I Spy, with my Little Eye…Someone Who Can’t Wait to Start Using Energy as a Weapon

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “The more a man knows, the more willing he is to learn. The less a man knows, the more positive he is that he knows everything.”

“Make way, we are coming! Give us every right and don’t you dare breathe a word before us. Pay us every sort of respect, such as no one’s ever heard of, and we shall treat you worse than the lowest lackey… Why, you are so eaten up with pride and vanity that you’ll end by eating up one another, that’s what I prophesy.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky, from The Idiot

“Now you’re messin’ with a son of a bitch…”

Nazareth, from Hair of the Dog”    

You know, if I had to sum up in one word the quality that makes my blood boil, infuriates me, that makes me turn to angry writing for release, it’s smug. Smugness, smugalicious self-congratulatory kiss-my-feet-peasants lording it over everyone. It almost turns my teeth sideways, and when such a person is holding forth, I concentrate with absolute intensity on mentally trying to cause a 10-ton concrete counterweight to materialize above them, to subsequently plummet onto them and crush them to a little oozy spot, and silence their quacking forever.

And, increasingly, nobody does smug self-congratulatory we’re-the-shit-and-don’t-forget-it like official America. Before we go any further, Americans have every right to be proud; it’s a great country. Once upon a time, when it said “I must use my powers for good”, nobody laughed or smirked, because it probably meant it. But somewhere along the way, the wish to do something good for the world was mislaid; perverted, stripped of its original meaning, reduced to a cheap label for regime change and asset-grabbing and little-tin-god swaggering. When you hear that guy, you want him to fail. You want him to trip over his own feet and fall right on his face.

So I say, thank God for Mike Pompeo. Because it’s mean to wish for someone to fail. But somehow, whenever you hear the former CIA Director and current American Secretary of State blathering about how great and mighty America is, you don’t feel bad for wishing God would turn him into Mimi Bobeck’s bicycle seat. Image result for mimi bobeck

In fact, it feels pretty good.

Before we get into the latest thing the Scintillating SecState said that made me wish he had his ears pop-riveted to a corkboard in front of a punching machine with an uninterruptable power supply (UPS), a little background. Scene-setting, if you will.

Remember when John Kerry, the walking chin who personified The Importance Of Being Earnest, waxed eloquent on how Russia was ‘using energy as a weapon’? Oh, he was by no means the first to say it, or even one of a select crowd, but he was the first to come up on Google. And it’s kind of appropriate,  because he’s almost as instructive as Mike Pompeo at illustrating what a stuffed-shirt insufferable prick Washington has become. Remember when he promised that if the UN would only authorize a cruise-missile strike against Assad in Syria, it would just be a tiny one? And that the ‘Arab countries’ had agreed that if America would go in and smash Assad, they would pick up the tab? It did not seem to occur to him that he had just stipulated to Washington hiring itself out as a mercenary to whoever had the money, as long as they were on the right side. Ahhh….memories; thank you, John.

Anyway, let’s not wander too far off the path. Washington is never so pathetic as it is when it’s plucking at heartstrings over freedom and the sacred right of the individual to reach for the stars. Dialing the sanctimony up to 12, Kerry wept, “It really boils down to this: No nation should use energy to stymie a people’s aspirations. It should not be used as a weapon. And we can’t allow it to be used as political weapon or as an instrument for aggression.”

The occasion on which John Kerry, who turned out to be more the Secretary of Embarrassing Failure than anything else, laid down the law on Using Energy Always For Good Things was the supposed overcharging of Ukraine for gas by Russia. That was – you guessed it – using energy as a weapon. He did not mention that the gas price, while it was indeed somewhat high, was that agreed upon in a contract by then-Prime-Minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, after she had been specifically forbidden by the Ukrainian cabinet from taking such action. Today she is running for President of Ukraine, while Russia is permanently in the doghouse. Also, Ukraine displayed a somewhat cavalier attitude about paying its bills.

Whoa, Mr. Former Secretary of State – get with the now. The current Secretary of State is the fucking poster-boy for stymieing people’s aspirations through the creative abuse of energy. He can’t wait to use it as an instrument of aggression. In fact, let’s take a look at what he said.

“In his keynote address, Pompeo spoke of exploiting the power the United States is accruing through rising energy supply in “punishing bad actors”; he laid out a vision of working with energy firms to isolate Iran and Venezuela; and he emphasized the need to protect oil supplies by countering China’s moves to control the South China Sea.”

Neither Iran nor Venezuela has done anything to the United States. Washington wants to rub Iran’s face in the dirt because Israel is behind it – as usual – holding its coat and egging it on. Iran is a pretty serious oil power, and the USA just hates oil producers that will not kneel and kiss its ring. Ditto Venezuela, recently the beneficiary of another unbelievable act of American high-handedness, as Pompeo notified Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro that the job was no longer his, and the United States had selected his replacement, Juan Guaido. As to China’s alleged moves to control the South China Sea, maybe you noticed that word ‘China’ in the name. There have been no plans I have heard about to rename it the South United States of America Sea. Is there a particular reason the USA should be the steward of the South China Sea? Because it would be fair to everybody? Ha, ha. Sorry; I didn’t mean to laugh out loud.

What do you have to do to earn a place on Mike Pompeo’s ‘bad actors’ list? Why, simply get in his way, and then don’t get out of it when he tells you to. I can tell you conclusively that it doesn’t have a thing to do with your feelings on Freedom and Democracy. Saudi Arabia is just about as undemocratic as a country ruled over by a King can be, and Mike Pompeo fairly swoons with adoration for Saudi Arabia; “Under the Trump administration the U.S. feels far more emboldened by our oil-and-gas production and the support and alliance they feel with Saudi Arabia,” said Sarah Ladislaw, who leads energy policy analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.”

Well, listen – about that. Are the Saudis really so enamored of The Orange Leader that they are willing to help assist his global maneuvering? Depends who you ask. If you ask RigZone, for example, that source will tell you the Saudis feel betrayed by Trump’s last-minute decision to allow some Iranian customers exemptions from sanctions. Also, the Trump administration had the bad taste not to overlook, or at least downplay the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and to moreover state in public that the Crown Prince could hardly have been unaware, and might even have played an active role. The biggest trump card (ha, ha; see what I did there?) the Trump administration has is the hatred of Saudi Arabia for Iran, and it is likely that which keeps the Saudis from seeking greater cooperation with Russia; Iran is a Russian ally.

Similarly, the USA now needs Saudi Arabia more than Saudi Arabia needs the USA; along with pushing Saudi Arabia to continue ramping up production in an effort to strangle Iran, the USA needs Saudi heavy crude for its refineries, as it has lost Venezuela as a supplier. Caracas has already moved its national oil company’s headquarters to Moscow; during a visit to China last month, bin Salman inked a $10 Billion deal with Beijing to build a refinery and petrochemical complex in China. Venezuela’s weakness, along with a foolhardy dependence on food imports, is a lack of refinery capability and a consequent former arrangement with the United States to refine its crude. Perhaps the destination of its products might be about to change in the near future, beyond where American sanctions can reach them. Additionally, the Saudi Minister of Energy announced the Kingdom’s investment in China is ‘just beginning’. Speaking of Russia, Rosneft holds Venezuelan-owned US-based oil company Citgo as collateral for loans; if Venezuela cannot pay back its loans, Moscow will control Citgo.

Enough cautionary notes? No? Okay; the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) just cut its national output projections, for the first time in 6 months. The number of active oil and gas rigs in the USA fell in March. According to OilPrice.com,

“The latest projections from the EIA are in line with many analyst forecasts which have warned that although U.S. oil production will keep growing, the pace of that growth is not sustainable over time because many of the ‘sweetest spots’ have already been drilled out, the decline rates at wells are fast, and because smaller independent drillers are not making money, thus disappointing shareholders who expect returns, not record high production.”

There’s a phrase in there that ought to make Pompeo feel like he just swallowed a chicken foot; “not sustainable over time”. Because Pompeo’s G-man fantasies about using energy as a weapon against ‘evildoers’ absolutely depend upon US production growth being steady and sustainable. Most of the future production gains are expected to come from the Permian Basin, as the Eagle Ford and Bakken formations are already in irreversible decline.

Uh oh. I see a problem. Decline rates in the Permian are…ahhh…somewhat higher than initial estimates forecast. And before we look at those, ‘decline’ is not a word you want to see in a paragraph which has, as its objective, ‘increase production’.

“A study by Wood Mackenzie Ltd. found maturing wells in some parts of the Permian’s Wolfcamp shale were losing almost 15% of output annually five years after startup. That compares with the 5% to 10% initially modeled.

“If you were expecting a well to hit the normal 6% or 8% after five years, and you start seeing a 12% decline, this becomes more of a reserves issue than an economics issue,” said R.T. Dukes, a director at industry consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. It means “you have to grow activity year over year, or it gets harder and harder to offset declines.”

Which brings us to the American claim to energy self-sufficiency, a concept which makes American venture capitalists and politicians alike hug themselves with glee. When’s that going to happen? One more time; depends on who you ask. By 2020 according to Rex Tillerson, former Exxon-Mobil CEO and even-more-recent former US Secretary of State – gosh, we’re having a bit of a run on those in this post. I need hardly point out to anyone who is aware of what year it is that that golden date is only about a year away. By 2021, according to BP.

Probably not as long as your asshole points downwards, according to Matt Mushalik, who runs the Australian website “Crude Oil Peak”. According to his evidence, all charted out and everything, in 2015 – well within the envelope that American and other analysts were trumpeting like mating elephants about US energy independence, the USA was producing 9.5 million Barrels Per Day (BPD). But it was at that same time still importing nearly that amount, at 7 million BPD. So almost half its oil was still being imported. Since then, the ratio appeared to settle in at about 43% imports. To the best of my knowledge it has not improved since. Meanwhile, some imports from some sources are declining, such as Mexico. But that appears to be because Mexico’s production has passed its peak, and the difference was immediately made up by increased imports of crude from Canada.

Just to reiterate a bit of local politics here, the USA buys Canadian heavy crude at a significant discount, because it is currently the only buyer, due to logistics. Alberta – the primary source of Canadian crude exports – is desperate to build the Trans-Mountain Pipeline Extension through its neighbour (and my home), British Columbia, tripling its delivery rate, so that it can ship loads of heavy crude to Asian markets. If that ever gets done, the USA might find itself competing with China, the likely destination for Canadian exports. In such circumstances, it might become quite a bit more expensive, and the USA’s Orange Leader might have cause to regret imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada on national-security grounds. But we’ll see. Currently the Trans-Mountain Extension looks as likely to be built as the Dick Cheney Vice-Presidential Library.

“Contrary to general belief, and mis-information by the media the US is far away from being “energy independent” in terms of crude oil imports. Maybe some may find the above analysis statistical hair-splitting but the narrative of US energy independence has shaped public opinion to such an extent that prudence has given way to complacency. There is a danger that wrong geo-strategic views are formed, especially in the context of evolving and worsening conflicts in the Middle East.”

Clever-clogs creative interpreters may point out at this juncture that the US claim was to ‘energy independence’, not ‘crude oil independence’. The difference will surely be wiped out by the vunderful Shale Boom, kaboom, kaboom. And I hope they do, because that was a test to see if you were paying attention when I said earlier that the largest US shale formations are in output decline; production is still increasing, but only by dint of increased drilling, as the highest-producing areas have already been drilled to porous ruins. New wells in the less sought-after areas tip over into decline much quicker than the rich deposits.

How’s that energy weapon looking now, Mikey? Mmmmmm…yes, a bit limp. I think I’ll close out with a lighthearted quote from a philosopher who is, for a change, not real; Monty Burns.

“Ironic, isn’t it Smithers? This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That’s democracy for you.”

302 thoughts on “I Spy, with my Little Eye…Someone Who Can’t Wait to Start Using Energy as a Weapon

  1. In my best Burns impression, whilst rubbing my hands together:

    “Excellent!”

    The pace at which US policy seems to be switching to cheesing off as many countries around the world looks as though it’s accelerating, what with the apparent acceptance of the occupied Golan as Israelí. It doesn’t bode well.

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  2. Well, maybe we could reinterpret…

    “There’s a phrase in there that ought to make Pompeo feel like he just swallowed a chicken foot; “not sustainable over time”. Because Pompeo’s G-man fantasies about using energy as a weapon against ‘evildoers’ absolutely depend upon US production growth being steady and sustainable”

    …the above as ‘that’s why we’re in a hurry’

    The tongue-in-cheek one:

    https://www.fort-russ.com/2019/03/rick-perry-where-energy-cocaine-are-synonyms/

    Well, maybe the above is better described as a ‘swallow your tongue’ emergency room case (overdose) … but as an acquaintance just recently (yesterday) had to say to me: “when friends on the radical left used to tell me ‘they’re nazis’ I didn’t realize it was literally true” …

    https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2019/03/21/privatization-for-dummies/

    ^

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    1. Pompeo suggests God sent Trump to save Israel
      “As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible,” the secretary of state said when asked whether the president had an explicitly divine mission.

      Manifest destiny?


      Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prays at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is at the left.

      And, no doubt, God sent these morons, such as are Pompeo and Trump, to rule over us?

      Waes hael!

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      1. Why is Nutty Yahoo smirking? Maybe Mike Pomposity got his hand stuck in a crack in the wall. Maybe Nutty even placed a mousetrap in that crack – heh heh!
        Put this on youtube, along with cute kitten who got stuck in the ventilator shaft.

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      2. As a Christian, surely he would have to believe that the Jews were responsible for the death of his Holy Redeemer, who had been sent down to earth by His Heavenly Father so as to be a sacrificial victim necessary to atone for man’s sins?

        Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children — Matthew 27:25

        Then again, if the Jews had not cried out to Pontius Pilatus that they wanted Jesus Christ executed, then God’s plan to sacrifice His only begotten Son would have gone awry…

        But then, nothing goes wrong that God intends, because everything that God wills IS!!!

        So it must have been part of the Big Boss’s plan that JC be crucified and that the Jews, His “chosen people”, bear the blood curse.

        Anyway, it was the Romans what did it, not the Four-By-Twos.

        Pontius Pilatus was the Prefect of the Roman Imperial Province of Judea, and no matter what the Jews might have wanted, he was the bloke in charge.

        I rest my case.

        Oh yes, and old Pontius was a pagan as well.

        So it was the pagans what done it!

        Waes hael!

        ᚺᚨᛁᛚ ᛟᛞᛁᚾ

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      1. Thanks Mark, one only wishes the reporting could reflect better news. Further, per Moscow Exile’s comment, yep, the Dulles brothers were part and parcel of the extreme religious right (before it was called that.)

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        1. The Dulles Brothers and Their Legacy of Perpetual War

          The Dulles brothers rose to power at a pivotal moment in American history. The great nations of Europe and East Asia were devastated by the War and for the most part lay prostrate at the feet of the American colossus. Together John Foster and Allen seized the day and fastened the U.S. government upon the world as a hyperactive, ruthless empire committed to perpetual war. In doing so, they also helped fasten an equally hyperactive and ruthless garrison state upon the American people themselves.

          This interventionism was framed under the rubric of the Cold War: an all-encompassing struggle pitting the “forces of freedom” against revolutionary communism and Soviet imperialism. In reality it was all about Washington’s own global hegemony, which was advanced especially for the sake of the elite corporate interests that the Dulles brothers had served all throughout their careers.

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          1. I couldn’t have said it better myself 😉

            Btw, I’d just put this following into my ‘spooks’ newsletter:

            “The attached essay (in pdf file format, as well pasted into the body of this mail, below) is focused on legacy of the Dulles brothers’ (Allen & John Foster) clandestine activities in Europe. The Central Intelligence Agency would prefer we all remembered the Dulles brothers for their corporate activities in Central America where the CIA legacy is indeed grossly brutal (on behalf of United Fruit & spin-offs) and where the USA has had a much more secure sense of primacy in the so-called ‘Monroe Doctrine.’ Although the Latin America theater remains highly relevant in the present, the critical aspect of our geo-strategic contemporary moment is relevant to these criminals’ legacy elsewhere.

            I” would add, beware of any misdirection pointing to ‘white nationalism’ as the threat because this is a cultivated perception; white nationalism has been a problem in the USA since the Klu Klux Klan (and before that) and is no stranger to Europe and is certainly no more virulent now than it had been. What pointing the finger at this longstanding issue (as if it were new) points away from (conceals) is, another legacy related to the Dulles brothers represented in the likes of the National Prayer Breakfast and Mike Pompeo’s virulently extreme Christianity, so extreme as to be adequately described as ‘Christian al-Qaida.’ Forget LePen and Orban, the immediate question of survival goes to ‘did God direct Donald Trump to the White House to save Israel from Iran’? Mike Pompeo would have us think so, per his response to a reporter with the Christian Broadcast Network

            “The only sane means of responding to this threat of Armageddon where the USA (just now ‘the mikes’ or Pence & Pompeo) fight Bibi Netanyahu’s wars (I can think of) is satire:

            https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2017/10/02/jews-in-the-news/

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  3. According to his Wikipedia entry, before he was elected to Congress in 2010, Pompeous Mike served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher to elementary school children at Eastminster Presbyterian Church. The mind surely boggles at how many of those kids eventually left the church as adults and became atheists as part of their ongoing treatment for PTSD.

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  4. “not sustainable over time”.

    ’nuff said.

    Where’s the fun of being in an out of control roller-coaster if you need brakes?

    Curiously in French, ‘roller-coaster’ is montagne russe

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    1. The French term comes from the ice slides that they made in St.Petersburg in the 18th century.

      They still make such ice “mountains” here.

      After the arrival of true roller coasters here and which first appeared in late 19th century US amusement parks, Russians began to use the term американские горки — American Hills — for “roller coaster”.

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            1. No. Somewhere not quite so posh.

              I have stayed at the Chateau Lake Louise. It was an academic conference, and we got very preferential rates.

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    1. The TASS article refers to a meeting between Russian PM Dmitri Medvedev and Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko who is concerned that the collapse of the current gas supply contract and Gazprom’s move to use Nord Stream II as the main supply route will lead to the loss of 50,000 jobs:
      http://tass.com/economy/1050080?_ga=2.165815102.1827652373.1553276509-2056445477.1535906149

      Nothing will come from these talks if Boyko does not win the presidency.

      What’s the betting that if Poroshenko steals … er, “wins” the presidency, Boyko will be arrested for having talked to the enemy?

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      1. I doubt Boyko can win at this point, elections are next week. This move to me is just to demonstrate Russians are ready to propose solutions in good faith and that the current Ukrainian leadership is the one to blame for the situation. Also might be a signal to the EU as to which course of action and which leaders (= not Poroshenko) it should support if it wants transit to be maintained through Ukraine.

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    2. Probably not, because it looks better for Ukraine – in the eyes of the west and Ukrainian ‘progressives’ like that reformin’ demon, Poroshenko, if Ukraine makes a clean break with Russia and does not directly buy any gas from Russia. In that direction, I particularly enjoyed Miller’s sly trap;

      Certainly, it is early to speak about the specific price under this contract; however, being aware of exorbitant, stratospherically expensive level of prices for end consumers present on the Ukrainian market at present, it can be absolutely definitely said that the price for the end consumer in Ukraine under the new contract on direct supplies of the Russian market will be approximately a quarter below the current price level,” Miller said.

