A Trial of Spiritual Resolve: Sergey Lavrov’s Speech to the Military Academy of the General Staff

Uncle Volodya says, “Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skilful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack..”

“Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root… Our military strength is a prerequisite to peace, but let it be clear we maintain this strength in the hope it will never be used, for the ultimate determinant in the struggle that’s now going on in the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas, a trial of spiritual resolve, the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish, the ideals to which we are dedicated.”

Ronald Reagan, The Quest for Peace, the Cause of Freedom

Ronald Reagan was at the same time one of American history’s most polarizing and most iconic presidents.  Even his enemies would have to concede he was a hell of a public speaker, and although it was questionable in retrospect how much of what he said he actually understood, he had that “This just makes sense” delivery that caused listeners to cheerfully abandon doubt.

And that would be unwise, because Ronald Reagan loved to use American military power, never mind his blarney about we-hope-we’ll-never-have-to-use-it. He bombed Libya because Gaddafi had the temerity to declare Libyan sovereign territory off-limits and because he was publicly anti-Israel, and Reagan drove American policy vis-a-vis Russia to rollback rather than detente. All that notwithstanding, his quote above might have been written for Russia today, and the crossroads at which it stands.

Truly, Russia has had its resolve tested; spiritual, economic, moral and strategic. Sergey Lavrov has been the Russian Federation’s Foreign Minister since 2004, when he was appointed to the post by Putin. Since that time, he has been the point man for Russian international relations, mostly at the direction and behest of Putin. He must live a pretty upright and above-reproach life, because you never see stories such as “Foreign Minister Lavrov falls off metro train in a drunken stupor”, or “Madcap Sergey Lavrov chases hooker through Manhattan streets, dressed only in his underpants”. And if there was a way to rub his nose in the dirt, you know the western media would do it. Because that’s the way it rolls.

Recently Lavrov delivered a speech to the Senior Officers of the Military Academy of the General Staff in Moscow.  Generally speaking, it reflected Russia’s growing confidence on the world stage despite western attempts to miscast it as a demonic pariah. A signature theme was Russia’s determination to hew to the rule of international law despite its declared opponents’ lip service to the concept, as the west continues to use international law as a flag of convenience.

Mr. Lavrov’s speech is reviewed here by our Aussie colleague, Jennifer Hor – who, it should escape nobody’s notice, might have made quite a Foreign Minister herself. Jen?

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s Speech to Senior Officers of the Military Academy of General Staff, Moscow (23 March 2017)

On 23 March 2017, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gave a speech to senior officers of the Military Academy of General Staff in Moscow. Lavrov chose to focus on Russia’s role in international politics – a not surprising choice, given his position as foreign minister for such a large and varied nation as Russia is. The entire speech is not long – less than 20 minutes – but it is worth examining as it summarises how Russia has come to have the role it has and how its role fits into the new global political order of the early 21st century.

First Lavrov lays out the very specific and essential values and principles that support and influence the role the Russian state plays in international politics. One factor gives Russia a very solid foundation that most other countries can only dream about: sheer physical size that gives the country a variety of physical environments and climates, abundant natural resources and a unique location straddling and uniting both Europe and Asia. This factor is a result of Russia’s expansion across Siberia and central Asia over the centuries, resulting in many different peoples and cultures residing together, suffering together and working together to build the nation. Such experience gives Russia a unique point of view and paradigm that enable it to encourage dialogue among different nations and to form partnerships among nations, civilisations and religions in which all are considered equal.

Given Russia’s history of different peoples, faiths and societies sharing the same space under one government, we should not be surprised that Lavrov emphasises public respect for the state that encompasses all these peoples and provides them with security, stability and a share in the collective wealth they create. This respect enables the state to be strong enough to pursue domestic and foreign policies beholden to no other country. In other words, respect for and trust in a strong government go hand in hand with a secure economy (financial and productive), a cohesive if not homogeneous national culture encompassing a rich history and traditions, and the state’s ability to safeguard all of these and other elements that help to provide and enforce stability. These factors together provide what might be called “soft power” that Russia can project and model to other nations.

From here, Lavrov discusses Russia’s role in international politics, in particular the country’s role as an economic and political centre to which other countries are drawn. He notes the improvement in Russia’s military capabilities and the nation’s determination to use military power in strict compliance with its own laws and with international laws to defend its own interests and to assist other nations that call on it for help. In this, Lavrov cannot help but notice that other major nations use their military to pursue agendas that violate their own laws and international laws, and that infringe on other countries’ sovereignty and overthrow their governments with the intent to occupy their lands and drain them of their resources while the true owners are displaced, forced to serve their occupiers and to live in poverty or are scattered around the planet.

Lavrov sets considerable importance by historical traditions and trends in helping to determine Russia’s role in world politics since the nation became a major European power under Tsar Peter I (1696 – 1725) after defeating Sweden in the Great Northern War in 1721. He observes that efforts on by other countries to shut out and deny Russia (or the Soviet Union) as a major power have ended badly: one might ask Napoleon I or Adolf Hitler for an opinion in this regard. Nevertheless even today Europe and the United States through the EU and NATO have sought to demonise the country and its leaders by painting Russia as a poor, developing (or deteriorating) nation or making false accusations such as invading Ukraine, forcing people in Crimea to vote for “annexation”, helping to shoot down a civilian passenger jet over Ukrainian territory or infiltrating and hacking other countries’ electronic databases for the purpose of throwing elections. In particular Russian President Vladimir Putin is portrayed as an authoritarian and corrupt despot who salts away large sums of money into offshore investment funds owned by personal associates or in expensive palaces and vineyards.

Surveying the world as it is, Lavrov sees that power is definitely shifting away from the North Atlantic region (the US and western Europe) towards the Asia-Pacific region (in particular China) and Eurasia. In addition Latin America and Africa are taking on more importance as regional power blocs in their own right. A multi-polar world that is not dominated by any one nation or power bloc is inevitable. In such a world, a nation that considers itself exceptional, not bound by the lessons of history, and believes it can force its interpretation of democracy (as a cover for its real agenda) onto others will end up bringing instability, chaos and extreme violence instead. In the long term, that nation will also become weak and become unstable. The changes that are bringing about a multi-headed international order demand that countries work together and cooperate in a spirit of mutual respect and equality, and not to compete against one another.

In this, Russia can set an example by pursuing a pragmatic and consistent foreign policy based on its experience and history as a nation of different peoples and cultures living and working together in diverse environments to achieve common goals in relationships of cooperation and mutual respect.

Lavrov’s speech is significant inasmuch as it supports speeches and interviews given by Vladimir Putin that also stress mutual respect among nations and cooperation based on common interests or desires to solve common problems. The speech also demonstrates very clearly that Russia is aware that its approach and foreign policy, even its very existence, are perceived as threats by the United States and its allies in Europe and elsewhere. Russia is aware that the Americans are following an agenda inimical to Russian interests and to global peace and security. Pressure is on Russia then to pursue its interests and to try to uphold international laws and conventions in ways that don’t ratchet up global tensions and give the US an excuse or an outlet to cause war or create the conditions for them. Surprisingly this is not difficult for Russia to do, given that what currently passes for political leadership in the West is mediocre at best.

After the speech Lavrov took questions from his audience on issues such as global media / information and Internet governance (with respect to cyber-security, combating hacking and dealing with propaganda and false media narratives), rescuing and returning Russian prisoners of war in Syria, limiting strategic arms (nuclear and conventional), the use by the United States of staged and managed chaos across North Africa and western Asia, the split between globalist politicians acting on behalf of transnational corporations and “populist” or “nationalist” politicians claiming to represent the voice of their publics, the changing nature of war to include non-violent means of waging war (through control of the Internet and media, for example), and Russia’s interests in the Balkans. The questions show the audience’s concerns and depth of knowledge about what it considers to be the key issues facing Russia in its neighbourhood. Lavrov’s replies reveal a sharp intellect at work, tremendous historical and geopolitical knowledge and a keen interest in contemporary global affairs.

The speech and the Q&A session that follows can be viewed at The Saker. An English-language transcript follows.

This entry was posted in Economy, Education, Government, Law and Order, Middle East, Military, Politics, Rule of Law, Russia, Strategy, Trade, Western Europe and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1,782 Responses to A Trial of Spiritual Resolve: Sergey Lavrov’s Speech to the Military Academy of the General Staff

    • kirill says:

      The road to war and the death of millions is paved with dead baby propaganda. Time for humans to change their idiotic values. Even thousands of dead babies are not worth millions of dead from large scale wars. Initiation of war as retaliation for some alleged atrocity must fall under war crime. Alleged good intentions are not enough. Unfortunately the Nuremberg principles are useless to cover these cases.

    • marknesop says:

      That is truly depressing. It is plain the leaders of the western powers are willfully ignoring exculpatory evidence in order to push a narrative they know, or ought to know, is false.

  1. Moscow Exile says:

    Russia is to blame for “every civilian death” in the chemical weapons attack last week in Syria, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has claimed.


    A really, really annoyed Fallon: “Russia must show the resolve necessary to bring this regime to heel.”

    See: Russia to blame for Syria deaths – Sir Michael Fallon – BBC

    • kirill says:

      Yeah, sure, whatever US regime elements claim. The same regime that excuses itself with “shit happens” when it slaughters civilians by the hundred.

  2. Hoffnungstirbtzuletzt says:

    https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2017/04/09/1373821/trump-following-netanyahu-s-footsteps-in-syria-russian-analyst

    “Along these lines, the message being delivered to President Xi is that Trump might even launch limited strikes against North Korea next, and it’s no surprise that both leaders came out of their meeting with a supposedly new strategy for responding to Pyongyang.

    The other point that Trump was conveying is that he is the “alpha male” not only over President Putin (whom he feels that he embarrassed by the strike), but also President Xi, who apparently seems to need Trump more than the reverse and therefore didn’t walk away from the dinner in spite of Trump’s aggression in Syria.

