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"F*ck the EU": neocons show EU its real place and endanger the US national security

Victoria "f*ck the EU" Nuland  appointed a neoliberal Ukrainian prime minister and organized coup d'état to install him in power

( Making Ukraine "Khaganate of Nuland"; "Khaganate of Nuland" is an apt amalgam of khanate and Kagan, a hint on Victoria's notorious neo-con husband Robert Kagan by Asia Times ).

Future Prime Minister – Arseniy Yatsenyuk (rechristened to “Yats”) with his patron Victoria Nuland. Two statists -- Taygibok (Co-founder of far right Socialist-National Party, later renamed into Svoboda party) and Klitschko (leader of pro-Germany, Merkel-financed Udar Party who was just thrown under the bus) are present

News Neoconservatism as a US version of Neoliberalism Recommended Links Predator state The Deep State Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA
Disaster capitalism Predator state Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Ukraine debt enslavement Greece debt enslavement
Color revolutions Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy Diplomacy by deception Anatol Leiven on American Messianism
From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss EU-brokered agreement on ending crisis To whom EuroMaidan Sharp-shooter belong? SBU raid on Kiev Batkivshchina office Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014 Mariupol, May 9 events
February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014
Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine Accession of Crimea to Russia Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17 ? The Far Right Forces in Ukraine Russian Ukrainian Gas Wars Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism
Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Media-Military-Industrial Complex Who Rules America The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite The attempt to secure global hegemony
American Exceptionalism Robert Kagan Machiavellism New American Militarism Russian Jokes about Neoliberal Fifth Column and Color Revolutions Etc

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page State Department neocons show EU its real place


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[Dec 08, 2017] Suspect Ukraine has been permitted to take part in the investigations.

Dec 08, 2017 | www.unz.com

jilles dykstra , December 8, 2017 at 3:20 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny

What is the problem of having contacts with Russia ? As to the Ukraine, USA, EU and NATO should leave there. We in Europe do not want the war NATO, USA and EU are seeking. We want normal relations with the country we had a lot of trade with, much of which has disappeared because of sanctions, made possible by the deaths of over 300 passengers aboard MH17.

My country, the Netherlands, objected most to sanctions, we exported a lot to Russia, on the day after the disaster objections had vanished. So it was very lucky for those who wanted to impose sanctions that a plane from Schiphol Amsterdam was hit. Despite that Russia just has disadvantages of the disaster, and the west advantages, the continuing investigation, that will never end, Peyton Place, does anything possible to continue stating vague accusations against Putin.

Suspect Ukraine has been permitted to take part in the investigations.

[Dec 05, 2017] Putin Live Talks US, Nukes, Ukraine, Iran, Hitler, And Cloning In Town Hall Meeting - Full VIdeo

What changed in the US foreign policy since 2015? The answer is nothing. It is still a neocon driven policy.
Notable quotes:
"... Putin on whether Alaska is "ice crimea" (play on "ice cream"): "What would you need Alaska for? It's cold there, let's not get overenthusiastic about it." ..."
"... Putin on when he would be willing to retire: "You won't live to see it." ..."
"... As Bloomberg notes, the Russian President took 'the pot calling the kettle black' to the next level by likening the US to the post-war USSR. Like the Soviet Union, Washington seeks to "impose" its will, Putin said, echoing comments made by his security council last month in a critique of US foreign policy. The US, he continued, wants "vassals" and not "allies." Putin also employed the tried and true "express willingness to negotiate then make not-so-veiled nuclear threat" strategy before reminding listeners that Stalin was not Hitler. ..."
"... U.S. "doesn't need allies, they need vassals" ..."
"... Nothing good came of U.S.S.R.'s attempts to impose will, model on other countries; U.S. also won't succeed in forcing its position on world, U.S. shouldn't be only power ..."
"... Putin says it wasn't Russia that ruined relations w/ U.S. its allies ..."
"... If U.S., allies was to rebuild ties, they must respect Russia, its interests ..."
"... Russia will continue to fight radical nationalism, nationalism is threat to Russia's unity ..."
"... Iran: Putin insisted lifting a five-year embargo on the delivery of air defence missiles to Iran did not undermine international sanctions since the Russian ban was voluntary. The US and Israel have objected to the move announced this week. Putin said he made the decision since Iran had shown "a desire to reach compromise". ..."
"... WW2 commemorations: European nations not coming to Moscow to mark the 70th anniversary of the war's end had been put under pressure by Washington, Putin claimed. ..."
"... Ukraine: The Russian president denied Russian military forces were in Ukraine and said Kiev was violating a peace accord by maintaining an economic blockade on eastern regions under the control of pro-Russian rebels. ..."
"... Economy: Putin was optimistic in his answers, highlighting gains in agriculture and a low unemployment rate. He added that the rouble was getting back on its feet following a sharp devaluation last year, and estimated a full recovery to be "somewhere in the region of two years". ..."
"... Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces also invoked the cold war in claiming that Washington has adopted a 'to the winner go the spoils' approach to international politics since the collapse of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Top Russian officials accused the United States on Thursday of seeking political and military dominance in the world and sought to put blame on the West for international security crises, including the conflict in east Ukraine. ..."
"... Evoking Cold War-style rhetoric, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said a drive by the United States and its allies to bring Kiev closer to the West was a threat to Moscow and had forced it to react. ..."
"... "The United States and its allies have crossed all possible lines in their drive to bring Kiev into their orbit. That could not have failed to trigger our reaction," he told an annual security conference in Moscow. ..."
"... Echoing his comments, General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, told the meeting: "Considering themselves the winners of the Cold War, the United States decided to reshape the world to fit its needs. ..."
"... "Aiming at complete dominance, Washington stopped taking into account the interests of other countries and respect international law." ..."
"... General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said missile defense systems slated for installation in Poland and Romania represented a threat and Russia had to prepare to respond. ..."
"... "Nonnuclear powers where missile-defense installations are being installed have become the objects of priority response," Gen. Gerasimov said, referring to Poland and Romania. ..."
"... The comments came at a Moscow defense conference where a series of high-level Russian leaders repeatedly warned of the serious threats that the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization posed to modern Russia. Together, the speeches formed a fiery rebuke to the U.S. that comes as the conflict in Ukraine has brought the worst relations between Moscow and Washington since the days of the Cold War... ..."
"... In the past, Western leaders have said NATO's long-running project to build a missile defense shield in Europe aimed to deter an attack from Iran rather than from Russia. On Thursday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said such assertions were a lie. ..."
"... "Today it is clear that the missile threat from Tehran that the U.S. and other countries of the alliance invented was a bluff," Mr. Shoigu said... ..."
"... Gen. Gerasimov also warned of Islamist extremism. He said al Qaeda had arisen from the Mujahideen that fought against Soviet forces in Afghanistan with U.S. money and support and suggested history had begun to repeat itself. ..."
"... Like him or not, he has exposed Obama and Team as the incompetent fools they are. Just go back and look and Tunisia, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Ukraine. Add in the Iranian deal and Yemen. That is just the Foreign Affairs book and I am sure I forgot a few. Toss in the Domestic issues and the pattern becomes clearer. ..."
"... Create chaos and instability throughout the world then re-sculpt in the Vision of the Messiah. Only I is doomed to failure leaving behind unfathomable death and destruction. ..."
"... Well, it si quite difficult to let bygones be bygones, when another WWIII is on the horizon. Why do you think Russians are now so sensitive about Hitler and WWII??? Just think! They simply do NOT want any other world war, but they know they are being pushed to such a war right now by the USA neocons and banksters. ..."
"... No American president has talked unscripted to the Americna people since Carter, even Reagan gave up the idea of talking directly and taking unscreened questions. Bush refused all contact with unscreened Americans, and Obama is the same. Cowards, and idiots. ..."
"... "Nonnuclear powers where missile-defense installations are being installed have become the objects of priority response," Gen. Gerasimov ..."
"... By trying to please Washington, Poland is taking a nuclear war timing from 15 minutes to an 1 hour, down to 5 minutes. Russia would have 5 - 10 minutes to launch on Poland to get the anti missiles out of the way first. Then consider the larger defensive launch on the West. ..."
Apr 16, 2015 | Zero Hedge

Russian President Vladimir Putin - who TIME readers recently voted as the most influential person in the world - held his annual call-in/ town hall-style Q&A on Thursday, and as one might imagine, there were some memorable moments. Previous sessions included the following classic clips (via RT):

Putin on whether Alaska is "ice crimea" (play on "ice cream"): "What would you need Alaska for? It's cold there, let's not get overenthusiastic about it."

Putin on when he would be willing to retire: "You won't live to see it."

Putin on John McCain's suggestion that the Russian President will go the way of Muammar Gaddafi: "McCain sat in a pit in Vietnam for several years, anyone would go nuts after that."

Putin on astronomy, the exact time table for the end of the world, and how, if he's around then, he will most assuredly not be afraid:

Clearly these are tough acts to follow and so, with the bar set, Putin came into Thursday's event prepared to one-up himself - he did not disappoint.

As Bloomberg notes, the Russian President took 'the pot calling the kettle black' to the next level by likening the US to the post-war USSR. Like the Soviet Union, Washington seeks to "impose" its will, Putin said, echoing comments made by his security council last month in a critique of US foreign policy. The US, he continued, wants "vassals" and not "allies." Putin also employed the tried and true "express willingness to negotiate then make not-so-veiled nuclear threat" strategy before reminding listeners that Stalin was not Hitler.

Here's more:

Other highlights include the following, via The Guardian:

Iran: Putin insisted lifting a five-year embargo on the delivery of air defence missiles to Iran did not undermine international sanctions since the Russian ban was voluntary. The US and Israel have objected to the move announced this week. Putin said he made the decision since Iran had shown "a desire to reach compromise".

WW2 commemorations: European nations not coming to Moscow to mark the 70th anniversary of the war's end had been put under pressure by Washington, Putin claimed.

Ukraine: The Russian president denied Russian military forces were in Ukraine and said Kiev was violating a peace accord by maintaining an economic blockade on eastern regions under the control of pro-Russian rebels.

Economy: Putin was optimistic in his answers, highlighting gains in agriculture and a low unemployment rate. He added that the rouble was getting back on its feet following a sharp devaluation last year, and estimated a full recovery to be "somewhere in the region of two years".

Here's the entire spectacle:

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces also invoked the cold war in claiming that Washington has adopted a 'to the winner go the spoils' approach to international politics since the collapse of the Soviet Union. This, the officials claim, is evident in the US approach to the conflict in Ukraine. Here's more, via Reuters:

Top Russian officials accused the United States on Thursday of seeking political and military dominance in the world and sought to put blame on the West for international security crises, including the conflict in east Ukraine.

Evoking Cold War-style rhetoric, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said a drive by the United States and its allies to bring Kiev closer to the West was a threat to Moscow and had forced it to react.

"The United States and its allies have crossed all possible lines in their drive to bring Kiev into their orbit. That could not have failed to trigger our reaction," he told an annual security conference in Moscow.

Echoing his comments, General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, told the meeting: "Considering themselves the winners of the Cold War, the United States decided to reshape the world to fit its needs.

"Aiming at complete dominance, Washington stopped taking into account the interests of other countries and respect international law."

And a bit more color from WSJ:

General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said missile defense systems slated for installation in Poland and Romania represented a threat and Russia had to prepare to respond.

"Nonnuclear powers where missile-defense installations are being installed have become the objects of priority response," Gen. Gerasimov said, referring to Poland and Romania.

The comments came at a Moscow defense conference where a series of high-level Russian leaders repeatedly warned of the serious threats that the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization posed to modern Russia. Together, the speeches formed a fiery rebuke to the U.S. that comes as the conflict in Ukraine has brought the worst relations between Moscow and Washington since the days of the Cold War...

In the past, Western leaders have said NATO's long-running project to build a missile defense shield in Europe aimed to deter an attack from Iran rather than from Russia. On Thursday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said such assertions were a lie.

"Today it is clear that the missile threat from Tehran that the U.S. and other countries of the alliance invented was a bluff," Mr. Shoigu said...

Gen. Gerasimov also warned of Islamist extremism. He said al Qaeda had arisen from the Mujahideen that fought against Soviet forces in Afghanistan with U.S. money and support and suggested history had begun to repeat itself.

"Not so long ago participants in ISIL also were 'good' fighters, widely paid off by the West as 'fighters for democracy in Syria,'" Gen. Gerasimov said. "Now they've gotten out of control," he added, saying they posed a threat to their "former employers."

* * *

As funny as it is to listen to the Russian President field random questions on subjects as diverse as cloning, astronomy, and annexing Alaska, and while there's certainly a degree to which the Kremlin employs a bit of sophistry in an effort to paint Russia as the tragic protagonist in a story about an evil hegemon bent on spreading Russophobia (so pretty much the exact same thing the US did during the cold war, only in reverse), the tension between Moscow and the West is palpable and with NATO now conducting its own snap drills in Eastern Europe and with the very same militants to which Gen. Gerasimov is referring just a few kilometers away from the palace of the Russian-backed Bashar al-Assad, we wonder if and when the war of words will turn into one of bullets.

takeaction

Wouldn't it be nice to have a real leader. Take a look. What a joke.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fcb4rLzXFl0

nuubee

Actually no. American's shouldn't need leaders, the fact that they feel they do should be a point of great shame to them.

CrazyCooter

I wonder if he need teleprompters for all that Q&A ...

PartysOver

Like him or not, he has exposed Obama and Team as the incompetent fools they are. Just go back and look and Tunisia, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Ukraine. Add in the Iranian deal and Yemen. That is just the Foreign Affairs book and I am sure I forgot a few. Toss in the Domestic issues and the pattern becomes clearer.

Create chaos and instability throughout the world then re-sculpt in the Vision of the Messiah. Only I is doomed to failure leaving behind unfathomable death and destruction.

ch25061

Judging from the quickness of his wit and sophistication of his off-the-cuff responses that his IQ is Enormous... Probably well over 160.

SeminoleBob For Truth

Hey new Crazy Cooter! I watched this via live feed. He doesn't seem to use teleprompters, always eyeing the audience and not looking in one place. He reads stats from paper or from the computer, when answering questions and speaking to the people, eyeing the people to the side, front, other side. It's pretty amazing. A far cry from an Obama State of the Union:

Obama: Our economy is booing!

Democrats: standing ovation and cheers

Obama: Unemployment has never been better!

DemocratsL Standing ovation and cheers

Obama: We have contained Russia and China

Democrats and Republicans: standing ovation and cheers

Love Putin or hate him, he knows his country, knows the facts and talks to he people, taking hard questions. We just don't see that heee in America. Very sad, it's always a reminder of how far we have fallen

walküre

I think it's better to leave history alone and try and forget who hated who and for what reasons. Germans weren't exactly loved anywhere in Europe prior to WW1 and especially not prior to WW2. There was injustice and abuse toward native Germans all across Eastern Europe going back a couple centuries. It's just too sad when people rely on their forefathers to promote sentiment against other groups of people. What it comes down to is the issue of money and compensation. Many Germans lost everything after two major wars and nobody is defending their claims. I know we lost not one but two wars but c'mon, that can't be the last excuse for eternity? Especially when the circumstances of each war are very nebulous and the origin of guilt is hard to establish - unofficially.

Unless we truly let bygones be bygones and focus on the future without running in circles and accusing each other of whatever our grandfathers did or may have had involvement in. That can never be compensated and those that were victims are dead and frankly, they don't care anymore.

swass

No one should be responsible for any atrocities committed by their ancestors. 100% agree. Although I know at the same time that memories of such atrocities are often passed down many generations and evoke a lot of emotion. You're right that it is to the benefit of everyone to recognize the distinction between something that happened a long time ago and that it doesn't make it true today. Some blacks still feel that America somehow owes them reparations for slavery that happened more than 150 years ago. I don't think slavery was ever right, and I don't believe that any of my ancestors ever owned slaves (that were here in the US). Yet they still hate whitey and demand reparations from all Americans, despite the fact this happened so long ago, and that no one alive here in the US has ever lived in slavery. They need to learn that the past is the past, just like may others throughout the world.

datura

Well, it si quite difficult to let bygones be bygones, when another WWIII is on the horizon. Why do you think Russians are now so sensitive about Hitler and WWII??? Just think! They simply do NOT want any other world war, but they know they are being pushed to such a war right now by the USA neocons and banksters. Russians will now have a huge WWII Victory Day celebrations and Western leaders will not come to see it, although it is so much important for Russians, because they wanted to remind the world of WWII to make them understand that we must do anything to prevent any such war. But Western leaders are puppets and do not seem to care if we all die or not. So, instead, Putin will have China, India, Vietnam etc. in these celebrations and the world is once again divided into blocks. Interestingly, the Chinese president seems to make a fuss over WWII as well, because the Chinese have suffered in WWII as well - in the hands of Japan and now the USA seems to be arming up Japan. And the Nazis in Ukraine. It seems that both for Russia and China all this just opens old wounds and they take it very seriously.

"Chinese President Xi Jinping will reach Moscow on May 8 for the celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of Russia's defeat of Nazi Germany and 70 years since the end of World War II.. Heads of 26 countries have confirmed their attendance at the May 9 celebrations in Moscow. Putin and Xi have both, in recent months, warned against "distorting history". Chinese President Xi Jinping said at a war commemoration event in December that "forgetting history means betrayal and denying the crime means committing it once again." Last month, Putin ordered the organizing committee, established for the 70th anniversary celebration of the victory of the Anti-Fascist War on May 9 in Moscow, to effectively counter worrying attempts to "rewrite history". "This is a very important work to involve the young people in preserving historical memory about the events of the Great Patriotic War, about the key role of the Soviet Union in the victory over Nazism," a Kremlin statement quoted Putin.

swass

Actually, I don't think that is really true. At least not something anyone can make a sweeping generalization about. While I think the hatred of Hitler is universal in Russia (and many countries like Ukraine), Hitler wasn't trying to exterminate all Russians. That is completely false. If that were true, Germans would have done so as they took control of villages and cities. Nazi's did, as Putin said, target Jews and attempt to exterminate them, but not Russians in general. In any case, everyone knows that WWII was very costly for Russia in terms of casualties. I have family in Russia and Ukraine. I'm well aware. "USA people" are well aware. WWI was very bad for the US also. Not sure what you think your arguing exactly.

Mike Masr

Good point. I have family in St. Petersburg that lived through the nazi siege. I think Americans who also gave lives to defeat nazism understand only to a degree. They had no nazi invasion and most here cannot comprehend 27 million lost to fighting this evil. So yes most Americans are aware, but don't understand or comprehend the price our people paid.

This is why the war is known is the West as World War II and in Russia as "The Great Patriotic War".

swass

Sure, I agree with what you said Mike. I also agree that it's hard for most people to conceptualize that size of a loss. My wife is helping to host Victory Day celebrations for Russians/Ukrainians/etc here in Minnesota and especially for elderly that lived through WWII and it's aftermath there.

Mike Masr

Could you imagine our spineless leader barry in a conference like this without a teleprompter? I don't even think he would make it 30 minutes. Forget 4 hours!!!

Jack Burton

No American president has talked unscripted to the Americna people since Carter, even Reagan gave up the idea of talking directly and taking unscreened questions. Bush refused all contact with unscreened Americans, and Obama is the same. Cowards, and idiots.

Jack Burton

"Nonnuclear powers where missile-defense installations are being installed have become the objects of priority response," Gen. Gerasimov This is a sad fact. Anti Missile systems sound defensive in nature. But they are part of a First Stike Capability. One side launches a mass attack on the others nuclear weapons systems, then sits back and counts on it's anti missile shield to destroy many of the surviving response missiles. Thus, the anti missile systems are MORE IMPORTANT a first strike target than the USA's nuclear forces themselves. So Poland and others who host a vast anti ballistic missile system for America, hoping this is all part of defense, are being lured into becoming the VERY most threatening force in the world to Russia.

Russia then, if they seek survival, would absolutely HAVE to hit Poland first and as hard as possible at the very first hint of an American Nuclear missile launch. This is very basic Nuclear War Fighting Strategy! Poland and others would be Russia's priority target when the first US ICBM appear on a Russian radar screen. The Polish sites would be hit long before Russia even launched it's response missiles. A lighting fast hair trigger will be set on Russian missiles set right on Poland's borders. Why? Because only a fool would not see the need to eliminate the anti missile systems first and foremost.

By trying to please Washington, Poland is taking a nuclear war timing from 15 minutes to an 1 hour, down to 5 minutes. Russia would have 5 - 10 minutes to launch on Poland to get the anti missiles out of the way first. Then consider the larger defensive launch on the West.

Poland is fucking insane to push the nuclear trigger this tightly. They have nothing to gain, and everything to lose. Idiots!

besnook

there isn't a single politician in the entire usa who would do this, let alone the president.

watching putin and comparing him to any usa leadership, public or private, makes me cry for the usa.

[Dec 03, 2017] Stephen Kotkin How Vladimir Putin Rules

Highly recommended!
This is two years old Foreign Affair article, which actually can be viewed as a precursor of the current anti-Russian witch hunt. Foreign Affairs firmly belong to the neocons swamp, so be prepared ;-). As usual for such publications as Foreign Affairs comments are more interesting that the article. BTW the resistance to the neoliberal empire led by the USA can probably be mentioned as a part of Russian national idea. In this sense Stanislav Belkovsky observation that "the search for Russia's national idea, which began after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, is finally over. Now, it is evident that Russia's national idea is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin." Putin simply became expression of this resistance to neocolonial rule, much like Gandy became in India before.
The US neoliberal elite is fixated on the idea of destroying Russia much like Roman elite was fixated on the idea of destroying Carnage.
This analysis is from 2015 or two years from now. It Is interesting to compare it (along with comments) with he current situation and new developments...
Notable quotes:
"... "the search for Russia's national idea, which began after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, is finally over. Now, it is evident that Russia's national idea is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin." ..."
"... Russia is classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank (having a per capita GDP exceeding $14,000). Its unemployment remains low (around five percent); until recently, consumer spending had been expanding at more than five percent annually; life expectancy has been rising; and Internet penetration exceeds that of some countries in the European Union. ..."
"... it is the predatory West's efforts to enslave people to the European weltanschauung. ..."
"... This is no World Order: it a man eat man world that has been created. ..."
"... Before America decided to KILL Gadhafi by indiscriminatingly arming gangsters to carry out their will, the incipient-unity state of Libya did not have the sectarian violence that we presently hear about. ..."
"... let us examine your assertion for a moment: Bush was a Moron but Saddam was a murderous dictator. By your logic we American must be the epitome of Moron-ness, for we ELECTED Bush; Iraqis must be a gentle and good people who were overpowered by the Saddam, the Murderous Dictator.. ..."
"... By the way, how many Iraqis did Saddam murder? And then, how many Iraqis were murdered, at the command of Bush? Since the Iraqis were killed/murdered at the command of Bush, and Americans elected Bush, Americans are responsible for the murders. We Americans have blood on our hands! ..."
"... My assertion is that America is responsible for 2'000'000 deaths in Iraq ..."
"... Dear Jamil: As an American citizen, I take my hat off to you for telling the exact truth -- that the terrorist state is the United States of America and our media's propaganda stream is now in overdrive, especially in regard to Russia, which is our latest target. ..."
"... The US State Department's Victoria Nuland and our CIA (+ Blackwater mercenaries) installed the puppet Yatsenyuk/Poroshenko govt. in Kiev (to do our bidding) and CIA Dir. James Brennan himself went to Kiev to launch the civil war against the Eastern provinces that Europeans, at least, are now trying to bring to a halt. The US does leave nothing but failed states behind it, and Western Ukraine will be the next failed state in a long list. Since the end of WWII, the best estimate is that the United States, in 67 military operations and countless covert CIA operations, has destroyed between 20 and 30 million people world-wide, largely in the interest of commandeering their resources or serving the interests of the banks to which they owe money--money they were usually cajoled into borrowing. ..."
"... I hold to my original point that Islamic terrorism has been created by unjustified Western interference. ..."
"... He advocates a world ruled by an elite (unspecified). ..."
"... You seem unable to differentiate between an imperialist and a "good Samaritan". You had earlier written that, as a street walker in Europe you had not seen any slaves, my response to that posting simply told you where you could go to see slavery. And specific reference to India was simply to help you find slavery most easily - with 14 million slaves India is the centre of Modern Slavery. However, in my conversations with Indians, especially the demi-literate ones, instead of admitting to the prevailing REALITY in India, they do not admit to seeing it. With their eyes open, the street walkers do not see it ..."
"... Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin... :)) Hmmm... oк, about Putin: Look at Putin's foreign agenda this past year: Latin America just as the sanctions came in - an intentional finger in Washington's eye, as I read it - then China, China again recently, Turkey more recently, India just now. He has not been to Iran, but there, as in all these other places, he has forged or reiterated promising relations. The deals cut are too numerous to list. A couple are worth mentioning. The twin gas deals with China, worth nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars, are historic all by themselves. In six years' time China will be buying more gas from Russia than the latter now sells to Europe. And do not miss this: My sources tell me that this gas can be priced such as to crowd the U.S. at least partially out of the Asian market. Other side of the world: Putin has just canceled a planned pipeline to southeastern Europe, the South Stream. This is the defeat Western media put it over as, surely: Russia loses some customers ..."
Mar 28, 2015 | Foreign Affairs
How did twenty-first-century Russia end up, yet again, in personal rule? An advanced industrial country of 142 million people, it has no enduring political parties that organize and respond to voter preferences.

The military is sprawling yet tame; the immense secret police are effectively in one man's pocket. The hydrocarbon sector is a personal bank, and indeed much of the economy is increasingly treated as an individual fiefdom. Mass media move more or less in lockstep with the commands of the presidential administration.

Competing interest groups abound, but there is no rival center of power. In late October 2014, after a top aide to Russia's president told the annual forum of the Valdai Discussion Club, which brings together Russian and foreign experts, that Russians understand "if there is no Putin, there is no Russia," the pundit Stanislav Belkovsky observed that "the search for Russia's national idea, which began after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, is finally over. Now, it is evident that Russia's national idea is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin."

Russia is classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank (having a per capita GDP exceeding $14,000). Its unemployment remains low (around five percent); until recently, consumer spending had been expanding at more than five percent annually; life expectancy has been rising; and Internet penetration exceeds that of some countries in the European Union.

But Russia is now beset by economic stagnation alongside high inflation, its labor productivity remains dismally low, and its once-vaunted school system has deteriorated alarmingly. And it is astonishingly corrupt. Not only the bullying central authorities in Moscow but regional state bodies, too, have been systematically criminalizing revenue streams, while giant swaths of territory lack basic public services and local vigilante groups proliferate.

Across the country, officials who have purchased their positions for hefty sums team up with organized crime syndicates and use friendly prosecutors and judges to extort and expropriate rivals. President Vladimir Putin's vaunted "stability," in short, has turned into spoliation. But Putin has been in power for 15 years, and there is no end in sight. Stalin ruled for some three decades...

Jamil M Chaudri

Interesting but slanted and one-sided, myopic analysis. Why would the 1.6 billion Muslims spread over three continents, accept Mr Kotkin's concept of "World Order".

There is no World Order; it is the predatory West's efforts to enslave people to the European weltanschauung. It is an effort by the colonialists to prolong their hegemony over Muslim lands and people.

One of the biggest mistakes Pakia made was to join the West in destroying Soviet Russia. A bi-polar world was a better world than a unipolar world, where the west is destroying Muslim nations (one after the other).

This is no World Order: it a man eat man world that has been created.

Jamil M Chaudri -> JACK RICE

Before the invasion (and total destruction) of Afghanis there was no daily violence in Afghania. Before the invasion (and total destruction) of Iraqia, there is no daily violence in Iraqia. Before Pakia allied itself with America (leading to the further debasement of an evolving state) there were no (practically) daily suicide bombings in Pakia. Before America decided to aid Ethiopia (and joined it) in destroying Somalia, the state of Somalia had a pretty vibrant civil society, and no gangster precipitate violence.

Before America decided to KILL Gadhafi by indiscriminatingly arming gangsters to carry out their will, the incipient-unity state of Libya did not have the sectarian violence that we presently hear about. Before America decided to Destroy the Syrian State, by leading a crusade (guised as a push for, of all things, DEMOCRACY), Syria was a fast-developing state. ......... This list could be stretched back to the days of Pilgrim Fathers. But I am hoping you follow the drift.

If the hat fits, wear it! If the shoe fits, wear them!! From the top of the head to the sole of the shoes, everything is dyed deep in BLOOD.

At the moment with more than 2'000'000 deaths in Iraqia, and more than 250'000 deaths in Afgania and more than 10'000 deaths in Pakia,

Jamil M Chaudri -> BAKER ALLON

Take some smelling salts, and read what happened in North and South America, when whole nations were destroyed by the colonialists, and kept in RESERVATIONS; their children were taken to missions for conversion to Christianity, their dwellings were destroyed. Read about the Trail of Tears, when a whole nation was banished from their ancestral lands. Read about 2'000'000 deaths in Afghania. For you destruction of HUMAN LIFE is less important than destruction of statues? Shows the kind of person you are. There are many clips available on the internet showing the destruction of Human Life in most parts of Iraqia(including Mosel) by the blood thirsty invaders. Harping about statues and museums, and totally callus about human lives (millions of them) you are indeed a museum piece! Go back to the shelf you have come off.

Renee Barclay -> Jamil M Chaudri • 19 days ago

Bush was a moron but that doesn't change the fact that Saddam was a murderous dictator. And Saddam's sons were known rapists and murderers.
Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites turned on each other after Bush eliminated Saddam and that's the simple fact. And they're STILL killing each other to this day. Google it.

Jamil M Chaudri -> Renee Barclay

I do not have to Google such assertions. They are non sequitur, in nature. Even then, let us examine your assertion for a moment: Bush was a Moron but Saddam was a murderous dictator. By your logic we American must be the epitome of Moron-ness, for we ELECTED Bush; Iraqis must be a gentle and good people who were overpowered by the Saddam, the Murderous Dictator..

By the way, how many Iraqis did Saddam murder? And then, how many Iraqis were murdered, at the command of Bush? Since the Iraqis were killed/murdered at the command of Bush, and Americans elected Bush, Americans are responsible for the murders. We Americans have blood on our hands!

My assertion is that America is responsible for 2'000'000 deaths in Iraq.

On your non-sequitur. If a good man has evils sons, does the man become evil? Again, Sunnis turned against Shias; so what? About the American Civil War, Google says: Though the number of killed and wounded in the Civil War is not known precisely, most sources agree that the total number killed was between 640,000 and 700,000.

There was no civil war in Iraq before American Invasion and destruction of Iraqi State and Society. Thus, America is TOTALLY responsible for 2'000'000 deaths in Iraq.

Vivienne Perkins -> Jamil M Chaudri

Dear Jamil: As an American citizen, I take my hat off to you for telling the exact truth -- that the terrorist state is the United States of America and our media's propaganda stream is now in overdrive, especially in regard to Russia, which is our latest target.

The US State Department's Victoria Nuland and our CIA (+ Blackwater mercenaries) installed the puppet Yatsenyuk/Poroshenko govt. in Kiev (to do our bidding) and CIA Dir. James Brennan himself went to Kiev to launch the civil war against the Eastern provinces that Europeans, at least, are now trying to bring to a halt. The US does leave nothing but failed states behind it, and Western Ukraine will be the next failed state in a long list. Since the end of WWII, the best estimate is that the United States, in 67 military operations and countless covert CIA operations, has destroyed between 20 and 30 million people world-wide, largely in the interest of commandeering their resources or serving the interests of the banks to which they owe money--money they were usually cajoled into borrowing.

As for political corruption, I don't know much about Russian levels of corruption, but I know a lot about the total corruption of our system of government and the evisceration of all of our civil liberties, subsequent to the passage of the so-called and mis-named Patriot Act. By the provisions of the NDAA, any US citizen can be picked up and held in indefinite military detention without charge or trial. I wonder how much worse is Russia than that?

And since Citizens United, nearly every legislator in our Congress is absolutely bought and paid for. Maybe we should leave Russia alone and think about how to restore what we once thought of as a democratic system of governance h ere in the United States.

jlord37 -> Vivienne Perkins

One thing has nothing to do with the other. While I'm in agreement with you on the Ukrainian matter, lets not forget that Vladimir Putin's Russia also has a very big problem with Islamic extremists in their territories as does a number of countries around the world .

Vivienne Perkins -> jlord37

I'm not sure I get your point. Maybe we should think about why the West has trouble with Islamic extremists. Might it be because for over a hundred years the Western powers have chosen the dictatorial rulers of Muslim countries, drawn their boundaries, supported leaders or removed them at its own whim (as S. Hussein in Iraq, the Shah in Iran, Mubarak in Egypt, Khaddafi in Libya, etc.) and inserted Israel into Arab territory for its own reasons. Has it ever occurred to you that if Muslim nations had been allowed to develop according to their own preferences, we might possibly have a more rational and peaceful world today? I can't prove this obviously, but it does seem clear that the more the US attacks and interferes, the more hostile the Muslims become. As an American I would like to see my country behave in a more decent way and with less self-serving propaganda.

jlord37 -> Vivienne Perkins

And was America to blame for Jihadi activity thousands of years ago before its existence? Do you not realize that their actvity is given full sanction, and indeed commands them to go to war with the Kufar? Currently, there is Jihadi activity in countries stretching from India toChechnya and in several African countries. They all have to do with Islamic aggression against there neighbors and almost nothing to do with " western imperialism'

Vivienne Perkins -> jlord37

"Thousands of years ago" Islam did not exist. I hold to my original point that Islamic terrorism has been created by unjustified Western interference.

jlord37 -> Vivienne Perkins

Islam first appeared on the world stage in about the year 620 AD.

Vivienne Perkins -> jlord37

Which means it is now 1,395 years old (not thousands) and I doubt that it's legitimate to equate its idea that it was entitled to make forcible conversions to the present situation, which seems to me to have arisen fairly recently as a response to Western meddling in Arab lands.

Jamil M Chaudri -> jlord37

The answer to the one of your question is a LOWD Yes: It was the FIRST CRUSADES that brought religiosity into the GAME OF KINGS: enlarging kingdoms at the expense of neighbouring kingdoms. The First Crusade was indeed nearly a thousand years ago. The only differences between JIHAD and CRUSADE are:

1. CRUSADERS are more cruel, surreptitious, deceptive, etc.

2. Crusades have no moral component, the goal is political supremacy. Jihad is about moral supremacy, justice and equality.

Since you bring religion into the mix, try to re-read the bible (the new and the old, both of which) PRESCRIBE DEATH to heretics and non-believers. Here is a action in pursuance of such biblical dictate:

"A Spanish missionary, Bartolome de las Casas, described eye-witness accounts of mass murder, torture and rape. 2 Author Barry Lopez, summarizing Las Casas' report wrote:

"One day, in front of Las Casas, the Spanish dismembered, beheaded, or raped 3000 people. 'Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight,' he says, 'as no age can parallel....' The Spanish cut off the legs of children who ran from them. They poured people full of boiling soap. They made bets as to who, with one sweep of his sword, could cut a person in half. They loosed dogs that 'devoured an Indian like a hog, at first sight, in less than a moment.' They used nursing infants for dog food." 3

Currently there is CRUSADING MISSIONARY activity in all non-Christian lands by religious warrior-fanatics (wearing the piety hat of the Christian hue). Read about the recent reaction local Hindu population in India against such activity.

First the Western nations used the RELIGION hat to subdue MORALLY SUPPERIOR but less BLOOD-THURSTY peoples; When that strategy ceased to work they rolled out a second version called DEMOCRACY. The second is as much of a sham as the earlier attempt.

Even internal to American, the "down trodden" masses are beginning to cry foul. The prevailing poverty rate in America is staggering. See the figures in most authoritative publications.

Reading does bring enlightenment. That is why I read from diverse sources.

jlord37 -> Jamil M Chaudri

Yes that's why millions of people are seeking to emigrate by any means necessary., and not the reverse. I can assure the " impoverished masses" in the west are in a lot better shape than they are in your neck of the woods.

But I think your trying to deflect once again. That Christianity ad well as other religions has had a bloody past, is no revelation, band I for one am no big fan. But steps have been taken since than, to temper the extremism that brought on these acts. One does not read of to many beheadings and or sucide bombings in the name of Jesus, Buddha, or Shiva. This is not meant as a criticism of Muslim people per se, or a put down of that particular of the world, it is merely mea by as a critique of some of the problems that I, and countless others see in the Islamic faith. There's no question that the leadership in the west, can be very corrupt and rapacious at times, but I think the general trend is towards an attempt at understanding and accommodation. Now, I think it is time for the Muslim world to attempt some sort of inner dialogue where they take steps towards a dressing and correcting their own problems. I enjoyed our discussion, and I hope we will be able to part in civil terms. Best wishes.

Jamil M Chaudri -> jlord37

First of all let me disabuse your notion of "my neck of the woods". In one of my earlier posting I have clearly stated that I am a proud American Citizen, living in a well wooded and watered part of the US of A. But as my country has gone wayward (essentially in pursuit of the buck) from its charter I am trying to bring America back to its promise.

You have levied accusation against me of "deflecting" arguments. Let me tell you what your problem is: you want to levy unsubstantiated accusations against others, and when they, with references, confront your falsehoods and soothsaying, you accuse the other of "deflecting" or "hijacking" the discussion! Pot calling the kettle black? Man, it is you who is unable to stick to the argument – but then, as you have no argument, of course, you have nothing to stick to. Your statements are based on your penchant for name-calling, bad mouthing, others. Perhaps your mind-set suggests that with such strategies, you will be the last "man standing" (?).
.
In my first posing on Dr Kotkin's article, I simply wanted to repudiate the so called "World Order". By what right have Great Britain and France seats at the Security Council. By definition in a democratic set-up, every unit has equal rights. What Dr Kotkins calls a World Order is therefore a sham democracy, created to benefit the West.

Under the guise of bringing democracy to Iraqia, Afghania, Libya, the Yemen, etc. the west is simply trying to prolong its hegemony. It is a sham democracy they impose on weak nations. Pliant regimes are being installed, and millions of people being killed. Any voice that is raised against such pseudo-democracy is silenced by force, by the thugs installed as "democratic" regimes. This is western patronage.

Presently, you read about EXCESSES done by the lunatic fringes of the Muslim Society (these groups, by the way, were created by and operate with the support of CIA – so that organisations like HOMELAND Security can get more dollars), because 90% of the news buzz is created by American media.

The USA is a state trying to improve its democracy on a continuous basis. In 1777 did America treat all people the same way? When was the promulgation of freedom (of SLAVES) passed in America? When was the voting rights acts passed? Are the economic developments of the Whites and Blacks (call it Afro-American, if you like) even TODAY at the same level?

I wish you and your, the very best. May Allah have his mercy on us as a Nation, so that we can STANDING TOGETHER still sing the Star-Spangled Banner.

jlord37 -> Jamil M Chaudri

We currently have a black president, black attorney General, a black director of homeland security, and a black national security adviser. That's not to mention the various statutes and regulations on the books that are strictly enforced to prevent discrimination and instances of inequality. Are these details of such small consequence? With regards to your observations of so called regime change, I am in complete agreement with you . I against such interventions wether it is Cairo or Kiev. It is up to the indigenous population of that country to determine the course that their country should take, and not have to be subjected to outside interference. However, I have to ask the question, do you really think that the CIA bears the sole responsibility for the for the existence of these groups? Could it be that they're trying to co opt them and use them for their own purposes? Im almost certain that the CIA didn't create the leaders who take certain texts and use them for recruitment purposes. All I'm suggesting is that we need to hear more from the moderate elements, and that some sort of reformation May have to be undertaken, much in the way it occurred in other religions. ( Christianity for example )

Finally, Im not sure where you got the idea that I " have a penchant of bad mouthing others" but nevertheless, I sincerely apologize if I have offended you in anyway. You are a worthy opponent, and it's been an enlightening discussion to say the least.

Robert Munro -> Jamil M Chaudri

Stephen Kotkin is a Jewish shill for the oligarchy.

Jamil M Chaudri -> Robert Munro

I only knew Dr Kotkin's background as a historian; his religious affiliation did not concern me. The only part of his writing that offended me was the concept of "World Order". I do not accept nor do I want anybody else to be suppressed by the unbridled-capitalists.

Unfortunately, to exercise unbridled capitalism, the underpinning is provided by exercise of power over others. It is the RAPE OF NATIONS.

Robert Munro -> Jamil M Chaudri

I've read Kotkin before. He advocates a world ruled by an elite (unspecified). However, from his background and affiliations, it's very possible that his mind-set matches that of Baruch Levy, below..........

"The Jewish people as a whole will become its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races, by the abolition of frontiers, the annihilation of monarchy and by the establishment of a world republic in which the Jews will everywhere exercise the privilege of citizenship.

In this New World Order, the children of Israel will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition. The Governments of the different peoples forming the world republic will fall without difficulty into the hands of the
Jews. It will then be possible for the Jewish rulers to abolish private property and everywhere to make use of the
resources of the state.

Thus will the promise of the Talmud be fulfilled, in which it is said that when the Messianic time is come, the Jews will have all the property of the whole world in their hands."

Baruch Levy, Letter to Karl Marx (1879), printed in La Revue de Paris, p. 574, June 1, 1928

Given the 3000 year history of Judaism, its religious writings, its possession of nuclear weapons and control of the American government/economy/media, it seems appropriate to take such claims very seriously.

Robert Munro -> BAKER ALLON

Here's some more "fantasy" about your barbaric cult............

http://www.haaretz.com/news/di...

http://www.richardsilverstein....

http://www.btselem.org/downloa...

BTW- All three of the links above are to Jewish web sites - civilized Jews.

Robert Munro -> BAKER ALLON

It is the cult for which you shill that is the disease.......for 3000 years you have been a malignant cancer trying to metastasize throughout our world.

Robert Munro -> BAKER ALLON

The disease that sickens and, hopefully, will kill your cult is truth...............

"To communicate anything with a Goy about our relations would be equal to the killing of all Jews, for if the Goyim knew what we teach about them, they would kill us openly." (found in both the Torah and Talmud)

Jamil M Chaudri -> ARJAN VELLEKOOP

Of course, of course. But then, there are even some people with eyes who do not see. For them it is a blessing, for they see no evil. It is really a mental condition due to aberrant eye. By the way, Yogi Berra is supposed to have said: "You can observe a lot just by watching". But perhaps street-walkers in Europe do not watch, because their game is different, and they are enjoying the benefits of their game.

I do not want to shatter your innocence, but slaves are not seen by street-walkers: Slaves are consigned to SLAVE QUARTERS. Present day, western world has built slave quarters in India, Pakistan, Sudan, Congo, etc. This is where the Western Worlds Slaves Live. If you want to read the whole report goto: http://www.globalslaveryindex....

India has the largest number of slaves in the world (14 million).

Mind you, A related concept is "wage slavery". To understand this concept requires sensibility.

Yet another but even more subtle concept is "mental slavery". A variation of this is known as the Stockholm Syndrome. Mental Slavery is a totally abject state where the person ceases to think eigenartig but assumes the likes and hates of the person/people who have programmed him/her.

From the last line in your post, I can only assume that deep programming has been done. Programmed consciousness is virtual reality.

ARJAN VELLEKOOP -> Jamil M Chaudri

So, now the west should care for what governments in other countries do with their citizens? I thought you hated imperialists! Your reference to India is just idiotic. Why should the west feel responsible for the condition India is in?! You are probably going to say the colonial past. Well, thats bullcrap since there are plenty of countries which have grown, since their liberty, into decent and reasonably wealthy states. The west is not responsible for India, India is responsible for itself.

Particularly the Middle Eastern countries have shown behaviour to shift the blame away from their own failures. Maybe it have to do with their Islamic background, in which so many actions are based/motivated from religious basis. And of course the prophet is never wrong, so it must be the fault of a imperialist outsider.

Get real. The countries which contain these so called slaves, can make their own choices. They dont have to be part of the capitalist terrible world order. They can make the better choice like you and other believe it. Sadly enough, that idea is, apparently, not that good. Because good ideas sell itself.

Jamil M Chaudri -> ARJAN VELLEKOOP

You seem unable to differentiate between an imperialist and a "good Samaritan". You had earlier written that, as a street walker in Europe you had not seen any slaves, my response to that posting simply told you where you could go to see slavery. And specific reference to India was simply to help you find slavery most easily - with 14 million slaves India is the centre of Modern Slavery. However, in my conversations with Indians, especially the demi-literate ones, instead of admitting to the prevailing REALITY in India, they do not admit to seeing it. With their eyes open, the street walkers do not see it.

There is absolutely no religious underpinning for State Government in any of the states where Muslims are in Majority. The Saudi Family are are there because of America; the present rule in Iran is a reaction to America (re-)installing the 2-cent "SHAH" to rule the Iranian Nation. The present excesses of the Iranian state are essentially defense postures against America intransigence, and mechanisms to harm (and if possible) destroy the Iranian Nation.

I experience reality every day. If you would just come out of your VIRTUAL REALITY, you might by just watching observe some. I know deprogramming is not easy, and self-deprogramming is even more difficult.

All the same, I suggest that you wake up and smell the Coffee; if not try some smelling salts.

Robert Munro -> ARJAN VELLEKOOP

And we have read the drivel of thousands of shills for the oligarchy and the Zionist/Fascist cult...............such as yourself.

Ivan Night Terrible

Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin... :)) Hmmm... oк, about Putin: Look at Putin's foreign agenda this past year: Latin America just as the sanctions came in - an intentional finger in Washington's eye, as I read it - then China, China again recently, Turkey more recently, India just now. He has not been to Iran, but there, as in all these other places, he has forged or reiterated promising relations. The deals cut are too numerous to list. A couple are worth mentioning. The twin gas deals with China, worth nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars, are historic all by themselves. In six years' time China will be buying more gas from Russia than the latter now sells to Europe. And do not miss this: My sources tell me that this gas can be priced such as to crowd the U.S. at least partially out of the Asian market. Other side of the world: Putin has just canceled a planned pipeline to southeastern Europe, the South Stream. This is the defeat Western media put it over as, surely: Russia loses some customers. But two points:

[Dec 02, 2017] The New Cold War and the Death of the Discourse by Justin Raimondo

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... So the Ukrainian government is admitting that their previous narrative is false – and that the ultra-rghtist Svoboda and Right Sector, who were the military arm of the Maidan protesters, provoked the incident that led to Yanukovich's overthrow. ..."
"... are opposed to the Minsk agreement, brokered by the EU, which makes concessions to the east Ukrainians. ..."
Oct 19, 2015 | Antiwar.com

Russophobia compromises the media and academia

The truth is often ignored, at first, and when that becomes impossible, truth-tellers are often punished. As two incidents starkly reveal, this is certainly the case when it comes to the civil war in Ukraine and Washington's unfolding cold war with Russia.

The first illustration of our truth-telling principle occurred after the "Maidan revolution" had already captured the imagination of the Western media, which was busy promulgating the official view as given expression by US government officials. According to this narrative, the "protesters" were heroes, the government of "Russian-backed' Viktor Yanukovich was a coven of devils, and the catalyzing incident that led to Yanukovich's ouster, the shooting of protesters in the Maidan, was the work of the Berkut, the Ukrainian government's militarized police.

There's just one problem with this story: it isn't true. A leaked phone call between Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, revealed that the protesters were shot by their own leaders – the radical nationalists who had military control of the Maiden.

... ... ...

Ashton's main concern seemed to be that this would get out and discredit the new government "from the very beginning."

Oh, but not to worry: it didn't get out, at least not in the United States. There were oblique mentions of the recording in the mainstream media, but only weeks afterward and then without any specifics: two months after the fact, the Los Angeles Times referred to it in the vaguest terms, only to dismiss it as a "conspiracy theory." The New York Times didn't cover it: neither did the War Street Journal, Time magazine, or any of the other usual suspects. The Daily Beast, typically, served as a mouthpiece for the official Washington-Kiev account, citing Dr. Bogomolets as claiming her conversation with Paet was a "misunderstanding." Yet Paet didn't cite her as his sole source: he said "all the evidence." No doubt the Estonians have their own sources in the country, and it's improbable the Foreign Minister would have made such an assertion based on a single person's testimony.

In any case, the story was pretty much buried here in the US, with the exception of this space and a few other alternative news sources.

But in Europe, it was a different story: the German public television station ARD carried a report which threw the identity of the Maidan shooters into serious question. And more recently the BBC produced a documentary, "The Untold Story of the Maidan Massacre," in which eyewitnesses assert that the Berkut were fired on from positions controlled by the ultra-nationalist Svoboda Party, which, along with the neo-Nazi "Right Sector" organization, ran Maidan security.

Still, the story was ignored in the US, but that may not be possible much longer, and the reason springs from an unlikely source: the current Ukrainian government of President Petro Poroshenko.

Last week Ukrainian police raided the homes of Svoboda Party leaders Oleksandr Sych, who served as Deputy Prime Minister in the post-Maidan government, and Ole Pankevich, whose 2013 appearance at a neo-Nazi memorial event provoked the ire of the World Jewish Congress. The Ukrainian prosecutor's office confirmed that the raid was conducted as part of an investigation into the Maidan shootings:

"The court warrant for the raid on the apartment of Pankevich, a former MP and the ex-head of Lviv regional council, explicitly referred to a BBC documentary on the subject, according to a copy of the warrant In the documentary, journalist Gabriel Gatehouse spoke to an opposition nationalist rifleman who had acknowledged having fired on riot police in the morning of February 20."

The warrant, posted online,

"[A]lso refers to video footage that showed a rifleman firing out of the Hotel Ukraina, situated on Maidan. The room from which he fired was occupied at the time by Pankevich, according to the court warrant.

"Police also raided the apartment of Sich, vice-prime minister in the immediate post-Maidan government in 2014, also in connection with shots fired from the same hotel, where he was also staying on February 20.

"An assistant to Ukraine's prosecutor general, Vladislav Kutsenko, confirmed to the Ukrainian TV channel 112 that searches of the Svoboda leaders' apartments were linked to an investigation of the February 20 events."

So the Ukrainian government is admitting that their previous narrative is false – and that the ultra-rghtist Svoboda and Right Sector, who were the military arm of the Maidan protesters, provoked the incident that led to Yanukovich's overthrow.

Why this stunning turnaround?

Both Svoboda and Right Sector have declared war on the Poroshenko regime and are calling for a "national revolution" – one that would install them in power. The ultra-nationalists are opposed to the Minsk agreement, brokered by the EU, which makes concessions to the east Ukrainians.

The far right is accusing Poroshenko of "betraying the revolution." They scoff at the ceasefire as a "sellout" because they want the civil war to continue: and as Poroshenko makes draconian cuts in the government budget in order to mollify Ukraine's creditors, and to ensure the flow of Western funding, the rightists are gaining ground politically. And they are getting increasingly violent, staging a riot in front of the parliament building in which three officers were killed by a grenade hurled at policemen: 130 cops were injured. The rightists were protesting the decision by the parliament to grant the eastern rebels some small degree of autonomy. This incident followed a series of shoot-outs with the armed rightist gang known as Right Sector, which played a key role in the Maidan protest movement.

That the Poroshenko government, which had previously stonewalled any serious effort to investigate the shooting deaths that sent Yanukovich packing, is playing this card now is an indication of the regime's desperation in the face of a challenge from the ultra-right. For to upend the official narrative – one that is fully supported by their Western sponsors, and their amen corner in the media – is to subvert the very foundations of the post-Maidan order. If the truth comes out, the ultra-nationalists may be finished – but so may the government that exposes their murderous role.

... ... ...

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud. I've written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and ISI Books, 2008). You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.

[Nov 29, 2017] The Russian Question by Niall Ferguson

This year old article written at the beginning of anti-Russian witch hunt makes it easier to understand the tribe of "national security parasites" to which Ferguson firmly belongs. Like many other members of the national security parasites tribe, he made a brilliant career pandering to right-wing think tanks.
The very simple message of this tribe is "Carnage should be destroyed" and argumentation is selectively produced to support this very idea. This is a dangerous level of political paranoia, or imperial sense of inferiority, if you wish. He is so incoherent and selective in his rendering of Russian history that he looks like a charlatan, not historian.
Note that the term "neoliberalism" and "US neoliberal empire" are not even mentioned by this "historian". The tribe prohibits using those terms.
Also not mentioned was an attempt by Clinton administration to subjugate Russia and convert it into vassal state which was instrumental in bringing Putin to power.
As for Ukraine he conveniently forgot the role of Victoria Nuland in Maydan events (aka Nulandgate). The idea to break China-Russia cooperation by dangling different carrots at both, the carrots the move then apart, is the replay of British strategy to prevent any possible alliance between Germany and and Russia. Nothing new here. It is a standard imperial policy to destroy any alliance that threaten the empire global domination.
Notable quotes:
"... Nevertheless, it is important to remember what exactly Putin said on that occasion. In remarks that seemed mainly directed at the Europeans in the room, he warned that a "unipolar world" - meaning one dominated by the United States - would prove "pernicious not only for all those within this system but also for the sovereign itself." America's "hyper use of force," Putin said, was "plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts." Speaking at a time when neither Iraq nor Afghanistan seemed especially good advertisements for U.S. military intervention, those words had a certain force, especially in German ears. ..."
"... If I look back on what I thought and wrote during the administration of George W. Bush, I would say that I underestimated the extent to which the expansion of both NATO and the European Union was antagonizing the Russians. ..."
"... Though notionally intended to detect and counter Iranian missiles, these installations were bound to be regarded by the Russians as directed at them. The subsequent deployment of Iskander short-range missiles to Kaliningrad was a predictable retaliation. ..."
"... The biggest miscalculation, however, was the willingness of the Bush administration to consider Ukraine for NATO membership and the later backing by the Obama administration of EU efforts to offer Ukraine an association agreement. ..."
"... This was despite an explicit warning from Putin's aide Sergei Glazyev, who attended the conference, that signing the EU association agreement would lead to "political and social unrest," a dramatic decline in living standards, and "chaos." ..."
"... "I don't really even need George Kennan right now," President Obama told the New Yorker ..."
"... It was foolish to expect Russians to view with equanimity the departure into the Western sphere of influence of the heartland of medieval Russia, the breadbasket of the tsarist empire, the setting for Mikhail Bulgakov's The White Guard ..."
"... One might have thought the events of 2014 would have taught U.S. policymakers a lesson. Yet the Obama administration has persisted in misreading Russia. It was arguably a mistake to leave Germany and France to handle the Ukraine crisis, when more direct U.S. involvement might have made the Minsk agreements effective. ..."
"... President Obama has been right in saying that Russia is a much weaker power than the United States. His failure has been to exploit that American advantage. ..."
"... After all, an economic system that prefers an oil price closer to $100 a barrel than $50 benefits more than most from escalating conflict in the Middle East and North Africa - preferably conflict that spills over into the oil fields of the Persian Gulf. ..."
"... However, if that is the goal of Russia's strategy, then it is hard to see for how much longer Beijing and Moscow will be able to cooperate in the Security Council. Beijing needs stability in oil production and low oil prices as much as Russia needs the opposite. Because of recent tensions with the United States, Russia has been acquiescent as the "One Belt, One Road" program extends China's economic influence into Central Asia, once a Russian domain. There is potential conflict of interest there, too. ..."
foreignpolicy.com

Moscow may no longer be a superpower, but its revanchist politics are unsettling the international order. How should Donald Trump deal with Vladimir Putin?

... ... ...

It did not have to be this way. Twenty-five years ago, the dissolution of the Soviet Union marked not only the end of the Cold War but also the beginning of what should have been a golden era of friendly relations between Russia and the West. With enthusiasm, it seemed, Russians embraced both capitalism and democracy. To an extent that was startling, Russian cities became Westernized. Empty shelves and po-faced propaganda gave way to abundance and dazzling advertisements.

Contrary to the fears of some, there was a new world order after 1991. The world became a markedly more peaceful place as the flows of money and arms that had turned so many regional disputes into proxy wars dried up. American economists rushed to advise Russian politicians. American multinationals hurried to invest.

Go back a quarter century to 1991 and imagine three more or less equally plausible futures. First, imagine that the coup by hard-liners in August of that year had been more competently executed and that the Soviet Union had been preserved. Second, imagine a much more violent dissolution of the Soviet system in which ethnic and regional tensions escalated much further, producing the kind of "super-Yugoslavia" Kissinger has occasionally warned about. Finally, imagine a happily-ever-after history, in which Russia's economy thrived on the basis of capitalism and globalization, growing at Asian rates.

Russia could have been deep-frozen. It could have disintegrated. It could have boomed. No one in 1991 knew which of these futures we would get. In fact, we got none of them. Russia has retained the democratic institutions that were established after 1991, but the rule of law has not taken root, and, under Vladimir Putin, an authoritarian nationalist form of government has established itself that is notably ruthless in its suppression of opposition and criticism. Despite centrifugal forces, most obviously in the Caucasus, the Russian Federation has held together. However, the economy has performed much less well than might have been hoped. Between 1992 and 2016, the real compound annual growth rate of Russian per capita GDP has been 1.5 percent. Compare that with equivalent figures for India (5.1 percent) and China (8.9 percent).

Today, the Russian economy accounts for just over 3 percent of global output, according to the International Monetary Fund's estimates based on purchasing power parity. The U.S. share is 16 percent. The Chinese share is 18 percent. Calculated on a current dollar basis, Russia's GDP is less than 7 percent of America's. The British economy is twice the size of Russia's.

Moreover, the reliance of the Russian economy on exported fossil fuels - as well as other primary products - is shocking. Nearly two-thirds of Russian exports are petroleum (63 percent), according the Observatory of Economic Complexity.

... ... ...

Nevertheless, it is important to remember what exactly Putin said on that occasion. In remarks that seemed mainly directed at the Europeans in the room, he warned that a "unipolar world" - meaning one dominated by the United States - would prove "pernicious not only for all those within this system but also for the sovereign itself." America's "hyper use of force," Putin said, was "plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts." Speaking at a time when neither Iraq nor Afghanistan seemed especially good advertisements for U.S. military intervention, those words had a certain force, especially in German ears.

