Glazyev’s suggestions.

      • marknesop says:

        All part of the rush to paint anything done by a state economist as an exercise in nest-feathering and wrong-headed, destructive, un-progressive state policies to benefit the Kremlin and its cronies. The state could repeat the policies announced by the kreakli two weeks ago and they would scream that the Kremlin is obviously desperate to resolve the crippling financial crisis if it would grasp at straws like that. The wonderful power of economics – hardly anyone understands it, so it’s always easy to argue the policies of an opponent are stupid on their face, and that your own would be much more beneficial if applied.

    • marknesop says:

      “Western diplomats at the UN refused to speak on the record about Ahtisaari’s claim, but pointed out that after a year of the Syrian conflict, Assad’s forces had already carried out multiple massacres, and the main opposition groups refused to accept any proposal that left him in power. A few days after Ahtisaari’s visit to New York, Hillary Clinton, then US secretary of state, branded the Syrian leader a war criminal.”

      Hillary “Sniper” Clinton has absolutely no room to be calling anyone else a war criminal, considering her support of the Poroshenko “government” and its murder of civilians in Indiscriminate Attacks, which are a war crime. And “Western diplomats at the UN” are a bunch of know-nothings who get all their information from partisan activists – the newspaper reports of the time were replete with “activists said” and “according to activists”. Virtually everything that was sourced at all came from activists, including the daily body count from the activist-fed Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “Western diplomats at the UN” completely ignored the report of the League of Arab States Mission to Syria, which was damning for the fake opposition and largely bore out Assad’s side of the story; it did not identify any “massacres” by Assad’s forces. The entire western effort in Syria is a preplanned operation wholly in western interests, completely ignoring the will of the Syrian people. The Arab League’s Mission was discontinued right after the report was released, on the grounds that the mission had been “ineffective”.

  7. PaulR says:

    Poroshenko tells Bernard-Henri Levy: “Do you know why and when Putin eased off? It was when he realized that we had succeeded over the past few months in building an army that was not only determined but strong, one of the strongest and most powerful on the continent.’

    • Cortes says:

      One never tires of this.

    • marknesop says:

      Fascinating. I was not able to find where Monsieur Henri-Levy obtained his degree in veterinary medicine, but he seems so adept at divining exactly what Poroshenko is thinking, just by the way he cocks his head, that it is not even necessary that Poroshenko have the power of speech. Instead, M. Henri-Levy can simply supply both sides of the conversation. Well, he has a degree in philosophy, so perhaps that permits many of the same insights.

      Not for nothing did M. Henri-Levy’s wife once describe him as “a man whose intelligence is destroyed by his own ego”. Poroshenko is in gallant company, indeed. What’s that you say, Petro? You need to go out? I’m afraid I just can’t get that head-cocking thing – is there a French intellectual philosopher in the house?

      Curiously, Poroshenko paraphrases Putin while speaking in fluent French. To the best of my knowledge, Putin does not speak French. And to the best of my understanding, neither does Poroshenko. Was he just trying to impress his French intellectual guest? If so, it’s odd that he would have learned to say “It’s not my fault” in French. Or perhaps he just knows that one in every language.

    • Jen says:

      That Kyiv Post reads like true Mills & Boon bromance.

      Euromance is what Porky Pig wishes for and Haunting Alliance is what the EU will get.

    • Oddlots says:

      Classic. Porochocko has quickly gotten the hang of it. Truth by assertion is the only form of “argument” his target audience – us, his backers – respects generally speaking. Well, that and advancement, be you a journalist, politician or pundit.

      If I follow your line of reasoning, now’s the time Porky! Clearly you should go on the offensive with all haste.

  8. et Al says:

    Robert Parry: Who’s to Blame for Syria Mess? Putin!

    Exclusive: Official Washington’s new “group think” is to blame Russia’s President Putin for the Syrian crisis, although it was the neocons and President George W. Bush who started the current Mideast mess by invading Iraq, the Saudis who funded Al Qaeda, and the Israelis who plotted “regime change,” says Robert Parry.

    By Robert Parry

    Sen. Lindsey Graham may have been wrong about pretty much everything related to the Middle East, but at least he has the honesty to tell Americans that the current trajectory of the wars in Syria and Iraq will require a U.S. re-invasion of the region and an open-ended military occupation of Syria, draining American wealth, killing countless Syrians and Iraqis, and dooming thousands, if not tens of thousands, of U.S. troops.

    Graham’s grim prognostication of endless war may be a factor in his poll numbers below one percent, a sign that even tough-talking Republicans aren’t eager to relive the disastrous Iraq War. Regarding the mess in Syria, there are, of course, other options, such as cooperation with Russia and Iran to resist the gains of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda and a negotiated power-sharing arrangement in Damascus. But those practical ideas are still being ruled out…

    …Privately, I’m told, Obama agreed to — and may have even encouraged — Putin’s increased support for the Assad regime, realizing it’s the only real hope of averting a Sunni-extremist victory. But publicly Obama senses that he can’t endorse this rational move. Thus, Obama, who has become practiced at speaking out of multiple sides of his mouth, joined in bashing Russia – sharing that stage with the usual suspects, including The New York Times’ editorial page…


    • marknesop says:

      There was a fascinating comment to that article, which seemed to me very informed and was a genuine eye-opener. For instance, the western media regularly raves on ad infinitum about Assad’s “Allawite power structure”. It was a complete surprise to me to learn “In Syria’s 30-strong cabinet only two ministers are Alawite. The prime minister is Sunni, as are the interior minister, the justice minister, the foreign minister, even the defense minister.”

      I’ll repeat the entire comment here; it comes from Wolf Mato, and contains an excellent and informative link which proves the U.S. military community at least is well aware of the inclusive nature of the Syrian government. There seems little doubt that the United States government is aware of it as well.

      This is the first article about Syria here, with which I nearly fully agree, and so I try it again to make a comment, after two earlier attempts to comment on other articles failed.

      Putin can indeed be blamed partly for the Syrian mess, because a more decisive support of the Government in the early stages of the uprising or bombing campaigns against Jabhat al-Nusra and IS in 2013 would have quelled the insurgency. Russia also should have moved against Turkey, but Putin didn’t want to jeopardize trade with Turkey. He proposed even a “Turkish Stream” natural gas pipeline, but negotiation about this project fortunately have collapsed, so Russia doesn’t have to take care about Turkish sensibilities.

      I don’t agree with the sentence: “So, although it’s surely true that Syrian security forces struck back fiercely at times in the brutal civil war…” This appears to be a concession to the popular presumption, established via million times repeated catchphrases (butcher Assad), that Syria is a brutal totalitarian dictatorship, where the Sunni majority is suppressed by an Alawite clique.

      The classification of the Syrian war as a “civil war” is debatable, it could as well be seen as an undeclared war of aggression by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, the USA).

      I also object to the sentence: “The obvious solution would be a power-sharing arrangement that gives Sunnis more of a say.”

      Sunni are represented sufficiently and pols in 2012 and 2013 showed, that the majority of Sunnis support Bashar al-Assad. Sunnis are represented in the government as well as in the security apparatus and account for between 60 and 65 percent of the regular army. Many high ranking officers are Sunni.

      Even a West Point analysis had to acknowledge that

      In Syria’s 30-strong cabinet only two ministers are Alawite. The prime minister is Sunni, as are the interior minister, the justice minister, the foreign minister, even the defense minister.

      Beside that, who should take part in a power sharing transitional government? Who of the external opposition figures has enough support of the Syrian population to justify an inclusion is a power sharing government?

      Please name the people in the external opposition who could be entrusted with reconciling the war-torn nation?

      In my opinion, this guy’s comment kicks the stool out from under nearly every western commentator on the subject. Well done, Mr. Mato – well done.

      • Jen says:

        A power-sharing arrangement along religious lines, as exists in Lebanon and (since 2003) in Iraq, will weaken Syrian society in forcing people to live in parallel sub-cultures (Alawite, Christian, Druze, Shi’ite Muslim, Sunni Muslim) with competing interests. Plus sectarianism in Lebanese politics and society did not help Shi’ites much at all and they practically had to create their own society and institutions outside mainstream Lebanese society in Hezbollah since the 1980s.

        • Oddlots says:

          From what I read years back the “power sharing” constitution of Lebanon was like a demographic time bomb. Can’t remember what situation it developed from but it fixed the power balance on an arbitrary point in time (and then set off the timer.)

          Naive probably but if you can’t come up with a national project that overwhelms this crap (much less enshrines it) then you don’t really have a country do you?

          Strange that the countries that have actually achieved that are the primary targets of Western interests (and their allies): Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. And our allies are exactly the Islamofascists that US / NATO bobble heads suggest are being countered.

          Pull the other one fuckers.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        What exactly is Washington’s case on this point anyway? That a religious minority should not have representation and influence in the government far out of proportion to its numbers as a proportion of the general population?

        Have they ever stopped to consider how that principle might be applied closer to home?

      • Special_sauce says:

        There are pics of Assad addressing Parliament at the start of this crisis. Among his audience are men in business suits, men in arab dress, women with hair uncovered, women with hair covered, those with dark skins, those with light, those with kinky hair, those with straight. Precisely the sort of secular multivarious conclave the West never ceases to hold forth as the ideal. The swine.

  9. Erika says:

    Putin did not speak to Elton John

    I was at first a bit bemused by this, thinking we were being trolled, but now I wonder if it is something more sinister.

    A. this announcement and fanfare is being done days before Putin goes to New York
    B. It is meant to force a meeting
    C. It is meant to embarrass Russia
    D. Reminds me of the Sochi Olympics were everyone “Western Media” will be talking about Gay Rights instead of Putin’s speech.