      Kuh-yiv would like a contract to deliver transit gas to Europe, with attendant transit fees at its discretion and possible opportunities to skim some for its own use, but it does not want to contract with Russia for domestic supplies at any price, because then – the argument goes – it would be under the Kremlin’s thumb and vulnerable. It would rather buy reverse-flowed gas from Europe at higher prices, because raising gas prices is part of the IMF’s agenda, and because at present it is being given gas money by the EU. But this offer makes Poroshenko synonymous with higher gas prices.

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  5. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/03/22/inte-m22.html

    “The US media coverage of the new censorship laws in Russia, feigning outrage over the Kremlin’s crackdown, has been entirely hypocritical. Thus, the editorial board of the Washington Post denounced as an “authoritarian assault” on the “potential value of the Internet, and its very freedom”.

    The same Washington Post has been fully complicit in the internet censorship campaign in the US. It has been one of most vociferous proponents of a campaign against “fake news”, and, in November 2016, it published a “black list” of anti-war and left-wing web sites, many of which, including the World Socialist Web Site, were subsequently demoted by Google in search results, and purged by Facebook.”

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/02/eus-proposal-curb-dissemination-terrorist-content-will-have-chilling-effect-speech

    One hour..???

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  6. Retired Rear Adm. John Kirby, a former State Department spokesman who is now a CNN military and diplomatic analyst, blasted Pompeo over the remarks:
    “Secretary Pompeo’s assertion that President Trump may have been sent by God to save Israel would be laughable on its face if it weren’t yet another indication that our Secretary of State recklessly crosses the line that should exist between church and state,” Kirby said. “The very idea that there is something biblical to the conduct of diplomacy — that foreign policy is some sort of evangelical endeavor and that the American president is the champion of Judeo-Christian values alone — gives comfort to extremists who see the West as crusaders and unease to those who look to the United States as the protector of both religious and civic freedom. What he said is not only embarrassing; it’s dangerous and irresponsible.”

    “our Secretary of State recklessly crosses the line that should exist between church and state,”

    The FIRST thing that came to mind as I read what this f’n moron stated.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/22/politics/mike-pompeo-donald-trump-israel-golan-heights/index.html

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      1. Here is the wiki entry on Gog and Magog. Apparently Alexander the Great had a brush with these fellows, and was less than pleased with what he saw. He built a wall to keep these barbaric Turkic tribes walled into their own turf in Central Asia, and out of more civilized turf.

        Critics of Alexander’s illiberal actions called upon him to “Mr. Great, tear down this wall!”

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          1. “Ezekiel 38 says:
            Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal … Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya will join you [Gog], with all their weapons. Gomer and all its armies will also join you, along with the armies of Beth-togarmah from the distant north, and many others. … You will come from your homeland in the distant north with your vast cavalry and your mighty army, and you will attack my people Israel.”

            Hitchcock makes a highly convincing case that “Rosh” has to be Russia. I mean, the name even sounds like “Russia”, no? Like, Roshia. One mystery solved. Unfortunately, Biblical scholars have not been able to figure out who Meshech and Beth-togarmah are, but “Gomer” is probably just “Homer”, but with the Russian spelling. Just like Russians spell “Hamlet” as “Gamlet”. Either that, or this Biblical passage refers to Gomer Pyle, who serves with the U.S. Marine Corps. This is why he would be leading armies. In which case, “Meshech” is probably “Mississippi”, where his unit is based. See, it all makes perfect sense!

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    1. By the beard of Woden, ol’ retired Admiral Kirby isn’t as daft as I once thought!!!

      This separation of church and state seems to have been forgotten in the USA.

      I remember how that bastard Blair claimed he had knelt down in prayer with Bush Jr. so as to beg God’s guidance over whether to launch a war against Iraq.

      And guess what? The Lord God Almighty agreed with what they both had already decided, namely to smite down the tyrant Hussain with their terrible, swift sword.

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      1. Saddam was Gog, and Assad is Magog.
        Not to be confused with “Zog”, which is the “Zionist Occupation Government” of the U.S.
        Not to be confused with Superman’s nemesis, Colonel Zod.
        Got all that straight now? Good!

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  7. My favourite Nazareth song was: Loved and Lost.

    There you have energy !!

    Russia is lost for the west…

    I was at many conserts with Nazareth. One of them in Nygårdsparken in Bergen. (was it 1986?)

    Hashish vas everywere, you did not have to buy it, you could find it everywere..

    In the grass, under your boots… (people lost or threw? bits of hashish all over the place, and it had a tendency to stick on to the sole of your boots)

    My favourite band at the time was SAHB (that did not exist anymore) but some of band members played with the Nazareth people…

    The Sensational Alex Harvey Band-Midnight Moses & Framed. (Norway, 16-6-1974)

    But they had forgotten about Alex.

    They stole his “guitar”…

    Alex Harvey – The maffia stole my guitar:

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    1. My favourite Alex Harvey Band tune was “Vambo Marble Eye”.

      I saw Nazareth live once, at the old Halifax Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The opening act was Mahogany Rush, led by Frank Marino. He was a very accomplished and underrated guitarist, and he was remarkable in concert. Here they are doing their take on “All Along The Watchtower”, which, except for the lead guitar work, owes much more to the original Bob Dylan track than Hendrix’s more famous version.

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      1. I heard of Mahogany Rush back in 1979 or 1980 but the band was not well known in Australia then. In fact if memory serves me correctly, most Canadian hard rock bands and even some American rock bands at the time were practically invisible in Australia. Rush and April Wine didn’t make any headway. Foghat (originally British, later migrated to the US) maybe got a tiny bit of attention. Even Aerosmith was hardly known until much later in the 1980s when RunDMC released their version of “Walk This Way”. REO Speedwagon only became popular in 1980 with “Keep on Loving You”.

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        1. I don’t think I knew much of them back then, either. To me, everyone who was not local was a Big Name, because I grew up in a small town. Halifax was a hundred miles away, and my friends and I almost always had to go to Halifax to see a real concert. I saw Styx in Halifax at the old forum (the Crystal Ball tour, although it was close enough to the release of “Equinox” that a song or two from that album also made it into the set list), and Kiss (that would have been the Destroyer tour). The old forum closed as a concert venue shortly after that, and the present Metro Center opened. I saw the first concert in that venue – Brian Adams’ “Cuts Like A Knife” tour, opened by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and I later saw Loverboy there and Van Halen (the original lineup, with David Lee Roth).

          I saw Lighthouse at the arena in Kentville, which was much closer to home, but they were Canadians and so almost locals. They were largely unknown outside Canada, although “One Fine Morning” and “Sunny Days” were hits in the USA. They were quite a big band for the day, almost an orchestra, with a brass section and strings, and were often compared with contemporaries the American band Chicago. Here they are doing “One Fine Morning” at Toronto’s Massey Hall in 1972.

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          1. Canadians seem to have a thing for rock orchestra bands. I used to have a couple of albums by the Montreal band Godspeed You! Black Emperor (at one time they were Godspeed You Black Emperor! – the exclamation mark hopped around quite a bit; the band named itself after a Japanese ’70s bikie gang) back in the mid-1990s. The membership of the band has always been very fluid and at any one time nobody has any idea of how many members there are but the core of the group has always been Efrim Menuck (guitar, vocals), Mauro Pezzente (bass), David Bryant and Mike Moya (guitars), and Sophie Trudeau (violin). The band has had people on accordion, bagpipes and cello.

            On top of GYBE, Efrim and Sophie also run a rock orchestra side project called (puff, puff) Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra (the name has sometimes lengthened to “Thee Silver Mt Zion … and Tra-La-La Band”). I had SMZ’s first album ages ago; it was a very doleful affair – lots of violins with a very heavy rock sound, similar to GYBE. The dynamics on these bands’ recordings could be incredible and the music was often political as well as experimental.

            I know other GYBE members have had side projects too with less fancy names like Fly Pan Am and Set Fire To Flames but I have never heard their recordings and I think they are more or less straight rock bands.

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            1. Another, and one of my favourites when I was in school, was Crowbar. The Canadian ‘big’ band, not the much later American act of the same name. They had a very eclectic assembly of instruments as well, but Kelly Jay’s piano was often very prominent. Their big hit, which I will still pull off the road to listen to on the radio, was “Oh, What A Feeling”. It was quite progressive for its time, from the album “Bad Manors”. It’s quite simple and does not vary much from the basic riff throughout the song, but the layers of instruments and vocals were somewhat unusual for the day.

              Like

  8. Outstanding post, Mark!
    Personal faves:

    “…make Pompeo feel like he just swallowed a chicken foot…”
    “…analysts were trumpeting like mating elephants….”

    Like

  9. Elections in Ukraine 02:56
    The leader of the election race in the Ukraine has stated what he thinks is necessary for the return of the Crimea
    Zelensky is confident that the Ukraine will be able to have Lugansk and Donetsk return to the fold only on condition that a powerful information campaign prove to the residents of those regions that they are Ukrainians. The return of the Crimea is possible only with a change of power in Russia.

    Showman and politician Vladimir Zelensky, who is leading the election race in the Ukraine, has said he considers a change of government in Moscow to be the condition necessary for the return of the Crimea to Kiev control. He spoke about his views on the problem of the Crimea and Donbass during an interview with the ICTV channel.

    “The Crimea will only return only when the government changes in Russia. I see no other way for this return to happen”, said Zelensky.

    Speaking about the status of the Donbass, Zelensky stressed that he does not believe the Minsk agreements are viable in their current version. “All that we have are the Minsk agreements, but they are not working: they need to be expanded. You can place peacekeepers along the demarcation line and implement the Volker plan, but I believe that the problem is an internal question [of the Ukraine], ”he explained.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————-

    You don’t say!

    What a deep and thoughtful insight!

    However, I was unaware that Volker with his “plan” were part and parcel of the Minsk agreement.

    So the standup comic believes that the Lugansk and Donetsk breakaway regions will return if the people there are persuaded that they are something they are not and the Crimea will become part of Banderastan if, in Russia, Washington-brown-nosing libtards form a government there?

    I can see that Zelensky truly is a joker.

    Only problem is that libtards have meagre popular support in Mordor, though one should never guess that when reading the Western media shite that is pumped out about Russia, a place where the great masses are straining at the leash, so eager are they to overthrow the tyrant “Pyutin”.

    And the grinning chump Navalny will be the leader of the great masses of disaffected Russians, of course.

    [The dotted line below the above translation is in case my italicization of it does not take place, as has twice recently and unaccountably happened.]

    Like

    1. I guess the prevailing belief in Washington and Kuh-yiv is that the reunification of Crimea is popular only with Putin and his cronies, so that if they were removed, the scales would fall from the eyes of the Russian people; who would say “Huh! I’m not too fussed about it either way – let our Ukrainian brothers have it!”

      They will have to wait a few more years to learn that is not an accurate appraisal, but proceeding on wrong information has never bothered them before.

      Like

      1. Zelensky seems resigned to the fact that Crimea is permanently welded to Russia now, though of course he can’t say this openly during the last week of his election campaign. So the best he can do is say that there is a hope of regaining Crimea but only if the political situation in Russia changes.

        Like

    2. There is no way those breakaway southeastern regions of the Ukraine will return to the fold as long as that part of “Independent” [independent of the so-called Russian yoke, that is] Ukraine that is the breeding ground of Svidomism, that region which, in Poroshenko’s own words, is the “Ukraine in essence”, remains part of what was once the UkSSR, namely Galitsia.

      From an article in today’s Vzglyad on Poland not inviting Russia to participate in the commemoration of the outbreak of the European War that became part of WWII, namely when the armed forces of Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1st, 1939.

      The Red Army “invaded” Poland on September 17th, 1939, when the Polish government had already fled Warsaw, and repossessed territories in what is now western Belorus and the Ukraine, which Poland had previously seized as a consequence of its victory in the war of aggression that it had waged against the nascent USSR, 1919-1920.

      One of the results of the Red Army Polish campaign was the accession to the USSR of Western Ukraine. These are the modern Lvov, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, Volyn and Rivne regions; that is to say, Galicia in the broadest sense. The Ukrainian population living there (as well as those who had resettled there from Poland after the war) has been characterized by a high degree of religiosity, an anti-Soviet mood and a strong national feeling, aggravated during its years of confrontation with the Poles.

      For most of its history, the Soviet Union had managed to keep the Galitsians “in check”, albeit with the realization that” Muscovites ” in these areas were disliked. It goes without saying, that the Galitsians, their increased political activity in the 1980s notwithstanding, played a significant role in the collapse of the Soviet Union, insofar as those other territories that were once Soviet Republics and had then found themselves “independent” of the USSR (for example, Kazakhstan), regarded their “independence” as not being of great importance, whereas it was the Galitsians who ultimately created the “anti-Russian Ukraine” as we now know it.

      From 1990-2000 it was possible to speak about the internal opposition of two parts of the Ukraine: the Russian-speaking southeast, on the one hand, and its centre and the west on the other. The game was evenly matched, the scales tipping first one way and then the other, and if it were not for Galitsia, the pro-Russian part of the population would have made up the vast majority.

      But this issue has not only been concerned with the political mood of the electorate. In fact, Galitsia has managed to spread its perception of the Ukrainian nation and Ukrainian history nation-wide. A significant part of the modern Ukrainian elite, from politician-Russophobes to falsifiers of history, are migrants from Galitsia. Being part of the Ukraine, Galitsia has poisoned it and launched metastases, the consequences of which we are now seeing.

      If it were not for the inclusion into the USSR of territories that were once part of eastern Poland, we would not have a significant part of those problems (and remember, these problems are bloody ones) that we now have in our relations with Kiev .

      One can argue for a long time about how logical and reasonable was the Red Army Polish campaign of 1939 and the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact (the secret protocols of which, by the way, having been condemned by the USSR Congress of People’s Deputies). However, it is difficult to deny the Poles their own view of the events of 1939, and one has to admit that when considering these events in hindsight, Russia shot herself in the foot and, in the long run, in the long these historical events have resulted in the adverse consequences that have made themselves felt in the 21st century.

      And it should also not be forgotten that Lenin tagged on much of what is now eastern Ukraine, the erstwhile “Novorossiya”, to the created in 1922 UkSSR so as to counterbalance the western Ukrainian population, who were predominantly members of the Uniate Church and anti-Russia (firstly the Russian Empire, then the SU). At that time, Kharkov was the capital of the UkSSR: Kiev was considered to be a Polish city then, in that the majority of its population consisted of ethnic Poles.

      And then came Khrushchev, who, in 1954 and in cavalier fashion, tagged the Crimea onto that territory that was to become Banderastan.

      The fact is that the Galitsians have been smarting since 1944, when the Red Army returned to their territory and drove away the Nazi invaders. The Galitsians had backed the losers, and they did not like it.

      They were well aware of this all the time at the Kremlin, but they kept it under wraps, pretending that all in the Ukraine were members of the “Brother Nation”.

      They certainly were not. And the out-and-out Nazis in Galitsia and the Nazi sympathizers there did not suddenly appear in 2014: they had always been there, at least, they had since 1939: they just crawled out of the woodwork in 2014.

      Same goes for the Baltic Nazis.

      Like

      1. Well, there’s no sense in making the same mistake twice, is there? Russia should not concern itself in any manner with rehabilitating Ukraine. If the Poles have designs on it and want the western part, let them have it. If the UN tries to intervene with a resolution in such a democratic struggle, Russia should veto it.

        Like

  10. Порошенко хотел работать в спецслужбах СССР, заявил украинский генерал
    23.03.2019 | 05:30

    Poroshenko wanted to work for the USSR intelligence services, says Ukrainian general
    Army Genera and former chairman of the Ukraine Foreign Intelligence Service, Nikolai Malomuzh, has said that the President of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, had wanted to work in the Soviet special services. About this reports RIA Novosti .

    According to him, Poroshenko expressed this desire when he was a student.

    He also added that the former head of the Odessa region, Mikhail Saakashvili, had also wanted to work in the special services of the USSR.

    Malomuzh stressed that Poroshenko did not meet the standards of the personnel apparatus of the special services.

    Earlier it was reported that Poroshenko had been summoned to court, along with a declaration of his income.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————
    Clearly, both the Kiev Pig, whose politician father (гражданин СССР Вальцман А. И.) was sent down in the UkSSR for thieving, realized that there was more money to be made in plundering “Independent” Ukraine than in working for the Moskal special services.

    Likewise the Georgia Chipmunk: more to be made setting up shop in an independent Gruzia than working for the Evil Empire.

    Like

    1. “Poroshenko did not meet the standards” for KGB recruitment? I wonder why?
      There is probably an IQ test, and a physical. Liver cannot be over a certain size?

      Like

        1. Hee hee, the pun works regardless, because the Ukrainian elites call themselves “Pan” in the Polish manner.
          Aping their former masters and their betters, I reckon.

          Like

  11. Bombed for Our Own Good
    b>Vice President of Montenegro’s 28 June Movement Milo Dubak Addresses United Nations Human Rights Council

    At the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council dealing with racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia, Mr. Dubak’s speech drew gasps and shocked stares as he highlighted the absurdity of Montenegro’s NATO membership stating “I have the distinction of being the only speaker here who hails from a country which bombed itself”.

    Mr. President,

    It is an honour to be with you all as a representative of 28. Jun to share our analysis on how to best combat the many faces of religious discrimination in the Western Balkans.

    First and foremost, the region must come to terms with its past before boldly stepping into a shared future. This Sunday, March 24th, will mark the passing of 20 years since the illegal NATO bombing of Yugoslavia — the day is vividly etched in my memory. I was in the 4th grade when cruise missiles laced with depleted uranium slammed into my hometown of Berane, Montenegro. The sirens wailed as my classmates and I hid, waiting for our parents to take us home.

    Today Montenegro is a member of NATO and I have the distinction of being the only speaker here who hails from a country which bombed itself. NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg recently told us we were bombed for our own good and that joining the very same alliance which tested new weapon systems on our beloved country was in our interest.

    Whatever the case, in order for the Western Balkans to move forward the international community must champion multi-ethnic solutions.

    My organization intends to undertake an ambitious project, in which we will utilize our Consultative Status to focus on three key principles which will ensure a unified path forward; Truth, Reconciliation and Prevention. We sincerely hope the international community will back us in this endeavour.

    In closing I will again reminisce to my childhood. The F-16 which bombed my country can reach altitudes of 15,000 m, an impressive feat, impersonal to the killing and decades of subsequent suffering it was to inflict below. However — Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim alike will all agree on one thing; even at its peak, the plane still flew well below God and far short of justice. Now, 20 years removed from the tragedy, we must do better.

    Thank you.

    Like

    1. “NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg recently told us we were bombed for our own good and that joining the very same alliance which tested new weapon systems on our beloved country was in our interest.”

      Sound familiar??

      http://www.thisdayinquotes.com/2010/02/it-became-necessary-to-destroy-town-to.html

      I think this a is a good accompaniment to Dubak’s remarks:
      https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/03/23/pers-m23.html

      Bonus extra in the above wsws link:

      “Oh and BTW in the event anyone is wondering, or even remembers, the latest Dem Party sparkle pony Bernie Sanders supported Clinton’s crimes in Kosovo.

      “I supported the war in Afghanistan. I supported President Clinton’s effort to deal with ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. I support air strikes in Syria and what the president is trying to do,”

      (Check the comment by Maxwell and the links therein)

      Like

    2. This is why I am not a statesman. In his place, I would have picked some choicer words to say to NATO. Mostly about what it can do, and where it can go…

      Like

  12. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/03/23/fren-m23.html

    “French army receives authorization to shoot “yellow vest” protesters
    By Alex Lantier
    23 March 2019
    Yesterday, the governor of the Paris military district told France Info that soldiers of the Operation Sentinel counter-terror mission had been authorized to fire today on the “yellow vests.” Asked about whether soldiers were capable of carrying out law enforcement duties, General Bruno Le Ray replied: “Our orders are sufficiently clear that we do not need to be worried at all. The soldiers’ rules of engagement will be fixed very rigorously.”

