Putin is Weaponizing Popularity: Newsweek is not Amused.

Uncle Volodya says, "Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”

Uncle Volodya says, “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”

“The mind, placed before any kind of difficulty, can find an ideal outlet in the absurd. Accommodation to the absurd readmits adults to the mysterious realm inhabited by children.”

 – André Breton

How appropriate, to say nothing of au courant,  to kick off this post with a quote from André Breton; a French poet, writer, and author of “The Surrealist Manifesto”, he is best remembered as the founder of Surrealism. And oh, Mama; surreal is what we have for you today. Yes, having weaponized everything from refugees to referendums, Putin has finally rolled out his magnum opus: he has weaponized his own popularity. Except it is somehow a secret. What a good thing that we have Newsweek to brief us on how that works, because at the outset I confess I am puzzled as to how secret popularity could function as a weapon.

I hate to give away right at the beginning how numbingly idiotic the piece is, but I am afraid most of you would guess as soon as you learned that the primary source upon which Newsweek relied for its breathtaking Kremlin insights was that old ‘Kremlin insider’ himself – Gleb Pavlovsky. Epiphany Number One: the overriding reason the west has Russia so wrong is that it keeps tapping the same sources for instruction and inspiration – Fiona Hill, Clifford Gaddy, Gleb Pavlovsky, Yulia Latynina, Stanislav Belkovsky, Edward Lucas, Julia Ioffe, Miriam Elder, Garry Kasparov, the late and mostly unlamented Boris Nemtsov…a phalanx of sycophancy that always tells it what it wants to hear. Thou, O Queen, art fairest still. Gleb Pavlovsky affects to know everything that goes on in Russia as if it were all unfolding to his own plan, and nobody ever seems to notice when he is catastrophically wrong or that he has been predicting Putin’s collapse for a decade. Here he is, running his mouth in The Guardian, four years ago: “[Putin] thinks man is a sinful being and it is pointless to try to improve him. He believes the Bolsheviks who tried to create fair people were simply idiots, and we wasted a lot money and energy on it … So Putin’s model is that you need to be bigger and better capitalists than the western capitalists. And more consolidated as a state: there must be a full, maximum unity of state and business.”

For Pavlovsky, United Russia’s collapse in the polls in December was obvious. “It was nothing more than a telephone system for conveying the Kremlin’s orders. It transmitted a signal. It has absolutely not independence and can not act on its own. It needs full instructions – 1,2,3,4,5. If 3 and 4 are missing, it stops and waits for instructions.”

The masses, in Putin’s mind, cannot be trusted to rule. Pavlovsky said: “What is the Putin consensus? It is a construction of a pact between the ruling elite and the main groups of society in which society is guaranteed a degree of social distribution and an elite which feels free to move across borders. This state has no ideology. It will be a state without ideas oriented on common sense, the average man, the citizen. Nonetheless the masses must not be given access to power.”

The Putin consensus began when Putin decided he was the sole bearer of that guarantee and he controlled the whole situation. But it ended at precisely point he decided to return to power as president: “That was his mistake. His decision to return was a certain delusion of grandeur, ” Pavlovsky said.

Just pause for a moment with me, and ponder the irony of a Newsweek article on Putin’s weaponization of his massive popularity, in which it relied heavily on a source who only four years ago announced that Putin’s return to the presidency was based on delusions of grandeur. That was quite the fucking mass delusion, wasn’t it, considering the complaint now is that he’s too popular, it simply can’t be real?

You know, it’s bad enough to start out being not particularly good at solving global puzzles. But how much worse you make it for yourself by ruling out all sources of information whose product is unpleasant to hear, because it conflicts with your vision of yourself as all-seeing, all-knowing, a benevolent giant who is forever a force for good. What you are left with is rows of bobble-headed yes-men who just tell you whatever will keep the NED cheques coming. The west did pretty much exactly that with Mikhail Dmitriev, when he authored the famous ‘Dmitriev Report’. Published in 2011 – and actually titled “Political Crisis in Russia and the Possible Mechanisms of its Development” – it told the west that Russians’ trust in the government was falling sharply and that the trend appeared irreversible. This generated nearly as much excitement in the west as reading that the face of Ronald Reagan had appeared in the burn patterns on a tortilla. But when Dmitriev later co-authored “A Farewell to Poverty” with Svetlana Misikhina, in which the two reported that the Putin government had eradicated poverty in Russia for the purposes of statistical significance, he got the ‘Mikhail who??’ treatment.

Well, no use preaching to The Church Of I Know Everything. Let’s have a look, and see what Newsweek‘s complaint is.

Well, basically it seems to be that Putin’s popularity is all a sham. He’s not really popular, and he knows it. So whenever his pseudo-popularity looks to be fading, he holds the Olympics or starts a war with somebody. Then his ratings ease back up into comfortable territory. Remember, this is someone who works for a polling agency who is telling this to Newsweek.

You know what? Putin should tell Obama how that works. Because Obama is forever starting a war with somebody, tidying up the remnants of a war he inherited from the previous administration, threatening to start a war with somebody or just showing up with his planes and Special Forces somewhere that a war is going on to which the United States was not invited, and announcing that they are playing, too, because the USA called dibs. And his ratings are still in the tank. So obviously it is not as easy as just throwing a big spectacle or a tantrum  for the folks whenever they start to mutter, there must be a trick to it.

Putin’s ‘reiting’ – which is merely a Russian rendering of an English word, although Newsweek manages to invest it with the mystery of code – ‘rules supreme over all of the nation’s political and economic decisions.’ So when Putin’s rating dips, he does not dare to make decisions which might bring the people into the streets with torches and pitchforks (I know, we’ve heard that a million times, but it’s still funny for me), and instead picks a fight with someone or holds an impromptu Olympics which was actually awarded to Russia years ago. Anyone buying this?

Putin’s rating – excuse me, ‘reiting’ – touched 61% in November 2013. Quick as a flash, Putin annexed Crimea, and his cratering reiting rebounded. What a planner, if you’ll excuse me a moment of frank admiration; Putin had to arrange for the Maidan protests to spin out of control into violence, forecast the rise of the opposition in Kiev – considering Tiahnybok and Klitschko were next to invisible before that- position snipers on the rooftops and flood Kiev with western politicians, all to provide the flashpoint which terrified Crimeans into abandoning the sinking ship! I submit he deserved good reitings after such a masterpiece of manipulation.

The Kremlin has spawned a vast new monitoring body with the aim of spotting and crushing dissent. Let’s call it “Tentacle”, or maybe “The Burning Eye”.  Well, we might, except it already has a name – according to The Moscow Times, it’s Putin’s ‘secretive’ Federal Guard Service (FSO). Its job is to conduct non-stop polling to determine levels of discontent, and dole out subsidies to areas the polls show are discontented. Sinister.

Let’s look at it as if it were in, sayyyy….England. “Her Majesty’s Government announced today the creation of a new domestic polling service, under the supervision of the Foreign Office. The purpose of this new office will be to constantly sample the public mood, establishing areas in which ineffective economic policies or uneven distribution of government subsidies have resulted in pockets of discontent, so that aid can quickly be channeled to address the problem”. Gee – that sounds completely different, doesn’t it? It’s all in how you spin it. Newsweek – and The Moscow Times – want you to see it as just more oppression and totalitarianism. This is a technique from journalism known as “Having Your Cake and Eating It” . If the government is too much of a busybody, it’s authoritarian and oppressive. If it isn’t, it’s out of touch with the people. There is no middle ground.

I propose we do an exchange, to promote understanding. Putin will show Obama how to start wars and gain good reitings. Obama will explain to Putin that if you want to gauge the public mood, there’s no need to stand up big agencies to do polling. Just have your intelligence service record their phone calls or watch them through their laptop webcam, and you will know exactly what they’re thinking, with the plus that they are more natural because they don’t know they’re being monitored. That’ll bring down that old ‘terror of the state’ barrier, at the same time resolving the innate dilemma of a ‘secretive’ service which conducts public polling.

Epiphany Number Two: you will never overthrow or successfully promote regime change in a country which is proud of its institutions and traditions by writing lies about it. You cannot make Russians feel ashamed of themselves by inventing horrible things they have done and then saying they ought to be ashamed of themselves, see, because they know you are lying. Battalions of Russian soldiers have invaded Ukraine. Russia was hiding Saddam. Russia shot down MH-17. Russia manipulated Brexit. If you oppose Putin, you will disappear. You can’t be gay in Russia. Navalny is popular in Russia, so the government had to crush him. Putin owns large blocks of shares in Russian energy companies and a string of palaces. Russian athletes can’t win a medal unless they are doped up. All these are ‘truths’ the western media has fed to its readers and demanded they internalize, or be branded a ‘Putin apologist’.

Vladimir Putin’s reiting is a reflection of Russians’ confidence in his leadership, and faith that he will continue to lead the country in the right direction, spotting pitfalls before the country can tumble in and dodging western sandbags dropped in its path, all without whining for mercy or prostrating himself in obeisance. Barack Obama’s reiting, and the evident pre-distaste for Hillary Clinton, are a measure of the American peoples’ fear that American leadership is increasingly dysfunctional, directionless and self-absorbed.

Where is America’s Vladimir Putin, the leader who will restore American pride and confidence, national direction and unity, and remake America’s poisoned relationships with the world’s nations? You can only rewrite reality for so long before the power of illusion fades.

This entry was posted in Alexei Navalny, Boris Nemtsov, Corruption, Economy, Europe, Government, Law and Order, Military, Politics, Russia, Strategy, Vladimir Putin and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2,623 Responses to Putin is Weaponizing Popularity: Newsweek is not Amused.

  1. Lyttenburgh says:


    I wanted to write a long, long post, with lots of outgoing links and comparisons, connecting the recent rise in attacks in the so-called First World, a bleeding wound which is parts of the Rest-of-the-World, about Brexit and Western elites, about Marvin Heemeyer and this guy who did the Nice attack just a week ago, about hypocrisy and double standards, about the palpable sense of the cognitive dissonance, forced upon the common people, now wondering when will it end…

    But my I-net is currently pure crap, so instead I’d limit myself to just one quote:

    A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don’t do one.”

    – Chuck Palahniuk, “The Fight Club”.

    • ucgsblog says:

      Lytburger, look up the Ford Pinto case. That’s the case that the quote is based on. Also, I hope that Russia’s Ice Hockey Team doesn’t play in the World Cup of Hockey in Solidarity with the Russian athletes that are unjustly banned from the so-called Olympics. What’s the point of earning the Gold Medal if you’re not playing against the very best?

      • Northern Star says:

        Looks as if the athletes of African and Asian nations are suffering from ‘no nuts no guts’ syndrome wrt standing with the Russkies….

        • Northern Star says:

          AS a matter of fact shouldn’t ALL the Russian athletes refuse to go in solidarity with the 67 track and field team members that are banned??

          • ucgsblog says:

            Not necessarily, because the World Cup means very little to Russian Hockey Players. For Russian Swimmers, the Olympics are the key event, as well as for numerous other Russian Athletes.

          • yalensis says:

            It’s the world we live in. Elite athletes are supra-nationals, they don’t have a country any more. They are like individual multi-national corporations.
            Good or bad, but that’s the world we live in.

            • Chinese American says:

              Sports disciplines vary widely. In some sports like tennis and football, that may be true. But the athletes that the Olympic ban will hurt the most are the ones in the less commercialized sports, for whom the Olympics are often one of the few chances that the general public, outside of a small group of aficionados, will see their sport. Lots of people will say “who cares, I don’t watch anyway”. True, not watching is not a big deal. But for these athletes, this is what they’ve been working for, often putting themselves through hell for years. And they do inspire people. There are many many fans of Russian athletes all over the world, including in western countries, and I have seen many of them learn to take interest in Russia, take a new look, at start to see the lies of their MSM because of their interest in these athletes. It is easy to dismiss sports. Maybe it does pale in comparison to the countless dead. But if their aim is full spectrum dominance, then I think they have to be fought full spectrum as well.

