In the Matter of the People vs. Caitlin Johnstone, the Defense Rests.

Uncle Volodya says, “Thus it is that no cruelty whatsoever passes by without impact. Thus it is that we always pay dearly for chasing after what is cheap.”

Many of you will be aware, thanks to comments on this forum or perhaps from your own sources, of the brief suspension of Caitlin Johnstone’s Twitter account, following accusations by that venue that Johnstone was using it to ‘abuse’ John McCain.

Let me state here and now the contempt I have for Twitter as a means of communication. I just don’t get the attraction of it, and although I have a Twitter account myself, I almost never use it. Pretty much only when someone else says something infuriating or stupid – or both – on Twitter, and I can’t address it any other way. Consequently I have only a handful of tweets, and almost no followers. This has led to the smug certainty among my detractors that I am a Kremlin bot and not actually a person, or perhaps one person who manages a ton of accounts, all of which spew Kremlin propaganda the livelong day and try to divert readers from The Spreading Of Truth, as defined by the western supremacists.

A brief diversion here, if you will. The suspension, although temporary, of Ms. Johnstone’s account is coincident with the removal by WordPress of several blogs, which plied a common theme that the shooting deaths of children at Sandy Hook were part of a major hoax by the US government or its corporate backers. I’m afraid I don’t know enough about it and any purported inconsistencies to offer an opinion, although I would lean toward it having actually happened and not being a fake. But that’s not the point. According to Shannon Liao at The Verge, the situation at WordPress reached critical mass because several self-appointed activists persistently called attention to these blogs and WordPress’s stance that they would not be shut down because they did not violate WordPress’s Terms of Service. But the cause was taken up by the New York Times, and WordPress folded and took them down. A great victory for the thought police.

Because further down in that self-righteous piece of garbage was this: “WordPress’ stance is reminiscent of how other social media platforms are currently under fire for arbitrarily determining what policies to enforce and whether to police horrific misinformation or leave it standing. As these issues gain attention, many platforms are putting new measures in place to remove abusive content, but like WordPress, their initial legal groundwork could use more scrutiny.”

Whether to police horrific misinformation. Now, there’s a kristallnachty- sounding phrase if ever I’ve heard one. Because I learned at my mother’s knee that there are two sides to every story, I’ve seen proven examples of the side which now dons the mantle of righteousness caught in blatant lies which it tried to spread by that same unassailable source – the New York Times – and I know that ‘misinformation’ is what the side that doesn’t believe it, or doesn’t want you to believe it, calls everything.  It’s not that there is no such thing as misinformation, or disinformation. There is, and plenty of it, perhaps more of it than there is of the genuine article. But people have a right to make up their own mind what to believe, and it’s never ‘misinformation’ if you can make a convincing case, using verifiable facts and historical performance, that something happened the way you say it did. If the conspiracy theorists can make a convincing case that Sandy Hook was a hoax brought about by cynical manipulators with a sinister agenda, it would be a crime for that information to be arbitrarily removed from public discourse. The ridiculous justification that it misuses images of children without permission is beyond absurd; half the newspapers in the country went with photos of the children on the front page.

Look at the Skripal affair. The British government’s account of what happened is hilariously unconvincing, and the Foreign Minister himself was caught red-handed in a lie of such monstrous proportions that he was hopelessly compromised and his remaining audience of five true believers could no longer take anything he said as factual. Far from the only example of his instinctive lying, I might add. But the British government demands you take them at their word: they can’t show anyone any evidence – ‘coz it’s National Security, innit? – but any alternate narrative other than the official account of what happened is fake news. Horrific misinformation. Any western authority granted the mandate to rule on what is misinformation is going to abuse that power to ensure only its side of a story (which always has at least two) is the one that is heard. Period. You would like to believe they’re above that, but they’re not.

Well, that was a longer diversion than I planned; let’s get back to Caitlin Johnstone. Here’s what she said, in one of those dozy tweets I dislike so much. “Friendly public service reminder that John McCain has devoted his entire political career to slaughtering as many human beings as possible at every opportunity, and the world will be improved when he finally dies”.

I’m sure it was that last bit that sent the ‘fake news’ crowd over the precipice, because we are conditioned as western citizens to never speak ill of the dead, and the prohibition plainly extends to the almost-dead. The Undead, if you prefer. That’s not the first time Ms. Johnstone, who is nothing if not plain-spoken, has expressed the conviction that the expiration of John McCain is an event which is long overdue. It may well be regarded as insensitive, although I honestly cannot disagree with it, as his continued persistence on this mortal coil means a continued manifestation of his malign influence, and he continues to exercise his privilege to speak on behalf of his constituents to vote for the most destructive course every time it is offered as an option.

If I may be allowed one more tiny diversion, one I have certainly advanced before on the unaccountable American fascination with free speech, I believe it bears directly on Ms. Johnstone’s legal right to say insensitive things, according to established legal precedent. On October 18th, 1998, the Westboro Baptist Church – aka Lunatic Space-Cadets Anonymous – picketed the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a gay man who was beaten unconscious, tied to a fence and left for dead by a couple of homophobic assailants, and who died of his injuries. The congregation carried signs which bore such inflammatory slogans as “No Tears for Queers”, “Fag Matt Burns in Hell”, and the more perennial but generalized “God Hates Fags”. No action was taken against the church. The family of a decorated US Marine who died in Iraq later took Westboro Baptist Church to court for their provocative baiting at solemn occasions like their son’s funeral, and lost. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Westboro’s right to free speech did not infringe on the family’s right to conduct a funeral without interference.

So any prohibition on publicly wishing John McCain would cease his irritating evasion of the Grim Reaper is imaginary, faith-based and entirely without legal merit.

Getting back to the issue, Ms. Johnstone’s initial antagonist – Patrick – tweeted in response; “What a miserable, despicable person. You are the definition of deplorable. I may frequently disagree with Senator John McCain and Meghan McCain with all due criticism, but they should sue you for libel. This is disgusting.”

What is libel? Libel is “to publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others. Libel is the written or broadcast form of defamation, distinguished from slander which is oral defamation. It is a tort (civil wrong) making the person or entity (like a newspaper, magazine or political organization) open to a lawsuit for damages by the person who can prove the statement about him/her was a lie.

Hey, I know – let’s play lawyer, wanna? No costly law degree required; I already said we were playing. But since we’ve already demonstrated that Ms. Johnstone can’t be (successfully) sued for libel for expressing the opinion that the world will be a better place once John McCain has popped his pricey tasseled clogs, then the point of libelous contention must be the allegation that John McCain has availed himself of every opportunity to vote for policies or undertakings which contributed to the slaughter of human beings. A customary and absolute defense against the charge of libel is establishment that the allegedly libelous statement is, in fact, true. Can we do that? I’ll bet we can.

Although he was very much a part of the Vietnam War, John McCain was not a politician at that time, and Ms. Johnstone specified that he had used his political career to press for military action which resulted in many casualties. I don’t think the modification of ‘as many as possible’ would be enforceable under libel laws, as it would be too difficult to prove. Could there have been even more casualties, on both sides, in any military action in which Senator McCain had a vote? Probably, but there is no realistic way to determine if they were either limited or aggravated by his direct participation in the vote. By the same token, the contribution of his vote to any casualties which did take place is, I think, inarguable.

So let’s start with America’s next big war – the Gulf War against Iraq, Take One. John McCain voted for war. Were there casualties? You could say that; 294 Americans died in the Gulf War. The UK lost 47. It’s worth noting, as an aside, that Syria was a US ally in the Gulf War, and had 2 of its soldiers killed. How about Iraqis? Well, nobody seems to have kept a very accurate count – they were, after all, the enemy, and killing them was encouraged – and the official American count is established from Iraqi prisoner-of-war records, and was featured in a report commissioned by the US Air Force. It estimates 20,000-22,000 combat deaths overall, in both the air and ground campaigns. Was that a slaughter? You tell me. And before we move on from the Gulf War, John McCain voted (after the war was over) against providing automatic annual cost-of-living adjustments for certain veterans’ benefits. Four years later, McCain supported an appropriations bill that underfunded the Departments of Veterans Affairs and other federal agencies by $8.9 billion. The following year, McCain voted against an amendment to increase spending on veterans programs by $13 billion. As of the year 2000, 183,000 U.S. veterans of the Gulf War, more than a quarter of the U.S. troops who participated, had been declared permanently disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs. You may only be ‘slaughtered’ if you are dead, but the irrevocable changes for the worse in the quality of life for thousands of Americans who were only doing what their country ordered them to do should count for something, what do you say?

This from the American senator who famously could not remember how many houses he and his wife owned. For the record, the number of homes, ranches, condos, and lofts, together worth a combined estimated $13,823,269.00, was ten.

Gee; I’m starting to get a little mad at McCain. Well, let’s move on.

In 2003, the US government of the day decided that Saddam Hussein had not learned his lesson the first time, and so this time he had to go. Accordingly, the USA polled its allies for military forces who were not otherwise occupied, and had another go at it. John McCain said hell yes, let’s get it on. American military casualties, 4,287 killed, 30,187 wounded. A bit more of a slaughter than the first attempt. The advent of ceramic-plate body armor protected the soldier’s body core, so that many more survived injuries that would have been so horrific they would surely have killed them. The downside is that many lived who lost limbs too badly damaged to save, and were crippled for whatever life remained to them. The Iraqi casualty figures were again an estimate, although better documented; by the most reliable count, somewhere between 182,000 and 204,000 Iraqis were killed. Needlessly and pointlessly slaughtered, many of them; American troops grew so fearful as a result of the steady drip of casualties among their own that they frequently opened fire on families in cars with children simply because they did not obey instructions in a language they did not speak or understand. At Mahmudiya, in March 2006, Private Steven Green and his co-conspirators raped and killed 14-year-old Abeer Qassim Hamza, killed her family and set her body afire to blur the details of the crime. When Iraqi soldiers arrived on the scene, Green and his fellow murderers blamed it on Sunni insurgents.

The following year, President Bush approved a ‘surge’ of 20,000 additional troops, which John McCain so energetically agitated for that it became known informally as ‘the McCain doctrine’. That’s after he claimed in 2004 that if an elected government in Iraq asked that US forces leave, they would have to go even if they were not happy with the security situation. He also recognized, the following year, that Iraqis resented the American military presence, and the sooner and more dramatically it could be reduced, the better it would be for everyone. I guess if you lay claim to both sides of the argument, you’re bound to convince someone that you know what you’re doing.

That same year, 2007, John McCain voted against a requirement for specifying minimum time periods between deployments for soldiers deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. When they need you back in the meat-grinder, you go, never mind how many times you’ve already been there. Let’s just keep in mind, before we leave Iraq, that the entire case for war the second time around was fabricated with wild tales of awful weapons Saddam supposedly had which could kill Americans while they were still in America, and so he had to be dealt with. When it was suggested to the Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, that America should concentrate on Afghanistan, since that is where the backers of the 9-11 strike against America had fled, he mused that there were ‘no good targets in Afghanistan’, although there were ‘lots of good targets in Iraq’. Some researchers suggest he was after a ‘teachable moment’ for America’s enemies which would convince them of America’s irresistible power. While John McCain assessed that Donald Rumsfeld was the worst Secretary of Defense ever, his complaint was not that Rumsfeld was not killing enough people, but that he showed insufficient commitment to winning the war.

Libya. Hoo, boy. In 2009, John McCain – together with fellow die-faster-please senators Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham – visited Tripoli, to discuss Libya’s acquisition of American military equipment. John McCain assured Gadaffi (his son, actually) that America was eager to provide Libya with the equipment it needed. Hardly more than a year later, he espoused the position that Gadaffi must be removed from power because he had American blood on his hands from the Lockerbie bombing. In 2011, he visited the Libyan ‘rebels’, and publicly urged Washington to consider a ground attack to forcibly remove Gaddafi from power. Just a friendly public service reminder; the Lockerbie bombing was most likely carried out by Syria, was – according to pretty reliable testimony – rigged by the American intelligence services to finger Libya, and probably the stupidest thing Gaddafi ever did was to admit to it anyway and pay compensation, in an effort to move on.

Anyway, more war. What the fuck is it with this guy?

Well, even something so grim as war has its comic moments. What else would you call it when NATO claims, with a straight face, that the enemy is hiding his tanks and artillery from its watchful eye inside the water pipes of the Great Man-Made River? What they actually wanted was an excuse to bomb it – which they did, as well as the pumping stations which brought abundant fresh water to the coastal region, in the certain knowledge that it would create a crisis for the civilian population. Which, by the bye, is against just about every convention on the subject ever written.

Here are some of the pipe sections, when they were being trucked to the assembly point. As the article suggests, these sections are 4 meters across; but remember, that’s at their widest point. They are only 4 meters for about a foot, because a water pipe is a circle.

Libya mostly used the T-72 Main Battle Tank, and those would be the ones NATO wanted to eliminate, since the others were considerably older. A T-72, width-wise, would just fit in a 4-meter water pipe, as it is 3.6 meters wide. However, it’s also over 45 tons in weight. The concrete rings were designed to carry free-flowing water, not a 45-ton tank. Would they take that kind of weight, distributed only over a 7-meter length? Where is there an entry point to the water-pipe that is the same width as the widest diameter of the pipe? As discussed, the water pipe is 4 meters wide at its widest point. But the T-72 is 2.3 meters high. The tank would only fit if it was as high as a lunchbox, because the 4-meter width narrows dramatically from the widest point; it’s a circle. Even where it did fit, it would be supported only on the outer edges of its tracks, and you have to cut the 4-meter measurement approximately in half, because the upper portion of the tank would have to be above the point where the tracks touched on each side. The idea was preposterous from the outset, and it speaks to what fucking simpletons western government believes make up its populations that they would dare to put such nutjobbery in print. A T-72 could not fit in a 4-meter water pipe. The notion was demonstrably foolish. But NATO wanted to destroy the water system, so it made up a reason that would allow it to be a well-meaning potential victim of deadly violence.

According to The Guardian – the same source that told you Gadaffi was hiding his tanks in the plumbing – the death toll in the Libyan civil war prior to the NATO intervention was about 1000-2000. According to the National Transitional Council, the outfit the west engineered to rule post-Gaddafi Libya, the final butcher’s bill was about 30,000 dead. The very day after NATO folded its tents – figuratively speaking, as the western role was entirely air support for the flip-flop-wearing rebels – and went home, al Qaeda raised its black flag over the Benghazi courthouse.

Caitlin Johnstone claimed John McCain used his political career to advocate for military interventions which resulted in the slaughter of large numbers of human beings. Is that accurate? What say you, members of the jury? In each of the cases above, John McCain used his political influence, over and above his vote, to argue, advocate, hector and plead for military intervention by the armed forces of the United States of America and such coalition partners as could be rounded up.  In each of the cases above, the necessity of toppling the evildoing dictator was exaggerated out of all proportion, portrayed as an instant and refreshing liberation for his people, and as only the first phase of a progressive plan which would turn the subject country into a prosperous, western-oriented market democracy. In each of the cases above the country is now a divided and ruined failed state whose pre-war situation was significantly better than its miserable present. And in each of the cases above, a lot of people were killed who could otherwise have reasonably expected to be alive today.

Also, each of the cases above is chronologically separated from the others by a sufficient span for it to be quite evident what a cluster-fuck the previous operation was, so that anyone disposed to learn from his mistakes might have approached the situation differently as it gained momentum, argued for caution based on previously-recorded clusterfuckery, pleaded for reason to prevail and for improved dialogue to be a priority. Not John McCain. He learned precisely the square root of nothing from previous catastrophes, and plunged into the next catastrophe with the enthusiasm most remarked among those who are not all there, as the vernacular describes it. He not only voted for war every time, he expended considerable effort in cajoling and persuading the reluctant to go along.

Perhaps the introduction here of the definition for ‘warmonger’ would be helpful to the jury. To wit; “One who advocates or attempts to stir up war. A person who fosters warlike ideas or advocates war.” Synonyms: hawk, aggressor, belligerent, militarist, jingoist, sabre-rattler. There, John; I just saved you the trouble of writing an epitaph.

Will the world be a better place once John McCain is gone? Difficult to say, really, and the present state of affairs in the world argues strongly that it will not. But it will certainly be no poorer for his passing, and if he were to be replaced politically by an individual who took the trouble to do a little research, muse on previous experience, and review all the available options before voting to send in the Marines…why, that would be a victory for everyone in a world where victory is increasingly not even a possibility.

Was Caitlin Johnstone right? Broadly speaking, and going on the information available at the time her statement was made, yes; she was.




1,630 thoughts on “In the Matter of the People vs. Caitlin Johnstone, the Defense Rests.

  1. TheRealNews
    Published on 18 Sep 2018
    We update our profile of Jair Bolsonaro, who is leading in the presidential race in opinion polls, now that Workers Party candidate Lula da Silva was forced out of the race on corruption charges. Michael Fox reports


  2. Abby and Robbie Martin discuss the Likudnik tendencies of the Trump administration and how he’s actually accelerating neoconservatism and Zionism in ways that even George W. Bush wasn’t willing to do. They go into the bizarre cover story by Dallas police to excuse the ‘accidental’ murder by one of their officers of Black immigrant, Botham Jean, in his own apartment. The beginning of the podcast focuses on the 17th anniversary of 9/11 and the shocking amount of inconsistencies in regards to the official story. Skip ahead to 1.5 hours in for the Palestine discussion.


  3. Трамп назвал траты ФРГ на “Северный поток – 2” неуместными‍
    01:04 19.09.2018 (обновлено: 07:14 19.09.2018)

    Trump said Germany’s spending money on “North Stream 2” is inappropriate
    01:04 19.09.2018 (updated: 07:14 19.09.2018)

    MOSCOW, 19 Sep — RIA Novosti. The German authorities’ spending of funds on the “Nord Stream 2” pipeline project is “inappropriate”, although the US does not plan to impose sanctions against the companies involved, said the President of the United States, Donald Trump, when speaking to journalists after meeting Polish leader Andrzej Duda.

    “We are not planning to do that. We just think that, unfortunately, the German people are paying billions and billions of dollars a year for energy resources from Russia. And I can assure you, the German people don’t like it”, said Trump.

    The President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, in turn, expressed the hope that the President of the United States Donald trump would stop the construction of the “Nord stream 2” gas pipeline .

    Oh thank you Lord and Master of the Universe for not imposing sanctions against a sovereign state’s domestic energy policy, undertaken on the “free market”, albeit that you know full well how distraught that state’s citizens are over this policy and that you would clearly much prefer that the the German authorities pay billions of dollars a year into the US treasury for US “freedom” energy supplies

    And please ignore the advice of te Polack president: he’s a right wanker.


    1. Following their meetings today, President Duda told President Trump he would like to set up a permanent airbase in Poland and call it “Fort Trump”.

      Polish Pres. Duda says he told President Trump that he “would very much like for us to set up permanent American bases in Poland, which we would call “Fort Trump … I firmly believe that this is possible”.


    2. Trump loves to respond boldly to those who pretend to worship him (or perhaps they actually do; who knows?) and wail to him for his help in terms that they have tried everywhere else and nobody has been able to do anything to right the wrong. That appeals to Trump’s vanity, which might be his only characteristic, since stupidity is more a behaviour than a characteristic. The Poles want an American military base because they want to draw America into protecting Poland so they can spend less themselves – it’s much cheaper, overall, to outsource your defense.

      The current trade war with Canada is an example of the Trump Doctrine – he has appointed himself protector of the Wisconsin dairy farmers, who are desperate for more markets because they overproduce and approach dairy marketing the same way America approaches everything – get control of more production; dairy herds in the USA which number in the thousands of cows are common. Then produce your opposition into oblivion. The Canadian regulatory system keeps dairy prices high but stable, and dairy operations comparatively small. Now Trump has made a new NAFTA deal contingent on America’s dairy industry getting access tariff-free to the Canadian market. If that happens, Wisconsin and other dairy states will flood Canada with cheap milk, butter and cheese, and some consumers will cry, “Thank you, Donald Trump” because they can buy butter for a dollar at Wal-Mart, but the Canadian dairy industry will disappear and our dairy pricing will become subject to America’s whims.

      Germany’s energy arrangements are none of America’s business unless it can be competitive – that’s the way business works. If America can step up and supply Germany with energy of an equal or better quality, reliability of delivery and equal or lower cost, by all means. But it can’t, and instead is trying to use its global clout and disincentives to force Germany to pass on the deal. Whether or not it chooses American LNG instead is just icing on the cake; the main thing is to stop it from buying from a competitor. There are all sorts of advantages to that, from the American point of view. Germany is already an energy hub for Europe, but queering the deal would stop it from becoming more powerful still, since the Germans are not sufficiently pro-American and never have been; if they had, they’d be driving Fords instead of exporting BMW’s. Keeping Ukraine as the main transit route for Russian gas is a big one as well, since any time the west – including European leaders – wishes to stir up trouble with Russia (for any reason, including political distraction in one’s own country), it simply has to stir up trouble in Ukraine. You gonna let Russia say that about your Mama? And the Uke nationalists will down tools and pick up torches; easy-peasy. Uncertainty returns, gas prices go up, Ukrainian oligarchs are emboldened and empowered, and the wheel turns.


  4. Netanyahu phone call to Putin..
    The Israeli Prime Minister expressed his condolences over the death of the 15 servicemen aboard the Il-20 aircraft shot down in Syria on September 17. With respect to a thorough investigation, Benjamin Netanyahu promised to provide detailed information on the activities of the Israeli Air Force over Syrian territory on that day, which will be delivered soon to Moscow by the Israeli Air Force commander.

    Vladimir Putin noted that operations of this nature by the Israeli Air Force are in violation of Syria’s sovereignty. In this particular case, Russian-Israeli agreements on preventing dangerous incidents had not been observed either, and that resulted in the Russian aircraft coming under Syrian air defence fire. The Russian President called on the Israeli side to prevent such incidents in the future.

    In other words Israel don’t do it again.
    My prediction that nothing would be done is proved correct.