    “They will have different means for action faced with all types of threats,” he continued. “That can go as far as opening fire.”

    Le Ray added that soldiers will have the same rules of engagement for shooting protesters as those for gunning down terrorism suspects inside France: “They will deliver warnings. This has happened in the past, as in (attacks at) the Louvre or at Orly. They are perfectly able to assess the nature of the threat and to respond proportionally.”

    These threats against a protest movement against social inequality that is largely peaceful must be taken as a warning by workers and youth not only in France but internationally. As mass protests and strikes erupting outside the control of the union bureaucracies spread across the world, the military and security agencies of the financial aristocracy are preparing to carry out ruthless repression. Even in countries like France with long bourgeois-democratic traditions, they are rapidly moving towards military-police dictatorship.”

    A little inspirational material:

    (I think that’s a woman at around 5:14…..other footage shows that there were quite a few women combat fighters in the Resistance)

    Like

  13. 24.03.2019 09:15
    Порошенко призвали покаяться за принесенные украинцам страдания

    Poroshenko urged to repent for the suffering of Ukrainians

    The political bloc “Opposition Platform – For life” has accused the President of the Ukraine Petro Poroshenko of causing the collapse of the country and has urged him to get down onto his knees and repent before Ukrainians for the suffering that he has brought them. From a statement published on the bloc website.


    Poroshenko hamming it up on the rostrum again!

    The statement notes that over a period of five years Poroshenko has never fulfilled a single election promise. Moreover, there began the war in the Donbass, which has claimed thousands of lives.

    “Poroshenko’s policy of reconciliation has rather preferred to incite inter-ethnic, interfaith and humanitarian conflicts. Such a split, such a division and such xenophobia has never before been known in the history of Ukrainian society”, the “Opposition Platform – For life” stressed

    “The government has placed the labours of several future generations of Ukrainians into the hands of international lenders. By raising utility rates, destroying medicine and education and by destroying jobs, the Poroshenko regime has doomed millions of Ukrainian families to live in poverty. Capital is fleeing the country; the best and most hardworking of citizens are leaving”, said the statement.

    According to the bloc, between 2013 to 2018, housing and utility rates had increased by an average of 745 percent, 1,080 percent for gas, and 1,220 percent for heating and hot water.

    And any initiative undertaken by individual politicians to make life easier for the people is perceived by Kiev as “an attempt to block anti-corruption procedures”. It was in this vein that the bloc received criticism handed down from Poroshenko to Yuriy Boyko and Viktor Medvedchuk for their visit to Russia. Meanwhile, direct talks in Moscow, which were the first in 5 years, have shown that “there is a chance for peace, a revival of the economy and the improvement of people’s lives”, noted the “Opposition Platform – For Life”.

    “All that remains in such a situation is that the authorities, headed by Petro Poroshenko, get down onto their knees and repent before the people for the five years of grief, poverty and suffering”, the statement said.

    It should be recalled that in the Ukraine on March 31 there shall be held a presidential election. Initially, more than 40 candidates were registered for this post, but several candidates have left the race. According to various polls, the leader in the race for the presidency is the show business person Vladimir Zelensky; in second place is the leader of the Batkivshchyna Party, Yulia Tymoshenko. The current president of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, is in third place. The representative of the “Opposition Platform – For Life”, Yuriy Boyko, competes with him in popularity.

    On March 22, Boyko, along with his fellow party member Viktor Medvedchuk, visited Moscow and had a meeting with the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Gazprom head Alexei Miller. The meeting concerned gas supplies to the Ukraine and trade and economic cooperation between the countries. Medvedchuk, speaking on television, also said that in case of large-scale fraud, the “Opposition Platform – For Life” would announce non-recognition of the election results.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————-

    There’s that Yukie kneeling-down syndrome again!

    Yeah, Poroshenko will repent — all the way to his offshore Panama account!

    Meanwhile, cast your minds back to this:

    String the bastard up!

    Like

  14. Another mainstream conspiracy theorist making hay:

    SkyViews: Sky Views: UK has a duty to investigate potential Russian interference
    https://news.sky.com/story/sky-views-britain-has-a-duty-to-investigate-potential-russian-interference-11673887

    By Deborah Haynes, foreign affairs editor

    Nigel Farage claimed “Russian collusion” when it appeared that a number of signatories to a parliamentary petition calling for the government to stop Brexit came from outside the UK.

    It is unclear whether the former UKIP leader genuinely believes this or was simply conveniently drawing on an issue – Kremlin interference in Western democracies – many observers suspect played a part in the Brexit referendum that he and fellow Brexiteers such as Arron Banks won…
    ####

    Blah blah blah.

    The name rang a bell and I think I posted another ‘opinion’ piece by her a week or so ago. Now I’ve done a little digging, she used to work for the Times & Sunday Times as Defense correspondent and was appointed Foreign Editor to Sky News last May.*

    Well that explains it all. The Times is the equivalent of the BBC, a long standing and reliable mouthpiece for the British Government, unquestioning and helpful, not to mention the particularly chummy relationship that Defense correspondents have with the military.

    What on earth make SkyNews hire her? Anyways, plugging her name in to GuglNuws UK up pops a stream of her shite and a piece by Kit Klarenberg of RT** on her links to the Institute for Statecraft and a lot more, including membership of the ‘Pen & Sword Club’ for ‘…Established by Territorial Army Public Information Officers, the group “[provides] a link between serving and retired officers and supporters within the Ministry of Defence”, its “main mission” is “the promotion of media operations as a necessary and valued military skill in the 21st century”…‘.

    ’nuff said.

    * https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/sky-news-appoints-times-defence-editor-deborah-haynes-as-new-foreign-affairs-editor/

    ** https://sputniknews.com/europe/201903181073345310-integrity-initiative-haynes-duncan/

    Like

    1. But, and I do find it odd why a piece by SkyNudes own Foreign Affairs Editor is not just filed as ‘analysis’ and in its own right rather than under ‘SkyViews’, which is listed as ‘opinion’?


      Sky Views is a series of comment pieces by SkyNudes editors and correspondents, published every morning.

      Legal wiggleroom? On the one hand they can expound beyond the news their thoughts (Moi! Moi! Moi!) and ride on their reputation as correspondents, on the other, if they are caught out SkyNudes is not legally responsible and can hang them out to dry? Having your cake and eating it more like.

      Like

    1. Magnificent. Although I will dispute that military interventionism as a template for state-building – and most especially for regime change – is “past its sell-by date”. In fact, most other methods have gradually been eliminated or watered down to the point the most enthusiastic of the military interventionists – the USA and UK – approach them in such a lackluster manner that it is clear they expect the technique to fail…whereupon they can go to the military option they wanted in the first place. Military interventionism as a tool for regime change remains the preferred option of heads of western states by a considerable measure, and failure has taught them the square root of fuck-all. I don’t know that they ever really expected it to work, but they will continue to apply it as the default for so long as they can get the western population to back it, or at least allow it to happen without active resistance.

      In the described unwillingness to look realistically at Kosovo’s problems because it was a showpiece for western interventionism and state-building, we see a modern echo in Ukraine. There has not been a western military intervention in Ukraine, or at least not an overt one, but the west has obviously been the dominant influence in Ukraine, both in fomenting and carrying out the coup, and in stoking the fires since. It is only now the west will admit there is a strong white-supremacist thread in the western region, and still more recently that it acknowledges a serious corruption problem, the whole while the neoconservatives keep agitating for Poroshenko to remain in office.

      It is therefore clear that the west does not really care about reforms in any of its reshaped states – the barrels of aid serve the dual purpose of cementing state obligation to the west for generations to come and maintaining the country as an asset against the ‘enemies’ of the west – those countries who will not acknowledge its rule.

      Like

    2. I really doubt that the US and NATO expected anything different than what we see today. As is the case with Ukraine, they were not interested in a strong and prosperous Kosovo – far better it remain an Albanian shit hole draining the life out of Serbia. That is how empires think.

      Like

  15. СМИ сообщили о прибытии в Венесуэлу российских военных
    24 марта 19:32

    Media reports arrival in Venezuela of Russian military

    Two An-124 and Il-62 military transport planes have arrived at Maiquetia International Airport in Caracas with a group of Russian military on board, Latin American media reports, in particular the Colombian portal Webinfomil, the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio, the sites Noticiero Digital and Eha Medya. According to their data, 99 Russian soldiers led by a high-ranking general, as well as 35 tons of cargo, havearrived in Venezuela on these planes.

    Your move, gobshite Pompeo!

    Like

      1. One of the two Russian aircraft that arrived yesterday at the presidential landing strip in Maiquetía, #Venezuela. 99 military and the Russian Minister of Defence, and another plane with “materials”.

        Cristian F. Crespo: Soy disidente, soy balsero, soy caminante, soy migrante, soy preso político. Torturado y asesinado por los regímenes comunistas de Cuba, Venezuela y Nicaragua.

        I am a dissident, I am a rafter, I am a walker, I am a migrant, I am a political prisoner. Tortured and murdered by the communist regimes of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

        Funny that there are no reports of this anywhere else.

        So Shoygu is in Venezuela now?

        Nothing on the Russian MoD website about this, but that means nothing, of course, Russians being the inveterate liars that they are.

        Like

        1. All the reportage is from local journalists, much as the reports from Syria were mostly from ‘activists’, so I don’t think anyone really knows who is there or not, absent confirmation. This report contains a bit more – the two aircraft were allegedly tracked with online tools, and the official accompanying the flight is allegedly Vasily Tonkoshkurov, chief of staff of the ground forces.

          https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics/russian-air-force-planes-land-in-venezuela-carrying-troops-report-idUSKCN1R50NB?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

          The aircraft pictured does not look like a Russian Air Force aircraft, but a conventional passenger plane. The plane has cabin portholes like an airliner, does not appear to be specifically designed for cargo transport, and is not the plane which appeared in the aforementioned political dissident’s video. That one did look like a military transport aircraft. So perhaps the one in this report is the one alleged to be carrying military personnel and a high-ranking defense attache.

          I don’t know why anyone should be surprised. Ties are strengthening between Caracas and Moscow, and the United States has made no secret of its campaign to bring down Maduro and put its own puppet in the leadership role. It certainly is not in Russia’s interests to let that happen without a murmur, especially since the USA has made it clear it wants control of Venezuela’s energy resources. Those belong to Venezuelans, and so long as Moscow does not attempt to seize them for itself, those who actually do champion freedom and democracy should be glad to see the Russians there. I had been hoping Russia would take a more overt role, as it did in Syria.

          Like

        2. Russia does not like to play losing hands. If they are backing Venezuela, it seems likely that they are confident they can win this struggle.

          Their most important contribution is to provide just enough financial and political support to allow Venezuela to carry the ball. The Russians understand that they can not be more Venezuelan than the people of Venezuela.

          Syria is another example. Russia provided only enough military support to allow Syria to win its war by its own efforts and sacrifice. Their victory built a foundation for greater self-sufficiency against future threats. That is what I call nation building.

          Like

          1. Yes, I agree. Russia could provide instant relief by figuring out ways to export and sell Venezuela’s oil despite American sanctions, and to ensure the money for it was not confiscated by American fiscal thievery and handed over to Guaido. Venezuela is easily able to buy its way out of a crisis, and that’s why Washington is expropriating its funds and sanctioning its oil industry – it wants to starve the citizens into submission.

            This new aggressiveness devolves, as the post implies, from increased confidence in Washington that it is a big enough energy producer itself that it can ride out any energy shortage caused by increased sanctions and blockading the global transit of energy supplies. Roll on the floor with laughter as US Energy Secretary Rick Perry says earnestly, “US energy supplies don’t come with strings attached”. Uh huh; if European importers became dependent on American energy – something Pompeo and Perry obviously see happening in their dreams, they’re so excited over the incredible leverage that has been placed within their reach – there would never arise a situation in which Washington would use that dependence as a coercive tool to ‘make trade more fair for American business’, for example. Perish the thought.

            https://www.cnbc.com/video/2019/03/13/american-energy-doesnt-have-strings-attached-energy-secretary.html

            I nearly horked up a lung when Pompeo said the Rule of Law would be enough to blunt China’s ambitions to gain control over energy supplies in the South China Sea – what the interviewer referred to as “these disputed waters”. Pompeo went on to say everyone knows those energy resources do not belong to China, and that ‘American diplomats had done the hard work to ensure that countries who own those resources get access to them for their people’. At the very same time Washington is trying to twist Venezuela’s arm until it lets go of its oil industry, so American oil companies can take over operations to ensure gigantic profits for American energy executives. Fuck off, Pompeo. If the vaunted rule of law will take that without blinking – not to mention Washington firing the Venezuelan president and picking a new one – it will take anything, and is consequently worthless.

            If Washington ever gets control over any country through the use of dependency on any American product, I don’t care if it’s Oreo cookies – Washington will use that dependency to influence decision-making in that country until it is satisfied its relationship with America is ‘fair’ to American marketers. It is attempting to do it right now, without too much success, to Europe as it tries to force Germany to cancel the Nord Stream II pipeline and buy more American LNG, except it is a little premature, because Germany is not dependent on American LNG. But you can see plainly how it would twist Germany’s arm until it screamed if it only had leverage over it.

            America is completely blind to its own greed and lust for power over others, and views those as simply ‘making trade fair for American business’. If American products are really so wonderful, and cheap in spite of their wonderfulness, the country should not have to bully its way to increased sales. The truth is, American LNG costs a lot more than pipeline gas, and it comes with every string that Washington can pull on.

            Like

  16. I invite you all to laugh mockingly along with me at the Washington spin on the Mueller Report, which accompanied the conclusion of the ‘Mueller Probe’ into ‘Russian meddling’ in the American presidential election.

    https://www.npr.org/2019/03/23/706088795/attorney-general-barr-faces-bipartisan-pressure-to-make-mueller-report-public

    The way Washington is going to spin it is that there is broad bipartisan eagerness for the report to be made public. Ahhh….but with caveats. Wily political campaigner Nancy Pelosi is at the forefront of the Democrats alleged ‘insistence that any briefings be in an unclassified format’. This is nothing more than an implied consent to classify broad swatches of the report for National Security reasons, to protect ‘sources and methods’, so that informants are not identified. But it is presented in a way which suggests Pelosi is taking the ‘we’ve got nothing to hide’ high road.

    The teaser we have been offered so far is that the report does not recommend any new indictments. This leads Trump counsel Rudy Giuliani to extrapolate that the probe did not uncover any ‘new’ evidence of collusion, although I would have said ‘no evidence’, since we have been offered nothing so far but promises of the devastating hammer-blows to come. Even more ridiculous was Democrat Richard Blumenthal’s hopeful suggestion that there was plenty of evidence – it just might not be indictable. You know; because a sitting president is protected from indictment, and the standard is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I don’t know about you, but I can remember plenty of reports which announced that proof beyond a reasonable doubt had already been established, over and over, more proof than you could shovel in an hour if it was gravel. And at the end of it all, the best the Democrats can argue for is “…all findings and evidence of wrongdoing and criminality that may not have led to an indictment but should lead to holding people accountable and changes in the laws.” Not enough for an indictment, but should lead to being held accountable anyway, he means to say.

    This comes coincident with the opening of a Ukrainian investigation – kind of a comedic concept in itself – into an allegation that the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) deliberately leaked the ‘black ledger’ on Paul Manafort to US Media in an attempt to throw the election to…Hillary Clinton. Alleged enablers are George Soros and Viktor Pynchuk.

    https://www.worldtribune.com/ukraine-launches-criminal-investigation-of-pro-hillary-intrusion-into-u-s-campaign/

    Forget for a moment that this is Yuriy Lutsenko, that the recording used as backbone evidence in the accusation is likely a fake, and that the entire story is likely another ruse by the Poroshenko regime to discredit and weaken anti-corruption efforts . The decision to refocus world attention on an attempt to meddle Hillary into office rather than Trump reflects a Ukrainian apprehension that there is no further sense in trying to court the Democrats, and that throw-them-under-the-bus time has come round.

    Revel in the dysfunction.

    Like

    1. Mark, you scooped me, you dog! Tomorrow morning, hot off my little press, will be a blogpost about Lutsenko and his catfight with the American Ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch. Stay tuned…

      Like

      1. P.S. – just for the record, I don’t think it should be against the law in any country, to “interfere in somebody’s elections” simply by leaking kompromat at an inconvenient time. So long as it’s factual and true.
        I mean, whatever happened to freedom of the press?
        Whether Russians want to leak some shit about Hillary, or Ukrainians want to leak some shit about Trump, they should all be allowed to do so, even if it’s during an election. Actually, an election is the best time to do it, because then the voters get to know their candidates better.

        What am I missing here?

        Like

        1. The claim seems to be that compromising information must be leaked that damages both sides equally, which is just hooey. You can bet if compromising information hurt only Trump, it would be hailed as democracy and free press in glorious action.

          Like

        2. The timing of the release of information that affects candidates’ chances of winning or losing becomes the issue. No matter what the intent of the people who release that information is, everyone becomes convinced they’re doing it to influence the outcome somehow and that they’ll profit handsomely, simply because the information is released during an election campaign.

          Probably the most inconvenient time to release or leak kompromat is when the election campaigning period is drawing close to election day itself because then that’ll be what impacts the most on voters’ thoughts when they go to the polling stations and politicians’ campaign staff, when they see the leaked material, will go into a panic and be less able to think up ways of countering such material because of the lack of time.

          Like

          1. Yes, that’s true, and if I recall correctly Russia has a ban on political advertising in the final few days, or perhaps it’s just on polling. In any case, it is well-known to political campaigners – but something voters never seem to learn – that you can leak outright lies about other candidates immediately before the election and it is too late for that candidate to counter them. If the technique wins you the election, you can always say later that your campaign was misinformed by a fake whistleblower who conveniently disappeared afterward. Karl Rove was the master of electioneering tricks, and liked to recount how he had had crude handbills printed up which smeared his candidate, and distributed them himself, driving with his knees in some neighbourhoods as he shoveled them out the car windows with both hands. The timing allowed him just enough to launch an appalled protest of such dirty tactics and blame them easily on the other campaign. Angry voters predictably reacted by electing his candidate.

            Although it’s hard to make out what the American case actually is, its screams of protest seem to include any mention in Russia or by people who can be accused of being Russian of issues surrounding candidates in an American election, regardless if the position taken in those issues is true and accurate. If I circulated information on social media which pointed out – accurately – that Mrs. Clinton had been warned more than once by the State Department that she must not use a personal email account to transmit or receive classified information, how is that ‘election-meddling’? If elected, the woman would be at the apex of America’s security triangle. If she is proven careless with classified information, do voters have no right to know? As I recall it, European leaders lined up before the election to endorse Mrs. Clinton for president, and disparage Trump. How was that not election-meddling?

            Like

          2. In American lore, they call that tactic the “October Surprise”.
            One classic conspiracy theory holds that Reagan and his team plotted to delay the release of American hostages in Iran. This delay would help them win the 1980 election from Jimmy Carter, by showing Carter up as a weakling.
            This particular theory is actually plausible, although nobody was ever able to prove it definitely. Yet, there is some corroborating evidence in the Iran-Contra thing. According to the theory, while running for President, Ronnie’s team had been in contact with the Iranian Ayatollas and convinced them to hold onto the American hostages just a little bit longer. Otherwise, they were planning to release them in October, which would have given Carter a boost just a month before the election. Instead, the hostages were released on the very day of Reagan’s inauguration, which crowned King Ronnie in glory and gave him powers to undertake all the malevolent deeds to come.

