Tell Me How It Is

Uncle Volodya says, “It’s not a moral position if you only hold it when it applies to you.”

Maybe the time has drawn
the faces I recall;
Things in this life change very slowly
if they ever change at all

Eagles. from “Sad Cafe

“Every individual needs revolution, inner division, overthrow of the existing order, and renewal, but not by forcing them upon his neighbors under the hypocritical cloak of Christian love or the sense of social responsibility or any of the other beautiful euphemisms for unconscious urges to personal power.”

C.G. Jung

Everything bad that happens is because of Russia, and when anything good happens in Russia, it’s because they got lucky.

A recent revelation for me was the announcement that the revenue Russia realizes from agricultural exports has surpassed what it earns in arms sales. That was actually announced more than four years ago, but it came to my attention only a short time ago, because of context. I mean, it was fairly common knowledge that the sanctions Europe dutifully imposed on Russia, and the counter-sanctions against imports of European meat and produce, fostered an agricultural renaissance in Russia. But linking it as a moneymaker to exports of weapons really puts it in focus; Russia is now able to exercise more economic clout through farming than through the tools of war. And, as if any of you needed to have it pointed out to you, this peaceful surge in production occurred at a time in history when western pressure expected to make Russia more martial – not less.Hillary Clinton

Given that any positive news from Russia is immediately pissed on by the western media, you might expect reporting which suggests the Russian state merely caught a completely-undeserved lucky break. And you would not be disappointed. The booming farm economy and the profits which accrue to it, Politico will have you know, are due to…good land management, and the weather having a pro-Russian bias.

So if the Kremlin tells you it actually wants the sanctions to continue,  it’s just whistling past the graveyard, because those who say sanctions have not had a serious impact on Russia are lying. I mean, there’s the impossibility of getting good French cheese, and….and….no French cheese, and…well, okay, it’s just cheese, and widespread fakery which leads individuals who presumably were discerning cheese buyers only a couple of years ago to mistake blocks of grease for fine Camembert. Yes, the western obsession with European cheese imports, and their conviction that not being able to buy real Parmesan or Stilton is driving suffering Russians to the edge of madness refuses to die. Washington is determined to believe the sanctions against Russia are a tremendous success.

Well, they’re not.

The Politico reporters correctly point out that Russia overtook the United States in wheat production in 2016, and looked likely also to overtake the EU in 2017 as its own grain crops were devastated by bad weather. Russia does not need to import pork any more, as domestic production has made up for the shortfall and more – Russia is now poised to be a small-scale exporter of pork to China. Good news, though – Russia has completely failed to become self-sufficient in oranges; got you now, you Slavic bastards! The price of oranges shot up 58%! I smell regime change.

Okay, I was being sarcastic. The price of oranges fluctuates wildly based on the eternal law of supply and demand, everywhere. The USA likes to put on airs because it has a couple of states where it is warm enough in winter to grow oranges. But surprise! Orange prices in the USA are subject to the laws of supply and demand. And prices are driven not only by seasonal factors, but by natural disasters such as the fires in Southern California. And the number 2 and 3 global orange exporters – which might come as a surprise to many – are South Africa and Egypt, both comfortably outside the sanctions regimen.

But all that is background. I didn’t really want to talk about oranges, that was just a piece of idiocy from the article that rubbed me the wrong way. What I really wanted to talk about is a core but unacknowledged truth in the west’s endless – but lately more aggressive – attempts to overthrow the government of the Russian Federation, and replace its leader with a compliant western-friendly liberal who will bow to western whimsy, and cease competing on the world stage.

I was reminded of this core truth once again at the sight of US Secretary of Eating Everything Not Fast Enough to Get Away, Mike Pompeo, conferring with Eye of Earthly Wickedness Binyamin Netanyahu, and the former’s rote blathering that upheaval in Iran is because of ‘people seeking freedom’ from the ‘kleptocrats’. And it is this.

The people of Russia – and of Venezuela, and of anywhere else the United States and its western allies decide to go in and cause a big disturbance in an effort to change the government to one which will let them have a free hand – have only the word of the regime-changers that prosperity and peace will be theirs if they only cast down their leader, and loyally serve the hand-picked western replacement.

What does their track record look like? The west overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and took control of the country. The GDP growth last year was -1%, and that was even an improvement over the previous year, when it was -3.8%.

Iraq GDP Annual Growth Rate

Unemployment was 14.8%, the inflation rate was negative and per-capita GDP had declined by every metric. Freedom isn’t free, you know.

How about Libya, another target of the regime-changers? Libya GDP Annual Growth Rate

Growth is sporadic, to put it mildly, again the inflation rate is negative, and unemployment is 17.3%. You probably noticed that massive growth spike right after the government was overthrown, and if you pushed out the viewable period in the Iraq chart, you’d see it there, too. That results from the west conducting an aggressive round of debt forgiveness following its successful conquest, and pouring in money in the short-lived hope of making the country a capitalist paradise.

Ukraine? I’m glad you asked. The growth figures for GDP look pretty respectable.Ukraine GDP Annual Growth Rate

However, in the midst of all this prosperity, the country is running a current account deficit of $651 Million USD, and a trade imbalance of – $1.2 Billion USD. How is that possible? Actually, it’s pretty easy, if you are living on handouts and loans and spending everything you are given. At no point since the Glorious Revolution has GDP growth ever attained what it was in 2010, under Yanukovych. Regular hikes of utility costs in a country where a quarter of the population lives in poverty are all part of the western plan – before the revolution, western whizbang economist Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister of Sweden, said that generous state subsidies on utilities were making Ukrainian business uncompetitive, and the people lazy about efficiency. Good to see they’ve cleared that up.

Once more; the Russian economy is not only growing, it is hardening against shock from without by increasing domestic productivity and self-reliance. It is accomplishing this in the face of a nasty and deliberate campaign to ruin it. Countries the west has already despoiled and taken over are failing, in spite of western efforts to make them a success. Russia’s resilience is mostly the result of sanctions, and efforts to tell you it is mostly down to luck and good weather are mendacious. Luck and good weather would not have motivated Russia to undergo a revitalizing of its agricultural sector to take it from a net importer to a net exporter without the impetus of sanctions.

But don’t take my word for it. If sanctions are working for the west, and all is unfolding according to Washington’s plan, keep them in place. Although truth be told, it probably would not make much of a difference if they were dropped. Russia would not immediately begin accelerated imports of American pork and poultry, and the precious French cheese it cannot do without.

I know that’s not the popular view. But tell me how it is.

1,503 thoughts on “Tell Me How It Is

    1. If accurate, kudos to them. That’s the kind of exchange which will be no more, or be a lot more difficult to track, if Russia and some other countries adopt a different financial -processing system. SWIFT is frequently used to track terrorist financing and provide advance warning of the existence of cells. That’s the good way to use it. Unfortunately, that is largely outweighed by the American perception of it as an American asset, to be permitted and withdrawn on American political whim.


      1. It is accurate, confirmed by Putin himself.

        I’m not sure this is good news, at least from Russia’s point of view. Why did the American security services pick this up but not the Russian security services? The perps are Russian citizens, and they were conspiring a terrorist attack in Russia. They probably used social media networks communicating in Russian language.

        Of course there is always a possibility that this was a US conspiracy to get Russia in debt of gratitude towards the US 🙂


        1. Do you not have any thought other than “Russia stupid/weak/destined to fail”?

          Something similar happens all the time in the drug world – a drug dealer fingers another drug dealer to be busted by the police. Can you imagine that a US proxy terrorist organization has a beef with another terrorist group? If so, said first terrorist group tells its master (US) that something is going down in Russia. US warns Russia and said second terrorists are rubbed out making first terrorist group happy. Other scenarios may also apply with a more positive spin.

          Your scenario has a vanishingly small probability but it makes you feel good and is an excuse to go a’trolling.


        2. Yes, anything is possible, but if that is your reasoning, the Russians warned the Americans about Boston Marathon bombers the Tsarnaev brothers, of whom Tamerlan is dead and Dzhokhar in jail. I need hardly point out that the FSB warnings were ignored, as the Tsarnaevs were not under surveillance at the time nor had their freedoms to operate restricted in any way – they were caught after the successful terrorist attack. So I guess Russia could say “Now we’re quitsies”, and the USA could be seen to be simply returning the favour already extended.

          That’s the mean way to look at it, though, and I imagine cooperation on some level goes on all the time – international terrorists are everyone’s enemy. I doubt American law enforcement operates the way its perfidious government does, at least not by instinct.

          It’d be nice if the Russians caught every terrorist threat directed their way without being tipped off, but in fact that’s not the way international terrorism works. Probably the Americans caught somebody for something else entirely, and the information was part of what they got out of him or her. Depends where the terrorist threat originated; the Russians have much better sources in Chechnya, where the Tsarnaevs were from, than the Americans do.


        3. I should think that the rank and file in US security forces don’t care for the politics that might obsess their superiors, and these people see themselves as having common goals with their equivalents in the FSB, regardless of their respective nations’ politics, in protecting ordinary people.

          Plus of course there may be legal requirements on US security forces to report and share information with other nations’ security forces, if there is an immediate public interest involved.


  1. Hmmm…
    Looking for a posting of the link
    to the infamous comment of mine,
    where I allegedly went off on a bunch of Stooges as being racists or kkk or Martians with (racist) attitude or some such thing.
    (sip of cognac)…
    Don’t see anything as of yet…Well
    I dunno…maybe the Cyber dog ate
    the comment. LOL!


    1. But I do seem to recall a post-one of a number of similar ones- made by another Stooge wherein ALL Americans were categorically characterized as “ignoramuses” subject to fall for any lie told by the CIA.


        1. Yup! It wasn’t.
          Ummm…. I’m trying really really hard to let sleeping dogs do their thing…
          Stop stirring the pot!!!


          1. Northern Star, you must have Alzheimers if you can’t even remember something that you posted just a couple of weeks ago. In which case, you are more to be pitied than scorned, I reckon.


            1. And P.S. – the sleeping dogs are not going to lie, unless and until you apologize for your attacks; and then STOP DOING IT AGAIN!
              You can’t just attack people, and then tell them to suck it up and get over it. A sincere apology is needed. You have apologized and backtracked in the past; but then a little bit of time goes by, you just start doing it again, the exact same shit.
              Are you bipolar? I suspect that you erupt in waves…


              1. LOL!
                Suck a dead dog’s
                ass faggot.
                What YOU believe
                or think means nothing to me.
                You think you are
                somehow noteworthy
                Only in your mind.LOL! Ever got
                recognition from your professional
                peers for ORIGINAL
                creative work?
                ‘Course not! Just a
                cowardly.shitass keyboard loudmouth!
                Ha ha ha!


                1. And yet there you were, at your keyboard, drinking cognac, as you admit, and claiming that you didn’t say what you clearly said, and were proven to say.
                  What kind of person types something, and then claims, 2 weeks later, that he never said it? When it’s right there, in black and white, for anybody to read?

                  I’m guessing you’re one of those mean drunks, right? You probably shouldn’t drink while you’re posting comments…


      December 15, 2019 at 8:28 am
      @ME, Yalensis and Mark
      You guys are so busy posting apologies for and rationalizing white racism in the may be late for the next Klan meeting!!

      December 15, 2019 at 10:26 am
      Dear barking dog Russkie racists..
      I have peace offering doggie treat for you!! There is delicious link at the article’s end….enjoy.


      1. Seeing as you addressed me in your posting of December 15, 2019 [@ME, Yalensis and Mark], please enlighten me as regards your grounds for saying that I have been busy posting apologies for and rationalizing white racism and that I may, therefore, be the sort of person who would attend a Klan meeting.


    1. Yeah, it was good to see that.

      IIRC, some Russian surface ships are equipped with hypersonic missiles including small corvette class vessels (there was a recent RT article about a test of a Kalibur missile launched from a small vessel that implied a Mach 6 speed). Speak softly but carry a hypersonic stick -something like that.

      It would be ultimate humiliation if a 1,000 ton vessel knocked out a 80,000 ton super carrier so the US Navy will likely keep its flattops a long distance away.

      Don’t know if this is true but the high speed supposedly generates a plasma sheath around the missile. Plasma deflects radar waves such that nothing is reflected back to the radar set making it perfectly stealthy to radar they say. Sounds too good but…. could be.


        1. As posted earlier, for whatever reason, the kalibr was credited with hypersonic speed.

          It took the projectile just 137 seconds to travel over 250km to its intended target on the shore and obliterate it, Zvezda TV reported, publishing footage of the test fire.

          This works out to 1.82 km/second or 1.13 miles per second, or 4072 mph. If the distance and flight time are correct, its average speed was over Mach 6. It was launched from a new design Russian frigate.


          1. Odd. Pretty much everything which falls under the ‘cruise missile’ umbrella is subsonic – that’s the whole idea, that it saunters along flying mostly low and strikes targets far away that do not know it is coming. According to this source; the Kalibr is ‘high subsonic’, with a booster to accelerate it in the launch phase. That’s typical of other cruise missiles like the Harpoon; if you are the firing ship, you have to make sure the booster drop zone is clear of consorts, because it falls as soon as it burns out, less than a mile from you.


            There’s a bunch of models, but that one is navy. However, some models do accelerate – dramatically – to high-supersonic in the terminal phase only.


            That might be just about the time you – as the target – noticed an incoming threat, with the obvious idea being to minimize your reaction time. However, if the entire flight were supersonic it would need to be a lot bigger because it would use a lot more fuel. Makes the Tomahawk look like something a 4-H club put together, though. The Russians have a big lead in sophisticated defense technology, except in drones, where the USA is still King.


  2. Seriously..I’m not hoping for the deaths of thousands of American naval personnel. But I would like to ask the American warmongers in the State Dept. : How’s that plan to drive a wedge between the Russkies and the Chinese working out for ya? LOL!


  3. Interesting as are some of the others in the 5 part series concerning WW2 resistance
    and collaboration in occupied countries. Stuff some of you may
    not know!


  4. US Ambassador to Poland gets her 2 cents in as regards the comments of Vladimir Putin and others in the Empire of Evil concerning the Molotov – Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact and Polish pre-WWII connivings with Nazi Germany.

    Russian politicians had earlier strongly condemned the position of Warsaw, which does not consider itself responsible for any of the events leading up to the outbreak of WWII in Europe. Thus, the speaker of the state Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, urged Polish “colleagues” to apologize for the anti-Semitic remarks of Jozef Lipsky, former Polish Ambassador to Nazi Germany, who supported some ideas of Adolf Hitler and even suggested putting up a monument to him in honour of his plans to deport European Jews to Madagascar. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also criticized the attempt of Poland to rewrite history in favour of its political interests.

    On Sunday, the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, criticized the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and actually laid the blame on the USSR for starting WWII along with Nazi Germany.

    Head of the scientific Department of the Russian Military Historical Society, Yuri Nikiforov, noted that the Warsaw version of events leading to WWII was a “totally ideologized interpretation of history by orderr” and had nothing to do with the historical truth, and was promoting its version of history in order to weaken Russian influence on the world stage.

    Dear President Putin, it was Hitler and Stalin who agreed to start World War II. This is a fact. Poland was a victim of this terrible conflict.

    Dear American business executive, entrepreneur and untrained diplomat now acting as US Ambassador to Poland, try studying some history.

    By the way, before your plum appointment as ambassador to Poland, wasn’t it you who suggested that Poland was responsible for the re-emergence of anti-Semitism across the continent of Europe because of a law which criminalizes blaming Poland for the actions of Nazi Germany on its soil during the Holocaust?

    And wasn’t it headbanger of a Polish President Andrzej Duda who stated that if you were to be appointed as the new U.S. ambassador to Poland, then you would be accepted, despite having made “unnecessary and mistaken” comments about his country?

    Can’t you see that the truth as regards WWII matters is only that which is approved by the Poles?



    1. The Poles are putting Germany in an awkward position.
      The official position of the modern German government (based on Nurnberg, etc.) is that Germany, and Germany alone, is responsible for the outbreak of WWII. Not the Soviet Union. Just Germany, ma’am, just Germany.

      So, in the face of this Polish revisionism, as Russian analysts are pointing out, Germany will either have to (a) bitch-slap Poland, or (b) renounce their entire official state policy and historical ideology since their defeat in WWII and start singing Horst Wessel Lied again.

      What, oh what, will Germany do?


  5. American media, busily rewriting history again.

    “The Berkut was among militias accused of the worst violence. Members of the Russian-trained Alfa Team have also been accused of involvement in the killings. Many of the slain protesters died from precise shots to the head or neck, while others were gunned down in closer quarters by less expert shooters armed with AK-47 assault rifles.”

    Actually, more writing history to its own advantage and erasing any talk which arose from investigations. It’s astonishing that major discrepancies are well-known, such as the sniper fire originating from the upper floors of a hotel known to be controlled by the Maidanites and so reported by a British reporter, and yet there is no interest whatever in pursuing any story but that the Berkut in league with the Russians were to blame.

    Other highlights are that those Berkut policemen released were let go at the express request of the Kremlin, and suggestions from man-on-the-street interviews that Zelensky is going to have to deal with ‘a wave of protests’ in rebuke for exchanging Berkut policemen who murdered Ukraine’s sons. The Americans are plainly keeping the pot stirred in Ukraine and have no interest at all in things calming down.


    1. Since pindosi like to stir the pot, they may be disappointed by the latest development, which I “cover” in this post, namely that Zelensky phoned Putin earlier today, and they actually exchanged New Year greetings – gasp!
      The first crack in the ice, as Ostap Bender might say…. ?


    2. Professional Russia-hater (for the Norwegian version of BBC) Hans-Wilhelm Steinfeld was reporting live on TV from the hotel.

