If Wishes Were Horses: Nina Khrushcheva’s Regime-Change Dream.

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “The greater the gap between self perception and reality, the more aggression is unleashed on those who point out the discrepancy.”

is a kreakl. We use that word here a lot, and perhaps not all the readers know what it means. It is a portmanteau of “Creative Class”, but makes use of the letter ‘k’, because the letter ‘c’ in Russian has a soft ‘s’ sound, so we use the hard ‘k’. The Creative Class, or so they styled themselves, were the intelligentsia of Soviet times; the free-thinking liberals who were convinced Russia’s best course lay in accommodating the west no matter its demands, in hope that it would then bless Russia with its secrets for prosperity and all the fruits of the American Dream.

A kreakl is a Russian liberal, often the child or grandchild of Soviet-era intellectuals who believed they knew better than anyone else how the country should be run. They express their disapproval of the current government in the most contemptuous way, interpret its defense of family values as homophobia, and consider its leadership – uniformly described by the west as ‘authoritarian’ – to be stifling their freedom. My position is that their often privileged upbringing insulates them from appreciating the value of hard work, and lets them sneer at patriotism, as they often consider themselves global citizens with a worldly grasp of foreign affairs far greater that of their groveling, sweaty countrymen. Their university educations allow them to rub shoulders with other pampered scions of post-Soviet affluence, and even worse are those who are sent abroad to attend western universities, where they internalize the notion that everyone in America and the UK lives like Skip and Buffy and their other college friends.

Not everyone who attends university or college turns out a snobbish brat, of course, and in Russia, at least, not everyone who gets the benefit of a superior education comes from wealth. A significant number are on scholarships, as both my nieces were. Some western students are in university or college on scholarships as well, and there are a good many in both places who are higher-education students because it was their parents dream that they would be, and they saved all their lives to make it happen.

But many of the Russian loudmouths are those who learned at their daddy’s knee that he coulda been a contendah, if only the money-grubbing, soulless monsters in the government hadn’t kept him down – could have been wealthy if it were not for the money pit of communism, could have taken a leadership role which would have moved the country forward had the leader who usurped power not filled all the seats with his cronies and sycophants.

Now, she’s Professor of International Affairs at The New School, New York, USA, and a Senior Fellow of the World Policy Institute, New York. As you might imagine, The New School is a hotbed of liberal intellectualism; as its Wiki entry announces, “…dedicated to academic freedom and intellectual inquiry and a home for progressive thinkers”. So let’s see what a liberal and progressive thinker thinks about the current state of affairs vis-a-vis Russia and China, and their western opponents.

You sort of get an early feel for it from the title: “Putin and Xi are Gambling with their Countries’ Futures“. I sort of suspected, even before I read it, that it was not going to be a story about what a great job Putin and Xi are doing as leaders of their respective countries.

Just before we get into that a little deeper – what is the purpose of an ‘Opinion’ section in a newspaper? If it was ‘Facts’, then it would be news, because the reporter could substantiate it. As I best understand it, people read newspapers to learn about news – things that happened, to who, and where, when and why, documented by someone who either saw them happen, interviewed someone who did, or otherwise has researched the issue. ‘Opinion’ sections, then, allow partisans for various philosophies to present their conclusions as if they were facts, or to introduce disputed incidents from a standpoint which implies they are resolved and that the author’s view represents fact.

Well, hey; here’s an example, in the first paragraph – “Continuing street protests in Hong Kong and Moscow have no doubt spooked the authoritarian duo of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Moscow protests, the largest in many years, must be keeping Mr. Putin up at night, or they wouldn’t be dispersed with such unabated brutality.”

I suppose they have their fingers on the world’s pulse at The New School, but I haven’t seen any indication at all, anywhere, that either Mr. Putin or Mr. Xi are ‘spooked’ about anything. The protests in Hong Kong appear to be instigated at the urging of the USA – as usual – with reports that the protesters are receiving western funding, and photographs showing protest leaders apparently meeting with the US Consul-General. Nonetheless, despite the aggressive violence displayed by the protesters, who are certainly not peaceful, the issue seems to be mostly confined to Hong Kong, and there have been no indications I have seen that Beijing is ‘spooked’ about it at all. In fact, the position of the Chinese government seems fairly reasonable – it does not want to see Chinese criminals escape justice by fleeing to Hong Kong.

As to whether either protests are representative of a large number of people, it is difficult to say: organizers of the Hong Kong protests claim almost 2 million, while the police – responsible for crowd control – say there were no more than a tenth of that number. And if the Moscow protests really were the largest in years, those hoping to see Putin overthrown might want to keep quiet about that; organizers claim about 50,000 people, and organizers usually overestimate the crowd for their own reasons. Moscow is a city of over 13 million just within the city limits. So the massive crowd represents less than half of one percent of the city’s population. Polling of the protest crowd suggested more than half of them were from outside Moscow, where who is on the city council is no concern of theirs, since they cannot vote. And in an echo of the iconic Tahrir Square protests, an element of the ‘Arab Spring’ – probably the first mass demonstrations managed by social media – the Moscow protests appear to be managed and directed via social media links, where it is possible to exercise disproportionate influence on a targeted crowd of restless youth who have little or no personal investment in the country, and just want to be part of what’s cool.

Let’s move on. According to Khrushcheva, the protests are ‘being dispersed with unabated brutality’. That so? Show me. Bear in mind that all these protests are unauthorized, and those participating in them are breaking the law and in breach of the public peace. Flash violence is an objective of the demonstrations, because otherwise their numbers are insignificant, and if they play it by the book nobody pays them any mind. I’ve seen loads of pictures of the protesters in Moscow being hauled away to the paddywagons, and nobody is bloody or has their clothing ripped. Here are some examples (thanks, Moscow Exile).

https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2019/08/03/16/Moscow-protests-15.jpghttps://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2019/08/03/16/Moscow-protests-12.jpghttps://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2019/08/03/16/Moscow-protests-4.jpg

None of those adolescents looks old enough to vote. A video clip of a Chinese policeman using his beanbag gun to disperse protesters has been edited to omit the part where he was swarmed by protesters who were punching him. No citizens who are in high dudgeon at what they are being told is ‘unabated brutality’ would tolerate unauthorized protests by young hooligans in their own towns for a second, and would scorn any suggestion that they are pursuing noble goals such as freedom and democracy. Fellow demonstrators in these photos seem far more interested in capturing every bit of the action on their phones than in assisting their captured co-demonstrators.

By way of contrast, check out this clip of US police officers in New Jersey arresting a young woman on the beach because there was alcohol – apparently unopened – on the same beach blanket, which she claimed belonged to her aunt. A pretty small-potatoes issue, you would think, compared with the fearless defense of freedom and democracy. Yet the police officers, viewed here on their own body cameras, throw her to the ground and punch her in front of her child although she is obviously not drunk and their breathalyzer test does not register any alcohol on her breath. Bystanders gratuitously and repeatedly advise her, “Stop resisting”. People who complain about the way the girl is being handled are told, “Back off, or you’ll be locked up, too”. For what? Which of these looks like a police state, to you? Nina Lvovna? I’m talking to you.

The demonstrations, we are told, are a poignant sign of Putin’s declining popularity. Yes, poor old chap. In fact, Putin’s approval rating in 2019 was 64%; it was 70% in 2000, nearly 20 years ago. Just for info, Donald Trump, the Leader Of The Free World, had an approval rating with his own voters of 44% in 2018, and Macron was even worse at 26%. I guess a little Macron goes a long way – his current approval rating is only 28%. His fortunes have not improved much, you might say. Boris Johnson has not yet even properly taken the reins in the UK, but his people do not appear optimistic; about 35% speculate he is or will be a capable leader, while only 23% rate him more honest than most politicians. Enjoy those, BoJo; they represent a zenith born of unreasonable hope – The Economist describes these ratings as ‘surprisingly high’. In 2018, the Netherlands’ Mark Rutte had only 10% approval – and that was the highest of the ministers – while 34% disapproved. Apparently about half just didn’t care.

Look; Khrushcheva is talking out her ass. There just is no way to sugar-coat it. In 2015, Vladimir Putin was the most popular leader in the world with national voters. I daresay he is now, as well; with the state of the world, I find it hard to imagine any other leader has an approval rating higher than 64%. But feel free to look. Polling agencies carefully parse their questions so as to push the results in the direction they’d like to see, but when the question is reduced to a basic “Do you trust Putin? Yes or No?”, his approval rating goes higher than it is right now. Please note, that’s the reference supplied by Khrushcheva to substantiate her statement that fewer and fewer Russians now conflate their nation with its leader.

I don’t personally recall Putin ever saying he hoped Trump would improve relations with Russia, although it would not be an unreasonable wish had he said it. I think he was probably glad Hillary Clinton did not win, considering her shrill Russophobic rhetoric and fondness for military solutions to all problems, but Khrushcheva makes him sound like a doddering old fool who barely knows what century he is living in. I think Russia always hoped for better relations with America, because when any country’s relations with America are very bad, that country would be wise to prepare for war. Because that’s how America solves its problems with other countries. Washington already had a go at strangling Russia economically, and it failed spectacularly, and we’re getting down to the bottom of the toolbox.

Next, Khrushcheva informs us that Russia is in as weak a position to defeat the USA in a nuclear war as it was when it was the USSR. That’s true, in a roundabout way. For one, there would be no victors or defeated in a nuclear war. It would quickly escalate to a full-on exchange, and much of the planet would become uninhabitable. For another, Russia was always in a pretty good position to wax America’s ass in a nuclear exchange…and it still is. Russia still has about 6,800 nuclear weapons to the USA’s 6,500, and has continued to modernize and update its nuclear arsenal through the years. A Russian strike would be concentrated on a country about a third its size. If I were a betting man, I wouldn’t like those odds. Mind you, if I were a free-thinking liberal professor who did not have a clue what I was talking about, I would laugh at the odds – ignorance seasoned with a superiority complex tends to make you act that way. Just as well that betting men mostly run the world, and not jackhole liberal professors.

The recent explosion at what was believed to be development of a new nuclear weapon in Russia is assessed by Khrushcheva to be a clear sign of incompetence, which is quite a diagnosis considering no investigation has even started yet. Somehow she missed the dramatic explosion of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, together with its multi-million-dollar satellite payload, back in 2016. Oh, never mind – Musk quickly explained that it was ‘an anomaly’. Well, that clears it all up. Must have; the US government has continued to throw money at Musk as if he were embarrassingly naked or something, and nobody seems prepared to suggest it was incompetent. While we’re on that subject, the whole reason SpaceX even exists is because the USA continues to use Russian RD-180 rockets developed in the 1960s to launch its satellites and space packages into orbit, because it doesn’t have anything better. I’d be careful where I tossed that ‘incompetent’ word around. Cheer up, though  the news isn’t all bad: just a bit more than a year ago, the most advanced commercial reactor designs from Europe and the United States just delivered their first megawatt-hours of electricity within one day of each other. Oh, wait. It is bad news. Because that took place in China. You know, that place where Xi in his unabated brutality is trampling upon the fair face of democracy. In fact, according to nuclear energy consultant Mycle Schneider, principal author of the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report, “The Chinese have a very large workforce that they move from one project to another, so their skills are actually getting better, whereas European and North American companies haven’t completed reactors in decades”.

Is that bad? Gee; it might be. “This loss of nuclear competence is being cited by nuclear and national security experts in both the U.S. and in Europe’s nuclear weapons states as a threat to their military nuclear programs. The White House cited this nuclear nexus in a May memo instructing Rick Perry, the Secretary of Energy, to force utilities to buy power from unprofitable nuclear and coal plants. The memo states that the “entire US nuclear enterprise” including nuclear weapons and naval propulsion, “depends on a robust civilian nuclear industry.” You see, Ninushka, competence in nuclear weapons is directly related to competence in nuclear engineering as a whole.

I hope she knows more about Russia than she does about China – in a single paragraph she has the Chinese government threatening to send in the army to crush protests, and standing aside while thugs beat up protesters – and both are bad. And of course, this threatened action/inaction had to have been sanctioned by Xi’s government. Why? Well, because everyone in Hong Kong knows it. Much of the rest of her reasoning – free thinking, I guess I should call it – on China is what Xi ‘might be contemplating’ or ‘could be considering’. Supported by nothing, apparently, except the liberal free-thinker’s gift of clairvoyance.

Hong Kong was always Chinese. The Qing dynasty ceded it to the British Empire in the Treaty of Nanjing, and it became a British Crown Colony. Britain was back for Kowloon in 1860, and leased what came to be known as The New Territories for 99 years, ending in 1997. Time’s up. The people of Hong Kong are Chinese; it’s not like they are some different and precious race that China aims to extinguish. I was there a decade after it returned to Chinese control, and it was largely independent; it had its own flag, the British street names were retained, and you can probably still stop on Gloucester Road and buy a Jaguar, if you have that kind of money. To a very large degree, China left it alone and minded its own business, but like I said; it’s Chinese. These ridiculous western attempts to split it off and make an independent nation of it are only making trouble for the people of Hong Kong and, as usual, appeal mostly to students who have never run anything much bigger than a bake sale, and ‘free-thinking liberals’.

China is not ‘isolated diplomatically’. Beijing is host city to 167 foreign embassies. There are only 10 more in Washington, which considers itself the Center of the Universe. Lately China has been spreading itself a little, muscling into Latin America, right in Uncle Sam’s backyard. Foreign Direct Investment into China increased 3.6 percent year-on-year to $78.8 billion USD in January-July 2019, and has increased steadily since that time, when it fell dramatically owing to Trump’s trade war. That has proved far more disastrous to the USA than to China, which is rapidly sourcing its imports from other suppliers and establishing new trading relationships which exclude the United States, probably for the long term. “China is isolated diplomatically” is precisely the sort of inane bibble-babble liberal free-thinkers tell each other because they want to believe it is true. It is not. Similarly – and, I would have thought, obviously – China is also not ‘increasingly regarded as an international pariah’. That’s another place she’s thinking of.

There is nothing Russia or China could do to please the United States and its increasingly lunatic governing administration, short of plucking out its eye and offering it for a bauble, like Benton Wolf in The Age of Miracles. The type of ‘reforms’ demanded by the US State Department suggest its current state is delusion, since they are patently designed to weaken the government and empower dissident groups – is that the essence of democracy? It sure as fuck is not. You can kind of tell by the way Washington pounces on its own dissident groups like Mike Pompeo on a jelly roll; the FBI investigated the Occupy Wall Street movement as a terrorist threat. Russia got a prescient preview of the kind of treatment it could expect from the west when it applied to join NATO, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post. The acceptance of the Soviet Union “would be incompatible with its democratic and defensive aims.”

So as most ordinary thinkers could have told you would happen, America’s hold-my-beer-and-watch-this hillbilly moves to split Russia and China apart have succeeded in driving them closer together; the world’s manufacturing and commercial giant and a major energy producer – a great mix, unless you are the enemy. The rest of the world is kind of watching America with its pants around its ankles, wondering what it will do next. It failed to wreck the Russian economy, failed to depose and replace Bashar al-Assad in Syria, failed to depose and replace Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, and it will fail to prevent a Sino-Russian axis which will reshape global trade to its own advantage at the expense of America. Because whenever it has an opportunity to seize upon a lucid moment, to turn away from its destructive course, it chooses instead to bullshit itself some more. To whisper what it wishes were true into its own ear.

And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

1,884 thoughts on “If Wishes Were Horses: Nina Khrushcheva’s Regime-Change Dream.

  1. Neuters via a Antiwar.com: Bulgarian NGO official charged with spying for Russia
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-bulgaria-russia-espionage/bulgarian-ngo-official-charged-with-spying-for-russia-idUKKCN1VV1WD

    …“Nikolai Malinov has been charged with putting himself in the service of foreign organisations to work for them as a spy,” Deputy Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev told reporters. …

    …Prosecutors said they had found a Russian-language document prepared by Malinov that spoke of “the necessary geopolitical re-orientation of Bulgaria”.

    “The document outlines the steps needed to be taken to completely overhaul the geopolitical orientation of Bulgaria away from the West towards Russia,” Geshev said.

    The prosecutors did not say when the document was written. ..

    …The prosecutors also said on Tuesday they had banned a veteran Russian foreign intelligence official, Leonid Reshetnikov, from entering Bulgaria for 10 years. Reshetnikov is deputy chair of the Double-Headed Eagle and the former head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies…
    ####

    Is this part of the US’s ‘re-engagement’ in the Balkans to help the locals make the right decisions? So how did then know to raid him or that such a document (date/whatever) was there??? I’m not entirely sure what the difference between this ‘NGO’ and the usual NGOs is. ‘Human wrongs’?

    Like

  2. I see the French Ambassador to Ukraine expects ‘Normandy Four’ meetings to resume by the end of this month. Just to make sure everyone knows not to actually expect any progress, the Rada issued an official statement on non-recognition of elections held in ‘occupied Crimea’. The people of Crimea – as far as Kuh-yiv is concerned – can have a say in who local leaders should be once they have pledged fealty to Kuh-yiv, and not until.

    https://www.unian.info/politics/10682310-ukraine-s-parliament-issues-statement-on-non-recognition-of-local-elections-in-occupied-crimea.html

    Actually, Ukraine is just using Crimea, which it knows it is never going to get back again, as a reason not to fulfill any of its own obligations under the Minsk Accords. And so the Normandy Four sessions will resume with no hope of ever seeing any results; it’s just a chance to get away from the wife and kiddies for a couple of days, fly First Class and have a couple of meals in nice restaurants and stay in a comfortable hotel, all in exchange for spending a few hours in conversations that might as well be barked like dogs for all the actual use they will be.

    Like

  3. RuAviation via Tass: First Russian two helicopter carriers will be laid down in Crimea in spring 2020
    https://www.ruaviation.com/news/2019/9/11/14119/

    …”Two amphibious assault ships with water displacement of up to 15,000 tonnes will for the first time in the Russian history be laid down at the Zaliv shipyard in Kerch in 2020,” the source said.

    He added that the first helicopter carrier will be delivered to the Russian Navy before the current state armament program expires at the end of 2027.

    The other source specified that “both ships will be laid down in May 2020.”

    According to him, the ships will be able to carry over 10 helicopters of various types and will be equipped with a dock-type chamber for landing craft utilities (LTU)…

    …The Zaliv shipyard in Kerch has facilities to build vessels up to 300 meters in length and up to 50 meters in width and, therefore, can build ships with a displacement exceeding 150,000 tonnes…
    ####

    This will stick in Kevin Kraw!!

    It’s good to see Zaliv shipyard (that we’ve coved before) get some serious work.

    Like

    1. I assume the displacement cited is empty; that’d make them lust a little lighter than the MISTRAL class, at 16,500 tons empty. The MISTRAL can also carry 16 helicopters, so this Russian design is just a bit less ambitious, although it probably reflects Russia’s actual needs. Passing through the Bosporus will not be a concern, I don’t think, as they are being built on the Black Sea and belong to a Black Sea nation.

      Like

    2. Here is an interesting interview with Deputy PM Borisov who seems to be a perfectly competent minister- he is in charge of Russia’s major industrial projects, At about the 5 minute mark he begins talking about the various problems that they have had with the Superjet and the MC-21 airliner:

      Sergey Karaganov has separately made the point that a large part of the Russian establishment, especially its economic segment, did not want to believe in the inevitable hostility of the West, for otherwise, they would not have launched a project to build the MC-21, which was initially so heavily dependent on American components. (Fortunately, these people now more generally accept this reality.)

      Like

      1. Speaking of the inevitable hostility of the west, all the papers are now shouting about the CIA mole in the Russian government who fled to the USA – or was ‘extracted’ – because the intelligence boys were getting worried Trump might tip off his buddy, Putin. But while the mole was active in Russia, he was able to confirm for his handlers that Putin personally ordered the fiddling with the American election so as to throw the vote to Trump, and personally participated in the campaign.