            As the theory goes, Ronnie then went on to make ever more underhanded deals with the Iranians, in order to fund his illegal war against the Nicaraguan government.

            Like

        1. Here it is.

          I posed this story as a catfight between Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and Yury Lutsenko.
          The catfight began when Lutsenko complained about Marie handing him a list of “untouchables”. Marie vigorously denied doing this. Porky intervened on Marie’s side, taking the side of the American against the Canadian.
          A bipartisan delegation of congresspersons and senators flooded into Kiev to support Marie.
          The punchline is that Marie herself is the Untouchable! LOL!

          Like

    2. This is a major victory for the Trump Camp, no matter what. In their typically calm fashion, Fox News is calling for heads to roll, while CNN is showing that they really failed basic English, and MSNBC is trying to somehow blame Trump. CNN’s coverage is by far the funniest to watch. Here’s a summary:

      CNN: “so by collusion, did you mean obstruction?”
      Analyst: “nope, collusion means collusion, obstruction means-”
      CNN: “also collusion, and that’s all the time we have for you, Trumpian, and now we move to our new show, Putin and Trump in love, but first another analyst!”
      Other Analyst: “Hi”
      CNN: “Hi, glad to have you, so collusion and obstruction are like synonyms, right?”
      Other Analyst: “Only if you’re very high”
      CNN: “High on facts, and that’s what we are on CNN, where we have the facts, the whole facts, and nothing but the facts”
      Other Analyst: “Don’t you ever stop lying?”
      CNN: “You’re also a Trump stooge, we’re not glad to have you! Who cares if Putin has no kompromat, he control Trump through flattery!”

      I think that CNN’s coverage of “Collusion” rivals CNN’s coverage of the Ossetian War – zero facts given.

      Like

  17. On the cultural front: I don’t know if anybody else has been watching, but I started binging on Russian TV’s “Godunov” series from Rossiya-Channel 1. I don’t get Russian TV, but the series is available on youtube, for example here is the link for Episode #1:

    It’s a historical soap opera about my favorite era of Russian era (Late Grozny and on through Boris Godunov and Time of Troubles), and it’s actually really good. Gives me hope that not all modern Russian popular culture is kreakl-produced drivel!
    I have worked my way through Episode 7 so far. Not sure how many eps there are in all, but I think there are at least 2 seasons, and possibly 3. A lot of money went into the costumes and sets, to make everything look as authentic as possible. The production values are really good, and the acting is superb. The lead actor, Sergei Bezrukov, who plays Boris, is terrific. He actually looks a lot like Shakespeare. Godunov’s wife Maria is the daughter of Maliuta Skuratov, and she shares her dad’s ruthlessness, becoming a bit of a Lady Mac-Scottish-Person. Boris himself is a sympathetic character: He is brave, honorable, highly intelligent and very patriotic. Which is a hard thing to be in 16th-century Russia, which is crawling with conniving boyars, traitors and spies.
    Speaking of which, the perennial villains are this group of English merchants/spies who set out to colonize Arkhangelsk so that they can export Russian furs without paying a tariff. The actors are hysterical: they wear Elizabethan ruffs, lisp, and carry on in bad Russian. Boris always succeeds in outwitting them – haha!

    I’m not sure if Rossiya-1 plans to make this series more accessible to the English-language market, because there are no subtitles, at least in the youtube version. I hope this produce a version with English subtitles so that more people can enjoy it, and not just Russian speakers.

    Like

    1. Yeah, the perennial limp-wristed, tea-sipping, lisping English faggot so mocked and detested by all!

      I’m English and drink loads of tea — without milk and sugar, I may add: never have drunk tea after the British fashion, i.e. as the English, Irish, Scots and Welsh usually do.

      As for the rest of the above “English” characteristics — include me out.

      And I don’t talk as though I’ve got half a pound of plums in my mouth, using so-called Received Pronunciation, “Oxford ” or “BBC” or, Woden forbid, “Queen’s English”: less than 4% of the UK population has indeed ever done so, but you would never guess that, watching Hollywood portrayals of the “English”.

      Needless to say, I’m not from SE England, the “Home counties”, not that everyone there speaks RP either: Kent folk speak differently to those across the Thames estuary in Essex.

      In fact, when I first arrived here, in the USSR to be exact, few if any Russians identified me as an Englishman.

      In Voronezh oblast (I studied at the Voronezh State University, USSR), the rubes there always said “Guten Tag” to me. And one Ukrainian dvornitsa here in Moscow at the block into which my family and I moved in 2002 was convinced I was a Swede.

      She used to refer to me as “that Swede” when talking to my wife, not knowing that she was talking to my spouse.

      She once told my wife that I, the “Swede”, chucked empty beer bottles out of the apartment window; that she had even seen me do it on more than one occasion.

      As regards the historical accuracy of the Russian costume drama “Godunov”, I doubt very much if any of those ill-fated Chancellor Expedition English mariners, who were shipwrecked whilst trying to find the North East Passage to Cathay and who were subsequently “invited” to Moscow so as to have a chat with Ivan IV, could speak any Russian at all.

      I think it more than likely that all serious discussion done in Moscow was was undertaken in either Latin or Classical Greek, especially the latter, though I daresay some of the sailors may have been German or Polish speakers.

      And when the Muscovy company was founded as a result of this conflab with Grozniy, no doubt they had some Poles and Bohemians and Germans at hand who could speak Russian and whom they hired as interpreters when they set up shop at Stariy Angliyskiy Dvor in Moscow.

      That they communicated in Russian with the Muscovites, either lisping or not, I think not.

      Like

  18. Sky News
    Published on 24 Mar 2019
    According to a summary of the Mueller report’s findings for Congress, it does not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice.

    Like

    1. Perhaps not, but an accusation of obstructing justice is likely to result if investigating authorities demand reams of personal documents, are obviously on a fishing expedition so that if they cannot charge you with one thing they might find something else, and you tell them to go get stuffed. Obstruction of the ‘justice’ of a charge boldly made and of which there is allegedly tons of irrefutable evidence, which wraps up with no charges except getting in the way of investigators finding nothing is pretty weak sauce, and smacks of an agency determined to lay a charge even if it can’t find any guilt.

      See if there is anything like the same enthusiasm for an investigation of the Democrats colluding with the Ukrainian government to try and head Trump off.

      Like

      1. My thought as well – obstruction of justice when no crime was committed won’t do much other than keep a little hope alive in the true believers.

        Trump publically called for an investigation of those behind the Russian collusion charges. If that happens, things will get really interesting.

        Like

      2. Per the above link, Mueller was a chicken shit clown who included the obstruction of justice possibility in his report to keep the baying dogs from ripping him a new asshole.

        Another consolation prize is that Russian collusion is now Bible fact. Yup, make wild claims to move the discussion in a certain direction and then back off. Suddenly what once was viewed as absurd is now considered plausible and not not downright factual.

        Like

  19. A great post as we have come to expect, Mark, that finds another entertaining way to shine the light on the morons AKA American leaders. It must be ADHD syndrome – no other explanation for Bolton, Pompeo and company. They are Pavlov’s dog best friend – conditioned to act without awareness or concern of their jackassishness by their handlers. What a bunch of miserable fucks.

    Like

  20. My, my, how the worm has turned. Some are saying that Trump may have, if he plays his cards right, just won the 2020 election based on the results of the Mueller report. Now that the Nixon gambit apparently failed (threats of impeachment on baseless charges), the MSM and the Democrats better come up with something fast before they look like peevish looser.

    Many things can happen but the overthrow of Trump may require a Kennedy or a Chavez (assassination or murder by induced disease).

    Like

  21. Kirill seems to have gone MIA – has anyone spotted him recently? I miss his splendid rages – I hope he hasn’t retired from the fray.

    Like

    1. Blame Jen, not me. Not a peep has been heard from that madman since Jen posted her comment that she could definitely hear a /ts/ kind of sound at the start of the German word “Zeit”.
      I think that comment shattered all of Kirill’s delusionary world, poor dear! See, he had built his world view on an imaginary dichotomy between “European” and “Asiatic” phonology!

      It’s all very sad, actually. Reminds me of the Ibsen play “Wild Duck”, with Jen playing the role of Gregers Werle and Kirill as little Hedvig.

      Like

      1. Yes I must confess I have a habit of blasting Canadians in the way Yalensis describes: I did it over at Off-Guardian.org to a Canadian fellow called Norman Pilon by telling him over and over in my usual sweet way that his beloved Syrian intellectual hero Yassin al-Haj Saleh had confessed in an op ed for The New York Times had resided briefly with the White Helmets in Douma in 2013 and then nicked off to Raqqa in August 2013 leaving his wife Samira Khalil behind. (She was later kidnapped in Douma and hasn’t been heard from since.) Norman seriously went unhinged and left Off-Guardian.org not long after.

        Like

      1. Juan Guaido was no different with his ‘¡Sí se puede!’ slogan.
        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/31/si-se-puede-shouts-rapturous-crowd-at-juan-guaido-rally

        Until February 23, when his Washington regime-change masters realised that he and his followers couldn’t deliver what they were supposed to do at Simon Bolivar International Bridge near Cucuta at the Colombian-Venezuelan border.

        It’s a wonder Porky Pig’s supporters in the EU and North America didn’t offer him any spare slogans from the 2016 Presidential election like these:

        or even something like this:

        https://imgix.ranker.com/user_node_img/50057/1001135992/original/f-photo-u1?w=650&q=50&fm=pjpg&fit=crop&crop=faces

        Like

  22. The coup [in the Ukraine], of course, was intra-oligarchic but also clearly anti-Russian. And the coup was not intra-national, but externally organized.

    Almost exactly according to the scheme according to which Hitler’s Germany organized a coup in Austria for the implementation of the Anschluss. Everything was shaped as a movement of internal forces, advocating unity with Germany under the slogan “We are all Germans”, with the initiative and power support from the outside.

    The paradox of the coup in the Ukraine was that the most active and forceful component was made up of nationalists, that is, those who should first seek independence. But their main requirement was loss of independence, that is, the demand to abandon national sovereignty through the signing of the “Association with the EU ” agreement, under the slogan “We are all Europeans”.

    Hitler’s Germany carried out the Anschluss of Austria. The modern Western coalition carried out an Anschluss of the Ukraine.

    That is to say, what happened five years ago was not an internal political upheaval: the event was an act of aggression and an annexation of the Ukraine by the Western coalition as well as an act of aggression against Russia, since this annexation was clearly anti-Russian.

    In theory, if you take a consistent position, Russia should have had to: a) call it an armed anti-constitutional coup, (which Russia did); b) note that it was produced by external forces, (which Russia also did); and c) officially declare it an act of aggression against a friendly state and against Russia itself – which Russia did not do.

    What started this duality and a certain inconclusiveness in the Russia position as regards its policy towards the Ukraine and also in relation to the countries that carried out the aggression?

    Russia recognized the anti-constitutional coup d’état committed in the Ukraine — and at the same time recognized the constitutional power established by the coup as legal and constitutional.

    Russia acknowledged that the coup was the result of foreign intervention, which affirmed the puppet power in the Ukraine, controlled from outside by foreign states – but did not recognize their power over and control of Ukraine territory as mercenaries either as aggressors or as occupiers of part of the Ukraine.

    The fact is that Western troops have not been formally deployed into the territory of the Ukraine does not change anything in this position: the hired administration and the hired militants are one and the same thing, the same aggression and the same occupation.

    If the Ukraine today is independent and has an independent national government, and if Russia recognizes this government, then it considers it legal and independent and does not have the right to interfere in the internal conflicts of an independent Ukraine.

    If the Kiev government is legal and nationally independent, then those who do not recognize its territory in the East of Ukraine are anti-constitutional separatists. And Russia should recognize them as such and in no case support their anti-constitutional separatism.

    If Russia recognizes the struggle of the DPR and the LPR as fair and legitimate – it should not recognize the government in Kiev as legitimate. And should not call the militants of this illegal government the Armed Forces of Ukraine, because they are not the Armed Forces of Ukraine: the latter disappeared, having changed their oath in the spring of 2014,

    Turning to the side of the organizers of the coup and agreeing to obey the latter, the servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces became a gang of deserters and mercenaries who entered into the service of those who had carried out the aggression and occupation of the Ukraine. That is – in moral and legal terms – something like Vlasovites during the years of the Great Patriotic War.

    Russia seems to recognize the Kiev authorities as a Nazi government. The absence of crematoria does not change anything: even five years after Hitler had come to power, Hitler did not have them. But if the power in Kiev is Nazi, that is, fascist (since Nazism is only one of the historical forms of fascism, the essence of which is that it is an open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary groups of the greater bourgeoisie), then the resistance of the Donbass is an anti-fascist resistance. But Russia has nowhere officially recognized this as such.

    That is, it turns out: the Nazi fascist government in Kiev, and those who are against it are not anti-fascists and not anti-Nazis. What are they then?

    If Russia does not unequivocally side with the republics of the Donbass, and calls all parties to the “conflict” to negotiate, it means that she believes that there are neither right nor wrong in this conflict. And then Donetsk with Lugansk is no better than Kiev.

    Both Russian politics and the Russian position are drowning and falling into a volitional paralysis, prent amongst Russian elite and created by these contradictions.

    If the Ukraine has been subjected to aggression and is practically occupied, then the friendly state of Russia has the right and indeed should help it repel this aggression and free itself from this occupation.

    If in the Ukraine part of the territories resisted this aggression and did not allow itself to be occupied by the forces of the western coalition and managed to maintain its state structures, then Russia, at least, should recognize these governments as the legitimate government of the Ukraine and to render them direct assistance in his struggle for the restoration of Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity and campaign against Kiev and Lvov, similar to the support of the struggle of North Vietnam against the puppet pro-American government in Saigon.

    Either recognize the existence of two Ukraines: independent and legal in the East and occupied, but subject, sooner or later, to release from the occupation by the forces of the Kiev administration.

    Russia does neither. And outwardly it turns out that the rhetoric of Kiev propaganda, although false, is more logical and holistic than the rhetoric of Russia, because everything in it falls into place: “In Kiev, as a result of the revolution, a revolutionary government recognized by the people came to power; Russia, taking advantage of Ukraine’s weakness, invaded its territory and carried out an act of aggression, creating a puppet administration in the Donbass and Crimea; “Independent Ukraine” has been carrying out a a courageous 5-year struggle against this enemy aggression. This is why the economy is suffering and the welfare of the people is falling”.

    This position is false – but this position is simple and complete: all the component parts of the argument do not contradict one another.

    Russia’s position is confused and eclectic, although in essence it is valid, but it looks like a tangle of contradictions: “There was an anti-constitutional coup in the Ukraine. The government that came to power is legal. But its non-recognition is also legal. The coup was carried out from outside and power in Kiev belongs to the puppet government. But this is not aggression. The power in Kiev is pro-Nazi. But those who struggle with it are not anti-fascists. The Russian government recognizes the government in Kiev and does not interfere in the internal affairs of the Ukraine, but Russia supports those who fight against this Kiev government”.

    All this together is called “formidable virtuous bellowing.” And it looks much weaker than does the arrogant and deceitful position of the Kiev authorities.

    And since, for some unknown reason, Russia does not name what things, in fact, really are, not calling an illegal power an illegal power; the aggression of the Western coalition the aggression of the Western coalition; the Western occupation not named as Western occupation, then all these expressions are turned inside out. And Russia has already long been accused of aggression, occupation and annexation.

    Furthermore, of course, the annexation of a large part of the Ukraine by the Western coalition is indisputable aggression against the interests of Russia, whereas Russia, without naming this aggression as what it is – the aggression of the West towards itself – politically and legally disarms itself in opposing this aggression.

    And those who proclaim on behalf of Russia: “Russia will no longer force anyone to unity with force: the Ukrainians themselves wanted to rot so-let them rot! We will not bail them out!” are essentially only urging Russia to surrender to and not resist this aggression. Because it was not the Ukrainians who wanted to live like this: it was the external aggressor, having occupied Ukraine, that ordered them to live like this.

    And in this situation, saying “We will not bail them out!” would be exactly the same thing as saying in the autumn of 1943: “Russia has been liberated: let Hitler have the Ukraine, because she could not defend herself”.

    Source: Сергей Черняховский. Украина: слова и позиции

    Like

    1. Speaking of Prozorov, here is an article about his briefing.
      In his press conference, Prozorov revealed that he switched sides and started working for Russian intelligence right after Maidan.
      He said he is pretty sure that the Ukrainians brought down the Malaysian Boeing, and he named 2 specific names, whom he believes to be responsible: Valery Kondratiuk and Vasily Kurbatov. Both of these guys work in the Poroshenko government. Kondratiuk is former counter-intelligence; and Kurbatov works in the Dept. of Defense.

      Like

      1. I don’t think we are ever going to learn, in a fashion which dispels all reasonable doubt, what happened to MH17. We know Russia didn’t shoot it down, but Ukraine has had years and the screen of jealous western protection to falsify and destroy evidence. Those who are convinced that Russia is the root of evil in the world will not change their beliefs without proof, and I think proof is simply unobtainable now. Even if – just supposing – westerners who were on the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) came forward and announced concerns about things they saw that didn’t add up, or even reported as eyewitnesses that they saw evidence being destroyed, there would be a concerted effort by the west to discredit and bury them. Western foreign policy has too much invested now in trying to take down Russia to ever even admit doubt. And as for Russia introducing evidence, even eyewitnesses, forget it.

        Like

  23. 10 million a year for this POCrap to nightly squat and gush russophobic garbage propaganda….

    Like

  24. “For instance, as you point out, the exculpatory Mueller fishing expedition has provoked zealous anti-Trumpers to double down on the spurious claim that, Trump’s non-participation notwithstanding, the Russian government actually did demonstrably meddle and interfere in the 2016 US elections– among others. They cling to Mueller’s gratuitous, staged “show trial” indictments of Russian nationals who will never be prosecuted as definitive proof of this meddling.

    Besides these desperate and deranged attempts to patch up the well-punctured and deflated Big Lie of a ruthless, subversive Russian Menace, there is even speculation that Mueller himself was compromised or coerced into exonerating Team Trump. One US network TV pundit “smells a cover-up”; her cognitive dissonance blinds her to the reality that she is actually only smelling herself, as it were.

    I wrote facetiously several weeks ago that the Russophobic propaganda campaign won’t be over until Rachel Maddow says it’s over. It remains to be seen whether the post-Mueller Report “Resistance” will get any traction from attempting to keep the Big Lies alive by pouring the sour Mueller wine into portentous new skins, but in the short term we can expect their cynical perpetrators and hapless, credulous thralls to solemnly tender every possible wild and preposterous rearguard justification for perpetuating the anti-Trump inquisition.”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/03/25/pers-m25.html

    Like

  25. EXCELLENT:
    https://thehill.com/homenews/news/435579-russian-troops-land-in-venezuela-reports

    Also more good news:
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/25/americas/venezuela-news-roundup/index.html
    “International banking meeting canceled
    The Inter-American Development Bank, the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, called off its annual meeting in China next week after Beijing refused to grant an official visa to Ricardo Hausmann, Venezuela’s representative designated by opposition leader Guaido.
    China is one of the nations that does not recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s leader.”

