Get in There and Win One For Mom and Apple Pie: Non-Combatant Molly McKew Pounds the War Drum

Uncle Volodya says,

Uncle Volodya says, “Given a choice, it seems like pity would be easier to bear than mockery, but that’s not true. Mockery hardens defenses; pity slips through, finds the softest places you have, and slices to the bone. Pity will break you, every time.”

Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind.

He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm, and with whom he has no quarrel.

And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands, and works for the universal brotherhood of man with his mouth.

-Mark Twain

It is a phenomenon that is none the less remarkable for the frequency of its observation that none is so enthusiastic an endorser of armed combat and violence as he – or she – who has little or no personal acquaintance with  military service, and is among the least likely to participate if her earnest advocacy for war bears fruit.

The poster-child for this philosophy is Molly McKew, of The Washington Free Beacon and Politico, and former adviser to deposed Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili. Right up until his people kicked him out of the saddle, in fact, in favour of eccentric billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. And now, as another eccentric billionaire is preparing to take over the reins of power in the United States, Ms. McKew joins luminaries of the Make War, Not Love Club Samantha Power and Susan Rice in advocating military action to stop Russia’s Vladimir Putin, because the United States has not depended on diplomacy for so long that it now stinks out loud at it and has no international credibility. When the only tool in the toolbox of the tough is a hammer, the tough get going, and all that.

Ms. McKew gives us a guided tour of her philosophy in “Putin’s Real Long Game”, for Politico, and it is already piling up rave reviews in her Twitter feed from the usual Amerika-Uber-Alles types, such as Catherine Fitzpatrick.

It turns out – not to be a spoiler, or anything – that Putin’s long game looks remarkably like what is customarily the long game for the United States; ensuring by various non-violent means a receptiveness to national interests. Although when the United States does it, it should not be imagined to be sinister in any way, because the United States is a dedicated international philanthropist which consistently works for mutual benefit, and would never abuse a trade-based economic arrangement for its own benefit or use the threat of its mighty military to intimidate an ally into compliance. Whereas Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy boils down to sucking the life-force from hapless countries too weak to resist his bony-fingered embrace, like the pitiful Podlings in The Dark Crystal.

What makes this interesting is not so much the dog-whistle appeals to exceptionalism and good ol’ American can-do, because those are the perennial Hallmark card to the low-information reader that we have become accustomed to. No, what makes this a noteworthy piece is its tentative bellwether sucking up to Trump, who will succeed to the Presidency of the United States despite a cacophony of caterwauling from the neoconservatives who lusted after the war-hammer of Hillary Clinton. Having painted Trump with excrement and ridicule daily in the full expectation that he would lose, America’s War Party must now explore how they might best make use of him to return to the pleasant pastime of perpetual war. Thus Trump becomes an unconventional thinker rather than a self-absorbed simpleton; a rough-hewn individualist rather than a maudlin bumpkin, as out of place as a rap star at an IPO after-party. The apparent aim is a no-hard-feelings attempt to co-opt Trump to the cause of returning Russia to its also-ran box.

Let’s take a look at it, shall we?

Ms. McKew leads in with a poignant sniffle that revolutionaries no longer feel a special affinity with the west, and muses that it might be a weakening of the belief in collective defense (spelt N.A.T.O), or perhaps the certitude that western values would prevail.

And that’s a controversial viewpoint, right off the bat. For one, I don’t know why revolutionaries would lose faith in the west, since it – and most especially Washington – is a reliable money-pot for would-be regime-changers; generally free with the lucre so long as the object of overthrow is a designated annoyance or obstacle to western domination. You’d never know that from reading Molly, though – she confidently assesses that ISIS has its roots in Moscow. As for the contention that revolutionaries feel safe in trusting ‘western values’ will eventually prevail like the sun coming out after weeks of rain, that, too, is a controversial viewpoint. It seems to me that it is Russia which has come round to the policy that international law should rule – and, ideally,  prevent – conflict, while it is Washington which has embraced a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach which treats international law as a nice-to-have only so long as it does not restrict the United States in anything it wants to do.

That’s as may be; Molly wants you to know that unless NATO hardens the fuck up and starts acting like a military force rather than some kind of frigging focus group, consequences such as the Baltics’ trembling terror of invasion by Russia will only compound and snowball – in the interests of all that is right and good, NATO and its natural leader, America, must step into Vladimir Putin’s path, and cry “Enough!!”

The Baltics – and fellow sentinels on the toxic fringes of Mordor, Ukraine – are terrified to jelly that Putin will rise up at any moment and crush them, due to his repeated displays of covetous violence over the last decade. Like the invasion of Georgia. Well, after Georgia first invaded a protectorate to which Russia had given security guarantees, and in which the UN had agreed to place Russian peacekeepers at the request of the inhabitants.

Which brings to mind another curiosity, this time associated with behavior. What form do your actions take when you fear a violent reaction from a powerful opponent? Are you liable to be conciliatory, or will you behave provocatively, wiggling your fingers in front of your nose and yelling “Nya, nya!!!”, figuratively speaking? Perhaps someone can explain to me why Latvia refuses to allow a third of its ethnic-Russian inhabitants to vote; many Russians who have lived in Latvia since the Soviet occupation do not have the benefits of citizenship.  While the explainer is at it, I’d like to know why the EU accepted the Baltics for accession, knowing that all three discriminate to various degrees against their ethnic-Russian minorities. I mean, wasn’t that sort of thing once a big human-rights issue for Europeans? Similarly, Lithuania’s president regularly offers tough talk as if she can’t wait to mix it up with Putin, while her government threatens to cut off rail and road access to Kaliningrad, and deliberately complicates visa procedures for Russians who have to cross EU territory coming or going. None of these are the actions of terrified people, while for its part Moscow has said several times it has no interest in subjugating the Baltics. Yet the myth prevails that the Russians are coming.

Ukraine certainly doesn’t act very scared, appointing a special council of experts to assess which books in the Russian language ought to be banned and loosening its rules of engagement for the air force so that Russian aircraft can be shot down on sight.

Like the hopelessly dysfunctional Democratic party, Ms. McKew speaks of the insidious tactics of 21st-century cyberwarfare used by Russia to flip the American presidential election to Trump as if they were a fact rather than wild imagination wedded to embarrassment. No less an informed source than John McAfee, developer of the world-renowned McAfee anti-virus software, scoffs at this as ridiculous, which it is; the Clinton machine merely wants to distract you from her barefaced lying that she had no classified material on her illegal and unforgivably carelessly-managed private server, by painting her as the helpless victim of Vladimir the Internet Marauder. The sheer hysterical proportions this has taken on were highlighted just the other day, when the Governor of Vermont squealed that the state’s power grid had been hacked by the Russians, in an attempt to seize control of America’s electricity and freeze its citizens to death. It transpired that nothing of the kind had happened,  that the computer which had been hacked was not connected to the power grid at all but belonged to an employee, that the malware was likely Ukrainian in origin and that the computer’s owner had visited some naughty Ukrainian websites. Thanks to irresponsible, wild-eyed reporting like this, Americans are seeing Russians beneath their beds at night like they never did, even during the frostiest depths of the Cold War.

Molly wants you to know that the war America is already in – so your only choice is whether you will fight or surrender, because the choice to commit the nation to battle has already been made for you – “…seeks, at home and abroad, to erode our values, our democracy, and our institutional strength; to dilute our ability to sort fact from fiction, or moral right from wrong; and to convince us to make decisions against our own best interests.

Here’s an open invitation, Molly; explain that in greater detail. I promise you your answers will not be censored or altered. I would like to know, more specifically, how Russia’s opposition to America trampling roughshod over the world as the whim takes it erodes America’s values, both at home and abroad. What, exactly, are America’s values? Let’s take a look. At each ‘value’ cited, I invite you to ask yourself how Russia is affecting it.

According to a fairly recent survey – 2012 – by The Atlantic,

Two-thirds of those surveyed said the country was headed in the wrong direction. Assuming that sentiment would be about the same today, how has Russia affected the impression of Americans that their own country is making misstep after miscalculation? Do you mean the electorate is upset that America did not go to war with Russia sooner? If so, please defend that view.

A substantial majority – 70% – responded that America’s values have been getting worse. Recent ‘advances’ in American tolerance have been a greater social acceptance of homosexuality, human cloning, pre-marital sex and having a child out of wedlock. Which of these has Russia undermined in America or put America in a bad light abroad? Some? All of them? How? America made a big noise about Russia being homophobic in the run-up to the Sochi Olympic Games, because it was hoping to get the games moved and give Russia a political black eye thereby. Since the games ended – successfully – Washington has not said a word about homophobia in Russia. Did it just go away? Or was it never there in the first place? Or did America stop caring about gay rights?

Nearly half – 46% – expected American values to become weaker over the next decade. That was before Russia dug its heels in and began seriously to oppose American objectives worldwide, but most especially in Ukraine, where the US State Department is on record as having sponsored a coup which ousted the democratically-elected leader in Ukraine, and hand-picked a government to succeed him. How has Russia contributed since to a weakening of American values? Is regime change an American value, or just a political tool?

Freedom of speech and freedom of religion were selected by Americans as the top examples of their values compared to other countries. How has Russia undermined American freedom of speech and/or freedom of religion around the world and at home? In fact, it is Washington that wants to intervene to control what Americans hear and understand, and anything which does not correspond to the approved narrative is branded ‘fake news’. Similarly, Washington wants to set up propaganda networks abroad to beam America’s values to areas which have heretofore not been particularly receptive to them. What kind of a thing is that to do, considering Americans themselves assess that the country’s values are going to hell in a handbasket, and expect the situation to worsen rather than improve? Or is The Atlantic one of Putin’s mouthpieces?

Two-thirds of Americans believe the American economy is headed in the wrong direction, and half thought it was unfair to middle-class and working-class people. I’m just going to step in here and say that that is entirely and completely up to the US government, and that Russia has no effect on it at all, while not downplaying it as a serious problem. Objections? I thought not. Similarly, 70% of Americans believed elected officials reflect the values of the wealthy, while upwards of 80% agreed money and lobbyists have too much influence in politics. That’s just two years after Citizens United resulted in corporations being awarded personhood for the purposes of making donations to political campaigns. At first blush, I would have to say that was unpopular. I really don’t see a handle there for you to grab, either, from the standpoint that Russia is eroding American values. Can corporations make unlimited donations to political campaigns in Russia? They surely can not.

Oh, hey; maybe this is your breakthrough – more than half of Americans did not expect their information to be private when using social media, and nearly the same percentage worried about government collecting information on their private lives! Oh, wait, though: they were worried about their own government snooping on them. Not Russia.

Finally, nearly 80% of Americans believed people were typically motivated by self-interest than by altruism. Those, Molly, are the values you want people to import from the United States, and implement in their own countries. Speaking strictly for myself; thanks, but no, thanks.

Look, we’re getting close to the end of this, and it’s time for plain speaking. Americans are confused and don’t know fact from fiction because their own government feeds them bullshit with a side of spin day in, day out, and you’re part of it. There was no Russian interference in the American elections, and you know it. Crimea fled into the arms of the Russian Federation because its citizens feared repression by the Ukrainian coup government; Crimea is overwhelmingly ethnic Russian and the coup government promptly rushed in a bill which downgraded the official status of the Russian language in Ukraine, even though the very great majority can and does speak it. The bill was never signed into law – its effect was so plainly and immediately negative that the kangaroo government dared not. But the damage was already done, and you know that, too. There has never been any evidence which tied the FSB to the Moscow apartment bombings, and the theory is popular in the west only because it suits the popular picture of Russia in the west. The sources often quoted which support it  – such as Novaya Gazeta and The New Times – are viewed in Russia much the same way an allegation that John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Bat Boy would be viewed in America if it were reported in The National Enquirer and the Weekly World News. You know that, too.

Finally, the notion that Russia has anything to teach the great hegemon, that has never since its birth known a decade without a war, anything about employment of mercenaries or covert warfare should be viewed as comical. Green men? America did its dirtiest fighting in Iraq – a war it lied the American people and the world into with wild tales of weapons of mass destruction – with contractors from Blackwater. In Syria, American Special Forces fought alongside Kurdish irregulars, wearing their insignia to disguise American active-duty participation. Incredibly, a Pentagon spokesman announced that this is common practice, apparently unaware that it is an example of an offense against the Laws of Armed Conflict referred to as Perfidy: to wit; the wearing of uniforms or the use of emblems of neutral States or other States not party to the conflict because uniforms or emblems of neutral States or of other States not party to the conflict may not be used.” The YPG is not a recognized state military force, and is recognized by US allies Saudi Arabia and Turkey as a terrorist organization.

What Washington demands of Russia is a lifetime of self-denial and subordination. It is not going to get it willingly. How Washington responds to this rejection of its terms will define the maintenance of an uneasy global peace… or regional, perhaps even global war.

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2,348 Responses to Get in There and Win One For Mom and Apple Pie: Non-Combatant Molly McKew Pounds the War Drum

  1. Moscow Exile says:

    A former MI6 officer who produced a dossier making lurid allegations about Donald Trump is “terrified for his safety” after he was unmasked by a US publication.

    Christopher Steele, 52, fled from his home in Surrey on Wednesday morning after realising it was only a matter of time until his name became public knowledge.

    A source close to Mr Steele said on Wednesday night that he now fears a prompt and potentially dangerous backlash against him from Moscow.

    See: Former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, who produced Donald Trump Russian dossier, ‘terrified for his safety’ and went to ground before name released

    Now mind you don’t accept the offer of a cup of tea with anyone called Boris, Mr.Steele!

    • Jen says:

      Christopher Steele could always pretend he is the other Christopher Steele.

    • Warren says:

      This Steele character had previously provided information on FIFA corruption to the the FBI.

      Mr Steele reportedly spent years under diplomatic cover working for MI6 in Russia and France, as well as at the Foreign Office in London.

      He is reported to have supplied the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with information on allegations of corruption at FIFA, football’s world governing body.

      • et Al says:

        So let’s get this straight. The Democratic Party employed a private company to look in to the supposed ‘hack’ of its servers (most probably Crowd Strike that falsely said the Agent X malware could only have been made and put there by the Russians), did not call the FBI.

        Trump’s opponents employed a former MI6 man running a private company to dig up dirt on him.

        Why the use of private companies at all if there is so much at stake? Clearly it has to do with a: a degree of separation from official organs (NSA/British Intelligence); b: latitude to spin whatever document as you see fit.

        Thus not a matter of national security. Both the NSA & British Intelligence are involved one way or another, regardless of their claims of innocence. I wonder what punishment Trump will choose. Either way, it is extraordinarily short sighted considering the consequences of being caught. Simply relying on the “It wasn’t us guv. We didn’t know” defense is to put it mildly, unbelievable.

