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

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.

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.

1,488 thoughts on “The Boy Who Cried “Bear!!”: a Norwegian Folk Tale

  1. BBC now reporting how UK and Dutch governments at their master’s bequest are upping the pressure:

    Russia cyber plots: US, UK and Netherlands allege hacking
    4 minutes ago

    Russian spies have been accused of involvement in a series of cyber plots across the globe, leading the US to level charges against seven agents.

    The US Justice Department said targets included the global chemical weapons watchdog, anti-doping agencies and a US nuclear company.

    The allegations are part of an organised push-back against alleged Russian cyber attacks around the world.

    Russia earlier dismissed the allegations as “Western spy mania”.

    The US statement came after Dutch security services said they expelled four Russians over the plot against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

    The OPCW has been probing the chemical attack on a Russian ex-spy in the UK.

    A joint statement from British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte said the alleged plot demonstrated “the GRU’s disregard for global values and rules that keep us all safe”.

    Those evil Russian swine!!!!!


            1. Well, I don’t know about yours, but mine’s all right!


              Only jesting!

              I have had the great pleasure of having become acquainted with Mrs Stooge in the Otel’ Metropol’ Moskva, remember?


    1. One would think that these accusations were co-ordinated, would not one?


      1. So I don’t get it, do they just pull names out of a hat for these or do they actually troll Facebook and VK to find people who *might* have contact with security services?

        I am curious because it is a step up from before where they just named anonymous Russians as the culprits. I get what they’re going for here, if they provide names it is supposed to be more believable. But by raising the level of accusations they are simultaneously raising the standard of proof needed to make the story stick. I can’t help but feel that by “charging” and “indicting” Russian randos off the street they are making it more difficult for themselves.


        1. Proof?

          Who needs proof?

          Is not the word of the “good guys”, those on the “right side of history” good enough for you?


    2. Russia hacking the OPCW is equivalent to Russia hacking itself. This propaganda is insinuating that Russia is not part of the OPCW and that the OPCW holds secret information. Both are total BS claims.


    3. “the GRU’s disregard for global values and rules that keep us all safe”.

      Like the values and rules that led the NSA to eavesdrop on Chancellor Merkel’s phone calls for years, and to use American Embassies as listening posts. Mutti Merkel was very understanding, considering they were only doing it to keep us all safe.

      The British and the Dutch – and doubtless all America’s many ‘allies’ – have no real pride left. They just keep bending over further.


    1. As if photos of a car with some electronics proves that it was used by accused Russians. Even it was the same rental car, the time of the photo is clearly after the alleged incident and we only have the self-ascribed virgin innocent word of the Dutch to believe them that they did not stuff in the electronics as a cheap frame up job.

      BTW, why would Russia need to spy on the OPCW? Is this some secret NATzO organization that excludes Russia? That keeps top secret information? This is yet another example of a motive free crime. The OPCW is supposed to work transparently and does not hold secrets. If it holds secrets, then that defeats its function which is to eliminate chemical weapons stocks. If the OPCW hides information about chemical weapons stocks from some of its members, then it is acting undermine its function and is basically a tool for some members to hide their chemical weapons from international scrutiny and avoid disposal of said weapons.


      1. … the hacking equipment is a WiFi booster and flip phones? Oh wait, what’s that, sweet Jesus it’s a smartphone (4G)! All is surely lost!

        Well call me a Russian hacker and indict me to The Hague because I have all of that “specialist equipment” in my closet right now.


      2. The OPCW, like the Council of Europe, the OSCE, WADA and others have become deeply partizan and anti-Russian organizations since the 1990s. A handful of members put out a ‘report’ on whatever and claim that they have ‘evidence’ which they should be trusted on rather than provide. The rest of them go along with it. The only reason that makes sense for the attempted ‘hack’ on the OPCW is that Russia is being denied access to information. The argument, like everything else bullshit from the West is ‘You don’t show the evidence to the arsonist‘ , sic MH17 because it has already been judged and found guilty.

        So far WADA had to row back because of the Schimdt Report (which the media of course did not report) and all the reinstated athletes, Russia has suspended payments and may well pull out of the CoE because is it sick and tired of being bombarded with bs at every meeting as if medieval Bear baiting has returned in a modern form (it has).

        All these organizations are destroying themselves. If anything all this shows how weak the West’s soft power has become that they need to throw everything including the kitchen sink at Russia. They don’t like resistance, let alone pushback. They’re more careful about China of course and as we saw recently in the South Pacific the Chinese simply won’t be cowed or intimidated.

        As for the allegations about China, we’ll most of us have followed the Snowden revelations about the USA and its Five Eyes global surveillance and infiltration, so its no surprise that China has been running its own operations. It’s what countries do, though apparently they’re not supposed to. Remember that back in 2002 it was discovered that the US bugged the 767 of then Chinese Premier Jian Xiao-Ping.* I think that all this reporting is a sign of desperation by the powers that be because all else has failed so far and they need to keep the narrative going.

        By wrapping it all up together with a pretty pink bow it is to make it ‘undeniable‘ in the eyes of people who should know better.


        1. The temptation by Russia will be to publicly burn western spies in Russia, but it is just another in a long line of provocations to get Russia to respond angrily and make a big mistake. I can imagine RT being banned and other measures if things start to spiral.

          This whole G(R)U story was ready to go at an appropriate moment, and I suspect one of the factors was Putin’s recent comments about Skripal that had captured the world media’s ear. By piling their report on shortly afterwards, they hope to hijack and amplify their narrative.

          But, it’s words, not meaningful actions. Either they will try and use this to kick off a whole new level of sanctions that they haven’t before (high value, sensitive stuff like aerospace, tech etc.). It is possible the timing of this is a last ditch effort to try and get U-rope on board to stop NordSteam II or anything they think they can squeeze through. It’s weakness through desperation and also to divert from their failures elsewhere.


          1. Or burn western spies in other countries that are far less friendly…

            It is interesting that one of the groups doxxing Russian ‘spies’ claim to be volunteers and patriots. No-one believes that in the slightest apart from morons. Like BellEnd cat, the number of cut-outs/plausible denial groups has mushroomed and ebb and flow with need. The volunteer claim is no protection.


  2. This all seems to coordinated distractions from domestic politics in the UK and the USA

    Why are th Dutch going along with this nonsense?


    1. How can you ask such a question. Holland is a US vassal and the US uses its vassals to give its actions legitimacy by claiming that there is an “international” reaction to “Russian aggression”. This is why the US always attacks countries around the world as part of some BS coalition of its own vassals. It is claiming its aggression is actually justified international action.


      1. The Dutch recently signed a big order to have 28 of their AH-64D Apache’s ‘upgraded’ to the ‘E’ model which is really a re-manufactue and upgrade (from sand and heavy use in helping the US bomb tribesmen far away), & their Patriots to be modernized too.


    2. Because the so called chemical weapons watchdog, which the British government has recently made judge, jury and exucationer as regards all incidences of alleged uses of chemical agents as a weapon, namely it can now accuse and condemn whom it thinks are perpetrators of such chemical attacks, is based in The Hague, where the wicked Russians have allegedly been hacking etc. and, in general, up to their vile and nefarious deeds, as is, of course, in their nature of doing things, because they are vile barbarians, subhuman even …


      1. I forget where I picked the following up ( from some Russian blog, because it is a translation). I saved it but forget to put in the source:

        September 14, 2018
        (OPCW NEVER uses the word “Novichok”)
        Even those people who are skeptical about what the British government says (and rightly so) tend to accept the „Novichok“-Psyop after they read that “OPCW confirms Novichok nerve agent in Amesbury“. But if you actually read what the (summary) of the OPCW says, you will find the following:

        “The team requested and received vials of biomedical samples COLLECTED BY THE BRITISH AUTHORITIES for delivery to the OPCW laboratory and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories… for purposes of comparison and in order to verify the analysis conducted by the United Kingdom. (S 1671, Paragraph 6.)

        This VIOLATES THEIR OWN RULES about ensuring a forensic “chain of custody“ because they did not take bio-samples THEMSELVES but accepted the (2nd-hand) material that the ‘authorities” had given them.

        Regarding the “Premier Jour” perfume-story the OPCW has this to say:

        “During the second deployment [6 weeks after Sturgess fell ill] the team collected a sample of the contents of a small bottle that the police had seized as a suspect item from the house of Charles Rowley in Amesbury” (P. 9)

        In paragraph 10 they confirm that the results of the subsequent analysis “show that the sample consists of a toxic chemical at a concentration of 97-98% … therefore considered to be “of high purity”. (If Charly had got this on his skin he would not have survived…)

        Again, the chain of custody is non-existent: The OPCW did NOT collect the glass-vial in Rowley’s flat, and could not verify its condition at the end of June, but they accepted what “the authorities” had told them about it and examined a sample of its content. There was plenty of time to tamper with the bottle before the OPCW arrived in Salisbury (so malfeasance cannot be ruled out).

        (BTW, Sometimes you don’t see the wood for the trees: WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would transport a deadly nerve-agent in a GLASS-BOTTLE??????)

        Again they accepted material from the British authorities (as if they were incapable of any deception…)
        What former (Iraq) weapons-inspector Scott Ritter wrote about the OPCW „fact-finding“ mission in Syria is also to a certain extent relevant in the Skripal-Saga:

        “The problem, however, is that the OPCW is in no position to make the claim it did. One of the essential aspects of the kind of forensic investigation carried out by organizations such as the OPCW — namely the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of a crime — is the concept of “chain of custody” of any samples that are being evaluated. This requires a seamless transition from the collection of the samples in question, the process of which must be recorded and witnessed, the sealing of the samples, the documentation of the samples, the escorted transportation of the samples to the laboratory, the confirmation and breaking of the seals under supervision, and the subsequent processing of the samples, all under supervision of the OPCW. Anything less than this means the integrity of the sample has been compromised — in short, there is no sample.“
        (Article: Ex-weapons-inspector: Trump’s Sarin Claims built on „Lie“ by Scott Ritter)

        Here, Ritter was referring the fact that the OPCW was not able to actually visit the (terrorist-controlled) “crime-scene” in Khan Sheikhoun but instead went to Turkey (!) where they accepted testimonies and material given to them by the White Helmets and other artificial “NGOs” (“highly likely” paid and organized by MI6, DGSE and the CIA). There they were able to observe autopsies of the 3 alleged victims of the poison-gas attack.

        “An NGO had delivered the bodies to the hospitals, though OPCW will not publicly comment on the identity of the NGO. Samples from the bodies were provided to two separate laboratories, which independently confirmed indications of sarin or sarin-like substances.

        In criminal proceedings, though, which are similar to the process followed by the UN in determining a war crime, it is a fundamental principle that ALL EVIDENCE be under the control of investigators AT ALL TIMES. That didn’t happen in this case.”

        By the way, the OPCW-FFM in Syria (regarding the Douma-incident) was led by two BRITISH “experts”:
        The work of the fact finding mission [FFM] was criticized by the Russian Permanent Representative to the OPCW who complained on 14 April 2017 that:

        “Under the mandate defined for [the FFM], its membership should be approved by the Syrian government, and it should be balanced. For some time, these provisions were observed somewhat, but then the mission was split into two groups. One [Team Bravo], led by Steven Wallis from Britain, works in contact with the Syrian government, while the other one [Team Alpha], headed by his fellow countryman Leonard Phillips, deals with the claims filed by the Syrian armed opposition. THIS LATTER GROUP IS WORKING COMPLETELY NON-TRANSPARENTLY. ITS MEMBERSHIP IS CLASSIFIED, AND NO ONE KNOWS WHERE IT GOES OR HOW IT OPERATES. They are allegedly using the same methodology as Steven Wallis’ group, but they are clearly working mostly remotely, relying on the internet and the fabrications provided by Syrian opposition NGOs, and never go to Syria. At least, we are not aware of a single such trip”.

        But the unspeakable “journalists” of the MSM (and RT is not much better … the interview with the suspects is a joke…) do not bother with such complicated details. They just write “OPCW confirms use of Sarin” in Khan Sheikhoun (and “Novichok” in Salisbury) and ignore all contradicting evidence…and the MOTIVE the UK gov has for demonizing Russia (spoiling their dirty game in Syria and “Sykes-Picot №2”) so one can only agree with this comment:

        “Professional journalism is now a wasteland. There is no public exposure of what we all know has happened and the threat it represents to us all…. They have been disloyal to us, so we owe them no respect in return”.

        And finally – on the implied higher “morality” of UK politics:

        The ECJ has just recently found that the UK’s mass surveillance programmes, revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, did “not meet the ‘quality of law’ requirement” and were “incapable of limiting ‘interference’ to what is ‘necessary in a democratic society’”’.(P.387 of the judgement: Case of Big Brother Watch & others vs .UK)


        1. The British evidently thought also about the lunacy of transporting a nerve agent in sufficient quantity to kill dozens if not hundreds in a glass bottle; that’s why Hamish de Beegee chimed in with his article about how the FSB and the Kremlin had invested months of work and thousands of pounds developing a ceramic bottle which looked just like the real thing, but which you could stand a Volkswagen on top of. That’s why I pointed out that they had already used the excuse that it broke to establish how Rowley was exposed.


    3. I suspect The Netherlands are being targeted because among other things the International Court of Crimes and the International Court of Justice are based in The Hague. There may be other reasons as well: the Dutch must have a fair few skeletons in their collective closet and the US could very well target one of these and bring the entire wardrobe crashing down and exposing all its sordid secrets. One of these bone-shakers is that The Netherlands is a major corporate tax haven and as such competes with Britain and the US.


  3. Pence is now accusing of China of hacking the US elections. I know China has been lobbying and making campaign finance contributions in the past, but the US accusations have a clear pattern. Recall how US blacks were tagged as rapists of fine white virgins. This reputation was then used to justify apartheid laws. The US is basically accusing Russia and China of violation of America’s “dignity”. And is trying to globally treat them as segregated blacks. The same tired shtick for the “exceptional” nation with a self-assigned “manifest destiny”. The country that needs containment is the USA. It has clear, psychotic ambitions to rule the world.


    1. Coming from government ministers of the most powerful state on earth, do not all these accusations directed against all those other states that are populated by sad, lesser beings who are envious of the “Shining City on the Hill”, the “Home of the Brave and Land of the Free”, that epitome of human society, that place where “history has ended”, not sound somwhat hysterical, a symptom of weakness, of self-doubt concerrning the hegemon’s might and integrity?


      1. They kid themselves as regards their defending their freedom and democracy, as though everybody in the rest of the world yearns for it.

        I don’t fucking want it and all that it entails: you can shove it up your collective fat arses!

        Give me my plot of Russian earth and my dacha or give me death!

        Well, not death, but adequate compensation thereof.



        1. They need an excuse for their colonial racket. During the USSR era, they had the “threat of communism” to rally local elites in developing countries and also used this “threat” as an excuse to install death squad junta regimes. The death of the USSR deprived them of the “threat” fig leaf so they had to ramp up the humanitarian concern BS. Countries need to be controlled by demonizing their leaders for being tyrants and terrorist sponsors. For violating human rights by not letting Soros and NATzO funded 5th column operations called NGOs do their thing. It seems these transparent pretexts are still effective at convincing people around the world that America and its vassals are a collection of noble knights doing good deeds and not a pack of hyenas engaged in gang mutilation of countries that leads to millions of deaths of innocent civilians. What was the point of Libya, Iraq, Syria, and all the other regime change victims? There was no arrival of democracy and safety. There was only needless death and degradation.


    1. Explosive. Nobody but Americans can be trusted to run international institutions, especially when they are bought and paid for by the USA. Hey, that’d be a good job for Travis Tygart. He has been chafing lately about the limits of his power to get at Russia from USADA.

      The pace of events seems to be taking on momentum, as if it is leading up to something, and there’s that kind of stillness in the air, while sounds seem far away and tinny, like just before a big storm breaks.


      1. I must apologize for not noticing that the article is from 2002. Sorry.

        Still, it does show how much more pull US has in those supposedly indpendent agencies than everyone else.


  4. Al Jazeera English
    Published on 4 Oct 2018
    Britain’s Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has called Russia a “pariah state” after London accused Kremlin spies of mounting a series of cyber attacks on civilian bodies around the world.

    UK cyber experts said operatives from Russia’s GRU military intelligence were behind a string of high-profile incidents.

    Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan reports from London.


    1. So they flash some photos and names and that is supposed to prove that these are images of GRU agents? Where do I sign up for my share of the fine bridge in Brooklyn that’s for sale?


    1. Which puts me in mind once again of that newspaper article I saw years ago, a quote from which read, “Teeth are funny things. They can last for a thousand years, lying in the dirt in Africa. But put them in an Englishman’s head, and they’re gone in twenty.”

      The article explained that the British stereotype of rotten teeth was a myth, and that British dental health was as advanced and comprehensive as any other developed country. But the facing page included a review of an album by The Pogues, featuring a photo of lead singer Shane McGowan.

      He ain’t English, though – he’s Oirish. But it was a funny coincidence. That photo was from when he was young and vigorous and perhaps had more than a nodding acquaintance with a toothbrush; his rebellious toothie-pegs are all gone now.


      1. Problem now with UK dental care is that it is unbelievably expensive, as it is in the USA. Dentists went private after I had left my native shores and I’m told that National Health Service dentists are now as rare as rocking horse shit.

        Also, this rotten teeth business is a Hollywood myth, e.g. British pirates and mediaeval serfs with black teeth. I once saw a BBC programme on an archaeological dig at the site of a Middle Ages abandoned village near Oxford. The teeth in the unearthed skulls were sound: full sets in old folk and not rotten. They were worn, though, because they ate coarse, whole grain bread as a staple of their diet. Thy all had worms, though, but so had their kings as well, as the recently unearthed remains of Richard III of England had proven.


        1. Agreed. Dental decay really began with the introduction of highly processed food and sugary drinks to people who’d earlier been able to subsist on local fish and agricultural products. Teeth may have lacked the regularity guaranteed by access to an orthodontist but they were generally healthy. I recall a memoir about the introduction of the money economy into islands including the one where Donald Trump’ mother grew up which coincided with the opening of shops importing new kinds of food and soft drinks, with predictably dire results. And today, a lot of kids from the Roma immigrants have shocking teeth and are very obese due to their sudden change of diet.
          Having said which, there was at least one dentist jailed in the 1990s for deliberately fucking up his patients’ teeth in a makework scam. Makework scams (doing accidentally on purpose poor work for inattentive or unsophisticated clients, corporate and private, to guarantee future income streams to “tidy matters up”) are not unheard of in certain areas of legal work – seen them myself- and I’d be wholly unsurprised if they weren’t rife in dentistry in the past.


      2. MacGowan was born in Kent, though: the “Garden of England”.

        John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) is London-Irish, though: his mum and dad migrated from Ireland to the Smoke.

        He got the name “rotten” because of his rotten teeth.


  5. Ukraine (Beregove) and Hungary have expelled each others consuls coz Hungary is handing out passports to ethinc Hungarian Ukranian citizens. As I wrote before, this was quite a big issue about ten years ago with Serbia, Croatia and others but it calmed down completely. Also to note is Kiev’s behavior towards its own minorities. Orban being Orban won’t take any shit and Kiev being Kiev have gone completely retarded about it, as if Hungary’s support for any EU-Ukraine agreement isn’t required (almost everything EU is QMV but in reality, but there are lots of mini0vetoes particularly in the Enlargement process).


    1. I have more sympathy for the Indonesian victims than victims of a similar event in Western Europe, Just saying. But, it would still be a tragedy regardless of where it happens.


  6. This whole OPCW farce is some sort of attempt to launder the biological weapons that NATzO is developing. All the sheep are supposed to be distracted by “Russia using chemical weapons in Salisbury” while their leaders attempt to create weapons of total genocide. That is, weapons that are much worse than mass destruction, including all the nuclear and chemical weapons ever developed. Deploying genetic weapons can wipe out whole populations and not just victims in some radius.

    But NATzO sheeple take the cake for credulity. Russia spying on the OPCW is the most inane propaganda claim ever. If Russia was “spying” then it was trying to do a sting to expose the brazen manipulation of this INTERNATIONAL organization by NATzO.


  7. BBC Newsnight
    Published on 4 Oct 2018
    The actor Steven Seagal is now Russian Special Envoy to the United States.
    Subscribe to our channel here:

    He was tasked with fostering better relations between the US and Russia.

    Newsnight had arranged an interview with Mr Seagal and we made clear during protracted negotiations with his representative that we hoped to discuss his role with the Russian state.

    The actor has also found himself swept up by the metoo movement – having been accused earlier this year of sexual harassment and rape.

    A potential prosecution against Mr Seagal for rape was dropped this month. He denies all the allegations.

    Kirsty Wark asked Mr Seagal about all of this – and his new movie Attrition – when she spoke to him from Moscow. The interview didn’t go very well. This edited version starts when Kirsty asked him about his work for Mr Putin.

    Newsnight is the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs TV programme – with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews.


  8. Why agree to go on the BBC in the current climate and expect to be treated fairly.

    Kirsty Wark is known for this type of attack look at her interviews with Corbyn and other labour MPs

    People need to be smarter about the media


    1. To be fair, Steven Seagal being accused of rapey behaviour is about as eyebrow-raising as Winnie the Pooh being booked for Hunny possession. Steven Seagal labours under the misapprehension that he is irresistible to women, and that he must dispense a little of himself from time to time to his adoring feminine public. And there’s quite a bit more of him to go around, for anyone who wants a piece, than there used to be; in fact, they’ll probably have to bury him in a piano case.