Nearly 10 years later, even Putin's most splenetic critics would be well-advised to reflect for a moment on our own part in the deterioration of relations between Washington and Moscow. The Russian view that the fault lies partly with Western overreach deserves to be taken more seriously than it generally is.

Is the West to blame?

If I look back on what I thought and wrote during the administration of George W. Bush, I would say that I underestimated the extent to which the expansion of both NATO and the European Union was antagonizing the Russians.

Certain decisions still seem to me defensible. Given their experiences in the middle of the 20th century, the Poles and the Czechs deserved both the security afforded by NATO membership (from 1999, when they joined along with Hungary) and the economic opportunities offered by EU membership (from 2004). Yet the U.S. decision in March 2007 to build an anti-ballistic missile defense site in Poland along with a radar station in the Czech Republic seems, with hindsight, more questionable, as does the subsequent decision to deploy 10 two-stage missile interceptors and a battery of MIM-104 Patriot missiles in Poland. Though notionally intended to detect and counter Iranian missiles, these installations were bound to be regarded by the Russians as directed at them. The subsequent deployment of Iskander short-range missiles to Kaliningrad was a predictable retaliation.

A similar act of retaliation followed in 2008 when, with encouragement from some EU states, Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia. In response, Russia recognized rebels in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and invaded those parts of Georgia. From a Russian perspective, this was no different from what the West had done in Kosovo.

The biggest miscalculation, however, was the willingness of the Bush administration to consider Ukraine for NATO membership and the later backing by the Obama administration of EU efforts to offer Ukraine an association agreement. I well remember the giddy mood at a pro-European conference in Yalta in September 2013, when Western representatives almost unanimously exhorted Ukraine to follow the Polish path. Not nearly enough consideration was given to the very different way Russia regards Ukraine nor to the obvious West-East divisions within Ukraine itself. This was despite an explicit warning from Putin's aide Sergei Glazyev, who attended the conference, that signing the EU association agreement would lead to "political and social unrest," a dramatic decline in living standards, and "chaos."

This is not in any way to legitimize the Russian actions of 2014, which were in clear violation of international law and agreements. It is to criticize successive administrations for paying too little heed to Russia's sensitivities and likely reactions.

"I don't really even need George Kennan right now," President Obama told the New Yorker's David Remnick in early 2014. The very opposite was true. He and his predecessor badly needed advisors who understood Russia as well as Kennan did. As Kissinger has often remarked, history is to nations what character is to people. In recent years, American policymakers have tended to forget that and then to wax indignant when other states act in ways that a knowledge of history might have enabled them to anticipate. No country, it might be said, has had its character more conditioned by its history than Russia. It was foolish to expect Russians to view with equanimity the departure into the Western sphere of influence of the heartland of medieval Russia, the breadbasket of the tsarist empire, the setting for Mikhail Bulgakov's The White Guard, the crime scene of Joseph Stalin's man-made famine, and the main target of Adolf Hitler's Operation Barbarossa.

One might have thought the events of 2014 would have taught U.S. policymakers a lesson. Yet the Obama administration has persisted in misreading Russia. It was arguably a mistake to leave Germany and France to handle the Ukraine crisis, when more direct U.S. involvement might have made the Minsk agreements effective. It was certainly a disastrous blunder to give Putin an admission ticket into the Syrian conflict by leaving to him the (partial) removal of Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons. One of Kissinger's lasting achievements in the early 1970s was to squeeze the Soviets out of the Middle East. The Obama administration has undone that, with dire consequences. We see in Aleppo the Russian military for what it is: a master of the mid-20th-century tactic of winning victories through the indiscriminate bombing of cities.

Left: Free Syrian Army fighters fire an anti-aircraft weapon in Aleppo on Dec. 12. (Photo by AFP/Getty Images); Right: Far-right Ukrainian activists attack the office of the pro-Russian movement "Ukrainian Choice" in Kiev on Nov. 21. (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

What price peace?

Yet I remain to be convinced that the correct response to these errors of American policy is to swing from underestimating Russia to overestimating it. Such an approach has the potential to be just another variation on the theme of misunderstanding.

It is not difficult to infer what Putin would like to get in any "great deal" between himself and Trump. Item No. 1 would be a lifting of sanctions. Item No. 2 would be an end to the war in Syria on Russia's terms - which would include the preservation of Assad in power for at least some "decent interval." Item No. 3 would be a de facto recognition of Russia's annexation of Crimea and some constitutional change designed to render the government in Kiev impotent by giving the country's eastern Donbass region a permanent pro-Russian veto power.

What is hard to understand is why the United States would want give Russia even a fraction of all this. What exactly would Russia be giving the United States in return for such concessions? That is the question that Trump's national security team needs to ask itself before he so much as takes a courtesy call from the Kremlin.

There is no question that the war in Syria needs to end, just as the frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine needs resolution. But the terms of peace can and must be very different from those that Putin has in mind. Any deal that pacified Syria by sacrificing Ukraine would be a grave mistake.

President Obama has been right in saying that Russia is a much weaker power than the United States. His failure has been to exploit that American advantage.

... ... ...

The Russian Question itself can be settled another day. But by reframing the international order on the basis of cooperation rather than deadlock in the Security Council, the United States at least poses the question in a new way. Will Russia learn to cooperate with the other great powers? Or will it continue to be the opponent of international order? Perhaps the latter is the option it will choose. After all, an economic system that prefers an oil price closer to $100 a barrel than $50 benefits more than most from escalating conflict in the Middle East and North Africa - preferably conflict that spills over into the oil fields of the Persian Gulf.

However, if that is the goal of Russia's strategy, then it is hard to see for how much longer Beijing and Moscow will be able to cooperate in the Security Council. Beijing needs stability in oil production and low oil prices as much as Russia needs the opposite. Because of recent tensions with the United States, Russia has been acquiescent as the "One Belt, One Road" program extends China's economic influence into Central Asia, once a Russian domain. There is potential conflict of interest there, too.

... ... ...

[Nov 29, 2017] It must be embarrassing to be European these days. To be dressed down by the corrupt country you support on handouts because you are not doing enough to support it.

Notable quotes:
"... "We live at the time of a certain degrading of European institutions and their external weakening, including by Russia. You can accept it and go with the flow but you can also recognize the fact try to resist it." ..."
Nov 29, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

marknesop , , November 28, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Ha, ha!!! The Victim Of The Aggressor Country seldom fails to entertain. Here we have VR Deputy Chairperson Ira Gerashchenko bossing Europe around , and telling it that the Victim Of The Aggressor Country's parliamentary delegation will continue to insist on Russia not returning to the Council of Europe. Because, she says, Russia has stolen part of the territory of the VOTAC which was a gift from Russia in the first place (although she doesn't mention that last part), thereby setting a precedent for every country which has a province 'liberated' by the west to term it stolen by the west. But that wasn't my favourite part. No; this is – "We live at the time of a certain degrading of European institutions and their external weakening, including by Russia. You can accept it and go with the flow but you can also recognize the fact try to resist it."

Beautiful, Ira!! Inspiring!! And how many degraded European leaders are Billionaires who openly own an impressive slate of businesses and media in their countries, which they continue to operate and profit from while piously declaring their only interest is the welfare of the country? Which is, by the bye, the most corrupt country in Europe ? How many Prosecutors-General has the VOTAC had since its glorious liberation from the yoke of the Moskali? Yes, you can certainly teach Yurrup a thing or two about integrity.

It must be embarrassing to be European these days. To be dressed down by the corrupt country you support on handouts because you are not doing enough to support it. First we had the 'Me' generation. Then we had the 'Me' country.

[Nov 28, 2017] The Duplicitous Superpower by Ted Galen Carpenter

Highly recommended!
At some point quantity of duplicity turns into quality. and affect international relations. Economic decline can speed this process up. The US elite has way too easy life since 1991. And that destroyed the tiny patina of self-restraint that it has during Cold War with negative (hugely negative) consequences first of all for the US population. Empire building is a costly project even if it supported by the dominance of neoliberal ideology and technological advances in computers and telecommunication. . The idea of "full spectrum dominance" was a disaster. But the realization of this came too late and at huge cost for the world and for the US population. Russia decimated its own elite twice in the last century. In might be the time for the USA to follow the Russia example and do it once in XXI century. If we thing about Hillary Clinton Jon McCain, Joe Biden, Niki Haley, as member of the US elite it is clear that "something is rotten in the state of Denmark).
Notable quotes:
"... How Washington's chronic deceit -- especially towards Russia -- has sabotaged U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... Unfortunately, North Korean leaders have abundant reasons to be wary of such U.S. enticements. Trump's transparent attempt to renege on Washington's commitment to the deal with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- which the United States and other major powers signed in 2015 to curb Tehran's nuclear program -- certainly does not increase Pyongyang's incentive to sign a similar agreement. His decision to decertify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA, even when the United Nations confirms that Tehran is adhering to its obligations, appears more than a little disingenuous. ..."
"... There seems to be no limit to Washington's desire to crowd Russia. NATO has even added the Baltic republics, which had been part of the Soviet Union itself. In early 2008, President George W. Bush unsuccessfully tried to admit Georgia and Ukraine, which would have engineered yet another alliance move eastward. By that time, Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders were beyond furious. ..."
"... The timing of Bush's attempted ploy could scarcely have been worse. It came on the heels of Russia's resentment at another example of U.S. duplicity. In 1999, Moscow had reluctantly accepted a UN mandate to cover NATO's military intervention against Serbia, a long-standing Russian client. The alliance airstrikes and subsequent moves to detach and occupy Serbia's restless province of Kosovo for the ostensible reason of protecting innocent civilians from atrocities was the same "humanitarian" justification that the West would use subsequently in Libya. ..."
"... Nine years after the initial Kosovo intervention, the United States adopted an evasive policy move, showing utter contempt for Russia's wishes and interests in the process. Kosovo wanted to declare its formal independence from Serbia, but it was clear that such a move would face a certain Russian (and probable Chinese) veto in the UN Security Council. Washington and an ad-hoc coalition of European Union countries brazenly bypassed the Council and approved Pristina's independence declaration. It was an extremely controversial move. Not even all EU members were on board with the policy, since some of them (e.g., Spain) had secessionist problems of their own. ..."
"... Russia's leaders protested vehemently and warned that the West's unauthorized action established a dangerous, destabilizing international precedent. Washington rebuffed their complaints, arguing that the Kosovo situation was unique. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns made that point explicitly in a February 2008 State Department briefing. Both the illogic and the hubris of that position were breathtaking. ..."
"... This -- in the context of the long history of US and EU deceit and duplicity in their dealings with Russia is why Russia is supporting Catalan separatism (e.g. RT en Español's constant attacks on Spain and promotion of the separatists). The US and the EU effectively gave Russia permission to do this back in the 1990s. We set a precedent for their actions in Catalonia -- and, more famously, in Ukraine. ..."
"... One could scarcely ask for a better summary of why the Cold War seems, sadly, to be reheating as well as why Democratic attempts to blame it on Russian meddling are a equally sad evasion of their share of bipartisan responsibility for creating this mess. Reinhold Niebuhr's prayer for, "the courage to change the things I can," is painfully appropriate. ..."
"... "No one forced any eastern European country to join NATO and the EU – decisions that indicate these countries feared a Russian revival after the collapse of the USSR. Russia always believed that these countries were in their near abroad or backyard." ..."
"... Putin is a rationally calculating man. He has made his strategic objectives well known. They are economic. He sees Russia as the great linchpin of the pan-Eurasian One Belt/One Road (OB/OR) initiative proposed by China as well as the AIIB. In that construct, Europe and East Asia are Russia's customers and bilateral trading partners. Military conquest would wreck that vision and Putin knows it. ..."
"... He's been remarkably restrained when egged on by Big Mouth Nikki Haley, Mad Dog Mattis or that other Pentagon nutcase Phillip Breedlove (former Supreme Commander of NATO) who have gone out of their way to demonize Russia. Unfortunately, with those Pentagon hacks whispering in Trump's ear, too much war-mongering is never enough. ..."
"... U.S. foreign policy is an unmitigated disaster. The War Machine Hammer wrecks everything that it touches while sending the befuddled taxpayers the bill. ..."
"... When you meet individual Americans, they are frequently so nice and level-headed that you are perplexed trying to imagine where their leaders come from. And while we're on that subject, America does not actually have a foreign policy, as such. Its foreign policy is to bend every other living soul on the planet to the service of America. ..."
Nov 28, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

How Washington's chronic deceit -- especially towards Russia -- has sabotaged U.S. foreign policy.

For any country, the foundation of successful diplomacy is a reputation for credibility and reliability. Governments are wary of concluding agreements with a negotiating partner that violates existing commitments and has a record of duplicity. Recent U.S. administrations have ignored that principle, and their actions have backfired majorly, damaging American foreign policy in the process.

The consequences of previous deceit are most evident in the ongoing effort to achieve a diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear crisis. During his recent trip to East Asia, President Trump urged Kim Jong-un's regime to "come to the negotiating table" and "do the right thing" -- relinquish the country's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Presumably, that concession would lead to a lifting (or at least an easing) of international economic sanctions and a more normal relationship between Pyongyang and the international community.

Unfortunately, North Korean leaders have abundant reasons to be wary of such U.S. enticements. Trump's transparent attempt to renege on Washington's commitment to the deal with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- which the United States and other major powers signed in 2015 to curb Tehran's nuclear program -- certainly does not increase Pyongyang's incentive to sign a similar agreement. His decision to decertify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA, even when the United Nations confirms that Tehran is adhering to its obligations, appears more than a little disingenuous.

North Korea is likely focused on another incident that raises even greater doubts about U.S. credibility. Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi capitulated on the nuclear issue in December of 2003, abandoning his country's nuclear program and reiterating a commitment to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. In exchange, the United States and its allies lifted economic sanctions and welcomed Libya back into the community of respectable nations. Barely seven years later, though, Washington and its NATO partners double-crossed Qaddafi, launching airstrikes and cruise missile attacks to assist rebels in their campaign to overthrow the Libyan strongman. North Korea and other powers took notice of Qaddafi's fate, making the already difficult task of getting a de-nuclearization agreement with Pyongyang nearly impossible.

The Libya intervention sullied America's reputation in another way. Washington and its NATO allies prevailed on the UN Security Council to pass a resolution endorsing a military intervention to protect innocent civilians. Russia and China refrained from vetoing that resolution after Washington's assurances that military action would be limited in scope and solely for humanitarian purposes. Once the assault began, it quickly became evident that the resolution was merely a fig leaf for another U.S.-led regime-change war.

Beijing, and especially Moscow, understandably felt duped. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates succinctly described Russia's reaction, both short-term and long-term:

The Russians later firmly believed they had been deceived on Libya. They had been persuaded to abstain at the UN on the grounds that the resolution provided for a humanitarian mission to prevent the slaughter of civilians. Yet as the list of bombing targets steadily grew, it became obvious that very few targets were off-limits, and that NATO was intent on getting rid of Qaddafi. Convinced they had been tricked, the Russians would subsequently block any such future resolutions, including against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

The Libya episode was hardly the first time the Russians concluded that U.S. leaders had cynically misled them . Moscow asserts that when East Germany unraveled in 1990, both U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and West German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher offered verbal assurances that, if Russia accepted a unified Germany within NATO, the alliance would not expand beyond Germany's eastern border. The official U.S. position that there was nothing in writing affirming such a limitation is correct -- and the clarity, extent, and duration of any verbal commitment to refrain from enlargement are certainly matters of intense controversy . But invoking a "you didn't get it in writing" dodge does not inspire another government's trust.

There seems to be no limit to Washington's desire to crowd Russia. NATO has even added the Baltic republics, which had been part of the Soviet Union itself. In early 2008, President George W. Bush unsuccessfully tried to admit Georgia and Ukraine, which would have engineered yet another alliance move eastward. By that time, Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders were beyond furious.

The timing of Bush's attempted ploy could scarcely have been worse. It came on the heels of Russia's resentment at another example of U.S. duplicity. In 1999, Moscow had reluctantly accepted a UN mandate to cover NATO's military intervention against Serbia, a long-standing Russian client. The alliance airstrikes and subsequent moves to detach and occupy Serbia's restless province of Kosovo for the ostensible reason of protecting innocent civilians from atrocities was the same "humanitarian" justification that the West would use subsequently in Libya.

Nine years after the initial Kosovo intervention, the United States adopted an evasive policy move, showing utter contempt for Russia's wishes and interests in the process. Kosovo wanted to declare its formal independence from Serbia, but it was clear that such a move would face a certain Russian (and probable Chinese) veto in the UN Security Council. Washington and an ad-hoc coalition of European Union countries brazenly bypassed the Council and approved Pristina's independence declaration. It was an extremely controversial move. Not even all EU members were on board with the policy, since some of them (e.g., Spain) had secessionist problems of their own.

Russia's leaders protested vehemently and warned that the West's unauthorized action established a dangerous, destabilizing international precedent. Washington rebuffed their complaints, arguing that the Kosovo situation was unique. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns made that point explicitly in a February 2008 State Department briefing. Both the illogic and the hubris of that position were breathtaking.

It is painful for any American to admit that the United States has acquired a well-deserved reputation for duplicity in its foreign policy. But the evidence for that proposition is quite substantial. Indeed, disingenuous U.S. behavior regarding NATO expansion and the resolution of Kosovo's political status may be the single most important factor for the poisoned bilateral relationship with Moscow. The U.S. track record of duplicity and betrayal is one reason why prospects for resolving the North Korean nuclear issue through diplomacy are so bleak.

Actions have consequences, and Washington's reputation for disingenuous behavior has complicated America's own foreign policy objectives. This is a textbook example of a great power shooting itself in the foot.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, is the author of 10 books, the contributing editor of 10 books, and the author of more than 700 articles and policy studies on international affairs.

Magdi , says: November 28, 2017 at 5:46 am

you are dead ON! I have been saying this since IRAQ
fiasco (not one Iraqi onboard on 9/11) we should have invaded egypt and saudi arabia. how the foolish american public(sheep) just buys the american propaganda is beyond me.. don't blame the Russians one spittle!!
Herbert Heebert , says: November 28, 2017 at 7:47 am
A few points:

1. I think North Korea might also be looking at the example of Ukraine, and Russia's clear violation of the Budapest Memorandum.

2. It's silly to put so much weight on Baker's verbal assurance re: NATO expansion.

3. I would suggest Mr. Carpenter make a list of Russia's betrayals. But I have the impression he is not interested.

Viriato , says: November 28, 2017 at 9:25 am
Excellent piece. The US really has destroyed its credibility over the years.

This points Ted Galen Carpenter makes in this piece go a long way toward explaining Russia's destabilizing behavior in recent years.

One point in particular jumped out at me:

"Kosovo wanted to declare its formal independence from Serbia, but it was clear that such a move would face a certain Russian (and probable Chinese) veto in the UN Security Council. Washington and an ad-hoc coalition of European Union countries brazenly bypassed the Council and approved Pristina's independence declaration. It was an extremely controversial move. Not even all EU members were on board with the policy, since some of them (e.g., Spain) had secessionist problems of their own. Russia's leaders protested vehemently and warned that the West's unauthorized action established a dangerous, destabilizing international precedent. Washington rebuffed their complaints, arguing that the Kosovo situation was unique."

This -- in the context of the long history of US and EU deceit and duplicity in their dealings with Russia is why Russia is supporting Catalan separatism (e.g. RT en Español's constant attacks on Spain and promotion of the separatists). The US and the EU effectively gave Russia permission to do this back in the 1990s. We set a precedent for their actions in Catalonia -- and, more famously, in Ukraine.

This

craigsummers , says: November 28, 2017 at 10:09 am
Mr. Carpenter

You have made a reasonable case that the US and Europe have not always been reliable, but the expansion of NATO is not one of them. No one forced any eastern European country to join NATO and the EU – decisions that indicate these countries feared a Russian revival after the collapse of the USSR. Russia always believed that these countries were in their near abroad or backyard.

The idea of a "sphere of influence" is a cold war relic which Russia invoked with the Medvedev Doctrine in 2008. This is currently on display in Ukraine. Russia is aggressively denying Ukraine their sovereignty. Who could possibly blame former Soviet Block countries for hightailing it to NATO during a lull in Russian aggression?

DOD , says: November 28, 2017 at 10:23 am
One could scarcely ask for a better summary of why the Cold War seems, sadly, to be reheating as well as why Democratic attempts to blame it on Russian meddling are a equally sad evasion of their share of bipartisan responsibility for creating this mess. Reinhold Niebuhr's prayer for, "the courage to change the things I can," is painfully appropriate.
Michael Kenny , says: November 28, 2017 at 12:12 pm
The whole weakness of the author's argument is a classic American one: very few Americans seem to be able to get their heads around the fact that the Soviet Union ceased to exist 26 years ago! They are still totally locked into their cold war mentality. He thus unquestioningly accepts Putin's pre-1789 "sphere of influence" theory in which there are "superior" and "inferior" races, with only the superior races being entitled to have a sovereign state and the inferior races being forced to submit to being ruled by foreigners. Mr Carpenter really needs to put his cold war mentality aside and come into the 21st century!

Most seriously of all, Mr Carpenter offers no solution for improving relations between the US and Russia. Saying that past US actions were wrong, even if true, says nothing about the present and offers nothing for the future. At best, Mr Carpenter's article is empty moralising.

And the unspoken, but perfectly obvious, subtext, namely that the US should "atone for its sins" by capitulating to Putin, is morally reprehensible and politically unrealistic. Since, by Mr Carpenter's own account, the problem is caused by US wrongdoing, isn't it for the US to put things right (for example, by getting Putin out of Ukraine) and not simply make a mess in someone else's country and then run for home with its tail between its legs? Who gave Americans the right to give away other people's countries?

Will Harrington , says: November 28, 2017 at 12:58 pm
Herbert Heevert

The one problem with your argument if, you are an american as I am, is that Russia is not acting in our names. If the US government, supposedly a government of, by, and for the people breaks its word, then you and I are foresworn oathbreakers as well because the government is (theoretically, at least) acting on OUR authority.

Will Harrington , says: November 28, 2017 at 1:15 pm
Craig Summers

Really?! "Russia always believed that these countries were in their near abroad or backyard."

I think that if you look at a map or a globe, you will find that this is not a belief but a fact. How you could overlook this, I don't know.

"The idea of a "sphere of influence" is a cold war relic "

If you are going to try and use history to influence opinion, it is best to check your facts. This is a very old concept.What do you think the Great Game between Imperial Russia and the British Empire in Central Asia was about? For that matter, what we call the Byzantine Commonwealth was a clearly attempt by the Romaoi to establish a political, cultural, and religious sphere of influence to support the power of the Empire, much as the United States has been doing over the past several decades.

NoldorElf , says: November 28, 2017 at 1:31 pm
You could make the case that Iraq too in 2003 is another reason why the Russians and the North Koreans distrust the US.

At this point, it is fairly certain that the Bush Administration knew that Saddam was not building nuclear weapons of mass destruction, which is what Bush strongly implied in his ramp up to the war.

One other takeaway that the North Koreans mag have from the 2003 Iraq invasion is that the US will lie any way to get what it wants.

Not saying that Russia or North Korea are perfect. Far from it. But the US needs to take a hard look in the mirror.

Jeeves , says: November 28, 2017 at 1:42 pm
What Craigsummers said.

And, Mr. Carpenter, when you have time off from your job as Russian apologist, learn the meaning of "verbal." It's not a synonym for "oral."

SteveM , says: November 28, 2017 at 1:49 pm
Re: craigsummers, "No one forced any eastern European country to join NATO and the EU – decisions that indicate these countries feared a Russian revival after the collapse of the USSR. Russia always believed that these countries were in their near abroad or backyard."

Except both here and abroad, the Global Cop Elites in Washington shape the strategy space through propaganda, fear-mongering and subversion. Moreover, the Eastern European countries are happy to join NATO when it's the American taxpayers who foot a large percentage of the bill.

Standard U.S. MO: create the threat, inflate the threat, send in the War Machine at massive cost to sustain the threat.

Rather than being broadened, NATO should have been ratcheted back after the fall of the Soviet Union, and the U.S. military presence in Europe massively reduced. Then normalized relations between Europe and Russia would have been designed and developed by Europe and Russia. Not the 800 pound Gorilla Global Cop that is good at little more than breaking things. (And perversely, after flushing TRILLIONS of tax dollars down the toilet, duping Americans to wildly applaud the "Warrior-Heroes" for a job well done.)

b. , says: November 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm
The 2008 war between Georgia and Russia was, per observers at the time, in Russian word and thought directly linked to the Balkan 's precedent.

The subtext here – of nation states, sovereignty, separatism and secessionist movements – is even more relevant with respect to US-China relationships. Since WW2 and that brief, transient monopoly on nuclear weapons, US foreign policy has eroded the Peace of Westphalia while attempting to erect an "international order" of convenience on top if it.

Both China and Russia know that nothing will stop the expansionism of US "national interests". In response to the doctrinal aspirations of the Soviets, the US has committed itself to an ideology that is just a greedy and relentless. In retrospect, it is hard to tell how many decades ago the Cold War stopped being about opposition to Soviet ideology, and instead became about "projecting" – in every sense of the word – an equally globalist US ideology.

We are the redcoats now. Now wonder the neocons and neolibs are shouting "Russia!" at every opportunity.

Janek , says: November 28, 2017 at 2:45 pm
I am amazed how many masochistic conservatives are in USA conservative circles especially in the CATO institute. Mr. T. G. Carpenter, as is clear from not only this and other articles, is a staunch defender of Yalta and proponent of Yalta 2 after the Cold War ended. As far as I remember Libya was the hatchet job of the Europeans especially the French and British. B. Obama at first didn't want to attack Libya but gave in after lobbying by the French, British and the neoliberal/neo-conservative lobby and supporters of the Arab Spring in the USA. America lost credibility after and only since the conservatives neoliberals and neocons manipulated USA and the West's foreign politics for thirty plus years. USA is still a democratic country so it is easy to blame everything on the US. In today's Putin's Russia similar critics of the Russian politics wouldn't be so "easy".

The Central Europe doesn't want Russia's sphere of influence precisely because of centuries of Russian occupation and atrocities in there especially after WW2, brutal and bloody invasion of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the Cuban Crisis, Afghanistan, Chechnya etc. Now you have infiltration by Russia of the American electoral process and political system and some conservatives still can't connect the dots and see what is going on. I wonder why the western conservatives and US in particular are such great supporters of Russia. If Russia should be allowed to keep her sphere of influence after the Cold War then what was the reason to fight the Cold War in the first place. Wouldn't it be easier to surrender to Russia right after WW2.

SteveM , says: November 28, 2017 at 2:45 pm
One other observation about Russia that should be made but isn't is that the Russia-phobes can't point to an actual motive for Russian military aggression. There is no "Putin Plan" for conquest and domination by Russia like in Das Kapital or Hitler's Mein Kampf . What strategic value would Russia see from overrunning Poland and then having to perpetually suppress 35 million resistors? Or retaking the Baltic states that have only minority ethnic Russian populations?

Putin is a rationally calculating man. He has made his strategic objectives well known. They are economic. He sees Russia as the great linchpin of the pan-Eurasian One Belt/One Road (OB/OR) initiative proposed by China as well as the AIIB. In that construct, Europe and East Asia are Russia's customers and bilateral trading partners. Military conquest would wreck that vision and Putin knows it.

In the gangster movies, a mob boss often says that he hates bloodshed because it's bad for business. That's Putin. He's been remarkably restrained when egged on by Big Mouth Nikki Haley, Mad Dog Mattis or that other Pentagon nutcase Phillip Breedlove (former Supreme Commander of NATO) who have gone out of their way to demonize Russia. Unfortunately, with those Pentagon hacks whispering in Trump's ear, too much war-mongering is never enough.

U.S. foreign policy is an unmitigated disaster. The War Machine Hammer wrecks everything that it touches while sending the befuddled taxpayers the bill.

Mark , says: November 28, 2017 at 3:00 pm
"And, Mr. Carpenter, when you have time off from your job as Russian apologist, learn the meaning of "verbal." It's not a synonym for "oral."

I imagine you thought you were being funny; and you were, just not in the way you foresaw. In fact, verbal is a synonym for oral; to wit, "spoken rather than written; oral. "a verbal agreement". Synonyms: oral, spoken, stated, said, verbalized, expressed."

Of course anyone who attempts to portray the United States as duplicitous and sneaky (those are synonyms!)is immediately branded a "Russian apologist". As if there are certain countries which automatically have no rights, and can be assumed to be lying every time they speak. Except they're not, and the verbal agreement that NATO would not advance further east in exchange for Russian cooperation has been acknowledged by western principals who were present.

As SteveM implies, NATO's reason for being evaporated with the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, and was dead as a dodo with the breakup of the Soviet Union. Everything since has been a rationalization for keeping it going, including regular demonizations of imaginary enemies until they become real enemies. You can't just 'join NATO' because it's the in-crowd, you know. No, there are actually criteria, one of which is the premise that your acceptance materially enhances the security of the alliance. Pretty comical imagining Montenegro in that context, isn't it?

When you meet individual Americans, they are frequently so nice and level-headed that you are perplexed trying to imagine where their leaders come from. And while we're on that subject, America does not actually have a foreign policy, as such. Its foreign policy is to bend every other living soul on the planet to the service of America.

[Nov 18, 2017] State Department's New Victoria Nuland...is Just Like the Old Victoria Nuland

Nov 18, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson swore into office a new Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. Dr. A. Wess Mitchell became the Trump Administration's top diplomat for Europe , "responsible for diplomatic relations with 50 countries in Europe and Eurasia, and with NATO, the EU and the OSCE."

Readers will recall that the position was most recently held during the Obama Administration by Kagan family neocon, Victoria Nuland, who was key catalyst and cookie provider for the US-backed coup overthrowing the elected government in Ukraine. Victoria Nuland's virulently anti-Russia position was a trademark of the neocon persuasion and she put ideology into action by " midwifing ," in her own words, an illegal change of government in Ukraine.

It was Nuland's coup that laid the groundwork for a precipitous decay in US/Russia relations, as Washington's neocons peddled the false line that "Russia invaded Ukraine" to cover up for the fact that it was the US government that had meddled in Ukrainian affairs. The coup was bloody and divisive , resulting in a de-facto split in the country that continues to the day. Ukraine did not flourish as a result of this neocon scheme, but has in fact been in economic free-fall since the US government installed its preferred politicians into positions of power.

You don't hear much about Ukraine these days because the neocons hate to talk about their failures. But the corruption of the US-installed government has crippled the country, extreme nationalist elements that make up the core of the post-coup elites have imposed a new education law so vicious toward an age-old Hungarian population stuck inside arbitrarily re-drawn post-WWI borders that the Hungarian government has blocked Ukraine's further integration into NATO, and a new "Maidan" protest has steadily gathered steam in Kiev despite Western cameras being uninterested this time.

Fortunately Donald Trump campaigned on and was elected to improve relations with Russia and end the Obama Administration's neocon-fueled launch of a new Cold War. He raised eyebrows when he directly challenged the neocon shibboleth -- amplified by the mainstream media -- that Russia was invading Ukraine. But candidate Trump really blew neocon minds -- and delighted voters -- when he said he was looking into ending US sanctions on Russia imposed by Obama and may recognize Crimea as Russian territory.

Which brings us back to Wess Mitchell. Certainly President Trump, seeing the destruction of Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Victoria Nuland's anti-Russia interventionism, would he finally restore a sane diplomat to the position vacated by the unmourned former Assistant Secretary. Would appoint someone in line with the rhetoric that landed him the Oval Office. Right?

Wrong!

If anything, Wess Mitchell may well prove to be Victoria Nuland on steroids. He was co-founder and CEO of the neocon-dominated Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). Mitchell's CEPA is funded largely by the US government, NATO, neocon grant-making mega-foundations, and the military-industrial complex. The "think tank" does the bidding of its funders, finding a Russian threat under every rock that requires a NATO and defense industry response -- or we're doomed!

Mitchell's CEPA's recent greatest hits? " The Kremlin's 20 toxic tactics ," " Russian disinformation and anti-Western narratives in Romania: How to fight back? ," " Winning the Information War ," " Alliances and American greatness ," " Russia's historical distortions ," " What the Kremlin Fears Most ," and so on. You get the idea. The raison d'etre of the organization founded by the new Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia is to foment a new (and very profitable) Cold War (and more?) with Russia.

Last month, CEPA put on its big conference, the " CEPA Forum 2017 ." Speakers included central European heavy hitter politicos like the president of Latvia and also Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe, who gave a talk on how "the unity of the NATO Alliance" is "what Russia fears the most." The grand event was funded, as might be expected, by war contractors Raytheon and Lockheed-Martin. But also, surprisingly, significant funding came from the Hungarian government of Viktor Orban, who is seen as somewhat of a maverick in central Europe for refusing to sign on to the intense Russia-hate seen in the Baltics and in Poland.

The no-doubt extraordinarily expensive conference was funded by no less than three Hungarian government entities: the Embassy of Hungary in Washington, DC, the Hungarian Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade , and the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrad Group . Again, given Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's reputation for bucking neocon positions vis-a-vis Russia it is surprised to see the virulently anti-Russia CEPA conference so awash in Hungarian taxpayer money. Perhaps there is something to explore in the fact that the recently-fired Hungarian Ambassador to Washington,Réka Szemerkényi, was recently named executive vice president of CEPA. Hmmm. Makes you wonder.

But back to Mitchell. So he founded a neocon think tank funded by a NATO desperate for new missions and a military-industrial complex desperate for new wars. What about his own views? Surely he can't be as bad as Nuland. Right? Wrong! Fortunately Assistant Secretary Mitchell is a prolific writer, so it's easy to track his thinking. In a recent piece for neocon Francis Fukuyama's American Interest , titled "Predators on the Frontiers," Mitchell warns that, "From eastern Ukraine and the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea, large rivals of the United States are modernizing their military forces, grabbing strategic real estate, and threatening vulnerable US allies."

Mitchell continues, in a voice right out of the neocon canon, that:

By degrees, the world is entering the path to war. Not since the 1980s have the conditions been riper for a major international military crisis. Not since the 1930s has the world witnessed the emergence of multiple large, predatory states determined to revise the global order to their advantage -- if necessary by force.
We are on a path to war not seen since the 1930s! And why are our "enemies" so hell-bent on destroying us? Because we are just so isolationist!

Writes Mitchell: "Over the past few years, Russia, China, and, to a degree, Iran have sensed that the United States is retreating in their respective regions..."

We are "retreating"?

So what can we do? Mitchell again does the bidding of his paymasters in advising that the only thing we can do to save ourselves is...spend more on militarism:

The United States should therefore enhance its nuclear arsenal by maintaining and modernizing it. It needs to sustain a credible nuclear extended deterrent at a time when revisionist states are gradually pushing their spheres of influence and control closer to, if not against, U.S. allies. Moreover, it should use the limited tactical nuclear weapons at its disposal and seed them in a few of the most vulnerable and capable frontline states (Poland and Japan, for instance) under "nuclear sharing" agreements.
There is our new Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia. Our top diplomat for Europe. The only solution is a military solution. President Trump. Elected to end the endless wars, to forge better relations with Russia, to roll-back an "outdated" NATO. President Trump has replaced Victoria Nuland with something far more dangerous and frightening. Heckuva job, there, Mr. President!
Copyright © 2017 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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[Nov 12, 2017] People are the same all over, they fall for propaganda if the lie is repeated constantly. In the US, this has produced a general culture of arrogance and exceptionalism that has killed many millions around the world and therein lies the difference.

Nov 12, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

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/div
Peter AU 1 | Nov 12, 2017 1:24:16 AM | 43
Don Bacon @40

"I've lived in many countries and have found the people in all of them to be wonderful, just as the American people are."

Edward Abbey: "The tragedy of modern war is not so much that the young men die but that they die fighting each other--instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals."

I would totaly agree with most of this. Away from anything political, many Americans are just ordinary down to earth people. Even in geo-politics, a percentage, perhaps 10% fully understand the dirty shit that is going on, and that in the name of the state of USA, what their state is doing. But Americans as a general population goes, are different from the other five eyes. Much bragado and exceptionalism and theater. This is general population, as compared to the other five eyes. Not individuals.

The general attitude/culture whatever it can be called seems to go back a long way Don.

My father in law who as an 18/19 year old was part of defence of US airstrips as the US island hopped to Japan had no enminty for the Japanes but dissliked Americans from that time.
Same for two relatives who were in Vietnam, one a conscript, the other a carrer military officer. I never really understood that, and it was only in the months after MH17 I began to feel the same.
But the question is this. Why do they not feel this way towards other five eye forces they have fought alongside?

I watch a lot of youtube videos, when I can't do much else, on things that interest me. When dealing with another culture, some of the US videos are very good, but in others, the exceptionalism or perhaps condescension towards the 'lower' culture just oozes out and I find these unwatchable even though I am interested in what they are filming.

There is a huge amount of inovation come from the US, and this I like reading about or watching, but there is also something else about the US, this is just speaking of population in general rather than idividuals, is a general feeling of arrogance, or exceptionalism, that has come perhaps from the huge inovations the US has made, and also generations of indoctrination.

This would be unnoticable to Americans who have grown up and lived their lives thinking this is the norm.

Peter AU 1 | Nov 12, 2017 1:45:50 AM | 44
@ Don Bacon

As far as swallowing propaganda goes, all people in all countries are the same.

In Australia, not one fucking polition made waves that reached the media about MH17. Although very few people I know, make that no one trusts MSM or their politicians, because it was all around them, thought MH17 had been shot down by the 'rebel' side and Russia may or may not have had involvement. People are the same all over, they fall for propaganda if the lie is repeated constantly. In the US, this has produced a general culture of arrogance and exceptionalism that has killed many millions around the world and therein lies the difference. I have thought for the last few years now, that the only way to break this culture, is for the US to go through what Russia went through in the nineties.

George Smiley | Nov 12, 2017 1:59:11 AM | 45
@43

Yes I agree wholeheartedly. We can pretend that every culture is smart and just a-okay or we can seriously look at some glaring problems that exist in the USA collectively. Its not unique to them either, a lot of the west holds quite similar attitudes, but in America its just taken to it's extreme.

One only has to look towards the end of the Roman, Athenian or Ottoman states to get a sense of this too. Culture at the end of most empires is usually often very "flawed" (for lack of a better word) and filled with its own hubris. You can blame it on the state, or media, or anything really, but it doesn't change much besides the explanation of why.

No one is calling Americans "sheeple" here

[Nov 08, 2017] Can Putin Survive by George Friedman

It is interesting to access George Friedman after two and half years since it was made. Looks like he is a bad forcaster.
The Us plot to move Ukraine to the "Baltic states model" was the major geopolitical victory of the Obama administration. and the EU has similar goals, so we can talk about joint invasion into traditional Russian geopolitical space by the USA and EU.
Notable quotes:
"... This week, we revisit a Geopolitical Weekly first published in July 2014 that explored whether Russian President Vladimir Putin could hold on to power despite his miscalculations in Ukraine, a topic that returned to prominence with his recent temporary absence from public view . While Putin has since reappeared, the issues highlighted by his disappearing act persist. ..."
"... Ukraine is, of course, the place to start. The country is vital to Russia as a buffer against the West and as a route for delivering energy to Europe, which is the foundation of the Russian economy. ..."
"... Part of the reason Putin had replaced Boris Yeltsin in 2000 was Yeltsin's performance during the Kosovo war. Russia was allied with the Serbs and had not wanted NATO to launch a war against Serbia. Russian wishes were disregarded. The Russian views simply didn't matter to the West. Still, when the air war failed to force Belgrade's capitulation, the Russians negotiated a settlement that allowed U.S. and other NATO troops to enter and administer Kosovo. As part of that settlement, Russian troops were promised a significant part in peacekeeping in Kosovo. But the Russians were never allowed to take up that role, and Yeltsin proved unable to respond to the insult. ..."
"... Putin also replaced Yeltsin because of the disastrous state of the Russian economy. Though Russia had always been poor, there was a pervasive sense that it been a force to be reckoned with in international affairs. Under Yeltsin, however, Russia had become even poorer and was now held in contempt in international affairs. Putin had to deal with both issues. ..."
"... The breaking point came in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution of 2004. Yanukovich was elected president that year under dubious circumstances, but demonstrators forced him to submit to a second election. He lost, and a pro-Western government took office. At that time, Putin accused the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies of having organized the demonstrations. Fairly publicly, this was the point when Putin became convinced that the West intended to destroy the Russian Federation, sending it the way of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... The Ukrainian crisis has made things worse. Capital flight from Russia in the first six months stood at $76 billion, compared to $63 billion for all of 2013. Foreign direct investment fell 50 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. And all this happened in spite of oil prices remaining higher than $100 per barrel. ..."
"... The Politburo model is designed for a leader to build coalitions among factions. Putin has been very good at doing that, but then he has been very successful at all the things he has done until now. His ability to hold things together declines as trust in his abilities declines and various factions concerned about the consequences of remaining closely tied to a failing leader start to maneuver. Like Khrushchev, who was failing in economic and foreign policy, Putin could have his colleagues remove him. ..."
"... Ultimately, politicians who miscalculate and mismanage tend not to survive. Putin miscalculated in Ukraine, failing to anticipate the fall of an ally, failing to respond effectively and then stumbling badly in trying to recoup. His management of the economy has not been exemplary of late either, to say the least. He has colleagues who believe they could do a better job, and now there are important people in Europe who would be glad to see him go. He must reverse this tide rapidly, or he may be replaced. ..."
Mar 24, 2015 | Stratfor
Editor's Note: This week, we revisit a Geopolitical Weekly first published in July 2014 that explored whether Russian President Vladimir Putin could hold on to power despite his miscalculations in Ukraine, a topic that returned to prominence with his recent temporary absence from public view. While Putin has since reappeared, the issues highlighted by his disappearing act persist.

There is a general view that Vladimir Putin governs the Russian Federation as a dictator, that he has defeated and intimidated his opponents and that he has marshaled a powerful threat to surrounding countries. This is a reasonable view, but perhaps it should be re-evaluated in the context of recent events.

Ukraine and the Bid to Reverse Russia's Decline

Ukraine is, of course, the place to start. The country is vital to Russia as a buffer against the West and as a route for delivering energy to Europe, which is the foundation of the Russian economy. On Jan. 1, Ukraine's president was Viktor Yanukovich, generally regarded as favorably inclined to Russia. Given the complexity of Ukrainian society and politics, it would be unreasonable to say Ukraine under him was merely a Russian puppet. But it is fair to say that under Yanukovich and his supporters, fundamental Russian interests in Ukraine were secure.

This was extremely important to Putin. Part of the reason Putin had replaced Boris Yeltsin in 2000 was Yeltsin's performance during the Kosovo war. Russia was allied with the Serbs and had not wanted NATO to launch a war against Serbia. Russian wishes were disregarded. The Russian views simply didn't matter to the West. Still, when the air war failed to force Belgrade's capitulation, the Russians negotiated a settlement that allowed U.S. and other NATO troops to enter and administer Kosovo. As part of that settlement, Russian troops were promised a significant part in peacekeeping in Kosovo. But the Russians were never allowed to take up that role, and Yeltsin proved unable to respond to the insult.

Putin also replaced Yeltsin because of the disastrous state of the Russian economy. Though Russia had always been poor, there was a pervasive sense that it been a force to be reckoned with in international affairs. Under Yeltsin, however, Russia had become even poorer and was now held in contempt in international affairs. Putin had to deal with both issues. He took a long time before moving to recreate Russian power, though he said early on that the fall of the Soviet Union had been the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. This did not mean he wanted to resurrect the Soviet Union in its failed form, but rather that he wanted Russian power to be taken seriously again, and he wanted to protect and enhance Russian national interests.

The breaking point came in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution of 2004. Yanukovich was elected president that year under dubious circumstances, but demonstrators forced him to submit to a second election. He lost, and a pro-Western government took office. At that time, Putin accused the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies of having organized the demonstrations. Fairly publicly, this was the point when Putin became convinced that the West intended to destroy the Russian Federation, sending it the way of the Soviet Union. For him, Ukraine's importance to Russia was self-evident. He therefore believed that the CIA organized the demonstration to put Russia in a dangerous position, and that the only reason for this was the overarching desire to cripple or destroy Russia. Following the Kosovo affair, Putin publicly moved from suspicion to hostility to the West.

The Russians worked from 2004 to 2010 to undo the Orange Revolution. They worked to rebuild the Russian military, focus their intelligence apparatus and use whatever economic influence they had to reshape their relationship with Ukraine. If they couldn't control Ukraine, they did not want it to be controlled by the United States and Europe. This was, of course, not their only international interest, but it was the pivotal one.

Russia's invasion of Georgia had more to do with Ukraine than it had to do with the Caucasus. At the time, the United States was still bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan. While Washington had no formal obligation to Georgia, there were close ties and implicit guarantees. The invasion of Georgia was designed to do two things. The first was to show the region that the Russian military, which had been in shambles in 2000, was able to act decisively in 2008. The second was to demonstrate to the region, and particularly to Kiev, that American guarantees, explicit or implicit, had no value. In 2010, Yanukovich was elected president of Ukraine, reversing the Orange Revolution and limiting Western influence in the country.

Recognizing the rift that was developing with Russia and the general trend against the United States in the region, the Obama administration tried to recreate older models of relationships when Hillary Clinton presented Putin with a "reset" button in 2009. But Washington wanted to restore the relationship in place during what Putin regarded as the "bad old days." He naturally had no interest in such a reset. Instead, he saw the United States as having adopted a defensive posture, and he intended to exploit his advantage.

One place he did so was in Europe, using EU dependence on Russian energy to grow closer to the Continent, particularly Germany. But his high point came during the Syrian affair, when the Obama administration threatened airstrikes after Damascus used chemical weapons only to back off from its threat. The Russians aggressively opposed Obama's move, proposing a process of negotiations instead. The Russians emerged from the crisis appearing decisive and capable, the United States indecisive and feckless. Russian power accordingly appeared on the rise, and in spite of a weakening economy, this boosted Putin's standing.

The Tide Turns Against Putin

Events in Ukraine this year, by contrast, have proved devastating to Putin. In January, Russia dominated Ukraine. By February, Yanukovich had fled the country and a pro-Western government had taken power. The general uprising against Kiev that Putin had been expecting in eastern Ukraine after Yanukovich's ouster never happened. Meanwhile, the Kiev government, with Western advisers, implanted itself more firmly. By July, the Russians controlled only small parts of Ukraine. These included Crimea, where the Russians had always held overwhelming military force by virtue of treaty, and a triangle of territory from Donetsk to Luhansk to Severodonetsk, where a small number of insurgents apparently supported by Russian special operations forces controlled a dozen or so towns.

If no Ukrainian uprising occurred, Putin's strategy was to allow the government in Kiev to unravel of its own accord and to split the United States from Europe by exploiting Russia's strong trade and energy ties with the Continent. And this is where the crash of the Malaysia Airlines jet is crucial. If it turns out - as appears to be the case - that Russia supplied air defense systems to the separatists and sent crews to man them (since operating those systems requires extensive training), Russia could be held responsible for shooting down the plane. And this means Moscow's ability to divide the Europeans from the Americans would decline. Putin then moves from being an effective, sophisticated ruler who ruthlessly uses power to being a dangerous incompetent supporting a hopeless insurrection with wholly inappropriate weapons. And the West, no matter how opposed some countries might be to a split with Putin, must come to grips with how effective and rational he really is.

Meanwhile, Putin must consider the fate of his predecessors. Nikita Khrushchev returned from vacation in October 1964 to find himself replaced by his protege, Leonid Brezhnev, and facing charges of, among other things, "harebrained scheming." Khrushchev had recently been humiliated in the Cuban missile crisis. This plus his failure to move the economy forward after about a decade in power saw his closest colleagues "retire" him. A massive setback in foreign affairs and economic failures had resulted in an apparently unassailable figure being deposed.

Russia's economic situation is nowhere near as catastrophic as it was under Khrushchev or Yeltsin, but it has deteriorated substantially recently, and perhaps more important, has failed to meet expectations. After recovering from the 2008 crisis, Russia has seen several years of declining gross domestic product growth rates, and its central bank is forecasting zero growth this year. Given current pressures, we would guess the Russian economy will slide into recession sometime in 2014. The debt levels of regional governments have doubled in the past four years, and several regions are close to bankruptcy. Moreover, some metals and mining firms are facing bankruptcy. The Ukrainian crisis has made things worse. Capital flight from Russia in the first six months stood at $76 billion, compared to $63 billion for all of 2013. Foreign direct investment fell 50 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. And all this happened in spite of oil prices remaining higher than $100 per barrel.

Putin's popularity at home soared after the successful Sochi Winter Olympics and after the Western media made him look like the aggressor in Crimea. He has, after all, built his reputation on being tough and aggressive. But as the reality of the situation in Ukraine becomes more obvious, the great victory will be seen as covering a retreat coming at a time of serious economic problems. For many leaders, the events in Ukraine would not represent such an immense challenge. But Putin has built his image on a tough foreign policy, and the economy meant his ratings were not very high before Ukraine.

Imagining Russia After Putin

In the sort of regime that Putin has helped craft, the democratic process may not be the key to understanding what will happen next. Putin has restored Soviet elements to the structure of the government, even using the term "Politburo" for his inner Cabinets. These are all men of his choosing, of course, and so one might assume they would be loyal to him. But in the Soviet-style Politburo, close colleagues were frequently the most feared.

The Politburo model is designed for a leader to build coalitions among factions. Putin has been very good at doing that, but then he has been very successful at all the things he has done until now. His ability to hold things together declines as trust in his abilities declines and various factions concerned about the consequences of remaining closely tied to a failing leader start to maneuver. Like Khrushchev, who was failing in economic and foreign policy, Putin could have his colleagues remove him.

It is difficult to know how a succession crisis would play out, given that the constitutional process of succession exists alongside the informal government Putin has created. From a democratic standpoint, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin are as popular as Putin is, and I suspect they both will become more popular in time. In a Soviet-style struggle, Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov and Security Council Chief Nicolai Patryushev would be possible contenders. But there are others. Who, after all, expected the emergence of Mikhail Gorbachev?

Ultimately, politicians who miscalculate and mismanage tend not to survive. Putin miscalculated in Ukraine, failing to anticipate the fall of an ally, failing to respond effectively and then stumbling badly in trying to recoup. His management of the economy has not been exemplary of late either, to say the least. He has colleagues who believe they could do a better job, and now there are important people in Europe who would be glad to see him go. He must reverse this tide rapidly, or he may be replaced.

Putin is far from finished. But he has governed for 14 years counting the time Dmitri Medvedev was officially in charge, and that is a long time. He may well regain his footing, but as things stand at the moment, I would expect quiet thoughts to be stirring in his colleagues' minds. Putin himself must be re-examining his options daily. Retreating in the face of the West and accepting the status quo in Ukraine would be difficult, given that the Kosovo issue that helped propel him to power and given what he has said about Ukraine over the years. But the current situation cannot sustain itself. The wild card in this situation is that if Putin finds himself in serious political trouble, he might become more rather than less aggressive. Whether Putin is in real trouble is not something I can be certain of, but too many things have gone wrong for him lately for me not to consider the possibility. And as in any political crisis, more and more extreme options are contemplated if the situation deteriorates.

Those who think that Putin is both the most repressive and aggressive Russian leader imaginable should bear in mind that this is far from the case. Lenin, for example, was fearsome. But Stalin was much worse. There may similarly come a time when the world looks at the Putin era as a time of liberality. For if the struggle by Putin to survive, and by his challengers to displace him, becomes more intense, the willingness of all to become more brutal might well increase.

[Nov 08, 2017] More 'Fake News,' Alas, From the New York Times The American Conservative by Andrew J. Bacevich

Notable quotes:
"... Third, Manafort's efforts mattered bigly. In 2010, he helped Victor F. Yanukovych become president of Ukraine. An unquestionably nasty piece of work, Yanukovych was, according to Farkas, "Putin's man in Kiev." Yet like it or not, he came to power as the result of democratic election. In 2013, Yanukovych opted against joining the EU, which along with NATO, had, in Farkas's words, "experienced a burst of membership expansion" right up to Russia's own borders. ..."
"... In response to Yanukovych's action, "the Ukrainian people," that is, the enlightened ones, "took to the streets," forcing him to flee the country. Rather than bowing to the expressed will of the people, however, Russia's Vladimir Putin "instigated a separatist movement" in eastern Ukraine, thereby triggering "a war between Russia and Ukraine that continues to this day." ..."
"... To accept Farkas's account as truthful, one would necessarily conclude that as Manafort was hijacking history, the United States remained quietly on the sidelines, an innocent bystander sending prayers heavenward in hopes that freedom and democracy might everywhere prevail ..."
"... Furthermore, Russia was not alone in its meddling. The United States has been equally guilty. When "the Ukrainian people took to the streets," as Farkas puts it, the State Department and CIA were behind the scenes vigorously pulling strings. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland believed it was incumbent upon the United States to decide who should govern Ukraine. ("Yats is the guy," she said on a leaked call). Nuland would brook no interference from allies slow to follow Washington's lead. ("F–k the EU," she told the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.) ..."
"... That Ukraine is, as Farkas correctly states, a torn country, did not give Nuland pause. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers have assigned to themselves a magical ability to repair such tears and to make broken countries whole. The results of their labors are amply on display everywhere from Somalia and Haiti to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Now add Ukraine to that sorry list. ..."
"... Even so, can't we at least assume Nuland's motives were morally superior to Putin's? After all, President Putin is clearly a thug whereas Nuland is an estimable product of the American foreign policy establishment. She's married to Robert Kagan, for heaven's sake. ..."
"... This is why we should disband politically oriented NGO's. In essence, a country is only a democracy if it is pro-U.S. Resistance is futile. Meddling at this level will only bring about more conflict, instability and military obligations will follow. It is good to be king but it is also quite expensive and ultimately ruinous. ..."
"... Imperialism rules other peoples against their will, necessitating for its survival the lessening of democratic accountability at home, too, since it lessens the importance of citizens' own concerns, also requiring for its warmaking security keeping voters in the dark. ..."
"... Make that, More 'Fake News,' Of Course From the New York Times. Saturated with Fake News of various manifestations, the NY Times and its rancid analog Washington Post on the other end of the Crony-Elite NY-DC axis are unreadable. ..."
"... Given a ham-fisted EU run by Elite hacks in Brussels that is white washing Europe's Christian legacy, mandating overbearing economic and social controls and absorbing millions of net negative migrants, the Czechs, Poles, Hungarians and Balts seem to be having second thoughts. BTW, The Russians will not and do not want to invade those countries. As the EU spins out of control and the One Belt One Road initiative develops, Russia only needs to ask them what direction they want to face in the future. ..."
"... So, having said that, on foreign policy they, all newspapers and the vast majority of magazines, are war-peddling neo-con supporters. ..."
"... Do not buy any major newspaper. Let them wither away and, it wasn't fake spun 'news' we have been getting only this year: fake agenda driven bull has been going on for decades. Go to the internet and overseas for news think what I said over and you will see ..."
"... All this social, economic and political mess is the result of deregulation in the economic, social, political spheres. The effects of those deregulations are now quite obvious in: economy, society, morality and politics that are already corrupted to the core, but the corruption is not stopping there, it is consuming everything else on its way. There is no end to it, and what is even more surprising is that people want even more of all kinds of deregulations etc. ..."
"... Wouldn't it be more logical to bring back responsibility, moral standards and decency to politics, society and economy etc? What I now see in media is the total lack of any ideas on how to correct the obvious, but instead everybody is spinning his/her lies to make them more believable to the yet unconverted. This is pure relativism and sophistry and it destroys not only the USA, but the West as well. ..."
"... If an opinion piece in NYT or other MSM blatantly distorts the facts, then it belongs to the category of "fake news." Which should probably be called "malicious rumors." So the defense of some commenters that you can blatantly lie in opinion pieces (the right NYT exercised to the full extent in this particular example and for which Bacevich criticized them) is wrong. Anti-Russian witch hunt in NYT and other MSM destroys the credibility of the USA version of neoliberalism as well as the USA foreign policy. Along with Trump election, I view it as a symptom of the crisis of neoliberalism for which the US elite is unable to find a more suitable answer than scapegoating. Also the fact that Nuland is married to neocon warmonger Kagan is a material fact. ..."
Nov 08, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Disregarding President Trump's insistent claim that the establishment press propagates "fake news" requires a constant effort -- especially when a prestigious outlet like the New York Times allows itself to be used for blatantly fraudulent purposes.

I cherish the First Amendment. Mark me down as favoring journalism that is loud, lively, and confrontational. When members of the media snooze -- falling for fictitious claims about Saddam's WMD program or Gaddafi's genocidal intentions, for example -- we all lose.

So the recent decision by Times editors to publish an op-ed regarding Paul Manafort's involvement in Ukraine is disturbing. That the Times is keen to bring down Donald Trump is no doubt the case. Yet if efforts to do so entail grotesque distortions of U.S. policy before Trump, then we are courting real trouble. Put simply, ousting Trump should not come at the cost of whitewashing the follies that contributed to Trump's rise in the first place.

The offending Times op-ed, the handiwork of Evelyn N. Farkas, appears under the title "With Manafort, It Really Is About Russia, Not Ukraine." During the Obama administration, Farkas served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia, and Mess Kit Repair. Okay, I added that last bit, but it does seem like quite an expansive charter for a mere deputy assistant secretary.

The story Farkas tells goes like this.

First, from the moment it achieved independence in 1991, Ukraine was a divided nation, "torn between Western Europe and Russia." Ukrainians in the country's western precincts wanted to join the European Union and NATO. Those further to east "oriented themselves toward Russia, which exerted maximum influence to keep Ukraine closely aligned." In one camp were enlightened Ukrainians. In the other camp, the unenlightened.

Second, Manafort's involvement in this intra-Ukrainian dispute was -- shockingly -- never about "advanc[ing] the interests of democracy, Western Europe or the United States." Manafort's motives were strictly venal. In what Farkas describes as a "standoff between democracy and autocracy," he threw in with the autocrats, thereby raking in millions.