    In total the China-Russia response to Pompeo:
    “Fuck You”

    Like

    1. The comments are ..shall we say inspiring!!! LOL!!!

      Ipso Facto
      3 hours ago
      Good for Russia, they know that they’ll be next. You can’t appease American and Israeli terrorists. The only thing they respect is violence.

      57

      Kelly ward
      Kelly ward
      3 hours ago
      I hope Russia can save Venezuela

      40

      what’s Life onEarthAllAbout
      what’s Life onEarthAllAbout
      2 hours ago
      Russia should donate 10 nukes and 50 hypersonic missile to Venezuela free of charge…

      That way Russia can get incredible allies all over the world to trust russia…

      14

      Emma Vilakazi
      Emma Vilakazi
      2 hours ago
      That is good Russia please support the Venezuelans and President Maduro the world is tried of USA destroying Libya, Iraq this countries hv never seen peace stand by your President. Don’t support this opposition agenda rather they should work together build Venezuela.

      Like

    2. “The statement did not specify any reasons for the cancellation, but US Vice President Mike Pence suggested it was related to Guaido’s pick. Writing for the Miami Herald on Friday, Pence said, “The Chinese are undermining the hemisphere’s progress towards democracy by refusing to grant an official visa to Ricardo Hausmann, the lawful representative of Venezuela — the first time in the bank’s history that a host nation has refused to seat a member.”

      Incredible. Now refusing to recognize the minister appointed by a ‘president’ who was himself selected by a foreign country is ‘undermining democracy’. Does the United States realize how loony it sounds?

      Of course the whole exercise was a ruse to get China to recognize Guaido as the legitimate ruler of Venezuela, by receiving his emissary and according him the respect of a duly appointed member of the government. Then the American press would rush out a headline; “China Joins World in Recognizing Guaido as President!!” Just like the excruciating maneuvers Kuh-yiv went through to get Russia to implicitly recognize the kangaroo government set up by the coup, before any elections, while Yanukovych was still the legal president.

      Like


  26. Who me? I never done nothing!

    Dishing the dirt on Poroshenko:

    See below awful partial translation into English of “Тайна смерти Михаила Порошенко. Убивал ли президент Украины своего брата” [The mystery of the death of Mikhail Poroshenko. Did the President murder his own brother?]:

    The Mystery of the Death of Michael Poroshenko

    An earlier (1 day ago) source:

    Молдавский политик обвинил Порошенко в убийстве собственного брата — видео

    Moldavian politician accuses Poroshenko of murdering his own brother – video

    Like

      1. Probably rolled on top of the brother when they were kids watching afternoon TV cartoons together and crushed the poor little tyke.

        Like

        1. Porky’s old man was from Moldavia. His family name was Valtsman. He took his wife’s maiden name when he got wed. Porky was born in what was called Bessarabia, which had been annexed before his birth by the UkSSR as part of the secret Ribbentrop-Molotov Non-Aggression Pact protocols.

          Papa Valtsman and boys had a nice little operation going on between Moldavia, Transnistria and “Independent” Ukraine – the usual thing: narcotics, prostitution, contraband. And before that, old Valtsman had already got sent down during Soviet times for corruption.

          Billionaire Poroshenko started his business by laundering the money of Soviet administrators. He has never been an entrepreneur who started a business of his own. The story is invented. He made a head start thanks to the criminal connections of his father sentenced for large-scale theft in 1986. Having served the sentence, Poroshenko Sr. launched his own business making his son involved in the activities. The business was dirty, it all started with plundering state property by armed gangs. The Poroshenko family had plans to expand the activities beyond Ukraine. Tatyana Mikoyan, a well-known Kiev-based lawyer, remembers what the family did in Transnistria, “It was horrible back in the 1990s: illegal arms, prostitutes, drugs – all bringing profits to father and son”.

          Source: Weapons, Prostitutes and Drugs –These are Things Petro Poroshenko is Associated With
          24.05.2014

          All well-known and documented and all swept under the carpet in the West.

          http://s16.stc.all.kpcdn.net/share/i/12/6873387/
          Father and son: Aleksey and Petro Poroshenko

          In 1976, Aleksey Poroshenko, the father of the current president of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, became the director of a local research experimental repair plant, but after nine years he was detained on suspicion of embezzlement.

          “On November 29, 1985, Aleksey Poroshenko was detained by staff of the Bender City Department of the Interior on suspicion of embezzling material of considerable value”, Komsomolskaya Pravda confirmed …

          He was arrested on December 2. For six months he was held on remand in the Bender remand prison and on July 20, 1986, Aleksey Poroshenko was convicted by criminal division of the Supreme Court of the Moldavia Soviet Socialist Republic to five years of imprisonment withthe sentence to be served in a corrective-labor penal colony and with confiscation of property and the deprivation of the right to occupy senior positions for a term for five years.

          Interestingly, Aleksey Poroshenko’s downfall was caused by vodka. No, he did not drink: he just got caught smuggling it into Finland.

          “Aleksey Poroshenko was good director, but he tried to get into crime”, former toolmaker employed at the plant since 1965 and chairman of the plant workers’ committee Valentin Pitersky told Komsomolskaya Pravda. “In 1985, he was detained on the border with Finland. He wanted to smuggle vodka there for several thousand rubles, probably disguised as factory products. He had been treated positively at the plant, but when they found out what things he had been up to, the opinion of the team changed. He quit voluntarily, but we had already prepared papers for his dismissal under an article of the Labour Code.

          — What sort of life did Aleksey Poroshenko lead?

          “He wore normal, run-of-the-mill clothes. He looked fine, wore a suit and tie. He tried to give the impression that he wasn’t poor; drove around in a director’s “Volga”. Nobody could have imagined that he was living on an unearned income, but he did not get sent down for smuggling, but for something else. He was a Party member and how could a Communist be a criminal, especially one in such a position? This was a blemish on the Communist Party!

          We had been discussing elections in the Ukraine and hoped that he would win, and since he worked with us, he would help us: things would have become easier for us. The plant had not been working for a long time, everything had been plundered, privatized, sold out …

          But I have watched TV, seen Petro Poroshenko’s eyes: he is a cruel person! Painfully cruel …

          And his father … well, other factory directors did a lot for members of the workforce. One of Aleksey Poroshenko’s predecessors had eleven houses built for the workers, but Aleksey Poroshenko did nothing for the workers.


          Porky’s papa on the march with Party members.

          source
          Published May 2014

          Like

          1. In the black-and-white photo above, Porky’s pop and the bloke front right are clearly big noises in the local party and are well off, because, notwithstanding what one retiree from the plant where Aleksey Poroshenko was director stated in the KP interview quoted above, namely that Poroshenko Sr. dressed averagely, in the photograph both he and his colleague front right are wearing full-length leather overcoats, which, as I recall from my time when living in the USSR, was a sign of affluence.

            Like

  27. https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/donald-trump-with-marilyn-monroe-character-at-universal-studios_723895.jpg?itok=nCB2Ao2A
    The Monroe Doctrine?

    An AP poll now puts US President Trump’s popularity at just 32%, so it seems the US government shutdown is not doing him any favours. Yet if the last few years has shown us anything, it’s that when pushed into a corner, Trump tends to escalate, to create chaos, to change the topic, as a negotiating tactic of sorts. And you know what? It’s often worked for him.

    Some will say that’s why Trump has recognised Venezuela’s unelected opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president of the country as he tries to push aside President(?) Maduro: that’s called regime change, folks. Trump has warned that “all options are on the table” if Maduro tries to remain in power, though other US officials have since tried to emphasise that this means economic measures such as transferring Venezuelan assets overseas and oil FX revenues to Guaidó. Mmmm.

    Is this the US Monroe doctrine back in effect, shortly after Russian nuclear capable bombers just happened to visit the country back in December. Yet note that Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia are also joining the US is backing Guaidó, making it not just a US show. Even Canada is joining in, which shows either it really is “white supremacist” (as the Chinese ambassador has stated) or that this is a more general backlash against Venezuela’s downwards spiral into utter chaos.

    by Tyler Durden
    Fri, 01/25/2019 – 10:51

    Like

    1. First, Washington must not succeed. If it does manage to change the government in Venezuela, there will be no stopping it as it rampages around the world, re-engineering governments which do not suit it so as to make more opportunity for American investors and businessmen. It must not succeed. Additionally, Washington has incorporated a couple of new tactics which will be adopted into the Regime Change Playbook if this attempt is successful. One, have the opposition boycott the election, when the time comes around for choosing the leader. Then, announce the election was illegitimate, because the opposition was not allowed to participate. This neatly gets around the issue of all the people who voted for the leader you want to remove – of course they did, there was no other choice! Innovation number two depends on the target country having strong economic ties with the west, and with western banks. It simply involves freezing national assets at those centers, and gifting them to the opposition leader on behalf of the people. These assets are not precisely being stolen – they still belong to the people. But they cannot access them unless they accept the opposition as their leader. Neat, huh? Washington buys them a new president, sympathetic to American goals and policies, using their own money.

      Obviously, this advance is less effective to the degree the target country is less reliant on western trade and financial instruments. It is unlikely to work on Russia, for example, and getting less likely every day. But many countries are extremely vulnerable, and this would be a good moment for Russia and China to capitalize on that realization and implement international lending which is not susceptible to American tinkering. An alternative to western financial institutions which cannot be relied upon to be independent. Fortune favours the bold.

      It is fairly easy to see why Argentina, Brazil and Colombia support American efforts, short of military intervention – all are prime targets for Spanish-speaking refugees, and have probably been frightened shitless by State Department warnings of waves of indigent refugees which their social-welfare systems must absorb.

      Like

    1. Followed by humanitarian bullshit:

      Like

      1. And Bolton gets support from Asher:

        Asher states: Love #Israel 🇮🇱, Im here to show my support for my Jewish Brothers & Sisters.

        Shalom!

        Check up on your English, though. The Russians are there, not “their”.

        Like

      2. And all it asks in return is to be allowed to select the national leader, and shape the economy so that Venezuela’s resources can be used to support American wealth accumulation.

        Like

  28. I deliberately watched CNN yesterday for ten minutes before I couldn’t take it any more, including the WH SPOX being challenged by the anchorman who was ‘But but but’ then returning to the panel for more ‘But, maybe, could be, possibly’ conspiracy theories. I tried MSNBC but lasted about twenty seconds.

    The longer the Dems go on about this instead of pumping good and popular policies such as medicare for all and shoeing in old skool Dem farts, then Trump will get his second term (short of some other scandal). The dems and their media supporters are committing suicide.

    Anyways, here’s a great piece by Mark Ames via Zerohedge:

    It’s official: Russiagate is this generation’s WMD
    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/russiagate-is-wmd-times-a-million

    The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed it
    Mar 23

    Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.

    As has long been rumored, the former FBI chief’s independent probe will result in multiple indictments and convictions, but no “presidency-wrecking” conspiracy charges, or anything that would meet the layman’s definition of “collusion” with Russia.

    With the caveat that even this news might somehow turn out to be botched, the key detail in the many stories about the end of the Mueller investigation was best expressed by the New York Times: …

    …After writing, “Confessions of a Russiagate Skeptic,” poor Blake Hounsell of Politico took such a beating on social media, he ended up denouncing himself a year later.

    “What I meant to write is, I wasn’t skeptical,” he said…
    ####

    A LOT more at the link.

    I just looked up Blake Hounell’s latest and he doubles down:

    Politico: Trump Didn’t Collude With Russia. So Why Does He Love Putin So Much?
    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/03/24/trump-putin-russia-collusion-226110

    The Mueller report has settled a great mystery of the Trump era. But only one.

    By BLAKE HOUNSHELL

    March 24, 2019

    ####
    To quote another piece which I cannot place at the moment, someone wrote ‘It’s not just moving the goal posts, but the whole stadium too’ with regards to the Russiagater conspiracists ‘yes but no but’ response to the Mueller report.

    Like

  29. NYT via Zerohedge.com: Boeing Was ‘Go, Go, Go’ to Beat Airbus With the 737 Max
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-24/it-was-go-go-go-boeing-rushed-737-max-design-race-airbus

    A major decision that Boeing made almost a decade ago has resulted in the greatest threat to the aerospace giant’s reputation and the bottom line at the company after two major plane crashes in just under six months.

    Back in 2011, American Airlines, who was an exclusive Boeing customer for more than 10 years, was getting ready to defect from the company in favor of purchasing hundreds of new jets from Airbus, according to The New York Times. Airbus had been stealing market share from Boeing for several years, and losing American Airlines would have been a crushing blow, costing billions of dollars in lost sales and thousands of jobs….
    ####

    Plenty more WTF? at the link.

    Like

      1. Apparently that deal was in the making for over a year and in the last few weeks Airbus has had cancellations of over 100 aircraft (Emirates/Avianca etc). Still, one in the eye for Boeing and leverage for China!

        Like

      2. There are two types of electric aircraft – both types have electric motors to spin the propellers. One type carries rechargeable batteries which results in a very limited range and low cargo capacity. The other uses an onboard generator and possibly batteries to provide extra power when needed. The onboard generator could be a gas turbine directly driving a high speed generator located somewhere in the fuselage. The motor speed can be varied independently of the generator speed giving a great deal of operating flexibility. Elimination of mechanical speed reducers saves a lot of weight and reduces maintenance. This technology has a lot of potential for small to medium aircraft.

        Like

  30. Anyone following the latest high-profile arrest in Russia’s fight against corruption/embezzlement? Abyzov (former minister of “open government” ) has just been arrested. Reports are coming up that Chubais cooperated with the FSB and tricked Abyzov to get him to come back to Russia (kind of like Sechin and Ulyukayev). Abyzov is denying the charges and rumors are Dvorkovich is next on the FSB’s list.

    Like

      1. And it gets juicier by the hour. Sadly, none of what is reported is confirmed. It’s all “unknown source in the government” and “people close to the case say…” which is why I am qualifying it as rumors. The latest rumors are that Dvorkovich is not in Russia and his whereabouts are unknown (some are going as far as to say he “fled” Russia, but this is just malicious guesswork) and that Timakova (Medvedev’s former press secretary) may also be involved in the case. People have also noticed that Medvedev, in a typical petulant yet tech-savvy move, has deleted Abyzov from his “friends” list on VKontacte. Abyzov started his federal career when Medvedev (as President) nominated him as his personal adviser, then placed him in his government when he became PM.

        Like

        1. Второй за неделю экс-министр задержан в Москве
          03/28/2019 11:07

          Second minister in a week detained in Moscow


          Dima and Victor Ishaev flying high in 2012

          In Moscow, as part of a criminal case, Viktor Ishayev, the former governor of the Khabarovsk Territory, former Minister for the Development of the Far East as well as former Plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District, has been detained. A TASS source in the law enforcement agencies has also said that law enforcement officers were conducting searches in the administration of the Khabarovsk Territory. It was noted that searches in the regional government took place last week, and are currently being conducted in offices where members of the Ishayev family work. The detention of the ex-governor, who has headed the region’s administration since 1991, is associated with a case of large-scale fraud in the forest industry.

          Viktor Ishayev headed the region from 2001 to 2009 and later worked as the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of Russia in the Far Eastern Federal District (2009-2013) and Minister for the Development of the Far East (2012–2013). He was a member of the CPSU. in 2003 he became a member of United Russia. In 2008 he became an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences. From 2013 to 2018 he was an adviser to the president of Rosneft on coordinating projects in the Far East, having the position of vice president.

          In 2017, the name of the ex-governor was mentioned in connection with a terrible accident involving his grandson Igor Ishaev. An unemployed young man driving a Mercedes-Benz CLS sports car, travelling at a speed of over 300 km / h, collided with three other cars on the Moscow Ring Road. The criminal case was discontinued, since the only victim in the accident was Ishaev’s passenger, who refused to put in a claims for injuries.

          Oh Dimakins! Did you really not know anything about the shenanigans that your fellow traveller was allegedly involved in?

          Like

                1. Quick!! Get those ducks out!!!

                  I don’t imagine Navalny has much interest in probing corruption associated with fraud in the forest industry in Khabarovsk. You never know what might turn up.

                  Like

                2. Navalny is pretending now he was first to investigate Abyzov and out him as a corrupted official back in 2017. In fact, he only published a video saying that the man owns a villa in Italy. Abyzov as minister of “Open Government” has a very strong liberal leaning, and I’m almost sure (I have to check just in case) that under his initiative, the Open Government was inviting people from Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Fund (ФБК) to its meetings as experts on public procurement and how to prevent corruption/fraud.

                  And yeah, Navalny should stay far from investigating anything even remotely linked to forests 😀

                  Like

  31. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/03/26/mani-m26.html

    It is not the internet and the social media that have created an audience for fascist ideology and spurred acts of violence, but the systematic whipping up of anti-immigrant xenophobia by governments for decades, in particular the vilification of Muslims as part of the bogus US-led war on terror.

    The ban is intended to prevent discussion of the fact that many of Tarrant’s views are not very different from those held in governments and parliaments throughout the world.

    ***The manifesto contains anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric strikingly similar to that used by US President Donald Trump, who Tarrant hails as a “symbol of white renewal.” ***
    (As I pointed out in a prior post)

    Tarrant repeatedly describes immigrants as “invaders,” the same word Trump used to incite violence against refugees. Tarrant’s anti-Islamic rant also resembles the political rhetoric of far-right parties across Europe, as well as Australia’s One Nation and the New Zealand First Party, which is part of the Labour-led government in Wellington”

    Also:

    “Most media commentators praised Shanks’ decision. An editorial in the Christchurch Press rejected the argument that the ban “stifles debate about the gunman, his motives and how future bad actors can be stopped.” It declared: “The debate is not worse because we can no longer possess or distribute the document. Its contents are well enough understood by the public.”

    This is completely false. In fact, the media has played a major role in covering up the significance of the manifesto. The document, for example, makes clear that Tarrant is a highly-conscious fascist, sympathetic to certain far-right politicians and with international connections to many nationalist groups. He is not a “lone wolf,” as is asserted by the government and much of the media.

    The manifesto also reveals Tarrant’s sympathy for the military and police and states that hundreds of thousands of people in the European armed forces are in nationalist groups. This passage, which raises extremely serious questions about whether Tarrant had any assistance from members of these state agencies, has received no attention in the New Zealand or Australian media. Fascist groups have been allowed to flourish in both countries unhindered by police and intelligence agencies, which ignored repeated warnings of neo-Nazi violence in the years leading up to Tarrant’s attack.”

    Here…see for yourself:

    Click to access The_Great_Replacementconvertito.pdf

    There is little difference -if any-between this ‘manifesto’ and a typical Trump tirade!!!

    Like

  32. Saying what the US Congress loves to hear — and others obsessed with Russian malfeasance:

    Когда у меня спрашивают, кто мой союзник, с кем я готов объединяться, мой союзник – украинский народ. Кто мой оппонент – единственный, и я не стесняюсь и открыто говорю, потому что другие боятся этого делать, мой оппонент – Путин.

    When I am asked who my ally is, with whom I am ready to unite: my ally is the Ukrainian people. Who is my opponent? — the only one, and I do not shy away from openly saying so because others are afraid of doing this: my opponent is Putin.

    Porky, ever keeping up the good fight against the aggressor state and its evil, tyrannical dictator— and still getting richer by the day in doing so.

    So you see, Yukies, it’s either Porky or Russia. That’s your choice! — And keep on buying his chocolates and allowing his companies to fulfill weapons contracts and continue doing business with his bank, which is the only profitable one in the Ukraine. Oh yes, and don’t forget to keep tuning in to his TV station as well!

