It Is What It Isn’t: Fake News Comes of Age as Ideology Trumps Evidence

Uncle Volodya says, “When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”

Our deeds still travel with us from afar; and what we have been makes us what we are.

George Eliot, Middlemarch

We have arrived, in my opinion, upon the moment in the course of human history which marks the nadir of the journalistic profession. I cannot conceive of a situation in which the occupation could become more debased, more wretched than it has become already, and what we refer to as the ‘mainstream media’ no longer makes any effort to tell the truth, to substantiate what it purports to be true with hard evidence or even any evidence, or to disguise its service in the cut and thrust of political bias and character assassination.

Shaun Walker, The Guardian‘s corpulent correspondent in Russia, and his sidekick Roland Oliphant claimed to have seen with their own eyes a convoy of regular Russian Army vehicles and soldiers crossing the border from  Russia into Ukraine…but neither of them got a photo or a video clip despite their both supposedly being journalists by profession, who understand the maxim, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. But his dinky little cell-phone camera is ever ready to do yeoman service in the pursuit of mocking Russian food on Aeroflot flights, and he has lots of time to arse about on his Facebook group dedicated to what he feels is a Russian obsession with dill. All of his complaining is backed up, it goes nearly without saying, with photographs. Yet he didn’t get a picture of the stealth-invading Russian battalions even though he knew the subject was hotly debated, and proof would have made his name a household word. Well, he is a household word, although it’s not “Shaun Walker”. But you know what I mean.

Or peruse this piece of rubbish. Among yearning for a repeat of the 1917 revolution on its hundredth anniversary and quoting the Moscow Times’ tiresome demand for Russia to  ‘condemn its Soviet past’

It is at this moment that Russia and its president must address the legacy of 1917—the throngs in the streets waving red banners, dragging the emperor from his throne and pumping slugs into him and his kids. “The upcoming centennial of the 1917 revolution that toppled the czar and paved the way for Bolshevik rule promises to put the Kremlin in a tight spot,” predicts the (still-) independent Moscow Times. “At the same time, the Kremlin is unwilling to unequivocally condemn the events the revolution set in motion or its Soviet past.”

and selectively quoting Putin without context or background,

And it is Yeltsin whose deconstruction of the USSR itself is what Olga from the Volga is thankful her red-eyed grandmother did not live to see. (Putin has called it “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.”)

so as to imply yet one more time that Putin seeks to recreate the Soviet Union, the author persists with the simpleminded meme that Putin rigged the American presidential election to prevent Hillary Clinton from winning.

He and his fellow western journalists are aided in this bizarre allegation by the USA’s intelligence agencies, who claim to have evidence that points to Russian interference.  They can’t show anyone, of course – everything the CIA deals with has important national security implications, and if they told the world how Putin hacked American elections, well….well, he might do it again. Or something.

Consider. What actually happened? Information was released which reported that Mrs. Clinton was using a private email server to conduct government business, as Secretary of State for the Obama government, so as to avoid the law which required all official email traffic to be archived as government property.

Was this true? While I can’t speak to her motivation, her unauthorized use of a private server is a matter of public record, as are testimonials from State Department staff members that they mentioned repeatedly the behavior was not permitted, to which Mrs. Clinton allegedly replied that she had permission. If she said that, it was a lie.

Then information was released which said the Democratic Party establishment was conspiring to rig the Democratic nomination for Mrs. Clinton by manipulating the process against Bernie Sanders, who enjoyed a significant following and who was assessed by polling results to have the best chance of beating Trump. Was that true? Sure was; the DNC chair, Debbie Wassserman-Shultz, resigned in disgrace – Mrs Clinton promptly promoted her to honorary chair of her presidential campaign, and President Obama rushed out a supportive statement as well, demonstrating that political heavyweights don’t really care if you rig elections as long as you’re not Russian.

So what sabotaged the win Hillary Clinton thought she had in the bag was the release of damaging information about her which was true and accurate. It was not a pack of lies, and the suggestion that the truth about such activities should have been kept from voters until after they had cast their ballots would be monstrous. There was absolutely no proof that Russia was responsible for releasing that information, if they even knew it, and they were pretty far down the chain of people in a position to know.

What are the rigging methods in Russian elections of which the Kremlin is always accused by the morally-superior beacon of democracy? Ballot-stuffing. Carousel voting, a term US State Department spokeshole Jen Psaki was quite comfortable using in the most accusatory fashion, although she had to admit when questioned that she had no idea what it meant. Suppression of opposition candidates and advertising time which disproportionately favours the ruling party. If Vladimir Putin can actually tip elections in foreign countries with such confounding precision without access to any of those tools, why would he rely on such quaint and archaic blunt-instrument methods to rig elections in Russia?

Fake news stories in the western media abound, although the west rarely if ever acknowledges them; when FOX News, mouthpiece of the Washington regime-changers, broadcast a story ostensibly about protests in Russia, but featuring footage of rioting in Athens, The Daily Telegraph set a new standard for crawling by positing that the channel had just made an innocent mistake, like Athens is a lot like Moscow and people make that mistake all the time. It then proceeded to excoriate the paranoid Russians for imagining that it was done with intent.  Al Jazeera broadcast a fake report of the fall of Tripoli in the west’s successful regime-change war against Gaddafi; the supposed capture of the city by ‘opposition forces’ was actually put together in a studio in Doha, Qatar. I’ve lost track of the number of accounts of Putin’s fabulous stolen wealth which he has squirreled away in secret bank accounts somewhere which nobody can find or prove to exist, yet his status as one of the world’s wealthiest men remains part of the argot of common wisdom.

Well, I spent a lot longer on that than I meant to do; but, damn it, that ‘Putin stole our election’ nonsense just turns my teeth sideways. How could he have done that? Voting machines are not connected to the internet, and there is no realistic suggestion that Russia actually manipulated the vote count. Somebody released true information regarding unlawful and undemocratic behavior by Mrs. Clinton, but not a shred of evidence supporting Russian involvement has been produced, although the CIA maintains that it knows.

Anyway, I wanted to take you through what is described as a step-by-step analysis of a fake news story, an example of Russian trickery, or manipulation by Putin’s international minions. The author is eminently well-qualified to discuss fake news, or at least as well-qualified as one can become in the short interval since caution was thrown to the winds, and fakery in the news went from a hobby to mainstream default mode; he worked for more than three years in Pheme, a multinational online project funded by the European Commission to define, evaluate and model fake news.

Let’s take a look. The story used as an example is a clip about Russian soldiers using the Uran 6 robotic mine-clearance vehicle to demine sites in Aleppo following the victory of Syrian government forces’ retaking of the city. I want you to note at the outset that the author claims the story is completely false.

This post shows a story originating in the Middle East, about Russian soldiers clearing up bombs left in Syria by Obama’s troops. The story was related using first-hand video and personal accounts, and was picked up by major outlets. However, the truth was that this story was completely false — fabricated and framed in such a way that it looked like real news. We’ll pull on threads behind this fake news, and find just one small part of what may well be a large, international network that is feeding our Western media.

Please note also the odd choice of words; “…bombs left in Syria by Obama’s troops”. We’ll see if anyone actually claims that.

Mr. Derczynski acknowledges at the starting line that there is nothing untoward with the original clip – it probably does show Russian soldiers in the performance of their duties in Syria, and the vehicle featured probably is the Uran 6.

Then the token jackass Ukrainian enters the fray, announcing that the item is a fake and the vehicle is actually of Croatian origin. He is quickly shot down by Marcel Sardo. I think most of us know Marcel’s work, and I have found him usually pretty accurate; always, where military hardware is concerned, and he seems to be a bit of an aficionado. The author points out that while there is no reason at this point to believe anything is other than what it seems, in fact this is a common tactic, and the good-cop-bad-cop are often on the same side or are even the same person.

Then the story is picked up by RT, a source Mr. Derczynski tells us many of the Russians he talks with don’t really trust. I think you can probably imagine the Russian circles he moves in. He tells us RT claims the Uran 6 is the same robot the Russian military used to help clear Palmyra of explosives left behind by Islamic State (IS). Still possible this is a real story, he says, although he seems to believe RT is setting the stage for something.