              • Northern Star says:

                “I think they have to be fought full spectrum as well.”

                Yes….No two ways about it….

              • Jen says:

                The option would be for the Russian government to announce holding a Friendship Games along similar lines as the 1984 Friendship Games organised by the Soviets for their teams and other eastern European teams that went along with the Soviet boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Those games were open to Western countries as well.

                The Friendship Games don’t need to be held this year if the planning logistics are too involved – they can be held next year in venues intended for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and other already existing sports venues.

                • marknesop says:

                  That is an option, although it would have to go ahead from the assumption that any sports records set at these games would not receive international recognition unless drug testing were carried out by WADA and – probably – exclusively western officials. That has made a few people angry and led to rants that the west does not matter as much as it thinks it does and who needs it, anyway – a viewpoint with which I agree. I’m merely saying the west has a lock on the credibility of records and will not allow Russia to set any, or its allies either. If the games are really about sport and not the politicization of world records, then play on, by all means. People should just not have any unrealistic expectations.

              • yalensis says:

                Well, I used to be an “Olympic junky”, and I loved that whole Parade of Nations thing.
                And it’s not even that I always necessarily rooted for Russian athletes, but without Russia being there in an official capacity, I don’t think I can bear to watch it.


                • marcaly8 says:

                  Some gymnastics and figure skating forums are saying that IOC decided to ban the whole Russian delegation today (Daily Fail and some BBC journalist reported it).There is a lot of mourning among gymnastics fans alrealdy. This is very cruel, the gymnasts fled to Rio today. 😦

                • Jen says:

                  Indeed the International Gymnastics Federation issued a press release against a blanket ban and is arguing that Russian gymnasts have been subjected to the same controls and restrictions as other gymnasts and that gymnasts can’t be judged on the same criteria used to judge other sportspeople.

                  Most major controversies involving Olympic gymnastics either concern the falsification of female gymansts’ ages, the training and preparation of some female gymnasts (which might involve abuse), judging errors and the occasional personal spat that spills over into competition. The one and only time when a gymnast was disqualified for using a drug was back in 2000 when the Romanian Andreea Raducan was stripped of her gold medal for having taken a cough medicine during competition on the advice of the team doctor. The doctor was subsequently sacked.

                • Chinese American says:

                  Gymnastics and figure skating are sports where doping is acknowledged to be ineffective and therefore just not done, so fans of these sports are less likely to be prejudiced against the innocence of Russian athletes. And once one is not prejudiced, one starts to see instinctively the injustice of it. However, I myself tend to get somewhat shocked by the general political naivete of people in these sports forums.

                  I don’t know if this article has been posted. It’s a good overview of the flimsy basis of the WADA report:

                  I think one trick of the Western media in reporting this matter is to conflate the allegations of the Stepanovs on track-and-field vs. the allegations of Rodchenkov on Sochi. The only thing connecting the two is Rodchenkov, and his supposed role in the two matters are reversed. IOC and the sports arbitration court are doing the same thing, by ruling to ban the track-and-field team on the basis of accusations about the winter Olympics. I can believe there might be a serious doping problem among some athletes in Russian track-and-fields. However, there is no proof that it is “state sponsored”. By throwing around these phrases, they are counting on people not being able to figure out the logical connections, or lack thereof.

                • Jen says:

                  I have seen some gymnastics chat forums and my impression is that the people who visit are often young women in their late teens and early 20s so most of them would be extremely politically naive.

                  I think the big issue now in women’s gymnastics (I don’t know much about the men’s side) is that in the US, many poor families might be pushing their daughters (at enormous financial cost, not to mention risking the girls’ own physical health) into gymnastics because they see it as the children’s only chance of getting money and scholarships to pay for college, and escaping a life of insecure low-paid drudge jobs and poverty.


              • marknesop says:

                “But if their aim is full spectrum dominance, then I think they have to be fought full spectrum as well.”

                Too true, and well said. But except for expulsions of diplomats, Russia seldom reacts symmetrically, in a tit-for-tat fashion. I daresay there will be a response, but it might appear totally unrelated and may consist of kicking some American businesses out of Russia, that sort of thing. And let’s not blame it all on the USA, either – Washington was certainly at the root of it, but a lot of other nations cravenly went along with it.

                • Chinese American says:

                  True. I wouldn’t expect it all to be exactly tit-for-tat. I’m not saying it will happen, but personally, I would like to see Russia go after some of these international sports officials in some way. These international sports organizations seem to exist in their own little world, where they are accustomed to there being no recourse or appeal against their decisions. They are also all deeply corrupt. From some words Mutko dropped, I suspect that Russia also may have something on them.

                  I wonder what do you think of this?
                  Last night, NTV aired the prank call of those two Russian pranksters, Vova and Lexus. Back in May, they called Craig Reedie, the head of WADA, pretending to be the Ukrainian sports minister Zhdanov, wanting them to redistribute Russia’s Sochi medal to Ukraine. Reedie admitted to having no evidence about Sochi. Next they called Travis Tygart, head of the USADA, with the same request. Tygard said he will see what he can do, and that he hopes the redistribution of medals will happen before Rio. At the end, they turned around and called Zhdanov himself, pretending to be Reedie(!), and promised to let the Ukraine lab handle samples from Russia. Zhdanov, of course, gloated about it on Ukrainian media, confirming the genuineness of at least this part of the prank.

                  I know NTV is just considered a “tabloid” channel, but the two pranksters have a history of genuinely make calls through to various highly placed foreign figures. Reedie’s comments can still (sort of, by a long stretch) be justified by claiming that at that point by claiming he didn’t know the confidential contents of the McLaren reports at that point. (Pretty unbelievable, but he can claim it.) But Tygard’s words, if real….If there were justice, he should be sacked for those words alone, and possibly prosecuted for conspiracy.

                • marknesop says:

                  That’s quite a story. It is becoming ever clearer that the whole Olympic-ban thing was simply another spiteful exercise of power by Washington – I recall reading an earlier report in which McLaren acknowledged that WADA did not have any evidence, only ‘witness testimony’ (“Dmitry’s correct. We don’t have any evidence of a systematic, state-wide doping mechanism. If we did, we would have published it and so we have to go on the inference. But across a vast country [with] all sorts of different training camps, it has to be somehow state supported but we can’t actually describe for you how that operates. We can only draw the inference”) – but it is the demonstrated truth that the United States exercises that kind of influence over what is theoretically international sport and will not hesitate to use it even though it risks exposing that the Games are only another policy instrument, that must be the last nail in their coffin. The Olympics are dead, and they must be buried. Travis Tygart cares nothing for clean sport, that’s all just a front – what he cares about is the naked exercise of American power in its own self-interest. This is just another show for Washington’s fans, who admire its truculent clout.

                  The great pity, for me, is that Canada willingly allowed itself to be used as a fig leaf to cover America’s swinging balls.

                • Jen says:

                  I guess I’ll never see Canada’s flag the same way again – I’ve started thinking of it as upside-down and the image is now permanently etched in my mind like the Ten Commandments in stone – in a way similar to how I’ll never see Japan’s flag the same way again when I saw a comparison of that flag (done by a Japanese person) to a used sanitary napkin.

          • marknesop says:

            I would say so. Although for some – like Yelena Isinbayeva – this would have been their last Olympics, so it will be an early ending to their careers. I agree that it would be a powerful gesture of solidarity, and it is exactly that the IOC is seeking to avoid, because it would be an equally powerful repudiation of the Russian government if a significant number of Russian athletes bowed to competing under a stateless banner; that would complete the humiliation. The opposite statement would be made if only the traitor Stepanova competed, from her hidey-hole in America. The Stepanovs and Grigory Rodchenkov are well-paid stateless persons already, and are comfortable without a flag; perhaps they will introduce the ‘selfless heroes‘ flag for Yelena, or the ‘clean sports’ flag. Note that the Telegraph article characterizes Stepanova as having been banned from sport for two years by the Russian Federation for ‘irregularities in her biological passport’, a tortured translation designed to conceal that she herself was removed from competition for doping. The USA is running the world’s biggest sports deception operation by pretending to be fooled by the Stepanovs and Rodchenkov – it knows very well they are all dopers themselves but is happy to facilitate their charade because of its crazy hatred for Russia.

            I hope I am not out of line for pointing out that Yelena Isinbayeva has an amazing ass. I assure you I mention it only out of sincere admiration and not chauvinistic piggery. A great champion, this is the kind of body you can have on nothing but discipline – Isinbayeva has always tested clean.

    • Northern Star says:

      “the recent rise in attacks in the so-called First World,”


      ..and the simple fucks in NATO and Washington are babbling lunatic horseshit about Russia threatening the Baltic States….

      (BTW..The probability that jihadist MFs are behind this latest rampage is like

  2. Northern Star says:

    They’re OK lookin’…nothing special….Our Murican women are way hotter…

    • marknesop says:

      The only one in the whole parade who actually looks both attractive and feminine in an action shot is Angelique Kerber. Tennis action shots catch women at their worst – they always seem to be grimacing with effort or in an awkward pose that highlights their muscularity and makes their bodies look blocky rather than curvaceous. Venus Williams, although her shot is not subject to either of those conditions, looks like Dennis Rodman when he was not trying to be a weirdo.

    • yalensis says:

      “The Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, has chosen this week to unmask himself as a de facto agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a KGB-trained dictator who seeks to rebuild the Soviet empire by undermining the free nations of Europe, marginalizing NATO, and ending America’s reign as the world’s sole superpower.”

      And Goldberg says that like it’s a bad thing – hee hee!

      • Patient Observer says:


      • marknesop says:

        Oh, there was a whole series of screechy hysterical articles on what a dangerous loose cannon Trump is. They’re preaching to the choir here, but they do not seem to realize that arguing against any sort of change in American policy is arguing for more sameness, which is plainly failing. Maybe the American government loves the Kiev government so much because the American government is so much like the Kiev government.

  3. marknesop says:

    Here’s a very interesting, not to mention unimpeachable, source on doping in American sport; Les Earnest, lifetime advocate for cycling, former Stanford University professor and pioneer of Artificial Intelligence. According to Mr. Earnest, prior to the notorious 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, everyone provided a urine sample, but nobody ever tested positive. When he looked into it, he learned that the urine samples were simply being thrown into the toilet, because testing was expensive.

    Just prior to the Olympic Games in 1984, Alexi Grewal tested positive for ephedrine, and admitted taking it. His confession was inadmissible under the rules because it had to be proven by a lab test. The Executive Director of the United States Cycling Federation (USCF) and the Chief Medical Officer of the U.S. Olympic Committee concocted a defense which said the test had not been properly administered, and Grewal went to the Olympics.

    Where he won a gold medal for the United States.

    “In 1979 and following years at the Red Zinger and its successor, the Coors International, I noticed that riders were systematically required to submit urine samples but no one ever tested positive. When I looked into that I learned that these tests were just for show and that all urine samples were submitted to the “toilet test,” being flushed down the drain so as to save the substantial costs of having them tested.

    The Coors race subsequently started doing actual lab tests, probably as a result of my inquiry, but even that program went off track in 1984 just before the Olympic Games. At the Coors race that year in Vail, Alexi Grewal, who had been selected for the U.S. Olympic Road Race team, tested positive for taking ephedrine and admitted it, which would bar him from participating in the Olympics. However under the existing rules his confession didn’t count–it had to be proven by a lab test. The Executive Director of USCF then recruited the Chief Medical Officer of the U.S. Olympic Committee and, ignoring the fact that they were both responsible for enforcing drug control regulations, they concocted a defense claiming that the drug test had not been done properly, which got Grewal off the hook and allowed him to win a gold medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.”

    • Cortes says:

      That’s a terrific article. The conclusion – that other Olympic sports may be tainted through corporate capture – is laconic but startling.