        As for Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent, he’s been burnt by British Intelligence. The UK government did have the decency to put out a D-Notice to ban the British media from publishing his name until he had fled, but Mr. Steele’s little career project is done, not to mention his family life. What a clusterfuck.

      • marknesop says:

        Did he ever….uhhhh….report anything to his own government?

  2. Moscow Exile says:

    Exclusive: Chancellor Philip Hammond took personal stake in food technology company months before it won share of £560,000 Government contract

    Mr Hammond, when he was Foreign Secretary, took the 15 per cent stake in Cambridgeshire-based Hydramach in October 2015, according to records at Companies House…

    Last night a former standards watchdog said Mr Hammond’s failure to make public his shareholding was “a serious failure” because “there is clearly a potential conflict of interest”.

    “The evidence points to them deliberately attacking hospitals and schools and deliberately targeting rescue workers. If you go back for a second strike, you know what you’re doing” — Hammond, Turkey, January 2016, when visiting a training centre for the White Helmets.

    “The Russians are using carpet bombing tactics, indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas held by oppositionists” — Hammond, speaking on BBC Andrew Marr show, 14 February, 2016.

    Part of BBC transcript of Andrew Marr interview with Hammond, Feb. 14, 2016:

    Andrew Marr: Alright, let’s move on to another subject which is causing a
    lot of alarm this morning, which is Syria. Isn’t the truth, as we
    were discussing over the paper review, that Assad is not going to
    be removed from power now, in effect, in terms of a struggle to
    stay in power, Assad has now won?

    Phillip Hammond: No, I don’t think so. I think the situation with regard to Assad
    is exactly the same as it was a year ago.

    AM: Well, he’s got the Russians backing him.

    PH: It’s exactly the same as it was a year ago. Whether or not
    Assad goes or stays ultimately will depend on whether the
    Russians are prepared to use their influence to remove him. And
    that was exactly the same a year ago. I remember saying it a year
    ago, more than a year ago, in the House of Commons, that
    there’s one man on this planet who can end the civil war in Syria
    by making a phone call, and that’s Mr Putin.

    AM: Meanwhile, however, Mr Putin has conducted the war in
    favour of Assad. He’s pushed aside most of the democratic
    opposition. For a long time we had this great belief there was a
    powerful democratic Syrian opposition who could win this war.
    That is now for the birds, is it not? Because they’ve been

    PH: No, they haven’t. That’s wrong. Russian air attack has caused
    attrition against the opposition. There’s about 150,000 moderate
    opposition fighters. I wouldn’t call them all democratic, but
    moderate opposition fighters on the ground. The Russians have
    launched ferocious air attacks rapidly increasing the intensity of 7
    them over the last few weeks, and that has forced them out of
    some of the positions that they control. But the important thing is
    the Syrian regime does not have the forces, does not have the
    strength and the organisation to take control of those areas. So
    it’s a bit of a stalemate.

    AM: They do with the Russians.

    PH: No they don’t, because the Russians are only using effectively
    air power. They can force the opposition to give ground but the
    regime is not able, has not shown itself able, to effectively take
    and control that ground.

    AM: The last of the moderate opposition are holding out in Aleppo
    right now and the Russians are pounding them. Are you calling on
    the Russians to stop right now?

    PH: Yes, we are. But just to be clear, that isn’t where the last of
    the moderate opposition are. There are moderate opposition
    positions there, there are moderate opposition positions in the
    outskirts of Damascus, there are moderate opposition positions in
    the south of the country. But the situation in Aleppo is extremely
    worrying. The Russians are using carpet bombing tactics,
    indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas held by oppositionists,
    and yes, we demand that the Russians comply with their
    obligations under international law and their obligations under UN
    Security Council resolutions that they have signed up to.

    [my stress]


    What a sterling example of British probity is Her Majesty’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Right Honourable Philip Hammond MP!

  3. Moscow Exile says:

    Almost half of Mosul casualties are civilians — UN

    Nearly 50% of casualties in Mosul, where the Iraqi forces backed by the US-led coalition conduct an operation against militants of the Islamic State terrorist group, are civilians, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, Lise Grande, told reporters.

    Civilians in Mosul are at an extremely high risk, representing 47% of all casualties in the military operation so far, she said via a video-link from Iraq. “You would expect in a conflict like this that the number of civilian casualties would be around 15 per cent, a high of 20 per cent. What we’re seeing in Mosul is that nearly 50 per cent of all casualties are in fact civilians”, Grande said.

    Apparently gone mostly unnoticed by the ever truthful, objective Western mass media.

    • et Al says:

      Yes, but they deserve to die because they are willing human shields for terrorists. Obviously!

      East Aleppo is something completely different.

      Well, you’ve got to love the media. No hypocrisy is left unused but question their integrity and they squeal like a bunch of schoolgirls being chased by an alligator.

  4. Moscow Exile says:

    Тиллерсон заговорил о признании Крыма

    Tillerson has spoken out about recognition of the Crimea

    Candidate for the post of U.S. Secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has called the actions of Russia in the Ukraine “aggression” and the annexation of the Crimea to Russia an “invasion”. However, he refused to call the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, a “war criminal”, noting the need for cooperation with Moscow in areas of mutual interest.

    Wednesday, January 11, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations of the US Congress held hearings on the approval of the candidacy of the head of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, to the post of Head of the US State Department. At the hearing, which lasted several hours, Tillerson said that Russia was the aggressor against the Ukraine and had “seized” the Crimea.

    “Russia currently poses a threat, but she’s not unpredictable when it comes to the promotion of her own interests. She invaded the Ukraine, including the seizure of the Crimea. She supports Syrian troops, who brutally violated the laws of war”, he said.

    In addition, Tillerson named the conditions under which the United States would recognize the Crimea as being part of the Russian Federation. Washington would agree with conditions as laid down by Kiev for the recognition of the Crimean Peninsula as a Russian subject.

    As regards the present Kiev regime laying down the terms and conditions for the reunification of the Crimea with Russia, which re-unification is both de facto and de jure if one accepts that the self-determinitation of a people is a core principle of International Law, and the necessity of the Kiev laying down such terms and conditions in order that they be recognized by the USA, there is as much chance of it snowing in hell.

    Tillerson, I am sure, is well aware of this fact.

    Classic doubletalk!

  5. Moscow Exile says:

    What does post-truth mean for a philosopher?

    It’s not the soundbite any more, but the “i-bite”, he says, where strong opinion can shout down evidence.

    “The whole post-truth phenomenon is about, ‘My opinion is worth more than the facts’. It’s about how I feel about things.

    “It’s terribly narcissistic. It’s been empowered by the fact that you can publish your opinion. You used to need a pot of paint and a balaclava to publish your opinion, if you couldn’t get a publisher.

    “But all you need now is an iPhone. Everyone can publish their opinion – and if you disagree with me, it’s an attack on me and not my ideas.

    “The fact that you can muscle your way on to the front row and be noticed becomes a kind of celebrity.”

    “Fake news” on social media became part of the post-election debate in the US – and Prof Grayling warns of an online culture that can’t distinguish between fact and fiction.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Appropriately for a philosopher, he identifies post-modernism and relativism as the intellectual roots “lurking in the background” of post-truth.

      Hear, hear!

      Bloody post-modernist European “philosophy” crap!

      Nietzsche, for example, argued that there are no truths, only interpretations.

      So if what Nietzsche argued is true, then it is false.

      Another European “philosopher”, the Frog Foucalt, argues that the “truth” of an epoch has no authority beyond the power structure that endorses it, namely there is no trans-historical truth about the human condition and that conflicts between views are nothing more than contests of power.

      These pillocks always argue that there is no absolute truth, that truth is merely “relative”, a matter of personal opinion under an infinite variety of particular circumstances.

      Basically, therefore, they are asking you not to believe them.

      So I don’t!

    • marknesop says:

      Pretty much sums up Ed Lucas’s act, I’d say. But I suspect the Beeb is casting aspersions on his detractors and not he, beloved scholar that he is.

  6. Lyttenburgh says:

    The End is upon us! Clearly – the Final Times are approaching! Maria Alexandrovna Gessen zirself (or should I say herself after what she’d done?!) sold out to Kremlin and KGB!

    Russia, Trump & Flawed Intelligence

    “After months of anticipation, speculation, and hand-wringing by politicians and journalists, American intelligence agencies have finally released a declassified version of a report on the part they believe Russia played in the US presidential election. On Friday, when the report appeared, the major newspapers came out with virtually identical headlines highlighting the agencies’ finding that Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered an “influence campaign” to help Donald Trump win the presidency—a finding the agencies say they hold “with high confidence.”

    A close reading of the report shows that it barely supports such a conclusion. Indeed, it barely supports any conclusion. There is not much to read: the declassified version is twenty-five pages, of which two are blank, four are decorative, one contains an explanation of terms, one a table of contents, and seven are a previously published unclassified report by the CIA’s Open Source division. There is even less to process: the report adds hardly anything to what we already knew. The strongest allegations—including about the nature of the DNC hacking—had already been spelled out in much greater detail in earlier media reports.”

    No, seriously – you will be just shocked at the change of the tune from Masha! It even looks like a… journalism for once

    Well, I think the US must take a leaf from the Ukrainian playbook here. There, if any Russian dissident, democratic journalist or ATO vet goes from the boundless adulation of EuroMaidan to even a slightest criticism of the new влада the descendants of the Ancient Ukrs immediately recall said person’s Moskal origins, consider said person unhandshakable and offer to lustrate him/her/zir! Deportations back to the Northern Mordor (or the threat of it) work wonders on such wavering zradniks who come to the Ukraine from the Aggressor State.

    Clearly – the US needs to deport Masha back to Russia! If not – then who knows what other perversions would she stoop down to? Like… sleeping with men! [shudder]

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Gessen clearly recognizes her own style as presented in her “The Man Without a Face: the Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin”, namely unfounded personal opinion presented as fact.

      Masha Gessen is energetically promoting her new book, “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin“, which is apparently yet another daring and edgy exposé of the man who is featured – complete with face – on the cover. Presumably psychic, Gessen is fond of characterizing Putin’s facial expressions as, for example, “a thuggish smile” when she was not even present at the event described, as if Putin’s face changes colour like a mood ring so that you can tell when he is thinking brutal thoughts. Not to mention the difficulty associated with displaying any kind of smile when you don’t have a face. Surprisingly, fellow Russophobe Amy Knight – who is nearly Gessen’s equal as a disingenuous hack – gave it a somewhat rocky review in the Globe and Mail. Although the sisters of the coven agree that Mr. Putin is “corrupt and ruthless”, Knight discourages the”speculation” introduced by Gessen that the FSB was responsible for the bombings of apartments in Moscow, that Putin acted in concert with the terrorists who took hostages in Beslan and Moscow in order to “maximize bloodshed” and ordered the killing of Alexander Litvinenko, because Gessen “provides no new documentation”. Knight then goes on to speculate – without introducing any new documentation – that Putin is reportedly worth !!!Billions!!! and is the unacknowledged owner of the palatial Black Sea mansion supposedly built for him by his friends with secret funding. There is no substantiation for either, or Knight would have cited it.

      See: No Face, Mr. Putin? I’d Be Happy to Lend You One of Mine – The Many Faces of Russia’s New Ambassador

      However, as I have previously alluded, some maintain opinion is sacred and that what a person believes is true for that person, that there is no absolute truth: it is all relative to the beholder.

      A corollary to this is that “truth” may be manipulated for the beholder’s perception:

      …[S]ummer of 2002. At the time, journalist Ron Suskind had a meeting with “a senior advisor” to President George W. Bush (later identified as Karl Rove). Here’s how he described part of their conversation:

      “The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community’, which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality’. I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore’, he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality— judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors… and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do'”.

      Mother Jones

    • et Al says:

      Aren’t ‘Final Times’ under review until WADA rules that they were not obtained by doping?

  7. Moscow Exile says:

    Is there nothing that these Yukie shitwits do not wish to distort as a result of their psychotic attitude towards Russia and its citizens?

    The Yukie Ministry of Getting Whacked by “Terrorists” in the Donbas basin has in its employ, it seems, scribes who changed the Wiki entry on the Russian bogatyr Ilya Myromets, resulting in that entry stating that Ilya was really a Khokhol!

    Минобороны Украины поменяло в “Википедии” место рождения Ильи Муромца

    Ukraine Ministry of Defence changed in Wikipedia” the birthplace of Ilya Muromets

    MOSCOW, January 12 — RIA Novosti. Ukrainian officials have been accused of changing in “Wikipedia” the birthplace of Ilya Muromets, informs the Ukrainian edition of “Vesti”.

    In December of last year officials from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence argued that the Russian hero Ilya of Murom was born near Chernigov, not in the vicinity of Vladimir. In Russia, the basic version goes that the hero was born in the village of Karacharovo near Murom. But Ukrainian historians say that the Ilya Muromets is a native of Morovsk (Moroviycka) near Chernigov, which in ancient times was called Murom, writes “Vesti”.

    In fact the burdened down with an inferioriy complex Ukrainian shitwits have been pushing this idea for a while:

    с.Моровск над Десной: здесь были богатырь Илья Муромец и самозванец Лжедмитрий

    The village of Morovsk by the River Desna: here were the bogatyr Ilya Muromets and the False Dmitri

    Старинное село Моровск Козелецкого района Черниговской области живописно расположилось на высоком мысу правого берега Десны, в 60 км. от областного центра. Когда-то здесь находился древнерусский город, одно время называвшийся Муромском, что дало многим исследователям основание полагать, что именно из здешних краев был родом былинный богатырь Илья Муромец.

    The ancient village of Morovsk in the Kozelets district, Chernihiv region, is picturesquely situated on a promontory high up on the right bank of the Desna, 60 km. from the regional centre. Once a town of Ancient Rus’ was situated there and was at one time called Murom, which has caused many researchers to suggest that this locality was the birthplace of the bogatyr Ilya Muromets.

    Note how the above is written in that loathsome Moskal tongue.

    bogatyr — “epic hero”.

  8. yalensis says:

    Pardon me if somebody already posted, but this Politico piece which came out yesterday is fairly explosive!

    It doesn’t say anything that Stooges didn’t already know, but maybe regular non-Stooge people didn’t know yet.
    It’s all about how the Ukrainian junta government attempted to influence the American election.

    This for good tit for tat to allegations that Russia influenced the election.
    From studying all the stories, it seems to me that the only Russians who truly tried to influence the American election were Pussy Riot.

    • Jen says:

      No sooner do we find a Ukrainian connection with Alexandra Chalupa being the link than an article emerges linking Alexandra Chalupa and her sisters Irene and Andrea with Digital Maidan (which helped raise money to buy the bullets used by snipers against the police and protesters in Kiev in February 2014) and OUN (Bandera).

      • yalensis says:

        I like this bit of history, it’s important to keep reiterating these simple facts:

        The Chalupas are OUNb Bandera. This is a political affiliation in the same way as saying you are Democrat or Republican. They were taught from a young age that Stepan Bandera and the Ukrainian Waffen SS are the role models to follow after you grow up.