    It’s true that China needn’t get directly involved in Mideast affairs nor take on the responsibility of being Syria’s protector (a duty which it has no mandate or obligation to perform), but the optics surrounding the fact that President Xi dined with Trump after the latter ordered a military strike against the SAA are nonetheless uncomfortable and negative.”

    Tasnim: Do you believe that the US and Russia are on road to a final collision? Do you think that the US is beating the drum for World War III?

    Korybko: No, the two sides will not enter into a conventional war with one another, let alone over Syria, for the reasons which I thoroughly explained in my article for Geopolitika.Ru, “How The Neocons Are Tempting Trump On Syria”.

    I released it Thursday night before the attack took place and accurately forecast that Russia wouldn’t militarily intervene to stop Trump because its mandate only covers anti-terrorist activities, not supporting President Assad, the SAA, or Syria’s sovereignty.

    The global perception, however, is that Russia has tacitly taken on these responsibilities, though this myth was painfully shattered the moment that Russia’s state-of-the-art anti-air defense systems stood silent and weren’t ordered to fire at the Tomahawks.

    Having said that, however, the two sides are definitely engaged in a New Cold War which is being advanced through the US’ Color Revolutions, Unconventional Wars, Hybrid Wars, and Conventional Wars in third-party states, all of which are examples of strategic warfare and represent a new era of proxy conflict.

    More at the link.

    • niku says:

      “President Xi, [] apparently seems to need Trump more than the reverse and therefore didn’t walk away from the dinner in spite of Trump’s aggression in Syria. [The Optics is] uncomfortable and negative.”

      I think it is a mistake to imagine that diplomacy’s goal is to produce headlines for the newspapers. The goal is to get something you want. There should be some meaning in the act of walking away — just “showing displeasure” is meaningless. Would President Xi not cooperate with President Trump henceforth? Why not, if it suits China’s interest? Russia too has not recalled or expelled Ambassadors after many provocations, because it would be meaningless.

      Anyway, China hasn’t stood up to the US till now, and it has served it quite well. China keeps on downplaying the news reports that it is now world’s largest economy — because there is nothing to gain from this distinction, and only something to lose. (Such a distinction will bring the spotlight onto China, and people will notice bad things about it, e.g. environmental pollution. While it is an “underdog”, all is forgiven!).

      Lao Tzu:
      In order to contract a thing, one should surely expand it first.
      In order to weaken, one will surely strengthen first.
      In order to overthrow, one will surely exalt first.
      “In order to take, one will surely give first.”
      This is called subtle wisdom.

      Thanks, Jen and Mark for the article(s)! I am from India, by the way.

      • Jen says:

        Thanks Niku – yes, to walk away just to show displeasure is an almost empty gesture. Xi would need to have something in reserve to support that gesture, that at the same time is a warning to Trump. Also the context matters: Xi was dining at Trump’s resort at Mar-a-Lago while the Tomahawk airstrikes were under way, and for this guest to walk out on his host would make him look petulant and potentially embarrass him and China.

      • Hoffnungstirbtzuletzt says:

        According to Pepe Escobar Xi’s delegation left Mar-a-Lago exactly six minutes after the first missiles started hitting Syria. I haven’t found any other information about this.

      • marknesop says:

        Thank you, Niku, and welcome! Your perspective is an interesting one. It remains to be seen if China’s behavior will continue on this course, but its thinking is hard to predict using a western template and assuming it will act in its own interest seems a safe one. However, China must also be aware that Washington plans for China to either be a vassal, or an enemy who must be demonized and destroyed as it intends for Russia. The USA will not acknowledge any other world power as an equal.

    • marknesop says:

      Good catch; thanks for it!

    • niku says:

      Beijing calls for preserving Syria’s sovereignty and opposes the use of military force in the conflict, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said on 10th April.

      “China has always called against using military force in international relations and for preserving territorial sovereignty,” the diplomat said, noting that the Syrian crisis can be only resolved by political means.

      “It is up to the Syrian people to decide on Syria’s future,” the spokesperson said, stressing that China is ready to “work with all the sides for resolving the crisis as soon as possible.”
      http://tass.com/world/940435

  3. Moscow Exile says:

    You have been warned “We are taking names”.

    The Empire has spoken!

    What a plonker she is!

  4. Spain detained a Russian citizen Pyotr Levashov who was spending a holiday there and he will be extradited to the United States.

    Levashov is a programmer and the United States accuses him of creating a virus that helped Trump to win the elections.

    Many Russians have lately been detained/kidnapped and extradited to the United States while being abroad. I would advise those Russians who have even a small suspicion of being kidnapped not to travel outside of Russia.

  5. Warren says:

    Published on 8 Apr 2017
    Gerald Horne and Paul Jay discuss the cynical politics behind the attack and the decay and dysfunctionality of the American state

    • yalensis says:

      Very good clip.
      The interlocutors make the point that Trump’s true target is Iran.
      This is what Netanyahu is pushing him to: bomb bomb bomb Iran….

      Other point they make: America Deep State at war with itself.
      FBI was pro-Trump.
      The CIA is hostile to Trump.

      My thoughts:
      I think it goes without saying that the CIA could have Trump assassinated any time of their choosting. Or harm his family. Trump is most likely aware of this by now. Although Trump himself is evil, his family truly does seem like lovely people, and, in retrospect, he never should have dragged them into this.

  6. Warren says:

    Published on 8 Apr 2017
    Yet another Saturday media appearance from Mr Farron ahead of May 4th locals, keeping LibDems in the spotlight — Corbyn’s spinners could learn a thing or two…

    • Warren says:

      Published on 9 Apr 2017
      After 25 seconds of blather to the first question I think we can take it that Boris was told, and like a good ‘poodle’ he seems to have rolled over…

      Andrew Marr Show, 9th April 2017

  7. yalensis says:

    My latest post on Russian reaction to the Trump rocket strike.

    While on my blog, please check out Lyttenburgh’s “Futurology” essay, if you haven’t started reading it yet. We’re about halfway through with the installments. Well worth reading, so please take the time to catch up, if you haven’t already!

  8. kirill says:

    http://russia-insider.com/en/breaking-trumps-national-security-adviser-wants-full-scale-war-syria/ri19516

    So Uncle Scumbag couldn’t bait Russia into a war in Ukraine and will now instigate a direct confrontation in Syria. Russia needs to ratchet up the rhetoric at the UN that any non-sanctioned US deployment in Syria is the action of a rogue state that authorizes a Russian response. NATzO is trying to destroy the basis of international relations and norms. (Forget about law.) This is a clear neo-colonial agenda where some cheesy false flag can “authorize” NATzO to regime change at leisure. No investigation by independent bodies, just ad hoc response by the pack of hyenas. A wall needs to be placed for this agenda and Syria is the do or die moment.

  9. kirill says:

    http://cnews.canoe.com/CNEWS/Canada/2017/04/08/22716570.html?utm_source=addThis&utm_medium=addthis_button_twitter&utm_campaign=Montreal+man%27s+murder+charge+stayed+due+to+delay#.WOl9FTiMErg.twitter

    Canada is flushing itself down the toilet and quick. I bet the “delay” was deliberate because it breaks the PC narratives about Islam being just another religion and hushing up the excrement that is Sharia that authorizes such murders.

    • yalensis says:

      Er… do you know for sure that Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingam was a Muslim?
      Somebody who is more familiar with Indian names might be able to make a better guess as to his religion, but isn’t it possible that he is a Hindu?
      According to this piece , Thanabalasingham was a known wife-beater, probably from Sri Lanka:
      His wife, Anuja “described their union as an arranged marriage based on how her family owed money to his”.

      In conclusion:
      While it seems very likely that Thana did kill his wife (based on that backstory), it is not clear that (1) he is a Muslim; or (2) that his release was politically/religiously motivated as opposed to a police/judicial screw-up.

      There is a danger is jumping to conclusions on the “macro” scale based on individual incidents. Events that happen should be judged at the appropriate level of reality, even in the blogosphere!

      • Warren says:

        Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingam sounds like a Tamil name – they have incredibly long names. Tamils are overwhelming Hindu.

        • yalensis says:

          In which case, this is not an issue of the Canadian government caving in to Shariah law.
          Although there might be a similar principle at work here, in the sense that certain elements of Indian/Hindu culture condone wife-beating and wife-murder.
          In which case, people might say that Canada is caving in to the customs of Third World immigrants and not enforcing federal laws which are supposed to protect the weak.
          Or, it could be a case of judicial incompetence and indifference to issues such as domestic violence.
          So, not necessarily a symptom of bad immigration policy, although it could be.
          Either way, there is no reason for people to jump the shark on a localized criminal case that does not have any overt international or political tinge.

      • Jen says:

        I agree with Yalensis and Warren. This guy sounds like a Hindu and a Tamil as well. If he’s from Sri Lanka, if he’s one thing (Hindu or Tamil), he’s the other as well. The first part of his first name is a dead giveaway as well – it’s a reference to the Hindu god Shiva.

        Unfortunately there are Hindu families in the Indian subcontinent and other parts of the world that treat women who marry into them very badly and very often the reason is over money. A common reason is that brides don’t bring enough money in their dowries or the dowry money gets used up by her in-laws who then want more so they conspire to get rid of her in a “suicide” or an “accident” so the husband becomes available again for marriage. Believe it or not, the women who are most at risk of such treatment are those who marry into very upwardly mobile middle class families.
        http://www.smh.com.au/world/india-burning-brides-and-ancient-practice-is-on-the-rise-20150115-12r4j1.html

        • niku says:

          Unfortunately, wives are often treated badly in India, and wife-beating is more common than you would imagine.

          And dowry for marrying off your daughter is excessively common. (not just with the poor) Example: recently, a judge of the Supreme Court of India listed the impending marriage of her two daughters in the ‘liability’ section in the yearly ‘assets and liability’ record required of people on government payroll. That is, she implicitly confessed that even she would have to pay dowry for her daughters’ marriage, which is illegal. (She removed it and issued some lame justification for it when newspapers raised the issue.)

