The Boy Who Cried “Bear!!”: a Norwegian Folk Tale

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “The text has disappeared under the interpretation.”

Once upon a time, there was a Norwegian boy named Jens, from the town of Nato. Jens’ work was mostly tedious and boring, and often people did not pay very much attention to what he said or did – so, every once in awhile, he liked to liven things up, see if he could get a reaction, generate a little excitement. He would shout, “Bear!!! I saw a bear, right through those bushes! He is coming to kill us all!!”

At first the townspeople of Nato would rush to collective-defense readiness, shouting, “Get away, bear!! Go back to where you came from!! Leave our lands!!”, pointing their pitchforks and whatever weaponry they could carry in the direction Jens had said the bear was last seen. But after repeated alarms, the townspeople grew apathetic and resentful of Jens’ attempts to scare them, since no bear was ever actually sighted by any of them, and eventually they would not come running any more when he shouted his warnings. Consequently, nobody responded the day the bear really showed up, despite Jens’ frantic screams as the bear grabbed him and prepared to gobble him up. Or down, as the case may be. Fortunately for Jens, he tasted like frozen pizza (Norwegians are Europe’s highest per-capita consumers of this exotic dish), and the bear spat him out after only chewing on him a little, and went away. Jens learned absolutely no lessons from the experience, and went on exactly as before.

I suppose if there is a moral to this story – and all folk tales traditionally have a moral – it is that not everyone in Nato was an idiot, although there was a vigorous and vocal idiot demographic. But even idiots grow weary of constantly being prodded to take time from their busy lives to listen to alarming scary tales, and to contribute some of their salaries or savings toward fighting off imaginary threats. By the time Jens decided to change it up a little (although there is no evidence such a decision was motivated by anything more than wanting to regain lost attention), nobody was listening.

How art imitates life.

According to this optimistic headline, NATO – as personified by its Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg – desires fewer tensions and an improved relationship with Russia.

Well, that’s encouraging, surely? After all, relations could hardly be much worse short of war. At various junctures over the past couple of years, NATO has accused Russia of cheating in the Olympics, menacing the world’s civil aviation with its long-range aircraft by their act of leaving Russian airspace, rigging the American elections so the country was left with a President who makes Billy-Bob ‘Sling Blade’ Thornton look like a model of stability, and poisoning washed-up intelligence agents in Britain with Novichok, a nerve agent so deadly I shall probably have to boil and sandblast my tongue for having said its name.

Well, mustn’t dwell on the past, what? Let’s see what’s in this generous olive branch. Take a moment and read it through, and then come back and we’ll talk about it. For those who have already read it, enjoy this musical interlude while we wait for the rest to catch up.

Finished? What did you think? Yeah; I got that, too – where in that tale of how NATO must be able to dictate to the bear from a position of strength was there anything to do with reconciliation and mending fences?

And in this, too, there is a continuation of previous behaviour which has led to nothing but Russian suspicion of westerners, and a conviction that they are all chock-full of shit and not to be trusted. In the instances I cited above, the west first broadcast all-caps accusations in screaming headlines – Russia cheated in the Olympics and used doped-up cyborgs to win all its medals. It stole the American elections for Donald Trump. It poisoned the Skripals, and got such a kick from it that it has sent its assassins back at least once since then to poison more people who are not even former Russian agents (that we know of). The west then claimed to have proof; so much proof you wouldn’t even believe it – pick your superlative. Irrefutable, inescapable, undeniable absolutely no-bullshit proof, and lots of it.

You know where we’re going, don’t you? In the case of the Olympics, and international sport in general, the west provided nothing at all that could be properly called proof, but always continuing to maintain it had it, and lots of it – just you wait and see. Star witness Grigory Rodchenkov, PhD in serial fabrication, was discredited over and over, and had a bit of a meltdown during testimony before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Most of the medals confiscated from victorious Russian athletes had to be returned, and recently RUSADA was re-instated for drug-testing functions, to hoarse screams of rage from USADA head Travis T. Tygart. All these actions took place without Russia ever accepting the conclusions of the infamous McLaren Report, which was said to be a deal-breaker – no admission of guilt, no reinstatement. Yet Russia was reinstated. Draw your own conclusion from that, but I suggest it had much to do with there not ever having been any evidence, ironclad and unambiguous or otherwise. The western response, as typified by the United States, was the announcement of intention to form a new agency that could be relied upon not to fail embarrassingly as WADA did at doing its job – getting the Russians out and keeping them out and in as much disgrace as can be imagined.

Jens Stoltenberg himself had much to do with the broadcasting of the silly meme that Russian military aircraft on sovereignty patrols, intelligence-gathering or just taking a look at what’s going on in the world from the vantage point of international airspace are a danger to civil aviation. Back in 2014, he told us himself, “Russia’s growing military presence in the skies above the Baltic region is unjustified and its aircraft regularly fail to file flight plans or communicate with air controllers, and fly with their transponders off, posing a risk to civil aviation.

The ‘Baltic region’ is right next door to Russia; want to see a map? That’s like a complaint that too many American aircraft are flying over Canada.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/92/Baltic_Sea_map.png

For the uninitiated, military aircraft of all nations typically do not fly with their IFF transponders on (squawking an international code; the west cannot read Russian national IFF anyway) unless they want to tell everyone with the equipment to read it that they are a military aircraft, and of what type. Military aircraft of Russia do not file flight plans, before departure, with NATO, because NATO is the enemy. I’m sure I don’t have to explain what it does to your likely chances of success on a military intelligence-gathering patrol if you tell the enemy what time you plan to leave and the route you will take to get there and back. Do NATO military aircraft file a flight plan with the Kremlin? Ha, ha; as if.

I’m not even going to get into the stupidity marathon of the Skripal affair and subsequent ‘poisonings’. Suffice it to say the British came up with a perfume bottle with a whacking great atomizer on top that looks like it was made by a talented five-year-old at Science Camp, while the resident British Chemical-Warfare expert – Hamish de Bretton-Gordon – told us all that it could only have been produced by Putin’s top scientists in their most sophisticated and top-secret lab. The Chemical-Warfare genius told the British newspapers that it must have cost the Kremlin ‘thousands’ (of pounds, presumably) to engineer the bottle from scratch. If that means melting the sand to make the glass, maybe, but making fake bottles has come quite a long way since the days of the Pharaohs. I don’t want to get into it any deeper than that, because I don’t want to insult the British people, many of whom I like. Besides, it looks to me to be more than probable that it is simply a regular Nina Ricci perfume bottle, not specially-engineered at all by anyone, with this stupid-looking ‘Thunderbirds’ plastic doohickey on top. The bottle certainly could not have been high-strength unbreakable ceramic as the experts suggest, because it supposedly broke in the hands of the hapless Charles Rowley, which is allegedly how he was exposed. If the British government is ever thinking of post-government employment, detective-novel authorship is out.

I don’t want to stray too far from the point, which is that the west, through the media, has manufactured a series of scandals fingering Russia as the culprit, all of which it claims to be able to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt. It has proven exactly none of them, while skeptics have roundly mocked their clumsiness on the internet and in social media. Accusations were not made more or less anonymously in the media, but directly from the mouths of western government leaders.

So you would sort of expect that a change of heart, such as the desire for better relations, would be marked by acknowledgement that things got a little crazy there for awhile, some things were said that probably should not have been, hope you can understand the pressures I was under at the time, bla, bla bla.

Not a bit of it. Instead, Stoltenberg blabbers that when NATO sees Russia behaving more aggressively and developing new weapon capabilities, why, NATO must ‘adapt’. Because Russia’s alleged behavior is “a pattern developed over years which needs a response.” NATO can only engage in dialogue with Russia, he says, when it is bristling with enough modern weapons that Russia knows right away it is not here to take any shit. Tell you what, Jens – if the missus and I ever have a major fight, remind me not to send you with my making-up offer.

The rest of NATO’s supposed let’s-be-friends-again overture is stiff with threats and jabber about more bases, more weapons, more capability. We can be friends with Russia again when it is clear to them that we could slap them into next week if they don’t accept our offer. Tell us again how you wooed Mrs. Stoltenberg; did you straightaway get her in a hammerlock and grind her cheek into the dirt, grunting, “Take me as your significant other, or it will be the worse for you!!”

I wouldn’t make any plans for the lifting of sanctions and any sort of return to sanity in the near future – not while the west remains unable to get over its ridiculous superiority complex, and its conviction that it holds all the cards in its showdown with an unschooled barbarian who only understands force and strength.

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1,012 thoughts on “The Boy Who Cried “Bear!!”: a Norwegian Folk Tale

  1. “The basic plans of nuclear war today are essentially the same as those developed in the 1960s, which is essentially a system of thousands of nuclear weapons aimed at Russian cities and military targets ready to be launched at a moment’s notice.
    The US strategy has always been for a first strike: not necessarily a surprise attack but not an attack which came “second” in a nuclear war.
    Every US president, all the way to Trump, has used the threat of nuclear war as deterrence to their adversaries.
    The US threat of nuclear attack has precluded any “effective nonproliferation campaign” among other nation-states which have decided to acquire nuclear weapons themselves.
    US nuclear war plans, and the hypothetical and real scenarios under which they unfold, are far more extensive than the public can imagine. Ellsberg writes how the public perception of a “nuclear button” with one finger on it, presumably the President’s, is a lie. In fact, there are many fingers on many buttons, to delegate authority to launch nuclear missiles in case the President and the leadership were incapacitated. These same systems exist in Russia, and probably other nuclear-armed powers as well.
    The Cuban Missile Crisis was even more dangerous than previously thought, as demonstrated in a highly classified study in 1964 which was never made public until this book.
    The strategic nuclear war systems are much more prone to “accidents” and false alarms than previously thought, risking the threat of unauthorized launchings.
    The potential risk of nuclear war has been systematically covered up from the public, including the aforementioned graph showing hundreds of millions of deaths, a third of the planet at the time. Ellsberg notes that in 1961 when the document was made, it was two decades before the concept of nuclear winter and nuclear famine were accepted, which meant that in reality most humans would die along with most other large species after a nuclear war.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/13/doom-o13.html

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    1. Can’t find the episode but I believe Homer Simpson had the briefcase that US Presidents use to control the US nuclear forces. It had three buttons:
      – First Strike
      – Retaliation Strike
      – “Accidental” Launch

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  2. CBC News: The National
    Published on 21 Sep 2018
    An investigation into so-called Golden Visas by Radio-Canada program Enquête reveals the extent some wealthy immigrants have gone to abuse a Quebec immigration program.

    Welcome to The National, the flagship nightly newscast of CBC News

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  3. A New Cold Front in Russia’s Information War

    “This spring, Berg himself added a new layer of intrigue when he admitted, through his lawyer, that he had actually been working with Norwegian military intelligence.”

    “The FSB has said little about the case, and Berg’s lawyers have had limited access to their client. But, according to the few details that have trickled out, he was mailing envelopes with cash and spying instructions to a woman called Natalia in Moscow, in return for information about Russia’s nuclear submarines in the Kola Peninsula. During an appearance in a Moscow court in February, reporters were granted the rare opportunity to ask him questions afterward, and a tearful Berg complained that he felt “really misused” by his handlers.”

    Western espionage in Russia does seem to be based on corrupting locals with envelopes of money. Going after the couriers might be an effective strategy to curb this, since there aren’t many Western nationals working in these industries. (Vastly different from how Chinese nationals infiltrate American industries.)

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  4. Naftogaz has now begun to help itself to money from Russia’s gas-transit payments, arguing that it is owed money from the Stockholm Arbitration ruling which Gazprom has refused to pay.

    https://www.naturalgasworld.com/ukraine-takes-9mn-from-gazprom-penalty-payment-65062

    Apparently Russia is still paying the old rate, from before the ruling (because to do otherwise would be to recognize the debt and accept responsibility for it), which results in an overpayment since it is higher than Naftogaz would charge, if I understand correctly. So Naftogaz has decided to confiscate it as owing.