As an aside, Islamic State did in fact take Palmyra, and remained in control of it for long enough to do tremendous damage – some of which appeared to have been wrought just for the sheer deviltry of it and for the grief it would cause, rather than the achievement of a strategic objective. It is difficult to imagine, I think, that the inhabitants of Palmyra left explosive booby-traps for the soldiers who drove out Islamic State – since their rule was unpopular – so it does not seem too much of a stretch that the explosives and mines left behind (a matter of public record) were left by Islamic State. There is apparently nothing thus far to suggest the story is ‘fake news’, although the author is suspicious about the direction it is heading.

And then, BAM! The fake hits us like a runaway locomotive.

Sarah Abdallah joins in on Twitter, attributing the explosives left behind to ‘Obama’s moderate rebels’. Oh no, you don’t, Sarah, you delicious-looking young female trading on your looks and flirting with the camera. This has now just become fake-news propaganda, framing the story so that it reflects badly on the Greatest Democracy That Ever Lived.

Let’s take another pause to reflect. I have no idea if Sarah Abdallah is the real thing, or a Putin shill – I’m not familiar with her and have not seen her before this. But how realistic is her attribution to ‘Obama’s moderate rebels’ of the explosives left behind in Aleppo? Well, the Obama government was fairly well known to be arming the Syrian rebels both overtly (which it admitted) and covertly (which it did not). The U.S. government also admitted, at various points in the conflict, that it had less and less of an idea who was who and who was al Qaeda as things went along. Oftentimes the side the USA supported was blanket-referred to as ‘moderate rebels’ for the sake of optics, but it is well-established that the USA provided not only arms, but satellite radios which would allow rebel commanders to call in air strikes by US military aircraft. The USA wriggled and squirmed and called for endless ceasefires in Aleppo whenever the Syria government forces appeared about to exploit a vulnerability. It seems pretty clear that Washington supported anyone it thought might get the job of ousting Assad done. It is therefore quite conceivable that explosives left behind in Aleppo with the intent of killing or injuring incoming enemy forces were left behind by ‘moderate rebels’ . It is also quite conceivable that some, perhaps many of these ‘rebels’ were supported by the U.S. government.

Other sources go on to say that departing extremist rebels placed explosives even in children’s toys. I have no idea if that is accurate, but considered in the frame of the deliberate murder of many children from the buses leaving Aleppo, lured out with the promise of snacks and then blown up by a suicide bomber, I would have to say it does not seem that far-fetched.

In summary, I see little in this story to support the author’s contention that it is ‘fake news’, and it was not conclusively labeled as such until sources began to attribute the explosives left behind in Aleppo to rebels trained, armed and supported by the USA and its allies. Russian soldiers were acknowledged to be demining the streets and districts of Aleppo, which they need not do if there were no bombs. If we stipulate there were bombs, who left them? The residents of Aleppo? Putin? It seems pretty clear who left them. So the remaining issue is whether they were supported in their endeavors by the USA. And I think the answer must be yes.

I’m sure Russia’s military does public relations, the same as the United States military does public relations – US military forces on deployment regularly turn up cleaning a local monument or painting classrooms in a school, and are duly photographed for a feelgood story back home which creates the impression they are welcomed and fitting in wherever they are, which is not always the case. You can call it propaganda if you like, but not only when Russia does it. I have said for a long time that Russia needs to get serious about image management, and it looks like they are taking it to heart. Refusing to adopt the tools of modern influence-leveraging because they are demeaning and you believe your performance should not need amplification is a little like announcing your national army will continue to use the longbow 100 years after the invention of the musket.

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1,064 Responses to It Is What It Isn’t: Fake News Comes of Age as Ideology Trumps Evidence

  1. et Al says:

    Bask in the joy of another shitpiece that purports to be news, but it jazzed up tabloid style with a touch of artistic license, cliches included!

    Bloomturd via the Independent: New life in Limassol: If you can’t launder Russian money, then launder the Russian
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/eu-passports-for-sale-in-sunny-cyprus-lure-rich-russians-and-their-cash-a7732326.html

    Rich Russians are flocking to Cyprus to become – not Russian. Foreigners can become citizens here in less than six months in exchange for investing two million euros

    Yalman Onaran, Vernon Silver

    …This Moscow-on-the-Mediterranean has blossomed as Russians and their money flock to the tiny European outpost to become, in a sense, not Russian. Long known as a hub for offshore Russian finance – and more recently as a focus of investigations into Russian links to President Donald Trump’s entourage – Cyprus has enabled a more sophisticated way to camouflage those funds.

    If you can’t launder a Russian’s cash, the saying goes, launder the Russian himself.

    The wave began after the government streamlined its money-for-passports program to help Cyprus recover from the 2013 collapse of its banking system and an ensuing recession. Now foreigners can become citizens in less than six months in exchange for investing at least €2m (£1.7m) in Cyprus property or €2.5m in government bonds or companies…
    ####

    People get paid to do this! The best thing is, you can use the words ‘Russian’ or ‘Russia’ to tie absolutely anything together! I just do the usual check and replace the words with ‘Jewish’ or ‘Israel’ (or whatever) and see if they would get away with publishing this stuff in the Pork Pie News Networks.

    So, Cyprus has changed its rules to make Brussels happy.

    So, Russia has cracked down on rich Russians and companies hiding their money off shore or pretending they have debts (is this bad? The authors don’t comment).

    So, yet another ‘anonymous’ Russian source (what’s more reliable than a dodgy businessman, innit?) who is rather free with his thoughts provide a rather convenient hangnail on which to posit the rest of the story.

    So, Cyprus is supposedly lax about enforcing the six months and one day residency rules, but we have yet to see if this is the case as the rules are new and that Brussels will turn a blind eye.

    So, Passports for Cash! Oh, that never happens in elsewhere around the world such as Belize or the British Virgin Islands or any number of rather numerous off shore territories etc. What a shocking revelation!

    So, these dodgy Russians get too travel visa free to 147 countries vs 105 for Russia – it’s not as if in the western nirvana that they go after dodgy Russian money * (the Russian lady ‘Svetlana Ledyaeva’ in Finland is herself quoted and has been tracking money flows – her 2009 paper: ‘Offshore Jurisdictions (Including Cyprus), Corruption Money Laundering and Russian Round-Trip Investment, but maybe I only imagined those headlines screaming about London laundering ill gotten gains from Russia then?

    So, Paul Manfort used a Cypriot bank. There’s the proof that Trump is linked! A triumph for investibative journalism! More smoke made, guilt by association. Job done!

    Like the Big Lebowski’s rug ties the room together, this piece is centered around these ‘rich Russians’ helpfully tying a very flaky story together! Douze points from quite a number of Eurovision juries!

    But who are the other 50% ‘buying residency’ in Cyprus? They don’t say but as they are not Russian it simply isn’t relevant to the hit piece. Quality journalism! But are these tax-dodging Russians even that clever? Well, no. As if Moscow won’t notice them pulling this fast one, or notice them going to Cyprus and checking up on them. What’s the likelihood that Limasol will
    comply very quickly to any requests from Moscow? Very high. And these people are still holding Russian passports for god’s sake! I wonder what they will do if they have to choose between giving it up and the ability to return to Russia or live abroad for the rest of their lives? That’s the thing about trying to have your cake and eat it, it doesn’t work for long.

    Well Bloomturd, you should be proud of this stinking pile. a pat on the back. A tick of compliance to keep your masters happy!

    • kirill says:

      Another masturbatory hit piece engaged in collective condemnation of Russians based on the ***alleged*** actions of some of them. Bloomturd for some reason does not do such “exposes” on all the offshoring of US corporate profits and wealth to avoid paying US taxes. For some reason hurling excrement is the most important thing for Bloomturd journalists.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      When I was in Cyprus in 2016 my wife became friendly with a nice immigrant couple who ran a little shop and café near to where we were staying not far from Limassol. They did a nice barbecued fish, I recall. Very tasty. Anyway, they had both retired and said that they had fled the misery and penury of their existence back home to enjoy their twilight years in the Cyprus sunshine.

      They were from Estonia.

      And no, they were not Russian Estonian citizens: they were the real McCoy.

  2. Warren says:

    Sweden beats Canada to win ice hockey world title


    It is Sweden’s 10th world title

    Sweden has won the ice hockey world championship, beating favourites Canada in a dramatic penalty shootout.

    The teams were tied at 1-1 after three periods in Cologne, Germany, with Victor Hedman scoring for the Swedes and Canada’s Ryan O’Reilly equalising.

    The overtime brought no goals, but the Scandinavians then were twice on target in the shootout, while the North Americans again failed to score.