          • niku says:

            “Dowry for marrying off your daughter is excessively common.”
            As must be obvious, this does set up (or maintain) a definite hierarchy in the family. Afterall, woman+money = man!

            • niku says:

              Having said all that, I should also say that India is a very complex country, and every statement you hear about is must be regarded a gross simplification! You know, just pegs to hold on to something in a whirlwind.

            • marknesop says:

              I’d be interested to know, though, if domestic violence is more or less common in arranged marriages than in ‘conventional’ ones in which the partners choose each other themselves. I know a couple of Indian families here (coincidentally, both involved with the same company, one is the owner) whose marriages were arranged by their families, and the owner has been married for more than 30 years, he says happily. His description of the process was “Marriage first, and love comes after”. The other couple used to be my neighbours (I once put my car through his garden fence because I left it out of gear with the hand brake on, and as it cooled the brake relaxed just enough to let it roll), and they were to all appearances happy as well, both couples with several children.

              Admittedly, that’s not a very big data sample. But domestic violence obviously occurs in conventional marriages as well. I wonder if the cultural mores in which the Indian man is the unquestioned head of the family have more to do with it.

              An arranged marriage certainly would not work for everyone, but I can think of a few very unhappy ones which would never have happened if the couples’ families had had any say in the matter.

              • niku says:

                What you called “conventional marriage” is better called “love marriage” (or at least, something other than “conventional marriage”), because as far as I know, most of the marriages in India are still arranged by their families.

                Theoretically, “arranged marriage” are safer for the girl, as there is a support network in case things are not working out well. Both the families likely know common people, and would respond to peer pressure.

                Also, a very peculiar Indian problem with “love marriages” must be that since the husband and his family did not get any dowry, his family may imagine itself “cheated”. (They didn’t get the money they were entitled to, and would have got in every other case.) (Contrawise, “love marriages” are more common with the more educated people, and I hope such ideas do not colour their views!)

                A case you may find interesting: I know a girl who was determined to marry a young man, but her parents weren’t very supportive of the idea. (I don’t know about the boy.) So, the two ran away with the purpose of marrying themselves. The girl’s father chased her for two days, through various cities, and when caught her, invited members of both the family at once only to marry them together himself! I understood that this is to tell everyone that the girl’s family stands with her, and there are people she can go to if things do not work out well. Another interesting thing about this business is that the girl’s parents (both doctors) had themselves had a “love marriage” — and they still think it is a bad idea!

                Finally, as a rule, there is no coercion in “arranged marriages”. The prospective brides and grooms meet each other, go through various choices, and the process takes months and, not uncommonly, years.

                By the way, “child marriage” (marriage where the girl is not yet 18 yo) is very rare, as far as I know. As far as I know, it may well be considered non-existent.

          • niku says:

            One more thing.

            Please don’t go about saying that “Indians think ‘woman+money=man’; an Indian told me so!” That is my own idea; I have never heard anyone say so. One of the reason Indians would give for demanding dowry is that there is a great social (peer) pressure to do so, because “everyone does it”. Another is that they have to marry off their own daughters too, and they have to arrange money for that. It is a fucked-up situation. And also, if you point out how wrong the situation is, people would probably brush it off saying that the money, or goods, are only going to your daughter’s family, and it is your daughter who is going to use them.

            And in case anyone is interested in my opinions about it, and I haven’t heard anyone say this too, part of the blame lies with the prospective brides too. Do they have no self-respect? Why do they agree for their parents for what is in effect paying someone “to bear the burden of maintaining their daughter”? Why do they not say that they would rather remain unmarried than be “transferred with payment” to someone else?

            Anyway, the custom may be now weakening. I have heard of many marriages without dowry.

            • yalensis says:

              Just going back to the original point that this incident happened in Canada:
              Canada can’t do anything about what goes on in Sri Lanka or India, but they could pass a federal law forbidding these practices (dowry, arranged marriages) in Canada.
              Granted, it would be hard to enforce, but might give people some extra protections; for example, Anuja could have filed a complaint against her husband’s family, and maybe been able to escape from the marriage in that manner, by getting it annulled.

              • niku says:

                “pass a federal law forbidding these practices (dowry, arranged marriages)”

                arranged marriages: You mean that coercion in marriage should be banned, but that is already banned everywhere.

                If anyone is interested, a couple of more points about dowry that I thought up:
                (i) The bride should not be seen as the victim in this, she is the short-term beneficiary! (She gets all the stuff for free.) The parents are the victims. The women are the long-term victims.
                (ii) A legal justification for dowry could be that, traditionally, after the death of both parents, all the property goes to the sons. (Daughters get it only if there are no sons.) So, could dowry be seen as some traditional form of attempted justice in this regard?
                (iii) I assume that in the vast majority of cases, as soon as the groom and bride gets married, the “dowry file” is closed. The cases of harassment after marriage must be rare.

              • Jen says:

                Canada could forbid individual money payments over a certain amount (say, $1,000) because in some cultures it’s usual for people other than immediate relatives to offer money gifts to the bridal couple, and also forbid child marriages (involving one under-age child or both under-age marriage partners) rather than arranged marriages. Marriages involving large money or property transactions probably should come under scrutiny as well but this would mean someone having to track these transactions, noting their dates and linking them to a marriage.

    • marknesop says:

      What a disgrace, not to mention a precedent which will be covetously eyed by future defense lawyers.

  10. kirill says:

    $43,000 for Islamist migrants/refugees. Wow. I knew they were generous before, but this is fucking ludicrous. No other immigrants get such money. It is NOT standard Canadian government support for immigrants. There is not enough money on the planet to fix global problems so all of this “generosity” is propaganda designed to convince people in the 3rd world and other developing regions that Canada is some sort of utopia. It is nothing of the sort.

  11. Cortes says:

    In contrast to the inane Sir Michael Fallon, David Habakkuk at the Turcopolier site provides a lengthy, detailed account of the behaviour of grownup people dealing with the mad neocon kids and their jihadi besties who conjured up the Ghouta incident:

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/04/sentence-first-verdict-afterwards.html#more

    Well worth taking the time to read, I think.

    • marknesop says:

      In fact, western authorities are well aware that Assad was not to blame for the Ghouta massacre, and know as well – or should – that there is every chance the sarin gas used was supplied by Turkey.

      When Erdogan consolidated his power following the failed coup attempt to oust him, one of the first things his administration did was shut down Today’s Zaman newspaper, and replace it with a Turkish-language alternate which parroted the Erdogan line. Our erstwhile former-intelligence-professional colleague Ronald Thomas West did an excellent story on the article which appeared in the doomed paper before its demise, reporting that the Turkish government shut off an investigation which would prove Turkey was involved at the state level and that the sarin was provided by a group of Turkish businessmen with the collusion of Turkey’s intelligence services. The story was widely unreported elsewhere, but I am still on RTW’s mailing list.

      NATO would be wise to remember the strangling of opposing voices like this when it is whooping and strutting and screaming about Putin crushing opposition news media and the horrible climate of censorship which prevails in Russia, because Saakashvili did just the same thing with the Georgia Media Center.

      • et Al says:

        What’s the cost to the West of being proved wrong over the latest ‘chemical attack’?

        Absolutely nothing.

        They will simply say that they acted on the information on the time and it was a reasonable action to take, and that it was unfortunate that it turned out to be more complicated. The US is not going to be dragged in front of the ICJ because it is not a member and is certainly not going to pay any reparations. USS Vincennes v. Iran Air 310 anyone? They simply don’t care, whether it is Trump or some other President. Facts are Scrotums (to modify a former claim used by the Guardian’s old ‘Comment is Free’ opinion section).

        So why? Because they can? Like a bear in woods? Or is it to show that it is still some sort of player and save face from the fact that Assad, with the backing of Russia, Hezbollah & I-ran have been very effective in fighting IS/ISIS/ISIL/DAESH/Whatever whereas the West had simply ignored it for years?

        As for Erdogan, I expect another change of wind once he becomes Prez for Life.

  12. Moscow Exile says:

    Syria crisis: Russia raises prospect of war if it is given G7 ultimatum as it mocks Boris Johnson’s no-show

    Russia has raised the prospect of war with the West as it mocked Boris Johnson for cancelling a trip to Moscow in the wake of the Syrian nerve gas attack.

    The Russian Embassy in London posted a series of provocative tweets on its official account in which it suggested that “a conventional war” could be one outcome if the G7 group of nations presents it with an ultimatum later this week.


    Oh tut tut! How dreadful of those Russians are to pen such scurrilous messages in the social media… Such uncultured louts!

    Note how the Telegraph accuses Russia of sabre rattling.

  13. Lyttenburgh says:

    AKarlin cannot into math.

    10% Russians Ready to Vote for Navalny

    Remember this headline – it’s important. It’s the proverbial Chekhov’s rifle hanging on the wall.

    So, Anatoly Karlin decided to use as the foundation for his INCREDIBLE and thought-provoking “research” data derived from the Levada poll center – a recognized biased foreign agent operating on the territory of Russia Federation. Levada’s consistency and honesty is such, that last year in December they made lots and lots of Russophobes happy with their “surprise” finding, when on Dec 13 they claimed that 29% of Russians changed their attitude to Putin to the negative (cue the Bacchanical rage of handshakability in the NewMedia). Later, they apologized for the mistake of “creative interpretation of the data”. Turns out that, in fact, 29% of Russians changed their opinion towards Putin to positive, while 14% changed their opinion to the negative, which, still, means a net positive dynamic. Mistake? For a go-to reference worshipped by the chattering masses of the so-called intellectual this is not a “mistake” – this is зашквар.

    And these knights of handshakability are Karlin’s go to source. Why I’m not surprised?