      It was obvious that the shooting was from the same building he was in, but he kept on pointing out the window: Look they are shooting from over there… (No, no snipers there..) Maybe it is from over there… (No, no snipers there..)

      That bastard is from my hometown, Bergen.

      Bergen, BTW, will celebrate that the city is 950 years later today with a lot of fireworks.

      They should put him on top of a big rocket and aim it at his favourite country: Israel.


      1. I read about Bergen and Oslo all the time, as I am working my way through the Jo Nesbo novels. Great stuff. I just finished ‘The Snowman’, and it was one of the best crime thrillers I have ever read.

        It seems to me it was a BBC reporter who was captured on film saying the shooting was coming from the hotel – I’ve forgotten the name, but I think it was the Hotel Ukraina or something imaginative like that. If my memory serves me further, it seems to me the position the reporter was speaking from was actually fired on as he was broadcasting live.

        Here’s mention of it, although the prat insists most of the gunfire came from ‘government forces’. He even says that he saw the shooter in the window of the hotel, and that he was wearing one of the protesters’ green helmets.


  6. America’s floundering as it tries to kick the feet out from under Huawei reminds me of Pierre Trudeau’s ushering-in of the metric system in Canada – all of North America, he confidently asserted, would follow our lead. And nobody did. Now we’re stuck with a system whose closest adherents are thousands of miles away, while the people just across the border think we all drive like Steve McQueen because our speed limits are so high. And they think they can drive like that, too.

    Although jabbering western media outlets from around the world – mostly the fawning lapdog press in Canada – suggest smugly that Huawei’s ‘charm offensive’ in Europe is (can you guess?) “doomed to failure”, that venerable liar among western liars, the New York Times, grudgingly admits it is working, at least for now.

    In the United States, the Trump administration has essentially blocked Huawei, but Mr. Trump’s efforts to push European allies to ban Huawei have fallen flat.

    In fact, Huawei has gone a step or two further, announcing confidently that it is the United States which is outside European values like climate change and multilateralism, while Huawei embodies those values. Largely thanks to Trump’s bumpkin diplomacy and natural offensiveness, Europe seems ready to accept that statement for the moment; especially Germany, where America does not have an abundance of friends these days.

    Huawei claims to have signed dozens of deals with European carriers, and while the USA is cautious and wants you to know these could be relatively minor fits, it is pretty clear that a sweeping ban like the USA wanted is not going to happen. You can probably count on ass-kissers Canada and Australia going along to please Uncle Sam, but it looks like Europe has rediscovered its spine.

    Neither the European Union nor individual countries have moved to restrict the company’s access to their markets. Hungary, whose far-right prime minister, Viktor Orban, identifies himself as a Trump ally, announced in November that Huawei would lead its 5G infrastructure rollout.Even as government officials have debated its role, Huawei has forged ahead, and says it has already made dozens of deals to sell 5G hardware to wireless carriers across Europe.

    I can see North America and Australia, dominated by a sulking Washington, ending up with some crap network by Ericsson or Nokia, which will cost more and be less capable than it would have been, all to satisfy Trump’s vanity and the anti-China demagogues. And just in case the message from southward is not clear enough;

    America might not share its intelligence with us in future!!! Oh, noes!! In such dark times, we would never receive warnings about Iraqi import of hundreds of aluminum tubes which could not be for anything other than cascade centrifuges used to enrich uranium and make bombs. Except they were actually for artillery rockets, just like the buyers said they were. Not to mention homegrown American analysts.

    “Knowingly disregarded scientific analysis of intelligence data that contradicted its case”; gee, good thing that doesn’t happen often. Oh, wait; it does. Or we might be the last to learn that Iraq had many weapons of mass destruction hidden “in and around Baghdad and Tikrit and north, south, east and west somewhat”. Donald Rumsfeld clearly and unambiguously said America KNEW this, although he squirmed a bit in his memoirs and claimed he should have said ‘suspected’, and meant to.

    Or we might be last to know that Assad treacherously attacked his own people at Douma, with chlorine gas which was actually faked by the White Helmets. Hmmm….I’m starting to get a feeling like we would be better off without US intelligence.


    1. I remember those absolutely ridiculous claims by the commies – by definition, lies, and MASH made sure we knew who the good guys were.

      By time Vietnam came along, I came to realize that the commies were telling the truth.

      If the leadership of a nation can convince its population that a nuclear attack on a defeated nation was an act of mercy (per the NYT) then that leadership is capable of any crime imaginable.


  7. Ahhh…no matter what T really really Really is… underneath it ALL. On this point she is totally beyond reproach. Pelosi and Schiff’s crew have shit the bedroom suite! More popcorn as we enter 2020!


    1. She could have my vote, if I could cast it. Her frankness will only increase the DNC’s fury and cause it to only support her if the people make clear they will have nobody else. And the time to get that set up is fast slipping away, while the Democratic establishment stubbornly backs Uncle Joe. And he will lose.


      1. Ukraine seems to be a playground for US (and undoubtedly European) scumbags, confidence men, and scammers of every type (why did I think of Curt Doodle?).

        The Ukraine project is more than an attack on Russia. It had another and, possibly, a more important purpose – a safe place to steal and loot hidden behind an anti-Russian front of BS. We are talking billions with a B.

        I can readily imagine (I’m good at that) of aforementioned highly placed scumbags plotting the hijacking of Ukraine with the MAIN purpose of personal enrichment. Perhaps that is how every western international scheme begins: a hit on some country identified as vulnerable with the prime purpose of personal enrichment. Of course, this priority could have only achieved ascendancy after the collapse of the SU.

        The insight, for me, is that personal greed is the main foreign policy driver. And that, folks, may be why Western leaders are a bunch of narcissistic fuckups incapable of setting aside short term personal gains. That may be why Russia outplays them at ever front and could explain Russia’s High Road approach to foreign policy. This needs more investigation if only in my mind.


  8. Saw this yesterday:

    “Echo of Moscow” Claimed First Place in the Ranking of Anti-Russian Media
    December 30, 2019
    Stalker Zone

    No surprises at all there. As I have pointed out earlier in another thread, the former editor of is now editor of the Russophobic news aggregator “Medusa” based in Riga, I think, or some other yapping-dog Baltic Chihuahua state. The Venezuelan-Canadian (allegedly) troll was rather fond of using “Medusa” as a source for his extremely lengthy “debunking” posts.

    And there is also this today from the same source as above:

    Western Historians Debunk the Ideology of Holodomor
    December 30, 2019
    Stalker Zone

    Nothing new there either, and there’s that word “debunk” again, first coined by an American journalist-author in 1923.

    You can readily see that debunk is constructed from the prefix de-, meaning “to remove,” and the word bunk. But what is the origin of the word bunk, denoting the nonsense that is to be removed? Bunk came from a place where much bunk has originated, the United States Congress. During the 16th Congress (1819-1821), Felix Walker, representative from the district in North Carolina including Buncombe County, delivered a particularly pointless speech intended merely to convince his constituency that he was making a difference in Washington. His harried colleagues asked him to desist, but he nattered on despite their protests—he was speaking not to Congress, he explained, but “to Buncombe.” Buncombe, respelled bunkum and later shortened to bunk, thus became synonymous with claptrap. The answer to all this bunk came in 1923 when William E. Woodward, a writer with a reputation for giving the blunt facts about respected US institutions, coined the term debunk in a best-selling novel called Bunk.


    What’s wrong with “abnegate”?



    1. I’d feel more comfortable if it came from someone other than nutty evangelist preacher Mike Huckabee, but I guess the truth is the truth, no matter who it comes from, and I can’t argue with his conviction that the Democratic establishment hates her. It’s hard to reach any other conclusion, given their blank silence on anything she says and their refusal to assist her campaign in any way. It also seems to me that Republican endorsements of Gabbard seem based on grudging admiration rather than just the perception that backing her will cause confusion in the Democratic camp and she would be easy to beat.

      I still think she’s a long, long shot, and even if she got the nomination she might not beat Trump because (a) the Democrats would sandbag her campaign because the establishment would rather have another Trump term than see her win and make changes they might find very difficult to reverse, and (2) Trump’s base has not moved much and is still motivated to vote for him, and will never vote for any Democrat. I still think the Democrats are going to run Biden, and if they do they will lose.


      1. Yes, one of several ways the US will lose control of the Syrian oil. It will happen sooner or later, one way or another.


        1. Can someone tell me why anyone cares what Lindsey Graham thinks? He’s always banging his soft little fists and demanding decisive military action in which people get hurt and killed, yet he couldn’t fight his way out of a pile of ear swabs, and would probably scream and hide in the closet if someone shouted at him. He is symbolic of the US government, which seems to feel it is its duty to meddle everywhere and to promote violent conflict in other people’s countries, but is itself very risk-averse. The Iraqis seem to be uncomfortable with a continued American military presence, and it is comical to see the US claim to be supporting an independent Iraq while telling the government what its policies should be.

          Perform this simple test – threaten to withdraw completely, taking all your belongings with you. If nobody says, “No! No!! Stay. we need you!!”, then nobody thinks they need you and you are probably making the right decision by leaving. If the place falls under an undesired – by you – level of Iranian influence after that, it’s none of your business and that probably was always going to happen as soon as you left; something you could only have averted by staying forever. Was that actually your intention?

          With that, I am out the door to serve the public aboard the Mayne Queen. The next time I speak with you, it will in all probability be next year. My very best wishes to you all.


  9. [Wishing] you [a happy] coming [New Year]!

    Ellipsis and Russian grammar — a nightmare for an English speaker!

    The “wishing” is understood in the above elliptic phrase.

    When wishing, the person to whom the wish is directed (“you” above) is in the genitive case, and that which is wished is in the instrumental case preceded by the preposition “with”, which takes said case. Therefore, in the above elliptical phrase, the present active participle “coming” has the instrumental singular ending, but the noun that it describes and agrees with in gender number and case, namely “year” is understood.

    Literally, the Russian above reads: “”With coming you” — and of course, no definite article “the”, because there ain’t none in Russian.

    In Moskva, we now have 5 hours to go until midnight and the onset of 2020. Nevertheless, fireworks are already being let off outside.

    It’s plus 2 degrees celsius now, though it was minus 2 C yesterday and snowing: very little snow so far this winter and one of the warmest winters on record. It was a little more than plus 6C on 19 December, more than 10 degrees higher than the average December high!

    Global warming?

    Well, the previous winter with the warmest on record December 19th was 2015, then before that, 2006, then before that 1972, then before that, 1927 and the record holder, I believe, was the one before that in 1887.

    Three years ago it was minus 31C in January, and last year, Moskva had been snow bedecked since the very beginning of November. I also well remember it being minus 31 in December 1997 because I married on 12 November of that year and I recall how cold I felt as I paraded around Moskva with my new wife.

    That’s Grandfather Frost above, with his granddaughter “Snyegurochka”, which word is often translated into English as “Snow Maiden”.

    I’ve seen more mature Snow Maidens with Granddad Frost, though.

    Like this one:


    1. Happy New Year to all!! I shall be at work until 11:25, and if I am lucky I will just make it in the door before midnight and the passing of the old year, so I’ll say my greetings and wishes now. I wish peace and prosperity for all, friend and foe alike. We did not see any of the dramatic reversals in 2019 that I felt sure we would, but I maintain the tide turned sometime during that miserable year, and that Russia and Ukraine are closer to some kind of reconciliation while the malign influence of the US government has weakened – possibly it has even passed its high-water mark worldwide.


      1. A happy new year to you, Mark. And thank you for all your wonderful work in 2019 which has made this blog such a great place to hang out. And thanks to all the Stooges, erudite, great commentators and always a pleasure to read. May 2020 be kind to you all.


        1. Thanks, Fern, for always being a gentle and wise touch, and always bringing an air of reason and thought. If more in the UK were the same, it probably would not be in the mess it is. When the voters say it is time for a woman leader, you and Jen are who they mean, did they but know it.

          I was let go early and made it home to enjoy the latter part of the festivities with my family and the Chinese family from across the street; their daughter is a couple of years younger than ours and the two are friends. The older folk speak only a word or two of English, as the grandparents live with their family, the same as ours. Papa got a new translator which is actually pretty good, and the four of them were gabbing away with one another with its assistance. Mayne Queen was on an A license, which means there were 4 deckhands in case we had a large number of passengers – your license to carry passengers is determined by the number of crew you have aboard, and under normal circumstances we only need 3. When the Captain learned that I was on double time (day 22 this month, anything over 21 is double time) he sent me home halfway through the shift to save money. His thrift is my gain. And he’s not even a Scotsman – he’s a German. We had a wonderful international feast – kotelettas and pot-stickers, vinaigrette and roast duck.


          1. Happy New Year. We had Borscht, Salat Olivie, Vinigrette, Grechka, and Napoleon. I already regret it… especially since there are plenty of leftovers. Well, my diet regrets it.


              1. Napoleon is a famous Russian cake I guess. It’s a bit of a pain to make. Maybe 3 hours of work spread out over a day or two. Still, nothing that a chemist can’t manage. I probably made it too sweet this time around. Next year we’ll use half as much sugar.

                The amounts and ingredients can differ a bit depending on the recipe. The following is not what I used (they have more eggs), and the estimated preparation time is a lie.



              2. Napoleon Cake (mille-feuille [thousand sheets] in Froggish recipe jargon, which last 2 words are also Froggish 🙂 — Торт Наполеон in Russian — is made of puff pastry layers, filled with whipped cream or vanilla cream or condensed milk and butter etc. (or the whole bloody lot!) and looks like this:

                And here’s how you make it:

                Love it! My favourite Russian cake!

                I first tried it in the USSR and I thought it was great. I was a guest of a Russian family, who thought they were highly honoured to have a Western visitor. The lady of the house had made the cake herself, of course.

                They were indeed highly honoured to have me as a guest, because the arseholes at the UK Foreign Office had given me strict warnings not to accept invitations off Soviet citizens to their homes.

                The Whitehall creeps pretended that in declining such invitations, I would not only avoid the risk of compromising myself, but also the risk of any potential Soviet hosts being investigated by the KGB.


            1. At New Year, I made my pièce de résistance for my Russian gang — my wife, Natalya, and my son, Vladimir, and my daughters, Yelena and Aleksandra — and also for my son’s girlfriend, Anastasia, who was our guest, namely a huge lasagne, which we are still eating. I don’t know why, but my lasagne tastes better the older it gets.

              My wife had prepared a load of other stuff: the usual Russian New year fare, including, of course, Olivier salad, which is de rigueur at New Year here:

              салат Оливье

              We also had roast chicken quarters and assorted Russian sausage, cooked meats and herring and smoked salmon and red caviar and salted gherkins, and loads of other закуски or “starters”… I can’t remember now what was on our festive table: various Russian salads and fruit, of course.

              My wife and elder daughter and son and his girlfriend Nastya drank Russian champagne. Vova and Lena also drank some dark Belgian beer. Sasha drank non-alcoholic “childrens’ champagne”.

              This beer they drank:

              It was too strong for my Lena and she fell asleep at the table at about 1 o’clock in the morning.

              I only drank water, because I lead a clean and healthy life and have no filthy habits. I haven’t touch alcohol for 12 years now, yet every New Year my wife tries to persuade me to have a glass of champagne.

              Oh yes, and on the festive table was a plate full of трава</b — literally "grass" — or "herbs": parsley, coriander etc. — and plenty of dill to keep that bastard Shaun Walker away.


        1. Thanks, Yalensis.

          Winter has at last returned here after our having had an anomalously warm December. It was the same all over Europe, east and west. Now it looks more seasonal outside, so my wife and I are going to put on our winter wear and go for a stroll in downtown Moscow this afternoon.


  10. George Galloway on Brexit and UK’s political future

    29 Dec 2019

    The Grayzone

    Anya Parampil speaks with former UK MP George Galloway about Britain’s impending exit from the European Union, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to execute at the end of January 2020. Anya also asks for Galloway’s thoughts on the future of UK politics in light of the Labour Party’s devastating loss at the polls in December, asking if party leader Jeremy Corbyn could have managed accusations of anti-semitism and Brexit differently.


    1. As I have always belived, t-Rump is his own biggest tehreat to re-election. If this kicks off in to war on i-Ran (much as Nut&Yahoo would like as it would divert from his corruption), then all bets are off. China is also slated to sign a ‘Phase One’ economic deal with the US at the White House on jan 15. Would they use this as leverage or even take away a t-Rump ‘win’?

      I suspect that unless t-Rump gets a hold on his rottweiliers, things will quickly spill out of any control and ‘bringing the boys back home’ and ‘no new wars’ will be shot to hell. Even if someone else is elected, it would hardly improve the US’s position in the world. A pox on both their houses, innit? Anways, expect a mad 2020. It’ll make 2019 look like a walk in the park!


      1. A radio commentator said Iraq has an obligation to protect Americans who are only there at Iraq’s invitation. Wow, just wow.


  11. An early “Happy New Year!” from me in u-Rope to you fellow stooges. I also wish you good health and success. And chill. Wot was that Kipling poem?—

    By Rudyard Kipling

    (‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


  12. Happy New Year to all at New Kremlin Stooge for 2020!

    It was a brutally hot day in Sydney yesterday and there had been talk in the news that the pyrotechnics on the Harbour were to be pulled. My area suffered a blackout for 3 – 4 hours. Late weather change in the evening, huge plummet in temperatures and the light show went ahead.

    Bushfires in every state including Queensland and Tasmania, and Sydney is almost completely encircled by fires on its far outskirts. Yet our clueless prime minister Scott Morrison refuses to consider the idea of a full-time professional firefighting unit that would be funded by Federal and State governments, and says such an idea would jeopardise the volunteer spirit!

    The only good thing about ScoMo is that at least his nickname rhymes with his British clown counterpart’s nickname. They should buy a Volkswagen together and use it in their post-PM careers along with their respective cabinet ministers.