Third, Manafort's efforts mattered bigly. In 2010, he helped Victor F. Yanukovych become president of Ukraine. An unquestionably nasty piece of work, Yanukovych was, according to Farkas, "Putin's man in Kiev." Yet like it or not, he came to power as the result of democratic election. In 2013, Yanukovych opted against joining the EU, which along with NATO, had, in Farkas's words, "experienced a burst of membership expansion" right up to Russia's own borders.

In response to Yanukovych's action, "the Ukrainian people," that is, the enlightened ones, "took to the streets," forcing him to flee the country. Rather than bowing to the expressed will of the people, however, Russia's Vladimir Putin "instigated a separatist movement" in eastern Ukraine, thereby triggering "a war between Russia and Ukraine that continues to this day."

To accept Farkas's account as truthful, one would necessarily conclude that as Manafort was hijacking history, the United States remained quietly on the sidelines, an innocent bystander sending prayers heavenward in hopes that freedom and democracy might everywhere prevail .

Such was hardly the case, however. One need not be a Putin apologist to note that the United States was itself engaged in a program of instigation, one that ultimately induced a hostile -- but arguably defensive -- Russian response.

In the wake of the Cold War, the EU and NATO did not experience a "burst" of expansion, a formulation suggesting joyous spontaneity. Rather, with Washington's enthusiastic support, the West embarked upon a deliberate eastward march at the Kremlin's expense, an undertaking made possible by (and intended to exploit) Russia's weakened state. In football, it's called piling on.

That this project worked to the benefit of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, the Baltic Republics, and others is very much the case. On that score, it is to be applauded.

That at some point a resentful Russia would push back was all but certain. Indeed, more than a few Western observers had warned against such a response.

The proposed incorporation of Ukraine into NATO brought matters to a head. For Putin, this was an unacceptable prospect. He acted as would any U.S. president contemplating the absorption of a near neighbor into hostile bloc of nations. Indeed, he acted much as had Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy when they assessed the implications of Cuba joining the Soviet bloc.

That doesn't justify or excuse Putin's meddling in Ukraine. Yet it suggests an explanation for Russian behavior other than the bitterness of an ex-KGB colonel still with his shorts in a knot over losing the Cold War. Russia has an obvious and compelling interest in who controls Ukraine, even if few in Washington or in the editorial offices of the New York Times will acknowledge that reality.

Furthermore, Russia was not alone in its meddling. The United States has been equally guilty. When "the Ukrainian people took to the streets," as Farkas puts it, the State Department and CIA were behind the scenes vigorously pulling strings. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland believed it was incumbent upon the United States to decide who should govern Ukraine. ("Yats is the guy," she said on a leaked call). Nuland would brook no interference from allies slow to follow Washington's lead. ("F–k the EU," she told the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.)

That Ukraine is, as Farkas correctly states, a torn country, did not give Nuland pause. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers have assigned to themselves a magical ability to repair such tears and to make broken countries whole. The results of their labors are amply on display everywhere from Somalia and Haiti to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Now add Ukraine to that sorry list.

Even so, can't we at least assume Nuland's motives were morally superior to Putin's? After all, President Putin is clearly a thug whereas Nuland is an estimable product of the American foreign policy establishment. She's married to Robert Kagan, for heaven's sake.

Persuade yourself that the United States is all about democracy promotion, as Farkas appears to believe, and the answer to that question is clearly yes. Alas, the record of American statecraft stretching over decades provides an abundance of contrary evidence. In practice, the United States supports democracy only when it finds it convenient to do so. Should circumstances require, it unhesitatingly befriends despots, especially rich ones that pay cash while purchasing American weaponry.

Yanukovych was Putin's man, "and therefore, indirectly, so was Mr. Manafort," Farkas concludes. All that now remains is to determine "the extent to which Mr. Manafort was Putin's man in Washington." For Farkas, the self-evident answer to that question cannot come too soon.

As to whether Russia -- or any other great power -- might have legitimate security interests that the United States would do well to respect, that's not a matter worth bothering about. Thus does the imperative of ousting Trump eclipse the need to confront the pretensions and the hubris that helped make Trump possible.

Andrew Bacevich is writer-at-large at The American Conservative

John Fargo , says: November 7, 2017 at 11:17 pm

This is why the term "fake news" is so harmful and should not be used by media outlets. The use of "bad journalism" would be much more useful as it forces the claimants to justify their reasons for doing so.
"Fake news" is just a dog whistle.
William Dalton , says: November 8, 2017 at 12:02 am
Has it not occurred to the foreign policy establishment in Washington that it is more in America's national interests for Ukraine to remain in Moscow's orbit, so as to strengthen U.S.-Russian relations, not exacerbate tensions, rather than to pull them into the EU, or, God forbid, NATO? Isn't this what any of the seasoned experts at Foggy Bottom would tell you? Why aren't they doing so?
Tiktaalik , says: November 8, 2017 at 2:49 am
Two comments in order

1) Yanukovich won in 2004 as well and the election results were hijacked by 'Maidan'

2) Yanukovich wasn't Putin man back in 2010. As a matter of fact, he and his party actively promoted EU integration deal, until they read its actual conditions. After that they backtracked and rushed to Putin for a support.

So it was classical case of sitting on two chairs simultaneously.

JonB , says: November 8, 2017 at 5:39 am
Completely agree with John Fargo. "Fake News" should be reserved for deliberate falsehoods published knowingly. This NYT op-ed amounts to "an interpretation of history Bacevich doesn't agree with." I may not agree with it either – but it's not like claiming that the Vegas shooter was anti-Trump, or creating a Facebook account for a non-existent person or organization.
Nolan , says: November 8, 2017 at 6:42 am
Mr Fargo: Disagree. "Bad journalism" implies the author is lazy yet innocent in their way. "Fake news" is more about narrative control and manipulation of the reader through reinvention or exaggeration, et cetera. Calling articles and outlets fake news is more accurate and levies much more weight against the lies and deceit than simply accusing someone or thing of bad journalism.
Christian Chuba , says: November 8, 2017 at 6:54 am
This is why we should disband politically oriented NGO's. In essence, a country is only a democracy if it is pro-U.S. Resistance is futile. Meddling at this level will only bring about more conflict, instability and military obligations will follow. It is good to be king but it is also quite expensive and ultimately ruinous.
Fran Macadam , says: November 8, 2017 at 7:30 am
If it were all about democracy promotion, they wouldn't also be so anxious to negate an election here at home. Imperialism rules other peoples against their will, necessitating for its survival the lessening of democratic accountability at home, too, since it lessens the importance of citizens' own concerns, also requiring for its warmaking security keeping voters in the dark.
SteveM , says: November 8, 2017 at 7:36 am
Re: "More 'Fake News,' Alas, From the New York Times"

Make that, More 'Fake News,' Of Course From the New York Times. Saturated with Fake News of various manifestations, the NY Times and its rancid analog Washington Post on the other end of the Crony-Elite NY-DC axis are unreadable.

Re: "That this project worked to the benefit of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, the Baltic Republics, and others is very much the case. On that score, it is to be applauded."

Given a ham-fisted EU run by Elite hacks in Brussels that is white washing Europe's Christian legacy, mandating overbearing economic and social controls and absorbing millions of net negative migrants, the Czechs, Poles, Hungarians and Balts seem to be having second thoughts. BTW, The Russians will not and do not want to invade those countries. As the EU spins out of control and the One Belt One Road initiative develops, Russia only needs to ask them what direction they want to face in the future.

Dee , says: November 8, 2017 at 8:08 am
How is it someone's "opinion" constitutes "fake News"? Trump did not win by policy issues, he rode the right-wing outrage at all things clinton/libtard better than anyone else. His policy positions were mostly promise everything to everyone, but his campaign was about Lock her up/ build the wall! After bashing Goldman Sachs during the election, once he won he promptly filled his cabinet with them and other mega donor types.
Mario Diana , says: November 8, 2017 at 9:30 am
@John Fargo – I'm in almost complete sympathy with Mr. Bacevich's essay, but you make an excellent point. "Bad journalism" is the better term. In fact, the only criticism I can make of your statement is that "dog whistle" is the wrong term. Everyone associates the term "fake news" with Donald Trump. (If it were possible, he no doubt would have trademarked it.) Using the term alienates the very people who need to hear criticisms like those in Mr. Bacevich's essay. They hear it, too; and upon hearing it, they stop listening.
Egypt Steve , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:34 am
Look, elite and non-elite self-delusion about the purity of U.S. motives abroad dates back to the Roosevelt administration at least -- and I mean the Teddy Roosevelt administration. I don't see how any of this amounts to a defense of charges of money-laundering against Manafort.
Janek , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:37 am
I disagree with John Fargo. The news that NYT, Washington Post, and other media outlets (not only liberal ) "produce" is the "Fake News". "Bad journalism" should be reserved and used in the sense Nolan explains. Besides the "Fake News" on the so called "left" in American politics in general is the problem of "double speak" and speaking with the "forked tongues". American "right" is the camp of the white flag.
Tom , says: November 8, 2017 at 12:20 pm
The op-ed page is for opinion pieces of writing and that is what this was an opinion. It isn't fake news because it isn't news.
SteveM , says: November 8, 2017 at 12:43 pm
Re: Janek:

Besides the "Fake News" on the so called "left" in American politics in general is the problem of "double speak" and speaking with the "forked tongues". American "right" is the camp of the white flag.

I've mentioned the various "flavors" of Fake News before. There is (1) the obvious – what is claimed as true is actually false. But also (2), what is claimed as important, actually isn't. And (3) what is important, is weakly or not reported at all.

An example of Type 2 is the WaPost reporting on its front page before the 2016 that Jared Kushner may have been greased into the Harvard MBA program. As if Ivy League greasing by monied Elites is unheard of. How was that front page news? And how about the acceptances of Chelsea Clinton (Stanford) and Malia Obama (Harvard)?

The cases of Type 3 Fake News are much more egregious. For example, the reasoned arguments and analysis by retired American intelligence officers and academics that the Syrian forces "chemical weapon attack" in April was almost certainly a false flag with staged recovery activity.

The NY Times and WaPost have consistently refused to acknowledge that those arguments and analysis even exist.

The linking of Russia to the DNC email leaks as factual by the Times, Post and NPR without a scintilla of published hard evidence is another example.

There are many more examples of Type 3 Fake News that could be demonstrated. Much of what claims to be journalism by the MSM is now Fake News trash.

Siarlys Jenkins , says: November 8, 2017 at 1:09 pm
Disregarding President Trump's insistent claim that the establishment press propagates "fake news" requires a constant effort -- especially when a prestigious outlet like the New York Times allows itself to be used for blatantly fraudulent purposes.

I agree in principal, although I note that President Trump and his team are as guilty of fake news as anyone, and the president himself appears to be positively delusional. I might at times disagree with Bacevich as to which news is fake.

I would also agree that there has been a great deal of "fake news" out of Ukraine, and what is really going on their is a former SSR with a bitterly divided population that each has about equal numbers, proponderance in some territories compared to others, and equally opportunistic leadership showing no great commitment to anything recognizable as "democracy."

Fayez Abedaziz , says: November 8, 2017 at 3:22 pm
Say, can we refrain from using the word 'journalism' when we refer to the American media? We should.

The internet and sources overseas, such as the Independent News paper/site out of Britain, have news that is not purposely spun as is by the neo-con American news papers and magazines. Not as much, anyway. Several points here, for example of what bad news (pun intended) the joke of American media is:

1- quit calling the main stream media liberal or left. They are liberal in a 'social issues sense,' that is, to be politically correct.

2- So, having said that, on foreign policy they, all newspapers and the vast majority of magazines, are war-peddling neo-con supporters.

3-They have agendas. Do we not remember how they, at the new york times, peddled the war against Iraq and how, when you look at the editorial page you feel that these people and the guests opinion writers are soulless people that have no concern for America's 'flyover' country?

4- Yeah, isn't that ironic that these people look down on America's middle class, blue collar workers and yes, it's troops, by that constant bashing of nations here and there and pushing for aggressive stands or even military attacks? Let the people at the major newspapers like this n.y.times rag tell us when they served in the U.S. military or their when their offspring did or when they're gonna join and volunteer for combat duty. Never mind, I've got the answer-none of 'em.

Do not buy any major newspaper. Let them wither away and, it wasn't fake spun 'news' we have been getting only this year: fake agenda driven bull has been going on for decades. Go to the internet and overseas for news think what I said over and you will see

Janek , says: November 8, 2017 at 3:39 pm
@SteveM

Not everybody has the time to analyze the deluge of all the "Fake News" and categorize it into classes and/or sub-classes you or somebody else proposes. Where all that leads? Soon we will have new sociopolitical discipline and experts on "fake-newsology" that will introduce another layer of pseudo-information that will have to be translated to the uninitiated and unwashed.

All this social, economic and political mess is the result of deregulation in the economic, social, political spheres. The effects of those deregulations are now quite obvious in: economy, society, morality and politics that are already corrupted to the core, but the corruption is not stopping there, it is consuming everything else on its way. There is no end to it, and what is even more surprising is that people want even more of all kinds of deregulations etc.

Wouldn't it be more logical to bring back responsibility, moral standards and decency to politics, society and economy etc? What I now see in media is the total lack of any ideas on how to correct the obvious, but instead everybody is spinning his/her lies to make them more believable to the yet unconverted. This is pure relativism and sophistry and it destroys not only the USA, but the West as well.

nikbez

If an opinion piece in NYT or other MSM blatantly distorts the facts, then it belongs to the category of "fake news." Which should probably be called "malicious rumors."

So the defense of some commenters that you can blatantly lie in opinion pieces (the right NYT exercised to the full extent in this particular example and for which Bacevich criticized them) is wrong.

Anti-Russian witch hunt in NYT and other MSM destroys the credibility of the USA version of neoliberalism as well as the USA foreign policy. Along with Trump election, I view it as a symptom of the crisis of neoliberalism for which the US elite is unable to find a more suitable answer than scapegoating.

Also the fact that Nuland is married to neocon warmonger Kagan is a material fact.

[Nov 01, 2017] NATO Criticism of Russias Ukraine Policy Is Answered by Putin by Eric ZUESSE

Notable quotes:
"... What about Ukraine? From the European point of view, the ball is firmly in the court of Russia. It has turned into a semi-frozen conflict; the sanctions that were meant to be dynamic have become semi-permanent. What does Russia intend to do about this? ..."
"... Well, we think the ball is in Europe's court, because due to the completely unconstructive – I am choosing my words so as not to appear rude – position of the former members of the European Commission, the situation went as far as a coup. ..."
"... There were riots backed by the United States – both financially, politically and in the media – and all of Europe. ..."
"... They supported the unconstitutional seizure of power, a bloody one at that, with casualties, and took things as far as a war in southeastern Ukraine. Crimea declared its independence and its reunification with Russia, and now you think that we are to blame for that? Was it us who brought about the anti-constitutional coup? The current situation is the result of the unconstitutional armed seizure of power in Ukraine, and Europe is to blame, because it backed it. ..."
"... What could have been easier than to say back then: "You staged a coup, and after all, we are the guarantors." As guarantors, the foreign ministers of Poland, France and Germany signed a document, an agreement between President Yanukovych and the opposition. Three days later, it was trampled upon, and where were the guarantors? Ask them where these guarantors were? Why did they not say, "Please, put things as they were. Get Yanukovych back in office and hold constitutional democratic elections." They had every chance of winning, 100 percent, no doubt. No, they had to do it through an armed coup instead. Well, we were confronted with this fact, accepted it and signed the Minsk agreements. ..."
"... However, the current Ukrainian leadership is sabotaging every paragraph of these agreements, and everyone can see it perfectly well. Those who are involved in the negotiation process are fully aware of it, I assure you. Not a single step has been made towards implementing the Minsk agreements. Still everyone is saying, "Sanctions will not be lifted until Russia complies with the Minsk agreements." ..."
"... Everyone has long since realised that the current leadership of Ukraine is not in a position to comply with them. Now that the situation in that country has hit rock bottom both in terms of the economy and domestic policy, and the police are using gas against protesters, expecting the President of Ukraine to take at least a small step towards implementing the Minsk agreements is an exercise in futility. I am not sure how he can accomplish this. But there is no alternative to it, unfortunately. Therefore, we will keep the Normandy format in place as long as our colleagues like, and we will strive to implement these Minsk agreements that you mentioned. ..."
"... It is not enough only to appeal to Russia; it is also necessary to influence Kiev's position. Now they have made a decision on the language, essentially prohibiting the use of ethnic minority languages in school. Hungary and Romania raised objections. Poland also made some comments in this regard. However, the European Union as a whole is silent. Why are they not condemning this? There is silence. ..."
"... Now they have erected a monument to Petlyura. He was a man with Nazi views, an anti-Semite who killed Jews during the war. Except for the Zionist Jewish Congress, everyone else is silent. Are you afraid of hurting your clients in Kiev, is that it? This is not being done by the Ukrainian people; this is being done at the prompting of the relevant ruling authorities. But why are you keeping silent? ..."
"... I hope that this realisation will eventually come. I can see our partners' interest, primarily our European partners' interest in resolving this conflict. I can see real interest. Angela Merkel is doing a great deal, putting the time in, becoming deeply involved in these matters. Both the former president of France and President Macron are also paying attention. They are really working on this. However, it is necessary to work not just technically and technologically but politically. It is essential to exert some influence on the Kiev authorities, get them to do at least something. Ultimately, Ukraine itself has a stake in normalising our relations. ..."
"... Now they went and imposed sanctions on us, as the EU did. We responded in kind. The president asks me, "Why did you do this?" I say, "Listen, you introduced sanctions against us." This is just amazing! ..."
"... I believe that it is becoming obvious and most importantly, it is becoming obvious to the overwhelming majority of Ukrainian citizens. We like Ukraine and I really regard the Ukrainian people as a brotherly nation if not just one nation, part of the Russian nation. ..."
"... Even though Russian nationalists do not like this and Ukrainian nationalists do not like this either, this is my position, my point of view. Sooner or later, it will happen – reunification, not on an interstate level but in terms of restoring our relations. ..."
"... On Ukraine and the conflict phase there, I was, uh, it was during my last years of government when this crisis emerged in Ukraine. I and my close colleagues in my government and foreign policy and security issues convened, and we met. I told them that Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the independent states, Ukraine was one of the closest countries to Russia, in ethnic relations and economic relations, and in cultural relations, and in terms of the value that Ukraine holds for Russia. So my approach was one of sentiment and sensitivity, but, keeping the Russian sentiment in mind, keeping the Russian sensitivity in this region in mind. Look at it this way: if Russia went and tried to turn Canada into an ally of the Warsaw Pact against America, what would America do? They would act more aggressively than what Russia did. On Crimea: to the extent that I understand, Crimea was given to Ukraine in 1957, is that true? 1954. So it was part of Russian territory. ..."
"... You have just mentioned the crisis in Ukraine. But we did not bring this to a coup in Ukraine. Have we done this? No. Especially our American partners do not hide that to a large extent they stood behind this, funded a radical opposition, brought to an unconstitutional way of changing power, although it could be done quite differently. Former President Yanukovych signed all the requirements and was ready to hold early elections. Instead, they contributed to a coup d'état. What for? ..."
"... And when we are forced to emphasize this, we were compelled to protect the Russian-speaking population in the Donbass, were compelled to respond to the aspirations of people living in the Crimea, to return to the Russian Federation, and immediately began to untwist a new flywheel of anti-Russian policy and the imposition of sanctions. ..."
"... You have just said about the Minsk agreements. But we are not sabotaging them, the implementation of the Minsk agreements. ..."
"... President Yanukovych decided to postpone the signing and hold additional talks. What came next? A coup d'état. No matter what you choose to call it, a revolution or something else. It's a coup d'état with the use of violence and militant forces. Who′s on whose side now? Who is using which tools from the past or the future? ..."
"... It′s imperative to be very careful with regard to public institutions of emerging nations because if you are not things may slide into chaos, which is exactly what happened in Ukraine. The civil war and chaos are there already. Who benefits from it? Why would they do it, if Yanukovych agreed to everything? They had to go to the voting stations instead, and the same people would be in power now, only legally. We, like idiots, would be paying them the $15 billion that we promised, keeping gas prices low for them and continuing to subsidise their economy ..."
"... Let's face it. We are all adults here, right? Intelligent and educated people. The West supported the unconstitutional coup d'état. It did in fact, didn′t it? Not only by way of the infamous cakes, but through informational and political support and what not. Why did it do so? ..."
"... All right. And now you think that it′s all our fault? We proposed a dialogue and were denied it. What's next? The last time I was in Brussels we agreed to keep this dialogue alive. That was before the coup. Mr Ulyukayev (he is sitting there across from me), a man of respect, speaks decent English, has absolutely market-driven brains, one of our top specialists in the economy, went for consultations. Ask him about it after the session is over. I won′t dwell on it now. But there were no consultations. Nothing but slogans. ..."
"... What's next? They made a coup and don′t want to speak with us. What are we supposed to think? The next step will take Ukraine into NATO. They never ask us about our opinion, and we have found out over the past two decades that there′s never any dialogue on this issue. All that they ever tell us is, ″It′s none of your business, none of your concern.″ We tell them, ″A military infrastructure is approaching our borders.″ ″Don′t worry, it's not aimed against you.″ So, tomorrow Ukraine may end up being a NATO member, and the next thing you know, it will have a US missile defence complex stationed on its territory. No one ever talks to us on this subject, either. They just tell us, ″It′s not against you, and it′s none of your concern.″ ..."
"... if we did not do what we did in Crimea, Crimea would have it much worse than Odessa where people were burned alive. And there are no explanations, no real condemnations by anyone. It′s still not even clear who did it, I mean the tragedy in Odessa. ..."
Oct 30, 2017 | www.strategic-culture.org

A NATO supporter criticized Russia's President Vladimir Putin for Russia's Ukraine policy, on October 19th, at the Valdai Discussion Club's annual meeting in Sochi, and Putin fired back with his most detailed statement to-date, describing the overthrow in February 2014 of Ukraine's democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych, as having been a "coup" by the West, especially by the EU (which he blamed for it, rather than blame the US).

Asle Toje, a Norwegian supporter of the NATO anti-Russian military alliance, had raised this subject when he asked Putin :

What about Ukraine? From the European point of view, the ball is firmly in the court of Russia. It has turned into a semi-frozen conflict; the sanctions that were meant to be dynamic have become semi-permanent. What does Russia intend to do about this?

Putin replied:

Well, we think the ball is in Europe's court, because due to the completely unconstructive – I am choosing my words so as not to appear rude – position of the former members of the European Commission, the situation went as far as a coup.

On 4 February 2014 the agent whom US President Barack Obama had tasked to plan the coup, Hillary Clinton's longtime friend Victoria Nuland, instructed the US Ambassador in Ukraine whom to appoint to run Ukraine as soon as the coup would be culminated, which occurred 23 days later, on 27 February: "Yats is the guy who's got the economic experience the governing experience he's the" person to appoint , she told the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt.

And "Yats" Yatsenyuk got the post, which was the appointment as Prime Minister, because Obama wanted the rabidly anti-Russian Yulia Tymoshenko to win Ukraine's Presidency in an election, so as to be able to describe the change-of-government as being 'democratic' i.e., 'elected', not imposed (as was the appointment of "Yats"). However, Tymoshenko had too much of a public reputation as being a US agent (and grifter ), for her to win; and, so, Petro Poroshenko won the 'election' instead.

It was an 'election' in all of the majority Ukrainian-speaking areas of Ukraine, but without allowing to vote the populations in many of the majority Russian-speaking regions, where the man whom Obama overthrew, Yanukovych, had won by over 75% of the votes, in the last democratic election in Ukraine, which was the Presidential election in 2010 -- the final election in which Ukrainians in all parts of the country voted. Although Poroshenko was anti-Russian, he wasn't nearly as anti-Russian as was Tymoshenko. Yatsenyuk was Tymoshenko's subordinate, and he had been selected by Nuland because the Obama Administration were thinking that after the Presidential election, Yats would hand off the government to Tymoshenko, who led Yats's Party.

Putin blamed the EU for the coup, though (in fact) when the EU's Foreign Minister, Catherine Ashton, learned, on February 26th of 2014, that this overthrow had been a coup instead of a democratic revolution, she expressed shock and disappointment but went right on carrying out the Obama Administration's plan for the integration of the formerly Russia-allied Ukraine into the EU, and, ultimately, as was expected, into NATO, so that US nuclear missiles will be able to be installed there, on Russia's border, as close to Moscow as possible, for a blitz-attack against Russia, to conquer Russia .

Furthermore, in Nuland's instruction to the Ambassador in Kiev, she said "F -- k the EU" , because the EU aristocracies weren't nearly as eager to conquer Russia as the US aristocracy are; the EU aristocracies had wanted Vitaly Klitschko to head Ukraine; Klitschko wasn't rabidly anti-Russian , like Tymoshenko and Yatsenyuk were. Putin knew this -- he knew that the coup was done by the US, not by the EU.

Putin then described the coup as follows:

There were riots backed by the United States – both financially, politically and in the media – and all of Europe.

They supported the unconstitutional seizure of power, a bloody one at that, with casualties, and took things as far as a war in southeastern Ukraine. Crimea declared its independence and its reunification with Russia, and now you think that we are to blame for that? Was it us who brought about the anti-constitutional coup? The current situation is the result of the unconstitutional armed seizure of power in Ukraine, and Europe is to blame, because it backed it.

What could have been easier than to say back then: "You staged a coup, and after all, we are the guarantors." As guarantors, the foreign ministers of Poland, France and Germany signed a document, an agreement between President Yanukovych and the opposition. Three days later, it was trampled upon, and where were the guarantors? Ask them where these guarantors were? Why did they not say, "Please, put things as they were. Get Yanukovych back in office and hold constitutional democratic elections." They had every chance of winning, 100 percent, no doubt. No, they had to do it through an armed coup instead. Well, we were confronted with this fact, accepted it and signed the Minsk agreements.

However, the current Ukrainian leadership is sabotaging every paragraph of these agreements, and everyone can see it perfectly well. Those who are involved in the negotiation process are fully aware of it, I assure you. Not a single step has been made towards implementing the Minsk agreements. Still everyone is saying, "Sanctions will not be lifted until Russia complies with the Minsk agreements."

Everyone has long since realised that the current leadership of Ukraine is not in a position to comply with them. Now that the situation in that country has hit rock bottom both in terms of the economy and domestic policy, and the police are using gas against protesters, expecting the President of Ukraine to take at least a small step towards implementing the Minsk agreements is an exercise in futility. I am not sure how he can accomplish this. But there is no alternative to it, unfortunately. Therefore, we will keep the Normandy format in place as long as our colleagues like, and we will strive to implement these Minsk agreements that you mentioned.

Nowhere has Putin ever blamed the US Government for that coup, but he knows at least as much about it as did the head of the "private CIA" firm Stratfor when Stratfor's head described it as "the most blatant coup in history" because it had been so well documented via leaked phone-conversations and other solid evidences. There was no doubt that the US State Department had run it, and, ultimately, evidence became public that Google and the US State Department were already preparing the operation as early as in 2011 .

Putin continued his response:

It is not enough only to appeal to Russia; it is also necessary to influence Kiev's position. Now they have made a decision on the language, essentially prohibiting the use of ethnic minority languages in school. Hungary and Romania raised objections. Poland also made some comments in this regard. However, the European Union as a whole is silent. Why are they not condemning this? There is silence.

Now they have erected a monument to Petlyura. He was a man with Nazi views, an anti-Semite who killed Jews during the war. Except for the Zionist Jewish Congress, everyone else is silent. Are you afraid of hurting your clients in Kiev, is that it? This is not being done by the Ukrainian people; this is being done at the prompting of the relevant ruling authorities. But why are you keeping silent?

Putin was appealing for the EU to become neutral on the Ukrainian matter, not for the US Government to do so, because Putin recognized that the US Government wants to conquer Russia and took Ukraine in order to advance that goal, whereas many in the EU want instead to have peace and trade with Russia and aren't so eager to invade. Putin has given up on America, whose Government is -- along with Ukraine and Canada -- the only defender of nazism (i.e., of racist fascism), at the U.N. But he knows that if he blames the coup on the US Government, this would make more difficult any possible efforts by the EU to move away from the US toward neutrality, because such an accusation against the US Government would only unify NATO, not break it up. He might be able to pick off a few EU members, to move toward neutrality and away from the NATO goal of ultimately invading Russia, but this can work only if he plays down the real power-contest, the contest between the US Government, whose goal is to conquer Russia , versus the Russian Government, whose goal is to remain a free and independent nation -- to protect its national sovereignty. The reason Putin blames the EU instead of the US is thus tactical. Especially interesting is that he says "This is not being done by the Ukrainian people; this is being done at the prompting of the relevant ruling authorities. But why are you keeping silent?" He is there making his appeal to anti-nazi Europeans, for them to break away from today's pro-nazi US regime. He is saying: Speak out against it; publicly separate yourselves from it. Then, he said:

I hope that this realisation will eventually come. I can see our partners' interest, primarily our European partners' interest in resolving this conflict. I can see real interest. Angela Merkel is doing a great deal, putting the time in, becoming deeply involved in these matters. Both the former president of France and President Macron are also paying attention. They are really working on this. However, it is necessary to work not just technically and technologically but politically. It is essential to exert some influence on the Kiev authorities, get them to do at least something. Ultimately, Ukraine itself has a stake in normalising our relations.

Now they went and imposed sanctions on us, as the EU did. We responded in kind. The president asks me, "Why did you do this?" I say, "Listen, you introduced sanctions against us." This is just amazing!

He refers there to "the Kiev authorities," instead of to the Washington authorities, because he knows that the Europeans he's addressing are aware that Ukraine is now a vassal-nation of the US He knows that they know what he knows, on this. Then, he really does address, not the rulers of Ukraine, but instead the people of Ukraine, when he says:

I believe that it is becoming obvious and most importantly, it is becoming obvious to the overwhelming majority of Ukrainian citizens. We like Ukraine and I really regard the Ukrainian people as a brotherly nation if not just one nation, part of the Russian nation.

Even though Russian nationalists do not like this and Ukrainian nationalists do not like this either, this is my position, my point of view. Sooner or later, it will happen – reunification, not on an interstate level but in terms of restoring our relations.

Numerous polls have shown that many Ukrainians do feel "brotherly" toward Russians; he is trying to appeal to these people, to seek a restoration of that previous alliance: Russia with Ukraine's anti -nazis, instead of America with Ukraine's pro -nazis.

The pro-NATO Asle Toje could have interjected a retort to what Putin was saying, but kept entirely quiet, perhaps because he knew that if he objected to any of what Putin said there, then Putin would have had a terrific opportunity to respond by hinting at the real role that NATO (i.e., the US) was playing in Ukraine, the nazi role there, such as by perhaps alluding to the nazi American Victoria Nuland's famous "F -- k the EU!" statement, which she said when she gave the instruction, on 4 February 2014, for the next Government of Ukraine to be led by Ukraine's rabidly anti-Russian nazis .

Hamid Karzai, the former ruler of Afghanistan (or at least of Kabul), was also one of the participants at this conference, and he spoke about his country's long history of being a pawn in the ancient aristocratic "Great Game" of aristocracies waging wars of conquest in order to establish international empires and grab lands from each other. Then, he commented specifically about the role that America's seizure of Ukraine in 2014 had played in the latest stage of the Great Game:

On Ukraine and the conflict phase there, I was, uh, it was during my last years of government when this crisis emerged in Ukraine. I and my close colleagues in my government and foreign policy and security issues convened, and we met. I told them that Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the independent states, Ukraine was one of the closest countries to Russia, in ethnic relations and economic relations, and in cultural relations, and in terms of the value that Ukraine holds for Russia. So my approach was one of sentiment and sensitivity, but, keeping the Russian sentiment in mind, keeping the Russian sensitivity in this region in mind. Look at it this way: if Russia went and tried to turn Canada into an ally of the Warsaw Pact against America, what would America do? They would act more aggressively than what Russia did. On Crimea: to the extent that I understand, Crimea was given to Ukraine in 1957, is that true? 1954. So it was part of Russian territory.

His point about "if Russia went and tried to turn Canada into an ally of the Warsaw Pact against America, what would America do?" was merely rhetorical, because in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the US already had shown what the US would do if Russia were to place missiles on or near America's borders: the US would launch a nuclear war against Russia. For some reason, Americans felt that that response -- threatening World War III -- was justified, by America, then, in 1962, but somehow don't feel that it would be a justified response, by Russia, now, when the shoe is on the other foot and even more so than it had been back in 1962 (because Ukraine is right on Russia's border). But, of course, it would be justified even more in the present instance, because conquest of Russia became, in 2006, America's all-but-official strategic-policy goal, replacing the former reliance (by both sides) upon the strategic-policy peace-maintenance goal, "Mutually Assured Destruction" (or "MAD") , which was nuclear weapons being maintained in order to avoid a WW III, instead of to 'win' a WW III (such as it has been for the US ever since 2006). Russia still believes in MAD, but America is now 'going for the gold', of 'victory'. This was implicitly the US and NATO policy ever since 24 February 1990 , but it became, since 2006, overtly the US and NATO objective, called "Nuclear Primacy," meaning the ability of the US to win a nuclear conflict against Russia -- to conquer Russia.

The recent (October 19th) statement by Putin was the most extensive that he has yet presented on the Ukrainian matter, but it's not the only statement he has made on this subject:

A year earlier than this latest Valdi discussion, Putin had said, on 12 October 2016 , at the 8th annual investment forum VTB Capital "Russia is Calling!" seeking foreign investments in Russia:

You have just mentioned the crisis in Ukraine. But we did not bring this to a coup in Ukraine. Have we done this? No. Especially our American partners do not hide that to a large extent they stood behind this, funded a radical opposition, brought to an unconstitutional way of changing power, although it could be done quite differently. Former President Yanukovych signed all the requirements and was ready to hold early elections. Instead, they contributed to a coup d'état. What for?

And when we are forced to emphasize this, we were compelled to protect the Russian-speaking population in the Donbass, were compelled to respond to the aspirations of people living in the Crimea, to return to the Russian Federation, and immediately began to untwist a new flywheel of anti-Russian policy and the imposition of sanctions.

You have just said about the Minsk agreements. But we are not sabotaging them, the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

On that occasion, because he was responding then to a question which had been raised by Rick Boucher, a former member of the US Congress, and now a partner in a law firm, Putin had been more direct, by his saying, "We did not bring this to a coup in Ukraine. Have we done this? No. Especially our American partners do not hide that to a large extent they stood behind this, funded a radical opposition, brought to an unconstitutional way of changing power." But he was ambiguous as regards whether America simply "stood behind this," or instead actually "brought [the situation in Ukraine] to an unconstitutional way of changing power [i.e., to a coup there]." In any case, Boucher, too, had no response recorded there, to Putin's statement.

Vagueness in political speech is the norm; it's seen everywhere; and wherever it is encountered, tactical reasons are commonly being exemplified.

Still earlier, on 23 May 2014, just a few months after America's coup, Putin took part in the plenary session of the 18th St Petersburg International Economic Forum, and said in response to a question from CNBC's Geoff Cutmore:

President Yanukovych decided to postpone the signing and hold additional talks. What came next? A coup d'état. No matter what you choose to call it, a revolution or something else. It's a coup d'état with the use of violence and militant forces. Who′s on whose side now? Who is using which tools from the past or the future?

It′s imperative to be very careful with regard to public institutions of emerging nations because if you are not things may slide into chaos, which is exactly what happened in Ukraine. The civil war and chaos are there already. Who benefits from it? Why would they do it, if Yanukovych agreed to everything? They had to go to the voting stations instead, and the same people would be in power now, only legally. We, like idiots, would be paying them the $15 billion that we promised, keeping gas prices low for them and continuing to subsidise their economy

Let's face it. We are all adults here, right? Intelligent and educated people. The West supported the unconstitutional coup d'état. It did in fact, didn′t it? Not only by way of the infamous cakes, but through informational and political support and what not. Why did it do so?

All right. And now you think that it′s all our fault? We proposed a dialogue and were denied it. What's next? The last time I was in Brussels we agreed to keep this dialogue alive. That was before the coup. Mr Ulyukayev (he is sitting there across from me), a man of respect, speaks decent English, has absolutely market-driven brains, one of our top specialists in the economy, went for consultations. Ask him about it after the session is over. I won′t dwell on it now. But there were no consultations. Nothing but slogans.

What's next? They made a coup and don′t want to speak with us. What are we supposed to think? The next step will take Ukraine into NATO. They never ask us about our opinion, and we have found out over the past two decades that there′s never any dialogue on this issue. All that they ever tell us is, ″It′s none of your business, none of your concern.″ We tell them, ″A military infrastructure is approaching our borders.″ ″Don′t worry, it's not aimed against you.″ So, tomorrow Ukraine may end up being a NATO member, and the next thing you know, it will have a US missile defence complex stationed on its territory. No one ever talks to us on this subject, either. They just tell us, ″It′s not against you, and it′s none of your concern.″

if we did not do what we did in Crimea, Crimea would have it much worse than Odessa where people were burned alive. And there are no explanations, no real condemnations by anyone. It′s still not even clear who did it, I mean the tragedy in Odessa.

He said this, against "The West," after the clear evidence that it had actually been the US regime that did the coup, and that had hired local Ukrainian nazis to carry it out, was already public knowledge, outside "The West."

On the front page of the New York Times on 23 October 2017 was a news-report about the efforts by Republicans in the US Congress to focus on something else than the alleged Russiagate manipulation of the 2016 US election, and about the efforts by congressional Democrats to focus only on those allegations, and this front-page NYT story casually employed the phrase "the extraordinary efforts of a hostile power to disrupt American democracy", as if that were already a proven fact, instead of being the Democratic Party's incessant propaganda-line in order to 'explain' Hillary Clinton's electoral defeat.

The US propaganda-media do things such as that, in order to whip up, to the maximum, their audience's hatred of Russians, and especially of the Russian Government, and so to promote the 'case' for war against Russia. Putin knows what the source of this march toward World War III is, and that it's not in Europe.

He knows that they've had more than their fills of wars, but that Americans are more malleable on this matter, more controlled by the aristocracy who own the nation's "military-industrial complex."

Tags: Ukraine Putin

[Oct 31, 2017] Sorting Out the Russia Mess

Notable quotes:
"... The "online investigations" propaganda operation at Bellingcat site very much includes the comments section of the site. Don't expect Bellingcat to perform any actual journalism or substantive investigation. The function of the Atlantic Council's Bellingcat site is to serve as a propaganda channel for "fake news" and "alternative facts". ..."
Oct 31, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , October 31, 2017 at 4:28 pm

The fake "citizen investigative journalists" team at Bellingcat are busy on the case with more of their signature "creative Googling".

This time it's a photograph of Papadopoulos in London
https://www.bellingcat.com/news/americas/2017/10/31/new-george-papadopoulos-photograph-actually-years-old/

The "online investigations" propaganda operation at Bellingcat site very much includes the comments section of the site. Don't expect Bellingcat to perform any actual journalism or substantive investigation. The function of the Atlantic Council's Bellingcat site is to serve as a propaganda channel for "fake news" and "alternative facts".

[Oct 30, 2017] The incompetence of the Western investigators was demostrated by the a lack of proper metallurgical analysis of the impact holes. You will also recall that I proposed some advanced analytical methods that apparently are not available to the investigators

Notable quotes:
"... Oh, our pet Martian, the Wizard wants proof that MH17 was a false-flag organised by Western intelligence and paid for by Kolomoiskii? Because you are also my pet Martian, I will ask you a question – do not you think that the whole chain of command of the Russian air-defence which (supposedly) shot-down MH17 would have been identified three years after the event? ..."
"... So far the best the CIA could do is – we know that the Russians did it, but if we showed you the proof we would have to kill you (because our satellite images are so secret). But the satellite images of blowing up the Russian Metrojet over Egypt that our terrorists did were not so secret because they were proving our (rare) success. ..."
"... Yes, they were clearly corrupt. NATO and NATO flunkies. Up to you, Wiz, to do a little more reading on it. Resistance were never capturng a Buk unit. You really think, with all of the caution Russia has been showing in all of this, they will be driving one across the border and say, 'Here you are. Have fun!' Ukraine is also equipped with Buk. Flight was shadowed by two Ukraine jets. Russia was releasing all of their information on it. Ukraine even was sealing air-traffic control records. ..."
"... USA was releasing almost nothing, one satellite photo that is displaying nothing of meaning. ..."
"... We have had this conversation before. I tried to explain to you the incompetence of the Western investigators based on a lack of proper metallurgical analysis of the impact holes. You will also recall that I proposed some advanced analytical methods that apparently are not available to the investigators. Added to this, I doubt that the "so called" experts could even operate the instrumentation. And yes, I have given technical presentation methods of analysis in international symposiums to try to correct improper/wrong approaches – seems I could not fix stupid (e.g. Be analysis). ..."
Oct 30, 2017 | www.unz.com

Anon , Disclaimer October 29, 2017 at 12:17 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz

"The alternatives are all too complicated."

Not at all. Mr. John Kerry has told to the whole world that the US has satellite pics of the downing. We are still waiting to see the precious evidence. Are you aware of Mr. Kerry claim? Some problems with the memory? More about Kolomoysky, the Jewish oligarch implicated in the downing of MH17: http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/10/mosiychuk-assassination-attempt.html

Kiza , October 29, 2017 at 12:22 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

Oh, our pet Martian, the Wizard wants proof that MH17 was a false-flag organised by Western intelligence and paid for by Kolomoiskii? Because you are also my pet Martian, I will ask you a question – do not you think that the whole chain of command of the Russian air-defence which (supposedly) shot-down MH17 would have been identified three years after the event?

Instead, there is an attempt at this by the plausibly deniable "citizen-journalists" Bellingcat. The fact that Bellingcat are insinuating this is a mighty proof that there is no evidence that the Russians did it, because the citizen-journalism does not need the same degree of proof as an official intelligence agency assessment.

So far the best the CIA could do is – we know that the Russians did it, but if we showed you the proof we would have to kill you (because our satellite images are so secret). But the satellite images of blowing up the Russian Metrojet over Egypt that our terrorists did were not so secret because they were proving our (rare) success.

Wizard of Oz , October 29, 2017 at 12:54 pm GMT
@Kiza

Your somewhat excitable ramble round your mind has not produced anything relevant to my Comment. I said nothing about all the Russian activity you hypothesised. You have given me no reason to follow you in interest in Bellingcat.

Why anyone should think a highly risky false flag operation with seriously bad consequences if exposed is a priori more likely than a stuff up resulting from a missile launcher crew mistakenly thinking they were firing at a Ukrainian military aircraft escapes me. And that deems to be consistent with the conclusion of the five nation inquiry. Feel free to prove that was incompetent or corrupt.

Che Guava , October 29, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

Yes, they were clearly corrupt. NATO and NATO flunkies. Up to you, Wiz, to do a little more reading on it. Resistance were never capturng a Buk unit. You really think, with all of the caution Russia has been showing in all of this, they will be driving one across the border and say, 'Here you are. Have fun!' Ukraine is also equipped with Buk. Flight was shadowed by two Ukraine jets. Russia was releasing all of their information on it. Ukraine even was sealing air-traffic control records.

USA was releasing almost nothing, one satellite photo that is displaying nothing of meaning.

Not, of course, to saying that I know, but I know which side is looking suspicious.

Beefcake the Mighty , October 29, 2017 at 4:54 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

The Russians are holding the contents of the black box as an ace card, in the event the US does more than merely insinuate Russian culpability. As in Syria the Russians are being overly cautious but they know time is on their side, given the reckless stupidity of the American Imperium.

krollchem , October 29, 2017 at 7:14 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

We have had this conversation before. I tried to explain to you the incompetence of the Western investigators based on a lack of proper metallurgical analysis of the impact holes. You will also recall that I proposed some advanced analytical methods that apparently are not available to the investigators. Added to this, I doubt that the "so called" experts could even operate the instrumentation. And yes, I have given technical presentation methods of analysis in international symposiums to try to correct improper/wrong approaches – seems I could not fix stupid (e.g. Be analysis).

[Oct 24, 2017] Max van der Werff has posted another article on MH17 that gives his opinion on the current state of play

Oct 24, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

davidt , October 22, 2017 at 9:01 pm

Max van der Werff has posted another article on MH17 that gives his opinion on the current state of play. The article is in Dutch so most will need the machine translator. There is little new in the public view but Max is always worth reading.
http://www.kremlintroll.nl/?p=1394#more-1394
saskydisc , October 23, 2017 at 4:56 pm
I am responding to give an overview, as some of his comments might not be clear in machine translation, which is the only access others would have.

He compares the operation of the JIT ("The investigation is going well" ahem) to the "investigative" efforts of the Dutch government into its own war crimes in Indonesia, including such tactics as giving only one investigator access to the archives, for four months total (that which was not found in that period does not exist, by definition), and avoiding allowing Dutch and Indonesian witnesses to come forward with testimony. Van der Werff mentions that the Indonesian matter was something into which he had put much effort when he was younger.

He then discusses the "economization with truth" for which the secret services are notorious, and scoffs rightly at the JIT's newfound eyewitnesses, as reliability of such eyewitnesses decline with time, and material (circumstantial) evidence generally is far more reliable in reconstructing events.

He mentions the stress laid on the Ukrainian story of the absence of flights on the day of the shooting, which serves the purpose of justifying the lack of Ukrainian radar data.

He quotes the lead investigator to the effect that the JIT cannot state whether Almaz Antey's results are valid or not, yet the JIT rejects those results.

He closes by pointing out that if the JIT's claims are valid (the Higgins claim of the "rent-a-Buk), the Netherlands should take Russia to court. He asks rhetorically why this has not happened, and suggests sarcastically that the answer likely lies in the archives, tying back to the matter of state dishonesty about war crimes in Indonesia.

[Oct 17, 2017] Latin-Americanization of the xUSSR space is what essentially State Department tried to accomplish. They were successful in Ukraine. by Robert Parry

While the USA pursued their geopolitical goals in supporting the coup d'état against corrupt Yanukovich government by less corrupt western-Ukrainian nationalists (and a difficult clan on oligarch, as Yanukovich was a puppet of Donetsk oligarch clan) , this is actually disaster capitalism in action... There is very little Ukrainians can do now to improve their standard of living which dropped at least two times since 2014. Civil war remains a drain on economy and selling assets to western companies does not improve the standard fo living iether. For 20K grivna (less then $740 a month) you can hire top level specialist in Ukraine (regular salary is less then $150 a month). Economy is still supported by the housing boom, but we know how such things might end.
The neocons are now as important factor in America's foreign policy today as they were during the darkest days of the Bush administration. And like on old time the Ukrainian coup has all traces of globalist bankers allied with local compradors operating under fig leaf of Western-Ukrainian nationalism (which were simply puppets in a much bigger financial and geopolitical game). It is the same aggressive push by the United States to topple governments and politicians in Latin America to advance the USA geopolitical or economic interests.
See also Empire's Workshop Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism " Latin America once again became a school where the United States studied how to execute imperial violence through proxies. After World War II, in the name of containing Communism, the United States, mostly through the actions of local allies, executed or encouraged coups in, among other places, Guatemala, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina and patronized a brutal mercenary war in Nicaragua. Latin America became a laboratory tor counter-insurgency, as military officials and covert operators applied insights learned in the region to Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. By the end of the Cold War, Latin American security forces trained, funded, equipped, and incited by Washington had executed a reign of bloody terror - hundreds of thousands killed, an equal number tortured, millions driven into exile - from which the region has yet to fully recover."
Parry provides an interesting perspective on neoconservative intellectuals who now are driving the expansion of the US-led neoliberal empire into xUSSR space. In this sense Ukrainian nationalists serve as a proxies of an American imperialism which is driven by a combination of neoliberalism, Neoconservatism and the euphoria from the victory Cold War, of which Ukraine civil war is the tragic endgame.
Parry does not addresses the controversial role of Russia, which actually helped to start the Donbass civil war as initially Putin promised that the Ukraine territories who will vote "yes" in referendums to join Russia will be accepted to Russia but soon changed his mind. And later supplied arms to the insurgents.
Notable quotes:
"... Thus, you have the current hysteria over Russia's supposed "aggression" in Ukraine when the crisis was actually provoked by the West, including by U.S. neocons who helped create today's humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine that they now cynically blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin. ..."
"... Many of the old intelligence operatives, including Casey and Raymond, are now dead, but other influential Washington figures who were deeply involved by these strategies remain, such as neocon stalwart Robert Kagan, whose first major job in Washington was as chief of Reagan's State Department Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America. ..."
"... During the Reagan years, Kagan worked closely on propaganda schemes with Elliott Abrams, then the Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America. After getting convicted and then pardoned in the Iran-Contra scandal, Abrams reemerged on President George W. Bush's National Security Council handling Middle East issues, including the Iraq War, and later "global democracy strategy." Abrams is now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. ..."
"... These and other neocons were among the most diligent students learning the art of "perception management" from the likes of Raymond and Casey, but those propaganda skills have spread much more widely as "public diplomacy" and "information warfare" have now become an integral part of every U.S. foreign policy initiative. ..."
"... The National Endowment for Democracy, which was formed in 1983 at the urging of CIA Director Casey and under the supervision of Walter Raymond's NSC operation, is still run by the same neocon, Carl Gershman, and has an even bigger budget, now exceeding $100 million a year. ..."
"... Gershman and his NED played important behind-the-scenes roles in instigating the Ukraine crisis by financing activists, journalists and other operatives who supported the coup against elected President Yanukovych. The NED-backed Freedom House also beat the propaganda drums. [See Consortiumnews.com's " A Shadow Foreign Policy. "] ..."
"... Two other Reagan-era veterans, Elliott Abrams and Robert Kagan, have both provided important intellectual support for continuing U.S. interventionism around the world. Earlier this year, Kagan's article for The New Republic, entitled " Superpowers Don't Get to Retire ," touched such a raw nerve with President Obama that he hosted Kagan at a White House lunch and crafted the presidential commencement speech at West Point to deflect some of Kagan's criticism of Obama's hesitancy to use military force. ..."
"... According to the Times article, the husband-and-wife team share both a common world view and professional ambitions, Nuland editing Kagan's articles and Kagan "not permitted to use any official information he overhears or picks up around the house" a suggestion that Kagan's thinking at least may be informed by foreign policy secrets passed on by his wife. ..."
Dec 28, 2014 | consortiumnews.com

Thus, you have the current hysteria over Russia's supposed "aggression" in Ukraine when the crisis was actually provoked by the West, including by U.S. neocons who helped create today's humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine that they now cynically blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Yet, many of these same U.S. foreign policy operatives outraged over Russia's limited intervention to protect ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine are demanding that President Obama launch an air war against the Syrian military as a "humanitarian" intervention there.

In other words, if the Russians act to shield ethnic Russians on their border who are being bombarded by a coup regime in Kiev that was installed with U.S. support, the Russians are the villains blamed for the thousands of civilian deaths, even though the vast majority of the casualties have been inflicted by the Kiev regime from indiscriminate bombing and from dispatching neo-Nazi militias to do the street fighting.

In Ukraine, the exigent circumstances don't matter, including the violent overthrow of the constitutionally elected president last February. It's all about white hats for the current Kiev regime and black hats for the ethnic Russians and especially for Putin.

... ... ...

For this project, Ronald Reagan's CIA Director William J. Casey sent his top propaganda specialist Walter Raymond Jr. to the National Security Council staff to manage the inter-agency task forces that would brainstorm and coordinate this "public diplomacy" strategy.

Many of the old intelligence operatives, including Casey and Raymond, are now dead, but other influential Washington figures who were deeply involved by these strategies remain, such as neocon stalwart Robert Kagan, whose first major job in Washington was as chief of Reagan's State Department Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America.

Now a fellow at the Brookings Institution and a columnist at the Washington Post, Kagan remains an expert in presenting foreign policy initiatives within the "good guy/bad guy" frames that he learned in the 1980s. He is also the husband of Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who oversaw the overthrow of Ukraine's elected President Viktor Yanukovych last February amid a very effective U.S. propaganda strategy.

During the Reagan years, Kagan worked closely on propaganda schemes with Elliott Abrams, then the Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America. After getting convicted and then pardoned in the Iran-Contra scandal, Abrams reemerged on President George W. Bush's National Security Council handling Middle East issues, including the Iraq War, and later "global democracy strategy." Abrams is now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

These and other neocons were among the most diligent students learning the art of "perception management" from the likes of Raymond and Casey, but those propaganda skills have spread much more widely as "public diplomacy" and "information warfare" have now become an integral part of every U.S. foreign policy initiative.

... ... ...

Though Reagan's creation of a domestic propaganda bureaucracy began more than three decades ago and Bush's vanquishing of the Vietnam Syndrome was more than two decades ago the legacy of those actions continue to reverberate today in how the perceptions of the American people are now routinely managed. That was true during last decade's Iraq War and this decade's conflicts in Libya, Syria and Ukraine as well as the economic sanctions against Iran and Russia.

Indeed, while the older generation that pioneered these domestic propaganda techniques has passed from the scene, many of their protégés are still around along with some of the same organizations. The National Endowment for Democracy, which was formed in 1983 at the urging of CIA Director Casey and under the supervision of Walter Raymond's NSC operation, is still run by the same neocon, Carl Gershman, and has an even bigger budget, now exceeding $100 million a year.

Gershman and his NED played important behind-the-scenes roles in instigating the Ukraine crisis by financing activists, journalists and other operatives who supported the coup against elected President Yanukovych. The NED-backed Freedom House also beat the propaganda drums. [See Consortiumnews.com's " A Shadow Foreign Policy. "]

Two other Reagan-era veterans, Elliott Abrams and Robert Kagan, have both provided important intellectual support for continuing U.S. interventionism around the world. Earlier this year, Kagan's article for The New Republic, entitled " Superpowers Don't Get to Retire ," touched such a raw nerve with President Obama that he hosted Kagan at a White House lunch and crafted the presidential commencement speech at West Point to deflect some of Kagan's criticism of Obama's hesitancy to use military force.

A New York Times article about Kagan's influence over Obama reported that Kagan's wife, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, apparently had a hand in crafting the attack on her ostensible boss, President Obama.

According to the Times article, the husband-and-wife team share both a common world view and professional ambitions, Nuland editing Kagan's articles and Kagan "not permitted to use any official information he overhears or picks up around the house" a suggestion that Kagan's thinking at least may be informed by foreign policy secrets passed on by his wife.

Though Nuland wouldn't comment specifically on Kagan's attack on President Obama, she indicated that she holds similar views. "But suffice to say," Nuland said, "that nothing goes out of the house that I don't think is worthy of his talents. Let's put it that way."

[Oct 09, 2017] MH17 is indeed the very best example of ad nauseam western fake news that pushes people to look elsewhere for alternative reporting, if possible backed by tangible facts.

Oct 09, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com

Muzzledagain -> Jacob Schønberg, 9 Oct 2017 10:22

the very best example is when their soldiers shot down the malaysian plane NH17 over Donbass in Ukraine!

This is indeed the very best example of ad nauseam western fake news that pushes people to look elsewhere for alternative reporting, if possible backed by tangible facts.
Jacob Schønberg , 9 Oct 2017 09:57
Fake news go back a very long time! The sovjet block developed it to perfection. Now Russia still use it. the very best example is when their soldiers shot down the malaysian plane NH17 over Donbass in Ukraine! The FSB (Secret Russian Police) made up so many strange explanations and their agents spread so many fake facts, that it was very easy to understand that the Russian Buk missile did the deed! such desperation - later https://www.bellingcat.com/tag/mh17 / found all the evidense and Russian misinformation is 100 % exposed

[Sep 25, 2017] I am presently reading the book JFK and the Unspeakable by James W.Douglass and it is exactly why Kennedy was assassinated by the very same group that desperately wants to see Trump gone and the rapprochement with Russia squashed

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Although I voted for Trump, only because he was a slightly smaller POS than Hillary, it's hard to have any sympathy for him. ..."
"... The Democrats and the Deep State should have accused Israel of interfering in US elections. That would have been a credible complaint. ..."
"... Felix, Except that Israel and her deep state puppets were interfering on behalf of the democrats. ..."
"... What is happening in the U.S. is the same MO the CIA has developed over the past 64 years to create turmoil within a nation to overthrow a ruler that would not comply with the dictates of Wall Street. ..."
"... I am presently reading the book " JFK and the Unspeakable" by James W.Douglass and it is exactly why Kennedy was assassinated by the very same group that desperately wants to see Trump gone and the rapprochement with Russia squashed. ..."
"... Russia-gate - Just another weapon of mass distraction, brought to you by the liars in charge. ..."
"... David Stockman's excellent analysis makes clear that Trump doesn't know what he's doing and has appointed poor advisors, many of whom have been working against him from the start. Yet, per Stockman, "he doesn't need to be the passive object of a witch hunt." He could have and should have exposed the crimes of his accusers from the beginning, while he still had 100% support from the anti-war Right, which put him in office in the first place. He should have ignored the hysteria emanating from his enemies, and made peace with Vladimir Putin as a first order of business. Millions would have supported him. ..."
"... But, after his provocations in Syria and against Russia, which really resulted because he gave control of military decisions to uber hawk and Russia-phobic Mad Dog Mattis, his support from the anti-war crowd has all but evaporated and is unlikely to return. In other words, although he has been treated extremely unfairly by the corporate media, ultimately he has no one to blame but himself. Trump, with his endless stupid tweeting, has become a sad caricature of himself. ..."
"... When an outsider (like Trump) is elected POTUS and promises to do harm to the Pentagon, against the will of the Deep State -- the battle is on. A coup was planned against him, even before he took the oath of office. And, BTW--against the will of the people ..."
"... The Deep State bureaucracy will never let him have full control. Apparently, Obomber and Killery are running a Shadow White House, with all major decisions coming from the Deep State actors thereof. ..."
"... Killery still has her security clearance, by which she knew where the US Military would strike in Syria before Trump had any idea what was going on ..."
"... The Pentagon has seized power and does not recognize any elected or appointed power of the US government. Trump's 'power' is non-existent. If this 'soft coup' becomes a hard one, I predict all hell breaking loose in America ..."
"... "In a word, the Little Putsch in Kiev is now begetting a Great Big Coup in the Imperial City." Interesting point of view from David Stockman. Whatever happens in Washington, one can be sure there will come another provocation against Russia. ..."
"... This will probably be the Joint Investigation Team's final word on the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, not long after the little putsch in Kiev. The Joint Investigation Team relies on the Dutch Safety Board's Final Report on Flight MH17. With this report, the Dutch Safety Board has given the world a classic snow job, which I have pointed out in my critique on it. Please read it on my website at www.show-the-house.com/id119.html and share it with your elected representatives. Maybe a collective effort can head this off . ..."
"... Not the first time! "US Power Elite, at war among themselves?" https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/us-powe... ..."
"... Watching from Australia what passes for domestic politics in the US within the media, reminds me of a primitive tribe reacting to a solar eclipse. They run around in hysterical fear gnashing their teeth thinking the great evil spirit has come to steal their corn, carry off their daughters, and destroy their village. ..."
Jun 26, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

Jenny G · 3 days ago

Although I voted for Trump, only because he was a slightly smaller POS than Hillary, it's hard to have any sympathy for him.