    This, obviously, sets the stage for another shutdown of European gas supplies, just as winter is coming on. Perhaps Ukraine has realized that nothing it can do or say is going to stop Nord Stream II from going ahead, and so it might as well recover what it can, and who cares if it results in a shutdown of Europe’s gas, regardless where the blame ends up? Once again Ukraine’s maneuvering puts Russia in a difficult spot – it can recognize the Stockholm award and pay Ukraine $2.6 Billion or whatever it was. Or it can accept that Ukraine will keep part of its transit payments against the debt until it can shut down gas transit across Ukraine altogether. Or it can shut off the gas now.

    If it were up to me, I would take the middle option. Let Ukraine congratulate itself on one-upping me with its native cleverness (assuming here that I am Russia), and let them keep $9 or $10 million of the transit fees each month; that would probably be a lot cheaper than acknowledging the Stockholm award and paying Ukraine billions, in view of the fact that Ukraine never paid back the money it was lent by Russia; Stockholm neatly solved that for them, by awarding them huge damages, part of which was understood to be the amount Ukraine owed. Okay, that goes toward Ukraine’s debt to Russia, and now you owe Ukraine $2.6 Billion more.

    I would just focus on getting Nord Stream II completed. Then I would not only stop gas transit through Ukraine, I would tell them to kiss my ass if they wanted to buy gas for themselves. You were so pleased with yourselves for not buying any gas from Russia last year – obviously you can get along fine without it. But I sure hope Europe is going to keep giving you money to buy European gas forever.

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  5. 11:05 6 931

    Порошенко отказал РПЦ в правах на Украину из-за «аннексии XVII века»

    Poroshenko refused the Russian Orthodox Church any rights in Ukraine because of “the XVII century annexation”.
    The President of Ukraine has announced to an audience believers in Kiev that a decision of the Ukraine Orthodox Church Ecumenical Patriarchate has confirmed the illegality of the “annexation” of the Keiv metropolis. The ROC has no rights in the Ukraine, he said


    Poroshenko with his pet patriarch.

    The Russian Orthodox Church has never had any Orthodox Church canonical rights in the Ukraine, said Petro Poroshenko. The President of the Ukraine stated this before thanksgiving prayers on St. Sophia Square in Kiev, informs “Interfax-Ukraine”.

    “The Ecumenical Patriarchate has at last declared Moscow’s end of the XVII century annexation of the Keiv metropolis as illegal. They clearly and unequivocally stated that the Russian Orthodox Church has no canonical rights of the Orthodox Church in the Ukraine” said the Ukrainian leader. Poroshenko stressed that “the Ukraine has not been, is not and will not be canonical territory of the Russian Church”.

    The President of Ukraine reminded that Patriarch Kirill [of the ROC — ME] prays for the Russian military at every service, which, Poroshenko said, ” kills Ukrainian soldiers and civilians. And in the Ukraine, unfortunately, we have churches that still recognize Patriarch Kirill’s authority… How can churches in which prayers are said for a patriarch who prays for the Russian army be called Ukrainian?” he asked the believers.

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    1. On October 11, a Synod meeting of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople decided to “proceed to the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine.” The Synod revoked a legally binding status of the 1686 letter, which empowered the Patriarch of Moscow to ordain the Metropolitan of Kiev. In addition, the Synod decided to re-establish the office of the Stavropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Kiev, which means its head would be subordinate directly to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Moreover, the Synod lifted anathema from the heads of two non-canonical churches in Ukraine – Filaret of the Kiev Patriarchate, and Makary of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church.

      The Russian Orthodox Church and other local Orthodox Churches view these decisions as hostile and illegitimate and warn they might trigger a split within the Eastern Orthodox Church.

      See: Attempts to destroy canonical Orthodoxy in Ukraine will fail — Patriarch Kirill
      October 14, 3:51

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      1. Yup, tomorrow (October 15) is the big day when we get the response of the Moscow Synod to these shenagigans. On my own blog, I am predicting the Mummy Apocalypse.

        That is to say, I predict that the Banderites will start, either tomorrow or shortly thereafter, to seize the Kiev-Pecherskaya Lavra, along with its hundreds of mummies emtombed therein.
        And I am also predicting (channeling Karl, sorry!) that Moscow will do nothing except complain to the European Court of Human Rights, or something lame like that.
        Not that I am advocating Russia send in the tanks, or anything like that.
        There is still a (faint) hope that Putin can work some last-minute deal with Erdogan, and maybe blackmail Bartholomew (?)

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              1. “In the mid-14th century, the Patriarch of Constantinople was Philotheos, of legendary Christian virtue and piety. One night, he had a vision of a radiant youth, who told him that [Caesar] Constantine gave Pope Sylvester I a white cowl for the glory of the Church. It was, for a time, in the possession of the Roman Catholic Popes in the West, but they eventually sent the cowl to Philotheos. The youth told Philotheos that he should accept the gift and immediately forward it to Novgorod, Russia before the corrupt Western Church could demand its return.
                The Pope did indeed demand the return of the Cowl, but the Patriarch of Constantinople wisely refused. Initially, the Patriarch wished to keep the holy relic in his own city, but the radiant youth appeared to him again and told him of the Empire’s impending doom at the hands of the Turks. The Patriarch saw the wisdom in this warning and promptly sent the Cowl on to Novgorod, where it arrived safely. It was presented the Archbishop Vasilii Kalika (1330–1352). The White Cowl or hood became a special symbol unique to the Archbishop of Novgorod. In fact, a church council in 1564 confirmed the right of the archbishops to wear the white cowl and use red wax seals on their correspondence (the latter privilege had previously been reserved for the grand prince and patriarch).
                Today the Patriarch and metropolitans wear white cowls. The archbishop of Novgorod wears a black cowl like other bishops. ”

                From The Tale of the White Cowl

                The only remaining question is: Who was that “radiant youth” who appeared to Philotheos in his vision?
                More than likely (with 90% probability) it was Ivan I, aka Grand Prince of Vladimir under the Khan.

                Also, this summary of the story from wiki does not include the best part, in which Pope Sylvester dies a gross death, with worms crawling out of his brains!

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          1. St. Barthlomew’s Day is the day when the Frog RCs decided to bump off the Froggie proddies – en masse, comme on dit in Froggish.

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          1. Pretty much so! And the Jesuits might even bring Grisha Otrepiev along with them as the False Dmitry. Hey, there are so many Pretenders already in this story, why not one more?

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        1. I don’t think Moscow will do anything either (besides condemning any violence). As cynical as it is, whatever repression that will happen will be in Kiev and other parts of Ukraine who are either silent/afraid or supporting what is happening in Donbass, and who claim Russia is an aggressor. Maybe this will wake the population up to what kind of government they have and what kind of thugs the banderites really are.

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      2. The next step may well be to (attempt to) unite all the Ukrainian churches under the new church – but you can bet the next step after that will be to maneuver an ideological heir to Filaret for selection, so that the Ukrainian president can control the church the way they say Putin does in Russia. Porky can probably do that now with Filaret, but he’s looking pretty old and creaky and it would be well to have a backup waiting in the wings.

        By the pricking of my thumbs…something wicked this way comes.

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    2. Yes, you can tell by his grin how pleased with himself he is. His methods will serve only to divide the country further, and lead to greater unrest, but the west will continue to support him because they see themselves as missionaries spreading the word of Christianity to the heathen.

      The utter stupidity of completely sealing yourself off in every respect from the country immediately next to you – trade, commerce, religion and culture – seems lost on him and his shock troops. In a way, this is in fact a repeat of the western shock therapy that was administered to Russia under Yeltsin. Look how that turned out.

      The marvel to me is that in the face of no evidence at all – evidence to the contrary, if anything – Porky still believes the west is going to come to Ukraine’s fiscal rescue, and make up the trade it once enjoyed with Russia. Ties may be restored at some future time under a different leader, but Ukrainians are going to get much poorer before their lives improve.

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  6. John Bolton

    In a tweet on October 11, Bolton said he would depart on October 20 for Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia.

    “On October 20th I’ll be traveling to Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia to meet with my counterparts and other senior officials to advance American interests on a range of security issues,” Bolton tweeted.

    Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency on October 12 quoted a Russian source as saying Russia’s Security Council secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, planned to meet with Bolton in Moscow on October 22-23.

    The scheduled Bolton visit to Russia comes at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow over Russian actions in Ukraine and Syria as well as alleged Kremlin interference in U.S. elections.

    // i predict that nothing good will come out of the meeting in Russia

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    1. That’s a pretty safe bet, sort of like, “I bet the sun will rise in the east tomorrow morning.” Even if John Bolton ate one of those Harry Potter chocolates that made him fall in love with the first person he saw, if that person was Putin, he would probably drop dead of a brain embolism owing to the internal conflict.

      He’s only going so that he can give Putin America’s terms, which will be something like total capitulation or fuck-all, just like they were yesterday and just like they’ll be tomorrow. But it will be useful – for America – for its insult value. America likes to pretend to boss Russia around.

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  7. Just read this, referenced in “Irussianality”: THE INABILITY TO SEE:

    Discerning Vladimir Putin

    Spot on, as are Prof. Robinson’s comments, the Man from the Welsh Marches now resident in Canada, who runs that admirable site.

    Some extracts:

    Nikolai Mikhailovsky distinguished between level and type when he put Russia against the West. The
    Europeans had achieved a higher level of development by way of technological advances, labor productivity, and other such measures. There is no need of elaboration on this point. But Russia was a higher type of society precisely because it came late to capitalist development, Mikhailovsky considered. It still had attributes the Europeans had surrendered.What did so audacious an assertion mean? In what way was premodern,radically underdeveloped Russia superior as a society to the France of the Eiffel Tower, daguerreotypes, the Right Bank’s opulent arcades? Or the England of cotton mills and steam?

    The simplest way at this question is to consider the word pravda. We customarily translate it as “truth” and leave it at that, but this is not adequate, as any first-year language student can tell you. Pravda fuses verity—the facts of the matter—with what is just, rightness. It is naturally difficult to take this in, for there is no equivalent thought or term in English. The best we do is “moral truth,” which gets us only part way there. “Every time that word pravda comes into my head,” Mikhailovsky wrote in the late 1870s, “I cannot help but be enraptured with its wonderful inner beauty”.

    And there you get a glimpse into the “Russian soul”!

    “Truth” is not “pravda”: only shitwits like the late and not lamented McCain thought that the name of printed organ of the Bolsheviks meant “The Truth”. The Russian for “verity’, the facts of a matter, is istina, and following the indisputable facts of a matter when policy making or when choosing the right path in life is not necessarily the “right way”.

    The author of the above linked essay goes on to write:

    Some years ago I took a walk in central Moscow with a new acquaintance. It was my first time in the Russian capital, and I remarked on its dignity, the best of its architecture, the pride people took in their dress. I had not expected to see such things. We were along the Lubyansky Proyezd, not far from the Mayakovsky Museum and the old KGB headquarters. The Bolshoi and Red Square were a little farther on.

    My companion asked, “Do you know what you would have seen here when the century turned to 2000?” I did not and said so.

    “Empty bottles, syringes, petty thieves, homeless people. Empty lives everywhere.”

    This is a mere snapshot of what Boris Yeltsin handed Vladimir Putin when Yeltsin was effectively chased from office on New Year’s Eve in 1999. Putin won his first presidential election three months later. In the simplest terms, his inheritance was a nation at the edge of collapse for the second time in a decade—the third in less than a century. The facts of the case are well established: unemployment and poverty rates, while hard to measure, were respectively up to 50 percent and 75 percent. The large middle class of the Soviet era—yes, there was one—was destroyed. There was a “mortality crisis,” as one American scholar put it. Malnutrition, alcohol, drugs, disease, homicide, suicide: these had claimed several million lives, by accepted estimates. Life expectancy dropped by nearly ten years, to less than sixty. Corruption and kleptomania, like the bottles and syringes, were everywhere. The formidable national assets accumulated during the seventy-year Soviet period were—no other word—looted by a combination of local oligarchs and foreign investors.

    It is only mildly surprising that most Americans remain dimly aware, if at all, of the Yeltsin years’ tragedies. The wall of nonsense erected to obscure them was high, thick, swiftly in place, and remains so. Michael McFaul, the most brazenly dishonest American ambassador to serve in Moscow during my lifetime, said late in the Yeltsin era,“Basic arrows on all the big issues are pointing in the right direction.” By then Bill Clinton, as president, had already declared, “Yeltsin represents the direction toward the kind of Russia we want.” The Western press was unreservedly complicit in this immense deception. “We edited out the pain,” one correspondent later acknowledged.