    • marknesop says:

      That’s interesting – I saw that report, too; “Putin calls Elton John after speech” or something like that, and it never occurred to me to question it. You might be right, and they might be fuelling up the Gay Bandwagon again. But I’m pretty sure Putin could handle Elton John in any kind of meeting he asked for. Putin is pretty good as speaking in verifiable facts, while Elton John’s arguments are mostly emotional and probably rely on the garbage he reads in the papers.

      It’s the assessment that it is a ploy to make Putin’s whole conversation at the UN about gay rights that might well be on the mark. Good catch.

    • Patient Observer says:

      I was thinking similarly but not as elaborated as your thoughts. My thoughts was more as a publicity stunt to elevate his perceived influence and importance and to create the impressions that Russia is deeply concerned by the West’s views of gay rights in Russia.

    • Jen says:

      If Pamela Anderson couldn’t get an audience with Putin – she wrote an open letter to him – and the most she could get was an audience in Vladivostok with Sergei Donskoy (the cabinet minister responsible for natural resources and environmental issues) due to the nature of her request, there’s no way Elton John would have been able to speak to Putin. He would have been directed instead to talk to the relevant minister in charge of cultural issues or issues involving discrimination against minority groups, or to someone whom minister delegates John’s request to. Elton John can expect no more and no less because exactly the same thing would be done in the UK.

  10. Moscow Exile says:

    Soviet Army war memorial, Germany:

    Set us Free Once More!

  11. Warren says:

    Published on 12 Sep 2015
    Prominent feminist and journalist Julie Bindel has openly called for putting all men in concentration camps and eradicating heterosexuality.


    Facebook @
    FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @

    • marknesop says:

      Interesting that a common thread in radical feminism is a marrow-deep loathing of the objectification of the porn industry. But we just got through learning from the western press that denial of access to porn is authoritatrian and commie, and a rejection of western values.

  12. Warren says:

    • Kulobi says:

      A remarkably sound analysis by Graham Fuller on Russia and Syria:
      Despite his CIA pedigree and the Tsarnaev connection, Fuller has moments of lucidity occasionally – he published a book in the 1990s arguing that Iran under the ayatollahs was nowhere near as totalitarian as the Western groupthink suggested, and in some ways outpaced Israel, ‘the-only-democracy-in-the-midlle-east’, in terms of societal openness.

    • Special_sauce says:

      Assad is one of the greatest heroes of the age. If the Reptilian Order prospers no one will ever hear of it, until the next Tacitus.

  13. Moscow Exile says:

    You just couldn’t make it up!

    SBU catches State Employment Service chief taking bribe

    See also: Ukraine Anti-Corruption Official Arrested for… Corruption

    It’s all Putin’s/Russia’s doing, though.

    Stands to reason …

    • marknesop says:

      Mmm hmmmm, large amount of cash found in vehicle, check. Weapon and ammunition found in vehicle, check. What…no air tickets to Moscow? Where’s the flippin’ air tickets, you incompetent cretins?? There always have to be air tickets, Christ, do I have to run a fucking seminar or something?

      I’d be willing to bet his real crime was getting in someone’s way in the Porky/Yatsie machine, simply because it has happened over and over since they took power – as predictable as darkness at the end of daylight. Official commissioned to root out corruption, official finds wrong kind of corruption, official announces the finding of corruption, official accused of corruption, found with large amount of cash, sometimes weapons although that’s not of much consequence in a country full of them, and who uses a rifle downtown to extort money?…and air tickets, signifying an intent to flee. Always remember the air tickets, it’s important.

      I wouldn’t go so far as to say he has done nothing wrong, but he is likely no more corrupt than the rest of the organization, including a president who is still raking in the dough from private enterprise and owns his own media channel. Perhaps that’s what endears him so to the west, who see him taking his first tottering steps toward a society utterly dominated by corporatism and business to the exclusion of all other concerns, beyond paying them pious lip service at election time. American policymakers probably envy him his open graft and lawbreaking, and wish they, too were allowed to merely promise to sell their corporate interests if elected and then forget about it, whereupon everyone else would just ignore it and figure there is nothing untoward about a political figure making a little brass. After all, that pathetic Ukrainian in the man-on-the-street interview in the run-up to elections said he was voting for Poroshenko because he was already rich, so hopefully he would not steal as much.

  14. Cortes says:

    Speech by Lord Sauron in Dushanbe

    Good to see reference to destabilisation of Libya, Yemen and other countries which have benefited from R2P and where Russian “responsibility ” for masses of refugees cannot be alleged by western media and governments. Maybe also a warning to Erdogan with reference to involvement with Kurdish militia?

  15. Moscow Exile says:

    You Tube clip BBC Propaganda, Lies, Bias & Cover-Ups posted by a commenter to this Russian Insider article concerning the ever truthful and impartial BBC (which is not state funded, of course) announcement that it is starting a special Russian language service to counter “Kremlin funded” RT “propaganda:

    • marknesop says:

      There was a very good clip in a comment to one of the Russia Insider articles yesterday, too, featuring that Russo-Spanish chap that Yalensis once posted here doing a report from Crimea, in which he mostly just walked around and pointed out the signs of normality and prosperity which were at odds with official reporting. His new piece was called Mosaic of Facts; it was quite good. Miguel-Frances Santiago, yeah, that’s it. I believe he mentions his family is part-Russian, although he does not appear to speak it.

  16. Moscow Exile says:

    Notice anything peculiar about those who accuse Russia of being an aggressor state?

  17. Cortes says:

    Geopolitics as primary school tiffs and hissy fits, with stellar contributions from inter alios John Herbst and Aleksandr Goltz “military analyst ” on Kremlin watching, dealing with a “strongman ” in an “opaque ” regime yadda yadda. Comedy gold:

    • marknesop says:

      In another article on the same page – sure enough, masssive fraud in the Kostroma elections, although they don’t actually go through the tiresome laundry list of carousel voting, ballot-stuffing, bla, bla. No, this time the charges of fraud seem to center around allegations by “Opposition Leader” Alexei Navalny that PARNAS actually got 3 times the votes the official count says it got, and successfully crossed the 5% threshold for a seat in Parliament. Said count compiled by democracy activists from their apartment, of course, on the heels of Navalny’s covert meeting with U.S. officials just a week or two ago. What a surprise!!

    • marknesop says:

      The White House seems to place a great deal of emphasis on who cut off communication with who, and on broadcasting the impression that it was Russia who came on bended knee to the United States, seeking a meeting, while Obama is just going to let Putin dangle for a week or so, see if he backs off in Syria, before he gives it the nod. The Great Man, putting the lowbrow thug in his place.

      Thing is, I remember reading that Russia had severed all high-level communication with the United States, and that their sole diplomatic conduit was Kerry/Lavrov. That was in a Daily Beast exclusive, from Spring last year. The Daily Beast is not a very reliable source, but it is extremely Russophobic and it would be unusual for them to release an article in which Putin spanks Obama. FOX News reported the same thing, although their motive is clear – they despise Obama, and like to make him look weak.

      A search for “Russia seeks meeting with US” and similar searches including “Obama” turns up nothing. I wonder where they got the information that Russia had asked for a meeting with Obama, and why an important development like that went unreported.

  18. PaulR says:

    Zakharchenko has issued order that DNR will hold local elections on 18 October: This is an important announcement, as an important part of the Minsk agreements was a requirement to hold local elections under Ukrainian law on 25 October. Poroshenko and his Western allies have been pressing hard on this point in recent weeks, and some Russian nationalist commentators have been claiming that Moscow is about to give way and force DNR/LNR to comply. Putin, Lavrov and others, though, have been muttering that it isn’t possible because Kiev won’t talk to DNR/LNR. I wouldn’t say that Zakharchenko’s order is the last word on the matter – he has a tendency to reverse himself – but if this goes ahead, then it is a major rupture of the Minsk process, and could well result in additional sanctions against Russia.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      What? Force them to comply at the barrel of a Kalashnikov as they did in the Crimea?

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      This is an important announcement, as an important part of the Minsk agreements was a requirement to hold local elections under Ukrainian law on 25 October.

      Minsk II agreement also had several points devoted to:

      – Full pardon and amnesty of combatants in the ATO area (except for ones involved in war crimes)
      – Not blocading and trying to financially suffocate the People Republics
      – Making amendments to the consitution of the Ukraine that would grant a self-rule to the People Republics.

      Now – who have failedto fullfil the Minsk II agreements more?

    • marknesop says:

      Increasing legal challenges? Give me a break. The UK simply ignores international law, just like its Uncle-Sam big brother does, when following international law would constrain it in doing something it wants to do that is unfortunately against the law. You can be sure the American political and corporate elite will do their part to keep Corbyn out of office, because they rely heavily on their rough-and-ready sibling to support their wars of choice around the globe, lending them legitimacy.

  19. Moscow Exile says:

    The sanctions begin to bite: Russians starving; dearth of appetizing food products in Russia; cabbage, beets and fish heads only …

    Auchan supermarket, Novosibirsk (that’s in Siberia, by the way, where there’s a huge independence movement building up)

    The products shown priced in US dollars are (left to right): olives with lemon (300 g); red caviar (200 g), namely salmon roe from the far east of the Russian Federation; white table wine (o.7 l), alcohol by volume: 9-11%.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Comment above about Siberian independence was made cynically.