      I’m not saying Ms. Wark is fair and balanced, but her interviewing Seagal must have been like shooting fish in a barrel; the more she went after him, the more convinced he would be that her pants were burning her up, she was so hot for him – just see the trouble she’s having to control herself! Women interviewing Seagal should keep a garden trowel handy to scoop out his eye – that’s about what it would take to get through to him.


      1. Wark had her arse handed to her on silver Liebore platters anytime she tried to deal with Alec (RT) Salmond. And hugely entertaining it was, too.
        She also has an interest in the Arts. Why! Didn’t she encourage the spunking of £400m on Enric Miralles’s “upturned boat” aka the Scottish Parliament building, a magnificent enhancement to Edinburgh? And let’s not mention the Glasgow School of Art.


        1. Wark’s a pain in the arse.

          I remember her interviewing the then president of Lithuania when she was doing a typically biased BBC documentary on the Baltic states not long after the Baltics having joined the EU and were then, supposedly, espousing “European values”.

          She said to the president, in her best surprised and prissy tones, that she had noticed how many “white faces” in Vilnius there were and that there were very few folk there who were clearly immigrants, and asked what Lithuania’s immigration policy was.

          The president looked at her as though she were an idiot. However, she might well be blissfully unaware, and may indeed still be now, of the dark side of the Baltic States’ histories. But I think not.

          She might know full well about this history and was just being a typically hypocritical BBC journalist exhibiting her perceived moral superiority as regards less fortunate breeds who do not bask in the immense good fortune of having been born British and who are unable to celebrate the splendours of “diversity” — like what they do in the UK, innit?

          However, the fact remains that during the Nazi occupation, 95 percent of Lithuania’s Jewish population was murdered.

          And nary a finger was raised by the Lithuanians to help the Lithuanian Jews during the Nazi occupation. Quite the contrary, in fact.

          See: Double Genocide
          Lithuania wants to erase its ugly history of Nazi collaboration—by accusing Jewish partisans who fought the Germans of war crimes.


          1. On that topic of Baltic collaborationism, I just finished posting this 4-part series about the Salaspils concentration camp in Latvia.

            When you think about it, it really doesn’t take much rocket science to understand why a segment (possibly the majority) of Baltic populations supported the Nazis at the time:

            (1) This segment of the public were politically right-wing anyhow, they liked the fascist ideas and they hated Communism;
            (2) The Nazis regarded the Balts as racially superior to the Jews and Slavs, so Balts felt they could live quite comfortably under Nazi domination, and they were right about that;
            (3) They disliked Jews and were not sad to see them go.

            Basically, in the Baltic states, the majority (probably) were pro-Nazi, and the other segment were pro-Communist. I reckon there were very few people in between.
            After the Nazis and their Baltic allies lost the war, the Balts (like other Eastern Europeans) had to do some serious shucking and jiving to re-brand themselves as Jeffersonian Democrats. Hence, the phony “dual totalitarian” or “dual-genocide” theories, which their court philosophers and historians quickly pulled out of their collective asses.


            1. And you can probably see why much of the west is quietly pro-Nazi now as well. The pro-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists espouse western values – get rid of immigrants and the retarded and those who don’t pull their weight, and most of all the dirty Russians, and usher in a land of purity and decency and bustling commerce, and let’s hear no more of ‘tolerance’. The movers and shakers in the west support liberal policies because they must, and they are sometimes useful as leverage, but if you were to yell “America for Americans” in the House or Senate, most of the Republicans and probably a few Democrats would stand and salute before they could stop themselves.


              1. I don’t see the republicans being the Nazis. The US war party is composed of both Democraps and Rethuglicans. The Republican base has values closer in line with paleocons and not the neocons. The values of the Democraps are pure imperialist, exceptionalist and totalitarian in the name of PC. Obummer was neocon tool like W. Bush. Thus it is the Democraps that are the proper heirs of the Nazis and their 4th Reich global domination project. Paleocons are isolationist nationalists that actually believe in the constitutional values that the USA claims to espouse. The Democraps are all about lust for power and dirty tricks to enable the seizing of power. Obummer weaponized the FBI and CIA into partisan instruments giving us the Russia meddling inquisition. Truman was a foaming at the mouth racist cold warrior. Eisenhower at least warned about the creeping influence of the MIC. Clinton was a slimeball that continued the Reich agenda in the Balkans. And so on.


  9. Hear ye, Hear ye, hear ye!

    The latest wheeze from the Kiev chumps.

    They have a “Plan B” just in case (!!!) Nord Sream-2 kicks off:

    Ukraine Naftogaz Commercial Director Yuriy Vitrenko, in an interview with “The Fifth Channel” has spoken of a plan that has been prepared in order to protect Naftogaz interests in the event of the launch of “Nord Stream-2”.

    According to him, if the gas pipeline project is indeed implemented, then Kiev will demand that a penalty against against Russia be awarded the Ukraine for the loss it will suffer because of the redundancy of its gas transport system.

    The loss incured has been estimated by the Ukraine to be $12 billion. A lawsuit has already been filed by Naftogaz for international arbitration.


    So for several years I have been shopping at a Pyatyorochka supermarket around the corner from our house. Now there’s a new Billa supermarket around the other corner. It has a wider range of goods and is very competitive as regards its Pyatorocka prices, so I now do most of my shopping at Billa.

    Does this mean Pyatyorachka can sue me for damages because of the loss of income it is suffering because of my choice to use another retail outlet?

    I shall check with the Swedish court of arbitration.

    Stay tuned!


    1. Whatever kangaroo court in Holland that passes a judgement in favour of Banderastan should be systematically ignored by Russia. The claims by Pukeraine are absurd beyond words. Pukeraine has no legal claim on Russian gas regardless of the Soviet pipeline network it holds today. The pipes and gas are not legally bound entities. They never were and Pukeraine cannot produce a single contract that makes any such link. That is why any NATzO lynch mob verdict in favour of Pukeraine is automatically null and void since it would have zero basis in any precedent or contractual fact.


    2. Perhaps they would get further by suing the US Department of State. I’m pretty sure that if it were not for them, Ukraine’s gas transit system would still be in use. Ukraine could at least make a sensible case, which they cannot do against Russia. Mind you, a UK judge would probably rule in their favour, because simply wanting to get at Russia seems to be good enough these days – making a sensible case is not required.


    1. It is because this western blog-hosting platform senses you are a Moskal who probably wants to use it to spread Novichok throughout the Lands Of Joy And Freedom, and imposes curbs upon you therefore. You actually did not do anything wrong that I could find; I just clicked on your reference, copied it, went back to the comment and deleted the reference and the word “See:”, and pasted the original reference back in. So far as I could tell there was nothing wrong with your original coding, and there often is not when you have problems with italics or bolding. Everything looks right, and all I do to fix it is the same thing over again.

      Maybe you should take a page from Ukraine and sue WordPress for a couple of Billion in the ECHR.


  10. The Register: Decoding the Chinese Super Micro super spy-chip super-scandal: What do we know – and who is telling the truth?

    Who’s your money on? Bloomberg’s sources? Apple? Amazon? Super Micro?

    Hit the comments. Quite a few very good points made, namely ‘Why now?’ (its da Chinese!) as it supposed occurred some years ago, the US breaks this kind of story when it knows it will shortly be fingered for doing the same (the US did a demo SCADA attack for the media before the STUXNET story broke), if it was done it would have only been on select machines etc. etc.

    Euractiv: Apple, Amazon deny Bloomberg report on Chinese hardware attack

    There was a headlining (which of course I cannot find now*) saying that the US is calling on the UK, EU & Japan should get together and take on China economically. Why does the might US need help? It’s quite an admission. This is at the same time that the US is targeting EU companies that do business with Russia and also telling Brussels that they do not agree with its very modest proposals for WTO reform.** There’s no balance. They’re all over the place, no to mention their spokespersons going tonto and shooting off their mouths so casually (US NATO Amb).

    The more you look at all the current revelations, who they are made by, the way they are all being fed to the press and the demands now being made, it looks more and more that the Euro-Atfantacists are making another concerted and desperate campaign to retain some sort of influence. The UK is leaving the EU. Even if it rejoins, it won’t be a ‘special partner’. The fact that the USA-insane Netherlands and the UK are running their stories together shows us that the target is the rest of Europe, just as outgoing Pres of the EU J-C Juncker has said that Europe’s best interests are with a security treaty with Russia. BTW, Finland’s Stubb is putting himself forward to replace Juncker…

    * et voila! US, EU should ‘clean the house’ and deal with China – US ambassador

    ** US says it cannot support some of EU’s ideas for WTO reform


    1. Shea has complained about the judges overstepping their authority, breaching their own procedures and meddling in US law.

      Once again I see parallels with the just-concluded NAFTA replacement. The US uses every form of leverage at its disposal, no matter how repugnant, to get law on the books which gives America a clear advantage in business and policy. It likes best situations in which it has a veto over collective decision-making, so that all parties to the agreement must in effect ask US permission to do anything; then the US can rule always in its own interests, and perhaps throw the others a small bone once in awhile to create the appearance of fairness and impartiality.

      The United States in its current existence is the worst trade partner you could ever wish to have. It insists on dismantling internal national distribution systems so that its trading partners must compete in the same circumstances as they do within the USA, where the only law is produce and produce and produce more until you either achieve a monopoly, or the world is flooded with the product. Taking over other economies and bending them to its will is all that keeps the stock market roaring. And debt rising – but that’s a problem for the little people.


    1. As pointed out elsewhere there is no such agency called the GRU. Like there is no agency called the KGB. This in itself demonstrates that NATzO is spreading pure propaganda.


    2. It’s probably not sloppiness, per se; it’s more that Britain has reached a new level of dazzling investigative brilliance, so that normal GRU tradecraft can no longer withstand its piercing eye.


  11. crAP via Scientists: US military program could be seen as bioweapon

    A research arm of the U.S. military is exploring the possibility of deploying insects to make plants more resilient by altering their genes. Some experts say the work may be seen as a potential biological weapon.

    In an opinion paper published Thursday in the journal Science, the authors say the U.S. needs to provide greater justification for the peace-time purpose of its Insect Allies project to avoid being perceived as hostile to other countries. Other experts expressed ethical and security concerns with the research, which seeks to transmit protective traits to crops already growing in the field….

    The rest at the link.

    Using the US’s own definitions that it has used to place sanctions on other countries, this is clearly a dual-use technology, i.e. civilian with military applications (which is just about the same as any fancy satellited up in space etc.). Conclusion? The US must sanction itself!


    1. The US has been using insects as bioweapons for decades (including attacking Cuba and the USSR). The current development program is using this insect research as a cover. Its real function is to develop targeted genetic weapons designed to exterminate ethic groups. These weapons are beyond any “mass destruction” and are pure genocide devices. Anyone who thinks that this sort of research is unlikely is a retard without a clue. There is a reason why certain US companies were buying up Russian human bio-waste (e.g. amputated limbs, cadavers).

      If anyone thinks that the US will care about collateral damage to neighbouring Slavic countries, then they are full on retarded as well. In 1990 Americans could not tell the difference between Ukrainians and Russians (and even Chechens). Now for purely political reasons they pretend to see every microscopic difference. The US has no love for Poland, Ukraine, or any other new Europe country. They are merely cannon fodder for its imperial ambitions. The hate that Poles and other Slavic states have for Russia is pathological. Poland is basically a German branch plant economy. Tell me why Poland should have more love for Germany than for Russia? And don’t invoke communism since Russians were not privileged compared to Poles before 1991. It was, in fact, the other way around.


    2. The US is always asking to be trusted with some fearsome new capability, on the grounds that its values are a fail-safe – it is so innately good that it could never use such capabilities for evil. And it seems obsessed with modifications to achieve super-plants so that one potato will feed a family of eight, and suchlike – what’s wrong with food the way nature intended it to be?

      If you would decide whether a technology or process should be viewed as a threat, just imagine it was announced by Russia. The USA would scream its head off.

      I can’t help noticing as well that some of its changes seem geared toward not having to do anything about global warming, continuing to rely on a petroleum-dominated energy policy and so forth, by engineering a food supply that will flourish through as changing environment. If it is successful in that aim it is assured global domination, as the food supply of other countries could vanish if the country did not sign on to the US technology agenda. America would not have to threaten anyone’s crops with secret-agent bugs. It could just go on as it is doing, and continue to contribute to global warming.


      1. I doubt that any commercial GMO research is being conducted by the military. And good luck trying to created wheat and corn that can survive drought conditions. These plants can be tweaked to reduce their sensitivity but they cannot be “engineered” into wunderplants that produce high yields in the face of water deficits. And I am not even getting into the global warming effect on pests.

        The US has military bioweapons facilities around the world. And they are not GMO research labs.


  12. Independent: Saudi ambassador in Turkey summoned after journalist ‘vanishes’ from consulate

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the Saudi ambassador in Turkey after a dissident journalist entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday and vanished…

    …Mr Khashoggi served for years as editor-in-chief of the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Watan, appeared regularly on television and contributed to The Washington Post. …

    …Officials inside the consulate claim that Mr Khashoggi left the building before he vanished. Turkish police reviewed footage from security cameras and said that the journalist had not exited the consulate…

    Worth keeping an eye on. Looks like a casual disappearing by a regime that is confident it holds all the cards.


    1. Sky Nudes: Missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi ‘was killed inside Saudi consulate’

      Reports suggest Jamal Khashoggi, who vanished five days ago after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, was “cut into pieces”.

      …A senior police source told online news website Middle East Eye the journalist had been “brutally murdered, killed and cut into pieces”.

      “Everything was videotaped to prove the mission had been accomplished and the tape was taken out of the country,” they said.


      Bad news for the US though as they want Turkey & Saudi Arabia to be singing from the same hymn sheet.

      This story looks like it is going to run.

      I bet the Dutch won’t be putting those responsible on their little global humanitarian sanctions list.


  13. The Daily Star (Lebanon): Protest erupts in southern Russia over land swap deal with Chechnya

    Thousands of people took to the streets of the southern Russian region of Ingushetia Thursday to protest against what they said was an unfair land swap deal with the neighboring Russian region of Chechnya…

    …The deal envisages a land swap meant to end simmering territorial tensions that emerged after the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

    Protesters in Ingushetia said they believed that the deal amounted to a surrender of territory and that the arrangement favored Chechnya at their own region’s expense…

    Interesting. It is not just that Russia, China and others have been making efforts to settling border issues among each other, but also those internal issues that have been grating for generations and have the potential to spark up when least expected. I wonder if Ingushetia will get some sort of pay-off from Moscow?


    1. What will a pay off achieve – if the people don’t want it?

      The tensions will be made worse.

      What type of consultation was done before this proposal?


      1. The way I read it – which is to read what it says – the heads of both regions have endorsed the deal and the regional parliament has approved it, both sides at that level apparently satisfied that they are getting a good deal. It also says some protesters have accepted an offer to discuss their concerns. It seems it is (a) not something imposed upon either region by the heavy hand of Moscow, and (b) eminently democratic in nature. When was the last time you saw a decision that pleased everyone? The protesters may well be acting on emotion without having all the information.


        1. After perusing a couple more articles on the land swap issue, I have the impression (and anyone can correct me if I’m wrong) that back in the early 1990s, when Chechnya under Dzhokhar Dudayev declared itself independent, and Ingushetia decided to stay loyal to Moscow, some Chechen-dominated areas probably decided to hitch their wagon to Ingushetia. Chechens and Ingush are related ethnic groups after all. Now after 20 years or so, and presumably some wrangling between Ingushetia and Chechnya, these two regions have finalised the swap. Reuters and other Western MSM outlets have pounced on this swap to try to talk up anti-Kadyrov opposition to it. Mekhk Kkhel probably warrants a closer look as a potential troublemaker.


          1. From what I have read, that is exactly right. There is no real “bad blood” between Chechens and Ingush.

            The more touchy issue would be the historical “bad blood” between Ingush and Ossetians. If Westies were pushing some dispute in that arena, then they might actually draw blood. But trying to set Chechens against Ingush is just a silly case of barking up the wrong tree. They did succeed in getting James all excited, though…



            1. Mark’s interpretation makes the most sense. Moscow is much happier when they sort stuff out for themselves though I would imagine that there might be some prodding if necessary. That there are protests shows how democratic Russia is!

              From the one or two I know from the ‘hood, the Ingush don’t like the Chechens much as being the wideboys of the region. Also whilst Dudayev was swinging his balls down south, Ruslan Khasbulatov was swinging his balls up north – so despite them all being ‘Chechens’, plenty of them do not agree with each other. If I recall correctly, there were quite a few other Chechen who were opposed to Dudayev at the the time and supported the Russian Army’s attempt to keep Chechnya within the borders.


              1. Well it could be – and this is where I should have been much clearer in my original comment that sparked this sub-thread (I tend to assume people can follow my line of thinking and can see where it’s going) – that the Chechens who threw in their lot with Ingushetia nearly 25 years ago have now changed their minds, either because the security situation in Chechnya has changed for the better, or something else there has changed for the better, or something has changed in Ingushetia (perhaps for the worse, perhaps not – but now the grass on the other side of the fence now looks better), that has made them decide they want to go back, so your comment doesn’t necessarily contradict what I said originally.

                This decision would not have been taken lightly and would have already involved a lot of discussion among their leaders. If I remember correctly from the research that I did when I wrote a post for the old Kremlin Stooge on Chechnya some years ago, Chechen society is very clan-based so the decision to petition the Ingushetia parliament to allow a land swap would have been worked out years in advance and thrashed out among the heads of families and groups within the clans living in or owning the areas involved. Any people still protesting the land swap could well be stubborn hold-outs refusing to compromise. Ingush people are related to Chechens by language and have a similar clan structure.

                The real issue behind this land swap is why all of a sudden Western news media pounced on it when they did when it had been years in the making and was the result of collective decision-making among the heads of clans and other community groups in Chechen and Ingush societies. As our host Mark says elsewhere, the MSM is looking for incidents that can be exploited and ramped up into conflicts and war.


                1. He might have his title taken off him because he lept out of the octagon and instigated a brawl:

                  Президент UFC допустил лишение Нурмагомедова чемпионского титула

                  The head of the UFC has admitted that Nurmagomedov may be deprived of his championship title.

                  The acting champion of the UFC, Habib Nurmagomedov, may lose his title because he became the instigator of a mass brawl after the fight with Conor McGregor in Las Vegas. This was declared at a press-conferences by the president of the promotion, Dana white. The behaviour of the Russian mixed martial arts fighter is being investigated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

                  “I can’t guarantee a hundred percent that, following this incident, Habib does not have his championship belt taken away. We are subject to the Nevada Commission, and I’m sure it will be a very tough decision to take. Habib shouldn’t be worried about me, but about the Commission”, White is quoted as having said to “The Champion”. [Russian on-line soorts paper — ME]


              2. “Khabib Nurmagomedov is, at 29 years old, the first Russian to hold the world lightweight Ultimate Fighting Championship title. ”

                Below, two more “Russians”:

                Actor Gerard Depardieu (R) poses for a picture with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov during a meeting at the presidential residence as he visits the capital of the Chechen Republic Grozny February 25, 2013. REUTERS/Rasul Yarichev

                Bon chance, mon ami!

                At least you don’t have to worry about extending your residence permit every 5 years!



                1. By the way, on 5 October they celebrated the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Chechen capital, Grozny, with 200 weddings:

                  200 weddings at the same time, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Chechen capital

                  October 5 Grozny, the capital of the Chechen Republic, celebrated its 200th anniversary. In connection with this event, the city held mass festivities, concerts and other festive events. In honour of the 200th anniversary of the capital, 200 couples got wed … an not without there being the traditional lezginka and shooting in the air. The celebration coincided with the birthday of the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, who on 5 October turned 42.

                  Chechens ain’t Russians!

                  And Grozny was a Cossack city founded by Eastern Orthodox Christian Slavs, ethnic Russians, but was given the Chechens by the USSR when the Chechen Autonomous Oblast [province] was founded.

                  Before that, the Chechens lived in the mountains with the rest of the bandit mountain clans in the “Soviet Mountain Republic”.

                  I worked with a Chechen 20 years ago. He told me that his father had kidnapped his mother so that she would have to marry him.

                  His father is about my age. And he was no mountain goatherder, either: he was a mathematician, as was his son, a Wunderkind, who started studying at MGU when he was 13 and is now a big-noise analyst at the Bank of Russia.


                2. I seem to recall that the whole ‘kidnapping the lady’ beforehand to be the bride (i.e. ‘you’ve already ‘used’ her, so you might as well keep her) has come back in fashion, but more as an exciting, consensual and traditional affair between the betrothed. There are vids on youtube of such things.

                  Gantemirov & Avturkhanov were pro-Moscow and received support, The former being Mayor of Grozny. I didn’t know about gangster Labazanov though.


                3. That’s what the article said; I’m merely repeating it. TASS. I suppose they are anxious to claim him as Russian much as the USA is anxious to highlight that Maria Sharapova learned tennis in America. Or how anxious the American media is to make every Ukrainian criminal or deviate a Russian.


            2. The west returns compulsively to the region because it thinks that this is where things might tear loose; independence movements in Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan. Where, as the western regime-change impulse fondly returns time and again, issues of fundamentalist religion can be played upon to flare into conflict – it has worked for the west all around the world, turning Shi’ite against Sunni and this one against that one. It often signals its interest with plaintive articles by pro-democracy think-tanks implore Vladimir Putin to let the Chechens be free, instead of imposing a succession of overlords upon them, bla, bla, you know the drill. How can Putin diss the mighty USA for supporting oppressors of choice around the world when he won’t man up and let the Chechens have their own free state?

              In fact, Putin has said in the past that the Chechens can be free and independent if that is what they really want. But implied in that is that Moscow will no longer underwrite the new state; that it will have to achieve economic viability itself.