    With no grasp of this history, we cannot hope to understand the forty-eight-year-old who took office in 2000. And we ought not pretend to. Putin’s immediate imperatives were plain. Highest among them was stabilizing national institutions to counter another threat of collapse. He had to redirect national wealth back to an impoverished citizenry. Reining in the oligarchs, putting millions back to work, reconstituting some form of political process, safeguarding nuclear stockpiles: all this and more was on Putin’s plate.

    On the ball as regards McFaul!

    And as regards the state of Russia in 2000: I well remember the year before, when my sister was my guest in Moscow. She had come to see our first born, and she and I were sitting on a bench facing the Kiev railway terminus. It was a beautifully warm Indian Summer day and I suggested we had a bottle of beer. While we were drinking our beer, my sister noticed the appearance of elderly women, who were keeping their distance from us, but watching us attentively. “Do they want something?” she asked.

    “Yes”, I replied, “our empty bottles”.

    All day, I explained to her, they will have been searching out empties, which they would then hand in at bottle depots for kopecks. The women were impoverished. And I told my sister that no doubt many of them would be able to converse with her in English, as in my experience, many beggars on the street in Moscow at that time were former members of the Soviet bourgeoisie, mostly former academics and teachers.

    Further:

    Yeltsin’s greatest error, apart from his incessant inebriation, was his craven eagerness for acceptance among Western neoliberals. In this essay’s terms, he acquiesced when Bill Clinton, along with legions of economists and investors, told him that to modernize was to Westernize. This left Putin with questions and problems that dated to the later czars. This is so for a simple reason: the Western-centric thesis is fatally wrong. It is crudely ridiculous or ridiculously crude, and I am back and forth as to which.

    To see Putin’s predicament properly, it is well to imagine ourselves looking out two windows giving onto present-day Russia. One will be in the Ararat Park Hyatt, not far from where I walked and had my history lesson. The other will be out of any train on a half-day’s journey from Moscow or St. Petersburg.

    My point may already be evident. From the former window one will see shops the match of any along the rue du Faubourg SaintHonoré. There will be bars and restaurants of many varieties. There will be stylish people and people carrying briefcases. These people will be exposed and (in one or another measure) disposed to the ways of the West. Some will be impatient with Putin’s program and altogether with Russia’s pace into the twenty-first century.

    From the train one will see less picturesque versions of the old, wonderful landscapes hanging in the Tretyakov, Moscow’s Louvre. Out this window will be a country that remains in many ways premodern. One will imagine the villages to be slightly updated versions of the obshchina. In the villages there will be churches—Orthodox, of course. There will be people among whom poverty is not uncommon. But they will be people who, in my limited exposure, seem remarkably à l’aise dans leurs peaux, as the French say—at ease in their skins. They want life to improve more than any other Russians, the surveys say. But they want little to do with Western neoliberalism, for they have had a taste of it and it is not, in any case, their idea. They are conservative to their marrow. They value order—the order of custom more than law—above democracy, for they have known disorder too well and do not see that democracy, in its Western manifestations, at any rate, does much to alleviate it.

    In all of this I mean to suggest something of the context so assiduously omitted from most Western accounts of Russia and its president. It is not properly described as a Western nation, but neither is it Asian. It has features of both and so is a third thing, unto itself. State and society intersect differently. A divide between city and village, now a century and a half old, persists. Russia has no democratic tradition in the Western sense, and most of its people (not all) are wise enough to understand democracy is desirable but does not travel well as an import item.

    Yes and yes again!!!

    I spend a lot of time in the country: have done for a quarter of a century. You don’t even have to travel more than 40 minutes from the centre of Moscow on a suburban train in order to see that “other” Russia. (My dacha is a 90 minute ride from the Belorussky terminus, 85 kms from Moscow city centre.) It is as the author says.

    I still work with fellow countrymen and US citizens who never venture forth from ther “comfort zone”, their cosmopolitan European Russian city.

    I say to them: “Have you still not been to Russia yet?”

    “Waddya mean?”

    “I mean out there, beyond the Moscow Belt Road. I mean “Mother Russia!”

    Like

  8. February 20, 2014:

    Креста на тебе нет! Сука, православный, блядь!

    You’re not wearing a cross, you bitch of an Orthodox whore!” — says the devout Ukrainian Eastern Orhodox Christian Poroshenko (Valtsman).

    And doesn’t he speak Russian really well!

    Like

      1. Horses for courses!

        If I am not mistaken, Poroshenko has been a member of every political party there has existed in post-UkSSR Ukraine.

        Like

        1. I can imagine Poroshenko being a member of every political party in the Ukraine at the same time, if he could find loopholes in the legislation governing funding of political parties in the country.

          Like

  9. The BBC enters hyperdrive …

    How chemical weapons have helped bring Assad close to victory
    By Nawal al-Maghafi
    BBC Panorama
    7 hours ago

    After seven devastating years of civil war in Syria, which have left more than 350,000 people dead, President Bashar al-Assad appears close to victory against the forces trying to overthrow him.

    So how has Mr Assad got so close to winning this bloody, brutal war?

    A joint investigation by BBC Panorama and BBC Arabic shows for the first time the extent to which chemical weapons have been crucial to his war-winning strategy.

    A BBC “source”:

    “Chemical attacks are terrifying,” said Abu Jaafar, who lived in an opposition-held part of the city of Aleppo until it fell to government forces in 2016. “A barrel bomb or a rocket kills people instantly without them feeling it… but the chemicals suffocate. It’s a slow death, like drowning someone, depriving them of oxygen. It’s horrifying.”

    And what’s this I see tucked away at the end? …

    The BBC team were not allowed access to film on the ground in Syria and could not visit the scenes of reported incidents, and therefore were not able to categorically verify the evidence.

    However, they did weigh up the strength of the available evidence in each case, including the video footage and pictures from each incident, as well as the details of location and timing.

    Now throw in what I suspect are White Helmet pictures and Bob’s your uncle and the BBC’s your aunt!

    From the BBC article linked above:

    and

    See: Ordered Censored by Trump: Swedish Medical Associations Says White Helmets Murdered Kids for Fake Gas Attack Videos

    Like

    1. Wrong bloody link!!!!

      Again:

      How chemical weapons have helped bring Assad close to victory
      By Nawal al-Maghafi
      BBC Panorama
      7 hours ago

      Close to vicctory?

      Only “close”?

      Mard-arsing because Uncle Sam never won?

      Oh yeah .. and for some reason or other, the BBC reminds its readers what our girl at the UN thinks about chemical weaopns:

      Karen Pierce, the United Kingdom’s permanent representative to the UN in New York, described the use of chemical weapons in Syria as “vile”.

      Well thank you for that astute observation, Karen, old thing!

      More interstingly, the BBC chooses to use the opinions of such “witnesses” to alleged Syrian chemical attacks as a certain Yasser al-Domani:

      Yasser al-Domani, an activist who visited the scene that night, said the people who died had foam around their mouths and appeared to have chemical burns.

      What exactly in this narrative is “an activist” ?

      Like

      1. This propaganda takes the cake for nonsense. I watched every one of those White Helmet productions on the suffering induced by Assad’s chemical attacks. I did not see any dead jihadis. This was not just a matter of editing. Unless they were hiding these casualties. (I know the whole show is staged.)

        So how did any of these chemical attacks help Assad militarily? We are not talking about Hiroshima and Nagasaki scale attacks. Vastly more civilians die and died from conventional fighting in built up areas. It is obvious that even if we pretend these attacks were real and not staged to give NATzO excuses to help the jihadis, that they had zero military value.

        Like

    2. Well, the Event Chronicle is a well-known source of disinformation….

      Sorry, that was just a little blast from the past. In fact it seems very decisive, and the complaint that the video of medical treatment supposedly being given to a stricken child features incorrect procedures was mentioned before; I remember the point about the plunger not ever being depressed on the syringe. This article features more detail, such as directions on how to position the child being overheard, and I’m sure we all remember video of the ‘dead’ girl opening her eyes a crack to see if she is still being filmed, not to mention that happy asshole in the hospital scene who is actually laughing at the manufactured wailing and pandemonium around him, until he realizes the camera is on him, whereupon he quickly adopts an injured expression and clutches his head.

      All, all a humiliating disgrace. There is an old saying that the truth will out, but old proverbs rarely are able to keep up with the sheer superficiality and manufactured reality of modern times, and the news is just a product like so many others. To what useful end is it if the truth trickles out in easily-absorbed dribbles on alternative media that the mainstream does not read or watch? Google contributes by down-ranking or hiding content which does not correspond to the official government narrative, which is that the west has once again rallied to the causes of democracy and freedom. like always – reassuring pablum for those who can’t take their nourishment too chunky.

      Sadly, unless there is some sort of integrity breakthrough – and I wouldn’t hold your breath – what most will take away is that the White Helmets are an organization of hero volunteers who selflessly dedicate themselves to human rights in difficult and dangerous conditions. Sadly, due to the partisan yapping of know-nothing charlatans like you and I, they fell short of collecting the Nobel Peace Prize they richly deserved. Next!

      Like

      1. The problem today is that people shop for the information (propaganda) that is music to their ears. It is just so much less stressful to live in a bubble of delusion than to swallow bitter reality pills. This indicates we are living in terminal times. When the masses and the leaders become detached from reality and progressively at that, then a time of reckoning (reset) is coming.

        Humanity is heading for a perfect storm to end global civilization. Climate change will destroy agricultural productivity, fossil fuel exhaustion (economically accessible reserves) will contribute to undoing the economy and any remediation options to deal with climate change impacts, and the mentality of the masses will be at its worst in terms of being able to deal with these problems. Coddled, isolated in delusional bubbles and incapable of dealing with hardship people do not last long when things go south. Global civilization will crash like no other previously. In the case of Rome, people reverted to being peasants working the fields. In our case there will be mass die off.

        Like

    3. Lest we forget, or ‘misremember’. (the Foreign & Commonwealth Office funded) BBC Arabic Service:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Arabic_Television#Funding

      BBC Arabic Television is run by the BBC World Service. Initially it was funded from a grant-in-aid from the British Foreign Office but in 2014 funding was switched to come from the television licence that is mainly used to fund the BBC’s domestic broadcasting. The service is based in the Peel Wing of Broadcasting House in London. 24-hour programming began 19 January 2009.

      In 2011, as the British government cut funding to the BBC, forcing the BBC World Service to close down its services in five languages, the government simultaneously increased funding to the BBC Arabic service, in the words of Foreign Secretary William Hague, to “assist the BBC Arabic Service to continue their valuable work in the region”.[4]

      &

      BBC World Service announces biggest expansion ‘since the 1940s’
      https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-37990220

      BBC World Service gets funding boost from government
      https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-34902244
      23 November 2015

      The government is to invest £85m a year in enhancing BBC services around the world including in Russia, North Korea, the Middle East and Africa.

      The money is to help “build the global reach of the World Service” to half a billion people and “increase access to news and information”….

      …In 2010, the coalition government decided the £253 million spent on the World Service was coming to an end. The BBC would have to absorb the cost out of the licence fee.

      Five years later, Chancellor George Osborne has, partially, reversed that cut in return for the BBC expanding services in to North Korea, Russian speaking areas, the Middle East and Africa.

      Areas described as suffering from a “democratic deficit” – a shortage of impartial news.

      And while the Government will be helping to pay the bills – editorial control remains entirely with the BBC….
      ####

      ‘Conflict of interest?’ I hear you says? Nay! Al-Beeb s’Allah is fully independent of UK gov!

      Remember kids, ‘Hybrid Warfare’ is something others do is not just a media friendly phrase for something that has existed for a very, very long time already. New=Scary. Old=Boring! Easy.

      Like

    1. Unroll Evdokimova’s Tweet to get the full story.

      Too far fetched?

      I don’t think it is necessary to develop such a convoluted plot; just ask the following questions:

      Where is the traitor Skripal?

      Where is his daughter?

      Where is DC Bailey.

      Oh, and there’s another:

      Where is Charlie Rowley now?

      Where is the CCTV recordings made at the time of the alleged attempted assassination?

      And the big one: why did only Rowley’s partner die and no one else?

