Add a Cup of Crocodile Tears: “Western Values” is a Myth

Uncle Volodya says,

Uncle Volodya says, “That’s the thing you learn about values: they’re what people make up to justify what they did.”

“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.

– John F. Kennedy, 20th Anniversary of The Voice Of America, February 26th, 1962

A nation that is afraid of its people. Once there would have been no doubt about who that was not, as witnessed by the statement above.  And once upon a time, “western values” was an honest-to-goodness aspiration, not a punch line. But that was a long time before the boyish President spoke that probably-heartfelt confidence to young postwar America – a country that was growing so fast, both in its economy and its foreign influence, that you could almost feel the ground tremble beneath your feet.

How far do you want to go back? As the newborn Soviet Union began to think urgently about restarting production in a country ravaged by World War I and then three years of brutal and destructive civil war, it urgently needed  western equipment and machinery to rebuild its shattered factories and to modernize, to move forward. The Soviet Union was on the gold standard, producing a gold coin called the Chervonets. It would pay in gold for modern machinery.

Except the west wouldn’t take it. Why not? Because a competing currency backed by gold reserves threatened the reach of an emerging financial empire dominated by the American dollar and the British pound sterling. The Chervonets disappeared, to be replaced by a rouble which was not backed by gold. The Soviet Union was then recognized by the west, and shortly thereafter, in 1925, it announced again its wish to accelerate industrialization, and to purchase western equipment and machinery. The west refused again to accept gold, and agreed the only mediums of exchange could be oil, timber and grain. In 1933 the west introduced the Russian Goods Import Prohibition Act. The only means of payment entertained – Soviet grain.

Stalin’s government was faced with a choice: either to give up restoring industry, so capitulating to the West, or continue industrialising, leading to a dreadful internal crisis. If the Bolsheviks took grain away from the peasants, there was the very great probability of a famine which, in turn, might lead to internal unrest and removal from power. So no matter what Stalin chose, the West would remain victorious. Stalin and his entourage decided to force their way through and stop at nothing.

You know what happened. The Holodomor, which Ukraine frequently refers to as a deliberate genocide of Ukrainians, although Ukraine was heavily agrarian – the breadbasket of the Soviet Union – and it stands to reason it was hardest hit.

1939-1945: another war. The Soviet Union was allied with the west against Nazi Germany and the Axis powers. As it ground to a bloody close, America was presented with an almost unbelievable set of circumstances, not long after The Voice of America celebrated in the quote above was just getting started. The war was over. Europe was devastated; much of its youth sleeping forever in the earth where they fell, its cities smashed and ruined, its factories and production facilities charred rectangular craters in the lunatic moonscape signature of relentless bombing. A weary and soul-shocked people turned their faces to rebuilding. But how?

America!!! Although the young United States had paid its dues in casualties and war dead, the country itself was untouched. Moreover, its factories and plants and manufacturing facilities were revved up and running at full-bore, accustomed to providing for a world at war. If America played its cards right, it could become the dominant world power for as far as the eye could see, and its allies would be beholden to it for their very existence.

And Germany. What should be done about Germany, the host of the Nazi cancer that had clearly intended to spread and spread if it had not been ripped out and stamped upon by the allies? That was a matter of no small concern to Stalin, because the USSR had borne the brunt of the crushing juggernaut of German metal and artillery and hate. Had mad Hitler not elected to open a second front, he might well have prevailed in Europe and been able to negotiate from a position of strength. But the USSR had paid a terrible price; more than 25 million dead, more than any country in the war, and some of its cities little more than smoldering piles of tumbled bricks. Obviously, the Soviets had not invited this. So who was going to pay for it?

The obvious answer was Germany, and the Potsdam Agreement gave the Soviet Union claim to 25% of German assets.  The western allies were to get 75% to divide between them, and Germany was obviously going to get nothing. But somewhere along the line, the plan changed. As the reference points out, “the important point was that the absolute amount of that theoretical asset was within the discretion of the Allied Control Council to determine. Given the de facto acceptance of Soviet and Western spheres of influences, the Western Occupation Powers had the ultimate decision-making power in dividing up Germany industrial assets.” And the United States decided that the Soviet Union was trying to increase its own power at the expense of Germany; and, dash it, that just wasn’t fair. Unaccountably, Stalin declined an American offer to participate in The Marshall Plan, and contribute resources to rebuild Europe before the Soviet Union – incredibly unreasonable man. American leaders put it down to Stalin being reluctant to disclose just how much wealth the Soviet Union had.

Ambitions for Germany was the issue at which their paths divided. The Soviet Union wanted the rich industrial assets of the Ruhr, and considered itself entitled to them. The United States had other plans. Already, despite its wartime alliance with the Soviet Union, the USA was pondering how it could become the preeminent world power, and those plans did not include a potential rival. The USA had already determined that Germany – the former enemy whose Nazi ideology was denounced at Nuremberg – should be rebuilt as a counterweight to America’s erstwhile ally, the Soviet Union.

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1,366 Responses to Add a Cup of Crocodile Tears: “Western Values” is a Myth

  1. Patient Observer says:

    Perhaps this was discuss earlier but it is still amazing how much of a brown noser someone can be:

  2. Warren says:

    RAF given green light to shoot down hostile Russian jets in Syria

    As relations between the West and Russia steadily deteriorate, Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots have been given the go-ahead to shoot down Russian military jets when flying missions over Syria and Iraq, if they are endangered by them. The development comes with warnings that the UK and Russia are now “one step closer” to being at war.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      “The first thing a British pilot will do is to try to avoid a situation where an air-to-air attack is likely to occur — you avoid an area if there is Russian activity,” an unidentified source from the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) told the Sunday Times. “But if a pilot is fired on or believes he is about to be fired on, he can defend himself. We now have a situation where a single pilot, irrespective of nationality, can have a strategic impact on future events.”

      The headline is a bit over the top, don’t you think?

      The same rule applies to all combat pilots of any nation, as indeed the (as usual) unidentified source is quoted as saying.

      That’s why the US navy shot down an Iranian airliner, isn’t it: the warship thought it was being threatened by the passenger aircraft.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Trigger happy, poorly trained, panic-stricken, glory-seeking and incompetent – what else can describe the US Navy’s shoot-down? How would they perform in a real war with an adversary able to hit back hard?

      • marknesop says:

        Yes to the first, and no to the second. The U.S. Navy shot down an Iranian airliner they claim they mistook for an Iranian F-14 Tomcat, although it (1) took off from a known civil airport following a commercial air route and within the air safety corridor, (2) was displaying the IFF interrogator trace for civil aviation, (3) was correlated to a civil aviation radar emitter rather than the AN/AWG-9 radar associated with the F-14, and which is quite distinctive on ESM gear and (4) was not descending or following an attack profile. The USS VINCENNES stationed itself directly underneath an air traffic corridor within Iranian airspace, so that normal air traffic passed directly over it; obviously, for one half of its transit, an aircraft would close the VINCENNES, and for the remainder it would be opening after it passed overhead. I’d have to look up again if any warnings were passed, but if there were the pilot likely did not think the surface unit was talking to him, since he was flying the same route he did every day or week or with whatever degree of regularity. So if he was told to turn away he likely did not think it applied to him, as few commercial pilots would be able to conceive of the arrogance of a ship’s captain who would park his ship in Iranian territorial waters and then demand that all the country’s civil aviation reroute themselves around his position.

    • marknesop says:

      Trust the yellow press to make a big bold brave issue out of nothing. Every commanding officer (which you are when there’s just you in the cockpit, or perhaps you and a radar operator in some) retains the inherent right of self defense. The article makes clear – although not in the headline, of course – that this is not double-nought authorization to bring the evil Russkies to battle and slay them wholesale. It says you may fire in your own defense and you always could. Fucking drama queens. Tune in tomorrow when Russian chemical attack makes Britain’s deciduous leaves change colour and fall off the trees!

  3. bolasete says:

    this is not immediately relevant to this discussion except that it exposes the truly global nature of the us-led west and how (by inference) putin is truly david fighting goliath. it’s about capitalism in crisis from a marxist pov. i find today’s post very powerful and it definitely covers current events in the news.

    • spartacus says:

      Yeap, I have all ready read it. I follow this blog faithfully, ever since I stumbled upon it a couple of years ago. Sam Williams’ posts are generally really interesting and, as you say, his latest piece is a very good one. He does a good job in showing that the growing disagreement between the US and Germany is rooted in increasingly diverging economic interests. Apparently, Germany’s growing share of the world’s market does not sit very well with the Americans. So far, the Americans have a tight grip on things, but I imagine that if Washington’s interference causes European, and especially German capitalists, to lose increasingly amounts of money, cracks within the Western bloc of powers will show up. I would file the statement of Jean-Claude Juncker, (Warren mentioned it earlier) under that category:

      Below, is the link to a column written by Ben Bernanke, where the former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is expressing his dissatisfaction with Germany’s policy of exporting itself out of crises (Sam Williams mentions this article too, but he doesn’t link it in his post).