    In his blogpost AKarlin introduces the following theses derived from the data produced by the Levada CENTer:

    A) “Awareness of Navalny has been increasing through the period fo the 2011-12 protests and peaking at around the time of the 2013 Moscow elections. It waned a bit during 2014-16, but in the past month, he has fully regained all the lost ground.” (c)

    Instead of saying out loud the number, the per-cent of Russians who are “Navalny-aware”, he posts some hand-made graph (based, in theory, on some of Levada derived data). The answer is (once again – according to the living-not-by-a-lie pollster of Levada Center) 55% of Russians ever heard about Navalny. This number is also important – let’s hang this “Chekhov’s pistol” on the wall as well

    B) Moreover, the share of Russians who had both heard of Navalny, and who said they were “certainly” or “possibly” going to vote for Navalny, doubled from a stable 5% during the period from from 2012 to February 2017, to 10% in March 2017, after the release of his video on Medvedev. (c)

    […]

    And now – shoot the guns!

    If we are to believe with all our heart in EVERYTHING written by AKarlin, get ready for a cognitive dissonance.

    The claim of “10% Russians Ready to Vote for Navalny” could not be possibly TRUE if (so we are told by Levada) this is just the number of people who know about Navalny and are willing to vote for him! Is the number of Navalny-aware Russians equal to 100%? No, it’s 55%.

    But let’s not subscribe to the malice what could be easily explained by stupidity or deficiency in, say, mathematic sphere. Here, Tolya, if you have some lacunas in your supposedly complete basic education (received at home even before your emigration) – Google is your friend. You are welcome.

    Hey, stooges! Let’s help Tolik to find the correct answer! Well – are you done yet? Oi! Who said “I’ll be buggered, if I have to do the math here on-line!”?!

    The answer is… [drum roll] 5.5%! Woo-hoo! Navalny – is future president, fuck yeahhh!..

    ____________________________________________________

    Only this is horseshit. Lot’s of Karlin’s article number juggling is just this kind of horseshit, aimed at the people who don’t know Russian and/or won’t click on the linked source. Levada, no matter who they are and whose shilling they take don’t claim that. There is no ignorance at play, because Levadists themselves ran this kind of number crunching. Attention to the table №3. This table shows the willingness of the people who know about Alexey Navalny to vote for him in the presidential elections (for which his crooked self is not qualified anyway). Only 4% say that, yes, absolutely, will they vote for Navalny, while 14% claim that “maybe” they will vote for him. I.e. 2.2% and 7.7% respectively.

    Once again, pardon me re-quoting Karlin:

    “Moreover, the share of Russians who had both heard of Navalny, and who said they were “certainly” or “possibly” going to vote for Navalny, doubled from a stable 5% during the period from from 2012 to February 2017, to 10% in March 2017, after the release of his video on Medvedev.”

    So in truth he says a lie. This hodge-podge 10% figure is not of those who know and will, but from the total number.

    10% is a fine looking even number used here to bludgeon people who dare to read the headline into accepting the narrative outright. The ugly truth that the author here conflates “absolutely yes” with “meh, maybe” (numbers that never were equal) and passes them as the Truth! Ager all, if he ought to be truthful, he should have had as his headline “2.2% of Russians Ready to Vote For Navalny, and 7.7% Say “Maybe”” (Claims Butthurt Foreign Agent Status Labled Pro-Liberast Polling Center)

    Also, shy and conscientious NEET Karlin fails to mention results from the table №2 of this Levada’s piece, where the people are asked “In which interests acts Alexey Navalny by publishing his investigations?”. 31% answered that “He is conducting an electoral campaign” and 28% said “He is acting in the West’s interests”. Only 12% answered that “He is acting in the interest of Russia”.

    Going back to the topic of malice vs stupidity – nevertheless, I’m not going to run with the “stupidity” theory. Its not the first instance of Karlin extrapolation numbers arbitrary to suit his agenda. And his is incredibly frank about it:

    “Nonetheless, the kremlinites have no good reason to be particularly complacent either. For instance, a 5% voting intention in March 2013 still translated into a 27% share of the vote in the Moscow mayoral elections against United Russia functionary Sergey Sobyanin, who has the reputation of a competent and reasonably clean bureaucrat (by Russian standards). Now one certainly shouldn’t generalize to Russia, because Moscow is by far Russia’s most “liberal” region; for every Muscovite hipster, there are ten Uralvagonzavod vatniks. Nonetheless, the discrepancy does imply that a lot of the undecideds and those who haven’t heard of Navalny are partial to his message.”

    Why is Karlin so partial to Navalny and his disruptive potential in Russia’s future? It’s easy, and also explained by AKarlin himself. For him – “the worse is the better” for him and the cause (I can’t say “forces”, because that would be untrue) he is spreading propaganda for. Again, his saving grace is that people don’t know Russian and/or don’t read his personal Russian language blog. Where he wrote:

    “Тем временем, не могу сказать, что я уж очень резко против навальнистов.
    Скорее всего, ничего у них все равно не выйдет. А если власть почувствует реальную угрозу, то вполне реалистично, что прибежит за помощь к черносотенцам.
    И мы начнем кремлинам диктовать свои порядки.”

    Translation:
    “In the meantime, I can not say that I am very much againstthe Navalnists.
    Most likely, nothing will come out of their efforts. But if the authorities would feel a real threat, then it is quite realistic that they will come running for help to the Black Hundreds [Chernosotentsi].
    And we will start the with dictating our orders to the kremlins

    In my opinion a few things are lacking in this honest and brave coming-out. First – furious mustache-twirling. Next – maniacal laughter of the cliché-prone Villain. Finally – a visit to the shrink for a person, who honestly believes in this ridiculously over-the-top- megalomaniacal staff.

    For his erotic fantasy to come true, several things must happened first:

    1) The so-called “Neo-Chernosotentsi” of Prosvirnin, Galperin and Karlin vein must start to resemble a real force and not your typical “два жида в три ряда” march.

    2) The government of Russia must be so weakened and out of options, that instead of using its not inconsiderable security apparatus to deal with all kinds of violent and dangerous malcontents, it would rather surrender its own sole monopoly on the violence and pass a portion of it to… whom exactly? These clowns?!

    Tolya, писечка – you are сказчный долбоёб if you think that Russian state will run in the face of danger let alone to the likes of you. More likely, you, the likes of you and Navalny (against whom you are not very much) will find a lot in common… while improving the logging industry in the sunny Magadan!

    P.S. I dedicate this “Russian-blues” song to Anatoly Karlin, who once was up-and-coming promising blogger, and who, by now, have successfully “fucked up all polymers” (c)

    • Ilya says:

      Carthago est delenda, lisez Karlin.

    • yalensis says:

      Yeh, well, Karlin’s evolution is almost complete.
      Now that he has evolved into Black Hundreds type guy, then the Navanlyites would be his natural allies in the ALT-Right Coalition.
      They can all goosestep together while chanting slogans against “migrants” and Jews.

      I still demand to see Karlin IQ score. He claimed in one of his posts that it was 140, but then conceded that was just a guesstimate, and that he didn’t have the paperwork to prove it.

      I personally don’t think IQ scores are all that important to judging a person. (Well, unless the person is super-dumb.) But since the ALT-righties make such a big deal about IQ scores and use them to judge other races as inferior, then I believe they should be required to disclose their own. In the interests of transparency.

      • akarlin says:

        I am almost certain there is no such post, though perhaps I said something along those lines in a comment in response to a question somewhere, sometime.

        Still, since you are clearly so desperate for my biographical details, I will humor you this one time – hope it helps you write better fan fic about me, since your efforts to date have been rather disappointing.

        • yalensis says:

          No, Karlin, you definitely did a post way back when, discussing IQ’s and estimating your own, based on several factors.
          The only reason I remember this stuff is because I am cursed with an almost photographic memory, but only for verbal stuff, like conversations, and especially things that people write; and also doubly so for polemics. I don’t remember times or dates, it all gets fuzzy in that regard, but I do remember the shit that people say and write.

          Remember, I was right and you were wrong last time we debated one of these incidents. Fortunately, Mark came to the rescue when he dredged up that “Rodion” threat and proved that you suffered from some form of advanced amnesia.
          In this case, with the IQ thread, I probably can’t prove my point, because the discussion was all on your old blog, not on Mark’s, and you’ve probably deleted all those old posts by now, I imagine. If not, then search for the string “estimating IQ”, or something like that. I remember that you included several factors, for example, learning other languages, etc.

          Is that Mensa membership card for real? How come no ID#?

          • et Al says:

            Meanwhile, here’s a blast from the past where Anatoly interviewed Mark as one of a series of interviews with other Russia related bloggers:

            http://akarlin.com/2011/06/interview-kremlin-stooge/

          • akarlin says:

            I am very interested in spilling all my personal information to an embittered antifa ideologue. (Not really).

            Quite possibly also an obsessive stalker.

            You see, here’s the thing. I never made a blog post about my IQ, but now that I’ve thought about it, I do now recall making a brief Facebook comment about this in response to an explicit request.

            “Have you ever had your own IQ tested?”/”why not just tell us now”

            If you insist. Very likely higher than 130, probably a bit below 145. (Usual 100 Greenwich mean, 15 SD). So around 135-140? This is based primarily on an official Mensa test I took while still in high school (nearly maxed out the verbal/logical reasoning component), and SAT (790 math, 720 reading). It is also strongly biased towards the verbal component. My visuo-spatial ability is near average.

            Guess you really should have tried to remember dates and context in this particular case! I mean, this is pretty lame, reminding people I’m a Nazi or whatnot every other month on this blog, while continuing to follow my postings on Facebook (at least as of October 7, 2015). Very sad!

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              How does your allegedly “high” IQ score explain your fuck ups then? How does it explain that you cannot into the math? Or, as I suggest, you can into math – but you fudge the numbers to fit your narrative?

              • akarlin says:

                How does your allegedly “high” IQ score explain your fuck ups then?

                Which ones? Preferably examples not sourced from yalensis’ fan fiction about me.

                How does it explain that you cannot into the math?