              Normally that is where the west comes in, singing siren songs of sovereignty-association and fabulous prosperity to be had in attaching oneself to the western orbit. But so far not enough people buy it – there are always the rebel darlings, the tearaways who bleat discontent and stir the imagination of the western press. But just as often they are religious nutters and suicide bombers who just want a dramatic death. Like that chap and his missus – Dagestan, I think it was, a few years back – who had their apartment shot to rubble with them in it after they repeatedly refused repeated offers to surrender and live, deigning only for a hi-lift crane bucket to come up to the balcony to give their daughter into the arms of her wailing granny. Martyrdom and progressive leadership almost never flourish in the same person, for some reason. Except maybe for Jeremy Corbyn.


          2. One thing in there that you probably will never need further research to establish, because it’s a given ingredient in western reporting, is the spin that there is big trouble in any region of Russia, and that the people are rising up to smite their leaders and take power back into common hands from tyrants. That’ll always be there. They want to take our land, the last thing we have left, and by God and Freedom we are not going to stand for it. Send money, quick. Help us in our struggle for democracy.


      2. Just looked up Ingushetia on Wikipedia and found it’s a small federal republic whose population as of 2014 was less than 500,000.

        I rather doubt then that thousands of people turned up in Magas to protest. If there are no aerial photographs of the protesters, then we have to treat the figures reported by Reuters and other news agencies outside Russia with suspicion.

        The OC Media article at this link states hundreds turned up to protest and the photographs appear to back up that statement:

        There is dispute over the size of the area being transferred to Chechnya: the area officially being transferred amounts to less than 2,000 hectares but according to Ingushetian opposition group Mekhk Kkhel 58,000 hectares are being transferred. The difference between the figures seems suspicious and the upper figure is likely to be an exaggeration.


        1. Chechens and Ingush will be okay with it, this is a normal deal.
          Once again, James proving that he hasn’t a clue what he is talking about, and simply trolling the Russophile blogosphere in a rather untalented fashion.

          It he still fooling anyone?


          1. Is everyone who raises a question a troll?

            I have questions /opinions your don’t agree with so I am a troll?

            If it upsets you – ignore me – I’m only a troll.


            1. James, you have upset me deeply, and yet something within me cannot simply ignore you…


              In conclusion:
              If you have opinions, then simply state your opinions, you don’t need to employ some half-assed variant of the Socratic method. It’s the wide-eyed rhetorical questions which irritate, not the difference of opinions… duh…


        2. Nice source Jen:

          …We strive to shed light and offer a variety of per­spec­tives on ongoing social, economic and political devel­op­ments in the region, including in: human rights, ethnic and religious minori­ties, labour rights, gender and queer issues, devel­op­ment, as well as conflict dynamics in the region…

          …OC Media was co-founded in January 2017 by Mari Nikuradze, Dominik K. Cagara, and Caroline Sutcliffe, initially under the auspices of Chai Khana NGO. It has received funding from the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, the European Endowment for Democracy, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Caucasus Office, Open Society Foun­da­tions, and the United Kingdom Foreign and Com­mon­wealth Office, with joint com­mis­sions with Inter­na­tion­al Alert (EPNK/European Union Ini­tia­tive), (COBERM), and Open Democracy Russia.


          1. I was aware of this source’s funding connections to George Soros when posting that link. I try to make it my custom when I can, to check a source’s mission statement and goals, sponsors and partners, and funding sources. My assumption always is, that a source of news and information is never objective and never neutral. Bearing that in mind, most news media sources have to be accurate and truthful at least some of the time, if their garbage is to percolate into their readers’ minds.


            1. I assumed so as you are known as ‘Jen the Diligent‘! I though it worth putting the info up so that we recognize it when the PPNN start using it as its main source the next time(s) they consider events worth stirring further. The same reason I did that post last week about the Addesium Foundation that channels money to short term investigative journalism projects that only target the usual deserving suspects.



    Murican leaders:

    “Jessica Morse, a former State Department and AID official in Iraq, running in the Fourth District of California, blasts the Trump administration for “giving away global leadership to powers like China and Russia. Our security and our economy will both suffer if those countries are left to re-write the international rules.”

    Former FBI agent Christopher Hunter, running in the 12th District of Florida, declares, “Russia is a clear and present danger to the United States. We emerged victorious over the Soviet Union in the Cold War. We must resolve anew to secure an uncompromising victory over Russia and its tyrannical regime.”

    Elissa Slotkin, the former CIA agent and Pentagon official running in Michigan’s Eighth Congressional District, cites her 14 years of experience “working on some of our country’s most critical national security matters, including U.S.-Russia relations, the counter-ISIS campaign, and the U.S. relationship with NATO.” She argues that “the United States must make investments in its military, intelligence, and diplomatic power” in order to maintain “a unique and vital role in the world.”

    Max Rose, a combat commander in Afghanistan now running in New York’s 11th Congressional District (Staten Island and Brooklyn), calls for “recognizing Russia as a hostile foreign power and holding the Kremlin accountable for its attempts to undermine the sovereignty and democratic values of other nations.” Rose is still in the military reserves, and took two weeks off from his campaign in August to participate in small-unit drills.

    Joseph Kopser, running in the 21st District of Texas, is another anti-Russian firebrand, writing on his website, “As a retired Army Ranger, I know first hand the importance of standing strong with your allies. Given Russia’s march toward a totalitarian state showing aggression around the region, as well as their extensive cyber and information warfare campaign directed at the U.S., England, and others, our Article 5 [NATO] commitment to our European allies and partners is more important than ever.” He concludes, “Since the mid-twentieth century, the United States has been a principal world leader—a standard that should never be changed.”

    Four national-security candidates add North Korea and Iran to China and Russia as specific targets of American military and diplomatic attack.

    Josh Welle, a former naval officer who was deployed to Afghanistan, now running in the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey, writes, “We have to stand together in the face of threats from countries like North Korea and Iran. The human rights violations and nuclear capabilities of these countries pose a direct threat to the stability of this world and therefore need to be met with strong military presence and a robust defense program to protect ourselves.”

    Tom Malinowski, former assistant secretary of state for human rights, running in New Jersey’s Seventh District, calls for maintaining economic sanctions on Russia “until it stops its aggression in Ukraine and interference in our democracy,” effusively endorses the state of Israel (whose government actually interferes in US elections more than any other), and calls for stepped up sanctions against North Korea.

    Mikie Sherill, a former Navy pilot and Russian policy officer, running in New Jersey’s 11th District, writes, “I have sat across the table from the Russians, and know that we need our government to take the threat they pose seriously.” She adds to this a warning about “threats posed by North Korea and Iran,” the two most immediate targets of military-diplomatic blackmail by the Trump administration. She concludes, referring to North Korea’s nuclear program, “For that reason I support a robust military presence in the region and a comprehensive missile defense program to defend America, our allies, and our troops abroad.”

    Dan McCready, an Iraq war unit commander who claims to have been born again when he was baptized in water from the Euphrates River, calls for war to be waged only “with overwhelming firepower,” not “sporadically, with no strategy or end in sight, while our enemies like Iran, North Korea, Russia, and the terrorists outsmart and outlast us.” He is running in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District, adjacent to the huge military complex at Fort Bragg.

    One military-intelligence candidate cites immigration as a national-security issue, echoing the position of the Trump administration, which constantly peddles scare stories that terrorists are infiltrating the United States disguised as immigrants and refugees. That is Richard Ojeda, running in the Third Congressional District of West Virginia, who publicly boasts of having voted for Trump in 2016, in the same election in which he won a seat in the West Virginia state senate running as a Democrat.

    Ojeda writes on his web site, “We must also ensure that terrorists do not reach American soil by abusing our immigration process. We must keep an up to date terror watch list but provide better vetting for those that go onto the watch list.”

    A career Army Airborne officer, Ojeda voices the full-blown militarism of this social layer. “If there is one thing I am confident in, it is the ability of our nation’s military,” he declares. “The best way to keep Americans safe is to let our military do their job without muddying up their responsibilities with our political agendas.”

    He openly rejects control of the military by civilian policy-makers. “War is not a social experiment and I refuse to let politics play a role in my decision making when it comes to keeping you and your family safe,” he continues. “I will not take my marching orders from anyone else concerning national security.”

    Only one of the 30 candidates, Ken Harbaugh, a retired Air Force pilot running in the Seventh Congressional District of Ohio, centered on the industrial city of Canton, acknowledges being part of this larger group. He notes, “In 2018, more vets are running for office than at any moment in my lifetime. Because of the growing inability of Washington to deal responsibly with the threats facing our nation, veterans from both sides of the aisle are stepping into the breach.”

    Referring to the mounting prospect of war, he writes, “Today, we face our gravest geopolitical challenge since 9/11. Our country remains at war in Afghanistan, we have troops engaged in North Africa, Iraq and Syria, and Russia continues to bully our allies. Meanwhile, North Korea has the ability to directly threaten the American mainland with nuclear missiles.” He concludes, “we need leaders with the moral authority to speak on these issues, leaders who have themselves been on the front lines of these challenges.”

    These statements, taken cumulatively, present a picture of unbridled militarism and aggression as the program of the supposed “opposition” to the Trump administration’s own saber-rattling and threats of “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

    Perhaps even more remarkable is that the remaining 17 national-security candidates say nothing at all about foreign policy (in 11 cases) or limit themselves to anodyne observations about the necessity to provide adequate health care and other benefits to veterans (two cases), or vague generalities about the need to combine a strong military with diplomatic efforts (four cases). They give no specifics whatsoever.

    In other words, while these candidates tout their own records as part of the national-security apparatus as their principal credential for election to Congress, they decline to tell the voters what they would do if they were in charge of American foreign policy.

    Given that these 17 include intelligence agents (Abigail Spanberger and Gina Ortiz Jones), a National Security Council Iraq war planner (Andy Kim), and numerous other high-level State Department and military commanders, the silence can have only the most ominous interpretation.

    These CIA Democrats don’t want to tell voters about their plans for foreign policy and military intervention because they know these measures are deeply unpopular. They aim to gain office as stealth candidates, unveiling their program of militarism and war only after they take their seats, when they may very well exercise decisive influence in the next Congress.”


    1. Politics has simply become another product, the consumption of which is regulated by advertising. Almost none of it is true, as if the product were really good, it would sell itself. And the world’s great democracies wonder why voter turnout slips a little every year. Barring extraordinarily divisive elections like the last one in the United States, of course. Maybe there’s something to that – elections must be made into spectacles, or the people don’t give a fuck who gets in, because they’re ultimately all the same face. That’s pretty much where I am now, and have been for a decade or more. But making an election into a bile-driven hate-fest will really only work once. When one set of supporters gives it their all and then finds out their candidate is really no different than the rest of the political spectrum – like Obama – or that he/she is different but certifiable like Trump, it’s enough to put you off ever voting again. Stick your democracy. Put your mother in, or your cat. I don’t care.


  15. “Eight days after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake and tsunami devastated central Sulawesi, Indonesia, the death toll continues to climb. The official figure has now surpassed 1,570 and there are more than 2,500 injured. Thousands more bodies, however, are thought to be buried in mud, under collapsed buildings, or swept out to sea.

    An area with over 1.5 million inhabitants, including the cities of Palu and Donggala, has been devastated. In Palu, population 380,000, thousands of poorly-constructed houses were swallowed up by liquefaction (when an earthquake causes the ground to liquefy). Others were swept away in the tsunami. Some villages have been wiped off the map.

    At least 70,000 people are homeless or displaced, many sleeping in tents or in the open. Hospitals are overflowing and medical supplies are scarce. Power has not returned to most areas. Food and drinking water are in desperately short supply. Thousands of people have been reduced to scavenging in farmland and searching abandoned shops and warehouses for food.

    Ordinary people responded to the disaster with bravery and selflessness. Many spent days digging through rubble by hand in search of survivors, who were crying out for help. By yesterday, all the voices had gone silent. ”

    Far more horrible than I thought yesterday….
    As I posted this, I was wondering about what kind of tsunami warning system was in place..
    What the fuck was I thinking:

    “The Indonesian government refuses to pay for even the most basic precautions, such as educating the population about tsunamis. Reports indicate that the first waves hit Sulawesi about 25 minutes after the earthquake, yet many people did not understand that the quake was a warning to move quickly inland. A text message sent by Indonesia’s disaster agency five minutes after the tremor did not reach many people because of damaged phone towers. There were no coastal sirens or other warning mechanisms.

    After 2004, governments in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and many other countries promised to establish a tsunami warning system for the Indian Ocean. Indonesia’s 22 tsunami detection buoys installed as part of that system have not worked since 2012 due to budget cuts and a lack of maintenance. An advanced network of undersea sensors and cables, which could provide early tsunami warnings, has been stalled in its prototype phase because of what one report described as “inter-agency wrangling” over a mere 1 billion rupiah ($69,000) needed to finish the job.

    There is no shortage of money in the hands of the rich in Indonesia and globally that could be used to vastly improve the warning system. Like the rest of the world, Indonesia has become increasingly socially unequal. Last year, 32 dollar billionaires had a combined wealth of $113 billion, while 93 million people, more than a third of the population, lived on less than $3.10 a day.

    Successive governments have stripped away funding for basic infrastructure, including emergency systems, while slashing corporate taxes and regulations that are seen as constraints on profits. Mining companies, palm oil plantations and other businesses are given free rein to pollute the environment and destroy forests, raising the risk of landslides and floods. Building standards are also routinely flouted with impunity.

    Vast sums of money are squandered on the military. Indonesia’s defence budget soared from $2.5 billion in 2005 to $8 billion in 2018. Like other countries throughout the Indo-Pacific region, Indonesia has become embroiled in the US-led military build-up and threats against China, which Washington views as a potential challenge to its global hegemony.

    (If a tsunami were to hit DC where these aged decrepit ‘masters of the universe’ cckskkers live, e.g. US Senators, then tsunami warning systems would become a priority…for them and their families)

    In the heavily-militarised South China Sea, advanced warships and planes from several countries stand ready to launch devastating attacks at a moment’s notice. But just 600 miles to the southeast, in Sulawesi, thousands of traumatised quake victims are forced to spend days and weeks without assistance, told by President Widodo to “be patient.”

    During the 2004 disaster, the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono left hundreds of thousands of tsunami victims to fend for themselves. Displaced people spent years living in squalid camps, while reconstruction dragged on for nearly a decade. Survivors of the Sulawesi quake, many of whom have lost everything, can expect the same callous treatment.

    Indonesia is far from unique. Throughout the world, from earthquakes in China and Nepal, to hurricanes in the United States and Haiti, profit-driven considerations make natural calamities immeasurably worse. The results include climate change and environmental degradation, the lack of emergency services, poverty and social inequality, and the failure of governments to cooperate internationally in the interests of protecting vulnerable people.

    Wije Dias, general secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka, noted in a statement on the first anniversary of the 2004 tsunami: “The humanitarian instincts of ordinary people stood in marked contrast to the reaction of the political establishment. They provide a small glimpse of what would be possible if the vast resources created by the international working class were utilised to meet the social needs of the world’s population.”

    The failure of the international aid operation, he explained, posed the need for a conscious political movement that sets out to replace the outmoded capitalist nation-state system, with one based on international socialism. The building of such a movement, fought for by the World Socialist Web Site and the International Committee of the Fourth International, is today more urgent than ever.

    Tom Peters”

    Another cry for world wide revolution!!!!


  16. The Dutch now take over from the Brits as the USA’s aircraft carrier in the EU:

    EUObserver: Dutch to host EU talks on human rights sanctions

    The Netherlands has invited EU diplomats to discuss the creation of a new sanctions regime against human rights abusers worldwide.

    Its idea is to target individuals, via EU visa bans and asset freezes, to discourage them and others from violations, potentially saving lives.

    The project has roots in a Russian case, but the new measures are meant to target such individuals no matter where they come from…

    Uh-huh! There’ll be lots of Saudis, Kuwaitis, Bahrainis, UAE etc. on the list then? The goal looks like permenant sanctions on Russia for being Russia and not an EU member state – when the EU itself refuses to even offer Russia the possibility! It’s pretty dumb of the dutch if they expect to still do business in Russia. We all know how much they like their money, so they’d better be ready to actually pay for their words and actions. Retards.


    1. Well maybe they-the Dutch-could resume looking into this:

      “Up to this day, there is no definitive conclusion about the causes and motives for the bombing. For a long time, the attack was presumed to have been an ‘error’, but it was not until 2006 that an investigation revealed that Nijmegen was a so-called target of opportunity for Allied bombers. In his 2009 study, history docent Joost Rosendaal of Radboud University Nijmegen classified it as an opportunistic bombing rather than an error. Rosendaal rejects the notion of an ‘error’, because the Americans were negligent in properly identifying which city to bomb. The Americans “intentionally bombed a target of opportunity, that however had not been unambiguously identified.”[3]

      Rosendaal added that the death toll was further increased by several disastrous circumstances. The switchboard operator, who normally directed emergency services, was killed during the raid, and without her communications went much slower. Many water pipes had been destroyed, making firefighting efforts much harder and more time-consuming. Dozens of people were still alive, but stuck under the rubble; many burnt to death when spreading flames reached them before they could be extinguished.”

      After all if they can drag back to Poland 90 year old men who were in the SS as teenagers…


    2. Was there ever a more pithy and accurate quote than “Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn at no other”? It seems the job, even the sworn duty, of politicians and administrators to foment and spread chaos, and prevent any sort of common human understanding or endeavor. And our entire lifetimes are going by in this same environment of loathing and fear, taught to us by our politicians and media. Leadership is dead.


    1. It’s surprising how often western political rhetoric is unconsciously comic. I screamed aloud with laughter, for instance, at this:

      “Sounding the alarm, Pence warned other nations to be wary of doing business with China, condemning the Asian country’s “debt diplomacy” that allows it to draw developing nations into its orbit.”

      Debt diplomacy – now there’s a phrase to conjure with. You might want to remember it, for the next time you see the IMF skipping through the forest, ladling out bushels of cash to this and that sides of the trail like Red Riding Hood, expecting (of course) no loyalty and implying no obligation. Just ’cause we-uns is friends.


  17. Vinyard the Saker: S-300s and other military hardware for Syria

    …Second, I will repeat what I said before: S-300s are not what the Syrians need most. In terms of anti-air missiles, what they need most are higher numbers of Pantsirs-S1/2 mobile medium to short range air defense systems. Not only are the Pantsirs ideal to protect against cruise missile strikes, they can also protect the S-300s, which will become a critical issue if the Israelis decide to try to destroy them (which they threatened to do in the past)…

    Plenty more military common sense at the link.


    1. That might seem on the face of it like common sense, and in a way I suppose it is, but the Pantsir cannot enforce airspace sovereignty the way the S-300 can. The Pantsir is a Lord-have mercy self-defense weapon once the Israelis have already decided to come over for another spot of target practice. The S-300 is to tell them in advance to stay the fuck away.


    2. The Russians have shown excellent military planning to date and it would be reasonable to assume that they will continue to do so. If more Pantsirs are needed, they will be provided. I suspect that electronics warfare equipment may be of more significant in terms of defense from further attack.

      I would like to see several F-35s shot down. That would do more than anything else to bring peace to the region.


      1. Electronic warfare systems, or what is known as ‘soft-kill’ systems, enjoy a considerable probability-of-success advantage over ‘hard-kill’ weaponry such as guns and missiles.


  18. Panic in Mordor!!!

    Britain is ready to conduct a cyber attack against Russia — The Sunday Times

    The British military is ready to take this step in case of an “attack” by Russia against one of the Western countries

    LONDON, 7 October 2018, 07:28 — REGNUM The military command of Great Britain has announced its willingness to carry out a cyber attack against Moscow , writes the British newspaper “The Sunday Times” on 7 October,.

    According to the publication, citing an unnamed source closely familiar with the situation, the British military is ready to take this step in case of an “attack” by Russia against a Western country. This measure will be possible when Britain has a shortage of conventional defence resources and will manifest itself by the fact that the capital of Russia will have its energy supplies cut off.

    According to the “Sunday Times” source, variants of “Russian aggression”, against which the British military is prepared to use cyber weapons, are said to be an invasion by Russian President Vladimir Putin of Libya in order to seize oil and to create a new crisis of migrants in Europe and an attempt to capture “small Islands belonging to Estonia”. [Such action would be taken by the UK] so as to comply with a NATO clause, in which an attack against one member is considered to be an attack against the whole alliance.

    We should note that recently the West has been constantly accusing Russia of cyber attacks against the West for economic sabotage and interference in local political life. However, tangible evidence of Russian guilt as regards such accusations has not once been provided.

    My stress above.

    Why should Russia, personified as the Dark Lord, wish to seize oil in Libya? Has Russia no oil of its own?

    Sowing disarray in Libya? Now who, I wonder, might have done that before now?

    An immigrant crisis in Europe created by the Empire of Evil?

    And the present crisis? Created by whom?

    Estonian Islands? What need has Russia of islands in the Baltic?

    And of course, an unnamed source.

    All in all, classic “projection: the West threatening to do what it has long planned and, furthermore, continuously accused Russia of doing , without providing any evidence whatsoever, so as to psych-up the sheeple for justified retaliation against the “Putin Regime”.

    Gleiwitz replay, anyone?


    1. Please!!! I can still be useful to you, master, even after Brexit!! Just let me prove my worth! PLEASE!!!!

      The capital of Russia will have its energy supplies cut off?? By who? Britain???? God, give me strength.