    1. Jen, I ‘know’ a few Australians via various websites and have been concerned for all of you in this fire season (which seems pretty bad). I hope you and yours are and remain safe. Quite an incredible situation – that there isn’t a professional fire fighting force dealing with this. I don’t know what has happened to the quality of supposed public servants – in every western country, most couldn’t organise themselves to get out of a paper bag. A happy new year to you too and stay safe.


    2. Thanks Fern and Yalensis: the electricity is back. My folks are not badly off as we all live in suburbs established early in Sydney’s history so they are all built up and hardly feature much native plant life which is actually very fire-prone. The paradox is that the life cycles of most Australian native plants depend on fire to maintain them. Australian soils tend to be thin and poor in nutrients so plants in some ecosystems need ash as fertiliser.

      The worst affected areas in Australia at present are coastal resort areas on the New South Wales south coast and the rural East Gippsland region in Victoria: all areas popular with holiday makers on camping or beach trips. Some towns are entirely cut off from the outside world and are stuck with tourists needing shelter and petrol. What is the official govt advice to them? “You’re on your own, we can’t help you, get out now!” Duh …


    3. I remember the last big outbreaks of forest fires here in 2010 and Moskva was under a pall of smoke for weeks as a result of the spontaneous combustion of peat bogs that are situated in some outlying parts of the city.

      It was the summer of 2010. It got unbearable here and people with lung problems were suffering and flights were cancelled at Domodedovo, which is near one such bog and from where we were due to fly to the UK in early August.

      We were about to lose all hope of flying out when, after many weeks of no wind, the weather suddenly changed , a wind arose and the smoke all blew away and we were able to fly off at almost the very last minute to Merry England — more exactly, to miserable Manchester.

      Anyway, the ever-vigilant-against-the-nefarious-doings-of-the-powers-that-be Ekho Moskvy, especially its hack Latynina, was going great guns slagging off the government, the president and the then mayor of Moskva for the smoke, the forest fires and the deaths of persons and damage to property, Latynina stating that such things only happened in shit holes of countries.

      Luzhkov especially took some stick because he never returned to Moscow when it was engulfed in smoke as he was on vacation, in Russia at his dacha tending his bees: he was a keen beekeeper, apparently.

      Funny how Ekho Moskvy and Latynina say sweet FA about the present situation in Australia and about the Aussie PM’s antics.


  13. Ummm….Mr. Trump’s take on Charlottesville: there were good folk on both sides!! Likewise there were good Wehrmacht/SSand there were bad ones..
    So let’s sing along with Zara-and some of the good krauts-on that happy note….HNY Stooges!!
    (sarcasm/dark humor hyperbole off)


    1. Dear me, what a pity for America to experience such rudeness in a country they made a peaceful western democratic satellite in the Middle East. Are we to understand this is another ‘surge’, what, 12 years after the last one? And I thought things were peaceful and happy there, and the Iraqis were still dancing in the streets with their arms full of flowers and candy. Still a little adjustment required before they settle down to shopping malls and bowling alleys and Coca-Cola and donuts?

      Trump is a spaz to go straight to the big stick – now if America does nothing, Iran will laugh about America’s impotence, and it would not be deterred even if it were proven to be Iran behind it, which so far as I am aware there is no real evidence is the case. By ‘real evidence’, I mean actual evidence the USA can show that it did not make up itself, or feed to its allies in the form of leaks, and then pounce on as evidence.

      Ummm….months-long anti-government protests? How is it we are just hearing about it now? Where’s the breathless, ecstatic round-the-clock coverage, the man-in-the-street interviews to show the ‘human face’ of protest, the vows of shoulder-to-shoulder solidarity from the west….like we saw in Hong Kong? Ohhhh…I get it. The USA doesn’t want the government in Iraq to be overthrown.

      The escalation in the Iraqi capital comes on the heels of months-long anti-government protests that have gripped Baghdad and Iraq’s south since early October, with demonstrators calling for basic services, employment opportunities and an end to corruption.

      Golly; the goals are not very different, except the protesters are not black-shirted masked Chinese college students.

      Double golly: the ‘Iran-backed militia’ is actually an incorporated and integrated unit of the Iraqi Armed Forces, since 2019.

      “We are the Hashd and we are here to take revenge,” said a protester in his 40s, who refused to give his name for security reasons. “We [are] protesting here to condemn the US strikes on the Hashd,” said Haydar, a protester in his 20s. “The Hashd are the ones who protected Iraq against terrorism.” The Iran-backed Shia paramilitary group was aligned with the Iraqi government in its battle against the ISIL (ISIS) group. It was formally incorporated into the Iraqi military in July 2019.


  14. Yes, it was General Winter that defeated the Nazis in the Great Patriotic War for the Fatherland, 1941-1945.

    January 1, 1943. A 12-year-old milling machine operator at the Perm Motor Plant. [Пермский моторный завод, founded 1934]

    The milling machine is, however, USA made: in Springfield, Massachusetts.


    1. Huh. Well, nobody’s perfect. But it seems odd that RT would just go with the mainstream when there is verifiable evidence it’s a lie. I bought into the cover story, as well, because I never heard any different. I wonder where Dallaire is on it?

      He was supposed to have gone temporarily insane from the things he saw and the unwillingness of the west to listen when he pleaded for troops to stop the slaughter. I had never noticed before now that the foreword of his book is from Samantha Power (I haven’t read it), so I guess that tells the prospective reader everything he/she needs to know. If Samantha Power approves of it, it’s unlikely to have as much of the real humanitarian about it as it is policy to increase American global influence and discretionary powers.


      1. Hmmmm…
        Since my grasp of Russian is shall we say limited…it appears as if the film is about how the Russkies kicked the crap out of the Nazi invaders at the gates of Moscow in the winter of 1941/42.


  15. “The Unknown War” is an American documentary television series. The 20-part series documents the World War II conflict between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The documentary was produced and syndicated for international distribution by Air Time International, and the executive producer was Fred Weiner. Each episode is about 48 minutes long. The series was first shown in 1978.

    “The Unknown War” was produced with Soviet cooperation after the release of the UK produced 1970s WWII series “The World at War”, which many felt showed a disproportionate coverage of the Western allies’ role in defeating the Nazis as compared with that of the USSR. The producer Weiner believed that a TV series featuring never before seen footage of the battles on the Eastern front would be of great interest to viewers and worldwide TV stations.

    Released in 1978, T”he Unknown War”, therefore, presented the immensity of the Soviet participation towards the defeat of Nazi Germany.

    The programme was purchased first by German TV and quickly thereafter by TV stations in New York and Boston. Eventually, approximately 75 American TV stations and over 50 foreign broadcasters bought the series. However, after the Soviet Union had sent troops into Afghanistan at the request of that country’s legal government (after the Soviet “invasion” of Afghanistan, according to Washington hypocrites), several American TV stations, responding to public outcry, no doubt orchestrated by the Washington lickspittle media, temporarily halted airings of the documentary. Airings later started again on cable, including A&E, the History Channel, and Hulu and the series was released on a 5-disc DVD set in 2011.

    When I arrived in the USSR in 1989, the dubbed into Russian US-made documentary was by that time being shown on Russian TV. I well remember watching one episode of it at my Soviet girlfriend’s home, where her mother, who had been keenly following each episode, took the opportunity of asking me in great perplexity why the Americans had called the series “The Unknown War”.

    After I had explained to her that most in the West believe that the USA liberated Europe from Nazidom, she became even more perplexed. In fact, she became rather distraught.

    And now, Westerners believe — nay, they categorically state — that the USSR and Nazi Germany worked in unison so as to start WWII in Europe, that Stalin and Hitler were joint collaborators in unleashing in Europe the worst war in world history.

    So Stalin colluded with Hitler to start a war?

    UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier colluding with Hitler an Mussolini, Munich, 1938.

    Warsaw, February 1939: chief of Polish state police Józef Zamorski Kordian welcomes Heinrich Himmler.

    German Ambassador Hans-Adolf von Moltke, Polish leader Józef Piłsudski, German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck meeting in Warsaw on June 15, 1934, five months after signing the Polish-German Non-Aggression Pact.


    1. And to add balance:

      Vyacheslav Molotov, Russian foreign minister, signs the non-aggression pact negotiated between Soviet Russia and Germany, at the Kremlin, Moscow. Standing behind him is his German counterpart Joachim von Ribbentrop (left), and Joseph Stalin.

      Just one week after the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (officially the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) on August 23, 1939, the Second World War began with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany.

      Post hoc ergo propter hoc?

      Latin: “after this, therefore because of this”, an informal fallacy (an argument whose stated premises fail to support their proposed conclusion; informal fallacies often come about because of an error in reasoning, which makes the argument invalid) that states: “Since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X”.

      Many in the West (and I have seen it write by “experts” and “journalists” as well) that both the USSR and Nazi Germany invaded Poland at the same time from east and west respectively. However, Soviet forces entered former eastern Polish territory a fortnight after the German onslaught had started in the west of the country, when the Nazi war against Poland was all over bar the shouting.

      I say “former eastern Polish territory” because by that time the Polish government had fled Poland, but the incursion of Soviet armed forces into those territories is always described in the West as the Soviet invasion of Poland with Germany.

      Furthermore, those territories which the USSR had “invaded” had been until 1920 part of the “White Russia” (Belorus) and the Ukraine, which Poland had invaded and occupied and annexed in a war of aggression, the Polish–Soviet War (14 February 1919 – 18 October 1920) that was waged by the Second Polish Republic against the proto-Soviet Union (Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine).


    2. Unless he’s standing on a butter box, Hitler was actually quite a bit bigger than I thought. I had originally believed him to be a short guy with little-man syndrome, but here he is pictured taller than Il Duce, whom I had thought to be quite a big man. He certainly looked it when he was hung upside down.


      1. I checked some websites and found that Hitler stood at about 1.75 metres or roughly 5’9″. He was actually a little bit over the average male German height at the time. Benito Mussolini and Winston Churchill were actually shorter, about 1.69 metres or a little over 5’5″.

        Bear in mind you may have seen photos of Hitler standing among his officers who would have been considerably taller and standing very upright. In his later years Hitler’s health was very poor which would have affected his posture and made him look shorter in any later photographs.

        I’m sure I read somewhere ages ago that Il Duce used to wear leather boots with stacked heels.


  16. The current American opioid epidemic crisis is contributory to the surge in homelessness. The latter of which has placed the general population at risk of a catastrophic health crisis: The massive filth generated from homeless street encampments has caused the rat population to soar….rats carry typhus and plague.


      1. Electric car companies like Tesla have a dirty secret: kids as young as four can spend all day inhaling toxic fumes, mining for cobalt to power the batteries used in their cars.

        It’s outrageous — and it’s not just Tesla — none of the top electric car companies have proved their supply chain is clean!

        40,000 kids do this backbreaking work in the mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo. And it’s only going to get worse — experts say that demand for cobalt will grow 9000% in the next 20 years as the electric car market grows.


        Capitalism! Doncha just love it!!!!!


  17. Yukies, ever the martyrs at the hands of the mixed-race Moskali-Tatars, already whinging over the gas deal. They consider it a “compromise”, but bite their lips and take it like US catamites that they are..

    Poor whining bastards! Always exploited by those Moskali, who tried to murder them all in the 1930s as well!

    They get paid a fortune for the use of their clapped out GTS system, and the money that they use to buy back imported into Europe “reverse flow” gas and to run their rust heap of a transit system is in the form of “loans” from the “generous” West, whose real objective is to keep Yukiestan as gatekeeper for Russian gas imports into Europe.

    In other words, Uncle Sam and its arselickers in Europe believe they are are maintaining a tight grip on Russia’s short and curlies, in that they believe that Russia is totally reliant on its export of hydrocarbon resources in order to survive. You see, as the late and unlamented McShitstain once stated, Russia is just a gas station masquerading as a country.

    В “Нафтогазе” рассказали, что их не устроило в сделке с “Газпромом”
    03:52 02.01.2020 (обновлено: 08:24 02.01.2020)

    “Naftogaz” has said it is not satisfied with the “Gazprom” deal

    MOSCOW, Jan 2 – RIA News. Naftogaz is not enthusiastic about the inclusion of the company in agreements with Gazprom on the transit of Russian gas. There has been an element of compromise on the part of the Ukraine, said the head of Naftogaz Andrey Kobolev at a press conference in Kiev.
    As Kobolev explained, “From the point of view of legislation and regulations that affect or directly regulate the natural gas market”, Ukrainian laws do not yet comply with European ones. According to him, “Gazprom”, knowing about this situation, was not ready to take the risks of “ineffective Ukrainian legislation”, because of which Naftogaz, which has acted as a buffer between the Russian company and the Ukraine, had taken these risks.

    “For us, these risks are familiar. We are not enthusiastic about this option, but this is an element of the compromise”, the head of Naftogaz added.

    On the evening of December 30, Russia and the Ukraine signed a package of agreements to continue gas transit through the Ukraine, including a five-year transit contract. It is planned to pump 65 billion cubic metres of fuel in the first year, and 40 billion each in the next four years.

    One of the key conditions for continuing the transit of Russian gas was the transition of European rules for the management of the Ukraine gas transportation system, and it was decided to create a separate operator company to manage this gas transmission system. After the adoption of the relevant law, its separation (unbundling) from Naftogaz began.

    On Wednesday, Kobolev said that the separation of the operator of the gas transmission system of Ukraine had been completed.

    Such jiggerypokery! And the monies involved slide into some thieving Ukraine bastards’ pockets!


  18. Nazis in Kiev Marched in Honour of the Birthday of Bandera
    January 2, 2020
    Stalker Zone


    Semtsov’s Facebook shite. Semtsov was released from prison in a prisoner swap. He had been imprisoned for organising a terror-act in the Crimea. The Western media always labels him as a film director/journalist. Semtsov is an “ethnic Russian”, born in Simferopol. I can guarantee, therefore, that his command of the Yukie dialect is not so shit hot:

    Last year was very important for me. Just as more than a hundred prisoners have done so, I returned to my family and my country. I am very happy for all those who have been freed and forever grateful to those who fought for and chose our freedom. Thank you all! I have never forgotten about those who are still in captivity and will talk about them at all levels until the last person returns home.
    Next year, I wish for the Ukraine and its citizens not only the return of prisoners, but also the most important thing, for that which would make the appearance of new prisoners and new fallen in battle impossible and which would make possible the return of our territories and the coming of true peace; I wish for all of us one thing: victory! Because without it, we have no future. Because without it we will not have our country. Because I care about the name of the streets along which I walk in my city. I want to walk along Bandera Avenue, not Stalin Avenue.
    And by the way, Stepan Andreyevich, happy holiday!”

    What gibberish!

    Where the fuck is a Stalin Avenue in the Ukraine?

    Where the fuck is a Stalin Avenue in Russia?

    Word of advice, arsehole: don’t visit Colchester, England!

    By the way, the adjacent streets to the above are:


    I wonder why?

    Colchester has been a garrison town since the time when most of the island of Britain was a Roman imperial province.


    1. From Sergey Valeryevich Aksyonov, Head of the Republic of the Crimea:

      Again in the Ukraine, New Year Nazi torchlit processions. This is spitting yet again at the soul of millions of people, another insult to the memory of millions of victims of Nazism. If the neighbouring country, as its leaders say, is moving into Europe, then this is the Europe, or rather, the Germany, of the thirties of the last century.

      Crimeans, looking at this coven, thank God that they have nothing to do with the country in which the Nazi executioners and their spiritual heirs are national heroes.

      Bandera is the curse of the Ukraine, the main factor for the degradation and destruction of the country, the ideological “fuel” of the civil war. This is an ideology that combines bestial cruelty and the limitations of a farmyard, swollen conceit and servility. For most of the Ukraine, it is alien and disgusting: it is a “virus” that has been created artificially and brought in from the outside. It is impossible to build a state on such a rotten foundation.

      Couldn’t have said it better myself, eowd tater!

      It is the shitkicker ideology of grovelling, Greek-Uniate, Galitsian serfs who think they are a degree of magnitude better than their Eastern Slav Orthodox kin, in that Galitsians had “cultured”, Roman Catholic Polish pans or Austro-Hungarian aristos as their masters and were, therefore, more cultured, “European” shitkicking farmyard lackeys than their Moskal counterparts.


      1. Wow! Aksenov really nailed it on the head in regard to the Banderite ideology!

        On the issue of the rusty gas pipes, I have been curious if there was anything in the deal to fix them up. I reckon Moscow would have to foot the bill to patch up the Ukrainian pipe system, haven’t seen anything in the news, though, so maybe they just cross their fingers and hope the pipes don’t collapse from rust in the next couple of years.


        1. Ukraine would definitely like some help fixing up the GTS. I so wish I could find that report – it was a PDF document written in the form of a technical report by some guy who was commissioned to do a warts-and-all assessment of the pipeline. I can’t recall where he was from except that he was European, not Ukrainian, and I thought he was Scandinavian like Norwegian or Swedish of something, although I may have just hallucinated that part. It was pretty damning, going into titillating detail on how many compressor stations were non-functional, how the entire system could not maintain full pressure and how much it could be expected to cost to fix it. In the latter case he postulated three scenarios, if I recall correctly – enough so it could be operated with relative safety, good enough for Ukraine and fixed to European specifications. I cited it somewhere on the old blog but did not add it to my list of references that I planned to use again, and have been kicking myself for my stupidity ever since.