        Americans simply must believe this; the deep state will not stop with the relentless nonsense until everyone believes. It’s so pathetic. Hey, he even took pictures of Putin’s papers on his desk!! There is no possible way they could have been papers ostensibly sent to Putin, on some other desk. The CIA just knows. There was probably a bold headline, “Secret Plan To Get Trump Elected In America”.

        Like

      2. Russian press report that China has agreed to have the MC-21 main engineering and design center in Russia which I would think is critical for Russian aerospace. I do wonder what Beijing asked for in return.

        Like

  4. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/11/baha-s11.html

    (Charlotte Russe comment):
    ” Although oil drilling is not directly responsible for Dorian petroleum is–burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, release carbon dioxide and methane into Earth’s atmosphere. … Warmer air leads to more evaporation, which in turn leads to more precipitation. Then the warmer water provides more fuel for frequent and intense hurricanes.”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com
    https://www.youtube.com/wat
    https://www.youtube.com/wat

    (Fireinthe head wit):
    “And whilst we’re on the subject of ‘capitalist induced catastrophe’, judging by the mainstream media, presumably all those fires in the Amazon and the Arctic are out now ??”

    (Hmmm…Charlotte and Jen should hook up and form some type of ‘Super Genius Girl Geek ‘ think tank!!!)

    And I guess the Bahamas won’t be needing any of Sanders benign culling of its population!!!

    :O)

    Like

  5. I know I’ve been away for a while, but I have to share my thoughts on BREXIT, somewhere, with someone. So you guys are getting it, whether you like it or not, just like the British Voters. Who asked those peons anyway? However, since I live in a place with actual democracy, (sort of,) feel free to correct me when I’m wrong.

    The clusterfuck of a comedy show started with Johnson and Bercow. As a speaker, Bercow became the Remainers’ biggest cheerleader, going for it so badly that even the nerdy tweens lacked said devotion to Justin Beiber. Bercow completely ignored the unwritten Constitution, and pushed his pet project across with the devotion of a Belieber. He successfully split the UK like never before, championing the politicians over the people.

    Johnson is no better. How the fuck do you not count? As a leader of a political party – how do you not know if you have the votes? Can you count to 326 BoJo? He didn’t have the votes and he crashed and burned, thrice, before learning his lesson. Thrice. Is math not a required subject at Eton?

    Corbyn – why are you such a weasel bro? You claim to want an election, but the second your coalition gets a majority, you oppose it. Do you view elections as nothing more than a tool to gain power? And to those who want another Referendum – you were offered a second Referendum, but it was called the Parliamentary Election. The British people, unlike the lot of you in Parliament, aren’t idiots. They understand that the key issue is BREXIT, so if they go to the polls and vote for BoJo – they’re for it; if they go to the polls and vote for Corbyn, they’re against it. Duh!

    And this is happening in the country lecturing others on democracy? Remember this little gem?

    [img]https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/posts/2014/03/scotland_crimea/0aded2ab2.jpg[/img]

    Yep, that’s the British telling the Crimeans that the Referendum wasn’t legitimate. First point: not supporting by the Government! Hear that Yemenis? if your Government gasses you during the Referendum, it ain’t legit, because they’re clearly not supporting you. Second point: in Crimea, you had soldiers supervising the vote and terrifying the public, except, erm, there were polls taking by Western Agencies, and according to the polls, the extreme majority of Crimeans, four out of five voters, weren’t terrified; not just that, but they also considered the soldiers as friendly, professional, and doing their jobs. I can see why Parliament might find the latter to be hostile.

    The Crimean Referendum was organized in three weeks! How dare do people have this thing called efficient planning? BREXIT’s still buffering. If an election doesn’t take years to plan, it just ain’t legit! Hear that California? None of your elections are legit! As a Californian, I’m proud of the fact that we can plan a major election in less than a year, and that’s with our bureaucracy. Crimea’s sleeker, and Crimea has twenty times less population. Oh, and in Crimea, the opposition was switched off! There was no lively debate, which is true if you don’t count the lively debate between 1991 and 2014. But other than a few decades of lively debate, nope, there was none. And then there’s the fifth point – Referendum ain’t legitimate unless it’s recognized by most of the local players. Sorry Kurds. You guys just ain’t legit.

    But wait, there’s more! There were some arguments that were deemed too dumb even for Parliament, but they were nonetheless proposed, and here’s my favorite: “agreement to hold Referendum done in open session to which all sides had access without armed men blocking a particular side”

    Damn, that one’s just not fair to my stomach. How can it sustain such laughter? Out of 100 elected representatives, over 90 were in support of the Referendum. All of the seats that were won on a Constituency Basis supported the Referendum. Clearly, those other votes would’ve totally made a difference, in one’s imagination. So as you watch more BREXIT drama, remember – this was the Parliament telling the Crimeans about Democracy; maybe they should be learning from the Crimeans instead.

    Like

    1. ucsblog, the clusterf**k started long before Johnson shimmied his way into No. 10 – it started on Day One after the referendum. It’s essentially a failure of representative democracy; 48% of the votes were for Remain. Within the House of Commons, however, the number of MPs on the Remain side is around 75%. That’s quite a big difference – mirrored on almost all other issues incidentally. Almost all of the 75% want to remain within the EU and are intent on blocking anything that looks like an exit route. Add to this the spectacularly incompetent May government – the worst in British history bar none – with no negotiating skills and a fatal inability to grasp the EU’s hostility to what the UK had had the temerity to do and it was inevitable she would bring back a ‘deal’ that was, in the words of Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister who has written a book on his own dealings with EU ‘negotiating’ teams, the kind of treaty that those defeated in war are forced to sign. “Negotiation” has a slightly different meaning in the EU to that in common parlance – we tell you what needs doing and you do it.

      All sides are trashing the Constitution and no-one has a literal clue what is happening from one day to the next. One good thing – it’s dawning on more and more people, regardless of how they voted, that our political system is irrevocably broken and needs total reform. So, yeah, we shouldn’t be in the business of pronouncing what is and isn’t democratic anywhere else in the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Пауэр заявила, что голосовала против РФ в ООН вопреки приказу из Вашингтона
    12/09/2019 – 11:36

    Power has said she voted against Russia at the UN, contrary to orders from Washington


    Against her conscience ?

    Former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power (who was the Permanent Representative 2013-2017) claims in her memoirs that she disobeyed instructions from Washington by voting in 2016 against Russia’s election to the Human Rights Council because of her personal disagreement with Moscow’s policies. According to her, this was a rare case when the implementation of a government request did not correspond to her personal convictions.

    She explained that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council had a tacit agreement: to support each other when elected to the HRC. Therefore, Washington, despite disagreements with Moscow, demanded a vote for Russia. “But on that day m mood was different. From the moment I arrived at the UN, too much had happened so that I could not allow myself not to vote in accordance with my conscience”, Power writes.

    Voting took place according to member states: Russia opposed Croatia and Hungary, for which the ex-permanent representative voted. Thus, Hungary received 144 votes, Croatia – 114, and Russia – 112. According to Power, this caused a “general shock”.

    She suggests that it was her vote that was decisive: if Croatia had got one vote less and Russia had got one vote less, then there would have been a second round, where Moscow would have won by “threats and bribes”.

    “This was the first time in history when its government (Russia. – Ed.) had lost a major voting issue at the UN”, Power writes. According to her, she did not obey Washington’s instructions because of disagreements with Moscow on many issues, primarily in the Ukraine.

    Well bully for you, you horror-comic!

    Moscow would have won a second round by threats and bribes, eh?

    Fucking cow!

    Like

    1. No wonder she gave the wood-elf, Klimkin, wood – such strength and dazzling courage; I’m sure he was quite swept away. Of course that’s why the US government puts people in positions like that, so they can do as their personal convictions tell them to do. You can just see it in how tolerant it is of the same behavior in its ordinary citizens.

      The USA has resumed the creeping war it began with Russia in the Cold War, and for some reason briefly abandoned. But in the meantime it has lost most of its financial clout, as the moneymen assumed control and bent the country to the service of making profits for investors. Normally the USA refers contemptuously to any country whose wealth is mostly in private hands as an ‘oligarchy’. Of course it does not mean that description to include itself.

      https://www.marketwatch.com/story/its-been-almost-a-100-years-since-the-americas-1-had-so-much-wealth-2019-02-11

      The USA claims to have won the Cold War, and it almost did – its ‘shock therapy’ almost wiped out Russia under the idiot Gorbachev and the alcoholic Yeltsin. But Russia is still around and, according to Mitt Romney early on and now everyone else, is America’s foremost geopolitical foe. Pretty hard to call that a victory, what? And let me tell you something else; the USA is going to lose again. And it deserves to.

      Like

  7. AstanaTimes via Euractiv: Kazakh, Chinese leaders agree to develop long-term strategic partnership
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/central-asia/news/kazakh-chinese-leaders-agree-to-develop-long-term-strategic-partnership/

    “We believe that China’s success is an important basis for the development of cooperation between our countries,” said Tokayev who paid his first state visit to China as Kazakhstan’s head of state. “This agreement, reached at the highest level, is a solid legal and political basis for further cooperation.”…
    ####

    Like

  8. Plenty of second-guessing on the ‘Kremlin mole’ story; Pompeo now says it is ‘so egregious it creates an enormous risk’ and ‘factually wrong’. But it gave several newspapers the opportunity to broadcast the allegation that the ‘mole’ had been able to confirm for western intelligence services that Putin personally ordered and participated in a covert campaign to throw the election to Trump.

    It transpires that the Smolenkovs own a luxury home in Stafford, Virginia – I wonder what those old reliable Kremlin Insiders, Stas Belkovsky and Gleb Pavlovsky, had to say about where the money came from. You know; the guys who say that Putin owned more than 70% of Gunvor Energy, and is the richest man in Europe and possibly the world. This house looks a bit nicer than his. Bear in mind that I am not talking about state-owned residences which are not Putin’s personal property, but are used by the current President of the Russian Federation, which will eventually be someone else.

    https://www.rferl.org/a/montenegro-cia-informant-russia-oleg-smolenkov/30160588.html

    According to Montenegro, the Smolenkovs arrived via commercial flight June 14th 2017, and disappeared via private yacht a few days later. They certainly seem to have some well-heeled friends; I wonder who they could be?

    A lot hinges on Smolenkov’s duties and responsibilities during the period he claims to have collected information which proves Putin masterminded the American election. Apparently he was still in Russia at the time, but Peskov says he was fired ‘several years ago’. What constitutes ‘several years’? It would be funny as hell if he were unemployed at the time he claimed to be working for the CIA, and simply sold them a bunch of garbage he made up.

    Like

      1. I’m holding out for Smolenkov being another Curveball, more or less sussing out what the Americans wanted and claiming to know all about it. The Russians were uncharacteristically abrupt; like someone who is running out of patience, not someone who was caught in the cookie jar. The official statement was no evidence of meddling was furnished by Smolenkov because there was no meddling. Full stop.

        It strikes me that the collection of Russian ‘defectors’ and dilettantes the USA is amassing is exactly the sort of people they’d be glad to see the back of if they had been born American; willing to sell out their country for a song and to parrot Washington’s cries about freedom and democracy to an increasingly disinterested world.

        Like

        1. Perhaps Smolenkov is nothing more than a con-man who was in the right place at the right time to find the perfect victim to milk money from: the CIA.

          Like

  9. As the American mass murder rampage continues into its nineteenth post 9/11 year…..

    “Putting aside the massive material aid that it provides for Israeli military operations, the United States has been bombing one or another Middle Eastern country almost continuously since 1983. US bombers and/or battleships have attacked Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Sudan and Afghanistan. Without actually declaring war, the United States has conducted military operations against Iraq for nearly eleven years. The ongoing daily bombings of Iraq are barely mentioned in the American media, which has made no attempt to ascertain the total number of Iraqis killed by US bombs since 1991.

    Given this bloody record, why should anyone be surprised that those who have been targeted by the United States have sought to strike back?

    The same media that is now screaming for blood has routinely applauded the use of violence against whatever country or people are deemed to be obstacles to US interests. Let us recall the words of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who had this to say to the Serbian people during the US bombing campaign in 1999: “It should be lights out in Belgrade: every power grid, water pipe, bridge, road and war-related factory has to be targeted. . . . [W]e will set your country back by pulverizing you. You want 1950? We can do 1950. You want 1389? We can do 1389 too.”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2001/09/terr-s12.html

    Like

    1. And be on the lookout for more of the same – Bibi Netanyahu is in a close race for the leadership of Israel, and while the contenders are various degrees of awful, the Beebster promises if he is elected, he will annex another big chunk of the Jordan Valley into Israel, leaving only an enclave surrounded by Israel as Palestine. He claims to have gotten the green light from Trump. This comes right on the heels of another spy scandal in America.

      https://nationalpost.com/news/world/benjamin-netanyahu-denies-israel-set-up-spying-devices-in-washington

      But everyone seems to be saying ” Meh; so what?” Israel says it’s fake news – oh, and anti-semitism, too, might as well throw that in – and that’s good enough. Besides, Washington tells Israel everything anyway, they are bestest buddies.

      I think most people were bright enough to see where the Israelis were going with all those Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and that sooner or later the settlers were going to claim it all as their land. Most of Europe certainly saw it, and is opposed to it although the European governments still pander to Israel, because they are afraid of mighty America.

      Like

      1. FoxNews via Antiwar.com: Israel blasts report it planted spy devices near White House as ‘fake news spiced with anti-Semitism’
        https://www.foxnews.com/world/israel-denies-spy-device-report

        Current and former Israeli officials are pushing back hard Thursday on an explosive report claiming their country planted spy devices near the White House and other locations in Washington, D.C., calling it “fake news spiced with anti-Semitism” and “absolute nonsense.”…

        …Amos Yadlin, the former head of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate, reportedly posted on Twitter that the Politico story is “fake news spiced with anti-Semitism” and that for decades, Israel has banned spying on the U.S.

        A Haaretz reporter traveling with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also attributed his office as calling the news a “blatant lie.” Like Yadlin’s comments, the office said the Israeli government has a directive not to engage in intelligence operations on U.S. soil…
        ####

        Yes dear! Whatever you say dear! Nut&Yahoo co. continue to dig with ever bigger shovels.

        Like

  10. Oh, look, everybody! The Russian government is punishing Lyosha by raiding all his offices because they are angry that his ‘tactical voting’ scheme worked so well and caused such terrible losses for United Russia.

    https://abcnews.go.com/International/russia-launches-wave-raids-opposition-activists/story?id=65558850

    What the tactical voting plan will have accomplished in the interests of democracy and freedom and mending fences with the west by empowering the Communists, Lyosha does not say. It sounds quite a bit like “Anyone but Putin”, which is not a very sound strategy. But nobody ever accused Navalny of being especially bright.

    Like

  11. TheRegister: Eco-activists arrested by Brit cops after threatening to close Heathrow with drones
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/09/12/activists_drones_heathrow/

    Five nabbed over conspiracy to commit a public nuisance
    ####

    Now that’s the way to do it (spaketh Mr. Punch)!

    conspiracy to commit a public nuisance is one of a number of suitably vague ‘offenses’ that the Police can pick up whomever they want, but not like they do in Mordor (Russia). It’s completely different, sic Navalny ordering his hamsters out on unsanctioned protests along major city arteries etc. As you see from the author and the comments, very little sympathy.

    Like

    1. Al-Beeb s’Allah GONAD (God’s Own News Agency Direct): Heathrow climate change drone protest arrests rise to 19
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-49696973

      …The arrested people have all been held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance….

      …Police say those arrested range in age from 19 to 69…
      ####

      Don’t ever threaten the $$$. Priorities darling. Climate change or a minority of hamsters who think that one person one vote is wrong if they vote for the wrong side?

      Like

  12. WOO!

    TheAmericanConservative: Court: FBI Must Destroy Memos Calling Antiwar.com a Threat
    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/court-fbi-must-destroy-memos-calling-antiwar-com-a-threat/

    Ruling comes after a eight-year battle over secret surveillance of the popular website after 9/11.

    …“It’s been a long fight and I’m glad we had an outcome that could might affect future FBI behavior,” said Garris, who runs Antiwar.com, based in the San Francisco Bay area. “I just wish Justin was still here to know that this has happened.”

    Raimondo, 67, passed away in June from a long bout with cancer. He and Garris had sued the FBI in 2013 demanding it turn over all the memos and records it was keeping on the two men and the website, which has been promoting anti-interventionist news and views from a libertarian-conservative perspective since 1995. (Full disclosure, this writer was a regular columnist for Antiwar.com beginning in 2009).

    They won their case, and in 2017 the FBI agreed to turn over all the memos and settle their legal fees, $299,000, but the final expungement of two key memos involving intelligence gathered on the men and Antiwar.com, had yet to be expunged from the agency’s record….
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    So, officially off the record, but in reality…

    Like

    1. Not necessarily, although probably. I think they hoped to persuade him to not release Tesmakh – not because he had any valuable information, but just as a demonstration of obedience. But he’s already gone, exchanged, although he is probably back home in eastern Ukraine rather than in Russia. But Trump basically held up the aid as long as he could before the pressure from his own ‘liberal interventionists’ became too much.

      It might be interesting to see if there is any public accountability for the money, or whether it just disappears into various pockets as before. I haven’t seen Ukraine make any great advances previously after receiving money, and when they are given property such as the old British vehicles or crates of rations for the army, they were promptly offered for sale on e-Bay. They kept the Javelins they were given because selling those would be a step too far, but I have not noticed they ‘turned the battle around overnight’ as all the armchair warriors claimed they would.

      Like

    2. According to this conspiracy theory, it doesn’t really have anything to do with Tsemakh, but rather, Trump has been pressuring Zel to cough up some kompromat on Biden. If Zel complies, then he gets the military aid, so looks like he did.

      I will do a post on this probably this weekend, on my blog.

      Like

  13. Middle East Eye via Antiwar.com: ‘Whitewash’: UK accused over journalism prize promoting ‘tolerant’ UAE
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/uk-under-fire-launching-uae-press-scheme

    Competition launched by British embassy in Abu Dhabi asks entrants to consider what world can ‘learn from the UAE’s model for tolerance?’
    ####

    Sucky sucky sucky – the sound of UK human rights claims going back up their own colons!

    I have a question. What would happen if someone publicly says on tv/print whatever in the UK that ‘the UAE is a state sponsor of terrorism’ and is then taken to court for libel by the UAE?

    Like

  14. A RUSSIAN astronomer discovers an interstellar comet. The said astronomer, using a handmade telescope, is located in CRIMEA!

    https://www.centauri-dreams.org/

    The comet will bear his Russian name for eternity! This outrage must stop. Ukraine should have the right to rename the interstellar interloper “Banderian” or similar.

    It is actually a pretty big deal as it is only the 2nd known object to be detected coming from outside the solar system. It will attract a great deal of telescopic scrutiny. The referenced link gives many kudos to the astronomer for this discovery.

    Like

    1. Can’t really imagine “the Borisov Comet” tripping off the tongue of anyone at the BBC these days.

      Not even on “The Stars At Night.” *

      * Long-running late-night programme dedicated to astronomy.

      Like

        1. I saw the first media print story about it in the National Post yesterday (free newspapers for the crew mess on the ferries), and they were careful to describe Borisov as a Ukrainian, although in Crimea.

          Like

  15. Politico.eu: Czech authorities drop case against prime minister
    https://www.politico.eu/article/czech-authorities-drop-investigation-against-prime-minister/

    Concerns had been raised over use of EU funding.
    ####

    BS called. Found wanting. And yet another ‘corruption scandal’ whipped up by the colon-regimechanistas.

    Just as the FBI is being a politicized investigation interference against t-Rump, I hope the Czech police and prosecutors get a good spanking. If there was a shred of evidence, then it shouldn’t have been a problem.