      Most ‘analysts’ speculated before that NATO would not invoke an Article 5 military retaliation even in the event of a Russian attack on the Baltics themselves. NATO spectacles like the ‘Dragoon Ride’ and western military deployments to Eastern Europe are supposed to reassure them that NATO has their back. Now we’re supposed to believe NATO would pull the trigger over Russian ‘capture’ of some rinky-dink little islands owned by Estonia. Don’t flatter yourselves, Estonia.


      1. And guess who was stating not all that long ago that a certain aggressor state had in mind cutting off the energy supplies of the UK and causing a breakdown of society in that blessed plot of land?

        Why, “Stupid Boy” Gavin “Why-Don’t-You-Shut-Up-And-Go-Away” Williamson, no less, UK Minister of Defence.

        Defence secretary warns of Russia plot against infrastructure
        26 January 2018
        Russia could cause “thousands and thousands and thousands of deaths” by crippling UK infrastructure, the defence secretary has warned.

        Gavin Williamson told the Daily Telegraph that Moscow was spying on energy supplies which, if cut, could cause “total chaos” in the country.

        He said it was “the real threat… the country is facing at the moment.”

        Head of the British army, Sir Nick Carter, has warned the UK is struggling to keep up with Russian capabilities.

        Blackout threat to Britain from Russian cyber-attack
        March 18, 2018
        Spy chiefs have warned the bosses of Britain’s key power companies to boost their security amid fears of a Russian cyber-attack that could put the lights out.

        The National Grid was put on alert last week by officials from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) — a branch of the signals intelligence agency GCHQ — and given advice on how to improve its defences to prevent power cuts.

        Electricity, gas and water firms, the Sellafield nuclear power plant, Whitehall departments and NHS hospitals have all been warned to prepare for a state- sponsored assault ordered by the Kremlin after the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

        I love the “stupid boy” meme that has appeared as regards that prick Williamson. It refers to a character, “Private Pike”, in the long running British TV series “Dad’s Army”, wherein the pompous bank manager captain of a WWII British “Home Guard” (local volunteer defence force) unit constantly refers to one of his unit members as “stupid boy”, the “boy” being a naive, gormless employee at the bank, where the captain is manager.

        “Toff” is Georgia Valerie “Toff” Toffolo, a British TV “media personality”. She is best known for appearing on a “reality TV” series “Made in Chelsea” and for winning the seventeenth series of the ITV shite-show “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!” in 2017.

        Toffolo has been a member of the Conservative Party, UK, since she was in secondary school. (That’s “High School” in the USA.) Because of her Conservative politics, she has been dubbed “Boris [Johnson] in a bikini”, FFS!

        And that is the person to whom Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for Defence has turned for advice!


  19. See: Здравствуй, фейк! «Расследователи» дела Скрипаля подделали права «Чепиги – Боширова»

    Greetings , fake! Skripal case “investigators” have presented a “Chepiga-Boshirov” licence

    Latest gleefully presented Bellingtwat evidence, this alleged Chepiga driving licence:

    provided by this person:

    a certain Ruslan Leviev, an erstwhile Navalny rubberduckian.

    The photograph on the “Chepiga” licence above has the usual circular stamp, but which also has a strange, white semi-circlular area next to it, which suggests that in this case the original stamp has been removed so as to insert Khabarovsk Region stamp.

    There is also a part of the probably inserted stamp that is missing:

    And note that the black lines on all four sides of the photograph. Normally, there are only such lines at the sides, not at the top and bottom of the photos — see genuine licences below:


  20. Now compare the perimeter of the alleged Chepiga licence stamp with genuine licence stamps:

    And finally, In the upper right corner is a white spot, which could be initially be taken as a glare of light on the lamination, but for some reason the rest of the “Chepiga licence” does not glare and has a smooth tone without any reflections of light. Even the background of the photo is perfectly white.

    Oh, and by the way, glossy photos are not allowed in Russian official documents — don’t I just know this!

    I once had to make a 120 km round trip because I had not presented matt photos, namely the distance from central Moscow to the “Multifunctional Migration Centre, Moscow”, situated 60 kms south west of the capital.


    1. The Lavian ‘Harmony’ party has won the largest share of the vote. It is of course labeled ‘pro-Russian’ because it doesn’t want to go to war with it (with the backing of NATO obvs) and was kept out of the previous government by a coalition of Russophobic parties. No government without Harmony?

      …he Harmony party polled 19% with the pro-EU For Development party taking 12% and two populist parties, the KPV LV and the New Conservatives winning 27% between them…


  21. Sky News
    Published on 7 Oct 2018
    Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell tells Sky’s Sophy Ridge that he thinks the former head of MI6 should ‘spend his retirement with a bit of humility’ after Sir Richard Dearlove said he was troubled by Corbyn’s past accusations.

    He said: ‘I think Richard Dearlove should spend his retirement in quiet contemplation of the role he played with regard to the Iraq war.’


    1. Like

      1. Classic tin foil hat conspiracy theorizing. Correlation is not causation. The fucker is mixing real cases with a fake in the case of Russia. We can see why so many Poles and others refuse to accept that the loss of a large part of the Polish leadership in the air crash at Smolensk was not a Russian plot. Simpler explanations like the clown Kaczynski telling the pilot what to do combined with very bad weather conditions are not gratifying enough.


      2. Just heard that a Bulgarian TV journalist, Viktoria Marinova, was found raped and murdered in a park in Ruse, near the Danube river border with Romania. Her body had signs of strangulation and blunt force trauma. The BBC report notes that Marinova is the third journalist to be murdered over the past 12 months in the EU, and the fourth since the start of 2017.

        Imagine the outcry if three journalists had been killed in the Russian Federation over the past 12 months, and the third of the three found dead in a park with brutal injuries.


        1. Amazing how investigations of EU or Saudi Arabian corruption end in murder. Here is a list of the likely murderers . The scope of the conspiracy is breathtaking:

          1948 Dan Hamburg, (Rep-D-California)
          1948 Gerry Adams, Northern Irish politician
          1948 Glenn Branca, avant-garde composer and guitarist, born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
          1949 Bobby Farrell, Jamaica, rock vocalist
          1950 David Brin, American sci-fi author (Hugo, Nebula, Sundiver, Postman)
          1950 Thomas McClary, American soul guitarist and singer (The Commodores), born in Eustis, Florida
          1951 Kevin Cronin, Champaign Ill, rock vocalist (REO Speedwagon)
          1952 Ayten Mutlu, Turkish poet and writer
          1953 Klaas Bruinsma, Dutch drug lord (d. 1991)
          1954 David Hidalgo, American musician (Los Lobos, Latin Playboys)
          1955 Tony Dungy, American football coach
          1956 Kathleen Webb, American comic book writer and artist
          1957 Dom Galluscio, race horse trainer
          1957 Shahzad Altaf, cricketer (UAE off-spinner 1996 World Cup)
          1958 Joseph Finder, American novelist
          1959 Robyn Maher, Australian basketball guard (Olympic bronze 1996)
          1959 Walter Ray Williams Jr, bowler (twice Player of the Year)
          1959 [Dennis Ray] “Oil Can” Boyd, baseball pitcher (Boston Red Sox)
          1959 Brian Higgins, American politician, Member of US House of Representatives
          1960 Albert Lewis, NFL cornerback (Oakland Raiders)
          1960 Jeffrey Trachta, actor (Thorne-Bold & Beautiful), born in Staten Island, New York
          1960 Richard Jobson, British TV person/rocker (Skids-Scared to Dance)
          1961 Kathrin Dörre, East German marathoner (Olympic bronze 1988)
          1961 Tim Burgess, English drummer (T’Pau), born in Macclesfield
          1962 Rich Yett, baseball player
          1963 Elisabeth Shue, American actress
          1963 Jsu Garcia, American actor
          1964 Pam Kometani, LPGA golfer (1992 Welch’s Classic-27th), born in Honolulu, Hawaii
          1964 Thomas “Tom” Hunter, US 50M FREESTYLE swimmer (world record)
          1965 Cynthia Meyer, NY, Canadian trap shooter (Olympics 1996)
          1965 David Spaulding, American canoeist (alt-Olympics 1996), born in Newport Beach, California
          1965 Jim “Razor” Sharp, American rodeo rider (Las Vegas 1988), Kermit, Texas
          1965 Ruben Sierra, Rio Piedras Puerto Rico, outfielder (NY Yankees)
          1966 Archi Cianfrocco, infielder (San Diego Padres), born in Rome, New York
          1966 Jimmie Johnson, NFL tight end (Philadelphia Eagles)
          1966 Julianne McNamara, gymnast (Olympic gold 1984), born in Flushing, New York
          1966 Oscar Caballos, jockey
          1966 Niall Quinn, Irish footballer
          1966 Jacqueline Obradors, American actress
          1967 Kennet Andersson, former Swedish footballer
          1967 Svend Karlsen, Norwegian strongman


          1. Glenn Branca died some months ago so unless he faked his death Babchenko-style, Bellingcat found his name, photo and personal details and stuck them onto a photo they had of one of the conspirators because of an apparent close facial resemblance, or he turns into a bloodsucking bat during full-moon periods, I’d count him out of the conspiracy.


  22. Meanwhile, all is quiet on the Kiev Front, where no one has been bumped off for — ooooh, must be ages and ages!

    And no one has fallen off a balcony there for yonks, and no journalists expelled or sent to prison, and for a very long time no poney-tailed twat has been seen entering offices with his pals and roughing folk up, though there has been a “murder” that was set up and reported, which did not actually take place, and its headbanger “victim” was soaked in pig-blood and photographed in order to shock and horrify the free world and its appointed guardian, and some sucker was sent down for organizing the “hit” that never happened.


  23. My latest post on the Ukrainian central heating crisis.
    Residents of Kiev will no longer get both hot and cold running water coming out of their taps — only cold.
    But Mayor Klichko says that’s okay, they can buy a residential boiler, like he did!


    1. I’ve been following on your blog the story about the possible Ukainian Autocephaly ( Part I here ). It is being reported the Synod of the Church of Constantinople will be held on October 10-11 where the issue of a separate Ukrainian Orthodox Church will be discussed and likely approved (according to local journalists accredited to the event).


      1. If they go ahead with it, Russia has threatened to leave the Church. But doubtless the west excitedly approves, as it would take the separation of Russia and Ukraine to a new level.


        1. NATzO showing its utter, bloody hypocrisy. The Russian Orthodox Church in what is now known as Ukraine goes back to 988 AD. Ukr “nazionalists” claim that this Church was always Ukr. But they have no proof. And that they need to split it off to form their own branch proves that it was never Ukr to start with. Also, we have Uniates and non-Orthodox driving the whole process. It is sad to see so many who are not part of this assimilated mob go along with it.

          Anyway, religion is the opium of the masses. Let the Ukrs pray themselves silly in their newly stolen churches. It won’t save them from their day to day reality of living in a failed state swirling the toilet bowl.


      2. Thanks again for reading my blog, Nat! I will probably do another religion story soon, with the updated news.
        It doesn’t look good for Russian religion; but looking on the bright side, Filaret probably will not get chosen as the Autocephalic Patriarch of Ukraine. Some kind of compromise may be reached, with a compromise hydrocephalic type person.

        The other possibility is that Russian Church will declare everybody else a heretic and splitter. Hey, why not? I mean, the Constantinople and Antioch churches only have tiny membership, since they reside in a Muslim nation.

        In other news, the Romanov Tsars had, as part of their job description, Protector of Eastern Orthodoxy and all Christian believers. As a modern secular state (is it?) this is not part of Putin’s mandate (or is it??), therefore he should not worry his pretty little head (or should he???)


  24. 66 today!

    I thought he was younger.

    He’s almost as old as me!

    Keep gooin’ wi’ yed deown, oewd tayteh! — as my old workmates would have said back in that other time and other place.

    trans. Keep going with [thy] head down, old potato!


    1. Apparently Nut&Yahoo called and blagged himself another visit to Moscow. Lots of claims made by N&Y in the I-sraeli press. Nothing from the Russian side.


    2. Moscow. 7 Oct. INTERFAX.RUthe address of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin received numerous congratulatory messages and telegrams from heads of States and governments of foreign countries, heads of international organizations, reports on Sunday the press-service of the Kremlin.

      According to the report, a number of leaders, particularly the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoev the President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbai Jeenbekov, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu personally congratulated Putin on the phone.

      Sweet FA from EU heads of state and the idiot in Washington.


  25. In Belgrade today, Stoltenberg has explained to the Serbs why NATO bombed them:

    Генсек НАТО объяснил сербам причины бомбардировок Югославии
    7 октября 2018, 14:09

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on October 7 in Belgrade that NATO conducted the bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999 with the aim of protecting the civilian population against the regime of President Slobodan Milosevic.

    “I said that we did this to protect the civilian population and prevent further actions of the Milosevic regime”, said Stolberg.

    He also stressed that his most important message was the need to”look to the future”.

    I am sure those Serbs appreciate the great concern NATO had for their well-being.


    1. Sound familiar? It’s the old western elitist argument – Nobody could have foreseen this. This is no time for finger-pointing. We all have to work together to solve the problem.


    2. That’s really shameful – even for NATO. Stoltenberg knows perfectly well that NATO deliberately, contrary to various Geneva Conventions, targeted civilian infrastructure. Tony Blair is on record ‘celebrating’ this – he vigorously supported the bombing of the Serbian TV station which killed many civilians including such enemies of the civilised world as make-up ladies. It all began in Yugoslavia – the whole R2Protect nonsense. The West got away with it there and this facilitated the attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and, waiting in the wings, Iran.


      1. NATzO “double tapped” the TV station with its Tomohawks. They sent another round 15 minutes later to kill the emergency responders. NATzO bombed a passenger train as it was crossing a bridge. It claimed the train was collateral damage and produced a sped-up video meant to convince the NATzO consumer sheeple that poor NATzO pilots didn’t have time to react. The fuckers had no business bombing every civilian bridge in Serbia in the first place. It wasn’t WWII but some illegal “policing” operation. NATzO also bombed Nis with cluster bombs. Human Rights Watch and the rest of the phony NATzO “human rights organizations” couldn’t be bothered to complain. But they claimed use of cluster weapons as grotesque war crimes in 2008 in South Ossetia (no such weapons were used and the fuckers showed a spent Israeli casing as “proof”, i.e. it was Georgian forces that used them).

        But the main achievement of NATzO is to be the air force of the UCK terrorists and enabled the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo i Metohija of hundreds of thousands of Serbs. Before WWII, Albanians were 30% of the population of this province and have zero claim on it as some ancestral land. Albanians love to cite Roman sources as supposedly proving that they lived there for 2000+ years. This is BS and they migrated to the Balkans like basically every other ethic group there (the Dacians, now Romanians, and Greeks have been there the longest). Romans also recorded that the lands they observed occupied were empty at later times. The 1800th century concept of nation was totally alien even 1000 years ago.


        1. Tito allowed/induced Albanians to live in Kosovo as part of a concerted anti-Serb campaign. He was the West’s greatest political success in post WW II (assuming Gorbachev was not an agent of the West).

          Serbia gave the SU the break it needed to survive and eventually defeat the West in WW II. They gave Russia the break it needed to survive and to eventually defeat the West in the 21st century.

          I hope that Russia will help Serbia to recover its history and its independence.


    1. An unexpected note of optimism in a sea of manufactured despair. Of course there is no reason to listen to Eric Krause – he only lives there, and cannot be expected to ‘know’ Russia the way invertebrate twats like Luke Harding know it.

      We said here – well , at the old blog, actually – as far back as 5 years ago that driving Russia and China together was the worst mistake the west has ever made in a cavalcade of errors which were uniformly designed to let the west feel superior, let it smirk down on Russia from its lofty heights.

      Forgive me for being so arrogant as to quote myself;

      Closer strategic ties between China and Russia spell bad news for the western alliance, somewhere down the road. And it didn’t have to be that way. Russia has offered its hand to the west more than once, and had it made known in no uncertain terms that it would never, never be accepted as an equal partner. At best, it might make the status of trusted lackey, provided it continued to reform itself in accordance with western ideation and to “choose” its leaders according to western diktat. It would have to develop a thick hide in order not to become aggrieved by the limitless scorn poured upon it for its “slow progress”, and to say “Yup, yup, I’m a failure” at every juncture so as to cater to the western personal image of infinite superiority and rightness. In short, it could forget about national pride, and learn that when visiting western countries it would be advisable, if asked the origin of the accent, to pretend to be Polish or Czech or something not so permanently tainted as Russian.


      1. No forgiveness needed, Mark.

        When you’re right, you’re right. I think it was a fellow Canadian (JK Galbraith) who pointed out that “modesty is an overrated virtue.”


  26. Vis the Dutch push for a new sanctions regime for Human Rights abusers, apart from global sponsors of islamic terrorism who also happen to have $$$, the obvious takeaway that only just occurred to me is that the push for a European Magnitsky Act must have failed. This is exactly the same thing, they just dropped the name. The EU is not united and I don’t see the Netherlands as having enough influence in the EU without the UK.


    1. I be go to hell; you’re right. If there were even lukewarm enthusiasm for it, the British papers would be shouting it to the skies in an effort to develop momentum. There must have been a decisive exhibition of non-interest. Hopefully the rest of Europe will perceive this as you did – a European Magnitsky Act under another name.


  27. This is true across Eastern Europe, where they have become a place for Western corporations to dump defective and lower quality products for the same or higher prices.


    1. They remind me of a group of isolated natives into whose midst a pilot has parachuted, and who is subsequently worshiped as their God. I can just see them scampering around shouting “We have American trains!! Ya boo, Russia, you stink!!”

      Borat country.


      1. I thought there might once have been a Hollywood movie about an American pilot whose plane is hit by Japanese bombers. He parachutes onto an island in the South Seas and becomes a god to the islanders. Everything is fine and dandy for decades until one year when the rains don’t fall as usual, the crops fail and next thing you know the islanders turn on the fat old white god. Did Hollywood ever make such a film or have I seen too many films too quickly and got “The Wicker Man” (the original film with Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee and Britt Ekland) and “Apocalypse Now” mixed up? I suspect the latter but the idea sounds too good for Hollywood not to have made such a film.

        I did try Googling around and what I found was even more bizarre: a 20-year-old Japanese fighter pilot who died in a dogfight against US forces in 1944 is worshipped as the Chinese god General Flying Tiger in a town in southern Taiwan. When the pilot’s plane was hit, he steered it away from people’s homes and fishing ponds before crashing. In gratitude, and after experiencing strange visions of the pilot’s ghost, the villagers built a temple to the pilot and observe daily rituals in his honour.


    2. Instead of waking up and smelling the coffee the Ukr pinheads will just transmute this incident into a reason to hate Russians more. It will probably take several generations to bring some respect for reality in Ukr-land.


    3. Who needs brakes if you are constantly driving forward into the future?

      Same deal with Siegfried: the gods protected every part of his body except his back, because they knew he would never turn his back and run from a fight.
      Then his good friend Hagen sneaked up on him and stabbed him in the back… ooops!


  28. IntelNews: New clues may help locate lost intelligence files from 1938 French-British-Nazi pact

    October 1, 2018 by Joseph Fitsanakis

    Nearly 2,000 missing British intelligence files relating to the so-called Munich Agreement, a failed attempt by Britain, France and Italy to appease Adolf Hitler in 1938, may not have been destroyed, according to historians…

    More at the link.

    The UK government also claimed that they did not have the files relating to their backing of Kenyans who tortured and killed those taking part in the Mau Mau Rebellion. If I remember correctly, A dozen or so large files were discovered in a skip outside an MoD office that was being sold off.


    1. If so, it was a mistake to suggest the files may not have been destroyed before they were safely in non-partisan custody. The west has too much invested in preserving its Molotov-Ribbentrop indignation to allow for even the possibility of equivalency, and efforts to find any such files and destroy or discredit them will go into overdrive.


    2. Nothing unusual there.

      is a fantastic book and central to it is the author’s ingenious way to get round the systematic doctoring of official reports and first-hand accounts of WWI. One appendix has quite astonishing portraits of many of the leading players, one of which – that of the American Pershing – is almost comical in describing the disappearance of swathes of files bearing witness to his incompetence; so it’s not just the Brits.


  29. Abramovich’s ex-wife and kids living in Manhattan mansion owned by Russian tycoon Deripaska – report

    …According to the Post, the feds are also negotiating with Deripaska to have him give up some of his European-based assets in order to have them continue running unaffected by sanctions. Treasury officials have explained that when the government freezes assets, anyone who does business with a sanctioned person or company can also be subject to sanctions themselves…


    Mafia, Mafia everywhere,
    In your pants in your hair,
    Shakedown once, shakedown twice,
    This is the United States of Vice,

    Don’t give no shit, here or there,
    Our law’s the jungle, we don’t care,
    FY once, Fy twice,
    This is the the United States of Vice,

    Not that I give a shit about rich businesswo/men, but if the authorities say ‘We can make it go away if you hand over stuff, nudge nudge, wink wink‘ then you don’t need no stinkin’ law.


  30. Update on the Zaliv shipyard in Kerch (Crimea), Russian Federation that we covered some time ago. It seems to be quite busy!

    BMPD: Строительство кораблей для ВМФ России на судостроительном заводе “Залив” в Керчи

    На веб-ресурсе 5 октября 2018 года были выложены небезынтересные фотографии строительства боевых кораблей и вспомогательных судов для ВМФ России в сухом доке и на открытой стапельной площадке на ООО “Судостроительный завод “Залив” в Керчи (предприятие с конца 2014 года находится под управлением АО «Зеленодольский завод имени А.М. Горького», которое и является головным строителем заказов для ВМФ)…


    1. Indeed it does, occupied with several large projects and probably providing very well-paying jobs by Russian Federation standards. The best way to compel people’s loyalty is to offer them a decent living standard.

