The United States of Amnesia, and Its Incredible Asbestos Pants

Uncle Volodya says, You must remember, my dear lady, the most important rule of any successful illusion: First, the people must want to believe in it”.”

Liar, liar, pants on fire…

Chidren’s rhyme

In an era of stress and anxiety, when the present seems unstable and the future unlikely, the natural response is to retreat and withdraw from reality, taking recourse either in fantasies of the future or in modified visions of a half-imagined past.

Alan Moore, from “Watchmen”

Unless you were catatonic this past couple of weeks, dead drunk from Sunday to Saturday, suffered a debilitating brain injury or were living in Bognor Regis where the internet cannot reach, you heard about the west slapping a four-year Olympic ban on Russia. Because it could, it did. And not really for any other reason, despite the indignation and manufactured outrage. It’s a pity – now that I come to think on it – that you can’t use outrage to power a vehicle, fill a sandwich or knit into socks: because the west has a bottomless supply, and it’s just about as renewable a resource as you could envision.

As I have reiterated elsewhere and often, the United States of America is the cheatingest nation on the planet where professional sports is concerned, because winning matters to Americans like nowhere else. Successful Olympic medal-winners and iconic sports figures in the USA are feted like victorious battlefield generals, because the sports arena is just another battlefield to the United States, and there’s no it’s-not-whether-you-win-or-lose-it’s-how-you-play-the-game in wartime. Successful American sports figures foster an appreciation of American culture and lifestyle, and promote an image of America as a purposeful and powerful nation. Successful sports figures anywhere, really; not so very long ago Olympic gold medalists were merely given an appreciative parade by a grateful nation, and featured in lucrative advertising contracts if they were photogenic. More recently, some nations have simply paid athletes by the medal for winning. This includes most nations, with the notable exceptions of the UK, Norway and Sweden. So the pressure is on to win, win, win, by whatever means are necessary.

Since Russia is in second place only to Germany for all-time medal rankings in the Olympics, and since Russia eventually made it back up to Public Enemy Number One in the USA – after a brief hiatus during which it looked like a combination of Boris Yeltsyn and teams of Harvard economists were going to make a respectful pauper of it while it became a paradise for international investors – the USA spares no effort to beat Russia at everything. On occasions where it is not particularly successful, as it was not in the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi, it has turned to other methods – screaming that the Russians are all dopers who benefit from a state-sponsored doping scheme, and implementing bans to prevent as many Russian athletes as possible from competing.

And that’s my principal objection. In media matters in the world of sports, just as in other political venues, the USA relies on a combination of lying and relentless repetition to drive its points home. Thus it is that the English-speaking world still believes Russia was convicted of having had a state-sponsored doping plan, found guilty and justly sentenced upon the discovery of mountains of evidence, its accusers vindicated and its dissident whistleblowers heroes to a grateful world. Huzzah!!

Examples abound – here’s a random one from the BBC:

“Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme for four years across the “vast majority” of summer and winter Olympic sports, claims a new report.

It was “planned and operated” from late 2011 – including the build-up to London 2012 – and continued through the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics until August 2015.”

The BBC is Britain’s state-funded broadcaster, financed by the British government, and the British government is second only to the United States in its virulent hatred of Russia and Russians. But that was back then, when the ‘doping scheme’ was newly ‘discovered’, and all the western reporters and government figures were nearly wetting their pants with excitement. What about now?

Essentially, nothing has changed. TIME Magazine:

“It’s the latest twist in a long-running saga of investigations into widespread, state-sponsored doping by the Kremlin.”

My soul, if it isn’t the USA’s star witness, Doctor Grigory Rodchenkov, in AFP;

“Doped athletes do not work alone. There are medical doctors, coaches and managers who provided substances, advised and protected them. In Russia’s state-sponsored doping scheme, there is also a state-sponsored defense of many cheaters including state officials, witnesses and apparatchiks who are lying under oath and have falsified evidence. These individuals are clearly criminals,” he said.

More about him later; for now, suffice it to say the western media still finds him a credible and compelling witness.

The Canadian Globe & Mail:

“In 2016, independent investigations confirmed that Russian officials had run a massive state‑sponsored doping system during the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi, which fed illicit performance-enhancing drugs to hundreds of athletes and took outlandish measures to pervert national drug-testing mechanisms.

The evidence was incontrovertible.”

I was going to go on, listing examples in the popular press from around the world, published since the latest ban was announced, all claiming investigation had proved the Russians had a massive state-sponsored doping scheme in place which let them cheat their way to the podium. But I think you get the picture, and that last lead-in was my cue; it was just too good to pass up.

Independent investigations confirmed. The evidence was incontrovertible.

Well, let’s take a look at that. Incontrovertible evidence ought to be able to withstand a bit of prying, what? When the evidence of something being so is both massive and incontrovertible, beyond question and the result of proof beyond a doubt, then that thing IS. Therefore, the western press is proceeding on the assumption that western investigations proved the Russians had a doping program in which all or most Russian athletes took prohibited performance-enhancing drugs, at the instruction of sports-organization officials, who were in turn directed by state officials to use such methods to permit Russian athletes to win where they would otherwise likely not have been capable of a winning performance. And there were such allegations by western figures and officials, together with assurances that there was so much evidence that…well, frankly, it was embarrassing. But the western media and western sports organizations and officials apparently do not understand what ‘evidence’ is.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), established in 1984 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and headquartered at Lausanne, Switzerland, is recognized by all Olympic international organizations as the highest authority for sports-related legal issues. An Investigative Commission consisting of Dr. Richard McLaren (Chair), Dick Pound and Gunter Younger was appointed to look into allegations of widespread and state-supported doping of athletes of the Russian Olympic team for the 2016 Winter Olympics at Sochi, Russia. The Commission’s star witness was Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, former head of the Moscow laboratory. According to what became known as the McLaren Report, more than 1000 Russian athletes across 30 sports were involved in or benefited from “an institutional conspiracy” of doping. The Investigative Commission settled on sanctioning 35 Olympic athletes with Anti-Doping Rules Violations (ARDV), and they were banned from further international sports competitions; those who had won medals had them confiscated. Nearly all the sanctioned athletes appealed their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Sorry to keep hopping back and forth, but I’m trying to stay with two major themes at the same time for the moment – the accusations against the Russian Olympic athletes, which were entirely based on the revelations of the ‘doping mastermind’, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, and Dr. Rodchenkov himself. Western organizations and media were bowled over by the affable Rodchenkov, and eager to accept his jaw-dropping revelations about widespread doping in Russian sport. Sites specializing in sports doping with steroids feted him as the brilliant mind behind not only doping Russian athletes, but devising a test for common steroids which increased their detection window from only days to in excess of months. This enabled the retesting of previously-stored samples from international athletes which had already passed as clean. I suspect not a lot of followers of the Russian doping scandal are aware of that, and any such results should be viewed with the utmost suspicion in light of what a colossal fraud he turned out to be. I’d like you to just keep that in mind as we go further. Dr. Rodchenkov also claimed to be behind the brilliant – everything he does is brilliant – formulation of the now-notorious and, at the time of its alleged widespread use, top-secret “Duchess Cocktail”, a steroid-stacker mixed with alcohol which made the presence of the steroids undetectable. Remember that word; undetectable, because we’ll come back to it. Additionally, please keep in mind that Dr. Rodchenkov’s unique testing method was the one used to re-test stored samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics.

So, back to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. 39 Russian athletes who had been accused of doping in the McLaren Report appealed their sentences of lifetime Olympic bans and forfeiture of medals won.

Of those 39 appeals, 28 of the appeals were completely upheld, the judgments against the athletes reversed, and any medals forfeited were reinstated. A further 11 appeals were partially upheld, but the lifetime bans were reduced to have effect only for the upcoming Olympic Games at Peyongchang, Korea. That makes 39 of 39. Not a single athlete accused was found to have participated in a state-sponsored doping program administered by Russian sports officials acting under orders of the Russian government. The appeals of a further 3 Russian athletes were not heard by the date of release of the statement, and were stayed until a later date.

It is important to note, and was specifically addressed in the release, that the CAS did not examine the matter of whether there was or was not a state-sponsored or controlled doping program; that was not within the Court’s mandate. So for evidence of evidence, I guess you might say, and for an overall feel for the credibility of the witness whose revelations underpinned the entirety of the McLaren Report, we turn to Dr. Rodchenkov’s testimony before the CAS.

As we examine his performance on that occasion, I’d like to point out that this likely represents the first time Rodchenkov was cross-examined by and on behalf of individuals who were not necessarily delighted to believe everything he said without questioning it further, as the McLaren Commission apparently was. Because his story fell apart, often in ways that would have been amusing in anything other than the serious setting which prevailed. That’s Rodchenkov in the balaclava, which his handlers evidently thought necessary to conceal his appearance. Perhaps he’s had extensive cosmetic surgery, because his face was all over the news before that – he is in the US Witness Protection Program, after all. In my opinion, it only lent to the overall sense of unreality, but to each his own. I’ll also be jumping back and forth between what Rodchenkov or his backers confidently claimed prior to the hearing, and during testimony, when I think it is important to highlight manifest…umm…inconsistencies. Ready? Let’s do it.

Pre-CAS hearing: “The latest WADA report suggests that Rodchenkov helped as many as 1,000 Russian athletes get away with doping. Hundreds of those athletes were able to get away with the use of the “Duchess steroid cocktail” while avoiding detection.”

During testimony and under questioning by counsel for the defendants, Rodchenkov admitted (a) that he had never personally distributed the ‘Duchess cocktail’ to any Russian athlete, (b) that he had never personally seen any Russian athlete take the mixture known as the Duchess cocktail, (c) that he had never personally witnessed any Russian athlete being directed by a coach to take the Duchess cocktail, or any coach being directed by any Russian state official to distribute it to his athletes, and (d) that he had never personally seen any Russian athlete tamper with a doping sample.

Forgive me if I jump to the conclusion that the foregoing rules out a state-sponsored doping program insofar as it was ever witnessed by the McLaren Report’s star and principal witness; McLaren did not interview any other Russian officials, he claimed he didn’t have time.

But it gets better. Or worse, if you are Rodchenkov, or one of those who gleefully relied on his testimony to put those filthy Russians away forever.

Pre-CAS hearing: “In 2016, independent investigations confirmed that Russian officials had run a massive state‑sponsored doping system during the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi, which fed illicit performance-enhancing drugs to hundreds of athletes and took outlandish measures to pervert national drug-testing mechanisms…The evidence was incontrovertible.”

When examined on his statements that he had swapped samples of positive-test athletes urine after 1:00 AM, passing them through a ‘mousehole’ in the laboratory wall to FSB agents outside and exchanging them for clean samples, in light of the fact that his meticulously-maintained daily diary recorded him as being at home in bed by midnight, he claimed he had lied in his diary. What a clever intelligence asset, to have anticipated questioning years in advance, and added an extra layer of obfuscation! It was not specifically addressed in testimony to my knowledge, but I would like to highlight here that Dr. Rodchenkov was allegedly alone at the lab at these alleged times – except, of course, for the secret agents waiting outside the mousehole – and could have driven a gurney with a squeaky wheel loaded with conspiratorial piss samples out into the parking lot, and loaded it into the trunk of his car with nobody the wiser: why all the John le Carré espionagery through the wall? Comes to that, why would you contaminate a sample with salt, coffee granules and hilarious incompetence like accidentally getting male DNA in female samples, when the doping compound only you knew was in the samples was undetectable by anyone else, because you had specifically engineered it that way?

McLaren claimed in his report that he had seen a method demonstrated, which he presumed was the method used by the FSB to open the sealed sample bottles and replace the sample inside with clean urine. He further claimed that scratches found on the glass bottles were proof of tampering. Other analysts suggested the scratches were probably made when the sample bottle was sealed in accordance with the instructions for its proper use, and the manufacturer claimed the bottle had never successfully been opened, once sealed, without breaking the cap, which is by design an indication of potential tampering. The alleged secret method of successfully doing it was never demonstrated by McLaren or any of his operatives for independent verification. For Rodchenkov’s part, he claimed it had been done by ‘magicians’, and offered no clue as to the alleged method, and it seems clear to me that McLaren simply proceeded with Rodchenkov’s hearsay assurances that it had been accomplished.

The controversial and pivotal claim by McLaren that Russian Minister for Sport Vitaly Mutko, “directed, controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athlete’s [sic] analytical results or sample swapping” was not supported by anything other than Rodchenkov’s diary. You remember – the one he admitted to having embellished with lies so that stories he told years later would make sense. This is absolutely critical, because the claim to have proven the existence of a state-sponsored doping program rests only on this – Rodchenkov has admitted he never personally saw any Russian state official give orders to coaches or athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs. McLaren’s bombshell allegation appears to have been extracted from the diary of a proven and admitted liar, and is supported by no other evidence. Yet the western press still maintains there was a Russian state-sponsored doping program, administered with the knowledge and facilitation of the state government, and that this was proven. Rodchenkov is still accorded the respect of a credible witness. Rodchenkov is still speaking authoritatively about the nature of cheating, and – astoundingly – describing those who have lied under oath and falsified evidence as criminals, just as if he had not done both himself. It is as if the CAS hearings which exonerated the majority of the accused Russian athletes, and sharply reduced the punishments of the rest, had never happened. For all the mainstream media coverage the event received, it might not have.

Before the CAS hearing, WADA and the IOC regularly dangled reinstatement of the Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA) in exchange for the Russian government openly and completely accepting the conclusions of the McLaren Report, officially admitting to having cheated on a massive scale and with the full knowledge and support of serving government officials. It never did. The Russian state acknowledged it has a doping problem, and it has – some athletes were found guilty of having taken banned substances, and there are a few every Olympic competition. But Moscow has never accepted the conclusions of the McLaren Report. And after the CAS Appeals decision, RUSADA was reinstated anyway.

Which brings us to here; now. The entire focus of the McLaren Report and the bullying by the IOC was directed toward making Russia admit it was guilty of organized doping, with the drive for momentum seeking a ban on further competition. Since it never did, the alternative was to prove it without an admission, so that no doubt existed. Exonerating the few athletes ever charged among the thousand or so said to be guilty looks like a hell of a funny way of doing that. The McLaren Team’s star and main witness fell apart on the stand and admitted he had either lied about everything or simply made it up. There is no reason at all – outside stubborn western prejudice – to imagine Russian athletes are doping any more than any other national teams.

But then, hackers – Russians, of course, it goes without saying – calling themselves “Fancy Bear” and “Cozy Bear” (hint to Russians, do not call yourself “anything Bear” – the Bear is synonymous with Russia. Call yourself “Elon Tesla” or “Mo Money”) began to publish stolen medical data revealing the scope of western athletes who had been granted permission to use banned performance-enhancing drugs by their Olympic Associations, for perceived medical reasons, through the TUE – the Therapeutic Use Exemption. The western sports industry was outraged – that information was private, God damn it – and it was just grotesque that the cheating Russians would have the gall to allege western athletes were cheaters. But after it had time to calm down, and after some revelations proved hard to defend, the industry had to grudgingly admit the TUE was a problem.

Iconic American cyclist Lance Armstrong doped for years, but was revered by an entire generation of American kids and sports fans as the finest example of a stoic and selfless sportsman the human race could provide. Teammates and his sports doctor helped him avoid tests, and in one instance he dropped out of a race after receiving a text message from a teammate that testers were waiting for him. When he actually tested positive for corticosteroid use in the 1999 Tour de France, his doctors claimed he had received the steroid in a cream used to treat a saddle sore, and a back-dated prescription was provided.

Retroactive TUE’s sound phony right out of the gate, and consequently their use is supposed to be very rare, since the immediate perception is that the exemption was issued to protect the athlete from the fallout of a positive test; what could be simpler? Just issue them a prescription to take a banned substance, because they really, really needed it. Most of the TUE’s issued to tennis world champion Serena Williams were retroactive, in some cases going back two weeks or more. A TUE issued during a period that an athlete has withdrawn from competition sounds understandable, because they cannot be using it to enhance their career or win medals. A retroactive TUE issued during competition that allows an athlete to use a stimulant which increases drive, or a painkiller which lets them power through without the limb failing, is hard to see as anything other than a cheat issued to protect a national sports asset.

TUE’s are the vehicle of choice in professional cycling, with both British cyclists who won the Tour de France – Scott Froome and Bradley Wiggins – revealed to have secured TUE’s allowing them to take steroids during the competitions. They claimed to be suffering from ‘sport-induced asthma’, which is apparently a documented condition when you try to make your body process air faster or more efficiently than it is capable of handling. USADA head Travis Tygart, who is withering in his contempt of and hatred for Russia, loses no opportunity to defend the integrity of American athletes who are allowed to dope because they have a form that says they need to. I find it hard to believe Russian athletes who secured a TUE allowing them to take a performance-enhancer during competition would meet with such hearty approval from him. It’s because Americans are inherently honest and are genetically incapable of cheating, while Russians are just natural-born cheats.

American gymnastics champion Simone Biles quickly became the national face of ADHD by proactively defending her need for a banned substance. Tygart and American Olympics officials were maudlin in her defense, like everyone is just picking on a little girl and trying to rob her of hard-earned success. What effect does her permitted drug have? It permits an enhanced level of concentration and focus, so that no energy is lost to distractions such a a shouting crowd, bright colours and rapid movements, and she sees nothing but the target of her efforts. Is that helpful? What do you think?

The jury seems to be out on whether corticosteroids would help Biles focus on her routines, although there seems to be a fairly well-established body of evidence that these are not anabolic steroids, and do not increase muscle mass – that’s all her. But the zeal with which WADA went after meldonium – just because, apparently, eastern-European athletes used it extensively, although it has never been demonstrated to enhance performance – speaks volumes about the western bias in favour of therapeutic use of drugs by the Good Guys. They’re just looking after their health. Russians are cheating. How did WADA find out about meldonium? I’m glad you asked – USADA received a ‘confidential tip’ that east-European athletes were using it to enhance performance. Despite expert advice that there is no evidence at all that it enhances performance, WADA banned it. Because, you know, east-European athletes might think it helps them, and if they think that, then it is.

Just like Simone Biles and her TUE. But that’s not only allowed, she’s a hero for being so open about her ADHD.

In the USA, cheating seems to be focused on Track and Field, because that’s where the USA wins a lot of its medals. Hence the effort to minimize the Russian participation, and thus cut down the opposition.

“The United States in fact has a lengthy history of doping at the Olympic Games and other international events, and of turning a blind eye to its own cheating. That’s especially true in track and field, the front porch of the U.S. Olympic program because of track’s ability to drive American medal supremacy.

Nike’s track-and-field training program, for example, has been dogged by doping allegations since at least the 1970s, when its top officials were allegedly aware that athletes used steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. Since the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games, every single U.S. Summer Olympic team has included at least one sprinter who either had previously failed a drug test or would later do so. And that’s to say nothing of athletes in the other disciplines.

American drug cheats include some of the country’s most notable Olympians. Carl Lewis admitted in 2003 that he had failed three drug tests prior to the 1988 Seoul Olympics, but avoided a ban with the help of the U.S. Olympic Committee and won two golds and a silver instead. Justin Gatlin won the 100-meter dash at the 2004 Athens Games before later failing a drug test. Tyson Gay, the world’s fastest man entering the 2008 Beijing Games, later failed a drug test too. Gay and Gatlin nevertheless formed half of the American men’s 4×100 relay team in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

American athletes routinely fail drug tests, but are waved ahead to compete anyway. Eighty-four American Olympians failed drug tests in the year prior to the 1984 Los Angeles Games but went on to compete anyway, according to author Mark Johnson. Carl Lewis claimed that “hundreds” of Americans failed tests while remaining eligible to compete, with the assistance of the U.S. Olympic Committee, in Seoul. The USOC faced allegations ahead the 2000 Sydney Games that it had withheld information on 15 positive tests from international officials; by 2003, it had been accused of covering up at least 114 positives between 1988 and 2000.”

Curiously, the latest Russia ban is attributed to allegations that Russia fiddled with the athletes database it provided to WADA, covering up positive drug tests. But it appears the United States has a well-known history of fudging and obscuring positive drug-test results, refusing to reveal them to regulatory bodies, and pushing its doper athletes into international competition. Yet the United States has a loudly self-awarded reputation as the Defender Of Clean Sport.