    Didn’t take long for excuses to be made for Israel – after what they did to your own people.


    1. Maybe they should just shoot the Israeli Air Force Commander as soon as he steps off the plane. Or better still, shoot down his plane with him on it as soon as he enters Russian airspace!

      You’re not wrong, and I’d like to see Russia take a harder line with those Israeli yobbos, since continuing to do things the civilized way merely assures them they are the masters of dirty tricks and innocent faces. But before you get too admiring of the heavy hand of America and its reputation for taking no shit from nobody, review the USS LIBERTY incident. Israel continued to pour everything it had into sinking the LIBERTY with all hands and without a trace, right up until a radio call from a nearby Carrier Task Group announced it was sending aid, at which point Israeli forces broke off the attack, announced it had been a terrible mistake, and tried to offer assistance, which was angrily refused.

      Israel murdered 34 American servicemen that day, and would have killed everyone on board and in all probability blamed the disappearance on the Arabs, except for the surprising durability of the ship despite tremendous damage. And the American government’s verdict, against overwhelming evidence to the contrary, was that Israel had simply made a mistake. It’s notable here that Israel’s excuse was it had mistaken LIBERTY for a decommissioned Egyptian horse-carrier. Even if that were true, would it have been worth the combined might of the Israeli navy and air force to sink an Egyptian horse-carrier? What would be the tactical triumph in that?


    1. He’s harping on again about Russia losing its “honour”, I see; that “Russian nationalists, as opposed to the pro-American Atlanticist Integrationists, are angry” with Putin over this.

      How does he know this? And if they are, what will the result be — the overthrow of the “regime”.

      Do tell!


      1. When Paul Craig mentions the “Russian nationalists” who have his ear, surely he cannot be referring to Anatoly Karlin and those other loony sectarians – LOL??

        Having said that, I find myself sort of nodding at parts of Paul’s rant. And I do like his citing of Kwai Chang Caine as the source of his philosophical and ideological views, since I regard myself as a Caine-sian as well!

        Having said which, I think it is too early to criticize Putin’s deal with Erdogan. It is either a sell-out or a brilliant chess maneuver, depending on the outcome. As for Putin’s clear softness towards Israel — that does raise some eyebrows, and one wonders what his game is there, if indeed there is a game. Other than keeping the peace within the broader Russian-Jewish community (?) I mean, most Russian Jews live in Israel, and maybe Putin doesn’t want to force them (or the natively-living Russian Jews) to choose between Israel and Russia (?)

        As for the Donbass situation, that is quite more clear-cut than the Jewish situation. If Putin does not recognize, rescue, and bring into the fold Donetsk and Luhansk, then indeed he will go down in history with an asterisk next to his name. Unless he has a bigger game, which is to bring back ALL of the Ukraine into the Russian civilization. In which case he will go down in history as the second coming of Peter the Great.

        As Sophocles wrote, “Only time will show who is right.”


        1. Isn’t Navalny a Russian Nationalist? He certainly hates the ‘black asses’ of the Caucasus and would quite happily cast them all adrift from the Russian Federation.

          So, imagine if great white (and Western) hope Navalny had been President of Russia and this had occurred on his watch. I would expect a French frigate to be on the bottom of the Mediterranean and several Israeli airbases obliterated.

          It’s not as if the west has ever backed monsters in opposition who then get in to power and turn out to be rather ungrateful, nay a menace to their former masters.

          For all those trolls calling for action that are comment flooding sites like MoA and others, they can all go over the top first to prove the courage of their own words first rather than sending other people’s kids to die. I’ll be far, far, far behind the trolls.

          If and when Putin & Russia decide to respond, it will be at the manner and time of their choosing, not some ill-judged tactical response to make people feel better.


          1. Navalny is a Replicant and a product of genetic manipulation: His mitochonria combines the DNA of a Russian Nationalist with that of a CIA agent.
            The Russian Nationalist DNA has the protein encoding CGA (“Cuck Go Away”), whereas the CIA DNA has CCA (“Cool CIA Agent”).

            Meanwhile, I made a mistake in my above comment, which I realized only a few hours later:
            When I said “Most Russian Jews live in Israel”, I should have said: “Israel has more Russian Jews than regular Jews”, or something like that….

            Anyhow, I respectfully disagree with et al’s comment that “I would expect a French frigate to be on the bottom of the Mediterranean and several Israeli airbases obliterated.”

            If Navalny were President of Russia, then (A) his CIA DNA would be dominant, and he would not punish his Frenchie NATO pals; and (B) he would go down in history as the 12th False Pretender to the Throne. In that, according to Russian historians, there were officially 11 Pretenders to the Throne!


            1. Should your “Russian Jews in Israel” not be ‘Russian “Jews” in Israel’ or is my understanding of the elastic definition of Jewish qualification applied to Russian immigrants to Israel faulty?


              1. Dear Cortes: Apologies again for my convoluted logic. I think what I am trying to say, is that Russian-speaking Jews in Israel are real Jews, but they came from Russia and speak Russian. Many of them have relatives back in Russia, they visit and talk on the phone, so there is a vibrant communication at this everyday level, from what I understand. Putin somehow feels (I think) that in some way he is also the President of these Jews too, even they are Israeli citizens, simply because they are Russian-speaking and have this connection with the Russian civilizational world. Does that make any sense? Probably not.

                The other thing I was trying to say, is that these Russian-speaking Jews filled up Israel with warm bodies that it would not otherwise have had, i.e., would have been depopulated were it not for them.
                If I am not mistaken, the Russian-speakers are actually in the majority among Israel’s population (?) I could be wrong about that.


                1. Yes, I’ve been told that by Russian Jews living here in the Evil Empire. I’ve also heard that Russian language media publications are now the majority in Israel.


                2. My understanding is that during Soviet times, Jewish people were regarded as an ethnic group. A person could claim to be Jewish if s/he had one parent of Jewish background, regardless of whether that person and/or the parent actually practised the religion. One result is that after 1991, many Russian speakers who had no knowledge of Judaism or the beliefs and traditions associated with the religion migrated to Israel. Some of these people were even neo-Nazis.


                3. This is true, from what I know. Leninist and Soviet ideology had a certain stock way of looking at people, through the lens of ethnicity, so Jews were considered an ethnic group, with all the rights pertaining to that, including a separate homeland if they so wished (=Birobaijan, but not Israel!) Jews were not considered to be a religious group, since everybody was supposed to be an atheist.

                  During Stalin era, Stalin occasionally got paranoid about Jews and never really trusted them, although some of them were his criminal cronies. He probably had nightmares every night that Trotsky and the other Jewish Bolsheviks would come back to life and make him look stupid in an important ideological debate. But then Stalin was a piece of work himself, a crude Kartvelian tribesman to be precise.


        2. He certainly cannot be hoping to split Israel off from its big brother, the USA. In order to do so, he would have to offer Israel better cover for its marauding in the Middle East, and better whitewashing of its crimes. That, frankly, is not doable.


      2. If you are the only nation in the world left with this magical ‘honour’, does it make sense to set yourself up for combat against all the rest to safeguard it? Does the principle opponent, America, have ‘honour’? Show me. It much prefers to fight significantly weaker countries directly, and to inveigle against strong ones through proxies.


  5. Почему система «свой-чужой» не предотвратила трагедию с Ил-20 в Сирии?

    Why the “friend or foe” system did not prevented the Il-20 tragedy in Syria

    On the question of the military observer of “Komsomolskaya Pravda” Victor Baranets meets Colonel Viktor Khaustov, second-in-command of anti-aircraft missile regiment and a member of the fighting in the Arab country [infographic video]

    “Komsomolskaya Pravda” military expert Mikhail TYMOSHENKO explained what arguments can be put forward by Russian side.

    “Israel has already begun attempts to shift the blame for the downing of a Russian Il-20 on “the Assad regime” and Iran. And the question arises: does Russia have any concrete evidence of provocation by the Israeli fighters? What evidence of this can be put forward by us?

    “Firstly, we may simply ignore their statement that they warned us just one minute before the missile struck. That is just a mockery, not a warning …”

    “Komsomolskaya Pravda” asked for a comment from an Israeli military expert, the former head of the special service ““Nativ”, Yakov Kedmi (details)

    Yakov Kedmi: The shooting down of a Russian Il-20 was due to the “the Irresponsible actions of the Israel military”.

    How should Russia respond to this provocation?

    Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the magazine “National Defence”:

    “I think Israel should demand the resignation of its Defence Minister and air force commander. And the Israeli government should officially apologize to Moscow and provide the necessary compensation. Depending on this, further decisions will follow”.

    Sergey SHARGUNOV, writer, Deputy of the State Duma:

    “Everything that happened should be described as bloody scary. The Security Council of the UN should be summoned and Moscow has to firmly present this issue before the world: Why, against international law, is the territory of a sovereign state being bombed by other countries?”.

    Nikolai Antoshkin, Hero of the Soviet Union, General-Colonel:

    For every downed aircraft there should be a tit-for-tat response. I hope our defence people realize this.

    Shmuel KUPERMAN, Rabbi of the Jewish community at Chistye Prudy:

    Jews are now beginning their most important religious period of fasting. This is the day when we ask God for the forgiveness of our sins. We will pray for the souls of the departed, that no more Russian soldiers die. We want to express our deepest condolences from our whole community in connection with this tragedy. Soldiers who travelled to foreign places so as to protect another nation from world terror have died. We must wait and see. The war in Syria cannot last much longer now. Perhaps those who should wake up after this terrible tragedy will wake up. And they will do what is necessary.

    Eduard LIMONOV, writer:

    Russia must respond to this. And what about the fact that President Netanyahu was next to Putin at the Victory Parade May 9, 2018? In bombing Syria, Israel is fighting for US interests. Well, let them now come face to face with the negative side of this campaign. Without its American protection, Israel can be destroyed by the Arabs, and now Israel has acted carelessly.

    Sergey, KP.RU reader:

    “When the Turks shot down our Sukhoi warplane, the flow of tourists and the supply of tomatoesy were blocked. Why should we be softer on Israel?

    Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
    But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

    Matthew 5.38

    Nuke the bastards?

    Or just flatten their airbases?

    Do tell!


          1. A it happens, that poster is really old, because my then future brother-in-law had a copy of it pinned up behind the door of the digs, where he lived with 2 of his student pals in Manchester way back in 1967..That’s how Rabbi Kuperman’s name jogged my memory as regards that poster.

            The flat was in Cheetham Hill, an inner-city area that once had a very large Jewish population. The old synagogue there is now a museum: very interesting place to visit.

            Anyway, my future brother-in-law’s landlord was the local Rabbi. Mrs. Rabbi — or whatever you call a Rabbi’s spouse — sometimes used to collect the rent, but mostly the Rabbi’s very attractive eldest daughter used to come for the money. The daughter must have seen the poster umpteen times and said nowt, but when Mrs. Rabbi first set her eyes on it, she went lulu, accusing all the lads, her tenants, of anti-Semitism, and threatening them with eviction.

            She was told that the poster was only put up in fun and was not intended to be offensive. She would not have it though.

            When I was told this tale, I said to them all that they should have told her that they were certainly not anti-Semitic because they were all dreaming of shagging her daughter.

            Somehow, I don’t think she would have accepted that as proof of their non-malevolence towards
            Jews, though.


          2. “Work” is the operative term. Jews are not allowed to do any work from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.

            If Kuperman had been Batman, then he could circumvent the rule by hiring a shabbos goyim to be Robin or Nightwing.


          1. Beef stroganoff knocks him out as will any other dish where beef is mixed with cow’s milk, mutton with sheep’s milk and goat meat with goat’s milk.


    1. She had recently fled London after receiving a string of death threats.

      She told The Sun: “I was targeted by Putin’s henchmen. They want me dead as I oppose Putin and have turned my back on my country. Russia is capable of anything” — apart from getting one’s tits pumped up?


      1. Not what the lying bastard sensationalist British press blared out the other day:

        Россиянка, отравившаяся в Солсбери, оказалась гражданкой Израиля

        Russian citizen poisoned in Salisbury turns out to be an Israeli citizen

        British media reports that amongst the victims in the restaurant in Salisbury were no Russian citizens. One of them, Anna Shapiro, is a citizen of Israel, and her husband is British.

        “I am a former Russian citizen, a native of Nizhny Novgorod. Since 2006 I have been an Israeli citizen. I moved to London in 2008, where I met Alex king, my future husband, a citizen of Great Britain”, The Sun has quoted Anna Shapiro as having said


        1. I think this is great (not that they fell ill). With each squealing hyperbollox article and incident being ramped up to the nth degree, the public response just becomes increasingly ‘Meh.

          Don’t get me wrong, the Brit pols and their butt-licking D-notice sucking Pork Pie News Media will still do what they do, but there’s no-one else who will go with them. There is no public appetite for intervention left. The 2013 vote showed that and since then it is pretty clear to everyone that it is that much more dangerous and that for quite a few, their representatives haven’t changed one iota.


          1. You are right, there is a saturation level for any BS. One of the reasons the abortion debate went away in Canada was that during 1980s it was infesting TV news. People got sick and tired of listening to the same crap over and over.


      2. Receiving a series of death threats for what? For ‘opposing Putin’ when one does not exercise a vote in the country of which he is ruler? For ‘turning her back on her country’? I daresay it will survive the loss. What a ridiculous creation of the British media, which really is the laughingstock of the world.


    2. I think it was the sea bass (perch) that caused the distress.

      Exactly the same thing happened to me while on my recent holiday (I’m actually not kidding). I was in a swanky hotel with my posse, enjoying a typical Russian breakfast buffet of smoked salmon, jellied chicken fat and espresso coffee, and suddenly I got violently ill, had to run to the loo and rolfed it all up in one single blast.
      There’s just something up with the fish nowadays. Probably all the pollution and chemicals in the oceans, I reckon…


    3. That’s perfect; keep it up, England!! Before long the British will be seeing Russian goons under the bed at night, and sales of Novichok-wash to ‘clean’ your fresh vegetables you got from the market (bottled water to anyone else) will boom! Because Britain alone cannot hope to prevail against Russia, and the nuttier it gets, the less chance it has of dragging anyone other than the United States – which pretends to believe it – along with it. The people in both countries are still resolutely opposed to another world war, and the crazier the British government and its state-sponsored media look, the better.


  6. All the yammering about Putin by the resident Finn is moronic. The recon plane was lost due to gross incompetence or sabotage by the commanders overseeing the Syria operation. For sure, they knew that Israeli jets were activated. Proper procedure requires defenseless assets to be protected. So orders should have been given to scramble Russian jets from Khmeimim. This would have prevented the Israeli ploy and all the discussion about why friendly fire happened would not be taking place.

    The real test for Putin is if he can fire the Russian clowns responsible for this fiasco and even have them charged with criminal negligence if not treason.



          Also, this:

          Pretty thin excuse. “According to the IDF, the Israeli jets were targeting a facility in Syria which contained “systems to manufacture accurate and lethal weapons” that could be sent “on behalf of Iran” to Hezbollah movement in Lebanon. Israel, as well as many other states, considers the movement a terrorist organization.” Sounds quite a lot to me like Bush’s ‘weapons of mass destruction program-related activities’.

          If this is the Israeli standard of measure, that it must be free to target any Syrian facility which might make something which might in turn give aid and comfort to Hezbollah, then it could claim justification in attacking anything anywhere in Syria. I thought it was claiming to be attacking actual Iranian positions, but as usual, mission creep has softened the parameters. Considering how frequently Israeli-manufactured weapons and devices keep showing up in the possession of outfits other countries in the world consider terrorist organizations, other countries have the same mandate to bomb facilities in Israel.

          Really, the whole Jewish-homeland thing was a big mistake. At least insofar as the western powers immediately began to groom it as a proxy against anyone who opposes the western freedom-and-democracy-regime-change ploy. Leaving the Jewish people scattered among the countries of the world would have been a better option, as they would have had to pay at least some loyalty to their own country. A similarly-disastrous result would obtain from giving any nationalist group their own country – the Banderites, for example.

          If the world lasts long enough without incinerating itself, I daresay the Palestinian territories will attain full statehood, with all the rights and privileges which accrue to that. Much of the world is simply getting fed up with Israel’s constantly shitting the bed and making trouble. Then countries like Russia and China would be free to support a powerful Palestinian state whose investments did not have to be ‘washed’ through the Israelis first, as its ‘guardians’. That would do more to contain Israel’s mischief than any current tactic.


    1. I’m not a Fin ( unless it’s a code for something I don’t know). I’m second generation Irish norm and living in the uk.

      In response to your post

      ” Avi Issacharoff, writing in the Times of Israel, also notes that the Israeli strike occurred in an area that had more or less heretofore off limits to the Israeli military, primarily because of the large presence of the Russian military in the area. Russia’s Hmeimim air base lies only 18 km to the south of Latakia city. Russia’s Tartous naval base is further down the coast, about 65 km, but the Russian navy also uses the port of Latakia as a secondary base. Israeli air strikes in this area clearly increase the risk to Russian service members deployed to these locations and this is not tolerable to the Russians.”

      Israel over 200 times ignored Syrian sovereignty to attack Iran and Syrians and He zbollah

      Russia allowed that to happen.

      And I bet Israel will continue to do it once they get the rules sorted out with Russia

      That is sadly Putins only concern.


      1. Once again, it is not Russia’s responsibility to protect Syria. Its mandate in Syria was to support the SAA against ISIS, and by any standard of measure that operation was extremely successful. It is not up to Russia to defend Syria against all comers, and the sole reason Israel informs Russia of incoming airstrikes is for deconfliction, to avoid incidents such as the one which just happened. The Israeli government is NOT asking Putin for ‘permission’ to strike Syria, and it is up to Syria to defend itself against Israeli attacks both militarily and diplomatically – I have seen little in the way of Syria pressing the UN to stop Israel from attacking Syrian positions and infrastructure under the guise of ‘hitting Iran’. It could go to Iran to do that, as if it needed pointing out. Syria, however, is not Russian territory and Russia is under no obligation whatsoever to defend it.

        Israel of course has no business attacking Syria under any pretext, because its vaunted intelligence is clearly not good enough that it can attack civilian areas in Syria and kill only Iranians. Therefore it is accepting an unacceptable – under international law – risk to the Syrian civilian population in its strikes. But it is, again, not up to Russia to raise this with the UN unless Israel is attacking Russian positions or assets. Which it is clearly edging towards doing, likely at Washington’s urging. It remains up to Syria to aggressively press for international action to stop Israel, and to not take ‘No’ for an answer.

        Things Russia could do would be to transfer more advanced air-defense systems to Syria, including more Pantsir launchers. The S-400 would be nice, but it is kind of overkill and I am not sure Syria could be relied on to not engage Israeli aircraft outside its own airspace, as it must not do for an attack to be rated self-defense. What it needs is a sufficiently-capable air defense system that Israeli confidence in a successful attack is unacceptably low, while the risk of launch platforms themselves being destroyed along with their pilots is unacceptably high. That is certainly doable, and should be done without a moment’s delay – cargo planes carrying the new systems should be landing in Syria now.

        The west is trying to maneuver Russia into a place where it will defend Syria as if it were part of the Russian Federation. And it must not be successful in that attempt. I am confident Russia would meet an attack against its homeland with everything it was capable of throwing into the battle. But it is not Russia’s place to do that in Syria, unless Syria applies to become a state of the Russian Federation. Now that would make eyes pop in the west. But I don’t see it happening, and unless it does, Russia must not be drawn into fighting Syria’s battles on an international front. Give Syria the systems to defend itself, and that would be the quickest and most reliable route to exacting vengeance on Israel as well.


        1. Excellent analysis.

          Regarding 200 air strikes by Israel over several years – that is about the same number as what Russia was doing on a weekly basis during its peak activity. And Russian airstrikes likely involved much larger munitions per sortie. As wrong as the Israeli air strikes are, they is having negligible effects on Syrian military capability. Israel internal politics and public opinion may be the biggest driving forces for the airstrikes. Frankly, Israel is training Syria on how to deal with Israel airstrikes. If and when Syria obtains advanced anti-air systems, it will be over for the air strikes.


      2. James, if you object to being compared to a Finnish guy who used to comment at the old Kremlin stooge blog and was always pushing for bombing first and asking questions later, and also always calling Russia “weak, weak, weak” because of its insufficiently Aryan genetic inheritance, which in his opinion led to the Russians making stupid decisions, you should learn to read Israeli sources very carefully and realise that they always spin events in such a way (however far deep into fantasy the spinning goes) as to make Israel look superior to everyone else.

        The Russians have their eye on the long-term goal and this is what matters. Israel and NATO are trying to distract the Russians and the Syrians into an all-out war that will justify a NATO invasion of Syria. This explains why France jumped the gun and claimed they didn’t shoot down the Ilyushin, even though no-one blamed them: it seems that the plan was for the French frigate Auvergne to fire its missiles at the same time that Israeli F-16s took cover in the Ilyushin’s radar shadow in a way so as to confuse Syrian missile defence systems, so that the Russians would be fooled into blaming France and presumably call an emergency UNSC meeting, allowing the US, the UK and France to act in high dudgeon and perhaps call for more sanctions or other actions against Russia.


      3. James, just curious: If you are English-Irish and living in the UK, then what is your interest in Russian politics? And what drew you to the Russian Nationalist faction, since you seem to share many of their views, even unto individual planks of their party platform?

        Some people here just suspect that maybe you are one and the same with that Finn of Yore, just using a different nik? Because you sound a lot like him. Karl’s political views and support for the Russian Nationalists actually have a semi-rational core, since he is a member of a Finnish fascist party. They used to support Putin when they thought he was one of them; but became disillusioned when he “sold out” to the Joooooz.

        I am just curious to see Karlinite views coming out of the mouth of a proper British guy. Other English people on the Russophile blogs tend to be more mainstream and more pro-Putin.

        My own political views are all over the map, tis true, but my excuse is that I am an actual ethnic Russian!