          1. KPMG: Situation of the Ukrainian natural gas market and transit system [pdf downloadable]

            Market Study

            © 2017 KPMG Advisory Ltd., a Hungarian limited liability company and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.
            Address: 1134 Budapest, Váci út 31.
            Company registration: Budapest, Fővárosi Törvényszék Cégbírósága, no: 01-09-698768

            3.4 Refurbishment requirement page 32

            The Seven-year refurbishment and development plan of main transmission and metering facilities issued by UTG in 2014 is in line with the conclusions drawn from the feasibility study on the modernisation options and costs of the pipelines and storage facilities prepared by Mott MacDonald and presented by Azfar Shaukat at the EU-Ukraine International Investment Conference in Brussels (Belgium) on 30 September 20115. Mott MacDonald concluded in 2011 that the natural gas transportation system of Ukraine was in an inadequate condition due to its poor design and construction as well as the subsequent low or insufficient level of maintenance funding. These constraints were numerous and extensive, requiring a program of rehabilitation work in the short, medium and long term to improve system integrity. The following constraints were identified by Mott MacDonald …

            However, the Atlantic Council states that the decrepit nature of the Ukraine GTS is a myth.

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

            I would post the links to the AC sites where this “myth” is “debunked”, but I get a warning from my Yandex browser that those AC sites are threatening in that they may take information from my laptop.

            What an outrageous insinuation to make!

            Of course, Yandex is Orc-run enterprise, a public limited company, albeit, according to a troll, that means it is really run by “The Kremlin”, and very likely by Putin personally.

            What a busy little bugger that Vladimir Vladimirovich must be!


            1. I don’t know; that might have been it – the timing is about right. It was just something I stumbled over while browsing for relevant material, and I injected it into a comment without bookmarking it further. A bad habit of mine, I always think these things will be so easy to find later. But figures tossed around in discussions of the report suggest the company (which has been in Ukraine for years) recommended an outlay of more than $4 Billion annually for 7 years. That sounds like a hell of a lot of money to me, a hell of a lot more disposable income than Ukraine has right now and a lot more than it will realize from transit fees over the next 5 years. What happens after that is anyone’s guess, but I would speculate gas transit through Ukraine will not rise above the 40 BcM annually agreed in the existing contract, and might be considerably less.

              Easy to see where the Atlantic Council’s learned opinion came from, though – there was a quick consensus between the Ukrainians and the mainstream media that the derogatory report was an effort by Gazprom to misrepresent the facts, and the GTS was actually in pretty good shape, you know, lick of paint…


              The article offers no substantiation for Gazprom telling lies, relying instead on Mott McDonald’s assessment of the level of competence of Ukrtransgaz specialists as ‘high’. Perhaps the author meant they must be high, I couldn’t say. But the Ukrainian position seems to have been that the audit found their specialists were really smart and good at their jobs, so the equipment must be all right as well, just some minor tweaks, nothing urgent, you understand. Just more of Gazprom’s lies.

              In later elaboration, Naftogaz suggested the Russian position was just Rotenberg looking for a lucrative contract, and that the cost might easily balloon to $50-$60 Billion if that were considered; meanwhile, super-professional and smart Naftogaz could easily manage to keep everything shipshape and Bristol-fashion on only $200-300 million per year.


              The Ukrainians seem to have seized on the figure of $4.8 Billion as if it were a total, although the auditors seemed to me to have been pretty clear that it would be $4.8 Billion annually for 7 years – otherwise, why mention 7 years at all? If you’ve got $4.8 Billion now, let’s get ‘er done, you know? Or if it takes you three years, then it’s $4.8 Billion spread over three years, or whatever. It seems clear to me that they meant $4.8 Billion annually for seven years.


  19. For Christ’s sake!!!!!!!!

    I wrote weasely above!

    Spellchecker changed it!

    weasely: adjective; comparative weaselier, superlative weaseliest: resembling or characteristic of a weasel. a weasely face.

    I was not referring to a “Harry Potter” character.

    Dimwit spellchecker!

    More exactly: dimwit spellchecker programmer.


  20. Fellow Stooges: On the Hitler theme, I started a new post today about Putin’s name-calling of Polish ambassador to Nazi Germany Józef Lipski, whom Putin correctly deemed an “anti-Semitic swine and bastard” (svoloch).
    This was supposed to be just a short post, but I have to continue it to tomorrow where, in Part II, we shall see the Polish Union of Rabbis (who represent all the Polish Jews left who Hitler didn’t manage to kill, all 100 of them, or so…) disagree with Putin and actually defend Lipski! They say Lipski’s remarks about putting up a statue to Hitler “were taken out of context”, and that Putin should not criticize such a wonderful guy.

    Which goes to the theme of “there’s gratitude for you…”
    In their defense, though, the Polish Rabbis probably had guns put to their heads.


    1. The Nazi plan to rid Europe of Jews by shipping them to Madagascar is akin to the USA trying to rid the Exceptional Nation of its erstwhile enslaved population by persuading them to emigrate to the wondrous land of Liberia, which has been a shithole since its very foundation.


      1. An American puppet Liberia. Most African-Americans were too smart to fall for this scam. They were, like, “No thanks, we’ll stay here and take our chances…”


  21. На Украине заявили о неготовности к прямым поставкам газа из России

    The Ukraine has expressed unwillingness for direct gas supplies from Russia

    You see, the Yukitards prefer to buy reverse-flow gas from Europe, which gas comes from Russia in the first place, and which is more expensive than gas bought directly from Russia because …

    Russia should not use gas as an instrument of blackmail or for the development of corruption amongst national elites. The Ukraine will not be able to ban its companies from buying gas from Gazprom in accordance with the agreements between them, but Gazprom will become a participant in the Ukrainian market only if taking into account European standards. “Gazprom will not have a monopoly: it will not be able to impose its conditions by bribing officials; it will be one of the players” — Dmitry Kuleba, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration.

    Hey, Kaluba! You seen this:

    Российский газ начал поступать в Болгарию по «Турецкому потоку»…

    Russian gas has begun to flow into Bulgaria via the Turkish stream
    Bulgaria has started to receive Russian gas from Turkish Stream and not through Romania, as reported by RIA Novosti, stating its source as representatives of the company “Bulgargaz”.

    The bringing of a new gas pipeline into operation will enable Bulgaria to save about 41 million euros…

    Bulgaria signed an additional agreement with the Russian company “Gazprom export” on December 30. According to the document, now the gas enters into the country from Turkey and not from Romania…

    Earlier it was reported that the transit of Russian gas to Serbia through the “Turkish Stream” will begin in the spring of 2020….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That only demonstrates the Yukie leadership is perfectly willing to keep wasting money and paying more than it needs to so long as the IMF gives it money to buy gas. It will change its tune when it has to use its own money.


  22. The Atlantic article strikes me as a particularly even handed and fair retrospective view of Poland under Nazi occupation and the chemistry between Christian Poles and Jews before and after September 1939. Plainly some of what Stalin did post MR pact cannot be excused. However the Nazis considered the Poles to be just as racially inferior as the Jews and with savage depravity treated them as such. It seems to me that some of today’s Poles have lost sight of that.


    1. Northern Star, could you please explain in more detail exactly what you mean when you say “Plainly some of what Stalin did post MR pact cannot be excused.”
      I am curious to learn what, in your scholarly opinion, Stalin did wrong post Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact? I assume you mean something that he did to or in Poland?
      Are you implying that Stalin was excessively cruel to the Poles? Or what???


      1. It’s that “Supplementary Protocols” thing, I guess: annexation of Bessarabia, Baltic States …

        I shall leave it to the Guardian to explain in its own inimitable way the the perfidity of the Mongol-Tatars:

        Molotov-Ribbentrop: why is Moscow trying to justify Nazi pact?
        23 Aug 2019 07.17 BST Last modified on Fri 23 Aug 2019 10.14 BST

        Interesting question from the former bourgeois arsewipe, now a mouthpiece for the CIA and British Secret Intelligence Service!

        I counter thus:

        Why does the UK and France justify the Munich Agreement?

        Why does the UK justify its naval agreement with Nazi germany?

        Why does Poland justify its 1934 non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany?

        From the above linked article:

        Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, who spoke at the exhibition’s opening this week, made that point explicitly: “Under these circumstances, the Soviet Union was forced on its own to ensure its national security and signed a non-aggression pact with Germany,” he said.

        And that, if one dared to ask the Poles to justify their non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany, is the answer one would receive off them. But nobody speaks of the Nazi-Poland 1934 pact.

        The Soviet Union long denied that the secret protocol to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact – which was signed on 23 August 1939 – ever existed

        True, but:

        only acknowledging and denouncing it in 1989 under Mikhail Gorbachev!

        Yes, the USSR beat its breast and apologized, as did the RF. But the Guardian article brushes this fact off and goes into attack mode …

        Now, Russia has sought to normalise the non-aggression pact, arguing that the treaty had been taken “out of context” of the vicious realpolitik of 1930s Europe.

        A “vicious realpolitik of 1930s Europe” that also included the Franco-British Munich sellout of Czechoslovakia. and the 1934 Nazi-Polish non-aggression pact?

        Any apologies for that sellout? Any beating of the martyr of Europe’s breast for forming that 1934 pact with the devil?

        During the “vicious realpolitik of 1930s Europe”, the Western powers studiously ignored the repeated attempts of the USSR to form a united front with them against the Nazis.


        Because it was abundantly clear that the destruction of the USSR was both the Nazi goal as well as that of the “free world”, that’s why!

        And the goal of the “free world” still remains the partition and dissolvement of the “Beast in the East” simply because the bully in the block fears the outcome of a disagreement with it and, possibly, with its eastern neighbour, which is just as beastly.


  23. “Вне политики” бывают только баблосы…

    Only moolah is outside of politics …

    It is a disgrace that Sofochka Rotaru, a sponsor of Ukrainian punitive nationalist battalions, performed in the New Year show on the Rossiya First Channel! It’s shameful… no, not of Russia, do not confuse Russia with these people… It’s shameful of the liberal clique that runs Russian show business…

    These People have once again confirmed that for them the words: honour, justice, and truth mean nothing, they are just an empty sound! For them, the most important thing is MONEY…

    Although they hide their love for money with the words that art, as always, is outside politics…

    No, folks, nothing is “outside of politics”… These are the realities of our lives… If art were outside of politics, then Sofochka would not have sponsored the punishers in the Anti-Terrorist Operation and would not have supported them on air in the Ukrainian media.

    But in reality, “outside of politics” there is only moolah, for which all this liberal evilness is ready to sell its soul to the devil…

    She sang well, though, on New Year’s Eve, all dressed up like the 72-year-old dog’s dinner that she is.

    I told my gang to turn the old slag off, to change channels, but they told me to belt up.


      1. Bet she wasn’t so pleased when some sneaky photographer took this sly shot of her 2 years ago, when she was celebrating her 70th birthday with her son Ruslan, his wife Svetlana and her two grandchildren, Sophie and Anatoly, on Corsica:


    1. This little ditty below has somewhat more of a Russian “vibe”, I should imagine:

      I used to sing it thus:

      Очи пьяныя, очи красныя,
      Очи жгучія и ужасныя!
      Какъ я ненавижу васъ, какъ боюсь я васъ!
      Знать, увидѣлъ васъ я въ недобрый часъ!


  24. @ME
    May we view our prior ‘misunderstandings’ as waters under the bridge? And in that spirit
    perhaps you can ‘hook me up’ with:

    Thanks so much!!


  25. Sic Semper tyrannis: Our Embassy in Baghdad – TTG

    …For weeks, it was Iranian consulates and facilities that bore the brunt of Iraqi popular unrest. Iran reacted with restraint. With our lethal attacks on the Kata’ib Hezbollah, we changed that. Pompeo, Esper and Trump are keeping up the trash talking. Threatening Iran by killing Iraqis… whose ass was that brilliant diplomatic strategy pulled from?…

    Plenty more at the link.

    Have dick, will step on!


  26. ####

    Someone pointed out the blue color of the combustion denotes a much cleaner burn unlike the usual orange afterburn you get from many military turbofans. Soviet jets in the past were well known for their ‘smoky’ engines, i.e. unburned kerosene producing sooty particulates. It looks like pimping the modernized Tu22M3/Ms engines have no been skimped. I want that ‘ACK-62’ seaplane in the background at the start of the video:


  27. How Our Economic Warfare Brings the World to Heel

    Nothing untrue in this article. Secondary sanctions are evil because they prevent minor transactions because banks don’t think it is worth the severe penalties. So Iranian cancer patients aren’t allowed to buy chemotherapy medications. Trump has gone overboard because he has learned that there is no political cost to doling these out.

    I think this is how US dominance will end. No challengers will end it, although some may rise in the vacuum. The internal changes the US needs to make to come back are politically impossible. Sanctions are big government on steroids, and having the US Government sitting atop the global economy will cause it to seize up. The question is how long commerce will be able to continue under these conditions.


  28. “With each passing day of the impeachment crisis, the distance between the official reasons for the conflict in Washington and the real reasons grows wider.

    It has become increasingly clear that the central issue is not Trump’s attempt to “solicit interference from a foreign country” by “pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the president’s main domestic political rivals,” as alleged in the whistleblower complaint that triggered the impeachment inquiry.
    Rather, the conflict raging within the state centers on Trump’s decision to temporarily delay a massive weapons shipment to Ukraine.

    The ferocity with which the entire US national security apparatus responded to the delay raises the question: Is there a timetable for using these weapons in combat to fight a war against Russia?

    A New York Times front-page exposé published Monday, coming in at 5,000 words and bearing six bylines, makes it clear that Trump’s decision to withhold military aid—over a month before his phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky—triggered the conflict that led to the president’s impeachment.

    As the Times reports, “Mr. Trump’s order to hold $391 million worth of sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, night vision goggles, medical aid and other equipment the Ukrainian military needed to fight a grinding war against Russian-backed separatists would help pave a path to the president’s impeachment.”

    “Despite the unforeseen and disastrous consequences of the CIA-backed coup in Ukraine, the United States is determined to continue its efforts to militarily encircle Russia, which it sees as a major obstacle to its central geopolitical aim—control of the Eurasian landmass, which would give it a staging ground for a conflict with China.”

    If a conflict between USA led NATO and Russia goes thermonuclear,we can all kiss our asses goodbye.
    Two maybe three hundred million dead outright within an hour or so. What then?? Who the fuck knows.

    However if the conflict remains non thermonuclear -but possibly involving tac nukes-I can conceive of no scenario in which Russia does not stomp the living shit out of a USA/NATO aggressor.
    Russia and China allied and working together?
    Capitulation of the USA/NATO forces within a month tops.

    The problem is that we have psychopaths in D.C. and Brussels who actually believe that the peoples of the Eurasian land mass can be subjugated. As long as their insanity is tolerated ,we are all living on
    borrowed time.


      1. Ha, ha!! I love the expression ‘to fail up’, that’s perfect. I personally do not think there is any chance of Joe Biden being president, but Trump doing another term is nearly as fraught with peril, and all the Democrats with the exception of Gab bard are tough-talkers on Russia.



    The head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, has reportedly been killed in a strike near the Baghdad International Airport, along with senior leaders of the Iraqi Shia militia the US blamed for the attack on its embassy.

    “The American and Israeli enemy is responsible for killing the mujahideen Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani,” said Ahmed al-Assadi, a spokesman for Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces, as cited by Reuters.

    Al-Muhandis is the deputy chief of the Popular Mobilization Forces, the umbrella group of Shia militias integrated into the Iraq’s armed forces, which was blamed for the siege of the US embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.

    Esper just threatened the US would take “pre-emptive actions”. Looks like they just did such.

    This violation Iraq’s sovereignty is as bad as it gets short of invasion (wait, US already did that).

    Who has escalation dominance? What can Iraq do – ask the US to leave? What can Iran do?

    I can’t help but speculate Trump is being backed into a corner by this action. His enemies want war for multiple reasons not the least of which is to help secure an election defeat.


      1. Trump seems to be taking credit. Many are predicting something awful is coming. The Saker seems to have the most recent new.

        Happy New Year.


        1. My personal opinion: If the Americans are actually stupid enough to go to war against Iran, then they will have their asses handed to them in a way not witnessed since the Vietnam War, and possibly even surpassing.
          Americans don’t know history, but if they did, they would know that even the Romans were never able to conquer the Persians.
          Americans so dumb, though, they probably don’t even know that Iranians ARE the Persians.
          All of this is due to the fact that there is a terrible shortage of maps…


          1. Even Karl should know that US/NATO could never occupy Iran nor seize its oil. If there were an all-out war with Iran (short of nuclear), KSA and UAE would be a waste land of destroyed oil/gas facilitates demolished desalination plants, wrecked airports and seaports inhabited by millions of people in danger of dying from thirst. The Persian Gulf would be the final resting place of military and civilian vessels of every type.

            And the above scenario is why there will not be all-out war against Iran. No one wants it other than Israel and they can’t convince the countries in the region to commit suicide. Just a hunch.


            1. I imagine Israel visualizes something much like the US Army’s lightning decapatory drive to Baghdad in 2003, which must rank as one of that institution’s greatest operations – flawlessly executed to all outward appearances, nearly without US casualties, unstoppable momentum. Nearly all of America’s losses in Iraq occurred after that operation, and for a short time it looked as though the Americans really would drive straight to the heart of the country and seize control of the government – without very much violence and destruction at all, save for the gratuitous ruin caused by the preparatory ‘shock and awe’ phase, which was just war porn for the folks back home. Anyway, I’m guessing Israel imagines a quick surprise strike at Tehran, the Americans take over the government, and quickly announce WE ARE IN CHARGE NOW. DO NOT RESIST OR IT WILL BE THE WORSE FOR YOU. PLAY YOUR CARDS RIGHT, AND THERE WILL BE PROSPERITY AND DEMOCRACY FOR ALL. And the Iranians will fall into line, leaving Washington and Jerusalem to re-engineer the country’s dynamics to their mutual satisfaction.