  4. colliemum says:

    Another Saturday morning after another terrorist attack.

    I’ve had to let off steam, and this is the result:


    I’m severely annoyed …

    • Evgeny says:

      Thanks, colliemum, that’s a good article. The way you’ve treated the problem made me remember the famous quote from “The Doomed City” by Strugatsky brothers:

      “Writers have never, ever healed any open sores,” Izya objected. “A sick conscience simply hurts, that’s all—”

    • marknesop says:

      That’s a good piece, Viv; and I mostly agree. However, the ‘fear of a Muslim backlash’ is far from unfounded and not just a government tool, and it would be hard to argue that the general public, following a terrorist attack, does not in many ways express disapproval of people who appear identifiably Muslim but are just minding their own business and are not interested in causing trouble. This contributes to a feeling of being resented, and it is therefore easier to exploit rifts in society and foster an ‘us against them’ mentality. This result is an express goal of terror attacks, and the terrorists do not care that they are making things harder on their own people in the country, many of whom have done nothing.

      The whole ‘unbelievers’ thing is a platform of radical Islamic fundamentalism, and Islam is not a ‘hostile culture’ per se; Muslims and Jews and Christians were able to coexist peacefully in Syria for centuries until outside forces – like the United States – began stirring the pot in the interests of concrete national foreign policy objectives.

      I am certainly not a defender of western government; quite the contrary. But there is something to the oft-quoted canard that, ‘If we let them divide us, the terrorists win”, because turning the host population against Muslims is an express goal of terrorism.

      I put that here rather than at the source article because I am sure it would not be a popular view.

      • Evgeny says:

        “I put that here rather than at the source article because I am sure it would not be a popular view.”

        Well, it’s certainly a popular view in Russia, because it’s a country where different cultures are able to peacefully coexist.

        • yalensis says:

          Very good point, Evgeny.
          I think one of the reasons why Russia has been relatively successful with inter-ethnic harmony is because Russia does not pretend to be a melting pot; nor go into denial that different ethnicities exist. Differences are recognized and the relationships between ethnicities are regulated to a certain degree. There is an attempted balance between integration and diversity. At the same time, a leadership role is played by the titular majority (Russians), and this works out okay most of the time, provided the minority nationalities accept overall Russian authority.

          The main thing which could potentially screw this sytem up is nationalism. And not just nationalism of the minorities but, even more importantly, nationalism of the majority. We see what titular nationalism is doing to Ukraine, and that must never be allowed to happen in Russia. Which is why the Russian nationalists are a particularly dangerous crew.

          The Europeans have never quite figured out how to properly regulate inter-ethnic conflict.

          • Evgeny says:

            “At the same time, a leadership role is played by the titular majority (Russians), and this works out okay most of the time, provided the minority nationalities accept overall Russian authority.”

            Yalensis, you know, that’s a big claim. For example, do you know the ethnicity of RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan?

            I would like to believe that Russia is more of a meritocracy, where a person is promoted according to his or her achievements, rather than ethnicity. Of course that’s not always true (a notable exception would be governments of national republics, which would attempt to preserve a certain mix of ethnicities, or something like that).

            • yalensis says:

              Well, okay, Evgeny, you’re right about that. And my comment was too vague and amorphous, I should have been more clear that when I said “titular majority” I was not even talking about ethnic Russians per se, but more about the role of the federal government.
              I would agree that the Russian Federation is more of a meritocracy than ever before. And another example is Shoigu, of course, who is right there at the top.
              I was speaking more in the abstract sense of the relationship between the center and the regions.
              For example, I used to follow Abkhazian politics fairly closely, there were instances when the Abkhazians could not agree among themselves on the outcome of an election, and it was usually the Russian federal government who had to step in and calm the feuding parties. In cases like this, the feds are the natural brokers, and the regional/ethnic leaders accept their authority to arbitrate. That’s what I mean by “Russian authority”.

        • marknesop says:

          True enough; as has become the go-to tactic, western countries throw about accusations of persecution of ethnic minorities as projection, to cover their own persecution.

          That’s certainly not the case with Viv’s article, and news of attacks and atrocities by Islamic immigrants in Europe are now popping up almost daily; Merkel’s throwing the door wide was a disaster from which Europe will perhaps not recover, and although I stand by the contention that there are plenty of Muslims in Europe who are just minding their own business and trying to get along, many people who comment here noticed and observed that a significant proportion of ‘immigrants’ were young men (what the USA refers to as ‘military-age males’) unaccompanied by wives or children, and that they had ‘troublemaker’ written all over them.

          I picked Syria because no less an American icon than Walter Cronkite remarked on it in his autobiography, “A Reporter’s Life”. He specifically mentioned, on a visit to Syria, the remarkably peaceful coexistence within the same neighbourhoods of Jews, Muslims and Christians.

      • Jen says:

        Incidentally that guy who was said to have carried out the shopping mall attacks in Munich was described in the MSM as an Iranian immigrant. But (though the news is still fresh) I haven’t heard what his name is or seen anything about his family in the MSM. Is there a possibility that these attacks could be interpreted in such a way to cast a slur on Sahra Wagenknecht? She is part-Iranian after all (her father was Iranian but she was brought up by a single mother who kept her surname) and she is one of the very few left-wing German politicians who have questioned current German immigration policy and called for restricting immigration numbers.

      • colliemum says:

        The strange thing is that fifteen, even ten years ago, I would have agreed with the points you make. And yes – this is after 9/11 even.
        Yes, governments don’t want a divided population, but the experiences certainly here in the UK show that this divide already exist, and it’s not been fabricated by the indigenous Brits, albeit sadly certain parts of Labour have succumbed to it.
        A country where TPTB assume that the populace in general cannot be trusted with information is already a country divided. A country where TPTB think the populace are nothing but idiot children – unlike themselves, of course – is already a country divided.
        Also, these terrorist acts are no longer singularities, occurring perhaps once every five years, where people accept that for security and operational reasons they cannot be told everything. People have learned by experience that things are as bad as they are thinking. They get more and more suspicious when yet again the calming reassurances of ‘lone wolf’ and ‘mentally ill’ are shown to be pious platitudes when more information comes out.
        They can see that TPTB do not trust them, and what could be worse for a country than seeing TPTB failing in their big task of protecting the people?
        People have informed themselves – and unlike during the Cold War, many now know more about islam than they did about communism then. Then, it was accepted that for the sake of the country’s security, communists had to be kept out, and had to be prevented from entering government jobs. Now that is rejected as being racist.
        I’ve still not heard anyone explain why islam is a race …
        This whole issue needs a long, cold debate – but we won’t get this as long as TPTB refuse to even name the problem, never mind address it in a considered fashion. That’s far moe divisive than facing up to reality.

    • ucgsblog says:

      Very well written article. I think that we’re all sharing the conclusion at this point, at least the people on this blog: Je Suis… Sick of this Shit.

      So very true. Thank you for that.

    • Jen says:

      One reason that the TPTB do not mention the Muslim religious identities of these attackers is that the general public would immediately link them to Angela Merkel’s open-borders decision to allow people claiming to be Syrian refugees to stream into Europe from Turkey and to come into Germany. While of course there were genuine refugee families among the people who came in, there were a lot (maybe they were even the majority) of people who came as economic opportunists and undoubtedly many who arrived were ISIS sleeper cells brainwashed with extremist Saudi Wahhabi ideology in holding camps in Turkey or takfiri mercenaries returning from the Middle East who otherwise would never have been let back into their home countries.

      There were early reports that suggested the “lone” gunman was not acting alone and of course he is now dead, so we will likely never know if these Munich shopping mall attacks might be another false flag incident.

      • colliemum says:

        Agreed – but the prevarication of Ms Merkel has already damaged her.
        There’s also the attack in that commuter train on Monday evening, which discredits her policies. That terrorist was said to be a ’17 year old Afghan refugee’. Turns out he was actually from Pakistan, with a lovely self-portrait on his PC – and one may doubt that he was just 17, given the reports from Sweden about ‘children’ actually being young men over 20, committing rapes.
        And the reports from France about the Nice terrorist, who first was a lone wolf and now turns out to have had a support group does not instil confidence in the communications coming from governments …
        All this shows up the huge and ever increasing divide between the governing elites and the actual populace, as the result of the EU Referendum has shown.
        The other point which has been downplayed but should make people’s blood boil is the observation by e.g. the French PM M Valls that we ‘have to live with this terrorism’.
        He might as well have told us all that we should eat cake …

    • Fern says:

      colliemum, I think you’re right to point out how TPTB are reluctant to acknowledge the very problematic nature of certain interpretations of Islam. I’d attribute this, however, to slightly different causes.

      If we are serious about tackling the extremism that has resulted in these mass killings, then we have to seriously tackle the underlying ideology – Wahabbism and its offshoots – and that means seriously tackling friend and ally, Saudi Arabia. It means recognising that Saudi is not a ‘friend’ of the West, that its funding of the spread of extremist ideology underpins movements like Islamic State. It means recognising that effective measures have to be taken against Saudi and that means accepting we’re going to lose the Kingdom as the major customer of western arms industries.

      That’s geopolitical consequence number one. Geopolitical consequence number two is that if we are serious about tackling Islamic terrorism, it means we have to stop using such groups to achieve geopolitical goals. Western elites condemn the ideology that has led to deaths throughout Europe but cheer on (and materially aid) groups with the self-same ideology bringing the self-same carnage to Syria as long as those groups aim to depose Assad. Most western countries but especially the US and the UK, have long and dishonourable histories of using the most aggressive, most blood-thirsty, most socially regressive Islamic groups to achieve foreign policy objectives.

      Geopolitical consequence number three is that if we are serious about tackling terrorism, we’d need to stand with Russia. I’ve personally never felt more ashamed of the UK than when witnessing the MSM response to atrocities like the Moscow theatre siege, Beslan and the recent downing of the Russian airliner over Sinai. The West has rushed to give safe passage and shelter to those who’ve carried out acts of terror in Russia – Amnesty International even campaigned on behalf of the guy who later master-minded the Istanbul airport bombing to prevent his extradition to Russia to answer terror charges.

      What are the odds of anything changing?

      • Fern says:

        One further point I intended to make – in relation to the specifics of the most recent attack in Munich, it seems to me to resemble a US-style school shooting rather than what is understood as a terror attack. The gunman was allegedly the victim of at least two assaults, claimed to have been bullied for 7 years and seemed to have a particular beef with Turks.

        This, I think, touches on something TPTB and the MSM are also reluctant to confront – the relationships between different ethnic groups as opposed to the relationships of those groups to – for want of a better expression – main-stream society. I see this all the time in London where there are often very significant tensions between the many immigrant communities who’ve settled here. Anyone who observes that these maybe don’t bode well for the future, is dismissed as a xenophobe or racist.

        • Cortes says:

          Anywhere in the UK it is easy to observe tensions between Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi enclaves. Within Indian communities, between Hindi and Sikh. Et cetera.

        • Jen says:

          If the Iranian gunman had a beef with Turks, this could suggest a Sunni-versus-Shi’a rivalry going on among Muslim communities in Germany.

      • colliemum says:

        Outstanding, Fern: this is indeed the fundamental cause which cannot be mentioned.
        With your – and Mark’s – permission, I would love to lift your whole comment and publish it in the “Letters to the editor” feature on my ‘place of work’. Please contact me at viv at ukipdaily dot com !

        • Fern says:

          colliemum, I’m flattered. If I can just remain an anonymous Fern, please go ahead.

        • yalensis says:

          I concur that Fern’s comment is excellent. And I think it is important also to stress that point, about rival ethnic gangs playing out their feuds in European capitals. That is probably more of a factor in some of these attacks, than just a simplified “Islam vs. the West” narrative.
          One root cause being that the Europeans cannot keep their own house in order,uncontrolled immigration being one of the problems, and also having to balance on two stools to satisfy American needs to jam dodgy people into Europe..