                The complaint in your essay about my post essentially boils down to me using a clickbait title.

                I am not a Navalny supporter, as I have repeated countless times, but I am not going to “misunderestimate” him. (Feel free to ask our host Mark Chapman how that worked out for him in 2013).

                • marknesop says:

                  Yes, that’s true enough. He never got close to winning mayor of Moscow, but thanks mostly to Sobyanin believing he had it in the bag and running a campaign which was as close to sleepwalking as anyone has ever seen, he did indeed get almost exactly the percentage of the vote you forecast. I was flabbergasted. He ran a I’m-the-little-guy campaign with saturation coverage (considering his resources), speaking everywhere, several times a day, door-knocking and so forth. If he were in any way genuine, he’d deserve support. But he’s not; he’s just a spoiler – he bitches all the time about what’s wrong with Putin and the current government, but rarely proposes any solutions. And when he does they are usually off the wall and demonstrably unappealing. I think his support is probably dwindling rather than growing; more people have heard of him, but more dislike him. Putin would have to fuck up pretty badly for Russians to say “Let’s elect that Navalny fellow – he seems sincere”, and he mostly only enters the races so he can be rejected and complain that the system is all rigged because he didn’t win.

            • yalensis says:

              Yeah, that’s the one!

              • yalensis says:

                P.S. – “fan fiction” – yeh! That gave me a great idea.
                I will start a new “comment series” involving Anatoly Karlin fan fiction.
                Here is Part I:

                “Mr. Karlin looked at himself in the mirror and straightened his necktie, while pushing an errant strand of hair back in its place. It was not vanity, he told himself, which made him take such fastidious care of his looks. No, it was his deep attraction for Elizabeth Bennet, her opinion meant everything to him. He reminded himself that he needed to talk to Mr. Bingley tomorrow. Bingley had always been a good friend to him, but Mr. Karlin suspected that a crisis was imminent. Bingley was clearly in love with Miss Jane Bennet, but both matches were clearly unsuitable to both of their stations in life.
                Was it really possible, Mr. Karlin thought to himself wistfully, that the lovely and vivacious Elizabeth could someday become his bride? No! He must dash those illusions at once. His position as the future master of Pemberley Estate, his standing in the countryside, the disapproval of his dragon-like aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh — all of these things made the union impossible. And yet, his Heart spoke to him like never before….”

                [to be continued]

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “Which ones? Preferably examples not sourced from yalensis’ fan fiction about me.”

          Cheap lamerish shot. I’m not quoting yalensis anywhere. I’m quoting you. Try again.

          As for you fuck ups – the current one you explain on being an attention whore. A-okey. In past issues we have your infamous claim to extrapolate the voting pattern at MSU polling station on the entirety of “future Russian elite” and your admitting to be a damn fucking fool before the whole world.

          But I have to ask – which is which? You claim to be an incredibly smart fella (so smart, apparently, that the brain could not fit into your head anymore – thus explaining your general complexion):


          ^Late Autumn 2016


          ^Early Spring 2017

          (is this a brain all around or just a second chin?)

          If you can’t possibly be wrong due to you being smart then you are a bullshit master going out of your way to make a spin of the data to fit your ideological narrative.

          “I am not a Navalny supporter, as I have repeated countless times, but I am not going to “misunderestimate” him.”

          No, the question here is your longing for Navalny to become something more than he is, ’cause you want an impossible – for the “kremlins” to grant your non-existent “Neo Chernosotentsi” bands a free reign on the streets.

          Btw – are you a citizen of Russia? Or only of the US? Have you thought about how you will be running away from Russia, persecuted “unjustly” for your activity – do you even have a place to run away in the first place?

          • akarlin says:

            To address the only thing you said here of any relevance – those are not fuck ups by any stretch of the imagination.

            Otherwise it is your usual projection and dissimulation. You are very boring and predictable.

          • yalensis says:

            More Karlin fan fiction by Yours Truly, yalensis:

            As he turned to kiss his wife goodnight, Mr. Karlchester paused at the door to the attic. “Bertha,” he murmured, “sleep well tonight, I implore you. No more somnabulistic wanderings…. No more setting little fires on the balcony.”
            “Don’t y’all worry now, I’ll be a good girl,” Bertha Mason drawled, in her Creole octaroon accent.
            With dire misgivings in his heart, Mr. Karlchester proceeded downstairs, only to be startled by a white visage, ghostly in the moonlight which poured in the open window. “Jane!” he gasped, recognizing his foster daughter’s governess, with whom he was secretly, and passionately, in love. “What are you doing up at this hour?” His heart yearned for this little slip of a girl who, he feared, never would love him because of his grotesque physical appearance.

            “I… I thought I heard something,” she quavered. “Is there someone upstairs? In the attic?”
            “No, nobody,” he lied.
            “Mr. Karlchester, there is something I need to tell you. I am leaving tomorrow. I have decided to marry my cousin, St.John Rivers. We intend to go as missionaries to Africa, to convert the heathens.”
            “Convert the bloody heathens!” Karlchester ejaculated irascibly. “But what’s the point? Those natives have low IQ’s, they are unteachable! They are almost as unintelligent as octaroon Creoles. If not quite as mentally unstable.”

            “Nonetheless,” Jane affirmed, her chin raised in that slightly defiant manner that always charmed him so, “it is something that God wills, and that I must do.”
            “Why, you would marry St.John and turn me into a cuck?!” he exploded, hammering his fist against the wall.
            At that moment, a plume of fire blazed up from the staircase above their heads….

            [to be continued]

            • marknesop says:

              Fascinating. I cheered out loud when Karlchester ejaculated, as I did not fancy his chances with Jane, either. At least he’ll always have that moment of pleasure.

      • Ilya says:

        First and only page of the Yalensis playbook:

  14. Drutten says:

    Nothing new here, but a well written essay nonetheless:

    Patrick Cockburn: Who supplies the news?
    London Review of Books, vol 39, no. 3.
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n03/patrick-cockburn/who-supplies-the-news

  15. et Al says:

    RT.com: Death of Yury Gagarin demystified 40 years on
    https://www.rt.com/news/gagarin-death-truth-revealed-674/

    Published time: 14 Jun, 2013 04:42

    …According to a declassified report, there is a human factor behind the tragic incident – an unauthorized SU-15 fighter jet was flying dangerously close to Gagarin’s aircraft.

    Leonov had been in charge of parachute jump training on that day. The weather was extremely bad, with rain, wind and snow making it impossible to carry out exercises. He waited for an official confirmation that the exercises would be cancelled, but then heard a super-sonic noise followed by an explosion only a second apart from each other. That is when he knew something was up.

    “We knew that a Su-15 was scheduled to be tested that day, but it was supposed to be flying at the altitude of 10,000 meters or higher, not 450-500 meters. It was a violation of the flight procedure.”

    Leonov that day talked to witnesses that pointed at the model of a Su-15 saying that it appeared out of the clouds with its tail smoking and burning.

    “While afterburning the aircraft reduced its echelon at a distance of 10-15 meters in the clouds, passing close to Gagarin, turning his plane and thus sending it into a tailspin – a deep spiral, to be precise – at a speed of 750 kilometers per hour,” Leonov tells. …
    ####

    I’m surprised I missed it

  16. Chinese American says:

    A new report by Mike Cernovich:
    View at Medium.com

    I don’t know if one should believe this 100%, and in the comments, there are people who quote opposing reports but Cernovich does have sources. Basically, Trump’s new national security adviser McMaster is the one pushing for war, and wants 150,000 US ground troops in Syria. Currently, there is still some resistance in the Trump administration against this.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Oh, nothing to worry about then – he’s shown such fortitude in the face of pressure so far.

      There is no way this ends in any way but WWIII – these fellows either think they’re invincible or they’d truly rather see Syria and Russia destroyed than see their grandchildren grow up.

      Either way, the Russian government’s options are decreasing to a singular course.

    • et Al says:

      Like Whatever! Trump likes to have people with strongly conflicting views around him, which I suspect is to make it easier to divide & rule but also maintain an element of uncertainty (like Hitler!) abroad. It plays well to the Pork Pie News Networks but we keep coming back to the fundamental issue that large numbers of Americans voted for Trump on America first, not more war – which would require a coalition and all those complications.

      Does anyone see European militaries putting significant boots on ground? No. So far only Special Foreskins. Would the US seek to emulate the succes of Russia by using local forces? Saudi & Qatari troops? Even Jordanian troops? They’re beof tartar people put in their sandwiches before they get eaten. All the known unknowns say that that the potential blowback(s) from another such a mission could be considerable, and yet again it would be Europe who would pay the price.

  17. Warren says:

  18. Chinese American says:

    Another good link, detailed analysis of the videos “Dr. Shajul Islam” (a documented terrorist) that supposedly document the chemical weapons attack at Khan Sheikhoun:
    http://logophere.com/Topics2017/17-04/17_015-BLA-ShajulIslam.htm
    (Also older detailed articles on the 2013 Ghouta attack at the site.)

    The Western MSM is trying to slip the idea of sarin into the public consciousness, counting on the idea that the uninformed public would mentally conflate “sarin” and “chemical weapons”. For instance the BBC talking head going on about how the Russian/Syrian story was that an airstrike hit a rebel “sarin” warehouse, which I am fairly sure was not what Russia and Syria said.

  19. Warren says:

    Published on 5 Apr 2017
    When you serve imperialism you get burned by imperialism.
    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/
    https://www.rt.com/news/371250-aleppo

  20. Warren says:

    Published on 10 Apr 2017
    Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit enters the secretive world of the surveillance industry. Spy Merchants reveals for the first time how highly-invasive spyware, which can capture the electronic communications of a town, can be purchased in a ‘grey market’ where regulations are ignored or bypassed. Mass surveillance equipment can then be sold onto authoritarian governments, criminals or even terrorists.