              And it might happen like that, although I would suggest the probability is pretty low. Iran is implacably opposed to American interference and anti-Americanism is a national characteristic due to the sanctions imposed against it. The country has a pretty hard-ass army that actually has a fair bit of combat experience. It has a fairly capable air-defense network. But to me the strongest factor arguing against it is that the US rear is not secure; they would want to attack from Iraq and reinforce from Iraq, but they have shit the bed there and are no longer welcome.


      2. Well, if you had to pick, Israel is always a good bet. I say that on the issue of war with Iran only, because Israel has ALWAYS wanted its big brother to whack Iran, and must have daily-updated contingency plans to take advantage of any world or local event which might bring that about. It would also represent a last chance for Bibi to leave politics triumphant, having put Iran on the scrapheap for good and all, destroyed and smoking. Israel would be quick to take advantage of any initiative which has the potential to bring about war with Iran. There are also elements within the Trump government – and like-minded Democrats – who feel the country is bogging down in frustrating self-interested internal tussles which lerave no room for a situation of American Greatness, passing instead into bickering and poo-throwing like monkeys.


      3. This nancy-boy certainly does:

        Oh my! Wouldn’t it be so exciting to observe events as theplay themselves out so far away from Washington!


        1. For meritorious service in flying a desk for the USAF reserve:

          Lt. Gen. Jack L. Rives, Air Force judge advocate general, pins the Meritorious Service Medal on Col. Lindsey Graham in a Pentagon ceremony April 28, 2009. In addition to being a U.S. senator from South Carolina, Colonel Graham is an individual mobilization augmentee and the senior instructor at the Air Force JAG School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

          Ready to go up into the wide, blue yonder, Lindsey, and get them Ragheads, Lindsey?


        2. “This nancy-boy certainly does” meaning Graham wants war.

          Meant as a reply to Patient Observer’s comment above about Trump’s enemies wanting war.

          “I can’t help but speculate Trump is being backed into a corner by this action. His enemies want war for multiple reasons not the least of which is to help secure an election defeat.”

          Funny thing is, the only person I know with the given-name name Lindsey is a girl.

          Lindsay is a variant of Lindsey.

          As a family name, Lindsay is quite common in my old neck of the woods, where the Earls of Balcarres and Earls of Crawford were big coal owners. The family name of these Scottish aristocrats is Lindsay. One of the now dead pit villages near to where I was brought up is called Crawford because the aristos that owned the coal mine that was there were the Lindsays. There used to plenty of Lindsay pits on the Lancashire coalfield.

          Maurice Lindsay used to be the Wigan RLFC boss and also boss of the UK RFL. He wasn’t a Scottish aristo, though: he was a bookmaker (turf accountant) and a bit of a twat. I say that as a supporter of the club that regards Wigan as the arch enemy.


          1. Yes, Lindsey is typically the feminine variant of the name. Much gossip has ensued over the years regarding Graham’s sexual orientation, given his girly name and the fact that he has never married and does not keep regular female company, but if he has any kind of sexual orientation at all, nobody of any importance knows anything about it. He is indeed a warrior in his imagination, consistently pressing for military action, oozing love juice every time Israel is mentioned, loathes Donald Trump and espouses extrajudicial killing for Americans with terrorist sympathies. His idea of a real man was John McCain. He is a perfect example of what America has become through its constantly cutting itself slack and telling itself it is exceptional, and upholding the rule of law while not really having to obey it if it would be inconvenient. You can take virtually any recent American military action and have a little fun with it by imagining the American media and political reaction if it had been done by just about any non-aligned nation.


          2. Lindsay Graham has a classic Scottish Presbyterian name (double surname) which probably still appeals to the declining WASP elements of the US population. He certainly has the look of a catamite and no doubt he inspires awe and shock in the military of Micronesian island states. The big countries? Perhaps less so.

            The surname seems to be pronounced “Gram” in the US, like Gram Parsons. Here (Scotland) it’s pronounced “Grey-yam”.


            1. Grey-oom where I lived.

              The given name “Graham” seems to be quite a newcomer in the USA, hence its strange pronunciation (to my ears, anyway) by many speakers of US English.

              Same with “Meghan”, a Welsh name that has become popular in the US in recent years and where many pronounce it as mee-gen or may-gen.

              As I often say, though: US citizens who are descendants of European immigrants (but not of Hispanics who have immigrated from central and south America) are unique, in that they speak English as a second language, without having a mother tongue of their own.



            2. Some Americans say “gram” like “gram crackers”, and others say “gray-am” like “gray-am crackers”. Not sure if it’s a regional thing any more, or just random.


          1. Note the comments immediately below from Ryan Hill; reprints of Obama-era Trump tweets – Obama’s poll numbers are plummeting, watch him attack Iran just to show how tough he is. Ha, ha. Then it was a terrible idea, the action of a vain man desperate to preserve his image of himself as a Great Leader. Now, though, it might be a great idea, and our Israeli friends would certainly love us for it. The perspectives of politics.


    1. The USA cannot put together a war with Iran overnight. It would take a minimum of a couple of weeks of calling up reserves and getting their shit packed and headed to the battlefield – they can put a small force just about anywhere very quickly, but it’s not sustainable. And a war in Iran would be a terrible mistake – Iraq was ostensibly a war of liberation, to free a captive people from a cruel dictator. The USA would not have that tentative fig leaf, would instead be going into a country which already hates America’s guts and would meet it with immediate fury and zero negotiation. It would be operating mostly from Iraq – which, coincidentally, also hates it and wants it out of the region. Its logistics chain would be constantly vulnerable. I don’t see any good scenarios.


      1. I would not put it past the Trump regime to use nukes against Iran. That way they would not have to use ground troops. They would just nuke every important target in Iran and put Iran back to stone age.

        And hey, why not do it? Recent decades have shown that the US can do anything – literally anything – without being held responsible or facing any consequences.

        If they decided to use nukes against Iran the US allies would either remain silent or support the US, and countries such as China and Russia would only condemn it but would not do nothing.

        There would be no military response against the US.

        There would naturally be no economic sanctions against the US.

        And I doubt the US would even have to face any terror attacks, because Shia Islam that Iran represents does not really use these tactics unlike the Saudi version of Sunni Islam.


        1. Yeah, the US using atomic weapons against Iran would be par for course.

          It always gets me when smartarses start debating why the USA dropped atomic weapons on Jap cities.

          The reason why is so bloody obvious: they did it because the Nips had no nuclear weapons.

          They missed their window of opportunity of doing so against the USSR after the cessation of WWII hostilities had ended in Europe, though, when that window slammed tightly shut and has since remained tightly shut.


          1. Should have been above:

            They missed their window of opportunity of doing so against the USSR for a few years after the cessation of WWII hostilities in Europe, though, before that window slammed tightly shut and since when it has so remained.


            1. Except for a 2-hour something window between Gorby’s resignation and Yeltsin’s taking over of the nuclear codes. In which time Gorby phoned George Bush Daddy and assured him he could rest well and have a Merry Xmas, as nobody was around in the office to nuke him.


        2. I would put it past the Trump regime to use nukes against Iran. No doubt they would like to avoid American casualties, but American wars demand casualties so that Americans can feel great about winning, rather than realizing they stood miles away and pressed a button, and millions died. The official American position all along has been that the Iranians are wonderful people, they just have terrible leaders. So how could America justify wiping out all those wonderful people just to get their leaders?

          I don’t really think there will be a war, or at least not now. There have been a couple of spectacular events, and it seems pretty clear that somebody is trying to get a war going, but I don’t see any of the signs of a massive American mobilization. And there would be – the USA is not going to just stand off at a distance and nuke Iran – America has invested decades in forgetting it ever nuked Japan.

          I think America is falling apart. You think it is stronger than ever. So we’ll see. You could be right, and the USA could decide to risk it all on a war which plainly has no support, even though it has historically always tried to internationalize its brutality by coalition-building. But I don’t think so. Since at least the George W. Bush administration – with perhaps a brief pause in the beginning of Obama’s tenure, when it was hoped America might become Wonderful again – the USA has been clearly seen to be acting in its own interests to the detriment of everyone who is not American. Pretty much all the reverence for American greatness is in America now, with just a bright little dot in Finland.


          1. Oh man!

            If O. Henry were alive he’d be looking for a credit for that ending. Although, to be fair, it was less of a twist in the tail than a twist of the knife.

            I laughed aloud.


    1. In the Finnish media this military strike against a civilian airport is viewed with praise and no criticism at all.

      This will continue to happen again and again and again until someone has the guts and the ability to really retaliate against the US. Unfortunately there are no one in the world that has both, the guts and the ability.


        1. The problem with doing nothing however is that the next step for the US regime is to start killing top Iranian military and civilian officials in the Iranian territory.

          The West will escalate this until either fights back or totally capitulates on all fronts.


      1. Khomeini’s response:
        ““Martyrdom was the reward for his ceaseless efforts in all these years,” Khamenei said on his Farsi-language Twitter account in reference to Soleimani, also declaring three days of mourning.

        “With him gone, God willing, his work and his path will not be stopped, but severe revenge awaits the criminals who bloodied their foul hands with his blood and other martyrs’ in last night’s incident.””

        Let’s wait what this “severe revenge” will be…


      2. Mmm…I know. Sad. So the inevitable conclusion is that the dastardly Americans will triumph once again, although they really, really deserve to lose this time. What can you do? If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Let’s all go together into servitude to America, at least we have each other.

        I guess by that interpretation, every conflict in which America has been involved in the last couple of decades has resulted in American victory, is that about right?


  30. Another load of Russophobic “journalism” from the say-something-shitty-about-Russia-at-least-twice-in-every-edition Independent:

    Why did Russia try to assassinate Sergei Skripal – and why use novichok? [wall]

    Novichok attack, 2018: Kim Sengupta recalls the attempt on the lives of the former Russian military officer and his daughter, and says there are still questions to be answered

    First question: what evidence have you, Mr. Sengupta, that an assassination attempt was, in fact, made by Russian state operatives against Skripal and his daughter using “Novichok”?

    By evidence, I mean something that would stand up in a court of law, not just something, for example, that some “guy” at Porton Down had allegedly told Boris Johnson?


    1. As I said, Iran will generate lots of huffing and puffing, but no real action. The US don’t give a shit about Iranians protesting. They only start caring once you hit their wallets or their military.


      1. Yes, you’re right about that – the USA cares nothing about its declining image in the world. It remains to be seen what the Iranian response will be, but an interesting suggestion I have seen is that it will be directed not against the United States, but Israel.


  31. MoA gave details of how the murder was conducted – nothing clever.. Soleimani just arrived at the airport on a regular airline flight from Lebanon for the purpose of attending the funerals of those killed in the recent air strike. His travels plans were announced in advance. He and his entourage were ambushed by a drone or possibly helicopter missile attack shortly after they disembarked from the plane. Back shooting SOBs.

    It does follow the MO used by the US as mentioned in the Snowden movie – kill a bunch of people which, of course, will be followed by a large funeral. The funeral will be attended by important folks out of respect to the families of the victims. Then POW!

    If the above was indeed the case, it would be correct to interpret the original air strike as setting a trap to kill high level officials.


    1. I’ve been wondering how stupid The Blob/Washington/White House/Neocons were. I guess this proves it. As Jen pointed out, this was a solid to Nut&Yahoo. What’s the bet that the US ‘intelligence’ that Solemani was planning attacks against US forces in the region came from i-Sraeli intelligence?

      It’s interesting to watch the reporting though because of its cognitive dissonance. On the one hand they report that Solmenai was a ‘careful’ commander who was vary aware of the risks and not over doing it, yet these correspondents simply don’t ask how America’s claims of Solemani’s plans to attack them jive with his known behavior. I guess that is well above the pay grade of a corporate journalists in free, democratic and fair countries.

      Also, al-Beeb s’Allah’s Diplomatic Correspondent outdoes himself with his reporting on Solemani, who he points out helped i-Rack rid the Islamic State from Kirkuk(i-Rack) and was very good at negotiating, yet only credits him with ‘saving Assad from the rebels in Syria, ne’er a work of IS/ISIS/ISIL/DAESH/Whatver (funded by the West’s Gulf allies) who made up the vast bulk of forces fighting against the state of Syria, not some ‘democratic Syrian rebels’. Ah, the BBC! Masters of lying by ommission! Almost as good as some historians…

      Still, the assassination of Solemani is a massive unenforced error by the States which has multiple pressure points, not to mention its allies. i-Ran doesn’t have to make any direct attacks. I guess the most obvious one is to annouce that it will shortly be increasing its uranium enrichment. Like NATO, hanging the US and its allies together maybe one of its most effective strategies. The UK for example has “called for calm“, which is of course only in the US, UK’s and others interests, in short “Shut up and suck it up” in diplomatic terms. It may be taken as a criticizm of the US, but Washington doesn’t listen, however much London still likes to think that it has any influence on the other side of the Atlantic.

      Ironically enough, the status/reputation of soon to be ex-Leader of the Labor party Jeremy Corbyn who has a long history against foreign wars, will be boosted, but far too late. The effective media/security services hit job agasint him during the UK election was a great success – “Can’t vote for a man who backs the IRA” it is claimed people said for not voting for him in a parliamentary democracy, so instead we get someone like BloJo who will continue to back the US in future wars and British bodybags! It’s such a good thing they have a free press…

      Now that the USA has “changed the rules of the game”, then the gloves are really off. No-one can pretend otherwise. i-Ran has had escalation dominance for a while already and this current move gives it carte blanche to respond at any time it likes in this US Presidential year election. The best bit is of course those Democrats condeming the attack who are just as neocon, if not more so, because they can.

      In short, the USA has just accelerated its own ‘destiny’, i.e. not the one it thinks it is due. Morons. Who says history doesn’t repeat itself?


      1. A CNBC (money) anal-yst said “we know how unstable the Iranians can be.” They really do make their own reality, though the tv folk do sound like they are worried which is a bit odd if they actually believe that they are all mighty. I wonder if one of the side effects of this attack will tip over the US economy, which some have said is due for a ‘correction’… in an election year…


        1. Wishful thinking. The US economy is not going to collapse. It is now probably stronger than ever.

          Wishing the US will collapse from within is futile. These same people were certain that Ukraine would implode from within after the Maidan coup. Didn’t happen. And not going to happen. Especially not after Putin granted them several billions of USD just recently LOL.

          This is a big difference between Russia and the USA. USA kills people that they consider their enemies with incredibly efficiency, while Russia keeps giving their enemies money.


          1. The only chance to witness a US collapse during our lifetimes is a nuclear war or a great natural disaster, such as eruption of the Yellow Stone volcano. Unfortunately the USA is blessed with great geography, climate and natural resources that enables it to wreck and destroy the rest of the world while being relatively safe itself.


                1. Thought it was Gazprom that transferred the monies to Naftogaz Ukraine, which $26.6 billion (plus fines for late settlement) represents less than a single percentage figure (can’t remember now — less than 3% IIRR) of the total asset value of the Public Joint Stock Company Gazprom.

                  The litigation between Naftogaz and Gazprom concerned several lawsuits at the Stockholm Arbitration Court that were filed against each other by the above parties. Naftogaz had already won one of these cases, in which some tosser of a Swedish “judge” ruled that Russia was sending less gas than it had agreed. Gazprom was ordered to pay about $3 billion (roughly equal to the sum that Moscow pays in transit tariffs for a year), under threat that European officials would seize the bank accounts of the Russian company and its property if it refused. In total, Naftogaz sued Gazprom for nearly $12 billion.

                  What the Ukrainian party wanted: that Gazprom hand over the $3 billion already awarded in arbitration, stating it would not back down from other pending lawsuits. The only compromise Kiev said it would entertain was that Gazprom could pay the outstanding amount directly in gas supplies.

                  What happened: Gazprom committed itself to paying the $3 billion by the end of the year, and it did just that. In return, Kiev agreed to withdraw its remaining lawsuits and refrain from filing any new claims. On the one hand, this could be described as a victory for Gazprom, which settled on a steep but feasible price to close this chapter in its history with the thieving, lying Ukrainian shits. On the other hand, even victory in arbitration did not guarantee that Kiev would ever get the money from Gazprom, which would have required scouring all of Europe and lobbying for restrictions on the Russian energy giant. This way, the Ukraine party got the money only a few days ago at the end of December, 2019, as well as a guaranteed income for the next five years

                  And there is more of the above at its source, which, if anyone should care to look, is most definitely not “Kremlin controlled”.


                2. Hell’s Bells!!!


                  Thought it was Gazprom that transferred the monies to Naftogaz Ukraine, which $26.6 billion (plus fines for late settlement) represents less than a single percentage figure

                  should have been:

                  Thought it was Gazprom that transferred the monies to Naftogaz Ukraine, which $2.6 billion (plus fines for late settlement) represents less than a single percentage figure

                  Bloody decimal point in wrong place!


            1. I hope the Yellowstone volcano does NOT erupt. The American National Parks Service have actually been doing a great job with Yellowstone recently. They are maybe the only branch of the U.S. government which is actually benign.
              They re-introduced wolves into the eco-system about 20 years ago, and the wolves helped fix a lot of things that were wrong with the eco-system. Many many species depend on that eco-system to survive in that great park, and I think it is really inhuman (and also anti-Nature) for people like Karl to wish ill upon them.
              Instead, you should be wishing many good things for all the people and animals. You damned sociopath, Karl. What kind of person are you, anyhow? You should be ashamed of yourself, you should get down on your knees and beg your god to forgive you.


      2. “Now that the USA has “changed the rules of the game””

        USA didn’t really change any rules with this. They have been assassinating and killing foreign state officials and even head of states like Saddam and Gaddafi for decades.