          • colliemum says:

            They cannot keep their house in order because of out-of-control Political correctness, which is also one of the root causes for uncontrolled mass immigration.
            Being critical of that earns you the epithets of ‘racist’ ‘xenophobic bigot’ and ‘islamophobe’, if not ‘extreme-right-wing populist’, i.e. practically a neo-nazi.

            Meanwhile, one of those kind ‘syrian refugees’ has just gone on the rampage with a machete in a small own in southern Germany, killed one woman and wounded two others.
            NTDWI, of course.

            • yalensis says:

              Good points, although I tend to see “political correctness” as more of a symptom than a cause.
              I think that “political correctness” started as a good thing, namely good manners, polite speech and people treating each other with respect in a diverse workplace, that sort of thing.
              Bu then, like all good things, it got coopted by TPTB for their own dark purposes.
              Namely, preventing people from having honest discussion in an open society about such matters as crime and immigration, etc.

              • colliemum says:

                Sadly, it’s gone much further than just preventing honest discussions here in the UK.
                It has provided the institutional background for such unspeakable crimes as those in Rotherham, Rochester, Oxford, Bristol, on and on, to fester for well over a decade – because those who should have done something about it in the various local authorities didn’t dare for fear of being labelled ‘racist’ …

        • marknesop says:

          Absolutely!! We are proud of having Fern among us.

      • Jen says:

        One consequence of Geopolitical Consequence No 1 (recognising that Saudi Arabia is not a friend of the West and has never been) should be to bring into the open the links that industry, finance and academia may have with the KSA. Taking Britain as an example, the KSA buys a lot of manufactures including weapons and military hardware, probably invests heavily in the City of London and probably also sponsors university department chairs at British universities, sends students on scholarships there, participates in exchange schemes with British academia and encourages universities to set up shop in its own territory, all based on criteria that favour the KSA’s interests. In addition various British royals like Prince Charles should be discouraged from having close links to the Saudi royals. Indeed the Prince of Wales should be considered a serious security risk for being too close to the Saudis and for actively encouraging Saudi investment in Britain. (Well you can see I’m no fan of the royals.)

        An example of the kind of co-operation between British academia and the KSA, with a very strong focus on how the deal will bring huge profits to the British education sector but nothing on what long-term benefits might accrue to British universities and Saudi students and Saudi society generally:

        ISIS is known to have very slick and professional marketing campaigns, and maintains a strong social media presence, in contrast with the fighting skills of a lot if not most of its fighters, and this surely indicates that there are PR firms in the West doing work for that organisation.

  5. et Al says:

    The Pork Pie News Networks are surprised by Snowden’s comment by webcam at COMECON in an interview by Oliver Stone that “I can confirm that I am not living in a box. I actually live a surprisingly free life. This was not the most likely outcome.”

  6. Cortes says:

    Marvellous article about the likelihood of an anti-Putin coup succeeding:


    • Patient Observer says:

      Yes indeed, he left no stone unturned in his analysis. So the West’s only option seems to be the threat of war.

    • Evgeny says:

      A single objection would be that Anatoly Karlin has implicitly assumed that the p.d.f. (probability density function) of the “Putinism Quotient” is a Gaussian distribution without justifying (or caring to explain) that assumption. I hate mathematical snobbism without the accompanying rigorousness. 😉

      • kirill says:

        Only empirical observations can be applied as there is no grand theory of human society and human individuals that could be used to derive a PDF from first principles. And it is clear that public opinion is well “thermalized” and follows a Gaussian distribution. That is why sampling the opinion of less than 2000 people gives a very accurate representation of the opinion distribution of the whole population numbering over 100 million. Non-Gaussian behaviour would require sampling different groups of randomly chosen 2000 people many times.

      • marknesop says:

        My only quibble with it is his characterization of Georgian Dream’s victory as an ‘oligarch’s triumph’ by Bidzina Ivanishvili. That implies he simply bought the election, which is not accurate. We should be under no illusions that he spread money around to improve people’s lives; he did, and it’s vote-buying. But he spent his own money while Saakashvili spent taxpayers’ money to the same purpose, and Ivanishvili put in place a less egocentric and more transparent government than ever existed under Saakashvili. Georgian Dream earned its victory, and if there was the slightest suggestion that things were going to go back to the way they were, Saakashvili would have returned to throw his hat into the ring again.

  7. Evgeny says:

    The media are pretty much vocal about social-media-post arrests in Russia. But just as I was going to unwind a bit with videos of cute pets, I’ve accidentally read an insightful post at pikabu.ru (in Russian) which examined a few cases and explained there is more of a story in such cases than merely speech freedom.

  8. Eric says:


    Probably one of the best pieces I have read on the doping scandal…..it does highlight what a nonsensical approach it is to punish summer Olympic athletes for Winter Olympic “offences” (which the author knocks down comprehensively).

    This is now both Browder and Rodchenkov, …2 guys punished for offences in Russia, both flee to the USA, both have undetermined locations of residence, both have their bollocks supported in massive PR campaigns by the American state, both can make criminal allegations… but both are unindictable…….and both are allowed to cause harm to the Russian state.

    Unless it is fully disclosed what Rodchenkov is doing in the United States, who is paying him …and that some of his “evidence” is made public….then the IOC should discard this entire WADA and Mclaren report

    • marknesop says:

      That is a good piece, and it very effectively makes an important point. He’s right that this is an angle on it that nobody has covered. It will be interesting to see what comes of the Speigel report on new discoveries relating to doping at Beijing and in the UK. But of course they would never ban any entire country but Russia.

      This is bringing the real haters out of their holes, the ones who reacted with jubilation to the Russian ban. I can’t protest the decision by ignoring the Olympics, because I don’t pay any attention to them anyway, only checking the medals standings once in awhile online. Now I won’t be interested enough even to do that. But I think there is going to be a significant decline in interest in the Games this time around; that’s unfortunate for Brazil, because Washington is agitating for the Games to be a failure to discredit Brazil, as well. But in the end I think the effect will be positive – Brazil will learn a valuable lesson, and hopefully the blame for spoiling the Olympics as a sports venue will be laid at America’s door where it belongs. If America cannot own something totally and brag about how thoroughly it is under its control, it must piss all over it to ruin it for everyone else.

  9. Warren says:

    Published on 23 Jul 2016
    Economist Michael Hudson says Trump’s divergence from the conventional Republican platform is generating indignant punditry from neocons and neoliberals alike

    • ucgsblog says:

      Erm, Neocons and Neolibs aren’t exactly loved by the American People. Here are a few examples, chosen at random:


      About 56 percent of Americans think their country should “not get too involved” in the situation, while only about half as many — 29 percent — want the U.S. to take a “firm stand” against Russian actions, a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center on March 6-9 and released Tuesday indicates.


      The American people do not love war. American political leaders and business people often passionately support it, however, as it aids in the military-industrial complex that gets politicians elected and makes war profiteers filthy rich. If you were to come to the U.S. and actually speak with regular Americans, I bet that you would find that the vast majority are opposed to war of any kind unless they can be convinced that their way of life is directly threatened by a foreign actor. Often the loudest and most ignorant voices in America are the ones that receive the most attention. This is unfortunate, because we are not all brash, materialistic warmongers, in spite of what the foreign press claims.

      We have a long and storied antiwar movement in this country. Sure, we’ve made mistakes in the past, but what other country hasn’t engaged in foolish wars? All I’m asking is that you give us the benefit of the doubt and realize that the American people are generally peaceful and are much more concerned with internal issue than enforcing our will and ideals on foreign countries.


      As the U.S. intensifies its airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, Americans are more likely to oppose (53%) than support (43%) sending U.S. ground troops to these countries to help groups there fight the militants. These figures haven’t changed significantly since September 2014 after President Barack Obama launched airstrikes against the Islamic State group and other militant groups.

      • Cortes says:

        Thanks. We do need reminders that ordinary folks are ordinary folks.

      • yalensis says:

        In a lot of ways, ordinary Americans are like ordinary Russians: namely, they don’t usually beat the drums for war until they are attacked (or believe that they were attacked).
        9/11 wsa a classic example, which enraged ordinary Americans, even normally peaceful ones, and made them thirst for revenge.
        Only problem was, pindosi were sold a bill of goods and made the victims of a “bait and switch” campaign. I think the Russian public would not have fallen for that stupid trick because most Russians are simply smarter than that.
        I don’t mean genetically smarter either, it’s just that Americans are not very well educated, nor are they taught to think through problems and conflicts in a logical fashion.
        I speak in generalities, but it’s mostly true.

      • marknesop says:

        I can vouch for the absolute truth of that; it’s why I make an effort to highlight such decision-making as “Washington” rather than “America”. But it merely points up what a sham the notion of ‘American democracy’ is, for in reality the people have no voice – America’s voice is its media, and that media mostly and pointedly ignores any deviation from the official line or narrative. It’s quite true that most Americans do not want war unless they are themselves threatened by a foreign power – but their government appropriates their voice and invents threats to substantiate the need for it to do so.

  10. Lyttenburgh says:

    Ukr-experts conducted their own express-investigation of Munich “shootings”*. I give you 3 guess about the results:

    *They can’t call it terrorist attack. The same as TPTB (I’m totally culturally appropriate it, colliemum) can’t call a terrorist attack Orland’s shooting or Nice’s truck-attack, cause they would have to answer an ugly question: “We already gave enormous power of surveliance to our security forces. USA one’s are spying even on their so-called allies. Sattelites and drones nowadays are precise, that bloody Pentagon provided photos of the Daesh mujaheed sodomizing a donkey. And yet, you fucked up. What’s the matter?!”

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Grishin has put on weight.

    • marknesop says:

      It’s no wonder Semenchenko wore a balaclava for so much time. With those tiny eyes and that great big flat face, like two raisins on a tortilla, he looks like the Downs Syndrome kid who gathers up the shopping carts in the parking lot. The Ukrainians have become a caricature of themselves with their ridiculous Putin obsession, and all world pity for them has evaporated. Their only defenders now hang on out of pure political manipulation, and do not care if they live or die so long as the objective is achieved. And they have as much chance of ever joining the EU as Chis Christie has of winning the Boston Marathon. Yet still the only thing that seems to give their lives meaning is pissing over the fence at their neighbour.

      • Jen says:

        That’s terrible comparing Semenchenko to a Down’s syndrome kid. I would have said Semenchenko looks like Paul McCartney’s child conceived when McCartney and his lady friend, whoever she was, were smoking too much high-grade marijuana. There, I feel better now.

        • Cortes says:

          The raisins on a tortilla remark was spot on, especially if we’re talking Spanish tortilla de patatas.

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, I felt a little bit bad doing that, because I know of several; one, indeed, does work for a local supermarket, policing up the shopping carts. I saw another at A&W in Parksville, when we were there my birthday weekend, which coincided with my retirement. He was cleaning at the time, although I have no way of knowing if that’s all he could do. The boss’s son at the lumber mill where I worked before I joined the navy had a touch of the same impairment. All were dedicated employees who took their jobs seriously and performed them reliably, which is more than you can say for some. But there’s no denying they have a look about them which enables you to make a pretty quick diagnosis regardless your degree of medical expertise.

          Semenchenko radiates an impression of profound stupidity which is reinforced by the stupid things he says, but he has no genetic recourse or accident of birth to explain it.

  11. Warren says:

    Newt Gingrich: NATO countries “ought to worry” about U.S. commitment

    Newt Gingrich, a top Donald Trump supporter and former speaker of the House, defended on Thursday the Republican nominee’s recent remarks setting conditions for honoring the NATO military alliance.


    • marknesop says:

      What nobody will say in such discussions is that despite its harrumphing, Washington under its present leadership is okay with the United States paying the lion’s share for NATO because NATO operates almost exclusively as a tool of American policy. Why should European countries pay exorbitant sums to carry out actions which benefit Washington’s ambitions although they hurt and threaten Europe?