    By winning its 10th world title, Sweden dethroned last year’s champions.

    “It’s really big. For Sweden and everything, it’s amazing, a dream come true,” Swedish defender Jonas Brodin was quoted as saying by the International Ice Hockey Federation.

    “It’s going to be incredible when we go home. That’s why we play, for Sweden, for the people there,” he added.


    The Canadians had to settle for silver this time, after winning the titles in 2015 and 2016

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39995687

    • Warren says:

      Published on 21 May 2017
      A tense, nervous, cautious game from start to finish produced two fluky goals, 20 minutes of overtime, and a decisive shootout. Final score, 2-1, Sweden.

      • Warren says:

        Published on 21 May 2017
        Nikita Gusev led the way with two goals and an assist as Russia beat Finland 5-3 to earn bronze Sunday in Cologne. It’s Russia’s fourth straight Worlds medal.

    • marknesop says:

      The Swedes are good, and tough to beat. For me it only matters that the USA doesn’t win, and they’re also very good and tough to beat, regularly in the finals. That’s mostly because of their behavior when they win, something they frequently attribute not just to being accomplished athletes, but to being American, which apparently conveys exceptionalism upon all its citizens.

      I should stress here that that is almost never true of the athletes themselves, and only of the spectators: victorious American athletes are often strikingly humble and overall good sportsmen and women.

  3. Moscow Exile says:

    Sunday, 21 May, Sunday: Poroshenko surrounded by a disgruntled crowd at the memorial park “Bykivnya Graves“, near Kiev, where there are the remains of thousands of victims of the NKVD, he talks of political repression and the wicked Russians.

    Someone calls out: “How come the poorest state in Europe has the richest president?!”

    Another shouts: “Tell us! We stood at the Maidan!”

    To cries of “Liar!” and “Shame!” etc. the filthy, swinish criminal runs away.

    Why have I no sympathy for the mob?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Look at the pig squealing and running away yesterday!

      Get me outa here!!!!

      Porky, I see a lamppost with you swinging from it ….

      • marknesop says:

        On the contrary, what you see is the birth pangs of a new fledgling democracy. Freedom is a beautiful thing, not to mention untidy. The people must be allowed to express their will. And all that.

    • yalensis says:

      Well, who can believe anything that the Ukrainians and Poles claim about these mass graves, anyhow? Conveniently, just like Katyn, it was the Nazis who “discovered” the mass graves: “The mass grave site was discovered by the Germans along with many other such sites throughout the Soviet Union….” Uh huh.
      And we can totally believe everything that the Nazis claimed about Soviet crimes and mass shootings. All conveniently reinforced by the research of joint Polish-Ukrainian teams of archaeologists.

      Frankly, I’ll withhold my opinion until I hear some facts from somebody a tad more more objective and believable than Goebbels and Yushchenko.

  4. Moscow Exile says:

    McCain insulted Putin and Lavrov on air live

    Who’s he pointing at? Is there someone in the crowd he knows?

    The sincerity of US politics!

    McCain ‘almost speechless’ over Trump’s ‘nutjob’ jab

    In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” the Arizona Republican also blasted the Trump administration for hosting a meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in the White House, describing him as “nothing but a propagandist” who “had no business in the Oval Office”.

  5. Cortes says:

    A maverick Englishman gets familiar with Russian culture:

    https://www.rt.com/sport/389158-rt-sport-collymore-confederation-cup/

  6. Moscow Exile says:

    What a waste of whisky!

    In St. Petersburg activists of “Other Russia” poured whiskey over editor-in-chief of “Ekho Moskvy”, Aleksei Venediktov.

    Venediktov was speaking on stage at a panel discussion called “Open Dialogues”.

    What was wrong with using the Green Stuff?

    “Other Russia” is Limonov’s party.

    One of the whisky-wasters shouted out that the Old Goat had “betrayed Russia”.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “In St. Petersburg activists of “Other Russia” poured whiskey over editor-in-chief of “Ekho Moskvy”, Aleksei Venediktov.”

      Will Venik now require an expensive trip in Barcelona as well? For more directly applied “healing”, of course.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Apparently, he said he wasn’t going to lick it off his clothes because it was only cheap whisky.

        Lying old goat!

        I bet later on in the theatre dressing room (the incident took place at the Aleksandrinskiy Theatre, St. Petersburg) he was ripping out the lining of his quilted vest and sucking away at it hell-for-leather — likewise at his sweater.

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “Apparently, he said he wasn’t going to lick it off his clothes because it was only cheap whisky.”

          Wow! What a professonal! By just couple of drops to determine the quality of the beverage!

          Should they on “Ekho” employ Yulia Latynina for insta-tests for finding meldonium as well?

      • marknesop says:

        Perhaps he will have to go to Switzerland to be treated for alcoholism.

  7. Moscow Exile says:

    French colonial troops holding back the Hun, 1914-1918:

    British colonial troops doing likewise:

    Well actually, the Sikhs above are parading down the Champs-Élysées after having arrived in France to lend a helping hand.

    • Cortes says:

      Dunn’s WWI diary of life on the Western Front, “The War the Infantry Knew” has loads of great details I’d never seen before, like the Chinese “coolies” betting against each other’s demise due to unexploded ordnance as they performed tasks in the shell holes, Indian and Aussie mutineer gangs, and medal-happy Padres. Well worth a read.

      • Jen says:

        I’d be curious to know what percentage of soldiers who fought for the British army in Europe in WW1 was Indian*. I’ve seen information that says up to 1 in 5 (or 20%) of British soldiers fighting in Europe were Indian. A large proportion of soldiers fighting for the French during WW1 also came from French colonies in Africa, and Algeria in particular.

        * = Indian including those people from areas that later became Bangladesh, Burma / Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

  8. et Al says:

    Neuters via Antiwar.com: Gulf states, U.S. to ink agreement against terror financing
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-saudi-financing-idUSKBN18H0CF

    Blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah,….

    ….Western officials believe that people living in wealthy Gulf countries have been an important source of funding for Sunni Islamist groups fighting in Iraq and Syria, including Islamic State and al Qaeda.
    ####

    I find that very hard to believe. Why exactly would they stop? What are the sanctions for those that don’t? The Gulfies have been sponsoring islamic terrorism for decades and the West still has its uses for it against countries it doesn’t like (Russia, Syria etc.).

  9. Lyttenburgh says:

    What the?.. Are they conducting some unholy ritual of summoning Shaitan in our world?! Or is this globe in fact a magical palanthir for direct connection with (you guessed it!) the Dark Lord Sauron himself?

    Trump’s Saudi trip was loads of fun and laughs.

    And now compare this thermo-nuclear turbo-haram of Trump grrrrls:

    With how other foreign women had to dress there (ausubillah!):

  10. et Al says:

    Neuters: Venezuela holds 5,000 Russian surface-to-air MANPADS missiles
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-venezuela-arms-manpads-exclusive-idUKKBN18I0E1?

    …According to a Venezuelan military presentation seen by Reuters, the South American country has 5,000 SA-24 Man-Portable Air-Defense System (MANPADS) missiles, also known as the Igla-S. …

    ….The Venezuelan government has long mocked such claims as lies used to justify potential foreign aggression.

    Some intelligence experts agree the allegations are exaggerated.

    “The whole Hezbollah line has been distorted for political purposes by the more extreme elements of the U.S. right wing,” a former C.I.A. senior official told Reuters. …

    …A former Venezuelan senior army general and minister, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the information, told Reuters the MANPADS missiles are held mainly on the coast due to government fears of a U.S. attack.

    He told Reuters that Venezuela also holds 1,500 launchers, or grip stocks, which are fundamental to the operation of the missiles….
    ####

    Yet more stenographic fearmongering. The missiles are Russian, the owners are Venezuela, both ‘hate’ the West, therefore the US might have to ‘do something’ about it. Storing the tube and the grips separately shows that they are responsibly and securely held, so why the big fuss? Oh, that they may get in to the hands of ‘terrorists’?

    Why use an easily identifiable very modern MANPADS that is hard to get hold of when the are far more lesser sophisticated weapons still available from former Warsaw Pact states that have been shipping all sorts of old stocks, at the behest of the USA usually, to Syria and elsewhere for use against the West’s enemies. They’re far, far more likely to be used, but that isn’t the point of this investibative journalism. Now if someone wanted to shoot down an airliner, say the CIA/friends for example, then a Venezuelan SA-24 would be ideal. Slam und dunk. Invade Venezuela, sanction Russia forever! Keep an eye out for similar planted pieces that may be used for softening up public opinion for and essential US military intervention. Again.