        Andrea Chalupa’s webpage expresses this through the colored lens they are taught history with. “My parents were born in refugee camps in Germany 90 miles apart in 1945; their families survived the Soviets and the Nazis. So I always try to keep that in mind.”

        According to Ukrainian nationalist scholar Taraz Kuzio, in 1945, Yaroslav Stetsko was still asking Hitler for armies to continue the fight on the Eastern front against the Allies. After Stepan Bandera was imprisoned, it was the Ukrainian Diaspora in the US that were commanding the Nazi battalions in Eastern Europe. The Chalupa family are the grandchildren of Bandera soldiers.


        What is OUNb Bandera? They follow the same political policy and platform that was developed in the 1930’s by Stepan Bandera. When these people go to a holocaust memorial they are celebrating both the dead and the OUNb SS that killed them. There is no getting around this fact. The OUNb have no concept of democratic values and want an authoritarian fascism. They believe firmly in a police state where every person is a nationalist or a nobody.

        Again, simple facts, but bear repeating. Especially for Americans, who know nothing of this history.

        • marknesop says:

          Unfortunately, there is a typo which changes the entire meaning of the sentence in which it appears: the miscast sentence should read, “They were taught from a young ape that Stepan Bandera and the Ukrainian Waffen SS are the role models to follow after you grow up.”

  9. Moscow Exile says:

    Свидомые заплатили жуликам за российский газ на 22% больше, чем могли бы купить у “Газпрома”

    Svidomites have paid crooks 22% more for Russian gas than they could have bought it from Gazprom

    At the end of 2016, gas from Europe to the Ukraine had an average price of $230 per thousand cubic metres. Such is the data that comes from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, UNIAN reports.

    “The average customs price of imported natural gas as processed through customs clearance in the period from the 1st to the 31st of December 2016 came to 6,006.65 hryyvnia (UAH) or $230 per thousand cubic metres”, as stated in the report.

    By the way, the Ukraine has reduced its natural gas consumption to 30.3 billion cubic metres. This is 4% less than in 2015. In the whole of 2016 there was imported from Europe 11.1 billion cubic metres of gas, of which 9.1 billion cubic metres came from Slovakia, 1 billion from Hungary and 1 billion from, Poland. The figure for home production amounted to 20.2 billion cubic metres of gas, as in 2016 the Ukraine did not buy any natural gas directly from Russia.


    So… “Gazprom” offered gas for $180. Since no gas whatsoever is extracted in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, then this gas which is being resold to Ukrainians through a “European Scam” that combines an offshore company run by Ukrainian officials with Eastern European scams is that very same Russian gas. That is to say, for every thousand cubic metres that poor but proud Ukrainians have paid for, $50 goes into the crooks’ feeding trough.

    And the money that bought the gas and pays out kickbacks is a commercial loan from Citibank and Deutsche Bank, on which interest will still have to be paid …

    • et Al says:

      Funny dat. Only a couple of days ago I posted a piece from an Euractive interview with the Director of Naftogas Viacheslav Kniazhnytskyi, who says Ukraine paid less for imported non-Russian gas than that on offer by Gazprom.

      Oh, fuggit! I’ll post the link again:

      …“Their diversified portfolio proves that we are on a very safe side. We are not dependent on Russia,” he said.

      He also stated that Ukraine could get better gas prices from European companies compared to Gazprom’s rates.

      “If it comes from Europe, we are buying at spot market price. You should always compare with what Gazprom offers us. We buy from where it is cheaper and more reliable. The Western route is more reliable,” he said…

      And let me put everyone in a good mood with the latest ‘ana-lysis’ about how Russia’s gas market in Europe will get weaker:

      Euractive As Russia’s gas market gets weaker, Europe gets stronger

      The Southern Gas Corridor, pipeline interconnectors and LNG terminals, particularly in the northeast, have slowly but steadily been weakening Russia’s pipeline hegemony, writes Agnia Grigas.

      Agnia Grigas (Ph.D, Oxford) is the author of The Politics of Energy and Memory between the Baltic States and Russia (Ashgate 2013) and a forthcoming book on Russian compatriots (Yale University Press 2015). Learn more: She contributed this op-ed to Reuters.

      Europe’s Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline in Turkey has hit a major milestone. It passed the halfway mark to completion at the end of 2016, bringing the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline project closer to its finishing point – and closer to reducing Europe’s dependence on Russian gas. If the corridor succeeds as planned, the project will bring Caspian gas into the European market for the first time.

      Perhaps even more importantly for Europe: The progress of the project will add a new dimension to the sweeping changes currently taking place in the global natural gas markets….

      Wow! I’m breathless! LNG! Say, how have those contracts & prices gone between Poland & Qatar? LOLZ!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Yes, but I followed that post of yours that mentioned Kniyazhnitskyi’s crowing with this:

        Bloomberg, November 3, 2016: Ukraine ‘Happy’ to Pay EU Gas Price in Move Away From Russia

        The biggest bull run this decade in European gas markets has failed to sway Ukraine from its yearlong boycott of Russian supplies of the fuel.

        NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy, the state-run energy company, is “very happy” with the price it’s getting even if it “would always like it to be lower,” Chief Executive Officer Andriy Kobolyev said in an interview in Bloomberg’s New York headquarters. The Kiev-based company won’t buy gas from Moscow-based Gazprom PJSC under current terms no matter the Russian price, he said. [Is that a political decision, I wonder? —ME]

        “Comparing now the proposals we are seeing from European companies and our expectation of what the Russian price would be, the difference is small,” he said, without disclosing any prices. “If we manage to sign a new package, then yes, we will be prepared to resume gas purchases from the Russian Federation.”

        European gas has rallied more than 80 percent after hitting a six-year low in August amid an extended shutdown of Britain’s biggest storage site that is set to boost the need for imports, as well as a jump in rival power-station fuel coal. That has made it more expensive for Ukraine to replace gas from Russia linked to oil prices amid a dispute over pricing and supply terms.

        Just as Winter Is Coming, These Energy Markets are Going Crazy

        Naftogaz hasn’t bought any Russian gas since November 2015, with Gazprom supplying 18 percent of its consumption that year, according to Ukrainian data. Transit to Gazprom customers in Europe has continued as normal, and Ukraine relied on its own production and so-called reverse flows through pipelines from Europe to offset supplies from the east.

        Dutch gas for next-month delivery was little changed at 18.90 euros a megawatt-hour, or $223 per 1,000 cubic meters, as of 3:26 p.m. Amsterdam time, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. While Russia offered Ukraine fuel at $180 per thousand cubic meters, it was “told they prefer reverse supplies, so be it,” President Vladimir Putin said Oct. 27.

        “The market is volatile and it is quite difficult to predict where the market will go,” Kobolyev said, adding that the company buys gas from Europe via an open procedure in which the bidder with “the lowest possible price on the market” wins.

        While Russian gas may currently be cheaper than European rates, the decision on where to buy fuel from may be political amid ongoing international multibillion-dollar arbitration cases in Stockholm against Gazprom on pricing, according to Dennis Sakva, an analyst at Kiev-based investment company Dragon Capital. [Another political decision, I see. But I thought it was only wicked Russia that uses gas supply and prices as a political lever? — ME]

        “We need to understand what we are risking in Stockholm if we return to purchases from Gazprom,” Sakva said. “So it doesn’t look like here we are buying and there we aren’t. Here the contract is competitive and there not.”

        While Naftogaz stored less gas in its storage facilities than in the previous two years, the company is comfortable with the 14.5 billion cubic meters (512 billion cubic feet) it has because consumption declined and the nation now has more capacity to boost imports from Europe, CEO Kobolyev said.

        Naftogaz remains “commercially minded” about its imports from Gazprom. [Surely that should be “politically minded”? — ME] Before any Russian imports can resume, Naftogaz will insist on an addendum to the existing contract with Gazprom to make supply terms “transparent and fair” and to secure a comparable and competitive price, he said.

        “Without the contract no matter what the price we simply cannot buy gas,” he said.

        [my stress]

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Украину отключают от тепла

          Heat is being switched off in the Ukraine

          Money owed for gas by Ukrainian consumers has reached nearly $1 billion, and “Naftogaz” is being forced to restrict the supply in some localities. But if frosts linger, Ukrainian companies will have to cut deliveries because there is already a gas shortage. However, Kiev always has the possibility to agree with Moscow on additional supplies , but the sides have a fundamentally differing point of view as regards this matter.

          Tell them to fuck off, Gazprom!

          It’s heaving it down with snow here, by the way, and in Little Russia. Heavy snow forecast for the weekend.

          Very warm in our flat though.

          Wicked, wicked Moskali! Fancy refusing to supply the Ukraine with free gas forever.

          • marknesop says:

            What???!!! Are they freezing in their basements???!!! I thought that was the fate Porky forecast for the residents of Donbas. I bet it’s nice and warm at Le Chateau Porc, though. He probably has his own private service.

            • Jen says:

              Naahhh, they have their nightly torchlight parades through the streets if they want light and they burn tyres for heat.

      • marknesop says:

        I saw that, and I was going to mention it but that whole thing about the Southern Gas Corridor all over again and the fact that they like freedom gas from fantastically corrupt Aliev, but roll their eyes and snort like a horse that scents smoke in a stable at the idea of dictator gas from Putin just made me temporarily lose the will to go on living.

        What are they blathering about, here – 10 BCm ? Cranking it up to 31 BCm like South Stream was going to give them (at some point; it envisioned starting at 15.7 BCmA and ramping up to full-capacity 63 BCmA by 2019) is just a simpleton’s dream, because it would exceed the capacity of the Shah Deniz field.

  10. et Al says:

    Who needs facts of proof when you can make anything fit your goal?

    Groaning Man: Fictional or not, the Trump dossier affair is another win for Putin

    Even if Moscow is not involved, the US has been weakened and its new leader compromised before he even takes power

    Simon Tisdall

    Tisdall ofcourse misquotes what Putin said about the collapse of the Soviet Union, but facts or even proper translations aren’t sacred at the groaning man. I will make no apologies for not linking to the piece.

    And there we have ‘journalism’ quite happily driving itself over a cliff. To score points.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Tisdall is a tosser!

      A few years ago, before I was banned from their laughable “Comment is Free” feature, on Tuesdays Tisdall used to almost as regularly as clockwork write a grossly anti-Russian piece. I remember how once his weekly anti-Russian diatribe appeared on a Friday and some wag posted: “What, Tuesday already?”

    • Moscow Exile says:

      And it matters not what Putin said or what the official Kremlin Russian to English translation of what Putin said in Russian says: what matters is what that prick Tisdall says he said.

  11. PaulR says:

    Ukraine has banned Dozhd TV.

    ‘The National Radio and TV Council ordered Ukrainian broadcasters to stop airing reports by Dozhd within about a month, Dozhd said. It quoted an official from the channel’s Ukrainian partner, Volya, as saying the reason for the ban was that Dozhd had violated a prohibition on advertising.The Interfax news agency, however, cited a council member as saying Dozhd had failed to recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity when it aired an image showing the boundary with Crimea as the state border, suggesting that Crimea is part of Russia.’

    Will we now hear loud denunciations of censorship?

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “Will we now hear loud denunciations of censorship?”

      Nope. The Do\\\D’ chose to support the Kremlenite tyranny. Ergo – they are a bunch of Moskals! Not handshakable at all. And we all know what patriotic Ukrainian chants suggest to do with the Moskals, don’t we?

      P.S. Once again – a great reminder for all so-called Russian liberals and dissidents who rushed to the post-Maidan Ukraine, hoping that there they would be allowed to “taste the sweet air of Freedom” ™. How naive!

    • marknesop says:

      Or will we see Dozhd walk back and kowtow to Ukraine, recognizing Crimea as its possession?

      Ukraine and the west’s stubborn refusal to recognize reality – as if by ‘refusal to recognize’ Crimea as part of the Russian Federation due to an expression of will by its population they could somehow undo the decisions – is a lot like a child closing his eyes and reasoning that if he can’t see you, you can’t see him.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was proclaimed in November 1983, since when it has only been recognized by Turkey. The United Nations recognizes it as territory of the Republic of Cyprus under Turkish occupation.

        The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was still there in 2015 when my family and I visited that island.

        Both Kerry and Lavrov visited Cyprus in 2015 and had talks with both Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, albeit that the Turkish Cypriot leader is the head of a state that neither the USA nor Russia recognize.

        (l-r) Turkish Cypriot Leader Mustafa Akinci, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Greek Cypriot Leader Nicos Anastasiades

        What a load of bollocks is Kerry!

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Aaaaaaaand now we know the chief perp! It’s [drum roll] Marc Feygin!

      Yup. So-called “lawyer”, who was defending like a lion both “Pussy Riot” and Nadya Savhcnko had a small gesheft by “outing” Do\\\D’ to the Ukies. Serial traitor and betrayer, Judas of our time! Is it wonder that in RuNet people are joking, that he (along with Navalny) are actually agents provocateurs working for FSB – and both in the rank of Major, no less!

  12. My first impression about the new Trump administration is that it will be more aggressive towards Russia than the previous one. Mattis promised more US troops in Baltics and Tillerson named Russia as the main US enemy.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      karl! Did you escape from the prison already?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      So do you think everyone is shitting himself here because of that?

      • No, but it was naive to think that the USA would become more friendly towards Russia because of Trump presidency.

        Even if Trump likes Russia/Putin on a personal level (which I don’t know, might or might not be true) he will not change the big picture. As long as Russia is pursuing its own interests the USA will see Russia as a competitor, adversary and an enemy.

        • Northern Star says:

          Well Trump *does* seem to be backpedalling a little on the Russia hacking issue:
          “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia,” Trump said, quickly adding that “other countries and other people” also hack U.S. interests. Still, he kept needling the intelligence agencies, saying it would be a “tremendous blot” on their record if officials were leaking information from his classified briefings.”

        • Moscow Exile says:

          “As long as Russia is pursuing its own interests the USA will see Russia as a competitor, adversary and an enemy…”

          As indeed the USA does everyone else who does not bow to the interests of the exceptional mation, because the exceptional nation is, by its own definition, the exceptional world good guy.

          The US can always deal with the uppity but fundamentally weak competitors it may have in the world. However, as has often been said before, McCain’s “gas station” could turn the USA to a radioactive desert.

          They don’t like that in Washington. Who would?

          So, like a typical bully who is not to too sure if he can really beat another boy in the yard, the US continually mocks, goads and pushes Russia to test its mettle. And because Russia does not swipe out, as the US has convinced itself it would surely do if the boot were on the other foot, the US gets more and more frustrated and tries to throw more and more outrageous jibes and insults at its perceived enemy but only ends up looking more and more ridiculously and childishly petulant to onlookers as it prances around insulting its “existential threat” who looks silently on at this performance.

