Seeing More of the Big Picture in Ukraine

Uncle Volodya says,

Uncle Volodya says, “Disaster is not necessary; the better world could be achieved through reason and common sense and a sense of fellowship — but most of the present human world is dead set against us.”

They whisper still, the injured stones, the blunted mountains weep
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make things cheap
And say the Mea Culpa, which you’ve gradually forgot
Year by year
Month by month
Day by day
Thought by thought

-Leonard Cohen, from “Steer Your Way”

A comment on the previous post reminded me of how informative it can be, particularly in the (mine)field of geopolitical analysis, to go back a year or two from the present, following a significant event, and enjoy the confident predictions of kingmakers and hacks – which could now not be much further from the situation which actually prevails.

In that spirit, let’s roll the counters back to September 18, 2013 – almost exactly three years ago.  Just before, of course, the glorious Maidan which freed Ukrainians from the oppressive yoke of Russia. At that moment in history, western analysts were trembling with eagerness to vilify Yanukovych, but were still hopeful that he would stick his head out of his shell long enough to sign the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the European Union. Washington maintains a kind of ongoing paternal affection for revolution – which is always less painful and noisy when it’s a continent or two away – but is practical enough to accept an easy victory if that’s the way it plays out.

It didn’t play out like that, of course, and an American-backed coup ensued in which Yanukovych offered to give the revolutionary political figures everything they had asked for – early elections, a provisional coalition government with the egghead among the revolutionaries as Prime Minister, the works. They were a little taken aback at how easy it was, and then decided it wasn’t enough – Yanukovych must  be holding back something if he gave in that easily, and therefore he must be tricking them, since the script called for the dictator-president to cower in fear and to be flung into the street in disgrace. So they went ahead with the traditional revolution, gaining nothing at all thereby except the ushering-in of a self-appointed revolutionary junta, and the empowerment of fervent fascist nationalists who had previously had to keep their admiration for the Nazis on the down-low.

It is worth mentioning here – because whenever it is brought up, the response ranges from amnesia to outright denial it ever happened – that the pre-revolutionary government went into it with its eyes wide open and a good working awareness of the probable consequences. Yanukovych and Azarov, at least, were briefed that cutting off trade with Russia, which Brussels and Washington insisted upon, would likely be disastrous for the Ukrainian economy. Deputy Prime Minister Yuriy Boiko announced that Ukraine was not blowing off the deal entirely; it was just suspending it until the state could be sure that increased trade with Europe would compensate for the loss of the Russian market. Before that, Yanukovych and Azarov tried energetically to broker a triumvirate coalition of Ukraine, Russia and the EU, to sort out the trade issues that Brussels insisted made such an arrangement impossible. Not to put too fine a point on it, Russia and Ukraine proposed a tripartite forum which would see Ukraine as a bridge between the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union. Brussels emphatically rejected it, confident that it could pry Ukraine away from Russia, because the initiative was always strategic rather than economic.

The government of the day in Ukraine saw fairly clearly what was likely going to happen – and so did we, didn’t we? Yes, we did, as detailed here. We pointed out that nearly half those Ukrainians who answered a survey that they wanted Ukraine to join the EU did so because it would strengthen and grow the Ukrainian economy, but that it was difficult to see how that would come about considering 60% of Ukraine’s trade was with the former Soviet market, and highlighted the unlikelihood that Europe was going to pick up 60%-plus of Ukraine’s trade, resulting in prosperity. We pointed out that only half as many people who responded to the survey that Ukraine’s relations with Russia were characterized as ‘friendly’ said the same of relations with the EU. So, you could kind of see how (a) a failure to see rapid economic benefits as a result of signing the agreement, coupled with (b) the opposite effect, a precipitate drop in trade, plus (c) severing of relations with a country nearly a quarter of Ukrainians considered a friend, in exchange for a necrophiliac relationship with a trade union few cared much for except for the usual percentage of lapdog dissidents, was very likely to result in widespread dissatisfaction and an explosive situation. Did it? It sure did.

Anyway, as much fun as tooting our own horn is, that’s not exactly what I wanted to talk about. I want to review, in exquisite detail, the panorama of failure that is Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) feelgood graphic presentation for the rubes and dimwits on how association with the EU was going to be better than sex in warm chocolate for Ukraine. And that forecast has turned out to be about as accurate as a prediction that Justin Bieber would be nominated UN Secretary-General by popular acclaim.

But let’s not leave it at that. Because you know that if those who forecast disaster for Ukraine – based on, I think, the ability to read and to add – had somehow been wrong, and Ukraine had sprinted into double-digit economic growth and taken over the role of driving engine of the European economy, we would never have been allowed to forget it. Turnabout, then, being fair play…

1. The cream-skimming oligarchy, accustomed to riding to wealth on the backs of its panting workforce, will be out – swept away by a new era of small-business confidence.  Did that happen? Hardly. The President Ukraine eventually elected was fingered for starting up a new offshore shell corporation even as his troops were being driven into a disastrous encirclement at Ilovaisk. The same old oligarchs continue to control more than 70% of Ukraine’s GDP. The Anti-Corruption Committee appointed by Poroshenko, unsurprisingly, declined to investigate him for corruption. Now more than two years into his presidency, Poroshenko still has not sold his assets as he promised to do if elected, and his businesses continue to fatten his personal bottom line in direct contravention of Ukrainian law and the Constitution. Never a peep of protest about that, though, from Poroshenko’s International Advisory Council, which includes former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and make-believe-economist wooden-head Anders Aslund. This council continues to advise the President of what remains the most corrupt country in Europe.

2. The boss at the company where you work will have to learn different ways to lead, because screaming and ranting are not acceptable in Europe. In many European countries, the boss is just a senior worker who you can call by his first name.  This sort of rolls into the first point, but it seems sort of self-evident that if Ukrainian companies do not do more business with Europe and replace their lost Russian markets, and the same oligarchs still own the same companies, little will change about employee-employer dynamics. According to Eurostat, Ukraine’s trade with the EU was down sharply in 2015 in both imports and exports. A decrease in imports is not particularly surprising – Ukraine is living on handouts from the international community while it continues to pour funding into its armed forces so that it can pursue the game of civil war, and hasn’t any money. Not to mention thousands of Ukrainian working stiffs are employed by Roshen, owned by the President, so I wouldn’t be trying out, “Morning, Petro – how’s it hanging?” on my tongue any time soon if I were you. The new Prime Minister, Vladimir Groysman, is unlikely to be ‘Vova’ to very many workers, either. He’s quite wealthy in his own right, at least part of that wealth shunted from EU development funds to his father’s cement and asphalt company. However, as an unnamed Ukrainian politician is said to have quipped to a Ukrainskaya Pravda reporter when Groysman received his new appointment, “Do you know what the difference is between Groysman and Yatsenyuk? When Volodymir [Groysman] will start stealing, he will steal off the profit. Yatsenyuk was doing it off the loss.” It’s good to see Ukrainians haven’t lost their sense of humour.

3. As the standard of living improves in Ukraine, people will begin to trust each other. In Yanukovych’s Ukraine, people tended to trust only their own small circle, but in the New Ukraine, the doormat will be changed from “Beat It, Shyster!” to “Come On In, Friend!” I’ll let Thomas C. Theiner take over on the subject of trust in Ukraine, post-Maidan. A committed Atlanticist neoconservative and former cheerleader for Ukraine, Theiner lived in Kiev for 5 years, and has the advantage of personal knowledge. In his assessment, if you are the type who likes to throw away money, go to Vegas instead of Kiev – that way, at least there’s a chance you’ll see a return. Thomas?

“Even today, it’s impossible for a foreign businessman to start a company in Ukraine without being harassed for bribes. If you pay, they just demand more; if you don’t pay, you won’t succeed at all. The only way out is to hire a local to help you navigate the bureaucracy and grease the correct wheels. But whomever you hire will charge a 400-500 percent premium. Hiring a foreign law company with offices in Kyiv, which charges Western prices, is the only alternative.”

Expectations of a dramatic change were not realized, and the changing of the guard only brought in different crooks. No significant progress has been made on corruption. If your company is successful without the correct palms being greased, an expedient will be found for getting you out of town for a few days. When you come back, the company will be under new ownership, and like George Thorogood in “Move it on Over”, your key won’t fit no more. Move over, little dog, a big ol’ dog’s movin’ in. All puffickly legal, as well, by Ukrainian courts.

4. Without gross, horrible, corrupt Yanukovych in charge, trust in the police will rise and pretty soon they will be rescuing kitties from trees instead of taking bribes and roughing people up. Just last month, at least three police officers in  western Ukraine beat Oleksandr Tsukerman and shot him dead in front of his relatives, including his mother. Around 200 local residents gathered in front of the police station, and uniformed officers had to keep them back when the detained police officers who are accused of the crime were brought out. In case you were thinking the dead man was a violent criminal who somehow invited his own death, the Ukrainian Police Chief ordered the entire station disbanded. A group of people in the same region were beating up passers-by right in front of the police, and officers involved in a wrongful death and four officers who raped a woman and fractured her skull were not dismissed from their jobs. Call me a pessimist, but that doesn’t sound encouraging to me.

5. The difference in social status between the very wealthy and the middle class will gradually disappear, and rich people will no longer be VIP’s. It’s pretty easy to show this one up for the epic piece of optimistic stupidity it was. The President of Ukraine is also an active businessman and multimillionaire, while per-capita GDP adjusted for purchasing power, for the ordinary folk, has collapsed and the unemployment rate is leaping upward in great jagged peaks. Yet according to the State Statistics of Ukraine, wage growth has been  steady and touched a record high in July 2016. A month later, a Ukrainian miner on live TV set himself afire at a press conference to protest wage arrears. This desperate protest is alleged to have taken place after industrial action and hunger strikes failed to move the government. How can these two realities co-exist? I guess it’s easy for wages to be at a record high if you don’t…you know…pay them.

6. Women’s rights; in the European Parliament, a third of the members are women. In the Verkhovna Rada under jerky Yanukovych, only 10% were women. Well, folks, the glorious Maidan was not for nothing. The current Rada is 12.02% women – only 87.98% are men. The gain is mostly illusory, as only 416 seats of the Rada’s statutory 450 are occupied due to the banning of certain political parties. But a third of 416 would be 138 women rather than the current 50, so women’s rights groups should not relax just yet, as some work obviously remains to be done.una_unso_ukraine_lviev

7. In Yanukovych’s Russia-friendly Ukraine, intolerance was the rule and blacks and homosexuals mostly stayed hidden. Most Ukrainians would not vote for a Jewish presidential candidate, and even fewer for a black one. How things have changed! Now Nazi symbology in public is commonplace in Ukraine, whilst the government ostentatiously banned Communist symbology and recognized Nazi-era collaborators as Freedom Fighters. As best I recall, the Nazis were not known for their tolerance. How many Ukrainians in the new Europe-ready Ukraine would vote for a black or a gay presidential candidate? A Gay Pride march in Kiev scheduled for 2014 was canceled when authorities refused to police the event and said they could not guarantee the participants’ safety from homophobic violence. At another attempt in 2015, international supporters from Canada had to cross three lines of police to get to the meeting point, and were given a list of things to not do: Don’t wear bright colours. Don’t kiss or hold hands. Don’t speak to the police unless spoken to. The bus company which was approached by Kiev Pride to take the marchers to and from the march allegedly refused, saying, “We’ll take the diplomats, we’ll take the journalists, but we’re not taking any faggots.” Clearly, tolerance not only has not improved, but is in full retreat and is not a priority for the new government.

8. Life expectancy. In 2010, the year Yanukovych was elected president, it was 70.2 years. In 2016, it’s 69.6. I’m having a hard time seeing that as an improvement.

9. Health. Sports clubs encourage a healthier lifestyle. Most of Ukraine’s sports clubs and facilities were inherited from the Soviet Union.  A search for “Poroshenko opens new sports club” yielded nothing much except the news – I guess I shouldn’t be surprised – that he owns one: (search for “Poroshenko’s allies show up on website listing tax-haven firms”) Fifth Element, at 29A Electrykiv St. in Kiev. That’s also the registered address of Intraco Management, owned by deputy head of Roshen Sergey Zaitsev. Intraco Management showed up in Mossack-Fonseca’s records, which came to be better known as the Panama Papers. Meanwhile, health care in Ukraine remains deplorable and there has been no noticeable improvement.

In fact, although you can find the occasional bright spot if your business is finding bright spots and spinning them into a tapestry of success, Ukraine is a nation in free-fall. The currency is trading at 26.33 UAH to the US greenback, slowly edging up to that truly scary record spike of 33.5 to the dollar in February of last year. Pre-Maidan, the rate was about 7 hryvnia to the dollar. When Poroshenko assumed his present office, it was 12 to the dollar. The president’s approval rating has corkscrewed down to around 10%. Believe it or not – and I frankly find it incomprehensible there can  be an electorate anywhere, whose fingers must be nothing but scar tissue now from being burnt so many times, that so adamantly will not change its ways – the current leader in the polls is… Yulia Tymoshenko. Yes, indeed; if anything can save the floundering country, it’s another stinking-rich oligarch. Yulia Tymoshenko, multi-millionaire. Ukrainian family living wage, 9,950 UAH per month, about $383.00 USD. Per month. And the reduced price for gas for households was canceled in May, as an anti-corruption measure.

By the benchmarks set in the happy-time graphic, Ukraine is failing catastrophically in every metric, gasping for breath like a fish on the kitchen floor with someone standing on it. There is zero chance of any kind of peace deal this year, since Poroshenko arbitrarily decided to reverse the agreed-upon terms and announce no moves toward autonomy for the east could take place until Russia returned control of the border to Ukraine – causing Russia to withdraw from the Normandy format, since negotiations with such a fucking blockhead are a complete waste of everyone’s time.

To be completely fair to RFE/RL, they did not originate the graphic; that came from the highly-imaginative Institute of World Politics in Ukraine. But it fits perfectly with RFE/RL’s style; it’s hard for a one-time CIA-funded leopard to change its spots, and many of its columnists seem to rely far more on imagination themselves when they are writing their material. So they can own it.

This entry was posted in Corruption, Economy, Europe, Government, Investment, Law and Order, Politics, Russia, Trade, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Yulia Tymoshenko and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1,214 Responses to Seeing More of the Big Picture in Ukraine

  1. Pingback: Seeing More of the Big Picture in Ukraine | EU: Ramshackle Empire

  2. yalensis says:

    Wow! Great job, Mark, that was an awesome Philippic.
    Philip of Macedon himself would have been impressed.

    On the Nazi theme, here again is the link to my latest post. Sorry again for pumping it, but it has to be repeated over and over, that the Ukrainian Nazis are real. And to those who retort, “Yeah, but there’s Nazis in Russia too,” the come-back is:
    “Yeah, there’s a few Nazis in Russia, but they’re just isolated individuals. They’re not in the government, and they’re certainly not writing the grade school curriculum.”

    • Northern Star says:

      “Yeah, there’s a few Nazis in Russia, but they’re just isolated individuals.”

      Apparently not THAT isolated:


      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4969296.stm
      “Cases highlighted in the Amnesty report include the killing of nine-year-old Tajik girl Khursheda Sultonov.
      She was attacked with other members of her family in St Petersburg in February 2004 by a gang. Khursheda was stabbed nine times in the chest, stomach and arms and died at the scene.”
      http://www.nationalreview.com/article/370083/racism-runs-deep-russia-cody-boutilier
      http://www.documentingreality.com/forum/f166/russian-neo-nazis-immigrant-murders-really-graphic-14941/
      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/09/world/europe/09iht-russia.4.13582443.html?_r=0

      • kirill says:

        Any Russian who salutes Hitler is a 5th column maggot. The CIA loves to support such irregulars around the world. These scum are more than likely some NATzO project.

      • Jen says:

        The news reports are several years old and a lot could have changed since then, especially since February 2014. A lot of Russian neo-Nazi gangs and individuals could have gone to Ukraine after that date. It has to be said too that if these cases like the murder of Khursheda Sultonova are known, that is because the police were onto the perpetrators straight away (or almost) and arrested them. Whereas in Ukraine, neo-Nazis seem free to attack people and pillage at will, and police themselves act like neo-Nazis, and not as the disciplined force as they should be, as Mark’s post above suggests. As a result we don’t know the full extent of the terror occurring throughout Ukraine although Off-Guardian.org has just posted an article on the continuing war in Donetsk region, post-Minsk II, which states that over 3,000 people have been killed by Ukrainian forces after Merkel, Hollande and Poroshenko signed the agreement.

        That Cody Boutilier article read like a load of hogwash and stereotyping.

      • yalensis says:

        Well, okay, fair enough.
        There ARE Nazis and nationalists and white supremacists in Russia. They crawled out of the woodwork when the Soviet Union collapsed. Navalny is one of them, BTW.
        One must keep them down, but my point still stands, that they don’t write the school curriculum!

      • Eric says:

        Linking idiotic western propaganda doesn’t make you funny or remotely clever. The first one is a cretinous student writing lies and nonsense…the 3rd is the New York Times ( enough said)…the middle link is one incident…..and those documentaries…..don’t disprove the notion that they are very isolated in comparison to the size of the Russian population and their negliable control/influence over Politics, the police, the military and Education in Russia. That is in stark contrast to places like Ukraine.

        An Uzbek nanny beheaded a child in the streets of Moscow not so long ago…by your idiotic thinking that means that Russia doesn’t have an isolated problem with psychopathic Uzbek nannies. BTW there wasn’t any type of retalitory action for that on the sizeable Uzbek community in Russia……which might not be the case if a similar thing happened in most western countries.

        • yalensis says:

          Excellent points, Eric.
          It is a technique of the Westie propaganda campaign to equate isolated incidents with systemic policies, as if everything is all the same thing.
          The attack against the Tajik girl was a big story a few years back. It did highlight the fact that there are fringe Nazi and white-supremacists groups and individuals running around in Russia. As I mentioned, these types crawled out of the woodwork when the Soviet Union collapsed. Their existence gives Westies a propaganda edge against Russia. “You got Nazis too,” etc. They think this “rebuttal” makes Russians look hypocritical for criticizing Ukrainian Nazis. But agian, Ukrainian nationalists form the government and the governing ideology in Ukraine, that’s the big difference. The equivalent in Russia would be, if Navalny were President and formed a government of like-minded Russian nationalists.

          And by the way, Navalny and his various grouplets, sprang out of this Russian nationalist white-supremacist movement, and these were types who EXCUSED the killing of the little Tajik girl. And yet Navalny was flexible enough to work in “united-front” type coalitions along with liberals such as Pussy Riot who championed the cause of Tajiks and other ethnic minorities.

          This famous video showed Navalny (in his capacity as Russian nationalist leader) explaining to his followers how to exterminate Caucacus migrants (depicted as broad stereotypes), as if they were cockroaches.

        • Northern Star says:

          “by your idiotic thinking’

          Careful with that Eric… the ad hominem is not necessary..I merely posted some links for comment

          Also I write from what I have lived…when it comes to race….unlike you

          • kirill says:

            Even though I have zero tolerance for NATzO propaganda I didn’t find your posts to be provocative. The question as to where the Nazis in Russia come from is a serious one. They serve to generate civil strife and create racial tension in a multi-racial/ethnic society. I think they were the main source of the hazing problem in the military. They also aligned openly with the Banderite vermin after 2014. I smell 5th column rats and it is highly likely that they are a construct of NATzO intelligence services. NATzO had its tendrils in Soviet underworld and this is part of the centuries old policy of using irregulars gathered by money to destabilize countries that has been practiced by the UK and its successor the USA.

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks, Yalensis! Samchuk sounds like a bad ‘un, all right. I had never heard of him. It’s a shame Canada is a refuge for these Nazi sympathizers, even more so considering their activism and noise disproportionate to their numbers. In that they are very much like the Israelis they despise – they know how to unite as a voting bloc and leverage their votes to effect policies of which they approve.

      • yalensis says:

        Yeah, I don’t know what happened after the end of WWII, but it seems like Canada was picked as one of the main places to stash Nazis on the run.
        Everybody knows about “Operation Paperclip”, which was the U.S. project to save elite Nazis. Well,anyody can understand why it seemed important to rescue smarties like rocket scientists, however appalling..

        But beyond that, there was a second project, let’s call it “Operation Stapler”, which was to rescue completely useless, low-IQ and scummy people such as concentration camp guards and creeps like Samchuk. How could the world, or even any government, possibly benefit from caching these low-lifes? That’s the big question here — why did they rescue them, and why was Canada picked as the place to save and nurture these toxic bacilli?

        That’s the $64 question, IMHO.

        • Jen says:

          I believe Canada had a sizeable Ukrainian population going back to the 1880s (the prairie areas probably reminded them of home) so many ex-concentration camp guards and others who worked for the Nazis or for Stepan Bandera’s OUP already had family to flee to after 1945.

          • yalensis says:

            That was probably a factor. But still, there must have been collusion between Americans and Canadians to move these Nazis to various safe locations.

            • Patient Observer says:

              Americans operated a rescue mission called the “ratlines” for genocidal murders from WW II Yugoslavia. These true believers in Western racial and religious superiority found safe haven in South America, Canada and the US.

        • Patient Observer says:

  3. et Al says:

    What grim reading. Thanks Mark for reminding everyone again over how catastrophic western ‘help’ has been for the Ukrainian citizen and that the more things supposedly change, the more they stay the same. Similarly it has been catastrophic for ‘Europe’ who is putting monies in to military expense whilst it still hasn’t recovered from the 2008 corruption crisis.

    • Jen says:

      Seconded and I would add that there’s a mix of frustration and sadness in that article at the levels of sheer idiocy and delusion apparent in the attempts by the US, the EU and the IMF to keep shoring up their failed project with more injections of money and weapons in the hope of getting the reaction they want from Russia while that country continues on its own path of doing business and succeeding on its own terms.

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks, Al! The situation is grim indeed. And every time Porky’s tenure looks tenuous, the IMF releases another bag of money to save him from foundering; never enough to affect the daily life of the ordinary citizen, of course, but just enough to stretch hope that little bit further, and keep Porky in power. Meanwhile, the businesses he’s not supposed to still own flourish.

  4. Special_sauce says:

    They put that word “free” or “freedom” or “liberty” on something and it flies out the doors!

  5. et Al says:

    Space Nudes.