    2. Well, they did have not more than 60 seconds’ warning of the incoming Israeli strike, it was right at Khmeimim or in its immediate vicinity, and the Russian plane was on its way in to land. I don’t know how you would assess that as gross incompetence. And Russian fighters cannot be scrambled unless they are prepared to engage; I doubt they had any such instructions up to this point. I’d bet they will now, though.


      1. Russia can track the Israeli jets from the moment they take off from Israeli soil until the reach any part of Syria. That is way more than 60 seconds of a time window. With so many Israeli jets deployed and the activity of NATzO ships, it should be clear to Russian commanders that this was not some “routine” situation and that Russian assets must be protected. The mere fact that these commanders did not even think of the possibility of the Israeli trickery speaks to their incompetence. It is their bread and butter to consider all the possibilities and to take appropriate measures. By no means was this incident excluded.


        1. Incompetence, caught napping or whatever. What is clear is that this was a very carefully thought out strategy. The flight plan and all the details for the I-sraeli attack would have been worked out long before, so we can assume it was just a question of timing and for whatever reason this mission was given the go-ahead at this time.

          A normal person would be angry that this happened and that it appears the Russian military was caught napping, but unfortunately that is not that unusual. Neither are idiots and Nut&Yahoo may think he is a genius, but I would say that with each of his ‘clever actions’ he is really just dolling out more rope to hang himself with.

          In one of the other threads (on MoA or somewhere), someone commented that that any apparent difference between Putin (diplomacy) & Shoigu (military) is bad for Russia and can be exploited. In any normal situation this might be true, but what is happening in and around Syria is anything but normal. Neither Putin nor Shoigu are dummies. I would like to argue that while the public side may be expressing one thing, the military side could quite credibly be saying something quite different – and I see absolutely no problem with this.

          Why? Nut&Yahoo, Libermann and all the other crazy f*cktards say they do what they do to ‘Protect Israel‘. Now they can bleat this endlessly to the shitty press, but the military operates on entirely different principles. Reality. Putin & Shoigu’s approach may well be to message the military that the behavior of the f*cktards has made them a serious liability. Promoting a schism and thus revolt would work very well in Russia/Syria/whomever’s favor.

          If Israel is the common/main glue/vehicle for western FP/interference in the ME, then undermining the f*ckards (Nut&Yahoo/Liberman and co.) is a key node.

          Now I may be attributing too much to Pootie-Poot and Rock Hard(TM) Shoigu – who I wanted to replace Putin a couple of elections ago, but we must agree that neither of them are dummies. Remember kids, this is a long game. People get hurt. Cats die.


          1. A criminal investigation is also an excellent vehicle for putting new engagement policies in place, even if it concludes there was no incompetence or complacency. Such as constant or unalerted Russian CAP patrols, including but not limited to anywhere Russia might have air assets employed at any time. This greatly increases the likelihood of Israeli aircraft attracting attention from Russian fighters which are already airborne. Also SAM tracking of all unidentified and non-aligned aircraft while in Syrian airspace, so that a firing solution is only a button-push away throughout the aircraft’s presence in Syrian skies. It makes the risk of an armed confrontation that much greater, unfortunately, but perhaps that’s what it will take. As I said before, there’s no reason Russia couldn’t use the “Gosh! An accident! How tragic” excuse; everyone else is allowed.


        2. How much of the Mediterranean is international waters? How much of it is Syrian territorial waters? How long does it take an F-16 to cover 13 miles? Israel’s responsibility was to avoid any situation which might put Russian servicemen’s lives in danger.

          Russia can of course track Israeli aircraft from the moment they are wheels-up. But they are supposed to call their attacks so as to avoid the possibility that Russian assets become endangered. They conclusively broke this agreement, and I am confident it was deliberate. Secretly the pilots will likely get a big pat on the back from Netanyahu and Washington.


          1. I am not following the analysis closely but is the gist of it that Israel deliberately placed the Russian aircraft in harms way in hopes of a shoot down? Would the purpose be to inflame public opinion in Russia against further involvement in Syria? Or was it to simply trick the Russians for the purpose Israel ego-fulfillment proof of superiority over non-Jews? The later reason would be typical of a sociopath.

            And what the hell was France’s role? Why did they participate using land-attack missiles? Was it part of an effort to saturate Syrian air defenses?

            I was distressed by Putin’s breezy dismissal of Israel’s culpability; a position not shared by the Russian MoD. It could be a good cop/bad cop game or it could suggest a split in Russian policy towards Israel.


  7. Here’s a couple of articles via SyrianPerspective:

    NEO: Syrian-Russian Victory Only Way to Avenge Israeli-French Strikes

    Tony Cartalucci

    …Yet the attack is reminiscent of the 2015 Turkish downing of a Russian warplane – after which similar calls for retaliation were made, coupled with similar condemnations of Russia as “weak.” And since 2015, Russia’s patient and methodical approach to aiding Syria in its proxy war with the US-NATO-GCC and Israel has nonetheless paid off huge dividends.

    Russia would later aid Syria in retaking the northern city of Aleppo. Palmyra would be retaken from the so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) – Homs, Hama, Eastern Ghouta, and the southern city of Daraa would also be retaken – leaving virtually everything west of the Euphrates River under the control of Damascus.

    In fact, the near precipice of total victory was achieved by Russia and its allies ignoring serial provocations carried out by the US-NATO-GCC and Israel, and simply focusing on the task of systematically restoring security and stability to the conflict-ridden nation.

    …But there is another possible motive behind the West’s serial attacks. Modern electronic warfare includes the detection and countering of air defense systems. Each time an air defense system is activated, its position and characteristics can be ascertained. Even if air defense systems are mobile, the information they provide during a provocation while attempting to detect and fire at targets is invaluable to military planning.

    Should Russia engage its most sophisticated air defense systems during provocations, affording the West a complete picture of both its technology in general and the disposition of its defenses in Syria specifically, should the West decide to launch a knock-out blow through a full-scale air assault, it could do so much more effectively.


    Plenty more at the link.

    Very much to agree with. The US is proceeding with its MALD-X program to saturate SAMs by imitating aircraft, so you can bet that the level of sophistication will be much higher.

    and this from September 12:

    Consortium News: On the Brink with Russia in Syria Again, 5 Years Later

    …In a lengthy interview with journalist Jeffrey Goldberg published in The Atlantic much later, in March 2016, Obama showed considerable pride in having refused to act according to what he called the “Washington playbook.”..

    More at the link.

    Loath as I am to give O-bomber credit, if those who say that Trump tried to fight the swamp and failed, then you could equally say the same of O-bomber and his refusal to bomb at that time is evidence. Remember a victory can also be achieved by not doing what is expected, i.e. sitting on your hands and letting the window of opportunity pass. There are lots of ways to dress this up such as needing more time to collect information blah blah blah, but it is the result that counts.

    Yet again, for those who demand Russia directly responds, please put yourselves directly in harms way before calling on others to do so. Those that don’t are not only trolls, but cowards.


    1. “put yourselves directly in harms way before calling on others to do so.”

      Ummm…Most of Northern Hemisphere humanity IS in harm’s way….the ‘harm’ of a thermonuclear exchange if increasingly emboldened zionist/NATO cckskkers are allowed to continue to play ‘nuclear chicken’ with ALL our lives.


  8. BTW, I have a created a term for those who demand Russia react quickly and violently: LHCs – Large Hard-on Colliders!*


    Oh, before I forget, there was a nice turn of phrase I picked up from the MoA thread on the shooting down that I think sums thing up well, sic Putin does Diplomacy. Shoigu does Trouble.


    1. “term for those who demand Russia react quickly and violently”

      Yeah…How about those who understand that “kill or be killed” seem to be to order of the day…at least until the lions and lambs hook up….

      A bully-individual or nation-understands the promise of swift and violent response to his transgressions…..

      Counterexamples in recorded history????


  9. Meanwhile, Animal Assad has finally spoken, offering his condolences to Russia for the shoot-down:

    Assad called the slain aerial warriors “heroes who had battled against terrorism”.
    Assad went on to say that the tragedy was the result of actions by the Israelis, who want to change the outcome (of the war) and who are committing acts of aggression in the region, using “dirty methods”.

    Putin’s press secretary Peskov noted that Putin has not been in contact with Assad since the shoot-down. Hm….


    1. Assad is correct in his assessment.

      Assad had to deal with the results of the Israeli attack – bombed buildings/ infrastructure and injured people.

      Over 200 similar attacks by Israel breaking international law have occurred over the course of the war. Israel constantly Invades Syrian sovereignty a fact that has never concerned Russia.

      They have a deal with Russia. Worked out with rack countries defence ministers.

      These actions by Israel are condoned by Putin, as long as Israel doesn’t attack any Russians as per their partnership.

      The agreement Russia made with Israel is at the root of why that plane was shot down. Israel felt more and more emboldened as they know Russia will do nothing.

      Russia gave them licence to continue this behaviour.

      And I’ve said this before – Russia will continue to allow these attacks by Israel.

      The Israeli defence minister is in Moscow working out another deal.


      1. Russia refuses for some reason to acknowledge that they are on opposite side of the war to Israel.

        In effect Russia is a target as they are in the way of Israel achieving their goal of the destruction of Syria and (Iran and Lebanon)

        Israel funded the terrorist along with us/uk/France/Turkey/gulf states
        Terrorists that kill Russians

        Russia tries to sit on two seats and in the long term that policy is not sustainable if they are staying in the Middle East.

        Anyone that looks at the situation can see this this – why doesn’t Russia?
        They treat Israel with kid gloves and Israel is laughing – look at their response in the media to the plane coming down.

        Putin policy does not work and needs to be revised.

        Israel is a USA allie and as such will never be a “partner” for Russia. For that to happen Russia will need to have no interests in the Middle East that conflict with Israel.

        Russian interests in Iraq and in Syria conflict with USA and Israel- that’s a fact


        1. Israel leaders are socipaths with nuclear weapons – they make Kim Jong-un look like Mahatma Gandhi by comparison. Putin is playing a longer game than most of us can deal with. As typical Westerners, we need instant gratification but that is unwise in this situation.

          The real fireworks may begin when the US attempts to impose a total oil blockade on Iran. At that point, Russian strategy should be more clear.


      2. If you say so. I’m tired of arguing about it. You know my opinion, and I know yours, and they are poles apart. So we’ll just have to see how it shakes out. If you were right, Russia should slink away back to its own shores in defeat, and Israel and Washington should be dancing on Assad’s grave this time next year.


  10. @Mark:

    Unlike WSWS , I think his appointment to SCOTUS needs to be stopped by ANY means necessary.

    One eliminates one’s adversaries with whatever means present themselves….exactlyas they would
    if the tables were turned.

    In a street fight with a thug.-and the ilk of Kavanaugh are the black robed judicial thugs of the elite-
    only a fool gets into some type of arcane debate about whether or not a particular tactic may have adequate moral standing when viewed through the lens of ivory tower philosophical analysis.


    1. Be careful that your antipathy for Kavanagh does not cause you to cheer for the creeping in of a mindset and ensuing policymaking that tilts the scales of justice in a direction you may not like, because they serve to get rid of a person you don’t like. That’s short-term satisfaction exchanged for long-term political correctness gone wild.

      I usually don’t have much time for the conservatives, but Christie Blatchford did a nice piece on the phenomenon.


      1. The US is turning into a whirlpool of exceptionalism on all levels. Clearly they have no need for the law. This is the modern equivalent of stoning, dunking accused witches and burning people at the stake. Act first, think later. America in meltdown. God help us (not to take us down with them), but they really do need God’s help – whether s/he exists or not.


        1. Unfortunately, the profligate use of the media as an influencer and shaper of public opinion in the west is specifically geared to making listeners and readers act first, think later. How many times did we hear, on the issue of chemical attacks in Syria, pundits howling with anguish that we must DO SOMETHING!!!! That it is unacceptable to wait and assess and examine, that those are the refuge of dotards when the situation demands men and women of ACTION!! Ditto the Skripal ‘poisoning’. Those who spur and drive the media know full well that once actual hostilities break out and there is a real military exchange of fire, the situation will take on a life and momentum of its own, will become unstoppable, and then it will be safe to call for caution and introspection so as to seem reasonable. After that, calls to stop the violence will be reserved for if the west or its proxies are clearly losing.


      2. An individual who secures a * lifetime * appointment to SCOTUS has decades to interpret and influence the legal underpinnings of the nation. His/Her effect is by no means ephemeral.

        Yes..the MeToo movement is contrived garbage…BUT if it can facilitate taking out a more toxic and lasting pollutant-the Kavanaugh appointment- of an already extremely racist and elitist American judicial establishment….so be it.


        1. It’d be okay if he were collateral damage, but in the end the ‘movement’ is out of control and has gone far beyond the measured reaction it originally sought. It has instead become a tool used by militant feminists to remove men from appointments and replace them with ‘safe’ women. A look at Sammie Power should put paid to that notion.


        2. Stopping Kavanaugh from ascending to the Supreme Court by digging into his teenage past and using an incident of supposed rape – in which his actual involvement has yet to be properly established – may create a precedent that the Republicans could very well use to stop future SCOTUS nominees whose views and positions are anathema to them, by excavating buried skeletons and parading them before Congress. This makes a mockery of judicial appointments and is likely to undermine people’s trust in the judicial system in the future if they know that Supreme Court judges did not attain their positions by merit but only because a better qualified judge than they are was hounded out by self-appointed witch-finder generals.

          And suppose Kavanaugh is disqualified from acceding to the Supreme Court: will that guarantee that the President will not nominate a second candidate whose positions are equally as repellent as those of Kavanaugh?


    1. It was a good chuckle. Per the article, Putin said:

      It goes without saying that we must get to the bottom of this. Our attitude towards this tragedy is set forth in a statement by our Defence Ministry, and has been fully coordinated with me. As for reciprocal action, this will be primarily aimed at ensuring additional security for our military and our facilities in the Syrian Arab Republic. These steps will be seen by everyone.”

      My take is that Russia will take whatever action is need to prevent a recurrence. No sign of “surrender” or acquiesce to anyone.

      The article goes off the rails here:

      According to Israel, Putin has accepted the Israel Defence Force’s (IDF) air superiority over central as well as southern Syria and a free-fire zone for any target in Syria which Israel regards as hostile, including Russian military operations.

      Stopped reading the article at that point. The guy was trolling.


    2. In John Helmer’s article, the Israelis are putting their own spin on what Russia told Israel regarding Syrian sovereignty of its own airspace. They’re trying to blame the Russians and the Syrians for the shoot-down of the Ilyushin transport plane so as to (1) deflect attention away from their pilots’ actions in exploiting the gap between Syrian missile defence systems’ recognition of friendlies and enemies, (2) give the impression that the Russians are not competent and (3) suggest that the Russians and the Syrians are not co-operating very well. I would not trust what Israeli government officials and media report about what Netanyahu and Putin actually said to each other. It may very well be that Putin read the riot act to Netanyahu but we wouldn’t know from reading Helmer’s article.

      Helmer may be good at reporting news and technical details that the mainstream media glosses over and yawns at but he is not necessarily good at analysis or reading between the lines. You would think that someone who has lived in Moscow as long as Helmer has would understand the psychology of Putin’s government by now but I think some of us here at MoA seem to have a better handle of how Putin thinks than Helmer does.


      1. That’s very much my reading too, Jen. Notice how quickly the media has moved on as the affair has been considered ‘concluded’ when in reality it is anything but?

        I expect that when the IAF commander gets to the meeting in Moscow, he will be bounced around the room like a rubber ball and will be left in no doubt from the Russian military that the IAF is in deep shit and better think four times before trying to be cute. That’s the key, that the israeli military directly understands that they will pay a very heavy price if they skip along with Nut&Yahoo/Liberman, i.e. echoing the point I made earlier about driving a schism between the military and the pols.

        I don’t think Putin cares much about the ‘optics’ or winning a pr war. That is the job of others like Zakharova but results on the ground are all that really count.


        1. Satellite pics show Syria strike as Israeli Air Force chief goes to Moscow to explain Il-20 incident

          …Major-General Amikam Norkin will arrive in Moscow on Thursday, and will present the situation report on the incident, including “the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event,” and the “pre-mission information” the Israeli military was so reluctant to share in advance.

          Norkin will be joined by Brigadier General Erez Maisel of the International Cooperation Unit, as well as officers of the Intelligence and Operations directorates of the Israeli air force, according to the IDF. The delegation is also supposed to further acquit themselves of any blame and inform Moscow of “continuous Iranian attempts to transfer strategic weapons to the Hezbollah terror organization and to establish an Iranian military presence in Syria.”…

          So it is actually an IAF delegation. What are they going to say “The deaths of 15 Russian servicemen is unfortunate but Israel comes first.“?

          Clearly they believe in strength in numbers because they know they are going to get roasted. I wonder if Russia can detain them, after all they are ultimately responsible and Nut&Yahoo has delivered them to Moscow for free. Tempting.


        2. I frankly do not see any possibility of driving a wedge between the politicians and the military, since military officers at the command level are politicians themselves – you don’t even get there without having demonstrated some political acumen, and if you don’t develop it you won’t stay. But I imagine the air force has quietly been in receipt of Bibi’s personal congratulations for a job well done. And I agree Russia should never forget that while it is ‘developing relations’ with Israel, Israel owes its unconditional loyalty to the United States and Washington. It has no problem betraying its benefactors on the little things, because Israel is essentially a mercenary state always on the lookout for opportunity for itself. But at bottom it will always support the USA, simply because there is no other major power over which it exercises such influence and can so easily manipulate. It could never achieve that degree of control over Russia, to the point where Russian candidates for President were vetted on the basis of how strongly they felt about the importance of Israel’s security.

          Israel must be taught a lesson, and no time like the present – punishment delayed is punishment denied. I expect they will be quiet for a little, keep things on the down-low, pretending to be sensitive. But they cannot simultaneously break off harassment and serve the master, so sooner or later there will be another air strike on ‘Iranian targets’, or just some factory that makes something Syrians use but the Israelis can pretend it is vital to Hezbollah so they have an excuse to bomb it. And when that happens, the entire strike element should be yanked out of the sky as if their wings fell off, in an extinction so dramatically violent that Israeli pilots will piss their pants as soon as their bottom touches cockpit leather after it. And I’m pretty sure the law on sovereign airspace does not include immunity for aircraft who remain outside of it but fire into it and attack targets in a sovereign nation; otherwise ballistic-missile attacks would be perfectly legal. It has to be understood that Russia is through fucking around. Everybody involved has had chance after chance to pretend this was just a mistake, that was just confusion. If you can’t get your shit together, stay away.


          1. “Israel must be taught a lesson, and no time like the present – punishment delayed is punishment denied”

            Thanks Mark for your eloquently expressing what I and other Stooges have said all along…


          2. I agree with a lot of that but we live in strange times. The question should maybe be, at what cost? and even if the top brass don’t want to ask that question, a lot of others will. The seeds of doubt are sown, and as we have seen already Washington can’t even be trusted by its allies. If those responsible are to be taught a lesson, I would prefer it to come in from left-field and bounce so hard they’ll seriously think about not getting up at all again. There are many ways to skin a cat and in such a case, they shouldn’t see it come.

            Still, we’ll probably see in a few days most of the Israeli press bragging about the IAF standing their ground, but rather more interesting is will come out of Moscow unofficially…


  11. Despite Pledge Not to, Germany Approves Sale of Arms to Saudi Arabia

    …the Economy Minister has greenlit a new round of artillery systems for sale to the Saudis.

    The systems are designed for precise counterattack, and are clearly being bought explicitly to use in Yemen. Yet the Merkel government, as part of its coalition deal, announced a full export ban to “any sides fighting in Yemen,” including the Saudis…

    Business returns to normal.


    1. With a difference, though – don’t expect the United States to hold them to account the way they do for participating in Nord Stream II. Selling arms to the expansionist powerful looking to extend their dominion is rarely frowned upon by the world’s biggest arms dealer, although Washington might be a bit miffed that the Saudis bought German.

      There’s no use holding anyone in the west to their promises, because they’re not worth a pinch of dust. They’re made for the purpose of political appeasement, to keep the natives quiet, and there is rarely any intent to keep them even as they are offered. The only way to hold governments in the west to their promises is to make breaking them unprofitable. If the German government can make money selling weapons to Satan himself/(herself), it will do it. True of all western governments as well; not putting the spotlight on Germany.


      1. It turns out that Spain un-suspended its sale of 400 laser guided bombs to Saudi Arabia on September 13. Apparently KSA threatened to cancel outright a previous $2b deal… Well what else is there to expect from Saudi Arabia’s colonies in Europe?


  12. Just posted this for today.
    My post includes 3 vignettes/headlines:

    Poroshenko brags that Ukrainian Autocephaly is close to the “Finish Line”
    Filaret Visits His Reptilian Overlords in Washington DC
    Even Makarevich Has A Craw

    The scariest bit is that Metropolitan Ilarion is threatening actual physical war if Filaret should assume the Patriarch’s mitre. And all of this puts Idlib in perspective. If Putin’s deal with Erdogan included nixing Autocephaly in return for Idlib, then it would be worth it (from Russia’s POV, not necessarily Syria’s). However, if Filaret goes ahead and gets his Autocephaly, then the nay-sayers will have proved to be right and Putin will look like a patsy in this 4-way deal, IMHO.

    Meanwhile, Peter the Great is rolling over in his grave, his corpse heard to be muttering the words: “Poltava… Poltava… Poltava… twas all in vain….”


  13. Euractiv with Reuters: Russian oil firm seeks payments in euros amid US sanction threat

    Surgutneftegaz, representing 11% of oil production in Russia, is pushing buyers to agree to pay for oil in euros instead of dollars if the need arises, apparently as insurance against possible tougher US sanctions, traders who deal with the firm told Reuters.

    …But most of Surgutneftegaz’s exports — around 2 million tonnes per month — is sold through monthly tenders on the spot market, the largest volumes by far among its Russian peers. So it would have only around 30 days to find alternative payment methods.