      Like

      1. It answers my previous rhetorical question as to how Bellingcat can move freely through Russian government databases which should be secure; Boshirov’s passports were all done by a private firm which specializes in ‘get it quick’ applications. Therefore the ominous ‘not to be disclosed to the public’ tag which was supposedly attached to the files of all these ‘GRU agents’ is probably nothing more than routine security cautions on private information.

        Like

        1. Yes, that theory does make a lot of sense. Given that hackers, when they hack into a database, usually get their hands on sequential data from a particular date range. For example, I have a friend at work whose social-security-number was stolen from the database of an employer she worked for a decade ago. She only found out, because the old employer sent her (and the other victims) a letter, stating that the range of SSN’s stolen from the database encompassed from a certain date to a certain date. Even though the hack took place a decade ago, they only just found out about it, and are obliged by American law to offer free identity-theft services. to the victims. Since their crappy database security at the time makes them partially responsible for the breach. The hack, like I said, was just a one-off and only touched on a certain snapshot of the database taken at a certain time.

          In this particular case, the stolen ID’s being employee social-security numbers would not have been sequential, they would have been random.
          However, in a database containing recently issued passports, it makes sense that the stolen numbers would be sequential. Like, all the numbers issued in the last month, or something like that.

          Like

      2. Last I heard any news of Charlie Rowley, he was supposed to be ill with meningitis. He seems to be currently in an incommunicado state. Perhaps the Met don’t want him going off the reservation with any more stories about Novichok in broken, unbroken or sealed-with-lead-to-prevent-release-of-kryptonite-radiation perfume bottles.

        Like

  10. I’ve been checking the headlines, but still no news of the “Mummy Apocalypse” in Kiev. Probably the big boys are still meeting in Synod in Moscow, trying to figure out what to do.

    Meanwhile, I did see this very good piece by Petr Akopov. Aside from the lede photo, which makes it look like Putin is about to join the priesthood, Akopov makes a well-reasoned historical analysis, linking Ukrainian Autocephaly with Westie sanctions and the drive to “isolate Russia” from the so-called civilized world.
    In this case, Westies have set up a rather clever play, in which Russia will be forced to declare Constantinople to be the heretic; but Westies will make it look like it is Russia who is the outcast. Even though Russia is the biggest hugest Orthodox country, not to mention spiritually the Third Rome.

    Some people say, What’s the big deal? Constantinople is tiny, Russia is huge. Russia should cut off Constantinople, it’s like a gorilla losing his pinky.
    Well, Akopov explains that too, and why Constantinople has a special weapon in its arsenal.
    You know how Saudi Arabia controls that sacred rock that everybody has to go to? And this is part of which gives the House of Saud its moxie.
    Similarly, Constantinople has jurisdiction over Mount Athos which (I come to learn) is one of the most sacred places of Christianity. It is because of this valuable piece of real estate, that the other Orthodox churches around the world, cannot risk splitting from Constantinople altogether. Apparently, according to Akopov, Athos is an ecumenical place where various monasteries all co-exist peacefully: Russian, Greek, Serbian, Gruzian, etc. Hence, it is this particular mountain which gives Patriarch Bartholomew his super-powers. And why he dares to embark on this outrageous Schism. Which is designed precisely to isolate Russia even from the spiritual world.

    Like

    1. :/ The Russian Orthodox Church breaks communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The decision was made by the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church meeting in Minsk.

      Like

    2. The phrasing of the announcement is very interesting. It shows the Russian Orthodox Church in solidarity with Ukraine, not in conflict with it: “We call the Sacred Synods of the Local Orthodox Churches to properly evaluate the anticanonical acts of the Constantinople Patriarchate and jointly search for ways out of this hard crisis, tearing apart the body of the United Holy Church. We express our full support to the Blessed Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Onufriy and the entire unity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in a particularly difficult time for her. We pray for the strengthening of her faithful children in their courageous stand for the truth and unity of canonical Church in Ukraine.” .
      («Призываем Предстоятелей и Священные Синоды Поместных Православных Церквей к надлежащей оценке вышеупомянутых антиканонических деяний Константинопольского Патриархата и совместному поиску путей выхода из тяжелейшего кризиса, раздирающего тело Единой Святой Соборной и Апостольской Церкви.
      Выражаем всестороннюю поддержку Блаженнейшему Митрополиту Киевскому и всея Украины Онуфрию и всей полноте Украинской Православной Церкви в особо трудное для неё время. Молимся об укреплении её верных чад в мужественном стоянии за истину и единство канонической Церкви в Украине.
      Просим архипастырей, духовенство, монашествующих и мирян всей Русской Православной Церкви усилить молитвы о единоверных братьях и сестрах в Украине. Молитвенный покров Пресвятой Царицы Небесной, преподобных отцов Киево-Печерских, преподобного Иова Почаевского, новомучеников, исповедников и всех святых Церкви Русской да пребудет над всеми нами.»)

      Like

      1. The Russian Orthodox Church has learned something from Moscow’s experience when the Russian Federation was banned from sending a team to the Winter Olympic Games this year over charges by WADA that Russian athletes were part of a state-run and funded doping scheme – so the Russian government appeared to acquiesce by accepting the ban and encouraging its athletes to compete under the Olympic Games flag. This tactic of being in solidarity with Ukrainian Orthodox Church clergy and congregations and appearing to support whatever they decide on individually and collectively looks like something similar.

        Like

      1. From Athos and other such places they fled over 500 years ago, when Byzantium fell to the Otomans.

        They fled to Moscow, not to Kiev; they fled to Mother Russia and declared that Moscow was the Third Rome that shall not fall.

        And in Muscovy they adopted the Greek term for their lands: Ρωσσία.

        They, those in the lands of Muscovy, were setting themselves free from the Tatar Yoke and gathering the Russian lands.

        Kiev had been razed by the Mongol-Tatar onslought some 200 years previously and the territories that the Kiev princes once lorded themselves over, after a fashion and when they were not murdering each other, was, at the fall of Byzantium, part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.pre

        The Svidomite shits say the Moskali “stole” their country’s name.

        Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?

        Like

        1. Aramis: Aramis dumb enough to try and take on the Russkies?

          Amis: German slang for “die Amerikaner” (plural same as singular: “der Ami” – “the American”):

          Help, the Americans are coming!

          Like

        2. Porthos was my favourite character in the remake of The Three Musketeers. The three are in a carriage traveling at breakneck speed through a forest, pursued by the King’s men on horseback. Porthos sticks his head up through the roof hatch, where Aramis is trying to hold on, and yells, “Can I offer you some wine?”, waving the bottle. Aramis shouts back, “Porthos, we’re in the middle of a chase!!”, to which Porthos replies, “You’re right! Something red”, and disappears below.

          Like

  11. Navalny’s daughter, 17-years old Dasha Navalnaya, is now also trying her hand at politics under the guise of a social project. She says next year she’ll have to apply to universities, and since she wants to study abroad and US/UK universities usually look for outstanding applicants with significant extra-curriculum activities, she is starting a new project called “The voice of my generation” where she will ask young Russians questions such as why they go to meetings against the government and why they are not “afraid to protest” (she apparently doesn’t plan to interview any of the 86% of young people aged between 18-24 who support Putin according to a Levada poll). Her first interviewee is a young man who thinks Russians deserve their government as they are apathetic, that the OMON have inhuman eyes, that he wants to move abroad, and that he went to meetings but he thinks they are inefficient and Putin should be directly removed, no need to protest/negotiate with him (with a nice montage of Putin screaming while falling in a well). Such is Dasha Navalnaya’ social non-political project which she insists has nothing to do with her father or his views.

    As an aside, it’s ironic how last year the opposition were screaming that Putin supposedly wanted to impose his daughter as a successor and so he pushed Sobchak to participate to the presidential elections to get people used to a female president (honestly, he can’t do more of a disservice to women than by presenting Sobchak as an illustrative example). Instead, Putin daughters are completely invisible while Navalny’s daughter is waxing political wisdom at 17.

    Like

  12. In the ‘some sanctions, other sanctions ummm..‘ column, I present:

    AirCargoNews: AirBridgeCargo to set up its European hub at Liege Airport
    https://www.aircargonews.net/news/airport/single-view/news/airbridgecargo-to-set-up-its-european-hub-at-liege-airport.html

    …The agreement comes after a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Liege Airport and ABC parent, the Volga-Dnepr Group, during the Farnborough International Airshow 2018 in July. …

    …Under the Liege agreement ABC will lease warehouse premises for the total area of 25,000 sq m at the airport. The investment amounts to €25m and includes 2,000 sq m of office space.

    The project will be divided into two phases, with the first one to be launched in June 2019 when ABC will have its first 12,500 sq m warehouse. ..

    Like

  13. Interesting articles:

    https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201810151068905177-china-us-lng-supplies-halt/

    Beijing has put an end to its purchase of US liquefied natural gas (LNG), Reuters cited several sources as saying late last week.

    In his opinion piece for Sputnik, political analyst Dmitry Lekukh pointed out that the move will deal a “very serious blow to the US energy sector given that last year the Americans supplied about 3.6 million tons of LNG to the Chinese markets.”

    Lekukh recalled that in the past year, US LNG manufacturers have earned about one billion dollars per month from LNG exports to China.

    The article goes on to indicated that Europe will (obviously) go ahead with Nord Stream II and Turkish Stream and will continue to purchase gas via the Soviet era pipes presumably including Ukraine (they wish).

    That would then leave room for some LNG from the US. OTOH, Russian LNG should also be quite competitive so, personally, I don’t see much hope for significant US LNG in Europe – certainly not enough to compensate the loss of the huge Chinese market.

    Here is one company likely not happy with Trump:

    https://sputniknews.com/business/201802111061549282-us-china-lng-deal/

    US liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier Cheniere Energy will supply energy giant China National Petroleum with about 1.2 million tonnes of LNG annually beginning this year and continuing through 2043, the American company announced Friday.

    The US first-ever long-term LNG supply and purchase agreements were built on a memorandum of understanding Cheniere signed with China’s state-owned energy company in November 2017.

    Presumably, the contract is gone with the wind.

    Like

    1. American politicians are utter clowns. Like the moron who threatened to use the US Navy to cut off Russia’s gas exports. Even if Russia was shipping LNG, its navy can sink every stinking US carrier and do terminal damage to the US navy. Only morons would run around making war to end all wars threats over some trivial trade ambitions. As I pointed out before, the US does not have any relevant export capacity and imports 85/5=17 times more than it could export from Canada alone.

      Like

  14. Why is it Israel can murder anyone they please in any country they want yet everyone makes a big deal with Saudi Arabia does it?

    I know none of the following is likely to happen but it is fun to read:

    https://www.rt.com/news/441270-saudi-retaliation-us-sanctions/

    n an op-ed published on Sunday, the insider said Saudi influence on the oil market alone puts it into position to badly hurt American interests. “If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure,” he wrote, adding that Riyadh may start pricing its crude in Chinese yuan rather than US dollar, dealing a blow to its status as a world reserve currency.

    The Saudis may make a geostrategic turn away from the US and towards its rival: China, Russia and Iran, Aldakhil added. “No one can deny that repercussions of these sanctions will include a Russian military base in Tabuk,” he said, referring to Saudi Arabia’s northwestern province located in a strategically valuable place near the Red Sea with its trade routes as well as Israel and Jordan.

    Like

  15. Al Jazeera English
    Published on 15 Oct 2018
    Ukraine’s foreign minister told Al Jazeera that he has condemned a nationalist website for publishing the personal details of more than 500 Ukrainians it claims obtained Hungarian passports.
    Dual citizenship is illegal in Ukraine, which has expelled a diplomat in a standoff with Hungary over the issue; Hungary retaliated in kind.

    Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons reports from Berehova, Ukraine.

    Like

  16. Just this weekend I was thinking about Ms. Barr a little : I COUDA TOLD YA SO!!!!

    https://www.westernjournal.com/abc-regret-roseanne-firing-worried/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=mixi&utm_campaign=westernjournal

    Oh…I’m sure “The Conners’ will be a howling success…sorta like “I Love Lucy” without Ms. Ball……LOL!!!