Every time he walks out on a stage clapping his hands, encouraging applause, like a daytime TV game show host, I want to puke.

I honestly don't think Trump really expected to win the presidency. And when he did, he was clueless. His "Mission Accomplished" party at the White House for a bill which would never pass the senate, was pure Dubya Bush. The orange haired POS is an embarrassment to the country.

Felix · 4 days ago
The Democrats and the Deep State should have accused Israel of interfering in US elections. That would have been a credible complaint.
follyofwar · 3 days ago
Felix, Except that Israel and her deep state puppets were interfering on behalf of the democrats.
olde reb · 3 days ago
What is happening in the U.S. is the same MO the CIA has developed over the past 64 years to create turmoil within a nation to overthrow a ruler that would not comply with the dictates of Wall Street.

Detailed in --. http://farmwars.info/?p=15338 . A FACE FOR THE SHADOW GOVERNMENT

The "ultimate goal" (according to internal memos), is to collect on the fraudulent $20 trillion national debt which will result in Wall Street owning the United States. Hello, Greece.

Guysth · 3 days ago
I am presently reading the book " JFK and the Unspeakable" by James W.Douglass and it is exactly why Kennedy was assassinated by the very same group that desperately wants to see Trump gone and the rapprochement with Russia squashed.

Peace is not in their books,war is. John Kennedy had an epiphany and was wanting to make peace with the USSR at the time, after the Cuban crisis, and this could not be allowed to happen .

Same $hit different pile.

doray · 3 days ago
Russia-gate - Just another weapon of mass distraction, brought to you by the liars in charge.
astraeaisabella · 3 days ago
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2011/10/25... This may seem relevant, but considering Trump's visit to SAudi Arabia and then immediately "Israel", you might find it interesting.
follyofwar · 3 days ago

David Stockman's excellent analysis makes clear that Trump doesn't know what he's doing and has appointed poor advisors, many of whom have been working against him from the start. Yet, per Stockman, "he doesn't need to be the passive object of a witch hunt." He could have and should have exposed the crimes of his accusers from the beginning, while he still had 100% support from the anti-war Right, which put him in office in the first place. He should have ignored the hysteria emanating from his enemies, and made peace with Vladimir Putin as a first order of business. Millions would have supported him.

But, after his provocations in Syria and against Russia, which really resulted because he gave control of military decisions to uber hawk and Russia-phobic Mad Dog Mattis, his support from the anti-war crowd has all but evaporated and is unlikely to return. In other words, although he has been treated extremely unfairly by the corporate media, ultimately he has no one to blame but himself. Trump, with his endless stupid tweeting, has become a sad caricature of himself.

RedRubies · 3 days ago
Stockman has only been a Congressman. They are allowed more leeway.

When an outsider (like Trump) is elected POTUS and promises to do harm to the Pentagon, against the will of the Deep State -- the battle is on. A coup was planned against him, even before he took the oath of office. And, BTW--against the will of the people, themselves.

The Deep State bureaucracy will never let him have full control. Apparently, Obomber and Killery are running a Shadow White House, with all major decisions coming from the Deep State actors thereof.

Killery still has her security clearance, by which she knew where the US Military would strike in Syria before Trump had any idea what was going on (http://headlinebits.com/2017-06-21/deep-state-hillary-clinton-staffers-still-have-security-clearances-access-to-sensitive-governmen.AlsHBgBSVVwAV1FWVwdSAwBWAg8HXQYE.html) .

You can't write an article about a 'soft coup' and NOT mention her name in connection with it!

The Pentagon has seized power and does not recognize any elected or appointed power of the US government. Trump's 'power' is non-existent. If this 'soft coup' becomes a hard one, I predict all hell breaking loose in America.

Stephen M. St. John · 3 days ago

"In a word, the Little Putsch in Kiev is now begetting a Great Big Coup in the Imperial City." Interesting point of view from David Stockman. Whatever happens in Washington, one can be sure there will come another provocation against Russia.

This will probably be the Joint Investigation Team's final word on the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, not long after the little putsch in Kiev. The Joint Investigation Team relies on the Dutch Safety Board's Final Report on Flight MH17. With this report, the Dutch Safety Board has given the world a classic snow job, which I have pointed out in my critique on it. Please read it on my website at www.show-the-house.com/id119.html and share it with your elected representatives. Maybe a collective effort can head this off .

Schlüter 91p · 3 days ago
Not the first time! "US Power Elite, at war among themselves?" https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/us-powe...
Dick · 3 days ago
Watching from Australia what passes for domestic politics in the US within the media, reminds me of a primitive tribe reacting to a solar eclipse. They run around in hysterical fear gnashing their teeth thinking the great evil spirit has come to steal their corn, carry off their daughters, and destroy their village.

Emotional ignorance and blindness to the rational reality will only lead to more tears.

[Sep 25, 2017] With this report, the Dutch Safety Board has given the world a classic snow job, which I have pointed out in my critique on it

Notable quotes:
"... "In a word, the Little Putsch in Kiev is now begetting a Great Big Coup in the Imperial City." Interesting point of view from David Stockman. Whatever happens in Washington, one can be sure there will come another provocation against Russia. ..."
"... Please read it on my website at www.show-the-house.com/id119.html and share it with your elected representatives. Maybe a collective effort can head this off . ..."

Stephen M. St. John · 3 days ago

"In a word, the Little Putsch in Kiev is now begetting a Great Big Coup in the Imperial City." Interesting point of view from David Stockman. Whatever happens in Washington, one can be sure there will come another provocation against Russia.

This will probably be the Joint Investigation Team's final word on the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, not long after the little putsch in Kiev.

The Joint Investigation Team relies on the Dutch Safety Board's Final Report on Flight MH17. With this report, the Dutch Safety Board has given the world a classic snow job, which I have pointed out in my critique on it.

Please read it on my website at www.show-the-house.com/id119.html and share it with your elected representatives. Maybe a collective effort can head this off .

[Sep 18, 2017] Google was seed funded by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The company now enjoys lavish partnerships with military contractors like SAIC, Northrop Grumman and Blackbird.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In addition to funding Bellingcat and joint ventures with the CIA, Brin's Google is heavily invested in Crowdstrike, an American cybersecurity technology firm based in Irvine, California. ..."
"... Crowdstrike is the main "source" of the "Russians hacked the DNC" story. ..."
"... Allegations of Russian perfidy are routinely issued by private companies with lucrative US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts. The companies claiming to protect the nation against "threats" have the ability to manufacture "threats". ..."
"... US offensive cyber operations have emphasized political coercion and opinion shaping, shifting public perception in NATO countries as well as globally in ways favorable to the US, and to create a sense of unease and distrust among perceived adversaries such as Russia and China. ..."
"... The Snowden revelations made it clear that US offensive cyber capabilities can and have been directed both domestically and internationally. The notion that US and NATO cyber operations are purely defensive is a myth. ..."
"... The perception that a foreign attacker may have infiltrated US networks, is monitoring communications, and perhaps considering even more damaging actions, can have a disorienting effect. ..."
"... In the world of US "hybrid warfare" against Russia, offensive cyber operations work in tandem with NATO propaganda efforts, perhaps best exemplified by the "online investigation" antics of the Atlantic Council's Eliot Higgins and his Bellingcat disinformation site. ..."
consortiumnews.com

Abe , September 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm

There is no reason to assume that the trollish rants of "Voytenko" are from some outraged flag-waving "patriot" in Kiev. There are plenty of other "useful idiots" ready, willing and able to make mischief.

For example, about a million Jews emigrated to Israel ("made Aliyah") from the post-Soviet states during the 1990s. Some 266,300 were Ukrainian Jews. A large number of Ukrainian Jews also emigrated to the United States during this period. For example, out of an estimated 400 thousand Russian-speaking Jews in Metro New York, the largest number (thirty-six percent) hail from Ukraine. Needless to say, many among them are not so well disposed toward the nations of Russia or Ukraine, and quite capable of all manner of mischief.

A particularly "useful idiot" making mischief the days is Sergey Brin of Google. Brin's parents were graduates of Moscow State University who emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1979 when their son was five years old.

Google, the company that runs the most visited website in the world, the company that owns YouTube, is very snugly in bed with the US military-industrial-surveillance complex.

In fact, Google was seed funded by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The company now enjoys lavish "partnerships" with military contractors like SAIC, Northrop Grumman and Blackbird.

Google's mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful".

In a 2004 letter prior to their initial public offering, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin explained their "Don't be evil" culture required objectivity and an absence of bias: "We believe it is important for everyone to have access to the best information and research, not only to the information people pay for you to see."

The corporate giant appears to have replaced the original motto altogether. A carefully reworded version appears in the Google Code of Conduct: "You can make money without doing evil".

This new gospel allows Google and its "partners" to make money promoting propaganda and engaging in surveillance, and somehow manage to not "be evil". That's "post-truth" logic for you.

Google has been enthusiastically promoting Eliot Higgins "arm chair analytics" since 2013
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbWhcWizSFY

Indeed, a very cozy cross-promotion is happening between Google and Bellingcat.

In November 2014, Google Ideas and Google For Media, partnered the George Soros-funded Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) to host an "Investigathon" in New York City. Google Ideas promoted Higgins' "War and Pieces: Social Media Investigations" song and dance via their YouTube page.

Higgins constantly insists that Bellingcat "findings" are "reaffirmed" by accessing imagery in Google Earth.

Google Earth, originally called EarthViewer 3D, was created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) funded company acquired by Google in 2004. Google Earth uses satellite images provided by the company Digital Globe, a supplier of the US Department of Defense (DoD) with deep connections to both the military and intelligence communities.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is both a combat support agency under the United States Department of Defense, and an intelligence agency of the United States Intelligence Community. Robert T. Cardillo, director of the NGA, lavishly praised Digital Globe as "a true mission partner in every sense of the word". Examination of the Board of Directors of Digital Globe reveals intimate connections to DoD and CIA.

Google has quite the history of malicious behavior. In what became known as the "Wi-Spy" scandal, it was revealed that Google had been collecting hundreds of gigabytes of payload data, including personal and sensitive information. First names, email addresses, physical addresses, and a conversation between two married individuals planning an extra-marital affair were all cited by the FCC. In a 2012 settlement, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Google will pay $22.5 million for overriding privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser. Though it was the largest civil penalty the Federal Trade Commission had ever imposed for violating one of its orders, the penalty as little more than symbolic for a company that had $2.8 billion in earnings the previous quarter.

Google is a joint venture partner with the CIA. In 2009, Google Ventures and In-Q-Tel invested "under $10 million each" into Recorded Future shortly after the company was founded. The company developed technology that strips information from web pages, blogs, and Twitter accounts.

In addition to funding Bellingcat and joint ventures with the CIA, Brin's Google is heavily invested in Crowdstrike, an American cybersecurity technology firm based in Irvine, California.

Crowdstrike is the main "source" of the "Russians hacked the DNC" story.

Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and chief technology officer of CrowdStrike, is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council "regime change" think tank. Alperovitz said that Crowdstrike has "high confidence" it was "Russian hackers". "But we don't have hard evidence," Alperovitch admitted in a June 16, 2016 Washington Post interview.

Allegations of Russian perfidy are routinely issued by private companies with lucrative US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts. The companies claiming to protect the nation against "threats" have the ability to manufacture "threats".

The US and UK possess elite cyber capabilities for both cyberspace espionage and offensive operations.

Both the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are intelligence agencies with a long history of supporting military operations. US military cyber operations are the responsibility of US Cyber Command, whose commander is also the head of the NSA.

US offensive cyber operations have emphasized political coercion and opinion shaping, shifting public perception in NATO countries as well as globally in ways favorable to the US, and to create a sense of unease and distrust among perceived adversaries such as Russia and China.

The Snowden revelations made it clear that US offensive cyber capabilities can and have been directed both domestically and internationally. The notion that US and NATO cyber operations are purely defensive is a myth.

Recent US domestic cyber operations have been used for coercive effect, creating uncertainty and concern within the American government and population.

The perception that a foreign attacker may have infiltrated US networks, is monitoring communications, and perhaps considering even more damaging actions, can have a disorienting effect.

In the world of US "hybrid warfare" against Russia, offensive cyber operations work in tandem with NATO propaganda efforts, perhaps best exemplified by the "online investigation" antics of the Atlantic Council's Eliot Higgins and his Bellingcat disinformation site.

Abe , September 16, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Higgins and Bellingcat receives direct funding from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) founded by business magnate George Soros, and from Google's Digital News Initiatives (DNI).

Google's 2017 DNI Fund Annual Report describes Higgins as "a world–leading expert in news verification".

Higgins claims the DNI funding "allowed us to push this to the next level".
https://digitalnewsinitiative.com/news/case-study-codifying-social-conflict-data/

In their zeal to propagate the story of Higgins as a courageous former "unemployed man" now busy independently "Codifying social conflict data", Google neglects to mention Higgins' role as a "research fellow" for the NATO-funded Atlantic Council "regime change" think tank.

Despite their claims of "independent journalism", Eliot Higgins and the team of disinformation operatives at Bellingcat depend on the Atlantic Council to promote their "online investigations".

The Atlantic Council donors list includes:

– US government and military entities: US State Department, US Air Force, US Army, US Marines.

– The NATO military alliance

– Large corporations and major military contractors: Chevron, Google, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BP, ExxonMobil, General Electric, Northrup Grumman, SAIC, ConocoPhillips, and Dow Chemical

– Foreign governments: United Arab Emirates (UAE; which gives the think tank at least $1 million), Kingdom of Bahrain, City of London, Ministry of Defense of Finland, Embassy of Latvia, Estonian Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Defense of Georgia

– Other think tanks and think tankers: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Nicolas Veron of Bruegel (formerly at PIIE), Anne-Marie Slaughter (head of New America Foundation), Michele Flournoy (head of Center for a New American Security), Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings Institution.

Higgins is a Research Associate of the Department of War Studies at King's College, and was principal co-author of the Atlantic Council "reports" on Ukraine and Syria.

Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of Programs and Strategy at the Atlantic Council, a co-author with Higgins of the report, effusively praised Higgins' effort to bolster anti-Russian propaganda:

Wilson stated, "We make this case using only open source, all unclassified material. And none of it provided by government sources. And it's thanks to works, the work that's been pioneered by human rights defenders and our partner Eliot Higgins, uh, we've been able to use social media forensics and geolocation to back this up." (see Atlantic Council video presentation minutes 35:10-36:30)

However, the Atlantic Council claim that "none" of Higgins' material was provided by government sources is an obvious lie.

Higgins' primary "pieces of evidence" are a video depicting a Buk missile launcher and a set of geolocation coordinates that were supplied by the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) and the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior via the Facebook page of senior-level Ukrainian government official Arsen Avakov, the Minister of Internal Affairs.

Higgins and the Atlantic Council are working in support of the Pentagon and Western intelligence's "hybrid war" against Russia.

The laudatory bio of Higgins on the Kings College website specifically acknowledges his service to the Atlantic Council:

"an award winning investigative journalist and publishes the work of an international alliance of fellow investigators using freely available online information. He has helped inaugurate open-source and social media investigations by trawling through vast amounts of data uploaded constantly on to the web and social media sites. His inquiries have revealed extraordinary findings, including linking the Buk used to down flight MH17 to Russia, uncovering details about the August 21st 2013 Sarin attacks in Damascus, and evidencing the involvement of the Russian military in the Ukrainian conflict. Recently he has worked with the Atlantic Council on the report "Hiding in Plain Sight", which used open source information to detail Russia's military involvement in the crisis in Ukraine."

While it honors Higgins' enthusiastic "trawling", King's College curiously neglects to mention that Higgins' "findings" on the Syian sarin attacks were thoroughly debunked.

King's College also curiously neglects to mention the fact that Higgins, now listed as a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council's "Future Europe Initiative", was principal co-author of the April 2016 Atlantic Council "report" on Syria.

The report's other key author was John E. Herbst, United States Ambassador to Ukraine from September 2003 to May 2006 (the period that became known as the Orange Revolution) and Director of the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center.

Other report authors include Frederic C. Hof, who served as Special Adviser on Syrian political transition to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012. Hof was previously the Special Coordinator for Regional Affairs in the US Department of State's Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, where he advised Special Envoy George Mitchel. Hof had been a Resident Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East since November 2012, and assumed the position as Director in May 2016.

There is no daylight between the "online investigations" of Higgins and Bellingcat and the "regime change" efforts of the NATO-backed Atlantic Council.

Thanks to the Atlantic Council, Soros, and Google, it's a pretty well-funded gig for fake "citizen investigative journalist" Higgins.

[Sep 18, 2017] Google was seed funded by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The company now enjoys lavish partnerships with military contractors like SAIC, Northrop Grumman and Blackbird.

Notable quotes:
"... In addition to funding Bellingcat and joint ventures with the CIA, Brin's Google is heavily invested in Crowdstrike, an American cybersecurity technology firm based in Irvine, California. ..."
"... Crowdstrike is the main "source" of the "Russians hacked the DNC" story. ..."
"... Allegations of Russian perfidy are routinely issued by private companies with lucrative US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts. The companies claiming to protect the nation against "threats" have the ability to manufacture "threats". ..."
"... US offensive cyber operations have emphasized political coercion and opinion shaping, shifting public perception in NATO countries as well as globally in ways favorable to the US, and to create a sense of unease and distrust among perceived adversaries such as Russia and China. ..."
"... The Snowden revelations made it clear that US offensive cyber capabilities can and have been directed both domestically and internationally. The notion that US and NATO cyber operations are purely defensive is a myth. ..."
"... The perception that a foreign attacker may have infiltrated US networks, is monitoring communications, and perhaps considering even more damaging actions, can have a disorienting effect. ..."
"... In the world of US "hybrid warfare" against Russia, offensive cyber operations work in tandem with NATO propaganda efforts, perhaps best exemplified by the "online investigation" antics of the Atlantic Council's Eliot Higgins and his Bellingcat disinformation site. ..."
Sep 18, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , September 16, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Yellow journalism now employs "open source and social media investigation" scams foisted by Eliot Higgins and the Bellingcat disinformation site.

Bellingcat is allied with the New York Times and the Washington Post, the two principal mainstream media organs for "regime change" propaganda, via the First Draft Coalition "partner network".

In a triumph of Orwellian Newspeak, this Google-sponsored "post-Truth" Propaganda 3.0 coalition declares that member organizations will "work together to tackle common issues, including ways to streamline the verification process".

The New York Times routinely hacks up Bellingcat "reports" and pretends they're "verification"

Malachy Browne, "Senior Story Producer" at the New York Times, cited Bellingcat to embellish the media "story" about the Khan Shaykhun chemical incident in Idlib Syria.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/01/insider/the-times-uses-forensic-mapping-to-verify-a-syrian-chemical-attack.html

Before joining the Times, Browne was an editor at "social news and marketing agency" Storyful and at Reported. ly, the "social reporting" arm of Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media.

Browne generously "supplemented" his "reporting" on the Khan Shaykun incident with "videos gathered by the journalist Eliot Higgins and the social media news agency Storyful".

Browne encouraged Times readers to participate in the Bellingcat-style "verification" charade: "Find a computer, get on Google Earth and match what you see in the video to the streets and buildings"

Browne of Storyful and Higgins of Bellingcat are founding members of the Google-funded "First Draft" coalition.

Browne demonstrates how the NYT and other "First Draft" coalition media outlets use video to "strengthen" their "storytelling".

In 2016, the NYT video department hired Browne and Andrew Glazer. a senior producer on the team that launched VICE News, to help "enhance" the "reporting" at the Times.

Browne represents the Times' effort to package its dubious "reporting" using the Storyful marketing strategy of "building trust, loyalty, and revenue with insight and emotionally driven content" wedded with Bellingcat style "digital forensics" scams.

In other words, we should expect the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, UK Guardian, and all the other "First Draft" coalition media "partners" to barrage us more Bellingcat / Atlantic Council-style Facebook and YouTube video mashups, crazy fun with Google Earth, and Twitter campaigns.

Abe , September 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm

There is no reason to assume that the trollish rants of "Voytenko" are from some outraged flag-waving "patriot" in Kiev. There are plenty of other "useful idiots" ready, willing and able to make mischief.

For example, about a million Jews emigrated to Israel ("made Aliyah") from the post-Soviet states during the 1990s. Some 266,300 were Ukrainian Jews. A large number of Ukrainian Jews also emigrated to the United States during this period. For example, out of an estimated 400 thousand Russian-speaking Jews in Metro New York, the largest number (thirty-six percent) hail from Ukraine. Needless to say, many among them are not so well disposed toward the nations of Russia or Ukraine, and quite capable of all manner of mischief.

A particularly "useful idiot" making mischief the days is Sergey Brin of Google. Brin's parents were graduates of Moscow State University who emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1979 when their son was five years old.

Google, the company that runs the most visited website in the world, the company that owns YouTube, is very snugly in bed with the US military-industrial-surveillance complex.

In fact, Google was seed funded by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The company now enjoys lavish "partnerships" with military contractors like SAIC, Northrop Grumman and Blackbird.

Google's mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful".

In a 2004 letter prior to their initial public offering, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin explained their "Don't be evil" culture required objectivity and an absence of bias: "We believe it is important for everyone to have access to the best information and research, not only to the information people pay for you to see."

The corporate giant appears to have replaced the original motto altogether. A carefully reworded version appears in the Google Code of Conduct: "You can make money without doing evil".

This new gospel allows Google and its "partners" to make money promoting propaganda and engaging in surveillance, and somehow manage to not "be evil". That's "post-truth" logic for you.

Google has been enthusiastically promoting Eliot Higgins "arm chair analytics" since 2013
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbWhcWizSFY

Indeed, a very cozy cross-promotion is happening between Google and Bellingcat.

In November 2014, Google Ideas and Google For Media, partnered the George Soros-funded Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) to host an "Investigathon" in New York City. Google Ideas promoted Higgins' "War and Pieces: Social Media Investigations" song and dance via their YouTube page.

Higgins constantly insists that Bellingcat "findings" are "reaffirmed" by accessing imagery in Google Earth.

Google Earth, originally called EarthViewer 3D, was created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) funded company acquired by Google in 2004. Google Earth uses satellite images provided by the company Digital Globe, a supplier of the US Department of Defense (DoD) with deep connections to both the military and intelligence communities.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is both a combat support agency under the United States Department of Defense, and an intelligence agency of the United States Intelligence Community. Robert T. Cardillo, director of the NGA, lavishly praised Digital Globe as "a true mission partner in every sense of the word". Examination of the Board of Directors of Digital Globe reveals intimate connections to DoD and CIA

Google has quite the history of malicious behavior. In what became known as the "Wi-Spy" scandal, it was revealed that Google had been collecting hundreds of gigabytes of payload data, including personal and sensitive information. First names, email addresses, physical addresses, and a conversation between two married individuals planning an extra-marital affair were all cited by the FCC. In a 2012 settlement, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Google will pay $22.5 million for overriding privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser. Though it was the largest civil penalty the Federal Trade Commission had ever imposed for violating one of its orders, the penalty as little more than symbolic for a company that had $2.8 billion in earnings the previous quarter.

Google is a joint venture partner with the CIA In 2009, Google Ventures and In-Q-Tel invested "under $10 million each" into Recorded Future shortly after the company was founded. The company developed technology that strips information from web pages, blogs, and Twitter accounts.

In addition to funding Bellingcat and joint ventures with the CIA, Brin's Google is heavily invested in Crowdstrike, an American cybersecurity technology firm based in Irvine, California.

Crowdstrike is the main "source" of the "Russians hacked the DNC" story.

Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and chief technology officer of CrowdStrike, is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council "regime change" think tank. Alperovitz said that Crowdstrike has "high confidence" it was "Russian hackers". "But we don't have hard evidence," Alperovitch admitted in a June 16, 2016 Washington Post interview.

Allegations of Russian perfidy are routinely issued by private companies with lucrative US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts. The companies claiming to protect the nation against "threats" have the ability to manufacture "threats".

The US and UK possess elite cyber capabilities for both cyberspace espionage and offensive operations.

Both the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are intelligence agencies with a long history of supporting military operations. US military cyber operations are the responsibility of US Cyber Command, whose commander is also the head of the NSA.

US offensive cyber operations have emphasized political coercion and opinion shaping, shifting public perception in NATO countries as well as globally in ways favorable to the US, and to create a sense of unease and distrust among perceived adversaries such as Russia and China.

The Snowden revelations made it clear that US offensive cyber capabilities can and have been directed both domestically and internationally. The notion that US and NATO cyber operations are purely defensive is a myth.

Recent US domestic cyber operations have been used for coercive effect, creating uncertainty and concern within the American government and population.

The perception that a foreign attacker may have infiltrated US networks, is monitoring communications, and perhaps considering even more damaging actions, can have a disorienting effect.

In the world of US "hybrid warfare" against Russia, offensive cyber operations work in tandem with NATO propaganda efforts, perhaps best exemplified by the "online investigation" antics of the Atlantic Council's Eliot Higgins and his Bellingcat disinformation site.

Abe , September 16, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Higgins and Bellingcat receives direct funding from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) founded by business magnate George Soros, and from Google's Digital News Initiatives (DNI).

Google's 2017 DNI Fund Annual Report describes Higgins as "a world–leading expert in news verification".

Higgins claims the DNI funding "allowed us to push this to the next level".
https://digitalnewsinitiative.com/news/case-study-codifying-social-conflict-data/

In their zeal to propagate the story of Higgins as a courageous former "unemployed man" now busy independently "Codifying social conflict data", Google neglects to mention Higgins' role as a "research fellow" for the NATO-funded Atlantic Council "regime change" think tank.

Despite their claims of "independent journalism", Eliot Higgins and the team of disinformation operatives at Bellingcat depend on the Atlantic Council to promote their "online investigations".

The Atlantic Council donors list includes:

– US government and military entities: US State Department, US Air Force, US Army, US Marines.

– The NATO military alliance

– Large corporations and major military contractors: Chevron, Google, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BP, ExxonMobil, General Electric, Northrup Grumman, SAIC, ConocoPhillips, and Dow Chemical

– Foreign governments: United Arab Emirates (UAE; which gives the think tank at least $1 million), Kingdom of Bahrain, City of London, Ministry of Defense of Finland, Embassy of Latvia, Estonian Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Defense of Georgia

– Other think tanks and think tankers: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Nicolas Veron of Bruegel (formerly at PIIE), Anne-Marie Slaughter (head of New America Foundation), Michele Flournoy (head of Center for a New American Security), Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings Institution.

Higgins is a Research Associate of the Department of War Studies at King's College, and was principal co-author of the Atlantic Council "reports" on Ukraine and Syria.

Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of Programs and Strategy at the Atlantic Council, a co-author with Higgins of the report, effusively praised Higgins' effort to bolster anti-Russian propaganda:

Wilson stated, "We make this case using only open source, all unclassified material. And none of it provided by government sources. And it's thanks to works, the work that's been pioneered by human rights defenders and our partner Eliot Higgins, uh, we've been able to use social media forensics and geolocation to back this up." (see Atlantic Council video presentation minutes 35:10-36:30)

However, the Atlantic Council claim that "none" of Higgins' material was provided by government sources is an obvious lie.

Higgins' primary "pieces of evidence" are a video depicting a Buk missile launcher and a set of geolocation coordinates that were supplied by the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) and the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior via the Facebook page of senior-level Ukrainian government official Arsen Avakov, the Minister of Internal Affairs.

Higgins and the Atlantic Council are working in support of the Pentagon and Western intelligence's "hybrid war" against Russia.

The laudatory bio of Higgins on the Kings College website specifically acknowledges his service to the Atlantic Council:

"an award winning investigative journalist and publishes the work of an international alliance of fellow investigators using freely available online information. He has helped inaugurate open-source and social media investigations by trawling through vast amounts of data uploaded constantly on to the web and social media sites. His inquiries have revealed extraordinary findings, including linking the Buk used to down flight MH17 to Russia, uncovering details about the August 21st 2013 Sarin attacks in Damascus, and evidencing the involvement of the Russian military in the Ukrainian conflict. Recently he has worked with the Atlantic Council on the report "Hiding in Plain Sight", which used open source information to detail Russia's military involvement in the crisis in Ukraine."

While it honors Higgins' enthusiastic "trawling", King's College curiously neglects to mention that Higgins' "findings" on the Syian sarin attacks were thoroughly debunked.

King's College also curiously neglects to mention the fact that Higgins, now listed as a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council's "Future Europe Initiative", was principal co-author of the April 2016 Atlantic Council "report" on Syria.

The report's other key author was John E. Herbst, United States Ambassador to Ukraine from September 2003 to May 2006 (the period that became known as the Orange Revolution) and Director of the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center.

Other report authors include Frederic C. Hof, who served as Special Adviser on Syrian political transition to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012. Hof was previously the Special Coordinator for Regional Affairs in the US Department of State's Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, where he advised Special Envoy George Mitchel. Hof had been a Resident Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East since November 2012, and assumed the position as Director in May 2016.

There is no daylight between the "online investigations" of Higgins and Bellingcat and the "regime change" efforts of the NATO-backed Atlantic Council.

Thanks to the Atlantic Council, Soros, and Google, it's a pretty well-funded gig for fake "citizen investigative journalist" Higgins.

[Sep 18, 2017] Americas Deadliest Export -- Democracy - The Truth about US Foreign Policy and Everything Else by Gary Corseri

Notable quotes:
"... "If you [Americans] are sincere in your desire for peace and security... and if Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book Rogue State." ..."
Amazon.com

William Blum's "Cri de Coeur", February 9, 2013

William Blum's Cri de Coeur
A review of "America's Deadliest Export: Democracy" by William Blum (Zed Books, London/New York, 2013.)

(As it has appeared at DissidentVoice, OpEdNews, etc.):

In activist-author-publisher William Blum's new book, America's Deadliest Export: Democracy, he tells the story of how he got his 15 minutes of fame back in 2006. Osama bin Laden had released an audiotape, declaring:

"If you [Americans] are sincere in your desire for peace and security... and if Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book Rogue State."

Bin Laden then quoted from the Foreword of Blum's 2000 book, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, in which he had mused:

"If I were... president, I could stop terrorist attacks [on us] in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize... to all the widows and the orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. I would then announce that America's global interventions... have come to an end. And I would inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the union but... a foreign country. I would then reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims. ... That's what I'd do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I'd be assassinated."

Unfortunately, Blum never made it to the White House! But, fortunately, for those who have read his books or follow his "Anti-Empire Reports" on the Web, he was not assassinated! And now he has collected his reports and essays of the last dozen years or so into a 352-page volume that will not only stand the test of time, but will help to define this disillusioned, morose, violent and unraveling Age.

America's Deadliest... is divided into 21 chapters and an introduction--and there's something to underline or memorize on every page! Sometimes it's just one of Blum's irrepressible quips, and sometimes it's a matter of searing American foreign or domestic policiy that clarifies that Bushwhackian question of yore: "Why do they hate us?"

Reading this scrupulously documented book, I lost count of the times I uttered, "unbelievable!" concerning some nefarious act committed by the US Empire in the name of freedom, democracy and fighting communism or terrorism. Reading Blum's book with an open mind, weighing the evidence, will bleach out any pride in the flag we have planted in so many corpses around the world. The book is a diuretic and emetic!

Blum's style is common sense raised to its highest level. The wonder of America's Deadliest ... is that it covers so much of the sodden, bloody ground of America's march across our post-Second-World-War world, yet tells the story with such deftness and grace-under-fire that the reader is enticed--not moralized, not disquisitionally badgered--, but enticed to consider our globe from a promontory of higher understanding.

Some of the themes Blum covers (and often eviscerates) include:

  1. Why they hate us;
  2. America means well;
  3. We cannot permit a successful alternative to the capitalist model to develop anywhere in the world;
  4. We will use whatever means necessary--including, lies, deception, sabotage, bribery, torture and war--to achieve the above idea.

Along the way, we get glimpses of Blum's experientially rich life. A note "About the Author" tells us that, "He left the State Department in 1967, abandoning his aspiration of becoming a Foreign Service Officer because of his opposition to what the US was doing in Vietnam. He then became a founder and editor of the Washington Free Press, the first "alternative" newspaper in the capital."

In his chapter on "Patriotism," Blum relates how, after a talk, he was asked: "Do you love America?" He responded with what we may take for his credo: "I don't love any country. I'm a citizen of the world. I love certain principles, like human rights, civil liberties, meaningful democracy, an economy which puts people before profits."

America's Deadliest... is a book of wisdom and wit that ponders "how this world became so unbearably cruel, corrupt, unjust, and stupid?" In a pointillistic approach, sowing aphoristic seeds for thought, Blum enumerates instances of that cruelty, often with wry, pained commentary. "War can be seen as America's religion," he tells us. Reflecting on Obama's octupling Bush's number of drones used to assassinate, collaterally kill and terrorize, he affirms:

"Obama is one of the worst things that has ever happened to the American left." And, he avers, "Capitalism is the theory that the worst people, acting from their worst motives, will somehow produce the most good." And then turns around and reminds us--lest we forget--how the mass media have invaded our lives, with memes about patriotism, democracy, God, the "good life": "Can it be imagined that an American president would openly implore America's young people to fight a foreign war to defend `capitalism'?" he wonders.

"The word itself has largely gone out of fashion. The approved references now are to the market economy, free market, free enterprise, or private enterprise."

Cynthia McKinney writes that the book is "corruscating, eye-opening, and essential." Oliver Stone calls it a "fireball of terse information."
Like Howard Zinn, Ralph Nader, Paul Craig Roberts, Cindy Sheehan and Bradley Manning, Blum is committed to setting the historical record straight. His book is dangerous. Steadfast, immutable "truths" one has taken for granted--often since childhood--are exposed as hollow baubles to entertain the un/mis/and dis-informed. One such Blumism recollects Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez's account of a videotape with a very undiplomatic Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and cowboy George Bush: "`We've got to smash somebody's ass quickly,'" Powell said. "`We must have a brute demonstration of power.'

Then Bush spoke: `Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! ... Stay strong! ... Kill them! ... We are going to wipe them out!'"

Blum's intellectual resources are as keen as anyone's writing today. He also adds an ample measure of humanity to his trenchant critiques. He juxtaposes the noble rhetoric of our professed values with the mordant facts of our deeds. The cognitive dissonance makes for a memorable, very unpretty picture of how an immensely privileged people lost themselves, while gorging on junk food, junk politics, junk economics, junk education, junk media. Like an Isaiah, a Jeremiah, he lambastes his own--us!--flaying layers of hypocrisy and betrayals while seeking to reveal the core values of human dignity, empathy and moral rectitude.

Gary Corseri has published and posted prose, poetry and dramas at hundreds of periodicals and websites worldwide, including CommonDreams, Countercurrents, BraveNewWorld.in, OpEdNews, CounterPunch, Outlook India, The New York Times, Dissident Voice. He has published novels, poetry collections and a literary anthology (edited). His dramas have been presented on PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere, and he has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library. He has taught in US public schools and prisons, and at American and Japanese universities. Contact: gary_corseri@comcast.net.

[Sep 18, 2017] Down With Western Democracy !

Notable quotes:
"... German Nazis and Italian Fascists defined their rule as 'democratic', and so does this Empire. The British and French empires that exterminated tens of millions of people all over the world, always promoted themselves as 'democracies'. ..."
"... And now, once again, we are witnessing a tremendous onslaught by the business-political-imperialist Western apparatus, destabilizing or directly destroying entire nations, overthrowing governments and bombing 'rebellious' states into the ground. All this is done in the name of democracy, in the name of freedom. ..."
"... This sacrificial altar is called, Democracy, in direct mockery to what the term symbolizes in its original, Greek, language. ..."
Aug 02, 2014 | CounterPunch

A specter is haunting Europe and Western world - it is this time, the specter of fascism. It came quietly, without great fanfare and parades, without raised hands and loud shouts. But it came, or it returned, as it has always been present in this culture, one that has, for centuries, been enslaving our entire planet.

As was in Nazi Germany, resistance to the fascist empire is again given an unsavory name: terrorism. Partisans and patriots, resistance fighters – all of them were and have always been defined by fascist bigots as terrorists.

By the logic of Empire, to murder millions of men, women and children in all corners of the world abroad is considered legitimate and patriotic, but to defend one's motherland was and is a sign of extremism.

German Nazis and Italian Fascists defined their rule as 'democratic', and so does this Empire. The British and French empires that exterminated tens of millions of people all over the world, always promoted themselves as 'democracies'.

And now, once again, we are witnessing a tremendous onslaught by the business-political-imperialist Western apparatus, destabilizing or directly destroying entire nations, overthrowing governments and bombing 'rebellious' states into the ground. All this is done in the name of democracy, in the name of freedom.

An unelected monster, as it has done for centuries, is playing with the world, torturing some, and plundering others, or both.

The West, in a final act of arrogance, has somehow confused itself with its own concept of God. It has decided that it has the full right to shape the planet, to punish and to reward, to destroy and rebuild as it wishes.

This horrible wave of terror unleashed against our planet, is justified by an increasingly meaningless but fanatically defended dogma, symbolized by a box (made of card or wood, usually), and masses of people sticking pieces of paper into the opening on the top of that box.

This is the altar of Western ideological fundamentalism. This is a supreme idiocy that cannot be questioned, as it guarantees the status quo for ruling elites and business interests, an absurdity that justifies all crimes, all lies and all madness.

This sacrificial altar is called, Democracy, in direct mockery to what the term symbolizes in its original, Greek, language.

***

In our latest book, "On Western Terrorism – from Hiroshima to Drone Warfare", Noam Chomsky commented on the 'democratic' process in the Western world:

"The goal of elections now is to undermine democracy. They are run by the public relations industry and they're certainly not trying to create informed voters who'll make rational choices. They are trying to delude people into making irrational choices. The same techniques that are used to undermine markets are used to undermine democracy. It's one of the major industries in the country and its basic workings are invisible."

But what is it that really signifies this 'sacred' word, this almost religious term, and this pinnacle of Western demagogy? We hear it everywhere. We are ready to sacrifice millions of lives (not ours of course, at least not yet, but definitely lives of the others) in the name of it.

Democracy!

All those grand slogans and propaganda! Last year I visited Pyongyang, but I have to testify that North Koreans are not as good at slogans as the Western propagandists are.

"In the name of freedom and democracy!" Hundreds of millions tons of bombs fell from the sky on the Laotian, Cambodian and Vietnamese countryside bodies were burned by napalm, mutilated by spectacular explosions.

"Defending democracy!" Children were raped in front of their parents in Central America, men and women machine-gunned down by death squads that had been trained in military bases in the United States of America.

"Civilizing the world and spreading democracy!" That has always been a European slogan, their 'stuff to do', and a way of showing their great civilization to others. Amputating hands of Congolese people, murdering around ten million of them, and many more in Namibia, East Africa, West Africa and Algiers; gassing people of the Middle East ( "I am strongly in favour of using poisonous gas against uncivilised tribes", to borrow from the colorful lexicon of (Sir) Winston Churchill).

So what is it really? Who is it, that strange lady with an axe in her hand and with a covered face – the lady whose name is Democracy?

***

It is all very simple, actually. The term originates from the Greek δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) "rule of the people". Then and now, it was supposed to be in direct contrast to ἀριστοκρατία (aristokratia), that means "rule of an elite".

'Rule of the people' Let us just visit a few examples of the 'rule of the people'.

People spoke, they ruled, they voted 'democratically' in Chile, bringing in the mild and socialist government of 'Popular Unity' of Salvador Allende.

Sure, the Chilean education system was so brilliant, its political and social system so wonderful, that it inspired not only many countries in Latin America, but also those in far away Mediterranean Europe.

That could not be tolerated, because, as we all know, it is only white Europe and North America that can be allowed to supply the world with the blueprint for any society, anywhere on this planet. It was decided that "Chile has to scream", that its economy had to be ruined and the "Popular Unity" government kicked out of power.

Henry Kissinger, belonging, obviously, to a much higher race and country of a much higher grade, made a straightforward and in a way very 'honest' statement, clearly defining the North American stand towards global democracy: "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its people."

And so Chile was ravaged. Thousands of people were murdered and 'our son-of-a-bitch' was brought to power. General Pinochet was not elected: he bombed the Presidential palace in Santiago, he savagely tortured the men and women who were elected by the Chilean people, and he "disappeared" thousands.

But that was fine, because democracy, as it is seen from Washington, London or Paris, is nothing more and nothing less than what the white man needs in order to control this planet, unopposed and preferably never criticized.

Of course Chile was not the only place where 'democracy' was 'redefined'. And it was not the most brutal scenario either, although it was brutal enough. But it was a very symbolic 'case', because here, there could be absolutely no dispute: an extremely well educated, middle class country, voted in transparent elections, just to have its government murdered, tortured and exiled, simply because it was too democratic and too involved in improving the lives of its people.

There were countless instances of open spite coming from the North, towards the 'rule of the people' in Latin America. For centuries, there have been limitless examples. Every country 'south of the border' in the Western Hemisphere, became a victim.

After all, the self-imposed Monroe Doctrine gave North Americans 'unquestionable rights' to intervene and 'correct' any 'irresponsible' democratic moves made by the lower races inhabiting Central and South America as well as the Caribbean Islands.

There were many different scenarios of real ingenuity, in how to torture countries that embarked on building decent homes for their people, although soon there was evidence of repetitiveness and predictability.

The US has been either sponsoring extremely brutal coups (like the one in Guatemala in 1954), or simply occupying the countries in order to overthrow their democratically elected governments. Justifications for such interventions have varied: it was done in order to 'restore order', to 'restore freedom and democracy', or to prevent the emergence of 'another Cuba'.

From the Dominican Republic in 1965 to Grenada in 1983, countries were 'saved from themselves' through the introduction (by orders from mainly the Protestant North American elites with clearly pathological superiority complexes) of death squads that administered torture, rape and extrajudicial executions. People were killed because their democratic decisions were seen as 'irresponsible' and therefore unacceptable.

While there has been open racism in every aspect of how the Empire controlled its colonies, 'political correctness' was skillfully introduced, effectively reducing to a bare minimum any serious critiques of the societies that were forced into submission.

In Indonesia, between 1 and 3 million people were murdered in the years1965/66, in a US -sponsored coup, because there too, was a 'great danger' that the people would rule and decide to vote 'irresponsibly', bringing the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), at that time the third most numerous Communist Party anywhere in the world, to power.

The democratically elected President of Congo, Patrice Lumumba, was murdered in 1961, by the joint efforts of the United States and Europe, simply because he was determined to use the vast natural resources of his country to feed his own people; and because he dared to criticize Western colonialism and imperialism openly and passionately.

East Timor lost a third of its population simply because its people, after gaining independence from Portugal, dared to vote the left-leaning FRETILIN into power. "We are not going to tolerate another Cuba next to our shores", protested the Indonesian fascist dictator Suharto, and the US and Australia strongly agreed. The torture, and extermination of East Timorese people by the Indonesian military, was considered irrelevant and not even worth reporting in the mass media.

The people of Iran could of course not be trusted with 'democracy'. Iran is one of the oldest and greatest cultures on earth, but its people wanted to use the revenues from its oil to improve their lives, not to feed foreign multi-nationals. That has always been considered a crime by Western powers – a crime punishable by death.

The people of Iran decided to rule; they voted, they said that they want to have all their oil industry nationalized. Mohammad Mosaddeq, the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953, was ready to implement what his people demanded. But his government was overthrown in a coup d'état, orchestrated by the British MI6 and North American CIA, and what followed was the murderous dictatorship of the deranged Western puppet – Reza Pahlavi. As in Latin America and Indonesia, instead of schools, hospitals and housing projects, people got death squads, torture chambers and fear. Is that what they wanted? Is that what they voted for?

There were literally dozens of countries, all over the world, which had to be 'saved', by the West, from their own 'irresponsible citizens and voters'. Brazil recently 'celebrated' the 50th anniversary of the US-backed military coup d'état, which began a horrendous 20 year long military dictatorship. The US supported two coups in Iraq, in 1963 and 1968 that brought Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party to power. The list is endless. These are only some random examples.

On closer examination, the West has overthrown, or made attempts to overthrow, almost any democratically elected governments, on all continents attempting to serve their own people, by providing them with decent standards of living and social services. That is quite an achievement, and some stamina!

Could it be then that the West only respects 'Democracy' when 'people are forced to rule' against their own interests? And when they are 'defending' what they are ordered to defend by local elites that are subservient to North American and European interests? and also when they are defending the interests of foreign multi-national companies and Western governments that are dependent on those companies?

***

Can anything be done? If a country is too weak to defend itself by military means, against some mighty Western aggressor, could it approach any international democratic institutions, hoping for protection?

Unthinkable!

A good example is Nicaragua, which had been literally terrorized by the United States, for no other reason than for being socialist. Its government went to court.

The case was called: The Republic of Nicaragua v. The United States of America.

It was a 1986 case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in which the ICJ ruled in favor of Nicaragua and against the United States and awarded reparations to Nicaragua.

The judgment was long, consisting of 291 points. Among them that the United States had been involved in the "unlawful use of force." The alleged violations included attacks on Nicaraguan facilities and naval vessels, the mining of Nicaraguan ports, the invasion of Nicaraguan air space, and the training, arming, equipping, financing and supplying of forces (the "Contras") and seeking to overthrow Nicaragua's Sandinista government.

Judgment was passed, and so were UN votes and resolutions. The UN resolution from 1986 called for the full and immediate compliance with the Judgment. Only Thailand, France and the UK abstained. The US showed total spite towards the court, and it vetoed all UN resolutions.

It continued its terror campaign against Nicaragua. In the end, the ruined and exhausted country voted in 1990. It was soon clear that it was not voting for or against Sandinista government, but whether to endure more violence from the North, or to simply accept depressing defeat. The Sandinista government lost. It lost because the voters had a North American gun pointing at their heads.

This is how 'democracy' works.

I covered the Nicaraguan elections of 1996 and I was told by voters, by a great majority of them, that they were going to vote for the right-wing candidate (Aleman), only because the US was threatening to unleash another wave of terror in case the Sandinista government came back to power, democratically.

The Sandinistas are now back. But only because most of Latin America has changed, and there is unity and determination to fight, if necessary.

***

While the Europeans are clearly benefiting from neo-colonialism and the plunder that goes on all over the world, it would be ridiculous to claim that they themselves are 'enjoying the fruits of democracy'.

In a dazzling novel "Seeing", written by Jose Saramago, a laureate for the Nobel Prize for literature, some 83% of voters in an unidentified country (most likely Saramago's native Portugal), decide to cast blank ballots, expressing clear spite towards the Western representative election system.

This state, which prided itself as a 'democratic one', responded by unleashing an orgy of terror against its own citizens. It soon became obvious that people are allowed to make democratic choices only when the result serves the interests of the regime.

Ursula K Le Guin, reviewing the novel in the pages of The Guardian, on 15 April 2006, admitted:

Turning in a blank ballot is a signal unfamiliar to most Britons and Americans, who aren't yet used to living under a government that has made voting meaningless. In a functioning democracy, one can consider not voting a lazy protest liable to play into the hands of the party in power (as when low Labour turn-out allowed Margaret Thatcher's re-elections, and Democratic apathy secured both elections of George W Bush). It comes hard to me to admit that a vote is not in itself an act of power, and I was at first blind to the point Saramago's non-voting voters are making.

She should not have been. Even in Europe itself, terror had been unleashed, on many occasions, against the people who decided to vote 'incorrectly'.

Perhaps the most brutal instance was in the post WWII period, when the Communist Parties were clearly heading for spectacular victories in France, Italy and West Germany. Such 'irresponsible behavior' had to be, of course, stopped. Both US and UK intelligence forces made a tremendous effort to 'save democracy' in Europe, employing Nazis to break, intimidate, even murder members of progressive movements and parties.

These Nazi cadres were later allowed, even encouraged, to leave Europe for South America, some carrying huge booty from the victims who vanished in concentration camps. This booty included gold teeth.

Later on, in the 1990's, I spoke to some of them, and also to their children, in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. They were proud of their deeds, unrepentant, and as Nazi as ever.

Many of those European Nazis later actively participated in Operation Condor, so enthusiastically supported by the Paraguayan fascist and pro-Western dictator, Alfredo Strössner. Mr Strössner was a dear friend and asylum-giver to many WWII war criminals, including people like Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor known as the "Angel of Death", who performed genetic experiments on children during the WWII.

So, after destroying that 'irresponsible democratic process' in Europe (the post-war Western Empire), many European Nazis that were now loyally serving their new master, were asked to continue with what they knew how to do best. Therefore they helped to assassinate some 60,000 left-wing South American men, women and their children, who were guilty of building egalitarian and just societies in their home countries. Many of these Nazis took part, directly, in Operacion Condor, under the direct supervision of the United States and Europe.

As Naomi Klein writes in her book, Shock Doctrine:

"Operación Cóndor, also known as Plan Cóndor, Portuguese: Operação Condor) was a campaign of political repression and terror involving intelligence operations and assassination of opponents, officially implemented in 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America. The program was intended to eradicate communist or Soviet influence and ideas, and to suppress active or potential opposition movements against the participating governments."

In Chile, German Nazis rolled up their sleeves and went to work directly: by interrogating, liquidating and savagely torturing members of the democratically elected government and its supporters. They also performed countless medical experiments on people, at the so-called Colonia Dirnidad, during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, whose rule was manufactured and sustained by Dr. Kissinger and his clique.

But back to Europe: in Greece, after WWII, both the UK and US got heavily involved in the civil war between the Communists and the extreme right-wing forces.

In 1967, just one month before the elections in which the Greek left-wing was expected to win democratically (the Indonesian scenario of 1965), the US and its 'Greek colonels' staged a coup, which marked the beginning of a 7 year savage dictatorship.

What happened in Yugoslavia, some 30 years later is, of course clear. A successful Communist country could not be allowed to survive, and definitely not in Europe. As bombs fell on Belgrade, many of those inquisitive and critically thinking people that had any illusions left about the Western regime and its 'democratic principles', lost them rapidly.

But by then, the majority of Europe already consisted of indoctrinated masses, some of the worst informed and most monolithic (in their thinking) on earth.

Europe and its voters It is that constantly complaining multitude, which wants more and more money, and delivers the same and extremely predictable electoral results every four, five or six years. It lives and votes mechanically. It has totally lost its ability to imagine a different world, to fight for humanist principles, and even to dream.

It is turning into an extremely scary place, a museum at best, and a cemetery of human vision at the worst.

***

As Noam Chomsky pointed out:

Americans may be encouraged to vote, but not to participate more meaningfully in the political arena. Essentially the election is a method of marginalizing the population. A huge propaganda campaign is mounted to get people to focus on these personalized quadrennial extravaganzas and to think, "That's politics." But it isn't. It's only a small part of politics.
The population has been carefully excluded from political activity, and not by accident. An enormous amount of work has gone into that disenfranchisement. During the 1960s the outburst of popular participation in democracy terrified the forces of convention, which mounted a fierce counter-campaign. Manifestations show up today on the left as well as the right in the effort to drive democracy back into the hole where it belongs.

Arundhati Roy, commented in her "Is there life after democracy?"

The question here, really, is what have we done to democracy? What have we turned it into? What happens once democracy has been used up? When it has been hollowed out and emptied of meaning? What happens when each of its institutions has metastasized into something dangerous? What happens now that democracy and the Free Market have fused into a single predatory organism with a thin, constricted imagination that revolves almost entirely around the idea of maximizing profit? Is it possible to reverse this process? Can something that has mutated go back to being what it used to be?

***

After all that brutality, and spite for people all over the world, the West is now teaching the planet about democracy. It is lecturing Asians and Africans, people from Middle East and Sub-Continent, on how to make their countries more 'democratic'. It is actually hard to believe, it should be one of the most hilarious things on earth, but it is happening, and everyone is silent about it.

Those who are listening without bursting into laughter are actually well paid.

There are seminars; even foreign aid projects related to 'good governance', sponsored by the European Union, and the United States. The EU is actually much more active in this field. Like the Italian mafia, it sends covert but unmistakable messages to the world: "You do as we say, or we break your legs But if you obey, come to us and we will teach you how to be a good aide to Cosa Nostra! And we will give you some pasta and wine while you are learning."

Because there is plenty of money, so called 'funding' members of the elite, the academia, media and non-government organizations, from countries that have been plundered by the West – countries like Indonesia, Philippines, DR Congo, Honduras, or Colombia –send armies of people to get voluntarily indoctrinated, (sorry, to be 'enlightened') to learn about democracy from the greatest assassins of genuine 'people's power'; from the West.

Violating democracy is an enormous business. To hush it up is part of that business. To learn how to be idle and not to intervene against the external forces destroying democracy in your own country, while pretending to be 'engaged and active', is actually the best business, much better than building bridges or educating children (from a mercantilist point of view).

Once, at the University of Indonesia where I was invited to speak, a student asked me 'what is the way forward', to make his country more democratic? I replied, looking at several members of the professorial staff:

"Demand that your teachers stop going to Europe on fully funded trips. Demand that they stop being trained in how to brainwash you. Do not go there yourself, to study. Go there to see, to understand and to learn, but not to study Europe had robbed you of everything. They are still looting your country. What do you think you will learn there? Do you really think they will teach you how to save your nation?"

Students began laughing. The professors were fuming. I was never invited back. I am sure that the professors knew exactly what I was talking about. The students did not. They were thinking that I made a very good joke. But I was not trying to be funny.

***

As I write these words, the Thai military junta has taken over the country. The West is silent: the Thai military is an extremely close ally. Democracy at work

And as I write these words, the fascist government in Kiev is chasing, kidnapping and "disappearing" people in the east and south of Ukraine. By some insane twist of logic, the Western corporate media is managing to blame Russia. And only a few people are rolling around on the floor, laughing.

As I write these words, a big part of Africa is in flames, totally destroyed by the US, UK, France and other colonial powers.

Client states like the Philippines are now literally being paid to get antagonistic with China.

Japanese neo-fascist adventurism fully supported by the Unites States can easily trigger WWIII. So can Western greed and fascist practices in Ukraine.

Democracy! People's power!

If the West had sat on its ass, where it belongs, in Europe and in North America, after WWII, the world would have hardly any problems now. People like Lumumba, Allende, Sukarno, Mosaddeq, would have led their nations and continents. They would have communicated with their own people, interacted with them. They would have built their own styles of 'democracy'.

But all that came from the Bandung Conference of 1955, from the ideals of the Non-Aligned movement, was ruined and bathed in blood. The true hopes of the people of the world cut to pieces, urinated on, and then thrown into gutter.

But no more time should be wasted by just analyzing, and by crying over spilt milk. Time to move on!

The world has been tortured by Europe and the United States, for decades and centuries. It has been tortured in the name of democracy but it has all been one great lie. The world has been tortured simply because of greed, and because of racism. Just look back at history. Europe and the United States have only stopped calling people "niggers", but they do not have any more respect for them than before. And they are willing, same as before, to sacrifice millions of human lives.

Let us stop worshiping their box, and those meaningless pieces of paper that they want us to stick in there. There is no power of people in this. Look at the United States itself – where is our democracy? It is a one-party regime fully controlled by market fundamentalists. Look at our press, and propaganda

Rule of the people by the people, true democracy, can be achieved. We the people had been derailed, intellectually, so we have not been thinking how, for so many decades.

Now we, many of us, know what is wrong, but we are still not sure what is right.

Let us think and let us search, let us experiment. And also, let us reject their fascism first. Let them stick their papers wherever they want! Let them pretend that they are not slaves to some vendors and swindlers. Let them do whatever they want – there, where they belong.

Democracy is more than a box. It is more than a multitude of political parties. It is when people can truly choose, decide and build a society that they dream about. Democracy is the lack of fear of having napalm and bombs murdering our dreams. Democracy is when people speak and from those words grow their own nation. Democracy is when millions of hands join together and from that brilliant union, new trains begin to run, new schools begin to teach, and new hospitals begin to heal. All this by the people, for the people! All this created by proud and free humans as gift to all – to their nation.

Yes, let the slave masters stick their pieces of paper into a box, or somewhere else. They can call it democracy. Let us call democracy something else – rule of the people, a great exchange of ideas, of hopes and dreams. Let our taking control over our lives and over our nations be called 'democracy'!

Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His discussion with Noam Chomsky On Western Terrorism is now going to print. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is now re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called "Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear". He has just completed the feature documentary, "Rwanda Gambit" about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

[Sep 18, 2017] A Foreign Enemy is a Tyrants Best Friend

Notable quotes:
"... This activates what Randolph Bourne called their "herd mind," inducing them to rally around their governments in a militaristic stampede so as to create the national unity of purpose deemed necessary to defend the homeland against the foreign menace. When you lay siege to an entire country, don't be surprised when it starts to look and act like a barracks. ..."
"... Imperial governments like to pretend that affairs are quite the reverse, adopting the essentially terrorist rationale that waging war against the civilian populace of a rogue state will pressure them to blame and turn against their governments. In reality, it only tends to bolster public support for the regime. ..."
"... The imperial "bogeygoat" is an essential prop for the power of petty tyrants, just as rogue state bogeymen are essential props for the power of grand tyrants like our own. Thus, it should be no surprise that the staunchest opponents to the Iran nuclear deal include both American and Iranian hardliners. Just as there is a "symbiosis of savagery" between imperial hawks and anti-imperial terrorists (as I explain here), there is a similar symbiotic relationship between imperial and rogue state hardliners. ..."
Jul 28, 2015 | Antiwar.com

Cold wars freeze despotism in place, and thaws in foreign relations melt it away

The recent Iran nuclear deal represents a thaw in the American cold war against that country. It is a welcome sequel to the Obama administration's partial normalization with Cuba announced late last year.

Hardliners denounce these policies as "going soft" on theocracy and communism. Yet, it is such critics' own hardline, hawkish policies that have done the most to ossify and strengthen such regimes.

That is because war, including cold war, is the health of the state. Antagonistic imperial policies - economic warfare, saber-rattling, clandestine interventions, and full-blown attacks - make the citizens of targeted "rogue states" feel under siege.

This activates what Randolph Bourne called their "herd mind," inducing them to rally around their governments in a militaristic stampede so as to create the national unity of purpose deemed necessary to defend the homeland against the foreign menace. When you lay siege to an entire country, don't be surprised when it starts to look and act like a barracks.

Rogue state governments eagerly amplify and exploit this siege effect through propaganda, taking on the mantle of foremost defender of the nation against the "Yankee Imperialist" or "Great Satan." Amid the atmosphere of crisis, public resistance against domestic oppression by the now indispensable "guardian class" goes by the board. "Quit your complaining. Don't you know there's a cold war on? Don't you know we're under siege?"

Moreover, cold wars make it easy for rogue state governments to shift the blame for domestic troubles away from their own misrule, and onto the foreign bogeyman/scapegoat ("bogeygoat?") instead. This is especially easy for being to some extent correct, especially with regard to economic blockades and other crippling sanctions, like those Washington has imposed on Cuba, Iran, etc.

Imperial governments like to pretend that affairs are quite the reverse, adopting the essentially terrorist rationale that waging war against the civilian populace of a rogue state will pressure them to blame and turn against their governments. In reality, it only tends to bolster public support for the regime.

The imperial "bogeygoat" is an essential prop for the power of petty tyrants, just as rogue state bogeymen are essential props for the power of grand tyrants like our own. Thus, it should be no surprise that the staunchest opponents to the Iran nuclear deal include both American and Iranian hardliners. Just as there is a "symbiosis of savagery" between imperial hawks and anti-imperial terrorists (as I explain here), there is a similar symbiotic relationship between imperial and rogue state hardliners.

The last thing hardliners want is the loss of their cherished bogeygoat. Once an emergency foreign threat recedes, and the fog of war hysteria lifts, people are then more capable of clearly seeing their "guardians" as the domestic threat that they are, and more likely to feel that they can afford to address that threat without exposing themselves to foreign danger. This tends to impel governments to become less oppressive, and may even lead to their loss of power.

Thus after Nixon normalized with communist China and belatedly ended the war on communist Vietnam, both of those countries greatly liberalized and became more prosperous. Even Soviet reforms and the ultimate dissolution of the Soviet Union only arose following American detente.

Simultaneously, as the American cold wars against communist Cuba and communist North Korea continued without stint for decades, providing the Castros and Kims the ultimate bogeygoat to feature in their propaganda, the impoverishing authoritarian grip of those regimes on their besieged people only strengthened.

Similarly, ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew the puppet dictator that the CIA had installed over Iran in a 1953 coup, the Ayatollahs have been able to exploit ongoing hostility from the American "Great Satan" to retain and consolidate their repressive theocratic power.

All this is an object lesson for US relations with Putin's Russia, Chavista Venezuela, and beyond. Disastrously, it is being unheeded.

Even while thawing relations with Iran, the Obama administration has triggered a new cold war with Russia over Ukraine. This has only made Russian President Vladimir Putin more domestically popular than ever.

And even while normalizing relations with Cuba, Obama recently declared Venezuela a national security threat, imposing new sanctions. As journalist Alexandra Ulmer argued, these sanctions "may be godsend for struggling Venezuelan leader," President Nicolas Maduro. As Ulmer wrote in Reuters:

"Suddenly, the unpopular leader has an excuse to crank up the revolutionary rhetoric and try to fire up supporters, copying a tactic used skillfully for more than a decade by his mentor and predecessor, the late socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez.

A new fight with the enemy to the north may also help unite disparate ruling Socialist Party factions and distract Venezuelans from relentless and depressing talk about their day-to-day economic problems."

[Sep 01, 2017] Putin statements and MH17

Now this start resembling JFS assassination story... This exchange is mainly rehash of old disinformation (Matt, Drutten) and mostly known counterarguments (marknesop). But there some new things about Putin interview and dismissal of some high ranking Russian commanders in 2015 (one year after the events, so it might not be connected).
Notable quotes:
"... Regarding "Carlos", I tracked him down a few years ago and if I recall correctly, it was a bizarre story involving a Spaniard living in Romania ..."
"... This, once evident to Moscow, led to a lot of drama within the Russian military echelons and ultimately led to the sudden dismissal of Colonel General Sidorov of the Western Military District in late 2015 (on direct orders by Vladimir Putin), together with a heap of other dismissals of high-ranking military officials in the regions bordering Ukraine. ..."
"... The radar unit cannot be left out if the Buk missiles are to actually hit their targets with any reliability. What would be the point of supplying the rebels such an ineffective system. (No the radar on the Buk launcher is not enough for precision tracking). ..."
"... As with any crime scene, physical evidence is vital. The Buk missile will not produce holes identical to 30 mm guns deployed on many fighter jets, including the ones in the vicinity of MH17: ..."
"... There's plenty of proof of Russian supplies to the Donbass. Don't be silly. It is also perfectly possible to determine when exactly these started occurring, namely in June 2014. Prior to that, the rebels had been relying on captured stock. ..."
"... What do fighter-bombers carry 30mm cannons for if the idea of their being able to shoot down a plane is 'laughable'? What's going to happen to an airliner if you shoot up the cockpit and kill the flight crew? Or would 30mm rounds just bounce off plexiglas? I'm not a proponent of the SU-25 theory, although it is not as impossible as some try to make you think. But let's not stray off too far into fantasy. ..."
"... (1) Ukraine claimed that its military destroyed all the air defense systems it had to leave behind as it retreated. So the rebels did not get a Buk system from the Ukrainian Army, unless it is lying. ..."
"... (2) The Bellingcat tale of a smuggled single SA-11 TEL unit into Ukraine, which precisely and efficiently shot down MH-17 without any supporting equipment and then raced back across the border to Russia via a circuitous route which includes at least one geographical feature the system could not have easily passed, is suspect at best and full of possibilities for tampering; and, ..."
"... (3) Russia had no motive for doing such a thing and every reason not to. ..."
"... But the most convincing thing is the western campaign of covering up for Ukraine. Ukraine has to be a suspect – has to – considering the incident occurred over Ukrainian territory, out of reach for Russia from its own territory, and Ukraine possesses the same weapons system. Yet the western reaction is to put Ukraine in charge of the disciplinary investigation, and give it cover. The west makes all sorts of conclusions based on no evidence, and will not produce evidence it says it has. ..."
"... ME, don't let this liar and his lying sources establish any false truths to frame the debate. Why would Almaz-Antey conduct missile detonation tests on the cabin section of a decommissioned IL-86 if there was any sort of doubt in Russia about the most affected area. In particular, why would Putin be less informed about the MH-17 than the average, credulous western sap who is told that Putin loves to shoot down civilian airliners for fun. ..."
"... "Why would Almaz-Antey conduct missile detonation tests on the cabin section." ..."
"... A Buk is the whole system, not the missile, although that is a minor point. The missile is the SA-11, and it goes where the system on the ground guides it, attacking the center of mass. It likely hit the cockpit – if it was an SA-11 – because it was leading the target slightly – algorithms in the guidance radar would be sending the missile to a point the aircraft would reach at a future moment in time if it remained on the same course and speed. ..."
"... I don't know why Putin would say the tail was hit, but he's not a retard and he knows the difference between active homing and IR guidance, and the engines of a 777 are on the wing roots , not in the tail. Nobody with any brains launches a heat-seeking missile in a head-to-head presentation; there's no heat trace in front of a plane. ..."
Aug 31, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Matt , August 31, 2017 at 1:38 pm

Hello again, my friends.

Something very interesting has happened: Putin's thoughts about MH17 have been revealed, from the full-length interview text from the Stone interviews. A few things were omitted from the documentary and they are . quite extraordinary.

Apparently, Putin believes in the "Carlos the ATC" story. Not only that, but he claims MH17 was hit at the "tail" end, which is absolutely false. The cockpit was hit.

Now, I don't know when exactly he said his. Maybe he believed his media's own propaganda and maybe he said this very early on (interviews were filmed over a few years), before the JIT released its initial report. Still, pretty interesting:

!!!!!!!!-

"As far as I know, right after this horrible catastrophe, one of the Ukrainian flight dispatchers, I think he is of Spanish origins, said he had seen a fighter in the commercial plane's flight path," Putin reportedly told Stone.

"There could only have been a Ukrainian fighter jet there. That, of course, demands clarification," Putin is cited as saying by Dozhd.

In his comments to Stone, Putin also repeated previous claims that the Boeing was hit in its tail.

!!!!!!!–

Original source: https://tvrain.ru/news/pravda_vyjdet_naruzhu-443523/

Also, since we're on the subject: Mark, I just noticed your reply to a post of mine that was caught in the spam filter for a few days/weeks. The post was made sometime, I think, in June or July. You gave me some links to comments by another post here, from a few years ago, who discussed Carlos. I am sorry for the late response, but I was unable to get a notification for that comment, since I don't check this email. Anyway, I have read that commentator's posts and it seems obvious that Carlos was pretty clued-in to what the rebels were doing. My theory is, since he was an anti-maidan protester, he perhaps had links to the rebels and was privy to their information. You remember the transcript/video from the Australian news site I provided? It showed the rebels were initially confused and thought they'd shot down an SU-25 which shot down MH17. Maybe Carlos was able to get immediate access to his information, distorted due to the confusion, and repeat it on Twitter, perhaps instructed to pretend he was an ATC. At least, that's my theory.

Drutten, August 31, 2017 at 2:02 pm
The interview in question was made on the 4th of July, 2015, and indeed at that stage it seems like Russian intelligence knew next to nothing about what actually occurred, or if they did they didn't inform the President. Instead, it's all the internet rumors, and nothing beyond those.

Regarding "Carlos", I tracked him down a few years ago and if I recall correctly, it was a bizarre story involving a Spaniard living in Romania.

Drutten , August 31, 2017 at 2:04 pm
Oh, and yes, the DSB findings were published on October the 13th, 2015. The JIT report came yet another year later, on September the 29th, 2016.
Matt , August 31, 2017 at 3:34 pm
Ah, Drutten, I believe it is your old posts that Mark pointed me to, a few months ago. Were you able to timestamp Carlos' initial MH17 post and compare it with MH17's shootdown? If it can be proven that he instantly knew of the shoot down, then that lends credence to the theory he was in on the rebels' communications and/or was part of Russian intelligence. He was, earlier, an anti-Maidan protester. And he clearly lied.

Have you viewed/read the video/transcript of the rebels speaking right after MH17's crash? It was released by an Australian news site on the 1st anniversary of MH17's crash.

It seems you can access the page, but only if you access it from google, instead of going directly to it. Try this link and click on the first search result, from couriermail. com.au:

https://www.google.ca/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=Background:+They+decided+to+do+it+this+way,+to+look+like+we+have+brought+down+the+plane.&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=8qahWeObBbTj8Aepk4GwBQ

The above is a leaked video/transcript of the immediate aftermath. Notice how the rebels keep saying there was a "Sukhoi" that crashed. They claim they shot the Sukhoi down and that the 2 pilots who parachuted out had to be found.

First issue: no Sukhoi's wreckage has ever been found there, or any pilots. This means the rebels shot at something they thought was a Sukhoi, and something came down. But since it wasn't the Sukhoi, it could only be one thing: MH17. Also, if they tried shooting down the Sukhoi, they definitely had a long-range AA weapon. A MANPAD can't reach a Sukhoi. So what could they have used? A BUK TELAR system.

There we have it then. Now we know where the SU-25 story from the Russian government comes from: it was from the mistaken belief of the rebels that they were shooting down a Sukhoi with a BUK, but actually shot down a Boeing.

What I find extremely interesting are their claims that an SU-25 actually crashed and two pilots jumped out via parachutes. This obviously never happened, but where did they get this misinformation from anyway? Also, towards the end they claim "Five parachutes jumped off this plane. Five people jumped off this plane on the bird site." Are they talking about the passengers of MH17 now? Because 5 people can't fit in an SU-25 and they only mentioned two people with regard to that.

Drutten , August 31, 2017 at 2:26 pm
By the way, my very own theory is that as the rebels started running out of captured equipment and other "local" things and Russia started to provide the rebels with weapons and vehicles sometime in June of 2014 (going by OSINT), certain folks in the Western Military District of Russia went a tad further and instead of just sticking to the general supplies of Soviet-era warehouse materials (that while quite obviously from Russia still seemed innocent enough on the whole and perhaps could pass as "plausible deniability" if done right), they decided to let go of some way more potent things as well.

This, once evident to Moscow, led to a lot of drama within the Russian military echelons and ultimately led to the sudden dismissal of Colonel General Sidorov of the Western Military District in late 2015 (on direct orders by Vladimir Putin), together with a heap of other dismissals of high-ranking military officials in the regions bordering Ukraine.

This damage control and the subsequent ditto has been quite chaotic overall. Also, in the immediate aftermath of the MH17 disaster, Russia intervened directly, in a series of pinpoint bona-fide Russian military operations followed by very swift withdrawals starting August 2014 and ending in February 2015. Probably just as much of a "clean-up" of the mess they realized that Sidorov et al caused, as it was about saving the rebels from the Ukrainian onslaught at that time.

The Stone interview took place right in the midst of this drama, and Putin says the following:

There are two principal versions. The first version is that this plane was shot down by a Buk air defense system of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The second version has it that the same system, the Buk system (produced by Russia) was employed by the separatists. First and foremost, let me say that in any case, it was a true catastrophe.

This in the same paragraph as the later musings that TV Dozhd relays. So it all adds up, in my opinion.

kirill , August 31, 2017 at 3:01 pm
Your attempt to give NATzO half a point in this propaganda smear does not cut it. All that was ever produced as "proof" of Russian equipment in the Donbas was the single Buk launcher without any of the critical support vehicles (it is also not clear from any of the photos and videos that it is even the same launcher). Are you going to say that Russia supplied the rebels with just this one component which would have greatly reduced the value of the Buk complex? The radar unit cannot be left out if the Buk missiles are to actually hit their targets with any reliability. What would be the point of supplying the rebels such an ineffective system. (No the radar on the Buk launcher is not enough for precision tracking).

If the rebels ever had any Buk component in their possession it was the launcher they obtained from one of the Ukrainian air force bases they took over. This base only had the launcher component without any of the other pieces needed to make it properly functional. The only evidence produced so far is at best consistent with this. All of the attempts to make it like the Buk launcher was "returned" to Russia are BS. It never came from Russia in the first place.

As with any crime scene, physical evidence is vital. The Buk missile will not produce holes identical to 30 mm guns deployed on many fighter jets, including the ones in the vicinity of MH17:

Drutten , August 31, 2017 at 3:10 pm
There's plenty of proof of Russian supplies to the Donbass. Don't be silly. It is also perfectly possible to determine when exactly these started occurring, namely in June 2014. Prior to that, the rebels had been relying on captured stock.

They still received heaps of arms from Ukraine after that too, by the way (by capturing, or even buying it straight from the Ukrainian Armed Forces), but a huge amount of equipment that could only have come from Russia showed up during the aforementioned period.

There is also plenty of proof of the Russian direct interventions in August 2014 and January-February 2015. And these guys disappeared as soon as their narrow tasks were completed, so they weren't left there or anything. Some equipment lingered on though.

Matt , August 31, 2017 at 3:38 pm
There are some who still don't believe Russia helped the rebels militarily? Wow. kirill continues to surprise.
Matt , August 31, 2017 at 3:14 pm
You slightly contradict yourself. You first claim the rebels stole a BUK, but then claim that the holes are from 30 mm machine gun fire, a laughably absurd claim. Machine gun fire is not enough to cause such enormous explosions mid-air, especially considering the holes are in front of the cockpit. Further, no rounds from the machine gun have been found.

The reality is that the holes are from the BUK's pellets, released when the missile flies in front of the cockpit, as it's designed to do. You can watch the JIT's animation or even Almaz-Antey's live tests for evidence of these holes and the release of the pellets.

And the shape of the holes can be easily deformed due to heat. It's not like in cartoons or anything.

marknesop , August 31, 2017 at 7:56 pm
What do fighter-bombers carry 30mm cannons for if the idea of their being able to shoot down a plane is 'laughable'? What's going to happen to an airliner if you shoot up the cockpit and kill the flight crew? Or would 30mm rounds just bounce off plexiglas? I'm not a proponent of the SU-25 theory, although it is not as impossible as some try to make you think. But let's not stray off too far into fantasy.
marknesop , August 31, 2017 at 6:51 pm
Well, here's what we know.

(1) Ukraine claimed that its military destroyed all the air defense systems it had to leave behind as it retreated. So the rebels did not get a Buk system from the Ukrainian Army, unless it is lying.

(2) The Bellingcat tale of a smuggled single SA-11 TEL unit into Ukraine, which precisely and efficiently shot down MH-17 without any supporting equipment and then raced back across the border to Russia via a circuitous route which includes at least one geographical feature the system could not have easily passed, is suspect at best and full of possibilities for tampering; and,

(3) Russia had no motive for doing such a thing and every reason not to.

But the most convincing thing is the western campaign of covering up for Ukraine. Ukraine has to be a suspect – has to – considering the incident occurred over Ukrainian territory, out of reach for Russia from its own territory, and Ukraine possesses the same weapons system. Yet the western reaction is to put Ukraine in charge of the disciplinary investigation, and give it cover. The west makes all sorts of conclusions based on no evidence, and will not produce evidence it says it has.

Those are all facts, and they add up to a very perplexing picture.

Moscow Exile , August 31, 2017 at 2:32 pm
Apparently, Putin believes in the "Carlos the ATC" story. Not only that, but he claims MH17 was hit at the "tail" end, which is absolutely false.

Does Putin's belief in something that is apparently false therefore make him mendacious, not to be trusted, false per se -- or does this false belief of his simply make him fallible, as are we all?

Patient Observer , August 31, 2017 at 4:58 pm
Mark Lane was paid by the KGB? I did waste some time researching that claim. The most negative comments about his work that I located was from the Washington Post commenting on his death.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/mark-lane-gadfly-lawyer-author-who-promoted-jfk-conspiracy-theory-dies-at-89/2016/05/14/9e87ce5c-1921-11e6-9e16-2e5a123aac62_story.html?utm_term=.c4518c7c7966

They accused him of this outrage: Mr. Lane alleged that members of the U.S. military committed countless war crimes in Vietnam.

Against my better judgment, I ask you (Matt) the basis of your claim that the KGB was funding Mark Lane.

Matt , August 31, 2017 at 6:18 pm
Mark Lane was an American leftist who in 1966 produced the bestseller Rush to Judgment, alleging Kennedy was assassinated by a right-wing American group. Documents in the Mitrokhin Archive show that the KGB indirectly sent Mark Lane money ($2,000 and more), and that KGB operative Genrikh Borovik was in regular contact with him. He also published A Citizen's Dissent (1968). Lane had intensively traveled abroad to preach that America is an "FBI police state" that killed its own president.

The below book is one of 5 or so written jointly by the original leaker of the Mitrokhin archives and Christopher Andrew, the only historian allowed to see the archives. Thus, the above book is basically a primary source.

Unfortunately, some of the pages about this are omitted, but start from that page and read the next six or so pages:

https://books.google.ca/books?id=tiNqCAAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PT391#v=onepage&q&f=false

If you want to jump directly to the info about Mark Lane, use this link:

https://books.google.ca/books?id=tiNqCAAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PT394#v=onepage&q=mark%20lane&f=false

Interestingly, Mark Lane represented a certain Victor Marchetti in a defamation lawsuit, a former special assistant to the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, who has written some critical things about the CIA In 1978 he published an article about the JFK assassination in the far-right newspaper of the Liberty Lobby, The Spotlight. Marchetti claimed that the House Select Committee on Assassinations revealed a CIA memo from 1966 that named E. Howard Hunt in the JFK assassination.

One issue: this memo is a confirmed KGB forgery. In 1975, a note addressed to "Mr. Hunt," dated Nov. 8, 1963, and signed by Oswald, turned up in the U.S. In 1975, the name of the CIA's E. Howard Hunt was well known from the Watergate affair, which is why the KGB chose his name and mailed three photocopies of the note from Mexico to conspiracy buffs in the United States. The Mitrokhin Archive shows that the "Dear Mr. Hunt" letter had been forged by the KGB to implicate the CIA in Kennedy's assassination. The forged note was twice checked for "authenticity" by the KGB's Technical Operations Directorate, or OTU, and approved for use. KGB rules allowed only photocopies of counterfeited documents to be used, to avoid close examination of the original. So Howard Hunt sued Marchetti for defamation (since he was innocent) and Mark Lane was Marchetti's lawyer.

Interesting guy, this Lane character.

Note that I'm not saying he knew he was being paid, but why would the KGB send funds to this guy, starting in the 1960s, if he wasn't spreading information convenient to them? This guy wrote no less than a half dozen books on JFK-assassination-related issues. The Mitrokhin archives are without dispute. I mean, they ousted some of the Soviet Union's most valuables spies, from decades ago. If the archives show the KGB paid Mark Lane, then I believe them.

Moscow Exile , August 31, 2017 at 2:48 pm
And your own country's propaganda, do you believe it? Or has your country no propaganda: does it always make truthful statements, which you believe?
Matt , August 31, 2017 at 3:02 pm
I am not the PM of Canada. Your comparison, therefore, is invalid.
Patient Observer , August 31, 2017 at 4:27 pm
Since you could not truthfully answer without confirming ME's point you resorted to being silly and obtuse.
Matt , August 31, 2017 at 5:46 pm
You misunderstood the context of my comment. I said "I am not the PM of Canada", because I found ME's question to not properly address the argument. I was making the argument that this is interesting precisely because Putin, as leader of Russia, believed his own country's media lies. When ME asked me that question, it was a random, pointless one, because I am not the leader of a nation, hence the point he was making was irrelevant to refuting what I said.

Regardless, I wasn't being "silly and obtuse". That's a false accusation.

And when it comes to "truthfully answering" ME's question, I don't read much news from Canadian sources. And when it comes to Venezuela, I sure as HECK don't believe the government's news!

Moscow Exile , August 31, 2017 at 2:50 pm
More to the point: does Putin still believe in this falsehood? Do tell! Please!
Matt , August 31, 2017 at 3:03 pm
I don't know. But he surely knows by now about his government's various lies.
marknesop , August 31, 2017 at 7:38 pm
I haven't seen any convincing evidence yet of 'his government's lies'. I know you say the Russian government is telling lies. I say they're not. And even if they were – so what? The exceptional nation has been caught in lie after lie after lie, red-handed and frequently by its own admission. Yet it believes it is an example for the world. That's true, but it believes it is a good one.
kirill , August 31, 2017 at 2:44 pm
ME, don't let this liar and his lying sources establish any false truths to frame the debate. Why would Almaz-Antey conduct missile detonation tests on the cabin section of a decommissioned IL-86 if there was any sort of doubt in Russia about the most affected area. In particular, why would Putin be less informed about the MH-17 than the average, credulous western sap who is told that Putin loves to shoot down civilian airliners for fun.
Drutten , August 31, 2017 at 3:05 pm
Indeed, that illustrates exactly my point too – Almaz-Antey's own tests were conducted in October 2015, and focused on the cockpit area and the shrapnel spread there. Already in June of 2015, Almaz-Antey published a report, before the live tests of the Buk missile, and even at that stage (prior to their own widely covered live tests, prior to the DSB and JIT reports, and crucially – prior to this particular Oliver Stone interview session in question) they illustrated AA missile shrapnel focusing on the cockpit area.

Thus, going by what he relays to Stone, Putin was not in the know at that stage of the details, in July. Most likely, he'd been busy with other things over all this time, and the rest of the Russian military-intelligence establishment was busy trying to figure out what actually happened on June 17th the previous year so they hadn't presented him with a rundown just yet.

I'd say Putin became privvy to all of it later that fall (2015), and then came the mass firings.

Matt , August 31, 2017 at 3:06 pm
"Why would Almaz-Antey conduct missile detonation tests on the cabin section."

It's simple. A BUK targets the cockpit of a plane. It then explodes, releasing many tiny pellets. That's how it's designed. The reason Putin claimed the "tail" was hit is clear: an SU-25's heat-seeking missiles would have aimed for the engines, not the cockpit. Thus, he was using this "alternative fact", to use modern lingo, in order to give further credence to the SU-25 theory.

And if you pay attention to what I'm saying, you'll notice I don't believe "Putin loves to shoot down civilian airliners for fun." I believe it was an accident by the rebels.

marknesop , August 31, 2017 at 7:51 pm
Oh, what horseshit.

A Buk is the whole system, not the missile, although that is a minor point. The missile is the SA-11, and it goes where the system on the ground guides it, attacking the center of mass. It likely hit the cockpit – if it was an SA-11 – because it was leading the target slightly – algorithms in the guidance radar would be sending the missile to a point the aircraft would reach at a future moment in time if it remained on the same course and speed.

But it does not 'target the cockpit', or any other physical feature of the plane, instead seeing it as a whole and as a moving object.

I don't know why Putin would say the tail was hit, but he's not a retard and he knows the difference between active homing and IR guidance, and the engines of a 777 are on the wing roots , not in the tail. Nobody with any brains launches a heat-seeking missile in a head-to-head presentation; there's no heat trace in front of a plane.

kirill , September 1, 2017 at 8:15 am
Regarding the MH17 story, the Mig 29 comes with a 30 mm cannon. Russian radar tracking indicated more than one jet fighter in the vicinity of MH17. So the Su-25 and its altitude limit is a non-issue.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan_MiG-29

The photo I posted has a "line" of circular 30 mm holes nearly equally spaced and linear at the left edge of the cockpit section. This looks nothing like the damage from random scattered Buk missile metal shrapnel. I doubt the rebels faked these holes since the photograph is from a short period after the crash before the gun strafing theory even showed up.

The angle that Pukeraine thought that Putin was flying on a civilian jet similar to the MH17 at the same time and the same region and decided to take him out is probably the only one that is relevant in this case. A chance "score" by the rebels is not credible and the notion that the same vintage launcher from Russia would make the rebel chances to shoot down any aircraft at that altitude more likely are simply nonsense (show us the dedicated radar unit and we have more to discuss).

Pukrainian jets buzzing around in close vicinity of MH17 is basically a confirmed fact. The criminal clowns probably thought they were taking down Putin's plane. They used both 30 mm gun fire and air to air missiles to bring down the jet. The rest is ass covering propaganda history.

https://www.rt.com/news/173672-malaysia-plane-crash-putin/

[Aug 26, 2017] MH17 inquiry receives additional Russian radar data

Aug 26, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

et Al , August 25, 2017 at 2:23 am

Flight Global: MH17 inquiry receives additional Russian radar data
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/mh17-inquiry-receives-additional-russian-radar-data-440581/

The Dutch national prosecutor's office had previously expressed irritation that Russian-supplied radar data had not been provided in the internationally-accepted 'Asterix' format developed by Eurocontrol.

But the office states that, following a supplementary request for assistance, the additional radar information "should now be" in the required format, and will be "examined in depth" by the joint investigation team
####

Irritated Dutch Syndrome (IDS)? There's a pill for that.

[Jul 20, 2017] Truth of Ukraine War Revealed: Watchdog Media Releases Definitive Chronological Timeline Video of Ukrainian War From Euromaidan to MH-17

Jul 20, 2017 | moonofalabama.org

Liam | Jul 19, 2017 9:22:07 PM | 34

Just released and there is nothing else like it - Truth of Ukraine War Revealed: Watchdog Media Releases Definitive Chronological Timeline Video of Ukrainian War From Euromaidan to MH-17

https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/07/19/truth-of-ukraine-war-revealed-watchdog-media-institute-releases-definitive-chronological-timeline-video-of-ukrainian-war-from-euromaidan-to-mh-17/

[Jul 17, 2017] Russias anti-American fever goes beyond the Soviet eras by Michael Birnbaum

Is not this a blowback of Washington neocons organized Kiev coup d'état of February 22, 2014 ?
Neocons sowed the teeth of dragon. Now wait...
Notable quotes:
"... The anger is a challenge for U.S. policymakers seeking to reach out to a shrinking pool of friendly faces in Russia. ..."
"... The anti-Western anger stands to grow even stronger if President Obama decides to send lethal weaponry to the Ukrainian military, as he has been considering. The aim would be to "raise the cost" of any Russian intervention by making the Ukrainian response more lethal. But even some of Putin's toughest critics say they cannot support that proposal, since the cost is the lives of their nation's soldiers. ..."
"... "The United States is experimenting geopolitically, using people like guinea pigs," said Sergey Mikheev, director of the Kremlin-allied Center for Current Politics, on a popular talk show on the state-run First Channel last year. His accusations, drawn out by a host who said it was important to "know the enemy," were typical of the rhetoric that fills Russian airwaves. ..."
"... Soviet rhetoric was officially anti-Western, but it couldn't repress ordinary Russians' passion for the Beatles or their enthusiasm for getting news from jammed Voice of America broadcasts. Those positive feelings spilled over after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... But the list of perceived slights from the United States has long been building, particularly after the United States and NATO bombed Serbia, a Russian ally, in 1999. Then came the war in Iraq, NATO expansion and the Russia-Georgia conflict. Each time, there were smaller spikes of anti-American sentiment that receded as quickly as they emerged. ..."
"... The years of perceived humiliations have "led to anti-Americanism at the grass-roots level, which did not exist before," said Vladimir Pozner, a journalist who for decades was a prominent voice of the Soviet Union in the United States. More recently, he has to explain the United States inside Russia. "We don't like the Americans, and it's because they're pushy, they think they're unique and they have had no regard for anyone else." ..."
"... Many Russians tapped into a deep-rooted resentment that after modeling themselves on the West following the breakup of the Soviet Union, they had experienced only hardship and humiliation in return. ..."
Mar 08, 2015 | The Washington Post

After a year in which furious rhetoric has been pumped across Russian airwaves, anger toward the United States is at its worst since opinion polls began tracking it. From ordinary street vendors all the way up to the Kremlin, a wave of anti-U.S. bile has swept the country, surpassing any time since the Stalin era, observers say.

The indignation peaked after the assassination of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov, as conspiracy theories started to swirl - just a few hours after he was killed - that his death was a CIA plot to discredit Russia. (On Sunday, Russia charged two men from Chechnya, and detained three others, in connection with Nemtsov's killing.)

There are drives to exchange Western-branded clothing for Russia's red, blue and white. Efforts to replace Coke with Russian-made soft drinks. Fury over U.S. sanctions. And a passionate, conspiracy-laden fascination with the methods that Washington is supposedly using to foment unrest in Ukraine and Russia.

The anger is a challenge for U.S. policymakers seeking to reach out to a shrinking pool of friendly faces in Russia. And it is a marker of the limits of their ability to influence Russian decision-making after a year of sanctions. More than 80 percent of Russians now hold negative views of the United States, according to the independent Levada Center, a number that has more than doubled over the past year and that is by far the highest negative rating since the center started tracking those views in 1988.

Nemtsov's assassination, the highest-profile political killing during Vladimir Putin's 15 years in power, was yet another brutal strike against pro-Western forces in Russia. Nemtsov had long modeled himself on Western politicians and amassed a long list of enemies who resented him for it.

The anti-Western anger stands to grow even stronger if President Obama decides to send lethal weaponry to the Ukrainian military, as he has been considering. The aim would be to "raise the cost" of any Russian intervention by making the Ukrainian response more lethal. But even some of Putin's toughest critics say they cannot support that proposal, since the cost is the lives of their nation's soldiers.

"The United States is experimenting geopolitically, using people like guinea pigs," said Sergey Mikheev, director of the Kremlin-allied Center for Current Politics, on a popular talk show on the state-run First Channel last year. His accusations, drawn out by a host who said it was important to "know the enemy," were typical of the rhetoric that fills Russian airwaves.

"They treat us all in the same way, threatening not only world stability but the existence of every human being on the planet," Mikheev said.

Soviet rhetoric was officially anti-Western, but it couldn't repress ordinary Russians' passion for the Beatles or their enthusiasm for getting news from jammed Voice of America broadcasts. Those positive feelings spilled over after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

But the list of perceived slights from the United States has long been building, particularly after the United States and NATO bombed Serbia, a Russian ally, in 1999. Then came the war in Iraq, NATO expansion and the Russia-Georgia conflict. Each time, there were smaller spikes of anti-American sentiment that receded as quickly as they emerged.

Putin cranked up the volume after protest movements in late 2011 and 2012, which he blamed on the State Department. It wasn't until last year, when the crisis started in Ukraine, that anti-Americanism spread even among those who once eagerly hopped on planes to Miami and Los Angeles.

Fed by the powerful antagonism on Russian federal television channels, the main source of news for more than 90 percent of Russians, ordinary people started to feel more and more disillusioned. The anger seems different from the fast-receding jolts of the past, observers say, having spread faster and wider.

The years of perceived humiliations have "led to anti-Americanism at the grass-roots level, which did not exist before," said Vladimir Pozner, a journalist who for decades was a prominent voice of the Soviet Union in the United States. More recently, he has to explain the United States inside Russia. "We don't like the Americans, and it's because they're pushy, they think they're unique and they have had no regard for anyone else."

... ... ...

Many Russians tapped into a deep-rooted resentment that after modeling themselves on the West following the breakup of the Soviet Union, they had experienced only hardship and humiliation in return.

"Starting from about 1989, we completely reoriented toward the West. We looked at them as a future paradise. We expected that once we had done all that they demanded, we'd dance for them and they would finally hug and kiss us and we would merge in ecstasy," said Evgeny Tarlo, a member of Russia's upper house of parliament, on a Russian talk show last year. Instead, he said, the West has been trying to destroy Russia.

The anti-Americanism makes it harder for American culture to make inroads through its traditional means - soft-power routes such as movies, music and education. Last year, Russian policymakers ended a decades-old high school exchange program that offered their nation's best and brightest the chance to spend semesters at U.S. schools. Few Western artists now perform on Russian soil.

Western diplomats also say privately that they find themselves frozen out of speaking engagements and other opportunities to explain their countries' positions to Russian audiences. And Russians who work for local outposts of Western companies say their friends and neighbors increasingly question their patriotism.

... ... ...

Even McDonald's, long an embodiment of Russian dreams about the West, was targeted for supposed health violations in the fall. Some of its most prominent locations were forced to shut down temporarily. When they reopened, McDonald's started an advertising campaign emphasizing its local ties and its 25-year history in Russia, playing down the Golden Arches' global significance as a bright beacon of America.

Last week, one McDonald's billboard in the heart of Moscow read: "Made in Russia, for Russians."

Michael Birnbaum is The Post's Moscow bureau chief. He previously served as the Berlin correspondent and an education reporter.

[Jul 10, 2017] We need to, as a society, start throwing these neocon criminals their co-conspirators right where they belong in a jail cell post haste

Jul 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

Silverado , July 14, 2015 at 10:47 pm GMT

@Kiza

After reading, listening to and watching so much of the information about the shooting down of MH17 I put forward the most likely scenario and some important related points.

1) If the Ukrainians shot it down, then it would have been a deliberate and planned act; if the Separatists did it it would have been a totally stupid mistake. Shooting down a plane which even falls onto their territory was definitely not in their interest.
2) If MH17 was shot-down by the Ukrainians then nobody would believe that the West was not involved in this act, therefore the West has a strong incentive to defend its Ukrainians even if it knows that they have done it.
3) It is possible that the US neocons knew of the plan to shoot down a passenger plane, but it was unlikely that this was known within the wider US Administration
4) The Prime Minister of Australia one Tony Abbott, was screaming his head off against the Russians about 7 hours after the shoot-down; he reduced rhetoric later, but how did he know who did it so quickly?
5) It is not impossible but it is not easy to shoot down a passenger plane flying at almost 11,000 m and at a high speed from the ground. When the USS Vincennes downed the Iran Air Flight 655, this plane was still climbing up. Other examples of shootdowns were mostly by military jets, not by Surface-to-Air missiles (SAMs).
6) Therefore, most likely the MH17 was shot down by a military jet, because nobody saw a very visible plume from a BUK missile.
7) It is extremely unlikely that the US does not have satellite imagery, where is it?
8) Who directed a civilian jet over a small conflict area (50km x 80km)?
9) Why the black boxes were never analysed and sound of the last few seconds played in the media, as it usually happens?
10) What about news that the Ukrainian Government was given the right of veto over the investigative report's content? This would make this report totally compromised and worthless.

In conclusion - most information points that MH17 was shot down at the behest of the US neocons and executed by their Ukrainian proxies . The majority of the US Government has not been involved in this act, but all information has been suppressed and this is why the US intelligence professionals have been complaining. That reminds me of an old neocon joke I re-heard the other day that goes like

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and John McCain are all flying over New Orleans in a Blackhawk, surveying the progress that has been made in rebuilding the city and the levees. As they fly over the Ninth Ward, Cheney looks out the window, grins, and says, "You know, I could throw a thousand-dollar bill out the window right now and make one of those poor bastards very happy."

Bush says, "Well, I could throw ten hundred-dollar bills out the window right now and make TEN people very happy."

Not to be outdone, McCain chimes in, "Oh yeah? Well, I could throw a hundred $10 bills out the window and make a HUNDRED Americans very happy."

Hearing this, the copter pilot rolls his eyes and says, "Man, I could throw all three of you out the window and make 300 million Americans very happy."

We need to, as a society, start throwing these neocon criminals & their co-conspirators right where they belong – in a jail cell post haste

[Jul 10, 2017] MH17 The Blaming Putin Game Goes On by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... According to some sources, the U.S. intelligence community disagrees over the likelihood of the alleged Russian role and has suggested as much privately to the Dutch. Some analysts who have looked at all the considerable body of information that has been collected relating to the downing actually believe that the most likely candidate might well be the then governor of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Ihor Kolomoisky, an oligarch billionaire who is an Israeli-Ukrainian dual national. Kolomoisky is known to employ Israeli mercenaries as advisers and has personally organized and paid for militias fighting the Russian separatists. He would have been strongly motivated to create an incident that could plausibly be blamed on the Russians or their surrogates and he had the means to do so. The government in Kiev acting independently also had the resources and motive to shoot down the plane and blame it on Moscow. ..."
"... It is a return to a Manichean view of the world as "them" and "us" with the implication that intelligence professionals are willing to restrain their dissent on an important issue if it serves to advance the current war of words with Russia. ..."
"... If Russia is indeed to blame for the airplane shoot down it should be held accountable, but it is up to the U.S. government to put its cards on the table and be clear about what it does and does not know. The original claims that Russia was involved were based on snap judgments based on bits of information that had been obtained immediately after the event, little of which has been subsequently corroborated through either satellite imagery or electronic and signal intercepts. ..."
"... In conclusion – most information points that MH17 was shot down at the behest of the US neocons and executed by their Ukrainian proxies . The majority of the US Government has not been involved in this act, but all information has been suppressed and this is why the US intelligence professionals have been complaining. ..."
"... The Americans would have picked-up and identified the radar emissions of the BUK/SA-11 system. They spend a vast amount on satellite, ground and airborne ELINT systems to maintain an up to date real-time global Electronic ORBAT. If a Russian BUK was used they would have its complete deployment history. And they would immediately have announced this smoking gun. ..."
"... Some Pentagon spokesman would have gleefully announced that the system used had last emitted in (say) Rostov on such-and-such a date and had moved there from Kaluga on such-and-such a date etc. But the Pentagon are saying NOTHING. And I haven't seen this rather obvious point reported in the English language media. ..."
"... The conclusion I draw is that the BUK used was operated by the Ukrainians. ..."
"... "Our" fatal flaw is what Phil has described as the political warping of the intelligence agencies, in which objective truth is superseded by spin. Michael Morell is prime example of why "we" are losing the real and the propaganda wars; the professionals are managed by the amateurs. (I wish Michael Scheuer would weigh in on Morell's self-inflating "The Great War of our Time", which unwittingly illustrates this divide.) ..."
"... Reported conversations among separatist claiming credit were eventually determined to be composite fakes produced by the Ukrainian intelligence services. ..."
"... Really disappointed that there isn't any attempt to employ standard material science techniques to determine the composition and providence of the projectiles, based on projectile smearing on the penetration points). Why haven't these dutch idiots contacted a decent laboratory to conduct WD-XRF (1) , GDMS and even ion-trap-MS (2) ..."
"... It is obvious that that blind, deaf and speechless are employed to ensure the investigation gets nowhere. ..."
"... In what way do you suppose Kolomoisky to be any worse than the lying scoundrels who make up the Kiev junta? In my experience, following the Ukrainian situation for the past 18 months, Kiev hardly ever says anything that is true. Moreover, Kolomoisky or any other oligarch acting on his own account would lack the callous brutality and the utter certainty of impunity that marks the US government's little "projects". ..."
"... Media consolidation has produced an astonishingly monolithic and compliant press. Correct. The level of suspicion and disrespect towards MSM is so high among sane people, that the propagandizing scoundrels exploit a relative trust that people have towards non-MSM sources of information. The exhibit one is one Mr. Higgings (UK) that pretends to be an independent amateur journalist posting his investigative "discoveries" on his blog Bellingcat. His "information" was quoted by the US government spokespersons as the evidence against Russian Federation re MH17 tragedy and US/RF conflict in Ukraine. ..."
"... However, it was revealed that Mr. Higgins is no lonely and nerdy fighter for truth but a well-connected person enjoying financial help from the private (Soros) and governmental (USAid) organizations. ..."
"... "USAID, working with billionaire George Soros's Open Society, also funds the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, which engages in "investigative journalism" that usually goes after governments that have fallen into disfavor with the United States and then are singled out for accusations of corruption. The USAID-funded OCCRP also collaborates with Bellingcat, an online investigative website founded by blogger Eliot Higgins. ..."
"... Higgins has spread misinformation on the Internet, including discredited claims implicating the Syrian government in the sarin attack in 2013 and directing an Australian TV news crew to what appeared to be the wrong location for a video of a BUK anti-aircraft battery as it supposedly made its getaway to Russia after the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014. ..."
"... Despite his dubious record of accuracy, Higgins has gained mainstream acclaim, in part, because his "findings" always match up with the propaganda theme that the U.S. government and its Western allies are peddling. Though most genuinely independent bloggers are ignored by the mainstream media, Higgins has found his work touted." ..."
"... The investigators - in a conference call promoting an upcoming documentary, "Flight 800" - charged the original probe ignored testimony from nearly 700 eyewitnesses and included evidence tampering. ..."
"... PanAm 103 is a great example of CIA media control and coverup. It took over two decades but the evidence was so overwhelming that the British released the "terrorist mastermind" convicted of blowing up this aircraft. I wrote about his in 2007 and the article can be read here: http://www.g2mil.com/fire.htm The March 28th entry. Here is part: ..."
"... I personally do not believe that anyone was trying to shoot-down Putin's plane, I believe that the shooting down of MH17 was a carefully planned act, not dissimilar to Maidan sniper shootings and similar false flags employed before. The circle of people involved in this act was small, but now the whole Western establishment: the politicians, the MSM and the heads of intelligence services have a strong interest to defend the perpetrators and little cost of doing so. ..."
"... The Russian military have made public some of their info, this was on the activity of four Ukrainian ground based anti-aircraft units on the day of the shootdown. But the Russians never said that those units launched any missiles on the day, only that their targeting radars were active. The Russians asked why when the Separatists had no aircraft. Whilst the rotating surveillance radars are on all the time (unless the enemy has launched a radar-honing missile), the targeting radars are turned on only for an aircraft (practice or real attack). There must have been some target for the targeting radar to be turned on. Could it be that these Ukrainian targeting radars were tracking an unknown military jet which was in the general vicinity of MH17? If the shootdown was a secret action, the military jet's flight would not have been announced to the Ukrainian air defense and the military brass may have suspected it was an enemy (Russian) military jet. ..."
"... But the main issue is the pattern of own behavior which the West has established: (1) too much rhetoric from the zero hour of shootdown, (2) quoting of youtube and twitter "evidence" (3) instead of even a small piece of evidence from the trillion dollars per year worth of military assets and intelligence focused on Eastern Ukraine. ..."
"... MH17 Most Likely Shot Down by Air-to-Air Missile: "The data that the Russian Investigative Committee possesses, confirms the testimony of Evgeniy Agapov, a witness from Ukraine who served as a mechanic in the First Squadron Brigade of Tactical Aviation of the Ukrainian Air Force In December, a former Ukrainian airbase employee, whose name at the time was not disclosed, said he saw a Ukrainian Air Force Su-25 combat jet carrying air-to-air missiles taking off, on the day of the tragedy, from an airbase in eastern Dnipropetrovsk, and later seeing the same plane return without any missiles." ..."
"... Finally, MH17 route would have taken it through a short dimension of the Separatist's territory: 50km wide. An intercontinental passenger jet at cruising speed takes a little more than three minutes to cross it. For the plane to fall-down into this 50km x 80km ellipse, it would have had to be targeted by BUK whilst well inside a Kiev controlled territory. Based on its fly route, MH17 would not have been suspicious to the Separatists because it was not coming from the zone where the Ukrainian military airports are and it was flying way too high to be any kind of threat. ..."
"... In short, a mistake, drunken or sober, makes no sense, although it is theoretically possible. This is why my most probable explanation is a planned neocon act, a continuation of the Maidan sniper deception. It is a logical next step and what happens when you do not capture the Maidan sniping perpetrators – 298 people paid for this ..."
"... Regarding the RT report of Russian intercepts of Ukrainian SAM tracking radar transmissions - I completely missed this. And I follow the Ukrainian situation closely; not just RT, but Cassad, Gleb Bazov, Saker and the other side (BBC, Guardian, Kyivpost etc). ..."
"... The "CW terminal guidance mode" is the final phase in the complex operation of a targeting radar, when it illuminates the target to be destroyed with the so called, Continuous Wave, just like shining a flashlight at a shooter's target. The detection of such radar emission mode by US or Russia would have been solid proof that a SAM shot down MH17, either Kiev's one or Separatist's one. When I wrote "even a small piece of evidence from the trillion dollars per year worth of military assets" I meant that the US never presented such elementary evidence from its expensive sigint and it would have been impossible to miss. Thus Giraldi's "Somebody knows" in the title is justified. ..."
Jul 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

July 14, 2015

At this point, the United States, which together with other interested parties has been reviewing a copy of the report in draft, does not intend to present its own findings but will instead go along with the Dutch conclusions. Among former intelligence, military and Foreign Service officers there has been considerable discussion of the significance of Washington's standing on the sidelines regarding the findings. To be sure, there are a number of rumors and allegations circulating relating to what is actually known or not know about the shoot down.

According to some sources, the U.S. intelligence community disagrees over the likelihood of the alleged Russian role and has suggested as much privately to the Dutch. Some analysts who have looked at all the considerable body of information that has been collected relating to the downing actually believe that the most likely candidate might well be the then governor of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Ihor Kolomoisky, an oligarch billionaire who is an Israeli-Ukrainian dual national. Kolomoisky is known to employ Israeli mercenaries as advisers and has personally organized and paid for militias fighting the Russian separatists. He would have been strongly motivated to create an incident that could plausibly be blamed on the Russians or their surrogates and he had the means to do so. The government in Kiev acting independently also had the resources and motive to shoot down the plane and blame it on Moscow.

The dominant narrative that is still circulating widely suggests that either a direct or enabling Russian role is a given based on the claimed origin of the Buk missile, technical analysis of the plume and trajectory, and the military units that were known to be in place or moving at the time. And there was also the apparent separatist bragging on communications intercepts about shooting down a transport plane. This was the explanation that surfaced shortly after the downing, that was heavily promoted by the Ukrainian government and the media and that has been much favored by the international punditry ever since.

The third option of how to explain the shoot down is, of course, the Dutch approach: we think it was the Russians but we can't prove it. That is an easy choice to make as it really says nothing, which is possibly why it is being favored by the White House.

But if it is actually true that there has been considerable dissent on the findings, the tacit acceptance of a possibly unreliable and essentially unsustainable report by the White House will have significant impact on relations with Russia. It constitutes a disturbing rejection of possibly accurate intelligence analysis in favor of a politically safe alternative explanation. It recalls the politicization of intelligence that included Robert Gates' Soviet assessments of the 1980s, John McLaughlin's tergiversation regarding Iraq, and, most recently, Michael Morell's over the top hyping of the threat posed by political Islam. It is a return to a Manichean view of the world as "them" and "us" with the implication that intelligence professionals are willing to restrain their dissent on an important issue if it serves to advance the current war of words with Russia.

To be sure, deep sixing intelligence assessments that contradict policies that the White House is intent on pursuing anyway buys congenial access to the President and his advisers but it comes at the cost of diminishing the ability of the intelligence community to provide objective and reliable information in a timely fashion, which is at least in theory why it exists at all. Producing honest intelligence will, on the contrary, strengthen both the reputations and credibility of all involved.

If Russia is indeed to blame for the airplane shoot down it should be held accountable, but it is up to the U.S. government to put its cards on the table and be clear about what it does and does not know. The original claims that Russia was involved were based on snap judgments based on bits of information that had been obtained immediately after the event, little of which has been subsequently corroborated through either satellite imagery or electronic and signal intercepts. Since that time the German BND intelligence service has expressed its doubts that the missile used in the shoot down could have been supplied by Russia and has also claimed that photos provided by the Ukrainian government as part of the investigation had been "doctored." There have also been reports regarding a Ukrainian fighter plane being in the area of the airliner as well as the nearby presence of Ukrainian ground to air missile units. Reported conversations among separatist claiming credit were eventually determined to be composite fakes produced by the Ukrainian intelligence services. Presumably U.S. intelligence has also taken a long and hard look at all the evidence or lack thereof but it is being quiet regarding what it has determined.

It is important to get this right because the potential damage goes far beyond the role of intelligence or even who might have been responsible for the downing of an airliner one year ago. As the relationship with Russia is of critical importance and should be regarded as the number one national security issue for the United States, it is essential that the Dutch conclusions be aggressively challenged if there is even the slightest possibility that Russia is blameless.

One does not have to be a fan of Vladimir Putin to appreciate that the nearly continuous efforts being promoted within mostly neoconservative circles to both delegitimize and confront him and his regime do not serve any conceivable American national interest. In an Independence Day phone call to President Obama, President Putin called for a working relationship with the United States based on "equality and respect," which should, under the circumstances, be a given. Americans have been lied into intervention and war more than once over the past fifteen years and it should be clear to all that any contrived crisis based on an erroneous conclusion regarding a shot down airliner that develops into an armed conflict with Russia will have unimaginable consequences. A skeptical American public and international community must demand that any MH-17 report should reflect a full assessment, to include any dissent from its conclusions registered by the United States intelligence community. Any information at variance with the conventional view, particularly anything that suggests that there might be other interested parties who had both the means and compelling interest to shoot down a civilian airliner, must become a part of the discussion.

Kiza , July 14, 2015 at 6:00 am GMT

After reading, listening to and watching so much of the information about the shooting down of MH17 I put forward the most likely scenario and some important related points.

  1. If the Ukrainians shot it down, then it would have been a deliberate and planned act; if the Separatists did it it would have been a totally stupid mistake. Shooting down a plane which even falls onto their territory was definitely not in their interest.
  2. If MH17 was shot-down by the Ukrainians then nobody would believe that the West was not involved in this act, therefore the West has a strong incentive to defend its Ukrainians even if it knows that they have done it.
  3. It is possible that the US neocons knew of the plan to shoot down a passenger plane, but it was unlikely that this was known within the wider US Administration
  4. The Prime Minister of Australia one Tony Abbott, was screaming his head off against the Russians about 7 hours after the shoot-down; he reduced rhetoric later, but how did he know who did it so quickly?
  5. It is not impossible but it is not easy to shoot down a passenger plane flying at almost 11,000 m and at a high speed from the ground. When the USS Vincennes downed the Iran Air Flight 655, this plane was still climbing up. Other examples of shootdowns were mostly by military jets, not by Surface-to-Air missiles (SAMs).
  6. Therefore, most likely the MH17 was shot down by a military jet, because nobody saw a very visible plume from a BUK missile.
  7. 7) It is extremely unlikely that the US does not have satellite imagery, where is it?
  8. Who directed a civilian jet over a small conflict area (50km x 80km)?
  9. Why the black boxes were never analysed and sound of the last few seconds played in the media, as it usually happens?
  10. What about news that the Ukrainian Government was given the right of veto over the investigative report's content? This would make this report totally compromised and worthless.

In conclusion – most information points that MH17 was shot down at the behest of the US neocons and executed by their Ukrainian proxies . The majority of the US Government has not been involved in this act, but all information has been suppressed and this is why the US intelligence professionals have been complaining.

jimmyriddle , July 14, 2015 at 8:57 am GMT

The Dog That Didn't Bark in the MH17 case is ELINT.

The Americans would have picked-up and identified the radar emissions of the BUK/SA-11 system. They spend a vast amount on satellite, ground and airborne ELINT systems to maintain an up to date real-time global Electronic ORBAT. If a Russian BUK was used they would have its complete deployment history. And they would immediately have announced this smoking gun.

Some Pentagon spokesman would have gleefully announced that the system used had last emitted in (say) Rostov on such-and-such a date and had moved there from Kaluga on such-and-such a date etc. But the Pentagon are saying NOTHING. And I haven't seen this rather obvious point reported in the English language media.

The conclusion I draw is that the BUK used was operated by the Ukrainians.

Mr. Creosote , July 14, 2015 at 2:40 pm GMT

Since we all know that anything in Ukrainian airspace is tracked by not only the Uke air-traffic control and military and by Russia and the United States via satellite, then it 's simply a matter of reviewing radar tracks and sat-imaging.

One glaring unanswered question is why only that particular flight out of the many other previous flights was diverted East over the dangerous contested territory and not in established safe air traffic lanes? Why would a commercial airliner fly at a lower than usual altitude unless so directed by the State ATC?

So far there has been a thundering silence from the Ukes and the US while Russia has released information about fighter jets following MH-17 and testimony from an employee at a Uke airbase that witnessed a Uke SU-25 return without missiles.

This would account for the holes in the cockpit fuselage that are consistent with 30mm cannonfire entering and exiting that rescue workers observed in the wreckage that have no other explanation and cannot be made by large BUK missile fragments.

The silence seems to indicate that the rush to frame the Separatist East Ukrainians and, by proxy, Russia has failed and the evidence will clearly show that.

http://www.inquisitr.com/1702285/malaysia-airlines-flight-mh17/

Jeff Albertson , July 14, 2015 at 3:44 pm GMT

@jimmyriddle The Dog That Didn't Bark in the MH17 case is ELINT.

The Americans would have picked-up and identified the radar emissions of the BUK/SA-11 system.

They spend a vast amount on satellite, ground and airborne ELINT systems to maintain an up to date real-time global Electronic ORBAT. If a Russian BUK was used they would have its complete deployment history. And they would immediately have announced this smoking gun.

Some Pentagon spokesman would have gleefully announced that the system used had last emitted in (say) Rostov on such-and-such a date and had moved there from Kaluga on such-and-such a date etc

But the Pentagon are saying NOTHING. And I haven't seen this rather obvious point reported in the English language media.

The conclusion I draw is that the BUK used was operated by the Ukrainians. The dog that didn't bark is not quite the exact analogy; the pack of wildly baying hounds that suddenly went mute is more appropriate. Of course both US and Russian analysts had detailed sigint and high-res coverage of every square inch of Ukraine at the time, and it was only when the empire knew what the Russians knew that the fake hysteria came to an abrupt halt.

Spycraft is fascinating, but even if you pay very close attention, the layman can only speculate on the meaning of the shadows of the quickly-passing invisible men. I believe the Russians have a distinct advantage, because Putin understands the process and our leaders do not. What they all share is the necessity of obscuring every bit of truth.

"Our" fatal flaw is what Phil has described as the political warping of the intelligence agencies, in which objective truth is superseded by spin. Michael Morell is prime example of why "we" are losing the real and the propaganda wars; the professionals are managed by the amateurs. (I wish Michael Scheuer would weigh in on Morell's self-inflating "The Great War of our Time", which unwittingly illustrates this divide.)

Ronald Thomas West , Website July 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm GMT

@Hepp

Reported conversations among separatist claiming credit were eventually determined to be composite fakes produced by the Ukrainian intelligence services.
The attached link does not provide any evidence that is the case. In fact, a Vice reporter went and talked to one of the separatists on the tapes, and he admitted it was him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYEH6Tfzouo&index=14&list=PLw613M86o5o5zqF6WJR8zuC7Uwyv76h7R

The problem is that all the information we get on this case comes from governments, so it can't be reliable. But this is the closest thing to third party confirmation that at least one piece of evidence released by one side is correct.

The problem is that all the information we get on this case comes from governments, so it can't be reliable

You think VICE is reliable? Probably not the best judgment

http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/03/vice-founder-famous-for-truth-telling-has-history-of-lies/

considering a VICE founder's personal history (never mind he chums with such stellar 'truth-tellers' as Rupert Murdoch.)