    • Northern Star says:

      But have the Siberian separatists really thought through some of the potential ramifications of a split in the context of today’s volatile geopolitical climate??
      How would Siberia (militarily) defend itself?……What about Western machinations to control and exploit the resources land(s)???

      • marknesop says:

        This is just the west, hoping as usual to stir up nationalist sentiment based on a regional affiliation, so the State Department can declare “its solidarity with its Siberian brothers and sisters” and start stirring the pot to see if it can nurture an independence movement. Siberia is not interested in independence – the original petition was for federalization. But Washington would like to convince them they want independence, and likely would promise all kinds of support and assistance, in order to split them off from the Russian Federation. Moscow would never let it go, considering how much oil wealth is there, and Washington does not hold out much serious hope for it – it’s just going through the motions, just in case. Washington fervently supports independence movements everywhere that they will cause a problem for its enemies, and opposes them wherever they cause a problem for its allies. It should follow that it is not the nature of independence, or its association with freedom and democracy that matters to Washington, but its utility as a strategic tool to achieve its goals.

        The “Separatist Rally” described in Newsweek had not even happened yet in the first instance it was cited, merely a press conference to announce intentions, and when it did happen it was acknowledged to have drawn about 1000 people.

      • et Al says:

        How would Siberia (militarily) defend itself?


        Of course the counter measure to that is invaders giving the bears beers.

        The pre counter measure to that is to give the bears beer beforehand in small quantities and building up their tolerance.

        The later counter measure to that is to give the bears what appears to be beer but is in fact some other far more powerful alcoholic substance.

        ad nauseum!!!

          • et Al says:

            OK. As long as we can sit around a fire and sing patriotic songs from world war two.

            The other trick with bears, particuarly American bears, is to entice them with iceboxes. If you go to Yosemite, the first thing they tell you is a) do not keep your icebox in your car; b) if you do, make sure it is covered up completely. Bears know there is food inside and will peel the door off a car like you would peel an orange. I’m not really sure if that is that impressive in my case as I usually have quite some trouble peeling oranges. it’s a disability!

            • marknesop says:

              Try mandarins. Of course, there is no substitute for a proper exercise program to acquire and maintain the necessary muscle tone, and it is particularly important to stretch properly before attempting the Mandarin Peel; otherwise you may be successful, but experience days of stiffness abnd soreness afterward. With regular oranges such as the vicious Navel, I find it is best to stun them with a sharp blow first, then simply cut them in eighths with a knife rather than peeling them. The flesh is easily accessible this way, without the necessity of eating all that icky white stringy stuff.

        • Cortes says:

          After the nausea there’s the birch sap (fermented, spiced or as Mother Nature provided) as cure all.

        • Jen says:

          Story of Vojtek the bear who saw action in Italy during World War II as a member of a Polish unit attached to the British Army and who among other things enjoyed his smokes, beer and raiding the kitchen:

          So training brown bears to fight or at least to pass the ammo can be done.

          Incidentally Vojtek was a Syrian brown bear.

          • et Al says:

            The BBC did a documentary on him a few years back – Wojtek – The Bear that Went to War (only the polish version online). Poor bugger ended up in a Scottish zoo after the war.

  20. Moscow Exile says:

    From Kommersant a front page article today (16/09/2015) that has apparently caused quite a stir amongst some.

    In the most general of terms, the article talks about some alternative economic programme, which was to be submitted for the consideration of the Interdepartmental Commission of the Security Council of the RF yesterday. “Kommersant” calls it — neither more nor less — a road map for the economic sovereignty of Russia and almost a manifesto of the forces in society today that criticize the anti-crisis vector of the elected government .

    The main problem – and the article states it immediately – is that the basic provisions of their plan, to put it mildly, are not at all compatible with the above-mentioned measures of the government and the ideology of the Central Bank. We are talking here about a radical shift in the economy that has been instantly recognized by commentators, and which under present circumstances is highly unlikely.

    See: Внутреннее производство. Внутренний спрос. Опора на собственные силы
    Internal supply and internal demand: time for self-reliance

    See “Kommersant”: Совет безопасности и он Сергей Глазьев представит “дорожную карту” экономического суверенитета России

    The security Council and that man: Sergey Glazyev is to present a “road map” for the economic sovereignty of Russia

    Presidential Advisor Sergei Glazyev on September 15 is to submit to the Interdepartmental Commission of the RF Security Council a report on additional measures for overcoming the economic sanctions against Russia. In the draft report, which “Kommersant” has become acquainted with, there are recipes that will satisfy even the most ardent supporter of the economic sovereignty of the Russian Federation: from allowing companies to avoid paying their debts to creditors from hostile countries to the non-repayment of VAT on raw material exports.

    • PaulR says:

      ‘the basic provisions of their plan, to put it mildly, are not at all compatible with the above-mentioned measures of the government and the ideology of the Central Bank.’ For that reason, it will be rejected. Russian economic policy remains in the hands of people who are more or less economic liberals, and there is no indication that Putin wishes this to change.

  21. Lyttenburgh says:

    Well, my suspicions were validated after all. M.ADomanis did indeed attended this “Yalta” conference held in Kiev. His account demonstrates for us that we are losing our patient – or we’ve probably lost him long time ago. His article presents a now so typical for him mixed bag of some very on-point observations and absolutely handshakable conclusions drawn put of the thin air.

    The King Is Dead, Long Live the King!

    “This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend the annual Yalta European Strategy (YES) meeting in Kiev. A broad range of Ukrainian and Western experts (with a smattering of Russians from the “non-systemic” opposition) discussed an equally broad range of topics including security, economic reform, and politics.”
    British monarchs didn’t abandon their claims to the French crown till the abolition of monarchy in France during the revolution. Even after losing their last French possession – Calais – English/British kings and queens still styled themselves as “…and king/queen of France…” til the very moment when it became absolutely impossible. This one (hardly unique) example from bygone centuries ekhoes strangely in the form of Yalta Conference hold in Kiev. In Russia. with its economy torn to tatters and restive population of kreakls ready to revolt and topple bloody Putyara any moment now Valdai political forum is still held in Valdai. Shocking, I know!

    I suggest that Mr. Poroshenko and his foreign guest should adopt something equally well-thought as their insistence to call their conference “Yalta’s”. What about insistence on returning of a full pledged status to the Pluto? I hope that both Mr. Poroshenko and his “nepolzhivije” foreign guests are ready to go as far as to go on a hungry strike in the name of justice and decency only to return the Pluto’s its unjustly stolen status. Why? Well, cause Плутон цэ планета. Лалала! Разом нас богато! and all this jazz.
    “The conference started off with an address by Ukrainian president Poroshenko and a subsequent Q&A with British journalist Gideon Rachmann, the Financial Times’ primary foreign correspondent.

    “It all started off simply enough, with Poroshenko making broad, sweeping statements about Ukraine’s “democratic and European choice.” It was a stump speech that he has had to deliver with great frequency over the past year, and he has become quite efficient at doing so.

    “However, Poroshenko’s address soon moved past such abstractions and transformed into a highly enlightening exchange. When pressed by Rachmann, who to his credit asked a series of remarkably frank and difficult questions, on his failure to fulfill a campaign promise and divest his business holdings, Poroshenko basically admitted that he hadn’t sold off his businesses because he wasn’t going to get a very good price.”

    The mentioning of Gideon Rachmann and “a series of remarkably frank and difficult questions” reminded me once again not to drink hot beverages in front of monitor when I read something. I can go all the way and try to emulate the trademark falsetto of Edvard Radzinskiy when he asks rhetorically “Isn’t it the very same Whatshisname who…. Oh, yes! Yes it is him indeed!”, but I won’t. Gideon Rachmanns name should be know to everyone regular to KS and a huge giveaway should be the intertwined ugly facts that his honest and shy democratic journalist works in Financial Times and was invited to attend this “Yalta” conference.

    As for Poroshenko, well, this is really amazing! We know that some comic-books businessmen lead a double life, like Bruce Wayne who becomes an awenging spirit of Gotham’s streets by night, or the flamboyant Tony Stark – a “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthrope” – by his own words – becomes high-tech awesome Iron Man.

    All of them are, however eclipsed by Petro Poroshenko, who – by day – is a progressive president and reformer of Ukraine, commander in chief of the most powerful army in Europe… But by night he is Russian businessman Piotr Poroshenko with factories in dirty Rashka and who had to pay taxes directly to the aggressor country. And this despicable “businessmen” actually managed to increase his profits last year despite all Ukrainian economic woes caused by the invading Russian hordes. I wonder – when Catherin Morgherini called the current situation in Ukraine “an economic miracle” was she referring to “Roshen’s” financial record or just playing plain dumb?

    “Now, on the one hand, this is true! There is currently not very much appetite among Western investors for Ukrainian confectionary manufacturers or media companies. It seems obvious that the valuation of Poroshenko’s businesses is quite a bit lower than it was just a year or two ago. As a future banker, I totally understand and sympathize with his frustration: even for someone as wealthy as Poroshenko, watching money disappear in such a manner is positively infuriating. “

    And how are we, your readers, are ecstatic about such news, Mark! Surely, you as a future baker, who now won’t how to worry about when your bread will be buttered (it would be black caviared for sure) the general quality and honesty of your articles will only increase manifold! Rah-rah for Adomanis!
    “The problem, however, is that Poroshenko’s promise to divest wasn’t contingent on getting a good deal or a favorable price. You never hear politicians say “I will get rid of my business holdings, but only so long as I make even more money in the process. Otherwise I’ll continue to own them”

    “In advanced democratic countries getting out of the business world is considered a non-negotiable requirement for being in public office, a cost, so to speak, of being a public figure.