      A lesson completely lost on Kuh-yiv, apparently, where the already-flailing ship-repair and shipbuilding industry was further stricken by internally-imposed sanctions on the Shipping Register of Ukraine, responsible for marine safety. The aim – according to Sputnik, so take that for what it’s worth, although the source they cite is Ukrainian – is twofold. One, to harm Russia, since the Ukrainian Register is a subsidiary of the Russian. Two – again, very subjective and just one angry person’s opinion – so that Poroshenko can buy up the business once it is stricken and nearly worthless.


  31. “According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, Friday’s toll brings the total number of Palestinians killed to 197 and the number injured to at least 21,600 since the March of Return protests began on March 30. According to the United Nations, 77 Palestinians have required amputation, including 14 children and one woman, while 12 people have been left paralysed due to spinal injuries.

    The most powerful military force in the Middle East faces an impoverished and essentially unarmed population. In the most brutal and cowardly fashion, it is slaughtering civilians who have faced an economic siege, the destruction of their livelihoods, repeated bombardments, and military assaults over the last 11 years.

    Originally scheduled to finish on May 15, the date of the establishment of the state of Israel Palestinians mark as Nakba (Catastrophe) Day, weekly rallies have demanded the right of Palestinians to return to the homes from which their families were driven in 1948. Demonstrations have continued, with mid-week beach protests in northern Gaza and the launching of incendiary kites and balloons into Israel, sparking fires that have destroyed forests, burned crops, and killed livestock.”

    Were it the 60s…..
    But as most of us who are a little older must continue to remind ourselves…it is not


    1. Fair enough. Don’t say you weren’t warned, IDF – you have no airspace-penetration agreement with Syria, and an attack conducted from outside Syrian airspace is still an attack which entitles the defender to destroy the launch platform as well as any incoming missiles.


    2. All of those operations have so far served to assist the jihadis. Interesting how Israel is allied with supposedly Islamist scum that are supposed to hate Israel.


  32. In another stellar example of simply making up an optimistic headline that makes readers feel good – those readers who only read headlines, for example – a French analyst is apparently willing to go out on a limb and say that Nord Stream II ‘won’t be built as planned’. That’s already a little hedgy, but if you read the article itself, he doesn’t say anything remotely like that. In fact, he says Russian gas is the cheapest option, and most American LNG cargoes thus far to Europe are promptly sold on to someplace else where the Europeans can get more for it.

    The major issue is that US LNG may come if we have higher prices. But why would we need them? They are quite high already. If China is prepared to overbid us, we don’t need the American gas. We can ask for more Russian gas.


  33. Russia’s Energy Minister sees the potential to double Russian gas exports by 2035. Russia’s gas exports are growing by 6-7%/yr while global gas demand growth is at 2.6%/yr until 2035.

    Probably not the greatest news for the environment, as most analysts agree we need to start immediately moving away from a petroleum-based energy policy. But getting rid of all use of coal would be a good start for the present; gas is relatively clean, although I don’t know if that makes any real difference to greenhouse-gas emissions.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Where would we be without solid, honest citizen journalism like this? Bellingcat has passed the CIA, MI5, Scotland Yard and the FBI and never looked back. In fact, we have not heard Peep One from any of them since Bellingcat burst on the scene, and the British press goes straight to print from its reports, to hell with waiting for informed comment from the intelligence services or law enforcement.

        Come to think about it, what are their countries paying them for?


        1. I’m looking forward to the first Bellingcat spin-offs.

          Eliot Higgins – Special Invesigator featuring Tom Cruise…and introducing Sparky his lovable mongrel dog which miraculously survived the Salisbury Novichok Massacre and can sniff out GRU agents a mile away.


        2. And following temporary employment reviewing orders at a Leicester UK women’s underwear manufacturer, the unemployed Higgins then “dispensed with looking for another job so that he could devote himself to blogging full-time” and has now pogressed to being a senior fellow in the “Digital Forensic Research Laboratory” and the “Future Europe Initiative”, projects run by the Washington, D.C based “think tank” the “Atlantic Council”.

          Higgins hard at work researching

          A “kept man”? His wife must bring home the bacon then.

          Well, she would if she were not a Turk.

          The then 32-year-old Higgins started blogging about the civil war in Syria from his home as Brown Moses: “He had no formal intelligence training or security clearance that gave him access to classified documents. He could not speak or read Arabic. He had never set foot in the Middle East, unless you count the time he changed planes in Dubai en route to Manila, or his trip to visit his in-laws in Turkey”.

          As far as I am aware, he still has no credentials for his chosen field, albeit he is now a “fellow” of this and that. He has also since bursting into the bloggosphere considerably put on weight:

          Higgins belongs to an obsessive coterie of self-appointed military intelligence experts who use social media to piece together critical details of faraway conflicts, often well ahead of seasoned professionals. Frequently self-taught and operating far outside the military-industrial complex, these amateur analysts have honed a novel set of sleuthing skills that fuse old-fashioned detective work with new sources of intelligence generated by cell phone cameras and spread by social networks. Syria’s war, widely considered the most documented conflict in history, has turned social media into a weapon of mass detection — critical both for fighters on the ground and for faraway observers trying to make sense of the conflict.

          The mind boggles: he and his fellow “amateur analysts” are … often well ahead of seasoned professionals. Frequently self-taught and operating far outside the military-industrial complex!!!

          See: Inside The One-Man Intelligence Unit That Exposed The Secrets And Atrocities Of Syria’s War, by Bianca Boscar.

          Bianca Bosker is the Executive Tech Editor of the Huffington Post.

          Well who’d a-thowt!


          1. Once upon a time, nobody would dare to do what they are doing because of the danger of a ruinous lawsuit. But so long as he continues accusing the right people, the west will safeguard him from that as best it can. Maybe that’s the way to go. They’ve left themselves without a retreat, saying this and that are ‘confirmed’. Sue the outfit.

            Liked by 1 person

        1. Note how Bellingtwat states that it has “conclusively” established the real identity of Petrov on evidence gleaned from “multiple open sources” and “testimony from people familiar with the person” in question.

          How do they do this?

          First to the post again and well ahead of all the Western intelligence agencies, which are obviously understaffed with incompetents and not in possession of state-of-the-art means of gathering intelligence such as …. errrr, Facebook?


            1. I’m sick of Western European shite in general.

              A few days ago, that lying old slag May appeared on stage at the Conservative Party annual conference with Abba’s “Dancing Queen” playing in the bacground. May appeared to be trying to dance to the Abba hit. What a cupid old stunt!

              And yesterday at an EUSSR Brussels conference, EU chief-executive and piss-artist Juncker appears to have been possibly trying to take the piss out of that old, lying bag May’s gyrations:

              Enough is enough!

              Die Fahne hoch, die Reihen fest geschlossen?
              February 1943: German 6th Army dead, following the obliteration of that army at the Battle of Stalingrad..

              Last time the West tried.

              Better luck next time?


          1. Yes, their resources really do beat all, don’t they? Able to trawl through Russians’ private records at will, even those ominously marked, “Not for public release”. But then, they have lots of willing helpers inside Russia, which the western intelligence agencies officially have not. Makes you wonder how Russia can miss catching them, innit, considering the intertubes are strictly controlled in Russia and all their intelligence transactions are in the public domain? I mean, with their troll farms and all their snoopy organizations?


          2. Bellingcrap could have just mentioned its sources during the course of its article instead of proclaiming that it’s going to detail in another post to be supposedly published today (9 October 2018) the methodology it and The Insider Russia used and the information trail established. Perhaps a sign that Bellingcrap is starting to feel some pressure to lift its game to a level acceptable to its masters at The Atlantic Council?


    1. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. BellEndCat can only manage the former. Still, it’s good enough for the BBC who this morning spoke to a (former?) Georgian minister who was saying that if the West was united and stopped Russia from invading Georgia in 2008, then Ukraine, Crimea, Skripals etc. wouldn’t have happened, followed by BBC correspondent Norton who said that ‘was about right’.


    1. You can only blame so much on negligence and incompetence. I think the explanation that some such incidents are deliberate to cover inventory mismatches is likely to be the correct one.


      1. Yes I think the arson was deliberate so as to cover up theft of weapons and ammunition to sell on the black market or even ship to Syria or some other potential regime-change hotspot.


      2. The main problem I think is the age of the stocks. Explosives cannot be stored indefinitely in shoddy shacks. Perhaps they can last a long time if frozen. I recall incidents in Russia of explosions at storage facilities being attributed to age. There was also the case of the explosion of one of the main guns on a US destroyer attributed to very old powder.


        1. I don’t suppose the Ukies care very much if they are flogging defective ammunition to jihadis or wherever; it might be unreliable due to age, but ‘unreliable’ might mean one misfire in ten rounds. When you get into stuff like missiles, which have a propellant, that definitely has a shelf life, but powder and cordite are usually pretty long-lived.

          I think you mean the explosion inside the turret of the USS IOWA, last in commission of the IOWA class battleships. Those guns were the biggest at sea, 16-inchers and a wonder of mechanical engineering. I think they were the biggest ever except for a Japanese battleship which had eighteens. Anyway, they were a relic of a bygone age, and the shell still came in two parts. The projectile first, then gunpowder in silk bags rammed behind it. I think you will agree myriad things could go wrong with gunpowder in a cloth bag. Nonetheless, it was a very interesting case, as the Navy’s initial investigation determined the explosion was deliberate, caused by a jilted homosexual. The family made a big fuss, and a second investigation followed, which suggested ramming cloth bags of gunpowder around was probably not a very safe way to fire a gun which could throw a Volkswagen twenty miles. In neither case was it attributed to old powder, and IOWA was commissioned in 1943. Of course, that does not mean all her ammunition was that old, and probably the US Navy continued to order fresh charges made in that unorthodox-by-modern-standards manner right up to her final decommissioning in the 90’s.

          The point about age of the ammunition is a useful one, though, as the Ukies were shown before to have frequently stored shells just in piles in the open, with maybe a tarp spread over them or some totally inadequate arrangement like that, so that it is also quite possible it was a legitimate accident caused by stupid negligence. They do seem to have a lot of them, though, which argues in favour of suspicion.


          1. I read elsewhere after making my post that Buk missiles and their paperwork were destroyed in this fire. That smells of cover-up since Russia’s information about serial numbers and date of manufacture of Ukraine’s Buk missiles is central to the MH17 crime (perpetrated by Banderastan). By destroying its old stocks and their records, Banderastan destroys evidence.


  34. Yes, when it comes to the crunch, it’s often tough to decide where one’s loyalties should lie …

    Главный раввин России назвал ошибкой поставку Сирии С-300
    Еврейский священнослужитель отметил чувствительность этого вопроса для Израиля

    Chief Rabbi of Russia has said that supplying Syria With S-300s is a mistake
    Jewish cleric noted the sensitivity of this issue for Israel

    8 October, 2018

    Чемодан — Шереметьево — Иерусалим?


    1. Perhaps the Isreali leadership and its pilots should not engage in false flag baiting attacks on Russia. Them trying to provoke Russia into attacking the French frigate is not some misunderstanding. It is not only a stab in the back, it is an attempt to ignite a war between NATzO and Russia. The Israelis should be happy that Russia is still playing the neutral game and not fully supporting the anti-Israel camp.


  35. Breaking!

    Nikki Haley resigns as US ambassador to UN, reports say
    Sources say Donald Trump has accepted Haley’s resignation

    I have no doubt the replacement will be worse than her.

    I thought no one could be as bad as Samantha power until Nikki came along!!


        1. Or those who hate him – and they are legion – wanted her out, because if Trump wanted her out her replacement would already have been announced. I saw on one of those ‘sponsored content’ trash teaser clickbait headlines that it was going to be Ivanka, but not even Trump would do that. Although you never know – it’s not as if Haley brought any wealth of foreign-policy knowledge to the table, and she was mostly there to be a partisan spoiler of initiatives the USA did not want to pass. I suppose anyone could do that.



        …The new story pointing to an Ethernet hack is clearly intended to act as support for the original story but since the details are so different, and given that the entire report is single-sourced, it has had the opposite effect among security experts who have started to doubt the credibility of the original story.

        In addition, online sleuths have started digging into the reporters themselves and identifying previous errors in their reporting of security issues…


  36. Of course Nikki’s rolling credits would be the listing of the war criminals,thugs,psychos and ‘masters of the universe ‘nutjobs whose water she carried…


  37. Very cogent informed reaction to and analysis of the political and military aspects of this rapidly developing story:

    “Informed sources said: “Tel Aviv and Moscow have never ceased their regular coordination to monitor and avoid air incidents over the Levant. The downing of the Russian IL-20 and the death of all its 15 crewmen forced Israel to communicate its belligerent intentions much ahead of time to Russia, to put its jets and personnel in safety. Indeed, it was the downing of the IL-20 that speeded up Russia’s delivery of the long-awaited S-300 to Syria.

    Although Russia possesses high-frequency VHF, tracking systems and radar capable of detecting the F-35 and making it visible, it is another matter to shoot it down with the S-300. Russia’s answer to this theory? “Let the Israelis test our system and we shall see the results”. (LOL!!!) BTW…..In consideration of certain Stooges-who know who they are- I will restrict my use of “LOL” !!!!!!

    However, Israel can fly low, violating Lebanese airspace and avoiding Syrian radar so as to hit objectives in Syria from afar. To avoid this only too plausible scenario, Syria needs to establish a missile protected radar coverage on the eastern chain of mountains on its border with Lebanon, so as to be able to “see” all Israeli jets and the air movement above Lebanon and Israel at all times.”


    1. Low-level coverage for the S-300 is 25 meters. I don’t think you will find too many Israeli pilots willing to fly that low for a full intercept mission, and the attacking aircraft itself cannot see shit at that altitude. The most basic version of the missile can reach out and tap your ass at 47 km at that altitude, in flat terrain.

      Click to access asd_08_06_2015_dossier.pdf

      Although the Israelis’ Popeye cruise missile can be launched from ground level and has a maximum range about equivalent to that of the basic SA-10, its range at that altitude is basically line-of-sight unless it is receiving external targeting data from an airborne platform which is at a much higher altitude and can see farther. Unfortunately, that re-introduces the original problem.

      Additionally, this set of circumstances is tailor-made for a technique known as ‘SAMbush’, in which the S-300 radar goes active to make the attacking aircraft dive for cover…taking them into the coverage of a different system (such as Pantsir) which is optimized for low-level detection and engagement, but whose location was unknown up to that moment. Jen alludes to something like this.

      As someone mentioned elsewhere, the real test is for Israel to come on out and give it a try. You gotta ask yourself a question – do I feel lucky?

      Well, DO ya, punks?


  38. CBC News: The National
    Published on 8 Oct 2018
    The National goes undercover to investigate some of Apple’s controversial business practices including allegations of overpriced repair charges and the battery/slowdown scandal.


  39. Reporting it like it is …

    Alexander Mishkin, the second man accused of involvement in the Skripal assassination plot, was likely to have been sent on the mission because he was a trained doctor capable of providing an antidote in case the novichok attack went wrong, according to security sources.

    Dr Mishkin, like the GRU colleague who travelled with him to Salisbury, was made a ‘Hero of the Russian Federation’ with Vladimir Putin personally presenting him with the award, according to the investigative website Bellingcat.

    Second Skripal suspect likely sent to Salisbury to administer novichok antidote, security sources say
    ‘We know that novichok exposure needs immediate antidote so it makes eminent sense to have a military doctor, who is also a trained GRU operative, who can play his part in the operation’


    1. The ‘antidote’ to nerve-agent exposure is atropine, which is broadly marketed to world defense forces in an auto-injector. Your medical expertise in dispensing it is to remove the protective cap, and strike it against your thigh in the muscle, point-first – the internal spring does the rest, right through your clothing. We used to practice it regularly in NBCD training, except the fluid in training injectors is just water. Some crybaby pointed out the needle might pick up a fragment of cloth on its way in, and cause an infection, so we stopped doing it with real needles, and now you just get a thump against your leg from the spring.

      Military forces are also trained to administer atropine to stricken comrades who were overcome before they could react. Just be sure to give him his own atropine and not yours, and push the needle through his pocket-flap afterward and then bend it over, so that anyone happening on the scene after you have left will know he has already been given atropine and not administer another dose. Atropine overdose causes its own set of problems.

      I think it’s pretty clear that it does not ‘make eminent sense’ to have a ‘qualified military doctor along in case something went wrong with the Novichok’, since anyone can administer Atropine and there is an enormous worldwide base of soldiers and ex-soldiers who could do it as well as anyone else. Horseshit piled on top of horseshit.


      1. For some bizarre reason this UK fairy tale requires many Russians. One isn’t enough to smear some alleged top secret nerve agent on a door knob (at least in one of the dozens of contradictory theories spewed by Scotland Yard). Wearing gloves (e.g. store bought nitrile ones which would stop this poison, unlike latex ones) is clearly considered too much intellectual effort for Russian untermenschen and they need a doctor to tag along. This fictional doctor claim is patently absurd. A doctor without hospital facilities is nothing but a paramedic and as you rightly describe no such person is needed to administer atropine.

        The average media sap in the UK and NATzO apparently can’t be bothered to do any thinking. The best assassination plot would involve only a single agent and not a handful. Even freaking video games have the lone assassin meme repeated. One agent could also have a well established cover story. A gang of assassins would essentially be evidence against itself. A whole specially designed bottle of nerve agent is ridiculous and unnecessary. And having it disposed of in a way that it can be found by some homeless junkies is simply not credible. Don’t they have sewer grates in the UK?


  40. AP via Russia to resume gas imports from Turkmenistan

    …Gazprom chief Alexei Miller said in televised remarks while visiting Turkmenistan that the company expects to start buying gas from the Central Asian country starting Jan. 1.

    Miller said he discussed the prospect of renewed imports with Turkmen officials on Tuesday, but volumes and other details are yet to be worked out.

    Russia was the main importer of Turkmenistan’s gas before it stopped buying it at the start of 2016 amid a slump in global prices, citing alleged contract violations. ..


  41. The Duran
    Published on 10 Oct 2018
    The Duran – News in Review – Episode 129.

    The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the increasing row between Ukraine and Hungary, which pits the US backed ‘Maidan coup’ government of Petro Poroshenko against the ‘Brussels defiant’ government of Hungarian leader Viktor Orban.


      1. Both Hungary and Western Ukraine were pro-Nazi during the war. The current row brings up what Marx and Lenin would call a “contradiction” among former allies. Namely, the issue of nationalism.
        This issue is otherwise known as the “Paradox of the Nationalist International” !!

        As a thought experiment, imagine a conference of rabid nationalists from different nations. They are trying to get together to form an international political party. The only thing they can all agree on is that Hitler was a great guy. Aside from that one point:

        “My country is better than yours!”
        “No! My language is more beautiful than yours!”
        “No, it’s not!”
        “You liar!”

        (etc etc)


    1. Delicious. A particularly tasty morsel:

      So hysterical accusations were being levelled at the Syrian government, in an attempt to engineer immediate air strikes, on the basis of irrelevant evidence, at a time when the people doing this really ought to have known that relevant evidence – tests on ‘environmental’ samples – would shortly become available.

      When however it was acknowledged that this evidence had become available, the only use to which it was put was to vindicate the – irrelevant – conclusion that sarin had been used: nothing was said about what it had established, or might establish, about who had used it.

      Science? We don’t need no steenking science.


  42. A suspected third member of the Kremlin hit squad behind the Salisbury nerve agent attack has been named, according to a respected Russian news website.

    Sergey Fedotov, 45, travelled to the UK on the same day as the two assassins already charged by British authorities – and boarded the same flight home.

    The Telegraph had previously reported the existence of a third member of the Russian intelligence hit squad and a trawl of flight records by the Fontanka news agency matched it to Fedotov.

    According to Fontanka, Fedotov flew to the UK on a passport whose number differs by only a few digits from those used by the two GRU military intelligence agents officially wanted for the nerve agent attack.

    It is almost certain Fedotov is not the passenger’s real name but an alias. No traces of Sergei Fedotov have been found in documentary databases or on social media. He has no property, vehicles or telephone numbers registered to his name in Russia, according to Fontanka.


    No “alleged”in “Kremlin hit squad behind the Salisbury nerve agent attack but It is almost certain Fedotov is not the passenger’s real name but an alias.

    Highly likely indeed!


    1. The passport number angle is ludicrous. They are insinuating that “GRU” (no such named agency exists in Russia) agents get passports with numbers in lots. That is, it is easier to tag them based on the proximity of their passport numbers. The UK self-fancying ubermenschen are being retarded and not smart with this BS.


    2. Don’t forget, the fourth member of the assassination squad has to be a woman who loves Nina Ricci perfumes and has a habit of leaving them behind in parks while still half-full.


      1. And rather than just carry it around in her handbag, where a small bottle of perfume would be unobtrusive and expected, she instead carries it around in its bulky packaging, still intact, and disposes of it that way.


    3. From what I read, the Russian passports are issued by geographical districts. And sometimes people only bother to get a new passport (if they lost their old one) if they decided to make a trip. It could just be a coincidence that a third Russian from the area of Moscow applied for and got a passport with numbers close to those of P&B. It would help if these British accusers actually provided the number, so we internet sleuths could judge for ourselves just how close the digits are!


  43. Link to an interesting article about declassified CIA documents on labour camps in the Soviet Union during the 1950s:

    I linked to the Lifeboat News paste because it may be easier for some people to read but if you want to read the original article, here it is:—Surprisingly-Revealed-by-the-CIA

    As we might have suspected already, the gulags were not nearly so horrible as Western news media outlets made them out to be in the past.