Russia’s position is that the ubiquitous Grigory Rodchenkov – a proven and self-confessed liar, remember, who claimed to have lied in his diary where he was supposedly only talking to himself – modified the database from abroad, after he fled to the United States and made such a Godsend of himself in America’s drive to move up the medal rankings. He apparently retained administrator rights on the database, which was accessible online, even after fleeing from Russia. His lawyer’s defense, curiously, is that he did not and, significantly, ‘could not’ access the database. To me, that sounds like he’s going out a little bit on a limb – all the Russian side needs to do is prove that he could have to discredit Rodchenkov’s story. It looks like it is headed back to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the spring – the same venue which exonerated the Russian athletes after Rodchenkov’s previous epic thundering-in on full afterburner. Will it happen again? We’ll see. Until then the western press appears not to have noticed that Rodchenov lied his charming face off last time. And still is, through his shyster lawyer – “If WADA or any other agency needs Grigory to testify, Grigory will uphold his promise to co-operate fully to help atone for his role,” Walden said. You know – the role he admitted he never played, in that he never saw any Russian athlete take the Duchess Cocktail he claimed to have devised to make doping undetectable, never heard any Russian sports official order his players to take it, and in fact could not remember exactly what was in it.

Stay tuned – this should be interesting. Count on the Americans to press to the end for a full and lasting ban, probably for life.









1,156 thoughts on “The United States of Amnesia, and Its Incredible Asbestos Pants

      1. Fenella Woolgar:

        Jamison Firestone:

        Yup, can see the likeness in the way one can see the likeness between Vulcans and Romulans in the Star Trek universe.


  1. Like

  2. Vis rentier economies of mature democracies/right to repair comment posted earlier:

    Motherboard: Farmers Are Buying 40-Year-Old Tractors Because They’re Actually Repairable


    Surely there is an opening here for other manufacturers, such as Belarus.

    From 2011:



      1. Speaking of retro, you never forget the first time you see an orthodox priest (or two) riding an ancient vespa up a mountainside.


    1. I read that the Iranians don’t trust Boeing, for some reason.
      Something to do with Boeing’s possible liability in a lawsuit?
      And that they might tamper with the box to avoid liability, if it turned out to be an engine flaw?
      Or some such nonsense.
      I would trust Boeing, they have an honest face.


  3. На Украине рассказали о последствиях запуска «Турецкого потока»

    The Ukraine has spoken about the consequences of the launch of “Turkish stream”
    January 9, 2020: 10:52

    Because of the launch of “Turkish stream”, Russian gas transit through the Ukraine in 2020 will be reduced by 15 billion cubic metres. This has been announced by the Executive Director of the company “Ukraine Gas Transportation System Operator”, Sergey Makogon.

    He expressed regret that they had failed to stop the project..

    Yeah, too bad, Sergey: I feel for you!

    Today, with great pretentiousness, Turkish Stream was launched. The project has no economic sense, but has a great political part to play.

    Unfortunately, we were not able to prevent it. We have already felt its influence. From 1/1/2020, the transit of gas through the Ukraine to the Balkans is now carried out only for the needs of Romania and Moldova. Bulgaria, Turkey and other countries in this region no longer receive gas via the Ukraine. As a result, the decrease in transit through the Ukraine this year will amount to about 15 billion cubic metres.

    But we are looking for new opportunities to use the existing infrastructure (Trans-Balkan pipeline) and have achieved the creation of a new corridor based on this for gas supplies to the Ukraine from Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece with a volume of up to 15.8 million cubic metres per day. We expect test deliveries in January.


    1. I love how they maintain that no project makes any economic sense unless it is of economic benefit to Ukraine. As if they actually can’t see what shitty partners they are, willing to turn this off or turn that on at America’s orders and fuck transit up so that prices go haywire and uncertainty blossoms, all to please a country which has no direct connection to Russia or Ukraine and gets none of its gas from Russia. But of course putting up with those conditions and whims would make economic sense.

      Russia might use that corridor – you never know. Now it has options, though, and doesn’t have to. Oddly enough, I never hear Ukraine’s other erstwhile transit partners bitching how little economic sense Turkish Stream makes, and how they preferred to get their gas through Ukraine.

      Never mind; I’m sure the EU will want to use Ukraine’s GTS once Russia is finished with it, and will probably want to shunt gas around Ukraine all day long. For big transit money, it goes without saying, Geroyim Slava.


      1. The irony being of course that Kiev literally has thrown away over 200 billion Dollars ( at least) in exports to Russia, investment from Russia, tourism from Russia and joint projects with Russia – entirely for political reasons at the expense of any economic reasoning. That is before we get talking about “reverse-gas” from Europe, buying more expensive coal from America and so forth.

        Amazed that the political culture is so low in Ukraine that people can get away talking and thinking nonsense like that.

        Still, I hear somewhere that even taking into account that much of it is becoming dilapidated – the full capacity of Ukraine’s gas transit system is about 170 billion cubic metres per annum. For the last 7 or 8 years it has been running at 90-100 bi.cubic metres per annum. In one years time that will be 45 billion, though it could go higher as that is the minimum. Though I sympathise with plenty of Karl’s points on this topic, this is still more of a catastrophe for Ukraine than Russia – 1,2,3,4 billion dollars is loose change for Russia and nothing for America – for Ukropia it is a significant percentage of their GDP.

        A country with such a nondescript/imaginary statehood, the Stockholm Arbitration Court decision, literally, has been treated as some sort of evidence of Ukrainian statehood (LOL) or pivotal moment in it, like raising the flag over the Reichstag or the Battle of Hastings or the War of Independence. Incredibly pathetic, but the the net result being that the Kiev lunatics have prioritised being able to get fulfillment of this decision ( something to give to the sheep) over actually negotiating a much better deal of say, 70-90 billion cu.metres per year if they agreed to discount the Stockholm Court decision, which would easily exceed the 2.9 billion they have been awarded in the Stockholm Court!

        Then they could have negotiated deals of (significantly cheaper) Russia Gas to Ukraine instead of this budget draining “reverse-gas” – that is another few billion!


  4. Just saw this piece , which confirms some of the suppositions regarding the manifest of the crashed Boeing.

    Apparently there is a huge Iranian diaspora living in Canada. The route back and forth Toronto-Kiev-Teheran and reverse has been a popular one, due to its economical price, in using the Ukrainian airline company. This fact explains the preponderance of Iranian and Canadian citizens on board the doomed flight. Many of the Iranian passenger appear to be students studying in Canadian universities. They were returning back to school after spending the winter break at home with their Iranian families.

    The Ukrainian airline is the only one in the world which follows that particular route and stopover. Other direct flights (Teheran-Toronto) are possible, but they are more pricey. These being college students and ordinary people, we can imagine they and their families might pick the cheaper flight.

    Once again, I can barely imagine the horror of the parents and family who put these students on that plane to send them back to school… and then barely an hour later, the young person is dead.
    Just horrific.


    1. My daughter’s best school friend is Iranian, the Mohazzab family. Very, very nice people; Bezzad looks like a tiny version (he’s a very small man, his 13-year-old daughter towers over him) of General Soleimani. They are from near Tehran, and go back fairly frequently, but they were not involved in this flight, thank goodness. The parents both work for Redlen Tech here, a small tech firm which specializes in detectors for imaging equipment. They grow their own crystals which are apparently very high-quality, which are then shaved into precision wafers used to generate highly sensitive and stable detection. The advances in mammograms alone over the last decade are staggering.


  5. Meanwhile, instead of blaming Russia this time, both Westie “intelligence agencies” and the Iranians themselves seem to concur, that the cause was a failed engine. Allegedly the engine just started burning up the moment the plane took off.

    Sounds reasonable, but my spidey-sense tells me that this “meta-data” arouses suspicion. Why are Westie spy agencies so quick to blame the engine, before any facts are even in? Usually they just rush to blame Russia.
    And maybe the Iranians are just grateful that Westies are not pointing the finger at THEM and lying through their teeth about some missile attack to punish Ukraine, or some such nonsense (as I have heard the usual idiot conspiracy-theorists at work propound, in their infinite ignorance…)

    Some conspiracy theorists on the web cite “evidence” that they think there musta been a bomb onboard. I feel like, if Westies are NOT rushing to blame Russia, then they themselves (guess who?) musta planted da bomb. If there WAS a bomb… (?!)

    Probably one of those things where we will never know the truth.
    I hate those. I always want to know what really happened, let the chips fall where they may.

    But also take into account that Boeing might be liable for millions of dollars in reparations, if it turned out the engine was faulty. Or the Ukrainian airline, if it turned out they didn’t do proper maintenance, etc. So, some people have a logical motive not to want the truth.


    1. Some people almost always have a motive to not want the truth to come out. Video on some sites shows the plane falling steeply but steadily earthward, trailing a huge streamer of flames; it’s on its way down by then, so no way of telling from those videos when the fire broke out, but it seems they must have reached their cruising altitude or near it before that happened; otherwise it would make no sense to keep climbing while on fire, and they would have wanted to get it on the ground (under control, of course) as soon as possible. I was just noticing you commented that the engine caught fire as soon as the plane took off – what, and they continued to climb instead of landing immediately? What idiot would do that?

      I’m pretty sure an engine fire on a plane is dealt with just as it would be on a ship, with the exception that you cannot shut off the ventilation; shut off the fuel-flow to the engine immediately, and shut it down so there is no re-ignition enabled. Activate the fitted system. Plane engines have fire-smothering extinguishers that fill the moving part of the engine with dry chemical or foam or another very effective firefighting agent. Yet the fire continued unabated all the way down. Some sources pointed out what they suggested were shrapnel holes, but other sites explained they were perhaps small rocks sitting on the panel on the ground, whose shadows made the effect look like shrapnel, and even if there were holes it would be consistent with explosion of the turbine.

      I’m still interested in whether the Ukrainians – stubborn to a fault – took off when the airspace was restricted. The reports made it sound as if it was but they still wanted to allow Ukraine an out, so they said ‘mostly’ or ‘extensively’ restricted. If they deliberately flew through restricted airspace and then experienced a cataclysmic engine failure for whatever reason, their asses are toast.


      1. That makes the “missile” attack look much less likely. Other theories as I peruse the press: (1) it collided with a drone; (2) mechanical engine failure; (3) bomb on board.

        To Westies, the facts don’t really matter. They’ve already decided what the narrative is, and I doubt if they will permit any other narratives to take hold.


        1. IHS MARKIT, the London think-tank that said it was probably a missile attack based on some photograph someone was sent which showed what was believed to be a missile tailfin in someone’s garden, is a business-intelligence firm which allocates risk to investors based on conditions and events which affect the business climate. It is not a military intelligence outfit per se, although it includes defense ‘experts’ in its expert panel. It would be very dangerous for westerners to be on the ground in Tehran, and MARKIT does not have anyone there – they likely just were sent the photo by an activist who wants a western intervention to remove the mullahs so Iran can be a hub of western business and investment, just like the Syrian activists constantly faking chemical-warfare attacks to draw a western invasion.

          It was not likely a missile attack, but Boeing would be quite happy to go along with that narrative, as this was another 737 and Boeing does not need bad press about its engines, too. A plane which slid off the runway in Halifax a couple of days ago was also a 737. But it just beggars imagination the way the west now leaps at any wild improbability so long as it can get some think tank to articulate it. Once the USA demanded pretty conclusive evidence before it started rattling its saber. Now it’s like it can’t wait for the mayhem to start, and any fly-by-night citizen-journalist jag-off is good enough for a trigger. US ‘Defense officials’ say they have ‘high confidence’ before they even fully hear what it is they’re confident about.


    2. They are already trying to pin it on Russia. Because the Pentagon says it was a “Russian-made” missile, you see.


      1. Hilarious. They are actually trying to get a twofer – Iranian troops using a ‘Russian-made’ missile. Because everybody knows Russian-made missiles are what you want if your hobby is shooting down airliners. Useless for anything else, of course. ‘U.S. Officials’ never quite reach the point where they are so full of shit nobody believes them, and there is always an eager contingent ready to spread the word.

        Iran was smart to not hand over the black box, because if its evidence did not reveal the plane was shot down by a missile, the data would simply disappear, as it did with MH-17.


  6. Roscosmos and S7 Space start working on characteristics of rocket for Sea Launch projects

    …”At present, the specialists of our company are discussing with S7 Space tactical and technical requirements for a launch vehicle in ensure launches from the Sea Launch platform and the timing of the main stages of work,” the spokesperson said…

    It’s interesting that Russia has stuck with this considering anything done at sea is inherently more risky than anything done on land, but it does offer unique capabilities than no-one else offers.


    1. – potential to launch closer to the equator to reduce ∆V for orbits close to the equatorial plane;
      – ability to launch at different angles (from equatorial to polar) without restriction assuming the spent stages land in the sea or uninhabited land areas (with permission)
      – less delays for downrange clearance if launched from areas away from major air or ocean routes
      – equatorial weather may be a little more tranquil (that is a guess).

      Yes, I was a space cadet. And every space cadet knows about the Sea Dragon. An over-the-top concept fro the early 60’s that was the size of an aircraft carrier and launched while floating in the sea. So many things were likely wrong with the concept but back in those days, people thought big.


  7. In case it was not already said…

    America Weak!

    Iran launched a volley of ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq in the early hours of Wednesday morning, bringing the two countries to the brink of war. However, no American or Iraqi casualties were sustained, and US President Donald Trump responded with economic sanctions instead of military action.

    Back to my sabbatical…


  8. One bone of contention with one thing he says above: the man in the clip refers to Iraq as being a US “ally”..

    It is not.

    This use of the term “ally” meaning, for dimwits, that said “ally” is held to be with “us” [ “us” meaning the US], namely on the side of freedom and justice and US world order, is misleading.

    US politicians and propagandists like to refer to all those states that are in the thrall of Uncle Sam as “allies”, the Ukraine being just one such a case in point: the Ukraine is not an ally of the USA in the strict legal meaning of the word, that country being neither a NATO nor EU member state.

    Wiki: In January 2017, US President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning the entry of all Iraqi citizens, as well as citizens of six other countries. After sharp criticism and public protests as well as lawsuits against the executive order, Trump relaxed the travel restrictions somewhat and dropped Iraq from the list of non-entry countries in March 2017.

    As of October 2019 United States continued to use Iraqi bases for conducting operations such as the Barisha raid.

    Some “ally”!


  9. The “Ukraine International Airlines” Boeing 737-800 that crashed near Tehran was probably accidentally shot down by anti-aircraft missile system (AAMS) “Tor-M1” of the Iranian army. This was announced by a Pentagon representative, a senior U.S. intelligence officer and an agent of the Iraqi intelligence, reports Newsweek.

    Well waddya know!!!

    Sorta like ….?

    Source: В Пентагоне сообщили о случайном попадании ракеты в украинский лайнер
    19:54, 9 января 2020

    The Pentagon has announced that a missile had accidentally hit the Ukrainian airliner

    I wonder if they can publish the launch coordinates, just as Kerry said he could as regards the downing of MH-17?

    Shalom, Amichai!


        1. It seems that the US can’t quite deal with the fact that Iran targeted the sites in Iraq accurately and was able to hit its targets in the site with precision, without creating any casualties and causing the kind of damage that the drone joystick cowboys in the US leave in their wake, using technology that the Iranians got (‘cos in the ‘Murkan universe, nobody knows how to build any-fingk, only ‘Murkans can) from Allah-knows-where. Therefore the ‘Murkans have to pounce on the UIA plane crash and use that to create a story that puts the Iranians back into their allotted mad-mullah-ruled-theocratic-shitheap niche, else the ‘Murkans might have a complete mental breakdown.


          1. Yes, I saw that elsewhere; a condescending statement by some pig-ignorant American that Iran makes such mistakes because they have not progressed since the 12th century. I felt constrained to point out that the literacy rate for Iranian female youth (15-24) in 2017 was 97.93%, the same year the US Department of Education said something like 21% of Americans read below a 5th grade level. If there ever has been such a body of humanity which was so ignorant and at the same time fancied itself so much, I’ve never heard about it. No wonder the US government hammers on that exceptionalism theme so constantly – the American public laps it up like mother’s milk.


            1. Twenty years or so ago, I used to teach English to an Iranian woman here. She was in her early 20s and some sort of Wunderkind, I think, at MGU.

              She used to roll up for her lesson in a long, smock-like purple gown and she wore a hijab, but her face was fully revealed. She was extremely attractive and extremely cultured.

              Her husband used to bring her to the class and wait for her in the corridor. He was a very handsome bloke, as I think many Persian men are.

              When he first brought his wife to a lesson, he weighed me up: I could tell. Anyway, after having assessed my character, he was all right with me.

              Not surprising really: obviously, he had immediately ascertained that I am an English scholar and gentleman.


    1. Yeah, sometime during today that became the new narrataive of Westie media.
      That the Iranians shot down the plane.
      When I woke up this morning, it was “Westies say engine failure.”
      Now it’s “Westies say Iranians accidentally shot down the plane.”

      Only logical conclusion = Mossad placed bomb on plane but they don’t want anyone to know (?)


      1. Modern air-defense systems don’t work that way. They all have built-in IFF interrogators to minimize the possibility that a civil-aviation target will be accidentally assigned a threat priority, and so long as the plane’s IFF is operating correctly the system will not allow it onto a target list. The Tor with the SA-15 is no exception. Also, threats are prioritized by CPA – closest point of approach, generally less than one mile – and speed. A contact which is opening rather than closing and climbing rather than descending – as an airliner taking off is doing – will likewise never make it onto a target list. It is known to be civil aviation by its IFF pulse, and it is not exhibiting threatening behavior. If you actually tried to get the system to lock up an airliner, you would be warned by the system that the chosen target is non-military, and you could never get it to accept the target for an engagement so long as the target was increasing its distance from you by both opening and climbing. It would never become engageable unless it radically changed its behavior.


  10. Haven’t followed this until very recently but even sports integrity were slightly more circumspect than usual and mentioned the possibility of a spreadsheet where only one version of truth has been circulated. As long as others continue to cheat in the US and UK, whilst perpetually banning athletes from Russia maybe we will ultimately see emergence of an EADA or EURADA policing themselves.


  11. Bloomberg:

    Putin’s Russia Is 20 Years Old And Stronger Than Ever.
    But Is it?

    December 28, 2019

    Oh do tell, pleeeeease!

    And it is NOT “Putin’s Russia”!!!1

    It is Russians’ Russia!

    And get this, from the above-linked article:

    Against a backdrop of growing dissatisfaction, Putin’s approval
    rating which hit almost 90% amid the the patriotic fervour that
    erupted after the annexation of Crimea, has slid back to 68%, according to Levada.


    The end is nigh!



    Where? When?

    How many involved in uttering such dissatisfaction?



    1. Sorry; I’ve reached my ‘free article limit’, which is apparently .5 of an article; they keep moving it to the left in the hope I can be forced into subscribing for a fee. Mind summarizing? I suppose Russia gives the appearance of strength and purpose…but is actually rotten at its core and has several systemic but invisible weaknesses which are ready to bring it crashing down at any moment?

      Not like the mighty Exceptional Nation, of course, which just goes from strength to strength.


      1. A paragraph from that Bloomberg article that Moscow Exile tried to link to the first time:

        “… But for all his success abroad, Putin is facing growing economic and political risks from the rigid, top-down system of governance he’s installed in a country that sprawls through 11 time zones. The dilemma for the Kremlin now is how to perpetuate Putinism, or “managed democracy” in its own parlance, after Putin’s term ends in 2024 …”

        Given what you know about Russian politics and how its government is constituted, would you feel like reading any further after that paragraph?

        A second paragraph:

        “… At the same meeting Putin bragged about gaining the upper hand in new weaponry, his defense minister complained about falling behind in terms of military spending, which is projected to drop to ninth in the world next year from seventh last year. Putin’s fiscal prudence, particularly since the Ukraine conflict erupted, has made the government’s balance sheet one of the healthiest in the world, earning praise from rating agencies and the International Monetary Fund …”

        The article omitted to explain earlier that this meeting is part of an annual series of December meetings that Putin always holds with Defense Minister Dmitri Shoigu and other senior military officials. I’m sure if Shoigu (the article does not even mention his name) actually complained about falling behind (whom? where?) in military spending, other media like the New York Times would have pounced on that complaint faster than a cheetah hits a gazelle. More likely the fall in military spending compared to the previous year’s expenditure would have been cause for celebration in a context in which new weaponry have been rolled out – it means that Russia really is getting better bang for its bucks.


        1. Above meant in reply to Mark’s:

          “I suppose Russia gives the appearance of strength and purpose…but is actually rotten at its core and has several systemic but invisible weaknesses which are ready to bring it crashing down at any moment?”.