        The only “change” that I want to see is that the Americans start dying too. So far no one has had the guts and the ability to kill American political leaders and military officials. If you want to change the rules, start killing them.

        ” i-Ran has had escalation dominance for a while already and this current move gives it carte blanche to respond at any time it likes in this US Presidential year election. ”

        Iran will do nothing. They are not a nuclear power (at least not yet, hopefully some day they will be). Iranian leaders want to preserve themselves and not start a suicidal shooting war against the USA which they would lose in days.

        Currently Iran has no other choice than to suck it up and take the humiliation, because Russia and China do not fully back Iran. If Iran gets attacked then I’m afraid that Iran’s “Eurasian allies” would sit in the sidelines, with likes of Lavrov and Zakharova maybe voicing some angry words in the UN.

        But Russia and China better be careful. They cannot really afford the West to destroy Iran and grab its gigantic oil and gas reserves. Chinese “Silk road” project would be essentially dead if that happened. Russia and China better be prepared to do something drastic and meaningful if Iran is attacked.


        1. “Iranian leaders want to preserve themselves and not start a suicidal shooting war against the USA which they would lose in days.”

          Like what those Vietnam Gooks and Afghan Ragheads did?


          1. ME, why engage with the trolls??? Why not just let them rub each other off in to ecstasy? It’s not as if they contribute anything to the debate apart from ‘yes/no-black/white/on-off/spank-spunk’ and pop up in predictable circumstances. That’s why they’re on my ignore list (along with their potty language). Or is that the way you have fun in Mordor? 😉


            1. That was very cruel of you to enquire about how I have fun here in Mordor when, I am certain, you know full well that having fun here in any shape way or form is strictly forbidden.


                1. I am relieved, quite relieved in both a mental and corporeal sense ME!

                  I was also doing my rounds of other sites where I visit comment sections and their trolls have been out in force too, quite easy to spot! I never read their posts though. Life is too short.


              1. I can totally understand why hamburgers and smoking and loud music and booze and bicycles and iPhones and swimming and photography and pedestrians must be forbidden.
                But SODOMY? Isn’t that going too far?


          2. The difference in a case with Iran would be that USA would just bomb the shit out of it. Iran could retaliate by taking out US military targets in nearby countries, but eventually Iran would be devastated and its biggest cities and most important infrastructure bombed into rubble. That would leave Iran worse off than Yemen and Syria are now.

            The biggest problem that I see is that Russia and Iran are not fully backing Iran. With nuclear backing. There should be a true Eurasian alliance between the biggest Eurasian countries, which would involve at least China, Russia and Iran, and hopefully India and Pakistan.

            But since this is not the case every single Eurasian country, except for Russia and China due to their nukes, are prone to concentrated Western attack. The West is united due to organsations like NATO, the EU and etc. Eurasia lacks there organisations and military and economic structures that would allow it to effectively defend agains western aggression.


            1. Hmm, crude oil goes to $300/bbl crushing the US economy, Russia rakes in the cash and becomes even more influential in the world and Russia is the only nation (with China to a lesser degree) able to offer security guarantees to other nations under threat from the West. Russia would be well advised as to who they protect. Syria was a good choice and Iran would be another – countries that have already shown the backbone to resists.

              The US will be unable to occupy Iran and steal its oil assuming the unlikely success of a major US bombing campaign. What would the US have gained? Nothing.

              Peripherally related, my contacts in the fracking world indicate a general collapse is underway to be followed by the biggest wave of bankruptcies with the associated loan defaults. Its ugly in the oil patch. A sociological result may be the breakup of families and surge in suicides and opioid addictions in white males. That is truly sad.


              1. Isn’t that by design, pure market that right-wing economists kneel at the alter of? After all, it was by choice. I always find it super weird that a country that is supposedly so christian is so heartless towards its own. Again, they make their own reality and the greatest in the world… while buying their meds from Canada.

                These of course being the same people saying that the 2008 economic crisis was the result of ‘too much regulation’ thus even more deregulation is required. Nothing to do with the effective repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act*, obvs!



                1. The US is not Christian if the definition is to follow the teachings of Christ. Certainly the elites/deep state/whatever are only about themselves – most definitely not Christian. They manipulate the population by spouting “Christian” values twisted into something opposite of the original message. A highly visible example is Christmas – now just a narcissistic look-at-me shopping frenzy with the “success” of Christmas gauged by dollars spent (and debt incurred).

                  What about measuring the success of the Christmas season by the amount of donations to charity? Not a chance.


                2. Excellent point. Although the United States is historically among the most generous of nations where charitable giving is concerned. For 2019, Giving USA records $427.71 Billion, a strong rise on the $410.02 Billion for 2018.


                  I’m not exactly sure how that breaks down – for instance, is money donated to Israeli organizations considered a charitable donation? I also suspect the bulk of these donations come from the Middle Class, although I don’t have any evidence to support that, and the country could be bursting with corporate fat-cats who love to help the poor – you never know.


                3. And if we link charitable donations to tax breaks??? Think Tanks, NGOs and a whole host of other orgs benefit from tax free status. Like everything else the meaning of ‘charity’ has completely warped out of its original meaning.


              2. Interestingly, other sources do tend to support your contention that all is not sparkly in Frackingland.

                “We are seeing the impact of the collapse of the Midcontinent’s drilling programs,” said Richard Spears, vice president of consultancy Spears & Associates, referring to oilfields in Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas. “The rest of the industry is so weak that there is no place to move frac equipment to where it could be employed.”

                Oil production in the Anadarko Basin, which spans Oklahoma and parts of Texas, is expected to fall by 12,000 barrels per day this month to 551,000 bpd, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The Eagle Ford shale in South Texas is also expected to suffer a production decline, according to the EIA’s latest Drilling Productivity Report.”



        2. Iran is twice the size of Iraq, and as you’re aware, the Glorious US Forces did not ever completely liberate the latter although at the peak of the Liberation the USA had 170,000 troops in-country. If Washington just stands at a distance and nukes the place, how do you see it benefiting from American takeover of its oil and gas industry?

          The USA presses on with making more enemies and hardening its image when it should be doing the opposite.


    2. Congratulations to all involved in eliminating Qassem Soleimani. Long in the making, this was a decisive blow against Iran’s malign Quds Force activities worldwide. Hope this is the first step to regime change in Tehran.

      The above suggests that the MO has been verified – the original strikes were to set a trap for high level officials attending the funeral. Or, it seems that way.


  32. Got this by email today off Moscow’s only English language arsewipe:

    Happy New Year from Moscow!

    It’s been a good year for The Moscow Times. We doubled our readership and expanded our newsroom. Here’s a roundup of our best stories, investigations and long reads from 2019:

    — We broke the story about Russian doctors who weren’t warned that the patients they were treating were nuclear accident victims.

    — We took a deep dive into how Russia’s wealthy are taking advantage of the country’s legal system by shifting their court cases to a southern region.

    — We closely covered the effects of climate change and examined how a dam in St. Petersburg is racing against the clock.

    — We reported on every protest that rocked Moscow this summer and told the story of those operating behind the scenes.

    — We looked at how “Kinky Parties” in Moscow are starting a new sexual revolution.

    — As Russian mercenaries continued to spread across Africa, we shed light on the many problems they faced in Mozambique.

    — We also expanded our business coverage and produced a number of detailed stories to help our readers understand where Russia’s economy stands today

    — We traveled to the Altai region to document how Russian poachers are going after the musk deer.

    — We showed how a rising chorus of outrage over high-profile domestic abuse cases signals a sea change in Russian society…

    — …And covered a trial that showed the flaws of a Russian justice system that presumes defendants are guilty by default.

    — We left the capital and reported on how the self-immolation of a leader of the Udmurt ethnic minority left a community in shock…

    — …And followed the story of two Uyghur-Tatar brothers in Kazan fighting deportation to China.

    — In addition to our coverage throughout the year, we revisited the people, memes and photos that defined 2019.

    We intend to keep up the good work in 2020!

    Join us: Subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of what is happening in Russia. And please contribute so we can keep independent journalism in Russia going strong.

    — Best wishes from all of us at The Moscow Times

    Yeah, keep up the good work “independent” Langley sower of doubt and discord!

    PS Very few folk here read the shite you publish.

    By “folk”, I refer to the majority of Orcs, not US citizens and various Westerners slumming it here as they cross off in their calendars the days of torment they have left here before returning to the “Free World”, nor their acolytes, those kreakl Russian bourgeois arseholes and juveniles who yearn for US-style “freedoms”.

    Note the heading of the above seasonal greetings: “…from Moscow”, not from the “Moscow Times”: in other words, the message is directed to those who want to know about Moscow but are not here. The MT presenting itself a trustworthy source of news from Darkest Mordor.

    Chief Wanker Harding at the Guardian used to be fond referring to MT as though it were some reliable source of Russian news, rather than the freebie that it is (and only online now): as though it were a real newspaper. If the paper MT had been distributed in the UK, most of its copies would have been found in chip shops.

    It’s that “Times” bit in its name, see, that inflates its importance, albeit that the UK “Times” and “New York Times” are likewise arsewipes of note.


    1. Karl doesn’t sound “overjoyed” Most of what he said-IMO-is spot on. A cowardly assassination carried out by a military strike on a civilian airport.How many Iraqi civilians were murdered? Before this turn of events,I posted about the American Jew billionaire who lobbied for Tehran to be nuked as a warning that Israel is not to be threatened. Karl maybe being a “troll”-whatever the fuck that means-is not the problem.The problem is the psycho out of control USA.


      1. Karl is a troll. He only makes an appearance to push his shtick of Russia Weak. He claims anything less than a general thermonuclear war initiated by Russia is a sign of genetic weakness in the Slavic DNA.

        At the current rate Russia is getting weaker, they will reach world domination in military technology and economic self-sufficiency in a few more years. May Russia continue to become weaker.


        1. Putin LOL!

          The West Sums up the “Year of Putin”: What Can Stop Russia
          January 2, 2020

          It is worth noting that after Vladimir Putin came to power the overseas expert community started a streak of failures in terms of predicting Russia’s future. It can hardly be considered a coincidence. It is enough to recall the forecast made by the elite of American science about the world in general and about Russia in particular in 2000. About 20 years ago, the National Intelligence Council, the entity coordinating all US intelligence agencies, decided to make a forecast of what the world would look like in 2015. The best scientists of the United States from various fields of scientific activity, as well as experts of the CIA, American military universities, British arms specialists, economists ,and diplomats were involved to work on this macroprognosis. The report resulting from numerous discussions was then published and widely spread in the western information space.

          Russia looked rather unsightly in the forecast of the best American experts for 2015. The population of our country was expected to decline to 130-135 million people. It was expected that Russia would be a fading and weakening country that would have only one instrument of influence on the world agenda – the veto in the UN Security Council. Full geopolitical impotence and an inability to “impose one’s will” even on the nearest neighbours in the post-Soviet space was predicted for our country. Attempts to integrate somehow into the world economy and financial markets, according to this forecast, were doomed to fail. American forecasters didn’t want to say anything good about Russians either. “Alcoholism, heart disease, drugs, and the deterioration of the health system” were predicted for Russians. As a cherry on the cake of this forecast, one can mention the prediction that Russia will have extensive areas with radiation pollution by 2015 because our country will not be able to service its own nuclear power plants and other infrastructure.

          Putin LOL!

          Let’s look at the results by giving the forecasters a head start in an extra five years (i.e., comparing it to 2020, not 2015). Russians – more than 146 million. According to the IMF, Russian GDP in purchasing power parity (which, unlike nominal GDP in dollar equivalent, more or less objectively reflects the size of the economy in megawatts, tons, and calories, i.e., it makes an adequate adjustment for price difference) is almost on par with Germany’s GDP and outperformed France and the UK.

          Rosatom is the pride of our country, and Russian specialists build nuclear power plants almost all over the world.

          Life expectancy increased from 65 in 2000 to 72.7 in 2017.

          According to the World Health Organisation, alcohol consumption per capita in Russia decreased by 43% from 2003 to 2016.

          The argument about Russia’s inability to service complex infrastructure looks fine against the background of photos of the “impossible” Crimean bridge, the Sochi Olympics, and the APEC summit in Vladivostok. And predictions of Russia’s inability to project its will even in the post-Soviet space would hardly comfort the “NATO-modelled by NATO instructors using NATO money” Georgia army in 2008, and American experts still cannot come to their senses from the return of Crimea to its native harbour. And if CIA experts had told anyone in 2000 that OPEC would coordinate the oil market with Russia, and the California pension fund for civil servants would invest in Russian government bonds, this prophet would have been sent to a mental asylum, but they would have been 100% right.

          Putin LOL?


          1. A report consisting of strings of pejorative phrases generated by random selection would have been an improvement.

            The report predicted a large Russian population decline (wrong as noted) but also missed the free fall of Baltic States populations, especially Lithuania. The report also predicted a Palestinian state.

            Karl should read the report to help him sleep at night with sweet dreams of a dying Russia.


  33. O happy days!!!!


  34. Independent: The Syrian conflict is awash with propaganda – chemical warfare bodies should not be caught up in it

    The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has an important role to play in ensuring people know the truth. Nothing should get in the way of that

    Robert Fisk

    In the very early spring of this year, I gave a lecture to European military personnel interested in the Middle East. It was scarcely a year since Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chlorine gas against the civilian inhabitants of the Damascus suburb of Douma on 7 April 2018, in which 43 people were said to have been killed….

    …But at the end of my talk, a young Nato officer who specialises in chemical weapons – he was not British – sought me out for a private conversation. “The OPCW are not going to admit all they know,” he said. “They’ve already censored their own documents.”

    I could not extract any more from him. He smiled and walked away, leaving me to guess what he was talking about. ..

    …And here I might myself have abandoned the trail had I not received a call on my Beirut phone shortly after the Henderson paper, from the Nato officer who had tipped me off about the OPCW’s apparent censorship of its own documents. “I wasn’t talking about the Henderson report,” he said abruptly. And immediately terminated our conversation…

    Why tell a journalist? It certainly undermines any future OPCW testimony at the ICriminalC (not ‘cricket’) as being impartial and free of politix.


    1. Independent: Iraq’s worst fears have come true – they are now at the centre of a proxy war between the US and Iran

      General Qassem Soleimani made a terrible mistake in the final weeks of his life by underestimating the popular protests across Iraq. Donald Trump has made a bigger one in killing the influential commander

      Patrick Cockburn


      Plenty more at the link. It’s always interesting to read what really old hands think about this, but there are others like Magnier.

      Not a problem for the USA. Everyone is cannonfodder apart from themselves. For Freedom!

      A parting thought, if the US starts bombing i-Rack, they’ll keep the (Kurd) north out of it…


  35. crAP via IS claims attack on Russian police that killed 1 officer

    … Russian officials say one police officer was killed and three were injured when two men attacked a police post in Magas, the capital of the republic of Ingushetia, on Tuesday.

    News reports said the attackers hit one police officer with their car and stabbed three others.

    One of the attackers was killed when police opened fire and the other was wounded…

    …A statement on an IS-affiliated website Thursday claimed two police were killed and did not mention attacker casualties.

    ‘IS affliated’, aka the equivalent of a Macdonald’s ‘franchise’ but for jihadi headchoppers sponsored, trained and equipped by the west’s Gulf allies, and usually very poor mercenaries, and not just those pumped out in huge numbers from Pakistan’s Madrassas. It’s the business of leverage.


  36. Report: US Troops Capture Top Iraqi MP, Militia Leaders

    Arrests happened in the wake of US attack on Baghdad airport

    Following the United States attack on the Baghdad International Airport on Thursday evening, a strike which killed seven people, including Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and two top Iraqi members of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), it is now being reported that US Marines carried out arrest raids inside Baghdad, capturing high ranking Iraqi MP Hadi al-Amiri and militia leader Qais al-Khazali.

    Details are still emerging, but the Marines were reported by several Middle East sources to have conducted raids in the Jadriah district of Baghdad, and came out of it with Amiri and Khazali.

    This comes a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared Amiri to be “an Iranian asset,” citing his presence at the protests at the US Embassy in Baghdad. Amiri is the leader of Iraq’s second largest parliamentary bloc, as well as the head of the powerful Badr Brigade. In recent years he had been under consideration as a potential premier.

    Khazali is the head of Qa’saib Ahl al-Haq, a substantial militia within the PMU in its own right. Though Khazali has politically been aligned to Amiri in recent years, in the past he was an aide to top cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, head of the main Iraqi parliament bloc.

    Hadi al-Amiri is only an MP of the i-racki parliament, aka 51st state of America. There’s nothing to see, move on.


    1. She will not be allowed to get any real power in the USA. Don’t place any hopes on her. She seems like very good person but unfortunately good people do not get power in America.


      1. I agree there is very little chance. The Democrats seem determined to pass the flag to Joe Biden, who will lose like Hillary did, and then the Democrats can settle down to another term of being the opposition. Her anti-war, anti-interventionist platform is beginning to resonate with more Americans, though.


  37. US starts the Raging Twenties declaring war on Iran

    By Pepe Escobar, Palermo, Italy

    …According to my best Southwest Asia intel sources, “Israel gave the US the coordinates for the assassination of Qasem Soleimani as they wanted to avoid the repercussions of taking the assassination upon themselves.”

    It does not matter that Trump and the Deep State are at war….

    …it will be blowback by a thousand cuts…

    Just like the fight over in the comments section at MoA over ‘t-Rump’ was forced in to this action v. it doesn’t matter either way. The universal rule is, the wo/man at the top is responsible for whatever happens in their watch – unless you are Boris Johnson!

    Whether t-Rump was cornered by do something now, or to distract from the apparent impeachment or anything else, he is ultimately responsible for not getting his ship in order even with known saboteurs within.