    1. If you have read Solzhenitsyn’s “In the First Circle” — which is partially autobiographical — the basic premise of the story is that he has voluntarily left the privileged camp (where he was supposed to do an engineering work) to a common camp where he would do physical labor. He did that so that he would be free to write. Not to write in a traditional sense — he couldn’t write a manuscript of course — but he composed parts of his novels, memorized them and occasionally recited them to keep them fresh in his memory. From that anecdote we can see that at least the Gulag camps were supposed to be survivable.


    2. Thanks for posting this interesting piece, Jen.

      “During the period from 1921 to the present time for counterrevolutionary crimes were convicted 3,777,380 people, including to capital punishment – 642,980 people to the conent in the camps and prisons for a period of 25 years old and under – 2,369,220 into exile and expulsion – 765,190 people.

      “Of the total number of convicts, approximately convicted: 2,900,000 people – College of OGPU, NKVD and triples Special meeting and 877,000 people – courts by military tribunals, and Spetskollegiev Military Collegium.

      “It should be noted… that established by Decree … on November 3, 1934 Special Meeting of the NKVD which lasted until September 1, 1953 – 442,531 people were convicted, including to capital punishment – 10,101 people to prison – 360,921 people to exile and expulsion (within the country) – 57,539 people and other punishments (offset time in detention, deportation abroad, compulsory treatment) – 3,970 people…”

      I think these numbers prove a point that I have made numerous times, namely that the Stalinist repressions (putting aside the mixing of political prisoners with regular criminals, which muddies up the numbers) were mainly directed at Stalin’s political rivals, and not at ordinary people.
      And that shills like Solzhenitsyn were simply making a lot of shit up, to support the Westie narrative.
      I have no tolerance for the Stalin adulators and Furries either (Stalin was a mean person and overall jerk), but the facts are more on their side, than on the other.

      I took some criticism on my blog for calling the Stalin repressions “Office Politics on Steroids”, but in essence that is what they were. Here, by the way, is another interesting article I saw recently on the repression and execution of Nikolai Bukharin, still another one of the Old Bolsheviks who got in Stalin’s way:


  44. Only yesterday I was working here at ExxonMobil, whose Moscow HQ is situated slap-bang next to the US embassy. Whilst waiting for my client to turn up, I started reading a well-made, luxuriously bound coffee-table volume, filled with glossy pages of wonderful photographs and published by that company about its Sakhalin venture.

    The foreword was written by the ExxonMobil CEO. It started thus:

    Sakhalin Island, where the tsar’s labor camps were situated and which were so graphicaly described by Chekov …

    Welcome to Russia, arseholes!



    “Trust in Vladimir Putin and Russia’s ruling party have declined steeply over the past year with analysts pointing to the government’s controversial pension changes as the main reason.”

    It would be interesting to know if the parties who opposed the changes have seen a rise in their popularity.


    1. I suppose they expect that to translate to a steep decline in votes for Putin and United Russia, because the hopeful always see mathematics as a simple equation. Once again, the ‘controversial’ changes are no more than what prevails in progressive western democracies, and often less. The appointment of a pro-western progressive liberal party would therefore not result in a return to the old beloved and still-unsustainable pension policies. The change is here to stay, while electing a pro-western government would very likely result in submission and toadying to the west. I’m pretty sure Russians are not ready for that.

      But don’t take my word for it. Invest lots of hopey-changey – and money – backing fringe parties with the object of knocking Putin out of the leadership slot. And be disappointed as usual. It’ll make me look psychic.


  46. 8.10.2018

    Levada Centre


    Менее чем за год доверие к Владимиру Путину как к политику снизилось на 20 процентных пунктов, следует из свежего опроса «Левада-центра»: в ноябре 2017 г., перед началом президентской кампании, этот показатель составлял 59%, а в сентябре 2018 г. – 39%. Из них 9 процентных пунктов он потерял между июнем и сентябрем.

    Разочаровались россияне и в других прежних фаворитах: рейтинг министра обороны Сергея Шойгу упал с 23 до 15%, министра иностранных дел Сергея Лаврова – с 19 до 10%. А вот доверие к премьеру Дмитрию Медведеву держится: 10 против 11% год назад.

    Одновременно с 7 до 13% вырос рейтинг недоверия к Путину: тут он впервые поднялся на третье место, уступив лишь Медведеву (рост за год с 19 до 31%) и лидеру ЛДПР Владимиру Жириновскому (20% против 18% в ноябре 2017 г.).

    То же наблюдают социологи и в динамике доверия к государственным и общественным институтам: институт президента вполне заслужил доверие у 58% респондентов (против 75% в 2017 г.), и в этом рейтинге главу государства впервые опередила армия (66%).


    In less than one year, confidence in Vladimir Putin as a politician has decreased by 20 percentage points, according to the latest “Levada-Centre” survey. In November 2017, before the beginning of the presidential campaign, that figure was 59%, and in September 2018 – 39%: between June and September, he lost 9 percentage points.

    Russians have been disappointed in other former favourites: the rating of Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu fell from 23 to 15%; Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s rating fell from 19 to 10%. But confidence in Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev still holds: 10% against 11% a year ago.

    At the same time, the rating of distrust towards Putin rose from 7 to 13% and for the first time he has fallen to 3rd place [in poularity ratings], falling behind Medvedev (an increase from 19 to 31% over the year) and LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky (20% against 18% in November 2017).

    Sociologists have observed the same as regards the dynamics of trust in state and public institutions: the Institute of the President earned the trust of 58% of respondents (against 75% in 2017), and in this rating the head of state was for the first time ahead of the army (66%).

    No doubt Navalny and his kiddies’ army and libtard cohorts are readying themselves for their taking over the reins of government as soon as the monstrous tyrant has been overthrown and is seen swinging from a Red Square lampost.

    I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
    Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot;
    Follow your spirit: and upon this charge,
    Cry — God for Washington, the Great Hegemon and Loadsa Lolly!!!!


    1. I doubt it; it sounds to me that what they hope for is a Medvedev presidency; that distressed Putin will do another swap-out with Medvedev in order to preserve United Russia’s dominance. They could work with Medvedev; they like him, and they had the example of another Putin term to let absence make the heart grow fonder.


      1. The Levada article you posted is actually not a Levada article. It’s an article from Vedomosti that Levada’s website re-posted (you can see the mention “Original here” at the bottom of the page). I looked for that statistic on the Levada website for the 39% in September 2018, and so far I couldn’t find it. The latest Levada survey (September 2018) shows an approval rating of 67%. It is an approval rating (ОДОБРЕНИЕ ДЕЯТЕЛЬНОСТИ ВЛАДИМИРА ПУТИНА) an not a trust rating (доверия) as mentioned in the Vedomosti article, so probably the data is different, but I’m not finding this trust rating on the Levada website.


        1. This is from Levada Centre, 08.10.2018:

          The survey was conducted 20 – 26 September 2018 on a representative nationwide sample of urban and rural populations of 1,600 people aged 18 years and older, in 136 villages, 52 subjects of the Russian Federation, the research conducted ina respondent’s home by means of a personal interview. Distribution of answers given in percentage of the total number of respondents, together with data from previous surveys.

          The statistical error in the sample of 1600 people (with probability 0.95) does not exceed:

          3.4 per cent for indicators close to 50%
          of 2.9% for the indicators close to 25% / 75%
          2.0% for indicators close to 10% / 90%
          1.5% for indicators close to 5% / 95%

          PLEASE NAME 5-6 POLITICIANS, PUBLIC FIGURES WHOM YOU TRUST THE MOST? (open question – respondents call THEMSELVES leaders, whom they trust; ranked in descending order by September 2018)

          Nov. 2017 Jun. 2018 Sept. 2018
          Putin V. 59 48 39
          Zhirinovsky V. 14 14 15
          Shoigu S. 23 19 15
          Lavrov 19 14 10
          D. Medvedev 11 9 10
          Zyuganov G. 10 7 8
          P. Grudinin – 7 4
          Sobyanin S. 3 4 4
          navalny A. 2 2 3
          Mironov S. 4 2 2
          Not interested in politics 1 1 1
          No such 14 21 18
          Difficult to answer / don’t know / no answer 11 12 18

          [my stress]


          1. The numbers do not add up. So Levada is either putting out crap or its website got hacked.

            59+14+23+19+11+10+7+3+2+4+1+14+11 = 178

            39+15+15+10+10+8+?+4+3+2+1+18 = 125 + ?

            Unless Grudinin went from 7 to 4 to 53 and they are not reporting percents, these poll numbers are BS. Note that the total for each column must add up to the same number since there is a “no such” category and Levada does not allow the people being polled to assign weights, just to rank them. If the columns do not sum to the same number, then the algorithm is meaningless. The “no such” category MUST grow to offset all the support loss for the names given in the list. The formula for this sum of this category and the number for each name must equal 100 (or any other number as long as it is the same, but here they are talking insinuating percentage so the it must be 100).


            1. I am not sure how they calculated the data in the table. The numbers are percentages and if anything, all numbers in one column should add to less than 100 (they mentioned politicians who got less than 2% weren’t listed) so I don’t understand how it sums up to more than 100.

              It’s also interesting to see where the 20 points that Putin lost went. Logically, if people don’t mention him in their list of 5-6 people, it means someone else (or many others) are getting mentioned more. Yet everyone on that list either lost points as well or maintained, and the ones not on the list got less than 2%. So where did his lost points, and Shoigu’s/lavrov’s/ lost points go? The only category that increased is “didn’t answer/didn’t know”. Navalny, Zhirinovsky, and Sobyanin got 1% more each, and Grudinin who wasn’t on the list in 2017 since he was unknown before the presidential election got 4% now. Still not enough points to absorb the “lost” points. The increase in the “didn’t answer/don’t know” category that it is also more a case of people ignoring/not answering the survey (not trusting Levada?) than a case of loss of trust of any one politician. I wonder why Levada didn’t ask “Do you trust ” with answers (I completely trust him, I moderately trust him, I distrust him, I completely distrust him, I don’t care, etc), that would much better represent a trust rating.


            2. Kirill, I don’t even think people were asked to rank them. To me, with the “;” punctuation mark, the sentence reads as the data presented in the table is ranked in a descending order, not the people named politicians in a descending order. “открытый вопрос – респонденты САМИ называют деятелей, которым они доверяют; ранжировано по убыванию по сентябрю 2018 года) “.

              And they are not just insinuating percentage, they clearly stated it: “Распределение ответов приводится в процентах от общего числа опрошенных”, which I think explains why it adds up to more than 100%. percentages are taken out of the total number of surveyed people (so 1600 people) not the total number of answers (which should be something less than 1600*6 since not everyone answered and you can give 5 or 6 answers). For example, if only 2 people were surveyed and they are asked to choose only 2 public figures they trust, if both people cite Putin in their list but only one cites Lavrov and the other one lists Shoigu, then Putin gets 100% while Lavrov and Shoigu get 50%, adding to 200%. If percentages were calculated out of the total number of answers, Putin would get 50%, Lavrov and Shoigu 25% each, which adds to the expected 100%. I think this explains the totals in the Levada table. As for the total of each column not being equal, they didn’t list people who got less than 2%, so we can’t “complete” the sum to compare.


              1. I understand all the wonderful possibilities, but what is the point of a poll where one has to guess at the algorithm used? At best, this thing is misleading. For example, the drop from 59 to 39 for Putin could in fact have nothing to do with his absolute level of support. The other poll mentioned above is a much clearer one and indicates that 67% would be OK with Putin running again. To me this is much more evidence of support than some bizarre ranking game where all sorts of permutations can result that are mathematically degenerate.


            3. Yep, completely agree -it’s meaningless garbage. Unrepresentative and month by month polls are fairly irrelevant because people are only going to be strongly in favour or against things either during an election buildup or after a serious event ( a staggered pension age increase that people can opt out of in the overlapping years is not one of these, particularly in a country whose life expectancy has massively increased)

              The base of the anti-authorities/anti-VVP commentary is from the Moscow/SP kreakleariat …but which region just had it’s mayor reelected with one of the highest election results in the country….Moscow city ,with Sobyanin himself a serious contender for the next President

              Also worth noting that the “dont know/undecided” category went almost exclusively for Putin throughout the country in the Presidential election this year. The 76% that he got was very much a surprisingly high number


          2. Please note that Navalny’s rating has increased while Putin’s has plummeted. The electorate obviously yearns for Navalny’s leadership, while only the Kemlin’s menace prevents the people from coming into the streets in their millions.


            1. Navalny’s rating nearly doubled!!! He had a 50% increase in just one year, a meteoric rise from 2% to 3%! By this rate, I understand better why his target “electorate” has to be teenagers, he’s got plenty of time for them to become voters before he reaches anywhere near Putin’s rating.


        2. Even if it were, it is not a very reliable barometer of how people will vote. Opinion pollsters in Russia like to work in all sorts of emotions to show that the voters are fed up with Putin and are ready for him to go, and that’s simply not the case, nor is the actual situation anything close to it. And then they get all excited and think they’re on to something big, and are ultimately disappointed time after time. It’s because their disingenuous research keeps telling them what they want to hear.


          1. The Levada Centre used to received between 3 and 1.5% of its total budget from abroad. In 2013 it was issued with a public warning that it would be eligible for listing as a “foreign agent” under the recently passed Russian foreign agent law. Levada said it suspended foreign funding in 2013. [Wiki}

            Russia’s Levada Centre polling group named foreign agent
            5 September 2016

            Foreign agent?

            What utter nonsense!

            Totally unbiased – just like the BBC!


  47. Soyuz rocket carrying crew to ISS malfunctions during launch

    …But the booster suffered an apparent malfunction some 119 seconds after liftoff, forcing the crew to make a split second decision to separate from the rocket and quickly abort their space odyssey….

    …The crew, both alive and unharmed, made a dramatic ‘ballistic re-entry’ in Kazakhstan. ..


    1. I was just reading about that story in VZGLIAD .
      It notes that for the American astronaut Tyler “Nick” Hague, this was to be his first trip into space.

      One of the commenters to the article notes sarcastically that “After what happened, he probably won’t want another one, but thank God everybody is still alive!”


        1. Most certainly! And after the years of training that he endured for this opportunity, I am guessing that Tyler will want another go at it, despite this temporary setback.


  48. US senators demand Magnitsky Act probe, sanctions on Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi disappearance


    All kinds of delicious can proceed from this.

    The whole Magnitsky Act thing was supposed to be a convenient tool of western foreign policy cloaked in Human Rights sugar to justify punished the usual suspects ad perpituitam, not for attacking allies. It looks like some US politicians actually think it is about human rights! They’ll need to practice their best acting to explain why some are on the list and others aren’t, along with compliant media and governments.

    What we are seeing now are the consequences of classic imperial over-reach – extending one’s power so far and so generally that it hoists itself upon its own petard! The implosion of the USA continues afoot, Hillary Clinton being one of its cheerleaders (according to her recent Amappaling interview).

    Trump is also promising a rapid USG reaction to India buying S-400s, so it really is time to stock up on the popcorn. I knew for sure that this year would certainly be more interesting than last year, but 2019 should be a corker. Woo.


  49. SkyNudes: British student held in UAE on ‘spying charges’

    Matthew Hedges has been held in solitary confinement for five months and is suffering from depression and panic attacks.

    …The only communication he was allowed with the outside world were a single phone call to his mother, two visits from Foreign Office officials and one visit from his wife of nearly two years Daniela Tejada.

    On Wednesday, he appeared in the country’s state security court and was allowed to speak with a lawyer.

    The case was adjourned until 24 October.

    The charges against Mr Hedges have not been revealed but his wife said he was completing a PhD on Emirati security policies after the Arab Spring…

    Probably an ‘analyst’ for the British Security services rather than a Qatari spy (he spent his childhood there..). If he is the latter, then he is pretty stupid to risk going to the UAE in the first place. Note it says he is doing a Ph.D but no mention or speculation of other employment (i.e. he has time around his Ph.D to do ‘other things’ and it makes a plausible deniable cover ).

    Still, several take-aways from this: 1) Why has this been made public now? – looks like behind closed doors discussions have got nowhere and that they have lifted the D-Notice embargo on the British Press; 2) If UK gov had admitted he was one of theirs, then he probably wouldn’t have spent so long in jail, which leads to 3) Is keeping out of the Qatar/UAE spat worth the price of leaving one of your own in the shit? 4) so yet again, western entanglements in the Middle East are causing it pain with its allies – it’s almost as if they conclude that spending $$$/EUR gives them a carte blanche! Who needs allies like these?


    1. Of course in the totalitarian bubble of the NATzO MSM it is not allowed that this fugitive has real concerns about his safety since NATzO has lots of incentive to kill people like him in its war on Russia. Every inane possibility is given more weight than the most likely.

      This article is basically blame the victim excrement. Anything that makes the UK and rest of NATzO look bad has to be whitewashed to maintain the propaganda bubble of delusion.


    2. So the UK Home Office ‘lost his papers’ when he was in Croatia and then sent out (probably) a European Arrest Warrant or and Interpol Red Notice. As the article pointed out, such actions are usually taken against actual terrorists who also have their British citizenship cancelled whilst they are abroad.

      So, I think it is fairly clear that the UK deal for dodgy oligarchs residing in the UK is ‘you can do more or less what you like except when we decide otherwise and particularly with regards to any potential relations you have with Moscow. Though oligarchs have the appearance of freedom, they are in fact living in the UK under a redefineable bond, in short – an open air prison. It looks like many of them are quite happy with that. They can be kicked out, investigated or have their property taken at any time, after due legal process of course! That being they’ll give residency to anyone who is rich enough and not look to closely how that happened, but under the UK’s new law they can now demand proof of where that money comes from and if not show, can seize assets (story posted up the page). The thing with stupidly rich people is that they can take their money and live elsewhere. If the UK starts to look less like the World’s capital for laundering criminal proceeds, then it will lose out. So, the right results, arrived at by short term political gain, i.e. accident.


  50. Trump has little or no time to address the monstrous horrific fate of Khashoggi…which has potential implications with geopolitical reverberations…all grim and likely to further destabilize
    the planet’s international relations.

    “Khashoggi chose to avoid imprisonment through self-imposed exile in the US, where he was given a column in the Washington Post and initiated the process of becoming a US citizen. He used the column to criticize Mohammed bin Salman from a standpoint reflecting the divisions within the royal family itself. Most recently, he wrote a condemnation of the war waged by the Saudi regime against Yemen, an intervention initiated by MBS.

    Despite his prominence, the Trump administration has been extremely reticent to call any attention to Khashoggi’s disappearance, waiting a week to make any statement. Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday that he knew “what everybody else knows—nothing” about the journalist’s fate. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement calling on the Saudi monarchy to support a “thorough investigation” of its own crime.

    It appears, however, that the US government was well informed of Saudi plans to eliminate Khashoggi, with the Washington Post reporting that before his disappearance, US intelligence had intercepted communications between Saudi officials revealing a plan to abduct the journalist.”

    BUT…Trump has time to give a prominently featured audience to this piece of rabid dogshit:


  51. @ME (I think)
    RE: Your pix of the German corpses piled at Stalingrad

    I didn’t realize that Von Paulus had ordered the murder of ALL the civilians in Stalingrad.


      1. Both Jen and Moscow Exile making excellent comments on that Off-Guardian piece.
        However, I have to say that my favorite comment was this one, by Yarkob, in response to the question “Where is Matt?”

        “matt is either higgins himself, or his mum. i’ve used crowd-sourced intelligence to come to that conclusion. oh, and i watched some great 70s spy shows. i can’t remember their names, though. just go with it.”


      2. I certainly don’t. He’s been back a couple of times, always trying to get that single comment approved that will allow him an entry point. After that, it’d be just like before – people forget how easily he dominated a discussion, because it became all about telling Matt off and pointing out where he was wrong. We only talked about what he wanted to talk about, and no new avenues or discussions opened up – it was always about how Carlos the mystery ATC is a fake, or new proof that Russia sneaked a Buk launcher into Ukraine and shot down MH17 and then sneaked it out again, and how Bellingcat’s evidence is irrefutable and so forth, over and over, once in awhile a return to the beneficial regime-changing of the Maduro government. You know and I know that Ukraine shot down MH17, and the western democracies – principally the USA, UK, Netherlands, France, and maybe Germany, Australia and Canada – helped Ukraine cover it up so thoroughly that the truth will probably never be exposed. But he would triumphantly quote sources like Meduza, or ideological American think-tanks, and brush aside any contradictory sources as those ‘everyone knows are bogus’. How are you supposed to reason with that? He is a western ideologue himself, and for him the west can really do no serious wrong, while the western plan for things is the path to a good life for everyone who matters. Everyone else is collateral damage. Therefore spending an inordinate amount of time painstakingly constructing a rebuttal only to get the response, “XXX is a well-known source of disinformation”, when contradictory narratives in English are already difficult to find, was just time wasted. And when he got tired of argument at that level, he was quite happy to move it into kindergarten territory and make fun of peoples’ appearance in order to generate anger and fragmentation.

        I don’t mind disagreement, and I think it is clear we are perfectly able to tolerate it based on serious evidence. But Matt was here solely to be disruptive, and was never going to change his mind about anything because he was not here for constructive argument. He was just here to cause chaos, and I don’t miss him a bit.


        1. Off-Guardian is much more widely read and attracts a large range of commenters, most of whom are now wise to Matt’s tactics or are familiar with them from their own experience (because some of them are freelance writers or journalists themselves). Because Off-G is run by three or four individuals, a couple of whom must have had experience or training in media analysis and parsing arguments, they can tell where the weaknesses in Matt’s arguments are (usually his sources which rarely change) and expose them. They can afford to leave his comments as they are because a number of writers contribute articles (or Off-G repost articles from other blogs). In short, they have the resources that you as a lone author with a limited readership and commenter base don’t have.