    ‘Avoiding problems’

    Six traders who regularly deal with Surgutneftegaz said the company had been asking buyers to agree to an addendum to their contracts stating that they accept the option of settling payments in euros…

    …A source at Gazpromneft, Russia’s third-biggest oil company by output, said most of its contracts already contained a clause on possible payments in non-dollar currencies….

    …Several other oil firms also already have clauses in their contracts allowing non-dollar payments under some circumstances, said four industry sources…

    Trial balloon, anyone?


    1. In my opinion they would be best served to just go ahead and specify that payment for energy exports shall be in Euros. And that should only be conditional on Europe stopping its nonsense, because such a shift would strengthen the Euro and weaken the dollar, and be very much in Europe’s interest, while it would infuriate Washington; there is a distinct and discernible history of national leaders who have been regime-changed, some of them killed, for taking that step. If Europe will not act in its own best interest, other local currencies could be specified. For obvious reasons Russia does not want it to be in rubles, because efforts to tank Russia’s currency are actually having the opposite effect for so long as it extracts for rubles and sells for dollars (or Euros).

      It only needs one nation to successfully challenge the petrodollar monopoly, and others will follow, especially in the current climate of American bullying. The trouble is that nobody has been successful thus far. Iraq and Iran both threatened it, as did Libya. The examples are instructive.


  14. Browder enlists the BBC to produce his extra-judicial argument for a public inquiry into Alexander Perepilichnyy’s death. He knows full well that the inquest verdict will not support his “murder theory” stance. So, in typical fashion, he doubles down and uses the media to spread his unevidenced assertions.


  15. Times

    “Region in Ukraine’s West Bans Russian-Language Books, Movies”

    MINSK, Belarus — A regional council in western Ukraine has passed a motion to ban all Russian-language books, films and songs in the region.
    The legislature in the Lviv region voted on Wednesday to “impose a moratorium on the public broadcast and use of Russian-language content” until Russia withdraws all of its troops from Ukraine. It was not immediately clear how the ban would be enforced.
    Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and threw its support behind rebels in the country’s east. Much of the separatist movement there was driven by fears that the new Ukrainian government would discriminate against Russian speakers.
    Lviv is the largest city in western Ukraine, and while most of its residents speak Ukrainian, Russian is also widely used there.”

    // Note they add the paragraph about Crimea to justify this prejudicial act.
    57 votes for this 43 against. So it wasn’t a resounding majority.

    What will they do start purging libraries and book shops and schools and universities?


    1. I’d bet Russia kept fairly detailed records on all the Ukrainian refugees who fled to Russia following Maidan. An appropriate response to this zealotry would be to expel all those who came to Russia from West Ukraine, back to their former homeland.

      I don’t suppose it has occurred to the farseeing of Lviv that enforcement of a Ukrainian-only policy is cutting them off from exchanges with their largest investor. In this they are a little like those who believe that God will render tumors non-malignant if you just believe, and think positive thoughts. They will doubtless shirt their second-language emphasis to English, in the hope that English-speaking countries will replace Russia as their sugar-daddy trade partner. Good luck with that. It does have a silver lining, though – you probably will not see another such isolated example of willful stupidity for so long as you are alive, so you should learn what you can from it while it is available.


  16. WADA reinstates Russian anti-doping agency, ending 3-year suspension

    RUSADA was declared compliant with the WADA code at an Executive Board meeting in the Seychelles on Thursday.

    According to reports, nine out of 12 Executive Committee members voted to reinstate Russia’s anti-doping body, with two members voting against it and one abstaining…

    In a statement, WADA President Craig Rededie said: “Today, the great majority of WADA’s ExCo decided to reinstate RUSADA as compliant with the Code subject to strict conditions, upon recommendation by the Agency’s independent CRC and in accordance with an agreed process.

    “This decision provides a clear timeline by which WADA must be given access to the former Moscow laboratory data and samples with a clear commitment by the ExCo that should this timeline not be met, it would support the CRC’s recommendation to reinstate non-compliance.”..

    In a letter sent to WADA on September 13, the Russian Ministry of Sport outlined that it “fully accepted” the findings of the Schmid Report, which led to the country’s ban from the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

    “The Russian Federation fully accepted the decision of the IOC Executive Board of December 5, 2017 that was made based on the findings of the Schmid Report,” the letter read…

    Curiously, the Russian letter only makes mention of the Schmid report. Ne’er a word about McClaren as demanded.


    1. I understand the Russian government accepted for the sake of Russian athletes who want to participate under their country’s flag. But I would have been strongly tempted to tell them to go fuck themselves, and that I was not interested in either funding or participating in the Olympics. I still think Russia should start laying the groundwork for an alternate international sports competition.


  17. On the subject of the Kremlin modus operandi of restraint in the face of provocations and focus on the long term: Earlier this year, Russia was denied participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Russian athletes were denied the right to have their flag, anthem and uniforms, had to satisfy an abstract set of rules to participate and if allowed they could only do so as as “neutral athletes”. All that based on a biased report that had zero proof, and on a commission that was under pressure from the US and UK. The decision was unjustified, unfair and “humiliating” to Russia.

    At that time, public opinion was furious: Russia should not accept this humiliation, it should boycott the Olympics, it should withdraw from the IOC, it should stop participating in any World sport event, etc. No reaction was forceful enough to take back Russia’s honour. And when the Russian government decided to not boycott the Olympics and to leave it to each individual athlete to decide if they wanted to participate or not, it was seen as a complete treason. Let alone when they decided to comply with the IOC demands of no flag, no anthem, etc. (86% of Russians opposed participating in the Olympics under a neutral flag according to a KP poll taken before the Olympics).

    Result in hindsight? Every one knew where these “neutral” athletes were actually from. Russian athletes proceeded to win 17 medals overall, with Zagitova breaking the record for the highest ever technical score in ladies’ team figure skating, performing the most technically difficult program in the history of ladies Olympic gold medalists and breaking the world record for the highest short program score. The Men’s Hockey team won gold for the first time in 26 years, sang the Russian national anthem over the music of the Olympic one and caused a fervor and joy in Russia that hadn’t happened in a long time. I don’t know if you remember that win, but I am sure none of the 86% Russians who opposed participating before the start of the Olympics, cared after the Hockey gold. No one could talk of “humiliation”, honor was fully restored with an extra feeling of vindication. The CAS also decided to overturn the life bans of 28 Russian athletes and restore their medals won in the 2014 Olympics, and the IOC announced that it had chosen to reinstate Russia’s Olympic membership, just days after the end of the Winter Games.

    Russia then proceeded to hold the most successfully organized World Cup with lasting repercussions not only in how people now view Russia and Russians, but also their own media, who they realize have been lying about the doping “culture”, hooligans, unsmiling Russians and unfriendly police.

    And today, WADA has reinstated RUSADA, ending a 3-year ban and lifting all sanctions on the body.

    What would have a Russian boycott of the 2018 Olympics achieved? Probably a further ban of Russian athletes in all future meaningful sports events and possibly even a loss of interests of young russians to take on sports on a competitive level. “Unpatriotic” as it is, high-performance athletes are driven by, well, performance. Knowing that you won’t be allowed to compete and prove yourself on a world stage completely dampens interest. It could also have compromised the Football World Cup with other countries boycotting in return. How would have any of these consequences restored Russia’s honor? Yet, that would have been the easy, populist decision for Putin to take at that time, instead of not boycotting and getting called weak or a sellout bending to the IOC/WADA. Not only he would have won big popularity points in the short term, he also risked losing popularity at a time where the presidential elections were only a month away. However, he saw it for what it was, a ” cut off the nose to spite the face” strategy and decided to focus on the long terms interests of Russia.

    So in regards to current events in Syria and elsewhere, we shall see the outcome of the Russian modus operandi of assessing before reacting and restraint in the face of provocation. The Russian leadership has earned the right to be given a little more benefit to a little more doubt before jumping to treason/weakness condemnations.


    1. I accidentally caught al-Beeb s’Allah’s (radio) World Service reporting on this which was explained by their man Yuri Vendik (sp?).

      First up, he explained that WADA wrote a letter to Russia back in June offering a compromise. Russia has just responded to that. He then briefly pointed out that Russia has only accepted the Schmidt report. But, what Vendik says is ‘remarkable‘ about this story is that the Russian government is hiding it away and it isn’t being widely reported, and even if, most Russians won’t take any notice because it is all a vast conspiracy against them. What a dick.

      Of course, Vendik being an at best an ignornant MoFo that he is, doesn’t follow up with what the real remarkable thing about it is by pointing out that:

      a) the Schmidt report actually criticizes the Mclaren report quite strongly on its failure to follow up its claims with actual evidence; and

      b) that WADA had demanded a full and complete acceptance of both reports from Russia before it could be readmitted. It is WADA that has backed down. That’s the remarkable (but unsurprising fact considering their legal lack of evidence for Mclaren.).


        1. Just watching the BBC World Service reportage. They’re giving USADA psycho Travis Tygart a lot of coverage. Their BBC sports correspondent Mark Capstick has said absolutely nothing about the Schmidt v. Mclaren report, only WADA is undermining itself in the eyes of others. An unsurprising whitewash.


      1. Russia has not even really accepted the Schmidt report. Its letter to WADA states: ” The Russian Federation fully accepted the decision of the IOC Executive Board of 5 December 2017 that was made based on the findings of the Schmid Report.” It accepts the IOC decision to suspend the Russian NOC. The IOC decision was based on the findings of the Schmidt report. It doesn’t follow from that they accept the finding of the report. You accept the ruling of a judge or a referee (since in fact you have to) but it doesn’t mean you agree. The WADA review committee decided that ” the letter from the Russian Ministry of Sport sent to WADA amounts to an acceptance of all of the findings of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Schmid Report”. As long as it makes them happy!


    2. Yes, those are all excellent points – perhaps I was too hasty. But I still think Russia should bear in mind that where the USA/UK consortium always seeks to hurt and damage Russia is in things it believes are important for Russian pride. So long as Russia is fully invested in and committed to Olympic ideals, which have been corrupted and trampled upon many times over and in which athletes from preferred countries are shielded from doping accusations, there the west will concentrate its effort. The west is not a reliable partner for Russia in anything, and it never will be for so long as its philosophy remains that the planet is not big enough for both. Russia should make it clear that its funding of the Olympics is contingent on equal treatment and that it will be withdrawn abruptly as soon as any departures are detected. The USA owns the Olympics at present, and it jealously guards its discriminatory options.


      1. You are absolutely right that the west is not a reliable partner for Russia in anything. This is a constant. And since it’s a constant (not going to be changed by logic/discussions/debate), Russia has chosen to work around that and do the best it can to counter it WITHOUT damaging itself in the process, unless ALL other options have been tried and exhausted. USA/UK do seek to hurt Russia in things important for Russian pride, and the ban on the ROC in the 2018 Olympics was a great illustration for this. Russia turned the upset around and went on to win the two most important Gold medals in Winter Olympics: figure skating for women and hockey for men. The result of the US/UK efforts?: Russian were doubly proud: to win, and to win in the face of such total adversity. Going the route of threatening the IOC and organizing alternate games would have been absolutely justified and a lot of countries and people (including myself) would have sided with this decision and called Russia’s actions right. But would that have been useful to Russia and Russians?

        Russia first used the option that would not damage it while still countering the US/UK plan. Now if that failed (or will fail), then yes, it would go farther. So far, it is considering there’s no need for that yet.


    3. Yes, I agree with Nat. This “honor” thing is dangerous and not far removed from hubris. Russian leadership, judging by results, understands the dynamics of international relations far better than other countries. They play the long game as if time is on their side which it most definitely is.


  18. Gobshite — andthe wealthiest in the Ukraine at that!

    Simferopol, September 20. Kryminform. President of the Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has proposed to legislatively prohibit the deployment of the Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea and has once again threatened that peninsula shall be brought back. He stated this during his annual message to the Verkhovna Rada.

    According to the Ukrainian president, the new version of the constitution will exclude the possibility of basing the Black Sea Fleet in the peninsula.

    “From the constitution it is proposed to delete the norm that allows the basing of the Black Sea Fleet in the Ukraine. And after we have brought back the Crimea, the Russian base in Sevastopol shall definitely be no more”, assures Poroshenko.

    The Crimea and Sevastopol returned to Russia on March 18, 2014. Poroshenko was elected president of the Ukraine in May 2014.

    What an arsehole!


    1. The Khuyiv regime has the usual invincibility complex because “it has Uncle Scam at its back”. This could be seen in Boznia i Herzegovina when Izetbegovic decided he could have it all instead of accepting the 1992 Lisbon accords thanks to the US ambassador telling him he did not need to compromise. The US is behaving exactly the same way in Banderastan today, goading its quislings into a military confrontation in the Sea of Azov.


    1. Is this OK with you BBC?

      Photographed in Lvov/Lviv/Lemberg.

      You know, the capital of that region where they have just banned the use of the Russian language.

      “Human rights” discussion at Broadcasing House, anyone?

      Linguistic rights protect the individual and collective right to choose one’s language or languages for communication both within the private and the public spheres. They include the right to speak one’s own language in legal, administrative and judicial acts, the right to receive education in one’s own language, and the right for media to be broadcast in one’s own language. For minority groups the opportunity to use one’s own language can be of crucial importance, since it protects individual and collective identity and culture as well as participation in public life.

      See: Linguistic rights

      United Nations General Assembly
      92nd plenary meeting 18 December 1992

      Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities

      Russian minorities not included?


  19. “The massive expansion in military spending expressed in the passage of the bill represents the practical implementation of the Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy, which declared that “Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security.”

    ****The various branches of the military have concluded from this document that they must be prepared to fight a war with either Russia or China or both as soon as 2025. On Monday, the Air Force presented its proposal for meeting this goal.****

    Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told the Air Force Association’s conference in Maryland this week that the US Air Force would need to grow by 25 percent, adding roughly 1,500 aircraft to its current active fleet of about 6,000.

    “We must see the world as it is,” said Wilson. “That is why the National Defense Strategy explicitly recognizes that we have returned to an era of great power competition. We must prepare,” she said, to “win against a major power.”

    Some of you Stooges..keep drinkin’ that ‘Give Peace a Chance Koolaid…see how that works out for ya’!!!!!!



      “By these standards, Donald Trump’s open-ended, timetable-free “Strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia” may prove to be the winningest war plan ever. As he described it:

      “From now on, victory will have a clear definition: attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge.”

      Think about that for a moment. Victory’s definition begins with “attacking our enemies” and ends with the prevention of possible terror attacks. Let me reiterate: “victory” is defined as “attacking our enemies.” Under President Trump’s strategy, it seems, every time the U.S. bombs or shells or shoots at a member of one of those 20-plus terror groups in Afghanistan, the U.S. is winning or, perhaps, has won. And this strategy is not specifically Afghan-centric. It can easily be applied to American warzones in the Middle East and Africa — anywhere, really.

      Decades after the end of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military has finally solved the conundrum of how to “out-guerrilla the guerrilla.” And it couldn’t have been simpler. You just adopt the same definition of victory. As a result, a conventional army — at least the U.S. military — now loses only if it stops fighting. So long as unaccountable commanders wage benchmark-free wars without congressional constraint, the United States simply cannot lose. You can’t argue with the math. Call it the rule of 4,000,000,029,057.

      That calculus and that sum also prove, quite clearly, that America’s beleaguered commander-in-chief has gotten a raw deal on his victory parade. With apologies to the American Legion, the U.S. military is now — under the new rules of warfare — triumphant and deserves the type of celebration proposed by President Trump. After almost two decades of warfare, the armed forces have lowered the bar for victory to the level of their enemy, the Taliban. What was once the mark of failure for a conventional army is now the benchmark for success. It’s a remarkable feat and deserving, at the very least, of furious flag-waving, ticker tape, and all the age-old trappings of victory.”


    2. I, for one, support 100 megaton doomsday torpedoes, hypersonic maneuvering thermonuclear warheads and nuclear powered cruise missiles. Peace through strength as they say.


      1. What I would like is a weapon based on the technology of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, i.e. a Russian torpedo would hit the coast and cause quantities of peanut butter and jelly to descend from the skies, a consistency that would immobilize the entirety of the US’s war fighting, jihadi supporting wahhabi sucking military.



    “The Defense Ministry said Israeli aircraft deliberately created a dangerous situation in ​​Latakia. Israel had not warned the command of the Russian group of troops in Syria about the planned operation in the area. The Russian military said it regards Israel’s provocative actions as hostile and reserves the right to a proper response.”


    1. Great military and political analysis on the IL-20 shoot-down and potential consequences for Israel.

      Is Russia the only country on Earth managed by adults?


  21. The Russian government immediately sent an envoy to meet with President Macron and
    express Russia’s most profound regret at ‘big mistake’ when antiship missile somehow locked onto French warship off Syrian coast….


  22. US to approve certification of Russian Tu-214ON plane on September 24

    The United States will approve the certification of the new Russian Tu-214 surveillance aircraft in order to use it within the framework of the Treaty on Open Skies on September 24, a spokesperson for the US State Department told TASS.

    “On September 18, the United States informed all States Parties via formal treaty mechanisms that it will approve the certification of the Russian aircraft,” he noted.

    The state department added that the certification would officially go through on Monday, September 24. “We plan to sign the Certification Report on the margins of a plenary meeting of the Open Skies Consultative Commission in Vienna on Monday, September 24,” the spokesperson added.

    This appears to be quite a turn around from the item I posted September 17* : US, Russia remain at ‘impasse’ over Open Skies treaty flights



  23. Just spotted this on the European Tribune, dating back to the beginning of this year and don’t remember if it was posted at the time:

    EuroTribune: Unbelievable … Jaap De Hoop Scheffer

    “The West should respect the red lines of Russia.”…

    …Here are a few snippets from his interview …

    ‘NATO should not have committed to membership of Ukraine and Georgia’

    NATO has driven Vladimir Putin into a corner, making him more radical. These are not the words of Russia, but those of NATO’s former Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

    According to Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the West must respect the Russian red line. The speed of NATO enlargement has contributed to Putin’s aggressive stance in the former Soviet Union.

    NATO should not have committed to Ukraine and Georgia in 2008, the former NATO executive said. He calls it understandable that Putin has opposed it. “He said to me, after the communiqué came true: mister secretary-general, this will not be. This is not going to happen!”

    The NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008 was a breaking point in the relationship between Russia and the West. NATO opened the door for Georgia and Ukraine. Both countries were allowed to join, even though no date was mentioned. That was the wish of the American President Bush. The German Chancellor Merkel resisted. But NATO decided to leave the door ajar. That was unspeakable for Russia and Putin also said that afterwards.

    The former Secretary General now says that he underestimated the response and that he should have done more to keep the parties on the same level. According to De Hoop Scheffer, the decision led to a radicalization at Putin.

    Related stuff at the link.

    Scheffer can just do everyone a favor and book himself in to a Dutch euthanasia clinic. Maybe he can call some of his NATO mates to accompany him?


    1. The sad thing is that NATzO citizens drink the schizophrenic “total innocence” koolaid. It is always “them” that engage in wrong doing and never “us”. This exposes NATzO as a primitive tribe and not advanced civilization.


    2. Wisdom after the fact cannot properly be called wisdom at all. Quite a few analysts will actually say, with varying degrees of commitment, that the west made a big mistake plunging ahead with NATO enlargement after giving its word it would do nothing of the sort, and that prancing about and grinning its intention to admit Georgia and Ukraine was just that bit too much, where it went beyond what could be explained away as non-threatening overenthusiasm.

      A couple of things in there did make me laugh, though. Like the part where NATO ‘decided’ to leave the door ajar. Ha. ha – NATO decided, that kills me. What he means when he says that is that Washington decided, and the long-eared, wet-nosed pack that makes up the NATO minions went lolloping after in agreement. Bush liked to bill himself as “The Decider”, and we liked to laugh at him; but there was some truth to it, at least insofar as he was the US President rather than the egotistical knob he also is. America makes decisions which are wholly or mostly in line with American geopolitical objectives, and the self-aggrandizing minions who make up the rest of the ‘alliance’ clamber over one another to sign on, and be part of the ‘decision-making’. A few of the minions are starting to come to the realization that Amderica’s interests are frequently not aligned with Europe’s interests, and are sometimes detrimental to them, like the way Washington rolled Europe into the sanctions regime and caused it billions in trade losses, while suffering little or no direct financial effect itself. Too little, and much too late to back away from being Washington’s instrument; better to go back to sleep and pretend you didn’t notice. Because if Europe knew better, and went ahead anyway against its own interests, why, that’d be stupid, wouldn’t it?

      And the part where Putin is backed into a corner and out of options; the stereotypical ‘cornered rat’. He seems to be doing remarkably well for someone who is out of aces, doesn’t he? Which brings us full circle back to wisdom too late.


  24. Funny goings on with Sukhoi SuperJet airline Interjet of Mexico. Last week it was reported that they would dump their SSJs due to maintenance issues etc.. A day or so later they said that they had been misunderstood and that while there had been issues, it was ironed out and they had received compensation. Now they say that they will replace some originals with upgraded sabrelet models:

    RusAviaInsider: Sukhoi Civil in talks with Interjet over upgraded SSJ100

    …SCAC has confirmed to Russian Aviation Insider that it has been negotiating the substitution of the outstanding orders with the upgraded versions. Besides the winglets, the modernized aircraft come fitted with new cabin interiors and improved avionics. Although no information regarding the possible timeframe of the altered deliveries has been disclosed, Interjet nevertheless remains likely to become the launch customer of the winglet-equipped SSJ100 outside Russia.

    Inside Russia, the upgraded aircraft’s wingtip additions – dubbed ‘sabrelets’ because of their sabre-like shape – are to be implemented on the 100 units ordered by Aeroflot last week. Sukhoi Civil expects to win certification for the modification approval before the end of this year…

    Plenty more at the link. Lufthansa owned Brussels Airlines is not keeping their Irish Interjet wetleased jets:


    1. Mighty America, master of science and technology can’t compete with mud hut primitive Russia so has to resort to dirty tricks. The poor dears.

      The brainiacs in Washington think that they can coerce the whole planet. This is going to lead to their own isolation. They had leverage during the cold war by invoking the commie boogieman, now they have nothing.