      • cartman says:

        That is why the US wants a stranglehold on Europe’s energy supply. Washington does not care about high prices or monopolistic practices. In places where it already has control (Bulgaria) people are being squeezed past the limit, and politically nothing changes.

        Washington gets the switch to Europe and it degrades the competition as much as it needs to.

    • james says:

      thanks bolasete.. that’s an excellent article… do you listen to bola sete’s music? you must with a name like that!

  4. Warren says:

    What a cork-up! Embarrassed President Putin is soaked with champagne as F1 driver Lewis Hamilton starts his celebrations before the Russian strongman can leave the stage

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

    • Cortes says:

      You’d have to be eyeless like ME’s Saint to not see VVP wasn’t drenched in a Multicultural Brit Winner disses The Lord of Mordor sort of thing.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Why do they always have to perform this silly act of spraying good champagne all over the place?

      Why don’t they drink it?

      If I were the winner of such a race, it would be drinks all round.

      Typically wasteful and childish bourgeois stunt!


      • Moscow Exile says:

        Writing of champagne, the state alcohol authority here last week fixed the minimum price of champagne to be sold for the coming New Year thrash at 168 rubles (£1.68).

        That’s what used to be called “Soviet Champagne” of course.

        I wouldn’t be seen dead drinking the French stuff, nor should any Russian patriot either.


      • Jen says:

        Only people living in the Land of Lord Vlademort where Life Is Hell would consider drinking good champagne.

        Folks living in the Lands of the Free and the Homes of the Brave have to waste it in typical capitalist bourgeois fashion.

    • marknesop says:

      What other sort of behaviour can be expected of a man wearing diamond earrings? Do normal men wear diamond earrings?

      • Jen says:

        He must be the same sort of tosser who sprays champagne into women’s faces, buys refrigerators with flat-screen TVs against the back part near the temperature gauge, hurls bottles at the DJ and expects girls to shine his hooves.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        No, of course not, though I have to admit that I have a diamond stud in my scrotum.

        • marknesop says:

          Oh, you rakehell. Talk about hiding your light under a bushel.

          • james says:

            lol you two!

            • marknesop says:

              Moscow Exile could use a pair of those “Balls Out” jeans, as marketed on Mad TV. I wonder if they make something like that in gabardine? He somehow does not come across as a jeansy kind of guy. Not now, anyway. Maybe back when he was grubbin’ dahn the pit.

              • Cortes says:

                Maybe in other industrial areas it was different but in the west of Scotland folks who’d been toiling in factories, forges, shipyards, pits and the like would dress up as well as their pockets and tastes permitted when at leisure. It was the desk jockeys who dressed down.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  That’s right! Same were I lived in Northwest England.

                  I have never worn jeans for over 30 years, nor have I possessed a pair for about the same period of time. I used to go to work in jeans and take them off underground and work in shorts. My jeans were working clothes and covered in muck.

                  At the weekend, I went out in a suit, white shirt and tie. I wore black shoes and black socks and my suits were always dark and doubled breasted.

                  I wore my weekend suit for my wedding here. When my wife saw my mother and father’s 1948 wedding photo, she cried out: “He’s wearing your suit!”

                  Tradition dies hard in my old neck of the woods.

                  When on a brief visit to the UK last August, I bought a new suit at Marks & Spencer’s – dark, double breasted etc.

                  I well remember in the early ’80s someone not from my part of England finding it humorous to see a load of colliers slutching ale one Saturday night at the “miner’s welfare”, all dressed in their Sunday best. He was dressed in jeans and pullover etc. of course. He was some sort of sociologist – writing a book about horny handed sons of toil or something like.

                • marknesop says:

                  Well, don’t be too quick to dismiss it; it is worth looking into. If these trousers are available in a nice dark gabardine or worsted, you would be able to show off your diamond stud and experience a degree of freedom only imagined heretofore in dreams.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Former coal miners at the Easington Colliery Miners’ Welfare Club, County Durham, England, on hearing of the sad demise of the first British woman prime minister.

                  Black tie?

                  No jeans – although you cannot see below their waists, but I doubt if any are wearing them.

                • marknesop says:

                  I just think it is tacky to exploit their obvious grief like that.

    • Fern says:

      Ah yes, the Land of Mordor has hosted yet another abysmal failure in Sochi. I see the regime is claiming the Grand Prix was ‘sold-out’ but that’s clearly false. The Kremlin’s also planted various assets – some with very convincing British, American and a variety of European accents – around the Olympic site so they can tell journalists they’re having a wonderful time, the Olympic stadiums are very impressive, the track is good and cleverly laid out, the hotels are great, everyone is helpful and friendly…the usual propaganda machine wheeled out from the Winter Olympics. The Dark Lord even went so far as to hire a Lewis Hamilton look-alike so he could tell the camera he found Sochi’s location ‘stunning’, that while he knew Russia boasted beautiful cities like St Petersburg, he had no idea it had such a lovely seaside. All in all, a very slick and clever propaganda effort but luckily western commentators are not fooled.

  5. astabada says:

    @Johan Meyer

    Kenneth Roth is trash. But I think that misses the purposes of HRW. HRW has a number of purposes:
    1. Obtain intelligence into local struggles […]

    Hi Johan, thank you for this message which opened my eyes on some additional functions of HRW which I had never thought about!

  6. Johan Meyer says:

    Admittedly it is anecdotal, but the anecdotes keep on piling up. Just have a look at say the last 10 HRW news articles for each country, and the last ten HRW reports for each country, and observe when civil/political strife or terrorism occurs. I’m trying to set up a statistical test with a Poisson model to make it more scientific… Would you have the mathematical background (strong on integration, inductive proofs) to check such work?

  7. Moscow Exile says:

    Today Belorussia once again missed the chance of becoming such a powerful, advanced and successful European state as is the Ukraine.

    Irony or posted in all seriousness?

  8. Yesterday a bunch of pro-rebel Syrians tried to launch a terrorist attack in Moscow, similar to one that happened in Turkey two days ago, but it was thankfully stopped by Russian authorities.

    It was predictable that by going to Syria Russia will make itself more of a target for terrorist attacks than before, as Russia now has a lot more enemies than it did before.

    Hopefully Russia will tell the Saudis that Saudi Arabia will be held responsible for any terrorist attacks in Russia and Russia will strike back at them if anything happens.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Grauniad: Russian police foil ‘terror attack’ on Moscow after making arrests in city

      СМИ: среди задержанных за подготовку теракта в Москве – трое сирийцев

      Law enforcement agencies yesterda detained a group of people who are suspected of preparing a terrorist attack in Moscow. In all 15 people were detained, three of them citizens of Syria, and 12 people from the North Caucasus

      Среди задержанных за подготовку теракта в Москве – трое сирийцев

      Three Syrians amongst the three held for preparing a terrorist attack in Moscow

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Среди задержанных в Москве террористов оказались граждане Сирии

        Three of those detained in Moscow as terrorists appear to be Syrian citizens

        По предварительным данным о террористах сообщили жители дома 5 корпус 3 по Стрельбищенскому переулку, когда услышали, что квартиросъемщики обсуждают мощность бомбы, которую собираются взорвать в метро. Сотрудникам правоохранительных органов пришлось незаметно эвакуировать жителей дома (им сообщили об утечке газа), а затем взять квартиру подозреваемых штурмом.

        According to preliminary data, the terrorists, residents of block № 5, annex 3 on Strel’bishchenskiy Lane, say that they heard some flat tenants discussing the power a bomb that they were going to detonate on the metro. Law enforcement officers had to quietly evacuate the residents of the block (they were told that there had been a gas leak), and then stormed suspects’ flat.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          If the neighbours heard the suspects discussing the making of a bomb, then surely the suspects were (a) knobheads and (b) were talking in Russian?

        • marknesop says:

          According to Shaun of the Dead and his LifeNews contacts, those discussing the potential power of the bomb were FSB agents already on the scene.

          • astabada says:

            This would not be strange, and is in fact common practice in the West. Think for instance about Canadian Mr. Big procedure, of which Johan Meyer talked a few weeks ago.

            • marknesop says:

              No, of course not – nothing strange about it. The method of clearing the building – alluding to a gas leak- is SOP as well; don’t alarm anyone if you don’t have to, and especially do not tip off any residents that you are on to a terror cell in the building. They might be part of the same operation, and warn them so they are expecting you and then there will be a gunfight that might have been avoided. All straightforward police procedure. But Walker is implying that the building do-gooder who overheard what he thought were terrorists plotting actually heard FSB personnel discussing the operation. Which is probably exactly what happened, and there is nothing ominous about it. I just wondered if Walker was trying for an angle that the FSB made the whole thing up, and there was never anyone else involved. It would be like him.