    But if you wanna watch a bunch of gutless jerks all of whom owe their careers and fat bank accounts to Roseanne and who threw her under the bus…well be sure to watch the show!!!!!

    :O)

    Like

    1. That is going to be the last straw for some Ukrainians, perhaps many. It would serve that fat tub of shit right if he had another uprising on his hands, because you can bet there would be no sympathetic European leaders urging the protesters to bust loose and the police to go to their barracks and stay out of it, no Mutti Merkel telling Poroshenko he owed the protesters security and a warm room from which to plan their next move.

      Like

    2. Tisdall is a cnut. He’s been beating his Russophobe drum for yonks. When I was a Grauniad reader, he regularly wrote an “Opinion Piece”, which was usually a diatribe against Russia, Russians etc. These pieces usually appeared on Tuesdays, so whenever he kicked off ranting on about Mordor, CiF commenters used to write: See it’s Tuesday again!

      Like

  17. Meanwhile, here is the latest on the Church stuff, and also a shout-out to Nat for following this story as well…

    So, in breaking with Constantinople, the Russian Church did this the right way (IMHO), and not in the mealy-mouthed way that we might have feared. It’s a clean break. Russian Church even told their followers that they will no longer be able to go to Mount Athos in Greek and pray at the monasteries, etc. Since Mount Athos is under the jurdiscition of Bartholomew, and the Russian Church is totally serious about snubbing Bart. They are asking all Russian believers to make this sacrifice and abstain from visiting these holy sites in Greece, and from “participating in the secret rites”, etc.

    Which, by the way, is one of the things about religion that really bugs me. The idea that there are “secrets” and “secret rites”, and so on. This is why I prefer science: There are no secrets, everything is out there, completely transparent, for anybody who has the time and brains to study it. Not to mention reproducible. There are no “inner circles” and “secrets of the Holy Ark”, or any of that bullshit.

    But this being religion, there might be people who thirst to be members of a secret inner circle who (supposedly) know some important stuff that is not available to the hoi polloi. But any of that, if it exists on Mount Athos, is now off limit.
    Tough shit, Luke Skywalker! May the Force not be with you any more…

    Like

    1. Thanks Yalensis! I’m really surprised about Mount Athos. I had read the opposite today: That it is an autonomous Monastic Republic and only the monasteries (not the Mount) are under the jurisdiction of the Constantinople patriarchate. Interestingly, there is a Russian Monastery in Mont Athos, will it “close down” or is it faithful to Bartholomew?

      Like

    2. Btw Yalensis, concerning your issue with secret rites 😀 I think you translated “Таинство” into “secret/secret rite” but in fact it means sacrament. They are speaking about getting baptized, confirmed, confessing, communion, marriage and receiving the unction. Nothing secret or mysterious 😉 So now Orthodox Russians can’t do any of that in Mont Athos.

      Like

      1. Oh, thanks for that correction, Nat!
        Of course you are right, and once again I show my ignorance of religion.
        Having said that, when it comes to Mount Athos, I doubt they be doing many weddings there, since (according to my research on wiki) women are not even allowed to set a foot on that hill. So they are probably talking about communions and unctions and the other stuff that you mention!

        Like

          1. You went there, Jennifer, I didn’t!

            I came this close to posting a snotty comment about “gay weddings” and “unctions” on Athos, and then restrained myself, out of respect for the faithful…

            Like

      1. When I started reading, I thought this was machine translation. Then come to see it was supposedly “translated” by 2 humans, Ollie and Angelina. What a poor-ass translation! Did they just let google go at it, and then clean up a few mistakes?

        Translation aside, Ishchenko makes a good point, that the Banderites were expecting to get their own church and be, like the Fourth Rome. Instead, they have become the private fiefdom, or “Stauropygia” of Father Bart.
        And If “Stauropygia” sounds a lot like “Where I store my pigs,” then they got that right.

        Like

  18. TheRealNews
    Published on 15 Oct 2018
    The murder of Jamal Khashoggi should be denounced.
    Professor As`ad AbuKhalil says western media’s uncritical praise of Khashoggi is unworthy, he was a loyal member of the Saudi propaganda apparatus and chose the wrong side of the House of Saud

    Like

    1. This is a good assessment of this issue with Jamal khasshogi.

      The silence of the western powers on this issue really highlights their hypocrisy.

      Saudi Arabia will be supported to manage this crisis and everyone will be paid to move on.

      Like

    1. He was called “Austere Insomniac”. His real name was Leos Tomicek, and yes, he was a Czech. I remember he had the greatest blogroll on the net, an assembly of sites and interests it must have taken years to put together.

      The guy who used to haunt his blog and tormented him into disappearing sounded very much like the comments-forum intellectual who liked to call himself “Professor Preobrazhezhenny” or something like that, beginning with “P”, and also quite a lot like the one who surfaced here at the old blog around the time of the glorious Maidan, calling himself AP. I suspect they were the same individual.

      I think you’re right; this sounds like Leos.

      Like

      1. Professor Preobrazhenskiy, perhaps?

        The adjective “preobrazhenskiy” (masculine nominative singular ending) is from the noun “preobrazheniye”, meaning “transfiguration”, as of (allegedly) Jesus Christ before his Apostles.

        The first place where I lived in Soviet Moscow was “Preobrazhenskaya Ploshchad’ (Transfiguration Square) – feminine nominative singular ending of the adjective because “square” in Russian is a feminine gender noun.

        Like

  19. Hurricane Michael may have destroyed up to 10% of F-22 fighters in the US Air Force inventory.

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a23792532/f-22s-damaged-destroyed-hurricane-michael/

    The U.S. Air Force is assessing what damage more than a dozen F-22 Raptor fighters suffered when Tyndall Air Force Base sustained a direct hit from Hurricane Michael. Up to $2 billion in fighter jets were trapped on the ground because of maintenance issues and forced to ride out the Category 4 hurricane. Photographs show the hangars where F-22s were parked suffered severe damage.

    The USAF had 2-3 days warning although the strength of the storm exceeded forecasts.

    Like

    1. Jamal Khashoggi was known to be a supporter of ISIS in Syria. His uncle was the arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi (died 2017).

      Perhaps the reason the Saudis dealt with him in such a hideous and terrible way is that they perceive him to be a traitor and a turncoat, in criticising aspects of current Saudi governance under Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (and thus MbS himself), and therefore more despicable and treacherous than if he had been a dissident all his life.

      Like

  20. Joint training with NATO # ClearSky2018 members is required to demonstrate that the price for Russia using its air force to attack the Ukraine will be very high.

    We are fighting for freedom; we are fighting for democracy. We very much appreciate the strong and reliable position demonstrated by our American and NATO partners.

    We do not ask Russia what we should do on our land!

    US pilot killed in Su-27 crash in Ukraine
    Oct 16, 2018 in Aviation, News

    The pilot of a United States Air National Guard was killed Tuesday when the Ukranian Su-27UB fighter jet crashed in west-central Ukraine field, according to Ukrainian General Staff reports.

    A Ukrainian Su-27UB twin-seat combat trainer / fighter jet with two pilots crashed during a training exercise on Tuesday.

    The accident occurred at around 5:00 PM local time on Oct. 16, 2018, near the village of Ulaniv, which is situated approximately 185 miles southwest of the Ukranian capital Kyiv.

    Like

    1. I was just about to make a near-identical comment; I saw a news item on the crash, and intended to preface it with some of Porky’s usual rhetoric-heavy flourishes;

      “The purpose of the exercises is to increase the level of interoperability of our combat aircraft with the air forces of the United States and other member states of the alliance,” he said. “Five years ago, our planes rusted on the ground and military pilots forgot about the sky. But today, each of you has an opportunity to see the professional skills of our pilots — soldiers, who carry out difficult tasks on an equal footing with their foreign counterparts.”

      https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/16/europe/ukraine-russia-us-confrontation-intl/index.html

      How’s that working out, so far?

      Where did the US Air National Guard pilot’s demise come into the picture? That sounds like a collision to me, although that’s not how it was reported.

      Like

        1. As was the one that was shown allegedy buzzing the mighty Yukie Sea of Azov fleet the other week, only it was a dastardly Russian one, provoking those freedom loving Ukrainians, wasn’t it?

          Like

        2. Meanwhile the Ukies are crowing about shooting down an RuAf Orlan-10 drone with an Mi-24:

          ####

          I counted 9 bursts of cannon fire and from pictures the drone was found largely intact.

          As a side note, India wants/wanted Russia to build a replacement for the Mi-24 gunship/troop carrier but Russia simply wasn’t interested, though much more recently as reported in Izvestia a replacement is already underway:

          https://iz.ru/781842/denis-komarovskii/letaiushchaia-bronia-pochemu-novyi-vertolet-dlia-vdv-nazvali-boevoi-mashinoi

          On a second side note, a Serbian Mi-8’s door gunner shot down a USAF Predator drone over Kosovo 19 years ago:

          The Russian Border guard service, MinDef & VIPs (to and from the Kremlin’s helipad) also fly the unarmed and latest version of the Mi-24, the Mi-35MS some of which include extra bumps:

          http://www.airliners.net/photo/Russia-Border-Guard/Mil-Mi-35MS/2523644

          And Russia has recently returned Hungary’s Mi-24s, refurbished:

          Like

  21. American strategy and tactical coordination command and control of its forces in Syria:
    *****Total Cluster Fuck*****

    “TEHRAN (FNA)- The US military forces have retreated towards two energy-rich fields in Eastern Deir Ezzur after a number of American soldiers and the Washington-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militants were kidnapped by ISIL, a Russian media outlet reported on Tuesday.

    The Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted well-informed sources as reporting that the US army and other foreign forces, deployed in Eastern Deir Ezzur, have limited their presence in Konico and al-Umer oilfields.

    It further said that the move came after ISIL ambushed the US forces and their allies near al-Umer and in an SDF attack in al-Bahrah region and managed to capture four US soldiers and a number of SDF militias.”

    https://syria360.wordpress.com/2018/10/16/us-army-retreats-towards-deir-ezzur-energy-rich-fields-after-daesh-kidnaps-american-soldiers/

    Hmmm…are the above referenced ISIL the same as these guys??? :
    https://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/09/08/us-army-continues-rescue-operations-for-isil-in-eastern-syria/

    Like

  22. For the Stooges who still choose not to see Trump for what he is:
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/republicans-are-adopting-the-proud-boys?ref=scroll
    Look at the red cap the little Scottish/Anglo Saxon(probably) racist POS on the left wears .

    http://gothamist.com/2018/10/15/new_video_antifa_proud_boys.php

    The NYC American Antifa need men who can teach the fascist vermin that in EVERY clash there will be at least as many Proud Boys left laying in the street in pools of their blood as Antifa.

    Now here are some Antifa who know how to fight and protest:

    Parts of the West are close to civil war….

    Like

  23. There has been news that a reporter for Amnesty International, Oleg Kozlovsky, was kidnapped, beaten, subjected to a mock execution and forced to strip and be photographed naked by a group of men claiming to be members of a local police security unit in Magas, Ingushetia.
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/10/russia-amnesty-researcher-abducted-and-subjected-to-mock-executions-in-ingushetia/

    Curious that this incident happens when Ingushetia and Chechnya have just agreed to a land swap and all of a sudden Western media attention focuses on the two republics. Most likely Kozlovsky’s kidnappers have nothing to do with the police or security forces in Ingushetia at all.

    Like

  24. Poland has signed a 20-year contract for the supply of LNG from the US
    17.10.2018, 10:09

    The Polish gas company PGNiG and U.S. Venture Global LNG have signed a long term contract for the supply of 2 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually. The agreement is for 20 years, the head of the Polish company, Peter Wozniak, told reporters . He said that delivery will take place as per “free on board” (meaning that the shipping costs of the goods are borne by the seller).

    According to Mr. Wozniak, LNG from the US will cost Poland almost 30% cheaper than natural gas from Russia. “I realize that you are surprised, but we do business”, “RIA Novosti” has quoted the head of the Polish company as having said

    Never give a sucker an even break?

    Like

    1. From the Kommersant article linked above:

      … «free on board» (означает, что расходы по доставке товара ложатся на продавца).

      “free on board” (meaning that the shipping costs of the goods are borne by the seller).

      No it does not mean that the shipping costs are borne by the seller — not the total shipping costs!