    That it may be a consequence of the USA’s advanced stated of decomposition and rot from within (sic the Roman Empire – senators busy stabbing each other in the back whilst he visgoths took ever larger chunks out of its periphery), it’s Diso Inferno one way or another..


      1. I’m surprised Khomeini has been able to achieve this much in the way of vengeance against the US as he’s been dead for 30 years.

        I’m sure the Iranians know or will be able to discover very quickly whose fingerprints are on this assassination. Someone facing prosecution in some country’s highest courts who needs an excuse to claim his country needs him as leader again. Satanyahu fits the bill. He may not be the only one.

        Maybe there are some ex-politicians or US State Secretaries who think they need to be back in their old jobs, regardless of whether their old employers want them back.


      2. Did they say somewhere that this was it? Just ‘legal measures’, and if they considered themselves to be fairly compensated thereby, that was it? Not that I saw.

        But you’re right that it’s not nuclear war, with millions of American dead and their cities razed to the ground. And nothing else will serve. Anything short of that would be pathetic.


          1. Did Iran formally announce that it would satisfy itself with only ‘legal measures’, and would take no other action? If not, I don’t see its pursuit of redress through the UN as particularly pathetic; after all, even elements of the USA say the attack was illegal and a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty. In any case, it still remains entirely possible that Iran will take some more direct action either in conjunction with its legal applications, or in the case that they fail to achieve anything thereby.


        1. As pointed out elsewhere, if the murder results in Iraq demanding US forces leave the country, Iran would have won a stunning victory without firing a shot.

          Sun Tzu would be proud of Iran.


            1. Is it? Not according to its Constitution. If you’re not much of a reader, the drafters thoughtfully placed the critical statement right up near the top, at Article 1.

              “The Republic of Iraq is a single federal, independent and fully sovereign state in which the system of government is republican, representative, parliamentary, and democratic, and this Constitution is a guarantor of the unity of Iraq.”


              I suppose you mean in practice, not in law – how tiresome. You never seem to support me when I argue that the United States is not a country of laws, which of course its constitution says it is. It merely chooses to disregard them whenever adhering to the rule of law would prevent the US government from acting the way it wants to. Perhaps Iraq behaves at times as if it is run as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the USA, which it might do to get along. And perhaps some Americans actually believe they own Iraq, that Americans paid for it with their deaths and it is theirs to dispose of as they see fit. However, the law is actually pretty clear, and if Iraq ever does get around to enacting a policy of all US military forces leaving the country, they actually are obligated to go, and there are no US lawmakers who have any illusions about that. It might just be very much on their minds right now, as their massive Embassy in Iraq is their regional hub from which they conduct destabilization operations all over the place. If they lost it, they might be in a bit of a jam.


              1. If Might
                If maybe…blah blah blah
                The USA IS comfortably fuckin’ Iraq in her ‘sovereign’ ass 24/7.
                No hint of withdrawal or even
                an inclination to do same.


                1. Sorry to keep on about it, but do you think you could manage to formulate your answers without resort to that level of crudity? I know you’re capable of discussing international politics without reducing everything to ass-fucking. Nobody else does that, so you can’t claim to be just following the crowd. Profanity when it really works as a metaphor is okay, but if you overuse it, people start to notice.

                  I think I had read somewhere that the Iraqi parliament had taken a decision to ask the USA to leave. If it does so, the USA is bound to go. If it resists, the proper thing to do is take it to the UN, where Iraq would be supported by Russia and China. Then the USA has to leave, or drop all that ‘We are a country of laws’ bullshit that only the USA believes anymore anyway.


  38. And now for the lighter side:

    US Congresswoman Maxine Waters has allegedly fallen for a prank call in which she thought activist Greta Thunberg was offering her a tape of Donald Trump confessing to pressuring Ukraine into investigating his political rivals.

    YouTube pranksters Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov, who go by the names Vovan and Lexus, are claiming they tricked Waters (Dem-Calif.) into thinking she was speaking to teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg.


    1. As the article mentions, this is the second time for sad-sack Maxine Waters, who is so ignorant that it is difficult to imagine people actually voted for her to put her where she is. Apparently you can run a successful electoral campaign around the theme “Vote for me, ’cause I don’ gots no job”.

      She also seems to suck the can at note-taking, as she refers – while, she imagines, she is on speakerphone to a climate-change meeting in North Carolina – to Greta and her father as ‘the Thudbergs’ and the ‘endangered island’ as ‘Chula Chanjh’. Politicians don’t need to actually get anything right anymore – they just say something close and let you imagine they must know, and only misspoke.


    2. She fell for another prank off the same pair a couple of years ago when they codded about the Republic of Limpopo:

      Ms Waters …

      And I mean that most sincerely!

      Have a nice day!

      And God bless America!


      1. What’s your point?
        You don’t give a shit about
        my opinion?
        Not a problem. God Bless!
        So GTFO of my face.


    1. What’s not to defend?
      “It contained secret protocols in which the two countries agreed to invade Poland jointly and to divide Poland and the Baltic states between them in a sharing of the spoils of aggressive war.”
      Totally untrue. Northern Star is just spouting Westie propaganda.
      The Russian Foreign Ministry recently opened and published all the archives, including to so-called “secret protocols”. There is nothing in that to condemn Russia, even Stalin comes out smelling like a rose.
      I covered some of this in my blog post here .
      By the time the Red Army marched throug the “corridor”, there was no Polish government left to tell them no. The Poles did it to themselves, basically. They had an opportunity to ally with the Soviets against Germany. Instead they did their usual stubborn, stupid thing and brought it all upon themselves.


      1. I merely posted a link that’ speaks for itself.
        I don’t propagate Western propaganda silly motherfucker…
        Never have … never will.
        Bye now!


        1. You cock sucking piece of shit! Worthless scum bag of oozing puss! A moronic failure of single cell life unable to form a thought worth uttering yet that doesn’t stop you!

          Thought I would give your approach a try. Nope, not for me.


          1. What in the fuck are you
            talking about??
            My comment was in reply
            to Yalensis.
            I’ve posted over the last 5
            years maybe a couple of
            thousand pro Russian
            anti NATO posts.
            Bcuz I thought on the balance of right and wrong. The West came
            up short.

            But you disrespect me…
            Question where I’m coming from ?

            OK. OK..OK!

            Then motherfuck you. and all Stooges who
            feel likewise.


            1. I responded as you as you do to others who even mildly disagree with whatever point you are making. Was it not obvious? And I indicated profane responses brought no satisfaction.

              Feel free to tell me to fuck off or whatever profanity it takes to makes you feel good.


              1. Nothing to say to
                You….my posts over the years speak for themselves.The only Stooge I got into a bunch of ad hominem horseshit with was
                I don’t understand
                why you are misrepresenting
                what I actually posted over the years. But then again …I don’t give a fuck..
                Later PO.


                1. Northern Star, you keep whining on about your “Five years” of spamming Mark’s blog, as if you think you deserve a medal for it? Maybe a gold watch?
                  And you attack (with the utmost vulgarity and profanity) decent posters like Patient Observer and et Al.
                  I think a lot of people are starting to get a bit sick of you.
                  By the way, you have all the high-end vocabulary of a foul-mouthed 10-year-old.


                2. P.S. – that was brilliant Patient Observer! Hearing you channel “Northern Star” created a very humorous cognitive dissonance, because I can’t imagine a civilized gentlemen like you talking that way.
                  Served a very good purpose, an actual work of art, congratulations!


                3. P.P.S. – although, for the final perfection, you need to then back away, “aw shucks” and start backstroking your previous abuse, once challenged.
                  Like, when Moscow Exile proved that NS had typed something that he denied typing (2 weeks ago!), and NS was all, like, Aw shucks, it was just a “Cool Hand Luke” type of “failure to communicate” or some other such. But did not actually apologize. The the implication was that it was somebody other than HIM who had failed to communicate. Possibly even Moscow Exile, who had actually communicated rather clearly.

                  Like every sociopath or schoolyard bully, NS never actually takes accountability for anything he says or does. When challenged he might backstroke a bit, hoping the dupes will be lulled into thinking he is a normal person who can be engaged and reasoned with, and not the sociopath that he actually is.


                4. @ yalensis. That “failure to communicate” thing was simply evasion of accountability and a reason that I lost default respect for NS on a personal level. He still makes good points from time to time but the incessant use of profanity against other posters is distasteful and unacceptable to me.

                  Thank you for appreciating my efforts on this topic.


    2. Must Putin be ‘defending the Nazi-Soviet pact’? Or could he be defending the USSR’s having made an agreement after it approached all its erstwhile allies to stand with it against the Nazis, and got only silence? Is he defending the substance of the pact itself, or the fact that such an agreement had to be made after every attempt to avoid it through the building of an alliance to resist the Nazis?


      1. I dunno.Mark…
        Why don’t we look at exactly WTF-step by step-Russia did between MR.snd Barbarossa.

        Rhetoric defending VVP Is fine and well….but let’s not get it It mixed up with historical FACTS



        1. Well, I’ll tell you one of the many thing that the USSR did between 23 August 1939 and June 22 1941: it continued exporting goods to Nazi Germany, including grain and petroleum products, of which latter Germany had none. In fact, as is often pointed out by Western commentators, as the greatest killing machine ever assembled in history launched its attack against the USSR at 04:00, 22 June, 1941, the very last trainloads of Soviet exports were rumbling across the former Soviet-Polish border on their journey into the heart of the Third Reich.

          This fact has led to whines off John Bull types in the UK whenever the topic of MR rises, namely that the Luftwaffe was fuelled by Soviet gasoline when it was attacking Britain in 1940, when in Europe the UK pluckily “stood alone” (don’t mention the British Dominions and colonies, please!) against the Nazi war machine.

          Of course, these “True Brits” conveniently forget that the US only went to war against Nazi Germany after that gangster state had declared war against the USA on 11 December 1941, although, to be fair, chiefly to F.D. Roosevelt’s efforts, the US had long been aiding the UK and its Empire — for a price. Nevertheless, multinational corporations, not least US ones, most willingly did business with Nazi Germany because, as I have pointed out in an earlier comment, the only thing “outside politics” is filthy lucre.

          See: How the Allied multinationals supplied Nazi Germany throughout World War II

          Excerpts from “Trading With the Enemy: An Exposé of The Nazi-American Money-Plot 1933-1949” by Charles Higham

          “The Coca Cola Company under the Nazis” by Eleanor Jones and Florian Ritzmann

          From the “Trading With the Enemy” cover blurb;

          “Here is the extraordinary true story of the American businessmen and government officials who dealt with the Nazis for profit or through conviction throughout the Second World War: Ford. Standard Oil, Chase Bank and members of the State Department were among those who shared in the spoils. Meticulously documented and dispassionately told, this is an alarming story. At its centre is ‘The Fraternity’, an influential international group associated with the Rockefeller or Morgan banks and linked by the ideology of Business as Usual.

          Higham starts with an account of the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland – a Nazi-controlled bank presided over by an American, Thomas H. McKittrick, even in 1944. While Americans were dying in the war, McKittrick sat down with his German, Japanese, Italian, British and American executive staff to discuss the gold bars that had been sent to the Bank earlier that year by the Nazi government for use by its leaders after the war. This was gold that had been looted from the banks of Austria, Belgium, and Czechoslovakia or melted down from teeth fillings, eyeglass frames, and wedding rings of millions of murdered Jews.

          But that is only one of the cases detailed in this book. We have Standard Oil shipping enemy fuel through Switzerland for the Nazi occupation forces in France; Ford trucks transporting German troops; I.T.T. helping supply the rocket bombs that marauded much of London ; and I.T.T. building the Focke-Wulfs that dropped those bombs. Long and shocking is the list of diplomats and businessmen alike who had their own ways of profiting from the war.”


            1. Such interested parties can see and read the real deal here:

              Фонд «Историческая память»

              Секретный дополнительный протокол к Договору о ненападении между СССР и Германией. 23 августа 1939 г


              auf Deutsch:

              We shall ruthlessly crush and destroy the enemy!
              On the document shown on the poster it reads: Non-Aggression Agreement between the USSR and Germany”.

              С наилучшими пожеланиями из Москвы!

              Die besten Wünsche aus Moskau!

              Гитлер капут!

              Hitler kaput!

              Внимание, внимание! Говорит Германия!
              Сегодня ночью под мостом, поймали Гитлера с хвостом!


              1. Wonder if the Polacks have their non-aggression pact with the fiendish Nazis on public display somewhere?

                I know where to in Moskva I can go and see the originals of the above documents.


    3. Do the Poles still defend the Polish-Nazi Germany Non-Aggression Pact of 1934?

      Do they ever mention it even?

      Do they even know of its existence, or was it consigned to the black hole many decades ago?


  39. Reportedly Iranian and Iraqi Sunnis are “dancing on the streets” because of murder of Soleimani.

    As I see it this is one of the biggest problems in this whole mess: the hatred between Sunnis and Shias. Their hatred against each other is bigger than their national pride or their common Islamic roots. Iraqi and Iranian Sunnis cheer when the USA kills an Iranian Shia leader, while also humiliating Iraqi and Iranian states at the same time.

    Tribalism triumphs over national pride and patriotism. Ancient religious feuds triump over pragmatisms and desire to develop a common peaceful country. Stupidity triumps over wisdom.

    I see a bit of the same between Russia and Ukraine as between Shias and Sunnis, but not with the same scale.


    1. Hatred between Sunnis and Shias is a big enabler for a western interference in the Middle East, and keeping the region in chaos. Without this rift the Syrian civil war would never have happened for example.

      Why can’t these people understand that with this hatred they only keep their region down and as a playground for foreign imperialist powers?


      1. The Vatican enmity towards Orthodox Christians may be greater than between Shia and Sunni Muslims so don’t pick on the Muslims.

        People who know more than I regarding religious strife suggest that Western Christian religions have treated the Orthodox more harshly than Muslims. My limited personal experience would support that assessment.


        1. Muslims deserve to be picked on because they cannot or don’t want to unite against a common enemy, but instead ally themselves with the enemy against their Muslim brethen. This is true especially with Sunnis. I personally sympathize a lot more with Shias than Sunnis in general.

          The whole Middle East would be far more resilient against the West if they learned to work together and forget this useless and stupid old feud between Shias and Sunnis.


          1. Oh, gee; I don’t know about that. I mean, every time the Muslims are perceived as allying against a common enemy, that enemy is perceived to be white people, and there is straightaway an outcry that Muslim leaders must condemn this or that act of violence and differentiate the Muslim community from fundamentalism. Which they do, of course. I personally doubt you know anything at all about the schism between Sunni and Shia, its causes or effects, and are just broadcasting a controversial position so as to start a furball, as is your wont. But if you are inclined to show me up, and were just waiting on an opportunity to discourse at length on the Shia-Sunni rift, wait no longer. We can proceed from your informed position on your preference for the Shia once you have established it.


  40. Hey, remember when the President of US Steel called Preznit Trump to tell him the company is opening six – or was it seven – new steel mills? Right after the tariffs went into effect?

    Well, that – unsurprisingly – turned out to be a piece of political misspeaking that we in the discussion field call ‘horseshit’. US Steel had not called Trump in any capacity, and he just wanted a bit of positive news to frame his tariffs as good for the industry. In true Trump fashion, since just what he was looking for was not immediately available, he made it up. But the US steel industry was initially enthusiastic, no getting around that. US steel was competitive, and American companies bought it up, things were looking good.

    Didn’t last, though. Tell you what IS true: US Steel has announced it is idling most of a working steel plant near Detroit, indefinitely – 1500 layoffs. When sales exhausted the national market, there was nowhere to go but down.

    In fact, US manufacturing as a whole contracted to 47.2 this past month, marking the lowest reading in a decade and the fifth straight month of contraction. But the Trump-base buying frenzy goes on, inspiring hopefuls like President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Charles Evans to remark “I think what we’re kind of finding is that the economy can continue to expand with a modest contraction in the manufacturing sector at the moment; the consumer is playing a strong role.” If that sounds quite a bit like someone who ought to have some facts at his disposal instead just riffing on what he sees and pretending financial leaders always knew that would happen, then we are thinking along the same lines. It’s kind of like he opened his Christmas stocking expecting a chocolate orange, and instead pulled out a tomato. So he says there is nothing really surprising about that, and he half-expected a tomato. In fact, when you think about it, a tomato was nearly inevitable. As long as American industry submits to that kind of lackadaisical assessment – that whatever happens is what was foretold – it can continue to expect unpleasant surprises.

    US farmers are even worse off. But Trump – you remember, the guy who just makes stuff up if he can’t come upon a quote that someone actually said – told them they were all going to have to go out and buy bigger tractors, because China had crumbled and was going to buy ‘massive’ quantities of American agricultural products. Even more than before. Although China has not actually committed publicly to buying anything, and no deals have yet been signed. And even though China has had years to diversify its supply chains to more reliable producers, like America’s competitors Brazil and Argentina. Just sayin’.

    There’s good reason to believe, though, that much of the damage remains – to use naval parlance – below the waterline.

    The farmer bailouts have gone billions past the auto bailouts in the 2008 financial crisis…but Congress never approved a dime. The Trump administration created a direct tap from taxpayer funds through the Ministry of Agriculture to farmers, bypassing Congress, and according to studies from independent economists, farmers have been compensated by almost double their actual losses from the trade war with China. How long do you expect that to go on? Until American agricultural products are popular again?


    1. …double their actual losses from the trade war with China. How long do you expect that to go on? Until American agricultural products are popular again?

      No, just until November.

      The tariffs can produce a short term improvement to the bottom line but with a (delayed) adverse financial hit.