  11. et Al says:

    Moon of Alabama: Talking Tactics, Lacking Strategy – The Generals On Syria And Iraq
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/05/talking-tactics-lacking-strategy-the-generals-on-syria-and-iraq.html

    On Friday Secretary of Defense [General ret.] Mattis, General Dunford and Special Envoy McGurk on the Campaign to Defeat ISIS held a press briefing. A transcript is available.

    My first thought after reading its was: “These people live in a different world. They have no idea how the real word works on the ground. What real people think, say, and are likely to do.” There was no strategic thought visible. Presented were only some misguided tactical ideas.

    One purpose of the briefing was obviously to souse the Saudis in preparation of Trumps weapons sales campaign there. There was no mention at all of any (Saudi financed) Jihadis in Syria or elsewhere besides ISIS. Questions about Kurdish or Iraqi paramilitary groups were answered with trash talk about Iran.

    Besides that some notable points were made…
    ####

    Much, much more at the link. Don’t forget to check out the comments!

    I am encouraged though as the US attack at Al-Tanaf is being ignored. The SAA with take back control of the border with Syria.

    • Fern says:

      On a similar animals-reacting-totally-appropriately theme, the latest sccop from ‘Boar News’ (this is a different publication from ‘Pig Fanciers’ Weekly’ which is David Cameron’s favourtite rag) is that one of these testy creatures, inspired by a brother’s goring of a couple of ISIS warriors a few weeks back, attacked the British Ambassador to Austria when he was walking through a forest. He escaped injury after scrambling up a tree.
      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/16/wild-boar-gives-british-ambassador-to-austria-the-chase

    • Jen says:

      My condolences to the family of the elephant shot by one of Mr Botha’s hunting companions. How stupid could those hunters be? They should have known that large mammals nursing infants are extra aggressive and hostile.

      I’ve heard of an incident that occurred in Arizona in 1982. In that state and some neighbouring US states, shooting giant saguaro cactus plants full of bullets until they exploded or fell over was a popular pastime. Some guy pumped hot lead into a plant and waited for it to blow up or keel over, but when it didn’t do anything, he went over for a closer look … and the plant fell on top of him.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cactus_plugging

  12. et Al says:

    Pootie Poot is going meet Macron next Monday in Versailles, which also has an exhibition on about Peter the Great’s visit to Froggyland in 1717.

  13. Moscow Exile says:

    That bridge — you know, the one that cannot be built
    ::

    Namely the arch section of which bridge that is to cross the shipping lane in the Kerch Strait.

    In August-September of this year, the builders of the Crimea bridge will have to perform a unique operation: to transport and install on the arch supports arched spans weighing almost 10 thousand tonnes. The Installation of such structures in a marine environment is being carried out for the first time in the practice of domestic bridge construction.

    Source: http://peremogi.livejournal.com/28992927.html

  14. Northern Star says:

    O-M-G!!!!

    “Unass me..you basher” LOL!!!

  15. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/05/22/europe-birthplace-mankind-not-africa-scientists-find/

    If the earliest hominids were Europeans, and the first Europeans were Ukrainians, then Ukrainians are the original human beings!

    Check and mate, Russian bastards.

    • kirill says:

      They still look like gorillas.

      Ukrs haven’t claimed the Balkans as their ancestral lands, yet. So I think the claim is still up for grabs.

      Nice to see radical advances such as this. Makes research worthwhile.

      • Ilya says:

        Parsimony is used to describe Eurasian genetic variation as a sub-set of African variation — not unreasonably, given that the fossil evidence from Africa progresses in the modern direction.

        But this doesn’t preclude the less elegant theory that the greater genetic diversity in Africa is the result of back-migration of sapiens into large and structured archaic populations in Africa.

        • kirill says:

          It is possible that such migrations contributed to a selective pressure on brain development. I think that migrations did happen. But I was not aware of the climate regime 7.2 million years ago in Europe. The Miocene thermal optimum was 15 million years ago so it must not have been a warming period. But at the same time the Arctic Ocean was ice free year round before 4 million years in the past. The closing of the Panama channel and something similar in the Indonesian region led to the onset of the ice age 3.3 million years ago by altering the global ocean heat transport pattern. Migration back into Africa would have occurred 3.3 million years ago. But it seems that Europe was very warm, or at least had prolonged warm periods, before then.

          Looks like climate was a big player in human evolution. And humanity is going to subject itself to serious selective pressure by the climate change it is inducing now. People should not be to smug about humans adapting. There is clear evidence of rapid progression to ocean anoxia. This is unprecedented since the oceans were not anoxic during the Miocene when there was more CO2 and there was much less land ice. The biology dominated chemistry regime of the oceans can’t keep up with the current rate of warming, which by all indications is faster than it has been during previous global warming events. Anoxic oceans will release vast quantities of H2S and CH4 (instead of SO3, which forms sulfate that is not released to the atmosphere, and CO2) due to the change in the predominant mode of microbe metabolism. This will put warming in over-drive and also be rather toxic to humans.

      • cartman says:

        Those are Moskals. The Ukrainians dug out the Black Sea to get away from them.

    • Jen says:

      The UK Daily Telegraph is hardly an objective source of science writing. The remains could be as old as 7.2 million years but that is surely the maximum age estimate and doesn’t mean that is the fossils’ actual age. Either the remains should be tested again by an independent group of researchers or the original research followed up by more field trips to find more fossils of similar age.

      • kirill says:

        http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0177347

        “Dating fossil hominids and reconstructing their environments is critically important for understanding human evolution. Here we date the potentially oldest hominin, Graecopithecus freybergi from Europe and constrain the environmental conditions under which it thrived. For the Graecopithecus-bearing Pikermi Formation of Attica/Greece, a saline aeolian dust deposit of North African (Sahara) provenance, we obtain an age of 7.37–7.11 Ma, which is coeval with a dramatic cooling in the Mediterranean region at the Tortonian-Messinian transition. Palaeobotanic proxies demonstrate C4-grass dominated wooded grassland-to-woodland habitats of a savannah biome for the Pikermi Formation. Faunal turnover at the Tortonian-Messinian transition led to the spread of new mammalian taxa along with Graecopithecus into Europe. The type mandible of G. freybergi from Pyrgos (7.175 Ma) and the single tooth (7.24 Ma) from Azmaka (Bulgaria) represent the first hominids of Messinian age from continental Europe. Our results suggest that major splits in the hominid family occurred outside Africa.”

        http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0177127

        “The split of our own clade from the Panini is undocumented in the fossil record. To fill this gap we investigated the dentognathic morphology of Graecopithecus freybergi from Pyrgos Vassilissis (Greece) and cf. Graecopithecus sp. from Azmaka (Bulgaria), using new μCT and 3D reconstructions of the two known specimens. Pyrgos Vassilissis and Azmaka are currently dated to the early Messinian at 7.175 Ma and 7.24 Ma. Mainly based on its external preservation and the previously vague dating, Graecopithecus is often referred to as nomen dubium. The examination of its previously unknown dental root and pulp canal morphology confirms the taxonomic distinction from the significantly older northern Greek hominine Ouranopithecus. Furthermore, it shows features that point to a possible phylogenetic affinity with hominins. G. freybergi uniquely shares p4 partial root fusion and a possible canine root reduction with this tribe and therefore, provides intriguing evidence of what could be the oldest known hominin.”

        Clearly, fake news is not an issue here.

        • Jen says:

          If both articles at the links Kirill provides are read carefully, the findings relating to Graecopithecus suggest that the eastern Mediterranean region should be considered as part of the homeland, if not the homeland, of Miocene-epoch hominid primates. That’s not the same as saying that Europe is the birthplace of hominids, as the eastern Mediterranean region includes Anatolia (the Asian part of Turkey), the Levant and Egypt. Furthermore, both articles say that more research needs to be done and all they say is that Graecopithecus is or could be the oldest KNOWN hominid, not necessarily the oldest hominid.