          • And this is why I find it puzzling why so many who support Russia were almost fanatically supporting Trump over Hillary, thinking that the US policy towards Russia would be fundamentally different with Trump compared to Hillary.

            Foreign policy of a country, even more so a superpower, are not defined by a few people but national interests. And unfortunately the national interests of Russia and the US are almost completely opposite.

            The current world order has been extremely good for the USA (and the West in general) and the USA naturally does its best to preserve it, while Russia (and a few other nations like China and Iran) are working to change the world order into more balanced one. As long as the USA is trying to preserve a unipolar world order and Russia is trying to pursue a multipolar world order Russia and the USA cannot be friends or allies, but will remain enemies.

            Based on his speeches Trump seems to have some personal affinity towards Putin, as he refuses to criticize and demonize him even when demanded to do that by journalists. Trump would score some easy points to showing hostility towards Putin, but for some unknown reason he has refused to do so.

            But at the same time he is filling his administration with known hardliners and neocons who seem to be more confrontational towards Russian than the Obama administration. Why? Because national interests always win over personal affinities.

            • Just to be clear, the only way Russia and USA can get a long is either that

              1. USA stops trying to rule the whole world
              2. or Russia accepts a unipolar world order and does what the US tells it to do

              Neither of those options are very likely, so the animosity between Russia and USA will continue to exist.

              Personal affinities do not set a course. This is why it might have been better for Russia if Hillary had won the election even if Hillary hates Putin and Russia.

              Why? Because Trump realizes the biggest threat of the USA are internal ones and tries to fix them, while Hillary could not give a damn. The biggest internal threat of America is slow but inevitable demographic change of the country. The white population is being replaced by people of color. America will cease to be a superpower if it cannot reverse this development. And this is what Trump has promised to do.

              And what is Russia’s national interest?

              Is it an America led by a man who may share a personal affinity towards Russian president but who also realizes the biggest threat that his country is facing and is trying to stop it?

              Or is it an America led by a woman who hates Russia’s guts but who could not give a damn about the biggest internal threat of her own country?

              I would say it is the latter, because Russia needs a weaker America.

              • And why will the United States cease to be a superpower with its current course?

                Well, look at Brazil. What’s the key difference between the United States and Brazil? These two countries are similar in many ways. They are almost the same size in population and surface area. Both have about the same amount of natural resources. They have a pretty similar climate (with Brazil being a little warmer). Both countries were born as a result of European imperialism.

                Yet only one of them became a superpower while the other became a country where the majority of population lives in poverty. So what’s the crucial difference between the two countries? The United States genocided its indigenous people and almost completely replaced them with white Europeans while Brazil did not. Brazil was left with a non-white majority.

                • Jen says:

                  Karl, you hardly know anything about the geography and history of the US and Brazil, their settlement, their demographics and the different ways in which “race” is constructed in both countries and yet you presume to pontificate on a supposed correlation between the economic and political development of these countries and the ethnic make-up of their populations.

                  For a start, the US has at least 100 million more people than Brazil. Much more of Brazil lies within the tropics (and areas where malaria and other tropical diseases are endemic) than the US does.

                  The proportion of people living in poverty is greater in Brazil (24% of the population) than in the US (about 15%) but no way does this constitute a majority of the population.

                • yalensis says:

                  Karl, your racism is a lot cruder than even the so-called “scientific racism” of the ALT-RIGHT. Even ALT-Righties hedge their bets by citing “averages” and other statistics and metrics. You just plow right in there and make a direct correlation between “Genocide the lesser races, and you will achieve prosperity.”
                  Unless you can prove mathematically that there is a direct correlation between ethnicity and being a superpower, then your claims are just empty racial bigotry.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Russian national interest is the key to its policies, as is the national interest of every other sovereign state the key to their policies. Long gone are the times when European states defended a common idea that they termed “Christendom”, that which we would now call “Western values”.

                Wicked, evil, unfathonable, alien, hostile Russia is often referred to in the oft quoted terms used by W.S. Churchill:

                Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

                And just as the words used by Putin concerning the collapse of the USSR are regularly taken out of context in order to give them a meaning different to that which was intended by the person who uttered them, the same is always done as regards those misquoted words of Churchill above.

                What Churchill actually said as regards the Soviet Union during a BBC broadcast made in London on 1st October 1939, when Great Britain had been at war with Nazi Germany for almost one month and the Soviet Union had occupied Polish territories that had been annexed by Poland from former Russian Imperial territory in 1920, was as follows:

                I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest. It cannot be in accordance with the interest of the safety of Russia that Germany should plant itself upon the shores of the Black Sea, or that it should overrun the Balkan States and subjugate the Slavonic peoples of south eastern Europe, That would be contrary to the historic life-interests of Russia.

                It cannot also be in acccordance with the interest of the safety of Russia that NATO should plant itself upon the shores of the Baltic Sea or should implant its forces in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.

                And nobody should be fooled into believing that the USA did not plan to have Sevastopol become the base for a USN Black Sea fleet or that the Ukraine was to become a NATO member.

            • marknesop says:

              I don’t think anyone here preferred Trump over Hillary because the former would reach a joyous accord with Russia. I certainly did not. I preferred Trump over Hillary because I believed – and believe – he will be preoccupied with the domestic economy and less active on the international stage than Hillary would be, and Trump was/is less likely to start a global war.

              If America actually does ‘reach out’ to Russia, I want to be on record that Russia should politely refuse it then change the subject. As I have suggested on any number or occasions, if Trump makes nice with Russia, it will take nothing more complex than an election for him to be out on his ear and things quickly wrenched back to normal.

              As far as Trumps alleged affinity for Putin, I think at least part of Trump’s refusal to criticize him is his stubbornness over being told what to do.

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          Damn! I finally groked, what karl’s hysterical “friendly warning” diatribes remind me of!

          From the Nichtlustig net-comics:

  13. Northern Star says:

    Yahoo commenters become increasingly sophiticated and witty:
    Dalengo6 hours ago
    Obamanoids have restarted the Cold War. First, expand Nato to Russia’s doorstep in violation of all the promises. Second, use Ukr naz! to make a hallmark Obama’s regime change in Kiev. Third, use referendum in Crimea to cry bloody hell and use cheaply paid call girls and boys in E. Europe to deploy many more killing toys there in preparation for ‘limited’ WW3. Ppl there just could not wait to perish for ‘freedom’ like in Syria.
    One week left for generalissimo Borat Obama to start the show. The paranoid Kenyan killer ape just could not vanish without having thrown fits.”
    “Kenyan Killer Ape”…LOL!!!… vowel shy of “KaKa”….

    • et Al says:

      No, not witty or sophisticated. There’s plenty wrong with O-bomber, but WTF with the racial slurs? I believe assholes can be any color, race or creed. O-bomber is an evil asshole who the liberal crowd (sic Hollywood and the media) have given an exceptionally easy ride. Seven countries bombed. The war against whistleblowers. Judge, Jury & Executioner by drone with thousands of innocents killed to name but a few of his cool moves. WTF does how he look like or his origin have anything to do with it? Bernie forever! Woo ha!

      • Northern Star says:

        I was being a little sarcastic…..On the other hand Obama is a disgrace to the legacy of MLK-and other African American people who gave their lives fighting against the racist PTB that are Obama’s puppet masters. He merits no respect in terms of being a victim of possibly racial vilification…in that he has vilified nearly every goddamn thing of meaning and purpose to the opponents of fascism ,racism and elitism.

        • et Al says:

          Well I apologize then NS. It wasn’t clear to me. How about just adding the /sarc tag (the rest of us too maybe – and particularly for lurkers)?

          I just don’t like it when oxygen is given to the comments of trolls and shitbags who deliberately use race or whatever (Israel for example) to distract from the actual issues being discussed. It regularly pollutes great sites.

  14. Northern Star says:

    …without doubt….

    • yalensis says:

      I appreciate MLK more and more with every year that goes by.
      People should really read what he wrote, he was a very bright guy, and very strategically oriented.
      In a just world, MLK should have been America’s first African-American President instead of you-know-who.

      • Cortes says:


        Obummer is Hawaiian.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Nah, he’s British. His dad was a British colonial subject.


        • yalensis says:

          Isn’t Kenya in Africa?

          • Moscow Exile says:

            It was in Kenya, formerly the British colony of British East Africa, where the then Princess Elizabeth was informed in 1952 whilst holidaying there of her father’s death and had acceded to the British throne.

            When Barack Obama Jr. [i.e. Barak Hussein Obama, 44th President of the USA ]was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.’s children:

            British Nationality Act of 1948 (Part II, Section 5): Subject to the provisions of this section, a person born after the commencement of this Act shall be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent if his father is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at the time of the birth.

            In other words, at the time of his birth, Barack Obama Jr. was both a U.S. citizen (by virtue of being born in Hawaii) and a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (or the UKC) by virtue of being born to a father who was a citizen of the UKC.
            Obama’s British citizenship was short-lived. On Dec. 12, 1963, Kenya formally gained its independence from the United Kingdom.

            See: Obama’s Kenyan Citizenship?

      • yalensis says:

        Or everywhere? Like… such as….
        Oh, get me a MAP, for crying out loud. (Except that maps are in short supply.)

  15. Warren says:

    Published on 12 Jan 2017
    When all seemed to be falling apart for Trump this summer, one shadowy billionaire offered up his own massive political infrastructure, which included Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, and saved Trump’s campaign from demise

  16. Warren says:

    Published on 30 Dec 2016
    Next year a multinational battlegroup of almost 1,000 soldiers led by the Americans and including troops from Romania and the United Kingdom will be stationed in the town of Orzysz in northeastern Poland.

    But what does this mean for the Polish troops already stationed there? And how will the town react to the influx of foreign soldiers? NATOChannel visits the town and meets some of the people who are preparing for their arrival.

    The reporter mentions that every summer, many tourists from Germany visit the town of Orzysz and surrounding area which apparently is famous for its lakes. I wonder if these German tourists are the descendants of the Germans and Masurians (Polish speaking Lutherans) that were expelled after the WW2? The Polish local administrator interviewed mentions how the town (Orzysz) has been a garrison town for 300, it would have been helpful had she mentioned which states/polities had garrisoned its forces there.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Herrgott noch mal!


      Arys befindet sich im ehemaligen Ostpreußen!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        It’s where Rennenkampf, one complete waste of kit WWI Russian general, got stonked by Fritz at the Battle of the Masurian Lakes, September 1914, after his colleague, General Samsonov, got well and truly hammered shortly before at the Battle of Tannenberg, which battle took place nowhere near Tannenberg: it was near Allenstein (now Olsztyn), but the snidey Germans called their out and out victory of September 1914 “Tannenberg” in revenge for the total defeat of the German Order at Tannenberg by Poles, Lithuanians, Tatars and Uncle Tom Cobbley and All during the Polish-Lithuanian-Tetonic War in 1410.

        Samsonov’s and Rennenkampf’s armies were supposed to act in co-ordination in a two-pronged attack into Prussia. It was a dismal failure partly because both generals were not on talking terms, and when the two army commands did talk with the the new-fangled radio equipment that they had, they did so en clair, much to the great delight of Fritz.

        Apparently, both these sad Russian generals had had a big fall out at Mukden 10 years earlier.

        Anyway, when Samsonov realized he’d lost his army, he manfully strode off into a forest, where he blew his daft brains out. Anyway, he went out in style.

        Rennenkampf didn’t though — go out in style, I mean.

        He resigned in 1915, something which the poor bastards he grossly misled couldn’t have done.

        He then lived incognito in Taganrog on the Sea of Azov coast, changed his name and codded on that he was a Greek.

        Came the October 1917 Revolution and the Reds found him in 1918. He was offered a position of command in the Red Army — the civil war was in full swing then.

        Rennenkampf refused the offer, so they shot him.

        He should have been shot in 1914 following a court martial.

        • PaulR says:

          Rennenkampf didn’t resign, he was fired due to his tardy response to the German attack on Lodz in November 1915.

          Lodz was perhaps the most confusing battle of WW1. The Germans tried to surround the Russians, who instead surrounded the Germans, who then managed to break out. Overall, it was something of a very bloody draw.

  17. Moscow Exile says:

    Lurid Donald Trump dossier casts a shadow over MI6 and Christopher Steele, the man it trusted in Moscow

    …[Steele] was appointed as case officer to the FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko. It was in 2006, shortly after Mr Steele’s retirement, that Mr Litvinenko was assassinated in London with a lethal dose of radioactive polonium-210 added to his tea……

    By 2009 [Steele] had founded Orbis with Christopher Burrows, another MI6 retiree, offering clients access to a “high–level source network with a sophisticated investigative capability”…..

    So it was to Orbis that Jeb Bush, one of Mr Trump’s opponents in the Republican presidential primaries, reportedly turned when he wanted to find material that would damage the billionaire businessman.

    For more than a year, Mr Steele, a Cambridge-educated father-of-four, has worked in the shadows, building up intelligence from sources in Russia on Mr Trump’s dealings with the country after being hired by anti-Trump Republicans and then Democrats to find mud and make it stick.

    Anonymity is a spy’s best friend, and Mr Steele managed to pass his findings on to journalists, the FBI and MI6 without his name entering the public domain – until now. With his cover blown, he faces a personal fight to salvage his reputation after Mr Trump loudly decried his dossier as “fake”.

    More worryingly, he has also dragged MI6 into the growing row, with Russia claiming he is still working for his former employer. The attention has switched from Donald Trump to the man who compiled the report, and the question of whether he, or the information he supplied, can be trusted.

    Steele became Litvinenko’s case officer.

    Litvenenko was murdered shortly therafter.

    Steele “retired” from MI6 and “went private” with a former MI6 colleague.

    Since 2009 Steele has no longer been in the service of Her Majesty’s Government.

    Russia says he is still employed by MI6.

    What a typically nasty accusation that Russia has made as regards MI6 and, therefore, Her Majesy’s Security and Intelligence Service!

    To suggest that Steele has been doing all this dirty undercover work to smear the US president elect’s character not simply as part of his legitimate private business operations, but for the British SIS as well is just ludicrous!

    What out and out, underhand, deceitful bounders these Russian chaps are to suggest such a thing!

    On the other hand, however, what they always say in the West, as do dyed in the wool Russia-hating Russian citizens as well, about the the Russian secret service, which Westerners still insist on labelling as the inheritor of the KGB or even simply the KGB, namely “once a Chekist, always a Chekist” clearly stands to reason: no one — but no one — ever “retires” from the KGB FSB, tovarishch!

    But to say “once an MI6 man, always an MI6 man” is, well, just out and out nonesense!

    Isn’t it?

  18. karl1haushofer says:

    A major Israeli air strike against airport and military base used by the Syrian army near Damascus:

    “”Rockets strike at Mezzeh Military airport in Damascus minutes ago,” Hadi al-Bahra, former president of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces said on Twitter in the early hours of Friday, posting pictures of the explosions. The blasts were reportedly caused by heavy bombing conducted by Israel, local activists and journalists reported on Twitter.