          The usual reaction now among commenters at Off-G to Matt’s comments is to just jeer at them.


          1. Yes, recently offGuardian admin commented that Matt amazingly uses RL/RFE as a reliable source. Add to that Meduza and other like organizations and one can see that he is simply a propagandist who bludgeons sites with links to his dubiouos sources.


    1. Should be “recent driving licence crap” above.

      Yes, there are signs that Bellingcrap is now tarnishing. It’s titular head, Higgins, looks a gormless grinning chump with every passing day: witness his gauche appearance the other day on the green facing Westminster Palace.

      As this RI article points out:

      The media seems to be having a field day quoting Bellingcat as if it were now the official mouthpiece of The Metropolitan Police and the Government. Of course it may well be the official mouthpiece, only we can’t quite tell as The Met and HMG sneakily hide behind the claims instead of either confirming or denying them:

      “A spokesman for the Home Office said it would not comment as it was a police investigation.”

      “The Metropolitan Police said they would not comment on the ‘speculation’”.

      And “Stupid Boy” Williamson pulled his supportive and congratulatory Tweet on Bellingcat’s investigative prowess pretty damned quickly the other week, with no explanition given why he did so.

      Why did I do it? … Because I am a stupid twat and know sweet fuck all about anything, that’s why! Now shut up and go away!!!


      1. Yes, the investigative and law-enforcement fields have discovered a brilliant new tactic – a way to openly discuss theories about foreign-policy incidents and happenings while still preserving the official ‘no comment, the investigation is ongoing’ armor. Hardly anyone even approaches government agencies for their position any more, because so much exciting information is being ‘uncovered’ by Bellingcat. Where do you suppose they’re getting it – crawling, as I’ve mentioned before, with complete freedom through Russian government databases which should be protected and encrypted six ways from Sunday? Citizen journalists!! Of course. Plenty of time on their hands and nothing else to do but Google-Earth and compare shadows from bushes and so forth all day long. Not likely. Higgins is being fed all his breaking news on the Skripals by the UK government, which then reacts to it with amazement and shock; what an admirable racket. Just the sort of thing it is always criticizing other countries for; government propaganda, disinformation, lies on top of lies.

        Where is Sergey Skripal? Where is his daughter? Both supposedly alive and somewhere in the UK, but not seen for months by anyone. Remember the flap when supposedly nobody saw Putin for, what, ten days? He was secretly dead while the Russians frantically scrambled to cover it up, and I don’t know what-all. Sergey Skripal has not been seen since the supposed poisoning, although we are assured he is alive and recovering. His daughter emerged with a big shunt scar on her throat and about 30 pounds lighter, to give a bizarre ‘hands-off, Russia’ statement, and then disappeared. Correspondence supposedly generated by either of them could be coming from anyone.

        The whole story is so chaotic and improbable that if it been offered by anyone other than the UK, the UK would have laughed itself sick at it.


        1. I’ve been sort of assuming that Bellingcrap’s ‘source’ is the Russian government – that these ‘leaks’ super-sleuth Higgins keeps discovering are official ones. Russia is either trolling intending to produce Petrov/Boshiro plus the two people they’ve been identified as also being or there’s a game going on between the two governments that we don’t yet know about.


          1. That’s a possibility and Craig Murray at his blog said something similar, Bellingcrap’s source/s could be pranksters and trolls. Bellingcrap have been working with The Insider Russia on digging up the information on Anatoly Chepiga and Dr Alexander Mishkin and attaching their details to the photographs claimed to be of those two people. So the possibility is that both Bellingcrap and The Insider Russia are being trolled by whoever supplies them with the data, and both of them deservedly so.

            The other likely trolls, apart from the Russian government (not likely in my view) or Ali G / Borat-style comedians, could be Ukrainian-connected, either in Ukraine or in the Ukrainian diaspora.


  52. Vis the investigation against the rich Azeri woman in London via an ‘Unexplained Wealth Order’, Craig Murray points out that she is the wife of the only Azeri oligarch who has fallen out with the notoriously democratic and fair President of Azerbaijan. Now that’s an angle I would play up if it were me, to counter the UK Gov’s ‘We’re getting tough on foreign criminals coming here and laundering their money through London’ schtick.


    1. I’ve heard that most Uniates from the Carpathians were unaware that the churches they went to were in schism with the Orthodox churches. When it comes to Orthodox Christianity most people will passively accept any geopolitical realignment as long as other traditions are left alone. If Washington is looking for an Orthodox version of Salafism they will never find it. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church wields enormous autonomy from the MP, so it was never even used as an institution to influence Ukrainian society (except in the tiny brains of those who think “Gayrope” is a Russian conspiracy). Bart I and Filaret must both be desperate to make a deal with the literal Devil that is NATO.


      1. That’s an interesting point, cartman, that the believers themselves probably just go about their business of lighting candles and praying, and whatever else it is that they do, without really knowing that the guys in charge of their parish are Banderites.

        Maybe this whole brouhaha might educate some people, exactly whom they are dealing with.
        They think they are praying to Jesus and Mary, and looking up at the beautiful ikons, and unbeknownst to them, they are lighting candles for Stepan Bandera!


  53. AP via Russia conducts massive exercise of its nuclear forces

    …The Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday’s maneuvers featured launches of ballistic missiles by the navy’s nuclear submarines from the Barents Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk. As part of the drills, long-range bombers also fired cruise missiles, the ministry said, adding that all missiles hit their designated practice targets.

    It added that Russia’s early warning system successfully spotted and tracked all launches.
    The Defense Ministry noted that the exercise offered a chance to test the chain of command from its main control room down to military units….


  54. According to a new IMF report, the Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe, ranking 134th in the world in terms of GDP per capita. This was reported on his page in Facebook by an economist who manages “Kompaniets”, a private equity fund on the US stock market

    In September, the accounts chamber of the Ukraine reported that at the end of 2017, the poverty level in the Ukraine had increased to 27%.

    Earlier it was reported that according to the world Bank, 25% of the population of Ukraine lives below the poverty line.

    How sad.

    Wonder if Porky is thinking of tightening his belt?


  55. Safety Panel Fears Soyuz Failure Could Exacerbate Commercial Crew Safety Concerns

    … The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), in a previously scheduled meeting at the Johnson Space Center Oct. 11 only hours after the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft suffered a launch vehicle failure and had to make an emergency landing, said the incident only deepened concerns about the ability of Boeing and SpaceX to adhere to their schedules without jeopardizing safety.

    “We have not seen the program make decisions detrimental to safety,” said Patricia Sanders, chair of ASAP, in her opening remarks. “But current projected schedules for uncrewed and crewed test flights for both providers have considerable risk and do not appear achievable.” [In Photos: The Harrowing Soyuz Launch Abort in Pictures]…

    More at the link.

    There’s a very snotty piece over at the British version of Wired that shits on Russia’s space industry by listing a litany of ‘problems’ from various sources. No-one is denying that the industry has had its problems, mostly the historical lack of cash which has impacted on everything, but I looked up the author on muckrack and yes, those that publish his stuff is the usual Russophobic tranXatlantic shite. Hey, at least there are no professional consequence for Russophobia in the west… until there is….. RT reports that Russia has been threatened to pay PACE or be expelled. The response? Go whistle. Russia ain’t paying for thin air!


    1. Comment to a Register article on the Soyuz failure:

      Re: space station boring


      Just missread your post as “It needs the constant nuns to keep it up in space.”

      My brain is now full of images of space nuns. I can imagine conversations like:

      MC: “This is Vatican control. You are go for EVA.”

      Sis1: “This is Sister 1, copy your go for EVA.”

      MC: “Sister 1, seal up space wimple and prepare for airlock procedure.”

      Sis2: “Space habit and space wimple sealed and checked. We are go for EVA.”

      MC: “This is Mother Superior. Depressurise airlock.”

      And that’s before we’ve even mention Ken Russell…


  56. Say; anyone remember that trade agreement recently negotiated to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)? As expected, Trump promptly characterized it as ‘the greatest trade agreement ever signed”, because everything he oversees – regardless his own personal part in it – rates a superlative, as a matter of course.

    I was mad as hell over the dairy provisions. And I still am, so let’s talk about that for just a second. First, no requirement exists in Canada to label milk products for country of origin, because it has heretofore been almost exclusively Canadian. Cheese is labeled, but since almost all of that which is not domestically produced is European, that tends to be a selling point. I might occasionally buy Camembert made in the Comox Valley or on Saltspring Island, but French is the real stuff. Anyway, barring a regulatory change, there will be no way to tell what milk comes from the United States if it is sold in bulk to Canadian producers. The only safeguard is a “100% Canadian” label, which can be affixed to products which meet the criteria. Second, there is no test for the presence of Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) in milk, because it is a synthetic hormone which mimics the real thing. Some US dairy producers use it to boost milk production by extending the lactation period. The figures say about 20% of American producers use it, but there is no way to tell who they are by their product. Nice negotiating, Freeland and Trudeau.

    But the core issue is said to have been auto production. Trump appears to believe he scored a major coup by ramming through a Rules Of Origin (ROO) requirement that imported cars, in order to avoid tariffs, must be 75% produced in North America in a country in which the workers are paid at least $16.00 an hour. That fucked over Mexico, because their wages are much lower. But the tariff is only 2.5%, so it will be much cheaper for Mexico to pay the tariff than to increase wages. Trump doesn’t care, of course, because the object was to limit the inflow of cars from low-wage countries, so as to create more jobs for American workers. But recent assessments suggest the net effect will be to raise the cost of production. Who will benefit from that? Asian carmakers.

    Did you know that China produced eight times as many passenger cars, in 2017, as the United States? Me, either. Did you know that three of the top five producers are Asian? Me, either. So here’s a useful benchmark. Let’s watch for a couple of years, and see what trend emerges. But analysts suggest Asian car producers are ecstatic at the prospect of increased market share.

    Right off the mark I think most would agree that making North-American-produced cars more expensive – a necessary consequence of increased production costs – was not a particularly smart move. The alternative would be to not pass along increased costs to the consumer, and sell more cars, but take a hit in the profits. Also not a particularly smart move. Is it going to mean more jobs? Nuh-uh; probably not.


    1. I’ve never understood why professional people and their families (lawyers, accountants, surveyors and the like) shop in chain stores and restaurants. You’re a lawyer in Arsefuck, Alberta? What’re the chances you are going to get business from Walmart or Home Depot or McDonalds? Vanishingly thin.
      Shop local. More expensive? You better believe it. But they are going to buy your expensive services back.


    2. There is a related issue that might not have been picked up here, but Canada and Mexico have signed away their rights of, for example, of pursuing a FTA with China- the US has the power to veto such an agreement with any “non-market economy”.
      “Few have realized the killer clause that allows U.S. control over Canadian diplomacy in the rather explicit text buried in Article 32.10: “Non-Market Country FTA”… Contrary to Mr. Trudeau’s vague assurance that the article has very little effect, Canada is no longer free to pursue a free-trade agreement (FTA) with China under USMCA.
      Ottawa now must notify other USMCA partners if it just intends to pursue a trade deal with a “non-market economy” (code name: China.) And Canada has no independence to classify China as a free-market economy… Ottawa’s trade and economic diversification drive will [now] be subject to Washington’s interference. This is an overall veto power given to the United States, literally forcing Beijing to negotiate with Washington if it intends to pursue an FTA with either Canada or Mexico.”
      See, for example,


      1. Yes, I mentioned it here a day or two after the agreement was signed, although it is not concluded and will not take effect for some time. Canada maintains that it can still strike sectoral agreements, because only full-on national agreements are bound by the deal. We shall see; I have made it pretty clear I was and am against the deal, since Canada had to make concessions and grant America more market share just to keep most of what we already had under the previous agreement – we didn’t gain anything. We saved our precious dispute-resolution mechanism, but America mostly ignores court decisions it doesn’t agree with anyway. One of the references cited was perfectly accurate about The Donald’s methodology – he threatens to do something crazy and terrible that he has no intention of doing, just so you will feel more okay with the screwing you got.

        The concessions he obtained are unlikely to have much saving effect on the American economy, according to polls of economic analysts, but that’s not much comfort.


    1. I am a fan of anyone who is intelligent, articulate and understands the way things work. May I assume that you are as well?


  57. “Outrage against the regime of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salaman has been intensifying among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle following the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi last week.

    Whether or not that outrage will have any meaningful impact on U.S. policy towards Riyadh, however, remains to be seen.

    Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and longtime critic of the Saudi regime, has not been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Turkish officials have said they believe the journalist was murdered inside the consulate and that his body removed from the building in pieces.

    Saudi officials have denied those charges but have been unable to explain his disappearance.

    Republican Senator Rand Paul announced Wednesday that he intends to introduce legislation to block all “funding, training, advising and any other coordination” with the Saudi military until Khashoggi is returned alive.

    “The Saudis will keep killing civilians and journalists as long as we keep arming and assisting them. The President should immediately halt arms sales and military support to Saudi Arabia,” Paul tweeted.”


    1. “AMY GOODMAN: The significance of what has happened to him? I mean, he is not—he wan’t a dissident in the sense of, you know, a radical opponent of the Saudi regime. He was part of the loyal opposition.

      RASHID KHALIDI: He was, but this is the most absolute iteration of the most absolute monarchy on Earth. I mean, this is pre-Magna Carta, pre-King John. This is Louis XIV. Absolute power. This regime, under Mohammed bin Salman, will not tolerate any dissent, and coming in particular from him or from members of the royal family, to some of whom he was close.

      He was a very close adviser of Turki al-Faisal, the son of King Faisal, who was the head of Saudi intelligence and is Saudi ambassador to London and to Washington. So he was a person of the elite, intimately connected to the royal family. They are shutting down royals. They are shutting down people of prominent families. They’re taking their wealth in many cases. There are reports some of them have either disappeared or been killed.

      So, we’re not any longer talking about low-level dissidents. We’re talking about the highest level within the royal family, within the elite families that have been profiting from the regime for generations. Nobody can raise their head in Saudi Arabia. Anybody who tells you that they’ve gone to Saudi Arabia and talked to people is talking through their hat. People don’t dare speak anymore. And the fact that they did whatever they have done to Jamal Khashoggi, so blatantly, indicates they’re trying to send a message: “Don’t you dare talk about what we are doing.”

      I wonder if there is even a remote possibility of an uprising against the putrid monsters running the KSA??? A little dated but provides some good historical background discussion:


      1. Hesham Shafick’s article gets a couple of things wrong: first, Mohammad ibn Abdul Wahab sealed his pact with the al Saudi family in 1744, not 1788 (that may have been a typo), by marrying Sheikh Mohammad ibn Saud’s daughter. Since then Mohammad ibn Abdul Wahab’s family has been in charge of religious affairs in any Saudi-governed state, including the present kingdom; and second, Shafick fails to say anything about the support the British gave to the Saudi family during World War I and afterwards, in the Saudi takeover of the Hejaz region that gave the family control of Mecca and Medina, the two holy cities of Islam.

        Shafick also says nothing about Saudi reliance on exploiting the country’s oil resources and trading oil for US dollars to buy weapons and military hardware to keep the population under control and to continue trying to annex Yemeni territory for its oil and natural gas resources.

        A third historical issue as well: the 19th century ruler King Faisal ibn Turki ibn Abdullah al Saud (referred to as King Turki al Saud – why doesn’t Shafick get the proper name right, since Faisal is clearly the personal or first name?) ruled the Saudi state twice: first time from 1834 to 1838, when the Ottomans deposed him: and then second time from 1843 to 1865 when he died. His kingdom later broke up not long after – due to a power struggle among his sons.

        When the history is wrong and other facts are being concealed, the rat in Shafick’s article smells very strongly.


  58. CNN is should be called the Cringeworthy Nincompoop Network. The rest of the NATzO MSM is basically the same. Whatever they spew about Russia is as vapid and maliciously inane as the crap they are spewing at Trump supporters. The clown who called Kanye West a de facto “white supremacist” is clearly less black than West. By the logic of his Party he should shut the fuck up.


    1. When I watch one Tucker video, I end up watching at least one more. That guy, on the topics that he addresses, is the lone voice of sanity in the US MSM.


      1. I still have not forgotten what a devout conservative and energetic defender of George W. Bush and his idiotic policies he once was. People can change, but it doesn’t happen often.

        To be fair, he did reverse himself on the issue of the Iraq War, at first supporting it but announcing early – by which I mean before it morphed into the monstrous debacle it did, while there was still technically a chance America might win it – that he had gone against his own instincts in doing so and that it was a terrible mistake.


        1. That is why I never judge people by category or political alignment. The Democraps have left the sanity reservation when they should have been the home of real progressives. This, ironically, has left the nominal Republicans (non Democrats) as the voices of sanity. Twenty years ago I would not have said this even though the US under Bill Clinton was a rogue state engaged in phony imperial policing operations in the Balkans and elsewhere. America is f*cked up, but within this reference frame we have a measurable difference in sanity.


  59. Is there no end to this Khokhol madness?

    Ukrainian Minister urged his compatriots to “return Kuban and Moscow”
    01:2813.10.2018 (updated: 01:30 13.10.2018)

    MOSCOW, 13 Dec — RIA Novosti. The Ukraine Infrastructure Minister, Volodymyr Omelyan, in an interview with “Gromadske TV” suggested that Ukrainians arm themselves and “return Kuban and Moscow”.

    Answering the question of what to do with those Ukraine citizens who, for various reasons, have to to travel to Russia, Omeljan said that instead they should “put on a uniform, take hold of a gun and go to war”.

    And only then, as the Minister said, “after the return of the Kuban and Moscow”, can we discuss “what is really necessary and if we want to go further”.

    Previously, Omeljan, commenting on the construction by Russia of the Crimea bridge, said that from his “political point of view,” it is a bridge “which will connect the Ukrainian Crimea and the Ukrainian Kuban”.

    The head of the public chamber of the Crimea, Grigory Ioffe, has told RIA Novosti that such a statement Omelyana shows obvious gaps in the Ukrainian education system. “The Ukrainian Ministry of education should think about what to do about the teaching of geography; perhaps it should increase the circulation of geographical maps”, added Joffe.

    The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of the Ukraine (NABU) suspects Omelyan of illegal enrichment and the declaration of unreliable property data. The prosecution asked for the making of a preventive measure against the minister in the form of a pledge to the amount of 5 million hryvnia ($ 175.4 thousand).

    A court in Kiev released Omelyan under his personal guarantee and ordered that he come to the NABU detectives on demand, notify them about any change of place of residence, refrain from communicating with witnesses, and the court partially granted the prosecutor’s request for the seizure of the Minister’s property.

    As straight as a dog’s back leg!

    And the usual distraction tactic so as cloud his perfidy: beat the Yukie war drum.

    What a shower of shit these Svidomites and their corrupt politicians are!

    Why don’t they all bugger off to Canada, where their Auntie Chrystia will look after them all?


  60. Independent: Russian ambassador claims UK has stocks of Novichok nerve agent, in extraordinary press conference

    …Meanwhile, the British Council said in a statement it had cancelled all events and programmes in Russia after being told by its foreign ministry to cease activity.

    “We deeply regret this and are grateful for your understanding,” the statement said.

    The British Council, a state-funded body that promotes British culture overseas, has worked in Moscow continuously since 1959.

    It’s this last ‘unrelated’ bit that is the most interesting. Only a moron thinks that the BC doesn’t also serve as a vessel for British Intelligence recruitment. I wonder what other actions Moscow has up its sleeve.

    The best headline I saw on gogol nudes uk about the Yakovenkov interview was something like ‘Journalist demands Yakovenko to provide proof that MI6 is behind Skripal events’, Daily Fail or something similar. That a journalist, who’s job it is it uncover events and information others want to keep hidden is asking someone else to do his or her’s own job is not considered bizarre says all you need to know about the status of journalism in the UK, D-Notices abound, including the one just lifted regarding the arrested and solitary detainment for the last five months of the Ph.D ‘not a spy’ Brit.


    1. I’m just surprised the British ‘journalist’ didn’t demand “Prove you didn’t do it”. That’s a favourite of western journalists – assemble all the available evidence for us from everyone’s perspective, and then prove that you COULDN’T have done it. Which is usually an impossible task, and far, far above the usual standard of probability based on the customary means, motive and opportunity.

      The west is becoming more blatant and open in its biased hatred, but that should not be misinterpreted as evidence of increased power and confidence – quite the reverse; it smacks of desperation, and coverups and disinformation now overpower transparency. In case anyone needs a reminder, it was transparency the west always shouted was its leitmotif of honesty and freedom. Now it slaps D-notices on everything and classifies the shit out of all its evidence so that nobody in the public domain can make a responsible assessment of credibility. Instead, you are just invited to believe, without reserve, silly stories which are full of holes and which make no sense. Russians, we are invited to believe, are completely different from every other society on earth, in that as soon as you establish a red line they must not cross or risk the collective wrath of the just, they immediately do it just as described. And then vehemently deny it, rather than saying, Yeah, I did it, so go fuck yourself. The vicious aggressor nation only imposes sanctions as a response after it has itself been sanctioned. They are so crafty and sneaky it’s not true, but at the same time are oafish bunglers who always get caught by the brave and true, even if they have to establish several storylines before they settle on one they like. Their propaganda and trickery is everywhere, and everyone is at risk of being ‘turned’ by disinformation, but nobody listens to them because they are friendless and isolated and should just go away and shut up.