      • Warren says:

        Valid point. It is also important to remember the original objective of the North Atlantic Treaty. To quote Lord Ismay, the first secretary general of NATO, the purpose of NATO is to: “keep the Russians out, Americans in, and the Germans down!”

        What the western media deliberately fails to mention is that Russia has controlled the territory of Estonia for over 250 years out of the last 300 years. Russia conquered Livonia and Estonia during the Great Northern War. Sweden ceded those territories in the Treaty of Nystad 1721.

        Should Russia ever wish to regain its old territories and improve its access to the Baltic sea, the US and Western Europe would not fight Russia.I am absolutely certain of that. I hope Putin calls the West’s bluff. And does so soon.

        • marknesop says:

          It’s almost as if NATO and Washington and nuts like Grybauskaitė are begging for Putin to make the attempt, with their squalling and insults and inflammatory rhetoric and token troop deployments. Left to their own devices, the Baltic states will collapse on their own; they have been bleeding population since independence from the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, the EU seems to do little for them except foster the impression to them that they are privileged members of a special club, and use them for markets for its goods. Every one of them (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) is running a sharply negative trade balance. If you max them all out, you will find the last time they were at a steady break-even state was around 1992.

  12. et Al says:

    Antiwar.com: Boeing: If We Can’t Have Iran, Nobody Should

    Boeing Officials Fear Rival Airbus Could Have Market to Themselves

    An effort by Congressional hawks to derail a massive contract between Boeing and Iran Air to supply them with a large number of civilian airliners has fueled considerable consternation within the well-connected US aviation company, with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg quoted as warning that if Boeing could not have the Iran Air contract “nobody should.”*

    That’s a concern for Boeing because they only got half of the Iran Air contract, with European rival Airbus securing a roughly equal contract shortly before theirs was announced. Though the Congressional effort aims to derail the European company’s sales too, they might not be able to prevent all commercial airliners getting to Iran.

    And that’s where Boeing is really freaking out, as they if compete intensely with Airbus. Boeing spokesman Tim Neale insisted Congress was wrong to try to block the deal, noting that the P5+1 agreement was supposed to allow civilian airplane sales.

    Neale added that Boeing is unwilling to “relinquish any competitive opportunity to Airbus,” and suggested the company’s real concern was if Airbus got into the market “and if Iran stays on the straight and narrow path and the moderates prevail politically and the market really grows in years ahead, they would have that market to themselves.”

    * http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/23/world/middleeast/iran-boeing-airbus-sanctons.html?_r=0

    I brought this up before, i.e. the US strategy of shitting the bed (StB) if everything doesn’t go their way to the point damaging their allies in Europe. Over and over again the US has inflicted direct and indirect losses on business in Europe and Turkey who when they have protested, have essentially been told “Tough shit. That’s the price of the US having your back.

    • marknesop says:

      I would laugh so hard if the whole contract collapsed and Iran bought the Sukhoi Superjet instead. Iran has expressed interest all along in joint production of the plane with Russia, and it is well-suited for domestic routes. The huge buy of Airbus jets was certainly not all slated for international flights. But this might be a golden opportunity for the MC-21.

      • et Al says:

        Unfortunately both have significant western content (~50% Superjet, ?? MC-21 though the initial engines will be P&W) so there is a good chance they could be vetoed by the US, but it may be a more palatable ‘solution’ for the US if they are serious about not completely shitting away the nuclear deal with I-ran. Then again I don’t see Hillary allowing either to be bought.

        You do have to give Tehran credit though (cough cough) as they do not seek to buy outright any significant number of planes but ‘arrange financing’. This ties in more actors into the contract who would all lose out if the contract is cancelled and far more so if it is done once everything is signed. It all plays to I-ran’s propaganda that the USA simply cannot be trusted even when it does sign a deal, but this is quite easy to get across (as it with with the Russians) because the West is so totally nonsensical and absent of common sense that their own behavior proves it over and over again.

  13. cartman says:

    I had hoped Aslund was banned from Russia, or would at least have no business to go there. Anyway, Swedish food is far superior. 19-year-old rotten meat sold in Swedish shops

  14. et Al says:

    FuxNudes: Pentagon revises manual to clarify protections of journalism

    The Pentagon has revised its Law of War guidelines to remove wording that could permit U.S. military commanders to treat war correspondents as “unprivileged belligerents” if they think the journalists are sympathizing or cooperating with enemy forces.

    The amended manual, published on Friday, also drops wording that equated journalism with spying.

    These and other changes were made in response to complaints by news organizations, including The Associated Press, which expressed concern to Defense Department lawyers and other officials that updates to the manual published last summer contained vaguely worded provisions that commanders could interpret as allowing them to detain journalists for any number of perceived offenses….

    …The revised manual more explicitly states that engaging in journalism does not constitute taking a direct part in hostilities….

    As usual, this is little more than a Pentagon press release relayed by FuxNudes.

    It’s much worse. Even back in 2003 & the reinvasion of I-rack*, the Pentagon (if I recall correctly) explicitly said that journalists who were not embedded were only a risk to themselves and may well get in harms way. Tough shit. And that is exactly what happened when western freelance reporters were hit on several occasions. The nadir was of course the bombing of RTB in 1999 only a few short weeks after NATO spokeshole himself said that the media would not be a target. This has been ongoing for a long time yet when journalist or unidentified hospitals are hit by others (Russia in Syria for example), the US and their human rights industry goes ape shit.

    This can all be seen in the annual released fatality figures for journalists who after being considered by the US to be partisan if not embedded, became an opinion shared by just about every legitimate and illegitimate group in every conflict since. The result, more shit made at home, less, kosher reporting on the ground. It was also a good excuse for Pork Pie News Networks haemorraghing shedloads of money (whilst google what making itself rich by scraping and pirating everything for free) to save some serious cash. Out went the experienced or ‘difficult’, in went the inexperienced and happy for the job.

    * Now with adjustable population.

  15. Patient Observer says:

    An interesting article on John McCain. I disagree with the contention that McCain hid knowledge that many American POWs were left behind (undoubtedly some voluntarily choose to remain behind but not hundreds ). However, the article touched on some ideas that rang true:

    Today when we consider the major countries of the world we see that in many cases the official leaders are also the leaders in actuality: Vladimir Putin calls the shots in Russia, Xi Jinping and his top Politburo colleagues do the same in China, and so forth. However, in America and in some other Western countries, this seems to be less and less the case, with top national figures merely being attractive front-men selected for their popular appeal and their political malleability, a development that may eventually have dire consequences for the nations they lead. As an extreme example, a drunken Boris Yeltsin freely allowed the looting of Russia’s entire national wealth by the handful of oligarchs who pulled his strings, and the result was the total impoverishment of the Russian people and a demographic collapse almost unprecedented in modern peacetime history.

    An obvious problem with installing puppet rulers is the risk that they will attempt to cut their strings, much like Putin soon outmaneuvered and exiled his oligarch patron Boris Berezovsky. One means of minimizing such risk is to select puppets who are so deeply compromised that they can never break free, knowing that the political self-destruct charges buried deep within their pasts could easily be triggered if they sought independence. I have sometimes joked with my friends that perhaps the best career move for an ambitious young politician would be to secretly commit some monstrous crime and then make sure that the hard evidence of his guilt ended up in the hands of certain powerful people, thereby assuring his rapid political rise.

    The gist is that elite need a kill switch on their front men (and women).

  16. Warren says:

    Union boss claims state undercover agents sabotaging Corbyn’s Labour leadership

    Union boss Len McCluskey has accused British intelligence agencies of using agents provocateurs to undermine Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
    The Unite general secretary said he believed spies were using “dark practices” in an attempt to “stir up trouble” and suggested they could be behind the abuse of MPs on social media.

    McCluskey told the Guardian he thought the truth would come out in 30 years, when classified government documents are released into the public domain.


  17. Warren says:

    Published on 24 Jul 2016
    Polish lawmakers have adopted a resolution calling the massacres committed between 1943 and 1945 by Ukrainian nationalists against Polish people, genocide.

    The document makes July 11 a day of remembrance for the victims of the atrocity.

    • marknesop says:

      That won’t please Banderaland.

      • Warren says:

        No, it won’t most certainly not!

          • marknesop says:

            I wonder how the lurking embryo of Putin could be tied to it.

            • Jen says:

              According to The Daily Mail, it would not have been beyond the realms of possibility for Putin to have had a hand in organising the Volyn massacre. In a past life, he sat for Leonardo da Vinci and his portrait now hangs in the Louvre.


              • yalensis says:

                One of the commenters pointed out that Putin also served as the model (in 1350) for “Satan” in this detail of “The Last Judgement” by medieval painter Jacopo da Bologna:

                • yalensis says:

                  The man in the picture is Giovanni Arnolfini, but actually a time-travelling Putin in disguise. His purpose in going back in time to Italy was to impregnate the lady in green. This was the year 1434.
                  The ultimate goal was to give birth to Antonio Grimani , who went on to cause several colossal military defeats, in favor of Ottoman Turkey.
                  This was Putin’s way of changing history and propping up the Ottoman Empire back in the day. Presumably as a counter-weight to Western Europe.
                  Playing a very deep and very long game, which is little understood.
                  Oh, and the little dog was in on it too. ’cause remember that Putin can talk with the animals.

                • colliemum says:

                  Heh. In future I shall look out for dogs into which Putin has shape-shifted.
                  there’s at least one in my neighbourhood of which I’m aware of …

                  (At least he’s not having any ruck with collies …)

                • Jen says:

                  Putin must have been an evil Time Lord in disguise – The Master perhaps? – and the dog his trusty alien companion who asks dumb questions (so that TV viewers understand the plot). ‘Cos you know, Time Lords don’t time-travel alone.

              • Jen says:

                In a former life Putin was a 19th-century Greek military hero called Thanassoulas Valtinos:

                … which would conflict with Putin having been some other famous 19th-century figure since Valtinos’ year of birth was 1802.

                • marknesop says:

                  He’s like the original ‘Highlander’; immortal, pretending to die every couple of decades, and coming back as some new guy. But in that movie, if you put all the names together and ran them through a sophisticated computer program, it would reveal that they are all anagrams of one another, and are really all the same name with the letters rearranged. Too clever by half, Mr. Putin! Or should I call you Napassoulasvalintsocanoline?

                • colliemum says:

                  And just like the great chess player he is, he also fought on both sides in yon war, see here:

                • yalensis says:

                  Jen is on to something about Putin being a Timelord. But I don’t think he is the Master, because the Master is COMPLETELY nuts in the head, he is, like, LA-LA-LA-LALLALALALA!, and the Master’s schemes are always of the most hare-brained variety.
                  The Master will concoct some uber-complex plot to rule the universe which, after the twists and turns, basically boils down to cloning more Daleks. And in the end is always hoisted upon his own petard. Putin does not show any of this kind of impulsiveness, except in the case of nuzzling children’s bellies.

                  Instead, I believe there is evidence that Putin is Lord Rassilon himself.
                  This is why the Presdient of Russia wears the Belt of Rassilon, the Tie of Rassilon, and even the Watch of Rassilon.

  18. yalensis says:

    I posted this piece on my blog this morning. About the Ruthenian issue. I think it is rather good, if I do say so myself, and it is always a treat to listen to Kvasniuk.
    Some of my thoughts and political points I make therein were inspired by these ludicrous “debates” which I have with Kirill (and others), who insist that the very creation of a Ukrainian titular state was just this big Bolshie plot to destroy Russia. It’s obviously a lot more complicated than that, but one cannot reason with simple minds.