          One thing that should be considered is that 7.2 million years ago, southern Europe was an extension of Africa due to development and spread of the Sahara and the drying up of the Mediterranean as the Phys Org article at the link below suggests.
          https://phys.org/news/2017-05-scientists-million-year-old-pre-human-balkans.html

          • kirill says:

            Why are you nitpicking? First you try to shoot down the whole idea that modern human ancestors could have evolved outside of Africa. Now you waffle about Anatolia not really being part of Europe. In either case, you don’t have a case. The old theory of the full evolutionary line up to modern humans being exclusively in Africa (no waffling about Africa including parts of Europe and the Middle East) is no basically dead.

            Frankly I could care less where all the human ancestors evolved. The interesting thing to me is that evidence is indicating that the human ancestors migrated far from their supposed “homeland” and evolved outside of Africa.

  16. kirill says:

    What a lovely couple!

  17. Moscow Exile says:

    To return to that piece of filth about whom I commented above as regards his statement that the Waffen-SS Division “Galicia” was not a Waffen-SS Division, and that, therefore, the symbols of the Waffen-SS Division “Galicia” are not prohibited in the Ukraine, the Director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, Volodomir Viatrovych, now urges Ukrainians to break off communication with relatives who live in Russia.

    Украинцев призвали прекратить общение с родственниками в России
    Директор Украинского института национальной памяти Владимир Вятрович призвал украинцев прекратить общение с родственниками, проживающими в России.
    22 мая 2017, 15:28

    Ukrainians urged to stop communicating with relatives in Russia
    Director of the Ukrainian Institute of national memory, Vladimir Viatrovych, has urged Ukrainians to stop communicating with relatives living in Russia.

    “Anything that continues a relationship between our two countries (the economy, the language, history, culture, traditions and, in the end, even family ties) will be used against us,” Viatrovych has written on his page in Facebook.

    The Institute of National Remembrance, established by the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers, is an executive authority that focuses on the formation of ideology in the Ukraine, in particular, so-called de-communization. Amongst the initiatives of the Institute are, in particular, the abolition of the celebration of 8 March, 1 and 9 May, as well as the legal rehabilitation of the organization known as “The Ukrainian Insurgent Army” that was created by Ukrainian nationalists and fighting men*.

    * An organization which the courts decided should be legally forced into liquidation and that its activities be banned on grounds stipulated by the federal law “On countering extremist activity”.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad?

    • marknesop says:

      That must please Washington and Brussels – who thought to pull off a clever geopolitical sleight of hand which would see Ukraine chuckling happily in Europe’s orbit while Russia financed it through ruinous trade agreements it had no power to stop – no end. Such grandstanding only solidifies Ukraine’s dependence on IMF handouts, and if they ever stop doling out the lolly the country will be a beggar overnight.

      It strikes me that Russia being the largest foreign investor in Ukraine, under these circumstances, is quite a bit like The Hermitage Effect that Browder bragged of. Except it is the west getting stuck with the bill. If the west bails Ukraine out, Russia makes a tidy return on its investments while there is no corresponding drain from Russia into Ukraine. If Ukraine collapses, the west must give up and acknowledge failure, with the resulting public humiliation. Play it, Viatrovych – you played it for her, you can play it for me.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Just to recap on why Viatrovych maintains that Waffen-SS Division “Galicia” was not really a Waffen-SS Division: the Ukrainian “nationalist” says that the Waffen-SS Division “Galicia” was also a division of the Ukraine National Army and, therefore, members of Waffen-SS Division “Galicia” were not voluntarily fighting for a Nazi criminal organization, regardless of whether they were aware or not of Waffen-SS crimes, but for the independence of the Ukraine from the filthy Russians.

      According to Nuremberg Trials and the case against members of the Waffen-SS, however, this argument does not hold water. The “Galician” division members were neither coerced into the Waffen-SS and had no choice to refuse, nor were they innocent of war crimes whilst serving in Waffen-SS Division “Galicia”, for which crimes committed by Waffen-SS Division “Galicia” members there is abundant evidence.

      Viatrovych seems to be trying to say that the label “Waffen-SS Division ‘Galicia'” does not apply to those members of the Ukraine National Army that fought within its ranks: they were only killing Poles, Jews, Russians (and plenty of Ukrainians as well) for the sake of Ukrainian independence

      Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian shits who served with the Waffen-SS use the same argument — and get away with it.

      • marknesop says:

        They may well rest easy in their graves soon, as they see at last a Ukraine independent of any but those who want to plunder it and those too destitute to leave it.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Famous War-era placard by Kukryniski (with versed by S. Marshak):

      Note that the peasant is wearing vyshivanka which, if we are to (SUDDENLY!) believe Vyatrovich and his ilk had been banned in the totalitarian USSR.

  18. Moscow Exile says:

    Islamic State claims responsibility for Manchester terror attack

    Death toll now 22.

    59 casualties.

    Are Islamic State Washington “goodies” or baddies”?

    I get so confused over these freedom-fighting, regime-change organizations, I really do.

    One thing is for sure, though:

    Putin — bad

    Assad — bad

    • et Al says:

      Saudi Arabia is the Islamic State. They must be destroyed.

      They’ve been sponsoring terrorism direct and indirectly for decades though their financing of madrassas in poor islamic countries, for example Pakistan, pumping them full of the wahabbi fascist strain of islam, not to mention all those ‘mercenaries’ who seem to have absolutely no problem getting to war zones where they are regularly supplied with weapons and cash. Building mosques that come with their own wahabbi spouting imams and throwing money at weak states buys them off.

      That’s only half the problem.

      The West is the other half. Because it is so jolly clever and superior to everyone else on the planet, they are the only ones clever enough to use Islam as a tool for their geostrategic games. It’s only got worse since the 2008 financial crisis which has only strengthened the Saudi (and friends) hand as they have money coming out of each body pore and the West doesn’t. Without weapons and airliner sales to the Gulf states, western manufacturers would have been s/t creek. Gulf money is critical in sponsoring the continued development of western weapons and technology, coz you know Russia & I-ran are the real enemies. Nothing will change. The best we can hope for is that Saudi Arabia descends in to civil war as the only way to effective disrupt their sponsorship of terrorism. Sure, the GGC will sign Trump’s bit of paper promising to control money going to terrorists, but so what?

      That most western democracies sees profitable relations with Saudi Arabia as a primary strategic concern, shows how far they have wondered from the basic ideals that are supposed to underpin their much vaunted democracy. It’s little more than a shell, treading water. The deaths of ‘a few’ western civilians are worth the price of hundreds of billions in Gulf cash. The deaths of far, far more people in the middle east simply doesn’t matter.

      I’m just watching frog tv’s TF1 news program. Their Israel correspondent ‘? Cristal’) has just said the Gulf countries have done almost nothing to combat the financing of terrorism and that to the contrary, I-ran is actively helping in the fight against terrorism alongside Russia in Syria. But anyway, who listens to French? Will we ever hear such things widely said on Anglo-Saxon media or are they as usual going to skip around the root cause of such terrorism by only mentioning the ‘Islamic State’?

  19. et Al says:

    Moon of Alabama: Libya – Massacre At Brak al-Shatti May Trigger Larger Civil War
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/05/libya-massacre-at-brak-al-shatti-may-trigger-larger-civil-war.html

    Egypt, the UN and Arab governments try to mediated between the two governments in Libya. A massacre at an air base interrupted the process and threatens to intensify the civil war.

    by Richard Galustian

    (Cairo) Nobody has their eye on Libya with all “western” media preoccupied with DC machinations, Russiaphobia and the first overseas trip of President Trump.

    What about the implosion we are on the brink of seeing in Libya following the murder of all LNA Air Force personnel at the Brak al-Shati AFB?…
    ####

    Much more at the link.

    I guess everyone is with bated breath at the moment. Either this kicks off, or it stays much the same. The un-elected GNA still gets full western backing regardless and even more so if Russia decides to back Haftar. In that case, it will open another front that the West will see as yet another opportunity to take down or at least humiliate Russia, even if it means allowing the Saudi+Qatari etc. backed Islamic State. Another thing for NATO to claim it has the right to meddle in, despite the catastrophic consequences of their Libya intervention in the first place. Something is going to break.

  20. Warren says:

    Published on 23 May 2017
    Eighteen to 20 CIA sources killed or imprisoned by China? This is not a scenario from “Jason Bourne” or “Mission: Impossible”, but rather some hard-to-believe inside stories from the New York Times. According to the article, the Chinese government has been dismantling CIA spying operations since 2010. While making no comment on the US’ spying activities in other countries, the article accused China of being aggressive in its counterespionage. Is there any credibility to these allegations, when none of the sources are certain? Joining the discussion is Einar Tangen, current affairs commentator, and Xu Qinduo, a current affairs commentator from China Radio International.