    That Babis used some clever, but legal, manoeuvering to get funds from the EU may be unethical, but it is not illegal. I wonder what caused the prosecutors to ultimately drop the case? So what changed? Cast iron legal advice that they would be humilitated in court or the potential consquences of using lousy shit just to kick someone out (sic Lula/Bolsonaro/Morro).

    The good news is that this long in a line type of political smear/hitjob has failed. The practice of deliberatly dragging out a process over a long period is also a standard tactic that the powers that be, including the media, seem to have forgoten that the bit about ‘the right to timely delivery of justice’, but The Russian Threat (TM) seems to afford some ‘special circumstances’ and interpretations of the law. Have they discovered yet that burning down the house to get a result is not very clever yet? I doubt it and I wonder what’s next.

    Like

  16. al-Beeb s’Allah Monitoring: Russian activist saves data from police with drone
    https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49689833

    …The drone was loaded with various hard disks, solid-state drives and flash sticks containing “very important” information that he did not want to fall into the police’s hands, according to the activist.

    “Done. The evacuation has been carried out. The drone reached its destination,” he says at one point…
    ####

    WTaF? What exactly does he have to hide that is so ‘sensitive’. The only thing that would completely f/k him, is contacts with western spies/funding/whatever. Or is this guy just totally precious? The latter most likely. As for using this method again, the police will be ready now that he’s announced it publicly rather than having swapped out the disks for clean versions and kept his stupid mouth shut. Hamsters.

    Like

    1. We are pretty much on the same wavelength here, and I agree the BBC is just dramatizing it to make a folk hero of Boyko. What, the Russian police can’t even break down a door? Even those steel ones that are typically the outer door on Russian apartments? I’m sure if they had really wanted to get in, they could have done, rather than ‘attempting’ to break down the door. But then, the precious western liberals in Russia always portray the police as incompetent and corrupt.

      And why all the secrecy? I thought Lyosha’s campaign was the very essence of openness and transparency. You could hold the entirety of his campaign – assuming there were not a lot of picture files, and you never know, Lyosha does love cat pictures – on a single thumb drive. They hold quite a lot of information these days. So what’s all this disks and hard drives and flash drives, like Boyko was trying to spirit away the Library of Congress? If there were conversations with western agencies about funding, only an idiot would keep a record of them, and it would be fairly easy to follow the money trail and see how well it’s accounted for – if ‘the people’ truly are responsible for donating money to Lyosha so he can go on tropical vacations, it should be easy enough to verify that. Similarly, unless Boyko worked exclusively on the flash drive or disk, the same information is probably on his computer.

      Those little quadcopters can’t carry much of a payload, or go very far, and their control signal is pretty much line of sight. Anything beefier and longer-range is quickly going to start costing serious money. Even a cheapie that can allegedly stay aloft for 27 minutes and travel a maximum of 4.3 miles is around $1000.00 from Amazon.

      https://fpvdronereviews.com/guides/best-long-range-drones/

      If Boyko is flying around drones that can carry a hard drive and reach their destination in only a couple of minutes, perhaps ‘the people’ who supply him with money would like to know where he came up with $10,000 – $20,000 for a drone.

      I’d bet it was all a big show for the westies, who of curse uncritically report it without checking.

      Like

      1. And of course if it is thumb drives/whatever being handed over strictly by hand, my, isn’t that exactly the kind of thing that gets one (innocent American/whatever) arrested by the FSB rather pronto for their intelligence activites? It’s not as if Boyko wouldn’t have been under surveillance already, either. As we know from Snowden et al (not me), it’s all about the bass about the base no worry metadata at least as much as the data itself…

        As for me, if it’s Meghan Trainor, all she needs to do is ask!

        Like

        1. Good choice; I am a secret Meghan Trainor fan. She does catchy songs that are easy to remember and instantly recognizable, but she also has a marvelous voice which is evidently applicable to a wide range of styles.

          Like

  17. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/13/home-s13.html

    “лидия • 8 hours ago • edited
    In great Soviet children book “The Golden Key, or the Adventures of Buratino” the hero – a wooden doll – is accused by a capitalist judge of 3 crimes – being homeless, jobless and undocumented. The sentence was a death by drowning , but, being wooden, he survived.
    Looks like the Soviet children literature was a very reliable source on capitalism.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buratino

    Like

    1. “The goal of intelligence is not the truth, but victory”. There’s one you can file away as a filter for every time this or that intelligence agency claims to have incontrovertible proof of something that it can’t show you, because it’s classified.

      Like

  18. Remember when growing soybeans and other such crops in Russia by Chinese farmers was just such a silly idea, there was hardly any land left and good luck getting hold of any that was in private hands? Yes, thank God for western analysts who know everything, putting us in our place.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-13/russia-wants-to-rent-out-more-farmland-for-food-exports-to-asia

    I saw reports in today’s paper which forecast a thaw in the trade war, with Trump of course poisoning the well by immediately rocketing out a tweet saying China was going to be buying large amounts of American agricultural products. In fact, China removed tariffs on a couple of relatively-inconsequential items, while Trump delayed another tariff increase to 30%. Nobody really gave up anything, and Steve Munchkin was quick to point out China had asked for additional concessions which were not covered in the agreement. Trump is never going to get anywhere by swaggering and boasting that he has China right where he wants it.

    Like

  19. Don’t you mean the monthly “The Sky at Night”, presented by former RAF WWII bomber command navigator Patrick Moore from 1957 until 2013, making it the longest-running programme with the same presenter in television history?

    Is the programme still running, then, though under a different name?

    Moore was a prolific writer of books, and not only on astronomy.

    He had some political views, though, which were definitely not PC, so I bet the BBC was more than a little glad when he toss-tailed over aged 89.

    I don’t think they could have fired him, because he had a big following in the UK as regards matters of astronomy, though probably not so great a following as regards some of his opinions as regards present-day society.

    Like

  20. Snowden has published his book, and apparently given an interview with the Guardian.
    Not sure if this is it, since it is not exactly the same as this summary from the Russian press.

    It’s nice to see that Snowden is happy in his new life. According to the Russian version, he has the opportunity to travel, he mostly lives in Moscow, but he has been in St. Petersburg and Sochi. He can go anywhere he likes within Russia, but cannot cross the border. He says that Russia is a beautiful country, and the people are very nice.
    He says most Americans think of Russia as a place of horror, and he also shared those perceptions until he actually went there. He says he can find anything he needs in Moscow except for a decent Taco Bell. He got married a couple of years ago, and his life is pretty good, all things considered.

    Good for him, I personally regard Snowden as a true Hero of our Time, and I am glad he didn’t end up in Gitmo.

    Like

    1. Amen. There must be things about America he misses; anyone would. Which makes what he did all the more courageous. It is important to remember he did not end up in Russia because America was spying on Russia – he ended up in Russia because America was spying on Americans, and Russia is one of very few countries where the American administration cannot get at him to punish him for it. One more reason America desires regime change in Russia; it worked for them in Ecuador.

      Taco Bell pilot ad: “For Controversial Exiled Hero, America is Taco Bell”.

      MacDonalds pilot ad: “Traitors Eat at Taco Bell”.

      Vladimir Putin, in interview with Luke Harding: “Just a Taco Bell with missiles, posing as a country”.

      Very interesting, no, that Snowden first worked for the CIA, then at Dell? They say you’re never out of the CIA, once you’re in. But he goes to work for a civilian company which makes a bit more than 15% of the personal computers shipped worldwide, a market share which is steadily increasing.

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/298976/pc-shipments-worldwide-dell-market-share/

      Dude; you’re gettin’ a Dell.

      Like

      1. Funnily enough, I’ve had a burrito at least once at a Taco Bell pushcart in Metro Kievskaya (or Kosomolskaya?) , circa 1994/1996. The wrong century for Snowden…

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taco_Bell#Russia
        In the early 1990s, PepsiCo opened several Taco Bell locations inside the Moscow metro system, including Metro Park Kulturi and Metro Komsomolskaya. This experiment lasted only a few years but these locations live on under different ownership and a different name.

        1993:
        https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1993-06-11-fi-2187-story.html

        .Moscow residents who ride the Russian city’s subway were greeted Thursday by a flash of red, white and blue: a pushcart dispensing Taco Bell burritos, hot dogs, sausage and Pepsi-Cola.
        Pepsico Inc. and its Taco Bell subsidiary in Irvine are following the lead of McDonald’s Inc., which introduced its popular line of fast food to Russians three years ago.

        And I discovered this:

        2011:

        …Yum Brands, which owns KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, operates a co-branded chicken restaurant chain in Russia, called Rostik’s-KFC, and Il Patio in the Italian food segment. Yum now has about 350 restaurants in Russia….

        Like

        1. I don’t care much for Taco Bell myself (when it comes to junk food I’m more of a Kentucky Fried Chicken fan), but if Edward Snowden craves Taco Bell, then some grateful person should send him some burritos. Or maybe Pamela Anderson could take him some in her carry-on next time she visits Moscow!

          Like

  21. The Taibbster via Antiwar.com: Latest Russian spy story looks like another elaborate media deception
    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/latest-russian-spy-story-looks-like

    The tale of Oleg Smolenkov is just the latest load of high-level BS dumped on us by intelligence agencies

    …Meanwhile, former CIA director John Brennan has an MSNBC/NBC gig, as does former CIA and DOD chief of staff Jeremy Bash, and several other ex-spooks. The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, who doubles as the CEO of one of America’s largest intelligence contractors.

    This odious situation is similar to 2003-2004, when cable networks were tossing contributor deals to every ex-general and ex-spook they could find while they were reporting on the Iraq invasion. At one point, FAIR.org found that 52 percent of the sources in network newscasts were current or former government officials.

    The numbers now aren’t quite that skewed, but CNN and MSNBC both employ former senior intelligence officials who comment upon stories in which they had direct involvement, especially the Russia investigation…
    ####

    A lot more at the link.

    Regular followers of MoA and others would already be well ahead of this curve, but kids, we’re told that non-traditional media is Fake News and we should stick with the corporate bs.

    Like

    1. Well, Smolenkov is real enough – the Kremlin has stipulated to his existence. So he’s not made up. But all that foolish claptrap about Putin personally ordering his professional troll army to rig the election for Trump IS completely made up. I’m betting Smolenkov actually told them that was the case, because he knew that’s what they wanted to hear. I’m pretty confident if he had been snooping around to that extent, someone would have gotten suspicious and he would have been investigated. The Russians seem not to have had a clue he was in bed with the CIA, and for that length of time, I find it very hard t9 believe he was just that good. I think he knew nothing, and just made up some stories that secured him a really nice house and a new life for his family in America.

      Like

          1. Yeah. I appreciate the blog and its community of commenters; check in on y’all at regular intervals tho’ rarely weigh in on a conversation. Glad I was able to contribute something to this thread.

            Like

  22. The American Conservative via Antiwar.com: Meet American Empire’s ‘Doctor Death’
    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/meet-american-empires-dr-death/

    Stephen Kinzer’s new book shows how Greatest Generation spooks justified their horrific experiments on unwitting Americans.

    ####

    Gottleib again! He who (as I posted a piece recently, spiked his ‘research’ colleagues with LSD that led to a murder of one of them – Frank Olson – because he was having qualms, not to mention witnessing a volunteer at the UK”s premier chemical and biological warfare lab (Portoun Down) being given a nerve agent and dying in agony. For science!

    Like

  23. The Jerusalem Post reports (translates) that Independent Arabia* reports that Nut&Yahoo flew to Moscow because Pootie-Pootie was blocking some of his air strikes (Syrian outposts in Qasioun/Qunaitra & Latakia). It is reported that Nut&Yahoo got quite the slap down and was told that further attempts would literally be shot down. He was also told to leave Lebanon the alone.

    * https://orientxxi.info/magazine/is-the-independent-arabia-really-independent,3192

    Found the source!
    * https://www.independentarabia.com/node/55896/الأخبار/الشرق-الأوسط/روسيا-منعت-إسرائيل-ثلاث-مرات-من-تنفيذ-عمليات-قصف-في-سوريا-هذا-الشهر

    Like

      1. Why yes, of course! 😉

        Forgot to mention that the story above via Antiwar.com. It’s turned up in lots of other places too. I seem to vaguely remember the Independent Arabia being mentioned a long time ago but…

        Like

  24. Truthdig via Antiwar.com: U.S. Propaganda Doesn’t Get More Shameless Than ‘Jack Ryan’
    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/u-s-propaganda-doesnt-get-more-shameless-than-jack-ryan/

    A new trailer out Thursday for Amazon’s television series “Jack Ryan” featuring the titular hero racing against time to stop Venezuela from obtaining a nuclear weapon was widely ridiculed for its jingoistic nature and reliance on conspiracist tropes, with critics deriding the plotline of the new season of the nationalist series….
    ####

    I saw the clips for the Jack Ryan series ages ago and my immediate reaction was ‘Just more Rah! Rah! Americana’. Color me not surprised.

    Like

    1. One commenter noted wry, “Netflix would never do that.”

      Probably alluding to Netflix’ poor record in this regard as well, shamelessly turning entertainment into propaganda. Their latest horror, of course, being that whole 3rd season of “Stranger Things”, which is just sheer rabid Goebbels-type hatred of Russians..

      Like

  25. he article was dedicated to the recent Russian-Serbian air defence exercises, known as ‘Slavic Shield 2019’, which featured air defence troops from the two countries using S-400s and Pantsir-S anti-aircraft systems to simulate a response to a massive air attack by a mock enemy at the Ashuluk training ground in Astrakhan region, southern Russia.

    Bring it, fucking NATO.

    Like

  26. On The Russian Border: Live Firing With The Infantry | ACCESS minis
    Published on 12 Sep 2019

    Forces TV
    The Armoured Infantry A Company 1 Mercian conduct a live-fire exercise on Op Cabrit Estonia. Their mission is to clear a series of trenches and a jungle-like woodblock. With low visibility and hungry mosquitos eating you alive, will they spot all the pop-up targets and find the artillery piece as they methodically patrol through the dense environment? Watch in 4k.

    Like

  27. Politico.eu: Trump poised to hit EU with billions in tariffs after victory in Airbus case
    https://www.politico.eu/article/trump-poised-to-hit-eu-with-billions-in-tariffs-after-airbus-win/

    WTO ruling sets stage for early confrontation between US and new leaders in Brussels.

    …Washington’s tariffs in the Airbus case threaten to hit the company hard. The list of planned duties includes passenger aircraft, which would make Airbus planes more expensive in the U.S. compared to its arch-rival Boeing…

    …To make matters worse for Airbus, the list also contains EU aircraft parts — a move that EU officials said was designed explicitly to disrupt the company’s supply and manufacturing chain by depriving the company of the parts it needs for the final assembly of its A320 model in the U.S. state of Alabama…
    ####

    Just how dumb is Washington? I guess we’ll find out considering that the WTO’s ruling on Airbus’s case against Boeing is coming in 10 months. Bluff? Double Bluff?

    Like

    1. Has all the makings of a shit storm. I wonder what is the basis of claims of Boeing subsidies. Certainly the bloated military contracts with guaranteed profits received by Boeing is a very large,albeit indirect, subsidy.

      Some have written that the global trade system will break up into regional trade blocs. Perhaps there will be just two, Eurasia/Africa and the Western hemisphere with the EU’s affiliation yet to be determined.

      Like

    2. This takes us back to that article someone posted here awhile back, which argued – compellingly – that Trump does not know how to negotiate, but remains supremely confident in his one method of hammering the competition until it is completely crushed. I doubt there is any room in his model for having to later do business with that opponent and maintain a modicum of friendliness. The opponent is the enemy, and stands in the way of Trump winning the deal.

      Maybe in business you don’t have to care about the enemies you defeat – maybe blinding, awe-inspiring victory is enough. But in alliances that have millions of American jobs riding on them, things are a bit different. Others, and I, have speculated before that Trump is single-handedly wrecking the global trading system, and the first thing I want to know is what happened to the shell-shocked boobs in the WTO? There is no room in the regulations for arbitrary punitive tariffs. Every WTO nation must grant other WTO nations Most Favored Nation (MFN) status, and if it offers a lower tax rate to one, it must permit the same for all. Trump uses trade sanctions selectively and arbitrarily for tactical applications so as to inhibit trade in certain sectors and thereby gain advantage for American products, which is a complete perversion of the National treatment codicil.

      https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/fact2_e.htm

      The WTO is asleep at the wheel, or afraid to rein America in, or so stiff with Americans that it acts as an arm of the US government like so many international organizations.

      Like

      1. In a nominally free market, businesses do need to be mindful of how they treat their competitors as, even if fully victorious over a rival (a rare event), other companies will step in with fresh ideas and resources to take you down hard. Be nice to your competitors, in other words if the market is relatively free.

        However, there is no such restraint in the global market – there is not even a pretext of rule and regulations if the hegemon is in danger.

        Trump may be trying to stop the inevitable decline of the Western hegemon by substituting an American hegemon. He toyed with the idea of seeking accommodations with Russia to better fight with China. Now, he seems to be flailing, throwing crap on the wall to see what sticks. He has no plan B after the Russia gambit failed.

        Like

        1. The WTO rules also have the National Security get out of jail free card which the US has actually played (Huawei), while others have threatened. I think one of us posted about this before.

          When it comes to the large military contracts, The House Always Wins. The un-real exception to this is Bae, but it is no longer British, the UK arm now being much, much smaller than the younger American arm which is firewalled.

          Here’s a brief reminder and out of date of the KC-X competition for USAF tankers, and what’s the bet that Boeing won’t win the follow on KC-Y due to commonality despite Airbus teaming with Lockhed and already having a successfully exported product, the A330MRTT:

          https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/opinion-lockheed-pact-fuels-airbus-tanker-ambitions-454244/

          Like

  28. My latest post , this one is pretty good, I think.
    It lays out the theory of John Bolton’s firing, laying out the web of relationships between Rudi Giuliani, Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, Zelensky, Trump and the Deep State.

    Executive summary for those who don’t have time to read the whole post: Trump sent Giuliani to the Ukraine to dig up dirt on the Biden crime family. Then Bolton also was sent to the Ukraine, but instead of helping Giuliani, he went rogue and told the Ukrainians they didn’t have to listen to Rudi. Zelensky was torn between what Trump was telling him to do, and what the Democratic Party bigwigs were telling him to do. He looked like he would go maverick for a while, but Trump set him straight, Zel came on board, and Trump released the tranche of $$$ to the Ukraine.

    Meanwhile, when Trump got word of Bolton’s betrayal, he fired that walrus-ass.

    Like

  29. Need to post this news although I am sure most everyone knows about it:

    https://www.rt.com/news/468857-iran-us-drone-attack/

    Iran has rebuffed US accusations of launching a drone attacks that cut Saudi Arabia’s oil output in half. A senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander, meanwhile, has warned Washington that Tehran is ready for war.

    The Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for sending 10 armed drones to hit two Saudi oil refineries on Saturday. The attacks caused massive fires and other damage to the sites, which halved the kingdom’s oil output.

    Some speculate it is an ideal pretext for the US to launch an attack on Iran. Others say its a body blow to KSA who will be forced to break off the Yemen war. My take – if the US wanted to attack Iran, it would not need a pretext and would have done so by now.

    So many questions. How could these juicy targets, presumably well-defended, be easily and quite successfully attacked by apparently run-of-the-mill drones? The Houthi have demonstrated the capability in past attacks but it would be reasonable to assume Iran provided the hardware and know-how (So what? The US provides massive amounts of weapons and know-how to Saudi Arabia in its attack on Yemen). Some say oil will hit $100/barrel. If so, it will bail out the US frackers and their debtors as well as help Iran and Venezuela (Russia too but, for them, it would simply be a nice bump for an economy already in good shape). So, its a mixed bag for the US.

    Random thought, Saudi Arabia needs to seek purchase of Pantsir systems.