    The airport is a major strategic asset used by Syrian elites, military officials and troops as a transit complex.

    The Syrian government also used the airport as a military outpost to launch artillery shells at former rebel-held areas in the suburbs of Damascus.

    The death toll from the attacks has yet to be determined, according to a journalist on the ground. The airstrikes “may have taken out Syrian commanders,” according to Georgetown Center for Security Studies’ John Arterbury.

    Following the attacks, a Syrian Army spokesman warned that Israel would face repercussions of the “flagrant” attack on the Mezzah military airport. A spokesman was also quoted on Syrian state TV saying that the projectiles originated near Lake Tiberias in northern Israel just after midnight.

    • karl1haushofer says:

      So let me get this straight. Israel just directly attacked against Syrian military in Damascus. And there was no retaliation, none whatsoever. Again. AGAIN!

      This is getting tiresome. Didn’t Russia place those S-300 in Syria to prevent stuff like this?


      Russia again was left looking weak and unable to protect its interests. The West would never allow a third party to attack their allies/vassals like this without completely destroying the aggressor.

      • karl1haushofer says:

        Either those S300/S400 systems are not working or Russia knowingly let this happen. Pick your poison.

        • marknesop says:

          Is Russia in the country to defend Syria against foreign air attack? I don’t think so. I think Russia’s warning said if its own facilities were attacked it would defend them. And I imagine they would. I expect the air defense systems did see the encroaching aircraft, and perhaps Russia did warn Syria. But remember what small countries we’re talking about here; Syria is only about 500 miles long at its greatest distance – how long does it take a fighter flying at 400 knots to cover that distance? Syria shares a border with Israel that is about 70 miles long; aircraft can be in Israel minding their own business and overhead about 15 minutes later. I still have a high degree of confidence in Russian-built air defense systems, and I know western air forces fear them. I wish Russia would do as I have said several times, and give or sell the S-400 to Syria and train Syrian operators in its use.

          How is Israel getting away with this, internationally? It cannot make the excuse that it is attacking ISIS at a Syrian military air facility.

      • marknesop says:

        Not only did the west allow Saudi Arabia to carry out an aggressive strike inside America, Saudi Arabia remains a courted ally to all the western powers who were allies at the time it occurred.

        • I don’t think it was allowed. They just chose not to punish ´Saudi Arabia and attacked Afghanistan and Iraq instead.

          • Northern Star says:

            “They just*** chose not to punish*** ´Saudi Arabia and attacked Afghanistan and Iraq instead.”
            as opposed to:
            A distinction without a difference…Your MENSA credentials are becoming…suspect…
            Had the KSA thought that retaliation might well result in Riyadh being turned into a sheet of glass…the towers would still be standing

          • marknesop says:

            Ahh… I see. That makes all the difference. If you are Washington, you can be attacked right to your face and not retaliate, but maintain your greatness, nobility and strength because you choose to do nothing. Whereas if you are Moscow, you couldn’t do anything even if you dared, because you are weak.

            Thanks for clearing that up.

            • yalensis says:

              No, the difference is, according to Karl, that the U.S. DID retaliate. Just against the wrong people. Well, they had to do SOMETHING, right? Even if it was just to kick the dog. Their quick response is what made them great.

              But, as Northern Star points out, if the Saudis had believed for one second that the U.S. would fry Riyadh in retaliation (or perhaps blow up that big rock in Mecca), then the Wahhabites would have behaved themselves like model schoolboys.

    • karl1haushofer says:

      “Following the attacks, a Syrian Army spokesman warned that Israel would face repercussions of the “flagrant” attack on the Mezzah military airport. ”

      This is hilarious, powerless raging. Of course there will be no “repercussions” against Israel. Israel will get off the hook as it always does. Israel just proved that it can strike against any military target in Syria with impunity.

      Great victory for the West and a sad defeat for Russia and Syria.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        A great victory for the West?

        • karl1haushofer says:

          Yes, because it either
          1. proved Russia’s air defense systems to be useless
          2. or proved that Russia will not defend its allies against foreign aggressors.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            It proves that which you hope to be true.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Barely a dicky bird in the Western media about this attack against Syria.

              What few reports there are state that the attack was by rockets launched near Lake Tiberious or rockets launched by warplanes. The Israeli press describes the attacks as “alleged”, as do some of the very few (up to now, at least) Western reports.

              Reports coming in of no casualties as a result of the alleged attack.

              Daily Fail: ‘Israeli warplanes’ strike military

              and then says it was a surface-surface missile attack:

              Syria has accused Israel of bombing a military airport used by Assad’s forces near the capital city of Damascus.

              State television quoted the Syrian army as saying several rockets were fired at Mazzeh airport from an area near Lake Tiberias in northern Israel just after midnight.

              Bombs or rockets?

              Bombs are released by bombing aicraft.


              Land based or fired from a warplane?

              Washington Times: Syria says Israeli strikes hit near airport west of Damascus

              Syria accused Israel of firing rockets early on Friday that hit near a major military airport west of Damascus, triggering a fire, and warned Israel of repercussions without specifying whether it would retaliate for the attack.

              The attack was the third such incident recently, according to the Syrian government.
              In a statement carried on the official news agency SANA, the Syrian military said several missiles were launched just after midnight from an area near Lake Tiberias.

              The rockets fell in the vicinity of the Mezzeh military airport on the western edge of the Syrian capital. The statement did not say whether there were any casualties.

              Residents of Damascus reported hearing several explosions that shook the city. The Mezzeh airport compound, located on the southwestern edge of the capital, had been used to launch attacks on rebel-held areas near Damascus and has come previously under rebel fire.

              Sweet FA so far from the rest of the Western arsewipes: nothing in NYT, WaP, Guardian, Independent, Telegraph, BBC.

              Bugger all in the German press as well, as far as I can see after having made a quick glance there.

              And a quick glance through the Russian media reveals nothing, apart from TASS, RT and Sputnik.

              How strange!

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Nothing in the Finnish press so far (15:00 Moscow time) either.

                That is surprising!

                I should have thought they would have announced a public holiday to celebrate this news of a Western victory against against Russian Untermenschen and their obviously crappy air-defence system.

              • Cortes says:

                A couple of interesting responses to the blog on the issue:


                Not readily apparent, after digesting said responses, that any sort of great victory has been achieved.

              • marknesop says:

                And what is the Israeli reaction to having stovepipe unguided ballistic rockets fired at itself from Gaza? It launches a military operation that kills a hundred Palestinian civilians for every dead Israeli. You just have to respect that kind of strength, don’t you? I know Washington loves it – it takes a lot of pressure off the USA, which would be the most hated country in the world if it were not for Israel.

      • Jen says:

        The timing of the airstrike a week before Trump’s inauguration could be suspicious. Israel could be testing Trump’s resolve to get rid of ISIS or try to lead him astray by encouraging a retaliation by the SAA. If the SAA were to attack Israel, then Israel could claim it was being attacked by Syria and Russia, and that would force Trump to choose sides. As long as this attack has not killed many people – apparently there were not many soldiers stationed at the munitions depot at the time – all Syria can do at this point is not to retaliate in the way Israel expects it to.

        • et Al says:

          I don’t find that likely. Possible, but not likely.

          Again, is the risk of being caught out worth it? Sensible people usual adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach, so it would have to be a supremely confident Mossad to think they have Trump’s number even before he is officially sworn in. And if it goes all wrong? Then Israel will be in the s/t.

          What we know about Israel & Russia is that as long as it is strictly related to Hezbollah logistics or whatever that pose a direct threat to Israel, then Russia will look the other way. It is certainly not a carte blanche, rather ‘Pick your targets very carefully’. A bit like how do hedgehogs make love?

          • karl1haushofer says:

            This was not a Hezbollah target but a military airfield of the Syrian military. It was a direct attack against Syria as a nation.

            And Israel carried no risk doing this, since they knew beforehand that Syria is unable and Russia is unwilling to retaliate.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Now, now! Calm down!

              It was a direct attack against a Syrian military installation.

            • yalensis says:

              The solution is simple:
              Syria needs to commit genocide against the indigenous population and bring in more white Europeans.

              • et Al says:

                Well as long as Assad needs I-ranian & Hezbollah help, this will continue. Russia is uniquely place to offer Israel a deal over the Golan in future. Russia guarantees the border, Israel gets the f/k out and has one less borer to worry about.

                Let’s put it this way, ISIS/ISIL/DAESH/Whatever will spread and there have been growing attacks in US patsy and border sharing Jordan, not to mention increasing attacks in the Saudi Arabia.

                The offer is at Russia’s timing once Syria is clean. It’s inevitable. 😉

              • marknesop says:

                Ha, ha!!! I know that’s not funny, but it is. Also.

            • marknesop says:

              Oh, to be so well-informed as you are, Karl – to be able to coldly sum up the situation in an instant, and it is always – always – to the great credit of the west and to the utmost detriment of Russia and Syria. If the Russian Air Force were to conduct a lightning unalerted air strike against Jerusalem in retaliation, would you clap your hands and shout “Bravo!! That’s more like it!”? Or would you stroke your chin soberly and say, “That wasn’t very wise – now Russia has stepped in it for certain, and the west will surely wax their ass”? The thing is, Russia can never win with you – no matter what they do, it was either weak or stupid. Those are the only options. Whereas anything the west does militarily devolves out of their great strength – it might not be above-board, it might not be cricket…but gosh darn it, you have to admire their strength and resolve. The only thing Russia can do to impress you is to behave like the west, which I thought we were agreed was villainously. Then they would be evil, and very likely would kick off a major global war (might as well not even speculate over whether the west would react militarily, they always do, because they are strong), but you would admire them for their strength during what might be all of our last days on earth.

              Forgive me if I have a hard time jumping on the Hausfhofer bandwagon.

      • marknesop says:

        There were no American repercussions against Saudi Arabia, either, although Bush stood atop a pile of smoking rubble where the World Trade Center once stood and said through a bullhorn, “The people who did this will hear from us soon”. What happened? America attacked Iraq, which had nothing whatever to do with it. Hilarious!!! Worse than powerless raging!! Did you laugh? I don’t think too many people did. Except maybe the House of Saud.

  19. Moscow Exile says:

    Happy Old New Year!

    Старый Новый год на катке ВДНХ 2017
    Old New Year on the rink at VDNKh 2017

  20. et Al says:

    Scottish Daily Record: Spy behind Donald Trump ‘dirty dossier’ left out in the cold by former bosses at MI6

    Sources say MI6 chiefs are distancing themselves from the furore around Christopher Steele because he has embarrassed the intelligence community.

    …A former British spy told us: “This dossier looks suspicious. It’s possible he has been stung himself. It has caused the biggest-ever rift between the ­American intelligence community and a future president.

    It has also caused tension between the American President and American intelligence community and Britain – so who gains from all of this? It’s obviously Russia.

    “Russian intelligence is very capable of a long-term plan to plant this information, discredit the President-elect and create such rifts – this kind of Soviet-style disruption is very typical.

    “And if it was planned from the start then it has worked quite brilliantly.

    “We in the West agonise and debate publicly over the pros and cons of sending in a drone to assassinate British jihadis in Syria. But Russia’s President thinks nothing of sending people to commit murder on London’s streets….

    Once upon-a-time people used to blame the ‘Jews’ for everything in much the same way as they now blame the ‘Russians’ for everything. Brits included. Right, I’ll just go and dig out a copy of Robert Harris’s ‘Fatherland’. I think its is next to my copy of Len Deighton’s ‘SS-GB’. Both are classed as ‘fiction’.

    Curiously the British Intelligence Services are usually only embarrassed if they are caught out. No-one believes that they didn’t have a hand in all of this, despite their protestations – or should that be ‘their prostates’?! 😉

    Yet again, no-one takes responsibility. Pass the buck, the merry-go-round goes on…

    • Moscow Exile says:

      “… so who gains from all of this? It’s obviously Russia…”


      Just as it was obviously Russia that was responsible for Litvinenko’s death, as Lukey-boy likes to tell his shocked readers: a polonium isotope was the agent of death and is only produced in Russia and which left a trail across London and in aircraft that flew from London to Moscow.

      As Tintin has pointed out, little did those dumb KGB killers know that the polonium isotope they used was leaving a trail that led right back to the Kremlin!!!!!

      So obvious — and so stupid of them not to know this!

      Obviously they were so dumb because they are KGB operatives.

      And it was obvious that Politkovskaya was murdered by Putin’s lackeys to satisfy Putin because it was on Putin’s birthday when she was assassinated.

      It’s all so obvious!

      Isn’t it?

      • et Al says:

        Indeed ME, indeed! Which leads to the question, ‘Why do we need journalists like Luke Harding if it is so obvious?’. I wonder if his missus was the spy when he was out there?

    • marknesop says:

      Len Deighton is a great writer; I was not surprised to see he is ranked among the world’s top 3 for spy fiction. And SS-GB was a great book, as was Bomber, I think I endorsed that one here once before. But Len Deighton knew he was writing fiction, and so did and do all his fans.

      • Jen says:

        I managed to read Deighton’s Game-Set-Match / Hook-Line-Sinker / Faith-Hope-Charity sets over several years. The narrative thread that held them all together – the wife Fiona who apparently is a traitor who defects to East Germany (but whose treachery is actually a cover for her work for MI6), leaving behind the husband Bernard who has to figure out exactly what is happening and put the pieces together – was intriguing. Although by the time I got to the part where the wife’s airhead sister was killed and her head taken so that the East Germans were fooled into thinking the wife was dead, I was starting to get a bit knackered and the story-lines were starting to get a bit thin. (Maybe by then I was so immersed in that world that nothing surprised me any more.)

        • et Al says:

          Me too. I loved the bit where Bernard (?) on the run hitchs a lift with a German long distance truck driver who comes close to killing him. I didn’t see that coming.

        • marknesop says:

          Deighton was a prolific writer, and turned out a prodigious amount of material; I have by no means read them all, and probably far less than you have. But of what I have read, those two are standouts – SSGB for the intriguing possibility that has always tickled scholars’ fancy; what if the Germans had won? There were several times they were so close. Bomber I enjoyed for its clever mixture of historical fact with fictional characters, lending the period a personal feel that history alone cannot duplicate.

  21. et Al says: Evaluating ‘Sources’ in Fake News Like You’re in the CIA

    Peter Van Buren

    Want to know how to evaluate the memo alleging Trump is run by the Russians, and that they have video of him and his golden showers? I can tell you. Read.

    The use of anonymous sources was once a major line for a journalist to cross.