    • Jen says:

      According to news I’ve seen, the CIA’s own incompetence and complacency allowed the Chinese to mount a counter-offensive move against CIA infiltration. CIA agents followed procedures and arrangements that over time became habitual, like always meeting their contacts at the same places or the same restaurants, and thus exposing themselves and their sources to the Chinese. The Chinese could install spying devices in the meeting rooms. In at least one restaurant frequented by the CIA and their moles, the waiters who took their orders and brought out the dishes were counter-espionage agents. There really was no need for the Chinese to be aggressive in their counter-spying efforts when they could predict CIA movements and set up passive recording devices.

      • Warren says:

        Sounds very plausible, Then again this whole story could be fake and propaganda; designed to smear and put pressure on China. One of the experts on the above video, said it is preposterous that Chinese security services would publicly execute an alleged spy. Rather Chinese counterintelligence would either attempt to recruit an alleged spy, turn him or her into a double agent, or detain and debrief an alleged spy.

        Apparently in the late 80s, China was able to obtain the designs of every US nuke.

        Uploaded on 29 Aug 2010
        60 Minutes has obtained an FBI videotape showing a Defense Department employee selling secrets to a Chinese spy that offers a rare glimpse into the secretive world of espionage. Scott Pelley reports.

        US Navy dropped its spying case against a Taiwanese-American pilot.

        U.S. Navy Officer Accused of Spying Says He Shared Secrets to ‘Impress Women’

        http://time.com/4768439/navy-spy-edward-lin-taiwan-china/

        • Jen says:

          I guess a lot depends on who the CIA relies on as their sources. No doubt some of the CIA’s “contacts” are already spies for the Chinese government who with the blessing of and instructions from Beijing pretend to work for the CIA. Once they achieve their mission goals, they go back to civilian life or are transferred to some other project and the CIA has to explain their “disappearance”. Other CIA contacts must be people with dual Chinese-American citizenship and I wonder how reliable and loyal they would be, especially if they are pressured by the CIA to spy on their former homeland and they realise they might be risking their own careers and safety (and their families’ safety) if they agree to do so.

      • marknesop says:

        Sure, they can get away with that because they all look the same. Who’s going to remember the waiter when he looks like every other Chinese man on the planet? The Chinese are even more dastardly than the Russians.

  21. et Al says:

    Neuters via Antiwar.com: Brazil President Temer: ‘I won’t resign. Oust me if you want’
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-corruption-idUSKBN18I17W

    …”I will not resign. Oust me if you want, but if I stepped down, I would be admitting guilt,” Temer told Folha de S.Paulo, Brazil’s biggest newspaper, in an interview published on Monday.

    Brazilians who have become inured to a massive, three-year corruption investigation were shocked last week by the disclosure of a recording that appeared to show Temer condoning the payment of hush money to a jailed lawmaker.

    The scandal has threatened to tear apart Temer’s coalition in Congress and leave Latin America’s largest economy adrift as the president fights for his political survival, just a year after the impeachment of his predecessor….
    ####

    Uh-huh!

    • Warren says:

      Why has the Brazilian media which is controlled entirely by the Brazilian oligarchy, suddenly turned on Michel Temer? It was the right wing O Globo newspaper and news channel that broke the story on Temer’s alleged corruption. Is the Brazilian oligarchy sacrificing Temer, to ameliorate the public demand for immediate elections, instead of the scheduled 2018 elections? Has Temer failed the Brazilian oligarchy by his inability to push through new labour and pension laws; I deliberately refuse to use the misnomer “reforms”.

    • marknesop says:

      Where is the US Secretary of State’s official statement that Temer’s government has ‘lost legitimacy’ (demonstrably true), and that he ‘must step down’?

      • et Al says:

        Filed under ‘Sins of Omission‘ in a gigantic vault somewhere below the Rockies (and not over the Rainbow)?

  22. Warren says:

    Published on 23 May 2017
    So-called Islamic State (IS) has claimed it was behind the attack. The statement was made via IS channels on the messaging app Telegram. The group frequently claims attacks in their aftermath.

    • Jen says:

      It’s possible that what ISIS said is false, that it was not behind the attack at all. The guy responsible for the bomb attack is dead and we have only Manchester police’s word that he is connected to ISIS.

      Very strange also that the attack comes about a fortnight before the British general election with the Conservatives apparently tanking in the opinion polls over Theresa May’s senior moment in agreeing to the cap on aged care costs (the so-called “dementia tax”) after ruling it out as part of the Tories’ election manifesto a few days ago, the whole episode calling into question her ability to handle Britain’s departure from the EU. This terrorist incident is sure to deflect any further media attention away from the Conservatives’ policies.

      • yalensis says:

        Yeah, I find it hard to believe that ISIS would attack their paymasters. just for no reason…
        There is always a method to their madness.

        • kirill says:

          I guess that leaves Russia or Iranian backed Shi’ites as the only credible sources for this terror. Daesh may be funded by NATzO, but that does not mean there are no radicalized Wahabbi nutjobs (exclusively Sunni) who do as they want. The Saudis are spreading their “religion of hate” (note: not Islam, but Whabbism) and various chickens are starting to come home to roost. Eventually the Saudi royal family will be done in by their spawn.

        • Jen says:

          Their paymasters might be alarmed that with ISIS about to be crushed in Syria and Iraq, individual fighters are trickling back into Europe and working back to their countries of origin either to spread word that they were duped by the propaganda and that they saw British, French and other European military consorting with ISIS leaders or NATO weapons being used against the SAA or to commit terrorist acts against governments. So something must be done to keep these fighters away from Britain, France or wherever and an incident that among other staged incidents forces the public to support an invasion of Syria or Iraq to kill off ISIS (and conveniently depose Bashar al Assad) might look ideal.

  23. Warren says:

    Published on 23 May 2017
    Russian film and theatre actress Chulpan Khamatova read out an address written by a group of artists in support of Gogol-centre director Kirill Serebrennikov who is suspected of embezzlement of around €3 million ($3.3 million), in Moscow on Tuesday.

  24. et Al says:

    McClatchy via Raw Story via Antiwar.com: Saudis gave the US $360 billion in deals — now they want Trump to rescind 9/11 lawsuit law
    http://www.rawstory.com/2017/05/saudis-gave-the-us-360-billion-in-deals-now-they-want-trump-to-rescind-911-lawsuit-law/

    …Saudi officials have been quietly lobbying the administration and Congress to overturn the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which led more than 800 families to file suit in New York in March…

    … “If Trump supports the JASTA, he will lose the relationship with Saudi Arabia,” Mohammed Alhamza, a social researcher and writer, said bluntly through a translator during an interview in his Riyadh home, reflecting a view heard widely among Saudis.

    “Do you expect Trump will pass JASTA after (billions of) Saudi riyals went to the United States?”Alhamza asked, a reference to a series of agreements Trump and Saudi King Salman had signed totaling $360 billion in weapons sales and economic development….
    ####

    British victims of terrorism need to bring their own version of JASTA. The UK government will try to have it shut down (by sabotage or other) or leave it to go ahead. Either way, they loose/

    The other thing that strikes me is that the I-ran nuclear deal is still on (Iran Air deals for Airbus and Boeing aircraft have gone ahead and ogt funding for example) despite the US having trouble respecting it, so the proposed GCC NATO is a back stop. If the Saudis pull the weapons deal because JASTA goes ahead, they loose too. Maybe they make the wrong assumption that they have the US in a cobra’s grip. Not that I want to give Trump credit, but he appears to give everyone what they want but with strings attached, so completely untrustworthy but not a complete idiot. The US could always say it happend because the GCC didn’t hold up their end of the bargain, cutting off terrorist funding. It would may be the end of the affair. Messy, but a possible face saving out. Wheels within wheels or is it just me who is being devious???

  25. et Al says:

    TASS: Turk who confessed to Russian pilot’s death jailed for 5 years on weapons charges
    http://tass.com/world/946953

    Alparslan Celik took the blame for Russian pilot’s death upon himself, as his fighters did not follow his order and continued firing, although he personally did not kill the pilot

    Alparslan Celik, who confessed to killing Russian pilot Oleg Peshkov, has been sentenced today to five years in prison for illegal firearms possession, Celik’s lawyer Taskin Kangal told TASS….
    ####

    But not for ‘command responsibility’ or acting as a mercenary coz he was there on Turkey’s orders. So far it looks like InSultin’ Erdogan is keeping up his end of the bargain with Pootie Poot, but of course in his own special way. THE BEES DID IT!