Very little commercial media (probably none in actuality) could be considered 'reliable.' Some is better than others, depending on the subject matter, the geography covered, the political slant of management and often out and out personal prejudices (not to mention commercial news outlets being highly valued targets and consequent coveted assets of intelligence agencies.)

What VICE news and The Intercept (Right & Left of the spectrum respectively) share in common is anti-Russia bias due to either management or owner-bankroller geopolitical alignment. Management hiring and assignment policies will reflect those bias and you often will get fed lines of BS accordingly or outright false stories.

krollchem , July 14, 2015 at 10:57 pm GMT

It seems that the "international" investigators only have rudimentary puzzle solving skills necessary to figure out how the parts fit together. From what I have read many of the critical parts were even left back at the crash site to ensure failure.

Really disappointed that there isn't any attempt to employ standard material science techniques to determine the composition and providence of the projectiles, based on projectile smearing on the penetration points). Why haven't these dutch idiots contacted a decent laboratory to conduct WD-XRF (1) , GDMS and even ion-trap-MS (2)

(1) Rigaku, ZSX Primus II Wavelength dispersive x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (WDXRF)

(2) Glow Discharge Mass Spectrometry : Trace Element Determinations in Solid Samples: http://www.wiley.com/legacy/wileychi/ms/articles/1061_a.pdf . Such GDMS systems are even commercially available: http://www.eag.com/documents/glow-discharge-mass-spectrometry-gdms-services-TN102.pdfag.com

To get really fancy, a magnetic sector ICP-MS system could be used to identify the source and even batch of the munitions based on isotopic abundances.

It is obvious that that blind, deaf and speechless are employed to ensure the investigation gets nowhere.

Seraphim , July 14, 2015 at 11:41 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh "My take is that the Americans know that Kolomoisky is heavily involved".

In what way do you suppose Kolomoisky to be any worse than the lying scoundrels who make up the Kiev junta? In my experience, following the Ukrainian situation for the past 18 months, Kiev hardly ever says anything that is true. Moreover, Kolomoisky or any other oligarch acting on his own account would lack the callous brutality and the utter certainty of impunity that marks the US government's little "projects". Kolomoisky was not worse than the rest of the gang. But he was more "representative". He was too upfront with things that the others try to keep under wraps:

"Kolomoyski is a prominent supporter of Ukraine's Jewish community and the president of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine. In 2010 he was appointed as the president of the European Council of Jewish Communities after promising the outgoing president he would donate $14 million, with his appointment being described as a "putsch" and a "Soviet-style takeover" by other EJCJ board members. After several ECJC board members resigned in protest, Kolomyski quit the ECJC and, together with fellow Ukrainian oligarch Vadim Rabinovich, founded the European Jewish Union." (Wikipedia)

"Oleg Rostovtsev, a spokesman for the Jewish community, which has 50 000 parishioners, supports the renaming of Dnepropetrovsk to Jerusalem-on-the-Dnieper:
"Jerusalem for residents of Dnepropetrovsk is a city of peace, not conflict. Many of us have already visited Jerusalem, worshiped the holy places, came back and said: here it's almost the same – next to the synagogue stands a mosque, and nearby there are churches and monasteries. We also respect our different traditions". @ http://fortruss.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/dnepropetrovsk-could-be-renamed.htm

annamaria , July 15, 2015 at 1:23 am GMT

@Bill Jones One huge difference between Tonkin and now is that during Vietnam, some within the mainstream media asked inconvenient questions.

Media consolidation has produced an astonishingly monolithic and compliant press. Correct. The level of suspicion and disrespect towards MSM is so high among sane people, that the propagandizing scoundrels exploit a relative trust that people have towards non-MSM sources of information. The exhibit one is one Mr. Higgings (UK) that pretends to be an independent amateur journalist posting his investigative "discoveries" on his blog Bellingcat. His "information" was quoted by the US government spokespersons as the evidence against Russian Federation re MH17 tragedy and US/RF conflict in Ukraine.

However, it was revealed that Mr. Higgins is no lonely and nerdy fighter for truth but a well-connected person enjoying financial help from the private (Soros) and governmental (USAid) organizations.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=16d_1432796866#JldcQrCqq6bWwLzF.99

annamaria , July 15, 2015 at 1:30 am GMT

@annamaria Why the US govt' spokespersons like quoting one Mr. Higgins (of Bellingcat notoriety).

"USAID, working with billionaire George Soros's Open Society, also funds the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, which engages in "investigative journalism" that usually goes after governments that have fallen into disfavor with the United States and then are singled out for accusations of corruption. The USAID-funded OCCRP also collaborates with Bellingcat, an online investigative website founded by blogger Eliot Higgins.

Higgins has spread misinformation on the Internet, including discredited claims implicating the Syrian government in the sarin attack in 2013 and directing an Australian TV news crew to what appeared to be the wrong location for a video of a BUK anti-aircraft battery as it supposedly made its getaway to Russia after the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014.

Despite his dubious record of accuracy, Higgins has gained mainstream acclaim, in part, because his "findings" always match up with the propaganda theme that the U.S. government and its Western allies are peddling. Though most genuinely independent bloggers are ignored by the mainstream media, Higgins has found his work touted."

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/06/08/cold-war-ii-to-mccarthyism-ii/

Carlton Meyer , Website July 15, 2015 at 2:19 am GMT

@Biff My guess is when October comes we will find little to nothing new about MH17, if history is any guide.

Take PamAm flight 800 for example which occurred in 1996, and it is still up for debate:

The investigators - in a conference call promoting an upcoming documentary, "Flight 800" - charged the original probe ignored testimony from nearly 700 eyewitnesses and included evidence tampering.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/new-film-feeds-conspiracy-theories-crash-twa-flight-800-article-1.1376580

PanAm flight 103 is still awash in conspiracy theories being blamed on either the Libyans or the Iranians depending on who is doing the blaming:

As revenge for the bombing of a Berlin nightclub where two U.S. personnel were killed, President Ronald Reagan ordered the bombing of Libya's capital Tripoli and the Libyan city of Benghazi in 1986. Some people think that bombing Pan Am Flight 103 was in retaliation for these bombings.

In 1988, the USS Vincennes (a U.S. guided missile cruiser) shot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing all 290 people on board. There is little doubt that this caused as much horror and sorrow as the explosion on Flight 103. The U.S. government claims that the USS Vincennes mistakenly identified the passenger plane as an F-14 fighter jet. Other people believe that the bombing over Lockerbie was in retaliation for this disaster.

PanAm 103 is a great example of CIA media control and coverup. It took over two decades but the evidence was so overwhelming that the British released the "terrorist mastermind" convicted of blowing up this aircraft. I wrote about his in 2007 and the article can be read here: http://www.g2mil.com/fire.htm The March 28th entry. Here is part:

..A 1993 book Trail of the Octopus offers details on how Iran downed Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie.[2] Iranian leaders were furious at the "accident" in which their Airbus was destroyed. Blowing up an American 747 would be ideal revenge. Through their contacts with the Beirut PFLP-GC revolutionary group, they were told a bomb could be placed on an American 747 if the price was right.

Beirut is a traditional transit point for illegal narcotics, and a major station for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The PFLP-GC was also in the drug business. The DEA had arrested one of its drug couriers as he arrived in New York by air. He cut a deal for a lesser sentence and continued to smuggle heroin to New York City so the DEA could track its distribution and destroy this network. To ensure their drug mule got to New York safely, agents of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) carried his checked baggage past security in Cyprus. The DIA is a little known U.S. intelligence agency that has almost no Congressional oversight or restrictions because it is part of the Defense Department.

The PFLP-GC learned of this betrayal about the same time the Iranians were shopping for a way to down a 747. The solution was simple. Place a time delayed/altitude triggered bomb in the bag of the drug courier. This would explode on its final leg to New York when it was mostly full of Americans, killing the snitch as well. The plan worked perfectly, killing nearly the same number of innocents that the USS Vincennes claimed. As an added bonus, they selected a flight with four U.S. intelligence officers on the passenger list: Matthew Gannon, the CIA's deputy station chief in Beirut, Major Chuck "Tiny" McKee, a U.S. Army officer assigned to the DIA in Beirut, and two other CIA officers.[3] It seems reasonable that Major McKee was onboard to ensure the courier didn't slip away.

Needless to say, the DIA was in panic after Pan Am 103 blew up. They had never bothered to search the suitcase to ensure it only had heroin as they smuggled the bomb through security and on the Pan Am flight . This blunder was not good for careers, America's image, or foreign policy. In addition, the U.S. Government would be humiliated if Iran were credited for revenge with the aid of duped American agents. It would also threaten to expose the truth behind the USS Vincennes shoot down, which Newsweek exposed four years later. Finally, the U.S. Government would find it difficult to explain why Captain Will Rogers, the man responsible for the deaths of 259 Iranian pilgrims on the Airbus flight to Mecca, and thus indirectly responsible for the retaliatory bombing over Lockerbie, was not in prison, but had been awarded a medal and a hefty U.S. Navy pension.

This is why Libya was blamed for Lockerbie. The U.S. Government hated Libyan leader Gaddafi. This Sandhurst trained "madman," had overthrown Libya's Anglo-American puppet king, kicked the USA out of Wheelus Air Force Base, its premier Mediterranean air training base, and began buying Soviet equipment rather than American weapons. Worst of all, he wasted his nations oil wealth improving the lives of Libyans rather than investing profits in Western corporations ..

Kiza , July 15, 2015 at 5:50 am GMT

@Wizard of Oz Another balance to strike is between the probability of a careless or illinformed or drunk or stupid rebel making a disastrous mistake and a professional air force pilot being sent up to shoot down a foreign passenger airliner and actually carrying it out. One need to know a little about ground based air defense to make such a cliched conclusion: "a drunk separatist". Shooting down a fast moving plane at 11 km altitude does take quite a bit of skill, attention, effort and even a bit of luck.

But, a Russian separatist drank two bottles of vodka and then he leaned on the missile launch button would not be much worse than the majority of other stories that the West has put forward so far. This emphasizes that so far, the West has put forward only the rhetoric/stories and almost no evidence at all.

I personally do not believe that anyone was trying to shoot-down Putin's plane, I believe that the shooting down of MH17 was a carefully planned act, not dissimilar to Maidan sniper shootings and similar false flags employed before. The circle of people involved in this act was small, but now the whole Western establishment: the politicians, the MSM and the heads of intelligence services have a strong interest to defend the perpetrators and little cost of doing so.

I wrote when it happened a year ago – "We will never know the real truth for certain" and I maintain this. The shooting down of MH17 has joined the realm of conspiracy theories (which thrive when the "official explanation" is poorly supported by facts) : Kennedy assassination, 911 and so on.

Kiza , July 15, 2015 at 6:41 am GMT

@Wizard of Oz jimmyriddle is obviously a professional or someone with a very good knowledge of sigint (signals intelligence). Essentially, every anti-aircraft radar costs a lot of money and there is a limited number of them in the World. All militarily advanced countries of the World, especially former USSR and US, have always collected electronic signatures of each radar. This has many uses but I do not want to digress. It is practically impossible to shoot down a plane from the ground or from air without using a radar, at least during some part of the action. It is totally impossible that neither Russia nor US have monitored electronic emissions in a conflict zone in which both had their special forces . None of this sigint is very secret, where is the US sigint from the day? Neither satellite images, nor sigint info have been made public, nada, zilch, zero.

The MH370 loss is not comparable because this plane was not lost in the hottest military zone on Earth – Eastern Ukraine.

The Russian military have made public some of their info, this was on the activity of four Ukrainian ground based anti-aircraft units on the day of the shootdown. But the Russians never said that those units launched any missiles on the day, only that their targeting radars were active. The Russians asked why when the Separatists had no aircraft. Whilst the rotating surveillance radars are on all the time (unless the enemy has launched a radar-honing missile), the targeting radars are turned on only for an aircraft (practice or real attack). There must have been some target for the targeting radar to be turned on. Could it be that these Ukrainian targeting radars were tracking an unknown military jet which was in the general vicinity of MH17? If the shootdown was a secret action, the military jet's flight would not have been announced to the Ukrainian air defense and the military brass may have suspected it was an enemy (Russian) military jet.

But the main issue is the pattern of own behavior which the West has established: (1) too much rhetoric from the zero hour of shootdown, (2) quoting of youtube and twitter "evidence" (3) instead of even a small piece of evidence from the trillion dollars per year worth of military assets and intelligence focused on Eastern Ukraine.

jimmyriddle , July 15, 2015 at 6:57 am GMT

@Wizard of Oz As I said this is a point worth following up but, when you think about it, there may even be a stronger argument of opposite import. Wouldn't the Russians be at least as likely to be monitoring minutely everything going on within a few kilometres of the Russian border where fighting is taking place and Russians, in whatever capacity, are involved (or, if you like, just pro-Russian rebels are involved)? "Wouldn't the Russians be at least as likely to be monitoring minutely everything going on within a few kilometres of the Russian border"

Not necessarily. Russia isn't the USSR. Its ability to maintain EORBATS is limited – for example, Russia's satellite-based missile early warning system is currently out of operation. Until recently Ukrainian air defence systems would not be a priority as conflict with Ukraine would have been considered unthinkable. So, while it seems likely that Russian ELINT/ESM systems would have detected the tracking radar, they wouldn't necessarily have had the historical EORBAT required to prove that the system was Ukrainian-controlled.

Tom Welsh , July 15, 2015 at 7:19 am GMT

@Biff My guess is when October comes we will find little to nothing new about MH17, if history is any guide.

Take PamAm flight 800 for example which occurred in 1996, and it is still up for debate:

The investigators - in a conference call promoting an upcoming documentary, "Flight 800" - charged the original probe ignored testimony from nearly 700 eyewitnesses and included evidence tampering.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/new-film-feeds-conspiracy-theories-crash-twa-flight-800-article-1.1376580

PanAm flight 103 is still awash in conspiracy theories being blamed on either the Libyans or the Iranians depending on who is doing the blaming:

As revenge for the bombing of a Berlin nightclub where two U.S. personnel were killed, President Ronald Reagan ordered the bombing of Libya's capital Tripoli and the Libyan city of Benghazi in 1986. Some people think that bombing Pan Am Flight 103 was in retaliation for these bombings.

In 1988, the USS Vincennes (a U.S. guided missile cruiser) shot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing all 290 people on board. There is little doubt that this caused as much horror and sorrow as the explosion on Flight 103. The U.S. government claims that the USS Vincennes mistakenly identified the passenger plane as an F-14 fighter jet. Other people believe that the bombing over Lockerbie was in retaliation for this disaster.

"The U.S. government claims that the USS Vincennes mistakenly identified the passenger plane as an F-14 fighter jet".

Another obvious, transparent, utterly brazen lie. Is there anyone so naive as to believe any part of this for even a moment? The Aegis missile ships were designed from the ground up to protect American carrier task groups from swarms of incoming Soviet missiles and/or aircraft. How the hell could they do that if they couldn't tell the difference between an attacking jet fighter of US manufacture (hence extremely familiar) and a civilian airliner ascending along its planned and well-known flight path? Aegis was designed, I repeat, the handle dozens of incoming supersonic missiles! Yet when presented with the simplest imaginable situation – a single relatively slow, lumbering airliner (going even slower than cruising speed while it climbed) the technically expert crew and its battery of powerful computers supposedly mistook this airliner for an attacking F-14?

This is as if to say that an expert veteran big game hunter shot dead a prize cow, at point blank range, because he mistook it for an attacking lion!

I understand that subsequent examination of the Vincennes' computer records showed that the computers were never deceived for a moment: they identified the Iranian Airbus as an Iranian Airbus. So presumably the crew were so pathetically panicky or staggeringly incompetent that they misread their own displays in their single-minded determination to believe they were being attacked.

At the very least, the US government was utterly guilty of shooting down the Iranian airliner. A plea of "mistaken identity", as well as being almost unbelievable, would also fail in principle. Someone who deliberately programs computers and sets up an elaborate weapons system is clearly responsible for all harm done by that system, faulty or not.

annamaria , July 15, 2015 at 10:59 pm GMT

MH17 Most Likely Shot Down by Air-to-Air Missile: "The data that the Russian Investigative Committee possesses, confirms the testimony of Evgeniy Agapov, a witness from Ukraine who served as a mechanic in the First Squadron Brigade of Tactical Aviation of the Ukrainian Air Force In December, a former Ukrainian airbase employee, whose name at the time was not disclosed, said he saw a Ukrainian Air Force Su-25 combat jet carrying air-to-air missiles taking off, on the day of the tragedy, from an airbase in eastern Dnipropetrovsk, and later seeing the same plane return without any missiles."

http://sputniknews.com/world/20150715/1024676143.html

from comments section: "Putin was actually supposed to fly that same route only an hour or so prior, but the route Putin's jet took was altered. If you ask me, it was a case of mistaken identity. Kiev was gunning for Putin, and instead shot down the passenger jet."

Kiza , July 16, 2015 at 2:58 am GMT

@Wizard of Oz

I am not surprised that you have a problem understanding people as you either don't pay careful attention to what people say or have a deeper problem with language and logic (maybe, it occurs to me, a limited vocabulary). Your Humpty Dumpty attitude to usage is exemplified by the use of "tantrum" in reference to my "Knave or Fool?". But you really are beyond the pale of intelligent conversation if you can read what I write, especially about events in the Ukraine, and suppose that I am other than an agnostic of contrarian habit. You mention Cambridge but I don't think you ever had the benefit of the Oxbridge tutorial system. which would have required you to justify your essays against questions testing your facts, logic and precision of language. A pity. Still it might not be too late for "mature" age entry if some sort of affirmative action could be justified. At least a balanced, emotional-free and focused comment from you. Now we can discuss without calling each other fool, knave and the like.

Do not worry about my education, I have had plenty of it, Internet is my biggest teacher now.

If you are interested why I asked you if you were from another planet, it is because of this: "Oh btw a drunk person can use a laser or other homing device once fuxed on a target".

Since you are an Australian (from another planet), your comment reminded me of the news in the Sydney Morning Herald of some Bogan shining a green laser pointer at the planes taking off and landing at Sydney Airport, trying to blind pilots and cause a crash. The police said they would catch him/her and he/she would get 20 years in the cooler just for shining. Maybe this was your idea of a tipsy person shooting down a passenger plane using a laser (yes, I am putting a funny spin on your tipsy/drunken shootdown comment).

BUK missile battery is a 60-ties technology weapon, it is not a computerized modern phased-array system, it takes a minimum of three people to operate and normally five (all drunken or tipsy, of course). There is no way in the world that the Separatists (farmers and factory workers) would have been able to get one from Russia or capture one from the enemy and then use it at all, let alone successfully within days. If Russia gave it, then Russia would have had to send a whole trained crew (not impossible). The Ukrainian planes shoot-down before were shotdown using MANPADS (shoulder-fired self-honing missiles), which even a farmer can learn to use in a few days. The way AA defense works, is that most military jets, large and small, fly below 10km because they have little business to do above and their small wings do not offer efficient lift, unlike the huge wings of passenger jets. The old AA defense (that BUK belongs to) was optimized for targets at altitude below 10km where military jets spent most time attacking ground targets and fighting other planes. Only the newest AA systems now aim for lower orbit (100 km) to catch ballistic missiles. Fighter jets and bombers now spend most time between 5km and 10km (or they hug the terrain at a very low altitude), because MANPADS can reach up to 5 km and they usually use passive sensors instead of radar, which means they are more difficult to recognize (which is why they are so very dangerous, as proven against the Russians in Afghanistan).

Finally, MH17 route would have taken it through a short dimension of the Separatist's territory: 50km wide. An intercontinental passenger jet at cruising speed takes a little more than three minutes to cross it. For the plane to fall-down into this 50km x 80km ellipse, it would have had to be targeted by BUK whilst well inside a Kiev controlled territory. Based on its fly route, MH17 would not have been suspicious to the Separatists because it was not coming from the zone where the Ukrainian military airports are and it was flying way too high to be any kind of threat.

In short, a mistake, drunken or sober, makes no sense, although it is theoretically possible. This is why my most probable explanation is a planned neocon act, a continuation of the Maidan sniper deception. It is a logical next step and what happens when you do not capture the Maidan sniping perpetrators – 298 people paid for this .

Kiza , July 16, 2015 at 3:37 am GMT

@jimmyriddle But the main issue is the pattern of own behavior which the West has established:
1) too much rhetoric from the zero hour of shootdown,
2) quoting of youtube and twitter "evidence"
3) instead of even a small piece of evidence from the trillion dollars per year worth of military assets and intelligence focused on Eastern Ukraine.

Nail on the head.

Regarding the RT report of Russian intercepts of Ukrainian SAM tracking radar transmissions - I completely missed this. And I follow the Ukrainian situation closely; not just RT, but Cassad, Gleb Bazov, Saker and the other side (BBC, Guardian, Kyivpost etc).

The timings of these intercepts would be crucial. It would also be of interest if the Fire Dome (NATO designation) radar entered its CW terminal guidance mode. Hello Jimmy. This is one article about the activity of the Ukrainian targeting radar on the day: http://rt.com/news/173784-ukraine-plane-malaysian-russia/

BTW, in 2001, Ukraine shot down a Russian airliner with 78 passengers and crew at a lower altitude, by using a 1980s system S-200 (the last one from the Soviet Union) during military exercises. Russia produces a new generation SAM system about every 15 years since the SU:

But I never considered that the Russians were saying that the Ukrainian radar was involved in the shooting down, just that it was tracking a suspicious aircraft. If an unannounced flight was indicated by surveillance radar, an air defense battery would have been activated to be ready to shoot it down, and this may have been the plane which shot down MH17 with one or more AA missiles and (maybe) the 30 mm gun. Therefore, I do not believe that Ukranian radar ever got to the "CW terminal guidance mode" and the Russians never said so, to my knowledge.

The "CW terminal guidance mode" is the final phase in the complex operation of a targeting radar, when it illuminates the target to be destroyed with the so called, Continuous Wave, just like shining a flashlight at a shooter's target. The detection of such radar emission mode by US or Russia would have been solid proof that a SAM shot down MH17, either Kiev's one or Separatist's one. When I wrote "even a small piece of evidence from the trillion dollars per year worth of military assets" I meant that the US never presented such elementary evidence from its expensive sigint and it would have been impossible to miss. Thus Giraldi's "Somebody knows" in the title is justified.

Avery , July 16, 2015 at 4:18 am GMT

@Wizard of Oz Well that all hangs together which makes it an unusual comment here but I repeat my incredulity at the idea that Putin's plane was ever scheduled to be flying over Eastern Ukraine. Coming from where? Istanbul?

Now here's another possibility.... Both for Putin's actual security and to smoke out the Ukrainians (or CIA or whoever) the flight was scheduled to fly over the Eastern Ukraine - or at least the appearance was given that this was so - but it was never intended to happen.

Now one has to keep thinking and ask what the Ukrainians who were able to order the hit would have calculated what would happen if they murdered the Russian president. Think about it! Even if the name of Gavril Prinzip didn't come to mind they must have forseen catastrophe. I agree with you.

The notion that President Putin's security detail would allow his jet to overfly a conflict area where false-flag units can fire a long range anti-aircraft missile and blame it on somebody else makes no sense.

If FSB leaked the alleged route over Ukraine, they had a very good reason and a purpose.
They would never actually allow Putin's jet to take such a dangerous route.
FSB may be many things, but they are not stupid.
And neither is Putin.

Kiza , July 16, 2015 at 11:17 am GMT

@Wizard of Oz In brief I wonder how so much attention got focused on chemical effects on the brain out of all the 100 improbable causal explanations for an accident or crime that are still current. Bearing in mind the drugs and alcohol that have been used by world leaders (Churchill e.g.) it might not be particularly unlikely that some bottle friendly strong personality said "FFS, it will be gone in 30 seconds: just fire the fucking thing". We can only guess at how that rates against an air force pilot deliberately shooting down a foreign passenger plane. An older man would know he could well end up as the scapegoat. So do we suppose it was a rookie who has been sold a lot of confusing BS?

I am reminded of a very good "Big Ideas" address on the ABC''s Radio National by Cordelia Fine on what is now known about male and female brains. Her salient conclusion was that for all the many ways male and female brains differ for genetic and epigenetic reasons, all these average tendencies didn't allow prediction of precise behaviours or behaviour patterns. The best that we can do in our attempts at minute analysis of the vast complex of facts, assertions and arguments on MH17 is likewise to refine our examination to the point where some of the myriad possibilities are reduced to a negligible level of probability. At least we can probably set aside altogether that Russians deliberately destroyed an airliner. Except of course if they were as wicked and clever as Mossad they could have set up the Ukrainians to appear to be trying to false flag the Russians (and did you know Osama bin Laden hired Indians for 9/11 to cover his tracks?)..... Sorry, I lost you again. What does drug taking have to do with MH17 shootdown?

But your supporter, Avery, makes a wrong assumption and then draws conclusions from it. I never read that Putin's plane was supposed to overfly the Separatists' controlled conflict zone. The claim of some Russians was that Putin's plane was supposed to fly in the vicinity of the conflict zone around the same time. There is no doubt that many in the West would gladly take credit for a Putin's "accidental end", but I never found this theory of the Russian yellow press for the MH17 shoot-down plausible.

Yet, as a final comment on this topic I would like to explore the possibility that the separatists, that is the Russians, shot down this plane. As stated before, there is almost no chance that untrained separatists would have been able to operate a BUK without Russian help and shoot down a plane at such high altitude. I have actually once in my life worked on an old Russian military radar and it was definitely not user-friendly, although it was amazingly sturdy and reliable (it was a surveillance, that is a rotating, radar not a targeting radar). There is a small possibility that the Separatists could have assembled an impromptu radar crew from the civilians who did national service in air defense, but this is quite a remote possibility.

Also, there are some Uki claims and counter claims that the Separatists had captured a BUK battery, but such claim is a bit strange because the first duty of an officer is to damage vital equipment before surrender.

Therefore, the key scenario of a rebel shoot-down is that BUK came from Russia, with a Russian crew and was returned to Russia after (what the Uki intelligence claims). How would a professional Russian AA crew be able to mistake a civilian airliner at a high altitude for a military transport plane which can never reach such altitude is difficult to understand. 20 years ago when the Russian military were in disarray – maybe, now – hard to imagine. Also, where are the US satellite images of this movement?

Finally, why would the US and UK keep any evidence of the Russian guilt? In international politics this is not unusual – one keeps one's aces to deliver them at a most opportune moment, when they can have maximum effect. The West has convinced 90% of its own population through fact-free propaganda, that is through semi-mad MSM screaming, so any evidence kept secret would be useful only for the rest of the world: BRICS etc, to badly embarrass Russia in front of its current trading partners.

As the US intelligence professionals have written in their open letter – it is impossible that US has no SIGINT/ELINT and satellite intelligence from Ukraine, so where is it?

Therefore, the zero US evidence on MH17 can mean only one of two things:
1) either they are waiting for the best moment to put in the public domain, or
2) this evidence implicates the wrong side – their own side.
Thus, if the US presents no evidence on the activity of targeting radars within another year or so then it becomes highly likely that this evidence is not opportune.

Rurik , July 16, 2015 at 3:08 pm GMT

just a recap

this is the cockpit section of MH17

http://mil.cnr.cn/jstp/201407/W020140724477193189283.jpg

it is riddled with bullet holes

http://niqnaq.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/14749781785_221e3fb040_o.jpg

as are so many other parts of the plane

http://www.zetatalk.com/ning/09ag001.jpg

Surface to air missiles don't target a cockpit with bullet holes, they target the engines (heat) and cause massive, immediate catastrophic damage with shrapnel and with the force of the explosion. Not the kind of damage where passengers have time to put on oxygen masks as they did in MH17.

The only ones that could have shot down MH17 with air to air machine gun bullets were the Ukrainian Air force, (with or without the coordination of Kolomoisky's mercs operating in the theater).

The bullet holes tell the whole story. All the rest is lies and subterfuge, but it's amazing to see the width and breath of the power of the Zio/anglo/banksters as they compel all the western governments to lie in the service of their agenda. Just like they did with their lies about Saddam's WMD.

All military and weapons experts who look at those pictures know exactly what they're looking at.

30mm cannon fire

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2388/2492807620_234da08723.jpg

and what the damage looks like

http://www.hightech-edge.com/wp-content/uploads/damaged-but-functional-a-10-thunderbolt.jpg

All the rest are imposed lies from diplomats and war mongers

Here is Victoria Nuland's sister in law

Kimberly Ellen Kagan (born 1972) is an American military historian. She heads the Institute for the Study of War and has taught at West Point, Yale, Georgetown University, and American University. Kagan has published in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Weekly Standard and elsewhere.[1] She supported the surge in Iraq and has since advocated for an expanded and restructured American military campaign in Afghanistan.[2] In 2009 she served on Afghanistan commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal's strategic assessment team.[2]

This is what Wiki says about her Institute for the Study of War :

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a think tank founded in 2007 by Kimberly Kagan. ISW describes itself as a non-partisan think tank providing research and analysis regarding issues of defense and foreign affairs, but has been described by others as "a hawkish Washington" group[1] favoring an "aggressive foreign policy".[2] Though it had produced reports on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, "focusing on military operations, enemy threats, and political trends in diverse conflict zones",[3] it first gained widespread public attention in the aftermath of the Elizabeth O'Bagy scandal in which it was involved. The non-profit organization is supported by grants and contributions from large defense contractors,[2] including Raytheon, General Dynamics, DynCorp and others.[4] It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.[5]

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

here's her husband

http://www.thesydneyinstitute.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Frederick-Kagan-2013-PC.jpg

He's another chicken hawk of the first order. It's for people like these that this young mother (and so many thousands of others) lost her life

**warning**

http://tapnewswire.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/mother-and-child-allegedly-killed-in-donetsk-shelling.jpg

that's what I have to say about all this

Bill , July 16, 2015 at 5:12 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz Good points but slightly off target for the most part. What I pointed out was that a state actor not controlled by an Idi Amin would calculate the potential pluses and minuses consistently with the calculation that Russia - equally - wouldn't have brought down the airliner with a view to blaming the Ukrainian air force.

Here the calculation would have to have been that Russia could be blamed for providing the means by which the rebels (with or without attached Russians) caused an appalling disaster by mistake. Not enough in that surely as some of your examples of the unpunished serve to show.

And your examples of the (eventually) caught out but unpunished are from technologically more primitive times (and when there were e.g. Cold War reasons for things remaining obscured).

Kolomoisky I have already indicated could be more promising to investigate. Not a state actor so little can be presumed.

Generally, the technological advances alone since the Tonkin Gulf lies would be enough to make any rational calculation include the likelihood of recordings of just about anything you can imagine and a post Cold War Wikileaks inspired whistleblower as well.

Libya, Iraq etc are not comparable although you are indeed right in saying they are unpunished follies, crimes or misjudgments. But the calculations involved were not in the same category as the one I posited. OK, we can analyze this in the short run, if you like. The problem with that is that, right now, we don't know who did it. At least not in a public and politically relevant way. I'd be willing to place a small bet that it was the Kiev junta, possibly at the suggestion of some neocon maniacs. Kolomoiski's Nazi stormtroopers would be second. But we don't know for sure. We are not likely to know until either the US, Russia, or some other power releases the relevant satellite and/or coms intelligence. This is a problem for your argument.

Much of the advantage to blaming Russia happened. MH 17 appeared to be quite useful to the US in galvanizing Euro support for our policy. The disadvantage to getting caught out has not happened, to anyone. It may not happen for years more. Both Russia and the US presumably know what happened. Therefore, one or both of them is/are holding information adverse to their adversary because they see an advantage in it. I don't see any possibility that the information is neutral. It was separatists, the Kiev junta, or a warlord.

If the info is adverse to Russia, why is the US holding it? Our strategy is propaganda-centric in this conflict. Even I could be convinced that Russia did it by actual evidence, and this would change my view of the conflict. There must be plenty of people not buying the US line who would buy it with evidence. I doubt, for example, that any of the European governments buy our/their own BS on the Ukraine. It would be highly useful to the US if Russia actually was violently threatening and was perceived to be so by non-morons.

If the info is adverse to the US, it is easy to see why Russia would hold it. It is valuable to us to be seen, at least domestically, to be both the good guys and the winners. When Kennedy was offered utter defeat in the Cuban missile crisis in exchange for appearing to win, he jumped at it. The Russians either are getting or believe they will be getting something for not telling.

This theory also explains a lot of the strangeness which occurred right after the downing. Our side actively prevented any investigation from occurring and excluded Russia from the "investigation" which did occur. Russia signaled that they were holding aces pretty promptly after the downing. Pretty soon thereafter, the controlled media lost interest in the whole thing and now only refers to it in passing.

At best, it was Kolomoiski. More likely, it was the Kiev junta. Least likely is an accident by the separatists. The behavior of the principals just doesn't make sense to me on the theory that the separatists did it and everyone knows. Unless, of course, there was some deal made (very quickly) by the US not to tell in exchange for something, and everything since is theater. But who made the deal on our side? State is full of retards these days. And it is all just so much not our style.

Bill , July 16, 2015 at 5:54 pm GMT

@gruff What's missing in your analysis is a motive. Why would the Ukrainians or the CIA or whoever take the gigantic risk of being caught falseflagging in such a despicable manner?

Let's say the Ukes did it. What have they gained? Responsibility is still being disputed by many, so it hasn't been unequivocally been pinned on the Russians. And there was no massive international swing against Russia in the aftermath, nor a sudden large Uke assault to take advantage of the confusion. Months later, the whole situation is still a quagmire, only now with a frosting of Dutch corpses.

There is no answer to cui bono here. It makes no sense for the Ukes, or the Russians, to have shot down MH17. It looks like a stupid mistake, therefore most likely the rebels were responsible.

The guy who pressed the button is probably already dead. Because it is not a gigantic risk. If caught, they would just brazen it out. They control the dominant media. They would blow smoke. They would have their lackies go on TV and repeat a constantly shifting barrage of lies. They would accuse Putin of framing them. They would have someone, somewhere in the world stir up a "crisis" and point the media at it.

How often do you hear about the USS Liberty? They brazened that one out just fine. The official story of Osama bin Laden's death is obvious BS. They've brazened that out just fine, too. The government tells great whopping obvious lies all the time and gets away with it.

If brazening it out failed (fat chance), they would offer up a scapegoat. The scapegoat would have been chosen beforehand, would have been peripherally involved in the plan, and the bad guys would either have something on him to threaten him with to keep him quiet or they would Jack Ruby him.

It's implausible, you say. But in the hypothetical where the US planned and executed this, we are talking about people who are willing and able to slaughter hundreds of innocents to forward their plans. That they are willing to slaughter one more is not the least bit implausible.

There is no answer to cui bono here. It makes no sense for the Ukes, or the Russians, to have shot down MH17.

Are you insensate? The shoot-down of MH 17 has been extremely useful to the US. We don't need to engage in speculative fantasies about who might have thought what about cui bono. We *know* the US and the Kiev junta bono-ed.

Max , July 19, 2015 at 5:14 pm GMT

Also interesting–

http://www.rt.com/news/310082-mh17-video-another-aircraft/

Note pilot found wandering in village near crash site (second plane downed, additional to the airliner)

Andy Popov , July 25, 2015 at 2:30 pm GMT

Some new information about malaysian airliner MH-17 crash.
After 12 months of the investigation we have no even one Ukrainian eyewitness who had seen the smoky trail of a launched missile "Buck" in heaven although such launching may be heard from 5 miles and may be seen from 20 miles!

Journalists from several television stations conducted a survey of residents of several villages in the crash site. Next day after crash the correspondent BBC Olga Ivshyna visited the crash area and took interview from local dwellers. And a lot of them saw the military airplane near passenger airliner before the crash. Many residents saw the plane falling, but no one witness saw the smoky trail of a rocket "Buk" launched, although the day was a little cloudy!
And if there is no even one confirmation of the missile launching from the Earth, from local dwellers eyewitnesses – the version about the destruction of the airliner from missile "Buk" – crumbles to dust. Also we have the statement made by military representatives of Russia next day after catastrophe, which discovered the warplane near Boeing by radar on the day of the crash.

President USA Mr. Barack Obama promised all last year to publish the photos from American military satellite where we can see the situation. But his promise still is not performed! One unknown American specialist has sent such the photo from American satellite to Moscow last year. We can see on this photo the military jet launching the militant rocket into the passenger airliner.

One mechanics from Ukrainian military airport Evgeniy Agapkin arrived in Moskov on December 2014 and he told the next story. This story was published in Russian newspaper "Komsomolskaya Pravda". Ukrainian pilot Vladislav Voloshenko lifted in military-plane SU-24 from airdrome under Dnepropetrovsk city 17 July 2014 year and launched the rocket into the passenger airliner MH-17. When Vladislav returned to airdrome and left cabine of airplane he has said: "It was wrong airplane!" President Ukraine Peter Poroshenko has awarded pilot Voloshenko on 19 July 2014 with medal "for the courage" for killing euro-passengers in euro-airplane If Ukraine is not guilty then why Ukrainian artillery was shooting all the time the area crash in order to prevent investigation???

Why Ukrainian artillery could not be silent in July and August 2014 when commissions of air-specialists attempted to reach the crash place?

[Jul 09, 2017] The stakes in U.S.-Russia relations could not be higher possible nuclear conflagration and the end of civilization but the U.S. mainstream media is still slouching around in mccarthyism-ville by Robert Parry

this is pure McCarthyism, not "propaganda ville". Clapper and Brennan are the leaders of Russiagate color revolution against Trump. And there is no countervailing force.
Notable quotes:
"... It wasn't until May 8 when then-former DNI Clapper belatedly set the record straight in sworn congressional testimony in which he explained that there were only three "contributing agencies" from which analysts were "hand-picked." ..."
"... The reference to "hand-picked" analysts pricked the ears of some former U.S. intelligence analysts who had suffered through earlier periods of "politicized" intelligence when malleable analysts were chosen to deliver what their political bosses wanted to hear. ..."
"... On May 23, also in congressional testimony, former CIA Director John Brennan confirmed Clapper's description, saying only four of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies took part in the assessment. ..."
"... Finally, on June 25, the Times' hand was forced when White House correspondent Maggie Haberman reverted to the old formulation, mocking Trump for "still refus[ing] to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get him elected." ..."
"... When this falsehood was called to the Times' attention, it had little choice but to append a correction to the article, noting that the intelligence "assessment was made by four intelligence agencies -- the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community." ..."
"... The Associated Press ran a similar "clarification" applied to some of its fallacious reporting repeating the "17-intelligence-agencies" meme. ..."
"... Though the Post did not identify the country, this reference suggests that more than one key element of the case for Russian culpability was based not on direct investigations by the U.S. intelligence agencies, but on the work of external organizations. ..."
"... Earlier, the Democratic National Committee denied the FBI access to its supposedly hacked computers, forcing the investigators to rely on a DNC contractor called CrowdStrike, which has a checkered record of getting this sort of analytics right and whose chief technology officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, is an anti-Putin Russian émigré with ties to the anti-Russian think tank, Atlantic Council. ..."
"... But the problem is not just the question of whether Russia hacked into Democratic emails and slipped them to WikiLeaks for publication (something that both Russia and WikiLeaks deny). Perhaps the larger danger is how the major U.S. news outlets have adopted a consistently propagandistic approach toward everything relating to Russia. ..."
"... The neocons delivered their payback to Putin in early 2014 by supporting a violent coup in Ukraine, overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych and installing a fiercely anti-Russian regime. ..."
"... The U.S. operation was spearheaded by neocon National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman and neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, with enthusiastic support from neocon Sen. John McCain. ..."
"... "On Ukraine, Mr. Trump must also display determination. Russia fomented an armed uprising and seized Crimea in violation of international norms, and it continues to instigate violence in the Donbas. Mr. Trump ought to make it unmistakably clear to Mr.Putin that the United States will not retreat from the sanctions imposed over Ukraine until the conditions of peace agreements are met." Along the same lines, even while suggesting the value of some collaboration with Russia toward ending the war in Syria, Post columnist David Ignatius wrote in a July 5 column , "Russian-American cooperation on Syria faces a huge bstacle right now. It would legitimize a Russian regime that invaded Ukraine and meddled in U.S. and European elections, in addition to its intervention in Syria." Note the smug certainty of Ignatius and the Post editors. There is no doubt that Russia "invaded" Ukraine; "seized" Crimea; "meddled" in U.S. and European elections. Yet all these groupthinks should be subjected to skepticism, not simply treated as undeniable truths. ..."
"... As offensive as this rejection of true truth-seeking may be, it also represents an extraordinary danger when mixed with the existential risk of nuclear conflagration. ..."
"... With the stakes this high, the demand for hard evidence – and the avoidance of soft-minded groupthink – should go without question. Journalists and commentators should hold themselves to professional precision, not slide into sloppy careerism, lost in "propaganda-ville." ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
Jul 09, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Exclusive: The stakes in U.S.-Russia relations could not be higher – possible nuclear conflagration and the end of civilization – but the U.S. mainstream media is still slouching around in "propaganda-ville," says Robert Parry.

MSM, Still Living in Propaganda-ville By Robert Parry

As much as the U.S. mainstream media wants people to believe that it is the Guardian of Truth, it is actually lost in a wilderness of propaganda and falsehoods, a dangerous land of delusion that is putting the future of humankind at risk as tension escalate with nuclear-armed Russia.

This media problem has grown over recent decades as lucrative careerism has replaced responsible professionalism. Pack journalism has always been a threat to quality reporting but now it has evolved into a self-sustaining media lifestyle in which the old motto, "there's safety in numbers," is borne out by the fact that being horrendously wrong, such as on Iraq's WMD, leads to almost no accountability because so many important colleagues were wrong as well.

Similarly, there has been no accountability after many mainstream journalists and commentators falsely stated as flat-fact that "all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies" concurred that Russia did "meddle" in last November's U.S. election.

For months, this claim has been the go-to put-down whenever anyone questions the groupthink of Russian venality perverting American democracy. Even the esteemed "Politifact" deemed the assertion "true." But it was never true.

It was at best a needled distortion of a claim by President Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper when he issued a statement last Oct. 7 alleging Russian meddling. Because Clapper was the chief of the U.S. Intelligence Community, his opinion morphed into a claim that it represented the consensus of all 17 intelligence agencies, a dishonest twist that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton began touting.

However, for people who understand how the U.S. Intelligence Community works, the claim of a 17-agencies consensus has a specific meaning, some form of a National Intelligence Estimate (or NIE) that seeks out judgments and dissents from the various agencies.

But there was no NIE regarding alleged Russian meddling and there apparently wasn't even a formal assessment from a subset of the agencies at the time of Clapper's statement. President Obama did not order a publishable assessment until December – after the election – and it was not completed until Jan. 6, when a report from Clapper's office presented the opinions of analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency – three agencies (or four if you count the DNI's office), not 17.

Lacking Hard Evidence

The report also contained no hard evidence of a Russian "hack" and amounted to a one-sided circumstantial case at best. However, by then, the U.S. mainstream media had embraced the "all-17-intelligence-agencies" refrain and anyone who disagreed, including President Trump, was treated as delusional. The argument went: "How can anyone question what all 17 intelligence agencies have confirmed as true?"

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

It wasn't until May 8 when then-former DNI Clapper belatedly set the record straight in sworn congressional testimony in which he explained that there were only three "contributing agencies" from which analysts were "hand-picked."

The reference to "hand-picked" analysts pricked the ears of some former U.S. intelligence analysts who had suffered through earlier periods of "politicized" intelligence when malleable analysts were chosen to deliver what their political bosses wanted to hear.

On May 23, also in congressional testimony, former CIA Director John Brennan confirmed Clapper's description, saying only four of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies took part in the assessment.

Brennan said the Jan. 6 report "followed the general model of how you want to do something like this with some notable exceptions. It only involved the FBI, NSA and CIA as well as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It wasn't a full inter-agency community assessment that was coordinated among the 17 agencies."

After this testimony, some of the major news organizations, which had been waving around the "17-intelligence-agencies" meme, subtly changed their phrasing to either depict Russian "meddling" as an established fact no longer requiring attribution or referred to the "unanimous judgment" of the Intelligence Community without citing a specific number.

This "unanimous judgment" formulation was deceptive, too, because it suggested that all 17 agencies were in accord albeit without exactly saying that. For a regular reader of The New York Times or a frequent viewer of CNN, the distinction would almost assuredly not be detected.

For more than a month after the Clapper-Brennan testimonies, there was no formal correction.

A Belated Correction

Finally, on June 25, the Times' hand was forced when White House correspondent Maggie Haberman reverted to the old formulation, mocking Trump for "still refus[ing] to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get him elected."

When this falsehood was called to the Times' attention, it had little choice but to append a correction to the article, noting that the intelligence "assessment was made by four intelligence agencies -- the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community."

The Associated Press ran a similar "clarification" applied to some of its fallacious reporting repeating the "17-intelligence-agencies" meme.

So, you might have thought that the mainstream media was finally adjusting its reporting to conform to reality. But that would mean that one of the pillars of the Russia-gate "scandal" had crumbled, the certainty that Russia and Vladimir Putin did "meddle" in the election.

The story would have to go back to square one and the major news organizations would have to begin reporting on whether or not there ever was solid evidence to support what had become a "certainty" – and there appeared to be no stomach for such soul-searching. Since pretty much all the important media figures had made the same error, it would be much easier to simply move on as if nothing had changed.

That would mean that skepticism would still be unwelcome and curious leads would not be followed. For instance, there was a head-turning reference in an otherwise typical Washington Post take-out on June 25 accusing Russia of committing "the crime of the century." A reference, stuck deep inside the five-page opus, said, "Some of the most critical technical intelligence on Russia came from another country, officials said. Because of the source of the material, the NSA was reluctant to view it with high confidence." Though the Post did not identify the country, this reference suggests that more than one key element of the case for Russian culpability was based not on direct investigations by the U.S. intelligence agencies, but on the work of external organizations.

Earlier, the Democratic National Committee denied the FBI access to its supposedly hacked computers, forcing the investigators to rely on a DNC contractor called CrowdStrike, which has a checkered record of getting this sort of analytics right and whose chief technology officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, is an anti-Putin Russian émigré with ties to the anti-Russian think tank, Atlantic Council.

Relying on Outsiders

You might be wondering why something as important as this "crime of the century," which has pushed the world closer to nuclear annihilation, is dependent on dubious entities outside the U.S. government with possible conflicts of interest.

If the U.S. government really took this issue seriously, which it should, why didn't the FBI seize the DNC's computers and insist that impartial government experts lead the investigation? And why – given the extraordinary expertise of the NSA in computer hacking – is "some of the most critical technical intelligence on Russia [coming] from another country," one that doesn't inspire the NSA's confidence?

But such pesky questions are not likely to be asked or answered by a mainstream U.S. media that displays deep-seated bias toward both Putin and Trump.

Mostly, major news outlets continue to brush aside the clarifications and return to various formulations that continue to embrace the "17-intelligence-agencies" canard, albeit in slightly different forms, such as references to the collective Intelligence Community without the specific number. Anyone who questions this established conventional wisdom is still crazy and out of step.

For instance, James Holmes of Esquire was stunned on Thursday when Trump at a news conference in Poland reminded the traveling press corps about the inaccurate reporting regarding the 17 intelligence agencies and said he still wasn't entirely sure about Russia's guilt. "In public, he's still casting doubt on the intelligence community's finding that Russia interfered in the 2016 election nearly nine months after the fact," Holmes sputtered before describing Trump's comment as a "rant." So, if you thought that a chastened mainstream media might stop in the wake of the "17-intelligence-agencies" falsehood and rethink the whole Russia-gate business, you would have been sadly mistaken.

But the problem is not just the question of whether Russia hacked into Democratic emails and slipped them to WikiLeaks for publication (something that both Russia and WikiLeaks deny). Perhaps the larger danger is how the major U.S. news outlets have adopted a consistently propagandistic approach toward everything relating to Russia.

Hating Putin

This pattern traces back to the earliest days of Vladimir Putin's presidency in 2000 when he began to rein in the U.S.-prescribed "shock therapy," which had sold off Russia's assets to well-connected insiders, making billions of dollars for the West-favored "oligarchs," even as the process threw millions of average Russian into poverty.

But the U.S. mainstream media's contempt for Putin reached new heights after he helped President Obama head off neoconservative (and liberal interventionist) demands for a full-scale U.S. military assault on Syria in August 2013 and helped bring Iran into a restrictive nuclear agreement when the neocons wanted to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran.

The neocons delivered their payback to Putin in early 2014 by supporting a violent coup in Ukraine, overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych and installing a fiercely anti-Russian regime. The U.S. operation was spearheaded by neocon National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman and neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, with enthusiastic support from neocon Sen. John McCain.

Nuland was heard in an intercepted pre-coup phone call with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt discussing who should become the new leaders and pondering how to "glue" or "midwife this thing."

Despite the clear evidence of U.S. interference in Ukrainian politics, the U.S. government and the mainstream media embraced the coup and accused Putin of "aggression" when ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, called the Donbas, resisted the coup regime.

When ethnic Russians and other citizens in Crimea voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to reject the coup regime and rejoin Russia – a move protected by some of the 20,000 Russian troops inside Crimea as part of a basing agreement – that became a Russian "invasion." But it was the most peculiar "invasion," since there were no images of tanks crashing across borders or amphibious landing craft on Crimean beaches, because no such "invasion" had occurred.

However, in virtually every instance, the U.S. mainstream media insisted on the most extreme anti-Russian propaganda line and accused people who questioned this Official Narrative of disseminating Russian "propaganda" – or being a "Moscow stooge" or acting as a "useful fool." There was no tolerance for skepticism about whatever the State Department or the Washington think tanks were saying.

Trump Meets Putin

So, as Trump prepares for his first meeting with Putin at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, the U.S. mainstream media has been in a frenzy, linking up its groupthinks about the Ukraine "invasion" with its groupthinks about Russia "hacking" the election.

In a July 3 editorial , The Washington Post declared, "Mr. Trump simply cannot fail to admonish Mr. Putin for Russia's attempts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. He must make clear the United States will not tolerate it, period. Naturally, this is a difficult issue for Mr. Trump, who reaped the benefit of Russia's intervention and now faces a special counsel's investigation, but nonetheless, in his first session with Mr. Putin, the president must not hesitate to be blunt.

"On Ukraine, Mr. Trump must also display determination. Russia fomented an armed uprising and seized Crimea in violation of international norms, and it continues to instigate violence in the Donbas. Mr. Trump ought to make it unmistakably clear to Mr.Putin that the United States will not retreat from the sanctions imposed over Ukraine until the conditions of peace agreements are met." Along the same lines, even while suggesting the value of some collaboration with Russia toward ending the war in Syria, Post columnist David Ignatius wrote in a July 5 column , "Russian-American cooperation on Syria faces a huge bstacle right now. It would legitimize a Russian regime that invaded Ukraine and meddled in U.S. and European elections, in addition to its intervention in Syria." Note the smug certainty of Ignatius and the Post editors. There is no doubt that Russia "invaded" Ukraine; "seized" Crimea; "meddled" in U.S. and European elections. Yet all these groupthinks should be subjected to skepticism, not simply treated as undeniable truths.

But seeing only one side to a story is where the U.S. mainstream media is at this point in history. Yes, it is possible that Russia was responsible for the Democratic hacks and did funnel the material to WikiLeaks, but evidence has so far been lacking. And, instead of presenting both sides fairly, the major media acts as if only one side deserves any respect and dissenting views must be ridiculed and condemned.

In this perverted process, collectively approved versions of complex situations congeal into conventional wisdom, which simply cannot be significantly reconsidered regardless of future revelations.

As offensive as this rejection of true truth-seeking may be, it also represents an extraordinary danger when mixed with the existential risk of nuclear conflagration.

With the stakes this high, the demand for hard evidence – and the avoidance of soft-minded groupthink – should go without question. Journalists and commentators should hold themselves to professional precision, not slide into sloppy careerism, lost in "propaganda-ville."

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

[Jul 07, 2017] Tillerson Sanctions on Russia Will Remain Until Crimea Is Returned

"Until Crimea is returned" is a sign of neocon foreign policy
Jul 07, 2017 | news.antiwar.com

Assured Ukraine Sanctions Against Russia Won't Change

Jason Ditz Posted on April 24, 2017 Categories News Tags Crimea , Russia , Tillerson , Ukraine Hopes that the US sanctions against Russia would be quickly rolled back when President Trump was elected in November didn't pan out, and the latest comments from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggest that the administration has no intention of removing the sanctions at all.

Speaking with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko over the weekend, Tillerson reported told him that the US sanctions on Russia will remain wholly in place " until Russia returns control of the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine. " Needless to say, Russia isn't going to do that.

Crimea was an autonomous oblast within Ukraine until 2014, when they held a referendum and seceded. After that secession, they sought and gained accession into the Russian Federation, which the US doesn't recognize. US officials have repeatedly presented this as Russia "invading Crimea" or "taking Crimea by force," though the peninsula's ethnic Russian majority was able to effectively secede outright without anything nearly so dramatic happening.

Nobody seriously expects Russia to "give back" Crimea, even if there was a mechanism by which they could conceivably do so, which there isn't. Conditioning sanctions relief on that is tantamount to announcing the sanctions as a permanent feature of US policy, a stance which will likely suit the many Russia hawks in Congress and across Western Europe quite well.

[Jul 07, 2017] Western powers fuel the Ukrainian conflict - and wider tensions with Russia - by treating Ukraine as a strategic prize, says Nicolai Petro, Silvia-Chandley professor of Peace Studies and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island

Jul 07, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

https://ads.pubmatic.com/AdServer/js/showad.js#PIX&kdntuid=1&p=156204

Warren , July 7, 2017 at 8:45 am

https://www.youtube.com/embed/vyrEujl75tk

Published on 6 Jul 2017

Western powers fuel the Ukrainian conflict - and wider tensions with Russia - by treating Ukraine as a strategic prize, says Nicolai Petro, Silvia-Chandley professor of Peace Studies and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island

et Al , July 7, 2017 at 6:03 am

Words are much cheaper than actions

Warren , July 7, 2017 at 8:45 am

Dr Nicolai Petro is very brave to express such opinions considering where he is – Odessa. Anyone who deviates from the Banderite-Maidan propaganda line in Ukraine is censored and ostracised at best, at worst – murdered.

Bob , July 7, 2017 at 11:32 am

Odessa has a noticeable pro-Russian element as is true in some other parts of Kiev regime controlled Ukraine. Granted, folks with such views need to be careful.