    Source: Порошенко заявил, что считает президента РФ своим “оппонентом”
    2019, 27 Мarch, 01:22

    Poroshenko says that he considers the President of the RF to be his “opponent”

    Like

  33. The Baltic curs continue to yap on …

    In proceedings concerning the events of January 1991 in Lithuania, a Vilnius District Court has sentenced in absentia former USSR Minister of Defence Dmitry Yazov to 10 years of imprisonment, reports TASS.

    “The court decided to find Dmitry Yazov guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and impose a 10-yea sentence of imprisonment”, announced the chairman of the panel of judges, Ainora Matseviciene.

    The Prosecutor General’s Office had demanded a life sentence for Yazov.

    Earlier, Russian Ambassador to Lithuania, Alexander Udaltsov, said that Russian diplomats had not been allowed to attend a court hearing in Vilnius, where Russian citizens Yuri Mel and Gennady Ivanov were to be sentenced.

    According to the Investigation Committee of Russia, since 2006, employees of the Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office and the court have been persecuting 60 former servicemen of the USSR Armed Forces who are accused of committing crimes during the riots in Vilnius in January 1991. Two of them were detained: in 2011, Mikhail Golovatov was detained on request in Austria, but subsequently released, and in 2014, Yuri Mel was detained and is still in custody.

    So why don’t they sentence Gorbachev to life imprisonment in absentia?

    After all, he was head honcho in the USSR in January 1991.

    Oh, I forgot!

    “Gorby” is still idolised in the West for being a liberal and a democrat and not that sucker of a traitorous cnut that he really is, the man whom Thatcher “could do business with”, and whose back Bush Sr, as President of the USA, well and truly pissed up.

    And meanwhile, Nazis openly parade in the Baltic states.

    No matter: soon those states will pretty well be de-populated.

    source
    27.03.2019 | 12:06

    Like

    1. I well remember the hilarity and snark that ensued in the western press when Russia put the dead Sergey Magnitsky on trial for embezzlement and fraud and accessory thereto – the west could not laugh heartily enough at such a ridiculous concept. But there’s apparently nothing funny about putting a 94-year-old who is not even in the same country as that in which the trial is taking place on trial for events which happened nearly 30 years ago. I guess you have to have a special sense of humour, so that the one is hilarious and the other makes perfect sense, at least enough that it does not arouse comment.

      If I were Yazov, whom rumour says is an unimaginative dolt (and was well before he attained his current dottardly age), I would call a press conference and announce that I had escaped from my Lithuanian guards on the way to the prison, and am currently passing my days in amorous dalliance with Matseviciene’s mother.

      Like

  34. CrAP via Antiwar.com: German magazine ordered to pull claims about Iranian group
    https://apnews.com/3f52a313e71e47ecae57cfe7d3e26f24

    A German court has ordered weekly magazine Der Spiegel to pull passages from an article that said an exiled Iranian opposition group engaged in “torture” and “psychoterror,” saying the article didn’t support the allegations….

    …The Mujahedeen-e-Khalq welcomed the ruling, saying the article “spread a wealth of lies and false allegations” about the group.

    The ruling came at a difficult time for Spiegel. ..
    ####

    This is a tough one.

    1: MEK is a terrorist group fully sponsored and protected by the United States & friends, hence their base in Albania which the US properly moved in to before bombing Serbia in 1999 and setting up permanent military facilities as well as modernizing an old airbase or two in northern Albania (used to host UAVs, attack helicopters and associated military support).

    2: Der Spiegl, as we all know, published rancid russophobic yellow journalism and revels in it. We should all celebrate if it goes to the wall, but most likely it will appeal and should get a reduced fine or be ‘rescued’ with ‘new owners’ and cash as it is part of the West’s long running hybrid warfare against Russia.

    That an American backed terrorist group ‘wins’ in Germany, a country that does not like to toe the US line, would be too weird. You also have to ask who advised the group to take Der Spiegl to court and why. It looks a lot like continued provocation (or shall we say ‘hybrid warfare’?) against Germany by the United States. Even if it isn’t, it will still rankle…

    Like

  35. My review of the Russian TV miniseries about Tsar Boris Badenov. In tomorrow’s edition of the review, I will explain why it was perfectly okay to cut Tsarevich Dmitry’s throat, if that was indeed what occurred. In fact, that kid was such a horrible brat, one wanted to crawl through the television screen and slaughter him on the spot, oneself.

    Like

  36. Sic Semper Tyrannis: “Russian Army is Radically Upgraded” * by Sergei Shoigu – TTG
    https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/03/russian-army-is-radically-upgraded-by-sergei-shoigu-ttg.html

    In his latest Russian Federation Sitrep, Patrick Armstrong mentioned a speech given by Sergei Shoigu to a Duma committee. In this speech Shoigu reels off a litany of new weapon systems now in the hands of Russia’s defense forces. Impressive, but still just a list. A few days ago, Colonel Lang asked me to take a closer look at the speech. Clearly he saw something I missed in my initial cursory reading. I read it again. It is one hell of a speech. Shoigu says a lot more than merely listing what new weapons are in the hands of Russian soldiers. “SouthFront” offered an English translation of the speech which first appeared at “Red Star,” the official newspaper of the Russian Federation MOD. The “SouthFront” article begins as follows. …
    ####

    Much, much more at the link and the comments are highly recommended (as usual) too! This one stuck out for me: ‘…Much later in 2012, 10th SF Group and 45th Spetsnaz Bde did some exchange training. I also heard the 10th and some Russian Army unit conducted some joint CT operations in Kosovo.‘ – ‘CT’ I guess is ‘Counter Terrorism’?

    Like

  37. RT America
    Published on 26 Mar 2019
    For more on the role oil plays as well as the racial dynamic of the US attempt at a coup in Venezuela, we turn to investigative journalist Greg Palast. He discusses the latest developments with RT America’s Manila Chan. #RTAmerica #InQuestionRT #QuestionMore #News

    Like

  38. Democracy At Work
    Published on 25 Mar 2019
    Help us reach 100,000 subscribers and gain access to more studio time! Please hit the red SUBSCRIBE button above. ^^^

    We make it a point to provide the show free of ads. Please consider supporting our work. Become an EU patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/economicupdate

    S9 E12 Fascism: An Analysis for Today

    On this week’s show Prof. Wolff presents an in-depth analysis of fascism as massive government intervention to protect and save a crashing capitalism. We focus on today’s examples, historical parallels (in Germany and Italy), and how “strong men” leaders push fascist agendas. We discuss how fascism and socialism differ and how nationalism serves as fascism’s social “disguise.

    Like

      1. Trump loves to say, “All options are open”, because he doesn’t know what all the options are and can’t be bothered to learn. How about mind your own fucking business – is that one of the options?

        Washington is determined to break Venezuela, and it can’t allow Russia to take an active hand, because what if that resulted in Venezuela shaking off the regime-change attempt and recovering? Washington would look like an ass, and would not be able to convince anyone that Syria was a one-off that could never be repeated elsewhere.

        At the same time, it would not do for Putin to get too cocky. Russia must proceed carefully.

        Like

        1. It is like when Reagan would say “we are doing all we can” or ” we are concerned and evaluating the situation” or “I’m just using stock phrases because I like to nod off in meetings”.

          Like

      2. I saw some satellite photos purportedly showing S-300s in Venezuela. I suspect they were probably these:

        The S-300VM (Antey 2500) is an upgrade to the S-300V. It consists of a new command post vehicle, the 9S457ME and a selection of new radars. These consist of the 9S15M2, 9S15MT2E and 9S15MV2E all-round surveillance radars, and the 9S19ME sector surveillance radar. The upgraded guidance radar has the Grau index 9S32ME. The system can still employ up to six TELARs, the 9A84ME launchers (up to 4 × 9M83ME missile) and up to 6 launcher/loader vehicles assigned to each launcher (2 × 9M83ME missile each). An upgraded version, dubbed S-300V4 will be delivered to the Russian army in 2011.[31]

        The Antey-2500 complex is the export version developed separately from the S-300 family and has been exported to Venezuela for an estimated export price of 1 billion dollars. The system has one type of missile in two versions, basic and amended with a sustainer stage that doubles the range (up to 200 km (120 mi), according to other data up to 250 km (160 mi)) and can simultaneously engage up to 24 aircraft or 16 ballistic targets in various combinations.

        From Wikipedia.

        Like

    1. “It seems (the government of President Nicolas Maduro) doesn’t trust its own troops, because it is importing others … once again violating the constitution,” he said.

      That’s an odd message to take from it – is Poland begging for a permanent US military presence because it does not trust its own troops? Assad invited the Russian military in to help him beat off American regime change – did it work?

      Like

  39. TheHill.com: US Embassy pressed Ukraine to drop probe of George Soros group during 2016 election
    https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/435906-us-embassy-pressed-ukraine-to-drop-probe-of-george-soros-group-during-2016#.XJqt–3aud8.twitter

    By John Solomon, opinion contributor — 03/26/19 06:00 PM ED

    While the 2016 presidential race was raging in America, Ukrainian prosecutors ran into some unexpectedly strong headwinds as they pursued an investigation into the activities of a nonprofit in their homeland known as the Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC).

    The focus on AntAC — whose youthful street activists famously wore “Ukraine F*&k Corruption” T-shirts — was part of a larger probe by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office into whether $4.4 million in U.S. funds to fight corruption inside the former Soviet republic had been improperly diverted.

    The prosecutors soon would learn the resistance they faced was blowing directly from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, where the Obama administration took the rare step of trying to press the Ukrainian government to back off its investigation of both the U.S. aid and the group….

    …Documents posted online by Open Society Foundations show that after U.S. officials scored some early successes in corruption cases in Ukraine, such as asset forfeitures, AntAC requested to receive some of the seized money.

    “Ukrainian NGO Anticorruption Action Centre (AntAC) petitioned the United States Justice Department on behalf of Ukrainian civil society to dedicate the nearly $3 million in forfeited and seized assets allegedly laundered by former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, to creating an anti-corruption training facility,” a 2015 foundation document stated.

    Spokespersons for AntAC and Open Society Foundations did not respond to repeated requests for comment…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Remember kids, this isn’t interfering in the affairs of another country for political expediency at home. It’s FREEDUMB!

    Like

    1. As long as you mean it nobly, and your heart is in the right place. That automatically negates any taint of meddling. Besides, only enemies of America meddle. America helps. For the country’s own good.

      Like

      1. Even if you “accidentally” pressed a button and blew up the entire world, nobody would blame you if your heart was in the right place – “I meant well!”

        Like

    1. Some the Russian military personnel in the recent deployment to Venezuela are cyber security experts and I suspect a good portion of the 35 tons of gear that they brought were computers, servers and related equipment. Any guesses on what they will find?

      Like

      1. I’m kind of hoping it is gear which will protect the Venezuelan power grid from the USA remotely shutting it down. And if part of the problem is local activists sabotaging the grid to further American aims, why, that’s treason, and they should be punished publicly and appropriately.

        Russia is dipping a cautious toe in, but there is room for the mission to widen. And Trump is striking exactly the wrong tone by ordering Russia out of the country.

        Like

        1. Not sure if it was already mentioned here, but the extent and duration of each power outage is steadily decreasing suggesting counter-measures are becoming more effective. Need to find the link to the article.

          Like

      1. Yes, the reports seem to indicate that the saboteurs just went more medieval this time, setting fires, destroying equipment. Ironically, that kind of mechanical damage takes less time to fix. Cleaning out the viruses took several weeks.

        Like

        1. Guaido’s boys, causing destruction so that Guaido can complain publicly that the government can’t keep the power on. Ain’t life ironic? I wonder if he has considered how he would keep the lights on if the roles were reversed? Perhaps he just assumes the poor would be so happy to have electricity they would just passively accept their new leader. But what if they didn’t? What’s he going to do, put guards on every electrical pole and transformer? Uhhh….how would that look, in the new, free Venezuela?

          Like

  40. The MSM said that they were in Venezuela to tighten the spy network on the civilian population. Your thought is much more likely.

    Like

    1. Ah, yes; the parade of humiliation. Much mockery often ensues over Vladimir Putin’s height, as if that is the measure of a real man; in fact, the gentleman in the third photo with the mafia sunglasses and his trousers on backward once called him “Lilliputin”, to guffaws from the western media, who reckoned him quite a wit although he was probably fed the line. The day Saakashvili looked at a book that wasn’t full of tits or chocolate, or both, was probably a distant memory. But what of the pygmy rabbit Dzhemilev, the great revolutionary Tatar leader? One of the photographers is actually squatting to take a picture of him, because his salo chins would probably choke him if he simply tried to incline his head to such a reduced elevation. Yet the western press affects not to notice his runtiness, and does not remark that it is lucky such a revolutionary was not born 300 years earlier, since it would probably tax his arms to lift a paring knife, never mind a sword.

      A similar vertical challenge afflicts Rumpleklimkin, who looks like the offspring of a retarded garden gnome and a souvenir action figure of Marlon Brando from “The Wild One”, in his just-like-daddy jeans with the cuffs rolled up. The ideal height to put him nose-to-nipple with Samantha Power, which would make anyone else break out in a cold sweat, although he seems to adore her, trotting everywhere after her and trying to get her attention. But again, never a mention in the western press about a reporter accidentally putting their beer down on his head, because it was such a convenient height.

      I am forced to conclude that mockery is based entirely upon dislike. What a disappointment.

      Like

    2. That photo of Saakashvili and Poroshenko with that guy to the right of the Cravativore caught in the moment of wishing a hole would open up under him, perhaps because he is forced to smell the result of the Tie-totaller’s indigestion from swallowing too many objects made from cheap nylon or polyester, is such a classic.

      Like

  41. Euractiv: Denmark delays Nord Stream 2 approval
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/denmark-delays-nord-stream-2-approval/

    Denmark has decided that it will not grant permission for a northern route of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project and has asked the Russian-owned company to look into a southern route instead. It is likely to delay the completion of the controversial project.

    …Danish Energy Agency told EURACTIV that the DEA has merely “requested” the company to “investigate the environmental impacts for a route south of Bornholm in the continental shelf area.”

    The southern route through the territorial waters of Denmark is subject to a law that allows Copenhagen to assess the request for the construction of Nord Stream 2 from the point of view of foreign and security policy.

    “When the Nord Stream 2 company provides the Danish authorities with an environmental impact assessment, it has to go through the normal procedure with public hearings etc,” the spokesman said, adding that a decision from the agency will depend on this process…
    ####

    What exactly is the point of all this? Because they can? Willy waving? Love from Washington? If Copenhagen wants to pick a fight with Berlin, well go ahead. It’s just not very bright at all.

    Like

    1. The Danish request that Gazprom evaluate the environmental impact of a southern route must have been instigated by Poland. The southern route skates close to overlapping Danish and Polish maritime territories (because the maritime borders of both countries extend up to 200 nautical miles from their coasts, including the coast of Bornholm island) and only recently Denmark and Poland resolved their dispute over territorial waters near Bornholm. This means that a southern route for Nordstream II is now possible and could be more viable (from an economic or environmental viewpoint) than a northern route. If an environmental impact assessment suggests this might be so, Denmark could insist that Nordstream II follow the southern route. Poland could then step in and object on the basis that it does not benefit from Nordstream II at all and so construction should stop. Denmark would then stop Nordstream II construction.

      If Poland wanted no part of Nordstream II in the first place, why does it think it can stop other countries from benefiting by whining it won’t benefit from Nordstream II gas transit?

      Like

    2. You can bet the Danes, as the last holdout, are under every pressure eastern Europe – backed by the United States – can bring to bear. But Gazprom anticipated this, and has already investigated an alternate route which it is confident will be approved. For their part, it would be stupid of Denmark to refuse permission altogether and have Gazprom route the pipeline a few miles further out, and reap nothing for transit fees, although that is the sort of take-one-for-the-team Washington routinely expects from its vassals. It’s likely only the island of Bornholm which is causing the problem, since it pushes Denmark’s claim that much further out.

      I’m sure they’re not stupid, and that Gazprom has likely offered them some pretty choice incentives. What is Washington offering? The satisfaction of having ‘done the right thing’? And you’re quite right on the question of leverage – Germany is far and away Denmark’s biggest trading partner, twice that of any European country except Sweden, and three times as much value as its trade with the United States at $15.6 Billion (14 % of Danish exports) to $4.7 Billion (4.4% of Danish exports).

      http://www.worldstopexports.com/denmarks-top-import-partners/

      The Danes will come around; if they managed to fuck up the deal, Germany would punish them like they would never forget, whereas the USA will just cut its losses and let them fall. They’re just trying to create the impression that they threw up every roadblock they could by….well, throwing up every roadblock they can.

      Like

  42. Warships of a NATO naval group have entered the Black sea. The squadron consists of several frigates: the Dutch Evertsen, the Canadian Toronto, the Spanish Santa Maria and the Turkish Yildirim, according to the command of the NATO fleet in his microblog Twitter.

    Meanwhile, Russian provocations in the Western hemisphere shall not be tolerated by the Empire.

    Like

  43. The Duran
    Published on 28 Mar 2019
    The Duran Quick Take: Episode 121.

    The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the arrival of approximately 100 Russian military personnel to Venezuela on March 23rd, to participate in consultations with government officials on bilateral defence industry cooperation.

    Israel-based Image Satellite International (ISI) shared alleged satellite images of the deployment of Russia S300 air defence missiles by the Venezuelan military to the Captain Manuel Rios Airbase in the Guarico state.

    Like

    1. Alex never disappoints; and as usual, he has hit upon what makes this conflict different and even more important, more significant on the global stage than Syria was – Russia is challenging the United States in its own hemisphere. This is a high-stakes game; as I mentioned earlier, Washington cannot be allowed to win, because a win will reward its lawless self-interest while it blabbers on mindlessly about freedom and democracy for the domestic audience which wants to be reassured that this is more ‘doing the right thing’ for which America will eventually be admired. At the same time, Washington cannot afford another bloody nose right in its own backyard. Especially not at the hands of its arch-enemy (well, the country it made into an arch-enemy completely against its will). If I were the Trumpies, I’d be looking for a way to back off while making the appearance of yielding – reluctantly – to the pressure of allies. Admittedly, that would be tricky to pull off, because nobody is pressuring the USA to back away; on the contrary, the usual expectant faces have lined up to cheer it on. But Guaido plainly does not have the squeeze to get it done, and he in fact looks more ridiculous every day he continues to insist he is the real president, like some mental defective who believes he is Napoleon or Louis the Fourteenth or something.

      Just as an afterthought, the deployment of the S-300 system was thought to be to deter an American bombing raid. But it might also be to whack any drones which might be dropping shorting filaments across the wires, as someone suggested here. I can’t imagine the USA would be sending bombers to do that, because they would be detected by Venezuelan surveillance radar. But having a US asset, whatever it was, shot down and recovered for evidence would kick the legs out from under American denials of having anything to do with the power failures.

      Like

      1. Notwithstanding what Mercouris says about possible Turkish involvement in Venezuela, the Turks still have a warship participating in yet another NATO dick-waving exercise in the Black Sea, which is intended to show support for Banderastan and Gruzia.

        Like

        1. The flagship of the squadron is considered to be the Dutch destroyer “Evertsen”. In addition, the group includes three frigates: the Turkish “Gelibolu”, the Canadian “Toronto” and the Spanish “Santa Maria”. The fifth vessel in the squadron is considered to be the French navy auxiliary tanker “Var”.

          Within a few days this NATO naval force plans to patrol the Black Sea and to visit the port of Odessa. At the moment, the Spanish and Canadian frigates have confirmed their intention to visit Odessa. This will most likely take place on 1 April.