  26. et Al says:

    I just came across this (‘scuze the pun):

    Vinyard the Saker: Riding the “Chechen Gays” scandal on a Unicorn
    http://thesaker.is/riding-the-chechen-gays-scandal-on-a-unicorn/

    By Scott Humor

    Indrik is a Russian mythological creature mentioned in many folktales and generally depicted as a lion with a horn, a unicorn, or a mammoth with its trunk raised. As the story goes, Indrik is the father of all animals and, being great in size and weight, lives in the underworld, walking down there back and forth with a regularity of a sun crossing the sky. For its size, Indrik was used to name Indricotheriinae, the largest terrestrial mammals that existed on the territory of Russia and Eurasia between China and the Balkans. Indrik is also believed to be an anagram for “edinorog” or unicorn. Indrika-beast also dwells in the Vedic tradition as a god of gods…
    ####

    Much, much more at the link. It is extremely curious that NG refuses to disclose its anonymous sources to the Russian police. How on earth are they supposed to investigate? The whole story smelled from the start, particularly in that they used the pavlovian phrases of ‘genocide’ & ‘concentration’ camps. No thought required or looking at the actual details. The report above does not delve in the Alekseev’s scam to make money out of bringing cases to the ECHR (as the Ames piece and others posted a while ago show) nor that he filed for permission in every Russian region for hosting gay parades across Russia, from someone who himself is gay, but also an extremely nasty anti-semite and all round scumbag (see the Ames piece on Exiled Online again). The assertion that this is a psyop to take down FIFA 2018 in Russia doesn’t look unreasonable in the least. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, the rest of the EU & the USA. It must be that fetid smell of rotting flesh off a corpse that refuses to die. Zombie Democracies (TM)!

  27. et Al says:

    Grey Falcon: ‘Drive them out’: Trump sends message to Muslims on terrorism
    https://grayfalcon.blogspot.be/2017/05/drive-them-out-trump-sends-message.html

    I am far from the only one to make the observation that the mainstream media in the US are in throes of the Trump Derangement Syndrome – a mutation, if you will, of the Putin Derangement Syndrome diagnosed a decade back – and treating everything the 45th POTUS does with alarm and contempt irrespective of what it is, simply because he is the one doing it.

    Thus the headlines about his trip to Saudi Arabia are filled with nitpicking about one particular phrase he didn’t say, the multi-billion weapons deal with a country the media suddenly discovered was waging a war on Yemen (having not given a damn about said war before January 20, 2017), and obsessing about his daughter and son-in-law yet again.

    FULL SPEECH: President Trump delivers speech to Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia https://t.co/62boIRKJsT pic.twitter.com/xY6SABYcsy
    — The Hill (@thehill) May 21, 2017

    Therefore I was surprised to see The Hill post a full transcript of Trump’s speech, and even more surprised to read what was in it:…
    ####

    More at the link. I’d like to believe. But.

  28. Northern Star says:

    It’s elementary my dear Watson..the goddamn monsters on BOTH sides must be rounded up and hung by their Sharia OR Western elite shitstain fucking necks until dead:

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/05/23/manc-m23.html
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Kunduz_airstrike
    https://www.hrw.org/report/2014/02/19/wedding-became-funeral/us-drone-attack-marriage-procession-yemen

    The blood of the children in the horrific Manchester attack is on the hands of ALL the motherfuckers in the West and Riyadh who have fanned the flames of Islamic fundamentalism as a means of geopolitical manipulation In the ME and also the toleration of the mass of Islamic cockksukker so-called refugees who have fled to Europe ..unwilling to fix the problems in their native shitholes.

    This is NOT going to end well…..

  29. Northern Star says:

    So…what does a played out geezer do when his way younger and hot wifey won’t give him any??

    What are we ;lookin’ at KIA-civilians- in Seoul on the first day of the strikes??
    50k..100k…200k???
    Is this system deployed?
    http://www.ibtimes.com/north-koreas-new-anti-ship-missile-pyongyangs-homegrown-naval-technology-1969254

    • astabada says:

      Although the US likes to depict NK as a rogue state, I highly doubt that the NK Army would engage in indiscriminate shelling of Seoul (or any other urban environment). This constitutes: 1) a crime under the Geneva Convention 2) an illogical step given that NK claims sovereignty over the whole of the Korean Peninsula. NK might threaten to shell Seoul, but it is really unlikely they would actually do it.

      If anything, it is the US who has a long and incontrovertible record of indiscriminate bombing of civilians.

  30. Cortes says:

    Probably my memory is failing me but I can’t find comments about colonials in WWI. Has a moderator cleansed them out as excessively off topic?

    • Jen says:

      That comment sub-thread has indeed disappeared. I did a search on the word “Indian” on past pages and all I can get is that discussion on how the British police outsourced cyber-surveillance to cyber-hackers in India (the word “Indian” was used four times).

      • marknesop says:

        That’s odd; I didn’t delete anything except spam from the spam filter. Do you recall whose comment it was? I can search by commenter name.

        • Cortes says:

          I recall ME making a longish comment about Indian troops and included a photo of Sikhs. That comment was either the first in the thread or nearly so. Not sure if other comments were illustrated. I made a couple of replies one of which was a response to a query from Jen about the numbers of Indian troops deployed in WWII; my reply included a link to a BBC article on the subject.

        • yalensis says:

          A couple of times in the past comments have disappeared mysteriously.
          I chalk it up to a WordPress application bug.

        • Cortes says:

          Reinstated now.

          • marknesop says:

            I didn’t put anything back, either. I just did a search of all Moscow Exile’s comments and backtracked until I found that one, and selected it.

            I think Putin is meddling with my blog. Just let me check with the FBI.

  31. Moscow Exile says:

    Украина ставит на Навального
    Националисты в Киеве надеются, что известный опозиционер поднимет бучу в России

    The Ukraine stands by Navalny
    Nationalists in Kiev are hopeful that the well-known oppositionist will set the fur flying in Russia

    Radicals in the Ukraine have not abandoned their dream of “defeating Russia”. And if this cannot be done in a military, political or economic way, then … it remains to be seen whether someone in Moscow will arrange a Maidan with tyres, shooting and riots. And then Russia will disintegrate.

    And it seems that Ukrainian “patriots” have found a man who is ready to organize a Maidan in Moscow: at least support for him has already been expressed by Ilya Kiva, an adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Ukraine, Arsen Avakov :

    “Remember, a revolution has always been done by a group of people or by small groups of people. I more than hope that the Lord will be merciful to us and to Navalny”, announced Kiva on Ukrainian television. “Similar uprisings and manifestations of human disobedience occur, I sincerely tell you, according to God’s providence. I still hope that it is Navalny who will be able to raise this opposition.”

    And the nationalist punitive battalions in the Donbas are also imbued with sympathy for Navalny .

    “If there were any political decisions that we could somehow take at a state level, then we would support Mr. Navalny, the only real oppositionist who is seen on television. We could give him moral support”, wrote Vladimir Shilov, one of the commanders of the Dnepr-1 battalion, in a “Hi!” message sent by him to the “Russian blogger”.

    Some hope, dickheads!

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, I’m sure that will increase Navalny’s popularity – to have the ardent support of a group that would happily see all Russians burn in hell. Put me down for “No, thank you”, should I ever decide to run for public office.

    • yalensis says:

      “Украина ставит на Навального” – I would translate as “Ukraine is betting on Navalny.”

  32. et Al says:

    Neuters: Russia refusing to send some rail freight to Latvia – sources
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-russia-latvia-railways-exclusive-idUKKBN18J2OI

    …Several of the sources, and a Latvian local official, said they suspected Russia was hindering the cargoes in retaliation for Latvia snubbing a Russian-led pipeline project, although they offered no direct evidence.

    Latvia is among several eastern European states opposing Nord Stream 2, a Russian-led initiative to build a new gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany. Latvian media said the project’s backers had wanted to use Latvia’s port infrastructure to help develop the pipeline…
    ####

    Quite a bit more at the link.