    By not naming a source, the journalist insists you trust them. Did they talk to an intern or a policymaker? Every source has an agenda; if we don’t know the source we have no idea of the agenda. Was the journalist trying to act carefully, but was fooled themselves? Remember the run-up to the 2003 Iraq War, and the way the press facilitated that via articles based on unnamed sources we now know were Bush administration officials with fake tales of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

    Anonymous sources have their place. With Deep Throat during the Watergate scandal, the Washington Post tried to use his information as a tool to work backwards to verifiable truths, or to allow them to reach people who would go on the record. Part of Edward Snowden’s credibility came from his named status.

    2016: New Rules

    Read on! His last point ‘Does what is being handed to you fit the “is the juice worth the squeeze,” risk versus gain, test..‘ is the one that resonates the most for me. It seems that regardless of the actual info, someone (or persons) senior signed-off on a major risk that had massive blowback potential. Then again, why should we be surprised considering that western intelligence services have f/ked such things up so badly already in the last twenty odd years?

  22. et Al says: The Foreign Plot to Oust Trump

    It stretches from London to Langley to Kiev – and several points in between
    by Justin Raimondo

    Oh, the irony! Amid all the accusations of foreign interference in the election, the first solid indication of it showed up with the publication of a slanderous unsourced memo written by a “former” British intelligence agent accusing Donald Trump of various “perversions” and claiming he’s vulnerable to blackmail by those evil Russkies. The “ex”-MI6 agent, one Christopher Steele – how’s that for a name straight out of a James Bond novel? – works for “Orbis Business Intelligence, Ltd.,” a high-toned Londo-based “private” spook agency usually hired by big corporations out to spy on their competitors or those pesky environmentalists….

    …Oh, but it didn’t end with Trump’s victory at the polls: Steele and Fusion GPS head honcho Glenn Simpson soldiered on: “By then,” the New York Times reports, “the election was over, and neither Mr. Steele nor Mr. Simpson was being paid by a client, but they did not stop what they believed to be very important work.”

    Yes, out of the goodness of their hearts – patriotic duty, dedication to the victory of the West over the Evil Putinite Threat, and good old-fashioned stick-to-it-tiveness – the Dauntless Duo pursued their quarry through thick and thin, and they did it all for free, casting aside any thought of reward and abjuring the huge sums they are usually paid for such work.

    We interrupt this fantasy to bring you an important announcement: it didn’t happen that way.

    To begin with, anyone who thinks Orbis is a “private” intelligence agency, totally separate from MI6, the legendary British intelligence service, is delusional….

    More at the link (mostly posted already). It’s an interesting point that they continued with the dossier despite no longer being paid, which lends the lie to them solely collecting the information for one ‘customer’…

  23. et Al says: Obama Broadly Expands NSA Power to Share Surveillance

    Move Encourages NSA to Share Wiretap Data With Other Spy Agencies

    With just over a week left in office, President Obama has massive expanded NSA authority to share the personal communications swept up in their many warrantless wiretap schemes with America’s other 16 spy agencies….

    Meryl? Meryl? Where’s your outrage now? The innocent have nothing to hide?

    • et Al says:

      Consortium News via How Obama Spread the Mideast Fires

      Exclusive: Barack Obama is one of the “coolest” American presidents, but his “team of rivals” approach to governing – trying to accommodate and co-opt his adversaries – proved disastrous, especially in the Mideast, says Daniel Lazare.

      By Daniel Lazare

      With President Obama down to less than two weeks in office, everyone is busy assessing his legacy. So let’s begin with the Arab world. Not since the Vietnam War, we can safely say, has an administration left a region in ruins the way Obama has left the Middle East (although it’s true that George W. Bush contributed mightily to the mess).

      But Obama has expanded the chaos outward from Bush’s legacy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, now including Libya, Syria and Yemen with ripple effects from the refugee flows extending into Turkey and even into Europe. Terrorism is exploding, entire nations have been reduced to war zones, while religious sectarianism is raging out of control.

      Of course, not all of it is Obama’s fault. After all, he didn’t start the Sunni-Shia conflict, which dates back to the mid-Seventh Century, nor is he responsible for Arab-Persian ethnic tensions in general, which go back even farther. But he breathed new life into such forces and enabled them to achieve a new kind of prominence, with consequences that are little short of breathtaking.

      How did someone so charming and seemingly so progressive wreak such havoc? The answer is through a combination of weakness, complacency, and taking the easy way out. …

      More at the link.

      • marknesop says:

        “Of course, not all of it is Obama’s fault. After all, he didn’t start the Sunni-Shia conflict, which dates back to the mid-Seventh Century…”

        While perfectly true as far as it goes, no nation has done such yeoman service as America in stoking tension and rivalry between the two in nations which were broadly secular before its intervention – Syria and Iraq, to name two countries in which irregardless how despotic the leader was, the two sects cohabited in relative peace, as did many religious minorities including Jewish Christians. Syria as an example of tolerant secularism was cited by no less a voice in journalism than Walter Cronkite. It’s in his autobiography, “A Reporter’s Life”.

        Washington cannot abide peace in the Middle East, and is constantly interfering and undermining and inflaming through bogus opposition groups and astroturfed ‘rebels’, all under the rubric of ‘setting things to rights’ and bringing freedom and democracy. Anybody who still falls for that scam is too dumb to breathe without assistance. If you’re looking for a legacy for Obama, that might be it – his was the administration in which the hypocritical self-interest of the United States became too obvious for any kind of bullshit cover to make it believable.

        • Jen says:

          The Sunni-Shi’a “conflict” only really began in the 1500s when the Safavid empire in Iran adopted a form of Shi’ism (known as Twelver Shi’ism) as its official religion, to differentiate itself from the next-door neighbour Ottoman empire which was Sunni. The Safavids then set about converting Sunni Iranians into Shi’ites. At the time this was not hard to do as both Sunnis and Shi’ites then were in the habit of visiting saints’ tombs and venerating saints, and the Salafi / Wahhabi beliefs that revolutionised Sunni theology and belief did not exist until the mid-1700s.

          The split that occurred in the 7th century was initially only over who was to succeed the Prophet Mohammed as leader of the Muslim community after he died: the Sunnis wanted the succession to be based on merit and the Shi’ites reckoned the leadership should be kept within his family. Apart from this and Shi’ite tendencies to venerate saints and go on pilgrimages to places other than just Mecca, the two major divisions in Islam usually agree with each other more than they disagree. Any “conflict” between the two has been deliberately stoked by the West.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “Meryl? Meryl? Where’s your outrage now? The innocent have nothing to hide?”

      Never liked her. OTOH, she just proved that Liya Akhedzhakova’s kreakl clones are dime for a dozen

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I have to agree with what a truly horrendous British tabloid has said about this:

        Whatever you think of President-elect Donald Trump, it has almost been worth it for the sheer innocent sadistic joy of watching the world’s luvvies throwing their collective toys out of the pram.

        And this reader’s comment made me laught:

        Apparently Geldof is still on a boat yelling “Wanker!” at Trump somewhere in the East river.

        • marknesop says:

          And see, there’s another brilliant example – I loved Bob Geldof when he was nothing but frontman for the Boomtown Rats. Then he got caught up in all these liberal politics, and turned into a sanctimonious turd right before my weeping eyes. For fuck’s sake, people, be satisfied with what you are. Settle. Don’t aspire to change the world, because everyone who tries it makes an ass of himself/herself. I know that runs absolutely counter to every rah-rah motivational speech you will ever hear, but trust me on this – humans are too vain and silly to take a stand without taking sides, and as stupid as it sounds, you will never change the world so long as you cannot be impartial. Take a realistic, sober look and see if I’m not right; every wanna-be world-changer is a sanctimonious prick. Look at Bernard Henri-Levy: he just wants to change the world, and he’s such a prick you could squeeze him and get prick juice. You could push his face in dough and make prick biscuits. And they’re all like that. If you don’t like the world the way it is, change your own behaviour, and shut the fuck up. Hope instead that you will lead by silent example.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            It was ever thus: these luvvies, kreakly, etc. become fixated with an idea and try to force the idea onto others, thereby changing the world, the reality, and in doing so, become divorced from reality.

        • marknesop says:

          The first and best mention of the ‘dancing Israelis’ came – amazingly – from FOX News, by Carl Cameron. You can still find the piece in the odd ‘memory hole’ style site, but the original story disappeared quite quickly. Carl Cameron detailed not only the alleged celebrating tat took place, but the van in question being stopped by police and the occupants – all Israelis – having suspicious cover stories while one of them allegedly had a large roll of money in his sock.

      • marknesop says:

        I always reckoned she was a great actress, especially for her role in “Sophie’s Choice”. I don’t know why actors and actresses cannot just let us have our fantasies about what they are like as people, and must instead spoil it by gibbering on about politics and showing us their feet of clay.

    • marknesop says:

      Very clever – now it will be left to Trump to roll those invasive powers back, whereupon his critics will scream that he is hobbling the intelligence agencies so that they cannot do their jobs properly – the whole thing smacks strongly of the same policymaking which sees a store jack up prices for a week or two prior to a big sale, then plaster “Sale!!!” signs everywhere and drop the prices back to regular price.

      I’m sure there’s a way to punish Obama for this gutless pandering – perhaps modify the law to say each case must be submitted for presidential review before any surveillance is authorized, and then reject all of them except for a continuous and ongoing investigation of the Obamas.

      • yalensis says:

        Doctorow made a very good point in that last Crosstalk segment.
        When Obama was elected, his (Obama’s) fans were worried that he would be assassinated by the Deep State. Apparently this was a real possibility, because Obama came in as an outsider (at first).

        The way Obama saved himself, according to Doctorow, was in the embrace of Joe Biden. Biden is the Consigliere of the Deep State, he can guarantee Protection.
        Now leaving office, Obama has to continue to perform certain functions, in order to ensure a peaceful and non-violent retirement for himself and his family.

        • et Al says:

          Is this what Pence is too?

          • yalensis says:

            Pence is the Governor of Indiana and a former right-wing talk-show host.
            His entire career (well, I am just basing this on his wiki entry has been law, then politics.

            Don’t Deep State people tend to come from the Wall Street banking world and/or the Military-Industrial Complex?

        • Jen says:

          Has there been much speculation over what O’Bomber will do after January 20? Is there talk of him taking up a senior position like president or vice-president at Columbia University or being groomed for a future UN Secretary-General position?

        • marknesop says:

          I wouldn’t say so, although that does not mean it isn’t true – just that I believe the perceived threat to Obama before his inauguration came more from Southern good ole boys and their ilk who would never allow a black man to take office. Ironically, that threat has been completely removed by the display that a black man can make every bit as much of a disaster of the world subject to the influences of the United States as a corresponding man of any colour, so there is demonstrably nothing about being black that means you can’t cut the destructive mustard as well as a white man. Hillary would have proven a woman can do it, too.

          Doctorow’s theory might hold for fellows of Obama’s own party, but the Republicans have hated every Democratic president there ever was, white skin notwithstanding. That’s just what they do.

  24. et Al says:

    Haaretz via Republicans Move to Defund UN Over Censure of Israeli Settlements

    Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham will soon present bill that would call to stop U.S. funding of the UN as long as Resolution 2334 stands, and to renew it only if the Security Council reverses it.

    Well then, it may well be history repeating itself as farce except it was a farce originally when in the early 1990s the US threw tantrums because the UN didn’t do as it was ordered and the US owed it $1 billion, all finally solved when Kofi Annan stabbed Boutros Boutros Ghali in the back over Bosnia and got his job!

    • marknesop says:

      It will never pass, because the United States needs the UN to give its meddling the stamp of internationalism and protect itself from the label, “Rogue Nation”. In the great game of diplomacy, this is a bitch-slap to the UN to remind it that it must resume its abject toadying and subservience to Washington and its ally, Israel. The USA does not have to actually de-fund the UN, it merely needs to threaten to do so in order to get results, and the UN is most unlikely to call its bluff. I wish they would, and that the UN would grow a pair and announce that it is moving its headquarters from New York to Copenhagen or Malmo, someplace like that, and that if the USA is not paying for its seat then it shall not have one. Fuck off, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. And when you get there, fuck off some more. There’s somebody you should really be getting on to for their toothless weakness, Karl – the UN.

  25. Warren says:

    Urine test reveals what you really eat

    A urine test that can reveal how healthy your meals are has been developed by UK scientists.

    They think it could be used to improve nutritional advice or in weight loss because people are notoriously bad at recording their own eating habits.

    The test, detailed in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, detects chemicals made as food is processed by the body.

    The research team believe it could be widely available within two years.

    The urine samples are analysed to determine the structure of the chemicals floating around in it using a technique called a proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

    This gives clues to both recent meals and long term dietary habits.

  26. et Al says:

    Neuters: China, Russia agree on more ‘countermeasures’ against U.S. anti-missile system: Xinhua

    China and Russia have agreed to take further unspecified “countermeasures” in response to a U.S. plan to deploy an anti-missile system in South Korea, state news agency Xinhua reported on Friday.

    The countermeasures “will be aimed at safeguarding interests of China and Russia and the strategic balance in the region”, Xinhua said, citing a statement released after a China-Russia security meeting. ..

    The containment of China by the USA and allies goes marching on! I don’t really see what the Donald has to offer Russia apart from dropping sanctions. After all the damage caused by western sanctions, it is not as if they are going to pay out or apologize, rather ‘we want our market share back’ and more carrot and stick. The US can promise a lot, but they are nowhere near as involved or exposed to Russia as Europe is. Who on earth would trust the US again?

    I don’t see either DT offering anything that could shifting Russian strategy on China. Too little, too late, and with the deployment of THAAD it is clear that the US is trying to lock in beneficial strategic changes to only its benefit. Still, early days…

    • et Al says:

      Ho! What’s this?

      Neuters via Asia Times: THAAD missile location in South Korea could be delayed

      The signing of a contract which would determine the location of a U.S. missile defence system in South Korea could be delayed, Seoul’s defence ministry said on Monday, according to the Yonhap News Agency…

      Are they waiting for Trump or is he going to buy the golf course it was to be sited on?! 😉

  27. Jeremn says:

    Eastern Europeans beg Trump to be tough on Russia.

    D+, rather juvenile, could do with less in the way of melodrama, more in the way of some reasoned argument.

    “We took risks together; sacrificed sons and daughters together.”

  28. J.T. says:

    This is what academia’s producing these days:
    Kompromat: everything you wanted to know (but were afraid to ask)
    ‘The logic is simple: If you know that “the services” have a file on you, with information that could get you arrested or destroy your career, you are not very likely to step out of line politically.’

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      I’m reading forum post from the most handshakable (i.e. banning people like me) places where the Adorable users are wondering: “EGAWD! Putin is here, Putin is there – Putin is everywhere! How does he find time to actually run the country let alone wrestle bears and ride on a horseback shirtless?”. That’s more or less an actual quote.