    • yalensis says:

      And P.S. – right above my comment I see the piece posted by Warren, about the Polish recognition of Banderite genocide. In the Kvasniuk show, which is embedded in my blogpost from this morning, this is the very first segment addressed by Kvasniuk. With his usual plain-talking but completely logical methodology, Kvasniuk works the issue through, point by point. He describes the difference between “excesses during war” and “planned genocide”, and he describes the Polish resolution as a “spitting in the face of the Ukrainian government – direct spit right in the face.”

      Which it is, and fully deserved.

      • yalensis says:

        And Kvasniuk also points out, that when a survey was posted on a hugely pro-Maidan pro-Ukrainian government website: “Are you offended by the Polish resolution?”
        Only 9% said they were offended. 86% said they were NOT offended by the Polish position (:20 minutes into the Kvasniuk show).

        Kvasniuk says: These numbers show the true relationship between the two sides in modern Ukraine: Ukraine as a nation-state and an actor of history fought and won in WWII. Bulk of the population identify with the victors of WWII, and a much smaller percentage identify with the “other side”, i.e., the Nazi-Bandera coalition, which lost the war.

  19. Warren says:

    Published on 20 Jul 2016
    SHOW NOTES AND MP3: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=19300

    In order to understand Brexit in its full historical context, we must know about the origins and motivations for the formation of the European Union and the forces that have shaped the EU bureaucracy into an arm of the IMF/World Bank-led Wall Street hegemon. Today Professor Michel Chossudovsky joins us to expose the EU as the imperial project that it always was, and the growing movement against EU domination as an anti-imperial movement of world historical importance.

  20. Drutten says:


    This guy nails it, regarding the alleged Russian doping. Like I said a week ago or so, all of this was a way for Rodchenkov and the Stepanovs to secure some sort of future career after having been disgraced in Russia. That’s all there is too it. I wonder if the IOC noticed this in their decision NOT to ban Russia from Rio, or if something else was at play.

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, most of it is a reprint of the Oriental Review piece. I’m so confused now that I don’t know what is what. Is Russia banned from the Summer Olympics, or just its Track Team, or anyone or everyone? There’s so much conflicting testimony. I think that Russia should not attend, as a protest to the way it has been treated, but as I mentioned before, it will be the last chance for some of them to set a new world record. That’s balanced against Washington’s probable heckling from the gallery and the probability that American officials will conspire to rig samples. Washington simply cannot be trusted, and this latest example of its perfidy was a grievous overstep which is building international sympathy for Russia. That will be imperiled if Russia participates. But of course it is up to the athletes.

      • Nat says:

        Russian team not banned, but has to jump through hoops before during & after Olympics. Track and Field RU team ban maintained. Stepanova (the traitor “whistleblower” who used doping herself) not allowed to participate under neutral flag.

  21. Cortes says:

    The Bastille Day incidents in Nice seem about ready to go nuclear as litigation vs local police re the official narrative is threatened:


    • marknesop says:

      It sounds very much as if Cazeneuve is simply trying to roll the police officer by bringing an expensive legal claim against her and counting on her not being able to name names. Of course she can’t do that; she doesn’t know whom she was speaking to on the phone, as it is customary to announce the identity of the detachment or unit. Hopefully some corporate entities will come to her aid and establish a legal defense fund so that she can fight Cazeneuve. What a toad. Is it very likely she would have made up such a story?

      • Cortes says:

        “Bertin, who is secretary general of a Nice public servants union” ought to have no problem funding a defence.

  22. Warren says:

    Published on 24 Jul 2016
    The International Olympic Committee has rejected calls for a blanket ban on Russia at the Rio 2016 Games, ruling that individual sports federations should decide whether Russian athletes are eligible to compete.

    • marknesop says:

      Peter Oliver can just go and fuck himself sideways, with his ‘damning report’ and his ‘number of serious breaches by Russian athletes’. Not in that pig-in-a-poke report, which did not name any; it’s all allusions and it seems to be fairly well-known that all their information came from testimony from the Stepanovs and Rodchenkov.

      Washington bootlicker McLaren admitted at the time he agreed to carry out the ‘independent investigation’ that he did not have any evidence at all of a state-sponsored doping program, that he had no idea how it was done or if it was, and said that if they had evidence they would have introduced it. He obviously did not get any after that announcement, either, because none was introduced. Washington tickled his belly and he rolled over in ecstasy.

      • kirill says:

        That these “journalists” can’t even properly evaluate this report says everything about their full time jobs as propaganda mouthpieces. WADA could have gotten some monkeys to type up a few pages and put them in a binder and called it a report. That would not give it any intrinsic value. Either there is a case or there isn’t. Clearly this report does not make the case or even make the grade.

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, I wouldn’t have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes: Putin again. The Russian state obviously does not give him enough to do. He seems to have plenty of time on his hands to meddle around the world and to tirelessly work to thwart that nice Mrs. Clinton’s plans. There is a real danger that Putin will suffer some sort of embolism in a laughing fit. What can you do but laugh? The United States government is so ridiculous, how humiliating for Americans.

      As usual, it escapes unnoticed that Russian hackers must have gained access to Mrs. Clinton’s illegal email server, which she was repeatedly warned against having in the first place, yet pretended various authorities had signed off on it and she was allowed to have it. She denied anyone else had gained access to it but now Putin is rolling around in a pile of her emails; how is that possible? She therefore deliberately and willfully put American security at risk. How does the FBI not see this? Would it have happened if she had used the government’s server as she was supposed to do? Well, how many hacks has Putin offered up from that system?

  23. Warren says:

    • marknesop says:

      “Damaging allegations of sexual nature, such as an allegation of “paedophilia” are, perhaps, the dirtiest weapon which can be used in public life. Such allegations concern the most intimate aspect of a person’s life. Very few people would have any first-hand knowledge which might be relevant to assess the credibility of such allegations. Sexual abuse of children is an extremely emotive matter to most people. In the minds of a very large proportion of readers — on this subject more than on any other — the “no smoke without a fire” logic is likely to prevail over “innocent until proven guilty” logic.”

      Poetic justice, Vova. Bukovsky is the one who initiated the accusations that Putin is a pedophile; apparently ‘some people’ discovered it who knew Putin as a student at the Andropov Institute. And still he persists with the foolishness that he is such a threat to ‘the Kremlin’ that the ‘KGB’ planted photos of children on his computer and that he had no idea they were there.

      Does he think people are stupid? All these photos will be tagged with the date and time they were downloaded. Was the ‘KGB’ doing this for years, and he didn’t notice?

      • Drutten says:

        That article/”biography” you linked is hilarious. Yeltsin was “hijacked” by the KGB in 1994? Ha-ha… And this:
        Bukovsky has not limited his criticism to Russia; he has also vocally condemned Westerners who have been gullible about, or complicit with, the Soviet Union and its successor.
        That reads as “B has not only criticized Russia, no no – he’s not a one-trick pony, for you see – he has also criticized people. Ahem, for not criticizing Russia enough, but still.”

        And then it goes on with the “Committee 2008” of Bukovsky, Kasparov, Nemtsov and so on. “What happened instead is well known” the article states ominously. Yes, a bunch of liberast crooks (and in the case of Kasparov, a raging madman) unsurprisingly failed to achieve anything and instead eventually resorted to outright violence. Blah blah blah.

        I like to see these write-ups as efforts to combat the cognitive dissonance present in these people. Considering all facts one simply cannot draw the conclusions they want to draw, so it’s all wrapped up in some kind of alternate reality where things are simpler.

  24. marknesop says:

    Wow; there’s still endemic corruption in Ukraine – who knew? And Poroshenko is the richest among the leaders of Europe, while he leads what must be just about Europe’s poorest country. Ordinarily, the press would be all over a dichotomy like that. I guess reporting on Ukraine requires a suspension of curiosity.

    “Anastasia Krasnosilska of the Anti-Corruption Action Center of Ukraine, said Poroshenko has only tackled abuses because of foreign pressure and then only after lengthy foot-dragging.

    “All recent successes in the fight against corruption were made possible because of pressure from the EU, IMF, and civil society,” she said to CBC News. “If it weren’t for the conditionalities the foreign donors and lenders imposed, and the feeling that the eye of foreign governments is on Ukraine, there would have been no reform.”

    And it’s starting to have an effect.

    “According to the Kyiv Post, the IMF is planning to reduce a loan to Ukraine from a planned $1.7 billion to $1 billion over corruption concerns.

    Valeria Gontareva, Poroshenko’s Porsche-driving political ally and business partner who now heads the National Bank of Ukraine, says she isn’t concerned. “It’s not a big deal for us,” she told the publication, although the shortfall is equal to the total amount Canada has given to Ukraine since the Maidan rebellion ended in February 2014.”

    And yet the Ukrainian government still keeps on mouthing it up to the country’s most likely saviour – Russia. Although things have probably gone too far for that now, thanks to the west trying to muscle into a position where whatever Russia does to benefit Ukraine benefits the west.

  25. marknesop says:

    What the history of the Ukrainian conflict will look like if CNN has its way. Too many errors to count; “After insisting he would sign the landmark political and trade deal with the European Union, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych suspended talks in the face of opposition from Russia, which has long maligned Ukraine forming closer ties with the European Union…Security forces beat protesters with batons and fired live ammunition into demonstrations, resulting in several deaths…As clashes spread, Yanukovych did something unprecedented: He fled…His guards abandoned the presidential compound in Kiev, paving the way for thousands of protesters to storm the lavish grounds…Thousands of Russian-speaking troops wearing unmarked uniforms poured into the peninsula. Two weeks later, Russia completed its annexation of Crimea in a referendum that was slammed by Ukraine and most of the world as illegitimate…”

    Depressing in its lavish pig-ignorance.

  26. marknesop says:

    Looks like another day, another bombing in Germany. The country is coming apart. A man being reported as a Syrian who was denied asylum blew himself up outside a music festival in Ansbach. Looks like nobody dead yet except the bomber, although 12 people were injured.

  27. Warren says:

    Published on 6 Jul 2016
    Why is Canada not part of America? To answer this question I have invited Tristan from the channel Step Back History to tell us the story of how his nation remain independent of its southern neighbour.

    Check Out the Step Back History Channel: https://goo.gl/muUVkH
    (It’s really really awesome)

    Foner, Eric. Give me Liberty!
    Riendeau, Roger. A Brief History of Canada

  28. Drutten says:

    I’ve been finding a lot of these things being forwarded on Twitter etc:

    I find it rather amazing, actually. Russian media is being accused of “fakes” and “lies” when the reality is that they’re almost always quoting Western media in verbatim on all these things. In this particular case, Swedish media reported a “powerful explosion, possibly several”, and “a man holding a gun-like object” and “police has been called to the scene” and so on. Yep, that they did. Since it was in the central parts of the capital and all these things gave the impression something big could be brewing, international media quickly went nuts with it as well:

    The Russians followed suit, naturally. Now, soon thereafter it turned out to be a case of overblown hysteria and the story quickly died out following that, with all media issuing retractions, including Russian dito.

    But, quelle surprise – it’s obviously yet another “Russia fake”.

    This is how these fucks build their cases, it’s just like the massive disinformation about everything Ukraine. If you pick it apart and study each case of a “fake” or whatever, most (if not all) of it suddenly seems less insidious and more sensible, in the light of medias being medias, people being people, bad translations being bad translations and what not. Heck, a lot of the “fakes” are actually fakes by the alleged fake-spottters. Anyway, that’s why the tsunami approach is being used, just a torrent of stuff that nobody will bother picking apart as you have no choice but to submit to the sheer volume of it.

    It really pisses me off.

    • Drutten says:

      Or take the Sochi Olympics. Total tsunami there as well, by the time false assertion #1 had been debunked by some brave soul there were 300 other assertions stacked on top. Or anything Russia in general, it doesn’t matter, it’s the same crap all over.