    Like

    1. We had this discussion over at MoA about how Iran could have helped the Houthis when Yemen is subject to a Saudi / Western blockade and commenters there were of the opinion that someone in Iran could have sent over instructions via a USB stick or posted them online so the Houthis could follow them on cellphone. All that is needed at either end is someone who can translate from Farsi to Arabic. Raw material can be salvaged from scrap. Plus there is always the possibility that Saudi defectors to the Houthi side (and it seems there have been large numbers of defections, including entire military units) have brought over materiel and expertise.

      Like

      1. “Saudi Arabia recently renewed plans to sell a share of its state owned oil conglomerate Aramco. Earlier this month the long time Saudi Energy Minister Kalid al-Falih was first demoted and then removed from his position and replaced by Abdulaziz bin Salman, a half-brother of the clown prince”.

        I wonder if that typo was deliberate.

        Like

        1. That Checkpoint Asia article was originally posted by Bernhard H at his Moon of Alabama blog. BH always refers to Mohammed bin Salman as the Saudi Clown Prince. Definitely no typo.

          Like

          1. Tsk tsk, such disrespect to a godlike being whose veins run with the porphyry-pure blood of true royalty! BH should be bowing down and crawling on his elbows to this monkey Saudi Prince Charming!

            Like

    1. “The United States swiftly discounted the Houthi claim. Late Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted: “Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.” And he added: “There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”

      Where’s the evidence they came from Iran? Careful, boys; while Russia and Iran do not have a mutual defense pact, they do have a military cooperation agreement, signed in 2015.

      https://www.haaretz.com/iran-russia-to-sign-military-cooperation-pact-1.5362702

      Jesus-shouter Pompeo plainly wants the attacks to have come from Iran – he needs a war with his name on it to make him the equal of previous office-holders. But the author is right; these attacks were a game-changer. Saudi oil facilities were previously thought to be impregnable, and they mostly were – to land attack. They clearly did not seriously consider an attack from the air.

      Until they start trying to introduce evidence, trumped-up though it might be, that the attacks came from Iran, I don’t think I will be too worried about an attack by the USA on Iran. Especially not when it is alerted and watchful. How is the Houthis buying advanced weaponry from some other country different from Israel buying the latest advanced weaponry from the United States with US-taxpayer dollars?

      Like

  30. Good news on the Russia’s floating nuke per the link below. Odd, how this technology so reviled by the “environmentalists” is doing more to mitigate global warming and general environmental disruption than windmills, and solar farms for reasons too numerous to mention here.

    https://www.rt.com/russia/468845-floating-nuclear-plant-docks/

    After a 5,000-km sea ride, Russia’s pioneering floating nuclear power plant has reached its final destination on the Arctic coast and will soon deliver megawatts and gigajoules of energy to consumers on land.

    The Akademik Lomonosov was towed from Murmansk, a major port city in northwestern Russia, all the way to the far eastern region of Chukotka, reaching a small town called Pevek on Saturday. The trip lasted 22 days and required a couple of tow boats to move the barge, which lacks its own propulsion, and an icebreaker to deliver the convoy safely through the chilly Arctic waters.

    The ship is the first in what Russia hopes will be a series of floating nuclear power plants, factory-ready to supply electricity and heat to remote spots like Chukotka, where cheaper alternatives are not available. Isolated islands and large offshore oil and gas rigs are among the potential clients. So are ports scattered along Russia’s Arctic coast servicing the North Sea Route, a waterway that Moscow pitches as a viable alternative to the Suez for maritime traffic between Europe and Asia.,/i.

    Like

    1. Appropriately named – the Lomonosov Ridge is the geological feature which bisects the Arctic Ocean; I believe it is the world’s longest mountain range, spanning from Greenland to the New Siberian Islands, all underwater. Its point of origin – whether in Russia or Canada – could extend either country’s offshore territories considerably.

      Like

  31. Guess what..
    checkpointasia.net has been blocked from access by the fascist shitstains at Cisco as a website that promotes ‘hate/discrimination’
    You may be able to get it depending on your network administrator or browser….I guess

    Like

  32. Carlson nails Bolton’s ass (via Russia Insider):

    Carlson’s fears were confirmed if the news is accurate regarding Bolton’s replacement.

    Like

  33. The link below is to an insightful video on the future of Boeing in China. The only obvious error was the lack of acknowledgement of Russia’s involvement in the C919 development (via The Duran)

    Like

  34. At this point, I have to object to the labelling of President Duterte as a “psycho in Manila” when it’s clear that (a) there are actual psychos in Washington DC, London and other parts of the West who have distinguished themselves as such by the things they have said and done, and (b) nearly all we know (or think we know) about Duterte comes from sources hostile to him, who ignore the fact that his administration has to deal with an ISIS insurgency in Mindanao province (where he used to be Mayor of Davao City, and in that position actually enacted policies that helped disadvantaged women and women escaping domestic violence – policies later copied by other parts of the country) in the southern Philippines, and that goes for a lot of alternative news media outlets as well as mainstream ones.

    https://www.rappler.com/nation/politics/elections/2016/114627-alan-peter-cayetano-duterte-protects-women

    Like

  35. Fans of RussiaGate may enjoy

    https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/09/michael-flynns-motion-to-compel-brady-evidence-is-compelling-by-larry-c-johnson.html

    It sets out in easily digestible chunks the various ingredients Sidney Powell included in her “Brady” and “Giglio” application before Judge Sullivan and explains both terms of art. From my reading and the author’s suggestions it surely looks like Ms Powell has been the recipient of “insider information” by DoJ officials seriously alarmed by the apparent misdeeds of several people who occupied senior posts under Obama and into the early days of Trump.

    Early days, of course, but the RussiaGate seesaw could soon be watching the Obama/Hellary squad flying arse over elbow into the Big House.

    Like

  36. Tim Hayward: A Syrian Student Writes…
    https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2019/09/08/a-syrian-student-writes/

    In May this year I received a message from a student, one I had never met. With the student’s permission, I share the message now because it offers some salutary perspective on an issue that has recently been raised in a hostile article in The Tab (a Murdoch-funded media entity) about expectations and concerns of Syrian students entering Western universities. Aside from smearing my own reputation, the article takes a damagingly prejudicial approach to a sensitive issue, as this message helps us see…
    ####

    More at the link.

    You don’t even have to be a foreign student to know that conformity aka self-censorship is what is expected on anything foreign policy du jour. If you are not with us, then you are against us. Therefore, you have the choice to STFU, be passively censored or openly attacked and smeared. That includes journalists who have ‘the wrong way of viewing’ a subject. This is what the British Establishment is most practiced and effective at. In the US they’ll tell you to your face that you’ve been blackballed, in the UK people stop calling. It’s like being given the black spot, except death is not the final outcome.

    Like

    1. Young people in the west, generally speaking, are know-it-alls convinced of their own absolute currency of knowledge, and most of what they believe they know comes from reading newspapers and watching television. I say this from experience as, like all of us, I was young once and thought I knew it all, and I got almost all my information from newspapers and television news, although some came from professional journals like the US Naval Institute Proceedings. I grew up believing Russia was a grey and colourless place where hopeless people in shabby, ill-fitting clothes trudged dispiritedly from one line-up to another, then home to their tenth-floor walk-up concrete box shared with from eight to a dozen other family members and relatives.

      Of course, it WAS like that for some people. Just as it likely was for the poor in the west, although they were all but invisible then save for occasional charity drives to ‘help the less fortunate’. I was a huge fan of the United States, loving pretty much everything about it, as my first foreign trips with the Navy were to places like New London, Connecticut (right across the river from Groton, the headquarters of submarine builders Electric Boat) and Boston. I was a big fan of the U.S. Navy, and in many respects I still am – it was and is mostly a professional service with capable leaders and sound ethics common to seagoing services the world over. It was in the area of the USA’s political system that gradual and then total disillusionment took place. Any respect I might once have had for the media vanished at about the same time.

      The media has become a cesspool of bottom-feeders all looking for the ‘gotcha’ moment, while the business and profession of journalism in general has morphed to uncritical relay of government propaganda.

      From that same link, a very interesting dissection of the Salisbury poisonings. We’ve become used to mocking or horrified refutations of the UK government’s line that it could only have been Russia, but this source does it with considerable detail; for instance, the formula originally devised by Vil Marzayanov and his compatriots in the Soviet Union was later patented by a US Chemical lab.

      https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2018/05/10/briefing-note-update-on-the-salisbury-poisonings-2/

      Like

    2. My advice to the Syrian student would be this:
      As soon as some Westie you encounter starts talkin’ smack about your country and just assumes they know what’s going on and complacency thinks everybody believes exactly the same as them, then just tell them: “Shut your piehole, you moron, you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. I’m from there, and my opinion is worth 1,000,000% more than yours. Idiot.

      That should shut them up pretty fast.

      Like

  37. Like

    1. That might be due as much to how long it has gone un-updated as anything else, and for how long it has not had any traffic. I imagine the original Kremlin Stooge will disappear eventually as well, since it has not been updated for years, although it still gets some traffic and the occasional comment.

      Like

  38. Regional military exercise ‘Tsentr-2019’ kicks off today in Orenburg. It features 128,000 soldiers, 600 aircraft and 15 warships representing China, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in addition to the host, Russia.

    https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2019/09/16/Russia-China-Central-Asian-states-kick-off-massive-drills/9611568647865/

    As with all international military drills, the primary focus will be on interoperability and standardization of procedure, so that everyone is thinking and communicating on a common wavelength. There will be a lot of languages in there, so communication will be key to effectiveness, while security of transmission networks will be key to the information flow without compromise by observers.

    I would imagine NATO is much more interested than it is letting on, because Russia and China clearly are not isolated, and the combined military forces exercising here, at their full strength, could probably roll over NATO. As the Spartan saying has it, if your sword is too short…take one pace forward.

    Like

  39. Oil jumped $12.00 a barrel on news of the drone strike against Saudi oil facilities.

    https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2019/09/16/Oil-prices-see-historic-surge-after-drone-attacks-on-Saudi-facilities/4521568628618/?spt=slh&or=3

    Still nowhere near the highs it hit ten or so years ago, but comfortably above break-even for Russia and near a slight profit for U.S. fracking. I think they need around $65.00 a barrel to make money.

    Like

  40. I think the EU may have just fucked Nord Stream II. An EU General Court overturned the 2016 EU Commission decision to allow Gazprom to use more than 50% of the Opal pipeline, a critical choke point for both legs of Nord Stream II to get gas to the hub. If that decision can’t be reversed again, a reasonable argument will be made that Nord stream II is not necessary, as Nord Stream alone can easily supply 50% capacity. The kicker is they do not have any other exporter who could make up the other 50% to use the pipeline to capacity. But this is a very shrewd move, as the Opal pipeline was always the weak link.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-13/russia-s-main-gas-route-to-europe-seen-at-risk-after-pipe-ruling

    Ukraine, of course, will be dancing in the streets with delight. But I wouldn’t be too quick to do that. Russia might still decline to renew the contract with Ukraine, and just let Europe go short, to teach it a lesson. Past time, in my opinion. Of course Uncle Sam will see that as the opportunity long looked for, and offer to step up with LNG imports. And that might be good, too, for a couple of years – let the Yurrupeans pay extortionate gas prices, and learn to be wary of America’s temper tantrums translated to supply ‘problems’ which can only be resolved by making political concessions. Russia has always pretty much let Europe do its thing without pressuring it much, despite the hysterics you see in the media about weaponization of energy.

    It is absolutely typical of Europe to wait until the pipeline is almost complete to offload that bomb. I suppose they figure Russia will have to agree to anything they say so as not to waste all that work and money. It also showcases Europe’s complete unreliability in any business relationship, exactly in lock-step with American unreliability.

    Like

    1. I saw that news too. But then remember the original Nord Stream had a cap that was then lifted. If the EU insists on paying top $$$ for imported LNG from the US rather than lifting any sort of cap, I’d be interested to see how they justify that to EU citizen consumers.

      I think the point is, again, not to react immediately to whatever outrage Brussels or its friends pick out of their ass. I could well imagine that NSII partners may well sue Brussels about this, actually file the papers. Brussels would argue ‘But it’s not us, it’s the court’, to which the lawyers would say ‘We specifically asked you, and you came up with nothing in law’.

      I think we will find the general court has taken a certain ‘interpretation’ of competition law that was ‘advised’ by Brussles. How NSII could get this far after all of these years and have a court come out with such a ruling. Expect egg on face and ‘It’s not me!’. I don’t see how this ‘ruling’ can stand.

      Like

      1. “The Europeans apply antitrust legislation, which is designed to develop the competition. Why it is necessary to free up 50% of the gas pipeline’s capacity? According to the idea of the legislators, it has to allow competition to arise. But when nobody can physically come to the start point of the OPAL gas pipeline, alternative suppliers have nowhere to come from. There physically isn’t and can’t be another supplier in OPAL!!! It’s like banning water from being carried in full buckets!”

        The very inspiration of competition is the introduction of anti-monopoly procedures to establish a lowest price by pitting the competitors against one another. I am pretty confident that Russia has always had the lowest prices, and can usually be induced to do a deal for lower prices yet in exchange for other considerations. When other countries do it, it’s what dealing’s all about – when Russia does it, it’s weaponizing energy.

        If you have a reliable supplier who has access to years of reserves and who consistently sells to you at a reasonable price, why do you have to impose a raft of new rules to bring in competitors who cannot match its prices and do not have access to plentiful supplies? Once again, for Yurrupeans who do not get it, competition is to arrive at a low price. If you start from a low price, it is stupid to mandate room for competitors who cannot get under it.

        I suspect the Poles are behind this latest charade. But why is Germany going along with it? Opal lies entirely within Germany, and anything that risks constraining available supply risks Germany’s status as a gas hub.

        Anyway, as I suggested earlier, it would do Europe a world of good for Russia to short them gas for a little while and let them pay prices for outside supplies that would have their hair on fire. A period of throwing money away when you know there is a cheaper supply to which you cannot get access can be extremely educational. Uncle Sam would jump at the chance to sell Europe LNG and, at least in the beginning, would cut prices to the bone in order to establish market share. But it would still insist on making a profit, and it can’t do that and match Russian prices, while its lengthy logistic chain depends on a lot of factors. If it became confident that its market share was both secure and relied upon, Europeans would quickly see how it was leveraged against them to American advantage.

        Like

        1. But why is Germany going along with it?

          Indeed, why now?

          Helping the Ukraine in it’s gas talks fit in my opinion. This 50% cap can be lifted, reintroduced/whatever and whenever by Brussels. It’s a gangsta move.

          Like

          1. Well, actually, it can’t. Be lifted and re-imposed willy-nilly, I mean. If it is, it would be pointless to build the pipeline in the first place, as Opal would merely take the place of Ukraine. The western tacticians want to keep Ukraine in the mix because they can use it to introduce complications and problems in gas delivery from Russia, which can at the same time be used to paint Russia as an unreliable partner. If Opal can’t be relied upon to supply the opportunity to transit major volumes, Russia will have to make a deal with Ukraine so as to preserve a Plan B option. It would have been better to not build the pipeline, and still cease transit through Ukraine, labeling it instead as the unreliable part of the logistics chain, and Europe would just have to be satisfied with what it could get out of existing pipelines – minus Ukraine – running flat-out. After all, Europe maintained that a twin line for Nord Stream was not needed; mind you, when they said that, they were envisioning continued transit through Ukraine, complete with the prima donna antics Ukraine exhibits when it believes it has leverage.

            The price of gas would go through the roof, and Russia would probably make just as much money, while the Europeans were weeping and tearing out their hair.

            Ukraine’s offer for the gas talks is 60 Billion Cubic Meters transit annually for 10 years. Russia will tell them to go fuck themselves. They’re basically asking for a contract to transit the same amount they’re transiting now, when there is no alternative, for ten more years.

            https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/18/reuters-america-ukraine-says-supports-eus-sefcovic-position-at-trilateral-gas-talks.html

            Of course Sefcovic will pull out all the stops to get Russia to sign on, because he’s a Ukraine partisan.

            Like

            1. Well, actually, it can’t.

              I wish I could be so sure. Brussels likes to think it is kleva (sic ‘field pipes’/TAP exemptions). I’ve looked for more details, and it is appealable (is that a word)?

              https://tass.com/economy/1078049

              …For several years, Russia could use only 50% of the pipeline’s capacity, as prescribed in the EU’s Third Energy Package. Gazprom asked for permission to use OPAL’s 100% capacity,…

              ….In the summer of 2017, the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court decided to remove interim measures on Gazprom’s use of Opal’s facilities imposed by the lawsuit. Poland finds that now the decision of the European Court of Justice will not allow Gazprom to abandon gas transit through the territory of Ukraine.

              On September 10, on considering Poland’s lawsuit, the EU Court of Justice overturned the European Commission’s decision of 2016, according to which Gazprom could fully use the capacities of the OPAL gas pipeline. The Russian company reserves the right to use 50% of OPAL’s capacity, but it will no longer be able to participate in auctions for the remaining 40%.
              ####

              So it is a continuation of previous legal ding-dongs.

              https://jamestown.org/program/eu-court-decision-will-limit-gazproms-ability-to-pump-gas-to-europe-via-nord-stream-route/

              …The ruling is also important because of the reasoning behind it. The justices said the main reason for their decision was not to preserve third-party access to pipelines that run through Europe but to maintain the EU’s energy-solidarity policy. This opens the door to future litigation based on such policy…
              ####

              WTF? So it’s not about allowing 3rd party access after all. The Court is ruling on a completely different aspect! So this is about a different rule of the EU’s Third Energy Package that a) post dates the original Nord Stream; b) ignores that NSII follows the same route and is not substantially different to NS1. The Third Energy Package entered in to legislation in September 2009.* Excuse me, but 10 years late?

              So it looks to me that the multipronged offensive against NSII though it has failed to stymie off-shore NSII because it is almost completely outside the EU (well, we’ll see what happend with Denmark), it’s temporarily struck gold with OPAL because it is on-shore EU.

              Buuut, in leverageing against Russia to the benefit of Ukraine, it will directly impact Russia-EU-Ukraine talks:

              …Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak…”I think that, in terms of negotiations, this situation will be taken into account,”**

              Yet: …Šefčovič said the decision was still very fresh, that his services were still studying it, and that it underlined how important the principle of energy solidarity is for Europe.

              The ECJ ruled that the 2016 decision is “in breach of the principle of energy solidarity” because it failed to properly assess how to balance Germany’s interests against the negative impacts on other EU member states….

              …Šefčovič avoided a direct answer, but insisted in the need of long-term contracts with Gazprom….

              …He explained that the Ukrainian side was willing to apply European law, saying this would bring clarity, transparency and efficiency. The letters sent by the Commission to both parties also stressed the importance of long-term contracts, he said…. ***

              Cake and eat it, Brussels? Kiev complying with ‘European Law’ when even EU member states do not? Ha ha ha! It all rather looks like vague horseshit to me. Open to creative interpretation a la Marcel Marceau.

              * https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/markets-and-consumers/market-legislation/third-energy-package

              ** https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/business/667576-russias-novak-opal-ruling-will-affect-three-way-gas-talks

              *** https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/brussels-unlikely-to-appeal-eu-court-decision-hampering-nord-stream-pipelines/

              Like

              1. When I said, “Actually, it can’t”, I didn’t mean Europe can’t do it, I meant that the uncertainty it introduces will not likely prove satisfactory for Russia to play the game, since Brussels could arbitrarily decide to apply the cap any time it wishes Russia to transit more gas through Ukraine, and pay it more money. The only real solution for Russia is to make it crystal clear to Brussels that it is not going to sign a big fat transit contract with Ukraine, and then business as usual, with Ukraine getting up to its monkeyshines and demanding cheaper gas against the possibility of restricting exports to Europe. Ukraine has demonstrated that it is just like the United States in the sense that if it has any leverage over you, it will use it for its own ends. The west has made it clear it approves of these tactics, even when they cause a temporary shutdown of gas exports to Europe.