      “Free on Board” is a term of sale under which the price invoiced or quoted by a seller includes all charges up to placing the goods on board a ship at the port of departure specified by the buyer.

      So the Poles are going to pay for the LNG shipping costs from the USA to the LNG terminal in Poland.

      And the LNG from Uncle Sam is still going to be 30% cheaper that that delivered by the evil Russians!

      Who are they trying to kid?

      Like

      1. And get this:

        Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has stated that US LNG would “boost” the country’s “sovereignty,” as well as its “competitiveness”.

        “Our predecessors wanted to sign a deal with Gazprom until 2037. That would have been gas handcuffs,” Morawiecki claimed.

        See: Polish PM Claims LNG Supplies From US Will ‘Boost Warsaw’s Sovereignty’.

        (They never seem to get those conditional statements right! In the Sputnik article, the Polish PM is quoted as having said: “It would be gas handcuffs”.

        And not “it” either: they overuse “it”.)

        Like

        1. I see. A 19-year contract with the Russians would be gas handcuffs, whereas a 20-year contract with the Americans is gas freedom. And I thought one of Washington’s main goals in agitating against Gazprom and Russian gas was to force Russia to abandon long-term contracts in favour of speculative spot-pricing at gas hubs. Is this another example of do as I say, not as I do?

          Maybe the Poles really are stupid, and all the cruel jokes were not simply unjustified mockery.

          Like

      2. Moscow Exile is correct: Free on Board (FOB for short) means that the seller’s shipping cost obligations including insurance end the moment the goods are placed on board the ship. From then on, the buyer becomes responsible for the shipping costs and insurance, though ownership may still remain with the seller. This could very well mean that if something happens to the goods while in transit, not only would Poland be responsible for paying all damages but the US as the owner could sue Poland for improper storage and shipment.

        The reporters shouldn’t be surprised – they should be rolling on the floor laughing their heads off at the stupidity of the Poles.

        If the Poles had any brains, they should have insisted on CIF (cost, insurance, freight) shipping terms so that the US covers the cost of shipment and marine insurance up to when the goods are being unloaded and the bill of lading is handed over.

        Like

        1. Is it really possible that the Polish businessmen did not understand what FOB meant, and assumed it was a great deal? Even I know what FOB means, and it’s NOT considered a great deal at all. Especially when the goods have to make a long journey by sea.

          Like

          1. Apparently the buyer is responsible for loading the LNG too.:

            http://lngxchange.com/lng-fob/

            ..In an LNG FOB contract, the buyer lifts the LNG from the liquefaction plant and is responsible for transporting the LNG to the receiving terminal…
            ####

            But, are such contracts a) unusual; b) common?

            https://www.wartsila.com/twentyfour7/in-detail/decoding-small-scale-lng-supply-contracts

            In large-scale LNG, the trend is towards increased destination flexibility. The buyers want FOB contracts instead of DES, so that they can divert cargoes to spot buyers in case they do not need them. This is not really applicable in the small-scale market, since LNG cannot be economically transported very far on small-scale carriers and there are few alternative customers. However, having the shipping component in one’s own hands might save some money for the buyer, but FOB contracts would also require the buyer to assume responsibility for ship charters, insurance, boil-off gas and port costs. In some cases, DES contracts are advantageous if the supplier can utilise the same ship for other customers and share the costs. Those new to the market would be better off with a DES contract. But to shave off some hidden cost, considering FOB may be a good option.

            &

            https://www.icis.com/resources/news/2016/05/10/9996497/cheniere-to-focus-on-des-lng-sales-to-bring-in-smaller-buyers/

            …The move comes at a time of global LNG oversupply and follows several agreements made by Asian contract buyers of US FOB to swap volumes with portfolio sellers to reduce their direct exposure to the US and to shipping. A common theme from sellers recently has been the seach for new buyers.

            In line with the trend for destination free US supply agreed in recent years,the operator of the recently-started US Sabine Pass liquefaction plant signed most of its contracts on an FOB basis. As a relatively small company starting out in LNG, FOB contracts were more reassuring to stakeholders…
            #####

            So I think the logic of Polish FOB contracts is that they can sell anything they don’t or can’t use and there are no hidden costs, i.e. almost total control. If I recall correctly Poland has/d a huge contract (government to government?) with Qatar but then realize it could neither use nor afford it and the contract was renegotiated. That would also explain the preference for FOB.

            https://www.reuters.com/article/poland-energy-lng/polands-energy-security-strategy-comes-at-high-cost-idUSL6N0H22WR20130909

            …Under an agreement signed in 2009, Poland’s gas monopoly PGNiG will buy 1 million tonnes of LNG annually for 20 years at a price closely correlated to crude oil…
            ####

            And that’s another point that leads from my comment above, the development of the LNG Spot Market sic the deleveraging of gas price from oil price.

            http://country.eiu.com/article.aspx?articleid=733733857

            …This is supported by the recent historical trend; another example of Qatar forgiving a penalty to maintain a relationship, albeit in different circumstances, is with Poland’s PGNiG. Delays in the construction of Poland’s Swinoujscie regasification terminal meant that it was not ready to receive Qatargas cargoes in mid-2014, as originally contracted. Qatargas has repeatedly waived the take-or-pay penalty and, now that the terminal is finally ready, the first shipment is en route and set to arrive in Poland in mid-December…

            &

            https://www.reuters.com/article/qatar-poland-lng-idUSL5N1GR30N

            …The price in the side agreement was not revealed but PGNiG said pricing terms were “satisfactory” and expected to have a “positive impact” on its financial results.

            An industry source said Qatargas’s expanded deal with Poland likely came with a price discount – which PGNIG had been in talks to secure for several years after paying at the peak of the market last time around…
            ####

            So now Poland has signed a deal with the US, what of the Qatar deal? Wouldn’t they go low enough? It seems that now that there is more competition in LNG supply, it’s a buyer’s market particularly for longer contracts, but then it is normal for most long contracts that they buyer gets a heft discount.

            Like

            1. One small point: how far away is, say, the US Sabine Pass liquefaction plant, situated on the Texas/ Louisiana border, from the Polish Swinoujscie regasification terminal?

              How far away is the western frontier of Russia from Poland, not forgetting that the Russian port of Kaliningrad is but a cockstride from Poland?

              Answers:

              USA distance from Poland — 5,000 miles plus;

              the Kaliningrad oblast’ of the RU has a common frontier with Poland and the port of Kaliningrad is 25 miles from the Polish border;

              the frontier of the greater part of the Russian Federation is about 300 miles due east of the eastern frontier of Poland and east of Belorus.

              Like

              1. My only thought is that Asia pays top $ for LNG which is why most of it heads there. The Lo-land-of-Po-land may think that it can always sell at a decent profit, regardless. They clearly fancy themselves as playas. We’ll see.

                Like

                1. I see … the Poles figure they will be selling a large part of the LNG supplies they anticipate receiving to neighbouring countries and to Ukraine. Having Ukraine and parts of central and eastern Europe dependent on them for energy could form a basis for future Polish political influence. This would chime very well with Polish Intermarium ambitions.
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Seas_Initiative

                  (Buried in that Wikipedia article on the Three Seas Initiative is mention of an LNG infrastructure network project that will include sea-based terminals for receiving LNG in Poland and Croatia.)
                  https://www.businessinsider.com/r-poland-hopes-to-tap-trumps-business-acumen-at-regional-summit-2017-7?IR=T

                  The main problem though is if the countries Poland expects to sell LNG to, decide to buy cheaper Russian gas from Germany. They will have to be browbeaten to buy from Poland instead.

                  Like

                2. That’s in fact exactly what they did with their first American-LNG cargo – sold it to Ukraine. Quite a nice little payment loop the USA has going on there; it sells its gas indirectly to Ukraine, who receives gas money from the IMF. Sort of like the transfer-of-money-from-the-taxpayer it has going with Israel, in which it transfers billions in foreign aid to Israel, which sends it right back in the form of weapons purchases from Lockheed-Martin and other US defense firms.

                  https://eadaily.com/en/news/2017/12/15/at-a-loss-why-has-poland-sold-its-lng-from-united-states-to-ukraine

                  Blissfully hypocritical. the US is pulling strings to allow it to sell more gas to Europe faster, and obviously envisions itself as becoming the dominant supplier – don’t ask me how it plans to do this, but at a guess I would say via the usual bullying and threatening sanctions against anyone who buys from Russia when US LNG is available.

                  “Meanwhile, a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate in July would give North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries “an escape from Russia’s political coercion and manipulation,” in part by speeding approvals of U.S. natural gas exports.

                  In addition to requiring the Secretary of Energy to speed up approvals of LNG exports to NATO allies and other countries, the Energy Security Cooperation with Allied Partners in Europe Act (ESCAPE Act) would authorize mandatory U.S. sanctions on the development of Russian energy pipelines, direct U.S. representatives at NATO to work to achieve energy security for allies in Europe and Eurasia, and call for a comprehensive strategy to increase U.S. energy exports “to these countries that are being held hostage by Russia,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) said.”

                  America claims all of Europe is hostage to a single supplier, but of course if everyone bought America’s freedom gas, that would be the opposite – energy diversification personified.

                  https://www.naturalgasintel.com/articles/115832-us-to-export-tremendous-amount-of-lng-to-poland-as-countries-seek-to-expand-energy-security

                  Amid all the inflammatory rhetoric from Russia-hating Poland, Gazprom’s exports to Poland increased almost 10% this year.

                  Washington is laughable – Russia is holding NATO countries hostage by supplying them with gas on terms agreed between them as a fair price for the product, which all authoritative sources agree is the cheapest available. The USA expects to swoop in and take over the supply business, at a higher price, and call it freedom.

                  Hopefully not everyone is as stupid as the Poles.

                  Like

              2. Any ships bringing LNG to Swinoujscie also have to go through Denmark and Denmark is certain to try to compel Poland to pay for LNG ships going through the Kattegat or for construction of any canals or other waterways for LNG shipments through its territory that will affect or disrupt existing Danish traffic infrastructure, the environment and economy, and people’s lives generally.

                Like

            2. Highly informative, but the facts remain that shipborne LNG cannot be cheaper than Russian pipeline gas – particularly while Russia remains under economic sanctions which keep its ruble exchange rate weak and thus effectively lower its production costs in a market where energy is produced in rubles and sold in dollars – and Washington threw itself headlong into the battle to break the link between oil prices and long-term gas contracts. What was that all about? It is now attempting to negotiate precisely those terms for its own gas contracts.

              A market which is awash in cheap gas is an extremely poor environment for the United States to make a lunge for being a major global energy supplier, because its own production costs are relatively high and it does not have the ships to transport it. Gambling everything on a massive building program when the energy picture could change tomorrow seems inordinately risky. But America has to go through with it, because it cannot face the alternatives.

              Like

              1. An even better payment loop appears for the US with coal, with even more bizarre action from Poland. A coal-rich Poland doesn’t export much coal to Ukraine, even though there is a big market there, should be able to offer it cheaper- but somehow the US exports this to Ukraine now

                Poland get’s 80% of it’s oil from Russia, they spend billions more on this each year to Russia, then they do on gas- but they are somehow allowed to keep up with this “gas as a political weapon ” BS charade

                As resources go I don’t think natural gas is anywhere near as overpriced as many of the others

                Like

                1. Ah; well, I can answer that one – Ukraine’s furnaces are designed to burn only anthracite coal, which is the super-hard stuff like rock, rather than the softer bituminous coal. The former burns considerably hotter and produces considerably less soot. Ukraine had access to a plentiful supply, but now it’s all in enemy territory – the Donbas. For awhile it continued to buy anthracite coal from the east, but the nationalists yapped that it was giving aid and comfort to the enemy, so they stopped. Then they bought it from Russia for a bit – Russia also has a significant supply. But you know how popular that would be, so they stopped that, too. Now they buy from the USA, at a considerable markup; anthracite forms something like .2% of the USA’s coal supplies. Poland probably has none.

                  I imagine eventually Ukraine will replace all its heating plants and industrial furnaces so that they can burn bituminous coal, which is much more plentiful, although it is a greater polluter. Ukraine will not care, because its rich friends will likely give it money to do the transformation, in the interests of asserting their greater independence from Russia. Independence which it will regret one day, when the west tires of playing with it.