      For long lead-time items shipped by ocean, it is not unusual to have 6 months of inventory. So, a strategy (more of a bet) is to assume that the tariff will be lifted within 3-4 months. New orders, subject to the tariff, are cancelled or postponed. Meanwhile inventory, purchased before the tariff is sold off at a premium. If tariffs are not lifted after 3-4 months, then what was a financial windfall turns into a black hole (or a red hole). The inventory drawn down now results in lost business and the urgent need to replenish with high-cost new supplies thereby crushing cash flow and the need to expedite shipments at added costs. I suspect many business have suffered the above scenario.


      1. I should have noted that Trump was assuring businesses with the promise of a quick trade war victory thus encouraging the “bet” referred to above.


    2. Government handouts are expected to account for nearly a third of 2019 net farm income, according to the federal government and bank regulatory data.

      It was interesting that Trump was able to authorize $23 billion in subsidies yet it is congress that supposedly sets the budget. That is a lot of money to buy some votes. Trump seems to think that government money is free – just increase the national debt without a care in the world. Same thing for defense spending.

      Also, would not such subsidies violate international trade agreements regarding subsidized products on the international market? Or do trade wars represent an exception?


      1. Well, I suppose they do constitute a subsidy, in much the same way that not forcing shale drillers who declare bankruptcy to reserve sufficient of their funds to finance cleanup and mitigation of their abandoned wells is an indirect subsidy. Not a lot of explanation went into it, but it seems to be an apparatus the Ministry of Agriculture uses to send taxpayer funds directly to farmers as loss compensation, and it does not go through Congress. Now that it has been exposed, let’s see if anyone does anything about it. If so, Trump will; scream that he is trying to help the farmers but Congress is tying his hands.


        1. Auditors demand that companies maintain reserves for thing like warranty, tax obligations, etc. I never thought about a requirement for a cleanup reserve. but that makes huge sense.


  41. Well, well – the US Embassy in Baghdad urges all American citizens in Iraq to ‘leave immediately’, and not to approach the Embassy.

    I bet that will make Trump want to tweet a big ol’ American flag, ’cause it sure smells like another American victory, don’t it?

    Also, the threat of war drove the price of oil to a seven-month high (Moscow say Yay!!), while kicking the legs out from under Equities. Brent Crude jumped almost 3%.

    This puts the situation, vis-a-vis America and its Prosperous Western-Leaning Market Democracy In The Middle East, right where it was in 2018 when the USA officially ended combat operations. That’s after the USA maintaining a constant military presence there for 15 years – progress, innit?


  42. @ Et Al

    In the years I have posted on KS, I
    never once saw Karl fuck with you.
    I certainly never fucked with you
    in any way.
    But here you come with all your
    whining and bitch ass. bellyaching
    about trolls-with a nudge and a wink directed at me or Karl.
    You should concern yourself with
    the rabid Zionist cocksukkers and
    American neocon psychos who play
    with nuclear holocaust fire rather
    than people whose posts rub you the wrong way.
    When subject to being devoured by
    real warmonger fiends…you don’t need to invent new ones.
    OK… silly motherfucker


  43. «Эхо Москвы» терпит крушение благодаря своей русофобии

    “Echo of Moscow” is collapsing thanks to its Russophobia.

    Чмо! —Venediktov, who surely should now bugger off to Brighton beach or wherever, so as to be with his soul-sisters Gessen and Iofe.

    As of January 1, 2020, the [Echo of Moscow] radio station in Yaroslavl has stopped broadcasting. The reason is its lack of popularity in the region. And really, why should it be accepted, what with its endless provocations and denigration of Russia, its history and people?

    According to Lyudmila Shabueva, editor-in-chief, there are many reasons for the closure of the unit: “It is impossible not to mention that there are economic and organizational reasons. Either way, like it or not, Echo was a private radio station. The owners decided to change “Echo” to “Marusya” – and that’s their right” (“Marusya” – music radio).

    Throughout the country, “Echo” is rapidly losing its credibility and popularity because of its content, as its employees speculate on the present and past, spewing out their nonsense on air. What good is Venediktov, who in one recent talk, said that Hitler and Stalin were stamped of the same mould, as were Germany and Russia. Here is, for example, what the old pervert stated: “The whole world recognizes the responsibility of the Soviet government for unleashing the war … To have participated in the dismemberment [of Poland] certainly freed Hitler’s rear and strengthened his desire to go into the attack against other countries”. [He means the Nazi attacks against France, the Low Countries and Denmark]. What blasphemous nonsense! Venediktov’s colleagues are also well known for having such thoughts: Dmitry Bykov, Julia Latynina, Matvey Ganapolsky, etc.

    A gang of unscrupulous “liberals”, nothing less!

    This year has been a very busy one for “Echo-ites”: they have hyped and ironized together with Latynina over the blood of the dead sailors on a submarine, fabricated stories about Aeroflot cancelling flights, insulted [Duma] deputies, organized an attack on Simonyan in her editorial office, fabricated various “fakes”, openly called for riots in Moscow, and then accused the law enforcement agencies of provoking conflicts, etc. They have tried as much as they could to show Russia in a bad light and to dwell on our problems.

    What has the result of all this been? They have had their own shit thrown back into their faces and found themselves being slowly closed down. Great!

    And since this institution is not going to change its policy, we should expect the closure of other offices throughout the country.


  44. Interesting that Russia is, without doubt, fielding the most advanced weapons yet its defense budget is being reduced.

    The money freed from defense projects will apparently be used for building infrastructure and improving the well-being of the population. Ultimately, a strong and prosperous nation free from over dependence on other nations is the best defense. Anti-globalist, yes.

    Very subversive of Putin. Anyone seeking a reduction in US defense spending must be a Putin dupe if not an agent!



    These rocket attacks are small scale and likely from locals upset about the recent murder,

    Trump and Pompeo have promised that any attack which threatens Americans in Iraq will result in retaliation to Iran (something like that). So, what are they going to do now? A Nazi response would be to kill 100 civilians for each Nazi killed (as was the case in WW II Serbia).

    Now that I think about it, the US has beat that ratio although not in such a tit for tat manner; about 1 million pre and post invasions Iraqis versus about 5,000 US soldiers deaths – about 200 to 1. Foregoing per various Wikipedia sources.


  46. Ring in the New Year at the Russian border with the Liberty Bell!

    We’re dong this for you, you dumb Russians, who do not know what freedom means!


    1. The bravery! The heroism under fire! There were like rocks! America’s finest warriors! Let the ether resound with their exploits! Their story retold for millennia! Tyrants tremble!


  47. “Hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets of Tehran and cities across Iran on Friday in mourning and protest over the slaying of Soleimani, who was seen as an icon of Iranian nationalism and resistance to US imperialism’s decades-long attacks on the country.

    In Iraq, the US drone strike has been roundly condemned as a violation of the country’s sovereignty and international law. Its victims included not only Soleimani, but also Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the 100,000-strong coalition of Shia militias that is considered part of the country’s armed forces.

    This response makes a mockery of the ignorant and thuggish statements of Trump and his advisors. The US president, speaking from his vacation resort of Mar-a-Lago in Florida, boasted of having “killed the number one terrorist anywhere in the world.” He went on to claim that “Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.”

    Trump charged that the Iranian general “has been perpetrating acts of terror to destabilize the Middle East for the last 20 years.” He declared, “What the United States did yesterday should have been done long ago. A lot of lives would have been saved.”

    Who does the US president think he is fooling with his Mafia rhetoric? The last 20 years have seen the Middle East devastated by a series of US imperialist interventions. The illegal 2003 US invasion of Iraq, based on lies about “weapons of mass destruction,” claimed the lives of over a million people, while decimating what had been the among the most advanced societies in the Arab world. Together with Washington’s eighteen-year-long war in Afghanistan and the regime-change wars launched in Libya and Syria, US imperialism has unleashed a regionwide crisis that has killed millions and forced tens of millions to flee their homes.

    Soleimani, whom Trump accused of having “made the death of innocent people his sick passion”—an apt self-description—rose to the leadership of the Iranian military during the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq war, which claimed the lives of some one million Iranians.”


  48. WTF….I don’t see this being covered by American MSM.

    “Once again, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and other major population centres will be blanketed in smoke and endure “hazardous” air quality. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) issued an alarmed warning yesterday. It stated: “The length and density of smoke exposure is a new and possibly fatal health risk that many people within our community have not previously had to face.” Chris Moy from the AMA told the Guardian: “There are people who are going to probably die from these conditions.”

    Nationally, the 2019–2020 fires have so far caused 24 known deaths and destroyed over 1,500 homes. Hundreds of farm buildings and other structures have been lost. Agriculture and stock losses are enormous. Over six million hectares have burnt out and scientists estimate that 500 million native animals and birds are likely to have been killed. And this is before the hottest summer months and the historically worst period of the fire season.”

    “Climate change and its consequences are, in fact, a global emergency: a reality now well understood by hundreds of millions of workers and young people around the world. It demands a global response that ends the subordination of every aspect of economic and social life to the accumulation of private profit for a capitalist minority.

    The fire catastrophe in Australia should further motivate the fight to develop an international and independent movement of the working class, unified across national borders and with the perspective of forming workers’ governments that will implement the most far-reaching socialist policies.”



    If the linked information is valid, Trump’s letter to Iran after the murder offered several deals in exchange for no retaliation:
    – a US four star general (wow! take one for the team)
    – lifting or reduction in sanctions.
    If there is truth in the above. why did Trump order the attack? Or, is he trying to salvage a situation created by unauthorized action by others (I won’t call them “rogue” as Trump is the rouge element). All speculation at this point.

    It is a fact that a letter was sent which is in itself odd. It was highly doubtful to deliver further threats. So the claim that it was sent to ask Iran not to retaliate is credible. Offering up a US general seems like a stretch.


    1. There is no deal to be done. t-Rump is incapable of keeping to one by himself, let alone guaranteeing anyone below him or after him will.

      This is playing his game at avoiding a war in an election year. Day one after re-election, guess what?

      The only thing that makes any sense is for i-Ran to work to its own timetable.

      They neither have to produce a ‘spectacular’ such as blowing up lots of civilians. It’s also deeply unimaginative and down right wrong. Why return to the predictable past when they have so manh other tools at their disposal.

      Death by a thousand cuts and all round pressure. Goal no.1 is to get the US out of i-Rack. I would guess increasing the pain on its allies who publicly complain about the US but privately go along with whatever Washington wants would be Goal no.2. The idea is to increase the all around costs on western behavior.

      It’s also about time Tehran upped its unranium enrichment limit (it does have a timetable on this). It’s not as if u-Rope’s financial exchange mechanizm to circumvent US sanctions has had any effect. It is China, India and others who have i-Ran’s back on critical oil sales.

      Anyways, now that I’ve read the MoA piece after posting the above, I very much agree with ‘b’. Them Persians ain’t no dummies and I also suspect they will surprise us all. I don’t know how much good it would do them if the US or i-Srael feels like lobbing a few tactical nuclear weapons their way but that is waaay beyond their usual can casual Shit The Bed strategy of when they can’t win. Dying empires are far more dangerous than healthy ones, though that shouldn’t be an excuse for inaction.


      1. Iran now has control of escalation. They pick the place, time and action. Agreed that it would be a strategic defeat for the West if Iraq demands the removal of US forces. The US east Syria adventure ends and there is an unbroken land route from the Mediterranean to Tehran. It would seem to be a stunning turnaround for Iran if this comes to pass.

        But, the US will spread a lot of money around to buy off whomever they can. Its 50/50 in my uninformed opinion.


      2. Trump alleged offer a US 4-star general to compensate for the murder of Soleimani reminds me of an old joke. The (updated) punchline – The Iranians say “that would make you two up on us”.


        1. I am sure Trump never offered Iran that it could kill an American officer of equal stature – that, of course, would bring another American escalation. It’s just Trump’s attempt to keep retaliation to a personal level rather than a national level, like in family feudin’ between the Hatfields and McCoys. Iran will do well to think it over very carefully; it was covered quite well in my local paper, which was actually just a reprint of AP’s coverage; Iran might strike anywhere and at any time, and every day delayed is another day widely-flung US forces had to remain at high alert and take extra precautions to ensure their safety. The US says it has identified potential targets and is prepared, but every day nothing happens suggests they might have been wrong, and the blow might fall somewhere else. Adding an extra layer of security costs time and money, and freedom of operations. The USA prides itself on going anywhere it wants to go, but sheer common sense will tell it not to take silly risks and send unprotected assets under Iran’s guns just for fun. Well, everyone but Lindsey Graham the tough-talkin’ poofter, of course – notice that he taunts Iran that if it wants more, it can have it. If it were me, I’d be studying Graham’s projected travel schedule very carefully. But this will have to be a fairly dramatic operation; something like when Motorola was blown up in an elevator in Donbas. Something nobody would think of as a liability, and suddenly all four walls blow inward, or the car whizzes toward the ground floor out of control with the button having no effect. Wouldn’t that be fun? Anything is possible if you have money. If I were Iran, I’d put some good minds on whacking Graham, in a suitably gruesome and public manner which would cause widespread horror; Hello, Lindsey….going down?

          It’s time for some new rules. This has long been an unregulated environment, but no more; I am tired of feeling like I am on a city bus surrounded by schoolboys. Accordingly, I am going to start policing it. Language has slowly grown to an issue. I was always okay with occasional profanity, and ‘fuck’ is a useful word as long as it is not over-used; it is a very flexible modifier, and sometimes nothing else will do. But the word ‘cunt’ is gone and I do not want to see it used again; if I do, I will remove it. In this country it is a derogatory term for the female vagina, and I don’t care if it means a silly person or a pill bottle or a reciprocating steam-drill in another country. No more sliding it in by dropping one letter, either. Just no more. Expand your vocabulary. If you mean a stupid jerk, say that. A lot of people don’t like that word, and wince when they see it, so it isn’t just me. I’m aware the British use it a lot, but I have never heard a British woman use it and must assume they find it as offensive as I do. Similarly, the stream of filth we have experienced over the last couple of days must also stop. It is perfectly all right to disagree with other posters and point out a perception, if you have one, that you are being treated unfairly, but ‘motherfuck you’, ‘you cocksucking faggot’ and other utterly uncalled-for pejoratives are unacceptable and will be removed. If I see that and I am too tired or otherwise unmoved to pick through the garbage and just take out the offending language, I’ll just take the whole post, along with any replies – we’ve been through this before, and Matt caused chaos because other posters simply would not be told to not respond to his taunts. If what he said was not removed immediately (like doesn’t happen when I am sleeping), it could be relied upon to garner two or three angry replies, all of which had to run down and deleted as well, or else there were apparently-unprovoked comments hanging out there in the ether. If it starts to get to be too much work, I’ll just take a vacation from blogging until I feel better about it, or perhaps just start all over again.

          Govern yourselves accordingly, as an old high-school teacher of mine used to say.


          1. Others suggest that the retribution will only be in the Middle East as an attack in the US would force a major escalatory response. Also, putting Graham down, while a blessing to the US, would likewise force a major escalation.

            I wonder if Yemen could be the channel for retaliation via taking out Saudi oil production or major attacks on US forces in Iraq. What could the US do with even a fig leaf of justification?

            The best scenario would be for Iraq to demand a US military withdrawal. It would save lives on all sides. That would be a major victory for Iran and sufficient from a strategic view but it would not meet the need for revenge. It will be messy and I hope no innocents of any nation will be victims


            1. The most delicious thing about whacking Graham would be that he’s so easy to loathe – a sanctimonious puffed-up prick who is always bobbing and weaving and shadow-boxing like Mr. Tough Guy, as if he’d been fighting since he could toddle. If you put a bag over his head, he couldn’t fight for air. Maybe not an elevator squash, then. But there are lots of other ways. As I have often maintained, there is absolutely no need fr the Russians to assassinate people using exotic nerve poisons which amateur sleuths track to Russia without even having to open a new browser window. They just need to run him down with a car, and screech away. Plausible deniability up the wazoo. In Iran’s case, send flowers almost before anyone knows he’s dead, full of patently false sympathy – he was such a man; so brave, so generous, a real mensch – Iran will miss him horribly. Ha, ha.

              Badda-bing, badda boom. He has sort of made himself the face of this crisis.

              You’re totally right, though, that the noble and non-bloody revenge would be the driving -out of the USA from the region, starting with their monster Embassy in Baghdad. I understand the Iraqi parliament is considering a resolution to require the Americans to leave, and Washington may not be able to avert it. What will they do then – refuse to go?

              The conclusion holds that few actually expect the Iraqi government to ask the Americans to leave, but it sounds like whistling past the graveyard to me. Funniest moment, I guess, was Ryan Crocker posing rhetorically, “After all we’ve done for them!”


  50. shITV Nudes: Royal Navy to escort ships through Strait of Hormuz amid heightened US-Iran tensions

    …Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said he had instructed the HMS Montrose frigate and the HMS Defender destroyer to return to the key oil passage imminently, adding: “The Government will take all necessary steps to protect our ships and citizens at this time.”

    He continued to urge “all parties” to de-escalate the situation, but appeared to give some backing to the US for the first time as he announced the shipping plan.


    This is how Great Britain supports ‘de-escalation’. Say one thing, do the opposite. Have not doubt that the UK will jump when it is ordered to do so. This is the west’s ‘International law’ i.e. whatever they say it is.

    As we all know, the Gulf is still British territory and must be protected from itself and those folks who don’t understand British Advanced Democracy (BAD). “Picaninnies” I think PM Doris Johnson call them, or was that just Africans he was talking about and not Arabs? I’m not sure he cares for the difference.

    Still, it is of great importance for UK PM’s to be ‘Blooded’, i.e. have a war – code for sending other peoples sons and daughters to die in far away places whilst their own remain nicely protected! A week or so earlier and t-Rump could have had i-Ranian for Christmas rather than Turkey!


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