                Brussels thinks it is being cute, and that Russia will now have to do as Brussels wants it to. Russia has little choice but to play hardball, and let it be known that it has no intention of signing a long-term agreement with Ukraine to transit the same volumes of gas it always did – what the fuck was Nord Stream II all about? If Europe – and especially those perfidious krauts – want to cap the amount going through the Opal line at 50% of capacity, so be it. Europe will just have to adjust to 60 BcM less supply; maybe Uncle Sugar can send a fleet of LNG tankers to make up the difference, at double the cost. But if Russia signs on to transit 60 BcM annually through Ukraine, it is right back where it started, and built an expensive pipeline for nothing. Stand firm, Russia. Europe does not have an alternative gas supplier, and nothing would teach it that lesson like a year or so of scraping to find enough gas, and paying through the nose for it. It’s always chunnering about alternative suppliers – go and find them!

                Like

    2. Absolutely insane. The EU/Anglo/US fascists are making their last stand and forcing Russia into a corner with the only way out to continue transit through Ukraine. Oh, the humiliation will be so sweet!

      I think the Russian reaction will be a big Fuck You. Its all about LNG and the need to save the US gas frackers and their debt. Oh, and to drive a wedge to further separate Russia from Europe. Perfect, Russia can now focus on its future and forget that rotting corpse of Western civilization.

      Like

      1. Oh, I think Nord Stream II will still go through anyway, in the end. But a great deal depends on Russia not signing another 10-year gas deal with Ukraine for 60 BcM annually. If it does that, then there really is no difference from today, and Nord Stream II would just be an extra line for use in emergencies. I can’t believe any of the partners want that, as there would be little opportunity for them to profit, which is why I wonder why Germany is being so passive. Have they been persuaded to take one for Team Ukraine? Again, I find that hard to believe. It is essentially a question of Ukraine being Europe’s gas hub, or Germany. And it should be more than plain to Europe by now that Ukraine will happily toss a wrench in the transit works any time Washington tells it to.

        Europe needs Russian gas. But it wants it on entirely its own terms, with Brussels in control. Apparently it is not obvious that Europe is already in control – it is the buyer. If it doesn’t want gas, it doesn’t need to buy it. But it does want it. It just wants to wave the rule-book around every time it makes a purchase. Which would be obvious to it, if ever there came a time when it wanted it and couldn’t get it.

        Like

  41. The Beeb continues to blather on about Smolenkov being an absolutely top-hole high-level aide to Vladimir Putin, practically running the place, Darling, probably called each other ‘Vladdy’ and ‘Smoky’ when the peasants weren’t around.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49651576

    Includes the mandatory reference to Putin verifiably having ordered the election-meddling that put Trump in the White House. I have to wonder if this isn’t an American dodge so they can say they were tricked by this fake spy into believing a nonsense story. Not much in the way of interest from Russia, mostly mockery about the American fondness for pulp fiction, but I notice the ‘our American partners’ line fell by the wayside some time ago.

    Like

        1. Are political tell-alls a popular subgenre now? Everyone’s in on it! Rachel Maddow, Samantha Power, Andrei Kovalev, Vladimir Yakunin, some Lebedev banker guy whose upcoming title I forgot to bookmark…

          Like

          1. I don’t know if it’s so much popularity of the genre as it is perception on the part of would-be publishers that such a book would sell a lot of copies. I suppose the one relates to the other – it wouldn’t sell much if the genre weren’t popular. But motivated more by sheer commerce than a sense that here is a story which must be told. In the former motivation, it is placement of the source which means everything, and Todd Palin must be admirably placed to know a lot of stories which were never published. Tutors coming ’round Wasilla to make Sarah into a foreign-policy whiz. Previous examples of her actually being thick as pigshit but cruising on high-octane ambition – that sort of thing. And I’d bet there are plenty of Palin detractors who would buy it. But I doubt he would do it. Although the record says it was he who filed for divorce.

            Like

  42. https://www.checkpointasia.net/canada-seizes-iranian-property-to-compensate-us-victims-of-terrorism-not-perpetrated-by-iran/

    (comments)

    Séamus Ó Néill • 14 hours ago
    So Canada is now the 51st state of the murderous empire….just another little puppet !

    “CHUCKMAN Séamus Ó Néill (at Seamus)
    Sorry, but there’s more than a little painful truth there.

    Trudeau and Freeland have been shameful.

    It’s hard because his father, Pierre, was one of the toughest and most independent-minded of prime ministers.

    And he was brilliant, a quality Justin missed out on entirely.

    Justin leans on Chrystia Freeland a great deal because he knows he is weak.

    You might enjoy:
    https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/07/14/john-chuckman-comment-what-every-canadian-should-know-about-canada-foreign-minister-chrystia-freeland-and-what-justin-trudeaus-sad-legacy-as-prime-minister-will-be/

    Like

    1. Might as well just drop the word ‘government’, and replace it with ‘regime’. There’s no particular reason to refer to some governments as ‘regimes’ except that the press apparently thinks it makes them sound evil. And they’re pretty much all evil, so let’s just go with ‘regime’ for everyone. The Trudeau regime has given Freeland a great deal of power and latitude precisely because Trudeau himself is too busy with feminism and gender-bender politics to pay attention to foreign policy. So that’s largely outsourced to Freeland. Who uses it to maximum advantage for Ukraine, and to worship American doctrine.

      The one exception was the new NAFTA negotiations. I don’t want to say she did a great job, or that Trudeau did, because they didn’t. But there is a news story going around now that some guy named Schwarzman or something like that, an American with consulting firm Blackstone, advised Trudeau during the trade negotiations, and totally rolled him. According to this guy – sorry, I can’t recall his name exactly and don’t feel like looking it up – claims he stuck it to Trudeau hard and made him offer a bunch of concessions in order to get a deal with Trump, one of them being the opening of Canada’s dairy market to American dairy products.

      Let’s get something straight, to be fair to Freeland and Trudeau. Under the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership – which Trump took the United States out of virtually the moment he was elected – the USA would have been given access to 5% of Canada’s dairy market. Under the terms of USMCA, they settled for 3%, and called it a resounding victory for Trump. It’s not; American dairy farmers need much more than that to stop going bankrupt, and they’re not going to get it because Americans have become accustomed to cheap milk, and feel it is an entitlement.

      Like

    1. I don’t see how he could have handled it better. He was polite and well-spoken, never flustered or defensive, and the talking heads tumbled over one another in their eagerness to be properly judgmental, to talk over him and recite their own talking points, and ended up looking like buffoons. He will be a tough nut to crack, and so far the American regime has done nothing to convince ordinary people that he is a cowardly traitor. Putting him on television only makes him look more heroic.

      Like

          1. And a US “talking” head, in reply to Snowdon’s belief that he would not get a fair trial in the USA (a US human rights issue, is that not, Mr.Snowdon?) says that criminals and alleged criminals do not customarily get to determine the terms of their trial: they broke the law and they face the consequences …”

            Guilty before proven innocent?

            Presumption of innocence: an international human right under the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11.

            Like

        1. Nor, to the best of my recollection, did it have an Abu Ghraib. The United States actually has a pretty shitty human-rights record if you consider it from the viewpoint of how it treas others than Americans, and – going further back – only white Americans. The west always tries to factor in the Holodomor, too, how Russia deliberately starved the Ukrainians to death, as an example of their horrible human rights record.

          Like

        2. I cringed at that one too. But I forgive Edward, because I think he was trying to make a tactical debating point, namely:

          I am not a Russia stooge, I have my criticisms of the Russian regime yada yada, and I agree with you talking heads that their human rights record is not well received in the West. And yet they scored a human-rights trifecta when they let me in, when not one single “democracy” would defend me or give me asylum.

          In other words, he would concede, for argumentation purposes, that Russia is bad, only to stick it to them that Russia did well by him and scored propaganda points against the West. It’s a particular debating tactic, whose Latin name I cannot recall.

          Unfortunately, Edward never got to finish his point, because those bitches cut him off before he could even get to the punchline.

          Like

        3. Ahhh…I see you will need more intense beatings at the cultural reeducation camp in consideration of your continued use of the ‘negro’ word.

          However one should ignore Gayle …she’s a black moron, one of the TV progeny of the uber fat whale ‘O’.

          Like

            1. Я живу в стране, где говорят “негр”?

              Никто не жалуется на это, кроме тех пиндосов, которые не говорят по-русски.

              Like

    1. “Mr Prime Minister, I know that your country is on the eve of major domestic political events, the elections to Knesset on September 17, I believe. It is common knowledge that over 1.5 million former Soviet citizens live in Israel. We have always considered them our people, our compatriots. Naturally, we are not indifferent as regards future Israeli MPs, let me be straight about this. We are hoping they will be responsible politicians that will certainly maintain all recent achievements in bilateral relations and will move forward with us in developing Russian-Israeli ties.”

      Uhhhh….where in there was the ‘Sure hope you win, Mr. Netanyahu” part? Does ‘endorsement’ mean something different to what I think it does? I mean, had he said, “Russia looks forward to working with Mr. Netanyahu”, that might loosely have been construed to be an endorsement; it’s technically not, because he never stated in what capacity. But all he says here is a bunch of gobbledegook about an election coming up. Was that some kind of surprise to anyone? He hopes future Israeli MP’s will be responsible politicians who will work constructively with Russia. If I were Israeli, that would be as much an endorsement of me as it was of Netanyahu, who would be the worst possible out of a variety of horrible choices.

      Like

    2. Looks like Satanyahu has lost the second general election and Benny Gantz will be the one who forms a new government. Even if the two major parties were to agree to form a unity government, Gantz has said Satanyahu will have no part in it.

      https://www.timesofisrael.com/committee-publishes-almost-final-results-blue-and-white-lead-likud-33-31/

      Too early yet to celebrate Satanyahu’s departure from the top job and only when he and his wife are safely behind bars will people be able to say that’s the end of Satanyahu’s era in Israeli politics.

      Like

      1. Agreed and agreed; it is certainly cause for minor celebration that he did not win, both because of his radical ideals and because a win would shield him from prosecution. But his ideals are only radical when set against the rules of societies in general – among Israeli politicians they are more or less mainstream, and the goals of all the candidates include grabbing more land from the Palestinians and/or building more Jewish settlements. All believe their only defense against the Palestinians is to surround them, cut them off from the outside, and crush them ever tighter.

        Like

      1. The article and the comments..Absolute must read!!! (IMO)

        e.g.
        “Whatever the exact circumstances of the attacks on the Saudi oil facilities, they are being exploited for the purpose of dragging the American people and all of humanity into a war that can rapidly escalate into a regionwide and even global conflagration.

        US strikes against Iran carried out under the pretext of retaliation for the attacks on Saudi Arabia can trigger Iranian counterstrikes, sending US warships to the bottom of the Persian Gulf and wreaking havoc on American military bases throughout the region.

        The prospect of thousands of US soldiers and sailors dying as a result of Washington’s conspiracies and aggression carries with it the threat of the US government assuming emergency powers and implementing police-state measures in the US itself in the name of “national security.”

        This would, by no means, be an unintended consequence. The buildup to war is driven in large measure by the escalation of social tensions and class struggle within the United States itself, which has found fresh expression in the strike by 46,000 autoworkers against General Motors. ”
        OR

        “Charlotte Ruse • 12 hours ago
        “If there is, as Washington claims, “no evidence’ that the attacks were launched from Yemen, one could, with equal if not greater justification, observe that there is likewise “no evidence’ that they were not launched by the US itself, or by its principal regional ally, Israel.

        If one proceeds from the age-old detective maxim of Cui bono? or Who benefits? Tehran is the least likely suspect. There is clearly more to Washington’s rush to judgment than meets the eye.”

        Yes, Cui bono–who benefited most by this attack–all the usual neoconservative warmongers who’ve been biting at the chomp for decades to go to War with Iran–the “non-interventionist buffoon” may grant them their wish.

        And undoubtedly, the usual Wall Street scum secured a financial “killing” as “Oil prices rose 10 percent on Monday.

        I think Tulsi Gabbard’s tweet perfectly sums up who’s in-charge of US foreign policy:
        “Trump awaits instructions from his Saudi masters. Having our country act as Saudi Arabia’s bitch is not “America First.”
        https://twitter.com/realDon… …

        https://www.nytimes.com/201

        https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/17/pers-s17.html

        Like

      2. Iran having carried out the attack on the Abqaiq facilities from a southwest direction (when it is to the northeast of the area of the attack) was a stunning achievement. How could Saudi defences, aided by US satellites – and Israeli defences for that matter – have possibly missed the Iranian drones or missiles as they circled around the entire Middle Eastern region without being shot down before hitting those oil storage tanks?

        Like

  43. “The barbaric war waged by Saudi Arabia on Yemen, with US military assistance, has been all but omitted from the media coverage of the drone strikes. Since 2015, Saudi-led air strikes on towns and cities in Houthi-held areas have killed tens of thousands of civilians, while leaving 80 percent of the population in need of food aid and several million on the brink of starvation.
    Saudi war planes, armed with US and British bombs and provided with targeting information by US officers based in Saudi Arabia, have carried out repeated attacks on civilian targets, including schools, hospitals, residential areas, mosques and markets. Up to the end of last year, the US also provided mid-air refueling for the Saudi-led onslaught.
    Saudi Arabia has a huge military budget. Last year it ranked as the world’s third highest spender on military equipment, splurging for an estimated $67.6 billion. The ability of the Houthi rebels to penetrate Saudi defences and strike crucial oil infrastructure has heightened fears of further attacks.”

    (comment)
    “Ric Size
    The Trump administration & entire US political establishment must line-up behind the narrative that Iran is responsible for this devastating drone strike. As noted in this excellent article, Saudi Arabia now spends ~$68 billion annually on its military, and most of this comes in the form of sophisticated weaponry from the US. But these expensive instruments-of-death were unable to stop a coordinated drone attack from Yemeni rebels. This calls into question the usefulness of Saudi Arabia-US alliance, and the sustainability of the global petrodollar market.
    A scapegoat is needed, and quickly. Look for an all-out war drive in the media, against Iran, as a cover-up to this disaster. Gasoline prices will rise by at least a dollar a gallon within a month, which is another embarrassment for political leaders during an election cycle, and an added expense for workers who commute by vehicle.”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/16/saud-s16.html

    Like

    1. Never heard of them!

      Have I led a much too sheltered life, I wonder?

      I saw a front page story the other day in a British rag about the death of some bloke who was a member of “The Cars”, and I thought: “Who the hell was he? Never heard of him!”

      Like

      1. TBH, I lived through that period of punk and new wave and The Cars never really registered with me apart from their single “Shake It Up”. Ric Ocasek was the band’s leader. His third wife was actually more famous than he was for a while; she was the Czech model Paulina Porizkova.

        Most punk / new wave bands of the late 70s / early 80s that were popular in Australia were either local Australian bands or British. This was mainly because the Australian Broadcasting Corporation was sourcing music video clips and information from the BBC for its weekly pop music show “Countdown”.

        Like

      1. She did make him look stupid – all he had was a handful of talking points. Occasionally he did try to talk over her to hammer home his points, but often he sat quietly and let her finish. When your interviewer lets you speak, he’s interested in what you have to say, or if opposed to you, in letting you hang yourself. When he talks over you, he’s simply trying to do all the talking while offering the pretense of an interview.

        Like

      1. Interesting and new to me as well. I do recall reading several articles that the Mig 15 was a huge leap in military technology and the Mig 17 was the best subsonic fighter ever fielded.

        Like

            1. Fancy a flight down MiG Alley, chaps?

              The MiG Alley battles produced many fighter aces. The top aces were Russian. Nikolay Sutyagin claimed 21 kills, including nine F-86s, one F-84 and one Gloster Meteor in less than seven months. His first kill was the F-86A of Robert H. Laier on 19 June 1951 (listed by the Americans as missing in action), and his last was on 11 January 1952, when he shot down and killed Thiel M. Reeves, who was flying an F-86E (Reeves is also listed as MIA). Other famous Soviet aces include Yevgeni G. Pepelyayev, who was credited with 19 kills, and Lev Kirilovich Shchukin, who was credited with 17 kills, despite being shot down twice himself.

              During the Korean War, NATO Allies wanted so badly to examine a MiG at close quarters that they offered a US$100,000 reward for any pilot who would defect and bring his MiG-15 with him. When a North Korean pilot, Lt. Ro Kun Suk, did defect in September of 1953, he was not aware of the reward, but was given it anyway.

              Source: MiG-15

              Like

              1. I had heard that the Mig 17 was deliberately kept out of the war as it would have decimated the US Air Force forcing them to do something really stupid like drop a nuke. Could be an urban legend.

                Like

                1. Patient Observer could be some truth in it. I remember reading that the F-86 super-duper gunsight was ,generally ignored in the field, because it was very poor. The modification , known as the ” gumsight ” was a piece of chewing gum placed on the canopy’s front face !? Though this fact seems to be ” fake news ” – I am under the impression it is true . Happy to take correction. My father , a conscript, flew ground attack in Korea, piloting a Vampire jet. I cannot recall him ever talking about about his experiences – except once , when as an adult I provoked him into it. His clipped reply was very short and pregnant – ” I flew ground attack. I was good. I scored a lot of ‘ kills ‘ ( emphasis in the original ) They gave me a medal. ” It stopped me dead. I feel like I am still decoding his meaning today – even though the event took place over 20 years ago.

                  Like

    1. Never thought we’d live to see the day when representatives of two intergalactic empires both bitterly opposed to Doctor Who and also mutual enemies, the Rutans and the Sontarans, would be sitting side by side in Westminster and have their photograph taken.

      Like

      1. Ooow, allow me to correct you, my dear. The Rutans are not amphibious nor reptilian, they are basically intelligent jellyfish, when all is said and done.

        It is said that a fried and breaded Rutan with a soupçon of garlic is the favorite meal of the Sontaran race, and who indeed can blame them?
        In fact, the Sontarans published their first intergalactic bestseller, “How to serve the Rutans”, and it turned out to be a cookbook, how droll…

        Like

        1. Ahhh but in that story “Horror of Fang Rock”, the Rutan was able to impersonate the light-house keeper. Who is to say that a Rutan is not impersonating BoJo the Klown? That might explain how Der Spiegel magazine was able to spot a few odd things in his appearance, such as his resemblance to a famous comic magazine character.

          Like

          1. Well, I admit this a good point.

            In my own defense: When I have watched that episode “The Horror of Fang Rock” I was so busy paying attention to Ms. Leela’s cleevage and savage propensities, that I might have overlooked that major plot point about the Rutans shapeshifting abilities.

            Like

        2. No wonder the Sontarans’ cookbook was such a bestseller: they sure knew how to make the Rutans look good!

          Rutan looking good in its natural state:

          Which of course made the Rutans vow to fight the Sontarans forever: they have their own aesthetic standards.

          Like

  44. Euractiv: In Georgia, EU opens first European School outside the bloc’s borders
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/in-georgia-eu-opens-first-european-school-outside-the-blocs-borders/

    EU and Georgian officials on Monday (16 September) launched a European School in Tbilisi, the first educational institution of this kind launched beyond the bloc’s boundaries, with the objective of strengthening relations with Eastern countries.

    EU and Georgian officials on Monday (16 September) launched a European School in Tbilisi, the first educational institution of this kind launched beyond the bloc’s boundaries, with the objective of strengthening relations with Eastern countries..

    …The school is part of 20 deliverables for 2020 adopted under the EU’s Eastern Partnership Initiative, endorsed by EaP leaders at a summit in November 2017. It is part of a wider €340 million support package for youth aimed at strengthening support for youth and education in the region.