      They don’t doubt for a sec that perhaps VVP do not do all those things they unsubstantially accuse him of. No, they choose to run with it. But if you think about it – what a pathetic bunch did this make of them! How could a “regional power” with the “economy shred to tatters”, which is in fact just a “gas station masquerading as a country” and “Nigeria with a snow”, lead by a “New Hitler”, who is both “a bored school kid” and “has no idea about the modern implications of the Internet” rotally OWNING the “Exceptional Country”, the shining “City on a Hill”, a “Bastion of Democracy” in the most brutal and rough way possible?

      How come, that RT with its puny budget, with the viewership waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too low to compete with the CNN, Fox News and other MSM (who were virtually uniform in their support of Clinton and dirt throwing of Trump), this “Kremlin propaganda channel” (about which every handshakable outlet likes to remind you should it het a chance to mention it) somehow managed to change hearts and minds of you, Americans – the Freest of the Free? How come that your special services, that are bugging even yur so-called “allies”, that glorious Jedis of the Democracy, endowed with various super-powers by the Patriot act, who are spying on you 24/7, the whole thong of them, how come they fucked up so royally that did not notice or prevent a hack from puny, insignificant Russia, where, if we are to believe our liberast, there is no “intellectually solid people anymore” who’d do said super-duper sophisticated hacks?

      If I was one of those who religiously believes in “RussiansDidIt” drivel, I’d be suicidal. Because they are everywhere! Oh, and I’d be super careful while talking on the Net to a guy who claims to be a Russian. Who knows – maybe if you piss him off, he’d hack your landmover which will kill you! 😉

  29. PaulR says:

    Says the National Review:

    ‘The recently released report that asserts that Russian president Vladimir Putin has been “cultivating assisting and supporting Trump” for years and that the Russians have compromising information (kompromat) on him is, I believe, a deliberate Russian provocation.’

    • Lyttenburgh says:


      • PaulR says:

        You’ll have to explain that one.

        • Eurika says:

          Mnogohodka or Mnogohodovochka is a term with its roots in chess (mnogo=many, hod=move, as in a chess move), it means something like “a clever plan for many moves ahead”. Can also be used humorously — for example, when stumbling onto a positive outcome by accident, or (sarcastically) when someone is being way too clever for own good. So it’s often hard to translate, meaning depends on context/tone.

    • yalensis says:

      If the Russians thought any time in the past that Trump would be Prez, then they would have been crazy, because it was a 1 to million shot.

      • marknesop says:

        That is an excellent point, which comes back to the evil see-all-know-all Russkies and their time machine.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        On one of those hysterical adorable forums that I read* people 110% serious claim that Trump is a “Manchurian candidate” of the Putin All-Powerful, and they unironically “prove” their point of Trump being Russkis asset by this:

        TRUMP AND THE GORBY CONNECTION – The Washington Post

        See? See?! An asset to the Enemy since 1987! Now it all makes sense!!!

        * Btw, professor, in a thread devoted to discussion of Russia on said forum one user posted links to your blogposts and to Gordon Hahn’s articles (and even to Yalensis AwAv post about Navka and “holocaust on ice”!). Their reaction? Totally dismissive ’cause “this is blog”, and they also called Gordon Hahn “a minor scholar”. I mean – of course! Who if not some pricky anonymouses on the Net are most qualified to judge said things?!

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          – typo: “minor scholar”

        • yalensis says:

          WOT??!!! They didn’t appreciate my “Holocaust On Ice” piece? I am devastated, I worked really hard on that one.

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            They said that Russians are… awful people (I’m paraphrasing here) and that all “controversy” is totally okay and, no, the Western Media was not Russophobic in the way how it reported it.

            • yalensis says:

              Those people lie so much….
              How much do they lie?
              They lie so much, that if lying was an Olympic sport, then they would occupy all 3 places on the podium, and we would have to listen to their national anthem on a continuous loop!

        • et Al says:

          That’s very sad. Dismissing the argument because you do not like the source is also downright dishonest, but I guess if you are enjoying your own circlejerk so much, it is understandable. A normal curious person would pick and choose the information that makes sense to them from multiple sources and form their own view…

          The silver lining though is that whatever he thinks about the posts at the links is irrelevant. Not only has he’s just bigupped those sources unintentionally, lurkers may well have entirely other opinions about those sources now open to them.
          So, not really a loss. I’ve discovered some great sites and blogs that way.

        • marknesop says:

          Trump had aspirations to the nation’s highest office in 1987? Not so I noticed.

          • Jennifer Hor says:

            Donald Trump being interviewed by Larry King in 1987 about his Presidential aspirations:

            Ahhh, so that’s why Putin, stuck in the Dresden branch of the KGB reading newspapers, pushing pens and throwing paper planes, decided to throw money at Donald Trump: because Trump said he didn’t want to be President of the United States.

            • yalensis says:

              I would not completely dismiss out of hand the theory that the Soviet KGB had developed a time machine.
              Back in 1987 Putin could have gone forward in time to 2017. Then he goes back and reports to his posse: “Tovarishi, you’re not gonna believe this, but guess who becomes American President ….?”

  30. Cortes says:

    After reading the following comment over at MoonofAlabama, I’m not surprised that Mr Steele is lying low:

    “you have got to admit that if these stories are as “fake” as you say
    then Trump seems to have a good case to make regarding suing this
    particular individual, who seems to have gone into hiding.

    (i advise Trump not to get too mad about this)
    why not just make an extradition request to UK government?

    UK government has extradited any number of individuals to US over recent years
    (Navinder sarao, and any number of bored computer hackers, to name but a few)

    Posted by: chris m | Jan 13, 2017 10:23:56 AM | 12″

  31. Cortes says:

    If posted already, my apologies:

    I’ve not visited Cross Talk for some time but was very impressed by this show. The contribution of Gilbert Doctorow is an eye opener, especially when he makes reference to the USA being in the antechamber of a civil war. The next few months may be extremely hmmm interesting.

  32. cartman says:

    MSNBC appears to have a little glitch shortly after 0:45

  33. davidt says:

    Anatol Lieven contemplates whether US is becoming a third world country:
    Not sure how to best describe it- perhaps dysfunctional, certainly scary…

    • et Al says:

      It’s just the next stage of being at war with itself. How far back should we trace it, conveniently to the end of the Cold War? The Clinton ‘All our base belong to us’? 9/11? The Republicans swearing never to deal with Obama even before he became President?

      On this last point, I don’t think the GOP can complain with a straight face about the Democrats refusing cooperation in the house (not that it would make much actual difference considering the GOP has control of both), but the GOP cast the first stone.

      What has changed and what is true is that Americans are tired of all their wars abroad and that there is a shift to ‘fixing stuff at home’. Anyone who dismisses this will be wiped off the slate. Sure, there’ll still be interference abroad but there’s certainly not going to be any healing domestically or anywhere else. If the US doesn’t get its house in order then it will come down. The warning signs are all there.

      • marknesop says:

        Very well said, and I am in complete agreement. Conditions are ripe for an implosion if the US government sticks to its cookie-cutter national governance model of doling out a few crumbs, playing identity politics and wedge issues, and blowing sunshine up the peoples’ asses that they live in the exceptional nation where doubleplusgood freedom and democracy trump prosperity and living standards.

    • marknesop says:

      It’s very good, typical of Lieven, and even includes some wry humour, like when he suggests that for their own good, political figures should come to an agreement that they will not peddle salacious tales so long as they remain unsubstantiated by evidence. Ha. ha!! Good one, Anatole; my sides! But what I find distressing about it, like every other story of the day regardless if by a liberal luvvie or a conservative rockhead, is that it assumes there is some truth to the suggestion that Russia hacked the American election. There is no reason to stipulate to this. At all. Except that it did not go the way powerful Americans wanted it to.

    • Special_sauce says:

      Fuck Lieven.

      Fairly enough, the USA and the West reciprocated in kind, denying the legitimacy of Communist states, supporting individuals and movements aiming at their overthrow, and using Western intelligence services to this end.

      There’s no comparison, the US State Department, connived, or participated, in the murder of millions of Communists, relatives of Communists, neighbo(u)rs of Communists, those found in the vicinity of Communists, those accused of Communism…In Africa, S.America, SE.Asia, Central America, Serbia, Yugoslavia…Then, dripping with gore, they declare, “See, Communism doesn’t work!”

      This notion that both sides are equally at fault is straight out of Hasbara101.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        “This notion that both sides are equally at fault is straight out of Hasbara101.”

        See below:

        I urge you to beware the temptation of pride—the temptation of blithely..uh..declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil, quoth the Gipper.

        You see, you must always keep in mind that the goddamned Commies are the epitome of evil and literally God damned because they are all atheist sonsabitches. If you do not accept our Saviour’s offer of redemption for the sins of mankind, then you ain’t got no moral compass: you’re fucking evil!!!!

        Waes hael!

        Happy Old New Year from the Evil Empire!

  34. Warren says:

    Published on 14 Jan 2017
    Danish journalist Iben Thranholm was accused of pushing the Kremlin’s narrative after her statements on European migrant policy were featured on RT, and on the website Russia Insider. She told us why she thinks she’s been put on the list.

  35. Moscow Exile says:

    Another carpet chewer’s opinion:

    It would be a terrible mistake to underestimate the dangers of Donald Trump’s Russophilia

    Mr Trump wants to take on the mantle of Ronald Reagan and “make America great again”. A friend who attended Reagan’s first press conference as president, in 1981, tells me that when asked about the Russians, Reagan said: “They lie, they cheat. They want to conquer the world.” At his press conference on Thursday, Mr Trump boasted of how much Vladimir Putin likes him.

    It was Reagan, of course, who coined the phrase “Evil Empire” when referring to the USSR.

    Yes, let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness—pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the State, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world…. So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride—the temptation of blithely..uh..declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil” — Reagan, March 8, 1983, in speech to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida, in which he uttered his first recorded use of the phrase “evil empire”.

    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!

    And the writer of the above linked Telegraph opinion piece presents that former Hollywood B-movie actor as though he were some sage.

    • Special_sauce says:

      While Alzheimers snacked on his meagre intellect.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        Speaking about Alzheimer (the person). In their eternal quest to claim every single famous person in the world as their own, the Ukrainian svidomites found out that his family hails from the Western Ukraine – and you know what it means! There are already people who (jockingly) suggest that Ukraine must name after him some important institution – the Foundation of the National Memory is the best candidate, hands down.

      • marknesop says:

        Ha, ha!!! What a beautiful turn of phrase!!! Is it original?

  36. et Al says:

    According to ‘Staff & Agencies’ 30 civilians have been killed in Mosul al-Jadida ‘by at least three missiles’. Surely this is good news? Where’s the condemnation of it as a war crime? Well daarlings, that’s the price of Freedom (TM) & Democracy (TM). F/kwads.

    • yalensis says:

      Ha ha! It’s great to see Weird Al Yankovich playing the accordion. I have complete respect for anybody who can play the accordion, it’s a difficult instrument!
      Love live Polka!

  37. Patient Observer says:

    Perhaps the Israeli missile strike against Syria was to test Trump’s purported love of all things Israeli and not a last gasp Obama stunt. Who’s it go’n be: Putin or Netanyahu?

  38. et Al says:

    EU Observer: Malta raises alarm on Russia in Libya

    …“Haftar with his army is moving gradually, slowly from the east to the west … and possibly, eventually linking up with his colleagues from the west, from Zintane, and advancing in a pincer movement on the region of Bani Walid, and Misrata, and Tripoli”, Vella said.

    “That would be disastrous, because it would create civil war and it would create more refugees running away from Libya”, he said.

    Vella also raised the alarm on Haftar’s contacts with Russia.

    He said Russia had so far respected a UN embargo on weapons transfers to Libya, even though Haftar had been “going to Moscow asking for arms”.

    But he added that Russia, which has funded Haftar, had a strategic interest in establishing a foothold in the central Mediterranean.

    “It’s very difficult to predict what’s going to happen”, Vella said.

    “I’m not comfortable. We all know the Russians’ dreams have always been to have [military] bases in the Mediterranean”, he said.

    Haftar, on Thursday, toured Russia’s aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, as it was sailing from Syria and held a video call with Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu.

    They discussed “urgent issues in the fight against international terrorist groups in the Middle East”, a Russian statement said…

    Oh, those crazy Malteasers, what wags they are!!! Maybe Mr. Vella hasn’t noticed that the US & EU themselves have already destroyed Libya, it is already in civil war and totally f/ked.

    • kirill says:

      The Orwellian quality of this rubbish is breathtaking. The audience is supposed to have completely forgotten what happened a few years ago and the fake narratives installed by the MSM are supposed to be the continuity replacement to smoothly transition into this shit.

    • shargash says:

      Isn’t Haftar the guy the democratically-elected government in eastern Libya tapped to lead the fight against the terrorists? Wasn’t the democratically-elected government in eastern Libya backed by pretty much everyone, until the West decided they weren’t pro-Western enough and came up with their Orwellian government of national unity (thus adding yet another side to the multi-party civil war)?

      Maybe I dreamed all that.

      • marknesop says:

        Aha!! You had a dream!! You wretched arms dealer and destabilizer of international peace!!

        • et Al says:

          Vinyard the Saker: Naval Brief 02/17 January 14th, 2017 by LeDahu


          Last week, an unconfirmed report was circulated on social media, announcing a Russian navy missile firing exercise off the Libyan coast, between Benghazi and Tobruk, (08-11 Jan). If indeed there was really a NOTAM released on this, then it suggested activity by the “Admiral Kuznetsov” group, (whose last confirmed AIS location was SW of Crete). *

          Coincidentally, the following day, Libyan & Russian media reported on the visit of a Libyan military delegation headed by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA). It took place onboard the “Admiral Kuznetsov” in Libyan waters, and also involved a videoconference with the Russian defence minister, Sergei Shoigu…

          …On a side note, Tobruk was one of the most prized deep water port for the Allies in World War 2, resulting in the famous siege of Tobruk. It is quite probable that it might have a role in future cooperation with Russia. Intriguingly, rumours state that Haftar offered to refuel the Russian carrier, a possibility since it is a significant oil transhipment terminal.

          Interestingly, the Russian auxiliary ships that usually activate their AIS, have them switched off. Likewise, NATO surveillance is somewhat muted. When the carrier group sailed down to Syria, US Navy P-8 air patrols monitored their progress. There is no open source indication that this is taking place this time round. On the other hand, there was plenty of air patrols scrambled for the Chinese carrier in recent days….

    • marknesop says:

      I see. So if you ‘have a dream’, it’s basically the same thing as being an arms dealer. Good thing nobody ever said that to Martin Luther King – it might have altered his speeches somewhat.

  39. Northern Star says:

    Stooges..Watch this film…..every now and then American media produces something of value…
    …this is one of those instances:
    More discussion on topic:

    Also…if you get a chance this:

    “A superb pedagogical tool for conveying history and international affairs…. scrupulously avoids manipulation or bias. The editing, content, and delivery seize any audience and create historical context for understanding one of mankind’s most pressing challenges. Far from leaving the viewer discouraged, the effect is galvanizing. Both as knowledge transfer and an appeal to action, the film is a masterwork.”
    -Daniel Whitman, PhD, Assistant Professor, Foreign Policy, American University; Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret.)