      • marknesop says:

        From Carter’s lips to God’s ears. I hope he is not planning on vacationing anywhere in Russia in…oh, the rest of his life, I suppose. Adding him to the list of those whose entry to Russia is forbidden would likely be purely symbolic, but a nice touch nonetheless, I think.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      It was predictable that by going to Syria Russia will make itself more of a target for terrorist attacks than before, as Russia now has a lot more enemies than it did before.

      Indeed it was Nostradamized from the day 1 by the unlikely common opinion alliance of:

      1) Russian liberasts.
      2) Western pundits.
      3) “Russian” patriotic putinslivsiks

      They fail to understand one simple fact – Russia already was a target of these groups. And the fact that terract was prevented is a reason not for concern but for a sense of pride of one’s Security Services doing their job. For Russia “not to have any enemies” means to curl up and give up on any foreign policy, allowing “the adults” to run their freak show of “Here comes the Freedom and ‘Mocracy. bitches!”.

      • yalensis says:

        I would also add, that Russian does NOT have more enemies than before.
        Russia has the same number of enemies, in the exact same quantity and quality as before.
        The only difference is that Russia was “warned” in advance this time, by one of America’s poodles.
        Remember Gerashchenko’s warning, on “Mirotvorec” ?

        • Patient Observer says:

          Yes, the only difference now is that the masks are slipping revealing the truly hideous face of the Western empire. Other than that, business as usual.

    • marknesop says:

      Do you have a link in support? Never mind – I see it has been provided by other sources. Interesting.

  9. Moscow Exile says:

    Guardian accused of passing off terrorist “hell cannon” as “barrel bombs”

    Please share this as widely as possible and feel free to write your own emails or letters to the Guardian if you feel it is appropriate.

    So iIhave done.

  10. Warren says:

    Published on 10 Oct 2015
    Article here –

  11. Moscow Exile says:

    Remember this kreakl?

    Dmitry Bykov.

    Know this bloke?

    He’s Andrei Piontkovskiy, former member of that very short-lived Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition, you know – Navalny’s parliament in waiting that met a couple of times in kreakl cafés: even Udaltsov (remember him?) called its members a “committee of wankers”.

    Well lookeee here:

    On Wednesday A. Piontkovskiy, D. Bykov and I shall represent Russia at a meeting in Kiev entitled “Slavs Against the Moscow terror”. It will be a live transmission.

    The Tweet is off a certain Sasha Sotnik of Sotnik TV.

    Sotnik TV is not a typical Russian television channel: It is only available on the web, not on television screens. It has no live broadcasts. And it is run primarily by just two people: husband and wife Sasha Sotnik, the reporter, and Mariya Orlovskaya, the camera operator (both pictured above).

    But what’s most different about Sotnik TV is its outspoken criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which has led to Sotnik and Orlovskaya being arrested briefly and accused of possessing explosives.

    Strong views

    Sasha Sotnik is a believer in the liberal “European values” that Putin has forcefully rejected in recent months, and does not flinch from expressing strong views in his videos, which are mainly distributed through the couple’s YouTube channel.

    Bet they love Sasha at Auntie BBC.

    If he likes liberal “European values” so much, then why doesn’t he stay in Banderastan?

    After all, the Ukraine is Europe, is it not?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Do you think Sotnik and Piontkovskiy and Bykov will be shot dead in the street when they return to Mordor, thereby becoming yet more tragic statistics attributed to the Dark Lord’s reign of terror?

      After all, Lord Putin’s ever watchful eye not only knows what everyone is thinking, but also of what they are going to think and plan and usually punishes his enemies before they even think of doing something that he will not like, such is his awesome power and majesty that holds this once mighty nation in sway ….

      These brave opposition souls must live a life of perectly abject terror and despair.

      I mean, look at Bykov: he looks like a really worried man – doesn’t he?

      I believe he’s lost pounds since Putin seized control of the state, such has been his worry and concern over what has been going on here since 2000.

      • marknesop says:

        Too late, probably. Their personal addresses and the names of family members are probably all over whatyoucallem, that Russian squealer database that encourages people to inform on other people for anti-government views. There was a name for it…separatist! That’s it, separatists who harbor anti-government attitudes!! I read all about it a while ago, but I forget the name of it. You could go there and rat out people for their personal views and then some wet-man from Putin’s personal kill squad would go round to his house, make some excuse to get him outside and then cap him right there in the street. Poor Sotnik and Bykov and Piontkovskiy: they’re as good as done for, like that murdered martyr Yulia Latynina.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “On Wednesday A. Piontkovskiy, D. Bykov and I shall represent Russia at a meeting in Kiev entitled “Slavs Against the Moscow terror”. It will be a live transmission.”

      During her emigration in Paris, famous pre-Revolutionary satirical writer Nadezhda Teffi (nee Lokhvitskaya, in marriage – Buchinskaya) once became a witness to such a scene:

      “— Сижу я вчера вечером в кафе, против монпарнасского вокзала. Вдруг вижу, из бокового зала выходят много пожилых евреев, говорят по-русски. Я заинтересовалась, остановила одного и спрашиваю, что это было такое… А это, оказывается, было собрание молодых русских поэтов».”

      – I was sitting in a cafe last night, right across the Montparnasse station. Suddenly I saw, from the side of the hall came out a lot of elderly Jews speaking in Russian. I’m interested in, stopped one of them and asked what was it … And it turns out, there was a meeting of young Russian poets. “

  12. Lyttenburgh says:

    Watchin’ Episode 2 of Madam Secretary’s second season.

    Gott mit HImmel!. This is so bad… This is soooooooo bad… This is so incredibly BAD…

    Literally, on the second MINUTE of the show we are mind-fucked with this in-universe TV news “hot” topic:

    “Gone M.I.A. where in the world is Russian President Pavel Ostrov? The mercurial leader has not been seen in public for a week now, leading to speculation of a secret tummy tuck, to a rendezvous in Gustat for the birth of his love child, to a bloody coup…”



    • yalensis says:

      Hey, Lyt, save some of your Madamy goodness for me!
      Almost ready to publish Part I of your opus.
      After that, who knows? Maybe it could be a recurring feature….

      And the money is good, I pay one shot of vodka for each episode review!

  13. Lyttenburgh says:

    14 minutes into the Second episode…

    BadComedian priydeh – poryadok navidyeh!

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Watched it. Yep – as I thought, this season will “deal with Russia”.

      My reaction:

      is even more, much MORE… expressive.

  14. Oddlots says:

    To all the Canadian posters / lurkers, happy thanksgiving:

  15. Moscow Exile says:

    Civilian airliners ‘at risk from Russian missile strikes in Syria’

    Airliners flying over Iran, Iraq and the Caspian Sea could be in danger from long-range Russian cruise missiles, it is feared.

    Passenger aircraft flying over Iran, Iraq and the Caspian Sea could be in danger from long-range Russian cruise missiles aimed at Syria, international air safety agencies have warned.

    The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have both issued urgent bulletins to airlines warning of the risk from Russian missiles targetting sites in Syria in recent days.

    Several airlines including Air France have reportedly already changed their routes to avoid the ar[e]ea.

    The fears follow the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, which crashed in Ukraine last year killing all 283 people on board.

    Western governments believe the Boeing 777 was shot down by Russian-backed separatists using a surface-to-air missile.

    So tell us, dear Telegraph hack, why then did the powers that be in the Ukraine redirect MH-17 over a war zone?

    • kirill says:

      What retarded excrement. Sorry no other fitting description for this drivel. Cruise missiles are ***GROUND HUGGING*** and fly as low as possible (10-20 meters above the ground) to hinder detection and interception (they can maneuver). The only location there could, in theory, be any chance of collision with a civilian aircraft would be over the tarmac of civilian airports during takeoffs, taxiing and landing.

      You are right, I have not heard a single squeak from ICAO and other NATO dominated organizations about flying over a zone in Ukraine with extremely high risk of anti-aircraft missile strikes. Now these rotten whores are bitching about Russian cruise missiles.

      But this is nothing new. During the de-orbit of the Mir space station, the Japanese government told people to stay indoors in case of falling debris. Because everyone knows that physics does not apply to Russian “junk”.

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, a terrific risk indeed for those few airlines who cater to the thrill-seeking crowd and fly nap-of-the-earth air corridors below 100 feet like the 3M-14T does. Seriously, is this what the west has been reduced to? Does, it, Sir, at long last, have no decency at all? The 3M-14T does not employ a radar seeker, so there is no onboard detection system which could accidentally acquire a passing airliner and “lock on” to it. This is the journalistic equivalent of putting your spread hands up at your ears and yelling “booga booga!!!” to scare children. A cruise missile and a surface-to-air missile are completely different things, this is embarrassing.