                  Like

          2. I still find it hard to believe Cheniere can put it on board the tanker, alongside in the United States, for 30% cheaper than Russian pipeline gas. The notion that it could be gotten all the way from the USA to Poland for that price was always ludicrous. But at the price quoted, FOB in the USA at 30% less than Russian pipeline gas, the USA still cannot be making a profit.

            Like

          3. Never think, where Poles are concerned, ‘they couldn’t be dumb enough to believe this!’ – they could be, and they are.

            Like

            1. Or maybe cunning like a fox. I saw this piece that indicates the Poles at least believe they scored a coup.

              If it wasn’t FOB format they would have had to bring the gas directly to Poland. But now, like Captain Ahab, they are free to sail around the world with their precious cargo of whale oil and ambergris, seeking the highest price they can find.

              I realize other commenters made this point too. But probably without the Moby Dick reference.

              Like

    2. One cubic meter of methane has a mass of 0.717 kg. So 2 million tons is equivalent to 2.789 billion cubic meters of natural gas. So the US is going to ship over half of its total export capacity to Poland alone.

      Like

    3. I will be more than surprised if LNG supplied via ships from the USA is cheaper at all than Russian gas, whether LNG or pipeline, never mind 30% cheaper. Because all the financial bigheads say that US-supplied LNG which is transported in tankers cannot be competitive with Russian pipeline gas for price, or else the Americans will be selling it at a loss. I know the USA is desperate to be a major force in the European energy market, but I find it just a little more than hard to believe that they will sell the gas for under cost, and – even more remarkably – do so for twenty years.

      The Japanese, in the early days of the free market, were known to sell televisions at a loss until they had driven domestic manufacturers out of business. But if the USA were able to supply 2 million tons of LNG for a hundred years at a loss, it would not drive Russia out of the gas-export business; it has plenty of markets, and the USA could not easily extend its sweetheart deal to others because of logistics.

      I’d want to see that one on paper, because the Americans cannot physically do it and still make money. Modern-day America is not in a financial position to do that.

      That’s not to say they would not let the Poles believe that’s what the deal says, because they certainly would, but I also find it hard to believe the Poles would be so stupid. Numbers are not that hard to understand, and you can’t offer one and charge another without breaking the contract. Regardless, it is not going to make up for the loss of the Chinese LNG market.

      Like

      1. Another detail is that the US does not have the capacity (LNG liquefaction plants and port facilities) to ship 2.8 bcm per year via LNG tanker. Poland is going to be supplied by 3rd party LNG until the US can supply its own. Poland sure loves to bend over and take it. This includes from the Germans. But Poles hate Russians.

        Like

  25. Politico: Bernie Sanders Is Quietly Remaking the Democrats’ Foreign Policy In His Own Image
    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/10/17/bernie-sanders-is-quietly-remaking-the-democrats-foreign-policy-in-his-own-image-221313

    …“With what we started to understand about Russia late in the campaign, you saw very quickly that while Sanders was someone who ran on a balanced foreign policy toward Russia, and who still isn’t interested in going to war, [that attitude] shifted after what we’d understood Russia had done. With the way in which those strands became highly salient and highly visible, we had more information by early 2017, and it came together quite naturally for someone concerned with domestic inequality, capital mobility and how they undermine liberal values,” Nexon said…

    …Robert Malley, the president of the International Crisis Group and a former Obama national security official with whom Sanders (and other Democrats) have consulted on foreign policy, described how Sanders has grown into a role where he assuages the worst fears of the center-left while maintaining his progressive bona fides…
    ####

    More disturbing yet unsurprising stuff at the link.

    Yes, they boast about how they ‘turned’ Bernie (it clearly wasn’t difficult) all based on the ‘Russia wot got Trump elected’ myth, so what happens when the Meuller investigation concludes with very little apart from warmed up porridge? It goes to show how the Neocons plan ahead for any future Presidential prospects who may wander off the reserve and do something normal.

    Like

    1. Sanders is not concerned with evidence – so long as a fig leaf is supplied which allows him to make policy according to the American model (which is that Russia is the USA’s Number One Geopolitical Enemy), he will be quite happy to make or maintain policy to that effect with the satisfaction that someone told him there were good reasons for doing it. Let’s face it – no prospective leader of the United States of America, from any party or any independent status, is going to be allowed to take office with the acknowledgement that America’s global clout and its national wealth are simultaneously in decline, and far more on paper than they are real. The USA is overextended in every way, has voluntarily abandoned all the soft power which might once have inspired sympathy and a willingness to help in favour of cracking the whip, being an international prick and showing every inclination to take whatever it wants if it will not be willingly offered up.

      Any prospective president is going to have to assure Americans once again that deficits don’t matter – that America can continue to spend like there’s no tomorrow while steadily and incrementally reducing taxes, and that past and present behavior which has incurred international resentment and dislike for America are irrelevant, because when the chips are down the world will rally behind the stars and stripes just like it always has. And Sanders will do that in order to get elected (I don’t for a minute think that’s going to happen, but let’s just say) because he is just like all the rest, and America has embarked upon a course it cannot reverse. It is committed to remaining the shining city on a hill until there is not a single soul left who believes it.

      Like

      1. I’m not sure the USA can exist without external enemies. It’s an ideal and convenient way of deflecting from so much domestic ill you’d be a fool (or not a politician) to do so.

        Like

        1. Well, it seems to be kicking ass in that department; Pew’s Global Indicators Database reports that Canadian attitudes toward the USA went from a 2016 “Unfavourable” rating of 30% to 51% the following year. “Unfavourable” combines the responses “very unfavourable” and “somewhat unfavourable”.

          http://www.pewglobal.org/database/indicator/1/survey/all/response/Unfavorable/

          Proceeding from that standpoint, it is unsurprising that the “Favourable” rating in Canada – which combines “somewhat” and “very” as in the foregoing category – went from 65% in 2016 to 43%.

          http://www.pewglobal.org/database/indicator/1/survey/all/

          Nor do we seem to be an outlier; in the “Favourable” category, Australia went from 60% to 48%, France from 63% to 46%, Germany from 57% to 35%, Japan from 72% to 57%, Spain from 59% to 31%. Even in the Land of the Diehard Poodle, the UK, the favourable rating slipped from 61% to 50% in a single year – bear in mind that this result is for 2017, while Trump pushed the asshole accelerator steadily further toward the floormat throughout 2018, and that Canada’s ratings are certainly much lower now based on the recently-concluded Free Trade Agreement.

          Who’s left that loves them some ‘Murkins? Well, other Americans, of course; the ‘favourable’ rating of itself went from 83% in 2016 to 85% in 2017. Oh, and Poland and Israel. I suppose we should not be a bit surprised.

          Like

          1. Canada’s in for more pressure. As the USA has banned Huawei from any 5G networks and just about everything else, as I think someone her already wrote, Canada has it under control, but riddle me this: If Canada and USA are joined at the hip and also members of Five Asses, won’t Canada’s adoption of Chinese 5G tech be seen as a cyber-attack entry point to the USA, i.e. a ‘weak spot’? It doesn’t matter if it is true or not, but logically the USA must demand that Canada doesn’t use Huawei. Maybe it already has but it has not become public as 5G is not yet quite ready to go. Keep an ear and an eye out for this!

            Like

            1. Indeed, Canada has already been pressured to ban Huawei, and so far as I know Washington has not gotten the answer it wants because it continues to hector and inveigle.

              https://www.totaltele.com/501328/US-pushes-Canada-on-Huawei-5G-ban

              The consensus in the industry is that Canada will probably cave in to demands, because Australia already folded.

              http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2018/08/24/china-telecom-giant-spy-concern/

              Of course the reason cited is the protection of ‘national security’, the one-eyed Jack they pull out of the deck every time they don’t have an explanation that will stand up to scrutiny, but in all probability it is to protect American networks, since Huawei promises much faster connections and data-streaming. The implication is that other Five-Eyelets might not share intelligence information with Canada if it does not step up and support its partners in their blatant protectionism and anti-free-trade action. My question is this: if western intelligence now consists of “The Russians stole the presidential election for Trump!!” and “The GRU poisoned the Skripals with the world’s deadliest nerve agent!!”, should Canada be worried if the door to the clubhouse has “No Canada” written on it?

              Western Canada is practically Asian, there are so many Chinese, and I am wondering if they are going to endure this quietly. And what of China itself? Is it going to ban Apple? I’m guessing that would hurt.

              If I were them, I would mention the possibility that Apple might have to move its operations back to Vermont or Wisconsin or wherever, and pay American workers triple or so the wages to do the work that allows the company to reap such massive profits.

              China plans to lead the world with 5G networking. And you can see why Washington wants to put a stick through their spokes.

              “The 5G market is expected to have such a significant impact on the Chinese economy that it could account for 3.2% of Mainland China’s entire GDP in 2025, generate 8 million jobs, and add 2.9 trillion yuan in economic value by 2030. As demand for 5G services heightens, there will be a boom in new companies, employment opportunities, and sales of equipment.

              China’s 5G focus will play a big role domestically in terms of driving mobile usage. 5G’s ability to transmit data roughly 10 times faster than 4G, the current standard, according to Ericsson’s annual Mobility Report, will enable consumers to conduct more standard mobile activities and also add in data-heavy ones, like smartphone-based VR streaming and using artificial intelligence assistants.

              But perhaps more importantly, China’s ambitious pursuit of pervasive 5G connectivity could help advance global efforts. While China diverted from global network norms in its 3G standard, it’s now working on developing 5G standards with global compatibility in mind, according to a report from FierceWireless. 5G is expected to hit the consumer market sometime around 2020, according to the GSMA. “

              https://www.businessinsider.com/china-plans-to-lead-5g-network-adoption-by-2030-2017-6

              3.2% of the national GDP in revenues. 8 MILLION jobs. 10 times faster than 4G. Global reach and utility. You don’t have to be Robert Mueller to understand why Washington needs to pull out all the stops to block it. But China is being far too passive on the issue; play some fucking hardball, for God’s sake. Get it out there that if Huawei is forestalled in its ambitions, Apple goes back to being a Mom-and-Pop shop operating out of the USA, and overnight loses a couple of billion subscribers in Asia. Stir up its international diasporas, and get them to ask loudly why certain countries have to use yesterday’s technology while the USA catches up.

              Like

          2. https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/wp-content/themes/oies-theme//images/svg/logo.svg

            The Oxford institute for Energy Studies
            A recognized independent centre of the University of Oxford

            US LNG vs Russian Pipeline Gas: impact on prices
            Thierry Bros on the impact of the arrival of a new competitor (US LNG) on European prices where Gazprom has a sizeable market share and hence real market power, at the November 2017 Energetika Conference in St Petersburg.

            By: Thierry Bros
            Downloaded pdf file contained at above linked site

            Like

            1. That “Europe Import Needs At Record High” slide needs to be tattooed on Sijbren de Jong’s forehead in reverse, so that he has to look at it in the mirror every time he shaves. Because it is the opposite of what he swears is true – Europe does not need more gas, because its efficiency is making gains and its consumption is dropping. That’s technically true, but it is extremely dishonest to draw a conclusion from it without figuring in that its domestic production is declining much faster, and accelerating steadily.

              Like

    2. Sanders was a played out faux progresssive-much less radical-POS before 2016 as he continues to be and will remain so until the Reaper’s cane yanks his vaudville BS act off the Bard’s stage…

      Like

  26. Euractiv with AP: Poland attacks EU’s Gazprom deal in court
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/poland-attacks-eus-gazprom-deal-in-court/

    Poland’s state-run gas firm PGNiG said on Tuesday (16 October) it filed a complaint with the EU’s top court against a controversial deal by the European Commission to settle an anti-trust case against Gazprom, the Kremlin-backed energy giant.

    …But PGNiG alleged in a Tuesday statement that Gazprom has “not ceased to violate EU law” and that the settlement has allowed it to “continue to inflate gas prices to its recipients in Central and Eastern Europe.”..

    …PGNiG said in an emailed statement that it had “appealed to the European Court of Justice of the EU in Luxembourg against the May 24, 2018 decision of the European Commission ending years of anti-trust proceedings against Gazprom.