    During a four-month undercover operation, an industry insider working for Al Jazeera filmed the negotiation of several illegal, multi-million dollar deals that breach international sanctions. The proposed deals include the supply of highly restricted surveillance equipment to Iran. The undercover operative also secured an extraordinary agreement to purchase powerful spyware with a company who said they didn’t care who was the end-user.

  21. Warren says:

    Ukraine’s central bank chief resigns

    The governor of Ukraine’s central bank, Valeriya Gontareva, has resigned the post after three years, following intense pressure from tycoons whose banks she shut down for conducting illegal transactions and loans.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39551699

  22. et Al says:

    Euractiv with Neuters: Denmark seeks to change law on pipelines amid Nord Stream 2 divisions
    http://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/denmark-seeks-to-change-law-on-pipelines-amid-nord-stream-2-divisions/

    Denmark’s government is proposing amending legislation to allow it to ban pipeline projects on the grounds of foreign and security policy, due to concerns raised by Russian efforts to build a disputed gas pipeline through Danish waters.

    …“We want to have the possibility to say yes or no from a perspective of security and foreign policy,” the minister of energy and climate, Lars Christian Lilleholt, told Reuters, adding that it was currently only possible to veto such projects on the grounds of environmental concerns….

    …Denmark and Sweden earlier this year requested that the European Commission intervene in Nord Stream 2 before the two states agree on permits for the pipeline to pass through their waters. EU diplomats said there was little scope for either nation to block the plan.

    The current regulatory framework does not allow Denmark to say “no” to the construction of transit pipelines in territorial waters on the basis of foreign policy considerations, the ministry said in a statement….

    …EU sources have said the Commission, sensing that there may ultimately be no legal basis to block approval of Nord Stream 2, is delaying it as long as possible….

    …Denmark’s right-wing minority government would now negotiate with other parties to win support for the proposal.
    ####

    ‘…sensing that there may ultimately be no legal basis to block approval..’ – Well that’s quite a polishing of the EU turd when we know that the EU has no legal way to block the pipeline, sic the opinion of the EU’s own Legal Service. How delicate the EU stuffed suits are that they cannot just admit it outright. Oh, but that would be a propaganda victory for Russia. They should be grateful because if they had blocked it, it would have been a very clear message that the EU’s Rule of Law which it proudly pronounces around the world is barely a fig leaf that is dropped as the slightest political pressure. It’s a joke already, but with a project as big as . as it has done with much political decisions

    • marknesop says:

      While they’re creating magic out of whole cloth, why not a law that anyone who discovers significant gas deposits anywhere must immediately hand them over to the EU for their exclusive use and disbursement? Or a law that orders massive new gas deposits be discovered in Denmark?

      • et Al says:

        I suspect that the government is having a slow news day and as there is absolutely no consequence to Russophobia as it is essentially a free gift that keeps on giving when and wherever is needed, i.e. to distract from domestic politics.

        The Whole G7 ‘How can we f/k up Russia further’ conveniently segues with the improvement of Russia’s economy and the continued failure of G7 sanctions against Russia. I’m not really sure what else they can do without shooting themselves in the foot.

        There’s already been some whinging that the West’s actions have only further driven it in to China’s arms, so WTF? I guess they have to come up with something that looks tough, but isn’t. After all, they will need to put out a key statement signed by them all. IN short, ‘This spade is far too small. Let’s go and get another one!’.

  23. Drutten says:

    A week ago or so, somebody posted a link to some schadenfreude-laden MSM article saying that the Crimean bridge was lagging behind schedule. I was a bit puzzled by this.

    In fact, the bridge is well ahead of schedule as can be verified by photographic material from the construction site. Some 75% of the concrete supports/pillars for the automotive bridge have already been completed, and more than a third of its total length already has bridge elements in place, with actual roadworks ongoing. This is as a matter of fact several months ahead of schedule.

    The two very large main span pylons are on the other hand right on schedule and had the piling works completed just the other day. They’re subsequently in the process of actually being poured at present. The main span itself is being assembled on shore at the moment, and looks like this now:

    If they keep this up, they’ll be finished by July/August 2018, almost half a year ahead of schedule. The railway part of the bridge will take longer and won’t be operational until Q2 2019, as was originally planned, so that’s not a delay.

  24. et Al says:

    Asia Times: The West bashes Russia while China is busy bridging the gap to Europe
    http://www.atimes.com/west-bashes-russia-china-builds-rail-roads/

    By Jan Krikke

    Russia-bashing has become the staple of the Western mainstream media in recent months. Some headlines suggest a level of paranoia not seen since the Cold War: “Russia is the world’s biggest threat to democracy.” “Our freedom under assault.” “Nato must strengthen its defenses.” It is unlikely that Russian tanks will be rolling into Western Europe any time soon. Instead, a steady stream of Chinese freight trains is rolling in from the Far East. They make a 12,000-kilometer journey across the Eurasian Land Bridge to Germany, where they unload Chinese flat-screen TVs, notebooks, and tablets. European consumers will use them to watch the news with its daily dose of Russia-bashing.

    As the sun rises in the United States, a new day of Russia-demonizing begins. There are new revelations about Russian super hackers, spying Russian diplomats and “bad actors with connections to Putin.” The ostensibly liberal media and formerly dovish Democratic senators have suddenly turned into hawks while repeating a now-familiar mantra: Putin stole the US presidential election from Hillary Clinton. The Democrats had a billion-dollar war chest and overwhelming support from the media, yet a handful of Russian hackers and Internet trolls were able to steal the election. A look at recent history suggests the anti-Russia hysteria is part of a failing attempt to isolate Russia and derail the Eurasian Land Bridge….

  25. et Al says:

    Neuters: Ukraine president’s grip weakens as central bank chief quits
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ukraine-crisis-politics-analysis-idUKKBN17C0RU

    If Ukraine’s central bank chief needed any more incentive to quit, last week she woke up to find the image of a pig draped in a Russian flag spray-painted onto the wall of her house and a gaggle of young protesters calling her a Russian stooge.

    After a sustained hate campaign that also included a coffin laid at her door, Valeria Gontareva finally quit on Monday.

    Her departure, with no obvious candidate for a successor, leaves President Petro Poroshenko with one fewer ally in power at a time when lenders keeping Ukraine afloat already question his ability to follow through on promised reforms….

  26. Warren says:

    Published on 10 Apr 2017
    Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny released from jail.

    Alexei Navalny has been released from jail after being locked up for 15 days.

    The Russian opposition leader was arrested last month at a demonstration he organised without permission from the authorities.

    It was the biggest anti-government rally in the capital, Moscow, for years.

    There were no cameras to meet Navalny when he walked out of jail.

    Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands reports from Moscow.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      So the Evil One vindictively paid no heed to the EU parliament demand that leading oppositionist and fierce Putin critic Navalny be immediately released from prison?

      How evil can one get?

      • Cortes says:

        Well, after looking at the video I think King Herod got a bad press. The obnoxious kids in Willy Wonka ain’t in it.

  27. Northern Star says:

    warmonger…Check

    psycho….Check

    moron…CHECK:
    http://www.duffelblog.com/2014/12/hr-mcmaster-injured-army/

  28. Northern Star says:

    Throughout history words of war have often been antecedent to eventual actual combat.
    The words written in Mein Kampf or the rantings of the Nazi maniac’s speeches led straight to to WW2. (see link infra)
    Some of you stooges have tried to downplay the significance of the current crisis following the alleged gas attack and the following cruise missile retaliation. You seem to think that the rhetoric spewing from the rotten Sikh whore or that bonehead war criminal McMaster isn’t necessarily probative of how close we are to the edge of a nuclear holocaust abyss. You are surprisingly foolish and naive in tha assumption.

    “The airstrikes in Syria and the war drive of American imperialism
    10 April 2017
    In the aftermath of last week’s cruise missile attack on Syria, the relentless logic of military escalation is driving decisions in Washington. The US political establishment and media are demanding that the action be followed up by a “comprehensive strategy” to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and escalate the confrontation with Russia.
    The Trump administration’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, declared on Sunday that “regime change [in Syria] is something that we think is going to happen.” As for Russia and Iran, she said, “We’re calling them out. But I don’t think anything is off the table at this point… You’re going to continue to see the United States act when it needs to act.”
    Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called on Sunday for the deployment of “five to six thousand” US troops to Syria and for economic sanctions against Russia. Assad, he said, is making a “serious mistake because if you are an adversary of the United States and you don’t worry about what Trump may do on any given day, then you’re crazy.”
    The chorus of calls for action against the Russian government came from both Democrats and Republicans. “They’re accomplices,” Republican Senator Marco Rubio said. “Vladimir Putin is a war criminal who is assisting another war criminal.” His colleague, Democrat Ben Cardin, declared the UN Security Council should set up a tribunal to indict both Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes.

    *****Such rhetoric is the language of war. The denunciation of one or another foreign leader as a war criminal is the standard prelude to military action.*** ”
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/04/10/pers-a10.html

    The fascists and psychopaths in DC,Brussels and London are livid and panic stricken with rage and frustration that the other whore wasn’t elected and their schemes to implement global hegemony have been thwarted by Russia.

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/04/07/pers-a07.html
    “The claim that this attack is a response to the Syrian government’s use of poison gas is a transparent lie. Once again, as in the air war against Serbia in 1999, the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, and the attack on Libya in 2011, the United States has concocted a pretext to justify the violation of another country’s sovereignty.
    The bombing of Syria is a unilateral abrogation by the US of the agreement negotiated with Russia in 2013, which resulted in the calling off of a long-planned direct military intervention by the US in the on-going civil war.
    As the International Committee of the Fourth International warned in September 2013, “The postponement of war does not lessen the likelihood, indeed, the inevitability, of the outbreak of a major war. As the bellicose statements emanating from Washington make clear, the ‘military option’ remains on the table. Nor is Syria the only target for military attack. US operations against Syria would set the stage for a clash with Iran. And, still further, the logic of US imperialism’s drive for global dominance leads to a confrontation with Russia and China. Nor can it be excluded that the conflict of interests among the major imperialist powers—for example, the United States and Germany—might under certain conditions metastasize into armed conflict.” [1]
    This warning has been substantiated.
    Moreover, the attacks signify at least a partial resolution of the bitter conflict over foreign policy that has been raging within the highest echelons of the American state since last November’s presidential election. With the support of the most powerful factions of the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency, the Democratic Party’s demand for war against Syria and intensified confrontation with Russia has prevailed. The Trump White House has been compelled to execute an astonishing about-face from the policy that it had publicly announced only days earlier”

    We are headed to a nuclearr September 3 ,1939..sure as fuck……and some stooges ..however brilliant…..don’t seem to get that through your heads..