  12. “While determining the cause of a crash can take months, if not years, Iranian authorities in the hours since the accident appear to have added to initial suspicions by refusing to allow the kind of collaborative investigation that is commonplace when a civilian aircraft suffers a serious accident.”

    “collaborative investigation”
    Read: Howling lynch mob of USA puppets shreiking for “obviously guilty ” Russkies to be strung up…pronto!!!.


  13. “Responsibility for the millions of dead and tens of millions of refugees created by three decades of war from Iraq to Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria lies not with Iran, but with the powers that launched them: Washington and its European allies. They exploited the Stalinist regime’s 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, the main political and military counterweight to imperialism, to pillage a strategic, oil-rich region. Underlying mass outrage at Suleimani’s murder is deep opposition among workers internationally—including in the imperialist countries—to these wars.

    The NPA’s support for a US war drive against Iran is the outcome of a long, pro-war evolution of the privileged, politically rotten layers of the post-1968 petty bourgeois student movement from which the NPA is drawn. They joined the union bureaucracy and various factions of academia, which are bribed by corporate subsidies and have close ties with the military and intelligence services. Particularly as Washington launched wars in Libya and Syria in 2011, they came out in open support of imperialist wars of plunder. (This should sound familiar to Americans who lived through the 60s until today…as soon as Vietnam -and the dreaded draft-ended, the so called radicals cut their hair and made up with Daddy)

    As NATO started bombing Libya, Bertil Videt, a leader of Denmark’s NPA-linked Red-Green Alliance, denounced “ready-made slogans about always being opposed to imperialist aggression.” He admitted “that France, UK, and the US are not driven by some sudden kindness—but by strategic interest in the oil-rich region” and expressed doubts that they were “genuinely moved by the human rights situation in Libya.” Nonetheless, Videt concluded, “none of these points are, by themselves, arguments for opposing the no-fly zone over Libya.”

    NATO bombings and CIA-backed Islamist militias managed in six months to conquer Libya, which fell into a nine-year civil war. The NPA’s fraudulent promises of democratic revolution in Libya gave way to the reality of a reign of terror by rival CIA-linked militias, as the European Union built Libyan concentration camps in which thousands of refugees are enslaved, raped and murdered. The NPA, however, was on to marketing the CIA’s next war—this time in Syria.”


  14. Well, well…look at that. Apple stock hits a record high, thanks to….China, and burgeoning sales of i-Phones.

    Yep, Apple sales are booming, and its execs are soooo happy, because China is a critical market for them. And the Chinese, who are supposed to hate them, actually think Americans are like big cuddly bears and they just want more and more of their tech goodies.

    Suit yourselves, China. No more of your bitching about how heavy-handed America is with its bullying ways, hear? I have to say I am a little disappointed, since America’s behavior is resulting in exactly the wrong message being sent. America’s wealthy learn that no matter how they or the country behave, sales just go up, up, up.


  15. Well, while everyone else is Looking Over There in Tehran, I’m looking at this new documentary Over Here:

    The documentary was made by Vasily Prozorov, a former SBU security officer. The really shocking revelations come in the last few minutes of the video where he implicates British intelligence and an Australian intel officer together with the Ukrainian government and the SBU in creating an incident to distract Russia and prevent a Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine (not that Moscow was ever interested in that part of Ukraine) and then to shape and direct the narrative around the incident and control the drip-feed of disinformation.


  16. Jen spotted the Great Guaido Misdirection before anyone else; but here in detail is what actually transpired.

    Johnny Guano doesn’t even have the support of the opposition anymore, because he couldn’t get it done. But he is desperate to hold on to the affection and support of the only group that still believes in him – the United States of America.

    Oh, ooops! and the International Contact Group on Venezuela, which reaffirmed his permanence as the leader of all things Venezuelan, simultaneously the President and the Leader of the Opposition, ha, ha, so that if they ever get around to holding another vote he is guaranteed to win.

    In their minds, I guess, the Soviet Union still exists and Leonid Brezhnev still runs it – Ronald Reagan is still President of the United States. Like in cartoons, the situation does not have to be realistic to be entertaining. They simply close their eyes tight, and cry softly, ” I DO believe in fairies; I DO!”

    Once, that level of craziness and refusal to acknowledge reality would have called for some pretty strong corrective measures. Today, it doesn’t even rate a raised eyebrow, as we careen on down the road to ruin.


    1. Wow, I’d better get out the popcorn myself if the National Assembly is going to start attacking itself over who should be its leader, Luis Parra or Johnny Guano.

      It’s hilarious how the Venezuelan opposition tried to turf out Guano because of his methods and the henchmen who surround him, to say nothing of what they’ve done with the money given to them, and now find they’re being forced to keep him with the very same methods and threats they’ve used on past governments in Venezuela and the general public.


  17. Trudeau hath spoken!

    Премьер Канады: украинский Boeing сбила иранская ракета
    23:11 09.01.2020 (обновлено: 06:05 10.01.2020)

    The Prime Minister of Canada: Ukrainian Boeing was shot down by an Iranian missile
    23:11 09.01.2020 (updated: 06:05 10.01.2020)

    WASHINGTON, 9 Jan — RIA Novosti. The Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau said that the country has intelligence showing that the “Ukraine International Airlines” Boeing 737-800 in Tehran was accidentally shot down by an Iranian missile.

    Previously the channel CBC had reported that Washington had handed Ottawa intelligence information that confirmed the hypothesis that the cause of the Boeing 737-800 crash was a salvo of Iranian anti-aircraft missile unit.

    “In the last hours we have been given important messages regarding the incident. We have intelligence from multiple sources that indicate that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile ground to air” missile”, said the canadian Prime Minister at a press conference. He added that, according to information received, the plane was shot down unintentionally.

    At the same time, Trudeau urged that people not jump to conclusions and that a full and transparent investigation be conducted to establish the true causes of the crash.

    A “Ukraine International Airlines” Boeing 737-800 bound for Kiev crashed shortly after having taken off from Tehran airport on Wednesday morning. According to official data, all 176 people on board were killed: 167 passengers from Iran, the Ukraine, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Afghanistan and nine crew members.

    Amongst the passengers were listed 63 Canadian citizens.

    Let’s not jump to conclusions, shall we?

    A reader’s comment to a British newsrag article on the incident:

    “And we all know who’s got form for shooting down passenger aircraft, don’t we?”

    Yes, we certainly do!

    How about:

    (a) Siberian Airlines Flight 1812


    (b) Iran Air Flight 655

    for starters?

    As regards the Siberian Airlines Flight 1812 incident, the Ukraine authorities persistently lied through its teeth as regards its guilt before conceding that it “might have” caused the downing of the aircraft, and ended up paying $15 million to surviving family members of the 78 victims,.

    Lot of money in compensation for a “maybe”!

    And yes, the USSR was responsible for the shooting down of Korean Airlines Flight 007, and that was no accident: the aircraft was shot down with full intent and purpose by a Soviet fighter aircraft: no “Oops! Sorry!”

    KA flight 007 was shot down after it had already flown through Russian airspace and over Russian territory, namely the Kamchatka Peninsula.

    The USSR was also responsible for shooting down in 1960 a USAF U-2 spy plane in 1960, which aircraft was right slap bang over Siberia when it was brought down:

    The US government at first said that no U2 had been shot down, that no U2, in fact, had flown into Soviet airspace, that the alleged U2 was a weather aeroplane that had got lost.

    And then, after having allowed Washington to continually lie through its teeth about the U2, the Evil Empire publicly pulled a rabbit out of its hat in the shape of the pilot of the downed U2, who had miraculously survived being shot down from such a great height

    Of course, in its smugness, the Exceptional Nation had believed that those dumbass Russian Commies did not have the capabilities to bring down an aircraft that was flying so high over the Evil Empire..


    1. What Trudeau actually means, I’m sure, is that the US Government told him that IT had irrefutable evidence, and lots of it. If he has actually seen anything himself, it has probably been documents made up by various agencies of the US Government, expressing their ‘high confidence’ based on bla bla bla that the plane was shot down by a missile, probably a Russian-made SA-15. I very much doubt he has even seen pictures of any evidence himself. He has just been told by the Americans that they have proof. Like they had in the case of MH-17, and like they had with Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Assad’s Chlorine Gas attack on Douma, and so on. But like Karl says; no use in resisting the United States. They’re so powerful, you will eventually be assimilated, so it’s best just to nod and smile and pretend to believe them. Because it doesn’t matter to them, but it’s nice if you believe. It makes them feel smarter.


  18. I’m fairly certain that the current narrative is truthful – the aircraft was accidentally shot down by air defense on high alert. The only way this could have happened is if the IFF interrogation failed somehow, and indeed the plane’s ADS-B transponder stopped transmitting well before it was struck, judging by the (now geo-located and by all accounts legitimate) video of the hit.

    It is quite possible that the Tor system was operating in automatic, given the high state of alert after the IRBM attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq just hours prior. They were probably expecting some kind of retribution in the usual U.S. style – some cruise missiles and what not, and as these are hard to track over long ranges, it makes sense to have short-medium range air defenses ready to immediately engage any unknown target that pops up nearby.

    That’s my theory anyway, that the airliner had some kind of communications malfunction, and that a Tor system thus spotted an unknown target and engaged automatically without “thinking twice” (even if the IFF failed, a human operator would have seen the other characteristics of the radar target, such as its speed and heading, radar cross-section etc and rapidly understood it as being something decidedly non-missile like).

    It is difficult to take internet articles about military hardware at face value, as the entire sphere is kind of secretive by default, but you do find things like:
    “Может работать как в ручном, с участием операторов, так и полностью автоматическом режиме. При этом система «Тор» сама контролирует обозначенное воздушное пространство и самостоятельно сбивает все воздушные цели, не опознанные системой «свой-чужой».”

    It’s supposed to have a FULLY automatic mode, that will engage ALL detected targets not recognized by IFF interrogation.

    By the way, as for downed airliners, don’t forget the two that France shot down. Air France 1611 in 1968 (95 dead), Itavia 870 in 1980 (81 dead). Both have been swept under the rug, Macron supposedly ordered the former to be declassified just last fall, but it’s been quiet since. In recent years latter case has been doing the rounds in Italy and multiple inquiries have said there is little doubt it was a shootdown.


    1. Once again, the Tor will not – and other modern SAM systems will not – engage a target which is going away and climbing. It simply presents a fire-control problem which is too difficult for its logic circuits to resolve because it is not designed that way. SAM systems are built to compute a solution for a target which is closing the distance, coming toward the system, and deceasing altitude so that if the intercept is allowed to complete, the approaching target will hit the SAM system or impact close to its location.

      If the system was located on the outskirts of the airport so that the departing plane’s course took it directly over the Tor system, it might have met the criteria for approach, but not for descent. It would have been plain to the little computer, which doesn’t have much else to do, that the target it was following did not present a threat. I stand by this; it was not shot down by an SA-15, and the reporting company sort of committed to this; someone sent them a picture of what appears to be an SA-15 tailfin in someone’s garden. I don’t suppose they have any way of knowing where it is or when it was taken, but these days, that is evidence enough, and technical limitations do not matter – if it was politically expedient for the Iranians to have shot it down, well, then, that’s what happened, because politics is the only real barometer.

      It might have been possible with an older system, perhaps one which did not include an IFF interrogator, but such systems do not have a full-auto mode because they don’t have a computer which will handle it. They have operators, and either operators or an auto mode must track the target before firing for long enough to establish its direction, speed and altitude. You don’t actually know anything about it until then – no SAM systems are like “There’s something there!! Alarm!!! Shoot!!” A climbing altitude is going to negate firing on it every time, UNLESS the operator knows it is an airliner or otherwise not a threat, and decides to shoot it anyway.

      If SAM systems on full auto simply blasted away at anything they saw and routinely made catastrophic mistakes, nobody in his right mind would ever place one within range of an operating airport. The Iranians were twitchy because they expected a counterstrike by US aircraft, so they decided to switch their defenses to full auto, but they didn’t close the airspace and let civil aviation continue to take off and land? Come on.

      All they actually know about the crash is that the aircraft climbed more or less straight away, ceased transmitting on all its sensors at around 6 kft, and never reached higher than 8 kft although it did continue to fly for a couple of minutes after it ceased transmitting. It was on fire from some point in the flight throughout its descent until it hit the ground. ‘Shrapnel holes’ said to have been observed on panels from the wreckage might have been caused by an engine explosion, a missile warhead, or might have been only a trick of the light and not present at all. It appeared the aircraft turned hard to starboard after it was stricken and might have been trying to return to the airfield. Initial assessments that it had experienced an engine failure were quickly shelved in favour of the Iranians shooting it down with a missile as soon as IHS MARKIT entered the fray with its alleged picture of an SA-15 tailfin sitting in someone’s garden, and the narrative has been determinedly biased toward that conclusion ever since.

      If Iran’s early-warning system is so crappy that it has to rely on SAM systems on full auto which can barely reach 6 km altitude and have a range of 12 km to protect the realm, then it is in desperate straits indeed. Auto is an immediate switchover; as fast as you can turn the selector is all the time it takes to be in full auto, and I would have thought the country had enough sense to wait until it had some EW indication that an American strike was inbound before turning on a full-auto SAM system right beside an operating airport. But for me the clincher is that the plane was climbing away. I ran a VLS system for years at sea, and you cannot get “VLS Engageable” on a climbing target. It is clearly not coming toward you. Point-defense missile systems are built from the ground up to protect themselves and their immediate location.

      The SA-15’s warhead only weighs 15 kg; just under, in fact. Yet it is supposed to have blown a 737 which is engineered to keep flying with the complete loss of one of its engines out of the sky. Assessors were perfectly prepared to accept an engine had exploded without the plane necessarily crashing. But some shrapnel from a pre-fragmented 33-pound warhead blew it to bits.



        Mistaken for a cruise missile, according to the AFAGIR commander Hajizadeh. He takes full responsibility for the cockup.

        My gut feeling was exactly that. The aircraft approached the air defense base from the south, exactly the direction a US cruise missile volley would be expected from. Still no word about any IFF issues, but I still think that’s the last piece of the puzzle. It wasn’t the only airliner that flew in exactly that direction that night/morning.

        People and pundits are very critical of the fact that they kept the airspace open for civilian planes in that situation. I agree, that is nuts. The same applies to Ukraine, July 2014. Why they kept directing planes to fly over Donbass when dozens of aircraft had been downed in that area, at all kinds of altitudes for weeks is completely mindblowing. Few, if any levelled that kind of criticism at them at the time though. Hardly now, either.

        Spades are spades, though only sometimes.


        1. Then it couldn’t have been an SA-15, because it won’t let you fire on an opening target. The only possibility that occurs to me is either an older missile system in which you might be able to force it by shutting off the IFF and forcing the target identification to ‘hostile’ or at least ‘unknown’, or one of the shoulder-launched MANPADS CLOS (Command Line Of Sight) missiles. The latter will let you fire at anything you want as long as you can see it, but it goes against all SAM circuitry to fire on an opening target – you might as well just roll the missile down the bank into the ditch.

          A cruise missile at 6000 feet? Climbing? I’m afraid the jokes about the competence of the Iranian air-defense forces will come thick and fast now. The plane was just a couple of minutes from takeoff and plainly had just come from the airport. I guess, with tension and all, it might do funny things to your head, but it seems hard to imagine anyone could think it was a cruise missile – you could hear it at that range.

          Anyway, you were right – good analysis! If it turns out to have been an SA-15, I will hang up my missile-director shoes for good, because I don’t know anything about how things work. Which will mean it was also perfectly possible for a single unit of a six-vehicle Buk complex, without an acquisition radar, to have acquired, tracked and shot down a Malaysian airliner in Ukraine. That also seems impossible, but I have evidently not allowed for magic.

          I feel a bit sorry for Iran now – the critics are vindicated, and they will have to do their dance and shout “I KNEW!! I KNEW!!” and ask what made Iran think they could get away with denials, and Ukraine will be in the background totting up the bill for compensation.

          Hopefully everyone will have learned their lesson now, and whenever the country is in a time of tension and the military is involved, close the airports and don’t let anything fly that you don’t want to get shot down. Because obviously none of the features built into the equipment to prevent it from shooting at civil air work. Actually they are intended to prevent you from wasting missiles, but whatever.


      2. And there goes all of Iran’s momentum. That’ll be the end of the fervor over Soleimani’s assassination and the whole ‘Death to America’ thing; Iran has admitted being caught out, and will now shift to apology mode. And that will likely be the end also of pressure to expel the United States from the region – Iran will be focused on atonement, and the rest will probably just dry up and blow away. So, looking at it objectively, that couldn’t have gone better for the United States. They didn’t even lose anyone on the Ukrainian Boeing, if memory serves, and will probably get the contract to replace it.


            1. Funny thing is, though, I remember full, front page “Pravda” (the real one, not the one that shitwit McCain thought was “Pravda”, but the Soviet “Pravda”) detailed reports and analyses of the harvest and percentage yield and milk production etc., and I used to wonder who the hell read such stuff apart from yokels on state farms. Likewise Soviet TV used to have lengthy reports on economic growth, analyses and detailed reports on the harvest etc. And now I find such reports interesting and delve into them.


  19. How is Iran’s “severe revenge” succeeding so far?

    USA kills Iranian general Suleimani. USA – Iran 1-0.

    About 50 people are stampeded to death in Suleimani’s funeral. USA – Iran 51-0.

    Iran most likely shoots down a civilian aircraft with 176 passengers, practically all of them either Iranian citizens or ethnic Persians. USA – Iran 226-0.

    The US must be both laughing and marveling the incompetence of its enemies.


        1. 95 years ago, to be exact, as regards the Persian Empire, and 567 years ago as regards the surviving rump of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium).

          The Persian Empire refers to a series of imperial dynasties that were centred in Persia/Iran from the 6th century BC Achaemenid Empire era to the 20th century AD in the Qajar dynasty era.

          The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of ancient Rome. Rome reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan (98–117 AD). In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West in 286. Shortly after, owing to invasions by Germanic peoples and by the Huns, the Western Roman Empire fell into decline and finally collapsed in 476 AD and was formally abolished by the Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno in 480 AD. The Eastern Roman Empire, identified by modern historians under the name of the Byzantine Empire, survived for another millennium until the Empire’s last remains collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Sultan Mehmed II in 1453.


    1. Gee, Karl – you are never so mocking when things are going badly for the United States, although you claim to zealously desire its downfall. When things are ticking over on all cylinders for Uncle Sam, why, you seem to have a hard time not breaking into a gleeful jig. Could you be spoofing us all this time, and really be pulling for the Americans on the sly?

      I was just being sarcastic. Take no notice. Although you’re right that the USA generally sees things breaking in its favour as proof God loves America, and will always make sure things go America’s way. That’s why it only obeys international law when it is convenient for it to do so.


      1. What things exactly are going bad for the US?

        The economy? Not really. They are growing faster than Russia.

        The demographics? Maybe, as the white birthrate has dropped, but nothing as bad as in many European countries.

        Internationally? Not really, the US allies still loyal vassals.

        Energy? USA produces more oil and gas than any other country in the world, and they control the vast resources of the Middle East through military occupation.

        I’m not pulling for America and I would be more than happy to see it lose its superpower status in my lifetime, but I’m just not seeing it happening.


        1. And that’s why you visit this site — in order to enlighten folk here about how mighty the USA is?

          Whereas the purpose of this site is to present, for those who wish to do so, the opportunities to argue the case for Russia and to expose Western perfidy — “Western” meaning all that is controlled by, or who wish to be controlled by, the great, unipolar hegemon, which has proven its “manifest destiny” to lead the world since history allegedly ended.

          Or am I missing something?


        2. I didn’t actually say anything was going badly for the United States. I said you are at your mocking best when everything is going well for Uncle Sam, despite the efforts of others to hurt it. It seems to inspire you, the way it sails serenely on, invincible. As soon as anyone tries anything against America and it doesn’t appear to do any damage, you can be counted on to be front and center with the snark – see? America is impregnable. And even when things don’t work out so well, at least they are trying; in fact, they might be said to be the tryingest nation on earth. Inspirational, isn’t it? Like a dose of tonic!

          Anyway, good luck to you and your American friends. I have noticed you don’t set the bar very high for the USA, though. If Iran says “You better not attack us”, and the USA does it anyway, it is proof of America’s unshakeable power. If the USA says “Better not dare attack us”, and Iran does it anyway, it is a big fizzle and funny as hell, because the American bases were not completely destroyed and in fact were not even very badly damaged.