    It added that the “commission failed to exercise due diligence” preparing its decision that was “issued in gross conflict with the evidence collected and in breach of a number of provisions of EU law.”..
    ####

    Mummy, it’s not fair!

    Like

    1. Gazprom is not an EU legal entity and thus EU laws do not apply to it. All of these politically motivated attacks on Russia from the NATzO are transparent and lame. Note that they could not launch an anti-trust case against any Gazprom subsidiary in the EU since they could never make any case. They use Gazporm’s gas export pipelines to mis-apply EU laws against it. Just because Gazprom uses export pipelines does not make it an EU vassal. For obvious reasons Gazporm wants to operate the pipelines beyond its borders since selling gas at the border is moronic (i.e. why should Gazprom build billions of dollars worth of border storage tanks and have some shop front to sell gas in batches to customers.)

      Like

      1. It also means that Gazprom doesn’t have EU standard protections, only at WTO levels and the lik which all have a ‘National Security’ get out clause. But, it does have offices in the EU and there are some obligations it can and does impose on its territory, however paltry they are.

        As we know, the EU doesn’t actually give a shit about ‘rule of law’ when it comes to its own interests (let us not forget that its sees fit to designate any off-shore pipeline as a ‘field pipe’ when it is in its favor and thus easily circumvents its own rules when it sees fit, not to mention TAP’s rolling exemption from the Third Energy Package etc. The only reason Brussels hasn’t got anywhere with Gazprom’s it because the latter holds all the cards – cost, environmental impact (CO2), reliability and quantity. Thus Gazprom’s theme song should be:

        But, as you pointed out, it’s not for want of trying (sic that asshole Borissov – still in power – who folded and ultimately shafted South Stream that directly lead to NordStream II benefiting Germany, and TurkStream, benefiting a non-EU state that is considered a Bad Boy). The phrase ‘cutting off one’s nose to save face’ comes to mind.

        It may be called the ‘European Union’, but when the big boys throw their weight around and only the north benefits… The south hasn’t forgotten. Those are big political cleavages that were created by the cancellation of South Stream.

        Like

  27. Add this to the dribbly bullshit grist mill:

    Euractiv with Neuters: Hackers accused of ties to Russia hit 3 East European companies: cybersecurity firm
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/cybersecurity/news/hackers-accused-of-ties-to-russia-hit-3-east-european-companies-cybersecurity-firm/

    Hackers have infected three energy and transport companies in Ukraine and Poland with sophisticated new malware and may be planning destructive cyberattacks, a software security firm said on Wednesday (17 October).

    Like

    1. As discussed here numerous times, it is basically impossible to determine the origin of hacks. I am quite sure that none of these security firms were running reverse-hacking operations across multiple countries. They just looked at the system logs of the hacked servers. These logs are 100% worthless since they log IPs that are spoofed and none of these servers runs reverse hacking software. Reverse hacking is not trivial and can’t be written into a script or program as part of the standard security features enabled on commercial servers.

      Like

  28. SkyNudes: 17 dead in shooting at Crimea college
    https://news.sky.com/story/ten-dead-in-bombing-at-crimea-college-11528004

    Russia has named the suspect as Vladislav Roslyakov, an 18-year-old student at the vocational school, who also killed himself.

    Though was initially thought to be a possible terror attack, Russia is currently treating the incident, in the Black Sea city of Kerch, as mass murder.

    The state’s investigative committee has said that all of those killed died of gunshot wounds, in contrast with earlier reports that the explosion had killed some students.
    Bomb blast at Kerch college in Crimea…

    Like

      1. Police will have to seize any computers or cellphones Roslyakov had at the time of his death and check them for possible contacts with Banderite radicalism.

        Other more prosaic possibilities are that a girlfriend had just left him or a group of students was picking on him. Why would he have planted the bomb in the school cafeteria, if it was not to avenge himself against other kids in his year?

        Like

        1. Why aren’t those Russians who want their country to be more like America celebrating this?

          The BBC had their ‘expert’ Olga Ivishina of the BBC Russian Service on again (I’ve posted about her before) and some way in to the reporting, news anchor Nick Wiles (sp?) posed her this question:

          It seems that this was entirely unconnected with the annexation of Crimea. It wasn’t a politically motivated crime, but are there any changes in society there that might have made this more likely?

          She replied with this:

          After the annexation, many people in Crimea were very hopeful towards changes. They though that annexation would bring them, I don’t know, economical prosperity, new perspectives, social lifts, but unfortunately this didn’t actually happen.

          Secondly you know, after the annexation we could see, sort of, change of mood on state tv and still most of Russians get their news from tv. And there is a lot of aggressive behavior broadcasted on state tv. There is a lot of aggressive behavior broadcasted in the internet.

          Young people they don’t watch the tv that much but they watch youtube and social networks and people in Crimea of course see lot of footage from eastern Ukraine where conflict is still ongoing and there is a lot of shooting.

          Of course this sort of lowers this barriers of resistance towards violence. Violence becomes something, something more and more acceptable. But in that particular case it seems that that guy was really interested in Columbine, in this US shooting.

          He was, as far as we can see now from the footage which comes from the from the CCTV, he was even replicating the clothes which Columbine assassins used to wear. The white t-shirt, the way he holds his rifle and a few weeks before the shooting he said that he really hated the college and wanted to do some revenge towards teachers.
          ###

          Yes, that’s the BBC ‘expert’ tying it all together (coz she’s a psychologist too!) in a nice pretty little package with a bow on top. A) people in Crimea have lost hope after annexation; B) aggressive language on Russian tv/internet begets violence; C) because of Russia being involved in the Ukraine; D) ergo violence is ‘acceptable’; and finally E) which has nothing to do with the actual event that occurred.

          The systematic methodology of prepping any bad news with ‘it’s all due to Russian intervention in Ukraine’ is of course reflected in the article except it is upfront rather than at the end ** The BBC really has no shame at all. Total mofo scum.

          * The Newsroom 17/10/2018 GMT @ 20:06 GMT
          From 3:40 https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w172w4hwk8s2dp3

          ** Crimea attack: Gun attack at Kerch college kills 19
          https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45891201

          At least 19 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a shooting at a college in Russian-annexed Crimea.

          An 18-year-old student ran through the Kerch technical college firing at fellow pupils before killing himself, Russian investigators say.

          Witnesses have also spoken of at least one blast caused by an unidentified explosive. The motive is unclear.

          Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 in a move condemned by many Western powers.

          The annexation marked the start of a simmering conflict involving Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine that goes on to this day.

          What happened at the college?

          Like

          1. English people might be snookered by the likes of the BBC, but I think Americans, when they read this story, will know exactly what happened: a rotten murderous kid who decided to kill other kids for no particular reason.

            Like

            1. Well, having looked in vain for some coverage of this horrible event in the lead news pages of the online Guardian it seems to me almost like “the dog that didn’t bark” (in “Silver Blaze”). The lone rogue teenager may have done this but it’d be a good cover story to put out pending the outcome of investigation.

              Like

            2. His classmates said he liked to torture animals such as cats. That really explains it all. That is a huge warning sign that a person is a psychopath.

              Like

                1. Western-particularly American-cancer of the soul and psych has been metastasizing throughout the world for some time.

                  The descendants of Mayan people teens who don khakis and bear USA automatic weapons to Death squad mass murder and terrorize the indigenous people of Guatemala..their own people.

                  The machete wielding automatic weapon bearing child soldiers of subsaharan Africa

                  The eager and willing teen USA army soldiers in Vietnam or Iraq enabling murdering war crimes to no end..

                  They are all cut from the same bolt as this mass murdering kid in Kerch.

                  Like

                2. For that matter teen members of the Hitler Jugend who fought tenaciously in Berlin In 1945 were just as programmed as this Kerch kid…different type of programming but with the same end result. A willingness to submit to fanatical murderous rage.

                  Like

  29. RE; Poland and LNG from Calcasieu:

    First.. It ain’t 2019 yet
    http://venturegloballng.com/calcasieu-pass/#.W8fF7mhKjct

    The necessary Permits and approvals are yet to be issued

    “Venture Global’s applications to export those same volumes of LNG to non-FTA countries are pending and ***expected*** to be approved upon completion of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) review. View regulatory filings here.”

    http://venturegloballng.com/calcasieu-pass/regulatory/#.W8fJj2hKjcs

    https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/01/f19/Sierra%20Clubs%20Venture%20DOE%20phase%202%20MTI_0.pdf (You may wish to consider the Sierra Clubs filings particularly if some of the local Louisiana environmental folk get fired up against the proposed facility)

    Some of the money ain’t firm ..yet

    Oh yeah…the Hurricane seasons are expected to continue to 2023 and into the foreseeable future

    Like

  30. Antiwar.com: Koreans Hold Talks With UN on Demilitarizing the Border
    https://news.antiwar.com/2018/10/17/koreans-hold-talks-with-un-on-demilitarizing-the-border/

    …Discussions centered on early practical issues like reducing military personnel on either side, while withdrawing weapons and some of the guard posts. Officials say they are encouraged by the progress made at the talks.

    These are attempts to dial back the military presence along the demilitarized zone as other deals are reached between the two Koreas. In previous talks, the two sides agreed to work toward restoring rail and road links between the two….

    &

    Antiwar.com: Koreas Agree to Reconnect Rail, Road Links
    https://news.antiwar.com/2018/10/16/koreas-agree-to-reconnect-rail-road-links/

    …This is good news for everybody, except apparent the Trump Administration, which is expressing “concern” about the rate of progress being made in Korean diplomacy, interfering with US plans to keep sanctions against North Korea tightly in place…
    ####

    Peace is strategically bad for the US.

    Like

    1. You just have to shake your head in wonder at how people don’t burst out laughing whenever Washington bills itself as ‘the world’s peacemaker’, or ‘global cop’. It seems a surreal concept, but you are actually bang-on for center; a world in which everyone is given equal weight and there are no bad guys is bad for the United States, because in such a world it cannot force those it chooses as its friends to take sides.

      Like

  31. CBC News: The National
    Published on 10 Oct 2018
    While many Western observers would consider Russia’s authoritarian political system repressive, when it comes to public spaces the people in the capital are experiencing a new freedom. The country is in the midst of a new kind of perestroika, and much of the work has been done by some the top urban minds of the West.

    Welcome to The National, the flagship nightly newscast of CBC News

    Like

    1. Orwellian newspeak drones the CBC. Russians have way more choices on their presidential ballot than do Americans. Third party candidates are outright repressed in the USA as in the case of Ralf Nader who was stricken from ballots on the whim of local electoral committees dominated by Republicans and Democrats. Russia has participation limits but they are objective and are clearly meant to filter out marginal support noise. I have never seen the CBC to paint the US system as authoritarian even though it is basically a one-party state. The CBC also never complained about Japan’s one-party rule for decades following WWII.

      The CBC is a political mouthpiece and does not engage in objective journalism. I recall their documentary squad filming a rural outhouse interior to prove how backward Russia was. As if no such outhouses existed in Canada. The CBC should film some of those aboriginal reservation ghettos.

      Like

  32. More juxtaposed hilarity and pathos from World is Flat moron:

    “Leave it to Thomas Friedman, the New York Times’ chief foreign affairs commentator, to outdo his colleagues at the nation’s foremost sounding board for CIA propaganda when it comes to hypocrisy and deceit. This he has achieved in an op-ed piece on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi published in Wednesday’s print edition under the headline “America’s Dilemma in Saudi Arabia.”

    Friedman played a key role in promoting the unprovoked and illegal US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, a war crime that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and laid waste to the entire country. He cavalierly shifted from one pretext to another, penning columns promoting the war as a key front in the post-9/11 “war on terror,” a crusade for democracy in the Middle East and a naked war for oil.

    He has since backed every US act of military aggression, including the wars for regime-change in Libya and Syria, which have killed tens of thousands more innocent people, turned millions into homeless refugees, and transformed the entire region into a killing field. He maintains a complicit silence on the US drone murder program and Washington’s key role in the Saudi-led bloodbath in Yemen, which has already killed upwards of 50,000 people and threatens another 14.1 million with starvation, according to the United Nations.

    None of this phases him. He—and his newspaper—are ruthless and ardent exponents of the violent drive by US imperialism to establish its hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/18/frie-o18.html

    Like

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