  29. Moscow Exile says:

    Well wadya know!

    NYT wins Pullitzer Prize for reporting on ” attempts by the Russian government to assert its power”.

    See 2017 Pulitzer Prize Winners

    In “Russia’s Dark Arts,” a team of New York Times journalists across two continents chronicled the covert and sometimes deadly actions taken by President Vladimir V. Putin’s government to grow Russian influence abroad. The series, which began last spring, explored the rise of online “troll armies,” the strategic spreading of disinformation and Russia’s unprecedented — and politically consequential — cyberattack on the 2016 American presidential election.

    No prize awarded for use of English though: “to grow influence abroad” in a similar way as one grows potatoes in one’s garden, for example?

    I should imagine that the verb “to grow” used in the passive voice with “influence” would sound better:”Russian influence is growing abroad”, or in the subjunctive mood: … actions taken by President Vladimir V. Putin’s government so that Russian influence grow abroad… – but “to grow influence”?

    • marknesop says:

      The Times is just a tabloid now, blowing with the political wind and seeking sensationalist stories which it reports in hyperbolic terms. Just that one line, “The series, which began last spring, explored the rise of online “troll armies,” the strategic spreading of disinformation and Russia’s unprecedented — and politically consequential — cyberattack on the 2016 American presidential election” is enough to tell you what the Pulitzer is worth these days. Just like the Nobel Peace Prize, it’s a political pat on the head for being a good doggie.

  30. Moscow Exile says:

    Shitwit Hague pontificating again:

    Russia is a nation in decline, stuck with a Cold War KGB mindset – the West must treat it as such

    There are three reasons why Donald Trump was right to launch a cruise missile strike against the Syrian Air Force facilities responsible for the chemical weapons attack last week on a town in northern Syria.

    First, the use of such weapons, in this case against civilians including children, is an abhorrent crime that is internationally outlawed and was generally avoided even in the Second World War. There has to be a response to such a crime. In August 2013, Ed Miliband’s Labour Party and some rebel Conservatives prevented any retaliation, which has only led to further atrocities.

    Second, Trump acted quickly, which is crucial to making a clear connection between the crime and the response. Obama initially intended to do this four years ago, but then became bogged down in the decision-making, accepting instead a Russian plan to disarm Assad of chemical agents – a plan we can now see was not…

    All based on the irrefutable evidence of, amongst other impeccable sources, the “White Helmets” and a bloke who lives in a Birmingham council house in the UK and a host of objective reporters at the Guardian, NYT etc.that the crime was committed by the Assad “regime”.

    • marknesop says:

      Ah, but you see, the Russians are dumb, like dogs. When your dog pees on the floor, you have to rap him on the nose with your rolled-up newspaper right away, rather than investigating to see if perhaps it was the wife who pissed on the carpet and not the dog, because punishment delayed merely confuses the poor animal – what have I done? You have to strike immediately, so the dumb creature can make the connection between offense and punishment. No time for investigation, old chappie, old bean.

      Logic like that is demonstrative of a nation of halfwits. I daresay Trump will be pleased, because he is a halfwit as well, and he will certainly make the connection between using the military and international approbation, as people who yesterday would not cross the street to spit on him if he was on fire today praise him as a decisive leader.

      Maybe a nuclear holocaust that cracks the planet in two like a plate is just what the doctor ordered; the human race isn’t worth saving.

    • Fern says:

      Quite extraordinary the number of people prepared to go to war on the basis of youtube videos filmed by an anti-Assad propaganda outfit funded by, amongst others, the US State Department and the UK government. Goebbels, thou shoulds’t be living at this hour…

      As far as Hague’s comments on Russia are concerned, I think he’s forgotten the golden rule….it’s a really, really bad idea to start believing your own propaganda.

  31. Moscow Exile says:


    Fucking idiot of a British foreign minister at the same table as his beaming Canadian Svidomite counterpart at G7 meeting yesterday.

    Boris Johnson threatens Russia with fresh sanctions over support for ‘toxic’ Assad regime in Syria

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Boris Johnson fails to secure backing of the G7 nations for swift sanctions against Russia and Syria

      Boris Johnson has failed to secure the backing of the G7 nations for swift sanctions against Russia and Syria, leaving the US-UK plan to pressurise Vladimir Putin in tatters.

      Germany and Italy vetoed the idea of targeting Russian and Syrian military leaders until an investigation has been carried out into who was to blame for last week’s nerve gas attack in Idlib province.

      The Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said Mr Putin “must not be pushed into a corner”, suggesting Italy may not support extra sanctions even if an investigation proves Assad was to blame.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        G7 not stronk!

        • marknesop says:

          It’s a circle-jerk of debtor nations, among whom – when it was a member – Russia held the lowest debt level by far. Russia is better off out of it, and the sooner it replaces the IMF and other western institutions in its daily dealings and ceases its capitalization of them, the better off Russia will be. Choose between America and Assad, indeed. What fool would choose to publicly seek the friendship of a country that spits on it all day long, every day, week in, week out? Even if Assad were actually guilty of all the horrible things know-nothing Washington claims he is, he would still be a better choice.

  32. Moscow Exile says:

    Russian tycoon Usmanov to sue opposition figure Navalny for libel

    Pleas for contributions to Lyosha’s defence fund to appear shortly?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      And the twice convicted for embezzlement and currently serving a suspended sentence Navalny bounced right back with this:

      Oh, Alisher Usmanov (who served a 6 year sentence in the Uzbek Soviet socialist Republic) said that I am “a criminal” and he will give me “statement to the authorities”.

      So a convicted criminal’s word is void?

      I wonder if Lyosha will use that argument in his defence if he has to appear in court accused of libel?

      Apparently, US agent Navalny and his Western and Russian “liberal” backers are of the firm conviction that anyone found guilty in a Russian court of law is, by definition, innocent of all charges, whereas in the former Uzbek SSR ….

  33. Cortes says:

    The Saker on the Tomahawk strike:

    http://thesaker.is/a-multi-level-analysis-of-the-us-cruise-missile-attack-on-syria-and-its-consequences/

    Includes detail on how Russian misdirection of the 36 AWOL missiles may have been done plus loads more. Apologies if linked to earlier.

  34. et Al says:

    The Charlotte Observer: US Official: Russia knew Syrian chemical attack was coming
    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article143893739.html

    By ROBERT BURNS and LOLITA C. BALDOR Associated Press

    The United States has made a preliminary conclusion that Russia knew in advance of Syria’s chemical weapons attack last week, but has no proof of Moscow’s involvement, a senior U.S. official says.

    The official said Monday that that a drone operated by Russians was flying over a hospital as victims of the attack were rushing to get treatment. Hours after the drone left, a Russian-made fighter jet bombed the hospital in what American officials believe was an attempt to cover up the usage of chemical weapons…

    …couldn’t have been a coincidence, and that Russia must have known …The official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on intelligence matters and demanded anonymity, didn’t give precise timing for when the drone was in the area,…didn’t provide details for the military and intelligence information…

    …Another U.S. official cautioned … official wasn’t authorized to speak about internal administration deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity…

    …Until Monday, U.S. officials had said they weren’t sure whether Russia or Syria operated the drone. The official said the U.S. is now convinced Russia controlled the drone. The official said it still isn’t clear who was flying the jet that bombed the hospital, because the Syrians also fly Russian-made aircraft…
    ####

    Purlitzer here please! I wonder what a judge would say to the Prosecution in a criminal case if they said that they don’t have the actual evidence but that they are ‘convinced’ the defendant is guity?

    I don’t really know why AP is needed at all here as all this can be put straight out by US officials. Who says main steam establishment journalism is dead? I do. All that remains is establishment piss stream journalism.

  35. Moscow Exile says:

    “Who the fuck invited him to speak???” they must have been screaming in the BBC Breakfast TV studio control room.

    BBC with egg on its face during a breakfast TV interview with former UK ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, on April 7, 2017:

    Love it at the end when the interviewer asks:

    “Well, how will his [Assad’s] behaviour change now he knows President Trump is prepared to launch cruise missile attacks?”

    [Classic “begging of the question”, it being taken as a given by the interviewer that Assad was responsible for the CW attack in Ibidem and, therefore, suffered the consequences in the form of a cruise missile attack by the Exceptional Nation.]

    Ford replies:

    “But he … probably didn’t do it in the first place, so it can’t change his behaviour if he didn’t do it in the first place…”

  36. Moscow Exile says:

    “Two Russian servicemen were killed in the Syrian Arab Republic as a result of an attack by militants… A mine explosion killed the two Russian servicemen. Military medics are struggling for the life of a wounded Russian serviceman” – Russia MoD.

    This news cannot have reached Finland yet.

    See: Militants Kill Two Russian Servicemen in Syria, Medics Fighting for Third’s Life
    14:04 11.04.2017(updated 14:32 11.04.2017)

  37. Warren says:

    You can thank NATO’s aggression against Libya in 2011 for the reintroduction of slavery to the African continent.

    African migrants sold in Libya ‘slave markets’, IOM says


    Reports of African migrants being bought and sold mark a new low in the crisis

    Africans trying to reach Europe are being sold by their captors in “slave markets” in Libya, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says.

    Victims told IOM that after being detained by people smugglers or militia groups, they were taken to town squares or car parks to be sold.