      Cruise missiles do not fly up at 30 kft like airliners do; the Kaliber is inertial-guidance and flies at terrain level to avoid detection by radar. Surprise is a major advantage of cruise-missile attacks, and it would kind of give the game away if they were picked up by early warning radars. Air France deserve to spend crazy francs on extra fuel just because their President is such a fucking toady frog and is willing to have the national airline embarrass itself in front of the world by not doing even the most basic research. The USA has launched hundreds upon hundreds of cruise missiles and not once did a single airline alter its commercial routes because of that fact. The world is made up of willing idiots and people who are reluctant to be branded an idiot without making an effort to demonstrate otherwise. The west pitches its arguments at idiots. It’s time for people to declare themselves. Is you an idiot, or is you ain’t?

      • james says:

        a bit off topic here, but have you seen this video?

          • marknesop says:

            No, I hadn’t seen either of those. Those helos are really working over that objective, aren’t they? In a very leisurely fashion, too. Mind you, the attack picture doesn’t look as confused from up there as it does on the ground with some panicky guy swinging the video camera all over the place trying to take it all in.

            What’s the second part of the first clip? Is that part of the ground assault? Looks like it.

            • james says:

              i don’t know much of the details of either of those videos mark…the 2nd part of the first clip if i recall is the result of those bombs being lobbed in the first part.. i think the first one is some isis type supporter noting how the town they were holding is getting bombed to shit.. the other one seems similar but different vantage point..

  16. et Al says:

    EU Observer: MEPs to lift immunity of alleged Russian spy

    MEPs on Monday (12 October) voted to lift the immunity of Bela Kovacs, a Hungarian far-right MEP accused of spying on EU institutions for Russia.

    Members of the legal affairs committee voted, in a closed session, on a draft report by Polish centre right MEP Tadeusz Zwiefka which recommended the waiver.

    Sources said it passed by a simple majority, with two deputies, from France’s far-right National Front party saying “Non”, and two others abstaining. …

    …It will then be up to Hungarian authorities to investigate the allegations.

    The only restriction is that Kovacs cannot be detained during the investigation until there is a final court verdict and sentence.

    Hungary’s chief prosecutor Peter Polt, in July, told the EP committee that his office still needs to gather information to substantiate its case. He said it can only do this, for instance, by interrogating Kovac, if he loses international protection…

    …But rumours had long circulated in Brussels on Kovacs’ ties with Russian intelligence, earning him the nickname KGBela, by reference to the Soviet Union’s KGB spy agency.

    Kovacs was one of several MEPs who observed the Crimea independence referendum in March 2014. He considered the vote legitimate, while the EU and the UN condemned it…

    …“So far, neither the EU, nor the member states have done enough to unravel the Russian link, and react to them diplomatically or in any other way”, Kreko said.

    “Now everything points to the existence of an institutional influence exerted by forces close to the Kremlin on a European party”.

    Details on what Kovacs is said to have done are hard to come by, however.

    The evidence on his alleged spying activity, sent to Brussels by the Hungarian authorities last year, is classified.

    Sources familiar with the case say the evidence is most likely be circumstantial, for instance, that he met with Russian contacts in a secretive manner. …

    Are you a fat, corrupt & lazy MEP? Do you worry that you have no credibility? We have a solution. Sign up to this anti-Russia witch hunt and become a celebrity, admired by your peers and EU citizens back home. Don’t worry, you won’t have to lift a finger. We’ll bring up spurious, ill-defined charges and circumstantial evidence and string it out for as long as possible for your pleasure. Call us now on free phone Lawyers-4-Russophobia. We know you’ll love our service!

    • kirill says:

      Thanks for posting this. An obvious witch hunt. I guess when NATO politicians meet with shady regime change operatives in targeted states that is just dandy. But some MEP meeting Russians and even observing elections in Crimea is verboten. The EU is a totalitarian joke. The sort of totalitarianism that matters, i.e. Huxleyan, since it can last unlike the cheeseball 1984 style that undermines itself. NATO residents actually believe they are living in freedom and have free information. Sad.

  17. et Al says:

    EU Observer: EU tells Russia to ‘cease’ strikes on Syria rebels

    Blah blah blah blah

    Quite the hand wringing. Russia must do this and that and is urged but it is also hoped that Russia will join… Sanctions on Russia if it does not do what the do nothings say?? It would be nice if the EU intel agencies openly published which terrorist organizations in Syria sufficiently ‘moderate’ not to be bombed by Russia.

    Here’s the link to the actual communique:

    1. The conflict in Syria and the suffering of the Syrian people is showing no sign of abating. The scale of the tragedy, having killed 250,000 men, women and children, displaced 7.6 million inside the country and sent over 4 million fleeing into neighbouring and other countries, is now the world’s largest humanitarian disaster, with no parallel in recent history. The EU, as the largest donor, has demonstrated its willingness and commitment to do what it can to alleviate the humanitarian consequences. As the crisis intensifies there is an increasingly urgent need to find a lasting solution that will end this conflict. Only a Syrian-led political process leading to a peaceful and inclusive transition, based on the principles of the Geneva communiqué of 30 June 2012, will bring back stability to Syria, enable peace and reconciliation and create the necessary environment for efficient counter terrorism efforts and maintain the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian State. There cannot be a lasting peace in Syria under the present leadership and until the legitimate grievances and aspirations of all components of the Syrian society are addressed.

    2. The EU’s objective is to bring an end to the conflict and enable the Syrian people to live in peace in their own country. The international community has to unite around two complementary and interlinked tracks – a political one that aims to bring an end to the civil war by addressing all the root causes of the conflict and establish an inclusive political transition process that will restore peace to the country – and a security one to focus on the fight against the regional and global threat of Da’esh.

    3. The EU reiterates its full support to the UN-led efforts and the work of UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura to build this political track. The EU emphasizes the need to accelerate the work of the entire international community on the political track in the framework of the UN-led process. The EU is already actively contributing to the UN initiatives and will increase its diplomatic work in support of the UN-led efforts, including the UN Special Envoy’s proposal for intra-Syrian working groups.

    4. We call on all Syrian parties to show a clear and concrete commitment to the UN-led process and to participate actively in the working groups. The EU underlines the urgency for the moderate political opposition and associated armed groups to unite behind a common approach in order to present an alternative to the Syrian people. These efforts must be inclusive involving women and civil society. The EU will sustain its support to the moderate opposition, including the SOC, and recalls that it is a vital element in fighting extremism and has a key role to play in the political transition.

    5. The EU will continue to put all of its political weight, actively and effectively, behind UN-led international efforts to find a political solution to the conflict, and calls on regional and international partners to do likewise. We urge all those with influence on the parties, including on the Syrian regime, to use this influence to encourage a constructive role in the process leading to a political transition and to end the cycle of violence. The EU will pro-actively engage with key regional actors such as , Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Iraq and international partners within the UN framework to build the conditions for a, peaceful and inclusive transition. In this context, the Council recalls its decision to task the HRVP to explore ways in which the EU could actively promote more constructive regional cooperation.

    6. The protection of civilians in Syria must be a priority for the international community. The EU condemns the excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks that the Syrian regime continues to commit against its own people. The Assad regime bears the greatest responsibility for the 250.000 deaths of the conflict and the millions of displaced people. The EU recalls that international humanitarian law applies to all parties, and human rights need to be fully respected. We call on all parties to stop all forms of indiscriminate shelling and bombardment against civilian areas and structures such as hospitals and schools and, in particular, on the Syrian regime to cease all aerial bombardments, including the use of barrel bombs in line with UNSC Resolution 2139 and the use of chemical weapons in line with UNSCR 2209. The systematic targeting of civilians by the regime has led to mass displacements and encouraged recruitment to and the flourishing of terrorist groups in Syria. This calls for urgent attention and action.

    The EU will reinforce its efforts to scale up the implementation of the UNSC Resolutions 2139, 2165 and 2191 to deliver cross-border and cross line assistance in order to help those Syrians most desperately in need.

    7. The EU strongly condemns the indiscriminate attacks, atrocities, killings, conflict-related sexual violence, abuses of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law which are perpetrated by Da’esh and other terrorist groups, against all civilians, including against Christians and other religious and ethnic groups. The EU supports international efforts and initiatives to address these issues. The EU condemns Da’esh’s deliberate destruction of cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq, which amount to a war crime under international law.

    8. Those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria must be held accountable. The EU expresses its deepest concern about the findings of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria. The allegations of torture and executions based on the evidence presented by the Caesar report are also of great concern. The EU reiterates its call to the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

    9. The EU supports the efforts of the Global Coalition to counter Da’esh in Syria and Iraq. As a consequence of its policies and actions, the Assad regime cannot be a partner in the fight against Dae’sh. Action against Da’esh needs to be closely coordinated among all partners, and needs clearly to target Da’esh, Jabhat al-Nusra, and the other UN-designated terrorist groups.

    10. The recent Russian military attacks that go beyond Dae’sh and other UN-designated terrorist groups, as well as on the moderate opposition, are of deep concern, and must cease immediately. So too must the Russian violations of the sovereign airspace of neighbouring countries.