    The first cohort of 100 learners is expected to arrive in 2023, filling the lecture halls of the 26,000 square metres campus…
    ####

    So it’s a Brussels propaganda center where all connected, priviliged, well off young people will learn to think ‘the right way’, because there is only one way. Remember kids, it’s not interference if you invite the vampire over the threshold.

    Like

  45. Another Independent article on Russia by someone who is an expert on matters Russian:

    Despite a history of prohibition, Russians are still battling with alcohol – and not just vodka

    That’s right, folks! Lest you should forget, Russians are inveterate boozers!

    The article has limited access, but here’s its writer’s opening line:

    We can probably assume absolutist monarch Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Vladimir Lenin, the Bolshevik revolutionary who displaced him in 1917, didn’t see eye to eye.

    The Commie and the Autocrat, eh?

    One small point: Lenin did not displace Nicholas II in October [OS] 1917, when the Bolshevik coup took place.

    In February [OS] 1917, Nicholas II was advised to abdicate by the army chief and two duma deputies. He accepted their advice and abdicated.

    Oh, and another thing: the Orcs aren’t the top boozers in Europe.

    The world top 10 countries as regards litres of pure alcohol consumption per capita are:

    1 Belarus 17.50
    2 Moldova 16.80
    3 Lithuania 15.40
    4 Russia 15.10
    5 Romania 14.40
    6 Ukraine 13.90
    7 Andorra 13.80
    8 Hungary 13.30
    9 Czech Republic 13.00
    10 Slovakia 13.00

    Like

  46. Flight Global: Boeing values 20-year Chinese market at $2.9 trillion
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/boeing-values-20-year-chinese-market-at-29-trilli-460898/

    Boeing forecasts that China will need 8,090 new commercial aircraft over the next 20 years in addition to $1.6 billion in services related to passenger air transport.

    Its 2019 China Commercial Market Outlook for the next two decades sees the entire aircraft and services market through 2038 reaching $2.9 trillion, a 7% increase over its forecast last year….
    ####

    What a tough one for Boeing. On the one hand it sells airliners to China, on the other it makes and sells weapons to fire at China! Like Russia, be in no doubt that China will work hard to minimize any dependence on the West (sic the USA) for any critical equipment like aero engines. The West seems to have learned nothing that threats and sanctions against strong countries will ultimately cost them much more in the long run, good will and more importantly trust, burnt to a cinder.

    Like

    1. Erm, I think China was the first country to ground Boeing 737 MAX jets over the Angle of Attack sensor issue that caused the Indonesian and Ethiopian Boeing 737 MAX planes to crash after take-off, killing a combined total of 346 people. If Boeing is keen to sell airliners to China, and especially its 737 MAX jets (because they’re expected to be the workhorses of Boeing’s range of passenger aircraft), the company has a lot of work to do: either swallow its pride, redesign the jets to balance properly and work properly and retrain the pilots appropriately; or be prepared for any consequences if one of its airliners fails a third time because of the same problem.

      Like

    2. The Chinese would need their heads examined if they bought Boeing after the graphic example they are even now observing, that the United States will leverage any advantage in order to demand concessions. Other countries – like Iran – who have bought American aircraft have seen the USA cut them off from spare parts and withdraw all the American technicians they insist do the maintenance routines. Justin Trudeau might fly around in a 737 just to demonstrate how confident he feels in American know-how and technology, but there’s no reason for anyone else to act like such a retard.

      Boeing does make a good aircraft. But Airbus is just as good, and more importantly, it’s not American. It’s bad enough that it’s French, considering how the French under Hollande bent over for Washington, and canceled the warship contract they had signed with Russia when the first ship was already built and ready for delivery. Hopefully they learned a lesson, considering how bitter the French builders were at Hollande’s spinelessness. But there’s no reason China can’t build its own airliners in cooperation with Russia. The USA will make a big noise about not certifying it, but the threat by China to junk its remaining Boeings would strike fear into Boeing’s heart, and it has many lobbyists at court.

      I hope everyone can see that this is only fairness in action. Americans proclaim themselves the champions of fairness – well, then, surely they will understand how, after the US government bullying everyone and American steelworkers smirking over the advantages Trump’s tariffs on its neighbours bestowed upon them, other countries suddenly were not eager to buy American products. Trump’s technique is to gain market share by prohibiting competition. Nobody should be surprised when American products in foreign markets are shunned.

      Like

      1. It’s interesting that Boeing has a 737 fitting and completion center in Zhoushan, China whereas Airbus builds entire A320s at Tianjin (50 p/y starting 2009) as it also does in Mobile, Alabama. And let us not forget that a VIP 767 ordered for Chairman Jiang Zemin was found to be bugged back in 2003…

        https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/boeing-set-to-deliver-first-737-jet-from-completion-center-in-china/

        news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/1769642.stm

        Like

  47. Wherever you may now be, eat your heart out La Russophobe!

    I can’t remember if I have mentioned this earlier, but last Sunday lunchtime, when I was out in the sticks, I heard this snippet of information on the lunchtime radio news: Russian secondary schools (“high schools” in US usage and literally “middle schools” in Russian) have now been internationally recognized as the best in the world.

    I have tried to follow it up on the Internet, but nothing there about it, so it must be Russian propagandistic “fake news”, mustn’t it, because if it were true, then it would have been announced in the Western news media — wouldn’t it?

    Like

          1. Do I detect a University of Sydney prejudice here? You could have easily drawn attention to the fact that my old institution came 6th. It seems UNSW didn’t put a team in this year. I have had an interest in Mathematical Olympiads for many years and a keen academic convenor is necessary for success. As far as ME’s comment about Russian secondary schools being the World’s best, I would love to have a reference. I find the claim hard to believe simply because the parameters used to determine these rankings invariably depend on the most recent (Western) fads in education. This is one reason why Russian universities have such mediocre international rankings. On the other hand, I have noticed how enthusiastic Putin is about the Russian education system.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. You are correct. I have a feeling that someone, perhaps ME, posted the 2018 results a year ago, for I remember checking the names of the UNSW students in “the” team some time ago. I notice that they came (equal) 13th in 2017. The joke within the mathematics community is that the national mathematics Olympiad teams are generally Asian teams anyway. Fred Reed recently wrote an amusing article on this phenomenon:
                http://www.unz.com/freed/u-s-supreme-over-asia-in-mathematics/

                Like

  48. Ever on guard for freedom and democracy!

    MOSCOW, September 17. /TASS/. Two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bombers performing a flight over the Baltic Sea were escorted by fighter jets of five countries at certain sections, the Russian defense ministry said on Tuesday.

    According to the ministry, the Russian bombers performed a seven-hour scheduled flight over neutral waters of the Baltic Sea.

    “At certain sections of the rout, the Russian long-range aircraft were escorted by F-16 fighter jets of the Belgian, Danish and Polish air forces, Finnish F-18 fighter jets, and Swedish JAS-39 Grispen warplanes,” the ministry said.

    By now, the Russian bombers have returned to their home base, the ministry added.

    Belgium’s air force said earlier that it had scrambled two fighter jets on Tuesday to escort Russian Tu-160 and Su-27 aircraft.

    Russia’s defense ministry has repeatedly stressed that Russian warplanes fly over neutral waters in strict compliance with international rules of the use of airspace.

    “Rout” ????

    Spelling “route” the way some North Americans pronounce that word?

    Like

  49. @PO….Pretty sure you in particular will get a chuckle out of these comments from the wsws article
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/17/pers-s17.html

    Kalen • 16 hours ago
    There is no doubt that growing global tensions provocative rhetoric, erratic reckless behavior of leadership , irrationality in global diplomatic , political or economic relations permeating official propaganda narratives serve overall purpose of stoking nationalism as counteroffensive to exploding class struggle worldwide.

    In case of Saudis though it is all about destabilization of outdated medieval regime by US and Israel via enticing trained in cruelty MbS to unnecessary useless and most of all un-winnable Yemen war that in fact presents existential threat to the very existence of Saudi puppet regime itself.

    It is likely that Saudis regime will be at some point swept from power in the name of progressive .. nationalism in fact fascism one way or another via sort of Arab color revolution, as this medieval circus of flaccid clowns is too easy target for socialist revolution.

    In fact Saudi Arabia is ironically the prime place with required conditions for socialist revolution to erupt not only because class division is so sharp and visible even embedded into state law but also because working class there is truly international from Philippines, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and entire MENA and level of their exploitation is horrific practically amounts to slavery.

    The fragility of Saudi regime was clearly shown by this attack on practically unprotected critical oil infrastructure from low intensity warfare threat Saudi are engaged in fact by proxy in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere, while spending $billions on useless junk that in fact does not work at all as Houti ballistic missile attacks proved as while Soviet era shor range ballistic missile missed the targets most of damage was done by falling patriot II missiles falling down after missing their targets.

    And hence Saudis and Turkey long wanted to buy Russian air defense systems already bought by China, India and others triggering US sanctions against companies and individuals involved.

    US Empire is already a technical and scientific failure founded on fraud in military area as well.

    The question if quite primitive Houti forces were possibly able to pull of such attack of about twenty armed drones (claimed by Houties 1500 km range) must be answered yes, with recent technical support of Iranians (after reimposition of embargo) and local spotters/controllers on the ground.

    The similar swarm drone attacks was pulled by AQ terrorist affiliated forces (with US training) several times against Russian Air and Navy base in Syria all unsuccessfully mostly due to Russia electronic warfare capability and Panzir 2 system purposefully designed to defend from drone swarm attacks.

    The rather meek and balanced response of markets and politicians so far to this on its face conditions imminent regional war involving nuclear powers tells me that there is no real intention so far to start a war not because of better angel of ruling elites nature but because they do not yet feel directly threatened by socialist revolution.

    For them much valuable counterrevolutionary tool is inspiring nationalism simple threat of war rather than war itself as it always unleashing law of unforeseen consequences and fuels real political instability potentially threatening their own empires of domination.

    Best way to prevent war is not defending national elites but engaging in international socialist revolution.

    jplotinus Kalen • 12 hours ago
    In my view, the fact that Saudi Arabia’s air defense system was unable to thwart an attack on major oil infrastructure is quite damning and worthy of being the leading element of this incident. However, as the Saudis have bought and paid for the very expensive but apparently ineffective Patriot air defense system means that as little coverage as possible of this aspect of the story will likely ensue in mainstream media.

    I’ve noticed Putin has publicly offered to sell Saudi Arabia Russia’s S-300 and S-400 air defense systems. Hmmm…

    Like

    1. There will be no major war against Iran. The US will continue to try to strangle Iran but success is becoming increasingly unlikely.

      If there were to be a serious attack on Iran and Iran responded with its full capacity, KSA could kiss its ass goodby. Desalination facilities would be targeted, oil infrastructure would be destroyed including pipelines and loading facilities and power plants knocked out all by missiles, US warships in the Gulf would be in dire straits as well. Yes, a social revolution could then take place. I do wonder about the UAE. I hear that they are distancing themselves from the Saudis lately.

      Like

  50. It was a mystery to me how cruise missiles, drones or whatever could have evaded detection, much less engagement, by US-supplied air defense systems. Per MOA, it was easy – US systems such as the Patriot stare in one direction.

    The PAC-2 and PAC-3 systems are sector defenses as their radars do not rotate. They can only see an arc of 120°. In the case of the Saudis those radars only look towards the east to Iran whcih is the most likely axis of attack. That left the crude oil processing plant in Abqaiq completely unprotected against attacks from any other direction. Neither Saudi Arabia nor the U.S. know from where the attack really came.

    The foregoing explains why the US is unsure where the missiles originated despite the knee-jerk braying by Pompeo. Moreover, it be be assumed that US Navy ships in the Gulf certainly were scanning the skies yet apparently detected nothing from Iran. So it really does look like the missiles originated from Yemen way.

    Like

    1. I’d be careful about blaming Iran, in view of the allegation that the US-supplied air defenses are focused in that direction and apparently did not even see the attack coming. It also casts doubt on American bellowing that they have loads of new evidence that Iran was responsible. If they had, why didn’t they try to stop it?

      Like

    2. What I find really amazing in that paragraph quoted from MoA is that these radars have such a limited capability in surveying the skies. A 120° arc is about the same as the vision span / field of view of one human eye. Two eyes working together increase the span to 210° or just over. How is it that current US radar defence technology development can’t produce a system of radars so that each can rotate at least 180° and can be paired with another radar to provide a full 360° range of surveillance?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_of_view

      Like

      1. MOA suggests that the US has become stuck in the mindset that it will be always on the offense thus has no need for a real defensive capability. That sort of worked with Iraq and Grenada but against a country that can hit back, not so much. That profoundly inept piece of junk Patriot missile system is proof positive.

        Like

      2. I am not sure that stupidity is ever amazing- after all, it is very easy to do stupid things. (Think Singapore, 1941) In all this, what took me a long time to accept is how technologically advanced the Russian missile technology is- for example, it seems that frequent swarm attacks by drones on the Russian air base at all been destroyed. Many decades of research have clearly gone into the development of this technology. I suspect that the key to this development was the strategic decision made by the Soviets back in the 70’s to develop missiles to destroy US carrier groups. Over a long period of time their missiles became supersonic, and eventually the manoeuvrable hypersonic missiles that they have today. Putin seems very confident that it will take many years for the US to catch up. He might be right: “even 9 women cannot produce a baby within a month”.

        Like

    1. “… Probably had Death to the Great Satan etched on them… right above made in Tehran …”

      Etched in English and in the Roman alphabet as well, of course.

      Like

      1. LOL!!! I meant to write etched in Farsi..
        But your comment captures more of the ‘Team Captain Obvious Clown- (you know who) trying to frame Iran!!!!

        Like

  51. Yesterday was the 80th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of eastern Polish territories.

    I get sick to death of reading articles in Western rags and in comments to them, and of the opinions of the ignorant on social networks, that the USSR and Nazi Germany jointly invaded Poland on 1st September 1939, thereby triggering off WWII in Europe and that that war was the result of the complicity of two totalitarian states.

    The following article concerning this accusation was published in KP on 16 September of this year :

    Польша сделала всё, чтобы Сталин напал на неё через 17 дней после Гитлера
    Чем был Западный поход Красной Армии в сентябре-1939: «освобождением древнерусских земель» или оккупацией?

    Poland did everything for Stalin to attack it 17 days after Hitler
    The September Red Army campaign in the west: was it for “the liberation of Old Russian lands” or an occupation?

    Our Slavic neighbours once again have a reason to attack Russia. Exactly 80 years ago, on September 17, 1939, the Red Army crossed the Polish border and annexed to the USSR the current territories of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus. This happened only 17 days after the Wehrmacht had invaded Poland, thereby starting the Second World War, and just three-and-a-half weeks after the conclusion of the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact.

    So it turns out that “the dictators Stalin and Hitler together divided the freedom-loving republic”, and we are the same international criminals as were the German Nazis … or are we? “KP” and Dmitry Surzhik, a candidate for historical sciences and an expert on World War II, have dissected the myths about that campaign.

    Myth number 1. Stalin cynically attacked a democratic country.

    On September 17, 1939, the troops of the Commonwealth [Poland — ME] had already been defeated by the Wehrmacht and the Polish government had fled abroad. Let me remind you that Stalin himself acted quite differently during the critical days of the 1941 invasion [of the USSR by Nazi Germany and its fascist allies — ME]: his phone call to the army was known to all: “The headquarters remains at the front, I remain in Moscow. Get hold of shovels and dig graves for yourself”. Why did he say this? Because everyone was well aware of the fact that when there is no central government, then there is no state participating in a war: it disappears in every sense of the word, including as a subject of international law. This was understood even by the then Polish government. Caught in exile in France, it issued its first document, the Angers Declaration, in which it stated that it was at war with the Soviet Union … but de jure it did not declare war, realizing, perhaps, that there were no legal grounds for this.

    Myth number 2. Poland fell victim to the collusion of two totalitarian regimes.

    They like to reproach us with “the pre-war alliance of Stalin and Hitler”: they recall the joint parade of the Red Army and the Wehrmacht (held on September 21, 1939 in the former Polish, and now Byelorussian Brest), but the chief satellite of Nazi Berlin in Eastern Europe was only … Warsaw. The Germans had concluded a non-aggression pact with Poland back in 1934 — the so-called Pilsudski-Hitler Pact. Jozef Pilsudski was considered one of the founding fathers of independent Poland; in Germany a translation of his memoirs had been pompously published. And if we are going to talk about joint parades, such a parade was held in Warsaw on November 11, 1938 in honour of the independence of Poland, when the German military was present as guests of honour. There was even the likelihood of an “allied” Polish-German invasion of the USSR — such prospects had been analyzed in a spring of 1938 note made by the Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army Boris Shaposhnikov made for the People’s Commissar of Defence. So for Warsaw to point its finger at us for concluding a “Soviet-German alliance” is the height of cynicism.

    Myth number 3. The USSR invaded the eastern parts of Poland (just as Germany had done in the western parts).

    The interwar relations between Moscow and Warsaw were really tense. The eastern policy of Poland was the so-called “Prometheism” — a plan for splitting up the USSR according to the nationalities within it. To this end, Warsaw worked with anti-Soviet immigrants, including Ukrainian and Georgian nationalists. The ultimate task was to create a “Poland from sea to sea” (from the Baltic to the Crimea) at the expense of Russian lands. [In Soviet times, it was not acceptable to talk about the pre-war “Prometheism” of fraternal socialist Poland. In the West, however, this project has been well studied — for example, in the historical studies at the Hoover Institute in the USA -— Ed.]. Moscow, of course, knew about these plans. However, during its Polish campaign, the Red Army did not advance too deeply, stopping only at the Curzon Line. This line, the ethnic border between the Poles, on the one hand, and Ukrainians and Belarusians on the other, had been agreed upon by the Entente after the First World War and was to have become the eastern border of Poland. But Warsaw, because of the weakness of Soviet Russia after the civil war, had been able to seize these territories.

    Myth number 4. That invasion violated even international law then, not to mention current international law.

    They have now forgotten In the West that in 1938 Poland, together with Hitler, participated in the partition of Czechoslovakia. The Teshinsky region was seized under the pretext that many ethnic Poles lived there. The guarantor of Czechoslovak security under international agreements was then the Soviet Union. On the 23rd of September, 1938, shortly before the shameful partition of this Slavic country, the USSR presented an ultimatum to Warsaw, namely that if it took part in this partition, then Moscow would withdraw its obligation not to attack Poland in the future. But our neighbours remained silent, thereby predetermining their fate by opening the “diplomatic gate” for a future Polish Red Army campaign.

    Here it is interesting to recall the words that Winston Churchill said after September 17, 1939:

    “Russia pursues a cold policy in its own interests. We should prefer that the Russians remain in their current positions (Curzon Lines in 1939 – Ed.) as friends and allies of Poland, and not as invaders. But to protect Russia from the Nazi threat, it was clearly necessary for the Russian armies to stay on this line”, said one of the then key British politicians. That is, at that time, for some reason, no one considered the actions of the USSR to be a “crime”, including even the “Western partners”.

    This Russian historian, in quoting Churchill above, is perhaps thinking of Churchill’s “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” speech, made when he was not prime minister of the UK and still an “outsider”, as it were, in his own Conservative party, which Churchillian phrase is often quoted in the West and out of context, of course, but seldom given in full:

    “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. But perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest. It cannot be in accordance with the interest or the safety of Russia that Germany should plant itself upon the shores of the Black Sea, or that it should overrun the Balkan States and subjugate the Slavonic peoples of South-Eastern Europe. That would be contrary to the historic life-interests of Russia” — broadcast in London , 1st October, 1939.

    And the key question really is this: if the UK and France had promised that they would declare war against Germany if it should invade Poland, then why did those countries not declare war on 17th September, 1939, against Germany’s “ally”, the USSR, which state, according to present day historical revisionists, was jointly responsible for the onset of WWII?