    “It’s worth remembering that no one forced Poroshenko to become president. He chose to run in the election because he wanted to do so and because he (accurately) figured he had a decent chance at winning. He knew, at the time, that if he won he would be obligated to divest his business empire. If he considered this an unacceptable cost, or if he was only willing to do so within a particular price range, he should never have run for office in the first place.

    “Poroshenko’s open, and rather unapologetic, refusal to get out of business is a particularly clear example of the collective holiday from reality that people so often seem to take when it comes to Ukraine. Obvious, blatant violations of previously negotiated agreements, like Poroshenko’s iron-clad promise to divest his business empire, somehow “don’t count” because the economic situation is tough and because Russia is bad.

    “But as Ukraine ought to know given its fixation on “Europe,” that’s not how the rule of law actually works. You don’t get to pick and choose which laws to follow, and you don’t get to break certain rules because they’re difficult, expensive, or inconvenient.

    “Poroshenko isn’t a bad guy and, as anyone who has heard him speak for more than thirty second seconds can attest, is quite obviously not the fanatic Nazi he is sometimes portrayed as in Russian propaganda. Considering the circumstances which he inherited, he’s actually done a quite respectable job of holding things together. Certainly Ukraine’s domestic economic and political situation could be a whole lot worse than it is at the moment. “

    Everybody knows ™ about Russian propaganda that portrays Kiev’s leader as “fanatic Nazis” and “Junta”. Honest and Independent Western Journalists often can’t cite even one example to support for this claim but it doesn’t matter – only Kremlinite agents gonna question their Truthful and Balanced reporting.

    “But Poroshenko’s failure to get out of business is a crystal clear example of the current Ukrainian government’s desire to have its cake and eat it too. The country’s leadership wants to get all of the credit for enacting “tough reforms” without actually doing anything.

    “It is also a handy reminder that, for all of the incessant talk about Ukraine’s “transformation,” the rules of the game remain depressingly similar. Yes Poroshenko’s companies are much more transparent and better run than the murky, quasi-criminal, business empire that Yanukovych and his family cobbled together when they were in power. But at the end of the day, absent all of the political rhetoric, the person running Ukraine continues to own a rather large portion of it.

    “The commingling of economic and political power was a big problem for Ukraine in the past, and it hasn’t stopped being a problem now. That simple fact can’t be changed by rhetoric and shamanic invocations of “Europe,” it can only be changed by actions.”

    Well, that’s what you have here my fellow Stooges! All the right questions and accusations plus all the wrong answers and merciful handwawing. Tyrant and corruptioner Yanukovitch with his “murky, quasi-criminal, business empire” somehow managed to guarantee his country yearly GDP growth, debt repayment and (oh horror!) timely payment of pensions and salaries. The great democrat and Sir Elton John’s newest friend Petro Poroshenko is above all of this.

    I know that Mark Adomanis reads and understands Russia, so I’d like to use this opportunity to ask him – “Почём опиум для народа?”.

    • et Al says:

      I thought that in normal civilized countries, buzinessmen who move in to politics are supposed to entrust their business empire/whatever in to a trust or something which they cannot fiddle with or take opportunity of due to their new political life. Porkoshunko could have quite simply done this. But, he did nothing. I thought copy the West was the kool thing to do?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        There was a story yesterday in Komsomolskaya Pravda that Porky had a very amicable relationship with Yanukovych when he was president and had a policy of giving him lavish gifts in order to gain lucrative office. One of such gifts was a painting worth $1.4 million. The article stated that this particular gift was to ensure his election as Mayor of Kiev.

        Porky has been a member of almost every political party in the Ukraine, including the now despised by the Banderites “The Party of Regions”, Yanukovych’s party.

        On the make all the time, is Porky.

      • marknesop says:

        Well, actually, he did, if I remember correctly. Roshen was indeed placed in a trust, so that Poroshenko cannot fiddle with the day-to-day running of it, which he would hardly have time to do anyway. Yeah…here’s a mention of it; Rothschild’s (surprise!!) is holding on to it for him, and it was Nestle who offered “no more than a Billion dollars” for the company. According to the article, it is just the owners’ judgment that says it is worth three times that amount, and it seems odd an American company would try to rip off America’s good friend by low-balling him. I wonder if he has not deliberately priced it so it won’t sell.

        According to Sputnik, the company is worth $1.5 Billion, although they don’t say how that figure was arrived upon, either. I know you will be surprised to learn that Poroshenko blames….Russia for his failure to sell the company. Uh huh, he said “at the moment, Russian authorities –and it would be better to ask [the management of] Roshen about this, are preventing the sale…In any case, it must be carried through to the end.”

        Hmmm….I’m kind of editing this as I go along, as I find more information. Here’s what is to me the most informative site so far; Kapital says the company was assessed at $1.6 Billion by Eavex Capital Investment company. Eavex is the former Sincome Capital, relaunched as Eavex following the acquisition of a 10% minority shareholding by Accuro Group (Zurich). Eavex reports that two factories have been shut down; Lipetsk, in Russia, and Mariupol. Perhaps that has something to do with the zeal with which the state military is defending Mariupol; if that factory could be reastored to stable production, the company’s worth could go up to $2.1 Billion. The current assessed value is based on “a multiplier calculated on financial performance of the corporation in previous periods”, to which a discount is applied for reduced volume of business. But you have to hand it to Roshen – even without Poroshenko’s steady hand on the tiller, they have increased their stores in Kiev to 18, a 38.4% increase over 2013. Roshen chocolates and candies are also sold in supermarkets and retail chain stores, and new supermarkets increased by more than 20% in Ukraine in 2013.

        Anyway, it does look like Poroshenko is deliberately overpricing the company so it won’t sell. Nestle offered $1 Billion even, the company as it currently stands is worth $1.6 Billion, if it could restore the Mariupol factory to stable production and perhaps dispose of the Lipetsk factory it might be worth as much as $2.1 Billion, and Poroshenko is asking almost $1 Billion more than that.

        • et Al says:

          I sit corrected (the cat has f/k’d off). Then it makes eminent sense to not sell now, especially to Nestlé who are as brutal as you would expect from an American company. They bought Cadbury in the UK a few years back, the Conservative government receiving ‘ass-urances’ that they won’t butcher Cadbury. Of course, Nestlé did. It was another case of a US company off-shoring its taxes to the UK (big pharma has done this too with the UK), which is weird. We are told that the US is great for companies because it has low tax blah blah blah blah.

          So, why do US globocorps need to shift their tax address to countries like the UK to avoid paying tax. I say follow Italy’s model. Massively support SMEs and make sure they co-operate with each other as the sum of parts so that they are global competitors. This is what German companies do. They band together and go global. The Frogs, not so much.

          I ‘know’ a French engineer who want to take his 3D printing patent big time. His boss won’t fund it as it is ‘high risk’, no other French company is interested because of IP and who gets the cash. In the EU, if you can pony up half the development money from private sources, the EU will pitch in the other half, particularly for ground-breaking and innnovative products. I asked him if he’d looked abroad. No. I even suggested Japan as this is what James Dyson of bagless hoover fame did. Not one single European white goods manufacturer gave him any time. A big Japanese company did which meant he could set up his laboratory and factory in the UK. When Euro-companies started copying his designs, he had the full weight of a massive Japanese corporation’s legal department to shit on them from a great height.

          The crux being, if the U S A is so great for business, WTF are they doing tax dodging in expensive, crappy Europe (mofos)? /rant

    • marknesop says:

      It is worth mentioning also that Poroshenko was a co-drafter of the European Association Agreement, before he ran for office. It has been suggested that he wrote a number of amendments into it which would have been extremely beneficial – not to mention lucrative – for Roshen had the transition been the great and thunderous success Europe plainly expected it to be. Little bit of a conflict of interest there, but it might help to explain why he is holding on to his business. After all, if nobody’s buying but you genuinely want to sell, you drop your price a little, sort of feel around to see where the floor is. Poroshenko has never dropped his price to the very best of my knowledge, and some Candy News site reported a large company – Cadbury, or somebody in their league, I forget now – made an offer but it was much too low for Poroshenko. This further imples he is not really interested in selling and may even have deliberately priced it too high, because he expects to return to life as a wealthy…ahem…”tycoon” once he has served his penance as Ukraininan leader.

    • At least he calls Kiev as Kiev and not as “Kyiv”. That’s better than nothing?

  22. Moscow Exile says:

    Look, mum!

    No hand!

    ATO novice who volunteered to go to the Donbass in order to teach the residents there a lesson, because doing so would be “cool” and pull in the girls on the social networks, shows in the first picture above how deftly he handles a grenade.

    He threw his hand in, though, and came back from the front so as to be with his admirers.

    Cool hand Yuke?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Victor Vyshvarko of 128 brigade of the ATO armed forces. Came to the Donbass to fight against the inhabitants of the LPR in the interests of the oligarchs and the puppets of the USA and the EU.

      Eliminated near a Lugansk province village on 8th September, 2015 with an accurate shot in the head fired from a sniper carbine.

      [trans. from

      Keep ’em coming, Porky!

    • et Al says:

      Beyoncé put it better:

    • marknesop says:

      Well done; give him a hand, folks.

    • Cortes says:

      Maybe the US will stump up for a bionic hand.

      • marknesop says:

        Ha, ha!!! Good one! Think of the money he will save on gloves over a lifetime.

      • Jen says:

        But with the way the US stumps up money for repairs or indeed making anything these days, he would be required not only to have the bionic hand but also a bionic leg, a bionic arm, a bionic eye, a bionic ear … each and every item delivered in bulk, that is, two of each. It’s either all or nothing.