    Seradata – Hyperbola blog: Khrunichev to “modularise” Proton rocket to enter medium and small launcher markets
    http://seradata.com/SSI/2016/09/khrunichev-to-modularise-proton-rocket-to-enter-medium-and-small-launcher-markets/

    International Launch Services (ILS), the commercial marketing arm of the Russian rocket manufacturer Khrunichev, has announced that Proton four stage rocket is going to be modularised to offer a new family of smaller launch vehicles, in addition to a growth version. At the top end of the scale, the Proton M rocket is going to be further improved to a new Proton M+ standard which will allow it to carry payloads of up to 7100 kg into GTO (Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit). This launch vehicle should be available by 2018…
    ####

    Nice to see that they are not sitting on their laurels. Next up:

    Isvetia via Seradata – Hyperbola blog: Dnepr end game: Russia pulls the plug
    http://seradata.com/SSI/2016/09/dnepr-end-game-russia-pulls-the-plug/

    According to the Russian Isvestia news service*, the Russo-Ukrainian fim ISC Kosmotras which hoped to launch two Iridium satellites on board a Dnepr launch vehicle currently in its silo, will not be able to. This is because the Russian government, via its Roscosmos and URSC agencies, has formally ended its permission to process and launch spacecraft from the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan (the Baikonur Cosmodrome is under Russian control)…
    ####
    * http://izvestia.ru/news/620303

    I checked the link to the article and curiously it doesn’t mention the stopping of launches from Baikonor, only a ‘moratorium’. The rest is about ‘de-ukrainianizing’ the vehicle etc. though that is not to say the news in the article isn’t true.

    Seradata – Hyperbola blog: China successfully launches TIANGONG-2 Spacelab module, a precursor for their own future space station
    http://seradata.com/SSI/2016/09/china-successfully-launches-tiangong-2-spacelab-module-a-precursor-for-their-own-future-space-station/

    The launch took place at 14:04 UTC on 15 September 2016, from the LC43 Launch complex located at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northern China. The Spacelab was launched by a Long-March 2F/T2 (CZ-2F/T2), an uprated vehicle based on …
    ####

    I guess the US media has missed this one, though I guess it won’t take long for them to ramp up their sinophobia..

    • et Al says:

      SPX via Spacedaily.com: Air Force tests first full-scale component of Hydrocarbon Boost Program
      http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Air_Force_tests_first_full_scale_component_of_Hydrocarbon_Boost_Program_999.html

      …The implementation of this kick pump in an ORSC engine provides for a performance improvement compared to other foreign engines, such as the Russian RD-180…
      ####

      Wow, an improvement on Soviet tech. originating back a quarter of a century

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RD-180

      • Patient Observer says:

        The thrust, if and when the engine is built, will be 250,000 lbf. The RD-171, another oxidizer rich staged combustion cycle is over 1,700,000 lbf. The RD-180 that powers the Atlas V if a half-power version at about 850,000 lbf.

        Not sure what a “kick pump” is. Perhaps it pressurizes the fuel upstream of the main pump to reduce cavitation potential. The story did not provide enough information to support the claim of superior performance.

        Fun fact: the turbo pump used in the RD-171 has a shaft power of 170 megawatts (227,000 hp).

        • et Al says:

          The Americans can always do ‘bigger’. My impression of the ‘kick pump’ is that it is a ‘TurboTurbo’ pump to keep enough fuel flowing for the increase output. They just called it something different to make it sound like it is a great new American invention. After all they did invent TV…

          • marknesop says:

            According to this account – written in 1992 – the ‘kick pump’ is used to increase (in this example) the power level of the rated discharge pressure from 4,100 psi to 6,952 psi. So it yields a roughly 1.5-1 advantage in discharge pressure; the values of course are exemplary only. In this instance, although you are on to something, it is more like a supercharger than a turbo, which generally runs off of what would be waste energy while a supercharger steals a little of the input – whatever it might be – to run itself. Not to take anything away from American engineering, which is first-class and responsible for many great advances over the years, this is no more revolutionary an idea than forcing the same volume of water through a smaller hose to increase pressure.

            The Soviets were far and away ahead of North America in rocket design and engineering, and their heirs still understand it better than anyone. It’s like the difference between Mercedes and Ford in auto engineering.

            • Patient Observer says:

              Agreed that American rocket technology is significantly less advanced and the gap may be growing based on previously mentioned stories of detonation pulse engines and megawatt level nuclear ion engines.

              The referenced article mentions that only 9% of the flow is increased to the higher pressure. The purpose of this higher pressure stream was not explained. Another article indicated that the kick pump is used in a gas generator cycle (older, less efficient technology used by SpaceX for example). The supposed nature of the breakthrough is unclear.

  6. Northern Star says:

    “7. In Yanukovych’s Russia-friendly Ukraine, intolerance was the rule and blacks and homosexuals mostly stayed hidden. Most Ukrainians would not vote for a Jewish presidential candidate, and even fewer for a black one. How things have changed1”

    Ummm…there aren’t any blacks in Ukraine…

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Down on de Maidan,
        Livin’ in a tent.
        Better dan Mombasa —
        No rent!

        • Northern Star says:

          Photoshopped fakery…..Yaaaaaawn

            • Jen says:

              That Anna Funke Oyinbo Pepper website also had a post bagging and insulting Indians living and working in Nigeria. I read the comments and Anna Flunkey’s replies on the post and realised that for all her obsessions with African people and cultures the woman is still a racist.

              It must be one thing to attach yourself to a foreign culture and people because you’re attracted to the stereotypes about them and what they symbolise for you, in the style of former Hitler favourite Leni Riefenstahl who attached herself to Sudanese tribal people for years taking photographs of them for her coffee-table picture book, and another thing to see them and others as human beings in their own right.

          • yalensis says:

            Dear Northern Star:
            Even though Moscow Exile is being a pain in the ass (as per usual), he is sort of right, in a way.
            In the sense that there ARE some African-Ukrainians, just as there are African-Russians.
            I don’t know the exact numbers, but there are some legitimately, and not photoshopped.
            This is a legacy of the Soviet period (of course).
            A limited number of Africans such as students and a few others made a home for themselves in various Soviet areas, and proceeded to raise families.
            Around now we would be at the second or third generation for some of these families.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Dear Yalensis,

              Why do you think I am a pain in the arse “as per usual”?

              I posted the above comment because Northern Star thought that a previous picture of Africans in the Ukraine that I had posted was a photoshop.

              Perhaps it was. I do not know. I am no expert as regards identifying photo-shops.

              But I do believe that there are Africans that live in the Ukraine, and although they are very few in number, some do, for whatever reason, like to dress up in what is perceived to be Ukraine national costume and have their photographs posted on the web.

              Now again, could you please explain why you think you think I am a habitual pain in the arse on this site.

              Thank you in advance.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Yes, really.

                  “Big Boss”.

                  It’s called “irony”

                  Some of these African people seem to like to ingratiate themselves with Ukraine nationalist ideals, with the Galitsian bosses of the “Revolution for Dignity”, in much the same way as this woman below once did and perhaps still does:

                  and as this oaf continues to do:

                  I have never seen Africans in Russia, be they students or whatever, dressed in stylised Russian national dress. And there are Africans who are now Russian citizens and even local politicians, such as this man:

                  and this:

                  See: Как живут негры в России

                  How Africans live in Russia

                  And there are some pictured above in stylised Russian national costume.

                  Bet they don’t say tovarishch though.

                  Nobody here does, actually, except ironically, which irony would be wasted on many, I suppose.

                • Jen says:

                  I see, the point that ME is making is that there is something creepy and whiffy about how African people living in Ukraine dress and comport themselves in Ukrainian dress stereotypes like the corporate vyshyvanka and the flowers in women’s hair as though forced in a subtle way to declare their loyalties and to accept their place in Ukrainian society as “guest citizens” (with the implication that they could be evicted at any time) and not as full citizens with the right to live and work where they choose.

                • yalensis says:

                  Okay, I get ME’s point now, and also Jen’s point. It’s about the embroidered blouses.
                  I suspect it’s like both of you suspect, these people have to make elaborate shows of loyalty to the Ukrainian regime, in order to survive.
                  It’s sort of similar to the situation in the U.S., although not as extreme. Immigrants are expected to wave little American flags and declare their fealty and so on.
                  In order to “fit in”.
                  So yes, okay, I apologize to Moscow Exile, I thought he was just being annoying, but I see now that he was making an actual political point.
                  I just get my dander up sometimes when I think that people are dissing Africans, because I really like African people. Most of them, at least. (Not all of them, obviously.)

                • marknesop says:

                  You can be an honorary African-American, Yalensis. But that name is going to have to go. You can be Johnny Wishbone or something.

              • yalensis says:

                P.S. and just to clarify further – These African students, on the whole, studied very hard and earned the right to take up residence in their country of choice, be it Ukraine or Russia. I would think that you, of all people, being an immigrant yourself who started on a studet visa and made Russia your home, could identify with these African students. Or perhaps allow them at least a shred of dignity. Instead you throw in “Bwana”, jive talk and imply that these people were all paid to squat on the Maidan. I suppose it can’t be true that there are legitimate immigrant families trying to make a living out in the regions? From what I understand, a lot of them have made their home in Odessa, traditionally since ancient times a multicultural haven for immigrants.

                And what about the African families who live in Russia? Are they just being paid to wave the Russian flag so they don’t have to pay rent?

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Only a few blocks away from mine is a new house where African diplomats and their families live. I see their children riding to school on the metro most mornings. Nobody pays a blind bit of notice of them, though he NYT and other lying American rags often run stories about how dangerous Moscow is for black people.

                  In another nearby block live many black Cubans, dancers at a night club, “Old Havana”, situated in the next street. My youngest celebrated her 5th birthday there at a children’s’ party that I booked with the management.

                  And only this morning I saw and heard a dread-locked African laughing and joking with a campaigner for United Russia outside the Paveletsky terminus station. He and his Russian interlocutor were having a great laugh over something or other whilst thousands of morning commuters were walking by.

                  Nobody attacked the African.

                • Patient Observer says:

                  ME- I recall a story about Rosatom bringing in large numbers (thousands?) of 3rd world technicians and engineers for training in nuclear technology. The story alluded that the visiting students were eager to immersed in Russian culture and whatever. Also, there is a Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow; presumably involved in the education of Africans.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peoples%27_Friendship_University_of_Russia

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  As regards persons of African descent living in or visiting the Ukraine, does anyone remember that story about a schoolgirl from the US who had won first prize in a competition that enabled her to visit Banderastan?

                  The girl was from a mid-west state, if I remember correctly, from somewhere near the 40th parallel (N.Dakota, I vaguely recall) and to win top prize in the competition, she had to name all the military victories that the Ukraine has enjoyed against the Russians.

                  And she did just that. I think she was about 14 years old.

                  Now how the hell was a N.Dakota (?) 14-year-old girl able to name of a list of Ukraine “victories” over the “Moskals”, unless, of course, she had been well and truly indoctrinated with Galitsian “historical” shite?

                  Did such a country called in English “The Ukraine” — or “Ukraine” now, as the English speaking Banderite diaspora insists — exist prior to the short lived post October Revolution Ukrainian independent statelets and the 1922 Soviet created Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic?

                  The lucky prizewinner was reported in a newspaper article that I saw about this story as saying that her visit to the Ukraine would fulfill her life-long dream of experiencing Christmas there.

                  With this article, which I read by means of a link from a comment on this site, there was a picture of the girl. She was, in my opinion, most definitely of mixed race — Afro-American and possibly Canadian/US Banderite, perhaps.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  And another thing that bugs me as regards Africans in Russia are the regular stories in the Western media about how it is particularly dangerous for black people to live here: in my opinion, to greater or lesser degree it is dangerous for them to live anywhere in Europe: there are racist shitwits everywhere, but they are most definitely not in the majority. And that is also true, I should imagine, as regards the USA.

                  Not so long ago NYT did a story about some black US girl who had been awarded a ballet scholarship at the Bolshoi, and there was a picture of her, glum faced, after her return home and her sad tale about how she had not been selected for the chorus because of, she maintained, the colour of her skin. She also said that her instructor had been particularly abusive towards her, in that she had suggested she use skin lightener. (Interesting that! My little girl often complains about her dancing teacher being ratty towards her in particular: is her teacher a racist? She knows that my daughter is not “pure” Russian because she has a foreign surname.)

                  Anyway, the NYT story went on and on about how this talented girl never got a look in because she was black, and I thought: Perhaps she was just not good enough? After all, at the Bolshoi she would not have been competing against rank amateurs.

                  But here’s the thing that bugged me so about this story: the girl was reported as having said that she did not go out alone at night and that she had become used to Russians staring at her and that on the metro she wore headphones so as to avoid hearing racist comments from fellow-passengers.

                  Well, either the girl was mistaken about the attitude that she thought Russians had towards her — or she and/or the NYT journalist were lying through their teeth.

                  Muscovites do not stare at or make abusive comments to Africans on the metro. Black Africans are not an uncommon sight in Moscow, nor are the Chinese for that matter, of which latter there has been over the past few years an abundance of ever increasing tourists. And very often at the entrance to metro stations you see black Africans handing out flyers. They are, I think, mostly students. I feel sorry for them in winter. The sad thing is that they often don their full winter wear well before Muscovites do because they feel the cold so. I have never seen any passing Muscovite giving any of these Africans a smack in the gob as they hurry by them on their way to work.

                  It’s bloody rude to stare! Russians especially think this, in my opinion. Yes, there are filth, shit-wit Russian hooligans who would try to pick a fight with a lone African. Some would, I am sure, try it on with me as well, if I started yapping away in English in their presence. But such filth are in a minority. Not according to the NYT , the Washington Post etc. though!

                  Occasionally fellow passengers on the metro or the commuter trains glance at me and my children when our conversation suddenly switches to English. They are obviously intrigued at how a boy or a girl who has been yapping away in Russian and is clearly a native speaker suddenly says to me something like “Papa, when are we going to arrive?”

                  I remember once how, when travelling on the suburban electric train to our dacha situated some 50 miles southwest of Moscow, one fellow passenger, a dacha-dwelling grandma who was sitting facing us, congratulated my children on their fluency in English. It turned out that the old lady was a retired teacher of English. I told her that that my children were, in fact, English — and Russian, which led to a long chat about life in a bi-lingual family.

                  But to return to this line that Africans put their lives in danger if they choose to visit Moscow, I can only say that this is just yet another angle of the constant stream of lying filth that surges out of the West and is directed against the Empire of Evil.

                  Oh yes! As regards “persons of colour” performing at the Bolshoi, here’s one:

                  She’s a Georgian: Nino Ananiashvili.

                  She’s also the governor of Odessa’s son’s godmother.

                  Alright, then! She’s not of African descent, but those that claim dark-skinned people are discriminated against at Russian ballet companies maintain that this discrimination is because the different skin pigmentation of Africans clashes with that of their colleagues: they also claim that Africans are asked to use skin-lightener so as to “fit in” better.

                  Well, Ananiashvili is certainly no peaches and cream blondie, yet she certainly fitted in!

                  Here’s the Moscow Times story on the American girl who claimed there had been racial discrimination against her at the Bolshoi:

                  U.S. Ballerina Faces Discrimination at Bolshoi Academy

                  Adams said she has grown accustomed to the casual racism of Russian society. She does not go out alone at night, she has gotten used to the stares from passersby, and her headphones silence remarks from people on the metro.

                  Again: I have never seen anyone make “remarks” to Africans on the metro here. Never!

                  Responding to Adams’ allegations of mistreatment, the Bolshoi Academy said in a statement that they had received no report of discrimination from her and that school officials had not heard complaints from other international students, who hail from ten countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia. The academy also noted that all students get to participate in onstage practice and that Adams had received high marks for her time on stage.

                  Adams said that she did not make an official complaint because she was unsure if it would do any good, saying: “I don’t think there would have been much of a response.” She also said that in the heat of a competitive environment, she did not want “to look like I’m weak or that I feel sorry for myself”.

                • marknesop says:

                  What do you expect from the Moscow Times, which regularly seeks (creates, some would say) such stories in an attempt to at least maintain, if not widen, the gap between westerners and Russians? La Russophobe regularly and lovingly cited it – the ‘Mighty Moscow Times’, she liked to call it – in her pejoratives against Russia.

                • Patient Observer says:

                  I suspect that Chicago is a far more dangerous city for black people than Moscow based on the murder rate alone. I greatly appreciate your first-hand accounts of life in Russia. It confirms many impressions from my brief visit earlier this year.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Oh, and that little ditty above was originally:

          Down in the jungle,
          Living in a tent.
          Better than a prefab —
          No rent!

          I thought that perhaps Cortes and other UK citizens who comment here might have recognized it.

          It comes from an old 1950s BBC radio show, a feature of which was a spoof on Tarzan-like adventures in a fictitious African country called Japonica.

          Whenever the action took place in a Japonican village, the Japonicans would chant the above verse to a background of beating tom-toms.

          The joke was the reference to “prefabs”, prefabricated houses that were thrown up to accommodate British citizens who had been “bombed out” by the Luftwaffe. These prefabs were flat-roofed, single-story dwellings made of asbestos panels, concrete posts and iron door and window frames. As a a child, I sometimes visited Liverpool, and the train or bus by which I was traveling there used to pass by fields-full of such prefabs erected in the countryside outside of Liverpool city limits. They only started knocking them down in the mid-’50s, 10 years after the ending of hostilities. And in the Liverpool of my childhood memories, there were still “bomb sites”, areas of wasteland in the city centre that had been razed by the Luftwaffe, cleared by bulldozers and overgrown with weeds. They only started building on them in the early ’60s.

          US War mongers such as Clinton know nothing of this,however; of how total, mid-20th century warfare affects the lives of civilians.

          Next time though, there will be no prefabs to accommodate bombed-out civilians, just radioactive dust — and such destruction will certainly not only be evident in Europe.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            And that bloody bastard US Imperialist spell-checker has changed my “travelling” (above) to “traveling”.

            Fuck off!

            I spelt it correctly in my mother tongue!

            🙂

          • Cortes says:

            I recall prefabs which survived in certain areas (Toryglen springs to mind) in Glasgow until the late 1970s, but am too young, b 1957, to know the programme or ditty.

    • marknesop says:

      Pretty much except for foreigners. And not very many of those. But I’m simply paraphrasing what the producers of the cartoon said.

  7. Northern Star says:

    As for Ukraine being shepherded into thriving economic stability by a USA led West:
    https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/us-competitiveness-project-harvard-business-school-hbs-michael-porter-030021739.html
    That dog *can’t * hunt…

  8. Warren says:

    Published on 15 Sep 2016
    It’s a hundred years since the first tanks rolled onto the battlefield during the First World War.

    They were used in the battle of the Somme and have become a feature of conflict over the years.

    Al Jazeera’s Emma Hayward reports from Dorset in South West England.

  9. kirill says:

    http://russia-insider.com/en/obama-compares-russian-president-saddam-hussein/ri16473

    Trash talking liar Obama compares Putin to Hussein. American hate fantasy at its finest. Do these retards expect to kill Putin like they did Hussein and Gaddafi?

    • marknesop says:

      “He loves this guy,” Obama further said of Trump’s alleged relationship with Putin, adding that the real estate mogul was “out there praising a guy, saying he’s a strong leader, because he invades smaller countries, jails his opponents, controls the press, and drives his economy into a recession.”

      1. Invades smaller countries.

      The USA has invaded 70 countries since its inception. Look at the list, and tell me if you can which were its military equal at the time the invasion occurred. Micronesia? Guam? The Philippines? Albania?

      2. Jails his opponents.

      When they break the law, yes, as both Navalny and Nemtsov have done despite being warned they would be jailed if they broke the law, which looks like wilful stupidity to me, or a political agenda which will benefit from serving a couple of days in jail. The US Attorney General has ordered the FBI to investigate Climate Change deniers to see if there is actionable cause for arrest. I totally agree that they are wrong in their thinking…but what law are they breaking? The law that says it is politically incorrect to disagree with the government?

      3. Controls the press.

      “Combining the use of spreading reports on social media with the growing use of unnamed sources is potentially even more troubling as it creates a certain degree of plausible deniability if the trail doesn’t lead back to an actual report from a specific media outlet but rather to tweets and unsupported statements like “according to NBC.” It becomes very easy to imagine a scenario where a particular piece of information, whether true or false, can be leaked to create an intended narrative in the media, swaying public opinion, and driving US policy.”

      http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2016/07/23/confront-nbc-social-media-government-information-operations-the-modern-day-psy-op/

      Military Operations in the CNN World: Using the Media as A Force Multiplier

      http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA307447

      4. Drives his country into a recession.

      “As the US and Europe push forward with continued sanctions against Russia, an intriguing economic battle is taking shape, one which will have significant repercussions for years to come. While Washington and Brussels seek to divide Russia from Europe in order to maintain Western hegemony – blocking Eurasian integration by definition – Moscow is counteracting this strategy by leveraging its economic power in the form of energy exports and cooperation.”

      http://journal-neo.org/2015/07/02/the-us-russia-economic-war-heats-up/

      “Change. Incrementalism. Pragmatism.

      Buzzwords that have allowed income inequality, aka the systematic redistribution of money from the middle class to the already-doing-fine class, to explode over the last 35 years.”

      http://www.mediaite.com/online/why-hillary-clinton-nomination-may-cost-democrats-more-than-the-presidency/

      • Northern Star says:

        Mark…Obama..Killary..Bubba…and the rest….they’re all clowns…we’ve covered that material…
        Also I want my orange icon thing back….

        I can’t post under these conditions!!!!!!

    • Patient Observer says:

      A veiled threat to Putin?

      As an American, I find Obama to be an appalling jerk, not just for his policies, but for his disrespectful speech. When has Putin talked similarly about another world leader? Or, perhaps Putin’s audience does not require crude pejoratives.

      • marknesop says:

        You would think Obama, a black man, would be a little more sensitive to hearsay generalizations. Unless he has personal knowledge that his accusations are accurate, in which case he should substantiate it. Given his shaky understanding of history, I wouldn’t buy anything he said without a reference, but he regularly states opinions as if they were facts. Hard to imagine him as a law student in view of his penchant for citing allegations he cannot prove.

        Don’t feel bad – whose leader today is not an embarrassing buffoon? Trudeau is not too bad so far, although he’s still new in the job, and even at that he has said some embarrassing things. We all know political figures are pushed hard by various special interests to take a public position, but the least a national leader with a horde of research flunkies only a finger-snap away can do is say, “Look this up for me, Henrietta; I want to know if it’s accurate before I make a statement”.