          The US government hopes that NATO next week will approve a series of measures in response to Russian actions in the Crimea and the Sea of Azov.

          As stated by Michael Pompeo:

          “I hope that next week, when our colleagues from NATO will be in the city, we shall be able to announce a new series of actions that we will take together in order to fight back what Russia is doing in the region, in the Crimea and the Sea of Azov”, he said.

          We should remind readers that on April 3-4 Washington is going to host a meeting of NATO foreign Ministers, which meeting is to be dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the founding of the alliance.

          Answering questions as regards military aid from Washington to Kiev, Pompeo said that the US government is “constantly evaluating” whether the volumes of aid are sufficient and whether such assistance is “correct”.

          The Ukrainian army is costing the US half a billion dollars

          The United States has been playing a major role in the financing of the Ukraine armed forces. Without American help, it is unlikely that it would be possible to speak of the existence of the modern Ukrainian army.

          Source: США пытаются втянуть союзников по блоку в военно-морскую авантюру

          US trying to drag allies into a naval blockade gambit

          Like

          1. Черноморский флот взял на сопровождение корабли НАТО в Черном море
            29 марта 2019, 09:48

            Ships of the Black Sea Fleet have placed under escort a group of NATO ships that had entered the Black Sea. This was announced on Friday, March 29, at the Russian National Centre for Defence Management.

            “The forces and facilities of the Black Sea Fleet have placed under escort a group of NATO ships that had entered the Black Sea and which consists of three frigates of the Netherlands, Canadian and Spanish navies” quotes the Zvezda TV channel.

            It was noted that the observation of the actions of NATO warships is being carried out by the Russian navy vessels “Ivan Khurs” and “Vasily Bykov”.

            On the evening of March 28, it was reported that NATO ships had sailed through the Bosphorus and into the Black Sea and were identified as the Canadian frigate “Toronto”, the Netherlands navy destroyer “Evertsen” and the Spanish frigate “Santa Maria”. On their way, they were accompanied by the Turkish frigate “Gelibolu”.

            According to NATO naval command, the ships will take part in “Sea Shield” exercises, together with Ukrainian and Georgian partners.

            On March 27, it was reported that Canadian and Spanish ships from the NATO permanent naval group would arrive at the port of Odessa on April 1, the day after the presidential election in Ukraine.

            During the visit to the Black Sea city, the captains of the foreign frigates will meet with representatives of the local authorities and the Armed Forces of the Ukraine (APU), as well as receive visitors on board during open visiting hours.

            According to media reports, after visiting Odessa, together with other ships of the alliance and naval forces of the Ukraine, the frigates will take part in sea manoeuvres of the PASSEX type

            A passing exercise (PASSEX in U.S. Navy terminology) is an exercise done between two navies to ensure that the navies are able to communicate and cooperate in times of war or humanitarian relief. Common drills include flashing light drills, semaphore drills, and flaghoist drills.

            Tremble, ye Kremlin tyrants!

            Like

            1. IVAN KHURS is a surveillance/data collection/research vessel, likely loaded with communications and radar intercept and analysis gear. VASILY BYKOV is a purpose-built patrol vessel with 60 days endurance on station and a hangar and flight deck for a rescue helicopter. All of the NATO force’s communications except for elementary navigation will have to be heavily encrypted, and strict circuit discipline will be in effect. Good practice for both sides. For the NATO sailors there will be the added enticement of a port visit to Odessa, where they will likely be swarmed by gorgeous Ukrainian girls looking to get out of the country.

              Like

            2. Vasily Bykov, not to be confused with former Russky matelot, the one and only Dmitry Bykov.

              Below, Bykov, once the pride of the Soviet Northern Fleet:

              and below, following his end of navy service:

              and below, following his chemical castration:

              Like

          2. Perhaps it would be a good time to review the dimensions and geography of the Black Sea, which is only 730 miles long at its greatest distance, and upon which border Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine. It is obviously an international body of water, with territorial reservations. It would be difficult for NATO to enforce a blockade considering the amount of legitimate traffic, and a little ridiculous for NATO to be blockading a waterway upon which none of the major NATO powers have frontage.

            But of course Washington is hoping only for a blockade of the Kerch Strait, probably something like Ukrainian shipping being allowed to pass at its pleasure with no regulation, while Russian ships would have to stop and have their cargoes and papers inspected and answer questions as to their last port of call, destination, crew manifest and so on.

            We could talk about how awkward that would be considering the Kerch Strait is a Russian waterway, and even if Washington refuses to acknowledge reality it has not made itself – such as the kind of delusion which will allow it to insist Juan Guaido is the President of Venezuela while Crimea belongs to Ukraine, both pretty much just because Washington says so – it must accept that at least one-half of the Kerch Strait is Russian and none of it is NATO.

            As a Black Sea state, Russia is unrestricted as to how many warships it can have in the Black Sea at any time, while the entirety of it is within easy reach of Russian air cover from land bases 24/7. NATO’s warships are restricted by the Montreux Convention. The Kerch Strait itself is too shallow, everywhere except the shipping channel in the middle, to allow for major warships to pass.

            But who are we kidding? The United States decides what international law says, and it might declare tomorrow that the Montreux Convention is just a figment of collective imagination, and never existed; or that it says the USA can put as many warships in the Black Sea as it pleases. If it did, it might have an entire US fleet in a tiny sea, within easy reach of landbased missiles and air cover from Russia, under conditions in which it might be difficult for a warship to even turn around.

            Gee; you just have to admire the strategy of it.

            Like

  44. Grover Furr: ‘Stalin, waiting for… the truth’

    Rajendra Sahai
    Published on 25 Mar 2019
    Historian Grover Furr has demolished the Anti-Stalin paradigm in his new book published in March 2019 by Red Star Publishers, New York, N.Y. The book examines all of the major claims of Stalin’s “crimes” as alleged in Steven Kotkin’s biography of Stalin Volume-2 (2017), titled: ‘Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941’; which can be described as the compendium of Anti-Stalin accusations level against Stalin, which Leon Trotsky started in 1932 and which Nikita Khrushchev’s “secret” speech in 1956 gave a great boost. It became so entrenched in the US academic, literary and mass media circles that even a very significant part of the Left in the US today accepts many of these claims as the truth of history. Furr shows by an impeccable materialist analysis based on evidence that these claims have no credibility.

    Furr has put the Preface to his book online on his university:
    url: https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/
    It is so that you can read it and get an idea of what his book.

    However, in this video recording of his talk on March 17, 2019, presented at the Institute for Critical Study of Society (“ICSS”), located in Niebyl Proctor Marxist Library in Oakland California will amply provide the viewer a basic outline of his research on the subject, which is detailed in his 359 page book

    Like

    1. Furr can debunk the bourgeois historians all he likes, but his own methods are highly unsound. Furr is at his weakest when he attempts to justify the 1936-38 Moscow Trials. He wants us to believe that all these Old Bolsheviks (and later some of Stalin’s own people like Yezhov) all went to work for Hitler and the Japanese. Please! The man is a crank. Although, I admit, he did some valid research on Katyn and proved that the Poles were full of shit. He should just exit the stage on that one positive note, instead of keep hammering on with his Stalin fetish.

      Like

  45. @PO
    As I understand it one part of the AOH’s GND involves high sped bullet trains to replace those big fat atmospheric polluting airliners besides the pollution caused by autos:
    (Similar ‘beasts’ are shown here: https://youtu.be/VZaosKws_uU?t=2088)

    You must give AOH time to consult and digest the following material. Having done so she may realize that existing American railroad track infrastructure can’t be made maglev capable by applying a compound of ground ferrite particles mixed with super glue.

    “Although there are many upsides, there are still reasons why maglev trains are not being built everywhere. Perhaps the biggest reason is that maglev guideways are not compatible with existing rail infrastructure. Any organization attempting to implement a maglev system must start from scratch and build a completely new set of tracks. ”

    https://sites.tufts.edu/eeseniordesignhandbook/2015/maglev-magnetic-levitating-trains/

    Unlike you I have no engineering credentials. On the other hand I think a bright 12 year old would quickly surmise -as did I- that maglev high sped trains are a whole new massively expensive ball game that in no away could be carried out in 10 years.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/16/california-high-speed-train-los-angeles-san-francisco-plan-delay

    Like

    1. In fact, high-speed trains in general are a bit of a panacea, and quite misunderstood. They have been a roaring success in Europe, where they can compete very favourably with air travel, because Europe is made up of teeny little countries you could almost throw a potato across. There is a global population movement to large cities underway for at least the last ten years, and in very large countries high-speed rail is less competitive with air travel and sometimes does not make economic sense at all.

      Like

      1. High population densities are needed in a large enough area (such as central to southeast China) to enable investment in a high-speed train network. Politicians in Australia have been talking about bringing high-speed trains to the southeast part of the country from Brisbane to Melbourne, connecting Canberra and Sydney along the way, but the things that keep talk from proceeding to action repeatedly are (1) the cost of building a high-speed rail network from scratch, (2) competition from domestic airlines (subsidised by the government by the way so airfares are also cheap) and (3) distances between major cities actually exceed the distances at which high-speed rail competes against air and car travel: another way of saying that between the major cities and their metropolitan areas, population densities and/or concentrations of them in towns and regional cities are much too low. China and Europe are different in that the distances between major cities are not so large that air travel would get you from City A to City B faster than high-speed trains would.

        It’s my understanding too that before China began building its high-speed railway network, its domestic airline industry had a bad reputation for safety, frequent crashes, use of ageing planes, bad service and poor quality of food. So domestic airlines in China already had several blots against them in competing with high-speed rail when that option started becoming reality.

        Like

    2. …ground ferrite particles mixed with super glue – genius! And we can place solar panels on our cars and eliminate gas engines! Its soo easy!

      The GND is giving unicorns a bad name.

      Maglev trains, at this point, serve the same purpose as building the tallest whatever just for the sake of claiming the tallest whatever. I did ride the “magnetic” in Shanghai with a cruising speed of 450 km/hr (about 280 mph). It was not quite as smooth as conventional HS and was a littler nosier but still very comfortable.

      Here is a pretty good video on high speed trains in China.

      I would take exception with a few of its claims but overall it gets most things right. I have taken 3-4 HS rails trips in China. This how it goes – you walk, drive to take a taxi to the downtown station, your Chinese friend buys the ticket ($15-20$). The stations are beautiful, well maintained and full of people. There seems to be a train every few minutes. You board the train, find a comfortable seat and the train departs within a few minutes after its arrival. Acceleration is brisk, the ride is glass smooth and virtually noiseless. Perhaps every 20 or 30 miles, the train stops at a station for no more than a few minutes to pickup or drop off passengers. WiFi is good, food is available and you can walk around and stretch your legs or use your computer to catch up on emails.

      Unlike a plane, the frequent stops of the HS train greatly expands its positive impact on travel along its entire route. As the video mentions, HS rail in China is an investment in the well-being of the population. It greatly reduces pollution and allows much greater mobility for the average citizen.

      They call China a middle income country. But, in China, a 4-star hotel in a good location goes for $80/night. This is one example why GDP data can be highly misleading. The physical economy of China is at least triple the size of the US physical economy.

      Like

  46. Well according to Warren’s post ,the S-300 was installed in Venezuela back in 2013.

    Reminder about the corrupt cow DWS:

    https://observer.com/2017/07/corruption-scandal-democratic-party/

    Like

    1. Remarkable. And the USA still insists on its right to tell other countries how to run their affairs – based on its marvelous success as an open and transparent democracy – and to depose their leaders if it does not like their politics, all in the name of freedom and democracy. If critics of its ways bring up political corruption such as is showcased here, there will be a horde of screamers insisting that the exposure of corruption – even when absolutely nothing is done about it – is the best indicator of a healthy democracy.

      Like

  47. The Real News Network
    Published on 28 Mar 2019
    Trump insists Russia ‘get out’ of Venezuela; Vijay Prashad says Russia is protecting its own economic interests, billions in outstanding loans

    Like

    1. Why do they always try to reduce all human motivation to money? Rule of law? Morally right? Compassion? Empathy? Friendship? A desire for peace? Western values (the real ones ,not the ones used to misdirect and confuse) are a cesspool of greed and hate.

      Like

  48. So the Ukrainian Central Election Commission has allowed Azov Battalion to act as ‘electoral observers’ and they will deploy 342 such ‘observers’ over 34 electoral districts.

    https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-03-28/ukraine-s-ultranationalists-have-no-presidential-candidate-they-re-still-polls

    Gee; I can’t think what could go wrong. Poroshenko knows the only chance he has is to suppress the vote, in hope that a very low turnout will get him into the second round. He is thrashing now, blaming Kolomoisky for financing both Tymoshenko and Zelenskiy in order to get even with the present government for nationalizing his bank.

    Like

    1. No televised Presidential debates – not even between Zelensky, Tymoshenko and Boiko

      SBU members on the Central Election Commitee(!) according to Azarov and others

      The inherent unreliability and absurdity that Poroshenko has the State resources behind him in a country where nobody has any idea how many people are left there and guaranteed ballot stuffing in the west of the country ( and well, anywhere)

      Yuri( a nothing and possible fraudulent candidate) /Yulia Tymoshenko next to each other on the election slip

      like any post-soviet anti-Russian dump – all candidates promising eachother jail terms and accusing eachother of working for Russia

      but for me, the most ridiculous things is that there is not any cameras installed at voting stations. I’m sure we won’t hear the usual suspects like Golos or whatever Soros/USAID funded crap, voice their complaints like they do about phantom violations in Russia – where they have extraordinary access to tracking activity at Russian polling stations – though this transparency doesn’t seem to stop the idiotic allegations.

      Costs were sighted as the reason – but I think that is BS. No more than about $4-5 million does it cost to set up in the whole country – or at least in all the major cities. The lack of any just being farcical in what is one of the most corrupt places on Earth . As it is , there is something demeaning about Russia being forced/unjustly shamed into setting-up cameras at all stations – but the “pro-west” country is made to not feel any obligation to go down this route

      Shamocracy

      Like

      1. Well said. I maintain Poroshenko is hoping for an extraordinarily low turnout, such as you might find in a situation where every citizen is made to feel the SBU and the nationalist ‘militia’ knows which way he/she voted, or else a higher proportion of votes for Poroshenko through fear of later repercussions should he win. Considering there are no cameras, there is really not much preventing Azov’s thugs from standing close enough to see how you vote, and saying under their breath, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you”.

        But I suppose there will be international observers. All of whom, of course, will attest it was one of the cleanest elections they have ever seen. Unless Zelenskiy wins.

        Like

  49. Well, well; some US shale-oil cargoes are too dirty for Asian refineries – imagine that.

    https://www.rigzone.com/news/wire/infected_us_shale_oil_rejected_by_asian_buyers-27-mar-2019-158467-article/?all=hg2

    Yes, indeedy; two cargoes from the Eagle Ford play were turned away by South Korean refineries, because of contaminants such as metals, cleaning fluids and oxygenates. And this is apparently not completely new; it’s just now getting notice.

    “Since the surge in U.S. tight oil formation crude output, there have been persistent quality issues, particularly on consistency,” said John Driscoll, the chief strategist at industry consultant JTD Energy Services Pte Ltd. “What does it mean for U.S. exporters? They need to tighten up the specs or face pressure from buyers for further discounts.”

    Like

    1. P.S. – I just clicked on the link myself, to make sure it was working. To my dismay, when my post comes up, it is also inundated with ads. I don’t know why. I am getting a lot more clicks and spams nowadays. WordPress adds ads, but more than in the past. I apologize for the ads, it’s none of my doing.

      Like

  50. Moderate Rebels
    Published on 28 Mar 2019
    Russiagate has collapsed, with Robert Mueller’s investigation finding no proof of collusion. Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton speak with journalist Aaron Maté, who documented from the beginning how the Trump-Russia conspiracy was not based on evidence — and hacked the brains of US political and media elites.

    |||| Moderate Rebels ||||

    Like

    1. Ha, ha, ha!!! I thought I was dreaming when I saw the USA quoted as complaining about China’s ‘predatory approach to investment’, but it transpires that I was not hallucinating. A country that, as we speak, is trying through various underhanded methods to overthrow the elected government of another country in the same hemisphere, and replace its leader with a handpicked puppet, so that it can gain control of that country’s oil industry! I find it hard to imagine any more predatory an approach to investment than simply stealing the assets for yourself…unless…oh, wait! Maybe America is doing that to benefit the people of Venezuela, and not rich American oil executives! Show of hands – who thinks that?

      Oh. Well, then, I guess I can go back to finding that hard to imagine.

      Doubtless China does have an agenda, and doubtless it does want to increase its control and influence in the world – what patsy just goes around these days helping to make its neighbours rich for the simple pleasure of seeing them happy? But China does not pretend to be the world’s beacon of freedom and an eternal force for good. And that’s the difference. What you see is what you get. There is really not very much difference between the two in their ambitions. But one pretends butter would not melt in its mouth.

      Like

    1. Citgo can prance around under a new Guaido board all it likes – if Venezuela cannot come up with the money to repay loans from Moscow, Russia will own just a fraction under half of the company. And Citgo will find it hard to continue making money if it doesn’t get any oil from Venezuela. I would think an entity controlling more than 49% of the company would have something to say about the makeup of its board. And Venezuela’s collateral deal was for 49.9%.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oil-rosneft-citgo-exclusive-idUSKBN1A52RN

      What the ‘Houston-based company’ might find itself is dissolved along with all its assets, and moved elsewhere.

      Like

      1. Dontcha just love how, whatever Juan Guaido and his puppeteers try to do, they find the Maduro government somehow already able (and even waiting) to pull the rug out from under their feet and send them all tumbling down the stairs?

        Someone with a wicked sense of humour is definitely feeding Maduro advice if he and his ministers are not already coming up with cunning ideas.

        Like

        1. The problem is that so much now has to be written off to American and allied theft that it will take Venezuela years under the support of actual concerned powers (who are not looking to pick its carcass) to recover. Its gold reserves are gone, stolen by London to feed Guaido’s machine, and Citgo is probably gone as well, at least as an American corporate entity. That was probably foretold anyway, since any Venezuelan investment in the United States was always vulnerable to confiscation in an environment in which that has become a go-to solution.

          If Maduro can hold on and if Venezuela under him or any subsequent non-western-appointed leaders can wait a little longer, an immediate effort must be dedicated to complete withdrawal from dependence on American refineries. Another partner must be found and a route devised to get Venezuelan oil to it for refining, and new financial links set up to keep the state’s income flow out of American/western interference. A better solution might be investment into refineries in Venezuela itself, so that it could begin to sell refined products directly.

          Like

  51. Poroshenko intends immediately after the presidential elections to convene a meeting in the Normandy format on the settlement of the conflict in the Donbass. He stated this on March 29, on the TV channel ICTV.

    “It will be a huge disappointment for Putin, just after presidential elections we will hold a meeting of the Normandy format”, said the Ukrainian President.

    Source: Порошенко намерен созвать встречу в нормандском формате после выборов
    КИЕВ, 29 марта 2019, 21:59

    And if such a meeting takes place, does the pig really think he will be attending?

    Well I suppose he does.

    The result of the elections depends not on the vote but on who does the counting.

    Like

    1. Why would it be a huge disappointment for Putin? Russia is part of the Normandy Format. And Poroshenko never shows any interest in such meetings any other time than when he is trying to look important and engaged. It seems to me Russia simply skipped the last one, and it would likely skip this one if it ever happened. Poroshenko can put it down to disappointment if he likes, but it will still mean nothing gets done and another pointless meeting. But Poroshenko doesn’t mind those. Gives him an excuse to get roaring drunk afterward.