[Jul 07, 2017] Whose BUK Dutch Researchers Discuss MH17 by Eric van de Beek

This idea about paint transmission via explosion of the warhead is probably fake: the rocket was to far for any paint transmission. Also the denail that it can be a fighter jet is inconvinsing. I remeber the article that mentioned the existence of Israeli air-to-air rocket with similar shape off fragments.
The theory that Russia smuggled in a single component of the BUK system, shot down MH17 with it, and then smuggled it back out again (despite all the eyes of USA, German, Polish and Ukrainian intelligence services, who have their agent networks in the area) – is frankly crazy and makes no sense.
Both persons who were interviewed are very suspect:
Any person who mentions even skeptically about the version of events that Valentin Nalyvaichenko pursue, other than a definite disproval of any possibility that this version can be true, is a complete idiot. In case of MH17 any such person is simply imbecile.
Anybody who claims " I'm 100 percent convinced that someone from the Russian army has pushed the button." is stooge of the forces that want to implicate Russia. Because the question of "cue bono" should be answered first. How one can be 100% convinced in the case were powerful forces want a particular conclusion, no matter what is the evidence.
The question from whom those two guys get money for living also deserves to be answered. "Up to last year Max van der Werff earned a living as a corporate investigator for a German company. He now sells electric bikes to German delivery services for a Dutch company." sounds somewhat suspicious. The same is true for "Marcel van den Berg is an independent IT specialist. He advises his clients in the field of cloud computing and server virtualization." -- it is difficult to make living in thsi fied unles you are very very good or have very very good connections. Almost impossible. So the question of "alternative source of income" is a valid one for both.
Notable quotes:
"... I immediately realised: MH17 is used to frame Russia as an inhumane regime which shoots down civilian aircraft without a thought. And as it took longer for evidence to come out, my curiosity grew. ..."
"... MAX: I was accused by some Dutch journalist of being a Kremlin Troll. ..."
"... MAX: I have explained it on my blog. I dedicated an article to it, 'Why I'm a Troll.' ..."
"... In addition, Malaysia Airlines was so naive to fly over the area without verifying if it was still safe to do so. On the question if the Dutch state is to be blamed, I'm not sure. There were airliners that had stopped flying over the area, perhaps because they were indirectly warned by intelligence services. ..."
"... MAX: Airplanes shouldn't have been allowed to fly over the area. You can blame Ukraine for that. But until now I haven't seen any evidence the weapon that took down MH17 came from Russia. Such evidence was not presented by JIT, in fact by no one. At the same time I don't exclude the possibility. It is still open to me. ..."
"... MAX: It has most likely been an accident. But if MH17 was taken down to put the blame on another, then the guilty party must have been Ukraine, or a faction of the private army of Igor Kolomoisky, the Ukrainian oligarch. But that's a hypothesis. There is no proof. ..."
"... Valentin Nalyvaichenko, former head of the Ukrainian secret service, SBU, claimed MH17 was shot down intentionally. The Russians planned to bring down one of their own Aeroflot planes, so that they could blame the Ukrainians and would have a justification to invade Ukraine. But the Russians screwed up their own false flag by hitting the wrong plane. ..."
"... This story of Nalyvaichenko is so exotic that it makes me laugh out loud. ..."
"... MAX: One month before MH17 was taken down, Elena Kolenkina, widow of rebel leader Motorola, reported that a Ukrainian fighter jet hid behind a passenger plane. According to her, this happened with the intention to trick the separatists into hitting a passenger plane, so that Kiev could use this in its propaganda war against the separatists. ..."
"... But this shield theory makes perfect sense. Imagine there are no civil aircraft in the area. Then the people of the air defence do not need to take into account something they see flying could be an airliner. Because they know for sure: 'Everything that flies is military.' So imagine there are civilian aircraft flying over the area. Then you'll have a factor of uncertainty. The air defence crew will have to think twice before they start shooting at every object they see flying. 'Is it civil or is it military? If we doubt, let's not shoot.' In this sense, Ukraine has used passenger aircraft as a shield. They consciously haven taken the decision not to close the airspace. ..."
"... MAX: Ukraine had two other motives to keep its entire airspace open. First of all: The traffic rights amounted to a few thousand euros per airliner. Secondly, they just didn't want to admit that they lost control of the territory. It would have been a disgrace. ..."
"... MARCEL: 100 percent. The damage to the plane could not have been caused by anything other than a BUK rocket. If MH17 had been hit by an air-to-air missile, fired from a fighter jet, we would have known. Almost all air-to-air missiles contain 'rods', a kind of metal strips like bullets. They leave a clear fingerprint, a certain kind of holes not found on MH17. ..."
"... The JIT has also found parts of a BUK rocket in the plane wreck. Then some might argue they could have been planted there. But the investigators found that the paint on the hull of the plane corresponded to the paint on the BUK particles. ..."
"... MAX: That sure was a remarkable press conference of the ministry. Because not only weren't there any aircrafts to be seen on the displayed images, there was no rocket either. Mind you: at the press conference of July 21, 2014 the Russians showed radar images with something that looked like an SU-25. So last year they debunked their own 2014 story. What were they thinking? They made a complete fool of themselves. The information management of the Russians, as far as there is any, is just worthless. ..."
"... Member of parliament Pieter Omtzigt revealed earlier this year that DSB mistook the autopsy report of the pilot for the autopsy report of the reserve pilot, and vice versa. ..."
"... MAX: That's a spectacular mistake. In each airliner you have a pilot, a co-pilot and a spare crew. Halfway during the flight, the reserve pilot goes into the cockpit, accompanied by the reserve co-pilot. So this is essential: the pilot and co-pilot were both in the cockpit, but not the reserve-pilot and the reserve co-pilot. And thus, if you perform an autopsy on the reserve pilot, who was not in the cockpit, it should have been impossible to find any particles in his body. ..."
"... MAX: I have never defended the fighter jet scenario. It has always been an option, like is was for JIT until last year. But probably it was a BUK. Although I find it remarkable that JIT still has not made clear what type of BUK they think was used. ..."
"... MAX: Not only did JIT not reveal the exact weapon. The exact coordinates of the BUK-launcher have not been mentioned either. But anyway, the fact that they didn't say 'It was the 9M38M1' indicates they think this is not the weapon that was used. Can you follow that logic? ..."
"... MAX: Almaz-Antey has done an experiment with a BUK 9M38M1 . They detonated that BUK on a plane that was on the ground. The plane then ended up loaded with butterfly-shaped fragments. Why is it so few fragments have been found in and around the wreckage of MH17? There might be a good explanation for this. But why has nobody taken this into the discussion? It is a relevant question. ..."
"... MAX: The bodies of the deceased have been transported in refrigerated trains from Torez to Charkov. Who knows what happened along the way. ..."
"... MAX: It's for certain no rocket was fired from Zaroshchenske. Because I spoke to so many people and nobody there saw anything. ..."
"... MAX: No. That's not what they say. The only thing they do say is: 'There was a BUK unit of the Ukrainian army in Zaroshchenske.' They never said, 'They fired from that location.' See their press conference of 21 July 2014. ..."
"... In the vicinity of Pervomais'ke it's easy for journalists to get any story they want. 'Here you have a crate of beer, a bottle of vodka and a hundred dollars. Now please tell me this and that.' People living there are inclined do that. I may be exaggerating, but I'm sure things like that really happen. ..."
"... The above interview was originally published in Dutch on Novini.nl . The original article is much longer, and delves into the propaganda war surrounding MH17, the dubious role of Ukraine's SBU in the investigation, the radar and satellite data, the geopolitical shadow play of the Dutch government - and the diminishing possibility of bringing suspects to justice. Only one paragraph has been added to the original article for reasons of clarification. ..."
Jul 07, 2017 | russia-insider.com

Max van der Werff and Marcel van den Berg are citizen journalists. They write about MH17, pro deo.

Up to last year Max van der Werff earned a living as a corporate investigator for a German company. He now sells electric bikes to German delivery services for a Dutch company. Marcel van den Berg is an independent IT specialist. He advises his clients in the field of cloud computing and server virtualization.

Both men provide a blog, Max van der Werff: Kremlintroll (formerly: May 7 ) and Marcel van den Berg: What happened to flight MH17? Max van der Werff went to Donbass twice to investigate the crime scene. He speaks and reads Russian, but not well enough to properly understand everything published on the internet about MH17. Both researchers are in contact with Russians and Ukrainians who help translate.

Their names may be non-existent in the Dutch newspaper columns and in the news programmes on radio and television; but the efforts the two MH17 experts have put in their research are valued by various relevant parties. Like members of the Dutch parliament, as well as the detectives of Joint Investigation Team (JIT), and last but not least family members of the 298 victims (most of them Dutch) of this terrible disaster, which took place in Ukraine on 17 July 2014, when flight MH17 of Malaysia Airlines, going from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot from the sky.

Max and Marcel. How did you get interested in MH17?

MARCEL: I've been an aircraft spotter for most of my life. Whenever an accident occurs with a plane, I'm interested to determine the root cause. I found it strange that in the case of MH17 it took so long before the investigation started. Even when it had become clear to everyone the crash site was safe, it took some time before investigators visited it. I started blogging in September 2014. My knowledge of air traffic control and radars helped me in my research on MH17.

MAX: I grew up on the edge of the Iron Curtain. My father worked at a NATO airbase in Germany. This is how I got interested in the Soviet Union and geopolitics. When NATO began bombing former Yugoslavia in 1999, I quickly made the analysis: 'This is only just the beginning. It's a tryout to create problems for Russia.' I foresaw that Georgia and Ukraine would follow.

The story of MH17 is very much connected to the geopolitical conflict that is taking place there. The MH17 disaster would not have occurred if East and West had chosen to reach an agreement on Ukraine instead of seeking a confrontation. I immediately realised: MH17 is used to frame Russia as an inhumane regime which shoots down civilian aircraft without a thought. And as it took longer for evidence to come out, my curiosity grew.

Are there politicians, journalists, official researchers and relatives following your research?

MARCEL: I do no keep a record of that. I'm not very interested to know. In any case on Twitter I have a member of parliament following me, Pieter Omtzigt of the CDA, and a journalist, Jeroen Akkermans of RTL.

MAX: These two are following me on Twitter as well. And the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

And relatives of the deceased?

MARCEL: I speak occasionally with some of them, including Thomas Schansman, who wrote a letter to Putin, Poroshenko and Kerry.

MAX: I met with some of them, but I never contacted them myself.

MARCEL: Nor do I. I came in contact with some of them after they had asked me to give a presentation.

Max, some detectives of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which leads the criminal investigation, have visited you several times.

MAX: Yes. The first time they came to pick up items from the Boeing, which I had received from people living near the crash site. I also was interviewed by JIT detectives three times and I handed over some data they asked for. It turned out that they had read my blog and that of Marcel very well. And they asked super-detailed questions.

Marcel, have you been in contact with JIT or Dutch Safety Board (DSB)?

MARCEL: I've contacted DSB several times. But to all my questions I received the same answer: 'If it's not in the report, we cannot say anything about it.' They have cited in their report from a page on my website though.

Could we say that the two of you have a better understanding of MH17 than all journalists put together?

MAX: Each of us knows more about MH17 than all journalists combined.

MARCEL: Certainly so.

MAX: Marcel has more sense of technical issues like radar information. I have a blind spot for that. And his blog is fantastic. It's the MH17 file.

MARCEL: I'm not a radar expert, but I know one that I sometimes consult. Max has visited the crash site, and the area around it, and has spoken to people there. I lack that kind of experience.

Max, you have named your blog 'Kremlin Troll'. Why?

MAX: I was accused by some Dutch journalist of being a Kremlin Troll.

So then you thought: I'll use it as a nom de guerre ?

MAX: I have explained it on my blog. I dedicated an article to it, 'Why I'm a Troll.'

There have been two official investigations. The one from Dutch Safety Board (DSB) into the technical cause of the crash has been completed. The main conclusions are: MH17 was hit by a BUK rocket, and Ukraine should have closed its airspace in the Donbass region.

The second investigation, the criminal investigation, of Joint Investigation Team (JIT), aimed at identitying the suspects, is still ongoing. The preliminary conclusions are: It was a BUK, launched from rebel held area, and the installation used for this purpose was delivered by Russia and was transported back to Russia after the disaster.
Max and Marcel, who do you think are responsible for the downing of MH17?

MARCEL: I'm 100 percent convinced that someone from the Russian army has pushed the button. But Ukraine bears responsibility too, for not having closed its airspace . A few days before the disaster, an Antonov transport plane was shot at 6500 meters height. And there were also helicopters taken down.

In addition, Malaysia Airlines was so naive to fly over the area without verifying if it was still safe to do so. On the question if the Dutch state is to be blamed, I'm not sure. There were airliners that had stopped flying over the area, perhaps because they were indirectly warned by intelligence services.

MAX: Airplanes shouldn't have been allowed to fly over the area. You can blame Ukraine for that. But until now I haven't seen any evidence the weapon that took down MH17 came from Russia. Such evidence was not presented by JIT, in fact by no one. At the same time I don't exclude the possibility. It is still open to me.

I'm curious why you think differently about the alleged Russian involvement. But first let's presume, theoretically, there are two possibilities: MH17 was taken down either by accident or intentionally. If it happened intentionally, then the question is: qui bono ? Is there a party that benefited or could have benefited from the disaster?

MARCEL: I do not see a motive. Using my imagination, for sure I could come up with the wildest scenarios. But I'm not a conspiracy thinker. I prefer to stick to the facts.

MAX: It has most likely been an accident. But if MH17 was taken down to put the blame on another, then the guilty party must have been Ukraine, or a faction of the private army of Igor Kolomoisky, the Ukrainian oligarch. But that's a hypothesis. There is no proof.

Valentin Nalyvaichenko, former head of the Ukrainian secret service, SBU, claimed MH17 was shot down intentionally. The Russians planned to bring down one of their own Aeroflot planes, so that they could blame the Ukrainians and would have a justification to invade Ukraine. But the Russians screwed up their own false flag by hitting the wrong plane.

This story of Nalyvaichenko is so exotic that it makes me laugh out loud.

This Nalyvaichenko is also suspected of involvement in the theft of the paintings from the Dutch Westfries Museum. And the SBU, led by him, tortures people . It's beyond me the Dutch government is doing business with these kind of people and parties.

You do not believe that MH17 was shot down intentionally?

MARCEL: To me that seems out of the question.

MAX: Not to me.

If MH17 was hit by accident, could it be it was Ukraine that pushed the button? There's this theory the Ukrainians tried to bring down Putin's presidential aircraft, that was to fly over the same area around the time MH17 was brought down.

MARCEL: That's nonsense, because Putin's plane just wasn't there. I have this screen dump from Flightradar . On that you can clearly see: Putin's plane flew over Warsaw, not eastern Ukraine. Even Russia Today indicated that Putin had not flown over Ukraine for months.

MAX: There's more to the story. That day Putin came from Brazil, where he had attended a conference of BRICS countries. He was to fly to a conference in Rostov , southern Russia. His plane and MH17 crossed each other at Warsaw, with half an hour difference. But instead of flying to Rostov via Warsaw, over eastern Ukraine, as planned, Putin decided to refrain from the conference in Rostov and flew directly to Moscow.

MARCEL: I think it's a waste of time to pay attention to these kinds of stories. The MH17 was a Boeing 777. It looks very different from Putin's Ilyushin 96. The colour scheme is completely different, the 777 has two engines, the Ilyushin four engines.

MAX: In 1983 a Korean Kal 007 was taken down , flying over soviet territory, by a Soechoj because the pilot mistook it for a reconaissance plane.

So I can imagine that a fighter pilot flying 10 miles from Putin's aircraft, with the aim to take it down, mistook MH17 for Putin's plane. But just the same, I think it's an unlikely story. The perpetrators would have been tipped off in a timely manner that Putin's Ilyushin 96 took a different route.

If the separatists did it, what about the theory that they shot at Ukrainian fighter jets using MH17 as a shield?

MARCEL: That's out of the question. From what I understand the radar of a BUK Telar is of high precision. It's perfectly able to distinguish a Boeing 777 from a fighter jet flying closeby. Fighter jet pilots probably knew that and would not take the risk either.

Also, there are no reports by for example airline pilots that their aircraft was being chased by Ukraine fighter aircrafts. The TCAS system in the cockpit is able to detect aircrafts flying close by.

Many eyewitnesses say they saw jets just before MH17 came down.

MARCEL: I have no doubt that they were there. There are indeed many eyewitnesses who speak of it.

MAX: One month before MH17 was taken down, Elena Kolenkina, widow of rebel leader Motorola, reported that a Ukrainian fighter jet hid behind a passenger plane. According to her, this happened with the intention to trick the separatists into hitting a passenger plane, so that Kiev could use this in its propaganda war against the separatists.

I have interviewed witnesses who claimed they have seen SU-25s. But these are jets built to destroy ground targets, a sort of anti-tank weapons. They usually fly very low, to prevent them from coming within reach of the radar and air defence.

But this shield theory makes perfect sense. Imagine there are no civil aircraft in the area. Then the people of the air defence do not need to take into account something they see flying could be an airliner. Because they know for sure: 'Everything that flies is military.' So imagine there are civilian aircraft flying over the area. Then you'll have a factor of uncertainty. The air defence crew will have to think twice before they start shooting at every object they see flying. 'Is it civil or is it military? If we doubt, let's not shoot.' In this sense, Ukraine has used passenger aircraft as a shield. They consciously haven taken the decision not to close the airspace.

MARCEL: Yes, I think so too. They have left the airspace open, not to create a physical shield for fighter jets, but to prevent the separatists from getting trigger happy.

It's very possible that an Ilyushin 76 or an Antonov, a transport plane, has flown close to MH17. I do not exclude that possibility. It's a fact that Ukrainian troops were trapped between the border with Russia and the area in Donbas controlled by separatists. Two days before the MH17 disaster there was this dramatic phone call from a soldier with a Ukrainian TV station who said, 'We're stuck here. We have no food and drink anymore. We are being shot at from all sides. And we receive no help at all.' And so it's quite possible that, alarmed by this distress call, the Ukraine military decided to send a transport plane to drop supplies.

Both Russia and Ukraine say: 'There was no other plane on the radar.' But suppose they are lying, and that there was another plane on the radar.' Then both Ukraine and Russia would benefit from not making this public. Because if it became clear to the investigators there was another plane, that could be interpreted as a motive for both parties to have pulled the trigger.

So it could very well be that an Ilyushin or Antonov used MH17 as a shield. The pilot might have thought: 'As long as I keep close to this airliner, the air defence of the separatists will not shoot at us.'

MAX: Ukraine had two other motives to keep its entire airspace open. First of all: The traffic rights amounted to a few thousand euros per airliner. Secondly, they just didn't want to admit that they lost control of the territory. It would have been a disgrace.

The JIT has investigated the possibility that MH17 was taken down by another aircraft. They now have excluded that possibility. You too?

MARCEL: 100 percent. The damage to the plane could not have been caused by anything other than a BUK rocket. If MH17 had been hit by an air-to-air missile, fired from a fighter jet, we would have known. Almost all air-to-air missiles contain 'rods', a kind of metal strips like bullets. They leave a clear fingerprint, a certain kind of holes not found on MH17.

The JIT has also found parts of a BUK rocket in the plane wreck. Then some might argue they could have been planted there. But the investigators found that the paint on the hull of the plane corresponded to the paint on the BUK particles.

MAX: I still do not want to exclude the possibility MH17 was taken down by another plane. But there is no serious party that defends such a scenario.

A Canadian investigator of OSCE was one of the first foreigners who visited the crash site. He declared the holes in the fuselage looked like the holes of machine gun fire.

MAX: Michael Bociurkiw spoke out of turn. It seems he didn't speak on behalf of OSCE.

MARCEL: Everyone who's not a specialist would initially say that those holes in the cockpit look like they've been caused by something like a board gun. One has to be a specialist to know what the damage caused by a BUK looks like.

MARCEL: Last year the Russian Ministry of Defence firmly declared that there were no aircrafts flying close to MH17 that could have been responsible for its destruction.

MAX: That sure was a remarkable press conference of the ministry. Because not only weren't there any aircrafts to be seen on the displayed images, there was no rocket either. Mind you: at the press conference of July 21, 2014 the Russians showed radar images with something that looked like an SU-25. So last year they debunked their own 2014 story. What were they thinking? They made a complete fool of themselves. The information management of the Russians, as far as there is any, is just worthless.

What particles have been found in the physical remains of the pilots?

MARCEL: The JIT and DSB have found two butterfly-shaped particles in the body of one of the pilots. And butterfly-shaped is unique to the BUK rocket.

Member of parliament Pieter Omtzigt revealed earlier this year that DSB mistook the autopsy report of the pilot for the autopsy report of the reserve pilot, and vice versa.

MAX: That's a spectacular mistake. In each airliner you have a pilot, a co-pilot and a spare crew. Halfway during the flight, the reserve pilot goes into the cockpit, accompanied by the reserve co-pilot. So this is essential: the pilot and co-pilot were both in the cockpit, but not the reserve-pilot and the reserve co-pilot. And thus, if you perform an autopsy on the reserve pilot, who was not in the cockpit, it should have been impossible to find any particles in his body.

Why?

MAX: Only BUK particles have been found in the cockpit. Not elsewhere in the plane.

Is that right Marcel?

MARCEL: Yes, the passengers did not have any fragments.

MAX: Not even the first-class passengers in front.

Max, you said you have not yet ruled out the possibility that MH17 was hit by an air-to-air missile from another plane. But am I correct you are inclined to think it was a ground-to air missile?

MAX: I have never defended the fighter jet scenario. It has always been an option, like is was for JIT until last year. But probably it was a BUK. Although I find it remarkable that JIT still has not made clear what type of BUK they think was used. They promised to disclose the exact weapon. But they didn't. At last year's presentation they said it was a BUK of the BUK 9M38 series. But there are two different ones: the 9M38 with the 9N314 combat head, and the one with the butterflies, the 9M38M1 with the 9N314M combat head.

Is it important to know the type of BUK that was used?

MAX: It's very important. If the butterflies they found are real then you can exclude the 9M38, because there are no butterflies. Then you can say without hesitation: 'It was the 9M38M1.'

MARCEL: The butterfly-less 9M38 is no longer used by Russia. Only Ukraine is still using it. This tells us JIT has not yet excluded Ukraine as a suspect.

MAX: The 9M38 is an old type, and the Russians say that they still have it, but they do not use it anymore. And they also say they have warned the Ukrainians that their 9M38's have passed the expiration date. Ukraine has never been to Almaz-Altey, the Russian producer of the BUK, for an upgrade. The Ukrainians have modernized their BUKS, via Ukroboronprom.

MAX: I think that is very important.

MARCEL: Me too.

MAX: Not only did JIT not reveal the exact weapon. The exact coordinates of the BUK-launcher have not been mentioned either. But anyway, the fact that they didn't say 'It was the 9M38M1' indicates they think this is not the weapon that was used. Can you follow that logic?

MARCEL: No.

MAX: They haven't excluded the possibility that it was the 9M38, without butterfly pieces.

They say they are sure they've found butterfly pieces. But they do not conclude from this: 'It was a 9M38M1, because it's the only BUK that contains butterfly pieces.' I think this is telling. Either you do not trust your own proof, or you have another reason not to disclose the type of weapon. What other reasons could there be not to be open about this?

What do you think, Marcel, why are they hiding the info about the exact type of BUK they think was used ?

MARCEL: I do not know. One can only speculate about it. Perhaps it was a missile of a BUK the separatists had stolen from the Ukrainian army.

MAX: That's what the German Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) claims . They've given no proof for it, but still it is an official publication.

MARCEL: But imagine that it was a BUK the separatists had stolen from the Ukranian army. And suppose JIT had revealed that MH17 was hit by an outdated type of rocket originating from the Ukranian army. That would have led to a lot of confusion, such as journalists jumping to the conclusion the Ukranian army had taken down MH17. To prevent his from happening JIT kept silent about the exact weapon that was used.

MAX: Almaz-Antey has done an experiment with a BUK 9M38M1 . They detonated that BUK on a plane that was on the ground. The plane then ended up loaded with butterfly-shaped fragments. Why is it so few fragments have been found in and around the wreckage of MH17? There might be a good explanation for this. But why has nobody taken this into the discussion? It is a relevant question.

Do you have an explanation for this Marcel?

MARCEL: I was in contact with an anonymous person who knows very much about BUKs. He told me that at the time of the explosion there's so much pressure on the fragments in the combat head, that when they leave the head, they are so distorted that they have partially lost their butterfly shape.

I do not exclude that technical explanation, although one should be careful with anonymous sources. They can have a hidden agenda. From this person I had the suspicion he was pro-Kiev. But I also do no not rule out the possibility that Almaz-Antey has deliberately put some butterfly shapes in this plane using some kind of device.

It took a long time before the investigators reached the crash site. There must have been plenty of opportunity to remove evidence or to put it there.

MARCEL: Parts of the cockpit roof and business class have never been found. But to be able to plant evidence, parts of the plane must have been taken away first. To me that's an unlikely scenario.

MAX: The bodies of the deceased have been transported in refrigerated trains from Torez to Charkov. Who knows what happened along the way.

Marcel, why are you so sure MH17 was brought down with a BUK installation, delivered by Russia, from an area controlled by separatists?

MARCEL: I'm not sure that the BUK Telar, that was photographed and filmed on its way from Russia to Eastern Ukraine, was used to shoot down MH17. There is simply no proof for that. But we do have two pictures of the smoke plume of the launched BUK. There are also a number of people who have shown that they saw a rocket flying over the area. I have not heard any trustworthy story that a BUK was launched from another location. There are zero indications for that. No pictures, no witnesses, nothing.

I took a close look at this village, Zaroshchenske ....

MAX: It's for certain no rocket was fired from Zaroshchenske. Because I spoke to so many people and nobody there saw anything.

MARCEL: But that's what the Russians say : Zaroshchenske.

MAX: No. That's not what they say. The only thing they do say is: 'There was a BUK unit of the Ukrainian army in Zaroshchenske.' They never said, 'They fired from that location.' See their press conference of 21 July 2014.

Max, for you there is no reason to believe a BUK rocket was launched from rebel-controlled area in Pervomais'ke?

MAX: JIT claims there are witnesses who have seen it there. But these are either anonymous or non-anonymous witnesses. I have interviewed the non-anonymous myself, and they are telling just nonsense. One person told four different stories, to RT, Radio Free Europe, The Daily Telegraph and to me.

In the vicinity of Pervomais'ke it's easy for journalists to get any story they want. 'Here you have a crate of beer, a bottle of vodka and a hundred dollars. Now please tell me this and that.' People living there are inclined do that. I may be exaggerating, but I'm sure things like that really happen.

And something I do not understand: time and again journalists tell us their witnesses want to remain anonymous because they fear for reprisals. Then why is it their sources do not seem to have any problem talking to complete strangers, foreigners, and trusting them with their lives?

The above interview was originally published in Dutch on Novini.nl . The original article is much longer, and delves into the propaganda war surrounding MH17, the dubious role of Ukraine's SBU in the investigation, the radar and satellite data, the geopolitical shadow play of the Dutch government - and the diminishing possibility of bringing suspects to justice. Only one paragraph has been added to the original article for reasons of clarification.


Eric van de Beek studied journalism at Windesheim University in Zwolle, and philosophy at the University of Amsterdam . For years he worked as a journalist for the Dutch leading weekly Elsevier . Now he mainly writes for Holland's one and only geopolitical magazine Novini .

[Jul 07, 2017] Multiple versions of MH17 downling might be introduced purely to make it impossible for the truth ever to be discovered, but Ukraine has way too many "the dog ate my homework" excuses

Notable quotes:
"... It often seems as if multiple theories were introduced purely to make it impossible for the truth ever to be discovered, keeping everyone busy running down leads. But to my mind, Ukraine has a lot of 'the dog ate my homework' excuses – none of our aircraft were flying that day; sorry, all our primary radars were down for maintenance; gee, I don't know where those ATC records went! And the theory the Dutch Safety Board copped to – that Russia smuggled in a single component of the Buk system, shot down MH17 with it, and then smuggled it back out again – is frankly crazy and makes no sense. ..."
"... fat wankers like yourself may want to make it into the crime of the century because some Europeans suffered the consequences of the war their governments started ..."
Jul 07, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Matt , July 7, 2017 at 5:25 pm
Instead of chasing around those who criticize the United Russia administration, your time would be better served reading about various contradictions in the Russian government's multiple conspiracy theories about MH17.

Was there an SU-25 or not? Think Pavlo, think,

marknesop , July 7, 2017 at 5:32 pm
It often seems as if multiple theories were introduced purely to make it impossible for the truth ever to be discovered, keeping everyone busy running down leads. But to my mind, Ukraine has a lot of 'the dog ate my homework' excuses – none of our aircraft were flying that day; sorry, all our primary radars were down for maintenance; gee, I don't know where those ATC records went! And the theory the Dutch Safety Board copped to – that Russia smuggled in a single component of the Buk system, shot down MH17 with it, and then smuggled it back out again – is frankly crazy and makes no sense.
Pavlo Svolochenko , July 7, 2017 at 6:20 pm
Lulz who cares shitstain? MH-17 is a dead issue – fat wankers like yourself may want to make it into the crime of the century because some Europeans suffered the consequences of the war their governments started , but nobody else gives a damn about MH-17 or your dead Ukrainian motherland.

[Jun 30, 2017] As the article points out, the missile could not have reached the target from the launch point specified by the JIT in 10 seconds.

Jun 30, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile , June 28, 2017 at 10:42 am

Correction to above translation:

The radar, according to Blok, could simply have missed the missile. The minister compared the radar to a lighthouse, claiming that the missile could have slipped through during its "turn" and have therefore left no trace on the Russian Utes-T air route radar system. Blok also claimed that the radar would have been unable to register such a relatively small object as a Buk missile.

"It is inappropriate to say that the radar station could have missed the missile", the head of Russian Aviation Regulator Rosaviatsia, Oleg Storchevoy, said on Tuesday, commenting on the latest Dutch claims.

See also: Политическое направление: почему локатор не увидел ракету, сбившую MH17

Political direction: why the [radar] locator failed to see the missile that downed MH17

"The fact that something was not visible on the radar, doesn't mean that something was not there" - noted the Minister of Security and Justice, Stephen Blok, in answering a question from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament (the States General).

The question he was asked concerned radar data provided by Russia that showed that the radars had not detected a "Buk" missile. Bok reinforced his argument by speaking about the 360-degree sweep of a "Utes-T" radar locator, which before the crash of flight MH17 in the sky over the Donbas could have been sweeping in the opposite direction in the same way as does a lighthouse beam.

Moscow Exile , June 28, 2017 at 10:59 am
I wonder if Blok has ever actually observed a radar display that is tracking a Buk missile? Or any such tracking display for that matter.
marknesop , June 28, 2017 at 4:25 pm
As the article points out, the missile could not have reached the target from the launch point specified by the JIT in 10 seconds. And radar does not just illuminate targets, it records having received an echo return from bouncing off something, so that as the operator you see a dot – which they referred to as a tick – which is the accumulation of 'hits' by the radar, so that you can distinguish a target from the innumerable random dots which result from the characteristic known as 'scatter'. Most radars have a feature known as history recording or target trails, in which you begin to see the contacts progress by the trail of 'hits' it leaves behind.

In any case, it is significant that the Dutch investigation team did not bother to get a radar expert to summarize its findings in that area, but a political appointee with no experience in that field.

Jen , June 28, 2017 at 7:49 pm
Doesn't the BUK missile delivery system itself also rely on radar to locate and target any objects? So had there been a team or unit of soldiers operating such a system in the area where the Dutch claim they were in, then wouldn't Russian military have been able to work out the radar frequencies the group was using and contact it?
marknesop , June 28, 2017 at 10:28 pm
Well, the Russians would hardly contact this group, would they? Not knowing the SBU and their crack communications-intercept teams were listening and ready to record another admission of Russian culpability. Over several days of observations it would be possible to identify unique Buk systems by their operating frequencies, yes. Typically they are identified as operating in the band of frequencies which identify them as a Buk system, and that's good enough, but it is possible to identify one among others if you have the opportunity to match its frequencies to observation and watch it move around, although if there are several systems, their operating frequencies will all be close.

But the Dutch story is that this system was smuggled in just long enough to take the shot and then quickly smuggled out again, and that it was only one launcher and not a complete system. The radar on the launcher is highly directional, and electronic warfare systems might not pick it up unless they were along its line of sight, whereas the emitter which is usually correlated to the Buk (by electronic intercept) is the search radar, which is its own separate vehicle.

Russian electronic warfare did report several Buk systems active in the area – all Ukrainian, presumably, since the Ukrainian command insisted the rebels did not have any – the day prior to the disaster. That statement (that the rebels did not have any Buks that were captured from the Ukrainian Army) and other realities are what force the crazy story whereby Russia supposedly smuggled in a partial system, took the shot and ran for it. It's the only one they can make fit.

kirill , June 29, 2017 at 6:00 am
The Dutch are peddling one of the most inane tinfoil hat theories ever. If Russia smuggled in that single component for an in and out atrocity, then why the FCUK didn't they just help the Donbas "terrorists' fix up the system that fell into their hands that fits the same description (i.e. one lacking a separate radar unit). Hiding a few Buk missiles in the back of a truck is vastly easier than lugging around a whole mobile unit on a flatbed.

This is shit is the same "feed the retards some 'plausible' story" ploy as the Polonium murder of Litvinenko. Smearing Polonium on a Moscow circuit plane is the ultimate in inanity. Let's use an exotic murder weapon that is messy and hard to use and make sure to trace it back to ourselves. For fuck's sake, using a hand gun with a silencer is orders of magnitude easier and less traceable since throwing the gun in the river actually works and it will have negligible chance of being found by the cops unless they have a witness.

Jen , June 29, 2017 at 4:00 pm
Of course! – I hadn't thought the SBU would be monitoring communications between the rebels in Donetsk and any outside supporters. My oversight. I had in mind a hypothetical situation where the Russian military detects such a "unit", observes its activities to determine their intended objective and then warns the "unit" that it is under surveillance.
marknesop , June 28, 2017 at 3:54 pm
As I've pointed out before, any emitter with such a slow scan rate as that would be useless for air traffic control. There are radars with huge antennas and very slow scan rates, but they are high-power emitters used for Early Warning, not for controlling fast-moving aircraft and deconflicting a busy air picture at various altitudes. But the Dutch 'investigators' who are helping Ukraine wash itself out of the picture hope that you are stupid.

[Jun 28, 2017] Radar data debunks official MH17 findings, locator could not miss the BUK missile – Russian air regulator

Notable quotes:
"... Russian radar could not have failed to notice a projectile approaching Flight MH17, despite the claims by a Dutch minister, the head of Rosaviatsia says. The lack of radar marks shows nothing approached the plane from the east, despite official findings. ..."
"... "It is inappropriate to say that a radar station could miss the missile," the head of Russian aviation regulator Rosaviatsia, Oleg Storchevoy, said Tuesday, commenting on the latest Dutch claims. ..."
Jun 28, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Moscow Exile , June 28, 2017 at 10:08 am
WARNING!

Kremlin controlled "news" source

Radar data debunks official MH17 findings, locator could not 'miss' missile – Russian air regulator
Published time: 27 Jun, 2017 19:41

Russian radar could not have failed to notice a projectile approaching Flight MH17, despite the claims by a Dutch minister, the head of Rosaviatsia says. The lack of radar marks shows nothing approached the plane from the east, despite official findings.

Last week, the Dutch government published a series of replies by Security and Justice Minister Stef Blok, who explained to a parliamentary commission why radar data provided by Russia did not show any objects approaching the MH17 flight, including a Buk missile.

The radar, according to Blok, could simply miss a missile. The minister compared the radar to a lighthouse, claiming that a missile could slip through during its "turn" and therefore leave no trace on Russia's Utes-T air route radar system. Blok also claimed that the radar could not register such a relatively small object as a Buk missile.

"It is inappropriate to say that a radar station could miss the missile," the head of Russian aviation regulator Rosaviatsia, Oleg Storchevoy, said Tuesday, commenting on the latest Dutch claims.

It sneaked in while the radar antenna was looking the other way???????

Moscow Exile , June 28, 2017 at 10:42 am
Correction to above translation:

The radar, according to Blok, could simply have missed the missile. The minister compared the radar to a lighthouse, claiming that the missile could have slipped through during its "turn" and have therefore left no trace on the Russian Utes-T air route radar system. Blok also claimed that the radar would have been unable to register such a relatively small object as a Buk missile.

"It is inappropriate to say that the radar station could have missed the missile", the head of Russian Aviation Regulator Rosaviatsia, Oleg Storchevoy, said on Tuesday, commenting on the latest Dutch claims.

See also: Политическое направление: почему локатор не увидел ракету, сбившую MH17

Political direction: why the [radar] locator failed to see the missile that downed MH17

"The fact that something was not visible on the radar, doesn't mean that something was not there" - noted the Minister of Security and Justice, Stephen Blok, in answering a question from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament (the States General).

The question he was asked concerned radar data provided by Russia that showed that the radars had not detected a "Buk" missile. Bok reinforced his argument by speaking about the 360-degree sweep of a "Utes-T" radar locator, which before the crash of flight MH17 in the sky over the Donbas could have been sweeping in the opposite direction in the same way as does a lighthouse beam.

Moscow Exile , June 28, 2017 at 10:59 am
I wonder if Blok has ever actually observed a radar display that is tracking a Buk missile? Or any such tracking display for that matter.

[Jun 26, 2017] The 2014 coup d'etat in Kiev had been plotted by US in advance

Notable quotes:
"... the U.S. government tenders to build NATO bases in Crimea , Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia:" http://redpilltimes.com/u-s-navy-tender-construction-work-sevastopol-crimea-hints-u-s-military-coveted-controlling-historic-russian-peninsula/ http://thesaker.is/russia-sitrep-june-25-2017/ ..."
"... In light of the evidence, the US cooperation with neo-Nazis in Ukraine looks natural. "Support the troops," neocon style. ..."
Jun 26, 2017 | www.unz.com

annamaria June 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm GMT

The 2014 coup d'etat in Kiev had been plotted by US in advance:

" the U.S. government tenders to build NATO bases in Crimea , Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia:" http://redpilltimes.com/u-s-navy-tender-construction-work-sevastopol-crimea-hints-u-s-military-coveted-controlling-historic-russian-peninsula/ http://thesaker.is/russia-sitrep-june-25-2017/

the document was issued in Sep 05, 2013

https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=2bb691b61c59be3a68180bd8c614a0cb&tab=core&_cview=1

In light of the evidence, the US cooperation with neo-Nazis in Ukraine looks natural. "Support the troops," neocon style.

[Jun 20, 2017] The 'Soft Coup' of Russia-gate by Robert Parry

Notable quotes:
"... For the neocons in 2016, there also was the excited expectation of a Hillary Clinton presidency to give more momentum to the expensive New Cold War. But then Trump, who had argued for a new détente with Russia, managed to eke out an Electoral College win. ..."
May 13, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
The 'Soft Coup' of Russia-gate

Where is Stanley Kubrick when we need him? If he hadn't died in 1999, he would be the perfect director to transform today's hysteria over Russia into a theater-of-the-absurd movie reprising his Cold War classic, "Dr. Strangelove," which savagely satirized the madness of nuclear brinksmanship and the crazed ideology behind it.

A scene from "Dr. Strangelove," in which the bomber pilot (played by actor Slim Pickens) rides a nuclear bomb to its target in the Soviet Union.

To prove my point, The Washington Post on Thursday published a lengthy story entitled in the print editions "Alarm at Russian in White House" about a Russian photographer who was allowed into the Oval Office to photograph President Trump's meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The Post cited complaints from former U.S. intelligence officials who criticized the presence of the Russian photographer as "a potential security breach" because of "the danger that a listening device or other surveillance equipment could have been brought into the Oval Office while hidden in cameras or other electronics."

To bolster this alarm, the Post cited a Twitter comment from President Obama's last deputy CIA director, David S. Cohen, stating "No, it was not" a sound decision to admit the Russian photographer who also works for the Russian news agency, Tass, which published the photo.

One could picture Boris and Natasha, the evil spies in the Bullwinkle cartoons, disguised as photographers slipping listening devices between the cushions of the sofas.

Or we could hear how Russians are again threatening to "impurify all of our precious bodily fluids," as "Dr. Strangelove" character, Gen. Jack D. Ripper, warned us in the 1964 movie.

Watching that brilliant dark comedy again might actually be a good idea to remind us how crazy Americans can get when they're pumped up with anti-Russian propaganda, as is happening again now.

Taking Down Trump

I realize that many Democrats, liberals and progressives hate Donald Trump so much that they believe that any pretext is justified in taking him down, even if that plays into the hands of the neoconservatives and other warmongers. Many people who detest Trump view Russia-gate as the most likely path to achieve Trump's impeachment, so this desirable end justifies whatever means.

Boris and Natasha, the evil spies from the Rocky and Bullwinkle shows.

Some people have told me that they even believe that it is the responsibility of the major news media, the law enforcement and intelligence communities, and members of Congress to engage in a "soft coup" against Trump – also known as a "constitutional coup" or "deep state coup" – for the "good of the country."

The argument is that it sometimes falls to these Establishment institutions to "correct" a mistake made by the American voters, in this case, the election of a largely unqualified individual as U.S. president. It is even viewed by some anti-Trump activists as a responsibility of "responsible" journalists, government officials and others to play this "guardian" role, to not simply "resist" Trump but to remove him.

But The New York Times and The Washington Post, in particular, have made it clear that they view Trump as a clear and present danger to the American system and thus have cast aside any pretense of neutrality.

The Times justifies its open hostility to the President as part of its duty to protect "the truth"; the Post has adopted a slogan aimed at Trump, "Democracy Dies in Darkness." In other words, America's two most influential political newspapers are effectively pushing for a "soft coup" under the guise of defending "democracy" and "truth."

But the obvious problem with a "soft coup" is that America's democratic process, as imperfect as it has been and still is, has held this diverse country together since 1788 with the notable exception of the Civil War.

If Americans believe that the Washington elites are removing an elected president – even one as buffoonish as Donald Trump – it could tear apart the fabric of national unity, which is already under extraordinary stress from intense partisanship.

That means that the "soft coup" would have to be carried out under the guise of a serious investigation into something grave enough to justify the President's removal, a removal that could be accomplished by congressional impeachment, his forced resignation, or the application of Twenty-fifth Amendment, which allows the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet to judge a President incapable of continuing in office (although that could require two-thirds votes by both houses of Congress if the President fights the maneuver).

A Big Enough 'Scandal'

That is where Russia-gate comes in. The gauzy allegation that Trump and/or his advisers somehow colluded with Russian intelligence officials to rig the 2016 election would probably clear the threshold for an extreme action like removing a President.

And, given the determination of many key figures in the Establishment to get rid of Trump, it should come as no surprise that no one seems to care that no actual government-verified evidence has been revealed publicly to support any of the Russia-gate allegations.

There's not even any public evidence from U.S. government agencies that Russia did "meddle" in the 2016 election or – even if Russia did slip Democratic emails to WikiLeaks (which WikiLeaks denies) – there has been zero evidence that the scheme resulted from collusion with Trump's campaign.

The FBI has been investigating these suspicions for at least nine months, even reportedly securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant against Carter Page, an American whom Trump briefly claimed as a foreign policy adviser when Trump was under fire for not having any foreign policy advisers.

One of Page's alleged offenses was that he gave a speech to an academic conference in Moscow in July 2016 that was mildly critical of how the U.S. treated countries from the former Soviet Union. He also once lived in Russia and met with a Russian diplomat who – apparently unbeknownst to Page – had been identified by the U.S. government as a Russian intelligence officer.

It appears that is enough, in these days of our New McCarthyism , to get an American put under a powerful counter-intelligence investigation.

The FBI and the Department of Justice also reportedly are including as part of the Russia-gate investigation Trump's stupid campaign joke calling on the Russians to help find the tens of thousands of emails that Hillary Clinton erased from the home server that she used while Secretary of State.

On July 27, 2016, Trump said, apparently in jest, "I will tell you this, Russia: if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."

The comment fit with Trump's puckish, provocative and often tasteless sense of humor, but was seized on by Democrats as if it were a serious suggestion – as if anyone would use a press conference to seriously urge something like that. But it now appears that the FBI is grabbing at any straw that might support its investigation.

The (U.K.) Guardian reported this week that "Senior DoJ officials have declined to release the documents [about Trump's comment] on grounds that such disclosure could 'interfere with enforcement proceedings'. In a filing to a federal court in Washington DC, the DoJ states that 'because of the existence of an active, ongoing investigation, the FBI anticipates that it will withhold all records'.

"The statement suggests that Trump's provocative comment last July is being seen by the FBI as relevant to its own ongoing investigation."

The NYT's Accusations

On Friday, in the wake of Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey and the President's characterization of Russia-gate as "a total hoax," The New York Times reprised what it called "The Trump-Russia Nexus" in a lead editorial trying to make the case of some fire behind the smoke.

Former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

Though the Times acknowledges that there are "many unknowns" in Russia-gate and the Times can't seem to find any evidence of collusion, such as slipping a Russian data stick to WikiLeaks, the Times nevertheless treats a host of Trump advisers and family members as traitors because they've had some association with Russian officials, Russian businesses or Russian allies.

Regarding Carter Page, the Times wrote: "American officials believe that Mr. Page, a foreign policy adviser, had contacts with Russian intelligence officials during the campaign. He also gave a pro-Russia speech in Moscow in July 2016. Mr. Page was once employed by Merrill Lynch's Moscow office, where he worked with Gazprom, a government-owned giant."

You might want to let some of those words sink in, especially the part about Page giving "a pro-Russia speech in Moscow," which has been cited as one of the principal reasons for Page and his communications being targeted under a FISA warrant.

I've actually read Page's speech and to call it "pro-Russia" is a wild exaggeration. It was a largely academic treatise that faulted the West's post-Cold War treatment of the nations formed from the old Soviet Union, saying the rush to a free-market system led to some negative consequences, such as the spread of corruption.

But even if the speech were "pro-Russia," doesn't The New York Times respect the quaint American notion of free speech? Apparently not. If your carefully crafted words can be twisted into something called "pro-Russia," the Times seems to think it's okay to have the National Security Agency bug your phones and read your emails.

The Ukraine Case

Another Times' target was veteran political adviser Paul Manafort, who is accused of working as "a consultant for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine and for Ukraine's former president, Viktor Yanukovych, who was backed by the Kremlin."

New York Times building in New York City. (Photo from Wikipedia)

Left out of that Times formulation is the fact that the Ukrainian political party, which had strong backing from ethnic Russian Ukrainians - not just Russia– competed in a democratic process and that Yanukovych won an election that was recognized by international observers as free and fair.

Yanukovych was then ousted in February 2014 in a violent putsch that was backed by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. The putsch, which was spearheaded by right-wing nationalists and even neo-Nazis, touched off Ukraine's civil war and the secession of Crimea, the key events in the escalation of today's New Cold War between NATO and Russia.

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine's Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)

Though I'm no fan of U.S. political hired-guns selling their services in foreign elections, there was nothing illegal or even unusual about Manafort advising a Ukrainian political party. What arguably was much more offensive was the U.S. support for an unconstitutional coup that removed Yanukovych even after he agreed to a European plan for early elections so he could be voted out of office peacefully.

But the Times, the Post and virtually the entire Western mainstream media sided with the Ukrainian coup-makers and hailed Yanukovych's overthrow. That attitude has become such a groupthink that the Times has banished the thought that there was a coup .

Still, the larger political problem confronting the United States is that the neoconservatives and their junior partners, the liberal interventionists, now control nearly all the levers of U.S. foreign policy. That means they can essentially dictate how events around the world will be perceived by most Americans.

The neocons and the liberal hawks also want to continue their open-ended wars in the Middle East by arranging the commitment of additional U.S. military forces to Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria – and perhaps a new confrontation with Iran.

Early in Obama's second term, it became clear to the neocons that Russia was becoming the chief obstacles to their plans because President Barack Obama was working closely with President Vladimir Putin on a variety of projects that undermined neocon hopes for more war.

Particularly, Putin helped Obama secure an agreement from Syria to surrender its chemical weapons stockpiles in 2013 and to get Iran to accept tight constraints on its nuclear program in 2014. In both cases, the neocons and their liberal-hawk sidekicks were lusting for war.

Immediately after the Syria chemical-weapons deal in September 2013, key U.S. neocons began focusing on Ukraine as what National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman called "the biggest prize" and a first step toward unseating Putin in Moscow.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Gershman's grant-giving NED stepped up its operations inside Ukraine while Assistant Secretary Nuland, the wife of arch-neocon Robert Kagan, began pushing for regime change in Kiev (along with other neocons, including Sen. John McCain).

The Ukraine coup in 2014 drove a geopolitical wedge between Obama and Putin, since the Russian president couldn't just stand by when a virulently anti-Russian regime took power violently in Ukraine, which was the well-worn route for invasions into Russia and housed Russia's Black Sea fleet at Sevastopol in Crimea.

Rather than defend the valuable cooperation provided by Putin, Obama went with the political flow and joined in the Russia-bashing as key neocons raised their sights and put Putin in the crosshairs .

An Unexpected Obstacle

For the neocons in 2016, there also was the excited expectation of a Hillary Clinton presidency to give more momentum to the expensive New Cold War. But then Trump, who had argued for a new détente with Russia, managed to eke out an Electoral College win.

Perhaps Trump could have diffused some of the hostility toward him but his narcissistic personality stopped him from extending an olive branch to the tens of millions of Americans who opposed him. He further demonstrated his political incompetence by wasting his first days in office making ridiculous claims about the size of his inaugural crowds and disputing the fact that he had lost the popular vote.

Widespread public disgust over his behavior contributed to the determination of many Americans to "resist" his presidency at all junctures and at all costs.

Peter Sellers playing Dr. Strangelove as he struggles to control his right arm from making a Nazi salute.

Russia-gate, the hazy suggestion that Putin put Trump in the White House and that Trump is a Putin "puppet" (as Clinton claimed), became the principal weapon to use in destroying Trump's presidency.

However, besides the risks to U.S. stability that would come from an Establishment-driven "soft coup," there is the additional danger of ratcheting up tensions so high with nuclear-armed Russia that this extreme Russia-bashing takes on a life – or arguably many, many deaths – of its own.

Which is why America now might need a piercing satire of today's Russia-phobia or at least a revival of the Cold War classic, "Dr. Strangelove," subtitled "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb."

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com's " Watergate Redux or 'Deep State' Coup ."]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

[May 30, 2017] Someone needs to remind Brennan that the civil war in Ukraine (initiated by an illegal Kievan junta sponsored and installed by the US), had started immediately upon Brennans arrival toKiev in 2014

Notable quotes:
"... getting to the crux of the matter when Russia released the phone conversation where ZUS State Dept. – Kagan klan / Zio-bitch Nuland was overheard deciding who was going to be the next president of Ukraine (some democracy), it was this breach of global oligarch protocol that has riled the deepstate Zio-war-scum ever since. Hence all the screeching and hysterics about "Russian hacking". The thug Brennan, (as you correctly call him [imagine this mug coming into the room as you're about to be 'enhanced interrogated']) ..."
"... All these war criminals are all scrambling to undermine Trump in the fear that he'll eventually hold some of them accountable for their serial crimes, treasons, and treachery. Which brings us to this curious comment.. ..."
"... And if it puts a smelly sock in the mouths of the neocons and war pigs to saber rattle at Iran, with no possibility to actually do them any harm, because of the treaty and Europe's need to respect it, then what's the harm of Trump sounding a little buffoonish if it gets them off his back so that he can circle himself with a Pretorian guard of loyalists and get to the bottom of all of this. I suspect that is what terrifies people like Brennan more than anything else. ..."
www.unz.com

annamaria , May 30, 2017 at 2:50 pm GMT

@exiled off mainstreet

The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival. Brennan is just a regular profiteering opportunist.

Someone needs to remind the scoundrel that the civil war in Ukraine (initiated by an illegal Kievan junta sponsored and installed by the US), had started immediately upon Brennan's arrival to Kiev in 2014. He tried to make the visit secret but this did not work and Brennan's presence in Ukraine became widely known: https://sputniknews.com/world/20140415189240842-ANALYSIS-CIA-Director-Brennans-Trip-to-Ukraine-Initiates-Use-Of/

"CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukraine over the weekend, information that was confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday, after being reported by media on Sunday.

Over the same weekend, Kiev authorities cracked down on pro-federalization protests in eastern Ukraine. Regime troops advanced toward a number of cities in eastern Ukraine Tuesday to attack the protesters. "Brennan's appearance in Kiev just before the announcement of a violent crackdown in eastern Ukraine is just too timely to assume that it is a coincidence," Turbeville [an American international affairs expert] said.

"Brennan, who has been actively involved in arming insurgents in Libya, Syria and Venezuela, has a reputation for using thuggish tactics in pursuit of CIA goals," Wayne Madsen, an American investigative journalist told RIA Novosti."

This is a fact showing the US' direct meddling in the affairs of another state and in creating a war on a border with Russian federation. Brennan has been so much immersed in lies and politicking and war crimes that it is impossible to expect any decent reasoning from this miserable opportunist.

Rurik , Website May 30, 2017 at 4:06 pm GMT

@annamaria

the civil war in Ukraine (initiated by an illegal Kievan junta sponsored and installed by the US), had started immediately upon Brennan's arrival to Kiev in 2014

I wouldn't so much call it a civil war, as a ZUSA imposed putsch, installing a Zio-bankster-quisling.

PG:

the United States routinely interferes in elections worldwide and that the action taken in various places including Ukraine goes far beyond phone conversations.

getting to the crux of the matter when Russia released the phone conversation where ZUS State Dept. – Kagan klan / Zio-bitch Nuland was overheard deciding who was going to be the next president of Ukraine (some democracy), it was this breach of global oligarch protocol that has riled the deepstate Zio-war-scum ever since. Hence all the screeching and hysterics about "Russian hacking". The thug Brennan, (as you correctly call him [imagine this mug coming into the room as you're about to be 'enhanced interrogated'])

http://www.frontpagemag.com/sites/default/files/uploads/2015/03/John_Brennan.jpg

has his fingerprints not just all over the war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, but Syria and elsewhere too.

All these war criminals are all scrambling to undermine Trump in the fear that he'll eventually hold some of them accountable for their serial crimes, treasons, and treachery. Which brings us to this curious comment..

The desire to bring down the buffoonish Donald Trump is understandable,

what the hell does Mr. G think will replace him?!

So far the "buffoonish Donald Trump" has not declared a no-fly zone in Syria, as we know the war sow would have by now. He's not materially harmed the Assad regime, but only made symbolic attempts to presumably mollify the war pigs like McBloodstain and co in the zio-media/AIPAC/etc..

His rhetoric notwithstanding, he seems to be making nice with the Russians, to the apoplectic hysteria of people like Brennan and the Stain.

In fact the more people like Brennan and Bloodstain and the zio-media and others seem on the brink of madness, the better Trump seems to me every day.

And if it puts a smelly sock in the mouths of the neocons and war pigs to saber rattle at Iran, with no possibility to actually do them any harm, because of the treaty and Europe's need to respect it, then what's the harm of Trump sounding a little buffoonish if it gets them off his back so that he can circle himself with a Pretorian guard of loyalists and get to the bottom of all of this. I suspect that is what terrifies people like Brennan more than anything else.

[May 02, 2017] Last years report by the Dutch Safety Board reached no conclusion about who was responsible for shooting down the plane, killing 298 people. Separatists did it vertion looks more and more like propaganda peddled by neoliberal MSM such as WaPO and NYT

Carlton Meyer , Website September 14, 2016 at 4:18 am GMT \n

300 Words Better examples are found in an article that I linked:

Sep 12, 2016 – The Ukrainians Shot Down MH-17!

I highly recommend this brilliant article about how the New York Times and Washington Post have become propaganda machines for the American Neo-Con Empire.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/09/07/new-york-times-and-the-new-mccarthyism/

They rarely print corrections when caught in a lie, and even attack those speaking the truth by implying they are foreign agents. In reality nearly all major media have become spin machines evidenced by that article's interesting news item that I read nowhere else:

The MH-17 Case

As an example, MacFarquhar cites the case of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, claiming "Russia pumped out a dizzying array of theories." The Times correspondent then asserts as flat fact that "The cloud of stories helped veil the simple truth that poorly trained insurgents had accidentally downed the plane with a missile supplied by Russia."The Dutch Safety Board's reconstruction of where it believed the missile exploded near Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014.

But, according to official investigations that have been underway for more than two years, MacFarquhar's claim is not "the simple truth," as he put it. Last year's report by the Dutch Safety Board reached no conclusion about who was responsible for shooting down the plane, killing 298 people.

Indeed, the DSB's report included a statement by Dutch intelligence (reflecting NATO's intelligence data) that the only powerful anti-aircraft-missile systems in eastern Ukraine on that day – capable of hitting MH-17 at 33,000 feet – were under the control of the Ukrainian military. (Though an official document, this Dutch intelligence report has never been mentioned by The New York Times, presumably because it conflicts with the favored Russia-did-it narrative.)

annamaria , September 15, 2016 at 1:24 am GMT \n
@Quartermaster

The problem with accusing the Ukrainians of having shot down MH-17 is found in the wreckage. The type of pellet that did the damage is not found in the version of the Buk missile in the possession of the Ukrainians. Only the newer version, owned only by the Russians, have the type of pellet that did the damage.

Russia shot down MH-17. Russian troops are known to be in eastern Ukraine operating heavy weapons. Russia has also come clean that regular troops have been sent to the Donbas and a lot of the artillery fire that has been aimed at the Ukrainians has come from Russian territory.

You've swallowed a load of Putinist propaganda.

You habitually accuse the UNZ Review readers in "swallowing Putin propaganda" when you asked to provide proofs for your cavalier Russophobic statements. In case you have not noticed yet, UNZ Review does not publish Eliot Higgins (and other experts in selling ladies underwear), but prefers to deal with the serious thinkers and professionals.

Joe Wong , September 15, 2016 at 2:59 am GMT \n
200 Words @Carlton Meyer

Better examples are found in an article that I linked:

Sep 12, 2016 - The Ukrainians Shot Down MH-17!

I highly recommend this brilliant article about how the New York Times and Washington Post have become propaganda machines for the American Neo-Con Empire.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/09/07/new-york-times-and-the-new-mccarthyism/

They rarely print corrections when caught in a lie, and even attack those speaking the truth by implying they are foreign agents. In reality nearly all major media have become spin machines evidenced by that article's interesting news item that I read nowhere else:

The MH-17 Case

As an example, MacFarquhar cites the case of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, claiming "Russia pumped out a dizzying array of theories." The Times correspondent then asserts as flat fact that "The cloud of stories helped veil the simple truth that poorly trained insurgents had accidentally downed the plane with a missile supplied by Russia."

The Dutch Safety Board's reconstruction of where it believed the missile exploded near Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014. But, according to official investigations that have been underway for more than two years, MacFarquhar's claim is not "the simple truth," as he put it. Last year's report by the Dutch Safety Board reached no conclusion about who was responsible for shooting down the plane, killing 298 people.Indeed, the DSB's report included a statement by Dutch intelligence (reflecting NATO's intelligence data) that the only powerful anti-aircraft-missile systems in eastern Ukraine on that day – capable of hitting MH-17 at 33,000 feet – were under the control of the Ukrainian military. (Though an official document, this Dutch intelligence report has never been mentioned by The New York Times, presumably because it conflicts with the favored Russia-did-it narrative.)

NYT has been fabricating stories as long as it exists to assist USA government engineer regime changes and colour revolutions, and wage reckless wars on the fabricated allegations around the world, as well as white wash American war crimes. NYT is the core of the Western black information network to spread disinformation and misinformation for the American conquest of global full spectrum dominance via organised violence and committing crime against humanity.

It is puzzling why the NYT has sentenced itself to wither away into irrelevance because it works with the government to suppress stories, covering up election fraud in the ruling party and ruthlessly campaigning against the main US opposition leader Donald Trump while it has been doing the same unscrupulous things since its existence? Is it because the author's sense of justice is selective, and he feels the American is exceptional, injustice applies to people not American does not count?

annamaria , September 17, 2016 at 1:02 pm GMT \n
100 Words @blert 1) The WMD in Iraq were being unearthed straight through the occupation. Only in 2012 did the NY Times -- of all publications -- flatly admit that they'd suppressed the truth all those years -- at the request of the Pentagon for obvious national security reasons.

A SINGLE binary nerve agent round (155mm) -- properly detonated -- could have killed thousands of New Yorkers commuting by subway.

Hundreds of these rounds were ultimately recovered. The enemy never understood what they had their hands on, as Saddam had ensured that these nerve agent rounds looked identical to conventional rounds. He's the only madman that crazy.

( He did so to hide their usage from the French military advisors during his Iranian invasion. )

2) The Dutch are correct. MH-17 can't be resolved as the Russians and Ukrainians have essentially identical counter-air assets. Both parties have every reason to lie; and to screw up. The flight should never have been routed anywhere near the conflict. KAL 007 and Iran Air 655 should've been warning enough.

3) The US MSM is over concentrated to a ruinous degree. Ditto for America's J-schools, whose ethos is to propagandise the World for its betterment.

4) It's no joke that the NY Times regards anyone west of the Hudson to be rubes.