        Back to the front!

    • Jen says:

      I’m confused … shouldn’t the right hand have been blown off?

      Anyhow … he can get a hook and be a pirate, arrrr. But he’ll have to lose an eye and a leg, eh me hearties?

      Back to the front!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        As regards his right hand not having been blown off, the blog in which i found the pictures stated that it is not known how he lost his hand, the blogger stating that he was not asserting that he had lost it through mishandling a grenade.

        Other commenters say the photo is photoshopped.

        As a matter of fact, I think the stump looks far too neat and not rounded, as stumps are that I have seen, and you see plenty of them here on beggars on the metro.

        Personally, I think his left hand is tucked in his pants, and he is pulling his plonker, having become over excited in the presence of the nubile wenches on either side of him.

        Dirty little bugger!

  23. et Al says:

    ABC Nudes: Kerry: US Weighs Russia Offer of Military Talks on Syria

    … Kerry said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had proposed the consultation in a phone call on Tuesday and that the White House, Pentagon and State Department were considering it. Kerry suggested that he favored such an idea, noting that the United States wants a clear picture of what Russia’s intentions are in Syria following a recent military buildup there.

    Lavrov proposed a “military-to-military conversation and meeting in order to discuss the issue of precisely what will be done to deconflict with respect to any potential risks that might be run and have a complete and clear understanding as to the road ahead and what the intentions are,” Kerry told reporters at a joint State Department news conference with South Africa’s foreign minister.

    “You have a conversation in order to do that,” Kerry said. “It is vital to avoid misunderstandings, miscalculations (and) not to put ourselves in a predicament where we are supposing something and the supposition is wrong.”

    Kerry said Lavrov had told him that Russia was only interested in confronting the threat posed by the Islamic State group in Syria. But Kerry stressed it remained unclear if that position would change and Russia would mount a defense of Syrian President Bashar Assad who the U.S. believes must leave power.

    “Obviously, there a questions about that,” he said. “I am not taking that at face value.”

    However, he added that if Russia is only focused on the Islamic State group then it remains a potential partner in pushing for a political transition in Syria. “If Russia is only focused only on ISIL and if there is a capacity for cooperation … there still is a way to get a political negotiation and outcome,” he said.

    Kerry also said he had spoken on Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who office announced earlier that he would visit Moscow next week to discuss Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    His comment come as Russia’s military buildup in Syria has perplexed the Obama administration and left it in a quandary as to how to respond.

    In his call with Lavrov on Tuesday, his third in 10 days, Kerry said he sought clarity about Moscow’s moves and warned that Russian support for Assad “risks exacerbating and extending the conflict.”…

    That’s right kids, it is the White House and Kerry calling the shots. It was their idea after all!

    • marknesop says:

      The mention of the word “deconfliction” is curious, in the context that Russia is only sending a few advisers to Syria and does not intend to go much beyond that. “Deconfliction” implies a policy to reduce or eliminate the possibility of blue-on-blue (friendly against friendly) engagements, and customarily includes recognition signals, designated operating areas, bla, bla. The military forces of the western coalition currently in Syria are exclusively air power. There should be little requirement for deconfliction unless Russia plans to introduce an air power element of its own, serious air-defense assets, or both.

      Kerry has made it as clear as it needs to be that the western effort in Syria is focused on toppling Assad, and the method of it is despicably cynical, since the ISIL/ISIS rebels are also a Washington creation, employed with corresponding enormous property damage and loss of life, not to mention serious depopulation due to fleeing refugees – all a pretext to get the US Air Force in there so they could contribute to forcing Assad from power. It would be nothing short of criminal if such an effort succeeded, since it would reward the behaviour and the stratagem.

      Enormous pressure will now be brought to bear on Putin to try and dissuade him from a military committment in Syria. If he were not an honourable man, he would already have won, because it appears he would be able to name reasonable terms – such as the lifting of sanctions against Russia – in exchange for simply staying out of the way and letting Washington complete its destruction of the sovereign state of Syria. I believe he will not do that; perhaps because he is an honourable man, perhaps out of practical considerations of the harm it will do Russia to have another warlord Islamic state not so very far away from its borders, and the likelihood a successful US creation of chaos there will result in it shifting target to the Caucasus on completion.

      Washington has to be faced down here and now, and there is nothing to be gained by delay.

      • Northern Star says:

        ” perhaps out of practical considerations of the harm it will do Russia to have another warlord Islamic state not so very far away from its borders,”
        Exactly..The Russians very much have a dog in this fight…yet another ME abattoir created by USA neocon psychos and their PC protegees in the State Department ,the UN etc.,
        Someone last night remarked that the continuing deluge of ME refugees into Europe could provoke a fulminating , savage rise of ultra right nationalistic parties who are also virulently anti NATO. ..One can only hope for the best…

        • marknesop says:

          For what it’s worth, STRATFOR agrees with me that the term “deconfliction” suggests Russia intends to introduce an air component. “U.S. Officials” through their conduits, Reuters and Bloomberg, report that Russia intends to deploy MiG 31 and SU-25 aircraft – the latter would be especially effective as they are designed for ground attack. The report says that ISIS-linked forces have already started to back away from Latakia – but for me, the money shot in the report was this:

          Coalition aircraft may find themselves providing close air support to New Syrian Forces embedded with a Free Syrian Army unit that Russian aircraft are targeting. While a direct clash between coalition and Russian aircraft is highly unlikely, an active Russian air presence in the region would only muddle the battlefield in Syria’s airspace more. Subsequently, it is unsurprising that reports from the rebel Shamiya Front, though currently unconfirmed, suggest that Turkey has abandoned its efforts to persuade the United States to participate in a no-fly zone over northern Aleppo.

          I don’t know how much clearer it needs to be. Western governments are angling for a Libya scenario, in which NATO air forces act as the de facto air force of the rebels, assisting them to take Damascus.

          • PaulR says:

            So far this appears to be a lot of fuss about not very much. I remain unconvinced that this is a major escalation by the Russians.

  24. Warren says:

    Russia in ‘information war’ with West to win hearts and minds

    • et Al says:

      But RT will draw some comfort from the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party. Mr Corbyn has in the past expressed approval of RT and has made numerous appearances on the channel.

      Pardon? Didn’t David Cameron & Little Dick Fallon just call Jeremy Corbyn a threat to national security? I’m glad to see that the BBC is onside.

      Well Stephen Ennis, mr. author, the solution is simple. Put all those Russians living in European countries in concentration camps. For their own good of course as they clearly cannot control themselves and are susceptible to being turned in to Kremlin controlled killer drones that at the flick of a switch, can bring not only the Baltic states back in to the Soviet.. uh, I mean Russian, fold, they will undermine the very fabric of European values that are certainly not being shat away on the border of Serbia and Hungary.

      The only comfort I take in such pompous, naval gazing pieces as these from world class propaganda channels such as the BBC, is that they have absolutely no f/king meaning, let alone effect on the world. physical or otherwise. The West’s belief system is in the process of slow motion collapse. History is the only winner.

  25. PaulR says:

    In a follow-up to the DNR elections issue, it turns out I misinformed you all slightly. I rechecked the Minsk agreement. It turns out that it doesn’t actually mandate local elections in accordance with Ukrainian law on 25 October, merely obliges both sides to ‘launch a dialogue’ on the holding on elections in accordance with Ukrainian law. It then adds that the issue of elections should be agreed with ‘representatives of particular districts of Donetsk and Lugansk’. No dialogue, of course, has been had. I’ve written this up here:

  26. Warren says:

    Ooh, is the West beginning to fall out of love for the Kiev regime?

    • Warren says:

      Ukraine Bans 3 BBC Journalists For “Threatening National Security”

      Ukraine’s decision to list three reporters on a sanctions list alongside Russian officials and separatist leaders is a “shameful attack on media freedom,” the BBC’s foreign editor said.

      KIEV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree on Wednesday banning hundreds of people Kiev says took part in the annexation of Crimea and war in the country’s eastern provinces — including three reporters for the BBC.

      BBC reporter Steve Rosenberg, producer Emma Wells, and cameraman Anton Chicherov are barred from Ukraine for posing a “real and/or potential threat to the national interests, national security, sovereignty, and territorial unity of Ukraine,” according to a decree published on Poroshenko’s website.

      It was not immediately clear why the three BBC reporters, or any of the other journalists listed, were included. The list itself suggests they committed a long list of crimes, potentially including terrorism. A spokesperson for Poroshenko told BuzzFeed News that Ukraine’s security services made the decision and would comment on Thursday.

      “This is a shameful attack on media freedom,” BBC foreign editor Andrew Roy said in a statement. “These sanctions are completely inappropriate and inexplicable measures to take against BBC journalists who are reporting the situation in Ukraine impartially and objectively and we call on the Ukrainian Government to remove their names from this list immediately.”

      Most of the other people on the list are Russian officials, separatist leaders, and journalists for pro-separatist publications. In August, Ukraine banned 13 performing artists who backed Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for the separatists, including French-born Russian actor and tax exile Gérard Depardieu. The country has arrested two Ukrainian journalists critical of the government on charges of treason, deported several foreign reporters, and barred entry to many Russian journalists.

    • et Al says:

      But these protesting journalists didn’t care and kept their counsel when Graham Philips was kidnapped & banned? Didn’t Pastor Neimoller say something about saying nothing as others were hauled off only to find that you were the last one, only then to be hauled off yourself?*

      * Rhetorical question, innit?