    This military escalation risks prolonging the conflict, undermining a political process, aggravating the humanitarian situation and increasing radicalization. Our aim should be to de-escalate the conflict. The EU calls on Russia to focus its efforts on the common objective of achieving a political solution to the conflict. In this context it urges Russia to push for a reduction of violence and implementation of confidence-building measures by the Syrian Regime along the provisions of UNSC Resolution 2139.

    11. The EU will intensify humanitarian diplomacy and seek ways to improve access and protection as well as to promote humanitarian principles and local consensus on guidelines for the delivery of aid.

    12. The EU has substantially increased its financial efforts to support those who have fled the conflict, within and outside Syria, with new commitments to humanitarian aid and to longer-term work supporting the resilience of refugees in the neighbourhood. The EU and its Member states have already provided €4 billion for relief and recovery assistance to those affected by the conflict inside Syria and refugees and host communities in neighbouring countries. The EU and its Member States will continue to provide humanitarian assistance through the UN, ICRC and international NGOs. At the same time, the EU will increase its longer-term development and stabilization assistance, to these and other partners, including through the EU Regional Trust Fund recently established in response to the Syrian Crisis (the “Madad Fund”) which has now been equipped with over €500 million in EU funding to be matched by efforts from EU Member States and other countries. The EU calls on other countries to sustain and increase their own contributions in response to the Syria crisis. The Council agreed specifically on the need to increase the level of cooperation and partnership with Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey to ensure equal access to shelter, education, health and livelihoods for refugees and their host communities with the support of additional EU assistance.

    It must be better to stick to EU & US failure. What could possibly go wrong by having your Gulf allies send large quantities of weapons to jihadists?

    euractiv: Mogherini says Russian intervention in Syria neither positive nor negative

    EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini took a cautious position on Russian intervention in Syria, compared to the critical tone of a communiqué of the Union’s foreign ministers adopted today (12 October).

    …For her part, Mogherini refrained from qualifying the Russian intervention as bad or good. Speaking about the hot issue ahead of the ministerial meeting, she said:

    “I guess it is much more complicated than just saying “positive” or “negative”. It is for sure a game changer.”

    But she added that “interventions against Daesh have to be clearly against Daesh and other terrorist groups, as defined by the UN”…

    Good crock of s/t vs. bad crock of s/t? Don’t take the communique too seriously Russia? They make noise because they are doing nothing and can’t even agree to do anything apart from put some words together on the page.

    • marknesop says:

      All of it is a malodorous crock of shit. The EU evidenced no particular interest in the plight of civilians in Syria up to this point, began to get interested and then almost wholly in a not-particularly-sympathetic way when floods of refugees were released from Turkey to stream into Europe recently, and have been in crisis mode only for the last two weeks since Russia has taken a hand at the request of the Syrian government. There was lackluster interest in a no-fly zone and humanitarian corridors until then, because the west judged it was just a matter of a few more weeks and Assad would fall, without the west doing much of anything at all. Then it would remain only to swoop in, divest the rebel militias of their prize and pick a new western-friendly government of diaspora exiles.

      The western press is playing its usual game of simply alluding to facts until they become facts without any actual substantiation ever having been offered. Russia is deliberately bombing civilians and civilian-only infrastructure such as hospitals and schools because the western press says so. Almost a fifth of Russian cruise missiles fell irresponsibly on the territory of another country they passed over, because the western press says so based on information they were given by unnamed western officials, although Russia claims to have positive battle-damage assessments for every missile fired and Iran says the western allegation is untrue. But the west always gets the benefit of the doubt, just as if it had never been caught in a lie before.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Here, I can’t help but (mis)quote Uncle Joe’s famous: “FSA? And how many divisions did they have?”

      Like – no seriously? Who is braind dead enough to call the them, the complete losers, a <em.legitiate opposition ?

    • Cortes says:

      What is this Global Coalition of which they make mention?

    • Patient Observer says:

      “Good crock/Bad crock” – that sums up Western political debate.

  18. Patient Observer says:

    Per a commentator on a Yahoo story on Syrian gains against the rebels:

    “They [KSA, UAE states] fund and supplies ISIS and Al Qaeda even drop supplies from the air to terrorists through their clandestine ops which our government [USA] knows well and does nothing.”

    Made me wonder if the reason for SU-30s is to shoot these planes down – a no-fly zone aimed at shutting down these supply drops. The Saker pounds away at the point that Russian air assets in Syria are insufficient to enforce a no-fly zone against NATO. However, as just alluded, the purpose of the SU-30s may simply be to stop use of air drops to supply the terrorists.

    Given the missile and radars on the SU-30s, a hand full should be enough to clear the skies of transport planes over Syria. Russian naval ships can provide the radar coverage to identify such aircraft and vector the Su-30s as required and the rest should be history.

    • kirill says:

      I hate these debate formats. There is enough information to cover for a PhD thesis or a book and people are supposed to boil it down into a few one-liners and score popularity points with sheeple watching. This is nothing but a form of Roman games.

      There is not enough time to address all the howlers spewed by shock therapy apologists in this format. It is nauseating seeing liberasts take credit for economic growth that was achieved thanks to “Putler’s tyranny”. They attacked Putin’s economic policies from day one and are still full bore attacking them. Yet here we have this monkey going about how all the progress to undo Yeltsin’s outhouse toilet hole legacy is really to Yeltsin’s credit. As of 2000 Russia was “on the wrong track” and declining from those heady days of freedom and prosperity according to the liberasts (a trope which Navlny peddles himself, BTW). So how does this monkey explain that VW is investing in Russian manufacturing facilities? Perhaps it has something to do with Russia’s outdated protectionism and growing consumer demand.

      If the liberasts were in charge, Russia would have fallen apart into 80 non-viable pieces and VW would not bother investing into any of them. These criminal clowns should not even be afforded a chance to spread their base on “state propaganda TV”. They can scream their lunatic fringe insanities from the sidelines.

      • james says:

        in an ideal world, everyone gets to say something.. even idiots.. i agree with you about these debate formats.. total waste of time..

      • Jen says:

        Such televised debate formats distort and turn a complex issue into an artificial black-and-white issue that offers only two “opposed” choices to an audience, and which actually avoids proper discussion and the possibility that the best option may be compromise. TV shows that feature these kinds of “debate” are only interested in pulling in viewers, and the more controversial the topic is, the more extreme the two opposed sides are (no matter that one side might represent a minority opinion), then the more likely audience viewings will rise.

  19. Patient Observer says:

    A trip down memory lane:
    What the DoD and NASA were fantasizing back in the 80’s put to shame the grandiose projects of the USSR. Everyone knew better; the projects were utterly impossible to achieve but no one would dare pull the cord to stop the bus. Some were likely fearful of the effect on their careers, others were simply happy to have a job regardless of its futility and then of course the politicians seeking their place in history as the visionaries/great leaders who defeated the Evil Empire.

  20. yalensis says:

    Hey, everybody, Check it out!
    I just published Part I of Lyttenburgh’s post on the “Madam Secretary” TV show!

  21. kirill says:

    The current Canadian election campaign polls are suspicious. I looked that recent polls listed on the CBC website and there are two contradictory modes being “sampled”. One shows the neo-Conservatives at just under 30% popular support, the Liberals at over 35% and the NDP at about 25%. The other mode shows 35% support for the Harperites, 30% for the Liberals and 20% for the NDP.

    I smell a dead rat here. These two modes cannot be true at the same time and it looks to me like the second set is pro-Harperite propaganda. I don’t buy that the NDP is down to its old level after having hit over 35%.

    • marknesop says:

      We’re at the same crossroads we always are at election time – the NDP has never run anything bigger than a province, and the foreign policies of the Liberals and the Conservatives are virtually interchangeable. Every election we get the same guff about if-you-don’t-vote-you-have-no-right-to-complain, and every election is portrayed as a breathless moment in the history of our country in which its fate hangs in the balance, and in fact it is just a bunch of manufactured-drama bullshit and who you choose to vote for makes virtually no fucking difference at all. If Trudeau become Prime Minister, making history by succeeding his Daddy, his domestic policies are actually pretty good, assuming he is able to actually deliver on them. But when Uncle Sam comes a’knockin’ and wants a favour which involves Canada pimping for some new American warmongering takeover, it will not matter if there is a Liberal or a Conservative or a fucking Gummy Bear in the big chair – he will say “What can I do to help you?”, because the USA is our biggest trading partner and the destination of more than 80% of our exports. So we really can’t say anything else, can we?

      • james says:

        the only poll that counts is the one on oct 19th.. everything else is an attempt at yanking yer chain.. i already voted.. couldn’t wait.. this riding is ndp from previously.. at present it’s showing on the site as 25 con 19 libs 31 ndp 25 green.. i told my friends in the riding it would be a drag to watch cons win as a result of a split between ndp and greens.. i voted ndp..