        I suspect political figures often do not care much what is accurate so much as they care about cultivating constituencies and votes. Obama is worse than most with his bonehead ‘facts’ like the Kosovo Referendum, but not the worst by quite a long chalk. How’d you like to have Poroshenko running your country, embarrassing you to tears waving around handfuls of Russian passports and metal panels at the UN and bleating about hundreds of thousands of invisible enemy troops on your land? Or that stupid fucking Mr. Magoo, Francois Hollande? And if you end up with Clinton for a President, you may find you miss Obama.

        • et Al says:

          I think Obama is proof that anyone of any race can be an asshole. No exceptions.

          • marknesop says:

            I agree. It’s still an enormous disappointment, although his detractors will point out the signs of a weak, vain man were always there but nobody wanted to see them. That’s true to an extent – remember Oprah’s rapturous inauguration of him as ‘The One’? – but I maintain that you can always re-invent yourself if you have the will and the necessary skills, or are willing to learn them. How many men will get up today and say to themselves, my gut is just getting too big – time to start exercising? How many will do it?

            One thing Obama should have hoisted in, the first couple of times he stumbled and was mocked, was what kind of leader the people really wanted. He chose to consider himself restricted in what he could do by the noisy demands and threats of his political opponents, when nothing he did would ever please them and his buckling only earned their contempt. He has restored some credit due his legacy by refusing to yield to the screamers for him to put ground troops in Syria on the side of the ‘rebels’, but I think he would have done that, too, if he felt public opinion was in favour of it. It’s obviously not.

            • et Al says:

              Well to be generous, the US is in trouble and being Prez is a sort of Golden Cage. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Some Presidents run with it, others (like Obama – in my opinion) try to resist some of the excesses obliquely, the easiest way by means of passivity.

              Still being charitable, there’s only so much a President can do when you are put in charge of a supertanker going balls to the wall. Here I could draw a parallel with Putin who all the Russophobes paint as the master in control and nothing happens without his say so which simply isn’t true for him as it isn’t for Obama.

              Even though I do give Obama some credit, he’s still responsible for a hell of a lot damage and certainly wasted massive opportunities, especially in his first term which he spent trying to ‘reach out’ to the Republican party when they expressly said even before his inauguration that it would never happen.

              • Jen says:

                This is not to excuse Obama’s inaction and passivity but there’s also the issue that his election campaigns in 2008 and 2012 were bankrolled by individuals, corporations and lobby groups who all had lists of to-do things that they expected him to carry out as gratitude for the money they put up to get him elected and re-elected. Also he must have had to agree to a deal with Hillary Clinton to give her a senior Cabinet post, probably of her own choosing, for her to concede the Democratic Party nomination to him in 2008. The way Clinton set the tone for the State Department, her expectations of what policy it should produce, the individuals she favoured there or had jettisoned, would have been beyond Obama’s ability to control or influence.

                Even before Obama had acceded to the Presidency, the position had already been damaged by previous incumbents going back as far as Nixon and Johnson at the very least. Every new President is expected to prove himself the equal of past Presidents in decisive action and leadership but most of the role models who preceded Obama were a mediocre lot. Then again, every new President has an opportunity to be a new role model for a different kind of Presidency and leadership and Obama failed to seize that.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Why did he accept a Nobel laureate before his inauguration?

                  He should have gracefully refused the nomination and then tried to do something that might have deserved to be nominated for that award.

                  I think his acceptance of a Nobel Peace Prize says a lot about his vanity, conceit and political incompetence, that he was what he was what he still is: an inexperienced, fast-track Illinois senator who had made lighting progress through the party machine; a political tyro who had gained a law degree and who was then was employed as a social worker.

                  He is a charlatan: a laid-back rich bourgeois kid who, as chance would have it, had an African father — which father was not a descendant of black-African US slavery, but some British subject scholarship winner in the USA.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Mark, et Al, Jen, ME – those comments were the best summary of Obama, the president and Obama, the man, that I have every read.

  10. Warren says:

    China releases Canadian in spy case after two years

    A Canadian man arrested with his wife in China two years ago has returned home, Canadian officials say.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-37369563

  11. Warren says:

    Published on 15 Sep 2016
    The major party color schemes, and the terms “red state” and “blue state” are actually a recent phenomenon.

  12. Warren says:

    France’s Kosciusko-Morizet poised to shake up right-wing presidential primary

    French MP Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet is the only woman running in France’s right-wing presidential primaries. She is a long-shot candidate for the Elysée palace, struggling to shake her camp out of its obsession with identity politics and security.

    http://www.france24.com/en/20160913-france-kosciusko-morizet-conservative-presidential-primary-woman-candidate

    For the past two years, since the Paris mayoral elections, I’ve become increasingly infatuated with NKM.

    Boris Johnson being the bore and blabbermouth that he is, blurted out in a live radio show in France – that NKM had told him she planned to run for the French Presidency.

    Le maire de Londres gaffe en révélant les ambitions présidentielles de NKM

    http://www.lefigaro.fr/politique/le-scan/insolites/2015/09/03/25007-20150903ARTFIG00151-le-maire-de-londres-gaffe-en-revelant-les-ambitions-presidentielles-de-nkm.php

    • marknesop says:

      Koskiusko is a Polish surname, although it is habitually spelled “Koskiuszko”. Tadeusz Kościuszko, a national hero in Poland, was Supreme Commander of the Polish National Armed Forces.

      This sentence made me laugh: “Kościuszko was born in February 1746 in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, in a village that is now in Belarus; his exact birthdate is unknown.”

      But Washington continues to make a fuss about Crimea returning – by its own choice, a matter which is no longer in dispute – to the control of the Russian Federation.

      • Jen says:

        The highest mountain in Australia – hey, Pavlo Svolo, don’t laugh just ‘cos to you Kiwis it looks like a small undulation in the landscape after the snow melts!!! >:-( – is named after Tadeusz Kościuszko.

        The mountain was named by a Polish-English geologist called Pawel Edmund Strzelecki who climbed and surveyed it in 1840. His family was of szlachta (Polish noble) origins and in Australia he was called Count Paul de Strzelecki.

        Poland issued a stamp in Strzelecki’s honour in 1973 with a little Australian bush scene. Only problem is that the geological feature in the stamp is the Olgas in central Australia which Strzelecki never went near. The Olgas were named after one of the peaks in their group, Mount Olga, which itself was named in 1872 after Grand Duchess Olga Nikolayevna Romanova (daughter of Tsar Nicholas I) who was married to the King of Wurttemberg.

        • marknesop says:

          A million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was a Leading Seaman, I worked at Maritime Command Headquarters in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Part of my job at that time was to monitor the comings and goings of merchant and fishing maritime traffic entering/leaving Halifax Harbour. Fishing vessels of the Soviet Union were of interest as they often carried a forest of radio/radar antennae including DF (Direction-Finding) equipment, and were known to map and document everything and take detailed soundings of foreign coastlines and waters – I think I mentioned before that when Soviet naval vessels visited the west coast somewhere around that time, our harbor pilots noted the Soviet charts were considerably more detailed than our own (in our own waters), with soundings every quarter-mile.

          At that time a large cargo vessel named the TADEUSZ KOSKIUSZKO was a regular visitor; I’m pretty sure this is her before her name change. I had no idea who he was, then; I just remembered the name. She would have been Polish-flagged then, although she was later sold to Germany. Another was the Russian MARSHAL ROKOSSOVSKY, which is an amazing coincidence considering he was also of Polish origin, Marshal of Poland and served as Poland’s Defense Minister. I didn’t know that, either, until just now when I looked it up.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Marshal Rokossovsky was a Soviet Red army marshal of Polish origin who was in November 1944 made commander of the 2nd Belorussian Front (Army in Western parlance), which advanced into East Prussia and then across northern Poland to the mouth of the Oder at Stettin (now Szczecin). On 3 May 1945 the 2nd Belorussian Front linked up with the British 2nd Army in Wismar, Germany whilst the armies of Zhukov and Koniev captured Berlin.

            As regards Berlin, Zhukov punched into the gut, whilst Koniev gave a left hook and Rokossovsky gave a right hook and went round the back.

            The other day I had the immense pleasure of riding a full circuit on the newly opened Moscow Central Ring. The full trip took 70 minutes. An absolutely wonderful experience!


            Khoroshyovo station, where I boarded, “Moscow City” business district in the distance.


            Wonderful carriages with Wi-Fi, air conditioning, spotless toilets and accessible for invalids in wheelchairs, bicycle storage space, air-conditioning, charhers for iPhones etc….


            Ismailovsky market


            Rokossovsky Boulevard

            All photographs taken with my little Casio camera.

            Typically third-world crap, as is plainly obvious to even the most cursory glance!

            • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

              Why isn’t there more graffiti, like in Prague?

              • Jen says:

                I suppose with the NED having been thrown out of Russia and all the charities and NGOs it was funding having to close down, the money for the spray cans and the skateboards to ride on top of the trains has dried up.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Unfortunately, there are graffiti “artists” here as well, but I think the railway cops here are far more vigilant than they are in the West. and I’ve seen cleaning gangs hard at work in sidings spraying with some kind of solvent commuter trains that have been vandalised/artistically enhanced.

                • marknesop says:

                  Canada Post has that stuff in spray cans, and uses it to clean the large letterboxes, which for some reason youth gangs love to claim as their turf. It works a treat, takes spray paint right off in a wipe without damaging the paint underneath at all, although all those spray cans are probably not good for the environment. I used to live next door to a Postie and he gave me a can once. It doesn’t work as well on rough surfaces, for obvious reasons, but it instantly dissolves spray paint and lifts it right off.

        • yalensis says:

          You call that thing a MOUNTAIN?
          That’s not a mountain.
          THIS IS a mountain!
          (parapharsing Crocodile Dundee)

        • Zdz says:

          In the mtkosciuszko.org.au website You will find reliable information related to gettings of Mt Kosciuszko the highest peak of Australia, and about Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki
          the explorer who gave the mountain its name.

      • Warren says:

        Yes, NKM as she is affectionately referred to is of Polish lineage. France has always had a small but significant Polish emigre population. I suspect this French-Polish relationship dates back from Napoleon, and his Polish legion. These Polish troops fought in Napoleon’s campaigns – most notably the Russian campaign. Napoleon repaid Polish fidelity by establishing a the Duchy of Warsaw in 1807. Poland had ceased to exist after the third partition in 1795.

        France through the 19th and early 20th century always provided sanctuary to Polish political opponents of Russia, Germany and Austria. Poles fought in the French army in WW1. Those Polish soldiers in the French army along with the weapons they commandeered were instrumental in suffocating the infant Ukrainian state in its cradle – Polish-Ukrainian War 1918-1919.

        France dispatched military advisers to Poland in its war against the newly established USSR 1919-1921. One of those military advisers was a man by the name of Charles de Gaulle.

        France during the interwar period was Poland’s most important diplomatic and military ally. France considered Poland to be under its sphere of influence. France considered Poland useful in its policy of containing Germany. Of course French military promises to Poland amounted to nothing in the end.

        There is a mountain in Australia named after Kosciuszko!

        http://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/snowy-mountains/kosciuszko-national-park/summit-walk

  13. Northern Star says:

    Every Stooge who hasn’t….. should read this:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rising_%2744
    I had no idea that Stalin did this:
    “The 1944 Warsaw Uprising was planned with the expectation that the Soviet forces, who had arrived in the course of their offensive and were waiting on the other side of the Vistula River in full force, would help in the battle for Warsaw.[36] However the Soviets let down the Poles, stopping their advance at the Vistula and branding the insurgents as criminals in radio broadcasts.[36][37][38]”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vistula
    Maybe this gives a clue as to why the Poles view the Russians with such trepidation and loathing..
    particularly in view of this:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katyn_massacre

    Another gem:
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2582156-the-permanent-war-economy
    This 1974 work is very prescient …

    (My comment is addressed to those Stooges who are not Mensa cofounders and also have the Library of Congress memorized….they know who they are)

    • yalensis says:

      Yeah, well, that Warsaw Uprising propaganda meme has been debunked many times.
      There is a whole other side to that story.
      I am praying that Lyttenburgh shows up to tell it, so that I don’t have to hunker down and gather all the links. It’s a mighty job and I’m not sure I have the time, plus Lyt can do it better..
      Reader’s Digest version: Why should the Red Army risk massive losses to help the Polish Home army?
      This wiki thing is mostly lies, by the way. Because the Home Army was loyal to the Polish Government-in-Exile, the Soviet Union saw it as an obstacle to a Soviet takeover of Poland. Consequently, over the course of the war, conflict grew between the Home Army and Soviet forces.

      Some truths, but mostly lies…
      Stalin and the rest of the Soviet leadership had not yet made up their minds what to do about Poland post-war. Their main concern at the time was minimizing losses to the Red Army. Eyes on the prize: The main goal was not to save Poland, but to destroy Nazi Germany.
      Poles don’t get that. They believe the Soviets should have sacrificed every last man to put their bourgeois government in power. So that they could turn around and spit on Russia once again.

      • yalensis says:

        P.S. – and don’t even get me started on Katyn. I became a “Katyn-denier” after reading some of the articles by Grover Furr. Now, don’t get me wrong, Grover is not exactly an impeccable authority. He is not even a professional historian, and his “methodology” can be highly suspect. He often posits “assumptions” or “suspicions” as facts. Especially when, e.g., trying to prove that all the members of Lenin’s Central Committee were actually Nazi spies, with the exception of Stalin of course, who was forced to liquidate all these traitors in 1936. Grover’s “work” on Stalin’s show trials can simply be laughed out of existence.

        Be that as it may, on the Katyn issue, Grover did come up with one real gem, an actual scientifc physical fact which proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Soviets did not kill those Polish officers. I am referring to the archaelogical find of a Polish policeman’s badge, here is the link to Grover’s article about this discovery:

        https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/furr_katyn_preprint_0813.pdf

        And P.S. – just to be clear, “Katyn Deniers” don’t claim that Soviets shot nobody.
        Current thinking and preponderance of evidence seems to show that, while retreating from the Germans, the Soviets executed on the order of around 2,000 Polish prisoners. These were the ones deemed as criminals, but there was no time to complete their case work and criminal trials, so they were just shot by the retreating army.
        The other 20K some Polish soldiers — that was the work of the Nazis. Who then plotted (and this was a Goebbels project) to pin the blame on Stalin and the Red Army. The German plan was to win the war, stage big show trials of the defeated Soviet leaders, and pin the Katyn massacre on them as a major war crime.

        • PaulR says:

          ‘I became a “Katyn-denier”.’ – Most unwise of you.

          Excerpt from the minutes No. 13 of the CC Politburo’s meeting

          No. P13/144.
          Com. Beria.
          March 5, 1940
          Resolution of March 5, 1940

          144. – the matter from the NKVD USSR.

          I. Instruct the NKVD USSR:

          1) the cases of 14 700 people remaining in the prisoner-of-war camps – former Polish Army officers, government officials, landowners, policemen, intelligence agents, military policemen, settlers and jailers,
          2) and also the cases of arrested and remaining in prisons in the western districts of Ukraine and Belorussia people in the number of 11 000 – members of various counter-revolutionary spy and sabotage organizations, former landowners, factory owners, former Polish Army officers, government officials and fugitives – to be considered in a special manner with the obligatory sentence of capital punishment – shooting.

          II. The consideration of the cases to be carried out without the convicts being summoned and without revealing the charges; with no statements concerning the conclusion of the investigation and the bills of indictment given to them. To be carried out in the following manner:

          a) people remaining in the prisoner-of-war camps – on the basis of information provided by the Directorate of Prisoner-of-War Affairs NKVD USSR,
          b) people arrested – on the basis of case information provided by the NKVD of the Ukrainian SSR and NKVD of the Belorussian SSR.

          III. The responsibility for consideration of the cases and the passing of the resolution to be laid on a troika that consists of C. C. Merkulov, Kobulov and Bashtakov (Head, 1st Special Division of the NKVD USSR).

          The Secretary of the CC

          • PaulR says:

            The document was signed by Stalin, Voroshilov, Molotov, and Mikoyan, giving it their approval. A further note on the document states that it was also approved by Kalinin and Kaganovich.

            • Special_sauce says:

              http://www.stalinsociety.org/2015/04/20/katyn-forgeries-revealed/

              “A former agent of Boris Yeltsin, responsible for the numerous forgeries, contacted Viktor Ilyukhin, saying he intended to disclose information about the murder of Polish soldiers in Katyn. According to the former agent, early in the Yeltsin government, a group of forgers was formed, handsomely paid, and having at their disposal all the resources necessary to make forgeries, such as blank forms at the time of Stalin’s rule, typewriters used in the period, forms, stamps, etc..

              “In his speech, Ilyukhin unmasked and debunked that which has already been noted, for example, that existing technology in the 40s would not be able to manufacture some types of stamps used in the fakes. He reveals that this technology has only been used in the late 1970s or early 1980s, and that, therefore, such documents attributed to the “Soviet state” could never be authentic.”

            • kirill says:

              Actual physical evidence is infinitely more valuable than some document that can be a fake. The Katyn-by-USSR theory rests on the assumption that all Polish officers and soldiers were relocated to by the USSR to be exterminated and and not to other regions in theater as POWs. This assumption was exposed as BS when a number tag from a Polish officer who was supposedly shipped off to die was found in what was at the time Reich controlled territory. This and other forensic evidence indicates that Polish military personnel died in German controlled territory.

              http://russia-insider.com/en/us-historian-stalin-not-guilty-major-war-crime-blamed-him-katyn/ri6305

              Katyn is a large scale Racak. A psyop by the Reich against the USSR. None of the questions about Katyn are ever addressed by NATzO. It is basically hate propaganda.

          • yalensis says:

            Dear Professor Paul:
            Yeah, I read all those documents. I was raised by my father (who was a big Polonophile; and I’m still a bit of a Polonophile myself) to believe that “Stalin dunnit”.
            Grover just raised a reasonable doubt in my mind, that the “smoking gun”, ie. the NKVD documents could have been forged. By Yeltsin and his crew. And I read a bunch more stuff, and became more convinced that the Nazis dunnit.
            As for those documents, please remember that Yeltsin/Putin came to power based on completely discrediting the Soviet Union as a criminal state. There is some actual evidence that the documents were forged.

            Having said that, I do keep an open mind. I am a “denier” but not a fanatic. Especially not being a particular fan of Stalin’s, as you can see.

            But having said that, Professor Paul, do YOU keep an open mind? Did you read that article about the archaeological evidence, and the discovery of that policeman’s badge in a mass grave far away from Katyn? What did you think of that factual evidence?

            • PaulR says:

              I looked up Furr’s article – all he really shows is that not everybody who is listed on certain train transports ended up being killed at Katyn, and so the train transport records can’t be interpreted as indicating transport to death at Katyn. Even if that is true, it doesn’t in the slightest show that the Soviets weren’t responsible for killing those people whose bodes were found at Katyn.

              I really don’t understand the obsession with finding ever more complicated theories to explain something fairly simple, to which Occam’s Razor should apply. We know that the people who were found at Katyn were captured by the Soviets in 1939. Relatives were initially able to correspond with them in Soviet captivity. After March 1940, all correspondence ceased. There is no evidence that the Germans ever captured these people off the Soviets. After the Germans invaded the USSR and the Polish government in exile asked the Soviets to release these people, the Soviets didn’t say ‘We don’t have them any more – the Germans captured them’. Instead, they just prevaricated and avoided saying anything. Later the bodies were found in graves at Katyn. The conclusion is obvious – the Soviets killed them.

              And why should anybody be surprised at that? Killing people en masse was something the Soviet leadership never had any particular qualms about. During the Great Terror, Stalin signed lists containing the names of thousands of people to be executed. Why wouldn’t he have signed this one? Why imagine that this document is some forgery? It’s entirely in keeping with the character and practices of the people involved.

              Overall, the attempt by Stalinist apologists to deny all their beloved vozhd’s misbehaviours is rather disturbing and unbecoming of intelligent people.

              • yalensis says:

                Dear Paul:

                Well, for starters, that whole “Occam’s Razor” thing is a bogus argument.
                It doesn’t always work, because the “simplest” theory is not always the correct theory.
                Especially whe facts get in the way. And facts can sometimes be messy and complicated, not simple like Occam’s razor.
                I propose that people stop using the “Occam’s Razor” argument at all, to prove anything.
                With the exception of using statisticals when no other facts are available.
                For example, if a person had a sniffly nose and that’s all we know, we don’t have any other lab tests or facts, then it is probably okay to use “Occam’s razor” and assume that this person has a cold or flu, and not some exotic disease.
                But what if the lab tests showed they DID have an exotic disease? Would you reject those lab tests on the grounds of Occam’s Razor?

                Having gotten Occam out of the way, we have to look at those transport records.
                Nobody denies that these Polish prisoners were in Soviet custody.
                The dispute is whether the Soviets killed the prisoners in their custody, or fled willy-nilly leaving these prisoners to the tender mercies of the Germans.
                That one example tells the whole story: People said this Polish policeman died at Katyn. And then his badge was unearthed at a site that was controlled by the Germans. That man’s skeleton was lying under the soil all along, proving that he was shot by the GERMANS, not by the NKVD.

                I also reject your argument that “Stalin killed thousands,” therefore why not kill the Poles as well? That is a logical fallacy. Stalin purged his political rivals from within the Bolshevik Party. Which is an entirely different thing from killing extraneous foreign nationals. Frankly, I don’t think Stalin even had the cojones to commit such a deed. I think the Soviet army and NKVD had to flee in a hurry, leaving the prisoners behind. Even if they had wanted to shoot them, they didn’t have time. And probably they DID shoot some of them. Like I said, a couple thousand of them, the ones who had been convicted or about to stand trial for violent acts such as murder or rape.
                It would have taken literally weeks to shoot 20K Poles, and the Soviets simply didn’t have that kind of time, even if they had the inclination.
                And then Germans arrived, found the Poles, realized they had a golden opportunity handed to them on a silver platter.

                • yalensis says:

                  And P.S. – I am not a Stalin apologist. Far from it. So please don’t pin that on me.
                  I literally do not have a dog in this fight. I am only interested in the facts.

              • Jen says:

                @ Paul: I agree with Yalensis’ argument that we cannot use the Occam’s razor principle in discussing the question of who was responsible for the Katyn massacres (or indeed any similar event about which there are bucket-loads of deliberate disinformation), especially as the situation in eastern Europe and the USSR at the time the massacres occurred was chaotic and the Germans were possibly in a position to destroy or doctor Soviet documentation regarding the prisoners and the conditions of their imprisonment with the intent to blame the USSR for whatever the Germans did to the prisoners. After all, it was the Germans who announced the discovery of the mass graves in 1943, a few years after the massacres had been carried out, and this was at a time when the venality and horrors of Nazi German rule throughout eastern and SE Europe were still only rumours or unknown outside those areas. Germany was in a position to shape the narrative regarding the Katyn event and any documentation about it in a way that would cast blame on the Soviets.