      • marknesop says:

        Excellent point. It’s clear that only “good” journalists matter. The others are not actually journalists at all, but propagandists.

        • et Al says:

          Graham Phillips: When the UK’s FCO Couldn’t Help British Journalists

          This is published in response to Ukraine’s banning 388 journalists and media figures, including 3 BBC journalists, from the country. Then, after swift intervention from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Judith Gough, Ambassador to Ukraine, promptly unbanning the BBC journalists.

          et it was a different story for me when I was deported from Ukraine, and banned for 3 years, last July, while reporting for RT.

          The UK’s ambassador to Ukraine at that time, Simon Smith, never once responsed to my messages – infact he didn’t even bother to come to the meeting in Kiev at my first deportation, sending his secretary instead….

          See the rest and the FCO email at the link

  27. Warren says:

  28. astabada says:

    Maurizio Blondet is an Italian blogger. In this article [in Italian] he ironically suggests to Obama two different solutions to eradicate the Islamic State.

    The first one is to bomb the road between Mosul (Iraq) and Batman (Turkey). Along this 344 km road, the IS sends every day 20000 barrels of oil (see map in the article). The oil is sold for 30$ a barrel and under, and refined in Batman before being sold.

    The alleged reason why the US has not bombed this road so far, is that it wanted to avoid civilian casualties. This is quite amusing from the same country that did not hesitate to carpet bomb Sirte in Libya (not to mention the Iraq war).

    But Blondet pretends to buy into this excuse, so goes on to notice that the IS controls 24 banks between Syria and Iraq. These banks make financial transactions every day, including international transactions. Why then don’t we impose sanctions on the IS and block their banks, and freeze their accounts?

    This goes on to demonstrate that the IS is a useful tool for American foreign policy, and if they didn’t create it, at least they don’t strive for its eradication.

  29. Lyttenburgh says:

    Russian Pranksters Take Responsibility for Elton John Putin Call

    Popular Russian pranksters known as Vovan (Vladimir Krasnov) and Lexus (Alexei Stolyarov) claim responsibility for calling Elton John and talking to him on behalf of Vladimir Putin and Dmitriy Peskov respectably. Part of the 11-minutes phone call will be aired during “Vecherniy Urgant” TV show.

    Sir Elton John believed that he had been talking to Russian president. “Thank-you to President Vladimir Putin for reaching out and speaking via telephone with me today. I look to forward to meeting with you face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia,” he wrote in his Instagram post.

    Shortly after that, Vladimir Putin’s press secretary denied that the call took place. Kremlin representative also supposed that Elton John’s account could be a fake.

    Why Obama and Cameron are silent? Why all those who (once again) fell to this kind of “real Russian reporting” are silent too? Tsk!

    • Fern says:

      I did find this prank pretty funny – Elton John has an ego the size of Montana. Anyone else would have thought ‘gee, on a balance of probabilities, how likely is it that the President of Russia would find the time in his day to contact an ageing British pop star to discuss something of peripheral interest to him?”

      • Patient Observer says:

        Sir Elton was cringe-worthy.

      • marknesop says:

        I’m afraid I laughed at it, too. Although I did love “Saturday Night’s All Right For Fighting” and “I Guess That’s why they Call it the Blues”. Sorry, Sir John. At least it did not end in tragedy, as in the case of that nurse in Australia who hanged herself after being tricked by a similar prank.

        Sir John might have been suspicious as well, but being gay has gone to his head and he has let that define him more than anything else. If “Putin” had asked him to sing “Rocket Man” over the phone to him, he would have suspected a trick immediately. But the opportunity to be a spokesman for the homosexual agenda made him throw caution to the winds.

  30. Lyttenburgh says:

    Fear and loathing in Kostroma –the aftermath of 2015 election cycle.

    We had 15 political parties, 52% of United Russia, 14% of KPRF, 10% of A Just Russia, nearly 9% of LDPR, plus a whole galaxy of multi-colored frauds, fakes, morons and losers… Also, nearly 30 international MEDIA channels, the entirety of Russian Free and Independent Media, Khodorkovskiy’s sponsored activists and election observers, fond memory about US embassy’s personal nice chat with Navalniy, and dozens of vatniks from the “Antiamydan” forcefully brought here under threats of violence and gulags. Not that we needed all that for the elections, but once you get locked into a serious collection of political clowns , the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the RPR-PARNAS. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a party of kreakls in the depths of electoral binge, and I knew we’d get into that rotten stuff pretty soon.

    The Ancient Phrygian king Croesus allegedly could turn anything into gold with his touch. The Great Helmsman of RPR-PARNAS Mikhail “Mishka 2%” Kasyanov has another, but rather similar talent, and he was ecstatic. Till the bitter end he twitted happily to the numerous columns of his followers, that they’ve got 6 (like 3 times by 2)% in Kostroma and this is a great success. This, according to Russia’s last honest PM and the personal enemy of Putinist regime, translates into 20% in Novosibirsk and 30% in Moscow and St. Pete. The Regime, continues Kasyanov, was clearly afraid of opposition. The heart of the political life in Russia was beating in Kostroma all thanks to PARNAS.

    But the fact remains – RPR-PARNAS officially got only 2.27% in Kostroma, which puts them in the top 10 most successful parties participating in these elections. Michael’s magical touch proved once again stronger than his political aspirations. Immediately, all leaders of democratic opposition in Russia, all kreakls, office plankton, progressive hipsters, gays and democratic journalists asked themselves 2 Eternal Russian Questions: “What to Do?” and “Whom to blame?”. They kinda always had trouble with answering the first question, mostly due to the simple fact that they don’t have any say in that – much wiser heads to whom belong numerous hands that financial support honest opposition in Russia are in charge of decision taking. Despite earlier threats to stage protests and organize rallies if the elections would be rigged by the Regime, RPR-PARNAS had conceded the defeat and didn’t grace the whole wide world with their precious selves staging yet another numerous protest in Moscow.

    This left the question – “Whom to blame”? And here all handshakable personalities were totally in agreement – The Regime and This People of This Country. The first and chief reason that RPR-PARNAS was so unsuccessful in Kostroma was due to the lack of the “creative electorate”. On Sept 14th the author decided to change the phrasing to “liberal electorate” – but we know better! We know that such “Freudian slip” tells a lot. When for 20+ years you call “this people” bydlo, vatniks, slaves to the Regime, a protoplasm, a nation of drunkards and uncreative idiots (the author of that FB post called Antimaydan activists “hobos”) and generally rarely miss and opportunity to fling a portion of shit into Russia and Russians, they then hope to be actually voted for! And when they (predictably) fail once more, they, these ultra-democrats blame not themselves but “oppressive” government and “wrong” population.

    Well, honestly, what they hoped for in Kostroma? People here call posh and culturally superior Western-invented “meatbolli”“tjeftejeli” and “frikadelki”. People here drink kompot but not smoothie. Besides – there is nothing to talk about with the locals – they are not ware about the latest trends in iPhone design or about the successes of anti-corruption campaign in Odessa.

    Dear Russian liberals! “Ваше место – у ПАРНАСА!”.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      This left the question – “Whom to blame”? And here all handshakable personalities were totally in agreement – The Regime and This People of This Country.

      But of course!

      Ask Latynina about this. She thinks the hoi-poloi shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they are stupid and are easily gulled by the Evil One and his cronies – unlike members of the intellectual elite such as she is.

      … impoverished people are incapable of making sober decisions and voting responsibly in a popular election. And this, unfortunately, applies to Russia as well. In the unfair presidential election of 2000, Vladimir Putin emerged the winner.

      Thus spake the sage of Ekho Moskvy, Novaya Gazeta, recipient in 2008 of the Freedom Defenders Award presented to her by Condoleezza Rice on behalf of the United States Department of State etc.

      See: Letting Poor People Vote Is Dangerous

      Freedom and democracy USA style!

      Doncha just love it!

  31. Moscow Exile says:

    Russia has invested another $10 billion in the US national debt

    In July Russia increased its investment in US Treasury bonds by $9.7 billion of dollars, according to information given by the United States Treasury and Federal Reserve.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Source of the above:, Kommersant etc.

    • marknesop says:

      Say, Moscow Exile – how’s the chip vinegar holding out? Does it go nicely on fish heads? The Missus is once again journeying to the Evil Empire (in October, which approacheth right quickly), and although she plans to spend most of her time in St Petersburg with our relatives, she hopes to get up to Moscow for a day at least. She has several friends to see there, as well as Lyudmila, the photographer we met on our cruise out of Miami with Norwegian. I will be in a position to resupply you with vinegar and mint sauce, or such other delicacies as you desire so long as they are fairly small and non-perishable. We have to keep it on the down-low, though, so you are not set upon by a gang of Russian regulators and accused of being a sanction-busting kreakl.

  32. Warren says:

    Nobel secretary regrets Obama peace prize

    The decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama in 2009 failed to live up to expectations, the committee’s ex-secretary has said.

    In his memoir, Secretary of Peace, Geir Lundestad said the committee expected the prize to be a boost to Mr Obama.

    Instead, the decision was met with criticism in the US. Many argued he had not had any impact worthy of the award.

    Mr Obama himself said he was surprised and even some of his supporters thought it a mistake, Mr Lundestad said.

    The US president apparently considered not going to pick up the award in Norway’s capital, Oslo, with his staff enquiring whether other winners had skipped the ceremony.

    But they found that this has happened only on rare occasions, such as when dissidents were held back by their governments.

    “In the White House they quickly realised that they needed to travel to Oslo,” Mr Lundestad wrote.
    Mr Lundestad served as the committee’s influential, but non-voting, secretary from 1990 to 2015.
    He has broken with the tradition of the secretive committee, whose members rarely discuss proceedings.