        3. Karl, my boy, it way obvious that you do not live in the US. Our bubble economy is doing fine and our traitorous leadership is all peachy king living the high life. But the country is awash in death by despair (from drug ODs suicides to tens of millions eating themselves towards health disasters).

          The economy is kept afloat with trillion dollar annual deficits financed at the discretion (or at the barrel of an M-16) by other countries.

          It is difficult to imagine a business or nation in a worse economic situation.

          And for your reading pleasure:

          It did not have to be this way but for our traitorous elites.


          1. Ahhh; how I wish I could have shown that to La Russophobe. But she seems to have vanished from the blogging scene. Life expectancy was always for her an article of faith that Russia was hellbound and the United States born to triumph. I think life expectancy in the USA is probably still higher than in Russia by a bit despite the former’s troubles, but the two data points are moving inexorably closer as the one rises and the other sinks.


  20. Saw this video in RIA. It looks very different from the other video.
    The other vid did seem to show, indeed, an object in the sky that got hit (by a missile?) and suddenly exploded.
    This RIA vid, which some Iranian guy posted on his Twitter, appears to show a plane that slowly catches on fire and tries to return to the airport, burning slowly for about a minute and then suddenly exploding as it nears the ground.


    1. It’s a fairly low-res video that was obviously made through the window of a moving car. I didn’t see any missile trail streaking skyward in any video, and I still have not seen anything which precludes it having been a catastrophic engine failure except for reports that the plane was nearly new, only 3 years old.

      I forgot to mention the part I found most hilarious, earlier – that Trudeau knows (well, obviously he was told by the American intelligence agencies) that there is not only ‘high confidence’ it was an Iranian missile, they also know it was an accident! What, did the missile crew confess? How could they possibly know that, especially now when westerners in Iran stand out like a turd in the punch bowl? Of course they don’t know – they are plainly guessing and weaving a narrative.


      1. Some world-weary, cynical “conspiracy theorists” on the web have explained the “It was an accident” bit. It’s basically a bait and switch operation. They want to wear Iran down to the point where they grasp at a quantum of mercy: “Oh, okay, we’ll admit we shot it down (even though we didn’t), but you’ll say it was an accident.”
        Then comes the switch: “No, it wasn’t an accident, you did it on purpose! And now you owe us reparations galore, you international outcasts!”


        1. It also serves to distract from the generally deplorable state of US-Iran relations, and the fact that Iran launched missile strikes against American bases in the region after being warned it would mean immediate retaliation if they did. Not to mention the elephant in the room, the expulsion of the US military from Iraq. Nobody is talking about any of those, now – it’s all ‘The Iranians shot down a Ukrainian airliner!’ Look, people: shiny thing!


  21. Moscow Times tells you how it is:

    Ukraine wants to scour the crash site of its airliner for possible Russian-made missile debris, officials said Thursday as an initial report by Iranian investigators said the plane had been on fire immediately before it crashed.

    All 176 people died onboard the Kiev-bound Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737-800 when it crashed six minutes after taking off from Tehran on Wednesday. Most of its passengers were Iranians and Iranian-Canadians who were flying the Tehran-Toronto via Kiev route in the absence of direct flights.

    Ukraine Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danylov said the country’s investigators plan to search for possible Russian missile debris after seeing information about it on the internet.

    Russia in 2007 delivered 29 Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile systems to Iran as part of a $700 million contract.


      1. As MoA or a commenter pointed out Azerbaidjan, Cyprus and others also have the TOR M1 system…

        I also saw the Neuters piece on MT about the ‘Russian made missile’. But is it fired from a ‘Russian made’ TOR system? I gues the clue is in the word Russian just in case the reader doesn’t understand the intent that the word ‘Russian’ all by itself constitutes a threate to life and limb. The dried wine stains at the bottom of a large vat have more news value than Neuters…


  22. Well, what a surprising statement to have made! Really surprising! I am absolutely astounded!

    JANUARY 10, 2020 / 4:29 PM / UPDATED AN HOUR AGO
    Dutch minister says Iran likely shot down Ukraine airliner

    “It is indeed very likely that the plane has been shot down by Iranian missiles,” Stef Blok told reporters ahead of an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels.

    And if those are the words that he actually said in English, then he should go on an English language revision course.


    1. Помпео считает вероятным, что Иран сбил украинский самолет

      Pompeo considers it likely that Iran shot down a Ukrainian aeroplane
      18:58 10.01.2020 (updated: 19:09 10.01.2020)
      You don’t say!

      WASHINGTON, January 10 – RIA Novosti. U.S. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said that the United States considers it likely that a Ukrainian passenger aeroplane was shot down by an Iranian missile.
      “We believe that it is likely that this plane was shot down by an Iranian missile. Before we come to a final conclusion, we want investigators to conduct an investigation. It is important to get to the bottom of this”, Pompeo said at a briefing.

      Earlier, the Prime Ministers of Canada and Great Britain had said that the aircraft could have been hit by an Iranian missile.


      1. The frightful image that fails to link above.

        And oh ironies of ironies! I saw somewhere in the Western MSM today where they, the liars of the Exceptional Nation, are castigating the Iranians for bulldozing the area where the aircraft crashed, which is clearly far, far worse than bombarding the crash-site with artillery, as did the Yukie pigs with the MH-17 crash-site.


        1. Clearly far worse than leaving a few scraps like the pilot’s seat in and around the crash site for inquisitive Dutch journalists to find a year later in 2015 whe they visited the area, after the Joint Investigation Team had supposedly found and gathered all the evidence.

          I recall also that not long after the MH17 crash, there was a major passenger jet crash in western Africa, right in the middle of an area infested with terrorists (it may have been in Mali), yet all the debris was gathered promptly, the flight recorders were found and the data analysed (by French investigators) and the crash was quickly determined to be an accident.


      2. Why is it important to ‘get to the bottom of it’? The mainstream media has already rendered up its judgment, and western leaders have signaled that they will vote with the United States on the issue. ‘What really happened’ could not be less relevant, and there is not even really a pressing need for an investigation of any kind. The canny Yanks know what happened, as usual, within minutes of its occurrence, and even when they’re wrong, they’re right, so why fight it?


      3. By the rules of Bizarro-World logic, whatever Pompeo says, the truth must be the exact opposite and mirror image.
        “This plane was shot down by an Iranian missile.” –> “This plane was NOT shot down by an Iranian missile.”
        “We want investigators to conduct an investigation.” –> “We do NOT want investigators to conduct an investigation.”
        “It is important to get the bottom of this.” –> “It is important to NOT get to the bottom of this.”

        and so on… it’s a game that’s easy to play, even children can play.


    1. Aye; Farragut, what were famous for uttering the immortal “Damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead!” I had a Zippo lighter, back in the early days of my naval career, from the USS FARRAGUT, but not the one currently sailing, which is actually the fifth to bear the name. The one I recall was the second, a COONTZ Class light guided-missile destroyer (DLG) built in the late 50’s/early 60’s.

      I worked several times also with USS LUCE, which was the same class.


  23. The Russian military has called the actions of the crew of a USN warship unprofessional and has accused the Americans of a deliberate violation of the international rules for safe navigation.

    In a statement released by the Russian Ministry of Defence, which statement has come to the notice of the newspaper Gazeta.Ru., the Russian Ministry of Defence denies accusations by the American side that a Russian ship in the Arabian Sea had come dangerously close [to a US warship].

    The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation has cited an extract from the 1972 Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, wherein paragraph 15 (“Crossing Situation”) defines that: “When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel”.

    “Thus, it was the US Navy destroyer, being to the port of the Russian warship that was making headway, that by performing a manoeuvre to cross its course flagrantly violated the international rules for preventing the collisions of ships at sea”, explained the Russian Ministry of Defence .

    Conveniently ignoring, of course, the fact that the US navy can go wherever it damn-well pleases!

    See: Опасный курс: как разминулись эсминец США и российский корабль


  24. OK, here’s my €0.5 cents worth on the crash.

    I’ll start with my own conspiracy/massive speculation theory as I am not a journalist.

    If it was shot down, it woz the MEK, with a MANPAD on the back of a truck wot did it. I would assume regardless that the MEK (now resident in Albania under US protection) would be active on social media as part of their US training.


    1: the aircraft had recently been though maintenance. There are quite a few instances of maintainers leaving stuff inside aircraft (engines too) that they shouldn’t, not closing stuff (nacelle doors on Aribus for example) or removing plastic protection stuff before signing off on the aircraft as flight worthy.*

    2: The 737NG is also at risk of uncontained nacelle failure (i.e. the big hairy fan at the front), not to mention that the hot turbine bit at the back is dangerous to any airplane.**

    3: Or this may still be ‘2’… I seem to recall an article a few months back aboutthe 737 (can’t remember whether it was the NG or MAX but more likely the forme) that either its physical control lines or fuel lines along the belly of the plane are now considered to be more vulnerable than previously believed to external impact (turbine/whatever flying out and hitting the fuselage). Of course I cannot find the article in question 😦 but it may well be what I wrote above in point 2:

    4: Banned lithium batteries in the cargo or some other sort of illegal cargo.

    5: A small stragically placed bomb? Hard to belive consdering how rightfully paranoid the i-Ranian regime is, but still a distant possibility.

    Either way, if it was a missile from a TOR system there would be shrapnel evidence in the wreckage, likewise for a MANPADS. If they start arguing that the lack of evidence is proof that it was something, then you know for sure we are in cake and eat it land aka Bell-end cat Ding-Dong land.

    What is left unsaid, or is by others is how quickly the US came out to say they had intel that they saw two infrared traces at the time. Curiously they’ve not said that about MH17 save for Kerry saying that they saw the launch and quickly rowing back. Yet again, if you have the evidence, why hide it? To protect your enemies? 😉




    1. Why would Iranians, even militants, be shooting at civil airliners with MANPADS? The most likely culprit would be the Misagh series, copied from Chinese designs, and they would have the altitude capability and certainly the speed, but the Iranian government would have made a serious misjudgment of the internal situation if gangs of armed militants threatened civil air traffic and they did not close the airspace. They must have thought there was no reason to do so, or else the Ukrainians ignored the order and took off anyway, something I would not find too hard to believe; I understand the flight had already been delayed on the ground for more than an hour.

      Anyway, IHS MARKIT says SA-15. The SA-15 is part of a system which would not attack an opening target. That’s where we are with ‘facts’ as far as I know them. If IHS MARKIT wants to move away from the SA-15, a judgment they apparently made on ‘intelligence’ from someone in Iran, then it might be time to re-assess.


  25. To follow up ‘Democracy? Democracy? It’s the wrong f/king democracy if I don’t agree with it’ (aka pro-US) in Czechia/Czech Republic…

    Euractiv: PRAGUE

    Czechs trust Putin. With 33%, Russian President Vladimir Putin is the most trusted world leader among Czechs, according to Pew Research Centre.* French President Emmanuel Macron (30%), US President Donald Trump (28%) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (25%) follow suit. (Aneta Zachová |


    …Trump foreign policies receive little support…

    …These are among the major findings from a Pew Research Center survey conducted among 36,923 people in 33 countries from May 18 to Oct. 2, 2019…


  26. Journalist seeks to revive litigation over alleged surveillance by feds

    A TV journalist known for against-the-grain reporting is unleashing a new flurry of litigation on Friday alleging she was subjected to illegal surveillance by U.S. officials while covering Obama administration controversies such as the Benghazi attack and Operation Fast and Furious nearly a decade ago.

    Now, Sharyl Attkisson says an informant has acknowledged a role in the snooping. The journalist and her attorneys believe that development may be enough to allow her to restart the litigation and demand answers from government officials…

    …One of those Attkisson is now accusing of directing the surveillance was little known at the time but was regular headline fodder in the past couple of years: Rod Rosenstein. He was the U.S. Attorney in Baltimore for 12 years and went on to serve as deputy attorney general under President Donald Trump from 2017 to 2019.

    The suit claims that Attkisson, as well as her husband and daughter, were targeted by an interagency task force which was based in Baltimore and overseen by Rosenstein. A newly-filed suit asserts Rosenstein “ordered” four government employees “to conduct home computer surveillance on the Attkissons and other U.S. citizens.”…

    This should be a biggie considering that we know the NSA and others spy on journalists and they get put in prison if they do not pony up their sources, even before 9/11* but reading the details they appear to be surprisingly sloppy. There’s already enough paranoia about ‘mysteriously deleting text’ (sic our favorite and well known plagarist for the Groaning Man, Puke Farting) etc. but I don’t think US agencies particularly care as they have blanket coverage. There are still a few journalists who will not give up the fight even if most of them take their pay to look the other way rather than take the pay to hold those in power to account.



  27. FYI, the UK has apparently sent an extradition request to the US for Anna ‘I run over a kid on a motorbike in the UK because I was driving on the wrong side of the road’ Sacoolas, which will obviously be denied. So, is the UK still going to hand over Assange dead or alive or is it all jut kabuki theater, i.e. the US really doesn’t want Assange and would rather he stayed a broken man in U-Rope or back in Aus?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be more correct, it is a notice of extradition, so as I understand it not actual extradition but a warning that it will do so. Whether or not that will be the case is anyone’s guess. I expect Washington to throw a tantrum.


  28. Business Insider: Trump reportedly told associates he killed Qassem Soleimani because he was under pressure from GOP senators before his impeachment trial

    Class-A bs! If Amerika STRONK, t-Rump of the Deal genius, then why all this? Why the need to spread the blame? The ‘it’s not my fault’ excuse doesn’t wash. For someone who supposedly detests the weak, well…


    1. What’s he talking about? I don’t see any missile ‘coming from the left side of the screen’. You see a puff of what looks like smoke and is probably the person’s breath who is taking the video (it gets cool there at night), and a sudden bright flare on a contact which was already quite brightly lit. Either it was the aircraft which was lit up by its lights and the video captures the moment it caught fire, or else it was already on fire and a piece just broke off or something. But I did not at any point see anything which looked like a missile flying up and hitting the aircraft.


    1. The one bad thing that might come out of the Iranian military’s admission of responsibility for shooting down UIA Flight PS752 is that President Rouhani may come under pressure from the US or the UN to purge the Iranian armed forces under the cover of getting rid of “corruption” or “rogue elements”. But this supposes that the position of the President of Iran is equivalent to what it would be in other countries. Rouhani may not have that much power at all because of the way in which power is spread throughout Iran’s political structures. He may have no power over the military or the IRGC at all; those institutions would be answerable ultimately to Grand Ayatollah Khamenei and how can the UN exert any pressure on him if he is not Iran’s political head?


      1. As I understand it, the disaster was the result of a (human error) mistake. Neither corruption nor a ‘rogue element’ played a role.
        I note that the morons over here are trying to make it appear as if Iran must be soundly denounced and appropriate punishment must be dispensed for having a system subject to human error:


        1. And there’s Pompeo, right on cue, ‘standing with the people of Iran in their struggle to overthrow their government’. I don’t have the vocabulary to express how I loathe that man. Yes, Iran’s troubles would be over if it just had an American hand-picked government that would de-nationalize the oil company and open the industry up to investment.


      2. They have already announced a review of the way the Air Defense Forces operate. Perhaps the USA will try to piggyback on it to get rid of senior officers it does not like, but it probably does not like any and those who would succeed officers removed would likely be just as bad from an American viewpoint. No, I think the very best thing about the incident from the American point of view is that it takes all the wind out of Iran’s sails, and now Iran is the Bad Guy again and the USA is just more or less a bystander, the way Washington likes it. In some ways the west may acknowledge Iran did the right thing by admitting its guilt, because it will be a useful vehicle for contrasting the case of MH17 and Russia never ‘admitting its guilt’, which would make them feel so much better if they would only man up. But in other ways the west will be working to see Iran is punished for it just as hard as it can be.


    2. My take is that the Iranian response was principled and honest. Compare and contrast with the US shoot-down of Iranian flight 655 posted earlier.

      I would be far more focused on getting to the truth than how it plays in the Western MSM. Iran is showing its maturity on this matter.

      Putin’s visit to Syria with Assad attending an Orthodox church service and Putin attending services at a Mosque are significant in term of PR in the Middle East. Putin’s visit to Turkey to inaugurate the new gas line, Russia’s success at the UN regarding Syrian border crossings and a ceasefire in Idbid also have more significance if less sensational.

      The most significant event, transcending the murder of Soleimani, was the apparent pinpoint accuracy of missiles formally thought to be inaccurate and the US inability to stop them even when given advanced notice.

      Cruise missile diplomacy ended in Syria with the shoot-down of the vast majority of NATO cruise missiles by Russian Pantsir and other missile. Now, the US has the problem that the Green Zone and US bases within 500 miles or so are juicy and largely defenseless targets.

      The Russians may have helped Iran with precision targeting technology or Iran could just as well done it on their own.


      1. I agree. In a world run by sociopaths, you can’t play their game.
        You gotta be truthful and honest, and always try to do the right thing, no matter what.
        People might criticize and say you’re weak, but you still gotta do the right thing.
        You have to be true to yourself, even if it looks like weakness. In the end, Right will prevail.


    1. We have glimpsed the possibility of a better world, where the bad guys admit their badness right away so that we don’t have to characterize them, and can focus instead on only doing good works.


    1. And a reader’s comment to the above Independent article reads thus:

      On the 14 of july 2014, the Russian, 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile surface-to-air missile Brigade, Part of the 20th Guards Army, based at Kursk, shot, within, Ukraine territory down, a Malaysian aircraft (MH17), carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew with a single Buk missile, killing all on board in the process and yet……..

      What took the Iranians 2 days, is still not a possibility in Putin’s Russia. Taking responsibility for a mistake.

      Thank you, Bellend fan.


    1. It’s like I predicted before: First they offer the Iranians a quantum of mercy: We know you did it, but we also know you didn’t mean to do it.
      Iranians: Yeah, we did it, but we didn’t intend to.
      Step #2: Westies start putting “unintentionally” in quotes.
      Step #3: Before you know it, Westie media will be blaring that Iranians did it ON PURPOSE!
      Why? Because they are evil and subhuman, natch.

      In Westie media, “subhumans” are never allowed to win, and are never granted any mercy, it’s all just a “Prisoner’s Dilemma” game to the Ubermenschen.


        1. That beard is not a good look for him – it makes him look homeless. As it happens, I agree with him that it would have taken an awfully crap air-defense operator to mistake an airliner for a cruise missile, especially in a country that has actually had cruise missiles fired at and over it. But I doubt he has much of a background in air defense. It’s probably a combination of him being told what to do and say by the USA, and maybe wearing socks with pictures of balls on them.


            1. Jonathan W:


              It is important to realize that even if Iran has accepted guilt etc. it is the Ukrainian International Airlines that will pay the victims under the international Montreal Convention. This is the opinion of the Canadian legal experts with a solid grounding in aviation law. I think this is subscription only but the Globe and Mail is Canada’s newspaper of record:


              1. Yes, that’s true, and it is my understanding the airline has already committed to payment of compensation. But then the Ukrainian state will sue Iran to get its money back, plus unspecified damages for pain and suffering and so forth brought about by an illegal act of war.


  29. So that’s Iran all trussed up and skewered on a spit ready for roasting.

    Cue the troll with his endless laudatory statements concerning the unsurpassable capabilities, boundless ambitions and awe inspiring invincibility of that most glorious, Exceptional Nation.


    1. The difference is this: Iranians are human beings, they make mistakes, and when they do they “man up” and make it right.
      When did we ever see Americans admit they are wrong about anything, or ever made a mistake?
      Americans are only “exceptional” in that they do not follow the normal rules of human conduct.


      1. In fact, Vice-President George H.W. Bush – when asked if he would apologize to Iran for the USS VINCENNES shooting down an Iranian airliner after allegedly mistaking it for a fighter aircraft of the Iranian Air Force – replied, “I will never apologize for the United States of America, ever. I don’t care what the facts are.”

        Acknowledge the facts of the incident were not as initially presented? If I must. Acknowledge the airliner did not ever present itself as other than an airliner following a designated air transit corridor, and was never diving on the ship or in any way exhibiting threatening behavior? Grudgingly. Admit the US vessel was inside Iranian territorial waters at the time? Now you’re pushing it. Apologize? Never.

        I will be tremendously surprised if the west’s reaction to this admission, now that it is made, tends toward sympathy, and I am much more ready to see acrimony and most of the focus on the period when they denied it. And I really, REALLY hate to have to admit Pompeo was telling the truth, because now we will have to spot him his next half-dozen lies because he was right for once.