      Like

    1. If Guaido is widely recognized as Venezela’s rightful ruler, why does the caption to the leading photo identify his missus as the ‘wife of the opposition leader’?

      Like

    1. Wow. That is…absolutely damning, and so perfectly segues into the building concern over corporate greed which will do absolutely anything to maintain or increase market share, that the very best thing Airbus could do at this point is simply keep its mouth shut while its enemy is writhing on the spit.

      If Boeing judged that its customers would not wait for them then, while they designed a new but similar frame which would take larger engines, they sure as hell will not wait for them now considering the apparent efforts made to cover their tracks. Why, in the name of all that is holy, did they not focus on designing an engine with increased efficiencies which was the same size as the old one? Was that possible? Looking back to 2010 and the developments since, it certainly was – a much better option than simply cramming a bigger engine onto a plane that was too low to take it, then devising software fixes to accommodate the resultant awkward aerodynamics.

      The 737 will survive this debacle, but it will have to be sold at such a discounted price and be so clearly seen to pay extra attention to pilot training that the damage is done; this will seriously impact Boeing’s bottom line. Moreover, new aircraft introduced in the future will face heavy scrutiny even by those who normally buy American planes out of loyalty, not because they are better. Once again, Airbus, shut up, forswear public comment (especially anything that looks sanctimonious or gloating), focus on quality control, and reap the dividends of public confidence. Perhaps there will be room for increased Sukhoi SJ sales as well, although its recent troubles with Interjet are as usual being played up to make the aircraft appear unreliable and unsafe. The issue there seems mostly to be that Interjet will not pay for maintenance.

      Like

    2. This part of Matthew Yglesias’ Vox article is sure to catch the attention of lawyers for the families of the Lion Air and Ethiopia Airlines crash victims:

      “… One emblem of the whole situation is that as the 737 MAX engineering team piled kludge on top of kludge, one thing they came up with was a cockpit warning light that would alert the pilots if the plane’s two angle-of-attack sensors disagreed.

      But then, as Jon Ostrower reported for the Air Current, Boeing’s team decided to make the warning light an optional add-on, like how car companies will upcharge you for a moon roof.

      The light cost $80,000 extra per plane and neither Lion Air nor Ethiopian chose to buy it, perhaps figuring that Boeing would not sell a plane (nor would the FAA allow it to) that was not basically safe to fly. In the wake of the crashes, Boeing has decided to revisit this decision and make the light standard on all aircraft …”

      A safety feature that could and should have been made an essential part of the MCAS package which (according to some websites I have seen) would not have cost Boeing itself any extra to make and add is instead made an optional extra that airline clients have to pay for.

      Airlines already doing well because of past safety reputation and being based in countries where plenty of people can afford to travel by air and governments can subsidise airlines themselves, will be able to afford the warning light option. Airlines based in poor countries where few people can afford air travel and governments are cash-strapped for various reasons (one of those being in permanent hock to the IMF) so they can’t afford to subsidise air travel, are likely to decide to pass on the warning light option.

      Boeing’s greed is compounded by ignorance and an economic context that smacks of discrimination.

      Like

      1. Boeing is going to become, for awhile at least, the aircraft manufacturer everyone loves to hate. It’s going to take diligent work to restore its reputation. And by then it may have lost a lot of ground to competitors. Pissing off China, in my book, was an act of incredible stupidity considering China is the world’s hungriest market for airliners. Boeing may find it uphill going to gain market share in China after this (China, of course, was the first state to ground the 737’s), although of course the Chinese are pragmatic and will continue buying Boeing if it is offered cheaper than building their own, or buying from a rival. Hard to call that a victory, though.

        Like

    1. Very interesting. Have you ever seen the Coptic alphabet? I was in a Coptic monastery on my last trip to Egypt. Scattered among the mostly Greek letters in the frescoes and paintings, I was surprised to see some of what I recognized as Cyrillic mixed in (“C” for S and “da” for D, for example). I wonder which way the influences spread.

      Like

      1. Your trip to Egypt sounds fascinating!
        I learned (from reading a book about Egyptian hieroglyphs) that Coptic served as a catalyst for linguists to decrypt the hieroglyphs. That, plus the Rosetta stone, of course. As they were decrypting the (partially) phonemic hieroglyphic alphabet, there were some scholars who suddenly said: “Hey, this looks a lot like Coptic!” Not the alphabet, of course, but some of the morphemes and words. This is how they recognized that ancient Egyptian was related to the Semitic languages; and Coptic (sort of?) its later descendant.
        I saw this piece which gives more info on the topic.
        Historical linguists have delineated a “Proto-Afro-Asiatic” language ancestor, which gave birth to the Semitic language families, as well as Ancient Egyptian, which begat Coptic.

        If you scroll down, you see the Coptic alphabet which was, apparently, based on Greek.
        I don’t know of any Slavic back-influence on Coptic, since Cyrill and Methodius came a few centuries later. Maybe the influence was the other way, since I see that Coptic needed a letter for the /sh/ phoneme, so they borrowed a letter from the Hebrew alphabet; the Slavic languages also needed a letter for that phoneme, as well as some others that didn’t exist in Greek.

        Like

        1. Egypt is an amazing place. I highly recommend it if you can get there.

          The connection between Coptic and hieroglyphs was lost, and it came to be rendered in Greek after Alexander (or so I thought). Greek has a perfectly serviceable letter for S, so I was surprised to see the C in its place; same for D.

          Like

  52. https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-faa-oversight-boeing-737-max-20190327-story.html
    According to Boeing the 737 is totally safe… No ifs ,no ands no buts. The problem… to the extent that there ever was one… was a software glitch that has been completely corrected.
    So I guess we can conclude that the post disaster examination of the plane was totally objective and thoroughgoing , making no reliance on foregone conclusions that the plane was safe and reliable to begin with. Right?
    Another thing. The latest from the Ethiopian disaster analysis attributes the cause to a “faulty sensor ”
    Well which is it? Software problem or sensor malfunction? Or both or something else? Stay tuned and fly Airbus.

    Like

  53. Two Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers fly above Barents, Norwegian and North Seas
    March 30, 2:05

    “Two Tu-160 strategic bombers have performed a planned flight above the neutral waters of the Barents, Norwegian and North seas”, the ministry said, adding that the planes were accompanied by MiG-31 supersonic interceptor aircraft.

    “At certain stretches of the route, the Russian planes were accompanied by F-16 fighter jets of the Danish Air Force and Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft of the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force,” the ministry said.

    According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the flight lasted more than 134 hours, so the planes were refueled.

    The ministry reiterated that Russian Long-Range Aviation pilots regularly perform patrol missions above the neutral waters of the Arctic and the North Atlantic regions, the Black and Caspian seas and the Pacific Ocean. Those flights are carried out in strict accordance with international rules on the use of airspace.

    Meanwhile, the UK Ministry of Defense said in a statement that the Royal Air Force (RAF) Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Typhoon fighter aircraft scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth base, and a Voyager air-to-air refueling tanker – from Brize Norton base, “to monitor two Russian Blackjacks approaching UK airspace”.

    “The RAF worked closely with NATO partners to monitor the Russian aircraft as they passed through a variety of international airspace before they were intercepted over the North Sea”, the statement reads. “Our fighters escorted them from the UK’s area of interest and ensured that they did not enter UK sovereign airspace.”

    “Our brave RAF pilots have shown again that we are ready to respond to any threat to the UK. Alongside our NATO allies, we must remain vigilant and aware of Russian military activity”, the statement quoted Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson as saying.

    Brave RAF pilots?

    Must remain vigilant and aware of Russian military activity?

    What a soft-arse wanker former fireplace salesman now UK Minister of Defence Williamson appears to be!


    No I’m not! I’m dead hard, me!


    See! Here I am in my MoD office. You’ve got to be tough to get to the top, you know. Do you like the way the Union Flag is next to the globe and how here’s a photo of Winnie behind me: British Bulldog , I am, just like Winnie was.

    Like

    1. And the British wanker (and I say “British” because, in my experience, North American speakers of English do not often use the term “wanker”) who created the above “Memes & Funny Pics” pic cannot spell “defence” either.

      Sign of the times, I suppose.

      😦

      Like

    2. Is it just me or do other Stooge readers find GW’s office as barren, artificial and empty as the man himself?

      No wonder visitors to GW’s previous office were unnerved at the sight of the tarantula: the creature was probably the only authentic thing that stood out in an otherwise creepy and sterile place.

      Like

      1. “Is it just me or do other Stooge readers find GW’s office as barren, artificial and empty as the man himself?”

        No, I think it’s great. I personally want to work in an office exactly like that! (sans tarantula, it goes without saying…)

        Like

        1. Yes but can you imagine GW giving a talk in his office to his senior MoD officials, spinning that globe for emphasis and then leaning against it …

          Like

          1. I’m sure that happens almost every day; and I bet his tie gets trapped in the globe as well, thus strangling him on a regular basis.
            One of these days, the globe is bound to go flying across the room, break the glass of his tarantula’s cage, and then the arachnid will escape and terrorize the planet.

            Like

  54. https://cubbiescrib.com/2019/03/30/chicago-cubs-willson-contreras-mlbs-venezuela-crisis/

    https://cubbiescrib.com/2019/03/30/chicago-cubs-willson-contreras-mlbs-venezuela-crisis/2/

    “Chicago Cubs: Contreras saves family
    Contreras was surfing the news of Venezuela online and saw a local group doing things for his country and contacted them. Just so happens the group is run by John Pence, nephew of Vice President of the United States Mike Pence. Although there is no known tie reported between Contreras and the White House (no one asked), (John) Pence was able to secure the Northside catcher’s folks out of harm’s way, smuggling the infamous parent’s of the social media activist and baseball celebrity out of a foreign country under the nose and watchful eye of a dictator. I want to see the movie how they did it!

    But this is typical local Indiana political consultant stuff. The website Ballotpedia says John Pence has a job pretty close to the White House and President:

    As of September 2017, he was the deputy executive director for Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign.”

    Si..Si..this is such a heartwarming story . The poor light skin wanna be white kid from the slums of Caracas can come to America and-with the help of the kindly gringos in the Pence family- marry the beautiful actually milk white girl ..and make 700G a year for playing ball.
    Madre de dios..can such dreams be true???

    Like

  55. The Independent this morning on that “election” in Banderastan:

    Dirty tricks, roaring ‘silence’ and nationalist threats: Ukraine readies itself for elections

    Sunday’s election promises to be the most competitive – and among the dirtiest – in a generation
    11 hours ago

    Comment #1:
    The reason why the western media has been so quiet about Ukraine lately is because they don’t want their readership to know what an utter disaster is happening in that unfortunate country. The Ukrainian people must realise by now that the only value that the Americans attach to them is as a missile base to threaten Russia with. The politicians that are standing in the presidential elections have such low popularity, as expressed in opinion polls, that the idea of any of them becoming president is laughable. An opinion poll conducted by an American polling organisation gives 9% as the proportion of the Ukranian public who support their government. Poreshenko is publicly humiliated on a daily basis by the Nazi battalions who used him as their political face. Ukraine has fallen apart and the only thing that stands behind Poroshenko and electoral oblivion is a couple of departments charged with fixing the vote. How many people are aware that the biggest trading partner of Ukraine is…….(drum roll) Russia and that trade is increasing. Future generations of Ukrainians will be paying off the debt incurred by their crooked government, under instructions from Washington and continue to see their society and their government under threat from both the Nazi battalions and the US embassy. No matter who it is claimed has won this fraudulent election, their opponents will try to engineer a second Maidan using the same nazi battalions and probably the same Georgian mercenaries.

    Comment #2:
    Putler is a crooked dictator for life.
    Russian trolls should look at their own backwards dump.

    See how #2 meticulously and devastatingly destroys the first commentator’s argument.

    Which commenter is more likely the troll?

    Like

  56. FYI fellow Stooges: I just saw on Vesti that the Popov/Skabeeva team will cover Ukie elections live starting 19:30 Moscow time. Which is roughly 2 hours from now! I reckon they are hoping to have some results before the end of the evening. So everybody tune in!

    Here is my personal Nostradamus: I vangize that Porky will win!

    Like

  57. /sh/ phoneme

    Hebrew —ש

    Cyrillic — ш

    Cyrill and Methodius modified the the Hebrew letter “shin” for Slavic use, they say.

    Shalom!

    Or as Russkies would say:

    Миру — мир!

    Like

    1. Not to forget Arabic alphabet, which has a similar letter ش
      (ignore that big swirly decoration on the left, then it’s basically the same thing, probably also borrowed from the Hebrew script, and also the name of the letter is “shin”.)
      For the same phoneme /sh/.

      Like

  58. Like

      1. If i rightly recall, the Halifax Hetman tipped Yooooolia to win the last presidential election as she carried less “baggage” than did the other candidates.

        By “baggage” he meant a record of known criminal activities.

        Dickhead.

        Like

  59. Yukie journalist reports exit poll results :

    The Facebook page report above cryptically reads:

    There is data from the manufacturers of the liqueur “Chocolate Hare” and of “Cocktail Yu-1960”.

    They draw their own picture of the survey. From the headquarters of the liqueur “Green Man” – 28.2; liqueur – 20.5; Cocktail Yu – 17.23.

    From the headquarters of Yu: “Green Man” – 28.17; “Cocktail Yu” – 20.26, “Liqueur” – 17.43.

    This data differs from other polls in favor of Liqueur and Yu respectively.

    According to the exit poll, the leader is show business person Vladimir Zelensky, followed by the current head of state, Petro Poroshenko, the three leaders are followed by the leader of the “Opposition Platform – For life”, Yuri Boyko.

    Closely behind them is the leader of the “Fatherland” party, Yulia Tymoshenko. The remaining candidates have worse indices – less than seven percent.

    Ukrainian legislation prohibits the publication of the results of polls and exit polls on the day of voting, so journalists have to express allegorically, without naming the names of politicians. As a result Zelensky has become “the Green man”, Poroshenko — “Chocolate Hare”, and Tymoshenko — “Yu Cocktail”.

    source
    17:43, 31 March

    Like

    1. More reports now coming in.

      In first place is Zelensky with 27-29% of votes cast.

      Next is Porky, with 16-17% of the votes

      The leader of “The Opposition Platform – For life,” Yuriy Boyko, got 14-15.5%.

      Tymoshenko got 14-14.5%.

      Other exit polls are in accordance with the above.

      source

      Like

  60. #окончательное прощай

    Anti-Porky voters are using the above hashtag on social networks on this voting day to organize a social network flashmob.

    The expression means “the final goodbye”, a phrase the Pig frequently uses when speaking of the severing of all relations with the “aggressor state”

    See: Украинцы запустили в соцсетях флешмоб прощания с Порошенко
    31 марта 2019, 13:58

    A participant in the flashmob has posted the Tweet shown below:

    It shows a voting list spoilt by its having had written over it: FOR PUTIN!

    Furthermore, the phrase is written in Yukie.

    Like

    1. Although Elena, who posted the above Tweet, has my full support, for what it’s worth, I regret that she chose to spoil her vote, if it is indeed hers, thereby giving one to the Svidomite filth.

      Like

      1. I was glued to my set watching the Popov/Skabeeva team in their Stalin bunker, as they covered the election results. It was hysterical. They sat at a table with a Ukie flag as the tablecloth and long scroll-like Yukie ballots for napkins. Olga ate some slices of Ukie salo without even putting it on the bread. Popov wouldn’t touch the salo, but ate some American pizza. The sound quality was shit. Olga showed some clips of Ukie ballots where the person had written in Putin’s name. Apparently there were quite a lot of them. But probably not enough to steal the election from Zelensky.

        Besides, don’t fret, my friend, Porky was always destined to win.
        *** (cough cough) Administrative resource (cough cough) ***
        The trick is to steal enough ballots for your guy without looking ridiculous. If Porky had gotten 90% of the votes on the First Round, some suspicious eyebrows would have been raised. There had to be a second round, for appearance sake.

        Like

        1. P.S. – during the marathon, Evgeny Popov became quite giddy. He showed off his quite good knowledge of spoken mova. His Ukrainian was so good that his Russian started to suffer. At one point he misconjugated a Russian verb, and Olya had to correct him.

          Good times! I want to watch this pair cover every election from now on.

          Like

  61. And it’s Porky and Kolomoiskiy Zelenskiy in the second round!

    телеканала “112.Украина”.
    По информации телеканала, Зеленский набрал 30,7 процента голосов, Порошенко – 18,6.

    TV channel “112.Ukraine”.
    According to the channel, Zelensky has won 30.7 percent of the votes and
    poroshenko – 18.6%.

    Опубликованы результаты exit poll на выборах президента Украины

    Ukraine presidential Election Exit Poll Published

    Like

      1. I dread to think what Yooolia will do, having been pipped in the first round of voting – will she threaten to level the Verkhovna Rada building with a nuclear weapon or try to bayonet Zelensky and Poroshenko?

        Like

        1. And she just barely edged out the guy who just got through visiting The Aggressor Country, and hobnobbing with Dima Medvedev on how to end the silliness and resume something like a normal trading relationship between the two countries.

          Perhaps some of her goons – anybody who is anybody in Ukraine has goons – will capture Poroshenko and Zelenskiy, and then swing them by their heels so that their heads meet and their skulls are shattered. Then there will be no murder weapon, and activists for Tymoshenko will swear that the two simply ran very fast into one another in the hallway. Who you gonna call, when you need to pick up the pieces?

          Like

          1. Jeez, if Poroshenko and someone else ran into each other, the result would resemble roadkill schnitzel and I’m afraid that wouldn’t be Poroshenko.

            Like

          2. Yes, here’s the online scoreboard from the Ukraine Central Election Committee:

            Earlier reports that I saw said Yoooolia had been pipped by Boyko, but in the end she got 13.11% and he – 11.48% of the votes.

            Like

            1. That’s live above, so the percentages are changing slightly as time goes by.

              At 08:00 Moscow time as I write, the score is;

              Funny Man 30.17
              Fat Man 16.7
              Slag 13.08
              Vatnik 11.53

              Like

  62. Abby and Robbie discuss the culmination of the long-awaited Mueller report, the five year build-up of anti-Putin hysteria, and the real goal of Russiagate being the soft censorship of anti-establishment news outlets.

    Like

    1. “Juan Guaido’s job is to ensure free and fair elections”.

      Ha, ha, ha!!! Which, of course, Juan Guaido will win by a landslide, because the Venezuelan people adore their native son whom some 80% of Venezuelans had never heard of before this manufactured crisis, and the ‘National Assembly’ he leads – which she refers to appealingly as the ‘last democratically-elected group in the government’ – has a 70% disapproval rating.

      https://fair.org/home/the-venezuelan-people-are-whoever-agrees-with-donald-trump/

      The UN Human Rights Council has formally condemned US-imposed sanctions, and called on all member states to break them. Don’t hear about that in the New York Times, do you?

      The USA most certainly can help Venezuela, and it doesn’t need to even do anything helpful like sending food or medicine or money – it could simply call off the sanctions that bully vassals into helping starve Venezuelans into submission. If it really cared about a humanitarian crisis – which it doesn’t, since it is using it as a tool to bring about regime change – it could do really helpful things, like help Venezuela put its economy back together, and reclaim assets stolen and gifted to American pet Guaido, without any strings attached. But it won’t do that. Washington has made it clear that help will rush to Venezuela’s side – the moment after Venezuelans accept Guaido as their president.

      Like

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