  25. Russian Bombers Carry Out Scheduled Arctic Ocean Flights, Shadowed by UK Jets

    They were flying “over the neutral waters of the basins of the Barents, Norwegian and Northern seas”, which areas, apparently, are of “UK interest”.

    “The UK fighter jets escorted the Russian aircraft north out of the UK area of interest, according to the statement. The UK Defence Ministry noted that the Russian bombers had not entered UK airspace.” My stress.

    UK Defence Secretary Gavin Why-Doesn’t-Russia-Shut-Up-And-Go-Away Williamson:

    Russian bombers probing UK airspace is another reminder of the very serious military challenge that Russia poses us today.

    We will not hesitate to continually defend our skies from acts of aggression.

    Once again the rapid reactions of our RAF have demonstrated how vital our Armed Forces are in protecting Britain.’

    Daily Mail:

    Act of aggression’: Putin’s bombers are intercepted by RAF Typhoons over the North Sea after flying towards Britain ignoring contact from air-traffic controllers making them ‘a danger to all aircraft’


    Putin’s bombers and not those of the Russian Federation?

    Flying towards Britain???


    1. Translation of above Tweet:


      3 Tu-160s from the Engels airbase and 3 Tu-95 tankers from the Ryazan airbase have flown to the area of the Norwegian Sea #RuaF

      No secret!

      Flying towards Britain???

      And the recorded flight path crosses Russian territory and terrotorial waters entirely before entering international airspace over the Norwegian Sea.


      Russian bombers probing UK airspace is another reminder of the very serious military challenge that Russia poses us today.

      My stress.

      Former fireplace saleseman and Lothario Gavin Willliamson.

      Theresa May suffers major backlash over her new defence secretary

      Theresa May is facing a major backlash after appointing her chief whip Gavin Williamson as the new defence secretary, with some Conservative MPs “livid” at the promotion.

      Williamson was appointed on Thursday morning following Sir Michael Fallon’s shock resignation as defence secretary on Wednesday evening after he was implicated in the Westminster sexual harassment scandal.

      One senior Conservative backbench MP described the surprise promotion of Williamson to The Guardian as “Unbelievable. Ludicrous. Astonishing.”

      Former Chief of the General Staff Lord Richard Dannatt said the appointment was “quite surprising” and not the best option “from a defence point of view.”

      This is Williamson’s first ministerial position, but is thought to be trusted by May after he ran her leadership campaign and was a trusted ally as chief whip since she became prime minister.

      Below: Williamson arriving at the MoD for the first time after his appointment as Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom:

      In there, you stupid boy!


        1. A statue of Friedrich Engels, central Moscow, next to the the Kropotkinskaya metro station:

          and across the road:

          Destroyed by Marxist-Leninists, 1931: resurrected by capitalists and consecrated, 2000.


                1. I did as well! I thought it was a great place. They opened another one, called “Chaika” [seagull] just down the road, but is considerably smaller.

                  When the old one was open, in winter there was often mist hanging over the place because of the water vapour rising from its heated waters condensing in the cold air when the air temperature was about minus 10C.

                  My first landlady was a very religious type, who maintained that the old open-air pool suffered god’s wrath because it had been built on the site of the destroyed by atheists cathedral. That’s why, she said, there had been regular drownings at the place since it had opened.

                  I think the drownings had probably more to do with patrons going for a dip when half-pissed.


    2. Air-traffic controllers do not exercise jurisdiction over international airspace. An ATC may call up a foreign aircraft to inquire about its intentions, but its pilot is under no obligation to answer. Lucky they had May’s Typhoons to protect England, though. But there are probably not enough of them – May should buy another 500.


    1. From the above Independent article on Pete the Pedo:

      Leonid Gozman, psychologist, liberal politician and prominent commentator, told The Independent he had little doubt Mr Verzilov had been poisoned by government – and that it spoke a “radicalisation” of the Kremlin strongmen.

      “Two years ago I wouldn’t have believed it,” he said. “But now, post Skripal, post Crimea, you start to see they are capable of the craziest and most criminal of things.”

      He suggested the July World Cup pitch invasion offered a likely motive.

      The Kremlin had been very angry about it, he says: “It was supposed to be the leader’s party, but Pyotr and his friends ruined the big day”

      I should think it more likely that the Croatia national football side has far greater motivation for bumbing the cnut off than has the “Kremlin”.

      Gozman is president of “The Union of Right Forces”, which stands for free market reforms, privatization, and the legacy of the “young reformers” of the 1990s: Anatoly Chubais, Boris Nemtsov, and Yegor Gaidar.

      Needless to say, this “party” is as popular amongst the Russian electorate as is a turd in a swimming pool.

      In September 2014, Gozman signed a statement whose message was to “Stop the aggressive adventure: To withdraw from the territory of Ukraine, Russian troops and stop the propaganda, financial and military support to the separatists in the South-East of Ukraine”.

      If Gozman thought that this statement would enamour him and others who had signed it with the Russian electorate, then he should seek the advice of a psychiatrist.

      Gozman is a psychologist, which ain’t the same thing, of course.


      1. Proof by accusation. If this monkey turd thinks the “regime” is out to get “dissidents” he should check out the history in Latin America. A few wacky poisonings is not something that dictatorships do. They exterminate hundreds and thousands of regime opponents. None of this is happening in Russia. Instead we have extremely dubious claims based on the mere use of some exotic poison (as if nobody but Putin and his “regime” could ever stage such as attacks) and claims such as this case where no evidence of a poisoning has even been produced.

        Time to ship all these 5th column maggots to NATzO. They can spread their shit in their promised land like that schizophrenic ball nailer.


    1. For some reason the & tags which are used to reference a link which we know shows up as blue are included at the beginning and end of the text you copied.


  26. Ukrainian president sues BBC for libel over claim he paid to meet Donald Trump

    The High Court claim states that Porky “has been seriously injured in his reputation and has been caused substantial distress and embarrassment” and that the “allegation that the Claimant was guilty of serious corruption is self-evidently an extremely grave and serious one…

    “It has also caused him considerable distress and embarrassment since the allegation strikes at the core of his personal dignity and integrity”.

    Personal dignity and integrity?


    1. The UK needs only hint that it has some mild suspicions that the official story on the MH17 incident might not be completely accurate as it stands, and Porky’s lawsuit will dry up and blow away. All the ‘partners’ must know a great deal more than they are saying, or else they are idiots, because the official story is a complete crock.


    1. Not only saw the article, added a comment about Insane McCain tweeting about his meeting with Andriy Parubiy and providing a link to that tweet.


  27. In almost a companion article to the Martyanov one Patient Observer linked to earlier, The Saker

    considers various scenarios which could have produced the downing of the Russian surveillance aircraft. The FUBAR and SNAFU possibilities are attractive but one wonders why they always seem to be one-way. Maybe time to have some accidental shots on other people?


    1. I agree. Israel so often gains from the “All right, but see that it doesn’t happen again, because next time you’re really getting it” benefit-of-the-doubt verdict, as it incrementally carves more notches on its gun of targets it ‘accidentally’ destroyed. I think if Russia were to have such an ‘accident’ hard on the heels of the one which destroyed its aircraft, the message would be clearer.


  28. WordPress does censor posts. Both of my posts involving the Skripal case have failed to appear. I have included links before and did not have this problem.


    1. Now if we can just get around to the point where no public evidence has emerged that there was any election interference at all, caused by Russia or anyone else, we might be making some headway. Trump was elected fair and square according to the rules of American electioneering. Period. He did not win the popular vote, but previous elections have demonstrated that a candidate can still win the presidency if s/he wins the electoral college. Americans have only themselves to blame for that system. I don’t dispute that Trump had help with his ground game; he’s too stupid and arrogant to have dreamed it up himself. But no foreigners intervened to win him the presidency, one which is such a shower of shit that Americans are desperate to blame it on anyone but themselves.

      There was no election interference. People from around the world stated their preference for this or that winner, including Europe’s wholehearted endorsement of Hillary Clinton, and no official American voices demurred. There was a lively social media discussion in which various accusations and exposures occurred, working to the detriment/deification of both candidates. Nobody made any appreciable difference in public opinion to the extent that people cast their ballots in a dream, then awoke to say “What the hell did I do???” Clinton’s email scandal was a well-known issue far in advance of the election, and nobody disputes – now – that she used a private server in defiance of the rules, one which was not approved by the State Department, therefore her contention that this was the case was a lie among many others. Russians did not make Clinton use a private server for official business, much of which was classified and therefore forbidden from being transmitted on a server which was outside government protection of government data, and Russians did not make her lie to investigators. Clinton’s lies and evasions were far more damaging to her electability than the actual content of her emails, and nobody but Clinton had anything to do with those.


  29. Interesting interview of a member of the Russian delegation about how the meeting between the Russian and Israeli Air Force Commanders went:

    Main points:
    – Russians reiterated the official position that ” The blame for the downed Russian plane and for the death of the crew lies entirely on the Israeli side “. ENTIRELY.

    – Israelis blamed it on the Syrians/Assad.

    – Russians rejected this argument, countering with the following points:
    1. Israel forces should never have entered the Syrian airspace to begin with. Syrians wouldn’t then needed to defend themselves.
    2. Russians had precise data that showed Israel’s F-16 set up the Russian plane to be shot by the S-200.
    3. Israelis only gave less than a minute warning.
    Then concluded with repeating the position “The blame lies entirely on the Israeli side “.

    – Israeli said their data showed their F-16 didn’t set up the Russian plane, and was in fact back in Israel by the time the plane was shot down.

    – Russians flat out said their had contradictory data and relied on them and on the Syrian data.

    – Israeli played ignorance about the one minute warning. Supposedly they weren’t aware Russian planes were flying at that time and needed warning.

    – Russians said they could not believe the F-16 radars did not see the Russian plane, and went back to their three points (Anyway F-16 had no right to be in Syria, Russian had data that showed F-16 set up their plane and rules of pre-warning were not followed).

    – The Russian military man interviewed in the article clearly stated that the only thing that the Russians were waiting to hear from that meeting was Israel recognizing it was to blame. All the rest (data from investigation, blaming Syrians, etc) was useless. Russia had already made up its mind and had its own very detailed data.

    The interview ends with a question about what will the consequences/reaction be . The reply is “”We are military men. We have the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, we have the Minister of Defense. Whichever order from them we shall receive, such and we will execute”.


    1. If the order from Shoigu is to deliver S300 anti-missile defence systems to Syria (as the Russian interviewers must surely be expecting), then the actions of the Israeli F-16 fighter pilots will have dealt a severe blow to Israel and Satanyahu’s machinations over the years, kissing up to Moscow, will have come to nothing. And 15 Russian military personnel will not have perished in vain.

      And FUKUS, who had been expecting a Russian attack on the French frigate the Auvergne so that Article 5 in the NATO treaty could be invoked, or new sanctions against Russia declared and passed, will be left with egg on their faces.

      The Russian reaction to the whole incident seems very like its earlier reaction when the IOC banned Russia from sending its team to the Winter Olympics earlier this year: go along with the ban, do the opposite of what your enemies expect you to do (which is to react in the heat of the moment and do something in the short-term that you will later regret in the long-term) and put your enemies in positions where they not only have to justify their stance against you but fail spectacularly in doing so because their stance was based on lies and spite in the first place.


      1. And yet on other sites (RI, Sputnik, RT) many are howling about “Vlad” the Coward.

        I think many who hold such an opinion are, if not trolls, then 12-year-old American (USA) kids (mostly), who were weaned on computer video games such as “Modern Warfare” and who have been imbued with the notion that “might is right” and that “God is on our side” etc.


    1. Nonsense – Russia is weak, and this amounts to an approval of Israeli attacks by Putin.

      Those F-16’s must be faster than any other version built, or else the S-200 has an ungodly long time of flight, if the Syrians fired it against an attack but the Israeli planes were already back over their home base by the time the missile reached their previous position. What does the Syrian radar history say?


      1. According to the Russians, the Syrian radar history is different from the Israeli version. “- Израильтяне выворачивались: «Когда сирийская армия выпустила ракеты, попавшие в российский самолет, израильские самолеты ВВС уже находились на израильской территории». А с нашей стороны тут же прозвучало, что у нас есть другие данные. Другие документы. Есть они и у сирийского командования ПВО. Тут надо основательно сверить данные. Буквально по минутам и секундам.”.

        So Russia has the timeline of the events down to the second and all of it shows that the Israeli pilots set the IL-20 under the fire of the Syrian S-200. The Israeli also perfectly know what they did. It looks like Russia is letting the Israeli “investigate” as a way to give Israel a very small window of opportunity to recognize its guilt and take action itself.


        1. I suspected as much; If the Syrian and Russian intercept records agree, then there is a good chance the Israelis faked their radar data and flight records. But then, they fancy themselves the masters of such clever fakes that they can make anyone do what they want them to do.


      2. By the way Mark, the Russians had the same reaction you had to the Israeli claim: «Когда они это сказали, наши чуть со стульев не попадали» (“When they said that, our guys in the delegation almost fell off their chairs”).


        1. Israelis are acting like some crooked lawyer trying to get their crooked client out on a technicality. “Oh, we didn’t know… We tried to warn them… blah blah blah…”
          They can blow as much smoke as they like, but the bottom line is, their planes should not be flying over Syria. Period.
          Oh, everybody knows the reason they are up there and dropping bombs: Trying to do some harm to Hezbollah. But Hezbollah are invited guests within Syrian space. Israelis are uninvited guests. And everybody knows what Alexander Nevsky had to say about uninvited guests!



    China imposed a 10% tariff on LNG imports from the US, describing the measure as a response to the latest US tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. The 10% tariff, which includes other products as well to affect $60 billion worth of trade, will go into effect Sept. 24, according to China’s ministry of commerce.

    The article mentioned a 25% tariff was contemplated. I suspect such a high tariff could have induced Russia to run its prices way high. If 10% kills off US LNG, mission accomplished.


    1. Yes, that’s an instructive and useful point – if a tariff is too high, it encourages competitors to hike their own price while still staying well under the tariff. Very cagey move by the Chinese.



    Lots of interesting information regarding conversations between Bill Clinto and Yeltsin but allow me to focus on the NATO bombing of Serbia:

    Although Clinton and Yeltsin enjoyed friendly relations, NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia tempered Moscow’s enthusiastic partnership with the West.

    “Our people will certainly from now have a bad attitude with regard to America and with NATO,” the Russian president told Clinton in March 1999. “I remember how difficult it was for me to try and turn the heads of our people, the heads of the politicians towards the West, towards the United States, but I succeeded in doing that, and now to lose all that.”

    Yeltsin urged Clinton to renounce the strikes, for the sake of “our relationship” and “peace in Europe.”

    The declassified White House Yeltsin files reveal the drama at the turning point in US-Russia relations, when Yeltsin pleaded, threatened and despaired trying to make Clinton call off the bombing of Yugoslavia.

    “It is not known who will come after us and it is not known what will be the road of future developments in strategic nuclear weapons,” Yeltsin reminded his US counterpart.

    But Clinton wouldn’t cede ground.

    Clinton to Yeltsin on Milosevic: “It will be your decision if you decide to let this bully destroy the relationship we worked hard for over six and a half years to build up… I’m sorry he is a Serb. I wish he were Irish or something else, but he is not.”

    “Milosevic is still a communist dictator and he would like to destroy the alliance that Russia has built up with the US and Europe and essentially destroy the whole movement of your region toward democracy and go back to ethnic alliances. We cannot allow him to dictate our future,” Clinton told Yeltsin.

    It was much more than the all-out bombing campaign by NATO. Serbia resisted for more than 70 days by courage and intelligence including bagging at least one stealth aircraft and its army remaining virtually untouched and ready to take on a NATO land invasion.


    1. Haha! I can’t believe the blog added “Warning! Graphic content ahead” before posting these hilarious videos. In the three videos, the same exact people take turn being the saviors or the victims, sometimes dead victims. Unless we’re witnessing miracles, this does more than just cast doubt. And what’s with the weird screaming sirens every time they show us the ambulance? It’s not moving, and there is no traffic (not sure there is even a road). It doesn’t even sound like ambulance sirens, it keeps changing . Frankly, it sound like the alarm that goes off if someone tries to steal your car :/ I wonder if they are not adding the audio afterwards, when editing their videos.


      1. Such warnings are certain to increase views. Or “WARNING – for mature audiences only”. Or “CAUTION – Beautiful women in embarrassing moments”. Juvenile? Yes. Does it work? Yes.


    2. “White Helmets” is used in preference to the alternative, all too well associated in the popular imagination with the acme of American culture: the Western.

      And in the classic commercial way, it provides a twofer, since the white helmet first gained widespread popularity with the Village People, so it clicks with the whole LGBTQ touchy feely approach to world affairs we’re always being told is essential. Real world hard hats tend to be in high-vis, almost painfully bright colours – orange, red, maybe blue.

      White? In the Levant, where half or more of the buildings are white to reflect the sun?


    3. Those are really bad. But I don’t see much to link them to the White Helmets – just one guy with what I guess is their insignia on the back of his shirt, and nobody wearing the famous white helmets. It almost looks like someone deliberately making a fake which is full of holes, to implicate the White Helmets in making fake films. Just playing devil’s advocate here. It would be very easy indeed for the White Helmets to disown these videos if they do not gain any traction.


      1. IIRC, the Russian government said a number of videos were shot with most being of low quality and would go straight to YouTube. Two were of sufficiently high cinematic quality to be released to Western media outlets.

        However, with the recent agreement to stop military action in Idlib, it would seem that there is no longer an opportunity to use the videos as a justification for a Western military attack.

        Indeed, the Idlib agreement has removed any pretext for Western attacks for the foreseeable future. That is big. The military phase of the war in Syria seems to be over.


        1. They can edit and timestamp the raw footage in heartbeat and put it out there at the first opportunity. I’m not ready to call the military phase over either.

          We know that terrorist groups who work for western/gulf intelligence services don’t have to follow any ‘rules’. I’m certain that there will be more surprises, good and bad. All I can say is that there seems to be a real orgy of violence before a war is concluded. I think the West and their Gulf allies would be more than happy to bomb the F**k out of Syria at the drop of a hat and that they haven’t given up.


  32. Euractiv with AFP: Belgian inquest implicates UK in phone spying

    A confidential report by Belgian investigators confirms that British intelligence services hacked state-owned Belgian telecom giant Belgacom on behalf of Washington, it was revealed on Thursday (20 September).

    …The report, which summarises a five-year judicial inquiry, is almost complete and was submitted to the office of Justice Minister Koen Geens, a source close to the case told AFP, confirming Belgian press reports…

    …The matter will now be discussed within Belgium’s National Security Council, which includes the Belgian Prime Minister with top security ministers and officials.

    Contacted by AFP, the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the cabinet of Minister Geens refused to comment….

    NO. Shit. Sherlock.

    So the real question is that if this has known since 2013, why now? BREXIT?


    1. Are they serious?

      Are they really accusing my fellow countrymen of participiting in dirty, underhanded tricks against their NATO allies?

      What a peposterous accusation to have made!

      Why, that’s the sort of thing only those damned Froggies and other Johnny Foreigners do!


  33. Latest on the ongoing and increasingly tiresome Skripal poisoning saga – and which also increasingly demolishes the British news media’s reputation – is that Wiltshire police are now investigating the possibility that the Prezzo restaurant poisoning scare involving Alexander King and his wife Anna Shapiro is a hoax stunt.

    King has a criminal history as a drug dealer, a purveyor of indecent photographs (some of which may have been faked) of children for which he was convicted in 2003, and as having pranked Prince Charles at a film’s first opening night in 2006 in which he insinuated himself into a line-up of celebrities to meet and greet the prince.

    Shapiro has been reported as having once been a honey-trap spy for Mossad.

    The Daily Mail reports a source close to Shapiro saying that Shapiro married King and then cooked up the poisoning incident in order to extend her visa to stay in Britain.


    1. GRU again sending high-profile yet completely incompetent assassins: They wanted to kill Shapiro (they want her dead since she’s the traitor who turned her back on her country, opposed Putin and was the daughter of a Russian “military official”), Yet, they in fact ended up targeting King, her husband of only one month, trying (and failing) to kill him. She described “finding her husband foaming at the mouth in the restaurant toilet after eating his sea bass” but at no point did she describe any symptom she herself had. “Russia is capable of anything” she says, yet it remained consistently incapable of killing people, whether using military-grade nerve agents or rat poison.


      1. You’d think though Anna Shapiro would want to stay quiet on being a honey-trap for Mossad or any other spook agency: lying or not lying, she won’t have very many friends left and if she’s telling the truth, someone may decide to shut her up permanently.

        Incredible though how seedy and tacky the Skripal saga has quickly become.


        1. The only alleged death through “Novichok” poisoning was an unfortunate woman who had led a very “tacky” life, a “mother of three” whose children had been taken into protective care, and the “partner” of a junky convicted drug dealer.

          Interestingly, the alleged GU agents who allegedly attempted to murder the Skripals have not been accused of murdering the “mother of three”.


    2. And yet I occasionally get emails off old acquaintances in the UK and who think that the evidence against Russia as regards the alleged poisoning of the Skripals is damning. And they never write “alleged”!

      That’s because, truth be said, these correspondents are not too bright, most of them, and think that “it must be true because it is in the papers”.

      They use expressions such as “You’ve got to admit …” and the all-time British Govt. favourite “It’s highly/very/extremely likely …”, all of which premises beg the question (in the logic fallacy meaning of the expression) that Russia is a malevolent, rogue state led by a gangster cabal.


  34. A video that discusses Surkov’s poetry:

    The author suggests that the poetry is an outlet for a person to express the true self. And so, the author goes on to expose the personality of Vladislav Yurievich. Sort of interesting, actually.


  35. Throughout the length and breadth of this vast land were held today, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Russia, rallies in protest against the pension reforms that are to be imposed upon the long suffering citizens of Russia by the criminal Putin regime :


    Birobidzhan and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk … 120 turned up.