                We can’t say that interpreting the Katyn event and the evidence as to who was responsible for it is simple. If it were, and all other historical events were as simple, you wouldn’t have a job as history professor.

      • Cortes says:

        Not sure if Richard Overy’s now listed as an apologist for Stalin but the following book is fascinating and thoroughly (for me anyway) debunked the idea that the Red Army let the Warsaw Rising be crushed for essentially petty reasons:

        https://www.amazon.com/Ivans-War-Life-Death-1939-1945/dp/0312426526

        • kirill says:

          Unlike the US greenlighting of Hussein’s attack on Kuwait in 1990, the USSR never gave any signal to start the uprising and never coordinated with the Polak nationalists. How can anybody with a functional brain accept the argument that Soviet forces were obliged to rush in and help the uprising? That is even aside from any other issues such as the fact that Soviet forces were still engaged in fighting with Nazi German forces and weren’t on some vacation in the area.

          • marknesop says:

            Nothing to the American betrayal of the Hungarians, in which Washington covertly encouraged their uprising and then – once it was well underway – released an official statement that the United States of America did not look with favor upon a government hostile to the USSR on its borders. When Franco arranged with Adenauer to have Spanish planes carrying weapons for the Hungarians land in Germany to refuel, Eisenhower applied pressure and got it canceled.

    • marknesop says:

      The latter work, “The Permanent War Economy”, has been helpfully reviewed by a young lady who appears to have a lot on the ball, so I don’t have to. I like her summary, but her full review is worth going through:

      “The statistics and conclusions here are dry as a desert, but don’t appear to have changed much in forty years. The U.S. comes up with an excuse to intervene militarily often enough to perpetuate military production. Meanwhile, the nation’s infrastructure is crumbling. There aren’t enough qualified American engineers to design train systems, let alone train cars. If the federal government would cut military spending by 80%, and divert those funds to investing in other public works projects, the U.S. would stand a chance of being a true leader in global production and innovation again. But alas, it probably won’t, at least not for another forty years. So, in the end, this book is rather depressing. I don’t recommend reading a book full of dire predictions for the future, when that future is your own dystopian present.”

      She makes some great points that, while not “Eureka!!” moments, bear repeating to our attention-deficit society – the USA at some point made a conscious decision, or had one made for it by its leadership, to depart from leading the world by example and in engineering, quality of life and upward mobility in favour of a massive standing army to bludgeon the world into compliance with American directives. The military-industrial model is one of the least efficient possible, as it continues to churn out models of outdated design on long-term contracts which have been left in the dust by innovation or development of clever an inexpensive countermeasures. Money thus invested in hard power is completely at the expense of soft power, despite the maxim that you catch more flies with global innovations than you do with main battle tanks. The United States is indeed committed to its present course of force over common sense, and has, moreover, imbued its people with a sense that rejection of American meddling is an insult to fairness and democracy. It must therefore lurch along, serving from one ditch to another while spending little time actually on the road, until it collapses completely, because the government is now so entwined in the military-industrial complex that you can barely tell where one ends and the other begins.

      The Battle of Warsaw stuff is interesting, if a little one-sided.

    • Special_sauce says:

      lol, wikipedia? The antidote https://espressostalinist.com/category/grover-furr/

      Long read, but rewarding.

      • yalensis says:

        Ha ha, Sauce! You beat me to Grover Furr. It’s like the “Marco Polo” game: Somebody says “Katyn”, and somebody else says “Grover Furr”.
        I posted my comment above before seeing your comment.

        So, yeah, my attitude towards Grover Furr is: Separate the flies from the cutlets.
        Grover is hard-worker and makes some tasty cutlets. And I think he is absolutely right about Katyn.
        But our Grover DOES have his blind spots, Stalin being one of them.
        Grover cannot accept that Stalin was a ruthless politician who eliminated his political rivals.
        So he has to try to convince people that every single member of Lenin’s Central Committee, from Trotsky to Bukharin to Radek and everybody else, and even later-comers like Yezhov, were all secretly working for the Nazis or the Japanese. Here is the link to Grover’s opus on this matter:

        clogic.eserver.org/2009/furr.pdf

        Stalin-fans are pleased to read this, they exclaim: “I knew that Stalin was right all along!” But Grover’s methodology has a lot of holes in it. Some months ago I read this work through very carefully, there are a couple of interesting nuggets which Grover retrieved from the Russian archives. But mostly the “proof” consists of Grover saying, like, “The testimony of X corroborates the testimony of Y.”

        Well, duh! If both X and Y are in custody, both being tortured and both being coached by the same interrogators, then of course their testimony is meant to align.

        I separate out all this nonsense from Grover’s work on Katyn, especially that archaeological bit, which is some true and actual physical evidence proving that the Soviets didn’t “do” Katyn.

      • Northern Star says:

        Thanks for the ES link Sauce…The ES hate mail page is like totally hilarious..
        As a matter of fact..here is a weekend present for you two commie rats…yourself and the traitor who runs that ES blog…

        • yalensis says:

          I am still waiting for the day — I will probably be waiting forever until the sun goes super-nova — when Stalinists accept that Trotsky was also a Communist in good standing. That proud and angry Jew is the only face missing from their Commie Iconostasis.

    • Eric says:

      British casualties saving Poland…….. approximately ………………….0
      French casualties saving Poland……. approximately……………………0
      American casualties saving Poland… approximately……………………0
      Russian/Soviet casualties saving Poland…..approximately…………….600000+

      • kirill says:

        Excellent post. The rabid Polak Russia haters should get over themselves. They are full of shit on a cosmic scale. The British threw the Poles under the bus in 1939. And the Poles were there in 1938 appeasing Hitler together with the British at Munich.

        It is bizarre how some anti-Communist formation would expect the assistance of the USSR. In fact, it never did. The uprising was deliberately instigated to create resentment against the USSR among the Poles. The instigators knew full well that Soviet soldiers would not be rushing in to save them and that the whole thing was doomed to failure. This is the dirty politics that runs this world.

    • rkka says:

      Stalin did not do this. The Germans did.

      As Soviet 2nd Tank Army approached Warsaw in late August 1944, it’s recon elements detected German 39th Panzer Corps concentrated northeast of Warsay, comprising 19th Panzer Division, 3rd SS Panzer Division, 5th SS Panzer Division, and the Luftwaffe’s Hermann Goering Parachute Panzer Division (it’s a long story, lol). In 29 July, General-Major Radzievsky, chief of staff and active commander of 2nd Tank Army (2GTA commander Bogdanov having been wounded by Ukrainian nationalists who had ambushed his command convoy earlier in the operation) ordered 2GTA to halt, and 39 Panzercorps counterattacked. In this counterattack, Soviet 3rd Tank Corps ( a division-sized force, not equivalent to a Western corps) was enveloped and annihilated, suffering a 90% casualty rate (3k KIA and 6k taken prisoner out of a total strength of 10,500). Soviet 8th Guards Tank Corps was able to retreat, but suffered heavy losses as well.

      After 3rd Tank was overrun, the Polish gvt-in-exile in London accused the Red Army of “Just standing by, passive and ostentatious, at a distance of 15 km from Warsaw” when what actually was going on then was an armored brawl between a 4-division panzer corps and a 2-corps (small divisions really, the SS Panzer divisions were 70% bigger than a Soviet tank corps). Stalin told Churchill & Roosevelt truthfully that the Germans had brought up four Panzer Divisions. Brit SIGINT monitored German radio broadcasting news of 39 Panzercorps defeating a Soviet armored force just east of Warsaw.

      The West preferred to believe the Polish lies over Stalin telling the truth. No news to us, I know, but still…

      • Northern Star says:

        Well it appears as if there remains some dispute as to whether or not the NKVD carried out Katyn murders…on the other hand I certainly am thankful to be enlightened about the way in which the Western propaganda machine has tried to put a self serving spin on the ’44 Warsaw uprising in terms of exactly who betrayed the Poles..allegedly.
        I myself did note that the Brits-particularly SOE- threw the Warsaw pole fighters under the bus…..brings to mind how the Brits and the French threw the Czechs under the bus in ’38..but NOT the Russians.
        https://sputniknews.com/politics/20150926/1027577179.html
        (Intetesting vintage footage here):http://www.onlinefootage.tv/stock-video-footage/25175/1938-munich-conference-annexation-of-czechoslovakia-s-sudetenland
        The poles do seem to have selective memory in that in 2016 they seem to be prone to aligning themselves with certain NATO powers who did not help them in the GPW.

        • kirill says:

          If Stalin was out to kill Polaks he would have kept on killing them after 1940 and even after 1945. He could have had every Pole associated with the 1920 Polish-Soviet war rounded up along with their families and shot. The date(s) of the atrocity smell of Nazi responsibility.

      • Moscow Exile says:


        (caption) Polish general Malinowski explaining operational situation to Nazi German guests during military maneuvers in Volhynia (currently Western Ukraine) in 1938. The show was aimed to demonstrate Poles’ ability to defeat the Red Army.


        Polish tanks enter Těšín, Czechoslovakia, on Oct 11, 1938


        Polish Marshal Edward Rydz-Smigly and the German Attache, Colonel von Bogislava Studnitz greet each other at a parade of “Independence Day” in Warsaw on November 11, 1938. Less than a year later Poland would cease to exist.

        See: What is lost in Poles’ memories?

        • marknesop says:

          That’s a really solid piece, well-substantiated. It’s certainly true that Russophobes dance around that Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in exactly the way they do the Budapest Memorandum, as if both proved everything they are trying to say and effectively shut down discussion.

          • yalensis says:

            Yeah, as a programmer I am always looking for ways to simplify computer algorithms and code.
            In a similar way, I think political debates can be simplified. For example, when discussing Poland status as a “victim state”, Russophobes can shorten their debating point to a single token: “MR” (short for Molotov-Ribbentrop).
            Russophiles can then respond with the token: “PNAPWG” standing for “Polish Non-Aggression Pact With Germany”.
            Perhaps there is a way to compress even that token, merely just to “PG” for short.

            So, in summary, one person yells out: “MR”.
            And the other retorts: “PG”.
            Which makes all the points, and saves a lot of time!

  14. Patient Observer says:

    A good post indeed. Compare and contrast the western expert claims of the glorious Ukrainian future with the analyses at this blog. It gives confidence that other analyses in this blog are similarly superior to the western party line. And, its all for free!

    Ukraine is an example of what happens when the West actually has its way. Russia has shown magnificent forbearance and allowing the national trainwreck to proceed while protecting the Donbass to the greatest degree feasible.

    In case Ukraine was hoping to sue its way to wealth by winning damages against Russia over the loss of Crimea:

    https://www.rt.com/politics/359408-no-chance-of-russia-compensating/

    Ukraine’s threats to seek compensation from Russia over its 2014 reunification with Crimea are doomed to failure because they lack any legal grounds, according to an official from a UN arbitration court.

    “I have repeatedly heard statements from [Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel] Klimkin in which he promised to file a lawsuit [against Russia] at some international court in the nearest future,” Kamil Bekyashev, a member of the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, said in comments with Izvestia daily.

    “At the same time, he cannot say what particular instance Ukraine is going to address. There is a hierarchy of international court bodies, consisting of the UN International Court, the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea… But whatever court they turn to, I will be there,” Bekyashev added.

    The official noted that even though the Ukrainian lawsuit against Russia could technically be accepted, there was no real chance of it gaining any momentum because the Crimean Republic became a part of the Russian Federation by the will of its people, expressed almost unanimously in the 2014 referendum.

    “Everything was done in accordance with international law, on the basis of the expression of the people’s will and according to the UN Charter – the people is a subject of international law. On these grounds, the court would most likely turn down the lawsuit,” Bekyashev noted.

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks, PO!

      I hope the lawsuit actually is filed, but I doubt very much it will be. Ukraine derives much more leverage from threatening to do it, but actually doing so carries a significant risk not only of losing, but of a judgment being rendered which is actually worded somewhat as Bekyashev concludes here. If anything ever appeared in the judgment which was worded anything like “in accordance with international law”, there would go the grounds for refusing to recognize Crimea as a legitimate part of the Russian Federation – not just for Ukraine, but for everyone.

      As common wisdom has it, don’t ask the question unless you have prepared yourself to live with every possible answer.

      • Patient Observer says:

        My lawyer goes one better – never ask a question unless you already know the answer.

        • marknesop says:

          Ahhh, yes….but that presupposes the answer that comes out of the person’s mouth whom you are asking is the real answer. How many times does that happen with today’s state-suborned media?

          I would agree with your lawyer provided the quote was extended to, “Never ask a question unless you already know the answer, can prove that it is the correct answer with materials you have ready to hand, and know that you will be given the opportunity to do so”.

  15. et Al says:

    Neuters: Exclusive: GE wins $1.9 billion order from UK’s Hinkley Point nuclear plant
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-generalelectric-hinkley-idUKKCN11M097

    …By approving Hinkley Point on Thursday, the UK government cleared the way for GE to begin building two 1,770-megawatt Arabelle steam turbines and generators capable of powering six million homes and supplying about 7 percent of the UK’s power generation needs for 60 years, GE said. They will replace older coal-fired plants, GE said…
    ####

    I suspect part of the reason the project when ahead was because of very heavy behind the scenes lobbying by US & French industry, neither of whom could pull of such a project without Chinese finance. The French nuclear industry was desperate for this and would have been in serious trouble, GE not so much because it is a gigantic concern (though it sold of its domestic appliances branch to China’s Haier recently).

    The cherry on the cake is that UK PM, Theresa ‘AM*’ May grudgingly approved the Hinkley C project under the guise of ramped up ‘National Security’ changes that China found deeply insulting. The UK deigned to ‘let China invest’ so they should be grateful. Using the ‘National Security’ exemption as the public excuse (real or imagined) from the World Trade Organisation rules is an absolute disgrace when her ‘Turn the UK in to the US’ policies are incapable of funding basic infrastructure projects. Thames link only happened because they were afraid London would grind to a halt (the London cashmen put the squeeze on) & HS2 is just about cash and lack of political will.

    * Arbeit Macht

  16. et Al says:

    Independent: Boris Johnson flies in to address escalating Ukraine crisis and finds himself left completely sidelined
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/boris-johnson-escalating-ukraine-crisis-brexit-diplomacy-sidelined-a7309906.html?google_editors_picks=true

    Main focus during Foreign Secretary’s trip is the UK’s vote in favour of Brexit

    …Also coming to the Ukraine on Wednesday were Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, bearing news hotfoot that a ceasefire porposed by the separatist leader of the Donetsk Peoples Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, has received the crucial backing of the Kremlin.

    Mr Johnson could offer nothing similar and received no name-check when Pavlo Klimkin, the Ukrainian foreign minister, declared that the presence of the German and French ministers in Ukraine showed that the Minsk Agreement, which brought a ceasefire two years ago, can be kickstarted.

    “The presence of Jean-Marc and Frank-Walter here in Kiev is evidence that the Normandy format [an international meeting where the UK was not present] works, that we must together force Russia to implement the Minsk Agreement,” said Mr Klimkin. ..

    … During the Minsk talks, General Sir Richard Shirreff, the former deputy commander of Nato, claimed Britain has been sidelined in the worst crisis in Europe in a half-century. “Where is Britain? Where is Cameron? He is clearly a bit part player. Nobody is taking any notice of him. He is now a foreign policy irrelevance,” charged General Shirreff.
    ####

    The UK, pinching its weight around the world!

    So, Zakharchenko (a nobody apparently), is the cause of both French & German foreign ministers hot-footing it over to the Ukraine. If you ask me, the unilateral cease-fire was a smart move to pre-empty any Ukrainian attack and provide a diplomatic opening for France & Germany to also dis-encourage Kiev from following Washington’s plans.

    • marknesop says:

      That may be, but Klimkin the Garden Gnome is whistling past the graveyard if he genuinely believes the Minsk apparatus can be ‘restarted’. I suspect he is just mouthing diplomatic niceties as best he knows how and does not really believe what he is saying, because the Minsk Agreement is as dead as if it never was so long as Fatty the Chocolate King insists on Russia returning exclusive control of the eastern border to Kiev up front, and trusting Kiev to make the reforms it promised it would do beforehand. It is clearly well-understood in Moscow that Kiev still hopes for and plans a military solution which will bring the rebellious provinces to heel. And as we all know, the east needs to hold firm and win every time, while Kiev only needs to win once. If it could once overrun the DPR and get its own forces right to the Russian border with ruin in their wake, the ‘international community’ would rush to declare it a permanent solution and glory be, Ukraine is united once more. Everyone stay out, and let the Ukrainians ‘settle their domestic differences’.

  17. et Al says:

    Sky Nudes: MoD ‘extremely sorry’ over Iraqi boy drowned in canal in Basra
    http://news.sky.com/story/mod-extremely-sorry-over-iraqi-boy-drowned-in-canal-in-basra-10579804

    The 15-year-old suspected looter drowned after being forced into the canal for a “soaking” by four British soldiers.

    Ahmad Jabbar Kareem, 15, died in the Shatt Al Basra canal in May 2003 after being stopped by British troops who suspected him of looting near the Basra General Hospital.

    He and three other suspected looters were forced into the water by the soldiers for a “soaking” – but the boy got into difficulty and drowned.

    The soldiers were tried in a British court for manslaughter and were acquitted in 2006…

    …It said the soldiers’ failure to help was the “plain and certain” cause of the boy’s death…
    ####

    Now that is how a civilized country like the UK deals with its own war crimes! It was just some jolly school boy japes*, and accidents do happen when joshing. Sorry, it was nothing personal!

    And what a tortured lesson in the English language the ruling is, impressive for what it doesn’t say and terms it doesn’t use.

    * Lawyers note:only one person needs to be of school age, whether or not they are in school because it has been closed of destroyed, to be classified as a ‘school boy’.

    • marknesop says:

      As much a disgrace to Britain as was the torture and murder of Somali teen Shidane Arone in similar circumstances, by members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment to Canada.

      Well, except that the entire regiment was disbanded as a result, and the soldiers pictured with his body went to prison, including the one who took the photographs. The actual killer, Clayton Matchee, was eventually released back to his family, as a suicide attempt in prison left him too brain-damaged to stand trial.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Well, they did say “extremely sorry”. But, get a load of this

      The report said the soldiers’ actions gave rise to “grave concerns” about their ability to cope with their orders and the adequacy of the resources available to them and highlighted serious concerns about the roles imposed on them.

      According to the story, they rounded up the kids (who were probably scavenging for food), roughed them up, took them to a canal in an armored vehicle and forced them into the water. They watched them struggle and eventfully one drowned. The soldiers were so overwhelmed, the “adequacy of resources” was questionable and with no specific orders and training, they had no choice but to torture the kids, I mean, like, was there any other alternative?

      A more accurate description was that sociopath soldiers killed some time by abusing and murdering some araabs. But we can’t say that, can we?

      • yalensis says:

        Yeah, the word “looter” is another one of those judgey words.
        One man’s desperate food-seeker is another man’s looter.

        Check out these images from American press, from the time of Hurricane Katrina:

        • Patient Observer says:

          Hurricane Katrina and to a lesser extent, Hurricanes Andrew and Sandy, showed how Americans behave during times of catastrophe. By catastrophe, I mean where your life appears to be in danger for at least several days and there is no signs of imminent help. Its everybody for themselves – guns drawn, looting and violence. A side story – a sister of an acquaintance told stories of overwhelming fear in her neighborhoods hit by Hurricane Sandy. But the MSM focused on only the occasional positive story. Admittedly, we like nice human interest stories but the whitewashing of the true nature of the impact on the victims is misleading, Or, is it that the exceptional nation can not acknowledge such realities? Per wikipedia:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_Hurricane_Andrew_in_Florida

          There were numerous reports of people stealing merchandise from damaged or destroyed stores[38] as well as at severely damaged neighborhoods. As a result, gun sales had soared and residents posted warning signs with messages such as: “You loot, we shoot. You try, you die”.]

        • marknesop says:

          Ha, ha!!! That is amazing!!!

  18. et Al says:

    The Intercept: The FBI’s Own Watchdog Signs Off on Agents Impersonating Journalists
    https://theintercept.com/2016/09/15/the-fbis-own-watchdog-signs-off-on-agents-impersonating-journalists/

    A new report from the Justice Department’s inspector general concludes that FBI agents can go undercover and impersonate journalists, as long as they sufficiently consult FBI headquarters.

    The inspector general’s office investigated a case from 2007 where undercover FBI agents impersonated a journalist from the Associated Press. FBI regulations at the time “did not prohibit agents from impersonating journalists or from posing as a member of a news organization,” the report concluded.

    And such tactics would still be permissible today under new guidelines issued in 2016, the report said, as long as agents sought various high-level approvals….
    ####

    Not that this is really news. Just about every jihadi Tom, Dick & Harry thinks every journalist can be a spy thanks to US exceptionalism in undermining the last vestiges of any perceived journalistic independence, not to mention that any journalist who reports from a war zone and is not under protection of the United States (freelancers for example), have only themselves to blame if they get killed by the US or its allies. You are either with us, or your supposed protections are worthless. The Red Cross has suffered similar behavior at the hands of the US during Bettancourt’s rescue from the FARC rebels where the Columbian military helicopter pilots wore Red Cross symbols to disguise themselves.

    • Jen says:

      The FBI’s actions would put real journalists’ lives in danger and inhibit them from working in foreign countries. Also anyone thinking of becoming a whistle-blower regarding corrupt practices in a US government agency might think twice about contacting an AP journalist, even if that journalist was working as a freelancer on contract.

    • marknesop says:

      That’s actually a very important point in the ongoing struggle to portray journalists as some sort of sacred cow who are not to be harmed although they go into the most high-risk areas. Thanks to certain countries breaching every rule known to man in their continuing pursuit of full-spectrum dominance, no matter what values they must prostitute to achieve it, journalists are viewed by many as just another combatant attempting to use a subterfuge to gain battlefield intelligence which will shortly thereafter be employed to advantage.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Most MSM journalists should be charged with impersonating journalists.

      The purpose of the MSM is not to dispense facts, even if biased. Its job is to sell influence, just like any other ad agency.

  19. Cortes says:

    Another great piece, Mark: thank you.

    I went to the linked article of 28 September 2013 and re-read it. What struck me was the awareness of the dangers of Yanukovich’s Hamlet-like dithering were so obvious that the advisors he had ought to be calumnified for failure to urge him to an early decision. If you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t then many would prefer to screw their courage to the sticking place.