    Other insights

    The book also gives other insights into the activities of the committee:

    According to Mr Lundestad, Jonas Gahr Store, then Norway’s foreign minister, tried in 2010 to dissuade the panel from awarding the prize to a Chinese dissident, fearing it would strain the country’s relationship with Beijing. The Nobel committee ignored the warnings and honoured Liu Xiaobo.

    Mr Lundestad also criticises Thorbjorn Jagland, who was the committee chairman for six years and is now a regular member. He said that as a former Norwegian prime minister, Mr Jagland should never have been appointed to the committee, which frequently stresses its independence.

    In an amusing anecdote, Mr Lundestad relates how he found Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who won the award in 1994, watching an episode of the Tom and Jerry cartoon in his hotel with other Palestine Liberation Organisation members. “It was made very clear that they intended to watch until the end,” he said.

    This year’s Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on October 9.

    • et Al says:

      It’s fairly obvious, except for Neuters who refuse to entertain common sense, let alone go there. There will be no repeat of Libya et al (not me!) where the West has set up a ‘No Fly Zone’ and then proceeded to use their military aircraft as an air force for the rebels/whomever.

      Those air defenses sent to Syria mean that they will be the first target (according to Western military doctrine) of any such attempt by the West to intervene directly and that will lead to the death of Russian soldiers and citizens.

      There is no way the West could claim to kill Russian soldiers ‘accidentally’ and get away with it as those systems are expressly defensive. It would not just be the political and military consequences to be faced from such an ‘event’, but it would be a massive PR disaster for the West too.

      As others have commented multiple times here, Obama publicly proclaims his red lines, Putin doesn’t, but sets them up pragmatically.

      I’m still waiting for those Yak-130s to turn up, though I would now guess that some pilots would be Syrian and some Russian – just to make it even more risky for the West to do anything stupid.

      • Northern Star says:

        “just to make it even more risky for the West to do anything stupid.”

        The Western fascist PTB are obviously not risk averse to serial acts of jaw dropping stupidity….

    • marknesop says:

      “The committee’s chairman, Republican Sen. John McCain, called the U.S. strategy against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria a debacle. He said assessments by Austin and Pentagon that the U.S. strategy is working is “divorced from reality.”

      Typically tuber-headed assessment from Vegetable McCain. The U.S. strategy is working beautifully. Before the introduction of ISIS, the Free Syrian Army was understood by many to be mostly comprised of Libyans and international non-Syrian mercenaries except for a group of 100 or so who were regularly paraded before the cameras when journalists wanted a heartwarming piece on the “struggle for freedom”. It was becoming fairly well understood that the “rebels” in general did not represent the will of the people of Syria, and there was zero public appetite for an American military adventure. Assad was enjoying excellent success pushing the aforementioned “rebels” out of Syria, and they were losing ground on every front.

      *Poof!!” Enter ISIS/IS/ISIL. Suddenly the FSA and the other rebel groups were characterized as “moderates”, Assad was still the enemy, but NATO invited itself arbitrarily into Syria to conduct strikes on ISIS, which was The New Phantom Menace. This is nothing more than an informal declaration of war against the Syrian state, as the west is using the flimsy pretext of bombing a force it created for the very purpose of entering Syria militarily, while instead it is “accidentally” bombing government targets and in general enabling the advance of its contrived rebel forces. They are said to be in the outskirts of Damascus already. From where I’m standing, that looks like a hell of a successful strategy. Totally illegal, of course, and another war of choice against a sovereign state. But all deniable; who’s going to believe some bunch of flip-flops afterward? The official story is that the U.S. tried to stop ISIS so as to give the legitimate, moderate opposition in Syria a fighting chance…but alas! they were unsuccessful.

  33. et Al says:

    The Londonist: Must-See Exhibition Shows How The Soviets Conquered Space

    Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age, Science Museum

    “It’s my best and most beautiful friend; my best and most beautiful man.” So declared Valentina Tereshkova, speaking today about the charred metal ball shown in the image above. Tereshkova’s ‘beautiful man’ is the capsule of Vostok 6, the mission that sent her into orbit in 1963. In doing so, she became the first woman and the first civilian in space. It took the US 20 years to catch up with the first of those achievements. Opening the Science Museum’s barnstorming new Cosmonauts exhibition, Tereshkova admitted that she strokes the capsule every time she walks past.

    Today, for the first time, that historic artefact is on show in London. It is joined by some 150 other objects, most of which have never left Russia. Collectively, they tell the story of Russian spaceflight and the scientists, engineers and cosmonauts who made it all happen. …

    Al Beeb s’Allah GONAD (God’s Own News Agency Direct): Soviet authorities ‘worried’ about female cosmonauts

    When the space race began, it was the Soviet Union which led the way. Not only did they put the first man, Yuri Gagarin, in space, but also the first woman.

    Valentina Tereshkova, now 78, and she has now been reunited with Vostok 6, the spacecraft in which she made her historic flight.

    Speaking at the launch of a Science Museum exhibition, Ms Tereshkova revealed that the Soviet authorities thought it was “too dangerous” to send more female cosmonauts into orbit.

    The BBC’s science correspondent, Pallab Ghosh, went to meet her….

    All hail Терешкова! Don’t forget to follow the link at the bottom for the full article:

    The £14 quid is clearly worth it.

  34. saumacus says:

    I didn’t know Syria is occupied by Russia. I was pretty sure until recently it was a French colony for a while.

    But, as France24 has experts like this one, I shouldn’t be surprised…

  35. et Al says:

    Financial Crimes: More than 7,000 migrants surge into Croatia


    As a supporter of the EU project, I am ever more fatigued by the joke that is called European Unity. Not to mention the hypocrisy and gall of those heaping insult on Hungary, regardless of what one thinks of their police’s behavior on their own border. Western Europe’s condescension towards the newer member states (and also Italy) that have been taking in refugees for years is shameful. Yet again we see Germany on the one hand purporting to show the compassionate way, yet on the other it unilaterally suspends basic the EU rules of Schengen when it is in its own interests and still criticizes others for having to deal with the effects of its own decisions.

    None of this is new either, but nobody wanted to talk about it as it could be ’embarrassing’ and undermine the carefully cultivated image of Europe as one. There are hundreds of thousands of Roma refugees stuck in the Balkans having been ethnically cleansed by countries that the West has supported one of which (Croatia) was still allowed to join the EU despite this and another narco-territory (the albanian bit of Kosovo) being rewarded for doing nothing either. These Roma can’t get political or refugee asylum in western Europe as the places from which they have been cleansed have been officially recognized as ‘safe countries’ as well as the countries where they are being hosted (Serbia & Montenegro).

    Yet again, for all their blah blah about human rights and not discriminating against asylum seekers and refugees, they’ve been doing it for years. It is clear that some groups deserve their punishment for being on the wrong side. This bigotry goes up to the highest levels of the EU as well. Just brush the problem under the carpet and threaten aspiring EU members if they dare bring up the issue whilst throwing them a few million back of the sofa euros.

    Has anyone noticed how careful the US has been over the whole refugee crisis? Their whole media and political class has by and large been tip-toeing around the issue? I spend yesterday watching CNN live at the Horgos border crossing between Hungary and Serbia. The only time they ever address the issue of WTF all these refugees were coming to Europe was to briefly mention that Assad gave an interview in a Russian newspaper blaming the West and its actions. One CNN anchorwoman said ‘We know here that the refugees are coming from Syria because of Assad’s actions’. That was it. All the analysis they did from their professional and long serving journalists.

    There really odd thing that stood out from it all was that the refugees refused to be id’d and fingerprinted because they did not want to register in the first EU country they arrived in as they know Schengen requires it and that wherever they go in the EU, they can be sent back to that country. So on the one hand they know this about ‘Europe’, but on the other hand the reporters tell us that they are frustrated, angry and don’t understand why they simply cannot walk across European borders to their preferred destination. From the live coverage, they tried multiple time to break through the border to Hungary and at one point a ‘rumor broke out that the Germans had arrived’ which lead to a rush to the border again.

    Well, you do have to admit that they are quite European in one sense in that they believe they are entitled to what they want. As such, they’ll fit in quite well and what struck me was that all of them looked generally well dressed, equipped and educated, not like the black, raggedy Africans from Yemen who’ve been bombed by the Saudis, Afghanis or other less deserving victims of Western foreign policy disasters. Even with Europe’s degrees of racism you would think it shouldn’t be such a bit ask. Then again, Europe is enjoying imposed austerity that is helping crush the life out of its own citizens…

    • et Al says:

      In Serbia: Serbs from Krajina offer their properties in Croatia to Syrian refugees

      Milovan Budimlija, a refugee from the town of Plaska, offers migrants a house of four floors on a plot of 2,000 square meters. He recently presented his idea with a letter to the President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic.

      “I sent a letter to which I have not received a reply. I asked the president to publicly support the idea to give our properties in Croatia to Syrian refugees for permanent or temporary use, for free or with a fee. We do not only want to help these people, but also to draw the attention of the world media that Serbs who had been expelled from Croatia haven’t been able to go back to their properties for 20 years,” said Budimlija.

      Milovan Budimlija says that in the following days they will try to inform as many as their compatriots abroad as possible.

      “At least 10,000 people from Krajina are scattered from America to Australia. We want to make them aware of this idea. As there are lists of Serbs missing and killed in Krajina, we want to make a list with names of people, places and properites offerred to the refugees from the Middle East,” said Budimlija.