    Like

      1. Как Польша готовилась к войне с СССР плечом к плечу с Германией

        How Poland, shoulder to shoulder with Germany, prepared for war against the USSR


        Best of friends?

        Statement by the Soviet Government to the Polish Government
        23 September 1938

        The Government of the USSR has received reports from various sources that troops of the Polish Government are concentrated on the border of Poland and Czechoslovakia, preparing to cross the border and forcefully occupy part of the territory of the Czechoslovak Republic. Despite the widespread and alarming nature of these reports, the Polish Government has not yet refuted them. The Government of the USSR expects such a refutation to follow immediately. Nevertheless, in the event that such a refutation does not follow and if, in confirmation of these reports, Polish troops have really crossed the border of the Czechoslovak Republic and occupied its territory, the Government of the USSR considers it timely and necessary to warn the Government of the Polish Republic, on the basis of Art. 2 of the non-aggression pact concluded between the USSR and Poland on July 25, 1932, the Government of the USSR, in view of this act of aggression committed by Poland against Czechoslovakia, would be forced to denounce the aforementioned agreement without warning.

        Source: “Izvestia” No. 225 (6692). 26 September 1938

        The statement was transmitted at about 4 a.m. on September 23, 1938, by Deputy People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the USSR, V.P. Potemkin, to the Chargé d’Affaires of Poland to the USSR, T. Yankovsky.

        Note: the USSR, France and Czechoslovakia were bound by an agreement to give military assistance to Czechoslovakia in the event of aggression by third countries against it. So the USSR had every right to point out to Poland that it was acting aggressively.

        Transcript of the Deputy People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs with the chargé d’affaires of Poland to the USSR
        23 September 1938

        The Polish chargé d’affaires, who asked me for an appointment today at 7 o’clock, came to me with the following message from his government:

        “1. The measures taken in connection with the defence of the Polish state depend solely on the government of the Polish Republic, which is not obligated to give explanations to anyone.

        2. The Government of the Polish Republic certainly knows the texts of the treaties that it has concluded”.

        The response of the Polish government was drawn up in Polish and handed to me and signed by the chargé d’affaires. An exact Russian translation of this text was agreed upon by both Yankovsky and me. After a written communication, the chargé d’affaires made the following oral statement to me: “The Polish government is surprised by the current démarche of the USSR government, because no measures have been taken by the Polish government on the Polish-Soviet border”.

        To this I replied that the démarche of the Soviet government was caused by events on the Polish-Czechoslovak border. If the same measures were carried out by the Polish government on the border of Poland and the USSR, the likely consequence would be not diplomatic démarches, but appropriate counter-measures by the USSR government.

        My answer was recorded by Jankowski.

        V. Potemkin

        Source: “Documents and materials on the history of Soviet-Polish relations”, vol. VI. M .. 1969. with 364.

        The response of the Poles was quite arrogant by reason of the fact that they were already preparing to conclude a Polish-German Pact against the Soviet Union. For example, here is what the Polish Ambassador in Paris, Lukasiewicz, wrote to the Ambassador of the USA on 5 September 1938:

        “A religious war is beginning between fascism and Bolshevism, and if the Soviet Union renders aid to Czechoslovakia, Poland is ready to fight shoulder to shoulder with Germany against the USSR.

        The Polish government is confident that within three months Russian troops will be completely defeated and Russia will no longer be even a semblance of a state”.

        As a result, Poland, not paying attention to our warnings, invaded the Czech Republic and captured the Tieszyn region.

        Already in December 1938, a report by the 2nd (reconnaissance) department of the main headquarters of the Polish Army stated in plain terms that:

        “The dismemberment of Russia lies at the basis of Polish politics in the East … Therefore, our possible position will be reduced to the following formula: who will take part in this dismemberment? Poland should not remain passive during this wonderfully historical moment. The task is to prepare well, both physically and spiritually, in advance … The main goal is to weaken and defeat Russia”.

        Source: “Z dziejow stosunkow polsko-radzieckich. Studia i materialy”, T.III. Warszawa, 1968, S. 262, 287.

        From all these materials, it is clear that pre-war Poland was an extremely toxic military dictatorship, which posed a danger not only to its neighbours, but to itself. As a result, this hyena, imagining itself to be a large European predator, would pay for its sins within a year. True, all the peoples of Eastern Europe would suffer from this, while the runaway Polish government would sit in London.

        By referring to Poland as a “hyena”, the writer of the above (partly translated) article has clearly been inspired by none other than Winston Churchill:

        “And now, when every one of these aids and advantages has been squandered and thrown away, Great Britain advances, leading France by the hand, to guarantee the integrity of Poland — that very Poland which with hyena appetite had only six months before joined in the pillage and destruction of the Czechoslovak State.”

        Source: The Second World War – page 144; The Gathering Storm – page 311, W.S. Churchill.

        Now don’t all you folks go forget now: The USSR and Nazi Germany started WWII!

        Like

        1. Is it relevant to mention that Britain (and by extension France ) gave the Poles an assurance of assistance in ALL cases of war with Germany? This guarantee is unique in the annals of British foreign policy. I think the idea was, for France (aided by British coastal operations ) to crash through the West Wall, which was thinly held by second line formations, men of the 45+ age group. All major first line Wehrmacht units had been deployed to Germany’s frontiers with Poland. The French army was an organisation with two and half million effectives at this time and was widely regarded as the most modern army in the world. I believe that the allies would have occupied the Ruhr in 24 hours, if they would have invaded Germany. I do not think parity existed between Germany and the British, French and Polish airforces combined, I think the allies had many more machines . Why the invasion did not take place, I do not know – I think the standard story blames the domestic political situation in France for the paralysis , which seems rather convenient to me. There is very little doubt in my mind that the absolute guarantee given to Poland, was one of the major causes (if not the major cause ) of the outbreak of hostilities in 1939. I suspect the Hitlerites were a dagger always pointed at the Soviet Union and Poland was just ones those eggs you break when making a geopolitical omelette – after all, the Fuhrur dictated all this to Hess in the Landsberg in 1923, in between being lectured in geopolitics by Haushofer! I am pretty sure that the relevant defence establishments in the relevant countries were all aware of the contents of ” Mein Kampf ” and it’s motif of the genocide of the Slavic peoples. Once the SA “herdsman ” had constructed a fuedal German Empire on the rubble , German-Slavic relations would be fashioned on the master-slave model, illumininated by Hitlers comment , ” In the East we will shoot anyone who looks askance at us. “

          Like

  52. Neuters via Antiwar.com: Belarus, U.S. look to bring back ambassadors after 10-year hiatus
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-belarus-usa/belarus-u-s-look-to-bring-back-ambassadors-after-10-year-hiatus-idUKKBN1W21O1

    …Speaking at a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk on Tuesday, Hale said that Washington “strongly supports the sovereignty and independence of Belarus”.
    ####

    This is the second time I am going to mention the ‘inviting the vampire over the threshold’ analogy.

    WTaF does Lukalshenko think he is doing/achieving? Insurance? By swinging towards the US/EU when he knows that both cannot resist any attempt to shove him up a Colon Revolution (TM).

    Whereas I could imagine Brussels being a little reluctant (sic the clusterf**k they helped to create in the Ukraine), I can imagine no reluctance from the Polish PiS government that looks quite likely to win the upcoming elections there. The US requires only willing morons. It’s all very Aesop’s The Frog and the Mouse.

    Like

    1. If there is a US Ambassador in Belarus, he or she will straightaway get involved in pushing for more NGO’s and stirring up trouble. That’s what they do in every Slavic country.

      However, Lukashenko fancies himself a master strategist, and he likes to play the USA and Russia against one another to maximum advantage for Lukashenko. One of these days that game is going to blow up in his face.

      Like

    2. Well, well … from the website of the US embassy in Belarus … look at who met President Lukashenko in Minsk back in August this year: none other than Yosemite Sam Bolton himself.

      Now that Yosemite Sam has been consigned back to the Looney Tunes channel or wherever he was hibernating until Trump hauled him out, I suppose the new National Security Advisor had better pay a quick trip to Minsk just to catch up on what passed between Lukashenko and Bolton.

      https://kxnt.radio.com/s3/files/styles/nts_image_cover_tall_775x425/s3/ap/jpg/2019/201909/18/ec5acba69e44400b915b0e8b1963f1e9.jpg?itok=XxMGfUnK

      Hmm … the scene looks as if Trump has paid a visit to the replicant factory and found Roy Batty Version 2.0 fresh off the assembly line and still waiting for his memory implants.

      Like

  53. В Москве полицейский погиб при перестрелке в метро

    Moscow police officer dies ina metro shootout
    19:23 18.09.2019 (updated: 20:15 18.09.2019)

    MOSCOW, 18 Sep — RIA Novosti. One policeman was killed and a second was seriously injured while trying to arrest an employee of the Department of Internal Affairs on the Moscow metro.
    It has been noted that the man was suspected of receiving a bribe and had opened fire on the police officers during his detention at the metro station “Ryazanskiy Prospekt”.

    What a lousy thing to do!

    What did the allegedly corrupt bureaucrat hope he would achieve by shooting the two cops?

    Did he think he would be able to flee Russia?

    Like

    1. Evidently he reads the papers, and realised that if he could just reach Finland he would be granted asylum as a victim of political persecution.

      Like

    1. Washington now claims cruise missiles were involved as well as drones. What bullshit. (a) An enemy who was able to strike the Saudi oil fields with cruise missiles sent over drones as well? (b) The Saudis had 50% of their damaged capacity back online in only a day, driving the oil price spike back down? After a cruise-missile strike? Did they carry a warhead the size of an orange? The Saudi oil fields are defenseless against a cruise-missile attack?

      https://www.theledger.com/news/20190918/saudi-arabia-says-iran-cruise-missiles-drones-attacked-oil-sites

      Like

      1. It’s hard to say because some stuff is clearly being held back from public scrutiny. We don’t even know which weapons were fired at what targets.

        My only thoughts about the domes is that they only need to be punctured by a high speed delayed incendiary. If it is a weight trade off for range fuel v. warhead, then range wins if popping a hole and igniting the gas is the aim. I don’t know enough about the other targets.

        As others have pointed out, what is the intent behind these attacks? Is it an ‘act of war’, a ‘warning shot’ or other? There are games within games and bluffs within bluffs being played here.

        Like

        1. Via Moon of Alabama:

          Like

        2. On the one hand, elements within the USA want war with Iran really, really badly. Of slightly greater value, though, is the opportunity to portray Trump as weak and dithering because he hesitates to commit to it. But usually if Washington claims to have ‘evidence it cannot reveal publicly’ , that’s because it is making it up. When it makes up evidence which it claims clearly demonstrates this or that, it always has a reason. I’m not sure yet what it is, but the USA is very serious about putting Iran in the frame for it. They may have had something to do with it, but like the so-convenient ‘chemical attacks’ in Syria. Iran would have been beyond foolish to do something like that right now, while their attitude suggests if they had done it, they’d be quite happy to own it.

          Like

    2. Thanks for posting, I LOVED this episode of Crosstalk, because it was so contentious.
      That delicious catfight between the “Arab” and the “Persian”.
      Arab guy clearly a vicious moron.
      Persian guy seemed rational and logical compared to Arab guy, and then he goes on that delicious rant about “What we will do to you, fucking Saudis, if you attack us!”
      And not only Saudi Arabia will descend into Dante’s hell, but AmeriKKKa too!

      Chill goes down my spine, Viva Persia!

      Like

      1. In complete fairness, though, Peter does simply talk over panelists he doesn’t like until they have to stop talking, because listeners can’t make sense of two people talking loudly at the same time. CrossTalk has its own politics, and the Arab was never going to get equal time or have his viewpoints uncritically aired. He should have been allowed the same courtesy everyone else was. I disagree strongly with what he was saying, but the immediate rejection of his views and shouting him down did absolutely nothing to make the Kingdom look like the party in the wrong.

        Like

  54. “The threat that Washington will unleash a major new war in the Middle East continued to escalate Tuesday as US intelligence and military officials—speaking not for attribution—claimed to have established that last Saturday’s attacks on Saudi Arabian oil installations were launched from southwestern Iran.

    Not a shred of evidence has been provided to substantiate this charge, and, according to Pentagon officials who spoke anonymously to National Public Radio, the evidence claimed is “circumstantial,” consisting of satellite surveillance imagery showing activity at supposed Iranian launch sites in advance of the attack on Abqaiq, the world’s largest crude oil processing facility, and the Khurais oil field, both in eastern Saudi Arabia.

    Despite the failure of US authorities to make public any of their alleged evidence, the US corporate media is reporting the charge against Iran as incontrovertible fact.”

    “Iran has denied any responsibility for the attacks, which were claimed by the Houthi rebels in Yemen as an act of retaliation for the near-genocidal war waged by Saudi Arabia against the impoverished Arab country for the past four-and-a-half years.

    An unrelenting bombing campaign, waged with indispensable US supplies of arms, ammunition and logistical support, is responsible for the bulk of the nearly 100,000 Yemeni deaths in the course of the war. The Saudi attacks, combined with a blockade enforced with the aid of the US Navy, has driven some 8 million Yemenis to the brink of starvation.”

    “The US military command is, according to officials who spoke to both the New York Times and the Washington Post, cautioning against major military action against Iran, fearful that it could provoke Iranian attacks on the 70,000 US military personnel deployed at bases and on warships scattered throughout the region, all of them within range of Iranian ballistic missiles. The military brass also sees such a conflict as a diversion from US imperialism’s overriding strategic objective of preparing for confrontation with “great power” rivals, in the first instance, China and Russia.”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/18/iran-s18.html

    Like

    1. Washington also claims to know that Iran’s supreme leader personally approved the attack against Saudi oil facilities – but only on the condition that it not appear to have been done by Iran. How convenient – just like its accusation that election meddling was personally approved by Putin. I guess they must have had a highly-placed mole in the Iranian government, too.

      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/saudi-oil-attack-approved-by-irans-supreme-leader-us-official-says-2019-09-18/

      Like

      1. Of course those satellite photos showing the Iranian drones or missiles flying through Kuwaiti airspace to make a circular trip around Riyadh and attack the Abqaiq facilities from a southwest direction while the radars are facing northeast will remain unreleased for some time, at least until some suitable images can be suitably Photoshopped for release. Or (as in the case of the photos taken by the satellite zipping over eastern Ukraine at the time the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet went down) they might never be released.

        Like

    1. Seeing that both the Canadian ambassador to Banderastan and his boss the Canadian Foreign Minister having family histories rooted in western Ukraine / Banderastan Ground Zero – Waschuk’s father and Freeland’s maternal grandmother both from Ivano-Frankivsk – what thoughts are we expected to have on Waschuk’s participation and Freeland’s approval for him to attend other than that cliche: “Birds of a feather flock together?”

      Like

      1. Ivano-Frankivsk; formerly Stanyslaviv, Stanislau, or Stanisławów. Became part of the UkSSR within the USSR as per the shifting of the pre-WWII Eastern Polish frontier (set by the Treaty of Versailles, 1919, but ignored by Poland) westwards and the transference of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire’s Kronland of Galitsia, capital Krakow and administrative language Polish and not German as in other Kronländer, with the exception of Hungarian in the Hungarian part of the dual Hapsburg Empire.

        Religion: Roman Catholic or Greek Uniate, depending whether you are a Polish Pan or a Ruthenian peasant shitkicker.

        Built in the mid-17th century as a fortress of the Polish Potocki family, Stanisławów was annexed to the Habsburg Empire during the First Partition of Poland in 1772, after which it became the property of the State within the Austrian Empire.

        The fortress was slowly transformed into one of the most prominent cities at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. After World War I, for several months, it served as a temporary capital of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic.

        Galitsia, as Porky Poroshenko said, is the essence of Banderastan the Ukraine.

        Like

      2. I suspect that the PM, master of disguise Justin Clouseau, was only trying to pass himself off as a salty Swede to mask his true origins – check out his peg leg:

        Like

  55. The descent into a regime of terror:

    Ukrainian Nazis Celebrate the Murder of a DPR Militiaman, Western “Human Rights Defenders” Silent
    September 17, 2019 Stalker Zone

    “Higher Justice is always done … Once again, using humanistic principles, I address the enemies of the Ukraine: ‘Surrender to Ukrainian law enforcement! Voluntarily go to Ukrainian prisons and don’t leave them! Because God’s punishment will inevitably come! Glory to the nation! Death to enemies!’” — Dmitry Yarosh, commenting on his Facebook page on the murder of a DPR militiaman in Mariupol.

    What can be said about this? A day has already passed since this extremist statement was made, but no human rights organisation or international observer has reacted. The murder of a DPR militiaman in Mariupol is obviously on the hands of nationalist battalions, but this case, like many others, will be registered as unsolved or fabricated. The fact of the exemplary punishment of people who supported the creation of the People’s Republics testifies to the true attitude of Kiev towards the residents of Donbass. That is why Zelensky is against amnesty and wants elections after the People’s Militia lays down their arms. As soon as the UAF come here, objectionable persons will be simply slashed and killed, and Yarosh only confirms this…

    The Mother of the DPR Militiaman Killed in Mariupol Named the Organiser of Her Son’s Execution
    September 17, 2019 Stalker Zone

    About the Exaltation of Banderist Murderers…
    September 18, 2019 Stalker Zone

    Like

    1. I’ll say it again, the world’s great democracies don’t have a problem with little nazis and extremists. After all, they can be put back in their boxes when time is due, just as they did with Adolf Hitler and just as they did with ISIS in Syria.

      You wonder how many times these countries go around this bush of backing ‘small groups’ that they then ‘lose control of’ leading to a much larger conflagration.

      Accidental? Unintended? Repetitive? You won’t have the great and good democratic institutions or the representatives of the great free press publicizing cause and effect much at all. What a bunch of Britneys!

      Like

      1. As I understand it if a scope equipped assault automatic weapon can be targeted at point A to point B, its versatility enables it to operate the other way ’round..from B to A.

        Like

  56. Typical Times twat!

    Pay, if you wish, to gain access to the shite that he has written!

    Funny, though, how a state that he and his ilk consider to be weak, failed and “isolated” from the “World Community” always seems to win.

    Like

    1. And as regards the “crimes” in the Ukraine that he mentions, I should not imagine that amongst those he includes the very recent and public murder of a Mariupol “Vatnik” and the praise for which crime the murderer/s has/have very publicly received in Banderastan.

      Like

      1. The clipped paragraph in Boyes’ Times article above reads:

        Now we’re at it again. Thirty-five Ukrainians, including a film director and two dozen hapless sailors, were this month traded for some hardnut separatists including Vladimir Tsemakh, the commander of a Russian-backed unit in Donetsk which shot down the civilian MH17 airliner in 2014.

        Plenty of Dutch and Australian relatives of the victims of that Malaysian Airlines flight are unhappy that Tsemakh is…

        WALL

        Like

        1. If anyone should wish to do so, Boyes’ article can be back translated from its Russian translation that is at, inosmi.ru

          The Times (Великобритания): Путин нужен Трампу, чтобы побеждать за рубежом

          which ends with:

          Perhaps it seems to Trump that Putin is the lever that will raise his moral weight and authority. Perhaps he seems to him to be a useful partner in times of extreme global confusion and volatility. It is possible that, in the opinion of the American president, a rapprochement with Putin will strengthen his reputation in the world, and will by no means will look like a fatal retreat. However, the principle should be that relations with Russia cannot return to normal, as long as it keeps the Crimea, cynically taken away from the Ukraine five years ago.

          The Kremlin will try to fool the new and inexperienced president of the Ukraine, hoping that Western leaders will put pressure on him and forget a lot. However, the country where Sergey Skripal and his daughter were poisoned right before everyone’s eyes should not silently watch this rehabilitation.

          [back translation from the Russian]

          Hear him, hear him, I say!

          Let’s hear it again for Great Britain!!!!

          Those British are no fools and know full well what those damned Russkies are up to!