    And in the throbbing heart of the Evil Empire, a rally was held on Prospekt Akademik Sakharov. The coordinator of the”Left Front”, Sergey Udaltsov, saidthat to the rally came about 50 THOUSAND people. However, in a Moscow police press-service statement, it was reported that 3 THOUSAND turned up.

    Someone is telling fibs.

    No rubberduckians in sight, though, which perhaps explains the fact that there was no trouble whatsoever and no arrests.


        1. These clowns need to up their game. They have to get more protesters out and have them stampede. A few deaths will bootstrap the revolution. Repeating these evanescent demonstrations over and over will not get their project in gear.

          I am glad to see that Russians have for the most part woken up and will not be bamboozled by NATzO sponsored agitators.


          1. That used to be Navalny’s game – first, to get the march to take an unsanctioned route for which the organizers did not have permission, and then to attempt to break through the police cordon, so there would be lots of pictures of police brutality.


          2. Udaltsov used to call his marches that took place several years ago “March of Millions”. I know of no Western journalist that made a comment about this hyperbole: they simply used to report on a “March of Millions” in Moscow, then in the body of the text, they give the inflated estimates made by Udaltsov & C0. of the “thousands” that took part, adding the police estimates.

            Courtesy of “Human Rights Watch” (figures!):

            June 13, 2012 1:48PM EDT
            Available InEnglish Русский
            Russia: The ‘March of Millions’

            On June 12, Russian political opposition and civic movements held another “March of Millions” mass demonstration in central Moscow. Thousands of protesters gathered at Pushkin Square at noon and walked down the Boulevard Ring to Andrei Sakharov Avenue for a rally and concert by rap and rock musicians who performed a collection of protest songs, “The White Album,” especially for the event. The city administration authorized both the march and the rally.

            According to media reports, about 50,000 people took part in the event (the Moscow police estimated 18,000, and political opposition leaders said that more than 100,000 participated). People of various political convictions joined in the calls for freedom, state accountability, and fair elections. There was a strong police presence, but no police interference with the protest.


          3. Offering prospective protesters lots of cash and perhaps a free bus ride to the protest site would work. Hiring thugs to turn over cars and burn tyres, and run through the streets breaking shop windows never fails to get attention. Oh and placing foreign snipers in rooms of hotels or other buildings overlooking streets where the revolution is playing out to shoot police and protesters alike lifts the colour revolution to another level.


        2. That photo might not have been taken at the height of the demonstration, though. You can see they are still forming up for their march, getting organized. There are some signs, however, of them trying to maximize the appearance of numbers, such as staggering the banner-carriers left/right so that viewed from the front, they will seem a solid phalanx. And getting a large group up front, of course, so the parade appears to fill the street to its margins as they step off. Common PR tricks used when the organizers know nothing like large numbers have turned up.


          1. From RFE/RL [video]:

            Russians Rally Against Plan To Raise Retirement Age
            September 22, 2018 16:15 GMT

            Всероссийский митинг против повышения пенсионного возраста.Москва / LIVE 22.09.18
            All Russia meeting against increase in the pension age. Moscow / LIVE 22.09.18
            Udaltsov at the head of the 50, 000 protesters on Prospekt Academician Sakharov, 22 Sept., 2018

            The video lasts for 2 hours , 43 minutes and 5 seconds. Fast forward to see the 50 thousand gathered there.

            Again, a more than 2-hour-long video showing the 50, 000 on Prospekt Academician Sakharov yesterday, Moscow, 22 Sept., 2018:

            Look at the crowds gathered at the end!

            Some nice shots of the asphalt, though!


    1. For purposes of lawful activities and exercising freedom of navigation, an EEZ is considered international waters under the law. Warships ordinarily do not enter another nation’s territorial waters without seeking and obtaining permission, but that is a different thing altogether. The west squawks and ruffles its feathers whenever Russia enters the EEZ of another nation and considers such action a dangerous provocation, but we are used to the west having a different standard for Russian actions. Here the Ukrainians are just being bold and cheeky, qualities we are encouraged to admire. But it’s just more of the same old baiting, trying to get Russia to drop the hammer so the western reaction can get started.


      1. And these and other valiant Ukraine navy vessels passed beneath the Crimea Bridge arches today and entered the Sea of Azov.

        Украина направила артиллерийские катера навстречу идущим в Азовское море судам
        The Ukraine sent artillery boats to meet the ships that were heading for the Sea of Azov

        The “Donbass” had to have on board a Russian pilot so as to navigate the strait and pass along the channel beneath the bridge arches.

        A reminder of how some only a few years ago considered the feasability of constructing a bridge across the Kerch strait:

        Russia’s Long, Troubled Bridge to Crimea
        Russia hopes to use this 12-mile bridge to solidify its disputed claims to the region.

        By Jay Bennett
        Sep 19, 2016

        Despite the footage of the bridge’s progress, there is some serious doubt as to whether the project will be completed on schedule due to weather delays and engineering oversights. Construction director Leonid Ryzhenkin told NPR that storms in June prevented workers and construction boats from getting to the bridge sites for days. There is also a deep channel along the route of the bridge that has made it difficult for engineers to reach the sea floor and establish a solid foundation. And just touching the bottom isn’t enough; some of the pilings need to be driven as far as 300 feet into the sea bed. Civil engineer Georgy Rosnovsky, who has designed other bridges in the country, told NPR that the current location leaves the bridge vulnerable to mud volcanoes on the sea floor and earthquakes.

        Last month, it was also reported that construction companies working on the project had been abusing laborers. Originally promised $80 per day plus food and lodging, workers found meals and housing ultimately deducted from wages, leaving them with little actual earnings, reports one such worker, who also alleges that workers could be fired and sent home without pay for taking breaks.

        The Kremlin awarded the construction contract to billionaire Arkady Rotenberg’s SGM Group. Rotenberg is a personal friend of Vladimir Putin, and the SGM Group also handled construction for the Sochi Olympics, which suffered billions in cost overruns. Exactly how the Crimean bridge is coming along is yet to be seen.

        Thank you, “Popular Mechanics”!


  36. Encouraged by their Uncle Sam:

    Корабли ВМС Украины вошли в исключительную экономическую зону России
    20:24 22.09.2018 (обновлено: 21:36 22.09.2018)

    Ships of the Ukrainian navy have entered the Russian eclusive economic zone

    SIMFEROPOL, September 22 – RIA Novosti. Ships of the Ukrainian Navy have entered the Russian exclusive economic zone, the FSB frontier department for the Crimea has reported.

    The department noted that Ukrainian vessels “Donbass” and tug “Korets” are located near the Crimea coast. The border guards also said that the ships are heading in a northeasterly direction.

    It is reported that Russian coast guard vessels are escorting Ukrainian ships “in accordance with the norms of international maritime law and in the interests of ensuring Russia’s security”.

    Earlier, the Ukrainian authorities announced their intention to strengthen the military presence in the Azov Sea. In particular, the commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces, Colonel-General Sergei Popko, said that Kiev had transferred troops to the Azov Sea. In addition, the “Ukrainian Military Portal” noted that Kiev had sent armoured cutters to the Sea of ​​Azov.

    In addition, the country’s authorities announced their intention to establish a naval base in the region before the end of this year.

    Cue: “Vlad the Coward ” must sink them, and if not, then why not?

    Russian honour is at stake as the world realizes that Putin is all mouth and trousers etc., etc.

    I myself find the fictive state of the Ukraine risible together with its gobshite president in his oversize trousers.

    “Donbass” — a Yukie navy repair ship converted to a command vessel.

    Asking to be shot at?


    1. By the way, “Donbass” was built in Poland, at Szczecin in 1969, for the Soviet Navy. She was captured by those dastardly Russkies when they “invaded” the Crimea, but they gave her back to the Yukies.

      Sine her repatriation, “Donbass” has participated in international exercises and parades in honour of the Navy and Armed Forces of the Ukraine — and the idiots have also forked out 4 million UAH for her reconstruction.

      If the imbeciles get the shoot-out in the Sea of Azov that they seem to be desirous of, I think she would last about 15 minutes — or whatever it takes for a Russian rocket to hit her.


        1. Med-moored, to be specific, which is secured to a fixed point or anchored fore and aft. That was traditional for Soviet military vessels, while western navies habitually moor alongside a pier.


            1. That might very well be the reason for it; I’m afraid I don’t know. Our navies practice it occasionally because it’s a necessary skill of seamanship, but we almost never do it unless a foreign harbour master demands it.


          1. It reminds me of that scene from Moby Dick where the Pequod lost its buoys and was forced to tow the coffin that had orginally been built for Queequeg when he got sick. (Important plot point a la Chekhov!)



    From the Super Schadenfreude Press:

    “UK Prime Minister Theresa May suffered political humiliation in Salzburg, when European Union (EU) leaders rebuffed her appeal to give at least conditional support to her Chequers proposal for a “soft Brexit.”

    May was given only 10 minutes to address EU heads of state Wednesday, after dinner at the informal summit, during which she appealed to her audience, “You are participants in our debate, not just observers.”

    She said she had counted on at least supportive noises for her “serious and workable” plan, given that she was seeking to head off a potential challenge from the “hard-Brexit”/Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party. She warned that the UK could be torn apart—with respect to Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as by social tensions; that if her government fell, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party could win a general election; and cited the potential damage to the EU itself of lost trade, investment and military support from the UK.

    Instead, her address was met with silence and her implied threats were stonewalled, as the main players within the EU combined the next day to declare her proposals to be “unworkable.

    No matter how these conflicts play out, Britain and the whole of Europe face a worsening crisis that threatens to tear the EU apart. The growth of both inter-imperialist and social antagonisms found dramatic form in Brexit, which the dominant sections of the City of London, big business, all the major parties and Britain’s allies in the US and Europe all opposed. Yet two years later, May is fighting a desperate struggle against her anti-EU “hard-Brexit” faction, the US is led by a president who has declared his support for the breakup of the EU, and numerous far-right governments have taken power in part by exploiting popular hostility to EU-dictated austerity.”

    “worsening crisis that threatens to tear the EU-(and hence NATO)- apart. “….



  38. Random though on the shoot-down of the I-20; the Israeli pilots feared Syrian air defenses hence resorted to the dangerous stunt of hiding behind the Russian aircraft. I suspect that they were surprised and pissed their G-suites when the Russian aircraft was struck.

    Why did the frogs participate in the strike? Setting aside murky politics, the only military reason would seem to be to overwhelm Syrian air defense was salvos of missiles. Also, I suspect that the target was not protected by Pantsir systems making it relatively vulnerable to such attacks.

    Last thought – whether we like it or not, Israel will be around for many years. Russia is seeking a way to slip a straitjacket on Israel to limit the potential for havoc but no seeking its destruction. If they self-destruct, that is another matter.


    1. From my admittedly selective online reading (see for example the link to Joaquin Flores’ article at Fort Russ below), it seems the French and the Israelis were involved in creating a scenario in which Russia could be tricked into blaming the French for the Ilyushin strike and firing a missile at the French frigate. This would enable France to invoke Article 5 of the NATO treaty and give the US and the British an excuse to declare war on Russia and to invade Syria. The Russian mission in Syria would then be distracted into fighting NATO in the eastern Mediterranean and Israel and Turkey could have a free hand fighting the SAA.

      With Russia blaming Israel for the strike, even if France did indeed hit the Ilyushin transport plane, NATO is deprived of an excuse to escalate the conflict as it currently stands in Syria. Plus Russia now has good reason to supply S300 anti-missile defence systems to Syria: to protect its own troops as well as Syrian airspace and territory.

      And what’s the worst thing that could happen as far as Israel is concerned? Syria getting those S300 anti-missile defence systems. Everything that Satanyahu has done to stop that will turn into dust.


      1. Maybe; I’d have to see where the two were in relation to each other. The Russians say the IL-20 was 5 km from Latakia and landing. The Aster 15’s range is only about 30 km (carried on the AUVERGNE).


        1. I’m still wondering what the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has to do with the east Mediterranean. If there’s any definition of FAKE NEWS or how nothing means what it says on the tin, NATO was the earliest purveyor.

          I recommend a more apt Acronym:

          Special Purpose Asshole Militaries.

          Sorry, not feeling charitable in the slightest this morning.


      1. Tom Luongo has an article at in which he suggests the French and the Israelis did indeed co-ordinate an attack on multiple targets in Syria and the Auvergne played a role in this attack. The intent may well have been to deliberately confuse Russia and lead to the Russian MoD believing the Auvergne launched the missile that hit the Ilyushin transport plane and attacking the Auvergne itself. Then France might well have had an excuse to invoke Article 5 of the NATO treaty. This might explain why initially France claimed the Auvergne had fired the missile that struck the Ilyushin even before the blame game started.

        Even if the Auvergne or a third party actually did hit the Ilyushin, the Russians may well have compared the two attack scenarios (the Auvergne striking the Ilyushin, and the Ilyushin being hit by Syrian friendly fire after the Israeli jets took cover under it) and realised that the latter scenario, in which the Ilyushin is hit by Syrian friendly fire etc, gives them better leverage over Israel’s ability to operate in Syria by giving them a stronger justification to supply S300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria. Fifteen people would not have died in vain if this is the result.

        Putin can have a little chuckle thinking that all the wheedling Satanyahu had done over the past several months to keep any Iranian-backed forces away from Hezbollah and the Golan Heights has come to nothing; and the memory of having to put up with Satanyahu’s foetid presence at this year’s Victory Day parade will be easier to bear.



    This [nuclear plant closings] is bad news for the nuclear industry, but it’s also bad news for the environment. These closed nuclear plants are overwhelmingly replaced by natural gas plants, and last year research found that closing these plants could set the country’s clean energy goals back a full decade. Unfortunately, with the closing of Oyster Creek and many other plants, it’s not likely we’ll ever see a resurgence of American nuclear power anytime soon.


  40. The Ukraine war against the “Aggressor State” continues unabated:

    21 Сентября 2018 23:16
    Украинские силовики «освободили» поселок в Луганской области

    21 Sep 2018 23:16
    Ukrainian forces have “liberated” a village in the Lugansk region

    The media have reported the “liberation” of a village in the Lugansk region of the Ukraine.

    The Ukrainian military has captured the village of Volny north-east of the city of Zolotoe in the Lugansk region.. This was reported in a news story on the Ukrainian Channel “1+1”, which was aired on Friday.

    The Ukrainian presenter said that the security forces had “liberated a farm in the Lugansk region”. “It is Ukrainian again, and now the national blue and yellow flag is flying there”, she announced.

    Earlier in August, Ukrainian security forces announced the seizure of new territoriesin the Donbass.

    It is worth noting that this indicates a violation of the Minsk agreements, which include, among other things, a cease-fire.

    Glory to the Ukraine?

    To the Heroes — glory?


    1. Nobody bothers to ask the villagers what they want.

      America is so full of shit. While wallowing in its ancient history of throwing out British rule, it denies basically any people it deems not its “allies” (i.e. brown nosers) the same rights. Eastern Ukraine’s Russian majority wants its freedom from a regime in Kiev that is based on ethnic hate against them. The British did not have ethnic hate for Americans in 1776.


      1. The British could hardly have had ethnic hatred for the American colonials 1776-1783 because the vast majority of them were, in fact, British., though I dare say many of the British army officers in the Revolutionary war had a class hatred for the colonial insurrectionists, a class hatred only on a par with that which many of them no doubt had for many of the “other ranks” that served under them.

        Furthermore, a large number of them fought for the British side and, at the end of hostilities, moved either to “Upper Canada”, other British Empire New World colonial possessions or to the UK.

        Benjamin Franklin’s son William, who was the last colonial governor of New Jersey, never spoke to his father again after the end of the War for Independence, and moved to London. American Continental Army geneneral Horatio Gates was a retired British Army officer.

        On the other hand, Ukraine “nationalists” have developed and nurtured a hatred against their Russian “oppressors” and long-time “occupiers” since at least the middle of the 19th century and the rise of nationalistic movements in Europe and with the encouragement of of the Austro-Hungarian Empire as part of its machinations against Russian imperial expension into the territories of the moribund Ottoman Empire, which the kaiserlich und königlich Hapsburg Empire believed was its own to take advantage of.


        1. The British also encouraged black slaves in the American colonies to fight for them (the British, that is) by promising to give the slaves their freedom in the event of British victory. Aboriginal peoples on whose lands the Americans were encroaching were also encouraged to fight on the British side.

          After American victory, those black slaves who fought for the British either fled to the Canadian side or to Britain itself where they were hardly treated any better than they had been by their American slavemasters. Most of these fighters ended up on the streets and some found themselves bound for Botany Bay as convicts.


        2. Additionally, the ‘ethnic hatred’ borne by Ukrainian nationalists for Russians is carefully nurtured and encouraged by America, which usually jumps in as the voice of reason when it sees a country blaming another one for all its problems so as to shore up its leader – a typical example is Venezuela. Although there is no doubt Washington wants Maduro gone and feels its strategic and political goals would be furthered by his moving on, it still pours scorn daily on Maduro’s protests that America is trying to remove him for its own ends. But it was during Washington’s hands-on backing for the Orange Revolution, led by Yushchenko, that the idea of making Bandera a national hero re-emerged with broad support in the west, or at least a smug and selective “Ukraine’s affairs are none of our business”. Ukraine now routinely blames Russia for every single thing that fails to measure up in Ukraine. Dissident journalists and politicians being rubbed out (or ‘committing suicide’)? Russia is murdering them. Standard of living falling while the currency remains at a depreciated low? Russia is doing it with discriminatory tariffs, and wants to build Nord Stream II so it can instigate another holodomor (I’m surprised they haven’t thought of that one themselves already, bringing together two powerful symbols of Russian oppression). It’s all Russia’s fault. Meanwhile conditions in Ukraine continue to get worse as it gets poorer, more dependent and more corrupt, because the west could not simultaneously urge it on to greater heights of rage and hatred against Russia while simultaneously contributing to its recovery and improvement. Consequently it doles out just enough to keep the people alive, while stoking their discontent.


  41. RT latest:

    ‘Criminal negligence’ or disregard to Russia-Israel ties: MoD details chronology of Il-20 downing
    Published time: 23 Sep, 2018 08:21
    Edited time: 23 Sep, 2018 08:35

    A minute-by-minute account of the Il-20 downing shows Israel’s culpability and either its military bosses’ lack of appreciation of relations with Moscow, or their control of commanding officers, the Russian defense ministry said.

    “We believe that the blame for the Russian Il-20 aircraft tragedy lies entirely with the Israeli Air Force,” said spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov, before revealing a detailed account of events leading to the downing of the Russian Il-20 military aircraft on September 17. The plane was shot down by the Syrian air defense units as Israeli’s F-16s effectively used it as a cover during the attack on its neighbor.

    The report featured previously undisclosed radar data and details of communications between Russian and Israeli militaries, and concluded that “the military leadership of Israel either has no appreciation for the level of relations with Russia, or has no control over individual commands or commanding officers who understood that their actions would lead to tragedy.”


    1. This statement from Russia: has it really not dawned on them that Israel is pursuing its interests in Syria and Russia
      “Partnership” does not matter. ?

      Russia made an agreement that caused this tragedy. They allowed Israel to fly in and out and bomb – people who are fighting alongside Russian forces. Safe in the knowledge that Russia would do nothing – and pressure the Syrians not to respond.

      This emboldened Israel to push the boundaries. The agreement obviously did not suit Israel so they discarded it!!

      In this Syrian war Russia and Israel do not have the same objectives so why expect partnership?

      It is a failure of the leadership in Russia that this happened, it’s a bitter pill to swallow.


      1. If you say so.

        By the way, was that a typo way above when you transliterated from Cyrillic the initials of Владимир Путин into the Latin alphabet as WP, the letter “W” for “Wladimir”, as in German orthography — and in Polish (Włodzimierz) for that matter?


        1. I’m not sure it was a typo, in one of my comments I had typed V V P, but when you type the 2 V’s together without spaces, in this particular font, it can look like a W. See:

          I typed 2 V’s together, but it sort of looks like a W.

          Anyhow, I don’t think James is a German. Probably more like a Finn!


      2. Russia also allowed US troops in Syria as well as mercenaries/terrorists paid by KSA, Oh, FUKUS, directly attacked the Syrian military by massive cruise missile attacks. Israeli attacks were not as onerous in many regards (still wrong on every level). Just saying.


  42. crAP reports that the US Harmy has failed to meet its recruitment goals for the first time since 2005, and is 6,500 canonfodders short. Let us not forget that there is also a growing shortage of pilots for the USAF and strong competition for pilots in the civil airline sector, the later offering considerably better conditions for a limited pool. Still, why let facts get in the way? Maybe the US could hire more Chinese?


  43. Today at 02:24

    Порошенко заявил немцам, что строительство «Северного потока – 2» не имеет никакого смыслаPoroshenko has told Germans that the construction of “North Stream 2” makes no sense.
    По его словам, российский газ европейцам гораздо выгоднее получать через Украину, а новый газопровод – лишь «инструмент давления» на Европу
    According to him, it is much more profitable to send Russian gas to Europe through the Ukraine, and the new pipeline is just a “tool to pressurize” on Europe

    Please help me get even more wealthier, I beg you!

    The leader of “Independent” Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, has once again tried to convince Europeans that they do not need the “North Stream 2”, pipeline, which is being constructed on the bed of the Baltic sea, bypassing the Ukraine

    “This pipeline makes no sense from an economic point of view. This is a Russian attempt to weaken the Ukraine, which previously received about three billion dollars annually for transit”, he said in an interview with German newspaper “Rheinische Post”.

    According to Poroshenko, “Why spend $20 billion on a pipeline”, if his country “has more than sufficient logistical capacity for the delivery of Russian gas to Europe”. He stressed that “the facts speak against” this project.

    The President of the Ukraine has decided to warn his “European friends” that the gas pipeline “North Stream 2” is “a geopolitical instrument of pressure on Western Europe, and that the dependence of European countries on gas supplies from Russia is opening up a wide area for their blackmailing”.