        • marknesop says:

          I’m still thinking about it – if I vote at all (and I wish nobody would; that’d be a political statement if ever there was one) I will probably vote Green. Victoria’s liberal candidate had to pull out when remarks she made on Facebook some time ago were “suddenly discovered” after it was too late to withdraw; consequently her name is still on the ballot, but she’s not running. I’ve never seen a situation quite like it before, and apparently votes cast for her will count toward the federal liberal vote, but there will be no local representative. I imagine the timing was deliberate, and is typical of how dirty and tactical politicking has become. Although it must be said she spoke like a bigot and should not be allowed to run, so I guess the end result is the same.

          • james says:

            a political statement could also be to get a spot on the ballot where it says none of the above.. if enough people voted that, we would be a more functioning democracy.. otherwise, it seems to me many young people are not voting thinking this is some form of vote.. i suppose it is to a point, but it seems apathetic to me…

            • marknesop says:

              That would be the “Against All” option, such as autocratic non-democratic tyrannies like Russia and India have. The Wiki entry incorrectly reports that Russia “used to have it”; it was removed in 2006 and reinstated (at the municipal level only) in 2015. Note that in India and the State of Nevada it is purely symbolic, as if the “Against All” option wins the election, the winner is accorded to the candidate with the next-highest total, so that it has no effect beyond public shaming that the people preferred nobody to the actual winner. The process, however, can easily be tied to a consequence, such as new elections, reopening nominations or having the office filled by appointment.

  22. Oddlots says:


    “The message here is ‘Look if we can launch missiles at Syria we can definitely crush any protests so don’t even think about it’”.

    Hahahahaha… Hahaha. Ha hahahahaha.

    So that’s what that meant.

    I really can’t tell whether their desperation or their cockiness is growing.

    Here’s a fun game: who published the following analysis over the last few days?

  23. et Al says:

    Russia Direct joins the Guardian’s The New East network


    More suppin’ from the evil teat.

  24. Lyttenburgh says:

    Legatus Praetor Gaius Anonymust strikes again! This time – news from the far of land of Hyperborea…


    Madness in Hyperborea

    Indeed, oh Quirites, the world has gone mad and only Empire illuminated by the wisdom of Minerva stands reasonable! Plese, take away from the forum innocent virgins and pious young ones, and then heed!

    In the Hyperborean lands where they worship a ferocious and warlike Wotan, as well as the rest of the ferocious Asgardian triad (albeit in a very, very strange way), the pontiff became a woman, some Brunnitsia. But not only did she became the chief Priest of this cult, she also openly shares a bed with another matron, also a priestess of Wotan. Just think about it: the priestess of Wotan! And from that union … they’ve got a son. Which, even though he was born from hyperborean ancestors will very well grow up to be a Greek. With the fear did I say this at the Forum, fearing the wrath of the Great Ones.

    But even this seemed as not enough for the insane Brunnitsia. Just a couple of days ago, according to a message delivered to us by a learned slave, the aforementioned pontificess (I do not know how to say this word in the feminine gender, as long as there was no such a thing in the noble Latin) called to break all of the statues of Wotan, Donnara and Baldur that stand in churches of the capital of Hyperborea. Just think about it: to break the statue of Wotan in the temple of Wotan – which is suggested by Wotan’s priestess! Sacrilege and reproach of the gods of Asgard!

    And how did dementia-stricken Brunnistia have explained this odd desire? Well, the Hyperborean leaders are not too committed worship of Gods as their great-grandfathers, but even they could not hide their surprise of this folly. So, oh Quirites, Brunnitsia in a fit of false humanity has said that it is necessary in order to appease the heathens who are running to Hyperborea from Asia away from the barbarians (brought up on the Parthian gold) who should be free to commit in Hyperborea their rites and that the statues of ancient gods, many of which had been sculpted a century or two ago, well, they are just hampering this process!

    What kind of evil spirit made Brunnitsia think that worshipers of Wotan, Donnar and Baldur among the Hyperboreans should at all pay attention to the opinion of the barbarians about THEIR the age-old veneration of their Gods, and especially to take care of these newcomers’ tender feelings – nobody knows the answer, not only the Oracle but even the wisest Ursus, the favorite horse of the Divine Augustus.

    Indeed, Quirites speak at the Forum that Hyperborea had not long to live if their priestesses openly cohabit with other priestesses, while calling to overthrow their gods to please newcomers! The prophecies must be true – soon there will come a Winter, which will last for three years, and the dead will come back on qinqureremas, and the Hyperborean kingdom will turn into the ash and perish!..

    • marknesop says:

      It’s kind of like that old Poe tale, “A Descent Into The Maelstrom”. We have sunk to a point on the vortex’s wall where the craziness of the west’s religious leaders matches the craziness of its political leaders. Can our being snatched into the crushing depths be far away? Difficult to imagine, when the impulse to address craziness with logic and say “this is crazy” is likely to be shouted down and you are likely to get a thick ear from the crowd for standing in the path of progress.

      There’s progress, all right. Around and around and down and down.

    • Cortes says:

      We’ll blow me down with a feather duster, Scandinavia is moving on since the heady days of the Two Ronnies
      A. F U N E X?
      B. S, V F X.
      A. F U N E M?
      B. S, V F M.
      A. M N X.
      And rumours abound that comedy’s dead.

  25. Moscow Exile says:

    A decent answer to a false question:

    A good question for the Russian Academy of Sciences:

    Why is it that 140 million Russians, who possess one sixth of the earth’s dry land and 40% of its natural resources, find themselves in permanent shit, whereas 140 million Japanese, having a one five-thousandth part of the earth and 0% of its natural resources, live in one of the world’s advanced countries that has the third largest industry following that of imperial USA and China, which has a population of 1.5 billion, and has a colossal scientific potential?

    Victor Marakhovskiy: Because the Russian population is not 140 but 146 million, and the surface area of Russia does not cover one sixth of the earth’s dry land but one ninth, 65% of it being in a zone of permafrost, whereas in regards to that surface area of Russia situated in warm climatic zones, this is less than Japan has; there are not 140 million Japanese but 126 million and the Japanese do not occupy one five-thousandth but a one 349th part of the earth’s dry land, and, according to World Bank data, in 2014 the GDP of Russia adjusted for price parity was second only to that of Japan, and “colossal scientific potential” and “in shit” are just yelps – simply yelps. I hope my answer is clear.

    • Jen says:

      Japan’s “colossal scientific potential” doesn’t have a really great record over the past 70 years. Apart from robotics and electronics research, and maybe some work in genetics, are Japanese scientists and researchers outstanding across all major science-based industries like the pharmaceutical industry, controlling diseases and economics?

  26. Jeremn says:

    As it is MH17 report day, thought I would just flag up one of the best crtiques of bellingcat and Ukraine at War’s manufactured tales (how the Russians did it with an unsupported missile launcher with four missiles). The site is in German but includes a lot of English-language material, and the images are self-explanatory. There’s a careful analysis of the Paris Match photo of the launcher, concluding it is a forgery, and some material on how Paris Match twisted translations so that eyewitness evidence is adjusted so it no longer talks about a jet in the sky (Ortswechsel. Wassili: ‘Das Flugzeug kam aus dieser Richtung, und ging da lang, nach Malaysien. Es flog in Richtung Rostow. Das andere (= das andere Flugzeug) war dahinter, und es ist so gegangen’ (zeigt in dieselbe Richtung, aus der MH17 gekommen ist).”

    Lots of good debunking of photos used by bellingcat.

    An even-handed approach would be to compare this material against that presented in the western press.

    Added to this material, there is the uninvestigated presence of Ukraine’s own BUK systems. Well, Bellingcat admits that “A cellphone video uploaded March 5, 2014, shows a convoy of Buks and other Ukrainian military vehicles parked along the side of a road. Four Buks (numbered 321, 312, 331, and 332, respectively) can be seen with 9M38M1 missiles”. But we don’t get any investigation into what they were doing in mid-July.

    They were ertainly active, as this video, recorded and transmitted on 16 July, makes clear:

    I still think the Ukrainians were testing their systems by flying jets and having their missile crews train against them. Something went wrong, or was deliberately allowed to go wrong, so the plane was shot down.

    • marknesop says:

      And I still think Ukraine deliberately shot it down, probably with assistance from an American intelligence agency, in order to harden support for sanctions against Russia. The actual means of its destruction has sucked all the air out of the room, and other factors such as the deliberate, unexplained and wholly unnecessary diversion of the aircraft in heading and altitude to take it directly over the war zone and off its customary route, the subsequent cover-up of same by alteration of online records, and the confiscation of the tower ATC records by the SBU (doubtless followed by their “loss” or “accidental” destruction) have been mostly forgotten.

  27. Warren says:

    Syria conflict: Shells explode near Russian embassy

    Two shells have struck the Russian embassy compound in the Syrian capital Damascus as hundreds of pro-government supporters rallied outside in support of Russian air strikes.

    A BBC Arabic correspondent in Damascus says some people have been injured.