    As you have consistently pointed out the Ukrainian people as a whole have been betrayed time and again by the mountebanks playing at being a political class.

    • marknesop says:

      Thank you, Cortes; that is exactly what I was trying to get across. And the Ukrainians as a people should be aware that the entire population is acquiring a reputation as sly, deceptive and disingenuous, genetically unable to admit a mistake and never to be trusted in a business relationship, owing to the actions of its government, oligarchy and their minions.

      • Cortes says:

        Even if he had taken the early opportunity to refer the matter to a plebiscite on the grounds that a sense of the public’s wishes must be determined prior to his signing up to EU or EEU packages it would have provided space for all internal voices to make their cases.

        • yalensis says:

          Dear Cortes:
          I always find it curious that Hamlet’s reputation continues to be that of a “ditherer”.
          I mean, when push came to shove, Prince Hamlet was not all that shy about schwinging his sword to jab all and sundry. Even turning Polonius into a shish-kebab, at a moment’s whim.;

          • Cortes says:

            Adam McNaughton reached a similar conclusion about 2:30 into the following summary of the Great Dane’s story:

            • yalensis says:

              Ha ha!
              Despite comprehending only a fraction of the words through that thick Scottish accent, I do get the gist!
              And sure enough, he makes it clear that Hamlet is not so much an intellectual ditherer as an action hero. A bit of a sociopath as well, although I suppose much of Hamlet’s egregious behavior can be excused because of the extenuating circumstances.

              And once again, I know I have posted this before, but the MST3K version of Hamlet is definitely the best ever produced for the screen. The full version is on youtube, but here is the 10-minute Readers Digest version, for a few quick (and cheap) laughs:

              • Jen says:

                Yes I’ve seen Kenneth Branagh’s big budget “Hamlet” movie and not only did he include the entire text of the play and restored the full context in which Hamlet revealed his psychopath tendencies (and proved himself the true nephew of bad Uncle Claudius) but he also rescued Polonius as an intelligent but self-serving realpolitik schemer whose machinations result in his death. The Zeffirelli movie version with Mel Gibson as Hamlet treated Polonius as a garrulous idiot. I couldn’t believe Ian Holm could have agreed to play Polonius that way because when he does sinister characters, he does them very well. (Anyone remember Holm as Ash in “Alien”?)

                Of course Branagh did play up the action hero aspect and I believe he did a lot of weight training and suntanning to get that buff look for the swordfighting scenes.

                Incidentally Branagh’s movie has the look of early 20th-century Imperial Russia and that was a deliberate choice on his part, to bring out the play’s politics and as a sort of homage to the Russian-language film of the play starring Innokenty Smoktunovsky as Hamlet.

  20. Moscow Exile says:

    Putin blames Kiev for Crimea events, stresses Russia did not annex region

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia had not annexed Crimea and that Kiev’s actions had been the root cause behind Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

    • marknesop says:

      He shut the Ukrainian side down hard. It’s a little like Washington moaning and squealing about the South China Sea and UNCLOS, when the USA has never ratified UNCLOS. The Americans always like to keep their options open, and ratifying it is agreeing to be bound by it.

  21. Moscow Exile says:

    Хакеры опубликовали имена еще 11 спортсменов, принимавших допинг

    Hackers have published the names of 11 athletes who took dope

    MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. Hacker group Fancy Bears has published the names of 11 athletes from five countries who had a therapeutic resolution on doping. This has been reported on the website Fancy Bears.

    Among the athletes who took dope, was a British citizen Nicola Adams (Olympic champion in 2016 in Boxing), Laura Trott (Olympic champion in Cycling), Siobhan-Marie O’connor (silver medalist in swimming) and Olivia Carnegie-brown (silver medalist in rowing), Dane Jeanette Ottesen (bronze medalist in swimming), the representatives of Australia, Kim Brennan (Olympic champion in rowing), Alexander Belonogov (silver medalist in rowing) and cyclist Jack Bobridge, the Spaniard Mireya Belmonte Garcia (Olympic champion in swimming) and athletes from Germany, shooter Julian Justus and tennis player Laura Siegemund.

    Yesterday the hacker group Fancy Bears published on its website the second part of the documents, according to which WADA admitted the use of prohibited substances by 25 athletes from eight countries, including 14 medal winners of the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro. The list includes only one Russian representative, boxer Misha Aloyan. According to his doping sample, taken on August 2, there was a positive result for a substance tuaminogeptana. On 13 September we published the first part of the documents, the list includes American gymnast Simone Bilz, tennis players Serena and Venus Williams and basketball player Elena Delle Donne.

    • marknesop says:

      Simone Biles has exemptions for ADHD (which is apparently ridiculously easy to get an exemption for as the doctor who signs off on it does not have to prove any physical markers or symptoms) going back to 2012, just being extended over and over as the current TUE is due to run out. Five years she’s been taking whatever it is she is taking, and the presence of it in her samples must be discounted according to WADA’s rules. Travis Tygart is apoplectic, raging about dirty Russia accusing his clean athletes, and by and large the western media is trying to go along with the ‘nothing to see here’ line while constantly reiterating that the McLaren Report proves Russia had a state-sponsored doping program. But it is definitely big news and WADA is scrambling to cover its ass with the robes of self-righteousness, while constantly repeating that the hack was illegal and a criminal act. I read a piece on Yahoo yesterday that followed much that kind of line, but the comments uniformly advised that the readers are not buying it. I’ll try to find it later on, but for now it’s time I wasn’t here.

      • Eric says:

        The ADHD element to the Biles story shouldn’t distract from her physique which itself should raise plenty of suspiciouns ( as should the American mens Gymnastics who looked like a 1970’s bodybuilding contestant team)

        If she is in education then at least a case can be made ( by some) for her to take this ADHD medication nonsense…but how can it be acceptable to use, in competition, without being obvious cheating, cynically allowed by the US at the expense of Russia and other countries? Concentration is a skill, more so in Gymnastics .

        If she is found guilty of cheating (that’s in a fair world) then Russia receives 2 more Golds.

        • Jen says:

          I think I would check Simone Biles’ dental records first before her medical records. It’s possible that Biles is younger than the date of birth stated on her passport.

          Is it usual medical practice that someone from age 15 years on is still allowed to take ADHD medication for concentration issues?

          It’s my understanding that Biles received home schooling for the entire time when she would normally have attended high school (from age 12 to 17 or 18). Plus she’s given up a placing at UCLA. That should raise some issues about what education she’s been receiving over the years. Has she had much at all?

          BTW here’s a photo of Simone Biles with some of her family:

          She’s about 4’8″ – about the same height Mary Lou Retton was when she competed at age 16 in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics – so at present it looks as if her short height is natural and her physique is the result of too much hot-house gymnastics, not enough time for a proper education and her age being bumped up.

          • yalensis says:

            The other members of Simone’s family look fairly small and petite.
            The weird thing is, that big guy in the back with the brown cap — he is a dead ringer for one of my neighbors in my housing block. It’s not him, but he looks just like him!

          • marknesop says:

            I still don’t think she could build that kind of muscle mass – specifically in her deltoids and exterior obliques – with just repeated exercise and weight-lifting. Not unless she can bench-press about twice her own weight.

        • marknesop says:

          This also is exactly my point – yes, American athletes do constant strength training in preparation for competition; this is often used to justify Serena Williams’ massive physique. But here’s Angelique Kerber, the current number 1, who beat Williams. Kerber is only 28 to Serena’s 34, but the difference in their physiques is clear; Serena Williams has a great deal more muscle mass. Strength training, generally speaking, does not add muscle mass – it tones and shapes the muscle mass typical for your body. Kerber beat Williams for the top ranking, so huge muscle mass is evidently not necessary to win, as we must assume Kerber’s training regimen is similar in intensity to Williams’, since she was good enough to win.

          I couldn’t say what kind of advantage the extra muscle mass offers, because muscle is disproportionately heavy as tissue goes, and must add a lot of weight. But look at Biles’ physique. Some make the excuse that she probably lifts weights. She probably does, and there’s obviously no prohibition on that. But here’s what female body-builders who lift weights every day look like. The muscles are beautifully highlighted and toned, but there is not much bulk added. There are female body-builders who are muscled nearly like men…but they take steroids to increase their muscle mass.

          • yalensis says:

            Lifting weights also gives you a tan. Apparently.

            • marknesop says:

              I don’t think weight-lifters are subject to the same rules as professional athletes, and can use steroids if they want to. The tan is part of the visual effect – it shows off muscle definition better than pale skin when it is oiled.

            • Jen says:

              Yes, when you lift the dumb-bells up to a certain height off the floor – or the final thrust from holding them across your collar-bone and shoulders to up above your head triggers a tiny mechanism in the bar – the apparatus releases a fine spray of orange-coloured sun tan and SPF15 sunscreen all over you.

          • Jen says:

            Given that she does have muscular arms, the odd thing about Biles is that she’s no great shakes on the women’s asymmetric bars exercise which you would think demands a great deal of upper body strength and plenty of shoulder muscle. Biles was not expected to medal in the bars at the Rio Olympics and indeed she didn’t; the gold medal was won by Aliya Mustafina who is a much taller gymnast (about 5’2″ or 160 cm in height).

            No big muscles on Mustafina’s arms or shoulders here!

            I did try Googling past and present gymnasts with a similar body type as Biles’ but when I saw their photos, while the girls can look quite muscular, none of them had the arms that Biles has.

            Shawn Johnson (2007 world champion, 2008 Olympic beam champion):

            Mohini Bhardwaj (US Olympic team in 2004):

            • yalensis says:

              Dear Jen:
              If you are interested in women’s gymnastics, you might enjoy an American movie I saw recently, it’s called The Bronze . It’s a rather dark comedy about a has-been girl gymnast, with thinly-veiled allusions to Kerri Strug and Béla Károlyi.

              I personally thought the movie was quite brilliant. Not as funny as it should be, but rather dark and disturbing.
              Apparently the movie did not do well in the U.S. and received bad ratings.
              American audiences like sports movies, but they like them to follow a certain formula, wherein the disiillusioned washed-up hero/heroine is supposed to receive redemption at the end and win the big competition, or whatever.

              This particular movie does not follow the formula exactly, although it makes some token thrusts in that direction. And the heroine is 100% unlikable, a foul-mouthed sociopath.
              Still, as I said, I found it quite brilliant.

      • Chinese American says:

        A quick search shows any number of MSM articles from recent years about the ADHD “epidemic” in American sport, in particular in major league baseball, where the percentage of players with ADHD diagnoses and exemptions for RItalin and/or Adderall (precisely the two drugs that WADA has allowed Biles to take) reached a ridiculous 8%. A fairly typical example, from 2009:
        http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_nature/2009/01/doping_deficit_disorder.html
        The title was blunt: Need Performance-Enhancing Drugs? Claim ADHD. And of course, the famous Ritalin Nation did not refer to any other country but the U. S. Yet after these latest revelations, all of a sudden experts are claiming that the drugs have no effect on non-ADHD brain chemistry. If so, why not remove them from the banned list? After all, WADA has shown that an athlete with ADHD is allowed to take them during competition, and one without ADHD wouldn’t be helped by them–as claimed by Western experts?

        (BTW, from what I’ve heard, many parents of children with ADHD try to avoid or minimize medication, because of the fairly strong side-effects.)

  22. et Al says:

    Euractiv: Naftogaz says charter change threatens gas purchases from Europe
    http://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/naftogaz-says-charter-change-threatens-gas-purchases-from-europe/

    Ukraine has changed the charter of Naftogaz in violation of a deal with foreign creditors, in a move that could hold up a $500 million loan for vital gas purchases from Europe, the state-run energy firm said on Friday (16 September).

    “These funds are essential for gas purchases that will allow Ukraine to get through the winter season in a stable manner,” Naftogaz said in emailed comments.

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) expressed concern on Friday after Naftogaz said the economy ministry transferred control of the company’s gas transport arm last week, in violation of corporate governance principles.

    Last October, the government approved a plan to reform the corporate governance of Naftogaz in exchange for loans worth $800 million from the World Bank and the EBRD to buy gas from Europe for the winter….

    …Naftogaz said on Friday that the charter change imposed by the ministry violated the terms of the energy firm’s loan agreement with the EBRD and could lead to a default on the debt.
    ####

    Nothing to see here! It’ll be swept under the carpet with all the other rules as we have seen with the IMF.

    • marknesop says:

      Yep; they will continue to pour money into Ukraine regardless. But that’s all to the good in the long run. Certain elements in Ukraine are plainly encouraged by the perception that rules are rules for everyone but the ‘fledgling democracy’ known as Ukraine, and will continue to steal and redirect western money so long as Europe continues to send it. Nothing much will improve in Ukraine, and the west will fret and fuss but ultimately send them more money. Some people will get even richer who don’t deserve a bean, and that part is unfortunate. But one day the tap will dry up, and then Ukraine will go on pretty much as it has done, while the west will have sunk billions into a money pit which would otherwise likely have been spent on mischief.

  23. et Al says:

    Independent: US troops forced out of Syrian town by anti-Assad rebels
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-war-us-special-forces-chased-town-rebels-free-syrian-army-a7311666.html

    Video purportedly shows supposed American allies of the Free Syrian Army chanting: ‘We’re going to slaughter you’

    …The Associated Press reports that US troops headed back towards Turkey after a dispute about their presence.

    The five or six US special forces were there to support Operation Euphrates Shield, which began last month with Free Syrian Army fighters backed by Turkish artillery and jets.

    …Purported video of the incident appears to show FSA fighters chanting anti-American slogans.

    “Dogs, agents of America,” one man can be heard to say in Arabic, according to a translation by Middle East Eye, while others chant “They are crusaders and infidels”, “Down with America”, “’Get out you pigs” and “They are coming to Syria to occupy it”…
    ####

    Big LOLZ.

    Meanwhile,,,

    Neuters via The Star Online: Russian general’s visit ‘very productive’ – Turkish military sources
    http://www.thestar.com.my/news/world/2016/09/16/russian-generals-visit-very-productive–turkish-military-sources/

    A meeting between the head of the Russian army’s general staff and his Turkish counterparts in Ankara was ‘very positive and productive’ and strengthened understanding between the armies of two countries, Turkish military sources said on Thursday…
    ####

    Not much to go on so it may just be a case of cherry picking, but still, what a contrast!

    • Jen says:

      Interesting Yahoo article but bear in mind that Graham Fuller is the fellow who helped Fethullah Gulen leave Turkey to live in the US and that his daughter Samantha was once married to Ruslan Tsarnaev, uncle of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who was convicted of having placed the bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon.
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-boston-bombings-and-the-cia-connection-graham-fuller-and-uncle-ruslan-tsarnaev/5335416

      • Cortes says:

        Fuller seems to be an appropriate name for this pish; from Wiki on fulling:

        In Roman times, fulling was conducted by slaves working the cloth while ankle deep in tubs of human urine. Urine was so important to the fulling business that it was taxed. Stale urine, known as wash, was a source of ammonium salts and assisted in cleansing and whitening the cloth.

        By the medieval period, fuller’s earth had been introduced for use in the process. This is a soft clay-like material occurring naturally as an impure hydrous aluminium silicate. It was used in conjunction with wash. More recently, soap has been used.

        • Cortes says:

          Further, Finlay J. MacDonald’s memoir of growing up in Harris (Scotland) in the 1920s/30s “Crowdie and Cream” has several references to the tub into which all members of the family had to piss. The urine, basic ingredient of fulling, helped remove lanolin from newly shorn wool. The author claimed he could detect the odour of pish from top quality tailored Harris tweed jackets.

          I know: too much information.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            I remember how Jack Jones of the British TUC recalled in his autobiography how a horse drawn wagon used to come down his street in Garston, (now a Liverpool suburb) on which there were barrels holding human urine and into which the residents of the terraced streets where he lived poured the contents of their piss-pots.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Additional information to Cortes’ further information!

              I remember a tannery near where I once lived and it bloody ponged to the high heavens! I think the essential ingredient for tanning hides was piss as well.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Oh yes! And they used to collect dog shit as well for use in the tanning process.

                These facts concerning the malodorous processing of hides into leather always used to tickle me when reading the blurb about a quality soap (and later an aftershave concoction) called “Imperial Leather“, once made in Manchester, UK:

                The brand goes all the way back to 1768 when a Russian nobleman called Count Orlof commissioned a brand of perfume from Bayleys of Bond Street in London. The perfume was called ‘Eau de Cologne Imperiale Russe’. Russia leather was a high-quality leather exported widely from Russia and recognisable by a distinctive aroma from its birch oil tanning process.

                Yeah, right!

                And from dog shit and peasants’ piss as well.

                • marknesop says:

                  Do tell; I used to use that soap whenever I could get it, and thought it had a lovely smell. It used to be readily available on the East Coast, it was even sold in the ship’s canteen, but I’ve never seen it out here.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  “Imperial Leather” also caused wry chuckles when I was but a lad because in those days the term “leather” had sexual connotations, as in, for example: “I gave her some leather last night”.

                  So imperial leather was summat that Empress Catherine II couldn’t get enough of — allegedly.

                • Cortes says:

                  “Mayhew’s London” is a goldmine (ahem) of investigation by the proto sociologist/industrial taxonomist of the various disgusting trades the lower orders of mid-Victorian London resorted to in order to get by. The cartoneros and rubbish filterers I’ve seen on the streets in Latin America are probably a step or two up from that, but no doubt the urban poor of Africa and Asia are in similar straits. If memory serves, collectors of dogshit for tanning were known as “finers”.
                  Still, we’ll soon be back to those glory days if the story I heard this last week is true: that there is an Uber style app for dog owners to use if they don’t want to pick up their own pets’ turds some lowly drone will come along within a specified time to lift it.

                • Cortes says:

                  “Pure-finders”, even ghastlier:

                  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Mayhew

        • Jen says:

          That’s right, urine is full of urea which breaks down into ammonia and ammonia is useful for bleaching, cleaning and removing hair and loose skin … but only when it has sat around for a while. It was even used as teeth whitener once upon a time.

          Also supposedly an important ingredient in the making of Iceland’s national dish, Kæstur Hákarl, or preserved shark.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A1karl

          Now that’s more information than some can handle.

    • marknesop says:

      “…of course, with a political transition, which we need to end the war altogether…” Yes, that’s the important part, isn’t it, Sammy? Assad stepping down and a western stooge stepping up who will straightaway break off ties with Iran and Russia, announce that his eyes have seen the glory of the western way, and sign a pipeline agreement with the Saudis and Qatar. See how she just slipped that in there? Washington has never taken its eyes off its own endgame, which is removal of Assad and installation of a compliant western-leaning leader.

      I’m sure none of that is lost on Moscow, and all they need do to prevent an American victory is insist that the choice be left up to Syrians. Washington will grumble bitterly that any election Assad wins was rigged, but he would easily walk away with it against any western figurehead so long as Washington did not get to run the elections and do exit polling and all the other little tricks it loves to pull.

  24. kirill says:

    Al Jazeera shows its colours. Next time someone tries to paint it as a Qatari CNN note the above.

  25. Moscow Exile says:

    To Mark: Great article!

    For Mark:

    Warning! The Russians have landed in your old patch:

    Большое путешествие… Новая Шотландия

    The Big Trip: Novia Scotia

    Some pictures of that river included, I think: the one after which your old ship was named and where you once fished

    East coast — west coast!
    They’re bloody everywhere!

    🙂

    • marknesop says:

      Some lovely photos there; make me quite nostalgic for my old home, although I never think of it otherwise. The winters seemed to drag on forever, whereas it’s often just an extra-rainy couple of months here. The river shots look too big to be the Annapolis, although it widens out quite a bit in spots. Some shots are from Peggy’s Cove, a tourist attraction outside of Halifax, while the rest are almost certainly the Cabot Trail. It’s not in Nova Scotia proper, but on Cape Breton Island, which is linked to the mainland by a causeway and considered a part of Nova Scotia (except by the Cape Bretoners). It’s a lovely road trip in summer, breathtaking scenery mile after mile, until your senses are drunk on it. There’s a similarly-lovely stretch of highway running off the Jean LeSage Parkway in Quebec where it follows the St Lawrence River down to the sea, and in British Columbia the Sea to Sky Highway outside Vancouver is gorgeous also.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Note how off the cuff Putin bounced the so-called partner Yukie ambassador with the facts of the matter concerning the objections he made, whereas the Yukie, although no doubt having been well prepared for a confrontation with the Evil One, apparently was not that well prepared to know that Banderastan had not even ratified the CIS charter, so how the fuck could the Khokhly have a say in its procedures?

      Then again, the Kiev “partner” was probably just saying what he had been told to say by the US Department of State, which usually knows fuck all about anything.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Yes, it seems typical of Western diplomats and politicians to lob out bogus claims for a 30 second sound bite and hope no one calls them out.

        I once harbored thoughts that the US and its quislings had a method to their madness.

  26. Moscow Exile says:

    Mafia State!

    Gangster Boss!

    Ex-KGB agent!

    Tyrant!

    Putin deals with his underlings:

    See: Watch Putin Handle Corruption Like a BOSS

    • kirill says:

      Interesting how the 40% utility bill jumps were fobbed off as due to computer error. This excuse is very popular in Canada for all sorts of bureaucratic bungling. As if computers are an independent intelligent agency that acts on its own. As far as responsibility is concerned computers and pencils and paper are the same thing. It is the incompetents and crooks running them that cause problems.

  27. Moscow Exile says:

    Разведывательный самолет ВМС США подлетел к российским базам в Сирии

    Reconnaissance aircraft of the U.S. Navy have flown to Russian bases in Syria
    On Saturday P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine patrol aircraft of the US Navy made another approach to the Russian air base at Hamim in Syria and the Russian Navy logistics establishment in the Syrian port of Tartus.

    The mighty empire never sleeps whilst fulfilling its manifest destiny to defend and promote freedom and democracy …

  28. et Al says:

    The US refuses to agree to publish detail of the agreement over Syria with Russia at the UN and bring it under their remit, leading to a cancellation of a discussion at the UNSC.I do wonder if the the ‘US troops threatened by rebels’ was a set up to give the US an excuse to turn on the terrorists that they have been backing all this time. It seems to me that the US is building up its options just in case they need them. Hedging their bets.

    • et Al says:

      AP via Antiwar.com: Russia Says UN Meeting Cancelled Over US Objections
      http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/russia-meeting-cancelled-us-objections-42152781

      A hastily scheduled Security Council meeting was canceled because the U.S. does not want to make public details of the Syrian cease-fire deal, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations said Friday.