      Vladimir Dmitrovic, a refugee from Glina, says that vast columns of refugees in Serbia remind him of the “Operation Storm” and the column of people he was in.

      “It moved me to publicly offer my property to these people – two houses and two hectares of arable land, free of charge for at least five years. That is the time I have left until retirement, when I plan to go back to my hometown where I haven’t been since 1995,” said Dmitrovic.

      Director of Veritas Savo Strbac says that several people from Krajina contacted him with the same idea.

      “In August 1995 the police did not allow us to enter Belgrade, but they made us go to Kosovo. Nobody can understand the suffering of the people from Syria better than us, which is why I wish them much more luck than we had. There is an ironic message in this idea to the Croatian authorities, if Serbs are not good for them so they have been preventing us from coming back for 20 years, to try with Syrians,” says Strbac.

      He added that he himself can offer the apartment he had in Benkovac, and a part of the estate.

      “I believe that my mother and brother will not mind to donate a part of the estate to Syrian refugees,” he said.

      However, Milorad Linta, president of the Coalition of the Association of refugees from Krajina, believes this is not a good way to raise the issue of return of refugees from Krajina.

      “Everyone has the right to do with their properties what they want, but I am not sure that this is the road which will get us our rights,” said Linta.

      You see, Europe believes that certain refugees deserve what they got.

    • Jen says:

      @ et Al: You ought to read Ghassan and Intibah Kadi’s article “Je Suis Alyan?”

      They point out that most of the Syrian refugees are young men of conscription age and that most Syrian refugees coming into Europe from Turkey have been stuck in camps in Turkey for several years and were never allowed to leave – until now. That would have been plenty of time for these refugees to have been brainwashed with pro-US interventionist / anti-Assad propaganda or penetrated by ISIS operatives. Once in Europe, these operatives might stage false flag attacks with the intent to terrify people and panic them into supporting a NATO invasion of Syria.

      The Kadis also point out that the refugees are going on one route to Germany via Hungary. I think what’s implied is that Hungary and in particular the Orban government and its policies concerning immigration are being targeted for embarrassment and humiliation by whoever planned the movement of the Syrian refugees.

      One thing that the Kadis haven’t mentioned is the fact that Germany faces a demographic crisis after the year 2020, when (even with a high immigration scenario) the current population is projected to fall from its current 80+ million to below 75 million.
      The worker base is not large enough to sustain a tax base that will support present levels of social welfare, unless Germany were to raise individual and household income taxes to a level that might lead to riots. So Marine le Pen may be right when she says that the refugee crisis serves to help staff factories in Germany with more slaves.

      In effect, the Syrian refugee crisis has been manufactured to kill several birds with the one stone.

      • marknesop says:

        Or read this report at Fort Russ, translated from the German, which reports police in Bulgaria seized 10,000 fake Syrian passports on their way to Germany, and an ISIS recruiter has already been caught in Stuttgart with a fake Syrian passport.

        • et Al says:

          Neuters: German spy says Salafists trying to recruit refugees: newspaper

          …”We’re observing that Salafists act like philanthropists and helpers, deliberately seek contact with refugees and then invite them to the relevant mosques to recruit them for their cause,” BfV head Hans-Georg Maassen told regional German newspaper Rheinische Post in comments due to be published on Friday.

          He played down fears that Islamic State would try to send terror squads disguised as refugees to Germany, saying while the BfV and the BND foreign intelligence agency had followed up on lots of leads, they had found no sign that this was the case.

          Maassen said the routes that refugees take were too dangerous for “terrorists” as they would risk death or being exposed if they embarked upon such journeys…

      • astabada says:

        Look who publishes al Qaeda’s flag on his profile:

        Do you remember him? He does now have a job in Spain.

          • marknesop says:

            Imagine that. You’d think they’d be more careful. Obviously immigration services are less effective than social media in this instance, provided it is accurate and his face is not simply photoshopped. But clearly a lot of people are growing suspicious of the number of “military-age males” among the refugees. Didn’t Michael Weiss or some other twat like him just go off on a big rant about racism and how racist all the Europeans were who complained about the refugees instead of unquestioningly accepting them? And where the fuck’s Turkey on this? These people have supposedly been in Turkish refugee camps for a couple of years.

      • et Al says:

        Thanks for that Jen.

        It’s fairly obvious that Al Queda/ISIS/Daesh/whatever will use any means necessary to get operatives in to Western Europe, exactly like criminal gangs (smuggling whatever) which are not held back by laws or regulations and can change their routes at the price of one call on a disposable phone.

        I don’t find the route too suspicious as people tend to travel in crowds when in an unfamiliar surrounding (sic: tourists) as it is the most direct and easiest to follow, so all you really need is a small number of people who know the way and the rest will follow.

        Those in camps would have been registered by the Turkish authorites which means that the US may well have those personnel files too. I simply cannot imagine Turkey allowing such large numbers of people in their territory without them being documented and probably cross-checked with other databases in Europe and the US. Even with fake passports, if they have biometric IDs, pictures etc. and these people have been registered somewhere else or had a previous passport, then it should come up – IF the West can lower themselves to ask for Syria’s database, but that only makes things more complicated too.

        Watching CNN the other day, the arabic speaking senior correspondent on the ground did point out on a number of occasions that there were a lot of women and children there too. That was not evident from the live footage which was almost solely focused on the border, but then again, you wouldn’t really expect to see women and children charging border fences. I am a little worried that everyone sees what they want to see.

    • Jen says:

      News I’ve just heard is that Hungary’s border fences have forced the refugees to move into Croatia, going towards Austria … right through areas that still have landmines from the war Croatia and Serbia fought in the 1990s.

  36. Northern Star says:
    Although a little off topic.. I think these articles are relevant to an overall comprehensive contextualization of the ME situaion…particularly the second one which details aspects of the Syrian refugee crisis. Moreover much of the impetus for the USA ME strategy is -as exceptional World Cop- to Protect and Serve the racist Israeli Apartheid state….No doubt Israel-behind the scenes-is playing as many Iran/Syria denouement cards as possible.

  37. marknesop says:

    Syria goes there, as its Foreign Minister announces Syria will ask for Russian troops to fight alongside its own forces “if the need arises”. He stresses that at present, the Syrian Army is capable of handling the situation, although it is grateful for new weapons and training it has received from Russia.

    It is instructive to recall that the United States, as well as its retinue of toadies and lickspittles who are publicly musing about jumping on the Syrian air strikes bandwagon, was never invited into Syria. The only non-Syrian military forces in Syria with the state’s blessing are Russian.

    Will you take a card, Washington? Or will you fold?

  38. marknesop says:

    Mosiychuk is stripped of his Parliamentary immunity and arrested. A video allegedly shows him soliciting and accepting bribes. Lyashko is stunned. This is apparently unprecedented. His own party is said to have voted for it, believing Mosiychuk would then be given the floor and would refute the allegations. But, in what is beginning to typify the last-of-the-wild-frontier politics in Kiev, they went straight to arrest. The masked police are a nice touch, and in my humble opinion, a great way to display European values. Keep it up, Ukraine – you’re almost NATO material!!

  39. Warren says:

  40. Oddlots says:

    Jesus, can this be true?

    • marknesop says:

      I saw a reference to it somewhere else in conversation, but I assumed it was a joke.

      • Jen says:

        Maybe a seat is also being prepared for Stephen Harper on the reform council? Watch that space …

      • Jen says:

        If the news is true, I can just see Tony Abbott teaching the Yukies how to swim so that next time they have to dig up the soil at the bottom of the Black Sea, they don’t have to hold their breaths or use extra long snorkels, because they wouldn’t have to walk on the shore bottom.

  41. marknesop says:

    For those who are interested, I finally got around to contacting Dunya, the lady who drives relief supplies to Donetsk and Lugansk in a van. She buys some stuff in Russia with donated money, and the rest locally in Donbas. Receipts are posted on her site, as well as letters of appreciation from the recipients. I sent her this message:

    Good Morning, Dunya;

    I and some of my friends at my blog (you can find us at ) might be interested in donating to help out, you are a hero for all you do! Is it still possible for you to get in and out of the region?

    Many have questions about how they can give; of course some of them are nervous about providing secure information like credit-card numbers. Also, if you have a bank account number into which they can deposit money, then international transfers go through SWIFT, and that takes almost half your donation in bank fees. How do international donors send funds? I am from Canada, and some of the other people interested are from Australia, the USA and New Zealand. Thanks again for all you do!

    And she replies:

    Mark, hello!
    Thank you so much for your word!)
    The easiest way to help is by paypal on this email –
    I’m in Luhansk now))))

    I have used paypal before to buy stuff on ebay, and it is pretty reliable. It comes out of your bank account, rather than a credit card, and I have not heard of scammers being able to empty anyone’s bank account via paypal fraud. What do you think?

  42. marknesop says:

    Oh, dear – poor Ukraine. More corruption.

    Three Million a year in salary and bonuses? Sounds fair to me – like he says, this is not a charity.

  43. marknesop says:

    Hmmmm….Australia’s rationale for why it is legal for Australia to waltz in to Syria to “bomb Islamic State” although they did not have UN permission to invade a sovereign state? They’re…err…defending Iraq.

  44. Warren says:

    Published on 15 Sep 2015
    As the Syrian crisis enters its fifth year, tension in the country is still growing. Bashar Assad, the President of Syria, gives an interview to key Russian media, revealing his view on political progress, the Syrian crisis, its allies and its war on terrorism

  45. Moscow Exile says:

    Taras Kuzio:

    as you’ve never seen him before?

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