  30. Well, the Iranian government offered a narrative that makes sense. Assuming they are telling the truth, it was manly of them to fess up and explain what happened. I feel very sorry for the anti-air operator who made the mistake, he will probably be court-martialled and go to jail, in addition to the horrible guilt of causing innocent deaths. Oi, the human condition…


    1. In the US, the missile crew would have been given medals and hailed as heroes. Regarding the shoot-down of Iranian flight 655 by the Good Ship Vincennes per Wikipedia:

      Despite the mistakes made in the downing of the plane, the men of USS Vincennes were awarded Combat Action Ribbons for completion of their tours in a combat zone. The air-warfare coordinator on duty received the Navy Commendation Medal,[10] but The Washington Post reported in 1990 that the awards were for his entire tour from 1984 to 1988 and for his actions relating to the surface engagement with Iranian gunboats.[67] In 1990, Rogers was awarded the Legion of Merit “for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer […] from April 1987 to May 1989.” The award was given for his service as the commanding officer of Vincennes from April 1987 to May 1989. The citation made no mention of the downing of Iran Air 655.[68][69]

      When you are exceptional you never need to say your sorry.


    2. The US tried to take out (to a movie and dinner?) another top Iranian leader but failed the same day the took out Soleimani:

      WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military tried, but failed, to take out another senior Iranian commander on the same day that an American airstrike killed the Revolutionary Guard’s top general, U.S. officials said Friday.

      The officials said a military airstrike by special operations forces targeted Abdul Reza Shahlai, a high-ranking commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps but the mission was not successful. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a classified mission.

      I wonder if they did kill someone(s) but was just an oopsie. Why in Yemen? Other than perhaps being more accessible for killing, it could have derailed peace negotiations between the Houthi and KSA. No peace in the Middle East permitted.


    3. Either God or Satan must love America because the shooting of this airliner was like a perfect gift for them.

      1. It took away attention away from the murder of Suleimani. Now the whole ordeal will be remembered not from something like the US did (killing of Suleimani) but rather from something that Iran did (shooting down the airliner)
      2. It embarrassed Iran and gave the US a propaganda victory.
      3. All of the dead passengers were Iranian citizens or ethnic Persians, so the West doesn’t really care about their fate. If the plane had been loaded with northwestern European people the US would have to punish Iran even further. Now there is no need for that.
      4. The US can continue to murder Iranian citizens in the future because they know Iran has any capability to retaliate and Iran will probably be too embarrassed to even protest anymore.


      1. “All of the dead passengers were Iranian citizens or ethnic Persians…”
        Should read “most”, not “all”.
        There were some sprinklings of other ethnicities.
        Most people focus on the “citizenship” not ethnicity anyhow. Under which, roughly half ot he passengers were Canadians.
        But you being you, ethnicity means everything to you. [hint: racialist…]


      2. Karl, you forget about the Iranians who died in a stampede at Soleimani’s funeral. Allow me tweak your points a little:

        1. It took away attention away from the murder of Suleimani in the Western MSM but not in the rest of the world.
        2. It embarrassed Iran and gave the US a propaganda victory in the Western MSM but not in the rest of the world.
        3. All of the dead passengers were Iranian citizens or ethnic Persians, so the West doesn’t really care about their fate. If the plane had been loaded with northwestern European people the US would have to punish Iran even further. Now there is no need for that as the US had shot down an Iranian airliner under far less justification so its even-steven as far as screw-ups go.
        4. The US cannot continue to murder Iranian citizens in the future because they know Iran has significant capability to retaliate and Iran will probably continue the pressure using its vast resources throughout the region. The West was shocked and shaken by the pinpoint accuracy of the missile strikes as indicated by satellite photos showing direct hits on aircraft hangers.

        All better now.


      3. Add to that much of the anger has been redirected at the Iranian government for being ‘liars’ and trying to cover up the crime, and the Iranian students and luvvies are out in force in the streets yelling and waving their signs, and the time is ripe for another push at regime change; fortune favours the bold! Yes, you’re right that the scenario could not have played out better for the United States if it had written it itself. To paraphrase Galeotti, Trump has the luck of the devil.


  31. Well, well. Now we know for sure. They’re still dead. Take one (a lot) for Team US Ally Canukistan!

    Yet again, US behavior is a bigger threat to its friends.

    The other thing in ‘common’ with MH17 is why i-Ran did not close its airspace if it believed that the USA was going to attack it massively, as t-Rump promised? The US did not warn airlines to fly to/over i-Ran, so I assume the latter took a ‘wait and see’ approach. The US plan to sow deliberate confusion to keep Tehran off balance has backfired spectacularly.

    I guess this is why the WSJ piece above about t-Rump feeling under pressure by teh GOP & impeachment was put together. Responsible, but not really responsible.


    1. Why did Iran not close its airspace? Answer in one Russian word: “Khalatnost”. Roughly translated as “negligence”. Or just “carrying on as usual”. I think we all see that in everyday life.
      From what I have read, they have since corrected that, and now all airlines are being routed away from that area.
      Morally, I think Trump is to blame, as he taunted the Iranians, saying he would strike them when they least expect. And then 3 hours later, this happens….

      Once again, I can’t help putting myself in the shoes of that one guy who screwed up and pushed the button… can’t even fathom his feelings of horror and self-loathing.
      Each of us should try to think back and recall the worst technical error we ever made in our lives. I still remember mine… but thankfully nobody was hurt. But every day I got out on the road in my car, I can’t help thinking what would happen if I lost my focus for a second and made a wrong judgement call when cars are darting in and out of lanes, etc.


      1. In the meantime, another ‘we don’t give a shit’ US bombing: Report: US Drone Strike Kills 60 Afghan Civilians, Taliban Commander

        … that “at least 60 civilians, including women and children” died in US drone strikes in Shindand, a town in southern Herat…

        …conducted a coordinated defensive air strike in support of Afghan forces in Shindand, Herat on January 8, 2020,” a US statement said. The military did not comment on the alleged civilian casualties. ..

        …the attack began at 4 pm on Wednesday in an area controlled by the Afghan government. The drone strikes were reportedly launched as militants were preparing to attack a government checkpoint. Local resident Abdul Hakim told the paper that US forces carried out a “double tap” strike, in which drones or warplanes return to bomb first responders. Hakim said “a few civilians were killed and injured” in the second strike as they gathered the remains of those killed in the first attack. ..

        Proportionality? F/k proportionality or international law! This has been going on for years but Afghani civilians aren’t white enough for the NYT/WP or anywhere anyone gives a f/k, particularly the corporate media


    2. Well, it’s certainly not going to hurt his re-election chances now. All the voters will remember is that America took out a bad guy, then the Iranians made a feeble kitten-paw swipe at them, and in doing so shot down a planeload of innocent people. America, golden and resplendent – Iran, black and smoking and evil. Who could disbelieve that they are seeking a nuclear weapon now, after their just being caught in a lie?

      I still have a huge problem with a surface-to-air missile system opening fire on a target which is going away and climbing. Their algorithms are constructed to constantly update the predicted position of a threat which is approaching – that is, the fire-control computer is constantly re-assessing where the target will be in x seconds based on its current course and speed toward itself, and is focused on sending out a missile so that the two come together. The computer ‘knows’ that will never happen with an opening or climbing target unless it reverses its direction’ it is always going to be getting further away, and the further away it gets the less possibility a missile fired at it will catch it. Ballistics of gun rounds fired on an opening target are also unreliable as all the calculations are focused on a target which is approaching, and your chances of hitting it improve the closer it gets as your trajectory to it gets flatter. Absolutely nothing in warfare is planned around firing on something headed away, and a target at 6000 feet and climbing is surely not a cruise missile.

      One theory which is dead as a dodo is that a tiny warhead only 33 pounds in weight (based on the SA-15, which I still don’t see that it could have been) could not take out a full-size airliner. It obviously can. Or make the pilot completely lose control of the aircraft, which amounts to the same thing. Once again, the obvious lesson is Periods Of Tension = Airspace Closed. Or else.


      1. Even though the plane was climbing, supposedly it was also sort of veering around and heading towards the military installation (?) Planes do veer around, I reckon, especially when climbing up from airport runways. I’ve been on planes that take off and then do a 360 before heading out… Depending on how they are stacked up.

        The Iranian commander was quoted as saying he saw something approaching his military installation and only had 10 seconds to decide whether or not to push the button.

        I can sort of relate to that, never having been in the military, but having been in computer command centers where something goes wrong, and everybody panics and starts pushing buttons.

        Life is sometimes just a series of fuck-ups.


        1. It’s nice of everyone to offer me an out, but SAM systems just don’t work that way. The radar is very precise, with either a very rapid scan rate or sometimes constant scanning such as frequency scanning or beam steering. It is comparing where the target was a fraction of a second ago with where it is now, constant sampling and comparing, and it can detect very small changes in altitude. If the target is headed away or is gaining altitude, it is not a threat. With a modern system, there is also the built-in IFF interrogator, and all reports said the plane’s transponder was operating. Even if, let’s say, the plane’s course off the runway took it straight over the installation, which it might have done, so the air defense unit saw an approaching target. It would still have been gaining in altitude, and the IFF code should have screamed ‘civil aviation!!!! Mode C!! No military plane has it!!!’ More to the point, ANY IFF coding at all would have told the buffoon on the system it was not a cruise missile; missiles do not have IFF transponders at all. So back to the plane – assume it headed in the direction of the defense installation, But the SAM system would have said “Sorry; not a target; civilian IFF, and a climbing profile. This is not a threat”. The plane was hit at about 6000 ft, or that’s when its sensors stopped transmitting. It was nowhere near its cruise altitude, and there is no reason why it would have momentarily descended; it would have been climbing steadily to get up where the air is thin and moving through it burns less fuel. It probably turned to starboard when it had already been hit, and was likely trying to return to the airport, where the pilot knew there would be room to land on a solid surface and crash rescue vehicles would be available. It obviously DID start to descend, but that was a result of being hit, not a precursor to it, it climbed another 2 kft after it was hit before it started to plunge out of control.

          Obviously I was not there, and I am only going on what I think must have happened, but the only ways I can see that the air-defense operator could have fired on it would be if he forced a change in the identification of the target to manually change it to ‘hostile’ and thereby enable an engagement – not the sort of cool thinking you might expect of someone in a blind panic who only has 10 seconds to get it done – or the system was CLOS (Command Line Of Sight) in which the operator fires the missile and then manually guides it to the target. Those are very hard to use and have a very poor record of success.


      1. I hate meeces to pieces!

        What’s the plural for a computer mouse?

        I recently saw “mouses” in print, but I didn’t like it.

        On the other hand, one says “mongooses” and not “mongeese” because a mongoose ain’t a goose, nor, for that matter, is a PC mouse a mouse.


        1. Is it a Russian mouse with wheels that you have to shake or a super smart laser guided hypersonic mouse available at Walmart?


    1. The thing to do with Estonia is to simply ignore it, and proceed as if it had not spoken. There is no sense in giving weight to the squalling of MaloReich Estonia and its little Nazi-worshipers. Russia does not need observance of a treaty with Estonia until Estonians start building houses on Russian land and claiming it as their own.


  32. The Hill: Graham, Paul rift deepens over Trump’s war powers

    …The fallout from a closed-door briefing on the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani has put a spotlight on the divisions among two of President Trump’s biggest congressional allies: Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

    “If I had an eye problem, I would go to him. If I had a constitutional question, he would be the last guy I would pick,” Graham said on Thursday when asked about Paul, who is an ophthalmologist…

    Ripples (wo)man, ripples…


  33. Syria stuff:

    The Hill: UN cuts humanitarian aid to Syria in win for Russia

    …The resolution passed by a 11-0 margin, with the U.S., China and the U.K. all abstaining from the vote. The vote was the result of months of contentious negotiations over the U.N.’s mandate for cross-border aid deliveries to Syria…

    Deutscher’s willy: Israel releases Druze spy to Syria

    Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has described the move as a “political gesture of goodwill.” As part of a Moscow-brokered deal, Syria had returned the remains of an Israeli soldier who went missing during a 1982 battle.

    …Sidqi al-Maqt, a resident of the annexed Golan Heights and a member of the Druze community, was imprisoned in 2015 for treason and spying on behalf of the Syrian regime…

    …More than 20,000 Druze remain in the Israel-annexed Golan Heights, many of whom still consider themselves Syrian….

    You couldn’t make this up and be believed. Catch Kafka 22.

    Oh, and Turkey + Russia have agreed a ceasefire in Idlib. Things are in motion.


  34. Maybe some Stooge who knows about this stuff could explain:
    I thought-apparently mistakenly-that civilian airliners could-using the IFF system- be identified as such by ground ATC.
    So the SAM units would have known the plane was civilian and hence not fired on it.

    But that kinda begs the question because a foe could then equip its hostile craft with a transponder?? that was rigged to make an opponet ‘think ‘ it was not hostile…right??

    A broader question is does there exist technology that enables ATC to determine the type of aircraft under scrutiny even if it is trying to deceive ATC. But then civilian planes wouldn’t be trying to deceive anybody and aren’t using stealth technology.???


    1. Anyone proven to have faked an IFF transponder code so as to appear to be a civilian aircraft when it was actually military would be guilty of a war crime. It is perfidy, and would be judged the same as if you painted a flag on your aircraft to make yourself appear to be one of the enemy, so you could get in among them. It’s not allowed by the rules of armed conflict. Everyone operating any kind of aircraft needs to be confident that the IFF transponder code of a civilian airliner actually corresponds to a civilian airliner – were that not so, no civilian air traffic could be allowed in time of war.

      All military aircraft also carry IFF transponders. In peacetime, those playing the enemy are often assigned a transponder code which will identify them as such (although never actual enemy aircraft, and we don’t know their codes anyway), so that a squadron of F-18 Hornets will all transmit 3333 for an IFF code, and if the radar operator observes it he/she will know those aircraft represent enemy units. It is to teach you to look at all the signs before shooting. Additionally, other factors which argue for an airliner are (1) point of origin/destination; did you just see it take off from a civilian airport? At the other end of its flight, is it descending into an approach pattern at a civilian airport? Coupled with showing the IFF code of a civilian airliner (Mode 2, 3 and C, and only civilian aircraft show Mode C), almost certainly an airliner. (2) speed and profile; an airliner, for reasons of economy and fuel consumption, typically climbs straight to its cruise altitude and then stays there. Usually around 350-400 knots, and about 33,000 feet. An aircraft which behaves this way and shows civilian IFF is probably an airliner. (3) transit in a known air transit corridor. Airliners travel designated routes which are like big tubes in the sky – maybe 30 miles wide or a bit less, 30-40 kft. They are planned for economical flight and deconfliction, so you don’t have aircraft in the same corridor but flying in opposite directions. These airlanes are known and are pre-input to radar displays in military ships and ground stations, and in the case of ships they are updated as the ship moves. If you see a blip and you interrogate it with your IFF interrogator and its says “Modes 2, 3 and C” and it is climbing at a steady rate to a known airlane or already in it, and just left from a civilian airport, it is an airliner.


        1. Using the criteria I described, it is very difficult to look at the performance of the Ukrainian Boeing and imagine it might have been taken for a cruise missile. It was not performing in any way like a cruise missile except for its speed, which would be roughly consistent for at least part of its flight. It might have been transiting in the direction of the ‘sensitive defense installation’, perhaps even directly at it due to the direction departing aircraft take from the airport, but if it was an automatic system rather than just a MANPADS and an operator’s eyeball, the altitude would have been always increasing.


          1. It seems possible that in the first place the UIA Boeing 737 was behaving suspiciously in turning and perhaps entering military airspace after take-off and this was what attracted the attention of the guy who shot it down. So there is still the possibility that the plane could have been experiencing a technical issue or the plane itself was being used by the CIA or the SBU to suss out Iranian defence capabilities.

            A parallel may be with the shootdown of a Korean Airlines passenger jet in 1983 by Soviet airforce jets, when that plane entered Soviet airspace and apparently did not respond to the pilots’ warnings and instructions. Only recently are people ready to admit the KAL plane could have been used for espionage purposes by the West against Soviet military defence readiness.


            1. I also wondered myself, if the Ukrainian plane had been designated a “patsy” or guinea pig to test out Iranian air defenses. But obviously, without facts, that’s just an empty conspiracy theory.

              If there were any validity, though, Pentagon would have learned that the Iranian air defenses are pretty good and able to defend against a real threat.


            2. More than probable. They tried it before.


              The Korean air crew blamed faulty navigation instruments. However, passengers knew something was amiss when the sun was on the wrong side of the aircraft. The pilot indicated that they still trusted the instruments despite such obvious indications something was wrong. Either it was mind-blowing incompetence or a deliberate act.


            3. Yes, I suppose that’s possible – just – although it is difficult to imagine an agency so cold-blooded it would deliberately risk innocent lives in order to draw and measure a military response. However, as I mentioned, all reports said the plane’s IFF transponder was operating, And any IFF response at all would indicate the target was not a cruise missile, which the operator said he thought it was by its behavior. We only have the reports from the press on both sides to tell us what the plane actually did, but it looks like it was properly transmitting IFF and climbing on a normal trajectory to cruise altitude. Just flying in the direction of a defense installation would not be enough to spook anyone who should be sitting at a missile console. Lots of stuff flies that is not a threat.

              In order to trigger an alert and possibly an engagement by a modern SAM system with an automatic capability, the plane would have had to (1) fly toward the installation being protected, (2) descend on a trajectory toward it, and (3) turn off its IFF transponder. That’s without the operator manually forcing an ID change, which he might have done, although western systems will not let you blank the IFF if it is operating. You would have to turn off the system’s IFF interrogator.


  35. I always figured him as a phony

    When Sanders here refers to “necessary wars,” he is not referring to popular revolutions against bankrupt social orders, or revolts by colonial peoples against their imperial masters. He is referring instead to those wars which are “necessary” to advance the interests of American imperialism.

    Sanders’ record demonstrates what he considers “necessary wars.” In the first place, it includes the 1993 US intervention in the Somalian Civil War, in which the US deployed death squads from the Army Rangers, Delta Force and other special forces units to the impoverished but strategically located African nation to decapitate factions opposed to the establishment of a US puppet regime. It also includes the NATO air assaults against Serbia in 1999, launched on the pretext of stopping an imminent ethnic cleansing of Kosovars.

    In 2001, Sanders participated in a near-unanimous vote in favor of the invasion of Afghanistan. Today—now that the near 20-year war is widely unpopular—Sanders conveniently declares that his earlier vote was a “mistake.” But he has continued to endorse US wars in the Middle East, including the US proxy war in Syria.

    Sanders has also supported Israel’s repeated assaults on Gaza, imperialist war crimes made possible with the support of the United States. In a 2014 town hall meeting, Sanders shouted down an antiwar protester who challenged his support for Israel as it was committing egregious crimes against the Palestinian population.

    Moreover, Sanders has publicly voiced support for the use of assassinations and “extraordinary rendition” in the so-called “War on Terror.” In 2015, when asked whether anti-terrorism policies under a Sanders administration would include drones and special forces, Sanders replied that he supported drones, “all that and more.” In his interview with NPR, Sanders deflected when asked whether he would leave “special operations” forces in Iraq after withdrawing ground troops.


    1. Bernie Sanders has never met a war he didn’t like, and it staggers the imagination that he can present himself as the ‘peacenik’ candidate. In reality he is not at all opposed to the use of US military force to ensure the USA gets its own way, because his assumption is that things always come out best for all concerned when the USA gets its own way. Considering, you know, that it is genetically predisposed to fairness and all. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he would be a terrible president, or at least no more terrible than any of the last ten that have gone before him, but there is no reason at all to imagine he would be a good one, or that he would be any less likely to use military force to resolve any given problem that cropped up.


    1. Ummmm….so that’s Iraq’s money? And the US is threatening to keep them away from it because it’s in a US bank? What’s to prevent Iraq from simply taking it out and putting it somewhere else? Is the USA threatening to freeze Iraqi assets in America? For what? Why does anyone ever put any money in American banks? I thought putting money in any bank was always an expression of the customer’s trust in the bank, for which the bank was humbly grateful, because it needs customers to flourish and perhaps to expand. Is that wrong? Do funds deposited in the bank automatically become the property of the bank?

      Mattress, meet money.


  36. Karl’s contempt for ethnic Persians will be increased by stories such as this one, showing that there is a Persian Kreakle 5-th column which supports Westie enemies. Only very weak nations contain 5th columns. Strong nations like Finland are monolithic and do not contain any fifth columns. (Although Karl himself, by his own admission, is a sort of Finnish kreakle… (?)