      Vitaly Churkin said there was no point in briefing the council if the U.S. did not want to say exactly what was in the documents outlining the deal hammered out last week by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

      “This briefing is not going to happen and mostly likely we’re not going to have a resolution of the Security Council because the United States does not want to share those documents with the members of the Security Council and we believe that we cannot ask them to support a document which they haven’t seen,” Churkin said…

      … In Washington, a U.S. official said the session was canceled because the Russians were trying to force the U.S. to make the cease-fire deal public.

      “The United States will not compromise operational security,” said the official, who wasn’t authorized to be quoted by name and demanded anonymity.

      Later on Friday, the U.S. Mission issued a statement saying they believed the Security Council could play an important role in resolving the Syrian crisis….
      ####

      The US thinks a public agreement will take away their wriggle room. They don’t give a shit about Syrian civilians.

    • marknesop says:

      Russia has to go along with the plan, for the sake of diplomacy and international unity, but the undercurrent must be to press on with the national agenda as if there was no plan and nobody else was involved. Which, when you think about it, is the same thing the USA is doing. It’s objective is still to get rid of Assad and replace him with a leader who will facilitate US objectives, and that has never wavered. It’s just going along with the current arrangement while it looks for ways to reshape things to its satisfaction.

  29. et Al says:

    Business Insider: Iran shouldn’t be underestimated in 2 key oil markets
    http://uk.businessinsider.com/russia-saudi-arabia-and-iran-aim-for-china-oil-market-share-2016-9?r=US&IR=T

    … “How have the Saudis fared? Not very well. Actually, quite miserably,” Michael Tran, a commodity strategist at RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a recent report to clients.

    Most notably, Russia has grabbed over 215,000 barrels a day of China’s increased imports of 630,000 barrels a day this year, according to data cited by Tran.

    In fact, the Saudis and the Russians have been neck and neck over the last few months for the lead in the Chinese market. (Although it hasn’t been just the Russians; other producers such as Venezuela and Brazil have also scooped up some market share.) …

  30. Moscow Exile says:

    Путин объяснил, почему США не хотят обнародовать соглашение по Сирии
    BISHKEK, 17 Sep — RIA Novosti.
    The US does not want to disclose the agreement on Syria because “the international community will find out who is not really fulfilling their commitments”, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated.

    “We agreed that Jebat Al-Nusra and others like it should be singled out and it should be shown where they are at and where the so-called healthy forces are. But what do we see now? We are now seeing not the separation of terrorists from the healthy part of the opposition, but attempts at regrouping these terrorists” the president added.

    • marknesop says:

      Unsurprising to learn, given that the US strategy has never wavered, but surprising to see it so baldly stated. I guess that “our western partners” stuff has passed its shelf life.

  31. et Al says:

    AFP via Spacedaily.com: Sweden re-militarises Baltic island of Gotland; NATO, Russia hold ‘risk reduction’ talks
    http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Sweden_re-militarises_Baltic_island_of_Gotland_999.html

    ####

    Ignore the article, rather it is the sub-article entitled NATO, Russia hold ‘risk reduction’ talks that is more interesting:

    NATO and Russia on Thursday held high-level talks on risk reduction and transparency to avoid any misunderstandings, after a series of close shaves, the US-led alliance said in a statement…

    … “Our practical cooperation remains suspended following Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine,” it said.

    “At the same time, we decided to keep channels of political dialogue open.”…
    ####

    I think NATO needs a drug prescription to deal with its bi-polar disorder. On the on hand we are being told that “NATO is tough and resolute and will stand up to Russian aggression”, and onthe other “NATO doesn’t want any misunderstandings with Russia that could start a war” and that “We don’t talk to Russia on anything but our own terms except if we actually need to talk to Russia”. Pass the space cakes dude.

  32. Patient Observer says:

    Completely off-topic. The following article explore (credibly in my opinion) some topics regarding US efforts to “poison” the Van Allen radiation belts for military purposes that went awry (destroying American as well as Soviet satellites). It also touches on use of ground-based lasers by the Soviet Union to blind US spy satellites (apparently quite successfully in some cases). The US tried the same but the results are not known. Its a relatively long but easy to read.

    http://www.flybynews.com/cgi-local/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid977435363,53228,

    • kirill says:

      Sounds like BS to me. The energy released by the nuke is an insignificant amount compared to that contained in the trapped electrons in the Earth’s magneto-tail. These electrons are naturally pumped to high energies and into the relativistic regime by the dynamics of the geomagnetic field. The nuke likely contributed to this pumping but the article makes it sound like it was the main process. Their observational network was sadly lacking back in those days and it looks like they mistook a sequence of geomagnetic storms for the effect of their experiment (i.e. there was no continuous one year contamination but their observational sampling made them think there was).

      This article is also the typical US chest thumping about Soviet “wrong doing” by targeting spy satellites. Jesus H. Christ what a load of sanctimony. These US satellites were legitimate targets.

  33. Moscow Exile says:

    Таким США видят будущее России

    That’s how the the USA sees Russia’s future

    US ambassador has said how long it will take for the Crimea to be returned to the Ukraine

    The US Ambassador to the Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, has declared that she believes the Crimea will return to Kiev control but that, in her opinion, this process could take decades. She spoke of this on Thursday, 15 September, during an interview with the publication “Evropeiskaya Pravda” [European Truth — ME]

    “My reply might not be a pleasant one, but most in the West see this process as being similar to the example of the Baltic States. Over a period of many years, these states were part of the Soviet Union; the USA, however, never recognized their annexation, and in the end they became independent once again”, Yovanovitch declared.

    She added that Washington does not recognize the State Duma elections that are going to be held on the peninsula. “We are also working internationally with those of like mind that it be constantly reminded that the Crimea is part of the Ukraine”, said the diplomat.

    Кто не понял, прошу обратить внимание на вот эту цитату: большинство на Западе видят этот процесс аналогичным примеру стран Балтии. То есть, Запад вынашивает надежду, что Россия повторит судьбу СССР. Но уже в этот раз, развалится на столько кусков, что бы больше никогда не стать страной, которую можно будет бояться. Как на мой взгляд, для это требуется лишь одно. Не допустить к власти никого, хотя бы отдаленно похожего на Горбачеву. Все остальные невзгоды мы преодолеем. Надеюсь, что ВВП держит эту ситуацию под контролем.

    For those who do not understand, please pay attention to what is quoted here: most in the West see this process as being similar to the example of the Baltic States. That is to say, the West is cherishing the hope that Russia will repeat the fate of the Soviet Union. But this time, she will break up into so many pieces that she would never become a country that one could possibly be afraid of. In my opinion, it would only take one thing for that not to happen: not allowing anyone coming to power who is even remotely similar to Gorbachev. All other adversities we shall overcome. I hope that VVP [Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin — ME] keeps this situation under control.

    I think the USA ambassador to the Ukraine should be better named Yobanabitch!

    🙂

    Yovanovitch is a Russian speaker but is not a speaker of Ukrainian, by the way, so how is she to communicate with those in Kiev that so abhor the Moskal tongue? Surely not in Russian? …

    • marknesop says:

      I totally believe her. Crimea will one day return to Ukraine – just as soon as Ukraine becomes far more prosperous than Russia and has shown political stability for at least a decade, to allay fears there will simply be another coup, and chaos will wipe out all gains. It would be quite natural for Crimea to want to ally itself with a prosperous and progressive country. I wonder when that will be?

      In the meantime, Washington is going to be tiresome and try its shopworn message-management schtick, in which it reminds everyone daily that Crimea is part of Ukraine, and rigorously polices the interwebs for maps and articles which go off-message.

    • et Al says:

      Jovanović. That’s a Serb name. Born ’58. A ‘safe pair of hands‘ is the impression I get from reading what little is made public about her, so this public opinion strikes me as rather odd, but then again you can say any old shit in Kiev these days and it has no negative effect on one’s career..

      Apparently she is ‘..learning Kyrgyz and Armenian…

    • Northern Star says:

      http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/05/hands-of-ambassador-nuland-state.html

      “She has experience in Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union, including in Ukraine: from August 2001 to June 2004. She has also worked in Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. One of the main tasks that she performed, regardless of position, has always been “helping countries in the transition to democracy”.

      “helping countries in the transition to democracy”
      READ: assimilation into the NATO/NWO fascist BORG!!!

      BTW…she IS just as inartful (it’s in Oxford’s)and slack jawed a liar as her demeanor suggests:

      http://www.aaainc.org/fileadmin/aaainc/images/PR_-_2008/May_-_June/Yovanovitch_QandA_Menendez.pdf

      • marknesop says:

        It’s quite true that government employees not at the policy-making level are not allowed to affirm what constitutes this or that without government approval and guidance. If only that caused them to be as reticent to speak when reporters or anyone else asks them for a statement on Russia or an action in which Russia was involved. You very rarely ever hear a US government employee hesitate to give a strong policy statement then. Which they also are technically not allowed to do. Reluctance to answer a policy question and the excuse that one is not authorized to speak is usually an indication that the person being questioned either knows nothing about the subject, or fears being forced off-message.

  34. Northern Star says:

    @Eric and Yalensis

    “An Uzbek nanny beheaded a child in the streets of Moscow not so long ago…by your idiotic thinking that means that Russia doesn’t have an isolated problem with psychopathic Uzbek nannies. BTW there wasn’t any type of retalitory action for that on the sizeable Uzbek community in Russia……which might not be the case if a similar thing happened in most western countries.”

    Your (Eric) specious non sequitur bullshit is difficult to parse …but let me try;
    You apparently conjecture that I would attribute to the Uzbek population as a whole a disposition
    (tendency) to behead children….No Eric..I would not. You also apparently assume that I think that there is potential racist-against people of color- proclivity by Russians in general can be inferred from the Russian neo nazis murdering the the Dagestan youth. Nope…wrong again Eric. But there is a HUGE difference between those who proudly advertise themselves as psychopath murderers and are tolerated by the society at large and the cohort of mental cases who often remain hidden until it’s too late. The gates to Auschwitz were opened in 1923 Munich…not 1938.

    ” BTW there wasn’t any type of retalitory action for that on the sizeable Uzbek community in Russia……which might not be the case if a similar thing happened in most western countries.”

    LOL!!…We have stuff like that happening all the time…for the most part the outrage lasts only as long as the current MSM news cycle…a couple of days!!

    One more thing …I don’t think there was anything at all “funny” (your word) about that little girl being knifed to death in front of her father…..those responsible should be executed. That YOU think that i consider that episode as “funny” says something rather pathetic about **you**…

  35. Northern Star says:

    @ME and others

    I was being facetious about there being no blacks in Ukraine…you took me literally

    • Moscow Exile says:

      There are very few, that’s for sure. Likewise here, which leads to some saying this is evidence of racism., that blacks are scared of coming here.

      I remember the first post-Soviet editions of “Small Planet” or whatever, warning backpackers that Moscow is a “white” city and not, if you were a person of colour, to venture anywhere alone.

      The second biggest ethnic group in Moscow after Slavs, namely ethnic Russians, Belorussians and Ukrainians, is Tatars.

      Some Tatars can be quite dark. My youngest daughter’s pal is Tatar and I saw her for the first time the other week after she had been away at her grandparents out east and at a distance I at first thought she was a little African girl, her sun tan being so deep.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Our dacha neighbours are Tatars — a bloody great clan of them. They are really, really good neighbours: very friendly and always ready to give helping hand if asked. Their great-granddaughter and my youngest are never apart when my family is at our dacha during the summer.

        • yalensis says:

          Check out this Tatar hottie from Kazan, she is an opera singer named Rigina Valieva:

          • Northern Star says:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stranger_in_Paradise_(song
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Borodin
            …why am I not surprised?? !!!

            THIS made your link ..and my day….!!! 34 MILLION views….

            The comments are…moving:

            “Tipene Mokaraka-Hiriwa3 hours ago (edited)
            Лютик Едкий You can take our government, they sometimes listen to stupid americans and take loans from IMF to bankrupt our country. We maori people of new zealand have no war with anyone but know who wants to make all wars. We learned our mistake by going to war for England, never again! What we do know is that all wars were started because of the greedy jew families that made brother fight brother, sister fight sister until all hated eachother and then the jews owned your banks, gold, business, land, power and the soul of the people because you owe debt you can not pay back. Ukrania people have been tricked by the same people, the IMF and world bank to make you poor. Be strong and learn from what is happening and what did happen in the world wars. We know the world has been tricked by the devils that hide in Israel and in America. Be strong and find peace so we can all be brothers and sisters.”
            I hope is true translation from google. Apologise if it come out wrong it is not my intention.

            Anyone know if we can get this film in the West…and if so…how????

            Speaking of cinema..all Stooges should check out:
            https://www.criterion.com/films/28851-phoenix

            ..The ‘nacht und tag’ cabaret scene is priceless

            • yalensis says:

              Yeah, Borodin, of course, wrote that beautiful melody for his opera “Prince Igor”, as part of the show-stopping “Polovetsian Dances” number in Act II.
              Somebody at some time borrowed that particular melody and re-used it for the Broadway play “Kismet”, the song was called “Strangers in Paradise”.

              In the original opera, that song is sung by slave girls from some un-named Southern land, they could be Tatars or Caucasians or even Slavs, or whatever. And Borodin designed the melody to be Southern-sounding and exotic, Which is why it is a perfect vehicle for Rigina’s voice, she being a Tatar.

              In the opera, the girls are singing mournfully about their nostalgia for their native land, from whence they were captured and taken by the Polovetsian Khans and turned into his sex slaves. They were his booty, and it was literally a booty call!

  36. Patient Observer says:

    If confirmed, this could be a very dangerous move by the US in Syria.

    https://www.rt.com/news/359678-us-strikes-syrian-army/

    US-led coalition jets have bombed Syrian government forces’ positions near the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor, “paving the way” for Islamic State militants, the Syrian Army General Command told the state television.

    According to Syria’s official SANA news agency, the bombing took place on al-Tharda Mountain in the region of Deir ez-Zor and caused casualties and destruction on the ground.

    If confirmed and the US does not deny, it suggests that the US is doubling down on ISIS. Again, if confirmed, my take is it is an act of desperation to save the Syrian project rather than an act based assured success. Russia will likely not take the bait of a tit-for-tat response but what will they do?

    • Patient Observer says:

      Damn it! Its confirmed:

      https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160917/1045415141/russia-syria-army-attacked.html

      “Today at 17:00-17:50 Moscow time, international anti-Daesh coalition (two F-16 and two A10 jets) carried out four strikes on Syrian government forces’ units encirled by Daesh near Deir ez-Zor airport. The coalition’s aircraft entered Syrian airspace from the side of the Iraqi border,” Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.
      l

      • Patient Observer says:

        Probably a test to see how Russia reacts.

        A slightly related story is that Syrian forces in the Golan heights had the temerity to fire anti-aircraft missiles at Israel aircraft bombing Syrian army positions. Apparently, an F-16 and a drone were brought down (Israel denies it). The missile was of a very old vintage. Here is an article on the subject so full of shit that it shoudl be declared a toxic waste site:

        http://observer.com/2016/09/swaggering-syria-shoots-at-israeli-jets-flying-towards-war/

        • et Al says:

          It seems to me that the US is trying to get Russia to junk the deal before the US does. Not very bright at all by whomever is behind it. I expect there has been a very serious phone call from the Kremlin behind the scenes telling them to control their own fkwits who did this – Pentagon/whatever or else. The Russians will see if Washington responds to this demand before the shit hits the fan.

          • Or else? Russia will shoot down the American jets?

          • et Al says:

            Step one, publishing the US-Russia agreement on Syria.

            • Russia will not do that because Russia always adheres its agreements and doesn’t want to anger its western partners.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                That’s because Russia is all mouth and no trousers.

                • That’s because Russia has never dared to act militarily against the West in decades. Not even in Afghanistan from 2001 where it could have given the West a lot of trouble by providing the Mujahideen with AA weapons to shoot down NATO jets.

                  Instead Putin gave the West a green light to attack Afghanistan and even offered the Russian railways for NATO to cargo weapons to Afghanistan war.

                  How did the West thank Russia for this? By restarting the Afghan drug production and flooding Russia with endless amount of cheap heroin.

                  Russians learned nothing from the Afghanistan fiasco, or from the invasion of Iraq, and in 2011 the idiotic Russian government gave the West another green light to attack Libya and destroy it.

                  And now we see Russia trying to “cooperate” with the West in Syria by agreeing on these shitty “ceasefires” when the government forces are winning, giving the terrorists a chance to regroup and rearm.

                  Today Putin complained that the terrorists are not adhering the ceasefire and are intensifying their attacks against the government forces. Well Vladdy, what did you expect? Have you not learned ANYTHING?

                  And now this… the West directly bombing the Syrian government forces.

                  Why, oh why, does Russia keep repeating the same mistake over and over again? Why do they make a deal after another with the West only to be betrayed?

              • Patient Observer says:

                Your getting better – your half right. Russia adheres to its agreements and international law. But, of course, their adherence to agreements and laws angers the West to no end.

                Can anyone doubt that Russia has risen from the ashes and can now challenge the Western empire like never before – even counting the Soviet days? Russia does not have quite yet the military power for global power projection (they may not want it) but they are pretty much invulnerable to conventional attack. In terms of soft power, they are winning. Look no further than Donal Trump for proof. Could anyone have imagined a major US presidential candidate saying nice things about Russia and Putin? BTW, the latest polls shows Trump pulling away from Shrilary (winning the popular vote but supposedly behind int the electoral count).

                http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-poll-idUSKCN11M2A4

                The project, which is based on a weekly tracking poll of more than 15,000 Americans, shows that the 2016 presidential race could end in a photo finish on Nov. 8, with the major-party candidates running nearly even in the Electoral College, the body that ultimately selects the president.

                The States of the Nation project, which delivers a weekly tally of support for the candidates in every state, shows that the race has tightened in several traditional battlegrounds. Pennsylvania has been moved from a likely win for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to a tossup; Ohio has been moved from a tossup to a likely win for Clinton. And Florida is now considered a likely win for the Republican nominee, with 50 percent support for Trump to 46 percent support for Clinton.

                If the election were held today, the project estimates that Clinton has a 60 percent chance of winning by 18 electoral votes. Last week, the project estimated that Clinton had a 83 percent chance of winning the election.

                The debates could be a pivotal opportunity for either candidate. If there is truth to the Parkinson’s theory, Shrilary will need to be doped up to keep from freezing up and be wired up to her handlers to soothe her frazzled brain and to advise on snappy comebacks.

                Rascally, trump simply needs to stay on message and let Shrilary self-destruct.

                • This debate is not really about Russia’s ability to defend its borders or the US presidential elections, but the events in Syria.

                  The fundamental error that Russia is making in Syria is that Russia thinks it can “cooperate” with the West without being betrayed time and time again.

                  Russia can either go on making these disadvantageous “ceasefire” deals with the West forever foolishly hoping that the West will some day respect them or finally realize that the main goal for the West in Syria is to defeat the Syrian government. The Western actions in Syria are to defeat and destroy Assad’s government and open up that pipeline route from Qatar to Turkey. This is what they are after in Syria, and they will use whatever then can -. whether it is Kurds or ISIS or Al Qaeda – to reach this goal.

                  I believe Russia has both the military capability and the legal grounds to stop the West from reaching this goal in Syria. Russia has the ability to create a no-fly zone over Syria with S-400 and back it up with a mandate from the legal Syrian government.

                  The US should be denied all access to Syrian air space after what happened today. The bombing of the Syrian forces was certainly not a mistake – only a fool would believe that – and Russia should make a conclusion that the US is now in an open war with Syria.

                  If the US can freely operate in Syria after this then nothing stops them from attacking the Syrian forces again, and again, and again.

                • marknesop says:

                  I don’t think Russia is ‘naively trusting’ the west at all. As I suggested before, I think it’s more likely that Russia goes through the motions to deny the USA a propaganda victory, but continues to pursue its own objectives within Syria. No ceasefire deal has ever exempted ISIS from being hit, and Russia has continued to hit targets each time, to a storm of American propaganda that the regime and its Russian pals are bombing daycare centers and retirement homes and good-faith oppositionists. This suggests US proxy forces continue to get hit, which suggests Russia continues to pursue its objective of defeating radical Islamist groups. Gradually the USA has been forced to publicly acknowledge that it is supporting al Qaeda in order to get rid of Assad, and now it has been forced into a ceasefire agreement it will not publicize and almost immediately broke it. Throughout all this, Russia has not itself incurred any losses except for very early on, and none since then. Washington’s desperation is evident in its open violations of its own agreements, but I don’t see that any of them have ever constrained Russia’s freedom of operations within Syria.

                • Patient Observer says:

                  Karl – your debate position centers on the claims of innate Russian weakness, stupidity and cowardice and the corollary that the West is superior and victorious at every turn. Everything else you say is intended to support that position. If there were any truth to the foregoing, Russia would remain in its sorry state in the 90’s. Can you acknowledge the obvious?

                  Now, if the US said that the bombing was not a mistake and will do it again, then that would be a different matter.

            • marknesop says:

              Yes, that’d be a good course of action as well. They obviously must have a copy of it and the USA will not be expecting it.

      • yalensis says:

        I know, from reading and translating several Evegeny Krutikov pieces on Syria, that Deir ez-Zora is kind of a big deal. Krutikov always maintained that this particular city was the key to winning the war for the Syrian government. Sort of like Kursk for WWII.
        Maybe Americans decided that this is where they and their jihadist monkeys make their stand.

        I’ll be watching the Russian press tomorrow to see if there are new developments.

        • Jen says:

          Deir ez Zor is on the Euphrates and is one of the major towns in eastern Syria. A highway connects it to Baghdad and it is also linked by roads to major towns in northern Iraq.

          Map of Syria and Iraq with Deir ez Zor (shown as Dayr az Zawr)

    • The US upped the stakes and awaits for Russian response.

      • marknesop says:

        No need to get excited; as I said, this is just America throwing away the rule book because their proxies are losing. The USA has no problem with cheating, in any field of endeavor, so long as it results in a win for the exceptional nation, and clearly the whole cease-fire agreement was another buying-time ruse. Russia could announce that the Syrian government has petitioned it for modern air-defense systems, and it has agreed to sell it the S-400 systems already in Syria. But it definitely looks as if the air battle is heating up. I’m sure Russia knew Washington would never keep its word.

        • Cortes says:

          Errors are understandable. They happen. All of us err.

          AKA precedent.