5) They can spew it out -- but can't take correction -- at ANY level. This causes a profound detachment from ground truth. "The WMD in Iraq were being unearthed straight through the occupation"

Thank you for reminding what country had provided the chemical WMD to Saddam:
"How Reagan Armed Saddam with Chemical Weapons:" http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/06/17/how-reagan-armed-saddam-with-chemical-weapons/
"Rumsfeld helped Iraq get chemical weapons:" http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-153210/Rumsfeld-helped-Iraq-chemical-weapons.html
"CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran:" http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/08/26/exclusive-cia-files-prove-america-helped-saddam-as-he-gassed-iran/

And thanks for the alert, "A SINGLE binary nerve agent round (155mm) - properly detonated - could have killed thousands of New Yorkers commuting by subway."
There is more for your attentions.
"Concern in Russia is increasing over the growing number of hard-to-access, double-purpose medical laboratories, financed by the US Department of Defense, appearing alongside its borders " https://sputniknews.com/world/20160908/1045088663/us-russia-biological-laboratories.html
"Russia Says U.S. Expanding Bioweapons Labs in Europe:" http://freebeacon.com/national-security/russia-says-u-s-expanding-bioweapons-labs-in-europe/

Alfred , September 14, 2016 at 4:25 am GMT \n

There is a giant billboard going up again across the street from the NYT calling them out on 9/11

"ReThink911's "New York Times Billboard" Is Here"

http://rethink911.org/news/november-campaign-new-york-times-billboard/ Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments

[Apr 19, 2017] Ex-CIA Directors kill Russians in Syria comment reveals neocon influence

Looks like the former CIA Director Michael Morell is kind of "inside CIA" chickenhawk. Never was in field operations
Notable quotes:
"... Morell has proposed the US change tactics in Syria by targeting President Bashar Assad's allies, adding that killing Russians should be done covertly. ..."
"... Morell was suggesting to kill Russian and Iranian people – I'm assuming soldiers, even though he wasn't that specific – as payback for their actions in Syria and Iran's actions in Iraq. Apparently Iran was providing supplies and armaments to the people we were fighting there during our occupation. Is this of strategy or tactics the norm or the oddity for the CIA in planning? ..."
"... What Mike Morell is proposing is quite simply illegal. You just can't wantonly kill people because you don't like their politics. One of the important things that Mike Morell has forgotten or has chosen to ignore is that [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, whether we like him or not, is the internationally recognized leader of a sovereign country. And the Russian military has been invited into that country by its sovereign leader. So it's not up to us to decide we don't like that, and so we are going to start killing people because of it. ..."
"... What a fraud. A transparent fraud. John knows him better than I do because John dealt with him. ..."
"... Mike Morell was a golden boy for many years. He was a very young manager and rose quickly through the ranks, and had the most important jobs in the CIA, at least on the analytic side Once he got into the senior intelligence service, he took on a broader role, but that role never involved operations. This is a problem inside the agency. ..."
"... You have somebody who has never served overseas except in the very final years of his career in a very cushy position. But certainly never operationally. He's never recruited a foreign national to spy for the United States; he's never been involved in difficult or dangerous operations, yet he's advocating putting American lives on the line to kill foreign nationals against whom we have no declaration of war. ..."
"... Say he gets the chance to implement this great strategy of his which is apparently murdering a bunch of people and blowing up a bunch of stuff around Assad. How does that bring peace to Syria? ..."
"... The definition of a neocon is somebody who has great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel, on the one hand, and the strategic interests of the United States on the other. Israel wants bedlam in Syria, and they've got it. ..."
Aug 13, 2016 | www.rt.com
Op-Edge 'Ex-CIA Director's 'kill Russians in Syria' comment reveals neocon influence' Published time: 13 Aug, 2016 12:53 Edited time: 14:38

I want to scare Assad Mike Morell (Aug 8, 2016) Charlie Rose

Former CIA Director Michael Morell sparked uproar when he said in an interview on Charlie Rose that Russians and Iranians should be killed in Syria. Was the provocative statement an effort to promote himself as the new CIA Director under Hillary Clinton?

Morell has proposed the US change tactics in Syria by targeting President Bashar Assad's allies, adding that killing Russians should be done covertly.

"We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria, we need to make the Russians pay a price," Morell told a stunned Charlie Rose, who asked if that means killing Iranians and Russians. Morell answered "Yes," saying the killings should be done "convertly" but done in such way that "Moscow would get the message."

Two former CIA officials turned whistleblowers, Ray McGovern and John Kiriakou, appeared on RT's "Watching the Hawks" program to give their analysis on the disturbing comments, as well as other tantalizing bits of information.

'Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad,' says ex-CIA chief backing #Clintonhttps://t.co/qd21Klts2Npic.twitter.com/Otcuwniwxw

- RT America (@RT_America) August 9, 2016

RT (Tyrel Ventura): Morell was suggesting to kill Russian and Iranian people – I'm assuming soldiers, even though he wasn't that specific – as payback for their actions in Syria and Iran's actions in Iraq. Apparently Iran was providing supplies and armaments to the people we were fighting there during our occupation. Is this of strategy or tactics the norm or the oddity for the CIA in planning?

John Kiriakou: This is the exception. It's not the norm. Even under George W. Bush when the CIA wanted to initiate or institute a policy or program that would result in the killing of foreign nationals, my God, we went to the UN Security Council and asked for a vote. What Mike Morell is proposing is quite simply illegal. You just can't wantonly kill people because you don't like their politics. One of the important things that Mike Morell has forgotten or has chosen to ignore is that [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, whether we like him or not, is the internationally recognized leader of a sovereign country. And the Russian military has been invited into that country by its sovereign leader. So it's not up to us to decide we don't like that, and so we are going to start killing people because of it.

Ray McGovern: What a fraud. A transparent fraud. John knows him better than I do because John dealt with him.

JK: I worked closely with Mike Morell for several years in CIA headquarters. Mike Morell was a golden boy for many years. He was a very young manager and rose quickly through the ranks, and had the most important jobs in the CIA, at least on the analytic side Once he got into the senior intelligence service, he took on a broader role, but that role never involved operations. This is a problem inside the agency. It's emblematic of what has happened with what I like to think is a neoconservative takeover of CIA policy. You have somebody who has never served overseas except in the very final years of his career in a very cushy position. But certainly never operationally. He's never recruited a foreign national to spy for the United States; he's never been involved in difficult or dangerous operations, yet he's advocating putting American lives on the line to kill foreign nationals against whom we have no declaration of war.

#WatchingTheHawks SoundCloud Episode 44.2 is here of our best segments! @TabethaWatching@TyrelWatchinghttps://t.co/dxYcjCww42

- RT America (@RT_America) August 13, 2016

RT (Tabetha Wallace): Say he gets the chance to implement this great strategy of his which is apparently murdering a bunch of people and blowing up a bunch of stuff around Assad. How does that bring peace to Syria?

JK: It doesn't, it can't and it won't. This whole idea that he espoused on the Charlie Rose show will not come to pass. If Mike Morell were serious about this, if this were something that Hillary Clinton would seriously consider, it would be kept so secret and so private that even inside the CIA 99 percent of employees wouldn't know anything about it. So for him to just go on TV and dramatically say this is what he would do it's just grandstanding.

This is such an obviously transparent bid by Michael Morell to be the CIA Director under a Hillary Clinton administration... This is a political ploy by him that is not thought through at all - Gareth Porter, investigative journalist, to RT in a separate interview.

RT (Tyrel Ventura): Why do you think Morell is getting on TV and grandstanding like that? What is his motivation for doing this?

RM: He's not the only one. There are others who are candidates to be head of the CIA or other high positions. The whole thing is so vacuous. Charlie Rose has had this guy on 11 times in the last two years. They never question the unspoken premises. I mean, Hello? Why does Bashar al-Assad have to go? Is he a threat to the United States? No. Then why does he have to go? It's very simple. The neocons want him to go. Why do the neocons want him to go? The definition of a neocon is somebody who has great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel, on the one hand, and the strategic interests of the United States on the other. Israel wants bedlam in Syria, and they've got it.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Apr 17, 2017] To think how the US is acting different now to the past I would probably point to MH17

Notable quotes:
"... Most US wars since WWII have been wars of choice, done at leisure, in a time and place of US choosing. ..."
"... The difference between now and all the years since WWII, through the cold war and so forth is that the US has very little time left. In trying to think how the US is acting different now to the past, or actually dig up solid points I would probably point to MH17. With MH17 Australia, one of the five eyes gladly sacrificed some people for empire. That shook me. The evidence was the same as the crap dossier on Assad gassing his own people, yet not a word of protest out of any Australian politician. ..."
"... The US now have total and complete control over all its vassal. The US can now say and do anything, no matter how obvious, and the bobble heads as Putin calls them, just bobble their heads in agreement. ..."
www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 3:04:29 PM | 64

@ outraged

I have been giving your posts a lot of consideration. How to tie the logistics and so forth lead time, to what we are seeing take place?

create major incident, congress quickly votes for war?

Can the US deploy faster than we have seen in the past? Most US wars since WWII have been wars of choice, done at leisure, in a time and place of US choosing.

The difference between now and all the years since WWII, through the cold war and so forth is that the US has very little time left. In trying to think how the US is acting different now to the past, or actually dig up solid points I would probably point to MH17. With MH17 Australia, one of the five eyes gladly sacrificed some people for empire. That shook me. The evidence was the same as the crap dossier on Assad gassing his own people, yet not a word of protest out of any Australian politician.

The US now have total and complete control over all its vassal. The US can now say and do anything, no matter how obvious, and the bobble heads as Putin calls them, just bobble their heads in agreement.

I think what we will see in the next few years will be much different to the last 70 or so years. If the US does nothing, it will start to collapse as the power of the dollar is eroded by other currencies taking up market share.

I believe US will act, and that means taking down China as China is currently the number one threat to the US. China simply continuing the way it is, manufacturing, trading ect will take down the US.

The US is going to war. Much thought and training going into fighting peer, or near peer adversary. At the same time, China and Russia are working to prevent the US from going to war.

What you have said about lead time does have to be taken into account to try and work out US strategy. Does the US need another Pearl Harbour to get its population on a war footing for the coming war with China? Sink a few useless aircraft carriers, similar to battleships being sunk at Pearl harbour when WWII was a aircraft carrier war and battle ships were largely obsolete?

US think tanks like Brookings and Rand. Fronts for the 0.01% ? US policy roughly follows the lines put out by these type think tanks.

[Apr 12, 2017] As in Romes latter stages, the ruling class is dominated by sociopaths.

Notable quotes:
"... The people in America generally don't see this whether the reason is apathy, denial, or simply exposure to years of propaganda. ..."
Apr 11, 2017 | thesaker.is
The technical analysis was great, but it's the psychological analysis which explains the danger the world faces. As in Rome's latter stages, the ruling class is dominated by sociopaths. I have the feeling that many in power have the mindset they will either control the world or destroy it rather than compromise.

The people in America generally don't see this whether the reason is apathy, denial, or simply exposure to years of propaganda.

[Apr 08, 2017] Turning the tables: Duma committee to probe US media for meddling in Russian elections

Notable quotes:
"... preemptive retaliation ..."
"... After the end of the US presidential elections, the American politicians who voiced very acute accusations targeting the Russian mass media, proceeded from words to real action ..."
"... Once Reagan, discussing taxes, addressed Americans with 'Read my lips: No ..."
Apr 08, 2017 | www.rt.com
The State Duma Committee for Information Policy, IT and Communications has decided to hold an investigation into the work of Western media outlets in order to examine possible attempts to influence election processes in Russia. The head of the committee, MP Leonid Levin (Fair Russia) told TASS that he and his colleagues would soon hold a special session with analysts and experts, at which they intend to look into the activities of such mass media organizations as CNN, Radio Liberty and Voice of America. Read my lips: NO – Putin says about Russia's 'meddling' in US elections

The idea to launch a probe was proposed by MP Konstantin Zatulin of the majority United Russia party. In an attachment to the protocol letter, the lawmaker described the motion as " preemptive retaliation ."

" After the end of the US presidential elections, the American politicians who voiced very acute accusations targeting the Russian mass media, proceeded from words to real action ," Zatulin wrote.

This action includes, for example, a bill that gives Justice Department additional authority to investigate RT America for possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, drafted recently by Democratic Party Senator Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire). Shaheen said in press comments that her bill was a response to a report from the director of national intelligence about Russian influence in the 2016 election.

Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations of its role in the last US presidential elections. Most recently the rumors were dismissed by President Vladimir Putin as he spoke to journalists during the Arctic Forum in late March.

" Once Reagan, discussing taxes, addressed Americans with 'Read my lips: No !'" Putin said, answering a question posed by the anchor of the forum.

[Apr 07, 2017] Ukraine BUK battery passing theorugh north Donetsk April 2014.

Apr 07, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
HowdyDoody -> Volkodav , Apr 6, 2017 4:18 PM

The news of the 'attack' has wiped other news off the front page. Bellingcat has just released a report with videos and photos of whole Ukrainian BUK batteries around Donetsk from April 2014 up to a few days before the shooting down of MH-17. The Ukrainians have always claimed they had no BUKs in the eara, so it must have been a Russian system, for which they created an elaborate tale of BUKs on tour.

This report destroys the whole Ukraine narrative. The Ukraine media are all over it. Where's the coverage in the western media?

Ukraine BUK battery passing theorugh north Donetsk April 2014.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrfRQqXeg14

https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&ie=UTF...

[Apr 06, 2017] Since the turn of the century, the U.S. has dumped trillions of dollars into wars

Notable quotes:
"... It is understandable why so many are angry at the leaders of America's institutions, including businesses, schools and governments," Dimon, 61, summarized. "This can understandably lead to disenchantment with trade, globalization and even our free enterprise system, which for so many people seems not to have worked. ..."
Apr 06, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
im1dc

, April 05, 2017 at 10:16 AM
"Dimon Warns 'Something Is Wrong' With the U.S."

Do you agree with Jamie Dimon assessment of the USA?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-04/dimon-still-optimistic-warns-something-is-wrong-with-u-s

"Dimon Warns 'Something Is Wrong' With the U.S."

by Laura J Keller...April 4, 2017

"JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has two big pronouncements as the Trump administration starts reshaping the government: "The United States of America is truly an exceptional country," and "it is clear that something is wrong."

Dimon, leader of world's most valuable bank and a counselor to the new president, used his 45-page annual letter to shareholders on Tuesday to list ways America is stronger than ever -- before jumping into a much longer list of self-inflicted problems that he said was "upsetting" to write.

Here's the start: Since the turn of the century, the U.S. has dumped trillions of dollars into wars, piled huge debt onto students, forced legions of foreigners to leave after getting advanced degrees, driven millions of Americans out of the workplace with felonies for sometimes minor offenses and hobbled the housing market with hastily crafted layers of rules.

Dimon, who sits on Donald Trump's business forum aimed at boosting job growth, is renowned for his optimism and has been voicing support this year for parts of the president's business agenda. In February, Dimon predicted the U.S. would have a bright economic future if the new administration carries out plans to overhaul taxes, rein in rules and boost infrastructure investment. In an interview last month, he credited Trump with boosting consumer and business confidence in growth, and reawakening "animal spirits."

But on Tuesday, reasons for concern kept coming. Labor market participation is low, Dimon wrote. Inner-city schools are failing poor kids. High schools and vocational schools aren't providing skills to get decent jobs. Infrastructure planning and spending is so anemic that the U.S. hasn't built a major airport in more than 20 years. Corporate taxes are so onerous it's driving capital and brains overseas. Regulation is excessive.

" It is understandable why so many are angry at the leaders of America's institutions, including businesses, schools and governments," Dimon, 61, summarized. "This can understandably lead to disenchantment with trade, globalization and even our free enterprise system, which for so many people seems not to have worked. "...

pgl -> im1dc... , April 05, 2017 at 10:16 AM
I meant my last comment to be a reply. No - there is a lot that Dimon said that I cannot agree with.
pgl , April 05, 2017 at 10:49 AM
"Inner-city schools are failing poor kids. High schools and vocational schools aren't providing skills to get decent jobs. Infrastructure planning and spending is so anemic that the U.S. hasn't built a major airport in more than 20 years. Corporate taxes are so onerous it's driving capital and brains overseas. Regulation is excessive."

Let's unpack his list. The 4th (last) sentence is his hope that his bank can back to the unregulated regime that brought us the Great Recession. His 3rd sentence is a call for more tax cuts for the rich.

We may like his first 2 sentences here but who is going to pay for this? Not Jamie Dimon. See sentence #3.

DrDick -> pgl... , April 05, 2017 at 11:18 AM
He also seems to falsely imply that the people associated with capital actually have functioning brains.

[Apr 04, 2017] Drones, special operations, CIA arms supplies, military advisers, aerial bombings - the whole nine yards.

Apr 04, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
RGC , April 04, 2017 at 07:42 AM
US Military Should Get Out of the Middle East Jeffrey Sachs, Boston Globe

It's time to end US military engagements in the Middle East.

Drones, special operations, CIA arms supplies, military advisers, aerial bombings - the whole nine yards. Over and done with.

That might seem impossible in the face of ISIS, terrorism, Iranian ballistic missiles, and other US security interests, but a military withdrawal from the Middle East is by far the safest path for the United States and the region. That approach has instructive historical precedents.

America has been no different from other imperial powers in finding itself ensnared repeatedly in costly, bloody, and eventually futile overseas wars. From the Roman empire till today, the issue is not whether an imperial army can defeat a local one. It usually can, just as the United States did quickly in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.

The issue is whether it gains anything by doing so. Following such a "victory," the imperial power faces unending heavy costs in terms of policing, political instability, guerilla war, and terrorist blowback.

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/04/03/us-military-should-get-out-middle-east

anne -> RGC... , April 04, 2017 at 08:42 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/27/magazine/the-empire-slinks-back.html

April 27, 2003

The Empire Slinks Back
By NIALL FERGUSON

Wheresoever the Roman conquers, he inhabits. -- Seneca

Iraq has fallen. Saddam's statues are face down in the dust. His evil tyranny is at an end.

So -- can we, like, go home now?

You didn't have to wait long for a perfect symbol of the fundamental weakness at the heart of the new American imperialism -- sorry, humanitarianism. I'm talking about its chronically short time frame. I wasn't counting, but the Stars and Stripes must have been up there on the head of that statue of Saddam for less than a minute. You have to wonder what his commanding officer said to the marine responsible, Cpl. Edward Chin, when he saw Old Glory up there. ''Son, get that thing down on the double, or we'll have every TV station from here to Bangladesh denouncing us as Yankee imperialists!''

An echo of Corporal Chin's imperial impulse can be heard in the last letter Cpl. Kemaphoom Chanawongse sent home before he and his Marine unit entered Iraq. Chanawongse joked that his camp in Kuwait was like something out of ''M*A*S*H'' -- except that it would need to be called ''M*A*H*T*S*F'': ''marines are here to stay forever.''

But the question raised by Corporal Chanawongse's poignant final joke -- he was killed a week later, when his amphibious assault vehicle was blown up in Nasiriya -- is, Are the marines in Iraq ''to stay forever''? No doubt it is true, as President Bush said, that the America will ''honor forever'' Corporal Chanawongse and the more than 120 other service personnel so far killed in the conflict. Honored forever, yes. But there forever? In many ways the biggest mystery about the American occupation of Iraq is its probable duration. Recent statements by members of the Bush administration bespeak a time frame a lot closer to ephemeral than eternal. As the president himself told the Iraqi people in a television broadcast shortly after the fall of Baghdad: ''The government of Iraq and the future of your country will soon belong to you. . . . We will respect your great religious traditions, whose principles of equality and compassion are essential to Iraq's future. We will help you build a peaceful and representative government that protects the rights of all citizens. And then our military forces will leave.''

What the president didn't make entirely clear was whether the departing troops would be accompanied by the retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner and his ''Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance,'' newspeak for what would once have been called Omgus -- the Office of Military Government (United States). Nor was he very specific about when exactly he expected to see the handover of power to the ''peaceful and representative government'' of Iraqis.

But we know the kind of time frame the president has in mind. In a prewar speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Bush declared, ''We will remain in Iraq as long as necessary and not a day more.'' It is striking that the unit of measure he used was days. Speaking less than a week before the fall of Baghdad, Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense, suggested that Garner would be running Iraq for at least six months. Other administration spokesmen have mentioned two years as the maximum transition period. When Garner himself was asked how long he expected to be in charge, he talked about just three months.

If -- as more and more commentators claim -- America has embarked on a new age of empire, it may turn out to be the most evanescent empire in all history. Other empire builders have fantasized about ruling subject peoples for a thousand years. This is shaping up to be history's first thousand-day empire. Make that a thousand hours.

Let me come clean. I am a fully paid-up member of the neoimperialist gang. Two years ago -- when it was not at all fashionable to say so -- I was already arguing that it would be ''desirable for the United States to depose'' tyrants like Saddam Hussein. ''Capitalism and democracy,'' I wrote, ''are not naturally occurring, but require strong institutional foundations of law and order. The proper role of an imperial America is to establish these institutions where they are lacking, if necessary . . . by military force.'' ...

[Apr 03, 2017] Globalists who express the interests of transnational corporations and world financial organisations vs populists who express the interests of the people in their countries

Apr 03, 2017 | thesaker.is
Question: Today we see a growing split of the world political elites. There are globalists who express the interests of transnational corporations and world financial organisations and there is a new political concept, the so-called populists who express the interests of the people in their countries. A vivid example is the election of US President Donald Trump, and there are a number of other political leaders who are seen as fringe politicians in the West, for example Marine Le Pen. Given this, it is not by chance that Russia is seen as a leader in half of the world. Is this view justified? Can we talk about a future victory for one of these ideologies? How would this influence today's world order?

Sergey Lavrov: I wouldn't call Donald Trump or Marine Le Pen "fringe politicians" if only because they absolutely fit into the principles that underlie the functioning of the American and French states. Marine Le Pen is a European member of parliament and her party is active in the national parliament. Donald Trump has been elected in full accordance with the American constitution, with its two-level indirect system of electing the president. I would not even call them populists. The word "populist" has a negative connotation. You said interestingly that populists are those who represent the people. There are nuances in the interpretation of the word "populist." In modern Russian it tends to be applied to people who go into politics, but do not bear the responsibility for their words and just seek to lure voters. A populist is someone who might promise to triple wages while the budget absolutely cannot support it, etc. So I would rather call them realists or anti-globalists, if you like. Having said that, anti-globalists are also associated with hooligans who try to disrupt the G20 and G7 summits, and so on. Come to think of it, even now that the new president of the world's largest power has declared that it is necessary to think not of global expansion, but of how America lives, the role of globalists will be changing. American corporations have already demanded a reduction in manufacturing in developing countries to move it to the US in order to create jobs there. Granted, this may not be very good news for the consumer because labour is more expensive in the US, so the prices for goods, cars and so on will increase. But this is the trend. In general, President Trump's conceptual slogans during his election campaign to the effect that America should interfere less in the affairs of other countries and address its own issues send a very serious signal to the globalists themselves. Again, up until now the US has been perceived as a symbol of globalism and the expansion of transnational corporations. Those who represent their interests are the huge team that has taken up arms against President Trump and his administration and in general against everything he does, and which tries, in any way possible, to throw a spanner in the works. Something similar things are happening in France where mountains of compromising materials of ten or fifteen years ago have been unearthed which invariably are presented through an "anti-Russia prism." It's been a long time since I've seen such a dirty campaign when at stake are the concepts and ideas of how to develop the state and their country, and a smear war is being waged. We had this not so long ago, and I don't see anything good about it.

In parallel the global market and the global trade system are being reappraised through the actions and statements of the new US administration. As you know, they have walked away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and said they would work through regional and bilateral agreements. We believe, though, that the World Trade Organisation which it took us such a long time to join did provide a common umbrella for world trade. Some regional structures could be built into these universal systems so as not to break the ties with the non-members of these regional organisations to maintain some common contact and exchanges through the WTO. That too is now under threat. So, we are in a period of rethinking our approaches, and I don't think it has everything to do with Trump. These changes have been brewing; otherwise the American position on so many issues could not have changed so abruptly. They were long in coming, and the WTO was in a major crisis when the Western countries categorically refused to listen to the leading developing countries on a range of issues connected with investment, financial services, etc.

I wouldn't say that there are globalists and populists. There are simply people who want to get elected and follow a well-trodden path and preserve the neoliberal structures that are all over the place in the West, and then there are people who see the neoliberalism and permissiveness which are part of the neoliberal approach as a threat to their societies, traditions and cultures. This is accompanied by philosophical reflections and practical discussions of what to do about the problem of illegal migrants, their own roots and religions, whether it is politically correct to remind people that you are an Orthodox or Catholic or whether you should forget about religion altogether. I have said more than once that the European Union wanted to adopt a constitution many years ago and was drafting it. The commission was headed by Giscard d'Estaing and he proposed a very simple sentence about Europe having Christian roots. He was prevented from doing so on the grounds that it would not be politically correct and would insult the Muslims. In reality it turns out that if you are cautious about making your religious roots known you end up not caring about the religious roots of others and the consequences are not usually good. Therefore, at the UN and UNESCO, we actively support all the initiatives that are particularly relevant today: the Dialogue of Civilisations, the Dialogue of Cultures and the Dialogue of Religions. It is not by chance that they have become topical issues on the agenda because they reflect the fermentation within societies and the need to somehow search for a national consensus.

[Apr 03, 2017] Recent experience shows that, in terms of the damage they cause, aggressive actions in the media at times have consequences similar to the use of weapons of mass destruction

Apr 03, 2017 | thesaker.is

Question : Recent experience shows that, in terms of the damage they cause, aggressive actions in the media at times have consequences similar to the use of weapons of mass destruction. In your opinion, isn't it time, at the UN, in the format of bilateral ties with other states, to move forward with drafting and signing a comprehensive treaty in this field, similar to strategic arms limitation treaties?

Sergey Lavrov : We've been working on this for several years now. Russia put forward an initiative that became known at the UN as International Information Security [Initiative]. It has been a subject of independent resolutions at a number of UN General Assembly sessions. While initially these resolutions were rejected by some of our Western partners, in recent years resolutions related to the UN contribution to international information security have been adopted unanimously.

Several years ago, a group of government experts was set up. It drafted a report that was approved by consensus at the UN General Assembly. The General Assembly expressed support for continuing this effort in the context of identifying specific cyberspace risks at present. Another government expert group was also formed, which is beginning to work. It is meant to prepare specific proposals in one and a half years.

I'd like to say right away that despite the apparently constructive participation of all states in this discussion, we are aware of the desire [of certain states] to limit themselves to discussions and not reach practical international legal agreements. So, alongside the work that I just mentioned, Russia and its partners, in particular in the SCO, have drafted a document entitled Code of Conduct for Cyberspace. It was also distributed at the UN and is designed to promote targeted dialogue on the legal aspects of this problem. Overall, we believe (and we have already submitted this proposal) that it is time to draft an international convention on cyber security, including the elimination of threats and risks related to hacking. We were the first to propose penalising and banning hacking within the framework of international law. We will see how those who are accusing Russian hackers of seeking to blow up the world in the style of James Bond will respond to this.

There is another important topic related to these issues. It concerns internet governance. For several years now a discussion on the democratisation of the internet and internet governance has been ongoing at the International Telecommunication Union. A very serious ideological struggle, if you will, is under way. Some people are upholding free market principles but there are also those who believe that farming out the internet to the free market is tantamount to giving it away to just one country. In this context, serious debate lies ahead.

We see all these problems. The majority of countries agree on the need to enforce some generally acceptable order. Focused work is under way but it is too early to expect any results yet.

[Apr 03, 2017] The United States started using the so called managed chaos technology long ago

Notable quotes:
"... The concept of managed chaos appeared long ago as a method of strengthening US influence. Its basic premise is that managed chaos projects should be launched away from the United States in regions that are crucial for global economic and financial development. The Middle East has always been in the focus of politicians and foreign policy engineers in Washington. Practice has shown that this concept is dangerous and destructive, in particular for the countries where the experiment was launched, namely Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan. ..."
"... we have proposed that the UN General Assembly formalise the universal unacceptability of coups as a means of changing government. ..."
"... Last autumn, a resolution was adopted at the initiative of a large group of co-authors – our Cuban colleagues were among the most active advocates of this idea, alongside other countries. ..."
"... This resolution recognised the importance of creating a more democratic and equitable world order and openly rejected the change of governments through unconstitutional coups and attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of states and to impose alien ideas and values on them as unacceptable. It is also unacceptable when national jurisdictions are applied extraterritorially, when a country hunts down other countries' legal entities and nationals around the world even though they have not violated international law but are believed to have violated the national legislation of the said country. Three countries voted against this resolution and a few dozen countries – mostly Western ones – abstained. The resolution was adopted by a far larger vote than some other resolutions that our Western partners like to quote ..."
thesaker.is

Question: The United States started using the so-called managed chaos technology long ago. What can be used to counter such technology on the international scale? Is there a response to the concept of global stability and security management? Which countries could potentially initiate this project?

Sergey Lavrov: The concept of managed chaos appeared long ago as a method of strengthening US influence. Its basic premise is that managed chaos projects should be launched away from the United States in regions that are crucial for global economic and financial development. The Middle East has always been in the focus of politicians and foreign policy engineers in Washington. Practice has shown that this concept is dangerous and destructive, in particular for the countries where the experiment was launched, namely Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan.

In the case of Afghanistan, the United States launched its operation there with international support following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The UN Security Council unanimously confirmed the US right to self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter. The US operation against the Taliban and al-Qaeda was supported by all countries. It's another matter that after receiving the international approval, the United States and its NATO allies, which took over in Afghanistan, started acting rather inconsistently, to put it mildly. During their operation in Afghanistan, the terrorist threat has not been rooted out, while the drug threat has increased many times over. The drug industry prospered. There is factual evidence that some of the NATO contingents in Afghanistan turned a blind eye to the illegal drug trafficking, even if they were not directly involved in these criminal schemes. Afghanistan is a separate case, although the current developments there, which are a result of the NATO operation's failure, despite the carte blanche the bloc received from the international community, can be considered an unintended cause of managed chaos. In Iraq, Syria and Libya, this chaos was created intentionally.

I have also mentioned Yemen. The situation there can be described as a huge humanitarian catastrophe. It is not at the top of the international agenda, for some reason, although representatives of the UN Secretariat who are responsible for humanitarian affairs have described the situation in Yemen as the "largest humanitarian crisis in the world", larger than in Syria or Iraq. Responsible politicians have come to see that the managed chaos theory is destroying life in many regions. Some parties can benefit in the short term from fluctuations on the raw materials markets provoked by the revolutions orchestrated by external forces, but this theory ultimately backfires at its engineers and executors in the form of massive migration inflows, which terrorists use to enter these countries.

We can see this in Europe. Terrorist attacks have been staged even in the United States.

The Atlantic Ocean has not protected it from the terrorist threat. This is the boomerang effect. Serious people are coming to see this. Reliance on international law is the only weapon against this threat. The UN Charter offers the necessary tools for this. Military force can only be used by decision of the UN Security Council, or a country can resort to anticipatory self-defence in keeping with the spirit of the UN Charter when an armed attack is imminent and inevitable.

Russia acts in keeping with these premises in its relations with other countries. China, India, Brazil and the majority of other countries share this view.

There is one more thing connected with the issue of managed chaos and its consequences.

The policy of countries in Africa and Latin America, as well as their regional organisations – the African Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) – is based on a formal principle on the unacceptability of the unconstitutional change of power via a coup d'état. Since this danger is not purely African or Latin American (we have seen it surface in other parts of the world), we have proposed that the UN General Assembly formalise the universal unacceptability of coups as a means of changing government.

Last autumn, a resolution was adopted at the initiative of a large group of co-authors – our Cuban colleagues were among the most active advocates of this idea, alongside other countries.

This resolution recognised the importance of creating a more democratic and equitable world order and openly rejected the change of governments through unconstitutional coups and attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of states and to impose alien ideas and values on them as unacceptable. It is also unacceptable when national jurisdictions are applied extraterritorially, when a country hunts down other countries' legal entities and nationals around the world even though they have not violated international law but are believed to have violated the national legislation of the said country. Three countries voted against this resolution and a few dozen countries – mostly Western ones – abstained. The resolution was adopted by a far larger vote than some other resolutions that our Western partners like to quote, for example the resolution on the violation of human rights in Crimea.

[Apr 02, 2017] With the emergence of globalization, the term comprador denote trading groups and classes in the developing world that benefit and prefer subordinate relationships with metropolitan capital

Apr 02, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
libezkova -> pgl... , April 01, 2017 at 01:55 PM
"Trump is Yeltsin American style."

Nothing can be more wrong that this statement. This is an absurd statement to say the least.

Yeltsin was a comprador, member of Russian "lumpen elite". Trump is more of economic nationalist.

See

Rise of the lumpen elite: is this really what we fought for? Published on openDemocracy

https://opendemocracy.net/printpdf/62166

Yeltsin sold Russian industry to foreigh interests for pennies on a dollar. Gave up natural resposes for peanuts, on essentially colonial terms. That how Us oil companies got to Sakhalin island.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakhalin-II

The first ever Russian production sharing agreement was signed in the framework of the Sakhalin-2 project in 1994.

In foreign policy Yeltsin behaves like a drunk puppet of Clinton. His foreign minister Kozirev ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrei_Kozyrev ) was nicknamed by US press "Mister Yes".

anne -> libezkova... , April 01, 2017 at 02:14 PM
"Trump is Yeltsin American style."

Nothing can be more wrong that this statement. This is an absurd statement to say the least.

Yeltsin was a comprador, member of Russian "lumpen elite".

[ Do explain this further when possible. ]

anne -> anne... , April 01, 2017 at 02:15 PM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprador

A comprador is a "person who acts as an agent for foreign organizations engaged in investment, trade, or economic or political exploitation". A comprador is a native manager of European business houses in East and South East Asia, and, by extension, social groups that play broadly similar roles in other parts of the world.

anne -> libezkova... , April 01, 2017 at 02:20 PM
The use of emotionally laden jargon would not seem necessary if the point is to allow understanding.

Lumpen-this and Lumpen-that, such terms are of no interest to me.

anne -> anne... , April 01, 2017 at 02:21 PM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumpenbourgeoisie

Lumpenbourgeoisie is a term used primarily in the context of colonial and neocolonial elites in Latin America, which became heavily dependent on and supportive of the neocolonial powers.

libezkova -> anne... , April 01, 2017 at 03:52 PM
"Lumpenbourgeoisie" is a more correct term as for Yeltsin entourage then "lumpen elite". Sorry about that.

But "comprador" also is a legitimate term for describing this phenomena. It originated in Marxism and means "groups and classes in the developing world in subordinate to imperial power interests"

== quote from Wikipedia ==

In Marxism, the term comprador bourgeoisie was later applied to similar trading-class in regions outside of East Asia.[5][6][7][8]

With the emergence (or re-emergence) of globalization, the term comprador has reentered the lexicon to denote trading groups and classes in the developing world in subordinate but mutually advantageous relationships with metropolitan capital. The Egyptian Marxist Samir Amin has discussed the role of compradors in the contemporary global economy in his recent work.[9] In addition, the Indian economist, Ashok Mitra, has accused the owners and managers of firms attached to the Indian software industry of being compradors.[10] Growing identification of the software industry in India with comprador 'qualities' has led to the labeling of certain persons associated with the industry as 'dot.compradors'.[11]

== end of quote ==


But meaning all those terms is essentially the same -- part of the elite acting not in interests of the county, but some imperial foreign powers and content with neo-colonial role of their country.

In some sense neoliberal governments also can be called "lumpen elite" as they are subservient to transnational corporations, not so much interests of their own country population.

pgl -> libezkova... , April 01, 2017 at 03:09 PM
Yeltsin sold Russian industry to foreigh interests for pennies on a dollar.

True but me thinks Trump will do the same.

libezkova -> pgl... , April 01, 2017 at 04:40 PM
Future is unpredictable by definition.

But I would draw analogies between Weimar government and Yeltsin regime. In both case countries faced huge financial outflows (reparations in one case, "economic rape" in another), hyperinflation, mass impoverishment of population, disappearance of middle class, and high unemployment.

To a certain extent that was true about Obama regime in 2008-2010.

Yeltin Russia was really a "failed country". Government employees and government workers were not paid for many months, average longevity for males dropped below 60. And Russian neoliberals (such as Yegor Gaidar( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yegor_Gaidar an object of loathing among ordinary Russians who lost everything during the neoliberal privatization, Anatoly Chubais -- the most hated person in Russia, oligarchs such as Berezovsky, Gusinsky ) who came to power with Yeltsin tried to ally with foreign powers in order to secure what they stole from Russian people. Rephrasing Obama, only the USA stand between them and pitchforks. BTW Chubais is (or was) a member of the Advisory Council for JPMorgan.

It rather funny and tragic that criminals that stole money from Russians and than managed to escape to the West with their money already in Western banks instantly become fighters for democracy -- I would call this "Classic Neoliberal Metamorphose" (CMM). Berezovsky is one example here. Very convenient, useful for the pressure on Russian government, and you do not return the money :-)

A very interesting variant of the "rule of law".

In a sense Trump is more similar to Putin than Yeltsin. Both accidentally came to power on the wave of dis-illusion of the mass of population in previous administration and dramatic loss of "good" jobs.

ilsm -> libezkova... , April 01, 2017 at 03:53 PM
Libezkova you should follow David Warsh who runs Economic Principals blog which Professor Thoma links from here.

Warsh is writing a history of the US delegation, many from Harvard, who plundered Russia's attempt to build a stock exchange, etc.

[Apr 02, 2017] Barack Obamas theory of politics is and always has been garbage

Apr 02, 2017 | theweek.com
ny Ryan Cooper

The absolute nadir of Obama's presidency was the moment he chose to try to negotiate with Republicans over the debt ceiling (which limits the amount the federal government can borrow) to try to get a "grand bargain" on taxes and social insurance. If Republicans would agree to some tax hikes, he would get Democrats to support large cuts to Social Security and Medicare. This was stone idiocy on several levels: It accepted the legitimacy of Republicans taking the debt ceiling hostage - thus threatening national default and world financial crisis - to extract unrelated policy concessions; and as policy it was actively harmful. The narrative of looming debt crisis due to excessively generous social insurance was and is despicable garbage - and austerity and cuts to social insurance were the exact opposite of what was needed in July 2011, when the unemployment rate was 9.0 percent .

Obama was so enamored of the idea of being the president who finally cut through the partisan gridlock that he nearly undermined two of the country's most foundational programs. The only reason the grand bargain didn't pass was that the extremist faction of House Republicans refused to countenance any tax increases whatsoever .

After that humiliating failure, Obama retreated somewhat from trying to get compromises. Locked out of traditional governing, but still needing to address emergencies like climate change, he ended up resorting to a lot of unilateral executive orders.

But it seems this was merely a tactical retreat. In his 2015 State of the Union address , and again at the 2016 Democratic National Convention , he once more sounded the same anti-partisan notes of compromise and reasoned discussion. And as Jeff Stein reports after interviewing multiple top figures in Obama circles, the former president is preparing to redouble his anti-partisan efforts with a new foundation dedicated towards a rather content-free notion of "citizenship." This was also one major reason why Obama installed his loyal follower Tom Perez at the DNC - because he could liberate "himself from having to personally respond to Trump over the next several years" and thus stay above the partisan fray.

Now, as Steve Randy Waldman writes , it's not wrong to believe that a nation-state needs a basic commonality of belief and fellow feeling among the citizenry to succeed. Tying the nation together with cords of mutual dependence is one underrated function of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, for instance. But when confronted with a political faction fanatically dedicated to cutting those cords, the right approach is not to keep reaching across the aisle to get tased. Instead, as FDR showed when New Deal Democrats constructed the basic structure of modern American society, one must comprehensively defeat that faction politically, over and over, until their views are exiled from the political mainstream. With agreement again defined along reasonable lines, civil political discourse will flourish once more.

But until then, it's fight or lose.

Ryan Cooper is a national correspondent at TheWeek.com. His work has appeared in the Washington Monthly, The New Republic, and the Washington Post.

[Apr 01, 2017] There some signes the quite coup happened under Obama and the remnants of democracy were lost

Notable quotes:
"... The Obama era looks like an echo of the Federalist power grabs of the 1780's and 1790's both in its enrichment and glorification of financial elites and its open disdain for anything resembling true economic democracy ..."
Apr 01, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
juliania, March 31, 2017 at 9:53 pm

Thank you, thank you, Lambert, for that excellent Matt Stoller piece ( https://thebaffler.com/salvos/hamilton-hustle-stoller ). At the risk of repeating what others I hope have already read, this stood out for me:

As economist Simon Johnson pointed out in a 2009 essay in The Atlantic titled "The Quiet Coup," what the bailouts truly represented was the seizure of political power by a small group of American financiers. Just as in the founding era, we saw a massive foreclosure crisis and the evisceration of the main source of middle class wealth. A bailout, similar to one that created the national debt, ensured that wealth would be concentrated in the hands of a small group. The Citizens United decision and the ever-increasing importance of money in politics have strong parallels to the property disenfranchisement along class lines that occurred in the post-Revolutionary period. Just as turnout fell to record lows in much of the country in 2014, turnout collapsed after the rebellions were put down. And in another parallel, Occupy Wall Street protesters camped out across the country were evicted by armed guards-a martial response coordinated by banks, the federal government, and many Democratic mayors.

The Obama era looks like an echo of the Federalist power grabs of the 1780's and 1790's both in its enrichment and glorification of financial elites and its open disdain for anything resembling true economic democracy "

The parallels he draws are irrefutable.

[Apr 01, 2017] US neocons have a hard time coming to terms with a multi-lateral world. Still detente offered to Russia is likely to be conditioned on pulling Russia out of Chinas orbit and accepting Us terms in Syria

Apr 01, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 31, 2017 3:08:38 PM | 17

b's quote from Obama is from January 2016. I don't think Obama was EVER serious about fighting ISIS. He helped to create ISIS when he ignored their rise, calling them al Queda's "JV team". He confirmed his support for ISIS with his "leading from behind" policy.

In January 2016, the US was starting the charade of separating moderate rebels. We know how that farce turned out.

Even after the San Bernardino (Dec. 2015) and Orlando (Jun. 2016) terror attacks - attributed to ISIS - nothing really changed. For Obama it was business as usual.

Trump initiated talks between US military command and Russians for the first time since 2014. Gen. Dunford met with Gen. Gerasimov in Feb. 2017. We now see Israel stepping up operations in Syria as a result of US pulling back from the failed 'Assad must go!' policy.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Has there been any real change or just a hiatus? I don't think we'll know until Trump meets with Putin.

Many in the US (esp. neocons) will have a hard time coming to terms with a multi-lateral world. Whatever peace is offered to Russia is likely to be conditioned on pulling Russia out of China's orbit.

Hayder | Mar 31, 2017 1:17:42 PM | 1
I'm sorry about this long contribution, but as I was writing this, more information and ideas came to hand.


Iraqi situation:


Recently, Iraqi PM Al-Abadi met with President Trump in the White House.

As well as the usual niceties of a meeting between two heads of state in Washington, the meeting centred around three main areas where the US has objectives that need to be address by their Iraqi counterparts:​


1) The Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU): These forces must be disbanded, and are seen as a stumbling block in the face of US objectives in Iraq and the wider region. There has been some indications that PM Al-Abadi will disband them after the elimination of Daesh/ISIS, allowing those that wish to remain to be integrated into the Iraqi security apparatus and disbanding those that do not. This is the "objective", but whether Al-Abadi can deliver is an entirely different matter. Already, Iraqi members of parliament have come out in protest at there mere possibility of the disbandment of the PMU, stating that the PM does not have the legal authority to disband them, and it needs parliamentary approval, where any MP voting for this will be committing political suicide due to the popularity the the PMU among ordinary Iraqis.


2) Permanent american Bases in Iraq and increasing the number of troops in the country: This is a big issue for President Trump. During his presidential campaign, he repeatedly stated the need to control Iraqi oil, and stated that leaving Iraq was a mistake. He even said this IN FRONT OF PM Al-Abadi several times.There is also widespread concern amongst Iraqis that the US is on its way back to Iraq, and in large numbers- some report a figure of up to fifty thousand troops, in permanent bases. There is also a very large US military base being build in Al Qayyarah area in Northern Iraq (about half way between Beiji and Mosul), that reports say will equal the size of Incirlik. This is another very "hot" topic in Iraq, and has widespread rejection by the Iraqi people. Once again, Iraqi MPs state that Al-Abadi DOES NOT have legal authority to allow permanent bases or keep foreign troops permanently in Iraq, and that such a step would need approval by parliament. Again, any MP voting for this will be committing political suicide. There is genuine fear amongst Iraqis about the situation "after" Daesh/ISIS. The concern is, that in the event the Government DOES NOT cede to the will of the US, and approve bases and troops etc.. there will be a dramatic political change, either in the form of a coup, or declaration of a state of emergency, through which special measures will take place. There is also talk of appointing a military governor for the mainly Sunni provinces of Nainawa, Salahuldeen (Saladin) and Anbar- a de facto state within a state- this could link up with Eastern Syria (see bellow).


3) Moving Iraq away from Iran and closer to the Saudi "camp". The recent visit to Iraq by the Saudi Foreign Minister has been well covered. There was also a meeting between the Iraqi PM and the Saudi King on the 29th on March. Al-Abadi's speech at the Heads of State of the Arab League in Jordan (29th March) was notable in that it was close to the Saudi position on several topics: a) His statement did not mention Syria, b) It stated that Iraq will "expel ISIS outside Iraq" { ?into Syria as per the objectives of others wishing to topple the Syrian state}, c) Is stressed the need for a unified Arab front against threats to Iraqi sovereignty, or the sovereignty of any Arab nation {reference to alleged Iranian interference in the region}. On the face of it, it seems that Iraq is moving away from Iran and edging closer to the Saudi camp, albeit slowly, but this is purely at the level of the current Iraqi government. I think efforts to distance Iraq from Iran and closer to Saudi Arabia will ultimately fail, for two reasons:


Firstly, The vast majority of Iraqi people view Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf Monarchies very negatively. Unlike Iraqi politicians, who will certainly have some personal gains from closer ties with Saudi Arabia, Iraqi people are unwilling to just "forgive and forget" how the Saudis and others persistently conspired against the Iraqi people over the years. It was the Saudis and other Gulf States who supported Saddam Hussein and his regime, which oppressed Iraqis terribly, they supported him to the tune of over 200 billion dollars for the war against Iran and persistently opposed the political process since 2003 (and Democracy was NOT the reason!). More recently, the Saudis have been supporting Daesh/ISIS both financially and ideologically. This support has carried on unabated to this day.


Secondly: the links between Iraq and Iran are much closer and deeper than others realise, and including at a cultural, religious and tribal level, and no government can alter that. The only exception to this would be a harsh dictatorial regime, such as that of Saddam Hussein, whereby government policy had absolutely no relation to Iraqi public opinion, and was simply a tool for carrying out the wishes of the "Dear Leader".


Other Iraq developments:


A) PMU still barred from entering Tel Afar. The Iraqi government has succumbed to pressure from Turkey to prevent Tal Afar from being liberated, with a threat of invasion by a Turkish force stationed at the boarder town of Silopi should the PMUs enter Tel Afar.


B) Rumours that Daesh/ISIS evacuating injured/ getting supplies from through a corridor to the North of Mosul, via Masoud Barzani controlled territory / Turkey, and plans are to slow down the Iraqi advance long enough for the majority of Daesh/ISIS forces to evacuate into Syria. The route takes them through Tell Kayf and Batnay (see Southfront mosul situation update map 31 March https://southfront.org/military-situation-in-mosul-on-march-31-2017-iraqi-map-update/ ).

Syria situation:


With the ongoing advance towards Raqqa by US/SDF forces, the bid event recently was the surprise Tabqa operation. It is notable that the airborne landings in Tabqa by a small US/SDF force occurred with relatively little resistance from Daesh/ISIS, with few casualties. Some have concluded that the majority of ISIS had already withdrawn. Contrast this with the Ithriyah-Raqqa offensive carried out by the Syrian Arab Army in 2016, whereby the SAA suffered heavy casualties and resulted in Daesh/ISIS gains. There are also reports of a rapid withdraw on ISIS from East As-Suwayda to reinforce strength in Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and As-Sukhnah.


The US/SDF landings in Tabqa aimed at achieving several objectives. The most important is blocking the path of the Syrian army and allies from Reqqa.

If/when US/SDF forces defeat Daesh/ISIS in Reqqa , they will have virtual control of the whole of Eastern Syria, save for three pockets of SAA control in Qamishli, Hasakah and Deir Ezzur, as well as some areas where Daesh/ISIS will remain.

The Eastern part of Syria is where the baulk of the oil and gas is located as well as being the agricultural heartland of the country. The US secretary of State, Tillerson stated that the the US longer sees toppling President Assad as a primary objective. This may be the case (for now), but on the ground, events are such that Syria is being divided into regions of influence whereby the Damascus Government no longer has authority over large swathes of it. We are witnessing a de facto federalisation of Syria, with the Eastern part no longer under the rule of Damascus, and in effect a US protectorate, with troops on the ground. The creation of this "region" also serves another critical US objective in the region - it acts as a "wall" separating Iran & "Shia" Iraq from the Government of Syria and Lebanon. There are whispers that parts of Western Iraq will be added to this new entity in a "redrawing" of the political maps in the region. As stated in a previous post of mine, I believe that Daesh/ISIS will concentrate its forces in Deir Ezzor after its defeat in Raqqa, for a final "showdown" with other forces. It will likely face both US/SDF and Syrian/Russian forces there, but time will tell.


Turkey announced the Euphrates Shield has concluded. Turkey has managed to split the two areas of Kurdish influence in Syria, but I believe the operation was concluded as there was no more room for Turkey to move, rather than by choice. Erdogan has finally got a foothold in Norther Syria. Could this area now be used to house refugees as per "safe zones" advocated by Turkey, Saudi and now the new US administration?

Arab Summit:

Some are sating that the recent summit of the Arabs Heads of State held in Jordan on March 29th marked the unofficial start of the "Arab NATO" to face Iran. There was the usual anti-Iran rhetoric from the "usual suspects" but Iraq was usually cold towards Iran. The question of Palestine was high on the agenda at the summit, but it is thought that this is merely being used as a tool to provide "political cover" for the upcoming Sunni NATO, with an expected summit to be held sometime down the line in Washington that will bring together these Arab leaders together with their Israeli counterparts in a public display of a new type alliance between Arabs and Israelis to face the "Iranian threat".


War in Yemen:

There are signs that the US is about to enter the war in Yemen, against the government in Sana'a (Houthi-Saleh alliance). This is seen as a war against Iran in Yemen. There are currently three US destroyers with support vessels in the Red Sea. The is a media storm from the Saudi side regarding the port of Hodeida, and that it is used to smuggle weapons into Yemen, stressing the importance of "taking it out". The next large operation could well be the battle for the West coast of Yemen (on the Red Sea). The Sana'a forces have stated that they will NOT tolerate an attack on Hodeida, and any such action will mean a major escalation on their part. At present, the Sana'a forces have refrained from going deep into Saudi territory- but this could change and their forces may receive the political green light to proceed if Hodeida is attacked.


End in sight in Syria .....?


Things seem to be clearing up in Syria.. Daesh/ISIS is on the ropes, US/SDF making steady progress in the East, and the Syrian army, backed by the Russians is in control of most of the major population areas, and the fact that the US publicly states that removal of Assad is no longer a priority have lead some to argued that it is the beginning of the end.. that the players are making their final touches before a political settlement is reached.. they argue that at the start, the US and its allies wanted regime change by supporting the rebels, and aimed at taking the whole of Syria- this has failed. Now, the US and its allies are involved directly and will settle for a different model, whereby there are regions of influence, a division between the US and Russian Axis. I disagree with this. I think it is still too early, and the US, Turkey, Saudi and other will still relish the overthrow of the Syrian government- and as things stand, they cant do it, but are still open to seizing any opportunity that may present itself in the future to achieve this. That is the only explanation for the lack of full co-ordination between the US and Russia to bring a devastating defeat to Daesh/ISIS, Al-Nusra and groups allied to them. If the US and its allies were serious in accepting what gains they have made, then they would start the full co-ordination of efforts to defeat the extremists with a view of working out a final political settlement. We have to remember that Daesh/ISIS and other groups are only a tool, a means to an end. they are weapons on mass destruction- some may have outlived their usefulness and will need to be exterminated, others still have a role to play.


Its not over yet,. it is not clear what the final outcome for both Iraq and Syria will be after Daesh/ISIS. As regards Syria, I think there is a false sense of security, and the danger to the Syrian government will stem from the South- contrary to expectations.

Hayder, the Iraqi abroad

WorldBLee | Mar 31, 2017 3:12:54 PM | 18
I used to use the term "Obusha" for the hybrid nature of the last two administrations where the Coke/Pepsi branding masked the fact that the core policies were the same. Perhaps "Trama" is the term for the current state where the Washington-Wall Street consensus types scream about how Trump is an abomination while in reality business as usual goes in most areas. Certainly Trama describes the impact on the rest of the world, particularly in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.

Temporarily Sane | Mar 31, 2017 3:14:17 PM | 19
@1 Hayder

Excellent analysis. I wonder what the Iranian, Syrian, Hezbollah reaction will be. Part of Trump's goal, I suspect, is moving Russia away from Iran. There are already points of contention between Russia and Syria/Iran namely that the former has not made the continued unity of Syrian territory a non-negotiable condition. Which begs the question what Russia's actual goals in Syria are.

james | Mar 31, 2017 3:33:23 PM | 20
b - thank you... the only dupes who are going to swallow the change in the words, are the same dupes who believed all the previous lies... meanwhile, until an actual change happens, it will be the same biz as usual from the same group of liars... they must think folks are complete idiots to believe any of their bs!! change my ass... hopey changey, lol...

dh | Mar 31, 2017 1:45:47 PM | 6
Good point b about this being Obama policy but

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/03/31/team-trump-doubles-down-on-obamas-horrendous-betrayal-of-syria

likklemore | Mar 31, 2017 2:00:02 PM | 8
yes b, Haley also said "Assad regime, Iran and Russia committed war crimes"

No, never mind "war crimes" Assad may stay because we failed the regime change thingy after Mr. Putin entered in support of Syria..Bad Putin who hijacked our elections they are no match for us. So, our new focus is North Korea, third world dictator Kim Jung-Un, piece of cake we can readily beat just like we did the Taliban in Afghanistan. Kim Jung's half brother was offed - we will continue to send a message. This time around we really do intend to teach NK people a lesson in democracy and vassalship. See..the USA Sec. of War

In London, Mad-Dog Mattis: "North Korea 'Has Got to Be Stopped"

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/defense-sec-james-mattis-north-korea-has-got-be-stopped-n740966

Mad-Dog is an apt descriptor MAD --setting up the final event for total collapse.
I gotta go buy some supplies: plastic sheeting, duct tape, water and food. Can't afford a luxury underground bunker.

likklemore | Mar 31, 2017 3:02:23 PM | 14
hopehely @ 10

Guess, I should have included the /S tag


Dh @ 12

John McCain loves his friends, ISIS. Here he is outing himself on Hannity Show saying:
"ISIS! not true" "I know these people intimately, I know these people I am in contact with them all the time."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHtS3c5olMY

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
You think?
All doubts of McCain ISIS connection now debunked.

Peter AU | Mar 31, 2017 4:19:29 PM | 22
Temporarily Sane 19 "There are already points of contention between Russia and Syria/Iran namely that the former has not made the continued unity of Syrian territory a non-negotiable condition. Which begs the question what Russia's actual goals in Syria are."

There is the matter of the UNSC resolution, that Russia put up and US agreed to, that Syria retains its territorial integrity.
US may occupy part of Syria for awhile. Nothing Russia can do about that in the short term, short of going to war with the US. Russia is looking at the long term.

Louis Proyect | Mar 31, 2017 5:16:50 PM | 23
Okay, it is now six years and counting. How many years will it take for you to figure out that the USA prefers Assad to the religiously conservative rural poor? Maybe both Obama and Trump took the advice of the RAND corporation:: "Regime collapse, while not considered a likely outcome, was perceived to be the worst possible outcome for U.S. strategic interests"

Yonatan | Mar 31, 2017 5:23:00 PM | 24
Temporarily Sane @19

Russia's primary goal in Syria is to destroy the Islamic terrorists so they can't be sent on to Russia. They have already taken out around 4500 terrorists whose passports show they were from RF states. The Russia media is littered with details of small scale takfiri terrorist acts around the RF southern borders - the biggest most recent was 6 or so taken out on the border to Chechnya.

Secondary goals include the support for primacy of international law relating to national integrity, support for an ally, testing military systems in real conditions and increasing the strength of the multipolar opposition to Anglo-Zionist hegemony.

Harry | Mar 31, 2017 5:38:31 PM | 25
@ Peter AU | 22

There is the matter of the UNSC resolution, that Russia put up and US agreed to, that Syria retains its territorial integrity.

If Kurds get de-facto independence within Syria (according to their manifesto) a la Barzanistan, resolution of "territorial integrity" technically remains intact. Russia could make such concessions (even blasted Assad for desiring to return all of Syria's territory) if only US would agree to barter, so far they didnt (or maybe Trump/Putin already did, who knows). While for Syria/Iran its as bad as it gets.

US may occupy part of Syria for awhile. Nothing Russia can do about that in the short term, short of going to war with the US. Russia is looking at the long term.

US wont be the one occupying, Kurds will (US will just rule them). Do you think Syria will start a war with Kurds (especially under US protection)? Of course not. Kurds expanded their territory 10x (now finishing off ethnic cleansing that ISIS started), occupied as many oilfields as they could.

Kurds themselves are divided, but US will make sure their puppets have the power, while pro-Syrian Kurds will be marginalized or simply killed. The idea that Kurds will come to their senses is slim and most likely wont happen, just look at Barzanistan. Independence US dangling in front of them is powerful motivator, not to speak of how much influence and money US, Israel, monarchies, etc. have.

As for Russia, both short and long term its looking after its own interests, which may or may not be whats the best for Syria. Hence the clashes.

telescope | Mar 31, 2017 10:31:53 PM |