    P.S. – unknown why Karl, an ethnic Finno-Ugric type person, whom Aryans hold in contempt, holds Persiansin contempt, despite the fact that Persians are pure Aryans. One theory: their Aryan blood was diluted over the centuries with the blood of inferior Semites (?)

    Anyhow, basically… A couple of hundred Iranian Kreakle university students (University of Amir Kabir, whatever or whoever that is) gathered to show their support for the U.S. and Great Britain and tore up a portrait of Kasem Suleimani.
    Also present and cheering with pom poms was the British Ambassador to Iran, Robert Macker.
    Macker was detained for a few hours by Iranian security, who accused him of “inciting and instigating” the kreakle students.


    1. The name “Iran” means “land of the Aryans” in the Farsi language. The word “Farsi” is a development from “Parsi” (under Arabic influence perhaps, because the sound represented in English by “p” doesn’t exist in Arabic) and this word itself comes from “Pars”, now called Fars, a region in south-central Iran. It’s from Pars that the name Persia originates.


      1. Interesting. Linguistically the Iranians (with their Persian language) belong to the SATEM language group of Proto-Indo-European. Along with Sanskrit, ancient Persian is considered a classic Indo-Aryan language. The word “Aryan” was used around 2000 BC and probably just meant “nobleman”.

        Anyhow, I hope people realize I was just teasing Karl about that Aryan vs Finno-Ugric thing… Given Karl’s proclivities to diss Semites. Nowadays, everybody’s DNA is all jumbled up anyhow, but I like that different languages are still being preserved. Scythians were Aryans too, by the way.


    2. Where have I stated my contempt for ethnic Persians?

      As for me being a Finnish “kreakle”, I disagree. I may have different opinions about many things than average Finn, but I don’t hope for destruction of Finland as Russian kreakles hope that their own country is destroyed or at least subservient to the United States.

      And I’m not surprised at what is happening in Iran. The West is exceptionally good in propaganda to win over young people of non-western countries, even those countries that have very bad relations to the West in general.

      We saw that in Ukraine where the West won over young people which helped to overthrow the “Russian-friendly” president Yanukovich and perhaps forever tore Ukraine away from Russia. At least we will not see any kind of an integration between Russia and Ukraine during our lifetimes, because young Ukrainians generally hate or dislike Russia.

      We saw that in Hong Kong where the protesters were waving American flags and yelling the US to invade Hong Kong.

      We saw that recently in Belarus where young people waving American and EU flags were protesting against Russia in Minsk.

      And now we see that in Tehran where young people want the US to invade their country and kill their government. And this is the same nation which greatest national hero the US just murdered.

      Russia lacks the similar soft power that the West has. This is because Russia lacks the same appeal among the young people that America has. This appeal may be founded on false facts (through Hollywood propaganda), but it exists anyway. Most of the greatest brands that young people like are American. America is still seen as a country where people move to make their dreams come true. America is seen as a winner.

      While Russia doesn’t anymore have the same loser status it had in the 1990s, it’s still far behind the US in most areas and generally young people don’t watch Russian films, purchase Russian goods or dream about moving to Russia.

      I bet a big percentage of these Iranian students who are protesting would move to America immediately if given a chance to do that.


      1. Also the pro-Western protesters who tried to overthrow the Chinese government in 1989 in Tiananmen square were young students. Thankfully the Chinese government used brutal force against them, because otherwise the Chinese economic miracle probably wouldn’t have happened and China would be far behind from where it is now.

        But the point is that the Chinese government had to massacre thousands of their own citizens, their own people, just to keep the West from taking over their country. What does that tell you?


        1. Curiously in 2011 Wikileaks released old July 1989 correspondence between the US Beijing embassy and the US State Department in which the eyewitness account of a Chilean diplomat of what happened in Tiananmen Square in June 1989 is discussed. Recall that in those days Chile was still ruled by a far right-wing government under President Augusto Pinochet, so that country was no friend of China.

          “A Chilean diplomat provides an eye-witness account of the soldiers entering Tiananmen Square: He watched the military enter the square and did not observe any mass firing of weapons into the crowds, although sporadic gunfire was heard. He said that most of the troops which entered the square were actually armed only with anti-riot gear — truncheons and wooden clubs; they were backed up by armed soldiers.”

          No shooting or killing of students in Tiananmen Square in June 1989 then. Clashes between student protesters and soldiers took place outside the square.

          TeleSUR English backs up the Wikileaks cables release:

          The total number of deaths was about 200 and many of those who died were PLA soldiers lynched and in some cases burned to death by protesters.

          A more detailed account by Godfree Roberts of what happened in Tiananmen Square and how the CIA, the National Endowment of Democracy and regime-change manual writer Gene Sharp infiltrated the student movement in China at the time at this Unz Review link:

          China did not need to use brutal force against the students; the students themselves supplied it.


          1. Jen, are you telling us that Karl is actually being un-factual when he claimed the Beijing government massacred “thousands of their own people” ?!

            Shocking, and I used to believe every word that he types.


          2. The iconic photo of that guy blocking a Chinese tank is less that it seems. Apparently, the tank was trying to leave the area and the guy was blocking the exit. Makes one wonder if it were a setup for a good MSM photo.


            1. Here’s the video of Tank Man holding up the line of tanks leaving Tiananmen Square and being hustled away by other pedestrians:


      2. Perhaps Russia lacks the unscrupulous cynicism it takes to get young people all wound up over some imaginary utopian future it knows very well they are never going to actually see. The USA knows full well it plans to demolish any spark of independence in all of these countries, and make cash cows out of them to enrich its investor class. Unless the fanatic young people have the wherewithal to vault straight into the investor class themselves, and start making money off the asset-stripping of their country, they are enabling its captivity for nothing.


      3. Karl wrote: The West is exceptionally good in propaganda to win over young people of non-western countries, even those countries that have very bad relations to the West in general.

        As pointed our in earlier posts citing opinion polls taken in Russia and the US, Russians of all ages have a more negative view of the US than US citizens have of Russia.

        Karl, if your claims of having a positive attitude towards Russia were true, you ought to have responded positively to such information. Nope, you ignore any and all hard evidence that is contrary to your belief that Russia is weak and dying. Indeed, that belief seems to be your fondest hope.

        I will concede that the US has an appeal to uninformed adolescents (who like sugary treats, loud music, smoking weed and staying out late). The problem with the US is that a large fraction of those adolescents do not mature emotionally or intellectually. We can see it in our leadership and much of our youth.

        The US will pay a heavy price for the social engineering that prolongs adolescent behavior in the quest for a tame and easily manipulated population. Such schemes can be traced to our traitorous elites.

        Your posts do serve a purpose in my opinion as illustrated in this video:


        1. Well, he does have a point that Washington is good at inspiring fanatical loyalty in small symbolic cliques of youth in non-western countries – often the children of elites who are themselves critical of the government because they have not risen to positions they feel they deserve, are not free to make piles of money without restrictions, or whatever. These groups are often cited by Washington as broadly representative of popular opinion in Country X – see? everyone wants us to come in and help form a new government. But that’s pretty much never the case. Also, factions in these groups nurture a view of America and its values which no longer exists; the America where if you worked hard and stayed out of trouble, you were bound to succeed; upward mobility was a given. And a few, definitely a minority, picture themselves as the mover-and-shaker young executives of the new-money generation; they have gone to school or university in the USA, and imagine themselves vaulting straight into the investor class, making multi-million dollar deals and drinking Dom Perignon with lunch. Those are also the people who will become anti-government oligarchs in their own country if their ambitions of getting to America are thwarted, and their loyalty to America is coveted and fed. I imagine Mikhail Khodorkovsky was quite the anti-government pro-American firebrand when he was college-age.


    3. Hasten the day when all westerners who have any political or military affiliation are kicked out of the entire region. Despite the constant clacking from the US that it supports a strong, independent and prosperous Iraq, it has actually done nothing to make it any of those things, and now it appears the US is refusing to leave, insisting instead on talks to strengthen the relationship. What it plainly wants is a weak Iraq which is dependent on Washington for its direction and administration.


    1. That is interesting. More Dem tricks to limit the field, although I would guess they are not particularly happy about Sanders’ strong showing. Doesn’t matter, really, at bottom he is a hack like all the rest, but Uncle Joe’s pathetic score has to be distressing.


      1. Biden is a political zombie. Warren is a screechy whiny joke. Buttawhatever makes Trudeau look like a senior statesman. Bernie is probably their best bet if they want to remain true to their neo-liberal/neo-con agenda.

        Gabbard would be their best bet but absolutely no chance for that. Gabbard should continue to campaign to position herself for 2024.


  37. Enter the Bloody Banderite Pastor:

    Сбитый Boeing: Турчинов требует наказать Россию
    Турчинов призвал наказать Россию за сбитый в Иране Boeing
    11.01.2020, 21:44

    The shooting down of the Boeing: Turchinov demands that Russia be blamed
    Turchinov has called for Russia to take the blame for the downing of the Boeing in Iran

    Not only Tehran, but also Moscow should be made answerable for the shooting down of the Boeing in Iran, said former secretary of the Ukraine National Security and Defence Council, Alexander Turchinov. He has come to such a conclusion on the assumption that Iran, in his own words, is a strategic partner of Russia. Consequently, Turchinov is sure that Russia could have participated in “preparing the missile attack”. Earlier, Iran pleaded guilty to the deaths of 176 people. Authorities said the aircraft had been shot down by mistake.

    So it had all been planned in the Kremlin!

    Truly, these Svidomite Galitsian Nazis are all brain dead!

    I must say, though, that if I were a “scientific” 19th-century criminologist, I should think Turchinov had a certain moronic and depraved physiognomy ….

    Oleksandr Turchynov

    And he is a Ukraine Baptist Sky Pilot as well.

    I rest my case.


    1. For sure, the phrenologists would have a field day with that skull. The wide forehead and sloping brow are sure signs of sociopathy; and the shape of the mouth parts show a functioning serial killer with no remorse or conscience. I also rest my case, M’Lord.


      1. Hard to tell from the angle of the camera when it took that photo but beneath those hamster cheek pouches are gills which explain the breathing through the mouth.

        Anyone ever checked his hands for webs between the fingers?


        1. For example releasing the black boxes of the MH17 to the Dutch. Russia should have kept the black boxes and invite the West to conduct investigation on Russian soil, and on Russia’s terms.

          Another example was to give Ukraine a 5 year extension to the transit contract just to please Germany. Germany demanded that from Russia and Russia caved in. I think Russia underplayed its cards there because Germany needs Russian gas at least as much as Russia needs money from Germany.

          Another example is that Russia abstained from voting in the UN in 2011 which enabled the Western attack in Libya.

          And as to my knowledge Russia is still letting to NATO to use Russian railways to supply NATO troops in Afghanistan.


            1. Did Russia surrender those whom the UK accused of murdering Litvinenko and the attempted murder of Skripal?

              Has Russia surrendered Edward Snowden?

              And here’s a biggie: when’s Russia thinking of surrendering to the demands of the US puppet state that was once the UkSSR and “giving back” the Crimea to Banderastan?

              Oh, and lookee here!

              JUNE 23, 2017
              Under pressure, Western tech firms bow to Russian demands to share cyber secrets

              WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Western technology companies, including Cisco, IBM and SAP, are acceding to demands by Moscow for access to closely guarded product security secrets, at a time when Russia has been accused of a growing number of cyber attacks on the West, a Reuters investigation has found.


          1. That last one is not true any more: Russia withdrew the use of Russian railways for NATO in Afghanistan. Not sure when it happened, I’m thinking a couple of years ago. Too lazy to look it up, but I’m pretty sure of what I’m saying. You can look it up if you want and tell me if I’m wrong.
            The other examples are factual.
            Also, Russia had a reason (at the time) for the Afghanistan-railroad thing. They felt sorry for the U.S. being attacked like that on 9/11. I know, Russians are softies sometimes. Too soft.


          2. All examples that hopefully Russia learned from, in my opinion. Giving the black boxes to the Dutch looked like Russia had nothing to hide, but that was speedily turned to its disadvantage by the west saying there was nothing of value on them, while Russia was denied access, so they will never know and perhaps information that was on them was concealed to protect Ukraine. They now know they could have held them in Russia and insisted they be examined there – then, at least, Russia would have had to be a party to what was learned. Giving Ukraine a 5-year contract, as I already explained, was not a big deal for Russia; the transit fees on the extra 40 BcM per year after 2020 are peanuts, while Russia has significant options for larger volumes if it needs them. The abstention from voting in the UN in 2011 was Medvedev, and that was realized almost immediately as a mistake which already has not been and will not be repeated, as the USA used it for a Samantha ‘Genocide’ Powers end-run around the UN to employ R2P as an excuse for an attack which wrecked Libya. Letting NATO use Russian railways to supply troops in Afghanistan is probably no skin off Russia’s nose, and gives it some leverage so that it is more useful to continue it than to stop it for spite.


            1. Okay, so I did the research and found this . Thanks, wiki!
              Russia indeed was a kreakly enabler of NATO war-mongering when it came to Afghanistan.
              However, check out the final sentence, which vindicates my (sometimes shaky) memory of events:
              In May 2015, Russia has closed a key military transport corridor which allowed NATO to deliver military supplies to Afghanistan through the Russian territory.

              Yeah, Putin put a stop to it (finally), thus negating one of Karl’s points as unfactual. However, Karl is right that it was outrage to have even permitted this in the first place.


              1. ex-SALIS:

                15. April 2018

                Volga-Dnepr Steps Out of SALIS

                The Moscow headquartered transport company, best known for their fleet of mighty AN-124 freighters, have decided to terminate their Ruslan Salis commitment. By quitting the Strategic Airlift Interim Solution contract, they no longer carry any military equipment or humanitarian goods on behalf of most NATO and EU states as has been the case since the inception of Leipzig, Germany-based Salis in 2006. But the decision could be part of a big poker game between the Russian capacity provider and western countries.

                …During the SALIS negotiations, the carrier’s management indicated that its decision is also based on the 2017 signed Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which imposed new sanctions on North Korea, Russia and Iran. Further the V-D side pointed out that the U.S. Transportation Command, awarding special airlift missions on behalf of the Washington administration had ended their relationship with Volga-Dnepr in 2015, despite roughly 13,000 flights operated by the Russian company for U.S. Transcom between 2002 and 2014 to the satisfaction of the client. ..

                More at the link.

                Yes, more Russian weakness, bowing at NATO’s knee and kissing ass.


      1. Yeah, I know; they always do that. Like when they apologized for shooting down that Korean airliner, and that American reconnaissance plane, and for state-sponsored doping in the Olympics. Oh, wait; they didn’t do any of those.


        1. I bet if you check it out, the beastly Orcs did not apologize for shooting down the Korean airliner, but expressed regrets, just as thy did for Katyn, much to the chagrin of the Polacks, who still demand an apology. Traitor Gorbachev expressed “profound regret over the Katyn tragedy”.

          Rasha weeeeeaaaak!!!!

          Those sly Orcs know that following hot on the heels of apologies will come demands for compensation.

          Rasha poooooor!!!

          Russia “regrets” shooting down Korean airliner, though the man who ordered that it be shot down certainly did not:

          New Air Chief In Russia Has No Regret On Korean Jet
          By Michael R. Gordon
          Jan. 24, 1998

          ”I will always be sure that the order was given correctly,” General Kornukov said. ”If something like that would happen [sic] now, I would act the same way.”

          General Kornukov didn’t say those actual words, but an “educated” US journalist wrote a bumpkin’s translation of them into substandard English.


          1. Yes, I said that; remember when? Oh, wait….

            In Karl’s lurid imagination, Russia is forever apologizing for its latest fuckup, when in reality the United States of Never Apologize Ever is constantly trying to make it apologize for something.

            If you warn a civilian aircraft several times on common guard channels that you know it must be monitoring, and make fly-by passes and even direct cannon fire across its course in front of it, and it still keeps droning on toward the center of your country, I guess you have to assume everyone on it is dead and it is just chugging along on autopilot. You can either shoot it down or try to push it onto a different course, with the major risk that you will damage your own aircraft thereby and crash yourself. Or you can let it go until it runs out of fuel and crashes, perhaps in one of your cities. Whereupon you would have some ‘splainin’ to do.


  38. Меркель заявила о необходимости достроить «Северный поток — 2»
    11 января 2020, 18:34

    Merkel has spoken of the need to finish “Nord Stream – 2”
    January 11, 2020, 18:34

    We also talked about the Nord Stream-2 project … We need to finish it … Germany and other European countries will benefit from Nord Stream 2 … Everyone is interested in diversifying their gas supplies … This is a very important project”, Merkel said during a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    She threw in the “energy supply diversity” bit to pacify those who shriek and stamp their feet about making Europe totally dependent on Russian energy supplies.


    1. Latest from Putin is that the pipeline should be finished in 2021. The timeline of the project is being lengthened.

      But I guess now there is no need to hurry up the project since Ukraine was given a 5 year extension to the transit contract.

      Hopefully the pipeline will be ready by at least 2025 when the contract with Ukraine runs out.


      1. I’m confident it will, so long as the Germans don’t go squishy, and so far there is no suggestion of that although you can be sure the Americans will be looking longingly at German oppositionists who might be groomed to take a stand against it. Waste of time, though, I think, because German industry and business are firmly behind it as well, so any politician who attempted to cancel it would be fighting his own business community. But the only year that really matters is this one; transit volume is relatively high, but in 2021 it drops to a trickle, although Russia has the option of using the extra capacity if it needs it.

        I know you are a fan of the quick, colourful and noisy victory, but this agreement is not in any way a defeat for Russia. I think there is much more probability the pipeline will be completed and the requirement for transit through Ukraine concluded a lot faster than Ukraine will have devised an income replacement for it. Although Russia may decide to still transit some gas through Ukraine; you never know how things will turn out. But it won’t have to, which is, I think, the point.


  39. Former KS troll “Matt” is having a wonderful time over at OffGuardian “debunking” Russian lies about MH-17 and saying how Iran is more honorable than the Orcs for admitting its guilt. He’s churning out thousands of words over there in his debunking spree.


    1. Yes, he seems to have plenty of time on his hands to write voluminous commentary. Always comes back to the same talking points when he figures he has a new audience, too, I daresay, after having them fought to a standstill here because he doesn’t know anything about how radar works. But that won’t matter there, so he can get out all his treasured arguments again and have a high old time pissing people off with his Russophobia.

      The argument that confession is good for the soul is the same one the west tried hard to use to extract a confession of state-sponsored doping in the Olympics from Russia – just admit it, and we can move on, and with western help you can build a clean organization which will shake the sports world to its foundations! What would actually happen would be shrieks of “They admitted it!!!!” in the press, and then streams and buckets of contempt and demands for compensation and return of medals and it would never end. As it is, the Americans have to settle for insistence that guilt was proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, when of course it was nothing of the sort.


      1. That’s odd if Matt is a Venezuelan university student in Canada. A lot of the Canadians on board Flight PS752 seemed to have been university students of Iranian background hurrying back home to be back in time before uni starts back and exam time begins not long after.

        BTW I did find that Ukrainian International Airlines has flights from Kiev to Toronto and New York City. So the Iranians and Canadians on PS752 would have flown to Kiev and then on to Toronto.

        The possibility that spy equipment could have been on board the plane also, to take photos of military installations, and some of those Iranian and Canadian students being groomed for future regime-change leadership, seems permanently stuck in the back of my mind no matter how much I try shaking my head. (The rattling sound threatens to send me deaf.) A fair number of those students must be University of Toronto students and in whose federal electorate is the UofT located? It’s in Chrystia Freeland’s electorate, of all people!


        1. Like they say on TV, “It’s time to present the profile.”

          Matt is a white male approximately 28-30 years old, Canadian-born of Ukrainian Banderite extraction (grandparents Ukrainian Nazis). Probably was a student, but already graduated. Highly annoying know-it-all and very full of self. That’s my profile!


          1. They’ve got totally brassed off with him now over at OffGuardian, which he has swamped with reams of lengthy comments full of links to various “debunking” sites.

            He loves to use the term “debunk” and has repeated some lengthy comments. He goes on endlessly, filling his comments with reference “debunking” quotes. He has no qualms at all in referring to Bellend as a “debunking” source either.

            I think “Matt” is a cut-and-paste machine that has new-comment, updating inputs from Langley operatives.