    “A superb presentation of the history of nuclear weapons from 1945 to the present, including the latest concerns about nuclear proliferation. But more than this, it is a moving portrait of the human costs of these outsize weapons and a clarion call for action to end the scourge”
    – Professor Steven P. Lee, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
    Author “Morality, Prudence and Nuclear Weapons”

    • Northern Star says:
      “After the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Hoover singled out King as a major target for COINTELPRO. Under pressure from Hoover to focus on King, Sullivan wrote:
      In the light of King’s powerful demagogic speech. … We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and national security.[16]
      Soon after, the FBI was systematically bugging King’s home and his hotel rooms, as they now were aware that King was growing in stature daily as the leader among leaders of the Negro movement.”

    • et Al says:

      And the Pork Pie News Networks main take from this is that Trump has no right to attack John Lewis back because he is an ‘icon’, untouchable even! JFC! They like to harp on about ‘fake news’ but they refuse to accept any normal debate or accept that Trump has anything legitimate to say. It’s the yet again the same method used when we were told that ‘Trump mocks disabled reporter’ – vis the piece one of you already posted above with the actual background. If the PPNN is so openly partisan, then they are not fit for purpose. They deserve to disappear.

      • marknesop says:

        So say we; so say we all. Confidence in mainstream journalism is at an all-time low, and the profession has largely become one viewed with contempt and mockery. That’s a pity, because some are still doing excellent work. Blogs have enjoyed a corresponding rise in popularity. There is a danger there, in that people tend to seek out that which validates their opinion whether it is accurate or not – readers would be well-advised to seek out material which is substantiated by as many impartial sources as possible. This generation has also seen a ballooning in reliance on the ‘local activist’ as a source for reporting, so there are pitfalls there aplenty as well. Nearly all western reporting on Syria, especially that on casualties and responsibility for attacks and atrocities came from local activists, much of it from SOHR (itself relying on local activists with an agenda) and the White Helmets, who seem to have abruptly disappeared from the public eye with the fall of Aleppo.

  40. Northern Star says:

    Some of you may have become depresed by all of that nuclear stuff…particularly since it is now ‘adorable’ officers who man the silos and have the launch codes..
    So let us now cheer up and take note and pay tribute to the women of Central Asia..
    Because…we just should!!!!!

    • yalensis says:

      #27 is the best looking one!
      Is she still alive though?

    • Cortes says:

      Zamzam for me, please.

      Most beautiful women are Indian (dot, not feathers). In my opinion.

      • marknesop says:

        Certainly a lot of them, but there is beauty in all the races if you look. I once thought Chinese women to be rather pie-faced, based on my limited exposure to them, but in a half-hour on the Bund in Shanghai I saw as many beautiful girls as I would in Montreal or Moscow, although in the latter two you would probably see more variety in appearance. I don’t want to say “All Chinese look alike” because of course they do not and you would be able to easily spot someone whose features you know in a group. But there is undeniably a commonality of appearance among both Chinese and Indian girls in that most have very dark hair and a similar skin tone. There is an infinite variety in features.

        • Jen says:

          Once upon a time most Chinese people living in North America, Australia and most other parts of the world outside China would have traced their origins back to southeast China (Guangdong, Fujian provinces). People from this part of China tend to be shorter and stockier from the northern and central parts of the country, and not quite as attractive either. These days in Australia anyway, recent Chinese migrants come from all parts of China and you can now really see the physical differences between northern Chinese and southern Chinese; northern Chinese women in particular have nearly white skin, very oval faces and sharp features, and they often have the ideal ballet dancer physique (long necks, willowy figure, long arms and legs, slender wrists and ankles) while southern Chinese women are shorter, have more sallow skin and their arms and legs are shorter in proportion to their torsos.

          There are people from all over India living in Australia now and people from northern India are very, very different from southern Indian people: the skin tones of northern Indians and Nepalese people can be really fair and many of them could be mistaken for southern or even central Europeans especially if they colour their hair as everyone seems to do these days. Southern Indians can be medium-brown to almost black and in-between you can get shades of tan or almost yellow-gold-tan which can look stunning next to glossy black hair.

          Of course with cosmetic surgery, skin whitening cosmetics and other ways of altering appearances becoming cheaper or more available to the public, what will happen is that most people (regardless of ethnic origin) will end up gravitating towards a commonly accepted standard of beauty or attractiveness, and that standard will often be determined by a mix of what traditional Indian, Chinese or other cultures prefer combined with what cosmetics companies based in the West or other places want to sell.

          • Chinese American says:

            Hmmm. I just looked in a mirror and realized that I am not actually Chinese, according to the descriptions.

            • marknesop says:

              You should not be upset; I am not actually Chinese either. Is it because you are not willowy and do not have the ideal ballet-dancer figure? Again, don’t feel bad. I haven’t, either.

              I never really understood the description of the Chinese as ‘the yellow man’, just the same as Indians (North American variety native peoples, who are not actually Indians at all of any type) were described as ‘the red man’. North American indigenous people range from a very light coffee colour to darker brown like Filipinos, and there is a wide variety of features which range from somewhat Asiatic-looking to more delicate, somewhat Caucasian-looking or European features. Nothing ruddy about them at all, while many Asians are whiter than white people, who tend to be kind of pink rather than white. Jen is right that what sets ‘white people’ apart from other races is the tremendous variety of hair colour, and it seems more natural with a pale complexion while a blonde Asian just looks unnatural. For some reason, in Canada and North America in general it is young Asian men who sport coloured hair while the women tend to stick with their natural black.

              Bear in mind that it is difficult for most white North Americans to tell Asiatic peoples apart, and those labeled ‘Chinese’ might be anything from Korean to Vietnamese.

            • Jen says:

              My background is Taishanese / Cantonese and when I look in the mirror, my face is full of freckles. Caused by too much time in the sun. 🙂

              • Chinese American says:

                Just out of curiosity…May I ask what parts of China do you see as “southern”?

                (My family is from the Yangtze River region, which is considered “southern China” by geography textbooks. But I have been to that region only as a visitor.)

                • Jen says:

                  “Southern China” for me is Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan and Guangxi provinces. These are areas where historically the people didn’t become fully Chinese until the Tang empire period when there were migrations into these areas of Han Chinese (both as settlers and refugees fleeing Jurchen invasions from the north at different times) and the populations became mixed.

          • yalensis says:

            The “willowy dancers body” type has insured a deep bench of elite Chinese figure skaters.

          • Cortes says:

            Thanks for that.

            Yes, my response was as shallow as Obomber’s integrity. On skin colour, some people appear so dark that the skin seems to have a bluish (some Africans) or greenish (some Amerindians) tinge and many south Asian women’s hair also appears bluish, though whether naturally or due to artífice I’m unsure.

        • et Al says:

          A quick plug then, now that you’ve mentioned the Bund park in Shanghai which reminded me of Qui Xiaolong’s ‘Inspector Chen’ detective novels. His second book, ‘A loyal character dancer’ starts with Inspector Chen visiting his favorite spot in the Bund when a body is discovered…

  41. et Al says:

    I just watched a debate show on cable from the BBC called ‘The Big Questions’, this episode being ‘Is digital media good for democracy’*. If someone uploads it to U-tube I’ll post the link as it was an extremely good debate.

    It had several highlights, but one came near the end when the Professor Andre Calcutt of media studies said that people who want to control freedom of speech never admit to it. A Channel 4 (TV) exec said that is not true but a reasonable ‘environment’ needs to be created, to which the professor retorted that ‘creating an environment is exactly saying you want to control free speech’. The prof was very good on generally all his points.

    Of the ten or so ‘experts’, almost all of them were middle class and white too, except for one MP, so no ‘deplorables’.


    A special edition of The Big Questions recorded at London’s Brunel University, with the audience and invited contributors debating just one issue: is digital media good for democracy?

    Amongst those taking part are Owen Jones of The Guardian, Jamie Bartlett from Demos, Professor Helen Margetts of the Oxford Internet Institute, Dan Brooke from Channel 4, Tom Edmonds from the Conservative Party 2015 campaign team, Labour MP Chi Onwurah, Ella Whelan from Spiked, Laura Coryton from #EndTamponTax and Dr Andrew Calcutt from UEL.

  42. Warren says:

    Published on 14 Jan 2017
    Even after reaching adulthood, the next generation of Russians may not be able to smoke legally. Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola, and Laurie Penny, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

    “Aside from meddling in the United States election, there’s another thing the Russian Federation seems to be worrying a lot about these days: cigarette smoking.

    Russia’s smoking rates are some of the highest in the world, according to the World Health Organization. Now the Russian government, a big fan of banning things, is going to try and ban citizens born after 2015 from buying cigarettes. This would be one of the world’s strictest smoking bans, and Bhutan was the only other nation I could find that outlawed cigarette sales completely.

    The ban proposal obtained by Russian newspaper Izvestia would go into effect in 2033, when the affected Russian citizens (now babies) turn eighteen years old. Russia’s legal smoking age is eighteen, so the law would ensure that those born in 2015 and later could never legally purchase cigarettes. It comes as part of a broader effort to combat smoking from 2017 to 2022 and beyond, according to the Izvestia report. The goal is to lower the country’s smoking rate to 25 percent by 2025, and to drive it down even further later. The proposal also claims that tobacco consumption fell from 39 percent in 2009 to 33 percent in 2016.”*

    Read more here:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      So Russia is a big fan of banning things?

      Such as?

      The list of forbidden things must be extensive if one feels that one can safely make such a sweeping statement.

      Do “things” never get banned in the “free” West?

      I’m trying hard to think what I am banned from doing in Russia …

      Insulting persons on grounds of race, religion and sexual orientation — check.

      Urinating in public — check.

      Using offensive language in public — check.

      Selling tobacco products and alcohol to minors — check.

      Having a sexual relationship with a minor — check.

      Building something without planning permission — check.

      Riding trains without a ticket — check.

      Trying to reconstitute the Communist Party of the SU — I suppose so, because that party is BANNED!

      Saying “Sieg Heil” in public — no.

      Wearing Nazi regalia in public — no.

      Oh, here’s a good ‘un:

      Saying that Bandera was no worse than Vlasov and saying that the Soviet Union did not tear the guts out of the Nazi war machine — yes, yes, yes! BANNED!

      Historical revisionism of the role played by the USSR in WWII is BANNED!


      Everyone knows that had the Normandy “Second Front” not taken place or Spam from the USA had not fed the starving Soviet population and its soldiers, the USSR would have truly lost against the Western Übermenschen, 1941-1945.

      • Warren says:

        Banning only people who were born after 1995 from buying cigarettes is pointless. The law will be flouted and ignored. Instead if the Russian government is serious about reducing the number of people smoking, it should launch a public health information campaign, increase taxation on cigarettes, impose health warnings and cancer images on cigarette packs. All the aforementioned actions have worked in reducing smoking in Western Europe.

        To stabilise and reverse Russia’s demographic decline, Russia should: prohibit or severely restrict abortion, tax heavily alcohol, cigarettes, and promote healthy eating and living (fitness) among its citizenry.

      • Jen says:

        Is it possible to get an exact wording of the law and to have it translated into English? Banning the sale of cigarettes to people born in and after the year 2015 is different from banning people born after 2015 from buying cigarettes: in the first scenario, the people targeted are cigarette companies and anyone in the business of selling cigarettes. I should think that, based on what we already know of Russia introducing new laws which are based on other countries’ legislation, Russia might actually have studied other countries’ experience and the actual law is a ban on the sale of cigarettes to underage people, not a ban on them buying cigarettes.

        • marknesop says:

          That’s what I thought, too, which is why the allegation that people born after a certain date would not ever be able to buy cigarettes in their lives rings oddly. It just sounds like a law to prevent sales to underage people, translated poorly. Tobacco companies throw vast amounts of money into campaigns to make smoking appear cool and sophisticated in their efforts to hook the next generation of lifetime smokers, and anything that interrupts that cycle is a blessing. Although the 2015 date is a bit of a puzzler – those people are only 2 years old.

  43. Warren says:

    Serbia-Kosovo train row escalates to military threat

    Serbia has warned it will defend “every inch” of what it claims as its territory in neighbouring Kosovo.

    President Tomislav Nikolic accused Kosovo of seeking a war, after a train painted in Serbian colours and the words “Kosovo is Serbia” was prevented from crossing the Kosovan border.
    Kosovo saw the train as a deliberate provocation.

    As tensions grew, Mr Nikolic said that he would be willing to send the army to defend Serbs in Kosovo, if necessary.

    Kosovo, historically a province of Serbia, declared independence in 2008. It is recognised by the US and most EU countries but not by Serbia or its ally Russia.

    The train – heralded as an important transport link by Serbia – was the first direct link between the Serbian capital, Belgrade, and Mitrovica, in northern Kosovo, since 2008.

    Many of the remaining Serbs in Kosovo live around Mitrovica.

    Serbia said the slogan “Kosovo is Serbian” in many languages was a celebration of its cultural heritage, as were the Serbian Orthodox religious symbols adorning the inside, and the liberal use of the Serbian national colours.

    • et Al says:

      It’s EU values that dictate the few remaining Serbs and others in Kosovo live in ghettoes and daily pronounce that they are grateful to the Albanians and Brussels for being allowed to live.

      Of course the real issue here is that a prerequisite of those trying to join the EU is to allow a Free movement of peoples but this only applies to Albanians. The train is highlighting the issue of constant discrimination by Brussels & the Albanians, but the media prefers to ignore it with the usual ‘Serbs evil’ BS.

      To be honest, the Serbs biggest enemies are themselves. Each time they take a stand, they then back down to show their ‘european values’. All Brussels & Berlin take from it is that the Serbs always give in and then give them another shovel full of s/t to swallow.

  44. Cortes says:

    Taking down the Hellarator was one thing. Those hacking Russkies have GONE TOO FAR!!!

    Some crappy TV show is piggybacking for publicity purposes.

  45. Warren says:

    Pound falls ahead of Theresa May Brexit speech

    The pound has fallen against the dollar to below $1.20 ahead of a key speech from Theresa May on Brexit this week.

    Sterling fell 1.5% against the US currency on Sunday to its lowest level since the flash crash in October.

    Analysts said traders were reacting negatively to reports that the prime minister would signal plans on Tuesday to quit the EU single market.

    The pound has now dropped about 20% against the dollar since the referendum when it fell to 31-year lows.

    The pound also dropped to a two-month low against the euro on Sunday, falling to about €1.13.
    Several of Sunday’s newspapers claimed Mrs May would outline a “hard Brexit” approach, a term used to imply prioritising migration controls over single market access.

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