    Migrants with skills like painting or tiling would fetch higher prices, the head of the IOM in Libya told the BBC.

    Libya has been in chaos since the 2011 Nato-backed ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-39567632

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks, NATO. Most people would learn from their ‘mistakes’. But not NATO – it can’t wait for the next empowering liberation in the name of freedom and democracy.

  38. Warren says:

    Boris Johnson: Russia will want a way out on Syria

    UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, predicts Russia will want “a way out” of its current position on Syria and says that the G7 meeting has proposed measures which offer a way forward.

    Mr Johnson was speaking to the BBC diplomatic correspondent James Robbins.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39563637

    BoJo continues to embarrass himself, how presumptuous of him to think he knows what Russia wants. What on Earth makes BoJo think that “Russia wants an way out”? Russia’s relationship with Syria contrary to his erroneous assertion is not an “albatross around Russia’s neck”. BoJo got one thing right, Russia’s intervention in September 2015, absolutely “changed the game”, the threat of direct NATO aggression along the lines of what occurred in Libya was neutered.

    • kirill says:

      Russia is in Syria until the battle is won. It is rather obvious that Russia decide to take the fight to the Wahabbis near their home turf instead of having the Wahabbis set the agenda along its border. It diverted Wahabbi resources from Chechnya and elsewhere in the process. Good job!

  39. Warren says:

    What is behind Toshiba’s financial crisis?

    11 April 2017 Last updated at 01:12 BST

    Toshiba is currently trying to sell off its prized computer chips unit in an attempt to cover losses from its troubled US nuclear unit Westinghouse.

    But it’s not the only Japanese firm to struggle in recent years.

    The BBC’s Tokyo correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes looks at some of the reasons why.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39557757

    Looks like the Japanese corporate model is coming to an end. I wonder if revelations will emerge that Toshiba has committed fraud and hid its losses in shell companies, in the same way Olympus had done?

    • kirill says:

      So Westinghouse was a black hole to the extent that it practically broke Toshiba. Wow. How much of the rest of the US super duper ubermenschen power house hyper economy nothing more than a rotten facade?

  40. et Al says:

    Antiwar.com: Symantec Links CIA Leaks to Cyberattacks in 16 Countries
    http://news.antiwar.com/2017/04/10/symantec-links-cia-leaks-to-cyberattacks-in-16-countries/

    Says Methods Described in Leaks Linked to ‘Longhorn’ Operations

    Internet and computer security company Symantec has issued a statement today related to the Vault 7 WikiLeaks documents leaked from the CIA, saying that the methods and protocols described in the documents are consistent with cyberattacks they’d been tracking for years.

    Symantec says they now believe that the CIA hacking tool Fluxwire is a malware that had been known as Corentry, which Symantec had previously attributed to an unknown cyberespionage group called Longhorn, which apparently was the CIA.

    They described Longhorn as having been active since at least 2011, and responsible fro attacks in at least 16 countries across the world, targeting governments and NGOs, as well as financial, energy, and natural resource companies, things that would generally be of interest to a nation-state…

  41. Warren says:

    Published on 11 Apr 2017
    Russia has long held coal-mining rights in a town in the Norwegian Spitsbergen archipelago. Now that the coal is running out, Russia wants to turn it into a tourist center. But could the plan really be about control over the melting Arctic Ocean?

    • kirill says:

      Run, run for the hills, run for your lives! The Russians are coming. The Russians are coming to rape your women and eviscerate your men!

    • Cortes says:

      Fascinating. Thanks for posting.
      Never would’ve guessed that “the Arctic wind is icy”, mind you.

  42. Warren says:

    Ohio woman charged with knifepoint rape of male taxi-driver


    Brittany Carter is accused of performing a sex act on a taxi driver as he was held at knifepoint

    An Ohio woman has been charged with raping a cab driver at knifepoint before she and another man robbed him, according to police.

    Brittany Carter, 23, is accused of performing a sex act on the 29-year-old driver while Corey Jackson, 20, allegedly held a knife to his throat.

    Police said the pair then stole $32 (£26) from the victim before fleeing the scene in the city of Findlay.

    “We don’t know why she did it,” police Lt Robert Ring said.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39568635

    Ms Carter can rape me, I certainly wouldn’t complain.

  43. Cortes says:

    Finnish equestrian sport is attracting the attention of top minds in international sports medicine.

    https://sputniknews.com/art_living/201704111052528862-finland-hobbyhorse-craze/

    Not WADA so much but no doubt the International Psychoanalytical Association is poised to offer a couch and extensive therapy.

  44. Warren says:

    Free New Zealand house comes with a catch

    A housing developer is giving away one of his properties for free to a needy family in New Zealand’s largest city, but they will have to find somewhere to put it.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-39563824

  45. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    A triad of American pig-babble:

    Never mind cooperation – coexistence with these mindless animals is impossible.

    • Northern Star says:

      The only appropriate Russian response to Tillerson’;s ultimatum would be along the lines of:

      You fascist vermin have two options:

      1)
      All of North America ,Western Europe and Western Russia wiil be turned into sheets of glass serving as the mass tombs of a billion or so putrefying radioactive corpses.

      2)
      You will immediately completely cease and desist from fucking -IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER- with Russia or any sovereign nation with which Russia is allied

      Your call motherfuckers

      The fact that this cocksucker Tillerson would give an ultimatum to the Russians IN RUSSIA no less…speaks to the unbounded psycho arrogance of the rabid vermin in the Western elite.

      • et Al says:

        I think Trump’s ‘strategy’, if you can call it as such, is to shake the tree to see who folds under pressure. It’s likely it will blow up in his face, but as we have seen with the TLAM strike in Syria, even the Dems were on board and congratulating him so they own the consequences too.

        • Northern Star says:

          “even the Dems were on board ”
          Exactly….see my post infra
          We have ZERO fuckin’ leadership of substance-moral and intellectual- in this country(America)-whatsoever…the Congressional Black Caucus is as full of spineless dogshit as the white dominated DNC……black vermin political opportunists…white vermin political opportunists..all cut from the same bolt.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        First strike without another word.

        Then send to Tillerson back to walk like Cain through the ashes of his country and everything that he cared about.

    • Special_sauce says:

      Hold on, Arabi ain’t part of that “triad”.

    • Jen says:

      The people who say that Adolf Hitler refused to use sarin gas because of his own experiences during WW1 when he was gassed with mustard gas will have to juggle their belief with the fact that Zyklon B and carbon monoxide gas were used on people in concentration / death camps in Poland or on people travelling packed sardines-in-tin style in the backs of trucks travelling to the camps. Saying that Hitler or his government would not have used gas comes dangerously close to denying the use of gas in camps like Treblinka, Chelmno, Sobibor and Auschwitz-Birkenau to kill people.

      As Lina Arabi says, people like Hannon and Simon are completely lost and totally ignorant.

    • yalensis says:

      Plus, Hitler was kind to animals, he always petted them on the head.
      While Assad is known to have once kicked his dog in the nuts.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I’m still thinking about it:


      Hi ho, hi ho! It’s off to Uncle Dolfy’s KZ lager we go!
      (above) Ghetto Litzmannstadt. Children rounded up for deportation to the Kulmhof extermination camp

  46. et Al says:

    Al Beeb s’Allah GONAD (God’s Own News Agency Direct): Syria: Boris Johnson denies defeat over sanctions call
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-39563640

    ####

    There’s a job waiting for him as a spokesman for the US Government.

    He’ll have to top this though.

    Huff Blow: Sean Spicer Says Hitler ‘Never Used Chemical Weapons’ As If He’s Never Heard Of The Holocaust
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/sean-spicer-chemical-weapons-holocaust_uk_58ed23e9e4b0df7e20460dc3

  47. Northern Star says:

    To the stooges who have Chamberlain Syndrome:

    “Pseudo-left endorses imperialist onslaught against Syria
    11 April 2017
    Nearly 16 years after the beginning of the “war on terror” and more than a quarter-century after the first Gulf War in 1991, the unending imperialist war drive is entering a new and more dangerous stage. In the aftermath of the Trump administration’s air strikes against Syria, the US media and political establishment, parroting the official propaganda line used to justify the attacks, is demanding even more aggressive action against Syria and Russia. There is the very real danger of a direct military conflict between the US and nuclear-armed Russia, with incalculable consequences.
    And yet, fourteen years after the mass protests against the Iraq war in 2003, there does not exist any organized anti-war movement. With each successive war, accompanied by ever more brazen propaganda and lies, the level of organized popular protest has diminished. This is despite the fact that among broad sections of the population there is profound disquiet and hostility to the warmongering of the government. How is this to be explained?
    It is impossible to answer this question without analyzing the role of the nominally “left” political parties and publications that have become vocal cheerleaders of US regime-change operations. Included among them are the International Socialist Organization (Socialist Worker) and the Pabloite International Viewpoint.”

    Spot on comment:

    “Blaine • 7 hours ago
    The article makes it sound as if the Left political establishment has any sort of control over citizens with left leaning tendencies.

    I believe the real reason for anti-war silence is that it does no good to speak up and rally. This was learned from Iraq.

    You will also be arrested and beaten and nothing will come of it – learned from Occupy.

    Whoever you put into office will continue on a war footing, learned from Obama.

    Unless one is ready and committed to playing smash mouth with LE in large numbers and really dragging this thing into a genuine national crisis, how you feel or vote or whether you speak up or peaceably assemble will not have any effect.

    People are waking up but at a very slow pace. Too slowly. The anti-war movement has no leaders to galvanize it, no eloquent speeches to incite the spirit, no folk singers wondering where the flowers have gone.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/04/11/pers-a11.html

    To which I would add to the above :’Half measures’ don’t work. Learned from DonBass and now Syria

  48. Warren says:

    US media is incorrigible……….

    Published on 11 Apr 2017
    Alex Ovechkin is just doing some late night filing with his Washington Capitals teammate.

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