    The explosions triggered widespread panic and smoke was seen coming from the embassy compound.

    Rebel forces based in the suburbs of Damascus have targeted the embassy in the past.
    Activist group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the shells had come from an eastern area of the capital.

    Moments before, demonstrators had been waving Russian flags and holding up photographs of Russian President Vladimir Putin, witnesses said.

    Last month, Russia demanded “concrete action” after a missile struck the embassy compound.
    One person was killed in May when mortar rounds landed near the embassy, and three people were hurt in April when mortars exploded inside the compound.

    Russia began its campaign of air strikes in Syria late last month.

    The Kremlin says it is attacking Islamic State and other jihadists, but the US says other rebel groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad – an ally of Russia – have been targeted.

    The Russian offensive has allowed pro-government forces to regain ground lost to rebel groups.

  28. Cortes says:

    Parsing the language used in the address to the UN – D. Orlov in first approach:

  29. Jeremn says:

    Maidan snipers, seems Svoboda booked hotel rooms used by armed groups who shot at police and protesters. Lots of interesting evidence, by a rather brave academic.

    • marknesop says:

      Interesting; this is definitely the most comprehensive reference I have seen on the killings, and thank you for it. I see it points out, also tellingly, that Svoboda members were guarding the stairways and elevators of the Hotel Ukraina also during vthe massacre, presumably so no unauthorized persons could enter and interrupt the action ongoing.

      • Jeremn says:

        He is based in Canada, I bet the banderites hate him. But, as it happens, the Ukrainian courts do look as though they might be willing to investigate Svoboda, now the revolution is devouring its own.

  30. et Al says:

    According to the Toilet Barf, the early arrival by 25 days of 300 migrating Siberian (Berwick) swans to the Slimbridge Wildfowl & Wildlife Trust heralds a long and severe winter for the UK.

    How does Putin do it? Have these swans been checked for secret КГБ transmitters using stolen western technology and do they have the correct accreditation?

    The hardy Brits will struggle through the next five or so months with gritted teeth and warm underwear despite this obvious attempt by the Russian state to subjugate them!

  31. Warren says:

  32. Warren says:

  33. Moscow Exile says:

    BREAKING NEWS: MH17 Downed by Missile Fired from Kiev-Controlled Territory – BUK Manufacturer

    Contradictory findings to the Dutch probe

    – MH17 was downed by a missile fired from Kiev-controlled territory

    – missile exploded 20 meters above portside area of engine

    – explosion was on portside not starboard side of plane, as Dutch probe claims

    – missile was an older version than previously thought because of the shape of the shrapnel holes found in the fuselage

    – Dutch probe shows two types of strike elements, but there were three

    – BUK is ready to give their probe’s conclusion to European courts

    Dutch probe findings will be released within the next few hours, stay tuned.

  34. Warren says:

    Suffering of Russian banks set to ease: VTB Capital

  35. Warren says:

    Junker Throws in the Towel: “We Can’t Go On” Fighting Russia

    The EU chief says Europe can no longer afford to have a policy dictated by the United States

  36. yalensis says:

    Hey everybody, I just posted Part 2 of Lyttenburgh’s piece on Avalanche. Check it out – it’s funny!

  37. Lyttenburgh says:

    I’m shocked, shocked! Shocked and dismayed that the following article hadn’t been linked on our Esteemed Forum yet!

    Ukraine’s New Neoliberal Necromancer

    By Sean Guillory.

    Yep – by him! It’s truly amazing, that such radically handshakable outlet as the “Russia! magazine”, which for so long have served as a platform for luminaries of M. ADomanis, Mark Galeotti and Jim Kovpak – known for their fair and balanced application of the rabid Russophobia nowadays – decided to publish this… ideologically wrong, even treasonous, libelous piece of Kremlinite propaganda. Как из душа окатило…

    The article sares to discuss one august and very respectable Westerner, blessed by the Gods with infinite wisdom:

    “As converts to the neoliberal faith, Ukraine’s government is ever eager for spiritual advice. While the debt standoff in Greece provided opportunity to declare its slavish devotion to austerity, and the recent Yalta European Strategy conference offered “faithful reflection” on “reform,” none of this can substitute getting personal spiritual council from the father of supply-side economics, Arthur Laffer.

    In mid-September, in a barely noticed move, Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance named Laffer as an advisor on tax policy. According to the Ministry’s press release, this esteemed economic confidant of Reagan and Thatcher will help Ukraine create a tax system “which should contribute to the increase of investments, economic growth and employment as well as improve the quality of public services for business and thus provide a powerful stimulus for the sustainable economic growth of our country.” This statement’s vapid syntax should not go elided in a world where the “menace of unreality” dislodges materiality. Yet again, despite its utter bankruptcy as policy and principle, the neoliberal incantation that the interests of the “job creators” are the interest of all remains potent voodoo. That the Ukrainian government is now soliciting one of neoliberalism’s most influential necromancers is yet another indication where the Revolution of Dignity is really going.

    Many American readers won’t recognize Laffer’s name even though they’ve been living under the tyranny of his doctrines for years. Ukrainians are advised to peruse his record to see what kind of services their government just bought. Laffer is most famous for developing the Laffer Curve, a bell curve he scribbled on a cocktail napkin during a steak dinner with Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney in 1974. The Laffer Curve argues that high taxes discourage investment and can bring down government revenue, while low taxes encourage investment and can even increase the state’s coffers. The Curve usually accompanies calls for austerity and tax cuts for the rich as the motors for economic growth. Most economists doubt its economic efficacy. Paul Krugman explained the Laffer Curve’s dubious history as follows:

    “There was never any evidence to support strong supply-side claims about the marvels of tax cuts and the horrors of tax increases; even freshwater macroeconomists, despite their willingness to believe foolish things, never went down that road.

    And nothing in the experience of the past 35 years has made Lafferism any more credible. Since the 1970s there have been four big changes in the effective tax rate on the top 1 percent: the Reagan cut, the Clinton hike, the Bush cut, and the Obama hike. Republicans are fixated on the boom that followed the 1981 tax cut (which had much more to do with monetary policy, but never mind). But they predicted dire effects from the Clinton hike; instead we had a boom that eclipsed Reagan’s. They predicted wonderful things from the Bush tax cuts; instead we got an unimpressive expansion followed by a devastating crash. And they predicted terrible things from the tax rise after Obama’s reelection; instead we got the best job growth since 1999.”

    What Krugman fails mention is the real purpose of Laffer’s alchemy: the tax cuts + austerity = economic prosperity is thinly disguised class warfare from above. In all the years neoliberals have had their economic way, the United States has been a bastion of gross economic inequality.”

    • et Al says:

      There’s no hope of Laffer ending up like this:

    • marknesop says:

      More and more the antics of the reformers in Kiev and their western backers who will allow anything – probably because all these things are being done on their initiative – suggests they know Russia is going to end up with whatever is left when the dust has settled. And that therefore the intent is to wreck it so thoroughly that it will be a net financial drain for a century.

  38. Moscow Exile says:

    Россия Чужой Взгляд №1. Русские девушки глазами иностранцев
    Russians as seen by others – № 1: Russian Girls in the Eyes of Foreigners

  39. Jeremn says:

    From the MH17 report:

    “Two NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aeroplanes conducted
    missions in NATO airspace over Poland and Romania on 17 July 2014.
    In correspondence with the Dutch Safety Board, the NATO Supreme Allied Commander
    Europe stated that the AWACS aeroplanes detected flight MH17 during its flight but the
    aeroplane ‘had flown beyond NATO AWACS coverage well before it crashed’.”

    • et Al says:


      Oh no, on second thoughts never mind! I was looking the other way, just as I did when our guys air dropped weapons in to Bosnia for the right side.

    • marknesop says:

      We didn’t see nothin’. Nobody has any evidence…or at least nobody has any evidence that either Russia or the easterners was responsible. Beyond those possibilities, they want to make clear that they were all looking somewhere else at the time.

      • Jeremn says:

        I wonder what the range of those AWAC planes’ radar is?

        • marknesop says:

          It depends on a variety of factors, including transmitter power and altitude. The higher they are, the farther they can see. But AWACS is also quite capable of tracking – via datalink – symbology based on an aircraft’s IFF trace even when they cannot see any radar return (what is known as a “hard return” or “skin paint”) from the target. They probably mean that they did not have any such hard-return tracking, and that is plausible depending on where they were at the time. Ukraine is big, and the maximum radar range is only about 300 miles.

        • Special_sauce says:

          The Nato airborne early warning force, established in 1980, has a fleet of 17 E-3A aircraft. E3 AWACS radar surveillance capability. The E3 look-down radar has a 360° view of the horizon, and at operating altitudes has a range of more than 320km. The radar can detect and track air and sea targets simultaneously.

  40. Cortes says:

    Devastating for the individuals affected and their families and friends, but the polio outbreak in Western Ukraine is perhaps symptomatic of more widespread breakdown of public health provision in the country and could threaten neighbouring countries- see reference to refugee flows.