            1. As regards to Matt’s trolling over at OffGuardian, this wonderful advice from, I presume, a Welshman:

              Rhisiart Gwilym

              Time to dade out all ‘Matt’ posts, if you don’t want him/her/them to wilfully derail the direction of the comment conversations: Don’t Read. Don’t Answer, Don’t Engage – DR.DADE! A powerful shill/troll suppressor-medicine. To be used as soon as you reach the conclusion that ‘Matt’ – and all the others of that same treacherous ilk – are shills, amateur or paid, who post here in bad faith. There are so many of them about now, infesting the alt-media with the deliberate purpose of de-powering the alt’s mind-clearing effects against Western propaganda, that we just have to get used to offing them promptly, as soon as they show their authentic colours.

              Don’t Read. Don’t Answer, Don’t Engage. With such crooks grinding unadmitted axes, it’s the only way. They don’t want honest discussion; just to sow irrelevant confusion, so as to run our energy into the sands with no useful clarifications or conclusions reached. That’s the narrative-control strategy of such nests of criminal liars as KnickersellerFlabbins/LyingTwat, MI5/6, the Institute for Blimpcraft, the LackIIs, and – of course – Tel Aviv Central. Avoid that by denying all contact: D.R.D.A.D.E

              Altogether now: ” ‘Byeeeeeeee, ‘Matt’!”

              I shall henceforth follow that advice as regards the resident troll here.


  40. According to VZGLIAD analyst Andrei Rezchikov, not all Russian analysts are necessarily buying the Iranian confession. There is yet one more “conspiracy theory” out there:

    That the Iranians basically issued a false confession just to shut everybody up and put the matter to rest. You know, like in those cop shows on TV, where they get an innocent defendant to plead guilty and get a shorter sentence, rather than risk going to trial and losing everything.

    I don’t have time for a full summary of this piece, let alone a blogpost (plus, I tend to stay away from posting anything on technical issues, since I don’t understand ’em), but here goes the shortie version:

    The reporter interviewed a man named Sergei Khatylev, who is the ex-commander of Russia’s anti-air forces. He says some stuff sort of like what Mark is saying. Namely, that a mistake of this calibre is simply impossible. If the transponder was working properly, then it is simply not possible that the Tor would mistake the airliner for a cruise missile. In an automated system.

    Khatylev also goes on to point out, that the Tor warhead that was “discovered” in the wreckage, was lying rather prim and neatly and in perfect condition, almost as if it had been placed there – gasp!

    Khatylev is also highly suspicious of the Americans (also gasp!), pointing out how many planes they shot down since 1978, and that this is all part of their methodology.

    Further: The Tor rocket, with its speed, would have reached the plane in under a second. No satellite imagery could have captured something which happened that fast. Yet, the Americans say they have it all on satellite photo. [yalensis: I’m not a photography expert, but couldn’t the satellites shoot it in slower speed cameras to capture fractions of a second?]

    Khatylev concludes that the Iranians were presented with all this doctored evidence, understood that the frame-up was complete, and decided to just get it over with and falsely confess. Not unlike Gaddafi with that Lockerbee thing.

    Reporter interviews several other experts, who say pretty much the same thing.
    Another theory is that an American drone was flying around at the time, in that area, and maybe the Tor went after it and hit the plane instead.

    yalensis: For my part, I would love to know who shot that “fatal video” that proved Iranian guilt? Does anyone know where that vid came from, and who first published it? On RT, reporter Rick Sanchez says he got it from the New York Times. Always a reliable source… not.


    1. Hopefully that theory is not correct because it would make the Iranian leadership spineless cowards. They would confess a crime they didn’t commit just to get the US out of their back.


      1. Agree with you, for once, Karl. I think it is wrong for anybody to make a false confession, no matter what the circumstances. Truth is the most important currency in the world.

        Anyhow, FWIW, I personally (knowing nothing) trend to the Iranian “it was a fuck-up” narrative. Maybe I spent too many years in I.T., but I just have very little confidence in automated systems. Nor in their human operators. I have seen things in my time that would make any person’s hair turn white in an instant. And these were things where nobody’s life was even at stake.


        1. The confession requires everyone involved, including Ukranian investigators, to be involved and STFU. I’ll double up on the conspiracy theory and say that Solemani was not killed in the airstrike, but his double was, i.e. i-Ran knew what was up and pretended to continue as normal to see how far Washington/Tel Aviv would go – i.e. force the timing of events. Thus, Solemani can now operate in the dark… Top that yalensis!


        2. I have seen the VLS (Vertical Launch System, which used the NATO RIM 7 sea Sparrow) and the CCS-330 (Command and Control System) balk at assigning friendly air to the missile system over and over. New contacts come up as Air Unknown, and are represented by a pink symbol (they say it is ‘magenta’, but it’s pink, all right?), and then the Air Defense team starts assessing it. The ARRO (Air Raid Reporting Operator) assesses it for speed and profile, to establish if its speed is consistent with an airliner and it is traveling in or climbing to an established air corridor. The Track Supervisor interrogates it for IFF and reports any which is observed, and if there is ANY it is instantly determined to not be a missile, although it might still be a hostile aircraft depending on the IFF. The SWC (Sensor Weapons Coordinator, which was my position) makes a recommendation to the ORO (Operations Room Officer) as to whether the contact needs to be assigned to a system for tracking as a possible target or is established as civil air. The whole process probably does not take more than 15 seconds from detection in a worked-up team. A contact assessed as friendly, upon being assigned that designation, turns blue and the weapons system cannot be assigned to it. The only compromise you can make is to manually force the ID to ‘Air Unknown’. Which is stupid and dangerous if you know by IFF it is an airliner. But then you could assign it to the weapons system.


          1. According to MoA, extra units were brought in and they weren’t plumbed in to the existing IADS, thus operating more or less independently. This may seem illogical, but the US and others have boasted of their ability to hack/phantom IADS (as has been mentioned at MoA), so having ‘independent’ units not only complicates any attack and adds risk, it also should improve defenses.

            I would guess that the new units were briefed by the locals once they’d arrived on site, but this may not have happened for all sorts of reasons. You would also assume that they would have a local map including air routes but we don’t know what we don’t know. And that’s all before we taking in to account the highest alert rating…

            The most disgusting thing about it all is how quickly the western media seeks to take advantage of their deaths of propaganda purposes, sic the British Ambassador attending a ‘vigil’, because of course the top diplomat in the country would have no idea at all that a) this is a highly sensistive time; b) that it would be seen as tacit western support for demonstrators. The Brits are the ultimate piss takers. You only have to hark back a few weeks to the tanker hostage incidents, the British event being completely different and justifed unlike the i-Ranian one. The British media is still too busy looking the other way..


            1. Oh, yes; the west assesses that ‘regime change is in the air’ again in Iran, and is trying to capitalize on the country’s remorse.

              The Tor is designed to be a stand-alone system, and is point-defense; it will defend whatever you park it in front of. The Buk is an area-defense weapon, in which four separate launchers are integrated with a single command vehicle and surveillance-radar trailer. Something like the S-400 is regional air defense, probably requiring command permission/veto to launch because of its extended range. Everybody should be on the air-defense guard channel for communications, but the Tor does not need any more than that. No amount of modifying or reviewing the country’s procedures is likely to change these facts because those are the design roles of the various systems.


      2. Yes, hopefully.

        It must be a wonderful thing to live in such eternal hope for the best.

        Hope springs eternal in the human breast!

        That’s what Alexander Pope reckoned, anyway.

        I don’t!

        I’m a dyed in the wool pessimist.


    2. Gaddafi took the blame for the PanAm 103 Lockerbie plane crash just to have the sanctions lifted. He certainly was not a “spineless coward”.


    3. I suppose that’s a possibility. One correction – they could not have found the warhead pristine in the wreckage, because if the warhead had not exploded into a gazillion pieces there would be no wreckage. But once again, if anyone is planting missile parts in the wreckage, they should stop, because as we established over and over, the missile does not touch the plane except for fragments of the warhead. It explodes, the missile is ripped apart and its pieces fall to earth where the plane was hit, not where it crashed miles away from that point. The Ukies tried slipping a dented missile body into the wreckage of MH17, that crashed some 13-15 kilometers from where it was hit. Ridiculous.

      Iran would have been foolish to admit they did it if they know they didn’t, doctored evidence or not, and in any case it is too late now. But they lost all their momentum, and all that will be remembered of Soleimani’s murder is that the Iranians celebrated it by shooting down a civvie airliner full of innocent people.


    4. If a US (or other) drone had been flying in the area, it had a choice of hiding in the radar shadow of several passenger jets. A fair number of those jets would be flying for various Middle Eastern and Central Asian airlines. So why would it choose, of all the planes flying around, to hide in the radar shadow of a Ukrainian International Airlines jet? Maybe there is more to that UIA jet than its immediate destination in Kiev; where would that plane have flown to next?

      A number of Canadian citizens on the jet were people of Iranian background associated with various universities right across Canada from BC to Nova Scotia. Likely then the plane would have flown to Toronto next.

      I guess if we want to spin a conspiracy theory, then it would be that someone must have known that a stack of academics of Iranian background had boarded the UIA plane and targeted them so that neither Canada nor Iran could benefit in the future from their work. Targeted assassinations of people because of their scientific, engineering and other intellectual credentials are not unknown in neighbouring Iraq.

      Who could have had access to UIA Flight PS752’s passenger list and discovered most of those people were university students, postgrads and academics?



    @IronForge #28:
    Now we need to see if the Aircraft did Deviate from the Path…
    There was nothing unusual about PS752’s flight path. See a chart of ten departures from the Tehran airport that night. Why weren’t these other planes shot down? Perhaps PS752’s one-hour delay was not properly communicated to air defense authorities?

    I had heard about this somewhere else (the flight delay), but it didn’t strike me, because flight delays are so normal. And then it suddenly strikes me. Maybe I read too many detective novels, but the detective always asks, “What was different about this particular day?” (i.e., the day of the murder…)

    The one thing that distinguished this routine flight from the other routine flights that same morning; and from the exact same Ukrainian flight that had taken place the day before: That this particular flight, on this particular day, was delayed by one hour. I remember reading this in a previous comment on a different blog, there was a good deal of pathos involved, something like “The passengers were starting to complain about the delay… Seven minutes later they were all dead…”

    Aside from the pathos, the working point is this: Could the delay have been THE thing that confused the ground controller of the Tor system? ’cause everybody is saying, “Well, of course they had a list of all the commercial flights…” But maybe this guy just started his shift and thought that particular flight was already long gone. So he sees some flight he wasn’t expecting… Still doesn’t explain about the transponder, though.

    Still, in any company, be it manufacturing or a medical hospital, or whatever, shift Handovers are one of the areas that Risk Management knows mistakes can happen, if any deviations are not properly reported on to the next shift.
    Just throwin’ that out there…


  42. Okay, so now news about the money is starting to come in.
    And we can be assured the lawsuits will not be far behind!

    Recall that there were 11 Ukrainian citizens on board the Boeing, including the 9 members of the flight crew. According to the Montreal Convention, each member of the crew must be insured by the airline, and the Ukrainian airline will release the life insurance money to the families. [doesn’t say how much $$$]
    In addition to that money, each Ukrainian family (not just the crew) will also receive $8,300 (in American dollars) from the Ukrainian government.

    Ukraine Prime Minister Goncharuk announced that, this morning.
    The government will also offer legal assistance to any families who request it, as the series of lawsuits will now begin.

    I have to say, this is pretty laudable for the Ukr government. I mean, the fact that they are being so prompt about this. I think it helps the families to find closure, when they get their insurance money and other cash payouts promptly, without having to wait for years and years.


    1. P.S. – Just re-read my own comment, I didn’t mean to imply that the Ukrainian families will be paid in American dollars. The amount is 200,000 hryvna, and that was the just the “translation” into dollars, to get a better idea of the scale.


      1. The Wikipedia discussion seems fairly balanced on the Vincennes shoot-down of the Iranian airline.. Here are excerpts relevant to the shoot down of the Ukranian airline by Iran.

        Robert Entman of George Washington University studied coverage surrounding the incident in U.S. media, comparing it to the similar incident that happened to Korean Air Lines Flight 007, which was shot down by the Soviet Union five years earlier. Using material from Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post and CBS Evening News, the research found clearly evident framing techniques used to demonize and blame the foreign enemy.[56] He stated that by “de-emphasizing the agency and the victims and by the choice of graphics and adjectives, the news stories about the U.S. downing of an Iranian plane called it a technical problem while the Soviet downing of a Korean jet was portrayed as a moral outrage.”
        In February 1996, the United States agreed to pay Iran US$131.8 million in settlement to discontinue a case brought by Iran in 1989 against the U.S. in the International Court of Justice relating to this incident,[43] together with other earlier claims before the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal.[16] US$61.8 million of the claim was in compensation for the 248 Iranians killed in the shoot-down: $300,000 per wage-earning victim and $150,000 per non-wage-earner.[64] In total, 290 civilians on board were killed, 38 being non-Iranians and 66 being children. It was not disclosed how the remaining $70 million of the settlement was apportioned, though it was close to the value of a used A300 at the time.

        The US never officially apologized. Score one for Iran.


    1. Cruise missiles use inertial guidance and GPS. They do not broadcast any signal which can be intercepted or tracked. A cruise missile is hard to confuse because it knows where it is going when it is launched; it does not rely on an active homing signal to guide it to the target and the information it does gather to make minor corrections is passive. No missile broadcasts IFF. Therefore if any IFF trace is picked up, it is not a missile. The Tor system has an IFF interrogator. I am prepared to accept the operator made a ‘fog of war’ mistake, but the system must have been trying to warn him that he was about to do so. I don’t care how old it is – it is newer than the Buk, and the Buk has an IFF interrogator which causes a distinctive ‘eyelash’ trace to appear under the radar video of the target. As soon as you see that, you do not even need to examine it further to know it is not a cruise missile. I feel sorry for the guy, but 10 seconds is actually plenty of time to look for the signs that will tell you it is not a missile, especially if the system is already tracking it and you are just making a decision to shoot or not shoot. A Boeing 737 at less than 15 km range would make a radar echo the size of your thumbnail – a cruise missile without the booster is the length of a speedboat and smaller around than a drainpipe. Would you not be suspicious that an old missile system with rudimentary capabilities was picking up a cruise missile whose echo was as big as a Kittery barn? Maybe you wouldn’t if you had never seen an air-defense system before except on TV. I also understand some of the Persian air-defense forces do not get much training, but this still falls well within the scope of an avoidable mistake.


    1. Yes, I saw that in the paper; the only context in which the USA will discuss its relationship with Iraq is how the ‘partnership’ can be strengthened and improved. Leaving is not an option. How many soldiers did you say you wanted, again? And don’t say zero. Because you can’t.


  43. Iran and Donbass – Why There Was No Loud Chorus of Western Intelligence in 2014
    January 11, 2020
    Stalker Zone

    … on the very day after the catastrophe in Iran, Western intelligence, including Australian (!) and Canadian intelligence, started to talk about the existence of almost accurate data on the circumstances of the tragedy. The Americans nodded. I.e., it turns out that it is easy to get data in our electronic information world. And the data is not from photos on social networks. Investigation, space, witnesses.

    But in 2014, intelligence was virtually silent. There are no data? Was Ukraine less interesting than Iran? The same Canadian intelligence? Not to mention American intelligence with all its interests, plans, and satellites? Do you believe that? And is it not because the investigation still relies not on the photos and data of super intelligence agencies, but on the data of a doubtful “public” bureau registered a few days before the downing of the plane in Donbass – I mean “Bellingcat”?

    Not quite true: kerry had intelligence galore on why MH17 came crashing down, data, where, when, by whom, what by — all hardly before the dust had settled around the wreckage and the corpses had ben gathered. He categorically claimed that US intelligence knew what had happened

    Kerry appeared on all five major US Sunday talkshows to lay out the Obama administration’s case against the separatists and to call on Russia to act and stop them from blocking an investigation into the firing of a surface-to-air missile that brought down the plane on Thursday, claiming 298 lives.

    “We have enormous input about this that points fingers,” Kerry told CNN’s State of the Union. “It is pretty clear that this was a system from Russia, transferred to separatists. We know with confidence that the Ukrainians did not have such a system anywhere near the vicinity at that point of time.”

    He said the US knew that in the last month there had been a “major flow of arms and weapons from Russia to the eastern part of Ukraine and turned over to the separatists”.

    Kerry said social media reports and US surveillance put the missile system in question in the vicinity of the crash before the tragedy.

    “We know because we observed it by imagery that at the moment of the shootdown we detected a launch from that area,” he said. “Our trajectory shows that it went to the aircraft. [My stress —ME

    “We also know to a certainty that social media immediately afterwards saw reports of separatists bragging about knocking down a plane and then the so-called defence minister of Donetsk, Igor Strelkov, posted a report bragging about the shoot-down of a transport plane.”

    The case against the separatists was further backed by evidence from voice intercepts and a video of a launcher moving back into Russia with at least one missing missile, said Kerry.

    Kerry called on Russia to “step up publicly and join in the effort to make sure there is a full fledged investigation”.

    The case against the separatists was further backed by evidence from voice intercepts and a video of a launcher moving back into Russia with at least one missing missile, said Kerry.


    Shawn of the Dill and associate, the Guardian, Sun 20 Jul 2014 16.14 BST


    1. Interestingly, after all that Kerry claptrap, the only evidence that turned up was Bellend’s doctored clips and intercepted calls between celebrating Orcs, calls intercepted by the Yukie FSB.


  44. Detected still another word borrowing from American English into Russian:
    (“coming out”, as in declaring one’s homosexuality)

    If Russian “philologists” were still a thing, they could have coined a more native-sounding word, I dunno, like исшкафавыходка, or something…


    1. P.S. – forgot to mention the context in the Russian press:
      some Hollywood actor I never heard of, apparently he appeared in “Breaking Bad”, and then he came out of the closet, to everybody’s shock.

      Of more interest, the Russian-dubbed version of “Breaking Bad” is called «Во все тяжкие».
      Not sure that’s an accurate translation. Not that “Breaking Bad” was ever a real phrase in American English, but I think the semantic undertone is something like “When a man goes bad”.
      Doesn’t the Russian phrase mean more, something like, “A life of hardships” … ? not sure…


  45. USA (aka “West”) — stronk!

    Rasha — weeeeaaaak!!!!!

    But, falling apart for two decades, the system is no longer performing its functions ….

    The Collective West (US and EU) tried to solve this problem by artificially chaoticizing key (for international trade) regions of the planet: North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and the non-Western (EU and NATO) states of Eastern Europe and the Balkan region. The chaoticization was supposed to lead to the fall of legitimate governments (in many cases it did) and allowed the West to operate outside of the same legal field (to plunder without being constrained by conventions) created by it. On the other hand, the chaoticization of these regions was supposed to jeopardise the vital interests of Russia and China, the West’s main rivals in the fight for global resources destabilise them from within, and eventually make them a submissive instrument in the hands of the West (or, as an option, destroy them as states).

    Ultimately, the West did not have the strength to complete the initially successful operation. Having strengthened earlier than the West expected, Russia warned in 2007 in Munich, snapped back in 2008 in Georgia, launched a counterattack in 2014 in Ukraine (regaining Crimea), and finally went into a counter-offensive (initially with limited targets) in 2015 in Syria.

    However, the United States (for which it has long been tactically more profitable to retreat in Syria, leaving Russia by itself to deal with a complex of local contradictions), without reasons dug their heels in, like the Germans outside Stalingrad. As a result, the local at first (although a strategically important operation) conflict turned into a global one, developing throughout Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America, with the active participation of the United States, the EU, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, the Persian Gulf countries (including Iran and Iraq), as well as China, Japan, and both Koreas. And the US is being defeated in this conflict.

    See: The Era of Change and Russian Prospects
    January 12, 2020
    Stalker Zone


  46. Moskva yesterday, 12th January 2020.

    Defending Russia against “Freedom and Democracy”.

    Guarding the Eternal Flame in Memory of the Fallen during the Great Patriotic War, 1941 – 1945, as a matter of fact, a defensive war fought to prevent the extermination of Slavs in the former Soviet Union and other peoples therein who were considered by members of the Herrenvolk to be Untermenschen)


    1. By the way, Yalensis, there’s a question I wanted to ask you. There’s a Russian word “всратый” which originates in the teen slang and means “ugly”, “untidy”, “awful”, “being in a bad shape”… In your opinion, what would be a proper English translation of “всратый”?