  61. I heard on Al Beeb s’Allah this morning that veteran russophobic MP Todd Turgenhat has called for the UK government to review its relations with Saudi Arabia over the Kashoggi affair. Maybe this will burnish his credentials? Or, maybe he didn’t notice the British government profiting from selling weapons and its silence to Saudi Arabia’s war of starvation against Yemen’s civilian population that also led to a massive outbreak of cholera? Or maybe Turgenhat just doesn’t know about Yemen?

    The paroxyms the western media is going through over a jihadi supporting journalist is far more than anything we have seen when its main allies are state sponsors of global terrorism that has cause suffering to tens of millions of people. At least we can rely on the journalism corps to put things in to perspective. It’s no wonder that people long since flocked to other and alternative media that the global tech giants have now decided to erase to keep on the good side of their countries’ foreign policy.


    1. Tom Tugendhat, Tory MP.

      Tugendhat’s family background includes Austro-Jewish ancestry on his father’s side.

      His father, Dr Georg Tugendhat (1898-1973), was born in Vienna and could trace his paternal origins to the town of Bielitz in Silesia (German: Schlesien), which until 1918 was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire but following the end of k.u.k Austria in 1919, it became part of Poland in 1920.

      Well what a surprise!

      Bet old Papa Tugendhat was not too fond of them awful Russians, what with their anti-semitism and pogroms!

      A funny old name is the German-Jewish surname Tugendhat: it means “has virtue”.


      1. Uh-huh. You would think that the rather enthusiastic extermination of all Vienna’s jews by the authorities would have scored highly, but let bygones be bygones with the civilized and keep dumping on the Russians instead. It’s more fashionable too. Austria really did get off very lightly for its crimes.


    2. “The paroxyms the western media is going through over a jihadi supporting journalist”

      Are you referring to Khashoggi??? I dunno…
      He doesn’t come off as all THAT jihadist crazy…at least according to :

      “Khashoggi wrote in a Post column on April 3, 2018 that Saudi Arabia “should return to its pre-1979 climate, when the government restricted hard-line Wahhabi traditions. Women today should have the same rights as men. And all citizens should have the right to speak their minds without fear of imprisonment.”[
      “Speaking to the BBC’s Newshour, Khashoggi criticized Israel’s settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories, saying: “There was no international pressure on the Israelis and therefore the Israelis got away with building settlements, demolishing homes.”


  62. Klitschko has proposed that the Kiev centralized hot water supply be abandoned
    The Kiev mayor has said that a big problem is the significant heat loss during the transportation of water through pipes

    OCT 12, 23:15

    KIEV, October 12. /TASS/. The Kiev authorities are studying the possibility of abandoning its centralized hot water supply, said the mayor of the Ukrainian capital, Vitali Klitschko, on Friday.

    “I can say that the situation is ambiguous: experts are now doing their calculations, because with a centralized hot water supply, it is expensive to heat and transport the water and to maintain the system network”, he said live on air on the “Kiev” TV channel.

    At the same time, Klitschko called Kiev “the only city in Eastern Europe, where there is a centralized hot water supply”. “In European countries, in the United States, the heating and the water supply come from boilers, from boilers that are in individual housing blocks or apartments”, said the Kievan Klitschko.

    The mayor also said that a big problem is the significant heat loss during the transportation of water through pipes.

    “Local heat generation is much more efficient than having the losses that occur along the way with a centralized heating system”, he said.

    Klitschko said that a commission studying this issue will soon publish its findings. “The commission will finish its work In the near future, and it is clear that we shall publish the results in order to move to a more effective means, but still live under the conditions that we have inherited”, the mayor said.

    Earlier, a similar idea was expressed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Housing, Gennady Zubko. According to him, the replacement of a centralized hot water supply could be done using an autonomous one, be it by house, city area, or district.

    Kiev is not the only city where there is a centralized hot water supply. In the Ukraine all major cities have it as well as a number townships.

    “… the only city in Eastern Europe, where there is a centralized hot water supply…“?

    So where’s Moscow, then, dickhead — not to mention Smolensk or Minsk?

    Individual heating and hot water supplies provided by boilers in housing blocks and/or apartments “in order to move to a more effective means, but still live under the conditions that we have inherited“?

    Who are you kidding, arsehole?

    No dough — no show!

    That’s the rule, you moron: as those whom you idolize so truly say: There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch!

    If you won’t, don’t or can’t pay, then you freeze, right?

    And what exactly are the conditions that we have inherited?

    There’s often no hot water already, you dickhead.

    Bet you won’t fucking well freeze this winter though.

    Nor will your so-called president and his brood.

    Meanwhile, your old chum, he whom the Cookie Monster chose instead of you to represent USA interests in Banderastan, is lounging around in Florida, I believe.


    1. Klichko’s idiotic remarks are what Russians call (from the world of card games) “putting a good face on a bad hand.”

      I covered the hot water crisis here.

      I think what Klichko is trying to say, is that “normal, civilized” governments like the U.S. put the onus on home-owners and other property owners to heat up the H2O for their families or tenants.

      Whereas barbaric governments of the bloody Sovok instituted urban centralized heating. Probably as part of the same project while building those monstrous “Khrushchevka” housing developments.


    2. The American Way is to privatize everything, so as to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs who make, say, boilers and heating plants; the theory is that those who make more money will then pay more taxes and employ more workers, and the state realizes as much or more in income without having…well, any responsibilities at all. That leaves more time for meetings and stuff; you know, ‘working hard’ for the taxpayer. So naturally Ukraine aspires to the methodology that Made America Great. It does not seem to have occurred either to those applying the pressure or the pressured that Ukraine is an oligarchical model in which profits realized will be stolen or hidden or misrepresented as necessary, and if the state wants the money to comfort the peasants, it will have to figure out how to steal it back. Unemployment and underemployment are serious problems in Ukraine, and people don’t have the money to buy boilers and heating plants for individual households; they are often an inefficient and ineffective afterthought for existing construction, and the rent must go up as a result, while developers of new construction are probably not eager to incorporate them into their plans.

      I’m not saying central heating is the way to go, necessarily, and it often is inefficient; particularly in Russia, where a lot of the piping is above-ground, which it has to be for maintenance access. Localizing heating sources is perhaps a good solution, but they’re going at it backwards. Improve the people’s standard of living first, so they can afford to move to a new model. You can’t just keep piling on new expenses, and it has been farcical in Ukraine anyway because so many qualify for an exemption that most of the new policymaking is just meaningless paperwork.


  63. On the subject of this Saudi Op-Ed writer for the Washington Post, yesterday’s WaPo Opinion piece by the paper’s Editorial Board set me thinking.–except-in-the-white-house/2018/10/12/050f756a-ce44-11e8-a3e6-44daa3d35ede_story.html?utm_term=.5e24d3b86a79

    First, the “evidence” from Turkish sources is on the level of British “evidence” about the Skripals. What you understand or believe depends on what you are told you are looking at or listening to.

    Second, the goal of the WaPo piece and much mainstream writing on Khashoggi is to embarrass Trump just before the mid-term elections.

    These days, you could have very believable video with Paddington Bear chopping up
    Khashoggi – just as the man could turn up in Kiev saying it was a stunt by Ukrainian intelligence, or be in a “safe” house with the Skripals.

    Just sayin, yo.


    1. Recall seeing a comment on one of the comments threads attached to a Moon of Alabama post (can’t remember which one) stating that if indeed the Saudis had killed Khashoggi, cut him up and took his body parts back to Riyadh in pouches marked with diplomatic security so they pass through airport security, Istanbul police authorities would still be able to check and test sewerage networks in the vicinity of the Saudi consulate for the presence of blood and blood chemicals. How many litres of blood would a 59-year-old man of average height and size yield if he were cut up?

      There is the possibility also that Khashoggi’s fiancee Hatice Cengiz could have been a honey-pot in an entrapment scheme in which whoever advised Khashoggi to go to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul (rather than the embassy in Washington) to get his papers to prove to Turkish authorities that he had divorced his previous wife so he and Cengiz could marry in Turkey, could also have been part of the plot. Why would Khashoggi have otherwise gone to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul rather than return to the US, or alternately go to the Saudi embassy in Ankara, to get the paper? Why did Cengiz wait 7 or even 11 hours for Khashoggi to come back?


  64. NATO prepared for ‘growing Russian threat’ – media
    0:25, 13 October 2018

    General Curtis Scaparrotti says the United States and its NATO allies are ready to respond to a growing threat from Russia. The top American commander in Europe was speaking as a U.S. aircraft carrier is sailing to the Norwegian Sea for the first time since 1987, Sky News reported. The USS Harry S. Truman, powering through the North Sea following a visit to Portsmouth last week, is preparing to join NATO’s largest military exercise since the end of the Cold War.

    Asked what message the 100,000-ton carrier was sending to Moscow, General Scaparrotti said: “It is a demonstration of our capabilities… We are ready and we are trained and we will protect the Atlantic”.

    Asked what he thought of the American general’s statement, a Kremlin spokesman said:

    Кто не насрать?


    1. Does the USA own the Atlantic, or something? Protect it from what? Are Russian ships and submarines not allowed to use it now?

      The message the 100,000-ton carrier is sending to Moscow is that the Cold War is back on, entirely thanks to American desire and European disinformation, and completely against Russia’s will. It’s like they always say – nice guys finish last. Uncle Sam and the crowned heads of Europe (figuratively speaking; the decision-makers are no longer royals for the most part, although their heads do have a crown like everyone else) put their crowned heads together and came to an agreement that Russia has to go; that it stands in the way of imperial ambitions and inhibits the isolation and weakening of China. In the meantime, it makes a handy enemy, so that American business can go on coining money in China whilst America undermines it, coincidentally selling lots more American arms in a climate of fear and apprehension. There will be the usual pats on the head for allies once success is assured.


      1. They may have decided Russia has to go, but the last 1000 years of history demonstrates that this is not going to happen. Russia today is vastly more prepared to take on NATzO than Russia was prepared to take any of its enemies in the past. Russian military technology is world leading and renders any US advantage to being only numerical.

        The fact that Russia managed to survive the economic system change during the 1990s and sustained its military technology development (e.g. in missiles and propellants) is truly epic. Only utter morons would believe that countries can flip their organizational structures as if it was nothing. Think of changing DNA of an organism in the adult stage and having a new organism come arise. It really is that spectacular since the normal course of events is for the organism to die (i.e. the building of a new organism has to start from scratch at the fertilized egg stage). Social organisms are more nebulous, but the problems are related.

        NATzO has woken up too late. It missed its chance during the late 1990s. But it probably never had any solid window of opportunity to take out Russia. Even during the 1990s, Russia’s nuclear arsenal and command and control was intact enough to prevent any winnable war against Russia. Once Putin came into office he managed to turn the country around in his first term and closed the window. The moron leaders of NATzO were still waiting for the “inevitable” rot to make Russia ripe for the picking.

        Trump appears not to be interested in arms control. That is final nail in NATzO’s war on Russia ambitions even if they do not know it. The only way their precious ABM system would have had any chance was if the number of Russian missiles and warheads was whittled down into the hundreds by arms control agreements. Any increase in Russia’s current arsenal of ICBMs and IRBMs will make the ABM wunderwaffe even more useless.

        But I am omitting a serious issue. NATzO has been developing genetic bioweapons. It is possible that they have variants that can exterminate Slavs. At least that is what they likely think they have. I think that the distinction between western and eastern European whites is too small for biochemical selection at the 100% level. Even if humans can classify which group is which, the fuzziness of the chemistry prevents such certainty and this is a wall that is very hard to get over with our current level of know-how (for example, humans cannot currently custom produce any molecule they want; the use of yeast with manipulated DNA is far from a general technology allowing any possible molecular design to be manufactured).


        1. “But I am omitting a serious issue. NATzO has been developing genetic bioweapons. It is possible that they have variants that can exterminate Slavs.”

          Wouldn’t that technology be a two way street?…Anything configured to take out Olga and Ivan could be reconfigured to take out Erika and Jimmy.


        2. NATO missed its chance in the late 90’s to cripple and eliminate Russia, but it missed another chance much more recently to bring Russia in as a respected friend, ally and trade partner. Russia kept trying for awhile, in the face of spite and venom and insults, and even during the beginning stages of the USA taking arbitrary economic action against it. But it has long since given that up, and if the west now wants an enemy, it can have one. But it won’t be like knocking over Grenada or Panama.


  65. More on KSA/Khashoggi:

    “лидия • 12 hours ago

    Of course, the first backer of Saudi royals was the “great” FDR.”


    Also the lengthy M. Green comment -and the links therein-is worth reading. Of course Green is is wrong as can be, but his errors are instructive and amusing.

    I defer to your remarks on the matter wrt the underlying historical facts ,as you plainly have some nontrivial expertise in this KSA stuff. However I did think that Shafick’s analysis raised some issues that merit considereation even if HIS conclusions were in error or too restrictive in terms of contemplating fundamental societal change in the KSA without regard for Western imprimatur.

    “Khashoggi’s assassination is yet another expression of the complete disregard for international law under conditions of a deepening capitalist crisis. It reflects not only the ruthless character of the Saudi regime, but also of its main backer, US imperialism, which has built up Riyadh as a key regional ally in its drive to secure unchallenged dominance over the Middle East.

    Washington has adopted the policy of drone assassinations pioneered by Israel and applied it on an unprecedented scale, killing thousands of civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia and other countries. It has given its stamp of approval to Israel’s shoot-to-kill response to unarmed Palestinians demonstrating on the Gaza-Israel border, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of men, women and children over the past six months.

    Successive US governments, led by Democrats and Republicans, have funneled billions of dollars in military supplies and aid to Riyadh, which is one of Washington’s main customers for arms exports. Many of these weapons have been used to repress any sign of social opposition within Saudi Arabia to the totalitarian regime and to continue the bloodbath in Yemen.

    One of the highest-paid firms representing the Saudi regime in Washington is linked to the Clintons. The Glover Park Group, which receives $150,000 a month from the royal family, was started by former Clinton administration officials.”


    1. I can’t help wondering if someone wants the new King gone, and a more traditional hardliner in his place, because Salman is supposed to be a reformer. Modest, of course, but KSA’s best chance for loosening the societal fabric a little, and making some progress on human rights. In the recent diplomatic spat with Canada, owing to Chrystia Freeland’s double-hung tongue carelessly clacking on Twitter about her understanding of human rights, Canada was advised to go easy and stop beaking off about human rights in KSA, ’cause bin Salman is a reformer, but he has to go slow so as not to upset the traditionalists, see?

      Time was, the USA would fall back on “all these are at present only allegations, nothing has been proven”, and so forth where it comes to the Kingdom. Instead, it is working itself into the state of high dudgeon and public rabble-rousing that we have all learned to recognize as the harbingers of a regime-change attempt.


      1. Erm, Mohammed bin Salman isn’t King yet, he’s only the Crown Prince, albeit acting as regent for his father Salman ibn Abdulaziz al Saud whose health is not in a good state.

        Otherwise he (MbS, that is) would have put his entire family of 7,000+ princes in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh to be detained indefinitely until all their bank accounts have been cleaned out and smelling of ammonia to hide the stench of blood.


    1. It is hard for me to understand how the organized left (in the US and elsewhere) got hijacked by these vapid identity politics loons. Egalitarianism does not mean pandering to every insecurity and psychological pathology. All the problems faced by the old left of 1900 are still there. The current collection of loons is ignoring them and that makes them fake leftists.

      A problem in the US two party system is that true leftists (including those just left of center) now have no electoral choice. It is time to reboot and found a new party that is not related to the Democrats. They are totally discredited and rotten.


      1. But both the Democrats and Republicans are parties founded on political dynasties, families who give their children to politics as if it were the priesthood, and who are destined for the political path because they have been groomed for nothing else. I try hard to think of politics as a useful vocation, and I suppose there are some things clever politicians learn about history and its influence on foreign policy, diplomacy and the like, how to read a country, and so on. But try as I might, when I hear someone like Chrystia Freeland say that she and er negotiating team are ‘working very hard’, it just doesn’t seem very much like work to me. In fact, what it seems like is endless rounds of meetings and ‘working lunches’, stuff where you might occasionally be weary because you had to stay up late. I can see how those on the fringes, who are probably interns or back-benchers, might actually have to work hard, because they have to do all the research and write the position papers for the big-heads.

        Anyway, not to get off on a rant or anything, but where would such a political party as you describe spring from? There is no center any more; everyone is either on the political left or the right. The identity-politics schtick doesn’t really affect the parties themselves – it’s just a tool they use to manage the electorate and channel its frustrations.


        1. I am thinking about Europe and even Canada where there are 3rd parties and more. The real left electorate should en masse shift its vote to some “fringe” party. But you are right about the USA. There is no real choice and just two wings of a one-party elite “monarchy”. Americans do not live in a democracy even if they are brainwashed from birth that they are.


          1. Well, they do. But ‘democracy’ means two different things – the exalted ideal that the cynics peddle whenever they claim that this country or that region ‘needs democracy’ in order to justify regime change or some other degree of meddling…and the unswerving loyalty to the government paid by the electorate in exchange for – as Simon and Garfunkel once sang in “The Boxer”, a pocketful of mumbles. High-flown rhetoric and simpleminded propaganda; those are the principle ingredients in modern democracy, most especially in the modern United States, which claims still to abide the utmost respect for a man who pulls himself up from nothing by his own bootstraps, but where such a man might have to hold two or even three low-paying jobs to earn a living wage.

            What is democracy, pared down to its simplest form? A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections. Does Russia qualify? Russophobes will jump up and down to shout “NO!!!”, because Russian elections are not free. The candidate who has the most money or exercises the most influence by way of administrative resources is likely to win, and opposing parties cannot compete. Oh, but steady: does the United States meet that ideal of democracy? Is it true that the candidate who spends the most money in an American election is likely to be the winner? It most certainly is; otherwise it would not be necessary to spend billions on electioneering, to set up robocalls to drive the people foolish, to employ a variety of deceptions to suppress the vote of the opposing party, including but not limited to sending them incorrect instructions about where and when to vote or how to cast an advance ballot, or notification that the police will attend at polling places looking to arrest people for misdemeanors like unpaid parking tickets.

            Another stipulation of democracy is “the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges”. Does Russia satisfy that truth? Not entirely; money still wields disproportionate influence, oligarchs still exist who misuse their power, and some offices (although none national) are appointments rather than elected positions. Does the United States satisfy that truth? Fucking hardly. All the above complaints are present in spades in the United States – positions of governance and jurisprudence are appointments rather than contests under democratic principles, and the greatest positions of political power are frequently if not always the result of maneuvering by the moneyed class. The popular vote does not necessarily decide the winner, and the movers and shakers still have a last chance to change the manifestation of the people’s will in the Electoral College, as the losing party in the most recent American election tried to do through an intense media campaign.

            In real terms, the United States of America is less a democracy than is the Russian Federation.


          2. Trump in a very real sense was the 3rd party or at least the 2.5 party. He tapped into the deplorable masses (including me, of course) that were, up to that time, marginalized by both Democrats and Republicans.

            Trump has betrayed his voting base somewhat but still represents the only credible alternative to the Washington/NYC/Hollywood axis. If Trump veers further away or is impeached, then the potential for a serious 3rd party in the US becomes real.

            Just to forestall any protests, I disagree with Trump on many matters but compared to the war mongering psychopaths who oppose him, he is a flawed but better choice if a choice has to be made.


            1. I recall Ross Perot tried to form a proper 3rd party and was subjected to dirty tricks. Trump chose to play the Ross Perot card from inside the Republican “tent”. But my point still holds, there is no real political choice in the USA. Trump comes with Republican baggage. An actual 3rd party would not have to have such compromises.


              1. And mine remains that there is no infrastructure for a third party – there is a scattering of ‘independents’ or those who identify as libertarians. It’s like the Republicans have a clubhouse, and inside it is all their paraphernalia and organization and administration for politics. The Democrats have their clubhouse, with all the same. Independents have a pup tent pitched on the green space under the apple tree. A true third party would have to be built from scratch, from people who probably had little or no political background. It might be done, but it would take years and I frankly don’t think the USA has got years in its present state.


    1. Russia should use this brazen border engineering by the USA in Syria to defend the Donbass. America can’t have it both ways: shrieking about the territorial integrity of Soviet-concocted Ukraine and at the same time using minorities in Syria to carve up that country like they used Albanians in Serbia. Russia is making a serious mistake by keeping quiet on this issue. It does not matter if America accuses Russia of hypocrisy since such an accusation would come off as vapid. But having the topic as a global politics issue will damp the propaganda of the US and its minions.


      1. I suspect Russia is leaving it alone because (I’m guessing) they believe that’s a conversation the United States would very much like to have – and that it hopes Russia will fame it in those terms. At which time Washington will offer to withdraw from Syria in exchange for a Russian return of Crimea to Ukraine. It is probably eager for the opportunity to frame this as an equivalency, although Washington has not put any serious money or effort into state-building in Syria; it’s just playing at setting up a government, but it has not put any money into infrastructure or rebuilding and shows no inclination to do so. It’s just keeping its options open in case it gets to use the situation to bargain with.

        If that is indeed the case, then mild complaint is probably the best way to go. The locals east of the Euphrates are not going to appreciate being ruled by Kurds, whose traditional lands are the northwestern Zagros and eastern Taurus mountains. Additionally, the Kurds are much more of a minority in Syria than they are in Turkey, where they number around four times as many at about 20 million. Unless you see signs of a mass migration of Kurds for the ‘new land’ east of the Euphrates, they probably are not taking the American effort very seriously.


        1. The golden rule is that the Kurds always get stuffed, usually by being stabbed in the back by their ‘allies’. It’s just a matter of time, oh, and geography.


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