    Riga surprised by indigestion as it tries to have it s cake and eat it…

  33. et Al says:

    The Intercept via Antiwar.com: British Intelligence Warned Tony Blair of Manchester-Like Terrorism if the West Invaded Iraq
    https://theintercept.com/2017/05/23/british-intelligence-warned-tony-blair-of-manchester-like-terrorism-if-the-west-invaded-iraq/

    Jon Schwarz

    Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has yet to say anything about Monday’s heinous, nihilistic suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. According to current reporting, the attack has been claimed by ISIS and was carried out by a 22-year-old man born in Manchester to Libyan refugees.

    But when Blair does speak, we can be certain he won’t mention one key fact: Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq led by the U.S. and U.K., he was forcefully and repeatedly warned by Britain’s intelligence services that it would lead to exactly this type of terrorist attack — and he concealed these warnings from the British people, instead claiming the war would reduce the risk of terrorism….
    ####

    More at the link.

    It’s a good thing that British Intelligence services follow orders and keep silent. Oh, and fabricate evidence on demand and threaten those who do not wish to become their informers. Yes, they really do serve the powers that be, whatever the cost to the British people. They know which side of their bread is buttered.

  34. et Al says:

    Neuters via Antiwar.com: U.S. envoy endorses Libya’s U.N.-backed government in whirlwind visit to Tripoli
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-libya-security-usa-idUSKBN18J2HR?il=0

    The U.S. ambassador to Libya pledged Washington’s support for its U.N.-backed government on Tuesday and urged rival factions to avoid civil war, during the first, fleeting visit to the country by a U.S. envoy in nearly three years.

    Peter Bodde, who is based in Tunis, and Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, the top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa, flew into Tripoli for two hours to meet the prime minister of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) and other senior officials…

    …”We call on all Libyans to avoid further conflict that could lead to a civil war and would enable terrorism and increased social and economic hardships,” said Bodde.

    “We applaud the ongoing Libyan dialogue on how to form a government that has broad acceptance across Libya.” He said he welcomed Libyan efforts to hold elections next year…
    ####

    Well that didn’t take long! The un-elected UN backed LNA is off the hook already with the Al-Queda/Islamic State style execution of 140 odd unarmed soldiers of elected General Haftar’s army by the GNA’s army commander. Issue resolved. Just a spot of local bother!

  35. J.T. says:

    Remember the spy novel Patriot and how awful it was? Well, I believe I’ve found a book even worse – and this time it concerns Boris Berezovsky’s death…
    https://russiareviewed.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/review-revenge-of-the-kremlin/

  36. et Al says:

    We all love a gas:

    Neuters: As oil prices languish, signs emerge of Algeria changing its energy ways
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-algeria-energy-analysis-idUKKBN18K1IL?

    Less than a year ago, Algeria was ready for a legal battle with French oil giant Total (TOTF.PA); it looked like business as usual for a country known for bureaucracy, tough contracts and often testy relations with foreign energy groups.

    Yet, within months Total had dropped its action with international arbitrators, and signed a new gas deal with state energy conglomerate Sonatrach on improved terms.

    When the dispute came to light in July, Sonatrach – the engine of Algeria’s energy-based economy and state finances – had promised to defend the case vigorously, and portrayed Total as a minor player in the OPEC member country….
    ####

    Quite a long read, and interesting too!

  37. et Al says:

    Toilet Barf: More than 30 migrants, ‘most toddlers’, drown off coast of Libya
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/24/30-migrants-toddlers-drown-coast-libya/

    More than 30 migrants, most of them toddlers, were reported to have drowned on Wednesday after the boat carrying them from the coast of Libya listed and flung them into the sea.

    Several EU and commercial vessels were involved in a frantic effort to rescue survivors as they struggled to stay afloat.

    The trafficking boat was carrying around 500 migrants when it suddenly tilted to one side, pitching about 200 people into the water. Rescuers said “most are toddlers”. ..
    ####

    So, on the one hand we have freedom and democracy delivered to LIbya by NATO, on the other we have the ever benevolent EU taking over Italy’s refugee coast guard operation
    Mare Nostrum which has save countless lives by stationing their ships close to the Libyan coast. Yet, the EU’s FRONTEX replacement operation Triton humanitarianly posts its ‘rescue ships’ much further back, well beyond the distance that most refugee ships founder. It is a calculated and evil policy by Brussels, and EU governments. I’ve posted about this before but considering the latest news, here it is again, courtesy of The Intercept.

    The Intercept: Abandoned at Sea – Europe Keeps Its Rescue Ships Far From the Coast of Libya — Where Thousands of Refugees Have Drowned
    https://theintercept.com/2017/04/01/europe-keeps-its-rescue-ships-far-from-the-coast-of-libya-where-thousands-of-refugees-have-drowned/

    Zach Campbell

    The rescuers prepare for the calm days, more than the stormy ones.

    On land in small towns near the Libyan coast, refugees from Africa and the Middle East are crowded into safe houses, waiting for good weather. When the sea quiets, the refugees pack onto rubber dinghies or large wooden fishing vessels and set off in the early morning toward Europe.

    An average of 3,500 people have died each year while trying to make the journey to Italy from North Africa since 2014. Their vessels are overcrowded, unseaworthy, and have a near-nothing chance of making it to Europe. Most of the boats sink just 20 to 40 miles from the Libyan coast….
    #####

    I think its a pretty good case to take to the European Court of Human Rights.

  38. Warren says:

    Published on 24 May 2017
    People could be seen queuing to register for new biometric passports, which allow visa free entry into the European Union, in Lviv, Wednesday.

  39. et Al says:

    Neuters: No clear contender to replace Brazil’s embattled Temer
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-brazil-corruption-replacement-analysi-idUKKBN18K2B7

    Key members of Brazil’s coalition government are struggling to find a consensus candidate to replace President Michel Temer should he be forced from office by a massive corruption probe that has ensnared scores of politicians and business leaders.

    Temer, a centre-right politician, has refused to resign despite allegations he gave his blessing to a bribery scheme, but many allies say privately he has lost the ability to govern Latin America’s largest economy and push pro-business policies through Congress.

    Some experts say government-backed measures to liberalize the labour market and raise the pension age have little chance of being passed until a new government is installed after fresh elections….
    ####

    It reads to me that there are no contenders who will clone Temer’s policies and are clean. Anyone looking at other less destructive policies simply aren’t given a look in. What fine reporting!

    • Northern Star says:

      “Four common illusions prevent us from clearly understanding why this political instability has only intensified under Temer: that Brazil has a unified right wing; that capital acts together; that the bourgeoisie controls the state and the political process; and that social conflicts revolve only around the fundamental disputes between capital and labor.

      Instead, rifts within the ruling class are threatening the Temer administration. A rogue judiciary, backed by powerful media outlets, has turned the upper middle classes against the government, stalling the nation’s return to neoliberalism. The Left can — and should — take advantage of this situation.”

      “This conflict pits two reactionary wings of the political right against each other.
      ** Neither upholds a progressive platform or the interests of workers and the poor majority.**
      This dispute might damage both factions, opening a gap for the Left, which now demands the president’s resignation and direct elections. This is a fight the Left can win.”

      Hmmm..sound familiar???

      https://jacobinmag.com/2017/05/temer-corruption-impeachment-pt-jbs-lava-jato

  40. Northern Star says:

    Vintage WW2 material:

  41. Cortes says:

    PACE sanctions rebound as RF reduces its contribution:

    https://www.rt.com/politics/389377-russia-to-cut-council-of/

    • marknesop says:

      “Russian officials have already raised the issue of cutting the fees because of non-participation in PACE, but in early 2016 PACE President Anne Brasseur ruled out such a possibility, saying that CE fees cannot be split.”

      Did they really think it was going to be that easy? Just tell Moscow, “Oh, no; you can’t split those fees”? Split them from what? Russia merely reduces whatever it pays by some $37 Million USD, and it is up to the Council of Europe to see where it wants to make the cut. PACE can say, “Ha, ha – you’re still paying your fees, losers” if it wants to, but the CE is still going to have a $37 Million shortfall which must be costed somewhere. Nice going, PACE.

      That’s actually quite big news, because – like kicking Russia out of the G8 – it is now no longer a simple matter of reinstatement once Europe gets over its Washington-idolizing tiff. Again like the example of the G8, the organization might make noises about maybe reinstating Russia only to find it is no longer interested in membership. That would mean a $37 Million shortfall every year; some of the PACE members might want to think of ordering the Mac & Cheese rather than the seared scallops.

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