    Recall, as reported by the website previously, the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, speaking at a joint press conference with the President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite, and the Prime Ministers of the three Baltic State countries, stated the importance of the “North Stream 2” project for Germany, noting that the need of her contry for natural gas supplies will only grow.


    1. Put a sock in it, Banderatard. Nord Stream II makes sense merely because it removes the $3 billion per year of transit fees you parasites charge. The Banderatard thinks that everyone is an innumerate moron.


      1. I notice the estimated transit fees have gone up by almost a billion dollars. I wonder if they have budgeted in planned increases if they are successful at getting Nord Stream II shut down. Or were they just low-balling the figures before, like when they were joking about the planned pipeline and how it would make no difference to Ukraine?


    2. Ignoring reality and focusing just on a comparison of a $3 billion recurring expense versus a $20 billion CAPEX, a ROI of less than 7 years is quite respectable for a major project.


      1. They charge 3 billion today but may well want 6 billion tomorrow. This Banderite mafioso is basically trying to sell his protection racket.


        1. I’m pretty sure the actual figure is about $2.3 billion. But it goes down when Ukraine is trying to belittle it as unimportant in the great scheme of its majestic maneuvers as a new major world power, and up whenever it is bleating plaintively that Russia is stealing the crust from Ukrainian mouths,



    Games within games, schemes to no end:

    Is the FBI trying to goad President Trump into firing the man in charge of supervising the Mueller probe? That’s what Sean Hannity and a handful of Trump’s Congressional allies think.

    According to a report in Politico, Republicans in Congress are approaching a story about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein attempting to organize a palace coup with extreme caution, despite having twice nearly gathered the votes to remove him in the recent past.

    Meanwhile, Trump allies including Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz are saying that the story should be treated with suspicion. Jordan and Freedom Caucus leader Mark Meadows once filed articles of impeachment against Rosenstein. But now, both Meadows and Jordan intend to proceed with caution, telling Politico that he would like to see the memos that the story was based on.

    Sean Hannity took this latter theory a step further during his show on Friday evening, where he urged Trump not to fire Rosie and instead insisted that the story could have been a “trap”. He added that he had been told by “multiple sources” that the story was planted by unspecified “enemies of Trump.”

    “I have a message for the president tonight,” Hannity said Friday night. “Under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody…the president needs to know it is all a setup.”

    The NYT would anything to destroy Trump so, on general principles, the set up story has plausibility.


  45. Tass: Third battalion of S-400 air defense systems enters duty in Crimea

    …”Combat crews of the S-400 air defense missile systems organic to the Air Force and Air Defense group of the Southern Military District have entered duty in Yevpatoria,” Rulyov said.

    Similar systems went operational in Feodosiya in January 2017 and in Sevastopol in January 2018…


  46. What do the majority of the non jihadist residents of Idlib want ?
    Do they want Assad’s forces to
    come in and cleanse Idlib of the Jihadist. element?
    Are the Idlib people being held incommunicado from the rest of the planet? Yes or No answers to the foregoing can provide justification for any subsequent action taken by the Syrian and Russian forces. I think that’s why some of you would rather remain
    ignorant of those answers.


    1. First of all we don’t know exactly how many civilians there are in Idlib. Some Western media reports say there are as many as 3.5 million but this uppermost figure plus some other lower figures could be deliberate exaggerations.

      I have seen online reports that suggest as many as 90% of Idlib civilian residents support the jihadis but again these may or may not be deliberate lies. We don’t know how many of the pre-2011 Idlib residents are actually still in Idlib or if all of them have been chased out by jihadis or evacuated by the SAA. All I really know for sure is that Uyghur jihadists from Xinjiang in NW China have taken over the town of Jisr al Shugur and a number of others, and that (depending on what you read) the numbers of Uyghur jihadists and their families range from 3,000 to 20,000.

      Jenan Moussa has recorded a documentary of her trip in Idlib where she met Chinese and Central Asian jihadis.


  47. The Putin reign of terror continues:

    Навального задержали на выходе из спецприемника после ареста

    Navalny has been detained at a detention centret exit following his arrest
    24 Sep 06:07

    Politician Alexei Navalny was detained immediately after his having been released from a detention centre, where he had spent 30 days in gaol. About this reports “Rain”. The reasons for his detention are still unknown.

    On August 27, the Moscow Tver court had placed Navalny under administrative arrest for 30 days because of “The Strike of the Voters”, which was held late in January. His arrest came while he was preparing another campaign against the raising of the retirement age, scheduled for September 9. According to Navalny, the hearing was needed by the authorities so as not to allow him to participate in the preparation of the campaign against raising the retirement age.

    Despite Navalny having been arrested, a protest against raising the retirement age took place in many Russian cities. Navalny ally Leonid Volkov wrote that rallies were held in more than 80 cities. It is estimated that in total there could have participated between 60,000 and 80,000 people in these rallies. In many cities, activities were not coordinated with the authorities. In the whole of Russia, according to “OVD-info” [Ministry of internal Affairs — ME], there were detained 839 people in 33 cities.

    Poor old Lyosha! My heart bleeds! And all because he is fighting for freedom and justice and an end to the Putin regime.

    And now Volkov, who chooses to live in Luxembourg, is Tweeting merrily away:

    Alexei Navalny in OVD “Danilovsky”.They have drawn up a new administrative case under part 4 of article 20.2 of the administrative code. This is an exotic article of law which, as far as I can recall, has never been used before: “Violation by the organizer of a public event of the established procedure of organizing or holding meetings, rallies, demonstrations, marches or picketing, which caused harm to human health or property,

    So Navalny was behind bars for 30 days — and those 30 days have been for Putin his most difficult and failure ridden over the past 20 years.

    Now Putin wants Navalny to be locked up for another 20 days.

    Question: Is Putin such a masochist?

    Oh, I do hope so!


    1. Poor old Lyosha may well be giving a thought to his own future pension, since he is not getting any younger in his so-far futile thrashing. Maybe they should begin characterizing him as a pension activist instead of a politician, since his own people can hardly fail to notice he does not have a political party. But he will be entitled to a pension if he lives that long, so that updated title would have a little bit of relevance.

      Just as an aside, the continued reverence in the west for the blatherings of twats like Volkov is a major contributor to continued western failure to have any effect on Russian politics or policies. Coupled with the fact that western reporters on Russian affairs frequently have never been there and know only what they learned about the place in Poli-Sci 101, the west continues to blunder about like a blind lesbian in a fish market, and nod learnedly to itself about its clever regime-change plans which unfailingly come to naught.


  48. Not again!

    Чернокожая балерина рассказала о расизме в Московской академии балета
    По словам девушки, ее не пускали на сцену и оскорбляли

    Black-skinned ballerina has spoken about racism at the Moscow Ballet Academy
    In the girl’s own words, they would not let her go on stage and insulted her

    Fast rewind almost 5 years:

    Moscow Times:

    Nov. 19 2013 – 20:11
    U.S. Ballerina Faces Discrimination at Bolshoi Academy

    I think I shall start risking taking candid photos on the metro and on the streets here, showing Africans and persons of African descent walking around amongst “racist” Russians, who seem not to care one jot about the colour of a person’s skin.

    I once worked at a Russian state school where one of my English teacher colleagues was a Nigerian. He never suffered any hassle from the children in his classes, nor from the Russian staff.

    Strange how many “people of colour” who visited Russia during the FIFA World Cup competition this summer, voiced their opinion that all the shock-horror stories about Russian racism that they had heard and been warned about before setting off for here turned out to be, in their experience, unfounded.

    And no! — I am NOT saying that there are NO racists in Russia!


    1. Forgot to mention that in both the above stories about a black ballerina, which stories have a 5-year gap between their appearances, it is the same woman, a certain Precious Adams, who voices her complaints about Russian racism.



        …Adams doesn’t want to talk about that interview, other than to say: “I was very naïve. Not that any of it wasn’t true, but… it caused problems for me.” Instead she’s keen to emphasise how far the dance world has come in a few short years.

        “I knew what I was going into when I went to school in Moscow. But the whole world has changed.”…

        WTF does that mean?

        …While Adams was not the first black dancer to have been accepted into the Bolshoi school, she claims that she was made to feel like an unwanted outsider, especially when it came to the casting of student performances.

        It’s impossible to establish the full story from one newspaper article. The world of ballet, especially Russian ballet, is an intimidatingly byzantine construct of competition, factionalism and tradition. It’s a world where inexperienced outsiders – whatever their colour – are very likely to find themselves confused and alienated, unable to read the runes of their progress.

        What’s truly shocking however, is the sincerely meant, but utterly crass response of the teacher to whom Adams took her concerns, which was to suggest that the young American dancer experiment with lightening her skin…

        Any chance the teacher was just being sarcastic in response to a whinging teenage American? Top level ballet is seriously hardcore and you are simply expected to get on with it. Maybe it was just lagging behind the touchy-feely world? Is that what Adams was referring to or that she thinks the USA has gone to hell in a handbasket under Trump (of course)?


    2. One idea for her to get more roles:

      Precious could become a choreographer and create a ballet version of Porgy and Bess. By tradition and law, all the roles have to go to Africans. (Except for the role of the white sheriff. A thankless job indeed, trying to keep law and order on Catfish Row what with all these murders and gambling and sexual harassment going on!)


  49. 08:53
    WSJ назвала экспорт российской пшеницы угрозой для фермеров из США

    The WSJ has called the export of Russian wheat a threat to United States farmers

    Despite a sharp decline in prices, the export of wheat and its harvest volume are increasing, which brings about a threat to American farmers, says the The Wall Street Journal.

    According to this newspaper, over the past agricultural year Russia has exported over 40 million tonnes — about 50% more than last year, reaching the highest level for any country over the past quarter century. At the same time, in 2016 Russia went ahead of the United States, taking first place in volumes of wheat exported and repeating the record in 2018.

    The WSJ notes that the increased competition from Russia comes in the wake of the largest number of farm closures in the USA since the 1980s. Global overproduction of grain has led to lower prices, which had been reduced by about half in 2012, making it difficult to make a profit in dollars.

    The newspaper stresses that the US trade disputes with China and other countries can make Russian wheat more attractive for buyers. According Swithun Still, director of the Swiss firm [Global Commodities, Genva — ME], China has introduced tariffs of 25% on wheat from the US, but so far, Moscow has not been able to take advantage of this for profit. “The quality of [Russian grain] has improved, and it is cheaper”, said Still.

    In September, Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Gordeyev said that the government had reduced the forecast for grain exports in 2018 to 30 million tonnes. According to him, the projected yield of 105 million tonnes is sufficient, despite a 19% decrease in yields compared to 2017. In July, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that grain exports in 2018-2019 would be 40-45 million tonnes, TASS reported.

    Unfair competition on the free market!

    Time for sanctions against Russia!


    1. What disappoints me most about CAATSA is that it has absolutely nothing to do with cats, probably because they rule the world. As a non-US citizen, would there be any point in writing a stiff letter to Congress to complain about the false advertizing?


    2. Global overproduction of grain has led to lower prices, which had been reduced by about half in 2012, making it difficult to make a profit in dollars.

      This, of course, is Russia’s fault. Russia, for the most part, produces what it can export and consume, selling to where it already has a market and orders. Who are the traditional global over-producers? Do you need a reminder?

      The USA insists on muscling into everyone else’s markets, and establishing market share for its merchants by bullying. But it squeals its head off if the marketing practices of others disadvantage its producers in any way. I guess it’s lucky in a way that the USA has the world’s biggest military. If everyone was able to threaten the rest of the countries with their all-equally-huge military so as to bring about trade advantages for themselves, the world would be in a constant state of global war.


      1. Another problem in the milk overproduction issue which that Quartz article appears to have overlooked is that supermarkets and other large buyers could be dictating to small dairy farms the price they will buy the farmers’ milk (which may well be close to what it costs the farmers to produce the milk, meaning that farmers will be making very little profit). This is a problem we have had here in Australia where small dairy farms are beholden to big buyers to supply milk at such low prices that they would be lucky to break even and farmers would be better off selling their farms or switching to some other farming activity.

        If small dairy farmers have to sell their farms, in a deregulated industry such as what prevails in the US, this may mean that milk production eventually comes to be concentrated among large companies operating factory-styled dairy farms, with all the problems and issues associated with factory farming. The quota system as used in Canada on the other hand at least keeps farm businesses stable and at a size that farming families can manage and pass knowledge and skills on to their children and grandchildren.

        The article below adds another dimension to the problem of milk overproduction in the US: pressure from corporations that buy farmers’ milk on small dairy farms and dairying co-operatives that forces them to compete against one another and to keep cutting costs.


        1. The supply management system, at least thus far, has kept prices for dairy relatively high, but stable, and herds and operations relatively small. I personally do not mind paying a bit more for dairy knowing this is the case. But if the large American operations were allowed unrestricted access, cheap dairy would rule the day and many Canadians would just accept it as an inevitable part of globalization, the free market, and the bonus of getting cheap dairy products.

          Our resident conservative idiot, John Ibbitson, suggests as much in a recent column;

          There’s an argument to be made that dismantling Canada’s supply management protection for the dairy industry and lifting protections on cultural industries might, in the long run, make these sectors more competitive.

          And the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism is so flawed that Canadians might have better luck taking their case to U.S. courts, where recent decisions have tended to favour our side – although the political consequences of surrendering on dispute resolution may be more than the Liberals could tolerate.

          I mostly only read his addle-headed foolishness to remind myself that there’s still an element of Canadian society that remains impatient to sell out the whole country to the Americans. The Chapter 19 dispute resolution system might well be terribly flawed; I daresay it is, because the Americans have been chipping away at it for years, pushing for concessions and/or for exactly the solution Ibbitson suggests – give all disputes over to American courts, which are scrupulously impartial and have their allies’ interests at heart.

          American giant Wal-Mart is a classic example of a commercial partner who first brightens a farmer’s day by offering to buy his entire crop. But then he finds out the price offered for that security is barely above break-even, which it has to be for Wal-Mart to be able to gut the competition with low prices. Wal-Mart must be alarmed to see Trump taking on China in a trade war, since China is the source of a tremendous amount of Wal-Mart’s cut-price goods.

          Addendum: Thanks for the links; I had singled out Wal-Mart expressly for criticism before reading your references. They very much bear me out on the marketer’s predatory expansionism. It is hard not to feel sorry for the terrible trials of the Wisconsin and Kentucky dairy farmers as farms which have been in their families for hundreds of years are lost, and feeling sorry for them is exactly what Trump wants Canada to do. But if we dropped our tariffs on American dairy, it would not be those farmers who benefit. The practices which are erasing the small farmer in America would ramp up, if anything, and it would be the huge collectives who reaped the gains of new markets.

          Your links also point out America had a supply management system for over 60 years, but dropped it in favour of ramping up production to unsustainable levels and taking risky loans to subsidize it. It seems now to be nothing more than a grim battle to eliminate the last of the small and medium farmers, and consolidate national dairy production in the hands of a few massive agricultural cooperatives. As has become his obvious modus operandi, Trump seeks to resolve a crisis in his own country by duplicating America’s failed policies somewhere else. Those who would gladly make the USA the unipolar world leader should not fail to note that the USA will use any methods at its disposal to ensure captive markets for its goods.


          1. The situation in the dairy industry in parts of Australia and the US, in which small suppliers are beholden to one large buyer who can bid down the price paid to the small suppliers, is known in economics as a monopsony. Dairy farmers effectively become employees of the buyer (Walmart in some parts of the US, a co-op in another) and end up being forced to undercut one another in trying to capture the buyer’s business by constantly lowering their costs, producing more than they need to or is needed by the buyer and getting locked into a vicious cycle of producing so much that the price falls even more and so they end up producing more just to cover their costs – until they can’t do any more and they are forced to sell or, even worse, kill themselves.

            People working for Uber as “independent contractors” or whatever Uber calls them are in much the same boat.


            1. In Wal-Mart’s case, that extends to all types of farming except meat, including all manner of locally-grown vegetables and produce. Farmers are presented with the choice of guaranteed sale (but at a low price) of their entire crop of, let’s say, lettuce…or taking the chance they can sell it all to various markets for a higher price. The farmer also does not know how many of his neighbours have made a similar deal, so the offer might not be available for long.

              To be clear, Wal-Mart is not doing anything illegal, and even portrays itself as a stellar corporate citizen by buying locally. But it plays on uncertainty and lack of being able to plan for the long term. Farmers who take the deal are often barely able to eke out a living, with nothing left over for expansion or even basic maintenance of the business.


    3. Russia could disrupt soybeans next.

      The United States isn’t a market economy, and no one there understands what free markets mean anymore.


      1. It’s odd how a country that is isolated and whose economy is in tatters keeps popping up as an economic threat to the mighty United States here, there and everywhere. But Obama must have been right, because all the western Russia experts said he was.

        Timothy Ash, whose addled opinions the west cannot get enough of, who is quoted more frequently in American newspapers than the Founding Fathers, said a descending spiral of increasing desperation in Russia was the new normal. The usual parade of smug dorks who are always pumped for a sound bite because the reporter knows exactly what they are going to say are featured performing just as expected. Nobody asks any questions; like, being a global pain in the ass costs money, Jack – where are the Russians getting their money? What say you, experts? And what has happened to critical thinking in America, the kind of thinking that says anything which has not been proven to be true might not be true?

        A possible hint lies in the “Breaking” banner at the top of that article – Brent Crude just went through $81.00 a barrel for the first time since November 2014, on the cusp of the Glorious Maidan. That’s shock enough, but the reason for it is the follow-up punch; Trump asked OPEC to boost output to cut prices, and OPEC told him to go fuck himself. Well, why would they do that? Because sanctions against Iran – which were approved by, yes, Donald Trump, poster-boy for the Law of Unintended Consequences – threaten to take a million barrels a day off the market. There’s some more of that legendary business brain in action.

        The USA has long aspired to control the global energy market, and sometimes – like now – it actually imagines it does. Some things that razor-sharp business mind evidently shaved right over are (1) while the USA has greatly reduced its imports of oil, it is still a net importer and brings in about twice the amount per day that the sanctions on Iran threaten to take off the market; and, (2) Russia is a constant net exporter, accounting for more than 11% of total world crude supply in 2017 and $93 Billion in exports. That’s just oil; its natural-gas exports are…ummm…fairly lucrative as well.

        America is awakening from a lovely dream, in which it was strangling Russia, to find it has its hands around its own neck.


    1. One of those moments when the photographer must have wished s/he had a video camera instead to record the full chase and then the little guy’s victory dance.

      The bird on the ground is a sparrowhawk and the little one on top of it is the wheatear.


    2. I had a similar situation about 18 months ago: a pigeon was chased towards my kitchen window and executed a beautiful last minute swerve and the hawk (goshawk, I think) hit the window and bounced off and onto the ground. It got up, dizzy, a moment later and flew off, unaware that its intended meal was still shivering in shock on the window sill. The pigeon remained there for about half an hour.


    1. OMG! Israel really stepped in it, Does this mean a non-fly zone for Israel? Russian specialists will provide training but will they also operate the systems (perhaps “civilian” contractors)?

      It has been said that Russia now has the catbird seat after the Il-20 shoot-down. It seems to be the case. But, how can Israel climb down?


      1. Russia should throw in some land-based anti-shipping missiles as well to take care of those pesky frog boats. I know, NATO will go sideways but what can they do? How can they justify a military response to a non-NATO country defending itself?


        1. The S-300 is only one of the measures. Here is Shoigu’s full announcement:

          “In accordance with the instruction of the President of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Defense will take the following measures to increase the combat capabilities of the Syrian air defense system.
          First. The Syrian Armed Forces will receive a modern S-300 surface-to-air missile system within two weeks. It is capable of intercepting air attack means at ranges of more than 250 km and at the same time hitting several air targets. Possessing high noise immunity and rate of fire, the complex will significantly strengthen the combat capabilities of Syrian air defense. I emphasize that in 2013, at the request of the Israeli side, we suspended the delivery of the S-300 complex to Syria, which was prepared for dispatch, and the Syrian military personnel were trained.

          Today the situation has changed. And it was not our fault.
          Second. Command posts of Syrian formations and military air defense units will be equipped with automated control systems that are supplied only to the Russian Armed Forces. This will ensure the centralized management of all Syrian air defense forces and facilities, monitoring of the air situation and prompt delivery of target designations. Most importantly, the identification of all Russian aircraft by the Syrian air defense will be guaranteed.
          Third. In the areas adjacent to Syria, over the Mediterranean Sea, radioelectronic suppression of satellite navigation, airborne radar and communication systems of combat aviation, which will attack objects on Syrian territory, will be carried out. We are convinced that the implementation of these measures will cool “hotheads” and deter unreasonable actions that threaten our servicemen.

          Otherwise, we will have to respond in accordance with the evolving situation”.

          In Russian: “В соответствии с поручением Президента Российской Федерации Министерство обороны примет следующие меры по наращиванию боевых возможностей сирийской системы противовоздушной обороны.

          Первое. Сирийским вооружённым силам в течение двух недель будет передан современный зенитный ракетный комплекс С-300. Он способен перехватывать средства воздушного нападения на дальности более 250 км и одновременно поражать несколько воздушных целей.
          Обладая высокой помехозащищенностью и скорострельностью, комплекс существенно укрепит боевые возможности сирийской ПВО.
          Подчеркну, в 2013 году по просьбе израильской стороны мы приостановили поставку в Сирию комплекса С-300, который был подготовлен к отправке, а сирийские военнослужащие прошли соответствующую подготовку.
          Сегодня ситуация изменилась. И не по нашей вине.

          Второе. Командные пункты сирийских соединений и воинских частей противовоздушной обороны будут оснащены автоматизированными системами управления, которые поставляются только в российские Вооружённые Силы.
          Это обеспечит централизованное управление всеми силами и средствами ПВО Сирии, ведение мониторинга воздушной обстановки и оперативную выдачу целеуказаний.
          Главное, будет гарантирована идентификация всех российских воздушных судов сирийскими средствами ПВО.