    • marknesop says:

      Those poor little kids – what a disgrace. There is apparently no humiliation or risk the people of Ukraine are going to be spared, and it is all, all the fault of the west and its fucking compulsive meddling. Even the idiot leaders in Ukraine who are dragging it straight down the road to hell are handpicked by the west, and most of all Washington. If this does not sound the alarm loud and clear that when Washington’s emissaries from the State Department show up and say they are here to help, only disaster will follow, then people are just not capable of learning.

      • Jen says:

        The Counterpunch article mentions that Ukraine banned the importation of all but 20 drugs from Russia in 2014. Polio vaccines missed the list of 20 medicines. Also with Alexander Kvitashvili at the helm as Health Minister, the agenda for public health is privatisation, privatisation, privatisation and this combined with the economic collapse and the worthless hryvnia means that most people won’t be able to afford to buy even basic medicines and vaccines. So the polio outbreak in western Ukraine will only be the first of many sudden flare-ups of diseases like whooping cough, diphtheria, measles and tetanus, all of which can be prevented by vaccines. Expect future infant mortality rates to reach levels comparable to what they are in war-torn countries like Afghanistan.

        To get an idea of Kvitashvili’s vision of healthcare as a business, read this article:

  41. Lyttenburgh says:

    Ooooooops! Only now did I found out about the most stupid (and easily avoidable!) mistake that I’ve made several pages back dyring my mega-post about Holodomor. When I prodived the figures on the “famine year” harvest, I used the pounds – while in the sources that I’ve used the unit of measurement for the grain is not a pound, but pud. It equals 36 pounds, or more than 16 kilograms.

    So, actully, the harvest was much, much bigger – 14,6 mln tonns, from which only 4,5 mlns were taken by the Moscow. And I remind once again that the net export of the grain in the 1932 was just 550 000 tonns.

  42. et Al says:

    Neuters: Syrian rebels fortify frontline with anti-tank missiles

    Syrian insurgents are deploying extensive supplies of anti-tank missiles provided by their foreign backers to counter ground attacks by the Syrian army and its allies, backed by heavy Russian air strikes, rebel commanders said on Tuesday.

    Two rebel commanders contacted by Reuters declined to confirm whether they had received additional missiles since the Russian air strikes began, but said they had “excellent” supplies and were stationing them along a 30 km (20 mile) front to halt the ground offensive.

    Activists however said supplies had been stepped up since the Russian air strikes began on Sept. 30…

    …along which the rebels have stationed a dozen anti-tank missile launch platforms, said Ahmed al-Seoud, head of the 13th Division, a foreign-backed faction fighting under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army.

    “They are highly effective. They are breaking the Russian-Iranian and Syrian army,” he said. “The situation in terms of ammunition and weapons with the Syrian opposition is excellent.”…

    …Fares al-Bayoush, a former Syrian army colonel who heads the Fursan al-Haq group, also spoke of a battery of TOW missile platforms stretching east along the frontline from Kafr Nabuda to the village of Maan.

    The aim is to stop government forces advancing north from Morek to rebel-held Khan Shaykhoun, both towns on a north-south highway linking the city of Hama to Aleppo and Idlib.

    “We have an excellent supply of missiles,” Bayoush told Reuters from Syria, via an internet-based messaging system. “We will, God willing, move to attack, not just defence.”…####

    RAH! RAH! RAH! One step from victory! Couldn’t they find any FSA nuns bayoneted by the Syrian Army? Dear Fares al-Bayoush, your claims are easily checked so if true, is this just free intel for TOW-plinking? Weirdo. Neuters, of course, waits until he 19th paragraph to mention Al-Queda (no relation), almost as if they weren’t there at all… Remember kids, the war will be won in the Pork Pie News Networks by words…

    • marknesop says:

      Western weaponry is “provided” – Russian weaponry is “trafficked”. Just like if you’re Russian and wealthy, you’re an “oligarch”, while if you are Ukrainian or any other country which is not a target for western spite and bile, you are an “entrepreneur” or a “tycoon”.

      I confess to being still a little curious why the USA is suffering no censure at all for violating Syrian airspace on a daily basis and trafficking arms to a rebel opposition element with the full knowledge they will be used to kill and injure members of the armed forces of the democratically-elected government, actions it has stipulated to many times in print. That’s called a “confession”. What do we have for them, Johnny? What?? Not a prison sentence? Are you shitting me?

      There is no backing away from the reality that the United States has taken the public stand that it can interpret the law as it sees fit, and things which are a violation of the law for other countries are above reproach if performed in accordance with Washington’s orders. Is the rest of the world okay with this? It’s pretty far above my pay grade.

  43. Jeremn says:

    Free Press has TO SHOUT IN CASE YOU DIDN’T GET THE MESSAGE (headlines from our major newspapers):

    France 24
    MH17 was shot down by Russian Buk missile, Dutch report concludes

    Flight MH17 crash: Dutch report says Russian-built Buk missile brought down plane

    Wall Street Journal
    Dutch Investigators Say MH17 Downed by Russian-Made Missile

    Flight MH17 shot down by Russian-built Buk missile, Dutch report says

    Flight MH17 downed by Russian-built missile, Dutch investigators say

    MH17: Plane was shot down by Russian-made Buk missile, Dutch report concludes

    MH17 Ukraine disaster: Dutch Safety Board blames missile [sorry to keep you in suspense] …. Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 crashed as a result of a Russian-made Buk missile, the Dutch Safety Board says.

    • cartman says:

      No such thing as a Buk missile….

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I wonder how many Russians were killed and/or injured today by foreign-made motor cars?

      About 30,000 Russians die yearly in road accidents.

    • Johan Meyer says:

      Actually, according to Reuters, it is “Russian made,” which begs the question whether it has ever been manufactured outside Russia. More specifically, were the missiles in Ukraine’s possession manufactured inside or outside Russia? Otherwise, of what relevance is it that the missiles were made inside Russia? Or was it the ebil-russkie nature of the missiles (in that account) that made Ukraine’s government shoot down the plane? And if it isn’t Ukraine, but the rebels, why would the same moral transfer not obtain?

      • marknesop says:

        All of the Buk systems were made in Russia. But Russia was the legacy supplier to Ukraine, and Ukraine has been independent for less than 25 years. Nearly all of Ukraine’s military equipment prior to the Maidan manufactured crisis was Russian-made, as is most of it now. Referring to it as “Russian-made” is simply ducking the question of who actually fired it, which is within their rights since the Dutch investigation did not have identifying the culprit as one of its terms of reference. It is, however, easy to predict that the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General’s office – which is in overall charge of the “disciplinary investigation” – will build on this decision to find against Russia, and all Ukraine’s many international midwives will stand by its decision.

        That brings up an interesting point – when can we expect that unprecedented decision (unprecedented considering the investigation is being run by one of the suspects) considering the Prosecutor General is the target of corruption probes and the administration is trying hard to get rid of him?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        According to the BUK-system manufacturer, Almaz-Antei, the aeroplane was hit by an earlier generation of the 9M38 missile complete with warhead 9N314, which contradicts the Dutch findings. The Dutch say that cube-shaped and butterfly-shaped shrapnel from the missile hit the aeroplane: Almaz-Antei said in its presentation on Tuesday, 13 October, that the shrapnel that hit the aeroplane was cube-shaped only, which is crucial if true, as the last missile of this type having only cube-shaped shrapnel was produced in the Soviet Union in 1986, and its life span is only 25 years – including all prolongations of service-life.

        All missiles of this type were decommissioned from the Russian Army in 2011, said the firm.

        Almaz-Antei also presented evidence saying that the missiles were fired from Ukraine armed forces controlled territory.

        See: 8 things we have learnt through the Dutch report on MH17 crash in Ukraine and the Almaz-Antei report

        • Johan Meyer says:

          Oops Higgins somebody made a boo-boo. Read the bottom quote—it has that ‘deer staring into the headlights’ feeling.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            I see on Higgin’s Twitter site he is described as “Visiting research associate at King’s College London’s Department of War Studies”.

            I had heard that the British education system is not all that it’s cracked up to be …

            • marknesop says:

              Higgins is the flavour of the month because western governments love to cite his “research”. Not because it’s accurate, but because it plays to their foreign-policy wants and desires. For all the world like the thoroughly embarrassing spectacle of the UN consulting Rahmi Abdelrahman the clothes-shop owner and his network of activists, and then lending his figures the imperial fiat by publishing them without question. The west is just embarrassing, like a demented relative who has shit himself at a dinner party. I don’t know why the rest of the world is not laughing. Probably because of the USA and its penchant for siccing its military on anyone it doesn’t like.

            • Johan Meyer says:

              That begs a question. Did he put less effort into spin, as a condition of employment? Certainly I’d imagine that King’s College wouldn’t be too pleased would an accusation of fraud pass peer review…

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