      Hybrid war you say? Ну, ну…

    • Drutten says:

      Also, regarding the above “Russia fake” – just to further prove what bullshit this is, this is what Sweden’s most-read news site wrote at the time it had just occured:

      A powerful detonation was heard on Södermalm in Stockholm at lunch time.
      Police arrived on site with several patrols and the street was cordoned off.
      We don’t know what has happened, says Albin Näverberg of the Stockholm police.

      The blast, that witnesses describe as being powerful, was heard at 11:40 AM near Brännkyrkagatan on Södermalm. The street was cordoned off. A large police force was called to the site. Rescue services were there as well.”

      “Rescue services” meaning firefighters and/or paramedics. Clearly everybody thought some shit had gone down and there were multiple emergency vehicles, cordons and so on.

      • Drutten says:

        Oh, and one last observation. The Russia disinformation tsunami approach reminds me of something very similar, namely tin foil hats peddling alien conspiracies and so on. They typically set out with their minds made up and then present “evidence” A, B, C. Once these have been debunked, they go “fine, but what about D, E, F” all the way to Z. Once that’s been exhausted they jump all the way back to A, B, C as if nothing’s happened at all, though this way around they typically attempt to overwhelm by referencing D-Z from the get go. Good god, it’s depressing.

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          Case in point, MPnet’s Ukraine thread – endless circular arguments in which about half the participants had some sort of personality disorder.

  29. Jeremn says:

    Azov and the death of Sheremets (or is Poroshenko’s government blaming Avakov):


  30. Northern Star says:

    Any lingering doubt that HRC-and her team- are fuckin’ morons :
    …is not consistent with the facts….
    Even if these morons KNEW with *near* certainty that the Russkies were behind this email leak-which they don’t.-There is nothing to be gained by bellowing accusations thet the Rusians will simply deny..
    Wasserman Schultz apparently had not merely her thumb but her whole fat zionist ass on the scales against Sanders….

      • marknesop says:

        Yup; the desperate, desperate Clinton campaign is going to try to shift attention from its reprehensible and sickening maneuvering of Hillary into the chair by shouting “Do you want Putin to win?” They’ve even planted the seed that Trump might be getting information from the Russians through his campaign manager – who was a former adviser to Viktor Yanukovych! Small world. There has never been a presidential election like this one since the days when the leader was decided by how many knights would fight for him or her as they stormed the castle of their rival, and the venality and subversion are chilling; this election is about as democratic as the auto-da-fé. The revelations of the orchestrated effort against Sanders by his own party should be far more damaging than the email scandal – in which, in the end, Clinton only got off the hook indictment-wise: the resonance with the voters was not at all positive and she is perceived as a carefully-protected crook. Now she will be perceived as a carefully-protected crook who is surreptitiously being eased into the highest office in the country regardless who the voting public chooses. Incredible; absolutely incredible. How is it possible people can rise to such heights without learning to not leave a paper trail to their messes? I doubt it will swing many to the Trump camp, because he is too extreme for die-hard democrats. But it will cause Sanders democrats to utterly reject any possibility of holding their noses and voting for Clinton, and that just might be enough to put The Donald in the White House. I’m sure we still don’t know everything about Clinton, but we know enough that if she was running for office in Russia, Washington would be screaming for her imprisonment.

  31. Northern Star says:

    “On 6 September, after the memorial service,

    ****the remaining members of the Israeli team withdrew from the Games and left Munich.***

    All Jewish sportsmen were placed under guard. Mark Spitz, the American swimming star who had already completed his competitions, left Munich during the hostage crisis (it was feared that as a prominent Jew, Spitz might now be a kidnapping target). The Egyptian team left the Games on 7 September, stating they feared reprisals.[55] The Philippine and Algerian teams also left the Games, as did some members of the Dutch and Norwegian teams. American marathon runner Kenny Moore, who wrote about the incident for Sports Illustrated, quoted Dutch distance runner Jos Hermens as saying “It’s quite simple. We were invited to a party, and if someone comes to the party and shoots people, how can you stay?”[56] Many athletes, dazed by the tragedy, similarly felt that their desire to compete had been destroyed, although they stayed at the Games.”

    ALL Russian athletes should boycott Rio….plain and simple….as should other international athletes.

    • et Al says:

      But Her name is Rio, and she dances on the sand…

      Sorry, couldn’t resist!

      Dejevsky on the IOC decision:

      Independent: Why the IOC is right not to ban all Russian athletes from Rio 2016

      The Olympics are about individual performance, and always have been. To ban Russia risked traducing that ideal

      • Northern Star says:

        ” as confirmed by the World Anti-doping Agency’s [bogus BS] inquiry. ”
        “The Olympics are about individual performance, and always have been. To ban Russia risked traducing that ideal”
        The Olympics have always been about ‘USA USA’ (gold) medal counting and chanting..certainly throughout the cold war era…

      • marknesop says:

        Just look at those mullets! That was a great album, though – Duran Duran were on top for about 5 years on the strength of that, since they never had anything so groundbreaking for the rest of their careers, although their popularity spiked again with “View To A Kill”. Simon Le Bon and his poncy outfits. But that stuff was such a relief from the Disco era that it got perhaps an overenthusiastic welcome. I liked ABC, especially their debut album, “The Lexicon of Love”.

        Whether or not all athletes are banned from Rio, I am sure Washington is hoping the Russian delegation will get a cold reception and will be ridiculed and heckled. I recognize, as I’ve mentioned, that for some this will be their last chance. Still, I think an outright boycott would send a much stronger message. And I would not be sorry to see the Olympics collapse altogether, considering the original ideals have been completely bent to Washington’s political agenda. Let the Americans hold the U.S. games, and then they will win all the medals – perhaps that will make them happy.

        • kirill says:

          I am a boycott supporter in principle but unfortunately the proles will view it as the actions of sore losers. One of the track team is taking her case to the ECHR and I think that is all of them should not only take their cases to the EHCR but sue WADA for defamation. WADA has no case and they will not get one just in time for trial.

        • yalensis says:

          Fact is, Americans are so narcissistic that they WOULD be extremely joyous to take every single medal without exception.
          The gloat-o-meter would register off the charts.
          And NBC would stream 24/7 on TV their nauseatingly “uplifting stories” about the trials and tribulations of the uncontested heroes.
          The rest of the world would barf, but Americans would be contented.

        • et Al says:

          Depeche Mode, Speak & Spell album. Excellent, moody electro-pop. No fat at all. Highly recommended.

          Gary Numan in small doses is good.

      • Northern Star says:

        THIS is what I hear when Duran Duran comes to mind!!

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, I liked them, too – but I did not know until just now that it included members of Duran Duran. I thought they just burned out and faded away. Robert Palmer, of course, is well-known.

          • Jen says:

            You’d be surprised at how many of Duran Duran’s contemporaries are still performing or have reformed. Boy George and Culture Club came to Australia for gigs not so long ago. The only band from that period of British Silver Age pop (1979 – mid 1980s) I can think off the top of my head that is no longer together and AFAIK will never reform is Japan. Yes there really was a British band called Japan. There are several reasons that band will never reform, among them the fact that the original bass player died from cancer in 2011 and his particular style of fretless bass playing died with him so the band’s music would be difficult to play without him.

  32. et Al says:

    Extra bold from me.

    Reuters: Kerry’s Syria plan with Russia faces deep scepticism in U.S., abroad

    …”There are reasons to be sceptical, as with any approach in Syria, but those who criticise this plan as unlikely to work or flawed on other grounds, like working with Russia, have the responsibility of presenting something better or more effective,” said former White House Middle East advisor Philip Gordon, now with the Council on Foreign Relations think tank…


    They also say targeting the Nusra Front is difficult because in some areas its fighters are comingled with more moderate rebels.

    “That underscores two basic problems that Kerry seems to be ignoring,” said one U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “One: The Russians’ aim in Syria is still either keeping Assad in power or finding some successor who is acceptable to them. … And two: Putin has proved over and over again, and not just in Syria, that he cannot be trusted to honour any agreement he makes if he decides it’s no longer in Russia’s interest.”…

    …”I’m afraid Assad will expect tricks from the Americans,” Klimov told Reuters. “They have been saying constantly he’s an outcast … and now they’re about to tell Assad, ‘You know, please give us a day’s advance notice before you want to trash someone with your forces.'”

    “Every time while talking to Assad we have to convince him, give arguments, additional guarantees. … We can’t give him orders, he’s on his own soil.”…

    …”What’s striking is not what Kerry has said, but what he’s failed to say,” said another U.S. official, adding that Kerry had left out the “inconvenient facts” about Russian violations.

    Robert Ford, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria and now a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute think tank in Washington, told Reuters that whether it was Moscow’s bad intent or lack of leverage, “it’s not clear to me that the Russians can deliver on their side of the deal…

    You’ve got to laugh. It’s a ‘but but but!’. Well the US has catastophically failed in Syria even when they had it all to themselves from pre-2011 to 2014, massively boosting the risk of terrorism against Europeans, but ‘Putin can’t be trusted’ is a reason to keep on with a failed clusterf*ck strategy? Of course the US being the exceptional nation (the French being the existential nation & the British being the exiting nation) it is perfectly fine to dump any agreement when it is no longer of interest. The US can barely keep the I-ran deal together that they have signed. I’d rather take advice from bears about fixing computers.

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, you want to savour that one like a fine wine, what? Putin cannot be trusted to keep any agreement – I’m surprised there was not an explosion of a US official’s head to rival the one in Stockholm.

      During the Bush administration alone, the USA broke, refused to sign or abrogated (1) The 1972 Convention on Biological and Toxin Weapons, (2) The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and got its director fired for alleged financial mismanagement, (3) U.N. Anti-Terrorism Convention, (4) The UN Conference on Small Arms, (5) The 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, (6) The Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty, (7) The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, (8) The International Criminal Court, (9) The Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, (10) The Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War, (11) The 1989 U.N. Anti-Torture Convention, (12) The WTO trade regulations, (13) The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, (14) The International Protocol on the Declaration of War, (15) The UN Family and Population Fund, and (16) The International Land Mine Ban. Still America grins and smiles and pretends to support anything and everything in the name of global unity, peace, democracy and freedom.

      The Bush administration marked the beginning of America going off the reservation, and serving notice that it would accept no curbs or restrictions on its use of naked power. Bubba Clinton did a lot of shucking and jiving, but he mostly adhered to international agreements – mostly. But Bush served the world notice that America was somewhere to the north of exceptional, and that the world would just have to trust it where the law was concerned, because American leadership was essential to the world and America could not be completely free to exercise global leadership if it was bound by a lot of earthly laws that might hamper its ability to act immediately. Things have just gone downhill since, and Hillary Clinton cannot wait to whip the world into new and interesting shapes that serve the continuing use of American power whenever and wherever it pleases the President to apply it.

  33. et Al says:

    Neuters via Asiatimes.com: ASEAN breaks deadlock on South China Sea at Laos meeting

    Manila agrees to drop reference to sea ruling in joint statement after Cambodia’s objections

    Washington & Tokyo won’t be happy.

    AFP via Asiatimes.com: Philippine President Duterte declares ceasefire with communist rebels

    …In his first state of the nation address before Congress, Duterte said he wanted a “permanent and lasting peace” before the end of his six-year term, which commenced on June 30.

    Addressing the New People’s Army guerrillas, Duterte said: “Let us end these decades of ambuscades and skirmishes. We are going nowhere and it is getting bloodier by the day.”…

    It’s a good start. Any clues as to how long it will be before the US goes for Duerte?

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, since it appointed itself the world’s peacemaker, Washington does not like to see countries doing it by themselves. But it would be child’s play to stir the dispute up again, so they may keep quiet for now.