          “Hey, you made a mistake, USA. So did we. Sorry.”

        • “I’m sure Russia knew Washington would never keep its word.”

          Why then make these disadvantageous ceasefire deals? They are nothing but counterproductive for the SAA.

          • marknesop says:

            I told you why. Because it makes Russia look good, or at least denies the USA an opportunity to make it look bad, and ultimately costs Russia nothing to agree because all ceasefire agreements allow it to continue striking ISIS. And the USA just lost a great deal of credibility for any future ceasefire deals – don’t forget, it is not just between Russia and the USA; Syria has to agree as well.

          • Jen says:

            I’m sure it’s easier and more “fun” for Russia and Syria to kettle the takfiris and blast them out of their nests, then step aside during ceasefires and allow a new lot of takfiris to repopulate the nests so they can blast them out, wait for a third lot to come in to get whacked, and so on and so forth. It’s sort of like setting out a mosquito coil to attract the insects, watch them fry, then you clean them off and set out the coil again.

            Among other things, the SAA needs to conserve as many of its soldiers as it can without exposing them to unnecessary risks and dangers, and only use them when absolutely needed. If the SAA tried to run down every jihadi (which they were doing before calling on Russian help), it would only end up exhausting itself and the jihadis would have the advantage in stretching out Syrian forces thinly by moving around Syrian territory and going in and out wherever and whenever they please.

            It’s called strategy, Karl. This war is not a videogame.

    • How about Russia responding by announcing a No-Fly Zone for the coalition aircraft in Syria?

    • Pentagon just admitted it was behind the strike but claims it was an “accident”.

      Let’s see if Russia pretends to believe Pentagon or will Russia actually do something this time.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Nuke Washington!

        That’ll learn ’em, won’t it Karl?

        • No. Like I said announce a no-fly zone over Syria and shoot down any coalition jets that violate against it.

          • The international law would be on Russia’s side because Russia would be acting with a mandate from the legal Syrian government. The West would either have to respect the no-fly zone or go into open war with Russia.

            • Patient Observer says:

              Idiot thinking. Syria with Russian and Iranian support is winning the war as is. Why add unpredictable variable? Force the US to up the ante without a pretext. If the US does so, it will not play well in the US elections and the next president will be Trump (barring assassinations, accidents or setups).

              • I guess you have not realized that something happened today. For the first time the US bombed the Syrian forces, killing 80+ of its soldiers. It was not just a minor setback for the Syrian government, but a great loss.

                Unless you believe it was a mistake you have to realize that the US just conducted an act of war against Syria for the first time. Previously it had used proxies to attack Syria, but now it used its own armed forces.

                A new pretext was set today. The Syrian government forces can be bombed by a foreign military. If it can happen one time, it can also happen another time. And if the US can do it with impunity it proves that the US is in charge in Syria. If Russia refuses to shoot down US jets – which are bombing the Syrian government troops – then Russia is giving away the leadership role in Syria to the US.

                And since the US ultimate goal in Syria is to topple Assad it will continue to bomb Assad in Syria – like it bombed Gaddafi in Libya and Saddam in Iraq – to topple these governments that it wants to get rid of.

                Hopefully you are not counting on (an unlikely) Trump presidency to change the US policies in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East or Eurasia. The US establishment will not allow one person to change the status quo that is rather advantageous for the US establishment.

                • Patient Observer says:

                  meh! There is no similarity between Syria, Iraq and Libya. The US said it was an accident. Of course, it was not but how many times can they play the “accident” card? This strikes me more of a “lets stir the pot” and hope for something good kind of desperation.

                  Remember when Turkey ambushed the Russian plane over Syria? Look where we are now. Russia seems to have played it rather well, don’t you think?

                  If I had spare time, I would dig up your posts on that incident.

                • Jen says:

                  @ PO: I wouldn’t bother digging up Karl’s posts because he is still hell-bent on pursuing his narrative of Russia always giving in when what is currently playing out is that Russia appears to have the upper hand and US foreign policy in Syria is in tatters and goes from one crisis to another by instinct. The fact that the Americans keep resorting to failed plans and are unable to abide by any agreements they sign (while ceasefires hold out long enough for nests recently emptied by the SAA to fill up again with rats that the SAA can shoot up again once the ceasefires end) might suggest as much.

                • Patient Observer says:

                  Jen – of course you are right. And I have speculated that a component of the Russian plan is to deplete the reservoir of jihadists by feeding them to the meat grinder. They certainly understand the jihadist mentality and may have concluded that this madness will run its course when it is clear that there is no potential for success.

                • marknesop says:

                  If the US thought it could do it with impunity, it would not have rushed out a statement that it was a mistake, surely? It would have just announced it is now American policy to actively assist the opposition forces to defeat the Syrian government forces, and press ahead.

                  Don’t forget, every time the Russian Air Force and the SAA rub out 80 terrorists, the USA views it the same way as we are viewing this – that the two aforementioned entities have slain 80 of the USA’s fighting assets. And it obviously makes them just as furious.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I thought they might have been behind of the attack. The clue was in the aircraft that were used.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Excellent news! The US is seeking to deescalate! Since Karl seems incapable of providing a link, here is confirmation:

        https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160917/1045418270/coalition-airstrike-bombing-syrian-army.html

        Russia has convened an emergency UN security council meeting:

        https://sputniknews.com/news/20160917/1045419350/Russia-emergency-obama-airstrikes-syria.html

        Russia convened an emergency UN Security Council Session on US-Led coalition airstrikes against the Syrian Army which Moscow fears will undermine the breakthrough ceasefire agreement that just went into effect earlier this week.

        Of course, it was not an accident. The US may be trying to prod Syria to seek revenge and then be accused of violating the truce.

        BTW, is the US still operating out of Turkey?

      • marknesop says:

        I thought it was Syrian government troops who were attacked? Why must Russia ‘do something’? You don’t see US aircraft attacking Russian assets, do you? And you won’t.

        It is for the Syrian government to now order the USA and all its military assets out of Syria. They were never invited in the first place, but announced they had come to fight ISIS. If they can’t tell ISIS from government troops, time for them to get out because they are more hindrance than help.

        • Patient Observer says:

          And just to add to this point, the S-400 system is intended to protect Russia forces. It was not deployed to enforce a no-fly zone.

          • marknesop says:

            No, that’s absolutely correct. But if Russia announced its sale to Syria, presumably to be followed by its use as an air-defense weapon to cover Syrian advances and protect the Syrian Air Force, I believe that would do more to prevent any further US ‘mistakes’ than any agreement which comes out of the UN. Syria would be perfectly entitled to use it to protect its own forces in self-defense, and IS does not have any aircraft, so it would be pretty obvious who it was intended to guard against. Russia has plenty more for its own use which could come in on the next boat, but practically speaking a system used to cover an advance on Deir ez-Zor could also protect Russian positions; its coverage extends to most of Syria, with more than a single system. But I don’t think the Americans would dare attack a Russian position because of the Russian Air Force.

    • Russia convenes urgent UN Security Council meeting after US coalition strikes on Syrian army: https://www.rt.com/news/359686-un-security-urgent-meeting/

      I’m sure Russia is going to throw a lot of angry words against the US – and then everything will be forgotten until the US again attacks the SAA, or maybe “accidently” bombs the Russian base in Syria.

      The problem is that if Russia did the same – attacked against a Western ally while killing dozens of soldiers – Russia would face severe consequences with most likely a military response from the West.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Russia has been attacking a Western ally for quite some time – they go by the name of ISIS or Daesh. The body count appears to be staggering.

        • The difference is that this Western “ally” is not an official or legal government of any country.

          An equivalent for the US bombing Syria would be Russia bombing Kosovo and its military forces.

          What would the Western response be if Russia bombed Kosovo and killed dozens of its soldiers?

          • Patient Observer says:

            You have crossed the silliness line.

          • marknesop says:

            The only effective fighting force the USA has left is ISIS and its affiliates, demonstrable by the USA’s refusal to separate them from what it calls ‘moderate rebels’. It has to not only win a military victory which overthrows Assad, it has to get its patrons elected by the Syrian population. Is Jabat al Nusra likely to be elected? A victory for Washington is very unlikely and growing more distant every day.

            I expect them to assassinate Assad, and am frankly surprised they have not already tried it.

    • marknesop says:

      They already have the S-400 in-country. Sell it to Syria. A crash training program, and there’ll be no more of that shit; you won’t see too many ‘coalition’ pilots who want to go up against that.

      I think everyone knew the USA would take that step if they couldn’t get their way by any other means. The importance of a win in Syria to further American goals cannot be overstated.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Yes, nothing less than the credibility of the exceptional nation is at stake. The US has seriously miscalculated by assuming its excecptionalness and the attendant freedom from law, agreements, morality etc. would be enough to prevail.

        How do they back down when the Syria project fails? Perhaps that is why Trump is now the man of the hour. He could turn ideological defeat into a series of new business ventures with Russia (but trying hard not to get my hopes up).

      • Oddlots says:

        “I think everyone knew the USA would take that step if they couldn’t get their way by any other means. The importance of a win in Syria to further American goals cannot be overstated.”

        Worth considering, especially given the onslaught of criticism of the Russian position not being resolute enough.

        Zooming out a bit I think I can understand the Russian strategy. Something like:

        – question: how do you fight an opponent whose control over its people’s thought is near total?
        – answer: you wage a campaign which constantly highlights the hypocrisy on display. In other words, you let them defeat themselves.

        FWIW i think there’s a tendency to downplay the importance of public opinion and what we – for instance, here – are doing.

        I don’t think the “elites” make such a mistake. I think there’s an understanding that if they can’t motivate the populace to support a fight against the fabricated demon of the hour then they are screwed. Hence the whiff of utter desperation in the ridiculous Russia and Putin “file.”*

        It flips from him being powerless and irrelevant to being all-powerful – the determiner of US elections – with such alacrity that it makes schizophrenia look like a package-vacation.

        Take away: again, if you squint a bit, I’d concentrate on the apparent non-event of the G20 where the assumed global dominance of the US was so NOT in evidence.

        That’s the trend and it’s a good one.

        * Kind of irrelevant but I’m fascinated by how insanely craven Anne Applebaum has become. Her latest could only be explained by head trauma:

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/how-russia-could-spark-a-us-electoral-disaster/2016/09/08/303f8502-75e2-11e6-b786-19d0cb1ed06c_story.html?utm_term=.671837a2cc0c

        The desperation is so palpable.

        • Fern says:

          Oh come on, Oddlots, you have to give her credit for covering all bases. Russia could get Trump elected, Russia could get Clinton elected….

        • marknesop says:

          Little Orphan Annie is not so crazy as she appears. Clinton is likely going to have to rely on the electoral college to save her foundering campaign – barring a dramatic turnaround – and it is very likely Trump will at some point be making the argument that the deck is stacked against him and Clinton is cheating to win (because, obviously, she already is). Applebaum has already planted the Easter egg that when he does do this, it is proof that he is a Russian dupe. Of course it would prove nothing of the kind, but Applebaum will cackle triumphantly, “You see???? I told you!!!”

          What is fascinating for me is watching Applebaum – a bedrock conservative Republican with nothing but contempt for the milquetoast liberal Democrats – shift her allegiance to Clinton simply because she perceives the Democrat as the more likely to pursue American exceptionalism by the means she understands.

          The mention of the G20 summit and America’s embarrassing show there is a direct hit; indeed, that is far more significant than it might at first appear, probably because the western media gave it such sparse coverage except for those who were angry with Obama, and wanted to use it to excoriate him. Because as far back as 2012, when Putin skipped the G8 meeting in the USA and sent Medvedev instead, conservatives argued that Russia should be kicked out of the G8. Mind you, they would have used any convenient excuse. But they plainly thought it would be a devastating blow to Russia, whereas Putin even then was known to prefer the G20 forum. And his long view has paid off in spades. The USA, despite its global clout, was largely ignored, and business went around it like a stream around a rock. Look at the difference in economic liabilities between the two as I have laid them out in the reference.

  37. et Al says:

    Moon of Alabama: U.S., Israel Launch Airstrikes On Syrian Government Forces – Directly Supporting ISIS And Al-Qaeda
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/09/us-launches-open-war-on-syrian-government-forces.html

    ####
    Don’t forget to follow the comments.

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/09/us-launches-open-war-on-syrian-government-forces.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef01b8d21dfa91970c

    Here’s the direct link:

    Russian MoD had already offered this escape route (‘mistake’) for the US:
    “If this airstrike was carried out due to an error in the coordinates of the targetm it is a direct consequence of US side’s unwillingless to coordinate its actions against terrorist groups with Russia,” the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman emphasized.”

    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160917/1045415141/russia-syria-army-attacked.html

    But still, a hell of a warning not to become triumphant and ignore Washington’s interests.

    Posted by: smuks | Sep 17, 2016 4:21:13 PM
    ####

    A couple of comments later it is mentioned that Russian aircraft were in the region. At best it makes the US look incompetent, at worse it looks deliberate. Either way, it only plays badly for the US.

    I have been impressed how Russia has taken the media initiative over this deal and regularly stated that coordination against the headchoppers is essential and that the US is reluctant. There is absolutely nothing in this that can be seen as unreasonable. It has been the US that has been making poor excuses and waffling.

    Maybe some good will come of this after all. After 80+ Syrian soldiers were killed… I am pessimistic, but, despite all this, the US doesn’t have boots on ground and I suspect the Kurds are not going to get in to a big fight with the SAA after the US made it clear they always back Turkey. That only leaves ISIS/ISIL/DAESH/whatever. There is no way to square the circle that US bombing benefiting them is a good thing.

    Washington’s lost the narrative. In short, DON’T PANIC!

    • Special_sauce says:

      Sure, mistake. But we all get the message.

    • “Either way, it only plays badly for the US.”

      Why? The US just showed it can strike against the Syrian government with impunity. Why would it be bad for the US?

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Suggest full-on nuclear blitz. Annihilate the US military and level every American city, town, village and trailer park.

        Truly, it makes more sense than any petty ‘tit for tat’ operation such as you might recommend.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Because no Russian ICBMs were launched?

        ‘Master Tae, What is the best way to deal with force?’ -Disciple Caine
        ‘As we prize peace and quiet above victory, there is a simple and preferred method…. Run away.’ -Master Tae

        Russia has wisdom like Master Tae. But Russia, when there is no other choice, will rip the Western invader apart as it has done so many times before.

        • Refrainment is only useful in a situation when the enemy is hurting itself with overly aggressive and foolish behavior. Never disrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

          One example of this would be the Western countries flooding themselves with third world immigrants. Russia better not try to disrupt this in any way. The only good side of the coming Hillary presidency is that the “browning” of America is set to continue which will eventually weaken America. Trump would try to reverse it.

          But I’m afraid that in Syria’s case the US is not making a similar mistake. Syria is far away from America. Even if the US backed jihadis would win the war and wreck up Syria, America would not face any bad consequences but instead get that pipeline they are after and Europe/Russia/Middle East would have to deal with all that mess. A war-torn, chaotic Eurasia is good for America.

          • Special_sauce says:

            I tend to agree, except the “browning” bit. You need to explain the outcome you predict.

            • Patient Observer says:

              Since I live in America, I hope that Trump will be able to lead the US back to reality and to join the civilized and law abiding world.

            • yalensis says:

              Karl is something of a white supremacist. He won’t come right out and say it, but I deduce that from his “body of work”, and he doesn’t deny it when poked.
              Hence, my interpretation of Karl’s statement, and he is always free to correct me if he disagrees with my projection of his thoughts:
              Karl believes that brown-skinned people are inferior, both morally and intellectually, to white-skinned (=European) people. Therefore, wherever these people migrate to, they bring down the host country. Therefore, flooding America with these migrants will weaken America. Which Karl believes would be a good thing, and he might actually be sincere about that.

              The confusion is that even normal non-racist people can believe that flooding a country with immigrants might possibly be a bad idea. But people can believe that for different reasons, e.g., logistical and cultural reasons, which are not the same as actual racialism.

              Having said that: I assert that America is different from Europe.
              European countries truly are weakened by excessive immigration, especially from culturally-incompatible countries and ethnic groups. Like leaven, a little is good, but too much can be a bad thing.

              America is different: America thrives on immigrant labor, the more the better, this is actually what has made America a powerful nation. Culture doesn’t matter, this is like the Roman Empire, eventually all the immigrants buckle under and accept the dominance of the ruling elite. They have to. They have no other options.

        • yalensis says:

          Caine: “But Master Po, what if I try to run away, but find myself encircled by my enemies?”

          Master Po: “In that case, young Grasshopper, you take out your chopsticks. The ones that you use to catch flies. And you take these chopsticks and you ram them up your opponents nostrils, straight into their medulla oblangata. That should slow them down, at least for a while.”

      • marknesop says:

        Again, why is it Russia’s responsibility to do something about it? Is Russia in charge of Syria now?

  38. According to this source it was not just one strike: There may gave been FOUR separate strikes against the SAA over 50 minutes.

    This would exclude any possibility of the strike being a mistake. It was a deliberate attack against the SAA to help ISIS.

    Hillary presidency is coming and the US just showcased its new policy in Syria. Moscow should make the needed conclusions and stop the useless “cooperation” with the US.

    • kirill says:

      Russia does not need to take any initiative to break anything. It has to apply a wait and see policy and let the USA clearly demonstrate to the world what it is all about. By taking your BS advice Russia becomes “responsible” for any global deterioration.

      Uncle Scam can’t bait Russia in Banderastan so it now tries to bait Russia in Syria. Russia should crank up nuclear submarine production.

    • Cortes says:

      Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I look forward to VVP taking his cue from the stellar performance of Ukraine’s foreign ministers and advisors, governators etc by sacking Shoigu and hiring you, Karl, to finally provide the RF with the defence posture and military deployments we all wish for. Go, Karl, go.

      • Patient Observer says:

        I think Karl would quickly tire of Putin’s indecisiveness and fearfulness and would need to take on the presidency as well. His first act will be to invite the Western leaders to the Kremlin to sign the surrender documents.

    • marknesop says:

      Well, I see there is no stopping you from you usual policy of exaggerating and announcing that unless Russia bayonets some babies right fucking now, they are gutless pussies and might as well go home so they are not embarrassed by real men, namely the hero Americans. I am reduced, as usual, to commenting that it is a damned good thing that Putin and his cabinet are in charge of the Russian forces and not you. Napoleon would have loved General Karl – you would have thrown everything you had into one colossal battle, winner take all, and been annihilated by the enemy who claimed the colossal battle as his greatest strength.

      • Declaring a NFZ over entire Syria would be enough.

        • marknesop says:

          Which the USA would never accept, as it stands on its right to send its ships and planes and armored vehicles wherever it wishes – the USA is the authority which establishes and polices No-Fly Zones, not the one who obeys them. So there would immediately be war. Why don’t you just say that’s what you want?

          Russia could propose that through the UN, but it is an American-dominated body and would never issue such a resolution, and it would be a bad deal anyway because the SAA would likely bog down without air support and few further gains would be made – it and IS would be roughly equal again and it would deteriorate into an exclusively land battle with the USA covertly funneling arms to IS while the Arab states covertly funneled them more soldiers.

          So – Russia weak, America strong. Isn’t that where you were trying to get to all along? Let me make it easy for you. Russia weak, America strong. I can’t explain why America is losing even though it’s so strong, but that was never part of the effort, was it?

    • Jen says:

      Karl, you sound as though you can’t wait for Hillary to become President fast enough. Does she pay you enough to come here?

      • As I said, the only good side in Hillary presidency for me is that she is probably not going to do anything about the ruinous immigration policies in America.

        The United States became what is currently is due to white European immigration most of whom were Anglo or German descent. Now they are being slowly, but surely, replaced with mostly Mexican Latinos and Asians. There is already a white minority in newborns in the USA which means that in 30 years there will be a white minority in young adults in the USA.

        Why does it matter? Because people make a country. The Latinos are far less educated than whites and they do worse at school than whites. With a white minority the USA will eventually be more like Brazil is today and less like the America we have come accustomed with.They will have a weaker economy, more domestic problems, and most importantly, less ability to wage wars.

        This is the ONLY good thing about Hillary presidency. She is pro-immigration.

        Hillary presidency likely means more wars and destruction in short term, but a weaker America in long term.

        And I’m not yet sold about Trump presidency meaning isolationist foreign policy. Trump just hired a CIA goon James Woolsey as his foreign policy adviser.

        • Woolsey served as CIA director in President Bill Clinton’s administration at a time when the Clinton administration was running Russia through its proxy Boris Yeltsin and bombed Yugoslavia. This is not an encouraging sign about Trump.

        • marknesop says:

          James Woolsey – I’ll take your word for it, I didn’t see that – is a terrible choice, one of the charter-member Project for a New American Century types. An exceptionalist to the marrow of his bones.

  39. Special_sauce says:

    Mebbe the Russians are reading this blog. But this is the next logical step. Then it’s time to lay down some red lines.
    https://www.rt.com/news/359686-un-security-urgent-meeting/

    • marknesop says:

      Gee, I wonder if it is coincidence that IS started its offensive in sync with the ‘coalition’ airstrike?

      It is not really Moscow’s place to be calling emergency meetings of the SC. It is Syria’s job to do that, and to press the Security Council to order the Americans out of Syria. They were not invited, are not welcome and are now openly helping the enemy to take a key city. How much clearer does it need to be that the USA is and always has been pursuing its own agenda in Syria?

      Overall, an incredibly stupid thing to do. It will harden Syrian hearts against the USA, American proxies will still lose, and the Turks across the border are getting an object lesson that the USA has no scruples at all, about anything, which will strengthen opinion that Washington was behind the coup attempt in Ankara. Which it probably was not, but still.

      • Special_sauce says:

        Can Syria call an emergency meeting? I thought you had to be on the security council to do that.

        • marknesop says:

          No, they probably can’t – someone would have to do it on their behalf, although they could petition the Security Council on a less urgent basis. But I have been informed by a commenter at Russia Insider that Syria has already petitioned the UN Security Council more than 600 times since the war began, so that notion can be safely eliminated. The Americans would not leave even if asked, arguing their presence is humanitarian and the mute demands of the Syrian people for freedom and democracy must not be ignored. But I thought it would be advantageous to have it on record that Syria demanded an end to the American military presence – unsolicited – in a sovereign country. I don’t know that they have ever asked that specifically, but there are plenty of Syrian objections on record and hardly anyone knows it. So apparently it is of little use at all. The Americans will remain there until they are either driven out, or IS is so decisively defeated that there is not the slightest conceivable reason for their remaining.