      1. The closest English translation equivalent is an Australian / New Zealand slang term “daggy” which originally was a sheep-herding term referring to clumps of wool or “dags” (usually with dung attached) hanging from the back end of a sheep, and then later came to mean “dirty” or “scruffy”. The word has taken on additional meanings of looking unfashionable / old-fashioned / ugly, depending on the context, because it is mostly used by kids.


        1. Jen, thanks a lot! That’s a wonderful translation. The word is a perfect match for its Russian counterpart. I could not have hoped for that level of precision… But there it is!
          Reminds me of a recent blog post about how unrelated books by unrelated authors may turn out to be quite similar to each other… without an apparent link.


        2. I don’t think Americans say “daggy”, or at least I never heard it.
          Not sure what American youth would say, maybe a “hag” if in regard to a female.
          A “beast” in regard to a male (?)
          English girls would probably call each other a “cow” if they disliked each other.
          I’m not really fluent in terms of abusive, since I am always so polite and respectful to other people. 🙂


          1. Yalensis, thanks!
            What makes the word “всратый” fun is that it doesn’t merely apply to human appearance, but it’s an universal category that applies to anything. Also, the perfective aspect makes it quite unique. For example, “всратый день” would be not a “crappy day”, but a “wasted day”… in my understanding at least.
            Languages are fun. 🙂


            1. The meaning of the term

              [Vsrataya above with feminine nominative singular adjectival ending as the adjective here is used to describe a girl.]

              The Russian word that Evgeny enquired about is youth argot and is used to refer to an ugly person who is either painfully or funnily ugly.


              Ну и что, что моя девушка всратая, зато даёт регулярно.
              Well, my girl’s no oil painting but she gives it regularly.

              Such a person does not cause rejection or disgust: the word meaning more like “defective” or “weird”.

              Such persons labelled so may have some seemingly ugly defect, e.g. a huge birthmark, or a clearly unusual and weird appearance or defect, e.g. a peculiar gait or buck teeth.

              Other terms in English for this Russian youth argot could be “weirdo”, “freak”, “freaky”.

              The English expression that makes me smile and means in one word “vsrataya” in Russian is: “She’s got a face that would stop a train!” if one should add to that unflattering comment, “but you don’t look at the mantelpiece when poking the fire!”

              There is a public page on vKontakte, the most popular social network in Mordor, where people collect photos of funny, unpleasant and unsavory personalities that have caught their eye and who are all всратые. [nominative plural ending of the adjective]


                1. I should seriously warn you though, that some the photos in vK site linked above border on the pornographic.

                  Just saying, like.

                  Don’t bother me, though, but some of you Stooges might take offence.


                2. Here are two more vsratije:

                  The President of Estonia strolling with a Ukrainian dwarf.

                  Last november, when she met the dwarf (pictured above), the President of Estonia urged that the Ukraine be supported in its “struggle” with Russia. At a press briefing with the Zelensky, she stated:

                  “This is not just a conflict between two parties we are dealing with aggression, where one country is an aggressor and the other a victim. We are dealing with a partial annexation, that of the Crimea”,

                  And yesterday, she told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Russia is an unpredictable neighbour which poses a threat to European countries.. According to her, once, Estonians had hopes that the situation would change in Russia, but this did not materialize.

                  “After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Estonians had hoped that Russia would become a free and democratic state, but these hopes were not fulfilled”, she said in an interview with FAZ.

                  “When Russia under Boris Yeltsin recognized Estonian independence, many Estonians hoped that Russia would become a free and democratic state. Unfortunately, things turned out differently. But we do not blame the Russian people. We distinguish between the regime and ordinary citizens”, she said.

                  Well, how kind of you to say so!

                  Поделиться Президент Эстонии заявила о несбывшейся надежде на Россию при Ельцине

                  14 янв, 08:06


          1. It’s a funny word is that “minging”.

            Where I come from, “minge” means pudendum muliebre — the whole area of that female part, as in “She’s got a hairy minge”.

            I must confess, though, that in the past 30 years or so I have heard the term “minging” being used, as in: “I haven’t changed my keks for weeks and now they are minging!”

            I blame “Trainspotting”.


  47. Iranians refute Trump’s B.S. , the man is barely literate in English, yet took it upon himself to tweet threats to them in Farsi!

    Also a reminder that Barbarian Trump had threatened to “bomb 52 Iranian sites” including world cultural sites, after the Iranian retalilation for Solemaini’s assassination. This threat to the cultural sites is one of the reasons that Iranian anti-air was on such hair-trigger alert and a contributing cause to the Boeing airline disaster. Nobody should ever forget this point.


    1. I wonder if Trump’s English to Iranian translators are better than were Killery’s English to Russian ones, who gave her a spoof “reset” button that was labelled “overload” in Russian and which she handed to Lavrov, saying to him: “I hope we got it right”.

      Lavrov simply accepted it and said, “No, you didn’t, you stupid, foulbitch!”

      (The last bit I made up.)


  48. Deutscher’s willy via Trump resumes military training program in Pakistan

    The move to restart a military training program signals a thawing of relations between Washington and Islamabad. US security assistance to Pakistan, however, continues to be suspended…

    The US needs Pakistan onboard for any Taliban deal. Pakistan just had to wait Washington out, not to mention China having its back.


  49. Rasha weeeeeaaaak!!!!!

    Whatever Putin wants: Russia emerges as Libya powerbroker after assembling breakthrough talks
    Europe scrambles as Russia flexes diplomatic muscles
    14 minutes ago

    It was nonetheless a stunning and unexpected turn in the Libya conflict, and another instance of Mr Putin using the levers of diplomacy to put his imprint on the geopolitics of the Middle East and north Africa. France, Italy, Germany and other European and Arab powers scrambled to catch up.

    “Until a few weeks ago the Europeans were happy taking their sweet time,” said Jalel Harchaoui, a north Africa specialist at the Clingendael Institute, a Dutch think tank. “Now what we’re seeing is not about concrete peace as about a change of venue and the emergence of Moscow as the superpower that all the actors are happy to speak with.


    1. “Mr Putin also has a history of making flashy diplomatic announcements in order to increase Russia’s diplomatic leverage and standing, only to walk away and let others deal with the fallout when agreements flounder and the shooting resumes.”

      That actually does not sound like Russia at all, and is probably the House KGB Agent’s unkind contribution. It sounds much more like Trump and his ‘best XXX ever’ rhetoric and much more like America’s style, except for the last part – when the shooting resumes, the USA uses it as a pretext to invite itself in in a peacekeeping role, build a base or two and stay for decades.

      Of course the article is exaggerated almost to the point of caricature, to make it appear Putin is Taking Over The World, probably to spur some action from Washington. Although the west cannot be happy with the emergence of Turkey as a co-operator with Russia in several major projects. But it’s pretty funny to hear a western source squeal about Russia breezing in someplace, making a lot of promises and claiming a big victory, then blowing out the door after things start to go sideways. Just as it was funny to hear the Ukie airline railing at Iran for not closing the airspace during a period of tension – inexcusable: God, do they know nothing??


      1. For sure, that statement quoted above was added to the article so as to make it clear to readers that the man is evil personified, that Russia only does things in its own interests, perish the very thought, and leaves the wondrous West to pick up the pieces after everything has gone awry. And the article is a classic example of projection, of projecting one’s faults onto others. The article also reveals this dual nature of Russia as it appears in the eyes of the “free world” and all that is good therein, namely that Russia is at the same time weak and should, therefore, be derided, yet at the same time strong and must, therefore, be feared.


    1. Amazing! I had not realized it was mostly mythology, although I don’t recall ever hearing that the government ‘mowed down hundreds of students’, either. Overall, it’s a seminal incident that I did not know very well, and my only recollection of it is the guy standing in his shirtsleeves in front of a tank, the iconic image that immediately springs to mind.

      A few journalists are concerned about the wilful manipulation of real events, but by and large most are content to go home with a paycheck after writing what they were told to write. Western ‘journalism’ is political rubbish, and there is no use hoping it will come back to whatever it used to mean.



    Canosin getreal155
    the ***United Zionist States of Terrorism*** don’t care for the losses of civilians that will be huge on the iranian side…as long as it happens only there….
    this would change drastically as soon as it would hit american soil..

    The alpha dog of NATO : North Atlantic Terrorist Organization

    I personally do not see the Russkies and Chinese sitting by while Death Star Thug Troopers
    of Murika mass murder Persians…Dunno…could be wrong…but I just do not think that would be the case!!!!


    1. The report says the plane climbed steadily until it suffered whatever catastrophe caused it to crash, and did not lose altitude until it had already tried to turn back to the airport. Steady climb + IFF= not a cruise missile. Whoever told the air defense operators that cruise missiles had been fired is the one who should be shot, because that never happened and so far as I am aware there were no indications that it had.



    Vicious psycho whore….

    “John Upton
    Gina Haspel looks like everyone’s favourite granny. And yet she is soaked in the blood of not just Qassem Suleimani but countless others.
    These butchers are allowed to travel the world planning the next assassination.
    With Suleimani’s murder we witness democracy, bourgeois style, in action.
    This savagery will only end with the destruction of the capitalist state.

    jo to John Upton
    You suspect she was chosen precisely because of her fragant, feminine look. All the better to annihilate you with.”


  52. A must-see video on the aftermath of the Iranian missile attack on the Al-Asad air base.

    Initial thoughts:
    – The CNN reporter was too breathless and tense;
    – A lot of damage to key areas although the scope of damage relative to the entire base was hard to asses.
    – the base was apparently off-limits to reporters for over a week; presumably to cleanup the worst damage and for the troops to compose themselves.
    – As pointed out throughout the piece, Americans have never been on the receiving end of an intense air/missile strike, at least not since the Korean war. And they were in shock.
    – the missiles paid special attention to US drone operation centers.

    The accuracy of the missiles, having no defense and the seeming fragility of US forces, more than anything, ensures no US military response. So its back to sanctions, assassinations and regime change antics.

    Iran has taken off the table the option for a serious military attack by the US. Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain would likely revolt from their US masters than to be dragged into a war with Iran. 20-30 missiles can disable the mega-scale desalination facilities placing the population in dire straights and fomenting rebellion in Shia-dominated (and oil-rich) eastern Saudi Arabia. 40-50 missiles with 1-ton warheads would put Saudi oil production to zero for months if not a year (look what a few drones did with their 10-20 pound warheads). I can not imagine Dubai under missile attack; the damage and causalities would be incalculable.

    I think that the Soleimani murder was not meant to trigger a war with Iran. Rather, it was to back down Iran – to show to the regional players that Iran was weak; either through a feeble response or no response at all other than a few militia attacks.

    To say the least, if the foregoing was indeed the plan it was a spectacular failure. GCC now knows that the US cannot protect them in the event of major hostilities with Iran. An entire new dynamics is at play. Somehow, the US will double down with Israel doing everything it can to force a war on a reluctant US and its Middle East vassals.

    Some say that the Syrian setback and now this are the first overt signs of an unraveling empire. Too soon to tell.

    As side notes; one of the soldiers indicated that they could see the incoming missiles. Since the missiles are ballistic, what is emitting light? Are they fast enough to create sufficient heat to generate a glowing plasma cloud like an ICMB warhead would?

    Early claims of large American causalities were likely made by Iranians who did not know of the advance warning provided to US forces by Iran.

    Finally, it is extremely disingenuous not to acknowledge that Iran provided advanced notice of the attack.


    1. “Soldiers recounted their actions during the attack and shared their feelings of trauma…”
      Hey, nobody got hurt, why are they acting like little girlie men… They supposed to be big manly soldiers.


  53. NBC broke the story today regarding Trump authorization of the murder 7 months ago. The trigger would be a fatality of an American that could be traced to Iran, however improbable the link. Also, the break-in of the US embassy in Baghdad was said to be another red line for Trump. The NBC story contradicted claims made by Trump regarding imminent attacks on US embassies. MoA has more details..

    It seems that the MSM has decided nailing Trump is more important than playing up the murder. Trump is, as they say, left hanging, twisting in the wind.


  54. @Mark
    Sorry about the duplicate link posts. There is a lag in the system which made me think something I posted didn’t post and needed reposting!!!
    Please delete the last two cnn links (pompeo-barr-soleimani)


    1. Interesting… It’s the renaissance of the “Nationalist Internationale”, whereby fascists of various countries attempt to collaborate with each other for a common cause.
      In this case, (1) to destroy Russia, and (2) destroy the EU as well.

      Then build sort of their own version of the Salafist “Emirate”, but as a right-wing “Christian” entity.
      Only problem: when it comes right down to it, nationalists have a really hard time cooperating with each other, ’cause they get into a fight about which ethnicity is superior to the others.
      That’s why a Nationalist Internationale is an oxymoron.

      To be fair, Hitler was somehow able to pull off a solid and lasting military alliance with Italian fascists and Japanese warlords. But most of these fascist dweebs don’t have Hitler’s talent. Sooner of later they will just tear themselves apart with in-fighting, that’s my prediction.


    1. Along those lines, I have this piece.
      In 2019 the number of Ukrainian citizens who received Russian citizenship reached almost 500,000 people.e
      The majority, of course (but not all) from Donetsk and Luhansk.
      So, that’s another half a million lost to Ukraine. Due to Ukrainian government idiocy and incompetence. Also a loss to the tax base and government revenue, it goes without saying.


  55. Белоруссия намерена заменить российскую нефть на поставки с Украины
    15:00 14.01.2020 (обновлено: 16:53 14.01.2020)

    Belarus intends to replace Russian oil with supplies from the Ukraine
    15:00 14.01.2020 (updated: 16:53 14.01.2020)

    MINSK, 14 Jan – RIA Novosti. First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Dmitry Krutoy has said that Minsk had sent out commercial proposals for oil supplies to the republic to replace Russian ones.

    Russia is doomed!

    Cue the troll to commence waxing lyrically about Russian weakness and the successful wooing of Belorus to its side by the mighty, invincible hegemon and its lickspittle satraps.


      1. The reason is not really that too difficult to fathom out.


        Аналитики оценили выгоду Минска от альтернативных поставок нефти
        Jan 14, 19:58

        Analysts have estimated how Minsk benefits from alternative supplies of oil

        Statements made by the Belarus government as regards its finding t alternative oil suppliers is aimed at improving the position of Minsk in negotiations with Russia, says senior Director of the Fitch Rating Agency, Dmitry Marinchenko.

        “In trying to conclude contracts with foreign suppliers, Minsk is attempting to follow the same logic as that of the Ukraine in the case of gas supply — the opportunity to buy oil somewhere else, improves its negotiating position and might encourage Moscow to seek a compromise”, Marinchenko told RBK, noting that for Belarus, oil procured in third countries is likely to be about $10 per barrel more expensive than Russian oil.

        “From a political point of view, the transition of Minsk to purchasing oil abroad would be a setback for Moscow, in fact, a manifestation of its falling apart, so the probability of a compromise, such as granting Belarus additional discounts, is still the most likely scenario”, added Marinchenko.

        Raiffeisenbank analyst Andrey Polischuk believes that Belarus can only get an additional discount on oil from Russia.

        “Oil price is a market instrument, and Russia cannot sell oil above the market price, because then no one will buy it. And you can only get a below market price if the seller makes concessions for some reason. I see no options where someone can provide extra discount for Belarus except for Russia, of course”, Polishchuk told an RBK correspondent..

        In early January, 2020, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, explained that the difficulty in negotiating a new contract for the supply of Russian oil was owing to the fact that Moscow wanted to sell raw materials at an inflated price. In this regard, he instructed the Belarus government to find alternative suppliers.


      2. Lukashenko does not really get close to anyone. He plays at ‘new best friend’ in hopes of extracting concessions from this one or that one, while he keeps his loyalty footloose and fancy-free. That might be an appealing gig if, as I said, Belarus were not large and poor. NATO loves reeling in little fish like Montenegro, that it can comfortably absorb, but you might as well strap a limpet mine to your chest as take on an obligation like Belarus or Ukraine.


    1. Ha, ha! Good luck with that – I’m sure Kuh-yiv will give you a special price! Seriously, Lukashenko should buy oil and gas wherever he can get it the cheapest; ‘invisible hand of the market’, innit? And then when the prices go up because the Ukies want to make money, why, when Luka comes back to Russia, he should be told the price is the Ukie price plus 10% for Idiot Tax. This is Luka’s whole act – ‘dabbling’ with NATO, maybe I will, maybe I won’t, to play the two against one another in the hope of getting panicky concessions from the Russians.

      I’m sure Washington would just love to split Belarus off from Russia – it’s part of their game; isolate. isolate. isolate, divide and conquer. But if very recent history teaches us anything, it’s that Europe needs another large, poor friend like it needs an anus in the middle of its forehead. It can’t manage to give Ukraine a standard of living that stops the old folks from pining for the old days when there was plenty even if they were poor. Now they’re poor and they’ve got nothing. I would be surprised if Belarus is really any better off – Lukashenko has done well keeping himself and his family warm and comfy, but he hasn’t really done fuck-all for the rest of the country. Europe can no more throw money at Belarus AND Ukraine than it can lay golden eggs. But let Lukashenko learn that for himself – there’s no school like experience.


      1. Director of the Energy Development Fund, Sergey Pikin, has commented to RT on the words of the First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus, Dmitry Krutoy, who said that Minsk had sent to the Ukraine, Poland, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and the Baltic States commercial proposals for oil imports.

        “I think the probability that Russia and Belarus will come to some agreements before the end of January, is big enough. But the question is that any delivery from any regions of the world will still go through the same pipes. And I don’t think it will be cheaper than Russia”, he said.

        source: Эксперт оценил планы Минска по альтернативным вариантам импорта нефти



        1. Oh, I think Kuh-yiv could probably see its way to fronting its old pal Minsk a special price – at least, at first. But Lukashenko is not dumb enough to fall for that; he would insist on a term contract during which term the price could not go up. But Washington, working through Kuh-yiv, would probably be very glad to offer Lukashenko a sweetheart deal if it thought that might split Belarus off from Russia. And Lukashenko would take it.

          I’m sure Russia knows all this as well. It’s just Luka posturing for a deal. He also knows very well that if he gets involved in a deal with the Americans, even if they are a silent partner, it will be used as leverage against him and they will incorporate it into a new regime-change effort.


  56. Carroll of the Independent hard at it again dishing out the dirt on the Orcs, he thinks, whilst following the CIA line:

    Russia ‘hacked Ukrainian energy company’ at centre of Trump impeachment scandal
    Company linked to Joe Biden who polls suggest is best placed to beat Donald Trump in 2020

    Oliver Carroll Moscow
    2 hours ago

    As an impeachment inquiry turned up the heat on Donald Trump over his irregular efforts to investigate rival Joe Biden, Russian military intelligence got to work hacking the Ukrainian gas company that once employed his son Hunter Biden.

    Those, at least, are the conclusions of a US cybersecurity firm published this week.

    According to Area1 security, the Russian campaign to target the Burisma group of companies in Kiev began in November.

    The mechanism they used was a fairly unsophisticated phishing tactic.

    Well it would have had to be unsophisticated for the Orcs to have used it, wouldn’t it?

    According to the authors of the report, the discovery was an “early warning” of significant Russian interventions into the forthcoming 2020 campaign.

    According to, according to!!!! Will someone stop playing that according-to?

    According to some polls, former Vice President Joe Biden is best placed to beat Donald Trump in 2020. It seems likely this is why President Donald Trump lent his weight to conspiracy theories alleging Mr Biden, then Vice President, tried to fire a Ukrainian prosecutor because he was allegedly investigating Burisma.

    While the conspiracy theory is bunk, business in Ukraine is rarely entirely clean. Burisma would likely not have appreciated unfriendly investigators rummaging around for possible skeletons.

    Let the first commentor to the article speak:

    “While the conspiracy theory is bunk…” – ehm no, Joe Biden is on tape trying to get the prosecutor fired.”

    And harken ye to another commentor, who comments on the above comment:

    Well what do you expect from CIA stooge Carroll. He has to pay his Moscow rent somehow.


    1. Hopefully it means less aggressive foreign policy in the future.

      Also the colored people are slowly taking over the whites. Since colored people have smaller IQ than whites the likelihood of the US being able to maintain its empire gets smaller too.


      1. Ha, ha! That was a Finland University study that told you ‘coloured people’ have a lower IQ than whites, was it? People who have less or poorer-quality education have lower scores on tests and examinations than those who have a superior education, but it’s hard to see someone like Boris Johnson as an example of a genetically-high IQ.


      2. Not a smart thing to say Karl unless you are going into your A-game trolling. And strength does not mean aggression. Aggression is often a means to hide weakness which seems to be the case with US foreign policy.


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