          В-третьих. В прилегающих к Сирии районах над акваторией Средиземного моря будет осуществляться радиоэлектронное подавление спутниковой навигации, бортовых РЛС и систем связи боевой авиации, атакующей объекты на сирийской территории. Убеждены, что реализация данных мер охладит «горячие головы» и удержит от необдуманных поступков, несущих угрозу нашим военнослужащим.
          В противном случае вынуждены будем реагировать в соответствии со складывающейся обстановкой.”


          1. And just before the usual objections surface that Russia is letting other countries beat up Syria, because it (a) has some kind of deal going with those countries, or (b) is too weak to stop them from stomping Assad, and is just making noises which are mostly ignored by the ever-victorious west, the operative statement from the whole announcement is this one:

            We are convinced that the implementation of these measures will cool “hotheads” and deter unreasonable actions that threaten our servicemen.

            While the Syrians are getting a bunch of goodies which will start them on the road to building a world-class air-defense network – one which, I might add, will be largely integrated with Russian equipment and not with western equipment, so that it would be easy for the west to exploit its weaknesses – every action taken can be justified by the protection of Russian servicemen operating in the region. And whether or not Russians are actually operating the systems, it is plain that they will belong to Syria, so that any Israeli or other foreign aircraft shot down by them will be by Syria, and not Russia. At the same time Russia also has its own air-defense systems to protect its own forces.


            1. I’m telling ya that Syria, after rebuilding and with ongoing aid from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, could challenge Israel militarily, The Israeli army is weak as a kitten as proven in Lebanon and its air force punches far below its weight. The Syrian military is battle hardened and has proven its mettle.


              1. I agree! Those 3 forces collaborated very well, along with the Syrian army, in driving the jihadists out of Syria. Hezbollah played a special role and punched above its weight. Which is why I couldn’t figure out why Russia “allowed” (I know that’s a loaded word) Israel to bomb Hezbollah. I totally understand why Israel WANTS to bomb Hezbollah bases. Another thing altogether for Russia to turn a blind eye to that. (If that’s what they were doing.) Well, hopefully those days are over as well, and Israel should be allowed to become the paper tiger that it actually is.


                1. OMG…PO and Yalensis are NOW becoming hardliners ….


                  Next thing you guys will be volunteering for covert guerilla missions against the jihadist bunch in Idlib or Israel itself!!!


                2. Good point. One thing though is Russia hasn’t allowed Israel to bomb Hezbollah. Israel is bombing Syria. To justify it, it says it’s actually bombing Hezbollah, but Hezbollah is nowhere near where Israel bombed (Like Latakia this past week). It’s just a pretext, similar to when the US say they are targeting “chemical weapon factories”.

                  But the general point of should Russia have “allowed” Israel to bomb Syria all this time still stands. Pretty sure Russia and Syria are in agreement from the start that Russia is there on Syria’s invitation to help fight ISIS. Russia’s involvement is to prevent terrorism from settling in Syria and to prevent it from spreading elsewhere, especially not back to Russia. Syria as a sovereign country handles the other threats. Meanwhile, both Russians and Syrians know they cannot fight everyone at the same time, which is why they are delaying handling Turkey/Israel/Kurds etc. For these other “players”, so far Russia prefers tedious diplomacy. It even succeeded in maintaining a limited tactical partnership with Turkey who shot down its plane in 2015, and now thanks to diplomacy and Russia/Syria/Iran victories, Turkey has been brought into the Astana peace process. All in all, Russia relentlessly continues its military intervention, and despite the Israeli & NATO strikes, the reality on the ground today is that Syria is largely liberated. And while this is being done, on the political level Russia does not forget that every country in that region has concerns and interests, that it involves regional and global players with conflicting agendas and that all of this has to be taken into account for a lasting stability in Syria. That’s way more tedious to achieve (if it’s ever going to be achieved) but we’ve seen what the US style of involving itself (i.e: completely disregard the balance of the region and countries’ interests, act unilaterally and bomb indiscriminately) leads us to. Syria deserves better.


                3. Just a reminder, Russia still does not exercise sovereignty over Syria, and Syria’s defense against international forces is still its own responsibility. I think Russia has made that pretty clear by not spreading its forces all over the place so as to invite repercussions for attacking its forces, instead keeping them mostly in well-publicized enclaves. The most serious ripple effect of the new policies is not going to be Russia assuming a greater share of responsibility for the defense of Syria, but Russia upgrading Syria’s air-defense capability to make it more dangerous for other countries to saunter over and bomb it. Also, linking the Syrian and Russian air-defense networks in the country will allow Russia to data-link its radar picture to Syrian sensors without the knowledge of other countries, so invaders like the Israelis will never fully know what the Syrians are seeing. And it will allow the Syrians to see Russian IFF coding so that the recent incident will not be repeated; there is a block on most modern systems which will not allow a weapon to be fired against a target which has been identified friendly or allied. You would have to go into the system and change it to a local track (as opposed to a link track) which was identified unknown or hostile.

                  Israel has benefited for a long time from a reputation for invincibility because of its access to the latest American defense technology, courtesy of the US taxpayer. In recent years its army took a bloody nose several times, and it became clearer that Israel, like the USA, prefers to fight from an overwhelming advantage in firepower and technology so that it bears little risk of casualties itself. When the forces are more evenly matched, Israel is significantly more risk-averse. But it will still have to take chances from time to time, because it can only count on being the beneficiary of billions in American ‘aid’ for so long as it remains useful to Uncle Sam as a proxy.


                4. In addition to Nat’s comment, Russia and Syria can’t strike Turkey if there’s a risk, even a small one, that Turkey would call on the rest of NATO for assistance. As for Israel, the probable reason that Israel is able to strike targets in Syria without apparent retaliation from Damascus or the SAA is that these targets may have been agreed upon in advance by Russia and Israel, and people in the vicinity of these targets are evacuated before Israel hits them. But we would not know from Israeli media reports and sources as they would spin the narrative out in a way that embellishes Israel’s reputation and misrepresents the reality.


                5. On the Turkey issue: Russia still needs to play ball with Turkey for a little while longer, in case there is still any hope left that Turkey will reign in Patriarch Bartholomew and prevent the big upcoming Schism in the Orthodox world. (Long story…)


                6. Huge-ego Erdogan likely fancies that he can be the bridge between NATO and Russia, with all the concentrated power and influence that implies. The Ukraine issue made it clear to many that no such bridge is ever going to be entertained, and that the world is not big enough for any unipolar leader but the United States. If Erdogan takes a few years to wise up, during which time Russia continues to patiently build influential ties in energy and national defense, he might find the decision is not so easy to make when the time comes to choose Turkey’s future path. And if NATO lost Turkey, it would be a huge blow due to its national control of strategic waterways. NATO tolerates Turkey’s occasional lunacy for just that reason, as well as the number of NATO bases and installations in close proximity to Russia.


                7. I dunno Jen. Is In Sult’in Erd O’Grand calling in NATO worth the risk of loosing TURKSTREAM, ergo taking sides permanently and possibly tanking the Turkish economy again? I’m sure the IMF would be more than happy to offer Turkey more loans… The only loss would be to both of them.


                8. @ Et Al: Recall that when the Russian Su-24 fighter jet was brought down by Turkey near its Syrian border (for supposedly entering Turkish airspace when it hadn’t) in late 2015, and one of the pilots was shot dead while parachuting down, people were expecting the Russians to retaliate militarily. Of course we know that Russia did retaliate – by wrecking the Turkish tourism industry the following summer – but Moscow had to risk damaging its reputation by appearing to back down in the wake of the shoot-down and the pilot’s death.

                  True, three years ago Erdogan was more confident that he could get his own way whereas these days he has less freedom to move and must consider the possible consequences of making rash actions. But self-interest is probably still uppermost in his decision-making and there is always the possibility that if the conflict can swing in his favour, he may risk an action that might force Russia’s hand and bring in NATO to fight the Russians while he gets a free hand to take more of Syria’s northern borderlands.


                9. According to Katehon, it is Mike Pompeo doing the mafia shakedown on Bart. If he agrees to split the church he’ll look the other way for the missing money for the new church near Ground Zero in Manhattan.

                  Here’s a pic of the church, designed by Spanish starchitect Santiago Calatrava.


                10. @Jen: Completely agree on Turkey. Moreover, after downing the Russian jet, that same evening Erdogan summoned an emergency meeting of the NATO ambassadors in the North Atlantic Council to discuss the incident. He didn’t try to call Putin until days later. Even as the aggressor, not the attacked party, Erdogan was already hiding behind NATO. I can’t imagine he’ll hesitate much to call them for assistance if his forces come under Russian or Syrian strikes. Let’s hope he values the economical/tactical cooperation that exists now with Russia and will think twice about trusting his NATO allies after the attempted coup against him.


                11. He must know NATO leaders consider him unreliable and want him gone in favour of someone less personally ambitious and more malleable. But at the same time they know that trying to regime-change him out would not work, because although they will seldom acknowledge it, he is a true autocrat and has an iron grip on the state. So they must deal with him, because the country is far too important to let it slip into Russia’s clutches.


                12. @Jen

                  I completely agree. To be honest, I’ve been wondering how long he would try to stand on two stools at the same time and have been expecting him to swing back fully to the West which itself has given him quite a lot of latitude considering that Turkey has continued to take part in NATO exercises all these years. He must surely know that he cannot trust them a jot and they’d roll over him the moment they can.

                  But consider if NATO gets what it wants. They’ll have the Turkish army (not well trained, equipped or anything else except for manpower) still in Afrin and large numbers of actual terrorists that cannot simply disappear. That’s without even mentioning the Kurds who are the only real and effective fighting force who are currently working for the Americans. Without boots on ground, the West+Israel has nothing, only their STB (Shit The Bed) tactic to leave an execrable mess. It maybe better than nothing, but then again no-one is then in control and the longer it persists, the greater likelihood it will spring back against them.

                  Ideally they’d want him to walk back and completely re-segue as smoothly as possible, but then how can he even trust his own back at home?

                  As for Russia, its reputation has only gone up around the world as a country that does business and doesn’t stab you in the back.

                  Finally, there have already been significant international shifts. Most of the party is already over. Being on the wrong side is more likely to get you some scraps rather than some cream.


                13. @ Cartman: I nearly hit the floor when you said Santiago Calatrava was the architect for that church (which looks unfinished in that photo). I’ve seen photos of his work. That church looks like a crude joke on his part.

                  Here’s a photo of a very nice Greek Orthodox church in Cyprus in the kind of fluid sculptural style Calatrava could have used.



      2. “Kommersant” reports from its military source that Russians will be managing/operating. So far no details or confirmation on this point from the MoD.


    2. Yep, Shoigu has spoken!

      In accordance with the instructions of the President of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Defence has adopted the following measures in order to increase the combat capabilities of the Syrian air defence system: over the next two weeks there shall be transfered to the Syrian armed forces the S-300 advanced anti-aircraft missile system — Sergei Shoigu.

      source: Rambler News

      And big shalom from Sergei!


      1. Many were assuming a strong Russian response would be an enlargement of a non-fly zone around its own forces. Supplying the S-300 to be presumably under Syrian control is a much bigger response. Can or will Syria also use it against the US, France or the UK?

        Watching RT now. They are reporting that Russia will also provide electronic warfare systems and a friend/foe warning system for all Syrian anti-aircraft forces.

        This could be another Hezebelloh moment for Israel.


    3. The plus side is that there are multiple versions of the S-300, so it will be quite difficult for others to figure out which one and therefore what capabilities it exactly has, introducing quite the element of doubt for enemies.


  50. One more thing, I am totally surprised by the Russian announcement. They seem to rarely misjudge such matters but the game is at a new level.


    1. I am almost positive that something as simple as Israel disciplining the pilots/firing some commander and admitting guilt (as in, the individual pilots/commander took the initiative to set-up the Russian plane on their own) instead of pushing the ” we did what we needed to do and we’ll do it again” line would have stopped the Russian announcement.


      1. I agree that was what Putin was looking for – an acknowledgement of responsibility and corresponding disciplinary action. He certainly gave them the opportunity based on his earlier statements,

        Israel needs to be bitch slapped and Putin may have just done that.


        1. “Israel needs to be bitch slapped …”

          LOL!! When I said those exact words…I was marginalized as a troll…

          Too funny!!!!


      2. That’s the price the IAF is paying for toeing the Nut&Yahoo line. Sure, your politicians can back you up to the hilt, but if the other side is not on message, the military is left holding the bag, however clever and cute they thought they were being in attempting whatever it was in the first place. They chose to hang together.

        I would say that it’s certainly strengthened the hand of those who think it has gone much too far already and those of a nervous disposition. All Trump has to do is nothing. We’ll see. Others have commented not to expect anything until the after the mid-terms but even that could be too late. Then again, there’s nothing much predictable coming out of Washington except more threats and death.

        Nut&Yahoo can do his usual politiking to absolve himself his collegiate nutters of blame as much as they want to their faithful, but there’s no dancing away this smackdown.

        Don’t get me wrong. I don’t expect Nut&Yahoo to give up and if anything, the situation is even more dangerous than before, but he’s had his warning.


  51. The Register: Enigma message crack honours pioneering Polish codebreakers

    The Bombe team at The National Museum Of Computing (TNMOC) has succeeded in breaking an Enigma-encrypted message in a live Poland-to-England demo.

    The demonstration was described by TNMOC as a tribute to Polish cryptographers and wartime Bletchley Park staff.

    The reconstructed Turing-Welchman Bombe at TNMOC in Bletchley Park found the settings and key needed to break an Enigma message. The techniques used were the same as those used by the WWII codebreakers.

    The decrypt. JWK IHM


    ‘My Dog has no Nose’
    — TNMOC (@tnmoc) September 21, 2018




  52. Sorros’s Open Society has taken Hungary to the ECHR claiming ‘infringement of freedom of expression and association’. This should be interesting. Those organizations all receive funding from abroad and are not private Hungarian citizens.

    I don’t see how the ECHR can give any old NGOs the wilynily right to operate where and however they want regardless of origin, funding and behavior.

    The US has FARA, Russia has a carbon copy which strictly forbids foreign sponsored organizations from interfering in domestic politics. And of course there is a National Security exemption for which any country targeted by Sorros’s groups can rightly use. This may well be the start of a great roll back…



    Bolton is bitching about S-300 sales to Syria as “escalation”. Maybe the stellar intellects who staged the shoot down of the Russian ELINT plane should have exerted more self control.

    Exceptionalistan, the USA, think it can define what rights countries have to defend themselves. Russia should add a little something extra to make Bolty even more livid.


  54. @ME:

    OMG!!! Totally Freakin’ HOT!!!!!!!

    I must get to Russia in order to rescue my Sister from the racist Russkie beasts…




    “On Saturday, Trump’s personal lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, vowed that US imperialism will soon bring about regime change in Tehran in an address to an “Iran Uprising Summit.” The summit was sponsored by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a group that enjoys next-to-no support within Iran and that prior to becoming a darling of America’s neo-conservative right was for decades on Washington’s list of “terrorist organizations.”

    “I don’t know when we’re going to overthrow them,” said Giuliani. “It could be in a few days, months, a couple of years. But it’s going to happen.”

    Speaking at a similar gathering in Paris in July 2017, John Bolton, the former George W. Bush administration official who in April became Trump’s National Security Advisor, was equally forthright. “The declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran,” he proclaimed.”
    Well…One can only hope for a recurrence ….sooner the better


  56. BloomTurd via Siemens, GE Wage Battle for $15 Billion Power Deal in Iraq


    This should be an interesting one to watch. A clear choice between the US & Europe, the latter being the obvious choice if one wants to deleverage from potential US blackmail, but who knows.

    In other news:

    Euractiv: Iran, major powers labor to keep nuclear deal afloat

    …“Mindful of the urgency and the need for tangible results, the participants welcomed practical proposals to maintain and develop payment channels notably the initiative to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to facilitate payments related to Iran’s exports, including oil,” the group said in a joint statement issued after the statement.

    Several European diplomats said the SPV idea was to create a barter system, similar to one used by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, to exchange Iranian oil for European goods without money changing hands….

    One but could hope for a double whammy of I-rack choosing Siemens (hopefully not over priced simply because they are German) & EU states actually being serious about the SPV – of which I am doubtful – again, deleveraging from the raging coke fueled Washington monster.


    1. It is amazing to me that the USA – and you can’t blame only Trump here, he is just a crazy figurehead from whose loonier decisions the country is protected by his staff simply not executing them, but there is a coterie of extremist advisors who are actually pulling the strings – cannot see the deep and lasting damage its actions are bringing about. Major decisions about trade and markets are often deep and lasting, and consequently not entered into lightly. America has blood in its eye and is determined to take down Iran for its buddy, Israel, but apparently cannot see that it is losing Europe in the process. You usually only get to play the “Oh yeah? Well, if you do that, I’ll (insert leverage your friends never thought you would really use here)” card once. Those who have been the subjects of such leveraging usually take steps in the future to ensure it cannot happen again, as Russia has been steadily doing – with market replacement. The USA is losing market share everywhere, because while many of its products are very good and some are industry leaders, you cannot rely on its government to not impose an embargo on those products for political reasons if it does not like your behaviour in areas which are none of its fucking business as a trade partner. Just because you sell me some heating plants does not mean you get to pick the governor. But America has never gotten past the notion that everyone needs American products and technology so badly that they will lie still for any amount of meddling because they have no alternative.

      Well, they want to watch their asses, because although it would be tremendously expensive to diversify one’s entire armed forces away from American defense systems, technology and equipment, that’s what’s going to come next if the country keeps rampaging around the planet like a rogue elephant. Because that’s the next great vulnerability – over-reliance on American planes, ships and artillery platforms. It cost Iran a fortune to reverse-engineer spare parts for the F-14 Tomcat, and even more than that to reverse-engineer the Phoenix missile that came with it, but it accomplished both and a few of the planes are still flying long after its entire support system in the USA vanished along with the last of the airframes in the American inventory. But what other countries are more likely to do is sell their American military equipment to an ally (where end-user agreements do not forbid it, and if they do, so what, if you’re not planning to buy American equipment again) and buy from the ground up from a new supplier who can be relied upon to mind its own affairs and stay out of national politics. And once that decision is taken, it is likely to outlast many future American governments.


      1. It’s a pity I-ran didn’t lend Tom Cruise one for Top Grunt II*. He’ll have to make do with an FA-18E/whatever.

        * Trump missed his opportunity to ask at the UN.


  57. Похоже, что условный срок Навального решили превратить в реальный

    Looks like Navalny’s suspended sentence is going to be turned into a real one

    Navalny, who has already served a 30-day period of detention, has been detained for another 20 days.

    Now a criminal case can be made against him under Article 212.1 of the Criminal Code (breach of legislation on rallies, repeated more than twice within 180 days). The maximum punishment is five years at a prison camp.

    Volkov said earlier that he didn’t know what the charges were that led to his sidekick’s recent arrest.

    Now he knows.


    1. Mmmm… I remember your expressing frustration on frequent occasions that Navalny regularly gets away with a mere spank on the wrist for blatantly, openly and proudly flouting the law. Maybe his Teflon period has come to an end. If so, it would reflect typical Russian deliberation and planning as to timing, so that he is incarcerated at precisely the moment when nobody pays attention to his rabble-rousing nonsense except kiddies looking to hone their rebellion chops and a handful of bewildered pensioners who will throw in their lot with anyone who makes big promises. Nobody could seriously sell the notion that he was being put away for his noble but unpopular political ideas, or because he represents an intolerable danger to the sitting government. It would be entirely allegorical if the hammer fell upon him for trying on the young-firebrand act once to often, when he has faded to neither.

      His State-Department backers will howl to no avail, if so. Can’t see him getting the maximum sentence, though. Maybe somewhere in the middle.


  58. Candygram! Candygram for Ed Lucas!

    al-Beeb s’Allah*: Life expectancy progress in UK ‘stops for first time’

    Life expectancy in the UK has stopped improving for the first time since 1982, when figures began.

    Women’s life expectancy from birth remains 82.9 years and for men it is 79.2, the figures from the Office for National Statistics, for 2015-17, show.

    In some parts of the UK, life expectancy has even decreased…

    More at the link.

    It won’t last. The banning of smoking in public places and elsewhere will radically improve the numbers of people who live longer… to die of something else.

    * Just checking, but I assume Allah has a capital letter like God? Or am I wrong?


    1. Gosh! Where is La Russophobe, the self-appointed Arbiter Of Points for Life Expectancy? It was a category in which Russia was always a train wreck, according to her. The UK was already behind most of Europe according to 2015 figures by the WHO, although in the top 30 or so the difference is usually only a couple of months, like 81.9 against 81.7.


    2. The British Bull-shitting Corporation articles lists cuts to social welfare and the NHS in particular as one possible cause but my hunch is that addiction to fentanyl and synthetic versions of cocaine and marijuana is one of the major causes if not the major cause of the drop in life expectancy.

      Recall that when the Skripals were initially being treated in hospital, the suspicion was that they’d been exposed to fentanyl poisoning. Apparently at the time, Salisbury District Hospital staff were aware of the rise in fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths in the UK over the past several months.


  59. Groaning Man: Roman Abramovich posed threat to public security, Swiss police said

    Police reported ‘suspicion of money laundering and presumed contacts with criminal organisations’

    …The Chelsea football club owner on Tuesday lost a seven-month legal battle against a newspaper publisher to prevent the publication of information on the reasons for his failure to secure Swiss residency.

    The battle between Abramovich and the Zurich publisher Tamedia began in February after the group obtained details of a letter written by police, who were asked by the state migration secretariat to give their view on whether the oligarch should be allowed to move to the canton of Valais…


    I’ll bet you that the Brits are behind this, probably with the help of their transatlantic cousins.


    1. “…based on police information which cannot be easily verified” sort of says it all, innit? It stands to reason the British would not want to see Abramovich move to Switzerland, perhaps taking all his lovely money with him, and the idea that the Swiss got their panties in a bunch over the possibility Abramovich’s money might be ‘dirty’ is so comical as to defy belief.