    • Nothing concrete came out of that UN security council meeting. Only angry words. Just as I predicted. USA just murdered over 80 SAA soldiers with impunity. What is going to stop them from doing it again?

      • Just read the comments of that RT article. Most posters are as upset to Russia about its weak response to this act of war against Syria as they are with the US. Here’s one example of such post:

        “I am sick and tired of Russia taking a soft approach with the US. Tell you what don’t you both get a hotel room together. Absolutely disgusting that Russia would even think to say that the US attack on SAA “jeopardises the ceasefire”…its the END OF THE DEAL! What “jeapardises”! The deal is off! The SAA should resume military action and should include the US amongst its strike targets. US has declared war. That’s it! Russia, you’re either on board on not….you get in line and join the SAA to strike all US targets in Middle East or go back home and wait for the US and Saudis to export the terrorists to your home where they will make your country just like Syria and Libya. Get off the fence and start acting like a responsible country! You know the locations of US bases…stike them!”

        • marknesop says:

          Did you write that yourself, Karl, you naughty little trickster? Because it’s just so you. We know well what you would do if you were in charge – Russia would attack and attack and attack. And the western world would go all, like, hey, what the fuck? Russia just attacked us, out of the blue, for no reason! Get it together, NATO, let’s go!! And then there would be a huge hot war in the Middle East as everyone involved maneuvered for advantage, with every chance that the first nuclear nation to be pushed to the wall would light ’em up and send them on their way. Most of the world would be destroyed, and much of it would remain uninhabitable for generations afterward. But Russia would have acted to your satisfaction, and finally pleased you, by showing off how big its balls are. And there’d be no Russians left; kind of a twofer, right, Karl?

          Get off the fence and start acting like a responsible country. Because that’s what a responsible country does, by God, it acts. Like….like America does (an angel chorus begins to sing “Exceptionalism” in the background, as a golden glow suffuses the scene).

          In fact, the current situation is a direct result of your much-admired responsible country acting like a responsible country, according to your lights. Shake your red-white-and-blue pom-poms, Karl. Everyone knows who you’re cheering for, even though the two flags share the same colours.

          • Patient Observer says:

            I wonder if Karl’s personal life is similar. Like, he bungee jumps without a bungee, rides his motorcycle in the rain and picks fights at the slightest pretext. He must, like, have beaten up hundreds of guys who weren’t quick enough with an apology. He must be one mean-ass dude.

      • Patient Observer says:

        What did you expect? Churkin to whip out an AK and empty a clip into Samantha Powers?

        • What did I expect? Nothing concrete.

          What did I hope? Declaration of a NFZ over entire Syrian air space by Syria and Russia.

        • Special_sauce says:

          Well, he should do something, since he’s determined that the United Shits is actually helping ISIS.

          • The narrative of this blog seems to be that Russian inaction is always some great chess move which helps Russia and hurts the West in a long run. Unfortunately a lot of Syrian (and Russian) blood is going to be spilled because Russian enemies interpret inaction as weakness and will get bolder.

            • kirill says:

              Stop with the BS. It has been pointed out to you numerous times that Russia should not fall for NATzO baiting. That has nothing to do with weakness or chess moves. It is the correct response.

            • marknesop says:

              Whereas decisive and bold military action by Russia – in which, they, say, surround an American base and pound it to rubble, killing everyone in it, and then have Dmitry Peskov go on CNN and say coldly, “That was for Syria, motherfuckers. Step out of line again, and Moscow will split your lip!” would leave everyone awestruck so that they were unable to do anything but pluck feebly at their clothing and say weakly, “My land!! Did you ever???”

              A lot of blood gets spilled in wars; did you ever notice that, or is it just me?

        • marknesop says:

          By definition, when Power storms out while Churkin is speaking, she’s throwing down a marker, and America is tough. When Churkin does it, Russia is weak. It’s simpler if you just cut straight to Karl’s mantra – Russia is weak. Everything it does shouts its weakness. Somehow it has not yet been drowned by America’s power, nobody can explain it, but it is weak nevertheless. Otherwise it would force everyone to do what it wants, and become the new global top dog.

      • marknesop says:

        What was ever going to stop them, Karl? Should Russia have preemptively nuked America to make sure they couldn’t? Or just nuke them in reprisal? You are quite the man of action – what would satisfy you? Should the USA offer an equal number of American soldiers to be executed as a penance? Would that satisfy you?

  40. Patient Observer says:

    Seems like an explosion in New York:

    https://sputniknews.com/news/20160918/1045422950/manhattan-explosion-bomb-blast-terror.html

    After the pipe bomb explosion earlier today in New Jersey, there is a lot of speculation about this event.

    • kirill says:

      Judging by the 25 people getting light injuries this does not appear to be any sort of terrorist event. Of course it could have been a dud, but I doubt it.

  41. marknesop says:

    WADA continues to freak out. It should be noted here that even if the disclosures about athletes getting free passes from WADA to take prohibited drugs even as that fucking prick Dick Pound sermonizes about Meldonium – which WADA cannot prove is performance-enhancing – do not gain any further traction at all, they have already achieved so much. They have put WADA and the American sports associations in Russia’s shoes, issuing frenzied denials and insisting there was no wrongdoing. And there are going to be some people, maybe a lot of people, who don’t believe them. How’s it feel, jackasses?

    That International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions will bear looking into; it’s linked in the WADA statement but I don’t have time to dig into it right now. I’d be surprised if it permits retroactive signatures and permissions.

    Meanwhile, in the latest dump, Fancy Bears revealed details of Australian and British cyclists Jack Bobridge and Laura Trott. The former claimed in an interview last year with a cycling magazine that he had “gone completely natural… and just changed my diet a lot: less dairy, less red meat, cut out a lot of sugars – everything like that” to address arthritis in his hands and wrists. Yet his TUE record states that he received courses of the oral corticosteroid prednisolone in 2011, 2012, 2014 and most recently received a TUE specifically for the Olympic Games for the substance. Trott has had a TUE for asthma – something else that seems to occur in professional athletes at a rate far in excess of that at which it appears in the general population – since 2009.

    • Cortes says:

      Sounds awful, all that wheezing. For those of a certain vintage it does appear like a wizard wheeze: From the Cambridge Online Dictionary:

      uk old-fashioned informal a clever and often unusual idea or plan, especially one that is intended to achieve a profit or some other advantage:
      As a part of their latest marketing wheeze they’re giving away tickets for the concert.
      So the public actually pay to feed the animals in the zoo? That seems like a good wheeze.
      I’ve had a wheeze – why don’t we put both kids in the small room and that will leave the back room free.

    • Jen says:

      Olympic-level elite swimmers often do have a history of asthma, as swimming is recommended as therapeutic treatment for children with asthma. Breathing in warm, humid air reduces bouts of wheezing at least though it doesn’t eliminate the symptoms completely. Although long-term effects of breathing in air with low concentration levels of chlorine gas can’t be doing them any good. In Australia we have had two former high-profile swimmers (Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett) who had problems with depression and other mental health issues, and it’s possible that long-term exposure to small amounts of chlorine gas in the air they breathed while churning up and down the pool could have affected their brains. As far as I can tell they still have full heads between their shoulders so they are not as far gone as Ryan Lochte with his head full of feelings running through them like machine-gun bullets.

      • marknesop says:

        That may be true, but is issuing swimmers a permit to take drugs which control asthma just making a champion athlete out of someone who otherwise would not be able to succeed to anything like that level in the sport? Is that what the Olympics are supposed to be about?

        • Jen says:

          My comment was intended as an observation, as one answer to the statement about the incidence of asthma among professional sportspeople far in excess of its incidence in the general public. But yes I’m open to the possibility that some athletes’ medical records report that they have asthma (when they don’t or only have seasonal hay-fever) in order that they can be given performance-enhancing drugs and be able to claim exemptions for them. The athletes themselves, their families and even their coaches may also genuinely believe they have asthma and not realise they are all being duped by the sports authorities and the doctors those authorities employ.

  42. Patient Observer says:

    Shrilary’s new book “Stronger Together” is bombing:

    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/spot-book-review-difference/ri16511

    The reviews in Amazon are amazingly funny. Here is one:

    I was going to read this book…..I really was. But just as I got started, I found myself under sniper fire, passed out, and fell and hit my head. After that I got double vision and had to wear glasses that were so damn thick I couldn’t even see to read. Then I had an allergic reaction to something and started coughing so hard I spit out what looked like a couple of lizard’s eyeballs, my limbs locked up, and I passed out and fell down again, waking up only to find out I had been diagnosed with pneumonia 2 days earlier. It’s a good thing I was able to make a small fortune making this random small trade in the commodities market (cattle futures or some such thing) and then, miracle of all miracles, a few banks offered me a few million to just talk to their employees for a few minutes – and all that really helped out because I swear I was dead broke and couldn’t figure out how I was gonna come up with the 6 bucks to pay for this book, let alone pay the $1,500 for my health insurance this month. I still want to read it, but, hell, what difference at this point does it make? I hear it sucks anyway.

    OK, OK, one more. To be fair, this reviewer gave it 5 stars:

    Why? Because it’s a fantastically well-written, witty, insightful and informative book that was written by a person who is easily the most important female political leader since Queen Elizabeth I. And her impact on world history is liable to be much, much greater. Please do yourself, your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren a favor and beg, borrow, or steal this book, but whatever you do – READ IT!!! In it you will find Hillary’s plan for making this world of ours a much better place – more peaceful, more prosperous, more just, more environmentally sustainable. And as an aside, way, way more fun! This book is in fact so chock full of great ideas that if it contained any more, they would literally leak out the sides! I always felt that, compared to anyone else on the scene, Hillary Clinton was a modern day Colossus of Rhodes, but now I’m more inclined to think of her as the political equivalent of the Great Pyramid. They just don’t come any better! After her eight years in office are finished, I predict the only remaining controversy will be which one of those dead guys immortalized on Mount Rushmore should have his features rearranged in her image. (I vote for Alexander Hamilton – way overrated if you ask me.) But I digress. In sum, if you don’t read this book, you will regret it – maybe not today, but soon, and for the rest of your life. Please, don’t make that tragic mistake!

    The Shrilary book had an average rating of 1.6 out of fie (1.0 is the lowest rating). Trump’s book had much greater sales and a rating of 4.3. Just saying.

    • Jen says:

      Ha ha, Alexander Hamilton is not on Mount Rushmore so that’s how you know the reviewer was writing with tongue firmly fused to the inside of his/her cheek.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Good catch!

      • marknesop says:

        The Colossus of Rhodes quip was likewise funny, at least in the context of Hillary being propped up at the curb waiting for the rescue van to come alongside, and if she had not been held up she would have gone over like a bowling pin. As one of the comments to the RI piece pointed out, most of the very high reviews were similarly sarcastic, such as “Bravo to Hillary and Tim Kaine’s ghostwriters for knowing exactly how many pages would be perfect to put under the short leg of my kitchen table to keep it from wobbling”.

    • Jen says:

      More hilarious reviews of “Stronger Together” (whose title sounds like a rip-off from the “Better Together” slogan mounted by the anti-independence campaign during the lead-up to the Scottish independence referendum a couple of years ago):

      Halfway through it I ended up fainting and losing a shoe, wouldn’t recommend it. Would make a great fire starter but it’s a little too coarse for toilet paper.

      Pure raw sewage.

      I got this book, today, but most of the pages were missing or heavily redacted.

      Terrible! Lies and more lies. Guess I can line my birdcage with it.

      I’ll be honest with you … I couldn’t finish it. I enjoyed it until page one. I will say this for Hillary, her “the’s” were well placed. Sad.

      [A] true story of a Presidential candidate who is only stronger when others are around to keep her from falling on her face. It takes a village to keep Hillary upright!

      Really should have been called Sicker Together. The only thing that would have made this book worse would have been Hillary writing it herself, rather than whatever intern flunkie they dumped the task on.

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, I can certainly imagine a world dominated by a Hillary-Clinton-led United States as way, way more fun. That’s the first thought that pops into my head each morning.

  43. yalensis says:

    My latest blogpost .
    This one is about the American/ISIS airstrike against Syrian army. I chose to tell the story as a “catfight” between Sammy Power and Masha Zakharova.

    Zakharova fans: Please read it, if for nothing else to get her amazing quotes, and her “double-dog dare” against Samantha.

  44. kirill says:

    http://stalkerzone.org/11-canadian-mercenaries-go-home-bodybags-master-class-donbass/

    I am not sure this actually happened, but if it did then Trudeau is an irredeemable idiot. Donbas rebels are not some international terrorists who will come to attack Canada in the future. By acting together with the illegal Kiev regime to attack the Donbas, Canada is willfully participating in a war crime.

  45. More angry words from the Kremlin: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/18/moscow-says-strikes-on-syria-army-threaten-us-russia-ceasefire-plan.html
    “The actions of coalition pilots – if they, as we hope, were not taken on an order from Washington – are on the boundary between criminal negligence and connivance with Islamic State terrorists,” the ministry said.”

    In addition of murdering over 90 SAA soldiers the US managed to invalidate DeirEzzor Airbase as aircraft can no longer land there after the strike.

    From a military perspective it was a well-executed operation from the US Air Force. They killed more SAA soldiers at one strike that they have killed ISIS militants during the whole Syrian war. And they rendered an important military base useless for the SAA.

    No wonder Russia is furious. But it is an impotent fury.

    • marknesop says:

      As usual. In fact, as you look at the whole conflict since its inception, Russia has always been weak and ineffective while the glorious United States has always been swaggering and bold. Somehow, I can’t think how, Russia has managed to get a permanent invited military presence in Syria, with land for bases that they do not have to squat on but has been gifted to them by the Syrian government, the aforementioned Syrian government has not fallen as was confidently predicted by western analysts every year for the past 5 years, the Qataris still do not have the expected go-ahead to string a gas pipeline across Syria and Russia is building another gas pipeline to Europe through Turkey! Can you believe the fool’s luck? Probably mostly pity.

  46. Moscow Exile says:

    Power played the prima donna and walked out whilst Churkin was giving a speech at the UN:

    Samantha Power walks out during UN Russian speech over US bombing of Syrian army

    • marknesop says:

      Everyone knows that Russia and the United States are enemies, so this behavior is not at all surprising. Russia says one thing, the United States says another, and it really comes down to who you believe. In the instance of the attack on SAA soldiers at Dier ez-Zor, the United States has said that (1) it was a mistake, and (2) the USA informed Russia in advance of the strikes, or that it had previously conducted strikes there at some unspecified time so it was reasonable to expect they would do so again.

      Which is it? Was it a mistake? A mistake which you informed those who are supposed to be your partners in this, in advance, that you were going to make? Or did you inform them in advance and they did not correct you so you assumed it was OK?

      I did not think it was possible to make a worse choice of ambassador to the UN for the United States than John Bolton, who was Dubya Bush’s pick, and it was extremely controversial at the time because of his open contempt for the UN as an institution. This was widely interpreted to arise out of dissatisfaction on the part of the USA that the UN was dithering over the invasion of Iraq and wasting time while the USA wanted to just run with it and not accept any curbs at all. But Samantha Power is a thousand times worse, just as Hillary Clinton was the worst Secretary of State ever, even worse than Kerry because he is just a bumbling clown rather than the malignant schemer Clinton was and is. Those who would argue that a woman is better than a man in those positions because women are more compassionate and tend to be thinkers rather than reactors need never plead such a case to me.

      • Fern says:

        Churkin actually came out and said he believed the US attack was deliberate or, in his more guarded not an accident. I’m sure that’s what we all think but it’s indicative of how bad things are that a professional diplomat is showing just how much value can be placed on the word of Russia’s American ‘partners’.

    • Special_sauce says:

      “It’s clear that this did not escape the eye of all the participants of the meeting of the Security Council. They just diplomatically talked about something else. Including the inappropriate behavior.”

      Immaterial. This will be talked up in the Reptilian Press as Merka standing tall and proud for beauty, truth, human rights yadidda yadidda.

      • kirill says:

        But the problem for the land of windbag hubris is that its while empire racket depends on the rest of the world bowing before it. If they start to spit at it and hurl rotten vegetables then it is game over for pax Americana.

        Hubris-land is digging its own grave.

        • marknesop says:

          There’s something to that, you know. Karl would caper and dance and point out that nothing stops America from bulling its way ahead, but when was the last time one of such actions by America brought it international acclaim and approbation? Most of the reaction you consistently see in comment sections to news items is variations on “Fucking America again, throwing its weight around like the global bully it is, Jesus, I hate them. What I wouldn’t give to see them get their fucking comeuppance”, depending on how profane the outlet allows its commenters to be. When you think about it, it has been a long, long time since any American initiative has caused people to express cautious hope that the nation might be getting back to the values which once gave it grounding and meaning.

          That’s meaningless to the Karls of the world, and kicking ass and taking names is always the sign of a country that has it together, a country whose brute power you just have to admire even if you don’t much like it, because violence is an aphrodisiac. But can the USA safely abandon its soft power completely in favour of brute force? I don’t think so. It’s not really that strong. And it’s losing friends and fans rapidly, although it’ll always have Karl.

  47. Moscow Exile says:

    Mrs. Exile has just come back from voting at our polling station. The State Duma elections are being held today and in many regions elections are being held today for governors and deputies to the local parliaments.

    I wonder why Latynina has not doing her usual thing today, namely tear-arsing all round Moscow, seeking out “carousel voting” and other nefarious activities undertaken by Putin acolytes?

    Here’s The Novaya Gazeta take on today’s voting:

    “The real turnout in Russia will be somewhere around 45 plus or minus 3%.” A single day of voting. Online and expert commentary

    Everyone was expecting a fall in turnout, but no one thought that it would be on such a large scale. When falsification of voting falls, so does turnout. Falsification has become less thanks to the efforts of Ella Pamfilova … We have not yet received data from Chechnya and other regions, where turnout will be around 90%. But I think that the expected 51% turnout that has been forecast by VTsIOM is groundless. The real figure for Russia will be somewhere 45 plus or minus 3% “

    And there is the assumption that falsification does take place, albeit that it must have fallen this time. The evidence for this conclusion is the fall in turnout.

    I fail to see why a fall in falsification gives rise to a fall in turnout. However, this is a clear example of begging the question, namely “Falsification in elections takes place during elections and it has been reduced this year because there has been a fall in turnout, which happens when there is a fall in falsification.”

    • Drutten says:

      Literally ALL diplomats and Russia hacks in the West are churning out a non-stop barrage of BS pertaining to these elections. It’s frankly amazing to see, they hate everything and apparently want the elections to be sabotaged.

      I can’t think of any other country that is treated this way. Russia’s electoral system is full of issues and flaws, but they’re trying hard to fix it and it seems like the CECRF are the only ones actually interested in free and fair elections. How’s that for a twist?

      Ukraine also has the exact same issues and flaws in their elections, although it’s a lot worse there. When they held their last ones, everybody was intrigued and these same hacks and diplomats were saying “yes, there are issues but they’re willing to improve” and even enthusiastically giving tips and offering assistance on how to deal with certain flaws etc. When it comes to Russia, it’s 100% schadenfreude as soon as even a minor issue becomes known.

      I’m not even Russian myself but this is still so incredibly insulting somehow.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Corruption! Corruption!!! Call Latynina!!!!

        Первому избирателю в воронежском селе вручили бутылку водки

        The first voter in a Voronezh village was handed a bottle of vodka

        At a polling station in the village of Aleksandrovka, Panino District, Voronezh region, the first voter was handed a bottle of vodka, the Election Commission Chairman of polling stations Nos. 28/26, Nina Chernikova, reported on Sunday, September 18, states “Interfax”.

        “This is not bribery: we have given all our constituents gifts. For example, for 18-year-old voters, we had chocolates ready”, said Chernikov.

        The representative of the regional electoral commission said that the first voter came in at 7:45.

        The initiative to give the alcohol, she said, belongs directly to the commission, and this has been a tradition for 20 years.

        Earlier on Sunday it became known that there had been violations during voting at polling stations in the Novosibirsk region. In particular, they talked about attempts to bribe voters with beer.

        On September 18 on one and the same day of voting in the Voronezh elections have been held for deputies to seventh State Duma parliamentary session as well as elections to the Regional Duma and local authorities. 1.7 thousand polling stations were open.

        I still have a soft spot for Voronezh and its region.

        🙂

    • Patient Observer says:

      US currency?

        • Patient Observer says:

          I thought that blue stripe shirt meant military which was odd but that US currency was confusing. How could he have laundered so much cash?

          • marknesop says:

            The blue-striped undershirt is not military; it and a black-striped variant are somewhat military-looking but a perennial favourite of Russian men; I have a long-sleeved one somewhere in my closet. The Zakarchenko who is indicted for corruption while simultaneously the head of Russia’s anti-corruption effort is a completely different man altogether, but the British press has thrown together a real story about corruption with a photo of the leader of the Donetsk National Republic, which is not even in the same country. Neat, huh? Now those who just scan headlines believe the leader of the eastern-Ukrainian independence movement has been caught with suitcases of laundered stolen cash. Quite a bit like the BBC’s ‘mistake’, which I have cited many times, in which they included a photo with their story describing the brutal “Houla Massacre” (where Assad supposedly murdered hundreds of peaceful and innocent villagers because he had nothing much else to do that day) which had actually been taken in Iraq years earlier, and the dead were probably American victims.

            The money is likely just a file photo, and I don’t think the article specified in what currency the notes discovered were. Although it would be unsurprising if it were American money, since it is popular for laundering as it is exchangeable anywhere.

    • marknesop says:

      Oh, do you think that’s a mistake? It’s wrong, obviously, but I doubt it was a mistake. The British press is so lazy and incompetent that it just might be, it never occurring to them that there might be more than one person named Zakarchenko in the world, but I’m afraid I think it was deliberate. Not to mention economical, because now they get two stories for the copy and paste of one.

      • yalensis says:

        This is the REAL Dmitry Zakharchenko, and this story has been in the Russian press for several days now, so there should not be any confusion about the name:

        Westie press is either stupid or malicious in confusing the two men with the same last name but different first names.
        Journalism 101 (?)

        • marknesop says:

          I’m pretty confident it was deliberate, because the British press is just that low and stupidly cunning. The worst journalism in the civilized world, bar none. Remember their chortling over “How not to unload a Russian tank”, when the self-propelled howitzer (it wasn’t even a tank) some Ukie droolers were trying to load onto a flatbed fell off onto its side? Even though there was a Ukrainian flag visible right beside the ‘advisory party’ that was watching and offering encouragement, they still identified the resulting mishap as Russian.

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