          Like

  57. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/19/iran-s19.html

    “US President Donald Trump has been presented with list of targets for US military strikes against Iran as US imperialism draws ever closer to initiating an armed conflict that could prove the antechamber to a third world war.

    According to a report by the New York Times late Wednesday, military planners at the Pentagon and the US Central Command (CENTCOM) have provided the White House with options for strikes against Iran’s massive Abadan oil refinery on Kharg Island, Iranian missile launch sites, military bases and assets associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

    “Any strikes against Iran would almost certainly be carried out by volleys of cruise missiles from Navy vessels,” according to the Timesreport. “Strike aircraft would be aloft to carry out attacks if Iran retaliated against the first wave….”

    “The deepening crisis of American capitalism, and above all the growth of social inequality and class struggle within the US itself, powerfully expressed in the autoworkers strike at General Motors, is providing an impetus for escalating the confrontation with Iran and provoking another war for the purpose of directing social tensions outward in an explosion of military violence.

    Such a war would pose the immediate threat of drawing in all of the major world powers, including nuclear-armed Russia and China, which have major strategic interests in Iran. A war on Iran and the threat of a new world war, posing the end of human civilization, can be prevented only by means of the independent mobilization of the international working class in a struggle to put an end to capitalism”

    Well If we gotta go…the warmonger vermin will be incinerated along with us …..

    Like

    1. No way, The elites would welcome a nuclear war as it makes great viewing from luxury bunkers:

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimdobson/2015/06/12/billionaire-bunkers-exclusive-look-inside-the-worlds-largest-planned-doomsday-escape/#3eb1beba306f

      https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/elite-underground-bunkers-why-are-so-many-of-the-super-wealthy-preparing-bug-out-locations/

      I hear that Denver is a hub of a vast complex of bunkers from the rich but not famous.

      I don’t think they would shed a tear for the millions dying in a nuclear holocaust. In fact, I suspect most would enjoy show.

      Like

    1. Yeah, I saw this story in several different papers today – it’s a big, big deal because he is running for re-election, and the election is next month. Needless to say, the opposition is shocked; shocked! that Trudeau would be such an insensitive pig. And it’s actually called ‘brownface’ – apparently brown people and black people are not the same. Who knew?

      I suspect my opinion is going to be quite a bit different from the mainstream. For one thing, the current practice of ‘journalists’ who sit on the Twitter feed of political figures, and the search engines that are now used to filter, categorize and file an individual’s social media are…kind of creepy. There’s more than a little ‘gotcha’ associated with the modern mania to ferret out what someone said ten or fifteen years ago, then use it to portray them as a stormtrooper racist today. For another, I frankly do not see anything either wrong or disrespectful about white people dressing up as people of another colour as a costume to have a bit of fun at a party. What, are we restricted to only dressing up as other white people? Can you only be Napoleon, or Marie Antoinette? Anne of Green Gables, or Wayne Gretzky? Must black people going to a costume party only dress up as famous or well-known black people? Boooring.

      But apparently, it’s a thing now. It’s ‘cultural appropriation’, and you can’t do it. I’m sure most of you remember the Russian skating team who dressed as aboriginals for a routine, and were excoriated in the press as disrespectful at best and racists at worst. I’m also reminded of a schoolgirl (I think it was high school, but she might have been older and it might have been college) who wore a Cheongsam as a prom dress and posted her picture because she thought she looked really good in it. My God, you would have thought she had worn fake glasses and buck teeth, and taped her eyes so they were slanty. People were in such a tizzy of outrage at the honky high-handedness of this bitch, that she would dare to wear a dress which is the traditional costume of Vietnam. You can’t do it if you’re not Asian, they foamed. Oh, do put a sock in it.

      This was actually Trudeau’s chance to say what I just said. Put away your stuffed-shirt outrage. I was Aladdin at a costume ball, and tinted my skin to make it look a bit more authentic. I didn’t do it to mock whatever race Aladdin was – an Arab, I think – or to get a cheap laugh at the expense of that race. It was just a bit of fun. Nobody thought I was really an Arab. Will Smith isn’t a fucking Arab – what’s he doing dressed in a turban, anyway?

      https://www.imdb.com/list/ls044629837/videoplayer/vi2648226841?ref_=tt_vd_jk_alus1_i_1

      Naomi Scott isn’t an Arab – she’s the child of a Indian mother and an English father. Who picked her to culturally appropriate the role of Jasmine? Mena Massoud is Egyptian by birth and so technically an Arab, but his family are Coptic Christians. I smell cultural appropriation. Where’s the outrage?

      Did Trudeau do that? Of course not. He apologized, which he has gotten pretty damned good at through constant repetition.

      The whole blackface thing – and now brownface, as if we needed that, probably to be followed by yellowface and redface, is a crock. Understand me; I’m not defending Trudeau. I think he is a spineless toad, and if he is obliterated on election day it will be of no interest to me, just as it is of no interest to me who replaces him so long as it is not Chrystia Freeland. But I am worn out with the manufactured outrage that holds that all of us must adhere to the traditions and costumes of our race, else we are culturally appropriating someone else’s heritage and are as racist as Jim Crow. Once blackface was deliberately and calculatedly insulting, especially designed to mock the pickaninnies and the house help. Like, in 1820. Al Jolson didn’t use blackface to make fun of blacks; he used it because his style relied heavily on melodrama, and he thought it would lend extra pathos and gravitas to ‘Mammy’. And he died in 1950. The people who are labeled as racists because they make fun of blacks often ARE racists, and those same people often show a marked fondness for Nazi memorabilia as well. But not all white people who borrow from the cultures of other races are racist, any more than it is racist for a black executive to show up to a meeting in a suit and tie rather than a leopard-skin breechclout.

      That, of course, is only my opinion. Trudeau is a foppish and overconfident boob who is used to trading on his handsome face and his influential family name. But I don’t see him in any way as a racist. Pretty soon you won’t even be able to say ‘black’ unless you are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Intent. Def: Are you inside the tent throwing shit out of it or are you outside the tent throwing shit in to it?

        Here in-Continent people still blackup for tradition, Zwarte Pete in the Netherlands/ Belgium at Chirstmas etc. The thing with traditions is that they are borne from somewhere that marks a coming together of events and they endure long past their sellby date.

        People and times change so why can’t some ‘traditional’ things just be quietly retired and left in the past (sic ‘bull fighting’ which should be more accurately be called ‘slow bull execution for entertainment’)? Because those are not the times we live in. Manufactured Outrage is willingly turbocharged by social/media and the political classes for their own short term gratification, regardless of the consequences. The Elite can behave outrageously and barely get a slap on the wrist, but when the great unwashed voting public show their displeasure it is a threat to freedom. Isn’t the whole point about leaders is that they lead by example? They are the rotten fish heads.

        As for Turdeau (!), I agree with much of what Mark writes. This is purely about political sabotage, not about racism. Those people exposing it don’t give a damn about race. Now how disgusting is that? Intent, innit?

        Like

        1. I should probably add to the definition also; are you inside the tent throwing shit at yourself?; are you outside the tent throwing shit at yourself? Strange times, due to get weirder.

          Like


      2. <bKaty Perry shoes
        The Katy Perry Collection pulled this design after it was noted that they resembled blackface. Perry said “I was saddened when it was brought to my attention that it was being compared to painful images reminiscent of blackface. Our intention was never to inflict any pain.


        Gucci jumper
        This “balaclava jumper” was removed from sale after it was noted to resemble blackface. In a letter to Gucci employees, designer Alessandro Michele expressed the pain he felt that one of his creative projects was seen as “an intolerable insult”.

        This is no spoof!

        See: Blackface controversy in popular culture

        Like

        1. The balaclava really does resemble Minstrel blackface – LOL!
          File under the category “What were they thinking?”

          The shoes sort of resemble blackface, except that the shoes have blue eyes, and most African Americans have brown eyes.
          Suggestion: Just go for it, make “blue-eyed boys” shoes, with blonde curly hair and blue eyes, like Little Lord Fontleroy!

          Like

          1. If the woman in the photo had been holding a banana or cucumber to her mouth, the Gucci jumper becomes sexualised as well.

            Interestingly the English model Naomi Campbell (part-black) defended Gucci over the balaclava jumper outcry, saying the blackface resemblance was unintentional.
            https://people.com/style/naomi-campbell-defends-gucci-blackface-controversy/

            Folks might recall that Campbell once had to do five days of community service at New York City’s garbage collection depot where she did routine cleaning tasks like mopping floors and scrubbing toilets, as part-penalty for hurling a mobile phone at her housekeeper. The other part of the penalty included paying the housekeeper’s medical expenses.

            Like

    2. “Darkening your face is always unacceptable…”
      You are correct, Justin. Dermatologists advise to never use a tanning bed. It causes skin cancer!

      Justin, how about:
      “Pimping for Nazis is always unacceptable. I have done that many times in the past, I even ordered my Canadian army to salute at Banderite ceremonies and honor fascist murderers. My pro-Nazi and anti-human actions have hurt many people, and I sincerely apologize for that. I know you can never forgive me. So just please put a millstone around my neck, and drop me into Lake Champlain. It’s better than I deserve….” [sob sob]

      Like

  58. Pepe Escoabar (via Saker) has an interesting take on the Houthis capabilities and potential. He suggests that they could destabilize Saudi Arabia via a lightning grab of Mecca and an uprising of Shia in the eastern provinces. The recent successful drone attacks certainly must have brought a smile to the Shia in that region and shown the ineptness of the Saudi military and their US backers.

    It is amusing to watch the US squirm over the failure of its radars and missile systems to detect the attack. Also, if there any doubt, it was clearly the Houthis’s handiwork likely with help from Hezbollah. There was a good story on the drone’s technical capabilities which IIRC, carries a 100 pound warhead, flies at about 120 miles per hour and has a 1,000 mile range approximately. Presumably, it uses GPS for guidance. Here is the link to the Escobar story:

    https://thesaker.is/how-the-houthis-overturned-the-chessboard/

    Like

    1. Mecca and the Red Sea port city of Jeddah are well within the range of drone and missile strikes by the Houthis. They are not much farther away from the Yemeni border than Abqaiq is. The Abqaiq attack serves as a warning to Riyadh of how vulnerable Mecca and Jeddah are, and that warning could even have been the original intention of the attack.

      Like

    2. I notice that Andrei Martyanov says that the Patriot systems have blind zones since they are restricted to operate 7 degrees above the horizontal. According to Martyanov, this is in contrast to the Russian S-series AD systems where missiles are launched vertically and then take “a ride on the beam” towards the target. (This seems to explain the launch pattern of these missiles where they are “popped” out vertically, whence their engines ignite sending the missile off, (often) very low and flat towards their targets.
      http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2019/09/why-would-you-ask.html
      From what Martyanov writes, it would seem that the US stuff has very serious design flaws.

      Like

    1. Major issue with this formula is “The transfer of the border”

      Ukraine have never kept to the ceasefire and have been destroying settlements- once they get control of the border – Donbass is finished.

      You mention the killing in Mariupol

      The assassinations will continue and the people of Donbass will be made to pay.

      Five years has shown that real hatred has been unleashed – this is not going to go away.

      Germany in my view pay a double game – they want this to happen – the Steinmeir formula is a con to hasten the end of Donbass. This was the guy who signed the agreement with Yanukovich on early elections etc and then stood back when he was overthrown.

      Like

      1. We’ll see. According to the Minsk Agreement, the elections and the autonomous status were supposed to be settled before the border was returned to Ukrainian control. That has always been an issue for Kuh-yiv. It wants to be trusted to have control over the Donbas before the other elements are fulfilled. But as His Nibs Shaun Of The Dead Walker has pointed out before now, ‘the border’ in that region is largely an illusion, and checkpoints are for those who have to travel by road. Military units, especially heavy armor, do not.

        I think what is most likely to happen is little troublesome uprisings across a broad front, initiated by Azov Battalion and other Ukie militias and making use of ‘loyal’ Ukrainians in Donbas and Lugansk. This would create a governance problem for the regions, and be portrayed in the western press as an earnest desire among the inhabitants to return to Ukraine, ‘now that the Russians have gone’. The best defense against that would be the vote, which must take place first and under OSCE supervision, without Ukrainian meddling or coercion. If the vote indicated that a majority wants to return to Kiev’s control, then that’s what should happen. But I don’t see it going that way.

        Like

  59. But what of the Russian army that has supposedly been entrenched in the Donbass these past few years?

    Surely, the Russian Army will not allow this ethnic cleansing to happen, for that surely is what will happen, albeit “ethnic” is not the right word, even though the brain-dead Nazi “true Slavs” from the West believe it is.

    Like

      1. Ukrainian “punishers” have sent mothers the cut-off heads of their militiamen sons.

        Shocking information has been received from the Ukraine, where a few days ago, a truce was signed, and ended the military punitive operation in the South-East of the country. Mothers of soldiers defending their land against the punitive government, the junta, have sent small wooden boxes in which were…severed heads of their sons.

        WARNING!

        LINK TO ABOVE

        Like

        1. If accurate, it reminds strongly of the Nazi practice of sending to the relatives of German Jews their ashes in a small box, stamped with the eagle of the Reich, as shown in the film, “Swing Kids”.

          Again, if accurate, James is right that hatred like that will not go away. Ukraine will not again be part of any alliance with Russia until the west of Ukraine is part of some other country.

          Like

  60. Ukraine’s Ambassador to Serbia Urged the World to Destroy Russia:
    September 20, 2019 Stalker Zone

    “Our actions have to become offensive and have the disintegration of the Russian Federation as a conscious ultimate goal. This is the only effective long-term solution that the vast majority of countries will benefit from.

    … attempts to pacify Russia lead only to the growth of its arrogance, as was was the case with the return of the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

    Attempts to reach an agreement in a civilised way with the Russian Federation are also doomed to fail, “since such a decision contradicts the main expansionist thinking of the Kremlin regime”.

    “The Russian Federation, in its present borders and with its present resources, is never capable of becoming a normal civilised state”, said the diplomat.

    Aleksandrovich emphasises that “ways of disintegrating the Russian Federation don’t demand conducting military operations”.

    The ambassador lists a number of tools via which it is possible to “pacify Russia”:

    1. personal sanctions against bosses with the freezing of assets and a ban on entrance;
    2. tight restrictions for energy, bank, and financial-military and technical sectors;
    3. a ban on the sale of modern technologies;
    4 .a collapse in oil prices.

    “There comes a time when the last evil empire has to fall,” summarised the Ukrainian diplomat.

    Oh please, not a ban on modern technologies!!!!!!

    Brain dead?

    Like

    1. He’s a bit of a shit, is Oleksandr Oleksandrovych, and has upset the Serbs on more than one occasion.

      Belgrade outraged at Ukrainian ambassador’s stance regarding Russia-Serbia relations
      In his recent interview, Oleksandr Oleksandrovych claimed Russia ‘uses Serbia to destabilize situation in Western Balkans and thereby destroy Europe’
      09:15, 3 November 2017

      Ukrainian ambassador’s views on Russia-Serbia relations and Russia’s role in continental security, all the more expressed publicly, are unacceptable. Ivica Tonchev, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia said this as quoted by Frontnews International, commenting on the statement recently made by the Ukrainian diplomat.

      ‘The main role of ambassadors is to do everything to improve bilateral relations, primarily political and economic, as well as all other forms of cooperation. The Ambassador of Ukraine to Serbia, Oleksandr Oleksandrovych, seems to be constantly forgetting this, since all his activities are reduced to fruitless attempts to break relations between the Republic of Serbia and the Russian Federation. In the latest series of scandalous interviews he gave, he said that the Republic of Serbia does not pursue an independent foreign policy, that is, it is in the hands of Russia, thus destabilizing the entire region of the Western Balkans, thereby ‘destroying Europe,’ Tonchev said.

      He also called on the Ukrainian government to take action on the Ambassador and his unacceptable behavior so that Serbia ‘was not forced to make the usual steps in such situations.’

      In recent interviews with Serbian media, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Alexandrovich said that Russia is using Serbia to destabilize the situation in the region, in particular, encouraging separatism in Bosnia and trying to influence Macedonia. The ambassador also mentioned the Serbian mercenaries fighting on the side of the Russian armed formations in Donbas.


      Oleksandr Oleksandrovych: he might be better suited to playing Count Dracula in horror movies.

      In fact, the ambassador stepped so much out of line in November 2017 that even Rumpleklimkin, then Banderastan Foreign Minister, was forced to call him to hold consultations in Kiev because of his statements to the Serbian media.

      At the same time, Ivica Toncev, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, stated that the Ukrainian Ambassador Oleksandr Oleksandrovych’s statements concerning Russian influence on Serbia were unacceptable and threatened him with possible consequences in accordance with the Vienna Convention.

      Like

  61. FlightGlobal: Sheremetyevo third runway opens with A321 arrival
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/sheremetyevo-third-runway-opens-with-a321-arrival-460993/

    …“The third runway is completely independent and makes it possible for aircraft to land and take-off unconditionally,” says Russian transport minister Yevgeny Ditrikh.

    It will enable Sheremetyevo to increase its capacity from 60-65 movements per hour to around 90…

    …will assist the hub to achieve a strategic target of raising capacity to 100 million annual passengers and becoming one of the world’s top 10 airports…
    ####

    Russia falling behind again…

    Like

  62. Meet Anna Novosad: Representative of Ukraine’s “New” Liquidation Committee
    September 19, 2019 Stalker Zone

    Novosad is a graduate of the humanitarian lyceum in Kiev, and in 2011 she ended a bachelor degree at the National University “Kiyevo-Mogilyansky Academy” as a “political scientist”. Two years later she received a master’s degree in the Dutch Maastricht. She studied in Spain and the Czech Republic, and was a scholar of the Soros fund. In addition, as Novosad wrote on Facebook, she took part in the Ukrainian-Canadian administrative program, within the framework of which she attended a special course ran by the Canadian authorities.

    I.e., as we see, Anna Novosad is the classical representative of the new “Ukrainian elite”, which was raised and brought up abroad and which already is almost not connected to Ukraine even at the mental level. And the reset of the Ukrainian authorities in the form of “Zelensky’s victory” was started to a large extent for the mass invasion of such artificially grown mankurts that are supposed to completely remove people with a Soviet past and any ties (family, friendly, business) with Russia from the country’s governance structures.

    And they absolutely do not need either knowledge of Ukrainian, knowledge of national history, or understanding of what’s admissible. Even intellectual qualities aren’t especially required from them, because their task is relaying the will of their masters and to control their implementation.

    And Farion doesn’t like her because she can’t talk the shitkicker Slav dialect as good as she can. In fact, it’s debatable whether Novosad can talk Yukie with any competence at all.

    Like

    1. Yes, what’s the matter with her? Real Ukrainians ride sturdy ponies and wear their hair in the khokol style. Government superiors are referred to as ‘Hetman’. And there’s a lot of kneeling. The age of machines is an utter betrayal of Kievan ideals.

      Like

    1. Many of those who are now squealing about the offensiveness of blackface/brownface/yellowface/redface are the same who happily donned “Je Suis Charlie” T-shirts to express solidarity with the right to offend. You gotta admit, it’s pretty funny when it’s dead Russians falling out of the sky.

      Like

  63. “US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was the first official to name Iran as the culprit, is in the Persian Gulf visiting Saudi and Emirati leaders.

    Asked what the consequence of a US or Saudi military strike on Iran would be, Zarif said: “All-out war.”

    “I make a very serious statement about defending our country. I am making a very serious statement that we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation,” said Zarif. He added that a military response based on “deception” about the weekend attacks would cause “a lot of casualties.”

    “But we won’t blink to defend our territory,” he said.”

    https://www.checkpointasia.net/iran-fm-javad-zarif-no-such-thing-as-limited-strike-any-strike-by-us-or-saudi-will-result-in-all-out-war/

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s