  34. Cortes says:

    Robert Parry slaps the NYT, Bellingcat and others around over analysis of photos in their struggle to attribute blame for MH17:


  35. Northern Star says:

    Despite the confident reports from the several respected cybersecurity firms, cybersecurity expert Kenneth Geers said he’s cautious about blaming the Russians so squarely.
    ***Attribution in the case of cyber attacks is notoriously difficult to nail down***. ”

    • kirill says:

      This propaganda is for retards. They make it sound like hacking is trivial. Maybe if the idiot administrators of the DNC computers left them without passwords. I have overseen web attached computer systems at a university for over 20 years and have never had them hacked. Disable all the vulnerable daemons and block most ports. Run a firewall and regulate SSH access. They have tried but they never succeeded.

      If the DNC computers are configured like Hillary’s personal email server then this is deliberate. They claim that the hackers are from Russia but they have zero evidence. Some IP logs can be faked without any effort. It’s not like there is some bank level security over system logs.

      Then we have the obvious one: if the hackers are from Russia, then so what? Does Putin tell every Russian hacker what to do. Perhaps Putin personally hacked these servers. Those system logs have exactly zero to say about who are the hackers. Only Hollywood fiction does the cyber realm extend into the physical realm. Then the issue is why is incriminating evidence of Democratic Party wrongdoing Russia’s problem? Seriously, why is the screeching about Russian hacking and not Russian “fraud” or something else? What happened to transparency? These alleged Russian hackers did not release personal information. They released information of wrong doing in a public organization.

    • marknesop says:

      Remind you of anything? Same-same likee FireEye, which said almost word-for-word the same tired old shit back in 2014, when the Russians supposedly hacked some other U.S. system. Coded during working hours in Moscow, just as if (1) hackers keep normal working hours like accountants and grocery clerks, and (2) Moscow is the only place in the world at Moscow’s latitude. There’s only an hour’s difference between Moscow and Jerusalem, for example. And although the coding of the malware was brilliant, causing seasoned professionals to shake their heads in admiration…once again, the Russians slipped up, and coded on Cyrillic keyboards. Sure they did. But I’ll let you read the article.

      When Captain Dickhead says “I’m sure beyond a reasonable doubt”, what he means is, “Nobody can prove I’m not sure, because nobody knows”. And everyone in the west will believe poor Hillary is the victim of the dastardly Russians, no problem, although the screwing Bernie Sanders got is likely to be much more on their minds come voting time, and not where the information came from. Is somebody else interested in the outcome of the U.S. election besides Russia? You decide.

  36. Moscow Exile says:

    Россия в “антидопинговом” рейтинге “чище” Бельгии, Франции, Норвегии и Испании

    The Russian “anti-doping” rating is “cleaner” than that of Belgium, France, Norway and Spain

    Well, who’d a thowt!

  37. Moscow Exile says:

    Михайло Саакашвілі виклав на власній сторінці знімок з босою Савченко

    Mikheil Saakashvili has posted on his page a picture of himself with a barefooted Savchenko

    Saakashvili has published in social networks a photo of himself with People’s Deputy Nadezhda Savchenko.

    The Governor of the Odessa region noted that he, together with Savchenko, inspected one of the warships participating in the international naval exercises “Sea breeze”. The MP was interested in the armament of the vessel.

    ‘Cos they’re experts, see!


    You couldn’t make it up!

    • marknesop says:

      Saakashvili is a cool dresser, quite the clothes-horse. It’s not everyone could bring off a combination like a barbershop-quartet blazer, ankle-hugger jeans and shoes with buckles. He seems to be suffering from some kind of historical identity crisis, and to fancy he is simultaneously in the now and at the court of Henry IV.

      • Cortes says:

        Don’t act like you’re not impressed.

      • Jen says:

        It’s difficult to see because of that huge gun (which Savchenko is caressing lovingly) but Saakashvili’s shirt is open enough to reveal his huge gold medallion with his name and title of Governor of Odessa emblazoned all over in rubies and emeralds.

        • yalensis says:

          Yeah, and nobody even mentioned Sav’s wardrobe.
          Painted toenails, could those be Jimmy Choo sandals?
          Light blue summer dress, just perfect for a sea-breezy day out on her Sugar-Daddy’s yacht.
          “Who is she wearing?” all the celebrity gossips want to know.

    • et Al says:

      Do you reckon he’s poking her? Democratically, obviously? That photo is totally filthy.

  38. Jeremn says:

    I wonder if Turkish Stream will be back on. All those EU dreams of cheap gas from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, piped through Turkey, seem a bit further off after the coup.

    • et Al says:

      Maybe not? If Russia can get it it built, it serves its purpose whether InSultin’ Erdogan, the AKP or whomever is in power or not in future and it would be good for the Greeks and the Balkans. Imagine the Commission threatening Athens not to take Russian gas? Mega lolz ’til it hurtz. F.k Bulgaria (the pols, not the peeps). They had their shot and shat it away.

      I don’t see how any obvious way that it hurts Putin. I would expect some sort of announcement by year end (and thus I doom myself by making such predictions)!

      • marknesop says:

        Quite possibly; we know from experience that Putin is a decisive man of action and perfectly willing to set such a major project in motion days after agreeing upon it. August 9th is auspicious – it’s near enough that the international picture vis-a-vis Turkey and Russia is unlikely to change much, but distant enough for both to plan out their positions so as to waste a minimum of time fencing. It would be a good time to get things started, since Turkey is in no mood to be bullied by NATO. But we must remember Erdogan won’t be around forever (nor will Putin), and NATO would most likely arrange his removal if he would not cooperate with NATO efforts to control and manage the pipeline. On the bright side, they might well have just tried that, with pretty abysmal results.

        It (Turkish Stream) has the added attraction of its route going through countries where NATO and the EU have little influence for arm-twisting; Orban, for example, would tell them to suck it, he has already experienced the EU’s displeasure and harbingers of wanting him unseated. I would say Macedonia offers NATO’s best chance to throw a wrench into the plans.

        For your delectation, here’s a fairly reasonable look at the potential for a relationship from The Moscow Times, although it draws upon its usual stable of tame handshakeable numpties for its ‘expert’ commentary.

        • et Al says:

          Yup, the US can always get their Albanian proxies in Macedonia to throw in a spanner. After all, they owe the US for rescuing them in 2001 when they were surrounded and about to be annihilated by the Macedonian army. The US flew in Chinooks to rescue them and told the army to stay away. Or in short, the US ‘brokered a cease-fire’…

  39. Moscow Exile says:

    Правильной дорогой идем, товарищи!

    We’re on the right track, comrades!

    World Bank puts Russia in 4th place.

    WPO and NYT and the Guardian and the rest of the arse-wipes won’t have it though: you know – 3rd world country with rockets, gas station with missiles yada, yada, yada

    And the most damning of all evidence as regarrds the hopelessness of the Russian economic situation: in Moscow, soft cheeses are noticeable by their absence.

    I see no soft cheese!

    • Drutten says:

      Speaking of the Russian economy… I’ve read a lot about how the various “rainy day” funds are about to be exhausted any minute now, and this is a recurring talking point by newspaper pundits and internet warriors alike.

      I had a quick look at it, here are the two funds:
      National Wealth Fund, as of July 1st 2016:

      Reserve Fund, as of July 1st, 2016:

      The only one that has been significantly tapped is the Reserve Fund, but what I notice in the statistics is that they crammed unprecedented amounts of money into that in 2013-2014, so with the recent rise expenditures it’s now roughly at the same level as prior. The National Wealth Fund has changed little.

      Furthermore, it seems like the recession has slowed down a lot, so it would appear to me as if they are covered and that it was a wise move to throw so much money into these things when money was in abundance.

      Mind you, the tapping of the Reserve Fund has been repeatedly called a typical sign of “Putins cleptocracy”, that apparently all financial progress they’ve made under Putin, with the investment, the various energy booms and so on has just gone down the drain (i.e. into Putin’s mythical bottomless pockets) and now they only got these pathetic remains left to deplete, after which it will be the 1990’s all over again.

      Au contraire, it seems to me that the money was spent exactly where it should have been spent, as a future safeguard against “rainy days”.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        As regards recurring themes about Putin, I had an interesting talk with a Russian Kreakl this morning who believes that the Evil One is soon to retire from politics because of the pressures of … wait for it … being the father of two young daughters.

        I countered by saying his daughters must now be approaching or are already in their 30s.

        He told me that he meant the two daughters that Kabaeva has borne him.

        I asked him what evidence he had as regards this contention: he had none. He just repeated that everyone knows this to be true.

        So I pressurized him to give me concrete proof that Putin has fathered two children off Kabaeva.

        He just repeated that he knew this to be a fact.

        So I told him to fuck off – in English.

  40. Moscow Exile says:

    A veritable icon of US sporting prowess and down-to-earth, honest competitiveness!

    BBC: «WADA утратила пробы американских спортсменов с 1990 по 2016 год»

    “As a result of the negligent actions of an employee of the cleaning company, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has lost all samples of American athletes who played for team USA since 1990”, reports the BBC.

  41. Moscow Exile says:

    20 лет назад Америке очень нравилось, как проходили выборы в России

    20 years ago, America was very pleased about how the elections had gone in Russia

    But now it is the other way around. At granny Hillary’s HQ they have become so hysterical over the topic “Russian is manipulating our elections and pushing for Trump” that even McFaul has become indignant:

    Trump is not Putin’s agent. That is laughable.

  42. Moscow Exile says:

    Russians take performance enhancing drugs: Americans don’t!!!

      • marknesop says:

        Why’d they make her look like Courtney Cox? Uhhh…from the neck up.

        • Northern Star says:

          possibly a neofeminist inspired incarnation of Centaur imagery..i.e.
          the artist is a Pussy Riot fan….

      • yalensis says:

        Obligatory musical accompaniment from Die Fledermaus:

      • Moscow Exile says:

        На вкус и цвет товарищей нет, товарищ!


        I prefer the one on the right — and my choice has absolutely nothing to do with skin pigmentation!

        • marknesop says:

          Me as well. Although I am very fond of black women. But the brothers and I will never agree, because I am not into the comfort ride of the giant backside. I just like their colour and their features, especially those giant brown eyes. But Masha is eye candy, and I am also not into women who look like they could throw me like a lawn dart.

          Serena has softened up a bit lately, and there is no denying she looks better than those charging-Clydesdale days. But she still does not look like her muscle tone was all come by naturally, and her previous behavior argues for substance abuse just as effectively as her appearance did.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        There’s a woman like that next door in my block. She’s in her late 20s and because it’s now in the high 20s/low 30s Celsius here, she’s taken to wearing very short and tight short shorts and skimpy t-shirts to show off her body shape.

        She has thunder thighs, superb pecs and bulging biceps. But she looks bloody awful! Which is sad, really, because underneath her sculpted musculature I can see how she was quite pretty.

        She’s on steroids, I’m sure, because she has that tightly stretched skin on her face underneath which there appears to be no subcutaneous fatty tissue.

        She works out at the same fitness club where my son is a member.

  43. Moscow Exile says:

    На днях на страницах «Корреспондента», со ссылкой на данные Госслужбы статистики, опубликованы данные о катастрофе в украинской демографической обстановке. Как оказалось, численность населения Украины (без учета Крыма) по состоянию на 1 января 2016 года составляла 42 млн 760,5 тыс. человек, что на 6,3% или на 2 млн 873 тыс. человек меньше, чем на 1 января 2012 года. То есть количество украинских граждан сокращается приблизительно на 3 млн. человек за 5 лет. Если печальная тенденция сохранится, то через 70 лет «украинцев» не останется вовсе.

    The other day on the pages of “Correspondent” that quoted figures given by the State Statistics Service there was published data on the Ukrainian demographic catastrophe. It turns out that the population of the Ukraine (excluding the Crimea) as of January 1, 2016, amounted to 42,76,500 people, which is 6.3% or 2,873,000 persons fewer than there were in January 1, 2012 . That is to say, the number of Ukrainian citizens has been reduced by approximately 3 million people over a period of 5 years. If this sad trend continues, then in 70 years no “Ukrainians” will remain.

    Source: Одесский Лас-Вегас или Добро пожаловать в КВД

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